Review: Becca Ombre Nudes Palette

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I’d been stalking this palette online for months before I finally decided to buy it. Or rather, I got my sister to decide for me because I just couldn’t. I kept going back and forth, putting it in my cart on Sephora.com and then taking it back out. On the one hand, I had read several positive reviews and really liked the looks of the shades. But on the other hand, did I really need another basic nudes palette in my life?

beccanudesIf you enjoy a hazy, brown smokey eye that’s not too warm and not too dark, then you will likely find a place for this palette in your routine. I’ve used it several times since I got it, and I really do enjoy it.  Read on for swatches and my specific thoughts on this palette.

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The One That Got Away…

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If you saw my April Favourites post, then you might remember I mentioned a new addition to nightresurfacemy skin care routine: Olay Regenerist Night Resurfacing Elixir. I love this stuff. It’s a light, fluid serum that hydrates and exfoliates. (It contains one of my favourite ingredients, glycolic acid.) This stuff just does wonders for my clog/blemish prone skin. It also illuminates and makes a nice glowy base for makeup. Since I’m now obsessed with this stuff I did what I always do: prowl the skin care aisle in all the drugstores to see if it’s on sale so I can stock up. What I found when I got there, though, was alarming. The Resurfacing Elixir was nowhere to be seen! There wasn’t even an empty spot on the shelf! London Drugs, Superstore and Walmart all yielded nothing.

I did a Google search to see if I could find out if the product was discontinued and couldn’t find any info, so I sent an email to Olay (Procter and Gamble). This was their reply:

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My Quest for the Perfect Sunscreen…

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I have long searched for a facial sunscreen that works with my skin type. My criteria? I want it to be lightweight and non-greasy. I want it to offer a decent level of broad spectrum UV protection without clogging my pores, and I want it to wear well under makeup. Oh, and I want the sunscreen ingredients to be mineral based, because I hate the smell and feel of the chemical ones. Is that too much to ask? Perhaps. Sunscreen is a sticky issue if you’ve got oily, acne prone skin. Literally.

Needless to say, I had really high hopes for this one from MD Solar Sciences:

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It got good reviews on Sephora and makeupalley.com, and is supposed to be formulated specifically for oily, acne-prone skin. Many reviewers stated that the silicone base makes this a great makeup primer as well as a sunscreen. Great, I thought. Kill two birds with one stone. I like where this is going. Unfortunately, this just didn’t work for me. In spite of all the claims to the contrary, I found this to be very heavy and greasy feeling on my skin. I was very aware of it all day long. I could feel it sitting there, suffocating my skin. I hate that feeling. It also clogged my pores. AND, my foundation didn’t wear nearly as well as it normally does. By the end of the work day, I could see little white spots all over my face. My foundation and the sunscreen had pooled in my pores in a most unflattering way. I should point out that my foundation did apply beautifully in the morning. It just didn’t last. All the silicones in this product do create a smooth base for makeup, but they don’t dry down and set. Anything you apply over top is going to slide around all day.

So this product only met two of my criteria. It does offer broad-spectrum protection. It’s SPF 50, and the active ingredients are mineral suncreens: titanium dioxide and zinc oxide. (Beware, this will likely leave a white cast on medium to darker skin tones and will cause flashback in photos.)

I will hang on to this to use on days when I’m going to be outdoors in the sun for longer periods. As a day-to-day product, it’s just too heavy and uncomfortable. The quest continues…

Got any recommendations for sunscreens that are well-suited to oily skin? Please leave them in the comments.

YouTube Made Me Buy It…

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I’ve been dialed into the YouTube beauty community for many years. It’s really cool to see how some of the channels I follow have grown and developed over the years. One thing that hasn’t changed though….the videos I watch make me wanna buy stuff real bad.

Here are some of my most recent purchases that were 100% YouTube driven:

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1) COLAB Dry Shampoo – Sheer Invisible in Rio Tropical

This is fashion model/blogger/vlogger Ruth Crilly’s dry shampoo. I watch her channel and read her blog religiously. (Check her out if you haven’t already. Her channel is called AModelRecommends). I’ve seen Ruth plugging this product lately and just kind of assumed that it wouldn’t be available in Canada (Ruth is based in the UK). I nearly squealed with glee when I found a display of these dry shampoos in the middle of Save-On-Foods the other day. I chose the sheer invisible formula in the RIO tropical scent. This has dethroned Batiste as my fave dry shampoo. It’s lighter and has a softer, fresher scent. It freshens up my second day roots without weighing my hair down, and it doesn’t leave a white cast unless I spray too close to the hair.

2) realTechniques Sculpting Brush

Really, all of my realTechniques brushes belong in the “YouTube made me buy it” category, but this one in particular stands out, because it’s not a brush I would normally go for. I’ve seen the Pixiwoo sisters using this brush for applying contour and for blending in liquid foundation…and I don’t do either of those things. I NEVER wear contour, and I’m pretty committed to my BeautyBlender when it comes to applying foundation. Instead, I’ve been using it to apply highlighter and certain blushes. It works really well with the NARS Dual Intensity Blush.

3) L’Oreal Voluminous Miss Manga Mascara

I watched two different YouTube interviews with renowned makeup artist Val Garland. In both interviews she mentioned this mascara as a personal favourite. She kept calling it “Miss Mango,” which made me smile. So, against my better judgement, I decided to give it a try. I’ve never really got on with L’Oreal mascaras. I’ve tried a few different ones from the Voluminous line, including the original, and found them to be clumpy, dry and flaky. This one is…clumpy, dry and flaky. The clumpiness I can forgive, because it’s supposed to mimic the dolly-eyed look of manga characters. Clumpy can be a look. I get it. The dry and flaky part, however, is a deal-breaker for me. Those flakes dropping into my eyes all day long lead to irritation, not to mention smudging underneath my eyes. Not cute.

Ah well, two out of three ain’t bad, right? What has YouTube made you buy? Answer in the comments.

Review: Make Up For Ever Artist Shadows

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mufeartistA couple of weeks ago my sister went to Vancouver and brought me back a couple of the Make Up For Ever Artist Shadows. These are amazing! The shades she picked out are D-826 (left), and ME-728 (right). These shadows are available in a ton of different shades and finishes. D-826 is described on Sephora as a “Fig” and has a diamond finish. In other words, it’s sparkly. Very sparkly. ME-728 is a “Copper Red” with a metallic finish. It’s shiny. Very shiny. I almost couldn’t believe the richness and intensity when I first swatched these. The metallic one in particular is INSANE. I love ’em both, but the coppery metallic ME-728 is my favourite. I find myself dabbing it over top of darker brown shadows to add dimension and a bit more drama to a basic brown smokey eye. These two shades also look nice paired together. I did a smokey look with the fig shade and then put a dab of the copper on top.

You do need to make sure you tap your brush off when using the diamond finish ones. I forgot to once and ended up with a bit of fallout. Nothing major though.

I’m curious to see what other shades and finishes are in this line. Next time I’m in Sephora, I will be swatching more of these…and a couple will probably come home with me.

Click through to see swatches.

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