MAC Mineralize Moisture SPF 15 Foundation

One thing I’ve noticed is that as the weather gets colder my skin begins to shrivel up.

No amount of moisturizer, serum or oil seems to stop it. And it’s mostly on my cheeks.

I’m planning to buy a humidifier this winter but, like any obsessed beauty blogger, I’m also looking at ways my everyday makeup can help ease the problem.

I do all I can to prep my skin with moisture before applying makeup but I figured maybe I could do more with the foundation I use AND perhaps finish my makeup by spritzing with a moisturizing toner.

I stumbled across this video review of MAC’s Mineralize Moisture Foundation from the Beautypedia folks and, after checking out lots of other reviews, decided to buy it.

Winter is so harsh in my part of Canada and this foundation is raved about by folks with dry skin.

Putting aside how yellow Mercedes’ face looks in this video, I agree with everything she says.

My verdict: it’s a great foundation.

I never use a lot of foundation: one small pump, and I still have some left over. First I dot it sparingly on my face then I go over it with a damp Beauty Blender. I actually bought the same shade as Mercedes uses in the video above (NC 15).

I put a tiny bit of loose powder on my forehead and under my eyes, on my chin and on my cupid’s bow with a small brush.

It has a satin finish (meaning your face will look a bit shiny after you apply it). It doesn’t sink into my fine lines or pores. It provides light coverage although it’s marketed as a medium coverage foundation. My guess is you could easily layer it to build up the coverage.

It’s easy to apply BUT it’s pretty expensive: $43 CA (around £22). But it comes in loads of shades.

I’ve come to realise I’m not much of a budget foundation gal. Unless I can test a foundation on my face in the store, I’m not going to buy it. I’ve gone drugstore for foundation a couple of times and ended up returning it to exchange it for another colour. And that’s just a hassle. Plus, I’m lazy.

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MAC Prep and Prime Fix Plus

I also got my hands on MAC’s Prep + Prime Fix + which I’m spraying on my face in the hope I’ll look less like a shriveled prune. I’m told you can use this toner before or after applying foundation. I’m planning to keep it in my makeup bag and use it throughout the day during the winter months. I’ll give you an update soon to let you know whether it’s worth the investment.

Maybelline Eye Studio Lasting Drama Gel EyelinerI used to wear liquid eyeliner ALL THE TIME. I don’t remember when I stopped but I did.

If you’ve read my about page you’ll know I stopped wearing a lot of makeup but have gradually been coming back to it.

One of the things I never thought would make a comeback on my face was liquid eyeliner. I was pretty sure my ageing eyelids wouldn’t stand for it.

Twice a week I don’t wear mascara because I workout and workouts equal sweat and sweat equals ruined mascara. Waterproof or not. On those days I still wear eye makeup but use a clear mascara instead.

I’ve invested in long-wearing eye products which stay in place through my exercising. And I’ve gradually been wearing more and more makeup on my workout days.

I’ve been using two waterproof pencil eyeliners (in black and taupe) but suddenly had an urge to ditch those and use liquid eyeliner.

After reading up on the best rated eyeliners on Beautypedia I narrowed it down to Bobbi Brown’s Long-Wear Gel Eyeliner ($33 CA) and Maybelline’s Eyestudio Lasting Drama Gel Eyeliner ($10 CA).

When I was a kid, I used liquid liner that went on very wet and dried to a matte, black finish. If you were unlucky, it flaked off. Today – in 2015 – formulas have changed dramatically. Gel liner is THE thing. It’s neither wet nor dry. And not a flake in sight.

The Bobbi Brown eyeliner gets rave reviews EVERYWHERE. But $33? That’s a bit much dontcha think?

So you’ll understand how happy I was to find this YouTube smackdown from the fabulous Makeup Geek.

I also read this great post from Rock Paper Beauty.

Decision made! Maybelline it is. In the colour charcoal. Not black.

I do love jet black but for everyday wear I want to soften things a bit (being over 40 and everything). Maybelline’s charcoal is very close to black but that bit softer.

The finish is really nice. It’s not a flat, matte colour. It has a tiny bit of sparkle in it but it’s not that noticeable. It’s more of a glossy finish.

And it’s SO EASY to apply. I don’t think I’ve ever used a liner that’s this easy to put on. No dragging AT ALL. It’s buttery soft. Good news for my sometimes-crepey lids.

