Now In Stores | OCC Lip Tars at Sephora

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics‘ infamous Lip Tars have launched at Sephora, so I thought I’d dedicate a post to them. The Lip Tars retail for $16 USD/$19 CAD, and come with a Short-Handled Precision Lip Brush for precise, opaque coverage.

(In case you’ve been living under a rock: the OCC Lip Tars are essentially super-pigmented lipstick-gloss hybrids, made to be mixed and blended to your heart’s content. They go on like a gloss but dry down to a satin finish, and work best when applied sparingly.)

Not all Sephora stores will be carrying the line, but all of the shades are available online here at

Americans, use code TRY6 with any $25+ purchase for six free deluxe skincare samples, or CANDY for a deluxe-sized sample of Prada Candy (one of my top picks for a light autumnal fragrance.)

Canadians, use STILABB with any $35+ purchase for a free deluxe sample of Stila’s new BB cream, EXTEND for a deluxe sample of Living Proof Prime Style Extender, or WOW for a free Benefit Hello Flawless! Oxygen Wow sample (choose from 9 shades).

You’re welcome. *takes a bow*

One of these days, I’m going to figure out how to put together posts like this without taking hours. It’s not like you can eyeball all of these images; no one’s that exact! (Not even I Especially not I.)

But, without further adieu, images of the entire OCC Lip Tar range, painstakingly sorted by shade.

The full OCC Lip Tar range

OCC Lip Tars, L-R: Interlace, Hush, Femme, Divine, Trollop

OCC Lip Tars, L-R: Digitalis, Ophelia, Narcissus, Pageant, Lydia

OCC Lip Tars, L-R: Pretty Boy, Demure, Anime, Hoochie, Belladonna

Ingredients & the rest of the shades »

Marc Jacobs releases another fragrance (and it’s right on the Dot.) | Marc Jacobs Dot Eau de Parfum review, photos

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

The product: Marc Jacobs Dot Eau de Parfum (50 ml/1.7 fl oz spray)

The idea: Described as a lush, effervescent floral, Dot is made for the “eclectic, spontaneous female.” (I’m not making this stuff up, folks.) As part of the Marc Jacobs fragrance family along Daisy and Lola, the scent is as bold and girly as you’d expect from the bottle — which could be very good or very bad; it all depends on what angle you’re coming at this from!

Created by perfumer Annie Buzantian (the nose behind this year’s new Marchesa Parfum d’Extase launch, as well), I see Dot as Daisy’s younger, less-subtle sister; a starter fragrance for someone who knows better than to take things too seriously.

The bottle: The Marc Jacobs camp is running around calling their enormous lids a “chic play of proportions,” but honestly, I think this one’s a bit too large. Oversized lids seem to be “in” for fragrances targeted at a younger audience, though–perhaps in part due to Marc Jacobs’ own Lola bottle,– but it’s still rather ungainly to have a lid that’s larger even than the bottle itself.

Inspired by Marc’s love for the iconic polka dot and designed by/with Sayuri Shoji, the bottle is designed to be eye-catching and cheerful, conveying an “animated pop of energy, charm, and spirit.” It is, strangely enough, very much a right hand scent — which isn’t a negative, but it’s rather amusing!

(The polka-dot-butterfly-pearl placement means you really can’t fit this one into your left hand, though I’d love to see you try.)

The notes: With top notes of red berries, dragon fruit, and honeysuckle, Dot is initially a sweet burst of fruity berries. From there, heart notes of jasmine, coconut water, and orange blossom have been worked into the formula, and finally, there’s an underlying base of  vanilla, driftwood, and musk.

All in all, it makes for a fairly unadventurous (and very sweet) fragrance, but while it’s not my kind of scent, I can see it selling quite well to the general population. It certainly does smell tasty; I’ll give it that!

The scent: Dot starts off quite fresh; light and almost watery — effervescent indeed. Within a minute, the weightless top notes evaporate away, and the scent becomes more fruity; heavier and sweeter.

As it dries down, Dot becomes warmer and more mellowed-out, sitting closer to the skin with time. Its initial throw (sillage) is quite strong, and tapers off for the first hour or so before hitting a plateau. While it’s a fragrance that’s much too syrupy-sweet for my preferences, I’ll admit that part’s interesting: when I smell it from an arm’s length away, it’s bubblier and lighter than it is if I put my nose right to my skin, where it’s a bit more of a candied floral.

