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I had received this lip set for Christmas gift and I am so happy about it because this lip formula is my favorite. It is like a whipped, ultra light-weight, opaque, liquid lipstick type formulation that does not dry down completely but to a hydrated looking finish. It makes your lips look a bit fuller because it does not settle in fine lines but just makes them look healthy. 

The swatches below of the gift set were created with only one swipe. Obviously you could go with two layers effortlessly without it being patchy - but honestly one swipe is enough! 

Before receiving these, my favorite color was Bound, which is a dusty mauvey nude pink - if you like those types of colors, I highly suggest you try it out!


Have you tried these lippies from NARS before? Which is your favorite color above? I'd love to hear from you!!

Until next time, XO - M.
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Brand new from Vichy, we have the Neovadiol Rose Platinum Cream which retails for $56.95 for 50ml. This product helps to nourish, fortify and revitalize the skin bringing back that youthful glow that you may feel has faded a bit. 

This product is to be used after you cleanse the face and after you have applied your serum (should you use one) and is to be added to your morning skincare routine. 

As you age, your skin will naturally lose its natural radiance, fullness and elasticity. The formulation of the Neovadiol Rose Platinum Cream helps to nourish and stimulate the natural glow to return. It has a very subtle scent of roses, nothing obnoxious or overwhelming. If you look at the photo of the product below, you can see that it is pink toned and almost has a subtle shimmer pigment reflect to it. I believe this to be the mineral pigments that help reflect and bring out the glow to your skin ~ it contains mother of pearl that just melts into your skin. 

As always, Vichy includes their Mineral-Rich Thermal Water in their products, and this is the same for the cream. For those of you who don't know - this thermal water is drawn from a depth of 4000 meters at the natural springs in France. To learn more about it, make sure you visit their website!

Though this product is for women who are of more mature skin, I did appreciate using this product as I am always a fan of anti-aging skincare. If you're a follower of my blog, you will know by now that I believe in preventing lines, wrinkles, signs of aging vs. trying to tackle it when it comes. So far, it has been working! I have used this product for a few weeks and thoroughly enjoy it, however I will also be giving the remainder to my mom to try out too and see what she thinks! 


Until next time, XO - M.

*product was sent to me for review, all opinions are my own.

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As we kick off 2018, Pixi Beauty was kind enough to send me over one of the most beautifully packaged PR samples for review which contains their new line of liquid lipsticks ~ MatteLast Liquid Lip, and retails for $14 each. The liquid lipstick is housed in their classic mint pastel green packaging and the formulation is said to be opaque and comfortable. 

Before I share the swatches of the lippies sent to me, I thought I would just quickly show you how pretty the PR package is, complete with a lock and key (which actually works!) I had to use the key to open the lock to see the goodies within.



Inside houses the new liquid lips on the right side, and on the left are rose-infused skincare products


As promised, you will find below 5 of the 6 liquid lips swatched - The last one that I did not receive but is in the collection is a hot or brighter pink shade. The below swatches only took ONE swipe across my arm. It also is a whipped formulation that is honestly as it claims, weightless. It has no weird fragrance and the dry-down is to a true matte. It did not cling to any dry patches on my lips (though did settle in fine lines, which can be easily remedied with a balm beforehand, however it will then dry to a semi-matte) and is comfortable to wear as it contains Vitamin E and Rosehip Oil infused into it. 



Next features the Pixi Caviar Essence (on the left) and the Rose Flash Balm (on the right)

 

I had to take a picture of me holding up the Rose Caviar Essence, so you can see the product within the packaging. It contains encapsulated flower oils, and what looks like petals suspended in the serum gel like "essence" that melts when applied to the skin. This product helps to soften and tone the skin while brightening it at the same time. You apply it after cleansing and gently pat it onto the face, neck and even the upper chest décolletage area if you would like. 

In the baby pink packaging, is the Rose Flash Balm that is also used to help boost the radiance to your skin when you feel like you are loosing some pep in your face, or that you are looking a bit blah, dull and tired. You apply a thick layer 2-3x a week as a mask if you would like, OR alternatively you can use this daily as a primer which you would obviously apply a thin layer to the skin and then follow with your make-up routine. I personally prefer using this as an actual skincare treatment, as a mask vs. as a primer. 

