theNotice’s favourite products of 2013 | New Year, New Loves… but here are my favourites from the last one

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Laura Mercier Artist Palette for Eyes 2013

Laura Mercier Artist Palette

First off: sorry again for the radio silence. I had hoped to get a few more posts up before the end of the year (Laura Mercier Artist Palette, Osmia Organics Honey-Myrrh Lip Repair, and Marc Jacobs Showstopper Lip Gel), but, well — you know how it is. I was hardly the only person who got sick this winter, so for all of you who are still battling colds and the flu: I hope you feel better soon! 

(And for all of you who haven’t gotten sick yet: you are the worst. Yes, you. I can’t even believe your gall, coming over here, all — sturdy. And vertical. And lucid; how terribly unfair!)

theNotice’s must-have products of 2013

These are the ones that I reached for again and again in 2013. They weren’t just the ones that I tried, tested, and loved — they were the ones that I used on a regular basis, even when I had other things (prettier, shinier, newer things) that I really should have been testing instead. They’re the apple of my eye, not the cream of the crop — I’ve chosen them based on both quality and how well they fit into my life.

Senna Cosmetics Ultra Last Eyeliner - Ultra Black, Brown

Senna Cosmetics Ultra Last Eyeliners

To start off, the Senna Cosmetics Ultra Last Eyeliner in Ultra Black. I’ve tried a lot of black eyeliners in my time (I think at last count I had over twenty in my stash), but this one really is the best. I push black liner into my upper lashline every morning–it really wakes my face up–and this one has wear time like nobody’s business. It’s not totally bulletproof, but it’s very pigmented, very black, and wears better than any other black pencil eyeliner I’ve ever tried, whether it’s on my waterline, in my lashline, or on the lid.

The other eye product that I can’t live without is the Dejavu Fiberwig Extra Long Mascara — a long-time favourite of mine. It never drops a curl, flakes, or smudges, and removes so easily with warm water. That said, it gives a very natural, lengthening lash, with great separation: if I want more volume, I need to layer it overtop another mascara. (See honourable mentions).

Real Techniques Expert Face Brush

Real Techniques Expert Face Brush

Next up is the Real Techniques Expert Face Brush, which makes blending out cream products both fast and easy. At a crazy-cheap $9 USD, it’s dense and soft, and has completely ousted the Sephora/Shiseido flat-top brush as my favourite brush for foundation or concealer. This is my only “best of 2013″ tool or face product — there isn’t anything else that both I use every single day and adore. (Canucks can order online at Farleyco, with free expedited shipping over $50.)

I don’t have anywhere better in this review to put a fragrance, so: Serge Lutens Chergui, I still adore you. Chergui is such a beauty – amazing for the winter, and sexy in a very cozy way, without using vanilla as a shortcut-to-sexiness crutch. (Ugh, vanilla). loves this; it’s the only scent that he tells me smells “really good,” eyes dilated, every single time I wear it. I’m actually cheating on Serge with Etsy dupes (there’s just something about the warmth and depth of Chergui that makes it seem more appropriate as an oil), but must-have status is applied to both the dupes & the original!

Bobbi Brown Lip Balm SPF 15 review

Bobbi Brown Lip Balm SPF 15 from this very old post, plus buckets of Photoshop. I am equal parts proud and horrified at myself.

Finally, a bit of skincare. I discovered the Mario Badescu Buffering Lotion this year during the worst breakout of my life (I tried sunflower oil and my skin lost it), and haven’t looked back since. It’s amazing at treating cystic acne in particular, and still incredible at treating everything else — whether that means preventing them from coming to a head altogether or encouraging my skin to clean up shop without ever needing to “purge”.

I’m still loving the Bobbi Brown Lip Balm SPF 15, which hydrates my lips like no other, and the Marcelle Essentials Cleansing Milk, which removes makeup & pollutants without drying. They were holy grail products for me last year, and continue to be — with skin as dry as mine, I can’t imagine life without them.

(Okay, that’s a lie. I can imagine it, and it’s horrible. If you have dry skin, you need these.)

The honourable mentions (& best ad) »

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! »

Annabelle TwistUp Retractable Lipstick review, swatches, photos, comparisons | #24Days of TwistUp

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Annabelle TwistUp Retractable Lipstick review

The product: Annabelle TwistUp Retractable Lipstick… in all 24 shades!

   ↳ See all 24 shades swatched here.

The formula: Your average TwistUp is creamy, comfortable, and very well pigmented — so much so, in fact, that they’ve quickly become not only one of my favourite drugstore lipsticks, but one of my favourite lipstick formulas overall. They apply with a nice sheen, settling into a lovely cream finish, and fading down nicely into a stain. I get 3-4 hours of wear out of the average TwistUp before I need to reapply (less if I eat or drink anything).

