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Travel Cosmetics -How to pack

19 Mar

Whenever I travel I always try to pack a little better than I did the time before. And important group of items I carry is of course, cosmetics. From face wash to mascara, these items can get pretty bulky and cumbersome if you aren’t careful. This post lists items I typically take on a trip and how I pack for minimum space usage.


Some of the cosmetics I travel with

A major tip for packing you travel cosmetics is mini. If you can get every item in mini size that would be perfect. Most supermarkets and beauty stores sell minis of many items. For those things you can’t get a mini version of, invest in some mini travel pots and bottles.

FACE AND BODY

These are the essentials.The things you might need along the way on your trip. The things you don’t want to leave home without. Packaging these first.

○ Toothbrush and toothpaste 

○ Mouthwash

○ Deodorant (Secret)

○ Face/body wash(Cetaphil)

● Daily moisturizer(Oil of Olay Daily moisturizer)- I squirting a few days worth into a travel size container.

● Hand cream(BBW Black cherry merlot)

● Sunblock(Coppertone)

● Cleansing wipes(Wetones)

HAIR

○ Hairspray by Rave

○ Hair moisturizer by Garnier

○ Dry shampoo-I hardly ever wash my hair on short trips (I havethick, curly natural hair prone to dryness) so I don’t pack shampoo or conditioner but I do pack dr6 shampoo to keep things clean.

○ Hair gel by Tre Semme

MAKEUP

As tough as it may be, you have to use extreme discretion and only pack what you need. Think of all the makeup items you typically wear on an everyday basis to decide what to take.

● Foundation (Maybelline fit me matte and poreless in coconut)

● Eyeshadow palette (NYX Natural) – A fairly compact palette with enough shades to create multiple looks is ideal

● Blush (Milani American Rose)- A blush that will likely match your eye and lip colours.

● Lip colour (Milani Confident matte) – One that will go well with your eye colours

● Mascara (Too Faced Better than Sex)

● Brown pencil(ABH Brow definer in dark brown)

● Eye liner(Kat von D tattoo liner in Trooper)

● Setting mist(NYX matte)

● Rollerball perfume(Viktor and Rolf Flowerbomb)- These are perfect for travel because they don’t spill.

○ Brushes- pack them in a flat brush holder like this or in a thin cosmetic case.

PACKING

I legit pack most of my cosmetics in a massive zip lock bag. Why? Because it holds a lot, it’s clear so it’s cool to go through airport security and if it gets messed up with spilt product you can bin it when you’re finished. 

Everything laid out



Packing things this way also save space because you can lay it flat on top of your clothing.

All packed up

Thanks for reading, happy travels and have an awesome day!

A few Spring things

12 Mar

A few Spring things

Happy spring! So even though the Spring Equinox isn’t until March 20th,  today is the day where clocks spring forward, so technically it’s spring right. I should also add that I do not live in a temperate climate so technically these seasons aren’t experienced where I am but it doesn’t stop me from totally getting excited about this time of year.

I decided to do a post sharing some things I have been recently enjoying and plan to continue doing so into the upcoming spring season. The items aren’t spring themed, just happen to be living them right now.


MAKEUP


Sweet Peach palette by Too Faced

This palette is a re-release from Too Faced, originally being a limited edition but now added to the right permanent line and massively expanded to include highlighters, blush and lip colours. This was a surprise favourite for me because initially I was unimpressed. Quite a few beauty bloggers/vloggers expressed disappointment with the palette and I was genuinely turned off. I actually walked into Sephora to purchase an entirely different palette a few weeks ago and just glanced over at this one. I switched the colours and I was hooked. 

Packaging

The packaging is the standard Too Faced metal palette that closes magnetically. It is ombre peach coloured with raised peaches across it. This actually makes it a bit difficult to stack with other flat palettes.

Product 

This palette costs $49 US and it contains 18 shadows each 0.95g .There are 5 matte shares all in neutral colours that I think can work for any skin tone. The rest of the palette is comprised of satiny and shimmers in corals, coppers and purples as well as an olive shade and a shimmery black shade.

