Annabelle Blushon Spring 2015 swatches, review, photos | Cheek-chic, indeed

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Annabelle Blushon review

The product: Annabelle Cosmetics Blushon Powder Blush (new permanent shades)

↳ in Lotus, Rosebud, Peony, Spring Petal, and Hibiscus

There are five new shades being added to Annabelle’s Blushon range this spring, and they are fantastic. I haven’t been this excited about the expansion of a range since MAC came out with Full of Joy (which, yes, I know, I still haven’t featured on the blog), but ugh, these are all so pretty!

Annabelle Lotus Blushon review swatches photos

Lotus

Annabelle Rosebud Blushon review swatches photos

Rosebud

Annabelle Peony Blushon review swatches photos

Peony

The formula: These are actually the very first Annabelle Blushon blushes that I’ve tried, and can I just say: I really regret not buying some sooner! The formula in these is just gorgeous — really finely milled and velvety, and not too solid in the pan, either. They kind of remind me of the Clinique Cheek Pops (you know, creamy), but they get their smoothness from non-chalky talc and mineral oil, not dimethicone and bismuth oxychloride.

You get great pigmentation with each swipe, but not so much that you’re going to end up with crazy cheeks if you’re not careful, you know? We’re talking medium-layerable pigmentation, not sudden attacks of rouge.

Annabelle Blushon swatches review - Lotus Rosebud Peony

Annabelle Blushon swatches: Lotus, Rosebud, Peony, Spring Petal, and Hibiscus

The shades: On one hand, I kind of wish that I had tried these sooner, because they’re lovely — but on the other hand, I don’t. This range expansion includes five new (and totally not-brown) shades, and each shade is more my style than the last.

There are three pinks: Lotus (matte; similar to Lancôme Rose Fresque), a purpley light pink, Rosebud, and Peony. Rosebud looks softer than Peony in the pan, but actually swatches more strongly; Peony has more shimmer in it, as well as more coral. Lotus (my favourite) works very well on fair skin, Rosebud is the best “true” pink, and Peony will be gorgeous on warm and medium-toned complexions.

Annabelle Blushon swatches review Spring Petal Hibiscus

Annabelle Blushon swatches: Lotus, Rosebud, Peony, Spring Petal, and Hibiscus (blended)

I was particularly smitten with the pinks, of course (especially the matte Lotus, which pulls a little bit lilac and just seems more velvety than the rest), but there are also two orange/coral blushes: Spring Petal, which leans a little bit more pink, and Hibiscus, which is noticeably more metallic.

Spring Petal will quench your coral cravings — especially if you, like me, love the idea of coral but really do look better in pinks. If you want a true orange blush, though, go for Hibiscus!

Annabelle Spring Petal Blushon review swatches photos

Spring Petal

Annabelle Hibiscus Blushon review swatches photos

Hibiscus

The verdict?

If you like perfectly-pigmented, non-dusty blushes, then definitely check these out. The new shades really remind me a lot of the MAC Très Chic collection (bright, pretty, and springy), and the formula feels very Clinique Cheek Pops-y!

Plus, at $7.95, you don’t have to pick between the lilac pink, the shimmering orange, and the bright coral — for the price of just one MAC or Clinique blush, you can get all three.

Availability: $7.95 CAD at online at Annabelle.ca & in drugstores and mass-market retailers across Canada.

Keep reading! »

Clinique Wear Everywhere Neutrals “Greys” 8-Pan Palette swatches, review, photos | Super sleek + super affordable, with a side of extra-super-awesome

Friday, February 13, 2015

Clinique Wear Everywhere Greys Palette review

The product: Clinique All About Shadow 8-Pan Palette in Wear Everywhere Greys

This palette, you guys, is everything.

“Pretty. Simple. Overstuffed makeup bags everywhere are rejoicing.

Life is complicated. With Clinique, pretty is easy. Mistake proof combinations exist within every palette. Go matte, go shimmery, and get creative. There are no wrong answers.”

