Life Hack: How to Sanitize Makeup

Ethyl alcohol

How do makeup artists sanitize their makeup? 90% alcohol

Do you ever worry about how many microbes might be hanging out on the surface of your makeup? As a self-confessed germophobe, I’ll admit that I like to make sure that the products I’m putting on my face, particularly around my eyes, are as sanitary as they possibly can be. This is especially important when you have a lot of makeup and can have items in your collection – like eye shadows or blushes – for several years. Of course, if any product starts to look or smell different, its always best to err on the side of caution and just toss it. I thought I would share my quick tips for keeping your makeup germ free. Continue reading

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Revlon Ultra Volume Mascara

Revlon Ultra Volume Mascara
Earlier this year, Revlon replaced all of their mascaras with five brand new mascaras. I hadn’t tried many Revlon mascaras, except for the Bold Lacquer Length & Volume Mascara which I’d really loved. I’m typically more of a L’Oreal mascara girl when it comes to drugstore mascaras.

This new line was pretty hard to miss (and equally hard to resist) with its eye-catching packaging that reminded me of the bright colourful markers that always tempt me at art supply stores. I really like how each cap is a different colour. They’re so shiny! Continue reading

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Dry Shampoos & Dark Hair: Did any of these really work?

Best dry shampoos for dark hair

Which of these five dry shampoos got a passing grade and which one got an F?

I colour my hair. I’ve been battling greys since I was in my 20s (sadly its hereditary). Visiting the salon every 4-5 weeks to have my roots done is hard on my hair. I’m sure those of you with colour treated hair can relate. Any type of chemical processing can really leave your hair dry and damaged. A couple of years ago, I decide to try to join the “no poo” movement and gradually decrease how frequently I shampooed my hair. Instead of washing my hair daily, I have now reduced it to twice (sometimes 3 times) a week. I can’t even begin to tell you what a difference this has made in the health and texture of my hair. Its so much softer and more manageable. In between shampoos, I will often use a dry shampoo on my roots. I thought I’d do a quick review of some of the brands I’ve tried. Dry shampoo on very dark hair like mine can be tricky. You don’t want to be left with a visible white, powdery cast. I also don’t want a dry shampoo to have a strong, overpowering scent. So here are five dry shampoos I’ve tried, from drugstore to high-end, graded from A to F. Continue reading

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UD Naked Ultimate Basics Palette Review

Urban Decay Naked Ultimate Basics eyeshadow palette
First there was the Urban Decay Naked palette (can you believe that was all the way back in 2010?). Then came the Naked 2 and Naked 3. Like any makeup hoarder lover, I have all three eye shadow palettes, although I haven’t picked up the Naked Smokey as of yet. I’m also a big fan of both the Naked Basics palettes, particularly because they had a lot of wearable, everyday matte shades. I have pretty much used up my favourite shades in my Naked Basics palette. Continue reading

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You won’t believe what happened to these NYX blushes!

NYX High Definition blushes in Nude 'Tude, Soft Spoken, Amber and Intuition

How the blushes looked a year ago

About a year ago, I ordered some of the (new at the time) NYX High Definition Blushes. I used the (also new at the time) NYX Canada website and sadly you can read about my disastrous shipping/customer service experience with the site if you’d like. I cannot recommend ordering from nyxcosmetics.ca. Despite the experience, I did quite like the High Definition Blushes and did a full review and a comparison to the old NYX blushes, which I really loved, in a December 2015 post. I hadn’t been using them very much lately, but I had recently made a resolution to cycle through my rather large blush collection and use them all more, after hitting pan on a MAC blush I’ve been obsessed with. I pulled out my NYX High Definition Blush in Nude ‘tude, and right away noticed that the blush had significantly faded, and in several spots the colour had shifted to an almost pale yellow! Continue reading

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Boscia Peel-Off Masks

Boscia Multi-Masking Medley

Boscia Multi-Masking Medley from Sephora

After discovering this fragrance-free skincare brand, I was interested in trying out more from Japanese-brand Boscia, which makes masks that don’t have any added perfumes or artificial fragrances. I had previously tried out and reviewed some of the Boscia sheet masks. When I was in line at Sephora, in that oh-so-tempting section filled with miniature sample sized versions of products, I spied this Boscia Multi-Masking Medley pack of single use, peel-off masks that included the Green Tea Oil-control mask, the Bright White Mask, and two packs of the Luminizing Black Mask for $23.00 CAD. 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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Smashbox Full Exposure Mascara

Smashbox Full Exposure Mascara
Hi everyone! It has been ages since I last posted. Working at a university, the fall is a super busy time. I have had so many projects on the go this fall that I have had hardly any spare time. Plus, another exciting thing happened – we bought a house! Very unexpectedly. We had almost bought a house two years ago but some stuff happened and we ended up not proceeding with the sale. So things have been crazy! I hadn’t even realized how long it had been since I was last blogging.

