A little sparkle: My three most reached-for highlighters

When it comes to highlighters, you can never have enough of them.

Although I have loads of highlights, everything from creams to gels to powders, depending on the day and what I’m doing, I usually reach for the same ones every time. I have a favourite for daytime use, night time, and everything in between.

Since there’s so many makeup brands that pretty much all offer highlighters, I wanted to share my top-three reached-for products in that category.  I’m not saying these are the best ones, but they do the trick for me, and I have a TON of different highlighters in my collection.

Makeup Revolution Vivid Baked Highlighters

These highlighters can be found at London Drugs here in Canada and Ulta for all your U.S. folks. Available in five shades, these give you a super shimmery, iridescent glow that will have your cheek bones looking out of this world. The best part is, it’s only C$6. Yes, you read that correctly.

I have the shade Golden Lights, which is silvery with gold undertones depending on where the light hits it. I haven’t tried the other shades in the range, but this one is very pigmented once applied, which is amazing for something under $10.

Tarte Cosmetics Spellbound Glow Rainbow Highlight

Tarte Spellbound Rainbow Glow Highlighter

This one is limited edition as part of their Make Believe in Yourself collection from last year, but the good news is that it’s half off on Tarte.com.  Currently retailing for C$17, this rainbow highlight is multicoloured in the compact, but applies like a dream.

Open the festival-inspired compact to unveil four shimmering pastel shades that can either be worn alone or together for an ethereal highlight.   Although this one is amazing on its own, I like layering it on top of a cream highlight for that extra wow factor. The formula is soft and non-chalky, as well as long wearing. This is the one I usually reach for when I’m doing my makeup for a night out since it’s so shimmery and stays on for a long time (it’s what I’m wearing in the photo above).

Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector Pressed Highlighter

This one is a no-brainer since the Becca is known for their highlighters.  The only full-sized highlighter I have from the brand was a limited edition one from 2016, Rose Quartz, but I also have the Jaclyn Hill Champagne Pop palette as well.

The thing that makes these so amazing is how soft they are. Open the compact to reveal the most glittery highlight that will make your heart skip a beat. Then dip your brush in it, paint it on, and just melt. The formula is enriched with ultra-fine, multi-toned, luminescent pearls that adjust to your skin’s undertones. The creaminess comes from the fact that they blend pigments with liquids to give it that soft feel.  It really is luxurious and I highly recommend picking up a shade if you haven’t already.

Champagne Pop is Sephora’s best-selling highlighter, and after trying it, I can totally say that it’s worth the hype. The shade is just so universal and really does give you that “oh, honey” look.

These retail for C$46 each at Sephora.

I really wanted to give you guys a few price points for highlighters in this post. From $6 to $46, you can find a highlight that fits every budget.  I will say though, although I do love the Makeup Revolution highlighter, there definitely is a difference in texture compared to the Becca one.  But hey, all that matters is that out-of-this-world glow, right?

What’s your favourite highlighter?

Products provided by PR, all opinions are my own.

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Squeaky clean: My current skincare routine for morning and night

I’m super serious about skincare.

Ever since I was 15 and I broke out in an allergic reaction which I thought was acne, I have made sure to keep good care of my skin. I get compliments all the time about how smooth and clear my skin looks and that’s totally because I put a lot of effort into it.

I’m not going to beat around the bush, my skincare routine is a six-step process.  Yes, I use seven steps at the end of the day and five in the morning. The perfect base for good makeup is good skin, and if you’re young like me, then it’s very important to take care of it early.

I used to be married to the Clinique Three-Step System, but since I’m a beauty blogger, I get sent a ton of skincare items, and unlike makeup, where you can use an item a few times and give an honest review, skincare takes time. Once I finish a product I’m usually onto something different from a new brand, so I don’t really use an item twice (unless I get it sent to me a couple times). The items I’m going to mention in this post are the ones I’m currently using. On deck I actually have a regime from Drunk Elephant, which I’m so excited to try and I will be doing a review on those items as well down the line.

Now let’s get to it.

Skincare serums and gels

Step one – Remove makeup

This is obviously my first step that I do at night, rather than morning, but I’ll grab a cotton round and put some micellar water on it to remove my eye makeup, and if I’m wearing matte liquid lipstick, that as well.

I have a container of Bioderma from Paris a few years ago, but I’ve been reaching for my L’Oreal Paris Micellar Water most nights. Micellar water is super popular, so you can find it offered by most brands nowadays, but the L’Oreal Micellar Water Complete Cleanser is great because it’s readily available at most drugstores. Micellar water contains tiny micelles that act as a magnet removing oil and makeup from your face. I like using it because it is heavy duty and reliable for taking off makeup, even some stubborn waterproof mascaras. Sometimes I have to go back after my cleanser to get all my mascara off, but this stuff does a great job prepping your face for the next step, the cleanser.

