Annabelle Zebra Biggy Bronzer review, swatches: Haute, Matte, & Dark Gold

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Annabelle Biggy Zebra Bronzing powders review

The product: Annabelle Cosmetics Biggy Zebra Bronzing Powder in Haute Gold, Dark Gold, and Matte Gold

I’m entering week 7 of Rae’s Epic Tonsillitis Fest of 2015, so today, I’ve chosen a really easy product to review: Annabelle’s Biggy Bronzers. They’re just updated versions of the brand’s original Zebra bronzer (which, as a few of you might even remember, was my first bronzer love back in the day), and darn it, their big, silly, striped design makes me happy.

Annabelle Cosmetics Matte Gold Biggy Bronzer review

Annabelle “Matte Gold” Biggy Zebra Bronzing Powder review

Annabelle Cosmetics Dark Gold Biggy Bronzer review

Annabelle “Dark Gold” Biggy Zebra Bronzing Powder review

The product: Each Biggy powder bronzer is zebra-patterned with light and dark bronze stripes in either a subtle shimmer (Haute Gold, Dark Gold) or matte (Matte Gold) finish. Each shade blends seamlessly to give you a perfectly gold-hued bronze, and the yellow/red undertones never look ruddy or fake the way many orange-brown bronzers can.

Annabelle Haute Gold, Dark Gold, Matte Gold Bronzer swatches review

Annabelle Biggy Bronzer swatches: Dark Gold, Haute Gold, Matte Gold

The shades: I still adore the subtle shimmer of Haute Gold (there’s a reason why it won the 2014 ELLE Canada Beauty Grand Prix for Best Bronzer Under $30, you know), but the new shades are pretty great, too!

Dark Gold is an intense, metallic yellow-bronze. Haute Gold is ever so slightly redder, and has more of a shimmer finish. Matte Gold is the most sheer of the three, and is impressively close in tone to the others — it’s slightly more red and desaturated, but if you loved the original Zebra bronzer (Haute Gold), it’ll definitely still work for your skin tone.

Annabelle Biggy Zebra Bronzer swatches review

Annabelle Zebra Biggy Bronzer swatches: Dark Gold, Haute Gold, Matte Gold

BEST USED: Apply Haute Gold (for everyday wear) or Dark Gold (for a more metallic finish) to the cheekbones, collarbones, and décolletage to give a golden glow without looking like you’ve had an accident with the fake tanner.

Apply Matte Gold to subtly sculpt and bronze the face — lord knows it’s better for contouring than most of this season’s contouring launches.

Annabelle Cosmetics Haute Gold Biggy Bronzer review comparison

Annabelle Zebra Bronzers in Dark Gold, Haute Gold, and Matte Gold

The verdict?

At just over $10 apiece, these bronzers are some of my favourites — and not just from the drugstore. They’re one of those products that does all the work for you, blending out easily and imparting a really healthy-looking glow with almost no effort at all.

I love that Annabelle has expanded the Biggy Bronzing Powder shade range, but Haute Gold is still my favourite of the three. I recommend applying lightly all summer long with a large powder brush!

Availability: $11.95 CAD at Annabelle.ca and at drugstores and mass market retailers across Canada.

Keep reading! »

Clinique Pop Lip Color + Primer review, swatches, photos | Beige Pop, Poppy Pop, & Fab Pop

Friday, May 29, 2015

Clinique Pop Lip Colour + Primer lipstick review photos swatches

The product: Clinique Pop Lip Color + Primer in 04 Beige Pop, 06 Poppy Pop, and 12 Fab Pop

New this spring from Clinique are sixteen Pop Lip Colour + Primers, which are designed to pair rich colour with a smoothing primer. They’re part of Clinique’s current strategy of releasing pretty, accessible products without any complicated steps, and just like the rest of the no-fuss products Clinique has released recently… these rock.

Clinique Pop Lip Colour + Primer lipstick review

The formula: It’s been a long time since I fell in love with lipstick formula, but the Pop Lip Colour + Primers had me at hello. The formula is perfect: creamy and comforting without feeling too heavy, slippery, or drying, and absolutely packed with smooth, velvety pigment. These remind me a lot of the (mosly discontinued) Marcelle Rouge Vitality Lipsticks, AKA my favourite lipsticks ever — but the Clinique Pop lipsticks might just be even better.