If you're interested in the products mentioned above, you can find them at Shoppers Drug Mart!

Until next time, XO - M

*products were sent to me for review, all opinions are my own
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Wet n Wild has always been a very reasonably priced and great quality product offered at the drugstore. I was using Wet n Wild products back when I was a teen and I had never been let down. If you really think about it, being able to purchase products like a liquid lipstick or highligther for $12.99 or makeup brushes for under $10 a piece is amazing and great for those who are starting out with makeup or are on a budget. 

Wet n Wild recently reformulated their shadows, and also launched some cushion products that I have been dying to try out so keep on reading below if you're interested in learning about them! 


The shadows above are the newly reformulated palettes - there is the 10 pan, 4 pan and the singles. All delivering great quality for the price you pay. The glitter, Brass, comes already "tacky" meaning it will stick on the lid when you pat it on without having to additionally purchase glitter glue. The one great thing about the glitter is that it actually stays on until you remove it, and in addition it actually shows up (you can see from the picture below in the look I created).  

I really appreciate that the palettes now come with transition shades as well, that are actually complimentary to the shadows in the pan. Having the ability to just purchase one palette that can do a complete look is smart for the consumer! Sometimes, you find yourself having to purchase a few palettes from other brands in order to get a matte crease color for e.g. a transition shade and then your base/main color. With these ones you can achieve a few looks with one palette alone. 

The highlighters are amazing quality - they are SO pigmented and better than other highlighters that are more than double its price. If I was to suggest one thing you had to try, it would be the highlighters! 


Next we have the items newer to Wet n Wild, which are the cushions ~ there are correctors, contour/bronzers and highlighters. These are the ones I am most excited to try. They worked so well - they are so pigmented and from the swatches below you can see that they really do deliver and does not shy away from doing what it says. The correctors do correct, the highlighters are shimmery and the contour/bronzer is perfect, not too orange not too ashy. I really appreciate how natural these products look when blended out so its perfect for those of you who want a natural look.  


 

Bottom look is created with the Sweet as Candy 4 pan eyeshadow and Pink Electro Gel Lip Liner. 


 Bottom look is created with the Comfort Zone 10 shadow palette and Don't Be A Prune Gel Lip Liner all over the lips and Sand Nudes in the middle (to create a subtle ombre look). The eye look on the left is with just the palette alone and the one on the right has Brass (the glitter shadow) patted on the inner half of the lid. 


One other product I would highly suggest is their Retractable Brow Pencil. It is firm enough to deliver a precise brow shape and the color I'm using, Dark Brown is a perfect match. I did not have to use any gel to set the brow either. I have found my new drugstore brow favorite!! 

Until next time, XO - M.
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Being a beauty blogger and constantly trying to create looks and tutorials, I often try to find make-up brushes that can help me with what I need to accomplish. I have to say, sometimes I am lucky enough to receive some to try in the mail, but most of the time I do invest in brushes myself to be able to find the staple brushes that do exactly what I need and when. 

As I am so busy with planning for the arrival of my baby boy, I didn't have the time to do a make-up and skincare post of 2017. To make-up for that, I decided to share with you my most reached for and favorite make-up brushes of 2017. I separated them into two sections - Face and Eye. I have also labelled them by brand, name and what I use it for. 

The pictures should be pretty self explanatory in terms of which brush is for what, I figure when it comes to a favorite post, it might be best to just label everything as opposed to writing paragraphs upon paragraphs of each item. 

I am trying to keep my blog posts short, sweet and to the point for 2018 :) I want to be able to keep your attention and interest by just giving you what you need or want to know (hopefully) in the fastest way possible! 

If you do have any questions about the brushes below, please do not hesitate to send me a message, e-mail or comment directly on this post! 



The one thing I have to say, before I end this post is that as you can see, my brushes range widely in terms of price. I have brushes that can be bought for a few dollars on eBay, to hand crafted brushes made by Japanese Artisans (Hakuhodo and Wayne Goss). What I have truly learnt is that a brand or price tag does not define how efficient a brush is, you just have to try out a different variety of brushes and see what works for you :) 

Until next time, XO - M.

