Feb 29, 2016

Naked 3 Palette: Swatches/Dupes from W7 and Makeup Revolution

I've wanted the Naked 3 palette ever since it came out in 2013.  Seriously, never have I ever waited this long to buy anything, let alone a palette.

Yes, I'm SUPER late to the game but I picked it up a few months ago, along with 2 known dupe palettes, and I am so happy to finally add it to my collection.  The dupe palettes are made by Makeup Revolution and W7, both UK brands, and said to mimic the majority of the Naked palettes on the market.  However, is the quality and color really up to par??

Up first is the gorgeous Naked 3 palette, in the flesh.  Sigh, so in love with this palette.

Look, I haven't even touched the colors yet!!  I am absolutely beyond the moon excited about the rose gold tone and how glamorous the colors truly are in person.  Buzz (the fifth shade in) and Blackheart (the last purple black shade) are absolutely stunning.

The shimmer shades show so well on camera as well, which is truly rare.  The matte shades are the perfect compliment to the shimmer and all the colors work so well together.

The W7 palette, In the Nude, is up second.  Very similar package to the Naked 3 but definitely not the same quality.

The colors are actually very similar to the Naked 3, more so than I expected.  The shimmer is still pigmented enough to show on camera which I was not expecting at all.

Hmm, so much better than I was expecting.  What's even better about this palette is the price.  I scored this one on Amazon.ca for about $10.  A HUGE difference compared to the Naked 3 palette.

And finally, the Makeup Revolution palette in Romantic Smoked.  Okay, so totally different shades, completely.  There is seriously no similarity at all.

Despite the lack of similar shades, I am completely smitten with the burgundy color.  I sure hope it looks as nice, swatched.  I only paid $9.50 CAD for this palette so definitely a steal though.

I decided to pick my favorite shade from each palette (the most similar of the bunch) and swatch them for you.  I chose Blackheart from the Naked 3 palette, the dark end shade from the W7 palette and the burgundy shade from the Makeup Revolution palette.

Here we are in low lighting.  From left to right, Naked 3, W7 and then Makeup Revolution.  The pigmentation from the Naked 3 shade is amazing.  SO buttery and easy to apply with barely any fall out.  The W7 shade is definitely not as pigmented, had quite a bit of fall out BUT the color comparison is very close.  The Makeup Revolution shade is not as burgundy as I had hoped it would be.

Here are the shades shown under a brighter light.

Conclusion:  The Naked 3 palette is worth every penny.  If you are wanting a great polished look with highly pigmented shades, you need it for sure.  The W7 palette is a very close second.  In fact, I was blown away by how close the colors were to the Naked 3 and how very similar the color was on my arm.  The Makeup Revolution palette, though completely different, is still a bargain for $9.50.  I will try a full eye look with it to see if the pigmentation is there at all.  (NOTE: I bought the wrong Naked 3 Makeup Revolution dupe, sigh.  I should have picked up the Iconic 3 Redemtion Palette and NOT the Romantic Smoked Palette.)

What are your thoughts on the palettes?


Feb 26, 2016

DIY Beauty Fridays: Homemade Toners for All Skin Types

In sticking with the toner discussion from earlier this week, I thought it'd be cool to make our own toner in case you don't want to spend the money on store brands AND also use something on your skin that's pure.

I mentioned in my other post the amazing benefits of using toner and what type of toner you should be using based on your skin concerns.  The same would go with making a toner - remember to narrow it down to your skin type.

Homemade Toner for Oily or Acne Prone Skin

3/4 cup steeped green tea 
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar

After steeping the tea in hot water, let rest until the tea is room temperature, then discard the tea bag.  Add in the apple cider vinegar.  That's it!  You can either spritz on your cleansed face OR use with a cotton pad (which I recommend).  Store in a sealed container for no more than 10 days in the refrigerator.

Homemade Toner for Sensitive Skin

1/2 cup dried rose buds 
hot filtered water 

Pour the water over the rose buds and let the mixture sit for 1-2 hours.  Strain the liquid from the buds and you now have your rosewater.  Store in a sealed container, in the refrigerator, for no more than a week.  Again, you can spritz this on your cleansed face OR apply with a cotton pad.

Homemade Toner for Dry Skin

rosewater (using the above recipe)
geranium essential oil 

Once you've made the rosewater using the recipe above, add a few drops of the geranium essential oil.  That's it!  I really like this toner.  It's great for dry skin BUT I just adore the smell.  Store in a sealed container in the refrigerator for no longer than a week.  Apply by either spritzing or using a cotton pad.