Impression

For me, I love this palette. I can create complete looks with it alone including a completely neutral look (but why would you want to with all these awesome shades) 

Moda Makeup Brushes

Moda face brushes

By now most of us who have an interest in makeup would have heard of the Artis makeup brushes. For those who haven’t , it’s a set of flat head high end makeup brushes. These brushes made their rounds in the beauty community last year but for many of us regular folk the price was just too high. Then came the dupes.There are more than a few companies who have fashioned their version of the Artis makeup face brushes charging a pretty penny for them too. Then came Moda. This brand has been steadily making a name for itself as a brightly coloured, affordable, decent quality drugstore makeup tools line. I first knew of this brand of face brushes through Emmy Noel, one of my favourite beauty YouTubers. She gave them her stamp of approval and that was all I needed to hear. This set of four brushes goes for around $15 US at Walmart and is by far the cheapest I have seen any of these brushes yet.

Style

These are paddle head brushes compared to your typical makeup brushes with very densely packed fires. The colour is awesome resembling a cross between oil slick and mermaid skin on the handles and unicorn hair for  the bristles. Honestly I was sold on the appearance alone.
Function

The largest brush is meant for foundation (liquid or creme). The second size is meant for blush and bronzer.  The third one is for contouring and the fourth and smallest is meant for concealer. Obviously you can use the  however you like. I find myself getting the most use out of the two larger ones. I appreciate applying my foundation with something different to a sponge. I also find I use less product when I use this brush to apply. The blush brush is the perfect size for blush application.

If you are interested in this style of makeup brushes but can’t or won’t splurge on the more expensive version, definitely give these a go.

Colour Switch


Color Switch by Vera Mona

This little tin here was a true game changer for me. A colour switch allows you to reuse the same makeup brushes in the same time frame i.e while creating the same look. I was going crazy trying to create a cute look and realising I didn’t quite have enough brushes to do it with. If I used my brush cleaner, the brush got wet and wouldn’t dry out in time.

Until

I got

Color Switch

This invention is genius. It is essentially a circular chunk of very  porous, hard sponge not unlike that found in aquarium filters. You rub the brush in circles to get off product. You can use both sides and wash it when it gets particularly dirty.

Milani Lip Color Remover

In this day and age where long wear matte lipsticks are a dime a dozen,  this little tube is a saving grace. It is the colour and consistency of a petroleum jelly lip gloss. This thing really works! Just put it on and remove using a bit of tissue and the lip color comes right off.

SKIN AND BODY CARE

Elf Hydrating Bubble Mask

E.l.f mask



While other drugstore brands are busy expanding their makeup line, e.l.f has done that and is now making a foray into affordable skin care. So far I’ve seen facial cleansers, masks, day and night time moisturizers. I picked this one up because I’ve been curious about bubble masks but didn’t want to buy an expensive one only to hate it. I don’t hate this. I have feelings opposite to hate for this. 

Packaging

The packaging with this skin care line is a real winner. It is in a pale aqua cylindrical tub set into frosted translucent hard glass making it look rather luxe. The product comes through a hole in the top via a pumping motion.

Product

The mask comes out as a clear almost greasy substance with a mild you citrus scent. Upon touching moist skin it becomes white and foamy but it takes about two minutes before it truly bubbles. Bubble masks feel weird. Lol. The sensation is tingly and feels as if I poured a Sprite onto my face. After use my face felt clean but not dry which is what the product promised.


Philosophy Pink Marshmallow Buttercream shower gel

Shower gel

Philosophy makes intensely scented bath and body products. Whatever the scent is on the bottle is EXACTLY what it smells like.This can be used as shower gel, bubble bath or shampoo. It lathers well and leaves a gentle lingering scent on your skin. What I love about Philosophy products like this is that they print actual recipes on the front of the bottles to go along with the fragrance. I picked this one up from T.J Maxx and paid about $4 which is about half of the original price  (according to T.J. Maxx)


Body Shop Italian Summer Figure Body Cream


Cream

Yes, I am featuring a summer fig cream in a spring favourites post. This was another T.J.Maxx (my favourite off-price retail store) find and it was a good one. I paid $5US for mine but you can get it from The Body Shop for about $10. This cream comes in the traditional Body shop cream container and the graphics are clean and simple as with most body shop products. It smells delicious. It is rich and a little sweet with a fresh almost grassy undertone. It’s the type of scent that makes you constantly sniff your hands (or foot or whatever body part you put it on). The consistency of the cream is soft and whipped and extremely moisturizing.


