Nuxe Huile Prodigieuse, Or, & Shower Oil review, swatches, photos

Friday, June 24, 2016

Nuxe Huille Prodigieuse range review photos swatches

The products: Nuxe Huile Prodigieuse Dry Oil, Huile Prodigieuse OR Dry Oil, and Prodigieux Shower Oil

Along with their Rêve de Miel, Nuxe’s Huile Prodigieuse is the brand’s golden (sometimes literally) star. So, today, I have not one, not two, but three Huile Prodigieuse reviews to share with you–and strangely enough, I have vastly different opinions about all three.

Nuxe Huile Prodigieuse review paris edition

The original Huile Prodigieuse ($45 CAD): Alright, I’m just going to come out and say it. While I have a lot of love for the Nuxe and Bio Beauté by Nuxe labels on the whole… I just don’t like the Nuxe Huile Prodigieuse dry oil.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I love the classic packaging (that alone is worth half the cult following) and I love that it comes out in limited edition prints each year. I love that its formula is 97.8% natural and contains six botanical oils as its base–macadamia, hazelnut, borage, sweet almond, camellia, and St. John’s Wort.

Nuxe Huile Prodigieuse OR

Nuxe Huile Prodigieuse Or review. Look at all of that beautiful, cloud-like shimmer!

I love that it’s enriched with vitamin E and is silicone- and preservative-free, and I love the heady, addictive Huile Prodigieuse fragrance: it smells like summer to me, with its big floral notes and coconut & vanilla base. And, of course, I love that it’s marketed as a multi-use oil; light enough to add shine to your hair, moisturizing enough for the body, and delicate enough to be mixed into your facial moisturizer.

My ex used her Huile Prodigieuse for everything, and it worked amazingly well for her. She always smelled delicious and soft, and her hair (also done up with this oil, of course) was always super gorgeous. But on my skin and hair, it just feels like such a dry dry oil, as if I’ll never feel hydrated and non-staticky ever again.

(Nuxe’s offshoot brand, Bio Beauté, makes a body oil that I much prefer to this one.)

Nuxe Huile Prodigieuse OR review swatches photos

Nuxe Huile Prodigieuse Or “swatch” (artificial lighting)

The Huile Prodigieuse Or ($45 CAD): While the original does nothing for me, I have formed a certain fondness for the golden shimmer version of this Nuxe cult classic. It’s extremely glittery and glamorous, and while Nuxe is full of lies when they say that it can be used on your face, but on the body, it’s a lot of fun.

There aren’t a lot of shimmering body products that you can use if you’re silicone-free, so this one is a treat to find. It’s no more expensive than the original, but it can be used more easily as an adjunct product: I can moisturize normally, then apply this sparingly as a bronze shimmer and summer fragrance. 

Nuxe Huile Prodigieuse golden shower oil review

The Prodigieux Shower Oil ($16 CAD): The Huile Prodigieuse line is an expensive one (body oils frequently are, as they’re completely undiluted with water or fillers), so I was very happy to see the brand introduce a full-sized product at a lower price point. The brand new Prodigieux huile de douche is gorgeous to use and feels every bit as luxurious as the original oil, if not more.

A rich, thick shower gel, this shower “oil” is woven through with golden pearl and features a brighter version of the summery Prodigieux fragrance. It’s nicely hydrating (though not as moisturizing as those new Aveeno shower gels), and while I was hoping it would act more like an in-shower moisturizer, it’s a great way to add a dose of gold to your shower routine without being scented or shimmery all day long.

Nuxe Huile Prodigieuse shower oil gel review swatches

The verdict?

As someone with dry skin, none of these products are must-haves for me. However, they make lovely gifts, and the shower gel and gold oil have secured themselves a permanent place in my summer cabinet!

Availability: $45 CAD for the oil (limited edition 2016) and Huile Prodigieuse Or; $16 CAD for the Prodigieux Shower Oil. Available at Shopper’s Drug Mart, Murale, and Hudson’s Bay in Canada.

