Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Purge and Pan Challenge 2019: June and July

Greetings, dear readers! July has come to an end, so I figured it was time to share my collection of emptied and destashed beauty products. When I initially started this project, I had great plans of updating every month, but lately it seems to be every two months instead. What that means is fewer posts like this one, but it does make it a bigger beast to write depending on how many products I end up finishing. Let me know in the comments below if you prefer posts like this every month or every other month! Now on to today's post!

For those new to the blog, let me fill you in! I have joined in with several other beauty bloggers and vloggers on a challenge to actually finish up our beauty items rather than accumulate more and have a plethora of open containers at any given time. While the term "pan project" was initially geared towards emptying out powdered cosmetic items, hence the term "hitting pan", this project is a little more open to include other beauty items as well. We each have set a goal for ourselves. My goal for 2019 was to remove 150 beauty and cosmetic items from my vanity and drawers. I made my goal relatively large because not only am I emptying up products throughout the year, I wanted to challenge myself to get rid of items that I no longer use or enjoy. It's not always been easy, but I have definitely made some progress! Let's jump in on my "Use it or Lose it" project for the months of June and July!

Use It: The Empties


Option: Brightening

I tested out a few other products by Huangjisoo earlier this year, and I really wanted to try out this cleanser. When it popped up on Zulily for a discounted price, I opted to snap one up. Am I so glad I did! It gently cleanses the skin without stripping it dry. My face is sensitive to so many other cleansers, and I am happy with how gentle this was for me. It's a little spendier than what I normally like for a cleanser at $25 a bottle, and I'm on the fence about buying another one. I'm currently using another cleanser that I like so I've got some time to think about it. If I see it pop up for a good deal again, I will definitely be jumping on it!

White In Milk Mild Foam | G9 Skin
Travel size

I got this mini bottle of this cleanser as part of a birthday package and finally got around to testing it out. I didn't think I would ever see the day where I would fall in love with a cleanser, but this one won me over instantly! This one was also gentle enough for my skin, and it left my face feeling both clean and incredibly soft. I enjoyed it so much I picked up a full sized version and am loving it! The full version is very affordable at only $10 and is my current preferred cleanser.

Beste No.9 Jelly Cleanser | Drunk Elephant

I'm sure this is a cleanser many have tried out already as it is part of the skincare birthday option from Sephora this year. This was my official introduction to the brand, although I was already familiar with it beforehand. This is another really good cleanser, and I really like the jelly texture. The full size version retails for $32 so that is the only thing really keeping me from buying more. I still have a slight preference for the texture of the previous cleanser, but I wouldn't hesitate to use this one again if presented with the opportunity.

Whitening Joy Mask | MustaeV

It's no secret that I enjoy MustaeV masks, and I have had them here on my blog numerous times. My skin always looks so healthy and vibrant after I've used one! The Whitening Joy Mask is supposed to help lighten dark spots on your skin. To be honest, I don't use these often enough to really judge whether or not my dark spots are lighter.

Moisture-Lifting Pleasure Mask | MustaeV

This particular mask is infused with vegetable extracts to hydrate and tone the skin, and I certainly see that after I use it! I'm not sure that I see it more with this version in particular, but it doesn't stop me from using these.

I have two concerns with these masks. The first is even after absorption in the skin, the serums so not play well with makeup application for me. It dries slightly sticky, and it causes a lot of other skincare products and cosmetics to pill up. Because of this, I stick to using these masks in the evening before heading to bed. I then dab on my night time moisturizer rather than rub it in.

The other issue is the packaging. There is just no good way to recycle or reuse the packaging, so I have made a conscious decision to not purchase sheet masks in the future. As I mentioned previously, I have several masks on hand still to work through, so you'll still see the rest of my stash pop up here, but I'm not going to be purchasing any more. I would love to see MustaeV release their essence in a bottle so I can keep up with the brand once my masks are gone!

Olive Real Power Cream | Innisfree

If you have dry skin, let me introduce you to your new BFF. This stuff is rich and incredibly moisturizing! I have combination normal to oily skin, but I still loved to use this as my night moisturizer during the dry winter months. Since finishing this cream, I switched over to the Innisfree Green Tea Seed version as I don't need as strong of a product at this time. That being said, I'm likely to get back to this one when the weather turns cold again!

Option: Normal/Oily Skin

This isn't the first time using this product, and I have enjoyed using it. Oily skin skill needs to be moisturized properly, and this is a nice, light weight option that works for me. I like to use this in the day, and it works well with my other skincare products and makeup. I'm currently testing out another product and have no yet decided if I want to stick with this one or not.

