Category Archives: Accessories & Tools

Can a Silicone “Sponge” Compete with the Beauty Blender?

The Beauty Blender VS the Silisponge makeup blender

The Beauty Blender VS the Silisponge silicone sponge makeup blender

If you are a YouTube fan, you will likely have seen some of the reviews of the newest (and possibly oddest) beauty product being talked about right now – the silicone makeup applicator/blender. Its getting fairly mixed reviews, and I was so curious I just had to try it out for myself. Originally created by indie beauty brand Molly Cosmetics, their SiliSponge is currently sold out. However, I ordered one from Silico-Sponge.com (they ship to Canada via Canada Post) for the same price that looks identical in shape and size. It is basically a blob of 100% silicone, so I’m not sure how they could be that different?

As soon as I heard about a silicone makeup “sponge” I was intrigued, mainly because Nerdy Librarian Girl is also a huge germaphobe, as evidenced by such posts as How to Sanitize Makeup, AKA my unnatural obsession with 95% rubbing alcohol, or Microwaving your Beauty Blender (spoiler alert: it really works). Silicone is super hygienic! I loved the idea of a makeup applicator that is non-porous, that wouldn’t absorb product, and that would be incredibly easy to clean. But, would it work as well as the Beauty Blender for applying foundation? Continue reading

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Why I Went Back to the Clarisonic

Clarisonic Mia 2

The Clarisonic Mia 2 came with a travel case and a new, more compact charger

In June, I did a review of the Foreo LUNA silicone facial cleaning brush. My Clarisonic Mia that I’d had for nine years had suddenly died and I was on the fence about repurchasing a Clarisonic. I decided to try the Foreo LUNA for Sensitive/Normal Skin instead, mainly because it promised to be gentler and because of its dual-sided functions: You use it for one minute for cleansing, then flip it over and use it for one minute on the anti-aging setting with your moisturizer or serum. Continue reading

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Quebec City Trip: Sephora & the Fluevog Store

Old Quebec City

Old Quebec City in May

Hi everyone! In May, the fiance had a folklore conference at Université Laval in Quebec City so I decided to tag along. The amount of traveling I have been doing lately has gotten me seriously behind on my blogging. Quebec is our french-speaking province, and Quebec City (the capital with a population of about 500,000) dates back to the 1600s. Its so beautiful and it feels like you’re in Europe. I thought you might like to see a few pics from my trip before I delve into the goodies I picked up while I was there. Continue reading

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Filed under Accessories & Tools, Eye Liner, Eyes, Lips, Lipstick

New Shoes!

John Fluevog Find (Berry & Dots)

John Fluevog Find (Berry & Dots)

I recently picked up my second pair of “Fluevogs”. John Fluevog is Canadian and started designing shoes in the 1970s in Vancouver. He rose to fame in the 1990s with his iconic Angel boots and Munster platforms.His shoes are very unique and absolutely gorgeous. I could not resist this salmon pink and black and white polka dot pair. They had a whimsical, Alice in Wonderland vibe. Plus what two things does Nerdy Librarian Girl love more than pink and polka dots?! And someone put the two together in one marvelous magical shoe. Continue reading

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Icing Brushes Review

Icing Makeup Brushes
Until recently, I had never even heard of Icing. I was watching YouTuber Zabrena’s Frugal Fridayz video Top Performing Drugstore Brushes, and several of the face brushes she mentioned were Icing brushes, which she said were her favourite. If you’re (like I was) thinking right now what the heck are Icing brushes? you need to keep reading, because these are some of the most amazing and affordable (and cruelty free) makeup brushes ever!

Shortly after watching her video, I was in Ottawa at the Rideau Centre and walked by a shop filled with jewelry and accessories, and wouldn’t you know it, it was called Icing! I went in and sure enough they also had a cosmetics section with their own brand of makeup and brushes. The makeup brushes were the absolute softest brushes I have ever felt in my life. Seriously, they are like a cross between a puffy cloud and a furry kitten. Continue reading

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When Your BF Goes to Sephora for Christmas

When your fiance goes to Sephora to get you Christmas presents

When your fiance goes to Sephora to get you some Christmas pressies…

Happy holidays everyone! I have been pretty much AWOL this December. I had a sensitive family matter occur that required me to suddenly go out of town (it has been a stressful month), and then I also had to travel for work. I returned home with literally nothing done for Christmas. I decorated a tree and did some shopping 3 days before Christmas! I was so unprepared this year. I pretty much failed at Christmassing. I hope everyone else had a much more stress-free holiday than I did 🙂

I did have a lovely Christmas day with my fiance though. I couldn’t resist sharing this story of his adventure in Sephora. He was out-of-town in December as well, and when he was in Ontario, for the first time he actually ventured into a Sephora seeking some Christmas presents for me. He is aware that I have a lot of makeup, so he told me that he asked the SA for the most “obscure tools” they sold, that I would be unlikely to already have. This question apparently earned him a very blank look from the poor SA! Here’s what he chose all by himself after wandering around the store: Continue reading

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Two New Additions to my Mirror Compact Collection