Clarins Waterproof Eyeshadow, Instant Light Lip Protector reviews, swatches, photos | Summer 2016

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Clarins summer 2016

The products: Clarins Waterproof Eyeshadow in Golden Sand & Golden Peach, Instant Light Lip Protector in Pink Shimmer

With my finicky eyelids, I spend a loooot of time waiting for brands to release really great, long-wearing eyeshadows that a) won’t need a primer to not crease and b) aren’t too shimmery. For some reason, they seem to be few and far between, and more often than not they’re limited edition releases (like these two, which I adored and miss every time I put on eyeshadow.)

Clarins’ new summer collection includes one such eyeshadow formula, and I’m absolutely smitten with both it and the collection’s LE-packaged Instant Light lipgloss–which, yes, okay, I hadn’t tried until now.

Clarins Waterproof Eyeshadow review photos

Clarins Waterproof Eyeshadow Shimmering Cream Colour ($24 CAD)

The limited edition Clarins Waterproof Eyeshadows come in little tubes (my favourite kind of eyeshadow packaging; it’s hygienic and makes me feel far more artsy than I actually am) and are available in four shades. The formula contains orange blossom wax to help create a protective waterproof film, and it’s so good.

While I know that cream eyeshadow formulas can be a little finicky, this formula is really worth the effort. These eyeshadows wear literally all day on my oily lids with zero creasing, and I don’t need a primer underneath. My longest wear test was a whopping 10 hours long and saw no creasing and only a tiny bit of fading, and I bet I could have made it to a full 15 had I not then needed to go to bed and actually get some sleep for once.

Clarins golden peach golden sand swatches review photos

Clarins Waterproof Eyeshadow swatches in 02 Golden Sand, 01 Golden Peach

I tested out Golden Sand and Golden Peach, which are both sheer, warm, summery shades. They’re shimmery without being gaudy (something that Clarins excels at), and while I found them to be a little too warm for my skintone, they still looked beautiful on their own.

The formula does dry down fairly quickly, but it blends well both with a fingertip or with a brush. And, once dry, it’s totally set: there’s no stickiness or smudging, and you’ll need to take a makeup remover to your eyelid to get it off.

As a result, I find that these shadows perform best on their own, but they’ll serve as an oil-absorbing base if you’re willing to foil any subsequent powder eyeshadows. The dry finish doesn’t lend itself to acting as a primer, though, so opt for a cream eyeshadow base instead if you’re willing to exchange flawless wear for a sticky base.

Clarins waterproof eyeshadow cream review swatches photos

Clarins Waterproof Eyeshadow swatches in 02 Golden Sand, 01 Golden Peach

Clarins Instant Light Natural Lip Perfector ($25 USD/$20 CAD)

Clarins’ Instant Light glosses are one of their most popular products, so I’m a little embarrassed to admit that I hadn’t tried them until just now! (I was busy being distracted by their other lip products.)

The summer Sunkissed Summer 2016 collection showcases three brand new Instant Light Natural Lip Perfector shades (Pink Shimmer, Orange Shimmer, and Red Shimmer), each with a sheer tint and “soft gel texture” (hella accurate.) The 3D shimmer that’s mentioned all over their product page is negligible; Pink Shimmer is a beautiful, milky coral pink with shimmer that’s literally invisible unless you hold a swatch right up to your eye in direct lighting.

These glosses are vanilla scented and taste sweet, and the summer shades come packaged in a beautiful white & floral box with and white petals adoring the simple coloured tubes.

Clarins Instant Light Natural Lip Perfector review

I really like this kind of applicator (think the celebrated child borne from an illicit affair between a doe foot applicator and a squeeze tube), and the plush texture of the gloss formula is really nice. It’s not as moisturizing as I had expected, though–everyone always refers to these as a lip gloss crossed with a balm, but my lips just weren’t feeling it.

They contain shea butter, wild mango, and vitamins A & E to repair and soften the lips, but with continued use, my lips were left feeling a little dry. For a lipgloss, they’re pretty moisturizing; if you need a lip balm throughout the day, though, these aren’t a two birds/one stone kind of deal.

Clarins xx Instant Light lip swatches review

Clarins Instant Light Natural Lip Perfector swatch in Pink Shimmer (artificial lighting)

The verdict?

