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Nip + Fab is a brand I’m a huge fan of. Their products are very affordable and effective. I love their Kale Fix Moisturiser as well as their Glycolic Fix Exfoliating Night Pads (review here and here). Today I want to share four of their Booster shots: Each shot has a serum consistency which will add an instant kick to any skincare routine with very little effort! Simply mix them with other products like your serum or moisturizer or use on their own.

Nip + Fab Soften – Kale Fix Protecting Shot

The Kale Fix Protecting Shot shields the skin from dry and dull looking skin caused by exposure to harmful atmospheric pollution. The kale extract provides natural vitamins, minerals and anti-oxidants which work alongside the Pronalen Bio Protect that protects the skin’s surface from pollutants.  This has a lightweight, hydrating serum texture that instantly sinks into the skin and won’t feel heavy or sticky on the skin. It will instantly reinforce skin with a cocktail of vitamins B5, C and E for healthy looking skin. I love how it makes my skin feel softer and my complexion is noticeably brighter. If you are suffering from dry and dull looking skin, then this is perfect!

Nip + Fab Repair – Bee Sting Fix Repairing Shot

This lightweight nourishing shot is an oil that contains hyaluronic acid and royal jelly to care for and repair dry skin. It contains a replenishing mix of bee venom, royal jelly and hyaluronic acid to hydrate, condition and plump the appearance of skin. It absorbed into the skin very quickly, didn’t leave behind any oily residue and provided a lot of nourishment. It’s just a non-irritating moisturizing oil that is great for evening out skin tone and repairing neglected skin.

Note that you should not use this if you have an allergy to bee stings. A patch test prior to use is recommended.  

Nip + Fab Smooth – Viper Venom Fix Blurring Shot

This blurring gel uses 5x concentrated Syn®-Ake and soft-focus powder to hide pores, smooth out lines and give a matte finish. This does exactly what it says it will do. I used this one only during the daytime. I like adding this in my daytime serums/moisturizers or primer and my skin is literally poreless and looks so smooth. I also find that my makeup last longer or wears longer and looks flawless whenever I use this.

Nip + Fab Hydrate – Dragon’s Blood Fix Hyaluronic Shot

This lightweight moisture concentrate uses Dragons Blood, a sap from the Amazonian Croton Lechleri tree, to protect and heal the skin from outside aggressions, like the weather. This is combined with 50% Hyaluronic Solution works to instantly plump the appearance of the skin. It does have a slightly sticky, gel-like consistency. My skin feels really soft, hydrated and radiant in the mornings after use. Another one that’s really amazing for dry skin!

Overall, I am really impressed and happy with all of these shots! I have dry/combo skin so I like adding about 2-3 drops of the shots into my day/night moisturizer or serum to provide deep nourishment and to boost my skincare. Depending on my skin needs/concerns on a particular day, then I’ll decide which shot I’m going to incorporate into my routine. These have been really amazing so if you are a fan of Nip + Fab then you will love these! Based on my skin type, I find that the Kale Fix Protecting Shot and the Dragon’s Blood Hyaluronic Shot are best for my dry skin and favorites as they give my skin the extra moisture it needs. And it was very surprising how much I really like the Viper Venom Fix Blurring Shot. I really didn’t think it would work so well but I love what it does and how it makes my skin looks after makeup application every time I’ve added it to my daytime serum/moisturizer or primer. A total win for me and definitely repurchases!

You can find the Nip + Fab Booster Shots here at Shoppers Drug Mart in Canada.

Have you tried any of these shots?

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I’ve been testing out a few new primers from Clarins. 90% of the time I do wear a primer under my foundation because I find that they extend the wear time of my makeup and makes my makeup sits better and looks better on my face. But I’ve also found many of them that don’t really do much to extend the wear of makeup and end up adding an extra layer of product on my face that I don’t really need. There are so many different options on the market today it can be overwhelming. Different products offer a multitude of effects. Some will smooth the overall look of your skin, add a glow, or give a matte look and then there are some that are just basic primers to help the application of your foundation.

The Clarins SOS range launched in February with 6 lightweight, oil-free, sheer-textured primers designed for dull and tired complexions. A makeup and skincare hybrid in one, each of them features a comfortable, melting formula, saturated with color pigments coated in amino acids; so pigments have perfect affinity with the skin; making your complexion look more even and makeup prolonged. Thanks to the High Lumitech complex to correct, it instantly revive and brightens the complexion, as well as boost radiance and blurs imperfections with mother-of-pearl and 3D light pigments. SOS Primer is enriched with organic sea lily extract to deliver 24-hour hydration to the skin.

The SOS Primer is inspired by the concept of the color wheel: two opposite shades cancel each other out. SOS Primer delivers ideal colour correction adapted to your specific needs, regardless of skintone or skincare concerns. Each primer comes in a pump tube that guarantees precise, mess-free use. It is very convenient and travel friendly.