Revlon Love is On Lipstick and Compact Set and Sephora Jem Truly Outrageous Compact
I don’t know if I’ve mentioned before that I collect mirror compacts. I think its a bit of an odd thing to collect I suppose. I kind of feel like an evil queen – so vain and evil that I collect mirrors! I especially love the Sephora LE compacts but they often sell out almost instantly. I have been on the “email me when in stock” list for the Jem and the Holograms Truly Outrageous Compact Mirror for weeks now. When I finally received an email, I immediately went online and ordered one (its already showing as “out of stock” again online). Continue reading

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How to Remove That Hard Film on Top of Powder Products

How to remove the hard film on powder products
I was really bummed that one of my favourite blushes, MAC Mocha, had recently developed what seemed to be a hard build up on top in a few patches that was making it hard to get any product on my brush. I wondered what the hardened film could be and if it meant that the blush had gone bad (although I’ve only had it about 6 months and regularly spray my powder products with 99% rubbing alcohol to disinfect them). Continue reading

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Some New Wrap Bracelets from Victoria Emerson

Victoria Emerson Wrap Bracelets
Whoa, another Friday the 13th. Crazy! Apparently we normally only have a Friday the 13th about every two to three years. How weird is it to have had one two months in a row? So here I am with another Friday the 13th post 🙂

I have previously ordered wrap bracelets from Victoria Emerson before, and you can check out my earlier review if you’d like. I’ve had them for nearly a year now, and I’m still wearing them and they look just as good as when I first got them. The leather, while a little stiff at first, is now worn in and they fit me even better and are more comfortable (just like a pair of shoes!). I always get compliments when I wear them. I saw that Victoria Emerson was having yet another “sale” and although I love the two black wrap bracelets I got, I really wanted some other colours.

I decided on three wrap bracelets: the Silver Dorado and Mint Green on Silver ($27 USD, originally $199), a beautiful pink Rose Crystals on Brown ($24 USD, originally $199), and a Mixed Freshwater Pearls on Brown ($34 USD, which is now out-of-stock).

Shipping on purchases over $75 is free, but I did pay $11.05 USD in tax. I didn’t incur any additional customs charges and the shipping was just as fast as last time – about a week. The total was $96.05 USD or roughly $120 CAD, which works out to about $40 CAD per bracelet.

Victoria Emerson Silver Dorado and Mint Green on Silver

Silver Dorado and Mint Green on Silver

The silver and green is my favourite of the three. I love this colour combination and I think this is a unique wrap bracelet. This one also pairs well with either of my black wrap bracelets.

Victoria Emerson Rose Crystals on Brown

Rose Crystals on Brown

I really wanted a pink wrap bracelet, and this one is perfect. The little, square pink crystals are so sweet.

Victoria Emerson Mixed Freshwater Pearls on Brown

Mixed Freshwater Pearls on Brown

I have no idea if these are ‘real” freshwater pearls but they are very pretty. (UPDATE: After seeing my review, a Victoria Emerson rep contacted me via email and confirmed that they are in fact genuine freshwater pearls). I love pearls and have a lot of pearl necklaces and wanted something to wear with them. The only thing about this bracelet is that the leather is really stiff. I am hoping that with wear it will start to get worn in and fit more comfortably. (UPDATE: It did! The leather is getting much softer and flexible with wear)

Once again, I’m super happy with my Victoria Emerson bracelets. They have never messed up my order, and shipping is super fast. My year old bracelets which I’ve worn a ton still look as good as new. I would definitely recommend them.


Thanks for reading!
Love,
Nerdy Librarian Girl ❤

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Feeling Marsala at MAC

MAC Haul Marsala

Goodies from the MAC Store in the Eaton’s Centre, Toronto

I just got back from Toronto where I had to attend some meetings and present at a conference. It was so cold and dry there! It was about -22 C (which is about -8 F I believe). Since I’ve been back, we’ve also had the worst weather! My university had two snow days this week. On the up-side: sleeping in! On the down-side: shoveling. Here’s a shot of my driveway yesterday morning after we got over a foot of snow. Thankfully my finance and our amazing neighbours helped me out.

snow day

My poor car buried under 1.5 feet of snow that fell overnight

Anyway, the best part of being in Toronto in the middle of a freezing Canadian winter was definitely getting to go to the MAC Store. As I’ve mentioned before, I don’t actually have a MAC where I live. I think I must have been in a “marsala” sort of mood, because I was totally drawn to all of the red-brown earthy shades. I had 6 empty containers, so I did a “back-to-MAC” for a free lipstick (wah00!), and also picked up a second lipstick and a lipliner.

MAC Pro Longwear Lip Pencil in Absolutely It

MAC Pro Longwear Lip Pencil in Absolutely It

Absolutely It is a brownish, burgundy wine lip pencil that the SA suggested to me to bring out the marsala in any other lip shades you might already own. Don’t you love that? I also picked up two Lustre finish lipsticks, which is my all time favourite type of MAC lipstick.

MAC Sophisto and Spice It Up

MAC Sophisto and Spice It Up!

MAC Sophisto and Spice It Up

MAC Sophisto and Spice It Up!

Sophisto looks quite different in the bullet than it does applied. Although it initially appears more brown, its really a sheer, berry plum with some warm brown undertones going on (or as MAC describes it “dewy rose plum with gold”). In the bullet it almost looks like it might be shimmery, but this does not show up at all swatched or on your lips, so no repeat of my Naked Paris experience. Sophisto is a unique shade that I think you could play around with to get different looks depending on which lip liner you use with it. I’m really enjoying it. It is sheer though, so if you have quite pigmented lips or prefer a more opaque lipstick, it might not be for you.