Superfood Peptide Eye Cream | Youth To The People

After checking out some reviews on Sephora's website, I opted to pick up this eye cream to try out. With the added blench of spinach, kale, vitamins C, E, and K, and tripeptide, I knew this eye cream had a lot of potential. Super smooth and with quick absorption, I have been really happy with how well this performs on my skin. It also plays beautifully with my makeup so I can use this one cream both day and night.

Like it or not, I am getting older with each passing day, but that doesn't mean my skin has to show it! Thankfully I can count on retinols, and more specifically, this night cream, to keep my skin looking its best! The Correxion Deep Wrinkle Night Cream absorbs into the skin, and even with my sensitive skin, I've not had any issues at all with it! This product is a must-have for those looking to help prevent and reverse the appearance of aging!


Now known as Face Prime & Protect

After some recent travels with this mini tube, I still had some left in this tube and opted to finish it off so I can toss this tube. I LOVE this sunscreen, and while it is a sunscreen, I decided to put it in with my "cosmetics" section as it works well as a makeup primer as well. My full size tube is just about empty, and I already picked up a new tube in the newer packaging for when that is out. A girl's gotta be prepared!


I love the foundation! I don't like full coverage foundation, so the medium coverage of this one works perfectly for me. The finish is fantastic and looks like skin. Not too matte and not dewy, I am a fan. The only major drawback is they do not make a single shade that is my perfect match. This particular one matches my face, but since the rest of my body is more golden olive, it sticks out awkwardly. I've been mixing this with other shades to get something that works, but I would love for MUFE to add more shades to this line!

Shade: Primrose

I got this lipliner as part of a nude lip kit. While I enjoyed using it, I'm not crazy about the idea of spending $25 on a lip pencil, especially with other options being so readily available.

Shade: Black

My skin has definitely changed over the years, and I found I could no longer wear regular mascaras without turning into Ms. Raccoon Eyes. I opted to give tubing mascaras a try with this drugstore option, and I've never looked back! I no longer have to deal with smudging, and I love that this washes off easily after a brief water soak at the end of the day. It isn't able to stand up to a good cry. so beware of watching tearjerkers!

Matte Finish Long Lasting Setting Spray | NYX Cosmetics

Between spritzing my eye brushes and the spritzing between makeup layers, I go through a fair bit of setting spray! Thankfully I have this affordable option to set my makeup all day! One caveat with this one is the spritz isn't quite as fine as I would like and occasionally there will be a noticeable droplet on my face. I simply dab it down with a beauty blender and move on with my day, but that is something to keep in mind if you want to try this setting spray. I already have another bottle open and in rotation on my vanity!


Clearly On Top Quick Drying Top Coat | KBShimmer

I have far too many nail lacquers to ever finish up a colour, but I do go through some top coat! This one my KBShimmer is one that I enjoy a lot and continue to pick up again and again. I love that the dry time is fast and it keeps my nail polish chip-free for easily a week until I change my nails out again.

Cuticle Oil | Ever After
Scent: Twisted Ice Tea

As an Arnold Palmer fan, I was drawn to the lemony-tea scent of this cuticle oil. This isn't the most moisturizing cuticle oil I've used, but I did enjoy using it all the same. At this time, Ever After has closed up shop, and I will not be repurchasing this one.

Hair and Body

Avocado + Olive Oil Smoothing Shampoo | Suave Professionals

I've used an assortment of pricey salon brands, but when I moved to Arizona, I needed to pick up something a little more affordable. I landed on this one, and I really enjoyed it! It left my skin feeling soft and smooth, and I didn't have any issues with it drying out my scalp. I'm currently using a different shampoo, but this is definitely on my list for when I need to buy more!

Avocado + Olive Oil Smoothing Conditioner | Suave Professionals

My hair is naturally wavy, but some days it gets curlier than others. I occasionally have issues with frizz, and this conditioner helped keep that under control. I was certainly impressed! I'm not sure how, but I managed to use this and the shampoo up within the same week. That never happens for me!

Scent: White Tea and Ginger

I have a love/hate relationship with Bath & Body Works shower gels. I love some of the fragrances, especially this one, but they always retire the scents I enjoy! Thankfully they bring back retired scents on occasion, and I picked this one up as part of a large order. This cleans my skin a little too well and leaves my skin a little on the dry side. It's nothing moisturizer can't fix, but I'm not likely to keep purchasing from the brand once I finish off my current stash.

Popping Bath Powder | KBShimmer
Scent: Wacky Watermelon

This was part of the May Polish Pickup, and I really enjoyed this product! I didn't find it to be particularly moisturizing for the skin, but the fizzing and popping is simply a fun experience and I liked the fruity scent. I'm not able to repurchase as it was only available for a limited time, but I do continue to enjoy other KBShimmer products.

