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Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Empties | August Monthly Beauty Basket Update!


At the beginning of August, I created a basket that contained all beauty products that I wanted to finish up in the month of August. Here is a link to the original post. I kept the basket in the bathroom, in an area that made it within arms reach.

Beauty Basket - Before


It proved to be a huge success! I finished all but one product. Products that I had been working on finishing for months or even years were used up this month because of the basket. Before I created the basket, these items ended up being used only occasionally, on rotation with other products and much of the time they were forgotten about.

Many of the items in the basket were expired or about to expire, so I wanted to get through them and not waste them.

Beauty Basket - After

Finished Products:



List of products:
1. Earth Science Clarifying Facial Wash- FINISHED 
Repurchase- probably not

2. Live Clean Exotic Nectar Body Lotion- FINISHED 
Repurchase- yes

3. Jason Healthy Mouth Mouth Wash- FINISHED 
Repurchase- Already replaced

5. Pure + Simple Lactic Acid- FINISHED
Repurchase- possibly

6. TheraNeem Neem Oil- NOT FINISHED 
Repurchase- yes

7. Amika Dry Shampoo- FINISHED 
Repurchase- no

I finished 6 out of 7 products thanks to the #useitorloseit basket (as I like to call it).

I will definitely be creating another basket full of products that I'd like to finish up. It really helps me focus on those products rather than rotating through all of my products and rarely finishing anything.

I highly recommend that you try this method if you also have products that you'd like to finish up.

I also have some other makeup products that I am trying to finish up, but I didn't include them in the basket as I keep those items in another room where I do my makeup.

Have you tried creating a Monthly Use It Or Lose It Beauty Basket?




Monday, August 29, 2016

Review | Physicians Formula Argan Wear Ultra Nourishing Argan Lip Oil Duo + Kohl Kajal Eyeliner


Today's review is on two new products from Physicians Formula's Argan Wear line.

I'll be reviewing their Argan Wear Ultra-Nourishing Argan Lip Oil Duo in Liquid Gold and Pink +
The Ultra Nourishing Argan Oil Kohl Kajal Eyeliner in Ultra Black.

Physicians Formula Argan Wear Ultra-Nourishing Argan Lip Oils

Ultra Nourishing Argan Lip Oil Review

Physician Formula's Argan Lip oils are made with 100% pure argan oil. They are hypoallergenic, fragrance free, gluten free, paraben free, and cruelty free.

Claims
  • Conditions, hydrates, revives, replenish immediately and long term.
  • Transforming miracle boosts lips' natural colour, smooths texture, enhances lips' shape and volume for a healthy, more youthful looking pout.
Benefits:
  • 100% Pure Argan Oil infused lip duo adds a hint of colour and shine while delivering deep hydration that nourishes and soothes lips
  • Ultra-conditioning lip oil instantly relieves dryness and helps to protect against drying from environmental conditions.
  • Ultra-luxurious coconut water flavoured formula melts into your lips, absorbing instantly, for a lightweight, non-sticky luminous shine.

My Experience: 
First of all, I just love the packaging. 

Even though they show a bit of colour in the photos, they really sheer out and are virtually clear on the lips. There are no shimmer or glitter particles whatsoever in either lip product, thank goodness!

I really like the formula, it's not sticky and not too slick either. I have tried other oil lip treatments that were very expensive and they just slid off my lips within 5 minutes. With these lip oils, I get at least a couple hours of wear. If I eat or drink, I do have to reapply.

There is no real scent or taste, just a hint of the scent of argan oil.

I really like the feel of these on my super dehydrated lips. It feels like a nice treat and quite comforting to my lips, almost like a barrier between my lips and the environment. These also make a great nighttime treatment for your lips if you apply them before bed.




I like the packaging of the lip oils. They're very hygienic and have a squeeze tube with a slanted, flexible, silicone tip as seen above. The packaging makes for easy application.


Physicians Formula Ultra Nourishing Argan Wear Kohl Kajal Eyeliner

Ultra Nourishing Argan Oil Kohl Kajal Eyeliner Review

Physician's Formula Argan Oil Kohl Kajal eyeliner is also made with 100% pure argan oil. It's hypoallergenic, fragrance free, gluten free, paraben free, and cruelty free.