FRAGRANCE

Elizabeth and James Nirvana rollerballs 

Rollerballs



Elizabeth and James is a line owned by the prolific business savvy Olsen twins: Mary-Kate and Ashley.  The names come from two of their younger siblings and the Nirvana fragrances have become more and more popular. 

I previously used the Nirvana White as a fragrance sampler set I got from Sephora about a year ago. Since then I’ve been hooked. The Nirvana line now has four fragrances: E&J Nirvana White, E&J Nirvana Black, E&J Nirvana Rose and E&J Nirvana Bourbon.

These fragrances have something for everyone occasion. The White has a clean fresh daytime scent. Black is darker and more musky and great for evening to night. Rose is light and romantic and almost powdery, fantastic for day wear or a date night. Bourbon is my favorite. It does somewhat embody the essence of Bourbon. It has depth and a bit of sweetness. I prefer this for nighttime but it can work in the day as well.

 I purchased this set of four rollerballs from Sephora for $28 which is a bit of a bargain for rollerballs these days. I am into buying sample or travel sizes of items because it allows me to test something before committing to a full size as well as giving an opportunity to try many things at once.


BBW Tomato Vine Candle

Candle

This candle smells diVINE!  (get it?) Bath and body Works continues to grow their candle line exploring more sophisticated scents. This is one of those and what a great job they did. This candle smells earthy, green and a little bit tart. It is very fragrant and throws fairly well. This works well being burnt in the mid morning to early afternoon as well as a fragrant backdrop for an after dinner glass of wine.

Those are my spring favourites. Maybe something I featured is a favourite of yours or maybe you’ll want to test out some for yourself. Have an awesome day!

Festive Makeup- Muted jewel tones  and Metallics 

20 Dec

BLOG-Mas DAY 20

Hello. Today we continue our Festive fashion with a makeup look fit for a night out this season. As with my post on festive nails, I’m keeping with the theme of muted jewel tones with metallic accents.

The star of this show is the Mario master palette by Anastasia Beverly Hills  (ABH) .I mentioned this beautiful palette in my Blogmas Day 6 post; A few Festive things. Even though it isn’t a holiday palette I feel the dark deep jewel hued shimmer shades are perfect for the holiday season.

This palette cost $45 US and is limited edition. I would say there are some fairly unique shades here but you can absolutely create a similar look with different palettes both high-end and drug store. In my small repertoire the closest I have to create a similar look is a Wet and Wild palette  (about $6). I put them side by side for comparison.

Mater Palette with Mario by ABH and Wet n Wild palette


My focus is on the eye look but I will list all the products used for my overall look.

Primer- NYX photo finish primer

Foundation Maybelline Fit me matte poreless in

Eye primer – Urban Decay age defying primer

Brows- ABH dip brow pomade in dark brown

Eyes- ABH Master Palette by Mario 

Liner- Kat von D liquid liner in Trooper (mini)

             M.A.C pencil liner in Engraved

Lashes- Rimmel Scandal eyes in blackeSt black

                 Kat von D mascara in Puro Amore

Fixing spray-NYX matte finish spray





Crease- Real Techniques brush

Brow bone- e.l.f flat brush

Lid-ABH brushes  (came with sets) double ended. Each has a round topped flat brush on one end and a fluffy blending brush in the other.

         Urban Decay brush double ended. A fluffy dense brush on one end to pack on shadow and small round topped flat brush freat for the inner corners.

So now we begin. It turns out I am not a beauty guru or a photographer and therefore not that great at taking pictures of nyself doing makeup so please excuse the lack of pictures as I do each step.



Step 1

Apply Claudia , a deep navy shimmer shade into the crease. Start with a small amount going back and forth in the crease using windshield wiper motion gradually building up.



