Clarins Silver Plum, Natural Glow Palette review, swatches, photos | Instant Glow Spring 2016

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Clarins Instant Glow Spring 2016 review

The products: Clarins Palette 5 Couleurs (5-Colour Eyeshadow Palette) in 05 Natural Glow & Ombre Iridescente Cream-to-Powder Eyeshadow in 07 Silver Plum 

The Clarins Spring 2016 Instant Glow eye palette is quickly disappearing off shelves, so before it’s too late, here’s a quick review and a few swatches of the palette!

Clarins Natuarl Glow 5 colour eyeshadow plette review swatches

Clarins Palette 5 Couleurs review – 03 Natural Glow. (Did you know that these are made in Italy?)

I’m usually a big fan of Clarins’ eyeshadow palettes, and Natural Glow was no exception. Like most Clarins eyeshadows, these shadows are blendable and well-pigmented, and there are two signature Clarins iridescent shades in the palette – you know; those gorgeous ones with flakey glitter that are so hard to dupe.

Sadly, though, Natural Glow was way too warm/orange to look natural on me, especially once I applied it to my eyes. It kinda broke my heart, because $39 CAD is an awesome price for five Clarins eyeshadows in travel-friendly packaging, but I suppose warm-toned gals should get to have fun sometimes, too.

I guessss. 

Clarins Natural Glow Eye Palette swatches, review

Clarins 03 Natural Glow Eyeshadow Palette swatches (primed skin in artificial light)

Clarins Silver Plum eyeshadow ombre iridescente

Clarins Silver Plum Ombre Iridescente Eyeshadow review

Also new this spring are four new permanent Ombre Iridescente cream-to-powder eyeshadows ($25 CAD). I have 07 Silver Plum, and it’s pretty darn gorgeous.

These apply with much more pigment than the Ombre Mattes, but they definitely still need a primer underneath – think of them as a fluffy, buttery powder eyeshadow rather than a cream. (I totally need more.) Silver Plum is rich and pigmented, with cool silver shimmer on top of a plummy-grey base. 

It kind of makes me think of wet mud, which is a weird thing that shouldn’t be appealing unless you’re a cartoon pig, but I guess I must be a cartoon pig in spirit, then.

Clarins swatches Pink Cherry, Silver Plum, Rose Praline review

Clarins Silver Plum eyeshadow swatch (and Rouge Eclat lipsticks in Rose Praline and Pink Cherry)

Keep reading! »

Maybelline Lash Sensational Mascara review, swatches, photos | A drugstore gem!

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Maybelline Lash Sensational masca raview photos

The product: Maybelline Lash Sensational Mascara in 253 Blackest Black

The brush: The Maybelline Lash Sensational brush is curved and asymmetrical, with “10 layers of bristles.” Its wand is soft and synthetic, and I actually really like the brush — it’s fatter than my usual fare, but I can reach each lash easily.

This brush deposits a fairly heavy amount of product on each lash, so it’s definitely a one-coater for me. (Any more than that and my lashes start to look a little spidery.)

Maybelline mascara review

The formula: I’m not usually a fan of drugstore mascaras, but man, I loooove this formula. It’s not a tubing mascara, but it acts almost like it is. 

The Lash Sensational formula wears literally all day on me, with zero smudging, flaking, or transfer. It holds a curl well (not too wet in the application), and it comes off easily — IF you use an oil-free makeup remover. Mascara is always a battle of cohesion vs adhesion (sticking to itself vs sticking to your lashes), and while this formula isn’t cohesive enough that it comes off in tubes, it delivers the same great wear time and ease of removal as a tubing mascara.

As a result, however, that does mean that your biphasic makeup removers and (some) cleansing oils will struggle to remove your Lash Sensational mascara! Just make sure to opt instead for a micellar water or something similar isntead and you’ll be golden.

Maybelline Lash Sensational eye swatch photos review

Maybelline Lash Sensational swatch – bare lashes / one coat (+this liner!)

The lash: While I’m not crazy about the Lash Sensational lash, I definitely don’t hate it. It’s not as full or fluttery as some of my other mascaras, but it makes a great everyday lash. I finished product testing for it about two weeks ago but have just kept wearing it since then, so I guess something about it must be working for me! 

Maybelline Lash Sensational Blackest Black review photos packaging

Maybelline Lash Sensational mascara packaging

The verdict?

There are very few non-tubing mascaras that I trust to wear outside of the house, but this one gets a seal of approval from me. It’s affordable, holds a curl well, and wears all day long. 

If you have really oily lids, this would be a great product to check out. I think I have enough mascara stockpiled to take me into next year, but once I’m out, I’ll be re-purchasing this one as my day-to-day mascara!