I can't wait to hear what you think of the toners.  Let me know if you try the recipes out!

Happy Friday Glossers.


Feb 25, 2016

Ipsy Canada February 2016

Ipsy Sneakpeek - Just a few of the awesome items I received

February was the first month, in a long time, where my Ipsy subscription really made me happy.  Not only was the bag ADORABLE this month but I managed to get so many products I'll actually use!

My bag contained (from left to right) Seraphine Botanicals Carrot and Rose Cream (bonus from a girlfriend who didn't want her's), Promise Organic Argan Creme, Chella Passionate Pink Lip Pencil, Naked Cosmetics Mica Pigment (in a gorgeous bronze color), Luxie Flat Definer Brush and a Smashbox Photo Finish Primer Oil.

So, the primer oil is not my cup of tea BUT the other items are awesome.  I am loving the lip pencil so much.

What did you get in your Ipsy subscription this month?


Feb 24, 2016

Toner: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

No matter what your skin type or your skin care concerns, the right toner is one of the best things you can apply to your face.

I know, I know, I can hear the arguments pouring through the computer (ha) but I still stand behind my first sentence.  I say this with such conviction because I've been using the same toner for over 10 years with fantastic results AND have seen the results without using a toner.

Still my favorite toner, after all these years 
For those that aren't aware, toner is designed to refresh your skin while buffing the loose skin away, creating a super clean palette to either apply your makeup or your serums/moisturizers.  Depending on how potent of a toner you require will determine the ingredients in.  Most toners are mainly water and a glycerine type product and then, if using a stronger toner, an astringent will be added as well.  Astringents (alcohol) are added to decrease the oil production on the skin and are great for oily skin individuals.  Of course, there are other ingredients aside from these three - essential oils, specialty anti-aging products - but these 3 items are the base of any toner.

When picking the right toner, you should know these following things before shopping:
1) What type of skin do I have?
2) If I have sensitive skin, do fragrances irritate it?
3) Pricepoint
4) What benefit am I hoping for?

One of the best toners for Sensitive Skin
Most people know their skin type and, if they don't, usually can tell if they are oily, combination or prone to breakouts.  If you are prone to breakouts, your choice in toner would be different then the person who has never had a blemish before.  The issue with toners is when you have two problem areas - like sensitive skin AND are prone to breakouts.  This means you can't use a toner with a high astringent level because your sensitive skin will go crazy but you still want to kill the blemish-causing bacteria.  Apply all toners to the back of your hand FIRST before your face.  Give the toner a chance to blend in your skin and then see how it feels afterwards.  Remember, no matter what toner you buy, if your skin has a reaction return the item and try something else.

How To Apply a Toner 

I'm about to get blasted by people for saying this but I dislike gimmicky products.  By this I mean a toner that you spray on your face.  Yes, it's convenient but the idea of a toner is to scruff off the dead skin sooooo how would this work exactly?  It doesn't, at all.  About 95 % of toners should be applied with a cotton pad.  As you know, a cotton pad has two sides - one is non-grooved and should be used if you have sensitive skin OR a blemish/breakout area.  The grooved side is perfect to use on your T-zone, your nose and areas where your skin is NOT broken out or sensitive.  One of the best parts of my day is looking at that little cotton pad to see all the debris my toner removed...ha.

One of the best toners for Oily Skin
I ONLY use toner for my skin in the morning.  I use it to remove my night cream and debris from sleeping.  That's it.  If I used it anymore for my skin I'd worry about it drying out.  Remember the key to skin care is finding the routine that best works for you!

What's your favorite toner?  When do you usually apply it?


Feb 15, 2016

Review: L'Oreal Color Radiance Hair Products

It's been a long time since I've used a drugstore brand's products on my hair.

Seriously, a long time.

I don't remember the exact reason for switching to salon products (oh wait, my sister and friend - both stylists - basically accosted me and explained that most drugstore products were terrible for your hair) but needless to say I switched years ago and never looked back.

Until today, that is.

See, I miss sulfates.  I know, I know, you can't believe I'm saying that right?  But I truly do.  They lather so well and really seem to clean your hair.  I missed it!  And the smell...there is just something so fantastic about drugstore shampoos and conditioners.

I was sent a trio of Color Radiance products from L'Oreal and Influenster and was so excited to wash my hair that I nearly knocked Allan and Benjamin down on my way to the bathroom.

