Charlotte Tilbury The Queen Matte Revolution Lipstick swatches, review, photos

Thursday, October 20, 2016


The product: Charlotte Tilbury The Queen Matte Revolution Lipstick

The formula: The Matte Revolution formula (which I’ll describe the wear of shortly) is a “luminous modern matte” that promises long-lasting, hydrating, buildable colour with lipstick tree and orchid flower extract. It’s available in 10 shades, and it definitely holds up to its claims: it’s easy to build, and it wears very well for a matte lipstick.

These lipsticks also feature a square tip to mimic the shape of a lip brush, which I thought was really cool. (And hey, it works well, too!)



The shade: The Queen, inspired by Her Majesty, Elizabeth II, is a “rich and rosy crown-jewel pink.” It’s a deep fuchsia pink with blue undertones that practically glows, and it’s obscenely beautiful in a matte finish.

Of course, my favourite thing about Charlotte Tilbury is that they simulate their swatches on a wide variety of different skintones–none of that “three skintones covers everyone” business. These are shown on ten models of different skintones, ages, and ethnicities, and the result (which I’ve collaged above) is both helpful and gorgeous!


Wearing The Queen (and otherwise looking a mess)


Charlotte Tilbury The Queen Matte Revolution Lipstick swatched in indirect sunlight


Charlotte Tilbury The Queen Matte Revolution Lipstick swatched in indirect sunlight

The wear: The Matte Revolution lipsticks are very pigmented, and they have an even, forgiving matte finish. Though they look like soft mattes, they feel as hydrating as an opaque cream lipstick. I get 3-6 hours of wear with these lipsticks, depending on how much eating I do; today, The Queen held up through an entire coconut milk smoothie with only very minimal fading and was still going strong by dinner.

Optimally, I’d recommend reapplying every 3-4 hours with this formula for comfort, but if you leave it on undisturbed, the vivid colour will hold up for longer.


The verdict?

I really like the Charlotte Tilbury Matte Revolution formula, which is as hydrating and comfortable to wear as a great creme-finish lipstick. I was also totally smitten with The Queen, which is a flattering, eye-catching opaque fuchsia pink.

If you’re looking for a comfortable holiday lipstick, this range is definitely one to check out!

Availability: $32 USD/$38 CAD exclusive to Charlotte Tilbury online.

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Lush Sympathy for the Skin Body Lotion review, photos

Friday, October 14, 2016


The product: LUSH Sympathy for the Skin Hand and Body Lotion

In my Lush Halloween 2016 review on Tuesday, I mentioned that the brand’s soaps and bath bombs tended to be a little too stripping for my skin, as many of them contain SLS. But when I had requested “no soaps, please!” last month, Lush did something really surprising: instead of leaving their classic bar soaps out of the package, they sent an additional body moisturizer.

Sympathy for the Skin is one of Lush’s original products, and I quickly saw why it has been part of their brand since day one. I have never fallen for a Lush product the way I fell for this one, but… man. It’s gorgeous.


What it is: Sympathy for the Skin is a “creamy, banana custard body lotion for soft skin.” It smells of sweet, all-natural vanilla (as a custard should!), and it’s made with fresh organic bananas mashed up into it.

The ingredients that make it smell delicious are the same ones that make your skin oh-so-soft, and it also features organic, fair trade cocoa butter, brightening lemon oil, soothing vanilla pods and vanilla extract to minimize redness, and sandalwood oil to tone.

Basically, it’s a wonder-moisturizer, and it smells twice as good as it looks. It’s also cruelty-free and vegan, although it does contain parabens to keep those bananas in good condition!


Mmmm, custard…

How it performs: In short? Really well. Sympathy for the Skin smells absolutely delicious, and though it’s a very thin lotion, it’s extremely hydrating. It leaves my skin feeling nourished and buttery-soft to the touch, and is even hydrating enough to use as a hand cream.

It’s more nourishing than Lush’s Dream Cream Hand and Body Lotion, with strong vanilla notes that make it smell more luxurious, too. And the scent sticks around – if I moisturize with this in the morning, my skin still smells cozy the next day when I wake up.


The verdict?

