Tuesday, 30 June 2015

Project 15 Pan Mid Year Update

I posted the 15 products I am hoping to use up or hit pan on on January 7th. How about a lil progress report?

'Refined Golden'

Since I rarely use Bronzing Powders for their intended purpose I decided to try this as an eyeshadow. Jackpot! The tone of this powder suits my skin tone well and the subtle shimmers give a nice 'barely there' effect. It's also great to incorporate in eye looks as a transition/blending shade. The bad news is that this thing contains 10 grams of products...this gon' last three lifetimes.


Studio Fix Powder

This is probably the only product showing real progress; and even then I still have a ways to go to get all 15 grams used up.

'Quite Natural'

I realized that I don't fancy its grey undertone when I use it as a stand alone eye colour. So the best use is as an eye base. Meaning yuh gotta put something on top of it...how often do I have time for all that?


Stila Perfect & Correct Foundation

Something in this kindda makes my face itch now so I'll be tossing the product and reusing the bottle.


As a replacement I will be finishing up my black|Up Fluid Foundation (original formula) 'FL07'.


I've made little to no progress with the lipsticks included in this challenge. I'm coming to realise that I prefer sheer lipstick formulas over traditional ones for day-to-day use. As such, I've been habitually using my Revlon Lip Butter 'Fig Jam' - so much so that it's gone - and the Estee Lauder Kissable LipShine 'Ibiza Kiss'.


Korres Lip Butter

Easily one of my favourites in this whole thing. I use this pretty often but those six grams taking a while to get through since you need very little product to totally saturate your lips. I really like using this at bed time since the effects last for hours. It's products like these that show how crappy Evolution Of Smooth Lip Spheres really are.


I don't think I've used 'Perversion' once outside of swatching it. #hotmess. What I can I say? I just prefer the colourful 24/7 Glide-On Pencils.

M.A.C Lip Glass (minis)

Steady as she goes...


That Rimmel London liner while pretty, the formula is so soft that it breaks often. Still, I've barely touched it.

'Euphoria'

Still a long way to go with this baby. It's a gorgeous product though.


'Walnut'

I actually showed this a lot of love during the month for the #PurpleLipsChallenge on Instagram but I still have about half of the 1.7 fl. oz. left.

'Sunset Beach'

As The Mistress rightly said: "How yuh does finish a blush?" I dunno, but I'm trying. I've discovered that this is a great product to layer with other blushes.


Studio Finish Concealer

I really need to find other uses for this thing; but right now I'm not encouraged. So much so that the Mineralize Concealer in 'NC50' has been getting more action than this.


What a learning experience this has been for me already. 

Did you finish any products? Let us know in the comments.

#TeamModenProject15

Would I Repurchase? Lancome Hypnose Drama


Lancome says: "Get instant lash drama in a single coat, no clumping or flaking.
Intense black pigments.
Triple coating system delivers a fluid and creamy application to quickly and easily build big, battable lashes that won’t clump or flake throughout the day.
Unique, oversized brush provides full contact with lashes for ultimate volume.
Delivers maximum lash coating with immediate load gives lashes instant volume.
Fluid, creamy gliding formula evenly coats lashes from root to tip for buildable volume.
Promises intense, deep color.
Fragrance-Free. Ophthalmologist Tested. Allergy Tested. Safe for contact lens wearers.

New oversized S-shaped curve full contact Convex Brush.
Texturizing Complex formula with highly saturated waxes.
Triple Coating System enriched with Pro Vitamin B5.
Deep Carbon Black Pigments.
Ingredients: AQUA / WATER / EAU, PARAFFIN, POTASSIUM CETYL PHOSPHATE, CERA ALBA / BEESWAX / CIRE DABEILLE, CERA CARNAUBA / CARNAUBA WAX / CIRE DE CARNAUBA, ACACIA SENEGAL / ACACIA SENEGAL GUM, CETYL ALCOHOL, GLYCERIN, PEG/PPG-17/18 DIMETHICONE, STEARETH-20, SIMETHICONE, SODIUM POLYMETHACRYLATE, PHENETHYL ALCOHOL, DISODIUM EDTA, HYDROGENATED JOJOBA OIL, HYDROGENATED PALM OIL, HYDROXYETHYLCELLULOSE, PANTHENOL, POLYQUATERNIUM-10, PHENOXYETHANOL, [+/- MAY CONTAIN / PEUT CONTENIR, CI 77266 / BLACK 2, CI 77499 / IRON OXIDES]
".