The TwistUp Retractable Lipstick formula is also scent-free, which gets it big points in my books, and applies without any catching or tugging. I didn’t notice any settling into dry bits or lip lines, despite how creamy the formula is upon application.

Annabelle Vamp swatch TwistUp Retractable Lipstick

Day 24′s (that’s today!) #24Days TwistUp: Vamp. See the other shades here!

Compared to other lip crayons: Okay, so hopefully someone has wondered how these compare to the Clinique Chubby Sticks by now. (Someone? Anyone?? Helloooo?)

Annabelle’s TwistUps are most similar to the Clinique Chubby Stick Intense Moisturizing Lip Colour Balms ($17 USD/$19 CAD), and I would definitely recommend both ranges. I find that the Chubby Stick Intense formula is more slippery at first, but wears for a smidgen longer once it sets (an extra hour or so). I also find that the Clinique lipsticks are a hair less comfortable; however, the two products weren’t wear-tested during the same season.

It may be helpful to note, for some, that the Clinique formula is quite a bit more simple and far more natural — these two lipsticks feel and perform very similarly, but the formulas couldn’t look less alike. (Full ingredients for the TwistUps at the bottom of this post.)

Best lipstick pencil review Annabelle TwistUp Canadian

The variation: Quite a few brands nowadays are doing split ranges (e.g. MAC Amplified/Lustre/Matte, YSL Rouge Pur/Rouge Pur Couture/Rouge Pur Couture The Mats/Rouge Pur Couture Golden Lustre), but the TwistUps are all sorted into one category. It not a bad thing by far, but it does mean that you can’t know what to expect from a stock photo! 

This will be discussed further in tomorrow’s post, but in general, most of the line is similar to the Clinique Chubby Stick Intense range: high coverage, creamy, and comfortable. However, a few of the TwistUps are more like NARS Velvet Gloss Lip Pencils (Fizz) or the original Chubby Sticks (Tease, Absolute), and a couple are more dry than the rest (Havana, Naked, Cherry).

Annabelle TwistUp review Fizz

The verdict?

Honestly, I cannot recommend these enough. Not only are the Annabelle TwistUp Retractable Lipsticks impressively pigmented (in general) and wonderfully scent-free, but they’re also very portable, well-priced, and comfortable to wear. Annabelle has done a wonderful job with both the finish and (lack of a) scent with these, and the shade range is fantastic.

My personal favourites from this range are Cherry and Naked. For individual shade descriptions, swatches (arm and full-face photos), and overall recommendations, check back tomorrow!

Availability: $9.95 CAD online and in Canadian drugstores across the country. (On sale for $7.25 CAD each at the Annabelle.ca site as I write this!)

Don’t miss seeing seeing all 24 of these TwistUps swatched, together and individually!

Keep reading! »

100 Pumps of Marcelle Essentials Cleansing Milk | A question asked, answered.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

100 pumps of Marcelle Cleansing Milk

Have you ever wondered what a hundred pumps of your favourite product would look like?

I have. This is it, emblazoned by the sun — one hundred evenings’ worth of Marcelle Essentials Cleansing Milk ($14.50 CAD), the one cleanser I just can’t quit. It’s perfect for balancing out my dry, dehydrated skin, and cleanses away the day’s detritus without stripping out an ounce of moisture.

I’m borderline fanatical about Marcelle, and I think this cleanser has a lot to do with it. I can’t find anything else (at any price point) that ticks all the boxes I’m looking for: scent-free, non-stripping, gentle, balancing, comforting.

Marcelle Essentials Cleansing Milk review holy grail

Marcelle Cleansing Milk on steroids. Available in-stores now (and at a great price)!

Cleansing milks take a little getting used to, sure, but I think they’re worthwhile for anyone with dry or combination-dehydrated skin. Even my [very dry] complexion will overproduce oil if it’s being overcleansed, and this cleansing milk absolutely helps keep my skin from getting oily throughout the day – with the help of a heavy moisturizer and my Marcelle Face Powder ($14.50 CAD), of course.

You could almost say that it’s… Essential. (I’m sorry! I couldn’t pass on such a terrible pun.)

Best cleansing milk - Marcelle Essentials old packaging

My first bottle of this stuff (long since repackaged). We’ve been through a lot!

The ingredients:

Water, Carbomer, Beeswax, Cetyl Alcohol, Cucumber Extract, Diazolidinyl Urea, Ethylhexyl Palmitate, Aroma, Glycerin, Methylparaben, Polysorbate 60, Propylene Glycol, Propylparaben, Peach Fruit Extract, Sorbitan Stearate, Triethanolamine.

P.S. I love the Marcelle Essentials Cleansing Water ($14.50 CAD), too!

P.P.S. It’s kind of weird that all of my Marcelle favourites are the exact same price. Clearly, what we can learn from this is that all $14.50 Marcelle products are cosmetic gold!

