And no, this isn’t another wedding post.
Inspired by Beauty With Emily Fox on YouTube, I took a look through my old favourites from the past few years that I have been blogging and put them to the test to see what I still liked and what was just a phase. Where does the ‘something new’ come in? I had to fill in the gaps with some of my current favourites from my collection. Enjoy!
Bare Minerals Prime Time Foundation Primer Original (January 2016)
This primer is still as lovely as ever. I wouldn’t say it is my number 1 primer as I do find that my skin can look a little dry and my pores are still a little bit visible, but I have kept it because I love how it feels on the skin.
Maybelline Fit Me Matte and Poreless foundation in 110 Porcelain (January 2016)
My favourite thing about this foundation is the colour match. Other than that, I wouldn’t say this is gives me either a matte or poreless finish and it doesn’t feel great on my skin. I no longer support the company as it isn’t cruelty-free but regardless, I am not in love with this product anymore.
For inexpensive and full coverage, I don’t think you can beat this. It does separate a little and the packaging isn’t ideal, but I do like how this looks under the eyes.
NYX Rouge Cream Blush in Glow (August 2015)
This was my wedding day blush so you know it is still my number 1. I love how this blush gives life to my skin with a bit of a glow without the oil slick. I prefer cream blushes and find that this one is one of the more pigmented with fantastic staying power.
elf HD Undereye Setting Powder and Tone Correcting Powder (CURRENT)
I am blown away that I haven’t raved about these two inexpensive, cruelty-free powders. I rarely will use anything else. They both set my make up well without oxidizing or drying out my skin. They are easy to use and apply, and keep my oily skin under control. I do need to touch up through the day (I use blotting papers to do so) but these look and feel so good.
Too Faced Candlelight Glow Highlighter (July 2015)
That glow though. I still love this highlighter. It has a gorgeous, healthy shine to it while being a good balance of natural and glamourous.
Annabelle Skinny Brow Liner in Universal Medium (pictured is Universal Taupe – January 2016)
This is my go-to and it is drugstore. I am constantly using these up and repurchasing them. If there is one item you try from this post, it should be this.
Too Faced Shadow Insurance (February/March 2015)
This is another product that I use every day and have multiple backups of. It is my favourite eye primer because of how smooth it feels on the lids and how beautifully pigment sticks to it.
This isn’t quite an every day product for me, but when I need a pop of glossy, glittery shine, this is the only thing I reach for. I set this with a few shades in the ABH MR palette (next) here but the cream shadow still shines through. It is simply gorgeous.
Anastasia Beverly Hills Modern Renaissance palette (Fall 2016)
Who doesn’t love this palette? It has so many warm tones, a good variety of colour and neutrals, and the formula is simply one of the best.
Annabelle Stay Sharp Metallic eyeliner in Bronzy (September 2015)
This entire range of Stay Sharp products from Annabelle are 100% worth checking out. I have loved everything I have tried. This particular shade is my favourite because it works so well with my eye colour, but they all stay put and are easy to apply.
Marcelle Double Precision Liquid Liner (CURRENT)
I forgot how much I am in love with this matte, drugstore liner. It is easy to apply and pigmented. I don’t know how I haven’t mentioned this one before either because it has been a favourite since highschool.
Buxom Lash Mascara (CURRENT)
This is a super dark, lengthening mascara that doesn’t disappoint. If you are not a fan of the Too Faced BTS mascara because it is clumpy, here is your not-so-clumpy dupe (to clarify, I do love them both).
Bite High Pigment Pencil in Madeira (May 2015)
This shade isn’t available but I am sure Bite has a similar shade in their permanent collection. Bite specializes in lip products so of course, they are amazing. The one and only issue I have is the wear time but honestly, they feel so lovely to apply that I don’t mind.
Make Up For Ever Lab Shine Lip Gloss in D16 (January 2015)
This lip gloss line is no longer available but luckily, I have found a new favourite that is pretty similar and there is no surprise, it is from Bite. The Bite Lush Fruit Lip Gloss line is the same thick and glossy shine that lasts which is what I loved about the MUFE gloss.
I hope you enjoyed this blast from the past – I know I did! Let me know which ones you’ve tried.
