Buzzed-about beauty: Tarte Shape Tape foundation

I don’t think I have ever seen so much hype over a foundation.

In case you haven’t heard, Tarte Cosmetics recently released a foundation version of Shape Tape, their iconic cult-worthy concealer that they launched a couple years ago (also billed as America’s number-one concealer). Available in both a hydrating and matte formula, this foundation is full coverage, long wearing, hypoallergenic, and oil free.  It features the same wand as it’s predecessor (and similar to Rimmel London’s new Lasting Finish Breathable Foundation), which is a large doe-foot brush that you use to apply the product directly onto the face.

The hydrating version of this is targeted to make skin luminous and dewy, appear smoother, and provide hyaluronic acid to hydrate.  The matte version minimizes the appearance of pores, absorbs shine, and provides Vitamin E to nourish. There are 18 shades available in the range, however, when the brand originally launched the product last month there was major outrage since the shade range mainly consisted of lighter shades, making the picking quite slim for people of colour.  Currently the shade range for both hydrating and matte is the same and it looks like they have a fair amount of colours for people of all skin tones (six for fair/light, six for medium/tan, and six for tan/deep).

Tarte Shape Tape Hydrating foundation Tarte Shape Tape Matte foundation

I received three shades of each formula, Light-Medium Beige, Light Neutral, and Light Sand. Since I’m quite pale at the moment, it looked like Light-Medium Beige was the lightest of the three so I have been wearing the hydrating version of that colour pretty much everyday since I got it.  My first impressions on the hydrating version weren’t actually that great. It’s an okay foundation. It does the trick and nothing more. My face feels nice when I take it off, so it’s doing it’s job, and I find that it sticks on quite well throughout the day, so I don’t feel a need to touch it up later on. It’s a good daytime foundation.

As for the matte version, I’ve worn that one a couple times when I’m doing my makeup a little more heavier (AKA for nights when I’m going out). There is a difference between the two formulas. The matte version is definitely more full coverage than its hydrating counterpart. If does make my skin look and feel flawless and although I do use a setting powder, you probably could do without. I have applied this foundation with both the Tarte sponge, as well as a blending brush, and find both do the trick nicely.

Tarte Shape Tape Foundation wand

Overall, is this worth the hype? It’s a good foundation, but I still love my NARS Sheer Glow and Marc Jacob Re(MARC)able more when it comes to luxury foundations. I also find both the matte and hydrating versions to be a little different, so definitely think about what you are looking for in a foundation before picking your formula.

Unfortunately for us Canadians, Shape Tape Foundation (and concealer) is not available in Sephora stores since it’s exclusive to Ulta (totally not fair since we don’t have Ulta stores), however, you can buy it off Tartecosmetics.com and they often offer free shipping and promo codes (you can always find a promo code). I mention this because if you wanted to give it a try before purchasing it, Sephora is great for giving out samples and looking at the product in person for trying it out and finding your perfect shade.  If you look at the Tarte site though they have a good shade chart of actual people wearing the foundation, so it will help with deciding on a shade.

Tarte Shape Tape Hydrating foundation Tarte Shape Tape Matte foundation

As for the brush, I see what they were getting at with making it a large wand. I’m not a huge fan of the brush as I prefer a pump, however, it is good for distributing the proper amount of product, meaning no waste and making the longevity of your foundation last longer.

So should you buy it? Like I said, it does the trick. It’s a nice foundation, but it didn’t wow me the way I thought it would. I love Shape Tape Concealer and find the two pair really nicely. If you want to give it a go it retails for C$55, which is pretty on par with other luxury brand foundations.

Are you planning on trying out Tarte’s Shape Tape foundation?

Products provided by PR, all opinions are my own.

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Luxurious lashes: Esqido mink eyelashes review + giveaway

False lashes… they just make everything better.

I used to have eyelash extensions, but when I got hit with an allergic reaction a year and a half ago, I’ve been to scared to go back. Thankfully, when I want to go extra glam, I reach for a pair of my many falsies to pop on.

My favourite false lash brand for a while now has been Kiss, however, I do have more luxurious pairs, including ones from Huda Beauty, House of Lashes x Sephora, Velour, and Make Up For Ever. I’ll be honest, finding the right pair of false lashes is really hard. I like something glamourous, but yet still not too over the top/ still want it to be natural looking. Since a lot of higher-end lash brands are available online, it can be tough to find the right pair.

Esqido lashes and companion glue

Canadian lash brand ESQIDO mink lashes recently reached out to me to see if I wanted to try a pair of their lashes, and how could I say no!? I’ve known about Esqido for a while now and have always wanted to try on a pair, so I was super excited to finally get my hands on one of their mink lashes.

Esqido lashes are handcrafted with premium materials (and worn by the likes of Rhianna and Candice Swanepoel) and feature a unique cotton band, for a comfortable wear and natural-looking lashes. The hair on them is soft, naturally-shed mink hairs and are also so plush and lightweight. They come in a stunning white box and offer over 20 styles. They also offer a ESQIDO eyelash glue, the Companion Long-Lasting Bond, which is an invisible eyelash glue with strong all-day hold. It is formulated for mink lashes and is latex-free, meaning that it’s a gentle adhesive which should extend the life of your lashes. Apply the glue via the fine-tip wand (with rose gold handle, might I add; I love the packaging on this), which always makes application smooth (I love lash glue that has a wand, it’s just so much easier).

