Product Review: Tarte Lipsurgence Power Pigment In Flush

tarte lipsurgence power pigment flush 01

Name: Lipsurgence Power Pigment in Flush
Brand: Tarte
Size: 0.04oz
Price: $24.00

From Tarte’s website:
A burst of moisture hydrates lips while imparting rich, highly-pigmented color in new, skin brightening, vibrant shades, and the antioxidant formula with just a hint of refreshing peppermint nourishes and invigorates lips for a more plumed up appearance.

What I liked:
– excellent colour payoff
– creamy texture, glides smoothly on the lips
– good staying power
– slim size allows for a more precise application
– cute packaging

What I didn’t like:
– drying
– if you don’t like lip products infused with peppermint, this is not for you

Pigment or hydration?

What’s more important to you in a lip pencil? Tarte Lipsurgence Power Pigment in Flush hopes you’ll go for the pigment. Despite its promise to deliver both, its slightly shiny, creamy texture feels quite drying on the lips.

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Especially if you don’t do some prep work beforehand. A swipe of lip balm is necessary to keep your lips hydrated while you have Flush on. You’d want to apply that first. If you apply it after, some of the pigment will end up on the lip balm bullet, tinting it. How annoying!

If you can put up with the dryness (and the extra work to prevent it), Tarte Lipsurgence Power Pigment in Flush has a lot to recommend it. The pigmentation can’t be faulted. Its creamy formula glides smoothly on the lips, leaving behind an opaque coat of colour. One layer is more than enough, unless you’re into seriously crazy bright colours (just go easy as it contains peppermint; a hint is refreshing but more can sting).

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Flush is bright too, but wearable. It’s a pretty, medium berry that makes your lips look like they are, well… flushing. But not in a sick, patchy sort of way. Flush brightens up the rest of the face, giving it a healthy look.

Perfect for spring, Flush is a great way to add a pop of colour to your look without going over the top. It complements both pastel and natural eye looks very well, and wouldn’t look out of place at the office. Unless you work in a super conservative environment where anything but the no makeup makeup look is frowned upon.

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You don’t even have to worry about touchups. Not much anyway. A light snack, like a cup of tea with a couple of biscuits, is not enough to make Flush disappear. It hangs on tightly to my lips, although a bit more faded. A full meal, instead, proves a bit too much for Flush.

If you don’t eat, drink, or kiss at all, then you can expect about 4 hours of wear. Then, it needs a quick touch up, which is very easy to do. Tarte Lipsurgence Power Pigment pencils are quite slim, which allows for a more precise application, especially in a pinch. The slim size also makes it easier to carry it around with you in your bag or store it a home (I love chubby pencils, but they take up so much space, don’t they?).

Available at: Sephora and Ulta

Very pigmented, Tarte Lipsurgence Power Pigment in Flush has a creamy texture that glides smoothly on the lips and lasts for hours. But it is also drying.

Rating: 3.5/5

Disclosure: this item was in a gift set my friend Janessa sent me for Christmas. In addition, the review contains an affiliate link. For more information, please see my disclaimer.
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Sunday Random Ramblings, Vol.180

Hello gorgeous!

Are you enjoying your Sunday so far? Let me know in the comments, but first here are my random ramblings for this week:

Why I Don’t Watermark My Photos

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Should a blogger watermark her photos? It’s a simple question, but also a very controversial one. People in both the pro and anti watermark camps tend to have strong feelings about their stance, and the conversation can quickly turn ugly. I trust that won’t happen here.

As you’ve noticed if you’ve seen any of my images, I’m firmly in the anti-watermark camp. I hate them, and will soon explain why. But first, let me say that I don’t have anything against those who decide to watermark their photos.

A lot of love and labour goes into taking a good shot, and I easily understand why some people take this step to protect their work. A lot of my favourite bloggers, like Paris from My Women Stuff and Michelle from Lab Muffin, watermark their images, and that has never prevented me from enjoying and loving their blogs.

I understand and respect their choice. I just made a different one. Here’s why:

1. Watermarks are ugly

Watermarks ruin the viewing experience. There’s no denying that. A watermark, especially when it is big, plastered in the center of a photo, or uses a cheap font, distracts from an otherwise clear and beautiful shot. Some bloggers have tried to fix this by creating pretty logos or using tiny watermarks in a corner, which are not such eyesores. But still, imo, unwatermarked pictures look prettier and more professional too.

