Make Up For Ever 150 Precision Blush, 174 Concealer, 304 Lip Brush reviews, photos

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Make-Up-For-Ever-Brush-review-Artisan-Collection

The products: Make Up For Ever Artisan Brush Collection – 150 Precision Blush Brush (Wavy), 174 Concealer Brush – Small (Straight), 304 Lip Brush with Cap (Straight)

I’ve been testing Make Up For Ever’s Artisan brushes for the better part of a year, now, but it was just a few weeks ago that I finally fell in love with one of them. I’m fond of the collection on the whole, from the gorgeous design to the fact that all of the brushes are synthetic, but it just — I don’t know. It took me a little while.

Dany Sanz and the MUFE team worked on these brushes for five years, and the finished product is a line of 76 brushes with beech wood handles and straight (for heavier, more precise application) or wavy (lighter, more splayed) bristles. Each brush features a beveled end to help with applying false lashes or retrieving product on set, and the range is broken up into four categories: complexion (100s), eyes (200s), lips (300s), and artistry brushes (400s).

MUFE-brush-review-150-304-174

Make Up For Ever “Artisan” Brushes (detail)

150 Precision Blush Brush ($40 USD/$46 CAD)

I thoroughly believe in starting with your best foot forward (or, at least, I do this week), so here’s the brush that I’m loving right now: the wavy-bristled Precision Blush Brush. Its angled bristles are smooth but firm, and don’t feature the “oily” feeling that some of the Artistry brushes are said to — instead, it’s just kind of narrow and fluffy. 

Make-Up-For-Ever-150-precision-blush-brush-review

Make Up For Ever 150 Precision Blush Brush

Make Up For Ever recommends this brush for loose or pressed powders including blush, contour, and highlighters, but I actually think it excels at applying and blending cream blushes and stains – a tip I got from my sister. I find it to be a little too stiff for everyday powder contour or blush, but does a beautiful job of really working cream products into the skin. (It would also be a wonderful brush to work with for that severe, “Kardashian/Instagram” sculpting!)

MUFE-150-cheek-brush-reviewMUFE 150 Precision Blush Brush

174 Small Concealer Brush ($21 USD/$24 CAD)

The straight-bristled Small Concealer Brush is pretty standard, as far as concealer brushes go, but it serves its basic function well. This one is great for applying and blending concealer on a large blemish or around the nose, but I don’t find that I reach for brushes like this anymore – I prefer sheer, all-over coverage paired with precision spot concealing, so this style of brush just too wide for me.

That said, if you’re looking for a brush of this size to work with cream or liquid concealer, you could do far worse than the 174. It’s well-priced and easy on the eyes, and the bristles have just enough give to deposit product without irritating a blemish.

Make-Up-For-Ever-174-small-concealer-brush-review

MUFE-174-brush-review

Make Up For Ever 174 Small Concealer Brush

304 Lip Brush ($25 USD/$29 CAD)

The last brush I have to share with you today is the 304, a collapsable lip brush. Now, I don’t usually use a lip brush when applying lipstick or gloss, but I love brushes like this all the same — they’re perfect for applying concealer on the go. 

Make-Up-For-Ever-304-lip-brush-reviewMUFE-304-straight-lip-brush-reviewMake Up For Ever 304 Lip Brush (cap used as handle)

You know those days when you have a really bad blemish, but you’re going to be out from 9 ’til 9, too? Brushes like this one are the perfect thing to throw into your handbag, because they have a small enough tip to cover your blemish just right, and the brush handle will then pop off to cover the tip of your brush. Super clean, super compact, and awesome especially if you’re working with a creamy concealer.

The Make Up For Ever Artisan brushes are my favourite brush range, aesthetically, at the moment — what’s yours?

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Clinique Cheek Chubby Sticks, Baby Tint swatches, review | Fresh, flawless lips & cheeks in 10 seconds or less

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Clinique Baby Tint Chubby Stick review

The product: Clinique Chubby Stick Cheek Colour Balm in 02 Robust Rhubarb and 03 Roly Poly Rosy; Chubby Stick Baby Tint Moisturizing Lip Balm in 01 Poppin’ Poppy and 02 Coming Up Rosy

New this month to Clinique are two all-new Chubby Stick formulas — which, duh, I am super freaking excited about.

And guess what? They’re both awesome. 

Clinique Chubby Stick Cheek review swatches

Clinique Chubby Stick Cheek Colour Balm in 02 Robust Rhubarb, 03 Roly Poly Rosy

Chubby Stick Cheek Colour Balm ($21 USD/$24 CAD)

The Clinique Chubby Cheek Sticks are the same length as your average Chubby Stick, but they’re much wider, with a nice, domed tip – and they make applying blush really quick and easy. Just scribble a bit of the product onto your cheeks (straight from the stick!) and blend with a fingertip, and voila! perfect blush in under ten seconds, no brushes needed.

