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

GOSH Giant Blush

Above: GOSH Giant Blush in a goddamn stick

I decided that this summer I wanted to wear cream blusher.

I recently bought MAC’s Face and Body Foundation which is more like a tinted moisturizer and looks very ‘skin-like.’

I didn’t really want to be adding pink powder to my face. I didn’t like the idea of sweating in it.

And so I set about searching online for the best cream blush.

I picked up NYX Rouge Cream Blush on Friday because it was recommended by Paula’s Choice – it even made her ‘Best of the Best’ list – and it’s fairly inexpensive (around $11 CA).

After wearing it for the first time yesterday, I noticed it had completely vanished by the end of the day. Not particularly helpful.

And so my hunt for the best cream blush began.

My number one criteria was that it had to be long-lasting. Preferably waterproof. It couldn’t be a stick or a stain (too awkward to apply).

I tried to find a good drugstore product and Revlon’s Cream Blush was repeatedly mentioned but I didn’t like the limited colour selection.

Many Google search pages and blog reviews later, I had narrowed it down to four:

(1) Le Blush Crème de Chanel
(2) Makeup Forever HD Blush
(3) Laura Mercier Crème Cheek Colour
(4) Bourjois Cream Blush

The first three are ridiculously expensive (I’m not even going to include the prices here because I’m so ashamed). Suffice to say, I was willing to shell out a small fortune if it meant the blush stayed put.

I got to the store and headed straight for the Chanel counter. I was pretty sure this was the one coming home with me.

Chanel Cream blush Chamade

 

I was told by the sales assistant that this blush was being discontinued and replaced by a stick version. I swatched some on the back of my hand and told her I was off to Sephora to look at two others on my list.

Sephora didn’t have the Laura Mercier one. I didn’t think they would because it’s not listed on their website. And I didn’t like the Makeup Forever blush. It rubbed off pretty easily after I’d let it ‘set’ for a while and I wasn’t super keen on the colour range.

I swatched a bunch of other products not on my list, none of which I liked apart from BECCA’s Beach Tint which is indeed waterproof. But it comes in a goddamn tube! I don’t want a goddamn tube. This tint is tenacious stuff though. After wiping everything off the back of my hand, the BECCA tint didn’t budge.

Still, I wasn’t sold on it.

The only other product that didn’t budge was the Chanel one. Which made my decision pretty easy … that Chanel baby is coming home with me. How often do I buy blush anyway? Once every few years. Who cares if they’re discontinuing it.

But when I got back to the Chanel counter, the lady told me they’d sold the last one. My dream was crushed.

By now, I was determined to get a fucking cream blush so I went to Shoppers Drug Mart. I looked at all the brands, including the Revlon Blush which I naughtily stuck my finger into (no tester available) and discovered it was shit anyway.

Finally the only blush which didn’t wipe off easily was GOSH Giant Blush which comes in a goddamn stick. So I bought it.

I’ll let you know how it wears.

Do you use a cream blush? Got any favourites?

UPDATE: After wearing it all day yesterday (and having a total #blushfail because I put too much on) I can confirm this stuff stays on well. Today I dabbed a bit on my finger and patted it on to my cheeks. This worked much better. I look like less of a clueless moron.

Loreal MAC Marcelle lip liner pencils Boldly Bare Pebble Coral Mauve

Above from left: MAC Boldly Bare; Marcelle Pebble; L’Oréal Infallible Coral; L’Oréal Infallible Mauve

Since writing about my summer lipstick change I’ve become somewhat obsessed about finding the perfect lip-coloured lip pencil.

Let me back up a bit here.

I thought that lip balm or gloss was the way to go during the summer months so, as I wrote in the link above, I splurged on three lip products and figured I was done.

But I wasn’t.

Turns out I’m not a super big fan of gloss or balm on their own anymore. I have to be careful about the colour bleeding for a start.

My biggest gripe, however, is wear-time.

Glosses and balms just don’t last very long unless you’re using one of those dual products which comes with a balm and a colour (such as Cover Girl Outlast All-Day Lipcolour which I hated).

I remembered I had Estée Lauder’s Double Wear Stay-in-Place Lip Pencil in Rose. So I put that on first (all over my lips), stuck one of the balms or glosses over the top and blotted. THAT is my magic combination.

The Estée Lauder lip pencil is the absolute best lip pencil on the planet. I’ve been through three of them. I’m not sure they’d be to everyone’s liking though. They last ages and have a matte finish but you have to be careful or you get lip pencil crumbs everywhere. It’s a sacrifice I’m willing to make.

At $25 it’s a pricey pencil. And it tends to need a lot of sharpening. So I knew I had to sleuth out some cheaper alternatives.

There’s a fine line between nude and lip-coloured shades though and my search (both online and in-store) turned up lots of brown and beige.

My perfect ‘lip-coloured’ pencil is just the right mix of brown and pink.

As it turns out, my favourite find is MAC’s Boldly Bare which clocks in at $19 CA so I’m not really saving any money. It’s just a great pencil to wear underneath other stuff. On its own it’s a bit too ‘nude’ for me.

My favourite drugstore finds so far are:

1. L’Oréal’s Infallible Never Fail Lip Liner in Mauve and Coral (two separate shades)
2. Marcelle’s Waterproof Lip Definition Crayon in Pebble

I find the formula for both of these to be very similar to Estée Lauder’s Double Wear Stay-in-Place Lip Pencil and they wear equally as long but cost a lot less.

