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Ella


In the past, I commonly wrote posts about primarily the products in the beauty industry. However, I want my blog to reflect the real author behind it. I will now be posting various passions of mine that include photography, graphic design, and the art of high fashion.

I will share my knowledge regarding these topics and post tutorials so you also enhance your photoshop/camera/design skills. Of course I do not claim to be an expert in any of these subject matters, and I am always consistently looking for ways to improve my self.

I also plan to write about stigmatized topics pertaining to the beauty-industry and popular culture. Usually people shy away from them, as they are not considered "small talk" appropriate. My opinions may be controversial, and if you have any concerns feel free to email me. You can also leave a comment, but please keep it civil. I enjoy hearing other people's arguments and opinions.

But blogging is not just a hobby for me. I do generate revenue from my blogging venture, and therefore you will see the occasional sponsored post and product reviews. I would like to say, that I only endorse products that I 100% would be interested in and purchase myself. I also give my real-opinion regrading the product. Moreover, I will share products that I enjoy and have purchased myself.

Now, I am sure you came to this page to learn more about me. I think you can already learn a lot about me based on the posts on this blog. But I am a twenty something Canadian university student studying biology. In my free time, I enjoy long-distance running, photography, design, travelling, and writing. I also religiously follow the T.V shows Mad Men (advertising industry is enticing), Game of Thrones, and Pretty Little Liars (guilty pleasure). Please feel free to email me, either for business reasons or just to chat.

The Ultimate BB Cream Guide

Wednesday, 21 January 2015

I am personally a huge fan of BB creams due to their light weight, skin benefits, and great finish. I've tried a lot of BB creams and I am here to share my personal opinions on all of them. Most of these can be found at Sephora and are a review of north american BB creams.


Clinique Age Defence BB Cream

What it claims: Offers SPF protection, antioxidants for prevention plus enough coverage to banish imperfections.  Claims to be the perfect primer if you want to layer makeup.
What it actually does: Has a creamy smooth texture that is great for dry and mature skin. Feels amazing on my skin (my skin is dry btw). The coverage is really good as well. Is build able and has a mattifying look. I personally like the thick smooth texture, and application is really easy. But it only comes in 4 shades and was really hard to find a match for me. I think the closest I got was the colour in 02 which was a bit dark. Anyway definitely get this for an casual everyday look if you have dry/mature skin.

Tarte Amazonian day BB tined moisturizer SPF 20

What it claims:  This weightless, water-based formula blends into your skin as easily as your favorite moisturizer (and it's formulated without oil, so it won't clog your pores) while micro-treated mineral pigments diffuse fine lines and wrinkles, giving you an even, smooth finish. This dermatologist-tested formula is chock-full of skinvigorating™ ingredients like Amazonian clay, apple extract, camellia extract, chamomile, vitamins A, C and E, and sodium hyaluronate, which all work in perfect harmony to visibly hydrate, soften, brighten the appearance of skin for your most flawless complexion ever.
What it actually does: If you are a fan of Tarte natural products that are supposed to be apparently beneficial to your skin than I would be interested in this product. However, I actually did not like this product because I found the consistency way to runny, and the coverage was awful. Also had a powdery feel for some reason. This BB cream is not good for dry skin and I recommend it for oily skin (it is oil-free!). Also if you are expecting a fuller coverage than definitely don't buy this. The finish for me wasn't that great either - it left my skin kind of dry looking instead of hydrating it. On the plus, the colour range is really broad. I tried the light-medium in agent 04 and light with yellow undertones in agent 06.

Dr. Jart+ Black Label Detox BB Beauty Balm

What it claims: Perfect and protect skin instantly with this all-in-one multifunctional Beauty Balm. This triple-action formula naturally covers blemishes and uneven skintone, and contains botanical actives to purify and calm blemish-prone or irritated skin. Arbutin works to erase unwanted dark spots, while caviar extract and antioxidants protect skin from inner and outer pollutants for an enhanced radiance. Lightweight with sunscreen protection for simple, one-step neutralizing coverage, this soothing cream delivers optimal results for both women and men.
What it actually does: Okay, this is my FAVOURITE BB Cream. I love it. I just don't know how to explain this BB cream. It literally gives you a flawless finish, and makes your skin look amazing. It is great for dry and oily skin, and makes your skin look healthy and supple. Also it is great if you are acne-prone because it doesn't break you out. Honestly this would be my go-to BB cream but unfortunately it only comes in 1 colour and it is wayyy to pale for me. If you are pale than I would definitely go for it! Honestly, i think asian BB creams have something going but they are way to pale for my skin and I don't want to look like a ghost!

