Review: Mario Badescu Dermonectin Eye Cream

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So I’ve been dealing with some serious itchiness on my eyelids since May. I thought that maybe it was an allergic reaction to something new so I stopped using any of the newer products, and still so no relief. I invested in Aquaphor and it soothed my problem for a few days, till it came back up. I’ve been Googling possible skin conditions, and finally, at the end of May, it became so unbearable that I made an appointment with my eye doc to find out what it is that’s been causing this itchiness.

Fast forward to July when I finally have my eye appointment only to find out that my doc can’t prescribe any eye creams, only eye drops. He didn’t think I needed eye drops. By then the rest of the month was consumed by ongoing dentist appointments for a root canal that I couldn’t fit in a derm appointment. SO….yet again I tried to self-medicate and just wanted a very nourishing eye cream that could help curb the itchiness as well as be non-allergic. So that’s how I ended up purchasing said eye cream.

Packaging: Simple and sleek

What It Is: Super hydrating Eye Cream for extremely dry skin

Active Ingredients: Vitamins A & E, with a special blend of vegetable, peanut, and coconut oils

Verdict: Emollient, soothing, and rich are three words to describe this cream. It feels very refreshing and moisturizing the moment you apply it, and for my recent condition, it even soothes the itching and doesn’t burn (which seems to be the norm with most creams right now). Did it stop the itchiness? Not entirely, but that’s not what this cream is designed for. Did it provide incredible moisture and calm the dryness? Yes, it sure did! I really recommend this eye cream if you’re looking for something that’s rich and intensely hydrating (it will quench any dry skin’s thirst for moisture). I’ll probably be repurchasing this eye cream again, whilst I still try to figure out exactly what it up with my odd skin condition (at least it’s not unsightly, just a tad bit bothersome).

Price: $18

Where To Buy It: Amazon

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Launching: Nox Girl Cosmetics!

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Shades Ophelia & Juliet pictured above.

My love of beauty products is no big secret if you follow my blog and look at the many beauty product reviews I have written, or if you know me personally and see the staggering amount of cosmetics I’ve accumulated over the years. And since I cannot beat my cosmetics addiction, I’ve decided that the next best thing would be to join them. How you may ask? By launching my very own line of cosmetics!

This idea came to me a few years ago but I had trouble executing it right away for various reasons (funding, finding the right lab, etc.). Recently, I found a lab in Canada that will make my products in the way that I envisioned them to be, high quality, cruelty-free, and vegan.

Why vegan?

Well, the main difference between vegan and traditional makeup is the use of animal by-products which are never used in vegan cosmetics. A common side effect and bonus to vegan products is that they are often gentler and safer all around, not only leaving out animal products but also toxic chemicals, parabens, gluten-containing products, and heavy metals.

I know there’s a ton of beauty brands out on the market and there’s a new one coming out of the woodworks every day, so you may wonder, what makes Nox Girl Cosmetics stand out? First of all, all my items will be LIMITED EDITION, meaning that every few months I will be selling a certain number of cosmetics that will encompass a theme. And since my other great love right next to cosmetics is books, each limited edition products will be inspired by literary characters.

For my launch, I decided to go with a classic, Shakespearean heroines. The ones I selected were some of my faves, and creating liquid lipsticks inspired by them was so much fun!

So without further ado, allow me to present you the amazing shades:

 

Tamora (taken from Titus Queen of the Goths) $20

Tamora is a berry-purple matte shade. The character is strong and bold and you can let your inner queen shine through with this imperious shade.

 

Ophelia (taken from Hamlet) $20

Critics believe that Ophelia is weak because she goes mad and drowns herself in a brook, but the truth is, she’s not afraid to stand up against the patriarchy, letting her brother know that he shouldn’t chide her to be chaste when he isn’t and how she hates the double standard that exists.

This shade is a pale peach with mandarin hues. Ophelia is sweet, but she’s no pushover, and if in the end, she cracks, it’s the patriarchal society and crazy boyfriend that are to blame, not her. That’s why this colour is both light but bold. Your lips will be sure to stand out in the crowd.

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Swatches of Ophelia & Juliet 

 

Juliet (taken from Romeo & Juliet) $20

Juliet is a rose pink shade. The character of Juliet is a hopeless romantic (who isn’t at the age of 14?) and I wanted this shade to reflect the excitement and intensity of first love.

 

Titania (taken from Midsummer Night’s Dream) $23

She’s Queen of the faeries, and what better way to celebrate this beautiful creature than to create a shade of nude-glittery lipgloss? It’s the perfect lightweight non-sticky lip gloss formula that will have you unleashing some serious faery vibes.

