Smashbox Photo Finish Primers

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

#Finish5 for May

I feel pretty accomplished this month. Though I did totally bomb and forget to use 1 of the 5 products, I did actually finish 4! Any guesses?

I completely forgot to use the elf Eye Refresh the entire month. You know how sometimes you just can’t for the life of you remember something? No matter how many times it comes up or you google it or whatever, you just can’t? I swear I referred back to my Finish 5 blog post over 10 times to try and remember what to use up and I still managed to forget.

It did do me some good though because in the end, I completely finished the Murad Essential C serum, the Marc Jacobs nameless lipgloss, all three of THEFACESHOP Real Nature masks and I dipped into the Peter Thomas Roth Cucumber Face mask. My skin was extremely hydrated as you can imagine.

I actually was able to finish off the Murad serum within a week. I love the Murad Essential C line – the smell, the feel, the results. The only thing I am not such a fan of would be the price. If I were to recommend one product from the line, I would go for the moisturizer over the serum.

I had a bit of a fail moment when I threw out the two out of three sheet mask packages that I was using for this Finish 5 but I did get to use them and I have a full review coming soon. The one thing I will say is the Red Ginsing mask is my absolute least favourite. I wouldn’t recommend!

Though I didn’t completely empty it – perhaps I will tonight – I do like the PTR Cucumber Gel mask. It feels amazing on the skin, makes me face feel soft and plump afterwords. I do like it but will likely not purchase it since it is not cruelty-free.

Lastly, I did finish my Marc Jacobs lipgloss. It isn’t sticky, it feels lovely, but for a lipgloss, I would look to a less luxurious brand personally.

For the next round of my #Finish5, I have a good mixture of skincare and make up. I picked these 5 non-cruelty-free products because they are already running low and I want to finish up what I can that isn’t CF!

For skincare, I had the Vichy Normaderm toner but funny story, I spilled it last night so let’s just pretend this is a picture of the Vichy Normaderm cleanser. I also have an Origins Retexturizing mask with Rose Clay to use up. Both are sample/travel sized as is the Vichy Idealia BB cream in Light which I received as a sample from Shoppers last year. I am so heartbroken that Vichy isn’t cruelty-free since I do love their skincare products. 

Finally, the two full sized products are the Smashbox Photofinish primer and the Rimmel Brow This Way brow gel in Light. Wish me luck!

Til next time, ttfn x

The Palette Tag

Hey all! I’ve seen this little tag floating around the beauty community and tough I don’t remember if I was tagged (let me know if I was and I am simply forgetting), I thought it would be a whole lot of fun to do anyway.  Continue reading “The Palette Tag”

Best of 2015

best of 2015
Hey all! Welcome to the final day of 2015. I hope it is going well. Today, I thought I would talk about my favourite products that I have discovered this year. Some of these are now staples in my collection and you know them all if you have been tuning in for a while. I have mentioned most of these products in previous favourites or reviews which means they have withstood the test of time and I am still loving them. Let’s get into it.

Skin Care

reversa solution for oily acne prone skin vichy normaderm night detox
You may be totally aware that skin care has been priority number 1 for me this year and with that came a slew of products. The start of it all for me was the Vichy Normaderm Night Detox moisturizer that I initially received as a sample from Shoppers in March/April. It makes the world of difference for my skin in terms of acne. I have gone from some pretty painful breakouts to one-two little pimples using this product alone. Another acne fighting game-changer for me has been the Reversa Solution for Oily and acne prone skin**. I have used this both as a toner and an acne spot treatment and it delivers amazing results both ways. Pimples disappear in a day or two and my blackheads are clearing up making for a much smoother complexion. This is also available at Shoppers which I would never have guessed would be my one-stop-shop for skin care.

glamglow lippy girl lip love lip conditioning stick
If you know me, you know masks are my favourite thing and I have so many of them. The Glamglow Supermud clearing treatment is still my number one holy grail mud mask to clear things up but with the improvement in my skin near the end of the year, I see a change on the horizon. Regardless, this was my go-to mask for 2015 and it is totally worth it for you if you have oily/acne prone skin. My final skin care find of 2015 was a lip balm which I don’t think I will ever stray from: the Lippy Girl Lip Love Lip Conditioning stick in Eucalyptus Mint. This is an amazing balm for healing and hydrating and on top of that, it has all the good qualities of a product: cruelty-free, organic, lasts forever, smells great. All the good stuff.

