Face Files: Tom Ford Eyeliner




Alright, if you wear eyeliner who know the quest. You probably already have an eyeliner that you’re perfectly okay with and that’s 100% alright. Keep using it baby! Cause I am about to discuss a $68 eyeliner. Yes, $68…the TOM FORD Eye Defining Pen. And guuuuuuuuurl, it’s definitely eye defining. For $68 it better be! But I have mixed opinions so let’s dig into it.


If you are a beginner at liquid eyeliner than this EYE DEFINING PEN is for you! Yes, I know it’s super expensive but just save up for it, learn how to draw the perfect winged liner with it and then never be able to replicate it again with any other eyeliner pen again, haha. Let me tell you! This is the most user friendly eyeliner I’ve ever used.

The struggle most of us have with any liquid eyeliner is the way the ink is dispensed. You can literally be mid-eye when the thing decides to dry-out and cut-off so it starts to make the squiggly lines we want to avoid when trying to make a knife-sharp-winged eyeliner. So you have to put the cap back on and shake it to get the ink to soak the tip of the sponge and smooth out those edges! Not with this eyeliner.

Enter this $68 EYE DEFINING PEN. Okay, so the eyeliner in the photo above is QUITE exaggerated but guess what: it was on purpose. I wanted to see if I could do a crazy eyeliner look without needing to re-shake the pen to soak it with ink. BEHOLD: I did both eyes without needing to put the cap back on and shake the damn thing. *mic drop*


I think the way the way this pen is designed makes it worth the money. It’s heavy and when you apply it: it goes on smoothly and freely.


The pen has two tips. One that is your standard size; which is the perfect size to create the illusion of a thicker lash line. It’s perfect.

Then there is this side:


The mini tip, perfect to get into the corners. Now I usually do not do the inner corners of my eyes and I have my reasons (keep reading) but I tried with this pen (you gotta). It allowed for easier application but I WILL SAY that since this pen is weighted and a little longer than most, it was a little bit awkward getting in there.

The Formula:

It’s extremely opaque. It is the blackest black eyeliner I’ve ever used. It does dry down in a good amount of time, not too quickly and doesn’t take forever. If you make a mistake, you have time to fix it before it’s too late. Once again, it glides onto the eye so it makes for easy application.

Now, the million dollar question: does the formula last all day long? And this is where my mixed emotions come. Yes and No. It depends on where the eyeliner is place. I have extremely oily skin so this is why I usually do not put any near the inner corners of my eyes, no matter the formula it never sticks. This one was no exception which is a little disappointing. Did I mention this eyeliner is $68?! I also wore it during extremely smokey conditions so near the end of the day it was running a little bit down my face BUT I was rubbing my eyes QUITE a bit.


I am unsure. I am sorry! I am going to continue to test it out. Now that the smoke has calmed down I will be re-testing it during “normal” weather conditions. Check-in on my Instagram @criavolver to see any further developed opinions on it!


Much love,






Face Files: the daily routine, Cleansers

Just mascara since all my makeup had rubbed off by this point.

Okay so before I get into the meat of this post I want to state a word of caution: what may work for me, may not work for you. Skin care products are a fickle thing. They can improve your skin or really mess it up. Humans are all complex beings and no company will ever be able to cater to all of our needs. What someone swears by, may break-out another.

What I am about to describe are products that have worked really well for me. The one thing readers should take from this is post is the importance of an established routine. The skincare routine is everything. A well established one will leave your skin clear, bright and will help fight the signs of aging. The Bare bones routine includes: two cleansers (one to remove your makeup at night and one to really cleanse your skin in the morning and during the second cleanse), an acid toner, a moisturizing toner, serum (day/night or day and night), eye cream and a moisturizer. Yes….that’s a giant product list to add into a routine. And many of us are too tired by nightfall and simply don’t wanna. But my skin has never been clearer, brighter and well moisturized ever since the routine was implemented. And my skin has suffered through Acne. I swear by the routine.


