23 December 2016

Colourpop Highlighters Live Swatches & Thoughts (Flexitarian, Lunch Money, Wisp)


In natural light and flash photography. Flexitarian, lunch money and wisp.
In natural light and flash photography. Flexitarian, lunch money and wisp.

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17 December 2016

Maison Jacynthe Makeup Review | Concealer & Eyeshadows

MAISON JACYNTHE review Eyeshadow in 04 Cappuccino & 11 Macchiato concealer 01
Maison Jacynthe is a Quebec brand that was founded in 2014 by Jacynthe Rene, an actress, producer and writer. She has an online magazine that features advice on health, detox diets and natural beauty. Maison Jacynthe similarly sells makeup, face and body products, essential oils and home products.

In the summer of 2016, they launched a makeup line that is cruelty free, formulated with natural and active ingredients and made in Italy.
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Packaging & Design


Looking through images of their products, you see that the packaging is high quality, but you'll find that in actually holding it, it's better than you thought. The concealer casing has a handmade vibe to it. The base of the tube is a brushed metal that might be stainless steel. I didn't realize that through online images. It has a weight to it that feels great to hold and lets it stand upright, stabily on surfaces. The wooden cap is full of character. The one side of mine has a slight texture from the wood grain that I just love. There is no way i'm throwing out this casing after I finish the concealer. I'd like to find a way to reuse it by putting in a custom made lipstick.


The eyeshadow packing is no different. It's cute and has all the information on it in English and French. The names of most of their products are Italian or French themed which is also...cute.

maison jacythe eyeshadow

Currently, their makeup is specified by number on their online shop, but they do have names.


Eyeshadow

$22 CND / 3g
MAISON JACYNTHE Eyeshadow in 04 Cappuccino & 11 Macchiato
(This photo has been edited so that the eyeshadows are nearly the exact colour they are in 'real life')
I LOVE the eyeshadows. The formula is just right. It feels firm to touch but is soft enough to easily pick up shadow without having a ton of fallout. They can be applied to get a light wash of colour or be built up to full opacity. It's so easy to blend out. For a matte eyeshadow, it looks very 'smooth' in texture on the eye.

I found it hard to decide on what shades to pick because they all were subtly unique shades that I would actually wear. Some also looked a little similar online. I liked every colour I saw but I decided to choose two shades that I know I would wear the most:

04: Cappuccino
A stunning lid colour or transition shade. I would describe it as medium brown with yellow-orange undertones. Or a medium camel brown. I really recommend this one. It's a staple shade that will last you years.

maison jacynthe eyeshadow cappuccino 04

11: Macchiato
This is a unique shade. If you take a quick glance at it, you'd say it's gray. But if you hold it next to a black or a true grey shade, you'll see traces of yellow in it. On your eyes, it looks like a warm grey. Like I said, these shadows are buildable so this would be a lovely lid or transition shade depending on how opaque you want it.

04 Cappuccino in the crease and 11 Macchiato on the lid. Concealer in 01 under the eye and on middle of forehead.
maison jacynthe eyeshadow swatch concealer 04 011 01
Brush and finger swatches on primer in natural, white light

Concealer

$33 CND / 3.5g

01:Light Beige

This concealer got good reviews, so I thought i'd try it. I encountered some issues with it. I have some milia under my eye and really dark circles. This concealer can be built up to a good coverage when you apply it, but it can easily blend out into nothing. It clung a little to texture and creased under my eye slightly.  The shade 01 matches me perfectly. The undertone is yellow, which is perfect for me. The concealer is slightly hard so that you can't glide it in one go under your eye without tugging on it. It can however be applied in short stroking motions. I found that by the end of the day, it's mostly gone from my face but was still clung to the texture and was sunk in my pores.

I would describe it's smell as wax and a fruity herbal tea mixed together. It's not overwhelming or unpleasant.

I think if you have a smooth undereye that needs minimal coverage, this would be a nice, healthy option. If you're picky with concealers like I am, you might feel it's a little lacking.

You can find all these products here.

*pr sample. Opinions are honest, not forcefully positive.

