L’Occitane Divine Youth Oil review, photos | The kind of oil that… isn’t

Thursday, November 20, 2014

L'Occitane Divine Youth Oil review photos

The product: L’Occitane Divine Youth Oil (from the Immortelle range)

L’Occitane’s Divine Youth Oil reminds me a lot of the Argentum Apothicary moisturizer that I reviewed last month — but with a few important differences. First, the similarities: it’s a high-end anti-ageing moisturizer that smells amazing, with plenty of natural ingredients and a beautiful, velvety finish.

But now, the differences: at less than half the price, L’Occitane’s oil is twice as moisturizing, far more comfortable to use, and may smell even better.

L'Occitane Divine Youth Oil

Don’t cut my content

My biggest pet peeve with high-end oils and serums is when companies dilute their product with fillers to cut down on production costs — things like mineral oil, ‘cones, and plain old water. When you buy an oil (and this one’s $100/30 ml), there’s an unspoken agreement that what you’re getting is more concentrated, and that you’re paying for a product that hasn’t been stretched out already.

But though this oil is very obviously cut with caprylic/capric triglyceride… I find it hard to care. Caprylic/capric triglycerides (which you may know as liquid coconut oil) are one of my favourite skincare ingredients out there, and in the case of this oil — I think they do wonders for the formula.

L'Occitane Immortelle oil review Divine Youth

What makes this one special

Unlike other oils that you may have tried, the triglyceride content of this one means that it both feels dry to the touch and sinks in instantly. A blend of seven oils–including borage, evening primrose, sea buckthorn, and rosehip–with Corsican immortelle essential oil and caprylic/capric triglycerides, this oil is incredibly lightweight and leaves my skin with the most gorgeous velvety finish, even when I mix it with my super-heavy, super-oily German Nivea.

It smells amazing; mouthwatering and fruity (a scent that I’m told is unique to the L’Occitane Divine Immortelle range), and a little goes a long way: for my terrifyingly-dry skin, I use 5-7 drops, but for normal to oily skin, a single drop will do.

L'Occitane Immortelle Oil review

The verdict?

While I wouldn’t recommend this to anyone with dehydrated or extremely dry skin, for anyone else: you neeeeed this. This oil not only feels and smells amazing, but it leaves my skin looking velvety and clear (without any fancy primers or powders). It’s kind of like an oil that isn’t, which I think will appeal to both facial oil users and heathens everyone else.

Availability: $96 USD/$100 CAD at L’Occitane boutiques & online. Buy it!!

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Marcelle Trio+ Eyeshadow Quads: reviews, swatches, & photos of the entire range!

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Marcelle Trio+ Eyeshadow Quad review photos

The product: Marcelle Cosmetics Eye Shadow Trio+

   ↳ in Smoky Chestnut, Chocolat Vanille, Starry Night, Emerald Isle, Plum Envy, and Glacial.

Today, I have something very, very exciting to share with you: the entire range of the new Marcelle Trio+ quads (I mean, I’m calling ‘em quads. If there are four colours, they’re quads. But I do respect the Trio+ name, because that fourth shade is tiny!). As a blogger, it’s rare that I see the entirety of any given line, so this is as much a treat for me as I hope it will be for you!

This one is super-long, so: swatches & shades / TL;DR

Marcelle Smoky Chestnut Trio+ review swatches eyeshadow quad

Marcelle Trio+ in Smoky Chestnut

The formula: With their new trio/quads, Marcelle promises intense colour payoff; a creamy, velvety texture; long-lasting colour; and an ultra-glitter accent shade (that’s the “+”!)

Unfortunately, while I think these look amazing in terms of layout and colour pairings, I don’t agree with a lot of these points. The colour payoff was okay (not super-intense) and the ultra-glitter accent shade was a big hit, but the formula was a little dry — I wouldn’t call it creamy, and it had a tendency to create fall-out.

Overall, I think I’d have liked to see a little more butteriness and adhesion out of all four shades, and at least one satin/frost in each palette (preferably the large pan) instead of four shimmers — I think for Marcelle’s consumer, this amount of sparkle is kind of overkill.

