Marcelle Trio+ Eyeshadow Quads: reviews, swatches, & photos of the entire range!

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Marcelle Trio+ Eyeshadow Quad review photos

The product: Marcelle Cosmetics Eye Shadow Trio+

   ↳ in Smoky Chestnut, Chocolat Vanille, Starry Night, Emerald Isle, Plum Envy, and Glacial.

Today, I have something very, very exciting to share with you: the entire range of the new Marcelle Trio+ quads (I mean, I’m calling ‘em quads. If there are four colours, they’re quads. But I do respect the Trio+ name, because that fourth shade is tiny!). As a blogger, it’s rare that I see the entirety of any given line, so this is as much a treat for me as I hope it will be for you!

This one is super-long, so: swatches & shades / TL;DR

Marcelle Smoky Chestnut Trio+ review swatches eyeshadow quad

Marcelle Trio+ in Smoky Chestnut

The formula: With their new trio/quads, Marcelle promises intense colour payoff; a creamy, velvety texture; long-lasting colour; and an ultra-glitter accent shade (that’s the “+”!)

Unfortunately, while I think these look amazing in terms of layout and colour pairings, I don’t agree with a lot of these points. The colour payoff was okay (not super-intense) and the ultra-glitter accent shade was a big hit, but the formula was a little dry — I wouldn’t call it creamy, and it had a tendency to create fall-out.

Overall, I think I’d have liked to see a little more butteriness and adhesion out of all four shades, and at least one satin/frost in each palette (preferably the large pan) instead of four shimmers — I think for Marcelle’s consumer, this amount of sparkle is kind of overkill.

Marcelle Emerald Isle Trio+ review swatches eyeshadow quad

Marcelle Trio + in Emerald Isle

Marcelle Chocolat Vanille Trio+ review swatches eyeshadow quad

Marcelle Trio+ in Chocolat Vanille

The wear: Marcelle’s eyeshadows have always been a little dry and sheer, but the shimmer in these ones just didn’t “work” for me. It was too omnipresent and uniform in size, and it felt a little messy in combination with the wear time of these shadows — they creased on me within four hours overtop the best primer I own (and within two hours when worn alone).

In addition, when I wear-tested Chocolat Vanille, I ended up with glitter everywhere by dinnertime. There was a noticeable amount of fallout all the way down past the apples of my cheeks, and that’s just – that’s crazy, dude.

Marcelle Starry Night Trio+ review swatches eyeshadow quad

Marcelle Trio+ in Starry Night

Marcelle Plum Envy Trio+ review swatches eyeshadow quad

Marcelle Trio+ in Plum Envy

The shades…

Marcelle Chocolat Vanille Smoky Chestnut swatches Trio+ review photos

Marcelle Trio+ Eyeshadow swatches: Chocolat Vanille, Smoky Chestnut

Chocolat Vanille features a super-shimmery white (small triangle), a warm brown, a cool charcoal, and a sheer base shade (large triangle) that’s packed with gold shimmer. Smoky Chestnut features a less-intense peachy small triangle, a medium-sheer rust orange (upper), a well-pigmented taupey brown (lower), and a more-intense shimmery white large triangle.

Marcelle Trio+ Starry Night Emerald Isle swatches review eyeshadows

Marcelle Trio+ Eyeshadow swatches: Starry Night, Emerald Isle

Starry Night may be the best quad out of all of these, and features a super-shimmery white (the yellow tones are negligible) alongside a well-pigmented yellow-olive and a soft black overlaid with olive shimmer. Its large triangle is a pretty light yellow with, again, plenty of shimmer. [Aside: my packaging on this one doesn't snap closed.]

Emerald Isle features a dirty green with an entire universe of multi-coloured sparkle (small triangle), a crappy black with green sparkle (lower trapezoid), and a see-through large triangle of sparse white shimmer. Its upper trapezoid, however, is a dream: an intense, skin-staining jewel green with more gorgeous emerald green shimmer than should even be legal.

