Updated Underrated Drugstore Products

Flatlay - clockwise from the left: Burt's Bees Tahitian sunset, Joe Fresh powder lip product, Joe Fresh concealer, Physicians formula butter highlighter, Annabelle Chrome eyeshadow in rose gold, Annabelle bouncy eyeshadow in booty shake.

Last year around this time I did an underrated products at the drugstore post. I outlined some of the products I think need some more love in the community and I stand true to that now. I have actually decided to part with almost all of the items in that post purely because they just weren’t getting the use they deserve in my collection. They are still underrated and I highly recommend them but they are kind of like those jeans I wear sometimes, but not enough to justify owning anymore.  I do think though, that as I have progressed both financially and my makeup style has changed as well as my skin has changed, I do find myself gravitating towards brands that are mid range to high end or the more expensive drugstore brands like Burt’s Bees and Physicians Formula. In any case, by the poll I did on my Instagram you all wanted to see an updated underrated drugstore products

Annabelle chrome eyeshadow and Annabelle bouncy eyeshadow
Annabelle Chrome eyeshadow in rose gold and Annabelle bouncy eyeshadow in booty shake swatches
Rose Gold, Bouncy Eyeshadow Booty Shake

Annabelle has always been one of my favourite underrated and Canadian brands at the drugstore. They have a ton of amazing stuff in their line. Highlighters, blushes, bronzers. I wanted to highlight their eyeshadows. I have their pressed, bouncy, and metallic ones. I photographed their new bouncy eyeshadow and their metallic chrome ones. They are very different in formula. The Chrome eyeshadows have a bit of a stickier (not in a bad way) texture while the bouncy eyeshadows are literally bouncy feeling. Similar to Colourpop super shock shadows but a bit more creamy.

Joe Fresh Concealer
Joe Fresh Concealer swatch on arm

Another Canadian brand, Joe Fresh. The Joe Fresh illuminating concealer was something I decluttered originally… then repurchased and fell in love. I thought it made my under eyes look dry but at the time I bought this I didn’t really know what I was doing with makeup. Now, when I use this I find it blends out beautifully and is rather lighter coverage, but makes you look awake.

Joe Fresh Matte lip stick and Burt's Bees Glossy lipstick
Swatches of Lip products. Joe Fresh powder matte and Burt's bees tahitian sunset

Two lip products. The Burt’s bees glossy lip pencils. The only person I saw use this is Racchhloves, quite a few years ago when I was just getting into the beauty space on youtube. So naturally, I went out and bought three shades. And naturally, I still wear them all the time. They make your lips feel moisturized and have a good variety of colours. I also wanted to throw in the Joe Fresh Power lipstick. This is such a good lip product. It is right on trend with the blotted lips we are seeing everywhere and again, it’s only available in Canada. I really like the shade of this and how easy these are to wear. This does have a matte powdery finish but I don’t find it dries my lip out.

Physicians Formula Butter highlighter
swatch of highlighter


The Physicians Formula butter highlighters. I suppose this line, in general, isn’t underrated but I find this product, in general, had its moment and then went by the wayside. There are definitely a ton of videos on YouTube when you search them, but I just don’t see anyone really using this like they use the Butter Bronzer in the same line. I think that these are some of the nicest satin highlighters out there, drugstore or not. The shade range isn’t as big so I hope they expand it because this highlighter is the perfect highlighter when you want that lit from within glow but can be built up to be brighter.


Products Worth the Splurge

I did a post last year (eek) about products I’m not willing to splurge on. I wanted to do another one about products I am willing to splurge on and why they are worth it. I get it, spending $45 on a blush is wild, it is, but I will say with no shame that I have spent that amount of money on a blush. Now, don’t splurge if you can’t afford it, but for me there is something about wonderful saving for that one item and buying it.


Blush

Two of my favouite blushes are in this (overpriced) palette

I love blush, while I do own mostly drugstore blushes, I love me a good high end blush. My favourite are the Hourglass Ambient lighting blushes and their palettes. These have this light reflecting technology that gives you a glow from within.


