A Lovely Allure

Skin Envy Hair Removal Strips & Soothing Cream Review

Monday, August 11, 2014

skin envy wax strips and soothing cream review

I've been a little MIA lately because guess what.. I'm finally graduating college! Well.. I hope.. I mean.. the reason I haven't been able to post is because I am finishing up 3 final classes, and passing/failing these classes will determine whether I am able to move onto university for September as a direct entry student! (Not exciting..just stressful.. don't know why I added the exclamation mark). 

I have a quick review on two skincare products that go hand in hand, by a company called Skin Envy (By ProFactor). Their products are centered around the removal of body hair and aftercare. Most of the women I know use shaving as their main method of hair removal, but I typically wax or epilate. I do this in hopes of the hairs growing back slower, less thicker... and hopefully one day they won't grow back at all! I think waxing is a great method of hair removal, as long as it is done right, as the proper aftercare is done.

skin envy sugar beeswax strips review

Skin Envy's Sugar & Beeswax Strips for Face & Bikini come in a package of 16 strips (well there are 8, double sided = 16..). For the price of $7.99, I find this to be quite expensive (2 strips = $1), but I do see that face and bikini wax strips are often priced highly (why is that? they are so small). I use small strips like these for areas such as the moustache, fingers, around belly button. I tried warming them up in between my hands, but realized they didn't need much warming, they were basically ready to go! The strips were very sticky and I found them to be decently effective, although I do think I've used more effective strips. I could cut 1/3 of a strip, and use both sides for all of my fingers (knuckle area). I was able to get almost all the hairs, but wish I had been able to get them all the first shot! I was pretty impressed at how sticky they had stayed after using the same strip a few more times. The box also comes with 3 finishing wipes, but I usually just stockpile these and only use them if I'm waxing a large area.

skin envy soothing cream review aftercare

The Skin Envy Soothing Cream is a cream with 2% lidocaine hydrochloride (a topical anesthetic) that is meant for use after the waxing process to soothe the skin. It is said to "provide temporary relief of pain & itching associated with minor burns, cuts & skin irritation". I don't find this a necessary step unless the pain really bothers you. It does provide me with instant relief of any stinging I was experiencing, but I wish this provided other skincare benefits. It does have quince seed extract & vitamin E to moisturize the skin. I have also used it on an area where I have major itchiness, and it worked to relieve the itch similar to my hydrocortisone cream. However, I'd only recommend this if you are very sensitive to pain or experience itching and want fast relief.. but I do feel like there are many more cheaper products that will do the trick such as aloe vera.

Both products are fragrance and paraben free. The Sugar & Beeswax Strips for Face & Bikini are available for $7.99 (16 strips), and the Soothing Cream is priced at $8.99. They are both available online for purchase at FarleyCo or are also available at Lawton Drugs & Walmart stores.

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

EcoTools Skin Perfecting Brush Review

Monday, July 28, 2014

ecotools skin perfecting brush for bb creams review
ecotools skin perfecting brush for bb creams review

EcoTools Skin Perfecting Brush, also known as the 'bb cream brush' is a soft brush crafted from recycled aluminum ferrule, just as other EcoTools brushes are. This is a new brush that has also been recently introduced to me. At first I couldn't help but think... what!? A brush specifically for the use of BB creams? How am I ever going to use this? But I ended up testing it out with my Almay SmartShade Skintone Matching Makeup, which I consider a bb cream because it is so light, and I was pleased with the outcome. 

The brush is very dense, and the angle is said to help precise application especially around the nose and under the eyes. It is much cleaner (and sanitary) than using your fingers, and in return, probably less time consuming considering you won't have to clean your fingers off right after. It doesn't soak up too much product in comparison to a sponge applicator. The brush is soft but a little prickly if you are stippling. I use light strokes so I don't have to feel any bristles prickling me. Also keep in mind it isn't ONLY for use with bb creams, feel free to experiment and try it out with all types of foundation and other face products. 

ecotools skin perfecting brush for bb creams review

Overall I enjoy using this brush and will continue to use it. I support EcoTools because they are another brand that is committed to making brushes that are soft, at reasonable prices. I wouldn't necessarily pick up this brush at the store myself because I have similar brushes already, but I definitely would if it was a bit softer. EcoTools Skin Perfecting Brush is sold for about $9.99 on FarleyCo but EcoTools is also available at Pharmasave, and other select drugstores in Canada.

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

30 Bloggers, 30 Shades: MAC Palette Giveaway

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Ever wonder what happens when 30 beauty & fashion bloggers and vloggers get together? They host an EPIC giveaway! We are teaming up to bring you an amazing 30-pan MAC Eye Shadow Palette filled with our favourite shades! Enter today via the Rafflecopter form below!

