Flare Beauty Box

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flare beauty box classic and fearless partnered with p&g and topbox review

P&G has partnered with FLARE & Topbox to bring you two beauty boxes available online now, for just $9 + tax (free shipping!) for Canadian residents. Both boxes showcase what Flare editors consider this season's top essentials. I have here the two boxes, which both come with a full-sized Covergirl lipstick and mascara, plus a free product coupon for a Clairol or Vidal Sassoon hair colour product!

The boxes are available at the link here, but you can read on to see what's inside them, and which one I would choose!

flare beauty box classic and fearless partnered with p&g and topbox review

The Classic Beauty Box:
•  Olay Regenerist Wrinkle Revolution Complex Sample x2
•  Covergirl Clump Crusher Mascara in Very Black
•  Covergirl Colorlicious Lipstick in a nude shade (I got 275 Coffee Crave)
•  Olay Ultra Moisture Body Wash Sample
•  Pantene Expert Advanced Keratin Repair Split End Fuser
•  Clairol Free Hair Colour Product Coupon!
+ Free 60-Day NextIssue Trial

flare beauty box classic and fearless partnered with p&g and topbox review

The Fearless Beauty Box:
•  Covergirl Full Lash Bloom Mascara 
•  Covergirl Colorlicious Lipstick in Succulent Cherry
•  Olay Fresh Effects Clear Skin Swirled Mattifier Packet Sample x2
•  Olay Ultra Moisture Body Wash Sample
•  Herbal Essences Wild Naturals Rejuvenating Shampoo & Conditioner Samples
•  Vidal Sassoon Salonist Free Hair Colour Product Coupon!
+ Free 60-Day NextIssue Trial

flare beauty box classic and fearless partnered with p&g and topbox review

Both boxes are well worthy of $9 (Ok.. $10.17 damn taxes!). I think the hair product coupon really meets, well, exceeds, the value of the box as well as the full-sized lipstick and mascara. Personally I would have a hard time deciding which to choose but I think I'd go for the Classic Beauty Box because of the Pantene Split End product, and I'm not too big a fan of shampoo/conditioner samples (am I the only one that finds them annoying?).

The FLARE Beauty Boxes are available now at http://shop.topbox.ca/pages/flare-beauty-box and I'm totally not sure how long they will last so if you're looking to dye your hair, need a new mascara or lipstick, I'd suggest you jump on this deal now! 

The two boxes were received for consideration and to inform you all about this great deal! It was completely my decision choice to post about it :)

Real Techniques Sculpting and Concealer Brushes Review

real techniques sculpting brush and concealer brush review 2015

As you may or may not know, I am a huge fan of Real Techniques brushes and there are only a few I do not (currently) own. I was sent these two brushes for review by accident (it was meant for another Toronto blogger!) but I was more than happy to review them anyways! Both brushes are new for 2015 and great additions to the Real Techniques lineup!

real techniques sculpting brush and concealer brush review 2015

The Sculpting Brush, the pink one, is an angled chubby brush meant for contouring and enhancing the bone structure of the face. It is meant for use with creams and powders but I personally have just stuck to powders (I prefer them to cream products because they are more foolproof imo). All brushes are pretty universal, it can also be used for highlighting or foundation application, but I prefer to stick to contouring with this brush. It applies and buffs my bronzer wonderfully and is the perfect shape for creating that natural but defined cheekbone. It is very soft and I'd say it is definitely worth it for the price.

Come to think of it, this is Real Techniques first Concealer Brush, isn't it? I've been using their Pointed Foundation Brush for concealer, but this one has an angled shape and even bristles. It is small and ideal for covering small blemishes or imperfections. Because of it's size it is very easy to get around the sides of the nose and such. The Concealer Brush is nothing special, but with a good concealer it will work to hide blemishes or cover those dark circles. It will leave streaks until the concealer is properly worked in, I typically use a Beauty Blender afterwards to make sure everything is left smooth and non-streaky. It can also be used to highlight or contour. I prefer to use it as a concealer brush, but it also works well with a cream product for nose contouring.

real techniques sculpting brush and concealer brush review 2015

The Sculpting Brush retails for $13.99 CAD, Concealer Brush for $10.69 CAD. Yes the prices are worth it and if you don't want to pay that then you might get lucky and find one at Winners for a few dollars less. If I had to pick one, I would go with the Sculpting Brush, especially if you already have small foundation brushes you use for concealer. You can find these Real Techniques brushes in Canada at FarleyCo.ca, London Drugs, Uniprix, select Familiprix, Lawtons Drugs, Pharmasave, Pharma Plus (Rexall).

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

Bourjois Healthy Mix Serum Gel Foundation Review


Bourjois is a french brand, often found in the UK and has made its way over to Shoppers Drug Mart's here in Canada. I picked up this foundation a month or so ago, it is the Bourjois Healthy Mix Serum Gel Foundation in shade 52 Vanilla. They have a small shade range of about 6 colours, with this being the second lightest in the range. It has a yellow undertone and beautiful fruity & floral scent. It is actually one of the only light yellow undertone foundations I could find in a drugstore, although it doesn't come with a typical drugstore price..

