Empire Season – Toronto • Beauty Blog.+Add.Feed Info1000FOLLOWERS
Empire Season my outlet for all things makeup, skincare and more! Here you’ll find reviews of some of my favourites, along with honest opinions about what hasn’t worked for me. From luxury to some of the most affordable brands – follow along as I explore the world of beauty!
After years of hearing nothing but rave reviews in the blogosphere, I finally took the plunge and purchased the cult classic Oskia Renaissance Cleansing Gel, and I’m SO happy that I did.
Like any other cult classic, I picked mine up from Cult Beauty. I had just finished my Glossier Milky Jelly Cleanser, which you can’t go wrong with, especially for the price, and I wanted to treat myself. The Oskia Renaissance Cleansing Gel is exactly that, a treat.
This cleanser instantly transports you to a spa. The light rose scent is incredibly delicate, and washing your face feels more like a treatment then a chore.
The gel-to-milk formula combines a number of natural ingredients to strengthen and restore skin while providing a deep clean that won’t dry you out.
The ingredients here speak for themselves:
Lactobacillus (Pumpkin Enzyme) clears out pores and breaks apart dead skin cells
Vitamin A Palmitate improves skin’s appearance, gently resurfacing and promoting elasticity
Vitamins C and E protect against free radicals
Starflower Oil, Magnesium and Vitamins B2 and C promote firmness
Oskia’s signature MSM (the most bio-available form of Sulphur) detoxifies, soothes and reduces inflammation
If you’re looking to splurge a little bit on skincare, I can’t recommend this enough. I personally use this as a second cleanse, or in the mornings (it’s just too good to waste on a face full of makeup).
I can definitely see why people who love this, also love the Glossier cleanser. It’s a perfect alternative if you don’t want to spend the extra cash. But know that you’re forfeiting some of the benefits if you don’t go with Oskia.
Knowing how much I love the Renaissance Cleansing Gel now has me thinking I need to try some other products from the brand, but to be honest, I haven’t heard much about anything else from their line. Do you have any recommendations? I would love to hear them in the comments below!
It’s been a while since I tried out a new foundation. But when I saw the reviews for Givenchy’s Photo’Perfexion foundation on Sephora, I knew I had to add this one to my cart.
This is by no means a new product, but up until recently it hasn’t been available in Canada. I hadn’t even heard of this foundation until it appeared in the New In section of Sephora.ca, and once I read the reviews, I was hooked.
The Photo’Perfexion foundation has a natural-to-luminous finish, and is meant to minimize imperfections and blur irregularities. I picked up the shade Perfect Ivory, which is slightly lighter than my skintone, but honestly, the shade range isn’t the greatest, so it was the best that I could do.
Wearing Givenchy’s Photo’Perfexion foundation in Perfect Ivory
This isn’t a super long-wearing foundation, but it does last me throughout the work day, and it really helps to blur lines and pores, creating an almost airbrushed effect. I like to apply it with my Beauty Blender or Artis Oval 7 brush, and while this usually sits on my skin flawlessly, I have noticed it cling to some dry patches after using a retinoid (which isn’t out of the ordinary for me).
I’m not sure what’s going on with the packaging of this product. Don’t get me wrong, it’s beautiful, with the glass bottle, pump and intricate lid featuring the Givenchy logo. But my bottle (and all other bottles at Sephora) have a cheap looking sticker on the front and back. I suspect that it’s a labeling issue – but for the price tag, I which it didn’t come with a sticker.
Regardless of the packaging, I can certainly see why people are saying this is their holy grail foundation, and I’m so happy that it’s finally available in Canada! That’s an A for you, Givenchy – you’ve got a real winner here!
I’m not usually a stickler for hair products, in fact most of my shampoos and conditioners come from the drugstore. So it’s really great when an affordable haircare brand comes out with a product that rivals its high end counterparts.
Each of Garnier Fructis’ Hair Treats are made with 98% naturally derived ingredients, and enriched with super fruits.
The best thing about these Hair Treats though is their three possible uses. First, as a One Minute hair mask, then as a conditioner, and finally as a leave in. My favourite way to use this product is as a mask while I’m in the shower. The fact that in only requires one minute is absolutely perfect – there’s nothing I hate more than having to wash my hair, then wait 10-15 minutes for a mask to set in, then hop back in the shower. Ain’t nobody got time for that.
