Worth the wait (and the hype) | Marcelle BB Cream review, photos, swatches

Monday, January 23, 2012

The product: Marcelle BB Cream in Light to Medium

What they say about it: Marcelle is marketing their BB Cream as a hypo-allergenic beauty balm/skin enhancer, calling it an 8 in 1 product. I couldn’t quite suss out what those eight claims were, but I’ve numbered off my guesses – and will try to judge the product accordingly!

Your ultimate skin care enhancer for all ages and skin types, this multi-purpose skin care cream is more than a tinted moisturizer or simple make-up base. It perfects the skin to (1) reveal a more even epidermis and (2) well-hydrated, (3) flawless complexion, all in one. Use it (4) alone as a tinted moisturizer;  (5) over your moisturizer to unify your complexion and (6) reduce the appearance of blemishes, (7) apply as a make-up base under foundation for total coverage and (8) improved stay-on power. BB Cream is offered in two shades and is suitable for a wide variety of skintones thanks to its self-adjusting pigments that transform and adapt to skin tone.

Please note that because I am sensitive to silicones, I will be unable to judge the long term or long-wearing effects of this product – that is, claims 1 through 3, and 8. I can, however, speak toward all of the other claims, so keep reading for the review!

Marcelle Light to Medium BB cream review

The shade: Somehow, Marcelle has managed to put just the right amount of pigment into their BB cream – more on par with a sheer foundation than a tinted moisturizer. It’s enough to tone down my awful undereye circles, but not so much that only having two shade choices will be terribly limiting.

Light to Medium is darker than my own skintone, and yet, it’s completely seamless: my face still matches my neck, but I’d feel completely comfortable wearing this and nothing else as a base product – as long as I’m not in the middle of breakout, that is! Check back tomorrow for shade comparison swatches.

Update: check out comparison swatches (MAC, 100% Pure, other Marcelle foundations) here!

Marcelle BB Cream swatches – all Light to Medium, with differing amounts of blending.

The finish: Again, Marcelle has hit the nail right on the head with this one. Similarly to the amount of pigmentation, the finish is absolutely natural – just enough glow to give my skin an extra little boost, but not so much that it’s obvious. (I’ve got a super-close-up flash photo of a swatch below; you can tell that there’s a small amount of super-finely-milled mica that’s literally imperceptible to the naked eye.)

I like to think of this as a natural plus finish – no one would ever guess that you were wearing a base product, and yet, the results are just that tiny bit more flawless.

Super-close-up swatches of Marcelle BB Cream in Light to Medium; indirect sunlight with additional flash.

The ingredients: Marcelle’s BB Cream is paraben-free, perfume-free (though it is not scent-free), and hypoallergenic. For the full ingredient list, 

Aqua/Water/Eau, Cyclopentasiloxane, Octyldodecanol, Dimethicone, Glycerin, Dimethicone/Vinyl Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Cyclohexasiloxane, Isopropyl Myristate, Bis-Peg/Ppg-14/14 Dimethicone, Aluminum Starch Octenylsuccinate, Xylitylglucoside, Cetyl Peg/Ppg-10/1 Dimethicone, Polyglyceryl-4 Isostearate, Hexyl Laurate, Silica, Sodium Chloride, Isododecane, Acrylates/Dimethicone Copolymer, Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Anhydroxylitol, Xylitol, Tocopheryl Acetate, Lauroyl Lysine, Hydrolyzed Hyaluronic Acid, Triethoxycaprylylsilane, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Camellia Oleifera Leaf Extract, Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Flower/Leaf Extract, Disteardimonium Hectorite, Propylene Carbonate, Trihydroxystearin, Talc, Butylene Glycol, Propylene Glycol, Diazolidinyl Urea, Iodopropynyl Butylcarbamate, Sodium Benzoate, Potassium Sorbate, Phenoxyethanol, Titanium Dioxide, Mica, Iron Oxides

Odds and ends: So, that throwaway comment about this being perfume-free but not scent-free? I’m not sure what to say about it. I can’t stand the slightly-sour scent of this, even after a good half hour of wear. But here’s the thing: my scent-sensitive sister? Can’t smell it at all.

My advice is that if you’re not already convinced that you’re crazy (that is, you’re frequently annoyed by a faint sour scent when everyone else is convinced a product is scent-free), I wouldn’t worry about it in relation to this BB cream, either.

Lastly, I want to give a quick shout-out to the brilliant packaging of this BB cream. Not only is it super-cute (white is underrated, you guys), but it’s blissfully user-friendly. It’s light, easy-to-use, and super sanitary. No trigger-finger pump, no bacterial contamination, and no need to worry about fingerprints or fragility!

The verdict?

Marcelle’s BB Cream retails for $22.95 CAD/45mL and is available in Light to Medium and Medium to Dark shades. I’m hesitant to give a verdict for this one, as I wasn’t able to test it for long-term or all-day wear, but I love what I did get to test it for.

