As some of you remember, I covered my two all-time favourite mascaras in this segment back in November. At the time, I mentioned how I’d be sharing another post later on all about my go-to waterproof mascara — and as promised, here it is!
I love this mascara for a whole lot of reasons. Anyone who’s familiar with popular mascara brands will immediately recognize Too Faced’s Better Than Sex mascara — it ranks amongst Benefit’s They’re Real and Maybelline’s Great Lash as one of THE most iconic mascaras on the market. I haven’t purchased the original Better Than Sex formula in years, but I’ve kind of been considering giving it a try again. I used to use it all the time after hearing all the rave reviews, but I always found that it transferred around my eye area and often came out clumpy if I wasn’t careful. I’ve kind of been feeling the need to give it a second chance lately — I remember it having some flaws, but at one point it was a staple for me and I’m in the mood to give it another chance.
Anyway, back to the actual product of the week. I won’t lie, I stumbled across this product when I was searching for waterproof mascara in advance of a past vacation (which is just about the only time I buy my mascara waterproof). I only chose to buy it for two reasons — firstly, I recognized the brand and while the original Better Than Sex wasn’t like, my all-time fave mascara, I did love it at one point. Secondly, I totally fell for the packaging. Yes, I know, it’s not a reason to buy a product — but I just can’t help it! Look at those fake little water droplets. I’m obsessed.
Anyways, I do like this product for more than it’s cute packaging, I swear. What I love most about this product is the same thing I loved most about the original formula back in the day: the results are SO dramatic. As in, I ended up ditching my falsies during my trip dramatic (and if you know me, that’s COMPLETELY unheard of). Between my lash lift and this mascara, I was absolutely set. It just looked fantastic. My lashes have NEVER looked so good.
On top of that — this stuff really is waterproof. I’ve put it through a lot over the years — I’ve taken it on every single vacation I can remember since high school. Unless you like, literally take an hour long shower with it on, it barely smudges. I’m pretty sure I’ve swam with this stuff on. I love it.
If you’ve been looking for a great waterproof mascara, you can find this product online at Sephora! Hopefully for those of you with fun trips of your own planned soon, or who just need a little waterproofing in your everyday makeup, it’ll be just what you need.
And that’s all for today! Stay tuned this Sunday to read all about my current fave trends for a beach vacation (or even just summer, it’s almost just around the corner!). Otherwise, I hope you’re all having a fantastic week. We’re getting so close to the end of February — for those of you who’ve been setting monthly goals in 2020, I hope you’re close to achieving your February goals! If not, no worries — you can always take part of March to catch up (that’s my plan, at least!).
2020 is quickly approaching, and I’m not sure about you guys but I am SO ready for it. I love fresh starts, and New Years is the ULTIMATE new beginning.
To wrap this year up, I wanted to do a little round up of all my favourite and least favourite products of the year. I love discussing all the products that worked best for me on my blog — but until now I’ve avoided discussing what didn’t. I was trying to avoid being too negative in my reviews and content — but at the same time, I feel it’s important to discuss what doesn’t work. If nothing else, hopefully I can save others from learning from mistakes I’ve made.
So before we get into it, this is going to be a two part post: the first part is going to cover my ten favourite and five least favourite products of the year, and the second is going to be my top five favourite skincare and makeup brands, as well as the top five brands I’m excited to try in 2020!
One last little disclaimer — all my reviews, obviously, are personal to me. If one of my “least favourite” products is a product you use and love, or were hoping to try, don’t let my opinions stop you! Some things work better for some people than others, and just because I didn’t like something doesn’t mean it is inherently bad. As well, I do not have any bad will for the brands I’m discussing — many of them are brands I love, and while they’re other products are absolute favourites of mine, some just didn’t cut it for me, and that’s okay! The brands I’m discussing, overall, are still wonderful.
So, let’s get into it!
The Best (And Worst) Of 2019
The Best: Biossance Squalene + Vitamin C Rose Oil
This product single-handedly changed my skincare. Not only is this the most mega-hydrating serum OR product I’ve ever seen — the squalene content in it really helped to rebuild my skin’s protective barrier. The amount of clogged pores and breakouts I’ve had since starting this product has gone down so significantly that this is officially a staple in my nighttime skincare routine until the end of time. While I do find it a little too heavy to apply in the mornings, I do find applying it before bed and letting it sink in overnight is perfect — my skin feels so soft the next day AND there’s no residue. A lot of heavy moisturizing products won’t absorb fully and leave behind traces the next day, but not this one. Plus, you know that feeling you get when you’re using a new skincare product for the first time and you’re always excited to apply it? A year later, and I still get that feeling every night.