I’m back with a review of the Smashbox Full Exposure Mascara. I recently finished my Smashbox X-Rated Mascara which I totally loved. The wand and the formula of the X-Rated mascara is one of my favourites. When I started testing out the Full Exposure mascara, I immediately thought – oh no a huge brush! This is one mascara trend that I’m not a big fan of. Continue reading

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DIY Pedis & My Fav Summer Polishes for Toes

Bon Vital Spa Pomegranate & Acai Berry Salt Scrub and Lavender & Rosemary Sugar Scrub

Bon Vital’ BVspa Pomegranate & Acai Berry Salt Scrub and Lavender & Rosemary Sugar Scrub

Summertime is when you need your feet to look their best. During Canadian winters, I literally don’t see my feet for months on end, but they emerge in the summer to peek out of cute open-toed shoes. I’m a big fan of going for the occasional professional pedicure, but I also really like doing my own at home. The thing I love most about a pedi is that although my skin is generally pretty sensitive to fragrance, the one exception are my feet. Its the one time I can indulge in that luxurious spa-like experience of using lovely scented skincare products like a normal girl! Here are my fav skincare products that I’ve been using for summertime feet, and the polishes I have been loving the most on my toes. Continue reading

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Redeeming Sephora Points, VIB Rouge Welcome Gift, & a Great Beauty Deal (still available!)

Sephora 500 point reward Tarteist Tools, VIB Rouge Welcome Gift, and Urban Decay Beauty Deal

Who doesn’t love Sephora points, amirite?

Hey everyone! I just wanted to do a quick post about the free items I got with my latest Sephora order, especially because one of the Beauty Deals is pretty great and is still available on the website. When I placed my order, I ended up qualifying for VIB Rouge again [hangs head in shame and cuts up credit card]. I was happy to see that the VIB Rouge Welcome Gift was actually available this time. I never did get the VIB Rouge gift last year (which I think was a mini Marc Jacobs Beauty Lipstick) even after contacting Sephora, who continually said they were “out of stock”, which I think was pretty bad customer service considering how much one has spent when one hits the Rouge level. The only VIB Rouge gift I’d received was for 2014, the first time I qualified, and that was the mini Bite Beauty Luminous Creme Lipstick. So I was really pleased with the 2016 VIB Rouge Welcome Gift, a super cute mini NARS blush.

NARS mini blush VIB Rouge exclusive Goulue

This year’s VIB Rouge welcome gift: a baby NARS blush!

Continue reading

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Smashbox Indecent Exposure VS X-Rated Mascara

Smashbox Indecent Exposure Mascara

Love the velvet mascara wand handle

Hi everyone! A few weeks ago, I reviewed the Smashbox X-Rated Mascara, which is my new favourite mascara. I loved the wand and the formula, which really volumized my lashes and is very black and dramatic.  I was excited to try another new mascara from Smashbox, the Indecent Exposure Mascara, but also a little nervous because I just love the X-Rated so much. Here’s what I thought of the Indecent Exposure and how it compared to the X-Rated. Continue reading

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In Search of Face Masks for Sensitive Skin

Boscia Hydrogel Sheet Masks review

Boscia Hydrogel Sheet Masks

Hey everyone! I have been interested in finding some more good face masks, since discovering a good fragrance-free sheet mask at the drugstore, the Rejuve Collagen Gel Face Mask. There are so many of these types of masks available now at Sephora. They are super popular. The problem for me is finding ones that don’t have added fragrances, which my face doesn’t react well to. So I asked the Sephora SA and she suggested the Boscia brand (originally a Japanese brand). Boscia claims to be “the world’s first 100% preservative-free skincare brand”, which is pretty cool, and their products don’t have added perfumes or artificial fragrances. I picked up 3 of their sheet masks to try out. Here’s what I thought.

Continue reading

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European Makeup Shopping!

European brands Make Up Store, Art Deco, & Bell

I picked up items from the brands Make Up Store, Art Deco, & Bell

Hey everyone! I just got back from a trip to Estonia and while I was there I made time to do a little bit of makeup shopping (of course!). It was really neat to be in Eastern Europe and see all sorts of different brands I ‘d never heard of and that aren’t available in Canada. Once I got back, I did some internet research to learn more about the brands and I’m pretty happy with my new discoveries.

The first brand I discovered was the Swedish brand, Make Up Store. I happened upon one of their shops while I was in Helsinki for the day. Continue reading

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Smashbox Always On Matte Liquid Lipstick Giveaway Winner!

