Beauty Brands I Want to Try in 2018

Two weeks ago, I shared an Instagram post on brands I wanted to try this year. Since there are only so many photos I can put into one Instagram post, in today’s post I wanted to share a more complete list of the brands I want to try in 2018, and specifically the products that I would like to try from these brands. I definitely won’t try all of the products on here (I’m actively trying not to reach VIB Rouge this year, ahem), but it’s nice to get a wish list going! Surprisingly, a lot of it is skincare. I tend to stick with my tried-and-true skincare products as I’m always afraid that my skin is going to freak out from new products. However, my skin is having all types of issues in the last few months, which means it’s unhappy with something I’m doing, so I think it’s time to change things up a little.




I’m a few years late to the bandwagon on Colourpop, as I’ve always held off on ordering from them because I don’t want to pay for the exchange rate/shipping/duties, but I think this year I will bite the bullet. I have an ongoing, ever-changing list of makeup products I would like to try from Colourpop, and at the top of my wish list from them are their Super Shock Shadows, Lippie Stix, and Super Shock Highlighters (not necessarily the shades shown above).

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Review: Tarte Lights, Camera, Lashes 4-in-1 Mascara

Today’s post is my first review of the year! I’m going to share with you my thoughts on the mascara I’ve been using for the last month and a half: the Tarte Lights, Camera, Lashes 4-in-1 mascara. For reference, I have sparse lashes that are naturally straight and are somewhat weak. They’re not particularly short, but I wouldn’t consider them long either. My ideal mascara is something that provides both lengthening and volume, holds a curl all day, and doesn’t clump my lashes together or make them look spidery.

I almost never buy high-end mascara as I think there are plenty of great choices at the drugstore. I’m not sure what got into me, but I bought this on a whim during the November Sephora VIB sale back in 2016, although I only opened it just this past December. The Lights, Camera, Action mascara retails for $30 at 7 mL and is sold at Sephora and on the Tarte website. The mascara is made in Italy (sleeve made in China, assembled in Taiwan) and is vegan, gluten free and cruelty free for those looking for those options. It is not waterproof, but Tarte does sell this in a waterproof version called Lights, Camera, Splashes.


The Claims

On the Sephora website, it says the Lights, Camera, Lashes mascara is “considered a dramatic makeover for your lashes. This high-performance formula is proven to increase the appearance of lash volume by 330 percent—creating strikingly thick, sexy lashes.” Increasing lash volume by 330% is a bold claim!  The Sephora website also says that it is a ” lengthening, curling, volumizing, and conditioning mascara”, which is where the “4-in-1” in its name comes from.

Additionally, the brand highlights four different ingredients in the formula that are supposed to be beneficial in terms of performance:

  • Rice Bran Wax: Helps lengthen lashes.
  • Carnauba wax: An emollient wax that ensures a smooth application.
  • ProVitamin B: Treats and thickens lashes.
  • Olive Esters: Condition, treat, and protect lashes.
How gorgeous is the packaging of the Lights, Camera, Lashes?
The Tarte mascara packaging, which is a black tube wrapped in a purple sleeve

The Packaging

This has a traditional mascara tube, but with a leather-like purple sleeve over it designed in a snakeskin print that fits the brand’s Amazon theme. It definitely makes the packaging more unique and stands out amongst all of the other traditional mascara tubes, as very few are housed in a sleeve like this.

The wand is quite traditional, especially these days when the more outlandish the wand shape, the more people want to try it. The shape of the wand is long and skinny, with no special curves or spikes. It is a medium size which I personally like for my own lashes, as I find with big brushes that it is harder to reach the roots and the lashes at the inner/outer corners of my eyes. The bristles don’t catch clumps of mascara, and so as a result it doesn’t leave clumps on the lashes.