I actually use MAC’s 208 angled brow brush. And I apply it as close to my lashes as possible. When I’m done, I sort of stick the brush up gently into the roots of my lashes too – not quite tightlining but making sure I cover up the skin.

I’ve yet to wear the eyeliner during a workout but, so far, I’m super impressed with it.

I went out on my bike today and the wind and cold made my eyes water A LOT. But that Maybelline stuff stayed in place.

If you’re looking for a gel liner, I honestly don’t think you need to spend big bucks. This Maybelline liner is a keeper. The irony is, Beautypedia gave it a crappy review. And you know how I am about my Beautypedia reviews. I think this is one case where they got it wrong.

Maybelline EYE STUDIO LASTING DRAMA GEL EYELINER Charcoal 2

PS: if you’re interested, I’m wearing a brand-new lip gloss from Elizabeth Arden and I love it! This is Luminous Lip Gloss in Rosegold. It’s sort of rosey and sort of gold. It’s also sort of expensive ($25 CA). I’ve been loving my cheap Rimmel lip glosses but I had an urge. Shhh. Don’t tell.

MAC Pro Longwear Paint Pot Tailor Grey 2

I’ve just discovered the best eyebrow fix.

Most recently I’ve been using a variety of shades from my Paula’s Choice Matte eyeshadow palette to fill in my brows. But none of the colours is quite right. Too dark, too warm, too light.

I ended up blending together a couple of the colours, mixing with water and applying with an angled brush but I wasn’t quite satisfied.

Before that I was using MAC’s Brow Set in Bold Brunette but I’d started to find it too dark.

After spending all evening looking at eyebrow products on Beautypedia and watching a bunch of YouTube videos (my favourite is Lisa Eldridge below), I was all set to buy MAC’s brow pencil in Lingering.

Then I watched this video from Mary Greenwell and something she said really stayed with me: you’re filling in the shadow behind your brow hair. Stay away from red or blue based colours and look for something earthy.

I recently bought MAC’s Pro Longwear Paint Pot in Tailor Grey and had a sudden brainwave to try it as an eyebrow product. It’s a great earthy colour.

IT IS PERFECT!

And I don’t have grey eyebrows.

I use a small eyeliner brush to lightly apply it and then quickly comb through some clear mascara.

Taking pictures of eyebrows is difficult. While you may not be particularly impressed with how things look in the photo below, what I can tell you is I haven’t been this happy with my eyebrows in years.

MAC Pro Longwear Paint Pot Tailor Grey eye brow filler

L'Oréal Paris Voluminous Butterfly mascara 1

DECEMBER 2015 UPDATE

I recently bought the waterproof version of this mascara and LOVE it. The brush really does take some getting used to but the results are worth it for those of us with sparse or thin eyelashes. I was in the market for a waterproof mascara and originally bought Clinique’s High Impact Waterproof mascara but ended up returning it because it made me look as though I only had about five eyelashes.


I’ve lost count of the amount of mascaras I’ve loved.

It’s one of those products that (like foundation) I’m always searching for.

I’ll find one that looks good but is hard to take off, hard to apply, flakes, smudges under my eyes or is too expensive.

In a fit of mascara indulgence a few months ago, I bought a handful of drugstore brands including L’Oréal Paris Voluminous Butterfly. On a bit of a whim really. Beautypedia said fairly decent things about it so I figured I’d try it.

It sat in my little mascara pot for ages. I’d use it occasionally but it wasn’t my ‘go to’ mascara.

I found it hard to apply because of its weird brush – which is a bit like a rubbery 3D comb. I even poked myself in the eyeball a couple of times.

L'Oréal Paris Voluminous Butterfly mascara 3

Not wishing to blind myself in the name of beauty, I didn’t use it much.

Then I went to a wedding in September and had to do my makeup in a hurry and ended up using this Butterfly stuff. During the handful of times I’d used it before, I noticed it stays fairly clean looking after I’d applied it. It doesn’t smudge under my eyes and I can create quite dramatic lashes with it.

I also wanted to wash it off easily at the end of the night (and this one ticks all those boxes).

I haven’t used another mascara since then.

L'Oréal Paris Voluminous Butterfly mascara 2

The brush definitely takes some getting used to. It has a side with short bristles and a side with longer bristles. I start by getting the short side right up against my lashes and eyelid and I keep combing and wiggling a bit from side to side. I finish by combing with the longer bristles.

