Clarins Ombre Matte Earth, Nude Bronze review, swatches | Smooth nudes in Clarins’ Fall 2014 Ladylike collection

Monday, August 25, 2014

Clarins Ombre Matte eyeshadow review

The product: Clarins Ombre Matte Cream-to-Powder Matte Eyeshadow in 01 Nude Beige and 06 Earth 

The formula: Like other potted cream-to-powder eyeshadows, these aren’t really a cream, per se — more like a slightly damp, very creamy powder eyeshadow. (Which sounds super gross if you haven’t tried an eyeshadow like it before, but trust me, they’re actually pretty cool!)

(It’s funny because the dampness makes them feel cold.) 

These are drier than similar iridescent formulas I’ve tried, but apply more sheerly and with zero fallout as a result. It takes a bit of time to layer them, but when you do, they create a really lovely satin-matte eye that doesn’t ever look chalky or flat. 

Clarins Ombre Matte Cream to Powder Matte Eyeshadow review

Clarins Ombre Matte Eyeshadows

The shades: The “skintoned” 01 Nude Beige wears more matte than its chocolate-brown counterpart, but while it applies smoothly, I’d skip it if you’re intending to use it as an all-over base — I find that this formula doesn’t wear as well as other eye bases, so it’s not a practical choice. Also, I mean, it’s kind of boring, and at $24 each, I just don’t do boring.

06 Earth, on the other hand, has a more complex satin finish – and an absolutely beautiful tone that makes up for any shortcomings its formula may have. It also feels a bit wetter than Nude Beige, which kind of gets rid of said shortcomings altogether (as it’s easier to pick up and build.)

Clarins Ombre Matte EOTD Nude Beige, Earth

Clarins Ombre Matte Eyeshadows in 01 Nude Beige and 06 Earth worn with the sparkly gold from Clarins’ Odyssey palette

Clarins Nude Beige, Earth Ombre Matte swatches

Clarins Ombre Matte Cream to Powder Matte Eyeshadow swatches: 01 Nude Beige, 06 Earth

The packaging: Like the rest of the Clarins line, the packaging on these is absolutely lovely. It’s chic and sharp-edged, but very lightweight — Clarins has opted to make these out of plastic rather than glass, which sacrifices the luxury feel (but maintains the luxury look) in favour of making them portable and perfect for travel.

Clarins Roly Poly Rosy, Coming Up Rosy review swatches FOTD,  Clarins Ombre Matte

Also wearing Imju Fiberwig, Lise Watier 24Hrs Gel Liner, and Clinique Chubby Cheeks & Baby Tint Sticks

The verdict?

You know how I’m always talking about “the Clarins eye”? Well, with five mattes (two of which are nudes; skip the nudes) and one sparkling finish, the Ombre Matte eyeshadows are perfect for crafting the iconic Clarins eye: that wonderful mix of satin and sparkle that create something special from something very subtle. (Much like the Eye Quartet Mineral Palettes ($42 USD/$42 CAD) that I adore.)

Like all of Clarins’ mattes, the Ombre Matte formula is perfect for layering, and never has any fallout or chalkiness. Skip them if mattes bore you–don’t even front; I know mattes bore some of you–but if you love mattes or if you have yet to find a matte to love, this formula is a gorgeous one to begin with.

Availability: $24 CAD at Clarins.ca & Clarins counters.

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Clinique Cheek Chubby Sticks, Baby Tint swatches, review | Fresh, flawless lips & cheeks in 10 seconds or less

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Clinique Baby Tint Chubby Stick review

The product: Clinique Chubby Stick Cheek Colour Balm in 02 Robust Rhubarb and 03 Roly Poly Rosy; Chubby Stick Baby Tint Moisturizing Lip Balm in 01 Poppin’ Poppy and 02 Coming Up Rosy

New this month to Clinique are two all-new Chubby Stick formulas — which, duh, I am super freaking excited about.

And guess what? They’re both awesome. 

Clinique Chubby Stick Cheek review swatches

Clinique Chubby Stick Cheek Colour Balm in 02 Robust Rhubarb, 03 Roly Poly Rosy

Chubby Stick Cheek Colour Balm ($21 USD/$24 CAD)

The Clinique Chubby Cheek Sticks are the same length as your average Chubby Stick, but they’re much wider, with a nice, domed tip – and they make applying blush really quick and easy. Just scribble a bit of the product onto your cheeks (straight from the stick!) and blend with a fingertip, and voila! perfect blush in under ten seconds, no brushes needed.