I stand by my conviction of a double cleanse at night makes a happy and clear skinned criavolver. Let’s start at night since this is likely the most important routine you’ll need to establish. I start out with an oil to remove my makeup. The first oil based-cleanser I ever used was from the Body Shop. At that point I was using foaming cleansers still and had never had a cleanser leave my skin so soft. Mind blown, I became addicted to oil cleansers and I never turned back.


Erborian, Solid Cleansing Oil: This Korean solid cleansing oil is one of my favourite makeup removers. When it ran out on me, I scrapped the sides until I was basically touching plastic. It melts makeup off the skin like fire does to wax (let’s be real, if you have your full makeup on…that’s what our faces look like during this process, haha). This oil is so legit that it will remove that one “waterproof” mascara (I don’t wear waterproof mascara…this mascara isn’t suppose to be waterproof) that I own. None of my other makeup removers remove that mascara as “easily” as this one. (The mascara is a bitch to remove so it does require a little bit of extra elbow grease). The one little thing that sucks about this cleansing oil is that it stings a little if you get it in your eyes. I’ve used oils before that you can open your eyes mid-wash to make sure your toddler hasn’t stuck their hands in the toilet or something whacky like that. This on stings when you need to open those peepers. A quick rinse and the sting is gone though.

Ingredients: Coconut oil, Sunflower oil, tea tree, licorice, Japanese Knotweed, Skullcap, Rosemary, Chamomile and Centella Asiatica along with low-hazard emulsifying and cleansing agents. We all know that coconut oil and sunflower oil are bomb oils. Tea tree is the essential oil we all grew up using for clearer skin (thank-you body shop). Licorice root is great for anti-inflammatory purposes. Japanese knotweed is an anti-aging ingredient. Skullcap is another anti-inflammatory herb that also has calming benefits. Rosemary and Chamomile are both two calming agents. Centella Asiatica also has healing properties so it’s great for pigmentation. The cleanser is loaded with calming ingredients. Perfect for sensitive skin and amazing for removing your makeup. Love.

Side note: a lot of the herbs used in this product, if ingested, have really great benefits that I am thinking of experiment with in the near future.

Rodial, Stemcell Super-Food Cleanser: I knew I was going to love this cleanser the moment I opened the box. It came with a muslin wash-cloth. Although I don’t use muslin wash clothes (towel wash clothes all the way), I really appreciated the message they were laying down. Using a wash cloth to remove your cleansers is a great way to physically exfoliate your skin. It also helps control black heads (to a certain extend and if you have minimal black heads). Beyond the packaging and message the product itself is fantastic. It’s a beautiful cream cleanser that doesn’t strip your face of precious oils (we need them to keep our skin healthy). It removes any remaining makeup (if I’ve caked it on that day) and just cleanses and soothes the skin.

Ingredients: Marula Oil, PhytoCellTec Alp Rose Flower, Coconut Oil and Coco Butter along with other low-concerning ingredients that are used as skin conditioners and emollients. Marula oil is a powerful oil that comes from South Africa. It’s an oil that can help fight wrinkles, radicals and moisturize the skin. Since this cleanser can be used as a face mask, you can get the benefits of the marula oil it has to offer. The “stem cell” part of this cleanser comes from the PhytoCellTec Alp Rose flower which is an ingredient that is derived from wild Swiss flowers that grow in high altitudes. This ingredient is used to maintain skin cells and help fight off UV-stress. This is exactly the type of ingredient you want on your skin. Again, because you can leave it on your skin for a period of time, you get more of a benefit from it than just a regular cleanser.

Alright. I’ll stop gushing here and move on to Toners but in the next post! Until next time. Interested in more beauty and cannot wait until the next post? Click here for my last post on skincare products.






Face Files: The Start of the Beauty Routine



New foundation: L’Oreal Infallible Pro-Matte Foundation. Everything else on my face: Mascara: Lancome, Grandiose Wide-Angle Fan Effect; Bushy Brows: Benefit, Precisely, My Brow Pencil Ultra Fine and Define; Blush: Makeup Revolution, blush & highlight palette; Bronze: Benefit, Hula; Highlight: Makeup Revolution, blush & highlight palette and Lips: Huda Beauty, Liquid Matte lipstick

When I started getting into beauty, I started with trying to find the perfect foundation without even thinking about my skincare routine. It wasn’t until I stumbled upon Caroline Hiron’s blog that I realized I needed to start taking it seriously. I mean, if our skin isn’t up to snuff how can our beautiful painted faces be? So like the beauty routine, I am starting from the top: cleansers.