This mascara is easy to fuck up but once I got the hang of it, I have to say it’s one of the best drugstore mascaras I’ve used.

The Beautypedia review nails it really:

What this mascara does do well is distribute itself evenly on hard-to-reach lashes. It also provides noticeable length as well as some curl, and the extra bristles easily sweep through any clumps that might develop from layering.

MAC-Studio-Waterweight-Foundation-SPF-30

It was thanks to this review on Beautypedia that I discovered MAC Studio Waterweight Foundation SPF 30.

I’m a loyal fan of MAC Face & Body Foundation which I wore all summer and reviews suggested the MAC Studio Waterweight foundation was similar.

I picked up a bottle of this stuff in September and already love it.

I have dry/combo skin and this leaves my face less shiny than Face & Body and required no powder touch ups.

I never use a lot of foundation. One dime-sized drop does my whole face. Be warned, this stuff will drip off your hand if you’re not careful. And the glass bottle is huge.

The lid has a dropper that you squeeze to dispense the foundation. I’m not a huge fan of it but this is otherwise a great product.

If you like sheer coverage, get this. It offers slightly more coverage than Face & Body and looks incredibly natural. And I read zillions of positive reviews about it before I bought it.

It doesn’t cover up spots or moderate skin discolouration so you’ll need to dab on a bit of concealer if you’re looking for that kind of coverage.

I wear this stuff pretty much everyday – even on workout days – and it stands up well despite my sweaty face.

I used a Beauty Blender to apply it in the photo below.

Liz Hover beauty blog MAC Studio Waterweight Foundation PSF 30 review

And of course the foundation includes SPF 30. If you don’t already, you should be slapping on your SPF everyday, even in winter. The #1 thing that ages skin is sun damage.

Even though this contains SPF, I still apply a separate SPF underneath.

NYX creme blush Real Techniques stippling brush

As the summer months have passed by, I realise I’ve been using the same few things every day but haven’t written about them here. So here goes.

After bemoaning the NYX Rouge Cream Blush in a previous post, I decided to give it another go. I had a brain wave with the application.

Using fingers to apply this stuff was terrible. And a regular blusher brush was a disaster.

I had picked up the Real Techniques Stippling Brush from Walmart earlier this year to use with liquid foundation.

It’s a great brush (around $10 CA / £12 from Boots). I loved using it for foundation but it ended up being much quicker to apply foundation with the good ‘ole Beauty Blender which I’ve just begun using dry and loving!

Anyway, I gave the stippling blush a spin with the cream blush and it was perfect! I dip the brush lightly in the blush a couple of times then swirl it around on my cheeks. Colour looks evenly distributed and lasts all day.

MAC 217 Blending BrushThis unimpressive looking brush is the MAC 217 Blending Brush $25 CA /  £20) which just about every beauty blogger I’ve read or watched has recommended.

I use it all the time which is becoming a problem because I use more than one colour so everything just gets smushed together. I need to get another 217.

It’s just a really easy-to-use tool for eye shadow.

NYX HD Loose Finishing Powder I apply a tinsy winsy bit of powder to my face every day (Wayne Goss once referred to it as ‘a whisper of powder.’) A little bit on my forehead, eyelids, under the eye, nose and chin.

And this literally has to do with my age. My skin just looks bad with overall powder. It also looks really unnatural – if that’s the look you’re going for, that’s fine but it’s not a look that works well for me.

Including this NYX HD Loose Finishing Powder ($10 CA / £9.50), I have three loose powders in regular rotation. I reached for this one when the weather started to get really hot because I didn’t want to sweat in colour – the other two powders I have are flesh toned. This powder did the trick.

A word of caution: if you have flaky skin, this stuff will accentuate it.

Paula's Choice Extra Care Non-Greasy Sunscreen SPF 50

I use an SPF moisturizer every day. And this one from Paula’s Choice is lovely.

Like the name suggests, Extra Care Non-Greasy Sunscreen SPF 50 isn’t super heavy or greasy and it doesn’t make my face white. You can use it on your face and body and it’s great for working out because it doesn’t run down your face in white streams when you sweat (this happened to me twice last week with another SPF).

