Don't I look oh so serious? This beard of a face mask from Nannette de Gaspe is right on theme with this month's CBB topic of splurgeworthy products because this Youth Revealed dry sheet mask for the mouth is...$100! The price is softened slightly by the fact that this is a multi-use mask (I've used mine up to 5x even though the packaging says 3x) because it is a DRY SHEET MASK. I have talked about dry sheet masks before including the full face version of this mask from Nannette de Gaspe (review) and the Charlotte Tilbury Dry Sheet Mask (review) which is the same Canadian technology. I gave quite a bit of background on dry sheet masks and how they work in my previous two posts so have a look at those if you would like a thorough rundown!
In a nutshell, dry sheet mask technology was born in Biomod labs in Montreal and still has not hit the Asian market (yet, from what I have seen). Charlotte Tilbury approached Nannette about the technology and then developed her own very affordable version of the dry sheet mask.
After trying the full faced version of the Youth Revealed Mask and concluding that I may as well stick to Charlotte Tilbury's version for $27 vs $160, I suddenly had the urge to try the other masks in Nannette's body library. I chose first the Mouth and then the Eyes which I will review later!
As I mentioned, the mouth mask is reusable and comes with a resealable pouch. There is no essence whatsoever and I still get weirded out everytime I look into the pouch and it is bone dry! Dry sheet masks work in a similar manner to Nicotine patches using transdermal technology so that all of the goodness like peptides and vitamins are held in solid suspension using oils that are solid at room temperature, but melt upon contact with skin.
This mouth mask was NOT what I was expecting! I was not expecting this face mask "beard", but it is for lines and firming around the lips as well as some lifting action around the chin so I guess this mask is quite perfect for those concerns. The mask is made of a soft, felt-like cloth with the good stuff on the non-printed side. There are little "ear holes" that you loop over your ear for an extra tight fit and then once it is on, you rub the fabric to soften and melt the shea butter and oils that have been imprinted on the other side.
It is a fairly tight mask so talking or eating are not a possibility or at least a real challenge. Keep the mask on for 15 minutes, remove and then let everything sink in. In the meantime, fold up your mask with the non-printed side facing inward and place it back in your resealable pouch.
Final verdict: I'm gonna be real here. There is something about Nannette's products I am completely captivated by. I love this technology and the fact that it is still such a proprietary thing. I love her packaging and the aesthetic of her products as it makes me feel like I am buying a truly luxurious product. I am not a huge fan of the price point, but I will admit that there is something about it that is part of the whole package because I tend to spend quite a bit of my beauty budget on skincare rather than makeup. While this mask made my skin look and feel fabulously plumped and glowy without the wet mess of a traditional sheet mask, there really wasn't a whole lot of difference between this one and the FULL face mask. The ingredients of the two masks are near, if not identical so I will not be repurchasing this as I would rather pay a bit more to get a full face mask.
Nannette de Gaspe is available exclusively at Holt Renfrew.
Just this past Tuesday I had the pleasure of previewing the new Spring CND Chic Shock collection and receiving a Chic Shock manicure of my own at the always cute Onyx Aesthetics Studio downtown. Usually I am rushing back to work so I rarely get a real manicure done, but not today! Today I had the day off and all the time in the world to enjoy getting pampered and I have often said that I don't let other people do my nails, but not only did I let Linda, owner and founder of Onyx, do my nails, but also some nail art!
What is exciting about this new four polish collection is that there is a new formula AND brush! The new Caring Complex formula contains keratin, jojoba oil and vitamin E with an extra wide curved brush to hug the nail curves just right. When they told me this, I was like, "There is nothing to fix! I liked the brush and the formulas!" I thought CND couldn't make either better, but they did! The extra wide brush is wide, but not clunky and the formula was perfectly self-leveling and opaque.
After shaping my nails, we started off with two coats of the pastel purple creme, Gummi*, followed by random spots of all of the other shades: Taffy*, Candied* and Jellied*. Linda then used black acrylic paint and a fine brush to outline the spots and voila we had leopard print!