The shampoo was all I hoped it would be.  It lathered so well, made my hair feel so clean and I had to use far less than I normally would have with my salon products.  Though the shampoo was nice, it was NOT my favorite of the trio.  That would be the lovely product in the middle - Color Radiance Instant Miracle.  Seriously, this is awesomeness all packaged up.  Not only does it perform just as well as my expensive color conditioners BUT it made my hair so silky and smooth.  Plus it smelled like watermelon.  Love it.  The conditioner is standard though I would say to use it sparingly as it can cause some additional build up.

All in all, I will absolutely be buying these products again if not for their pricepoint!  So much cheaper than what I am used to paying.

Have any of you ladies tried this line before?  What were your thoughts?


Feb 10, 2016

How To: Picking the Best Skin Care Products for Your Skin

Fresh, clean skin after my nighttime skin care routine!
Skin care products have always been important to me but in the past 6 months I've become quite the skin care snob.  I don't know if it's because I'm more concerned about anti-aging products or I'm tired of trying new things, but I have found the perfect skin care routine for me and it only took about 10 years.

The whole routine - All my skin care products used both day and night 

Before you spend your time and money searching for the perfect products, you need to ask yourself 3 questions:
1) Am I willing to commit to a routine both day and night?
2) How important is anti-aging or treatment to me?
3) What is my budget?

These are such important questions.  For me, I knew I was committed to using products both day and night, without fail.  I also knew that anti-aging was important to me, as was treating my skin.  I was also committed to spending the money AS LONG as the products worked.

Committing to a Routine 

Skin care products, especially treatment products, will not work without consistency.  If a product that you love says to use both day and night, and it's only being used at night, it won't work, period.  On that note, each person's skin is completely different.  I use my cleanser at night, only, and then use my toner only in the morning, to remove the nighttime debris.  The toner says to use twice a day but my skin would be too dry if I did that.  However, my facial oil is used twice a day.  

You know your skin and you will be able to determine what is going to work best.

My skin care treatment goodies

 Picking an Anti-Aging or Treatment Product

My favorite product, of all time, is a serum.  Seriously, I love nothing more than to put a gorgeous smelling serum over my cleansed skin.  Nothing beats that feeling of clean skin.  

Picking a treatment product can take time especially because everyone's treatment needs are different.  For myself, I always want something that's going to keep my skin glowing, erase early signs of aging and brighten my skin tone.  I use two different products for this along with my facial oil moisturizers.

When starting out with serums, visit your favorite beauty store and request samples.  This will give you an idea of what they smell like AND how they feel on your skin.  The other great thing about big department stores or beauty stores like Sephora, they will take back your tried products if you are unhappy.  Of course, if you've used the whole product they won't but if you've tried it and it doesn't work for you, return it and try something new.

My treatment serum is Nude Progenius Omega Treatment Rescue Oil and my anti-aging serum is Herbivore Botanicals Orchid Youth Preserving Facial Oil.  My moisturizer is Josie Maran 100% Pure Argan Oil Light.

My favorite toner!  I've been using this for 10 years 

What Is Your Budget

It's true that some great products can really break the bank.  My rescue oil has a price point of $85 per 1 fluid ounce.  I justify this because it lasts me about 3 months and to me, it's an investment.  It keeps me skin glowing and line free.

However, not everyone wants to spend that and I can completely understand.  I have also used some fabulous over the counter serums (aka Oil of Olay, L'Oreal) for less than $15 each.  Remember to find the price point that best suits your needs AND provides you with the outcome you are looking for.

Skin care is such an important step in creating the perfect canvas for makeup.  If you don't have a skin care routine, start one!  Your skin will thank you!!

What are your favorite skin care products??

Up close and personal - No makeup and still glowing!


Feb 9, 2016

Ipsy Canada January 2016

I am so late in posting this.  It came when I was on holidays and I literally just opened and had to share with you my awesome goodies!

I am so happy with this month!

First off, the bag is absolutely adorable!  In my package, I received the Model Co Highlighting Trio (which I redeemed points for), Lasting Smiles Organic Lip Balm in Peppermint Creme, the Balm Mr. Write Now Eyeliner Pen in Jac, Coastal Scents Pearl Shadow Angle Brush, City Color Eyeshadow Trio in Falling Leaves and Skyn Glacial Cleansing Cloths.

The Model Co Highlighting Trio was SO WORTH the redemption.  Seriously, I am in love with it.

Its month's like this that make it such a worthwhile subscription for me.

What did you get last month?


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