The formula is also 94% biodegradable and 100% vegan with no silicones, parabens or artificial colorants, so you can feel good about what you’re putting in your hair.
My only gripe with this product is probably a scent. Don’t get me wrong, if you love fruity scents, you will probably love this. But I’m definitely more of a warm-vanilla girl, so this is just a little too fresh for me. I’m actually interested in checking out some of the other treatments, like the Nourishing Treat with Coconut Extract!
I’ve never hummed and hawed over a product as long as I did with Algenist’s Genius Liquid Collagen. And for good reason. This sucker is a whopping $132 CAD! But I finally took the plunge and I couldn’t be happier.
I’ve always considered myself a serious person when it came to skincare. I’ve had very sensitive skin for as long as I can remember, so I was willing to splurge if it meant keeping my skin in check. Now that I’m in my 30’s I’m even more aware of what my skin is doing, so even with a price tag like $132, I’m willing to do whatever it takes.
Algenist’s Genius Liquid Collagen is a 100% vegan formulation designed to plump and preserve all skin types. This “fountain of youth” – so they call it – contains 13,000 microalgae oil beads, omegas 3, 6, and 9, as well vitamin E, and claims to restore bounce and resilience in just 10 days.
I’ve been using this product for a couple of weeks now and I can attest that this really does plump your skin. In fact, I first started seeing results around day 3! This product has revolutionized my skincare routine. I apply it after cleansing and toning my skin – the formula is a gel-like consistency that applies like silk. The pump takes some getting used to (think of it like a dropper), but once you get the hang of it, it only takes one drop to cover your whole face.
In reviews I read some people said they had an issue with the scent, however it doesn’t seem to bother me. It has a light floral/botanical scent, which dissipates fairly quickly. Some people also mentioned breaking out with this product, but I haven’t seen that kind of reaction on my skin, so I’m hopeful.
If you’re really looking for something to plump up and brighten your skin, I can’t recommend this product enough. It has a pretty hefty price tag, but if you’re anything like me, and willing to splurge when it comes to skin, definitely check this one out! A+ Algenist! Well done!
Kat Von D’s hotly anticipated relaunch of the Studded Kiss Crème Lipsticks have finally hit shelves, and I was lucky enough to receive none other than the OG Lolita to review from the wonderful folks at Influenster!
The new collection features 40 shades that come in three different finishes – satin-matte, glimmer, and metallic. OG Lolita is probably Kat Von D’s most popular liquid lipstick shade, so I was absolutely thrilled when I received it. I had always wanted to try it, but I’m not really a liquid lipstick gal – they’re just too matte for me. The Studded Kiss version of OG Lolita, however, is a satin-matte formula, which means I’m still getting the same look as the liquid lipstick, without all the dryness.
The formula is very creamy, but because this shade is still technically a matte, don’t expect a lot of sheen. The pigmentation is great, you can use it full-on, or do what I do and apply it to the lips and then smudge out the edges with my finger for a more natural look.
I absolutely adore the packaging – the shiny black tube is sophisticated, while the studs keep it edgy and fun. Each bullet is embossed with the iconic Kat Von D logo, which makes it feel like a luxury lipstick, but these beauties will only cost you $23 CAD.
I’m definitely going to be checking out other shades. I’m really interested in White Out, which you’re supposed to be able to mix with other lipsticks to help customize the colours! Let me know if you have any other recommendations in the comments below!
I received this product for free from Influenster for reviewing purposes, but as always, all of the opinions are my own.
If you’ve been following my blog for a while know, you already know how much I love Physicians Fomula Butter line. It all started with the legendary Butter Bronzer (I use the shade Bronzer), which has remained a staple in my every day makeup drawer. Then came the Butter Blush – my favourite colour is Plum Rose. And now, with new shades being added to the bronzer and blush ranges, comes the latest addition – the Butter Highlighter.
The Highlighter was released in five shades – Rose Gold, Pink, Champaign, Iridescent and Pearl, the latter of which is what I picked up. Unlike the bronzer and blush formulas, the Butter Highlighter is actually a cream-to-powder.
