The Body Shop Lip & Cheek Velvet Stick swatches, review, photos (& a little Smoky Poppy preview)

Thursday, March 19, 2015

The Body Shop Lip Cheek Velvet Stick reviews swatches

The products: The Body Shop Lip & Cheek Velvet Sticks in Universal Shade and 40 Red

↳ Photographed with the limited-edition Smoky Poppy Body Butter ($20), which smells amazing but contains silicones, so I can’t touch it! (But seriously: amazing. It’s super sultry for a Body Shop fragrance.)

My love affair with jumbo lip pencils is a long and almost frighteningly well-documented one, but when I tried these for the first time, I actually stopped and went, “oh, cool,” for a moment.

TBS lip velvet jumbo pencil review swatches

The texture: Unlike your standard jumbo lip pencil (sheer-glossy or opaque-matte), these Lip & Cheek Velvet Sticks are exactly that: velvety. They apply with an incredibly natural finish, softly matte but not at all drying.

Unlike most mattes, though, they’re sheer — or, rather, they’ll sheer out if you blend them. Red (and I’m assuming the rest of the regular line) applies with a very medium opacity, but blends out to create the most seamless, perfect flush; the Universal Shade applies more sheerly, but in a way that’s suited well to the shade.

The Body Shop black universal Lip Cheek Stick review

The Body Shop Universal Shade Lip & Cheek Velvet Stick

The Body Shop Lip Cheek Stick swatches review universal, red

The Body Shop Lip & Cheek Velvet Sticks, swatched – Universal Shade (heavily/blended) and 40 Red (heavily/blended)

The shades: Red is a bright strawberry red, but the pH-adapting Universal Shade is the Lip & Cheek Velvet Stick that really steals the show. Purple-black in the tube, it applies as a very sheer dark purple. It’s less glossy and more plummy than Clinique’s Voluptuous Violet Chubby Stick (the closest dupe that I’ve seen), and you NEED it.

When sheered out, the Universal shade reads as a muted flush of colour, and on the lips, it’s nothing short of perfect. My natural lip colour leans a bit orange (bleh), which makes most medium/dark lip colours look punchy and ostentatious as they wear off, but this weird, pH-adjusting pencil is perfect. It darkens my natural lip colour considerably without making my lips look bright!, which–believe me–is a pretty substantial feat.

Bare lips - Korres Cherry Picked reference

Bare lips

The Body Shop Universal Lip & Cheek Stick swatches review

The Body Shop Universal Shade Lip & Cheek Velvet Stick lip swatch

The Body Shop Smoky Poppy Body Butter review

The Body Shop Smoky Poppy Body Butter

The verdict?

These sheer-matte Lip & Cheek Velvet Sticks are great both for the lips and cheeks, but it’s the black Universal Shade pencil that you really need to own. If you’ve ever been intrigued by a sheer purple lipstick, or if you’ve ever been tempted to try Clinique’s classic Black Honey, get this one instead — you won’t be disappointed. 

Availability: $15 USD/CAD at The Body Shop. Permanent.

Keep reading! »

Lise Watier Expression swatches, reviews, photos | Spring 2015

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Lise Watier Palette Expression eyeshadow packaging

The products: Lise Watier Expression collection (Spring 2015)

This year, Lise Watier’s spring collection has been crafted around the idea of “creativity, spontaneity, and individuality” — and so, for today’s review, I’m going to try something ever so slightly different and just kind of… chat about these products. (Let me know if you prefer this format drastically more or something!)

The must-have product

Lise Watier Feline Eyeliner HD Vert review swatch Lise Watier Feline Eyeliner Vert review

liked a lot of the pieces from this collection, but I loved the Lise Watier Féline Eyeliner HD in Vert ($20 CAD; new shade). I am obsessed with this product — if you buy nothing else from Lise Watier all year, make sure you get this eyeliner.

The Féline Eyeliner HD formula wears really well (which surprised me, based on how easily the black version smudges on your hand), and the long, stiff felt tip makes it easy to get a steady, insanely saturated line. Plus, that green!!

Lise Watier Vert Eyeliner Feline HD

Lise Watier Féline Eyeliner HD in Vert (swatch/wearing)

The nice-to-haves

As always, I was a big fan of the Lise Watier Ombre Soufflé Suprême eyeshadow; this time in Fairy Pink ($24 CAD; new shade). The Ombre Soufflé Suprême formula is very bouncy and wet, with a very high-shine finish — this one glows cotton-candy pink in the light, but wears as a sheer, peachy gold straight-on.

