Winter Skin Hacks with Dermalogica

Hello again! I'm back again with another overly detailed/probably too long product review. I'm working on doing more and more of these, it's just so hard to sit down and write a blog! Especially when I'm absolutely terrible at writing, ha!

A few weeks ago, Dermalogica sent me two of the new products from their UltraCalming line.  This line is meant for sensitive and dry skin. While my skin isn't near as sensitive as it was when I was younger, I do experience random "flare ups" and redness.  I am, however, very dry. I think I'm quite possible part lizard (hopefully Silurian.)

Dermalogica's UltraCalming™ line contains UltraCalming Complex, which is their "exclusive complex clinically proven to control neurogenic and immunogenic inflammatory pathways that lead to skin sensitivity." 

The two products I was sent are the Barrier Defense Booster and Calm Water Gel. Both of these products are vegan and Dermalogica is cruelty free!


Let's start with the Barrier Defense Booster.  This item may seem a bit pricey, but I think it's worth trying out. Like I said in my last Dermalogica blog, I feel like they are a "mid-range" priced company. They develop high quality products at a good price.  Not cheap enough to make you worry about quality (or if it actually works), but not expensive enough that you feel like you have to go without other things because you found a "holy grail" skincare item that costs a small fortune. 


The Barrier Defense Booster is a concentrated oil booster that is meant to soothe, nourish, and moisturize the skin. The benefits it boasts are:

  • Reinforces the skin’s naturally-protective barrier against environmental assault.
  • Nourishes and soothes irritated skin.
  • Helps prevent skin irritation before it starts.

The Barrier Defense Booster is $75.00 for a 1oz container. You do not need a lot of this product. They recommend about 6-10 drops, I've found that I use about 4-6 and I'm able to pat it over my face and neck.

This oil uses Squalane to lock in moisture and Oat oil to help soothe skin and combat sensitivity. It has a nice calming scent due to the natural oils that have been added, but no artificial fragrances and colors have been used, which I greatly appreciate. 

The container the oil is in is hard, it's not a squeezable tube-- instead, the bottom is a soft "button" and you can lightly press that for the oil to dispense from the top. I like this, because it keeps me from overusing product! 

I found this really helped my dry patches.  It was definitely soothing and it felt nourishing to my skin. 

If you have very dry skin, redness, itchiness, or patchy skin, I would highly recommend trying this out! I sometimes wake up in the morning with little dry patches or tiny red bumps on my face (I'm allergic to something, just not sure's probably the cat.) I've noticed that since I started using this a few weeks ago, I haven't had any of these random "flare ups."

On to the Calm Water Gel! 


The Calm Water Gel is a weightless water-gel moisturizer that hydrates dry, sensitive skin. This gel formula transforms to a skin-quenching fluid. This texture is pretty strange. It's a super watery, cold gel but on the face it feels like a heavy moisturizer (and doesn't leave a greasy film.)

  • Dual Hyaluronic Acid technology works in different skin surface layers to increase and lock in moisture.
  • Apple Fruit extract and glycerin hydrate and soften the skin while defending it against dryness.
  • Cactus Pear Extract helps soothe sensitivity and imparts water-binding properties to help support healthy moisture balance.

This gel comes in a 1.7oz container and costs $48.00. It's a squeeze bottle and you need a small amount. I'd say smaller than a dime because a little goes a long way! Rub it in your hands an pat on your face.  You'll feel the hydration immediately. I like that this lightweight moisturizer actually hydrates your skin on its own without adding a ton of product (not that I do any more. I just use my Dermalogica and Luminance Skin Care!) 

This is really good for super wind chapped skin! Anyone that's in a dry, winter climate should definitely try this. 

I use these two products together.  I remove my makeup with the PreCleanse Balm and Cleansing Gel. I spritz Luminance Skin Care's Rose Water Toner on my face, apply the Calm Water Gel on my face and neck and once that soaks in I pat on the Barrier Defense Booster. Then, right before bed, I apply my Luminance Skin Care Nite Skin butter

To sum this up, I'd recommend both of these UltraCalming products if you suffer from dry skin (normally or due to weather) or sensitive skin.  I haven't tried a Dermalogica product that I didn't like! I really like their ingredients, I love that they are Cruelty free, and that they have programs that help women and girls on the path to entrepreneurship by providing access to education, vocational training, small loans and leadership skills.

"We have seen the power of women entrepreneurs to elevate their families, their communities and their national economies when they are given a hand-up to achieve their potential."

Amazing products and a company that supports women? I'm down. 

***To maintain transparency, I want to let you know that this blog post is not sponsored. My opinions are my own and are truthful. The Dermalogica products were gifted to me for an Instagram post, but this blog is not sponsored and wasn't requested.  Some of the links are affiliate through RewardStyle.  