Make Up

smashbox photo finish primers
physicians formula nude rose blush make up for ever ultra hd foundation benefit hello flawless oxygen wow foundation lise watier portfolio corrector wheel

What you’re really here for is the make up. There are quite a few in 2015 that I found and love and as usual, we will start with the primer. No shock here that my number one is the Smashbox Photo Finish primer. Thus far, I have enjoyed the entire line with my favourite being the Colour Correcting green shade to help with the redness I get in my cheeks. I also use the Lise Watier Portfolio Concealer Wheel daily to spot correct around my nose, mouth and cheeks with the green shade. The consistency is lovely with high coverage but no oiliness or cakey feel. I wish I had more uses for the other four shades in the palette but either way, it’s worth it to have this concealer in my routine.

For foundation, I have to go with the Benefit Hello Flawless and Make Up For Ever Ultra HD foundation. I love the coverage, the colour match, the lasting power, the finish and everything else for both of these. Though quite pricey, but I don’t think anything else I have tried quite compares. I prefer the Benefit Foundation far more when used without powder with its super yellow tones but when I am going for a more mattified complexion, the MUFE foundation is perfect. Another favourite face product would be the Physicians Formula blush in Nude Rose. This is a natural but very pink blush that I go for way more often than I would ever have guessed. It is hard to go to heavy handed with this blush because it is so nude-wearing but it gives a super pretty finish in my opinion.

annebelle stay sharp eye liner bronzey snow white too faced shadow insurance primer abh world traveller palette
For the eyes, it may not be a surprise that the Anastasia Beverly Hills World Traveler palette was my number one this year. It stole the show. The warm neutral but still bold shades and amazing pigmentation while still being soft and blendable. Seriously out of this world and I want to buy everything ABH has in powder form. Holy cow, I still can’t get over how beautiful this is. Before shadow comes primer and my eye shadow primer of choice is the Too Faced Shadow Insurance primer. It doesn’t look or feel cakey and it makes my shadows stick without ruining my blending which is something I haven’t found in other primers yet.

I have neglected eye liner a little bit this year but I still have a pencil and liquid fave. Annabelle totally blew me away with the Annabelle Stay Sharp eye liners of which I have a deep and undying love for Bronzey**, their brown metallic shade. It is water proof and doesn’t disappear through the day. It simply always looks flawless. My number one liquid liner I do not have anymore (ran out unfortunately) but still deserves a mention. It is the Make Up For Ever Ink Liner** and it is everything perfect in a liner. Easy to apply, black as it gets, matte and budge proof. It isn’t, however, waterproof.

Everything Else

colab dry shampoo rio new york
I have a hair and nail favourite that I thought should mention. For the hair, I pretty much stick to dry shampoo and my number one is totally COLAB Sheer Invisible or Xtreme Volume in Rio. I find the Xtreme Volume line harsher on my hair but when I need that volume, it is just the best. I don’t find their to be any white residue, it smells great and feels fantastic too. In terms of nails, the Essence Nail Art Express Dry Drops have become a staple when I do my nails. It is awesome on my cuticles and dries my nails quickly with little mess. Did I mention it is only $3?

Why not also throw in a trend favourite of 2015? I personally love the chunky boot style that I have seen this year and have picked up 2 pairs this fall that I adore. I don’t typically wear heels or care about shoes but these two from Spring are insanely comfortable and so beautiful. The Galiredien and Kingsmore styles are both on sale and I totally recommend giving them a try!

2015 as a year was pretty amazing and I can only hope to have another year like it for 2016! Let me know what you have loved this year so I can give them a try. Happy New Years all!