Tarte Lights, Camera, Action wand

The Formula

This mascara has a very dry formula, which is what I usually prefer. However, it isn’t so dry that it can’t be built up. In fact, I felt that it one of the more buildable formulas I’ve used in a while, as my lashes tend to wilt if I try to apply more than one coat of mascara. The photo below shows two coats applied to my upper lashes, and as you can tell, my lashes haven’t drooped, clumped together, nor do they look spidery. If you are someone that applies more than two layers of mascara, this one probably won’t work well; after two layers, the mascara starts clumping together.

There haven’t been any problems with any flaking or smudging after a full day of wear (roughly 11 hours), and although my lashes don’t look exactly like they did freshly applied in the morning, it generally does a decent job holiding a curl. There also haven’t been any issues whatsoever removing it with an oil-based remover (I use the MAC Cleanse Off oil).

2 layers of the Tarte Lights, Camera, Lashes mascara


Ingredients: Water/Aqua/Eau, oryza sativa (rice) bran wax/oryza sativa (rice) bran cera, cyclopentasiloxane, hydrogenated olive oil stearyl esters, cera carnauba/copernicia cerifera (carnauba) wax/cire de carnauba, alcohol denat., palmitic acid, stearic acid, candelilla cera/euphorbia cerifera (candelilla) wax/cire de candelilla, triethanolamine, acacia senegal gum, panthenol, VP/VA copolymer, polyvinyl alcohol, aminomethyl propanediol, chlorphenesin, ascorbyl palmitate, phenoxyethanol, iron oxides (CI 77499). 



-Holds curl well
-Doesn’t smudge or flake under the eye
-Vegan and cruelty free
-Layers well
-Not difficult to remove


-Clumpy formula if you apply over 2 layers

Overall, I highly enjoyed this mascara. I won’t be repurchasing it soon, but I would definitely pick it up again if I was in the market for a high-end mascara. Not that we’re doing a mascara comparison today, but if we’re talking high-end mascaras, I prefer this one over the Too Faced Better than Sex mascara, as this one doesn’t smudge and flake all over my under eye area and isn’t quite as dry.

Have you used this mascara, and if so, did it work for you? What’s the last high-end mascara you’ve used that you enjoyed?

2018 Project Pan – Part 1

Last week, I shared a blog post on my 2018 beauty goals, and one of the goals was doing a Project Pan. I’ve decided to try doing two Project Pans this year – one for the first half of the year, and another for the second half of the year with a different set of products. Today’s post is on my first Project Pan. Read on to see which products I have chosen to try and hit pan on from January to June!


1. Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector Poured Creme Highlighter in Moonstone

I own so many highlighters that I’m pretty sure I will be able to pass them onto my grandchildren one day. I’ve been incorporating highlighting into my routine for the past few months, and somehow it still looks like I’ve barely even touched any of them. Although this one is the newest highlighter to be added to my collection and therefore I will likely not actually hit pan on it, I think I have the best chance at making a decent dent in it compared to the other highlighters. It’s also a cream product, which means it’ll go bad quicker than my powder highlighters, so I would like to try using this more frequently while it’s still good.

2. NYX High Definition Blush in Taupe

As you can see, I have LOVED this blush (which I use as a contour powder) in 2017 and I’ve already hit pan on it. For 2018, I’m going to try to finish this product up!

3. Tarte Amazonian Clay Blush in Paaarty

This might be cheating a little since it’s only a deluxe sample (it came with the 2017 Sephora birthday set) but it’s quite a generous sample, and I feel that most people wouldn’t be able to finish it unless they actually. Then again, it takes me four times as long to finish a product than the average person, so who knows. Either way, I fell in love with this shade after picking it up in May. Similar to the Becca highlighter, I probably won’t be able to hit pan, but I think I can make a pretty good dent in it.


4. Shiseido Ibuki Refining Moisturizer Enriched

I’ve owned this for a while but neglected it in favour of other moisturizers that have come into my skincare collection. There’s about a quarter of a jar left, so I’m hoping to use this up in the next few months.

