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August Favourites – Travel Picks

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The air of nostalgia, so typical of August’s end, struck me more than usual this year. My husband and I spent the weekend in Montreal — our first visit since we lived there three years ago. I admit to being overly sentimental the entire time, as we passed the landmarks where so many memories were made. I couldn’t help myself! It’s a spectacular city, it felt like fall, and our visit reminded me of how much I loved my life there despite having been eager to move back to Toronto. I vow to visit again before another three years pass.

My August favourites are almost entirely composed of old standbys, which seems appropriate for this time of year. These favourites often get pushed aside day to day as I test out new products, but once a makeup bag gets packed for travel (as it did a few days ago), the real go-tos emerge.

Before I jump into the longtime favourites, let me tell you about a couple of new additions, which I can confidently say will be longtime favourites in a few months’ time.

Cargo Eye Shadow in St. Tropez ($18 CAD)

I bought this on a whim after swatching it at Rexall. I have never had much interest in single eyeshadows (unless we’re talking pan shadows); opening more than one to create a look just never appealed to me, plus they’re bulky to store. On top of that, I don’t really wear much shimmery eyeshadow. I’m still utterly confounded as to how I ended up purchasing this product, but I am so happy I did. St. Tropez is absolutely perfect for a one-shadow look. I pat this onto my lid, blend it into the crease, and run it on my lower lashline — done.

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St. Tropez in particular is a light, shimmery taupe with a slightly pink undertone that simultaneously provides a brightness and smokiness when worn all over the lid. Cargo shadows are smooth and easy to blend. If I’m looking for more drama I will add a darker matte shade to the outer corner and into the crease, or tightline with a deep brown liner.

If you follow me on Snapchat you’ll have seen that St. Tropez ignited in me a rather unhealthy quest for other similarly perfect eyeshadows for one-shadow looks. So far, while I love NARS Nepal (more pink) and Sephora Collection Malted Milkshake (more brown), St. Tropez comes out on top.

BITE Beauty Multistick in Blondie ($28)

The new Multisticks by BITE Beauty captured my interest and quickly became a favourite, since I love monochromatic makeup looks but have never really had the right products to pull it off. (Also, I am very into one-shadow looks right now, ahem.) I may have gone a bit overboard and ordered numerous Multisticks (Blondie, Crème Caramel, Biscotti, Cashew, and Anise, if you must know).

The palette across this product line is absolutely lovely — warm, neutral, and cool browns, reds, purples — there is something here for everyone. I prefer to blend these pigmented creams with my fingers on my cheeks, and with a stiff natural bristle blending brush on my eyes. On the lips, I apply a bit in the centre from the bullet, and dab in with a finger.

#TheMultistick – nude taupe. Coming to @sephora August 19th

A photo posted by BITE Beauty (@bitebeauty) on

 

Blondie in particular looks peachy and warm on the eyes and cheeks, with a light wash over balm on the lips; perfect for fall. It also makes a great base for the Cargo eye shadow in St. Tropez (St. Tropez looks great over all of the Multisticks I have, to be fair).

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On the left, one pigmented swipe of Blondie; on the right, blended out with my finger.

 

Now, onto the old standbys, which have been making it into my travel makeup bag without a millisecond of hesitation for years now.

Marcelle BB Cream in Light to Medium ($23)

Nothing beats Marcelle’s BB cream when it comes to long-lasting, light, and moisturizing coverage. Some days I set this, some days I don’t; it’s just easy. It applies well with fingers, a beautyblender, or a brush, and I haven’t had any difficulty layering powder products on top.

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Marcelle’s BB cream just always works the way I want it to. Would be great to see a wider shade range. Marcelle makes a matte and intense moisture version of this BB cream as well, the latter of which runs closer to $30 CAD at most drugstores.