Overall, the scent is what I had expected: fruity with strong synthetic berry notes and no discernable specifics, with more initial sillage than I’d like (but which minimizes with time.) I think this would have been much more interesting with a floral tucked in there somewhere, perhaps magnolia or a more distinctive jasmine, and it definitely could have benefited from a longer wear time — it’s almost completely gone by the four or five hour mark, which is distinctly sub-par.

The bottom line

Inoffensive and fresh, if overly sweet, Dot has a very generic feel to it — good as a starter perfume for your preteen niece, for instance, but too syrupy and cookie-cutter for a more discerning nose. I think it’s exactly what I think it was intended to be, and I’d pick it over the Paris Hiltons and Britney Spearses of the perfume world, but I wouldn’t wear this one out of the house.

(Or inside it, for that matter.)


Find it at Nordstrom, Sephora, Shopper’s Drug Mart, The Bay, & etc.

Keep reading! »

NYFW Spring 2013: in review

Sunday, September 16, 2012

The word-count-per-post has been steadily inching up the past few months on theNotice, so let’s keep this one as short and succinct as possible, yeah?

I favour F/W collections by a long shot, particularly when it comes to beauty — enough so that I don’t think I even had a favourite beauty look from the just-finished fashion week. When it comes to what I actually wear, my look is much more in line with spring makeup than anything else, but… I find it kind of boring, to be honest. Fresh, dewy skin and a no-makeup look are gorgeous for everyday, but you can only do it so many times before it’s all just the same.

That said, here are a few of my favourite pieces from 2013’s spring collections. (I’m kind of all over J. Mendel at the moment — gorgeous, gorgeous work.)  

Badgley Mischka, Marchesa

J. Mendel

J. Mendel

Cushnie et Ochs (Spring 2012 on left) 

What were your favourite collections from this fall’s NYFW?

[ sources in the images’ title text ]

Is LUSH’s Emotional Brilliance Fantasy too good to be true? | LUSH Liquid Eyeliner review, photos, swatches

Friday, September 14, 2012

The product: LUSH Emotional Brilliance Liquid Eyeliner in Fantasy

The shade: Okay, I absolutely have to start out talking about the gold tones in Fantasy. I was in raptures when I saw the promo image, and while the product looks a little too warm in the bottle, it is absolutely gorgeous when applied. 

Not too yellow and not too bronze, Fantasy applies with complete opacity in just one swipe, shines like the light of a thousand suns a seriously brilliant metallic-finish nail varnish, and almost, almost makes me want to give up my much-loved Marcelle Pure Gold Lux Diamond Liquid Eyeliner entirely.

(But I have both, now, and who says you can’t love more than one gold liner? They’re not even the same finish; it’s totally worth owning both!)

LUSH Fantasy Liquid Eyeliner – swatched/applied

LUSH Fantasy Liquid Eyeliner Swatch (both gold swatches on the left)

The formula: Thicker than expected (but not quite too thick), I found Fantasy to be quite comfortable to wear — unlike some liners, it wasn’t heavy or sticky, and I couldn’t feel it on my lids after it had set.

I don’t get all-day wear out of this, but LUSH kept true to their smudge-free promise: when it does begin to wear off, it starts with bits of gold glitter, and (if you leave it on for long enough & accidentally rub your eyes not that I did or anything) it’ll wear away in little gold flakes. Not flawless, but I definitely prefer it over smudging or fading!

Just one thing to note, though; this is the sort of formula that dries into a layer, so clean up any errors you make in application before it sets. If you wait until after, you risk your eyeliner unravelling in a fashion not dissimilar from that of a hand-knitted sweater with a pull.

More lid swatches of LUSH Fantasy’s gorgeous, metallic goldness

Watch out! for: The first time I tried this liner, I wasn’t thrilled with the texture… or the wear time. Upon closer inspection, though, I noticed a thin layer of liquid sitting on top of the product — not curdling, just a bit of separation. With a few inversions, it mixed right back in, and I found the texture to be much more workable (and the wear to be much less flakey!)

It gets quite hot in my makeup room during the summer, and Fantasy was hardly the only product to separate. My Emotional Brilliance cream eyeliner and lipstick were fine, but if you pick up Fantasy or Independent, make sure to invert your products every now and then for the best results.

Seriously, how gorgeous is that gold?!

The packaging: Like a lot of you, I had my worries about this packaging — but I didn’t have any problems at all with it, to be honest.

