I don’t know about you guys, but before I buy almost everything – beauty products are no exception – I read reviews.  I want to know if it’s all it’s hyped up to be, if it’s worth my hard earned cash, and if I’ll even enjoy the product I’m purchasing.  When reviews.com reached out to me, my interest was certainly piqued.   I like to make my life easier whenever possible, so I’m passing on this site link to you!

 

This site isn’t entirely new from what I understand, though I’ve only recently discovered it in 2017.  I was thoroughly impressed with the breadth of reviews, ranging from credit card reviews, to yoga mat reviews, to reviews of mortgage companies and natural deodorants.  There’s even reviews of MBA programs.  Talk about covering off subjects you can’t find anywhere else!

 

The thing I noticed most was the detail put into the reviews; a much appreciated feature.  The site purports to use real people to test selected products where possible, and in reading some of the reviews myself, I believe them.  I think each review is great – it succinctly summarizes the top products, why they’re the best of the best, and the rating criteria used for their conclusions.  The reviews are thorough and seem to cover a vast array of questions that a general consumer might have when shopping for something so seemingly innocuous as a new computer password manager, a refreshing change from some of the incoherent, ill-worded reviews below Amazon product listings!

 

All in all, I found this site to be really useful and I’ll continue to consult it whenever I’m thinking of making a change to a more holistic beauty approach or when I’m in the market for my next standing desk mat!

 

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I’m Back!! And a Mini Review

Guys!  I’m back!  A blog post is long overdue, I know.  There’s nothing worse than a website with a scarcely updated blog page and somehow, my website became the very thing I didn’t want it to be.  Alas, it was a hella busy summer – we got a puppy, cottaged, and generally relaxed – and so I decided to take a break.  For those of you that have stuck around, thank you!  And for those that have popped in as new readers, I plan to blog lots more over the next year and I’m excited for what’s coming up on LnL!

 

Anyway, on to the review…

 

You guys know I’m a fan of Becca highlighters {who isn’t?!}.  They’re pigmented, blend like a dream, come in a number of different shades and can be layered or worn on their own.  What’s not to love? When I saw the new Lightchaser highlighters, I was intrigued to say the least.

 

According to the Sephora website, the Light Chaser Highlighter’s transformative formula is the perfect marriage of kaleidoscopic color and light. Each shade is infused with kaleidoscopic pearls that chase the light for an otherworldly glow that makes your favorite features beam bright. This unique highlighter shifts shades as you move, delivering hypnotizing color luminosity with a metamorphic finish.

 

Ok, that’s great.  But how do you use it?  I went in to Sephora to see if I was missing something.  Why is this highlighter only $5 cheaper than the regular Becca highlighters, but in a much smaller package?  Perhaps I was using it incorrectly and it was to be far more concentrated and pigmented on the skin.  I asked an expert to see: it’s to top highlighters and make them shine.  Ok, well isn’t that the point of a highlighter?  So you’re telling me that Becca has created a highlighter to highlight a highlighter?  Yup.  And I bought it like a sucker.

 

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{photo via Really Ree}

The product itself isn’t terrible.  I’ll give it that.  It’s actually great on eyes to give a kaleidoscopic shine overtop of a cream shadow, and makes a great corner highlight.  On its own, it gives a nice sheen on the skin at the high points of the face, but I like the Becca Shimmering Skin Perfectors far better and you get tons more product for your money.

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Skip this.  I wouldn’t waste your money.  It’s no different highlighter than any other, in fact, I prefer my $9 Wet n Wild highlighter far more.  If you want to give away $41, you can find it on Sephora’s website here.

 

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First Impression: L’Oreal Lash Paradise Mascara

I’m not the first to post about this.  In fact, I would assume I’m kind of late to the “game”, so to speak.  When I saw all the buzz about this mascara, namely the comparison to the Too Faced Better Than Sex {TFBS} mascara, I knew I had to try it. Y’all know about my beloved Maybelline mascara and my propensity to favour a drugstore buy over a high end alternative, so it was a natural fit for me to give this one a try.

 

This mascara purports to have a soft wavy bristle brush that holds a max formula for a dramatic volumizing charge.