Marcelle Emerald Isle Trio+ review swatches eyeshadow quad

Marcelle Trio + in Emerald Isle

Marcelle Chocolat Vanille Trio+ review swatches eyeshadow quad

Marcelle Trio+ in Chocolat Vanille

The wear: Marcelle’s eyeshadows have always been a little dry and sheer, but the shimmer in these ones just didn’t “work” for me. It was too omnipresent and uniform in size, and it felt a little messy in combination with the wear time of these shadows — they creased on me within four hours overtop the best primer I own (and within two hours when worn alone).

In addition, when I wear-tested Chocolat Vanille, I ended up with glitter everywhere by dinnertime. There was a noticeable amount of fallout all the way down past the apples of my cheeks, and that’s just – that’s crazy, dude.

Marcelle Starry Night Trio+ review swatches eyeshadow quad

Marcelle Trio+ in Starry Night

Marcelle Plum Envy Trio+ review swatches eyeshadow quad

Marcelle Trio+ in Plum Envy

The shades…

Marcelle Chocolat Vanille Smoky Chestnut swatches Trio+ review photos

Marcelle Trio+ Eyeshadow swatches: Chocolat Vanille, Smoky Chestnut

Chocolat Vanille features a super-shimmery white (small triangle), a warm brown, a cool charcoal, and a sheer base shade (large triangle) that’s packed with gold shimmer. Smoky Chestnut features a less-intense peachy small triangle, a medium-sheer rust orange (upper), a well-pigmented taupey brown (lower), and a more-intense shimmery white large triangle.

Marcelle Trio+ Starry Night Emerald Isle swatches review eyeshadows

Marcelle Trio+ Eyeshadow swatches: Starry Night, Emerald Isle

Starry Night may be the best quad out of all of these, and features a super-shimmery white (the yellow tones are negligible) alongside a well-pigmented yellow-olive and a soft black overlaid with olive shimmer. Its large triangle is a pretty light yellow with, again, plenty of shimmer. [Aside: my packaging on this one doesn't snap closed.]

Emerald Isle features a dirty green with an entire universe of multi-coloured sparkle (small triangle), a crappy black with green sparkle (lower trapezoid), and a see-through large triangle of sparse white shimmer. Its upper trapezoid, however, is a dream: an intense, skin-staining jewel green with more gorgeous emerald green shimmer than should even be legal.

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Shu Uemura Shupette Pampearl-Me Face Powder swatches, review; Furry Fantasy False Eyelash photos | Cats! Cats! Cats!

Friday, November 14, 2014

shu uemura furry fantasy shupette eyelashes packaging choupette

Shupette Furry Fantasy Premium False Eyelash case

The products: Shupette by Karl Lagerfeld for shu uemura (holiday 2014)

↳ pampearl-me face powder in pearl; furry fantasy premium false eyelash

This post is a continuation of the Shupette reviews you saw on Wednesday. If you missed that post, make sure to check it out!

Availability: Online at shuuemura.ca and in-stores at Holt Renfrew (as well as select Sephora and Hudson’s Bay locations) this November.

shu uemura shupette furry fantasy false eyelashes review

Furry Fantasy Premium False Eyelashes ($100 CAD)

I’m not a big fan of outlandish false eyelashes (or outlandish anything, really), so I’ll leave you just with a photo of these ones! The Furry Fantasy Premium False Eyelashes are one of two false eyelashes included in this collection, and are featured in the promo images if you’re interested in seeing what they look like on.

The second, non-premium set ($35 CAD) are shown here.

shu uemura furry fantasy premium false eyelashes

Choupette from the HORROR MOVIE EYES angle

karl lagerfeld for shu uemura shupette pampearl-me face powder review

Pampearl-Me Face Powder ($50 CAD)

The Pampearl-Me Face Powder was the second product in this collection that really wowed me — and as such, I think it, too, would be another great “what one product should I get from this collection” pick. It’s well-priced at $50 and features both Karl’s drawing of Choupette (on the lid) and those adorable little kitty-prints (on the powder puff), and the powder itself is a very fine, delicate shimmer mixed with face powder for a subtle glow.

shu uemura shupette pampearl-me face powder review

Shu Uemura Shupette Pampearl-Me Face Powder swatch review

Shu Uemura Pampearl-Me Face Powder, swatched heavily twice. 