There are very few products, no matter how much I love them, that I would deem “perfect” — but this one is one of them. I love everything about this exfoliator; from how gentle it is, to how easy it is to apply and remove. No harsh scrubbing or long mask wait times required — this stuff exfoliates your skin instantly and effectively, and leaves your skin soft and clear.
It really hurts me to add anything by Biossance to this list, they’re one of my all-time favourite brands. Sadly, this product was a serious let down. I bought it on a bit of a whim in the Sephora check-out line, thinking that a) Biossance could do no wrong and b) I should really switch to natural deodorant anyway. When reading up on reviews after I purchased this product, there were a lot of fairly low ratings, however, there were also a lot of people saying that these comments were from people who didn’t wait out the two week “detox period” you have to go through when switching to aluminium-free deodorant. So I waited out the two week period, smelling absolutely terrible but waiting to love this product once my detox was over. And then the two weeks were up, and I kept waiting. However, I kept sweating through this product within an hour; as well, the scent — which I can only describe as very weird and a little earthy — only made me smell worse when mixed in with my natural body odour.
Finally, my manager at work literally had to confront me about how bad I smelt — which was incredibly embarrassing but also a wake up call that after a month, it was time to call it quits. This deodorant simply did not work for me (and honestly, actually kinda made me smell worse). I wasn’t quite ready to give up on natural deodorant, however, so I switched brands and now find aluminum-free deodorant works better than any other I’ve used in the past. Plus, as Biossance’s product was $17, I was saving a lot of money by switching, so win-win, right?
The Best: Herbivore Botanicals Crushed Amethyst Exfoliating Body Polish
Okay, I know I’ve already discussed this product so, so many times before, but it really is amazing. First of all, it smells like lilacs — one of my all time favourite scents. Second of all, it does a fantastic job of exfoliating, and unlike many other exfoliators, the grains do not melt away as you scrub. One of my largest pet peeves with salt- or sugar-based exfoliators is how quickly the exfoliating elements of the product simply dissolve as you use it, meaning you use a lot more product. With this product, I guarantee you, you won’t have that problem. Not only that, but it exfoliates evenly and isn’t too harsh — plus it’s packed with all kinds of hydrating oils, leaving your skin feeling soft as every when you’re done.
The Best: Function Of Beauty Shampoo + Conditioner
You guys already know how much I love this product. After years of bleaching out my hair, I had resigned myself it would likely be damaged beyond repair until I grew it out. I already put so much effort into caring for my hair that I couldn’t imagine what else I could do to revive it. Function of Beauty totally changed that. Not only is it super fun getting the chance to totally customize your own shampoo and conditioner — but it shows real results, too. My hair is SO shiny and smooth now, seriously, it feels healthy for the first time in years. I actually can’t remember the last time, if ever, my hair felt this healthy. Give this product a shot, healthy hair or not, and trust me — you won’t regret it.
Read more about this product in my reviews here and here!
The Worst: Lancôme’s GRANDIÔSE Extreme Wide-Angle Extreme Volume Mascara
As I’ve discussed before, I rarely branch out from my select few favourite mascaras, and when I do — I tend to regret it. I’ve made this mistake one other time this year with Milk’s Kush Mascara, however, nothing has ever been as much of a disappointment as Lancôme’s GRANDIÔSE Extreme Wide-Angle Extreme Volume Mascara. It’s advertised as some kind of magical all-in-one product that will lengthen, curl, and volumize your lashes — but I really didn’t find this to be the case. Frankly, not only was this the clumpiest mascara I’ve ever tried, but it hardly did anything to accentuate my lashes whatsoever. With it’s fancy curved applicator and incredibly steep price, you’d think this mascara would be a godsend. I really hate to say it, but I found it the complete opposite — it was honestly the worst mascara I’ve ever tried at any price point.
My idea of “living my best life” would be owning one of each colour of all of these palettes. They are hands down THE most beautiful and pigmented eyeshadow palettes I’ve ever tried. They’re creamy instead of powdery, allowing them to blend seamlessly. My favourite aspect is how they cover every shade you’d need to blend out a full look in each specific colour set in only nine shades. I’ve seen a lot of people who get offset by how “small” these palettes are for their price — but they’re absolutely worth it. Not only are they pigmented enough to give you enough bang for your buck — but they also contain just about as much shadow as any nine pot palette. They’re just arranged in a way to make them purposely compact — making them perfect for travel.