2. Watermarks only prevents lazy thefts

A lot of bloggers start watermarking their photos after they are stolen. I can easily understand this reaction. It really hurts to see someone steal your work and passing it on as their own. No one should ever have to deal with that. But I personally don’t believe that watermarks are a big deterrent.

A lazy thief may stay away from watermarked photos, but those with a bit of skill and free time can easily use the “clone” tool in every graphic programme to get rid of the original logo or url.

If someone wants to steal, they will. But if someone has used your image because they genuinely believed they could (some people seem to believe that everything that’s on the internet is free and are honestly surprised to find out that’s not the case), then just contacting them and requesting them to take down the image will usually do the trick.

3. Watermarks are not a very effective promotional tool

Social networks like Pinterest and Facebook have made it easy to share images with the world. But it’s not always easy to discover who their original author is. If the image is watermarked, everyone can see whom it belongs to and, hopefully, like it so much they’ll want to visit the blog it first appeared on. But few do.

Even worse, if you want your image to go viral, most people avoid sharing a watermarked image. And not just because your branding ruins the visual effect of the picture. Some people, those who know that not everything on the internet is free for all, are worried that, by sharing a copyrighted image, they may get into trouble.

Will the owner be pleased with them sharing the photo, or will they receive an angry email with all sorts of threats? Sure, asking the owner in the first place would clear up any doubts, but how many of us have the time, or even will, to do that? It’s much easier not to share the image at all.

If you’re very protective of your photos, fine. But if you’d like them to be shared on social media and drive traffic to your site, watermarks will likely get in the way. It may be free advertising. But it’s not very effective advertising.

What I do instead

While I understand why some people decide to watermark their images, to me the little benefits they provide aren’t enough to compensate for a less pleasant viewing experience and the extra time it takes to add my branding to my images. But I still like to know if someone is “borrowing” my work.

TinEye makes that very easy to do. It’s a reverse image search engine that helps you find out where an image came from, how it is being used, if modified versions of the image exist, or if there is a higher resolution version. All you need to do is either enter the url of your photo. They also have browser plugins you can use to click on images you find online to discover who else is using it. The best part? It’s free.

What do you think of watermarks? Do you love or hate them? Or do you see them as a necessary evil?

What I’m Reading Now

helen of sparta
Helen of Sparta by Amalia Carosella
I’ve never been a big fan of Helen of Sparta, or Helen of Troy, as she is best known. She may have been the most beautiful woman in the world, a face that launched a thousand ships, but she was also incredibly dull. Myths portray her as a powerless pawn in the hands of the gods, Menelaus, and her family. A few accuse her of treachery and enjoying the carnage the war of Troy unleashed. The Helen Amanda Carosella has created is, instead, completely different. Passionate, stubborn, and determined to defy the will of the gods in order to take charge of her life.
Long before she ever met Paris, Helen is haunted by nightmares of a burning city under siege. The only way to prevent it from coming true is by refusing to marry Menelaus. But both he and her family have other ideas. Alone and desperate, Helen has no choice but seek the help of Theseus, King of Athens and son of Poseidon. He helps her escape and the two start building a life together. But many dangers threaten their happiness. Can Helen really escape her destiny so easily?
Carosella seamlessly weaves mythology and history in this enthralling tale of family drama, political intrigue, and romance. Fast-paced and beautifully written, you won’t be able to put it down. Highly recommended. Available at Amazon.

Beauty Wishlist, Vol.07

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Dior Tie Dye is one of my favourite collections for the upcoming summer. I want so many pieces from it. My favourite are the new face powders, Pink Sunrise and Coral Sunset. They feature a mosaic of shades to give skin a nice pop of colour and glow. Available at Nordstrom.

I’m in love with the Contraste Horizon. It features brown, yellow, white, blue, and green shades that allows you to create subtle and colourful looks for the daytime. It’s available at Nordstrom.

Aren’t these lippies cute? There are six shades available, one prettier than the other. They are called Red Bliss, Coral Trip, Hypnotic Plum, Cosmic Pink, Fuchsia Utopia, and Nude Ever. Available at Nordstrom.

DIOR VERNIS (€25.00)
Dior’s summer collection also features 3 nail polishes that satisfy every need. Want a bright pop of colour? Opt for Sundown, a radiant hibiscus. A radiant pastel look? Choose Sunwashed, a milky yellow. A natural look? Sunkissed, a rosy nude, is perfect for you. They are all available at Nordstrom.

Any nail polish needs a good top coat to help it last longer. This new one from Dior really intrigues me. It is available at Nordstrom.

