NOTD : Cold blooded

Friday, October 31, 2014

Happy Halloween lovelies!

Thought I would squeeze in a little Nail Of The Day for you guys! 

It's Halloween, so I was thinking cold blooded blue, you know, keeping things vampy and sexy!  I finally got my hands on Essie's Style Cartel (yes I know...Another Essie shade! I swear I'm not sponsored).
a picture of Essie's Style Cartel nail polish
a picture of Essie's Style Cartel nail polish

I was so excited about this shade because it is everything I wanted After School Boy Blazer to be and just wasn't. And what  Sally Hansen's Xtreme Wear Matte Effect Polish in Blue Blood should have been! You can read about that hot mess HERE.
a picture of Essie's After School Boy Blazer nail polish
a picture of Essie's After School Boy Blazer nail polish

Unlike After School Boy Blazer, this polish is not black, it's blue. It's dark but you can clearly see that blue tint.

Here they are side by side :

a picture of Essie's After School Boy Blazer and Style Cartel nail polishes
a picture of Essie's After School Boy Blazer and Style Cartel nail polishes
Left : After School Boy Blazer / Right: Style Cartel

They don't look as different in the bottle as they do on the nails. 
a picture of Essie's Style Cartel nail polish (swatch)
a picture of Essie's Style Cartel nail polish (swatch)

Any of you guys sporting more ghoulish or fancy Halloween manis? I'm a simple gal, what can I say!

Feast on candies and treats, drink some witch's brew, but most importantly stay safe kiddos!

Talk to you soon!

-Val

Stressed out? Benzagel's got you covered!

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Hey lovelies!

Long time no speak! I still currently have no appropriate work space, and keeping things comfortable in my bed at the moment, not ideal, but I'll make it work.

We all know about the age old vicious circle that links stress and acne : stress causes acne ; acne causes stress.

With the recent changes in my life, the pressure was real. Luckily, a little hero called Benzagel came to the rescue.

I have talked about their spot treatment Benzagel 5 previously on my blog, and already knew this bad boy was a life saver.

I was lucky enough to have the lovely people at Benzagel send me a little care package** to try out some of their other products and the timing could not have been more perfect.


a picture of benzagel 5, benzagel Spot On, Benzagel acne wash

Their products are surprisingly gentle, but most importantly, effective.

When I first saw the Acne Gel & Wash containing 5% benzoyl peroxide, I cringed. I've had pretty terrible experiences with those kinds of washes in the past (*aheum* Oxy *aheum*), which left my pillowcases and clothes stained and my face a hot irritated mess. But with things being a little worse than usual with the stress factor, desperation made me try it.

Boy am I glad I did! Yes it does still stain my pillowcases but it is actually gentle on the skin, no irritation or dryness whatsoever. I do recommend you use a product that really removes ALL of your makeup beforehand as I don't feel this does a good job at removing makeup. 


a picture of Benzagel Acne Wash
a picture of Benzagel Acne Wash spout packaging
A picture of  Benzagel Acne Wash texture

My only complaint is the packaging. I was not a big fan of that "pull out" teeny tiny spout thing, you gotta work at it a little to get the product out.

The formula is this nice foamy almost creamy gel consistency that leaves your skin feeling balanced. Not greasy, not dry, just perfect. There's no stinging or anything at any point. I guess that "foamyness" (though it doesn't foam up on your face) allows the BP the penetrate deeply into your pores and attack the little buggers ruining your life!

Because I was so scared of the Benzoyl Peroxide content, I did not combine it with the other products at first. Once I saw there was no sign of irritation, I started using the Spot On in addition. This only has 2.5% BP and looks like your normal "white cream gel" type spot treatment. How can such a mild formula be so powerful? I don't know, but it's fan-freakin-tastic!

