I started Blush & Pearls after realizing I had an incurable obsession with makeup and skin care products. Blush & Pearls is a site for people interested in the latest beauty and skin care tips, trends and reviews, with a sprinkling of life, style and women’s health topics.
CozyPhones are flat, felt-covered headphones that are fitted inside a headband for super-comfy listening. There are three varieties of CozyPhones styles – a fleece one for kids (they come in fun animal designs), a fleece one for sleep/relaxation, and a lycra one for activity. These thin headphones (about 3mm thick) are adjustable and allow you to go about your business without having to worry about the headphones falling off or moving around.
CozyPhones are also great for people who like to listen to music to fall asleep. The flat design means you can rest your ear against the pillow without an earbud digging into your ear.
Flat headphones removed from the headband. Braided 36″ cord.
CozyPhones are made to plug into any media device (I use mine in my Android phone) and are made with a sturdy 36″ long braided cable. The active CozyPhones that I received are designed with lycra mesh to keep your head cool while you work out and the headphones are removable from all three styles so you can wash the headband. They also come with a little black carrying case for safe storage or travel.
I really wanted to test these puppies during my treadmill workout, since I usually just listen to music from my cell phone speaker. By the time I’m able to get downstairs to the treadmill, it’s usually 10 or 11pm. That’s when all three babies are asleep (2 kids, 1 husband). With the baby monitor in one cup holder of the treadmill and my cell phone in the other, I was ready to give these CozyPhones a thorough testing.
After adjusting the actual headphones within the headband to cover my ears, I started my run. The headband fit me well, but not too snugly and was very comfortable. The headphones (which are encased in felt) didn’t move around while I ran, unlike my earbuds that sometimes feel like they’re about to fall out from all the movement. I also like that the headband absorbed my sweat throughout the workout so I didn’t have to worry about wiping my forehead with a towel and potentially wiping out a la Taylor Swift in the Apple Music commercial. The lycra material allowed me to stay pretty cool and is very lightweight. The sound quality of the headphones is good as well.
I normally work out for 30 minutes on the treadmill, but the first time I tested out my CozyPhones I actually stayed on for an extra 20 minutes – I was enjoying myself! Not only were they super comfortable, but they really allowed me to get into the zone. I’ve used my CozyPhones several times since and they now hang on my treadmill, ready for my next run.
Now that I think about it, I would have actually loved to have had a pair of these when I was in University; it used to take me over an hour to fall asleep back then and I often listened to music to help me relax. Now that my husband has started snoring, I might have to go back to listening to music to fall asleep – he’s getting pretty loud!
CozyPhones are not noise cancelling, so some outside sounds may get through and others can hear what you’re listening to if you put the volume on high.
Ultimately, I enjoyed these CozyPhones more than I thought I would and might have to grab a Paw Patrol set for my oldest daughter when she’s a bit older (because I’m so damned tired of listening to Disney songs every day).
If you’re looking to grab a pair of CozyPhones, you can visit the website or find them on Amazon or Walmart (US Walmart only).
Nivea tells me that this 2-in-1 Moisturizing Primer is a lightweight, non-greasy makeup base that will moisturize and refresh my skin. This gel-cream is supposed to absorb quickly into the skin and is enriched with vitamin E and natural lotus extract.
I can remember over a year ago watching countless beauty gurus singing the praises of Nivea’s Sensitive Skin After Shave Balm (for men) because of it’s ability to prolong makeup wear, so I figured Nivea’s 2-in-1 Moisturizing Primer would have a similar, non-cologne scented formula.
I like to apply this primer with a flat foundation brush on top of cleansed, exfoliated and moisturized skin. Like Nivea’s claim, it has a light gel-cream texture (love) and absorbs quickly without any greasiness or tackiness. It’s surprisingly quite matte!
While I’ll agree that it does feel weightless on the skin, I can’t say that my skin felt any more refreshed or hydrated than it did before. This moisturizing primer does have a fragrance to it, which is I find a bit strong but bearable. The fragrance fades away shortly after you apply your foundation.