Smashbox Always On Liquid Lipstick in Bawse giveaway

Bawse by Lilly Singh

Thanks to everyone who entered my Smashbox Always On Matte Liquid Lipstick Giveaway. The winner is New Zealand blogger Chanelle Hayley! Check out her awesome blog: https://chanellehayleyyy.wordpress.com/.

Thanks to everyone following my blog!
Love,
Nerdy Librarian Girl ❤

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Back from Estonia!

Tallinn

Tallinn selfie

Hi everyone! I haven’t posted in a couple of weeks because I have been traveling. I went to Estonia and Finland with my finance. He was in Tallinn for a folklore conference. We had such an amazing trip! I did some makeup shopping while I was there and I will be doing a post about that and some of the neat European brands I tried, but I just wanted to do a quick travel post and share some of my pics. It was the first time I’d ever traveled to that part of Europe. Continue reading

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Smashbox Always On Matte Liquid Lipstick Review & Giveaway! CLOSED

The new Smashbox Always On Matte Liquid Lipsticks

The new Smashbox Always On Matte Liquid Lipsticks

Hi everyone! Today I have a pretty extensive review of the new Smashbox Always On Matte Liquid Lipsticks in nine of the shades (this is a long one, so get comfy and fix yourself a drink or a snack!) plus a pretty exciting giveaway! Keep reading to find out how you can win Bawse, a collab with hilarious YouTuber Lilly Singh (iisuperwomanii). I am giving one away to a subscriber and its open internationally.

When I received this package from Smashbox, I have to admit that initially I was a bit scared, because, as anyone familiar with my blog knows, I’m not normally the biggest fan of matte lippies. I tend to find them too drying for me. But Smashbox was so generous and the colours were so cool, that I decided to just dive in and wear a different shade every day and then review them for you and let you know what I think. I ‘m also trying to include more pics of me wearing the products I’m reviewing so you will be treated to an abundance of selfies in this post (Selfies are not easy. I have a whole newfound respect for the Kardashians! lol). Smashbox sent me 10 shades, but I didn’t open or swatch Bawse as I really wanted to be able to share with my subscribers and let someone else try out this new product too. Continue reading

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Temporary Root Touch Ups: Do they really work?

L'oreal Root Cover Up, AG Dry Shampoo, Greyfree Professional Temporary Hair Color reviews comparisons

three wash-out root touch up products I’ve tried

Hi everyone! I’ve been on a quest lately to try out some products that might keep me from having to visit the hair salon too frequently. I have been colouring my hair regularly to cover grey since I was in my late 20s. Sadly its genetic. My Mom and my Grandma went completely white very early too. My Grandma never coloured her hair, but my Mom and I do. I used to go every 6 weeks, but now I’m getting some pretty white roots going on up there and they are starting to contrast sharply against my black hair (which, in case you’re wondering is fairly close to my natural colour, a very dark brown). My hairdresser recommended going every 4 weeks! I just find it so time consuming. So I decided to try out some of the temporary root touch-up products out there to see if they really worked. So far I’ve tried the L’Oreal Root Cover Up, the AG Dry Shampoo Root Touch–Up, and the Greyfree Professional Temporary Hair Color. Here are my thoughts on them.
Continue reading

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Foreo LUNA Review by a Former Clarisonic User

Foreo Luna for Sensitive/Normal Skin

Foreo LUNA for Sensitive/Normal Skin

Hi everyone! A couple of months ago my much-loved, extremely pink Clarisonic Mia suddenly died. It was a staple in my skincare routine. I’d had the sonic facial cleansing brush for at least nine years, and I guess eventually the rechargeable battery just gives up. Nothing can last forever I suppose. I was on the fence about repurchasing a new Clarisoinc for two reasons. The first was that when I looked into purchasing a new one at Sephora, I discovered they didn’t make the same Clarisonic Mia that I’d had anymore (the new Mia does not come with a stand for charging) plus there was also an entirely new model called the Mia Fit which was a completely different shape.

Clarisonic Mia Fit

Clarisonic Mia Fit

I was torn as to whether I should get another Mia or the smaller, more compact, round Mia Fit. The second reason I was hesitating was because the last couple of times I’d had a professional facial, the facialist commented that I was developing little broken capillaries and she was not happy when I told her I used the Clarisonic, which she believed was not gentle enough for my sensitive skin, even though I always purchased the Sensitive brush head. While I was debating getting another Clarisonic, I stumbled upon a whole other option…

When I was in Sephora in Halifax, I spotted the oddest looking display. Had Sephora begun selling “personal massagers”? Nope, the egg-shaped, vibrating silicone item was in fact the Foreo LUNA, a sonic cleansing and anti-aging tool. The very helpful SA generously took a great deal of time explaining to me how it worked and how it differed from the Clarisonic. Here is why I decided to buy the Foreo LUNA instead, and what I think of it compared to the Clarisonic. Continue reading

