Friday, January 27, 2012

One Hand Washes the Other- Black Magic Soap~ Review

Having heard good things about One Hand Washes the Other (OHWTO) and it's famous acne fighting soap- as well as always on the lookout for another way to reduce my skin issues, I made an order not too long ago for a sample bar. Black Magic soap is a hand made soap containing a bunch of clarifying and cleansing ingredients, and many of the reviews I had read in the past have been highly positive.
 Here is a picture of the little soap close up. The sample bar was very inexpensive, only $1.25 USD and there is more than enough to it for around 20 face washes. You can see a better idea of the size here:

My hand holding Black Magic Soap- for reference my hands are on the small side of average
 The soap itself is black in colour with a slight green tinge. It's not dyed or coloured to look this way on purpose, instead it contains naturally dark activated charcoal (an ingredient that pulls impurities towards itself) giving it it's black appearance. You don't have to worry though, it didn't stain my facecloths, completely rinsing clean. I rubbed the bar wet on a cotton round below so you can see that the soap isn't that dark when you're using it.
 Black Magic does have a distinct and strong smell. It's very herbal with a peppermint undertone that dominates where ever you store the soap. It wasn't unpleasant just kind of overwhelming the first time I whiffed it. It didn't fade all that quickly either.

Unfortunately, this is where the good aspects end. My skin didn't like this soap at all. It worked well for cleaning but it left my skin feeling tight. Then my skin broke out into an uncomfortable rash. It was sore and dry and bumpy for about a week. So I only used it twice (once at night and once the next morning). It seemed to be okay on my forehead and upper cheeks but my lower cheeks and chin were scaly red ickyness. You can see my skin's reaction in the photos below.
 So, needless to say this doesn't work for me. I'm thrilled it works so well for others out there, but I personally just can't recommend it to anyone based on my reaction. I am glad that OHWTO offered the bars in sample sizes at very reasonable prices so that you didn't have to buy a full size unsure how your skin is going to react. The idea behind the soap is great but it just didn't work for me.

Black Magic Soap Ingredients
 I do have a couple other items I purchased from OHWTO that I'm very pleased with so be on the lookout for a more happy-ending of a review soon.

Overall, Black Magic soap just wasn't a good fit for my skin. It was too strong smelling, too drying and caused a rash.

Sprite Rating: 2/10- It got points for looking nice, and having a sample size at a good price. Everything else though...

Would I buy it again? No, I had to throw the sample out after two uses, unfortunately.

Inspirational Photo

Google Images

Yes, that is a real bee, it is a species of Orchid Bee a type of tropical bee that are jewel-toned in colouration. Fantastical isn't it? If this doesn't make you want to use purples, blues and greens I don't know what will! Have a great day!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

New Tarte Amazonian Clay Blushes for Spring & Swatches!

Clockwise from top left: Buff, Frisky, Glisten, Adored
If you haven't heard Tarte has released more shades of their award winning Amazonian Clay blushes for spring! In the past I reviewed one of the older shades (Blissful, you can read my review here!), and it is a fabulous blush- longer lasting than any of my other powder blushes that I own. I know a bunch of you are interested so when I was in my Sephora and saw the new 4 shades I knew I needed to swatch them for you!
Here they are all waiting to be purchased!
The four shades are Frisky a bright watermelon coral with gold shimmer, Buff a tan with silver shimmer, Glisten (a Nars Orgasm look-a-like) a soft peach-pink with lovely super-fine gold shimmer, and Adored a blue-based pink with silver shimmer. All four shades are pretty wearable in my opinion though Glisten was the prettiest to me with Frisky a close second.
T-B: Frisky, Buff, Glisten, Adored

T-B: Frisky, Buff, Glisten, Adored
What do you all think? Excited for some more shades in the line? I'm glad they added such a bright shade as Frisky as now they've got shades in the line for literally every skintone out there!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Cult Nails Get Nekkid Collection (Pre-Sale!)

