Sunday, January 30, 2011

January 2011 favourites!

Here are some of the things I've been grabbing for the most this month...enjoy!  


 Maybelline Dream Smooth Mousse foundation

I haven't reviewed this yet.  Prior to November-ish 2010, you could only get this product in the States.  I had heard so many great reviews about this so of course I had to track in down when I was in Florida.  Initially I thought this was a bit too dewy for my skin.  I felt like I needed a lot of powder to keep from looking too oily.  However now that the weather is so cold & my skin is drier, I gave this another try...and I'm happy I did.  I love how little of this product it takes to give me enough coverage, without looking like a mask.  It isn't the most long wearing foundation but a bit of powder to touch up, and it works beautifully for me.

MAC Mineralize Skin Finish Natural in Medium Plus

This is actually a shade darker than I should be wearing right now, as I bought this in the summer.  Even so, I use this to give my Dream Smooth Mousse a little extra help & touch up during the day.  Love!

Maybelline Dream Smooth Mousse concealer 

Still loving this, still working for me.  I do appreciate that some think this is a bit too dry for the winter & at times I agree.  I am on the hunt for another 'moister' (is that a word?) concealer to test out.  


NYC Bronzer in Sunny

This is one of those no brainer bronzers for me.  I typically use this a bit less in the winter, but I still apply it in the '3' formation...forehead-cheekbone-jawbone.  I feel a bit naked if I don't warm up my face just a bit.  

Annabelle blush in Rose Fawn

I have been using this above all else this month.  This gives me just the perfect flush of color without looking too bright.  Beautiful pinky mauve!

Lorac's Perfectly Lit in Spotlight

Hello, anyone surprized?  Didn't think so.  I just sweep a bit of this on the tops of my cheekbones, occasionally above my eyebrows and I'm done.  Perfect subtle highlight, without shimmer, everytime.


MAC's Painterly paint pot

Painterly paint pot as my base, and sometimes just on it's own.  Perfect!

Wet N Wild's Brulee & Nutty

I've been using brulee all over my lid, then applying nutty just in my outer v and blending simple but it works.  

ELF Blush & Bronzer Duo

I saw a few people say they use the bronzer from this duo as a blending, crease color.  I apply my shadows and then use this in the crease to finish it off & love love it.  
Give it a try!

Clinique Dramatically Different Mascara Black

This is such a no brainer mascara for me.  It applies so easily, gives me great length and never ever flakes or clumps.  This is not the most volumizing formula but still one of my favs. 


Blistex Deep Renewal Lip Balm

This works for me.  In the cold, often harsh weather this is the one lip balm I have been grabbing for the most.  It's easy to apply-no fingers needed, has an SPF and is a lovely creamy formula that moisturizes.  Sold!

Balmshell set of mini glosses

These have been my go to this month.  The mini glosses are so easy to carry in my pocket, they come in the most popular colors so I can just grab whatever I'm feeling that day.  And the best part, they are so soothing on the lips. Love these!!


St. Ives Oatmeal & Shea Butter Body Lotion

Because I've been doing ongoing posts about my skin care routine, I'll just talk about my go to body products.  This month it's been St. Ives all the way.  This is one of the best formulations for my skin, especially in the winter.  I use this right when I get out of the shower & I never feel like my skin is dry or itchy if I apply this.  Better yet, it's affordable.  For the Canadians out there, Superstore had these on sale for $2.99 (limit one)!

Softsoap Body Wash in Pomegranate Mango

This was a great surprise, as I wasn't honestly expecting too much in these body washes.  I bought these as a set at Costco for I believe $9.99 - such a deal, as these are large containers.  I started using the Pomegranate Mango first.  It has a delicious smell, which doesn't really linger, but is beautiful while you are using it.  The biggest surprise is how gentle this is on my skin.  It's a gel like soap with moisturizing beads, that lathers up really well.  Leaves my skin feeling clean but not stripped or overly dry.  

And finally, 

The best of the best...

My Clarisonic Mia.  I know I've gone on & on about this so I'll spare you, but this is.da.bomb.  I would give up my makeup for this product!  (Please don't make me give up my make-up thou)

What are your favourites this month?  I'd love to hear.  

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Winner winner chicken dinner - My 1st giveaway win!

Last month, the lovely Monica at, hosted a $25 gift card giveaway from and I was the lucky winner! 

If you haven't checked out Monica's blog you really should.  Not only does she have fun & interesting beauty and fashion posts, she is now engaged & has recently started a wedding planning blog as well,  

This was my first ever giveaway win, so I was doubly excited.  

Don't you love getting packages in the thrilling! 

Glowing Beauty has so much to choose from so it took me a while to decide what I wanted to get!  I was looking at the macadamia hair care products, the fusion beauty lip products or some essie polishes but ended up going with this....

