Battle Time: Under Eye Concealer

I have a rather large massive makeup collection.  Surprise!  {*insert sarcastic voice here*} I think I’ve mentioned before that I try to “shop my own stash” for things that go bad quickly, and have been trying {albeit unsuccessfully} to curb my spending on makeup products over the course of the last year.  When doing my last “shop” through my collection, I saw my yet untouched IT Cosmetics Bye Bye Under Eye concealer, it dawned on me that I should give it a proper try and perhaps compare it with my BELOVED Tarte Shape Tape.

To do a true test, I took one for the team and went through my normal work day with 2 different concealers under my eyes.  I’m tired and overworked, so this was no small task and could have had ghastly results should one not have held up properly!

The IT product is formulated like other IT products that I {and you, too, I’m sure} know and love: cruelty-free, clinically tested, and developed with plastic surgeons and dermatologists. There’s no talcs or fragrances either.  According to the Sephora website, this concealer “minimizes the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, brightens the eyes, and works as a spot concealer or all-over foundation to visually camouflage facial imperfections with no creases or cracks. Infused with anti-aging hydrolyzed collagen, peptides, vitamins, hyaluronic acid, and antioxidants, this multi-action formula is clinically shown to make skin look younger. Plus, it’s enhanced with drops of light technology™ to cast a radiant, lit-from-within glow”.

Tarte’s renowned Shape Tape is only sold at Ulta, which has thankfully started shipping to Canada.  Per the Ulta site, it allows you to “sculpt and highlight as you mask imperfections with this 2-in-1 full coverage concealer. The hydrating, long wearing formula delivers natural, radiant coverage across all skin types so you can instantly brighten and cover acne, dark circles and redness while softening the look of pores and fine lines. Wear it 1-2 shades lighter or darker, and it works as a creamy highlighter or contouring stick with a lightweight, blendable formula and tapered wand applicator ideal for precise strobing and sculpting. Powered by Amazonian clay and conditioning mango seed and shea butters, the nutrient-rich concealer helps promote skin elasticity and illumination with each crease-free application”.

You can see that these two products, according to their descriptions at least, are very similar in what they intend to do and are formulated with products that are great for your skin.  When I first applied them at the same time, I immediately noticed a consistency difference: the IT concealer was markedly thicker.  Not to worry, it does blend into the skin with a bit of heat from your face and with proper tools.  The Tarte concealer does blend much more easily, so that’s a key differentiator between the two to start off, at least for me.

In terms of physical application, one is a squeeze tube and the other with a doe foot applicator.  I’m not really partial to one or the other, so if that makes a difference to you, fine.  Just thought it was worthy of a note.

IMG_6103Here’s a pic of both concealers on and blended into the skin initially – no finishing powder, no bronzer, just the concealer on the skin.   I tend to take it up onto my eye just a bit, as this provides a simple base when I’m in a rush, with the added benefit of evening out the skin on my eyelids – the only real place I get red!

I applied both just as I do my normal Tarte daily concealer, finishing with the Chanel Les Beiges powder.  I think I should note that I didn’t use my normal MAC brightener this tim, as I wanted to see how each of the products wore on their own and the resulting finish.

Here’s a pic of the final product before starting my 8 hour day at work.  You’ll see that there’s a minor better bit of coverage with the Tarte, but nothing significant, at least to my mind.

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Tarte on the right, IT on the left

…..fast forward to mid-workout, 8+ hours later

Here’s how the two concealers wore.  You can’t really see it, but

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the IT concealer creased rather badly on me.  A shame really; I wanted to like this as much as my Tarte, at least on my skin.

 

 

I’ll still use it to cover spots and in my kit; it won’t go to waste surely.  I don’t think this is a function of excessive sweating {I don’t work out hard enough – I’m not a fan of physical exertion!}, but rather the formulation on my skin that tends to be drier under my eyes and in certain patches on my face.

I think that if you have a drier skin, go with the IT product, if you don’t, stick to Tarte.  Either way, these are both great products and worth the hype and price!

 

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IT Concealer |  Tarte Shape Tape | Chanel Les Beiges

 

 

 

 

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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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Review: Maybelline The Colossal Big Shot Mascara

Hi lovelies!

First of all, apologies for my prolonged absence.  If I’m being totally honest, I was in most of a funk for February {is a February Funk a thing?}.  In addition to my personal and work lives being overly packed, I just wasn’t in the mood for {gasp} all things beauty.  Never fear, though, I’m back with a renewed and spring-like approach to life, ready to blog!