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Brand new to Garnier are these little tubs of hair treatments/masks that are jam packed with super fruits to help you smoothen, strengthen, repair, revive and nourish your hair. These are said to be 98% naturally derived and does not weigh down your hair. The formula is also 94% biodegradable and 100% vegan with no silicones, parabens or artificial colorants. 

There are five different formulations:
1. Smoothing Treat with Avocado Extract ~ for soft and smooth hair
2. Strengthening Treat with Banana Extract ~ for soft, smooth and stronger hair
3. Strengthening Treat with Papaya Extract ~ for soft, smooth and damage repair
4. Strengthening Treat with Goji Extract ~ for soft, smooth hair and adding color vibrancy
5 . Strengthening Treat with Coconut Extract ~ for soft, smooth and manageable hair.

I was sent the Avocado one to try and I really enjoy it - it honestly compares to the more expensive hair masks I've tried in the past that I have unfortunately probably paid more than 2-3x the price of this for. You only need about a loonie sized on the palm of your hand, and apply it to the ends and let it sit for a minute before washing it off. The product stays true to the claims, it does not weigh my hair down at all - it does not make my hair greasy the next day and it actually works well to smooth and hydrate my ends. I blow dry my hair quite often and take a heating/styling tool to it, so this is an excellent find. 

I will definitely be purchasing this in the 4 other formulations as I dye my hair, style my hair and well I just about have use for each of the 5 different formulations. 

Until next time, XO - M

*product was sent to me for review, all opinions are my own. 
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Victoria Beckham, famous for being a fashion designer and singer (back in the 90's with Spice Girls), if you are a fan of her back then and of her creations now, you will know that luxury and classiness is what she represents. When I found out about her collaboration with Estee Lauder a while back, I knew that the match would be perfect. Both represent a timeless beauty and class that cannot be imitated. I had the opportunity to receive some items for review from her second collab with Estee and I decided to create a look with them for you! 

While some of these items are no longer in stores, you can surely find them online still if anything interests you! I stuck to mainly Estee Lauder branded products for this review.

Products used in this tutorial:
1. T-Zone Primer: Estee Lauder - The Mattifier Primer*
2. Primer for the cheeks/nose area: Estee Edit - Pore Vanishing Stick
3. Foundation: Estee Lauder - Perfectionist Youth Infusing Foundation with SPF 25 (3W1 Tawny)*
4. Setting Powder: Estee Lauder x Victoria Beckham - Skin Perfecting Powder*
5. Eyeshadow: Estee Lauder x Victoria Beckham - Eye Matte Duo 02 Blue Electrique / Nude*
6. Lips: Estee Lauder x Victoria Beckham - 03 Black Cassis*

*other products if you're interested: Brows - Benefit, Concealer - NARS, Eyeliner - Kat Von D, Lashes - Ardell. 


For the eyes, I blended the nude shade in the duo on the crease and to buff away any harsh lines set by the blue shadow in the duo. I laid the blue shadow all over the lid and then did a small cat eye with liquid liner and paired it with a pair of fluttery lashes. the shadow was beautiful, the nude blended effortlessly and was buttery, the blue as you can see is very bright, one layer showed pigmentation but with the below look, I did do two layers, which layered fine and was not patchy. I did not even need to use a base shadow which is great.


A quick review of the other items I've used: 
Estee Lauder - The Mattifier Primer  ~ The primer has been in rotation since November, I had included it in a favorites post before (if you're interested in reading it, click here).  It keeps my oily t-zone controlled and I do not have to blot the problem area all day. 

Estee Edit - Pore Vanishing Stick ~ I'm not sure what happened to Estee Edit :( I hope they are rebranding but this stick is amazing! I wish I had bought another. A little goes a long way, I do one swipe on the area on each side of my nose and it helps to blur out any large pores that I may have

Estee Lauder - Perfectionist Youth Infusing Foundation with SPF 25 (3W1 Tawny) ~ I have been using this foundation for a year now, and it makes my skin look very natural and youthful without looking cakey at all. It does not oxidize and offers a satin finish. This is one of those foundations that looks better as you wear it through the day. 

Estee Lauder x Victoria Beckham - Skin Perfecting Powder ~ The powder is very densely packed in the pan, I used a stiffer powder brush to pick up the product to apply it all over the face. It worked well to blur out and set the foundation without looking like additional product was adding to the face. 

