Estee Lauder Pure Color Envy Defining Wet/Dry Eyeshadow, Lip Volumizer, Matte Sculpting Lipstick review, swatches, photos

Friday, November 13, 2015

Estee Lauder Pure Color Envy lipstick Commanding review swatches

The products: Estée Lauder Pure Color Envy collection

↳ Lip Volumizer, Matte Sculpting Lipstick in Commanding, Defining Eye Shadow Wet/Dry in Blue Fury

Pure Color Envy Lip Volumizer ($28 USD/$32 CAD)

I love a good pH-adjusting lip product, so I wanted to start off today’s post with the Estée Lauder Pure Color Envy Lip Volumizer ($28 USD/$32 CAD), a plumping gloss that adjusts to a sheer pink once applied.

Estee Lauder Lip Volumizer review swatches

The Estée Lauder fall launches this year mainly consist of two collections: the New Dimensions range, which I talked about on Monday, and the Pure Color Envy line, which is an extension of the brand’s colour cosmetics range.

All of the Pure Color Envy products are just gorgeously packaged (especially the lipsticks), and this volumizing gloss is no exception. I don’t really see plumping results with this one, but it definitely delivers on sheer colour (nothing like the hot pink applicator!) and an extremely moisturizing, shiny, minty finish. 

I think that $32 is a lot to pay for a gloss, but if price was no object, I’d be recommending it to everyone! It’s crazy hydrating, super-smooth, and smells delicious — definitely one of the most comfortable glosses that I own.

Estee Lauder Pure Color Envy Lip Volumizer review

Pure Color Envy Matte Sculpting Lipstick in Commanding ($30 USD/$34 CAD)

I also tried out the brand new Estée Lauder Pure Color Envy Matte Sculpting Lipstick in Commanding ($30 USD/$34 CAD), which comes in just the most exquisite, weighty, magnetic packaging.

Commanding is too bold for my tastes (all 12 of the Matte Sculpting Lipstick shades are “statement” shades), but the formula of these is fantastic — even a shade this dark feels creamy and smooth as it’s applied, and the finish is as velvety and comfortable as it is opaque.

Estee Lauder Commanding swatches review Matte Sculpting lipstick

I couldn’t wear Commanding for a full evening without topping up with lip balm, but I’m not kidding, you guys: the Pure Color Envy Matte Sculpting Lipstick formula is the #1 most comfortable matte that I own. I’m just a serious dryness wimp!

(Note: these are not, however, a “hard matte” the way that MAC Ruby Woo & co. are. Rather, they’re fairly matte, but have a slight creme sheen to them.)

Estee Lauder Pure Color Envy reviews swatches

Swatched L-R: Estee Lauder Commanding Matte Lipstick, Lip Volumizer, and Blue Fury Wet/Dry Eyeshadow (dry, then wet)

Pure Color Envy Defining Eye Shadow Wet/Dry in Blue Fury ($25 USD/$28 CAD)

And, finally, my least favourite Pure Color Envy product: the Estee Lauder Pure Color Envy Defining Eye Shadow Wet/Dry in Blue Fury ($25 USD/$28 CAD).

Estee Lauder Pure Color Envy Blue Fury swatches review

I can’t speak for the rest of the Pure Color Envy eyeshadows (Ominous, for instance, looks absolutely stunning ), but Blue Fury is just kind of underwhelming. Like every single other dark blue eyeshadow out there, it applies as a sheer, patchy charcoal with blue shimmer when used dry, and shines only when used wet: it’s luminous, pigmented, and even, with a lovely dark blue glow.

Estée promises a “tri-brid” formula with these, though, combining “the best properties of a cream, powder and gel,” but all I really see here are the old Estée Lauder eyeshadows, rebranded with a made-up word.

Estee Lauder Pure Color Envy reviews

Would you ever buy a “tri-brid” product? Or would you just angrily yell “THE WORD YOU’RE LOOKING FOR IS HYBRID” while shaking your fist at the sky?