The Cheek Colour Balm formula is smooth and scent-free, medium-sheer with a texture that blends with a light touch without blending away. It’s a treat to work with, but I think it would be particularly perfect for makeup beginners and busy moms! (Much like this bronzer blush that I talked about on Thursday.)

Clinique Robust Rhubarb, Poppin Poppy review FOTD, Clarins Ombre Matte

Wearing Robust Rhubarb on cheeks, Poppin’ Poppy on lips

Clinique Robust Rubarb Chubby Cheek review swatchesClinique Chubby Stick Cheek Colour Balm in 02 Robust Rhubarb

These feel comfortable and lightweight on my cheeks, and they give an all-day glow without making your skin look shiny. I think the shimmer-free Roly Poly Rosy would make a great basic medium-pink blush for cool skintones like my own, but I actually really loved the coral-pink Robust Rhubarb, too.

Robust Rhubarb is the only coral blush that I’ve ever thought looked good on me (no joke!!), and it has some incredibly flattering cool pink nuances tucked in there alongside super-subtle shimmer. I’ve actually been wearing Rhubarb on the apples of my cheeks, with Roly Poly Rosy relegated to adding depth like some kind of backup dancer, and it’s been awesome.

Clinique Baby Tint, Chubby Cheek swatches review

Clinique Chubby Stick Baby Tint in 01 Poppin’ Poppy, 02 Coming Up Rosy swatches; Chubby Stick Cheek Colour Balm in 02 Robust Rhubarb, 03 Roly Poly Rosy swatches

Chubby Stick Baby Tint ($17 USD/$19 CAD)

Clinique Baby Tint Coming Up Rosy review swatches

Clinique Chubby Stick Baby Tint in 02 Coming Up Rosy

Like most of the regular Clinique range, the Baby Tints are sheer — but unlike the rest of the Chubby Sticks, they’re pH adjusting to “custom fit” the wearer.

This is, obviously, a load of crock, but you know what? Who cares. pH-adjusting products may not actually be made to suit your unique skintone, but they go from clear to tinted in a matter of seconds, and they’re fun. Show me a person who doesn’t think that colour-shifting makeup is cool and I’ll show you a liar.

Clinique Baby Tint Poppin Poppy review swatches

Clinique Chubby Stick Baby Tint in 01 Poppin’ Poppy

Clinique Poppin Poppy Coming Up Rosy swatches Baby Tint review

Clinique Chubby Stick Baby Tint swatches – 01 Poppin’ Poppy, 02 Coming Up Rosy

Both of the tints that I tried, Poppin’ Poppy and Coming Up Rosy, are shimmer-free, comfortable, and glossy. I find that they appear much more tinted on the lips than they do when swatched on the back of my hand, but they’re definitely sheer enough that you could pick up whichever shade suits your fancy.

Like any tinted lip balm, these aren’t going to last all day (unlike those Chubby Cheek Sticks — which, yes, I know that’s not their real name, but it should have been), but they do alright. Expect to reapply with the same frequency as lip balm, but no more often than that.

Clarins Roly Poly Rosy, Coming Up Rosy review swatches FOTD,  Clarins Ombre Matte

Wearing Clinique Chubby Stick (Cheek) in 03 Roly Poly Rosy, Baby Tint in 02 Coming Up Roses

The verdict?

I squealed out loud when I first saw these teased online, and for once, I’m 100% comfortable telling you that yes: these are every bit as good as I was hoping. (Especially Poppin’ Poppy! If you love corals but always find them too warm, try it. You’ll thank me later.)

The Clinique Chubby Stick Baby Tints are nice to have around (that purple!), but it’s the new Chubby Stick Cheek Colour Balms that really steal the show for me. I can’t find a single flaw in them, from the way they apply to the way they blend, and they’re an absolute steal at $24 CAD. I love stick blushes, and these are the best that I’ve ever tried.

Availability: August 2014. CheekNordstrom, Sephora, Clinique / Baby TintNordstrom, Sephora, Clinique.

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Lise Watier Eden Tropical collection swatches, review, photos | Summer 2014

Friday, August 15, 2014

Lise Watier Eden Tropical eyeshadow palette review

The products: Lise Watier Eden Tropical Eyeshadow Palette, Eden Tropical Bronzing Powder, and 24Hrs Gel Liner

This was supposed to be yesterday’s post — a couple end-of-summer reviews to get us through the long August days up here in Canada. But, well, I got distracted while testing out the bronzer, and so this got pushed back a day for Senna’s Powder Point brush (which, if I can butt in here for a second, pairs beautifully with the Eden Tropical bronzer.)

