Hautelook Heads Up: theBalm!

Here's another Hautelook heads up! This time it's for theBalm (finally! I've been waiting for them to have another sale), and the event will begin at 8AM Pacific on Thursday, August 1. I'm personally really excited! What about you? I definitely recommend checking this sale out tomorrow because not only are the products amazing, the sale prices are too!

July Empties

Time for another monthly empties post! During July I finished up four skincare products and one makeup product. Here they are:

From left to right are the Neutrogena Makeup Removing Cleansing Wipes, Avon Nutura Replenishing Cream, Nivea Gentle Toner, Revlon Photoready Concealer, and The Body Shop Tea Tree Skin Clearing Lotion.

The Neutrogena wipes were a sample pack so it didn't take long to go through seven of them. I ended up really liking these wipes and have actually purchased a full size! As much as I like them I won't repurchase them regularly though, as they're so much more expensive then other cleansing wipes I like (such as the Clean & Clear ones).

If you've followed my blog for a while you'll know that I loved Avon's Nutura Replenishing Cream. I stopped using it for a while but came back to it this month and used it up. I think this is my third jar of it..!

I think this bottle of Nivea's Gentle Toner might also be my third. I do like to have a toner handy but I don't think I'll repurchase this particular one (for dry to sensitive skin). Nivea has one suited for oily skin so I think I might give that one a try since my skin has definitely been more on the oily side this summer.

Ah! This is my second tube of the Revlon Photoready Concealer.. This used to be my favorite concealer but I don't find I love it as much as I used to. I don't think I'll repurchase this time (though I'd still recommend it!), and I have a few other concealers on the go right now anyway. If interested, you can read my old review of this here!

And my last empty is the Tea Tree Skin Clearing Lotion from The Body Shop. I really like their Tea Tree products, and this is one of four that I've tried. It was okay but I don't think it's something that I would repurchase.

Well, that wraps up this empties post! What products were you able to finish up this month?

NYX Matte Lipstick in Natural Review & Swatches

Here's another product that my best friend Megan got for me: a NYX Matte Lipstick in the shade Natural. I love matte lipsticks and was interested in trying this line, so thank you again Megan!

To begin, here's what the NYX website says about these lipsticks:

"NYX Matte Lipsticks are highly pigmented, richly formulated lipsticks that glide on smoothly, stay put and impart a non-glossy, high-fashion matte finish as they envelop lips in brilliant color."

I'm going to quickly talk about the packaging first! It's in a plain black tube, with a plastic middle allowing you to see the color which is convenient. Appearance wise, I don't hate or love it. Anyway, my problem is that the packaging is kind of cheap.. The cap comes off almost too easily, and the bullet always seems to swivel up on its own. The bullet also isn't that secure in the tube, and when twisted up, can wiggle around a bit.
Okay, onto the actual lipstick! Natural, as its name implies, is a natural shade that is a bit darker and a touch pinker then my natural lip color. It also has a bit of mauve to it.

The texture of this matte lipstick is almost creamy, and it applies really easily and smoothly, unlike other drier formulas that can drag on the lips. It's also comfortable to wear and I didn't experience any drying feeling as I continued to wear it. In short: I like it! It's not the most matte lipstick I've tried but still a really good one! I'd love to try another in the shade Indie Flick!

July Favorites

For this month's favorites post I have five products. As I mentioned in other posts this summer, I've been wearing pretty much the same makeup.. base makeup, brows, lip color, and mascara. Sometimes I add highlight or a bit of neutral, matte shadow though. Anyway, here's what I've been reaching for the most this July:

Like I just said, sometimes I add a neutral shadow and the two I've favored this month are Heaven and Velvet Revolver by Too Faced (which can be found in the Natural Eye Palette). I like to use Heaven all over the lid as and my brow highlight, and if I feel I need it I use Velvet Revolver in the crease for some light definition.

As for filling in my brows I've gone back to my Brow & Liner Kit from The Body Shop, which I talked about in my post on rediscovering products.

My favorite scent this month was the Fiji Paradise Eau de Toilette Spray by Avon. Not only does it smell really good, but it makes me nostalgic of summers from when I was little.

