Shu Uemura Tokyo Trends – eyes – Lasting Gel Pencil Eye Liner, Calligraph:ink Liquid Eyeliner Pen and Cartridge Set, Brow:sword, and Ultimate Natural Mascara

Shu Uemura Lasting Gel Pencil Eye Liner review and swatches

Lasting Gel Pencil Eye Liner (C$36 each) comes in five shades, four of which I have to show you today:

  • M BLACK: Define your eyes with an intense black definition for a make-up focusing on your eyes.
  • M PURPLE BLACK: Define your eyes with a purple black warmth for a feminine and romantic look.
  • M NAVY BLACK: Define your eyes with a hint of navy black for an edgy and confident look.
  • M GREEN BLACK: Define your eyes with a green black mysterious look.

I love that they have very thin tips so that you can create a precise line. That being said, they are very dry and hard to apply. It does not glide as effortlessly on the lashline and skips, so even though they have a thin tip, you will need to go over each area multiple times which will result in a thicker line. That being said, I really love this eyeliner. It does NOT smudge, transfer, or dissolve under my oily eyelids. It reminds me a lot of the Marc Jacobs Beauty Fineliner Ultra-Skinny Gel Eye Crayon Eyeliner, which is one of my favourite eyeliners because it stays put.

All four colours look pretty much the same on my eyes, as they are all very dark. The only one exception is probably Purple Black, as it has more of a purple tint. I can wear all to replace my usual black liner and the effect will be the same.

Shu Uemura Lasting Gel Pencil Eye Liner review and swatches

Calligraph:ink Liquid Eyeliner Pen and Cartridge Set (C$24 for the pen, $22 for the cartridge, sold separately) is a liquid eye liner pen inspired by the tradition calligraphy pens of Japan. It comes in two separate parts, one is the reusable pen with the fibre brush, and the second is the liner ink cartridge. This liquid liner has a very thick brush that ends in a thin tip so that you can have the versatility to create a thick or thin line. Despite how versatile it is, the price is a bit ridiculous because it ends up being $46 for the whole liner. Personally I would prefer a new tip each time so I’m not sure how I feel about buying replacement cartridges into an existing pen package.

Brow:sword (C$42) is a pre-sharpened and pre-shaped brow pencil with a spoolie at the other end. The shade I have is Seal Brown, which is a cool-toned medium brown. It’s a very natural brown on me that is fantastic for everyday wear. The chiseled end makes it very easy to apply precisely, and then you can blend it in with the spoolie. My usual go-to eyebrow pencil is the one by Burberry (it’s SO GOOD, but you can end up overapplying), but I think I will be switching it up with this one as well because it does look more natural on me.

Ultimate Natural Mascara (C$33) in Black is just a normal black mascara… I’m not sure what much more to say about it, to be honest. I didn’t find it to be too volumizing or lengthening, which is probably by design because it is supposed to be a natural mascara. This would be good for those who already have long, thick lashes to begin with, but my lashes are short and sparse, so I can use all the help I can get. I wouldn’t reach for this on a normal day.

I recommend picking up the Brow:sword and Lasting Gel Pencil Eye Liner.

The swatches

M BLACK as the shape of the eye, M PURPLE BLACK as the lower lashes, M NAVY BLACK as the pupils, and M GREEN BLACK as the top lashes.

I also tried to swatch the Brow:sword, which you can see by me drawing in some eye brows, but it didn’t work great because normally these types of brow pencils activates with the oils in the brows to create pigment.

Shu Uemura Lasting Gel Pencil Eye Liner review and swatches

Product received as PR samples for review consideration; all opinions are my own.

Protect your whole family with Sun Bum and Baby Bum

Sun Bum review

My ideal sunscreen is something that offers high SPF protection against both UVA and UVB, but is still lightweight and comfortable to wear. For years, I relied on Japanese sunscreens only, but recently Western brand sunscreens have really caught up in terms of the technology used, and the refined texture with matte finish historically associated with Japanese sunscreens. I first discovered Sun Bum last summer, and I had meant to write a review of it but then my grandma accidentally threw my SPF 30 away. I was really sad because the SPF 30 Sunscreen Lotion had quickly become my favourite all-in-one face and body sunscreen. I was so lucky that the Sun Bum PR sent me a kit this summer which included another SPF 30 Sunscreen Lotion, and I quickly stashed it away so it would be safe from grabby hands. Sun Bum’s sunscreens are gluten-free, paraben-free, oil-free, PABA-free, cruelty-free and 100% vegan.

Sun Bum review

The SPF 30 Sunscreen Lotion (C$17.99 for 177mL) is a lightweight fluid sunscreen. It’s made in USA and available in two sizes (6 oz or 3 oz). It is a chemical sunscreen, with the active ingredients being Avobenzone 3.00%, Homosalate5.00%, Octisalate 3.00%, Octocrylene 2.75%, Oxybenzone 4.00%. This is not a reef-friendly sunscreen as oxybenzone is particularly harmful to coral reefs. It claims to be water resistant up to 80 minutes. I love using this when I am out and about for the entire day under the sun. It is so lightweight, absorbs very easily, and doesn’t feel sticky or greasy. It dries down to a satin finish, and doesn’t leave any residue on your clothes either. This is easily my #1 recommended body sunscreen for anyone who asks me. If you’re out and can only bring one sunscreen to touch up both your face and body, then this is also your guy.

The 3 in 1 Leave In Beach Formula UV-Protecting Leave In Hair Treatment (C$17.99 for 118mL) contains coconut oil, banana pulp and peel, banana leaf, quinoa protein, and sunflower seed oil. I have black hair so I didn’t really find this to be a necessary product. If you have colour-treated or blonde hair, you may want to invest in this as it helps to protect your hair colour from fading or turning.