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14 December 2016

Affordable Skincare?! Behind the Canadian Brand Deciem.

Property of Deciem
I love a good success story. 

Credit should be given were credit is due, and the Canadian company DECIEM deserves credit.

They're a fresh, 3 year old Canadian umbrella company with more than 10 brands. Each brand specializes in selling targeted products.

'Niod is a professional range to complement dermatological and surgical options in beauty'
'Hylamide is a skin care treatment range that targets every depth of the skin from the surface of the subcutaneous level'
'The Chemistry Brand is a brand focused on treatments to fight all aspects of hand and body aging.'
'The Ordinary. is an evolving collection of the treatments offering familiar, effective clinical technologies positioned to raise pricing and communication integrity in skincare. '
'STEMM is a range of daily care and treatments to celebrate healthy follicles, scalp and, in turn, hair.'
'Fountain is a beauty supplement brand focused on offering water-soluable, highly bioavailable forms of proven health and beauty nutrients in easy-to-take liquid formulas.'
'HIF: Think of HIF Cleansing Conditioners as dry cleaning for your hair, only with water. In one simple, gentle step, HIF deep cleanses with cleansing fractions instead of common detergents while a long list of conditioning technologies, exotic oils, hyaluronic acid and precious rock extracts leave the hair in prime condition.'
'White Rx is ultra-scientific innovation leader in pigmentation skincare.''
'AB CREW is a high-performance range of health, fitness and grooming products targeting the modern man. The range offers a no-nonsense alternative to the common, bulky, monster-like, ugly, behind or fruity products in the men health, fitness and grooming space.'

I thought i'd share about this company because I like their products and want to see them blow up in Canada. They produce their own products in Ontario. Usually companies don't do that. I'm not sure how many employees they have now, but at least 60 Torontarians. As for animal testing, they test their products on humans. They don't hire a third party to test on their behalf. I have respect for this company and it's founder, especially after reading the two articles I linked below. If you want to hear a beauty industry insider give his thoughts on the industry, check it out. 

Still Image from their Youtube video: NIOD- NON INVASIVE OPTIONS IN DERMAL SCIENCE
I discovered them only recently when I came across them on www.well.ca and on the Instagram pages of Canadian beauty bloggers. The packaging of their products was eye catching but what really drew me in was the prices of the products they sold, particularly for their 'The Ordinary' line. The ingredients were simple, effective yet this company was selling it for actually reasonable prices. Alternative to the prices of similar skincare products sold in Canadian Drugstores by huge companies.

$9.50 CAD
In regards to the founders thoughts on bougie skincare pricing: 
...while doing a computer science co-op stint at a beauty conglomerate, he was shocked to realize the low price of the ingredients going into swank creams. “I was annoyed. How could you make a product for $3 and sell it for $1,000?” Excerpt from this article by Wing Sze Tang.
The founder, Brandon Truaxe is really talented. By the times he was my age, 21, he sold his first company, a software related development! Before Deciem, he had a founding role with Indeed Labs, but sold his stake with the company and agreed to a non-compete clause. That meant he couldn't create any facial anti-aging products for three years (I guess he was really good at that too). He created the Fountain line, which is basically an anti aging skincare supplement that went down really well with Europeans. He also made an anti-aging hand cream which became one of the top selling face creams in Europe. 

In 2015, Deciem was a 30 million dollar annual company but Canadian sales accounted for only 1 percent of that. Wow. The founder points out that there's not much coverage of beauty products in Canada (other than beauty bloggers), that Canadians don't really care for Canadian brands and we have a different outlook on beauty and skincare compared to Europe. I'm no expert on the topic, but i'd have to agree.

As of 2016, Deciem sold $60 million + at retail in 2 years.

In the coming years, the founder is focusing on building the company. I definitely look forward to seeing where it's at in 5-10 years.

For more information, check out the links below.

                       


This review wasn't sponsored by Deciem.

10 December 2016

REVIEW | Colourpop Creme Gel Liner in Swerve | Fail Turned Good?

colourpop gel pot liner swerve
Left: Bad Colourpop Creme Gel Liner Right: Replacement

Recently I bought a Colourpop Creme Gel Pot that failed hard. But I was sent a replacement that worked great and looked different.

