Bite Beauty- Best of Bite Lip Set Review (Holiday Limited Edition)

With the holidays approaching, stores are going nuts with holiday beauty sets. Whether you’re into skincare, eye makeup or a mix and match of everything, there is something for everyone. I’m a huge fan of holiday sets, as I find you generally get a good bargain when it comes to products vs. price. I recently spotted this Bite Beauty Best of Bite lip set ($28) while birthday shopping for my best friend and fell so in love with it that I had to get one for myself.

The set contains four miniature sized High Pigment Matte Lip Pencils in Madeira, Rhubarb, Quince and Cranberry. Each of the pencils is highly pigmented, creamy and hydrating. Madeira is a pink-toned nude colour, Rhubarb is the perfect my-lips-but-better pink shade, Quince is a bright fuchsia pink and Cranberry is a holiday red. Each full sized pencil on it’s own is $28, which makes this set a great buy. The lip pencils come in a small metal tin (around the size of an iPhone) with a mirror inside the lid- really convenient to pop into a purse on the go.

Pros:
– pencil design makes for easy and precise application
– creamy formula is hydrating and does not chap lips (impressive for a ‘matte’ pencil)
– formula does not contain any frost/shimmer/glitter
– pencils have a twist bottom and don’t need to be sharpened

Cons:
– creamy formula can smear easily, so a lip liner is necessary
– the formula can cling to dry/peeling patches (but doesn’t highlight them)

Overall, I think this set is a great buy for anyone who is into lip products or wants to branch out with a new brand. If you’ve tried this set or other Bite Beauty products, do let me know in the comments below! 🙂

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Products with metal tin (above) and printed sleeve (left). Lip pencils from left: Madeira, Rhubarb, Quince and Cranberry.

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From left: Madeira, Rhubarb, Quince and Cranberry.

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From left: Madeira, Rhubarb, Quince and Cranberry.

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Let’s Fly Away- Travel Beauty

Travel makeup videos are some of my favourites to watch on YouTube. I love seeing what bits and bobs people choose out of their collections to take with them when they travel. As I recently returned from a mini getaway, I thought I would share what I brought with me. When it came to beauty I wanted to bring the essentials, but also give myself some options when it came to looks and colours.

For the face I stuck to the basics with a versatile MAC blush and my Smashbox Photoset powder that can be used on it’s own or to set liquid foundation. As you can see my NYC bronzer sadly shattered on the trip, but luckily it’s still usable!

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Everyday face products including MAC blush (top left) in Mocha, Smashbox Photoset Powder in Medium (bottom centre) and Vasanti Liquid Cover Up in V6 (bottom right)

For lips I went slightly overboard and brought a bunch of lip colours from the new Bite Beauty Best of Bite set (which I will be reviewing soon), a neutral pink gloss and a deep plum berry gloss from MAC. I was addicted to Rhubarb throughout the trip, which is a beautiful my-lips-but-better pink.

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From left: MAC Lipglass in Pop Mode, Bite Beauty High Pigment Pencils in Rubharb, Quince, Cranberry and a Lacome Juicy Tube in Tickled Pink

For eyes I wanted to choose a pallet suitable for both day and night. I generally bring my MAC shadows with me when I travel but this time, I decided to show some love to my Physician’s Formula Shimmer Strips set in Malibu pink. The entire shimmer strips line is a drugstore dupe for the Bobbi Brown Shimmer Brick sets. They are the perfect multitasking product, meant to be used as eyeshadows, blush and a highlight. I also brought my one and only Dior shadow in Spicy Brown, which is a beautiful cooler-toned brown colour with a bit of golden shimmer.

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From left: Physician’s Formula Shimmer Strips in Malibu Strip and Dior Mono Eyeshadow in Spicy Brown

If you have any travel essentials or go-to’s, I would love to know! 🙂

Take it all off! – Go-To Makeup Removing Products

As much fun as it is to put makeup on, nothing beats the feeling of taking it all off after a long day and feeling clean and refreshed. There are several products on the market that promise to remove makeup and cleanse the skin-  some of which are pretty pricey and sometimes not that great. I count on three effective yet affordable products to the the job done… and here they are!