The Cheek Colour Balm formula is smooth and scent-free, medium-sheer with a texture that blends with a light touch without blending away. It’s a treat to work with, but I think it would be particularly perfect for makeup beginners and busy moms! (Much like this bronzer blush that I talked about on Thursday.)

Clinique Robust Rhubarb, Poppin Poppy review FOTD, Clarins Ombre Matte

Wearing Robust Rhubarb on cheeks, Poppin’ Poppy on lips

Clinique Robust Rubarb Chubby Cheek review swatchesClinique Chubby Stick Cheek Colour Balm in 02 Robust Rhubarb

These feel comfortable and lightweight on my cheeks, and they give an all-day glow without making your skin look shiny. I think the shimmer-free Roly Poly Rosy would make a great basic medium-pink blush for cool skintones like my own, but I actually really loved the coral-pink Robust Rhubarb, too.

Robust Rhubarb is the only coral blush that I’ve ever thought looked good on me (no joke!!), and it has some incredibly flattering cool pink nuances tucked in there alongside super-subtle shimmer. I’ve actually been wearing Rhubarb on the apples of my cheeks, with Roly Poly Rosy relegated to adding depth like some kind of backup dancer, and it’s been awesome.

Clinique Baby Tint, Chubby Cheek swatches review

Clinique Chubby Stick Baby Tint in 01 Poppin’ Poppy, 02 Coming Up Rosy swatches; Chubby Stick Cheek Colour Balm in 02 Robust Rhubarb, 03 Roly Poly Rosy swatches

Chubby Stick Baby Tint ($17 USD/$19 CAD)

Clinique Baby Tint Coming Up Rosy review swatches

Clinique Chubby Stick Baby Tint in 02 Coming Up Rosy

Like most of the regular Clinique range, the Baby Tints are sheer — but unlike the rest of the Chubby Sticks, they’re pH adjusting to “custom fit” the wearer.

This is, obviously, a load of crock, but you know what? Who cares. pH-adjusting products may not actually be made to suit your unique skintone, but they go from clear to tinted in a matter of seconds, and they’re fun. Show me a person who doesn’t think that colour-shifting makeup is cool and I’ll show you a liar.

Clinique Baby Tint Poppin Poppy review swatches

Clinique Chubby Stick Baby Tint in 01 Poppin’ Poppy

Clinique Poppin Poppy Coming Up Rosy swatches Baby Tint review

Clinique Chubby Stick Baby Tint swatches – 01 Poppin’ Poppy, 02 Coming Up Rosy

Both of the tints that I tried, Poppin’ Poppy and Coming Up Rosy, are shimmer-free, comfortable, and glossy. I find that they appear much more tinted on the lips than they do when swatched on the back of my hand, but they’re definitely sheer enough that you could pick up whichever shade suits your fancy.

Like any tinted lip balm, these aren’t going to last all day (unlike those Chubby Cheek Sticks — which, yes, I know that’s not their real name, but it should have been), but they do alright. Expect to reapply with the same frequency as lip balm, but no more often than that.

Clarins Roly Poly Rosy, Coming Up Rosy review swatches FOTD,  Clarins Ombre Matte

Wearing Clinique Chubby Stick (Cheek) in 03 Roly Poly Rosy, Baby Tint in 02 Coming Up Roses

The verdict?

I squealed out loud when I first saw these teased online, and for once, I’m 100% comfortable telling you that yes: these are every bit as good as I was hoping. (Especially Poppin’ Poppy! If you love corals but always find them too warm, try it. You’ll thank me later.)

The Clinique Chubby Stick Baby Tints are nice to have around (that purple!), but it’s the new Chubby Stick Cheek Colour Balms that really steal the show for me. I can’t find a single flaw in them, from the way they apply to the way they blend, and they’re an absolute steal at $24 CAD. I love stick blushes, and these are the best that I’ve ever tried.

Availability: August 2014. CheekNordstrom, Sephora, Clinique / Baby TintNordstrom, Sephora, Clinique.

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Lise Watier Eden Tropical collection swatches, review, photos | Summer 2014

Friday, August 15, 2014

Lise Watier Eden Tropical eyeshadow palette review

The products: Lise Watier Eden Tropical Eyeshadow Palette, Eden Tropical Bronzing Powder, and 24Hrs Gel Liner

This was supposed to be yesterday’s post — a couple end-of-summer reviews to get us through the long August days up here in Canada. But, well, I got distracted while testing out the bronzer, and so this got pushed back a day for Senna’s Powder Point brush (which, if I can butt in here for a second, pairs beautifully with the Eden Tropical bronzer.)

