New Blog Design!

Hi, everyone! You may have noticed recently that my blog has a slightly different look, and I would like to thank Designs by Krystal for that! I wanted to keep the new design very simple, so she gave me a new header and updated my sidebar a little. The changes aren't huge, but I'm very happy with the look of my blog now! Krystal is really sweet, and she was always quick to respond to me or make any changes that I wanted. She also does her designs for free because she knows that most people don't have the $60 or $70 to spend on one which is incredibly kind of her. If you're looking for a new design I would definitely contact her or check out her website!

Avon Ultra Color Bold Lipsticks Review & Swatches

Today I have three of Avon's new Ultra Color Bold Lipsticks to share with you! These lipsticks are supposed to have 50% more pigment then Avon's regular Ultra Color Lipstick line, and claim to be their boldest lipstick yet with their intense, saturated color. The three shades that I have here are Pink Punch, Hi-Def Plum, and Bold Bordeaux, but there are also five more to choose from.

Here's some swatches in the same order as above with just one swipe each. As you can see, each shade is super opaque and bold! They look about the same on the lips as they do in swatches which is awesome. They're nice and creamy (but not too creamy), and feel comfortable on the lips.

Lip swatch time! First up is Pink Punch, a bright, yellow-toned pink. This is a great spring and summer shade, which makes me sad to think that summer is coming to an end soon! Anyway, application was easy and I had no problems with it once on the lips.

Next up is Hi-Def Plum, which is more of a Barney purple then an actual plum. Regardless, I really like it and I think that it's my favorite shade out of the three. Like Pink Punch, it applied easily with no additional problems on the lips.

Last up is Bold Bordeaux, a deep red with a hint of wine to it that will be perfect for fall and winter. I found this one less forgiving when it came to application since it is so bold, so I would suggest using a lip-liner with it or applying it with a lip brush. It also tends to settle into lines and cling to dry spots on the lips, so it would be best to prep with a lip scrub or balm beforehand.

Overall, these lipsticks are awesome (though Bold Bordeaux requires some extra effort). They wear quite well and although they transfer if you're eating or kissing cats, each shade leaves behind a stain so you don't have to worry too much about reapplying. I definitely recommend trying out at least one!

Avon Big & Daring Volume Mascara Review

Ready for yet another mascara post? This is Avon's new Big & Daring Volume Mascara (currently $6.99CDN, but will be $9.99CDN) which claims to give 5x the volume without clumping, smudging, or flaking. I got it in the shade Blackest Black, but it's also available in Black and Brown Black.

This mascara has a "dynamite wire brush"; a "curved brush with multi-level patented bristles" to "capture every lash while sculpting and filling in gaps". It's definitely on the larger side, and because of that I find that I'm unable to get nice and close to the roots of my lashes. I also end up getting product all over my lash-line or under-eyes if I'm not careful which is kind of annoying. As for the formula, it's not too wet or dry but between the two I would say it leans more wet. It gave me pretty good length and separation, but for a mascara that claims to give you 5x the volume I found it a bit lacking (I don't have photos of it on my lashes this time so I apologize!). It gave an okay amount of volume but not nearly as much as I would like, and you all know I love my volume, haha! When it comes to the wear it gets two thumbs up, though. I experienced no smudging or flaking throughout the day, and when it came to the end of the day I found that it was actually quite difficult to remove. So what's my verdict? Although it didn't really impress me that much, it's still a nice mascara depending on what you're looking for. As far as Avon mascaras go though, AeroVolume is still my favorite!

Sephora 2014 MAKE UP FOR EVER Birthday Set Review & Swatches

My birthday was back on August 3rd, but I'm just now getting around to posting on this years Sephora Beauty Insider Birthday Gift.. I'm a bad blogger, haha. Anyway, this years gift is from MAKE UP FOR EVER and includes deluxe samples of their Smoky Extravagant Mascara ($28CDN) and Rouge Artist Natural Lipstick in the shade N9 ($23CDN). I've been wanting to try this particular mascara and I already love their lipstick so I was excited!

Let's take a look at the mascara first.. It claims to be "a precision mascara that adds volume, length, and curl". The formula is definitely on the dry side, and while I usually like drier mascaras I found that this one was a bit too dry for my liking. Here's what 2-3 coats looks like on my lashes:

With the first coat of this mascara I felt like it didn't really do anything at all (probably because I found it so dry), so I needed to apply at least two coats before I noticed any difference in my lashes. I think it could definitely add more curl and volume, but it did a good job at lengthening and separating. I wasn't super impressed personally, but I actually got comments on my lashes when I wore this so that earns a thumbs up!

