Saturday, 3 October 2015

Best Bite Rewind Set by Bite Beauty

Each holiday season, Bite Beauty releases various different 'discovery' sets, which feature minis of their lip products. In past years these have traditionally featured four mini-sized high pigment pencils. Bite's 2015 version of this, the Best Bite Rewind Set, has mixed this formula up a bit by featuring four of the matte crème lip crayons instead. It's a nice change of pace and I love the formula of the matte crème lip crayons (check out a previous review of a few shades here)!

It's a no-brainer to point out that these sets are a fantastic way to try out a new formula or to get multiple shades of a product you know you love. One full-size matte crème lip crayon runs $24. For $1—one dollar!—more, you can get a set of four housed in this cute tin. I have more lipsticks than I could hope to use in a lifetime, so I don't mind having mini sizes (which are more than half the size of a full-size anyways).

Compared to their full-size counterparts, the quality of these mini lip crayons is on par. They are very creamy and pigmented, and because they are in pencil form you don't need to line the lips first to get a crisp application. My one complaint about these is that I'm not a fan of the scent/taste. I don't mind scent in my beauty products, but I prefer either a perfume-y or floral smell, rather than the sickly sweet smell that these have. It does seem to fade, but is noticeable on initial application.

L to R: Café, Torte, Coulis, Aubergine
L to R: Aubergine, Coulis, Torte, Café
In terms of shade selection, Bite Beauty really hit it out of the park on this one. Normally in these kits there is at least one shade that is unwearable, either because it is too light or too vampy. But all four shades in this collection are very wearable and are bang on trend for autumn. Even Aubergine, which looks very deep in the packaging, translates to a wearable berry. I suspect that if you blot this one on the lips, it will be suitable for daytime.

I truly think this is one of the best sets Bite Beauty has come out with and at $25, it is a steal! These have a tendency to sell out, so if you're interested I wouldn't hesitate. It is currently available at Sephora.

Have you picked up this set already? What do you think of it? Let me know below and head to BloglovinInstagram, or Twitter if you want to follow my beauty ramblings (and occasional cat pictures).

Saturday, 19 September 2015

One YEAR of Empties

On September 16, 2014 I moved to the Balkans. I had vague notions that I would undergo a year-long no-buy and thought it would also be fun to keep track of all of the products that I used up within that year. Apart from a few products that I wasn't able to photograph (including two perfumes: Chanel Coco Mademoiselle and Gucci Guilty), this is the result of the past year.

The majority of items that I used up were skincare-related. I thoroughly enjoyed the Le Jour de Chanel and the Dr Andrew Weil for Origins Mega-Bright Skin Tone Correcting Serum. And the Omorovicza Deep Cleansing Mask will be promptly repurchased. Products that I enjoyed less were the Clinique Take the Day Off Balm (I think I like a cleansing oil better than a balm) and the Careprost I bought to lengthen my lashes. It made my eyes red everytime I wore it.

The Master Brush Cleanser, which I picked up at Michaels with a discount coupon, is basically a much cheaper/equally effective version of the Beauty Blender Solid Cleanser. I also went through a few body gels, including the Nivea Waterlily & Oil Shower Gel. The scent on this one was beautiful. L'Occitane Almond Shower Oil is an amazing shaving oil, but I don't like the buy the full size so I like on samples like this one. And I obviously liked The Body Shop Coconut Body Butter enough to work my way through two of them!

I managed to use up two excellent foundations: Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk  and Bourjois Healthy Mix. I had to throw out my Bite Beauty Cashmere Lip Cream in Sancerre, because it was totally dried out. I also am purging my Shu Uemura S Curler as I realized it was chopping off my lashes. But I also worked my way through some old favorites that I've already repurchased including the Marc Jacobs Highliner in Brown(Out), Clinique Bottom Lash Mascara, NARS Pro Prime Smudgeproof Eye Primer, and Maybelline Cat Eyes Waterproof. The sample sachet of the It Cosmetics CC+ Cream was good enough to make me buy the full size!

My hair selections definitely slant towards the pricey. I didn't really care for either the Oribe Maximista Volunizing Spray or the Oribe Dry Texturizing Spray.  I much prefer the Bumble & Bumble Dry Spun Finish in terms of a texturizer (although I'm currently trying the Dry Bar Triple Sec Spray). The Living Proof PhD Shampoo and Conditioner are good, but nothing super special. But the Living Proof PhD 5-in-1 Styling Cream is fantastic. It helps my hair hold a style and adds shine. I've already repurchased this!

In terms of more practical items, I worked my way through a lot of the Secret Clinical Strength Deodorant and the CVS Eye Makeup Remover. I also used Babyfoot for the first time, which was amazing and disgusting. And I finally used up all of my Bite Beauty Agave Lip Mask. I wore this just about every night for two years before finishing up the tube. I liked it, but am currently trying to work through other products I have before repurchasing.

In addition to finishing the aforementioned full sizes of Chanel Coco Mademoisell and Gucci Guilty, I used up these fragrance samples. I love the Carven Eau de Toilette, Balenciaga Florabotanica, and all of the NEST Fragrances. I hated the Elizabeth & James Nirvana Black and couldn't even finish one sample.

I'm fairly indiscriminatory when it comes to cotton rounds, but I will admit that I feel a difference when buying ordinary drugstore brands versus the Shiseido Facial Cotton. I will rebuy the Shiseido, but I'll probably wait until I can get it on sale!

I was on a mission to use up a bunch of samples this year, and I think I did ok. I loved the Dr Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Glow Pads and the Dr Brandt Glow Duo. I bought full sizes of both. I also enjoyed the Josie Maran Argan Milk and the Glam Glow Eye Mask is fantastic for mornings when I wake up with a headache.  

