Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Review: Born Pretty Store Water Decals

I ordered these water decals from Born Pretty Store a few weeks ago after seeing Robin post a review on her blog. If you're curious to see a full tutorial with pictures on how to use nail water decals, check out her blog post about them here.

I chose two designs, which you can find here on the Born Pretty Store website. I chose the designs BLE1745, and BLE1744, which you can see pictured below. I used the BLE1744 design, which are the beautiful orchids on the left.


I had never used water decals, only nail stickers many years ago, and they weren't that good. However, from the reviews I read these would be very easy to use and give an excellent result. I wasn't disappointed at all. They look great, and were so easy to use! Each sheet comes with 20 decals, so if you use one for each finger you get two manis out of one sheet! I used only four stickers this time.



I started off with my Witchcraft base coat, followed by two coats of Deborah Lippman's New Flesh. This polish is from the True Blood collection, and it's become my favourite nude. It just goes really well with my skin tone, I think! I then cut out the four water decals I wanted to use, and applied to my index and ring finger on both hands. I topped it off with my Witchcraft top coat. Here is the result!


I recently cut my nails to their shortest, and I think these water decals work great for someone who has shorter nails! 


PROS: 
Super duper cheap (0.99$ per sheet, and shipping is free! WHAT??)
Very easy to use, all instructions are on the back of the packaging
Last a long time (I've had these on my nails for 4 days now, and they look like I just put them on today)


CONS:
I honestly can't think of any, except you'll become addicted and want to buy every design Born Pretty Store has for sale =_=

FINAL THOUGHTS:
If you've never used water decals, I really recommend trying them. These are perfect for those of us who wish they could do nail art, but aren't that talented or who don't have the time required. These were super fast to apply, not much longer than I usually take to paint my nails normally. This was my first time buying from Born Pretty Store, and I was super satisfied. I will definitely purchase from them again.

What do you think about these water decals? Do you like the patterns I chose?

xx Cynthia

On My Nails: China Glaze's Sunday Funday

This is a nail colour that I normally wouldn't have purchased, but it was in the bargain bin for 1$, so obviously I had to have it! Sunday Funday is a very bright blue, that reminds me of summer days by the pool. This is a very opaque nail polish, so two coats is really all you need. I only own two China Glaze polishes, but they seem to chip very easily? I don't know if I'm just unlucky, or if all China Glaze polishes are like this. So I recommend using a top coat with this one. In any case, it's not a colour that I would want to keep on my nails for longer than a few days anyway, so that doesn't bother me too much.


Let me know what you think about this colour! Do you also have problems with premature chipping with China Glaze polishes? I want to know this before buying more from this brand.

Also, thank you so much to my new followers on Bloglovin, I really appreciate it and hope you enjoy reading my blog!

xx Cynthia

Friday, August 22, 2014

On My Nails: In Stitches by Essie

Even though it's technically still summer, the temperature has really gone down quite a bit this past week or so here in Québec. The slightly cooler weather made me look for autumn colours while going through my polish collection, and I decided to go with In Stitches by Essie. This is one of my most worn shades, and one of the few polishes that I can remember paying full price for because I had to have it! 



The colour is hard to describe, but it's definitely a perfect colour for autumn. I love to wear this with jeans, brown boots and an oversized oatmeal coloured sweater. This is what three coats of polish looks like, you could probably get away with wearing just 2 coats though!

What do you think? Is it too early for me to be wearing autumn shades?

xx Cynthia

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Review: Annabelle Lipsies in Orange

I know that I am SUPER late to the party with this one, and seeing as this is a limited edition product, it will probably be incredibly difficult to find. However, I did find it a few weeks ago on sale for 2$ at my local drugstore (Familiprix), which is a total steal compared to the original price of 4.79$. If you live in a smaller town like I do, you might also be able to find this in the bargain bin! I also wanted to post a review because as of late I haven't seen any posts on the orange lipsies, which is the one that I got. There are 8 flavors in total.


This lip balm is surprisingly pigmented, and applies evenly in just one swipe. It keep lips very moisturized and slick. If you do happen to eat or drink something, you will have to reapply because it come off really easy. However, it does seem to stain just a tad, so if it does come off it's not such a big deal because some of the colour remains. I found this out after swatching on my arm. Even after washing my arm with soap and water, I still have an orange line >_<.