This year, I finally got back into contouring. I fell out of favour with it back when it was hugely popular, as I often found that powder contour did not give me a natural look — it fact, it often looked muddy. However, after seeing enough videos watching artists use cream and stick contour instead of powder, I felt inspired to try again.
This contour stick is absolutely perfect for getting a seamless blend and natural look. I’ve not once had it look muddy or fake, it applies SO easily and flawlessly creates contour anywhere you apply it. I’m so glad I took the leap to get back into contouring with this product, it’s really upped a lot of my makeup looks!
After my first ever Kylie Cosmetics haul earlier this year, I was incredibly impressed with the quality of so many of the products I tried. This one, however, was incredibly disappointing. I absolutely adore liquid eyeshadow products for their incredibly pigmented look and easy application — but this product did not live up to others I had tried. It was dry and flaky; it didn’t even last until the end of my eyeshadow application before it had managed to flake off entirely. Not only that, but it took absolutely ages to dry and washed off with only the smallest amount of water. Even if you manage to apply this product well, it would never last a day without flaking or melting off in rainy weather. I’m sad because it was so beautiful, but definitely not at all worth it.
Lilly Lashes, along with Sephora’s Luxe Lashes, are one of my two all-time favourite lash brands. If you know me, you know no look is complete without lashes — I literally feel naked without them. While Sephora’s lashes do give an incredibly flawless and real look, Lilly Lashes are bold and long-lasting. Seriously, so long as you take good care of these lashes, they’ll last you forever. For something as delicate as lashes, that’s pretty impressive.
I’m sure I’m not alone in this when I say dewy skin > matte skin makeup. For the ultimate dewy skin look, I love Cover Fx’s Custom Beauty Drops! Not only do they give THE most natural yet blinding highlight — they’re extremely versatile. These drops can be added to foundation for a natural glow, applied underneath or on top of your makeup for a subtle or bold look, used as an eyeshadow, inner corner highlight, mixed into gloss and more! The possibilities are pretty endless — you can really use this product however you want. If you ever get the chance to test this product out, you’ll be sold in a heartbeat — they have so much depth to their colour and blend so flawlessly. They’ve become an absolute staple in my makeup routine.
This might be a hugely unpopular opinion, but I’m not crazy about Glossier. While some of the products I’ve tried have been pretty great, it’s certainly not my all-time favourite brand or anything. While I do adore the Balm DotCom, and I do find the Cloud Paint/Haloscope duo gives me a great little glow if I’m in a rush to do my makeup — I really was not a fan of their skin tint product. This product really doesn’t do anything at all for your skin — I honestly couldn’t even tell where I had applied it or not as it made such a little difference. Nothing else about it is inherently bad, per se, but I feel like I would have been better off saving my money and just not wearing any kind of product on my skin, as it looked the same either way.
Urban Decay has been my go-to setting spray since I started even using setting spray at all. Seriously — I’ve never used another brand. I have, however, tested out just about all their setting sprays (and even some of their spray-on primers) and I have to say, this one is the best. While their other setting sprays are all wonderful — there’s a reason All-Nighter is their most well-known (and yes, its because this product will literally make your makeup last all night). However, when I decided to branch out and try their “Environmental Protection” spray instead, I was pleasantly surprised. It lasts every bit as well as the original All-Nighter spray, but I did notice an improvement in my skin after use. This product is designed to help keep out harmful pollutants in the air we all come into contact with every day — and based on my skin’s appearance alone, it definitely holds up to that promise.
This concealer has been my holy grail under-eye product since I first ever started using it. I chronically suffer from dark, baggy under eyes — seriously, no matter how much sleep I get and how much stress I avoid, they always look like I haven’t slept in weeks. Not only is this concealer super pigmented, it has a thick yet creamy formula that helps to hide all discolouration and dark circles — no colour corrector required. On top of that, this concealer does a MUCH better job of not settling into fine lines and creases than any other product I’ve tried. It lasts all day without wearing off even a little, so once you’ve got this applied your under eye area will look as flawless as if you’ve just gotten back from a month-long uber relaxing spa get-away. Seriously, this stuff is that good.