00 Universal Light: Boosts radiance, brightens the face.

01 Rose: Minimizes signs of tiredness and revitalizes the complexion.

02 Peach: Conceals imperfections and evens out skin tone.

03 Coral: Visibly minimizes dark spots, evens out the complexion.

04 Green: Diminishes redness, evens out the complexion.

05 Lavender: Visibly brightens sallow complexions.

I’ve been playing with these Clarins SOS Primers for well over a month or more now and I must say I’m impressed. 00 Universal Light is great for brightening the skin and providing hydration. This one is also great for mixing in with your foundation to add some radiance, especially a matte foundation or you can also use it to lighten up a darker foundation. It is on the shimmering side compare to the others as it has a bright white formula. It is actually the one I use the most because it’s so hydrating and brightening. I’ve never used a Green color corrector before but this one was very effective at diminishing the look of redness I sometimes get around my nose and mouth area and soothing the skin. I quite enjoy the 05 Lavender as well, as it brightens the skin and makes you look awake. Though not as hydrating as the three I mentioned above, I actually love using 02 Peach (it has a beige pigment) and I often mix this one in with Univeral Light most of the time. 03 Coral (light orange pigment) is perfect at evening out complexion irregularities and any dark circles – I don’t use this one a lot because I don’t really have those skin concerns. The Peach and Coral are also great for acne scarring, pigmentation and dark spots to help balance light and dark tones in the skin. I don’t get too much use out of 01 Rose due to the pink pigments but this one is great at revitalizing the complexion and instantly restoring a fresh look.

These have a smooth velvety lightweight texture that just melts into the skin and allows the skin to breath. They are comfortable on the skin; not sticky or heavy at all. They glide on to the skin and make it super hydrated and comfortable.  You can use these SOS Primers in a multitude of ways: use one shade all over the face, mix with your foundation, mix and match the formulas to create your own cocktail; or target specific areas by colour correcting. Color-correcting primers are nothing new, but I think there is a good shade range for everyone to address their different concerns. Like any primer, I usually apply these after my moisturizer/sunscreen. They all work wonderful on my dry/combo skin. If I am being honest, the only thing I dislike about these are the smell. They smell like nail polish remover (IMO) but that’s only if you purposely sniff the product. You will not smell it once it’s on the face so that’s not a deal breaker for me at all and the scent disappears after a while. This is a great line of primers and definitely recommend you checking them out!

You can find the Clarins SOS Primers range HERE and at Hudson’s Bay and Shoppers Drug Mart if you’re in Canada for CAD $39 each (30ml).

Ann-Marie x

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A little while back, I received a lovely box from Coach of their new fragrance and today I want to share with you guys this amazing scent. The latest creation of Coach House is their new feminine, floral scent inspired by their signature Tea Roses.

Featuring a Tea Rose charm, the oval bottle is a celebration of the signature design that inspired the scent and a tribute to iconic Coach codes. The turnlockshaped spray cap is a nod to the original closure that first appeared on Coach bags in 1954, while Coach horse and carriage – a symbol of the brand’s rich history of craftsmanship – is embossed on the glass. The finishing touch: a rose-gold handtag – like those seen on every Coach bag since the 1970s. All the little details on this bottle just expresses femininity. 

The fragrance opens with a splash of citrus and a touch of effervescent pink peppercorn with radiant pineapple sorbet. The heart reveals a bouquet of fragrant flowers—rose tea, jasmine sambac and gardenia—before an enveloping dry-down to elegant creamy wood, patchouli and musky notes. This unique fragrance perfectly embodies COACH’s feminine, free spirit.

Top Notes: Pineapple Sorbet, Citrus, Pink Peppercorn

Heart Notes: Rose Tea, Jasmine Sambac, Gardenia

Base Notes: Crystal Musks, Creamy Wood, Patchouli Essence Indonesia 

I’ve long been a huge fan of Coach. I have a couple of their leather bags and I recently purchased a pair of their flats for summer (It’s so comfortable btw). This is my second fragrance from them. I don’t like overly floral scents but this is a new discovery for me that I’ve been obsessing over so much and the Pineapple in it is rather lovely. I don’t think I have any perfume with notes of pineapple in it; but it just gives a good balance to the pink peppercorn balancing things out and making it summer appropriate too!. The fresh opening of this scent with the splash of citrus and the warm base of musks and woods and the patchouli gives it a nice edgy feel which makes it more youthful and more wearable for me. Think of it as floral with a twist — with notes that are not overpowering and one that lasts all day on my skin. This fragrance is feminine and just so pretty and it is the perfect daily summer and spring scent.

Coach Floral is now available at Canada Hudson’s Bay, Shoppers Drug Mart, Jean Coutu, Uniprix, Brunet, Murale and London Drugs.

#CoachFloral

Ann-Marie x

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Today I’m rounding up some newer eyeshadow palettes I picked up in April and have gotten a chance to test out fully. Each curated palette includes a covetable mix of chic neutral, wearable shades and provocative pops. I love warmer tone palettes and also did a review on a couple Pat McGrath ones here; so today I’m rounding up the other three palettes I’ve been loving for the season.

Marc Jacobs Eye-Conic Multi-Finish Eyeshadow Palette in Fantascene (US $48 & CAD $64)

The Eye-Conic Palette is a seven-pan eyeshadow palette in Marc Jacobs’ sleek packaging. The shadows are all flattering, easy-to-wear rose gold and neutral eyeshadows in four different finishes: buttery matte velvet, shimmering satin, sparkling silk and metallic lamé.

These are creamy and smooth with rich pigment. They are easy to blend and they layer beautifully. There is some kick back but overall it blends amazing on my medium/olive skin tone. The formula is the exact same as all the other Marc Jacobs palettes, which is pretty amazing and worth checking out. I am a sucker for packaging and this is just packaged so beautifully! This is such a gorgeous palette, beautiful color selection and perfect for spring and summer.