Be Better Sensitive Natural All-in-One Make-Up Remover Wipes – $5.49 for 25
Be Better is Rexall’s own brand of beauty, food and wellness products. These wipes are soaked in a cleansing fluid which removes almost all makeup (except for stubborn mascara). The great thing about these wipes is they don’t leave behind any residue or an oily film, which a lot of wipes can do. Your skin simply feels clean. This sensitive skin line is paraben, chlorine and fragrance free and is also organic and biodegradable.
Tip: If you find your makeup wipes dry out, store them upside down. That way the top most wipes are always soaked and ready for use!

Clean and Clear Makeup Dissolving Foaming Cleanser -$6.49
One of my old roommates introduced me to this cleanser a few years ago and I’ve stuck to it ever since. It comes out as a foam and literally melts/dissolves/washes away makeup. Despite being scented, it does not dry or irritate skin.

Marcelle Gentle Make-Up Remover for Sensitive Eyes (with Oil)- $13.99 for the Bonus Size
I’m a big fan of Marcelle, having tried several of their products over the years. Their duo-phase (meaning there are two levels, oil and cleanser) eye makeup remover is a staple product that I’ve been using for over seven years.  I shake the bottle, pour the solution on a cotton pad, gently swipe over my eyes and boom- eye makeup gone. This stuff even gets off waterproof mascara, gel liners and eye primers. I prefer this version over the oil-free one, as this melts away my makeup without tugging at my skin. The oil-free version however, requires some elbow grease which isn’t great for the delicate eye area. Also, for those of you who are fans of the Lancome Bi-Facil Double-Action Eye Makeup Remover, this is a complete dupe (but way better)!

If you are looking to try any makeup removers that won’t hurt your wallet, then I definitely recommend checking these products out!

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Oh you’re making me blush!- My Favourite Blushes

Blush is a staple in every woman’s makeup bag. Nobody’s face is just one colour, so if you wear any type of foundation you can always count on blush to bring colour and dimension back into your face. I personally love matte finishes as I think they look the most natural (and can always be topped with a shimmery highlight). These are three of my favourite blushes that have really been getting some love:

Wet and Wild Colour Icon Blusher in Mellow Wine
Mellow Wine is a beautiful reddish-pink shade that is great for nights out or for when you want your cheeks to be the focus. But be careful, this stuff is dangerously pigmented! If you go straight from the pan to your face-  you will look like a clown.  I make this wearable by tapping a brush into the pan then tapping the excess powder off on the back of my hand or on a tissue. Then, I apply to my cheekbones starting from the outer part of my face. Ideal solution for beautiful colour without going overboard. The entire Wet and Wild line is dirt cheap too, which is great if you’re on a budget.

MAC blush in Mocha
Every time I use this blush I have to giggle and wonder, who in the world named a pinky-plum blush Mocha? If you like a natural, healthy look- then this blush is a great choice. It gives you that I’ve-been-running-yet-I’m-miraculously-not-sweaty look, which I’m sure every girl loves. The only downside to this blush is that it’s a bit pricey. But if you’re saving up for something nice or have a gift list in the works, I would definitely give this a peek.

Revlon Matte Powder Blush in Blushing Berry
This is your perfect mild pink blush. The ideal everyday colour, this is a great choice if you just want to add a hint of pink to your cheeks without looking very flushed. What I love about the Revlon blushes is that they are sheer yet very buildable- meaning you can go for a light sweep or add on more until you get your desired level of pinkyness.

Funny fact about blush from the Queen of Random Facts (a true nickname of mine): Some scientific studies (google ’em, I swear) suggest that men are subconsciously drawn to women with rosy cheeks. Apparently this comes from the time of the cavemen, when a woman with a rosy flush was considered to look healthy -and therefore- a great candidate for bearing children successfully. So be careful where and when you’re rocking those pink cheeks! 😉

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Blushes in Action! (From left: Wet and Wild Blusher in Mellow Wine, MAC Blush in Mocha & Revlon Matte Blush in Blushing Berry)

Dermatologists Divulge- Skincare Tips for Every Skin Issue- Glow Magazine

Acne sucks. Enlarged pores suck. As does dry skin, redness, oily skin, etc. Many of these I have suffered through myself (and still do).

Dealing with issues like these can be a giant pain in the butt- but there are solutions. I interviewed some of the best and most renowned dermatologists in Toronto to see what they had to say.