Step 2

Using a thin flat brush apply 5th ave, a golden hue to the brow bone. I went heavy with this because I wanted a bolder look.



Step 3

Apply Isabela , a medium brown with an orange undertone all over the lid. This will form a base for the rest of the colours.



Step 4

Using a small round topped flat brush,  apply Bronx, a sparkly deep olive shade to the outer corner of the lid, blending it out.



Step 5

Using another small round topped flat brush (or your finger tip) apply Muse, a coppery burgundy in the centre of the lid and blend.


Step 6

Using a small brush place Marine, a delicious shimmery rose gold on the inner corners and blend.

 

 

Step 7

Take a thick fluffy brush and gently blend everything out. Line lids and apply mascara.

Finished eyes (open)

Finished eyes (closed)

I finished up my look with a peach blush and lined my lips with a deep purple and a coated of gloss(Too Faced Lip Injection Extreme ). I kept the rest of my face neutral as I wanted the attention to be on the eyes.

Finished look




Thank you for reading. Hopefully this look will inspire your holiday makeup looks. Have an awesome day!

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Festive Nails- Muted Jewel tones and Metallics 

19 Dec

BLOG-Mas DAY 19

On the 19th day of Blogmas I will share a nail tutorial. My idea of festive colurs in fashion and makeup is muted jewel tones and soft metallic tones. This tutorial reflects that. 

The nail colours I chose are by e.l.f who I genuinely did not know made nail polish until I saw their Christmas gift sets for sale. E.l.f is of course a prolific drugstore makeup  (and now nail polish) brand. Their products are usually good quality especially considering the pricepoint. This tutorial isn’t really about the brand of polish, more the colours but my mini review is that the colours are decent. They have good coverage and require two coats to achieve a really vibrant effect. I also live the size of the polishes as someone who doesn’t use a whole lot of nail polish, I feel as if I can actually get through one of these bottles.

My colour selection is : gold, navy and deep red. Additionally I will be using a multicolored glitter polish and a matte top coat to mute my shimmery blue and red jewel tones and a wedge (the original beauty sponge). If you have access to matte colurs then use them.

Red, gold and blue polish



STEPS

Step 1

To cleaned, cut and buffed nails, apply your basecoat.(Ignore the peeling skin on my finger)

Base coat

Step 2

Apply one coat of each colur. I selected my 4th digit (ring finger) as my accent nail and painted that one gold. I then alternated with blue and red on my remaining nails. Allow to dry.

One coat of each colour




Step 3

Apply a second coat of each colour and allow to dry. This particular polish achieved my desired look in just two coats. Apply as many coats as you need to get desired level of opaque.

Two coats




Step 4

Apply some glitter polish onto your wedge (the way I gave it pictured is the reverse of how it should be done) then apply it to the accent nail. The aim is to have denser application neat the tip of the nail with gradation down the nail (my nail isn’t long enough to completely pull this off) Once dry apply a regular top coat.

Glitter polish and sponge



Apply glitter




Step 5

Apply matte top coat to the four remaining digits and allow to dry.

Matte top coat



Mattified and gliterfied nails






Fini

Now you are ready for the party ! If you are like me and have no time or money to spend at a salon getting your nails done this is a great idea. I like the flexibility of being able to change(or remove) my polish after just a couple of days so DIY -ing  is great for me.

I love this colour combo.. I think it looks kind of classy and adult because of the darker tones but still very fun (#glitter)

Have an awesome day!

A few Festive Things

6 Dec

A few Festive things



BLOG-Mas  DAY 6

Today I thought I would share some of the things putting me in a festive mood.

Anastacia of Beverly Hills Master Palette by Mario

ABH Master paletteby Mario


This limited edition palette by Mario (known for doing Kim Kardashian’s makeup and making contouring popular among non-makeup artists) was released in October and isn’t meant to be a “holiday” palette per se but to me the colours in it embody festive colours; muted jewel tones and metallics. The shadows are high quality,smooth and easy to blend and you can create a myriad of looks from these 12 shades. And of course, it’s fabulous for year round use.