Shades from L-R: Flesh, Covets, Fantasy, She Said, Meet Ya, For More, On The Dance Floor

Natasha Denona Mini Sunset Palette (US $25 & CAD $30)

Isn’t this one of the cutest little eyeshadow palette you’ve ever seen? This is a miniature size of the existing Sunset palette, featuring five brand-new shades. This palette gives you the range to create a whole eye look with two shimmering metallics, two versatile mattes, and one sparkling foiled shade. This is a warm toned palette and its compact size makes it perfect for travel. The Natasha Denona mini palette comes in a glossy plastic white packaging. In my opinion, I think that Natasha Denona has some of the best eyeshadows on the market.

They are very pigmented with great color payoff, buttery soft and smooth and are very easy to blend and layer. There were minor fallouts on the metallics. This palette is a great way for many to try her formula if you don’t want to spend the $$$ on her other palettes.

Shades L-R: Eyeshadows in Guava (dirty peach matte), Apollo (bright brick metallic), Dirty Mars (dirty terra-cotta matte), Sun Beam (rich bronze metallic), Halo (warm champagne metallic)

Smashbox Cover Shot: Petal Metal Eye Shadow Palette — Smashbox + Vlada (US $29 & CAD $35)

The Smashbox Petal Metal Cover Shot Eyeshadow Palette was launched with the Smashbox + Vlada Petal Metal Collection for Spring/Summer 2018 and is limited edition. The collection is actually a collaboration with makeup artist Vlada Haggerty. This is a gorgeous, travel-friendly palette that features matte and shimmer shades in rose gold tones.

The packaging is quite beautiful and comes in a metallic rose gold rectangle compact with holographic features. This comes with 8 shades with 2 matte shades for blending. The quality, pigment, color payoff was very good and they were not frosty in any way as I tend to avoid those types of shades. They applied really smooth though I find it best to go in with fingers for the metallics as it was a little difficult with a brush. I found this palette had a lot more fallout than the other two but it could be because the shades felt softer as well. These rose gold tones will look flattering on everyone and the colors are all wearable for daytime, but it’s easy to create a night look too. I love the colors and the formula is quite amazing.

Shades are: Fresh Stem; Opal Rose, Nude Rose, Rose Quartz, Floral Support, Rose Rocked; XO,Vlada; Coffee Blossom

You can find all three palettes now online at Sephora.

Ann-Marie x

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Clarins put a fresh twist on its summer essentials to slip right in between your beach towel and sunscreen. This summer Clarins has a four piece Sunkissed Makeup Collection which includes a limited edition Bronzing Compact, 4-Colour All-in-One Pen, SOS Primer and a permanent Instant Light Lip Comfort Oil. The whole collection has a rather tropical vibe with Florida palm trees, sun-washed hues and flamingos, and will put you in a tropical state-of-mind. This will be my first time trying their summer collection and I must say I am very excited.

Starting with the Bronzing Compact (CAD $42): It’s maxi-size caramel case decorated with pink flamingos and palms trees contains a harmony of 3 matte shades adapted to all skin tones. With its extracts of white tea and nipplewort, this bronzing powder gives a beautiful tan and help to protect the skin from the harmful effects of pollution and free radicals. Swirled together you get a beautiful natural bronze that is very soft with a natural glow. Pigment is light to medium but natural looking and for this one, the tones are close to my skin so it almost blends in with my skin. It will be subtle and light enough in color to give your skin a soft sunkissed glow. I have medium olive skin tone and the bronzer gives me the perfect sunkissed look. I like to use a large bronzer brush and lightly sweep all over the face for a natural glowing effect or apply on areas of the face the sun would naturally hit, such as cheeks, nose and chin. The different shades are easy to use and arranged in stripes, allowing you to tailor the finish. The texture is soft and glides on easily. I love the beautiful packaging on this.

The 4-Color All-In-One Pen – Limited Edition (CAD $35): Clarins’ innovative all-in-one pen for eyes and lips is dressed for summer in emerald green and a Florida pink palm trees print. You can choose from an intense black liner for creating a deep, graphic look; an emerald green to highlight all eye colours and an intense plum to warm the eyes. There’s also a bright pink to line and define lips and prevent lipstick from bleeding, which can also be used on the eye contour.

This is such a simple and innovative idea that manages to combine nostalgia with function, portability and ease of use. The formula is very nice and silky and won’t tug at your eyes and lips. All four shades are enriched with Black Acacia and Sunflower Wax Complex to comfort eyelids and lips. As well, the colors are all matte with a pigmented creamy formula and lasting power is pretty good on all of them. This is the only product you’ll need to carry in your purse this summer for your makeup touch-ups!

Next are the SOS Primer (CAD $39): The new SOS primers are a favorite staple in my makeup routine and I’ll have a full review shortly on all 6 SOS Primers that were launched earlier this year. Clarins also released 2 additional limited-edition ones for this summer, specifically formulated to warm all skin tones.

06 Bronze gives a sunkissed look

07 Mocha enhances deep skin tones (I only have this shade)

The “blur” effect textures instantly illuminate and correct the complexion, thanks to the High Lumitech Complex and correcting pigments. 07 Mocha is designed to provide luminosity and brighten dull complexion and also prolong makeup time. It blends easily into the skin and leaves the skin very hydrated and also provides a glowy look. The mocha is a bit dark for me but after a tan, it should work for me.