 
Benefits include:

  • 200+ bristles catch every lash for a full fringe effect
  • Smooth glide formula provides silky volume in one extra black coat
  • Lashes are feathery soft to the touch  {I don’t agree – they’re kind of tough but I like this because it holds a curl better}
  • Women agreed: 91% saw intense and volumized lashes and 87% saw more beautiful lashes
  • +98% lengthening effect
  • Voluptuous volume and length
  • Soft wavy bristle brush
  • More black pigments

 

It comes {currently} in 4 colours, at least in Canada:

  • Washable Black
  • Washable Black Brown
  • Washable Blackest Black
  • Waterproof Blackest Black

 

I’m gonna cut to the chase:  this is the SHIT.  

Yes, it does all it claims to do and more. 

 

Can we also have a moment for the luxe packaging please?  Undeniably reminiscent of the TFBS tube, it feels and looks super high end.

 

 

 

TFBS

This packaging.  WOAH!

 

 

For my super straight lashes, it holds a curl all day without clumping or flaking or even transferring.   The formula {I bought the Blackest Black in the washable/regular formula, not waterproof} is drier, so a word of caution that you have to work fast.  You might not want to let this dry between coats to prevent the clumpy spider look, but that doesn’t take away from the sheer volume and length this puppy provides in one fell swoop.   I tend to let it dry simply out of habit and a simple brow comb does the trick to separate lashes and avoid spider legs.

 

The brush looks markedly like the TFBS as does the packaging, but does just the same job at half the price.  Lash Paradise currently retails for about $13.99 in Canada, though I’m quite sure if you watch for a sale or check out WalMart, you can save a few $$.

 


 

This is a MUST buy.  Don’t walk, run to your nearest drugstore and pick this up ASAP.

 

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Makeup Change Up: Spring Addition

I love all that comes with the change of seasons {ok, not so much from fall to winter because Canada = cold}, and shopping my stash or trying out new, bright tones for Spring is no exception.

I’ve done a few of these posts before {here and here for the most recent ones}  and think you guys like to see what new things I’m trying, or what tends to stay month over month – that’s how you know I’m a huge fan!

What Stayed:

I didn’t keep much around this time and opted, instead, to shake it up for Spring.

  • IT Cosmetics Your Skin But Better CC Cream {I use medium}
  • CoverFX Sample of their Illuminating Primer
  • Life Brand concealer/blemish stick
  • MAC Prep + Prime Highlighter in Radiant Rose 
  • Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Concealer {I use fair}
  • Maybelline Lash Sensational and Colossal Big Shot mascara {see my review here}
  • Benefit Roller Lash and Marc Jacobs Velvet Noir mascara samples
  • Marc Jacobs Lip Liner in Prim{rose}
  • Anastasia Brow Wiz {not sure of my particular shade}
  • Benefit Eye Bright
  • Tarte Amazonian Clay Concealer {this thing won’t die.  Good bang for your buck tho, Tarte!}
  • Bite Beauty lippie in Meringue
  • Sugar Lip Treatment {used before I apply any lip product}
  • NARS Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Sex Machine {…of course…}

 

What’s New:

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  • Chanel blush in Rose Initial
  • Tarte Amazonian Clay blush in Exposed
  • Rimmel Stay Matte powder
  • Chanel Soleil Tan de Chanel bronzer
  • Wet ‘n Wild Highlighting Powder in Crown of My Canopy
  • NARS Velvet Matte Lip Pencils in Roman Holiday and Never Say Never {great combo together, might I add}
  • MAC Lipliner in Whirl
  • Tom Ford Lipstick
  • Charlotte Tilbury Bitch Perfect lipstick
  • NYX Butter Lipstick in Root Beer Float
  • Dolce & Gabbana Passion Duo in Dynamic
  • Makeup Forever Aqua Liner
  • Tarte Amazonian Clay Liner
  • Marc Jacobs Highliner in Brown{out}
  • NARS single shadow in Ashes to Ashes
  • Kevyn Aucoin The Loose Shimmer Shadow {um, not loose, so great to use} in rose shimmer
  • Surratt Prismatique Eyes in Glamour Eyes

