Real. Life. Beauty.

Where Real Women Connect.

Product Review: Tarte’s Lights Camera LASHES!

Tarte, Lights Camera Lashes!

Tarte, Lights Camera Lashes!

I recently obtained a sample of this mascara in the February Glam Bag from Ipsy. I’d never tried any of Tarte’s products before but I was pleased to be able to try a new mascara. Like most women, my lashes aren’t nearly long enough for my liking, and they are a bit sparse particularly along the lower lash line. I don’t expect any mascara to magically make my eyelashes grow or become fuller and longer, but this mascara comes as close to making that happen as could reasonably be expected.

I have sampled the non-waterproof version (I’m not sure if there is a waterproof version) and I am happy to report that I experienced long wear with absolutely no flaking or smudging. This mascara was also gentle on my sensitive eyes and came off easily with makeup remover. I also loved that I didn’t have to apply a second coat in order to get the full effect of the mascara.

I have a friend who recently discovered this mascara and it is now her absolute go-to mascara.

(I will try to post a before and after picture of my lashes using this product for better illustration and will update this post when I can.)

While other mascaras I have used have performed well, overall I prefer this mascara since it saves me time and aggravation and I don’t have to reapply it throughout the day.

Rating: 5 Stars out of 5

Leave a comment »

Product Review: L’Oreal Paris Infallible Lipstick

L'Oreal Paris Infallible Lipstick Range

L’Oreal Paris Infallible Lipstick Range

I have to admit, I tried this product because Gerard Butler is (or was) the spokesman for L’Oreal Men in Europe and possibly parts elsewhere.

Gerard Butler for L'Oreal Paris (Men's Product Line)

Gerard Butler for L’Oreal Paris (Men’s Product Line)

Aside from that, I understand that L’Oreal owns The Body Shop and being a regular patron of The Body Shop, I decided to give this lipstick a whirl because my adult life has been an ongoing quest for the following qualities in lipstick:

  • Long-wearing pigment;
  • Ultra-rich moisturization;
  • Brilliant, vivid colour.

I have tried other L’Oreal products – before and after Gerard took on the role of spokesman – and have had mixed results at best.

The colour I tried first in this line was No. 105.  (One con of the product is that the label on the bottom of the lipstick is so small and dark that it is difficult to read.)

While I enjoyed the long-lasting colour, I found that the moisturizing top balm did not wear as long (though it still did last longer than I expected) and found myself applying it throughout the day after drinking and eating. Without the balm, the bottom colour coat dries quickly and I wouldn’t recommend it for anyone who suffers from dry skin as I do.

It is nice that the colour and balm are contained in a singular double-ended unit and this product is available in nearly every drug store’s makeup section at a very reasonable price, so I still believe you get great value for your hard-earned money.

I’m also not entirely convinced that this product is made without the use of animal testing, so that would definitely be something I would look into further if this was a pressing concern for you.

Rating: 3 Stars out of 5

Leave a comment »

Product Review: Annabelle Eyeshadow Duo

Annabelle is a Canadian-based brand of cosmetics so, being Canadian, I was immediately drawn to their product line based on that alone.

My first purchase was an eyeshadow duo in the colour ‘Kir Royale.’ It’s a purple combo, one very light, one darker. With dark hair, fair skin and darker hazel eyes, it compliments my colouring perfectly. This palette would also suit those with brown or green eyes.

Kir Royale by Annabelle

Kir Royale by Annabelle

More importantly, Annabelle Eyeshadows are effortless in their application and their colour palettes are wonderful. They range from quiet nudes and naturals to bright colours and exotics. Kir Royale is my go-to palette since it goes with nearly everything I do, and is suitable for a soft, daytime smokey eye look for work. For evening, I simply pop on some darker eyeliner for a more glamourous cat eye finish. I also have several other Annabelle’s shadows and they all have superb blendability and long wearing pigments.

As one who suffers from eye sensitivity, these shadows do not affect me at all and I have worn them for more than 12 hours with no ill effects whatsoever. I also like that Annabelle’s cosmetics are cruelty-free, a cause which is near and dear to my heart.

