A Less Than Glowing Review

Laura Mercier Candleglow Concealer and Highlighter

Laura Mercier Candleglow Concealer and Highlighter

Its always a bummer to have to do a less than positive review, but a gal has to be honest, right? With a Sephora gift card I received over Christmas, I wanted to try out a new product. I love using a gift card to splurge on something totally new. I’m already a huge fan of the Laura Mercier Secret Concealer and have repurchased it multiple times. I like to use it under my eyes and pair it with a highlighting or illuminating type of concealer like the L’oreal Magic Lumi. I had the $38.00 CAD Laura Mercier Candleglow Concealer and Highlighter on my wish list for a while. Advertised as a “versatile concealer and highlighter for the undereye area and the face that provides sheer coverage with a soft, radiant finish” I thought this would be a great product for creating some luminous glowiness under my eyes.
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The MAC Lipstick Tag

I saw this tag on Chanelle Hayley’s blog (you can check out her post) and thought this was such a great tag for MAC fans that I wanted to do it too.

1. What was your first MAC lipstick?
Dubonnet. I remember searching fruitlessly for a red that suited me and didn’t immediately turn hot pink after I applied it. I went into a MAC for the first time and had them pick one for me and totally loved it!

MAC Dubonnet Lipstick

Dubonnet

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MAC New York Apple

MAC New York Apple lipstick

Take a bite out of New York Apple!

Hi everyone! I know I have a lot of MAC lipsticks, but I couldn’t resist adding one more to my collection when MAC had a sale in December. I was really interested in trying New York Apple, described as a “muted red with pink shimmer.” Although my favourite finish in MAC lipsticks is lustre, New York Apple is a frost. I only have one other MAC frost lipstick, Angel, which I love. I was really pleased when New York Apple arrived. It is the sweetest shade and I can’t help thinking it would be perfect to wear for Valentine’s Day, which is coming up soon. Continue reading

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A Few New MAC Lip Pencils!

MAC lip pencils in Beet, Edge-to-Edge, Half-Red
Hi everyone! Lipliners are one of those love-it-or-hate-it type of makeup products. You either love lipliner or you just never use it. I am in the first category. I love lip liners and MAC lip pencils are my all time favourite. I like to combine different liners and lipsticks to create more customized colours, use lipliners as a base to make my lipstick wear longer, and sometimes I wear liner on its own topped with a bit of lip balm. MAC liners don’t dry out my lips and come in the most beautiful selection of colours. In December, the MAC Canada website had a 25% off sale and I added three more MAC lip pencils to my collection that I thought I’d share with you. Continue reading

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2016 Favourites

2016 makeup favourites

2016 favs

Its that time of year again! Its January, and I love hearing about other people’s favs from the past year. This will be my 3rd yearly favourites post. I enjoy going through my makeup and thinking about which things I reached for the most in 2016. Some of my 2014 favs and 2015 favs have sneaked in again, plus I’ve got some all new favourites. Continue reading

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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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Merry Christmas!

rainbow tree
I hope everyone is having a great holiday. I thought you’d enjoy a pic of one of the library’s Christmas trees (we have five). Our newest tree is this amazing rainbow tree! I made a matching tree skirt for it from two pride flags. The students love it. We got it from a fun website called Treetopia. I hope it brightens your day!

Merry Christmas & Happy Holidays!
Love,
Nerdy Librarian Girl ❤

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I Finally Caved: The Naked Smoky

Urban Decay Naked Smoky eye shadow palette

The Naked Smoky was 50% off at http://www.urbandecay.ca

The Naked Smoky has been out for a while (since last year), but I had so far valiantly resisted adding another eye shadow palette to my collection. I have all three of the Naked palettes, the Naked Basics, and the Naked Ultimate Basics. I thought the Naked Smoky looked gorgeous, but I wasn’t sure I’d use the darker, smokier shades often enough to justify the price. This month, the lovely Canadian beauty blogger, Miss Hailey, provided the awesome tip that the Naked Smoky was half price on the Urban Decay Canada site for a one day only sale. Normally $66 CAD, it was going for $33 plus free shipping! Well that was all the convincing I needed. I couldn’t resist the allure of the Naked Smoky eye shadow palette any longer. Continue reading

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Turducken!

turducken kebabs
I know this isn’t a food blog, but I just wanted to share a fun recipe that I came up with for the annual library Christmas party. You’ve probably heard of “turducken”, that famous chicken baked inside a duck, inside a turkey? I wanted to bring a turducken appetizer to the party in hors d’oeuvre form. After some Googling, I couldn’t find any recipes for anything like that, so I decided to come up with my own. It was so fun that I thought I would share it with you!

The first thing I had to do was get a hold of some turkey, duck and chicken. I could easily find chicken breasts, but in a smaller town, I could only find an entire duck and turkey, which needed to be de-boned and chopped up. Luckily my sweet vegetarian fiance was happy to oblige, but I would recommend trying to find turkey and duck in pieces or bringing the birds to a butcher. De-boning them yourself is a lot of work! Once they were all diced into bite sized pieces, the next step was marinading. The marinades are totally up to you, but here’s what I did. Continue reading

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MAC Lustre Lipstick Collection Swatched

MAC lustre lipsticks

My MAC “lustre” finish lipsticks

Hello everyone! I thought I’d share my favourite MAC lipsticks with you today. My favourite finish of all the MAC lipsticks is the lustre, and I have amassed quite a few of them. I find that the lustre lipsticks just don’t get enough love, so I wanted to do a post featuring all of the shades I have, along with some swatches, and let you know what my favourites are. I’ve only included lustres I have from the permanent collection, nothing LE.

Lustre is one of MAC’s 10 (I think?) different lipstick finishes. The lustres are described by MAC as “Demi-sheer with wet-look lustre finish. Very slick. Makes lips look soft,smooth, ultra-moist.” My lips tend to be dry and I find the lustres very moisturizing and light and comfortable to wear, almost like a lip balm. I like that they have some shine and I suppose because I am more fair skinned, I also like that they aren’t super pigmented because that makes them easier to work with. Many of these I can swipe on without a mirror. Continue reading

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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!

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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.

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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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