Smile for it All is on Instagram!

Anna Sui Rose Cheek Colour (blush) in 303  https://instagram.com/smileforitall/

Anna Sui Rose Cheek Colour (blush) in 303
https://instagram.com/smileforitall/

Hello everyone!!

It’s been way too long since I last wrote a post and I cannot tell you how nostalgic it feels to be sharing something with you all again.

First, I want to say thank you to the few of you who have been following my blog for oh-so-long. I love that I can share my hobbies and something that I get joy out of with those of you out there, reading this now. (Insert awkward internet hug here.) Your likes, comments and views just make me grin.. so thank you!

Unfortunately I haven’t been able to keep up with my blog as much as I wanted. Life has gotten busy and time has been going by like the snap of a finger. However, today I’m excited to share a new adventure with you all, one that I hope you will join me on. Smile for it All is now on Instagram!!

For the last year I have ooh-ed and ahh-ed over Insta beauty accounts, pouring over mini reviews, face of the day/night posts, product swatches, beauty shoutouts and so much more. I love how quickly, beautifully and easily people can share what they love. After a while of liking and commenting (I’m definitely one of those I-like-everything-always Instagram users), I felt an urge to join in and share my thoughts. That idea is finally becoming a reality and I am SUPER excited.

For those of you who enjoy beauty posts on Instagram, I would love for you to follow me @smileforitall and let me know what you think! And if you have a beauty account, please do comment below and let me know so I can ooh-away at your pictures as well.. because if it’s about makeup there is a pretty big chance I’ll become obsessed. #truth

Again, thank you to those who have read my posts in the past. I do hope to start blogging again. In the mean time, my camera and my makeup bag will go side-by-side.

Take care and hope to see you all on Instagram!

Account: https://instagram.com/smileforitall/ 

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Bioderma- Is it worth the hype?

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Bioderma has been an online beauty community favourite for quite some time now. Pull up a monthly favourites video of any YouTube beauty blogger, and you have a good chance of finding this in the list. Unfortunately, I’m not impressed. Simply put, this is one of those products where if you have it, you’ll find ways to make use of it. And if you don’t have it- well, you’re not missing out.

What it is: A makeup removing solution, with a light watery texture, which is supposed to remove makeup by “eating” it and absorbing it into the cotton pad, rather than spreading it around your face.

Do I believe it? Not really. This just seems like your average, oil-free makeup remover to me.

To be quite honest, what disappointed me most about this product was the functionality. When it came to removing general makeup, Bioderma took it off. But I found I was using quite a lot of product to get a clean face (how wasteful!). To top it off, it left my skin with a noticeable film that I definitely could feel, even when washing my face after. When it came to removing eye makeup I was plain not impressed. While it took off most my eyeshadow, it still left traces of eyeliner and mascara behind. My favourite oil-based eye makeup remover by Marcelle definitely does a way better job at leaving me with a clean finish.

What I find Bioderma good for is convenience. It’s small and light, easy to throw in an overnight bag instead of lugging around several makeup removing products. It’s nice when you want a quick wipe over your eyes in the morning to remove any leftover eye makeup from the night before. It’s quite convenient to clean up makeup boo-boos and smudges without messing up the rest of your face. I can see myself taking this to work if I am going out and want to refresh my face. But that’s about it.

Overall, I was not greatly impressed with this product. While I don’t find myself reaching for it all the time, I think it’s fine to have around for travel or emergency purposes. But I can’t say that I’ll be running to stock up on bottles any time soon.

If you have any thoughts on Bioderma, I’d love to hear them below. 🙂

Essence Makeup is Essentially Great!

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While re-organizing my makeup, I recently re-discovered some Essence gems that I purchased a while ago. As a relatively new brand to Canada, I haven’t had the chance to try many of their products. But what I have tried has left me thoroughly impressed!

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Essence Stay With Me Longlasting Lipgloss in Candy Bar

The Stay With Me Longlasting Lipgloss in Candy Bar is a beautiful sheer coral-pink shade, which really lifts the complexion. The texture of this gloss is bang on- smooth, non-sticky and with no gritty glitter. It’s got a sweet scent and as a bonus, is really hydrating.

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Essence Mono Eyeshadows in Cappuccino, Please! (left) and Party All Night (right)

The mono eyeshadow in Cappuccino, Please!, which is described as a “shimmer effect” shadow, is a beige with a slight sheen. A popular dupe of MAC’s eyeshadow in Shroom, this can also be used as a highlight on fairer skin tones (with a light hand).

