Wednesday, 25 June 2014

Benefit They're Real! Push-Up Liner Review

Benefit Cosmetics is launching their new product on June 27thBenefit Cosmetics They're Real! Push-Up Liner. It's basically a gel liner but in a pen. Everyone's talking about it. Few people were able to get their hands on the actual size before its its launch date, while others including myself got a sample.

*Online Sephora Deal: Spend $35 CAD ($25 USD) to get a free sample of Benefit They're Real! Push-Up Liner. Use code PUSHUP.

**Sephora Launch Event (June 27th 2014)
You can visit their stores and have a 1-on-1 session with brand expert to learn the technique of this liner. It's happening only in few of their stores.
    • Canada:  June 27th & 28th. Click here to visit their event page. 
    • United States: June 27th only (get a free clutch with your consultation). Click here for more information.


Benefit Cosmetics They're Real! Push-Up Liner retails for $29 CAD ($24 USD) and you get 0.04 oz. It will be available in-stores as of June 27th at Sephora and Ulta but you can also buy it online from their website

I got a sample of it from Sephora as a VIB Rouge Perk. I got an email that said to go pick it up in-store by flashing my card. I went to my local store twice and the sales associates had no clue what I was talking about. I ended up getting it from another store. I simply showed my email and VIB Rouge card (no purchase required). I was really happy I got the sample because I wanted to try it out first to see if it's worth purchasing.



It has an angled AccuFlex tip, which is designed to get close to the lashline. It's very flexible and allows an easy application. 

It also comes with an orange tip protector. It is suggested that you keep it to prevent the product from drying out.

To get the product to come out, simply twist the base. When you first get the liner, you will have to twist it a couple of times to get it out. It says 8 to 10 times on their site but honestly I twisted it much more than that (at least 20 times). Luckily, you don't have to twist it that many times afterwards. It should come out after twisting it once or twice.


How to use it

The following photo is by Benefit Cosmetics shows you how to use it.

Photo by Benefit Cosmetics 

You can also check out their video to see the technique: 



Here's my video with my review of this liner with demo. 
You can actually see a clip of me applying it for the first time.

  • Great design: I love how you get the gel liner in a pen, so it eliminates the need to use a brush. Also, when you twist, you get a reasonable amount of liner to work with (don't click too much). 
  • Easy to create the winged liner: I really like the tip! It does get close the lashline. The fact that it's angled actually makes it easy to do the wing. I noticed I spent less time doing my liner than I normally would with gel/liquid liner.
  • Long lasting: I had it on for more than 8 hours and it still looked pretty good. I love the fact that it doesn't smudge! 
  • Waterproof: It's waterproof, so you can wear this to the pool/beach. 
  • Matte Black: It's matte black, which I love! 
  • Non-Irritating: I have sensitive eyes and many eyeliners tend to irritate my eyes. However, I didn't notice that with this liner. 
  • Drying: It dries out way too fast, so you have to try to apply it as quickly as possible. It dries up to a "tiny ball" and falls off, so it's not too messy. However, if you take too long to apply, it's harder to work with. 
  • Flakey/Clumpy: I wish it had a smooth texture to it but instead it becomes clumpy. I did notice it looks better when I don't try to fix it too much but it's still not smooth.
  • Not precise: The tip is a little thick, so you won't be able to get a thin line. If you like winging it out with a fine point, then this is not something you will like. 


  • Winged Line: 
    • After lining your lashline, flip over the tip and place it where you'd like the wing to be.
    • Don't try to fix it or go over the line too much because otherwise it will become flakey. 
    • If you had a bad experience the first time, don't give up! Try giving it another chance because it does take practice. 

  • Tip protector: 
    • You can keep it. It will prevent the liner from drying out.
    • If you try to take off the tip protector, it can be messy and you can get some on your hands, so I usually use a kleenex to take it off. I keep it on the side and use the same kleenex to clean the tip whenever I need to. 
  • Twisting base: 
    • When you first get it new, you will have to twist many times for the product to come out (I'd say at least 20 times). After that, simply twist once and it should come out. If it doesn't, twist once more.
    • Don't twist too much! Otherwise, you will get a lot of product out and it will be wasted since it dries out very fast.
  • Drying: 
    • Whenever the liner dries out, it will become this "tiny ball," so just wipe it off. 
    • Whenever you get some product on your face, wait till it dries off and then simply take it out. 
    • If you notice a bit of dried product on the tip, simply wipe it off before using it.
  • Removing: 
    • I also noticed it came off when I used olive oil on my hands but I wouldn't use it on my face.


