Worth the Money in Your Wallet? ✰ Charlotte Tilbury

With any high-end brand, you often wonder whether you’re getting the bang for your buck. It’s something that concerns me every single time. No matter whether it’s Charlotte Tilbury or Chantecaille. You want the presentability and performance. And that’s only fair. For almost three years I have heard nothing but amazing things about Charlotte Tilbury products online. But the few people I had asked in life outside the net had said ‘It’s okay.’ But I caved and bought a few products to see for myself.

img_0702If you are looking for that light to medium coverage with a divine glow, I feel like these four products will give you what you are looking for. If you are the Tarte Shape Tape or Urban Decay All Nighter person, this not for you. It’s a glow without the grease. There is always that fine line that I feel like a lot of formulations crossed over into poutine grease. Despite the fact that The Retoucher and Light Wonder are light refracting products, they do not add flashback. At least by my experience. It also sits comfortably on the skin with no tack to the touch. I feel like this product is best blended with clean fingers. I know most would disagree. But I feel like sponges or brushes would either absorb or pick the product up. The same goes with The retoucher. Though you would be using hardly anything with this product.

img_0698If you have difficulty with powder products, these will be your new best buddies in your makeup collection. Being that my skin is normal to dehydrate, a lot of powders can often make my skin look like drywall and making simple facial movements uncomfortable. I was apprehensive because of price point. But it’s very comfortable. Both apply and blend seamlessly without cracking on the skin. The setting powder seems more so semi-matte rather than a full matte powder. And even though I’m a highlighter lover, I gravitate towards the bronzer more. It’s not too orange or red. It’s perfect to balance out the complexion. The highlight is just as beautiful. It gives that illumination without that chunky iridescence.

Even though I can personally say with certainty that I love these products, I’m coming from a perspective of someone who has normal to dehydrated skin that only deals with some blotchiness and a flushed complexion. Aside from that, I wish I could be more helpful to those who have oily/combination skin. I imagine it would only emphasise the look of those troubled areas. But if you have a different experience as someone with oily and acne-prone skin, I’d love to know about your experience. 

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My 3 Every Mineral Makeup Products

Before I had done my makeup/skincare fast, this is what I was using regularly. I can say with confidence that mineral makeup had been beneficial for me to use in place of traditional liquid foundation for informal wear. On more fancy occasions I will wear my Charlotte Tilbury. But if I wanted to go to the grocery store, bank, or anything else that I did not want a flawless and natural looking base, mineral it is. It’s the one thing I can trust to use as a base that will not disturb the condition of my skin. These are three products I use every time I wear makeup. Without fail.

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A L I M A  P U R E  F O U N D A T I O N I’ve spoken about this foundation multiple times. It gives decent coverage. Is light weight. And the shade selection is absolutely nutty. I bet you will find something to fit your undertone without any issue. I have normal to dry skin. But I never have any issues revolving around my skin feeling tight or uncomfortable.

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E V E R Y D A Y  M I N E R A L S  C O R R E C T O R If it comes to covering a blemish or something intense like that, I will just use a dense brush over the blemish. But for my under eye area, I prefer to use a brightener or corrector. The Everyday Mineral jojoba brightener and cover mineral concealers really help out with the under eye area. It makes a huge difference and I find it easier to control the amount I apply in comparison to cream.

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A L I M A  P U R E  B R O N Z E R  Yep. Hats off to Alima for creating top notch stuff. I own two different shades. Mauna Loa is the one I prefer to use if I need/want to warm up the face. I never have an issue with the products being patchy or looking orange. Admittedly, if you’re new to mineral blush or bronzer then it will take some practice to get the amount you feel is right to work. I either put on too much or too little.

The best advice that I can give is to use a brush that is not too dense to apply. If you feel like you have applied too much, use the brush you have used for foundation and sweep it over the bronzer to take away the intensity or harsh edges.

So far, my experience with mineral makeup has only been with three brands. Everyday Minerals. Alima Pure and Bare Minerals. All brands are amazing for different reasons. I have yet to explore other brands that are available. There are a lot of products I want to mention that I have had experience with. But these are the three that I have come to use regularly to just throw on and go.

Growing Hair with Some Help – Casual Blog Post

If you do not know this already, I went in to have my hair cut December 5th. I went in with photo references with a specific hair cut. My aim was to get rid of whatever was left of my damage but look presentable. Unfortunately, she ignored both my photo references and all my attempts to communicate with her. I walked out with a hair cut that appeared to look nothing like what I wanted. Fortunately, all the damage was cut off like I wanted. So I

Fortunately, all the damage was cut off like I wanted. So I can’t say I didn’t get anything out of it. So life moves on. Nothing I could do but take care of it and wait for it to grow. But that doesn’t mean I couldn’t use anything that might help.

