Duckish Lotion Stick, Body Butter, Bath Salts review, photos | DIY Pedicure Kit

Monday, July 25, 2016

Duckish canadian pedicure kit review photos

The product: Duckish DIY Pedicure Kit (customized) – Duckish Mint Bath Salts, Pink Grapefruit Body Butter, and Lavender Lotion Stick

Okay, so I really wanted to feature Duckish as part of my Small Business Saturdays series, but things keep coming up on Friday nights and I really didn’t want to wait any longer. So we’ll call this one Small Business Mondays instead, I guess!

Duckish is an all-natural Canadian beauty brand with just the absolute cutest packaging. (I want to own basically everything they make.) Their products are all cruelty-free, handmade, and free of icky things like parabens, synthetic fragrances, and silicones.

Duckish mint bath salts review photos

Mint Bath Salts ($9.99 CAD)

I wanted to focus my review on Duckish’s body butter and lotion stick, because I’ve been dying to try them out for what feels like forever–but this kit includes bath salts and a pumice stone on a rock, too. The pumice stone is pretty standard fare, but the bath salts are more then just plain ‘ol rock salt.

They’re a blend of Dead Sea salt, Himalayan pink salt, and Epsom salts, with sweet almond oil and organic coconut oil to add a bit of hydration to your bath or foot soak. Each scent comes with a unique blend of essential oils, too; the Mint one is made with eucalyptus and peppermint (two of my all-time favourite oils.)

Duckish pink grapefruit body butter review

Pink Grapefruit Body Butter ($11.99 CAD)

Funnily enough, I was most excited for the Duckish Body Butter, but their lotion stick stole the show for me. The Body Butters, I think, are best for those with dry or weathered skin – not so much for Sahara-like dehydration.

The Duckish Body Butter formula is definitely a classic one, with a thick, creamy formula that’s heavy on the shea, and honestly… I didn’t like it. It’s surprisingly creamy for an indie body butter, but non-“mainstream” (The Body Shop, L’Occitane, Bliss, etc.) butters just don’t seem to be hydrating enough for me – this one just kinda sits on my skin, leaving hands feeling both vaguely greasy and so dry that they’re itchy.

Some people love these kinds of body butters, though, so just keep it in mind when ordering! Oh, and a warning for all my fellow crazy cat ladies: there’s just enough citrus oil in Pink Grapefruit to scare Tunakitten away from me when I’m using this, but not quite enough to make the olive oil in the formula palatable to my nose. :(

Duckish lavender lotion stick review

Lavender Mini Lotion Stick ($6.99 CAD)

Duckish’s description for their lotion sticks is:

“Lotion? In a stick? Is this real life? Yes, yes it is!”

And you know what? They couldn’t have been more accurate with that statement. These lotion sticks are crazily good – the mini one is perfect for mess-free application on the go, and the formula is spot-on.

I have really dehydrated skin, and the Duckish lotion stick definitely works better for me than their body butter. It melts immediately upon contact, basically turning into a light oil that absorbs immediately into the skin, and it feels so lovely – not greasy at all.
Duckish DIY Pedicure Kit review

The verdict?

I love buying Canadian when I can, and Duckish makes that really easy. You’re not sacrificing packaging or price, and my only two reservations about the line are small ones: I’d have liked to see a bit more fragrance in their EO and a wider online availability, but both of these are things that will be remediated naturally, as the brand grows.

If bought separately, the three Duckish products in this kit come out to $28.97, so buying the kit essentially gets you a free pumice stone. If I was re-ordering for myself, though, I’d take all $29.99 and put it toward a hoard of lotion sticks!!

Availability: $29.99 CAD. Duckish just recently began shipping to the US in addition to Canada, so use code DUCKISHUSA to get $5 off all US orders over $20 until the end of the month.