The must crucial step to prepping your skin is cleansing. It doesn’t have to be the most expensive part of your routine. None-the-less it’s an important step, that can help improve the texture and look of your skin in a very big way. I have about seven cleansers (all for different uses and even times of day) that I have on current rotation. I use TWO every single day (note shown) but the other’s I use whenever I either fancy them or need them for a specific ailment…okay there may be one that I hate and one that I just keep the bottle off because I miss it a little.


Tata Harper, Regenerating Cleanser: As the bottle claims this is a daily exfoliant and clarifying cleanser. You apply this cleanser as you should apply ALL cleansers: on dry skin. It doesn’t lather which is key. A cleanser with no lather is a keeper. It’s full of natural ingredients and has nothing to do with the synthetic. It’s made in Vermont and claims to be part of a skincare line that is 100% natural, organic and nontoxic. It’s also $104. I used this product until it ran out (hence the picture of an empty bottle) and then even scrapped the sides and added water to get every single last useable drop cause…$104. Did my skin like it? Of course. Did I have show stopping skin? I don’t think I ever will. But my skin felt and looked nice. I still got the hormonal break-outs that I get EVERY SINGLE MONTH but it kept my skin clean. Would I repurchase? Maybe one day. It’s a treat purchase. I like treating myself. Every time I used it, I felt like I was taken back to the spa. Every time. It’s a nice mother’s day gift or birthday gift. If you like indulging: get it. It’s great addition to the wine and bubble bath ritual we all love to do.

 Ingredients to note in this cleanser include: Willow Bark which is a natural form salicylic acid which helps with acne and I am glad to say, I am not allergic too! Other forms of salicylic acid tend to over dry my skin. This form of it did not. Apricot Seed Powder which replaces nasty plastic microbeads (which gave us the false illusion of exfoliating while polluting and killing fish. Micro beads are currently banned in Canada).  Pomegranate Enzymes which although not clinically proven to reduce wrinkles do help with dissolving buildup. That can help with blackheads. French Pink Clay, someone once told me all clay is pretty much the same but then my mother swears by a red clay she uses on her skin (have you seen my mother? She hasn’t aged). I will say that the clay in this cleansers is MUCH different from the clay in other cleansers I’ve used (one I will discuss in this post). So I am not sure if all clays are the same. This one isn’t drying.


Skyn, Glacial Facial Wash: This brand comes from Iceland and I first came across it when I ordered a Cult Beauty box. The cleanser I tried was a cream based cleanser which I actually prefer from this one. This one foams and the other one doesn’t. That being said, I still use this cleanser but only sparingly. I apologize for the state of this bottle, it’s my travel cleanser. I used to bring this cleanser to the gym back when I was needing to shower at the gym. Now it lives in the shower and I only use it on days when I am so tired and in need of a hot shower, that I start my makeup removing process in the shower. Which is a big no-no for well balanced skin. I can talk more about why later.

Ingredients to note: Willow Bark, I am seeing a trend. I do tend to gravitate towards oily/combination skin treatments. And if you’re like me, I tend to gravitate to anything that’s more natural so it’s not surprising that Willow Bark is also found in this cleanser. Avena Stevia, haha when I quickly looked up this ingredient I found an article that promotes it as a natural viagra. WOW! But let’s just focus on the skincare components: this is a derivative from oatmeal so it has soothing properties and helps with exfoliation. Icelandic Kelp, kelp is rich in vitamins and minerals, while it has been proven to help with thyroid problems if ingested, I couldn’t find anything that described the benefits to skin (weird) so I am GUESSSING the vitamins and minerals will help while sloughing the dirt of the day away.


