Pur Minerals Air Perfection CC Compact Cushion Foundation with SPF 50 Review | My first encounter with cushion foundations!

pur minerals air perfection cushion foundation

In the best type of war possible, beauty brands everywhere have been really upping their game when it comes to that most important of base products: foundations. In the last few years there has been a literal explosion of new formulations, packaging, shades and formats in the industry and as a gleeful consumer, I am loving it! First there were BB creams, then CC, DD, EE (maybe I'm just making that one up) and then foundation+concealer combos, then foundation serums, and now CC cushion foundations.

Originally made popular in Asia, cushion foundations are slowly making their way to product shelves. I've only ever seen them at higher end and more specialty type beauty stores, but I'm sure a budget drugstore offering is on the horizon. CC Cushion foundations are designed to give its wearer the most sheer, true-to-skin finish they'll ever have in a foundation. Unlike conventional foundations, CC cushions borrow from the packaging of cream foundations and come in a compact form. The cushion part comes from its unique interior, which houses a sponge that has been infused with foundation. Usually, cushion foundations will also include a puff, that is pressed against the cushion and then applied to the face. The idea, is that the cushion will gently dispense a light "spray" of pigment onto the puff, and the puff will then buff that into your skin for an airbrushed look.

While it's been primarily Asian brands pioneering it here in the West, Pur Minerals has now entered into the category with their Air Perfection CC Compact Cushion Foundation. Available in four shades, this foundation claims to provide buildable sheer to medium coverage while also conditioning and improving skin with Babassu oil and provide sun protection with SPF 50. With continued use, Pur Minerals claims its Air Perfection CC Compact Cushion Foundation will:
  • Eliminate irritated skin
  • Plump skin and remove fine lines
  • Fight signs of aging with natural antioxidants, amino acids and vitamins
These are rather tall claims for a foundation, so I was eager to see what was inside this wonder cushion.

Pur Minerals Air Perfection CC Compact Cushion Foundation

The Guts

The primary ingredients in this foundation are:
  • Water
  • Phenyl trimethicone - a silicone with emollient properties. Like most silicones, it helps smooth skin and create a light, airy texture
  • Isododecane - another emollient
  • Glycerin - a humectant
  • Cyclopentasiloxane - another silicone that is known for creating a silky texture in products and acts as an emollient
  • Titanium dioxide and zinc oxide - physical sunscreens
Other ingredients of note are denatured alcohol, Orbignya Oleifera Seed Oil aka Babassu seed oil (moisturizing), Niacinamide aka vitamin B3 (fights hyperpigmentation), Tocopheryl acetate aka vitamin E (antioxidant), Sodium hyaluronate aka hyaluronic acid (moisturizing), and Mango seed oil (moisturizing).

pur air perfection cc cushion foundation compact

Price & Packaging
A single compact costs $43 and you get about 10 ml oz of product. I've always loved compacts as there's just something so glam about them. Blame it on old Hollywood movies, but I've always dreamed of touching up my makeup with a compact in the middle of a fancy-ass restaurant!

The Air Perfection compact is a cute pearlescent white and has an interior mirror and an ingenious hinged lid on the inside to separate the cushion from the puff. Sadly, the puff is probably the least squee-inducing part of this product. Oh it's definitely nicer than your run-of-the-mill foundation sponge, but it's kinda dull looking, like a pink flappy pancake.

pur minerals cc cushion foundation

Coverage, Texture & Wear
On a regular day, I like to wear a thin layer of foundation across my cheeks, nose and chin. My primary uses for foundation are to eliminate any redness and to cover any scars or blemishes. I found the Air Perfection CC Compact Cushion Foundation adequate at doing all three, with a caveat that I didn't have any major blemishes present while testing this product.

The coverage was surprisingly decent too, BUT only if you already have really good skin to begin with. My aforementioned scars and redness is pretty minimal as my skin is behaving awesomely these days, so I don't need much coverage. One light layer of patting immediately brightens and evens my complexion. Two layers gets me so that I feel more comfortable and is enough to get to the regular coverage level of say, my Burberry Fresh Glow.