Smashbox Camera Ready BB Cream

What it claims: This multitasking tinted cream formula with SPF 35 moisturizes, primes, perfects, controls oil, and protects for flawless skin on set and beyond. Formulated with emollients and optical pearl pigments, this BB Cream gives skin a glowing, ethereal look and provides a hydrating veil for the complexion to maintain moisture on the surface of the skin. With its ultrasmoothing finish, it instantly re-texturizes to create a smooth canvas and enhances the wear of makeup. Ideal even for oily complexions, this expert formula with UVA/UVB protection helps inhibit oil to prevent the complexion from getting shiny throughout the day without the typical chalky matte finish.
What it actually does: This is my personal favourite BB Cream, and I typically use this everyday and unless I am going to a special event I will use this as a primer. I like this BB cream because of the texture, consistency and finish. This BB cream gives me a nice glow, with a bit of a "dewy" finish. A lot of people complained about the shine but I actually like it. I don't really like mattifying foundations. The coverage is light-medium, but that is to be expected with BB Creams and I typically will use a concealer  or something to cover any marks. This BB cream also works great as a primer, where you can put another foundation on top to create more coverage. Also it looks great in photography and video. The only problem I have is that the formula is not really buildable. The colour selection is also pretty good with a lot of shades. I purchased the fair/light. If you have dry to combination skin I would definitely try this! For those will oily skin, it could just make your face look greasy. Maybe with a powder it would be better?

Missha Perfect Cover BB Cream

What it claims: This BB cream is a 3 in 1 BB cream that events skin tone and prevents aging process with advanced covering effects. Contains rosemary and chamomile extracts that calms the skin. And also a lot of moisturizing ingredients. Claims to have perfect coverage, excellent UV protection with SPF of 42 and multi-functions.
What it does: I actually used to use this BB cream for about half a year. The coverage is amazing, and often does not require additional steps such as concealment. Moreover, the formula is thick, supple and moisturizing. It leaves skin looking glowing, healthy, and fresh. Also the price is really good and the product lasts forever. My only problem is the colour range. I solved this problem by using natural beige and honey beige and blending them together. The blend matched my skin tone perfectly.  I however stopped using this BB cream because I noticed that the skin on my face was looking extremely pale. That is when I found out the BB cream had whitening agents in it. I personally don't want my face to get really pale. I rather my face match the skintone of my body, and not look weird without excessive makeup and bronzer. I wish they sold this BB cream without the whole whitening thing.

I hope this was helpful to you guys. I think asian BB creams are amazing formulas that make skin look amazing while also adding a lot of health benefits such as the various vitamins and natural ingredients. But asian BB creams have terrible colour ranges for non-asians and often contain whitening effect which I don't want. North American BB creams have great skin colour range, lack the whitening effect, but the formulas just aren't on-par with asian BB creams in terms of quality. I feel like I can never win. If you know a great BB cream that has good coverage, creamy texture, moisturizing wide colour range please let me know! 

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Addressing the Lack of Diversity in the Beauty Industry

Thursday, 18 December 2014

As a consumer, you are bombard by an estimated 30,000 advertisements a day.  However, your relationship with these advertisements often depends on factors such as ethnicity, and race. White Americas view the advertising industry as a reflection of a fantasy-life, whereas black Americans are looking through a one way mirror; the advertising does not reflect back on them.

In this blog post, I am going to be addressing the startling lack of diversity in the beauty and fashion industry - and for that matter hollywood in general. I will discuss some of the negative impacts it may have on teenage girls, and perhaps offer a way forward through a new millennia of bloggers and social media influencers.



The lack of diversity is evident when viewing the models featured in the Victoria Secret Fashion Show; most popular runway show of the year with an audience of over 4 million. The models in the Victoria Secret fashion show are supposed to represent the epitome of beauty. But the majority of the models are blonde caucasians. The same pattern can be viewed using any popular television show, high-fashion runway, or ad campaign. Simply view the  predominately white models of Louis Vuttion Spring Runway Show.