Estee Lauder x Victoria Beckham - 03 Black Cassis ~ The lipstick from the tube looks very intimidating and dark. However when applied you get a rich dark berry wine red. It glides on like butter, does not settle in fine lines and looks quite sophisticated, perfect for an evening out. I do suggest using a liner to give yourself a more precise line. I freehanded it in my look and it's not as perfect as I want it to be! 

Until next time, XO - M.

*products were sent for review, all opinions are my own

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With the arrival of Valentines Day coming soon, I decided to put together a quick gift guide for those of you who want some ideas on what to get your loved ones - whether it be your friend, family member or significant other. I have included gifts from different groups like skincare, perfume, etc and at different price ranges :) The last one I created was in 2015 and last year I created a Valentines Day get ready with me.This year, with the expected arrival of my baby boy (due date Feb 12th approx), I doubt I'll be out on Valentines, so I prepared this gift guide in advance, hope you enjoy it!

Here's an overview of the products that will be mentioned below - and I grouped it around one theme, pink toned items that makes you feel pampered!



For the non-beauty/skincare lovers in your life, consider getting a wallet :) This one was purchased by my hubby for my birthday from Kate Spade. It was actually a great price at the outlet, I believe it was just under $40 when they retail for about $130 in stores. Goes to show you just never know what you'll find if you go to the outlet! Never write a place off because you think it may be pricey! I was just on their site now and saw a really cute Valentines Day Card Holder at $50, which is super cute!


For the one who would never invest in make-up brushes for themselves, or could use a splurge worthy brush, consider the Marc Jacobs Bronzer Brush * valued at $94 or the Wet n Wild Pro Large Powder Brush * ($7.99). Yes the price difference is significant, but the Marc Jacobs brush really would be splurge gift for someone. You could purchase the Wet n Wild Pro Brush Bundle for $69.90. 

As you can tell, I do own both and nothing can ever replace how luxe you feel holding and using the Marc Jacobs bronzer brush. It has weight to it, it diffuses bronzer and powder evenly on the skin and is super soft but dense at the same time. 

For those who are more on a budget, the Wet n Wild Pro Brush Line is really great quality as well and super affordable. They are soft, they work well and look beautiful on any make-up lover's vanity. 


Perfumes - Left to Right: 
1. My Burberry Blush ($98, $130 depending on size) *
2. Gucci Bloom ($39, $90, $114 and $154 depending on size) * and 
3. Jo Malone - Peony and Blush Suede ($90, $175 depending on size)

Fragrances I admit are a bit harder to purchase for people since everyone is unique in their selection, their notes etc - I actually use the Fragrance IQ on Sephora to help me discover new scents, so I think that if you know your person well, one of the recommendations listed would help. I naturally gravitate to subtle floral and citrus notes, so that is what the ones I like above are. The ones above lean more towards the floral notes as its more romantic for Valentine's. 


Lip products ~ my friend in the states had gifted me with the Lanolips in Strawberry as I can't get my hands on this in Canada. I loveeeee Lanolips, works well to hydrate the lips and isn't sticky or greasy! For those who do not love make-up, a balm would be a great alternative paired with some stationary or wallet, or what not! 


Next we have lipsticks from Lipstick Queen * - I have used this for a while now, and remember going on a mad hunt looking for the lipstick that kickstarted the brand - the infamous Frog Prince that is green in the bullet but when applied, adjusts to the natural PH of the lips giving you your own customized pink tone. These two lipsticks are buttery smooth, pigmented and deliver a beautiful wash of color with one swatch, I included a nude and a bolder color depending on your preference! The bolder color is Mr Right and the muted nude is Pretty Pink Nude.


Lastly, we have some of my favorite skincare items: 
3. Dior - Hydra Life Mask - Extra Plump - Smooth Balm Mask - $69 *
4. Eve Lom - Cleanser - $65, $99 or $166 depending on size *

I do admit that most of the skincare items are splurge worthy luxe priced items, however if you know me by now, you will know that I value skincare alot. You only get to maintain your skin once, and no matter how much you spend on make-up, it does not hide your skin. Therefore, I always make sure to take care of it :) 

The Clarisonic is a great skin cleansing tool where you charge it, and can buy new brush head replacements when required. It deeply cleanses your pores and blackheads, and lifts dirt up and out from pores that you normally can't when you just wash with your hands alone. 