Scent: Pink Champagne & Vanilla Bean

As if the shea butter, coconut oil, and crushed Japanese pearls wasn't luxurious enough, the scent selection really makes you feel like a million bucks! I'm a fan of Soapy Bliss body butters as they leave my skin feeling so incredibly smooth. You do have to allow a little extra time for it to be absorbed into your skin, but it is well worth it! They have other scent options if this one doesn't appeal to you; I'm a big fan of Hula Girl and Mermaid scents as well!

Lose It: Purged Products

Gentle Skin Cleanser | Signature Cafe

I had to buy skincare items immediately after my move, and since my previous go-to cleanser wasn't available, I ended up with this one. I don't think I've ever used the Cetaphil equivalent, but I wasn't a fan of this. I just never felt like my skin was actually getting clean and the cream texture was a turn off for me. I kept trying and used about half this, both on my face and then makeup brushes, but after months of trying, it's time to let it go.

Type: Oil-free (Regular Formula)

I've used the Sensitive formula (yellow) over the years and made it my go-to, but when I couldn't find it, I opted to try the original formula. I'm pretty sure I used it before and wasn't a fan, and I can only confirm my previous dislike of it. While I want my skin to feel clean, I don't want it stripped of all natural oils either. This left me feeling super dry, and even with moisturizing, it sent my skin into oil over production mode. Even watering it down didn't help. My hubby used it a bit, but since he tends to sneak whatever I am using, he hasn't noticed that I removed this from the shower. I have finally found my sensitive version and picked one up for when I need another facial cleanser. As for this one, I'm letting the garbage flap hit it on the way out.

Bombee Honeyed Pudding Peel Off Facial Mask | Papa Recipe

I recently reviewed this one here, so you can get all my thoughts on it on my previous post. The shortened version is the formula is too thick (I had to remove the cap to get it out the bigger opening) so it didn't spread nice and was just so darn sticky. The peeling really stings and my skin was getting irritated after frequent use.

Shade: Park Ave Princess

My memory is a little hazy on this one, but I'm relative sure this came as a birthday gift a couple years ago from Sephora. I tried to like this, but the colour just was not working for me. I found it pulls a little too pink on my warm olive skin and I just never felt good any time I wore it. It's time to just let this one go.

Scent: Sangria White Peach

I recently found this baby in a hidden pocket of a handbag I haven't used in years! As much as I like Glisten & Glow cuticle oils, this one is easily five years old and has gone bad since I last used it. Sangria White Peach is a classic scent for Glisten & Glow although it was never my favorite. They no longer sell in these rollerball containers, but you can still get cuticle oils in pens or in bottles. If you need a scent suggestion, I LOVE the Papaya Mango and the Summer Sorbet the most. If you like florals, Honeysuckle is quite nice as well.

Shade: Madison Avenue

I bought this as part of a deal with other Gerard Cosmetic lipsticks and never really loved the colour. This nude hue is better suited towards those with a cooler skin tone. I don't recall it having a plastic smell when I first got it, so this might have gone bad. Either way, it doesn't work for me so there is no reason to hold on to it.

Flavor: Root Beer Float and Tamarindo

That hidden purse pocket I mentioned previously were hiding these lip balms as well. I actually remember purchasing these over four years ago because I was pregnant with my youngest. When they arrived, the flavors were WAY too strong for me, as was most things at the time, so they had to get set aside for later use. While my sensitivity went down and I could use these, I never finished them as I had so many lip balms in the rotation at the time. They don't smell quite right any longer, so they have to be tossed.

Flavor: Pumpkin Spice

I generally like Burt's Bees and Pumpkin Spice flavoring, but this was a let down for me. The flavor was too heavily spiced and just felt like the wrong balance to me, or just not quite what I've come to expect. I picked it up late this past fall so it shouldn't be bad, I think it just doesn't work for me.

Mojito Lip Balm | Malin + Goetz

This was the last item hanging out in my handbag pocket, and was I mad when I made that discovery! It is less of a balm and more like a thick gel, but I loved this! I was actually almost empty and I briefly entertained the idea of finishing it, but since it has been sitting for at least a few years, I'm just going to be safe and throw it away. I'll definitely be picking up another for next winter as this works wonders on dry, chapped lips.

The mattifying version no longer appears to be available for purchase, and you don't see any complaints from me about that decision. This separated terribly, made me break out like crazy, and quite frankly, Julep is a horrible company and I no longer wish to support them. For those that choose to, I recommend avoiding this particular product.

