11/29/16

A Sweet Little Stocking Stuffer From Sephora


With its beautiful red festive packaging, the Sephora Collection Mini Cream Lip Stain Set would make a great stocking stuffer for any beauty junkie!


I actually purchase the combo pack as a treat for myself simply because I couldn't decide which colour to purchase next. I have one full-size Sephora Lip Cream already in the shade Pink Souffle and I absolutely love it! The moussey texture is pigmented and applies nice and smooth. It's long-wearing without ever feeling dry and I adore the soft blush hue. At $18 dollars each, these lippies are also a decent price for high-end quality!


The holiday set ($15) comes with four petite shades including Blackberry Sorbet (a deep burgondy colour), Infinite Rose (a shimmery, peachy-pink hue), Cherry Blossom (a vibrant Barbie pink) and Always Red (the perfect Christmas-y, matte red). I didn't think I would like Infinite Rose when initially looking at it, but once applied to my lips it surprised me! It's described as a satin finish, so the golden shimmers are not too chunky and it somewhat mimics the look of metallic lips, which seem to be growing in popularity. My favourite of the bunch, however, is Blackberry Sorbet which begs to be worn with a chunky knit sweater and messy bun this winter.

(Swatches left to right: Blackberry Sorbet, Cherry Blossom, Infinite Rose and Always Red) 


While they are pretty tiny with just 1.3 mL worth of product (compared to the 5 mL in a full-size) it's a great way to test the formula in a variety of colours and determine which one to purchase. It would also put a smile on any lipstick lover's face Christmas morning.

I know it's a bit early, but...Merry Ho Ho and happy shopping!

xxx

11/25/16

Love Confession For Revlon Balms

I wrote a post similar to this last year when I confessed my love and addiction for the Revlon Colorburst Lip Butters. To this day, they are still some of my favourite lipsticks! But while staring into the mess of my makeup drawer (prior to spring cleaning) I noticed a fairly large collection of Revlon Balms, which are also really awesome!! Clearly I'm a fan of Revlon lip products...

Now this line is a little different, because they come in Matte, Lacquer and Stain formulas.

(From Left to Right: Mischievous (Matte) Audacious (Matte), Sultry (Matte) Striking (Matte), Standout (Matte), 
Showy (Matte), Sweetheart (Stain), Coquette (Lacquer) Honey (Stain), Demure (Lacquer)

I own 11 different shades. Unfortunately one missed picture day, as it was hiding out in one of my coat pockets. Not pictured above is Enticing, a beautiful dark, glossy red shade. 


I have a few favourites including Showy, a vibrant blue-toned, matte pink that I wear constantly in the summer; and the iconic Honey, a perfect MLBB (My Lips But Better) soft pink-y brown stain. Sweetheart is also one of the first Revlon products I purchased and has a special place in my heart. It is the most beautiful pink with a bit of a berry undertone and lingers on the lips for what seems like an entire day! 

Striking and Standout are newer to my collection, but I have a feeling these deeper matte shades are going to become staples in my fall morning makeup routine. 

Unfortunately I've only worn Mischievous a handful of times. It's a little difficult to pull off simply because it applies patchy and is quite pale for my complexion. But all of the other colours I own are totally wearable and apply like a dream. 

(Revlon Balm Stains Swatched in Sweetheart and Honey)

If I had to rank each range in order I would say the Stains get the golden ribbon. The Mattes come in as runner up because they're super pigmented and comfortable - they don't suck any moisture from my lips, like many other matte lip products do. And finally the Lacquers are good but not my immediate choice when selecting a colour to wear each day. I sometimes find them to be a little too sparkly for my liking and they apply a little more on the sheer side. 

(Revlon Matte Balms Swatched From Left to Right: Showy, Striking, Standout, Sultry, Audacious, Mischievous)

I also can't end this post without mentioning the sleek, crayon-like packaging. I'm all for changing up the look of lipsticks and I not only love the shape of these Revlon products, but I also really love how they've matched the outside packaging to the bullet inside, making it easy to pick and choose a colour (even when my makeup drawer is a disaster).