We sealed this work of art in with CND's Long Wear Top Coat and that was it! My first nail art done by someone else! Linda did an awesome job and I love wearing this manicure so much! The new formula looked so smooth upon application and I cannot wait to try my hand at some Easter nail art with these!
Thank you to the CND team and Onyx Aesthetics Studio for having me and for giving me an awesome manicure! The CND Chic Shock collection is available now.
Those Instagram story beauty Q & A templates got me thinking about what my favourite makeup brand is and obviously, that question is a tough one to answer, but while I was getting a pedicure yesterday I thought about which brand I reach for on a daily basis and it dawned on me that it was none other than MAKE UP FOR EVER! Sure, I switch up products here and there, but whenever I am lazy or wanting to bring makeup on a trip that I KNOW will not fail me, I always have something from MUFE in my makeup bag whether it's their Smoky Extravagant Mascara or their trusty Aqua Shadows.
When it comes to eyeshadow formulation, MUFE won me over with the massive launch in 2014 of their Artist Shadows which I still happily use to this day. Over the holiday season, I hosted a giveaway featuring the MUFE Lustrous Shadow Palette (here) which was a preview of the new Artist Color Eye Shadows ($22.00 CDN)! This new formulation boasted 12 hour wear all in one pigmented swipe and get ready for this, comes in 121 shades and 5 finishes! These shadows are now housed in an optional refillable magnetic palette ($2 CDN) which comes with a fantastically large mirror! This was probably the thing that bothered me the most about the old Artist Shadow palettes - there was no mirror!
I received a couple of shades to test drive and chose six of the ones that I use every day to share with you. I have already started to make a significant dent in two of them because I wear them almost daily. As I mentioned, there are 5 eyeshadow finishes: glitter (D), matte (M), metallic (ME), satin (S) and shimmer (I) with my preference generally being the metallic and satin finishes.
The case fits comfortably in the palm of my hand and has a strong magnet across the bottom of the pan. The shadows are very easy to install and remove by inserting something thin into the little hole at the top right hand corner of the palette. I use one of my dotting tools or a stretched out paper clip.
My everyday shades from L-R are: S 814*, ME 728*, M 650*, ME 612*, I 648* and I 528*. My MOST used shades are the last three as they are my inner corner highlight, my all over shadow and my outer V shading. Though these shadows are not as buttery as other brands, the colour payoff is ridiculously beautiful. They apply well, with little to no fallout, with both brushes and fingers and just when you think "Hmm, I don't FEEL like I have enough product", *BAM* it delivers what you want and more! I am wearing ME 612 in my Louboutin makeup post and it is by far my most used shade.
Final verdict: These pans of shadow may look small, but at $8.80/g compared to ABH's single eyeshadows at $9.58/g or MAC's $14.62/g, MUFE's Artist Color Eye Shadows are by far the BEST price and have the most product per pan at 2.5g vs 1.67g vs 1.3g respectively. They may not be as soft and buttery as some other brands, but ultimately, I care more about colour payoff which is what these guys are all about. I rarely wear my eyeshadow without primer so I honestly don't know whether these would last 12 hours without it, but they performed beautifully with primer without any creasing. Come VIB sale time, I will definitely be adding some blues, purples and greens to my collection because these shadows, as the millennials are sayin', have me positively shook.
You can find the MAKE UP FOR EVER Artist Color Eye Shadows at Sephora and Sephora.com
May Lindstrom is fairly new to the skincare game, joining many other luxury green beauty players we have seen emerge from all over the world. There has been a movement in skincare in the last 3-4 years that has opened up an acceptance for green beauty products to better represent the healthier lifestyle that is becoming more and more predominant. Within any space there will always be a spectrum of pricing and where we are going today borders on extravagant if not crazy for some. May Lindstrom's The Blue Cocoon comes in at the hefty price tag of $240 CDN for 50g, but before you pass out, I have my reasons for why I have come to love this gem of a product!