NEW Pretty Poison Collection from Sugarpill

I've been a Sugarpill customer since almost the beginning! My very first "real" makeup palettes were from Sugarpill and I've been a fan ever since. They recently re-released the adorable Trinket as a permanent shade along with Kim Chi's liquid lipstick. But, it seems like Amy and her team have been working forever on bullet lipsticks. I remember seeing Nurse forever ago on their Instagram and just dying for it to be released somewhere besides IMATS! 

Many, many thanks to Sugarpill for gifting me these lipsticks. I am ever so thankful and I have so many ideas running through my head on what to do with these babies.  Those of you that have been following me for a while know I love just covering my face (and body) with makeup.

Introducing Sugarpill's Pretty Poison collection!  These are six unique shades that range from classic to unconventional in a long-wearing, hyper-pigmented matte formula with single-stroke coverage and a sweet creamsicle scent. These beauties launch this Monday, Nov 14, at noon PST. 

Sugarpill has some of the most pigmented, buttery eyeshadows on the market, so why would their lipsticks be any different? These are very opaque and so smooth and buttery.  If you've played with a lot of brightly coloured lipsticks, you'll notice that the most vivid ones are always a little harder/more dry to apply or you need many, many coats to make them as bright as they look in the tube--these are not like that. One swipe and you have full colour.  They are easy to apply and don't feel drying at all. The creamsicle scent isn't overpowering.  In fact, it's hardly noticeable. 

These beautiful lipsticks come in a little sugar pill tube that's covered in sparkles. Their net weight is 3.2 grams and they will cost $20 each or $120 for the bundle. They are also vegan and cruelty free!

Super sparkly packaging 😍

Now, for the swatches. These were swatched on dry, bare skin.  No primer or base was used.

From top to bottom:

NURSE: Rich, matte, true red with blue undertones.

CUBBY: Matte peachy-pink coral.

DETOX: Delicious, revitalizing orange. Very true-to-colour.

GIRL CRUSH: Vivid, matte fuchsia with blue undertones.

SPANK: Matte, deep blue-based violet.

U4EA: Super saturated, darkened matte teal.

If you'd like to see these on a darker skin tone, @makeupbykrishna swatched them on her page AND in Sugarpill's very FIRST Youtube video (Finally!) You can watch it down below or click through to their Youtube. Autumn and Krishna live swatch the lipsticks!

I'm super happy and very impressed with these and I can't wait to create looks with them! If you'd like to check these out yourself, you can purchase them on the 14th of November, at


***To maintain transparency, I want to let you know that this blog post is not sponsored. My opinions are my own and are truthful. However, these lipsticks were graciously gifted to me by the Sugarpill team. 

Black Magic Lashes Review (NOW Rouge and Rogue)

Black Magic Lashes, now going by the name Rouge and Rogue, is a brand I found out about in January of this year. I fell in love with their branding and soon fell in love with their lashes.  **If you don't want to read the whole blog post, the coupon code is AYCARTER

I wish I would have taken better photos of my first pair of lashes from BML, but I was so eager to try them on, I didn't have a chance. I'll put the photo I posted on instagram below:

Lashes from left to right:  Rogue ,  Wicked , and  Vamp

Lashes from left to right: Rogue, Wicked, and Vamp

These lashes are made of 100% cruelty-free mink hair. Super soft and perfectly fluttery.  As beautiful as the lashes were, I was so mesmerized with the packaging I wasn't quite sure what to do with myself.  The three pair came in their own little box that contains a little paper fortune. The three pairs were then bundled up in black paper and sealed with wax.  Beautiful.

I've pretty much used these lashes until they could be used no more. In fact, I still use them.  I took great care of them, and aside from a little extra buildup on the band, there really isn't anything wrong with them.  I had a few hairs fall out on Wicked, but that was my own fault for grabbing the actual lash band instead of the glue when I was taking the adhesive off.  I've worn each one of these lashes at least 25 times. 

Ok, on to the new lashes!
BML sent me 6 of their newest lashes. They recently launched two faux mink lines: Luxe Faux Mink and Faux Mink. Even though the real mink lashes are cruelty free, they were aware that some people still don't want to use anything derived from fur.

The new lashes came in the same beautiful packaging, just with a few changes.  The case has more of a tarot card feel to it and the back is now decorated with an orbuculum full of stars and a mystic's hands. Pictured below is what I posted to my Instagram feed:

Top Row (l to r) Riot, Paradox, & Raven | Bottom Row (l to r) Luminarra, Noctura, & Alpha Girl

Top Row (l to r) Riot, Paradox, & Raven | Bottom Row (l to r) Luminarra, Noctura, & Alpha Girl

Faux lashes from  the Enigma Collection  (left to right):  Paradox ,  Raven , &  Riot

Faux lashes from the Enigma Collection (left to right): ParadoxRaven, & Riot

I love these lashes.  My favourite pair so far for a basic, everyday look is actually Alpha Girl. I looove Riot. They remind me of Anime lashes.  Luminarra is perfectly fluttery and is so gorgeous for a dramatic and glitter eye. 