The SPF 30 Lip Balm (C$4.99) is available in 6 different flavours – key lime, coconut, banana, mango, watermelon, and pomegranate. The active ingredients are Avobenzone 2.00%, Homosalate 15.00%, Octinoxate 7.50%, Octisalate 5.00%. I know that it’s important to also protect lips from the sun, but I honestly hate how the sunscreen feels on my lips. It just feels (and tastes) sunscreen-y. For day-to-day, it might not be necessary to apply SPF 30 on your lips, especially because you’ll probably just eat it off within a few hours, but if you’re going to the beach, or on a trip, I would recommend picking one of these up. I’ll be bringing mine with me to Mexico!

The SPF 50 Face Cream ($12.99 for 30mL) is something new I tried this year. It contains Octinoxate 7.50%, Octisalate 5.00%, Oxybenzone 6.00%, and Zinc Oxide 7.00%. It also contains aloe and vitamin E to help soothe sensitive skin under the sun. First impression is that I hate the packaging. It’s actually pretty fluid and milky so when I tried opening it for the first time, 1/3 of the jar spilled out. I don’t understand why it is in a jar and not a squeeze tube, or a bottle with a pump, because the fluid formula will spill out quite easily, and also the jar opening will expose the active ingredients to air. In terms of the formula, it is slightly thicker than the SPF 30 Sunscreen Lotion and doesn’t absorb as fully, leaving a bit of a film on my skin. That isn’t unexpected though because it does contain higher SPF protection, and also incorporates zinc oxide. For day-to-day use, the SPF 30 Sunscreen Lotion is your best friend, leave the SPF 50 Face Cream for the beach or when you’re out hiking.

Sun Bum review

I’m so excited to share with you the release of Baby Bum. It’s my first time trying out Sun Bum’s baby formula and I was beyond thrilled with how these turned out. I don’t have a baby (duh) but I am preferring more mineral sunscreens over chemical sunscreens just because of the environment impact and how mineral makeup seems to be working better with my sensitive skin. The Baby Bum products are 100% mineral.

The Baby Bum SPF 30 Lotion (C$21.99 for 88mL) contains 22% Zinc Oxide as the active ingredient, and the Baby Bum SPF 30 Stick (C$15.99 for 13g) contains 20% Zinc Oxide.  The SPF 30 Lotion also includes some pretty awesome ingredients such as grape seed oil, shea butter, jojoba oil, safflower seed oil, cucumber fruit extract, rosehip fruit oil, avocado oil, soybean oil, glycerin, green tea leaf extract and carrot root extract. While it’s not as lightweight as the Sun Bum SPF 30 Lotion, the Baby Bum version can replace my morning moisturizer because it is more nourishing. It is pricier, but you pay for the higher quality ingredients. The Baby Bum SPF 30 Stick feels a bit gimmicky to me, as I never really understood the point of stick sunscreens. I’d stick with the Lotion, if I were you.

I highly recommend that you check out the Sun Bum and Baby Bum SPF 30 Lotions. They’re not pricey and the quality is pretty fantastic. I can’t wait to take my Sun Bum and Baby Bum products with me to Mexico later this year!

Product received as PR samples for review consideration; all opinions are my own.

Home tour & design – my living room gallery wall

So today I wanted to talk about something different. As you guys may have heard, I bought my first home late last year, and I’ve been busy furnishing it. If you own a home you will know that all of the expenses associated with buying the home will leave you pretty dry in terms of money, so home décor usually takes place either over a long period of time, or the realistic thing is you end up forgoing your dream design and just going for cheap / simple.

I moved around a lot growing up, both with my family and then on my own when I was going to school on the other side of the country and abroad. Even when I was living with my parents, they were really strict about the type of décor that we could put up around the house, specifically no drilling holes in the walls, no painting the walls, basically leaving the walls as bare and “unharmed” as possible. When I lived on my own, I always knew that wherever I lived would be temporary so I didn’t put much effort into decorating the place, especially because I would have to take everything down in the summer for the subletter.

When I finally purchased this home, it took me the longest time to wrap my head around the fact that now I had complete autonomy over how I wanted to decorate, and that I can now actually put stuff up on the walls so the apartment looked less like a hotel and more like a home. One of the first things I really wanted to do was put up a gallery wall. I looked up inspirations for gallery walls on Pinterest and on interior design blogs, Instagram, and other sources. I wanted something very simple, but that reflected me and my interests. I’m not the most creative/ artsy person, so I didn’t really know how to design a wall. In the end though, I mixed up a few elements of things that I loved. Even though it’s not the most Pin-able wall, it’s a wall that is very me.

My gallery wall includes art by my favourite artist (four pieces, to be exact), prints of cute pop culture and nerdy things, and also little figurines. Oh yeah, and shoes. The Storm Trooper Funko Pop was a limited edition Funko Pop gifted from attending the live taping of Conan at Comc-Con San Diego last year. Yes, I know it is valuable and I shouldn’t take it out of the box, but I think it looks so adorable on the wall so why not.

In the end I’m super happy with my wall. I think I could have done a better job at planning where the frames go, but for the meantime it looks good. I might do-plan the layout if I ever decide to change up the prints.

In terms of other wall décor, I also have miscellaneous paintings by Dana Mooney hanging around the rest of my apartment, as well as other sentimental things. I’ll be sharing a post on my bedroom décor soon, as well as some tips on how to style your bedroom (without going Pinterest overboard!).

Review + swatches – Paul & Joe Summer 2017 Eye Color Limited, Gel Blush and Tinted Lip Gloss

Paul & Joe Summer 2017 Eye Color Limited, Gel Blush and Tinted Lip Gloss review

I previously shared my review of the Paul & Joe 15 Anniversary Collection which was a huge hit. From what I know, it basically sold out in just a few days and there were long waitlists of the product everywhere. I’m here to share with you my thoughts on their Summer 2017 limited edition collection, which is inspired by the sun, sailboats, and beaches.

