Makeup Revolution // Ultra Contour Kit | Review & Swatches on Fair Skin

This contour palette is $15. I got it for $7.50 on BOGO 50% off from Ulta + Ebates Cash Back. Amazing price, just off the bat. Most people who are interested in Makeup Revolution products are concerned with price and are looking for alternatives to modern high end products.

({ I would know, I specifically bought their Kat Von D S&L Eye dupe because I really wanted the warm quad and I couldn’t justify the $45 price tag. 😂

And I’m not gonna dance around this, I really enjoy this palette! There is such an incredible value for money here. Nothing is chalky, nothing is hard to use. For the almost sub-drugstore price this has (at BOGO 50% off), that is impressive (Looking at you Revlon, you should be ashamed of those face palettes, you can do so much better at that price point, this is proof).

There were a few different things because of my skin tone and preferences that doesn’t work perfectly. But I can make everything work, which is what matters!

Highlighter Swatches

Now, I am incredibly pale. I look best with a white or a light champagne highlight, but I can work with all of the shades in this palette.

The first shade is a lovely easy peasy undereye setting powder that matches my skin tone really well. It has a neutral to pinky undertone. It would be an amazing slightly brightening shade for any one beyond my extreme fairness / of  a light medium or deeper complexion (I’m NC15 – 17 from Mac most of the time). I use this most days when I just want to set down my Catrice Liquid Camo concealer lightly when I need it to last. And it’s brilliant.

The second shade is… yellow. And this comes with the “contour palette” stereotype, but it just is too dark for me to use on top of makeup. But occasionally when I’m not doing full makeup looks but want a little something, I’ll pop this on top of my undereye to do a bit of correction and lighten the look of my undereye circles. In that way, it definitely works.

The third shade is a highlight. Yes, you read that correctly. On my skin in a swatch it looks a little bit ridiculous, but it does give for a natural highlighted effect. BUT, I still prefer my Essence Pure Nude Highlight for a natural look because this particular pan of product is a bit too glittery for my preferences. However, when applied wet, this pan works amazing for that effervescent shiny sheer eyeshadow look that I really enjoy. Not quite the intended purpose, but I do get quite a bit of everyday use out of it (and isn’t that the point)?

The final highlight is a hardcore concentrated white highlight. And I will say, it works. It looks like highlight and is great for a night out. I tend to use this as an inner corner highlight on my eyes. I will say, it’s not a continuous creamy powder (is that an oxymoron?), because of the glitter to it.

The three contour shades are a bit harder to differentiate, but there is a difference in the tones. I like mixing together multiple pans on my brush to create a balanced / neutral feel on my face (not overly cool or overly warm). I will say, it is missing an overtly cool toned shade that most pale people use for very defined contouring, but for everyday wear this array of colors is totally appropriate.When I rub these powders between my thumb and my fingers they don’t just flake off, they blend well and feel buttery smooth. Pigmentation varies a bit between the three matte shades, but regardless of strong pigmentation or not, they all show up well on my skin and are easy to apply and blend out.

The first shade is what I’d describe as the neutral to warm matte bronzer of the three. This is a gorgeous everyday casual “warm it up” bronzer for me. I tend to tap a kabuki brush into it and blend it lightly in broad strokes in all the standard contouring zones when I do a full face of makeup. It gives a very “put together” look without looking extreme on my pale skin.

The second shade is the coolest matte brown of the three, it runs neutral to slightly cool. For me, it has plenty pigmentation to it for “everyday” contouring (defining the hollows of the cheeks, the uppermost hairline, and beneath the chin and jawline), but it might not be able to go to some extremes that you may be interested in if you enjoy stage / Instagram style makeup.

The third shade is the purest matte warm bronze. However, I am happy to report that it doesn’t pull orange on my skin. However, Benefit Hoola doesn’t look orangey on me, and I find that if I combine the third and first shade it combines to make a pretty solid dupe. Yes, the third shade is more pigmented than the first two, but I don’t struggle with application or skipping on my skin.