If you haven’t tried Sympathy for the Skin yet, DO. Apart from the pricey Gorgeous, it’s easily the best Lush product I have ever experienced. It makes Lush junkies make sense, and I can totally see why it’s been a mainstay of the brand’s lineup since they began.

With fair trade organic cocoa butter, a vanilla pod infusion, and fresh organic bananas, Sympathy for the Skin is lightweight, nourishing, and delicious. Just don’t eat it – it smells tasty, but trust me, it tastes gross.

Availability: $29.95 CAD/240g at Lush. Permanent.

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LUSH Halloween 2016 review, photos, swatches | The majesty of Goth Fairy

Tuesday, October 11, 2016


The products: LUSH Halloween 2016 Goth Fairy Shimmer Bar, Boo Luxury Bath Melt, Fireside Soap, and Pumpkin Bath Bomb

I’m not really a Halloween-y person, but for some reason, I’ve gotten kind of into it this year. I’m right in the middle of planning a Halloween dinner party (you can watch Mean Girls on Halloween, right? That’s totally situationally-appropriate?), and I’m thinking about making some Halloween-themed cutouts to decorate the apartment with.

Really, I’m just psyched for Halloween candy bars, but these Lush products are up there on the list, too.


Bath time treats

I checked out two bath products this time around, and while I’m honestly tempted to break my no-bath rule to try the creamy, citrusy Boo Luxury Bath Melt ($5.95 CAD), I had to box up the Pumpkin Bath Bomb ($6.95 CAD) immediately. It’s super crumbly and sticky-sweet, which is so not my jam.

Boo smells nice, though! It’s nice and citrusy, with a plant-like ginger base. It’s also full of cocoa butter and essential oils, so there are no synthetic preservatives in it–the formula simply doesn’t need them.



Bars of mystery

I also tried out Fireside, Goth Fairy, and one other Lush product (more on that soon), to much better results. I find Lush soap to be too stripping for my skin, but Lush’s Fireside Soap Bar ($8.95 CAD) is a lovely “guest soap” bar – it’s cute, with its cartoon fire design, and it smells like really good tea. Clove oil gives it a spicy kick, and all in all, it’s a mouthwatering fall soap!


Lush Goth Fairy Shimmer Bar swatch

The Goth Fairy Shimmer Bar ($7.95 CAD) is even cooler. It’s lightly moisturizing, with illipe and cupuacu butter in the formula, and smells juicy and fruity. The best part of all, though, is HOW MUCH shimmer Lush has managed to pack into this bar–it’s honestly astounding. A single swipe across my chest spread all the way to my shoulders, across my décolletage, and up my neck.

This shimmer bar is a little small, but it’s so dense with shimmer that it’ll get you to Glitter Level: Stripper Boobs in a heartbeat. In other words, it’s #lifegoals, and I love it.


The verdict?

As always, I feel the need to mention that Lush is not a natural company, despite its advertising. Their products contain an assortment of SLS, parabens, and synthetic fragrances and dyes. 

With that in mind, however, they offer wonderful themed products for pretty much every holiday, and a number of them are huge hits. I know countless bath lovers who swear by Lush, and I’m definitely going to be keeping that Goth Fairy Shimmer Bar close at hand! It’s pretty unique and very fun, and no one really does fun like Lush.

Availability: Limited edition right now at LUSH!

Pür Minerals Strobe/Highlight Palette review, swatches | Sun-Kissed Glow, Moonlight Glow, & Glow Together

Thursday, September 29, 2016


The products: Pür Minerals Sun-Kissed Glow & Moonlight Glow; Glow Together Jumbo Matte-Shimmer Bronzer

It’s tough to find creme cheek products that aren’t full of ‘cones, so when I found not one, but SIX shades of cruelty-free shimmering creme highlighters this summer, I was pretty thrilled.

They’re by one of my favourite brands, of course: Pür Cosmetics. (Or Pür Minerals? I’m never sure what to call them anymore.)


The Pür Moonlight Glow Strobe & Highlight Palette ($34 USD/$ CAD) is the cooler variation of Pür’s summer strobing palettes, and it’s the one that I’ve gotten the most use out of. I’m pretty sure that it’s meant to be some sort of highlighter/colour/bronzer combination, but I use the yellow Twilight and peachy Lunar the most – the bronze Eclipse never sees any use.