Milani Metallic Matte Liquid Lipcolour

Milani Metallic Lipcolour in Amor

This drugstore brand knows what it’s doing, it has for quite sometime. When I first heard of metallic mattes I couldn’t understand ,  to me metallic means shiny and matte means not shiny but it works. This lip colour dries down completely matte but maintains a vibrant metallic look. Due to my love of all red lipstick I chose this colour: Amor. Like the ABH palette, it wasn’t meant for holiday time specifically but if you out this colour on, you look instantly festive.

Spiced Gingerbread Cookie by Philosophy 

Spiced Gingerbread Cookie shower gel

Philosophy ,  I don’t know how you did it but it seems like you actually crumbled real spiced gingerbread cookies into this shower gel. This little bottle of Christmas cheer smells sweet and spicy but clean, not overwhelming in any way. The colour, a metallic copper tone is beautiful and as with all Philosophy products there is writing all over the front- this is an actual recipe for a gingerbread cookie ! Having a shower with this outs me in a great mood and makes me feel festive.


A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J Maas

A Court of Thorns and Roses


SJM, is a prolific YA/Fantasy Novelist with a number of popular series namely the “Throne of Glass” series. This book is the first in this series (A Court of Thorns and roses) This book comes highly recommend by just about every BookTuber (YouTube channels dedicate books) and book bloggers and the last series that came highly recommended :The Lunar Chronicles changed my life!

So this book, as far as I know has nothing to do with Christmas . But what males it festive for me is that I am looking forward to getting cozy and reading it over the holiday season.

Bath and Body Works candles 


BBW Candles

What festive holiday favourites list would be complete without at least one BBW item. BBW releases scents for all seasons and Christmas is one of the best in my opinion . I took it easy and only bought 3 of the large 3 wick candles which I got on sale for $12.50 US a piece.

Pictured here is :

Twisted Peppermint:-This is a strong one, and it smell exactly like peppermint. It’s a good pick me up king of candle.

Marshmallow Fireside– Thank goodness BBW changed the colour of this candle from that murky grey they used in the Fall release. Now it looks as beautiful as it smells. The scent is like a mild version of a toasted marshmallow, not super sweet like a lot of marshmallow scents are.

Winter Candy Apple– This candle smells delicious .  There is a tart undertone like you would expect from a crisp granny smith apple with a sweet but mellow overtone , like candy.

So these are a few of my festive things. What items make you feel like the holidays are here? Thanks for reading and have an awesome day ! 

Christmas Gift Guide for her (mostly) 2016

2 Dec

BLOG-Mas DAY 1
Hello and welcome to the first Blogmas post. This is a guide aimed mostly at a female recipiant. Gift giving is very personal so I chose things I would pick out for persons I know or want to receive mysef. I have tried to offer up selections at varying pricepoints from budget to high end.I know persons reading this could be from any corner of the globe so I have selected things that can be purchased online and shipped world wide and given the prices in US dollars.

CANDLES
 

For the candle connisseur in your life (my sister) a gift of burning, scented wax is a dream come to life.Candles are a cute gift that most people will appreciate and is usually easy to find. But all candles aren’t equal and they certainly aren’t equally priced. Here are some brands that are great quality and can suit each budget.

GLADE

I know what you’re thinking…those are candles you get from a supermarket! Yes they are, BUT this brand has been making scented candles for years and they’ve gotten quite good at it. Glade candles are sold on sleek glass jars, they have long burning time and the scent throws well. Glade candles are also easy to find at most supermarkets, hardware stores and online typically costing between $3-6 US each.



YANKEE CANDLE 

This is another company that has been doing candles for years and has managed to maintain a reasonable price point. Yankee candles have a very specific look, being housed in large bell jars that make you think of a Southern home. They also tend to do very cute scents like pecan pie and cotton candy. Yankee candles vary in price according to size but the traditional 22oz (623g) goes for $28 US.
BATH AND BODY WORKS (BBW)

#basic right? Lol. Everyone and their mother (well my mother at least) is in love with BBW candles particularly the now iconic 3 wick candles they sell in an array of scents. BBW candles have good scents that throw well and there is literally a fragrance for everyone . These candles go for $22.50-26.50 each at full price but they go on sale  regularly slashing the price to $12.50 each.