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A New MAC Eyeshadow: MAC Extra Dimension

MAC Extra Dimension eye shadow in Stolen Moment

MAC Extra Dimension eye shadow

Hi everyone! So after traveling to Jamaica, St. John’s, and then Quebec, I was off to Halifax, Nova Scotia, for another library conference. Do you know what Librarians love? They love Mac. Well, and also Fluevogs. So we all had to visit the MAC store while we were there 🙂 I was perusing the eye shadows, and I was struck by a beautiful shade that I could not believe I hadn’t seen before/didn’t already own. 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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My new Favourite Mascara!

Smashbox Mascaras
Hi everyone! I recently received several Mascaras from Smashbox, and I’m so excited to try them all out and review them for you. I think mascaras are one of my favorite products to try out, how about you? I love the sample sized mascaras from Sephora. I have one particular absolute favourite mascara that I just keep repurchasing and repurchasing, Guerlain Maxi Lash, which made my 2014 and 2015 favourites, but I’m always game for putting a new mascara up against it to see if it competes! I’m going to test out and review each of these separately. I find you need to use a mascara for at least a week before you can really get a good feel for it.

Before I start, I think its important for you to know what I really like in a mascara. That way, you’ll know that if you like similar qualities and I really like a mascara, chances are you’ll like it too. On the flip side, if what I tend to prefer in a mascara is not your cup of tea, then my review can still be helpful because you’ll be able to judge whether or not its what you’re looking for (if I hate it, you might love it). Let’s get started… Continue reading

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St. John’s Sephora & Lancome Juicy Shakers

St. John's Sephora

The first Sephora opened in my province in 2015

One of the most exciting things to happen in Newfoundland last year (well in the beauty blogging community anyhow) was that our very first Sephora store opened. Sadly for me, it remains an 8 hour drive away, but while I was in St. John’s to present at a conference, I finally got a chance to go to the new location. I really didn’t go for anything in particular. I just wanted to check out the store. Apparently I visit Sephoras like some people visit other touristy landmarks. The staff there were super nice, and I asked a SA how the store was doing. She said Sephora is shocked at how much business its doing and that sales are way beyond expectations, which I thought was pretty cool. Way to go fellow Canadian beauty product lovers!

While I was there, what did catch my eye was the display of the new Lancome  Juicy Shakers. Continue reading

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Smashbox Be Legendary Cream Lipstick

Smashbox Be Legendary Lipstick in Fig

Another Sephora spring sale purchase: a Smashbox Be Legendary Cream Lipstick!

Its taken me so long to get around to blogging about all of the different things I got in the Sephora spring sale, but I really wanted to thoroughly test out the Smashbox Be Legendary Cream Lipstick before I reviewed it. I’m very particular about lipsticks and after my High-end Lipstick Review Series, I like to give a new lipstick a real good try before I write about it. Smashbox recently revamped their Be Legendary lipsticks and added some new shades (in total there are 18 shades in the cream finish, and 18 in the matte finish). I’d quite liked the Smashbox Be Legendary Long Wear Lip Lacquer that I’d tried, so I was really curious to try the newly re-formulated cream lipstick out. Continue reading

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More of my Sephora VIB Sale Purchases

Sephora VIB sale haul: eyeshadows
At the Sephora spring sale, I picked up some Bite Beauty lip products (you can see my post about those here) and I also wanted to test out a NARS Single Eye Shadow ($31 CAD), which I had never tried before. While cruising the site, I also noticed the mini Smashbox Photo Matte Eyes Travel Palette. I had recently tried out the Smashbox Full Exposure palette and particularly loved the matte eye shadow shades in it. I actually wrote in my review, “I would definitely like to try more of the Smashbox matte shadows, but their palettes and trios all seem to have a similar mix of shimmers and mattes. Fingers crossed they come out with an all matte palette!” It seems my makeup prayers were answered! So understandably, I was excited to try out the all-matte Smashbox palette. Continue reading

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My First Vacation Post

Runaway Bay, Jamaica

Runaway Bay, Jamaica, at sunset. I love these Kate Spade sunglasses I found at Winners. My polka-dot dress is by one of my fav brands, Hell Bunny.

Hey everyone! The lovely Gym Bag Makeup left me a comment asking if I was going to do a vacation post on the trip to I took to Jamaica at the end of the semester. I have really only done makeup posts and not any thing lifestyley on my blog, but I thought I would give it a try. This is my first ever vacation post, and my trip to Jamaica was also the first real vacation that my fiance and I have taken together. I’m not sure if this will be interesting to anyone, but here it goes! Continue reading

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