Guest Post: Meg's Makeup Bag Favourite Brand of 2014

2 comments


Hi Everyone, I’m Meg from Meg’s Makeup Bag, and I’m Michelle’s CBB Guest Blogger for December. The instructions for this month’s blog post were quite simple, share a favourite from 2014.

 For me, it was an easy choice; I've been obsessed with Charlotte Tilbury makeup since it was launched in North America in September. So today's post is all about my Favourite Brand of 2014 - Charlotte Tilbury.

 While Charlotte Tilbury Makeup has been available for almost a year in the UK, it was almost impossible to get ahold of in North America. When the brand finally launched in North America, the site Beautylish.com started to carry it, which was amazing because they have overnight delivery, even to Canada (it's also very dangerous).

 For today's post, I decided to share my top 3 favourite Charlotte Tilbury products; the Filmstar Bronze & Glow Palette, the Fallen Angel Limited Edition Eyeshadow Palette and the Powder and Sculpt brush. It was hard to pick my top 3, because I own a little bit of everything from her line (seriously…I’m slightly addicted), and haven't ever been disappointed. The quality of the products are amazing, and considering their pricing is within the same range as YSL and Givenchy, they're definitely worth having a look. Plus I'm a sucker for all the rose gold packaging.


Filmstar Bronze and Glow Palette: This was my first Charlotte Tilbury purchase, I had seen so many of the UK bloggers taking about it, I ordered it as soon as it became available. It's definitely deserving of the hype, it's such a wonderful contour product. It's the perfect neutral contour shade for a wide range of light to medium skin tones. The contour side isn't completely matte, which I normally wouldn't like but in this formulation it works well and gives a healthy glow. The Highlight side is very subtle when compared to something like MAC MSF Soft & Gentle, but it's right up my alley. It's subtle enough to be used everyday without looking like a disco ball, but can easily be built up if you really want to glow. If you were going to buy one product from Charlotte Tilbury, I would recommend this one.


Fallen Angel Limited Edition Eyeshadow Palette: This eyeshadow palette is just the perfect example of how awesome Charlotte Tilbury products are. The attention to detail on the packaging, and on the eyeshadows themselves is absolutely gorgeous. I initially had a hard time using this palette, because it looks so pretty. The eyeshadows are so buttery soft, and can be used wet or dry. This particular palette is a limited edition for Christmas, and it's wonderful for a smokey eye. It has all the shades you need, and they blend so nicely together. The shades are lovely as a wash of colour, or as built up for a darker, more pigmented look.

Powder & Sculpt Brush: This brush is designed to work with the Bronze & Glow Palette, and together they're a great pair for contouring. The shape of the brush gets right into the hollow of my cheek and makes contouring idiot proof. It's quite multi functional, as it also works great as a blush brush. The bristles are so soft, and it's well constructed, definitely worth the investment.
So there you have it, my favourite brand of 2014, Charlotte Tilbury. I cannot say enough good things about this brand, it's well deserving of it's status as favourite brand for 2014.

Have you tried anything from Charlotte Tilbury?

Thanks so much to Michelle for letting me guest post today!
 Meg
www.megsmakeupbag.com

SHARE:
2 Comments

Sephora All A Glow & Gold Star Skinny Brush Set Review

4 comments
sephora all a glow brush set gold star skinny brush set review

Anyone who has stepped into Sephora knows, they also sell their own brand of brushes! Affordable brush sets (like these), but recently have also begun selling more prestige brush sets ($150+). The prices of their brush sets extremely vary, from $40, to $90, to $200. Essentially, they have something for everyone's budget.

I was provided with both the All A Glow Brush Set, and the Gold Star Skinny Brush Set a little while back. They are limited edition and I do not see them available on Sephora's website anymore, but I wanted to post about them anyways, incase you can still find them in stores. Edit: I did see the All a Glow Set stocked yesterday at my local Sephora. Not sure about the Gold Star set.

sephora all a glow brush set gold star skinny brush set review
sephora all a glow brush set gold star skinny brush set review

Both sets come with 5 brushes, mainly face brushes, and both are very compact brush sets (they are minis!).

sephora all a glow brush set review
L to R: Concealer Brush, Highlight Brush, Foundation Brush, Contour Brush, Cream Blush Brush

The Sephora All A Glow Brush Set retails for $38 (a $104 value) and the brushes were made to pair with the Sephora All A Glow Face Palette. The bristles are synthetic, and the clutch that the brushes come in is big enough to hold a bit more than just the 5 brushes.