Til next time, ttfn x

#MOTD: Simple New Years Eve

Hey all! Every beauty blogger/YouTuber is giving their two cents when it comes to what they are wearing this New Years and I thought it would be fun to join in. This is pretty subtle compared to a lot that I have seen this holiday season but I thought I would showcase two products I have loved this December: the Marc Jacobs Twinklepop in Honey Bunny and Hourglass Liquid Lipstick in Icon.

nye motd
face make up

Primer: Smashbox Photo Finish Primer with L’Oreal Magic Lumi primer on top for some glow.

Eyeshadow Primer: Too Faced Shadow Insurance on the lids and under the eyes.

Concealer: the BH Cosmetics Concealer Wheel in Light using the lighter pink under my eyes.

Concealer 2: the Lise Watier Portfolio Corrector Wheel in Light using the green shade on the redness around my mouth, nose and cheeks.

Foundation: Benefit Hello Flawless Oxygen Wow in I’m Pure 4 Sure Ivory.

face and lip make up 

Brows: Annabelle Browshow in light to draw in and highlight and setting with the Benefit Gimmie Brow in Light/Medium.

Blush: Physician Formula Nude Wear blush in Rose generously on the cheeks.

eye make up
Cream Eyeshadow: Marc Jacobs Twinklepop in Honey Bunny all over the lids and blended in with a dense brush.

Powder Eyeshadow: the Stila Portrait of a Perfect Eye. Using Rosewood (dark, matte brown) in the crease to deepen and blend the shadow in a little more then Linen (light champagne shimmer) on the MJ Twinklepop to set it and further blend into the crease.

Liquid Liner: the Elizabeth Mott You’re So Fine eye liner in Glitterati to create a long wing with some new years glitter.

Mascara: a current favourite, the Marcelle Curling and Lengthening xtention + curl mascara.

Lipstick: the Hourglass liquid lipstick in Icon which stole the show in my classic red lipstick recommendations.

new years motd
This look features that bit of champagne glitter that every New Years Eve should have PLUS a super kissable set of red lips that will stay in place. To bump this up even more, a highlight and some false lashes would look stunning with this!

I hope you liked my tutorial! I haven’t totally found my writing style when it comes to tutorials so let me know how you liked this one! As always, be sure to let me know how you feel about the products used as well.

Til next time, ttfn x

Sephora Holiday Haul & Review

Hey all! Here we are again with some new Sephora goodies. I took advantage of the $25 off of $50 coupon and picked up one Holiday set and one mini/travel sized product that I already knew I would love.

I decided to give the Too Faced Melted lipsticks a second try after seeing Chelle from Make Up Your Mind talk about them oh-so-lovingly. With that in mind, I picked up this mini set of 6 Too Faced products. I normally an so in love with Too Faced as a brand from their cruelty-free status to their adorable packaging but I didn’t get along with their Melted lipstick before. This Too Faced Melted Kisses and Sweet Cheeks set included 3 of the Melted lipsticks and 3 Love Flushed blushes which I had already tried and love the formula of.

Too Faced Melted Kisses and Sweet Cheeks
too faced nude peony fig
too faced nude peony fig swatch
Each lipstick is paired with a blush so you have:

Melted Nude and Love Hangover which are the nudey peaches of the bunch;

Melted Peony and Justify My Love which are lovely baby pinks; and

Melted Fig and Your Love Is King which are the plummy shades.

too faced love hangover justify my love your love is king
too faced love hangover justify my love your love is king swatches
I love the blushes as I suspected but what about the lipsticks? I had tried Melted Peony before and found it was kind of gritty and oily feeling. I may even go as far as saying it sucked. This time around, I like them! They are absolutely different than what I had tried before and I’m glad I tried them again!

sephora haul

To make this a $50 purchase, I also grabbed a Smashbox Photo Finish primer in the purple Pore Minimizing formula. I have pretty religiously been using the other two primers (original and colour correcting) I own so I thought I would try yet another. I am crossing my fingers they come out with a mini of their blemish control formula as well but I may take a chance and give it a try anyway.