I tried out samples of this stuff then recently ordered the full-sized tube. It’s also very water resistant so great for swimming or the beach.

I have a special code which gives you $10 off your Paula’s Choice order. If you’re ready to buy something from Paula’s Choice, use this link.

LipsI’m already on my second tube of Rimmel’s Stay Glossy in the colour Captivate Me (above, top). I wear it every day without fail. It’s just a great, cheap summer lip gloss.

Oddly, I can’t find it on their Canadian website anymore, so no link. I think I got my last tube for $5 CA. A total bargain.

When I fancy a bit more colour, I use Revlon Colorburst Lip Butter in Berry Smoothie. I have this stuff in two colours. Another great summer lip.

Both are super wearable and would look great on all skin tones / colours.

Loreal La Palette Nude 2 Paula's Choice Nude Mattes eye shadow

[UPDATE: In November 2015, Paula’s Choice announced it would be discontinuing its Nude Mattes Eye Shadow Palette.]

If you want the short version about my opinion on these two eye shadow palettes, it’s this: they’re great. Buy them now!

And if you’ve got time to stick around for a while longer …

You can read my general thoughts on eye shadow here. Since I wrote that post my opinion has changed a little.

From my obsessive YouTube watching, I’ve learned that women over 40 can apply powder eye shadow without looking like they forgot to iron their eyelids that morning. And for that reason, I love these two eye shadow palettes.

It’s all about the amount you apply (for me, anyway). Once I had that under control, I was so excited to try these two palettes.

L’Oréal La Palette

L'Oreal La Palette Nude 2

I’d seen Lisa Eldridge use the L’Oréal La Palette in one of her videos (and she’s about the same age as me). Lisa has this incredible ability to make me want everything she uses because she’s so skilled at her work. But I’m usually able to control my purchasing desires. No idea why this time was different but I totally HAD to have the palette.

I picked up the L’Oréal La Palette in Nude 2 from Shoppers Drug Mart where I paid $29.99 CA plus tax for it (about $22 US and about £15). I later saw it in Canadian Superstore for around $24. It’s also cheaper at Walmart.

In the past, I’ve always bought eye shadow singles but there’s something about having a range of shadows in front of me that I really like. And the L’Oréal palette doesn’t have any duds. I’m likely to use them all. They wear well and last a long time.

The palette includes mattes and shimmers. It’s all good. ‘Nuff said.

Nude Mattes Eye Shadow Palette from Paula’s Choice

Paula's Choice Nude Mattes Eye Shadow Palette

Literally one week after getting the L’Oréal palette, I received an offer from Paula’s Choice: free palette with all orders over $50 or something like that. It was a one-day only offer and coincided with an order I was making anyway.

The Nude Mattes Eye Shadow Palette was designed in collaboration with YouTube makeup artist Wayne Goss (who I love).

So I placed my order and along came my free palette.

It sells for $40 US which is around $52 CA (or about £25).

The palette includes one highlight shade. It’s okay.

What I really like about the Paula’s Choice shadows are their versatility. These highly pigmented matte shades can be used for anything. With a damp brush you’ve got eyeliner and eyebrow shapers. Heck, you could probably even contour with some of them.

However, MAC eye shadows will always be my favourite. I really don’t think that either palette here contains colours, textures or wearability to rival MAC. And maybe I’m just being stubborn. But there you go.

But just to be contrary: would I recommend them? YES. I honestly don’t think you’ll be disappointed with either of these as long as you apply and blend properly.

I have a special code which gives you $10 off your Paula’s Choice order. If you’re ready to buy this eye shadow palette, use this link.

Liz Hover beauty Winnipeg Canada MAC Extended Play lash mascara

I recently bought MAC’s Extended Play mascara after reading great reviews about it.

My problem with most other mascara’s I own is the brush size: it’s usually too big and I end up poking myself in the eye.

MAC’s Extended Play Lash has a very slim brush perfect for smaller eyes and mediocre lashes because it allows you to get right in there and coat every lash.

I don’t use an eyelash curler (I did, for years, but managed to wean myself of it). I have very straight lashes, so curl or lift from mascara alone is another key benefit I want from my mascara. And, luckily, Extended Play delivers.

I don’t think this mascara is for everyone. If you want loads of volume, you’re not going to get it here. It’s the perfect defining and lengthening mascara.

It’s also, apparently, waterproof but I haven’t tested out that claim.

