Reversa Anti-Redness Soothing Care moisturizer review, photos | Currently obsessed with…

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Reversa anti-redness soothing care review

The product: Reversa Anti-Redness Soothing Care moisturizer

So, right now, I’m super into Reversa’s Anti-Redness Soothing Care moisturizer. Made for sensitive/reactive skin (that’s me!), it’s formulated to hit redness on two fronts: one, to reduce flushing and overall redness, and two, to tone down redness with its sheer green tint.

Reversa anti-redness moisturizer review

The formula: Reversa’s Anti-Redness Soothing Care is formulated with Quassia amara extract and vitamin B3 to reduce the appearance of facial redness while replenishing the skin’s moisture barrier. And I… I mean, I really like it.

It’s thin, unscented, and hydrating, and it feels very “neutral” going on — there’s nothing heavy or irritating about it, and no matter how dry my face is, it never makes it sting. I do add a drop or two of oil to this when I use it, but for those with normal to oily skin, this texture will be perfect for you. (My oily-skinned partner really likes the texture of this one!)

Plus, as a few extra cherries on top, it’s silicone- and paraben-free, and it’s made in Canada.

Reversa Anti-Redness Soothing Care swatch

The tint: Okay, okay, okay. So: what makes this moisturizer really special is the green tint that it has to it. And I know; a lot of brands do this, but Reversa has done it well.

The green tinge to this fluid knocks out some of redness in my skin (not all, but a good amount of it), and as an extra-super-bonus, it evens out all of my other imperfections, too. Plus, it never looks chalky, and it doesn’t change the overall hue of my skin — which can be tricky, as I’m already pretty olive to begin with.

Reversa anti-redness soothing care moisturizer review

The verdict?

I can’t remember the last time I said this about a treatment product, but Reversa’s Anti-Redness Soothing Care gets a nice, big, resounding YES! from me! It’s a lovely, lightweight moisturizer that will work well for all skin types and gently treats both the signs and symptoms of redness.

Plus, it very subtly evens out skintone, which I think all of us (redness problems or or not) can use. No, it’s not going to magically erase redness like a high-coverage foundation, but it does a great job of what it’s made for!

Availability: $34 CAD online at Reversa.ca and in Shopper’s Drug Mart locations across Canada. (Frequently on sale at Shopper’s — the last time I was in, it was on for $25.49 CAD all week!)

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Shu Uemura Laque Supreme review, swatches RD 01, 02, 03, 04; PK 02

Thursday, August 20, 2015

shu uemura laque supreme gloss lipstick review

The product: shu uemura laque supreme lip colour in RD 01, RD 02, RD 03, and PK 02

Shu Uemura’s new Laque Supreme Lip Colours take their cues from traditional Japanese urushi lacquerware. Urushi lacquerware has been around since 14 500 BC, and is an art form of lacquering rich pigments over wood.

shu uemura laque supreme lip colour review

Shu Uemura Laque Supreme in RD 01-04, PK 02

The formula: The Laque Supreme Lip Colours are essentially gloss-stains, which use a brand-new water soluble dye to provide a translucent wash of colour, oil-dispersed pigments (used in all of your old Shu favourites) for opaque coverage, and coating polymers help the formula settle into a honeycomb molecular structure for intense shine and long wear.

The “oil in water” formula gives a “fresh and smooth sensation upon application” (very true), and the applicator on these is a slanted doe-foot — which is exactly what you want when the product you’re applying is going to stick around for four hours.

Tip: If you need to remove your Laque Supreme lipgloss before its time is up, reach for a micellar water, not an oil.

shu uemura laque supreme review

The shades: There are 15 Laque Supreme shades, but here are the five I tried (including all 4 of the reds in the range)!