Finally, the Instant Light Lip Comfort Oil (CAD $25): Clarins’ best-selling Instant Light Lip Comfort Oil welcomes a new member to the family. The only thing from the collection that will be permanent, this new shade in Blackberry will leave your lips with a glossy plum finish. This isn’t the shade I would have expected to be in a summer collection but it really ties in the whole look perfectly. I’ve raved about these Lip Oils here. Formulated with nourishing plant oils, this new Lip Comfort Oil has a delicious blackcurrant flavour. It also has hazelnut, organic jojoba and acai oils. This one is easy to apply, doesn’t migrate off the lips and is great for everyday wear. It isn’t tacky or sticky at all and it is just a great product for dry lips as it will protect and hydrate the lips.

Overall this is a very summery collection indeed. My favorites from the collection are the Bronzer of course and the Lip Oil. The 4-Colour All-in-One Pen will be a hit or miss and I already love the SOS Primers, but I feel I will get better use out of this Mocha shade when I have a tan.

Will you be picking up anything from the collection? Share with me in the comments below!

You can find the Clarins Sunkissed Summer 2018 Makeup Collection now at The Bay, Shoppers Drug Mart and on clarins.com.

Ann-Marie x

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Rodial launched a Vitamin C range that consist of four products: cleansers, cleansing pads, mask and sheet mask that is infused with highly concentrated actives that retexture and revitalise skin to reveal a smoother, brighter & youthful complexion. I was sent the entire range and have been testing these over the last couple weeks. When it comes to skincare, recommendations depend on your skin type and what kind of treatment you’re looking for. I have dry/combo, slightly sensitive and dehydrated skin; so for me personally, I’m always looking to boost radiance and keeping my skin hydrated.

  • Vit C brightening cleanser (4.56fl.oz / US $49.00 / CAD $65)
  • Vit C brightening cleansing pads (50 pads / US/CAD $56.00)
  • Vit C brightening mask (1.7 fl.oz / US $85.00)
  • Vit C Energising Face Mask Individual Sachet (4 sachets / US $57.00 / CAD $60 & Individual US $17)

This is packaged in a vibrant orange, which is quite appropriate for the range, and the cleanser comes with a really nice pump.

Vitamin C Brightening Cleanser

This is a daily gel cleanser to improve skin texture and brighten the complexion. I’ve tried several gel cleaners in the past and most of them are not my favorite because I find that some can be quite drying for my already dry skin. I also find I don’t really like gel-like cleansers as they don’t lather as well as others. Then again there are a couple that I really love and this is one I can safely say is pretty good. It’s gentle but effective and does help give the skin a more glowing look to it. It removes excess oil without stripping the skin and doesn’t make the face feel tight after rinsing. It doesn’t leave a film on the skin and it leaves the skin feeling very clean. I was surprised at how gentle it was. One thing I did not like is that I find I had to pump at least 3-4 times to get a generous amount of product to cleanse my face. Key benefits;

Vitamin C: Brightens and evens skin tone

Fruit AHAs: increases moisture absorption and gently exfoliates

Glycolic and Lactic Acid: retextures and renews skin

Blood Orange Water: antioxidant and anti-free radical to purify pores

Vitamin C Brightening Cleansing Pads

Give skin a shot of glow serum whilst resurfacing and retexturising the canvas of the face with these deep cleansing pads that brighten skin. Formulated with a fusion of pure Vitamin C, 0.5% salicylic acid and 1% fruit acid complex to retexturize the complexion. Each cleansing pad is infused with your daily dose of brightening fruit acids to retexturise and renew the complexion.

These are good AHA pads. These are nice to give the skin a glow as they are not abrasive exfoliating treatment. They’re well saturated with the ingredients so the application goes on smoothly. I had no irritation and/or dryness from using these pads because of how gentle they are on the skin. I like to use these pads every other night. They’re quick, easy and effective and really are a great travel essential. Key Benefits:

Vitamin C: brightens and evens skin tone

1% Fruit AHAs: boosts moisture levels in the skin and gently exfoliates

Glycolic and Lactic Acid: retextures and renews skin

0.5% Salicylic Acid: refines pores to reduce and prevent blemishes

Vitamin C Brightening Mask

This lightweight gel mask is formulated to give dull skin a youthful looking luminosity. Infused with 5% pure Vitamin C to smooth and reduce the appearance of wrinkles and age spots, and a blend of 10% exfoliating fruit AHAs to even skin tone and resurface the complexion to reveal glowing skin. I love using face mask and I often use them at least twice per week and sometimes I mix it up depending on how my skin feels at a specific time. This is a lovely mask to use; there is a very slight tingling sensation when used but it’s more of a refresh feeling rather than a burn. I don’t know but I kinda expected more in terms of results. I can’t say I noticed a huge brightening effect after using this mask and the results were very subtle. It did leave my skin feeling soft but I feel there are better masks out here with far better results. This is just an okay mask for me, as I don’t think it’s amazing at brightening or even effective at reducing the appearance of wrinkles and age spots as claimed. If you’re new to acids, then you might see an instance “wow” factor. However, it is great for a quick pick me up before going out. This mask is also not in your standard jar, but in one of those “press it down” pump that dispenses the right amount of product as you press down on the tub. I applied a thin layer on my skin and leave it for 15-20 minutes for the product to penetrate into skin then rinse it off with lukewarm water. It has a nice and very subtle natural citrus smell. Key Benefits:

5% Vitamin C: boosts luminosity and evens skin tone

Fruit AHAs: boosts moisture levels in the skin and gently exfoliates

Glycolic and Lactic Acid: retextures and renews skin

Pomegranate Extract: anti-aging antioxidant that protects skin

Vitamin C Energising Sheet Mask

These masks come packaged in a box with 4 sheet masks but you can purchase individual sachets. The face mask comes in a sealed pouch soaked into a sheet which you apply directly to the face. These are Korean bio-cellulose masks. I love a good sheet mask. I’ve seriously become addicted to them and now you can even get your dose of vitamin C in the form of a sheet mask. Combined with vitamin B3, amino acids and hyaluronic acid; they’re great to pamper the skin and provides deep hydration and great at transforming dull complexions with an instant boost of luminosity and hydration. I wear the sheet mask for 15 minutes and after I remove the mask, I rub the extra essence on my face and neck. This mask gave me soft skin and bright, and also left me feeling refreshed and moisturized. I applied this after I had cleansed my face with the Vit C brightening cleanser and follow with Vit C Brightening Cleansing Pads. There is only one complaint about this mask; while I really love what it has done for my skin, it doesn’t sit comfortable on the skin. The chin area doesn’t stay put and I find myself at times constantly trying to keep it in place. This I believe is because of the type of material: Bio cellulose fibers. Bio cellulose are four times stronger than plant-based cellulose and are able to attract and retain fluid in great capacity. The scent is a very light and clean refreshing scent. Key Benefits:

Vitamin C: boosts luminosity and evens skin tone

Vitamin B3: reduces the appearance of fine lines

Amino Acids: energizes and smoothes the skin for a youthful looking complexion

Hyaluronic Acid: increases moisture levels in the skin

Green Tea: soothes and calms the complexion

Overall, I’m very impressed with the Vitamin C range and it has a nice variety of products. Most things worked effectively without being abrasive or without stripping the skin and they leave the skin feeling very refreshed, clean and bright. I think this is an excellent range to introduce AHAs into your skincare routine if you’re new to acids as the concentration of acids is very gentle. In terms of pricing, maybe it’s just me, but I feel that this is kind of a pricey range. My favorites from the range are the cleanings pads and the sheet masks.

You can find the Rodial Vit C range here and at Murale in Canada.

Have you tried this brand before or anything from this line yet? What are your thoughts?

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*Vitamin C range provided courtesy of Rodial.

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Today I’m rounding up two foundations I’ve been testing for the past month. I purchased them during the VIB Sephora Sale. One is a new release from Bobbi Brown and the other is a cult favorite from Estée Lauder. I’ve noticed that the last few foundation releases by brands have been full coverage matte so it looks like this is something that is very much on trend now.

Bobbi Brown Skin Long-Wear Weightless Foundation SPF 15 (CAD $55 / US $46) is a buildable medium to full coverage foundation with a natural, multidimensional matte finish that’s comfortable, breathable, and weightless. It comes in 30 impressive shades. This has quickly become a favorite foundation which is quite surprising since I’m not the biggest fan of matte finishes. The formula has marine sugar cane algae extract and natural mineral powders to helps control excess oil and shine. I have used this with both a brush and a beauty sponge and it blends easily into the skin. This isn’t a very thick foundation but I wouldn’t say it felt weightless either. The finish is beautiful, not too matte to make you look flat and as described, it is a buildable medium to full coverage foundation. I was not disappointed in the coverage as I actually prefer medium coverage foundations. It has a natural matte finish that I quite like and it doesn’t feel heavy on the skin. As I have dry/combo skin, I set with a powder. It doesn’t break down in my T-zone like most foundations do. Lasting power is really good and I didn’t have any problems with creasing; it doesn’t catch on dryness or emphasize textures. This foundation also does not oxidize so the shade will not change on you.

I wear the shade Warm Natural 4.5 which is the perfect match for my olive medium complexion. Like with any matte foundation, I always use a hydrating primer with it. One of my favorites to use with this foundation is the Marc Jacobs Under(cover) Perfecting Coconut Face Primer. Overall I’m very pleased with this foundation and would highly recommend!!

The next foundation is the Estée LauderDouble Wear Stay-in-Place Makeup (CAD $48 / US $42). Not a new foundation by any means, this foundation has been raved about by many in the beauty community. I discovered this foundation long before the hype when I was in college; at the time I had very oily skin. I remember how much I loved it but since I’m now on the dry side, I was curious to see how well it would work for my skin type now. As I mentioned, I’m not the biggest fan of matte foundation and I also prefer a medium coverage so this foundation and the Bobbi Brown foundation are foundations that would normally not appeal to me at all.

I picked up the shade Cashew 3W2, which is also a perfect match for me. This also have an impressive shade range as well, so everyone should be able to find a color match. This foundation is described as a 24-hour-wear liquid makeup with a flawless, natural, matte finish that unifies uneven skin tone and covers imperfections with buildable medium to full coverage. This full coverage, matte finish foundation is very opaque and a little will go a long way. Since it is so opaque I prefer using this with a damp beauty sponge instead of a brush. This does not have a pump which is a shame but there is a Double Wear Makeup Pump you can buy separately for CAD $13 / US $10 as it makes dispensing product much easier and less messy!  Lasting power is very good and although this is a matte foundation, I always set with a powder. This is another foundation I like using a hydrating primer with and of course it is very important to prep your skin very well with a good skincare routine especially if you are on the dry side.

Though this is has a matte finish, it will also not look flat matte on you. The coverage is excellent and with one layer it covered most of my imperfections, slightly blurred my pores, and look really smooth on my skin. It didn’t catch on any dry patches or accentuate any texture on the skin. The finish, I would say is natural matte so it doesn’t appear flat on the skin. Unlike the Bobbi Brown foundation, I do think this one oxidizes ever so slightly but nothing too noticeable. Another one I highly recommend if you love matte finishes. I can see why is it a cult favorite!