Liquid eyeliner is another trend I’ve really started to get back into this year. Back in high school winged eyeliner was literally my “thing” — my friends even coined a nickname for me because of it. (It was “Nike” if you’re wondering). I kind of stopped with the liner for a few years, but this year I was ready to give it another shot. Back in high school, I had two go-to liner brands — Stila and Kat Von D. When I went to Sephora, however, they were out of Stila’s liquid liner, so I went for the latter. I know Kat Von D may not be the best role model, but I honestly didn’t even know which other brand to try. The result? I honestly cannot remember why I loved this liner so much in high school. It’s strange brush-type tip makes it incredibly hard to achieve a sharp point at the end of your wing, and it easily gets overwhelmed with eyeshadow — causing it to apply unevenly, dry out, and appear more of a dull grey rather than a nice, black line. Maybe I just wasn’t good enough at makeup in high school to really notice, but this product was a major let down.
And that’s a wrap on everything from 2019! It’s crazy to think we’re officially two days away from the new year and a WHOLE NEW DECADE. I, for one, could not be more excited to see what the new year will bring. This upcoming year should be one of new beginnings, and it’s definitely for the best! I can’t wait to see what goals I accomplish and what changes will be made by this time next year.
Do you agree or disagree with my reviews? I’d love to hear it — especially if you love something I didn’t. As well, I’d love to hear all of your favourite brands of 2019 and what you’re hoping to try in 2020 — I’d love a little extra inspo!
Stay tuned next Sunday to hear all about how to make the perfect, maintainable and achievable New Years Resolution! A lot of people feel all kinds of pressure to completely redo themselves come each new year — which can have a lot of negative impacts. If you’re interested, I’m going to be sharing next week how I set attainable goals for each year that help push me in a positive direction towards being the best version of myself.
Happy end of December, y’all, hope the holiday season has been treating you all well!
Today I’m sharing my third and final segment of my Holiday Gift Guide series with you guys. Holiday season is officially in full swing, so if you haven’t gotten the chance to start your Christmas shopping — now is the time! If you’re still feeling a little lost on what to gift this year and need some inspo, I’ve got you covered. I put so much effort and care into this series, and I really hope you all have gotten some great gift ideas out of it!
This week, I’m going to be sharing some of my all-time favourite makeup products. A lot of these products haven’t even been featured on my Favourites segment yet, but Holiday season is here, and I personally think a lot of these would make fantastic gifts for any makeup lover. I just decided I couldn’t wait and had to share — but stay tuned for more in-depth posts on a lot of these products coming in the new year!
For A Makeup Lover Who’s Always On The Go
For any of your travel-savvy makeup loving friends, consider gifting them a Huda Beauty Obsessions palette! Not only are these eyeshadow palettes compact and perfect for travel — they’re all absolutely stunning. The best part about these palettes is that there’s a colour story for everyone. They have all the classics such as warm brown, mauve and smoky for a classic bold look. Nude colour stories for every skin tone. Neon for anyone who loves a bold, trendy look. Gem toned palettes in five different colours for whatever colour preference anyone may have. AND they’re all super pigmented, smooth and stunning. What more could you ask for from the perfect gift?
Feeling inspired? Check out Huda Beauty’s Neon, Nude and Classic Obsession Palettes at Sephora!
For Your Favourite Lipstick Fanatic
No makeup look is complete without adding your favourite lip product as the final step. Ever since I took the leap and finally purchased myself some Kylie Cosmetic lip products, I’ve been obsessed. The Lip Kits in particular make great gifts, as they come as a complete set (lip product and liner) and come in a variety of formulas — such as matte and velvet liquid lipstick. As well, for any gloss or classic lipstick fans in your life, Kylie Cosmetics offers a large range of both products that are absolutely FANTASTIC additions to any makeup collection. Their lipsticks are smooth and creamy, and their lip glosses are SO pigmented it’s insane. As well, you can ensure any gift is on-brand for the holiday season by checking out Kylie’s stunning holiday collection!
Feeling inspired? Check out Kylie Cosmetic’s Lipsticks, Lip Kits and Lip Gloss online!
For Someone Who Loves To Splurge On The Staples
Mascara makes a great gift as it is a solid staple as far as makeup goes. While sometimes it can be tricky to gift makeup if you don’t know someone’s preferred products, colours and formulas — you really can’t go wrong gifting a classic black mascara. If you’re looking to gift someone makeup but are worried about buying the wrong colour or product — consider gifting the Dior Diorshow Iconic Overcurl Mascara! Splurging on an expensive mascara makes a great gift for anyone as they may not necessarily get to spend as much on a mascara for themselves regularly. I’ve written about this mascara a little more in depth previously in my Favourites segment, but this mascara really is fantastic at creating a flawless, natural look. It does an amazing job at curling and lengthening lashes without clumping up or getting “spidery”. Plus, you can feel good about buying a makeup gift that’s pretty universal and just about anyone could enjoy!
