Review: Medusa’s Makeup Sun Kissed Bronzer

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Summer is upon us and we all like to look more sun-kissed during these months. Unless you’re like me, who’s pasty white and usually end up having to hide under beach umbrellas or parasols. However, for the rest of you, bronzers are a godsend and truly help achieve that sun-kissed look many strive to achieve.

What It Is: Bronzer

Distinguishing Factors: Vegan

Verdict: I’ll be honest, despite having worked as a makeup artist, and used bronzers on my clients, I never quite mastered that technique on myself. I don’t know if my skintone has a lot to do with it (I could give any pasty-faced vampire a run for their money), but any bronzers that I have attempted to use in the past always end up giving me the same result; muddy skin. This is also why I don’t contour my cheeks. And that is why I end up using many bronzers and contour palettes as eyeshadows or crease colours for my eye looks.

Once I opened this bronzer, I fell in love with the colour because it did give the impression of being sunkissed. Not only that, it looked light enough for someone with a zombie complexion like myself. And honestly, even if it didn’t work as a bronzer, it’d still make for a pretty eyeshadow shade.

First of all, the blendability of this is soft and leaves a nice sun-kissed glow. Unfortunately for me, it doesn’t quite translate well on my cheeks (again, looking too orangey) but it looks very pretty on my lids. But I’m sure that other people might find this bronzer to be just as good as the iconic Hula Bronzer.

Price: $13

Where To Buy It: Medusa’s Makeup Site

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Derma Roller System: One Step to Beautiful Skin

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Every since micro-needling has become a thing, I’ve been curious about this scary yet simple procedure. But I didn’t really take the plunge to try it out until I was contacted by Derma Roller System to try out their product. Not being a fan of needles, I decided to opt for the smallest needle model they had (0.5mm) and hoped for the best.

So what exactly does a Derma Roller System do?

Well, it’s supposed to help rejuvenate your skin, treat acne scars, ease hyperpigmentation, and get rid of the first signs of aging. It’s also touted to boost any product absorption by 90%. I was a sent the DermaC+ Anti-Aging Serum and PerfectDerm Collagen Face Mask to use with the Derma Roller System, and some advise to prep the skin with serum before, although the guide I was sent with the product suggested to prep the skin by cleaning it thoroughly, then to roll the Derma Roller gently over the area you wish to treat 4 times vertically, 4 times horizontally, 4 times diagonally to the left and 4 times diagonally to the right. This should help stimulate collagen and elastin formation in the skin. One note of caution, despite what some Beauty Gurus may suggest on other blogs or YouTube, you should AVOID using the Derma Roller on your eyelids or lips. After you’re done with rolling then you should apply a collagen cream, serum or mask. You may leave the product on, or keep it on your face for 10 minutes before rinsing it off.

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I’ll be honest, I was kinda skeptical at first and a tiny bit afraid. The idea of rolling 200 tiny needles into my skin didn’t sound pleasant in the least, and also had me worrying about possible staph infections (which could happen if you don’t clean your roller after each use, IT IS VERY IMPORTANT TO CLEAN IT WITH RUBBING ALCOHOL OR HYDROGEN PEROXIDE). So, before I began, I decided to watch a few videos so that I wouldn’t end up like Pinhead from Hellraiser cause the only time that look would be cute is Halloween.

Putting aside all my worries, I decided that I was going to see what all the hype was about, and if this medieval torture device looking contraption actually delivered amazing skin.

Now, it takes 40 days for cell turnover to happen, so you need about that time to see some results. I decided to abide by that rule.

I don’t have any hyperpigmentation or acne scars, so I decided to focus on my forehead where I have a slight fine line. It’s advised to use the roller even up to five times a week if the needle size is 0.5mm (like the one I chose). I decided to first use it about two times a week before upping the dosage. The first two weeks I didn’t see much difference, but after the fourth week, I noticed that my skin looked glowing and just overall nicer in appearance.

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I can’t say how this will work on deeper wrinkles (since I currently don’t have them), but I can say that the Derma Roller System does help improve one’s skintone and that if you’re looking to try out a microneedle, then Derma Roller System would be a nice one to try.

What I liked about the product itself is that it is small, easy to use, and durable. Although it is noted that one needs to change the head after a number of uses.

Should you consider getting a Derma Roller System?

If you want to see some improvement in your skin, I would recommend using this to help you fix any of your skin concerns you might have.

Are the needles painful?

I can’t say about the other sizes, but the 0.5mm were unbearably painful at all. So, if what’s keeping you from trying it is the eventual pain, then go with small needle size and maybe once you get accustomed to it you can always size up later.

