Holy Grail Products: Foundation, Anti-Chaffing Gel and Sports Bras

 

When it comes to beauty and lifestyle products, we are always on the quest for the Holy Grail. Holy Grail items are those products so perfect, we need not look any further. I’ve only found the Holy Grail a few times in my life. I’d like to build on that list. Once you find a Holy Grail product, it’s easy to become evangelical about it.  So with that in mind, I’ve decided to start sharing my favourites as I find them. 

Armani Face Fabric ($50):

I mentioned this product in a previous post, because it is the only make-up product I am loyal to.  It’s definitely a luxury product with a luxury price tag that is totally justified in my eyes. This is the best, light coverage foundation product. It blends seamlessly with my skin. It has a matte finish, which I love. Some people prefer a dewy look, if I want shimmer or dew I add it afterwards. The most striking thing about Face Fabric is the texture of your skin after using it, smooth. It has a similar feeling to using a primer. And speaking of primer…

Lanacane Anti-Chaffing Gel ($9)

This is sold in drugstores as an Anti-Chaffing Gel. It does a great job of that. Many women have experienced the pain of thigh rub. It’s excruciating and can ruin your whole day. A liberal application of this stuff can save you some pain. However, that’s not why it’s on my list as a Holy Grail product. The crazy thing about this product is that it doubles as a make-up primer. It is very similar to Smashbox Primer for a fraction of the price. You can buy it in the drugstore. Monistat makes a similar product if you can’t find the Lanacane in your area. As a primer, this is a Holy Grail product. It’s cheap and it works!

Shock Absorber Sports Bras ($60+)

These athletic bras have a terrible name. I choose to ignore that because the quality of support is so great. I have a bra size that is often hard to find, and this company offers a range all the way up to HH. You can actually run in these bras, for real. They have the architecture to keep you secure. I have to order a new one because my old one is a bit too small. You can find a better price on eBay if you are not too picky about colours.

That’s my list for now. I’d love to hear about your favourite beauty and lifestyle items in the comments (and why you like them!).

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Glossybox Canada October Review

 

In this series of posts, I’ll be reviewing beauty subscription services. I will be focusing on how well the boxes are suited to the brown-skinned beauty consumer. Although there are some niche focused beauty subscriptions on the market, I am only reviewing the ones designed for a general audience. 

My first GLOSSYBOX arrived today! It took about 2 weeks from my initial order to delivery. I learned from the GLOSSYBOX Facebook page that it used to cost $15 per month, but I missed that boat. The new price is $21. This first box is the October edition. I read all the spoilers on Facebook, so opening it was a bit anticlimactic. I’m going to have to avoid doing that in the future. It’s like peeking at your Christmas present. You only cheat yourself. Alright, now let’s take a closer look!

First things first, the packaging. It arrived in a sturdy, reusable, pink box. Opening the lid revealed decorative tissue and a pink ribbon. Fancy.

Even though I knew what to expect, it was pretty exciting to unwrap that tissue. Much like Christmas, I wanted to dig right in to the goodies. But wait! There is a card!

The card includes a description of the contents and some coupons I’ll probably forget about. Now for the good stuff, in order of the listing on the card…

JOUVIANCE REJUVENATING ANTI-AGING CREAM FOR COMBINATION TO OILY SKIN AND FOR NORMAL TO DRY SKIN ( Sample size value $9.50/ Full size $93.50)

I suppose I’m at the age where anti-aging creams are a thing. I don’t know if I’m really going to be able to decide if I like the product based on this small sample. It’s a pricey product, so I understand the limited sample size. It has no scent, so that is a selling point if you are sensitive. I washed my face and put some on, it did leave my skin feeling soft. (Update: I woke up and my skin still feels soft and moisturized.)

MODELCO FLIPSTICK LIP DUO (Full size sample $38.75)

I was prepared to dislike this product based on photos I’d seen online, but I was wrong. I don’t wear a lot of lipstick but when I do I usually opt for something super bold. I’ve never really got the hang of nude lips. This is a lip duo, one end is lipstick (dusk) and one is gloss (striptease). The lipstick is very moisturizing and the gloss is not sticky. This adds up to a winning combination. An added bonus is the smell, it’s sweet like candy but it doesn’t have a flavour. There is one major design flaw. It has a built in mirror, but you can’t use it while applying because it’s attached to the part you hold. Oopsie daisy!

ZOYA NAILPOLISH (Full size sample $8.00)

This colour is not really my thing, but it does look nice with dark skin tones. I’d be more likely to wear it on my toes. This is my first experience with Zoya. I painted one nail to see how it went on, one coat was nearly enough. I’m looking forward to trying other colours by the brand.

TRILLIANCE SHAMPOO & CONDITIONER WITH ROCK CRYSTAL EXTRACT (Sample value $6.48, Full size set $32.38)

I don’t use shampoo very often. My hair is so dry. Honestly, I’ll probably just give the shampoo to my boyfriend. I will try the conditioner. I don’t expect to get much “shine” from the rock crystals it contains. Since my hair is so thick, I’ll only get one or two uses out of this sample. I’ll report back if it’s phenomenal.

