Monthly Must Haves: May 2016

Essie Fiji Nail Polish, Benefit Porefessional Matte Rescue, Joe Fresh Champagne Highlighter, Nyx Scult and Highlight Brow ContourMay has come to an end and I could not be more excited for June to arrive!  I have a few new products that I’ve been using during the month of May that have become favourites for me and I would love to share with you all.

Nyx Sculpt and Highlight Brow Contour – I have a confession to make… this is the first brow pencil I have ever used. I have been a huge fan of using brow powders to fill in my brows ever since I started filling in my brows, but the pencil has certainly stepped up my brow game (#browsonfleek). The main difference I have noticed in using a pencil is that my brows are a little bit bolder and much more defined, which I love. This pencil comes with a brow colour in one end and a highlight shade in the other end. I really appreciate the consistency of the pencil. The colour is very forgiving and gradually buildable. It has a fine tip which allows for hair like strokes. I also find it isn’t a super dry pencil and it glides on easily. So happy to have discovered this one in the month of May. P.S. I wear the shade Blonde/Ivory, which is best for an ash blonde brow.

Nyx Sculpt and Highlight Brow Contour Blonde/Ivory

Joe Fresh Highlighter Powder – Joe Fresh Cosmetics have recently launched within Shoppers Drug Mart and I have been using their highlighter in the shade champagne. It has been my go-to product for highlighting over the last month. It is a beautiful cool-toned pink shade. It offers the perfect everyday highlight for me. If you are someone who wants an intense highlight that can be seen from outer-space, then I don’t think this is the highlight for you. However, if you are like me and just looking for a subtle everyday glow this product is perfect. It is not overly glittery or chunky and just provides a natural luminous finish to the skin. I definitely recommend testing this guy out!

Joe Fresh Champagne Highlighter

Essie “Fiji” Nail Polish – I have been on the hunt for the perfect nude pink nail polish. It has been such a struggle to find a nude pink that doesn’t look washed out, that is opaque and doesn’t make my skin look too pink. I have been obsessed with Essie’s Fiji this month. It is the perfect opaque creamy pale pink shade. It applies so nicely and is the perfect shade of pink I have been searching for. I also have received so many compliments on it and people keep asking me who does my nails – clearly they aren’t looking close enough at my paint job.

Benefit Cosmetics Porefessional Matte Rescue – To be honest I really didn’t give this product much thought when it first launched. I already use Benefit’s Porefessional Primer and I didn’t think anything could do much better than that, but after trying their new Matte Rescue I’m hooked. It is a gel-water consistency that absorbs instantly and feels so clean and refreshing on the skin. It has mushroom extract to absorb excess oil on the skin and diamond powder to blur out the appearance of pores. I apply this product to freshly cleansed skin after moisturizing. I feel it instantly absorb into the skin and almost tighten my pores. I apply the Porefessional primer on top and I have noticed my t-zone looks significantly less oily throughout the day. I think this product is going to be a life saver as we move into the warmer months of summer!

Those are my favourite products of May. What products did you love this month?

Happy June,

Kaitlyn xo

 

Micellar Water Comparison (Bioderma, Vichy, Garnier, Marcelle and Simple)

Garnier Micellar Water, Vichy Micellar Water, Simple Skincare Micellar Water, Marcelle Micellar WaterMicellar water has been a huge part of my skincare routine for the past two years. With so many new options available at the drugstore, I decided to put some other alternatives to the test to see how they rank in comparison to my tried and true Bioderma. Let the battle of the micellar waters begin!

Vichy Purete One Step Cleansing Micellar Solution 3 in 1

The Vichy One Step Cleansing Micellar Solution claims to be a cleanser, toner and eye makeup remover. It is ultra-gentle, refreshing, purifies skin, removes makeup and soothes irritation. It attracts impurities like a magnet eliminating any need to rub or tug at the skin to remove makeup. It is ideal for all skin types and all skin concerns. Vichy states that they have a unique micellar technology which can effectively remove impurities.

Formula: The Vichy Micellar Solution has a very fresh clean scent – it is an added fragrance to the product. The list of ingredients in this micellar and the Garnier version (up next, keep reading!) are almost identical. Vichy’s micellar is tested on sensitive skin under dermatological control, hypoallergenic, paraben free and includes the Vichy Thermal Spa Water making it both soothing and fortifying.

Packaging: The packaging on this water is very similar to most on the market. It has a flip open cap with a small hole that dispenses the product when turned upside down. The one thing I did like about this bottle in particular is that it is more rectangular in shape and I felt like it was easier to pack when I have needed to take makeup somewhere and it fit better in  my makeup bag because of the shape.

Performance: This product worked extremely quickly and is the most comparable to my dear Bioderma. I could remove my entire face of makeup in about one and a half cotton pads – super impressive. The product was very soothing on the skin and left my face refreshed and clean without feeling stripped or dry. It was not irritating to the eyes or lips. I will mention that I did have a skin irritation as a result of testing out some new products recently. Normally, I would have avoided placing the micellar water on this area, but since it said it had soothing properties I decided to give it a try. It wasn’t my smartest idea and it ended up making that irritation feel worse. Overall, I did really enjoy this micellar water, it was gentle, and it did live up to it’s claims. However, I would avoid any contact with skin irritations in the future.