This primer was just as lovely as the other two but I would say the hardest to spread. I will say that I do get oily when using any three of these primers but I just blot or deal with it because they make my make up application a million times easier and feel  better than others I have used.

I hope you enjoyed this little review! Be sure to let me know what you think of the Too Faced Melted lipsticks or Love Flushes blushes & Smashbox Photo Finish Primers! I think they can be love/hate products but now you know where I stand.

Til next time, ttfn x


#MOTD: Leaves

Hey all! I am going a little make up crazy this month while I can still pull off these warm, rich shades. This look was inspired by an instagram collab with three LOVELY ladies: @xonoelle @lauraissharperthanyou and @stephaniejane.mua. Each of us pulled inspiration from a season and hopefully, you can tell I was inspired by beautiful fall leaves. This look is pretty dramatic and I hope you love it!

Eye shadow primer: Urban Decay Original Primer Potion
Eye shadow: Jesse’s Girl 9 pan Shadow palette in Brown Eyed
Pigment: Mac Blue Brown
Spray: Mac Prep and Prime Fix +
Eye liner: Annabelle Liquid Liner in Espresso, Annabelle Stay Sharp Eye Liner in Bronzey**
Mascara: either Too Faced BTS or Marcelle
Brows: Annabelle Brow Show in Light**, Benefit Gimmie Brow in Light/Medium

Primer: Smashbox Photo Finish Colour Correcting primer
Foundation: Benefit Hello Flawless in I’m Pure 4 Sure Ivory
Concealer: Lise Watier Concealer Wheel, Hard Candy Glamoflauge in Ultra Light, Bare Minerals Concealer in Well Rested
Blotting Papers: Sephora Brand Vitamin C+E blotting sheets
Blush: Tarte Amazonizn Clay blush in Mirage
Highlight: Buxom Illuminateur in Divine Goddess, the Balm Mary-Lou Manizer

Lips: Annabelle Stay Sharp Lip Liner in Java**, Make Up For Ever Lab Shine lip gloss in D16**

Starting with a primer, I used my fave Smashbox Photo Finish all over the face and used the Urban Decay Primer Potion all over my lid and under my eyes. I find it helps keep things in place a little bit better. Continuing with my base, I used some green concealer from my Lise Watier wheel as well as the Ivory under my eyes as per usual. I blended in the Benefit Hello Flawless foundation all over and have found I prefer this without a powder on top so I skipped setting it today.

Further concealing and brightening my under eyes, I used my favourite method of applying the Hard Candy Glamoflauge all over and blending it out before using a blotting paper to take away some of the creaminess that it has. Then I blend once more and set it with the Well Rested concealer. With my base complete, it’s time to fix up my eye brows. I have been using the Annabelle Brow Show to highlight and fill in my brows quite a bit lately and then to set, I am using up my Gimmie Brow.

Onto the eyes, I started strong with the Jesse’s Girl 9 pan palette using a very rich burnt orange (shade #6) in the crease and then brightening it slightly with the true pumpkin orange (shade #3). Then, I used the slightly shimmery nude (shade #2) all over my lid before taking a wet brush (using the Mac Fix +) and putting Blue Brown all over the mobile lid.

To keep the look warm but sharp, I used the Annabelle liquid liner in Espresso which is super matte but does fade a bit and gave myself a nice wing. At this point, I decided I was missing a little something and added Bronzey by Annabelle to my lower lash line and smudged everything out before applying mascara. I do not have any record of what mascara I used but it’s a pretty safe guess that it was my usual Too Faced or Marcelle mascara.

To finish up the face, I took the Buxom Illuminator and tried it as a highlight to no avail. I then went in with the Balm Mary-Lou which never fails me. My blush is Tarte’s Mirage. To finish the look, my lips are a mixture of Annabelle’s lip liner in Java and my vert favoutire lipgloss: the MUFE Lab Shine gloss in D16.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this warm and autumnal look! Please check out everyone elses look on Insta.

See for the winter inspired look & details!

Til next time, ttfn x