Skincare

Caudalie Essence and Summer Fridays Jet Lag Mask

I have a few high end skincare items including items from Caudalie and Summer Fridays and I love them. I splurge on high end skincare with good ingredients because my skin loves it. I know, it’s a bit ridiculous to spend $34 on a cleanser or $50 on an essence, but I don’t know what to tell you my skin enjoys it. It’s not to say I don’t have drugstore skincare favourites like the Neutrogena Hydro Boost Serum or the Cerave hydrating cream and lotion, but I don’t feel bad when I spend money on skincare. The biggest benefit to buying skincare from higher end brands in the formulation of the products and the sourcing of the ingredients. Sometimes less expensive products can have the same ingredients, they are just formulated differently and sometimes diluted to be less effective. However, this doesn’t mean their aren’t great drugstore skincare products

Eyeshadow palettes

There are some great drugstore eyeshadow palettes out there, but I have no problem splurging on a high end palette. I love the Anastasia eyeshadow formula, the Too Faced Sweet Peach palette, and the Urban Decay Naked Heat and Naked 3. The interesting thing about high end eyeshadow palettes is while the drugstore is catching up, I find that anytime I wear a high end palette my eyeshadow actually lasts all day, despite wearing the same eyeshadow primer.

Tinted moisturizers and BB Creams

FAB Tinted Moisturizer and Nudestix Tinted blur stick

Okay, I only own two of these, the First Aid Beauty Tinted Moisturizer and the Nudestix Tinted blur stick, but I would repurchase both. The First Aid Beauty does pull a bit orange so I’m on the hunt for a tint that isn’t orange so I can round them up for you. The Nudestix meets that bill but I want to find a tinted moisturizer that also meets the criteria.

Highlighters

NARS Forte De France, Anastasia Amrezy, Anastasia Nicole Guerriero glow kit, Nudestix nudies

I LOVE highlighters and because I rarely use them up, spending a bit more on a good quality powder doesn’t really bother me. Now, I realize that the drugstore makes amazing highlighters. Trust me, I have some that are among my favourites but I think that for powder highlighters you can get a really beautiful sheen and glossy finish from high end highlighters vs the drugstore where tend to come across as a bit more powdery. My personal favourite formulas are Anastasia, NARS and Nudestix. However, highlighters like the Essence Pure nude and the Annabelle Cream highlighters are wonderful. However, if you want a tried and true, easy to use highlighter I would go for high end.

All of these products are what i personally don’t mind splurging on. I think that it is ridiculous the amount of money products cost. However, despite my issues I take with capitalism and elitism, beauty that costs a lot and feels so nice to use, these items get me every time, congratulations to the marketing people for selling overpriced items so well (not being sarcastic, it’s impressive). What is your favourite splurgy item?

Pin for later!


Day 10 of 12 days of Blogging: 2018 Beauty Favourites

Ah yes it’s that time of year again where I’m rounding up my beauty favourites. I wanted to keep this list curated to new things I discovered this year (that aren’t necessarily new to the market). These are things that I loved using and discovering! Hope you enjoy!

Standout highlighter

NARS Forte De France. Again, another luxury item on this list. I bought this because i want to the anna edit, and the formula of this highlighter is amazing. Its very hard pressed in the pan so it takes awhile to work into the skin but it’s a great powder to create a glossy look.

Physicians formula butter highlighter. This is such a beautiful stain highlighter. It smells divine (if you don’t like scents stay away from this) and it has a beautiful texture. On the skin it doesn’t look metallic and gives a beautiful satin finish with no glitter. Perfect for mature skin.

I also just got it – but the Anastasia Amrezy Highlighter is just amazing. I can already tell it’s going to be in my rotation. It is a beautiful light brilliant gold that is great for mature and young skin alike!

Standout foundation

The Body Shop Fresh Nude foundation. I love this foundation – I compare every foundation I test out to this one. It has a beautiful true satin finish. It is dewy, not cakey, and has a variety of shades. It’s also only $25 which to me is a steal because in Canada most drugstore foundations are in the $18-20 range. Which is wild. So really, in Canadian drugstore terms this is the best drugstore foundation of the year.

Matte option: A nice matte option for the year that I surprisingly enjoyed was the NYX Can’t stop won’t stop foundation. It has nice coverage and yes, it does cling to dry patches, however I have normal skin so when properly hydrated this is a beautiful option for the summer months.

