Hey everyone!

Well here I am again, behind on posts!  For the last couple of weeks I’ve been trying to put together a travel diary for my trip to Vegas last month.  It’s been a bit of a struggle, mostly because I didn’t take many (aka any) pictures on our trip and I feel like a good post needs lots of pictures to tell a good story….I also didn’t take notes so I’ve been wracking my brain trying to remember some of the details – it just hasn’t been going well.  On top of that I’ve been struggling to manage my time lately – it just doesn’t feel like there is enough hours in the day!   So for the time being I’ve decided to focus on other posts and work on that one on the side and depending on how that goes, I may or may not decide to end posting it if I feel its worth reading.

Anyway it’s time again for my monthly loves and letdowns! These are mostly beauty-related but I do have one non-beauty related item at the end to share with you as well.

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LOVES

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CoverGirl The Super Sizer Mascara – $6.99 CAD

I decided to give this mascara a try after hearing great reviews online about it.  It’s not normally a mascara I would try based on the brush alone.  As I’ve said many times before, I typically like the traditional bristly-type brushes and this one is definitely not that.  It’s a plastic brush with tiny little comb-like bristles on the wand.  When I opened this up I was very skeptical that this could do anything at all to my lashes.  I was soon eating my words after giving it a try – it’s fantastic!  This separates my lashes, adds volume and length, is very pigmented, and holds curl.  I experience very little to no flaking with this which for me is huge – I suffer from seasonal allergies so I’m constantly rubbing my eyes.  I will get the occasional clump when applying but all I do is run the wand through it a few times and it combs them out.

Something to note: there is a bit of a technique to applying this – you need to twirl the wand through your lashes as you apply it. If you just comb the brush through like you normally would with any other mascara you’re going to get clumpy, stuck-together lashes.  As a result, I wouldn’t say this is a good mascara for a beginner but seasoned mascara users shouldn’t have an issue picking up the technique (if I can do it, anyone can!).  In my opinion the results are worth the bit of extra effort!


Foaming-Facial-Cleanser-12oz_strait-heroCera Ve Foaming Facial Cleanser – $14.97 CAD

I’ve been using this cleanser for about 3 weeks now and I am in LOVE!  I bought this as part of a 3 piece Cera Ve set @ London Drugs that included their eye cream and PM Facial Moisturizer.  Its been a struggle for me to find a cleanser that is effective in removing my makeup at the end of the day that doesn’t dry out my skin or leave it with that tight feeling afterwards. After trying a few cleansers and having just ok results, I resided myself with the fact that I was going to have to use eye makeup remover prior to washing my face basically forever.  And then this came into my life!

I use one full pump to wash my face and it typically removes all of my makeup in one shot!  If I’m wearing heavier eye makeup I make sure to use an additional half pump specifically on my eye area and that seems to do the trick.  Very rarely have I had to resort to going over my eyes with my eye makeup remover afterwards.

It also leaves my skin feeling great afterwards!  Not dry, sticky, greasy but just soft and clean. It’ll be interesting to see if that changes once the winter months are upon us but for the time being it works great.  It has zero scent so that’s great for my very sensitive skin!  This is at the top of my list of cleansers right now!

Facial_Moisturizing_Lotion_PM_smCera Ve PM Facial Moisturizing Lotion – $14.99 CAD

As mentioned above, this came in a pack with the cleanser and eye cream. I’ve been using the cleanser in combination with this moisturizer and I feel like my skin has greatly improved!  My fair skin is quite prone to redness and I feel like this has really helped even my skin tone. I also feel like it moisturizes it just the right amount – if I use a moisturizer that’s too thick, I usually wake up in the morning with a greasy face because my skin just can’t absorb it.  If it’s not thick enough, I end up with dry patches.  When I wake up the morning after using this, my skin just feels soft, hydrated and moisturized.  I notice a little less oil on my t-zone throughout the day as well which is a first for me!