Garnier SkinActive Micellar Water All-In-1 Cleansing Water

The Garnier SkinActive Micellar Water claims to remove makeup, cleanse and refresh. It is a non-rinse formula safe for the face, eyes and lips. It is oil free, alcohol free and fragrance free. It is tested under Dermatological and Ophthalmological control and is non-greasy and non-comedogenic.

Formula: The formula, as previously mentioned is almost identical to Vichy’s, but there are two main differences. One, there is no fragrance to this product. And two, there is BHT in this formula (also known as butylated hydroxytoluene). It is used to help extend product shelf life and maintain product quality. You’re probably wondering why I am bringing up this long word and the reason being is some people boycott products over this ingredient due to potential side effects. I have looked into it and it is an ingredient that is regulated by Health Canada and they only allow a concentration of 0.1% or less. It is continuously being reviewed and monitored by Health Canada and they have confirmed that the amount currently found in cosmetic products is safe. You can find more details here. Based on my own research I will definitely be more aware of BHT, but I don’t plan on avoiding products with BHT in the future and it won’t stop me from reusing or repurchasing this product.

Packaging: Garnier Micellar Water has very standard packaging. It is similar to most micellar waters on the market. It has a flip cap with a small hole underneath that dispenses the product when it is flipped upside down.

Performance: The performance on this product is basically identical to Vichy’s, which isn’t surprising considering their ingredients are very similar. It took very little product to remove a full face of makeup (about one and a half cotton pads). It left no residue on the skin, no tight feeling and my skin felt clean. The only thing I didn’t find with this one that I was missing is that I didn’t feel a cooling refreshing feeling on the skin afterwards. This was a little disappointing as that is something I really enjoy in a micellar. Other than that, the performance was extremely good and very comparable to Bioderma.

Marcelle 3-in-1 Micellar Solution

The Marcelle 3-in-1 Micellar Solution claims to gently cleanse and effectively remove makeup from both the face and eyes, while soothing the skin. It is supposed to work on even the most dry, sensitive and intolerant skin. Effective on even waterproof makeup.

Formula: It has a very fresh cucumber scent, which comes from the cucumber extract included within the list of ingredients – there is no added fragrance to this product. Something I found interesting about the list of ingredients on this micellar water is that it has salicylic acid in it. This is a nice addition to the product as salicylic acid is great for improving skin texture. It is also 100% hypoallergenic, 100% perfume free, gluten free, paraben free, alcohol free, oil free, soap free, non comedogenic, recognized by the Canadian Dermatology Association and Ophthalmologist tested.

Packaging: I loooove the packaging on this product and I think every other brand should adopt this packaging. It has a pump on the top that you place your cotton over top of and then press down. As you press down, the product is dispensed and immediately absorbed into your cotton. This provides a lot better control when it comes to how much product you use because you know the exact number of pumps you need to soak your cotton and get the job done. Plus, if you’re clumsy like me, you don’t have to worry about knocking it over and spilling it everywhere as the pump makes it spill proof!

Marcelle occasionally releases bonus format sizes where you can get extra product for the same cost, or a small gift will be attached as a gift with purchase. Marcelle is great at providing really good bonus offers with their products.

Performance: It left my skin feeling clean without any residue on the skin. It provided a very cooling sensation on the skin and did not leave my skin feeling tight or stripped. It took two cotton pads to remove my full face of makeup – one for each half of my face. It did a good job at removing my makeup, however it was much faster at taking off my face makeup (foundation) versus my eye makeup (mascara). Overall, I am very happy with the performance.

Simple Skincare Cleansing Micellar Water

Simple claims that their micellar is the perfect blend of multi-vitamins. It has skin loving ingredients that will gently cleanse with removing makeup leaving the skin feeling clean and hydrated.

Formula: The Simple Micellar Water has a very light chamomile scent to it. There are no harsh chemicals to upset the skin, no artificial fragrance and no parabens. It is Dermatologist tested and non-comedogenic.

Packaging: The standard flip cap packaging – you get it by now.

Performance: Over, this was my least favourite in comparison to the rest in terms of performance. I used a lot of product and my skin still did not feel clean after. I felt like I really needed to rub my skin to get any makeup off. I was never able to remove all of my makeup with this product. It was very refreshing on the skin and hydrating. This product would be great in the morning as a super gentle cleanser, but I would not recommend it for removing makeup.

Overall, I’m pretty impressed with the other micellar waters that are out there! Vichy and Garnier tie for my first favourite followed by Marcelle and then Simple. Check out my other post about what micellar water is and how to use it here.

What’s your favourite micellar products?

Happy cleansing!

Kaitlyn xo

Nyx Highlight and Contour Pro Palette

Nyx Highlight and Contour Pro Palette

Contouring can be scary and intimidating, to say the least. I mean, we’ve all seen those thirty second instagram videos where that girl slaps all those different colours on her face, blends it with a sponge and comes out looking flawless. Instagram lies. I would classify myself as someone with a pretty decent handle on the whole makeup application thing, but even sometimes I get overwhelmed by this whole higlighting/strobing/baking/contouring thing. (Baking, in particular, didn’t go so well for me… aka I had reverse racoon eyes in photos. Yikes.)

