Monday, February 28, 2011

Pür Minerals Pressed Mineral Eyeshadows

A few weeks ago I rediscovered these pressed mineral shadows from Pür Minerals while looking through my makeup collection. They were given to me as gifts over a year ago. For the past few years I have used loose mineral eyeshadows from Bare Escentuals. While I love the colours and shade range of loose shadows I don’t like the mess that they can make. I also find that loose shadows take longer to apply considering that they must be packed on to the lid very carefully in order to avoid fallout. That’s why I was excited to remember that I had a few pressed shadows in a mineral formula that is gentle on sensitive eyes.
The Pür Minerals website ( states that their “velvety-smooth eye shadow glides on easily, giving you a crease-proof, soft-textured look that lasts all day. Infused with the light reflective mineral mica, this mineral eye shadow imparts a youthful finish that women of all ages will love.” This product is also free of petroleum-based oils, alcohol, talc, fillers, fragrances, preservatives and chemical dyes.
It sounds great, but how does it compare to non-mineral shadows?
After using these shadows for the past few weeks I can agree that they do have a smooth velvety formula that glides on easily and is crease proof. I always wear a primer under shadow and these shadows last just as long as non-mineral shadows when worn overtop a primer.
The formula seems to contain less moisture than non-mineral shadows as it feels a bit drier on the lid. This, however, may be due to the fact that these shadows are matte for the most part. I normally prefer shadows with a bit of shimmer. Also, the shadows are not as pigmented as non-mineral shadows but are fairly buildable. I do wish that the brand produced a larger range of colours as many of its shades are neutral.
As for the colours, Vanilla Feldspar is my favourite. It has a slight sheen and works well as a natural looking highlight or all over lid colour. Rose Quartz is very similar but has more pink undertones and has less of a sheen. I like to use these two colours on a daily basis for a “your lids but better” effect. Chocolate Topaz is my least favourite. I have never liked brown shadows as they make me look tired. This shadow is no exception and its warm undertones are less than flattering on my cool toned skin.
I am very impressed with the packaging. As you can see in the photo below, the bottom of each shadow opens to reveal a tiny mirror and sponge-tip applicator which is perfect for travelling or on-the-go touch ups.
At $14 USD / $16 CAD for .08 oz/2.2 g, these shadows are more affordable than MAC shadows which cost $14.50 USD / $17.50 CAD for  0.05 oz /1.5 g and Bare Minerals shadows that are $13 USD for .02 oz / .57 g
I’m not sure where these shadows can be purchased in the USA or in other parts of the world but Canadians can find the Pür Minerals line at certain Shoppers Drug Mart Stores and at
My rating: 4/5
*click photos to enlarge*
- in all photos the shadows are in order from left to right: Vanilla Feldspar, Chocolate Topaz, and Rose Quartz -

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Benefit’s Benetint: Rose-Tinted Lip & Cheek Stain

Since its creation in the 1970s (it was originally developed for an exotic dancer) benetint has become a popular product. It has appeared in many magazines and is loved by celebrities, makeup artists and makeup lovers around the world.
This product is marketed as a rose-tinted lip & cheek stain that lasts all day and looks “naturally sheer and sexy on all complexions.” It claims to be “the sexiest flush you can get from a bottle.”
I have been using this product for about 10 months. After testing it out in different ways and using a variety of application methods, I have decided that, for me, this product is not ideal for use on the cheeks. Although it gives a pretty flush, I have found that it darkens and draws attention to dark spots and imperfections on the face in a way that powder and cream blushes do not. It also seems to make the skin look a bit flat and does not leave the cheeks looking fresh or glowy. In terms of application, benetint sets so quickly on the cheeks that it blends unevenly and makes the skin appear blotchy.
That said, it is one of the best lip products that I have ever tried. It gives the lips a pretty rosy flush that really does last all day. I usually dab a bit of this product on my lips in the morning and then apply lip balm a few times throughout the day to add moisture (the nail polish-like brush makes application easy and precise). My lips look almost as flushed by the end of the day as they had at the beginning. I like the colour because it looks natural and does not feel heavy or sticky. Although I purchased this product in the summer, I started using it more often in the winter when I put my lip glosses away for the colder months. I only wear lip gloss in the summer because where I live the winters are very windy and my long hair gets stuck in my lip gloss. Benetint is mess free and transfer resistant. I only wish that it did not have such a high price tag. It costs $28 for 12.5 ml/0.40 fl oz. I was lucky enough to purchase my bottle on ebay for around $9. In benetint’s defense its seemingly small amount of product lasts for a very long time. I have been using it every single day for the last six months, and a few times per week before that, and the bottle still looks completely full. At the rate that things are going this one bottle could probably last for 10 years!
Benetint can be purchased at
My rating: 2/5 as a cheek stain and 5/5 as a lip stain
*click photos to enlarge*

Friday, February 25, 2011

Cute Cat Book

I know that this post is not beauty-related but I wanted to share my cute cat book purchase. I bought this book last night at Chapters. Originally $30, it was on sale for $10 CAD. I thought that it was a great price considering that the book is in hard cover format and has over 100 pages of high quality cat images.

