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! »

Another Canadian sale: Lise Watier Private Sale at up to 60% off

Friday, March 14, 2014

I hadn’t planned for this at all, but it seems we’re having a bit of an accidental “Canadian week” at theNotice! From today until the 16th (that’s Sunday), Lise Watier will have an expanded, online-only sale section with 150 products at up to 60% off. 

There are tons of really great deals in there, but here are my top picks (click to shop).

» Shop the sale here.

Additional photos & swatches »

My Marcelle recommendations & must-haves (and a 40% off code)

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Marcelle annabelle 40 off free shipping

With Marcelle and Annabelle featuring 40% off until the 13th to celebrate International Women’s Day, I thought I’d take a minute to go over a few of my must-have from their lines. I’ve linked to full reviews wherever possible, but I’ll do my best to tell you why I love each & every one of these within this post, too.

» Shop Annabelle.ca & Marcelle.com at 40% off with the code WOMEN

As with the Annabelle site, shipping is free on all Canadian orders, and is calculated by weight for all US ones. If you do live in the US, now might be a good time to stock up anyways — 40% off goes a long way in negating the cost of shipping!

My Marcelle favourites & recommendations (see my Annabelle picks here)

Marcelle Essentials 400ml

Marcelle Essentials Cleansing Milk { review | buy }

Marcelle’s Cleansing Milk was both the first Marcelle product and the first skincare product that I truly fell head over heels for. Sure, there are products that I like more, but so far, I have yet to find anything I love more.

While not flawless (my skin is still not 100%), this cleansing milk made a huge impact on my skin. Because it doesn’t strip my skin of all of its natural oils, it leaves my face feeling less tight and dry than other cleansers (even other cream cleansers that I’ve tried), and it keeps my skin from overproducing oil during the day.

Formulated for normal to dry skintypes, it’s also scent-free and sensitive-skin friendly.

 Marcelle Essentials Soothing Cleansing Water review

Marcelle Essentials Soothing Cleansing Water review | buy }

If there was one “hit product” in the Marcelle skincare line, I think this one would be it. I’ve gone through an entire bottle (which doesn’t sound like much, but this is literally the only makeup remover I’ve ever finished), and I have two more as backups already.

Also scent-free and sensitive-skin-friendly, the Essentials Soothing Cleansing Water does an amazing job at removing makeup without leaving your skin greasy or raw. It’s great for removing eyeliner from the waterline, and while it’s not as hydrating as a straight-up oil (and really, why would you even expect it to be?), it removes makeup beautifully and quite gently.

Marcelle Light to Medium BB cream review

Marcelle BB Cream (original) review | buy }

This isn’t a product that I use in my daily makeup repertoire (it’s full of ‘cones), but I tested it out when it launched & loved it so much that I bought a tube for my mom. It’s great at evening out the skin while still looking like skin, and wears well throughout the day.

Where the Marcelle BB Cream really excels, though, is in covering up large pores. I’m not sure how it does it (magic!), but it makes the pores on my mom’s nose disappear. I basically think that my mom is the prettiest human to ever exist–who doesn’t think that of their mothers, though, really?–but I’m not looking forward to getting her pores when my skin ages!

Marcelle Face Powder review | buy }

An oldie but goodie. Marcelle’s Face Powder is a classic, both in its utilitarian packaging and its velvety-soft finish. It holds up well throughout the day, disappears into the skin while giving it a beautiful satin-matte finish, and keeps a pretty short, ‘cone-free ingredients list.

I’ve had my tub of Marcelle Face Powder for years (at least three, if not four), and I’ve barely made a dent in it despite dropping it all the time. This, along with Marcelle’s original pressed powder (now available as their Monochromatic Pressed Powder ($15.95 CAD)) is all I will use for powder — nothing else measures up!

IMG_9438-1

Marcelle Lux Eye Dust in Go-Violet buy }

Okay, so this one is kind of cheating. It’s not one of my must-haves, but I posted about Annabelle’s Violet Vibe pigment many years ago, and it apparently resonated with a lot of you! I still have readers writing in and telling me that they bought Violet Vibe, and think of theNotice every time they use it.

Go-Violet is essentially the same as Violet Vibe, but I’m recommending it as an upgrade for one simple reason: the packaging is a lot better. And, with 40% off, you have no reason not to buy the slightly more expensive but far better-packaged version!

Marcelle Lux Diamond Eyeliner in Pure Gold see itbuy }

I don’t even have odes left to talk about this one, I write about it so much. Marcelle’s Lux Diamond liners are the same as the Annabelle Glitterama liners that I love, but the Annabelle ones don’t come in this beautiful, beautiful gold. It’s perfect during the holidays, for a dinner date, for an effortless summer evening eye — I could even see excelling at office wear.

It’s beautiful, beautifully packaged, and beautifully subtle. There’s nothing not to love.

Marcelle Lux Metallic, Diamond liquid liners glitter

Marcelle Lux Metallic Eyeliners review | buy }

Finally, I wanted to wrap up with Marcelle’s Lux Metallic Eyeliners. Housed in the same packaging as their Diamond counterparts, the Lux Metallic liquid liners are quite unique: they deliver translucent metallic colour, for a very interesting, almost watercolour effect. They can be layered for more impact, but they hold up well, and make it easy to create an ombré effect from one liner to the next, as well.

What are your Marcelle skincare and makeup favourites?

My Annabelle Cosmetics favourites (plus 40% off + free shipping!)

Monday, March 10, 2014

Annabelle 40 off free shipping

With two of my favourite brands both doing 40% off this week until the 13th for International Women’s Day, I thought I’d take a minute to go over a few of my favourites from their lines. While I haven’t gotten around to reviewing them all–I know, I know; I’m working on it!–I’ve linked to the reviews that I do have up, and I’m going to try and do my best to tell you why I love the other products featured here just as much.