Step two – Cleanser and cleansing brush

I’m not married to a particular cleanser in general. Lately I’ve been using the Glossier Milky Jelly Cleanser, which has a ton of hype around it, but personally, I think it’s just alright. Here’s the thing, I like using a cleanser that foams up, which this one doesn’t do.  The foaming isn’t necessary, but to me, it’s a tangible way of seeing that it’s working.

I always pair my cleanser with a cleansing tool, and although I have two Clarisonics, I actually use my FOREO Luna 2 more.  I love the FOREO better than the Clarisonic because it’s made from silicon, meaning that it’s easier to clean and you don’t have to buy the expensive brush heads for it every three months.  It also holds a charge forever. I’ve done a review on the FOREO before, which you can read here.

Although you can use the cleansing brush in the morning, I only use it at night since I find it does a really good job of removing all my face makeup, leaving it prepped for the next step.

Now before I go on, if I’m having a late night and don’t feel like doing these steps, I’ll reach for an Olay Daily Facials Deeply Clean 4-in-1 Water Activated Cleansing Cloths, which remove makeup and grime, cleanse your face, exfoliate it, and tone it all in one. These are holy grail and I recommend everyone having this in their medicine cabinet since it does an amazing job of washing your face. It really does remove everything! These are perfect for travel as well.

Step three- Toner

So why do you need to use a toner? Toners help remove oil and traces of dirt and grime, making sure that your face is fully clean before using a moisturizer.  If you have oily or acne-prone skin, a toner helps to calm it.  By using a toner, your moisturizer will work better, since there is nothing left on your skin from blocking the moisturizer, allowing it to absorb into your skin.

I used to be obsessed with the Clinique toner since it contains alcohol; there is no better face feeling for me as a tingly face after using a toner since your skin just feels so clean.  Lately I’ve been using the Lierac Double Tonique Lotion Gelifiee, which doesn’t include alcohol (no tingly feeling here), but is a gel texture that helps capture and dissolve impurities. This gel is blended with a micro-enzymatic exfoliant to get rid of dead skin cells and it’s loaded with hyaluronic acid for plumping the skin and providing anti-aging benefits.

I always use a toner for both morning and night.

Step four – Eye cream

An eye cream is often a step that I find gets missed in most skincare routines, however, it’s super important since the eye area is where you’ll start to see the effects of aging first.

Again, I’m not married to a particular brand or product, but currently I’ve been using the Tarte Maracuja C-Brighter Eye Treatment, which is a cream product that has superfoods in it, leaving you with long-term benefits. The C-brighter complex has antioxidant plant extracts that fights free radicals that give you sagging crow’s feet and puffiness. It also contains light-reflecting particles that offset the look of dark circles, leaving your eye area looking rested and radiant.

I find that eye creams tend to be a little pricey, but trust me, you’re going to want to start using an eye cream early to prevent the signs of aging. I have eye creams that retail upwards of $150, but this one is only C$48.  I use this both morning and night.

For nighttime, I actually pair the eye cream with the FOREO IRIS Illuminating Eye Massager, which totally isn’t necessary, but it’s a cool device to have. This device dances back and forth and helps to massage your eye cream into your skin, helping to reduce the appearance of under-eye puffiness, eye bags, dark circles, crow’s feet, and fine lines and wrinkles.  Like I said, it’s totally not necessary, especially for C$159, but I do enjoy using it as I like how it helps the eye cream absorb into my skin faster and the massaging helps to activate the area, making the cream work better.

Serums and eye creams by Tarte and Estee Lauder and Sothys

Step five – Serums

For the morning, I stick with only the Estee Lauder Perfectionist Pro serum, which is brand new from the brand.  I actually received this at their spring press event in Vancouver at the beginning of February and have been using it ever since.

The serum, which I apply morning and night, visibly gives you a more lifted, youthful appearance.  You skin looks radiant, hydrated and rejuvenated, and in three days of using it you’ll notice that it feels softer thanks to the AHAs, which refine skin’s texture. I don’t have wrinkles, but the brand says that in two weeks the product will reduce the appearance of lines and wrinkles.

Like I said, I’ve been using this for about a month and a half and I have noticed that my face and neck feels much softer, and I’ve even gotten comments on how my neck looks longer (less double chin). I have been using the Silk’n Titan for my double chin lately and have paired it with this serum as well for maximum benefits.

For night time, I will use the Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair serum after Perfectionist Pro, which is the only item in this regime that I have continuously used multiple bottles of. This stuff is holy grail and one of my abosolute favourite skincare items ever since it helps promote younger-looking skin while you sleep. Lines and wrinkles look reduced, skin feels smoother, hydrated and more radiant. I can’t recommend this enough.

