Review: Murad Essential-C Cleanser

What It Is: Energizing cleanser

What It Does: Washes away dirt and impurities without over-drying skin.

Active Ingredients: Vitamins A, C, & E and Allantoin and panthenol (to help soften skin)

Verdict: I’m not someone who is exclusively married to one skin cleanser, so I’m always switching mine up depending on what I receive or am gifted. This particular skin cleanser was part of a Fab Fit Fun subscription box. What I love about this cleanser is that it feels luxuriously silky and it has an incredible scent. I feel as though my skin is getting fully cleansed but at the same time it doesn’t feel stripped of its natural oils. I’m really enjoying this cleanser a lot and will definitely purchase it when I’m done.

Price: $40

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

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Review: Colourpop Candyland Candy Castle Eyeshadow Palette

Colourpop always releases very exciting collabs, but like any makeup junkie there is, trying to collect them all would mean that we’d be drowning in eyeshadow palettes. As a kid, I loved the whimsical magical world that the Hasboro game Candyland provided. It wasn’t a board game that required much skill, but rather relied more on the luck of the draw. But it was a board game that even my mum who hates board games was agreeable to want to play with me.

So when Colourpop decided to collab with Hasboro for Candyland inspired makeup, I was totally onboard! I decided to snag the eyeshadow palette and Queen Frostine Highlighter (unfortunately, I was later informed that I would be reimbursed for that product as they sold out before they could fulfill all their orders).

Now, I’ve used Colourpop products before, and my personal experience with their products is so-so. There are some products that they certainly nail, and then there are some that aren’t as remarkable, but for the cheap price tag, one can’t really complain. My biggest issue with Colourpop eyeshadows is that the matte shadows always tend to result in a patchy application, the final result isn’t always universally pigmented. Of course, this can only be noticed if you’re looking with a close-up mirror in good lighting. Most people on the street won’t notice this inconsistency just by looking at you.

The colours for this palette are very reminiscent of the whimsical magic that Candyland represented, so for tht it gets a thumbs up from me. All the colours are very pretty. Now, my only complaint is the application for the matte ones. Like previous matte shadows from Colourpop, these too result in a patchy application even using eyeshadow primer beforehand. Meanwhile, the top-performing eyeshadows tend to be the glittery or frosty ones.

If you love pastel colours, I definitely recommend checking this palette out, or if like me, you’re nostalgic for the whimsical carefree days of your childhood, then that’s also a good reason to pick this palette up, or anything from the Candyland collab, as they’ll whisk you back to a time when makeup meant you wanted to be Princess Lollipop or Queen Frostine.

Price: $18

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Review: Osea Ocean Cleanser

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Bioavailable formulas rich in earth and ocean essences deliver powerful skin solutions.

What It Is: Facial Cleanser/Makeup Remover

What It Does: Cleanses without drying skin out.

Best For: Normal, Dry, and Combo Skin Types

Active Ingredients: Vegan Lactic Acid, Lime, Cypress, Organic Seaweed, and Juniper.

Verdict: When it comes to cleansers, I can be picky. I don’t favor those that are so liquidy that they slide right off your hands, nor do I like those that are too oily. But the worst infraction is when a cleanser leaves your skin feeling stripped of any hydration and moisture. Luckily, this cleanser doesn’t have those faults. The cleanser consistency is creamy, soft, not oily, and with a hint of a refreshing scent that echoes a sea getaway to a tropical island. Plus, the cleanser delivers where it matters the most, it cleanses without stripping you bare, but it’s also gentle enough for sensitive skins. I also love that it didn’t feel soapy nor burned my eyes as some cleansers tend to do. Overall, this is definitely a must! I’m a very happy with it and can see myself purchasing this product in the future once I’m done with my sample.

Price: $48

Where To Buy: https://oseamalibu.com/

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Review: Tony Moly Moisture Boost Cooling Algae Eye Serum

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What It Is: Eye Serum

What It Does: Hydrates and moisturizes

Active Ingredients: Hyaluronic acid, seawater, plankton, and algae

Verdict: I’m a sucker for eye creams, even when other beauty bloggers may deem eye creams to simply be glorified moisturizers, I can’t help but love the luxurious feel of applying eye cream to the lids and outer corners of my eyes. I’ve previously used products from Tony Moly and not only is this Korean company effective, but it also has the cutest packaging ever. Take, for example, this eye serum, the packaging alone made me want to purchase it (I’m also fickle, sue me). Now, perhaps I should’ve been expecting a serum that would feel wet seeing that it is water-based, but for some reason, I thought the consistency of it would’ve been more gel-like such as Neutrogena’s Hydro Boost Gel Cream Eye that I adore using as a primer to concealer. Unfortunately, this serum isn’t thick, but very light, meaning that it’s okay if you’re only going to use it as an eye cream for the night, but if you’re wanting a hydrating barrier to your concealer, then this probably wouldn’t be your best choice. I can’t say this product doesn’t work, because it DOES, it simply didn’t work for my specific needs, which means I’ll be using this cream as a night serum rather than a day one. Again, how freaking cute is that packaging though?!