You can find both foundations now at Sephora.

Have you tried any of these foundations? What did you think?

Ann-Marie x

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The post FOUNDATION TESTING WITH ESTÉE LAUDER AND BOBBI BROWN appeared first on FACE TO CURLS.

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I’ve always been obsessed with skincare since my early 20s; but now, there’s a whole new obsession with it; call it age, maybe?? IDK but there was a time when I would use the same products over and over again. I mean, if it’s not broken, why fix it right? However, since I started blogging, I have gotten the opportunity to try many different brands. I do have slightly sensitive skin so I am careful what I use but I also don’t shy away anymore from testing new skincare. I can usually tell what will work for my skin based on the ingredients and I know my skin very well.

Skincare is something that can be quite challenging to write about as I am frequently testing new things and I like to switch things up on a regular basis. Plus, it’s important to keep in mind that we all have different skin types so something that may work very well for me despite us having the same skin type may not necessarily work for you. That being said, I wanted to do a roundup of some of the skincare I’ve been testing and share my thoughts on them.

Tatcha The Deep Cleanse: This is a daily gel cleanser with natural fruit exfoliant that thoroughly but gently lifts impurities and unclogs pores while leaving skin soft and hydrated. The formula harnesses the power of the Japanese luffa fruit. I picked this up only recently during the VIB sale but I have been enjoying it very much. I have dry skin and although this is recommended for normal to oily skin this cleanser does not strip my skin. It leaves the skin soft and cleansed without any tight feel.

Tatcha Water Cream: This is an oil-free, anti-aging water cream that releases a burst of skin-improving Japanese nutrients, powerful botanicals, and optimal hydration for poreless-looking skin. It is lightweight and doesn’t have any sticky residue and I love that despite being so light provides enough hydration for me. I’m considering purchasing the full size; that’s how much I love it!

Biossance 100% Squalane Oil: A weightless multipurpose oil that can be used from head to toe to hydrate and lock in essential moisture. Squalane is a mega-moisturizing molecule that instantly hydrates while locking in essential moisture. Your body produces its own version, but the amount decreases over time. This is a lightweight oil that is not overly greasy. It nourished and hydrates my skin. It’s great for locking in moisture so it’s perfect as the last step in your regimen to keep your skin moisturized.

Avène Hydrance Intense Rehydrating Serum*: The intensely soothing formulation is enriched with the unique patented active, Cohederm, a proven hydrator that forms water reservation in dehydrated skin, for pro-longed moisture and comfort. Avène Thermal Spring Water instantly soothes and adds radiance to skin, creating a healthy glow that lasts. This is a fresh, light serum with an easily absorbed, melting texture to help replenish the skin with water making it feel soft.

It intensely rehydrates and provides long-lasting soothing relief and comfort by restoring the skin’s water reservoirs that concentrate the anti-irritating Avène Thermal Spring Water. It’s hydrating and soothing; not sticky or tacky at all.

belif Creamy Cleansing Foam Moist*: A vitamin-C packed creamy foam cleanser with natural herbs that gently yet effectively remove makeup and impurities while hydrating the skin. This cleanser is a unique blend of time-tested apothecary herbs that are rich in vitamin C: wormwood to prevent breakouts, soapberry to detoxify, and sweet flag to cleanse and soften. I have been loving this cleanser so much. This cleanser is creamy and turns into a lather. It doesn’t dry out my skin and leaves the skin feeling smooth.

Vichy Mineral 89*: With only 11 ingredients, this works as a daily booster for skin that lacks moisture. This has a lightweight gel-like texture that absorbed quickly and left my skin feeing fresh and not sticky or greasy-looking. I noticed my skin felt more hydrated and appeared plumped and toned. I use a patting motion to apply, before massaging the product into my skin.

Vichy Liftactiv Vitamin C Brightening Skin Corrector*: This is a skin corrector with 15% pure Vitamin C giving you brighter skin in 10 days. Vitamin C is considered a great all-rounder, it’s the potent antioxidant that’s anti-inflammatory and effective at improving uneven skin tone too. This serum sinks into skin quickly, with zero sticky residue left behind. Also containing soothing maritime pine extract, glycerin, fragmented hyaluronic acid to deeply hydrate and the brand’s signature strengthening Mineralizing Thermal Water, it has helped to even out my skin tone, brightens, refines and hydrates my skin. I can’t speak to the anti-wrinkle properties but I love this in my skincare routine.

Saturday Skin Freeze Frame Beauty Essence: A concentrated essence with a lightweight texture that boosts hydration. This patented concentration of the CHA 7 es Complex is made up of nutrient fruit extracts that target seven signs of early aging while improving skin’s moisture level, texture, and tone. Pomegranate extract infuses skin with rich moisture, boosting elasticity and firmness; while Avocado protein extracts help support the natural skin barrier, while antioxidants like peach extract increase suppleness and skin vitality.

This essence is a lightweight lotion compared to the typical water texture of most essence. It feels silky, light and fresh. Except for hydration, I don’t see a whole lot of other benefits with this but I like it for the simple fact that it does leave the skin feeling silky smooth and yes, leaves my skin feeling hydrated. I’m not sure yet if I would repurchased this one.

Roger & Gallet Aura Mirabilis Beauty Vinegar: I had never heard of this brand until I heard Shireen (say Hi here) raving about this beauty vinegar on her blog and if she says it’s good, then I want it!! This is another thing I purchased during the VIB Sale. This is a priming, exfoliating primer to help smooth, refine skin’s texture, and clarify the complexion.