This is also great for sensitive skin because it has zero scent.  No breakouts as a result of using this either, which for me is a huge bonus because my skin can react very badly to certain ingredients.  I’m considering giving the AM version of this a try!

26397-0Bare Escentuals/Bare Vitamins Skin-Rever Upper – $26.00 CAD

This is a product I’ve come back to after straying away from over the last few years.  I was searching for a new daytime moisturizer that was light and fast-absorbing and I remembered how much I used to like this.  I picked up a bottle back in June and I’ve been using it every morning since.  This is a super light moisturizer that includes salicylic and glycollic acids.  I find that salicylic acid isn’t always effective on my skin (for instance in acne treatment products) but I’ve been in love with glycollic acid ever since I started using Peter Thomas Roth’s Glycollic Acid Moisturizer years ago (see review here).  The two mixed together however produce really great results on my skin!  I don’t think there’s a large amount of either of these in here (if I’m comparing it to the PTR version anyway) but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. I don’t want something super harsh in the morning anyway!

What is important to me in my daily moisturizer is something that is light and fast-absorbing yet still gives me a good base to apply my primer and foundation.  I don’t have time to wait for 20 minutes for something to absorb.  This soaks in quickly but still leaves my skin feeling moisturized.  I think this is actually marketed as a primer but I don’t see it working in that capacity for me, there’s nothing in here that would really make my makeup “stick”.

This has a very thin, watery consistency so if you like thicker moisturizers you’ll probably want to stay away from this.  I use a pump and a half on my entire face every day and that is plenty for me.  While this is a little expensive it will last me a while given how little I need to use.  Overall I’m really glad that I’ve re-discovered this!


Vaseline7gTub_ORG_3D_WF_1_tcm2856-896360 (1)Vaseline Lip Therapy (Original) – $2.49 CAD

As I’ve mentioned numerous times before, I have very sensitive skin.  And my lips aren’t exempt from that.  If I use a matte lipstick for a few hours my lips dry out.  It doesn’t even have to be a matte lipstick, if it’s not super moisturizing they typically react badly.  They peel, flake – you name it.  So lip balm is my best friend – I’m constantly applying it.

I bought this little guy a while ago and I threw it in my bathroom cabinet and forgot about it.  When I was cleaning out my drawers a few months ago I came across it and thought I might as well use it.  I put it on my nightstand and started using it religiously every night before I went to bed.  And I’ve really noticed a difference!  My lips definitely feel softer and smoother and peel and flake less often. I’ve also noticed that they can seem to handle drier lip products for longer periods of time now.  The only thing I’m not crazy about is the fact that the packaging is a little unhygienic – you have to dip your finger in to apply it.

I was curious what – if anything- was different in this compared to regular old Vaseline.  I was hoping that there was something different in it because even though I only paid a couple bucks for this, you can get a huge tub of Vaseline for a few dollars more!  So…..um….upon investigating, it appears this is just plain old Vaseline in a smaller container.  Lol!  I feel like this belongs in my letdowns for false advertising…but I like the product so….I guess it can stay here.  Next time I’ll perhaps try the cocoa butter version so I can feel better about paying $3 for the tiniest tub of Vaseline ever.

LIKES

So I decided to add a new category in here called Likes.  Love is a strong word and sometimes I don’t love something but it’s not exactly a letdown either.  But I still like it!  Hence the new category…

almay-clear-complexion-concealerAlmay Clear Complexion Concealer – $11.99

So you should know by now that I have sensitive skin.  I think I’ve mentioned it twice just in this post.  When I needed a new concealer I did a bit of research beforehand because I didn’t want to pick up something to cover breakouts that was going to make them worse.  I read a lot of good things about this concealer so I picked it up and have been using it for about a month and a half.  And I think it’s a pretty good solid concealer for blemishes!  It covers well and it contains salicylic acid so while its covering my breakouts it’s also supposed to be working to heal them.  Or at least that’s what it claims, I don’t rely on this solely to help heal a breakout because it’s just not strong enough.