I love the new summer shades of Givenchy Le Vernis. Croisiere Sensation, a bright pink, and Croisiere Aquatique, a soft aqua, give your nail a fresh pop of colour that’s perfect for the warm season. Available at Sephora.

I suck at applying eyeliner, but this promises to be foolproof, waterproof, and perfect for “effortless drama”. It’s available in 10 shades. My favourites are Dali, teal, and Nietzsche, periwinkle. Available at Sephora.

Apparently, it took Kat Von D five years to finalize the formula of this liquid brow liner in a range of long-wear, natural-looking shades that won’t fade or discolour. It’s available in four shades: Blonde, Light Brown, Medium Brown, and Dark Brunette. Available at Sephora.

What’s on your beauty wishlist this week?

The Links

3 work-friendly ways to wear blue eyeshadow to the office – My Women Stuff

A Less Than £5 Dupe for MAC’s Ripe Peach – Zoe London

6 Money-Saving Skin Care Tips – Renee Rouleau

Ten tips to help you survive a spending ban
– Tales Of A Pale Face

Cosmetic Shopping: Beware These Marketing Misleads – Yummy Mummy Club

Disclosure: I received the book from Netgalley. In addition, the post contains affiliate links. For more information, please see my disclaimer.
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Are They Dupes?: Kérastase Elixir Ultime VS L’Oréal Oleo Therapy Perfecting Oil-Essence

kerastase elixir ultime loreal dupe

Every woman should use hair oils every now and then. They have so many benefits and are very versatile. They condition hair, combat frizz, seal split ends, provide shine and can be used both on just-washed hair and before, as a pre-shampoo treatment.

But this little luxury doesn’t have to be expensive. If you don’t feel like splurging on the much raved about Kérastase Elixir Ultime, you can try its dupe L’Oréal Oleo Therapy Perfecting Oil-Essence. That’s my favourite, actually. Here’s why:

Ingredient Analysis



Although the marketing departments prefer to focus on the natural benefits the oils in these hair treatments provide, a couple of silicones almost always manages to sneak its slippery way into them. And they do a lot of the heavy work.

Both Kerastase Elixir Ultime and L’Oréal Oleo Therapy Perfecting Oil-Essence contain the same combination of silicones: cyclopentasiloxane and dimethiconol. Cyclopentasiloxane is a volatile silicone and quickly evaporates once applied on the hair. So why is it there in the first place? Two reasons. One: it helps the product glide more easily and spread more evenly.

Two: it helps deliver heavier silicones also contained in a product. In this case, dimethiconol. Heavier than cyclopentasiloxane but less than dimethicone, it provides the same lubricating properties as the latter but without weighting hair down.

Dimethiconol is able to condition hair, make it feel soft and silky smooth to the touch, provide shine, create a water-repellent protective barrier that helps prevent frizz, and seal up slip ends thus temporarily “repairing” them (nothing can, unfortunately, repair them permanently).

Argania Spinosa Oil

Argania spinosa oil, or argan oil, is derived from the kernels of the argan tree fruit, which grows only in a few regions (Morocco is the most famous). It’s this scarcity that makes argan oil very coveted, and very expensive.

Argan oil is high in fatty acids. In fact, oleic and linolic acid make up over 70% of its composition! These fatty acids give argan oil its emollient properties, allowing it to condition hair, making it soft and shiny.

Unfortunately, I couldn’t find any specific study about argan oil use on hair. We do know, however, that because of its composition, it can’t penetrate hair as well as other oils, such as coconut oil. Instead, it works by sealing moisture in, preventing dryness and helping to fight frizz.


Zea Mays (Corn) Oil vs Coconut Oil

Kérastase Elixir Ultime also contains zea mays (corn) germ oil. That’s another sealing oil. It has conditioning properties, so it too can make hair soft, help with frizz and split ends, and give hair shine. But it is more stable when it is crude, rather than refined, and quickly becomes rancid when exposed to hair.

L’Oréal has made a much better choice: coconut oil. It’s actually my favourite oil for hair because it can penetrate it very well. This allows it to strengthen and condition hair from within, not just from without, like most other oils do.

Further considerations on the formulas

Kérastase Elixir Ultime contains a higher number of oils, all of which have conditioning properties, but can’t really penetrate hair that well. L’Oréal Oleo Therapy Perfecting Oil-Essence, instead, contains fewer, but more effective, oils, and a bunch of natural extracts that are, however, unlikely to do anything for your hair.