But, without further adieu — here is the rest of Lise Watier’s Eden Tropical collection! I didn’t love these products quite as much as these three hits, but hey, you never know, right? One woman’s not-a-chance is another’s holy grail.

Lise Watier Eden Tropical eyeshadow swatches

Lise Watier Eden Tropical Eyeshadow Palette & 24Hrs Gel Liner swatches

The Eden Tropical Eyeshadow Palette ($43 CAD) contains six shimmery eyeshadows (8.4 g in total), and each is more gorgeous than the last — literally, if you ask me. (Seriously, how great is that aqua blue?!) Each shade performed well, and the palette has good consistency in terms of texture and pigmentation, but it didn’t wow me. It was still a good palette, but I’d go for one of Lise Watier’s gorgeous–and gorgeously-packaged–Ombre Soufflé Suprême Eyeshadows ($24 CAD) in a heartbeat instead.

Lise Watier Eden Tropical swatches - eyeshadow palette

Lise Watier Eden Tropical Eyeshadow Palette & 24Hrs Gel Liner swatches

Lise Watier Eden Tropical Bronzer review

Lise Watier Eden Tropical Bronzing Powder

On the cheeks, I found the Eden Tropical Bronzing Powder ($38 CAD) to be too warm for my skintone, but I actually really liked the formulation — solid, easy to work with, easy to apply in layers. It gave a really pretty golden glow without too much shimmer, and I think if you have fair to light skin without any green or cool undertones, it would work well for you.

The apricot blush in the centre isn’t pigmented enough to use alone, in my opinion, but I think this bronzer makes up for that with its large pan size and gorgeous pattern – I do love a wide pan when it comes to bronzers.

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Annabelle Chai Eyeshadow Quad swatches, review, photos | Beautifully bronzed at the drugstore

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Annabelle Chai eyeshadow swatches review

The product: Annabelle Cosmetics Eyeshadow Quad in Chai Chai Chai

This week is kicking my butt, you guys. It’s already Thursday and I’ve barely gotten out of bed because my abdominal muscles hurt so much – they’re so tender that touching them makes my head spin, which: never a good sign.

So, well, let’s talk makeup. I picked out a stellar product from one of my favourite lines today, and hopefully writing about it’ll help cheer me up a bit!

Annabelle eyeshadow quad review Chai

Annabelle Eyeshadow Quad in Chai Chai Chai

The product: Chai Chai Chai includes four gorgeous, super-smooth eyeshadows that are a dream to apply and blend. They’re crazy pigmented for a drugstore product, and apply vividly even without primer, never crumbling or kicking up dust.

The top two shades are a little more frosty than the bottom two, and the chocolate brown (third swatch) is just divine — it’s rich and dense, even more-so over primer, with a beautiful, uninterrupted finish. The darkest brown is a little drier than the rest, but makes up for it with a smattering of silver shimmer that twinkles as you move about.

Annabelle Chai eyeshadow quad swatches

Annabelle Eyeshadow Quad in Chai Chai Chai, swatched dry on unprimed skin

What impressed me most about these shades, I think, was how wearable they are. Yes, the overall feeling of the palette is very bronze, but it’s not so warm that I couldn’t wear it around if I wanted to. (If you love metals or warm colours but can’t always pull them off, this might be a good one to try.)

And, if warm bronze isn’t your thing, these quads come in cooler options, too — stormy grey-blues, cooler taupes, mossy browns, and purple-pinks.

Annablle eyeshadow quad swatches - Chai Chai Chai

Annabelle Chai Chai Chai swatches

The packaging: Where this product flounders (just a little!!) is its packaging. Chai Chai Chai comes with two applicators that are really just too small to be of any use — “crapplicators,” if you will.

It’s also a really hard palette to get open, which is both a positive and a negative: on one hand, it can be frustrating, but on the other, I feel 100% confident just throwing this into my bag, because it’s definitely not going to spring open if jostled the wrong way.


Annabelle Chai Eyeshadow Quad review

The verdict?

Annabelle consistently proves itself to be one of the best budget brands out there, and this quad is no exception. While the particular colour palette of Chai Chai Chai was a little too warm for my preferences (though it worked ok with my colouring), I would absolutely recommend these quads if you’re looking for a great drugstore palette for day-to-day use or travel!