For Someone Who Can’t Leave The House Until They’ve Perfected Their Liner
Eyeliner is another makeup product that makes a great gift for someone when you’re unsure about their specific makeup preferences. Just like mascara, though, it’s pretty hard to go wrong with a classic black eyeliner. For any winged liner fans in your life, or anyone looking to experiment but struggles with drawing on the perfect wing, consider gifting Tarte Cosmetic’s Clay Pot waterproof liner! I just recently received this liner in my Tarte Cosmetics custom makeup kit, but I’m already conviced it would make a fantastic gift. First of all, winged liner tends to be a lot easier to apply with a brush than it is with a felt-tip marker, making this great for beginners. As well, this stuff isn’t kidding about being waterproof — once it’s on, it’ll last all day. No smudging, nothing. No matter who you’re gifting for, eyeliner newbie or pro, there’s really no going wrong with this classic black gel liner.
Feeling inspired? Check out Tarte’s Clay Pot Eyeliner on Tarte or at Sephora!
For Someone Who Loves To Highlight EVERYTHING
For any highlighter addicts in your life, CoverFX’s Custom Enhancer Drops are a must-gift. These drops are so versatile and can add a stunning glow to just about any aspect of your makeup. You can mix them in with foundation for a dewy all-over glow, add them below or above foundation for either a natural sheen or high beam highlight, and they can even be mixed into lip products, eyeshadow looks, body makeup — you name it. If you’re looking for the perfect gift for someone OBSESSED with highlighter, you really can’t go wrong with these. They come in so many colours, there really should be one to fit anyone of any skin tone. Plus, these really are the most pigmented highlighters I’ve ever come across — so they last forever (a little goes a REALLY long way). As well, their multi-dimensional glow is absolutely stunning. You can’t go wrong
Feeling inspired? Check out CoverFX’s Custom Enhancer Drops at Sephora!
For Anyone Looking For Perfect, Bushy Brows
Natural, bushy brows have been all the rage this year. If you’re looking to gift brow makeup to someone, I’d absolutely recommend Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz Pencil + Benefit’s Gimme Brow+ Volumizing Eyebrow Gel. If you have someone who’s been looking to up their brow game while also maintaining natural looking brows, this really is the perfect duo. I’ve been using it myself for ages now, and it never fails me. The Brow Wiz pencil is perfect for shading in sparse areas, lining the brows and even adding in hair-like strokes. Benefit’s Gimme Brow Gel tops the look off perfectly by defining brow hairs and locking them in place, ensuring they don’t stray. They come in a wide range of colours, making them perfect for just about anyone too.
You can have all the best makeup in the world, but it still won’t apply well if you don’t have great brushes to go with it. A lot of people avoid spending too much on brushes as it can be hard to see the point — however, it really is vital to flawless makeup application. There’s all kinds of benefits to spending a little more on brushes too — they last longer, shed less and stay soft (as long as you care for them properly). For someone who’s in need of a couple good brushes to add to their collection, consider gifting them some brushes from MAC! I’ve had many of these brushes for years now, and haven’t needed to replace them.
If you need suggestions on a couple staples, I’d definitely recommend:
These are some of my favourite and most commonly used brushes — I use so many of these every day, and they’ve lasted me so well. They apply makeup flawlessly too — so if you know someone just starting out with makeup, or in need of a couple new brushes, they’d make the perfect gift.
Feeling inspired? Check out MAC’s brush collection on their website! I’ve also linked each specific brush on the list — just click the number to view it on MAC’s website!
For Someone Who Likes To Go Au Natural
For anyone you’re looking to gift for who likes to keep their makeup a little more on the natural side, Glossier’s Balm DotCom’s make the perfect gift! These lip balms are super hydrating and effective — they’re one of my all-time favourites. They make a great gift in the winter to help stop chapped lips in their tracks (and they come in a wide range of colours!). They help give a fantastic, natural tint — making them a great gift for anyone looking to keep things cute and simple. Whether it’s for some who likes minimal makeup 24/7, or someone who just likes a natural look for everyday matters, you can’t go wrong with these. Just for their hydrating aspect alone, they make a fantastic little gift collection or addition to any gift!
Feeling inspired? Check out the Balm DotCom line at Glossier’s website!
I hope you all enjoyed this series — I really enjoyed writing and sharing it with you. Christmas shopping can be challenging, and coming up with ideas isn’t always easy. The holiday season can already be busy enough as is, so I really hope I managed to share some great ideas with you guys and take a little load off so you can spend your time and energy enjoying the holidays, rather than stressing. (If you need more inspo, be sure to check out Part One and Part Two of my series as well!)