GILLETTE VENUS & OLAY RAZOR (Retail value $16.99)

Razors are not the most exciting thing to get in a beauty box. They are like socks on Christmas. In the long run, you are glad you didn’t have to spend the money yourself. Really, razors are expensive man! This little puppy retails for $17! I’m going to use that $17 on wine instead.

TOTAL BOX VALUE: $79.73!

I am satisfied with this box overall. The products were pretty universal. I believe I got my money’s worth. This is just the first of many boxes and bags to come. If they can all be this solid, I am sure to find a lot of great products.

Make-up for Dumb Dumbs

I am not a beauty junkie. Make-up application is not my strongest skill. I do have a serious looking make-up case from Holt Renfrew, a gift I requested from my mother a few years ago. Right now, it’s full of crusty old products and 3 identical shades of silver nail polish. Once again, my make-up shortcomings are a product of the abject laziness I described in my last hair care post. I don’t really care for make-up shopping. I don’t like trying on products at the drugstore (because eww!). I get overwhelmed after about 2 minutes in Sephora, and slink out empty-handed every damn time. The make-up counters at department stores are a bit better, but I hate being sold things and would rather go about my business shopping without the help of an employee. As a result, I buy nothing.

So what is a girl to do when she wants to step up her make-up game? Internet!
I hit the beauty blogs on a quest for product recommendations and stumbled on the whole Beauty Product Subscription industry. Now you are speaking my language. Beauty products delivered to my house for a low monthly fee? Sign me up!

I signed up for 3 monthly services (Glymm, Ipsy, Glossybox); and one quarterly service (LuxeBox). I’m also on the waiting list for TopBox. Why so many you ask? I thought it might be interesting to review them for my blog. I have brown skin (if you didn’t notice) and I want to see how well the products are suited to darker complexions (and black hair!). I figure, I’m a good guinea pig. I have average skills in make-up application and no brand loyalty. There is only one product I am devoted to, Armani Face Fabric.  That stuff is magical.

Since I only applied for most of the boxes this week, I am not sure if I will be getting November boxes from all the companies. You will be happy to know that I did receive one box today. I’m unpacking it for review tonight! I’ll be sharing shortly.

 

The Grown Up Things I Did Today…

In my ongoing quest to act my frickin’ age; I occasionally  have days of heightened productivity. That means I do more than one responsible or productive thing in one day. Today, I did 3 things! I’m amazing!

1) Hung up framed artwork in my bathroom. I’ve had these sitting around for the past 4 months. They are nothing fancy, just framed pictures from a magazine (Irving Penn flower pictures if you are that nosey). All I had to do was hammer two nails in to the wall, but it took me 4 months to get the motivation to do that. In my defense, I’ve had mono 4 times this year and I’ve barely had the strength to lift a hammer. I’m lucky if I get out of bed on my days off.

2) I wrote a thank you letter to someone who did me a huge favour. This is about 5 months late, but better late than never.

3) Last but not least, I organized my make-up bag. It was a shambles. You would think that a girl who used to work at a make-up school would have a decent make-up kit. Nope. I fail at cosmetics. I even took pictures so you could see how hard I fail.

The Entire Contents of My Make-up Bag

This is all the make-up I have to work with right now. I’ll do an inventory for you.

  • 1 Blush Brush
  • 1 Bobbi Brown Face Blender
  • 1 Broken Eyebrow Brush
  • 1 Stila Eyeshadow Brush
  • 1 Pair of Hot Pink Tweezerman Tweezers
  • 3 Korres Eyeshadows (2 Broken)
  • 1 Korres Mascara (I chucked it immediately after this picture because it’s old)
  • 1 Falsies Mascara (LOVE!)
  • 1 Silver Nail Polish (Probably chunky by now)
  • 1 Korres Khol Pencil
  • 1 Wet and Wild Khol Pencil
  • 1 Laura Mercier Eyebrow Pencil in Warm Brunette
  • 1 Pencil Sharpener
  • 1 Chanel Eyeshadow Trio (Too pretty to use)
  • 1 Random Cream Blush
  • My precious Nars Crazed Blush (DISCONTINUED!!!!!)
  • 1 Bobbi Brown Shimmer Brick
  • 1 Armani Face Fabric
  • 1 Lanacane Anti-chaffing gel (I’ll explain this at a later date, but I use it on my face)

As you can see, I tend to go for quality over quantity. I don’t wear a ton of product daily but I do like strong pigments and appealing textures. One thing you may have noticed is that I have absolutely no lip products. I did forget to photograph my Nars Funny Face lipstick. It’s a super bright pink that I rarely wear because it’s really over the top. Other than that, I only have lipbalm. I fail at wearing lipstick.

Another thing you may have noticed is that half of the products I own are broken. My favourite blush is basically a fine mist. As a result, my make-up bag is a powdery, dusty, disaster area.

Tragically Broken Cosmetics

So, my mission this week is to find replacements for the messy, broken items and invest in some fun new items.  I do have a job that requires a certain amount of polish and professionalism. I can’t go to work looking like I’ve rolled out of bed, so I can justify a little trip to Sephora. I’ll have a full report when I get around to that.

To reward myself for all the hard work and grown-up behaviour, I poured myself a double shot of Kraken over ice with a little agave syrup; surprisingly delicious. I didn’t have any mixer available, so I got creative.

On that note, I’m going to settle in with some netflix and think about all the grown-up things I’m going to do tomorrow.