The Cat’s Pajamas: 101 of the World’s Cutest Cats was created by Rachel Hale, one of the world’s leading animal portrait photographers and was published by Andrews McMeel Publishing. In addition to featuring photos of cute cats, I believe that this book is useful as a guide for those looking to adopt a cat of a specific breed or even those looking to enhance their knowledge of different cat breeds.

The book is divided into sections of different types of cats including Shorthair, Semilonghair, Longhair, Asian, Oriental, and Miscellaneous. Each chapter explores the breeds within these categories.

The photos below demonstrate how each page is organized with the image of a cat on one side and a description of the breed on a facing page. These descriptions are detailed and include details such as the root of the breed’s name, the history of the breed, features of the breed (intelligence, behaviour, temperament, etc.), appearance of the breed, and colours of the breed.

I think that this book is great for anyone who appreciates cats or animals in general.

You can purchase it at Chapter’s stores or online at:

My rating: 5/5

*click photos to enlarge*


Thursday, February 24, 2011

BE Cares Program

I enjoy donating to charities and support cosmetic companies that do so as well. I’m sure that many of you know about MAC’s Viva Glam program but did you know that Bare Escentuals makes products that help support charities as well?

The BE Cares program has been around since March of 2007. It was created by Bare Escentuals for the purposes of to supporting and bringing awareness to organizations and initiatives that promote education, provide aid and increase one's self worth. Every so often the company creates a special limited edition product (often an eyeshadow) that is sold to raise funds for a specific charity.

The shadows in the photos below are a few examples of BE Cares products. From left to right is Believe (Cancer and Careers), Puzzle (Autism Awareness), and Sanctuary (United Animal Nations). Aside from these specific shadows, there are many others that BE has created in the past to help raise funds to donate to different charities. Currently Bare Escentuals is selling Enlightened eyecolour which was created exclusively for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. You can purchase your own pot of this colour, as well as learn more about the BE Cares program by visiting

*click photos to enlarge*


Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Benefit Velvet Eyeshadows: Bikini Line & Nice Melons

The Benefit website ( says that these velvet eyeshadows “glide on light as a feather & the gorgeous shades look fabulous on everyone.”
I purchased two shades: Bikini Line and Nice Melons. Both shadows, though powder, are incredibly creamy, smooth, and blendable. They are shimmery, but not glittery, have great pigmentation and last for hours without creasing (I have only used them with a primer). Despite being very soft and sometimes creating a bit of dust in the pan, these shadows create very little fallout during application and wear. The packaging is also very appealing and features a unique bird pattern.
Bikini Line: This colour is described by both Benefit and Sephora as a desert sand colour. On the lid it appears as a light buttery gold colour. This shade has been compared to MAC’s Ricepaper, Nylon, and Creme De Miel, and Femme Fi eyeshadows. I think that this colour is perfect to use all over the lid or as a brow bone highlight and would compliment most skin tones.
Nice Melons: This colour is described by Benefit as a papaya pearl colour and by Sephora as a golden peachy pink. This creamsicle shade adds a glowy warmth to the lids that I believe would be flattering on most skin tones. It has been compared to MAC’s Melon pigment.
So how do they compare to MAC Shadows? Well, a MAC shadow pot is $14.50 USD or 1.5 g / 0.05 oz whereas the velvet shadows are $18 USD for 3.00 g or 0.11 oz. Both shadows are equally pigmented and are high end quality. Benefit’s shadows are much softer and easier to blend. MAC shadows come in many different colours whereas Benefit currently only sells approximately 12 shades. MAC shadows come in a range of shades and finishes whereas Benefit shadows all have a slight sheen and are lighter, more wearable colours. Neither company tests on animals. Both companies’ products have sleek stylish packaging but Benefit’s is more original. In my opinion (and I am someone who prefers lighter shimmery colours), Benefit Velvet shadows win this competition with their generous amount of product, sleek packaging, and silky smooth formula. Either way, I will still purchase shadows from both companies but want to work on building my Velvet shadow collection at the moment. Which do you prefer?
My rating: 5/5
*click photos to enlarge*
-Bikini Line is on the left in each photo and Nice Melons is on the right-

Monday, February 21, 2011

A New Look

Hi Everyone!

