Burberry Nude Beige Kisses, Chestnut Brown Liquid Eyeliner, Silver Glitter Nail Polish, & Cat Lashes Mascara | Fall/Winter 2016

Friday, November 11, 2016

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The products: Burberry Beauty Kisses Lipstick in No. 01 Nude Beige, Effortless Liquid Eyeliner in No. 02 Chestnut Brown, Cat Lashes Mascara in No. 1 Jet Black, and Nail Polish in No. 453 Silver Glitter

Much like their holiday collection, Burberry’s Fall/Winter 2016 makeup look is full of easy-to-wear basics paired with chunky glitter. As someone who routinely does the same as an easy way to make things festive, I am, to say the least, a fan.

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Burberry Kisses Lipstick in Nude Beige ($33 USD/$36 CAD)

I’ve always been fond of Burberry’s makeup collection (how could you not be, with that packaging,) but the Burberry Kisses Lipstick in No. 01 Nude Beige ($33 USD/$36 CAD) is the first product of theirs that has worked its way into my everyday makeup stash.

With a lightweight satin formula and a paraben-free, fragrance-free formula, it’s easier to wear than an A-line dress in the summer (and that’s saying a lot, for me).

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Burberry Kisses Lipstick in 01 Nude Beige review

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Burberry Kisses Lipstick swatch in 01 Nude Beige (bare lips/1 layer)

The Burberry Kisses lipstick formula is one that I have to reapply often despite its six-hour wear claims, and yet I still find myself reaching for it. The Kisses line is built on this weird principle of “multiple, satin finishes with one shade,” depending on how many layers you apply, and I… kind of think it works.

They function just like any other lipstick, of course, but I like that Burberry has taken into consideration the fact that, well, when you apply only one coat of a sheer lipstick, your lip colour bleeds through. For Nude Beige, this means that one coat sinks into your lips and simply neutralizes your lips’ redness slightly, and that three coats sits on your lips for a thicker, more “classically nude” look. I like toning down my lips with a “nothing” lipstick when paired with a dark eye, and Nude Beige is absolutely perfect for that.

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Burberry Kisses Lipstick in 01 Nude Beige, Effortless Liquid Eyeliner in Chestnut Brown swatches

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Burberry Effortless Liquid Eyeliner in Chestnut Brown review

Effortless Liquid Eyeliner in Chestnut Brown ($34 USD/$37 CAD)

Like Nude BeigeBurberry’s Effortless Liquid Eyeliner in No. 02 Chestnut Brown ($34 USD/$37 CAD) is a natural-look makeup item from their standard range. It defines the eyes well in a very subtle way, and despite its sharp lines, the dark chestnut brown has a softer overall look than an inky black eyeliner.

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Wearing Burberry Effortless Liquid Liner in Chestnut Brown and Cat Lashes Mascara in Jet Black

If you caught my Lise Watier Féline Liquid Eyeliner review, this Burberry liner is a lot like that one – stiff and long. (Are we still doing phrasing, guys?) It’s immensely easy to work with, but I find the formula to be a bit thin.

Skincare plays a big role in this one, and I find that on days when I use a really heavy moisturizer, the Burberry Effortless Liquid Eyeliner is harder to apply and smudges throughout the day. I have to go over my line a few times to get it nice and inky. But, on days when I’m wearing a lighter moisturizer, everything goes off without a hitch. Like Burberry’s Lip Kisses and mascaras, their eyeliner is also paraben- and fragrance-free.

I moisturize like a fiend (like, night cream plus a serum plus an oil during the day), so you likely won’t need to worry about running into any issues. With your eyeliner, at least. I can’t make any promises otherwise.

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Burberry Cat Lashes Mascara in Jet Black review

Cat Lashes Mascara in Jet Black ($29 USD/$32 CAD)

When a mascara is re-promoted in a collection, I don’t always test it out. I know I should, but honestly–so many of them come out each season, and I’m tired of constantly running around with raccoon eyes.

The Burberry Cat Lashes Mascara in No. 1 Jet Black ($29 USD/$32 CADhas one weird-ass brush, though, so I had to do it. It’s an elastomer hourglass with spiky bristles, and it’s bendy. Not just “soft enough to bend intentionally,” but almost floppy.

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Burberry Cat Lashes Mascara bendy brush

The Cat Lashes Mascara gets its name from the curved end of the brush, which lets you “stretch out” the lashes in your outer corners (using it vertically) for a cat-eyed effect. It works so well that I did this intuitively, and only found out that it was designed for this purpose after the fact.

The formula gives great separation and length, and it wears for a solid nine hours with minimal smudging.

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Burberry Nail Polish in 453 Silver Glitter review

Nail Polish in Silver Glitter ($22 USD/$23 CAD)

Finally, the piece in this collection that I’m convinced the folks at Burberry must love the most. (What is it with them and holiday glitter?) The Burberry Nail Polish in No. 453 Silver Glitter ($22 USD/$23 CADis a basic glitter polish in, as always, an excellent clear base.