Here is what the lip balm looks like on my arm, below is a swatch on my lips!


First a picture of my bare lips, yup I know my lips are very weirdly shaped and puffy >.<.


Here is what it looks like on my lips. In reality, it's a lot more orange than on these pictures, but somehow my camera has trouble capturing that!


PROS:
Quite inexpensive (2$ on sale for 3.5g of product)
Clever packaging (twist bottom)
Very good pigmentation for a balm
Smells really nice! (like orange candy or pop)

CONS:
The orange colour makes my teeth look more yellow than they actually are.

FINAL THOUGHTS:
If you like lip products, you'll probably want to try Annabelle Lipsies in at least one colour (there are 8 to choose from). They are really fun and smell amazing, I definitely recommend these!

xx Cynthia





Sunday, August 17, 2014

Review: PureDerm Skin Solutions 'Myung-an' Brightening Korean Herb Mask

Lately my skin has been feeling a little dehydrated and taut. Looking through the different skin products I've hoarded over time, I came across the PureDerm Skin Solutions 'Myung-an' Brightening Korean Herb Mask for Dry Skin. I had purchased this a few months ago on a whim, seeing as it was very inexpensive. If I remember correctly, this mask was being sold for 2-3 $ at Walmart. There was a nice selection of Korean sheet masks aimed at helping various skin problems. I chose the one for dry skin.


I tried this mask on after taking my shower last night. You must first cleanse and dry your face, after which you wear the mask for 15-20 minutes. The mask fit my face perfectly. The only thing was the holes for the eyes could have been a little wider, but it wasn't that big of a deal. This sheet mask was very moist with the serum, and even after the 20 minutes it still was very wet. So much so that I decided to wring it out and see what would happen. So much serum came out! I massaged as much as I could onto my face, neck and hands. As I was massaging it into my skin, I could tell right away that my skin was way more plump than it had been before. My skin just felt really hydrated and healthy. 



I was a little nervous though while using this though, because this mask tingled my skin just a tad. It was kind of the feeling you get that lets you know you're going to have an allergic reaction to something. Thankfully, I didn't get any allergic reaction whatsoever, and that tingly sensation went away about 20 minutes after I had taken off the mask. I guess this was just the sensation of the Korean herbs at work? I don't know, haha. After the mask, I just applied my usual skin cream and went to sleep.

PROS:
Super inexpensive (under 3$ for one mask)
Doesn't irritate my skin or cause an allergic reaction
Hydrates the skin, and plumps it up!

CONS:
Results don't last very long (less than 24 hours)
Holes for eyes needed to be a bit wider (had to be very careful not to get any serum in my eyes because of this)

FINAL THOUGHTS:
I will be honest, I was thinking that I probably wasn't going to like this mask. It was cheap, and the reviews online weren't that great. I was happily surprised, and would definitely repurchase this mask, as well as try the other masks made by PureDerm. I would recommend to use this mask a few hours before a big event, when you want to make sure your skin looks extra bright and healthy. However, you should for sure try it out before a big event, just to make sure your skin doesn't react badly to it. My skin is very sensitive, and I was fine, but it's better to be safe than sorry.

Monday, August 11, 2014

On My Nails: Am I Making Myself Claire? Nicole by OPI

I bought this polish on sale for 1$, can you believe it? Am I Making Myself Claire? is a lovely greyish lilac part of Nicole by OPI's Modern Family collection. The thing with special collections is you can often get the items for ridiculous prices later on (unless they've sold out, of course). During this particular shopping trip at Pharmaprix, I also got three polishes from the Selena Gomez collection for 1$ each as well. Score! Here is what three coats of Am I Making Myself Claire? looks like on my nails.


I didn't apply a top coat this time around, and the polish stayed chip free on my nails for 3 days, which I think is fair. If you like your nails to look super glossy, I would recommend applying a top coat on this polish because it isn't glossy at all. After two coats, it was still somewhat streaky, but a third coat fixed that!

What do you think about this colour? Do you also prefer to wait for collection items to be reduced before buying?

xx Cynthia


Monday, August 4, 2014

On My Nails: Essence's Macaron, C'est Bon!