Pearl is a bright white highlighter, which I’m not typically drawn to, but the other shades just seemed too dark for my super fair skin. I personally like applying this product either with my fingers to my cheekbones, or packing it on to the eyelid with a brush. The formula is definitely long-wearing, especially on the eyes, and creates the most beautiful white gleam.
Wearing Mac Cork in the crease, Era on the lid, and Physicians Formula Butter Highlighter in Pearl in the centre and corner of the eye.
Because this highlight is pretty striking, I don’t think I’ll be wearing it much on my cheeks (I’m pale, but not that pale), but I absolutely ADORE this on the lid. In fact, I’ve been playing with it to figure out if there’s a way to incorporate this in to my wedding makeup!
Like all of the other Butter products, I can’t recommend this enough. In fact, I’m hoping to get my hands on the Iridescent shade soon. Until then, this will have to do! A+ Physicians Formula!
I know my yearly favourites were only a few weeks ago, and don’t get me wrong, Glossier’s Boy Brow is still my everyday go-to. But after discovering IT Cosmetic’s Brow Power, it’s hard to imagine any other brow pencil taking its place.
The thing I think I like most about this brow pencil is it’s shape. I’m not necessarily looking for precision when it comes to brows, but I do want a natural look. I love Anastasia’s Brow Wiz for it’s tiny nib, but sometimes I need to get my brows done in a hurry, and those tiny hair-like strokes just won’t do it. This pencil is slightly larger and more oval than the Brow Wiz (but smaller than the Definer), which allows me to fill in my brows quickly while keeping them looking naturally full.
The one weird thing about the Brow Power is that it only comes in one shade – Universal Taupe. It’s meant to mimic almost any colour brow, just depending on how heavy of a hand you use. And actually, it works! For me at least… Not to mention it stays put!
The formula itself uses a proprietary technology that includes ingredients like biotin, saw palmetto and antioxidants, which help to promote brow hair strength and growth.
If all that weren’t enough, probably the coolest thing about the Brow Power is, with every pencil sold, IT Cosmetics will donate one to Look Good Feel Better – a charity dedicated to helping women with cancer. Absolut A+ IT!
The temperatures have been well below freezing lately, and my skin has been paying the price. I’ve always struggled with eczema on my face, but it’s only recently that the weather has taken a toll on my body. Luckily enough, the good folks over at Palmer’s reached out just in the knick of time.
Palmer’s is one of those beloved American brands that has been around forever. You most likely know them from their Cocoa Butter products, but the brand actually has several skincare (and even haircare) lines. I had the pleasure of trying out a few products from their Coconut Oil Formula. Three to be exact, the Body Lotion, Body Cream and Body Oil.
I’m not usually picky about creams vs. lotions, but in this case I’m a cream gal all the way. This cream has a beautiful, almost whipped texture that feels like something you would expect from a luxury skincare brand. The lotion on the other hand is much more liquidy. Both, however, melt in to the skin without leaving any sort of greasy residue.
So by now I’m sure you’re thinking ‘great, another coconut scented cream’ – but this isn’t just any coconut scent. At first I thought it might just be in my head, but after a few weeks of using the cream and lotion, I swear, they smell just like the now discontinued Laura Mercier Creme de Pistache. Well, it might not be an exact match – this one is slightly more coconut-y, but a great dupe nevertheless.
The body oil is a beautiful product on it’s own, but it definitely doesn’t smell the same – it’s more of a pure coconut scent. Whatever your preference, lotion, cream or oil, these are definitely ones to check out!
Want to try them out for yourself? Well I’ve teamed up with Palmer’s to give away the trio to a couple of lucky followers! How do you enter? Head over to my Instagram, follow and like this post – it’s that easy!* Good luck xo
It’s that time of year again – where I round up all of my favourites in beauty and skincare for all my lovely readers. Curious to what I’ve been loving lately? Read on below to find out my number ones in makeup!
Every Day Lipstick: Surprisingly, my favourite every-day lipstick has been Charlotte Tilbury’s Penelope Pink – the colour is more peachy than what I usually gravitate to, but the formula is no joke.
Bold Lipstick: Marc Jacobs’ So Rouge lipstick is what I’ve been wearing whenever I want a pop of colour, but unfortunately it was an exclusive Sephora VIB Rouge reward from a few years ago. I’ll definitely be trying to make this one last.
What have been your makeup favourites of 2017? Let me know in the comments below!
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