Clarins Sunkissed Summer 2017 review, swatches, photos

    Clarins sunkissed makeup collection review summer 2017

    The products: Clarins Summer 2017 “Sunkissed” Collection

    I promised a few quick Clarins Sunkissed Summer 2017 reviews in Monday’s post (which you should seriously read if you haven’t yet, because those false lashes give me Feelings™), and today, I’m delivering on that promise. I’ve gotten more wear out of Sunkissed than I have out of any other Clarins summer collection before it, and it’s definitely one of my can’t-miss collections of the summer.

    Clarins summer 2017 bronzer blush

    Clarins Sunkissed Bronzing & Blush Compact ($40 USD/$42 CAD)

    Clarins releases a big, limited edition bronzer every year, and this summer’s Clarins Sunkissed Bronzing & Blush Compact is my favourite so far. But that’s by no fault of Clarins’: rather, it’s my requirements that have changed.

    Clarins sunkissed summer 2017 swatches review

    Clarins swatches, L-R in indirect sunlight: Waterproof Eye Pencil in 06 Gold and 07 Copper; Instant Light Lip Perfector in 14 Pink Grapefruit; and Sunkissed Blush, then Bronzer

    The Clarins bronzing compacts are always great for light to medium skintones, and before this summer, that range didn’t apply to me. They’re too dark and warm for my usual fair skin, and too sheer and light for medium to dark skintones.

    The Sunkissed Bronzing & Blush Compact runs warm, with an orange blush and violet-scented powder.

    Clarins sunkissed summer 2017 eye quartet review swatches

    Clarins Sunkissed 4-Colour Eyeshadow Palette ($43 USD/$45 CAD)

    Visually, I really like the clean lines of the updated Clarins 4-Colour Eyeshadow Palettes. But functionally… I really miss the flakey shimmers that they used to include. They were what took these palettes from “okay” to “WOW,” and I’m finding myself having to use a separate flakey shimmer to finish off my eye looks without them.

    The Sunkissed eye palette contains a really lovely orange eyeshadow (which I never would have expected to see from Clarins) and a warm, nutty brown, but its two lighter shades are too similar to be functional.

    Clarins summer 2017 sunkissed eyeshadow palette quartet swatches review photos

    Clarins Sunkissed 4-Colour Eyeshadow Palette swatches (indirect sunlight)

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    Clarins Sunkissed Summer 2017 makeup look | Bronze and blue

    Solotica graphites coloured contacts review

    If you’ll remember from my recent Charlotte Tilbury #GLOWMO makeup look, I actually got a tan this summer. I know: it’s pretty wild. So, with my new, foundation-matchable skintone, I figured I’d take the Clarins Sunkissed makeup collection for a little spin.

    (Swatches and product photos are coming up on Thursday, so stay tuned!)

    Clarins sunkissed makeup collection review summer 2017

    The Clarins Sunkissed eyeshadow palette & bronzer

    The Clarins Sunkissed colour palette is a lot warmer than what I usually go for, but with my summer tan (I’m now a Pür Minerals Light, a Cover Fx G20, and an It Cosmetics Fair), I think it works. Here, I paired the Clarins Sunkissed 4-Colour Eyeshadow Palette ($43 USD/$45 CAD) with Esqido Miss Dolly false lashes and a bit of black liner.

    Clarins sunkissed makeup look summer 2017

    Clarins warm eyeshadow makeup look bronze

    I know I’m in the minority on this, but I actually hate wearing my Esqido lashes – they’re SO uncomfortable. They’re way heavier than a single-banded artificial set, and they’re so thick that they cut off the top fifth of my visual field, leaving me stumbling around like I’m three glasses of red into the night. Maybe I just need to try a lighter set or something, though, because Esqido’s craftsmanship is just beautiful.

    I finished off eyeshadow look with two of my must-have products: Annabelle’s Chrome Single Eye Shadow in Rose Gold and Lise Watier’s Stay Sharp Eyeliner in Platine.

    Clarins Sunkissed eyeshadow quad makeup look

    Clarins Sunkissed Eyeshadow Palette with and without Solotica Graphite lenses

    On my cheeks, I’m wearing Clarins Sunkissed Bronzing & Blush Compact ($40 USD/$42 CAD), which honestly works as a really lovely bronzer for a light skintone. I’m not so sure about its versatility, though. Like most Clarins bronzers and limited edition powders, it’s beautifully pressed and scented, but really only works wonders on a light to medium skintone.

    On my lips, I’m wearing the Clarins Instant Light Natural Lip Perfector ($26 USD/$20 CAD) from this summer’s collection. 13 Pink Grapefruit is a nice, sheer pink that smells like chocolate oranges thanks to the fruity fragrance and shea butter base, so (naturally) I’ve been hungry all summer long.

    Clarins sunkissed bronzing blush compact review makeup look

    Clarins Sunkissed + Solotica Graphite coloured contacts

    Bronzes and oranges are always recommended for those with blue eyes, so I shot two sets of photographs for this look: one set with my natural brown eyes, and one set with Solotica Graphite contact lenses. Mine are from the Solotica Hidrocor range, so they’re a yearly lens with no limbal ring.