But, without further adieu — here is the rest of Lise Watier’s Eden Tropical collection! I didn’t love these products quite as much as these three hits, but hey, you never know, right? One woman’s not-a-chance is another’s holy grail.

Lise Watier Eden Tropical eyeshadow swatches

Lise Watier Eden Tropical Eyeshadow Palette & 24Hrs Gel Liner swatches

The Eden Tropical Eyeshadow Palette ($43 CAD) contains six shimmery eyeshadows (8.4 g in total), and each is more gorgeous than the last — literally, if you ask me. (Seriously, how great is that aqua blue?!) Each shade performed well, and the palette has good consistency in terms of texture and pigmentation, but it didn’t wow me. It was still a good palette, but I’d go for one of Lise Watier’s gorgeous–and gorgeously-packaged–Ombre Soufflé Suprême Eyeshadows ($24 CAD) in a heartbeat instead.

Lise Watier Eden Tropical swatches - eyeshadow palette

Lise Watier Eden Tropical Eyeshadow Palette & 24Hrs Gel Liner swatches

Lise Watier Eden Tropical Bronzer review

Lise Watier Eden Tropical Bronzing Powder

On the cheeks, I found the Eden Tropical Bronzing Powder ($38 CAD) to be too warm for my skintone, but I actually really liked the formulation — solid, easy to work with, easy to apply in layers. It gave a really pretty golden glow without too much shimmer, and I think if you have fair to light skin without any green or cool undertones, it would work well for you.

The apricot blush in the centre isn’t pigmented enough to use alone, in my opinion, but I think this bronzer makes up for that with its large pan size and gorgeous pattern – I do love a wide pan when it comes to bronzers.

Keep reading! »

Lush D’Fluff shaving soap, African Paradise body conditioner review, photos

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

LUSH D'Fluff, African Paradise reviews

The products: LUSH D’Fluff Strawberry Shaving Soap, African Paradise Body Conditioner

New this summer to the permanent LUSH range are D’Fluff and African Paradise, two cruelty-free, self-preserving products.

Read on to find out what I thought of them, and in the meantime, maybe you could try to find it within yourselves to forgive me for all the body products I’ve been writing about recently. I don’t know what’s up with that, dude.

LUSH D'Fluff Strawberry Shaving Soap review

D’Fluff Strawberry Shaving Soap ($9.95 CAD/70g)

Inspired by strawberry marshmallow fluff (is that a real thing?? can I eat it??), D’Fluff is just as pink and fluffy as you’d expect. It feels like some sort of foam; like space-food from the future or something, and is scented with strawberry and vanilla. I wasn’t crazy about the scent, but Ri loved it, so I guess it can really go either way!

LUSH D'Fluff review shaving cream

D’Fluff contains a ton of good stuff, from actual strawberries and egg whites to coconut oil and organic maple sugar. But, despite its cool texture and awesome ingredient list, I just couldn’t get on board with its formula, either. It’s pretty expensive at $9.95 CAD, and I found that I had to use a lot of product for each use — this pot would probably only last me a week, if I used it to shave my legs & underarms every day.

Cool as it is, I’d say skip D’Fluff, and opt for a good moisturizer instead. Followed up with African Paradise or pumpkin seed oil, I found that my skin felt just as soft shaving with good ‘ol bar soap as it does shaving with D’Fluff.

LUSH D’Fluff Strawberry Shaving Soap ingredients: [EXPAND]

Water, Rapeseed Oil, Coconut Oil, Saccharide Hydrolysate, Glycerine, Organic Rose Hip Oil, Cocoa Butter, Fresh Strawberries, Egg Whites, Fragrance, Maple Sugar, Vanilla Absolute, Sweet Wild Orange Oil, Rose Absolute, Sodium Chloride, EDTA, Tetrasodium Editronate, Sodium Hydroxide, Titanium Dioxide, Eugenol, Limonene, Benzyl Alcohol, Hexyl Cinnamal, Red 27, Red 40. [/EXPAND]

LUSH African Paradise Body Conditioner review

African Paradise Body Conditioner ($39.50 CAD/250g)

Named for its African-sourced Fair Trade ingredients, this body conditioner (also called a “shower smoothie,” but thinking about drinking this really freaked me out) features shea buter & moringa oil from Ghana, plus aloe from Kenya. It’s the first in-shower moisturizer that I’ve tried, but I’m actually really liking it — which surprised me, because I wasn’t expecting it to do much for my super-dry skin!

