Shu Uemura Petal Lash Mascara review, swatches, photos | For a flower-scented fringe of lashes

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

shu uemura petal lash mascara review

The product: shu uemura petal lash mascara in intense black

I’ve been trying a lot of mascaras recently, but this one may just be my new favourite. Like all mascaras, it promises great things… but unlike the others… it actually delivers.

What sets the Petal Lash mascara apart is its unique “pink blossom applicator”, which features a curved square-and-round design made especially to fit Asian eyes. The 2mm round tip is perfect for catching tiny inner lashes (and great for point-lifting the lashes at the outer corner of the eye), while the square 3.5mm base coats the longer lashes perfectly.

Reader, I want all mascaras to come with a wand like this one. Applying mascara–especially to my short, sparse Asian lashes–has literally never been this easy before.

shu uemura petal lash mascara eotd swatch

bare lashes / 1 uncombed coat of shu uemura petal lash mascara

The formula: Flexible and just-dry-enough, the Petal Lash Mascara formula delivers soft, pliable lashes and still manages to maintain a curl. It adds natural-looking amounts of lift and length to the lash (but not a lot of volume), with zero clumping or flaking throughout the day – when I tested this in on a dry 28 degree day, I saw gorgeous separation and fullness with no smudging until the evening (8-10 hours later).

Plus–and I’m not gonna lie; this was a big pull for me–this formula is softly scented with an uplifting sakura fragrance, making application one of the best parts of my morning.

shu uemura petal lash scented mascara

Shu Uemura Petal Lash tube. Even the lettering is pretty! 

The verdict?

At the end of the day, mascaras always come down to personal preferences. I like this one because I like my mascaras to hold a curl, apply easily, and last well into the evening; you might not, especially if you like your mascaras to give you a heavy, dramatic lash or sooty lower lashline. But if you have thin, straight lashes and want a clean, natural lash look, take it from me: this one is a dreamboat.

(Oh. And did I mention that it also feels light as air, smells amazing, and is crazy easy to apply flawlessly?)

Availability: $29 CAD at shuuemura.ca, Holt Renfrew, and select Sephora stores across Canada.

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Shu Uemura Pink Hues Prêt-à-Palette review, swatches, photos | Pulling off an easy, pretty pink makeup look

Monday, September 8, 2014

shu uemura pret a palette pink hues review

The product: shu uemura prêt-à-palette (“Ready-To-Wear palette”) in pink hues

As someone who has always, always loved pink eyeshadows, I’ve never understood how they ended up with such a bad reputation. Like, sure, they can be unflattering, but — so can any colour. It’s never the colour that’s the problem, as far as I’m concerned; it’s the way the wearer has chosen and applied it, or the way the manufacturer has produced it.

So, if you find your pinks are too pink, or your pastels are too chalky, add a bit of black eyeliner to your tightline. And if that fails, prepare yourself for a rave review and buy this palette, because, dude, it makes pink easy

shu uemura pink hues eyeshadow reviews

shu uemura matte smokey purple (new), matte smokey dark bluish pink (new), G135, pearl rosy pink (new)

The shades: The Pink Hues palette begins with a matte plum, dusty in colour but not texture. Next, there’s a matte medium pink, which feels very bridal to me – I think it would look incredibly soft and pretty on medium skintones (especially medium Asian skintones!) The matte pink is followed by a pan of clear sparkles, which reflect green, pink, and silver and impart a base colour only in a very heavy swatch over primer. [ I fracking love sparkles, you guys. ]

The palette winds down with a frosty pink-white, which is rather cool, a frosty beige (quite similar, but smoother in both texture and shimmer), and a muted matte ivory, which applies surprisingly solidly but is a little… grey. It’s a rather corpse-like, but it’s designed to act as a base to intensify and brighten the other shades, and it does a wonderful job of it.

Shu Uemura Pink Hues Pret a Palette swatches

shu uemura pink hues prêt-à-palette swatches

shu uemura pret a palette review - pink hues

shu uemura G135, pearl rosy pink, ME126, M813 eyeshadows

The textures: Honestly, I’m smitten with every single texture in this Prêt-à-Palette — but I have to tip my hat to the matte plum in particular. It applies sheerly with each swipe but layers incredibly well, revealing a darker, richer hue that never starts looking chalky.

Overall, these satin mattes preform very well, with a dense, smooth formula and sparse microshimmer that adds depth without being apparent. (I’m partial to the frosty beige for a wash of colour, because, you know, I’m boring.) The frosts perform equally well, and none of the shades kick up any dust.

shu uemura pink hues palette swatches

shu uemura pink hues eyeshadow palette swatches: matte smokey dark purple and matte smokey dark bluish pink (new), G135, pearl rosy pink (new), ME126, M813

shu uemura pink hues eyeshadow palette review

shu uemura pink hues ready-to-wear eyeshadow palette

The verdict?

I love a lot of things about this palette – and there’s no “but…” attached to that.

With both delicate and dramatic shades, this is easily the most elegantly executed palette of pinks that I’ve ever seen. Each different finish (man, I love it when palettes mix finishes) has the quality to back up these wearable shades, and the shiny black compact is so sleek it practically makes me shiver. Which, in retrospect, may be TMI.

I think Pink Hues plays best on the light to medium Asian skintones it was designed for, but it works well with other fair, yellow, and neutral skintones, too. For darker skintones, however, perhaps pick a pink palette with less light frosts and more fuchsia – that way, you’ll get more distinct colours on your lids.

Availability: $85 CAD (ouch) with free shipping at shuuemura.ca, or at select Holt Renfrew and Sephora locations across Canada. Also available in warm brown, black and white, and blue morning.

The shimmery pink (G135), frosty beige (ME126), and base colour (M813, the No. 3 top selling shade in Japan) may be available for $19 CAD each, or are available in Japan.

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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.

Keep reading! »

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