I love the design but they really need to work on the formula. I would have loved it if it was smooth but instead it's dry and flakey. It's something that definitely takes practice. However, I actually take more time to create the cat eye look with gel/liner. It's also convenient; you don't need a separate brush. You will need kleenex though because it can be messy! Nonetheless, I'm going to buy the full size once I'm done using this. 

Is it worth the hype? 
No, not really. Don't buy it because you hear people telling you how awesome this liner is because it's not true. It's not awesome but it's not terrible either. I do agree why many people are disappointed with it though. Many of us were excited to try it out because it's something new and different. However, it's too dry and doesn't really give you a smooth application. 

Would I recommend this? 
You may love it or hate it depending on what you look for in a liner. I wouldn't recommend this liner to you if the following things bother you: 
    • Inability to create a thin line 
    • Dry/Clumpy/Flakey
    • Hard to remove
If none of those things mentioned above really bother you and you don't mind spending some time (and money) then I would recommend you give it a try. 



Maybelline Lasting Drama Gel Liner Pen

This idea has already been introduced by Maybelline last year in Singapore. However, this product isn't on the North American market. I would love to try it out because I do love their gel eyeliner.

Here's a YouTube video of their advertisement: 

Saturday, 21 June 2014

Shiseido Ultimate Sun Protection Cream+ Broad Spectrum SPF 50+ For Face Review

I love summer! Especially in Montreal, it's the best time of the year (million times better than our freezing cold winter). I was searching for a sunscreen for summer and I got a sample of Shiseido Ultimate Sun Protection Lotion Broad Spectrum SPF 50 For Face/Body 3.3 oz. When I first applied it on, the white cast really bothered me. However, once it settled into my skin, it was less noticeable.

I wore it throughout the whole day and tested it out for 2 days and didn't seem to have a problem, so I decided to buy the cream for face instead: Shiseido Ultimate Sun Protection Cream Broad Spectrum SPF 50 For Face 1.2 oz



I'm surprised to see that the price went up for this product. It was $19 CAD before and now it's $27 CAD for 1.2 oz. I was lucky enough to buy it right before the price increased. 

Current prices: 
  • $27 (19.50 USD) for 1.2 oz 
  • $48 (35 USD) for 2.1 oz 
If you buy the smaller size, you actually get slightly more product for the price than the bigger one. On the other hand, Shiseido Ultimate Sun Protection Lotion Broad Spectrum SPF 50 For Face/Body 3.3 oz is $49 for 3.3 oz, so you get much more for the price and it's for face and body.

I got Shiseido Ultimate Sun Protection Cream Broad Spectrum SPF 50 For Face 1.2 oz (the smaller size). I'm surprised to see that the price went up for this product. It was $19 before and now it's $27 for 1.2 oz. I was lucky enough to buy it right before the price increased. 


  • Active Ingredients 
Octinoxate 7.4%; Octocrylene 3.0%, Titanium Dioxide 1.7%; Zinc Oxide 19.3% 
  • Inactive Ingredients
Water, SD Alcohol 40-B, Isohexadecane, Butylene Glycol, Dimethicone, Isopropyl Myristate, Lauryl PEG-9 Polydimethylsiloxyethyl Dimethicone, Xylitol, Glycerin, Disteardimonium Hectorite, Polybutylene Glycol/PPG-9/1 Copolymer, Isododecane, Trimethylsiloxysilicate, PEG-6, PEG-32, Saxifraga Sarmentosa Extract, Scutellaria Baicalensis Root Extract, Ononis Spinosa Root Extract, Ectoin, Sophora Angustifolia Root Extract, Hydrogen Dimethicone, Silica, Carboxydecyl Trisiloxane, Trisodium EDTA, Sodium Acryloyldimethyltaurate/Methacrylamidolauric Acid Copolymer, Alumina, Polymethylsilsesquioxane, Talc, Alcohol, Triethoxycaprylysilane, BHT, Syzygium Jambos Leaf Extract, Tocopherol, Phenoxyethanol, Fragrance