Kérastase Elixir Ultime Ingredients

Cyclopentasiloxane, Dimethiconol, Zea Mays / Corn Germ Oil, Argania Spinosa Oil / Argania Spinosa Kernel Oil, Camellia Kissi / Camellia Kissi Seed Oil, Pentaclethra Macroloba Oil / Pentaclethra Macroloba Seed Oil, Linalool, Alpha-Isomethyl Ionone, Limonene, Coumarine, Benzyl Alcohol, Parfum / Fragrance

L’Oréal Oleo Therapy Perfecting Oil-Essence Ingredients

Cyclopentasiloxane, Dimethiconol, Parfum/Fragrance, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Argania Spinosa Oil/Argania Spinosa Kernel Oil, Cocos Nucifera Oil/Coconut Oil, Hexyl Cinnamal, Hydroxycitronellal, Chamomilla Recutita Extract/Matricaria Flower Extract, Isoeugenol, Gardenia Tahitensis Flower Extract, Rosa Canina Flower Extract, Linalool, Nelumbium Speciosum Extract/Nelumbium Speciosum Flower Extract, Linum Usitatissimum Flower Extract, Carrot Oil/Beta-carotene


Kerastase Elixir Ultime, which comes in a 125ml bottle, retails at $56.00! But you can get it for $38.39 at Amazon. L’Oreal Oleo Therapy Perfecting Oil-Essence contains”only” 100 ml of product, but costs a lot less, $12.99. You can buy it at Ulta.

The Bottom Line

Although Kérastase Elixir Ultime contains more natural oils, it’s L’Oreal Oleo Therapy Perfecting Oil-Essence that features the only one who can penetrate hair well. So, that’s my pick.

Which oil treatment is your favourite?

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Are Fitness Magazines Making Us Unhealthy?

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I have already talked about why I’ve stopped reading women’s magazines. They promote an unrealistic idea of beauty that damages women’s self-confidence, often even encouraging dangerous behaviours that harm our health in a futile effort to fit into ever narrowing standards of attractiveness.

But there’s one type of magazine that is even more dangerous. I’m talking about fitness magazines. Women’s magazines are, after all, considered a light, frivolous read. They tell readers what’s in style and give them advice that’s often ridiculous, hoping they’ll buy what’s advertised in their glossy pages.

Although harmful, especially to younger women who haven’t fully developed their ability to think critically, we know better than believing their every word. But fitness magazines are different. They are supposed to be more “serious” reading. Their mission is to make us all healthier. But do they?

Nope. Just a glance at their covers clearly shows that these magazine promote a warped idea of health. One that has very little to do with well-being and ability, and a lot with sexiness and thinness.

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“Fat-proof your life – Research-backed tips to eat smart and stay trim”, “Shed two sizes – the 4 week workout plan”, and “Why lifting weights =a killer body”, are just some of the teasers that have recently appeared on the covers of some of the most popular fitness magazines, next to images of scantily-clad, super photoshopped models and celebrities posing in passive, not active, positions. The emphasis is clearly on looks.

The articles inside are only slightly better. They are peppered with words like “sexy”, “slimmer” and “gorgeous” that have nothing to do with health. They often offer misleading diet information, demonize certain foods and drinks, perpetuate fitness myths, and suggest dangerous, quick, and drastic weight loss plans that could seriously damage our health, not improve it. In particularly vulnerable individuals, they may even trigger an eating disorder.

Even in the features that contain serious and proper health and fitness information, the focus is on physical attractiveness. We are supposed to work out, lift weights and eat healthy to have a gorgeous, fat-free, thin body that will attract male attention, not to improve our health and well-being and live an active, full, long life.

The images that accompany these articles rarely focus on fitness too. Even when they show women engaging in physical activities, they are usually wearing tiny outfits and posing in such a way, with their breasts exposed and bums sticking out, to leave nothing to the imagination. The body is always shown as an object, not an instrument. Again, the emphasis is on sexiness, not health.

Fitness magazines have created, and are normalizing, a new definition of health, one that equates health with thinness and attractiveness, and that sexualizes women’s bodies, perpetuating the harmful belief that they exist only to please men. That’s an oppressive, dangerous idea. It’s even more dangerous when it is presented under the disguise of “health”.

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This warped idea of fitness doesn’t just hurt women. It hurts men. It hurts children. It hurts all of society. When women focus their energy on achieving a distorted idea of health, spending ever longer hours in the gym or following diets that deprive them of important nutrients, making them feel tired and depleted all the time, they don’t have time to pursue their career or influence politics.