Shades: Vivid, Captivated, Lively

While I like these particular colours, these glosses just didn't win me over. As someone with a sweet tooth, I found the fragrance to be far too sickeningly sweet and just couldn't enjoy wearing them. I've had them for a couple years now, and while two still smell overly sweet, the other is disgustingly rancid. At least one NEEDS to be tossed, and the others are going due to personal preference and wanting to be safe.


Phew, that was intense! This concludes the items I've emptied or purge these past two months. Here is a recap of the past few months and my yearly total.

June Stats:
Empties: 13
Purged: 10
Monthly Total: 23

July Stats:
Empties: 9
Purged: 4 
Monthly Total: 13

2019 Stats to Date:
Empties: 72
Purged: 64
Total: 135

I only have 15 products to go to hit my goal of 150 products! We're over the half way point this year, so I am not worried about not reaching my goal. I'm even considering upping my goal to help keep the progress going. I'm wavering between 200 and 250 products, depending on how brave I'm feeling at any given moment. It's definitely not easy purging unfinished products!

Are you taking part in the Project Pan Challenge? How has your progress been so far this year? Is there anything you are having a difficult time letting go? I'd love to hear from you!

Until next time, dear readers, have a wonderful day!

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Monday, July 29, 2019

Simply Earth Combines Essential Oils with Crafty DIY Project in August's "Face Care" Box

Press Sample and Affiliate Links

It's no secret I love finding and trying out beauty products! While I do not have a dedicated "Beauty Room", I do have an office where I store my products, photograph them, and write about them here on the blog. Another interest of mine is crafting, and I have a shelf filled with assorted odds and ends for my current project du jour. While I've generally kept these two passions separate, I was ecstatic to see my love of do-it-yourself combined with face care when I stumbled across Simply Earth.

Simply Earth is an essential oil brand that curates a subscription box with fun monthly themes. I've always loved the idea of essential oils, but with so much information to digest and the staggering cost of each bottle, I've shied away from really jumping in and using them. Until now! Simply Earth is a family run company that started all because of stinky feet. After sourcing quality and bulk ingredients, they discovered that essential oils aren't as expensive as the MLM brands I keep seeing. This revelation in itself isn't particularly shocking, but what I AM impressed with is Simply Earth's dedication to quality. They have sourced their oils from pesticide-free farms across the globe so each oil is derived from plants grown in optimal conditions. Working directly with farmers, Simply Earth has assured that the oils are then harvested fairly and with safe practices by either steam distillation or cold pressing. Each batch then undergoes GC/MS testing to verify purity for quality assurance. What is sent out is an undiluted, GMO-free oil at an affordable price. If you're not happy with you purchase, there is a 365 day guarantee. This is something I am happy to support!

Now that I've filled you in on the company and the general practices, let's get into the Essential Oil Recipe Box! This is a subscription box with two subscription options:

The MONTHLY BOX is $39 per month, and you will receive a box every month.

The QUARTERLY BOX is $45 every three months, and you will receive one box every three months.

There is no additional membership fee for subscripting, and you can skip boxes should you need to save some money or if the specific boxes just don't appeal to you.

Simply Earth donates 13% of profits to organizations that work to end human trafficking. The specific organization changes each month, but the end goal is always the same. Why 13%, you ask? This is the average age of a child that enters the trafficking ring.

Each Essential Oil Recipe box comes with 4 x 15mL essential oils, recipe cards that utilize the oils with recipes that fit within the monthly theme, and additional extras that may be needed to complete the recipes. Please keep in mind that there may still be some ingredients not included that you will have to provide. This is particularly true in the upcoming "Face Care" box for August as some recipes will require water or a handful of food items from the pantry.

This is what is included in August's Essential Oil Recipe Box:

"Clear Skin" Pure Essential Oil
Frankincense Pure Essential Oil
RosemaryPure Essential Oil
ClovePure Essential Oil
Pure Lavender Hydrosol
DIY Compressed Mask
7 Recipe cards
Sticker labels

I don't know if I can even find the words to express my excitement when I saw the reusable sheet mask! If you've been following my blog, you know I'm no longer purchasing sheet masks once I finish my current stock. I still have more to use up, but I am happy to start using the reusable masks and get those into my beauty routine!

The recipes included in this month's box are:
Feel Good Morning Diffuser
Step 1: Frankincense Face Scrub
Step 2: Rosemary Facial Steam
Step 3: Skin Renewing Face Mask
Step 4: Hydrosol Facial Toner
Step 5: Moisturizing Face Cream
Step 6:Clear Skin Roll On

Simply Earth recommends using all 6 face care steps only once a week, but the toner and cream can be used daily and the acne roll on as needed.