Availability: $9.49 CAD(ish) at drugstores and mass market retailers.

Keep reading! »

Elizabeth Arden Sunset Bronze “Warm Bronze” review, swatches, photos

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Elizabeth Arden Sunset Bronze bronzer

The product: Elizabeth Arden Sunset Bronze Prismatic Bronzing Powder in Warm Bronze

I am sooo not feeling the blogging bug this week, so I’m gonna take a breather on the words and share, instead, a mostly-photos post featuring the new, limited edition Elizabeth Arden bronzer. 

It’s a product that I’ve gotten lots and lots of questions about this season, so even though bronzers aren’t really my thing, I figured I’d share some swatches and a quick review!

Elizabeth ARden Sunset Bronze powder review

Elizabeth Arden Sunset Bronze Prismatic Bronzing Powder swatches

Elizabeth Arden Warm Bronze swatch review

Elizabeth Arden Sunset Bronze “Warm Bronze” swatches

Warm Bronze is the only bronzer in the Arden summer colour collection, and it’s lovely. It features strips of bronzey tones (mostly shimmer, a couple matte) with a beautiful gold overspray that disappears in a few uses.

I personally find it to have a nice depth of tone for my skin (it’s definitely best for light/fair complexions), but like most bronzers, it’s a little yellowy-orange for me. Too much and I look really sallow; too little and I can’t see it at all.

But, well… it’s quite a thing to look at. The packaging is absolutely beautiful and the pan is just gorgeous, but at the end of the day, I think you’re better off spending your hard-earned cash on the Sunset Bronze Prismatic Highlighter!

Bench SS16 colour pairings

Keep reading! »

Marcelle Lux Colour Rush Lip Lacquer swatches, review, photos | Currently obsessed with…

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Marcelle lip lacquer review

The product: Marcelle Lux Colour Rush Lip Lacquer in 15 Universal Nude, 25 Bashful Pink, 33 Bubblegum Pink, 68 Uptown Pink, 72 Summer Flame, 82 Ruby Rose, and 95 Scarlette

Fact one: I did not like the Annabelle Big Show Lip Lacquers.

Fact two: I was not prepared to like their sister product, the Marcelle Lux Colour Rush Lip Lacquers.

Fact three: I like the Marcelle Lux Colour Rush Lip Lacquers so much that I kind of want to cry.

Marcelle Lux Colour Rush Lip Lacquer review

The formula & feel: I think that the shade range of the Lux Colour Rush Lip Lacquers is literally perfect, so when I say that the formula is even better — well, I really, really mean it.

These lip lacquers feel like the most perfect lipgloss you’ll ever put on. They’re creamy, lightweight, and comfortable, with zero grit and a non-sticky finish. They’re not oily and they don’t slide around on my lips, and they’re nicely hydrating, too.

There’s also no added fragrance or flavour to the formula, which means that, for once (for once!) I can’t find a single thing that I would change about these lip colours.

Marcelle Lux Colour Rush lacquer swatches review

Marcelle Lux Colour Rush Lip Lacquer swatches (entire range)

The shades: Literally every single one of these shades is absolutely beautiful, and somehow, ALL of them look good on me. But if I had to pick favourites, I’d say that I love Bashful Pink (a beautiful, mauvy MLBB-style nude), Ruby Rose (which is almost as hot as Ruby Rose), and the fluorescent Uptown Pink the most.

But I’d be remiss if I didn’t give you guys an adequate breakdown of all of the shades, so here goes nothing!

Marcelle Colour rush lipgloss review swatches

Marcelle Lux Colour Rush Lip Lacquer swatches, L-R: Universal Nude, Bashful Pink, Bubblegum Pink, Uptown Pink, Summer Flame, Ruby Rose, and Scarlette

15 Universal Nude is a warm, peachy nude. (I think Light Nude or Warm Apricot would have been better options for names, though — there’s really no such thing as a lip product that’ll look nude on both an NC15 and an NW55!) 25 Bashful Pink is a beautifully wearable mauvy pink. It’s almost the same colour as my lips, and makes a wonderful MLBB shade for fair skintones! 33 Bubblegum Pink is a little “milky” and streaky, but really is a lovely bubblegum shade. 

68 Uptown Pink is a fluorescent fuchsia that swatches, for some reason, very differently from the rest of these colours; because it is so bright, it’s almost like it has a cooler lipstain base with a slightly warmer cream gloss finish. In the tube, it reminds me of Beauté Cosmetics Flouron, for those who know it–are those stains still a thing anymore, by the way?