They’re unable to take care of themselves and their loved ones, and make a significant contribution to their community and society. They’re disempowered. And they can become ill. Depression, anxiety, and eating disorders are just some of the dangerous problems that have been linked to body dissatisfaction. When women are disempowered and ill, everyone suffers.

It doesn’t have to be this way. If you too have a problem with the misleading idea of health promoted by fitness magazines, don’t buy them. Tell your friends why they shouldn’t either. But if you, or they, enjoy them and don’t want to give them up, don’t.

But read them critically. Be aware of how these magazines are spreading dangerous ideas to make a quick buck. When you learn to recognize the nasty, negative messages they are promoting, you’ll be able to enjoy your favourite magazine without falling for them.

What do you think of fitness magazines? Do they hurt or improve our health? Do you read them?

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Product Review: Dove Go Fresh Cool Moisture Body Wash With NutriumMoisture, Cucumber & Green Tea

dove go fresh cool moisture body wash

Name: Go Fresh Cool Moisture Body Wash With NutriumMoisture, Cucumber & Green Tea
Brand: Dove
Size: 650ml
Price: $7.49

From Dove’s website:
Get softer, smoother skin after just one shower. Experience our improved body wash formula, now even gentler, with the rich lather you love.
Dove go fresh Cool Moisture Body Wash leaves your skin feeling cool and refreshingly hydrated. Experience an uplifting moment for your skin with the crisp, soothing scent of cucumber and green tea and the skin nourishment of NutriumMoisture.

What I liked:
– cleanses skin well
– gentle, leaves skin soft
– doesn’t leave a residue behind
– pleasant, refreshing scent

What I didn’t like:
– if you don’t like the scent of cucumbers and green tea, this is not for you

Is there a brand you never pay much attention to? Mine is Dove. Maybe it’s the old lady reputation that, despite the brand’s efforts, is still hanging onto it, or maybe the simple, anonymous packaging that gets lost in a sea of bold, eye-catching bottles competing for my attention at the body care aisle.

Whatever the reason, it’s only when I get a sample through a magazine that I remember Dove exists. The last one I got was Go Fresh Cool Moisture Body Wash With NutriumMoisture, Cucumber & Green Tea, a gentle but effective body wash that leaves my skin clean and soft, just like any body wash should.

How? By using a very gentle blend of surfactants (ingredients that help water mix with oils and dirts so they can be rinsed away). Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Sodium Lauroyl Glycinate, and Sodium Lauroyl Isethionate can remove dirt from skin without stripping it of the sebum that’s keeping it naturally moisturized.

They also produce a nice amount of foam, although not as much as harsher surfactants such as Sodium Laureth Sulfate (this is harsher than the ingredients used here, but not so harsh to cause dryness and irritations in most people, like Sodium Lauryl Sulfate does!). It’s also easy to rinse off. It leaves no greasy residue behind.

Instead, I have mixed feelings about the scent. It mixes the sweetness of cucumbers with the freshness of green tea. The result is a light, pleasant, and refreshing aroma that’s, however, quite boring. I guess Tesori D’Oriente spoiled my nose.

My current favourite brand for bath and body care, they infuse their body washes with spicy, heady, exotic scents. They’re a dream come true for fragrance lovers like me. But after using those a simple scent like cucumber and green tea is just not going to excite me. But if you have simpler tastes, and love that “freshly-out-of-the-shower” scent, I have a feeling you will enjoy this very much.

Water, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Sodium Lauroyl Glycinate, Sodium Chloride, Sodium Lauroyl Isethionate, Acrylates Copolymer, Lauric Acid, Glycerin, Fragrance, Styrene/Acrylates Copolymer, Stearic Acid, DMDM Hydantoin, BHT, Tetrasodium EDTA, Etidronic Acid, Methylisothiazolinone, Iodopropynyl Butylcarbamate, Citric Acid, Blue 1 (CI 42090), Yellow 5 (CI 19140)

Available at: Drugstore and Target

Dove Go Fresh Cool Moisture Body Wash With NutriumMoisture, Cucumber & Green Tea is a gentle, refreshing, and effective body wash that leaves skin clean, soft, and smelling lovely.

Rating: 4/5

Disclosure: this item was sent by PR for consideration.In addition, the review contains an affiliate link. For more information, please see my disclaimer.
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