Next up is the lipstick, which claims to be "ultra-creamy" with "a translucent soft, shiny finish". I already reviewed and raved about another shade of the Rouge Artist Natural back here, so check that out if you like! Anyway, N9 is described as a "copper pink". Here's some swatches:

Swatched on wrist
Applied on lips
On me, N9 is a pretty good my-lips-but-better shade. When I first looked at it in the tube I was unsure about it, but I actually like it a lot! As for the formula and such, my thoughts are pretty much the same as the other shade of Rouge Artist Natural I've tried.. It's creamy and easy to apply, comfortable to wear, nicely pigmented, and it leaves behind a slight stain so it wears well for several hours. All in all, it's a great lipstick and I'll definitely be getting a lot of wear out of this shade! If you're a Beauty Insider let me know if you got this birthday gift yet, and if you did then let me know what you thought of it!

Buxom Full-On Lip Polish in Dolly Review & Swatches

I got this deluxe sample of Buxom's Full-On Lip Polish ($23CDN) in the shade Dolly with my last Sephora order, and today I'll be sharing my thoughts and swatches on it with you. Here's how it's described on the Sephora website:

"For kisses that'll keep them coming back for more, try this sheer, high-shine lip polish. It creates the look of fuller, more voluptuous lips with a refreshing tingling sensation and gentle plumping effect. Vitamins A and E help keep lips soft, supple, and protected, ensuring your smoothest moves ever."
Dolly is described as a "shimmering, sultry mauve", and apparently is a cult favorite. The pigmentation is actually pretty good when swatched, but once applied to the lips it sheers out and becomes a great my-lips-but-better shade. Here it is on my lips:
This gloss easily smooths over the lips, and feels moisturizing and somewhat cushiony. It's a bit tackier then I would like (don't kiss any cats with this on, okay?)  but still tolerable and pretty comfortable. Since it's supposed to plump the lips I just assumed it would have a minty scent, but it actually smells more like brown sugar or something. Let's talk more about the plumping aspect, though.. Upon application I felt a cool, tingling sensation which was kind of pleasant, but not even a minute later it turned into a hot, burning feeling which wasn't as pleasant and got a verbal reaction from me. I actually wanted to wipe it off but for the sake of this post I pressed on, and after about 15-30 minutes the burning feeling had subsided. In the end I did notice that my lips looked plumper (as did some family members) so at least it wasn't for nothing! It only seemed to be the very first time I tried it that I felt the burning though, and any other time I've used it I just felt the more pleasant tingle which I'm grateful for, haha. Anyway, this gloss also wears quite well and my lips are left feeling more soft and supple afterwards which is nice. Overall, if you're looking for a good plumping gloss then I think that these are worth a look!

Smashbox Soft Lights Powder in Shimmer Review & Swatches

Today I have another Smashbox product to share with you, and it's their Soft Lights powder in the shade Shimmer. I was looking for a nice highlighter to add to my kit for my cooler-toned clients, and once I swatched this in store I was in awe.. it's absolutely stunning! Before anything else though, let's talk very quickly about the one thing I don't like about it: the packaging. It comes in a matte, black pan with a screw on lid; appearance wise I like it, but it can get really annoying to open and close.. A standard compact would have been much more convenient! Anyway, let's move onto the actual product.. 

The Smashbox website describes Shimmer as a "shimmery nude bronze", while the Sephora website describes it as a "luminous pink pearl". As for me, I would describe it as a pearly, pale pink with a hint of nude. The texture of the powder is super soft and silky (I would compare it to a kitten on a cloud), and it applies and blends into the skin beautifully. Here's a blended out swatch:

Shimmer gives the skin a lovely, lit-from-within glow and looks even prettier when it catches the light. It's nice and subtle, and even if you choose to build it up a bit more you won't end up looking like a vampire from Twilight. Although I initially bought it to use on cooler skin-tones it doesn't look half bad on me, so whatever skin-tone you may have I think it's definitely worth checking out!

NEW FAVORITE: Soap & Glory A Great Kisser Lip Moisture Balm in Sweet Coconut

Say hello to my new favorite lip-balm: Soap & Glory's A Great Kisser Lip Moisture Balm in Sweet Coconut. I bought it on impulse the other day when I saw it in a sale bin at Shopper's and I'm so glad that I did because I LOVE IT! First off, the tin is adorable (which is the reason I bought it in the first place, haha) and has that retro-vibe going on that all Soap & Glory products have. Second, it's a nice lip-balm.. it wouldn't be my new favorite if it wasn't! The balm is clear with fine shimmer throughout it (which isn't noticeable on the lips), and has an amazing coconut scent. I love coconut so I can't get enough of it, but if you hate it or don't like scented products in general it will probably bother you. Formula wise, it's thinner then Nivea's Lip Butters (my previous favorite), and is really nice and slick. It instantly hydrates my lips and is comfortable to wear; it doesn't feel waxy or greasy, and it's only slightly tacky at the most. It's not a balm that you need to constantly reapply, either.. It leaves the lips moisturized even after it's sunk in or worn off. I love putting it on at night (or whenever I need it obviously) and waking up with super soft, lovely lips. It also looks great over a matte lip-color if you want to add some shine because the finish is so nice and glossy. Soap & Glory claims that "it may just be the best lip balm ever made", and to me it is; I love it and I totally recommend it!