Did Nivea Deliver?
The first time I wore this moisturizing primer under makeup, I honestly didn’t see much of a difference in how my makeup looked. I’ve tried it again on several occasions on only one half of my face for comparative purposes and still didn’t see any difference in how my makeup looked or lasted throughout the day against the non-primed side.
Nivea’s 2-In-1 Moisturizing primer didn’t do add any moisture to the dry patches on my chin and nose and really doesn’t feel like a moisturizer at all! Something I find exceptionally strange for a self-proclaimed moisturizing product.
Just trying it on the back of my hand, my skin did feel a bit smoother, but I don’t really feel like this smoothness translated into anything noticeable on my face. It might be a good choice for people with 20-something smooth skin, but it wasn’t smoothing enough for craggily old me who will be 37 next month and hasn’t been able to use retinol in over a year.
Who should Nivea have marketed this primer to? Oily skin types, that’s who! It has such a matte finish that I might have really enjoyed it when I was struggling with heaps of oil. Maybe I’ll whip it out for those hot summer months when my makeup starts to melt off my face…maybe.
Overall, Nivea’s 2-In-1 Moisturizing Primer didn’t impress. I wanted to love it, but some things just aren’t meant to be. However, I hope to be onto better things, since I”ll be trying out the Primer Oil from Beauty Creations next. Stay tuned…
What’s your favourite moisturizing primer (because I really need a good one!).
I’ve talked about this before in my post 5 Weight Loss Tips That Work!. I struggled throughout my twenties trying to lose weight on my own before finding a great dietitian who helped me lose 23 pounds in 4 months. She taught me portion control, how to keep a food journal, how to read food labels and most importantly, gave me positive support. Once I learned how to adjust my eating habits, the weight just fell off, much to my surprise. They can also develop meal plans for you that take into account certain health conditions, like diabetes. I’m currently breastfeeding so I can’t cut out too many calories, which is something my dietitian is mindful of.
While I know exactly what I should be doing to lose weight this time around, I was doing quite the opposite and finding it hard to get back on track with healthy, portion-controlled eating on my own.
If you’re struggling to lose weight, don’t do it alone! I highly recommend finding a good dietitian that teaches you the fundamentals of portion control and food tracking.
2. Tracking My Food
Since I’ve worked with a dietitian before, I’m no stranger to keeping a food journal. I originally thought keeping a food journal would be annoying and useless, but every time I stopped using one, I found myself going off the rails. Food journals are a proven weight loss tool because they make you more mindful of what and how much you are actually eating. If you’re seeing a dietitian, they will most likely as you to keep one and will review your entries.
If you’re not into keeping a manual food diary, there are a ton of apps out there that help you track your food for the day, so get to downloading one already!
3. Not Skipping Meals
During my initial consultation, one of the questions the dietitian asked me was “Are you skipping any meals?”. I admitted to her that I don’t eat a great lunch – I often grab whatever is leftover from dinner the night before or grab junk food, or miss lunch altogether. Watching two kids every day makes it easy to forget to eat and leaves little time to prepare healthy meals. Missing lunch also means I am A LOT hungrier, which might lead me to overeat at dinner.
To make sure I didn’t skip lunch or make unhealthy choices, she asked if I would consider making a smoothie for lunch. I used to make smoothies all the time before I had kids, so I was actually eager to start making them again. While I don’t make one every day, I do enjoy them and I feel better knowing that I’m eating a healthy lunch and not stuffing my face with junk. My go-to smoothie is:
1 cup almond milk
1 cup frozen berries
1 scoop whey protein powder
1 tablespoon light peanut butter or 1 pinch cinnamon
4. Substituting Milk For Almond Milk
This was a change I had been contemplating for a while. I’ve heard many people making the change to almond milk for various reasons. Cow’s milk is thought to cause inflammation and contains growth hormones that many believe to be harmful. I also came across articles indicating that cow’s milk could have negative effects on women suffering from PCOS (like myself) because it contains insulin-like growth factor-1, which can mimic insulin in the body and cause elevated blood sugar levels.