Spice It Up! is described as “mulled brown berry” which I think is very accurate. Its a beautiful brownish-red. If you are into the 90s lip trend that has made a major come back, then you totally need Spice It Up!

Swatches: Absolutely It, Sophisto, and Spice It Up

Swatches: Absolutely It, Sophisto, and Spice It Up

I also got another blush – I really love the MAC blushes, especially the matte finish blushes. I had Mocha on my list for a while, a muted plum-toned pink matte blush that is a apparently a favourite of the very fair-skinned Dita Von Teese.

MAC Mocha blush

MAC Mocha blush

swatch: MAC Mocha blush

swatch: MAC Mocha blush

Finally, I also picked up another MAC 239 eye shadow brush. I’ve tried others from MAC, Real Techniques, Make Up Geek, and I just don’t like any other brush for applying eye shadow as much as the 239. So I got a second one.

MAC 239

Best eye shadow brush ever!

Hope you enjoyed my MAC shopping escapades and liked my ideas for “marsala” lipsticks!


Thanks for reading!
Love,
Nerdy Librarian Girl ❤

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Filed under Accessories & Tools, Cheeks, Face, Lip Liner, Lips, Lipstick

Makeup Storage Solution: The Beauty Cube Review

"The Beauty Cube" Acrylic Lucite Makeup Organizer review

“The Beauty Cube” Acrylic Lucite Makeup Organizer

I, like many of you reading this, am always trying to figure out storage solutions for my makeup. I’d seen clear acrylic makeup organizers online, but so many of them were crazily expensive or didn’t ship to Canada. Finally, with my growing makeup collection bursting at the seams, I found The Beauty Cube Acrylic Lucite Makeup Organizer on Amazon.ca.

Here are the dimensions of The Beauty Cube:

  • 9.45″ width x 9.45″ depth x 11.81″ height
  • flip top section is 1.57″ deep
  • middle drawers are 1.38″ deep
  • bottom drawer is 2.76″ deep
"The Beauty Cube" Acrylic Lucite Makeup Organizer review

5 drawers plus the top section with a flip-up lid

It also came with 4 sets of removable acrylic dividers: 1 “four section” divider, 2 “six section” dividers, and 1 “triangle” divider. Here’s how I arranged the drawers (and hopefully it can give you an idea of how much/what types of makeup you could store in it if you’re considering getting one):

The Beauty Cube

Bottom drawer

The bottom drawer is the deepest and I’m using it for blushes. I placed a “six section” divider in that drawer. As you can see, because the dividers are removable, which gives you flexibility, the do slide around a little bit. I secretly wish all of the drawers were this deep.

Beauty Cube

fourth drawer

The next drawer is also blushes – including cream and liquid blushes. I don’t have any dividers in this drawer.

Beauty Cube

third drawer

Next I have a drawer of cream eyeshadows. Again, no dividers.

beauty cube

second drawer

In the second drawer, I have some eyeshadow singles. I have the “four section” divider in this drawer. (My apologies for the blurriness. As I blog this, its now too dark to retake any photos. Darn Canadian winters)

beauty cube

top drawer

Currently I have some miscellaneous things in the top drawer including some things I’m trying to use up.

beauty cube

top section with (removable) flip-up lid

In the top, I have items I use daily and new items I’m trying out and reviewing. Right now I have the “triangle” divider in the top section but I’m not sure I like it there; I may move it.

I’m really pleased with The Beauty Cube. I paid $149.95 CAD, plus $18.72 shipping. The shipping was super impressive. It arrived in 1 week and it was packaged incredibly carefully – the box was wrapped in packing foam and then placed inside a second box. There wasn’t a single scratch or crack or anything. It arrived in perfect condition.

Overall, I like the size of The Beauty Cube. Any bigger and I wouldn’t really have a place to put it. It doesn’t take up too much room on my vanity. I love that its see-through and that you can pull out the drawers. It makes my makeup a whole lot more accessible. The only thing I would change would be to make some more of the drawers deeper like the bottom drawer.

It certainly could not hold my entire makeup collection though. For example, I don’t think it would be an efficient way to store palettes. I have my (numerous) eyeshadow palettes stored elsewhere. I’m also not sure about pencils. I have my eyeliners and lipliners in short glass vases and I think this makes them easier to see. I also prefer to store my lipsticks upright and my brushes in a glass vase so I can grab them quickly and easily, but that’s just my personal preference. Brushes and lipsticks could easily fit in The Beauty Cube.

Hope this review helped! I’d love to hear your makeup storage ideas.

Thanks for reading!
Love,
Nerdy Librarian Girl

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Battle of the BeautyBlenders: How does Sephora Brand Compare?

How does the Sephora Precision sponge compare to the Beauty Blender and Real Techniques Miracle Complexion sponge?

How does the Sephora Precision sponge compare to the BeautyBlender and Real Techniques Miracle Complexion sponge?

In my last “battle of the makeup sponges” post comparing the BeautyBlender to the Real Techniques Miracle Complexion sponge, I declared the less expensive Real Techniques sponge a pretty good dupe for the Beautyblender. I was already a huge fan of the Beautyblender; the latex-free, washable, reusable sponge is my favourite way to apply my MUFE HD Foundation.