And my last favorite is the NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream in Antwerp, which was probably my most worn lip color this month. I love the Soft Matte Lip Creams, and you can see a review of the shade San Paulo here.

This month I thought that I would include swatches..! From left to right is Heaven, Velvet Revolver, Antwerp, and the first shade from the Brow & Liner Kit (which is the one I use).

PS. I apologize for the photo quality! The weather was being crazy when I was trying to take them. Sigh.

Revlon Photoready Skinlights Face Illuminator in Peach Light Review & Swatches

Today I'll be reviewing the first of five products that my best friend Megan got me as an early birthday gift - the Revlon Photoready Skinlights Face Illuminator. She got the shade Peach Light for me, but there are three other shades to choose from (including one suitable for pale beauties and one for darker beauties!). Before I continue I just want to apologize for the quality of the photos in advance.. The weather was crazy when I took them and would go from sunny to dark and rainy in two minutes!

As you can see, this illumiator comes packaged in a rather large squeeze tube. They're much bigger then they look, containing 30mL of product, and will last you a long, long time considering you really don't need much.

Let's get right to the verdict, shall we? I'm really liking this product! I never had the chance to try the original Skinlights, which were quite sought after once they were discontinued!, so I can't compare them to these new ones unfortunately.

Taken with Flash
This illuminator has a thin, lotion-like consistency and is super easy to blend and apply. I had no problems with formula, application, or anything! As you can see, Peach Light is a beautiful glowing peach that I think suits my summer skin-tone really well. On the cheekbones it just gives that lovely, healthy summer glow.. think J-Lo! I imagine it would also look nice if you mixed a bit of it in with your foundation, but I haven't tried that out myself yet.
The Photoready Skinlights do lean a bit more expensive (I saw them for as much as $13CAN at one spot) but it's a great product and you're getting a ton of it! If you're interested or loved the previous Skinlights then I do recommend them. And once again.. thank you so much Megan for getting me this product! I feel like I can't thank you enough!

A Wonderful Surprise!

The other day my best friend, Megan, surprised me with this awesome early birthday gift! It's five products from the drugstore that I've been wanting to try.. I was so excited when I opened them that I fell on the ground, haha! It was just such a nice thing to do! - so thank you once again, Megan! You're the sweetest best friend ever :)
I'll definitely be reviewing all of these products, so be sure to keep a look out for their posts! And in case you're wondering, from left to right is the Wet n' Wild Comfort Zone palette, NYX Matte Lipstick in Natural, Revlon Lash Potion Mascara, Revlon PhotoReady SkinLights in Peach Light, and the Milani Illuminating Face Powder in Amber Nectar (you'll probably see this featured in a Macro Monday post, too!). 

Macro Monday Vol. 9: Avon Marbelized Bronzer in Bronzed Peach

Avon Marbelized Bronzer in Bronzed Peach
I haven't done Macro Monday for a while, but here's Vol. 9 (finally). I actually stole this bronzer from my mother because it's pretty and I wanted to feature it.. so thanks mom! 

Hautelook Heads Up: BH Cosmetics

Hey! I'm here to give you all a quick heads up that BH Cosmetics will be on Hautelook tomorrow (July 20)! As always, new sale events start at 8AM Pacific. I'm probably not going to get anything but I'm still curious to see what will be included in the event!

Maybelline Color Show Polka Dots Nail Laquer in Drops of Jade Review & Swatches

Today I'll be reviewing my first Color Show Nail Lacquer by Maybelline, and it's from the 'Polka Dots' collection. This color interested me the most out of the collection, and the cool thing is its name: Drops of Jade (that's me!). As I said, this is my first time trying a Color Show polish and I'm happy to report that I was very pleased with it!

Drops of Jade has a beautiful transluscent jade green base with white and black hex glitters of different sizes in it. I wasn't expecting to end up loving it as much as I do, but.. I do!

Okay, so the above it just one coat of polish. The formula is thin and slightly watery, and as you can see you'll need one or two more coats. I found that sometimes the polish could all pull to the tip of the nail, and the polka dots could drag with the brush if you used too much pressure but otherwise application was really nice and easy! The brush on my bottle had a few rebellious hairs sticking out but that didn't interere with the application.