Standout Tinted moisturizer

Nudestix nudies tinted blur stick. This was such an innovative product, I found it at the store before I even saw the launch online and immediately purchased it. I LOVE this product. In fact, I rarely repurchase (okay that’s because I’m always buying and trying) but I’m so close to being finished this and I will repurchase it. It has such a beautiful barely there coverage without being a touch greasy but somehow giving you a dewy finish.

Review here

Standout blush

Physicians formula butter blush. Ah yes, the iconic butter formula from the most expensive (actually it was always expensive so really its the other drugstore products that have hiked up their prices) brand at the drugstore. I love this blush, its a smooth, blendable blush that gives a beautiful flush to the cheeks.

MAC Peachtwist. Another MAC favourite but I couldn’t resist this. I love it! It has a beautiful beach, bronze finish but is also a sheertone blush so it’s buildable and you can go ham with it without looking over blushed.

Burt’s Bees blush in bare peach. This was a great discovery for me this year. I love the entire Burt’s Bees makeup line, except the foundation. This blush makes me feel good when i wear it both for the shade and he clean ingredients. I love that satin almost matte finish this has, while it is pricey for drugstore (let’s face most products are too pricey now a days) it contains quality ingredients that make me feel good about putting makeup on.

Standout bronzer

Hourglass ambient lighting bronzer in diffused bronze light. For me, bronzers are the product I own the least of but use the most. I got this from my BFF for my birthday and its wonderful. I haven’t used it as extensively as my butter bronzers, but when I want a seamless glowy look I choose this one. It is also the most standout formula for me that I’ve tried in 2018.

Standout Concealer

Collection lasting perfection concealer. Gosh dangit. I cannot get this in Canada and don’t overly trust the amazon sellers. Guess I’ll just have to fly to the UK simply to make this purchase. This was such a pleasant surprise. I had heard a lot about this concealer from my faves from the UK, mostly Fleur De Force, but about a year or two ago Allana Davison tried and didn’t like it so I was a bit skeptical. When I saw it on my trip to England, I purchased it. I go home and tried and LOVE the formula. I’ve been on the hunt for a dupe and would say the Annabelle concealer or the Maybelline fit me are the closest dupes. I find with the collection concealer, while it has full coverage I don’t find it heavy under the eyes. That is my problem with high end concealers – they claim all of this stuff but yet i’m still gravitating towards drugstore concealers I genuinely like better.

Standout Palettes

Anastasia soft glam. I have a feeling this is going to be in a lot of peoples yearly favourites. I really like this palette. It has all the neutral and warm shades I need in my life. The shadows are a bit soft and powdery, but they really just blend themselves our. I also enjoy that I can get quite a few different looks with this palette and that it suits every occasion.

Hourglass Ambient Lighting unlocked palette. I LOVE this palette. It is like the white t shirt you never knew you needed, a quote from Michelle Wang. It has literally everything you need. While the pans are small, I love and use all the shades in this palette. They apply beautifully and give you that lit from within look.

Standout Lipstick

MAC See sheer. I don’t generally foray into the high end world of lipsticks. Mostly because I love a lot of drugstore lipsticks and don’t see the need for my personal collection to own a lot of high end lipstick. However, because of good old Samantha Ravndhal I bought MAC see sheer and haven’t looked back. It isn’t so much the shade I’m wearing in the winter, but its a good day to day almost red sheer lipstick. I really like it and hope to use it in my project pan in 2019 or in a project pan roulette (still planning those). Also the Fenty gloss bomb was such a staple for me this year! I forgot to photograph both so just imagine my friends.

What were some of your favourite products this year?


12 Days of Blogging Day 5: Amrezy Highlighter Review

I missed out on this highlighter the first time it came around. So when I heard it was dropping for a second time I couldn’t resist ordering it. When it came in the mail it was all the glory I thought it would be. I don’t personal follow Amrezy on Instagram but from the description on Sephora she is an Instagram beauty sensation, I personally bought this highlighter purely on how pretty it is and how universal it is.