Paul & Joe Summer 2017 Eye Color Limited in Daydream Believer (005) and Castles in the Air (007) review

First off I have the most beautiful Eye Color Limited (C$40) palettes in shades Daydream Believer (005) and Castles in the Air (007). These mosaic tile design is so beautiful and definitely creates a good talking piece. They come in three different shades, and the two I have are the neutrals. Daydream Believer is the warmer of the two palettes, featuring beautiful coppers and bronzes, as well as a nice touch of silver to balance out the warm tones. Castles in the Air is the more neutral of the two, and it has taupes and soft browns. Both of these have incredible pigmentation with soft shimmers throughout. There is one or two glittery shade per palette, but the glitters aren’t too noticeable. In addition to using this as an eye palette, these palettes can also be used as cheek illuminators to create a beautiful summery glow. It definitely helps save space in your makeup bag because you just need to bring once palette instead of two.

I’m also a fan of the whimsical print packaging, although I was a bit disappointed because the warmth at this time of the year melted the glue a bit and the palette had gotten dislodged from the packging. If you prefer de-potting your palettes into a custom kit, this packaging makes it super easy. Another downside is that I found this tended to fade quite quickly on my lids, especially if I didn’t wear any primer. It contains a lot of emollient ingredients so this wasn’t unexpected for me, just make sure to wear a primer!

Paul & Joe Summer 2017 Gel Blush in Fantasy (001) and Monde Imaginaire (002) review

The Paul & Joe Gel Blush (C$31) is my most anticipated product this collection. It comes in two shades – Fantasy (001) and Monde Imaginaire (002) – in the most incredibly cool texture. It’s like a gel-creme puddy that you can squish down and mold with your fingers, it is super fun to play with. The Gel Blush melts into the heat of my fingers, making it super blendable and creamy. The shade Fantasy is very pretty natural blush flush of colour that would look beautiful on every skin tone. Monde Imaginaire (imaginary world) is a sheer peachy colour that would be most suitable for fair to light skintones.

Paul & Joe Summer 2017 Tinted Lip Gloss in Musing (001) and Figment (002) review

Lastly, we have the Tinted Lip Glosses. If you’re looking at the photos and you’re asking why are they called Tinted Lip Glosses when they’re clear, and they’re both the same?! It’s because they adjust to the temperature of your lips to create a pretty pink. The two shades are Musing (001) and Figment (002). Musing comes out to be a creamy pink, whereas Figment becomes a sparkly pink. Both are very cute, very hydrating, and great for the summer when you don’t want to wear too much makeup.

You can pick up Paul & Joe’s summer 2017 collection at beautyboutique.ca and select Shopper’s Drug Mart Beauty Boutiques across Canada!

The swatches

Eye Color Limited in Daydream Believer (005)

Paul & Joe Summer 2017 Eye Color Limited in Daydream Believer (005) and Castles in the Air (007) review

Eye Color Limited in Castles in the Air (007)

Paul & Joe Summer 2017 Eye Color Limited in Daydream Believer (005) and Castles in the Air (007) review

Gel Blush in Fantasy (001) and Monde Imaginaire (002)

Paul & Joe Summer 2017 Gel Blush in Fantasy (001) and Monde Imaginaire (002) review

Product received as PR samples for review consideration; all opinions are my own.

Change up your daily routine with safe ingredients from the ATTITUDE Super Leaves collection

ATTITUDE Super Leaves collection review

Over the last two or so years, I’ve really made an effort to change up a lot of products I use at home to products containing natural and organic ingredients. Some of my favourite brands to use at home include Live Clean, Bleu Lavande, and more, both Canadian brands. ATTITUDE is another Canadian brand based out of Quebec that I recently had the pleasure of trying out. It has one of the most comprehensive list of skin, body, hair, and even household and pet products under one roof. ATTITUDE is EWG Verified, cruelty-free and vegan, CO2 neutral, and UL Ecologo certified.

They recently released a line of products harnessing the power of plant leaf extracts – Super Leaves – which include body, hair, and hand products for men and women, as well as products specifically designed for men. The key ingredients are:

  • Lemon leaves – known for their antioxidant, purifying and regenerative properties;
  • Olive leaves – known for their soothing and antioxidant properties;
  • White tea leaves – known for their antioxidant, hydrating and soothing properties; and
  • Orange leaves – known for their antioxidant, regenerative and restorative properties.

The products include an anti-pollution property by using purifying moringa seed extract, an active ingredient to limit pollutant buildup and keep it from penetrating your skin and hair. The haircare products also include watercress and Indian cress leaves, which are are known for their regenerative abilities and for being high in minerals, vitamins and growth factors. These ingredients are used in their formulas to strengthen and revitalize hair, from root to tip.

In terms of the technical ingredients, the surfactants are sodium coco-surface and coco-glucoside, both derived from coconut oil. It does also contain sodium benzoate as the preservative, and it’s quite high on the ingredients list (about halfway down, above most of the plant extracts), so bear that in mind if that is an ingredient you are wary about. The good thing that I’m pretty impressed with is that the products do not contain artificial fragrance! I’ve become more and more sensitive (and wary) about artificial fragrances in my products. They’re a bit headache inducing, especially because we use so many different combinations of products each day. The products are scented with ingredients such as geranyl acetate. You can find the complete ingredients lists for all of the products on their website.

ATTITUDE Super Leaves collection review

I received a few products from the Super Leaves line to try out, and so far I’ve been super impressed by pretty much all of them. The Volume and Shine Natural Shampoo & Conditioner contain Soy Proteins and Cranberries to help thicken and amplify hair. While I wasn’t a huge fan of the shampoo (I felt like it didn’t rinse completely), I really like how thick the volumnous the conditioner made my hair look. The Soothing White Tea Leaves Natural Shower Gel smells super refreshing and feels very gentle on my skin. It smells really fresh, and also leaves my skin feeling smooth and supple. The Nourishing Olive Leaves Natural Body Lotion is incredibly moisturizing without being sticky or heavy. I’ve been really loving it on my skin right now in this climate because it helps to hydrate and balance my skin, particularly because I love to take hot showers that are more stripping. I can also use it as a hand cream without it feeling greasy.