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Burberry Nail Polish in 453 Silver Glitter swatches (1 coat on bare nails on the ring finger, one coat over polish on the pinkie finger.)

It applies with dense silver glitter and dries quickly. Burberry says their polishes dries in 2 minutes and hardens completely in 6 1/2, which is oddly specific, but I’m into it. I would urge you to try one of their standard nail polishes at that price, however, because they’re stellar–not YSL good, but a big step up from the likes of Essie and OPI. Glitters are easy, but Burberry does a great job of deep shades like Elderberry, and of obscure ones like Sage Green.

I tried my best to run around with Silver Glitter on my nails for a weekend, but I just couldn’t do it. Finger nail polish, no matter how gorgeous, drives me nuts! It did make me feel very festive, though… or maybe that was all the rum and eggnog.

What are you loving from the Fall/Winter 2016 Burberry makeup collection?

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Pai Instant Radiance Collection (Kukui & Jojoba Bead Exfoliator, Rosehip BioRegenerate Rollerball)

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

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The product: Pai Skincare Instant Radiance Collection

There’s a little two-piece duo in Pai’s holiday gift selection this year, and it’s a terrible gift to give. No–really. It’s perfectly sized for travel and charmingly small, and if you buy it as a gift, you’re never going to be able to bring yourself to give it away.

You’ll need two, I think. At least.

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The kit is the brand’s new Instant Radiance Collection ($28 USD), and it contains their cult classic Pai Rosehip BioRegenerate Oil Rollerball (10ml) with their Kukui & Jojoba Bead Skin Brightening Exfoliator (15ml). The full size products retail for $40 and $44 respectively, so although this kit is very small, it’s a nice way to try out each product before committing to the full size.

I reviewed Pai’s Rosehip Oil this summer, but as a recap, it’s a light, fragrant oil with really potent anti-ageing properties. I think of it as serum rather than an oil, because it doesn’t provide a ton of hydration–I usually need to mix it with a moisturizer, or follow up with one right away.

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Pai Rosehip BioRegenerate Oil – rollerball vs full size comparison

I liked the ingenuity of putting a facial oil in a rollerball, but I struggled to use the Rosehip BioRegenerate Oil Rollerball. It’s very pretty and well-made, but rollerballs simply don’t dispense a lot of oil! I found myself having to go over each area of my face 2-3x just to get enough product.

The rollerball format was very clean, though, especially because Pai’s rosehip seed oil is on the thin side–my dropper bottle version certainly gets a little greasy around the rim. So, while it wouldn’t be ideal for everyday use, it’s PERFECT for travel: neat and compact, with no chance of in-flight spillage.

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Pai Kukui & Jojoba Bead Skin Brightening Exfoliator gel suspension

Pai’s Kukui & Jojoba Bead Skin Brightening Exfoliator was new to me in this kit, but I really liked it. It’s microbead-free and designed for use 1-2x/week, and it gets used in a non-traditional manner. You massage it into dry skin with dry hands, then you add water and massage again for a gentle-but-thorough exfoliation. 

I greatly preferred the feeling of these spherical jojoba beads to the feeling of a muslin cloth, and I liked the gel-to-oil texture of the exfoliator base, too. It was really rich and hydrating (which is really important to pair with your exfoliation), and my only issue with the product was how small the tube is. I’ve been trying my best to stretch the product out, but when using a comfortable amount, I’d guess there’s only four-ish uses in it.

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The verdict?

The Pai Instant Radiance Collection is a great way to try out two of Pai’s bestselling products, but the exfoliator makes it feel a little too small to be a proper gift. It would make a really lovely stocking stuffer, though, and it would be a great purchase for yourself if you’re going on holiday this winter.

The products are sized like deluxe samples, and if you’re unsure of the products and want to give them a test before buying the full-sized versions, they’ll make excellent travel companions even after you’ve taken the leap!

Availability: $28 USD at Pai, Mankind, and Look Fantastic.

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Clinique Lash Power Flutter-to-Full Mascara review, swatches, photos | Introducing The Wink

Thursday, November 3, 2016

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The product: Clinique Lash Power Flutter-to-Full Mascara

This October, Clinique launched a first for the brand: an editorial platform called The Wink. The Wink will feature “the people, places, ideas and stories Clinique finds simply amazing – from across Canada and around the world,” and is designed to be just as playful and inclusive as a wink can be.

So, what better way to celebrate the platform’s launch than a mascara that’s perfect for winking?

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When I first tried Clinique’s new dial-up mascara, I was a little confused. Even on its lashiest setting, the results (pictured here) are relatively natural-looking. They’re voluminous and clean, but not overwhelmingly so, and the formula seemed a little dry.