Simply Earth also has a BIG BONUS BOX! When you subscribe to a subscription plan, the BIG BONUS BOX will ship with your first purchase. This box is worth $50 and includes assorted supplies such as hard oil, spray bottles, roller bottles and other things to help with the mixing process. The ensure you have what you need, this box is automatically shipped out with every 6th Essential Oil Recipe Box that comes your way. Now that is convenient!

Also, I have to say I love Katie's fun personality showing through here with her sealing sticker!

My BIG BONUS BOX included the following:

Coconut Oil Pure Carrier Oil (4 oz / 118mL)
Coconut Oil Pure Unrefined Cold Pressed (12 fl oz / 355mL)
Almond Oil Pure Carrier Oil  (4 oz / 118mL)
Beeswax (2 oz)
6 x tall amber vials with metal roller inserts
6 x short amber vials with droppers

That's a lot of stuff! I used to purchase many of these, but it added up quickly and I always ended up with far more than I needed (I can't tell you how many too-small vials I packed once again for my last move). The BIG BONUS BOX is a great way to get what you need while still keeping the volume manageable. I really appreciate that!

As you can see, the Simply Earth subscription service comes with A LOT of great products! I love knowing that I am getting quality essential oils at a great price, and the busy mom part of me appreciates that they have already done the leg work and created fabulous recipes that let me keep my home as natural as possible. The added flexibility of being able to skip months and cancel at any time provides the added security I need to comfortably dive in on a subscription plan.

If you are interested in trying out either the quarterly or monthly subscription plans, or if you just want to visit the website and pick up your own assortment of essential oils, please consider using my referral link. Purchasing through this link allows me to continue sharing great products with you here on the blog.

If you decide to subscribe, please use the code LAUGHLOVECONTOURFREE . This code will get you a $40 gift card with your first purchased subscription box and bonus box. Please note that this code is not a discount but an incentive for first time subscribers. It can be used on your next box or a future purchase. These boxes are fantastic for yourself, and the monthly themes makes these a fun gift for friends and family. The holidays will be here soon, and what better way to show you care than giving a handmade gift!

Super Secret reveal!!!!
As you know, the theme for August's box is "Face Care". Each Essential Oil Recipe Box will give you a few details about the following month's box. Next month's box is focused on soap making and will include Happy Joy Blend, Lemongrass, Bay, and Cajeput essential oils and soap base and soap mold extras. September's box is a great follow up to the August skincare-focused box. I've actually always wanted to try my hand at soap making but haven't yet, so I am really excited about it.

Have you used essential oils? What do you like to do with them? Is the "Face Care" box something you would enjoy? How do you feel about the followup soap making box? I'd love to hear from you!

Until next time, dear readers, have a wonderful day!

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Friday, July 26, 2019

Little Green Detangling Shampoo and Conditioning Rinse for Kids

Press Sample

Happy Friday, dear readers! Today's post is geared more towards kids than my usual post, but since it still falls into care and many of my readers have kids, I think you'll still be interested!

I've mentioned my kids a handful of times on my blog, and this post is dedicated to them. I have two boys, and they are 4 and 6 years old. My oldest has very sensitive skin, and as a result, I have to be mindful of the products he uses on his skin. This includes any hair care products as they inevitably run down his skin, and most dry him out and causes his eczema to flair up. Thankfully, I have Little Green to get him clean without irritating his skin!

Detangling Shampoo

My kids don't have particularly long hair, but they do go through phases where they want to grow their hair longer. My oldest's hair is both coarse and very thick, so in spite of the relatively short length, it can tangle. This shampoo is light weight and hydrates hair while still gently detangling any knots out of his hair. I use this on my younger son as well, although his hair is fine and thinner. He may not need the detangling aspect, but I appreciate that it is still gentle on his scalp and it doesn't weigh his hair down.

Retail: $12.00 / 8 oz

Conditioning Rinse

As much as I like the Detangling Shampoo, it is the Conditioning Rinse that is the real winner between the two. It serves as the second step in the detangling process, but what I really enjoy is just how much it softens my oldest child's coarse hair! It is infused with avocado, jojoba, marula and coconut oils to hydrate and condition the hair.

Retail: $12.00 / 6 oz

Little Green offers a variety of hair and body products for children based on age. They have a collection geared towards infants and another towards older kids. They even have a lice line for school age kids that is formulated to help repel lice. With school starting up for my oldest next week already (yikes!), I think we'll have to switch over to the lice guard collection as a preventative!

Are you familiar with Little Green products? What do you use for the littles in your life? I'd love to hear from you! Also, if you aren't already doing so, be sure to follow me on social media. Cosmoprof North American starts Sunday, and I'll be posting throughout the event. You don't want to miss out!

Until next time, dear readers, have a wonderful day!