Rodial, Super Acids x-treme exfoliating glycolic cleanser: I don’t know how I feel about this cleanser to be honest. I haven’t had any reactions to it whatsoever BUT the cleanser did eat away the plastic pump it came with. Ever since I saw that reaction I’ve kinda been a little frightened to use it. I still use it but only when I don’t use my glycolic acid toner. I use one everyday…so this one may be just be sitting on my bathroom counter. I would not recommend this cleanser to sensitive skin but would recommend it if you have dry, dull skin and are prone to breakouts. It is gentle in the way that it doesn’t foam as much. Foam cleansers are evil. Have I mentioned that already? They are evil.

Ingredients to note: Glycolic Acid is a derivative from plants like sugar cane, pineapple and sugar beats. The botanical properties can be used to help skin conditions such as Psoriasis (article), Melasma (study) and Seborrheic Keratosis (article). One of the main reasons glycolic acid is so effective is because it can be used an exfoliator. Acids are amazing exfoliators, they actually loosen your skin particles and make it easier for it to be shed. Amazing work. Pronalen Fruit Acid, an organic acid that helps increase the moisturizing level of the skin. It also helps with exfoliating. Lactic Acid, another exfoliator that increases the moisture levels in the skin. Glycolic, Pronalen Fruit and Lactic Acid are all strains of an AHA.

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Sunday Riley, Ceramic Slip Clay Cleanser: THIS CLEANSER IS SO BASIC. I don’t even want to talk about it. It isn’t worth the money. It has tea tree oil in it but you can find a body shop cleanser that is probably better than this one. It also has clay in it. But I find it drying. Plus it foams.



Shiseido, Perfect Cleansing Oil: I LOVE CLEANSING WITH OIL. I love it so much it is seriously that one thing that’s holding me back from getting butterfly eyelashes (semi-permanent eyelash extensions). I loved using this cleanser until I met the one I am currently using (to be talked about next skincare post, I promise). This oil cleanser is light but effective. It pulls away all the dirt, melts away foundation and removes mascara like a fucking dream. Love it.

Ingredients to note: Mineral Oil, finding out that this cleanser has an oil that is derived from petroleum is a huge bummer for me. I will likely not repurchase because of this. Grape Seed Oil, now this is the good oil and what helps combat the gross mineral oil from clogging your pores. Man, I am bummed out to find out that this cleansing oil has mineral oil. Fuck.

Alright ladies and gents, that was the first intro to skincare. The next will be the daily products I use. There are some things that I’ve been using for a couple years and some that have become new staples. Stay tuned. My next post will be another intro to another facet of my life’s interest. I have a couple new intro to the blog that I will be doing in the next couple of week so stay tuned! Are you following along on the Girls Night Out Challenge posts? It seems like I am going to try and write on the daily so please be gentle on me! And maybe wait a day to read those since I’ll often go back and re-edit the post.



Face Files: Eyeshadow Palettes


Products worth mentioning: Eyes: Kat Von D Pastel Goth Palette and Viseart Dark Matte Palette and Lips: NYX Butter Lipstick in BLS16 and Mac Satin lipstick in SNOB.


It has been a minute. I know.  I know. I’ve been thinking about this little corner of my life and been missing it. But so much has happened in the last little bit that I had to keep it in thought rather than in action. In saying that, I must admit that posting here will not be a frequent thing anymore. I want to keep giving readers quality over quantity so instead of posting on a weekly basis, there will be sporadic posts – here and there. My beauty purchases have also slowed down, now that I am putting my money into other things – a journey I want to document too. So please check back! I am in transition and I hope those of you who read this blog will stay with me and come on the journey as well. I promise it will be fun. With that being said, let us get to it. Eyeshadow palettes. THE THING THAT WILL NEVER STOP CONSUMING OUR THOUGHTS.


You know that meme where there is a girl purchasing the latest eyeshadow palette and she says to herself, “There! My collection is complete, I don’t need to buy another eyeshadow palette” and then like 10 minutes later the internet alerts her that a new and way more badass palette is available to purchase AND IT IS LIMITED EDITION, so she’s back on the computer buying the palette. Yeah. That’s me. I literally need to try them all. Well, almost all.


Huda Beauty, Rose Gold Limited Edition Palette: This palette has been released twice. It was when it was first released, I remember watching Huda Kattan’s snapchat and her being a sack of nerves over her website not being able to take all the traffic from the interest in this palette. Then it launched in North America, and it started to receive SOME negative reviews. I held out the first time and then obviously, after the negative reviews were overridden by the positive, I jumped at the chance to buy it when it was announced for a second release.