Availability: $10.95 CAD at Annabelle.ca & in most drugstores across Canada.

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Marie Veronique Everyday Coverage SPF 20 & 30 reviews, swatches, and shade comparisons (& Face Oil)

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Marie Veronique review

The products: Marie Veronique Organics Everyday Coverage SPF 30 and Face Oil; True Nature Botanicals Pacific Everyday Sheer Coverage SPF 20

When it comes to all-natural sunscreens, the name Marie Veronique pops up a lot — and so it should. There aren’t a ton of silicone-free, chemical-free sunscreens out there (not ones without a heavy texture and a white cast, at least), and the Marie Veronique ones are some of the best of the bunch.

That said, it’s hard to pick out what sunscreen to try out of all of the varieties available – so think of this as your guide to Marie Veronique sunscreens, from which shade to pick to what the formulas play best with.

Note: the products photographed in this review are sample sizes! 

Marie Veronique Face Oil review

Marie Veronique Face Oil

Marie Veronique Face Oils

I didn’t get a chance to compare the brand’s Pacific Face Oil with their regular option (the Pacific version broke in transit), but this is what I can tell you: what I did get to try of the Pacific Face Oil ($110/1 oz) felt extremely comforting, and had an herbal scent that reminded me very strongly of shu uemura’s Premium A/O and Ultime8 oils.

The Face Oil ($80/1 oz) felt less intensive, but has a lighter scent to it — it still made my dry skin feel softer immediately, and it layered well with the brand’s sunscreens. The product itself is very orange (due to a high amount of rosehip oil in the formula), but doesn’t tint the skin once it’s worked in!

Both of these products are quite pricy, but it’s important to note that they’ve been carefully formulated by the brand’s chemists – unlike what I’ve seen from other brands (ahem: Josie Maran, Tarte, & co.), who simply offer marked-up pure oils in pretty jars.

Marie Veronique Everyday Sheer Coverage SPF20 review

Marie Veronique Everyday Sheer Coverage SPF 20 – Light, Medium Tints

Pacific Everyday Sheer Coverage SPF 20 ($58/2 oz)

As the brand’s more expensive sunscreen (it’s formulated to be anti-ageing, like the rest of the Pacific range), I was expecting great things from their Everyday Sheer Coverage — but, weirdly enough, I was a little disappointed in it.

I applied this one overtop the brand’s Face Oil, as suggested, and it felt okay on its own – not too heavy or sticky. But here’s the catch: this one doesn’t play very well under makeup. The Light shade was tinted enough to darken and warm up my skintone just a hair, but it’s sort of “film forming” — the first time I tried to buff in a cream foundation overtop of it, the whole layer slid in the direction of my brush strokes.

Marie Veronique Everyday Sheer Coverage SPF20 swatches light medium

Marie Veronique Everyday Sheer Coverage SPF 20 – Light, Medium Tints swatched

Marie Veronique Everyday Sheer Coverage SPF 20 swatches shade comparisons

Everyday Sheer Coverage swatched against: left - MAC NC15 (top), NW20 (bottom); right – NC30 (top) and NC25 (bottom)

When I used it after that, I applied a little less and layered it overtop a very thin layer of German Nivea. It went from thereon in, drying satin-matte as promised and staying in place with product overtop, but my makeup looked slightly more obvious than usual. All in all, I would recommend this for normal to oily skin types, or those who wear liquid (but not creme) foundation.

The Marie Veronique Everyday Sheer coverage SPF 20 is formulated with 16.6% non-nano zinc oxide. See the full ingredients list if you

Green & White Tea, 16.6% Non-Nano Zinc Oxide, Vegetable Glycerin, Broccoli Seed Oil, Cherry Kernel Seed Oil, Emu Oil, Pomegranate Seed Oil, Red Raspberry Seed Oil, Tocopherol, Yangu Oil, Cosmocil CQ (paraben-free anti-microbial), Xanthan Gum, N-Acetyl Glucosamine, Lecithin, Potassium Sorbate, Pearl Powder, Rosemary Oleoresin, Beta Glucan, Coffee Fruit Extract, Silk Powder, Rose Essential Oil, Neroli Essential Oil, Helichrysum Essential Oil, Cistus Essential Oil, Iron Oxides.

Marie Veronique Everyday Coverage SPF30 moisturizer review

Marie Veronique Organics Everyday Coverage SPF 30 – Extra Light, Light, and Medium Tints

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