Beauty-Blender-sponge

For ages, lots of vloggers have been on about the Beauty Blender sponge.

I’ve always applied concealer and foundation with a small wedge sponge. The Beauty Blender looked so big and weird to me that I had no desire to try it out.

You hear lots of advice about how to apply foundation and concealer. Many makeup artists and cosmetics brands recommend a brush. Which I’ve tried. Y’know, a proper foundation brush and stuff and it always looked awful.

I figured my skin was just past it and I was getting old and could no longer wear liquid foundation. It sank into pores and creases and made me feel ugly so I stuck to powder.

NOW EVERYTHING HAS CHANGED.

I got sucked in by the marketing hype, dolled out $26 (FOR A SPONGE! Do you know how many little wedge sponges I can buy for $26?).

I picked up the Beauty Blender from Sephora. It looked cute but totally unimpressive. I was absolutely prepared to be disappointed.

You run the sponge under water, squeezing it until the sponge inflates in size. Then squeeze out the water and blot with paper towel and it’s ready to use.

I stick a bit of concealer on the back of my hand and dab it under my eyes with my fingers then I grab the Beauty Blender and bounce it over the concealer.

The result is flawless!

Not only that, you can use the Beauty Blender to apply your powder too and it looks AMAZING. Yes, with a damp sponge. Never use it dry.

You NEED one of these things.

But beware … there are hundreds of supposed ‘dupes’ available in the drugstore and supermarket. Don’t be fooled by them. They might be half the price but they’re nowhere near as good.

After watching a ton of YouTube videos and reading blog posts, it looks like the Real Techniques Miracle Foundation Sponge is as close to the original Beauty Blender as you’re gonna get. So, obviously, I bought one of those too.

Real-Techniques-Miracle-Complexion-Sponge

The Real Techniques sponge is less than $10 at Walmart and performs beautifully too. Same method: run under water, squeeze, blot, go.

I’ve now thrown out all of my little wedge sponges. I’m SO glad I bought the Beauty Blender. It’s entirely changed how I feel about my skin.

Joe-Loose-Powder-Revlon-Nearly-Naked

Along with my lipstick changes I usually switch to a much lighter face powder in summer.

My absolute holy grail face powder is Lancôme’s Translucence powder but I find it a tinsy bit heavy during the summer months.

I ride my bike a lot and I sweat a lot. I don’t like the feeling of makeup on my sweaty face. My go-to alternative powder has been MAC Blot Powder but I felt like a change this year. My blot powder hit pan long ago and ran out so I went on the hunt for something new.

While I was in Superstore buying groceries I happened to spend an inordinate amount of time in their beauty section. They have a nail bar and a mascara bar and SO MANY NAIL POLISHES I almost hyperventilated.

They also have the fabulous Joe Fresh brand which includes a deliciously designed skincare and cosmetics line (coming to Shoppers Drug Mart in spring 2016 apparently).

After tapping away on my phone to find reviews of their translucent loose powder I came across a recommendation on the Beauty Editor blog which was good enough for me. So was the price tag. $8.

The Joe Fresh loose powder is lovely. If you’re looking for a powder to wear over foundation or on its own, this is a great choice. It doesn’t give a lot of coverage but it sits on the skin beautifully.

Joe-Loose-Powder-2

It comes in a small pot but it has a nice lid which packs everything down to stop you making a mess. And you don’t need to use much.

Joe-Loose-Powder-1

I prefer to carry around a pressed powder rather than loose so I also picked up Revlon’s Nearly Naked Pressed Powder ($16 CA plus tax) and am equally in love with the finish.

The Revlon powder comes with a crappy little puff which I’d toss out if I were you. I used a big powder brush to apply mine. But I’m also going to dig out a round sponge.

Revlon-Nearly-Naked-1

The Revlon packaging is rectangular and an absolute bitch to open. Even getting the sticky plastic label off the box was hard and left a tacky residue. BUT the powder itself is fantastic. Exactly what I was looking for.

Just like the Joe Fresh powder, the result is elegant. Not cakey or powdery. Coverage is sheer. I got the colour Light 020.

Sally-Girl-single-eye-shadows

I’m skeptical when it comes to super cheap makeup. And when I say super cheap, I’m talking $1.34 plus tax.

Can I just repeat that.

One dollar and thirty four cents.

That’s how much each of these mini eye shadows cost from Sally Beauty.

Last weekend I read a bunch of reviews about the Sally Girl Shadow Connecting Compacts. A lot of bloggers raved about how good they are.

Last Thursday I bought three colours: Espresso, Champagne and Mauve (shown in this order above). And I love them.

They’re a powder formula which – if you read my post about cream eye shadows – I’ve been staying away from lately because of their tendency to make my 40-year-old eyelids look crepey.

These little Sally Girl shadows are velvety soft. Not a crepey eyelid in sight! I apply mine with a small brush which I dust on the back of my hand to remove any excess before sweeping over my eyelid.

My favourite of the three by far is Mauve. I wore it to work yesterday. And although it contains shimmer, it’s subtle enough that I don’t look like I’m heading to the disco.

Wear-time was good. The colour didn’t noticeably fade. And there was virtually no creasing. You read it hear people!

I’m definitely buying more of these.

Find your nearest Sally Beauty store.

NOTE

Some bloggers have mentioned that certain colours are more pigmented than others. And others, when mixed with water, will intensify. 

This post from Warpaint and Unicorns includes great swatches to give you an idea of the colour density.