The Concealer Brush was a bit too small, rounded, and sparse. I ended up with a ton of streaks trying to blend it out. The Highlight Brush was also, a bit useless for me. It is too small to highlight the cheekbones, but it is useable if you are only looking to highlight the bridge of your nose. The Foundation Brush was decent, although I can see this as being more of a concealer/under eye concealer brush. The Contour Brush is shaped oddly, and I was unable to blend and ended up getting out another brush instead. The odd shape isn't too clearly visible in the photo but I'd much rather use the cream blush brush for contouring instead. The Cream Blush Brush is my favourite out of the lot. I thought this was the contour brush initially, and used it to contour my cheekbones. It worked! Ok, it was a bit harsh but I did successfully blend it out a bit. You can definitely get away with using it for both purposes, but I think I'll stick to cream blush unless I'm desperate. I then used it for it's said purpose -for cream blush. It does do a much better job at what it was intended for, as long as you use a light hand and blend!

sephora all a glow brush set review

All of the 5 brushes were much softer than I expected. I hate rough brushes and I found these to be quite soft and non-irritating on my skin. Overall, the brushes were very soft, but just too sparse, short, and small for their purposes.

sephora gold star skinny brush set review
L to R: Powder Brush, Foundation Brush, Crease Brush, Shadow Brush, Liner Brush

Sephora Gold Star Skinny Brush Set retails for $39, stated as a $109 value on their website. The brushes are tiny, with handles roughly about 4" long with synthetic bristles. The gold colouring gives it a bit more of an expensive/prestige look. This set contains 2 face brushes, and 3 eye brushes. 

The Powder Brush had a hard time picking up much loose powder, but I found it to work well with applying a translucent pressed powder onto the skin. I surprisingly achieved an almost streakless application using this Foundation Brush. It was however, a bit stiff. I prefer the look and feel on the skin of the All A Glow Foundation Brush from the other set, but this one applied foundation much better without as much streaking. The Crease Brush picked up product well, but using it was a bit of a different story. It was very difficult to give it a little blending, and the brush is too flexible. The Shadow Brush picked up product very well, and made it easy to apply a strong colour on the lid. It does take time to cover a significant amount of the eyelid, so I'd likely just end up using this to apply black shadow close to my upper lash line. The Liner Brush also picks up product well! It seems thin enough to use for brows if need be, although I found it a bit pokey/stiff to use for eyeliner.

sephora gold star skinny brush set review

Again, the bristles of the brushes in this set were soft. However, the bristles just seem a bit too long and springy(?) for my liking.

I didn't have much luck with the majority of these brushes, but a few stood out to me such as the All A Glow Cream Blush & Foundation Brushes, and the Gold Star Foundation and Shadow Brushes. They are definitely gorgeous, compact, and would be perfect as a gift, especially for the younger teens. Although unfortunately, I wouldn't particularly buy either of these sets for that makeup guru or makeup artist friend. They are just not on par with other brushes out there; but those sets are typically sold at a higher price. I do think that they would be more useable and appreciated by someone who is used to cheap, rough, drugstores brushes. A few of the brushes in these sets are definitely a step up from those (although by no means do I mean Real Techniques or EcoTools, those are awesome brushes!).

These products were received for consideration. All opinions stated are my own and are not influenced by any affiliates.
SHARE:
4 Comments

Sephora Vip Pass Eyeshadow Palette Review

4 comments
sephora vip pass envelope eyeshadow palette review holiday

Every holiday season, Sephora brings out some of the most coveted beauty gift sets. Some of these sets are quite expensive.. in fact, way over many of our budgets. It's no doubt that they saw the need for an affordable eyeshadow palette. The VIP Pass Eyeshadow Palette contains 8 neutral eyeshadows (amounting to $1.50 each!!) and is super compact, lightweight, ooh and paraben free.

They had this palette available last year around the holiday season and I believe it was called the 'Event Entry Palette'. This time around, it's the VIP Pass Palette with a new gold covered cardboard casing. It snaps closed with a magnet, but I don't have a problem keeping it open either. It unfortunately does not have a mirror, which is a huge downfall but... it's also only $12.

sephora vip pass envelope eyeshadow palette review holiday
sephora vip pass envelope eyeshadow palette review holiday
sephora vip pass envelope eyeshadow palette review holiday
sephora vip pass envelope eyeshadow palette review holiday
sephora vip pass envelope eyeshadow palette swatches
Swatched over NYX HD Eyeshadow Base

The pigmentation of the shades are in between drugstore and high-end in my opinion. You definitely need to wear a primer underneath these. I always wear a primer under eyeshadow otherwise it doesn't blend right on my skin, so I swatched the shadows over primer (above) as well.