The fourth shade is… a shimmery bronzer. And as a pale skinned person, this really doesn’t have much value for me. It just doesn’t look natural on my face, and it usually ends up with me picking glitters off my face throughout the day. It has a slightly shimmery texture, like the third highlighter, but it isn’t as chunky / dry as the other marbled  and baked fourth highlighter shade. I can work it as an eyelid shimmer pop just like the third highlight shade, and it looks quite pretty! If you are of a medium skin tone, I think you would be able to get more use out of it than I do!

Overall, I really love this palette and I’ve used it every time I’ve put on makeup since I got it! I used to use the elf Contour Kit frequently, but I’ve just grown out of it. The shade variety and user friendly aspects to this palette are brilliant. I enjoy applying these powders, and I think anyone of a fair – medium skin tone would too!

Have a lovely day! 😊😊

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Super Jennie vs Lunette // First Impressions & Comparisons

Otherwise titled, “I got my first new menstrual cup in nearly five years and I’m excited!”

I’ve used my old faithful, my orange Lunette small, for nearly five years now. It was my first foray into RUMPs (reusable menstrual products), and I still have liked it and used it incredibly consistently since Summer 2012.

So, after I prepped my new Super Jennie yesterday, I tried it out for overnight (dangerous game, I know, but I feel like my cycle has been super light the past day or two, so no worries, I think it’s about to end). I have a low cervix, as an FYI.

My Lunette 1 was the same firmness from rim to base, with prominent concentric circle grip rings. I removed the stem about 5 minutes into the experience with a cup, no way, I just don’t need it. Thinking back, it was a bit comical to me at the time how long the stem was, but it would be totally useful for people with high cervices who may struggle with removal.

SJ is nearly the exact same size in terms of body size, BUT it is less conical than the Lunette (comes to less of a point at the base). It’s more rounded out, like a true bell shape. I think I’ve enjoyed that, because it really hasn’t irritated anything like the prominent grip rings on the Lunette occasionally did (not enough for me to hate the cup or even dislike it, at all).

Just a note, it was so odd to feel a brand new cup. The Super Jennie’s medical grade silicone has a different feel to it than what I remember my Lunette feeling like when it was new. … How to explain it… the only way I can make sense of it is like comparing glossy magazine paper to matte photo paper. The SJ has an almost tacky slick finish on the silicone, where the Lunette was matte, no shine at all. The silicones both feel like good quality, just a different type.

Also, I’ve always had a nearly opaque cup in terms of color (my orange / Aine Lunette). This is a bit odd in terms of experiences (as many people start with a clear cup, like the Diva). It was so cool to see the Super Jennie maintain a pretty teal colour while still being translucent. Fun, different experience!

The Super Jennie seems to be firmer at the rim and softer at the base. Which is kinda like a double edged sword for me now, while I’m getting used to it! I can get it inserted, it pops open partially, but because I have to pull my cups down and push them back up into position around my cervix to activate the suction (low cervix problems), I’ve had to fandangle with the cup a little bit because the base is softer, and it takes me maybe two or three seconds more to get it back up into place. I think if the whole cup has the same softness as the base, I’d be out of luck, not able to use it at all, but the firmer rim really does it all for easier insertion.

Wear time was great, I really do feel the difference in ml capacity with the SJ, even if it is only around 7ml. It will totally be useful for heavy days! The rounded out bell shape is great, and I’ve even been able to keep the stem on! Ah! Because everything at the base of the cup is so squishy and soft, and the actual stem design is great (ball stems 4 life now!) it hasn’t irritated me at all.

All in all, I think the Lunette 1 is a lovely, reasonable, reliable beginner’s cup. I think the Super Jennie is a great option for those who are a bit more experienced with cups and know their bodies better. Both are good quality cups, but after using it for about 18 hours over the past two days (washed and reinserted this morning), the Super Jennie is feeling like my Goldilocks. 💙

p.s. I found this lovely video by Rosey at Rosey Reusables on YouTube as I was doing my research on the Super Jennie and I found it incredibly helpful from a nonbiased POV. My writeup, above, is about my personal experiences and impressions. While that can be helpful, it’s always great to have a nonbiased, fact based definition of the differences as well. 😄
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Using a Sewing Machine | First Impressions & Commentary on Creativity

I got a sewing machine for my 19th birthday on the 22nd of September.

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..