Concluding Thoughts

There’s some science to this whole micro-needling hype, and it does help the skin’s appearance in ways that I can’t even explain. If you want to achieve amazing skin, then maybe you should look into investing in a Derma Roller System. It currently retails for $49.95 on their website.

*Thank you Derma Roller for sending me a bundle kit of three of their products free of charge for an honest review.

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Review: Pat McGrath Labs FetishEyes Mascara

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Pat McGrath is one of the most famous and influential makeup artists in the world. She has done makeup for runway shows, editorials, and ads. Many people love the bold looks she creates, especially when it comes to the eyes. So when I was sent this mascara to review* I was really looking forward to it!

What It Is: Volumizing & Lengthening Mascara

Distinguishing Factors: Conditioning Peptides help keep lashes long and healthy!

Verdict: I am very conflicted when it comes to this product because I do love the formula, however, I really HATE the brush! The formula is clump-free and it has intense pigmentation, but then the brush was designed too big that even a person with the steadiest hand is bound to create a mess, let alone someone who’s running on little sleep in the wee hours of the morning attempting to get ready for work. I think that this mascara would 100% improve if it had a smaller brush that will help lift lashes without smudging the product on your eyelids. I’ll most likely pop in another brush and still use the mascara, but if you’re looking to purchase this item, I think you’re better off with something else. Life’s too short to waste your money on mediocre mascara.

Price: $28

Where To Buy It: Pat McGrath website

*Product was sent to me free of charge from Allure Magazine for an honest review

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How To Lose Weight Eating Like Marie Antoinette

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Kirsten Dunst indulges in the sweet life of Marie Antoinette. 

You may recall Marie Antoinette from your history class as being the Queen of France who was beheaded during the French Revolution, or you may know her best for Sofia Coppola’s exaggerated interpretation of the late Queen’s life in her 2006 film headlined by Kirsten Dunst as the titular role of Marie Antoinette. Often, when you think of the last Queen of France you imagine her opulent gowns, pompous wigs, and tables upon tables of colourful desserts. This was a queen who lives for excess, and yet, she was capable of maintaining a very slim waist 58cm (23in), for the majority of her life. Despite being known for devouring cakes and hot chocolate for breakfast. So how exactly did she achieve this sort of sorcery?

Karen Wheeler, author of the diet book, The Marie Antoinette Diet: Eat Cake and Still Lose Weight, let’s us in on a little secret. It’s not simply portion control (although that too matters), but rather the time of day you consume said sweets.

The queen was known for consuming most of her sweets first thing in the morning. Sugars, when consumed early in the morning, are more likely to be turned by the body into energy since we do most of our daily activities during the morning and early afternoon. Consuming sugars later during the day and especially at night somehow triggers the body to instantly turn those sugars into fat since we’re least likely to be burning calories at that hour (most people are likely to be getting ready to go to bed after dinner).

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More sweets for the queen!

Karen Wheeler also stresses the importance of a light dinner, and how we should aim for 12-hr. Fast (meaning that you don’t eat past 8-pm and your next meal would be breakfast the following morning).

Although these claims may seem a bit off for some (especially for those who love to snack!). But it does make sense as to why this plan would actually work in losing weight or maintaining your ideal weight without having to actually diet (meaning cutting out the things we crave like carbs and sugars). Ideally, one’s digestive system should have a resting period 10-12 hours at night for it helps you sleep better and it allows your body to truly relax.

But one thing that Wheeler stresses most of all, is always to eat food at its natural state meaning no over-processed junk food, trans-fats, or vegetable or polyunsaturated oil. Another helpful tip? No drinking your weight in sugar (or alcohol).

So in conclusion, yes, you’re allowed to your cake and eat it took, but just know when to eat it and cut out all the other baddies. After all, we could all learn a beauty trick or two from one of history’s most fashionable monarch. Marie Antoinette knew how to party, but she also knew how to rock a stunning figure.

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One of the most famous portraits of the actual Marie Antoinette, last Queen of France.

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Review: L’Oreal Infallible Full Wear Concealer

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When it comes to concealer I usually don’t stray away from my long-trusted Lancome waterproof one that I’ve been using faithfully since 2011. Now, being someone who started to wear concealer at the age of 13 (ironically not to conceal blemishes but rather to finally find a way to eliminate my hereditary dark circles, the bane of my existence), you better bet that I’ve tried all kinds concealers over the years. I’ve attempted stick formulas, powder, liquid…you name it, I’ve tried it! So when I first saw this at Target, I wasn’t sure if I wanted to try it, because time and time again, I’ve always returned to my trusted Lancome concealer. But I figured for the price, I might as well give it a try.