With more coverage than a tinted moisturizer, a completely seamless finish, and just the right amount of “glow,” the Marcelle BB Cream is a fantastic introduction to BB Creams on the whole. I’m no expert, of course, but I’ll say this: if the rest of the trend is anything like this one, I completely understand the craze!

One last photo »

New 22/01/12

Sunday, January 22, 2012

LOTS of exciting new launches this week – I’m a little intimidated! Instead of one “assorted” widget, I’ve sorted them into three sections: palettes and sets, lips, and everything else. (It’s the “everything else” that’s really, really exciting. I’m D-Y-I-N-G for that Armani pencil, and I can’t wait to read some reviews for the Tarte blusher and Hourglass foundation.)

Oh, who are we kidding. It’s not just the assorted section that’s exciting; they’re all exciting. Have you picked up any of these new launches yet? Let me know what your thoughts are in the comments – I’m dying for some more details!

Palettes and sets

Keep reading; we’re not nearly done yet! »

NOW INTRODUCING | Edward Bess at Sephora

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Oh, god. Want. And I’m sure I’m not the only one!

The poor girl’s NARS Outremer | FaceFront Tokyo Future shade comparisons

Alright, so it’s a few days late, but here are a handful of Tokyo Future comparison swatches. I’ve been running about attending far more courses than is generally advisable in order to sort out my schedule, so I apologize for the artificial lighting – by the time I get home, the sun’s already set. (Incidentally, it is likely that this will continue for the remainder of the season. My pre-emptive apologies; looks like photo-taking is going to be reserved for the weekends!)

From my stash, I found that Digital Dragon (the shade I unexpectedly fell a bit in love with) had the most dupes out of this bunch – nothing perfect, and nothing quite as densely molten-metal, but the Ellis Faas 303 Light would give the same effect. Something like Illamasqua Liquid Metal in Solstice might be close, too; if not in shade than at least pigment density and finish.

Secret Samurai reminded me a bit of ULTA Mystique and MAC Satin Taupe, but it’s a bit darker than the former and lighter than the latter. It also has quite a bit more red in the base – I thought it leaned just slightly red, but when compared to other taupes, the difference is more obvious. If you find taupes tend to lean too yellow on you, don’t miss this one.

I didn’t even bother looking for Lost in Nishitama dupes (maybe, like, MAC Spicy Smoke?), and the closest I had to the semi-matte Shallow Depth was Annabelle Lagoon – limited edition a while back, though, and not as much of an intense, straight-up blue. Shallow Depth is the low-budget NARS Outremer, in my head, though I do think the FaceFront pigment is more muted; darker. Perhaps more similar to something like Inglot #388?

Products featured in this post

(Click on the brand name to link to reviews/swatches on theNotice!)

More photos behind the cut »

Rebottling an icon | ck one Eau de Toilette review

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

The product: ck one (on-the-go packaging)

ck one has always smelled like a cologne to me, with its hard, fresh, too-synthetic edges. I mean, I do have quite a bit of respect for it (how could you not respect something so iconic, something that has changed the perfume world this much?), but it’s never really been up my alley, so to speak.

At first spritz, ck one is sharp and almost aggressively clean, with notes of bergamot, cardamom, pineapple, papaya, and green tea. I can’t imagine anyone not recognizing the scent–remember when it was everywhere, on everyone, for like, a decade?– though perhaps a generation of fragrance lovers who’ve never so much as heard of ck one is upcoming. I don’t get a lot of fruit out of it (the bergamot and green tea pop out the most, on my skin), but they’re tucked away in there.

Launched in ’94 and crafted by Alberto Moriallas and Harry Fremont, ck one was the first “big” unisex scent. The full-sized version (I’ve photographed the rather unique travel-size bottle), designed by Fabien Baron, features a screw-top lid and and an almost flask-like frosted bottle, which was – intriguing, to say the least.

The sharp top notes fade quickly, revealing a softer layer of florals (rose, violet, jasmine, and a nice, comfortable nutmeg) and a woodier base (musk, amber).

At the end of the day, I think what I respect ck one most for is that it made unisex cool. It was sort of the groundbreaker, the fragrance that said “I can smell like this because I want to smell like this,” you know? And that’s definitely something I can get behind.

ck one is, admittedly, not for me – and probably not for a lot of us. The nineties were a long time ago (can you believe that this scent is already seventeen, eighteen years old?) and fragrance trends have changed, but I still think it’s worth giving a sniff. To me, it’s one of those scents that every ‘fumehead needs to try, even if just for reference. It was huge, iconic, and I do think it’s still relevant to some degree. ck one is a classic; it’s the Shalimar of the Gen Xs and Ys, the Angel of the nineties tomboy.

Give it a try. Who knows? Maybe you’ll like it. Maybe you’ll love it.

Keep reading »

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