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Illamasqua Infinity Precision Gel Liner swatches, review, photos

Monday, November 10, 2014

Illamasqua Precision Gel Liner review

The product: Illamasqua Precision Gel Liner in Infinity

Today, I ask you this: what makes a gel liner? Because in my mind, gel liners have a gel texture; they’re smooth, and slick, and lock down like a waterproof liquid liner once set. What they’re not, however, is creams.

But therein lies the problem. See, I liked this liner (a lot), but it read 100% “cream eyeliner” to me — not at all a gel.

Illamasqua gel liner review

Illamasqua Precision Gel Liner in Infinity

The texture & application: Illamasqua’s Precision Gel Liner applies like a dream – better than any liner I have ever tried before. It’s easy to sneak in through the lashline; easy to line your upper and lower lashes with; easy to create a tiny, tiny wing with. It’s very smooth, and goes where you want it, and pairs beautifully with a thin, angled liner brush (my weapon of choice).

The thing is, it also applies… like a cream. It picks up on my brush with more soft-creaminess than gel-like slickness, smudges around like nobody’s business, and leaves a trace of colour wherever you smudge it off of (if, say, you’re using a q-tip to tweak a just-applied line). Yes, perhaps it’ll seem more gel-like in a few months when it begins to dry out, but right now: it’s acting very, very cream-like for a gel liner.

Illamasqua Precision Gel Liner Infinity swatch

Illamasqua Precision Gel Liner in Infinity swatched thickly/thinly

The shade: Infinity is a simple, cream-finish matte black. It goes on very opaque, but isn’t quite as black as many of my other liners — especially as it smudges throughout the day, it appears quite charcoal-black rather than super-intense-black.

That said, Illamasqua makes no promises that this will be the blackest black liner to ever black, so I don’t have any issues for this shade. It definitely does give a “smooth, rich black line,” (no chalkiness here!) but if having the blackest black is important to you, then skip this one.

Illamasqua Precision Gel Liner Infinity review

The wear: And here! Here’s the rest of the issue. See, Illamasqua’s Precision Gel Liner applies precisely (though with softer lines than the Annabelle Smudge Paints I loved so much), but it smudges — a lot. In some cases, that’s a great thing, because it gives an instant, super sexy smokiness to my eye area, but for a “precision” liner, it’s a bit of a problem.

If I wear this with eyeshadow overtop and an eye primer beneath, I can only manage to get about three hours’ wear from this formula before it tracks on my upper lid — something I’ve never even seen from a drugstore gel liner. This is the other reason why it feels more like a cream liner than a gel one, to me; it just doesn’t have the wear time you’d expect from a gel liner.

Illamasqua Infinity Precision Gel Liner review

The verdict?

We could have had it all, Illamasqua. I loved this product as a smokey cream liner, but as a “precision gel,” it seriously under-preformed. Its edges were just a little too soft to be properly precise, and its wear time before smudging (2-3 hours, without fail) was a huge letdown.

If you want a gel liner that won’t budge, then this is not the droid you are looking for. (Am I allowed to make movie references about a movie I’ve never seen?) But if you want sexy, smudgy liner that creates itself, then this one is PERFECT. I’ve been wearing it pretty much every single day for the past week and a half straight, and it looks amazing. I mean, it’s a complete mess, but it’s a really attractive complete mess.

Availability: £18.50/$30 USD at Illamasqua and ASOS

Keep reading! »

eos Sweet Mint, Summer Fruit, and Blueberry Acai lip balm reviews, photos | The best lip balm under $5

Thursday, November 6, 2014

eos-smooth-sphere-lip-balm-review

The product: eos Smooth Sphere Lip Balm in Sweet Mint, Summer Fruit, and Blueberry Açai

I don’t typically re-review products, but in the case of eos’ Smooth Sphere Lip Balms, I think I have to change my tune.