Don’t forget to stay tuned for next weeks post — after all, it’s my favourite part of the start of each new season! While it is a little delayed (as I received my box two days ago), I’m going to be unboxing my Winter FabFitFun box for y’all! I’m super excited about the winter box — I really loved the products I received last year and am VERY much looking forward to whatever self-care and cozy vibes this box brings.
Happy Sunday y’all, hope you guys all had an amazing weekend and are gearing up to have a great week!
As I mentioned in last week’s post, I initially intended this post to be shared last Sunday, but unfortunately the package didn’t arrive in time. Sooooo, instead, I’m doing two posts this weekend! Tomorrow evening at 7pm, I will be sharing the first segment of my three-part Holiday series: My Holiday Gift Guide! Stay tuned to find out what this week’s theme will be, and read all about my best gift suggestions for this holiday season!
But for this post, I’m going to be unboxing my Tarte Custom Makeup Kit for you! For those of you who don’t yet know, every so often Tarte releases their Custom Makeup Kits for 24 hours — they generally announce this sale in advance via email a few days prior. When the sale hits, it only lasts for 24 hours — but you get this time to pick 6 full size products +1 makeup bag for only $84 ($63 USD) with an overall value of over $200. While I’m honestly not too sure how often they happen/if they happen a set amount of times a year, I do know they’ve certainly done many of these releases before. Every time, I hit their website and create a kit, only to hesitate at the last minute. This time, though, I finally went through with it!
As many of you already know, Tarte is one of my all-time favourite brands. Their mascara, collagen super-serum, and primer are all part of my daily skincare and makeup routines (as well as more products that I haven’t even gotten the chance to share with you all yet!). Plus, as a brand, they’re 100% vegan and cruelty-free — and all their products are dermatologist approved and hypoallergenic. All this on top of being incredibly high-quality products. What more could you ever ask for from a brand?
The only thing that held me back from purchasing these kits in the past was the fear that the sale was incentivizing me to buy products I didn’t need. Every time I would make it through to the end, but before I would send in the order, I’d stop and think if I really needed most of the products — and the answer was usually no. While such a fantastic deal was hard to skip out on, if most of them were products I didn’t truly need, it DID feel like I was wasting money and makeup for no good reason. This time, however, everything aligned perfectly so that all the products I ordered were either things I adore, was running low on, or were products I own from different brands that I was looking to switch for something new.
There are seven steps involved in creating your own custom kit — their website takes you step-by-step through choosing a foundation, cheek product, eyeliner, mascara, lipstick and makeup brush before selecting a makeup bag for your products to arrive in. However, some of the sections have a little variation in what exactly you can choose, so if you’re not in need of, for example, a new blush, there may be other options that work better for you.
For my kit, I selected the:
Amazonian Clay 12-hour Full Coverage Foundation
Smooth Operator™ Amazonian Clay Finishing Powder
Clay Pot Waterproof Shadow Liner
Lights, Camera, Flashes ™ Statement Mascara
Color Splash Lipstick
Paddle to Perfection Foundation Brush
and packaged it all in the Glitter Half Moon bag!
Many of these products I’ve actually never tried before, so needless to say I just couldn’t wait for them to arrive so I could test them out and share my first impressions with you guys! So, without further ado, lets get into it! (And while we’re at it, can we just appreciate this super cute makeup bag? I’m obsessed.)
Amazonian Clay 12-hour Full Coverage Foundation
Honestly, I haven’t worn full-coverage foundation in YEARS, so I was both incredibly excited and a little nervous to try this product out. I’ve gone through multiple foundation stages in my makeup career — I started off with a VERY full coverage CC Cream by Peter Thomas Roth that was (rather unfortunately) matched quite poorly to my skin tone. However, since then I’ve mostly only ever used light-weight and low coverage products (MAC Face and Body, my current NARS tinted moisturizer, as well as a foundation-free phase). I’ve done a couple testers of full-coverage foundation here and there — but I often find heavy foundation looks cakey, tends to wear off and settle into fine lines. The last few I’ve tested all made me look worse — which is unfortunate, considering I do have relatively nice skin.