•  The strongest shades are those with a bit of shimmer in it such as 2, 3, and 6.
•  The ones I can see myself using most often are the browns and blacks.
 None of the shades are matte but the ones with the least shimmer, closest to matte are 1, 4, and 8.
•  My most liked shades are 2, 3, 4, 6, and 8.

 The colour payoff is very light for 1, however it is best used to blend out any harsh lines or for under the brow. 2 is a great shade for use on the lid or to brighten the eye. 3 and 4 are great used together like in the first look below. 5 is again, with a lighter colour payoff but it is ok for use in the inner corners to add a bit of shimmer. You can also get away with using it sparingly to highlight the nose or cheeks. 6 is a shimmery grey that can be great for a smokey eye look. 7 is a sparkly black, slightly more faint than 8. 8 is a prominent black that has minimal shimmer.

All shadows are swatched over NYX HD Eyeshadow Base. However I used Urban Decay's Eyeshadow Primer Potion on my eyelids as a base/primer.

sephora vip pass envelope eyeshadow palette swatches looks
Worn over Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion

For the first look (photo 1 & 2): 3 all over the lid, 4 for the crease, a bit of 2, and 1 to blend out harsh lines and highlight the brow bone. 5 for the inner corners.

For the second look (photo 3): I just added a bit of 8 in the outer corners of my lash line and slightly at the crease.

When I found out this palette was only $12 (CAD) I couldn't believe it. It makes for a great gift, stocking stuffer, heck I'd buy this for myself if I saw it in stores, and could swatch it. I obviously still prefer my Urban Decay shadows, but you can't get a UD shadow for the price of this palette alone. This is something I'd take with me overnight to a friend's house, or leave at my bf's house because I'm forgetful and always forget to bring my eye makeup for the weekend! This palette seems to have disappeared from Sephora's website, but hopefully it is still available in stores.

This product was received for consideration. All opinions stated are my own and are not influenced by any affiliates.
SHARE:
4 Comments

Hello Kitty 40th Anniversary Collection: Gift Sets Overview

3 comments
hello kitty 40th anniversary collection gift sets overview

As a little girl I guess you could say I was somewhat a fan of Hello Kitty.. It seemed to satisfy my 'girly' needs, because on the other hand... I was totally obsessed with my step-bro's Hot Wheels collection. Hello Kitty is actually much more appealing to me now, as an adult, probably because I find it so cute (and it's everywhere now!)

For the 40th Anniversary of Hello Kitty, Sanrio has brought out quite a few Hello Kitty Makeup, Nail, and Eyeshadow Sets, all currently available at Sephora stores and Sephora.com. These make for great gifts for the Hello Kitty fans, and regardless of what age they may be, there is definitely something for everyone. Below is a brief overview of the sets currently available at Sephora, however these are not full reviews and don't contain swatches (but are pic heavy!) Hurt me, I'm being a bad blogger, but I've had tons of things going on in November + exams in December, had lighting issues, and have only gotten around to catching up with all posts and reviews now.

hello kitty pop up party eyeshadow palette
hello kitty pop up party eyeshadow palette
hello kitty pop up party eyeshadow palette

Hello Kitty Pop-Up Party Eyeshadow Palette: $62 CAD On sale for $31
The colours in this palette look gorgeous and after lightly swatching, it seems that the colour payoff is quite decent for most of the shades and much better than I thought. There are 20 shades, both matte and shimmery, all formulated without parabens, phthalates, sulfates, and come in an assortment of colours. Under the lid, there is a Hello Kitty pop-up surprise! I was a little disappointed it didn't come with a mirror, but the acceptable quality of the shadows made up for that. 
Available at Sephora

hello kitty kawaii nail set
hello kitty kawaii nail set
hello kitty kawaii nail set

Hello Kitty Kawaii Nail Set: $47 CAD
This Kawaii Nail Set includes a Kawaii Nail File, Signature Stamping Kit, Pretty Polish in Ruby Red & Bright White, 20 x 3D Hello Bling! Nail Rhinestones, 20 x 3D Tiny Apples Nail Art, 3 x 1974 Nail Stickers, 3 x Supercute Accent Nail Appliques, and the Hello Kitty tin (of course). 
The whole set is very fun and definitely targeted towards a younger crowd. I wish more nail stickers were included because I found those to be very cute, and more useable for all ages. 
Available at Sephora

hello kitty apple a day trio
hello kitty apple a day trio
hello kitty apple a day trio