Yes, it says on the packaging that the Blue Cocoon is a beauty balm, but it is in fact more like a solid facial oil that literally melts into a deep blue liquid upon contact with skin. It is a moisturizer, neck cream, serum, eye cream, acne treatment, anti-inflammatory and glow maker. It even has aromatherapeutic properties as it contains the ever popular blue tansy oil which acts to calm irritated skin as well as reduce anxiety and aid in a restful sleep. I mean, where has blue tansy been all my life?!
Packaging is slick with black glass and gold printing along with a batch date on the bottom indicating when the product was made. Mine was made in January 2017 and even though I have used it for months, there is so much product left! You need so little of this product that I wish there was a 25mL size of this! The product also smells just as fresh as when I first opened it and will not go rancid as quickly as traditional skincare products because this facial oil is waterless with the first ingredient being camellia oil.
It's actually ridiculously hard to describe why I like The Blue Cocoon and what makes it one of the more unique skincare products in my routine because some weeks I use it as my everything and other weeks more like a treatment.
The instructions say to use HALF a pea size of product which is about perfect for my whole face and even a bit down my neck. I start off by spritzing my face with toner and then take a tiny bit of product in my palms to warm and liquefy it. When I picked up my Blue Cocoon at Green & Pure, the owner Wing, gave me the lowdown on how to use this product and she said that BEFORE I even applied this to my skin, I needed to inhale deeply and just breathe in the scent of the product. Do it, because this scent is like no other. It is slightly sweet, yet clarifying and I have never come across anything like it! I then press the oil into my skin and use the residual amount left on my hands to go around my eye contour. The finish is like a dry oil so not the least bit greasy and it slowly just sinks into the skin making it soft and supple.
The magic of Blue Cocoon comes when you use/NEED it as a treatment because you will notice that almost all of the oils in the ingredients list are either an anti-inflammatory, an antioxidant, antibacterial, traditionally used in healing or of course, hydrating. Not to mention that oils like blue tansy, myrrh, Geranium rose and frankincense have aromatherapeutic properties and will mentally help you to feel better about life in general.
A part of me thinks the right combination of oils were chosen and that blue tansy (which really is blue) does have incredible anti-inflammatory properties though I am surprised that this is only the second time I have seen blue tansy in skincare. My guess is that it has a very strong scent which probably does not mesh well with other ingredients, but boy does it work! All of us get that "winter skin" that is red, flaky, dull and just UPSET. You can't put your finger on why it doesn't look good, but you know that it isn't at its best. My automatic response is usually just to exfoliate which works SOMETIMES, but if my skin remains moody I do my best to wait it out until the weather gets better or my skin decides on its own to behave. Now, I use Blue Cocoon. Whether your skin is readjusting from airplane air, Montreal weather or a shit week, all I need is this and my skin calms down.
I have yet to use it as a spot treatment, but I did use a bit ON TOP of my foundation the other day for some extra glow and to hydrate this pesky dry patch around my nose that always seems to get more obvious with makeup. Did it disturb my makeup? Not at all! This makes me think that I can probably mix this with liquid foundation without messing up the consistency of the foundation.
Final verdict: At this rate, this $240 pot is going to last me 5 years which doesn't make it seem like THAT crazy of a price because you literally use such a tiny amount each time. I am currently still skimming the surface! I know it's hard to bite the bullet on something like this without trying a sample and if you can get one then that's awesome, but I decided to purchase based on countless rave reviews plus Wing's expertise because if you ever get a chance to meet this woman, she does not carry products in her store that her AND her husband have not tested and love themselves. Green & Pure is a tiny location so there really isn't any space for products that don't work and even though I had full intentions on picking up Blue Cocoon, talking to Wing made me feel 110% better about dropping the cash. It is the product that will become your go-to and one that you will try to find other uses for because you want to just keep including it in your routine!
You can find May Lindstrom at Green & Pure in Vancouver and at various e-tailors.
I probably would have talked about this polish anyway because I am such a nail polish collector that packaging is almost just as coveted as formula, but in joining in on the CBB theme this month of "Is It Worth the Splurge?", say hello to the new for Spring Christian Louboutin Loubitag polish in the shade Batignolles! There are six Loubitag polishes coming in sets of two for, I believe $75 CDN. They are the mini bottles at 6mL each so when it comes to a luxury price for polish, these guys take the cake!
