- See more at: http://tutorialgeek.blogspot.ca/2010/11/how-to-change-your-blogger-domain-url.html#sthash.JOLPbG90.dpuf my beauty full adventure - do not use: 2013

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Epic Blend Lip Balm Review & Giveaway

My lips are singing the praises of Epic Blend lip balms!
Epic Blend was launched in 2007 in Kelowna, British Columbia; and is now sold in hundreds of retailers across Canada. They design and produce high-quality lip balms made with only top-shelf natural ingredients, and no harsh synthetics. "We think happy lips make happy people, so we design products that make lips happy." And boy do these lip balms make my lips happy! I'm cursed with extremely dry lips once Winter hits, and I've been trying everything to remedy this. I've only been using these lip balms for a few days and already my lips are 100% better. I am in love and I don't think that I could use anything else.

These balms smooth the lips without the greasiness, and they provide high-level and long lasting moisture. Epic Blend provides three different balm options:

More Moisture

"Seven moisturizers, including Organic Shea Butter come together to provide an extra kick of moisture plus a boost of staying power."

Key Ingredients:
  • organic Shea butter
  • organic coconut oil
  • organic sunflower oil
  • organic Castor oil
  • organic beeswax
  • non-gmo vitamin e
Flavours Include:
  1. Unflavoured - no scent, nothing, nada. A true unscented lip balm.
  2. Grape - grape soda all the way! I'm not normally a grape fan, but I really like this.
  3. Green Apple - green apple jolly ranchers. Yum, Yum, Yum!
  4. Cherry - have you ever used cherry chapstick, cause that's what this smells like.


"100% plant-based and beeswax-free. We use all-natural food-grade Candelilla wax, which gives these balms an incredibly smooth texture."

Key Ingredients:
  • food-grade candelilla wax
  • organic coconut oil
  • organic sunflower oil
  • organic cocoa butter
  • non-gmo vitamin e
Flavours Include:
  1. Wild Berry - my favourite scent of the bunch! It is very sugary sweet, like Kool-Aid powder before you add the water. Love!
  2. Pineapple-Mint - I like pineapple, and I like mint, but together...not so much.


"Organic Hemp Seed Oil is a great anti-oxidant, super-nourishing and quickly absorbs deep into the skin cells."

Key Ingredients:
  • organic hemp seed oil
  • organic coconut oil
  • organic sunflower oil
  • organic beeswax
  • non-gmo vitamin e
Flavours Include:
  1. Vanilla - smells very faintly of chocolate. I get no hint of vanilla at all.
  2. Mint - smells exactly like Trident Spearmint gum. A very fresh scent.
  3. Coconut - very faint coconut scent, and not an overly sweet coconut scent.
  4. Citrus Kick - it smells faintly fruity, but I cant make out exactly what fruit or fruits I'm smelling.
  5. Banana LE - reminds me of my childhood and banana medicine. I will be cherishing this limited edition scent.
  6. Chocolate Rum LE - smells mostly of chocolate, but there is an underlying spiciness, which I think comes from the rum.
Epic Blend Lip Balms retail for $3.49 a piece or you can purchase a 4-pack for $12.00. They ship everywhere in Canada, and SHIPPING IS FREE ON ANY PURCHASE OVER $15. You can find Epic Blend all over the web, buy using the following links:

Thanks to the generosity of Epic Blend I will be giving away a Lip Lovin' Superpack which includes 1 of each lip balm from Epic's regular line. If you would like to win these awesome balms, then enter in the Rafflecopter Form below. This giveaway will run until December 30th, 2013 at midnight. This giveaway is only open to Canadian residents.

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Disclaimer: I received these lips balms for free from Epic Blend, in exchange for a review. That does not change my opinion on them, and all thoughts are 100% honest and my own.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Influenster #MapleVoxBox Unboxing

Finally, after a long year, the first Influenster VoxBox has arrived in Canada! A few weeks ago I received an email and completed the survey, then heard nothing. I really didn't give two thoughts about actually receiving the box until it showed up in my mailbox a few days ago.

From Influenster:
"Canada has seen a lot of firsts: It's the first nation to celebrate Thanksgiving, train the world's first female jet-fighter pilots, & establish a national park! Joining the ranks of these auspicious Canadian firsts is Influenster Nation's first Canadian VoxBox: The Maple VoxBox! We finally made it. Log in to check in your VoxBox now!"
Skinny Cow Milk Chocolate Flavour Heavenly Crisp
"Skinny Cow Heavenly Crisp bars bring you layers of wafer with delicious chocolate crème flavour covered in a milk chocolatey coating. At 100 calories per 19g bar, say yes to delicious!"