My first impressions of this foundation, so far, is that it is incredibly smooth an easy to apply — and it certainly is incredibly long lasting. It doesn’t have the heavy feel that many other full-coverage foundations have, which is also nice. It certainly covered up any blemishes or discolouration in my skin tone, though it did seem to somewhat amplify small flaws and other features of my face (ie. peach fuzz, dry patches, texture etc.). However, I’m starting to accept that may just be how full-coverage foundation is. Overall, I’d say I’m pretty impressed with this foundation — it won’t necessarily be my every-day go-to, but for nights out when I want a full-glam look it’ll definitely be exactly what I need.
Product: Amazonian Clay 12-hour Full Coverage Foundation in shade 16N (Tarte|Sephora)
Smooth Operator™ Amazonian Clay Finishing Powder
This one was a real blessing to find as an option for this kit as I’ve been DYING to try a new setting powder. I’ve been absolutely married to my Laura Mercier powder ever since the very first time I ever set my makeup, meaning I’ve actually never once tried another product. It was working for me, so I didn’t really see the point in switching — finishing powder is invisible, so what difference would it make? However, especially since I’ve begun baking my makeup, I’ve really started to notice how drying it can be — it can be rather unflattering as I already have skin that airs on the drier side.
Unfortunately, my first impression of this powder is that it is, sadly, even more drying than my other one. That being said, I’ve only been able to test it out once. When it came to baking, not only did it seriously dry out my under-eye area, but the excess powder stuck right on and took a whole lot of effort to wipe away. Even once I thought I got it all, I stepped into the dimmer lighting in my room I realized there was still a load of powder stuck to my concealer. Overall, sadly, my first impressions weren’t great — but I’m going to give it another shot, and I’ll be sure to update this post if anything changes!
Product: Smooth Operator™ Amazonian Clay Finishing Powder in shade White (Tarte|Sephora)
Clay Pot Waterproof Shadow Liner
This was also a godsend find as I’ve been really needed a good gel liner. I’m going to be covering this a little more in future posts, but as I’ve been getting back into doing winged liner I discovered (by suggestion from my friend Amanda) that winged liner is much easier to apply with a brush than it is with a felt-tipped pen. After struggling to draw wings on well with one of my old high-school favourite products, Amanda mentioned how she could never do winged liner (which she wears nearly every day) with a pen — brushes really help to create a smoother line and draw on a lot more easily.
Now, I’ve only used this liner once, but I’ve got to say — I was pretty blown away by it. It’s smooth, dark, and applies super easily — I got my wings drawn in in record time. The only downside is it seemed to be a little thick, making it hard to apply in delicate areas. However, for the actual winged part of may liner it was incredibly easy to use (and I just drew the other areas I struggled with in with a felt tip liner pen). As well, this may just be a bit of a learning curve for me and less so a flaw in the product, so overall I’d definitely have to recommend this liner to anyone who loves their liner winged out and extra AF.
Product: Clay Pot Waterproof Shadow Liner in shade Black (Tarte|Sephora)
Lights, Camera, Flashes ™ Statement Mascara
Okay, we all know how much I love the Tarte Lights, Camera, Lashes 4-in-1 mascara. I could go into it all over again, but I think you guys have heard me rave about it enough. While it was an option in this section, I decided to branch out to a different mascara for once, which I know I mention I often regret — but considering the deal I was getting in this package combined with the fact that it’s just a different version of the same product, I felt pretty safe trying something new.
Since I actually just bought a brand new mascara only a month ago, I’ve actually decided to save this one for a little and test it out at a later date as to not waste product. However, I can say with confidence it should work out just fine, considering it’s simply a modified version of one of my all-time favourite mascaras.
Product: Lights, Camera, Flashes ™ Statement Mascara in Shade Black (Tarte|Sephora)
Color Splash Lipstick
While I wasn’t in any sort of dire need for a new lip product, I’m certainly not one to ever turn one down. As well, I’m a huge lip gloss type of girl — its been a while since I bought a proper nude lipstick. I was THIS CLOSE to just getting another gloss, but I figured this was a staple I’d get more use out of — especially since I don’t really have many lip sticks.
I do have to say, I was really happy with the variety of products they offered here — there was matte liquid lip, matte lipstick, regular lipstick, gloss — and maybe more that I don’t even remember. This was great for me as I’ve never been too much of a matte fan (sometimes I’ll jump for a matte lipstick, but I’m awfully specific about the formula and would need to try it in person before purchasing). However, whether you’re a matte, gloss, or just plain lipstick fan — this kit had a product you’d be content with.
I’m glad I decided to switch it up and get a lipstick, too, because this lip stick is AMAZING. First of all, the colour is just perfect. As well, it’s seriously pigmented, not at all heavy or sticky, and incredibly long lasting. 10/10, could totally get me back into lipsticks.