Alright, here we go! This is two coats, but you might want to use three as there were still a few spots that were slightly transluscent. Since the base is transluscent you get that cool dimension to the polka dots though; see how some of them are covered by the base and some are opaque? I absolutely love the look of this polish, and sometimes I just stop and admire my nails. Because of the polka dots the nail is a bit gritty to the touch, so make sure to top everything off with a good top coat.
So, what do you think? Do you like the polka dot trend?

What's In My Makeup Bag?

Today I thought that I would show you what I keep in my makeup bag (or touch-up bag). Usually the only thing I take with me when I go out is lip balm and whatever lip color I'm wearing that day, but it's been getting so (disgustingly) hot that I feel I better bring along some products to touch up with to prevent myself from looking like a melted potato. The makeup bag I have here is actually a pencil case I found in the dollar store, but it's the perfect size to hold my products and fit inside my bag. It's also super cute!

Perfect fit, see? I don't bring too many products, but there's still some room for something like a concealer if I needed it. Now, let's take a look at what's inside:

Alright, here's my little touch-up crew - nothing too exciting. I have some NYX blotting papers for if I get oily, two lip balms (one by EOS and one by Fresh) because I always need one with me, and an EOS Hand Lotion that I just like to keep in my purse. For makeup I just have my Lancome Le Crayon Kohl in Black Coffee which I've been using in my upper waterline, and my lip color for the day which is the Soft Matte Lip Cream in Antwerp by NYX. Then I have my theBalm Sexy Mama powder, and my cute QUO kabuki brush. So, that's it for me! What products do you keep in your makeup bag? Feel free to share in the comments!

Rediscovering Products

If you're a beauty blogger, or beauty lover in general, you'll know how easy it is to sometimes forget about products you like (or love) when you're always trying new ones out. Time to time you'll dig out a product and then wonder why you ever stopped using it! So, today I'll be sharing three products that I recently rediscovered..

From left to right we have The Body Shop's Brow & Liner Kit, an EOS Smooth Sphere Lip Balm in Passion Fruit, and the Definicils High Definition Mascara by Lancome.

Prior to rediscovering the Brow & Liner Kit I had been using either my Define-A-Brow pencil by Maybelline or Sexspresso by Too Faced (an eyeshadow) to do my brows. Now I've been defining the arches of my brows with the pencil and filling in the rest with the shade on the left of the Brow & Liner Kit. I find this looks more natural and not as dark and bold, and I prefer it especially for the summer. The shade I use this kit in is Blonde/Auburn, and though I'm a brunette I find it works just fine for me!

EOS balms were never my absolute favorite balm.. they did a better job of locking any moisture your lips already had in, rather then treating them. I moved onto more suitable balms and kind of forgot about these adorable spheres.. Then I remembered what a great primer for lipsticks (or lip color in general) they seem to make! I definitely recommend trying them out this way!

And my last rediscovered product is the Definicils High Definition Mascara.. Lancome makes a great mascara and this is no exception. This particular mascara offers length and separation. It does a wonderful job at lengthening, and also gives the lashes a lovely fluttery look. Like all Lancome mascaras I've tried, I love it!

Have you rediscovered any products in your collection lately? Tell me in the comments!

Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion Review

Today I have a review on the 'legendary' Urban Decay Primer Potion. Everyone and their cat has heard of this eyeshadow primer, and it's probably the most well known and sought after. This is the original (which is a sheer nude), but it also comes in three other tinted shades. A full size of UDPP contains 0.37oz of product and costs $24CDN, but I have a smaller 0.2oz size here.

Before I share my thoughts on this primer let's check out its description on the Sephora website:

"Packaged in a new squeeze tube with a precise needle nose, Eyeshadow Primer Potion is an ultra-sheer, totally nude base that glides onto the skin. The original, award-winning formula disappears instantly and is the ultimate eye prep for smoother, more vibrant shadow and all-day wear with absolutely no creasing."
I'll just cut to the chase - UDPP lives up to its hype. It blends out smoothly and creates a lovely base, helps intensify your shadows, and keeps them crease-free. Compared to say, Too Faced's Shadow Insurance Eyeshadow Primer, this has a thicker consistency and a bit more pigment to it which helps to neutralize the eyelids. The squeeze tube and needle nose dispenser also make it easy to control how much product you get, as you only need a small dab for each lid. Overall, Urban Decay's Primer Potion is great and I really enjoy using it.
Have you used UDPP? Did it live up to the hype for you, or leave you disappointed? Let me know in the comments!

Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure in Mermaid's Tale

Oh, Mermaid's Tale.. I've looked high and low for you for months and I've finally found you! It was like a quest to get you, and I'm so happy that you're finally mine.

This gorgeous polish of glittery goodness from the Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure line is most definitely a 'mermaid polish'. It's just like the scales of a mermaid tail.. hence the name!

I'm sorry that my application is less then stellar..! I admit that I was simply lazy.
Mermaid's Tale consists of a transluscent dark blue base with blue and green hex glitters, and smaller blue glitter as well. You'll need to use at least two coats (which is what I used) to get what you see in my photo, but I think three would be even better. Application was quite easy, and the hex glitters weren't troublesome. I also like the flat and wide brush this polish comes with.

I absolutely love this polish, and it's gotten a lot of compliments! It's also supposed to be a pretty good dupe of Deborah Lippmann's Across the Universe which is neat, too. So, what do you think of Mermaid's Tale?

Drugstore Sightings! Maybelline, Revlon, Almay & L'Oreal

Today I'll be doing my second Drugstore Sightings post! A few of the products I'll be showing have been available here in Canada for a few weeks now, but I've been a bad beauty blogger and haven't taken pictures until now.. Sorry! Some products I've just seen for the first time today though, like these:

The Polka Dot and Holographic Color Show polishes by Maybelline. The holo polishes are more duochromes then holographic, and none of them seemed too interesting. A lot of the Polka Dot ones were gone (as you can see). I wasn't sure about the polka dots trend but after seeing swatches of these I decided on a favorite and ended up getting it.. It's the lone green one in the front and it's called Drops of Jade (half of me got it just because my name is Jade, hehe).

Here are the Color Tattoo Pure Pigments, also by Maybelline. These have been out for a while here, but I decided to get a picture anyway. These never interested me, and they also seem to be getting pretty 'meh' reviews. I'll be sticking to the regular Color Tattoos!

Urgh, I keep forgetting to get pictures of the new Fit Me Foundation sticks, Falsies Big Eyes Mascara, and Master Smoky Eye Pencils..! They've all also been available here for a while.

Here are the new Super Lustrous Lipsticks and Lipglosses by Revlon. Oh, and you can actually see the Maybelline Master Smoky Eye Pencils here, too..! Anyway, I'm not too excited about the new Super Lustrous products. I'm not much of a gloss girl, and the new Shine finish of the lipsticks doesn't interest me either.

Next is the coveted PhotoReady SkinLights by Revlon - these used to be discontinued and have finally made a comeback! I'd love to try the first one on the left sometime.. I swatched it and it's absolutely beautiful. I love the glow. These are relatively new to the drugstore here.

Did you know that I have never tried an Almay product before? To me it's a brand that always just seems to be.. there. Anyway, this is their new Smart Shade CC Cream. What do you think?
Ah, the new Magic Nude Liquid Powder from L'Oreal.. I've heard this stuff is super liquid-y but I was not prepared in the slightest for what came out of the bottle when I tried to swatch it..! In seconds it was running all down my hand and wrist and ended up making a mess. It was kind of traumatic. I've heard mixed reviews about this product, and personally I won't be trying it.
The last thing I have to show is also by L'Oreal and it's the Voluminous Million Lashes Excess Mascara. L'Oreal mascaras never seem to get my attention, and I've only tried one which was the original Voluminous Million Lashes (which I did grow to like). After seeing Hollie's (from Eating Lipstick) review of this mascara I don't think I'll be touching it with a ten foot pole, though.
Well, that concludes this post.. I'm sorry I didn't have more exciting products to show! I'll try to keep my camera with me so that as soon as I see new products I can show you!