Skinny Cow Milk Chocolate Dreamy Clusters
"These bite sized crunchy crisps and creamy caramel drenched in milk chocolate are only 120 calories per 28g pouch. With Skinny Cow Dreamy Clusters, you can say yes to delicious!"

Ice Breakers DUO
"New Ice Breakers DUO combines sweet fruity taste with refreshing cooling crystals. Ice Breakers DUO is a two sided mint with a fruity flavoured, textured side and a minty, smooth side that cools and freshens your breath. Available is strawberry and raspberry."
NYC New York Color Big Bold Curl Mascara
"Big Bold Curl Mascara's oversized curved brush is the ultimate way to get outrageously thick and super sexy lashes. One stroke gives your lashes up to 12x more volume and 99% more lift.

NYC New York Color Big Bold Plumping Lip Gloss
"Big Bold Plumping Lip Gloss makes lips look up to 50% fuller with a high gloss shine that lasts up to 4 hours. The ultra-soft, mega applicator gives full and even coverage for beautiful, perfectly plump lips."
Broadway Nails impress Press-On Manicure
"imPRESS Press-On Manicure by Broadway Nails is the revolutionary way to apply polish! Get a salon-perfect manicure in seconds - simply peel off, press on, and you're done (NO glue needed!). There's no drying, a killer shine and a manicure that lasts up to a week! Available at Walmart."

Montagne Jeunesse Clay Spas
"Join the Revolution and start a new weekly skincare regime with the Clay Spas from Montagne Jeunesse. These natural bamboo fabric masks are infused with clay for a cleansing experience that is better, quicker and easier than ever before."

Overall, I am pretty impressed with the contents of this VoxBox. The snacks were super yummy! The nails are purple which is my favorite colour, and I never say no to new cosmetics to try. I am very intrigued by the NYC Mascara and face mask. The gloss isn't in a colour I normally wear, so I may gift it to someone else. Seeing as a didn't pay anything for this box, the value of the contents is pretty good. I cant wait to see what the next box for Canada holds!

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

November 2013 Ipsy Glam Bag

November's Glam Bag was super special, because we got 6 products instead of the normal 5, we got a full size product from Michelle's new makeup line EM Cosmetics, and for me 5 out of the 6 products were full size! One of my products arrived damaged but IpsyCare should be sending me a replacement soon. I also received a bonus sample for redeeming some of my points.

You can get your own Ipsy Glam Bag for only $10USD/$14.95CDN per month. I think there is still a waiting list right now, but it is worth waiting for. I would love if you would consider using my referral link! Click here to sign up for your own Ipsy Glam Bag!

Pixi Beauty Bronzer in Subtly Suntouched

This product didn't make the trip, unfortunately. I have since emailed Ipsy Care and they are supposed to be sending me a replacement, but it has yet to arrive. This bronzer seems like the perfect shade for my fair skin tone, and I find that it blends quite effortlessly onto the skin. There is finely milled shimmer running throughout this bronzer, and it does swatch with a slight sheen, however, it doesn't look glittery. I wont look like a Twilight vampire in the sunlight. I am going to use this product, regardless that it is broken, and I would consider buying another one when I finish this one.

EM Lash Gallery Clean Volume Mascara

Everyone got a full size product from Michelle's new makeup line, and I really didn't want the mascara, so naturally that's what I received. Although I haven't tried this mascara yet, I'm not overly excited too. I haven't really heard anything good about this mascara, and the brush and formula don't seem like anything special. Once I have used up the few mascaras that I have open currently I will try this out.

Benefit Bad Gal Lash Mascara

This was my add on product for redeeming 1000 Ipsy Points. I am super excited to try this out as I have read some great reviews on it. The size of the brush is huge, and I am hoping I get some great volume, and false lash looks from this mascara.

Nailtini Lacquer in Champagne

This is my second Nailtini Polish from Ipsy. I love the Nailtini formula, so I am happy to receive this product. In the bottle it looks coppery, however on the nail it is a shimmery rose gold. It is a pretty sheer formula, so I needed 2-3 coats for it to look opaque. There is multi-coloured shimmer throughout this polish, that you can see in certain lighting. The finish is streaky, but it isn't a bad streakiness.