Step six – Moisturizer

For moisturizer, I’m not that picky.  I used to be a huge fan of the Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion, and I still am, but when it comes to blogging and skincare, the item I get the most of is definitely moisturizers.

Lately, for daytime, I’ve been using the Glossier Priming Moisturizer, which is alright. It does the trick and I like how it’s also a primer, so I don’t need to use a second one once I apply my makeup. This moisturizer is also great for travel, because you won’t have to pack a primer (leaving you with valuable real estate for other products). You can read my review on it here. 

For nighttime, I’m currently using the Sothys Paris Wrinkle-Targeting Youth Cream, which helps to visibly smooth fine lines and wrinkles and maintain skin’s tone and give you an even complexion. This moisturizer is on the thicker side, which makes it perfect for nighttime wear. I tend to use something a little thinner for day and then slather on a thick cream for night.

Like I said, I get a lot of products from different brands to try out, so although I’m using these at the moment, in a few months time, I’ll be using something else. Currently on deck is the Olay Whips moisturizers and Drunk Elephant skincare. Other skincare brands I totally recommend are Nip + Fab (sometimes I’ll add in one of their serums as well if I’m looking for a little more power in my products), Rodial (I recently reviewed their Rose Gold line and loved it), Olay (always a fan of their moisturizers), Mary Kay Cosmetics, First Aid Beauty, and of course, Clinique. I also try to do a mask every week as well, which is always a treat for your skin.

I know this is a lot of steps to do everyday, twice a day, but I’ve never heard anyone say “I’m looking forward to getting wrinkles when I’m older”.  Skincare is quite expensive, so the best time to get it or try out a whole regime by a brand is around the holidays so you can find amazing gift sets for a fraction of the price.  Also, as you can see here, a lot of these products are actually drugstore brand, so you don’t need to spend hundreds of dollars for something that works well.  I do recommend owning a cleansing brush for your face and Olay has an affordable one that you can get at drugstores.

What are your favourite skincare products, and how many steps does your regime consist of every day? Let me know in the comments below!

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Pink + glitter: Spring 2018 highlights from Sephora Collection

Although it totally felt like spring in Toronto earlier this week, Winnipeg is still in full winter mode (we got hit with a snowstorm on Monday, thankfully I was not in town). Thankfully the weather is going to get a little more mild this weekend, which makes it perfect to dig into these new spring goodies from Sephora Collection.

Sephora is no doubt one of my favourite stores, and although I love seeing what all the brands release each season, I always take a look at Sephora Collection as well since they come out with on-trend items for an affordable price. The brand was so kind to send over some items from their new collection for spring, and since everything is basically pink and glitter, it was an exciting box to open.

Sephora Collection Bleeding Hearts makeup bags

Sephora’s makeup bags don’t get changed up often, but for each season they release them in different patterns and colours. For spring, they paired up with graffiti artist James Goldcrown in an exclusive Bleeding Hearts collection, which includes three makeup bags and a themed brush and sponge set.

I received the Minimalist bag (C$25) and the Universalist (C$53). The Minimalist is a good size bag to hold all the essentials and then some if you’re travelling. Sephora says it’s compact, however, I would say it’s a medium-sized bag, definitely larger than the one I use for work travel. I have so many makeup bags in this size already (especially ones that were free), so I wouldn’t say this is a must have. It’s good if you have a few items in your purse that you want to keep together and organized.

As for the Universalist, that one is very large and holds a ton of makeup. I actually already have one of these from a holiday collection and use it if I’m attending an event in another city, or for vacation (I brought it on my three-week trip to Asia last year). It packs a lot of punch and the top part actually opens up to reveal a pocket and some elastic holders for brushes. If you are a makeup artist, or need something heftier for your makeup, I highly recommend this bag since it’s so large and roomy.

Give Me Some Glitter Hair and Body Glitter Set and brushes from Sephora Collection Sephora Collection Give Me Some Glitter Hair and Body Glitter Set

Now since you have a brand-new makeup bag, you need some items to fill it with. The Give Me Some Glitter Hair and Body Glitter Set (C$18) includes three body glitters and a lightweight glitter adhesive to use on your skin or nails. The adhesive looks cream but dries nude and is designed to hold down the glitter that the set comes with.

The glitters included in this set are a little chunky, and to be honest, I personally wouldn’t really use this.  I tried using the pink one as a glitter accent nail but I found the adhesive didn’t really work that well on nails and even when i used a topcoat over the glitter, the glitter still came off easily. I’m not really one for applying glitter on my body, aside from my lids and even then I would use a glitter formulated for the eye area, so this would be a pass for me.