I've had this polish for a few weeks already and have had the pleasure of painting my nails with it several times. This is my first time trying a metallic polish, oddly enough. I'm not usually attracted to such polishes, but this one is kind of pearly looking, which made me interested in buying it.


There are four polishes in the Cookies & Cream collection from Essence. I chose the 4th shade, appropriately named Macaron, C'est Bon! It's a pearly, pinkish nude. Each bottle came with a sheet of 5 pastry themed stickers. One thing about it is that it is very streaky, no matter how many layers you apply or how carefully you apply it. I don't particularly mind in this case, I feel like it kind of goes with the finish of this polish. It dries pretty quickly, which I like a lot. If I remember correctly, this polish was 2.50 at Pharmaprix (Shoppers Drug Mart), which is really inexpensive in my opinion!


What do you think about this polish?

xx Cynthia

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Review: The Body Shop's Tea Tree Blemish Fade Night Lotion

This night lotion is supposed to improve the appearance of blemish-damaged skin, control oiliness and moisturize. For 18.00, it's quite pricy, but The Body Shop often has sales, so it is possible to purchase this lotion for much less. Tea tree oil is a well known, natural oil that works wonders on blemishes and dries them out. This lotion is extremely light, and sinks into the skin very rapidly. If you have dry skin, you will probably need extra moisturizing.


I used this lotion for a few weeks before stopping, and honestly I haven't seen a difference in my skin since then. It's no better, no worse. Initially, my acne scars did fade quite a bit, but it only took a few days of usage until the scars had faded to a maximum. After that, the lotion had little to no effect on my skin. It was so light, that I had to layer an extra moisturizer on top, which made this lotion pretty useless in my opinion.


PROS:
Lightens acne scars
Doesn't break me out

CONS:
Very light, and not moisturizing enough for me
Didn't help with under the skin bumps or blackheads

FINAL THOUGHTS:
In my opinion, this product would work nicely for someone who has oily skin, white heads, and acne scarring. I have extremely dry skin, under the skin bumps, and very few acne scars, so I did not notice an extreme difference. I will say that my acne scars did fade a bit, but it's not enough of an improvement that would make me want to repurchase the Tea Tree Blemish Fade Night Lotion.

xx Cynthia

Friday, July 18, 2014

On my nails: Maybelline New York's Coral Crush

Today is another sunny day, and I wanted my nails to reflect that! I chose to go with a lovely pinkish coral, that I picked up recently when the Maybelline New York Color Show polishes were on sale for 2.50 $ each at my local Pharmaprix. The formula wasn't the best, and this definitely required 3 coats. The drying time was pretty long, in my opinion. Overall, I think that Coral Crush is a beautiful colour, with a formula that one could expect from a polish of this price point.


This is the perfect colour for summer, and I think it would look so pretty with a tan! Hopefully I will get to work on getting one this weekend ^-^. I wish you all a lovely day!

xx Cynthia


Thursday, July 10, 2014

Review: Witchcraft mini cures

This is a 3 piece kit that includes cuticle oil serum, a 4-in-1 total care product, and a protein hardener. If you have read my Sally Hansen Maximum Strength review, you'll know that I've always had trouble with my nails being flaky and not growing. Although the Sally Hansen product does work quite well, it definitely is not a perfect product. When I saw this three piece kit on sale for 3.99 at my local Pharmaprix, I just couldn't resist trying something new in the hopes of getting stronger, longer nails. Normally this kit would have cost 12 dollars.




Witchcraft is a Canadian brand, but I had never yet tried any of their products. Now I have only been using these products for a little over a week, and because of a gardening incident, I had to cut my nails to their shortest. However, the results are already quite apparent. My nails have been growing out stronger, and I can see this little kit being a good investment already.

What I have been doing is using the cuticle oil by massaging it into my nails and cuticles. This oil is made of almond oil, and is very fast absorbing. Then, I apply a thin coat of the protein hardener. This product goes on clear, and is very fast drying. I finish it off with a thin coat of the 4-in-1 total care product. This product can be used as both a base coat, and a top coat! This information can all be found on the Witchcraft website.