5. Urban Decay Naked Weightless Ultra Definition Liquid Makeup

I don’t wear foundation very often; until recently, I only wore it when we had plans with friends or family, or for special occasions like parties or weddings. Lately, I’ve been wearing it daily and have been enjoying the way it looks on my skin. However, I’ve owned this foundation for two years because of my infrequent use. It hasn’t gone bad yet (the scent hasn’t changed) but I should probably use it up.

6. AG Conditioning Mist Detangling Spray

I purchased this in July and it’s a pretty good leave-in conditioner, but I’ve found a better one since. There’s only half a bottle left, and I would like to finish it so it’s no longer part of my stash.


7. Bite Beauty Luminous Creme Lipstick in Shiraz

This lipstick is old. Old, as in Bite Beauty stopped making the Luminous Creme line in 2016 and replaced it with the Amuse Bouche lipsticks. I really love this lipstick, but to be honest, I’m getting a little sick of the shade. My goal is to use it up so that I feel justified in buying another lipstick! haha.

8. Kiehl’s Lip Balm in Mango

I do not like this lip balm much at all; while it smells delicious, the formula is too thin and greasy, and I dislike the applicator. I would like to use this lip balm up just so that I can say I have finished it and move on to better balms.

9. Jack Black Moisture Therapy Lip Balm (x2)

I first heard about Jack Black lip balm from Temptalia years ago, and have been using their lip balms since. I’ve gone through at least a dozen of these, and I have these two tubes left in my stash. I think in 2018 I would like to branch out and try other brands. But first, I want to finish what I have, and these two are the last remaining Jack Black lip balms in my collection.


10. Bath and Body Works Waikiki Beach Coconut Perfume

I received this perfume from Stashy at the beginning of 2016 in her 1st Blogiversary giveaway – if I remember correctly, I wasn’t supposed to have received this, but she included it for me because she knew I loved the scent and because Waikiki has a sentimental meaning for me. Seriously, how sweet is she! This perfume smells divine, but I’ve been really bad at remembering to apply perfumes every time I go out for the past few years (example: even on my wedding day, I forgot to wear the perfume I had been planning on wearing for YEARS #fail). This year, I’m really going to make an effort to remember to use my perfumes, starting with this one!

11. Urban Decay 24/7 Dual-Ended Pencil Liner in Perversion and Demolition

This double-ended pencil liner came with one of this Sephora Collection Give Me Some Liner that I bought maybe three years ago. I think it’s getting old, but it hasn’t dried out yet. These aren’t my favourite pencil liners, so I  would like to finish this one off this year.

12. Urban Decay 24/7 Pencil Liner in Underground

This came in a set of travel-sized UD pencil liners that I bought a few years ago, and this is the last one I have left out of the set. I use it exclusively on my lower lashline, but it’s a step that I always skip, so I don’t use it often. As you can tell, I’m close to finishing it but I needed to put it in my Project Pan as an extra push to finish it up these next few months.

In total, I have 13 products (if I count the two Jack Black lip balms as separate items) to try and hit pan/finish off this year. I thought about the best way to go about measuring my progress – depending on the products, it’s sometimes hard to tell how much you’ve used it from appearance alone, especially with powder products. I decided the best method was to take a page out Stashy’s book, who did a Project Pan early last year and weighed her items. I have done an initial weigh-in, which you’ll see below. When I do my (hopefully) monthly check-ins, I’ll weigh them then as well. Hopefully by the end of June, I will have made some progress!


Unfortunately, our food scale at home doesn’t have very low increments of measurements – it’s rather ridiculous that I’m measuring in kilograms, but if I measured it in grams, it only displays in two digits (eg. the AG detangling spray would show as 24g) – I’m hoping the kilograms will give a little more accuracy, but we’ll see. The UD Underground pencil liner didn’t even register on the scale, but that’s okay, since I’ll be able to tell visually with that one.

I’m looking forward to attempting to use up these products! Are there any products you plan on finishing up this year?
