I have the shade '01 Excessive Black. It also comes in 'Excessive Purple', Each tube contains 6.5 grams of product and retails for $75BDS DP in Cave Shepherd or $27.50USD on Sephora.com or Lancome's US website. While it is usually recommended to discard mascaras after three months of use Lancome suggests that this product's shelf life is six months.

The box states: "instant full body volume mascara"; and I absolutely agree. This formula is pigmented, volumizing and certainly brings the drama. In fact, the only two drawbacks I could detect were its heavily perfumed scent - though that's a matter of preference - and how clogged with product the wand becomes after a time.


The formula and wand remind me of the YSL Faux Cils Shocking; so technically this is a cheaper alternative. I experienced no flaking when I used this product. Though Lancome claims "no clumping" we know that's very possible with too many coats of wet formulas like these. Honestly, some people like a bit of clumping at the root of the lashes. It's when mascaras make your lashes stick together giving the appearance that you have fewer than you do that it's problematic.

As with all wet formulas: coat your lower lashes first to avoid smudging. The short natural fibre bristles makes using it on the lower lashes possible though you due have to take care not to get it on your skin due the S-shape of the wand. This mascara removes with soap and water though it would be advisable to use an eye makeup remover to completely remove such pigmented products.


$75 is no chump change but this is certainly on my possible repurchase list especially if I can get it duty free.

#CurlsNiteOut Haul

Sunday night Barbados Natural Hair, Health & Beauty Show hosted their Summer event dubbed Curls Nite Out. The Founder, Alison invited some amazing people to speak about natural hair styling and maintenance, fitness, makeup application and personal finance. It was a cozy evening filled with creative inspiring people. Amongst them were some Pop Up Shops: Ahlar Designs, Sugar Dream Inc., Tsalach Natural Products, Bite Of Love (824-3159), Luna Designs, Serenity Lounge, Fontaine Creations, BlvcAllure and Eden's Choice Naturals to name a few.

I had harassed Gerri so much about the Peppermint Eden's Choice Soaps that I figured she was sick of me. I wanted to try a few that I didn't pick up at Girlfriends Expo as well. So I was very happy to see Eden's Choice on that exhibitor list.

The motherload 
Repurchases:

  • Peppermint
  • Oatmeal & Honey
  • Tea Tree Oil & Bentonite Clay


My Peppermint game strong, I got nine more coming. I recommend the Oatmeal and Honey for anyone that has dry or sensitive skin: I even bought extra for a couple friends to try.

Newbies (to me that is):

  • Apple Cinnamon
  • Ocean Kiss
  • Cinnarese
  • Honeysuckle
  • Coco Lemonade
  • Coconut
  • Almond Butter
  • Buttercream
  • Aloe & Kiwi
  • Kiwi & Cucumber


Soaps are $6 each or 4 for $20.

Gerri eased one of her scrubs in my bag when I wasn't looking. Much to my surprise! Thanks Luv, I really appreciate it.


Scrubs are $16.

You can place your orders via whatsapp: 253-9053. Remember to buy local and #rep246.

Under the Interlace Inc. banner I work with Fontaine Creations and Marcela was also kind enough to bestow a gift upon me :)


Marcela makes very conscious pieces for both sexes. Feel free to give her a call: 235-1655. She knows I like to stack my arm candy so this fit right in.

Another popular collection from Fontaine Creations is their Energy Stone Bracelets:


In this financial climate the need to have money circulating amongst our local entrepreneurs is more urgent than ever. When we find quality local products and services they should be our first option.

I want to take this opportunity to congratulate Alison and her Team once more. I look forward to many more of your events.

Thursday, 25 June 2015

Why I Unsubscribed From 'Big YouTubers'

As with all posts of mine this is just my personal experience.

youtube.com image

I love that YouTube has allowed so many people to create a platform where they can showcase their creativity, inspire others and make a living.  The Beauty Community on YouTube has grown tremendously. The forum has transformed from simple 'how to' videos to include summa evating. I'm sure you've seen how many bloggers have gone on to become business owners: writing books, starting clothing lines, jewelry lines, their own cosmetics companies etc. etc. etc. That's great. Some persons have grown their channels so much that YouTube is their full time occupation. Along with YouTube paying them, they now get sponsorships from major brands in the cosmetics, mobile, automotive and even App industries to name a few. Yeah, paid to just mention an app! That's also great. What's not great is when bloggers lose their sincerity.