Now. I don’t hate this palette. I reach for it most days. It can make really pretty soft eye looks but it can also make dark smokey eyes with a hint of colour, it’s very versatile. The eyeshadows are top quality – they are made in Italy after all. I haven’t experience much fallout and they are easy to work with.  BUT I will say this: that top row of shimmer isn’t anything to sing praises about. If you want a pigment that offers a lot of shimmer, an intense eye look, turn your eye towards Pat McGrath. Kattan has been marketing the top row to be something unlike anything on the market…ummm, nope. These are a nice, creamy, soft shimmery, eyeshadows, end of story. The intense eye looks that you’ve been seeing Beauty Gurus create with this palette are because they’ve added actual eye glitter as a topper. The palette is sold out again. If you have it, enjoy it. If you don’t have it then…ummm look for the next release or just opt for anything else that I am about to talk about.


Urban Decay, Gwen Stefani Palette: This is the palette that finally gave me the colours that allowed for me to perfect the naked smokey eye look. You know the look I am talking about. The one that looks so bomb with a red lip. I’ve had this palette for a really long time. I think 2 years? At least. It doesn’t smell so I am still using it. It’s a great neutral palette which is something Urban Decay is known for. I never touch the pink or gold in it (not very pigmented) but often reach for the palette when I need my lid to be neutral. I think this one was limited but never sold-out, so it’s on sale.


Anastasia Beverly Hills, Maestro Palette by Mario: Okay, this one is also no longer available AND I’ve already gushed about it. It can provide you with a neutral look but ALSO with a killer smokey eye. The shadows are dusty though, they kick up a lot of shadow when you dip your brush into them, so naturally there is a bit of fall-out when you apply them. But the way they blend and look, I can look past it.


Urban Decay, Moondust Palette: I thought I would use this palette more often. I thought this palette was literally going to change the way I apply makeup. Nope. None of those two thoughts came to be. First of all, these are not eyeshadows that you use first or solely. These are eyeshadows that you put on when your eye look needs a little something, something. These eyeshadows are what you end the look with. I will admit, that when these go on the lid (as that something, something) I am very pleased with how the look ends up. You will need to either apply them with a WET brush or with your digits. Since I don’t have fake nails, my digits are usually what I use. Even though they didn’t change my life, I am glad I have them in my collection to provided the dimension that they give when it comes to creating different eye looks.


Morphe, 35T: I mostly hate this palette. When I first got it, all I could smell was CHEMICALS. The smell is mostly gone now but it kinda worried me and still does. Most of these shades look ALMOST the same on the lid. Even though I really hate this product, I still use it. I am not sure why…maybe because I hate waste or because deep down they do give my eye looks a little, something, something. I do hate to admit it because I want to despise this palette but that would be being dishonest. I pull this one out when I want to deepen my crease with mauves and browns. It allows for me to go deeper a shade one shade at a time…even though these are pretty much all the same colour they do have a difference in shade, does that make sense? Most importantly, they layer nicely with other eyeshadows. I just can’t get over the smell.


Viseart, Dark Matte Palette: Can I just put heart eyes emoticons all over this section? 😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍

Okay seriously. The PIGMENT is unlike anything I’ve ever used. One tiny little dip into ANY shade in this palette and I am blending for at least 2 minutes. This is not a 10 minute look palette…I mean it can be, by why would you do a 10 minute look with this palette? This is the type of palette where you layer and blend, layer and blend, layer and blend colour onto your lid for at least 30 minutes. This palette is the object of makeup ritual. A necessity if you love staring at yourself in the mirror for at least 2 hours to apply your makeup. Get if eyeshadow is a true passion of yours. It will nourish your soul. Seriously.


Urban Decay, Naked Palette: This one is hella old but a goodie. Naked, Buck, Half-Baked, Smog and SIDECAR – my hommies, my bitches. This palette is what started the love affair. I am sure most of us have a Naked palette in our collection. They are what I would call the palette that graduates you into a serious beauty collector. This palette is the one that starts it all…well at least this one was the one that had me looking to try new things. I’ve had it for many, many years and it’s still going strong (still no rank smell). Sadly, I stepped on it within the first year of owning and broke the mirror (thank goodness it was opened when the incident happened) but even through this experience, it’s still kept my eyes on point.