JO MALONE

We’ve really made a jump in price here, but also a jump in quality. Jo Malone knows how to make scents and fragrances period. From the understated elegant packaging to the very strong yet not overpowering classy scents, a Jo Malone candle is a great gift. The 7oz (200g) candles go for $65US.
DIPTIQUE

This brand is becoming increasingly popular  (to me at least). It is like Jo Malone but with a bit of whimsy. And more expensive ,  lol. This brand boasts sophisticated scents such as mimosa and fig tree and the are presented in simple glass jars with jumbled letters.
Below is a breakdown of these brands in cost per oz to give a better idea of pricing.
Glade                                $3-5 ( 3.4 oz)                                                       $1.17/oz           

Yankee                           $28 (22oz)                                                             $1.29/oz

BBW                              $22.50-$26.50 (13.5-14.5 oz)                            $1.75/oz

Jo Malone                     $65 (7oz)                                                                $9.28/oz

Diptique                      $62 (6.5 oz)                                                            $9.50/oz

FRAGRANCES 

This can be tricky. I cannot tell you how many times I have smelt a fragrance thinking someone I know we’ll would absolutely adore it only to find they can’t stand it. If you are brave enough to still get a fragrance as a gift I have 3 tips.

1) Ask- Casually ask your friend “Hey what perfume is that?” Or maybe question her/his significant other as to what kind of fragrance they like.

2) Research – Go online and search for the perfume finding out the notes etc then search for similar perfumes. I personally recommend  the website fragrantia.com which is a veritable database of literally any perfume you can imagine.

3) Return – Be sure to get your gift from a store with a decent return policy in case no. 1 and 2 fail you.

Now to the recommendations

DEMETER FRAGRANCES 

Have you ever smelt something (like chicken cooking or freshly cut grass ) and thought…I’d love that in a perfume. Well, thus company has made it I promise you. They make very pure, singular scents such as orange blossom or lavender but they also make every other scent you could imagine such as Baby Powder, Pistachio Ice Cream, Sushi and  Dirt!

DESIGNER FRAGRANCES 

These are your run of the mill perfumes sold at department stores and duty free shops in airports. They also continue to make great gifts. These fragrances vary in price points depending on the brand but typically run in excess of $20US per oz. The following are 3 personal recommendations. 

Black Opium by YSL (now Saint Laurent)

This fragrance has become super popular over the past two years and with good reason. It has a warm and deep with vanilla and coffee notes but not too sweet. It goes for $90 for 1.6 oz

Flower bomb by Viktor and Rolf

This perfume couldn’t have been better named. This is what it literally smells like. As if someone dropped a bagful of fresh fragrant garden flowers and it exploded. This goes for $115 for 1.7 oz.

Elizabeth and James Nirvana 

There is a Nirvana White, Nirvana Black, Nirvana Bourbon and Nirvana Rose which is pictured here. They all smell great but my personal favorite is Nirvana Black which is woodsy and spicy and dark. This goes for $85 for 1oz.

Jo Malone

Here is that name again ,  good ole Jo. This company not only makes top notch candles, they make top notch fragrances . Many of the sent found in candles can be found in the perfume range. The sent are clean, powerful and comfortable .  They go for $130-$180 for 3.4 oz.

Here is a breakdown of cost per oz

Demeter                 $16 (1oz), $31 (4 oz)                                        $7.75-16/oz

Black Opium         $90 (1.6oz/50mL),$115 (3oz/90mL)           $38-56/oz

Flower bomb         $115 (1.7oz/50mL),$165 (3.4oz/100mL)    $48-67/oz

Nirvana                  $85 (1oz)                                                             $85/oz

Jo Malone              $130-180(3.4oz/100mL)                                 $38-52/oz

MAKEUP

If you’re looking for a gift for a makeup enthusiast, you have A LOT to chose from. Makeup holiday kits are all the rage to the point where it can get overwhelming. But they make a great gift. Here are a few recommendations 

EYES

BH Cosmetics Gold Rush

This company has become a budget friendly favourite for many. They churn out decent quality shadows and blushes for unbeatable prices. This palette contains twelve shadows in festive golds and bronzes as well as a blush, bronzer and highlighter. It goes for $7 Just to notell BH Cosmetics also has a “Silver Strike” holiday palatte with cooler tones. Available on BH Cosmetics 

Lorac pro Mega 3

Every holiday season, Lorac drops a Maga pro palatte. This one contains 32 shades with some very warm and coppery colours and dome light peachy nudes. This palette goes for $59 exclusively at Ulta.