Changing over to almond milk was really easy for me. I actually love the taste of it and unsweetened almond milk has way less calories than skim milk, which was my previous go-to for liquid dairy. Not sure at this point how it is affecting my PCOS, but I’m enjoying it!
5. Reducing My Intake Of Starchy Carbs
During my pregnancy, I got used to eating large amounts of my favourite starches – pasta, risotto, bread and pizza. I carried this bad habit into my postpartum leave and never looked back baby! Unfortunately, starches are probably the worst thing for me to binge on as they convert to sugar in the body, which triggers an increase in insulin. Having PCOS makes me insulin resistant, which means my body doesn’t process sugars as efficiently as it should. Excess insulin levels not only throw my hormones out of wack but also lead me to pack on the pounds and make losing weight a challenge.
I vowed that I would reduce my starchy carb intake to a more reasonable serving (e.g. 1 cup of cooked pasta/rice per meal) and aim to eat more vegetables with my meals to fill the void. I do miss my two big bowls of pasta, but I don’t miss the guilt that came along with them.
6. Drinking More Water
I used to drink a ton of water when I was pregnant, but as the postpartum months went by, I found myself drinking less and less of it. My dietitian asked me to commit to drinking more water each day, so I pulled out a huge metal canister from my cupboard and started making a point of drinking at least two full canisters of water per day. I find the canister also works as a great visual cue to remind me to stop and take a drink of water. I leave it on my kitchen table and make sure that I’ve finished it before going to bed.
The downside? All this extra water intake has me running for the bathroom and my main floor powder room is still under renovation (and has been for the past two years, but that’s a story for another post…).
7. Having Healthy Snacks Available
Being surrounded by chocolate bars and chip bags (my husband buys them, not me), makes it easy for me to make unhealthy choices. One huge change I’m working on is trying to have healthier options readily available to me when I start to get the itch for sweet or savoury junk food.
I had my husband buy me some light microwaveable popcorn for those nights when I hear him coming upstairs with a bag of chips. Apple slices and peanut butter are another option I’ve been trying out on those days when I open the pantry and find our container full of jumbo Toblerone pieces staring me in the face.
8. Exercising More
I’m one of those sickos that loves to exercise, so starting to exercise again is a physical and emotional necessity for me. My youngest daughter usually falls asleep around 10 or 11pm, which is when I dash into the basement and do a high intensity interval training (HIIT) treadmill session or follow a HIIT video from one of my favourite fitness YouTubers.
A 20 minute HIIT session is a great way to burn more calories in a short period of time. You can read more about the benefits of HIIT here.
Annabelle Lipsies Lip Balm in “Raspberry” and “Watermelon”
I’ve been a fan of Annabelle Cosmetics since I was in my twenties. I love their pigmented eye shadow formulas and blushes, which are budget friendly when compared to other drugstore cosmetics. I haven’t seen Annabelle products in a while, so I decided to look up some of their stuff while doing an Amazon shopping spree.
When I found these retractable Lipsies Lip Balms, I immediately added one to my cart. This retractable balm not only smells like fresh watermelon, but has a super smooth, hydrating formula that is very close to my Gold Standard for lip hydration – Vaseline. Lipsies Lip Balm doesn’t cake up around the inside of my lips while I wear it and Watermelon delivers a bright pink shade with a nice shine. Most balms are pretty sheer, but these Lipsies actually pack a lot of colour on the lip and the colour is buildable without getting cakey. When the balm wears off, it leaves a stain of pink on your lips for a nice flush of colour.
After trying out “Watermelon”, I ordered the “Raspberry” shade (because you know I had another Amazon order already on the go). “Raspberry” is a soft mauve pink that I think I like even better. And yes, it smells like delicious raspberries. I think I might have to grab the Cherry balm next.
For anyone who is not a fan of mineral oil, you’ll want to avoid these Lipsies.