Party All Night, described as a “metallic effect” shadow, is a bronzey-taupe shade with an intense frosty finish.

Both the shadows are incredibly pigmented, have a smooth buttery texture and do not feel gritty at all. Party All Night takes some effort to blend, but once it is blended it is beautiful. Overall these products have left me with a good impression of Essence, and I’m looking forward to trying more products from their line. If you have any recommendations, I would love to hear them below!

The Ultimate Drugstore Eyeshadow Palette- Wet n Wild Colour Icon Palette in Comfort Zone

I love high end makeup as much as the next person. But every so often I come across a drugstore gem that gives my high end products a run for their money. The Wet n Wild eyeshadow palette in Comfort Zone is one of those gems.

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Priced at an amazing $4.99, you can NOT go wrong! The palette comes with 8 eyeshadows and one double ended applicator (brush and foam). The shades are as follows:

Neutrals
LeftSide
From left: 1- Beige (Shimmer)
2- Warm Peach (Frost)
3- Broze (Frost)
4- Dark Warm Brown with Pink Shimmer (Shimmer)

Greens
RightsideFrom left: 1- Duo-chrome red-brown with green sheen (Frost/Sheen)
2- Dark Cool Green with Silver Shimmer (Shimmer)
3- Lime Green (Sheen)
4- Silvery- Grey (Frost)

I originally bought this palette for the bottom right shade, which is an excellent dupe for MAC’s eyeshadow in Club.  It was only when I started using it that I realized what an all around great palette this is (especially for traveling).  Some things to note:

– The texture of these shadows is great- smooth, creamy and easily blendable (especially the frost-finish shades)
– The shades may look quite warm or cool toned in the pan, but they mix well (I personally love to mix the peach and silver shades for a neutral shimmer)
– The pans are large in size and contain a lot of product
– A few of the shades are the slightest bit crumbly, but that doesn’t affect how they work

I would highly recommend this palette, especially for those who are just getting into eyeshadow and want a high quality product at an affordable price. Wet n Wild has certainly won over my heart with this palette and I’m looking forward to trying more from their line. If you’ve got any recommendations, I would love to hear them in the comments below!

Not So Hot- Nars Soft Touch Shadow Pencil in Hollywoodland

Sometimes new beauty finds are a win, other times, they’re not. My first taste of Nars is sadly a not.

Despite the expensive prices, I’ve always wanted to try Nars products, having heard great things about their foundations and concealers. Recently, I stumbled across a Nars set at Winners (yay, Canadians!), which was originally a Sephora exclusive. After gifting some of the products to friends’ on their birthdays, I ended up with the Soft Touch Shadow Pencil in Hollywoodland for myself.

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Originally priced at a steep $28, the Soft Touch Shadow Pencils are described as creamy, long-wearing shadow pencil that can be used all over the eye and layered with powder shadows for a more intense look. The shade Hollywoodland is a gorgeous pale gold/champagne colour. Sadly, the product rave stops there- aside from being pretty, these pencils kind of awful. And here’s why:

Horrible creasing– Regardless of whether you use a primer, set with powder, or both- you will end up with streaks of creamy glitter on your eyelid that are difficult to blend out. And according to Sephora user reviews, this is the case with the entire line.

Wasted product– The classic wood design means that the pencils need to be sharpened, in turn wasting a lot product (sadly the case with some of their lip pencils as well).

The only way I can seem to make this pencil work is by using it as cream highlight or topped over a dark eyeliner for a glittery sheen. Despite the fact that the colour range is beautiful, the price and quality of these pencils do not make them a worthy purchase for me. In future, I think I’ll be sticking to Nars’ more popular products. I’ve got my eye on a couple of their concealers and who knows, perhaps those will get a rave review.

In the mean time, if you’ve have any Nars products that you love and recommend, I’d love to hear more in the comments below!

Shimmer, Sheen & Glow- Highlighters

Happy 2014 beauty-loving folks! January is here and winter weather can sometimes mean dull skin. When I’m feeling a bit lack-lustre, I reach for a highlighter to give my complexion a little pick-me-up. These are a few I have been liking lately:

Powder Highlighters

From left: Tokidoki, Physician's Formula, MAC, Essence

From left: Tokidoki, Physician’s Formula, MAC, Essence

Tokidoki Blush in Momobella- Although this is technically a blush, the gold shimmer and glitter makes it a great top off product for a night out.  I like applying this on top of any matte blushes I have used to give my cheeks a fun pick-me-up.