I really liked the Clarins Instant Light Natural Lip Perfector in Pink Shimmer as an easy, tasty summer gloss, but I looooved the new Waterproof Eyeshadows. They’re perfect for beach days and afternoons at the pool, and will deliver a flawless shimmery eyelid that won’t smudge or crease no matter how hard you run and play and sweat.

The formula of the new eyeshadows is really waterproof, too, which is awesome to see. My swatches didn’t budge at all with water or hand soap and furious rubbing, but they came off easily with just a touch of cleansing oil, and when worn, they last all day and still look great at the end of it.

Availability: Available at department stores, pharmacies, and online at Clarins.com. Both formulas are silicone-free!

Rodial Airbrush foundation & concealer review, swatches, photos | The perfect, sculpted base

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Rodial Airbrush Make-up heavy duty foundation paste review

The products: Rodial Airbrush Make-Up in 01 and Airbrush Concealer in 01 Aspen

I know it’s only been a few days, but I feel like I haven’t blogged in ages. So today, I’m bringin’ the blog back with a couple of new products that I’ve been super smitten with this month!

I get a lot of requests for silicone-free foundations (even though I’ve talked about my other two top recs, Kevyn Aucoin Sensual Skin Enhancer and Pür Minerals 4-in-1 Pressed Mineral Makeup, at length), so for those of you still looking: these two new products from Rodial are definitely ones that I’d recommend.

Rodial Airbrush foundation paste review swatches

Rodial Airbrush Make-Up Heavy-Duty Foundation Paste review

The foundation 

Rodial is a brand that focuses on sculpted faces, so I was a little surprised that it took them this long to come out with base products. After trying them, though, I can appreciate why: they’ve been done just right, and they were worth the wait.

The Rodial Airbrush Make-Up Heavy Duty Foundation Paste ($45 USD/$50 CAD) is a gorgeous, old-timey foundation made in Italy. As described, it’s a paste, not a cream – it’s thick and a little grainy, but it applies beautifully.

Rodial Airbrush Makeup 01, Aspen concealer swatches review photos

Rodial Airbrush Make-Up in 01, Rodial Airbrush Concealer in Aspen 01 (indirect sunlight)

The formula: Like other “classic” cream makeup products, the new Rodial Airbrush foundation is silicone-free, so it can feel a little heavy on the skin. I love the way it performs, though: it wears all day long, blends seamlessly into the skin, and has a very natural-looking dewy/satin finish.

It reminds me of the Kevyn Aucoin Sensual Skin Enhancer, but despite its pastier texture, it catches less on fine lines when applied. Rodial’s Airbrush Make-up looks great even on my dry skin, and like the Kevyn Aucoin, it can double as a concealer or be mixed with an oil or makeup primer.

Rodial Airbrush Makeup, Concealer before after review

Rodial Airbrush foundation and concealer before (left) and after (right) – click to enlarge! 

Rodial airbrush base review before after

Rodial before & after (up close)

The packaging: The Rodial foundation paste is packaged in a sharp-edged, matte black plastic jar, and it’s as lightweight as it is slick. I love the aesthetic behind this foundation’s packaging, but it does have one problem: the formula separates in hot temperatures, and unfortunately, its oils do leak out of the jar.

Rodial Airbrush concealer aspen 01 swatches review

Rodial Airbrush Concealer review

The concealer 

The Rodial Airbrush Concealer Industrial-Strength Camouflage Cream in 01 Aspen ($39 USD/$44 CAD) has an even shorter ingredients list than their new foundation does, and it comes in only two shades.

The formula: The Airbrush Concealer is a product that I wasn’t very excited about, but having tried it, I really like it. It’s a super smooth concealer, both in texture and in finish, and it does an amazing job of colour-correcting and concealing my under eye circles.

Rodial Airbrush makeup review application

Rodial foundation & concealer application before blending

Rodial 01 aspen foundation concealer swatches comparisons

Comparison swatches L-R: theBalm Lighter Than Light, Cover FX G20, It Cosmetics Bye Bye Under Eye Concealer in Light, Rodial Airbrush Make-Up in 01, Rodial Airbrush Concealer in Aspen.

I’m lucky enough that Aspen more or less matches my skintone, so I can use it around my nose and on blemishes as well. It has a soft, waxy texture, and it keeps my dark circles looking bright (and crease-free!) all day long.