Anyways, back to the lashes, Esqido gave me my choice in lashes so I picked out the pair Lash Named Desire, a medium-volume mink lash that features criss-crossed fur with winged-out ends. They looked very luxurious, but yet not too over the top. When I got them I actually thought they looked less dramatic in person, so I was very happy with my choice.

Esqido mink lashes in Lash Named Desire. Esqido Companion Glue brush

The lashes themselves are incredibly soft and you can tell just by looking at them that they are a higher quality than a $6 lash (Esqido lashes retail for $29 USD). When you first remove them from the box (make sure to do this carefully with tweezers), they do hold their curved shape nicely, making it easy to pop them onto your lash line. I did have to trim them a tiny bit so they fit my eye, but I usually have to do this with a new pair of lashes.

This particular style is very flattering on the eye and doesn’t look too fake. They aren’t over the top at all, and fit my eye shape nicely.  Although they are billed as lightweight, I could definitely feel them on my eyes. Since the band is quite heavy duty (due to it being a higher-quality lash), I could feel them once they were on and by the end of the day I couldn’t wait to get them off.   I’m usually like that with most lashes though, as much as I love wearing makeup, there’s nothing like washing it off at the end of the day.

Esqido Lash Named Desire applied

Although Esqido is sold in some retailers, their online site was very quick to ship the products (they offer free shipping over $25 and their lashes retail for $29 USD). They are a pricier lash, but the price point is around the same as Velour (also Canadian) and Huda Beauty. These are definitely more of a special occasion lash, as opposed to everyday. If you have an event coming up, or just feel like treating yourself, I would definitely look into getting a pair.

Speaking of getting a pair, Esqido was so kind and let me pick up a pair to a lucky Instagram follower. One lucky follower will win a pair of their Unforgettable lashes (a best seller), which are natural-looking lashes that feature a gradient of increasing length and thickness around the lash band. You’ll also win the Companion Long-Lasting Bond as well!

Contest is exclusive to my Instagram, so follow this link to enter. The giveaway is open internationally and closes on February 21, 2018.

Good luck!

Have you tried Esqido lashes? What’s your favourite brand of false eyelashes?

Please note, I was sent these products from PR. All opinions are my own.

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Fragrant + full: La Coupe Moroccan Rose Volume Loving haircare

I’ve had a lot of issues with my hair lately.

My colour looks drab (although it is looking a little better thanks to Schwarzkopf Professional’s BLONDME products), it’s dry and staticky (thanks Winnipeg winter), and my layers were long and overgrown (I actually just went for a haircut this week). I’m always on the hunt for the latest and greatest hair product, so when I received LaCoupe’s new Moroccan Rose Volume Loving collection, complete with a bottle of Henkell rose and a new hair towel turban, I was super excited to give this a go.

Okay, so cute bottles aside (seriously though, I’m such a sucker for packaging), LaCoupe’s new offering to their lineup consists of a shampoo, conditioner, and mousse. Like the name says, this haircare line is designed to add volume to your hair and make it smell delectable. I’m actually not really familiar with LaCoupe at all, in fact I totally thought it was a salon brand, but turns out you can buy it at Walmart Canada. Moroccan Rose is the first of four new silicone-free haircare lines in the brand’s eco-friendly Naturals Collection.

This particular line (which comes in giant 500 ml bottles, pretty good value for C$9.99 each) is supposed to strengthen fine and thinning hair, while giving you major volume, all in an environmental-friendly formula. Win-win, right?

La Coupe Moroccan Rose Volume Loving haircare

Like I said, there are three products in the range, a shampoo, conditioner, and volumizing mousse. I couldn’t wait to actually try these out so I hopped in the shower and gave my hair a lather (wow Shayna, nice rhyming there). The shampoo and conditioner contain a blend of rose oil, which helps to add bounce and silkiness to dull hair. It also contains biotin and collagen to plump up your locks and it’s infused with coconut water and 100 per cent pure aloe leaf juice for moisture.

The mousse is a lightweight mousse that instantly thickens and lifts the hair. It also contains biotin and collagen, as well as a blend of natural moisturizers and exotic oils. Lastly, it has a thermal protective formula that will protect your hair against future heat damage.

So did these products work for me? The first time I tried them I liked how my hair looked and felt after showering, but when I woke up the next morning I found my roots looked a little greasy. This no doubt is because I actually put mousse on my hairbrush first, then brushed it in my hair. With this mousse it seems like you’re going to want to avoid applying it that way, and instead use your fingers to massage the product in your hair since it can leave you with greasy-looking hair if applied directly on top. The second time I tried it, I did just that, then blow dried my hair and applied rollers to get major volume (see photo below). As long as you don’t apply the mousse directly to the top of your head, it is a nice product.

The shampoo and conditioner also is quite nice. I like how it comes in a pump bottle so you aren’t wasting product. The smell is also divine. Is it my new favourite? No. But I do like how it gives you nice volume (you can definitely tell your hair has gotten a boost). Would I use this on a regular basis? No, but if I’m planning on doing a hairstyle with a lot of volume, then I would pull it out.

La Coupe Moroccan Rose Volume Loving haircare

Overall this haircare range is okay, it does the trick for volumized hair. I wouldn’t use it on a daily basis since I like using something that’s good for my blonde, but if i want to do an at-home blowout, then I would reach for it.  Formula aside though, the packaging on this is just so cute that I think I would want to display it in my shower full time just to add some cuteness in there (again, I’m such a sucker for packaging).

Have you tried LaCoupe hair products?

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