The thing about washable, reusable sponges that I find a bit annoying is the washing them part. Its a bit of a pain to rinse all of the cleanser out and I also microwave them regularly for 30 seconds to keep them germ- free (which actually works BTW). I’ve enjoyed having both the BeautyBlender and the Real Techniques so when one is dirty, I can use the other.

So when I saw the Sephora Precision Makes Perfect Mini Airbrush Set for $12 CAD as a Black Friday deal, I thought – I need more sponges! Although these minis aren’t available on the Sephora site anymore, Sephora does have a regular sized Precision sponge. But do these cute little sponges perform as well as the original BeautyBlender?

Here’s what I felt was similar:

  • Both are latex-free!
  • Similar material: The Sephora Precision sponges are almost as soft and neither soak up much product.
  • Both blend liquid foundation into my skin perfectly. The Sephora sponges did just as good a job as the Beautyblender.

Some differences I DIDN’T like as much:

  • Size. The Precision Makes Perfect Mini Airbrush Set is, as advertised, “mini” so it took a little bit longer to blend my entire face than it did with the larger BeautyBlender. However, the regular sized Sephora Precision sponge looks to be a comparable size (and shape) to the BeautyBlender.
  • Poofiness. The Sephora sponges don’t poof up as much and increase in size as much when you wet them. They seem a bit denser. I find they feel a tiny bit less soft against the skin because of this.
  • Packaging: The Beautyblender comes with it’s own little plastic “house” you can dry it on and store it in. Like the Real Techniques sponge, the Sephora sponges did not.

I think the Sephora sponges are a good dupe and apply liquid foundation just as well as the BeautyBlender. But consider the prices:

BeautyBlender: $26 CAD
Real Techniques: $9.99 CAD
Sephora Precision Sponge (regular size): $18 CAD

If the choice was between Sephora and Real Techniques, I would go with the Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge hands down!

Thanks for reading!

Love,

Nerdy Librarian Girl ❤

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Sephora Black Friday Sale Goodies!

Sephora Black Friday deals 2014

Black Friday goodies from Sephora!

The order I placed on Black Friday arrived yesterday. I had really wanted the little Smashbox mini lipstick duo, but it sold out early. I did get to grab two of the deals, the Living Proof Perfect Hair Day Collection and the adorable Sephora Precision Makes Perfect Mini Airbrush Set. Both were $12 CAD.

Some sample lovin: Clinique Acne Solutions Clinical Clearing Gel & Exfolikate Intensive Exfoliating Treatment

Some sample lovin: Clinique Acne Solutions Clinical Clearing Gel & Exfolikate Intensive Exfoliating Treatment

I also added the Sephora Collection VIP Pass Eyeshadow Palette to my cart, because for $12, why not? I really like the gold, wallet-like packaging and the magnetic clasp!

Sephora Collection VIP Pass Eyeshadow Palette

Sephora Collection VIP Pass Eyeshadow Palette

The colours are on the neutral side:

Sephora Collection VIP Pass Eyeshadow Palette

Sephora Collection VIP Pass Eyeshadow Palette

I think the quality of the eyeshadows are what you’d expect for an inexpensive Sephora palette. Its a bit shimmery overall. There are only 2 matte shades: the dark brown and the black shades on the far right. The texture of the shimmery shades are nice, but I found the matte shades a bit patchy.

Swatches: Sephora Collection VIP Pass Eyeshadow Palette

Swatches: Sephora Collection VIP Pass Eyeshadow Palette

I am going to do a full review of the Sephora Precision Makes Perfect Mini Airbrush Set and compare them to my Beautyblender and my Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge.

Did you manage to snag any good Black Friday deals?

Thanks for reading ❤
Love,
Nerdy Librarian Girl

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Battle of the Makeup Sponges: Real Techniques VS Beautyblender

The Beauty Blender VS the Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge

The Beautyblender (left) VS the Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge (right)

I am already a huge fan of the Beautyblender. The latex-free, washable, reusable sponge is my favourite way to apply liquid foundation. The only downside is that it costs $26 CAD. Although my first one did last about 4-5 months before needing replacing.

The Real Techniques tools were on sale at my Lawtons, so I thought I would try out the decidedly less expensive Miracle Complexion Sponge. Normally $9.99 CAD, I got it for only $7.99. Either way that’s much less than the Beautyblender. But how does it compare to the original?

After using it for over a week, here’s what I felt was similar:

  • Both are latex-free!
  • Similar material: The Real Techniques is made from polyurethane foam. The Beautyblender doesn’t say what it’s made of specifically, but the two sponges feel extremely similar and I think they are made of the same material. Both are very soft and neither soak up much product. With my eyes closed, I don’t think I could tell one from the other by touching them (except for the shape).
  • Both blend liquid foundation into my skin perfectly. I felt the Real Techniques did just as good a job as the Beautyblender.

The one difference I really LIKED:

  • Shape. I really enjoyed the flat side of the Real Techniques sponge.

Some differences I DIDN’T like as much:

  • Size. The Real Techniques sponge is bigger. I found it slightly more difficult to use around my nose, under my eyes, etc., but this wasn’t too big a deal.
  • Cleaning. The Real Techniques sponge is a bit more more difficult to wash. Not sure why that is.
  • Drying time: The Real Techniques sponge doesn’t seem to dry as quickly as the Beautyblender does.
  • Packaging: The Beautyblender comes with it’s own little plastic “house” you can dry it on and store it in. I don’t have anyplace to put the Real Techniques sponge.