If you are into this set, I recommend picking up the Glitter Applicators (C$15), which include two applicators with a silicon tip, which makes it easier to pick up glitter so you can apply it. These work alright, I think the best way to apply glitter is by just using your fingers, but I do like the ideas of these.

Give Me Some Glitter mini brush set

If you are into brushes, then you’ll definitely have to pick up the Give Me Some Glitter Mini Brush Set (C$31), a set of four multitasking brushes in a glitter case. Now before you get too excited, these are quick small, basically the size of my hand for the whole set, but everything is so glittery that you’ll definitely want to display this one on your vanity.

Case aside, you get a face brush, which is a domed synthetic brush perfect for buffing and blending out product. It’s a universal brush, so you can use it for contour, blush, and highlight as well. There is also a Conceal and Blend brush that is good for applying concealer, as well as blending eyeshadow in your crease, the multifunction angled shadow brush, which is good for all-over application, as well as highlighting and in the crease, and finally, the smudge brush, which is great for blending out eyeliner products or creating a dramatic eye effect.

Sephora Collection Shave & Smooth Facial Razor

Facial hair, we all have it. And if you don’t, well, you’re super lucky. I used to wax my upper lip since I was a teenager, but for the past few years I’ve actually been using an electric razor specially designed for removing women’s facial hair. Now I know what you’re thinking, oh my gosh, you shave your face? Well here’s the thing. I have a couple at-home laser hair removal devices and for those you actually need to shave the hair, not wax it.  So thus, I started shaving my face.

Sephora has come out with their own razor, the Shave & Smooth Facial Razor (C$20), which is made from Japanese steel and designed to remove unwanted hair for a more flawless makeup application.  The idea with this is to remove the peach fuzz on your face so your product will look more perfect. I have started shaving my chin as well, as I get some dark hairs, but it’s mostly for peach fuzz. In addition to the rose gold razor (which is quite heavy, might I add), it also comes with three replacement razors.

I have used this a couple times, and I do have to say that I enjoy my electronic one a little more since this seems very sharp and I’m afraid I’m going to cut myself, but I love the idea of it and that Sephora is selling this. I also found that it took off dead skin as well, which makes for a more amazing finish on your makeup.

Speaking of makeup application, a good sponge goes a long way. Unfortunately, I’ve never been impressed with the Sephora Collection sponges, as they are also so stiff, but for spring they have come out with the Sephora Collection Tear Apart Makeup Sponge (C$9), which is a rectangular sponge that is designed to be ripped apart. The sponges feature both smooth and textured surfaces to stipple makeup onto your skin so you can minimize pores and create a more even skin texture.  Unlike the other sponges I’ve tried from Sephora, these aren’t designed to get wet like a Beauty Blender would, they are like the ones you would get at a makeup counter to apply foundation. Sephora says you can wet them though for a more dewy effect.

The one item I’m really loving is the Beauty Amplifier Eye Shadow Primer (C$12), which is a lightweight eye primer that goes on translucent. Lately I’ve been using a lot of cream eyeshadows as primers, so I was really excited to get this since it’s so universal. The product itself is quite small, but you only need a drop of it as a little goes a long way. You apply the primer via the doe-foot applicator so you don’t have to get your hands messy. I also like how compact it is, meaning it’s perfect for travel. For C$12, you can’t go wrong with this.

 Sephora Collection Rouge Gel Lip Liner Finally, for the lips, Sephora has come out with some new shades of their Sephora Collection Rouge Gel Lip Liner (C$15 each), which is a retractable lip liner with a long-lasting, gel-cream texture to enhance the lip contour.

For the most part, I still apply lipstick without a liner, but using a liner definitely makes your lips look bigger and more defined. This liner is very soft and creamy, thanks to its gel-cream finish. I got the shades Highlight Champagne, Highlight Pearl, and Highlight Gold, which are all designed to accentuate your lips.  Since the shades are champagne, white, and gold, they are quite non-traditional for a liner, however, I really like using these along my cupid’s bow since I often will pop a highlighter on there anyways. This way is just more handy.  Although it’s a cool idea, it’s definitely not something you would absolutely need in your collection however, I really love that Sephora came up with an idea to do a lip liner in highlighting shades. I want to add that you could also use these on the eyes for highlighting as well.

 Sephora Collection Rouge Gel Lip Liner applied on cupid's bow

Those are only a few items from Sephora Collection’s spring releases. I like the idea of a lot of these products, however, I did find that I didn’t have a use for them.  The bags are definitely worth the money (especially the Universalist), and the primer and brushes are always a good idea ($12 for an eyeshadow primer!?).  They also have out a new face palette, tons of lip products, and some new buffing brushes. Next time you’re in Sephora, definitely pop in to see what’s new… like I need to give you an excuse to go there anyways… ;).

Is there anything from Sephora Collection you’re dying to try out?

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

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