Everytime I go to use it, I wonder what happened. Did they sell me an old product or a bad batch? Did they reformulate it?

The One I Bought


colourpop creme gel liner vs loreal infailliable gel liner
Left: Bad Colourpop Creme Gel Liner Right: L'oreal Infalliable Gel Liner (1 year old)

It was horrible. It was super dry to the point where it wouldn't show up on my eyelid unless I pressed very hard. That would cause my eyelid to be pulled down and my angled brush to splay. Every dip I made into the pot would dry onto the brush instantly. I barely used it but you can see the indents below of me trying to get product on the brush. I sent them the image above comparing my swatch to a year old gel liner by L'oreal. The L'oreal Infalliable gel liner applied smoothly. I said within a few months, it would be completely unusable.

The Replacement


The gel pot I bought looked utterly matte in sheen. The replacement they sent me was shiny and applied smoothly. There doesn't appear to be a reformulation...

Left: Bad Colourpop Creme Gel Liner Right: Replacement
colourpop creme gel liner fail
The new one on the right can actually make a sharp line and needed no pressure.
I guess the moral of the story is if a product doesn't perform, don't think it's suppost to be like that. Contact the company. Also, Colourpop should keep tabs on how old their products are and how they are performing. Because i'd like to buy their working products. No harm done though!
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REVIEW | My 4 Favourite Ways To Use Egyptian Magic All Purpose Cream

Egyptian Magic All Purpose Cream

I'm on a skincare kick lately. I've discovered yet another great product, this time from the brand Egyptian Magic. I hadn't heard of this product until recently, but it turns out it's really popular.

This is called a cream, but it's really more of a balm or Vaseline texture. It feels emollient, wet and slightly sticky. It's comes in a solid form, but melts into an oil as you rub it into skin.

Egyptian Magic boasts being an all purpose cream that contains only 6 ingredients:

Olive Oil, Beeswax, Honey, Bee Pollen, Royal Jelly & Bee Propolis

Some uses they recommend are to use it as a face moisturizer, eye cream, makeup primer, highlighter, hand and body cream or hair mask. They also say it can remove makeup, hydrate chapped lips, be used as an aftershave, tame frizz and split ends, soften cuticles, cracked heels and elbows. That's a lot of uses! They also said you could use this cream on burns. I burned myself on a hot tray and I swear this soothed the burn a little.

Some of their recommended uses I tested and didn't like. I didn't find it soothed my chapped lips or remove my makeup. I wasn't about to use it as a face moisturizer during the day time because it would look too shiny for my liking. I did discover some uses that I love!

DIY Pimple Treatment


If you didn't know, honey has anti bacterial properties.  Combined with tea tree oil, you will have a nice, all natural anti-acne concoction. It will stay wet for a long time, sealing out any bacteria from your infected blemish.

I mix tea tree oil with a 3:1 ratio. Say you scoop out 1 tsp of the cream with a measuring spoon. I add enough drops of tea tree oil to fill 1/3 of the 1 tsp spoon. The trick with tea tree oil is to add enough to feel the slightest cooling sensation, but not too much that it burns. You can store it in a little sample container. Apply it with a Q-tip 1-3 times a day.

Egyptian Magic Cream Uses Pimple DIY Favourite ways to use

Lip Gloss/Glossy Eyes


Glossy lips and eyes are often created with petroleum based products. This cream is a nice natural alternative for you green beauty lovers. This cream acts very similar to mineral oil and petroleum. It stays wet for a long time. You really need the smallest amount, so it would be a nice alternative to Vaseline as a whole. This won't make a good lipstick topper though because it will remove the lipstick. It's best if you mix a lipstick and this together to make a sheer lipgloss.

