Unusual beauty finds | The Edit

Monday, August 24, 2015

The beauty world has been coming out with some pretty cool new innovations this year, so for the newest instalment of The Edit, I’ve selected nine products that have something different about them. They’re mostly skincare (what? I’ve been on a skincare kick this month), but don’t let that fool you: there’s some really nifty stuff coming out of the makeup department, too!

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Beauty Essences

Beauty essences are far from new (they’ve been popular in Korea and the rest of Asia for years), but they’ve been tricky to get ahold of here in North America until just recently. I picked out two for this edit: a classic, the Cremorlab Mineral Treatment Essence ($42 USD), which is now easily accessible outside of Asia thanks to Peach and Lily (get a $10 off code here!); and a personal favourite, the Canadian-made MIYU Beauty Hydrate Mi Beauty Essence ($34 CAD), which touts all the benefits of a traditional beauty essence but applies conveniently as a spray.

Mask On, Mask Off 

I also picked out two cool masks for this feature: one for oily skin, and one for dry. Clinique’s new Pore Refining Solutions Mask ($27 CAD) is one of three masks that the brand is putting out this fall, and targets problem skin with its charcoal-based formula — its muddy-charcoal texture looks super cool coming out of the tube.

On the total opposite end of the spectrum is Odacité’s Hydration Masque ($55 CAD; sample size pictured), which is bright white and is a great choice for dry skin. And, still working off of K-beauty trends, it makes an awesome sleeping mask for those inclined!

!NIOD Copper Amino Isolate, Odacite Hydration Masque

Make-Up Shake-Up 

I love a newfangled makeup product, so I picked out the Shu Uemura Laque Supreme ($35 CAD) and the Annabelle EyeInk2 Mistake-Proof Eyeliner ($10.95 CAD) for this feature. I reviewed the Shu just last week, and have been playing around with the Annabelle — the formula hasn’t been working out for my oily lids, but I love the long, thin, reversible (!!) felt-tip applicator and the built-in double-ended touch-up pen!

Cutting-Edge Technologies 

And, finally, the coolest of the coolest. NIOD (by Deciem) has a new Copper Amino Isolate Serum 1.00% ($60 CAD) available this fall, and it packs a major anti-ageing punch — most brands only bother to put a 0.01 to 0.10% concentration into their products, which doesn’t give you the same effects.

Also from Deciem is a range of drinkables from FOUNTAIN, including this bioavailable hyaluronic acid supplement, The Hyaluronic Molecule ($38 CAD). And, from Estee Lauder, something that’s (also!) altogether new: the New Dimensions Expert Liquid Tape ($70 USD), which creates a thin, flexible layer over the skin that tightens over the course of ten minutes to literally lift and smooth the area!

What’s the coolest beauty product you’ve tried this year?

Shu Uemura Laque Supreme review, swatches RD 01, 02, 03, 04; PK 02

Thursday, August 20, 2015

shu uemura laque supreme gloss lipstick review

The product: shu uemura laque supreme lip colour in RD 01, RD 02, RD 03, and PK 02

Shu Uemura’s new Laque Supreme Lip Colours take their cues from traditional Japanese urushi lacquerware. Urushi lacquerware has been around since 14 500 BC, and is an art form of lacquering rich pigments over wood.

shu uemura laque supreme lip colour review

Shu Uemura Laque Supreme in RD 01-04, PK 02

The formula: The Laque Supreme Lip Colours are essentially gloss-stains, which use a brand-new water soluble dye to provide a translucent wash of colour, oil-dispersed pigments (used in all of your old Shu favourites) for opaque coverage, and coating polymers help the formula settle into a honeycomb molecular structure for intense shine and long wear.

The “oil in water” formula gives a “fresh and smooth sensation upon application” (very true), and the applicator on these is a slanted doe-foot — which is exactly what you want when the product you’re applying is going to stick around for four hours.

Tip: If you need to remove your Laque Supreme lipgloss before its time is up, reach for a micellar water, not an oil.

shu uemura laque supreme review

The shades: There are 15 Laque Supreme shades, but here are the five I tried (including all 4 of the reds in the range)!