Be a Bombshell Lip Crayon in Shameless

Another month, another red lip product. How much red does one girl need?? I don't like this product as much as I liked the Cailyn lip stain from last month. The colour payoff is good initially, but it fades super quick. It is a berry red shade with silver shimmer. It has a glossy finish when you first apply, but it dries to a sticky finish. It is also quite gritty from the glitter. I like that it twists up and you don't have to sharpen it, but I don't think I will be grabbing for this product that much.

Starlooks Gem Pencil in Amethyst

Like the last Starlooks pencil liner I received, this one was very creamy, with excellent pigmentation. It leaves a metallic, almost foiled line. I did find that it has a sticky consistency that has to be set with an eyeshadow or powder. The shimmer lasts all day. I actually find it quite difficult to remove all of the glitter. I probably wont use this as a liner, but as a cream shadow, or base for other shimmer eyeshadows.

BH Cosmetics Galaxy Chic Baked Eyeshadow in Sun

This orange/gold eyeshadow when combined creates a shimmery burnt orange colour. Its not an eyeshadow colour I would normally go for, but it swatches so beautifully that I know I will be grabbing for it, just out of curiosity. There seems to be a theme of shimmer in this bag, as almost every product I received has shimmer in it.
Starlooks, BH Cosmetics, Pixi, Be a Bombshell
Overall, I am happy with the contents of this months bag. Got a few colours out of my comfort zone, and most of the products were full size. I definitely got my monies worth with this bag. I cant wait to see what December's bag will hold.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

October 2013 Ipsy Glam Bag

So once again I am late with my monthly Ipsy post. For about 7 weeks, I was working 60ish hours a week, at two jobs and just didn't have time to think, let alone blog. However, now that I am back with more time I am hoping to have both October and November posts up before I get my December bag. Overall, for October I was pretty impressed with the contents of my Ipsy bag. This is my favourite subscription of all the ones I've tried. For the price, $10USD/$14.95CDN, you cant go wrong. You get 5 products every month to try and most months the majority of the products are full size. We definitely get our moneys worth. If you are interested in signing up I would love if you would consider using my referral link! Click here to sign up for your own Ipsy Bag!

LA FRESH Oil Free Makeup Remover Wipes

I am a huge fan of makeup remover wipes, partially because I am super lazy and they make taking of makeup so easy. I was really happy to see that they sent oil free ones because my skin hates products with oil. I have used LA FRESH nail polish remover wipes in the past and wasn't a huge fan, so I am hoping that I will like these ones better. The size of this sample is perfect for travel and gives me enough to try to see if I will like them. I am going to Frankenmuth, Michigan for a mini vacation in December, so these will definitely be coming along with me.

Buxom Full On Lip Polish in Dolly

My first Buxom lip gloss! I've heard great things about these glosses and can't wait to try it out. The colour is definitely me, and I love the subtle gold shimmer that runs throughout it. This is going to look great over a multitude of different lipsticks. I'm going to be testing it over the next few weeks, and I might pick some more up at the Bare Minerals Outlet in Birch Run. Again the size of this sample is huge, almost, if not half the amount of the full size. This will definitely last me a long time.

Big Sexy Hair Blow Dry Volumizing Gel

This product intrigues me, yet scares me at the same time. I just don't know what to expect from it. My hair has a fine texture to it, so I'm worried that it will make it clump together or make my hair greasy. I don't normally blow dry my hair, I don't even own one, so I might bring this on vacation with me to try out with the blow dryer there. If I get miraculous results I will share my findings with you, however, I'm not holding out hope.

Nourish Organic Coconut & Argan Body Lotion

The things I love about this lotion are that: 1. It's the perfect size for my purse. 2. It is readily available at Target, for a reasonable price, and 3. It smells sooo good! I love getting lotion samples like this as I always carry lotion with me. When you are washing and sanitizing your hands many times every shift, your cuticles and hands dry out like crazy. I find this leans a bit more towards an Argan oil smell then coconut but it is still very nice. It absorbs well into the skin, and I wasn't left with any weird residue one my skin.