Cult Nails is releasing it's first collection of 2012 and it is yet another wonderful array of shades from Maria. Based off of skin tones each shade is named after Nude Beaches along with a stunning limited edition green shade called Toxic Seaweed (the extraterrestrial skin-shade :P). The set of 5 goes on pre-sale tomorrow for $40 for all five (that's like getting one of the polishes for free as they go for $10 each). 
I know I'm excited, especially as these nude shades really do represent all the skintones out there- there really is something for everyone! You can see Maria's swatches and the story behind the collection HERE! Most certainly worth the read.
Is anyone else wanting to Get Nekkid?

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Sugarpill Chromalusts in Lumi and Goldilux~ Review

L: Lumi, R: Goldilux 
I've heard a lot about Sugarpill in the past, but I only ever found Lumi to be something that caught my eye. Though I had heard only positive reviews about them, super bright colours aren't usually my thing and they are kinda expensive. However, Lumi kept catching my eye, the size of the containers were fairly large looking and on black friday they were having their largest sale of the year. Plus my birthday was coming up so I figured they would make a nice gift to myself so I finally splurged on two of them.

 This is what I received with my order: my two chromalusts, a sample of Magentric chromalust, a big Sugarpill sticker and a advertisement card. The models are kinda neat in an eccentric way, and I like their random use of animals in the photos. I ended up giving my sister the Magentric sample so there isn't a swatch here of it but I did swatch the two vials of pigment.
the other side of the advertisement card

Goldilux, Lumi
Goldilux is as fantastic as the reviews say it is. A super intense realistic gold shade with a metallic and sparkle finish. This really does need a base like Fyrinnae Pixie Epoxy beneath it to bring out the true loveliness of it though. All of my photos are done over Too Faced Glitter Glue here but any tacky/sticky base would work.
Lumi reminds me of winter snow in that it is almost translucent/white with an amazing light blue luminescence to it which I love. It is a great colour for highlighting and a fabulous colour to brighten the inner eye.

These are nice shadows, both are quite unique (though I'm fairly sure there are dupes out there they certainly aren't common colours). I'm impressed with the effect of both of them on the eye as they give quite a bit of depth to when on. I wish Lumi had a bit more pigmentation to it but over a base like Fyrinnae Pixie Epoxy it looks better. In fact both look their best when over a sticky base.

I did however notice that these tend to fade a bit on me over time, especially if there isn't a base beneath them. Just something to keep in mind.

The packaging is actually quite nice. The pigment pots are deep so you don't have to worry about spilling eyeshadow everywhere when you use them and for just the smallest amount of colour you can easily get some off the inside of the cap. They're sturdy enough that I don't need to worry about powder flying everywhere when I tap excess off my brush against the side of the vial too which is a bonus.

Overall, I do like these Chromalusts. They are beautiful and you get a lot of product. They are a bit expensive though so I recommend getting them on sale if you can but if you're just starting with loose eyeshadow these are nice ones to get because the packaging is nice and sturdy so you don't have to worry as much about spillage. Not as long lasting as I'd like but beautiful colours.

Sprite Rating: 7.5/10 Lovely colours and packaging but a bit expensive and they do fade over time.

Would I Buy Again? Yes, I think I would but only for unique colours. I like the two I've got (and I doubt I'll make it through the entire jar) and I'll enjoy using them but some of the other shades in the line just don't grab my attention as much.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Too Faced Glitter Glue~ Review

Eyes Shimmer & Glitter by Too Faced at ShopStyle

A little while ago I was desperately missing my Pixie Epoxy and had left it at school so I stopped by my local Sephora and picked up a sample of Too Faced's Glitter Glue.
Here's my sample!
As you can see the 'glue' is a peach coloured cream substance that is really tacky in texture. You don't need much and to use you simply spread it all over another base to reduce creasing such as Too Faced Shadow Insurance (my personal favourite).

The whole point of Glitter Glue, like others such as Fyrinnae's Pixie Epoxy is to hold glitters or pigments with no binders or adhesive properties to your eyes and prevent fall-out over the course of your day/wear time.