Avon Fiji Paradise Eau de Toilette Spray

When I first gave Fiji Paradise a sniff I was instantly hit with nostalgia. The scent, which is from the Avon Fiji Paradise collection, reminded me so much of when I was young. It smells just like a sunscreen (I think it was sunscreen at least..!) that we used when I was little. It gives me fun memories of the beach and spending summers at our cottage with the family. The Fiji Paradise scent is available in an Eau de Toilette Spray, Body Lotion, Body Scrub, and Body Mist, and as you can see I got the Fiji Paradise Eau de Toilette Spray ($20CDN). I had to have this scent because it just makes me so happy and nostalgic.. It's like a safe and cozy blanket for me.. or towel, since it reminds me of the beach and cottage? Haha.
Fiji Paradise is described as "a tropical escape of creamy coconut, sparkling lotus blossom, exotic tiare flower and sensual white musk". I can definitely smell the coconut in it, and I think that's the main note that reminds me of my childhood. The creamy scent of the tiare flower is also really comforting, along with the lotus blossom. I like the slight musk to the scent, too. Overall, this is very much a fragrance suited for the warmer months. I'm so glad it exists because it just takes me to a happy place.
What do you think? Is there a certain scent that makes you nostalgic?

NYX Eyeshadow Trio Quick Reviews & Swatches

I raved about the Eyeshadow Trios by NYX in this post, and I ended up getting two more of them! I got them a while ago and finally got around to swatching and taking pictures of them, so let's take a look! 

Unlike the previous two I tried, this one (and the next) don't really have a name. Instead they just list the shades, so this one is in Nude/Taupe/Dark Brown.

And this one is in Aloha/Mink Brown/Deep Bronze. (Can you tell I like neutral shadows?!) Here's a better look at the shadows in each trio:

Nude/Taupe/Dark Brown
Aloha/Mink Brown/Deep Bronze
I apologize about the quality of the Aloha/Mink Brown/Deep Bronze photo..! I didn't realize until I had uploaded all the photos. Anyway, out of the two of these trios one of them was definitely superior while the other was kind of disappointing. Let's see swatches..
Here's the Nude/Taupe/Dark Brown trio swatched.. and it's the one I was a bit disappointed with. The texture of the shadows were really firm and I want to say somewhat dry.. along with that all three of them were quite sheer. The swatches in the above photo show multiple swipes to try and build up the color. The Nude shade was also a tad too shimmery for me and seemed almost frosty. The quality of this trio is good, but not great.

And here's Aloha/Mink Brown/Deep Bronze swatched. This one is fantastic! The shadows have excellent quality. They were super smooth and buttery, and the pigmentation is phenomenal. Each of the swatches are a single swipe! The shades are very similar to the Nude/Taupe/Dark Brown trio, but like I said before.. these ones are superior. What do you think?

Pixi & POP Beauty on Hautelook

Hey, everyone! I just wanted to make this quick post to let you know that Pixi and POP Beauty are on Hautelook today! There's a bunch of sets on sale, and individual products as well.

I've never tried either of these brands before but I've always been curious..! Is there anything you think I should give a try? I probably won't be buying from this sale this time around, but we're getting a Target store here soon and I'm pretty excited about that! I'd love to see some of these products in person.

Essie Nail Lacquer in Naughty Nautical Review & Swatch

Essie polishes aren't my favorite (I'm not a fan of the brush and find their price a wee bit high here) but I just couldn't resist this shade from the Summer 2013 collection: Naughty Nautical

Out of all the shades in the collection this one definitely seems to be the star. On the Essie website it's described simply as a 'shimmering marine-blue green'. I'd say it leans a little bit more green then blue.

Naughty Nautical, taken indoors by a window 

Naughty Nautical, taken outside with sunlight
The shimmer in Naughty Nautical is quite sublte and very pretty; I like that it's not all up in your face! I think it's what really makes this polish.
As for the formula and application, it was a bit on the thin side and kind of runny. I felt as if I always had too much product on the brush. Otherwise application was alright, and it only took two coats to be opaque. One thing I would like to note is that this polish began chipping on me the very next day, though. I never talk about the wear-time of polishes because it varies so much from person to person and what they do, but I was surprised and then sad that this chipped so quickly on me (on multiple nails too). Polishes never chip on me that quickly, or if they do it's a small chip on perhaps only one nail. Regardless, I love Naughty Nautical, and would still recommend it.. it's just so pretty!