Product: Color Splash Lipstick in shade Set Sail (Tarte|Sephora)
Paddle to Perfection Foundation Brush
This was another product I’ve just been dying to satisfy my curiosity on. I’ve been seeing these paddle brushes all over the internet for years now, but I’ve never gotten the chance to test one out. I absolutely love Beauty Blenders, and especially since I don’t ever use full-coverage foundation, I’ve never really needed a brush to apply foundation. However, both because this kit gave me the option, AND the foundation to properly test it out with, I’m finally getting the chance to give this brush a go!
Let me just say, if you don’t have one of these brushes in your life, go out and get one ASAP. This brush applied my foundation SO smoothly and seamlessly in a record breaking short period of time. It’s so soft and smooth too, it feels like heaven blending your makeup into your skin. I’m not 100% ready to give up on my Beauty Blenders just yet, but just trying this brush one time has me considering it.
Product: Paddle to Perfection Foundation Brush (Tarte)
Overall, I’m super happy with this kit and I’m so glad I finally decided to purchase one. At just $84, it would be pretty hard for it to be disappointing, but this kit introduced me to so many new products I will 100% be purchasing again in the future. While some of the products may not have had mind-blowing results the first try, it may just take some getting used to with stepping out of my comfort zone and trying things I don’t usually incorporate into my makeup routine.
If you got a Tarte Custom kit recently, I’d love to hear what you chose to add to your kit and how your products worked for you! If not, I hope this post inspires you to try out one of your own next time around.
Hope you’re all having a lovely weekend, and be sure to stay tuned for my new post tomorrow! I’m so excited to share it with you all!
One thing I’ll admit may be a bit weird about my makeup habits is that I cycle through mascaras. I have three favourites, but I never purchase the same one after I’ve just used it up — and I kind of just decide based on what I like about each one and my needs when I’m repurchasing. I do branch out every so often, but honestly I always find myself regretting it. I’m going to share a post on my other favourite (waterproof) mascara in the near future — but this week, I’m going to be discussing the Diorshow Iconic Overcurl Mascara by Dior and Tarte’s Lights Camera, Lashes 4-in-1 Mascara.
I’m hoping that by comparing these two products, not only can I show you what exactly it is about them that’s so great, but also how they differ. With mascaras, although it can be clear when they’re either good or bad, it can sometimes be hard to differentiate much past that. However, when you compare two products side by side, the differences become a lot clearer.
First off, I’ll be discussing the last mascara I used — Tarte’s Lights, Camera, Lashes. First off, the benefits: Tarte notes on their Sephora page that this mascara “This product is ophthalmologist and dermatologist-tested, safe for contact lens wearers, hypoallergenic, vegan, and formulated without mineral oil, triclosan, and gluten,” — which is already off to a great start.
This product, additionally, is both fantastic for volumizing and lengthening lashes. This mascara makes my lashes look incredibly long and thick — making this the perfect mascara for when you’re not wearing lashes. One of my favourite features is that it also conditions your lashes — so it helps keep them healthy and grow them out longer. (Seriously, I notice my lashes get longer when I use this product!).
My other favourite mascara is the Diorshow Iconic Overcurl. This product is fantastic for incredibly natural, curled lashes — and never clumps up. On the Sephora page, Dior notes that in market research users noticed 31-53% increase in volume and 33-111% increase in curl in their lashes with use. However, what I love best about this mascara is how completely natural it looks. Honestly, its as if you woke up with perfect lashes and didn’t apply mascara at all.
In terms of which one I go for upon repurchasing mascara, I personally find that Tarte’s product is better for when my lashes are a little sparse, in need of growing out and adding on all the extra volume I could ever ask for from a mascara. Dior, on the other hand, is best particularly for when my lashes are already looking healthy.
As well, Dior is FANTASTIC for applying with false lashes, as it doesn’t ever clump up or make your lashes look too thick. I find that this really helps with keeping false lashes looking fresh, natural, and blended with your real lashes. After all, the goal with false lashes is to have them look as real as possible!
Overall, both of these products are just amazing and I’ve sworn by them for years now. If you’re looking for lots of volume, lengthening, and soft, healthy lashes — check out Tarte’s Lights, Camera, Lashes Mascara here! If natural, long and curled lashes are what you need right now, check out Dior’s Diorshow Iconic Overcurl Mascara here!
I hope you’re all having a great week! Tune in this Sunday to hear all about my trip home to Toronto, and next Thursday for my latest product review!