Amaterasu Brunette Liquid Brow Liner swatches, review, photos (formerly Geisha Ink)

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Amaterasu liquid brow liner review

The product: Amaterasu Liquid Brow Liner in Brunette

Okay, so I know I keep finding new brow things to love, but I ACTUALLY MEAN IT this time; I promise.

Amaterasu (pronounced AH-mah-tay-RA-su, after the Japanese Sun Goddess; formerly Geisha Ink) is a Canadian company created Sara Au Yeong that makes just the most amazing liquid brow liner. It’s the perfect combination of my other two liquid brow loves: the great shade match of the Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Brow Color, but with the fast application of the Marcelle Eyebrow Pen.

Amaterasu brow liner review

Look at that gorgeous tip!

Amaterasu liquid brow swatches brunette

Amaterasu Beauty Liquid Brow Liner in Brunette swatched in indirect sunlight

The formula: Huh. I kind of blew this one in the intro, eh?

The Amaterasu Liquid Brow Liner formula is really lovely, with great pigmentation (more than the Stila) and amazing wear — think power brows from 7AM to midnight, with face-down physio and a nap in between. It’s easy to apply even on scarred areas of skin, and it takes a few seconds to set, so it can be smudged gently with a q-tip or fingertip for a softer brow look.

Before after Amaterasu brows

Before & after with the Amaterasu Liquid Brow Liner! (Plus concealer, lashes, a touch of Maybelline 24H Color Tattoo eyeshadow pencil in Pink Parfait, and the new Annabelle Blue Spark liquid liner.)

Amaterasu liquid brow swatches brunette vs stila and marcelle

Marcelle Eyebrow Pen Universal Dark, Stila Stay All Day in Medium, Amaterasu Brunette

The shade: I’m always wary of trying “brunette” brow shades, but Amatetasu’s Brunette knocks it right out of the park. It’s the shade that Geisha Ink/Amaterasu founder Sara Au Yeong wears daily (after many rounds of sending samples back to the lab and saying, “It’s still too red,”) so when I say that it is PERFECT for Asian brows, I mean it! It’s not too light, too warm, or too red.

Amaterasu Liquid Brow Liner review Brunette

The plum blossom can be found on all the new Amaterasu packaging!

The packaging: The Amaterasu packaging is great, too, with a tight seal and a long, calligraphy-style tip. The brush makes it easy to get just the right amount of product, and I never find that I need to go over an area twice (like I often need to with my Stila liner).

It’s also nice and soft, so if you have extremely sensitive skin, this could be what you’ve been waiting for!

Geisha Ink brow pen review swatches

The verdict?

If you passed on the Marcelle pen that I love, and you (wisely) passed on the Stila pen that I adore, then you MUST give this a try. The Amaterasu Brow Liner is the perfect brow product for Asian brows with no caveats or exceptions, and the crazy-long-wearing formula and packaging are worth the price even if you don’t struggle to find brow products in the right shade for you.

Plus, it’s a Canadian company (made in Japan) founded by an incredibly badass business woman & makeup artist, so you know your pennies are going to a great group of folks instead of some nameless corporation! ;)

Availability: $23.20 USD/$29 CAD at Amaterasu.ca and at all of these places in Canada, the US, and worldwide. (Use code SHIP30 for free shipping over $30 CAD!)

Fountain The Super Green, Hyaluronic Molecule review & photos

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Fountain The Hyaluronic Molecule beauty supplement review

The products: Deciem Fountain 02 The Hyaluronic Molecule, 03 The Super Green Molecule

One of my resolutions for 2016 was to cover more indie brands & weird beauty finds, so today, I thought I’d talk about Deciem’s super-cool liquid supplements.

Beauty drinks aren’t a big thing here in North America, but they’re all over the place in Asia. You can take everything from collagen to sheep placenta (yes, really) in capsule, liquid, or even jelly form, and they’re all designed to make you prettier/plumper/smoother/etc. from the inside out.

Deciem’s Fountain range contains everything from Vitamin B12 to resveratrol, and all of the supplements are sweetened with xylitol, so you don’t have to worry about adding sugary syrups to your morning juice or water! (I push Xyla candy like they’re drugs. Cheap drugs. Drugs that are good for your teeth).