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Annabelle Muddy, Glitzy Black Smudge Paint Gel Eyeliner swatches, review | The best gel liners in the drugstore

Monday, September 29, 2014

Annabelle Glitzy Black review

The product: Annabelle SmudgePaint Creamy Gel Shadow + Liner in Glitzy Black and Muddy

I’ve been falling pretty behind on theNotice these past few weeks, so let me make it up to you. Here’s a gel liner that I’ve had for years, but has only stuck a chord with me recently — Annabelle’s SmudgePaint liners.

Designed to be used both as an intense cream eyeshadow & gel liner, these guys were some of the first on the market to feature this all-in-one packaging. More importantly, though, they’re still creamy and soft, even after three years of sitting in my drawer. If that doesn’t sell you on a drugstore gel liner, I don’t know what will.

Annabelle Muddy Gel Liner shadow review

The formula: Light, soft, and easy to blend, I think the SmudgePaint formula is absolutely perfect for its intended use. It takes a while to dry down, so it’s not a great pick if you’re in a hurry, but that makes the formula really easy to smudge and blend — but it’s moussey rather than slippery, so it does pinpoint precision just as well as a smokey haze.

What I like most about this formula, however, is that it really lasts. Aside from Annabelle Black Spark and Lancome’s Artliners, there isn’t a single other eyeliner in my collection that lasts as well on me as Glitzy Black does — with a bit of silica powder through the lid, I get zero smudging and very minimal creasing over 10 hours.

Annabelle SmudgePaint gel eyeliner review

Annabelle SmudgePaint in Glitzy Black

Annabelle Muddy SmudgePaint Gel Eyeliner, shadow

Annabelle SmudgePaint in Muddy

The shades: I’m not a brown eyeliner fan, but I think Muddy has its appeal as a soft, natural liner or a heavier all-over base. (See it in a makeup look here!) It’s a pretty bronze-brown, with plenty of gold shimmer and no red undertones. (I think red-browns are far more interesting than yellow-browns, but I do admit that they’re harder to pull off.)

While I think Muddy is a little boring, however, I adore the admittedly-dupeable Glitzy Black. It’s quite an intense black, like most gel liners, and it has just enough silver shimmer to give my eyes a bit of a – but the stray glitter particles never irritate my sensitive eyes, and any travelling they do is done completely separate from the base shade. I think it was limited edition, but if they still do a similar shade, be sure to snap it up!

Annabelle Glitzy Black swatch SmudgePaint gel liner

Annabelle Glitzy Black swatched in indirect sunlightAnnabelle Glitzy Black gel liner review

The verdict?

I wish the opening of these pots was a little wider, but honestly… that’s the only complaint I have for them. With a good eye base, a smudgy wing of Glitzy Black lasts well into the evening on me, which is more than I can say of any other gel liner I’ve tried so far – and it’s very well pigmented, to boot.

The handy packaging and great price are just the cherry on top when it comes to these liners, so if you can find them — buy them.

Availability: $10.95 CAD at drugstores across Canada. Maybe. I don’t know. I could have sworn I just saw these in-store, but now I can’t find them on the Annabelle site and I’m kind of panicking.

Swatches, pot shots (heh) & more »

MIYU Beauty Hydrate Mi, De-Stress Mi Beauty Essence & Tea reviews | Canadian beauty at its best

Thursday, September 11, 2014

miyu beauty essence tea review

The products: MIYU Beauty Hydrate Mi Beauty Essence and De-Stress Mi Beauty Essence

A lot of blogs work on deadlines; SEO; what’s-new-now. But on theNotice, as you may have (heh) noticed, I work on a different metric: the product itself.

When I received these Beauty Essences (and their tea pairings), just hammering out a review on them didn’t feel right. So, even though I had waited long months for their launch, I kept waiting: an entire year past their initial release. But, finally, I feel like I know exactly what I want to say about these delicate, one-of-a-kind serum mists, and I’m beyond excited to finally be able to share my thoughts with all of you!