Marcelle Lux Colour Rush Lip Lacquer swatches, review

Marcelle Lux Colour Rush Lip Lacquer swatches, L-R: Universal Nude, Bashful Pink, Bubblegum Pink, Uptown Pink, Summer Flame, Ruby Rose, and Scarlette

72 Summer Flame is a beautiful, wearable dark pink with incredibly fine (almost invisible!) microshimmer; it and Ruby Rose are both just wonderful, brightening, easy-to-wear pink lip shades. 82 Ruby Rose is surprisingly similar to Summer Flame when applied to pigmented lips, but it’s cooler, a hair darker, and totally shimmer-free.

Finally, 95 Scarlette is just an absolutely beautiful red. It’s flattering, brightening, and so much more comfortable than most high-maintenance reds!

Marcelle Colour Rush gloss lipstick review swatches

The verdict?

The Marcelle Lux Colour Rush Lip Lacquers are everything–and I mean everything–that I could possibly want in a lip product. They’re comfortable and unscented, with an absolutely beautiful shade range, and the ways in which they’re different from their Annabelle counterparts make them the perfect fit for my preferences.

The Coles Notes version? If you like your lip products punchy and metallic, go with the Annabelle Big Show Lip Lacquers that I reviewed last month. But if you like them creamy and effortless (and scent-free!), then stock up on these Marcelle Lux Lip Lacquers ASAP.

Availability: $11.95 CAD at Marcelle.com and in drugstores and mass retailers across Canada. Cruelty-free & permanent.

Keep reading for pictures of the entire range »

NYX Strobe of Genius Illuminating Palette review, swatches, photos (& NYX Pro Fan Brush review)

Friday, April 29, 2016

NYX Strobe of Genius palette review

The products: NYX Cosmetics Strobe of Genius Illuminating Palette, NYX Cosmetics Pro Fan Brush

2016, as I’ve said before, is having great spring for illuminators and highlighters. The contouring trend is holding steady with an additional strobing aspect, and the market has been absolutely overpopulated with highlighters.

And hey, I’m no fool. If the beauty industry suddenly gives you 10x the amount of choices for a product category that you love, you snap up that opportunity like nobody’s business.

NYX illuminating palette review

What is strobing? I will say one thing before I get started today: “strobing” is bullshit. It’s not “THE beauty tend that everyone is obsessing about,” and it’s not “fresh” or “new!” (All direct quotes from the NYX website.)

Strobing is highlighting pumped up to the max, plain and simple. Things can be great without being new, oh Great and Powerful Beauty Industry — case in point.

NYX Strobe of Genius illuminating strobing palette review

NYX Strobe of Genius Illuminating Palette

NYX Strobe of Genius palette swatches

NYX Strobe of Genius Illuminating Palette swatches (no primer; indirect sunlight)

The formula: The NYX Strobe of Genius Illuminating Palette features 7 highlighters in two formulas. The lavender, golden pink, bronze, and champagne all feature one formula; the yellow/gold, light pink, and peachy gold all feature a very slightly different one.

In practice, I find that six of the highlighters are all very similar. They’re smooth and blendable but a little bit dry, and are ideal for normal to oily skin. (They emphasize my fine lines slightly.) The exception is the lavender shade; it’s more buttery than the rest, and it has an intense satin-sheen finish rather than a frosty, metallic one.

I totally get that formulas are going to vary based on how their pigments influence them, but man. That lavender highlight is really something else — from a high-end brand, I’d pay $27 CAD (the palette’s SRP) for it alone.

NYX Strobe of Genius palette labels

NYX Strobe of Genius strobing palette review

NYX Strobe of Genius illuminating palette swatches

NYX Strobe of Genius Illuminating Palette swatches (no primer; indirect sunlight)

The shades: All seven of the Strobe of Genius shades wear well throughout the day, but most importantly, they’re all visibly different. If I apply more than one shade on my cheek (even if it’s two similar shades!), I can spot where one ends and the other begins from a good foot away.

The sheer, frosty “gold” in the top left corner of the palette is definitely the most unique shade; it’s a pure yellow highlighter, and it’s quite pretty in person! (For everyday use, you could totally use it as a spot highlighter.) The palette also contains a rose gold shade, which you don’t see all the time — I think a lot of warm-toned beauties will really like this one!

The lavender highlighter, however, was by far the best performer. It’s without a doubt the prettiest thing I have ever put on my cheeks, and it made my face G-L-O-W as soon as the brush touched my skin. It’s really high-impact, but it melts right into the skin.

NYX Pro Fan Brush ($17 USD/$17 CAD)

NYX Highlighting brush strobing review

Unlike your prototypical fan brush, NYX’s Pro Fan Brush is dense, velvety, and thick. It is not what you want to use for a light application of powder, which is what fan brushes are usually for. Instead, it makes getting an intense highlight super quick and easy, and it fits perfectly onto the top of my cheekbone to apply the product and blend it in a single stroke (three, at max.)