The Natural Hand Soap in Orange Leaves and Lemon Leaves are probably one of my favourites in the line. I have a weird obsession with hand washes, and these are pretty fantastic. They don’t suds up too much and are very gentle on the skin, at the same time washing off any grease and dirt. I keep mine in the kitchen because I wash my hands at least 10x every time I cook so I need something that is gentler and more soothing on the skin.

ATTITUDE Super Leaves collection review

Lastly, the men’s products include a fabulous 2-in-1 Sport Moisturizing and Energizing Natural Shampoo & Body Wash, containing Ginseng and Grape Seed Oil, as well as an Soothing Natural Body Cream featuring Black Willow. My boyfriend has been loving the 2-in-1 Shampoo and Body Wash, it smells refreshing but doesn’t leave a lingering smell (which I am a fan of). He has eczema on his face, and this is gentle enough not to aggravate it. The Black Willow Body Cream is also lightly hydrating without leaving any residue, which is his number one requirement for any product. He’s also a fan!

In addition to having safe ingredients, I’m actually also a huge fan of the packaging. The squeeze bottles are wonderfully designed with plastic stoppers that prevent the lotion or gel from leaking out, and the product will only come out when you squeeze the tube.

Prices are super reasonable too, from $5.95 for a giant 473mL bottle of Natural Hand Soap, to $14.95 for the Body Cream. Everything else is priced in between. As I mentioned earlier, in addition to these hair, hand and body care products, ATTITUDE’s main line also contain household cleaners as well as pet solutions. ATTITUDE Super Leaves is available at London Drugs and you can also purchase everything online. I honestly can’t wait to discover more of their products, especially the household cleaners. You know you’re an adult when you get excited about multi-surface cleaners…

Product received as PR samples for review consideration; all opinions are my own.

Create your sculpted golden glow with Shu Uemura x Ambush collection for spring/summer 2017!

Shu Uemura Ambush collection for spring/summer 2017 review and swatches

For spring and summer 2017, Shu Uemura collaborated with hip Japanese street style brand Ambush to bring a collection featuring metallics with bold lips. There are so many products in this collection, I don’t even know where to start! The collection is divided into makeup and skincare. The makeup products are a bit unusual for Shu Uemura, as they are quite funky and bold, whereas I’m more used to Shu Uemura creating subtler looks that are more of the Japanese aesthetic. Truthfully speaking, this collection isn’t very me in general, as I prefer a more natural look with not as much metallics. I love gold, but accessories mostly and not really on my face.

Shu Uemura Ambush collection for spring/summer 2017 review and swatches

There are four lipsticks. The first two are the Rouge Unlimited Supreme Matte formula (C$36), which is a comfort matte that provides full coverage without dryness. The two shades are Ambush Life, a warm coral orange, and Ambush Love, a beautiful raspberry red. There are also two Rouge Unlimited Sheer Shines (C$36), which is a sheer hydrating balm-like lipstick. The two shades are Ambush Spirit, a cool-toned lilac, and Ambush Freedom, a warm brown.

Shu Uemura Ambush collection for spring/summer 2017 review and swatches

While the gold packaging is catchy, I’m not a huge fan of it on the lipsticks as I find them to be fingerprint magnets and annoying to try to figure out which one is which shade. The names themselves aren’t super obvious either, so I tend to have to open it each time to check the colour. Also just a general thought is that Shu tends to release very similar colours in limited edition packaging each season. I’d really like to see them release more unique lipstick colours because I’m not one to purchase similar colours just because they are in limited edition packaging, and I assume most people aren’t unless they are super fans of that particular collaboration.

Shu Uemura Ambush collection for spring/summer 2017 review and swatches

There is a limited edition Ambush Custom Quad Case (C$17), which comes with the Ambush logo on a bold gold cover. You can fill the quad case with your own limited edition Ambush Pressed Eyeshadow Refills (C$19 each) and Glow on Blushes (C$19). The eyeshadow shades that I have are VVV, which is a metallic white, and Holy Mountain, which is a beautiful metallic bronze. It also comes in Montage, a pretty taupe, and AMB Nomad, a golden bronze. The Glow on Blush shade is Ambushed, which is a warm matte bronzer.
Shu Uemura Ambush collection for spring/summer 2017 review and swatches

Along with the Ambush collection, Shu is introducing a new eye product – the Eye Foil Liquid Eyeshadow (C$39) that is a metallic liquid eyeshadow that goes on with medium to full coverage to create a liquid metal effect. It comes in eight shades – yellow gold, copper, gun metal, dark bronze, pink gold, purpurite, champagne, and bronze – in addition to a limited edition Ambush shade – Dreamcatchers, which is a metallic dark blue. If you like liquid eyeshadows, these are seriously AMAZING. They go on soooo smoothly with so much pigmentation (copper is the only one of mine that applied sheerly, everything else had full coverage), blends out beautifully, and sets completely within a minute. You get a truly liquid metal effect which is fantastic for a night out or when you want a pop of shine. You can also wear it sheerly over top over shadows if you want just a bit of that shine.

Shu Uemura Eye Foil Liquid Eyeshadow in yellow gold, copper, champagne gold, pink gold, bronze, purpurite, and Dreamcatchers review and swatches

To complete the eye look, Shu has introduced two new shades of the Eyebrow Manicure (C$26) in classics gold and crush silver. This will create chic metallic brows to complement your cool look.