Fountain The Hyaluronic Molecule review

The Hyaluronic Molecule ($38 CAD)

The first “molecule” that I tried was the brand’s Hyaluronic Molecule, and honestly, it was a weird experience. It’s really thick and viscous, like slime or phlegm or (according to my cousin) semen, which is a texture that you don’t want to see in a product ever.

Texture aside (once diluted with a full glass of water or juice, you honestly don’t notice it at all), this stuff is pretty darn cool. It contains the only water-soluble, bioavailable hyaluronic acid supplement on the market, and it contains a lot of it: 130mg per serving, which is actually why it’s so goopy.

Deciem Fountain The Hyaluronic Molecule review

“With tequila” is probably not how the Fountain supplements were designed to be taken.

The Hyaluronic Molecule is also vegan-friendly and cruelty-free, and it’s said to make your skin softer and smoother, keep your joints mobile, and (again: yes, really) keep your eyes lubricated. Like any other supplement, though, I can’t say for sure if it’s really working, but I do like it. I know that it should be working, and I like the subtle ginger flavour, and that’s enough for me.

(If ginger isn’t your thing, Deciem also make a Fountain 10X Hyaluronic Molecule ($60 CAD), which is Jasmine Silver Tea flavoured!)

Deciem Fountain The Super Green Molecule review

The Super Green Molecule ($28 CAD)

I’m currently taking The Super Green Molecule on days that I don’t eat my veggies (which, for the record, is totally not recommended by Deciem/Fountain), and I am loving this one.

The Super Green Molecule is very liquidy, very green, and kiwi flavoured. The deep green colour of this stuff makes me feel so healthy when I take it, and I know it’s no substitute for actual vegetables, but it’s better than nothing, okay? I mean, a single teaspoon of this stuff contains as much chlorophyll as SIX bowls of dark, organic leafy greens.

This Fountain of Youth supplement is also enriched with vitamins and minerals from sea kelp, and all of that colour comes from alfalfa-derived sodium copper chlorophyllin, which is a readily bioavailable form of chlorophyll that green gurus love for its ability to control body odour, help your body process out toxins, fight off yeast infections, and promote healthy iron levels.

Plus, I mean, The Super Green is super tasty.

Fountain The Super Green Molecule review

The verdict?

You can never be sure what you’re actually getting when it comes to holistic products, but if I had to pick a cosmetic company that I trusted not to trick me into eating ants, it would be Deciem. They didn’t cut corners on these guys one bit, and it really shows: The Hyaluronic Molecule is literally full of so much bioavailable hyaluronic acid that it’s noticeably thick, and The Super Green Molecule is full of so much chlorophyllin that it’ll stain your tongue if you don’t dilute it first.

I’m not recommending these as a food or drug, but as a cosmetic adjunct to your routine, they’re quite nice. I say start with The Super Green Molecule and go from there!

Availability: $28 CAD & up at Fountain.co, which uses Deciem’s universal shopping cart (so you can buy your Hylamide at the same time!) and ships for FREE worldwide.

Keep reading! »

Hylamide Sensitive Fix, HA Booster review, photos, comparison

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Deciem Hylamide Booster review photos comparison

The products: DECIEM Hylamide Sensitive Fix & Low-Molecular HA Booster Serums

It’s no secret that I love Deciem’s SubQ Anti-Age Advanced Serum, so when I heard about the line’s “boosters,” my interest was immediately piqued. The boosters are designed to be used as an adjunct to your skincare routine, applied after your serum and before your moisturizer, letting you customize exactly what you want out of your regimen.

I was sent the Low-Molecular HA Booster by the lovely folks at Deciem, but I liked it enough to purchase the Sensitive Fix Booster on my own — and I couldn’t be happier that I did.

Deciem Hylamide Low-Molecular HA Booster review photos

Low-Molecular HA Booster

The HA Booster contains 5 different hyaluronic compounds that target everything from lightweight surface hydration (hyaluronic acid ferment) to encouraging your skin to produce more hyaluronic acid on its own (HA precursor), but for some reason, I find that I get lots of little closed comedones when I use this.