Below are couple eye looks I've done so far with my new lashes. They are incredibly stunning and pretty comfortable.  The Faux Mink isn't as soft and comfy as the higher quality Mink lashes, but as a long time eyelash wearer, comfort doesn't really matter when it involves beautiful lashes. 

If you'd like to try some of these lashes yourself, use "AYCARTER" at checkout to save some money!  Get them @

***To maintain transparency, I want to let you know that this blog post is not sponsored. My opinions are my own and are truthful. However, I do receive a very small percentage from the usage of my coupon code "AYCARTER" on, which helps me purchase supplies for my makeup art/everyday life/products to review...etc.  But, I generally try to put that towards creating art. If you would like to support me, thank you so much! I try to post any coupon codes I get from companies, whether I get any percentage from them or not. I'm all about saving money, so I like helping those that like to do so as well! 

Rituel De Fille Product Review

Rituel de Fille is a new makeup brand that I happened upon on instagram. (@ritueldefille)  Their branding feeds my aesthetic and I was super excited to get to try some of their products.  The company is founded by three very talented sisters and "inspired by the magical side of natural ingrediant, and the ritualistic, ceremonial power of pigment."  
All of their products are 99% natural, do not test on animals, and are completely cruelty free. 

Let's get started with their Forbidden Lipsticks-- I have ChrysalisFortune Teller, Night WandererShadow Self.

My first impression of these is how interesting their packaging is-- Sleek, long tubes that remind me of the lipsticks I used to try on in my mothers makeup drawer as a child. When you remove the top of any of the lipsticks, a lovely aroma of jojoba and lavender welcomes you. 

Before I tried them on my lips, I swatched them on my arm.  The swatches are without primer and are one generous application. They are very pigmented and super buttery. 
Fortune Teller is a deep berry with a nice shine, Chrysalis is a matte green with a bit of a shimmer to it, Night Wanderer is a pale, blackened purple with shimmer, and Shadow Self is close to a dark indigo and has a muted shimmer to it.

I love these lippies.  They are moisturizing, they smell lovely, and they stay on all day.

On to their Cream Blush

I've never used a cream blush before with the exception of a vibrant orange MAC cream blush I used for one of my clown looks haha. I don't wear a ton of blush normally, because I find most usually give me a "just ran 4 miles and can't breathe" look. 
However, these tones were very captivating and I had to try them. (And, they are safe to use for cheek, eyes, and lips, so there's that!)

I have Lovesick and Desire inner glow cream blush. Lovesick is said to be the shade of rose, however on my skin it was a wee bit warmer than I expected.  It's a dewy matte and blends beautifully on my cheeks. Desire is my favourite of the two, It's a mauvey colour that works well for blush and I love to use it on my eyelids. 
My swatches below are applied with a brush for an even layer, and have no primer underneath. 

Left to Right:  Lovesick ,  Desire

Left to Right: Lovesick, Desire

The Ash & Ember Eye Soot is the perfect blend of powder and cream. I have four of their shades: Obsidian (metallic black), Serpent de Mer (dark violet-taupe with golden shimmer), Viscera (warm red), and Half Light (shimmering pale-taupe)

I've played around with these a lot.  I've only gotten around to photographing one look with them, and I'll post it at the end.  These are great for just about everything from using a powder brush and blending in your crease, an angle brush for the perfect winged liner, or just your finger or flat brush to cover your lid. The texture is pretty much like a wet powder in a solid form.  It's easy to apply, easy to blend, and isn't sticky like a cream shadow would be.  

Left to Right:  Obsidian ,  Serpent de Mer ,  Viscera , &  Half Light  Ash and Ember Eye Soot

Left to Right: Obsidian, Serpent de Mer, Viscera, & Half Light Ash and Ember Eye Soot

The swatches were applied with a flat brush and were applied on bare skin (no primer.)

Left to Right:   Half Light ,  Serpent de Mer ,  Obsidian , &  Viscera  Ash and Ember Eye Soot

Left to Right:  Half LightSerpent de MerObsidian, & Viscera Ash and Ember Eye Soot

Look created with  Rituel de Fille  Ash and Ember eye soot  "Serpent De Mer"  with  Sugarpill  " Poison plum ." Wearing  Unicorn Lashes "Vespertine"

Look created with Rituel de Fille Ash and Ember eye soot "Serpent De Mer" with Sugarpill "Poison plum." Wearing Unicorn Lashes "Vespertine"

All in all, I would definitely recommend these products! I need to get some more looks photographed for view.  I've worn everything in phone selfies, but that's a whole other ballgame haha. 
I have their newest collection on the way to me, so as soon as I play around with those, I'll let you know what I think!