Too Faced Glitter Glue does do it's job in that it holds glitters and pigments in place but I don't like it nearly as much as Fyrinnae's Pixie Epoxy. It is too sticky in that it takes more than PE to spread over the eye. It also requires more eyeshadow/glitter to apply as it doesn't allow blending or movement really at all of the brush bristles. It is very very difficult to spread across it. It also tends to feel kind of heavy in comparison to PE, and leaves a shiny sort of layer where you don't apply pigment in comparison to the Fyrinnae option. So it works but it doesn't really compare, especially when it costs over double what the Fyrinnae PE does. 

Here are some swatches over Too Faced Glitter Glue
Darling Girl Cosmetics Comet and Blitzen over Too Faced Glitter Glue
Darling Girl Cosmetics Comet and Blitzen over Too Faced Glitter Glue

As you can see the nuances of the shades are apparent with the Too Faced GG (the slight green shift in Comet and the pink iridescence in Blitzen) like you do with Pixie Epoxy.

Overall, If you absolutely cannot get ahold of the Fyrinnae version Too Faced Glitter Glue does work, it just doesn't work as nicely or cooperatively as Pixie Epoxy does. 

Sprite Rating: 6/10- because it's too sticky, requires more product, costs more and doesn't feel as nice on BUT does intensify your shadows/pigments.

Would I Buy it? No. I mean it's not a bad product but it doesn't live up to similar products' standards. 

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Indie Style NOT so Stylish

About a month ago I was excited to tell you of a blogger who was starting a business to make an 'indie' box much like birchbox, etc. It seemed completely legitimate and people were getting there orders. Suddenly her blog disappears, the facebook group isn't updated and the main page seems to pause. Turns out Grey or Le Gothique (known by many other names too) faked her own death, and some people didn't receive the package they paid for.
I feel awful for supporting them by informing you about Indie Style on my blog, and I sincerely hope you either didn't order or received your box if you did.
The blogging community has been very quiet about this and I may be stepping on toes here but as someone who buys a bunch of indie cosmetics I feel that others out there who trust in bloggers etc. should be notified when something like this happens so that things like this don't happen again. By knowing about the people who do things such as this we can hopefully be more cautious in the future.
I would like to also state that the companies that were so willing to be involved with the formation of an innovative indie cosmetics pack were also taken by surprise. I know quite a few had already committed to the Valentine's box and are also dealing with the fall out. I know Geek Chic is asking people that didn't receive there box to contact them for the coupon code that they gave out as a part of their contribution.
Basically what I'm saying is there will always be people out there for whatever reason are doing not so ethical business actions, but that there are a bunch of good small businesses out there too.

For more information, please check out this Twit Longer Link that tells a bit more about what has happened.

Thank-you for your time! (And just as an aside companies that I have had very good success with are listed through the tab at the top of the page. I know many people are wary about who to trust and who not to trust and these are the (ever growing) companies that I personally have purchased from.)

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Marcelle Hydra C Ultra Thin Matifying Fluid~ Review

Recently I picked up Marcelle Hydra-C Ultra Light Matifying Fluid as I had read some good reviews for it and I've heard positive things about Marcelle skincare in general. This is a primer/treatment/moisturizer product that is hypo-allergenic, non-comedogenic and supposed to brighten skin with the anti-oxidants of Vitamin C and other natural things. 

I have very oily skin- so oily that I feel icky not even an hour after I apply my foundation on my T-zone- sooner if I don't use a finishing powder. So I've been on the look-out for over a year for a mattifying product that actually works. Add onto that that I have crazy sensitive acne-prone skin (which cancels out anything that has silicone as a main ingredient)  I've not had many options to try, let alone found anything even worth a mention. This is very much worth more than a mention.
The packaging is great- sturdy clear plastic with a metal pump and base. The pump is excellent as it allows half-pumps too. It also has an air-tight seal of the product itself. There is a level at the bottom that goes up with each pump ensuring that there is no wasted product near the end of the bottle. I love that- smart packaging for the benefit of the customer!

