Beauty déjà vu | Chantecaille Zebra Kabuki vs. Japonesque Safari Chic Bronzer brushes

Friday, September 21, 2012

I’m still rather smitten with my Japonesque Safari Chic Bronzer Brush, so it’s no surprise that I had a bit of a “haven’t we been here before?” moment while browsing the new launches at Nordstrom.com. Chantecaille’s upcoming Zebra Kabuki Brush (pre-order it here) follows the same animal-print trend, but at a much higher price point — a cringe-worthy $69.

Made from goat hair and designed to buff or build any and all powder products, I’m sure the Chantecaille brush will be lovely… but that doesn’t really change the fact that it’s almost $70, you know?

$22 (and cruelty-free!) is a lot easier to swallow, and aesthetically speaking, I actually prefer Japonesque’s version — while the Zebra Kabuki could be mistaken for just any old white-and-black striped brush, the Safari Chic brush is definitely animal print.

What kind of animal print, I’m not sure (big cats were never really my forté, by which I mean that I am kind of terrible with all animals, ever), but definitely an animal nonetheless.

And probably not a crocodile or giraffe or something.

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 Sephora.com.

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.)

Availability:

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 »

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