Claims
  • 24-hour wear
  • fool-proof
  • safe for sensitive eyes & contact lens wearers
  • nourishes & conditions
  • glides on effortlessly
Benefits
  • Luxurious, intense and richly-pigmented kohl kajal eyeliner creates the most dramatic and exotic eye look.
  • Infused with 100% Pure Argan Oil, known as "liquid gold" for its ultra-nourishing & conditioning properties.
  • Ultra-creamy eyeliner glides-on effortlessly for dramatic definition and inner rim intensity.
24 Hour Wear
High-performance kohl formula is 100% waterproof for colour that won't budge or smudge, delivering seamless and glamorous definition for 24-hour wear.




My Experience:
I find that the liner is very pigmented and glides onto my waterline like a dream. I don't wear black liner in my waterline and haven't for years, but I put it to the test for this post. It wore all day with minimal wear. There was no transfer to my lower eyelids at the end of the day. 

The liner even wore well on my upper lash line with no transfer to my upper eyelids, which are very hooded, so I was quite surprised. I wouldn't purchase this product for the upper lash line as it would become difficult to get a nice thin line, especially over time due to the shape of the pencil. I was able to apply it to my upper lash line using the side of the pencil, which surprised me.

I actually had a hard time removing all of the liner before bed. This is a good testament to the staying power of this liner. I cannot testify as to the 24-hour claims as I didn't wear it for 24 hours. I'm not sure who would wear their eyeliner for 24 hours, on purpose anyway... well, maybe if you're in Vegas!

If you are looking for long wearing, cruelty-free eyeliners for the upper lash line, I highly recommend Physicians Formula Shimmer Strips Eyeliners that come in a 3 pack. They are as good as high-end, in my opinion, and better for use on the upper lash line.


Above: Kajal liner in the waterline and upper lash line (no mascara + untamed brows) lol.


Conclusion

Lip Duo: I'm really enjoying the lip products and think they are definitely worth the money. They feel great on my lips and seem to condition them as claimed. I find them better than similar high-end products. I find that my lips get used to balms and lip products so I have to rotate them. Only time will tell if that will happen with this product also, but I'm kind of expecting it eventually.

Kohl Kajal Eyeliner: I think the Kohl Kajal liner is excellent for someone who likes to wear black in their waterline. It glides onto the waterline like a dream and is very pigmented. I will use it for the upper lash line until it becomes too thick to use for that purpose.

Physician's Formula is pricier than most drugstore brands, but some of the products (including these) work as well as higher end brands. If you're also looking for products that are healthier for you and free of parabens, the extra cost may be worth it to you.

Physicians Formula is cruelty-free and dermatologist approved.

Have you tried these products? What are your thoughts?





Friday, August 26, 2016

Week 20: My Health and Weight Loss Journey to Get Fit and Lose Weight!



I was bad again this week. Other than today, I didn't workout at all. This makes it 2 weeks in a row! I know I'm not the only one this happens to but I get rather disappointed with myself when I don't do at least some form of exercise.

This week, either I couldn't find the time or the energy.  I think the summer heat isn't helping but I shouldn't let that stop me. I could always stay indoors and do some yoga. And, sometimes I just feel unmotivated! But, I want to be here to motivate YOU & ME!

At times I wonder why I even bother to workout when I'm not losing any weight or seeing any great muscle gains. And, then I realize... even if I don't see weight loss, there are just too many benefits to exercise to stop, even if I don't see any benefits right away.

So, even though I felt super lazy and tired from the heat today, I forced myself to go for a walk. I'm getting back on the workout wagon. .At least, those are my intentions.

As Nike says "Just Do It!"

I am continuing with the Pedometer App (pictured below) to track my steps.



Workouts for the week:
Today-  48 minutes / 1.99 miles

Weigh in:
Weight: down .5 lbs
Fat: up 1%

Next week I'm going to share with you the things that I find are essential for walking and hiking safely, so stay tuned for that.

Hope to see you next week with more to report.

Have a great weekend!




Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Part 2: Top 5 Cruelty-Free Beauty Brands With Tal's Beauty Opinion!


Welcome to part 2 of my collaboration with my beauty blogger friend, Tal, from Tal's Beauty Opinion. If you missed part 1, you can find it linked here.