Shades (no specific order): Sketch, Vibrant Grape, Fig 1, Club, Shroom, Orb, Omega, Aquadisiac, Copperplate, Woodwinked, All That Glitters, Amber Lights, Cranberry, Steamy, Naked Lunch Blanc Type, Nylon, Cobalt, Brule, Haux, Carbon, Phloof, Retrospeck, Stars & Rockets, Expensive Pink, Brun, Electra, Satin Taupe, Honeylust & Brown Script 

Your Participating Bloggers:
Row 1 (L-R): Angie (Vanity Rouge), Noelle (XO Noelle), Dee (Liner Glitter Gloss), Sandra (Moms Makeup Stash), Jenelle (Nelle Creations) & Deanne (My Fash Avenue)

Row 2: Michelle (A Lovely Allure), Marcia (Beauty Info Zone), Iva (Falling in Style), Niki (Hello Miss Niki), Rica (The Office Chic) & Bree (The Urban Umbrella)

Row 3: Amber (Canadian Fashionista), Krystal (Beauty by Krystal), Lauren (The Fashionista's Diary), Justina (Justina's Gems), Stacey (Stacey Brennan YT), Elaine (Toronto Beauty Reviews)

Row 4: Maria (A Mother World), Marissa (Chic Darling), Kelly (Glitter Diaries), Cheryl (Makeup by Cheryl), Chelsea (Olive & Ivy) & Chrissy (Some Velvet Morning)

Row 5: Shayna (A Pop of Colour), Cecilia (Dearest Lou), Janna (Gloss & Glitz), Mina (Mina Slater), Cindy (Prime Beauty) & Katelyn (The Skinny Blonde)

Open to residents of the USA and Canada.
Ends 11:59 pm EST on Wednesday, August 6th, 2014.

I'm ecstatic to be apart of this giveaway and wish you all the best of luck! Only mandatory entry is that you leave a comment down below, but I strongly encourage you to follow our fellow bloggers and increase your chances of winning! :)

  a Rafflecopter giveaway
TERMS & CONDITIONS: This giveaway is open to US and Canadian residents over the age of 18 and ends at 11:59pm EST on August 6th, 2014. The number of entries received determines the odds of winning. Only one winner will be selected. This giveaway is a group buy, which means the bloggers/vloggers pooled their money together to purchase this product for you. Winner will be chosen at random from all verified entries, contacted by email provided, and announced on this page at the end of the contest. Winner has 48 hours to respond or prize will be redrawn. No prize substitutions allowed. Bloggers in this group giveaway and their immediate family members in their household cannot enter or win the giveaway. No purchase necessary.

EcoTools Pure Complexion Facial Sponge Review: Sensitive Skin

ecotools pure complexion facial sponge sensitive skin review

EcoTools Pure Complexion Facial Sponge for Sensitive Skin is a konjac sponge designed to wash away dirt, oil, and makeup after a typical day. It's actually the first konjac sponge I've ever used, and there were a few things I liked and disliked about it. But first off, to break down the benefits of this sponge, it is 'handmade, made with 100% natural ingredients (including konjac vegetable fiber), fragrance-free, colorant-free, and dermatologist tested'. 

ecotools pure complexion facial sponge sensitive skin review
ecotools pure complexion facial sponge sensitive skin review
(1) Sponge when dry, (2) Sponge when wet

The sponge is gentle enough to be used daily, and is to be replaced every 1 to 3 months depending on the amount of usage it is getting. I just want to mention that I do have somewhat sensitive skin, it mildly reacts to different products and needs to be exfoliated lightly. I can use this comfortably without feeling like I am going to damage my skin. I use it every week, but it might be beneficial to use it twice a week or even more often than that. It is gentle yet effective enough to exfoliate the face, but I really love using it for the removal of clay masks! It is often annoying to remove clay masks but with the sponge helping to squeeze water onto the face with circular motions it makes the removal process of a mask that much easier and is less of a mess. The one thing I dislike about the sponge is that because it is a konjac sponge, it is hard when dry, and you will need to run it under the water before placing it on your face.. This takes a bit longer than the patience I have :p I've never used a konjac sponge before, so I'm not sure of how other brands sponges would compare in quality, fortunately I do have fun using this one and hope that it holds up longer than 3 months! EcoTools Complexion Sponges are available online at FarleyCo, and select Brunet, Pharmasave, and UniPrix in Canada for $11.99. You mighttt be able to find them at a local Walmart but I have not spotted them yet.

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

Covergirl Outlast 3 in 1 Foundation in Classic Ivory (810)

Thursday, July 17, 2014

covergirl outlast foundation classic ivory 810 910 review
covergirl outlast foundation classic ivory 810 910 review

I've heard so much about the Covergirl Outlast 3 in 1 Foundation, that I'd finally decided to give it a try. The shade that suited my skin colour best was 910 or 810 (they are both the same colour) also called Classic Ivory. This is the second lightest colour in the collection and might still be a bit dark for those who are really fair skinned. I believe it was also the most 'neutral' looking colour in the first few lightest shades, as the others looked a bit too pink-toned. 

A little background information on this foundation, is that it claims to be an all-day long-wear formula, and a primer, concealer, and foundation all in one. It claims to provide a smooth, flawless finish.

covergirl outlast foundation classic ivory 810 910 review
(Click to enlarge!) Took these pictures on an 'off' day, please excuse my puffy face and sleep deprived eyes!