  • RD 01 AKA Red – A warm, tomato-orange red; more vibrant than RD 02. This shade was developed with lacquer wear brand Yamada Heiando, who once provided lacquerware to the Imperial Househould of Japan. It’s inspired by the traditional shade of Japanese lacquer, so expect to see a Vermillion red with a slight yellow tint.
  • RD 02 Red Player – Almost a berry red. A cool fuchsia red with blue undertones.

shu uemura la laque supreme swatches review photos

Shu Uemura Laque Supreme swatches, L-R: RD 01 AKA Red, RD 02 Red Player, RD 03 Flaming Red, RD 04 Shu Red, PK 02 Dreamy Pink

  • RD 03 Flaming Red – Browner and more of a brick red than RD 01, Flaming Red is a warm orange-red.
  • RD 04 Shu Red – Shu Uemura (the man, the legend)’s favourite red — red with strawberry pink undertones; the same shade as the Rouge Unlimited 165. This one’s a little too warm for me, so it makes me look kind of dated. Best on warmer skintones.
  • PK 02 Dreamy Pink – A milky lilac pink. This one really settles and stains on my lips to give an instant (but inevitable) Korean popsicle-stained lip look.

shu uemura laque supreme pk02 swatch review

Shu Uemura Laque Supreme Lip Colour in PK 02 Dreamy Pink swatched lightly / heavily

shu uemura pk02 dreamy pink review swatch

Wearing PK 02 Dreamy Pink

The experience: I liked the feel of these lip colours, but my lips are a tricky beast — even with regular lip products.The inner edge of my lip tends to make lip products either cling or slide, and for these glosses, it did both. The stain really caught on the inner rim of my lip, and the gloss slid away from it, resulting in a popsicle-stained lip that could give even the trendiest Korean magazine a run for its money.

Which, I mean, is awesome if that’s what you’re going for, but unavoidable if it isn’t. Unfortunately, it kind of killed these lip colours for me — but, again, I don’t think that most people will face this problem. (My lips have just always been weird!)

shu uemura la laque supreme swatches RD01-04 PK02 review photos

Shu Uemura Laque Supreme swatches, L-R: RD 01, RD 02, RD 03, RD 04, PK 02

The verdict?

I really wanted to love these, but with the way they caught on my lips… I just couldn’t. Almost, but not quite.

If you don’t usually have problems with products catching on your lips, though, I’d say these are definitely worth a look. They’re almost identical to the YSL Vernis À Lèvres Glossy Stains ($38 CAD; comparison based on texture and ingredients), which I love, but I think the pigments are different — the Shu Uemura Laque Supremes are, generally, more pigmented and stain more intensely.

So, if you loved the Glossy Stains but you’re ready to try something just a wee bit different (or if you still have yet to try a gloss-stain!), give these a go!

Availability: $35 CAD at shuuemura.ca and in-store at select Sephora and Holt Renfew locations across Canada.

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The Detox Market Scollard St. Toronto tour & haul | BEAUTY DESTINATIONS

Friday, August 14, 2015

The Detox Market Toronto review tour about Scollard St

Tucked away in the heart of Yorkville, just a couple blocks north of Bloor, is The Detox Market’s newest location. A quick five minute walk from the Bay metro station, this tiny Scollard Street shop houses some of the best finds in all-natural and Canadian beauty.

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Lotus Wei The Detox Market Scollard St review

The shop, which opened early July, is narrow but long (and carries about 80% of the brands that the King St. location does, with more products still arriving each week). It’s hidden in a row of gorgeous white storefronts at 96 Scollard St., just above a salon and a stone’s throw from Holt’s.

(And, more importantly, within walking distance to the largest Indigo I have ever seen in my LIFE. We’re talking multi-staircase book buying, people. This is not a drill.)

Detox Market Scollard St Toronto without polarizer

Detox Market Scollard St Toronto hours

May Lindstrom Honey Mud The Detox Market Scollard St review

I was in twice during my trip last month–once to grab these photos and do a little travel haul; once to stock up on Odacité–and walked away each time with lots of great product recommendations and tips.

I make it a habit to ask sales associates what they’re loving whenever I check out a new shop (who better to tell you what’s awesome than the people who’re surrounded by it all day?), and The Detox Market Yorkville was no exception. Marisette recommends Ilia lipsticks, Rahua and Sudsatorium products (both of which I picked up and am LOVING, so thank you, Marisette!), and the Odacité Beautiful Day Moisturizer, which I also really like.

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Odacite Pure Elements serum concentrate review The Detox Market Scollard St

I also took a moment to poke at some of the other Odacité products that I hadn’t tried yet, and here’s what I found:

  • Po+R is definitely the only really viscous oil. However, Moringa + Petitgrain feels really comforting as well (I need to try this!!), and would be a great place to start if your main problem is dryness, not dehydration.
  • Their Blueberry and Jasmine oil is thin, clear, and light. It would be a great starter oil for someone with oilier skin (both Marisette and Kim really love this one!)
  • Their Hydration Mask, according to Marisette, makes an awesome sleeping mask for dry skin. I haven’t tried it out yet, but I have a small sample and I’m gonna give it a go soon!