The Lancome Toner is infused with honey and sweet almond extract and helps to keep your skin hydrated, moisturized and calm. I love skincare with honey in it and when I saw this, I knew I had to get it!

Eve Lom creates one of my favorite cleansers that smells like all natural goodness, a spa in a bottle. I had to hold off using this during my pregnancy but I find myself opening the lid to just smell it! It is a balm cleanser, that helps to exfoliate, cleanse and give you a more radiant complexion. Your skin feels so clean afterwards and leaves no residue and does not strip it. 

Lastly, we have a face mask to wrap things up, the Dior Hydra Life Mask helps to hydrate, plump and smoothen/fir, the skin with repeated use. Apply this 2-3x a week and leave a thin layer on for 3 minutes and wash off. This product goes a long way and helps replenish any lost moisture from the cold winter months. 

I hope this gift guide was able to provide you with some help this Valentine's! 

Until next time, XO - M. 

*some products were sent to me for review/consideration, all opinions are my own.
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Clarins has released a new product, the Double Serum, which is said to be the most complete anti-aging treatment by far and retails for $120 cad. The serum is a dual-phase product rich in 20 different plant extracts that promote anti-aging components. The most focused ingredient is turmeric extract which is concentrated in turmerone to treat signs of aging by firming the skin, smoothing wrinkles and bringing back any lost radiance and evenness. In addition, it also works well to reduce the size of pores. 

The details of the packaging are below which shows the pump dispenser of the product as well as the dial that allows you to control the dosage that comes out.

Thoughts: 
I really like how this product does exactly what it says, I have oily combination skin in the t-zone and on my cheeks it's a bit drier during the colder winter months and I was afraid that this product would make me a bit greasy. However, this did not mess with my skin balance at all, it hydrated my cheeks and helped smooth out my face. By having a smoother surface overall, my make-up applied more effortlessly as well. It brought back a radiance to my face that was lacking from the winter weather and made my skin look more plump. I do not have any wrinkles yet (thankfully), but this did firm it up and I only used the small pump portion once a day at night. 

 

 

The product comes with a customizable pump dispenser that allows for either a smaller or larger dosage delivery. The Small Drop (right) would be more suitable for warmer months, the summer time or those with combination/oily skin. The Larger Drop (left) is great for the colder, dryer winter months when extra hydration is necessary and/or for those with dry skin. 

Until next time, XO - M.

*product was sent for my review and consideration, all opinions are my own


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I don't think that I have ever created a Chinese New Year Makeup tutorial on the blog before, so why not try something new this time around :) I have rounded up all brand new products to me (there are two that I've used before but I recently restocked on it) and decided to create a look with all these items. 

The products included in the tutorial are:
1. Primer - Lancome - La Base Pro Hydra Glow (Illuminating Makeup Primer)
2. Foundation - SHISEIDO - Future Solution LX Total Radiance Foundation (Golden 3)
3. Concealer - Tarte - Shape Tape (Light-Neutral) 
4. Under Eye Setting Powder - Too Faced - Kandee Johnson Banana Pudding Powder 
5. Setting Powder for the face - Givenchy Lunar New Year 2018 - Prisme Libre Loose Powder, Chinese New Year Limited Edition
6. Brows - Avon - True Color Glimmersticks Brow Definer (Brunette)
7. Blush - Marc Jacobs - Air Blush Contouring Powder (Flesh & Fantasy)
8. Highlighter - Lancome - Olympia Le-Tan - Cushion Highlighter
9. Eyeshadow - Urban Decay - Naked Heat Palette
10. Eyeliner - Stila - Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Liner (Intense Black)
11. Lashes - KISS - True Volume Lashes (Ritzy)
12. Lipstick - Givenchy Lunar New Year 2018 - Le Rouge Lipstick in "305 Égérie" 

For the Eyes: 

For the Face:

The Shiseido Future Solution Foundation and Powder comes in such beautiful and luxe packaging. It looks like an oyster pearl from above with the light gold logo/emblem embossed on top. Its so fancy! The foundation bottle is the first type I've tried - it's a gel liquid formula in a bottle, no pump or dispenser. You take the plastic little spatula/spoon to scoop the product up to apply to the face. I enjoyed this formula alot, especially for the winter colder months. It is really hydrating and dries to a satin finish. It is sheer to medium buildable and does not look cakey on the face at all. It looks very natural and does not oxidize on me.  The powder though translusent runs a little bit pinkish on me so I was very light handed with it - it creates a soft powder finish to the skin and makes it look airbrushed and seemless. 