I think the shape and size difference will come down to personal preference; Some people might prefer a bigger sponge, and some people might prefer the Beautyblender’s egg shape instead of the flat side of the Real Techniques sponge. Overall I thought the Real Techniques worked just as well as the Beautyblender in applying my foundation smoothly, evenly and streak-free. If you aren’t interested in paying the extra $12+ dollars, I think the Real Techniques is a pretty good dupe for the Beautyblender.

Thanks for stopping by ❤

Love

Nerdy Librarian Girl

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Packing Makeup & Jewelry When You’re Moving

How to pack necklaces for a move

Threading necklaces through an empty bathroom tissue or paper towel roll keeps them from getting tangled

In very exciting news, my finance and I bought a house. In super stress inducing news, omg now I have to sell my house and pack all my stuff! So this has been a very busy week. Not to mention that it’s September and we both work at a university, so we’re both really busy at work too.

In preparation for selling my house, I’ve begun major de-cluttering. I have moved quite a few times in my life (probably 10 times) so I  thought I’d show you some of my tricks for packing. I love the empty bathroom tissue roll for necklaces, or in my case a paper towel roll I cut into 3 sections; I have a lot of necklaces. This is a great way to keep them from getting all tangled. Plastic snap lid containers and plastic sandwich or freezer bags are also great for keeping jewelry organized.
I heart lipgloss
This little “I heart lipgloss” mini suitcase is one of my most favourite gifts that I have ever received. I have had it for ages. I decided to use it to pack all my lip products. And I finally had a use for all of those small cosmetic bags that I accumulated with my Ipsy Glam Bag subscription! lol.

Organizing lipsticks for packing

Finally figured out what to do with all those Ipsy Glam Bags! You could easily use Ziploc bags instead.

I labelled each one with removable masking tape into these categories:

  • Drugstore lipsticks
  • High-end lipsticks (ended up needing 2 of these)
  • MAC lipsticks
  • Lip liners
  • Jumbo lip pencils
  • Lip gloss
  • Lip balm

They all fit snugly into the suitcase.

How to pack lipsticks for a move
Now I just have to figure out how to pack the rest of my collection…

Thanks for stopping by ❤
Love,
Nerdy Librarian Girl

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Vintage Cat Eye Sunglasses

Vintage cat-eye sunglasses

Vintage cat eye sunglasses from Bernie Dexter

I have been enjoying following “American Rockabilly Pin Up Girl”, Bernie Dexter, on facebook lately. She has such amazing style and posts retro inspired photos wearing some of her very own clothing designs.

I saw this super cute pair of vintage cat eye sunglasses for sale on her ebay site for only $20 USD. I have ALWAYS wanted a pair of 1950’s style cat eye sunnies! I just love them. Summer may be almost over, but retro sunglasses are always in style, right? lol.

Thanks for stopping by ❤
Love,
Nerdy Librarian Girl

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Microwaving Your Beauty Blender: Does it Really Work?

Can microwaving your Beauty Blender for 30 seconds really kill germs?

Can microwaving your Beauty Blender for 30 seconds really kill germs?

When I saw GlamLifeGuru Tati’s YouTube video on How to Clean a Beauty Blender, where she talks about microwaving your beloved makeup sponge in order to kill bacteria that may be living in it, I immediately wondered if there was scientific proof behind this tip. I wash my Beauty Blender with anti-bacterial soap after each use, but I would always wonder if it was *really* clean. Could 30 seconds of microwaving actually kill germs that I  wouldn’t be patting onto my face? Fingers crossed, I decided to do some Nerdy Librarian Girl research to see if this myth would be confirmed or busted.

I found a 2006 study in the Journal of Environmental Health, “Microbial Inactivation by Microwave Radiation in the Home Environment” by Park, Bitton & Melker, that totally CONFIRMED this theory! The study looked at the survival of microorganisms on kitchen sponges after being “zapped” in a typical microwave oven and found that the total bacterial count was reduced by more that 99 percent within 1 to 2 minutes.

However, the most common bacteria (coliform and E. coli) were totally inactivated after only 30 seconds. What required longer microwaving to irradiate were Bacterial phage MS2 which is found in soil, the intestines of animals, and sea water, and Bacillus cereus which is found in various foods. Neither are likely to be lurking in your Beauty Blender to begin with one would hope.

So microwaving your Beauty Blender sponge for 30 seconds really will kill germs! Great news for us slightly germaphobic types. It’s really important to make sure your Beauty Blender is WET while microwaving it. Dry sponges can catch on fire in a microwave – yikes! I wash mine first to remove makeup, and then place it in a small glass bowl filled with water. CAUTION: Your Beauty Blender will be super hot, way hotter than you think, after just 30 seconds! So wait for it to cool or squeeze it out in a towel so you don’t scald yourself. Best of all, microwaving doesn’t hurt your Beauty Blender at all.

Yay science! 🙂

Thanks for stopping by ❤

Love

Nerdy Librarian Girl

 

Reference:
Park, D., Billon, G., & Melker, R. (2006). Microbial inactivation by microwave radiation in the home environment. Journal of Environmental Health, 69(5), 17-24.