In our posts today, we will each be sharing our top 5 cruelty-free beauty brands.

It was really tough to narrow it down to the top 5 as there are so many more cruelty-free brands that I really love! Perhaps we should have made it a top 10.

I based my choices not only on favourites but if there are a lot of items in each brand that I love. For example, if I've only tried one great product from a cruelty-free brand, it didn't make the cut.

I don't have much high-end makeup at all, so my choices for makeup are pretty affordable and accessible. I haven't had the opportunity to try a lot of indie brands yet, so my choices are also mainstream, for the most part.

When it comes to skincare, this is where I'm willing to spend more, as you'll see.

While I was preparing for this post, I was a little lot overwhelmed by the amount of products I had within each brand, especially when it came to makeup. So in the interest of this post, the photos feature just some of my favourites from each brand.


Live Clean

Live Clean

My pick for hair and body care is Canadian company Live Clean. They make amazing, affordable, cruelty-free products that are free from harsh chemicals and are made with natural ingredients. They are eco-friendly and their products work! I know that my collab partner is a big fan of this brand too. I can't wait to see if she also chose them as part of her top 5.

Live Clean has an extensive line of hair products as well as skincare and suncare. I love many of their products. Some of my favourites are the Pink Fire Shampoo & Conditioner to protect my colour treated hair, the Monoi Oil Body Wash, and their Argan Oil Body Lotion (not pictured).


Pure + Simple

Pure + Simple & Holistic Vanity

I discovered Pure + Simple products around 2012. The staff are super knowledgeable and helpful when it comes to what products will address your skin concerns. They have never steered me wrong with a recommendation. They also happen to be a Canadian company. Their products are also natural and free of harsh chemicals.

Pictured are just a few of their products that I love: Algae Serum, Lactic Acid, Sensitive Skin Exfoliant & Mask, and their Holistic Vanity Camellia Oil. Their Collagen Elastin Plus (not pictured) is my top pick for anti-aging. It's really pricey, but if you can afford it, I cannot recommend it enough! Note: they'll even give skincare and product recommendations over the phone!


e.l.f Cosmetics


Elf cosmetics is one of my picks for makeup because they have so many products that I love. They are super affordable but they have some really stellar products.. many of their products are even dupes for high-end makeup products! Their line is extensive and there are definitely some misses in the line, but that goes for pretty much any brand. Elf does have some major hits, though.

Pictured above are some of my favourite e.l.f. products: Illuminating palette, Studio blushes, makeup brushes, Smudge Pots, Matte lip color, Baked eyeshadows and blushes, and Mineral eyeshadows- Love!


Essence Cosmetics


Essence is such an amazing line at the drugstore. I'm not sure how they make such great products at such great prices! They make my absolute favourite lip liners. Their blushes are the bomb- I'm pretty sure I own ALL of them! I love their single eyeshadows, lipsticks, eye base and bronzers. They also make some eyeliners that are super pigmented and don't budge!


Physicians Formula


Physician's Formula is the least affordable of my makeup favourites in this post, but you can always find them on sale for around 40% off at one drugstore or another. I always wait for a sale and stock up. I'm not sure why they don't have eyeshadows and lip products in their line, but for now, I'm loving their blushes, BB creams, bronzers, and their Shimmer Strips eyeliners don't budge!


Honourable Mention:
Wet n Wild


It had to be done! I have an honourable mention in the makeup category because I just couldn't leave Wet n Wild out! I mean, what other drugstore company makes eyeshadows as good Wet n Wild does?! Their eyeshadows are the most buttery, creamy, and highly pigmented eyeshadows at the drugstore. I just wish they'd come out with some new colours and some mattes!

Also pictured is their infamous "Reserve Your Cabana" bronzer which is really a subtle highlight. It's less than $5 and it's gorgeous! It's also supposed to be a dupe for some high-end highlighters. It's such a great highlighter for aging skin or those who want a subtle highlight. Wet n Wild blushes are also highly pigmented and gorgeous. Pictured is Pearlescent Pink, a gorgeous pinky/coral with subtle shimmer. It's actually a dupe for The Balm's Frat Boy, and supposedly also a dupe for Nars Orgasm blush (although, I cannot confirm the latter).  Also pictured is one of their .99 cent lipsticks because they are great for the price too!