The formula of the HA booster is a little weird, too. Like Fountain’s Hyaluronic Molecule, it’s very thick — not sticky, but almost… goopy? It dries to a “nothing” finish, but the application is a little weird!

Hylamide Low-Molecular HA Booster review photos

Deciem Hylamide Sensitive Fix Booster review photos

Sensitive Fix Booster

Okay, so this? This is where it’s at. 

I was a little disheartened with my experience with Hylamide’s HA booster, so I went and purchased their Sensitive Fix during the brand’s 20% off Halloween sale. My order came out to a tiny $16.80 CAD including 2-day shipping, and it was marked as shipped literally twelve minutes after I made my order, so yeah, you could say that Mr. Sensitive Fix and I got off to a pretty good start.

Hylamide HA Booster review photos

Sensitive Fix is meant to decrease irritation and redness with twice daily use. I don’t have a lot of redness and it doesn’t do anything for the redness that I do have (though I suspect those with serious redness will have different results), but what it does do is calm down my surface irritation. 

I have super-sensitive skin that sometimes feels like it’s burning for no reason whatsoever, but Hylamide’s Sensitive Fix kills the irritation almost immediately. It works much like the Guerlain SOS Serum does, with a very mild “hot” feeling followed by a dramatic decrease in irritation, except it’s $20 CAD, not (have mercy) $104 USD.

Deciem Sensitive Fix Booster review photos

Now, this is a total over-share, but when I read that the Golden-Eye Grass Complex in this serum balances skin pH to reduce sensitivity in the immediate and short term, I, uh. Put it on not-my-face. And then I re-tested it on not-my-boyfriend’s-face.

That’s all I’m going to say about that, but trust me on this one: if you’re experiencing pain on pink skin due to dryness or irritation, this stuff will calm it down in literally seconds. 

But I mean, don’t try this one at home, kids.

Hylamide Sensitive Fix Booster review photos

The verdict?

You NEED the Hylamide Sensitive Fix Booster. I’ll admit that I was skeptical at first, but now that I’ve tried it, I really believe in its ability to calm down surface sensitivity in the short term. It was easily my best purchase of 2015, and I’ll likely be stocking up with a second bottle before the end of 2016!

As for the Low-Molecular HA Booster? My skin is really dry, so it doesn’t always slough off its layers correctly (hence the clogged pores), but I think those with oily, dehydrated skin will really like it. It does a great job of hydrating my partner’s face without feeling heavy or greasy, and unless it’s really dry outside, he can actually just use the HA Booster and nothing else!

Availability: $20 CAD each with FREE WORLDWIDE SHIPPING!! (the caps lock is definitely necessary) at Deciem.com. Also available at the Hudson’s Bay Beauty Underground.

Keep reading! »

MIYU Soirée Essentials review, photos | The (Canadian!) Gift Guide

Thursday, December 17, 2015

MIYU Beauty Soiree Essentials kit review

The product: MIYU Beauty Soirée Essentials kit

Every Christmas, I like to pick out a couple “quick fix” gift ideas. Kits for under $100 that are luxurious, easy to wrap, easy to buy, and (most importantly of all) sure to please many. They’re a step above your standard hostess gift, but juuuust generic enough that you probably have 3 or 4 people in your life (if not more) that would absolutely love them.

MIYU Beauty Soiree Essentials kit

MIYU Beauty mirror

MIYU Soiree Essentials love juliet earrings

The MIYU Soirée Essentials kit ($69 CAD) contains a full-sized Hydrate Mi Beauty Essence and Hydrate Mi Tea, along with a Hydrate Mi Beauty Essence Mini to throw into your clutch or leave on your nightstand. But what I really love about this kit is that it isn’t only beauty products — it’s a complete, well-rounded gift, ready to wrap with a compact mirror and a set of sparkling pearl & crystal 14K gold plated drop earrings by Love Juliet.