Egyptian Magic All Purpose Cream
Egyptian Magic All Purpose Cream as lip gloss

Hydrating Mask


This has been my go to cream to use after a drying facial mask. I like to apply a generous amount and let it sit for 30 minutes and then wipe it off. It really does help to soften my dry skin.
2017 UPDATE. I'm starting to suspect this is too heavy for my face. There are some ingredients in here that can break out super acne prone folks like myself (olive oil, beesweax). I've still been using this cream, but not on my acne prone area like my cheeks and forehead.


Dewy Highlighting/Bronzing Balm


I FINALLY found an alternative to my DIY Strobe Cream tutorial! That DIY has always been a popular post/video of mine. This cream is the PERFECT alternative to the Vaseline needed to create that DIY.

You can mix any loose pigment, eyeshadow, bronzer or highlighter to create a highlighting balm or bronzer for your face and body. You can also skip adding makeup and use it on it's own for a healthy sheen. When summer comes around, i'm definitely gonna be putting it on my shoulders and chest.


Egyptian Magic is now available to Canadians. This 2 fl oz jar is $31 CND at http://egyptianmagic.ca/buy-now/

You can also find this in stores near you with their store locator.

*pr sample. My opinions are not forcefully altered to be positive.

8 December 2016

MYCHELLE REVIEW | Natural Skincare Regime For Anti Aging & Post Acne Marks


For the past two months, I have changed my skincare routine to natural products from the company Mychelle. I had never heard of them until recently, but they are the real deal. They are based out of Colorado and are the first skincare company to use anti-aging peptides, plant stem cells and clinically proven dermatological ingredients in their products. I reached out to them and they were kind enough to send me some products to review. They are expanding to Canada which is great because it turns out they have really nice products. The products they sell are pricier, but I feel it's justified. Unlike some of the skincare brands sold at stores like Sephora, the products Mychelle sells are more natural yet still very effective. 

All their products are made without GMO, Gluten, Parabens, Petroleum, Phalates, Silicones, Sulfates, Ureas, Artificial Fragrances and Artificial Colours

Since i've started this new regime, my skin has never looked better. The Mychelle products i've been using have really helped to keep my skin soft, balanced and more even in skintone and texture. My post acne marks have been fading faster than usual. For the first time in years i've needed a lot less foundation to cover up my post acne marks. As a whole, these products have worked well together. Two of their products have become 'holy grail' products for me.
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Refining Sugar Cleanser



Introducing my new holy grail cleanser. I don't want to sound dramatic because it's just a cleanser. But it's amazing - and this is coming from a former anti-cleanser person. Before I discovered this cleanser, I would rarely use a cleanser. I found they over stripped my skin or did nothing to improve it. This cleanser is not like that. It cleans your skin of oil, yet leaves it feeling so soft. It doesn't leave a residue on your skin, but it leaves it feeling utterly moisturized and balanced. It's difficult to explain. It's probably from the hyaluronic acid in it which is an amazing humectant that retains water in the skin. This cleanser also has anti-aging peptides and plant extracts. People in my house of different skin types have used this cleanser with me and they love it too (I started to hide it from them hehe). Like it's name, this contains natural sugar which provides some exfoliation until it dissolves as you rub it in. It has an interesting texture. It mildy foams but not in a way a sulfate based cleanser would. It's a fine, heavy foam with a very plush feeling. I love it. Lastly, the scent is AMAZING. To my nose, it is the greatest smell ever. It smells of vanilla and cookies. Basically a bake shop. If I were to recommend any product from Mychelle, it would be this cleanser. It's lovely and worth the splurge.


This cleanser is $25 US at Ulta.com. $25 US at Mychelle.com. For Canadians, you can buy this cleanser for $32 CAD at BeautyBoutique.ca and Murale. iHerb.com/ca also sells this cleanser for Americans and Canadians. Full ingredient list is found at Mychelle.com.
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Supreme Polypeptide Cream



Onto my second new holy grail product. I have to say this cream is really good and worth the money. The ingredient list is long and full of amazing, beneficial ingredients. Key active ingredients are: 
Matrixyl ®synth'6®: Rebuilds collagen and elastin where it's needed. Great for wrinkles.
Pea Peptide Extract: Promotes collagen. Antioxidant and anti-wrinkle effects.
Synth®-Coll: Improves the syntheis of collagen, reduces wrinkle depth and firms.