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NYX Transylvania Soft Matte Lip Cream swatches, review, photos

Friday, July 22, 2016

NYX Transylvania review swatch photos

The product: NYX Cosmetics Soft Matte Lip Cream in 21 Transylvania 

Man, it has been a LONG time since I reviewed any makeup! I feel like I just haven’t had the time or energy to wear any recently – my everyday face consists of tinted moisturizer (Rodial foundation and Clarins Beauty Flash Balm), a light brow (Annabelle Skinny Brow Liner, of course), and like, nothing else.

Lather, rinse, repeat; day in and day out. So, a couple weeks ago, I decided to change things up a little.

NYX TRansylvania soft matte lip cream review

NYX Transylvania review photos swatches

The formula: Alright, so I’m just gonna stick my head out there and say it: I don’t like the NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream formula. I can see why other people like it, but I just don’t.

It feels light and airy without too much transfer, which I like. And it smells like cupcake batter, which I also like because I’m not a monster. And it’s way more comfortable than a retro matte, so that’s nice too.

But my lips are DRY, you see. They’re not just dry; they’re Alberta-dry. They have dry patches galore, all of which this lipstick catches on, and after half an hour, my lips get uncomfortable. So I fidget and press them together to compensate, and this lipstick (which never truly sets) heads for my lipline faster than an ex who can’t get away from you fast enough.

NYX Transylvania Soft Matte Lip Cream swatch

NYX Soft Lip Cream in Transylvania swatches – after 15 min

The colour: In the tube, Transylvania is gorgeous. It’s this beautiful “matte deep violet” (description right from the NYX site), and it looks like it’s going to turn you into an instant Bad Grrl, with capitalization totally necessary.

On my lips, though… Transylvania is yet another dark, moody red. And don’t get me wrong; it’s still totally gorgeous! But in everyone else’s swatches, it looks like it’s going to be this mind-blowing eggplant shade, and I just couldn’t get it there without plum or black liner underneath (which is totally cheating.) Even with three layers, it was just red, red, red on me.

A sexy red that’s totally ’90s (Faith would have worn the hell out of this shade), but still. With my naturally red lips, this wasn’t purple on me at all. 

NYX Transylvaia with lipliner

NYX Transylvania overtop of nude lipliner (left) and eggplant liner (right)

NYX dark violet matte lipstick review

The verdict?

I think that Transylvania looks killer on most humans, but my lips aren’t having any of it. The formula seems to only have medium opacity, so unfortunately, the colour of my reddish lips bled right through it.

Would I buy a different Soft Matte Lip Cream, though? Well… Probably not. (Make Up For Ever does a way more comfortable soft matte). But I’d definitely try a shade like this one again; maybe in the NYX Full Throttle or Liquid Suede formula instead!

Availability: $6 USD/$9 CAD at Nyx Cosmetics, Shopper’s Drug Mart, Rexall, and London Drugs.

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Amaterasu Liquid Eyeliner, Brow Liner review & giveaway! | Canadian beauty at its best

Monday, July 4, 2016

Amaterasu brunette liquid brow liner review swatches photos

The products: Amaterasu Liquid Eyeliner in Espresso, Liquid Brow Liner in Brunette 

I love covering Canadian beauty products here on theNotice, and I loooove giving my favourite products a little extra screen time. Today, I get to do both!

Amaterasu liquid eyeliner giveaway canadian beauty

I’ve teamed up with the lovely folks at Amaterasu to bring you a pretty awesome giveaway: one lucky reader will win an Amaterasu Liquid Eyeliner in Brunette and an Amaterasu Liquid Brow Liner in a shade that’s picked out just for them.

I’m a big fan of the Amaterasu Liquid Brow Liner ($29 CAD), and the great tone and sheer finish of the formula still wow me every time. The pen itself is pretty small, but it hasn’t dried up on me yet (which is a pretty tough feat to accomplish!)