Now don't get me wrong: I believe content creators deserved to be paid. I know that products and equipment can cost a lot of money... a lot. More important than money is the time it takes to get those videos/posts ready. So yeah, compensation is only fair. What's not fair is when bloggers use their audience - the same audience that enabled them to get to that level of success - to sell products that they don't believe in.

Any right thinking person would say: "well at the end of the day the consumers have to make up their own minds". True; but we know the power of word of mouth marketing. And that's what it boils down to. These companies see these popular bloggers as an extension of their marketing strategy. So the relationship you've built with your favourite YouTube personality has a price. Whether it's in the form of a coupon code, affiliate link or a simple YouTube view.

I wouldn't be so presumptuous as to tell you who not to watch. A video should either inform or entertain - it's great when you get both; and everybody has their own taste. What I will tell you is to be mindful of who you're supporting. Fuh my one part I've stopped letting certain people get rich offa me. I enjoy the ones who spend their money and give us their honest opinion.

What I'm enjoying even more is the budding community of bloggers with 10,000 subscribers and under. Especially the ones not doing the same-ole-same-ole.

Have you discovered any new YouTubers worth checking out recently?

p.s. It's also a good idea to unplug from all this social media noise ever so often.

1 <3

Tuesday, 23 June 2015

Zoeva Rose Golden Luxury Set


I got this December so that's ample time to fully test it out right?

Zoeva says: “Romantic Copper” 

WHY WE LOVE IT 

Breathtaking, rose golden design brush set
8 essential brushes for your daily makeup routine
A statement accessory for every beauty lover's dressing table

Face:
106 Powder: Apply loose and pressed powder
102 Silk Finish: Apply and blend foundation
110 Face Shape: Contour the face shape with cream and powder products
127 Luxe Sheer Cheek: Apply powder blush
142 Concealer Buffer: Apply and blend concealer

Eyes:
227 Luxe Soft Definer: Softly blend and smooth eyeshadow
231 Luxe Petit Crease: Accentuating and blending in the crease
317 Wing Liner: Detailed eyeliner strokes and a perfect wing


Inspired by the dazzling explosion of pink and gold, our ROSE GOLDEN Luxury Set is downright divine. Stored in a sleek, classy clutch, the luxurious brush collection comes with eight essential handcrafted brushes for your everyday makeup routine or looks with extravagance. The kit comes with both, high quality natural hair and synthetic taklon bristles, so it can be used with cream and powder based products.

Designed with a symphony of rose golden ferrules and matte handles in Pantone ® Black 5C these luxe makeup brushes are a statement accessory for every beauty lover’s dressing table.

8 rose golden brushes + 1 brown Brush Clutch Large

Case size:
24 x 18 cm
Face: 106 Powder*, 102 Silk Finish*, 110 Face Shape*, 127 Luxe Sheer Cheek, 142 Concealer Buffer* Eyes: 227 Soft Definer, 231 Petit Crease, 317 Wing Liner*
* synthetic taklon bristles

Find more information to each brush under Application
".

Of the eight brushes the only one I haven't used is the 317 Wing Liner. Y'all know my eyeliner struggles.


Each brush is labelled with the company name, what the brush is and the Zoeva slogan: "Color. Love. Makeup". As stated in their description, the synthetic bristle brushes are made of taklon. Only three brushes have natural hair fibres; I presume it's goat hair. Every single one of them is easy to clean and soft on the skin.

Of the face brushes the Luxe Sheer Cheek one has to be my favourite. Angled brushes are great multitaskers and this has the optimum density and texture to work with both pigmented and sheer powder brushes. Previously I would use the bdellium tools 942; this Zoeva one puts that in the shade. I also really appreciate the handle lenght of the face brushes. If you're blind without your glasses like me and have to get right up to the mirror you understand the need for short handle brushes.

I really can't decide which is my favourite eye brush. The Luxe Petit Crease and Luxe Soft Definer have quickly become my go tos.

While I've never used this set solely to complete a full face - I have too many brushes - it surely is possible. 

The packaging of this set surely is what draws all the attention. Rose Gold was the new black last year and Zoeva capitalized on the trend. But this prettiness isn't all for show; the brushes are constructed very well. In six months I've seen no shedding and no loose ferrules. The ferrules haven't tarnished and the handles aren't dinged up. The writing on them haven't worn off either - they're etched into the handles.


The icing on the cake is the 'Brush Clutch Large'.