Til next time, ttfn x
The Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer was one of my first big girl make up purchases. In 2013/2014, I was just getting into the make up scene on YouTube (as a viewer, of course). I wasn’t quite blogging yet but so many popular YouTubers had been recommending this and the Benefit Pore-fessional. I had received a sample of the Pore-fessional through ipsy and was not into it at all, but it did make me want to find a primer that worked. In the end, I was ready to give the Smashbox Primers a shot, despite the steep $44 price.
Guess what? I loved it. I was relatively unfamiliar with primers at that time and with few drugstore options, I was excited to find one that worked for me so quickly but the price was painful. It was only after that I discovered the amazing deal that was the $20 travel-sized ones and after my success with the original, I decided to pick up two more: the Pore Minimizing and Colour Correcting formulas. After two years or so, here I am with what has been my favourite primer. What’s there not to love? With all three of these formulas, I find that my make up lasts through the day, my pores are minimal even with simply the original formula, just about every foundation and powder work well with it and it is comfortable. The Smashbox Photo Finish Primers all give you that soft, silicone look and feel which I like. The one complaint I have heard from many oily-skinned bloggers and friends is that is does give your face some shine before the end of the day. That is absolutely true in my case too, but I don’t mind the look. Once it gets out of control, I simply use a blotting paper or a tissue and it is as good as new.
The differences between all three are minimal. As you can tell here, the consistency of the Pore Minimizing Primer is not the same silicone as they other two are (in fact, it is a fluffy texture). In my experience, it makes my face much slicker, but also shiner through the day. Of the three, it is my least favourite. For me, the Colour Correcting formula is where it’s at. I have some redness especially around my nose and chin that this ever-so-slightly helps with, but it has the same slippery texture as the original.
This post is in celebration of Smashbox changing their status to what I consider to be a cruelty-free company!
Til next time, ttfn x
Recently due to my obsession with Simply Nailogical, I picked up a few shades from Live Love Polish. The website is full of cruelty-free, 3 and 5 free brands, and many shimmery and holographic shades, which I love. It is also full of smaller brands like FUN Lacquer which is the brand I was the most attracted to. To try out their line, I got a duo-chrome with holo glitter, a pure holo glitter and a linear holo topcoat. This brand is very holo heavy as you can tell.
Cheers to the Holidays (H) is a multichrome polish that shifts between some of my favourite colours: purple, blue, orange and red. I find it is mainly a red-purple on my nails but that holo really comes through. This polish is available without the holo glitter but I wanted to go all out. This is opaque in 2 coats and easy to apply.
Black Holo Witch is pure black holographic glitter in a clear base, meaning it isn’t one you simply paint on for it to be opaque. You can wear this over any polish for that extra sparkle or sponge it on for the full effect. This is sponged on. Like all glitter, it can be a pain to remove so use with caution. It is worth mentioning this was the chunkiest polish and doesn’t always apply smooth when simply painting it on.
Finally, Diamond is their original holographic top coat. It is one of the more subtle holos which is what I was going for because I want to be able to see the colour under the shade when I wear it. That being said, in the right lighting, it is that gorgeous linear rainbow that I was hoping for. It does slightly dull the colours underneath but it is worth it in the right lighting. I tried it over 2 different finishes and several different brands for comparison.
As far as application, these polishes are smooth and easy to apply for the most part. I love the brush and the formula works well. The one thing I was a little surprised in was how small the bottles were compared to OPI, for example. They are totally unique and something that isn’t available in-store which was my main draw. All of that being said, I would buy these again in a heartbeat!
Til next time, ttfn x
Though I don’t post empites on my blog anymore (I use Instagram and Snapchat for that), there is no better feeling than finishing up a product. It’s almost as exciting as trying a new product. That’s exactly why I love trying out sample and travel sized products.
Because of that, as you can imagine, I have quite a few to go through. I have enough to make an entire look using around than $60 while using mainly high-end products. I have listed below where I received these products/whether they were a sample or travel sized. I hope you enjoy the look!