As for the Ole Henriksen 3 Little Wonders, I hope Sephora brings back this set as a deluxe sample code on their website. This lasted me much longer than 7 days, as each sachet includes far, far more product than you need to use in one day. The kit is super easy to use (you use a Vitamin C product and a moisturizer in the day, and an AHA gel and moisturizer at night) and it made a huge difference in my skin. I bought the full size of this kit when I realized that I didn't want to live without it.

Whew! Those are all of my samples for now (I've already finished up another three products since taking these photos...maybe a Year of Empties 2016 post is in order!) What have you used up lately? Let me know!

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Friday, 11 September 2015

Kjaer Weis: Embrace & Radiance

Over the past year I have become more interested in many brands that are not available at Sephora, Nordstrom, etc. One of these brands is Kjaer Weis, a brand that seeks to meet the "demand for high-performance color cosmetics that were made with the highest quality natural and organic ingredients."

The difficulty in buying from brands like Kjaer Weis is that you are more or less going in blind. There are no stores in which to swatch them (no stores that are accessible to me, at least) and there are few swatches available online, as only a handful of beauty bloggers seem to feature such products (Genuine Glow is one blog that features a lot of Kjaer Weis, though, if you want to look at more swatches). But one fortunate circumstance is that Kjaer Weis is available from a number of reliable retailers, like Beautylish and BeautyBar (these two also often have discount codes you can use). You can also order directly from the Kjaer Weis website.

Still, it's a bit of leap to order products sight-unseen, but knowing my predilections as a blush and highlighter fiend, I felt pretty confident in ordering these!

For my first Kjaer Weis Cream Blush I selected the shade Embrace, which is a neutral nude-pink shade. It reminds me a bit of my all-time favourite blush, Le Métier de Beauté Ginger Lily, but Embrace is more of a powdery pink (powdery in terms of the colour, not the texture) than Ginger Lily. As with all of my cream blushes, I applied this with a stippling brush.

It blended into the skin beautifully, adding just a hint of colour to my cheeks. It totally minimizes the appearance of the large pores on my cheeks and it wears well throughout the day (I haven't noticed any fading or breaking up). Next time I might go for a blush that packs more of a punch, but this is a colour that can be worn with absolutely any look so I know I will get a lot of use out of it. That helps ease the sting of the $56 price tag.

Left: Highlighter in Radiance; Right: Cream Blush in Embrace
I should also point out that all Kjaer Weis products are refillable. This gives you the option to either buy just the cheaper refill once you use up a product (ha!) or to buy just the refill initially, which is cheaper. The refill for the cream blush is only $32. If you don't care about the packaging, you can just stick this in a Z-Palette (although I can't comment on how quickly it will dry up if it is not housed in an air tight container). For me, however, the silver Kjaer Weis packaging is part of the overall appeal. It is heavy, sturdy, and looks incredibly chic. I like for my makeup to look pretty on my vanity, so I don't foresee buying just a refill, unless hell freezes over and I actually use up a product!

My other KJ purchase was their highlighter, in the shade Radiance. I knew going in that Radiance was not a subtle highlighter. It has a unique cool peachy-lavender-silver tone, and lots of shimmer/glitter. I apply this with my fingers and can feel the 'grit' of the product in the pan. I don't notice this once I apply it to my cheeks, but if an über-natural highlighter, like the RMS Living Luminizer, is more your style, I doubt you will like this. But I for one love the glowy look this gives my cheeks, so I will happily add it to my highlighter rotation. Radiance is also $56, with a refill at $32.

Have you tried anything by Kjaer Weis? What are your favorite items? Let me know below!

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Wednesday, 9 September 2015


I was inspired by Joyce over at Bronzer Bunny, who recently posted her Beauty Goals for Fall. Homegirl is always full of brilliant ideas and I thought I would copy her on this one! So, here's a public declaration of my own #BeautyGoals for this upcoming autumn/winter:

Sort Out My Brows
Over the past year I've gone from loving the Suqqu Brow Pen, to loving the Anastasia Dipbrow Pomade, to loving the Anastasia Brow Wiz, to hating all three. I am in serious need of finding a brow product that works for me. I need something to fill in a few sparse areas near the tails of my brows and to fill in the front edge of one brow as it's a bit thin. I think I like the concept of the Brow Wiz, but I can't find a color match (too warm or too dark) and I feel like it looks to obvious. I'm thinking maybe I should try a powder next? Please, please for the love of Lily Collins, leave your recommendations below.

Continue to Blog Regularly
I self-justify many (ok, all) of my beauty purchases by saying that it's for a good cause: reviews and swatches on my blog. But too often life sets in and I don't get around to photographing or reviewing the products (meaning they sit unused in a box, because I have a personal policy of not using a product until it has been photographed). My excuses are that my current flat has terrible natural light and my softbox lights have burned out. But I've ordered a new set and will soon have nothing to stand in the way of showing you lots of awkward photos of my face + my latest beauty purchase. I bet you can't wait, eh?

Do Not Neglect Older Products from My Collection
I am constantly buying the latest and greatest product on the market, which means that many once-loved items get forgotten. I haven't quite decided exactly what I want to do to remedy this, but I'm thinking of doing a weekly 'shop my stash' rotation of products to make sure that everything gets some love.

Work on Learning New Techniques
I have a bloody black belt at buying makeup, but I'm only so-so at knowing how to apply it, though. Lately, however, I've been branching out and actually following some of the countless tutorials I watch on YouTube. I've done a few smokey eye looks and other things that are totally outside of my comfort zone, and although I wouldn't say that I've mastered any new techniques yet, I want to continue to learn. If I can someday master a liquid winged eyeliner on my hooded eyes, I will know I have truly made it!

What are your beauty goals? Let me know below! And you can also find me on BloglovinInstagram, and Twitter!