With a fine-tipped brush applicator (call me crazy, but I prefer it over a sponge or felt tip for a formula like this one), it’s easy to get as thick or thin of a line as you need. The handle is a little awkward, as expected, but (thankfully!) more of an irritant than an impairment. It takes a bit of getting used to, but I’m sure you’ll manage ;)

LUSH Emotional Brilliance Liquid Eyeliner – applicator tip

The verdict?

I was bracing myself for Fantasy to let me down, but… surprisingly enough, it didn’t! Gorgeously opaque and with a great warm-cool balance (especially for a gold, which can be tricky), I loved this as both an eyeliner and an eyeshadow — photos of the latter behind the cut.

At $22.95 for 0.2oz (same as the other Emotional Brilliance colour products), I think LUSH’s new liners are worth checking out if you’re looking for a gorgeous colour selection with good wear time. They’re not perfect, but for shade as gorgeous as this one, I’m definitely willing to allow for a bit of wiggle room.

Additional photos, details, ingredients, & more »

On Our Radar | Bobbi Brown Uber Basics

Thursday, September 13, 2012

I’ve been playing around with product spreads (rather than widgets), recently, and I have to say — I kind of love this one. Laying it out like this takes a bit more time okay, like, an entire bloody hour more than throwing everything into a ready-made box, but the effect is… different, I think. Hopefully better, and potentially worth getting used to.

Anyhow; I hope really do hope you guys enjoy the mildly-interactive spread. Have fun with it; everything is clickable (product photos & labels, but not individual shade names) and will bring you to the product’s page! 

Full collection details »

Keep it all in Perspective with LUSH Emotional Brilliance | LUSH Liquid Lipstick: review, photos, swatches

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

The product: LUSH Emotional Brilliance Liquid Lipstick in Perspective

(I thought about grouping these reviews, but let’s be realistic: there’s no way that post would have been under the 1000 word mark. Liquid lipstick today; eyeliner and cream eyeshadow coming up soon!) 

The texture: Okay, alright, so I was ridiculously excited for the new Liquid Lipsticks — but I kind of hated the formula. It’s super-smooth in the sort of way that’s almost oily, and I know (I know, I know) some people adore formulas that feel like oil and powder, but I’m sticking resolutely to my fondness for the ones that feel more like lip balm and pigment.

To be fair, though, it’s really down to a matter of preference. I’m not a fan of products like this one, but it was certainly lightweight, non-drying, and pigmented! 

Swatched from L-R: LUSH Liquid Eyeliner in Fantasy, Liquid Lipstick in Perspective, and Cream Eyeshadow in Wise.

LUSH Emotional Brilliance swatches in direct sunlight.

The surprise: While the feel of this lipstick is too oily for me, I’m actually quite fond of the formula as a liquid blusher. Thin and easily blendable, it both layers and absorbs easily — reminiscent of the Clarins Instant Light Blush I reviewed last Spring, both in format and in price, but with a better shade range (and wider availability).

With a jojoba oil and candelilla wax base, the hydrating formula feels too oily for my lips, but works well (and wears well) on my cheeks. Enough said.

The shade: Perspective is described as a natural, dusky rose, but I wasn’t crazy about it against my skintone. (See it worn as a blusher in this Anna Karenina makeup look from last week.) Unlike many of the other shades, it has a finely-milled shimmer component, which translates a bit frostily on my dry lips — but give it a look if you have a warmer skintone & happen to be on the market for a neutral lip shade!

I’m not sure if it varies by colour, but this one never quite dried down on my lips. From reviews that I’ve read of the Emotional Brilliance line, though, I’m willing to guess there’s a bit more pigment (and a slightly drier finish) in some of the bolder shades, so do try to read reviews for the exact shade you’ll be buying!

LUSH Perspective Liquid Lipstick – on cheeks

The verdict?

I’m a bit divided on this one, to be honest. On one hand, $22.95 for 0.2oz isn’t a bad price (though nor is it a fantastic one), and I love the way LUSH has set up the Emotional Brilliance range. On the other, though, I wasn’t crazy about this lipstick — but I think a lot of that had to do with the shade.

For a hydrating, slick-finish, paraben-free liquid lipstick (or for a seamless, silicone-free liquid blusher), give this formula a try. I wasn’t wooed by Perspective, but there are some definite stunners in the range!

(I have my eye on Drive, Glamorous, Decisive, and Confident… will have to check them out in-store sometime. Photos behind the cut!)

Keep reading! »

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