Clarins Hydra-Essential Cream (Influenster – Deluxe Sample)
Estée Edit Pore Vanishing Stick (Sephora – Sample)
Tony Moly BCDation (Jolie – Foil Packet Sample)
NARS Creamy Concealer in Vanilla (Travel Size – $16)
NYX HD Shadow Base (ipsy – sample)
Trèstique mini highlight stick (ipsy – Deluxe Sample)
Make Up For Ever HD powder (travel sized – $24)
Tarte Amazonian Clay blush in Paaarry (Sephora birthday – deluxe sample)
Too Faced Chocolate Soleil medium/deep (Sephora – deluxe sample)
Marc Jacobs highliner gel in Blacquer (Sephora birthday gift – deluxe sample)
Urban Decay eyeshadow (Sephora – deluxe sample)
- Skimp all over the eye
- Guilt all over the lid
Bare Minerals (ipsy)
- Passion in the outter corner and in the crease
Coastal Scents (ipsy)
- Greige in the outter corner
Buxom Lash Mascara (travel sized but no longer available – under $25)
Kat Von D Bow and Arrow liquid lipstick (travel sized but no longer available – $25)
I hope you enjoyed this look! Do you have enough sample sized products to create a full face?
Til next time, ttfn x
It’s not too often that I talk about the tools of the trade, but today, I have a few drugstore recommendations for your brush collection. I have found many inexpensive brush brands are just as good, if not better, than the popular MAC or Sephora type of brushes and these are no exception.
Real Techniques is one of my go-to brush brands because I trust in the quality. The brushes are cruelty-free, durable, soft, secure and reliable. Some of these brushes are here since I started my make up collection over 4 years ago and are still going strong. I have tried quite a number of their most popular brushes but found that these four brushes are the ones I consistently use and return to.
When I do want some extra colour and reach for the bronzer, I find this brush is the perfect size. It diffuses my bronzer without making it look muddy or getting too dark. It fits perfectly along my hair line, on my temples, under my cheekbones and around my jawline. If you are paler or afraid to go overboard with your bronzer, I highly recommend giving this a try.
This pointed, tiny brush is my go-to for detailed work. It is small enough to fit wherever I need it to go like my inner corners but large enough that it deposits all of the pigment you need. It is fantastic for smudging, or placing colour wherever you need it.
These two brushes came in the Real Techniques Core Collection set.
Base Shadow Brush
The Base Shadow brush is my go to for blending out cream eyeshadow. In fact, this is the only brush I will use. It is both dense but fluffy making it fantastic at diffusing the colour without removing it. This is now available in this convenient eye shadow brush duo**.
I am not sure how I used to apply highlighter without this. Most people use this to set their undereye concealer but I find that it doesn’t pack it on the way I prefer. For me, this is perfect for blending out highlighter. I like a strong highlight personally, but this small brush allows for a lot of colour to be placed on the skin, but keeps the glitter under control. This is sold separately but is worth every penny.
One final thing to mention: if you already had any of the brushes now available in the duo packages, the brushes are similar but with slightly redesigned packaging. They work just as well and feel just as lovely as they always have. I am excited to have a backup Base Shadow Brush and Deluxe Crease brush to use when mine are dirty. I recommend trying them out if you haven’t already!
Til next time, ttfn x
Feeling a little inspired by the Starbucks drink and Pride Week which is coming up fast, I decided to create a unicorn look using a variety of colourful shades and glitter.
I love how glowey and vibrant the eyes were! Both of the palettes I used for this are my favourites if I am going for a colourful look because they apply and blend so easily.
Too Faced Shadow Insurance
Annabelle Stay Sharp Eyeliner in Snow White under the eye
BH Cosmetics Take Me To Brazil palette
- White all over the lid
- Teal on the inner crease
- Red, Orange, Yellow, green, blue under the eye
Urban Decay Electric palette
- Jilted/Urban in the crease
- Revolt on the lid
Annabelle Stay Sharp eyeliner in Go Black on the waterline
Marcelle Double ended Precision eyeliner for the wing
Sephora eyeliner in Evening Blue
Buxom Lash Mascara
BH Cosmetics Blacklight Highlighting Powder in Kween
NYX Strobe of Genius lavendar highlight
Jesse’s Girl Glow Stix in Tangerine
Til next time, ttfn x