Lise Watier Fairy Pink review swatches ombre souffle supreme

Lise Watier Ombre Soufflé Suprême in Fairy Pink

Lise Watier Palette Expression eyeshadow review swatches

Lise Watier Palette Expression Eyeshadows

I also really liked the Lise Watier Palette Expression Eyeshadows ($42 CAD), a palette that you can see worn here with Fairy Pink, Vert, and the grey Expression pencil. It’s not of breathtaking quality (the matte, pastel peach and mint need to be layered quite a bit), but it’s still very pretty — and the shades work together beautifully.

If you really like mint green, I’d say pick up the Palette Expression. Matte mint greens are a dime a dozen, but they’re usually terrible — and this one isn’t. Like, yeah, you have to layer it some, but unlike most, it actually shows up (and sticks around)!

Lise Watier Expression Eyeshadow Palette swatches review

Lise Watier Palette Expression Eyeshadows swatched on lightly primed skin

Keep reading! »

Odylique Timeless Rose Moisturizer & Organic Repair Lotion reviews, photos

Monday, March 9, 2015

Odylique Timeless Rose Repair Lotion moisturizer review

The products: Odylique by Essential Care Timeless Rose Moisturizer, Organic Repair Lotion, and Ultra Rich Balm

I have got to stop forming love-hate relationships with products.

Today, we’re covering a few products that I tried recently from a brand called Odylique, a relative unknown in the beauty blogging world. An all-natural and largely organic brand, Odylique is vegan-friendly and was created by its founder to help alleviate her own sensitive, eczema-prone skin.

» Odylique recommends that those with eczema moisturize sparingly but often, which is definitely life advice to take to heart!

Odylique natural skincare review

Odylique Timeless Rose Moisturizer ($21 USD/0.51 fl oz)

Based around aloe, rose, coconut, and jojoba and enriched with rosehip and sea buckthorn extracts, the Odylique Timeless Rose moisturizer is quite thin but packs a serious moisturizing punch. I need to apply a lot for my dry skin and re-apply often (the avocado-based moisturizer would be better for dry skin), but once it’s on, it does a great job of making my dry patches disappear.

Best for slightly dry to combination-dehydrated skin types, I would recommend this cream as an affordable, all-natural alternative to those who are used to using fluid moisturizers — anything from the Olay or Neutrogena lines, for instance.

Odylique Timeless Rose Moisturizer review

However (and this is a BIG however), this moisturizer started getting pretty funky after 2-3 weeks of use. My contact at Odylique said the batch should still be okay, though, so perhaps it has to do with contamination (air, bacteria, etc.) or the product freezing on its way over here, but I’m not sure. I plan on trying a different bottle of this soon, though, so I’ll let you know how it goes!

Odylique Timeless Rose Moisturizer ingredients:

Aqua, Rose Flower Water, Jojoba Seed Oil, Coconut Oil, Raw Fairtrade Shea Butter, Cold-Pressed Sunflower Seed Oil, Glycerin (non-plant palm origins), Cetearyl Alcohol, Seabuckthorn Extract, Cetearyl Glucoside, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice Powder, Briar Rose Fruit Extract, Rosemary Leaf Extract, Rose Geranium Oil, Lactic Acid, Sodium Anisate, Sodium Levulinate, Sodium Lauroyl Lactylate, Xanthan Gum, Geraniol, Eugenol (naturally occurring) (94% organic)

Odylique Repair Lotion review

Odylique Organic Repair Lotion ($23 USD/60 ml) and Ultra Rich Balm

The Odylique Organic Repair Lotion held up better than the Timeless Rose, but still separated quite badly — and it oxidizes around the opening, which (while not harmful) can look icky! I find that it doesn’t sink in quite as well as the Rose, but if you’re on a tight budget, it’s still very good for the price.

I also tried the brand’s Superfruit Concentrate, which I wasn’t crazy about (I don’t like oils, remember?), and their Ultra Rich Balm, which really surprised me — it looks like it’s going to be really hard and waxy, but it actually melts quickly at skin temperature and turns into a thick, balmy oil. (This one would make a fantastic, all-natural cuticle balm!)

Odylique Organic Repair Lotion ingredients: 

Aqua, Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Chickweed Extract, Raw Fairtrade Shea Butter, Chamomile Flower Extract, Calendula Flower Extract, Cetearyl Alcohol (naturally occurring), Rosemary Leaf Extract, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice Powder, St. John’s Wort Flower Extract, Cetearyl Glucoside, Glyceryl Caprylate, Phenethyl Alcohol, Xanthan Gum (95% organic)

Odylique Ultra Rich Balm review

(Just a tiny-baby Ultra Rich Balm sample — this definitely isn’t the size you purchase!w)

The verdict?

