Game Changers: CND Vinylux Weekly Top Coat


It is really rare for me to finish a bottle of nail polish. Even staple nail products like top and base coats tend to hang around in my collectiotopcoatn for ages because I have several different ones that I use regularly. Lately, though, I find myself nearing the bottom of my CND Vinylux Weekly Top Coat. This stuff literally outshines all other top coats in my stash. I’ve decided to bestow Game Changer status on this product because it has everything I look for in a top coat:

Goes on smoothly without bubbling? Check.

Sets quickly so I can go to bed or run errands without fear of denting or smudging a fresh manicure? Check.

Super glossy finish that doesn’t wear away after only a day or two? Check.

Prevents chipping and cracking to extend the wear time of my favourite polishes? Check.

Doesn’t turn into a thick, gloopy sludge after only a few uses? Check.

Doesn’t require an industrial strength solvent to remove? Check.

Yeah…I’m picky when it comes to top coats. I’m nearly finished my current bottle and am already itching to go purchase a replacement. You know you’re in love with a product when the thought of running out and having no replacement induces anxiety. Seriously, I better go to the mall after work tomorrow and get one…


Game Changers: Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage


s1307388-main-LheroI’m sure that as time goes on, and the posts start to stack up on this blog, it will become apparent that I am a card-carrying Lisa Eldridge fan-girl. I watch her YouTube channel and follow her blog religiously.

This game changing product is one that makes frequent appearances in Lisa’s videos, and that’s what sparked my interest in it. Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage seems to be her go-to product for spot concealing blemishes and minor bits of discolouration. For the past two years, it has been my go-to as well.

I first tried this product towards the end of 2013 when my sister gave me a Laura Mercier complexion set that included the Undercover Pot (a jar of setting powder with pans of Secret Camouflage and Secret Concealer in the lid.) Before too long, I was hooked on the Secret Camouflage and splurged for the full-size compact.

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Game Changers: Nuxe Reve de Miel Lip Balm


Well, it’s that time of year again. We’ve turned back the clocks, the 26102014 047weather outside is getting colder (it feels like it will snow any minute), and the air inside is drying out from having the heat going all the time. What that usually means for me is dry, cracked lips. Normally in the winter months I have to scrub away a layer of dry, scaly skin (gross!) before I can apply any kind of lip colour. Not so since I found this game changer: Nuxe Reve de Miel Lip Balm.

I first heard of this product through Lisa Eldridge and decided to give it a try. I picked this up about 4 or 5 months ago, and I’m so glad I did. This26102014 049 balm has made a huge difference; it keeps my lips smooth and moisturized. I apply it first thing in the morning before doing my makeup and again right before bed. That’s all it takes to keep the scaliness at bay.

What I really love about this product is that it seals in moisture without feeling too heavy. I just use a small amount and really work it into the lips. Afterwards, I can hardly tell it’s there. It gets the job done without looking shiny or feeling greasy. You can use it to moisturize before makeup and rest assured it won’t interfere with any lip products you put on top. You can also wear it overnight without waking up with that gunky white stuff all over your lips…if you wear lip balm at night, you know what I’m talking about. This post is just full of fantastic imagery, isn’t it?

At $17 for 15g it’s a tad pricy, but it succeeds where so many other lip balms have failed, so I’ll happily bear the cost. Since I only apply a small amount twice a day, this one tub is lasting me a good while. In 5 months I’ve only gone through about half of it. This balm is also available in stick form, which would be handy if you want to take it with you. I’m tempted to get one to keep in my purse. If you’re in Canada, you can find this at some Shopper’s Drug Mart locations.




Game Changers: Neutrogena Oil-Free Acne Stress Control 3-in-1 Hydrating Acne Treatment


neutrogena-oil-free-acne-stress-control-3-in-1-hydrating-acne-treatmentI decided to dedicate the second post in my Game Changers series to Neutrogena’s 3-in-1 Hydrating Acne Treatment from their Oil Free Acne Stress Control line.

The first thing I want to say about this product is that I’ve been using it daily for over TWO YEARS! That tells you something right there, because it’s rare for me to finish a skin care product let alone repurchase one. I have been through countless tubes of this stuff and am never without it. As I’ve mentioned before, I have oily, problem skin that is prone to breakouts and clogged pores. Anyone with this skin type knows how tough it is to find acne treatments that aren’t too harsh, irritating or just plain useless. I have never committed to a skin care product the way I’ve committed to this one.

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New: Game Changers Series


I’ve been a self-professed beauty addict for about 8 years now, and in that time, I have tried and tested countless beauty products. Now, I want to put that knowledge and experience to good use here on Fifty Shades of Taupe with my new “Game Changers” series.

We beauty addicts are a fickle bunch. I’m the first to admit that I have a very love ’em and leave ’em relationship with most of the products in my stash. Even the best performing products can be cast aside if something more exciting comes along. Am I right?

There are a few exceptions though, special products that are at the top of their class. I’m talking about the ones that I have actually used up and re-purchased, the ones that I would be lost without. Seriously, tears will be shed if any of the products featured in this series are ever, heaven forbid, discontinued. The posts in this series will be reviews of some of my absolute favourite products, but more importantly, they’ll be mini histories of how I discovered these products and how they changed my life forever. Too dramatic? I didn’t think so.

I’m going to kick off this series with a product that I discovered near the onset of my beauty addiction: Urban Decay Primer Potion.

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