(Revlon Lacquer Balms Swatched Coquette and Demure) 

Have you tried any of the Revlon Balms? Which one is your favourite?

xxx

11/22/16

All Brown Everything | Monochromatic Makeup


I've been meaning to post this look ever since my ColourPop Haul back in August, but the timing just didn't feel right. Now that the air is crisp and the leaves have fallen, the dark brown monochromatic looks seems much more appropriate.

I was inspired by the Colourpop Ultra Satin Lip I got called Mess Around, which is a daring choice for me. It took me a while to bust out the brown lip colour, but now I'm slightly obsessed with the mellow gothic look. It's definitely a little more outside of my comfort zone, but the more I wear it, the more I fall in love.


The lips are definitely meant to be a focal point, so I like to keep everything else fairly simple. I use soft shades of brown on my eyes and skip blush all together, opting to sweep a matte bronzer onto my cheeks instead. I can never resist adding a pop of highlight onto my cheeks, down my nose and on my cupids bow, adding sheen to an otherwise fairly flat look.   


I feel that the lip colour translated a little lighter on camera, so below is an image showing you what it looks like in different lighting. As you can see, it's much more vampy and very fall or winter appropriate. It's one of those shades that will look a little different on everyone, but is a great option for nailing the 90s grunge trend! 


I personally really enjoy wearing this look and love how the different shades of brown compliment each other. The Ultra Satin Lip formula in general is also a total hit for me, as it's super comfortable to wear and lasts hours on my lips (even through meals and beverages). 

Face:

Eyes:
  • Free Spirit (all over lid up to brow bone)
  • Wanderer (upper crease)
  • Dreamer (lower crease)
  • Multi-Tasker (outer-v)  
essence Gel Eye Pencil Waterproof in Cocoa Bean

11/8/16

Trash Talk: Empty + Expired Beauty Items


I missed the chance to spring clean this year, so my bathroom drawers were overflowing...just a little. My morning routines often consisted of rummaging around for a product I just could NOT find, which created even more of a mess. I finally set aside some time a couple of weekends ago to sort through all of my makeup and beauty items, resulting in a pile of trash that I wanted to share with you! Some of these are empty products, while others have just been hanging around in the shadows of my drawers for much too long.


I'm not going to talk about some of the items I've featured on the blog many, many times before. You guys know how I feel about the Garnier SkinActive All-In-1 Cleansing WaterPhilosophy Purity Made Simple Cleanser, Rimmel Stay Matte Long Lasting Pressed PowderWet n Wild PhotoFocus Setting SprayCovergirl Super Sizer Fibers Mascara and the Sephora Instant Nail Polish Remover (note to self: buy more of this). I'm a big fan of each one of these products and they're items that I will or already have repurchased over and over again.

Instead I'll discuss some items you probably haven't seen on Beauty by Birdy before. I'll be taking a slight walk down memory lane and I'm thinking some of you beauty junkies will join. The post is a little long, so grab some water and a snack if you'll be sticking around until the end.

The Body Shop Radiant Highlighter
I love this product! But I've just had it for way too long, and you guys know how I feel about expired beauty items. I don't even think they sell this beautiful highlighter anymore. What a shame! I've used it all over my entire face under foundation and concealer and it just gives my skin the most beautiful glow! I know there a ton of illuminating bases on the market these days, so if there's one you love and think I should try, leave me a comment below!

LOC (Love of Colour) One & Done Shadow Stick in On Point
You'll notice a few of these empties are products I received in Birchbox, including this gorgeous champagne shadow stick. It is so creamy and makes for an incredible inner corner highlight! I realize it was just a sample size, but I wish it came in twist-up packaging or could be sharpened. I blew through the product so fast and was extremely sad when I couldn't use it again. And since Birchbox put their Canadian operations on hold, it is tough to get my hands on a full-size without paying a fortune in shipping costs or currency exchange.