In terms of application, using a CC cushion takes some getting used to. The puff is bigger than the sponge and the sponge is quite pliable so when you press down, you really only get one splotch in the center of your puff rather than a fine spread. It was also difficult to press down evenly across the entire surface of the sponge, so I liked to focus my presses on different areas of the sponge to ensure I use it up evenly. The puff acts pretty well at buffing product into my skin. All you need to do is lightly pat and it just becomes one with your skin in a really lovely way.

pur minerals cc cushion foundation in light

The shade Light is definitely a winter shade for me, as I veer more towards NC20 this time of year. Light is just a tinge lighter than my skin, making it look brighter; in fact, it's such a good shade match that I couldn't get any decent swatches!

I love the dewy finish the Air Perfection CC Compact Cushion Foundation provides and on me, it lasted well throughout the day, although you do need to be careful not to brush against anything as you may leave a foundation streak for the first while. Because it's advertised to be a dewy foundation, I didn't expect this one to have any oil control properties... and I was right.

Final Verdict
Buy - a fun concept and great ingredients, but something I'd recommend only if you're curious about CC cushions and you only want the lightest of coverage.

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Unboxing: My JORD Wood Watch | Timeless elegance paired with natural materials

cora jord watch
Jord Cora Maple & Silver Watch, $275

If you were born at a certain time then you may still remember when everyone had a watch. Before cell phones, the only way to tell time when out and about was either with a watch, the sun, or the kindness of strangers. Now though, most people use their phones and few still follow the practice of wearing a watch. One would think then, that watches would eventually just cease to exist, but fortunately for watches, although they are no longer necessary everyday items, they still retain a place in our lives as valued keepsakes that speak to their wearers' style, mark special occasions or act as heirlooms.

What is it about watches that give it this mystique, this air of prestige? Perhaps it is the level of craftsmanship that is required that makes it seem so magical. After all, few can decipher its intricate mysteries. When you hold a well crafted watch it feels more like a piece of mechanical art and takes us back to our childhood attraction to all things whirring and clicking and levering away. This is why things like steam-punk are so popular - we all love a good set of gears!

jord watch in maple and silver
Jord Cora Maple & Silver Watch, $275

Recently I was offered the chance to obtain a piece of watch craftsmanship when I was approached by JORD Watches. You may have seen this brand featured on many a blogger (I highly recommend reading Jayne's detailed review) and it's easy to see why. Unlike any other watchmaker I've seen, JORD Watches manages to perfectly marry nature and mechanics into one harmonious product. Made out of raw natural woods and sapphire crystal plating, JORD Watches standout from the crowd of cold metallic and ceramic watches that have dominated the fashion landscape in recent years.

Although I was a huge fan of the Michael Kors watches when they were all the rage, and still am, I was immediately drawn to the organic feel of the JORDwatches. Lately, I've been feeling more drawn to delicate, minimal style and JORD complements this type of look quite nicely.

jord maple watches
Jord Cora Maple & Silver Watch, $275

While looking through JORD's catalog, there was so much to choose from. If you feel like something dark and rugged, then there are the ebony watches. If you want something more exotic, then there's zebrawood or koa. For my personal tastes, it's all about light, golden woods so I was immediately drawn to the maple collection.

JORD's maple watches are constructed from the outer rings of the maple tree and feature straight grains and a light yellow color. Out of the maples watches, I settled in on the Cora, a delicate looking watch that comes in multiple colored faces (silver, turquoise, rose gold, pearl and lavender).

cora maple and silver jord watch
Jord Cora Maple & Silver Watch, $275

The Cora Maple & Silver watch features an automatic drive system, meaning there's no batteries; instead you just periodically wind up the watch using the discreet dial on its side. The Cora also has sapphire crystal glass plating and Swarovski crystal markers for that discreet luxury feel.

Sizing my watch was easy as JORD provides handy instructions and a printable guide to help you measure your wrist. There are also extra links provided in the packaging in case you need it.

jord wood watches review

When I received my watch, I was almost as enamored, if not more, with the gorgeous wood engraved box that the watch came in. Featuring a sleek pull out lid, this was truly a treasure. My only wish was that the box was much larger so I could use it for storing fancy stuff, like luxury lipsticks or my makeup brushes!

unboxing the jord watch

jord watch review

If you're stuck on what to get a special someone for Christmas, then I highly recommend checking out JORD Watches. Few gifts can be as personal and elegant as gifting a watch, so it's the perfect item to get for a loved one!

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Clarins Spring/Summer 2016 Preview Featuring Mont Blanc, Nuxe, Bio Beaute and Pur Minerals

Although it's barely winter yet, already beauty brands are looking towards the future. Recently I got a sneak peek at some of the new releases for next year from the Clarins group of brands.