Zoya Professional Lacquer in Giovanna

Not the best picture of this polish, however, I don't think my camera could ever capture the beautifulness of this polish. Giovanna is a jewel toned, shimmery, metallic finish emerald polish that is perfect for the Christmas season. I was excited to see this colour as I have nothing like it in my collection, and it is part of Zoya's most recent collection. It is nice to see this seasons collections in our sub bags, and not just old collection polishes. The formula was really easy to work with, and was opaque in 2 coats. The only thing I don't like about this polish is the brush, I just prefer a bigger brush with my polishes.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Empties #9

The past month has been great for me with empties! I've used up 20+ products, so I figured it was time for an empties post. I'm going to try and get back into the routine of doing a monthly empties post, because 20 products in a post is a lot of writing and reading. Hopefully, I can keep my momentum in using up stuff. My inventory list is still pretty big, and I want to get it down to where I only have one or 2 of each product on hand at a time. That's a goal for 2014!
1. Covergirl Lash Blast Volume Mascara - I like this mascara to a point. As soon as it becomes the tiniest bit dried out it flakes, and clumps, and is a pain to work with. I also find that it gives a more natural look to the lashes, and I like a more dramatic look to my lashes. This is a good mascara, just not for me, so I would not repurchase.

2. Vidal Sassoon Moisture Shampoo - I've heard good and bad things about this shampoo. I wanted to like it, but the only thing I ended up liking was the smell, and that it lingered in my hair all day. Shampoo wise I've used better, this was nothing special, and I found my hair quite dry after frequent usage.

3. Benefit The Porefessional Primer - Holy Grail product right here! You need the tiniest amount for your whole face, and it makes pores just disappear. I never have issues with piling, and my foundation looks good all day. I wish it did a bit more for oil absorption, but I supplement with an oil absorbing serum before and I'm covered. I will repurchase after I use up the other primers I have in my stockpile.

4. Mario Badescu Special Cucumber Lotion - I finished this toner just to finish it. I am not a huge fan of this product. It doesn't clean the skin very well, and it leaves a sort of film on my skin. I really hate the smell, and the colour of it looks like urine in a bottle. I would not repurchase.

5. Caudalie Vino Perfect Enzymatic Peel Mask - This sample was tiny, I only got one use out of it. I didn't overly like or dislike it. The name made me think it was going to be a peel off mask, but it ended up being a cream mask that you had to wash off when dried. It did make my skin feel nice, but I would not repurchase.

6. Pixi Lash Booster Mascara - This has got to be the worst mascara I have ever used. The formula coats the lashes well and makes my lashed look good with a few coats. However, the problem arises when I go to take it off. The moment water or makeup remover touches my lashes they all clump up into one ball of sticky yuck. It takes tons of rubbing to get the product off and I was losing up to 5 lashes an eye. I used it twice and was tired of the hassle, so in the trash it went. I would never use it again.

7. Garnier Anti Dark Circle Roller in Light - This is another go-to product for me. I use it everyday as an under eye concealer. Its ingredients help to reduce the puffiness around my eyes and the light concealer helps to mask my dark circles. On most days this is all that I need. And when I need more coverage I just layer another concealer on top. I have already repurchased a replacement.

8. Urban Decay Primer Potion - I bought this due to all of the hype surrounding it and I wasn't disappointed. My eyeshadows look more vibrant, and last all day without creasing. I did find the formula a bit greasy and hard to blend in sometimes, but the payoff in how my makeup looked was worth it. I would repurchase this after using up some other primers that I already have.
9. Pantene Expert Age Defy Shampoo - It's hard to tell by a one time packet if you are going to like a shampoo or not. This one was okay. Smell was good, and my hair felt clean, and not overly dried out. I just don't normally go for Pantene shampoos, so I probably wouldn't repurchase.

10. Balea Revitalizing Hair Mask with Moroccan Argan Oil - This mask smells amazing and the scent lingers in your hair all day. It left my hair feeling extremely soft, and it looked ultra glossy. I did find it very hard to wash out of my hair. The package said just to "rinse" out, but I had to wash it out with shampoo. I didn't feel the need to condition my hair for a few days after using this. I would not repurchase due to price/usage ratio.

11. Garnier Moisture Rescue Cleansing Clothes - I just have no luck with Garnier face clothes. I always have a problem with every one I try. I find Garnier cleansing clothes very dry, and therefore abrasive on the skin. The scent of these ones were nice but I didn't feel like they overly did much for me skincare or cleansing wise. I would not repurchase.