 

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{Just incase you’re curious, here’s what didn’t make the Spring cut}

 

Whew.  If you’re still with me after all that, comment below.  There may be candy in it for you…

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shop this post

Life Brand Blemish Stick  |  Lash Sensational Mascara  |   MAC Prep + Prime in Radiant Rose  |  Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Concealer  |  Benefit Eye Bright  |  Tarte Amazonian Clay Waterproof 12 Hour Concealer |  Bite Beauty Lippies  |  Fresh Lip Treatment  |  Anastasia Brow Wiz  | Chanel Blush and Bronzer | Tarte Blush | Rimmel Stay Matte | Wet ‘n Wild highlighter | NARS Lip Pencils | MAC Whirl | Tom Ford lipsticks | Charlotte Tilbury Bitch Perfect lippie | NYX Butter lipstick | D&G Passion Duo | Marc Jacobs Highliner| NARS Shadow |  Kevyn Aucoin shimmer shadow | IT Cosmetics CC Cream | Suratt Prismatique eyes | Tarte eyeliner similar here | MUFE Aqua Liner

 

Random Ramblings: Podcast Spotlight

This post is something a little different.  As you all know, I’m into getting to know you guys just as much as I want you to get to know me.  With that, by default I’d say, comes some lifestyle posts that might be about me, things I love, or things I’ve really been into.  I think I was fairly late to the game with Podcasts.  I’ve only really gotten into them in the last year or so out of necessity; my 9-5 job requires I sit at a desk and do a lot of analysis most of the time, so to keep myself from going completely nutty, I like to have something playing in the background {or headphones}.

 

I’m completely hooked – I could even see myself listening to a Podcast on a long ride, which says a lot when music often wins {country, if you’re curious} as a preference when I’m on the road – they’re, for now at least, an at-desk staple and a gym go-to when I’m tired of my same ol’ playlist.  There’s not one particular genre I’m drawn to, though I find there’s truly something for everyone, and I’m able to keep all nerdy facets of my personality satiated with various other nerds who’ve taken one for the nerd-team and created a syndicated Podcast for us to feast our nerd hearts on.  You’ll find out a little more about me and my psychological obsession with serial killers {don’t be afraid, it’s the psychology of it, not the actions I’m fascinated with} once you see the list!

 

Here’s a list of what I’m listening to lately – and a few notes about my absolute go to Podcasts you’ve got to try:

 

SWORD AND SCALE  {True Crime}

Mike Boudet {the host} doesn’t post nearly often enough – Mike, if you’re listening, hop to it!  But when he does, he perfectly narrates often obscure stories of true crime across the USA and sometimes the world.  I like his presentation of the story, and the occasional use of experts from the trial or those closesly affiliated with the case.  There’s little commentary abou thte case or speculation of sorts, just the straight story and I really appreciate that.

 

48 HOURS {True Crime}

Yep, this is just the tv show in a Podcast.  Brilliant!  I don’t know why more tv shows don’t do this.  I don’t feel like I’m missing anything when there’s what would be personal interviews with those closely affiliated with the case, and can easily connect the whole story in the often too short 45 minute Podcast.

 

THE GENERATION WHY PODCAST {True Crime}

Are you sensing a theme here?  Anyway, this Podcast takes the form of a commentary about cases and so it’s unique to hear varying perspectives regarding a set of circumstances or a particular case wherein the fate of the perpetrator is often long decided by jury trial.  If the case happens to be solved in some capacity and there may be reason to believe justice has not been served,  these guys present some serious food for thought and present a unique set of ideas around a case.  Their hypothesis are well researched, not just ‘out there’ ideas about what may or may not have transpired.

 

TRUE CRIME GARAGE {True Crime}

Here’s another pair I really like.  Their way of presenting is different from Gen Y, and I truly enjoy the way the Captain and Nick discuss cases.  Often, there’s a few parts to a series, so they certainly spare no expense here.  Cases are often focused within the US, so I’d like to see more Canadian cases {of course}, but it’s always an interesting listen and they, too, have well researched hypothesis when the situation presents itself.