For 2016, Clarins is predicting it will be all about "dat glow." Yes, strobing will continue to be around and everyone will be illuminated with a variety of "lit from within" products for eyes, cheeks and skin.

pur minerals blush sticks

Pur Minerals has a couple of interesting contributions to the glowy trend. The first is a trio of sheer blush sticks called the Chateau Cheek Stains. These limited edition blush sticks will come in three shades and feature a brush end that helps blend in the gel-like product for a natural look.

Pur Minerals chateau cheek stain swatches
Swatches of the Pur Minerals Chateau Cheek Stains

On top of that, Pur Minerals is also launching a crazy gorgeous set of strobing palettes. These silky cream-to-powder trios give off just the most stunning shimmer that is both incredibly illuminating and yet still subtle. I tried to capture the beauty of these highlights with my camera, but failed utterly.

Pur Minerals strobe highlight palette

Pur MInerals limited edition strobe palette
So in love with dat glow! Swatches of the Pur Minerals LE Strobing palette
Finally, besides awesome makeup, Pur Minerals also showcased their collection of makeup brushes. These aren't new, but they were new to me and I couldn't stop stroking them! Each brush is so plush and super soft.

Pur Minerals makeup brushes

While makeup was all about etherealness, on the skincare front, it was all about harnessing the powers of nature. Nuxe had several new offerings with the first coming out in January. The Reve de Miel Face Cleansing and Makeup Removing Gel, is a plant based cleanser containing honey and sunflower oils that will gently dissolve dirt, makeup and impurities.

nuxe reve de miel face cleanser and makeup remover gel

Nuxe also is releasing in spring a special limited edition version of their famous Huile Prodigeuse oil. This multi-purpose oil (which I've reviewed before here) can be used on your face, body and hair. It smells divine and is one of those rare dry oils that doesn't leave you feeling greasy! Must have.

nuxe huile prodigieuse oil limited edition for paris

Nuxe's sister brand, Bio Beaute, will be releasing a new body care line that uses the powers of Corsican citron extract to brighten and refresh. The line includes an exfoliating gel, moisutiring oil and deodorant.

nuxe bio beaute exfoliating gel and oil

On the men's side, there were some really awesome releases as well, mainly in the fragrance department. I got to try several of the new men's fragrances and all were absolutely delectable. Each fragrance featured a complex blend of masculines notes such as woods and spices, paired with herbal notes and citrus highlights. My favourite was definitely the Montblanc Legend Spirit Eau de Toilette with its notes of grapefruit, cardamom and oak moss.

mont blanc legend spirit mens cologne

Looking at everything at the event, I am super excited for 2016 and cannot wait to get my hands on that strobing palette! Was there anything here that you have your eye on?

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Sephora VIB Haul!

If there's anything that causes haters to point fingers at blogs as narcissistic and materialistic, then it's probably haul posts. But who the hell cares, because this is my narcissistic space and although I don't normally do haul posts, for this special time of year I will do an exception.

You know what time of year I'm talking about.

VIB sale time at Sephora.

For weeks the blogosphere had been buzzing with people sharing their picks, lusts, and strategies for purchasing.Yes, it's only for a 20% discoutn, but it's 20% discount off EVERYTHING and along with everyone else this pretty much expressed my state of mind:

A photo posted by Makeup Memes (@makeup_memes) on

Finally last week, the event happened. A chunk of change and a week later, the results of my materialism arrived and I'm #sorrynotsorry but it felt extremely satisfying. After a long, irritating workday, what gives a better pickup than new goodies??

caudalie grape water and detox mask

I've been wanting to try Caudalie forever and especially their famous grape water. The Grape Water misting spray is supposed to be incredibly hydrating and can be used as a hydrating toner and primer/setting spray for makeup!

As well, the Instant Detox mask just sounded so cool I had to get it. I've been all about masking these days, especially when they promise to deep clean my pores, illuminate my skin and repair environmental damage, so this was a no-brainer to purchase too.

clinique mini mask sample pack

Continuing with the mask theme, I somehow found myself adding this Clinique mini mask set to my cart. In my defense it was only $10! And you can never skimp out on your face, especially as you get older. I've only tried Moisture Surge before and LOVE it, so this was a great way to try out the other Clinique masks without committing to a full size just yet. Plus did I mention it was $10?! I think my mask supply is officially at maximum saturation!

sephora urban decay 500 point reward

sephora 500 point reward from urban decay

Now onto the freebies! As I had saved over 1000 Sephora points, I figured I might as well spend a little on some freebies so I added in this mini palette from Urban Decay. The Urban Decay Urban Vices contains four gorgeous plum-toned shades and a creamy brown eyeliner. I've carefully thumbed these with a finger and like all UD shadows, they feel sooo good.

sephora free samples

I then spent another point redemption on this Tarte sunscreen and then threw in some free samples. It seems the theme for my VIB haul this year is all about skincare, but it's really because I wanted to stay away from purchasing more makeup as I normally purchase way more makeup than I use up in a given year.