    I usually love the way I look with coloured contact lenses, but I’m not so sure about this makeup look. I prefer my natural brown eyes, for once. Let me know what you think in the comments, because I’m really curious as to what everyone else’s opinions are on this!

    (Although I do love the robot eyes vibe, but who wouldn’t?)

    Clarins Sunkissed eyeshadow quad review

    Clarins sunkissed summer 2017 review makeup look

    Shop the look


    Clarins Sunkissed 4-Colour Eyeshadow Palette ($43 USD/$45 CAD)

    Esqido Miss Dolly False Eyelashes, trimmed ($29 USD)

    Annabelle Chrome Single Eye Shadow in Rose Gold ($5.95 CAD)

    Lise Watier Stay Sharp Eyeliner in Platine ($23 CAD)

    Solotica Graphite contact lenses ($120 CAD)


    Clarins Sunkissed Bronzing & Blush Compact ($40 USD/$42 CAD)

    Clarins Instant Light Natural Lip Perfector ($26 USD/$20 CAD)


    Beat dryness down under with Vagisil ProHydrate

    Vagisil x theNotice daily essentials

    *sponsored by Vagisil

    Try as we might, sometimes things downstairs just don’t go as smoothly as you may have hoped. That might apply to your actual, literal downstairs neighbours, but it can apply to the quivering quim downstairs, too.

    (I’m sorry, did I google a list of hilarious vagina euphemisms include in this post? You bet your mother-of-all-souls I did.)

    Vagisil ProHydrate water-based lubricant applicadtor review

    Why Vagisil ProHydrate is on my radar

    The Vagisil ProHydrate Natural Feel Moisturizing Gel is designed to relieve vaginal dryness. It’s a pretty personal topic for me, because despite the fact that I’m only 24, I experience it on a regular basis. I know that dryness is usually associated with post-menopausal women, but folks?

    Unless my vertical grimace is hiding something big from me, it’s not just something that affects menopausal women. Vaginal dryness can be caused by a lot of other things, including hormonal fluctuations, certain medications, and plain ‘ol stress.

    Vagisil ph balance wash

    Vagisil makes a range of products including a moisturizing gel/lubricant, a pH Balanced Wash (basically just a gentle soap for your down under), and an Extra Strength Anti-Itch Crème. Because they’re made by Vagisil, they’re pretty affordable and easy to find. I’d love to see the range expand to include glycerine-free options in the future, but for now, the accessibility alone more than grants Vagisil a mention.

    Vagisil ProHydrate is water-based and features no added estrogen, no perfumes, no dyes, and no preservatives. It’s silicone-, fragrance-, and paraben-free. However, I want to make sure to note that the formula does contain glycerine.

    Vagisil extra strength anti itch creme

    How I use Vagisil ProHydrate Natural Feel

    Vagisil ProHydrate is kind of a cross between a moisturizing serum and a personal lubricant. It’s made to function as both, and you can use it both ways.

    For those who experience dryness 24/7, Vagisil recommends that you use ProHydrate Natural Feel once every 3 days. The formula is water-based for instant relief, but it also contains hyaluronic acid to help retain moisture. (Just like in your facial skincare!)

    I use a lot of lube, but honestly? Sometimes, it’s just really damn nice not to have to stop, scramble, find the bottle, apply, and clean up. I use my Vagisil ProHydrate ahead of time if I want the option of getting caught up in the moment, and it does a stellar job of just hanging out until I need it.

    Vagisil ProHydrate Moisturizing Feel applicator


    We-Vibe Tango review + budget bullet vibrators with Adam & Eve

    We-Vibe Tango review

    *sponsored by Adam & Eve

    The product: We-Vibe Tango Vibrator (and a few budget bullet vibrators)

    I’ve talked about the We-Vibe Tango before, but I did it with a not insubstantial amount of trepidation. Now, two years later, I’ve got a follow up review… Because the Tango has become one of my can’t-live-without-it toys.

    What makes the We-Vibe Tango worth it

    The Tango is a legend in the sex blogging community. It’s incredibly strong, quiet, and compact. I like to think of it as the gold standard that all other bullet vibrators compare themselves against: it’s the stronger, better, cooler older sibling who your parents have always loved more.

    We-Vibe Tango one in one out re-review

    I have my reservations about the We-Vibe Tango, because for all of its strengths, its battery life is seriously lacking. Like other We-Vibe toys, it can struggle to hold a charge, and usually only lasts about 60 minutes before running out of juice.

    But despite all of that, when my first We-Vibe Tango died on me last Christmas, I bought another one immediately. The vibrations on this toy are so good–so dependable–that I started getting orgasm-related anxiety without it. I made it about 3 weeks before caving and biting the bullet on a second Tango, even though I knew its battery life was going to be a little bit crap, too.