Social comparison theory suggests that their is an innate drive in humans to seek accurate self-evaluations through comparisons to other individuals and everyday interactions.  Therefore, according to social theory, the lack of representation of black models in the beauty industry may find it hard to find someone to compare themselves to and self-evaluate. However, how can minority females create an accurate self-evaluation when they lack few role models to compare oneself too? How can they view themselves in society when they are almost invisible or holding supporting roles?  My theory is that lack of representation due to dominant white beauty ideals can damage self esteem and place unattainable standards.

The lack of diverse models can create a cultural barrier between african americans and white females. African americans feel more distant to the images portrayed and refer to them as "white girls" culture according the study done by Milkie 1999. A young minority student interviewed noted that she felt her lack of representation would alienate her from white people, simply because they are not use to seeing people who look like her (Milkie, 1999).  Therefore, the lack of diversity, makes "african american" features more exotic and less common, even though there are over 45 million african americans living in the United States.

The lack of diversity in the beauty industry can therefore fuel low self-esteem in minority individuals and create barriers between black and white culture. In reality, african american features should not be viewed as exotic as they have been in America as long as the many european whites who migrated during colonization. African americans can be better integrated as normal (not-exotic) if they are represented in higher numbers in advertising, television and high fashion.  When one views an image over and over, the image becomes normal and familiar. Moreover, this will allow african american teenagers and minority teenagers to have a role model and be able to identify themselves more with the media.

Unfortunately, I have no power to change the models and actresses casted. But I believe the internet and social media revolution can empower young women of a variety of ethnicity and races. Fashion and beauty bloggers of all ethnicity and races exist, and young teenagers can actively follow their fashion and beauty advice while identifying with them. Moreover, it promotes ethnic tolerance and allows one to view every feature as "normal" instead of exotic. Although we are getting more tanned, brunette actors and actresses!

Thank you for reading this. I appreciate all opinions and comments! Looking forward to reading them! Also, how do you think we can combat lack of diversity in the media?

Sources Cited:

Milkie, Melissa A. "Social comparisons, reflected appraisals, and mass media: The impact of pervasive beauty images on Black and White girls' self-concepts." Social Psychology Quarterly (1999): 190-210.


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So...? with Attitude Perfumes

Wednesday, 17 December 2014

Hello everyone! I haven't posted in a while because I have been in exam period and have been studying super rigorously! I am now done all my exams (thank-god), and cannot wait for Christmas Break! So stay tuned for a lot of christmas-theme posts!

Today I am going to share these amazing perfume bottles I got sent to me by So...? With Attitude.




So this perfume is called So...? Sinful. First of all, I love the bottle design. It is very fun, simple and unique. The glass bottle design is sleek, with an amazing purple-mushroom cap on the top. The perfume itself has a clear orange-yellow base colour. The top notes include is Mint and PineApple, heart notes are Violet and Strawberry, and base notes Praline, Vanilla, and Musk. I really love the scent, its a mixture of vanilla and tropical goodness.



I also got the So...? Sinful scent in a body spray format. The body spray is super easy to use and really powerful. I would personally keep this in my bag, as it is very compact. I will keep it with me, and use it incase I want to freshen up.

The pink bottle is the body spray called So...? In Love. The smell is a combination of orange, rose and sandlewood notes.  The overall smell is very lovely. It smells like a fresh bundle of flowers with a hint of orange. It is not overpowering, but delicate.

I hope you enjoyed my fragrance review! Thank you to So....? With Attitude for sending me these to review! I plan to have some new christmas posts up and an entire review of basically all the Canadian BB Creams (I've kinda been obsessed).