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Summer Love Tag!

Summer Love TagI was nominated to do the “Summer Love Tag” by the lovely Sonalhira…x. I know summer is almost over, but here are some of the things I’ve loved this summer:

1. Summer lipstick you’re loving?
I’ve been gravitating toward plums and darker, vampy shades lately (not very “summery”). I guess I am in fall mode already! The more summer time type of shade I’ve been wearing is MAC Syrup.

MAC lipstick in Syrup

MAC lipstick in “Syrup”

2. Summer nail polish you’re loving?
I love really dark shades on summer toes! This summer I’ve been wearing Essie “Over the Edge”, a “dramatic metallic midnight silver”, pretty much non-stop.

Essie "Over the Edge"

Essie “Over the Edge” (Photo from http://www.essie.ca)

3. Bikini you’re loving?
I’m more of a full-piece, vintage, Marilyn Monroe-inspired swimsuit gal. My fav is my halter neck, black swimsuit with red cherry print.

4. Favorite summer frappuccino from Starbucks?
I like a plain ol’ iced coffee – literally coffee with ice-cubes.

5. Favorite fake tan?
For pale gals, check out my review of Jergens Natural Glow. It really works!

6. Favorite summer song?
I am such a nerd and not really into pop music 😛

7. Favorite summer accessories?
My pink fedora with an even pinker faux flower, cause why not.
nerdylibrariangirl8. Favorite summer fragrance/perfume?
Issey Miyake.

9. Summer book you’re loving?
Summer is all about the Netflix binge watching (Orange is the New Black season 2, Homeland, V). I am a bad, bad Librarian.

10. What are you most excited to do this summer? What is the most exciting thing you did this summer?
Go to Vegas! Check out some of my posts on Vegas Makeup shopping here, here & here.

I feel like its too late to tag others with a summer-themed tag with summer being nearly over. I tag anyone reading this to reply to this post with answers to these 3 questions:

  1. What’s your fav fall lipstick?
  2. What’s your fav fall blush?
  3. What’s your fav fall accessory?

Thanks for visiting my blog! ❤

Love

Nerdy Librarian Girl

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Skincare Routine for Sensitive Acne-Prone Skin

My skincare routine for sensitive/blemish prone skin

My skincare routine for sensitive/blemish prone skin

I just want to start by saying that if you are having skin issues, particularly acne, I would recommend seeing a professional dermatologist. They can assess you individually and provide you with prescription strength treatments that are unavailable over-the-counter. Seeing a dermatologist helped me tremendously.

This is my current evening skincare routine. I hope this post helps you if you are struggling with similar skin concerns. If you have any questions, leave me a comment below and I will be happy to provide more information.

Step 1: Eye Makeup Removal

Lid-Care Towelettes Eye Makeup Remover

Lid-Care Towelettes Eye Makeup Remover

Lid-Care Towelettes Eye Makeup Remover

This is what the individually wrapped towelette looks like

I have VERY sensitive eyes and had a hard time finding an eye makeup remover that wouldn’t sting and irritate the skin around my eyes. Then I discovered these Lid-Care Towelettes. They are specifically made for cleaning your eyelids and are fragrance-free and non-irritating. I love that they are pre-moistened and individually wrapped: Great for travel! A box of 30 is $12.99 CAD. I get mine at Lawton’s Drugs, but they are also available at Wal-Mart and well.ca.

Step 2: Makeup Removal

Bioderma Sensibio H2O Make-Up Removing Micelle Solution for Sensitive Skin (Fragrance-free)

Bioderma Sensibio H2O Make-Up Removing Micelle Solution for Sensitive Skin (Fragrance-free)

I started using Bioderma about 8 months ago and I have noticed a huge improvement in my skin. Miceller water, according to this cosmetic scientist, contains micelles or spherical liquid crystals that “vastly reduce the irritancy of some detergents”. This gentle cleanser removes every trace of makeup but doesn’t leave my skin feeling tight and dry. Although Bioderma is available in most drugstore chains, none of my local drugstores carry it (the perils of small town living). I order it online through Murale or pick op a bottle when I’m traveling. Its $21.95 CAD.

I use the square Quo Luxury Cotton Facial Pads with it. You may want to checkout my post on how they’re a dupe for the Shiseido Facial Cotton pads.

Step 3: Cleansing

Adasept Antibacterial Skin Cleanser and the Clarasonic Mia

Adasept Antibacterial Skin Cleanser and the Clarasonic Mia

My dermatologist recommended using an antibacterial cleanser, Tersaseptic, which I used for years but has been discontinued. My pharmacist told me about Adasept, which has the exact same active ingredient, Triclosan 0.5%. Adasept is a “gentle sudsing soapless formula for acne”. I buy mine at Lawton’s Drugs. Rexall also carries it and its available online through well.ca: the 500 ml size is $22.89 and the  250ml size is $12.29 CAD.

I use it with the Clarasonic Mia. The Clarasoinc is an investment at $150 CAD, but I’ve had mine for 10 years and use it every night, dropped it a bunch of times, travel with it, and it just keeps on going! It deep cleans my pores (I get almost zero blackheads) yet its very gentle. I can’t recommend this enough. I use the “sensitive” head and replace it about every 6 months. Replacement heads are $31 CAD.