    We-Vibe Tango bullet vibrator review

    Other budget bullet vibrator options

    As amazing as the We-Vibe Tango is, however, it is pretty pricey. I think the price is worth it, but I know it doesn’t fit all budgets.

    I wanted to try out a few budget bullet vibrators from Adam & Eve for this post, but US/Canadian customs kept destroying my incoming parcels. So, as much as I would have liked to, I won’t be able to add firsthand accounts.

    Instead, here are a few budget bullet vibrators available at that are offered on a really great deal. The ones listed here are waterproof, and they’re 50% off one item plus free shipping in the US and Canada if you use the code NOTICE. (The “50% off one item” deal applies to about 90% of the site, but a few brands like We-Vibe are excluded.)

    Image HTML map generator

    About Adam & Eve

    Adam & Eve is a bit of an industry relic. They started out back in 1969 selling condoms by mail for founder Phil Harvey’s masters thesis, and officially set up shop the following year.

    Phil Harvey splits his time between Adam & Eve and DKT International, a non-profit organization that provides “family planning, health care, and sex materials to nine third-world countries in Asia, Africa and Latin America.” Over 20% of Adam & Eve’s profits each year are donated to charities including DKT, the Special Olympics, and the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

    However: before you order your Tango or non-We-Vibe bullet, PLEASE NOTE that Adam & Eve still operates like an older sex toy shop. Their charitable work is very commendable, but they still sell toxic toys, offer non-discreet mailers, and list their toys under “for him” and “for her” – which doesn’t necessarily take the well-being of their consumer into mind.

    Adam & Eve is a leader in the sex toy industry, so I’ve been emailing the brand to voice my concerns about their gendered marketing tactics. If you’d like to help me encourage them to lead the pack in non-gendered marketing, tweet them at @adamandeve!


    Maybelline Color Sensational lipstick review, swatches

    Maybelline color sensational lipstick review

    The products: Maybelline Color Sensational Lipstick in 560 Raw Chocolate (Matte), 575 Brown Blush (Matte), 790 Midnight Merlot (Bold), and 955 Espresso Exposed 

    I’ve been really into a brownish, creamy lip this year. There’s just something about a totally shimmer-free shade that does it for me: that luscious, “you don’t know what I’m up to or who I’ve killed” kind of look.

    I’ve worn Maybelline Color Sensational Lipsticks for years, and I’m happy to say that they’re still just as good as they were when they launched. The colour selection has a lot more vampy shades and neutrals now, and they still have the same slightly-tacky, comforting formula.

    Maybelline 955 Espresso Exposed Color Sensational swatch review photos

    Maybelline “Espresso Exposed” Color Sensational lipstick swatch

    The original Maybelline Color Sensational Lipstick formula

    The typical Maybelline Color Sensational Lipstick formula is relatively heavy. It has opaque coverage and a smooth application, but it’s also heavily scented.

    The original formula (used in 955 Espresso Exposed) is still my favourite of the bunch. It wears for about 3 hours before I need to touch up.

    Maybelline 560 Raw Chocolate matte lipstick swatch review photos

    Maybelline “Raw Chocolate” Color Sensational Matte lipstick swatch

    The Maybelline Color Sensational Matte Lipstick formula

    The Maybelline Color Sensational Matte Lipstick formula is a lot drier. It has a similar heaviness, but has a dry finish and applies more patchily. Unlike the original formula, I’d say that the mattes tend to be medium-opaque. 

    Maybelline 575 Brown Blush matte lipstick swatch review photos

    Maybelline “Brown Blush” Color Sensational Matte lipstick swatch

    I can wear the Maybelline matte formula for about an hour before it starts to get uncomfortable, and it needs to be touched up in 2 hours. (Or after a meal or snack, so like… every two hours anyways.)

    I tried the Maybelline Color Sensational Matte formula in 560 Raw Chocolate and 575 Brown Blush. The former was a little too orange for my complexion, but the latter is gorgeous. It’s a really mauvey, violet-based shade.

    Maybeline 790 Midnight Merlot swatch review photos

    Maybelline “Midnight Merlot” Color Sensational Bold lipstick swatch & stain

    The Maybelline Color Sensational Bold Lipstick formula

    Finally, I also tried the Maybelline Color Sensational Bold finish in 790 Midnight Merlot. It’s a beautiful shade, but I had a little more trouble with the formula.

    The Bold finish packs a lot of pigment, but it has more slip than the original formula. If you hate the tackiness of the original Color Sensationals, you may actually enjoy these.

    That being said, the Bolds do make for a beautiful stain – so much so that I took a swatch photo of Midnight Merlot’s stain, too.

    Maybelline Color Sensational in the nudes review

    The Maybelline Color Sensational verdict?

    It’s really no secret that I love an affordable find, and these definitely fit the bill. If you can put up with a strongly scented lipstick, I really think these are worth owning–especially 955 Espresso Exposed.

    Availability: $7.29 USD/$9.99 CAD at drugstores and mass market retailers.

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