What did you think when you saw that? Because I definitely get how that sounds.

I told you, I’m basically 65 in my soul.

And I’m completely unashamed about that.

~

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Here’s my new baby, a Brother JX 2517. Unfortunately they don’t have a name yet, but I’m feeling Denise. Maybe Marta? Hmm, gimme suggestions please! I honestly chose this machine based on the abundance of good reviews (and the ease of use for beginners stated within said reviews).

I’ve gotten into fabrics over the past few years, ever since I’ve gone reusable for a lot of my household goods! I figured this was a natural progression, making my own everything (within reason).

I also knew that there may be a strong learning curve with using a machine, no matter how user friendly a machine is reported to be.

I had used a sewing machine a total of maybe two times before getting my own. Each of those times, someone else set up, threaded, wound, (etc.) everything for me.

However, I am happy to report that I watched threading instruction videos (for both the upper thread and the winding and threading of the bobbin) I was able to easily thread my machine with no issue at all.

I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to do so without help, as most people say that’s the most difficult part of using a sewing machine. Maybe this style of machine is more simplified than those models, but I was surprised at how big of a deal it wasn’t!

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The first thing I made with my sewing machine, some double sided face cloths. They have microfiber on one side and flat cotton on the other. Useful for learning how to deal with toweling AND straight lines.

In terms of materials, I mostly have been using scraps. Old fabric napkins no one uses, used up old towels, even stretchy tshirts.

However, a few weeks ago, when I was anticipating getting a sewing machine, I decided to go and pick up a bit of fabric from my local Hellmart. And it was so fun, let me tell you.

As someone who is obsessed with patterns, designs, and textures, buying fabric in real life is so pleasing for my aesthetic and my need to feel things.

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The fabric I got! Some prepackaged quilting fat quarters, a yard of that gorgeous DOTD Sugar Skulls cotton, and two yards each plain flannel and black anti-pill fleece. (Also featuring some food for a friend’s puppers underneath!)

As you can see, I am thoroughly enjoying the things surrounding the action of actually sewing. Sewing itself is a bit better than okay. There hasn’t been a lot wrong with the experience. It’s cool to make things!

I never truly thought of myself as a creative being. I enjoy being analytical, learning new information, and presenting that information. My specialty is United States History.

However, there’s an issue with having that as a hobby. There really is nothing physical to represent that. That changes when you have a hobby that creates physical objects. You can quantify how much you’ve done by looking at what you’ve fabricated with your own two hands.

There’s something so incredibly rewarding in that sense. And as someone who, for some reason unbeknownst to me, enjoys praise and validation from others, it does a hell of a lot for my confidence.

~

On a lighter note, I’m very much not a fan of certain parts. It can be super boring. Pinning, tracing and cutting fabric, clipping edges and turning and poking out seams, it’s just so boring!

But I guess that comes with the action of sewing with a machine. And any annoyances I have with the sewing prep are definitely overridden by the fun I have while actually sewing and having the final product. And I think that is the moral of the whole experience, and I’m glad to have had the opportunity to learn it. ❤️

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Essence // Longlasting Lipsticks Review & Swatches

I have the weirdest lip shape. This is a fact. Normally, I just have to make a decision on where I want my lips to end when I’m putting on product. I don’t have particularly thin lips, so the majority of the time I go smaller than my natural lip line to keep me from looking like a demented clown. I use a clear lip liner every time I apply product on my lips, regardless of the type. Liquid lipstick, colored gloss, creme traditional lipsticks, everything! I find this creates the perfect boundary for my nonexistent lipline.

Now that we have that established, onto my current lipstick of choice. I didn’t expect much out of these lipsticks at $3 a pop at Ulta. However, I like to think that these are my ideal formula. They’re creamy, go on easily, and as you apply different amounts of layers the color deepens, allowing you to obtain your ultimate color without it ever being too heavy or cakey.

The bullet is shaped super well, and I find that most of the time I don’t need to use a lip brush to apply. Sometimes I wil, especially with the red shade or if I’m feeling particularly inept that day. Like those days when I don’t even try to attempt winged liner, if you feel me?

