My New Favourite Argan Oil: The Ordinary 100% Organic Cold-Pressed Moroccan Argan Oil Review

Here I am with another The Ordinary product review. The quality of their products and the cheap price tag make The Ordinary one of my favourite skin-care brands. I am a loyal convert of the Hyaluronic Acid and Buffet serums, but wanted to give their oils a try as well since I hard heard so much about them. Honestly, with the price tag for these serums, you just can’t go wrong!

Continue reading “My New Favourite Argan Oil: The Ordinary 100% Organic Cold-Pressed Moroccan Argan Oil Review”

CHARLOTTE TILBURY MATTE REVOLUTION LIPSTICK REVIEW

I had always eyed these beauties at Holt Renfrew and at Nordstrom, but honestly couldn’t justify spending the $39.00 on one lipstick. Here’s the deal, I get tired of my lipsticks, I have tons of them and I like buying seasonal shades, so colours that won’t work all year long. I don’t want to spend 40 bucks on a lipstick I am just going to wear in the summer and not the rest of the year. Makes sense right? But I was still hunting for those classic shades, either everyday colours or shades that would work in all seasons. I decided it was ok to spend $39.00 on a lipstick colour that was really an everyday colour and I would get a lot of use out of.

So that is when I took the plunge and decided to purchase my first Charlotte Tilbury lipstick. I had heard about how amazing these shades were, but thought it was all hype, until I tried it myself that is.

Charlotte Tilbury Matte Revolution Lipstick in Amazing Grace

The first lipstick I purchased is a Matte Revolution Lipstick in the shade Amazing Grace. This is a perfect everyday pink-coral colour that I can build up or down. It has a matte finish but this is the moist moisturizing matte lipstick I have ever tried! These Matte Revolution lipsticks are paraben free and have an interesting square tip which makes it really easy to apply your lipstick. I honestly find this lipstick sooooo hydrating. I am constantly reaching for this lipstick and it has become my favourite everyday lipstick! Also, isn’t the packaging divine?

The downside: I am a little addicted to Charlotte Tilbury lipsticks and I ended up purchasing one more lipstick!

Charlotte Tilbury Red Carpet Red Lipstick

I was looking for a classic red lipstick that didn’t dry out my lips but was the perfect ruby red. Not pink, not orange, just red. So of course I decided to see what Charlotte Tilbury had – and I wasn’t disappointed. The shade Red Carpet Red is gorgeous. The lipstick is part of the Matte Revolution Lipsticks, but again it isn’t drying, is highly pigmented and just looks amazing on!

Charlotte Tilbury Walk of Shame Lipstick

The third lipstick came with the Charlotte Tilbury Advent Calendar so technically I didn’t purchase it right because it came as part of another purchase? Walk of Shame is a berry rose lipstick and looks stunning on! I can wear it during the day at work, but can also wear it when I am going out at night. This is a beautiful lipstick!

From left to right: Red Carpet Red, Amazing Grace, Walk of Shame – Charlotte Tilbury Matte Revolution Lipstick

Here are the swatches of all three of the lipsticks – gorgeous right?

 

Have you tried any Charlotte Tilbury lipsticks, let me know what your favourites are in the comments section below!

 

 

Researching Makeup Brushes – What Brushes you Should Buy and My Review of Hakuhodo Brushes

Happy new year everyone!

So I spent a good chunk of my long weekend researching makeup brushes. New year, new makeup arsenal right? Well for someone who loves makeup, my makeup brush selection is well, how do I say this … non-existent. Embarrassing right? Ok I have a few brushes which are as follows:

A few eyeshadow brushes from Mac that I got in a holiday bag a loong time ago.

A Clinique blush brush that I have had for years, and absolutely love. This brush doesn’t shed and it has served me well over these years.

The brushes that come with eyeshadow palettes – yup those flimsy, horrible ones.

And that my friends is my brush collection. I managed somehow to do my makeup with the above brushes, but I decided it was time to bite the bullet and invest in some makeup brushes. So to start my research where do I go? Well youtube of course right? Well I started there, got some brand names and then dug deeper. Brushes are a complicated thing, they are synthetic or natural, they are budget friendly ones and luxurious ones, and then the most frustrating of all, there are like a gazillion brushes for your eyes, face, cheeks and it is honestly really overwhelming! Well to save everyone the trouble of researching like I did for two straight days, I decided to put my findings here!