I was quite impressed during the initial application of this foundation. It was surprising to see that it did not emphasize my dry patches or flakes, and it was easy to blend into the skin. The colour was very close to Revlon Colorstay in 'Buff', although with slightly less of a neutral/yellow undertone. I noticed it was actually a bit pinkish upon initial application, even though it seemed quite neutral... or maybe I'm just too yellow (*sigh*). I like how natural the foundation looked on my skin. With the first application, I noticed the coverage wasn't super amazing, but it was more than enough to cover my redness and fade blemishes. Great for a daily basis, school, work, or running errands, but I don't think I'd wear this for a night out or special occasion. 

I absolutely love that this foundation comes with a pump. It made application so much easier. I actually use a few pumps for a full face coverage, however, I only press the pump down halfway each time onto my finger so it doesn't spill all over the floor! The pump can also be locked so it is secure while travelling. The foundation absorbs quite easily so I needed to use more product than expected, especially when using a sponge applicator.

covergirl outlast foundation classic ivory 810 910 review

Active: Ensulizole 3.0%. Inactive: Water, Cyclopentasiloxane, Propylene Glycol, Talc, Dimethicone, Aluminum Starch, Octenylsuccinate, Sodium Chloride, PEG/PPG-18, Pvp, Benzyl Alcohol, Phenoxyethanol, Sodium Hydroxide, Ethylene, Copolymer, Trihydroxystearin, Arachidyl Behenate, Methicone, Silica, Synthetic Wax, Sodium Benzoate, Hexyl Laurate, Polyglyceryl-4 Isostearate, Cetyl PEG/PPG-10/1 Dimethicone, Isopropyl Titanium Triisostearate, Ethylene Brassylate, Behenic Acid, Polyethylene, Iron Oxides, Titanium Dioxide.

The Covergirl Outlast Foundation felt very lightweight on my skin, I actually forgot I had makeup on when it was late and time to take it off. However, I did feel like it broke me out or at least clogged my pores, not sure if it has to do with the sunscreen ingredient 'ensulizole'. I did notice that it does fade a bit throughout the day, and begins to show some of my darker post-acne spots. I wish they made more yellow tones for this specific foundation, but I won't be purchasing anyway because of my speculation that it clogged my pores. Although it was very easy to remove at the end of the day, and is affordable for around $12 Cad at Walmart. 

Loreal Miss Manga Waterproof Mascara Review

Saturday, July 05, 2014

loreal miss manga waterproof mascara review

I couldn't help myself! I HAD to pick up the Loreal Miss Manga Mascara after seeing so much blogger hype around it. I chose the waterproof version, of course, because I have naturally straight lashes that will only hold a curl with a waterproof mascara. I think I picked this up for $10 at Walmart, but I have heard it can go on sale for a few dollars cheaper, yes, even at Shoppers Drug Mart!

loreal miss manga waterproof mascara review

The packaging is cute and a little scary now that I take a look at it again.. but nonetheless it will definitely attract women and girls of all ages, especially because it is new! The whole claim about this new mascara is the 'manga effect' which I assume means to give the illusion of bigger eyes through the volumizing mascara.. The packaging claims the typical instant oversized 12X lash volume. What's different about this mascara is that it has a uniquely shaped brush, also called the 360 flexor brush with a conical shape, which is supposed to catch hard to reach lashes..

loreal miss manga waterproof mascara review

First off it doesn't clump, and separates the lashes well. You can really achieve a natural look with this, and applying second and third coats shouldn't be a problem. The waterproof formula holds my curl well, and elongates them, but I wish it added more volume. It doesn't help with thickness, so I'd suggest maybe adding a thick/volumizing mascara afterwards as a second coat. It doesn't smudge (well it did once or twice.. all mascaras will randomly smudge on me sometimes). It's difficult to coat the bottom lashes because of the brush, but if you are able to, it helps to lengthen them. I also like that it lengthens without the use of false fibers. 

The Brush:
I'm comfortable with smaller, hard plastic bristles and I am usually in a rush when applying, so using this brush quickly was a bit difficult. It's on the larger side and I have to be careful when applying in order to avoid getting it on my eyelids. Application takes longer than it does with my other mascaras because the brush is springy and flexible, making it harder to control, and harder to press up against your lashes. I found it kind of flings around when using it, and I don't really have the patience for it.

I've actually found a way to use this to get both volume and long lashes! I like to apply this first to separate my lashes, and Maybelline's Rocket Volum (Waterproof) on top to add tons of volume... (not pictured below, below is just using the Miss Manga Mascara)

loreal miss manga waterproof mascara review worn swatched
Loreal Miss Manga Waterproof Mascara in Blackest Black

The Miss Manga Mascara is a decent mascara for those who want natural looking lashes, not too much thickness, and less clumping. It isn't ideal for a night out, unless it is used under a more volumizing mascara, in which case it works well for me. Perhaps with a different, non-flexible brush, the formula might give a bit more volume. I likely would not purchase again because I am looking for something that will give me both volume and length, not just one of the two.