(Why would I want my contour to shimmer??? Or my bronzer, for that matter?)

The Strobe & Highlight Palettes have a fairly dry creme texture with a powder finish, and I like the level of shimmer in them. I think I would have preferred a glossier base, just because I prefer my creme products to have an inherent sheen to them, but I can see why Pür chose to go in a different direction: powder finishes wear much, much better.


Pür Cosmetics Sun Kissed Glow (first 3), Moonlight Glow (last 3) Strobe/Highlight Palette swatches


Pür Minerals Sun-Kissed Glow

The warm-toned Sun-Kissed Glow Strobe & Highlight Palette ($34 USD/$ CADis equally as pretty, with Aurora, Solar, and Dusk from left to right, but I think it’s better suited to darker, warmer-toned complexions. All three shades are pretty bronzey, Moonlight Glow features more of an ivory, pink pearl, and cool copper palette, Sun-Kissed Glow is more golden, coral, and orange-bronze. 

Both of these palettes feature a light, fruity scent which is kind of fun to use! I know it makes me kind of a monster, but I’m a fan of scented cheek products–when it’s done well.


Finally in Pür Minerals’ summer collection, the Glow Together Jumbo Matte-Shimmer Bronzer ($34 USD) is a warm striped bronzer with both matte (upper) and shimmer (lower) tones. A portion of the proceeds from all Glow Together purchases will be donated to Action Against Hunger, an international humanitarian organization who aim to feed the many!


The verdict?

If you love creme highlighters but struggle (like I do) to find silicone-free ones, then keep an eye out for these palettes at your local Shopper’s. They deliver a subtle, glowy highlight that looks great both indoors and out, and their powder finish and fruity scent make for a lovely morning pick-me-up.

The one thing that I did notice about these palettes is that, while they wear well, they’re not particularly bold – if you want a really obvious, metallic highlight, you’re better off finding a buttery powder (like the NYX Strobe of Genius palette).

Availability: All $34 USD each at Pur Cosmetics & in-stores at select Shopper’s Drug Mart locations. Limited edition.

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Make Up For Ever Water Blend Foundation review, swatches, photos | R210, Y215, Y225

Friday, September 23, 2016


The product: Make Up For Ever Water Blend Face & Body Foundation in R210 Pink Alabaster, Y215 Yellow Alabaster, and Y225 Marble

I’ve reviewed quite a few silicone-free foundations that I’ve loved recently, but each and every one of those reviews has come with some small caveat or another.

Not today, Satan!


The promises: The new Make Up For Ever Water Blend foundation is an updated, silicone-free version of their classic Face & Body foundation. (Yes, the one with the fun gel texture that makeup artists are constantly raving about!) Water Blend Face & Body is formulated with 80% purified water, pro-vitamin B5, glycerine, and mango butter.

It promises a buildable application, a dewy glow, and a waterproof, transfer-proof finish, and it could not have delivered better. `


The application and wear: This stuff is the bomb dot com (except it’s not digital and it’s very safe. No explosions here, no siree.) It wears for a full 12 hours, applies flawlessly with very little effort, and really does give that “skin” finish!

Its finish is nice and dewy, but not too dewy – I look moisturized with only this on, but not greasy. I do set it with a translucent powder, however, because I typically go over my eyelids with my foundation and this stuff makes my eyeliner track like crazy. I find that it can can feel a little dry around my mouth area by the end of the day unless I really moisturize or prime before applying it, but it’s nothing that a single spritz of facial mist can’t fix.

Just, like, make sure it’s actually facial mist. Don’t accidentally get yourself in the eye with perfume (because that shit hurts.)


Make Up For Ever Water Blend Face & Body Foundation swatches – R210, Y215, Y225


Make Up For Ever Water Blend swatches – R210, Y215, Y225 in indirect sunlight

Water Blend’s formula is more liquid and less gel-like than the original Face & Body, but I personally find that it performs better than its predecessor. It looks more like skin, catches on my dry skin less, and layers better – I can get anywhere from very sheer to medium coverage with this; nothing heavy enough to make my freckles or blemishes invisible, but enough coverage to really even out my complexion.