Revlon Super Lustrous Lipstick in Cha Cha Cherry
This is the first red lippie I ever bought and it was the perfect introductory colour when I first started playing with makeup. It's red without being too bright or bold and has a slight pink undertone that suits my fair skin tone. It's sheer and glossy formula means it is super comfortable to wear but also provides the option to build pigmentation. Unfortunately I've just had this for far too long and I've come to terms with the fact that we need to part ways.

Wet n Wild ProLine Felt Tip Eyeliner
I was so disappointed in this liquid liner! It was absolutely amazing the first couple of times I used it, but after what seemed like only a week, it dried out. I was hoping it could be an affordable dupe to replace my Kat Von D Tattoo Liner - which seems to have nine lives and never run out - but instead my holy grail drugstore liquid liner hunt continues.


Revlon Super Lustrous Lipgloss
I'll admit...YouTube made me buy these! It was around the time when I first found interest in the beauty community and these were all the rage! I have the shades Lilac Pastille (what was I thinking?!) and Coral Reef. They're a little too sticky for my liking and the product has even started to seep out of the packaging, creating a goopy mess at the bottom of my lipgloss container. Into the trash they go!

Yves Rocher Loose Pearls-Intense Illuminating Effect
This is actually one of the first makeup products I ever purchased! Which is a sign that it's pretty much a dinosaur now...

It is 100% natural origin so I'm sure it's fine, I just don't want to take any risks. I've often heard people recommend sharing pigments with a friend and now I understand why! They literally take a decade to finish! I used this shadow nearly every day for a year and it seems I barely made a dent. I do really love the shimmery rose gold colour though!


Another cult favourite! While I had no problem hitting pan on the shade Bad To The Bronze, I had a much harder time using Tough As Taupe, barely making a dent. It's definitely more grey in my opinion and not my favourite colour to wear on the eyes. Now it's dried up and pretty much useless. 



Maybelline Dream Bouncy Blush
I have the shades Peach Satin (a beautiful orange-y, coral shade) and Hot Tamale (a dark pinky-red). Once again, these have just been sitting in my makeup drawer for a little longer than I would like to admit. I did use them a fair bit, but found that they were tough to blend. I've recently seen someone use a beautyblender to apply them, so I have contemplated purchasing a new (more muted pink or rosy shade) to test out the technique. I'll be sure to keep you posted if I do!



Clearly these blushes were a hit in my book! I managed to hit pan on the shades Berry, Santa Rose and Pink Rose. In fact, I actually went through more than one Berry... 

You may not recognize this battered packaging...it's pretty much ancient now. They've since changed it to more of a rectangular shape with metal detailing and the powder itself is imprinted with a Union Jack. I believe Rimmel also introduced a whole new range of colours. They're a really great drugstore option for anyone looking for a new blush on a budget. 


Five...six...seven years later and I'm still obsessed with this black, cross-hatch packaging! I love how Revlon chose to match the top of each tube with the lipstick inside, making for easy choosing when digging around in a makeup drawer. I used the colour Candy Pink, a vibrant, blue-based fuschia a bunch of times until I realized it made me teeth look a little yellow and was not the most flattering. Pink Sugar is a very pale peach toned lipstick with a ton of chunky shimmer in it. I didn't mind the look of the silver reflects, but the feeling was just way to gritty and unpleasant to wear. 

Another product that would be quite difficult to get my hands on because of Birchbox's decision to close Canadian operations. Which is unfortunate because I really enjoyed using this paraben and sulfate-free spray. My hair isn't the most knotty, so I didn't really need it for the detangling properties, but I did like that it protected against UV rays and heat from styling tools. It also added shine and made my hair feel smooth and soft, while seeming to tame fly-aways at the same time.  


This was another Birchbox sample that I wish was just a smidge larger! Luckily it can be found online at sephora.com, making it a little more accessible. Not only is it a great dry shampoo that absorbs oils and can add a boost of volume without leaving any white cast, it also smells divine! Plus the packaging is friggen adorable! I love the bright colours!

Are you still with me?! Thanks for reading through this - longer than usual - post! Did you happen to recognize any of the 'old school' products?

 xxx

11/4/16

It's Never Too Early For Lush Christmas Goodies

Halloween may have just ended, but the truth is I've been slightly giddy about Christmas approaching for a while now! It was pretty much inevitable the minute cosmetic companies began releasing their Holiday gift sets and advent calendars...