Hello Kitty An Apple A Day Trio: $26 CAD
This trio includes 3 tinted lip balms; Red Delicious, Natural Nude, and Think Pink. It is formulated without parabens, phthalates, and sulfates. These lip balms contain extracts of lemon, strawberry, vanilla, apple, and coconut oil for intense hydration. Each individual balm actually contains a mini mirror as well, for perfect application. 
Available at Sephora

hello kitty red bow beauty diaries makeup set
hello kitty red bow beauty diaries makeup set
hello kitty red bow beauty diaries makeup set

Hello Kitty The Red Bow Beauty Diaries: $65 CAD On sale for $33
The final Red Bow Beauty Diaires set contains the most variety of Hello Kitty cosmetics and comes with a few accessories as well. It contains: a milk money coin purse, charmmy hair tie, 1974 figurine, 16x All Better Bandages, 2 All Eyes on Hello Kitty eyeliner appliques, a pair of Supercute accent nail appliques, 2 XOXO lip glosses in Strawberry Pink & Toffee Nude, 2 Pretty in Pearl eyeshadow sticks in Hit Cocoa & Champagne Rose, 2 Electric Slide liquid liners in Violet & Royal Blue, 2 Plush Pout lip balms in Cherry Red & Coral Crush, a Pink Streak hair mascara. Again the set is formulated without parabens, phthalates, and sulfates. This set seems to be the best set for avid Hello Kitty collectors, because it is the only set that contains collector items designed to celebrate Hello Kitty's 40th Anniversary.
Available at Sephora

These sets are available on Sephora and in Sephora stores, and are also available internationally through QVC. I've spotted a few on Amazon.com as well. These are super great sets to pick up as a gift for the holidays for any younger teens, or Hello Kitty fans -especially considering that a few of them are currently on sale! The Pop-up Party Palette is definitely my favourite set out of the bunch, with the Apple a Day Trio coming in second because of the impressive colour payoff of the tinted lip balms. 

These products were received for consideration. All opinions stated are my own and are not influenced by any affiliates.
SHARE:
3 Comments

Calgon Hawaiian Ginger Relax & Pamper Me Gift Set

2 comments
calgon take me away hawaiian ginger relax and pamper me gift set review

Calgon is a brand that is widely recognized in North America. I'm sure almost everyone has heard of it and even owned a few Calgon products. They've been producing bath and body products for 60+ years, and their 'Take Me Away' has been around since the 1970's! It's hard to believe a brand can come so far, and still offer affordable and easy to find products. 

The Relax & Pamper Me Gift Set comes with 6 minis following the same 'Hawaiian Ginger' scent. Don't be fooled by the 'ginger', it has a very nice, light, tropical scent that smells the strongest in the liquid products (bubble bath and fragrance mist). 

calgon take me away hawaiian ginger relax and pamper me gift set review

Bath Products: Beauty Bar Soap, Skin Silkening Bubble Bath, Ultra Moisturizing Bath Beads

I'm not usually a bath person, it's not that I don't like them, it's that my family often use the bathroom upstairs and so I shower downstairs. Receiving a set like this can really make us shower people feel like we need to take a bath -and moisturize, I often forget to do that as well. The Beauty Bar Soap is ideal for both shower and bath use. It is a decent size and fits in the hand nicely. The Ultra Moisturizing Bath Beads are an interesting product. I've never used bath beads before but I can only imagine they are most comparable to Lush's bath bombs but in a powder form. They heat up and dissolve in water. I'd hate to use the whole thing at one time, like the instructions say, but I'd suggest using half at once. Maybe add a little Skin Silkening Bubble Bath in their to enhance the experience! I really wish they had included a shower gel in the set because that would be finished instantly if left with me! 

calgon take me away hawaiian ginger relax and pamper me gift set review

After Bath: Pumice Stone, Skin Nourishing Body Cream, Fragrance Body Mist

Well I guess the Pumice Stone can be used both in and out of the shower/bath, but I'd prefer to enjoy my shower while it lasts and get frustrated with my heels afterwards! I recommend not to open this in a bedroom as it's messy at first. The edges are sharp enough to use on rough spots on my heels and toes (for now). The Skin Nourishing Body Cream feels a bit thick when first applied but it absorbs quickly and has a nice light and clean scent. The Fragrance Body Mist is probably the most strongly scented product out of the 6. It can also double as an air freshener. It's refreshing and light enough that it isn't over powering and compact enough to be portable. 

calgon take me away hawaiian ginger relax and pamper me gift set review

Upside is that this is a very affordable gift set at $16.99 CAD.. the downside is that it might be too affordable to give as a gift on it's own! I spotted it on the Walmart.com website for $9.88 USD as well. You can find Calgon in Canada at Shoppers Drug Mart, Walmart, London Drugs. 

