The Best Black Friday Beauty Deals

Friday, November 23, 2012

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.

Dior Ors & Merveilles

Thursday, November 22, 2012


(For more Dior, don’t miss our Grand Bal product spread, here.)

Karl Lagerfeld x Shu Uemura | Eye & Cheek Palette review, photos, swatches: Prestigious Bordeaux

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Included in this year’s karl lagerfeld x shu uemura holiday collection are two eye & cheek palettes, and — you guys. You guys. They’re absolutely gorgeous; I honestly cannot wrap my head around why the internet hasn’t started freaking out about them yet.

Oh, well. With palettes like these, it’s bound to happen soon enough. (Smoky Velvet swatches/review coming up soon as well!)

The textures

This is the first time I’ve gotten around to trying Shu eyeshadows, and I have to admit: I’m a little ticked that I hadn’t tried them earlier. You always hear about how great the Shu Uemura eyeshadow textures are, but the silk smooth eye shadow formula is literally like nothing I’ve ever tried beforeThe formula is distinctly a powder, but just from the way it feels, you’d almost think it was a whipped cream.

On top of that, the way Shu does glitters is absolutely stunning. With a wide variety of particle shapes and sizes (large “shards” of clear reflects, coloured shimmer, finely-milled sheen, and “normal” shimmer of varying size), the effect is just so complex; wet-finish and absolutely mesmerizing. 

The Prestigious Bordeaux Palette

The Prestigious Bordeaux Eye & Cheek Palette contains two super-velvety eyeshadows (top two), two eyeshadows with beautiful, complex shimmer and glitter (middle left and bottom left), one to-die-for medium brown with a normal-but-so-much-better-than-normal eyeshadow texture, and one glow-on blush.

Prestigious Bordeaux swatches, dry on primed skin. Click to enlarge.

A few notes on each individual shade, using Shu’s descriptions of each to distinguish them:

  • Glitter wine (top left; silk smooth) – despite its name, this shade sits firmly in the plum family. With a brown pigment base and sparse violet particles, it wears more brown than it swatches, and contains both blue- and red-violet reflects. Expect a red-violet undertone, and a dusty wash of brown with a subtle violet lean if sheered out.
  • Deep brown (top right; silk smooth) – reads more copper when swatched than when in the pan. Bright and warm, with both gold and on-tone shimmer.
  • Pale purple (middle left; glitter) – swatches more red than expected. This light purple is sheer and peppered with light violet/crystal shards, applying as a glassy mauve-pink rather than a smooth lavender.
  • Soft brown (middle right; frost) – surprisingly, my favourite shade of this palette! This soft, light brown has a gorgeous, finely-milled frost finish (think sheen with no shimmer), and wears with a surprising visual lightness.
  • Brick gold (bottom left; glitter) – though chunky in the pan, this warm orange-gold smooths down into shards of melon, clear, and violet (!) shimmer in a melon-gold base. It’s by far the most unexpected shade in the palette up-close, what with the violet reflects, and all the better for it.
  • Coral rose (bottom right; blush) – red satin finish with gold microshimmer. Sheers out well to give a lovely glow without glittery flashback. Dustier, warmer, and browner than the red Smoky Velvet blush.

Prestigious Bordeaux swatches, in more-harsh lighting. Click to enlarge.

Karl Lagerfeld for Shu Uemura, Prestigious Bordeaux Eye & Cheek Palette (on left)

The verdict?

Overall, I was very fond of this palette, though it’s worth noting that it was much less colourful than I had anticipated. Instead of bright violet lids, the finished effect is more of a brown-plum, making it wearable for the office as well as for a night out. (Eye look coming up soon!)

As an ardent lover of both violet eyeshadows and wet-finish glitters, this eyeshadow palette is right up my alley. At $65 USD/$85 CAD, it’s admittedly a pricier buy (go for the Blackish Satin Purple Painting Liner for a bit of Karl x Shu luxury under $30), but the quality is definitely there.

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

Keep reading! »

The Gift Guide | Korres Goddess Beauty Colour Collection

Korres’ holiday gift sets don’t always feel particularly “holiday,” but they’re always gorgeous nonetheless. The full feature for this one is in the works but here’s a quick soundbite for now: the lovely rose lipgloss is a variation of Light Pink (which you may remember from last year’s holiday Cherry-Picked Lipgloss Quad), but the true stunner in this collection is the Magic Light Contouring Face Trio in Santorini.

Review/swatches soon — this face trio really is as breathtaking in person as it looks in photographs, and the rest of the set pairs well with it.

Korres Goddess Beauty Color Collection, $42 USD/$55 CAD at 

The Lipstick Bandits | A drugstore vampy lip with Revlon Super Lustrous in Sultry Sable (and Annabelle Le Gloss in Bitten)

Monday, November 19, 2012

If you pick up just one new lipstick this season, make it a vamp. And not just because this month’s Lipstick Bandit collaboration features them–though I’m sure some of the products are going to be absolutely gorgeous–but because they’re the perfect mix of red and not-red: just as high-impact, but without all the newfound hipster-trendiness. 

I’ve been looking for the perfect vampy lipstick all season (admittedly not very hard), but I’ve settled for this one until I find the perfect product.

The lip: Revlon Super Lustrous Lipstick in Sultry Sable (646)

When in doubt, go for one of the old guard. Revlon is always a great choice when you’re breaking into a new colour family, with the Super Lustrous, ColourBurst, and Matte lines covering pretty much all of your bases. I’m not thrilled with the Canadian markup ($12 for a Revlon lipstick? Really?), but unlike mid-range/high-end brands, at least these do go on sale pretty frequently.

Sultry Sable wasn’t actually my pick at all, to be honest — my sister bought it sometime last year, passed it on to mum when she found it too hard to wear, and it eventually ended up in my drawer. We can pull off a number of the same shades, but browns are often the exception — the shades that sit well on my sister’s light olive complexion end up looking too orange against my skintone, and shades that read more reddy-mauve (case in point, this one) on me can end up washing her out.

On the eyes, I have on the super-glittery white shade from the Karl Lagerfeld for Shu Uemura Smoky Velvets Eye and Cheek Palette, which you’ll see on the blog later this week. I can’t say enough about this one — it’s so packed with multi-dimensional shimmer and glitter; you’re going to love it. Mainly translucent in tone, but with a ton of differently sized rainbow reflects, it’s hell to remove at the end of the day… but completely mesmerizing on the lids.

(And on the lashes, Giorgio Armani Eyes To Kill Mascara, out of the L’Oreal Luxe Advent Calendar. It is entirely possible that Armani is going to ruin me for all other mascaras, I kid you not.)

And that little something extra…

While I like the Revlon on its own, the vampy lip I’ve actually been wearing around layers Annabelle Le Gloss in Bitten overtop. The shade is long discontinued, though, and the entire line has fallen by the wayside more recently, so I thought I’d better feature the lip both with and without it.

Keep reading! »

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