Product Reviews

Current Makeup Favourites

Hey guys!

If you missed me on Instagram Live this week, have no fear! I decided to try out a two-part blog/video this week so that I could engage with more of you. Moving forward, I’ll be incorporating more live and pre-filmed videos into the blog here (just like the old days!)  so stay tuned for that!

Alright, so this week’s post is pretty short and sweet. I just wanted to blab a bit about the makeup products I’ve been using as of late and what I’ve thought of them. To start off, let’s talk about the Anastasia Beverly Hills Subculture palette. This eye shadow palette is somewhat old news as it was released back in August of 2017 but it was also one of the most talked about and controversial makeup products of that year. This is because so many people who received (as PR) or purchased this palette got bad batches. When you’re manufacturing a massive quantity of product, often times there can be certain batches that just don’t come out right, but these are usually tested and spotted in the warehouse facility before they are packaged for distribution. For whatever reason, there was a large number of people who received palettes that were sub-par to the usual phenomenal quality of this brand’s eye-shadows and other products alike. Shadows were patchy, not easy to blend, had huge amounts of fall-out and were not as cohesive in terms of shades in comparison to previously released palettes for eg. The Modern Renaissance palette which received rave reviews.

Photo cred: Anastasia Beverly Hills

 

This of course made someone like me who had never purchased a palette from ABH before, skeptical as I didn’t want to spend money on a product that I wasn’t one hundred percent sure I would love. The thing that kept drawing me in though was that I LOVED the colours in this particular palette. As much as it wasn’t cohesive, I already owned so many eye shadows that were similar to the colours offered in all the other ABH palettes. What I didn’t have in my collection and what I felt like I needed in order to be inspired to create more “out-there” looks was a palette just like this. It was out of my comfort-zone and that’s exactly what I wanted. Upon watching numerous YouTube videos and reviews about this palette, I came across many that had good things to say about it. With the batches that weren’t messed up, the feedback was great. The creator and daughter of Anastasia, Norvina, even made a statement that this palette was designed and crafted differently than any of their previous palettes. The shadows were pressed much more finely, therefore allowing the colour payoff and pigmentation to be much stronger.  So, with some palettes where you would normally swirl your brush into the shadow a few times to pick up colour, with this palette you merely had to lightly tap the brush into a shadow and were met with the most beautiful, intense payoff. This, I think, was quite a shock to people who were used to the normal formulation of ABH shadows and weren’t expecting such a change in formulation. With all of that aside though, I was surprised and delighted when I noticed the palette went on sale at Sephora because, to my knowledge, ABH palettes rarely go down in price. So, I took the plunge and purchased the ever so infamous Subculture palette and I’m SO glad I did.

 

Photo cred: Ulta Beauty

 

The payoff truly is intense in these shadows. You don’t have much room to play around with building up colour because it’s already intense at the start, so that’s something to be wary of. Everything I was looking forward to in this palette, though, hit the mark. I really only have two cons about this palette; the first being the packaging. The outside is a suede/velvet material so it’s not going to be easy to keep clean and I don’t think it will hold up for very long. The second downside are two  shades; cube and electric. These are a different consistency than the other shadows as they are a duo-chrome and ‘glitter’ shadow. They don’t apply well with a brush (even with it’s spritzed with Fix+ or another setting spray) and they don’t have as much payoff as the rest of the shadows. I recommend using your finger to apply them and definitely making sure you have a base or shadow primer down prior to application.  Other than those two very minor cons, the palette was worth it for me! It normally retails for $55CAD but I purchased mine on sale for $44CAD. Click here to buy yours!

The next three products I have been using are from the brand Glossier. Glossier is cult beauty brand that was only launched in 2014. The brand focuses on minimal and natural beauty: think dewy skin, fluffy brows and glossy lips. They initially launched with only four products, and now have just over 20, including some of the makeup industry’s current favourites. The brand seemed to be on par with my own values and ethos, so I went ahead and made my first purchase. The three products I picked up were Boy Brow, Haloscope and Balm Dotcom. The first product, Boy Brow is described as a “grooming pomade”, similar to Benefit’s Gimme Brow. It’s offered in four shades: blonde, brown, black and clear and retails for $20CAD. I picked up mine in the shade brown as I generally like my brows a little darker, although once I tried it, I think I could have gotten away with the blonde. Having used many products like this in the past, I would say it stands up to some of the better ones I’ve tried. I felt like the price point was fair, as well. I actually saved $7 because I bought it in a pack with the Haloscope, and got both for $20. The second product Haloscope is described as a “dew effect highlighter”. I would have to agree that their description is pretty spot-on. The product is sort of two-fold as the inner portion of the stick is a vitamin enriched moisturizer, while the outer ring or “halo” (which has colour) is “infused with genuine crystal extracts”. The results is less of a glowing to the God’s highlight, but rather a dewey and natural glow. Lastly, the third product I picked up was the Balm Dotcom universal skin salve. This is a lip balm and all-in-one salve for your lips, cuticles, elbows, literally anywhere that’s dry and needs some TLC. I picked up mine in the coconut flavour for $15CAD. The one downside to this product was that when it arrived, the glue on the seam at the top seemed to have worn off or not been intact so when I went to squeeze the product out, it came out of the top. This was easily fixed by folding it over and putting a clip on it, but still— a tad annoying. All three products arrived about eight business days after I made the purchase. When I received the package, everything was intact (minus the balm mishap) and the packaging of the box itself was to-die-for! The box was the classic Glossier pink on the inside with a cute message and icons. The products came inside a bright pink bubble wrapped zip-pouch, which I can and will reuse for travelling. They also included a thank-you postcard and a pack of Glossier branded stickers. It was one of the best and most enjoyable online purchases I think I’ve ever made. To learn more about this brand, click here to read the Business Insider interview with Glossier founder, Emily Weiss.

 

The last product I’ve been enjoying isn’t a new product to me but one I repurchased for a second time. I mentioned in my Instagram live video that setting sprays, primer sprays or ‘essences’ are something that have always been a little bit of a hot issue for me because I don’t always see the point of spending money on something that doesn’t necessarily do much. Most of these sprays and waters are also so outrageously priced, I’m like “who can afford to buy this stuff all the time?!” But because I had a gift card for Sephora and this spray was marketed as more of a skin-care product, I decided to give it another go. I’m talking about the Urban Decay Quick Fix spray. It is one out of four setting and priming sprays that Urban Decay carries. It’s designed to be a priming spray that is infused with vitamins, minerals and coconut water to help replenish the moisture in your skin and reduce redness. These are two factors that I found to be something of an issue for me, prior to putting on my makeup. I didn’t like my skin to feel dry and I wanted something to help reduce the appearance of any redness in my skin. Once I started using it again, I forgot how much I enjoyed it the first time. The scent alone is enough to make me want to buy this over and over again— it’s heavenly! I’m someone who believes in the importance of healthy skin, and that taking care of your body’s largest organ is a vital step in ensuring that the makeup you follow with looks and performs the best that it can. When I run out this spray, would I repurchase it again? It’s not something I would run back to Sephora for, but that doesn’t mean I don’t like it. Even with all of the pros that this spray has to offer, at $40CAD, it’s still a rather pricey product and I’m not convinced I couldn’t find something else that could do the same thing for a lot less.

Photo cred: Sephora.com

So friends, that’s it for this week’s blog. I initially thought this would be a lot shorter, but you know me, when I get started talking about makeup and skincare, I really can go on and on. Thanks for reading about keeping up with me though and I’ll talk to you guys soon!

Xo,

Cass