Batignolles is named after an area of France and in this case, is practically a "Tiffany" or robin's egg blue creme polish which is opaque in two coats. The brush on these bottles (both mini and regular) are on the shorter side so three coats may be necessary if you prefer to do them thinly. The consistency is not the most self-leveling so work quickly to cover the nail!
My application had some areas being a bit thicker than others, but it wasn't anything that a little top coat didn't fix!
Yes, I know I have a shade like this somewhere in my collection, but does it come in this pretty of a bottle? If you are a collector of beautiful beauty products, any of the Louboutin polishes will strike your fancy, but if you are just looking for a turquoise polish then there are definitely more wallet-friendly options. I love Louboutin polishes for the packaging and their overall decent polish formula and treat myself to what has worked out to be one polish per fiscal quarter! Love' em!
Christian Louboutin nail polish is available exclusively at Holt Renfrew.
When it comes to "cool" makeup, Kat Von D is right up there. While I haven't been a huge fan of hers post Sandra Bullock/Jesse James scandal, I do admire what she has done with her makeup brand. I feel like she was one of the first to come out with more dramatic lipstick shades and give makeup more of an edge while staying relatively mainstream. KVD lip products have always been consistently pigmented, long-lasting and one of my favourite go-tos for lipwear and last month a new formula for the Studded Kiss Creme Lipstick* ($23.00 CDN) emerged!
It's funny that I even got this Voxbox because I had just tweeted that I often do not qualify for a number of makeup Voxboxes despite an impact factor that is higher than people who DO get them. Obviously, it is MORE than just the number that must determine who gets these boxes so I now attribute my lack of makeup boxes to AGE. I am no longer in my 20s which I am SURE has something to do with how the Influenster gods decide on who gets what, but it looks like for this particular box, the gods were in my favour and I got my chance at trying the beautiful shade "OG Lolita"!
OG Lolita is a neutral dusty rose satin-matte finish. Pretty much one of those shades that everyone has and rightly so since it is hassle and worry free and matches with everything.
I read the Sephora reviews for this lipstick and I feel like I may have gotten a dud because I found the formula a bit dry upon application while everyone seemed to rave about it. It tugged on my lips as I was applying even though it looked great once it was on. Wear time was great as this leans more towards the matte side so there isn't much transfer of product if you are eating, drinking, kissing or whatever shenanigans you get up to!
Final verdict: With over 40 shades and three finishes to choose from, I already have the shade "Lovecraft" in my Sephora cart! There are quite a number of neutral sides to choose from and at $23 a pop, the pricing is really quite competitive with the $30+ lipsticks many brands are at now.
You can find the newly formulated Kat Von D Studded Kiss Creme Lipstick at Sephora and Sephora.com
I messed up my neck so sitting here and typing is agonizing even with the Advil and massage I managed to get from my husband, but the new Spring collection from Lise Watier has been one that I have been excited to talk about so I am going to suck it up and take you through the light-hearted and fresh Urban Velocity!
Every season, Lise Watier releases limited edition collections that seem to disappear too quickly and when I saw the holographic packaging of the Urban Velocity collection I knew this was one I needed to have. There are three limited edition pieces: the Baked Eyeshadow Trio, Marble Lipstick and Blush.
The Baked Eyeshadow Trio* ($44.00 CDN) contains three very wearable shimmery shades which can either be worn together and also look pretty on their own. They are baked shadows so they do not have the most buttery texture and did take a swipe or two to build up intensity. Colour payoff was definitely something I could work with though and nothing I had issues with.
The shea butter Marble Lipstick* ($25.00 CDN) is what I would want to do my next watermarble with because the shades of purple are just so pretty! Of course, your lips don't LOOK watermarbled when using this lipstick, but the shade of purple that gets created is one that I found to be very flattering. It is a very hydrating formula that is a sheer to medium opacity, but does need to be reapplied after a couple of hours or after eating.