Price: $22

Where To Buy It: https://tonymoly.us/products/moisture-boost-cooling-eye-serum , Ulta, Macy’s and Target

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3 Beauty Trends I’m Loving

Trends come and go, and a lot of the times, I don’t follow trends, so the ones listed may not exactly be trending right now, but I’ve always been one to do my own thing. These three trends are ones I simply love or find inspiring. Beauty, especially makeup should be seen as an extension of your personality or emotions, so following trends isn’t a must if you’re more about expressing yourself (which is more what I tend to lean towards). Here are three beauty trends that I’m loving at the moment:

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BLUE EYELINER

Here’s the deal: There’s a circus way and a safe way to wear blue eyeliner without it becoming overbearing. The secret to this is to make it the focal point. What that means is that blue eyeliner pops the most when it’s paired with neutral eye makeup. When you pair blue eyeliner with other colors it tends to be too much and loses the ability to make your eyes the main focus. Whether you decide to place the blue eyeliner on the upper or lower lash line is our choice. I like either one and usually alternate. But balance is key. If you place blue eyeliner on the upper lash line, do NOT put it on the lower lash line too, and vice versa.

euphoria

GLITTER

Anyone who knows me knows of my eternal love for glitter. Maybe it’s the Marc Bolan in me wishing I had been a glam rocker in the 70’s or perhaps my recent binge-watching of Euphoria is to blame for my reacquaintance with my love for the sparkly. One thing is certain, glitter can really elevate your look. But here’s the tip on how to make it wearable every day and not just for the club: place glitter on cheeks like a highlighter and keep the rest of your makeup simple or your face bare. I think glitter looks the freshest when NOT paired with a ton of foundation or crazy contour. Euphoria really excelled in creating glitter looks that feel fresh, edgy, and totally wearable for every day.

blush

BLUSH

There’s just something youthful and innocent about rosy (or peachy) cheeks. Again, this look works best when paired with less makeup and you make your cheeks the focal point. I would suggest pairing rosy cheeks with minimal eye makeup (think only a heavy dose of black mascara) and lipgloss or lip stain. If you keep the rest of the makeup light, then the look won’t seem overbearing.

Balance is truly the key ingredient to achieving the most out of these looks. And honestly, with the warmer weather approaching, I’m less likely to wear heaps amounts of makeup (although I personally never wear foundation or contour).

Which trends do you prefer or are you willing to try out?

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Review: Akar Skin Balance Toning Mist

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What It Is: Toner

What It Does: Helps tone and balance skin.

Active Ingredients: Rose, Neroli, Saffron, and White Willow Bark

Verdict: If you’re one of those people who has always avoided toners because you’re afraid of alcohol stripping you away of essential skin oils, then throw away all your fears with this toner! This toner isn’t alcohol-based, but rather it uses soothing floral waters to hydrate AND keeps oily skin under control. I’m a bit picky when it comes to toners, they need to feel as though they’re getting rid of any dirt or grime there might be, but at the same time, I don’t wish my skin to feel like it’s dangerous to be near a match cause of the high alcohol content. I recommend this toner if you’ve got normal to combination skin. The only downside to this toner? Its hefty price. If you can splurge, the toner is worth it. If you can’t, then Pixi has more economical options.

Price: $55

Where To Buy It: www.akarskin.com

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Review: Glossier Mega Greens Galaxy Pack

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What It Is: A deeply cleansing and detoxifying mask to help manage excess oil.

What It Does: Detoxifies oily skin.

Why It’s Special:

-Creamy, White Kaolin Clay gently cleanses, while vitamin-rich leafy greens and superfruit antioxidants nourish the skin.

-Minimizes the appearance of pores, so skin looks balanced with a velvety, clean matte finish.

-Draws out excess oil and impurities, particularly good for oily or combination skin types.