Shu Uemura Ambush collection for spring/summer 2017 review and swatches

In terms of the skincare products, you can pick up limited edition packaging of the Anti-Oxi Skin Refining Cleansing Oil (C$46 for 150mL), which is their anti-pollution formula that contains moringa extract and green tea leaf extract to help clear pollutants and brighten the skin, and the Ultime8 Sublime Cleansing Oil (C$49 for 150mL), which is the ultimate luxury anti-aging cleansing formula. Shu Uemura cleansing oils are the original cleansing oil that everyone always talks about. They are very reliable, gently removing all of your makeup without stripping, and also emulsifying completely without residue. The Ambush collection packaging is also available on that large 450mL size.

Shu Uemura Ambush collection for spring/summer 2017 review and swatches

There’s also the Stage Performer Glow Creator in the shade Warm Glow (C$45), also in the limited edition Ambush packaging. The Stage Performer Glow Creator is a hydrating moisturizer, primer, and foundation enhancer in one. Used on top of foundation, it can also be subtle liquid highlighter.

Shu Uemura Ambush collection for spring/summer 2017 review and swatches

Lastly, you can also pick up a limited edition blotting paper (C$25 for 50 sheets) with the gold Ambush packaging. Each sheet of blotting paper is also stamped with the Ambush logo. I’m not one to splurge on luxury blotting paper so I can’t really recommend this, sadly.

Of this collection, I’m a big fan of the Eye Foil Liquid Eyeshadows and I think that everyone should go pick one up if you’re into that liquid metal eye look. If you’re a fan of Ambush accessories, or are into that more punky look, then this is a great collection to look into.

You can pick up the Shu Uemura x Ambush collection on the Shu website now, as well as at all Shu Uemura counters across Canada.

The swatches

Shu Uemura Eye Foil Liquid Eyeshadow in yellow gold, copper, champagne gold, pink gold, bronze, purpurite, and Dreamcatchers

Shu Uemura Eye Foil Liquid Eyeshadow in yellow gold, copper, champagne gold, pink gold, bronze, purpurite, and Dreamcatchers review and swatches

Product received as PR samples for review consideration; all opinions are my own.

Review – For Beloved One Anti-Aging Ceramide Squalene collection and comparison with Nivea Q10 Plus Anti-Aging Smoothing Treatment

For Beloved One Advanced Anti-Aging Ceramide Squalane Moisturizing Cream review

Ceramide is a naturally-occurring element in the skin. At age 31, your skin’s ceramide levels decrease to 63% (if you started out at 100%), and by age 41, it will have reached 37%. For Beloved One‘s new Anti-Aging Ceramide Squalene line combines the ultra-moisturizing properties of squalane with the ultra-firming ceramide to give you a global anti-aging solution.

Advanced Anti-Aging Ceramide Squalane Moisturizing Cream (C$99 for 32mL) is the all-in-one moisturizer for those looking for preventative care and treatment. In addition to ceramide, which smoothes skin’s outermost layer while also enhancing its self-defense ability for an ageless, youthful look, and squalane, which provides additional nourishment for a supple and firm appearance, it also contains red tourmaline, which activates microcirculation for elastic and nourished skin; vitamin E and natural oat kernel extract, which helps to regenerate skin for a flawless and luminous complexion. It has a beautiful almost whipped gel formula that is thick, but spreads easily and also absorbs quickly.

For Beloved One Advanced Anti-Aging Ceramide Squalane Moisturizing Cream review

I seriously LOVE THIS CREAM. The effects aren’t super noticeable, but I’ve been using this both morning and night and I feel like my skin has been super supple and smooth ever since I started using this. During the day, my foundation stays on beautifully and even after I come home after a 12-hour day, my skin looks looks radiant and balanced. When used at night, I wake up to balanced, hydrated, and soothed skin. I normally have a lot of redness in my skin but I’ve noticed that it’s been significantly reduced since I started using this. While I can’t speak of the long-term anti-aging properties (I’m in my late 20s right now), I believe that preventative care is the best anti-aging solution, so I will keep using this. My biggest dislike, though, is the price. It’s probably the smallest full size cream I’ve ever come across, and it’s not cheap. If this came in a 50mL size, like normal creams, it’d cost $155, which is pretty steep. The jar is deceivingly big as well, since it looks like a 50mL cream but the insert only carries 32mL.

For Beloved One Advanced Anti-Aging Ceramide Squalane Bio-Cellulose Mask and Nivea Q10 Plus Anti-Aging Smoothing Treatment Mask review

For Beloved One’s Bio-Cellulose mask is one of my favourite sheet mask formulas. I previously reviewed the background behind the mask here. Now, it’s available in the Advanced Anti-Aging Ceramide Squalane Bio-Cellulose Mask (C$62.99 for 3 pieces), which contains Matrixyl® 3000 to help restore firmness and plumpness to the skin. So far, I’ve been a fan of all of the Bio-Cellulose masks that I’ve tried, and this one is no different. After 20-30 minutes, my skin feels super plumped and hydrated. I also feel like it’s smoother, redness is decreased, and overall it’s more bouncy. Again the price is a big deterrent for me as it is quite pricey for each treatment, which is why I tend to leave my mask on for longer than the recommended time (oops).

It’s one of the most pricey masks out there on the market, so I wanted to also compare it with a more affordable drugstore mask. The Nivea Q10 Plus Anti-Aging Smoothing Treatment Mask (C$19.99 for 8 treatments) comes in eight individually packaged masks. At first, I thought these were also sheet masks, but they are actually 10-minute cream masks that you apply and then tissue or wash off. Each individual package is filled with the mask, and I actually found that you can get two uses out of each sachet instead of just one. The texture is very thick and creamy, almost like a thick gel body cream. It smooths on easily, and has a slight tingling / astringent feel. I found this mask to be very firming, and my skin is left feeling taut. I don’t have many wrinkles so I don’t know how wrinkle-smoothing it is. The only drawback is that it might be too sting-y for those with more sensitive skin types.