PROS:
You get a good size sample of three products
Formaldehyde, DBP, and toluene free (linked to cancer & other health problems)
Cuticle oil is fast absorbing
Protein hardener and 4-in-1 total care are both fast drying and dry clear

CONS:
There is almost no information on the box itself, I had to look up what the 4-in-1 total care product did on the Witchcraft website

FINAL THOUGHTS:
I like how this small kit includes three products that work well together, and that I might not have otherwise tried were they not included. These products are available in full size, so if you really like them you can purchase them once you run out. However, I have a feeling that even though the bottles are pretty small, they will last a long time.

xx Cynthia


Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Pineapple Dairy Bars : Summer Treat

With the crazy hot and humid weather we've been having these days in Quebec, I thought I would mention the latest treat that I've been eating to help stay cool. It's Del Monte's Real Fruit Creamy Pineapple bars. It's basically an ice cream bar with little chunks of pineapple. It's surprisingly good, and at only 50 calories each, you don't feel so guilty if you find yourself eating two, or three.



My only complaint is that the pineapple really tastes like the canned type. Del Monte makes canned fruit, so I guess I should have expected that -_-.


I hope everyone is having a lovely summer!

xx Cynthia

Monday, June 23, 2014

Review: The Body Shop's Camomile Silky Cleansing Oil

Cleansing oils started to interest me last year when they were popping up in different blogs that I followed. Most of the cleansing oils were from asian brands, as this type of product hadn't yet become popular in North America. Now, it seems that every known brand is making their own cleansing oil. When I spotted the Camomile Silky Cleansing Oil in my local Body Shop, I just couldn't resist to finally try. The price was 16 dollars, but if I remember correctly there was a sale going on, so I got it for a little bit cheaper than that.


I've had this cleansing oil for a while now, and I've been using it to remove my make up before cleansing with my St. Ives Green Tea scrub. It removes makeup beautifully, and it even removes waterproof mascara. You just apply it on dry skin and massage it in. After doing this, simply remove it with a little bit of water. The oil comes off, along with the makeup you were wearing. Super easy!

PROS:
Smells wonderful, like a bouquet of camomile
Not irritating to eyes or skin
Removes makeup completely

CONS:
The pump is a little tricky, you have to be careful not to accidentally squirt the product everywhere (which happens to me often -_-)
The price is a little expensive (16 dollars for 200 ml)

FINAL THOUGHTS:
I really like this cleansing oil, and will definitely be repurchasing once I run out. However, I think I will try to repurchase when there is a sale because it's quite expensive in my opinion. I recommend this for anyone who has sensitive skin and wants to try cleansing oils.

xx Cynthia

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Mint and Yellow Nails

I'm not super talented, so nail art is a little difficult for me, but I wanted to do something different with my nails today. I also really wanted to use the new polish that I got from Essence, so this is what I came up with!


I basically just painted my nail tips, alternating between mint and yellow. I used nail tip sticker guides by Nailene to get a straight line (it would have been impossible for me otherwise, haha).


I used China Glaze's Lemon Fizz, and Essence's That's What I Mint for the tips of my nails. After that I applied a coat of Essie's Mademoiselle. I also applied a top coat (which I forgot to include in the picture!). I think that these colours are really cute together, and perfect for summer. What do you think? ^ ^

xx Cynthia



Sunday, June 8, 2014

On my nails: Barielle in Teaser

When I decided on buying this lovely green polish from Barielle, I wasn't convinced I would get much use out of it. Green is definitely one of my most favourite colours, but for my nails I tend to gravitate for more girly colours.



To my surprise, I find myself reaching for this polish quite often. I thought I would snap a few pictures of my nails before they get ruined from all the cleaning I have to do today ^ -^.


This is what three coats of Teaser with a clear top coat looks like. I quite like the formula, and I'm pretty sure you could get away with applying only two coats. I actually had never heard of this brand before, and I purchased this polish from the beauty section of Winners. So I don't know in which stores you can find this polish. I would definitely be interested in purchasing from this brand again, so if you do know where Barielle polishes are sold, please let me know!


xx Cynthia


Monday, June 2, 2014

Review: Clean & Clear persa-gel 5

As I've mentioned previously, I really struggle with acne and blemishes. Unfortunately, I also have very sensitive skin. Salicylic acid, which is the usual medicine contained in acne treatments tends to be too harsh for my skin. If I use a salicylic acid based cream on a zit, the zit would be gone the next day, but I'd be left with a dry patch instead. This dry patch would sometimes last for weeks > - < . 