Bourjois Healthy Mix is priced at $29 CAD, and is only found at select Shoppers Drug Marts. Some of its claims or benefits are...

- 16 hour, radiance-boosting even revived complexion.
- Vitamin-rich frug therapy, instant anti-fatigue.
- Light coverage, Semi-matte finish
- Hypoallergenic, lets skin breathe. Dermatologically tested.

Read more product details and see ingredients list here.

bourjois healthy mix serum gel foundation 52 vanilla review and swatches
Click to enlarge

Above is me with only moisturizer and primer on the left, and Bourjois Serum Gel Foundation on the right. In my opinion, it delivers a dewy-finish, and for oily or combination skin types I would definitely suggest using a mattifying powder to set the foundation. It matches my skin tone perfectly and is great as an everyday wear foundation. The coverage is definitely light (as they claim), but it can slightly be built up to almost medium(?) if you use a beauty blender. I personally, like to use my Sigma F80 to apply this all over (I use probably 1.5-2 pumps), and add a bit of concealer under my eyes, and on the cheeks or any problem spots. I HAVE to go over it with a mattifying or setting powder. I dislike the shine it leaves on my t-zone (I typically prefer matte foundations). 

The foundation is definitely breathable and hasn't broken me out as far as I can tell. The scent is again, fruity and florally. As for the lasting power, even with a mattifying powder it does show oil through my t-zone after about a few hours, but I can get it to last longer with a light moisturizer like La Roche Posay's Effaclar Mat. It will definitely not be lasting you the claimed 16-hours, but it is fine for a typical day. I would not recommend this for oily skin however, for combination (like mine) it is do-able with a powder.

bourjois healthy mix serum gel foundation 52 vanilla review and swatches
bourjois healthy mix serum gel foundation 52 vanilla review and swatches
Swatches, and Bourjois Healthy Mix Serum Gel FD in 52 Vanilla worn with concealer, bronzer.

I love that this foundation comes with a pump and I will continue to use it for everyday coverage. I do prefer to use a concealer with it however, just because it has a hard time covering redness and will reveal blemishes in a few hours on me. A good, mattifying primer and setting powder is key for this foundation! I am unsure whether I would purchase again just because it has a bit of a high-end price ($30) and I do find myself using quite a bit of product.

Nivea In-Shower Body Milk Review

nivea in shower body milk lotion review dry skin

I'm sure the name of this product speaks for itself, an in-shower body milk (lotion) that is designed to moisturize your skin and rinsed off, just before you exit the shower. I was super excited when I saw that a full size of this was included in my Spark Sessions goody bag, quite a few months back. Unfortunately, although it is a fun and interesting product, I would not purchase it once I run out.

There are 3 variations of this in-shower moisturizer, Hydrating (Normal to Dry Skin), Smoothing (Dry Skin), and Nourishing (Very Dry Skin). I have here the 'Nourishing for Very Dry Skin'. The texture is much like a light lotion, has a regular 'nothing special' scent, and is quite slippery. The bottle actually warns that it may make the tub slippery, which is very true! In which case I would not recommend this for the elderly. Nivea's In-Shower Body Milk is such a fun and interesting product, it is fun to use the first few times, but in the end I found it a bit tedious because I would forget to use it. I also didn't notice much of a difference in the moisture level of my skin and for really dry skin, I'm sure you would have to use a moisturizer after the shower anyways. I do believe I feel a slight moisturization but nothing to replace the effects of traditional moisturizers. It does have Almond Oil which is probably one of the only beneficial ingredients on the ingredient list. 

Overall, this is quite the idea, fun to use, although a bit gimmicky and overpriced. I would say it is definitely something you should try out once (but wait for a sale/coupon first!) and who knows, maybe you might like it? Everyone's skin is different but mine definitely sees more of a benefit from moisturizing after a shower. 

Estee Lauder Double Wear Foundation Review

estee lauder double wear foundation stay in place makeup 1w2 sand review
estee lauder double wear foundation stay in place makeup 1w2 sand review

Lately I've been on a bit of a foundation craze.. trying to find that perfect, everyday foundation. I came across this one at a Hudson's Bay counter and picked up a sample because it seems to be well liked by many bloggers and vloggers.

Of course, this 100% isn't an 'everyday foundation'. Estee Lauder's Double Wear Stay-In-Place Makeup is designed to resist transfer with 15-hour staying power, stay in place through all types of activity, and be lightweight and won't clog pores.

Botton Line: I have a severe love/hate relationship with this foundation.

estee lauder double wear foundation stay in place makeup 1w2 sand review
Click to enlarge.