I don’t agree with the “Longlasting” claim, that simply isn’t the point of these. They aren’t matte, they don’t dry down, and they will wear off when eating and drinking. They transfer and kiss off. But they are comfortable, and great for everyday wear. And without breaking the bank, that’s rare to find. I would describe these as the best of the best for satin / creme lipsticks at the below drugstore price point.

The three colors I have are Coral Calling (01), On the Catwalk (04), and Natural Beauty (07).

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I believe that the weakest of the three colors is Coral Calling (#01). For my preference and my lips, at least. I find that Coral Calling tends to have issues with pigment flaking throughout the creamy base, which isn’t a problem with the other two colors I have. The color is a nice, bright coral shade without being neon or scary. I do like the color, but the formula on this one just isn’t as good as the others. If you can get past the issues I have with them, then I do recommend it, but the color isn’t enough to override my issues, for me. If it was a problem due to an undermixed batch, then I definitely recommend it if you like the color.

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On the Catwalk! (#04) is such a unique color. It can be dark, but it’s not too dark, red, but not too red, neutral but not dead, etc. It’s what I’d describe as a good beginners red, for those who are a bit scared of color, or colors any deeper than the average rose mauve. It is a pinky red shade, that’s a bit different. Almost like a brick red mixed into a nice basic pink. Not too bold at all! You aren’t making a huge investment if you turn out not to like the shade, but I really think you will.

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The final color, Natural Beauty (#07), is a great everyday shade, as it’s name expresses. It’s a dusty, mauve-y pink shade. It appears to be a lot like my natural lip color in fact, but slightly deeper with some shine and sheen.

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 So those are the Essence Longlasting Lipsticks! I know the trend recently has been for fully matte drying down lipsticks, but if you have texture to your lips you probably know what a struggle those can be, especially for everyday. Sometimes you just have to kick it old school and go with what works. And these most definitely work for me 😄

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Rimmel London // ScandalEyes Kohl Kajal Waterproof Eyeliners Review

** While writing this blog post I’m watching The Walking Dead. The Season 5 midseason finale. Just so you know I’ll really be testing this out because I’ll be bawling my eyes out at ****’s death. Lovely.

Hi! Welcome back! Today I’m going to be reviewing one of my favourite eyeliners of all time. Oh wait… I ruined the surprise. Well, I might as well tell you why I love them so much.

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Sorry if mine look a bit trampy in photos, believe it or not I do use them often! ^_^

These liners will run ya under $5, specifically $4.49 at Ulta Beauty. The packaging is simple, and they are not retractable (ie they need to be sharpened). In my opinion, these are the best of the best for pencil eyeliners.

In fact, these eyeliners are what got me into a more natural look and using nude on the waterline. I have very large round protruding eyes, which I actually love, but in terms of cosmetics, they look best with a defining color in the waterline. That’s what I love the black for, as the coloring is a rich pigmented black.

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*** Okay… She’s passed. The way Rick shakes his head as he walks out, and then Daryl walks behind him with her in his arms 😭😭😭. Maggie’s face kills me every single time. They really don’t ever give any conclusion at mid Season, huh? 

I have extremely fair skin, so I was concerned when I got the nude color if it even was going to be too dark on me. However, I find that because I use a black mascara on both my top and bottom lashes, it actually shows in a pretty way and makes a nice contrast.

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I think this photo really shows the true opacity, look where it covers my vein. Awesome for red early morning eyes!

In terms of application, the kajal texture really shines here. The creamy one swipe opacity is amazing, and really has spoiled me for any other pencil. Along the same vein, the waterproof claim is true. And I find the formula across the different shades very similar. It endures tears without running, as well as holding up on a normal day (aka days when you don’t watch TWD) for at least eight hours. I tend not to wear my makeup on a longer than that. But! Based on the intensity I have after 8 hours though (minimal wear on the inner corners), I think it could last a lot longer than that.

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Left Black swatch is one pass over, the right is built up. Not much difference, eh?

**** They really know how to just kill ’em and leave the audience dying for more. The upsides of binge watching shows, I suppose. Morgan’s scene here is also really great. Sigh. Onto Episode 9. Really nice midseason finale though!