A few other higher priced holiday palettes include Tartiest pro palette -$59, Hourglass Ambient Lighting blush, bronzer and strobe palette- $80 and YSL Sparkle palette $95.  All available at sephora.com and amazon.com.


LIPS

NYX Liquid Suede Vault

24 mini versions of the insanely popular NYX liquid lip colours. This is a great way to sample a wide range of colours but it can also be broken up to give as stocking stuffers.This is going at $50 for 24 colours, 0.05floz each compare to the full sized.There is also a set of 36 mini (0.168floz) soft matte lip creams available for $65.Available on NYX and Ulta

Kat von d

Every makeup lover knows that Kat von D knows what she is doing especially with her beautiful highly pigmented liquid lip colours . This set comes with eight shades ranging from brown to pink to purple and is great for someone as obsessed with Kat von D as I am or good for breaking up and giving as multiple gifts. This is $49 for 0.8floz compared with $20 for full sized 0.22floz . Available at Sephora, Kat von D and Amazon
ELECTRONICS

We live in the age of gadgets. There are dozens to chose from: phones, tablets, go pros and so on. However, the gadget receiving a bit of buzz right now (at least for me) is the Amazon Echo.
Amazon dot(2nd Generation )

The Dot is a mini version of the Echo. It is a small speaker which is Alexa enabled so it has most features of an Echo but the sound won’t travel.This goes for $49.99
Amazon Echo

This is the future. I remember being very young and watching a British TV show set in the future, where the boy had a personal robot in his room. It was a massive screen but it spoke to him, giving him information about people and places. Well guys, this is it. In a compact cylinder. Alexa can tell you the weather, read audio books and play your playlist all at your vocal command. The Echo apparently works best in the US and UK (presently) but can work worldwide. It goes for $179 on amazon.com 
GIFT CARDS AND SUBSCRIPTION BOXES

I call these lazy gifts, which isn’t completely fair. Sometimes the person you are gifting is miles away and this kind of gift is the best option.

Online gift cards are great because you can select whatever monitory value you wish from $5-$500 if you so desire and many of them have no expiration date. Some popular gift cards include amazon and itunes.

Subscription boxes are getting more and more popular and more and more of them are becoming available worldwide. They are also becoming way more diverse. You can select a book lovers subscription such as owlcrate or for a makeup lover ipsy.Many of these subscriptions go for between  $10-35 per month.
So that’s my 2016 Holoday gift guide. Hopefully you found some inspiration for gift giving. Have an awesome day!

Battle of the Blending Sponges- BB vs RT

13 Nov

Hello


BEAUTY BLENDER 

It all began with the (Original) Beauty Blender, a pink egg shaped sponge for $30 US dollars  that MUAs, Beauty gurus and makeup enthusiasts alike couldn’t get enough of . I wasn’t sold. $30 for a sponge! I didn’t care what it did. No way!

The ORIGINAL…Beauty Blender 

DUPES

Then came the dupes. This always happens when something becomes shockingly popular . Someone else makes a similar version usually for a lower price. We saw it happen with the Urban Decay Naked palettes: everyone had similar palettes called things like Nude and Natural and Buff. 

I remember the first blending sponge I bought .  It was black with an odd shape(not like an egg) and quite firm (okay hard) . It was from the brand KleanKolor which is the cheapest of cheap and it cost $2. I thought it was great. Shortly after that I realized there were “dupes” everywhere !  All the fast fashion stores, all the drug store brands, everywhere . Yet most gurus online still swore by the Original BB (OBB).