Again though, that little spout is a nuisance. I guess it's meant to encourage to use only a little amount (you really do need only a tiny bit), but it's a little annoying. Nothing major, but you know me, I like to complain just to complain sometimes ;)


a picture of Benzagel Spot On
a picture of Benzagel Spot On texture, spout, packaging
This deadly duo had been the most effective and gentle combination I have ever tried. It kicked those stress zits to the curb within days!

I find these products to be my go to for stress zits. These came out of nowhere and were nothing like my usual hormonal breakouts. For those regular breakouts I still use my usual routine with the Benzagel 5 as my spot treatment.

Bottom line : Benzagel has got you covered!

Have you tried any of their products?

Benzagel is Canadian brand you can find in most Canadian drugstores. You can also check them out on their different social media pages:
Facebook 
Twitter
Pinterest
Instagram

That's it for now, talk to you soon!

Keep those faces clear in the meantime!

-Val

** Disclaimer : yes I received these products for free, no I am not being compensated for this review. All opinions are my own and honest.

Products I regret buying : VOL.2

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Giiiiirrrlll! We need to talk.

Lately, my luck with certain products has just been off. Thought I'd share my experience and maybe help you avoid making the same mistakes. But then again, this is just MY experience with these beauty fails. 
First off, the Maybelline Dream Pure BB. I was sooo excited to try this since we don't have this product in Canada (well I've never been able to find it), and it is affordable. Unfortunately, this was a disappointment for several reasons : 
A) The shade selection is a bust. There's only two, and the "Light/Medium" is way too dark and "orangy". Since it's a BB cream it's somewhat blendable enough to not look like an extra from Jersey Shore, but still...
B) It is not moisturizing whatsoever! Even with a moisturizer under, this still managed to feel dry on my skin and make any dry patches on my face SUPER obvious. Not cute.
C) It starts breaking down and you turn into an oil slick within a few hours (like 1-2h). Again, not cute.
D) The coverage is just not happening. Don't get me wrong, I can get on board with light to medium coverage, but if this product is targeted towards people with acne prone skin, chances are they'll want a bit more coverage than what this provides.
E) I'm pretty positive because of B & C it CAUSES breakouts instead of preventing them.
Bottom line: Canada did you a favor. If you want a great conceal & heal BB cream, check out the Body Shop's Tea Tree Flawless BB cream, you can read my full review on this bad boy right HERE.
a picture of Maybelline Dream Pure BB
a picture of Maybelline Dream Pure BB, swatch

Next, First Aid Beauty's Facial Radiance Pads. Now I love this brand, and I usually have good luck with their products. I decided to try these (wise girl took the "sample" size) to alternate with my "Magic Potion". Some mornings, I want to be a bit more gentle with my skin so I thought I could use these in place of a toner. It's not that this is BAD, it's just that it does nothing. There is no radiance, quite the contrary, I become quite red after first using. The redness goes away, so not to worry, but I've been using this for a month now, and it's just not worth the money. I think I'll just go back to my Simple Soothing Facial Toner for gentle days. PASS!
a picture of First Aid Beauty Facial Radiance Pads
Ok, let's talk about the disaster that was Sally Hansen's Xtreme Wear Matte Effect Polish. OH. MY. GOD. I picked this up because it was at the register while I was checking out, and the color is GORGEOUS! I thought the matte finish would be cool to try too, since I've never jumped on that trend. 
a picture of Sally Hansen Xtream Wear Matte Effect in Blue Blood
a picture of Sally Hansen Xtream Wear Matte Effect in Blue Blood


Well...The color was great on the nails too, and it dried fast, so it was promising! However, I was not a fan of the matte finish, plus it was streaky (probably due to my poor painting skills, so for that, mea culpa) I figured I would just use my regular top coat to get a finish to my liking and assure the longevity of my polish. WRONG. Holy sh**t! the polish started chipping within HOURS. Really? I know my nails are cursed and nothing stays particularly long on them, but this, this is a first. And it kept getting worse. This is what it looks like after two days : 
a picture of chipped nails wearing Sally Hansen Xtream Wear Matte Effect in Blue Blood

Not acceptable. But for the record, I've never had problems with this line...Is it the matte? The fact that I topped it? I'm not sure what happened, but it was NOT ok.