Check out my latest Glow article- Skin: Dermatologists Provide Tips for Major Skin Problems – to read their tips, tricks and advice! 🙂

MAC’s Trace Gold Blush/Highlighter (RAVE)

If you read my post about the MAC Indulge launch event, you’ll remember that I mentioned falling in love with MAC’s Trace Gold blush after a makeup artist used it on me.  It’s not a product that I ever would have looked at by myself. A medium golden powder with tiny gold shimmer, it shouts glitter-face when you see it. But I can promise you, it is not. This blush is literally a healthy glow miracle in a pan. To keep this short and sweet, here are a few things that I have been noticing and loving about this product recently… which also make it worth the price tag (thank you MAC):

Highlight factor-  Trace Gold is intended to be a blush but any MUA will tell you it’s also used as a highlighter, due to the powder’s sheen and fine shimmer . If you’re really fair, you may get some colour. But if you’re a medium skintone like myself, you’re mostly going to get the finish of the product rather than the colour- which is gorgeous (more below).

 Healthy Glow- What I love MOST about this product is how it really makes your skin look like it’s glowing from within. Considering that I have oily skin, the mattifying powders I use can sometimes leave my skin looking a bit dull. But pop a bit of this on the high points of the face- particularly on the tops of my cheekbones- and all of a sudden I look healthy and almost dewy.

Sheer shimmer- As one of MAC’s Sheertone Shimmers, the powder itself is sheer in colour. This means that unlike many of the highlighters on the market, you won’t look really frosty or really pink if you use a heavy hand. Instead, your cheeks will just have a more noticeable sheen.

For any of you who may be curious if this is appropriate for the day time, I would say yes– as long as it’s used sparingly. The last thing anyone wants is to be walking down the street sparkling like Edward Cullen from Twilight. Let’s leave that for the movies- and for someone with a 6 pack (haha!). But of course, that is just my preference. I also avoid applying this where I have enlarged pores (near my nose).

 If you’ve used Trace Gold, or have any other favourite highlighters, do let me know! And please don’t forget to follow this blog (follow tool is on the right) if you want to keep up to date with future reviews and posts! 🙂

MAC Trace Gold

Please excuse the yucky picture quality! Top photos: product. Bottom left: Sheen on my hand from application. Bottom right: Packed onto my finger to show the tone

Skin Saviours- Time to Pamper

Last week was a flurry of wedding events with parties, celebrations and one groom egging (fun, yet disgusting). As much fun as I had, my skin has definitely felt the effects of wearing photo primers and a full face of foundation for days in a row. Now that the festivities are over, I ‘m starting to pamper my skin to get it clean, decongested, hydrated and ready for the colder weather. Here are some of the products that I’ve been reaching for:

St. Ives Mineral Clay Firming Mask: This is one of the best clay masks I’ve ever tried. Similar to the Queen Helene Mint Julep Mask (so I hear), it has mint to really cool the skin and make it feel refreshed. I like to use this after I shower, when my pores are open. In ten minutes this will suck out all the gunk, dirt and oil in your skin that you didn’t even know was there. I use this once a week.

NeoStrata Skin Renewal Peel Solution: This peel was recommended to me for my hyper-pigmentation acne scars by a cosmetician who had experienced them herself. By sloughing off the top dead layer of skin, you not only help lighten scars, but also remove the dead skin cells that can clog your pores and cause future breakouts. I make sure to do this when I know I won’t need to wear heavy makeup the next day. That way my newly surfaced skin gets a clean break. I use this about once a month, followed by a good moisturizer.
A word to the wise: this stuff WORKS. The first time I used it, it removed so much of my dead surface skin that my roommates asked if I was wearing makeup, and said my face was obviously fairer. The NeoStrata line in general can be pricey, but it goes on sale frequently.

Vasanti Brighten Up! Enzymatic Face Rejuvenator : I’ve tried so many types of exfoliators that I’ve literally lost count. This is by far one of the best ones. The base is made with papaya enzymes, a natural exfoliant that breaks down dead skin. Instead of scrubbing beads, this has fine, sharp microderm crystals- the same crystals that are used in dermatologist microdermabrasion treatments. It can be a bit abrasive so I find the trick is to use a little and rub in circular motions gently. I use this once every 3-4 days, or when needed.

If you have any products you use to pamper your skin, please do leave me a comment below! And look out for an upcoming product rave post (hint hint, it’s MAC). 🙂

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