Don’t let the word vinegar scare you as this bi-phase solution acts as more of a toner or essence. Ideal for prepping the skin, this formula should be used as a toner, just after cleansing. It helps to gently eliminate dead cells, while preparing the skin for the products that follow. It leaves skin feeling smooth/soft, refines skin’s texture, and helps to tighten pores and clarify the complexion. Like Shireen, I use this as an essence so I pat it into the skin but sometimes as a toner as well and I finds it also helps to remove makeup residue and eliminate dead cells. This is very cooling and completely refreshing, and it doesn’t tingle or irritate your skin.

Fresh Rose Deep Hydration Facial Toner*: An alcohol-free cleansing toner infused with real rose petals to remove residual impurities, refine the appearance of pores, and soften skin for a healthy-looking complexion. This toner not only cleanses my face but leaves it hydrated.  I love how refreshing it is and it makes your skin feels silky and soft. It absorbs very well and does not leave a residue or tackiness on the skin. I only wish it wasn’t so darn expensive. 

Fresh Rose Deep Hydration Face Cream*: A lightweight gel-cream infused with soothing rosewater and nourishing rose flower oil that delivers intense 24-hour moisture* for petal-soft skin. An advanced combination of hyaluronic acids helps to increase moisture for deep hydration to support healthy skin elasticity. Rosewater soothes while rose flower oil nourishes. Enriched with antioxidant vitamin E, this soothing face cream provides non-stop daily hydration for petal soft skin.

This is an excellent moisturizer that is on the thicker side but not too heavy for my dry/combo skin. The texture is a gel-cream and feels really silky and absorbs very nicely into my skin. My skin feel super smooth but also extremely hydrated. I like using this in conjunction with the Deep Hydration Toner.

Fresh Soy Face Cleanser Limited Edition*: A long-time favorite of mine, this limited-edition look and jumbo size cleanser is great for all skin types. It has a gentle gel like texture that cleanses the skin without stripping it of essential moisture. I love how it soothes and softens the skin. For this gorgeous limited edition packaging, Fresh partnered with NYC-based fashion illustrator Blair Breitenstein to create a one-of-a-kind design to adorn the new Limited-Edition Soy Face Cleanser. Inspired by the “Soy Girl” that graced the original tube and celebrated all women around the world with her understated glamour, Blair created her own “Soy Girls” using watercolor and markers.

Juice Beauty STEM CELLULAR Anti-Wrinkle Solutions (Serum, Moisturizer and Peel)*: containing a proprietary blend of fruit stem cells and vitamin C infused into an organic, resveratrol-rich grape seed base for powerful results. This kit contains a complete treatment regimen.

–The Booster Serum is an ultra-light gel serum power packed with a proprietary blend of fruit stem cells infused into a vitamin C, resveratrol-rich grapeseed formula that is said to reduce the appearance of wrinkles. I personally do not like gel type serums, just not a fan of the texture and while this one is okay, it isn’t my favorite serum. It goes on smooth, without being sticky and it also absorbs fairly well into the skin. Given the fact that it’s a gel, I also didn’t fine it to be very hydrating for my dry/combo skin. Whenever I used this serum, I always mixed it with a facial oil so my face is hydrated.

-This is an Anti-Wrinkle Moisturizer with a proprietary blend of fruit stem cells and vitamin C infused into a resveratrol-rich grape formula. Just like the serum, I didn’t find this to be very hydrating either for my skin but I prefer this to the serum. Because it is not moisturizing enough for me, I also mix it with a facial oil which is fantastic. It has a nice citrusy scent.

-Now my favorite of the three STEM CELLULAR collection is this Exfoliating Peel Spray. It’s a soothing spray formulated with a unique, gentle, plant-derived exfoliant that resurfaces skin for a younger, healthier look. A proprietary blend of fruit stem cells infused into an organic resveratrol-rich grapeseed base replenishes, restores, and renews for skin that appears smoother, softer, and rejuvenated. Cucumber extract and organic aloe soothes, ascorbic acid and licorice root extract brightens, and vitamin C improves luminosity. This is a very gentle peel that gets the dead skin off and leaves your skin feeling smooth and looking bright.

I hope you enjoyed this round-up and do let me know if you’ve tried any of these.

 

Ann-Marie x

 

 

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Press samples indicated with a *; all other products purchased by me.

The post SKINCARE I’M CURRENTLY TESTING appeared first on FACE TO CURLS.

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Today, Pat McGrath launches a new lip gloss formula called LUST: Gloss. There will be 14 shades total with shimmer finish, high shine finish and glitter finish. Pat McGrath described these as ethereally erotic colour meets surreally seductive shine in LUST: Gloss. This orally fixating balm glides on, flawlessly soothing and smoothing your lips while evoking three-dimensional lustre.

Top to Bottom: Bronze Temptation, Aphrodisiac and Twilo

These have a doe foot applicator with a concave center and tapered end, allowing just the perfect amount of product to be applied onto your lips with just one swipe; and each gloss sits within a clear cylinder adorned with Pat McGrath’s own hieroglyphics embossed in gold. These also have a slight vanilla scent to them.

The collection hues ranges from transparent glitters and iridescent peach to soft pink, red, mauve, gold, burgundy, plum and more. There’s a good mix of shimmery and non-shimmery options. Today I want to share three of the shades with you (Twilo, Aphrodisiac and Bronze Temptation) that were sent in advance of the launch today.