The exception to this of course, and the item that I wanted to leave to last to share, is this:

tarte tartelette palette

tarte tartelette palette

I know I know, ANOTHER palette and a NUDE PALETTE at that! I have a sickness I think, but just look at this beauty!

tarte tartelette eye shadow palette

12 full shades of gorgeous plum/mauve/pink/cream gorgeousness and all of them are mattes! You cannot believe how hard it is to find this many mattes all together and secondly to have them be actually good! I've been eyeing the Tarte Tartelette palette for awhile now and after swatching the holiday set in store and finding it lacking, I opted to go for this classic.

All in all, I'd judge this a profitable haul, especially withe the freebies I scored on top of my order. As always, shopping at Sephora was a breeze as it's super easy to find what you need and there's tons of reviews on every product to help you decide whether something is worth it.

Now I want to know - what did you get, if anything, from the VIB sale? 

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Lush Christmas Preview or the Time My Nose Found Its Happy Place

It's pretty safe to say that nobody does holidays quite like Lush. The UK bath and beauty brand is renowned for their exuberant approach to any holiday, whether it be Halloween, Valentine's or, in this case, Christmas, and it's always fun to pop into one of their stores to check out the latest creations. On a recent particularly chilly evening, I found myself doing just that as I scurried through the crisp evening air into the warm, fragrant confines of the Lush store on W. 4th in Vancouver. I was there alongside a slew of other local bloggers for an intimate media preview of the Lush holiday collection.

The store on W. 4th is cozy and recently renovated to align with Lush's new store aesthetic of exposed wood beams and a slightly apothecary-ish feel. Like all Lush events, there was a ton to see and do with live demos of staff making fresh face masks and stations where guests could press their own bath bombs or get some freshly chopped soaps to take home.

There's really something for everyone in this year's holiday collection, but my favourites have got to be the holiday soaps. I'm not one for baths, so it's all about the skincare and shower-ready products for me.

Some of the must-have items I spotted at the store are:
  • Santa Fun moldable bath bar ($6.95) - a great gift for kids, this all-in-one bar is like bath playdoh, and can be used as a soap, bubble bath and shampoo!
  • Old Father Time soap ($7.95) - this sage and thyme infused soap just smells so clean and earthy. A great unisex scent for the bath
  • Joy to the World gift set ($19.95) - for all the creamy vanilla lovers out there, this gift set contains a hand cream and soap that will leave you feeling luxuriously smooth all season
  • Rose Jam shower gel ($9.95+ depending on size) - a perennial favourite, this rose scented shower gel is amazing and I'm not even a huge rose lover!
  • Yog Nog soap ($6.95) - a soap inspired by the smell of egg nog and which contains clove bud and ylang ylang to keep skin super soft? HELLZ YEAH! 
  • Snowcake soap ($7.95) - another soap that's so good you just want to be buried in it! Snowcake smells of vanilla and marzipan, so keep this for nights in with your special someone!
  • Santa's lip scrub ($8.95) - Lush lip scrubs are the best at banishing away flakes, which I have constantly in the winter. This one tastes of cola and contains sugar grains for exfoliating and coconut oil to protect and soften.
  • Baked Alaska soap ($7.95) - this soap is the coolest looking of the collection as the outside is a creamy opaque color but the inside is reminiscent of the Northern Lights. Baked Alaska is super refreshing and is a must-have for citrus lovers with its mix of lemon myrtle, grapefruit and gardenia.
  • Snowman shower jelly ($6.95) - another example of Lush's creativity are their famous shower jellies. These are like using Jello as a bath soap and come in all sorts of seasonal shapes. Snowman has a lovely citrus scent and is just so fun to poke that I think I'd want this just for poking!

Overall I'm super impressed with the wide variety of products available this year for holiday and the fact that none of them are too expensive!