Both the Moisturizing Cream and Mask are high performers, but of course the drawback is the price. If you are not too price sensitive, then I’d highly recommend you pick up the cream to try, and if you are ready to splurge then the mask is also great. If you are more on a budget, then the Nivea mask is also a good anti-aging alternative.

The For Beloved One Anti-Aging Ceramide Squalene range is available now at T&T Supermarket locations across Canada, as well as online at yesstyle.ca. Nivea is available at most drugstores across Canada.

For Beloved One Advanced Anti-Aging Ceramide Squalane Bio-Cellulose Mask and Nivea Q10 Plus Anti-Aging Smoothing Treatment Mask review
For Beloved One Advanced Anti-Aging Ceramide Squalane Bio-Cellulose Mask and Nivea Q10 Plus Anti-Aging Smoothing Treatment Mask review

Moisturizing Cream ingredients:
For Beloved One Advanced Anti-Aging Ceramide Squalane Moisturizing Cream ingredients

Ceramide Squalane Bio-Cellulose Mask ingredients:
For Beloved One Advanced Anti-Aging Ceramide Squalane Bio-Cellulose Mask ingredients

Nivea Q10 mask ingredients:
Nivea Q10 Plus Anti-Aging Smoothing Treatment Mask ingredients

Product received as PR samples for review consideration; all opinions are my own.

Summer wedding makeup tips to keep your makeup from lasting longer in the heat, featuring For Beloved One, La Prairie, Tatcha, and Charlotte Tilbury

You know you’re in your late 20s when your summers are spent attending various weddings. Thankfully I’m not one with too many close friends, so I don’t have THAT many to go to, and my boyfriend’s friends also aren’t really at the marrying stage yet, so I haven’t been entirely crushed my wedding season yet. I do enjoy the few weddings a year that I go to though.

My personal philosophy for doing any kind of makeup is that you still want to look like you – this is especially true for wedding photos (either yours or someone else’s) because you don’t want to look like someone else. Looking back at these photos, you want to be able to recognize you!

In general, don’t use any new products a month before the wedding, or any big event, in case your skin reacts poorly to it. As a beauty blogger, this was harder than ever since I am constantly testing out new products, but I did my best!

To prep my skin, a few days before the wedding I like to exfoliate my skin, then apply a hydrating mask the night before. The reason I exfoliate 2-3 days before the wedding is that exfoliation causes skin sensitivity, and oftentimes summer weddings are outdoors so I don’t want to make it easier for my skin to get hyperpigmentation from sun exposure. I exfoliated my skin with Miracle 10 Enzyme Face Scrub, an exfoliator that combines both physical and chemical exfoliation. It’s quite gentle but gets the job done. I used the For Beloved One Hyaluronic Acid GHK-Cu Moisturizing Bio-Cellulose Mask, which is extremely hydrating to help keep my skin looking supple and ready for a long day of makeup. I then follow up with my normal routine at night, and go to sleep.

The morning of the wedding, I like to make sure that, again, my skin is properly hydrating. I have dehydrated skin, so any dryness will show through my foundation and create a cakey look, which is what I want to avoid. I will always use a hydrating serum, and then to create an extra bit of glow, I use my La Prairie Cellular Radiance Perfecting Fluide Pure Gold. Sun protection is important, particularly if the ceremony is going to be outdoors, but you also want to avoid having that awful white cast in flash photography. Choose a sunscreen that doesn’t use titanium dioxide as its key ingredient – I like the TATCHA Pore Perfecting Sunscreen SPF 35. This sunscreen has high enough SPF protection to protect you even in the harshest of sunlight, but it’s still lightweight, making it ideal for a hot day. Bonus, it also doubles as a makeup primer because of its pore smoothing properties.

In terms of foundation, I try to go for something that is lightweight, but still has medium to full coverage. I’m not generally a fan of concealer because I don’t want that full mask coverage effect, but I use some in my under eye area to brighten any dark circles. I’ve been using the La Prairie Skin Caviar Concealer + Foundation, which is exactly what I like in a convenient package. The top cover flips up to reveal a high coverage brightening concealer, and the bottom is a medium to full coverage foundation that is super light but still offers that nice coverage. The shade I use is Warm Linen and it’s a good match for my light medium skin tone. The La Prairie Skin Caviar Concealer + Foundation is the most expensive foundation I’ve ever used, and I believe it is also marketed as being the most expensive foundation on the market. Despite it being a makeup product, it contains heavy doses of La Prairie’s signature Cellular Complex, as well as the famous Caviar Extracts, so it doubles as a skincare product. As foundation covers your entire face for often longer than 12 hours a day, you want to make sure that you’re giving your skin only the best ingredients.

This foundation sets down to a satin finish, so I like to set it with some powder. I’ve been using my Charlotte Tilbury Airbrush Flawless Finish Powder a lot, and it’s also the first powder I ever hit pan on. The finely milled powder is perfect for setting foundation without leaving any cakeyness behind. I will definitely repurchase this.

In terms of my eyes, I’ve been reaching for my Charlotte Tilbury Dolce Vita Palette a lot. It’s easy to apply, blends out nicely, wears for a long time, and also is crease-proof and fade-proof throughout the day. I also love using my Amaterasu Liquid Liner for a crisp, kitten flick, and then Lancome Grandiose Mascara Extreme for fluttery lashes.

What are your tips for keeping your wedding face looking fresh throughout the day?