If you've had a dry patch on your face before, you know how impossible they are to hide. The dry skin is even more accentuated if you make the mistake of using foundation. Because of this, I decided to stay away from salicylic acid treatment creams. I then tried a cream containing sulfur...and let me tell you, it's the worse ever. Your face will smell...like sulfur, and it didn't even work for me at all!

Feeling desperate whilst looking for some new acne medication to try, I remembered that Claire, from heyclaire said that she used acne medication with benzoyl peroxide. This is how I found the Clean & Clear persa-gel 5 acne medication.



I was so happy to find out that this helped heal any new blemishes and diminish the ones that I had at the moment. If salicylic acid based creams are currently working for you, you might want to stick to those. My impression is that benzoyl peroxide based creams are much slower at giving results. However, they do not dry out my skin, which is what I wanted to avoid most.

Overall, I really like this acne cream, and would recommend it to anyone who can't use creams that contain salicylic acid.

xx Cynthia


Thursday, May 8, 2014

Review: GLAMGLOW Supermud Clearing Treatment

When I first started hearing about the Glamglow mud masks, I was so excited because many bloggers and Youtubers were raving about them. As I previously mentioned, my skin has issues. Particularly in regards to clogged pores, black heads, and under the skin bumps. This mask is specifically made to address these sort of problems, by drawing up dirt and congestion from pores. I purchased this mask from Sephora for close to 80 dollars. This is kind of a big deal for me, as I would normally pay so much for a face mask!


This mask has a strong black licorice smell, which isn't too unpleasant. The mud is dark in colour, and has a weird consistency. It's as if there are little chunks of something in it, it's really hard to explain! You can apply this mask to your whole face, or if you can apply only to problem areas too. You leave it on for about 30 minutes, then you wash it off with warm water. I think that if you use this product sparingly, you can probably get 10-15 uses out of it.

PROS: 
Helps draw out black heads
Helps unclog pores
Shrinks the size of pores
You can see these results immediately after application.

CONS:
Very expensive! (Almost 80 dollars for 1.2 oz of product)
Results are short lived, usually 1-2 days
Consistency was strange

FINAL THOUGHTS:
I do like this mask, but because of the steep price, I will probably buy a different mud mask when this one runs out. I'm not convinced that I can't get the same results for cheaper.

If you have any suggestions for masks, I would love to hear them of course. Have you tried GLAMGLOW products?

xx Cynthia

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Review: St. Ives Green Tea Scrub

When I spotted this scrub on sale at Pharmaprix (Shoppers Drug Mart if you're not in Quebec), I knew that I had to get it. My skin has been giving me a lot of problems this past year, especially with under the skin bumps and black heads. For under 4 dollars, this green tea scrub by St. Ives promises to "help clear breakouts & refresh the skin". This product contains 1% salicylic acid. Because I had already tried gel cleansers containing salicylic acid and had not seen a difference in my skin, I was doubtful that this scrub would be any different. However, the price being so affordable, I figured I should try it out anyway.



I've been using this product for almost a month now, and even after the first few days of using it I saw a big difference. I have fewer under the skin bumps, and my skin seems to be slowly healing and getting better. I am so thankful I found this product, because I was becoming quite discouraged.

I have been using this product twice a day, which probably isn't the best thing since this is a scrub. However, my skin hasn't been dried up or irritated by this. I would also like to note that there is no recommended usage on the bottle.

This product seems to be quite easy to find, as I have also seen it at Walmart, sold regular price for less than 4 dollars. I will most definitely be repurchasing this product.

xx Cynthia

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Personnelle Rouge Distinction in Prestige

Personnelle is a brand that I have known about since I was a little kid, but I had never once tried any of their cosmetics before. This is the brand of Jean-Coutu, a pharmacy chain in Canada. Their prices are pretty similar to any other drugstore brand.