12. Lady Speed Stick Deodorant - What can I say about deodorant? It worked at keeping me sweat and smell free. There is nothing special or extraordinary about it. I but it because at Costco I can buy a bulk pack for pretty cheap, and it lasts a long time.
13. Clean & Clear Makeup Dissolving Foaming Cleanser - This is a simple foaming cleanser, which effectively removes even the most stubborn of waterproof mascara or makeup. My skin is thoroughly cleansed and refreshed, and not left feeling dry and stripped of essential oils. I would repurchase.

14.  Marcelle Essentials Oil Free Eye Make-Up Remover Lotion - As I've said many times before this is my holy grail eye makeup remover. It is extremely gentle on the eyes, and removes makeup easily and effectively, even though it is oil free. I have already repurchased.

15. Nivea Aqua Effect Refreshing Toner for Normal Skin - My skin loves this toner! It smells good, cleanses the skin well, and doesn't leave any residue. What more could I ask for? Nivea's toners leave my skin feeling moisturized. I always use less moisturizer when I use this toner. I will repurchase when I use up the other toners in my inventory.
16. CAKE Lemon Cupcake 3 in 1 Shampoo, Shower Gel, and Bubble Bath - This product smells heavenly, and it lingers for hours after using it. I don't like it as a shampoo, or bubble bath, but it is one of the best shower gels I've used. It lathers great and leaves my skin feeling moisturized. I would repurchase.

17. Nivea Apricot Crème Shower Cream - This shower cream smells amazing and is uber moisturizing. I used this during the summer because of the fruity scent, but the moisturizing properties are good enough to stand up to the dry skin that winter causes. I would repurchase this.

18. Satin Care Lavender Kiss Shave Cream - This is a great shave cream. It is very moisturizing. I don't love the smell, so next time I will pick a different scent.
19. Herbal Essences Long Term Relationship Shampoo - I love Herbal Essences shampoo, it's my go-to. I usually stock up when I see it at Dollarama because it's the cheapest there, and I always buy a variety of kinds. I find by the end of the bottle that my hair is getting used to it, and it isn't cleansing as well. This shampoo smells really good, and like all H.E. shampoos the scent lingers for most of the day. I found it very moisturizing and detangling. I would repurchase.

20. John Frieda Volume Thickening Conditioner - For the most part I'm not a conditioner fan. I prefer to use a 2-in-1 combo. This one worked well with a variety of different shampoos. I did feel like my hair felt thicker. The smell was nothing special. I would use this again and repurchase, however, there are much cheaper options on the market that will do just as good a job.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

September 2013 Ipsy Glam Bag Review

Of all the beauty box subscriptions I've tried, Ipsy has been my favourite. They consistently impress me, and supply me with new and interesting products to try. I also enjoy the size of the samples that Ipsy gives to its subscribers. I can really get a sense if I am going to like the product enough to buy the full size. If you would like to sign up for your own Ipsy bag you can do so by clicking here. If you sign up for Ipsy you will receive a mix of 5 full and sample size products, for only $10USD or $14.95CDN.

In September, we received 5 items plus a bonus sample of Michelle's new EM Cosmetics line. The sample of the palette provided us with enough to get one eye look, but I don't think it will give me a true inspiration of the quality of her products. I actually forgot to take a picture of it for this post. There isn't a lot of product on the card or I would have swatched them.

Freeman Paper Masks

I've really been into masks lately, so I was excited to see these in my bag. I get to try 3 different masks, which is nice because a mask that works for one person doesn't always work for someone else. The brightening mask looks the most intriguing, but unfortunately I am allergic to roses so I wont be able to try it. Right now my skin is so dry so I think that it will benefit greatly from the Blue Agave mask. These masks are fairly affordable so If I end up liking them I wont have to break the bank.

Elizabeth Mott It's So Big Mascara

The last few mascara samples I've gotten from Ipsy have been truly disappointing. The Pixi one was so bad and hard to wash off that I lost at least 5 lashes per eye every time I used it. This mascara on the other hand is simply amazing. It has dark black colour payoff that really makes my lashes look fuller, and makes them pop against my makeup. This mascara lengthens more than volumizes, and I am left with a natural, yet defined, fan of lashes. I would definitely consider buying the full size.

Cailyn Tinted Lip Balm in Big Apple

I was so happy to receive this product because I absolutely loved the Cailyn eyeliner I got a few bags ago. Although the packaging is a little bulky, it is perfect for on the go, as it has a built in brush in the lid. I feel like this product is more of a stain then a balm. I found it somewhat drying on the lips, but it was extremely long lasting, and left a pretty pigmented stain to my lips after it wore away. The size of the brush comes in handy when trying to get a precise application. I can't wait to rock this colour all the way through Fall and Winter.