The formula is more lightweight than the Rodial Foundation Paste, which is a bit odd but is definitely worth keeping in mind if you’re trying to pick between the two.

Rodial Airbrush concealer aspen 01 review

The verdict?

I really, really like both of these new base products from Rodial, but I’d love to see a wider shade range become available soon–there are virtually no shades available for non-white skintones right now.

If you can find a shade to match your skintone, however, both of these products are really well-formulated. The concealer is a bit pricey (although it’s fabulous), but the foundation is a very reasonable price at $50 CAD/0.7 oz and will easily last through 1-2 years of daily use before running out.

To compare these two to other popular high-coverage options: if you can find your shade, I’d buy these before Kevyn Aucoin SSE, Cover FX anything, Bobbi Brown concealers, or Laura Mercier Secret Concealer in a heartbeat. The shade range is embarrassingly small, but they just work better. Respectively, they’re unscented and look better on dry skin; they have better coverage; they’re better priced; and they have a more flawless finish.

Availability: Select Shopper’s Drug Mart Beauty Boutiques, Murale, and online at Rodial (US and UK)!

Keep reading! »

Annabelle Skinny Brow Liner in Universal Ebony review, swatches, photos | One in, one out

Friday, June 10, 2016

Annabelle Skinny Brow Universal Ebony review

The product: Annabelle Cosmetics Skinny Brow Liner in Universal Ebony 

Okay, so this one is a bit of a “cheat post.” I haven’t finished my first Annabelle Skinny Brow Liner yet, but I’ve already bought another one because I’m weak of spirit and I literally could not handle not having one on me at all times.

Does that mean that it: 1) counts as a repurchase, 2) counts doubly as a repurchase, or 3) does not count as a repurchase because you still have your first one; seriously, Rae, what is wrong with you?

Annabelle Skinny Brow Universal Ebony empties

And now, for a quick recap of the week this liner: I recently reviewed the Annabelle Skinny Brow Liner in my Annabelle brow breakdown post, but for those of you who missed it (or just need a quick refresher) – this thing is basically the shit. 

Universal Ebony the perfect shade for my Asian colouring, and it gives me hella flawless brows in just seconds. Nothing makes my face look as flawless as perfect brows (no, not even perfect foundation), and literally nothing beats this formula, except maybe liquid brow pens if the colour’s just right.

Annabelle Skinny Brow Liner swatches before after tutorial

1. Bare brows: Milani Liquif’Eye liner, Clarins Waterproof Eyeshadows in 01 Golden Peach and 02 Golden Sand (review soon!) / 2. Outlined brows

What I missed in my initial review…

I, in my infinite wisdom, managed to forget to do a before & after for my initial review. Which obviously couldn’t be withheld for a product THIS good, so here you go!

I find that the best way to get perfect-for-me brows with this liner is to sketch the outline of my brows (bottom line first, then the top), fill them in (heavily throughout for “Instagram brows”/more faintly on the inner corners for everyday), and then finish by pulling a spoolie through my brows in an outward motion to blend.

This process is literally so easy that I can finish my brows in under 60 seconds, and they stay flawless and natural-looking all day (and night) long.

(58 seconds and 11 milliseconds, and I don’t even have to rush. I know because I TIMED IT.)

Annabelle Skinny Brow Liner review tutorial

3. Filled in / 4. Finished! 

The verdict?

The Annabelle Skinny Brow Liners are literally so good that I couldn’t bear to be without, and dude, you need to give them a try. If my first review didn’t convince you, then please: let this one sway you in the direction of the light!

Availability: $8.95 CAD at Annabelle.com and at drugstores and mass market retailers across Canada. (My advice? Get it through Annabelle. I bought my second one at Shoppers, and it was $10.49!)

Check out these silicone-free ingredients! »

Smashbox Inspiration lipstick, Insta-Matte, & Mulholland Mauve review, swatches, photos

Monday, June 6, 2016

Smashbox Be Legendary lipstick Inspiration review

The products: Smashbox Cosmetics Be Legendary Cream Lipstick in Inspiration, Insta-Matte Lipstick Transformer, and L.A. Lights Blendable Lip & Cheek Color in Mulholland Mauve

Smashbox Spring 2016 review

Smashbox Be Legendary Lipstick ($21 USD/$36 CAD)

The Be Legendary lipsticks are a staple of the current Smashbox lineup, and with Inspiration, it’s not hard to see why. This new shade is a super-flattering bright fuchsia pink with subtle shimmer (which I think makes it NOT a “true” cream!!) and it’s a total dreamboat.