Cover Girl LashBlast Clump Crusher ($10 CAD)

Clump Crusher reached cult status a few years ago, when it was heralded across a number of forums as being the best mascara around. I wouldn’t believe it — I had been splurging on Blinc mascara for years because tube mascara seemed to be the only way to avoid raccoon-eyes by midday (as if my dark circles required any assistance).

Hearing so many people rave about Clump Crusher, I had to try it — for $10 it wasn’t a huge risk. I’m so glad I took the plunge, because but for a few transgressions in the interest of research, I’ve never looked back. This has to be the most repurchased mascara of my life.

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Clump Crusher is a dry formula that separates lashes and adds a lot of length without any kind of clumping whatsoever. It lasts all day, does not smudge under or around my eyes and, importantly — it’s easy to wash off at the end of the night with my regular cleanser. For me, it’s the perfect finish, even if I decide to apply false lashes.

In the last few months I’ve been curious about other mascaras, but none hit all the points like Clump Crusher. The Tarteist Lash Paint Mascara gives volume and length to the lashes but smudges everywhere and yet is impossible to wash off. The Clinique High Impact Curling Mascara looks great and definitely holds a curl, but has an overly wet formula that is also difficult to remove.

For me, I can’t see the point of spending more on mascaras that aren’t likely to work as well as Clump Crusher does. I repurchase whenever I see it on sale.

BECCA Shimmering Skin Perfector in Moonstone ($46 CAD)

Discovering highlighter was a revelation. I had parched, dry, irritated skin and I was still trying to figure out a gentle yet effective skincare routine to give me a natural glow. In the meantime, I had BECCA.

I’ve tried many highlighters since Moonstone, but few achieve the same natural radiance. This creamy powder delivers a visible highlight but isn’t blinding and doesn’t look wet.

Moonstone is the perfect colour for my light neutral complexion. I’ve tried other Shimmering Skin Perfectors from BECCA (Champagne Pop, Opal) but only Moonstone offers a natural colour and finish (for me).

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When it came time to pack my travel makeup bag, I reached for Moonstone right away, even though some time ago I smashed the compact and repressed it with rather unfortunate-looking results (as you can see). I didn’t care. For a minimalist, radiant makeup look, Moonstone is it.

FWIW, I have heard others complain that traveling with BECCA Shimmering Skin Perfectors is a risk because the product is fragile and easily breaks. Travel with BECCA at your own risk.

NARS Blush in Madly ($38 CAD)

Before I really got into makeup, I had the worst time finding blush at the drugstore. I wanted a matte powder so as to not emphasize the texture on my cheeks from acne, and I wanted a big enough pan to dip a big, fluffy brush into. Repurchasing a Cover Girl blush (very unenthusiastically), despite it basically only fulfilling the “matte” requirement, was a dreaded chore. I mean what is with those puny blush pans? After finding NARS Madly, my search for the perfect blush was over.

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I always travel with NARS Madly. It’s a perfect peachy pink that literally goes with every look, and though it’s not quite matte, it’s not shimmery or sparkly either. It’s the right amount of pigment so you won’t spend forever futilely blending your blush out. The compact includes a mirror, should you need one. And though I’ve used this blush religiously for years I am yet to put a dent in it. If I didn’t have a problem with hoarding makeup, this would be the only blush I’d need.

Laura Geller Balance-N-Brighten Foundation in Fair ($33 USD)

I will have to plan a trip to the US when I hit pan on this. Since I listed this as a favourite in July, I continue to be amazed by the undetectable finish of this powder.

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Using a heavier application, Fair is a bit dark on me. When I’m able to repurchase, I’ll also grab Porcelain.

I remain in disbelief that I fell for this powder; I decided to retry some others in my stash. There had to be something about my skin, or my tools, or my technique that had changed, and that surely now my other powders would look as great. NOPE. Every other powder looked cakey and flaky on my skin. Laura Geller wins. The end.

 

I’ve honestly loved all of these products so much (most for a very, very long time), that I suspect my September Favourites could end up a duplicate of this very post. What were you loving this month? Let me know in the comments below!

September 6, 2016
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