This product was received for consideration. All opinions stated are my own and are not influenced by any affiliates.
SHARE:
2 Comments

Fresh Sweet Nudes Set: Sugar Lip Treatments

5 comments
fresh sugar lip treatment sweet nudes gift set review
fresh sugar lip treatment sweet nudes gift set review

Fresh has come out with a new gift set for the holidays called 'Sweet Nudes'. It comes with 4 Sugar Lip Treatments, and 1 Sugar Lip Polish. If you shop at Sephora, you have to have heard of Fresh! They are well known for these lip treatments, and I'm glad they put together a 'nude' collection for those who love a neutral lip (me!). 

I actually noticed it has disappeared from the Sephora website, but hopefully it's still available in stores. Otherwise, the full-sized balms are available individually, or through other gift sets as well. I haven't done a complete review, but I've featured the Fresh Sugar Lip Treatments in a few posts in the past, such as my Beach Day Essentials

fresh sugar lip treatment sweet nudes gift set review

So this set retails for $42, has a $66 value. The lip treatments all come in 'mini' sizes, 2.2g / 0.08oz. These are the same size that Sephora gave away a few years back as your Beauty Insider birthday gift, if any of you remember. 

In comparison, the regular sized treatments are $26 each and 4.25g / 0.15oz, so slightly less than double the size of the minis. The lip polish is also slightly less than half the regular size, at 8g / 0.28oz whereas the regular size is $26 and 17g / 0.6oz. My apologies for the boring math, assuming these minis are worth $13.20 each x5 of them, the value is true to $66. $42 is the actual cost of the gift set, so you are paying $8.40 per mini

fresh sugar lip treatment sweet nudes gift set review

Fresh refers to these as Lip Treatments, rather than the standard lip balms because it promises to nourish, protect, and plump the lips. It contains reparative oils and waxes, as well as real sugar, to create moisture. The treatments also contain sweet and tart black currant oil for plumping properties, antioxidant grapeseed polyphenols, and Vitamins A, C, E. The packaging has a luxurious and expensive feel to it, and it's pretty satisfying to open and close (it doesn't just pop open, you have to screw and unscrew!). 

The Sugar Lip Polish is an exfoliating lip treatment containing real brown sugar crystals to buff away dry flakes. It is packed with meadowfoam seed, jojoba seed, grapeseed oil, and shea butter to provide moisture. 

The entire collection is formulated without parabens, sulfates, and phthalates. It is also free of petroleum, mineral oil, and lanolin.

fresh sugar lip treatment sweet nudes gift set review
L to R: Lip Polish, Untinted, Honey, Rose, Petal

Thoughts:

Fresh's Sugar Lip Treatments are easy to apply; they coat the lips with a waxy formula that stays on and isn't sticky. They last the standard 3-4 hours or so on me. My lips feel softened and smooth afterwards. They all have the same lemon-citrusy scent which is a big positive for me because although some of them are tinted, they don't have an unpleasant flavour or taste. The lip treatments are said to all come with SPF15 on Sephora's website, however, I didn't see any mentioning of SPF on the packaging or box so I have no idea but I'm going to assume that they do (sorry I am of no help..). 

The Sugar Lip Polish will be the cure to my lip-picking habit! (Kidding, I don't think anything will be able stop me from picking my lips). But it is gentle, feels like a light exfoliation, and if you accidentally taste it, it doesn't taste too bad either.. I probably should have used this before taking the swatch photos below btws.

fresh sugar lip treatment sweet nudes gift set swatches
fresh sugar lip treatment untinted regular swatch
fresh sugar lip treatment honey swatch
fresh sugar lip treatment rose swatch
fresh sugar lip treatment petal swatch
Please excuse my extremely dry, chapped, and over-picked lips! 

Untinted of course, has no tint, just a bit of shine and is the easiest to glide onto the lips. My favourite of the bunch is the shade Honey because it seems to compliment my pigmented lips the best and is the best neutral. Rose seemed like the most red and pigmented, but it is actually a very lightly tinted pink. Petal is the most tinted, and is a slightly darker nude pink. 

This is a great gift for someone who is into lip balms, and doesn't typically rock an extremely bright lip (me! again! although I wish I could rock bright lippies). I hope that they are still available in stores (as I mentioned, I can't find them online anymore). But they are available full-sized on Sephora here, the Lip Polish here, and a list of their holiday sets available here.

This product was received for consideration. All opinions stated are my own and are not influenced by any affiliates.
SHARE:
5 Comments
Previous PostOlder Posts Home
A Lovely Allure 2014