The Baked Blush* ($34.00 CDN) is again, another very pretty piece to look at and is more of a bronzy pink that I would totally use into the summer. I feel like the intensity of the pink was more evident in my swatch than on my cheeks, but the softness of the blush itself was a bit of a surprise as baked products tend to feel rock solid! My only gripe with this blush is really more the price as it is $34 for 2g and a Tarte blush is $38 for 5.6g...I just feel like this blush should have been priced more at the $29 mark.
If you go to the Lise Watier website, there is a stunning Asian girl with cool, alien-like makeup that I was totally trying to emulate. I think the only thing I got right was the light pink lower waterline, but read on if you want to know how I created this look that's on my face!
Face: Lise Watier Base Miracle Radiance Blurring Effect Primer* Lise Watier Foundation Stick in Porcelaine* Lise Watier Double Definition Automatic Brow Liner in Chatain*
Eyes: Apply Lise Watier Extreme Hold CC Eye Primer* all over the lid and under eyes. Using the Urban Velocity Eyeshadow Palette, apply the lightest shade all over the lid, on the brow bone and on the inner corners of the eyes. Apply the middle shade in the center of the lid. Apply the darkest shade on the outer edge of the lid and blend up to the temples and down to the lash line. Apply the lightest shade along the lower lash line. Line lower water line with Lise Watier Smokey Kohl Velours in Rose Velours* and extend towards the temples. Create as a big or small of a wing as you would like using a liquid eyeliner like IT Cosmetics Superhero Liner in Super Black*. Apply Lise Watier Dramatique Intense 3D Mascara in Noir* to top and bottom lashes. Apply fluffy lashes like Eden Lashes in Sarai*.
Cheeks: Lise Watier Urban Velocity Blush* Lise Watier Trio Arabesque Illuminating Powders*
Lips: Lise Watier Urban Velocity Marble Lipstick*
I didn't think the look would work out, but it turned out to be surprisingly wearable! My husband even thought it was pretty!
The Lise Watier Urban Velocity collection is available now online at LiseWatier.com and at London Drugs and select Shoppers Drug Mart locations.
Do I have any David Usher fans? I was so into that song in 2001 and though I wasn't into Moist, I was into David Usher once he went solo. I feel like I haven't done my nails in forever which is kind of true having missed last week's ManiMonday, but today I felt like FINALLY using the Essie Gel Couture polishes!
This formula has been around for two years I think and for some reason, I've never really gotten around to trying the bottles I've had laying around until now. I'm sad I waited so long because I MUCH prefer the Gel Couture to the regular Essie polishes because of the rounded wider brush and the more "plump" feeling formula.
For this manicure, I started off with two coats of Essie Gel Couture Princess Charming* a classic creme dusty rose,and waited until my polish was completely dry before using my heart nail vinyls from WhatsUp Nails. The vinyls were pretty big so I cut off about 1/4 of the vinyl and adhered it tightly to my nail. I then painted one thick coat of Essie Gel Couture Hang Up the Heels*, a slightly shimmery dark beetle blue, over top the vinyl and peeled off right away. The hearts at the bottom turned out a bit smudgy so I turned them into French tips and called it a day! I sealed it all in with top coat and that was it!
It has been a hot minute since I have used a sheet mask as I didn't bother with anything beauty-related while I was sick last week. I am still a little bit congested, but definitely feeling so much better than the fever-induced stupor I was in last week. I keep a stack of face masks on the dining table to remind myself to use certain ones and a couple of days ago, I was in the mood for another Mask.Lab face mask from The Face Shop. I still really like the foil face mask, but decided to see what this Double Wrap Face Mask ($4.00 CDN) was all about! Hugo is unimpressed as always.
This is a hydrating mask which features a smooth cotton sheet mask coated with a thin layer of film that is meant to lock in moisture and promote the skin's absorption of the ceramides in the essence. Ceramides are the "cement" of the outermost layer of the skin and protect and plump the skin by retaining moisture. Ceramide is actually found in the top half of the ingredients list of this essence so I found that very promising!
There are more photos than normal in this post because the FIRST time I used this mask, I made a mistake and THREW OUT the actual mask. I have been trying a lot of Asian masks with different technologies so I blindly followed the instructions to a tee and it led me to having to open up a SECOND mask to give you guys the proper photos AND myself the proper face mask treatment!