MIYU Beauty Hydrate Mi Beauty Tea

MIYU Hydrate Mi Beauty Tea

What exactly is a beauty essence? The long and short of it is simple: beauty essences are a cross between a facial mist and a serum. They were formulated by Connie Tai, cosmetic chemist and founder of MIYU Beauty, who has both the extensive industry background and approachable-but-no-nonsense chicness that make you want to trust her products… and buy everything she tells you to.

I had a chance to meet with Connie while she was still developing these beauty essences, and even in rudimentary sample packaging, these mists and teas still made me go, “oh.”

A misting tip from Connie: if you’re going to do it, do it. The packaging she chose for the MIYU Essences works beautifully, delivering an unusually full, diffuse mist — but only if it’s sprayed with conviction. Half-depressing a mister won’t just deliver half the product, it’ll make the spray weak and uneven!

MIYU Beauty essence reviews - spray serum

The beauty essence formula

As someone who loves only the idea of facial mists, I was surprised to find that these beauty essences didn’t ever irritate my skin or break me out, even with repeated use. Instead, they have consistently helped to add hydration both under my moisturizer and overtop my makeup, and they do so with packaging that’s both luxurious and lightweight.

The magic, I think, lies in the formula: these alcohol, paraben, and silicone-free mists are comprised not only of water and glycerine, but also include large amounts of pentylene glycol (a humectant with anti-microbial properties) and sodium hyaluronate (think of this one as a more effective hyaluronic acid). As a result, the formula of MIYU’s mists is just as hydrating as other facial mists–if not more hydrating,–but leaves behind a smooth, silky finish with no stickiness at all.

MIYU Beauty Hydrate Mi Beauty Essence review spray serum

Hydrate Mi Beauty Essence & Tea ($42 CAD/$42 USD for both)

I reach for Hydrate Mi most often, which uses extracts of wild pansy, goji berries, and mangosteen to boost water transport and retention in the epidermis. It smells sweetly floral, like a rosewater facial mist, and is optimized for dehydrated skin, frequent travellers, and dry climates.

I wasn’t crazy about the Hydrate Mi tea, but then again, I don’t like sweet teas! It’s definitely one of the prettiest teas I’ve ever seen, however, and contains green rooibos, goji berries, white pear essence, and candied pearls. (My mom keeps trying to get me to eat goji berries; we have some in our garden. I hate them.)

MIYU Beauty Hydrate Mi Beauty Essence ingredients:

Water, Pentylene Glycol, Glycerin, Sodium Hyaluronate, Hydrolyzed Pearl Protein, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Paeonia Albiflora Root Extract, Hydrolyzed Viola Tricolor Extract, Rosa Centifolia Flower Extract, Lycium Chinese Fruit Extract, Garcinia Mangostana Peel Extract, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice Powder, Sodium PCA, Panthenol, Leuconostoc/Radish Root Ferment Filtrate, Proline, Serine, Glycine, Glutamic Acid, Lysine, Alanine, Arginine, Threonine, Sorbitol, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Phenoxyethanol, Betaine, Polysorbate 20, Disodium Edta, Ethylhexylglycerin.

MIYU Beauty De-Stress Mi Beauty Essence review serum mist

De-Stress Mi Beauty Essence & Tea ($42 CAD/$45 USD pairing)

I reach for the minty De-Stress Mi Beauty Essence less often, but I do still really enjoy using it — the peppermint extract can be quite refreshing, especially in the summer.

De-Stress Mi is packed full of good stuff (even more so than the Hydrate Mi essence), including peppermint leaf, licorice, ginger, honeysuckle, and dandelion root extracts, as well as skin-conditioning aloe vera and a number of newfangled yeast/iron ferments that are said to have antioxidant properties. All in all, De-Stress Mi targets strained skin and targets inflammation, and would be great if you’re worried about pollutants in the air.