What It Is: Full coverage concealer

Distinguishing Factors: Waterproof & long-lasting

Verdict: First of all, this L’Oreal range tried to be inclusive, providing 25 shades (although it still kinda seems like 15 of the shades are for different variations of white). I, of course, was thrilled to see that their version of Porcelain was actually my shade of pale (cause when you’re ghost white as myself almost any foundation or concealer always comes off as either too pink or too yellow). This one, luckily was closer to my skin tone, albeit not a perfect match as my Lancome shade (but maybe it just means I need to try another shade of pale they have to offer).

One thing that I noticed right away though when I applied this concealer is that a little goes a LOOOONG way, meaning that the usual amount I tend to use with other brands ended up being TOO much for this product as it seems that with one tiny swipe it magically conceals everything! Yes, this product is hella thick, but it doesn’t feel heavy or cakey, and it DOES NOT CREASE. Nor is it drying. I blended the product out using a damp tiny Beauty Blender and it seems to be the best way to apply it. I set it using Makeup Forever’s foundation powder.

This is AMAZING…it instantly conceals and brightens in less than a second! Dare I say that it’s better than Tarte’s Shape Tape? I THINK IT IS. I highly recommend this product and at the price, it’s at, it’s A STEAL! So snatch a tube for yourself and next time you see yourself in the mirror, you might very well utter, “Who dis?”

Price: 12.99

Where To Buy It: L’Oreal website

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Review: Medusa’s Makeup Liquid Eyeshadow

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Hello darklings! I can’t believe it’s been so long since my last beauty review! But fret not, I’ll be sharing more beauty related stuff this month as I’ve got a lot of new products to share! My current obsession is liquid eyeshadows….how do you feel about them? A do? A don’t? Let me know in the comments below!

What It Is: Liquid Eyeshadow

Distinguishing Factors: Cruelty-free & Vegan

Review: Lately, I’ve been utterly obsessed with liquid eyeshadows. So I was appropriately excited when Medusa’s Makeup April Beauty Box came equipped with their newest cosmetics venture, their liquid eyeshadows. I was also happy to have received the silver hue (GINGER), (as they have a blue hue, but no matter what shade of blue I’ve used in the past, it has always gone horribly wrong for me). First things first: The formula is long-lasting and crease-free. I don’t know whether it’s because the shadow is actually made that way or probably because I always use eyeshadow primer (currently I’ve been using Milani’s Eyeshadow Primer, as it’s identical to Urban Decay’s Primer Potion but half the price), but once I put on the shadow at 6am (my usual wake-up call during the week) it didn’t budge nor crease all the way to 9pm (when I removed my makeup).

Secondly, the colour was utterly dreamy in an elfish-fairy way. I LOVE that it’s glittery without looking too intense (especially since I wore it for work). However, if you are looking for something a bit more pigmented then the silver shade wouldn’t be your choice, as this goes on a bit sheer (think Glossier’s Lidstars). But overall, I really liked the ethereal feel this shade had and the product itself was amazing! And last but not least….how freaking adorable is the packaging?! I love that it’s both functional and small enough to slip into a tiny bag! After all, Spring is here and less is definitely more!

Price: $13

Where To Buy It: https://medusasmakeup.com/

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Glossier – Celebrating Natural Beauty

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Glossier is the sort of brand that beauty aficionados either love or hate. Although with 1.5 million Instagram followers, there are many that truly love this brand. The brand was founded by Emily Weiss, with the tagline of, “Beauty products inspired by real life.” For those that aren’t fans of the brand, it’s because Glossier strives for natural beauty, meaning that their products are all about creating dewy skin, feathered brows, and lips with a hint of colour.

So of course I wanted to try out this brand and see what all the hype was about. I decided to go for one of their bundles since it was the most cost effective for the price and product amount.

I ordered The Makeup Set which included: Boy Brow (grooming pomade) in Brown, Cloud Paint (seamless cheek colour) in Beam (a soft peach), and Lash Slick (film form mascara).

Cost: $40 (but there’s FREE shipping over $30)

By buying these three items as a set, you save $10, which is a deal!

Boy Brow Impression: It’s thickening and helps bulk up the brow (however you need SOME brow hairs for this), but it doesn’t offer much colour (you’re better off with The Brow Gal for colour).

Cloud Paint Impression: I LOVE this because it offers a hint of colour without looking too made up. It’s the closest thing to a natural flush after a workout you can get sans the thirty-minute gym sesh. A little goes a long way for these, you honestly only need a small dot for your whole cheek.

Lash Slick Impression: I do really love this mascara, but since Wet N’ Wild offers a similar mascara for a fraction of the price (Glossier’s retails for $16 and the Wet N’ Wild one is around $3).