  • RD 01 AKA Red – A warm, tomato-orange red; more vibrant than RD 02. This shade was developed with lacquer wear brand Yamada Heiando, who once provided lacquerware to the Imperial Househould of Japan. It’s inspired by the traditional shade of Japanese lacquer, so expect to see a Vermillion red with a slight yellow tint.
  • RD 02 Red Player – Almost a berry red. A cool fuchsia red with blue undertones.

shu uemura la laque supreme swatches review photos

Shu Uemura Laque Supreme swatches, L-R: RD 01 AKA Red, RD 02 Red Player, RD 03 Flaming Red, RD 04 Shu Red, PK 02 Dreamy Pink

  • RD 03 Flaming Red – Browner and more of a brick red than RD 01, Flaming Red is a warm orange-red.
  • RD 04 Shu Red – Shu Uemura (the man, the legend)’s favourite red — red with strawberry pink undertones; the same shade as the Rouge Unlimited 165. This one’s a little too warm for me, so it makes me look kind of dated. Best on warmer skintones.
  • PK 02 Dreamy Pink – A milky lilac pink. This one really settles and stains on my lips to give an instant (but inevitable) Korean popsicle-stained lip look.

shu uemura laque supreme pk02 swatch review

Shu Uemura Laque Supreme Lip Colour in PK 02 Dreamy Pink swatched lightly / heavily

shu uemura pk02 dreamy pink review swatch

Wearing PK 02 Dreamy Pink

The experience: I liked the feel of these lip colours, but my lips are a tricky beast — even with regular lip products.The inner edge of my lip tends to make lip products either cling or slide, and for these glosses, it did both. The stain really caught on the inner rim of my lip, and the gloss slid away from it, resulting in a popsicle-stained lip that could give even the trendiest Korean magazine a run for its money.

Which, I mean, is awesome if that’s what you’re going for, but unavoidable if it isn’t. Unfortunately, it kind of killed these lip colours for me — but, again, I don’t think that most people will face this problem. (My lips have just always been weird!)

shu uemura la laque supreme swatches RD01-04 PK02 review photos

Shu Uemura Laque Supreme swatches, L-R: RD 01, RD 02, RD 03, RD 04, PK 02

The verdict?

I really wanted to love these, but with the way they caught on my lips… I just couldn’t. Almost, but not quite.

If you don’t usually have problems with products catching on your lips, though, I’d say these are definitely worth a look. They’re almost identical to the YSL Vernis À Lèvres Glossy Stains ($38 CAD; comparison based on texture and ingredients), which I love, but I think the pigments are different — the Shu Uemura Laque Supremes are, generally, more pigmented and stain more intensely.

So, if you loved the Glossy Stains but you’re ready to try something just a wee bit different (or if you still have yet to try a gloss-stain!), give these a go!

Availability: $35 CAD at shuuemura.ca and in-store at select Sephora and Holt Renfew locations across Canada.

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Smashbox Photo Angle Pure Pigment Gel Liner in Lilac review, swatches, photos

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Smashbox Photo Angle Pure Pigment Gel Eyeliner review

The product: Smashbox + Donald Robertson Photo Angle Pure Pigment Gel Liner in Lilac 

Earlier this year, I attended a Smashbox Photo Session in Edmonton that (as some of you may remember) I wasn’t particularly thrilled with. While there, however, I fell in love with a couple of their products — the Photo Angle Gel Liner pens in particular.

I’ve had the chance to test the liner more than a few times since then, so read on for my full thoughts!

Smashbox photo angle gel liner review

Smashbox + Donald Robertson Photo Angle Pure Pigment Gel Liner in Lilac 

Smashbox Photo Angle Gel Eyeliner review packaging

This clever twist-on cap keeps the product from drying out!

The packaging: The Photo Angle gel liners come in pen form with a soft silicone-slant tip, much like the Benefit Get Real! Push-Up Liners. After reading a lot of reviews for the Push-Up liners, I can definitely see what people don’t like about this kind of packaging, but I don’t know… I mean, I didn’t mind it.

If you’re really good at gel liner on your own, I think this kind of packaging is going to be frustrating for you. The pen tends to put a lot of product on the lashes themselves and makes it hard to get a super fine line right off the bat (as you have to push the product up by a full click each time), but on the flip side, it’s a one-handed application paired with a formula that wears really well.

For those who aren’t super good at gel liner to begin with, though, I think something like this could actually be quite helpful — just remember to wipe off any excess product first, and apply with a light hand so that the soft tip doesn’t turn into a thick brush.