 

Lady Macbeth (taken from Macbeth) $20

It’s due to Lady Macbeth’s brutal ambition to become Queen, that leads Macbeth to murder the current king while he’s visiting his home. And although she’s viewed as a villain, no one can negate how badass and progressive she is for her time. What better way to celebrate her boldness than to imagine her wearing this blood-red shade? Choose this crimson lipstick if you want to channel a true leader (albeit a ruthless one).

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Swatches of Tamora & Titania

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Midsummer Night’s Dream Eyeshadow Palette $30

Creating a palette is difficult, especially when you’re trying to create a cohesive look. When creating these shades I tried to envision what someone like Titania would wear, and that made me decide to go with various shades of green. Because nothing shouts woodland faery like these ethereal shades.

You can shop these shades for a limited time at the Nox Girl Cosmetics Shop! These shades will be available till the end of September. In October I’ll be launching new shades (I’ll give you a hint, they’re going to be inspired by famous vampires).

*There’s international shipping for all your orders!

I’m also looking for some influencers (within the U.S & Canada for now) to receive some samples for reviews. If you’re interested please contact me with your platform info (blog or Instagram account).

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Shades Tamora & Titania pictured above 

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Review: Beauty Bakerie Lip Whips

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With the cutest packaging in the beauty industry (I mean really, all of their products look delicious and cute!) that someone like Marie Antoinette would adore (it’s no coincidence that one of their Lip Whips is named Versailles). I’ve been dying to try this brand for a while now.

So when they had their 4th of July sale, I decided to bite the bullet and order me some summer lippie shades.

The first shade I tried out was Take Me For Pomegranate. I did love how the colour looked on me, but upon my first application, I wasn’t crazy how drying it felt on my lips. As the day wore on, the liquid lipstick started to crack, which meant I had to reapply. By the time I went on a date with my fiance that same night, the lipstick was ultra grainy-like on my lips and migrating to the top of my gums (not cute, especially when your guy thinks your gums are bleeding).

So if I’m going to wear this shade again, it’d only be for a few hours and won’t attempt to wear it the whole day as I often do with my liquid lipsticks.

The second shade I ordered was Cherry Flambe. Again, the colour is gorgeous. Now, I don’t know if there’s a difference in formula (because sometimes there are liquid lipsticks that are matte or satin), but this one wasn’t so drying. And this shade didn’t crack not did it get grainy by the end of the day. Being that it was a red shade, I was afraid that it might bleed as the day wore on. Thankfully, it didn’t. The shade did kinda fade towards the middle of my lips by the afternoon, but that’s nothing a quick reapply couldn’t fix.

Overall, for the price (they normally retail for $20 a pop), these Lip Whips don’t deliver. It really saddens me to write this, because I truly wanted to love these products (again, cute packaging and wanted to support the amazing cancer survivor and CEO, Cashmere Nicole), but as far as the Lip Whips go, I was sadly not impressed at all. Sure, they won’t smudge if you eat or drink, but cracked colour isn’t a pretty sight.

I would be curious to try out some of their other products, but as far as their Lip Whips go, I won’t be ordering any others in the future.

Price: $20

Where To Buy It: https://www.beautybakerie.com

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Review: Twisted Wonderland Perfumery

Ever since I happened upon the Instagram page for Twisted Wonderland Perfumery, I knew that I wanted to try it. The aesthetics totally tugged at my dark heart. Perfume for those with Gothic tendencies? Lip balms inspired by horror movies? I’m in!

For my first order, I decided to go with a perfume and lip balm, although after visiting their website I noticed that they offer so much more (horror-themed soaps and bath bombs are just some of the other cool items they have).

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The perfume I selected was The Rest in Confetti, which is described as “A cup of white tea, elegant white musk, marshmallow buttercream cupcakes, and soft rose petals.” I expected this scent to be sweeter based on the marshmallow buttercream cupcakes description. Rather, it was a bit muskier (and smelled more like patchouli which I’m not a huge fan of). Overall, the scent isn’t annoyingly persistent and after awhile the muskier notes die out and you’re left with the sweeter notes (which is what I really wanted all along). Scent-wise this isn’t my absolute favourite but I’m willing to try out the other scents they have to offer cause the formula is definitely good.

Retails: $15

Now, anyone who knows me knows that I’m a lip balm addict. Since I consistently wear lipstick every day, all day long, it means that my lips need some major TLC come night. Part of my nighttime routine is to lather on about three thick layers of lip balm before my head hits the pillow for some serious z’s. This routine allows me to wake up with incredibly soft, smooth lips every morning. Which means that I am very picky when it comes to lip balms cause no simple lip balm will do.

There’s a certain formula/texture that I favour (meaning more of the thick and emollient kind) and I can testify that this lip balm certainly gets my stamp of approval! I choose the Friday the 13th inspired Jason Voorhies lip balm called S’More-Hees, cause I have an unhealthy obsession with all things s’mores and of course a lip balm named after a summer camp serial killer would smell like my favourite campfire treat! As an aside, I’ve never been to summer camp, nor have I ever been camping, so the only times I’ve had real S’mores in real life is whenever we’d have bonfires at the beach at night.

