You need this! | Marcelle Revival Firming + Brightening Cream Serum: review, photos, swatches

Friday, November 30, 2012

The product: Marcelle Revival Firming + Brightening Cream Serum

I’m not usually one for the brightening serums, but I’ll make an exception for Marcelle for a lot of things. (And, from micellar waters to cleaning milks, they haven’t let me down yet.)

The Revival Firming + Brightening Cream Serum is aimed at menopausal and post-menopausal women, but I honestly think it’s a great find for any age group. Sure, I don’t really need the wrinkle-reducing properties, but it scores top points for evening out tone without whitening it! 

The product: The Firming + Brightening Cream Serum is a cream-serum hybrid, formulated to deliver the results of a serum with the comfort of a cream. You will still need to follow up with moisturizer, but it’s a great “disappearing act” all around: not only does it work to fade uneven pigmentation, but the product itself seems to disappear from the skin, too.

The cream-serum is easy to control coming out of the packaging, applies smoothly, and sinks in quickly. It doesn’t leave my skin any more oily or dry than it would be without, doesn’t have a long-lasting scent (or any artificial fragrances at all), and won’t make foundation catch or ball up.

The results: The Revival serum is made to firm, lift, protect against the formation of new wrinkles, reduce the appearance of brown spots, even tone, clarify the complexion, and improve the skin’s elasticity. (Quite a mouthful!)

I’ve just been using it to help fade scars left behind by blemishes, but it’s been going really well. Scars will stick around on my skin for a good 8-10 months, but the difference I’ve seen with this serum has just been enormous. The patch I’ve been targeting hasn’t faded completely, of course, but I’d peg it at 3-4 months of fading (visually), rather than the 2-3 weeks I’ve actually been using it for.

The verdict?

As the title says: you need this!! $35.95 is a price I know many will flinch at in the drugstore, but when you put it into perspective, it’s nothing at all — it works out to just $21.27 CAD per oz, while most dark spot correctors sit around $60-$90/oz.

I don’t want to promise miracles with the Revival Firming + Brightening Cream Serum, because I know all skins will respond differently to different products, but I honestly think Marcelle hit gold with this formula. It’s not going to give you laser-resurfacing results, but it’ll give any department store brightening serum a run for its money! My skin is particularly sensitive, and so far I’ve had no breakouts, irritation, or stickiness.

All in all, I am very, very pleased with this one. It’s rare that I try out a product that I can’t find a flaw in, but this is one of the few.

Keep reading! »

Get photo-ready in a flash with this Advent-inspired beauty box | Lise Watier Beauty in a Flash Kit

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

The product: Lise Watier Beauty in a Flash Kit

As those of you on a silicone-free skincare regimen (aka the ‘cone-free diet, as I like to refer to it in my head) will already know, finding a beauty kit that’s entirely silicone-free is a hard feat — a kit that’s largely skincare-based, even moreso.

These sets are few & far between, with the exception of a few natural beauty lines, but Lise Watier has put out a very cool Advent-calendar-inspired exception to the rule this Holiday season.

In the kit ($42 CAD), you’ll find… 

Seven Flash Lift Radiance Vials

On the periphery of the kit are seven re-closable plastic Flash Lift Radiance vials, regularly $27.00 for 7. They’re described as an all-ages “magic potion,” designed to lift, firm, smooth the appearance of wrinkles, erase signs of fatigue, and give instant radiance to all complexions.

I’m sure I don’t have to remind you that instant fixes never produce the same results as long-term skincare (or, I guess, an actual facelift,) but who couldn’t use a bit of a pick-me-up at this time of year? Between December deadlines, holiday shopping, and a constant lack of quality sunlight (at least in Alberta), I think we’re all a little more lackluster than we’d like.

Aqua, Butylene Glycol, Glycerin, Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein, Hydrolyzed Silk, Rutin, Green Bean Seed Extract, Palmitoyl Oligopeptide, Palmitoyl Tetrapeptide-7, Allantoin, Niacinamide, Tocopheryl Acetate, Sodium Hyaluronate, Cetyl Hydroxyethylcellulose, Dipotassium Glycyrrhizate, Disodium EDTA, Hydrogenated Castor Oil, PEG-7 Caprylic/Capric Glycerides, Polysorbate 20, PPG-26-Buteth-26, Xanthan Gum, Potassium Sorbate, Benzyl Alcohol, Phenoxyethanol, Parfum, Mica, Titanium Dioxide.

Three pairs of Bio Lift Eye Patches 

To go along with the Flash Lift vials, our fairy godmothers at Lise Watier have slipped in three pairs of their Bio Lift Eye Patch (regularly $34 for 6 pairs). These ones are a little less instantaneous, needing 15 to 20 minutes overtop moisturized skin for full efficacy, but promise similar results: smoothing, softer lines, and an overall less-tired eye area.

Aqua, Glycerin, Carbomer, Sodium Polyacrylate, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Witch Hazel Extract, Soy Protein, Allantoin, Tocopherol, Polysorbate 80, Tartaric Acid, Butylene Glycol, Methylparaben, Propylparaben, Ethylparaben.

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When in doubt, go for the shears

Monday, November 26, 2012

Got fed up with my hair (again) over the weekend & cut a few inches off. I can finally wear it straight again without it looking terrible, which is a definite plus!

Don’t be angry, okay? :o) I promise it’ll be long again in no time!

Keep reading! »

New 25/11/12: Armani, Bobbi Brown, and plenty of Becca!

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Becca, you say?

Well, yeah. Becca foundations and Beach Tints, but also Bobbi Brown (seriously, how gorgeous do this year’s Bobbi Brown collections look), and Giorgio Armani Lip Maestros, and those stunning Burberry Eye Palettes. 