Annabelle Lipsies Lip Balms (Left to Right), Raspberry, Watermelon
I had seen this fancy, golden rose petal gel toner making the rounds on Instagram when it was released and it tickled my fancy from the get go.
Enriched with real rose petals (which you can see floating in the gel) and aloe vera (one of my most favourite skin care ingredients) this gentle vegan, alcohol-free toner is supposed to leave skin feeling soft, soothed, plumped and smooth.
I have to admit, I almost returned this toner when I first tested it out. When it arrived, I immediately busted it open to try it out on my hand and was slapped in the face by its very strong floral fragrance. I’m somewhat sensitive to smells, so after a few minutes the strong perfume started to give me a headache and even after washing the back of my hand, it just wouldn’t fade. While pondering whether I needed my priest to exorcise me of the fragrance, I was also super disappointed. How was I going to slather this toner onto my face if this little sample was already driving me nuts? Luckily, when I tried it that evening, the smell was much fainter (I guess it just needed a good airing out?).
Petal-Soft gel toner has been a staple in my morning and evening skin care rotation for a couple months now and I quite enjoy it! It can be applied with a cotton pad, but I prefer to squeeze a pea-sized amount into my hands and massage it in (after cleansing and exfoliating, of course). The gel has a fairly fluid consistency and spreads easily onto the skin, although I’m not crazy about the little bits of rose petals that I find balled up on my hands afterwards; they’re a fancy touch, but not necessary or practical for me.
Aside from the dainty rose petals, this Petal-Soft toner gives me a much needed extra layer of hydration and it’s definitely soothing to my skin after an exfoliating mask or toner. Although the fragrance is much fainter now, I would prefer if it wasn’t there at all and I wonder if it would irritate more sensitive skin types. Scanning the ingredients (included below), I also wish The Body Shop had included some hyaluronic acid in this toner to boost my skin’s moisture retention throughout the day.
That being said, while I enjoy this gel toner, I’m on the fence as to whether I’d repurchase due to the reasons I listed above.
I’ve probably seen a dozen blog posts touting how well this cleansing butter works at removing makeup, so I rode the hype and added it to my cart. I was curious to see how this butter would fare against my makeup remover of choice – plain old coconut oil.
The Sumptuous Camomile Cleansing Butter is supposed to gently remove makeup while leaving skin feeling soft and refreshed. Camomile extract is included to soothe skin. It’s formulated for all skin types as well as contact lense wearers and removes all types of makeup. Unlike the British Rose Gel Toner, the cleansing butter has a soft, light scent to it that I actually enjoy.
For anyone not familiar with cleansing butters or oils, this butter is applied to dry skin to remove makeup. Just dip your hands into the tin and dig up a bit of the cleansing butter, massage it in your hands until it melts and rub it onto your face. As you massage it around, the butter will start lifting the makeup from your face (including eye makeup). I like to wipe off the makeup-filled butter with a cotton pad (to keep it out of my drains) and I then use a damp wash cloth to remove the rest (you can also rinse with warm water). I always follow up with an oil-free facial cleanser to remove any left over cleansing butter from the skin.
The Sumptuous Cleansing Butter works well to remove makeup with little effort, including eye shadow and mascara, and I do love the handy little tin it comes in (looks great for travelling). While I wouldn’t describe it as “sumptuous”, it does leave my skin soft, clean and soothed. I do feel like my much cheaper coconut oil removes my makeup a bit better with the same amount of product, but since coconut oil can cause breakouts in some people, it may not be the best choice for everyone. I also wish there was more product for what it costs and I feel like I would go through the tin rather quickly when I go back to wearing makeup five days a week for work.
Nonetheless, if you’re looking for a freshly scented gentle makeup remover, you might want to take the Sumptuous Cleansing Butter out for a spin (when it goes on sale – it’s currently 40% off right now!).
I ordered two Umbra Starfish Drain Covers from Amazon (here) when I was about seven months pregnant. Once baby Iva reached four months, I wasn’t able to run my fingers through my hair without several strands falling out. Since then, I’ve been leaving a trail of hair where ever I go and I tend to lose the most in the shower.