LUSH African Paradise review in-shower moisturizer

Glycerine-sticky and heavily fragranced, Lush’s African Paradise Body Conditioner feels a little weird at first use. Once you rinse off (don’t scrub!) and towel dry, though, the formula suddenly makes sense — the perfect amount of product gets left behind, and you end up with soft, scented skin long into the night. It’s not as hydrating as an intensive moisturizer or body butter, but is super quick to apply and moisturizes about as well as your average drugstore lotion or body oil.

Worth noting too is that you actually need very little of this moisturizer for each use, so the 8.8 oz pot will go a long way. I’ve used this about twice as often as my little pot of D’Fluff, but while I’m halfway done the latter, I’ve barely made a dent in African Paradise.

LUSH African Paradise Body Conditioner ingredients:

Water, Glycerine, Almond Oil, Moringa Oil, Fresh Aloe Gel, Shea Butter, Stearic Acid, Marula Oil, Baobab Oil, Kalahari Melon Oil, Fragrance, Triethanolamine, Fresh Mango Juice, Cocoa Butter, Ylang Ylang Oil, Vanilla Absolute, Geranium Oil, Frangipani Absolute, Sicilian Lemon Oil, Cetearyl Alcohol, Benzyl Salicylate, Citral, Citronellol, Farnesol, Geraniol, Coumarin, Limonene, Linalool.

What are your favourite in-shower moisturizers? And, more importantly: do food-like products freak you out a little?

I think the problem is that I don’t trust myself around them. Like, I’m scared that one day I’m going to let my guard down and accidentally maybe eat a little bit of them.

L’Occitane Frisson de Verveine review, photos: Ice Gel & Shower Gel

Saturday, August 9, 2014

L'Occitane Frisson de Verveine review

The products: L’Occitane Frisson de Verveine Shower Gel & Cooling Foot Gel

It’s hard to find a good summer scent. Trust me; I know. The ones that are good never last, and the ones that last are always so heavy. And, ugh, don’t even get me started on how sticky-sweet and floral the summer heat can make feminine fragrances.

This summer, though, L’Occitane has solved the summer scent problem — in part. No one can make citrus and aquatic-family molecules linger for any longer, but this bright, genderless summer collection might be just what you need to get you through August. (I think it makes an especially appealing androgynous scent for women.)

L'Occitane shower gel review Frisson de Verveine

The scent: This stuff smells good. Like, so good that when my shower is over, I have a tendency to wander back into the bathroom (hot and humid as it is), just to stand by the shower and inhale for a moment. It smells like bright summer days, and like verbena, but it doesn’t have any of the hard edges that the original L’Occitane Verveine scent has — instead, it has soft edges with just the right amount of zest.

Frisson de Verveine reminds me of D&G Light Blue and Fresh Citron de Vigne, in feeling if not in its notes. An aptly-categorized unisex “aqueous citrus,” it’s light and very fresh, almost masculine and not at all “perfumey”. But, unlike Light Blue, it’s very unique — no one is going to sniff this on you and go, “oh yeah, I used to wear that in high school.”

L'Occitane Frisson de Verveine review Fresh Shower Gel

L'Occitane Frisson de Verveine Ice Gel review

The Ice Gel: I found the collection’s Fresh Shower Gel ($32 CAD) to be a little drying, despite its gorgeous scent (use with a shower puff for maximum fragrance release!), but the cool-cred in this collection totally goes to the Ice Gel for Legs & Feet ($24 CAD). It’s actually a liquid, and has the coolest method of application — you roll the ball onto your skin while gently squeezing the tube to get just the right amount of product.

This is the only product I’ve ever owned with this type of packaging, and I love it. It’s easy to use, weirdly fun, and amounts to zero drips or drops. And the product inside is really good, too — while it doesn’t feel cooling on my feet (it does on my hands; I think my feet just aren’t sensitive enough), it’s surprisingly hydrating, and dries down quickly.

And yes, okay? Yes, I will admit to dabbing some of this onto my wrists as well. It just smells so good, you guys. I couldn’t help myself.

L'Occitane Ice Gel verveine review

The verdict?

L’Occitane’s fragrances outside of La Collection de Grasse don’t always wow me, but wow – this one did. The perfect aquatic-citrus for both men and women, Frisson de Verveine is as bright and watery as you could wish for on a hot summer day. 

But I’m going to recommend you don’t buy these two products, because I love the scent so much. Instead, I’m going to point you toward the line’s gorgeously bottled Frisson de Verveine Eau de Toilette ($56 CAD) and aerosolized Verbena Refreshing Mist ($12 CAD). This is a scent that deserves to be enjoyed both in and out of the shower.

Availability: The Frisson de Verveine range is available for a limited time at L’Occitane boutiques & online beginning this month.

Keep reading! »

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