I’ve reviewed the MIYU Beauty Essences before, so I won’t go too much into detail about Hydrate Mi, but I’m happy to say that I’m still using (and loving!) both my Hydrate Mi and De-Stress Mi Beauty Essences religiously.

I find that I actually my essences more now than I did when I wrote my review — they’re perfect for adding a veil of moisture to my super-dry skin right before bed or just as I wake up, and unlike all other beauty essences, they can be spritzed on to freshen up winter-dry foundation.

MIYU Beauty Hydrate Mi Beauty Essence, Tea review

I thought it was silly at first that MIYU put two Hydrate Mi essences in to this kit, but then it hit me: one is totally not enough. I keep a De-Stress Mi in my bathroom, and bottles of Hydrate Mi at my desk, in the bathroom cabinet at my partner’s place, and on my side of the bed. (I like to think of it as my portable humidifier, because it does about the same thing for my skin.)

If you’re searching for an awesome last-minute gift, or if you want to treat yourself for the holidays, the MIYU Beauty Soirée Essentials Kit ($69 CAD) is a great way to do it!

» Why gift MIYU? I love the MIYU brand because it’s a small Canadian business built around two absolutely inspiring ladies. CEO Connie Tai grew up here in Edmonton and has an extensive background in cosmetic chemistry and product development, so she actually gets it — she’s not just a pretty celebrity face behind a thrown-together brand.

Keep reading! »

Leaf Life vibrator review, photos | What to ask for this holiday season!

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Leaf Life vibrator review

The product: Leaf Life vibrator

The concept: Leaf is a line/spin-off company of BMS Factory, who you may recognize if you already own a Swan or Jopen toy. They’re touted as the brand’s “green” sex toy option, and they are eco-friendly, but not any more so than any other brand that makes rechargeable, 100% silicone, phthalate-free toys.

Leaf sex toy branding

All Leaf products are designed in Canada and come with a super-cute canvas travel bag, which–and I know this is a weird thing to fixate on–really sealed the deal for me. The entire way that the Leaf line is marketed makes me so happy–it feels cheery and eco-friendly instead of illicit or sexy, and while there’s nothing wrong (at all!!) with brands that ooze sex appeal 24/7, it’s really nice to be able to disentangle “sex toys” with “sex appeal.”

Also worth noting is that there is nothing gendered about the way that Leaf markets its products, which I think is fantastic!

Leaf Life silicone rechargeable vibrator review

The Life: You’re all going to hate me after I say this, but I can’t help it: this, folks, is the life.

For real, though, it is. I have never become attached to a sex toy as quickly as I became attached to my Life, and for good reason! It’s more rumbly than the Lelo Siri (albeit less rumbly than the We Vibe Tango) and is covered in silky-soft silicone.

Leaf Life

But, most importantly, it charges (as much as I love the nerd appeal of a magnetic charger) with a little headphone jack-style plug, so you never have “oh god it hasn’t been charging all this time how am I supposed to get off now” moments. 

It’s also waterproof and super quiet, and the motor never rattles around in its case (like the MiMi Soft and We-Vibe Tango do.)

Leaf charging mechanism

Battery life: The best thing about the Life (aside from its amazingly quiet motor) is its battery life. This little Lithium-Polymer rechargeable battery can run for up to 2 hours and 40 minutes on low, which is long enough that even on my worst days, I can use it to get off at least twice without needing to charge it.

Unlike my ex-favourite We-Vibe Tango, which promises 2 hours of battery life but often dies on me (and others!) within 40 minutes. (That evil, scheming BUCKET OF LIES.)

Leaf Life vs Life+ review BMS Factory Swan Leaf review

The Life vs. the Life+: All Leaf products are powered with BMS Factory’s delightfully rumbly PowerBullet motor (which is the same in both lines), but the purple Leaf+ line features vibration patterns as well as a press-and-hold “off” button.

I never use patterns, so I’m happy with my Life. The “on” button is weird, though: it’s very sensitive, and instead of turning up when pressed, it turns on/off. So, every time I try to throw this into my purse without turning the travel lock on, my bag starts rumbling, and if I squish the Leaf a little during use, it turns itself off.