As you can see I am working on a new look for my blog. It is still in progress but I would love to hear what you think of it and if you have any suggestions.



Sunday, February 20, 2011

EOS Lip Balms

If you have not tried these round lip balms from Evolution of Smooth I am sure that you have heard of them. Over the last year or so these balms have become extremely popular due to their cute spherical packaging. I purchased a few to see if the product itself is as impressive as the packaging.
The set that I bought (pictures below) came out during the holidays. It contains one limited edition flavour (pomegranate raspberry), and two permanent flavours (sweet mint and honeysuckle honeydew). Of the three flavours, my least favourite is honeysuckle honeydew. I do not like the taste of real honeydew melon and this balm smells exactly like it. Its taste is more sweet than anything. I do not detect the smell of honeysuckle. The sweet mint is very refreshing. Its scent is unlike the typical mint scent that most balms have which leans towards eucalyptus rather than mint. Sweet mint has a true peppermint scent and flavour that is very creamy and refreshing. Pomegranate raspberry, like the honeysuckle honeydew, has a sweet taste. Its scent reminds me of fresh berries and is probably my favourite from the set.
At first these balms are a bit difficult to apply to the lips because their exterior is a bit hard. However, after a few uses the product softens and applies very smoothly. They have decent staying power and do not leave my lips feeling dry like some balms do. I also like how they are not waxy like balms from the Chapstick brand. I only wish that they were easier to find. It seems as if they are only sold in the USA. International customers must order online and shipping rates are very high.
Overall, I am impressed with these balms and am happy that the product itself is as appealing as the packaging.
These balms can be purchased in drugstores in the united states or online at
My rating: 4.5/5
*click photos to enlarge*

Saturday, February 19, 2011

A Unique Highlight Colour: MAC Vapour Eyeshadow

At first glace, Vapour looks like a typical highlight colour—a matte light neutral. However, a closer look will reveal this shadow’s violet pearl iridescence.
Vapour is one of MAC’s velvet formula shadows. When applied to the eyelid or brow bone it appears as a matte peachy pink colour. When it catches the light a pretty violet shimmer becomes visible.
I like to wear this shadow as a highlight colour when I want to add a bit of uniqueness to a neutral eye or when I want my highlight colour to compliment other purple, pink, or blue shadows that I am wearing at the time.
My problem with this shadow is that it is not extremely pigmented. I have to pack on a lot of the shadow to get the effect that I want. I had planned to use Vapour as an all over lid colour but, once applied, it basically matches my skin tone and shows very little colour. I also wish that the violet pearl was more visible.
That said, I really like to use Vapour as a highlight colour because it is subtle and makes the area under my eyebrows look neater and brighter. Also, I like how the violet pearl appears when the light catches it.
My rating: 3.5/5
*click photo to enlarge*

Thursday, February 17, 2011

My Favourite Blush Brush: Sigma Small Duo Fibre - F55

A few months ago I decided to make my first purchase from Sigma. I was looking for some new brushes and wanted some that were of MAC quality but that were more affordable.
Since I had never purchased from Sigma before I only bought a few individual brushes instead of buying a whole brush set in case I did not like them. Among the brushes that I purchased was the F55 Small Duo Fibre for $14 USD . It is comparable to MAC’s 188 brush which costs $41 CAD.
For much less than half the price of the MAC brush, the F55 has incredibly soft bristles that rarely shed. The brush’s handle is well made and the bristles are attached very securely to the ferrule.
This brush is perfect for applying and blending many different types of blush. I use it daily to apply my L’Oreal Bare Naturale Gentle Mineral Blush in Soft Rose (which is a loose powder blush). The F55 gives this blush a very blended almost airbrushed look. On occasion I will use it to apply MAC’s Ladyblush cream blush or a pressed powder blush and the results are always flawless as well.
You can check out this brush as well as other brushes from Sigma by clicking here:
My rating: 5/5
*click photos to enlarge*

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Bare Escentuals Buxom Lash Mascara Special Effects Blue Noir