For Chinese New Year, Givenchy has released two limited edition products in celebration of it (I am so happy about this!) The two products are below, the Prisme Libre Loose Powder, Chinese New Year Limited Edition and Le Rouge Lipstick in "305 Égérie". 

The powder, contains four different shades of finely milled powder that when mixed together creates a blurring, air brushed finish to the skin. I had previously used a similar product from Givenchy before (see post here) and I absolutely love it. This product did not let me down either. 

The lipstick, I was expecting to be more blue-based red toned for some reason, but this color is still beautiful. It is a coral pinkish red toned lipstick that works well for all seasons (especially the summer with some tanned skin). The formulation is hydrating, does not sink into any fine lines on the lips and is creamy and pigmented most importantly. It almost feels like a balm when applied but definitely packs a punch like a lipstick. One swipe is all it takes, and you can see from the image below that it is really pretty.

Lastly, the packaging is elegant and luxe - it contains gold embossing on a leather like label/packaging on the top of the powder box and around the casing of the lipstick. It stands out on my vanity and is just so beautiful!


For the eyes, I used the Urban Decay Heat Palette, all shades are mapped out below. In addition, I used my long time Stila liquid liner to create a bold and defined line and cat eye. The liner is pigmented, one swipe gives you even color delivery that is black and opaque. 


As for my reviews on the other products used, please see below for my quick recaps!

Lancome - La Base Pro Hydra Glow (Illuminating Makeup Primer) ~ This product works exactly as it says it is an illuminating primer that makes you glow from within. I have used it applied under my foundation and mixed with it and both work fabulously. It also works well to hydrate the skin as well. 

Tarte - Shape Tape (Light-Neutral) - I still don't get why this product isn't for sale in Canada because I love the formulation. I use a pea size amount under both eyes and my panda dark eye circles disappear without looking cakey or settling into fine lines. It also doesn't suck out any hydration and does not leave it dry.

Too Faced - Kandee Johnson Banana Pudding Powder ~ This product was not for sale in Canada, so I ordered it online to see the hype. It worked well, as a setting powder but I do not think that it is any better than anything else I've tried that I could probably get at a better price point. I wouldn't go out of my way to repurchase this even though it was LE. 

 Avon - True Color Glimmersticks Brow Definer (Brunette) ~ This is a pretty good brow pencil, it is a gel pencil formula, a bit softer than I am used to (I typically use hard pencil types) but it works well to deposit color and stay all day without having to use another gel to set it. It looks a bit more natural I find and the color matches well. 

Marc Jacobs - Air Blush Contouring Powder (Flesh & Fantasy) ~ I already own one of these in another color, Lines and Last Night, and I love the formulation and want to own more! This is more of a subtle mauve nude color that works with any eye or lip color look you are going for. It is finely milled and deposits natural color on your face without having to reapply it a few times. 

Lancome - Olympia Le-Tan - Cushion Highlighter ~ In all honesty, I was skeptical about this product at first, but to my surprise it is one of the best highlighters I've used. I have had problems with powder highlighters before with it either not showing, or hardening and not applying after a while. With this cushion formulation, it is a liquid so as long as I keep the packaging on tight, then I know that the product will deliver the same results every time. This product can either give you a sheer highlighted look which I went for in the look above, or you can layer it (without any patchiness) and look like JLO glow goddess! This is my new fav highlighter as I can look naturally radiant with it!

KISS - True Volume Lashes (Ritzy) ~ This is a great drugstore priced item and find. It lists for under $5 on the site (I think in american, but still in Canadian it'd be under $10 I think) and it is great quality and looks just as good as my $30-$40 pair. I know I can get a few uses out of it too as the band is sturdy but flexible. It feels weightless on my lids and very comfortable. 

Until next time, XO - M.

*products were sent to me for review, all opinions are my own.

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