Being the mooch that I am, I hovered around the soap cutting station most of the evening, waiting for my turn to pick my gifted soaps and to periodically sniff everything. I ended up taking four soaps home (Yog Nog, Snowflake, Baked Alaska and Old Father Time) and trust me when I say that my room now smells divine. I'm kinda tempted not to use these at all and just keep them as home fragrances!

Anyhoo, I could blab on more about how awesome Lush is, but instead I'll just let the photos I took at the event speak for themselves. Thanks again to Lush for a lovely evening and if you haven't checked their store out yet, then get out there asap!

making of lush fresh face masks
Making fresh face masks

lush cosmetics store on west 4th vancouver

lush cosmetics scarves
Cute seasonal neck scarves. Kinda loving that polar bear one!

lush fresh cut soap
These soap wheels were huge! Really interesting to see the design as a whole as opposed to chopped up into soaps

lush bath bombs

lush bath bombs

lush fragrances

Lush old father time soap
Old Father Time soap

lush snowflake soap
Snowflake soap

lush yog nog soap
Yog Nog soap

lush baked alaska soap
Baked Alaska soap

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L'Occitane Immortelle 28 Day Divine Renewal Skin Program Review

l'occitane divine renewal program

Now if you've been reading this blog for awhile, you'll know just how much I love L'Occitane. I've been a fan of this brand most of my life; first coveting it whenever I was lucky enough to get given a L'Occitane hand cream or soap as a Christmas gift, to now when I like to stroll through the stores just to breathe in its relaxing fragrance. The reason why I love L'Occitane so much is because all the products I've tried have always been so thoughtfully designed, elegantly packaged and contain only the best ingredients.

Of all the L'Occitane products that I've tried, the Immortelle line is definitely the most exclusive. This line contains the highest and purest concentration of oils from the Immortelle flower, the crown jewel of L'Occitane's skincare. This famous French flower is carefully cultivated for its seemingly immortal qualities as the flowers never seem to wilt or age when cut. If you've ever visited a L'Occitane store, then you've likely seen them yourself as these golden flowers often adorn the store shelves.

l'occitane immortelle divine renewal skin program

Earlier this year, L'Occitane released a new skincare regime based entirely on the Immortelle flower. The Immortelle 28 Day Divine Renewal Skin Program is a series of four week-long stages that resurface, repair and renew your skin to its full potential. Consisting of 28 individual oil capsules and an instructional book, you are supposed to open one capsule per night, massaging it into skin before applying your usual creams. Each week also has a certain facial massage technique, depending on the outcomes it is supposed to have on your skin.

My skin's been pretty good lately, so I was a little scared to add in such an aggressive regime considering I've been burned before by other skincare lines, but trusting that L'Occitane wouldn't do me wrong, I decided to plunge headfirst into the program!

Week 1: Exfoliation
This week is designed to wipe the slate clean, so to speak. Pistacia lentiscus oils, which are more commonly used to flavour breads and cakes, act here as a natural exfoliator by triggering the skin's natural renewal process. The result is to produce more even-toned and luminous skin.

My take: The capsules are huge! You're supposed to use these on your face and neck, but I found I had so much oil leftover that I could even spread it on my hands and decolletage. I also found it a bit tricky to squeeze out all the oil as the capsules aren't very flexible. It was fun though to massage my face and the smell of the oil is super soothing. By the end of the week I didn't really notice much difference as my skin's already pretty even, but I did have a little bit of flakiness.

l'occitane 28 day renewal reviews

Week 2: Hydration and nutrition
Week 2 combines four essential plant oils to nourish and replenish skin's moisture barrier. Skin is transformed and feels intensely moisturized.

My take: Not sure my skin feels "nourished." I'm not even sure what that means! The facial massage technique for this week though is awesome as it involves gently cupping your face in your warm palms. Man I love facial massage! My skin is actually starting to feel a bit dry and I notice dry lines appearing on my forehead and eyes. What is up with that! I figured maybe since oil molecules are quite big, that my creams are not penetrating through, so I switch things up to use the oil as my last step.

Week 3: Balance
Skin is strengthened and rebalanced thanks to a combination of myrtle and rosemary.

My take: My skin is much better! No more flakies and dry lines since switching up the order of application. Despite all the oils having different ingredients, they all smell the same; not a bad thing though as the Immortelle fragrance is truly divine! Each morning I wake up and my skin feels smoother. I also find that the oils are absorbing better for some reason as the oil from week 1 just sat on top of my skin and made it feel super slick.