That’s why I love these handy shower drain covers – they have small suction cups on the back of each point that attach to the bathtub or shower floor over top of the drain. Now I can wash my hair in peace, without having to hear my husband complain about my hair clogging up the drain or the filters in our septic tank. All the hair gathers on top of the rubber drain cover and at the end of my shower, I simply grab my soapy ball of hair and toss it in the trash.
I bought one drain cover for the main bathroom, which will no doubt see tons of hair balls over the years, since I have two girls. The cover attaches really well to the acrylic bathtub (just wet the tub first) and doesn’t budge.
I had a little more trouble attaching the second drain cover over my ensuite shower drain; the shower floor is tiled in marble mosaic and the suction cups don’t attach to marble. I’m able to get a couple suction cups to attach to the metal drain cover, so it’s not too bad, but it works much better on acrylic or porcelain finishes. Keep this in mind if you are planning to attach the drain cover to a shower floor covered in natural stone.
Not only is this drain cover great for catching hair, but I find it also helps me monitor just how much hair I’m losing and how your hair loss changes over time.
Looking for tips on how to reduce hair loss? Read this!
Overall, I love this little invention – so simple, yet so useful! If you’re tired of pulling gunky hair out of your drain, you might want to grab an Umbra Starfish Hair Catcher for yourself! My cover is in white, but I believe there are different colour options as well.
Ofra Long Lasting Liquid Lipstick in Ipsy “Unzipped” – $17USD
I’ve received a blush and an eye shadow from Ofra in previous Ipsy bags and really liked them, so it’s not surprising that this *Long Lasting Liquid Lipstick was an instant lip lover. It has the most amazing formula – goes on super smooth, dries in about a minute and feels soft and hydrating on the lips. It is very lightweight and I haven’t experienced any other lip product like it; it feels like nothing on the lips.
I’m glad I got a shade that I don’t yet have in my lip collection – a purple-toned berry shade. Ofra’s liquid lip isn’t transfer-proof, so no hot makeout sessions while you’re wearing this one! Ofra claims that this liquid lip will last all day, although I’m a bit leery about this claim…
If you’re interested in buying some items from OfraCosmetics.com, this liquid lipstick says you will get 30% off your order if you use code “IPSY30” at checkout. Enjoy!
A new brand to me, this Promise Organic Nourishing Coconut Milk Scrub is made with organic honey and aloe to nourish skin, as well as sugar and walnut for exfoliation. It claims to be pH balanced and safe for even the most sensitive of skin types.
I was so looking forward to loving this scrub, but it’s very scratchy and I’m worried it will be too harsh for my skin. I’m assuming this is due to the walnut in the scrub – nut shells are usually to sharp and rough for exfoliation and can cause small tears in the skin (like the St. Ives Apricot Scrub that I used for 10+ years). I was also expecting an amazing coconut smell, which wasn’t there either. I think this one might go right into the rubbish bin.
Derma E Anti-Wrinkle Scrub – $10.99USD (full size)
Derma E is a skin care brand I’ve had on my must-try list for quite a while now. When I saw this scrub on the Ipsy website, I decided to redeem some of my points to snatch it up. The *Anti-Wrinkle Scrub is eco-ethical, GMO-free, 100% vegan and cruelty free. It contains anti-aging vitamin A, as well as glycolic acid and apricot powder to gently exfoliate skin for a radiant complexion.
This scrub is very weird – it feels like jelly or, dare I say it, some type of lubricant, on the skin. Not that I don’t enjoy it, but it’s like nothing I’ve ever tried before. There are some scrubbing particles in this jelly concoction, but they don’t really provide much scrubbing action. I’ll have to try this a bit more, but I think I kind of like it, weirdness and all.