Good To Know: Allergy tested, dermatologist tested, appropriate for all skin types, appropriate for sensitive skin, fragrance-free, paraben-free, cruelty-free, and vegan.

Verdict: Glossier are best known for their skincare products, since their company motto is: Skin first, makeup second, and because of that I may have expected much more by their face mask. I don’t think the face mask is bad per se, but since it’s supposed to be clarifying, I was hoping that the clay at some point would’ve hardened more than it did and extracted some gunk as past clarifying masks have done (notably the Tony Moly one). I suppose since I have highly oily skin, I wanted a face mask that could temporarily dry out the oil. However, this face mask seems to be designed to clarify and moisturize. What that means is that when the clay dries down, it never makes your skin feel tight and when you wash it off, your skin feels silky smooth. So for that respect, the face mask works well, especially if you have sensitive skin. However, since my skin is very oily I was hoping for something that would leave my skin feeling a little dried out and clean. I recommend this if you have sensitive skin but need a clarifying mask. If like me, you’re on the oilier side, I’d recommend you invest in a charcoal face mask instead, as that will do the trick.

Price: $22

Where To Buy It: www.glossier.com

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Review: Dr. Botanicals Lemon Superfood All-In-One Rescue Butter

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What It Is: Balm cream

What It Does: Hydrates

Active Ingredients: Vitamin A, Coconut Oil, Lemongrass Oil, and antioxidants

Verdict: Since we’re living during a pandemic, I’ve had to up the number of times I wash my hands (let’s just say that I now understand why OCD people feel so anxious). But all this handwashing has caused me to get hand eczema (a very unsightly and painful issue). This butter is meant to be used all over the body, and under normal conditions, I probably would’ve considered using it as a face moisturizer. But these are unprecedented times, so I decided to use this all-in-one rescue butter for my hands (because of its Vitamin A qualities). Let’s just say that this butter has been a lifesaver. In a matter of TWO DAYS, my hand eczema disappeared and I was left with beautiful pre-pandemic hands. This butter is so rich that a dime-size is all you really need for hours of hydration (or up until you have to wash your hands, yet again). Apart from this butter being a miracle-worker, it also serves as a mini-aromatherapy session as it has a light lemon scent that helps ease any feelings of anxiety you might be feeling (and honestly who isn’t anxious right about now?). I love this product SO MUCH that I’m willing to purchase it when I run out (I received this in an Allure Beauty Box). I completely recommend this butter for all of your skincare needs, you won’t be disappointed.

Price: $14.90

Where To Buy It: https://us.drbotanicals.com/

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Review: Wander Beauty After Hours Highlighter

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Although I don’t use highlighters often, I do love a good highlighter. It really can change the look of your skin and create the most amazing glow. That’s why having a good highlighter can really make you look alive.

What It Is: Powder Highlighter

What It Does: Creates a subtle, dewy glow

Verdict: Out of all the highlighters out there, (liquid, powder, gel) I prefer powders as they’re the most subtle, forgiving, and easiest to use. I love how this powder feels, very silky and soft. You can use this on your cheeks, temples, and inner corners of the eyes. The shade of this highlighter is very pearly silver, but it’s more on the warmer side than cold, so it’ll suit most skintones. This highlighter will have you looking awake in no time. Even on days when you’ve repeatedly hit the snooze button and are dragging yourself out of bed. You can either use a brush or your fingers, it works both ways.

Price: $30

Where To Buy It: wanderbeauty.com

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Review: Curology The Cleanser

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What It Is: A lightweight cleanser

What It Does: Cleanses skin without stripping it of its essential oils

Verdict: I’ve seen this brand being advertised both on Facebook and Instagram. They promise to take your skin concerns and tailor them into a skin routine that is made to target and solve your problems. I received this in a current Allure Beauty Box, and since they know what skin type I have (combination, oily) I figure that they probably sent me a cleanser that would target my skin issues.

As far as cleanser goes, I love that it doesn’t have any strange scents. It’s actually scentless, which I prefer. It also is a lightweight gel consistency, which is also one of my favourite textures for cleansers. I’m not a huge fan of the foam ones or ones that are too thick or runny.

I love that it gets rid of oiliness or residual makeup without drying out your skin. In fact, it leaves your skin feeling hydrated and soft. As a cleanser, I am happy with the way this one made my skin feel and may look into purchasing their custom skincare in the future.

Price: $19.95 and up for a set that includes the cleanser, a custom treatment cream, and moisturizer

Where To Buy It: curology.com/allure

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