This was my evening! Ya dig!?

Don’t mind the eyebrows – I feel like I must be part Lebanese, but damn I do my best to keep them under control. My new vanity is really helping to make me even more makeup-crazy! I had so much fun doing this look. And now all I can think of are ways to make it look even better. Sigma brushes are the best thing that has ever happened to my makeup collection. Their vegan Mrs Bunny Kit rocks my world!

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Mini-Sephora Haul: SpaRitual now available at Sephora! Plus REN, and Bare Escentuals!

I hadn’t been to Sephora in a little while, so I figured I’d go check it out.

Here are the delights I picked up! Image

I bought my third tube of Bare Escentuals’ Buxom Lash Mascara in Blackest Black, which was $24. This is my favourite mascara to date!

I didn’t plan on it, but I am a huge REN enthusiast, and am always tempted to try more of their stuff. I have issues with redness and sometimes I get random breakouts.I was kind of disappointed to notice that denatured alcohol is an ingredient in this product. I figured I’d try it regardless, since it doesn’t contain much of it, and it is the one bad ingredient among great stuff like chamomile flower water, lingonberry seed oil, lavender oil, licorice root extract, and more 🙂

And little did I know – SPARITUAL IS NOW AT SEPHORA! I hadn’t been there in several months, and their nail section had been totally revamped! I was tempted to purchase an Illamasqua lacquer, but I wasn’t sure of their animal testing policy (and now, since going to their website, I see they are quite vocally against animal testing). SpaRitual lacquers are awesome! A few years ago, I had gotten a manicure at a spa, and they had used this brand, and I fell instantly in love with it. I just hadn’t seen it anywhere except online, and I didn’t want to pay the $14 they were charging for it at the spa. I picked up the colour “Meditate on This”, and it’s a shimmer shade.

That’s my mini-haul! I’ll be going back to Sephora in about 2 weeks, since my birthday is coming up, and I cannot wait to pick up my Fresh Sugar Lip Duo gift!

Boy, am I thirsty!

Image

(yes, I am drinking from a mug that says Mike’s Ice Cold Diarrhea)

Makeup brushes for $1?! Are you kidding me!?

I was sipping some ginseng green tea with honey out of a new massive mug a friend got for me for my birthday (it came as the base to an edible fruit arrangement), and I thought it was time to get my ass in gear and write about some freakin’ makeup brushes! (Here’s a secret: I was also thinking about how badly these eyebrows need some work) This is what I pulled out of my brain:

So you’re looking for some makeup brushes, and you don’t want to spend $25+ per brush. But at the same time, you’d like brushes with a certain level of quality to them. I am no brush connoisseur, but I do know where you can get brushes at a better-than-you’d-think level of quality for an extremely low price. The great thing about this company’s brushes is, if you feel like upgrading, you can go from their Essential line, to their Studio line, for only an extra $2!

I bet you’re curious as to who this company is, if you don’t know who I’m talking about already. I first heard of them on YouTube amongst the beauty community; a common aside was the “well, everything cost me only $1 each”, and curiosity got the best of me!

Late last summer, I placed my first order with E.L.F., or Eyes Lips Face, and I ordered a modest bundle of goodies, ranging from their All Over Cover Stick, to several different eyeshadow quads(the ones I got were in Butternut and Drama). I also picked up my first few E.L.F. brushes. These were from their Essential line, where EVERY individual brush costs $1 each. If you are new to makeup, these are definitely great to get started with.

In the photo below, here we have four of the brushes from E.L.F.’s Essential Line. From left to right: their Brow Comb & Brush, Foundation Brush, Concealer Brush (which I obviously have not been using for concealer), and their Eye Shadow Brush.

Some of E.L.F.’s Essential line Brushes

I have found the brow comb pretty handy when shaping my insanely out of control eyebrows (I must have some Greek heritage in me), and the eye shadow brush works pretty damn decent considering the price. The bristles on these brushes are soft and feel quite nice on the face. I tried the foundation brush for foundation application, and I wasn’t a fan. It is very soft, but I prefer to apply foundation with my hands, or a stippling-type brush. Personal preference, that’s all! As for the concealer brush, I found it pretty useful when it came to smudging pencil eyeliner or shadow around my lids. I usually use my fingers to apply concealer, so I have never used this brush for the purpose it was designed for.