Smashbox Inspiration review photos Be Legendary Creamm Lipstick

Smashbox Be Legendary Lipstick in Inspiration review

Smashbox Inspiration swatch Be Legendary Lipstick review

Smashbox Be Legendary Lipstick in Inspiration swatches in indirect sunlight. (Can you tell that I took these photos with my old Canon? Just not as good, man.)

The Smashbox Be Legendary Cream Lipstick formula is comforting, heavy, and smooth – I wouldn’t mind owning another couple (dozen) of these. They remind me of the Clinique Pop Lipsticks, actually, but with a lighter texture.

The Be Legendary “cream” finish (they’re also available in a matte finish) is luscious and looks almost glossy thanks to the shimmer, and Inspiration is well-pigmented with colour that goes exactly where it ought to, no lip brush necessary.

Smashbox Be Legendary Inspiration review photos swatches

(See the glitter?)

Smashbox Insta-Matte Lipstick Transformer ($24 USD/$26 CAD)

Smashbox also introduced their Insta-Matte Lipstick Transformer this spring, which I think is a pretty nifty product. It’s a silicone-y gel that’s similar to their Photo Finish primer, but thicker, and it’s designed to turn any cream (!!) lipstick into a matte.

 Smashbox Insta-Matte transformer review

I liked the idea behind the Insta-Matte, and it worked well to mattify Inspiration when I tried it on. However, it doesn’t do anything that a sprinkling of loose powder could do (a trick that makeup artists have been using for decades), and the effect is subtle.

Granted, it’s a lot more comfortable to wear than loose powder is, but it can’t be used overtop of glosses, lacquers, or balms, which I think kind of minimizes its appeal. Cream lipsticks are halfway to today’s mattes anyways, you know? Just pat with tissue and you’re 90% of the way there.

Smashbox Inspiration, Mulholland Mauve swatches, Insta-matte

Smashbox swatches L-R: Insta-Matte over Be Legendary Lipstick in Inspiration; Inspiration on its own; L.A. Lights in Mulholland Mauve lightly, then heavily. Swatched in artificial light. 

Smashbox L.A. Lights Blendable Lip & Cheek Color ($29 USD/$36 CAD)

I love a good stick/pencil product, but the Smashbox L.A. Lights formula just didn’t grab me. It’s workable, but it feels tacky and heavy to me. The formula drags on the skin as you blend it out, so while the finish looks lovely and dewy, I find that I rarely reach for these.

As a lip product, though, I found Mulholland Mauve to be extremely disappointing. A darker colour would fare better, but it looks pasty and thin on my lips–almost like a $2 bargain bin lipstick or an early-2000s party girl lipgloss.

Smashbox L.A. Lights cheek lip review

However, the L.A Lights sticks are one of the few silicone-free stick blushes that I’ve found, and Mulholland Mauve is a rather unique colour. It looks passable on my fair olive skin (the shade choice was my mistake!), but would be gorgeous on a warmer complexion.

As a note, the availability on the L.A. Lights is a little weird. If you’re looking for Mulholland Mauve or Fairfax Fuchsia in Canada, they’re only available at Shopper’s/Murale – you won’t be able to buy them at Sephora. Make sure you shop accordingly!

Smashbox Mulholland Mauve review swatches

The verdict?

Sadly, none of Smashbox’s spring launches were total must-haves for me–but I do really like their Be Legendary lipsticks, so it was nice to see that shade range expanded.

On the whole, I’d say that the Be Legendaries are a nice-to-have, the Insta-Matte is a cool-to-have, and the L.A. Lights are a skip. I’ve heard excellent things about the L.A. Lights from other bloggers, though, so if you love ’em, hit me up in the comments. I want to know what I’m missing here!

Availability: New permanent products (as of January 2016) at Shopper’s Drug Mart Beauty Boutiques, Murale, Nordstrom, and Sephora.

 

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! »

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