Leaf vs Leaf+ vibrator review

To turn the Leaf up, you actually have to press and hold, at which point the levels quickly escalate until released. So, if you want precision controls, go with the Life+, and if you want green, go with the Leaf.

(I decided I wanted green more than I wanted controls that make sense, and I regret nothing.)

Leaf BMS Factory branding

The verdict?

I love this little guy a lot. Like, enough that I honestly feel kind of bad for recommending the We-Vibe Tango to you guys once upon a time. Don’t get me wrong, the Tango’s motor is definitely better, but the Leaf pairs reliability, quietness, and great battery life with a pretty rumbly motor, and that makes it hard to say no to. I definitely think that there’s still room for improvement, but of the toys that I own, this one is my current favourite ;)

So, of my three favourite vibes, I’ll say this: if you prioritize rumbliness, go for the MiMi Soft (review); if you prioritize strength of vibration, go for the We-Vibe Tango (review); and if you want a great all ’rounder, go for the Leaf Life!

Availability: $84.99 USD at Shevibe, who kindly sent this in for review! (FYI, that is a hella good price for the Leaf Life — it’s a whopping $139.96 CAD at Well.ca.)

And, for those of you who want to upgrade–or who can’t find the original Life in stock–the purple Leaf Life+ is just $89.99 USD and is just as good (if not better!)

(more…)

Reversa 3 in 1 Mild Gel Cleanser review (AKA how to cleanse your face with MAGICAL UNICORN PEE)

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Reversa makeup removing cleanser review canadian

The product: Reversa 3-in-1 Mild Gel Cleanser

That’s right. I just said unicorn pee, because this cleanser is not only a rare find and a powerhouse worker, but it’s also full of secret glitter (two of the best words you can put next to each other when you’re talking to a beauty blogger.)

Reversa glitter cleanser review

What it does: The Reversa Gel Cleanser is a bit of a diamond in the rough. It’s a boring-looking product with a boring-looking name, made by what could be conceptualized of as a boring company… if you haven’t been paying enough attention recently.

Unlike most 3-in-1 cleansers, however, Reversa’s doesn’t do the whole cleanse/remove/tone schtick. Oh, no. Instead, it’s a facial cleanser, makeup remover, and moisturizer!!

Yup, that’s right: it’s a moisturizer. It’s a normal gel cleanser, made to be used on wet or dry skin, but if you massage into the skin and leave it for 30 seconds… it’s also a flash moisturizing mask. 

Reversa glitter 3 in 1 gel cleanser review

How well it does it: Dude, so well. The Reversa 3-in-1 Gel Cleanser is a great cleanser, a good makeup remover, and a freaking awesome moisturizing mask. It’s a silky, thick, scent-free gel, and it’s equal parts gentle and moisturizing. This baby moisturizes just as well as some 10-minute masks that I’ve tried, but it takes next-to-no time to do and it doesn’t add an extra step to your skincare routine.

My favourite thing about this mask, though–aside from the glitter–is how gentle it is. Somehow, Reversa has managed to formulate this one without oil and without that lotion-y texture of most hydrating cleansers, so it’s great for texture-oriented folks who want to cleanse their skin without feeling slippery or greasy (after or during.)

And no, for those who are wondering, it doesn’t leave you sparkling like a deranged disco ball.

Reversa 3 in 1 mild gel cleanser review

My current cleansing dream duo (I use my Foreo while the Reversa cleanser/mask works its magic!)

The verdict?

Um… this thing is basically magic, and it’s a great way to start off the holiday season. This adds just a little bit of extra glitz and glam to your morning (or night) routine, and it counteracts the dry winter air like a champ.

At $23 CAD, it’s not the cheapest cleanser at the drugstore, but I think it’s a great buy. If you’re looking for something magical, makeup-removing, and really nourishing, you need to check it out!! You’re not going to find another moisturizing mask that works this quickly, and I can guarantee you that if you do, it’s not going to be this glittery. ;)

Availability: $23 CAD online at Reversa.ca and at Shopper’s Drug Mart, where I frequently see it on sale for around $17.

Keep reading! »

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...