The sheet mask itself is fairly thin and stretchy so I did have some extra bits of mask around my hairline and wrinkly bits around my chin, but the mask stayed put and did not move for the 20 minutes I had it on.
I am going to show you where I screwed up. This mask is a "double wrap" so when I was initially removing the hard plastic layer found on most sheet masks, I didn't do it while the cotton part was on my face. I removed it in the air and when I put the mask back on my face, I had it backwards. What you will see below is me removing the actual mask and leaving the "special film" or the second moisture-locking wrap layer on my face.
I had a feeling something was wrong, but I was following the instructions so closely that when it said "Remove REMAINING white cover" I just assumed that between the clear and white coloured layers, I was doing the right thing. Turns out not so much and when I realized what I had done I opened up a second pack and had my husband watch me do it so I didn't screw up again! I mean, the protective film DID make a cool sheet mask...I was like "it's just SO CLEAR!"
Final verdict: The mask itself had a nice soft and pliable cotton which was nice. It wasn't stiff and adhered nicely to the skin. The essence was really what I liked as it felt light in texture, but left my skin feeling like I had applied a thick moisturizer. The finish on my skin was not tacky and I completely forgot to apply moisturizer because my skin felt so plump and hydrated. I would totally use this mask again and would recommend it if your skin is super dry or just needing some plumping!
You can find the Mask.Lab Double Wrap Face Mask at The Face Shop.
Last year was the year I took my primers seriously. I have soooo many primers, but I found I was only using them for special occasions or particularly long days. I never made them a regular part of my makeup routine until the summer of last year when I realized that a good primer could prevent my foundation from breaking down or make my skin glow by the end of the day instead of look greasy. There was a time when there was only one kind of makeup primer and it was the kind that had so much silicone in it that yes, it made your pores blurry, but made your skin so smooth that it was almost unnatural. Thank goodness for the variety of primers now that feel are closer to skincare than they are to makeup!
When it comes to skincare, Clarins is one of those older beauty houses I trust and at 64 years in the business, when they come out with a makeup product, I tend to trust the formulations and ingredients a bit more than some brunette millennial. Coming in 6 shades, the Clarins SOS Primers are colour-correcting, lightweight, oil-free and feel more like a moisturizer than they do your typical primer.
All of the SOS Primers contain a "High Lumitech complex" which serves to correct, illuminate and revive the overall complexion while optically diffusing and blurring imperfections. That part sounds like magic to me, but what I can attest to is that these primers go on very comfortably without disturbing your moisturizer underneath.
I have been using both the Green* and Universal Light* ($39.00 CDN) shades as I have broken capillaries and redness on my cheeks and prefer the rest of my face to look "lit from within" so I apply a half pump of Green on my cheeks and a full pump of Universal Light everywhere else. You can mix and match all 6 primers to achieve the complexion you want or use just one - it's up to you!
You can see that Universal Light has a pearly white finish while the green has a more matte finish. When I first used the green primer I was surprised at how green it actually was as I don't normally colour correct anything with makeup (I am far too lazy), but thankfully it blended out nicely into the rest of my skin. I like that now I have a green colour corrector in the form of both a primer and corrector. Yay for multi-tasking products!
While these primers still both contain silicones, they certainly don't feel quite as "slippy" as classic ones like Benefit Porefessional or Smashbox Photofinish. They still create a smooth surface to the skin, but one that feels more natural. *Bonus* they also have a delightful light floral scent!
Final verdict: The more important question is did these work better than what I had already? I think it depends what your makeup routine is like. If I had a heavier makeup routine or maybe a more textured skin finish, then I probably would stick to the classic heavy silicone primers. I generally go for a more natural finish and have fairly good skin so the texture of the SOS Primers in addition to the radiance and color-correcting features I get suit my routine more. As I have gotten older, skincare should come first and I can see these being a product I use well into my 40s (aaaaahh!) especially once I start drying up like a prune!
The Clarins SOS Primers are available now at Clarins counters and Shoppers Drug Mart.
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