This Hydra-C Matifying Fluid is a peach coloured gel that sinks in really easily. It's light weight and you don't need much, I use two pumps for my entire face and neck. It contains vitamins C, E and B5 as well as silica to absorb oil and hyaluronic acid which is supposed to help reduce sebum production. The Marcelle people on Twitter were very helpful- when I checked with them about the cyclo- silicone ingredients which I know worsen my acne, and they informed me that they only make up less than 4% of the formula making it alright on my skin. Their help in that way was exceptional, I've never had another company look that type of thing up for me before. I've asked other companies and either haven't heard back at all or they just directed me to the ingredients list again.

I've been using it for about a month now and it works wonderfully. It goes on clear and sinks in and dries quickly. Sometimes it can have a very light short-lived stinging sensation but nothing over-powering. I believe it's just the active ingredients reacting to the skin. It keeps me matter throughout the day and I like the feel of it. I also find that as a primer it does reduce the appearance of my pores. Although the matte effect is not everlasting, (it does become sort-of saturated after awhile) this does really reduce the oily feeling on my face. In addition to this it moisturizes my skin enough that I don't need an additional moisturizer most of the time and I think it is even improving my acne. My face is looking clearer than it did before, which is an unexpected benefit I totally didn't expect.

On, it can look kind of shiny by itself but foundation easily goes over it and the shine isn't noticeable. I don't recommend using more than a layer or two on the face though as I had a little pilling between my jaw and ear where I forgot to smooth fully once. Other than that I've had no issues and it has really made a big difference throughout the day and hiking to class.

Even when the silica spheres in the formula have absorbed oil they don't look or feel oily, if your touch your face it will just feel slightly damp-powdery. Strange feeling but way better than shine-city and it isn't unpleasant.

I don't think using this has reduced my sebum production any but I truly wasn't expecting that from this anyway.

You can purchase this online on the Marcelle website or at most Canadian Drugstores. It averages around $23.95 in price but regularly goes on sale- I got mine for around $17 CND.

Overall, I love this. it does multiple things for me at once as a moisturizer, primer and mattifier. It seems to help my skin and keeps me matte longer than any other product I've tried. Absolutely brilliant and not super expensive either!

Sprite Rating: 10/10. Despite some little things this blows competing products (i.e. Murad Mattifying lotion, etc.) out of the water. I love what this does for me and I can see it being a staple item for me from now on.

Would I buy it again? Yes. Holy Grail material, I mean sure I'd like to be perfectly matte from when I put my make-up on till when I take it off 13 hours later but that is a pipe-dream with my oily skin- this does a wonderful job and I'm really pleased with it.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Green Dryad Look

This came to me as I was trying to sleep last night so I decided to do up a look. In case you don't know, a Dryad is a forest sprite. I kind of went crazy with my greens here but I love the overall effect.
For the lips I used: 
Morgana Cryptoria in Absthine (most amazing dark green lipstick ever!) with
Venomous Cosmetics Venom lip gloss on top (clear with light green shimmers).

For the eyes I used
Mac Jealousy Wakes eyeshadow all over the lid
Mac Dark Envy fluidline gel liner along the upper lash line
Wet n' Wild Snow Sprite eyeshadow palette darkest green in the outer corner of the eye and lightest green for the inner corner of the eye
Urban Decay Homegrown eyeshadow along the lower lash line
Mac Vex to highlight

For my face I used:
Darling Girl Cosmetics New Grass along my cheek bone/ as a highlight
TheBalm TimeBalm concealer in lighter than light (undereye circles)
Make Up Forever Full Cover concealer
Laura Mercier Oil-free Tinted Moisturizer in Porcelain
Marcelle Hydra C Ultra Thin Matifying Fluid (as primer)
Lost in Makeupland Oily skin finishing powder

And one last photo :P
 Have you done anything creative with your make-up lately? Have a favourite colour (that decided to take over your cosmetics bag) you like to use too? Have a great weekend.