Like the Hydrate Mi tea, the De-Stress Mi blend is a little bit sweet, too — so skip it if you’re a peppermint-spearmint purist like myself. It contains organic peppermint, licorice root, chamomile blossoms, and candied pearls.

MIYU Beauty De-Stress Mi Beauty Essence ingredients:

Water, Pentylene Glycol, Glycerin, Sodium Hyaluronate, Hydrolyzed Pearl Protein, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Paeonia Albiflora Root Extract, Saccharomyces/Zinc Ferment, Saccharomyces/Iron Ferment, Saccharomyces/Copper Ferment, Saccharomyces/Magnesium Ferment, Saccharomyces/Silicon Ferment, Peppermint Leaf Extract, Licorice Root Extract, Ginger Root Extract, Honeysuckle Flower Extract, Dandelion Rhizome/Root Extract, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice Powder, Sodium PCA, Panthenol, Leuconostoc/Radish Root Ferment Filtrate, Proline, Serine, Glycine, Glutamic Acid, Lysine, Alanine, Arginine, Threonine, Sorbitol, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Phenoxyethanol, Betaine, Polysorbate 20, Disodium Edta, Ethylhexylglycerin.

MIYU Beauty De-Strees Mi Beauty Tea

MIYU De-Stress Mi Beauty Tea

The verdict?

I waited an entire year until I could tell you this with utmost confidence in what I was saying, but at long last: if you’re looking for gentle, effective hydration, the MIYU Beauty Essences are my No. 1 recommendation for a facial mist or serum. They’re beautifully formulated, wonderfully packaged, and a great way to buy Canadian.

I am usually loathe to recommend a facial mist for more than $20 (after all, they’re usually sticky messes of glycerine and water), but at $34 CAD, I think you’ll find these to be worth each and every penny.

Availability: The MIYU Beauty Essences are available for $34 CAD; the teas are $16 CAD. Get them at MIYU Beauty, Birchbox, Gloss48, and Anthropologie.

Keep reading! »

Marcelle Lux Gloss & Lux Gloss Sheer swatches, and a sort-of review | Canadian beauty

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Marcelle Lux Gloss swatches review

The product: Marcelle Lux Gloss & Lux Gloss Sheer (the entire range of each!)

It really, really bugs me that it’s so hard to find swatches of Canadian products online.

So, while I’m not in love with these glosses (they’re a little dated, no?), here are swatches of the Marcelle Lux Gloss & Lux Gloss Sheer ranges! Hopefully they’ll help some poor soul out there, and in exchange, I get to take a little break from the photograph-test-review-new-stuff routine. (I may be burning out a little, oops.)

Marcelle Lux Gloss Sheer review

Marcelle Lux Gloss Sheer in 51 Chic Bronze, 62 Sorbet, 63 Passion, and 80 Nectar

(I am so sorry; these photos were taken years ago under an overcast sky. At sundown. Not my brightest moment.)

Marcelle Lux gloss review

Marcelle Lux Gloss in 10 Whisper, 20 Starlet, and 21 Muse

Marcelle says that their Lux Gloss formula is plumping and long-lasting, with a metallic finish, and that their Lux Gloss Sheer formula is sheer and shimmery, with a wet-look finish. I’ve never found their glosses to be plumping, but the description is otherwise quite accurate.

On the whole, I find the Lux Gloss range to be a little too sticky, and a little boring. They’re not bad by any means, but… they’re just not exciting, you know? I’d love to see Marcelle update their gloss range past their new black lids; maybe focus more on the creme finishes, or try a less-sticky formula. (The now-discontinued Vita-Lip Plumping Glosses were a favourite of mine – I just pulled Rio Rose out again for the spring!)

Marcelle Lux Gloss swatches, sans creme

Swatched L-R: Marcelle Lux Gloss in Magic (Sheer), Whisper, Chic Bronze (S), Starlet, Sorbet (S), Passion (S), Serenade (S), Mousseline (S), Nectar (S), and Muse

Marcelle Lux Gloss Sheer swatches

Marcelle Lux Gloss in Magic (Sheer), Whisper, Chic Bronze (S), Starlet, Sorbet (S), Passion (S), Serenade (S), Mousseline (S), Nectar (S), and Muse, swatched L-R. 