This blue mascara from Bare Escentuals, which can be purchased at Sephora, is “a paraben-free, lash-volumizing mascara with special-effects color that shifts from blue to black before your naked eye.” The product also claims to hold the style of your lashes for a continuous 12 hours with no flakiness. It is meant to  darken, lengthen, and thicken lashes from root to tip without clumping.  
I have been using this product for a few months now and I will say that, like the original black Buxom mascara, this blue version is great at darkening, thickening, lengthening, and separating lashes without clumping.
Once applied, the blue colour is still visible but only up close. As you can see from the swatch below, the blue is a bit bright. However, on the lashes it turns more of a navy shade. That said, my lashes are naturally very dark so  light brown or blonde lashes may be tinted a brighter blue colour.
When wearing this mascara I feel like my brown eyes stand out a lot more. The whites of my eyes look much whiter and brighter as well.
My issue is with the flaking. This blue mascara is much dryer than my black Buxom mascara and it has been since the day that I purchased it. Within an hour of wearing this mascara I am left with horrible blue flakes under my eyes which give the illusion of dark under eye circles. Maybe I got an old tube. I hope that that is the case because I love how my lashes look when I first apply this mascara. I will consider repurchasing to see if a different tube will not cause flakes.
My rating 3.5/5
*click photos to enlarge*

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

MAC Syrup Lipstick

I will begin this review on a positive note by saying that this lipstick has a very nice vanilla scent like all MAC lipsticks. Also, as you can see from the picture below, the lipstick is a gorgeous medium true pink colour in the tube. The problem is that when I apply it to my lips it turns to a horrible purplish-pink colour with orangey undertones. I have very pale cool-toned skin and when I apply Syrup it makes my whole complexion look dull and tired. In addition to its unflattering colour, Syrup is much too dark of a colour for me.  This lipstick, which has a Lustre finish, is also very drying on the lips even when applied on top of lip balm. Its staying-power is also lacking as the colour becomes undetectable after about 30 minutes of wear. Needless to say, I regret this purchase from MAC. I purchased Syrup because I was looking for a lipstick that would give my lips a pretty, natural-looking rosy flush. The associate at MAC recommended this colour for me. I don’t think I will be purchasing another lipstick anytime soon.
My rating: 1/5
*click photo to enlarge*

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Britney Spears Midnight Fantasy Fragrance


During the winter holidays I went on the search for a new fragrance. For years I have worn Aquolina’s Pink Sugar perfume year round and, although I love the scent, I wanted to try something new. I enjoy sweet, fruity, vanilla-based scents but was open to something new as well. I tried everything –Vera Wang Princess, all of the Juicy Couture perfumes, Givenchy Play, Dolce & Gabbana Light Blue, Beyonce Heat, Marc Jacobs Daisy, Nina Ricci Nina, and everything in between. I wanted to give each fragrance a fair chance so I collected samples of them and decided to wear each one for a few days. I found the majority of these fragrances intolerable and could not even get through one day wearing them. I really wanted to like Vera Wang Princess because I thought that the bottle was pretty but the fragrance left the horrible scent of baby powder on my skin. The other notes in this fragrance were undetectable. 

Just when I decided to give up on my search, I noticed a fragrance sale rack at my drugstore that featured a few of the Britney Spears Perfumes. I purchased 50ml bottles of Hidden Fantasy, Circus Fantasy, and Midnight Fantasy for under $20 each which was a great deal. I love all of them (and will talk about the other two in a future post) but quickly decided that Midnight Fantasy was my new favourite winter fragrance. It is sweet and powerful and only requires a spritz or two. It actually smells a bit like candy necklaces. The scent lasts all day and all night and does not need to be reapplied after a few hours. Its notes include: Black Cherries, Framboise, Exotic Plum, Night Blooming Orchid, Freesia, Velvet Iris, Musk, Amber and Vanilla.  The translucent blue bottle is also very elegant. The only downside to this fragrance is that, out of the four perfumes from the Britney Spears Fantasy line, Midnight Fantasy is the only one no longer in production. However, for now it can be found at some Shoppers Drug Mart stores, TjMaxx, Sears, and also at:

Let me know which fragrance from the Fantasy line is your favourite.

My rating: 5/5

Read my other Britney Spears Fragrance Reviews:


Hidden Fantasy:

Circus Fantasy:

*click photos to enlarge*


Saturday, February 12, 2011

Keep Beauty Products Germ Free

A few weeks ago I was shopping on an online forum. I saw a few eyeshadows that I wanted to purchased but was hesitant to buy them because the seller had indicated that each shadow had been tested a few times. I have a huge germ phobia and very sensitive eyes so I do not usually like to purchase used beauty products. However, the shadows were being sold for a really great price and I did not want to pass up the great deal. So…I went over to the beauty board and asked if there is a safe way to disinfect powder eyeshadows. Many posters recommended Beauty So Clean cosmetic sanitizer mist. I looked it up online and found that it was the perfect product for disinfecting makeup. I purchased two bottles online (there was a promotion at the time—2 bottles for the price of one—which is unfortunately no longer available). I ended up buying the shadows that I had wanted (Benefit velvet shadows) and disinfected them by first gently scraping off the top layer of product with a stiff angled brush and then spraying each shadow twice with Beauty So Clean. The spray did not damage the products and gave them a fresh finish. I also tried the spray on an Urban Decay shadow and it worked well.
As you can see from the picture below, the spray bottles are not very large. They are 0.27 Fl. oz. (8 ml) for around $12.50 USD but I think that they will last a long time and will make it possible for me to purchase used cosmetics on forums from time to time.
You can purchase this product here:
or use the site’s store locator to find a retail location near you.
My rating: 4/5
*click photo to enlarge*

Friday, February 11, 2011

Garnier Anti-Dark-Circle Roller

This product claims to be an eye care product plus an under eye concealer. It is meant to instantly reduce the look of dark circles, brighten the under eye area, energize and stimulate microcirculation, and be appropriate for most skin tones.
It “uses a unique combination of ‘skin nutrients’ plus concealing mineral pigments in a cooling, roll-on applicator to instantly reduce the look of dark circles.” The product contains ‘skin nutrients’ such as caffeine, lemon essence, and mineral pigments. Within one week eyes should look bright.
Garnier recommends that you use this product by gently rolling it under the eye from the inner corner of the eye to the outer corner, one to two times, and then blend with fingertips.
I purchased this product over a month ago and have used it quite a few times. The product is very light in texture and dries very quickly so it is necessary to use a moisturizing eye cream underneath and blend immediately after applying.
I am very fair and the colour of the product is not too dark for my skin tone. The product looks a bit peach toned when first applied (as demonstrated in my swatch picture below) but it blends in well and really does cover dark circles. I would say that it gives light to medium coverage. It also works well as a primer or a base under a heavier concealer on days when full coverage is required. Since it only comes in one colour (sheer tint) it may not work for all skin tones. The metal roller ball is very cooling and applies the product smoothly.
For the most part I use this product as a concealer rather than an eye treatment. I like it because it is very light, not at all cakey, and it does not settle into fine lines even after many hours of wear. I cannot say whether or not this product actually improves dark circles after one week of use because, since I use this product as concealer, I only wear it on days when I am wearing makeup and that is usually 1-3 times per week.For me a downside of this product is that it provides very little moisturization. I also think that it was a bit expensive at $20 CAD for 15ml considering that this is a drugstore, and not a high end, product.
Overall, I am very pleased with this product and will definitely repurchase.
My rating: 4/5
For more information, visit:^PRD_SKINCARE^SKIN_RENEW^SKIN_RENEW_DISCOVER^SKIN_RENEW_RTN3&prdcode=P19021
*click photos to enlarge*

Thursday, February 10, 2011

A Frizz-Fighting Shower Cap?

I have very long hair that I do not wash every day (daily washing and styling is very time consuming and strips the hair of natural oils that create shine). Normally, I cover my hair in the shower with a clear plastic shower cap to protect it from  the water on days when I am not washing it. However, my hair always comes out slightly damp and very frizzy.

Last week when I was at Sally Beauty Supply I came across This Safari Spots Shower Cap from Betty Dain ( It is nylon with a terry cloth lining. The shower cap is waterproof and, although it fits snugly to prevent water from reaching the hair, it is very large and would fit those with very long and thick hair. It also dries very quickly after use. Since it is well made it will not need to be thrown out after a few uses like regular plastic shower cap; therefore, it is environmentally friendly.

I have been trying it for a few days and I have seen such an improvement in my hair after showering—it is completely dry and frizz free which makes styling much easier. I purchased mine for around $14 CAD in store but it can also be found here:,default,pd.html?cm_vc=SEARCH for about $9 USD.

Tip: Although shower caps from Betty Dain’s “The Socialite Collection” come in a range of different patterns, only the Safari Spots one seems to have the terry cloth lining.

My rating: 5/5

*click photos to enlarge*


Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Zoya Intimate Collection

The polishes below are from Zoya’s Spring 2011 Intimate nail polish collection.
From left to right: Dove, Jules, Marley, Caitlin.

Read on for swatches and descriptions of each shade. 


Hi everyone and welcome to my beauty blog.

 I hope to cover all aspects of beauty with this blog. Beauty is art and art forms should be explored from all angles. For this reason, I will be posting on topics such as makeup, hair, nails, fashion, and all other types of beauty. I feel happiest when I'm creating something, regardless of whether my tool is a pen or a makeup brush.

~~~~ Life imitates art...or art imitates life. What do you think? ~~~~