While I did really love Odylique’s Timeless Rose Moisturizer (and I definitely want to try more from the brand), I’m not confident in the stability of Odylique’s fluid products. I like the idea of all-natural, but I’d rather use something I know is safe than use something all-natural that might be growing bacteria.

My recommendation? If you want a great fluid moisturizer but the L’Occitane Shea Light Comforting Cream is too scented for you, try the Odylique Timeless Rose Moisturizer in the full-size form – it comes in a much more hygienic (and cost-effective) pump-style bottle.

Pass on anything by Odylique that comes in a squeeze-tube, and sample the Ultra Rich Balm if you love balms — this one is good (it’s way more hydrating than the Burt’s Bees one that everyone loves), but it definitely smells like a “natural” product!

Availability: $21-$48 USD at Odylique.com

Here’s what I mean by flecks and separation »

Annabelle Blushon Spring 2015 swatches, review, photos | Cheek-chic, indeed

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Annabelle Blushon review

The product: Annabelle Cosmetics Blushon Powder Blush (new permanent shades)

↳ in Lotus, Rosebud, Peony, Spring Petal, and Hibiscus

There are five new shades being added to Annabelle’s Blushon range this spring, and they are fantastic. I haven’t been this excited about the expansion of a range since MAC came out with Full of Joy (which, yes, I know, I still haven’t featured on the blog), but ugh, these are all so pretty!

Annabelle Lotus Blushon review swatches photos

Lotus

Annabelle Rosebud Blushon review swatches photos

Rosebud

Annabelle Peony Blushon review swatches photos

Peony

The formula: These are actually the very first Annabelle Blushon blushes that I’ve tried, and can I just say: I really regret not buying some sooner! The formula in these is just gorgeous — really finely milled and velvety, and not too solid in the pan, either. They kind of remind me of the Clinique Cheek Pops (you know, creamy), but they get their smoothness from non-chalky talc and mineral oil, not dimethicone and bismuth oxychloride.

You get great pigmentation with each swipe, but not so much that you’re going to end up with crazy cheeks if you’re not careful, you know? We’re talking medium-layerable pigmentation, not sudden attacks of rouge.

Annabelle Blushon swatches review - Lotus Rosebud Peony

Annabelle Blushon swatches: Lotus, Rosebud, Peony, Spring Petal, and Hibiscus

The shades: On one hand, I kind of wish that I had tried these sooner, because they’re lovely — but on the other hand, I don’t. This range expansion includes five new (and totally not-brown) shades, and each shade is more my style than the last.

There are three pinks: Lotus (matte; similar to Lancôme Rose Fresque), a purpley light pink, Rosebud, and Peony. Rosebud looks softer than Peony in the pan, but actually swatches more strongly; Peony has more shimmer in it, as well as more coral. Lotus (my favourite) works very well on fair skin, Rosebud is the best “true” pink, and Peony will be gorgeous on warm and medium-toned complexions.

Annabelle Blushon swatches review Spring Petal Hibiscus

Annabelle Blushon swatches: Lotus, Rosebud, Peony, Spring Petal, and Hibiscus (blended)

I was particularly smitten with the pinks, of course (especially the matte Lotus, which pulls a little bit lilac and just seems more velvety than the rest), but there are also two orange/coral blushes: Spring Petal, which leans a little bit more pink, and Hibiscus, which is noticeably more metallic.

Spring Petal will quench your coral cravings — especially if you, like me, love the idea of coral but really do look better in pinks. If you want a true orange blush, though, go for Hibiscus!

Annabelle Spring Petal Blushon review swatches photos

Spring Petal

Annabelle Hibiscus Blushon review swatches photos

Hibiscus

The verdict?

If you like perfectly-pigmented, non-dusty blushes, then definitely check these out. The new shades really remind me a lot of the MAC Très Chic collection (bright, pretty, and springy), and the formula feels very Clinique Cheek Pops-y!

Plus, at $7.95, you don’t have to pick between the lilac pink, the shimmering orange, and the bright coral — for the price of just one MAC or Clinique blush, you can get all three.

Availability: $7.95 CAD at online at Annabelle.ca & in drugstores and mass-market retailers across Canada.