Despite my “funk”, I did pick up some new goodies and tried my best to test a few things to review.  Here for you today is my opinion on the Maybelline The Colossal Big Shot mascara.

I’m a huge fan of Maybelline mascara, well, mascara in general so when I saw this newbie on the shelf, I had to pick it up…when it was on sale, of course, ‘cause I’m cheap.

What Does it Do?

According to the website, this mascara purports to fully volumize in one coat with a brush features unique, wavy bristles that cradle lashes, while the collagen formula delivers bold volume.   The mascara is washable, and comes in three shades: Very Black, Blackest Black and Brownish Black {points for creativity, Maybelline}.

Like all mascara I buy, I bought this in the darkest shade I could, given that I’m a natural brunette with relatively dark features.IMG_5352

In terms of my initial impressions, this mascara took a day or two for me until the formula dried down a bit.  The first time I wore it out of the house on just a normal day, I saw it transferred and didn’t hold a curl.  It just sat on my vanity like a sad little tube.  I decided to give it a go the other day, and I have to say that the results were far closer to what the Maybelline site claims.

I found that this mascara certainly volumized and didn’t really transfer, which I love since I’m a fan of fluttery bottom-lashes.   Was it huge volume and big length to give a false lash effect? No.  But in fairness, that’s not what this mascara claims to do.  It’s just a preference for me.

 


 

The Verdict:

This wasn’t bad at all, and I’ll likely finish up the tube.  I quite like the formula and finish, though it’s not #1 in my book.  It doesn’t hold a curl as well as I’d like it to, and I could use a little more length.  Would I repurchase it?  Likely not, since I still like the Lash Sensational formula better and the price point is similar.

 

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Review: MUFE Smoky Extravagant Mascara

If y’all follow me in Insta {which I know you do, but in case you don’t, click here and make that happen!} you know that I love a good sample.  I especially love a sample when it’s of a high end mascara that I can compare to my BELOVED drugstore fave: Lash Sensational!

I always keep samples – sometimes just to try something new, sometimes ‘cause they’re an old fave and a staple in my purse – in a special place within my collection.  This post that follows is my review of a long touted high-end cult fave from Make Up Forever (MUFE).

This beauty, Makeup Forever Smoky Extravagant, retails {in full size} for $30 CAD at Sephora. While not crazy expensive, it is creeping up towards the top end of my preferred high end mascara budget. I’ve heard people rave for years about the MUFE Smoky mascara, and so when this lil sample of the Smokey Extravagant found its way into my Sephora cart, I knew it would be a must-try.

The website touts the product as a clump-free, volumizing mascara that delivers long-lasting wear in one stroke. Using 4D technology, an exclusive microdefining wax complex envelopes the lash surface in ultrablack pigments for far-away impact and up-close precision. The dual-purpose, cone-shaped brush has a precision tip that separates lashes as the rounded base creates extravagant volume from any distance.

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Here’s a close up of the brush – the shape is big at the outer end to give a cat-eye curl, but I’m not sure it works as intended

Let’s focus on that last little bolded part: the brush.  I found it really, really hard to work with.  Perhaps it’s just due to the shortened handle on the sample size, however I think it may be the fact that the shape is odd and the brush is HUGE.  I have eyes on the bigger side and long lashes and this really took some getting used to.  The actual application isn’t clumpy, so that’s a plus.

In terms of the formula, it goes on smooth and is easy to layer without the dreaded spider effect.  Beyond the initial adjustment time to the brush, I found it easy to work with {again, easy is a relative term – I had to get used to the brush first!} and a great mascara for every day.

I think the colour deserves a mention as well: it’s not super black and it’s certainly not far away impact.  In fact, I think that my Lash Sensational is a bolder black, really.  BUT, it’s not terrible.  It’s just a meh sort of a very average black tone.  Nothing special, if you ask me.

The wear time isn’t terrible.  It didn’t seem to clump on me, and only left a few black marks under the eyes following some super humid weather days in Toronto.  Again, if I’m paying the high end price, it shouldn’t smudge.  At. All.   It also doesn’t hold a curl as well as other mascaras.  That may be a function of the aforementioned humidity issue {you think flat lashes are bad, you should see my super curly hair in this humidity}, but I did try it on days when the weather was normal – the curl didn’t stay and it still smudged, for what it’s worth!

 


 

The Verdict:  Don’t buy this unless you want to spend $30 on something that’s just average.  If you get a free sample, go ahead and use it!  The product doesn’t entirely suck, but it’s certainly not worth $30.  The brush is hard to work with, the formula is smudge-y, and it doesn’t dry to a firm curl.  Skip this one and save your hard earned dollars!