If there is anything negative I could say about them, it is that unless you live in Canada, you may not have easy access to buy. On the upside, you can shop via Annabelle’s website at:

Also make sure to check out their own blog for up to date product reviews and new releases:

Rating: 4.5 Stars out of 5

1 Comment »

Product Review: Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion

If you’re like me, you don’t enjoy wearing a lot of foundation or product on your face just to look good.

Maybe it’s because you’re usually in a rush to make it to work on time, or just don’t like the feeling of multiple layers of product on your skin.

In my case, I prefer a more natural look and tend to use as little product as necessary, focusing more on my skin’s needs rather than my makeup’s needs.

After cleansing and moisturizing my face, I dab on a tiny bit of Urban Decay’s Eyeshadow Primer in ‘Original.’ I like this product for its silky feel and easy application. It also absorbs very quickly so there is really no lost time between application of the primer and when I can follow up with the eyeshadow. It takes on the eyeshadow quickly and effortlessly, and time and again I have been impressed by how the eyeshadow is preserved and enhanced by this primer.

I buy mine online at and at $14.00 CAD, this primer is an absolute bargain in comparison to others. It also comes in 3 “colours”: Sin, Eden and Original.  I also like the fact that this product is cruelty-free so that my vanity doesn’t come at such a high cost.  The packaging is also recyclable.

Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion - Original

Rating: 5 Stars out of 5


Swimsuit Issues.

Ashley Graham, Sports Illustrated (2015) I do not own the rights to this photo

Ashley Graham, Sports Illustrated (2015)
I do not own the rights to this photo

Sports Illustrated’s famed Swimsuit Issue features for the first time a plus-size model by the name of Ashley Graham. Ashley, of course, deserves this recognition not only for being absolutely stunning in a swimsuit and whatever else she chooses to wear, but also for her talents as a model, neither of which have any bearing on her dress size, or vice versa.

The first swimsuit issue, however, was first published by Sports Illustrated in 1964 when it was far more widely accepted that women worthy of the title had curves and lots of them.  Many of the models from then might even be considered “plus size” by today’s standards.  Case in Point:  Marilyn Monroe – arguably the world’s most recognized and idolized Icon of Beauty – would by today’s standards be treated as a plus size model.  Throughout the last 50 years or so, an alarming trend toward near-anorexia has occurred not only in issues of Sports Illustrated but through all media featuring any female models.  Even more alarming is the trend toward impressionable girls and women thinking that thinner is always better, when this is simply not the case.  And, to be fair, I’m certain the trend is affecting male models and their viewing public as well.

Yet, when you speak to the ubiquitous Man on the Street, he will most likely tell you that he would prefer a woman not of a certain age, nor colour, but one who has curves and knows how to wear  them well. Presumably, this is the ideal woman for most men and it has nothing to do with dress size, but rather of confidence and a woman’s acceptance of her own body. Following this logic, we must therefore conclude that a woman’s size is completely irrelevant to her appeal and attractiveness.

This is not to say that only a man’s perception of a woman’s beauty is all that matters!  On the contrary, a woman who accepts her own unique beauty is truly an unstoppable force to be reckoned with and it is her opinion alone which should have any bearing about how she feels about herself.  That being said, there is nothing to stop the rest of us from doing whatever we can so that each woman – and man, as the case may be – to celebrate their uniqueness and beauty.

Going back through the centuries, most women depicted in art are nothing short of voluptuous. How, then, have we wound up here in 2015 idolizing a form which contrasts so greatly with what we as a species have evidently and usually considered an ideal female form?  Why has our media decided that only ONE form of female beauty is acceptably portrayed in their publications?

Those, I’m afraid, are questions for the ages and better left open for discussion.

What is clear, though, is that a beautiful female form does NOT depend on a dress size, nor does it depend on the perceptions of others.  What matters most is the woman’s perception of her own beauty.

The women featured in past issues of Sports Illustrated are just as beautiful and deserving of the recognition and opportunities afforded to them through their exposure of being in the Swimsuit Issue as any of their predecessors.  And what we must ensure in the future is that ALL women be celebrated not only for their diverse and infinitely interesting beauty but for their obvious intelligence and talents in the fields they choose.  In that way, we’ll ensure equality for all and hopefully put an end to weight-based discrimination, regardless of whether it’s directed at women deemed too thin, or too overweight.

Leave a comment »