Until…

REAL TECHNIQUES SPONGE 


One day a YouTuber casually mentioned the Real Techniques(RT) sponge, saying it’s the only thing close to the OBB. I was intrigued .  I also came across a few other beauty gurus who mentioned a similar thing. Then, one of my absolute favorite beauty Youtubers ;  Emmy from EmilyNoel mentioned that she actually PERFERS the RT sponge over the OBB. What !  I decided to get my grubby paws on it ASAP and that I did. I was not disappointed . I would see other gurus compare the two and always name the OBB the winner but I couldn’t be swayed . No way was I paying $20-25 (the price came down slightly ) for a freaking sponge !  Not when I could get a RT sponge for $6. So I would never know the comparison and I wasn’t interested . 

The dupe to end all dupes- Real Techniques Miracle Complexion sponge 





Fast forward to a few weeks ago when I walked into Macy’s and saw a Beauty Blender Christmas set. For the price of approximately 2 OBB I could get: 1 OBB sponge, 1 BB Pro sponge (the black one), 1 solid cleaner, 1 Blotarazi blotting sponge and a BB micro mini. DEAL! I jumped on it. Finally I would try the precious Beauty Blender . Finally I would see what the fuss was all about. 

 Beauty Blender Gift set $40 at Macy’s 



I decided to try a few weeks of testing so I could give a more fair analysis and now that time has come. I will be comparing the Original Beauty Blender and the Real Techniques complexion miracle sponge .  Both companies have massively expanded their sponge lines since the launch of the originals but this is comparing original products  . 


COMPARISON
 

Real Techniques Miracle Complexion sponge    Original Beauty Blender sponge 

                                RT                                                                     OBB

COST                 $4.50- 6                                                           $20-25

SHAPE     Oblong with a pointed end                     Egg shaped with a pointed end 

                  a rounded body and a flattened           and a rounded end and body.

                  end.

COLOUR             Orange                                                                  Pink

SIZE           6cm or 2 1/2 inches                                  5cm or (just over) 2 inches

(Dry)

FEEL                       Soft                                                              Very Soft

Comparing the “squishiness” of the sponges. The OBB is softer when dry


RESPONSE         Increases  to                                  Increases to 7cm (just under

TO WATER         8cm (approx 3 inches)                3 inches)

                             Becomes very soft.

APPLICATION    Easy to blend gives  and           Less easy to blend and

                              gives airbrushed finish             gives airbrushed finish 

RT application  using Maybelline Fit Me liquid foundation 

OBB application using Maybelline Fit Me foundation 

Can you tell the difference ? No? Neither can I, lol.

CLEANING   Cleans easily with soap                    Cleans easily with soap

                      once washed immediately.              once washed immediately. 

                      Will ultimately stain .                        Ultimately stains.

                      Doesn’t bleed                                      No bleeding seen (reportedly

                                                                                       bleeds)

 


Final Assessment


Similarities 

Overall, I find these sponges very comparable. The OBB is softer when dry but they feel the same when wet. Both are fairly easy to use blending out foundation  quickly. They both give an ever so slightly dewy finish when used wet, not so much when dry. 

Diffences 

 The RT sponge does seem to remove a bit more of your foundation than the OBB which can be wasteful, however, I personally find that the less wet the RT sponge the less foundation it takes off.

 The flat end of the RT sponge gives a third surface to use and spreads foundation better than the rounded bottom of the OBB.

 In terms of durability I’ve had the OBB for a much shorter time than the RT sponge but I know most people use their OBB for up to a year and I used one RT sponge for  6 months before tossing it, by then it had one or two tears but was otherwise fully intact  (I don’t recommend keeping either sponge for that long, it’s germ city in there.)

Overall

All in all I can recommend either of these sponges.They are different,  I wouldn’t call the RT an exact dupe of the OBB, each has strengths and weaknesses the other does not and I would rate them equally.

 Being as frugal as I am, I prefer the RT sponge because it is less than 1/3 of the price and from all accounts lasts just as long . The OBB is good, I admit it and if you get your hands on a gift set like I did then go for it, but I will not be able to justify purchasing a sponge for $20 when I can get something very similar for $6. That’s what it boils down to for me, dollars and cents. 

Hopefully this review has helped you decide which sponge  (if any) to use and hope you have an awesome day . 

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