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Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Sistar Cosmetics: Signature Lip Colour Metals and Assorted Products

Purchased and Press Samples

Happy hump day, dear readers! For today's blog post, I wanted to share a bunch of goodies from Sistar Cosmetics! The brand had a booth set up at The Makeup Show in New York City during my last trip, and I had picked up several items from the affordable brand while there. Since then, the brand reached out and sent me their Signature Lip Colour Metal line to review. I've opted to combine my purchases and these press samples into a large review post, so be forewarned there are lots of photos and details to digest coming forth. First, let me fill you in a little more about the brand.

Sistar Cosmetics is a cruelty-free brand with items available for purchase both online and in over 500 stores worldwide. Their mission is to create a large and diverse multicultural community of makeup lovers and beauty enthusiasts. Through interactions, we come together as sisters and become the stars we're all meant to be, hence the brand name.

Let's jump in on today's post!

It's U Skin Smoothing Primer

Prepping the skin for makeup application is important, and for many, the first step is using a primer. This primer is a little thick and has a slight slip due to the addition of dimethicone as an ingredient. I've used this primer many times, and it definitely helps to smooth some areas on my face with fine lines and over my pores. It isn't as slippery as other dimethicone primers I have used, and actually leaves the skin with a slight tacky sensation, no matter how long I would leave it. I didn't notice my foundation catching into patches in spite of the tackiness. Overall, I was pretty happy with this primer. It "dries" to a matte finish and sits nicely on the skin. Fortunately dimethicone products don't seem to bother my skin, although I know it is a concern for some others. I'm not particularly crazy about the tacky texture, but it isn't enough to keep me from continuing to use this primer

Retail: $8.99

It's U Skin Perfecting HD Concealer and HD Color Corrector

The HD Concealer is a star product for the brand, so I naturally had to pick one out! I picked up the Skin Perfecting HD Concealer in the shade Golden Beige. It is a close match to my skintone.

I also picked up the Skin Perfecting HD Color Corrector in the shade Orange. Rather than attempt to cover up my dark under eye circles with more natural colours and ending up with pale circles that give it away, I'd rather neutralize them before my foundation step.

Both the Color Corrector and Concealer have an angled applicator with a hole in the center. This allows the applicator to pick up more product from each individual dip in the tube.

Here is a look at both shades swatched on the underside of my forearm.

I have used both the HD Color Corrector and the HD Corrector on my face where I need more, well, concealing and correcting, before stippling on my foundation. I really liked both these products and will be continuing to use them. I apply a little setting powder to prevent creasing and these have stayed in place for me all day.

Retail: $5.99 each for Concealer and Color Correctors

Lit & Glow Luminizer Palette

I love to glow year round, but there is something about the summer that just demands it. I occasionally am in the mood for blindingly bright highlighters, but for the average day, I like the look of a sheer glow. The soft shades in this palette caught my attention, and I naturally had to purchase one to test out!

One of the first things I noticed with this trio is the shades are quite natural and not drastically different from each other. If you are content with a "one and done" type highlighter, this may be more than you have in mind, but if you appreciate the subtle nuances, this palette may appeal to you. I'm a fan of having the difference options, particularly because I like to create a range of looks with my eyeshadows and lipsticks. Just one luminizer just isn't going to cut it for me!

I used all three of these shades in my look here. The paler shade on the left side of the palette I placed on my browbone, the center shade on my cheeks and nose, and the soft peach on the right I put on my eyelids for this simple look.

I found all of these to be soft and smooth, and I love how they applied to the skin. The only issue I take with this palette is the packaging itself feels cheap and flimsy. While the makeup itself is the most important aspect for me, this is something to keep in mind when traveling or if you keep makeup in your handbag or gym bag. I feel like the packaging will crack easily if you aren't careful, so I don't want to take this with me on my adventures.

Signature Lip Colour Metal

Sistar Cosmetics offers several options in their Signature Lip Colour lineup. Metallics have gained in popularity, and I have all six shades in their "Metal" line. As much as I enjoy metallic lips on others, I've been really hit or miss with the intensity of them on myself. The Sistar Cosmetics metallics are more subtle and more my speed, and I have been delighted to try them out!

All six shades contain metallic flecks that coordinate beautifully with their respective base shade. From golds to reds to bronze, they add that little extra something to make your lips sparkle and stay on trend without taking away from your overall look. These lipsticks offer a beautiful pop of colour to the lips. They do have a rose scent, which is something I generally avoid as I am not a fan of this scent. In spite of it, I still enjoy wearing these lipsticks. While certainly present, the scent isn't as strong in these as in others I have tried, and I do love these lipsticks enough to tolerate the smell.