All in all, these are my true go-to pencil and general eyeliners. The wear time is nice is you’ll be wearing it for an extended amount of time. They are always reliable, super easy to sharpen, and simply look great when applied. I think I always will love these liners for what they are, even if something mindblowing comes into the eyeliner arena. Just all around a great product, for beginners and makeup junkies a like!

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Prairie Valley Cloth // Custom Plus Size Scrundies Review

What better way to start than from the bottom. Literally! I’m going to be reviewing some scrundies. And let me just say, I love that they’re called scrundies. I should go into detail why I don’t like the word panties someday, but I’m not going to now. For some reason, it just sounds icky in my head. And I haven’t called something icky for at least ten years, so that’s how you know. Let’s just agree that *scranties* doesn’t sound good for a reason. And underwear and its denominations are gender neutral so I’m all for it. Woo!

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The scrundies pattern was created by Stitch Upon a Time (purchase here, nonaffiliate), designed to be some of the most comfortable underwear ever. This intrigued me right away, as I have never ever found any comfortable underwear. Ever. This is due to my body type though, as it’s unconventional, and can be hard to specialize for. I am a plus size person, wearing a 3x – 4x pant size depending on the brand (around a 24/26). So when I found out that the pattern naturally runs up to a 24/26, I was so surprised. Kudos to SUaT for that.

However, I will not be reviewing the standard pattern today. I inquired with the lovely seamstress, Mindy, over at Prairie Valley Cloth to make a custom version of the scrundies 3x pattern with a wider waist band and a taller height to the panels (as suggested by Min).

Edit: Prairie Valley Cloth = PVC Stitches

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These two images were given in the listing for the design I chose. Of course, I got galaxy print, for two reasons actually.

  1. I prefer dark colors for my undies. I don’t know why, but I do.
  2. I’m addicted to galaxy and nebula printed anything. Let’s be honest, who doesn’t at least like galaxy type prints, it’s just such an amazing concept to make into a fabric print.

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Seriously, look at this blue galaxy wetbag I got last summer from Nic and Elli. It’s just beautiful. And gorgeous. And amazing. *Sigh*.

Oh yeah, scrundies review, I got lost in the nebula. Alrighty! Back on track!

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The underwear that I’ve been the most successful with have the wide waist band, but they roll down underneath my stomach because the front panel doesn’t have enough coverage for my “apron”, as one may call it. The standard scrundies pattern does have wider bands than normal underwear, but I requested an even wider version than that at the waist. I decided to just go for it, for the highest possible probability for success. In application, however, I don’t know if it was necessary. I’m still glad I asked for it, but wow, the coverage on these is amazing. They land three or four inches above my belly button and match my pant’s waistband.

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Another custom change I made to the listing was to request solid black bands. I do love the look of the printed bands and I think they would look great on a pair of solid or simpler patterned scrundies, but I wanted the print to be front and center.

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Gorgeous print, isn’t it?

^^ This photo made me realize that I can make the joke that my ass is out of this world, which is awesome in itself 😂

Something that I’ve noticed that I love about scrundies is the serging details on the inside. I love it. Most undies that I’ve tried have simple z stitches and they pop out so so easily if you attempt to stretch them at all. The basis of scrundies as an elastic free underwear is that they’re made out of different stretching materials that happen to be ideal for most underwear formats.

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I decided to go with a poly lycra for my scrundies because I need a stretch to them. For plus size bodies, poly lycra’s the recommended material for the body of the scrundies. That’s because materials like cotton lycra will stretch out and never go back into shape. For people without particularly substantial bellies or bums, a cotton based scrundie is fine, though. I find that poly lycra feels a lot like a thin swimsuit material, and is super comfy.

For those who may have concerns over using polyester materials for undies, the gusset is lined with what I assume is a cotton, in a lovely coordinating purple color. Oh, and I thought the width of the gusset was going to annoy me, but no. The feeling is so comfortable, and gives me so much coverage both in the crotch and around my upper thigh (which is what, ultimately, I’m looking for in my undies).

I’m not prudish, that’s obvious enough, so coverage isn’t based in a need for the most covering of garments possible. Coverage gives me the most comfort. I’m not used to standard underwear, in fact, for a long time I wore bike shorts in place of undies underneath my clothes because I simply couldn’t find something that fit me properly that didn’t annoy me! Everything either rolled or tucked or just fell off! These are snug, but not constricting, and give me some semblance of shape underneath my clothes. These are a breath of fresh air for me, as well as my self esteem in terms of clothing.

