Bougie on a Budget: Full Face

A huge shoutout to Toni Sevdalis for the inspo here.  If you haven’t checked out her YouTube yet, give her a view – she’s awesome, as is her sister Allie.

Toni does ‘Bougie on a Budget’ hauls for her wardrobe, mainly mixing some high end staples with looks from Walmart, Express, and other similar high quality fashion retailers. I thought that this is something we could replicate here with makeup.  Why not?  My daily look is a mix of high and low, so why not share some of my faves.

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Having a great complexion is the base of any flawless look {skincare is key too – see my post here}.  You don’t have to pay a ton to have a flawless face.  L’Oreal makes a great product in their Infallible Pro-Matte 24 Hour Foundation that’s a demi-matte finish, and honestly, looks just as great as my favourite, and expensive, Armani Luminous Silk foundation.  Wet ‘n Wild Photo Focus Foundation is a great alternative if you want a more matte, full coverage product.  I’d compare this more so to a NARS product.    See my POST about the L’Oreal Infallible concealers.   Don’t even try something high end.  Use a lighter shade under your eyes, and perhaps mix with a slightly darker shade for your perfect tone if needed.  A simple spot of this to match your foundation will cover any and all blemishes!

cotySetting foundation and concealer is key – so I’d recommend the Coty Airspun powder.

 

Bronzer is a must – countour, or just to up the glow factor.  NYC makes a great product that can be built to match the tone you’re looking for.

 

For eyes, there’s tons of great options at the drugstore, but particularly, I’ve always loved the Covergirl Shimmering Sands trio.  I’ve had it since high school {not the same one, relax!} and find it universally flattering.

 

Y’all know what mascara I love and it needs no intro: grab yourself the Maybelline Total Temptation in the waterproof formula specifically.  It’s buildable, bold, and easy to remove.  What’s not to love?

 

 

In terms of blush, Milani has it locked down.  Grab Luminoso.  It’s a universally flattering light blush colour, similar to NARS’ Orgasm.

 

 

Highlight is key too!  Don’t forget it.  It just polishes the whole look and gives you a glow that we Canadians need in these long, cold winter seasons!  I recommend and use the NYX highlight in Lavender Steel {NYX is one of the best brands on the market, hands down}.  It’s got purple undertones, but looks great on varied tones of skin.

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Brows.  Don’t forget those either.  NYX, again, makes a great brow product – reallllll similar to the Anastasia Brow Wiz – and the price is right.  Not to mention the wear is fantastic as is the shade range!

 

For lips, again – you guessed it – go to NYX:  Los Angeles lipliner is universally flattering {think MAC Whirl} and any of their Butter Glosses well rival high end products like Chanel.  I personally use their Butter Gloss in Tiramisu almost every day!

 

What are your drug store go-tos?

 

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Foundations here and here | L’Oreal Concealer | Shimmering Sands Trio | NYC Sunny bronzer | Coty Airspun Powder | Maybelline mascara | Milani blush in Luminoso | NYX Micro Brow pencil, highlighter, lip liner in Los Angeles, and Butter Lip Gloss 

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Shape Tape Dupe – FINALLY!

Y’all know I’ve loved Shape Tape for a loooooooooong time.  A real long time.  I’ve tried to replicate it to no avail {spoiler alert: the Makeup Revolution concealer, while great, isn’t as full coverage}.  BUT….a big BUT….I think I’ve found a drugstore alternative: L’Oreal Full Wear Infallible concealer.

 

It’s available at the drugstore.  It covers like Shape Tape.  The shade range is decent.  What more could we want?  Look no further.

 

 

The concealer wears all day without creasing, doesn’t oxidize, and covers just as well if not better {gasp!} than the Shape Tape.  I’ve managed to nearly match my Shape Tape shades in the L’Oreal product with ease.

 

 

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For reference, L-R on the top {all L’Oreal}: 365 Cashew, 360 Cashmere, 350 Bisque, 330 Ivory L-R, Bottom Row {Shape Tape}: Light-Sand, Light-Medium Honey, Medium

 

 

These can be set with a loose powder or a compact setting powder, but it’s not necessary {for real? YAS!}.   Don’t walk, run and pick this up!  Walmart carries a wide range {linked below, and likely your cheapest bet} and Shoppers here in Canada has a decent range as well, albeit at a higher per unit price.  For you guys in the States, Ulta carries the whole shade range.

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Walmart {cheapest option!} | Ulta

 

Wet ‘n Wild: Buy or Bye?

WnW just kills it in the drugstore beauty sector, can we please get that straight off the bat?  I love their stuff, and so when I saw some new releases on their website, I placed an order immediately.

 

I think their foundation is one of the best available from the drugstore, and their highlighters are insane.  Always one to want to save money, I thought I’d grab one of their lipliners and their beauty sponge too in hopes of finding a dupe for my beloved BeautyBlender.

The highlighters are gorgeous!  The pigmentation is insane, at least on Blossom Glow, rivaling that of my Becca highlighters and my beloved Amrezy from Anastasia {retailing for well over $30 CAD and now d

iscontinued, I think}.  Full disclosure: I think certain ones have just a shimmer spray over top and may not keep their shine over time but my overall fave will certainly keep its lustre over time given that it lacks the shimmer over spray.

 

 

The Color Icon Lip Liner in Brandy Wine is a cult fave {case in point:  here and here}, so when I see something that’s $0.99 – even USD – with that sort of a following, I have to give it a go.  I was pleasantly surprised with this!  I’m still using it intermittently, and it gives a great ‘your lips but better’ hue that I believe will be universally flattering.  There is a bit of a plastic-y smell, so beware of that, and, if it’s something you can get past, pick this one up!  It’s creamy and long lasting with a seriously solid price point.

 

The sponge?  Save your money.  It really hurts my face!  I’m not sure if I was using it incorrectly {it says you can use wet or dry online!}, however I didn’t find that it blended product overly well and certainly made applying product painful.  I have linked the product below, but can’t recommend it; I’d say save on this one and splurge instead on a BB.

 

I also picked up their bronzer in What Shady Beaches.  It’s much too dark for me right now so I’ll report back once this Canadian gets a bit of a tan!

 

Comment below if you’ve tried anything from this collection, I’d love your thoughts too.

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Bronzer | Highlighters in Blossom Glow, Bloom Time, and Botanic Dream | Lip Liner in Brandy Wine | Sponge {NOT a BeautyBlender dupe!}

 

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

 

 

 

 

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: 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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