Amaterasu liquid eyeliner espresso swatch review photos

The Amaterasu Liquid Eyeliner ($30 CAD) is new to me, and it’s definitely unlike all other liquid liners that I’ve tried before. The formula seems very similar to a liquid brow liner – it’s surprisingly sheer and sinks right into the skin instead of looking inky or painted on.

The liquid liner stays on incredibly well (no smudging or bleeding on my lids, even all day long!), but it rinses off easily and doesn’t stain the skin. If you like a really opaque line, I don’t think it’ll be for you, but for a natural look, it can’t be beat. There are very few liquid eyeliners that can pull of a tint, but this one does!

Amaterasu liquid brow, eyeliner swatches espesso, espresso

Amaterasu Liquid Brow Liner in Brunette (the sheer one) & Liquid Eyeliner in Espresso (the chocolately one) swatches

What I think makes the Amaterasu liquid liner super special is its brush tip. Sure, a lot of other brands do a fibrous pen tip too, but this one just works. Because the formula is so liquidy, you can make full use of the brush from root to tip, getting a thick line that tapers into just a hair’s breadth in just one movement.

The giveaway

Amaterasu giveaway

If you’re excited about these two products now (and you should be), you can enter below for your chance to win a set! The prize ($59 CAD value) will include both an eyeliner in Espresso and a brow liner in a shade that’s handpicked just for you – the folks at Amaterasu will email the winner directly to figure out which of the shades will work best for them.

I’m super psyched about this giveaway, which is open to all US & Canadian residents of legal age and closes in two weeks, at 11:59 PM MST on July 17th. Happy entering!!

sheer anda Rafflecopter giveaway

Make Up For Ever Pro Sculpting reviews: Rust, Brown Black swatches, review, photos

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Make Up For Ever pro sculpting review photos brow lip

The products: Make Up For Ever Pro Sculpting Brow in 50 Brown Black and Pro Sculpting Lip in 11 Rust

You know what sucks? Suckerfish. And leeches. And probably also being so excited about how many magical ends there are to a 3-in-1 sculpting pen (three! The pen has three ends!!) that you get overwhelmed and can’t find the third end for days.

I mean, I’m guessing. I wouldn’t know firsthand whether or not that sucked.

Make up for ever brown black swatch review pro sculpting brow

Pro Sculpting Brow ($27 USD/$32 CAD)

The Make Up For Ever Pro Sculpting Brow pencil (I don’t care how many times they call these pens; they’re pencils) features a spoolie, a soft angled brow pencil, and a twist-out brow highlighter. 

I’ve struggled to put this review together over the past few months, and I hate to say it, but the brow pencil is totally to blame. On one hand, three features! How cool is that? But on the other hand, the brow pencil formula is super soft, and the colour (which looks quite grey in the tube) is still too orange for my brows.

Make Up For Ever pro sculpting brow brown black

MUFE Pro Sculpting Brow

The formula: The Pro Sculpting Brow texture is perfect for soft, diffused brow looks, but it’s not without its issues. For starters, the buttery pencil formula makes it hard to get a precise brow even if you try; I have to clean up around my brows with a cotton bud before even thinking about leaving the house, which doesn’t say “sculpted” to me at all.

The wear: It’s also one of the only brow products to have ever worn off on me throughout the day; I texted it a good half-dozen times in disbelief, but the formula just will not stay on my brows for more than eight hours without going patchy.

Make Up For Ever Pro Sculpting Brow swatch brown black review

Bare brows / Make Up For Ever Pro Sculpting unblended / Blended

The content: I have personally had zero issues with breakage when it comes to the Pro Sculpting Brow, but reviews on Sephora mention a lot of breaking–and not just a little bit, either. There are numerous comments mentioning packaging that breaks and pencils that crumble and snap, sometimes more than once, which I think are problems that should have been fixed in quality control.

mufe pro sculpting review brow highlighter review swatches

MUFE Pro Sculpting Brow – highlighter

Make Up For Ever pro sculpting review photos

Make Up For Ever Pro Sculpting Lip

Pro Sculpting Lip ($27 USD/$32 CAD)

Phew! Now that that’s out of the way, I get to talk about the Pro Sculpting product that I loooooved. (In case you’re wondering: yes. When asked if I want the bad news or the good news first, I do always say “bad news” and then try to avoid hearing the bad news altogether by covering my ears and screaming the names of my favourite carbs at the top of my lungs.)