Transform your rocker chic look from day to night with Charlotte Tilbury The Rock Chick Luxury Palette, Hot Lips in Bosworth’s Beauty, and KISSING Lipstick in Night Crimson

Charlotte Tilbury The Rock Chick Luxury Palette, Hot Lips in Bosworth's Beauty, and KISSING Lipstick in Night Crimson review and swatches

As you all know my crazy obsession with Charlotte Tilbury’s products, today I’m really excited to share with you the newest Charlotte Tilbury look that I’ve had the pleasure of testing – The Rock Chick! In addition to The Rock Chick, I also enjoy using The Vintage Vamp, The Sophisticate, The Bombshell, and my absolute favourite, The Dolce Vita.

The Rock Chick Luxury Palette (C$66) is coordinated like any other of Charlotte’s palettes to create a desk to dusk, to disco look – from the top left corner in a clockwise direction we have the prime, enhance, smoke, and pop shades, with the top two shades being the desk shades (most daytime appropriate), right two shades being the dusk shades (for after work drinks or events), and adding the bottom two to create the disco look (for those nights out).

Charlotte Tilbury The Rock Chick Luxury Palette, Hot Lips in Bosworth's Beauty, and KISSING Lipstick in Night Crimson review and swatches

The Rock Chick is one of Charlotte’s only cool-tone leaning palettes. It contains a shimmery champagne (prime), a shimmery taupe (enhance), a matte grey (smoke) and a glittery silver taupe (pop). The texture of each shade is as amazing as every other Charlotte palette I’ve used – it’s smooth, almost creamy, and extremely pigmented with very good adhesion and staying power. This palette creates an amazing smokey eye that looks great on all skin tones. I don’t generally use glittery shades, but the pop shade in this one really ties the entire look together. The glitter does not migrate, and instead helps to create a very cohesive, funky chic look. I never use primers with Charlotte’s eyeshadows (I have to with other shadows because my lids are oily) and I always get a full day’s wear out of them with just minimal creasing and fading. They’re the one eyeshadow palette that I reach for time and time again.

Charlotte Tilbury The Rock Chick Luxury Palette, Hot Lips in Bosworth's Beauty, and KISSING Lipstick in Night Crimson review and swatches

During the day, pair your Rock Chick look with the ultra bright fuchsia Hot Lips lipstick in Bosworth’s Beauty (C$38). This is the most cool-toned lipstick in my collection, and honestly a bit too cool-toned for me. It is fiercely bright, and will definitely create a statement. In addition to it being so bright and cool-toned for my skintone, I actually found the formula to be a bit streaky and settle into lip lines. Sadly this one is a pass, unless you have very pale or cool-toned skin. I would prefer something more neutral like KISSING Lipstick in Bitch Perfect or Penelope Pink, or Matte Revolution Lipstick in Pillowtalk.

At night, pick up a more vampy lipstick suck as KISSING Lipstick in Night Crimson (C$38). Charlotte’s KISSING Lipstick is one of my all time favourite lipstick formulas – I think I own like 6 of the 10. I love that it applies easily, is lightly hydrating, and is very lightweight on the lips. Night Crimson is a beautiful vampy red that can be worn sheerly like a vampy stain, or with full on coverage.

I highly recommend you check out The Rock Chick palette, or any one of Charlotte’s Luxury palettes. The KISSING Lipstick is also a winner. If you need more Charlotte Tilbury shopping ideas, check out my shopping guide here.

The swatches

Charlotte Tilbury The Rock Chick Luxury Palette, Hot Lips in Bosworth's Beauty, and KISSING Lipstick in Night Crimson review and swatches
Charlotte Tilbury The Rock Chick Luxury Palette, Hot Lips in Bosworth's Beauty, and KISSING Lipstick in Night Crimson review and swatches

Product received as PR samples for review consideration; all opinions are my own.

Review – THE FACE SHOP Dr. Belmeur Daily Repair Toner, Daily Repair Moisturizer, and Daily Repair Ato Salt Cream

THE FACE SHOP Dr. Belmeur Daily Repair Toner, Daily Repair Moisturizer, and Daily Repair Ato Salt Cream review

I was pleasantly surprised when I received the cutest press kit in the mail, thanks to Dr. Belmeur. Dr. Belmeur is a new line of skincare created by THE FACE SHOP that uses mild, plant-based formulations. It has two lines, designed specifically for dry, sensitive skin, and oily, problematic skin. This is THE FACE SHOP’s cosmeceutical line, which combines the brand’s skincare experience with science and medicine. I received three products from the Dr. Belmeur brand to try from its Daily Repair Line – the Daily Repair Toner, the Daily Repair Moisturizer, and its best seller, the Daily Repair Ato Salt Cream.

The Dr. Belmeur Daily Repair Line was created to tacke dry, sensitive, and easily damaged skin. Daily Repair Foam Cleanser, Daily Repair Toner, and Daily Repair Moisturizer form the basic routine, which helps to strengthen the skin’s barrier to aid skin in generating a healthy, hydrated complexion. All of the products are made in Korea.

THE FACE SHOP Dr. Belmeur Daily Repair Toner, Daily Repair Moisturizer, and Daily Repair Ato Salt Cream review

The Daily Repair Toner (C$28 for 200mL) is used on dry skin after cleansing. It provides moisture deep within the skin’s surface, and helps to relief sensitivity and dryness.

I really love this toner, it’s very hydrating and leaves my skin feeling soft, replenished, and plump. It has a light fragrance that’s actually pretty refreshing. I apply this on cleansed, dry skin with a cotton pad, and in addition to being hydrating on its own, I feel like it helps improve the absorption of the other products I use. I also find it to help reduce my sensitivity. For a mid to high end brand, the price point is also very reasonable for the size. Overall it’s a winner.

The Daily Repair Moisturizer (C$32 for 120mL) is a basic moisturizer that was created to calm sensitive skin, and also to serve as a barrier to protect skin damaged by external environmental aggressors. It contains natural oil ingredients derived from olive leaves. The first thing I noticed is that the value on this moisturizer is amazing. You essentially get 2.4x the volume of a normal moisturizer for a very affordable price. For a basic moisturizer, it’s pretty amazing.