Marcelle Essentials 400ml

Clinique Chubby Stick Intense: review, swatches, & overall thoughts | Part 2/2

Friday, March 15, 2013

Jumbo lip pencil colour balm review - Clinique Chubby Stick Intense

The product: Clinique Chubby Stick Intense Moisturizing Lip Colour Balm

 in 01 Curviest Caramel, 02 Chunkiest Chili, 03 Mightiest Maraschino, 04 Heftiest Hibiscus, 05 Plushest Punch, 06 Roomiest Rose, 07 Broadest Berry, and 08 Grandest Grape.

Psst: before you start in on this one, have you read our Chubby Stick Intense posts with full-face swatches & shade name mockery coverage?

Clinique Chubby Stick Intense Fall 2012 review

The formula

Now, the shades and packaging of these are super-cute (of course), but what actually has me head over heels for them is the formula.

Rich, moisturizing, and shockingly pigmented, the Intenses apply with buildable colour and settle well into the lips — I find the colour “sets” once applied, going on a little slippery but wearing with more of a satin-gloss finish (and without any colour displacement!) after 5-10 minutes.

(Ingredients behind the cut.)

Clinique Chubby Stick Intense review

Clinique Chubby Stick tinted lip color balm review

The wear

I do find the formula of these varies a bit by shade, but not enough that I’d recommend some wholeheartedly and others not at all. Chunkiest Chili is a little gritty, for instance, and Grandest Grape is a little more slippery — I prefer a drier formula, which I found in Curviest Caramel, Heftiest Hibiscus, and Plushest Punch. (The latter two have much more opaque colour).

Clinique Chubby Stick Intense shade range

On the whole, however, the Clinique Chubby Stick Intenses last much longer than the original Chubby Sticks, starting off glossier and wearing into more of a stain, visually. I don’t find they really stain the lips, though — a bonus, if you want to be able to switch between colours through the day.

I would put the wear time of these at 3-5 hours; I can make it to five with most of these as long as I’m not eating or drinking (or talking a lot), but I prefer to touch up around the three hour mark for more even colour and added moisture.

The shades

Clinique Chubby Stick Intense review swatches

Clinique Chubby Stick Intense swatches – hover for shade name labels

I’ve been getting the most wear out of 01 Curviest Caramel, a cream-finish natural lip shade with the perfect yellow-pink balance. It pairs well with both everyday makeup and a smokey eye (the sign of a truly great nude!) 02 Chunkiest Chili, on the other hand, gets almost no love; the the silver glitter adds a frosty finish to this understated, reddish base.

Next, 03 Mightiest Maraschino is a bright, shimmer-free red leaning more strawberry than vamp — perfect for both a lively holiday lip and a carefree summer pout. The real showstopper here, though, is 04 Heftiest Hibiscus. I hate most orange hues, but the pink-touched tangerine-hibiscus hues coming off on this one are so undeniable that I can’t help but pull it out again & again.

Clinique Chubby Stick Intense Moisturizing Lip Color Balm swatches

Clinique Chubby Stick Intenses, swatched L-R: 01 Curviest Caramel,  02 Chunkiest Chili, 03 Mightiest Maraschino, 04 Heftiest Hibiscus, 05 Plushest Punch, 06 Roomiest Rose, 07 Broadest Berry, 08 Grandest Grape

I think 05 Plushest Punch is going to fly off the shelves; a bright bold pink, it’s a vibrant shade that’s still easy to pull off, grabbing attention without verging on “obnoxious”. 06 Roomiest Rose is more subdued; darker, but still bright, it’s shot through with subtle shimmer that gives lovely depth (minus the frostiness of Chunkiest Chili).

For a much more subdued (but still very noticeable) shade, 07 Broadest Berry is the Curviest Caramel version of a lip with colour: with brownish berry undertones, it’s very wearable, but still gives a lovely, defined lip.

Finally, I found 08 Grandest Grape to be a little slippery at first (though, like the others, it does settle into the lips!), but it’s absolutely lovely — still very wearable; more of a crushed-berry stain than a theatrically purple lipstick.

Don’t miss this post for full-face & lip swatches of the Intense lineup!

Clinique Chubby Stick Intense packaging - twist-up pencil

Tinted lip color balm - full coverage - review

The verdict?

The press materials for the Chubby Stick Intenses promise “the perfect marriage between a moisturizing lip balm and a full coverage lip colour,” and I think they absolutely deliver. Silly names aside, the shade range offers a gorgeous mix of brights with a couple great “everyday” shades to fall back on, and the formula is both intensely comfortable and high-impact.

(What, did you seriously think I was going to make it through this entire review without using the word “intense”?)

A few other things I love about these: the twist-up packaging (no product is lost to sharpening) and the scent-free, paraben-free formula.

Availability: $16 USD/$19 CAD at Clinique (US), SephoraNordstrom, & Clinique counters.

Additional photos, ingredients, & more »

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...