Step 4: Topical Acne Treatment

Clindets pads clindamycin 1% available with prescription only

Clindets pads clindamycin 1% available with prescription only

As I mentioned, I really recommend a prescription strength treatment for acne-prone skin. There are many different types and your skin may not respond to certain treatments, so a doctor can work with you trying different things until you find something that works for you. For example, my skin did not react well to Retinoid cream which severely irritated it and caused redness, and worst of all didn’t improve the acne. My skin responds better to a topical antibiotic. I initially used erythromycin, but eventually my skin stopped responding to that (which can happen) so we switched to clindamycin. The individually wrapped Clindets pads have been working amazingly well. I apply twice daily. The treatment is covered by my insurance.

UPDATE: I’ve been unable to get Clindets, as there seems to be a distribution issue. My pharmacist is filling my prescription with Dalacin T. It’s a topical antibiotic clindamycin 1% in isopropyl alcohol 50% in a bottle with a rollerball on top (VS pre-moistened pads). It is working as well as Clindets.

Step 5: Moisturize

Complex 15 Moisturizer

Complex 15 Moisturizer

Complex 15 was recommended by my dermatologist. Its water-based and fragrance-free.  There is a smaller 100ml size labelled “Daily Face Cream”  and a larger 300ml size labelled “Body Lotion”. Both are $9.99 CAD and I cannot for the life of me find any difference between the two, so I just buy the “body lotion” and use it on my face. Its available at most Canadian drugstores (Shoppers Drugmart, London Drugs, Lawtons Drugs), Walmart, and online through well.ca. You may also want to see my post on Moisturizers for Sensitive Skin.

Step 6: Spot Treatment as Needed

Adasept Benzoyl Peroxide Gel USP 5%

Adasept Benzoyl Peroxide Gel USP 5%

If I feel a blemish coming on, I will use the Adasept Gel as a spot-treatment. When I wake up the next morning, its usually completely gone. It is amazing! I buy mine at Lawton’s Drugs and its available online through well.ca for $13.3 CAD. I only need to use a tiny amount of this so a little bottle lasts months.

Once a week: Exfoliate

Phytomer Vegetal Exfoliant

Use a gentle enzyme exfoliator once a week to remove dead skin cells

Its important to exfoliate dead skin cells regularly to help combat acne. I prefer a gentler enzyme-based exfoliator to a physical exfoliator (products with grains or beads which can actually irritate skin more). There are lots to choose from. I’m currently using the Phytomer Vegetal Exfoliant which uses papain, the fruit enzyme from papaya, to dissolve dead skin cells. I got it at a spa when I had a facial and I think it was around $35 CAD. I apply it to clean skin on a Saturday or a Sunday morning and leave it on for 10 minutes.

Morning Skincare Routine
In the mornings, I wash my face with just water, use my Clindets pad, and then moisturize with Complex 15.

This is what’s been currently working for me. Hope this  helps!

Thanks for stopping by ❤

Love,

Nerdy Librarian Girl

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Love Kate’s Blush Pink Fascinator

Kate Middleton Pink Fascinator

photo taken from: http://www.mirror.co.uk

Love this sweet, pale pink fascinator Kate wore at the St. Symphorien Military Cemetery in Belguim on August 4.

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Review of bareMinerals bareSkin Foundation

bareMinerals bareSkin Pure Brightening Serum Foundation and Perfecting Face Brush

bareMinerals bareSkin Pure Brightening Serum Foundation and Perfecting Face Brush

In terms of liquid foundation, I’m really happy with my Make Up For Ever HD Foundation, but I am such a fan of bareMinerals I wanted to try their new bareSkin foundation. This is one of the things I picked up while shopping in Vegas.

The bareSkin Pure Brightening Serum Foundation is “Clinically proven tone-correcting mineral foundation and brightening serum in one…this ultra-thin, skin-perfecting fluid provides seamless adjustable coverage, a natural finish and the look and feel of beautiful skin while delivering a noticeably brighter, more youthful appearance. Made with the bare minimum ingredients and formulated without oil, silicone, parabens or fragrance.”

I got the brush designed to go with it, which has a little “reservoir” in the center where you’re supposed to drop 1-2 drops of foundation and buff onto your skin in circular motions. bareMinerals says to add more drops to increase coverage.

bareMinerals Perfecting Face Brush

bareMinerals Perfecting Face Brush (My advice? Skip it)

So here is the overview of what I liked and disliked about this foundation.

What I liked:

  • Good colour match! bareMinerals has 20 shades and the lightest one, “Bare Porcelain 01”, was light enough for me which hardly ever happens with liquid foundation. And it didn’t oxidize or darken after applied.
  • Squeeze bottle. Very sanitary!
  • Didn’t irritate my skin or cause any breakouts.

What I disliked:

  • The smell! It has an indescribable, unpleasant smell in my opinion.
  • Greasy, oily texture. I didn’t like the texture of this foundation at all. It reminded me of trying to rub in greasy sunblock. Even after shaking it well, it almost seemed like the ingredients were trying to separate.
  • The brush. The Perfecting Face Brush didn’t do it for me. No amount of “circular motions” could get this stuff to look blended and streak free.  Once I gave up on the brush and switched to my Beauty Blender sponge, I had better luck. SKIP THE BRUSH!
  • Difficult to apply/blend. Even with the Beauty Blender, this foundation took a lot of work to look blended and natural. I didn’t particularly like how it sat on my skin.