Sometimes I don’t know where my mind is at, but I guess having two kids can do that to you. When I first grabbed this eye shadow crayon I immediately opened it and applied it to my lips. I couldn’t figure out why Ipsy would send me a rose gold lip crayon until I read the side of it and realized it was an eye shadow crayon….perfect example of Mommy Brain at work (or not working, I suppose).
DLS claims that this eye shadow crayon is opaque, multi-purpose (eye shadow, base or highlighter), gives a great glow and doesn’t crease. When you apply a thin layer of it onto the skin, it looks more gold, but if you build up the coverage, it turns into the most stunning coppery, rose gold shimmer shade. The swatch below does not do this shade justice – it is GORGEOUS! Anything I put on my eyelids creases (which this crayon did) so I’ll have to try it with an eyelid primer next time.
This *Onyx precision 239 shader brush from Luxie Beauty is a welcome addition to my eye brush collection. I always reach for the crease brush I own from this line, and the shader brush seems like another winner. The bristles are super soft and the flat head makes this brush great for applying shadows to the inner corner of the eye or some shimmer on the centre of the lid. It’s joined the rest of my eye shadow brushes.
This mask is made with salts and minerals from the Dead Sea that are supposed to draw out dirt and toxins. It’s a 15 minute face and body mask which claims to be pH balanced and is to be applied to cleansed, dry skin. A little goes a long way with this mask, since it spreads really easily and isn’t too thick. This mask is a dark gray colour and I actually forgot I was wearing it when I passed by a mirror and scared myself a little – that was fun.
My skin felt very soft afterwards, but I did feel a bit of tightness too. It also left me a bit pink. I think I’ll only apply Dead Sea to my t-zone when I use it next and might save it for when the weather is warmer and less dry. I’m planning to scare my husband when I wear it next time too…hehehe.
e.l.f. Cosmetics Highlighting Studio Blush in “Berry Merry”
While I have quite a few pink or coral blushes in my collection, it’s been a while since I’ve had a nice mauve blush for the fall/winter months. “Berry Merry” is just the mauve shade I was looking for. With gold flecks speckled throughout (that don’t show up as glitter on the skin), it has great pigment and a slight sheen. A light hand and a fluffy blush brush will make this blush work like a dream.
e.l.f. Cosmetics Mad For Matte Summer Breeze Eyeshadow Palette
Being at home on maternity leave and up late at night with my daughter means I’ve watched A LOT of YouTube makeup tutorials to pass the time and stay awake. I’ve seen countless eye makeup looks – many of them done with e.l.f.’s Mad For Matte palettes. Suffice it to say, I had to try at least one of these budget palettes and decided on Mad For Matte – Summer Breeze. For $10USD (I got mine at 40% off), this palette is what budget beauty dreams are made of.
The 10 matte shadows are silky soft to the touch and blend like a dream. The shades have great colour payoff – with the exception of the plum shade, which I found I had to really build up to see on my lid – and little to no fallout on the skin (if you tap off the excess before applying). Never thought I’d enjoy warmer shades on my pale skin, but now that I’ve dipped into this Summer Breeze palette, I’m really enjoying them!
I do get a bit of kick up when I dip into the pans, but I don’t think you can avoid that given how soft these shadows are. I’d love to try out another palette from this line the next time I pass the e.l.f. display in Walmart.
e.l.f. Cosmetics Studio Powder Brush
I was looking for a flat-headed brush that would let me stipple on blush or bronzer, but also had bristles soft enough to easily buff out these products. This studio powder brush seemed like the perfect choice. I’ve been using it ever since I ordered it for applying my bronzer and it hasn’t disappointed me yet. It hasn’t lost any bristles either, which is one of the reasons I enjoy e.l.f’s makeup brushes. The synthetic bristles are soft and densely packed, but not so dense that they would pack on way too much product.