 

MO’ MONEY PODCAST {Personal Finance}

Shoutout to my fellow Canadian {and Torontonian} Jessica Moorehouse.  This is a fairly new Podcast, started within the last year, but Ms. Moorehouse has accumulated quite a following of listeners, well-merited, of course.  She discusses everything from budgeting, to getting out of debt, to making a side hustle work for you.  I find her to be an engaging speaker, presenting topics that are varied and well suited to the millennial generation.

 

THE DAVE RAMSEY SHOW {Personal Finance}

Are we seeing a theme here?  Yep.  No shame in my nerd game.  I often appreciate all things personal finance, especially when they’re a no-nonsense, common sense based approach.  Dave Ramsey is all those things.  While religion tends to underpin a lot of what he ‘preaches’ {if that’s yo thing, that’s cool too}, the basics of what he teaches and the advice on his radio show can be applied to just about anything in your daily life, personal finance or otherwise.  His advice is very grass roots –don’t spend out of your means, save a little, don’t owe anyone money – and everyone really should take a little more heed to what he espouses.  I like hearing the debt free stories featured at the end of {most} of his Pods, I could do without the loud screams, but instead focus on the how and the why behind the stories.

 


 

These are just a few of my faves.  I’m always looking for new ones, so what have you been listening to lately?

 

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Sephora VIB Spring Sale Wishlist

Spring.  It brings so many happy things after a long Canadian winter: warmer weather, pedicures, green grass and bright sunshine to name a few, but most importantly, the Sephora VIB Spring Sale.  It’s been confirmed, April 18-24th brings about 15% off for all VIB members {Rouge gets a head start April 18th, at least I get something for my over-spending..}, via the code ROUGESPRING {VIBSPRING – for regular VIB members/borderline over spenders, BISPRING – for Beauty Insiders/reasonable spenders}.  The code can be used multiple times throughout the sale.

I’ve put together a wishlist of a few things I’ve been lusting after.  I’m trying to curb spending on makeup as much as possible, but like any good beauty junkie, I’m not doing very well.  I can’t guarantee I’ll buy all of this.  Granted, it’s not a hefty list and won’t break the bank, so I’m not really 100% decided {bonus points for any rationalization of beauty product purchases…comment below if y’all are in the club with me}.  I thought you’d all like a sneak peak at just what I’m thinking I’ll buy April 18th.

 

Benefit’s Goof Proof Pencil – I’ve seen a number of people rave about this product and I’m willing to be a convert from the Anastasia camp.  I can rationalize giving this a try with a little discount, no?  I think I’ll be in the shade Medium.

 

tarte Fake Awake eyeliner – Tiffany D from Makeup By Tiffany D raved about this product; I have been a loyal viewer for years, and trust her opinions.  I often line my waterline with a darker liner appreciating the look it gives of fuller bottom lashes and with the right tone can really make my greenish/brown eyes pop.  I’m interested to see if the opposite will open my eyes and give a different sort of a pop to my overall look.

 

NARS Madly blush – This looks like it might be a bit light for my skintone, but I’ll give it a try.  I’ve seen a few YouTubers give it a rave review, so I’m willing to order it knowing I can return to Sephora if it doesn’t work {I try not to do this, generally, since they can’t re-sell used product}. Have any of you used this on a more olive skintone?

 

Too Faced Love Light Prismatic Highlighter – This isn’t a product I’ve heard any particular buzz about, but rather, I’m on the hunt for a rose gold highlighter and this one just found it’s way into my cart like it was meant to be!  I did a quick web search and can’t really find any reviews.  I’ll give this a sort of a ‘blind’ shot, though, because Too Faced generally always hits

 

Anastasia Modern Renaissance palette – My current collection really lacks any Anastasia products beyond her collection-staple Brow Whiz and Dipbrow Pomade really.  I heard nothing but rave reviews about the Anastasia x Mario palette, but missed the boat on that one {still hitting myself for not purchasing} so this comes in a close second from what I’ve read.  It has some seriously beautiful shades that I’d use daily – namely the golds and browns – and I’ve been meaning to add a pop of pink for spring to my look so this palette fits that bill just right too.  I also like the mix of shimmer and matte.  I have a really good feeling about this one!