And, because Wet n Wild makes awesome nail polishes too.....




Don't forget to check out Tal's Top 5 Cruelty-Free Favourites. She always has some great picks!

Let me know in the comments what your favourite cruelty-free brands are!

Ps. Don't be surprised to see a part 3 in this series. ;)

Come and join in on all the blogger fun over at a Fabulous & Fun Life and The Best of Blogosphere!

Have a blessed day!




Monday, August 22, 2016

Dollar Tree Makeup Challenge Featuring LA Colors All-In-One Makeup Stick! #crueltyfree


I was at the Dollar Tree the other day picking up some necessities. While I was there, I felt like I needed a little makeup-pick-me-up, so I went straight to the makeup aisle.

They didn't have very much selection at my Dollar Tree. It was mostly L.A. Colors with a few other brands I had never heard of.

Just for fun, I decided to pick up L.A. Colors All-In-One Makeup Stick that says it's an all-in-one : lipstick, blush & eyeshadow. It's a twist up style crayon. I only saw it in one colour, "Pink Satin." I looked at the ingredients as I was worried about what might be in the product but it actually had some good ingredients in it like squalane, some of the others not so great, but nothing to really worry about.



So, I decided to challenge myself to a makeup look using this all-in-one product and really put it to the test. 



After I opened it and swatched it, I was a little disappointed that it was a bit frosty. It's really a purple toned fuschia shade with blue undertones but it appeared lighter in the package.



Blush: When I first applied it as a blush it looked more purple than it did pink, but it blended well with my ELF Small Stipple brush and gave a nice overall flush to my cheeks. I then set it with a light dusting of my Annabelle face powder.

Eyeshadow: It went on my eyes much better than I had expected. I put a very thin layer of Essence eye base underneath as a base. I also added a warm brown eyeshadow into the crease of my eyes to warm up the look a bit. I lined my eyes with my Wet n Wild black liquid liner and used my Revlon all-in-one mascara. I also dragged the L.A. Colors All-In-One stick underneath my lower lashline to connect the whole look. I was really happy with the overall eye look.

Lipstick: I applied the crayon to my lips without any liner or gloss and it went on darker than I expected. Unfortunately, the frosty finish was accentuated on my lips and it accentuated my lip lines.


Overall thoughts:
-I was pleasantly and surprised by the results. I loved the colour on my eyes! But, it really needs a powder eyeshadow on top. I found that my mascara was transferring to my eyelid because the product doesn't dry down. The colour also wore off of my eyes the quickest and had some creasing. It's too bad as it's a gorgeous colour on my eyes. I'm hoping that it will fare much better with a powder eyeshadow on top.

-I liked it as a blush after it was blended out, it's a beautiful colour on the cheeks as well. But, I found it a little difficult to apply my bronzer after I set my face and the blush with my face powder, I guess it was still a little tacky underneath. Perhaps it would be better to also use a cream bronzer when using this product as your blush.

-Unfortunately, I found that it accentuated my lip lines and looked too frosty on my lips for my liking- although it did not look frosty on my cheeks or eyes (very odd). I found that it lasted for hours on my lips (no eating or drinking) and as time went on it became less frosty.


Conclusion: 
I will probably stick to using this as an eye base for pink eyeshadow looks (which I'm loving these days), and maybe my cheeks too, although I'm not a big cream blush person. Overall, if you were in a pinch and only had this product, you could definitely get away with using this product for eyes, lips, and cheeks! I was happy with the overall look and it was definitely wearable. And, you can't really beat the $1 price tag!

La Colors is a Cruelty-free  company!


Completed look: 
This is in natural daylight with no filter. Note: I am not a heavy makeup wearer. I just wear light-medium coverage BB creams. I'm also not a makeup artist, just a gal who loves makeup! Also, I like more natural looks on myself and they may not translate that well on camera. My camera also doesn't help to show off the colour very well as it was more vibrant in person. Hopefully, my new camera phone (coming soon) will help me take better pics. These are the pics that showed the colour the most.





Have a blessed day!

Ps. For more Blogger fun, come and visit The Best of Blogosphere!


Friday, August 19, 2016

Week 19: My Health and Weight Loss Journey to Get Fit and Lose Weight!