So you all must have heard about Morphe brushes right? Every youtube beauty guru raves about them, and I thought ok, Morphe it is. But this is the thing, I am a little OCD and I need to research stuff before I buy it. That’s where the lovely reddit folks came in handy! It is so resourceful and a nice change from the heavily sponsored beauty gurus we all follow on Youtube. I know you don’t want to hear it, but according to Redditers, Morphe brushes are crap and basically the worst brushes you can buy! Yup, Redditers think they are cheap, poor quality brushes, that loose their shape after washing. So although these brushes are super cheap (price wise), these brushes don’t last long and you will have to go an repurchase again. I was shocked to read this, given how crazy Youtube is about Morphe. Are beauty influencer videos just advertisements for brands? It is a depressing thought, given how much I love watching my beauty guru on Youtube, but the whole Morphe thing really got me thinking. Anyhow, I decided not to purchase the Morphe brushes after reading reddit forums.

Then I came to Sigma brushes – not reviewed well by reddit, and were not worth the higher price tag. Awesome, now what do I do?

I know about Mac brushes and well a lot of people consider Mac to have the holy grail brushes. According to reddit, I learned that there are some definite holygrail Mac brushes. The two brushes that popped up a lot on reddit were the MAC 217 brush and the MAC 239 brush. I’ll talk more about these later. Some Redditers felt the quality of Mac brushes had deteriorated over the years, and there was some speculation that the brushes were made in Japan originally and are not made there anymore. I didn’t know this until now, but Japanese brushes are probably the most superior brushes you can find on the market. Overall, it seems like people like some Mac brushes and don’t like others, and some people just couldn’t justify the price tag when there were cheaper alternatives.

Zoeva – this brush came up a lot on reddit, most people seem to like this brand as a cheaper alternative to Mac brushes, and felt these brushes had good quality and didn’t lose their shape after being washed. I am eager to try Zoeva brushes, because these seemed to be reviewed a lot better than Morphe or Sigma brushes. They have some starter kits which seem to have a good variety of brushes for starting off.

A Japanese brand of brushes called Hakuhodo was mentioned A LOT on reddit. Basically Redditers saying that if you want to invest in brushes, you should go for this Japanese brand. Apparently these  natural brushes are comparable to Mac brushes and are also superior to Mac brushes with either the same price point or even a slightly lower price. Also, some Redditers said that Hakuhodo used to manufacture Mac brushes.

So what did I end up deciding on? Before I get to that I want to tell you what I found in terms of best brushes for various applications, specifically eye brushes. This is based on my research and the brushes that seemed to pop up a lot, not on my actual use of these brushes.

MAC 217 blending brush – this is the HG brush for blending eyeshadows

MAC 239 eye shader brush – this is apparently another HG brush for shading, pressing and blending eyeshadows, great for packing eyeshadow onto the lids.

Bobbi Brown Bobbi Brown Blush Brush

Bobbi Brown blush brush – a very highly rated brush for applying brush, it looks and feels amazing. On my list for sure!

Real Techniques Expert Face Brush

Real Techniques Expert Face brush – general consensus that this is the best foundation brush. I like this brush, but don’t think it is exceptional. I find it rather streaky sometimes. Maybe I am not using it right?

Sigma Beauty Tapered Highlighter – F35
Sigma F35 for highlighter – this brush came up a lot. I haven’t tried it and decided to order a Zoeva highlight brush instead.

So what did I end up deciding on? Well, I decided to go for the Hakuhodo eyeshadow brushes!

IMG_1235.JPG
From L to R: J 5523, B 004G, B142, B5520

These are the softest brushes I have ever felt, they feel so luxurious! I purchased them yesterday and decided to give them a shot today to see what all the hype was about.

The J5523 is apparently very similar to the MAC 217. This brush is made from goat hair, and is basically a blending brush. This blended my crease eyeshadow effortlessly. I don’t know how I survived using my urban decay palette brush for this long!