Keep reading! »

TOP FOUR | My Clarins skincare (body) favourites

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Clarins Favourites b

I’ve loved a lot of Clarins over the years: their Mineral Eye Palettes, for one, or their lipsticks. (Or, right now, their One-Step Water Cleanser, which smells like peaches. I love the smell of peaches.) So, when they asked me if I wanted to pick out my four favourite body products from the line, I was like, YES PLEASE, I WILL DO THIS.

It’s always a little hard to find skincare favourites when you can’t use silicones, but here are my four top products from the line!

» Shop my favourites here with free shipping on all orders (use code RAE at checkout!)

4. Eau Ressourçante Gentle Fragranced Deodorant ($25 CAD)

Clarins spray on deodorant

Clarins Gentle Fragranced Deodorants

I can’t actually use Clarins’ spray-on deodorants (I swear the internet implied that they would be ‘cone-free somewhere, but apparently not so), but they’re just so unique.

I mean, a non-aerosolized deodorant that you spray on that’s scented with a proper fragrance, rather than a fruity $2 Unilever blend? You gotta give points for coolness. (And this packaging is totally too classy for my underarms — I feel like I’m about to grab lunch with Moira Queen or something.)

A runner up for my cool-cred favourite was Clarins’ Eau Dynamissante Treatment Fragrance, which is insanely huge. It’s bigger than a baby’s head, and when you pair the scent with the way that the bottle is styled, it gives off major ’80s mob boss’ wife vibes.

Clarins Eau Ressourcante deodorant review

Clarins Eau Ressourçant Deodorant

Clarins Relax Body Oil review

Clarins Relax Body Treatment Oil

3. Relax Body Oil ($57 CAD)

I like to keep my body oils as affordable as possible, but every now and then, a girl’s gotta splurge.

Clarins makes three: Relax, which smells very herby and spa-like (it’s similar this oil, but in way better packaging) with geranium, petit grain, camomile, and basil extracts; “Anti Eau,” which is meant to–and I quote–“prevent sponginess” by eliminating toxins; and Tonic, with a lot of citrus and rosemary to its scent.

Clarins Tonic Body Oil review

Lookit the tiny baby Tonic Body Treatment Oil! So tiny!

All three are preservative-free with a base of hazelnut oil, and they come in the most gorgeous glass bottles. Unlike the rest of the Clarins Body range, which I can find to be rather perilous (especially those damn shower gels!), the Body Oils are hefty and easy to use, and the smooth lids and heavy glass packaging seriously class up the product.

Clarins Body Oil review

Clarins Body Oil packaging

2. Eau des Jardins ($53 CAD)

I’m using the Eau des Jardins Uplifting Shower Gel ($37 CAD) right now, and while the box is gorgeous, the bottle itself is pretty (charmingly?) comical. I mean, it smells great, but it is constantly falling over in my shower with its wide, flat body and tiny, tiny base!

Clarins Eau des Jardins shower gel

Clarins Eau des Jardins Uplifting Shower Gel

That said, I do love a good citrus-based body product, and this one is no exception. It kind of reminds me of L’Occitane’s Frisson de Verveine (which I adore), with more garden and less unavailability. I like the shower gel a lot, but if you’re going to go for it, I say get the EdT instead!

1. Gentle Roll-On Deodorant ($21 CAD)

Clarins Gentle Roll On Deodorant review

Clarins Roll-On Deodorant/Anti-perspirant, AKA THE BEST EVER

Do you know how hard it is to find a silicone-free antiperspirant? I’m guessing “no,” but just in case you’re not clear on it: it’s really bloody hard. When I went searching, I think I found a whopping three. But, because this one’s labelled as a deodorant, I didn’t even realize it was a candidate until this month!

Despite the misnomer, Clarins’ Gentle Roll-On Deodorant is actually not a deodorant (read: scent masker) at all — it’s an antiperspirant, which minimizes sweatiness. And it is the best of the damn bunch. This roll-on keeps my underarms significantly drier than anything I have ever tried before, including the “clinical” stuff.

Clarins Gentle Roll On Antiperspirant review

Clarins’ spaceship-esque Roll-On Deodorant

This beauty takes few minutes to dry, but it’s leaps and bounds better than my last two ‘cone-free antiperspirants. It smells fresh and a little powdery, doesn’t sting at all, and despite the wait, it actually dries really quickly for a roll-on. (Literally five times faster than last one I tried.)

If you’re a sweaty-Betty looking for a fantastic antiperspirant for sensitive underarms, give this one a try! It does contain aluminum, but it doesn’t leave that super-gross aluminum-silicone film behind (ugh) and never leaves your underarms feeling itchy.

What body products have you been loving recently?

Keep reading! »

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