 

There you have it.  This makeup junkie is ready – well ahead of time – to pull the trigger on some much needed new beauty bits.

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shop this post

Benefit Goof Proof Brow Pencil | tarte Fake Awake Eyeliner | NARS Madly Blush | Too Faced Love Light Prismatic Highlighter in Ray of Light | Anastasia Modern Renaissance palette

 

 

The Real Worth of Beauty

To quote one of my favourite movies {don’t judge}, Confessions of a Shopaholic, “cost and worth are two very different things”.  I’ve most recently made the sort of resolution, if you will, to save a little more money.  Who doesn’t want to save a little more money?  I guess I’m not unique in my resolve, however for me it was going to take a few adjustments; I’m a pretty frugally minded person as it is, and tend to operate on a budget, set money aside for retirement, and closely monitor my discretionary spending.   In doing so, I was able to discover that there really are some things – beauty wise – that are worth their cost to me and I thought I’d share.

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When initially starting on this journey, I made the commitment to myself that I would reign in my spending on miscellaneous beauty products and do my best to “shop my stash” or use up what I have on hand before purchasing an alternative.  “But you’re a beauty blogger!” you say.  Yes, that I am.  I am starting well ahead of the curve, though, and have lots on hand to test and choose from.  Besides, that whole discretionary spending I noted above, that includes the occasional beauty product splurge.   What it didn’t include, though, were things like getting my nails done.

Call me superficial, call me what you want, but I’ve had my nails done in some capacity {mainly a gel French manicure – formerly white tips, but these have been replaced, thankfully} since I was 14.  If math isn’t your strong suit, I’ll save you the trouble: that’s a long time.  So, I decided that it was an expense I could do without, give myself a manicure, and look just as good as I did before.  Off I went for my regularly scheduled nail appointment and proudly announced to my beloved nail tech that I would like to take my nails off; I’m turning over a new leaf for 2017.  He made a face and simply said “are you sure?”  I proudly said that yes, I wasn’t wavering and I’m sure this is what I want to do.  Off they went.  I left that day feeling almost, well, naked, for lack of a better term, without my nails on.

Never one to turn down a challenge, I decided to do the best with what I had, painting my nails on my own with a light pink and a gel topcoat – practical, understated, and would keep me from biting my nails.  More than appropriate for my day to day corporate job, and the price was right. Well, that lasted a day.  Evidently, I’m far better at my day and night jobs, neither of which include manicures.  The nails chipped, I started picking off the polish, and within a few short days I was back to my 13 year old self, all nervous and weird, biting my nails down to the quick sometimes drawing blood.  Gross?  Yep.  Gross.  I was constantly hiding my hands from people, ashamed to show them the bloodied nails with cuticles.

 


 

It’s hard to explain.  Without my normal French manicure and gel overlay, I felt naked and vulnerable in some small capacity.  I don’t know what it means.  Does it mean I’m superficial?  Maybe.  Does it mean I tend to let my appearance greatly impact how I feel internally?  Yes, I’d say so.  The most important question and seemingly the easiest answer, though it took me a few months to realize, was this: is this a worthy expense to impact my overall spirits on a day to day basis?  Yes.  Absolutely.

It became clear to me that this was something I needed to make room for in my discretionary spending.  I needed to have my nails done and pretty hands.  It wasn’t just something that looked nice, but instead, I soon realized that it forced me to take some time for myself, a break I wouldn’t otherwise take.  You see, I not only run a freelance beauty operation, but often work 8 or 9 hour days in corporate Canada, at a job that demands a lot of me mentally, with little time for outside breaks.  I then go home, hit the gym or have a meeting for a volunteer position I hold, cook dinner, go to bed, and prepare to do it all over again in less than 24 hours.  Getting my nails done allows me to be pampered for a short hour, carve time out in my schedule for me and only me, and when I’m at work, I’m not hiding my hands; it’s almost like my nails became some weird extension of myself.  Strange, I know.

Am I entirely weird?  Is there something that’s worth just more than a face dollar value for you – beauty or otherwise?

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