NYX Single Eyeshadow in Hot Crystal

I was looking forward to trying a NYX single eyeshadow because I've only ever used NYX palettes before, and I'm sure there is a quality variance. Although I am not happy with the colour I received, it does work well as a lid colour or inner eye highlight. Hot Crystal is a glittery, frosty, white shadow. I wont get much use out of this colour, but I now know that the quality of these shadows are much better then the shadows in NYX's palettes.

Starlooks Eyeliner in Obsidian

At first I was a little iffy about the quality of this liner. When I first swatched it (you will see below), there wasn't a lot of pigmentation. It took about 5 swipes to get the swatch that I did. However, after sharpening it slightly, it is like a completely different pencil. It is super pigmented, and creamy, and blends beautifully. The only downside is that because it is so creamy you need to set it with some black eyeshadow or it is smudge city on you eyelids. I'm really thinking of signing up for Starlooks Starbox based off this pencil alone.
Obsidian, Hot Crystal, Big Apple

Overall, I definitely think that the value is there with September's bag. I am happy with almost everything I received and cant wait to try other products from the brands that I received. Ipsy succeeded this month in delivering new and exciting products. Stay tuned for my October unboxing/review next week. I am trying to get caught up in time for Novembers box.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Dupe Alert: Deborah Lippman Ruby Red Slippers

A few days ago Jen from From Head to Toe did a blog post about Deborah Lippman's Ruby Red Slippers ($19), and the polish looked oddly familiar to me. I am a huge fan of black polishes with any sort of coloured glitter throughout, so I knew I had a polish like this somewhere in my collection. I ended up finding the polish in question, and I have to say that it is quite the close dupe.
Dupe Alert: Deborah Lippman Ruby Red Slippers vs Wet n Wild Once Upon A Time
And what is this dupe you might ask? Well it is Once Upon A Time from the 2012 Fantasy Makers Collection by Wet n Wild. Once Upon A Time ($1.99) has the same semi-sheer black jelly base, with multi-sized red glitter as Ruby Red Slippers. In Jen's post she stated that she used 4 layers of polish to create an opaque nail, I was at four coats and was finding my polish not opaque enough. So I started over, first putting down a layer of Essence Back to Black ($1.99), and then two coats of the Fantasy Makers.
Dupe Alert: Deborah Lippman Ruby Red Slippers vs Wet n Wild Once Upon A Time
The Fantasy Makers polish dries somewhat matte, so I added a top coat for extra shine. With a topcoat you can really see the dimension to the glitter better. My nails look like they are covered in rubies. They are very eye-catching and I have received quite a few compliments on them. I am totally in love with the look, and I'm glad I get to enjoy it at the fraction of the cost of the DL.

Once Upon A Time is not available in this years Halloween Fantasy Makers Collection. So if you cannot get your hands on this polish, I researched a few other DL dupes:
  • China Glaze Lubu Heels
  • NYX Dark Glitter
  • Wet n Wild Behind Closed Doors
  • NYX Dorothy

Monday, October 21, 2013

BrandBacker Review: BA STAR Lip Pencil in Holiday Red

Although lip products come in all shapes and sizes, lip pencils are continuously my go-to product. They provide a wide array of colours and finishes, and their ease of application makes them perfect for on the go. That's why when I saw a BrandBacker Campaign for a BA STAR Lip Pencil I jumped at the opportunity to try it out. I have reviewed a few other BA STAR products through BrandBacker in the past, and will link them below.

BrandBacker is a promotion website that links companies and bloggers in order to review products and services. If you would like to sign up for BrandBacker you can do so by clicking here.

BA STAR is the #1 brand in performance makeup for dancers, cheerleaders, and performers.

BA STAR Holiday Red Lip Pencil
The Holiday Red lip pencil is described as a full coverage lip pencil in the perfect runway red. It claims to line and colour the lips easily in colour that stays all day. You can sharpen it easily with a duo hole pencil sharpener. For extra shine apply glitter and/or gloss over top.