Now we must proceed onto my second E.L.F. order that I placed, which includes the Studio line of brushes.

After one successful order, I thought it would be fun to try some products from other E.L.F. lines. I ordered five different brushes from their Studio line, after I have heard mostly positive reviews, and I wanted to try them out for myself!

Several brushes from E.L.F’s Studio line!

Here they are on the right! In order from left to right, we’ve got their Kabuki Face Brush (soooo soft!), Powder Brush, Complexion Brush, Eyeshadow “C” Brush, and Small Angled Brush.

When I am not using my old stippling brush for foundation, I use the E.L.F. Studio line’s Powder Brush! It is great for spreading foundation into the crevices around your nose, and blends very well. The Complexion brush is great for blush and bronzer application, or even a mineral veil a la Bare Escentuals. The Kabuki, I also love for blush and bronzer, and it is so damn soft! The Studio line’s Eyeshadow “C” Brush is definitely better than the same brush from the Essential line. It really packs on the colour and blends well. The Small Angled Brush is fun to use for eyeliner, or shadow on the lash line. I prefer using my Quo Angled Eye Liner Brush, because it gives me a more precise application. E.L.F. has one as well, so try it and let me know what you think!

I accidentally forgot to include the one brush I did not like from the Studio line in the above photo. The Contour Brush did not work very well for me. I felt the bristles were extremely sparse and poorly put together (it almost came apart one of my first times using it!). Bottom line was, I just didn’t find a good use for it, and it didn’t contour very well.  Alas, it only cost me $3 (actually, they had a sale of 55% off everything at the time, so I paid less than that – go me!).

I have heard some complaints from people, who say that E.L.F.’s brushes aren’t densely packed enough, and their bristles are more sparse than some higher-end brands. I can agree with this when it comes to the Complexion Brush. It definitely isn’t as dense as the Powder Brush, but I use it for blush and bronzer, and don’t want massive amounts of colour on the brush anyways.

If these brushes cost me what most brushes cost, I would definitely be more harsh. But even some of these brushes compare to the higher-end brushes, with similar quality and performance. Not does E.L.F. indicate which of the Studio line’s brushes are vegan friendly (quite a few), but the entire company is PETA certified and Cruelty-Free! BAZINGA!

Apparently, this is my “I’m all out of tea” face…

If you’re new to makeup, or just don’t have a ton of money to fork over, E.L.F.’s makeup brushes can get you ready for your day or your night out. You don’t have to spend a lot to get good quality brushes that will last. I’ve had my Studio brushes for about 6 months, and I use them almost everyday.

E.L.F. currently has a sale (which they frequently do), on their Mineral line, which is 50% off the entire line! Please go check them out, and tell me about your experience!

Well, my tea is all out! Time to go fix these damned eyebrows and wash my hair! Hope you enjoyed this, and happy Sunday!

One mascara, two mascara, three mascara, four..

Alright, ladies. Let’s get real here for a second. Have we not searched high and low for the perfect mascara? Brands in drugstores and higher-end department stores all claim to give us that super-glam-volumized-lengths-to-the-max look, but how often is it that we find ourselves disappointed with our purchase? While I would consider myself to be somewhat fortunate with regards tthree great mascaraso my natural lashes, I definitely am not one of those people who enjoy a minimal look when it comes to mascaras. If you prefer a more natural, low-key mascara, not all of these products are for you.

I was initially planning on reviewing four mascaras, but decided only to review three of them, since I had found out that the fourth does not make it clear whether it tests on animals or not. Ironically, this fourth was my least favourite of the bunch in terms of performance.

The three I will be reviewing are the Bare Escentuals Buxom Buxom Lash Mascara in Blackest Black, Nyx Doll Eye Volumizing Mascara in Black, and Physician’s Formula Natural Origin Jumbo Lash Mascara in Ultra Black Organics.

Beginning with the  Buxom Lash Mascara, I purchased this for buxom buxom lasharound $23 Canadian at my local Sephora. I had been curious about the product for awhile, and was willing to spend a bit extra to try something new. Prior to this I had been using Maybelline’s The Falsies, and to my ignorance, wasn’t aware that Maybelline(who I learned is owned by L’Oreal) was not cruelty-free. I was also looking for a product that was more natural, and would not cause my eyes to water.