When I reviewed these the first time around, I focused on Honeydew Melon — which, as it turns out, is kind of the runt of the litter, scent-wise. But I’ve been leaning on these since my Beautycounter review in June, and they’ve really stepped up to the plate: the 95% organic, 100% natural formula doesn’t make me feel so bad about how much lip balm I probably ingest, and they do their job when it comes to keeping my lips hydrated from day to day.

I have a whole friggin’ bunch of these, but here: these are my three favourites of the moment.

eos sweet mint smooth sphere review

eos smooth sphere lip balm in sweet mint

Sweet Mint

What really started off my current Smooth Sphere obsession is the line’s Sweet Mint variation. No less hydrating than its fruity counterparts, Sweet Mint is, well, both extremely minty and (like all eos lip balms!) sweetened with all-natural stevia. It’s thinner and more slippery than a Burt’s Bees lip balm, with a different peppermint scent — it’s sweeter, and smells less like peppermint patties.

The thing about Sweet Mint, however, is that it goes bad really fast. I’ve gone through two of these so far, and I find that they can only make it through one summer before starting to smell “off” — despite the fact that I’ve had other eos balms for twice as long (or longer). At this price, I’ll keep re-buying anyways, but it’s worth noting.

(Also available in stick form!)

eos Sweet Mint lip balm ingredients:

Olive Oil, Beeswax, Coconut Oil, Jojoba Seed Oil, Peppermint Oil, Shea Butter, Stevia Rebaudiana Leaf/Stem Extract, Tocopherol, Limonene, Linalool.

eos summer fruit lip balm review

eos smooth sphere lip balm in summer fruit

Summer Fruit

As much as I love Sweet Mint, I have to admit: it’s not an ideal choice for irritated lips. So, on days when my lips are really raw, or when I’m just hankering for something sweet, I’ve been turning to Summer Fruit. Its scent is hard to describe (it’s a blend), but “summer fruit” is a pretty good way to put it.

This lip balm smells bright and fruity, in a delicious way that never strays from juicy into saccharine-synthetic. And, uh, have I mentioned that it smells super, super tasty?

eos Summer Fruit lip balm ingredients:

Olive Oil, Beeswax, Coconut Oil, Jojoba Seed Oil, Natural Flavor, Shea Butter, Stevia Rebaudiana Leaf/Stem Extract, Tocopherol, Sunflower Seed Oil, Blueberry Fruit Extract, Strawberry Fruit Extract, Peach Fruit Extract, Linalool. 

eos blueberry acai smooth sphere review lip balm

eos smooth sphere lip balm in blueberry açai

Blueberry Açai 

Blueberry Açai isn’t the fruitiest Smooth Sphere, but to me, it’s the most believable. Unlike Honeysuckle Honeydew or Summer Fruit, it’s identifiably blueberryish and sweet-smelling, like a blueberry pie or compote. For those who love berries but not that zing! pop! of most fruity scents (which, admittedly, I totally adore), this one is one to own.

eos Blueberry Acai lip balm ingredients:

Olive Oil, Beeswax, Coconut Oil, Jojoba Seed Oil, Natural Flavor, Shea Butter, Stevia Rebaudiana Leaf/Stem Extract, Sunflower Seed Oil, Tocopherol, Blueberry Fruit Extract, Acai Fruit Extract, Limonene, Linalool. 

IMG_0657

The verdict?

While I still think these fall short of a superhero lip balm, I’m loving them a lot more than I used to. With regular, generous application, they’re doing a pretty good job of keeping my lips in shape, and the domed shape make them easy to use.

At the same price as a crappy Chapstick, these are the best affordable, all-natural lip balm out there — and they’re a great buy even if all-natural isn’t important to you. They’re not going to fix super-chapped lips, but for day-to-day maintenance care, these are hands-down my top lip balm recommendation.

Availability: $3.99 at most drugstores in Canada & the US or online at drugstore.com and Beauty Bridge.

In other news, I have got to get my hands on the SPF 15 Lemon Drop version of this lip balm! Lemon, you guys. Sun protection and also lemon.

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