As you’ve probably guessed, this foundation was a “miss” for me. I have  tried to make it work, but I just don’t care for it. The bareMinerals powder foundation is amazing, but I am disappointed by their liquid foundation.

I paid $29 USD for the foundation and $28 USD for the brush. In Canada, the foundation is $36 CAD and the brush is $35 CAD.

SUBSCRIBER GIVEAWAY: If any of my fair-skinned subscribers would like to try this, I would be happy to mail you the foundation and brush for free  (Canadian addresses only please). I’m not going to use it, so I’d love to be able to pass it on, and maybe you will like it better than I did! First subscriber to leave me a comment, it’s yours! [UPDATE: It’s been claimed]

Thanks for stopping by ❤

Love,

Nerdy Librarian Girl

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Filed under Accessories & Tools, Face, Foundation & Primer, Reviews

Shiseido Facial Cotton Dupe

Quo Luxury Cotton Facial Pads

Quo Luxury Cotton Facial Pads

Do you love the Shiseido Facial Cotton pads, but don’t exactly love the price? Me too. But once you feel the soft yet indestructible fluffiness of them, you don’t want to touch any other cotton pad to your face ever again.

Until…I heard Youtuber LisaLisaD1 mention the Quo Luxury Cotton Facial Pads and how they are remarkably similar to the Shiseido. I found them at my local Shoppers Drug Mart. Right away I thought the shape, size, and feel of the packaging was just like the Shiseido. They also both have exactly 165 pads in three “stacks”. When I opened the Quo and compared the individual pads, they are the exact same shape, size, and thickness.

LEFT: Shiseido Facial Cotton RIGHT: Quo Cotton Facial Pads

LEFT: Shiseido Facial Cotton RIGHT: Quo Cotton Facial Pads

TOP: Shiseido Facial Cotton BOTTOM: Quo Cotton Facial Pads

TOP: Shiseido Facial Cotton BOTTOM: Quo Cotton Facial Pads

The Quo feels just as soft as the Shiseido. When I was using one to remove my makeup it held up as well too; it didn’t start to disintegrate. I cannot imagine that these two products aren’t manufactured in the same factory. Especially since even the packaging is identical.

The Shiseido Facial Cotton is $11.00 CAD. The Quo Luxury Cotton Facial Pads are $7.00 CAD. Quo is only carried by Shoppers Drugmart and Murale, but the square Luxury Cotton Facial Pads don’t seem to be available to order online.

Have you tried the Quo cotton pads? Do you think they are a dupe for the Shiseido?

Thanks for stopping by ❤

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Victoria Emerson Wrap Bracelets

Victoria Emerson Wrap Bracelets

Victoria Emerson Wrap Bracelets

I ordered two wrap bracelets online through the Victoria Emerson site. I was a bit skeptical because although the “regular” prices are listed as $199.00, they’re ALWAYS on sale for $24.99-$29.99. I ordered two bracelets: Midnight Mist (on sale for about $27.50 CAD) and Silver & Black Pearl (on sale for about $33.00 CAD).

With taxes and very reasonable shipping ($7.71 CAD) it worked out to a total of $74.75 CAD. I didn’t incur any additional customs charges and I received them in about a week.

Victoria Emerson Wrap Bracelets. Top: Silver & Black Pearl. Bottom: Midnight Mist

Victoria Emerson Wrap Bracelets. Top: Silver & Black Pearl. Bottom: Midnight Mist

I really like them. They look pretty much like the photos on the site. I believe they’re real leather because they smelled like leather. I have no idea if they actually are “hand made” as claimed. The fastener seems like good quality and has three loops to accommodate different wrist sizes. They are comfortable to wear.

Do I think they are worth paying $200 for? Absolutely not. Do I think they are worth paying $25-$35 for? Absolutely! Fortunately the “sale” seems to be perpetual 🙂

Thanks for stopping by ❤

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Kate’s Easter Fascinator!

I just love the dove gray Jane Taylor fascinator Kate wore on Easter Sunday:

Kate Middleton easter fascinatorThe New Zealand/Australia tour has been full of spectacular millinery so far, beginning with the fabulous Gina Foster red pillbox hat Kate wore getting off the plane:

Kate Middleton's red pillbox hat Another favourite was the powder blue Jane Taylor fascinator Kate wore while in New Zealand with the cutest leaf shape that matched her brooch:

Kate Middleton New Zealand Fascinator

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Sephora Hair Ties

Sephora Ribbon Hair Ties and Ombre Seamless Hair Ties

Sephora Ribbon Hair Ties and Ombre Seamless Hair Ties

I have been looking for some of those trendy ribbon hair ties that come in cool patterns and colours that you can wear on your wrist,  like the Emi-Jay hair ties. They are nearly impossible to find in Canada. Then while I was visiting my sister in Halifax I saw these in Sephora. These purple Ribbon Hair Ties are so cute. I also liked the pink Ombre Seamless Hair Ties.

Sephora Ribbon Hair Ties

Sephora Ribbon Hair Ties

The Sephora Ribbon Hair Ties and Ombre Seamless Hair Ties are both $11.00 CAD each.

Thanks for stopping by ❤

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