So, I decided that this week I would do a test and not workout at all and see what happens.. okay okay, not really. I actually wasn't able to find either the time or the energy to workout at all this week... not even one day! But, the results on the scale were interesting considering I didn't workout at all! Normally the scale doesn't budge no matter how hard I workout and lift weights. Although the changes on the scale this week are minor, they are still changes and have me perplexed.. does my body prefer that I don't workout and lift weights?

Here is a link to last weeks post if you'd like to check it out.

Since I don't have any daily exercises to report, let's get straight to the results from this mornings weigh in.

Weight: down .5lbs
Fat: down 1%


See you next week when hopefully I'll have much more to report.






Wednesday, August 17, 2016

New! Real Techniques Brush Cleansing Palette #review Hot or Not!?



One of Real Techniques latest products is this Brush Cleansing Palette. I've wanted it since it came out. It kept going out of stock when I was shopping online so I signed up for in stock notifications and stalked iHerb's website until it was back in stock and quickly placed an order for it.

I paid $14.99 USD + $2.33 shipping (but I ordered several other items at the same time so the shipping was negligible).

It claims that it cleans brushes 55% better with the palette and their gel cleanser vs. hand cleaning with water. Well, I have no way to measure that- but it sure does work well!



The cleansing palette came with 2 sample packs of their brush cleanser.

The palette is a nice size and measure approximately 6" x 3.5" x  1.5"



Info from iHerb's website: 

  • Performance-grade silicone: Lightweight and ergonomically designed to fit comfortably over your hand
  • Exclusive multi-textured surfaces: Designed to gently work between the bristles for enhanced deep cleansing

Suggested Use

  • Small Brushes
  • Medium Brushes
  • Large Brushes
Step 1: Slip hand into the palette and squeeze a dime size amount of our brush cleansing gel onto the tool. Add warm water to the palette.
Step 2: Swirl brush into the gel and water across the various surfaces until the brush is clean. Rinse bristles thoroughly, being careful to not fully immerse the base of the bristles. Squeeze out the excess water.
Step 3: Rest your brushes across the surface of the tool to air dry, or use the panoramic case from our sets (sold separately) to dry brushes upside down.



Above, I have added the Real Techniques brush cleanser from the sample pack that came with it. It's clear and has a gel like consistency that is fairly thick compared to what I am used to. I normally use liquid Castile soap to clean my brushes which is much thinner and you need only a small amount.



Here, you can see the handy little strap that is built in for easy holding. It's very comfortable to hold. 

You can see the size in comparison to my hand, it's quite large. I think it's a perfect size for cleaning all sorts of makeup brushes.



The instructions say to add the cleanser and water to the dish. I prefer to add the cleanser to the dish and then wet the brush under the tap and begin swirling the brush into the cleanser and palette. Just a personal preference.



As you can see above, it really gets all the dirt out of my makeup brush. This was after cleaning just one brush. 

I rinse the palette after I clean each brush and add more cleanser for the next brush, and so on..



Squeaky clean brush after a nice bath in its new palette.



You can even use your palette to rest your brushes on top (as shown) and let them dry. But, as you can see it only holds 3 brushes here.



Here is the RT Brush Cleansing Palette in comparison to the little egg brush cleaner. 

I really feel that I don't even need the little egg brush cleaner anymore. The RT palette works much better. It's much easier to use and does a better job at getting my brushes clean.



Here's a short video of the palette in action. I had to use one hand to hold the camera and the other to hold the brush so I was only able to demo with an eyeshadow brush for the video, but you'll get the point.




I'm so glad that I got this palette. I give it 5 stars! It makes cleaning my brushes so much easier and my brushes are much cleaner. It's really worth the price as it's not something I feel I'll ever have to replace.

Because it makes cleaning my brushes so much easier, I'm certain that I'll end up cleaning my brushes more often. I can hear my skin thanking me now! lol

I probably wont purchase the Real Techniques brush cleanser as I use castile soap. It's cheap, does a great job, and will last for a very long time (you only need a small amount).

I purchased my palette here.

Have you tried this palette yet? Are you loving it as much as I am?

Ps. Come and join the blogger fun over at The Best of Blogosphere!



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