Tag Archives: Elizabeth and james

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!

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!

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