This mascara makes some extremely grand claims about its product. First off, on the front of the package, and on Sephora’s website, it says that this mascara will volumize your lashes up to 300%. Yes, that’s right. It also claims that with the mascara’s patented brush technology, the wand (which is pretty huge and awesome) delivers the ideal amount of mascara evenly so lashes reach their full Buxom potential. It also comes with a small pamphlet that details how you should apply the mascara, and says that Buxom Mascara is a healthier alternative to false eyelashes, which can potentially damage your real lashes. It claims it can mimic the false eyelashes look because it is easy to apply multiple coats without clumping.

The verdict on this product: 3 out of 5. This mascara is the one of the best mascaras I have ever found for lengthening. It makes my lashes long and pretty and separates them very well with the first coat. It also doesn’t make my sensitive eyes water. I took off 2 points because it doesbuxom lash on my left eye not volumize all that well on my lashes, and it does clump a little. It lengthens great, but when I attempt to volumize it with the method they specify in the pamphlet, my lashes don’t really gain any extra volume, they just stick together and begin to look wirey. To the left is my eye with the Buxom Lash Mascara. Overall, it gives great length, holds a curl well, stays on all day, but it does not layer so easily. I still love to use this for length, and rely on other mascaras for volume.

Our second mascara to review is the Nyx Doll Eye Mascara designed for volume. This product retailed for $9.99 at my local Rexall Pharma Plus. I wasn’t expecting much good to come from this product, but I was pleasantly surprised. Nyx Doll Eye MascaraThe brush is very similar to the Buxom Lash Mascara, except it is about half the size. When I apply the Nyx Mascara, it goes on very smooth, but it applies a lot of product at once. It does volumize like it says, though it is great if you’ve got a lash brush to brush through and help separate after you’re done applying the mascara. The formula does not irritate my eyes, and it lasts a long while. This mascara holds a curl better than the Buxom Lash does, though I prefer to have volume and curl, than length and curl.

Nyx Doll Eye MascaraThe verdict: 4 out of 5. This mascara is not only volumizing, but it holds a curl, and stays on all day. It does what it claims it will do, which is provide volume. The only draw back is the need to brush out your lashes after application. If this isn’t a big deal for you(it only takes a second), I would recommend this product. Not only is it all of the above great things, but it is cruelty-free, and totally affordable at $9.99 Canadian.

Physicians Formula MascaraI was walking through Rexall Pharma Plus one day, and stumbled upon a new mascara from Physician’s Formula. I had never purchased anything from them before, but I was always intrigued because they are organic and cruelty-free. I usually avoid them because of the price, but was totally convinced to at least try their new mascara because of the FULL-PRICE rebate offered on the package, plus the mascara itself was 25% off, so I paid just under $12 for it and am expecting the rebate in the mail shortly. The full price was $15.29, so definitely a mid-range mascara. The first thing I noticed about this product was the cute design of the mascara tube; it looks like a leaf, ha! Now this mascara basically claims that since its contents are 100% natural, the product therefore is not only better for you, but it also performs better in terms of not clumping, lengthening, volumizing, and separating lashes. This is the product I was most surprised by.

The wand is extremely unique, and I was quite put off by it when I first pulled Physicians Formula on my lashesit out of the tube. The bristles are unlike any other mascara wand I have used. Regardless, this mascara is extremely easy to apply, it separates your lashes effortlessly, lengthens, volumizes, and does not irritate my eyes one bit. This also lasts all day, and holds a curl wonderfully. The verdict: 4.5 out of 5. This mascara is so versatile. You can apply one or two coats for a more natural look, but you can also layer it to create a more dramatic look. In the picture, I have 2 coats of mascara on. While I like a dramatic eye, I also like it to look as natural as possible, and at the same time be able to layer on further coats to intensify it if I am going out in the evening. At about $8 less than the Buxom Buxom Lash, I would totally re-purchase this  mascara, even without the rebate.

There you have it, my review of three great mascaras. As you can see, you don’t need to spend a lot of money to have great lashes. Keep your eyes out for those rebates and sales, you might get lucky! Happy mascara hunting!