Shop Shop Shop Mac Colour Story

Quick update for anyone interested, I've got the collection details for half of the upcoming joint collection from Mac Shop Shop Shop Cook Cook Cook. Below is the Shop half. It includes Lipsticks, Kissable Lip Colours,  Eyeshadow quads, Cremeblend blushes and Fluidlines. I got all my information from the lovely girls at Specktra so thank-you! Also, finishes etc. should be coming soonish but you get the general idea here. Enjoy.
You can see my previous images/posts here---> Flaunting It Kissable Lip Colour SwatchPhotos/Quick update, and Promo Photos.
Whether it's detergent or diamonds, produce or Prada, everyone loves to shop, shop, shop! Try and Buy a delicious, delovely, delectable, divine, degorgeous, de-with-it, degroovy assortment of Eye Shadow x4 in wearable brights perfect for Spring. Treat yourself to Lipstick in heavenly hues, mouthwateringly Kissable Lipcolour and Cremeblend Blush. This Spring, shop 'til you drop with a tongue-in-cheek, collection that elevates the everyday into the extraordinary.

Innocence Beware - Light yellow pink (repromote)
Naughty Saute - Bright Pepto Pink
Watch Me Simmer - Bright pink orange
Quick Sizzle - Bright matte pink
Dish It Up - Berry pink
Runaway red - Rich red blue

Kissable Lipcolour
Flaunting It - Grey mauve (repromote)
Scan-delicious - Blue fuchsia (repromote)
So Vain - Muted midtone coral (repromote)
Woo Me - Light pinky nude (repromote)
Enchantee - Light blue pink (repromote)

Eye Shadow x4 Shop Drop
Hypnotizing - Greyed Mauve (Frost) (repromote)
Sugar Snack - Light pink (Matte)
Power Boosted - Violet (Veluxe Pearl)
Shop&Drop - Deep blue (Satin)

Eye Shadow x4 Call Me Bubble
Call Me Bubble - Light tan (Satin)
Fresh Daily - Orange (Frost)
Brash - Reddish copper (Veluxe Pearl) (repromote)
Full of Flavour - Coral (Matte)

Eye Shadow x4 Colour Added
Laundry Daze - Light yellow (Satin)
Colour Added - Bright yellow (Veluxe Pearl)
Self-Serve - Deep Grey (Satin)
Pre-Packaged - Muted Turquoise (Veluxe Pearl)

Cremeblend Blush
Optimistic Orange - Bright coral (repromote)
Florida - Bright fuchsia (repromote)
Restores Dazzle! - Rich plum

Midnight Snack - Soft black
Wholesome - Blackened brown
Added Goodness - Blackened Mauve

Products such as Tendertones, and Nail Polish may be part of this collection as well but are suspected to be part of a sister collection entitled Cook MAC 

(All from the lovely Lou on Specktra)

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Flaunting It Kissable Lip Color~ Swatch

One of my favourite lip items that is Limited Edition is being re-released by Mac in the upcoming Shop Shop Shop Cook Cook Cook collection which includes the Kissable Lip Color line. These are lovely glossy, highly pigmented longish staying lip shades that smell wonderfully of vanilla. Flaunting it is a neat greyed-purple-mauve shade and it looks really sophisticated and pretty on in my opinion. (It does look slightly intimidating in the tube though I've been told by friends!)
A surprisingly difficult shade to get colour accurate I've got three shots of Flaunting it on my lips in slightly different lighting so you can get an idea. I think the best representation is the top picture, but it really does look different on depending on which light setting you're in.

I love this shade because it's not too dark nor too out there for everyday wear but it is still really unique. Just something to consider getting during the upcoming S3/C3 collection release. You can see my Kissable Lip Colours review (staring two other shades that aren't being re-promoted at this time) Here!
Hope this little post was helpful!

Small Shop Shop Shop Cook Cook Cook Update

Image from Mac_Tiffany_J on twitter

Here is an excellent shot by one of the Mac artist's of the upcoming Mac Shop Shop Shop Cook Cook Cook collection (short form: S3/C3). In it you can see the variety of products coming out including tendertones, Kissable Lip colours, lipsticks, eyeshadow quads, fluidlines and Creamblend cream blushes.  I've got a couple of the names of the shades in the photo so here goes!