Kat Von D, Pastel Goth Palette: This palette has TREND written all over it. Currently there is a giant rage right now on pastel eye looks. Perhaps its our collective subconscious just wanting winter to be over and we are all just anticipating spring? Regardless, this is a fun palette. The eye look in the #selflove photo above was brought to you by this palette (and a mixture of viseart too). ALL OF THESE COLOURS have pigment. The blue, no joke stained my eyes…which was kinda a nightmare to remove but I was so impressed with how well it pigmented it was and the vibrancy it gave all day. It even lasted through bootcamp…which was why I had so much party going on in my eyes since I participated in their 70s tight and bright event.

Does anyone want to master blue eyeshadow? Or just even how to blend eyeshadow colours together to create an eye look? If so, stay tuned for some announcements, especially if you live in Southern Alberta :).

Face Files: Dupes 1.0



Wearing: a strong eyebrow, loads of mascara and a nude lip. The only thing new is the lipstick: Too Faced Cosmetics Melted Matte Liquified Matte Long Wear Lipstick in Queen B (matte soft mauve). Check back to this post to see what my daily staples are or this one for a list of products I love using.


I am not a drugstore makeup users. I’ll be the first one to admit it. Drugstore makeup just doesn’t excite me the way high-end, luxury makeup does. But even with that being said, I am not an idiot. I know that there are some products that are virtually the exact same product as it’s high-end counterpart. I speculate that a reason for this to occur comes from the makeup industries little nasty habit of repackaging formulas and selling them at different price points. How and why does this happen? Well, as I begin to scratch the surface of the makeup industry, or any industry for that matter, I am finding the existence of gigantor companies. They own a strings, upon strings, upon strings of little-related companies. It’s the umbrella affect. While the following dupes have not been researched into whether or not they have the same owner, I will tell you that some of these formulas are virtually the same, while some are not but are close enough. With that little piece of insight, let’s begin.


The sponges! Application with a sponge is nothing new. Ladies have been doing it since the 50s (likely) but the shape and density of these type of sponges, I feel, is new to the market. Well, it’s been around for a couple years now, ten years in fact. The creator of the beautyblender (seen on the right), Rea Ann Silva, created the sponge because of the need to re-press makeup back into actresses faces after long days of shooting in high-resolution cameras. It’s a very neat little product and it wasn’t until this post that I actually tried it. Although the original beautyblender does do an amazing job, it retails for $28.00 Canadian dollars while it’s counterpart from Quo, the Quo Blending Sponge gives you the exact same results while spending $20 less, yeah it’s $8.00. I’ve been using this type of sponge for 3 years now. The beautyblender and the Quo Blending Sponge are the exact same thing. I would even say the Quo is better since it’s made out of denser material so it doesn’t soak up as much product and does a better job at blending in your foundation. The beautyblender’s shape is better for undereye concealer but it’s minimal, you can still get a great look with the Quo Blending Sponge, you just need to work a little harder.


This one isn’t a full dupe. It’s a partial one and I apologize for that. That being said, I love both products. Currently the luxury counterpart, Bobbi Brown – Bobbi To Glow Shimmer Brick is on sale for $60.00 at sephora. The Physician Formula – Shimmer Strips Bronzer, Blush and Eyeshadow palette retails for about $21.99 but they often go on sale. Both items are expensive and you get more variety with the Bobbi Brown palette. The only reason I can see anyone just wanting the Physician Formula brick would be if you just didn’t find the need for a shimmer blush (shimmer emphasis pores, I care but not enough to get in the way of my shimmer). I will say on thing to note on the Bobbi to Glow Shimmer Brick, that I don’t think the bronzer should be used as a bronzer. It has too much red in it. It’s a great blush, I even use it in between my contour and blush…to make a gradient effect and to be extra. The results are so pretty. Both of these formulas are a dream to work with: blendable and pigmented. I would just get them both…