Formulated with shea and murumuru butters and designed to provide “moisture maintenance” with a flexible polymer blend, these are one of the only lipsticks I’ve ever worn that don’t leave my lips crinkly and dry. They feel just as rich in texture as they are in colour, and on top of all that, the formula is totally scent-free.

Clinique Lip Pop Lip Colour + Primer swatches beige fab poppy

Clinique Pop Lip Colour + Primer swatches in Beige Pop, Fab Pop, and Poppy Pop

image

A quick, messy iPhone shot of Fab Pop, filched from my Instagram — @thenotice

The shades: I tried three of the sixteen Clinique Pop shades, and surprisingly enough, Fab Pop was the one that I realy fell in love with. It’s bright and milky with lavender undertones, and really brightens up my face without looking like TOO MUCH (caps lock totally necessary.)

I wasn’t as crazy about Beige Pop, which is an objectively lovely medium-nude (I need a little less pink from my nude lipsticks to counteract my natural lip colour, unfortunately), and Poppy Pop wasn’t really for me, either — poppy reds make me look, for some reason, both flushed and yellow-toothed.

But Fab Pop – oh, my. What a shade.

Clinique Beige Pop lipstick primer review swatches

Clinique Pop Lip Colour + Primer in Beige Pop

Clinique Fab Pop lipstick primer review swatches

Clinique Pop Lip Colour + Primer in Fab Pop
Clinique Poppy Pop lipstick primer review swatches

Clinique Pop Lip Colour + Primer in Poppy Pop

The verdict?

You need. You absolutely, totally, definitely need. I’ve been wearing Fab Pop bascially non-stop for the past two weeks, and it hasn’t lost its appeal by even a bit. (Plus, for once, my lips don’t feel stiff and dry when I’m wearing lipstick.)

The Clinique Pop Lip Colour + Prime formula is fast becoming one of my all-time favourites, and for anyone looking for creamy, luxurious, scent-free lipstick, these are totally it.

Availability: $18 USD/$21 CAD at Sephora, Clinique, and Nordstrom.

Keep reading! »

Klorane Dry Shampoo Natural Tint & Leave-in Spray with Flax Fiber review | For lazy Sunday mornings

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Klorane sunday morning dry shampoo brown dark hair review

The products: Klorane Dry Shampoo with Oat Milk (Brown to Dark Hair) and Leave-in Spray with Flax Fiber

What’s that, you say? It’s not Sunday morning?

Well, no. Not even a little bit. But I’m crabby and sleepy and I’ve had strep throat for going on three weeks now, so you can shut your pretty, beautiful face and imagine that it is, in fact, Sunday. Because these two products are great for a Sunday morning, or for any other morning that you’re short on time or energy and just want to take it easy and still end up with great hair.

Klorane quick hair fixers best of

Klorane Dry Shampoo with Oat Milk – Natural Shade ($20 USD/$24 CAD)

The one Klorane product that you NEED (yes, need) to own is their dry shampoo. Everyone keeps telling me that it’s the best, and after all this time, I can finally confirm that, yes, it’s the best. (Way better than Colab, even, thanks to the scent.)

They make four: a green-lidded one with nettle (Oil Absorbing Dry Shampoo), this one (Natural Shade Dry Shampoo with Oat Milk), their Gentle Dry Shampoo with Oat Extract, and the non-aerosol Dry Shampoo with Oat Milk. The non-aerosol powder and the tinted aerosol (this one) are the only ones that are silicone-free, so be careful when you purchase!

Klorane Dry Shampoo brown dark hair review swatches photos

Klorane :natural Shade dry shampoo colour swatch

Klorane Dry Shampoo with Oat Milk for brown to dark hair, “swatched” covering palm

I couldn’t get to a legendary seven days with this stuff, but I love it all the same. It smells fantastic; a very clean, subtle scent (sort of a powdery-floral), and applies as a sheer, even veil of light brown powder. You’re supposed to leave it on for 2 minutes and then brush thoroughly, but in a pinch, I find that it works just as well to simply spray on as you head out the door and then tousle lightly on the train.

This stuff is so good that if I apply it on second-day hair, my third-day hair still looks like first-day hair when I wake up. It’s that good. It makes hair look at feel clean, and adds just a touch of volume without making my hair feel gritty.