[UPDATE: I recently rode my bike home from work in a torrential downpour while wearing this mascara and can report this is not 100% waterproof. While it doesn’t drip black streaks down your cheeks like regular mascara does when you add water, it does slide off in little tubes. Don’t wear this and go swimming!]

Since posting about my favourite mascaras, I’ve bought loads of drugstore mascaras (because apparently I have a mascara addiction). And they were all a bit crap really.

MAC’s Extended Play is a total winner and $20 well spent.

MAC-Pro-LongWear-Nourishing-Waterproof-Foundation

I’ve always been a powder gal. Always.

The biggest change I recently made was to wear MAC’s Face and Body Foundation everyday. For me, it serves as a tinted moisturizer. And it’s perfect for summer.

Since turning 40 (and during the lead up) my skin began changing. More splotches, less luminosity, greater dryness.

I’m very lucky to have been one of those people to whom others say: you have such great skin. And now I feel like I took it for granted. I’m sorry skin. You were outstanding.

During the summer months, until last year, I went bare-faced. I added a dusting of MAC’s blot powder but that was it. I didn’t even think much about it.

Now I look kind of unwell without makeup. A bare-faced look isn’t something I can pull of naturally anymore.

Le sigh.

Brown spots need covering, enlarged pores need masking and annoying splotches need camouflage.

I sweat a lot. I ride a bike every day. And I work out. How on earth could I use makeup on my face? (I’m not, and will never be, one of those people who does their face in the bathroom at work. I do it at home or not at all.)

Enter MAC Pro Longwear Nourishing Waterproof Foundation.

I honestly can’t remember where I first read about the launch of this new foundation but it seems to have become available in May 2015.

I kept reading about it. Then I began obsessing about it. I’ve watched a lot of YouTube video reviews about it. And they’re pretty much unanimous in their opinion: this is a brilliant product.

So I picked up a sample last week. I wasn’t entirely ready to shell out $38 for a foundation I was planning on wearing everyday without giving it a test run.

The MAC person – as they often do – put way too much on my face when I visited for a sample. Lilli (the sales assistant/makeup artist) was outstanding with her help and advice however. And kept telling me how amazing it looked on my skin. The colour match looked SO tan. I was skeptical.

When I got home I washed my face and applied the foundation myself with a damp Beauty Blender. I didn’t bother with primer or serum. It looked pretty good.

The next day I applied the foundation fresh along with MAC’s Pro Longwear Concealer (my new favourite concealer). I used MAC’s Prep + Prime Moisture Infusion, some Paula’s Choice stuff, MAC Strobe cream and my sunscreen. My face looked amazing.

I couldn’t stop checking myself out.

I cycled to work. I went to the gym. I SWEATED.

And my skin still looked good. Yes, there were a couple of salty sweat stains on either cheek but they were easily rubbed away.

I worried that my good skin was just a fluke. But it continued to look good for three days. And then I bought the full-sized tube.

In all the videos I’ve watched on YouTube the foundation has been applied liberally. I use a tiny amount of foundation and a tiny amount of concealer.

I highly recommend this foundation but please apply it sparingly. It also sets quite quickly so don’t dot it all over your face and blend. Put a bit on your face and blend then move on to another part of your face and do the same.

I don’t use a powder with this foundation. MAC did release a Pro Longwear powder which is also waterproof. I’d advise against wearing both if you want a natural look. This foundation is described as a medium to full coverage and some reviewers have said you need to be careful not to over-apply because your face will look cakey.

I tried hard to take a decent photo of myself wearing the foundation but I managed to look like a total twit in all the photos. This is the best of the bunch. Hopefully it gives you some indication of the finish.

And it really looks a lot better in person.

Liz Hover beauty blog Canada Mac Pro Longwear Nourishing Waterproof Foundation review

Bitch I’m Madonna from Rebel Heart.

I have a kind of love/hate relationship with this song from Madonna’s most recent album. I like a lot about it but it also grates on me somewhat.

Today (June 18) Madge released the official video for Bitch I’m Madonna and I find myself liking the song a whole lot more.

She’s still wearing that ridiculous grill but gives a great performance. I only wish Madge would take off the studded jacket. I kept worrying she was going to injure someone.

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Wanna know what the heck this ‘Madonna Friday’ thing is all about? Well let me tell you.