The scent of this lip balm is I-N-C-R-E-D-I-B-L-E! You’ll certainly feel like you’ve just smacked some marshmallows on your lips, and the feel of the lip balm is incredibly soft. Just watch out for any machete-wielding hockey-masked serial killers coming your way!

Retails: $4

Overall, this is a cool niche online shop for all things dark and bloody. I can see these items becoming awesome Halloween gifts or party favours for any horror-themed party!

Where you can buy these awesome items: Twisted Wonderland Perfumery site 

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Makeup Haul: Glossier

Glossier is the kind of brand that has gathered devotees like a cult. When I did my first Glossier haul, I was impressed with their products but couldn’t quite understand the cult-like devotion. Fast forward to me purchasing a second Glossier haul, and soon after going for my third haul. In this post, I’ll be sharing products from both my second and third hauls (the only thing I didn’t include was Brow Boy, which I repurchased but already reviewed during my first Glossier haul).

Maybe it’s the fact that I’ve grown weary of seeing beat faces on my Instagram with exaggerated makeup as though we need to recreate a whole new face every morning. Being a makeup lover, I’ve always adored that aspect of makeup being used as a way of transformation, but I also do enjoy it as a means to enhance your own natural beauty. Which is where Glossier comes in. Their brand motto is, “Skin first, makeup second,” and I can get behind that sentiment.

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Brow Flick

Every since NYX discontinued their eyebrow marker, I’ve had to settle for sub-par semi-marker brow products from Revlon in the meantime, so of course, when I saw this product launching I simply had to get it! I know some beauty gurus out there are saying that the product is too sheer, however, I didn’t think that was the case for me at all. I got the shade Brown (to be paired with my Boy brow in Brown) and have never finished my eyebrows in such a short amount of time (two minutes!). Using only two products! (Brow Flick and Boy Brow) Before, I was using a total of SIX eyebrow products (and spending 10 minutes on each brow!), but the microfine tip on this maker makes it so easy to mimic hair strokes (something that I could never achieve with other markers or pencils before and sucked it up to just being a terrible artist, but turns out that I was just using terrible products!). And the sheer colour makes it so it doesn’t look too harsh. In other words, this product is my new ride or die and I BEG Glossier to never discontinue it cause I wouldn’t know what to do without it.

Generation G

I read so many reviews about (some people loved it others were outraged that they spent so much money on a product with very little colour pay off). Now, I’ve been using liquid lipsticks for the past three years and despite the fact that I DO love them, I have grown a little tired of their too makeup look and have been craving for something a little more natural. This lipstick is meant to be sheer and look blotted, so since my lips are naturally super pale, I went for the shade, Zip, a poppy red. Apart from the colour being really flattering on me, what I really loved most of all was the formula. It’s sheer but matte. It’s also moisturizing but not creamy, meaning that it actually is long lasting and doesn’t bleed (one of my bigger pet peeves). I definitely see myself wearing this for the summer months when having heavily lacquered lips may not feel the best when you’re trying to combat the heat and just want to be lazy (but still look pretty too!).

Lidstar

Feeling nostalgic for my teenage makeup days, I decided to select the shade Lily (it’s a sheer lavender hue). Now if you’re one of those people that want uber pigmented eyeshadows, then steer clear of the Lidstars, cause like with anything else from Glossier, sheer is the name of the game. The colour itself is very pretty, but I don’t know if I have personally outgrown the lavender eye look, but I wasn’t too crazy about it. However, I did love the formula and do want to try their other shades (especially Cub and Fawn) that seem more like the shades adult me has worn for the past decade. Maybe there’s a reason why we outgrow beauty looks, because they’re no longer a reflection of ourselves.

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Primer

Since I don’t wear foundation, I only use primer around my eye area to keep it hydrated before I apply concealer. But I was curious about how my skin would look with their primer since it’s advertised to give a healthy glow. I’ve always been a fan of dewy skin, however, having oily skin means that I can’t really use products meant to enhance dewiness as it just turns into an ugly oil spill on my face. But I don’t know what kind of sorcery they’ve concocted when they made this primer, but this delivers a healthy glow without the extra oiliness. And it does keep the skin hydrated the whole day. And if you’re wondering how much you need to use, a dime size is enough to use on your whole face (maybe two if you’re on the dry side).

After three Glossier hauls, I can totally understand the cult-like following. If you’re someone who simply wants to enhance your own features with a “woke up this way,” vibe to it, then Glossier is your go-to brand for this. And honestly, we could all use a break from having a beat face, cause laziness has never looked so pretty before.

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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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