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Through the month of January, I was using Not Your Mother’s Way to Grow Shampoo, Conditioner and Leave-In Conditioner. I didn’t have expectations since it had said on the bottle that it wouldn’t grow new hair. So you can imagine when I had seen a bit of difference. It wasn’t a whole inch. But it was well over what I would normally see. One thing I want to note is that if you are like me with oily hair, you’re going to need a dry shampoo or just give in and wash it more than normal. I decided to also get the booster shots from the line to see if it made any difference if at all. One major thing that I appreciate is that it’s very inexpensive.

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For January I decided to use Shea Moisture.I hadn’t heard anything about the Jamaican Black Castor Oil line at all. It caught my eye and I decided to give it a go. I just chose not to buy the leave-in conditioner. I remained consistent with the shampoo and conditioner. But not the hair mask and scalp serum. I have only used the hair mask three times throughout the month of January. This brand is more money than NYM’s hair care.But it is also on the more natural side in comparison to more conventional products.

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For February I am choosing to go back to an old faithful brand. Desert Essense. I used this formulation of shampoo and conditioner many times before. And it always worked wonders. It also made me miss the warmer months. As long as you buy Desert Essense from online stores like Luckyvitamin and Vitacost, you can get them cheap. They have other formulations available for various other hair types. Though there are a few things I would like to critique the brand about, I’m saving it for a later date.

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I posted about this on my Instagram during the weekend. Usually, I am not one to want to buy things like Biotin and such for hair growth. But my nails are somewhat week, and my skin could be a bit better. But if I can get hair growth out of it, even better. The ingredients are pretty damn amazing. And it seems to have a high concentration of biotin. I know there are vitamins being heavily pushed on Instagram right now that are specific to hair growth, but I wanted to try this first.

I’m not sure as to whether anything I have shown in this post does anything for hair growth at all. I’d prefer to have a realistic view on it. But at the same time, a healthy dose of optimism. And a pinch of desperation. Once I’m done with the Desert Essense for the month of February, I will be going back to using NYM’s. Then Shea Moisture again. And back to Desert Essense. 

La Croix a Healthy Alternative to Soda?

img_4413Who’s addicted to coca cola? Or Pepsi? Or Sprite? *raises hand* It’s been a problem for me since I was twenty-four years old. I love the taste and feel of the cold carbonation combined with the sweetness. I know I am not the only one. But it’s not the healthiest thing for so many people. The high fructose corn syrup and the caffeine is something that I don’t think is healthy to have on a regular basis. But then I saw something on Pheobe Tonkin’s Instagram. La Croix. I looked them up on their website (which is very informative) and I suddenly felt I had to try it. If I could find a healthier alternative to soda, I’m fucking going for it. If you’re in Sussex County in New Jersey, you can be happy to know they have it available in Shoprite. I thought it was going to be a lot harder to find than it was.

P R O D U C T ●  F A C T S 

  • Rather than using things like high fructose corn syrup and other unhealthy flavourings, La Croix uses essence oils that are taken from the fruit they are choosing to flavour the drink with. All natural essence oils that is.
  • La Croix beverages are less acidic in comparison to most conventional soft drinks that you would buy. The PH level will vary depending on flavour.
  • La Croix is completely gluten-free
  • La Croix is completely non-gmo
  • La Croix is unique in the fact that it is sparkling carbonated water. Older and common brands we have seen in the supermarkets often contains sodium. But La Croix is sodium-free.
  • La Croix is an American company with American-sourced ingredients.
  • La Croix is completely vegan.

Personal ● Lifestyle Changes

img_4413If you haven’t been following me, I haven’t lead the most healthy lifestyle regarding food and beverage since the age of twenty-four. My husband and I started eating out on a regular basis and drinking so much more soda than we did when we had lived in our studio apartment back in the day. I’ve been used to drinking things like Coca Cola, Pepsi, Snapple, Vitamin Water, Coffee with a massive amount of sugary creamer, and a lot of processed food. When I first had La Croix for the first time, I was disappointed. It smelled amazing. But I tasted nothing. I expressed my disappointment to someone I had worked with who also happened to be a health nut. She told me something that made a lot of sense. She told me that because of the fact that because I have been so used to eating and drinking things with high fructose corn syrup, aspartame, refined sugar, and artificial sweeteners, I wasn’t able to enjoy things that had more natural flavours and things that were more subtle. Think of it this way. After eating something like Smarties for a snack or dessert for a number of years, something like grapes or apples is not going to be as exciting. That’s what’s been happening with me. My friend reassured me that after cutting out all the beverages I have been drinking and starting to make more home cooked meals that I would start to see the difference with products like La Croix.