Okay some of you may not be excited by the Clarisonic replacement brush heads, but I sure was!  These are $25CAD each.  With my win & the free shipping, I decided to get two of them which came out to just over $26 with tax.  The Clarisonic brush heads have to be replaced every 3-4 months so basically I have enough now for the rest of the year.  And that spells excitement for me.  

They also included a few samples which is always appreciated, including a Dermalogica shave cream, a Eminence 7 Herb facial treatment & a Valmont hand cream.  

Thanks again to Monica at Beautyparler & to Glowing Beauty.  I love my new stuff!

Friday, January 28, 2011

I'm a girl so I'm allowed to change my mind!

I don't know about the rest of you out there, but sometimes I use a product and think I don't like it, only to go back to it later and decide I was wrong.  I do strive to thoroughly test something before I do a review about it, but even with my best intentions I sometimes change my mind.  I'm kind of human like that.  

Anyway, I'm going to do the occasional 'I'm a girl so I'm allowed to change my mind' post where I thought I didn't like something, may have even posted that I didn't like it, but now I do.  

My first product......L'Oreal Elnett Satin Hair Spray.

You can read my original review here.  Suffice it to say, I thought it was over priced, over hyped because a Kardashian uses it, didn't work well & smelled like old school hair spray.  
Wow, I guess I really didn't like it.  But because it was about $14.99, for a drugstore hair spray, I was determined to try and use it rather than waste the money.  And a funny thing happened...I started to really like it.  

I currently own a salon hair spray (Brocato) and the Elnett, and wouldn't let myself buy my beloved Shaper spray until these were done.  Well I found myself reaching for the Elnett much more than the Brocato.  I actually now find that it does have a light hold and yet allows you to brush through your hair easily.  It is great to use right after you curl your hair, before you comb it out.  It sets the curls quite well and doesn't make it difficult to use a smoothing lotion or serum before you brush your hair out & style it.  I also don't even really notice the smell of this anymore, it just kind of goes away.  I like that it doesn't seem to build up on my hair very easily, I can use quite a bit of this without any residue.  

As I got near to the end of the can I started to realize I'd miss it when it was gone...always a good sign.  This is not the spray to use if you want a strong hold or to keep every hair in place.

But if you want your hair to be touchably soft while still maintaining some of it's bounce & curl, then this is a good spray.  

So there it is.  I was wrong, I can admit it.  I'd recommend giving this a try in the extra strong hold formula, because even in that strength it's still a very light hold.  It's about $14.99CAD in most drugstores but I have seen it on sale for as low as $9.99.  

I would love to know if this has happened to you & what was the product, I can't be the only one right?  

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Calling all Lancome users!

So here's what I know.  I have too much make-up & other beauty products, but I can't help but want more.  Every time I read a review or see a new product release, I'm convinced I have to have it.  I also know that I rarely finish anything.  How can you when you're always buying newer, shinier stuff?  

You may remember this kit I bought at Sephora, when I was in Florida.

What drew me in to this particular one, was the Lorac Perfectly Lit powder in Spotlight that I was dying to try.  (So dramatic)  The bonus was I also got to try a few products that I had been wanting, like the NARS illuminator and found some new loves as well.  

What is perfect about kits like this, is the size of the products.  I have been using a number of things from this and I'm not anywhere near finishing any of them.  

So here's what I was thinking.  I have quite a few items on my wish list or want to try list. But instead of buying them in full size, where I can I'm going to try and find these items in a kit like this.  So that not only do I get to try what I want, but I get to try other items along with it.  That way if I don't like it, or it doesn't work for me, it isn't such a hit.  

The first thing that caught my eye was this Lancome set, that comes free with any $34 purchase.  For the Canadians out there, this promo is on at Sears from Jan 21-Feb 14th, as supplies last, and the free gift is said to be valued at about $142.  

What I've wanted to try is some of the Genifique skin care & the Hypnose Drama mascara, which are both in this kit. 

What I need, is some suggestions on what to spend my $34 on.  Kim, over at Kim's Vanity just got this kit and bought the Effacernes Waterproof concealer and the Artliner eyeliner.  I don't need an eyeliner right now but I was looking at getting a concealer & wondered if any of you had also tried Maquicomplet or Flash Retouche?  

I was hoping to head over to Sears tomorrow so please forward any and all your Lancome product suggestions my way as soon as you can.  I'll do a blog post about what I end up purchasing!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

My favourite way to apply it!

I thought it would be fun to occasionally post a product or two and my favourite way to apply them.  I know that people have different methods of applying the same product so I thought it would be interesting to share these kinds of ideas.  Case in point is a product I've talked about before, 

This is my beloved Maybelline Dream Mousse concealer, which I know is the favourite concealer of many.  My favourite way to apply it is by using a fluffly blending brush, such as my QUO pictured here.  I daub the brush lightly into my concealer, tap it under my eye where I want it and then blend it lightly using small circular motions.  I find this gives me the lightest coverage that is well blended, and I never seem to get any creasing when I apply it this way.  