Week 4: Renewal
Carrot, cypress and immortelle combine to make skin plumper, luminous and younger looking.

My take: My face feels baby soft and glowing. It still gets shiny by the end of the day, but less so than before. I'm not sure whether to attribute that to the colder weather or an actual change in oil production. The dry lines on my forehead are reduced and my skin feels great!

l'occitane 28 day divine renewal program

Overall, I had a fun time trying out this program. My skin feels softer and more moist, but it's hard for me to spot a significant change in terms of texture and luminosity. This could be because my skin was doing pretty good to begin with, so maybe someone with more problem skin would notice a more dramatic change.

The thing I loved the most about this program was the ritual it instilled in me. The act of warming the oils in my hands and then massaging it into my skin was so relaxing. It was like having a mini spa moment by myself in my bathroom and is something I plan on doing nightly moving forward. As always, the Immortelle oils smelled amazing. At $135 I think this program is a bit overpriced, especially as you could get the Immortelle Divine Youth Oil for $106 and it's a 30 ml bottle, but if you're looking to get a special someone a very special gift, then this would be a perfect introduction to the wonders of the Immortelle line!

Final Verdict
Ditch - a lovely product, but overpriced. Try the regular Immortelle oil instead!

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Stila Lash Stunner Extreme Lash Primer Review | Instantly better lashes in a flash

Stila lash stunner lash primer

Whenever I'm presented with a new primer to try, I feel pretty skeptical. Odds are, they're just gimmicks at best and at worst? Hello breakouts! Despite this, here I am trying out an eyelash primer. I'd never tried a primer for anything that wasn't my face before, so I wasn't sure what to expect. The Stila Lash Stunner Extreme Lash Primer is designed to be used before you apply mascara and helps to give your lashes extra lift and volume with its mix of straight and spherical fibers and thickening waxes. Besides the usual waxes and colorants, the Stila Lash Stunner Extreme Lash Primer also helps condition your lashes with jojoba and sweet almond oil. In Stila's trials of this primer, the results showed a 40% increase in eyelash diameter and an 81% increase in weight. I'm not sure what making lashes heavier would do, but increased diameter = increased volume = *happy dance*!

The Stila Lash Stunner Extreme Lash Primer comes in just one shade, brown, and a 8 ml tube retails  for $34 from wherever Stila is sold, such as Sephora. The price and the limited shade range are what make me kinda sad about this product, but what does make me happy is that it really does seem to work!

To use, I apply one coat of lash primer to curled lashes and then immediately follow afterwards with my regular mascara. If you wait till the primer dries, then your lashes have time to get that crusty feeling and your mascara won't apply as well.

Stila extreme lash primer

When using the primer, I definitely notice that my lashes stay curled longer and appear longer than normal. My mascara also doesn't seem to melt as easily either, which is pretty awesome for someone who gets perpetual raccoon eyes. In terms of volume, I only noticed a slight difference, but it's enough to convince me that this primer works!

As for whether I'd repurchase this again... well, I'm on the fence. The Stila Lash Stunner Extreme Lash Primer is pretty cool, but was it life-changing? Not really. Mascara is something I use up fairly regularly and I do love my expensive Lancome mascaras, so spending around $60-70 every few months just on lash products is pretty ridiculous! This primer also isn't something you can just save for special occasions as the tube will dry up like any other mascara. I'll have to consider whether I want to opt for a cheap mascara, like the CG LashBlast and pair it with this primer, or just opt out of this primer altogether.

Stila Lash Stunner Extreme Lash Primer with and without
Left: primer + mascara
Right: mascara only

Final Verdict
Ditch - if I had to choose I'd say ditch. This primer does work well and I really like it, but there are just so many mascara formulas out there that you're bound to find one that works just as well and which doesn't require you to buy yet another product.

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Mask Roundup | Types of masks and when to use them


Growing up, I always thought of face masks as this mysterious thing, like green goop being slathered onto peoples' faces and topped with fresh cucumber slices or sticky pastes made of mysterious substances and mud. Face masks to me then didn't seem like something most people indulged in on a normal basis. Rather, masks were something you paid professionals to do. Boy, was I wrong! Now I know that masks are something anybody can do, and they are an important part of maintaining one's skin balance. Sure, we all have those workhorse products, such as cleansers, moisturizers and serums, but masks are that little something extra to give your skin the super-charge it needs and they're the perfect excuse to slow down and have a little "me time."