Whose brilliant idea was this? Like the brushes, the clutch is sturdy and well made. The zipper compartment runs almost the full depth of the bag. Absolutely perfect for on-the-go and especially for travel. If the colour or construction on the brushes didn't sell you this bag certainly will.

The Rose Golden Luxury Set retails for 54.62EUR before taxes. With taxes and shipping I mightta paid $90USD. I think it's worth it.

p.s. the 106 Powder brush is for sale in The Marketplace. There's nothing wrong with, it's just that it's similar to my Sedona Lace 980. And that puts the work in so why not let this one find another home right?

Tuesday, 16 June 2015

Mid Year Favourites (More Combos)

The last favourites post that featured products that work well together was a hit so I'm bringing it back.

L'Oreal EverCurl Hydracharge Shampoo and Conditioner

This is a surprise hit. A huge surprise. If I had my way I'd never do my hair myself but my pockets ain't set up like that. In the past I hated washing my hair at home cause the end result was sure to be one poofy frizzy hot mess. But this duo actually gives liveable-with results. Don't mind that 'sulfate free' claim; the shampoo has in some but there are a bit of fruit and flower oils/extracts in both products.


Of course, those alone couldn't tame the wild beast that is my hair...

Moroccanoil Restorative Hair Mask and Coconut Oil


I know I said the Moroccanoil line was overpriced; I stand by that. That don't mean I ain't gon' use this mask up though. To actually make it make some sense I mix in some coconut oil and leave it in for half of an hour.

REN Clean Skincare Invisible Pores Detox Mask and Ole Henriksen Truth Serum Collagen Booster

I hope you're not tired of me mentioned the REN brand. I'm not sponsored by them or Pure Source Barbados, I swear! lol They just make good stuff and this mask is no different. I got a trial size of it in one of their kits and it is the best clay mask I've ever used. REN says it's "a detoxifying clay mask designed to reduce the appearance of pore size and leave the skin purified, smoothed and toned". Props to them for saying "...the appearance of..." and not lying to consumers that something can actually reduce pore size. I wholeheartedly agree with the conditions it says it leaves the skin in which make following up with the Truth Serum even more effective. This is new to my arsenal but I immediately liked the texture and how it made my skin feel.


Nail polish remover pump dispenser and the e.l.f Professional Concealer Brush

I've been trying to paint my nails a lot recently since I have a truck load of new polishes to get through. I am no expert at manicures so often I get the polish all on my cuticles, the sides of my fingers etc. etc. A nail polish vlogger I watch recommended using the e.l.f Professional Concealer Brush to do cleanups with and I decided to give it a go. I was using some Cala brush before and the bristles were too long to get the job done effectively. And God bless whoever invented pump dispensers.


Orly Extra Strength Slip It Off Nail Lacquer Remover and Burt's Bees Lemon Butter Cuticle Cream

Ever since I started using nail polish remover in this form I've been hooked. My Maybelline one is getting kindda old so I was on the hunt to find one locally. Thank you iMart. This Orly one removes cream polishes like a dream; glitter ones take a bit more finessing but it still gets the job done. Anytime you use acetone on your nails you need to follow up with a good moisturizer. This cuticle cream is fantastic. It single handedly (get it?) saved my poor poor fingers in New York


Beauty Blender Pro and the Make Up For Ever High Definition Powder

Both of these products I've mentioned before so this shouldn't shock you. What shocked me recently was how flawless the combination of a damp Beauty Blender and this powder set my under eyes. Sometimes, when I set that area with a brush, I notice a kinda crepey texture; it just looks weird. That does not happen with this combination.
Now these silica powders are known to produce flashback in flash photography so to be safe: use the least amount of powder possible, make sure the sponge is damp and - where possible - only use it in the daytime.


Milani Minerals Blush 'Sunset Beach' and Baked Blush 'Luminoso'

I've heard many beauty vloggers that are participating in Project Pan challenges complain about the boredom, anxiety and sometimes frustration they go through when trying to use up selected products. As you know, 'Sunset Beach' is in my Project 15 Pan and I don't want my appreciation for this gorgeous product to turn sour. So I was looking for other ways to spruce it up when I stumbled upon this combination. A-M-A-Z-I-N-G! If you are going to any parties for Crop Over try this mix heyso.


Speaking of Crop Over and fetes...

M.A.C Pro Longwear Lip Pencil 'More To Love' and Christian Dior de Rose Smoothing Plumping Lip Balm

This pertains to any lip liner and balm/gloss; it certainly doesn't have to be one that costs $28USD.