I really like this cream because it leaves my skin feeling really soft and nourished. My pores feel hydrated in the morning and my dark spots get more benefits than an average cream would give. Anti-aging creams are actually good for people with PIH. Texture of creams are very important to me. I hate creams that sit on the skin or have a glycerin feel. This cream feels creamy and thick in all the right ways. Applied to the skin, it thins out to feel slightly more oily. I haven't used this under foundation but I think it would be fine. I apply mine an hour before bed so it has time to soak in my face a little before my pillow steals the product. This will sit on the skin for a while which I love because I get a layer of moisture for longer. My skin always feels plump in the morning after using this. The scent it has I can best describe as weird 'essential oils'. Cough * frankincense*. I'm not crazy about it but it doesn't bother me at all. There is an unscented version for those sensitive to scents. To me this is just a quality cream. It is on sale on the Mychelle website for $40 right now which is a reasonable price.

This can be found at Ulta for $56 US. On sale for $40 US at Mychelle.com. $70 CND at beautyboutique.ca. It can also be found at iherb.ca/.com and Murale. Full ingredient list is found at Mychelle.com.
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Remarkable Retinal Serum



I liked this serum. For about 2 months, I applied this to the left side of my face only. I noticed some lightening of redness and red marks in a few weeks more that their Vitamin c serum gave (that was applied only to the right side of my face). The only thing I didn't like is how this serum sits on the skin (it can be rolled off with your finger once dried). This is a really personal preference of mine that doesn't seem to bother others. They suggest you apply this serum a few moments before your cream. I do that, but when I apply their cream on top, this serum just rolls off in little glycerin balls. I'd like to see this serum less of a glycerin formula.

According to Mychelle, this serum contains the most potent non-prescription from of Vitamin A, Retinal. Retinal is 500 times more effective than cosmeseutical-strength Vitamin A. It's created with a patent-pending cryogenic extraction process, making it less irritating than other forms of Vitamin A. It's created to enhance skin radiance, reduce wrinkles and skin lines as well as treat acne, folliclar papules and oily skin.


Being in my very early 20's, I can't say I noticed a reduction in wrinkles :) But they say prevention is key with wrinkles! My skin has not broken out as much. I can't say for sure if it's all due to this product, but i'm sure it helps.
This serum can be found at beautyboutique.ca for $60 CND. Mychelle.com and Ulta.com for $47.50 US. This serum can also be found at Murale Canada and iherb.ca/com. Full ingredient list is found at Mychelle.com.

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Perfect C Serum 17%



I am a Vitamin C serum user. I use Vitamin C to bright my complexion and fade post acne spots. I use a 25% strength Vitamin C serum, so this was a little step down in strength. The pros of the Mychelle Vitamin C serum is the added stem cells, antioxidants, carotenoids etc. Most Vitamin C serums don't have that. Unfortunately I found their serum smells like alcohol. Vitamin C serums do contain alcohol but the scent of this one was much stronger. It's just a little off putting. Secondly, I found the bottle to be teeny tiny. It's only .5 fl oz. The shelf life of their serum is 18 months but i'd think you'd use up the bottle in maybe 5 months. I just found the price a little much for the product amount. It must be for the added ingredients? Last thing to note is that some people complain that the pump poorly dispenses product. I'd agree but I found a way to work around that. I can't say if I noticed a huge difference in my skin because I slacked on using this and stuck to their retinol cleanser.



This serum can be found at Beautyboutique.com for $56 CND and Murale. Ulta.com for $44 US. Mychelle.com for $44 US. This serum can also be found at iherb.com/ca. You can find the full ingredients list here.
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Have you tried anything by Mychelle? What do you recommend?


*pr sample. My opinions are not forcefully altered to be positive.

3 December 2016

Ireland 2016 (Killkenny, Dublin, Glendalough, Blarney, Wicklow, Moher etc)


Where Harry Potter & the Half Blood Prince was filmed. The Cliffs of Moher. Tom Riddles cave is right there. Do you see it? Right there.
This is SO long overdue. I thought i'd share pictures of some of the sights I saw while in Ireland in May. I know that's months ago, but better late then never.