First of all, the good things: its claim of being a medium-buildable coverage is very true. You can do 2 layers or go over problem spots to get a pretty flawless coverage. I use either a Sigma F80 Flat Top Kabuki Brush or a wet Beauty Blender for the best results. The staying power is great and it is very transfer-resistant, something I NEED for times when you know you're going to be hugging people.. It is literally the only foundation I've yet found that will last all day without even needing a touch up, and the most it needed was just a light powder. It stayed put on my nose, which I typically find foundations slide off of easily. The shade 1W2 Sand, the second lightest in the Warm category is absolutely perfect for my yellow undertones and there are so many other shades that it will be hard not to find your perfect match.

The foundation looks so flawless from a bit of a distance.. but, this is where the problems start! It does accentuate problem areas and dry spots/flakiness, so up close these can be more noticeable. Exfoliation will help but ultimately if you have dry skin you for sure want to test this out before purchasing. 

Double Wear's lasting power is so good that it becomes difficult to actually take off at night! I'd recommend not to bother wasting your trusty Micellar cleansing water and instead use an oil-based makeup remover for this one. The foundation does leave my skin quite dry after removing. And the major problem is that I noticed it clogs my pores and causes small pimples across my face everytime I wear it.

estee lauder double wear foundation stay in place makeup 1w2 sand review
estee lauder double wear foundation stay in place makeup 1w2 sand review

Overall, I can overlook the flaws due to the awesome coverage and flawless finish it gives me. But I cannot overlook the fact that it doesn't work well with my skin and causes pimples/clogged pores. However, I have seen that this is not the case with everyone.. it really depends on your skin type and how sensitive it is. I would definitely recommend giving this foundation a try especially if you can get your hands on a sample and are looking for something flawless, transfer resistant and offers a huge shade range. 

Estee Lauder Double Wear Stay-In-Place Makeup/Foundation is avail. at Sephora at a pretty standard price for a high-end foundation of $44 CAD.

Double Graphic Liner

fashion magazine beauty panel double graphic liner fall 2014 fashion week makeup look
fashion magazine beauty panel double graphic liner fall 2014 fashion week makeup look
fashion magazine beauty panel double graphic liner fall 2014 fashion week makeup look

The Double Graphic Liner was commonly seen at Fashion Week throughout various shows from Nanette Lepore at New York Fashion Week to Mikhael Kale at Toronto Fashion Week 2014. This is probably the most wearable trend this spring that I believe can be pulled off with any eye type.

The look is essentially a strong black liner across the lashline and a white liner just above it, with matte skin and a neutral lip. 

First, I primed my face with Make Up For Ever's Skin Equalizer Radiant (Blue) Primer* and primed under the eyes with Olay Eye Brightening Cc Cream*, one of my favourite products to prime my eyes with. I used Mac's Soft Ochre Paint Pot as a base for the eyelids, and filled in my brows with Anastasia Dip Brow Pomade in Chocolate. I went in with a full coverage foundation, Estee Lauder's Double Wear Foundation in shade 1W2 Sand. This foundation is excellent when it comes to being transfer resistant and will definitely stay on all day, however, the finish is very flawless and it will be obvious that you have foundation on. I use a under-eye concealer that is lighter than my skintone to brighten the area, this one being NYX Hd Concealer in Porcelain. This concealer is so awesome to use with a small brush and then achieve a flawless effect with a Beauty Blender. I then used a pigmented bronzer (Benefit's ever so popular Hoola Bronzer) to get strong bronzed cheekbones, and then lightly dusted it over the rest of my face. Then I generously applied my Rodial Instaglam Illuminating Powder* under the eyes and above the cheekbones. 

For the Double Graphic Liner look, I began by applying Mauve and Sable (a mauve and taupe) in my crease from the Lorac Pro Palette. I then applied the NYX Jumbo Pencil in Milk as a base on my lids. It didn't go on smoothly so I blended it out and re-applied until it was semi-opaque. I continued to darken the crease while re-applying the white pencil, carefully, until I had a smooth line. I blended out the inner corners so the white wouldn't be so vibrant because we want the outer corners to stand out more. 

I then applied Maybelline's Eyestudio Lasting Drama Gel Liner in Blackest Black close to my lash line and slowly builded it, while creating a winged line. I went over the white base with a thinner white liner (Revlon Photoready Kajal Intense Eye Liner + Brightener*) for precision and to enhance the colour. I continued to go over this and the gel black liner until it was opaque and stayed put. I then set the two colours with a matte White and Black eyeshadow from the Lorac Pro Palette. I did leave the lashes bare, partially because I didn't have an eyelash curler with me but also because I realized it brought out the bold contrast of the shadows.

I primed and lightened my pigmented lips with MAC Lip Pencil in Naked. I finished the lips with a mix of 2 shades, a nude and a pink, because I don't own a light matte neutral, which is what I'd prefer to use with this look (Covergirl Lip Perfection Lipstick in 256 Creme*, 395 Darling*).

See reviews of: 
Olay Eye Brightening Cc Cream
Benefit Hoola Bronzer

6/17 of the products used in this look were sent for review in the past. They are marked with a (*) Some links are affiliate links :)
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