Check out these other Pure Color Envy reviews:

  • Temptalia – wet/dry eyeshadow reviews by shade (not all of them are great, and not all are terrible!)
  • Writing Whimsy – wet/dry eyeshadow and matte lipstick reviews
  • A Beautiful Zen – featuring Joan Smalls’ matte violet lipstick and one of the matte wet/dry eyeshadows
  • Fun Size Beauty – a rave for the wet/dry eyeshadows!

Shu Uemura Haute Street review, swatches, photos | Vision of Beauty Vol. 02

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Shu Uemura Haute Street Vision of Beauty collection reviews photos swatches

The products: Shu Uemura Vision of Beauty Collection – Vol. 02 Haute Street

Haute Street is shu uemura’s interpretation of street art for the face. However, the brand’s artistic director, Uchiide, is adamant that this collection (which is the second in a series; see Vol. 01 Brave Beauty hereis not “graffiti for the face.”

Instead, it’s meant to bring the “essence” of street art into everyday makeup looks, but here’s the thing: street art, and especially graffiti (which the visuals of this collection centre around) isn’t about beautifying streets or letting overprivileged youth express themselves. It’s a form of protest and a way to claim spaces; a way to disrupt, interrupt, and change the discourse when your voices aren’t being heard.

So, while I think the bright hues and mixed-media textures of the Haute Street collection are wonderful, I also think it’s kind of uncool that shu uemura is re-appropriating graffiti culture to sell $90 luxury eyeshadow palettes.

Shu Uemura eye color pencil cool chic review swatches

Shu Uemura Dual-Ended Eye Color Pencil in Cool x Chic

Cool x Chic

The Haute Street collection is a really big one, so it’s separated into “cool x chic” colours and “warm x vibrant” colours. I started, of course, with the cool tones!

First up: the Shu Uemura Dual-Ended Eye Color Pencil in Cool x Chic ($30 CAD), which is a double-ended matte neon green and neon blue shadow/liner. I loved the bright matte colours of these liners, and the colour payoff is so good, but I couldn’t get behind the “traditional” dry pencil texture.

I find that I have to make multiple stiff passes to get an opaque line with these, and they perform best as an eyeshadow base.

Shu Uemura Haute Street reviews swatches cool x chic

Swatched L-R: Shu Uemura Dual-Ended Eye Color Pencil in Cool x Chic, Rouge Unlimited Lipstick in City Neon, Tint in Gelato in Street Rose (heavily/lightly)

Shu Uemura City Neon swatches review

Shu Uemura Rouge Unlimited Lipstick in City Neon

Next, we have the Shu Uemura Rouge Unlimited Lipstick in City Neon ($36 CAD), which is sheer, juicy, and so, so pretty, and the gorgeous Shu Uemura Haute Street Eye Shadow Palette in Cool x Chic ($90 CAD), which is full of beautiful plums, blues, and greens.

Shu Uemura Haute Street Cool x Chic swatches review

Shu Uemura Haute Street Eyeshadow Palette in Cool x Chic

Shu Uemura Cool x Chic eyeshadow palette swatches review

Swatched over primer in indirect sunlight: Shu Uemura Haute Street Eyeshadow Palette in Cool x Chic

Shu Uemura Street Rose swatches review

Shu Uemura Tint in Gelato Lip and Cheek Color in Street Rose

The Tint in Gelato lip/cheek colours (repackaged without a doe-foot in the Haute Street collection) have always fascinated me, but they’ve never worked for me. Something in the formula makes my lips tingle (in a bad way), and on the cheeks, the silicone content always breaks me out — but oh, they are an artist’s dream!

Each Tint in Gelato is wildly pigmented and features a mousse texture with a velvety matte finish, and the Shu Uemura Tint in Gelato Lip Color in Street Rose ($28 CAD) is no exception.

Shu Uemura Tint in Gelato swatches review comparison

Shu Uemura Haute Street Tint in Gelato packaging vs. original/regular packaging

Warm x Vibrant »

Estee Lauder New Dimension reviews: Expert Liquid Tape; Shape + Sculpt Face Kit; FW15 previews

Monday, November 9, 2015

Estee Lauder New Dimensions review

I spent one lovely morning at the dream-inspiring 130 Bloor St. West (also known as the Lauder building) while in Toronto this summer, and at long last, I finally have a post ready to share them with all of you guys about all of the lovely gems I got to learn about while I was there!