Klorane Dry Shampoo with Oat Milk Natural Shade review photos

Klorane Leave-in Spray with Flax Fiber ($16 USD/$20 CAD)

Klorane operates on the very cool concept of one problem/one plant, and for volume, it’s flax fiber. (For gentle balancing/second-day-hair, it’s oat milk.) Tracy from Beauty Reflections really loves this one, and when she mentioned that it doesn’t feel like anything at all on the hair, she had me.

Klorane Leave-in Spray with Flax Fiber review photos

When Klorane figured out that flax was naturally soluble, they put it in their volumizing products to provide actual, physical plant-lift to the hair. But while I think this one is a dream to use (it smells lovely, like a very subtle veil of perfume, and has a really solid, even mister) and looks awesome on Tracy, it didn’t quite work for me.

Check this one out if you have short or fine limp hair, but skip it if you want instant volume for stick-straight Asian hair. Unlike what it does for Tracy (which looks awesome and natural; I’ve seen it in person and can attest to this), it doesn’t give me much in terms of air-dried root lift.

It does get major points for touch-invisibility, though, so give it a look if you’re willing to put in the styling time but want something 100% non-sticky and non-gritty!

Klorane dry shampoo leave in spray review

The verdict?

The Klorane Leave-in Spray with Flax Fiber feels touchably natural, but unless you have fine, limp hair (not just straight/limp hair), it’s not an instant fix-it.

The Natural Tint Dry Shampoo, on the other hand, is a total must-have. It’s a little bit pricy, but the next time you’re due in for a hair treat, you need to try this!! It absorbs oil like a champ, has the best scent of any dry shampoo I’ve ever tried (light, pretty, and clean-smelling), and makes hair look and feel clean.

Availability: Natural Tint Dry Shampoo – $15.24 USD at Escentual.com; $20 USD/$24 CAD at Sephora. Leave-in Spray – $16 USD/$20 CAD at Sephora. Klorane products are available at Shopper’s Drug Mart locations across Canada.

Ingredients & stuff »

Neutrogena Naturals vs Bioderma Sensibio H2O Make-up Wipes review, comparison | The Make-Up Removing Wipe Showdown

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Bioderma vs Neutrogena makeup removing wipes review

The products: Neutrogena Naturals Purifying Make-Up Removing Wipes vs Bioderma Sensibio H2O (Créaline H2O) Dermatological Wipes

I’m not a makeup remover wipe kind of girl. But I will admit that they do have their appeal, and when these two packages of wipes landed on my desk at around the same time… I mean, I’d have to be a monster to not want to see how they measure up!

(Here’s how.)

!Neutrogena Naturals makeup wipes review

Neutrogena Naturals ($9.99 CAD/25 wipes)

Today’s first contender is a flashy new package of makeup wipes from Neutrogena. These are the brand’s first silicone-free wipes (finally!!!) and launched nationwide this March/April.

!Neutrogena makeup wipes review

They come generously soaked in green-apple-scented makeup remover, aren’t tested on animals, and are both bio-degradable and are made from fibres from sustainably-managed forests. They’re designed as a no-rinse way to remove face and eye makeup, and are formulated with Peruvian Tara Seed bionutrient to gently cleanse without any residue.

I have no idea what Peruvian Tara Seed is, but it sounds cool and I approve of anything that smells this crisp and uplifting.

Bioderma vs Neutrogena Naturals makeup remover wipes review comparison

Bioderma (left) vs Neutrogena Naturals (right) — wipes rubbed 5x over three different eyeliner formulas.

(Shu Uemura Drawing Pencil, Clinique Quickliner for Eyes Intense, and Annabelle Retractable Eyeliner)

!Neutrogena Naturals vs Bioderma makeup remover wipes review comparison

Bioderma (L) vs Neutrogena (R), scrubbed over the liners until nothing else would come off

The fast facts: 

  • $0.40/wipe
  • Paraben- and silicone-free
  • Smell AMAZINGLY DELICIOUS
  • 97% naturally derived
  • Double-sided smooth/bumpy texture

How they compare to the Bioderma wipes:

  • Not as soft and velvety
  • Remove makeup more quickly and effectively (I was really surprised about this, and actually ran three different tests to double check. The Neutrogena wipes won every single time!)

Bioderma Sensibio H20 makeup wipes review

Bioderma Sensibio ($14.95 CAD/25 wipes)

Today’s second contender launched last fall from Bioderma (yes, that Bioderma). The Sensibio H2O wipes–which go by Créaline H2O overseas–are soaked in Bioderma micellar water and are made to cleanse and remove makeup on both the eyes and face.