Shimmer Finish:

Dare to Bare – peach nude with gold pearl

Flesh Astral – nude rose with gold pearl

Divine Rose – ultimate plum rose with reflective pearl

Bronze Temptation – golden bronze

Pale Fire Nectar – coral duochrome with pink pearl

Paraphernalia – magenta with blue iridescent pearl

Blitz Gold – glistening 24 karat gold pearl

High Shine Finish:

Flesh Fantasy – lush pink beige

Twilo – clean coral pink

Flesh 4 – warm mid-tone brown

Blood 2 – classic blue red

Aphrodisiac – mid-tone peach

Glitter Finish:

Aliengelic – prismatic duochrome infused with pink pearl

Gold Allure – glittering white gold

Top to Bottom: Twilo, Aphrodisiac and Bronze Temptation

Swatches from Top to Bottom: Bronze Temptation, Aphrodisiac and Twilo

It seems that glossy lips are a trending thing in the world of makeup right now so these came just in time for spring and summer. This ultra-light gel formula has a smooth finish that isn’t sticky. It glides on flawlessly and smooth while creating the look of amplified volume with a brilliant, three-dimensional luster. To ensure the formula wasn’t the least bit sticky, McGrath developed the glosses with what she refers to as a “gel matrix formulation.” These glosses are shiny, intensely moisturizing, and beautifully pigmented on the lips – though I found that pigment varies from sheer to medium. There is no tingle with these glosses. These glosses are truly comfortable and easy to wear the way that a lip balm is. The shimmers are also smooth in texture. Though they have intense sparkle, there was no gritty feel. These glosses just really freshens any look.

Overall, as a gloss and on my pigmented lips, I don’t think the pigment level is high but sheer to medium as mentioned. However the formula is amazing and they’re smooth but don’t slide around. They are nourishing without that heavy or tacky feel. When you eat, do expect to reapply but that’s not a problem for me. I think these are really nice glosses, and I like the colors in the lineup.

The LUST Lip Glosses launches today, May 10th at PatMcGrath.com and will hit Sephora online on May 24th and select Sephora locations on May 25th and will retail for US $28 / CAD $36. There will also be a LUST: Gloss Four-Piece Kits for US $95 as well as the LUST: Gloss Everything Kit for US $395. This will be a permanent collection.

Are any of these on your list?

Ann-Marie x

  

 

To be inspired every day, follow Face to Curls on: Bloglovin’ | Instagram | Facebook | Twitter and Pinterest

 

*press samples

The post PAT MCGRATH LABS LUST LIP GLOSS appeared first on FACE TO CURLS.

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In April, I did a little Birthday shopping and hauled a few Charlotte Tilbury goodies including her newest Hollywood Flawless Filter. Called a “complexion booster” by Charlotte Tilbury, it has the versatility of a primer, the mega-watt glow of a highlighter, and the perfecting properties of your favourite digital filter. The magic behind the makeup starts with Charlotte Tilbury’s ‘airbrush polymers’ and finely milled powders, which smooth over fine lines and pores, minimizing their appearance for a flawless effect. As well, porcelain flower extract (rich in antioxidants and derived from a delicate Thai flower) brightens skin beautifully.

There are seven shades in total and I have the Shade 5, which is a neutral caramel for medium tan skin tones. I initially wanted Shade 4; however, it was sold out everywhere online and so I opted for Shade 5 which turns out to be quite perfect for me.

Shade 1 is a neutral beige for very fair skin.

Shade 2 is a neutral peachy beige for fair skin.

Shade 3 is a neutral peach for light to medium skin.

Shade 4 is a neutral golden yellow for medium skin tones.

Shade 5 is a neutral caramel for medium tan skin tones.

Shade 6 is a warm amber for deep skin tones.

Shade 7 is a deep bronze for dark skin tones.

I was a little confused when I first heard of this to be honest (is it a highlighter? a foundation? a primer or do you mix with foundation?; how the heck do you use it?). So what did I do? — Well I tried it a couple different ways – call it experimenting. I know it doesn’t work just as a primer or just as a foundation for me because no matter how dry I am, I don’t want to look like a disco ball and I also want some coverage. So I found that what works perfectly for me is when I mixed it with my foundation — and tapped a little extra onto the high points of my face on top of foundation. Oh my goodness, my skin was glowing but just a beautiful lit-from-within glow, not shiny, glittery or sparkly at all. By the way, the way I mix this with my foundation is by swiping on a few stripes on the face and dot in foundation on the forehead, cheeks and chin and then go in with my beauty sponge.

It is very pigmented and easy to blend. It has a dewy finish that doesn’t get greasy and really has such a beautiful glow. Now I wouldn’t say this has the versatility of a mega-watt glow highlighter as claimed, but it really does give you an airbrush look. Yes, you can get similar effect with other liquid illuminators but there’s just something about this that just works beautifully for me. I find that my pores appear a little smoother and skin-tone evens out. This really is an amazing complexion booster that just melts right into the skin and layers well with liquid foundations. I love that it doesn’t make me look shimmery but gives a soft-focus, illuminate skin. Definitely worth looking into if you love glowy looks!

You can find this at Charlotte Tilbury online or in Holt Renfrew if you’re in Canada for US $44 / CAD $50.00.

 

 

Ann-Marie x

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The post CHARLOTTE TILBURY HOLLYWOOD FLAWLESS FILTER appeared first on FACE TO CURLS.

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