The Detox Market haul

And, finally: my tiny travel haul! I picked up some Rahua Shampoo and Voluminous Conditioner to start, which my hair is loving (paired with my Klorane dry shampoo, I’ve been going three days between washes!!) I might have to order their regular conditioner online, though — I sniffed the volume line in-store and it was totally fine, but something about it makes my stomach turn when I wash with it.

I also picked up Sudsatorium’s Dirty Thirty bar soap, which I’ve been dying to try ever since they released it for Laura’s 30th birthday. It is, as expected, divine: coffee-scented and super scrubby, with a thick, non-stripping lather. Marisette also threw in some Rahua samples (so I can try a regular-regular wash and the voluminous-voluminous wash), the aforementioned Odacité mask, and the line’s new Hand & Heel Therapy, which is supposed to be great for dry hands!

The Detox Market Toronto review tour Scollard St green beauty

Have you been to the new Detox Market yet? What’s your favourite beauty boutique?

Skincare travel essentials | Currently in my bag (literally)

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Travel essentials and must haves
So, for all of you who don’t follow me on social media (and why aren’t you? Twitter/Instagram), I’m currently in Toronto visiting friends, seeing family, and checking out what’s new and exciting for Fall 2015.

I’ve been living out of a suitcase for about a week and I have one more left to go, so my travel essentials right now are actually what I have with me — they’re not some theoretical “oh, I’d totally take this with me.” Here’s what I can’t go without… and what I totally should have done differently.

Aveeno fresh essentials moisturizer SPF 30 review

FACE

Aveeno Fresh Essentials Daily Nourishing Moisturizer SPF 15 ($19.99 CAD) – this is a recent acquisition, but so far, I’m liking it! It’s silicone-free but with a chemical sunscreen component, and while it’s a little heavy (not a problem for my dry skin) and smells quite sunscreen-y, it gets the job done without breaking me out or breaking the bank.

bioderma sensibio tolerance plus review

Bioderma Sensibio Tolerance+ Skin Care ($26.95 CAD) – I reviewed this just this month, and I’m still using it every single day. It’s been doing a great job of minimizing my skin’s reactiveness, and provides the perfect “neutral” base for serums and foundations. Which brings us to…

Kevin Aucoin Sensual Skin Enhancer in 02 – I haven’t really talked about this yet, but I’m a total SSE convert. This silicone-free foundation is a good match for my skintone, and I love how pigmented it is — I mix a little bit (just enough to cover my fingertip) into my Bioderma or Aveeno, add a drop of Odacité serum if I’m feeling dry, and apply to my full face for an even, sheer glow.

Odacité Pomegranate + Rose Geranium Serum Concentrate ($43 USD/$49 CAD) – yup, still totally loving this one. I’ve actually almost finished my bottle — and will be buying a new one this week at The Detox Market! (Hopefully the King Street location, because I’m dying for a Greenhouse Juice. It’s been like a week since I last ate a vegetable.)

Odacite PoR, Kevin Aucoin SSE review

Mario Badescu Buffering Lotion – Always a must-have, whether or not I’m travelling. This is the best thing for treating small spots, small about-to-be-spots, and big AHH! blemishes.

AWW, CRAP – CLEANSERS

Marcelle 3-in-1 Micellar Water ($19.95 CAD) – I totally should have brought more of both of these, because I’m only at the halfway point of my work-cation and I’m almost all out. HALP.

Nip + Fab Dragon’s Blood Facial Radiance Pads ($14.95 CAD) – same with these. I absolutely LOVE the Dragon’s Blood cleansing pads, and I find that they’re particularly strong performers while travelling — they make removing all of my eye and face makeup (including waterproof) a seconds-long process, and I love not having to use an additional cleanser afterwards. I find that I use these a lot when I’m worried that I’m about to break out, and they always get my face super-clean and ready for moisturizer in a snap.

Clarins tonic oil Mario badescu buffering lotion review

HAIR AND BODY

Clarins Tonic Body Treatment Oil – a mini size! Because oils are a wonderfully compact way to moisturize (no fillers), and this little guy travels like a champ. I’ve been using it every day for the past seven days and I’ve barely made it to the 1/3 point.

Schick Quattro razor – I’ve actually been using Quattro razors since I started shaving, but I bought this one recently for travel/staying over and I love it! Something about the design gives me a much closer shape than the older models (even though I have brand-new cartridges on both), and I think I might replace my at-home razor when I get back. My favourite thing about Schick razors? The fine bars that run perpendicular to the blades — I’ve never cut myself shaving, not even at the very beginning.