And then I waited to see how long it would take to smudge. Four hours went by, then six, then ten, and the next thing I knew, I had been wearing Clinique Lash Power Flutter-to-Full for a full 13 hours and it hadn’t moved at all. When I went to wash it off, I realized why: this custom-lash mascara is a tubing formula.

My perspective shifted immediately, because as anyone who loves tubing mascaras knows, they tend to be two things: 1) only lengthening, and 2) extremely wet. Flutter-to-Full defies both of those expectations, with a formula that’s dry enough to leave your curl perfectly intact and thick enough that it provides good volume. (Think of it as normal-mascara “moderate volume” and tubing mascara “insanely voluminous.”)

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Clinique Lash Power Flutter-to-Full Mascara (1 coat on its fullest setting) with Annabelle Skinny Brow in Universal Ebony and Burberry Effortless Liquid Eyeliner in Chestnut Brown No. 002 (review next week!)

The verdict?

Clinique says their Lash Power Flutter-to-Full Mascara wears for 24 hours and removes easily, and I believe them 100%. At 13 hours, my lashes were still picture-perfect and fluttery, and it washed off with warm water and no rubbing. (As with any tubing mascara, just remember NOT to use an oil-based makeup remover!)

I’m not sure that I would personally re-buy this mascara at $28 CAD, but I did really, really like it. It’s the most volumizing and long-wearing tubing mascara that I’ve tried, and trust me: I’ve tried a lot.

Availability: $21 USD/$28 CAD at Sephora, Nordstrom, and Clinique.

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Matrix Biolage R.A.W. Recover Shampoo & Conditioner review, photos

Monday, October 31, 2016

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The products: Matrix Biolage R.A.W. Recover Shampoo & Conditioner

Disclaimer: these are not food products. No matter how good they look, or how tasty they smell, you should not put them in your mouth. 

Uh… just trust me on that one, okay?

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The Recover Shampoo and Conditioner duo is part of the new Real, Authentic, and Wholesome (R.A.W.) line from Matrix Biolage, who are jumping on the natural train in the best way possible. The line features “natural-origin products” (more details on the Matrix site), recyclable bottles made from 100% post-consumer plastics, and plant-based surfactants. So far, it includes shampoos, conditioners, and–this part is cool–clay hair masks. 

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I’ve been testing the line’s Yucca & Goji Berry Recover Shampoo ($25 CAD) and Coriander Oil & Kaolin Clay Recover Conditioner ($25 CAD), and I kind of adore them both.

The Recover duo is made to replenish and restore shine to stressed hair, and while my hair doesn’t exactly have to deal with bills or midterms, it still feels particularly awesome after I use these products. They’re a lot less stripping than my normal haircare products (Live Clean), and even my partner gets weirdly possessive and jealous over who gets to use them and when.

(The proper answer should be: I do, because they’re mine and hi, do you really want to be single again.)

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There are a lot of things that make the R.A.W. Recover line great, including the fact that they contain no artificial colourants, silicones, or parabens. They’re also 99% biodegradable, and they smell really unique – a bit like goji berries and coriander, respectively. In other words, I think they smell nice for most of the month, but they make me want to throw up when I’m on my period.

The biggest pull for this duo, though, is the shampoo: it’s weird. It flows out of the bottle really quickly, like an oil, but it feels almost sticky when you touch it. Once you lather it up, it acts just like a regular shampoo, but it’s nothing that I’ve ever seen before, at home or in the salon. It’s a pretty cool textural experience.

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The verdict?

I don’t usually cover shampoos and conditioners on theNotice, but for this duo, I had to make an exception. They’re nice to use and look adorably like smoothies, and while they don’t make my hair look CRAZY INSANE AMAZING, their price tags aren’t crazy insane expensive, either.

For me, the coolest thing about this duo is the texture of the shampoo. It’s a little detail, but it’s one that I find enjoyable every morning!

Availability: $25 each at select salons; both permanent products.

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Neal’s Yard Orange Flower Facial Oil, Wild Rose Beauty Balm review, photos

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

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The products: Neal’s Yard Remedies Wild Rose Beauty Balm & Orange Flower Facial Oil

In the beauty industry right now, one of the toughest things to figure out is whether or not the “natural” brand you’re working with is truly natural or not. Sometimes their ingredients lists can be deceptive; sometimes their practices don’t quite line up with the natural beauty ethos.

Neal’s Yard Remedies, however, is the real deal. It’s a massive beauty brand that has maintained all-natural, cruelty-free, organic-when-possible ingredients since their inception in 1981, and they’re family-run by different families in each country that they exist in.

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Neal’s Yard Remedies Wild Rose Beauty Balm ($72 CAD)

This beauty balm did none of the things that I wanted it to. It wasn’t hydrating enough to use as a moisturizer on my super-dehydrated skin, and (I think because of the hemp seed oil,) it had a tendency to make me break out if I tried to make it work anyways.