I don’t have a ton of breakouts but I definitely don’t find it makes them worse which is a relief.  I do find that the salicylic acid gives this more of a dry texture and can highlight any dry patches so I make sure to moisturize any dry areas really well prior to applying.  Also I don’t use this on any other areas aside from breakouts – especially not under your eyes!  The salicylic acid would likely irritate that sensitive skin and causes dryness.

So overall, I like this and I may repurchase it but I think I’d like to try some other concealers first to compare.  If you have sensitive, acne prone skin, this could be a good option for you!

p398805-av-01-hero300Becca x Jaclyn Hill Shimmering Skin Perfector (Champagne Pop) – $46.00 CAD

So initially I had no intention of buying this.  While it looked like a beautiful product the price just seemed ridiculous to me.  And I didn’t own any highlighters and I wasn’t sure that purchasing one this expensive to start out with was a great idea.

Then I was in Sephora and they had this on display and it was in stock.  I had been hearing about how difficult it was for others to find and those that did have it were just RAVING about it.  So I did a quick swatch and I was impressed – it had such a silky and buttery texture and it just glided on to my skin.  I decided to treat myself and snatched it up.

The first few days using this I was still very impressed with it.  I loved how pigmented it is which means I need very little of it to give myself that glow-from-within-look. Being on the paler side I was a little worried that I was going to look like a super shiny peach but the shade of this is spot on.  I now understand the hype.

However now that I’ve had it for a couple of weeks I still think it’s great but I kind of think that this may be slightly overhyped.  Probably not a popular opinion but it’s my honest opinion!  I was in Sephora this weekend and I was checking out some of the other highlighters they carry and I found a few that seemed somewhat similar for less. Plus, I’m finding it doesn’t have the greatest staying power (at least on my skin).  That said, I do have trouble keeping most products on my face but when something is this expensive I just have higher expectations of it and I feel that’s a fair expectation!  So I will enjoy using this while I have it but I can’t see myself forking over this amount of money for this again (not that I could given that its limited edition).

LET DOWNS

26397-0Becca Ever-Matte Poreless Priming Perfector – $18.00 (0.4 oz)

I picked this up a month or so ago and I’m so glad I decided to try out the smaller size of it before committing to the larger, much-more-expensive full size!  I’m always looking for a product that will matify my t-zone and one of the You-Tubers that I’m subscribed to (can’t remember which one) recommended this in one of her videos.

There’s a few reasons why this was a let down.  First off – it doesn’t mattify.  I put this on underneath my foundation and my mid-day my t-zone is just as oily as it is when I use nothing.  Secondly, this is super difficult to apply.  The instructions state to rub a small amount between your fingers and then apply it but it dries really quickly so you have to work at lightning speed.  Lastly – it leaves a white residue behind after application.   No matter how much I blend it in, it leaves a white powdery finish behind that WILL NOT blend away, no matter what I tried.  It stuck around even after applying my foundation and I couldn’t get my foundation to blend over top of it.  So frustrating!

Huge fail for me – do not recommend this and most definitely will not repurchase!  I’ll be using this as an eye primer to finish it up.

L5747050NYX Extra Creamy Round Lipstick (Paris) – $6.99 CAD

I received this lipstick free with a $20 purchase of NYX products at London Drugs a few months ago.  I loved the colour of this – it’s a cool-toned mauve shade and its very pigmented. I was intrigued by its creamy consistency but unfortunately that’s where the problem lies – this is just way too creamy.  I found that it tends to move around on my lips after applying so it ends up around my lips and on my teeth, etc.  It also has zero staying power, which I’m usually not a stickler on, but I expect a bit more from a lipstick when compared to a lip gloss or balm, and this just doesn’t deliver.  It transfers on to everything!  Lastly, because it’s so creamy and moisturizing, the product itself is just so soft it smears all over the inside of the cap and mine actually broke in half!  I didn’t even have it outside or in my purse or anything – it was just sitting on my makeup vanity.  So unfortunately although I am normally a fan of NYX products, I can’t recommend this one! 🙁

L8358327EOS Lip Balm – Coconut Milk – $3.99

I have a slight addiction to lip balms and I’m always open to trying new ones.  A year or so ago I had purchased the Sweet Mint EOS lip balm and I was pretty disappointed with it – I found it waxy and not at all moisturizing – in fact I found it actually dried out my lips!  Because I wasn’t a fan of it after using it a few times I kept it at work and used it every once and while.  Then I was reading online somewhere about how their newer versions were a vast improvement – in particular the coconut milk flavor, so I picked it up and thought I’d give it another try.