And, finally…

Schick Quattro razor Best review

Giovanni Avocado & Olive Oil Ultra-Moist Protective Leave-In Spray – I’ve almost used this one all the way up! It’s silicone-free, practically unscented, and does a great job both of protecting my hair from the heat of my flat iron and moisturizing it so I don’t get fly-aways or dry-looking ends. I probably should have brought the inch of product that I have left in smaller spray bottle, but once this is used up, I will definitely be re-buying it, too.

What are your travel essentials? Are they day-to-day products, or things you only take on trips?

Stila Waterproof Brow Colour review, swatches, & dupe (Marcelle Eyebrow Pen)

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Best waterproof brow pens review

I’ve made a lot of big changes this year, but the most important of them all has been getting my brows in order. (Yes. Definitely.) For the longest time, I had to mix shades and layer powder and pencil products to get my brows just right, and for all of my efforts, the silicone content in the products would still leave me with awkward brow breakouts.

No longer.

At the start of the year, I found the Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Brow Colour in Medium, AKA my Holy Grail of brows… and then I found the Marcelle Eyebrow Pen in Universal Dark, which does everything the Stila does, except faster and for half the price.

Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Brow Colour review swatches Medium

Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Brow Colour

Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Brow Colour in Medium ($21 USD/$27 CAD)

The Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Brow Colour in Medium (which has since been re-packaged) is pretty much perfect. It’s fine-tipped, sheer, and cool-toned, and I can finish my brows in under a minute using this pen.

The formula wears all day long and can be used to either create fine, hair-like lines or a brow “shadow” (my preferred method), and the shade itself is really well-suited to those with dark hair who don’t want warm “Instagram brows” for their everyday life.

Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Brow Colour review Medium

Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Brow Colour brush tip

My only problem with the Stila brow pen is that it’s pretty expensive at $27 CAD, and while I’m not out of product yet, most reviewers say that it only lasts 1-3 months with regular use. Enter: the Marcelle Eyebrow Pens.

Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Brow Colour ingredients:

Water, Acrylates Copolymer, Pentylene Glycol, Butylene Glycol, Polysorbate 20, Phenoxyethanol, Alcohol, Sodium Dehydroacetate, Honey Extract, Propylene Glycol, Matricaria Flower Extract, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice Powder. +/- Yellow 5, Red 33, Blue 1.

Marcelle Universal Light, Dark, Stila Medium Brow Pen swatches review

Swatched L-R: Marcelle Eyebrow Pen in Universal Light, Universal Dark; Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Brow Colour in Medium

Marcelle Eyebrow Pen review swatches Universal Dark

Marcelle Eyebrow Pen in Universal Dark

Marcelle Eyebrow Pen in Universal Dark ($13.95 CAD)

It’s been a little while since I’ve fallen hard for a Marcelle makeup product, but these brow pens have me swooning. They’re half the price of Stila’s version and double the size, and because I always go for a “shadow” brow rather than drawn-in hairs, I can apply and smudge this one faster and more easily than I can with the Stila.

Marcelle Eyebrow Pen review swatches

Marcelle Eyebrow Pen in Universal Dark felt tip

Universal Dark isn’t quite as perfect as Stila’s Medium, but the cost difference more than makes up for it. With the Marcelle brow pens, you still get easy application, a silicone-free formula, and all-day waterproof wear, but you trade off a small degree of control for a quicker application.

I think the felt tip is a more versatile format (the broad side for quick application & the tip for drawing hairs), but it really does just come down to personal preference!

Marcelle Eyebrow Pen in Universal Dark ingredients: 

Water, Propylene Glycol, Glycerine, Magnesium Aluminum Silicate, Methylisothiazolinone, Iodopropynyl Butylcarbamate. +/- Red 40, Green 5, Black 2, Yellow 5 Lake

Stila Waterproof Brow Colour dupe

The verdict?

If you like a natural brow, these are the only brow game in town anymore. They’re essentially North American versions of the Suqqu Liquid Brow Pen that Lisa Eldridge loves so much, and they are perfect for anyone who finds most brow products too warm for them.

When I run out (and can I just mention that I went to an actual store and bought the products pictured here), I will definitely be re-buying the Marcelle. Which isn’t to say that there’s anything wrong with the Stila; it’s just a little pricey to be re-buying every 3 months! (Assuming 0.02 fl oz will last you 3 months, the Stila comes out to $108 CAD/year; the Marcelle, just $27.90 CAD.)

Availability: Stila (0.7 ml) – $21 USD/$27 CAD at Shopper’s Beauty Boutiques and Murale. Marcelle (1.4 ml) – $13.95 CAD at Marcelle.com (US & Can shipping) and drugstores across Canada.

What’s your favourite brow product right now?

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