I find that Water Blend applies best when I “dot” it onto a dense buffing brush, speckle it all over my face, and then buff it in.


Make Up For Ever Water Blend Foundation before (left) and after (right) – click to enlarge. My shade is Y215 and my skin is otherwise unaltered; I am not wearing primer or powder in either of these photos.


The shade range: As usual, Make Up For Ever’s Water Blend Face & Body shade range covers a large range of shades – 20, to be exact. It was remarkably easy to find my shade in this foundation, as it only goes up to a medium coverage. Maybe it’s because I’ve got a bit of a tan right now, but look! A foundation that matches my face!! My poor, sad little ghost face!

R210 Pink Alabaster isn’t too much pinker than Y215 Yellow Alabaster, and both are fairly neutral. Y225 Marble is considerably darker than Y215 Yellow Alabaster, and it has a strong yellow undertone.


The verdict?

My verdict on Make Up For Ever’s new Water Blend Face & Body foundation is a resounding YES. It’s an extremely pleasant formula to work with, it layers well, and it feels lighter even than some of my moisturizers, much less other waterproof foundations. The shade range is excellent (and stretches slightly further than the brand’s Ultra HD foundation, at least on the lighter end), and I honestly like the way that it smells – lightly powdery, sweet, and almost a little bit fruity.

If you’re looking for a new light to medium coverage lightweight foundation, this one is excellent.

Availability: $43 USD/$54 CAD at Sephora.

Keep reading! »

Deciem NIOD Lip Bio-Lipid Concentrate review, before & after photos

Saturday, September 17, 2016


The product: Deciem NIOD Lip Bio-Lipid Concentrate

When I met with Deciem’s PR genius (and total #ladyboss) last summer, she mentioned offhandedly that she was using NIOD (Non-Invasive Options in Dermal Science)’s Lip Bio-Lipid Concentrate. She has one of the best pouts that I’ve seen in the biz, so I knew immediately that I had to get my hands on a bottle!


The science behind the NIOD Lip Bio-Lipid Concentrate: Deciem’s NIOD line is all about innovative technologies in skincare, and this lip plumper is no exception. It’s a very concentrated dry oil that is designed to “the looks of lip colour, volume, texture, softness and contour,” and it hits the mark on every point.

Just some of the ingredients used in NIOD’s Lip Bio-Lipid include an isolated sugarcane hemisqualane and sea buckthorn oil base, Lipid Palmitoyl Hexapeptide-12 Complex to mimic dermal elastin and increase firmness, and Nicotinic Acid Methyl Ester, a traditional muscle relief ointment that’s used here to redden the lips.

Deciem recommends that you use just a drop of this oil before bed and in the morning, but I’ve been using about a half-drop only in the mornings. It’s more than enough to plump my lips up, but doesn’t require any extra forethought!


Niod Lip Bio-Lipid Concentrate before / after


Niod Lip Bio-Lipid Concentrate before / after

But does it work? Like most lip plumpers, Lip Bio-Lipid burns – a lot. With that cinnamon-y feeling, however, comes a dramatic increase in both lip redness and lip volume. 

I don’t have the most defined lip line, so I find that the area around my lips becomes reddened for a few minutes as well. After the 5-minute initial discomfort, however, the redness around my lips returns to normal, while my lips themselves stay plump and pinked.

I haven’t used this consistently enough to garner long-term results, but I definitely see a difference immediately after using the Lip Bio-Lipid Concentrate. My lips look fuller, redder, and smoother for the day, and they even look noticeably bigger with lipstick overtop. (This oil is Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride-based, so it doesn’t make your lipstick slide off the way something like castor seed oil would!)


The verdict?

I’ve never put a lot of faith into lip plumpers, but this stuff is seriously like a lip augmentation in a bottle. It’s spicy and effective, and you get a LOT for what you pay for. Per ounce, it’s less than half the price of the Too Faced Lip Injection Extreme or comparable products, and it’s paraben- and silicone-free to boot.

NIOD’s Lip Bio-Lipid Concentrate own’t give you quite as Instagrammable a pout as Mira’s, but it’ll push enough temporary volume into your lips that it’ll look like a light lip job. Check it out!

Availability: $60 CAD at Deciem online or in-store!

Keep reading! »

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