Think of it this way. After eating something like Smarties for a snack or dessert for a number of years, something like grapes or apples is not going to be as exciting. That’s what’s been happening with me. My friend reassured me that after cutting out all the beverages I have been drinking and starting to make more home cooked meals that I would start to see the difference with products like La Croix. Starting new healthy habits isn’t easy. It takes time. Just remember that when you’re looking for more healthy alternatives. It’s boring at first. But over time, you’re body with thank you.

4 Must-Have Vegan Makeup from the Drugstore

While it would be nice to see more cruelty-free and one hundred percent vegan cosmetic lines, I firmly believe in giving focus to the vegan specific products within the lines that are not totally animal by-product free. Even though there are brands like E.L.F. it’s also still important to give attention to the products within brands that are not one entirely vegan but still have the formula’s we are looking for. As of recently, I started using four items I found from the drugstore that contains no beeswax, carmine, keratin, or lanolin. Its affordability makes it easier to choose these items over higher end brands.

Milani Moisture Lock Oil Infused Lip Treatment ○ I was not buying into the whole lip oil crazy I had been hearing about. I thought it was another fancy way of presenting a lip gloss that was supposed to be moisturizing. But I gave in since this winter my lips were so damn dry. Is it a lip gloss? Somewhat. Similar texture. But I do believe it is the castor oil that is giving it that thick and syrup like texture. The nourishing avocado, jojoba, coconut and almond oil help to keep the moisture locked into my lip. I think this is definitely work taking a look at. Especially for the price.

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Physicians Formula #InstaReady Concealer ○ Okay, I’m not into the whole Instagram selfie stuff. But I was still interested in this concealer. It makes all the same claims that most concealers do. But it is full coverage. At least on me. It does wear very well through the day. But I would suggest using a setting powder. It can settle into lines. But I want to point out the never ending issue that Physicians Formula has. SHADE SELECTION! It’s so damn limited. But aside from that, this is worth looking into. Though I question their choice to decide to place it in a pump.

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Milani Easybrow Tinted Fiber Gel ○ I’m not into Instagram brows. I just want to make my brows more visible. I struggle so much with them. But I just wanted a less expensive alternative compared to Anastasia Beverly Hills. And I found it. It doesn’t make my brow feel crispy at all. But it gives back more of the natural feel I need after penciling in the gaps. Though there is only five shades, I’m positive you can almost find something that works for you.

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Physicians Formula Eye Booster Matte Lacquer Cream Liner ○ This stuff is hardcore. If you have read my blog post in the past regarding this brands eyeliners, I swear to you, hands down, they are the best. This product is no different. But it does require more awareness and effort. You have to be aware that this product will dry faster than the other eyeliners this brand provides. And it is absolute deep matte black. This will not budge. At all. But I suggest putting in the extra effort by using a separate fine liner brush to take from the tip and apply to the eye. You have more control. Also, if you notice the little red plug wedge it comes with, don’t throw it out. Because this product dries down so quickly, I’d be concerned with it clogging the crevice it comes out of.

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Black Moon Cosmetics Eyedust ☾ Liquid Luminous Eyeshadow First Impressions

People have been salivating over these since they moment they announced it’s pending release shortly before Christmas. But of course, I ordered two shades! This is actually my first experience with Black Moon Cosmetics. I heard one of my favourite Youtubers (ReeRee Phillips) Goth goddess that she is, mention this brand multiple times. I broke down the day of the release of the Eyedusts and also bought a liquid lipstick. The excitement is real people. Playing with these are so much fun.

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Asteroid ☾ Asteroid is described as a shade with a carbon black base with sapphire reflective pearls. I’m not sure if it’s me, but whenever I saw Instagram videos or photographs of this shade, it comes off looking a bit green to me. Luckily, it is deceptive. It does look like a sapphire blue.

Nebula ☾ Nebula is a purple and silver reflective with another carbon black base. A shade that is going to be super pretty on all eye colours.