Last but not least, Healthy Sexy Hair Soy Renewal Beach Spray. Let's keep this short; you will not achieve sexy beachy waves with this, but a crunchy mess (and not like cute, effortless messy, HOT MESS messy). I've tried it on damp hair and let it dry, princess lea buns, braids over night, basically anything to help out the product...Didn't work out. Much disappoint. Forever straight hair :( Again, luckily it was just a trial size! Clearly will not purchase the full size.
a picture of Healthy Sexy Hair Soy Renewal Beach Spray
Well that's it honey bunnies! Have you tried any of these products? Did they work out for you? Let us know!

Talk to you soon,

-Val

September 2014 favorites

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Hello lovelies!

It's that time of the month again! No not "that" time... Monthly favorites time!

I feel like the month of September just flew by. Since I've been living with very few beauty items, it's pretty easy to point out what I've been really loving this past month.


a picture of naked palette, color tattoo, rimmel lipstick, ginzing
I had to pack only ONE palette (that's the limit I gave myself) and so I opted for Urban Decay's Naked palette. Owning all 3 from the line, I had neglected the original throughout time. I must say, it was like falling in love all over again. I picked this one, although I didn't feel it was my favorite at the time, simply because I feel it is more versatile for me than the others. It's definitely going to keep getting more lovin'.
a picture of Urban Decay's Naked Palette
With the versatile/practical theme, I had completely forgotten to pack brow products. Luckily for me, I also brought my Maybelline Color Tattoo in Tough As Taupe. I've never tried the Anastasia Dipbrow Pomade, but I assume this could possibly be a dupe for it. If I over do it, it can look a little too light on me, but I'll mix it with a darker color from the Naked palette (they all have a bit of glitter but I swear it doesn't show up!). Tough As Taupe has always been a favorite product for my eyes, but now I've rediscovered it in a whole new light. DOUBLE TROUBLE!
a picture of Maybelline's Color Tattoo in Tough as Taupe
Since I am slightly obsessed with fall and vampier shades (as you saw from my nail selection), I needed to make sure I had a nice deep lip color. I got my hands on the Rimmel Lasting Finish Matte by Kate Moss in the shade 107, and have been wearing it pretty much every night out this month. It is the ultimate fall color, I am so wonderfully in love with it, and I get compliments every time I wear it! It's just this gorgeous deep berry shade and the formula goes on smoothly, is long lasting and non drying at all! Come to think of it, it pairs quite nicely with Essie's Bahama Mama...Have I just one fall? YES.
a picture of Rimmel's Lasting Finish Matte by Kate Moss in 107
A picture of Rimmel's Lasting Finish Matte by Kate Moss in 107 (swatch)

Now you might remember I got a nice little Origin's kit in exchange for 500 Beauty Insider points. Let me just say it is all AMAZING. But again I left some parts of it in a box, and haven't used all products as much. I've already talked about the eye cream and how it's a tired eyes' dream (I'm a poet and I know it), you can read this beauty 911 article HERE. But the matching face cream is B-E-A-U-T-I-F-U-L. The Origin's Ginzing Energy Boosting Moisturizer is the perfect daytime cream for all skin types. It has a gel cream consistency that my combo skin drinks up, leaving me moisturized and not oily at all! It smells just so heavenly, a nice citrus-y scent, that's really pleasant in the wee hours of the day. I feel like it also refreshes the skin, as it's looking healthy and bright. 5/5 would repurchase when this generous sample runs out. If you're going to be in the sun though make sure to also wear sunscreen as this cream does have an SPF unfortunately. 
A picture of Origins' GinZing Energy-boosting moisturizer
A picture of Origins' GinZing Energy-boosting moisturizer (texture)

And those are my top picks for this month ladies and gents! What are some of your favorite beauty products as of lately?

Talk to you soon!

-Val