Availability & recommendations

Along with a shimmer-free Lux Gloss Creme finish, the Marcelle Lux Gloss and Lux Gloss Sheer ranges can be found on the Marcelle website (US & Canada shipping), and at drugstores throughout Canada. They retail for $10.95 CAD and are fragrance-free.

My top picks from this range are Sorbet and Nectar, with honourable mentions going out to Chic Bronze and Mousseline. The shimmer in Magic is also quite lovely in person, if you haven’t a shimmery topcoat in your collection yet!

Numbered swatches & ingredients »

Annabelle Expandable Mascara Review, Photos, Swatches | Not a gimmick, but a gold mine

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Annabelle Expandable mascara review

The product: Annabelle Cosmetics Expandable Mascara

I mentioned taking sixteen months to review a product a couple of weeks ago (this one!), but I’ve been testing Annabelle Expandable for even longer — yes, really, much to my shame.

I have absolutely no good excuse for why it’s taken me so long to review a product that I’ve had since it was a lab sample in a small, un-labeled black tube, but without further adieu, may I please introduce you to Annabelle Expandable: a drugstore mascara that I’ve loved since the very first time I tried it.

Annabelle Expandable swatches review photos

Annabelle Expandable – short and long wand results, no lash comb

The “gimmick”: What makes the Annabelle Expandable mascara special is that, well, it really is expandable. The wand handle twists at the base, allowing the plastic bristles to expand or contract — not with each bristle getting longer or shorter, but with each bristle getting closer or farther from its neighbour. 

What looks like a gimmick is, in this case, actually really awesome. I love the formula of this mascara, but for those who don’t struggle as much as I do with smudging, this may well be Expandable’s biggest pull. It allows you to have just one mascara that can deliver dramatically different effects: lots of separation and length at the (-) end, or lots of product and volume at the (+) end.

Annabelle expandable short wand

Annabelle Expandable mascara – short wand (separation)

Annabelle expandable long wand

Annabelle Expandable mascara – long wand (volume)

The curl and wear: Like most “wet” mascaras (though Expandable isn’t super wet — it’s just not super dry, either), this mascara drops the curl of my lashes only when I apply it. It’s just enough to give them a bit of a droop, so I tend to apply a quick coat or two of mascara, then “push” the lashes toward my face with my fingertip and hold for a few seconds. This helps the lash to set into a nice curl, and once dry, Expandable holds the curl in place for the rest of the day.

Where Annabelle’s Expandable mascara really excels, though, is in its wear. I get maybe 3-4 hours wear without smudging with your average mascara, but Expandable wears like a champ: I can make it 8 hours without any smudging, and over 10 hours with very minimal smudging. This is the longest-wearing non-tubing mascara that I’ve tried so far, and it comes with a mere $10 price tag.

Annabelle Expandable mascara review swatches

Annabelle Expandable mascara – one light coat short wand, second coat short wand, third coat long wand

Annabelle expandable long wand swatch

Annabelle Expandable mascara – one heavy coat, long wand

The verdict?

Annabelle claims that their Expandable mascara is volumizing, lengthening, anti-clumping, and easy to remove — and you know what? I’d agree with all of these claims.

Expandable is my go-to mascara for both natural, everyday lashes and high-impact volume (it’s outclassed very slightly for photos by Giorgio Armani’s Eyes to Kill mascara, which is gorgeous but not $30 USD worth of gorgeous), and I would absolutely recommend it to a friend. It gives me both better wear and more believable volume than Le Big Show, and I’ll be frank with you: the awesome, unique wand certainly isn’t doing it any harm.

5/5 would-buy-again, Annabelle.

Availability: $10.95 CAD at Annabelle.ca (ships to Canada & the US), or in-store at most major drugstores throughout Canada.

Keep reading! »

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