(PIEROGIES. PASTA. BREAD. MANTOU. NOODLES.)

Make Up For Ever rosewood lip matte swatch review brow

Make Up For Ever Pro Sculpting swatches: Rust (highlighter, pencil), Brown Black (matte highlighter, pencil x3)

The formula: While the Pro Sculpting Brow formula didn’t get along with my brows at all, the Pro Sculpting Lip formula got along with my lips like they were two irresponsible young adults with a full tank of gas and a hankering to get married in Vegas.

This lip formula is the best thing to happen to matte lipsticks since they were invented. I never wear matte lips unless I’m testing something for a review, because no matter what, they make my lips feel pinched and parched in no time flat. But this pencil? Well…

Make Up For Ever pro sculpting 10 Rosewood lip swatch review

Make Up For Ever Rust lip swatch

The wear: Not only is this Pro Sculpting pencil insanely easy to apply, it is SO comfortable. Despite having a true matte finish from application to finish, it’s more hydrating than even some of the cream lipsticks in my stash, and it doesn’t settle into fine lines at all.

I’ve been wear testing this for about 3 hours (plus a snack!) before I have to take it off to consume a real meal, and it holds up through all of it. No bleeding, almost no fading (just a very minimal amount in the centre of the lip), and most importantly, no drying out!

Make Up For Ever Rosewood swatch review photos

The shade: I have the Pro Sculpting pencil in Rust, and ugh, it’s gorgeous. It’s a colour that I don’t have a lot of in my stash, but it looks completely at home on my face. I get major Samantha Ravndahl vibes from this one (although I can only dream of one day being as dangerously hot as she is), and weirdly enough, I totally think that Rust makes my lips look fuller. 

I don’t know how. Science or magic; take your pick.

make up for ever pro sculpting brow

The verdict?

While I think the Make Up For Ever Pro Sculpting Brow pencil is an easy one to skip, the Pro Sculpting Lip formula is really awesome.

It breaks my heart that it’s $32 CAD (that’s more expensive than the new Burberry lipsticks!!) but the pencil is insanely creamy for a matte lipstick. It’s the easiest, most comfortable lipstick matte lipstick I’ve ever tried, and if that’s the price, then (gulp) so be it.

Availability: $32 CAD each at makeupforever.ca and Sephora.

Nuxe Huile Prodigieuse, Or, & Shower Oil review, swatches, photos

Friday, June 24, 2016

Nuxe Huille Prodigieuse range review photos swatches

The products: Nuxe Huile Prodigieuse Dry Oil, Huile Prodigieuse OR Dry Oil, and Prodigieux Shower Oil

Along with their Rêve de Miel, Nuxe’s Huile Prodigieuse is the brand’s golden (sometimes literally) star. So, today, I have not one, not two, but three Huile Prodigieuse reviews to share with you–and strangely enough, I have vastly different opinions about all three.

Nuxe Huile Prodigieuse review paris edition

The original Huile Prodigieuse ($45 CAD): Alright, I’m just going to come out and say it. While I have a lot of love for the Nuxe and Bio Beauté by Nuxe labels on the whole… I just don’t like the Nuxe Huile Prodigieuse dry oil.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I love the classic packaging (that alone is worth half the cult following) and I love that it comes out in limited edition prints each year. I love that its formula is 97.8% natural and contains six botanical oils as its base–macadamia, hazelnut, borage, sweet almond, camellia, and St. John’s Wort.