The bright tangerine orange tendertone in the top left hand corner is Purring (repromote). Also released with this collection are tendertone repromotes Hot n Saucy (Sheer Hot Red-Pink), Tread Gently (Bright Yellow) and Hush Hush (warm nude shimmer, so it most likely the one that appears gold in the photo above). You can see Temptalia's swatches of these when they first came out, HERE!

The red lipstick on the end of the row of lipsticks is most likely Quick Sizzle. (If it's not that one then Quick Sizzle is the red in the middle).

Most of the Kissable Lip Colors are repromotes from the Peacocky collection. However, I loved them when they were released and they're repromoting one of my favourites- Flaunting It so I'm really quite happy! You can read my original review on the Kissable Lip Colors formula here (even though the two shades are not repromoted with the collection the wear etc. should be the same).
Flaunting It is the top tube in the above photo- it's a beautiful greyed purple that is a really wearable berry shade. In the tube it looks a bit scary but on it's really lovely!
Beneath Flaunting It is Scandelicious, a hot pink shade.
So Vain is the bright orange.
Woo Me is the nude just below So Vain.
Enchantee is the light pink on the bottom. (I'm fairly sure, it may also be Vanity Fair)
Unfortunately, thus far I've not seen any new shades added to the Kissable Lip Color line for this release. You can see some of the original peacocky swatches for these shades Here.
Image from Beauty Junkies (not in English)
 Above is a picture of Tread Gently a yellow with shimmer.
Image from Beauty Junkies (not in English)
Of the 3 fluidlines the two I've got names for are Midnight Snack (Charcoal) and Added Goodness (Dark Brown)
Image from Beauty Junkies (not in English)
Image from Beauty Junkies (not in English)
 That's all I've managed to get so far! I want everyone to note none of these are my pictures and most of the info is from the wonderful people on the S3/C3 Specktra discussion board- thanks!
I'll post a lip swatch of flaunting it soon so you can see the shade on my lips. Hopefully that will be of some help.

Friday, January 6, 2012

A Winter's Night Manicure~ Cult Nails Time Traveller Review

Not too long ago I ordered two bottles of polish and a glass nail file from Cult Nails. This post features a manicure using the blue polish I ordered (Time Traveler) as well as a review on both the glass file and the Time Traveler polish. Blackout (the slate grey shade) will be featured in an upcoming post.
First I'm going to tell you a bit about the file. It's glass and comes in a velvety black case with Cult Nails on the end and a fade to black effect. Also available is a red one. The nice thing about this file is that is has extremely fine grain which is easier on your nails- especially if you have nails that are prone to breaking, splitting and peeling. It offers a smooth finish and works really well. Overall, I like the file a bunch, it worked really well for shaping my nails and due to it's size was easy to handle. I also appreciated that both sides of the file are useable for filing and that it is solid glass (instead of glass around plastic, etc.). The only thing about it is that it gets dirty/worn quite quick when you're using it and then nail dust gets all over the black case.

Here is my manicure featuring Time Traveller. Time Traveller is a deep navy blue that has a finish that is half-way between a cream and a jelly. All pictures shown are only one coat. On the tips I dipped the wet polish into Darling Girl Cosmetic's White Christmas pixie glitter to make a winter's night look. I'm quite pleased with how it turned out!

Time Traveller is a little on the thick side but still easy to work with. If I didn't have the tips covered my nails would have probably used another coat but with the glitter it's fine.
This polish has staining issues though so make sure to use a base coat. When I took it off of a previous manicure I was left with smurf fingers.

Overall, another great polish from Cult Nails! A bit thick and it stains but the colour and finish are lovely, as well as the polish having wonderful shine. It also wears well like all the Cult Nails polishes that I've tried.

Sprite Rating: 8/10 Lost points for staining and slight thickness.

Would I buy it again? Yep! I would. It's a great classic colour with a unique finish by a good company.