e.lf. Cosmetics Shimmer Highlighting Powder in “Pearl Glow”
I’ve wanted to try out an e.l.f. highlighter for ages and their Shimmer Highlighting Powders looked too good to pass up. This pressed highlighting powder gives my skin such an INSANE glow and it’s made with microfine particles to create a soft focus effect to minimize texture on the skin – which it does very well. The “Pearl Glow” shade is perfect for pale skin and is an interesting cross between a silver and champagne shade. The formula of this highlighter is soooooo smooth and swatches like a dream. The updated packaging isn’t too shabby either. There are 7 shades in this highlighter range and I wouldn’t hesitate to pick up another because the shimmer from this stuff is incredible!
e.l.f. Cosmetics Beautifully Bare Highlighting Stick
This highlighting stick is a little different from most highlighters; it’s not a powder or a liquid, but more like a dewy balm for your face (think Vaseline). I first heard about it in a Kathleen Lights YouTube video and she described it as giving your skin a “wet” look. I picked the shade “Fresh Morning Dew” – which is totally clear. I found it applied best with my fingers – I roll the stick onto my fingers and then dab them along my cheekbones.
Given the tackiness and shine of this highlighting stick, I wouldn’t recommend it for oily skin, but I think it would be great for normal to dry skin types looking to amp up the dew. I’ve only played around with this stick so far, so I’ll need a bit more experimentation with it. I tried looking for it on the e.l.f. website to link to, but I’m not sure if they’ve changed the packaging or removed it, because I can’t find this chrome stick anymore. The closest product to it is linked here.
e.l.f. Cosmetics Long Lasting Liquid Matte Lipstick – “Berry Sorbet”
I’ve never tried an e.l.f. lip product, but these matte liquid lipsticks were calling my name. A lot of the shades looked a bit too brown for me online (which could be deceiving, I know) so I decided to grab this rich fuschia shade. The formula of this liquid lip shade is incredible! It goes on super smooth, feels hydrating on the lips and gives you full, opaque colour in one application. I haven’t worn this on my lips for long enough to determine its longevity, so I’ll have to report back on this one, but it’s truly stunning. I find it to be more of a satin finish as opposed to a true matte, but I don’t mind. This shade does stain your lips and skin, so precision is key.
e.l.f. Cosmetics Liquid Highlighter in “Natural Glow”
I was on a bit of a highlighting binge during this haul! The e.l.f. Cosmetics Liquid Highlighter in “Natural Glow” (the only shade available) is my first ever liquid highlighter. This highlighter has a peach pigment to it and is supposed to give you a dewy, radiant complexion. I blended a bit of this stuff along my cheekbones and it definitely gives off a great shimmer – maybe a little too much for me though; I like my highlight to be a bit more soft and natural.
On another occasion, I mixed a couple drops of it into my foundation – it gave me a great all over glow, but I found my foundation started to get cakey and separate from my skin in spots after a few hours, which normally never happens. I definitely love the Shimmer Highlighting Powder over this liquid highlighter, but maybe it will grow on me?
Free Gifts – Eyelid Primer, Eyeliner, Mascara and Clay Eye Shadow Quad
What beauty haul is complete without a few free gifts with your order? First off – the e.l.f. Shadow Lock Eyelid Primer – has a thin, creamy, almost greasy texture to it. I like to set it with my RCMA No Color powder, or a light eye shadow shade. I found the first time I used it, I didn’t get any creasing, but the second time I used it I did. Not sure this is a winner yet, so more testing is required!
The Keep Your Cool Skin-Calming Mask is something I grabbed at Walmart based on my love of the Pores Be Pure Mud Mask. Keep Your Cool is supposed to “instantly” reduce the appearance of blemishes and contains fine green and gold corrective pigments to mask redness and boost radiance. It includes soothing ingredients like coconut, cucumber and chamomile and I don’t know how, but Formula 10.0.6 managed to create a cucumber-coconut scent that is just delightful. It’s probably my favourite part of this mask!
Keep Your Cool is to be applied on clean, dry skin and left on for 15 minutes before it can be rinsed off. The mask dries down into the skin very quickly and isn’t heavy or greasy in any way. It can also be left on over night. I don’t really suffer from blemishes, but I do get some redness around my nose and cheeks on occasion.