Overall Verdict: I actually really loved these products very much and am considering to purchase different shades of the Cloud Paint, and maybe check out their Lidstar eyeshadows (I’ve been aspiring to a more dewy colour finish than a made-up look lately and feel as though those would be perfect to achieve that). However, if you’re looking for a makeup look that is extremely extra, this brand isn’t about that at all. Glossier is about natural beauty and enhancing your own beauty, so it doesn’t offer much coverage or colour, for it doesn’t strive to eliminate or cover, but rather to enhance and showcase beauty at its natural state. This is the best no makeup, makeup brand you can find.

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Review: Maybelline Snapscara in Pitch Black

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I haven’t done a beauty post in so long (and not because I’m lacking any new products, I have lots to share!) that I decided that it was long overdue for one. Since mascara is one of the beauty products that I absolutely LOVE, I wanted to share with you my latest find.

What It Is: Clump-free voluminizing mascara

What It Does: Creates volume in one sweep

Active Ingredients: Wax-Free Pigments

Verdict: I’ve always been satisfied with Maybelline mascaras and products in general, so I was really looking forward to trying out this new product cause from the ads it looked amazing and even the packaging was cuter than your usual drugstore buy. But that’s pretty much where the love stopped. And it stopped cold. The wand itself should be fool-proof to use, but I don’t know whether it’s small to larger bristles combo or the formula itself, but once you try to layer this mascara, it starts to get seriously clumpy like you’re dealing with a decade old product, rather than a brand new one, and for some reason it was also very messy (in my attempt to lengthen my lashes, it would also transfer colour over onto my lid whatever I’d wiggle the wand, which I’ve never had this problem with any other mascara before so I know that my application wasn’t to blame). And for those of you that might say, why layer if it creates a mess why can’t you go with only one layer? To put it bluntly, one layer doesn’t provide you with the lift and colour you need (or at least I want), so you’re better off sticking to any other trustier mascara, for this one is a total fluke in my book. Such a shame, because I do love the packaging. Sigh.

Price: $7.77

Where To Buy It: https://www.maybelline.com/eye-makeup/mascara/snapscara-washable-mascara/pitch-black

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Review: Sunday Riley C.E.O. Glow Face Oil

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Face oils are pretty much essential during the winter months if you still want to keep your skin soft and glowing. And don’t fret if you have oily or combination skin, face oils actually HELP oily skin reduce fewer oils, instead of using harsh drying creams that make you produce even more oils. This face oil, in particular, leaves your skin so incredibly soft that with this Polar Vortex taking over most of the U.S. you’ll want to invest in something that will keep your skin hydrated!

What It Is: Face Oil

What It Does: Hydrates and brightens skin

Active Ingredients: Vitamin C, Turmeric, and Primrose Oil

Verdict: I can’t even begin to tell you just HOW AMAZING THIS IS! And yes! This face oil is worthy of ALL CAPS TO EXPRESS MY ENTHUSIASM! I’m in love with Vitamin C oils and/or serums because it truly helps brighten up your skin, and if you’re acne-prone like myself, it actually keeps the zits at bay! The Primrose Oil makes it so that the oil is ultra-hydrating and it smells really good! The tumeric, on the other hand, helps reduce inflammation, again, a plus for sensitive and acne prone skin. This oil is so light-weight that it won’t clog your pores, and it’s also fast absorbing which means that it can be used under makeup if you so wish. If you’re going to invest in a face oil, I’d say go ahead and choose this one cause it’s truly the holy grail of face oils.

Price: $80

Where To Buy It: Sephora

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Ditch Botox & Eat Collagen-Boosting Foods Instead

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Photo courtesy of nutritiouslife.com

Collagen is one of the most important factors when it comes to having beautiful skin. Collagen production helps with acne and wrinkles, however, as the years go by collagen production decreases which makes wrinkles and crepes appear and even healing from wounds will take longer or scar. So how can one pause the hands of time? With a little help from foods that help boost collagen production, you can increase the chances of combating fine lines and have less scarring.

So nix the Botox and try these collagen-boosting foods to help promote not just younger skin, but healthier skin too (because bad skin happens at any age).

Vitamin C

This vitamin is found in many citrus foods such as oranges, kiwis, and pineapples.

Copper

Found in rich foods such as organ meats (livers, hearts, etc.), cocoa powder, and portabella mushrooms

Glycine

This is found in foods such as gelatin, chicken skin, and pork skin.

Zinc

This vitamin can be found in foods such as oysters, beef, and crabs.

As you can see there are many food options out there to help you include more collagen-boosting foods into your diet, so whether you’re vegan, or wish to eat less meat, you can find a way to choose a serving of these foods at least once a day.

Eat your way to beautiful skin and you won’t have to resort to unnatural ways of keeping it looking good!

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