Nuxe Huile Prodigieuse OR

Nuxe Huile Prodigieuse Or review. Look at all of that beautiful, cloud-like shimmer!

I love that it’s enriched with vitamin E and is silicone- and preservative-free, and I love the heady, addictive Huile Prodigieuse fragrance: it smells like summer to me, with its big floral notes and coconut & vanilla base. And, of course, I love that it’s marketed as a multi-use oil; light enough to add shine to your hair, moisturizing enough for the body, and delicate enough to be mixed into your facial moisturizer.

My ex used her Huile Prodigieuse for everything, and it worked amazingly well for her. She always smelled delicious and soft, and her hair (also done up with this oil, of course) was always super gorgeous. But on my skin and hair, it just feels like such a dry dry oil, as if I’ll never feel hydrated and non-staticky ever again.

(Nuxe’s offshoot brand, Bio Beauté, makes a body oil that I much prefer to this one.)

Nuxe Huile Prodigieuse OR review swatches photos

Nuxe Huile Prodigieuse Or “swatch” (artificial lighting)

The Huile Prodigieuse Or ($45 CAD): While the original does nothing for me, I have formed a certain fondness for the golden shimmer version of this Nuxe cult classic. It’s extremely glittery and glamorous, and while Nuxe is full of lies when they say that it can be used on your face, but on the body, it’s a lot of fun.

There aren’t a lot of shimmering body products that you can use if you’re silicone-free, so this one is a treat to find. It’s no more expensive than the original, but it can be used more easily as an adjunct product: I can moisturize normally, then apply this sparingly as a bronze shimmer and summer fragrance. 

Nuxe Huile Prodigieuse golden shower oil review

The Prodigieux Shower Oil ($16 CAD): The Huile Prodigieuse line is an expensive one (body oils frequently are, as they’re completely undiluted with water or fillers), so I was very happy to see the brand introduce a full-sized product at a lower price point. The brand new Prodigieux huile de douche is gorgeous to use and feels every bit as luxurious as the original oil, if not more.

A rich, thick shower gel, this shower “oil” is woven through with golden pearl and features a brighter version of the summery Prodigieux fragrance. It’s nicely hydrating (though not as moisturizing as those new Aveeno shower gels), and while I was hoping it would act more like an in-shower moisturizer, it’s a great way to add a dose of gold to your shower routine without being scented or shimmery all day long.

Nuxe Huile Prodigieuse shower oil gel review swatches

The verdict?

As someone with dry skin, none of these products are must-haves for me. However, they make lovely gifts, and the shower gel and gold oil have secured themselves a permanent place in my summer cabinet!

Availability: $45 CAD for the oil (limited edition 2016) and Huile Prodigieuse Or; $16 CAD for the Prodigieux Shower Oil. Available at Shopper’s Drug Mart, Murale, and Hudson’s Bay in Canada.

Clarins Waterproof Eyeshadow, Instant Light Lip Protector reviews, swatches, photos | Summer 2016

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Clarins summer 2016

The products: Clarins Waterproof Eyeshadow in Golden Sand & Golden Peach, Instant Light Lip Protector in Pink Shimmer

With my finicky eyelids, I spend a loooot of time waiting for brands to release really great, long-wearing eyeshadows that a) won’t need a primer to not crease and b) aren’t too shimmery. For some reason, they seem to be few and far between, and more often than not they’re limited edition releases (like these two, which I adored and miss every time I put on eyeshadow.)

Clarins’ new summer collection includes one such eyeshadow formula, and I’m absolutely smitten with both it and the collection’s LE-packaged Instant Light lipgloss–which, yes, okay, I hadn’t tried until now.

Clarins Waterproof Eyeshadow review photos

Clarins Waterproof Eyeshadow Shimmering Cream Colour ($24 CAD)

The limited edition Clarins Waterproof Eyeshadows come in little tubes (my favourite kind of eyeshadow packaging; it’s hygienic and makes me feel far more artsy than I actually am) and are available in four shades. The formula contains orange blossom wax to help create a protective waterproof film, and it’s so good.