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Tips to Minimize and Control Acne featuring Spectro

Sunday, 16 November 2014


Hello friends. I have been dealing with acne for most of my life. I am going to be sharing some tips on how to prevent and control acne featuring Spectro AcneCare Wash

Tips

Wash face but don't over-wash.
I know you are going to be thinking this is a major contradiction. I recommend washing your face with a gentle acne cleanser that contains benzyl peroxide. Benzyl peroxide is often prescribed by dermatologists and doctors to clear acne. However, it is a very harsh substance and can cause dry and red skin. I recommend using Spectro AcneCare Wash for acne prone skin. I personally use this everyday. It is a very rich gentle foam. Great for sensitive skin because of the lack of overpowering fragrant smells. Also contains 4% benzyl peroxide. But make sure you don't wash your face too much. This will just dry out your skin and cause you to break out even more. Two times a day should be enough.

Moisturize
This is really important. Acne-products tend to dry out the skin and you need to replenish your skin natural moisture barrier. Find and use a good moisturizer that doesn't irritate your skin and block your pores. I personally use Vichy Hydrating Cream.

Eat well and drink water
I am not going to tell you to become a vegan-gluten eater. But don't overdose on artificial sugars such as candy and carbohydrates. Also don't eat too much meat and dairy as they often contain artificial hormones that can impact your own hormone level (not a doctor...this is simply my own theory). It is fine to eat these foods, but in moderation. Also drink lots of water! It will help clean the toxins out of your body and replenish your skin with moisture.

For people with severe acne
These tips will not miraculously cure your acne unfortunately. They can help control and minimize your acne. If you have severe acne, I recommend you see a dermatologist for proper medication. If you cannot see a dermatologist for whatever reason, feel free to voice your concerns with a trusted family doctor. They will recommend a variety of medications to treat your skin.

This post is sponsored by Spectro AcneCare.  I received Spectro AcneCare to review, however before this product I previously used SpectroGel for Dry Skin that was recommend to me by my dermatologist. I am a huge fan of this company and have been using their products for 3+ years now. 

Leave me a comment below, letting me know how you prevent and deal with your acne and the products you use! 

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Guest Post: Best Budget Eyeshadow Buys

Wednesday, 5 November 2014

Hi friends! This is my first guest post on Ella's blog so I'm very excited that she's given me this opportunity. If you like this post, you should check out my own blog (makeupmusicbooks.blogspot.com) for more! You can also follow me on twitter and instagram at rpolansky77.

I love a good eyeshadow quad/palette more than anything but certain ones can be very expensive. Here are a few ones from the drugstores (all less than $10!) that perform really well.



1. Rimmel Glam Eyes HD Eyeshadow. I know these have been available in the UK and Canada for a while, but I've seen them slowly making their way into US drugstores. First of all, I love how you get five different shades so you can create a variety of looks. The sets usually include mostly shimmer shades, but there's very little fallout. They can be used wet or dry, although I'm not a big fan of doing wet shadows. They claim to last up to 8 hours and I've found it to be pretty consistent with minimal wear throughout the day.
2. Wet n Wild Color Icon Shadow Trio. If you're looking for a super affordable option that doesn't disappoint, look no further. I know sometimes people think the cheaper an item is, the cheaper it will perform but these babies prove that theory wrong. Each shade is super pigmented, creamy, and lasts for a long time. The packaging is a bit flimsy but at literally $3 it's hard to complain. I also have a couple of the bigger, 5 shade shadows and those are more hit-and-miss.
3. Almay Intense I-Color. Although these are supposed to correspond to specific eye colors, I find that the shades are so gorgeous they can work with any eye color. Again, these are more shimmery but they blend together so well to create a nice look. I love the packaging because it lays out exactly where you should put each shade and the plastic is a bit stiffer.

If you're looking to keep these super affordable, you can certainly use the plastic sponge applicators they come with. I personally don't like these and throw them out--instead I love using my MAC 217 Brush

What drugstore eyeshadows do you love?

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Perfect Lips for $5 dollars and under: Glamour Dolls

Saturday, 1 November 2014

I am honestly such a huge lip-stick fan! Its amazing what a bit of colour can do to brighten up your day in this entrance to rather dull weather (winter here we come...).  I recently received some lipsticks from this new makeup company called Glamour Dolls. All these lipsticks featured on this blog post are under $5 dollars and are fabulous.

Lipsticks



The lipsticks are creamy in texture, go over lips perfectly, and have a rich sold colour. However, I personally have dry lips and apply a layer of vaseline to my lips before applying this lipstick. My favourite thing about the lipsticks is the rich pigmented colour and the colour selection! I received two colours "Nude" and "Deep Plum".