-Clinique, preachin’ the truth

The shades: Clinique is always great at telling you which shadows are what, and this palette is no exception. In Wear Everywhere Greys, you’ll find Fawn Satin (Matte, from the Seashell Pink duo), a pinky satin-matte; High Tea (Matte, LE), a lovely purpley taupe; Mushroom (Super Shimmer LE), a gorgeous taupe that is not the same as the one in the Nutcracker Act I eyeshadow palette (see it worn here); and Grey Matters (Matte, LE), a dark grey-brown.

Clinique Nutcracker Mushroom swatch vs Wear Everywhere Greys Mushroom

Clinique The Nutcracker Suite’s Mushroom (L) vs. the Wear Everywhere Greys’ Mushroom (R). You could have used ANY OTHER NAME, Clinique. Why would you do this.

Fifth comes the bright, white Sugar Cane (Soft Shimmer, permanent), then the neutral Silver Lining (Super Shimmer, permanent; not too blue!), both from the regular line. The palette finishes off with two insanely buttery liner/crease shades: Stormy (Soft Shimmer, LE), a gorgeous neutral-warm brown, and Stroke of Midnight (Matte, permanent), your standard soft black.

The formula: Clinique has played around with a lot of different eyeshadow formulations over the past couple of years, and while this palette doesn’t represent the very, very best of them, it’s still really good. Some of the shades feel a little dry in the pan (keep that in mind if you look at these in-store), but when you actually use them, they work perfectly — zero fall-down, easy to blend, and really well-pigmented.

Clinique Wear Everywhere Greys review swatches 8 pan

Clinique Wear Everywhere Greys swatches

Clinique Greys 8 pan Neutrals palette review

With primer, I get all-day wear out of these (which is really rare for me). The buttery, pigmented Mattes and Soft Shimmers are the best performers in the palette, while the few Super Shimmers remind me a lot of Clinique’s old Colour Surge eyeshadows — they feel drier and almost gritty when swatched, but still apply really gently and smoothly to the lid.

Overall, this Wear Everywhere Neutrals palette is of excellent quality, and there are no poor performers in Greys that drag the rest down.

Clinique 8 pan palette Greys review Wear Everywhere Neutrals

Just the right size! And shades!

The verdict?

Okay, okay, okay: here is the most exciting part of this post. I don’t care if you wear a lot of eyeshadow or only very little, you need one of the Clinique Wear Everywhere Neutrals palettes, because they’re foolproof and only freakin’ $40!!!

Are these palettes perfect perfect? Eh, not technically — but if you want a monochromatic palette, these are your very best bet. They’ll leave you crease- and fallout-free, and strike the perfect balance between variety & simplicity. (Plus: $40!! And just as well-thought-out as the Shu Uemura Prêt-à-Palettes, which are more than twice the price!)

Availability: $36 USD/$40 CAD at Clinique counters & online.

Keep reading! »

MUFE Graphic Liner, Marcelle Double Precision Liner reviews, swatches, photos | High vs. Low: Two pen-tipped liners you need to know

Monday, January 26, 2015

Marcelle Double Precision pen liner review MUFE Graphic Liner

When it comes to makeup, I sometimes find it helpful to think of things in context of “generations” — like, different generations of eye primers (pre-Urban Decay tone eveners vs post-Urban Decay longevity-improving creams), lip stains (thin liquids vs YSL-type gloss-stains), eyeliner pencils (hard kohls vs waxy gel-creams) and now, liquid eyeliner pens.

These, ladies and gents, are not your mother’s pen liners. They apply like liquid liners rather than markers, they dry down to wonderfully glossy finishes, and–most importantly–they wear absolutely flawlessly all. day. long. with no staining.

PS: Neither of these liners contain silicones, so they’re a great choice if you’re trying to go ‘cone-free but still want something with great opacity and wear time!

Marcelle Liquid Eyeliner Pen review swatches photos

Marcelle Double Precision Liquid Eyeliner Pen in Intense Black ($14.95 CAD)

This dual-ended liner was the very first pen-style liner that I ever fell in love with, and I fell hard. The two tips moderate product flow so that you never end up with tons of liner on your lashes (as you might with a liquid liner), but it wears without smudging or budging for a good 12+ hours — maybe more, but I’ve never needed to test it for any longer.