I've said it numerous times: I'm not a touch up kinda girl. So when it comes to reapplication of makeup when I'm out and about, lips is as far as I go; and even that gotta be as lil stress as possible. The combination of lip liner all over the lips then gloss/balm on top is my speed. I get the colour and longevity plus comfort. Bonus is if you take a complimentary gloss with you, you can change up your look mid pahty!


What products have you been loving together recently? What events are you thinking of attending this Crop Over. Let's discuss it in the comments.

Brand Awareness: Laura Mercier


The Laura Mercier Cosmetics site outlines the Founder's story. The Company was established in "1996 by Laura Mercier in partnership with former Neiman Marcus executive Janet Gurwitch, the then-CEO of Gurwitch Products. The company was sold to Alticor, the parent company of Amway in 2006, with assurances that creative control would stay the same[1]".

"The Laura Mercier line has received numerous accolades from customers and magazine editors. Her Tinted Moisturizer is repeatedly being named in magazine ‘Best Of’ awards. InStyle’s 2009 Best Beauty Buys included Tinted Moisturizer, Oil Free Foundation and Secret Camouflage. The 2007 and 2008 Best Beauty Buys also included Tinted Moisturizer. InStyle’s 2004 Best Beauty Buys included the Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage, Tinted Moisturizer and Lip Kisses, Allure’s 2003 Best Beauty Award for Courtisane Lip Colour and Cosmopolitan’s 2003 Best for Eye Paints. In addition, Laura has received numerous awards for her involvement in the campaigns on behalf of Calvin Klein, Donna Karan, Dolce & Gabbana, Versace, Valentino, and Alberta Ferretti, as well as her cover designs for Vogue (working with photographer Steven Meisel for ten years), Harper’s Bazaar, Marie Claire and Allure, for her cosmetics. In addition to Sarah Jessica Parker and Julia Roberts, Laura’s current clients include Madonna, Susan Sarandon, Isabella Rosellini, Brooke Shields, Ellen Barkin, Celine Dion, Meg Ryan, Ashley Judd, Meryl Streep and Julia Ormond.

The line is now available in almost 1,122 stores in 27 countries at stores including Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue, Nordstrom, Bloomingdales, Sephora and many others [2]".

Best sellers 

This line's claim to fame is "flawless face" makeup. The complexion products are the backbone thus a lot of emphasis is placed on their primers, foundations, concealers and setting powders.

If you've been kicking it with me for a while you'd know the first thing I tried from this line was the Oil Free Tinted Moisturizer. At the time this launched, it was one of the few that actually had shade options for black women - it's available in 15 shades. This is a tried and true product that's raved about on YouTube for a very good reason.

Another YouTube favourite is her loose and mineral powders. I've heard so many bbloggers of all complexions rave about those but I'm yet to try any. Also on my 'must-try' list is her Matte Radiance Baked Powders. Touted as being the best in the subtle highlighter game. 

The product you know I gotta mention: Caviar Stick Eye Colour. Available in 23 glorious shades. Just looking at them makes my mout' water.


You can check out her featured Award Winners for more details on the most popular products.

My recommendations

Like I mentioned in the Urban Decay post, I haven't tried everything furdalessmo' something from every single category but I do have an idea of somethings worth looking at.
If you have dry skin take a look at their Radiance and Hydrating Primers. I gave a 1 oz. tube of the Radiance one to a M.A.C Artist friend and she loves it.
The 'Ritual' Baked Blush Bronze is back in stock. It's a pricey $40USD but worth every cent.

That used to be a lil more domed. 

Of course...*insert broken record* the Caviar Sticks. This type of product is available from Bobbi Brown, Marc Jacobs, Nars, Tom Ford etc., but at this moment I'd recommend these over the competition. I still have to get 'Cocoa', 'Rose Gold', 'Peacock' and 'Burnished Bronze'.

Lately I've heard bloggers that are really into high end makeup ooohhh and ahhhh over the Laura Mercier lip liners and Second Skin Cheek Colours. But the stuff I'm most interested to try are the Bath, Body & Fragrance products. I have seen nothing but glowing reviews on her body creams, milk baths, sugar scrubs and candles.

Seems like you can really have it all with this brand.

Have you tried any Laura Mercier items? Do you think anything is worth going through the import hassel for? Lets discuss it in the comments.

p.s. a 'Sandglow' Caviar Stick, a 'Pink Mosaic' Shimmer Bloc (not full size) and a Tinted Moisturizer in 'Nude' (not full size) are available for purchase from The Marketplace.