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Experience So Far  I’ve only used this product two different ways so far. Once just by spreading it from the wand to the eyelid. The other is making a winged liner by swiping the Sigma E10 on the wand and making the liner from there. One thing I can certainly say is that this product sets really fast. I noticed the moment I took a dense blending brush to blend the edges that it wasn’t budging. Oily and hooded eyelids? Heads up! I have both. And this product had not budged for two hours. But the oiliness broke through afterwards. I would still recommend wearing a sheer eyelid primer. This was not a shock to me. Most products that claim to be crease proof end up getting broken down with my oily eyelids. It’s not the product itself. It’s just my natural skin chemistry.

Additional Information 

  • Consistency is very gel like to me
  • Contains the same amount of product as the liquid lipsticks (6ml)
  • Beautifully sparkly
  • Cruelty-free
  • Vegan
  • Safe for lips

I personally cannot wait to play with these even more. I enjoyed using Nebula as a liquid liner to create a wing. It adds interest and a hint of colour to the eye without having to put in too much work. And I am so excited to play with the liquid lipstick from them.

Did you order the new Cosmic Eyedusts? Which shades did you order? Do you already have products from Black Moon Cosmetics? 

Eye Care For You – 2016 Eye Skincare

The skin in the eye area is so tender. Some things are treatable. Some things are unavoidable because of what’s passed down from family. But that doesn’t mean that we throw caution to the wind. No matter what we’ve done to our eyes with makeup, or how unavoidable daddy dearests dark circles are, we still put in extra care for the skin in that area. Is it possible to tame these beasts? Yes. So, you’re probably wondering…

So, you’re probably wondering, ‘what can I look for that is cruelty-free and vegan?’ I have a special three items you may appreciate. 

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DeVita Revitalizing Eye Lift Creme – This brand was mainly well known a few years ago for their once popular SPF 30 before the formula changed. I rarely heard about any other product available to the brand despite the fact that it expanded even into makeup. After reading heaps of positive reviews on this eye cream, I went for it. Even though I have no used it for a long period of time, here are so many things I love about it. It relieves any dryness I may have around the entire eye area and feels slightly rich. Possibly because of the shea butter within it. I am also not sure if this is the norm. But you get so much product inside this container. It’s going to last me well over a year. I call that a money saving benefit that comes with this product.

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Extra Things You’ll Love…

  • Contains hyaluronic acid
  • Contains vitamin K
  • First ingredient is aloe vera gel
  • Certified organic
  • Gluten-free
  • Container is made of glass

100% Pure Bright Eyes Mask – Three words. Worth-Every-Penny. Puffy or dry, it doesn’t matter. Whether you’re a busy parents or student, these are very convenient because it takes but a moment to apply and remove and you can continuously see the effects because of the serum left behind. I feel like the hydrogel material that the masks are made from help to lock in the serum into the skin. Sometimes I wonder whether the paper sheet masks evaporate. My eyes are so much brighter and puffiness for me completely disappears.

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Extra Things You’ll Love…

  • Contains hyaluronic acid
  • Contains green tea
  • Made of 95% organic aloe water
  • Certified Organic Ingredients
  • Gluten-free

Small tip: Put one packet in the fridge for 15 to 20 minutes before use. It has an amazing cooling sensation. 

Nourish Organic Avocado + Argan Eye Treatment – I had tried a sample I received from Nordstrom of a very popular brand that has a product with a similar concept with the avocado. I admit, it was lovely. It did an amazing job with nourishing my eye area. But, the downside was that it was tested on animals. I happened to run across this item on an Instagram I follow. And I ran to see if it was available on Vitacost or Luckyvitamin. Thankfully it was. I often heard of this kind of applicators being cooling upon touch to the skin. And it is. The animal tested eye cream I had tried was extremely nourishing but intensely thick. Which can weigh heavily on the delicate skin.This product from Nourish is moisturizing but very light and thin and absorbs quickly.

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Extra Things You’ll Love…

  • Additional ingredients are rosehip, shea butter, cupuacu, rice bran and vitamin E
  • Certified Organic
  • GMO-free
  • Gluten-free

I hope this post has been helpful for some people who are looking for effect and relieving products for whatever it is you may be dealing with at this current point in time. As you can see, aloe and avocado have been the theme of this post when it comes to the skin around the eyes. I find it to be more potent that most common skincare products that primarily contain water. I know there are some who think going cruelty-free, vegan and/or clean with their products means giving up on products that are not as effective in their performance when it comes to skincare. It’s just a matter of looking hard and taking a chance.

Now, pardon me. I’m going to go eat avocado on toast. Cheers!