I’ve got a Pure Colour Envy makeup follow-up to finish for you guys tomorrow, but for now, here are all the skincare goodies ;)

Estee Lauder New Dimensions Expert Liquid Tape review

Estée Lauder New Dimension collection

The New Dimension collection is your standard high-tech anti-ageing collection, designed to address the structure and volume of the skin to maximize contours and minimize wrinkles, but it contains one product that (I think) makes it really special: the Estée Lauder New Dimension Expert Liquid Tape ($70 USD/$78 CAD).

The Expert Liquid Tape is made to be used like actual tape, which is… kind of super cool. You’ll want to apply it to clean, dry skin and let it tighten and lift the area over the next 10 minutes, laying down thin, even strips of product from the brow bone, undereye, and nasolabial fold to the temple.

Estee Lauder Expert Liquid Tape review

Unfortunately, I didn’t see a lot of lift from the Expert Liquid Tape, and it’s definitely not (as I know some of you were wondering) strong enough to lift a monolid or add a double fold. It’s a very unique product, though, and I think it’s definitely worth checking out if you’re a fellow product nerd! ;)

Estee Lauder Sculpt Shape compact review

The other New Dimension product that I really got to test out is the Estée Lauder New Dimension Shape + Sculpt Face Kit ($50 USD/$55 CAD), which features two neutral-toned cream products and a sponge to blend them with.

Like the Expert Liquid Tape, however, the Estée Shape + Sculpt Face Kit didn’t quite work for me. The contour shade was too warm for my skintone, and the cream highlighter was actually darker than my face! (Which, yes, looks just as weird as you think it would.) 

Estee Lauder New Dimension Sculpt Shape Kit swatches

Estée Lauder New Dimension Shape + Sculpt Face Kit swatches

Estee Lauder New Dimensions contour kit review

Everything else! 

Aerin Rose Oil collection preview

Estee Lauder Pure Color Envy lip glosses review

Keep reading! »

Reversa 3 in 1 Mild Gel Cleanser review (AKA how to cleanse your face with MAGICAL UNICORN PEE)

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Reversa makeup removing cleanser review canadian

The product: Reversa 3-in-1 Mild Gel Cleanser

That’s right. I just said unicorn pee, because this cleanser is not only a rare find and a powerhouse worker, but it’s also full of secret glitter (two of the best words you can put next to each other when you’re talking to a beauty blogger.)

Reversa glitter cleanser review

What it does: The Reversa Gel Cleanser is a bit of a diamond in the rough. It’s a boring-looking product with a boring-looking name, made by what could be conceptualized of as a boring company… if you haven’t been paying enough attention recently.

Unlike most 3-in-1 cleansers, however, Reversa’s doesn’t do the whole cleanse/remove/tone schtick. Oh, no. Instead, it’s a facial cleanser, makeup remover, and moisturizer!!

Yup, that’s right: it’s a moisturizer. It’s a normal gel cleanser, made to be used on wet or dry skin, but if you massage into the skin and leave it for 30 seconds… it’s also a flash moisturizing mask. 

Reversa glitter 3 in 1 gel cleanser review

How well it does it: Dude, so well. The Reversa 3-in-1 Gel Cleanser is a great cleanser, a good makeup remover, and a freaking awesome moisturizing mask. It’s a silky, thick, scent-free gel, and it’s equal parts gentle and moisturizing. This baby moisturizes just as well as some 10-minute masks that I’ve tried, but it takes next-to-no time to do and it doesn’t add an extra step to your skincare routine.

My favourite thing about this mask, though–aside from the glitter–is how gentle it is. Somehow, Reversa has managed to formulate this one without oil and without that lotion-y texture of most hydrating cleansers, so it’s great for texture-oriented folks who want to cleanse their skin without feeling slippery or greasy (after or during.)