I had been looking for a matte lipstick for quite a while, as I quite like the look of them, and had finally convinced myself to get the Revlon ColorBurst Matte Balm. Unfortunately, all of the balms had been tampered with. Buying a lip product that someone had already touched was out of the question. When I continued to browse, I came across the Personnelle display, which had rows of perfectly sealed matte lipsticks in an array of colours. Their new collection of matte lipsticks is called Rouge Distinction.


I always struggle with finding a good lip colour for me. Often certain shades just look completely odd with my skin tone. I haven't yet been able to pin point what the problem is. This time around, I decided to go for a wine coloured red. Specifically, the colour I chose is called Prestige.



Like most matte lipsticks, this one is quite drying for the lips. However, I don't find it unbearable. I wouldn't recommend it for someone who has chapped lips though, because I can imagine the mess it would make. It's not very long wearing, and easily wipes off. I guess this could be a pro or a con, depending on what you look for in a lipstick. For me, colour pay off is the most important thing, so having to re-apply this one a few times a day doesn't bother me.

Mavala Twilight Blue Nail Polish

This polish was purchased at the same time as the Sinful Colors nail polish. It was actually the same price because it was on sale. Usually I think it is around 5 dollars. However, the bottle is very small. I usually stay away from smaller format nail polishes because I find they tend to dry up faster. However, I could not resist buying this dark, denim toned polish from Mavala. This was another brand I had never seen before in stores. It's a Swiss brand, and apparently they only make small format bottles of polish.




This polish definitely requires two layers, as the first one is kind of streaky. Fortunately, after the second layer, everything is smooth and perfect. I would definitely repurchase from this brand. They had a lot of unique colours, which kind of made me want to buy them all.



Has anyone else tried Mavala nail polishes? If so, do you have any colour recommendations for my next purchase?

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Sinful Colors in Hazard

I saw this beautiful peachy orange coloured polish whilst in Jean Coutu, which is a pharmacy chain in Quebec. I was intrigued because I had never heard of this brand, and it was quite inexpensive. Around 3 dollars for a good sized bottle.

This colour is perfect for spring and summer, and pastels are really in trend right now. Also, I didn't have anything like this in my polish collection, so this was definitely an easy buy.

After the first coat, I got a little nervous because it was definitely streaky. Also, on the bottle they say to do two coats, so that might explain why it's a tad streaky after just one. However, I thought the colour looked really nice with my skin tone. This is what it looked like after one coat.



Fortunately, with the second coat it was still a little streaky, but really less bad. Here is what it looks like after two coats.



I guess in this case I got what I paid for. I would be curious to know if anyone else has tried the Sinful Colors brand? Sometimes only certain shades are streaky. I might buy from this brand again since it is so affordable, but then again I think I might prefer L.A. Colors.

Review: Sally Hansen Maximum Strength

Growing out my nails has always seemed like an impossible task, as they would chip and flake very easily. It is with the hope of growing out strong nails that I purchased the Sally Hansen Maximum Strength nail product. I purchased this product at Walmart for about 5 dollars, which was a reasonable price when comparing to the other products that were available.

The Sally Hansen Maximum Strength is advertised as being a fortifying treatment that will deliver results in 1 week. You basically need to apply this product every day to bare nails, and it can be worn under nail polish. This is what my bare nails look like now.



I have been using this product for over a week now, and I am happy to report that my nails have gotten much stronger and have pretty much stopped peeling. This allowed me to let them grow out much more than I usually would be able to. However, I do have mixed feelings about this product. It is quite thick, which I imagine is partly why this works well to strengthen nails. Because it is thick and almost gummy, it does not apply easily. It also goes on milky white, which I don't like. It kind of makes my nails look dead, or like my hands have been soaking in water for too long. Here is what my nails look like with the Sally Hansen Maximum Strength treatment.



One thing I wonder about is the application. I have read other reviews, and some of the other bloggers seem to be applying a new coat every day over the old ones. However, on the bottle it clearly says to apply one coat on bare nails. What I have been doing is removing the old coat with nail polish remover, and applying a new one every day. It's kind of annoying, but it does seem to be working well this way.

Overall, I do like this product, but not enough that I wouldn't try something else if I thought it could be better. What products do you use to protect and strengthen nails?