So now that you get the idea.  Since I've already talked about the concealer before I thought I'd add another product today, my MAC paint pot in Painterly.  I love this paint pot and use it often as a base under my eye shadow.  If I'm not going to wear eyeshadow, I often still apply some painterly to my eye just to even out the skin tone & hide any discoloration.  Put some mascara on & you're done!  

My favourite way to apply this paint pot is with this Eco tools brush; 

This brush isn't marked but I believe it is the eye shader brush.  It comes to a bit of a point on the end and is perfect to get right into the inner part of my eye.  It's also quite thin, which is perfect for this purpose as product doesn't get embedded in the eye brush causing you to use up more than you'd like.  

I also find that if I use a brush I tend to apply my paint pot more smoothly than if I use my finger.  Often when I used my finger I'd feel like I was tugging a bit on my eye to apply this.  The brush allows me to apply the thinnest of coats, which is great because too much of a paint pot and you've got a bit of creasy gunked up mess.  Or at least I've managed to achieve that in the past.  

I hope you like this idea & I look forward to doing more posts like these.  Please leave me a comment and let me know how you apply your favourite concealer or paint pot type product!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

What really causes wrinkles?

2011 is about the continuing quest to find the perfect skin care routine.  Part of that quest involves understanding more about my skin & what it really needs.  As I learn, I will share with you those things that help educate me and the products I find that work, at least for me, in hopes that they might work for you too.  

I thought this was an interesting article from Paula Begoun's Cosmetics Cop team about what really causes wrinkles.

The simple answer is no, dry skin doesn’t cause wrinkles. Abundant research has made it perfectly clear that wrinkles and dry skin are not related in terms of cause and effect. Think of it this way: Kids can experience dry skin and many suffer from conditions such as eczema, but kids don't have wrinkles.

 OK, So What Does Cause Wrinkles?
Wrinkles are primarily caused by sun damage as well as muscle movement, estrogen loss, and fat depletion. Nowhere (outside of ads and product claims) is dry skin ever mentioned as a cause of wrinkles. What about those "fine, dry lines" most moisturizers claim to eliminate? That's simply another way to describe how your skin can look when it's dry. But those "fine, dry lines" are not the same as wrinkles, which don't go away simply by applying a moisturizer.

 The Backside Test of Aging 
How can you know for sure that sun damage is by far the most notable cause of wrinkled skin? Easy! You can prove this by doing what we call the backside test of aging. Here's how it works: If you are over 35, simply compare the parts of your body that rarely, if ever, see the sun with the parts of your body exposed to the sun on a daily basis. Look at your backside, inner arms, and abdomen. You may be surprised to see that these areas have minimal to no signs of "aging." In fact, they have far more of the firmness, elasticity, and color of "younger" skin than the sun-exposed areas! Now that's proof positive of just how strongly sun exposure and wrinkles are connected.

 How Wrinkles and Dry Skin Are Related
Time to dispel some confusion over why so many people are convinced that dry skin and wrinkles are related. The misinformation distributed by the cosmetics industry keeps us confused, but it also stems from the fact that dry skin looks more wrinkled than skin that isn't dry. So, not surprisingly, wrinkled skin looks better after a moisturizer is applied.

Women with oily skin may be perceived as having fewer wrinkles, but that's because they have their own built-in moisturizer, which creates a smoother skin texture. When skin is dry or dehydrated, any amount of wrinkling or flaws look more exaggerated. Applying a moisturizer will make wrinkles look less apparent and can help skin look and act younger, but that is not the same thing as giving skin what it needs to repair itself.

 What You Can Do to Help Dry Skin and Wrinkles
While using a standard, ordinary moisturizer does not have any significant effect on wrinkles, using a product that contains state-of-the art ingredients whether they are in a toner (liquid), serum, lotion, cream, or gel form and regardless of the name, do. Not all products are created equal, which is why you need our help to find the best ones for your skin's needs.

What are the state-of-the-art ingredients you should look for? Antioxidants, cell-communicating ingredients, and skin-repairing ingredients. Below, you'll discover how each one of these critical ingredient categories works:

  • Antioxidants decrease free-radical damage and reduce inflammation, which causes collagen to break down and negatively impacts the skin cell's DNA structure. When formulated in an effective sunscreen, antioxidants also help your skin defend itself against the #1 cause of aging, the sun.
  • Cell-communicating ingredients help skin cells form in a healthy, "younger" manner. They also work to "tell" damaged cells to start acting more like normal, younger, healthier cells.
  • Skin-repairing ingredients are substances that skin has lost due to sun exposure and external irritants. In order to improve, your skin desperately needs these repairing ingredients to fight environmental damage that leads to moisture loss and dull skin that looks older than it really is.
As significant as these ingredients are to the improvement of skin's structure, it is still of vital importance to use an effective sunscreen rated SPF 15 or higher 365 days a year. We know the topic of sunscreen is kind of boring and certainly not as buzz-worthy as the latest anti-wrinkle miracle, but without sunscreen, you have no chance of helping your skin resist wrinkles and numerous other signs of aging. It really is that important!