HOLY SHIT! My holy grail item – Pixi – Glow Tonic, landed in Canada in January. Yes, it’s $38 dollars but I don’t care, this toner is magical. You know that dry spot that one primer, I talked about it in this post, gave me? GONE. Gone bitches. It has zero alcohol in it. It smells like heaven. It’s gentle yet affective. I love glycolic acid for daily exfoliating. I first tried this toner 3 years ago, when I discovered makeup and skincare basically. At first, I didn’t notice a difference…until I ran out and my face went to dull shit. So I started hunting for a dupe cause there was no way I was going to order it from the UK (hello custom fees of a million dollars) so I found the Nip + Fab – Glycolic Fix Daily Cleansing Pads dupe. Unlike the Glow tonic, this one does have a little alcohol in it. It’s a minor amount that it won’t dry out the skin (at least mine, if you’re sensitive to alcohol, stay away). It is also infused with moisturizing ingredient like the Glow Tonic but it’s only $11.99! I wouldn’t say these two are the same thing, they are not. Glow Tonic is going to give you a better experience, work a bit better but I would say Nip + Fab is still going to give you glowing results. Unless you’re sensitive to alcohol…


Oh! Benefit‘s Give me Brow versus Essence‘s Make me Brow. The same shit in almost the same bottle. The only difference is Benefit’s Give me Brow’s brush is like a millimetre smaller. They both have tiny fibres that plump out your eyebrow, they both deliver in pigment and they both keep your eyebrows in place all day. The difference? The fucking gap in price. Benefit’s Give Me Brow is $32 while Essence’s Make me Brow is $3.00….wtf. Don’t ever buy the Benefit one. I did once and then I saw the Essence one and almost shit a brick.


This is a dupe for the highlighters in both palettes. The Makeup Revolution’s Highlighter and Blush palette retails for about $16.95-$20.99 depending if you get it on sale and where you buy it. The Tarte’s Tarteist Pro Glow Highlight & Contour Palette retails for $60. I decided to label these as dupes because their highlighters are virtually going to give  you the same effect. They aren’t the same in colour but the range of people that can use it is about medium to dark medium. I wouldn’t recommend either for fair/light to deep skin tones. I would say that the Makeup Revolution is more versatile since you can use all of the pans in the palette while in Tarte’s, I find myself confused by some of the highlighters (are they a bronzer? or are they a highlight?) and I don’t reach for the contour colours as much as I would like. If you’re looking for some great highlighters and neat blushes, I would venture our to London Drugs and pick the Makeup Revolution one up and leave the one Tarte behind.


Well, I hope you all enjoyed this post! I want to do a little more dupe posts in the future if it’s something in demand. Would you peeps like a review on skincare? Hair? Let me know in the comments!




Canned Water


By Karla Carcamo

Today (but not just today) I sprayed my face with can water. Water, as my boss would tell it, “So pure it has never touched hatred. Never feared drama. Cures.” I sprayed the shit out of my face. Tonight, close family members celebrated the birth of a relative. I sit here thinking about my canned water.

The moment the cool water hit my face, I closed my eyes and an image that plays in all of our minds plagued it. The water that hits with pleasure is tinged with guilt. Tomorrow or next week people may shift their focus to transsexuals again. But for now most of us can only think about Syria. I give my face another good dose of my thermal, healing water. This water was given to me like most holy waters are. As it refreshes the skin it turns itself into a diabolical luxury.

In Syria, the water must turn into vapour. The pounding heat from the sun and bullets could turn any dew drop into gas. But here I stand with this can in my hand. Just thinking about things I’d rather not admit about our water. Our water.

There’s a dark aspect to our water that I’d rather keep hidden. It’s about its constant limitation. The limitation that brings opportunity with cost: its supply. Just is enough to turn golf courses green while making reserves deserts. Could enough of it travel to Syria?

I set my can of water down. And I think about its purity. Pure enough to tame the redness in my skin. This water sits in my bathroom haven as the waters’ in Lake Erie become cured of its Algae and those of Manitoba’s Thousands of Island Lakes resident’s become dark as their unpaved and broken roads.

This little can inspires.