I can confidently say that there is nothing else in my brush collection that even slightly resembles this synthetic brush, and it’s well worth the $17 it’ll run you!

NYX highlighting fan brush review

The verdict?

I can’t believe how fast I fell for the NYX Strobe of Genius palette or the NYX Pro Fan Brush, but it really was love at first stroke. The second I popped that lavender highlight onto my cheekbone (using the fan brush, which–can I just say–is super luxurious), I was smitten. Later, I found out that the highlighter had held on throughout the entire day, and I had to have a little cry.

(Okay, for real, I didn’t cry. But I did immediately apply all of the other six shades to various parts of my face just so I could get to experience them all at once, and it was a weirdly gratifying experience.)

If you love a good spring/summer glow, then you need this palette. It’s hella expensive for a drugstore product, but seeing as all 7 shades really are different… I think it’s worth it. That’s like, $3.86 per shade, and it’ll take you from spring (lavender) to summer (rose gold) to winter (champagne).*

Availability: $19 USD/$27 CAD at NYX Cosmetics, or at drugstores throughout Canada and the US. (Also available at Ulta and Urban Outfitters.)

The brush is $17 USD/$17 CAD through NYX Cosmetics.

Keep reading! »

Elizabeth Arden Prismatic Lip Gloss review, swatches, photos | Sunset Bronze SS16

Monday, April 25, 2016

Elizabeth Arden Prismatic Bronze Lip Gloss review swatches photos

The products: Elizabeth Arden Sunset Bronze Prismatic Lip Gloss in 01 Moonlight Kiss, 02 Midnight Kiss, and 03 Sunset Kiss

Instead of your standard light pink/sheer coral spring lipstick, this year’s Elizabeth Arden Sunset Bronze collection (you know, the one that contains this glorious highlighter) features three glorious tubes of glitter. They’re packaged in gold-capped tubes, boxed in a print pretty enough that I’d hang it on my wall, and are totally, completely awesome. 

Elizabeth Arden Moonlight Kiss Prismatic Lip Gloss swatch review photos

Elizabeth Arden Sunset Bronze review

Elizabeth Arden Moonlight Kiss lip gloss review

LIKE A STICK OF UNICORN TEARS

The shades: There are three shades of Prismatic Lip Gloss from the Sunset Bronze collection. All three are super, super sheer, and look great on their own or layered over top of other lipsticks. They’re described as having “subtle sparks of glittery color,” which is a total lie — for a trio of basically clear glosses, they have quite a bit of visual impact.

01 Moonlight Kiss is an opalescent gloss with cool pink-violet and white-blue reflects. 02 Midnight Kiss is a fuchsia gloss; a little more pigmented than the other two shades and with slightly larger glitter particles (pink and bronze reflects, this time.) 03 Sunset Kiss is probably the most subtle of all three, and features gold reflects with pink and white microshimmer suspended in a sheer, bronze gloss.

Elizabeth Arden Moonlight Kiss, Prismatic Lip Gloss swatches

Elizabeth Arden Prismatic Bronze Lip Gloss swatches: 01 Moonlight Kiss (white), 02 Midnight Kiss (pink), 03 Sunset Kiss (bronzey)

Elizabeth Arden Sunset Bronze Prismatic Lip Gloss swatches review

Elizabeth Arden Prismatic Bronze Lip Gloss swatches: 01 Moonlight Kiss, 02 Midnight Kiss, 03 Sunset Kiss

The product: The Sunset Bronze Prismatic Lip Glosses are formulated with aloe vera and vitamins A, C, and E to nourish the lips while you wear them. I find the formula to be only very slightly tacky and a little thick, but I like it — these aren’t drying, and you can’t feel the glitter when you wear them. They’re about as moisturizing as a light lip balm, and they’re not too scented, either. (They smell a little bit sweet and vanilla-ish, but the scent doesn’t hang around.)

Elizabeth Arden Sunset Kiss swatch photos review Prismatic Gloss

The verdict?

I know that none of us really need another translucent lipgloss, but as far as extraneous glosses go, these are some great ones. They’re comfortable and not too scented, and in the tubes, they look the way a chorus of angels sounds. The lovely colour selection is really just the cherry on top!

10/10 would recommend, if only so you can pull Moonlight Kiss out of your purse when you’re feeling down and pretend that you’re a unicorn. Or that you’ve killed a unicorn and bottled its tears, if that’s your jam.

Availability: $19 USD/$25 CAD at Elizabeth Arden counters and online. Limited edition.

Additional photos & more »

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