For the last week or so, I have been testing out the Nyx Highlighting and Contour Pro Palette and it makes contouring and highlighting so easy – almost as easy as those instagram girls make it look. Nyx tries to make it easy by providing visuals on the disposable package that indicate where to put each shade. This is super helpful for beginners! The product comes with eight shades – two shimmery highlights, two matte highlights, two cool toned contour shades and two warm toned bronzer shades. Each shade is a 2.7g pan for those of you looking to compare the amount of product in this palette versus others on the market. Each pan is also removable, so as you run out of your favourites, or want to sub in a new colour you easily can.

What do I love about this palette? Well, for starters the yellow shade (Cream) has literally changed my life. This is not an exaggeration. Yellow is really good for cancelling out darkness. I have been using this to set my under eye concealer and I have never looked so well rested in my life. You wouldn’t even know that daylight savings time has just happened and I feel like I need tooth picks to prop my eyes open. I would purchase this palette just for that shade alone. Anyone struggling with concealing dark circles needs this product.

I also love the formulation of the powders. The powders are all very smooth and blend easily, making them very forgiving. The one thing I will say, is that I found the white shimmer highlight (Ice Queen) to be a little powdery. When trying to pick it up with a brush it is very easy to pick up too much product as it tends to go powdery and fall apart. However, that was the only shade that I had that problem with and if you use a light hand when picking up the product it can be avoided.

The price is also amazing! In Canada, this runs for $29.99. The colour selection is very comparable to higher end contour palettes that are over double the price. If you are someone new to contouring, and worried about making the investment in the higher end palettes, this is a great alternative. You get the same colour selection and great quality without having the break the bank.

Overall, I am really happy with this product and it will be part of my daily routine. It has all the shades I need in one place creating convenience as I don’t have to switch between two or three different products. Plus, I love how forgiving the shadows are, so if I make a mistake I can easily just blend it out and no one will know.

Swatches of Nyx Highlighters

Highlight Shades L-R: Ice Queen, Soft Light, Cream, Nectar

Facetune

Contour Shades L-R: Tan, Toffee, Sculpt, Hollow

Have you tried out any other contour or highlighting products from Nyx? I have my eye on their cream contour and highlight stick next!

Happy contouring,

Kaitlyn xo

Liquid Lipsticks That Stay All Day

Stila Stay All Day Liquid Lipsticks

There is nothing I love more than a bold lip to complete any makeup look. However, there is nothing I hate more then wearing a lipstick and having to worry about it getting all over my face when I eat a meal, or all over my teeth during a conversation. One of my most embarrassing moments as a Cosmetician has to be the time when I was raving about one of our latest skincare products to a customer. After they left, I turned to one of my coworkers only for them to tell me there was lipstick all over my teeth. It is no wonder the customer left in a hurry without making a purchase. I am sure my lipstick coated pearly whites really convinced them that I am an expert in my field.

For someone who my Mom would classify as high maintenance, I am all about low maintenance beauty products. When I discovered Stila’s Stay All Day Liquid Lipsticks (it is a mouth full, I know) my relationship with lipsticks went from a love hate relationship to one with a whole lot of love. I am all for any product I can swipe on in the morning that requires few, if any, touch ups. I now have six shades, one of which I own two tubes of, and I am obsessed with them. Plus, they are transfer-proof saving me from any future embarrassing run ins with customers and lipstick on my teeth.

Stila’s Stay All Day Liquid Lipsticks come in twenty shades, there is a shade for basically everyone! They are a creamy-matte, full-coverage lip colour which guarantees six hours of continuous wear that will not bleed or transfer. I can personally say, I have gotten more than six hours out of this product before. They are also infused with avocado oil and vitamin E, which helps to keep the lips soft and moisturized.

What do I love most about them? Well, to start with, they literally last all day! (I guess they don’t call them Stay All Day Liquid Lipsticks for nothing.) I have been wearing Carmello for about six hours now. During this time, I have gone to lunch with a friend and made a trip to the mall. So I have ate, drank and talked A LOT without having to touch it up at all. In addition to the product still looking great on my lips, it also feels great. The product still feels extremely comfortable and not drying. Sometimes, with liquid lipsticks, they can crack and the colour of your natural lip will start to show through. Or they will be so drying it looks like your lips are suffocating. This product however, is weightless, non-drying and the colour lasts. When applying it is so airy in texture you can barely feel it. It sits comfortably throughout the day without cracking, feeling heavy, tacky or sticky.

Stila Stay All Day Liquid Lipstick Swatches

The six shades I have, shown above, are Carmello (a neutral nude), Chianti (a deep plum), Baci (a nude pink), Bacca (a raspberry), Ricco (a deep red) and Patina (a dusty rose). They do dry down to a matte finish, but when I was photographing them they were still a bit wet leaving a shine.

Are you a liquid lipstick lover? Have you tried Stila’s? What is your favourite shade?

I hope your lipstick stays all day!

Kaitlyn xo