On Sephora this is described as a light brilliant gold and is supposed to be that second skin finish for a natural glow. The colour of this is accurate – it is a light brilliant gold. Comparing this to other highlighters in my collection, nothing is the same. I compared it to my NARS, Maybelline, ELF pressed highlighter and a few other ones – nothing compares to this shade of gold. It is hard to describe – while it is a light gold it also has some undertones of champagne so it doesn’t look like a gold strip on my cheekbone. The packaging is great, it has the nice snap closure so it stays secure and is sprinkled shiny bronze gold stars on the packaging. Yes, this shows fingerprints but not as much as other Anastasia packaging like their palettes.

The formula: This is a beautiful, buttery formula that gives a glossy finish on the skin. It isn’t a metallic highlighter but it’s a soft, yet tightly packed powder that can be used wet or dry. This also would work for a variety of skin tones and mature skin. Due to it’s non metallic nature, this works for anyone who has texture. NOW will this somewhat emphasize texture – of course all powder highlighters will but let’s face it, we all have texture.

The swatch: this swatched beautifully, it can be blended into the skin to give a “I’m just a bit dewy” finish but can be built up to be poppin’ like the Becca Champagne pop highlighter. What I like about this when I wear is you can’t really see it unless you turn your head into the light, making it the perfect work highlighter or alternatively a highlighter for going out for a night on the town. In low light this looks sublime.

Overall rating: 5/5 stars. YES. I love this. This highlighter adds value to my collection and is different (at least to me) from anything else I own. I also think this would be a great starter highlighter – especially because it is $36 CAD which is an amazing price for a highlighter considering some stuff in the Canadian drugstore is upwards of $38 (looking at you Pixi).

Have you tried this highlighter yet? If so, what are your thoughts?!


Drugstore Highlighter Round up

The Instagram wanted a highlighter round up so here I am, doing a highlighter round up. I have rounded up all my drugstore powder highlighters (because I’m going to do a cream post later on) for you. There are not many standards I have for a highlighters as I basically like all of them. Metallic, glossy, satin, subtle you name it.

Maybelline

The Maybelline master chrome highlighter is one of the most beautiful highlighters I have ever experienced. Period. Not just “for drugstore”. It can be applied with a brush or with a finger and if its blended into the skin it can give a less metallic look. Its creamy and buildable. I think that if you want a highlighter that has the same popping metallic sheen (not glittery) as Champagne pop this is the highlighter for you.  

Covergirl

The Covergirl highlighter palette in “It’s Lit”.  This is a beautiful palette. The highlighters aren’t quite as bright as the Maybelline but they are buildable. They colours are all great for my skin tone and they do have a darker palette. I really like this. It is more on the powdery side but I find on the skin it doesn’t come across as that “powdery” cakey look.

Joe Fresh

This highlighter is the most beautiful subtle light champagne shade. It does kick up quite a bit of powder, but on the skin it gives a nice inner glow vibe. The drawback is there is only two shades. This highlighter gives off a subtle glow so if you are a beginner with highlight this is a good one to go with.

Essence

Similar to the Joe Fresh highlighter this one gives a nice sheen as well. It’s more of a subtle nude highlighter but on the cheek gives a nice glow without being glittery. I would say this highlighter has almost a peachy undertone to it and gives a nice “nude glow” as the name might suggest. This is also only $5 so is a steal!

Annabelle

The Annabelle perfect glow highlighters are the hidden gems of the Canadian drugstore. These are smooth and buttery and look beautiful on the skin. It gives a nice glow without being chunky and rivals some of its higher end counterparts.

ELF pressed highlighter in starlight glow

This highlighter is a beautiful. It gives a nice subtle sheen and can be built up to be a popping highlight. There are a ton of shades and the formula is smooth and easy to work with.

Wet n wild

Perhaps the most chunky highlight of the bunch. Don’t get me wrong – this is a great highlighter but of all of them this is the most high shine metallic one that has that initial chunky application. However, personally this isn’t a highlighter that I don’t gravitate towards as much as others, however it is a nice formula and I recommend this if you want a super high shine highlighter.

ELF baked highlighter

I have recently rediscovered this highlighter. I love that it gives a nice subtle glow. It has a beautiful sheen without being glittery. 

What is the main difference that I see between high end and drugstore highlighters? The lasting power. Some of these – like th ELF baked highlighter fad quite quickly despite using a setting spray. However, the covergirl and maybelline I find have the best lasting power (at least on my skin) of all the highlighters I mentioned.