Smashbox Lilac gel eyeliner pen review

The formula: I was able to wear this from 3:00 to 11:00 during testing with zero wear (I kept going to bed early the week I was wear testing this? I don’t even know), which for my un-primed lids is very impressive — but the product itself does feel a little thick and ungainly on the lids.

I think a lot of my love for this product comes from the excellent wear time (most gel liners only last about an hour on my lids before creasing), so if you really struggle with keeping your liner on all day long, take note of this one!

Smashbox Lilac Photo Angle gel liner swatches review

The shade: Okay, but like, let’s be honest: I really only like this product for the shade. For all of the Photo Angled liner’s faults, Lilac is both beautiful and unique; matte and vibrant with lots of cool blue overtones and vibrant red undertones.

I’ve never come across another liner quite like this one, and for that alone, I think this liner is worth taking note of. It looks a little weird along my lashline, honestly, but it is as of yet unparalleled in my stash!

Smashbox Photo Angle Pure Pigment Gel Liner in Lilac swatches review

The verdict?

This liner format is a rather polarizing one, and if you know already that it doesn’t work well for you, I don’t think this formula will change your mind.

That said, for all of its faults, I really do like the Lilac Pure Pigment Gel Liner. It’s a very unique matte lilac shade, and unlike most non-liquid liners, it wears very well on me. I’d recommend getting it only if this is a colour that you just have to have — it’s a fantastic rendition of the shade, but I don’t think I’d have been as impressed had this liner been black or standard violet.

Availability: $24 USD/$29 CAD at Sephora and ULTA.

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YSL Corail Incandescent Rouge Volupté Shine review, swatches, photos | The perfect summer lip

Monday, July 13, 2015

YSL Corail Incandescent Rouge Volupte Shine review swatches photos

The product: YSL Rouge Volupté Shine in no. 12 Corail Incandescent

There are a few products that really scream summer! to me, and Corail Incandescent (Coral Incandescent, depending on the seller/location) is one of them. It’s glossy, fruity, and coral, and there are few things more summery than that!

YSL Coral Incandescent review Rouge Volupte Shine

The formula: The Rouge Volupté Shine formula feels almost exactly like the YSL Volupté Sheer Candy formula, which is a feat in and of itself — the Sheer Candy balms are essentially clear lip balms, while the Volupté Shines pack quite a pigment punch. Both are lightweight and mango-scented (I get more of a fruit punch impression), and both apply really smoothly with YSL’s “melting formula,” which holds up to the heat but glides weightlessly onto the lips.

If you have dry lips and struggle to comfortably wear bold colours, note that this formula is lightly hydrating and very forgiving.

YSL Corail Incandescent review - Rouge Volupte Shine lipstick

YSL Rouge Volupté Shine lipstick in Corail Incandescent

YSL Corail Incandescent swatch review Rouge Volupte Shine

YSL Rouge Volupté Shine lipstick in Corail Incandescent swatched heavily, lightly

The shade: The Rouge Volupté Shine lipsticks are a great way to wear a glossy coat of intense colour, and this one is no exception. Corail Incancescent is vibrant and punchy, and can be worn sheerly for that Korean/popsicle-stained look or full-on for extra hydration and full opacity.

I’d describe Corail Incandescent as almost a fluorescent coral; as orange blended with fuchsia-pink rather than orange blended with red. It’s extremely bright, but wearable even if you’re cool-toned. (I usually struggle with corals, but I can pull this one off without any effort!)

YSL Rouge Volupté Shine

Rouge Volupté Shine promo — the finish of this lipstick looks exactly like that!

The verdict?

I love this lipstick like I love all YSL lipsticks: carefully, but with gusto. The Rouge Volupté Shine range is just as fruity and smooth as the Volupté Sheer Candy lip balms that I love so much, but the Shines come with the added bonus of lightly hydrating, full intensity colour.

$39 CAD is quite a price tag to swallow, but these lipsticks are fantastic: they smell delicious, apply and wear gorgeously, and come in just the most divine packaging. I would absolutely recommend the range!