Marcelle Double Precision Liner swatches review

Marcelle Double Precision Liner swatches

I like this one for its wear, which I find to be just the smallest bit better than the Make Up For Ever Liner, but I think that its dual-ended design has a pretty big pull, too. The felt tip is smaller than that on the Make Up For Ever, and is just firm enough to line the eyes with ease (yes, even for winged liner), while the brush tip is very fine and looks like a delicate paintbrush.

Of the two brush ends, I mainly use the felt end — the brush tip doesn’t dispense quite enough product to deliver a really solid-looking wing, though it is excellent at getting the very point at the end of your liner and fading it into nothingness. Occasionally, I need to make two passes with this liner (either end) to achieve full opacity.

» See it worn here!

Marcelle Double Precision brush tip liner review

Marcelle Double Precision brush tip

MUFE Graphic Liner swatches review, Marcelle Double Precision

MUFE Graphic Liner (thin/thick), Marcelle Double Precision felt tip (thick/thin), Marcelle Double Precision brush tip

Make Up For Ever Graphic Liner ($24 USD/29 CAD)

This liner has a significantly firmer felt tip than the Marcelle, which means that it delivers a much more consistent result: the line, no matter how fine, is always the same amount of pigmented and opaque.

On the flip side of that equation, however, is the fact that the Marcelle can achieve lines that are both thicker and thinner than those within the Graphic Liner’s range (even with just its felt end), so you have to choose which is more important to you: width or opacity. (There is no wrong answer!)

MUFE Graphic Liner vinyl pen review swatches

Make Up For Ever Graphic Liner

I do think this liner is ever so slightly better than the Marcelle, but (and this is a big but) I have two problems with it. One, the cap doesn’t click on; it just slides into place, and I constantly worry that it’s drying out. And two: the formula smells really toxic. Which is dumb, right? Like, logically, I know that something smelling bad does NOT equal toxic, and vice-versa.

But it smells really bad, like a paint or a Sharpie or something, and I’m not gonna lie, it freaks me out a little.

» See it worn here!

Marcelle vs MUFE liquid liner pen comparison review

Make Up For Ever Graphic Liner vs Marcelle Double Precision felt tips

The verdict?

I really love both these liners, so I’m going to leave the final verdict up to you (and possibly where you happen to live), but I think beginners and casual makeup wearers will appreciate the brush tip on the Marcelle, while makeup pros will prefer the Instagram-perfect opacity of the Make Up For Ever.

Whichever one you buy, remember that BOTH are very good — you really can’t go wrong here! Instinctually, I think I like the Make Up For Ever more (for its opacity and firm tip), but the scent-free Marcelle liner freaks me out way less.

Availability: The Marcelle liner is available at drugstores & mass market retailers across Canada or online at marcelle.ca ($14.95 CAD); the Make Up For Ever liner is available at Sephora ($24 USD/$29 CAD) and Make Up For Ever boutiques.

Keep reading! »

Burt’s Bees x Bellavance Tinted Lip Balms & Lip Shimmers reviews, swatches

Friday, January 23, 2015

Burt's Bees Bellavance lip set kit

The product: Burt’s Bees x Bellavance Limited Edition Lip Collection & Holster

↳ Burt’s Bees Tinted Lip Balm in HibiscusBlush Orchid and Lip Shimmers in ApricotGrapefruit

I’m suffering from a major case of blogging burnout this week, so today, I have a couple old favourites to share with you in new shades.

My love for Burts’ Tinted Lip Balms and Lip Shimmers is a long and sordid one, stretching through the years and through numerous incidents of Rae cheating on Burts’ balms with Clinique simple definitely mutual infidelity, but alas! It does persist.

Burt's Bees Hibiscus, Blush Orchid, Apricot, Grapefruit review

Burt's Bees Hibiscus, Blush Orchid, Apricot, Grapefruit swatches

Burt’s Bees swatches, L-R: Tinted Lip Balm in Hibiscus and Blush Orchid; Lip Shimmer in Apricot and Grapefruit

100% of the proceeds from this Bellavance-designed holster will go to Pollinator Partnership Canada, a non-profit that supports lost and solitary pollinator bees by building sustainable bee hotels (direct quote!) throughout Canada.