Ambition (outer) and Princess (center)

Witchcraft (outer) and Mystical Sunrise (center)

Mystical Sunrise is the only shade I wasn't crazy about. The shade is very sheer, and the little colour I would get on my lips seemed to collect in the grooves of my lips, leaving an unevenly finished look. I haven't completely written this shade off yet and think it would best be used with a single swipe for some added sparkle rather than trying to impart colour onto the lips.

This is the colour combination I wore in the full-face photos above. Witchcraft it definitely my kind of colour!

Chestnut Jam

These are "regular" bullet type lipsticks, so you will have to reapply every few hours or after eating and drinking.
It's U Setting Spray

Since setting spray is my final step in my makeup application, it felt appropriate to place this purchase at the end of this post. While the packaging of the luminizer palette felt thin and flimsy, the packaging on this setting spray is solid! It is also made of plastic, but the walls are thick and I cannot get this to bend in spite of some serious squeezing!

The It's U Setting Spray uses a pump-style push nozzle. I'm happy to report that once sprayed, the setting spray comes out in a fine mist. You're not going to have this collecting on your face! Compared to some other settings sprays I have used, the spray disperses in a wider circumference, covering more of my face with each individual spray. It does have a scent, but I've not been able to definitively place it. It just smells fresh and clean to me. With my current schedule, I've only been wearing makeup for up to 9 hours in a day, and this spray has been keeping it nicely in place until I choose to wipe my face clean.

I'm really glad this brand had a booth at The Makeup Show so I could pick up a few things to try out, and I am glad they sent me these metal lipsticks to try out! I can definitely see why their concealers are a big hit, and I adore the shades of their Signature Lip Colour Metal line. While I cannot attest to the setting power of the setting spray for long periods of time, I cannot deny that my skin has remained looking good for the 8-9 hours of wear I have been getting. It has also kept my makeup set through my comings and goings on these 110°F days. It is too early for me to give it rockstar status since I haven't tested it as much as I would like, but so far, it is anther brand favorite for me as well.

You can purchase products online from Sistar Cosmetics here. If you prefer to do your shopping in person, check out their Store Locator to see if they retail in a store near you. There are two in my area!

Have you used any products from Sistar Cosmetics? If so, what were your favorites? Is there something in particular you would like to try? I'd love to hear from you!

Until next time, dear readers, have a wonderful day!

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Sunday, July 21, 2019

Highlights from the Beauty Spotlight Team

Greetings, dear readers! I hope you have been enjoying the weekend! I'm taking a few minutes away from family vacation time to get this week's Beauty Spotlight Team posts up. I hope you check them out and enjoy!

Never Say Die Beauty thought she had found her HG natural deodorant, but then she tried new Mineral-Enriched Invisible Solid Deodorant from Crystal. So smooth, so clean, so easy to apply. Especially love Freshly Minted! 

Could your skincare use a seasonal shakeup? I Know all the Words chats Summer Skin Survival Supplies to keep save your complexion from a major meltdown. 

Part serum, part essence, Erika of Notes from My Dressing Table is but stupid in love with the Airelle Skin Care Age Defying Serum,. This cruelty free, clean formula harnesses the power of the antioxidants in blueberries to improve the skin in several appreciable ways. 

Since discovering the brand last summer, Jen from Laugh, Love, Contour has become obsessed with Australian cosmetics brand, BYS Cosmetics. Earlier this week, she shared a review on two items from the brand that are out of this world! Be sure to check it out!  

Are you already a fan of Scentbird's awesome luxury fragrance sampling service? Pammy Blogs Beauty sure is! So, Pammy is super excited to share Scentbird's lastest venture into skincare with their Healing Crystals-Inspired Facial Masks. 

Korean beauty products have been increasingly making their way to our vanities. See the latest JoahBox, a box filled with K-beauty that’s available as a subscription over on The Makeup Obsessed Mom blog

Lola's Secret Beauty Blog is a HUGE fan of Boxwalla and their August Beauty Box: The Secret Symphony of Skincare Featuring Heart of Gold products is an astonishing treat for the skin and the senses. It features 3 full size products, valued at $180.00, for a mere $49.95. You will receive a cleansing balm, an exfoliant and a moisturizing serum– all of which are perfect for glowing summer skin. 

Are your lashes begging for something more? Are they tired of looking for a great vegan and cruelty-free product? Beauty Info Zone has the solution for that with vegaLASH volumizing mascara. You're going to love the look.

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Friday, July 19, 2019

Laugh, Love, Contour is on Vacation!

Greetings, dear readers! I just wanted to check in and let you know I'm taking several days off from blogging. Usually my blog absences have revolved around an illness, but this time, I'm going to be spending some quality time with my family. I'll be returning to the blog next Wednesday!