The B 004G (also comes as the J 004) is similar to MAC 239. Another goat hair, super soft brush! This is amazing for packing on eyeshadow, even my shimmer eyeshadows came on beautifully with this brush. Love it!

HAKUHODO J142 Eye Shadow Brush Round from Japan
The B 142 (also comes as J 142) is a great brush for applying eyeshadows in the crease and for blending as well, it is a tapered brush so will be good for precision. Super soft and luxurious! You can purchase it on Amazon for $25.99

The B5520 is an eye pencil brush – for the outer v and for smudging out eyeliner. This is a soft brush as well, but I am not in love with it. I would have preferred a slightly firmer brush, or maybe I just am not using it right? I felt it caused a lot of fallout (trust me it wasn’t my shadow). Will try this again to give it a fair shot.

I have also ordered the Zoeva Rose Gold 105 highlight brush and can’t wait for it to arrive in the mail!

Overall, I am really impressed with the Hakuhodo brushes. My eye makeup looked so professional and I felt I spent less time blending. Can’t wait to get my hands on some more of these brushes!

2018 will be the year of building up my brush collection! Do you have any brushes that are your absolute holy grail brushes? Please let me know in the comments section below 🙂

Cheers!

torontogal

Mac Snowball Holiday 2017 Collection Preview of Whisper of Gilt Face Bag (Gold) and Extra Dimension Eye Shadows in Stylishly Merry and Delicate Drift

Mac Snowball Holiday Collection 2017
Mac Snowball Holiday Collection 2017
Guys I finally got my hands on the Mac Snowball Holiday Collection! I am sooo excited about this collection from Mac and was anxiously waiting for the release date! I missed out on the oh so famous Whisper of Gilt in last year’s holiday collection, so I was on a mission to grab this gold highlighter this year. After crazy lineups, and being pushed and shoved around in a Mac store by anxious buyers, I purchased the three things that were absolute must buys for me from this collection. I purchased the Mac Snowball Face Bag in Gold, Mac Snowball Extra Dimension Eye Shadow in Stylishly Merry and Mac Snowball Extra Dimension Eye Shadow in Delicate Drift.

Ok so for starters lets talk about the packaging of this collection. It is a metallic crushed rose gold packaging that is absolutely stunning and probably one of the prettiest holiday collections I have seen from Mac Cosmetics.

Mac Snowball Holiday Collection 2017
Mac Snowball Holiday Collection 2017
Here’s another shot of the items I purchased from this collection.

Mac Cosmetics Whisper of Gilt, Delicate Drift, Stylishly Merry
Mac Snowball Holiday 2017 Collection. Featured from left to right, Mac Whisper of Gilt highlighter, Mac Extra Dimension Eyeshadow in Delicate Drift, Mac Extra Dimension Eyeshadow in Stylishly Merry.
Aren’t these soooo pretty! The highlighter and the eye shadows have a snowflake embossed design and well, I am scared to swatch these guys because I don’t want to ruin the snowflake 🙂

Mac Snowball Holiday 2017 Collection Face Bag Glow Getter in Gold containing the oh so famous Whisper of Gilt highlighter
Mac Snowball Holiday 2017 Collection Face Bag Glow Getter in Gold containing the oh so famous Whisper of Gilt highlighter
The Face Bag  or Glow Getter in Gold featured above retails for $49.50 US and I believe $58.00 CDN, comes in this sequinned pouch and includes an Extra Dimension Skin Finish (basically a highlighter) in Whisper of Gilt and a makeup brush. The packaging is stunning, and I love the gold on the brush as well.

Mac Snowball Collection Extra Dimension Skin Finish in Whisper of Gilt
Mac Snowball Collection Extra Dimension Skin Finish in Whisper of Gilt
So as I mentioned above, this is a limited edition highlighter and it sold out last year. Definitely a cult favourite, and now I have it!

Mac Extra Dimension Eye Shadow in Stylishly Merry
Mac Extra Dimension Eye Shadow in Stylishly Merry
Featured above is the Mac Snowball Extra Dimension Eyeshadow in Stylishly Merry. This retails for $26.00 CDN. This shade sold out fast. It is a metallic gold shade and is absolutely stunning!