Update // So, I finally tried these out with cloth pads (this post being written about three weeks ago now) and I am amazed. While I know that it’s probably just due to having properly fitting undies, they’ve kind of revolutionized my opinions on cloth pads. I, naturally, am normally an internal protection person. Usually a cup. Well, over the past few (almost four) years, only a cup, and some interlabial pads. But recently I’ve been getting more into cloth pads, from the fabrics, to the logistics, blah blah blah, and I love supporting small businesses in general so it’s a win win win. But I hadn’t been able to effectively use them because I didn’t have proper undies. Let me tell you: it has been a revelation. They are kept in place, don’t slide up and down the gusset, and I can finally wear them confidently, knowing that they won’t move. No checking every half hour to fix bunching, or anything like that. I was sad the days that I had to switch off to use my cup when my scrundies were in the wash. I will say, I’m comfortable with a wider gusset and using the wider gusset snaps on pads. I think that’s also part of why they work so well with this application. If you have to have a teeny tiny gusset whilst wearing your pads, scrundies may not be ideal, but I’m sure you could make them work. //

I cannot thank Min over at PVC West enough for what she made for me, they are awesome and well customized to what I requested. The serging and sewing is impeccable, by the way, but I knew it would be so it didn’t even come up in my mind! I’ll definitely be buying more pairs later! After all, it’s not like I can stay away from fabric prints like Walking Dead and Popcorn. So cute! 😊

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(Taken lovingly from the PVC Facebook group! As I suggest with all of these sewing etc. small businesses, I totally recommend joining their private group. I personally get a big kick out of seeing all of the orders going out in the PVC West group, and what other people are buying. Go do it! ❤)

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Garnier // Clearly Brighter SPF 15 Daily Moisturizer Review

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Garnier SkinActive Clearly Brighter Brightening & Smoothing Daily Moisturizer SPF 15 

$14.99 for 2.5 fluid ounces at Ulta Beauty 

“Developed with our Antioxidant Complex of Vitamin C & E, and gentle exfoliating Lipo-Hydroxyl Acid (LHA). This fast absorbing, non-greasy formula helps reduce the look of visible sun-damage, revealing radiant, more even-toned, younger-looking skin.”  

This moisturizer is one of my current faves for daily wear because of the light weight feel. I have combination skin, normal with a mildly oily t zone, so I tend to be quite temperamental about my skincare.

In that same vein, I very rarely apply any significant amounts of moisturizer on my nose or the glabella between my eyes. It gets concentrated along the border of my face, my cheekbones, and along my jaw and down the neck.

I find it to be ideal for underneath makeup, and it’s also great for mixing into foundation for a luminous tinted moisturizer (depending on the coverage of the foundation to begin with).

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It’s lightweight, but gives me enough moisture in my face frame, which also gets slightly dry in the winter. It’s worked great for me, with my fluctuating facial conditions.

If you have an extremely dry face / neck, this may not be enough moisture for you, but most people with any combination of skin types would likely find this usable.

There is a light scent to it, only what I can describe as a “Garnier / Lancome skincare” scent. It’s light and nonirritating to me, but I don’t have particularly sensitive skin. Once the product is on your skin, it’s pretty much unnoticeable.

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I don’t find this moisturizer too greasy looking, for my oily skinned loves, more natural looking than anything. It’s unique, but a well formulated moisturizing cream.

I feel as though this could cause flashback in photographs, pairing the luminosity and the SPF 15, so I would suggest supplementing this with a different moisturizer on days where you know photos will be taken.

This is going on my favourite products list, and I’ll definitely be purchasing when this sample runs out.

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I’ve discovered that Garnier actually has a few more types of moisturizer in this line for different skin types. While I cannot recommend them personally, I do know that most of the Garnier skin care I’ve tried has been great for my skin. I find that Garnier is one of the better western skincare brands that are available at the drugstore. If you’re interested in this moisturizer or think it would be good for you, I’m fairly certain that any of these would work out fine.