I couldn't resist picking up a few new festive products from LUSH when I popped in there last week. They come out with some of the best items around this time of year, which also happens to be around the time when my bath count turns from one a week to three, or four...or five.


I selected three Reusable Bubble Bars, which are like soap lollipops that create mounds of the fluffiest bubbles you'll ever see. Instead of crumbling each shape under the water like LUSH's original Bubble Bars, these are harder in texture and can resist falling apart from the impact of running water. They can be set aside to dry and used multiple times over, until the product completely disintegrates from the wand. I typically get 10-12 baths out of one.

Along with Christmas classic movies (which are already airing on TV), and Caramel Brûlée Lattes in a Starbucks red (or green) cup, these jolly products are sure to get me in the holiday spirit...despite many arguing that it's maybe too early.

Santasaurus
Come on!!!! How cute is this guy?! I'm obsessed!


I think this is going to be a great hit among young kiddos! It is a T. Rex wearing Santa's hat after all...

But it has the same toffee scent as their Honey I Washed The Kids Soap (which I'm obsessed with) making it right up my alley as well! I have a feeling this one will also turn the bath water a beautiful shade of green!

The Magic of Christmas
Isn't this sweet little star just so pleasing to look at?


I almost don't want to use it and hang it as an ornament on my tree instead! I can't wait to escape to spicy holiday fragrance heaven! Packed with cinnamon and clove, it's sure to be super warming on a cold winter's night. Or shall I say a 'starry evening'...

Jester
Another cutie pie! I feel as though the Christmas theme has been stretched a little this year, but I'm in love with this zesty joker regardless. Just looking at him puts a smile on my face and I know the uplifting mandarin oils are going to be the perfect cheerful ingredient on a dull winter's day (assuming he lasts until the seasons change).


Dev happened to also pick up some holiday items for himself, so stay tuned for a 'Male Post' review coming to Beauty by Birdy soon!

Ps. Leave a comment below if you're excited for Christmas like me. Are there any festive activities or traditions you do to gear up for the holidays (even if it is only the first week of November)?

xxx

11/1/16

Matrix Biolage Goes R.A.W.

Real. Authentic. Wholesome. These are words often heard when describing a diet or healthy foods we put into our bodies, but it's now also a common philosophy applied to skin and haircare. Matrix Biolage has released a whole line of R.A.W. products that are 70-100% produced with natural ingredients that are better for us and the environment.


I have the 'Nourish Family', which consists of both a shampoo and conditioner that are made up of highly moisturizing ingredients. The shampoo contains quinoa husk (interesting, right?!) and honey, while the conditioner contains coconut oil and kaolin clay. It's 95% natural-origin and is free of silicone and parabens. 

I've been testing the duo out for the past few weeks and so far I really like them!! The shampoo lathers quite well and the honey scent is noticeable but not overpowering. The conditioner is a little heavier, with an extremely slick consistency that I find takes a little extra effort to rinse clean. But it makes my hair so incredible soft and easy to brush through!


There are two other 'families', including Recover (contains goji berry and coriander oil to restore shine and improve strength) and Uplift (contains black sesame, grapefruit and kiwi to purify and increase body).   

The cute, eco-friendly bottle resembles packaging from a juice cleanse and the product may look good enough to drink, but don't be fooled...there are still some elements that may not be pleasant to ingest. I was somewhat disappointed to see the natural components listed toward the end of ingredients. However, after doing some research I found this page on the Matrix Biolage website that breaks down all the ingredients they use (even those too difficult to pronounce) and where they come from. Trust me, it makes words like 'Sodium Cocoyl Isethionate', 'Cetearyl Alcohol' and 'Sclerotium Gum' seem much less scary.


Overall I think it's a really cool concept and my hair seems happy with these products as well!

*Disclaimer: I was fortunate enough to receive these products from Matrix Biolage for review, however all opinions are my own! 

xxx