For those that follow me on social media, I may still be posting some family fun photos there.

Have a great weekend!

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Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Succulent Nail Design with Born Pretty Store Orange Stamping Polish

Press Sample

Happy hump day, dear readers! I am back with another stamping polish from Born Pretty Store. This gorgeous orange is named Tulip Celebration, and what a beautiful colour it is! I adore orange nail polish, and I'm not sure how I've not had a dedicated orange stamping polish until now!

I've been wanting to play more with the Passionate Desert stamping plate from Born Pretty Store, and this orange was a gorgeous accompaniment to go with it!

To create this look, I started off with Zoya base shades Rie, Eleni, and Kiera. Once I picked up the cactus image onto my stamper, I added in Eleni and Kiera to finish creating a decal, which I then stamped over my nails.

I really enjoyed this stamping polish! The colour is gorgeous, and it is very nicely pigmented for stamping. The dry time was quick so I could proceed with the necessary steps to finalize this look.

You can pick up this stamping polish from Born Pretty Store here. While there, be sure to check out all the other fun items Born Pretty Store has to suit your nail art needs

Use discount code QWL91 to save 10% off all full priced items. This isn't an affiliate code, just a special discount for my lovely readers!

Have you used any stamping polishes from Born Pretty Store? What sort of designs would you use with this orange hue? I'd love to hear from you!

Until next time, dear readers, have a wonderful day!

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Monday, July 15, 2019

BYS Cosmetics: Cosmic Eyeshadow Palette and Pure Silk Illuminating Drops

Happy Monday, dear readers! I hope you had a wonderful weekend and ready for the new week ahead! Today's blog post sees the return of Australian brand, BYS Cosmetics. I had reviewed a few products from the brand previously here, and I am delighted to share the brand with you again! I've had my eye on several things and recently decided some up. I wanted to share two of these items with you today.

Pure Silk Illuminating Drops

BYS Cosmetics offers these Illuminating Drops in multiple options. I picked up the shade "Sun Glow". I am an avid fan of rose gold highlighers, so this caught my eye immediately.

The Pure Silk Illuminating Drops can be worn in a number of ways. It can be used alone or mixed with your preferred primer or foundation to add glow to your skin. I have it shown above with a strip placed directly on the skin from the applicator, Below that, I have more rubbed into the skin to show the subtle glow.

Cosmic Eyeshadow Palette

While not new to the brand lineup, I found the shades of the Cosmic eyeshadow palette to be inspiring and had to purchase it. This palette consists of 12 shades housed in a metal tin. It also comes with two eyeshadow applicators, although mine have been repurposed by my kids for some project as I am not a fan of them and prefer to use my makeup brushes.

I used both the Cosmic Eyeshadow Palette and the Pure Silk Illuminating Drops to create this look.

After applying my foundation, I gently dabbed on and blended the Illuminating Drops on my cheekbones. I also added a smaller amount on the bridge of my nose. This product is giving my skin the most beautiful glow! I'm so glad I picked this up with my latest order!

I applied the shade Stellar on my eyelid and used Solstice as a subtle liner on my upper lid. I applied Lunar on the inner corner of my eyes and finished off my lower liner with Sirius and a touch of Galactic on the far outer edge of my lower lash line.

I am really enjoying this palette! I love that it gives me the option of a more natural look or to play with colour as I choose. The only potential downside to this palette is there are no mattes, so if you like to use them, you'll have to use eyeshadows from a different source. Because I already have several mattes already, I don't particularly need more. While this does prevent this palette from being the "be all end all" for me, I like that it allows for more "fun" options with this palette.

The BYS Cosmetics Pure Silk Illuminating Drops in the shade Sun Glow can be picked up here. It retails for $9.95 AUD. There is a drop down on the top left corner on the website to change the currency over to USD at the current rate or your other preferred currency.

The Cosmic Eyeshadow Palette can be purchased from BYS Cosmetics here. It retails for $14.95 AUD.

If you haven't tried this brand yet, I recommend checking them out! The products I have tried are nicely pigmented and the price point is fantastic! Depending on what you are interested in, you may want to check out since some things can be found there. Individual items are a little more expensive, but you can Amazon Prime shipping which can work out to be less per item depending on how many items you purchase. Otherwise, you can purchase direct from BYS Cosmetics for the full product lineup. I opted to order direct as I wanted to try things not on Amazon, and I paid about $15 USD in shipping.

Have you tried any products by BYS Cosmetics? If so, what have you liked the most? If not, is there something in particular you would like to try? I'd love to hear from you!

Until next time, dear readers, have a wonderful day!

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