And don’t even get me started on Clinique! I haven’t had a chance to try any of the Chubby Stick Intenses yet, but I think we all know it’s going to happen as soon as possible. My Chubby Stick fixation is a well-known fact by this point, and it might be a little dysfunctional, but hey.

At least my lips are staying moisturized.

And those sets

Holiday sets need no introduction.

Sephora X

Coming up at Sephora (if it’s not already in your local store) is the Sephora X collection, made up entirely of nail products. Lacquers, base coats, effect coats, you name it.

Now, I love nail lacquer as much as the next person–okay, that’s probably a lie; I never wear polish if I can help it–but… isn’t this a bit much? I mean, yes. The polishes look gorgeous, and the size of the collection is rather substantial. Sephora has you covered from base to top coat, here, but — they do already have Sephora Collection, Sephora by OPI, Sephora Trend Tipsand Sephora + Pantone Universe.

I get that it’s the year of the nail, but am I really the only one who thinks that five in-house brands might be overkill? Just a little bit?

Karl Lagerfeld x Shu Uemura | Eye & Cheek Palette review, photos, swatches: Smoky Velvet

Friday, November 23, 2012

The product: Karl Lagerfeld for Shu Uemura Eye & Cheek Palette in Smoky Velvet

And here’s the holiday aspect of the Karl for Shu collection, I suppose! The Smoky Velvet Eye & Cheek Palette doesn’t feel too Christmasy on first glance, but if you look at the shades, we’re actually working with black, white, green, red, and gold — all very Holiday-typical colour families, but in less typical hues. 

This palette contains the same texture breakdown as in the Prestigious Bordeaux palette (review here.)

Shu Uemura Smoky Velvet swatches, dry on primed skin. Indirect sunlight; click to enlarge.

The shade breakdown for this one: 

  • Glitter black (top left; silk smooth) – a shimmery black (medium pigmentation and good texture; sheers easily for less intensity) shot with plenty of silver sparkle.
  • Deep khaki (top right; silk smooth) – a dark, frosty olive green with gold shimmer.
  • Light silver (middle left; glitter) – by far my favourite shade from the two Karl for Shu palettes! The shimmer in this is absolutely gorgeous — white/silver shards paired with mulitcoloured reflects. When I described the Shu glitters as “mesmerizing,” this is the one I had in mind.
  • Mint green (middle right; frost) – a smooth, light green with yellow undertones. This shadow has the same (lovely) texture as the light brown in the Prestigious Bordeaux palette, but is a bit more sheer.
  • Glitter beige (bottom left; glitter) – gold microshimmer in a base of shimmery gold pigment… with a few gold-green reflects. A lot of gold in this one!
  • Dusty rose (bottom right; blush) – a blue-red blush that sheers out well. Satin finish with additional gold microshimmer.

Karl for Shu Smoky Velvet Eye & Cheek Palette swatches

A glittery love letter

A simple photograph can’t possibly give you the full effect of Shu’s gorgeous glitters, but an eye swatch is at the very least a bit better than an arm swatch, right?

Here’s a quick look with the Smoky Velvet white/clear shade on bare lids, with a flick of Blackish Satin Purple along the lashline. The way it moves (particularly under artificial light) is absoulutely divine — it’s like the shimmer is a technicolour motion picture film, but you’ve been looking at sepia stop-motion all your life.

See an up-close shot behind the cut to get a really good look at the shimmer. (I know some people can be squeamish about macro lid photographs, so consider yourself warned!)

The verdict?

Again, at $65 USD/$85 CAD, this is a bit of a stretch for most wallets — but there aren’t any “flops” in this palette either, and they’re a step above most holiday textures.

I love, love, love the silver shimmer in this palette, but I do think I could live without it overall. Smoky Velvets is a less wearable palette than Prestigious Bordeaux, and at the price, I think a few of the gorgeous Rouge Unlimited lipsticks in this collection (review upcoming) would be a better buy.

Availability: online at Shu Uemura; in stores at Holt Renfrew in Canada.

Please note, there are two versions of this palette! Depending on your country, the Smoky Velvet palette may contain a light silver-grey in place of the white/silver, a mint green instead of a light grassy green, and a champagne-gold glitter instead of a yellow-gold glitter. See swatches of the alternate version on Beautezine and Beauty by poc.

Additional photos & more »

The Best Black Friday Beauty Deals

Full disclosure: I am way too busy right now to compile a complete list of this year’s Black Friday beauty deals. (Oh, wouldn’t it be nice to blog full-time!) That said, though, the sales offered by two of the most prominent beauty retailers really stuck out for me, so I thought I’d give them a shout-out.

$10 Beauty Deals at Sephora, online & in stores

I’m sorry, what was that? Also available in Canada, you said?

That’s right — many of this year’s Black Friday sets at extend to, too. They’re $12 instead of $10, but hey, it’s no less exciting! There’s a bit of everything in there, and even if you don’t need anything for yourself, a lot of them would make fantastic stocking stuffers. (I’m thinking hard about those rollerball trios, but I should probably hold back on fragrance purchases for at least a couple years months!)

Buy-two-get-one nail lacquers at Nordstrom, PLUS free shipping on all orders!

Here’s one for the nail addicts, on Butter London, Deborah Lippman, THE NEW BLACK, and Nordstrom-brand varnishes. As usual, the free polish must be equal-or-lesser-value from the same brand, and are restricted to the American mainland, etc etc etc.) These brands almost never go on sale  in Canada (hey, did you know that Indigo is now carrying butterLONDON? Weird, but awesome.), so take advantage if you can.

Now’s a great time to stock up on THE NEW BLACK ombré sets, Lippmann glitters, or Butter London, um, everything!

Happy shopping, beautiful.

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