Makeup Stash Friday’s: Highlighters

Highlighters without a doubt are my favourite thing to purchase and my favourite makeup item. Aside from lipsticks, this category was one of the hardest for me to pick out a few to focus on and attempt to pan throughout the fall and winter season. I love and will always keep NARS Forte De France and Becca Champagne pop in my rotation so those are not included in this post. I also am not including my project pan highlighter from Colourpop in Lunch Money. Also be warned, a few of these may appear in future project pans!

The Warm Toned Highlighters

Warm toned highlighters open

Warm toned highlighters

Warm toned highlighter swatches

Left to right: Maybelline Master Chrome, Essence Pure Nude Highlighter, The Body Shop Honey Bronzing Dome

First is a newer one to my collection. I was reading the best in beauty for Allure and of course love reading Byrdie and Into the Gloss, and all three platforms constantly mention the Maybelline Master Chrome highlighter in Molten gold. I finally broke and picked it up (on sale). In the Allure best in beauty the tag line was that it can be applied with a brush and a finger, This formula is so creamy and blendable. This is a poppin’ highlight and I think it’s going to be a beautiful addition to my (already too large) golden highlighter collection. I also wanted to pick a few cream highlighter for the fall season and the warm toned one I wanted to use is the Body Shop Honey Bronzing dome. It is a buildable highlighter and can be worn in more of a subtle way or can be built up. The Essence Pure Nude highlighter in number 10 be my highlight. It a bit of a more nude peachy champagne shade. Again, as seems to be the theme lately, this is a pretty subtle highlighter but you can really build it up to be in the page

The Cool tones

cool toned highlighters

cool toned highlighters open

cool toned highlighter swatches

Left to Right: Nudestix Illumi-Naughty, Annabelle Highlighter in Light Champagne, Physicians Formula Butter Highlighter in pearl, Joe Fresh highlighter in Champagne

I wanted to throw in a few icy white shades. The Joe Fresh highlighter in champagne which in my opinion isn’t what I think of when I think of champagne shades such as Becca Champagne pop. This highlighter is a beautiful gem, the brand is only being taken out of shoppers but will still be in Loblaws and Superstores! unfortunately I have been hearing chatter that the entire brand of Joe Fresh is being discontinued . I love how subtle but also noticeable this highlight is. It is a super light white champagne shade which is something I’ve been gravitating towards lately. I also wanted to pick a lighter cream highlighter and decided to go with the Annabelle cream highlighter stick in champagne. It is a more subtle highlighter but because I am extra this will not only act as the only highlighter I’m using, it also will be a layering highlighter. The Physicians Formula butter highlighter in Pearl. I watched a video from Mariah Leonard quite a while ago and she was talking about this was a perfect satin highlighter and that is the best description for it. I love the sheen this gives to the skin and the (no pun intended) buttery formula.Nudestix Illumi-naughty is a product I bought last year around this time and haven’t used it as much as I thought I would. This is a really nice glossy highlighter so I think that I will be able to use this a lot alone and as a layering highlighter. 

What highlighters have you been loving?


Project pan update the second

Ah the second update is upon us. I am so excited to share my progress with you! I also wanted to clarify the project pan concept. Basically, there are items I want to use up but that doesn’t mean I am not going to add items into makeup wardrobe while participating in a project pan. It just means I’m going to be more thoughtful then I used to when purchasing products. For example, I have added a few things since starting but not nearly as much as I last year. For eyeshadow palettes, I only want to add 4 into my collection in 2018 and I already have added 3 so far and love them! Also forgive me, I forgot to photograph my 100% Pure lip caramel in truffle but it is definitely being used up as I can see in the tube more from the outside. This lives in my purse and work bag and I used it everyday.

The thing I am most excited about: I finished my Pur disappearing act concealer which you may have seen in my previous empties post. I am so excited this honestly took a year to finish. Granted, I switched between this and other concealers but when I started the project I focused on it. In honour of this, I am rolling in two concealers, my Wet n Wild photo focus one (found this at superstore for all the Canadians out there) and my Nudestix concealer pencil in light 2 which admittedly is almost done but I am gonna focus on it.