While I know that cream eyeshadow formulas can be a little finicky, this formula is really worth the effort. These eyeshadows wear literally all day on my oily lids with zero creasing, and I don’t need a primer underneath. My longest wear test was a whopping 10 hours long and saw no creasing and only a tiny bit of fading, and I bet I could have made it to a full 15 had I not then needed to go to bed and actually get some sleep for once.

Clarins golden peach golden sand swatches review photos

Clarins Waterproof Eyeshadow swatches in 02 Golden Sand, 01 Golden Peach

I tested out Golden Sand and Golden Peach, which are both sheer, warm, summery shades. They’re shimmery without being gaudy (something that Clarins excels at), and while I found them to be a little too warm for my skintone, they still looked beautiful on their own.

The formula does dry down fairly quickly, but it blends well both with a fingertip or with a brush. And, once dry, it’s totally set: there’s no stickiness or smudging, and you’ll need to take a makeup remover to your eyelid to get it off.

As a result, I find that these shadows perform best on their own, but they’ll serve as an oil-absorbing base if you’re willing to foil any subsequent powder eyeshadows. The dry finish doesn’t lend itself to acting as a primer, though, so opt for a cream eyeshadow base instead if you’re willing to exchange flawless wear for a sticky base.

Clarins waterproof eyeshadow cream review swatches photos

Clarins Waterproof Eyeshadow swatches in 02 Golden Sand, 01 Golden Peach

Clarins Instant Light Natural Lip Perfector ($25 USD/$20 CAD)

Clarins’ Instant Light glosses are one of their most popular products, so I’m a little embarrassed to admit that I hadn’t tried them until just now! (I was busy being distracted by their other lip products.)

The summer Sunkissed Summer 2016 collection showcases three brand new Instant Light Natural Lip Perfector shades (Pink Shimmer, Orange Shimmer, and Red Shimmer), each with a sheer tint and “soft gel texture” (hella accurate.) The 3D shimmer that’s mentioned all over their product page is negligible; Pink Shimmer is a beautiful, milky coral pink with shimmer that’s literally invisible unless you hold a swatch right up to your eye in direct lighting.

These glosses are vanilla scented and taste sweet, and the summer shades come packaged in a beautiful white & floral box with and white petals adoring the simple coloured tubes.

Clarins Instant Light Natural Lip Perfector review

I really like this kind of applicator (think the celebrated child borne from an illicit affair between a doe foot applicator and a squeeze tube), and the plush texture of the gloss formula is really nice. It’s not as moisturizing as I had expected, though–everyone always refers to these as a lip gloss crossed with a balm, but my lips just weren’t feeling it.

They contain shea butter, wild mango, and vitamins A & E to repair and soften the lips, but with continued use, my lips were left feeling a little dry. For a lipgloss, they’re pretty moisturizing; if you need a lip balm throughout the day, though, these aren’t a two birds/one stone kind of deal.

Clarins xx Instant Light lip swatches review

Clarins Instant Light Natural Lip Perfector swatch in Pink Shimmer (artificial lighting)

The verdict?

I really liked the Clarins Instant Light Natural Lip Perfector in Pink Shimmer as an easy, tasty summer gloss, but I looooved the new Waterproof Eyeshadows. They’re perfect for beach days and afternoons at the pool, and will deliver a flawless shimmery eyelid that won’t smudge or crease no matter how hard you run and play and sweat.

The formula of the new eyeshadows is really waterproof, too, which is awesome to see. My swatches didn’t budge at all with water or hand soap and furious rubbing, but they came off easily with just a touch of cleansing oil, and when worn, they last all day and still look great at the end of it.

Availability: Available at department stores, pharmacies, and online at Clarins.com. Both formulas are silicone-free!

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