While it feels really fluid and lightweight, the Daily Repair Moisturizer deeply hydrates my skin and also leaves it feeling soothed and less sensitive. My skin feels full of water, if that makes sense. In just a few short days, my skin is significantly less red. This is also a great basic moisturizer for men as they can use it after shaving to relieve razor burn. I’m surprising myself when I say that between this and the Belif Moisturizing Bomb, I actually prefer the Daily Repair Moisturizer because it does not feel so silicone-y.

The Daily Repair Ato Salt Cream (C$42 for 80mL) is one of the best-sellers in the Dr. Belmeur brand. It’s a face cream that was designed specifically for those suffering from atopic eczema. It cotnains 8% dead sea salt, providing deep skin moisture as well as itch relief. It has a gel-cream type texture that spreads easily, absorbs quickly, and leaves a protective barrier on the skin that isn’t greasy or heavy.

My boyfriend has eczema and very dry skin and he’s not the best at applying moisturizers on a daily basis, but this does help to provide temporary relief against discomfort. Normally his dry spots will flake and itch throughout the day, he says if he applies this cream regularly, it eradicates the flaking and also relieves the itching. He says he likes this even better than the First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Cream for treating his eczema. Even though it is slightly on the pricier side compared to the Daily Repair Moisturizer, the value is still pretty incredible as most moisturizers come in 50, and at most 60mL sizes. This one comes in a 80mL size.

All three products have been really nice surprises in terms of how they’ve worked on my skin, and also the price for the value. Both my boyfriend and I can enjoy this line together, which is great for when we’re travelling and are short on suitcase space (or when we’re lazy haha). I would definitely recommend checking out the Dr. Belmeur line at THE FACE SHOP stores.

In addition to these three products in the Daily Repair line, there is also the Daily Repair Cleanser (C$17), the Daily Repair Soothing Gauze Sheet Mask (C$6), Daily Repair Cleansing Water (C$25), under skincare, as well as base makeup products Daily Repair Calamine Tone-up Cushion (C$29) and Daily Blemish Balm Cushion (C$29).

The second line under the Dr. Belmeur brand is for those with oily, congested, and acne-prone skin. The Clarifying Line contains a Clarifying Toner (C$28), Clarifying Moisturizer (C$32) and Clarifying Spot Calming Ampoule (C$35), which is a BHA spot treatment.

Dr. Belmeur will be available at THE FACE SHOP stores across Canada and online at THEFACESHOP.ca starting May 1, 2017.

THE FACE SHOP Dr. Belmeur Daily Repair Toner, Daily Repair Moisturizer, and Daily Repair Ato Salt Cream review

Daily Repair Toner ingredients: Water/Eau• Dipropylene Glycol• 1,2-Hexanediol• Propanediol• Glycerin• Glycereth-26• Panthenol• Betula Platyphylla Japonica Juice• Corchorus Olitorius Leaf Extract• Monarda Didyma Leaf Extract• Salvia Officinalis (Sage) Leaf Extract• Phytosphingosine• Beta-Glucan• Hydroxyethycellulose• Carbomer• Peg-40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil• Octyldodeceth-16• Tromethamine• Trisodium Edta• Ethylhexylglycerin• Parfum/Fragrance

Daily Repair Moisturizer ingredients: Water/Eau• Dipropylene Glycol• Gylcerin• Cyclopentasiloxane• 1,2-Hexanediol• Myristica Fragrans (Nutmeg) Extract• Pentaerythrityl Tetraethylhexanoate• Hydrogenated Polydecene• Cetearyl Alcohol• Peg-40 Stearate• Glyceryl Stearate• Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter• Phytosphingosine• Beta-Glucan• Sorbitan Stearate• Panthenol• Mondarda Didyma Leaf Extract• Betula Platyphylla Japonica Juice• Corchorus Olitorius Leaf Extract• Salvia Offinalis (Sage) Leaf Extract• Xanthan Gum• Hydroxyethylcellulose• Dimethicone/ Vinyl Dimethicone Crosspolymer• Tocopheryl Acetate• Cetearyl Olivate• Dimethicone• Stearic Acid• Carbomer• Tromethamine• Peg-100 Stearate• Sorbitan Olivate• Trisodium Edta• Ethylhexylglycerin• Parfum/Fragrance

Daily Repair Ato Salt Cream ingredients: Water/Eau•Cyclopentasiloxane•Sea Salt/Sel Marin• Glycerin•Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride• Ceresin• Propanediol• Hydrogenated Polydecene• Hexyl Laurate• Peg-10 Dimethicone• Panthenol• Niacinamide• Urea• Hydroxyethylpiperazine Ethane Sulfonic Acid• 1,2-Hexanediol• Butylene Glycol• Alanyl Glutamine• Dimethiconol• Arnica Montana Flower Extract• Marrubium Vulgare Extract• Linum Alpinum Flower/Leaf/Stem Extract• Peucedanum Ostruthium Leaf Extract• Paeonia Lactiflora Root Extract• Vaccinium Angustifolium (Blueberry) Fruit Extract• Euterpe Oleracea Fruit Extract• Phyllanthus Emblica Fruit Extract• Sodium Hyaluronate• Disteardimonium Hectorite• Distearyldimonium Chloride• Ceramide Np• Ceramide Ap• Ceramide Eop• Phytosphingosine• Cholesterol• Sodium Lauroyl Lactylate• Palmitic Acid• Sorbitan Olivate• Ethylhexylglycerin• Carbomer• Xanthan Gum• Sea Water• Mentha Piperita (Peppermint) Oil

THE FACE SHOP Dr. Belmeur Daily Repair Toner, Daily Repair Moisturizer, and Daily Repair Ato Salt Cream review
Product received as PR samples for review consideration; all opinions are my own.