Mac Extra Dimension Eye Shadow in Delicate Drift
Mac Extra Dimension Eye Shadow in Delicate Drift
Featured above is another Snowball Extra Dimension Eyeshadow in the shade Delicate Drift. This is a light pink shade with sparkle in it. Perfect for the holidays!

Here are some more pictures because I couldn’t stop snapping shots of this snowball collection! I would definitely go and try getting your hands on this limited edition collection from Mac Cosmetics. The packaging alone is worth it!!!

Mac Snowball Holiday Collection 2017
Featured here from left to right are Mac Extra Dimension Skin Finish in Whisper of Gilt, Mac Extra Dimension Eyeshadow in Delicate Drift and Mac Extra Dimension Eye Shadow in Stylishly Merry

This mask will really transform your skin! Review: Fresh Rose Face Mask

I still remember when Sephora first opened in Canada – it was a really big deal for us guys! A makeup and skincare heaven where you could try on and play with products undisturbed by snooty department store counter ladies (that were the least bit helpful). Sephora landing in Canada was my first introduction to the brand Fresh. It was a unique brand, their packaging was intriguing and their products smelled oh so good! I came across the Fresh Rose Face Mask many years ago, eyed it, got a sample and went home excited to try it on. Of course I loved it then, but my student self couldn’t justify spending $75.00 on a face mask.

If you haven’t seen this face mask yet, go to Sephora and look at it, smell it! You will be sold by the smell, but just the texture of this mask is amazing! It has rose petals in it – yup, you heard me right, rose petals. It also contains rosewater, cucumber extract, aloe vera and green tea, which is an antioxidant. This mask claims to restore radiance, moisturize the skin, and tone the skin.  Continue reading “This mask will really transform your skin! Review: Fresh Rose Face Mask”

Innisfree Skin Clinic Mask: Hyaluronic Acid Review

Sheet masks are everywhere these days and I decided to give this one a try from Korean brand Innisfree. This sheet mask is supposed to relieve skin dryness and leave your skin feeling moisturized. As most sheet masks go, you take it out of the package, apply the mask on your skin and then leave it on for 10-20 minutes.  Continue reading “Innisfree Skin Clinic Mask: Hyaluronic Acid Review”

Korean Beauty Products: Innisfree Jeju Volcano Capsule Recipe Pack Review

I am back with another Korean beauty product review. I spoke about Innisfree in my last post titled: Korean Beauty Product to the Test: Innisfree Jeju Volcanic Nose Pack Review 

Continue reading “Korean Beauty Products: Innisfree Jeju Volcano Capsule Recipe Pack Review”

Korean Beauty Product to the Test: Innisfree Jeju Volcanic Nose Pack Review

I suffer from blackheads on my T-zone, particularly my nose. I have tried a lot of products to get rid of blackheads, masks, pore strips etc. I have been hearing so much about Korean beauty products lately and wanted to test any blackhead related products I could find. I love pore strips, there is a certain satisfaction you get when you peel off that pore strip and see it filled with blackheads. Anyhow these pore strips are from a brand called Innisfree, which is a natural Korean brand. I am not sure how natural the brand is, I definitely don’t think it is 100% natural. Anyhow, these are pore strips, and I don’t care if they are natural, I just want them to work. The product claims to remove blackheads and keep pores clean. Awesome. It contains Jeju volcanic clay (I am not sure what the Jeju volcano is … but it sounds cool). Apparently it is supposed to help with cleaning the pores. Anyhow, the process is straightforward. Wet your nose, apply the strip on your nose, let it dry and wait and see. The strip has this weird smell to it, almost like glue, which made me freak out and scramble to read the ingredients. Imagine it was really just glue, like in those Youtube videos of people removing their blackheads with glue? Anyhow, no glue in this, just a weird smell, maybe the Jeju?

Once the strip dried out, I removed it and the ultimate test would be, how many blackheads are on that damn strip and is this better or worse than the classic Biore strips? So the verdict is in: they are about the same as the Biore strips in effectiveness. I saw a few blackheads on the middle part of the strip and on the edges, probably just as many as I would see with a Biore strip. Unfortunately people, this isn’t the wonder product we have been waiting for to magically remove our stubborn blackheads. I am going to keep searching!

 

Busty girl problems: My favourite bras for my DD cup size!