I have to say that I was really impressed with this lip product. The colour is extremely pigmented, giving a classic red colour to my lips. Without gloss it dries to an almost matte finish that is not drying. I was fine wearing it alone and my lips did not feel dry at all. The colour lasts vibrantly for hours and when it does wear off, I am left with a subtle pinkish-red stain. The stain lasts for some time as well. I cant wait to pair this with some black, cat-eye liner, for a vintage/pin-up look. I can see myself wearing this a lot this Fall and Winter.

These pencils retail for $8.75 a piece, however if you order 6 or more you can get them for a reduced price of $5 a pencil. Available colours include:
  • Cranberry - deep rich colour
  • Passion Pink - deep full pink
  • Bronze - natural shimmer
  • Holiday Red - perfect stage red
Right now BA STAR is offering a 50% off code for all of my readers. Enter BBLIPS at checkout. Discount is off full retail price only. Cannot be combined with any other offers.

Disclaimer - I received this product for review purposes because I am part of the BrandBacker community. This in no way influences my thoughts or opinions on this product.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Current Empties

In keeping with my current low-buy/no-buy I have been working through my stash of products, both full size and samples, and have been loving discovering new and old favourites. Along the way I have also found some products that I am not particularly fond of, so I thought I would share my thoughts on these products.

Although I have an abundance of makeup I find it extremely difficult to use up makeup quickly because there is always so much product in the container. I hope to have more samples used up for the next post, because I am currently swimming in sample sizes.

Biotherm Aqua Source Deep Serum

I found that a little goes a long way with this product, and it is super moisturizing. I found that I didn't need  moisturizer on top of this serum. I have saved another sample of this to use in the Winter when my skin gets a bit drier. I'm not sure if I would repurchase or not.

Nivea Hand Crème

This isn't empty, I am throwing it away because I don't like it. It smells horrible, and it does not absorb into my skin. My hands are left with a slippery film that gets on everything. This is the first Nivea product that I haven't liked. I would not repurchase.

Lucia Goat Milk & Linseed Soap

I found this soap very moisturizing. It left a subtle scent which lingered for part of the day. I would repurchase.

Garnier Fresh Grape Water Cleansing Cloths

I hated these cleansing cloths. They were so dry and barely removed my makeup. Because they were so dry I felt like they scratched my skin. I also didn't like the scent. I would not repurchase.

Kirkland Cleansing Towelettes

These clothes come from Costco and are my favourite cleansing clothes. They remove all of my makeup, including eyeliner and mascara with minimal effort. I don't have to tug at my eyes to get the makeup off. They are very moist with solution so I never have to worry about the package drying out. My face feels thoroughly cleansed after using these. I will continue to repurchase.

Covergirl Lash Blast Volume Mascara

This used to be my go to mascara, however since discovering some other mascaras, I find this one lacking. I prefer a wet formula mascara, which this is not. If I am looking for a natural, volumized look, this will be my go to, however, I will look elsewhere for a dramatic volumized lash. I may repurchase.

Maybelline The Rocket Volume Express Mascara

I heard such great things about this mascara, and I really wanted to love it but I just didn't. It didn't give me the volume I like at the base of my lashes, and removal was such a pain. It took a lot of makeup remover and rubbing to get the product off, and even then it felt like I couldn't get everything off. The only plus to this mascara for me was how dark black the formula was. I would not repurchase.

Revlon Lash Potion Mascara

This has been my #1 mascara ever since receiving it from Revlon to review. The formula combined with the unique brush shape gives me that perfect false lash look. I can see this being my Holy Grail mascara for the foreseeable future. I have already repurchased.

Face Stolkholm Luxe Lash Mascara

I found the formula of this mascara to be very dry. Because of this it was hard to get a dramatic look to my lashes. The brush was good at separating my lashes, so I may save and clean it to use with other mascaras. I definitely don't think that this mascara is worth its price tag, as most times when I was wearing it, it barely looked like I was wearing anything at all. I would not repurchase.

Neutrogena Ultra Gentle Daily Cleanser

I actually like this cleanser at first. It lathers well, is very gentle on the skin, and cleans my makeup off very well. However, after a few uses I found that it was making my skin extra oily. Since this was the only new product I was using at the time it is safe to say it was this causing the excess oiliness. I will be sticking to oil free cleansers in the future. I would not repurchase.

Mario Badescu Enzyme Cleansing Gel

I really did not like this cleanser. It smelt weird, had a weird consistency, and didn't clean my face. There was no lather. It felt like it just sat on my skin. I always had to use a cleansing cloth after to get my makeup off. I would not repurchase.