Here's a short video that shows how I apply the sunscreen:

*I actually got motivated to do this review after noticing the irritation it had caused on my face. I got a couple of small bumps. You can probably see some in the video. I know I shouldn't have applied on my irritated skin but I actually washed it off after making this video (you can read more about it in the "cons" section below). 



  • Offers great protection: Provides both UVA and UVB protection. This Shiseido sunscreen is PA+++, which means it provides high level of UVA protection. PA rating system, developed in Japan, is used to determine the level of UVA protection a sunscreen provides.   
  • Water Resistant: It is water resistant (80 minutes) meaning that if you are swimming or sweating, the value of SPF will go down after 80 minutes of application of the sunscreen, so it's important reapply sunscreen if you're in the water or sweating after 80 minutes instead of 2 hours.
  • Non-Greasy: I love that it's non-greasy. It doesn't feel like I have something on. 
  • Mattifying: It gives you a matte finish, which many people enjoy especially those with oily skin. 
  • Pleasant Smell: It doesn't smell like sunscreen at all. In fact, it has a nice scent to it. Keep in mind that fragrant products do tend to be irritating, so it may not be a good choice for skincare.  
  • Slightly covers imperfections: I noticed that it slightly covers redness on my face and minimizes the appearance of my pores. 

  • White cast: It does leave a white cast because of its high content of zinc oxide. I have a darker complexion and the white film is definitely noticeable but it's not a deal breaker for me. I noticed throughout the day, it becomes less noticeable. I don't wear makeup on top of it either. However, if it's something that bothers you, then I would suggest you to get a sample first. 

  • Hard to blend: It's a thick cream and when you apply it on, it doesn't easily blend into your skin. However, with time it settles into your skin.
  • Drying: I have combination skin and I found it drying, so if you have dry skin then that's something you should keep in mind. I usually apply my moisturizer before and it still dries out my skin. 
  • Irritating: This sunscreen has alcohol and fragrance, which may cause irritation to the skin for some people.
    • I have combination skin and I found it very irritating on my skin, so if your skin is sensitive, then I wouldn't suggest you to buy this sunscreen. Try to get a sample and test it out on small part of your face. 
    • After using this as a daily sunscreen for 3 days in a row, I noticed small little bumps all around my face (mainly on my cheeks), so I stopped using it. The bumps went away after 2 days but I was hesitant to use it again. However, I ended up applying it on another day and washed it off with cleanser after 6 hours just to be on the safe side. I did notice it didn't break me out then. Another time I applied it and left it the whole day and once again my skin seemed fine. 
    • I read online reviews and noticed that a couple of people got these bumps. I don't think this sunscreen clogs pores or causes breakouts but instead it's irritating. I noticed if I use it once in awhile, I don't get any breakouts but if I use it for more than 2 days in a row, it irritates my skin and I get the small bumps. 
    • I wouldn't use this as a daily sunscreen protection for summer days. I have started using Josie Maran Argan Daily Moisturizer SPF 47 as a daily sunscreen (plus it's a moisturizer, so it's even better). I use Shiseido sunscreen on days when I'm doing outdoor activities especially during the day.  
    • I wasn't going to review this sunscreen before but once I noticed the irritation, I knew I had to review it. You can actually see how my skin is irritated in the demo video. However, I wouldn't suggest you to apply it once you do notice any irritation. I washed it off afterwards. 