I love this colour. I have dark hair and eyes, and this just looks perfect with my complexion.



This colour was the "Nude" and was defiantly more dramatic looking. I feel like I am pulling out my inner Kardashian when I put this on. A definitely bold lipstick that matches the nude trend.



This is my favourite lipbalm. its like a lipstick but it actually makes your lips really creamy. It provides the perfect amount of moisture to my dry winter lips while adding some pigmentation and life!  This colour is also a "Dark Plum" which I love! I actually cary this in my makeup bag everywhere I go.

Lipgloss



This lipgloss is amazing. I have the colours wildflower, superficial, and naked banana (from left to right). I love the wild flower, it is a perfect red colour.


Gloss Snob is the colour Plastic Heart is probably the most unique gloss I've ever owned. It is a makeup artist favourite product. The pigmentation is fantastic, and it really makes your lips look more supple and shiny. Though FYI a little of this product goes a long way!

Glamour Girls is a new beauty company that is offering amazing beauty products on a major discount! All these lipsticks/lipglosses are under $5.00. They have a great colour range, and are perfect for a fun and/or natural look depending on what you are looking for!


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Urban Decay Naked Skin and Smashbox Camera Ready BB Cream Review

Sunday, 19 October 2014

Hey everyone. I am going to apologize beforehand for being MIA for such a long time. As a lot of you know, I have dry skin, and finding a foundation routine that suits my skin is a very hard task. But I recently have been wearing the Smashbox Camera Ready BB Cream and Naked Foundation by Urban Decay. So I am going to review those, and what it is like wearing them as a combo. Also, sorry for the bad photo quality, I live in an apartment and don't have a lot of lightening and my camera went out of battery annoyingly. I def need to figure a way around that.

Urban Decay Naked Skin


So this foundation was recommended to me by the Sephora staff. Apparently it is very popular, and claims to be be an ultra light weight foundation, that illuminates and brightens skin, while creating a flawless demi-matte finish. And some more stuff about diffusing spheres which I think is nonsense.

This foundation retails for $39 CAD at Sephora. I got the shade 3.0, and for reference I am a MAC NC25.  I also have been using this foundation for over 2 months now.

Pros: It definitely feels like I am wearing nothing on my face. It makes my skin look pretty flawless after application. Colour matches me perfectly. Really easy to apply with my beauty blender.

Cons: Really liquid. It has a strong powder smell and feel on the skin. If you have dry skin, it can accentuate dry patches on the face and can make skin look cake-face if you don't use proper moisturizing and primer application beforehand. Also it is pricey.

To be honest I did not really like this foundation. It was okay, but I wouldn't buy it again.

Smashbox Camera Ready BB Cream


This BB cream claims to do 5 things: prime, perfect, protect, hydrate, and help remove excess surface oil in one step to create a flawless face in a flash.

This foundation also retails for $39 CAD at Sephora. I got the shade Fair/Light. Ignore the 5 shades photo above, because they recently extended the shade line because of the popularity.

Prime: This BB cream works really well as a primer. When going out, i just mosturize and put this baby on w/o the primer step.

Perfect: It doesn't do this... Unless you already have perfect skin, don't expect a lot of coverage. It has very light coverage if anything. Either wear this with a foundation over it, or you probably will need some form of concealer.

Protect: Has SPF 35 which is awesome!

Hydrate: It does hydrate, and works really well with dry skin but let me emphasize this is not a substitute for a moisturizer. You will need to moisturize your face before applying this.

Help: I don't even know how to like evaluate this.

I LOVE THIS PRODUCT. This is the best Canadian bb cream I've tried so far. The colour matches me perfectly, and it works perfectly with my dry skin. The only thing I did not like, is the light-coverage. So I usually will add a bit of my MAC select coverup on casual days, and when I want fuller coverage I will put a layer of my Urban Decay Naked Foundation.

So basically I only use my Urban Decay in conjunction with this bb cream. Because this bb cream is like the perfect base. This duo makes my skin look flawless, no jokes. So if you have similar skin problems as me, definitely check out this duo protect combo. And if you have other BB cream recommendations please, please let me know in the comments below!

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