I honestly can’t see the “colour pigments” doing much for redness since they get rinsed away, but I love the cooling sensation this mask provides and it always leaves my skin feeling soft and refreshed afterwards. And again – that scent! It just makes the whole experience so relaxing – something I can really appreciate since I’m running on empty most of the time.
Pores Be Pure Skin-Clarifying Mud Mask
I got a sample size of the Pores Be Pure mask in my August Ipsy bag and loved it instantly. Formulated with strawberry, yarrow and rosemary, its claim to fame is its ability to de-gunk pores for a clearer complexion. I love how it gently cleans my pores, but somehow manages to leave my skin soft and smooth afterwards (unlike most pore-clearing masks). It has a light strawberry scent and a creamy texture.
Just apply it onto clean, dry skin for10-15 minutes and rinse off.
I’m really loving the vibe of this brand and wouldn’t mind grabbing a few more of their products. They have a skin brightening mask made with papaya and citrus that sounds yummy and a whole “Be Berry” line that I’d love to try out.
For any pale girls looking to try out the much more expensive Benefit Hoola Lite Bronzer, I reviewed and swatched it here and was super disappointed. It looks like a beautiful light taupe in the box, but looks like a pale orange on my skin.
Honey Bronze Bronzing Powder #3 by The Body Shop
I heard through the grapevine that The Body Shop’s Honey Bronze Bronzing Powders had a shade that was great for pale skin types (bronzing powder #1), however, this pale bronzer was sold out at the time of my TBS binge. Since TBS had a great sale at the time, I decided to grab the next lightest bronzer shade they had – Bronzing Powder #3 (couldn’t they think up better shade titles?) – since it looked like it still might work on my fair skin.
These Honey Bronzing powders come in 5 shades and are infused with Community Trade Honey. The super fine powder provides a soft, matte finish to lightly warm up the skin and has a subtle pigment that you can build up to just the right amount. Shade #3 works so well for my pale skin and blends like a dream. Plus, the packaging and powder is just gorgeous, with its honeycomb pattern pressed into the powder and a reflective honeycomb pattern on the outside of the compact. I’m still curious about the lightest shade in this mix – just might have to swatch it at the next TBS I get to.
I grabbed my Honey Bronzing Powder for $8 (original price $22CAD) during a TBS sale and actually ordered another during their Cyber Monday sale. It’s still on sale for $10 right now, so if you’re interested in this bronzing gem, don’t wait too long to order!
Physician’s Formula Murumuru Butter Light Bronzer
What beauty blogger hasn’t raved about this drugstore bronzer yet? I picked up the Physician’s Formula Light Murumuru Butter Bronzer while innocently browsing the beauty isle at Walmart. Butter Bronzer has the most AMAZING smell – like coconut sunscreen – I always take a huge whiff of it before I apply it to distract myself from the chaos of life.
Its rippled powder is infused with Murumuru butter and has a super silky texture that leaves a slight sheen on the skin for a pop of warm radiance. Infused with essential fatty acids and vitamins to hydrate, it also includes soft-focus pigments to blur skin imperfections. While I don’t think anything will transform me into a bronzed goddess, this stuff does give my pale skin a great glow.
There’s no mirror with this bronzer, but it does come with a brush that I will probably never use. There are four shades of bronzer in this range; the “Light Bronzer” shade is actually the second lightest, with “Bronzer” being the lightest shade.
e.l.f. Cosmetics Contouring Blush & Bronzer Palette in “St. Lucia”
Another Walmart grab, this budget bronzer is the darkest bronzer of the bunch. Cruelty-free and vegan, this St. Lucia bronzer and blush duo works better on my pale skin in the summer months when I have a touch more colour. It has a slight sheen to it, runs on the brown side and is very pigmented – go easy with this one. It does kick up a bit of powder when you dip into it, so make sure you tap of the excess before swiping this on.
The blush is a nice addition; a soft pink-peach that’s perfect when I need a subtle flush of colour. This duo comes with a mirror and is super affordable to boot.