Physician’s Formula Shimmer Strips in Malibu Strip-  I cannot get enough of these! These shimmer strips have definitely made it into my  2013 favourites. A dupe of the much more expensive Bobby Brown Shimmer Bricks, the shimmer strips are meant to be used as an eye or cheek product. I have the Malibu Strips version, which has a pinky/ rose-gold theme. I like tapping my brush (lightly) into the first two colours for a brightening highlight.

MAC Blush in Trace Gold- My personal favourite highlighter, I’ve got an entire post dedicated to this! In one simple sentence: this bronzey- golden powder makes your skin look like it’s glowing from the outside in. The powder is finely-milled and goes on incredibly smooth.

Essence Eyeshadow in Cappuccino, Please!- A great highlight for people with fair skin, this eyeshadow is a dupe for MAC’s Shroom eyeshadow- a popular makeup artist highlight choice. The champagne colour does a nice job in bringing light to the high points of the face such as under the brows, down the bridge of the nose and on the cupid’s bow.

Cream Highlighters

From left: Smashbox, Benefit Cosmetics

From left: Smashbox, Benefit Cosmetics

Smashbox Photo Finish Luminizing Foundation Primer- An illuminating primer with a peachy-golden shimmer, I like to apply this on the tops of my cheeks and a touch on my chin and forehead. It gives my liquid foundation a glowy look.

Benefit Watt’s Up!- This is the only cream highlighter I own, and I have to say, I like it! It looks great on the cupid’s bow and in the inner corner of eyes. If you’ve got dry to normal skin, cream highlighers do a fantastic job at giving your skin a dewy finish. However if you’ve got oily skin (like myself) I would keep this away from the t-zone.

If you have any highlighter recommendations, I would love to hear them in the comments! Happy 2014!

Bold or Sheer- A Red Lip for Every Girl

A red lip is classic, timeless and elegant. Texture, to me, is just as important as colour. Whether you prefer a bold pop of colour or a sheer stain, there is something out there for everyone.
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BOLD LOOKS:
For a bold look with staying power: Lip Cream
Lip creams (also known as liquid lipsticks) are excellent if you want something that will stay on for the day and throughout meals.  I like the Avon “Glazewear” cream lip line, particularly in the shade Passionate. It applies as a gloss and sets within minutes. Because it’s quite creamy, it can smudge without a lip liner. If you prefer something that will not budge, Hourglass and NYX matte lip creams are great options.

For a classic lip: Lipstick
You can’t get more timeless than a red lipstick. Although it may not have the staying power of a cream, the feel and finish is much lighter- with the same amount of pigment. I’m a huge fan of the Rimmel by Kate lipstick in 09 which is not drying and has great staying power. Clinique’s Colour Surge lipstick in Wild, Bite Beauty’s Cranberry and Revlon’s Wine with Everything are also beautiful shades. If you’re not keen on searching around, MAC is known for its classic reds: Russian Red and Ruby Woo.

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SHEER LOOKS:
For a shiny, plump pout: Lip Gloss
A great option if you’re not ready to commit to a full out red lipstick, a gloss will give you noticeable colour and a lot of shine. My go to red gloss choices include the Sephora Ultra Shine lip gloss in Gorgeous Red and the Estee Lauder Pure Pops gloss in Berry Twist.

For a sheer colour that lets your lips shine though (and doesn’t stain a cup): Liquid Stain
Liquid stains are the ideal product if you want a long-lasting tint of colour with a natural finish.  I like Benefit’s Benetint, which can be used on the lips as well as cheeks. If you’re in the UK, Me Me Me makes a great dupe called Pussy Cat.

For a subtle hint of colour: Tinted Lip Balm
Just think of this as your basic lip balm with a slight hint of colour. Maybelline’s Baby Lips line has a gorgeous red shade called Cherry Me which not only looks great, but smells like candy (bonus points!).

Lip Liner
Last but not least, if you’re reaching for a heavier product like a lipstick or a lip cream, a lipliner is a must! But before you  run over to the MAC counter, take a peak at the Annabelle lip liner in Cherry. It’s a beautiful shade that’s priced at an amazing $3.

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Whether you’re looking for the ‘wow’ factor or something a bit more subtle, remember that there is something out there for you. And if you’ve already found your go-to red, I’d love to hear what it is below!