And no, for those who are wondering, it doesn’t leave you sparkling like a deranged disco ball.

Reversa 3 in 1 mild gel cleanser review

My current cleansing dream duo (I use my Foreo while the Reversa cleanser/mask works its magic!)

The verdict?

Um… this thing is basically magic, and it’s a great way to start off the holiday season. This adds just a little bit of extra glitz and glam to your morning (or night) routine, and it counteracts the dry winter air like a champ.

At $23 CAD, it’s not the cheapest cleanser at the drugstore, but I think it’s a great buy. If you’re looking for something magical, makeup-removing, and really nourishing, you need to check it out!! You’re not going to find another moisturizing mask that works this quickly, and I can guarantee you that if you do, it’s not going to be this glittery. ;)

Availability: $23 CAD online at and at Shopper’s Drug Mart, where I frequently see it on sale for around $17.

Keep reading! »

Kimberly Loc x Rachel’s Plan Bee Body Oil review

Friday, October 30, 2015

Kimberly Loc Rachel's Plan Bee body oil review

The product: Rachel’s Plan Bee kimberlyloc Jasmine Body Oil

It’s a well-known fact that every beauty blogger out there dreams of creating their own product one day. And, today, after too much time and two solid days of website downtime (I’M SO SORRY ABOUT THAT), I’m happy to share with you that dream coming true for my friend Kim, of kimberlyloc!

Rachel's Plan Bee Body Oil review

The scent: Kim is one of my biggest green beauty inspirations (I actually first heard about Odacité on her blog), and her big beauty love is all things jasmine. I’ve never been a big floral lover, but Kim makes jasmine sound like just the most amazing thing–so, when she and Rachel’s Plan Bee set about to create a limited-edition body oil with notes of jasmine and vanilla (Rachel’s favourite scent), I had to smell it!

» Read Kim’s post about creating this body oil on kimberlyloc

Despite my initial hesitations about wearing a floral body oil, I have to say: I really like what Kim and Rachel have created here. This jasmine and vanilla blend is sweet but sultry, and the moroccan rose-citrus twist makes this body oil smell not just pretty, but interesting, too.

Rachel's Plan Bee kimberlyloc body oil review jasmine vanilla

It’s a very heady, complex scent, but you MUST shake the bottle gently before using!!! I always forget to do this, but just giving it a little shake brings out these bright, almost effervescent top notes of vanilla and sweet orange (think delicious, fresh-baked orange loaves and jasmine bushes.)

(I mean. If jasmine grows in bushes? All I know is that it it doesn’t grow on trees. I think.)

Jasmine vanilla rose body oil review

The formula

The Rachel’s Plan Bee Body Oil formula is absolutely gorgeous. It sinks into the skin really quickly, but it’s super silky and hydrating — it’s definitely NOT the same experience that you can get with a standard $10 bottle of grape seed oil.

Rachel recommends that you use this oil as a body oil, massage oil, bath oil, or shaving oil, depending on your needs. (I think it would make a gorgeous bath oil, if only I was a bath person.) It’s made from a blend of apricot kernel seed oil, sunflower seed oil, meadowfoam seed oil, and grape seed oil, and all of the scents are absolutes and essential oils — no synthetic perfumes here.

Kimberly Loc body oil review

The verdict?

Throw your lot in with the beauty blogging crowd! Order your Kimberly Loc body oil now! :P

But seriously, though. This oil–which, mind you, is limited edition–is a beautiful, unique jasmine scent that is sure to please all jasmine lovers… and convert some of us who aren’t usually. It’s the perfect blend of jasmine, vanilla, and orange, and it is so silky and hydrating that I’ve even been using it on my hands!

My recommendation? Pick up a bottle now, and if you don’t love it on sight, win some brownie points by giving it to a bath-lover this holiday season. No risk and alllll of the rewards.

Availability: $36 USD at Rachel’s Plan Bee! (Or, you can pick up Rachel’s original vanilla and citrus body oil for $29 USD.)

Keep reading! »

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