Glamglow Tingling & Exfoliating Mud Mask

I have heard nothing but good reviews about this product, but my review is kinda 50/50. The good is that my skin looks and feels amazing after using this. The bad is that I get no tingling and it really hurts when I have to wash it off. I don't have overly sensitive skin but I found the bits in this mask way too sharp and abrasive for me. I would not repurchase this, but I wouldn't mind trying a different mask from this brand.

Clarins One-Step Gentle Exfoliating Cleanser

I really enjoyed this sample. It had the perfect amount of exfoliation to cleanser. Although it didn't lather I felt like my skin was thoroughly cleansed. The orange scent was very pleasant and helped wake me up in the morning. If the price was a little lower I would definitely repurchase.

Mario Badescu Cucumber Lotion

This toner is just okay. My face doesn't feel overly clean or dirty after using it. I feel like it leaves a film on my skin, and it doesn't really help with my oilyness either. I would not repurchase.

Herbal Essences Bye Bye Breakage 2 in 1 Shampoo & Conditioner

This one of my favourite HE shampoos. I love using a 2 in 1 because I am super lazy and don't like having to use them separately. I find that this shampoo really helps with split ends and I have smoother hair, with less flyaways when I use it. This shampoo also gives my hair a nice shine. I will continue to repurchase this product.

John Frieda Volume Thickening Shampoo

I didn't really enjoy this shampoo. The thing I liked best was the colour of the bottle and the smell of the product. I found this shampoo drying. I definitely needed a conditioner after using this. I would not repurchase.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Prime Time

I only recently discovered primers and made them a part of my daily routine. Since incorporating primers into my routine I have found that my pores look smaller, my foundation goes on smoother, and it lasts longer. Using primers are the best way to hide wrinkles and pores. Most primers fill in these wrinkles and pores with silicone, which gives you a smoother, more even base to apply foundation to. There are some primers that even have more benefits, like moisture renewal, anti-aging, highlighting, and colour correcting.

My go-to primer is Benefit's The Porefessional. I find that a pea size amount leaves the larger pores on my nose and forehead looking smaller. On hotter days, when my T-zone becomes oily, I like to re-apply a little to the oiliest areas to mattify the shine. I then top this with some translucent powder, and I am good to go. Another perk of this primer is that it contains Vitamin E, which helps protect against free radicals. Although I haven't seen any indication of this on my own skin, I like that it includes Vitamin E because that is something I like to apply to my skin regularly. Even on days when I don't wear foundation I like to apply this primer just to even out my skin tone and mattify my T-zone.


How to Apply

After applying moisturizer and sunscreen it is best to give it time to sink into your skin. After a couple minutes, you can apply primer to your whole face or problem areas, before any other makeup is applied. You need to make sure that you don't use too much primer, or it will ball up under your foundation. Every website you visit is different in telling you how much primer you really need. Some say a pea size, some say a raisin, nonetheless, it is really trial and error until you find the right amount for you. If you only apply to your T-zone then you will need less then someone who uses it on their whole face. The best way, in my opinion, to apply primer is by using your fingers. The heat from your body will warm the product and help melt it into your skin. However, if you are opposed to using your fingers to apply makeup, for hygienic reasons, then a sponge or brush could be used to apply it. However, I think that using a brush or sponge will cause you to use more product then necessary.

Did You Know?

  • Primer isn't just for your face. You can put some on your neck, hands, chest, etc., and your skin will look younger all day.
  • Buy a yellow toned primer to help hide bruises. Yellow will neutralize the blue tones in bruises.
  • Buy a brightening primer and use it as a highlighter after you have applied your foundation. I like to use Benefit's That Gal as a light glowy highlighter on most days.
  • Primers, even waterproof primers, do not make your other makeup waterproof. So if you sweat your makeup will run or wash away. If you want waterproof makeup then everything you buy must be waterproof.
  • Using an eyeshadow primer under your eyes will make your concealer last longer. It will help eliminate creasing, and redness.
  • Lash primers are great for making your lashes longer and thicker, however, using a lash primer limits the amount of mascara you can apply to your lashes. Too many coats and you will be left with clumpy lashes.
  • Green primers will reduce the redness in your skin. Great for when you get a sunburn.
  • Pink and lilac primers will help give your skin a natural glow.

What are your favourite primers? If you have oily skin like me I would love to hear some of your recommendations, leave them in a comment below!