 

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Original or Sequel: Maybelline Mascara Edition

As you all know, Maybelline Lash Sensational is my HG mascara.   When I saw the Lash Sensational Luscious Mascara, I had to give it a try.  Could my HG mascara get even better?

The Maybelline site says it reveals layers of softer, denser lashes and fans them out.  I thought “great!  It’ll make them even more black and bold and give a false lash look” {disclaimer: I bought it in the blackest shade possible}.  Boy was I wrong!

IMG_0103This stuff doesn’t hold a candle to the original.  I found that it certainly was bolder, but it didn’t hold a curl nearly as well, and my bottom lashes transferred colour to my under-eyes by the end of the day.  No one wants racoon eyes!

My lashes looked bold and false-y {is that a word?! Faux? Is that better?} when first applied and before my day really began.  However, the curl fell as the day went on.  My lashes felt as though they were hard and I assumed {incorrectly} that it would therefore hold a curl well.  Again: I was wrong.  So wrong, in fact, that I’ve only held on to the tube just for this post – it’s going in the garbage right now!

I also found that the original was far easier to apply.  With the Luscious version, I had to be very precise about how I applied the mascara, largely because of the shape of the brush.  I also found the formula to be far wetter and therefore prone to some serious clumping.  Uncool and so not cute.

It’s not terrible, don’t get me wrong.  There may be some people on whom it wears just fine.  But for me?  I prefer the original formulation.  Much like the cult fave L’oreal Voluminous, some things are just best left in their original form.

What are your thoughts?  Which do you prefer?  Sound off below!

 

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Review: Tresemme Beauty-Full Volume Reverse System

This is my first PR post, y’all!!!  Big things happening at L’nL.

As you have likely read before, I have long, fine, thick hair.  {I’m a bitch, I know}  Products tend to leave my hair feeling limp and looking greasy though squeaky clean.   With that said, I’m always lookin’ for a little volume, so when this PR request came into my inbox, I jumped at the chance.    I used to do the “reverse method” all the time long before this release {Tresemme – I missed my calling!} and I’m not really sure why I stopped. It worked well for my hair and is certainly something I should’ve never stopped.

From Tresemme.com:  

Volume seekers tired of being left with stiff, crunchy hair can rejoice thanks to this revolutionary reverse wash system! TRESemmé’s Beauty-Full Volume is rewriting the rules of voluminous hair by reversing the traditional haircare routine. Condition FIRST to soften hair, then shampoo to wash away weight. Your hair is left hair smooth and polished, but still full of bounce. Who says you can’t have it all?

IMG_0102The system itself isn’t difficult: put the Pre-Wash Conditioner on first {the back of the bottle says for 3 mins, but ain’t nobody got time to count in the shower!}.  I generally use this time to wash my body, exfoliate my face, and do other things that shall not be outlined here but are common shower behaviour.  Once that’s done, simply rinse it out and follow with the Volume Shampoo.  When styling, use the Hair Maximizer for natural volume and movement.

In terms of fragrance, I really like the smell overall.  It’s not offensive, but it’s not light either.  I can smell it all day long!  The conditioner makes my hair instantly soft and the shampoo foams up well, leaving my hair really feeling like it’s clean.  I was quite concerned that the process would weigh down my hair, but was very pleasantly surprised!

Aside from this blog and business, I work a corporate 9-5, so I don’t often have the time to style my hair as big and beautiful as I would prefer.  I left this just as I would any other shampoo/conditioner – blowdry to take the dampness out, air dry for the most part, finish with a quick once over again with the blowdryer to be sure the ends are neatly finished.  Even if it’s damp, I tie it up overnight and will “style” in the morning.  I use the term loosely, of course, as it generally means running a flatiron over it to make it presentable.  Quite honestly, I didn’t notice a huge difference in overall volume with this system.  

I would keep using it, though, and certainly don’t think it’s a bad product line.  In fact, I’ll leave it in my shower until it’s done.  I do love the pump on the conditioner and wish it came on the shampoo {first world problems…}.  The styling Hair Maximizer though, it sucks.  I didn’t like it at all.  After trying the system a few different ways, it became immediately clear that this is what was really weighing my hair down and making it look greasy after only a day.

 


 

The verdict:  I give this a pass.  It’s not a must-have, but I wouldn’t skip it if it’s something you want to try.  The Hair Maximizer isn’t worth the dough, but the shampoo and conditioner are great products at a most wonderful drugstore price-point.

 

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