    • Don't rely this as a daily sunscreen but use it on days when you're directly in the sun. If you're mainly indoor, apply a moisturizer with sunscreen instead. 
    • If you're in water or sweating, then apply after 80 minutes. Otherwise, apply it every 2 hours if you're directly exposed to the sun. 
    • After applying it, wait 15 minutes before applying makeup. By then, it will sunscreen will start settling down into your skin and the white cast will be less apparent. I noticed that throughout the day, the white film is less apparent. 
      • Stop using it if you notice any redness or small bumps. 
    • Oily skin: If you're looking for a non-greasy sunscreen, then this may be the one for you. It dries out to a matte finish.   
    • Sensitive: Even if you get a sample, apply it on a small area of your face (on the side preferably) just to see if you get any reactions. If ever you notice any small bumps or burning sensation, stop using it right away. 
    • Dry: This sunscreen can be drying even if you apply moisturizer beforehand. 

    This sunscreen provides great protection but it can be drying and irritating. 
    Regardless of your skin type, try getting a sample of it to see if it irritates your skin. Even if your skin doesn't react negatively, I would recommend using it on days when you're directly exposed to the sun (beach, outdoor activities, etc) because it has irritants (fragrance, alcohol).
    As for the white cast, well it depends on you. It will be less apparent on lighter skin tones but for people like me who have darker skin, then it is definitely apparent. It does become less apparent with time but if you are directly exposed to sun, it is suggested that you reapply every 2 hours (or 80 minutes if you're in water or sweating) then that's something you should keep in mind. 

    I doubt I will be buy this again. I'm glad I got the small size especially before the price increase. It might be protecting my skin from the sun but it is very irritating. My search for a good sunscreen that's gentle on the skin continues *sigh*.  

    Wednesday, 11 June 2014

    Tarte Discover The Amazon 3-Piece Kit Review

    I got Tarte Discover The Amazon 3-Piece Kit (medium tan) from Sephora when it was on sale for $28 CAD. Not all of their shades were on sale though. 

    Here's what the kit includes:
    • Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Full Coverage Foundation SPF 15 (0.8 oz)
    • Gifted Amazonian Clay Smart Mascara in Black (0.24 oz)
    • Pure Maracuja Oil Rollerball (0.6 oz)
    • Makeup Pouch

    Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Full Coverage Foundation SPF 15

    Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Full Coverage Foundation SPF 15 (1.7 oz) retails for $49 CAD. In the kit, you get a smaller size of 0.8 oz. Currently, they are selling kits in only three shades: Light, Medium, Deep. However, they had few others before including Medium Tan, which I got. It matched perfectly my skin tone. I actually tried it in-store few months ago, so that's how I found my shade.
    Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Full Coverage Foundation SPF 15

    I love this foundation. It's a great foundation for summer! I don't use it when I'm exposed to the sun for long because it only provides SPF 15. I love how it blends easily into my skin.
    Whenever I'm rushing to get ready, I simply use my hands to apply it on.

    I love it looks natural but it is drying. I have combination skin, so I get few dry patches. I think this would be good option for people with oily skin. However, I started dabbing a little argan oil on areas where I tend to become dry and then applying the foundation. I noticed this helped me a lot!

    Gifted Amazonian Clay Smart Mascara in Black (0.24 oz)

    The kit also includes Gifted Amazonian Clay Smart Mascara in Black (0.24 oz), which retails for $24 CAD. The mascara works fine but nothing special. I wouldn't have bought the mascara on its own. There are better drugstore mascaras than this.

    Pure Maracuja Oil Rollerball (0.6 oz)

    Pure Maracuja Oil Rollerball (0.6 oz) retails at $20 CAD. I don't like rollerballs in general. I wish the travel size came in a bottle with dropper just like Josie Maran Argan Oil (travel size). It's much easier to use.

    Makeup Pouch

    I really like the makeup pouch! It reminds me of summer. It's not too big but I don't mind on the days when I'll be outdoor because I only like to carry few items:

    Is it worth it to buy the kit? 

    For $28, YES!! It's an awesome deal because I always wanted to try the foundation and I was lucky enough to get my matching shade. Currently, they are selling these kits at $41 each for the following shades: light, medium and deep. I would suggest you to go in-store to try it out and see if any of these shades match your skin tone.

    At $41, it would still be worth it if you were planning on buying 2 of the 3 products (foundation, mascara and maracuja oil). However, I was only a fan of the foundation, so I'm happy I didn't pay $41 for the whole kit. Nonetheless, it's a good value if you want to try out these products for yourself.