Now that I'm a regular mask user, I've realized that there are a wide variety of mask types, with differing purposes and functions. It can all be a tad confusing to know what to use and when, so I thought I'd share today a peek into my own face mask collection, with the hopes that it can help you figure out what kinds of masks to incorporate into your beauty routine.

Deep-cleansing Clay Masks
The first type, and my favourite, are deep-cleansing clay masks. These kinds of masks are made primarily of clay and may also include physical exfoliants like sugar or sea salt. The purpose of these kinds of masks are to get really down into your pores and just suck out all that built-up dirt, bacteria and oils that can clog pores and cause blemishes. Kaolin clay in particular, is a very popular ingredient as it naturally draws out impurities and reduces inflammation. For anyone who has oily skin or who just loves a good scrub, these kinds of masks will be right up your alley. The only downsides to clay masks are that they can be very drying, so be sure to replenish your skin's moisture barrier after with a hydrating mask or cream!

lancome clay mask
Lancome Pure Empriente

My picks:

lush cranberry festive mask
Lush Cranberry Festive Face Mask

Detoxifying Masks
These kinds of masks perfect for the night before a big event when you want your skin to look extra good and they're also great for long-term use to gradually improve your skin's texture, tone and general appearance. Detoxifying masks are designed to gentle refine and condition your skin in a similar manner as deep-cleansing clay masks, but are more suitable for drier and sensitive skin. Often they may contain chemical exfoliants, like fruit enzymes to slough off dead skin cells, emollients such as nut oils to hydrate, and astringents like honey to kill blemish-causing bacteria.

Whereas clay masks are something I wouldn't use more than once a week, detoxifying masks are gentle enough that you could use them a couple times a week. Although you won't notice instant results, over time I've found these kinds of masks to be highly effective.

nuxe bio beaute detox mask
Nuxe Bio Beaute Vitamin Rich Detox Mask

My picks:
  • June Jacobs Papaya Purifying Enzyme Mask ($60) - pricey, but one of my favourites. This gentle plant-based mask uses fruit juice acids to dissolve dead skin cells and green tea extracts to fight signs of aging
  • Nuxe Bio Beaute Vitamin Rich Detox Mask ($30+) - I reviewed this mask before and had meh results, but I've since changed my mind as the longer I've used it, the smoother and more poreless my skin has become!
  • Bliss Triple Oxygen Instant Energizing Mask ($70) - I've been trying this one out recently and it's definitely the most unique mask I've ever tried. It comes out as a gel and turns into a bubbling foam that slowly gets absorbed into skin. Designed to mimic Bliss' famous oxygen facials, this mask uses oxygen, vitamins C & E and natural extracts to rejuvenate skin. So far it seems more gimmicky than life-changing, but time will tell!
bliss oxygen face mask
Bliss Triple Oxygen Instant Energizing Mask

Sheet Masks
For an even faster quick-fix, nothing can beat a good sheet mask. Sheet masks originated in Asia and consist of paper sheets cut in the shape of a face and which are soaked in serums. The idea is to apply, wait and then toss it away without the messy application or rinsing off required by conventional masks. Although I don't find sheet masks to really have long-term effects, I enjoy using them as a fun way to quickly eliminate dry, flaky skin or to give my face a temporary jolt of plumpness or brightening. 

THEFACESHOP sheet masks
THEFACESHOP Real Nature sheet masks

My picks: Any Asian beauty and cosmetics store should carry tons of sheet mask options, but for a North American option, THEFACESHOP is my favourite source!

Other types of masks
These are the main categories, but there are also other types of masks that are gaining in popularity as well:

Peeling masks: are usually gels that you spread over your face, wait and then literally peel off in long strips. These are my least favourite types of masks as the peeling process is often quite painful! They can be used to exfoliate and brighten.

Sleeping masks: are growing to be my second favourite type of mask after clay masks. This type of mask is used mainly for hydration and is applied like a thick cream to your face and left on overnight. This is the best kind of mask for lazy people as you just apply it and then forget it! My current go-to sleeping mask is Clinique's Moisture Surge Overnight Mask ($41) - it feels so creamy and soft going on and leaves my skin looking luminous in the morning! A total essential in winter.

So those are all the types of masks I've tried - what type of face mask is your favourite? Are there other categories of masks out there?

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