Availability: $36 USD/$39 CAD

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Stila Waterproof Brow Colour review, swatches, & dupe (Marcelle Eyebrow Pen)

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Best waterproof brow pens review

I’ve made a lot of big changes this year, but the most important of them all has been getting my brows in order. (Yes. Definitely.) For the longest time, I had to mix shades and layer powder and pencil products to get my brows just right, and for all of my efforts, the silicone content in the products would still leave me with awkward brow breakouts.

No longer.

At the start of the year, I found the Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Brow Colour in Medium, AKA my Holy Grail of brows… and then I found the Marcelle Eyebrow Pen in Universal Dark, which does everything the Stila does, except faster and for half the price.

Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Brow Colour review swatches Medium

Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Brow Colour

Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Brow Colour in Medium ($21 USD/$27 CAD)

The Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Brow Colour in Medium (which has since been re-packaged) is pretty much perfect. It’s fine-tipped, sheer, and cool-toned, and I can finish my brows in under a minute using this pen.

The formula wears all day long and can be used to either create fine, hair-like lines or a brow “shadow” (my preferred method), and the shade itself is really well-suited to those with dark hair who don’t want warm “Instagram brows” for their everyday life.

Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Brow Colour review Medium

Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Brow Colour brush tip

My only problem with the Stila brow pen is that it’s pretty expensive at $27 CAD, and while I’m not out of product yet, most reviewers say that it only lasts 1-3 months with regular use. Enter: the Marcelle Eyebrow Pens.

Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Brow Colour ingredients:

Water, Acrylates Copolymer, Pentylene Glycol, Butylene Glycol, Polysorbate 20, Phenoxyethanol, Alcohol, Sodium Dehydroacetate, Honey Extract, Propylene Glycol, Matricaria Flower Extract, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice Powder. +/- Yellow 5, Red 33, Blue 1.

Marcelle Universal Light, Dark, Stila Medium Brow Pen swatches review

Swatched L-R: Marcelle Eyebrow Pen in Universal Light, Universal Dark; Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Brow Colour in Medium

Marcelle Eyebrow Pen review swatches Universal Dark

Marcelle Eyebrow Pen in Universal Dark

Marcelle Eyebrow Pen in Universal Dark ($13.95 CAD)

It’s been a little while since I’ve fallen hard for a Marcelle makeup product, but these brow pens have me swooning. They’re half the price of Stila’s version and double the size, and because I always go for a “shadow” brow rather than drawn-in hairs, I can apply and smudge this one faster and more easily than I can with the Stila.

Marcelle Eyebrow Pen review swatches

Marcelle Eyebrow Pen in Universal Dark felt tip

Universal Dark isn’t quite as perfect as Stila’s Medium, but the cost difference more than makes up for it. With the Marcelle brow pens, you still get easy application, a silicone-free formula, and all-day waterproof wear, but you trade off a small degree of control for a quicker application.

I think the felt tip is a more versatile format (the broad side for quick application & the tip for drawing hairs), but it really does just come down to personal preference!

Marcelle Eyebrow Pen in Universal Dark ingredients: 

Water, Propylene Glycol, Glycerine, Magnesium Aluminum Silicate, Methylisothiazolinone, Iodopropynyl Butylcarbamate. +/- Red 40, Green 5, Black 2, Yellow 5 Lake

Stila Waterproof Brow Colour dupe

The verdict?

If you like a natural brow, these are the only brow game in town anymore. They’re essentially North American versions of the Suqqu Liquid Brow Pen that Lisa Eldridge loves so much, and they are perfect for anyone who finds most brow products too warm for them.

When I run out (and can I just mention that I went to an actual store and bought the products pictured here), I will definitely be re-buying the Marcelle. Which isn’t to say that there’s anything wrong with the Stila; it’s just a little pricey to be re-buying every 3 months! (Assuming 0.02 fl oz will last you 3 months, the Stila comes out to $108 CAD/year; the Marcelle, just $27.90 CAD.)

Availability: Stila (0.7 ml) – $21 USD/$27 CAD at Shopper’s Beauty Boutiques and Murale. Marcelle (1.4 ml) – $13.95 CAD at Marcelle.com (US & Can shipping) and drugstores across Canada.

What’s your favourite brow product right now?

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