The holster itself is made from 100% organic cotton and contains four elasticized spots for your favourite lipsticks or Burt’s Bees lip balms. It’s available at burtsbees.ca and boutiques where Bellavance is sold, and contains two Tinted Lip Balms from Burt’s permanent line, Hibiscus and Blush Orchid, plus two Lip Shimmers in Grapefruit and Apricot, which both debut in this set.

Burt's Bees Tinted Lip Balm, Lip Shimmer reviews

Keep reading! »

Lancôme My French Palette review, swatches, photos | This morning, in Paris…

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Lancome French Innocence Spring 2015 palette review

The product: Lancôme My French Palette eyeshadow & liner palette

It’s rare that I’m ever ahead of schedule at theNotice, but today, I have a sneak-peak to share with you of a product that launches officially in February. (What can I say? With their recent announcement of Lisa Eldridge as their new Makeup Creative Director, I have Lancôme on the mind!)

Part of Lancôme’s French Innocence Spring collection, the My French Palette was inspired by the Parisian garden — delicately detailed, it reveals three matte and iridescent neutrals when you open it up, but the trio of “secret” blue-greens are hidden behind a lid.

Lancome My French Palette packaging review

The packaging: I’ve seen a lot of the inside of this palette on Instagram, but for some reason, it seems like no one ever shows off its packaging. Sleek and sharp-edged, it houses a dual-ended synthetic eyeshadow brush that’s soft and very springy, and hides an eyeshadow and two liners behind a metal flap.

This little metal door (which very reminiscent of the Dior Garden Clutch palettes) is just as exquisitely delicate as the gorgeous artwork that stole my heart on the lid. I mean, how lovely are those fine lines and the simple, perfectly-undone pink additions? And the dull “tink!” of the flap when you close it makes the palette feel truly special.

Lancome eyeshadow palette review - Spring Innocence collection

Behind the My French Palette door…

The product: The My French Palette contains three creamy mattes (ivory, mauve, and salmon-pink), three iridescent nudes (in light to medium tones), an iridescent turquoise blue, and two liners (dark teal and charcoal grey in satiny shimmers).

Much like the Clinique palette I talked about last week, I did like this palette, but… I couldn’t make myself love it. While the palette itself is visually stunning, the shadows were all just a little too similar and sheer for me to really fall in love with. Yes, they’re all gorgeous, but I could dupe all of this palette’s nude makeup look permutations using a single half-decent eyeshadow trio from the drugstore without breaking a sweat.

Lancome My French Palette swatches

Lancôme My French Palette swatches (swatched dry on primed skin in indirect sunlight)

Lancome My French Palette makeup look

Lancôme My French Palette nudes (shades 2, 4, and 6) and greens (shades 1, 7, and 9) worn dry over primer

That said, I do totally get where Lancôme was trying to go with this palette. Worn together, the nudes create a lovely, transparent rose lid, with the creamy mattes providing a very chic base while the iridescent shades (which apply quite transparently unless foiled) give the canvas a bit of sparkle.

As Syl would say, they lend themselves easily to a “Rae-whale” lid :P

Tip: If you just have to have this palette, it’s gorgeous as long as you foil the iridescent shades. Try layering the turquoise shimmer over black liner, too — you won’t be disappointed!

Lancome My French Innocence Spring review

The verdict?

For a more delicate, refined take on the nude trend (à la Urban Decay Naked), this palette does a beautiful job of encapsulating the feeling of a French spring collection. Like a trip to France itself, however, it doesn’t come cheap, and it’s fleeting — I was disappointed to find that I needed to foil these sixty-eight dollar eyeshadows just to make them show up properly, and they showed significant creasing and wear within 3 hours (over primer).

While I totally agree with Christa that this palette would make a great gift (all wonderful and chic and dreamy), I think it’s best for Muggles, not makeup addicts. Gift accordingly!

Availability: $58 USD/$68 CAD; limited edition. Available online now & at counters from February to the end of March.

Keep reading! »

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