 It's so beautiful there and the people were so nice. Strangers come up to talk to you in Dublin. In smaller towns, people wave hello to you. And the accents...uhhhh. I have a mild obsession. Fun fact, Damien Rice is my favourite artist (he's Irish) I was hoping i'd run into him at a Dublin food market but he was in China at the time :'(.

 Ireland is one of the most beautiful countries i've been to. Full of history. You get the point. Go there sometime.

(We saw so much since we drove across Ireland but I didn't take pictures of every town)

First stop was Dublin. We stayed on Fleet street at the Fleet Street hotel. Fleet Street is a super busy, cobble stone side street. You'll find the famous Temple bar on Fleet Street.

Fleet Street

Anastasia Beverly Hills Master Palette by Mario Swatches


So I thought i'd redo the Master Palette swatches to show their full potential. 
Each shade was built up to be fully opaque.

The swatches below shows two finger passes only for each shade.

Why I Don't Buy Mink Lashes.

I want to say that I am not a golden star animal activist. I simply try to minimise my animal suffering footprint on the world as much as I can.

Why should a mink should suffer (or die) for a pair of eyelashes when there are eyelashes that look just like mink lashes?


Some mink lash companies claim to be cruelty free but do nothing to actually back themself up. It's just empty words. How can you know what the mink farm used to supply to fur for the lashes is like? You can't but we can make an educated guess based on what we can find on the internet. We can also keep in mind that money often wins over animal welfare. We can make an educated assumption that cruelty free mink lashes are bullshit. You might notice that the only people that speak good of and defend mink lashes, are people selling them.

A mink won't live to be old, relaxed and happy at a mink farm. There are free range mink farms used for lash companies but i'm very iffy on them. I will take free-range, cruelty free lash companies somewhat seriously, if they provide footage of their farms/zoos and the harvesting standard. But they don't. Mink eyelash companies aren't in control of these farms. They just get their fur from them. Anything can happen behind the scenes that the company probably wouldn't like if they saw. If you google 'cruelty free mink farm', you will find no footage, nothing of these farms. Because there is no such thing as a 'cruelty free farm'.

Most mink farms are all varying levels of the word horrible. Minks are very aggressive animals that enjoy a solitary life roaming the earth. These cruelty free companies claim that the minks are brushed and so they can use the fallen hairs for their eyelashes. It sounds so clean of a process doesn't it. I think the people that brush these minks just want to get the job done.

Online videos show workers being rough with these feisty animals. If they are a poor standard farm, getting these minks back in their cages is a hard enough. You can be sure the minks get hurt or very distressed in that process alone. If the farm is really bad, you'd see dead minks in some cages. 90% of  the footage I saw made me sad. The minks are incredibly stressed or ill or dead. There are mink farms out there with good standards. But they are specifically for killing the minks.

Buying mink lashes gives mink eyelash companies incentive to continue production. You'd be supporting the mink industry. The more money there is to be made in this industry, the more mink suffering/death there will be. There's no need with the eyelash options out there! Scroll below for some bad@ss cruelty free eyelashes.

**You will know if what you're looking at are mink lashes if they say they are mink lashes 
BUT, when buying lashes on AliExpress or eBay, they might say 'natural lashes' instead of 'mink lashes'. If they say nothing, you can usually assume they are mink lashes if each individual lash looks tapered like a natural eyelash rather than a blunt cut fake eyelash. In general, please stay away from mink lashes sold from China! Animal rights there are not like in the Western world. This is a place that hold a dog eating festival...


CRUELTY FREE LASHES


KOKO LASHES
$7 US

SEPHORA- $22 CND

SEPHORA- $30 CND

ARDELL LASHES
WALMART CANADA- $5
DOLLARAMA- $2

RED CHERRY LASHES
MAKEUP GEEK- $2.79 US
RED CHERRY CANADA- $4.50 CND

COMPANY WEBSITE- $12 US

WALMART- $9 US
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