I just got the highly rated Kiehls Super Fluid UV Defense sunscreen with an SPF 50, for Christmas.I have only used it a few times so not enough to give a full review, but I can tell you so far so good.  It is meant to be worn under make-up, without giving your skin a white cast or affecting your foundation.  
What do you all think?  Do you use a sunscreen every day and if so which one?

Sunday, January 23, 2011

And the winner of the CSN gift card is.......

The winner of my very first giveaway, a $25.00 CSN gift card is;

I compiled all the entries in the order they were submitted and then used to pick a winner;

Congratulations Amber, I sent you an email!   Thanks to everyone who entered.  Stay tuned, as I'm quickly approaching 100 followers and plan to celebrate with another giveaway! 

Saturday, January 22, 2011

3 Amazing Lash Tricks You’ve Probably Never Tried Before

Ever wonder why you can't seem to get the full dramatic lashes that others seem to achieve, with mascara alone?  So did I.  I tried these 3 tips from and I can tell you that they really work.  

Tip #2 was also something similar that I heard from Lolamarie7 recently on youtube, when she did a video on her Top 5 Beauty Tricks. Check it out on her channel if you haven't seen it!  She is a professional hair dresser and also does amazing hair tutorials.  If you've ever wanted full, bouncy hair or the perfect side swept bang then you have to watch her videos.  

She talks about heating your eyelash curler for 5-8 seconds with your blowdryer, then use it to curl your lashes only AFTER you've applied mascara.  I tried it, just be careful not to heat your eyelash curler too long & make sure your mascara is dry and it really does work.  My lashes looked amazing and the curl really held!  

So here are the 3 tips, let me know if you use any of them and how they work for you!  

3 Amazing Lash Tricks You’ve Probably Never Tried Before

Posted November 10, 2010 @ 3:00 PM
After 10 years of covering the beauty industry, I’ve heard every (makeup) trick in the book. Or so I thought until I sat down with gorgeous makeup artist Brigitte Reiss-Andersen earlier this week to talk biz. I first met Brigitte years ago when I was at Harper’s Bazaar, and since then, there isn’t a fashion magazine, famous photographer, or A-list celebrity she hasn’t worked with. Seriously, her resume must be 18 pages long (that’s some of her most recent work above: the November cover of Spanish Vogue, left, and the December cover of Glamour with Fergie). So I guess it should come as no surprise that during our talk, Brigitte revealed a bevy of makeup tricks that even a beauty nerd like me had never heard before. Equally impressive: They’re all incredibly easy to master.
Brigitte offered so many good tips that I’m going to dedicate a few different blog posts over the next week to her best advice in several categories. First up: Lashes. And when you’re done reading the below tips, mosey on over to Brigitte’s new blog,, where she shares more of her makeup wisdom along with juicy tidbits about her magazine and celebrity work.
1. When curling your lashes, once is not enough. If you want big, Bambi doe eyes, “You must, must curl your lashes,” says Brigitte. “Squeeze the curler along the length of your lashes at various intervals, starting near the roots and working your way out to the tips. This creates a true curve as opposed to the 90-degree angle you get when you only curl your lashes at the roots.”
GET THE LOOK WITH: Shu Uemura Eyelash Curler
2. Yes, you can curl your lashes after applying mascara. In fact, Brigitte highly recommends it for a glamorous evening look. “Curl your lashes, apply two coats of mascara, and—this is key—wait several minutes so they have time to dry completely,” she says. “Once your lashes are dry, curl them again. This lifts the lash line and you get a more pronounced shape than had you only curled the lashes before putting on mascara. You’ll also find that the curl lasts longer this way.”
GET THE LOOK WITH: Shu Uemura Eyelash CurlerLancôme Virtuôse Black Carat Lasting Curves Mascara
3. Face powder is the world’s best volumizer. You know how dry shampoo adds incredible volume to your hair? Brigitte says translucent loose face powder creates a similar effect on lashes. “Sprinkle a tiny amount onto a spooley eyebrow brush,”— that’s the brush that looks like a tiny Christmas tree— “then curl your lashes and sweep the brush through to deposit the powder,” she says. “Follow with a few coats of volumizing mascara, and you’ll be amazed by how thick your lashes look. This literally doubles the volume.”
GET THE LOOK WITH: L’Oréal Translucide Translucent Loose PowderMaybelline New York Volum’ Express the Falsies Mascara, spooley brow brush (e.l.f. makes an inexpensive one).

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