July-December Empties

Today, I’m sharing with you all of the products I finished up in the last half of the year. I honestly thought I had finished a ton of products in the last six months, but when I went into my Empties bag and actually counted, it was not a lot at all! I did come to the realization that I throw away a lot of products out of habit instead of remembering to keep them, particularly sheet mask packages and samples, but at the end of the day those would probably only account for an additional 10 items to my empties.

As usual, it took me 6 months to use the amount of products that someone normally uses in half a month, but I still wanted to quickly share what I thought of these products.



Kiehl’s Creme de Corps Soy Milk and Honey Whipped Body Butter

This body butter is AMAZING. I love the coconut scent, I love the whipped texture, I love how moisturizing it is – I basically love everything about this. I would probably buy this over and over again if it wasn’t so expensive ($51 for 226 g). Some people only use this for the winter because it’s too thick for the summer, but I love it for all year round.

Repurchase: Yes

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2017 Beauty Resolutions Check-In

On Friday, I shared a blog post of my 2018 beauty goals, and today’s post is along the same vein: how I did on the beauty/blog goals I made in 2017.


1. No purchasing of eye shadow palettes in 2017

I thought this one would be my toughest goal, but despite so much temptation, somehow I made it! Eye shadow palettes are my weakness in terms of makeup, and it doesn’t help matters when palette releases are super hyped up. Although it was hard to resist all of the palettes on my wish list (of which there were many), particularly at the end of the year with all of the sales happening, it made me thoroughly enjoy the palettes that I do own in my collection. I feel that I sometimes neglect my old palettes when I get a shiny and exciting new one, so not being able to buy any new palettes really made me appreciate the ones that I do have.

Even though I haven’t banned myself from buying palettes this year, I’m really going to try hard not to go crazy.

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2018 Beauty Goals

Before we begin talking about my beauty goals for the new year, I would like to mention a project unrelated to beauty that I am embarking on in 2018 and will (hopefully) be a huge part of my year. I’ve decided to start a side business doing calligraphy & watercolour art, mostly for weddings. It took a lot of internal debating to decide if I wanted to incorporate my business into my blog and blog Instagram, but I ultimately thought it was best to keep the two apart in- people who are interested in my calligraphy may not be interested in beauty, and vice versa. However, it was important to me that my business to be somehow tied to my blog without mixing the two, so I decided to name it Inspired Creations YYC (because Inspired Creations was already taken on Instagram LOL).

I’m not sure if this will even go anywhere, but I’m not quitting my day job to do it – so worst case scenario is that I get no clients and my life goes on as usual, haha! I started a separate Instagram account to showcase my work; if you’re interested in seeing pretty (hopefully) calligraphy or would just like to support me, please follow my account here! No pressure! 😅 I have nothing posted on it right now but hopefully I will get it up and running properly soon.

ANYWAYS, after that long ramble, let’s go back onto the main point of today’s blog. Call me jaded, but I absolutely do not believe in the whole “new year, new me” thing – someone please prove me wrong by telling me that they became a better person because of a new year’s resolution they have made! With that being said, I’ve found that making beauty-related goals at the beginning of the year has really helped keep me accountable for my makeup spending and usage. Hence, today’s blog post is all about my 2018 beauty resolutions.

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December Haul & Low-Buy Results

Happy New Year, everyone! I hope you all had a most wonderful and happy Christmas spent with your loved ones, and a fun New Year’s Eve ringing in 2018. May this coming year be a very creative and successful one for all of us!

Today’s post is on my December low-buy, as well as a few beauty products I received from my friends and family for Christmas. You may be surprised that I don’t often receive makeup as gifts – maybe because my loved ones know I already own too many products! With my increased time spent at the mall shopping for gifts plus Boxing Day, I thought I would have gone a bit crazy with my spending, but I actually didn’t do too badly. I managed to resist all of the Boxing Day sales on beauty products (25% off at MAC, 20-40% off at Colourpop, Boxing Day items at Sephora) by telling myself that I didn’t need anything.

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