But: it was so humbly amazing at so many other things that it has become one of my favourite “luxury” products anyways.

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The Neal’s Yard Remedies Wild Rose Beauty Balm is just that: luxurious. Unlike most beauty balms, it melts upon contact and is smooth and silky, so it doesn’t tug at your skin. Its first ingredient is organic wild rose seed oil (hence the price tag). It smells even more amazing than you’d expect, and every time I pick up the heavy glass bottle, I can’t help but feel a little bit spoiled.

My two favourite ways to use it are as a cleansing-exfoliating balm with a muslin cloth (included) and for facial massages. I gave Boyfriend his first-ever facial using this stuff, and he was GLOWING when I was done!

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Neal’s Yard Remedies Orange Flower Facial Oil ($55 CAD)

I was also sent the Neal’s Yard Remedies Orange Flower Facial Oil, because the Wild Rose Beauty Balm wasn’t quite hydrating enough for me. The Orange Flower Facial Oil is definitely more hydrating, but the two together don’t quite do the trick for me – I’m VERY dehydrated in addition to being dry, so while the two are really lovely together, I still need a little bit more.

I noticed that Neal’s Yard doesn’t make very many products that specifically target extremely dry skin, so the range is perhaps beset for those with normal, oily, or lightly dry skin types – just something to keep in mind.

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With its $72 CAD price tag and perfectly-toned artwork, I thought that the Wild Rose Beauty Balm was Neal’s Yard’s one big product… Until I tried this oil. It’s just as gorgeous as the balm, if not more so, and it isn’t just an overpriced bottle of orange flower oil, either.

Instead, it’s a carefully thought-out blend of organic macadamia seed, jojoba, hemp, and pomegranate seed oil (I bloody LOVE pomegranate seed oil), amongst others, and it’s scented with neroli, ylang ylang, and mandarin peel oil.

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The verdict?

I really loved both of these products, and I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend them – as indulgences. (Hmm… perhaps for a special someone in your life this Christmas?) They’re not hydrating enough for someone with extremely dry skin to use as part of a daily regimen, but they are nothing short of a joy to use. 

If you do a lot of at-home facials or spa days, the Wild Rose Beauty Balm is a must, and if you love neroli, then the Orange Flower Facial Oil definitely is, too.

Availability: Available at Neal’s Yard Remedies worldwide. Both permanent products.

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Charlotte Tilbury The Queen Matte Revolution Lipstick swatches, review, photos

Thursday, October 20, 2016

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The product: Charlotte Tilbury The Queen Matte Revolution Lipstick

The formula: The Matte Revolution formula (which I’ll describe the wear of shortly) is a “luminous modern matte” that promises long-lasting, hydrating, buildable colour with lipstick tree and orchid flower extract. It’s available in 10 shades, and it definitely holds up to its claims: it’s easy to build, and it wears very well for a matte lipstick.

These lipsticks also feature a square tip to mimic the shape of a lip brush, which I thought was really cool. (And hey, it works well, too!)

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The shade: The Queen, inspired by Her Majesty, Elizabeth II, is a “rich and rosy crown-jewel pink.” It’s a deep fuchsia pink with blue undertones that practically glows, and it’s obscenely beautiful in a matte finish.

Of course, my favourite thing about Charlotte Tilbury is that they simulate their swatches on a wide variety of different skintones–none of that “three skintones covers everyone” business. These are shown on ten models of different skintones, ages, and ethnicities, and the result (which I’ve collaged above) is both helpful and gorgeous!

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Wearing The Queen (and otherwise looking a mess)

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Charlotte Tilbury The Queen Matte Revolution Lipstick swatched in indirect sunlight

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Charlotte Tilbury The Queen Matte Revolution Lipstick swatched in indirect sunlight

The wear: The Matte Revolution lipsticks are very pigmented, and they have an even, forgiving matte finish. Though they look like soft mattes, they feel as hydrating as an opaque cream lipstick. I get 3-6 hours of wear with these lipsticks, depending on how much eating I do; today, The Queen held up through an entire coconut milk smoothie with only very minimal fading and was still going strong by dinner.

Optimally, I’d recommend reapplying every 3-4 hours with this formula for comfort, but if you leave it on undisturbed, the vivid colour will hold up for longer.

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The verdict?

I really like the Charlotte Tilbury Matte Revolution formula, which is as hydrating and comfortable to wear as a great creme-finish lipstick. I was also totally smitten with The Queen, which is a flattering, eye-catching opaque fuchsia pink.

If you’re looking for a comfortable holiday lipstick, this range is definitely one to check out!

Availability: $32 USD/$38 CAD exclusive to Charlotte Tilbury online.

Keep reading! »

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