(Note that these aren’t just saturated with the bottled Bioderma Sensibio water, though; this is a micellar water formulated specifically for these wipes.)

Bioderma Crealine H20 makeup wipes review

These are very gently fragranced (I think they smell kind of clinical and plasticky, honestly) and are very thick and soft.

Weirdly, my very favourite thing about these wipes is that they come in a really luxe, matte cherry package. It’s thicker and smoother than most wipes’ packaging, and it doesn’t crinkle as badly over time — so even 10 wipes in, the package still looks respectable and seals tightly.

The fast facts:

  • $0.59/wipe
  • Silicone-free
  • Great packaging
  • Thick, soft, velvety sheet texture

How they compare to the Neutrogena Naturals wipes:

  • Much more gentle (especially noticeable in the eye area, though both were a little prickly)
  • Leave skin feeling softer

!Neutrogena Naturals makeup removing wipes review texture

Neutrogena vs. Biodrma texture

The verdict?

I’m not a fan of using makeup removing/cleansing wipes everyday, but sometimes, the situation calls for them.

Both of these are great options, but honestly, I’d re-buy the Neutrogena wipes first. They’re a little bit rougher, but they do a better job of removing stubborn makeup… and they smell insanely (INSANELY) good!

Availability: The Neutrogena wipes are $7.49 USD/$9.99 CAD at drugstores across North America; the Bioderma wipes can be found at Murale and select drugstores across Canada for $14.95.

Keep reading! »

Clinique Sculpting Chubby Sticks & Defining Roses review, swatches, photos

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Clinique contouring products review

The products: Clinique Chubby Stick Sculpting Contour in 01 Curvy Contour, Sculpting Highlight in 01 Hefty Highlight, and Sculptionary Cheek Contouring Palette in 03 Defining Roses

⇒ Seriously, Clinique, WHY HEFTY. You had the option to go with Hypnotic Highlight and you went with hefty? Again???!

Clinique Chubby Stick Contouring review

Clinique Chubby Stick Sculpting Contour ($21 USD/$24 CAD)

Like most people out there (I assume), I’m crazy about the idea of being able to scribble makeup on your face — and these sculpting/highlighting Chubby Sticks are absolutely perfect for the job.

If you’re familiar with Clinique’s Chubby Cheek Sticks, you’ll recognize the formula of 01 Curvy Contour – it’s the same creamy, emollient, blendable goodness. To contour, you just swipe this one directly onto your face (along the hairline, under the cheekbones, and below the jaw and down the sides of your nose for extra impact), then blend.

Clinique Curvy Contour Chubby Stick review swatches

I like blending the face Chubby Sticks out with my Make Up For Ever 150 Contouring Blush Brush, but they blend really well with fingers, too. (No fancy tools needed!)

My one hangup with 01 Curvy Contour, however, is that it runs so orange. It’s a tone that I’m sure would work a lot better on someone warmer, peachier, and darker than I am, but if you’re AT ALL fair, cool-toned, or (especially) olive, I recommend staying far, far away from this one.

Clinique Sculptionary, Chubby Stick review swatches

Clinique Defining Roses, Hefty Highlight, Curvy Contour swatches

Clinique Hefty Highlight Chubby Stick review swatches

Clinique Chubby Stick Sculpting Highlight ($21 USD/$24 CAD)

The other Clinique sculpting Chubby Stick that’s available right now is 01 Hefty Highlight, a pretty, shimmery highlighter that (again) really shines on light-medium skin tones. It’s a little more emollient than the other Chubby Sticks for the face, and sheers out a little wider, so apply sparingly if you do pick this one up.

While I’m not usually big on shimmery highlighters, I do really like this one. It’s very punchy and shows up even on my fair complexion, and it glows like WHOA. If standard highlighters aren’t too glittery for you, you need this — it’s so pretty and easy to work with.

(Also worth noting is that this one looks awesome on both warm and cool skin tones, which is handy!)

Clinique Chubby Stick Contouring swatches review

Clinique Chubby Stick Sculpting Highlight, Contour swatches: 01 Hefty Highlight & 01 Curvy Contour (both heavily/blended)

Clinique Sculptionary Cheek Palette Defining Roses review

The Sculptionary Cheek Contouring Palette & more! »

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