» Shop Annabelle.ca & Marcelle.com at 40% off with the code WOMEN

Shipping is free on all Canadian orders, and is calculated by weight for all US ones. I know, I know — it sucks to pay shipping, but 40% off at least help to soften that blow (if not make up for it entirely!)

My Annabelle favourites & must-haves (Marcelle to come tomorrow!)

Annabelle Glitterama Eyeliners. All of them. review/posts | buy }

These were one of my first loves from Annabelle. They take a while to dry (don’t all glitter liners?), but once they’re on, they’re on. Annabelle offers a wonderful selection of glitters suspended in a clear gel, but my favourite is still my first — Plutonium.

Annabelle Smoothie Eyeshadow Pencil in Licoriche review | buy }

My skin’s really picky about high amounts of silicone, but I still cheat in the morning & do my brows with a tiny, tiny bit of black eyeliner. This pencil is my go-to for a black cream base, tightlining, and the tightline-followed-by-brow-filling (without picking up new product) that I do every morning. 

With my super-picky eyelids, I wasn’t a fan of these on my lids as shadows. They’re exact dupes of Urban Decay’s jumbo 24/7 pencil formula, though, so here are photos and swatches of some of their (rather lovely) neutrals if you’re interested!

Annabelle Liquid Eyeliner in Black Spark review | buy }

Like their glitter liners, this liquid liner never budges once it’s set. I have the most finicky eyelids I’ve ever even heard of, but this (like Lancome’s much pricier 24hr Artliners) clings to my lids until I wash it off with warm water at the end of the day — at which point it comes off neatly in little “pills,” sort of like a tubing mascara would.

I’m pretty sure I remember the matte Black Out smudging on me back in the day, so stick to Black Spark if you want a sure thing.

 Annabelle TwistUp Retractable Lipstick review

Annabelle TwistUp Retractable Lipsticks review | buy }

When I signed up to swatch all 24 of these in a month, I kind of freaked out. Now that it’s over, though, I’m pretty proud of how the series of photos turned out, and I’m incredibly glad that I did it.

The Annabelle TwistUps are portable, easy to apply, and scent-free (which is a big thing for me). Ranging from immediately opaque to sheer and shimmery, the range quite literally offers something for everyone — check out face swatches, arm swatches, and my full shade recommendations here.

In a nutshell, the two shades that really wowed me were Naked and Cherry. That said, though, I also really liked Fizz, Sorbet, and Kinky Pink!

Annabelle expandable short wand

Annabelle Expandable mascara { review to come | buy }

With its long-wearing (but easy to remove) formula and long-or-short wand, Annabelle’s Expandable mascara hits it out of the park for more than one kind of lash. Its twist-to-collapse bristles deliver product for either length or volume (or, in the middle, a bit of both), and it totally trounces Le Big Show for me.

I love this (on its shortest setting) for really voluminous but natural-looking lashes, but I do think it’ll be a big hit with those who like to wear a more noticeable mascara, too.

What are your Annabelle Cosmetics favourites?

Annabelle TwistUp Retractable Lipstick swatches, descriptions, and recommendations

Friday, October 25, 2013

To wrap up our #24Days of TwistUp series, here are arm and full-face lip swatches of all twenty-four shades, as well as some pretty wordy descriptions of each.

The lip swatches have been going up every day this month through theNotice’s Twitter and Pinterest accounts, but I wanted to gather them all up & put them into a post for future reference (and for those of you who aren’t into social media! I feel you, ladybro.) Enjoy the swatches!

More TwistUps: Annabelle TwistUp reviewCanadian & international giveaways, {shop}

Nudes & Browns

Annabelle TwistUp in Naked - swatched on lips

Naked is a little drier than most of the TwistUps, but goes on without settling into lines. It’s surprisingly peachy, and looks incredibly natural on fair to light-medium skintones. It’s lighter, peachier, less pink, and more neutral than Havana.

Annabelle Havana swatch - TwistUp Retractable Lipstick

Havana is noticeably drier than many of the other TwistUps. Darker than Naked, it’s fairly neutral with both brown and pink undertones. It looks a little obvious on me, but would be lovely on light to medium-dark skintones.

Annabelle Absolute swatch - TwistUp Retractable  Lipstick

Absolute is a cream-finish warm pink with yellow undertones. It’s a on the sheerer side, making it a pink-nude that’s a little (okay, maybe a lot) easier to wear.

Annabelle TwistUp in Tease swatch

Tease is another sheer TwistUp, this time with strong orange undertones and plenty of shimmer.

Annabelle Romance swatch TwistUp Retractable Lipstick

Romance is a gorgeous nude with mauvey-brown undertones. It looks incredibly natural on my fair yellow-olive skin, but might look a little chalky on darker skintones.

Annabelle Divine swatch - TwistUp Retractable Lipstick

Divine is a… I want to say “tomato nude,” but I don’t know if that’ll make sense to anyone. It made me think of a slightly redder version of Eva’s Nude, which leads me to believe it would make a gorgeous nude on darker olive skintones — but on my complexion (in real life), it wasn’t a hit.

Annabelle Vamp swatch TwistUp Retractable Lipstick

Vamp pulls surprisingly brown on me (I was expecting more of a rich purple), and doesn’t read quite as red in real life as it appears on film. It’s not quite opaque, shimmer-free, and very bold. Vamp is the greyed brown-purple to Cherry’s red-purple, and it’s definitely more of an oxblood than a berry or red.

Keep reading — we’re not even halfway done yet! »

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