Ok, this is getting personal – I wasn’t planning on writing a post about bras.  I had just gotten out of the shower and was browsing in my undergarments drawer, looking for my favourite bra. I found the bra and lay it flat on the bed, with such admiration. This bra is a beauty isn’t it? Who says busty girls can’t wear pretty bras and have to stick to grandma wonder bras?

So here’s my story. I am tiny but a bit too well endowed in the chest area. I was always on the hunt to find the perfect bra, with my tiny band size, but huge cup size. I found some ill-fitting Calvin Klein bras and wore those through most of my early – mid 20s. Victoria Secret? I longed to buy bras from there, but they never had bra sizes that would fit me, or even if they had the correct size, the sizing was off on me when I tried the bra. When I started working full-time and actually had the money to spend more than $50 on a bra, I decided it was time to go to a bra boutique, instead of buying my bras at The Bay. A bra boutique will generally have a bra-fitting specialist that will measure you and help you find the right style. I decided to go to a bra specialist in downtown Toronto called Brava Boutique. The girls in this store are super friendly and are really on a mission to help you find that perfect bra. They measure you, give you a couple of different bras to try in different styles, and then come inside the change room after you have tried on each bra, and they adjust it for you. I remember back then, that this was a whole new world for me because these bras actually fit and were beautiful! They also didn’t have padding, which you don’t need if your heavy busted. Tell that to Victoria Secret please! The bras were beautiful lace, with lovely stitching and gave you that perfect shape! I ended up buying three bras from them that first time, and omg I loved these bras. They changed my world. My boobs never looked better, clothing fit so nicely, and my boobs didn’t look like melons! How much did I spend? Well each bra was well over $100, but it was money well spent. The bras lasted me for a loooong time because I took care of them i.e. hand-washed them only with a gentle detergent called Forever New.

My favourite bra is the one in the picture. It is by a French brand called Emperiente and this model is called Lilly Rose. This bra gives you the perfect shape, and provides great support, plus it is gorgeous!

One of my other favourite brands for bras is Prima Donna which also offer excellent support. I have the Madison style in two different colours and love it. I find Prima Donna to be less expensive than Emperiente, but not as pretty as Emperiente bras!

Another bra I have had for years is from a brand called Lou. I have a super sexy  Demi bra which fits perfectly with great support!

I think these bras would be good for busty and non-busty gals, as who couldn’t use a little more sexy looking support?

Is this the cheapest and most effective Hyaluronic Acid you can buy? Review: The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5 Solution

So lately I have a love affair with Deciem. I first came across this brand navigating through the Queen Street Bay’s beauty aisles in the basement a couple of years ago. Their beauty supplements and shampoos were on display and I decided to invest in the shampoo. Of course, I wasn’t disappointed. I kinda forgot about Deciem until I came across their store which had opened last year in Toronto. If you haven’t set foot in a Deciem store, please take an extra long lunch and venture to one of their stores. It’s a really fun shopping experience. Anyhow, that is how I came across this hyaluronic acid serum. I had been looking for an effective hyaluronic acid serum and had tried a few serums I had purchased from Sephora. After spending lots of money on these serums and using them for months, I didn’t notice any visible difference in my skin. So when I saw this solution at the Deciem store, and looked at the price, I was like naah, this isn’t going to work – it is only $6.80. Yes, you got that right, this is less than $7.00 for a 30ml bottle of the good stuff!

If you don’t know all the fuss about Hyaluronic Acid, well read up on it on The Ordinary’s website. The molecule of Hyaluronic Acid they use in this formulation offers hydration and also plumping of the skin, compared to other products with Hyaluronic Acid that actually draw moisture out of the skin because they use too large of a Hyaluronic Acid molecule. I had no idea about this, and this explains why those other serums weren’t effective when I used them.

So of course I purchased this serum and tried it the same night. Ok I kid you not, this product INSTANTLY plumps your skin. You actually notice a visible difference. I wear it at night before putting on my night cream and I wake up to amazing looking, hydrated skin! I wear it under my makeup too, and it plumps my skin to the point where people were commenting on how fresh and plumpy (is that even a word?) my skin looked. This product has done wonders for my skin and is definitely being added to my can’t live without products inventory! Happy plumping!