My first impression of this was that I really quite liked it.  The smell was awesome  (sweet and light and not overpowering) – I’m a fan of anything coconut related so that was easy to win me over with.  This formula on this is also much better – it’s moisturizing, smooth and creamy.  So I was happily using this everyday for the last few weeks and then I noticed that I was experiencing breakouts around the corners of my mouth.  I couldn’t figure out what was causing it and then it dawned on me that this might be the culprit.  So I stopped using it and viola – the breakouts went away and stopped making an appearance.  Grrrr!

So that’s how sensitive my skin is – a lip balm can make me break out!  But I think the problem lies with two things – first this contains coconut oil.  I know some people slather their skin in it to cleanse and moisturize but you won’t ever catch me doing that!  I’ve read so many things about coconut oil being highly comedogenic and because my skin is so sensitive it just wouldn’t be worth the risk.  Secondly, the packaging on EOS lip balms means that you can’t get a precise application so I was often getting the product around my mouth instead of just on it.  Normally not a big deal but when the product contains coconut oil, those are the results. 🙁

So it goes without saying that I won’t be repurchasing this!

True Detective – Season 2
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So earlier this year I blogged about how much I enjoyed Season 1 of this series and how I couldn’t wait to watch Season 2   This season’s cast included some big names that I was really excited for such as Rachel McAdams and Taylor Kitsch – who I love – and Vince Vaughn and Colin Farrell.  So going in, my expectations were pretty high.

If you’ve never heard of or watched True Detective it’s a crime drama with  a unique concept in that each season has a completely different storyline and cast than the previous.  Which I really like because you get complete closure on the previous season and start fresh with something completely different, unrelated to the previous set of episodes.  It feels like a brand new show each season.

So the final episode of Season 2 aired last week and I have to say – the entire season was such a disappointment! I found this season so difficult to follow – the plot was confusing, I couldn’t get invested in the characters and there were only 1 or 2 episodes that left me wanting more, one of which was the finale.  The episodes were dreary and depressing as well.  Not that Season 1 was heart warming or anything but there was always something going on in each episode that kept me engaged and excited to find out what was going to happen next.

So big thumbs down for this one.  It’ll be interesting to see who they cast in Season 3 but regardless, they better do a better job of it because I won’t continue watching if it proves to be another dud.

And that’s it for this month.  Have you tried any of these products?  Watched True Detective? If so let me know in the comments below – would love to hear your thoughts on them!

As always, thanks for reading!

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0 thoughts on “July Loves & Letdowns”

  1. Ugh S2 of TD was a let down for me too! The 2nd last episode really got my hopes high but then the finale was so disappointing! I know it’s inevitable that people will compare the S1 vs S2 even though they’re completely different, but there were just TOO many characters and random story lines in S2. I will have to say though, Colin Ferrell was amazing in his role, and all of the other casting choices were spot on. I had my doubts about Vince Vaughan but he delivered.
    As for your makeup loves / letdowns – I totally agree about the Becca primer – I tried it too and I was quite “meh” about it. Lots of people love it but it did nadda for me.
    That CG mascara is on my list of ones to try – I’ve heard nothing but great stuff about it.

    1. I think I read somewhere that they had a different Director for Season 2 – which explains why it was so different. I agree that Vince Vaughn played his part well – wasn’t expecting that! Keeping my fingers crossed for Season 3!
      Would love to hear your thoughts on the CG mascara if you end up trying it – it seems like people either love it or hate it! 🙂

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