Colourpop Highlighter Lunch moneyButter-bronzer

The next thing I am excited about: I fricken hit pan on the butter bronzer! I can’t believe it I have had this for about two years. Granted, I did switch between bronzers last year but I really wanted to focus on this one because I have had it for so long. Fun fact: this was my very first bronzer ever, other than those Revlon shimmer strip things which technically was my first one but this was my first ever REAL bronzer. I know, crazy. I got it summer 2016, courtesy of my dad and I finally hit pan. I actually jumped for joy when this happened.

My Colourpop highlighter. Again, got this in 2016 with my BFF. I used it on and off but at first was really confused on how to us it. Now I just used my fingers and really blend it in. I think the pan has slightly expanded compared to the last update which is exciting because it is getting older and I want to use it up!

Covergirl Nudes Palette

The Covergirl Nudes. Frankly, I am getting a bit bored with this palette and honestly haven’t really been using as much as I could. I definitely have expanded the pans quite a bit compared to the last update but I am really excited to use this up finally because I love me a good nude palette, but once I got the Anastasia palette and of course my Urban Decay Naked heat  that I got in December, my Covergirl palette has taken a back. I also find myself  gravitating towards those two palettes or my Colourpop singles. But I’m glad this is in my project because otherwise I might just neglect it all together!

NYX Dark Circle corrector

My NYX dark circle corrector. Omg, I have actually used so much of this and I’m so happy! It kind of broke as I started using it more but it is really effective, when I am looking tired I used this, the Nudestix and then the wet n wild concealer (I know its a bit extra but I love the combination) and I look super awake.

Are you doing a project pan? Let me know your progress!


Summer Essentials

Hello all, as a second post this fine summer I thought I would take you through my summer essentials! Also if you notice I didn’t write down spf or sunglasses that cause I feel like these are implied and actual essentials. These are my “essentials” like you don’t need them but they are nice have yah know?

Burt’s Bees Lip gloss crayons: These bad boys are AMAZING. I work in a very casual office and I feel like these are the perfect thing for my casual work style. YES I still do the bold matte lip and sometimes even a liquid lip to spice things up but these are a great everyday thing to slap on and not worry about fussing with my lip line 😉

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Mom jeans: oh yes you read that right. I have discovered that shorts are just not my thing. I like soft shorts and FINALLY found pairs that were long enough whilst on my European journey. BUT I am no longer afraid to say: I love jeans. Specifically mom jeans. I have four pairs. They go with everything, crop tops, tank tops, t shirts, buttons up. ALL THE THINGS.

Lip balm: also a winter essential, really a year round essential. A good lip balm is where its at if you wear lots of lipstick.

Dry Shampoo. This is a life saver. My hair gets super greasy, so I like to dry shampoo before I style it in the morning, even if it is freshly washed from the night before cause it doesn’t get as greasy near the end of the day.

Cream eyeshadows. I do like to wear eyeshadow everyday, but sometimes I find powders can be a bit too much if I’m sweating like a mamajama. I like to do the one eyeshadow look during the summer. Especially since I do work everyday and sometimes the morning is limited and it’s a time crunch. A one swipe and your done is one of the easiest things that make you look like you spent forever on your eyes.

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Highlighter. UGH my bae (and I don’t use that world lightly), my boo, my muse. They just add a glowniess that you see in the magazines. They are also widely available. If you are on a tight budget, the elf baked highlighters are a great option, as well as anything from wet’n’wild or the essence pure nude highlighter. If you want to foray into the high scale at the drugstore I love the physicians formula shimmer strips and thanks to my wonderful Aunt I also enjoy The Balm Mary Luminizer which gives you that J’Lo glow.

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Some good reading material. Now, as many of you know one  of my new years resolutions was to start reading more. But, alas because of such a busy school I did not exactly get to that. But, through work we had this huge book sale and I attained 10 new books that I want to read all of this summer. Currently I’m reading “Somewhere in France” by Jennifer Robson. A cheesy romance novel set in World War One but nonetheless has been an good read so far.

Having fun and enjoying the lazy days. Not a material essential but an essential for me. My school year last year was busy, with work, class, council, and my training schedule its often hard to find time for yourself. The summer is a time to recuperate and do things that you otherwise may not have not during the year. For me, its not having to rush while I’m running errands, cause I’m not rushing back to homework or readings.  Its also being able to go running after work and not feel the need to rush myself because I have no homework and very little duties to do other than wash my dishes.