Annabelle Big Show Lacquer review, swatches, photos

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Annabelle Big Show Lacquer lipgloss review

The product: Annabelle Cosmetics Big Show Lacquer in Adore Simply, Caress Tenderly, Kiss Swiftly, Enchant Romantically, Love Fiercely, and Hypnotize Deeply

As I’m sure most of you know already, I am a huge fan of Annabelle Cosmetics. They’re Canadian, affordable, and cruelty-free, and all of their products pack an awesome punch of pigments–especially when you consider that most items are $10 or less.

One of the lines that I just haven’t been able to really get behind, however, is their Big Show range. I liked but didn’t love their Big Show Mascara (which is a HUGE fan favourite) and, later, their Big Show Lip Glosses. Similarly, it pains me to say that I liked these Big Show Lacquers, but… I didn’t love them.

Annabelle Big Show lacquer review

The formula: The Big Show Lacquer formula follows on a trend similar to that of the YSL Glossy Stains and Shu Uemura Laque Supremes: high-impact liquid lip colours that have the saturation of a lipstick, the finish of a lipgloss, and the lasting power of a lip stain. 

If I’m being honest, the Big Show Lacquers hit all three of these out of the park. They’re glossy and highly pigmented, and unlike the YSL and Shu Uemura gloss-stains, they’re opaque in just one swipe.

But, while other bloggers seem to just adore these, I’m on the fence about them. There aren’t any MLBB/”no makeup” shades in the range, and I find that once these start to wear away (within 1-2 hours), they become quite tacky and drying. And then there’s the smell: chemically fruity. They’re not any more drying than a Glossy Stain, but I’ve definitely noticed how actual-lacquer-y these can feel.

Annabelle Big Show lipgloss review photos swatches

Annabelle Big Show Lacquer applicator

Annabelle Adore Simply Caress Tenderly Kiss Sweetly swatches review

Annabelle Big Show Lacquers swatched L-R: Adore Simply, Caress Tenderly, Kiss Swiftly, Enchant Romantically, Love Fiercely, and Hypnotize Deeply

The shades: As I mentioned above, there aren’t any natural-looking shades in the Big Show Lacquer range. (I really want to try the Marcelle Lux Colour Rush Lip Lacquers for this very reason; they look to have the exact same formula as these, but they’re unscented and come in only pink/peach/nude shades.)

That being said, if you love colour, then this is a great range to check out. The Big Show Lacquers currently come in six super-shimmery shades, including the particularly-shimmery nude Adore Simply, the orange Caress Tenderly, and two pinks. Kiss Swiftly is more of a milky fuchsia, while Enchant Romantically is a darker, warmer pink with blue reflects.

I’d love to see a purple in this range (it’s the perfect formula for it!) but for now, lovers of darker lip colours can opt for Love Fiercely, a metallic, warm brick red, and Hypnotize Deeply, a purplish berry.

Annabelle cosmetics Big Show Lacquer lipgloss review

The verdict?

The Big Show Lacquers are huge in the blogosphere right now, but I’m just… not a fan. The synthetic fruity scent gives me a headache, and ALL of these shades are punchy and shimmery, which just isn’t my thing.

I also noted a distinct “lacquer” feeling when I wore these (almost like there was a film over my lips), but I have to admit: they definitely make good on their promises of gloss, pigment, and endurance, and they apply with glorious opacity and evenness. When my lips are in better condition, I might pick up a Marcelle Lux Colour Rush Lip Lacquer to see if I’ll like the formula any more without the shimmer and scent, but I think this is about it for the Big Show Lacquers and I!

Availability: $9.95 CAD at Annabelle.com (US & Canadian shipping) and in-store at drugstores and mass retailers across Canada. Permanent as of January 2016.

Keep reading! »

Marcelle Rouge Vitality reviews, swatches: Rose Classique, Angel’s Blush, Royal Berry

Monday, March 28, 2016

Marcelle Rouge Vitality lipstick review Spring 2016

The products: Marcelle Rouge Vitality Lipsticks in Rose Classique, Angel’s Blush, and Royal Berry

Happy Easter Monday, folks! I’ve been having the CRAZIEST Easter weekend this year, so my apologies for the lack of posts recently. It’s, uh, kind of graphic but I’m gonna share it, so skip down below the next image for the review. 

My partner cut the tip of his finger off at work (which I have many opinions about; he was working on four hours of sleep following three 13-hour days when he had his accident), so that–that was a bit of a rocky start. It wasn’t just a little sliver or anything, either; it was a big ‘ol horror movie chunk. Then, on our way to Easter dinner, we got rear-ended just off of Jasper Ave in heavy traffic.

Thankfully, we left with as many limbs as we started out with, although not with as many car parts. So drive safe out there, kiddos! And go tell your families that you love them and stuff.

Marcelle Rouge Vitality review swatches

Marcelle Rose Classique, Angel’s Blush, and Royal Berry Rouge Vitality lipsticks

The formula: Marcelle’s Rouge Vitality Lipsticks have been my saving grace all month long. Whenever I’m having a rough day, I whip one out and put it on to cheer myself up.

See, the Rouge Vitality Lipsticks and I share a special bond. They’re my favourite lipstick formula ever, thick and carnauba wax-y and unscented with medium to opaque pigmentation. Unlike most lipsticks, they never slide around on my lips or apply unevenly, and they’re never drying. In fact, the formula is enriched with castor seed oil, aloe, and vitamins A, C, and E to slow down damage caused by free radicals, so they’re actually good for your lips!

Sure, they’re not as buttery as a trendy Bite or Guerlain lipstick, but they’re a really awesome–and often overlooked–lipstick formula. I thought they were being slowly discontinued in favour of the Marcelle Rouge Xpression line, but these three brand-new shades give me hope!

Marcelle Angel's Blush Rouge Vitality review swatch

Marcelle Angel’s Blush Rouge Vitality Lipstick review

Marcelle Angel's Blush review swatch Rouge Vitality

Marcelle Rouge Vitality Angel’s Blush lipstick swatch, review

The shades: Including these three, the Rouge Vitality line now offers 12 matte and shimmering shades. I really like their mattes, but they’re more of a soft matte, if you ask me — they go on creamy and settle into the lips with a soft, comfortable matte finish. The matte formula is actually my favourite thing about these lipsticks, because it sinks into the lips slowly, meaning you have no awkward fading, feathering, or drying out of the lip area.

I love the shade of 480 Rose Classique (a really pretty, cool pink), but it has a finely-milled shimmer finish, which can sometimes catch on my lips if they’re really dry. So, instead, I’ve been wearing 330 Angel’s Blush a lot — it’s that cream/matte finish in a warm, medium-toned pinky-nude shade.

Finally, there’s 200 Royal Berry, which is the darkest shade of the three. It’s more of a brick red on me, but I betcha it would be the perfect berry shade on someone with a warmer skintone. If you find that most berry shades pull outright purple on you, then definitely give this one a try!

Marcelle Rose Classique Royal Berry swatches

Marcelle Rouge Vitality Rose Classique, Royal Berry swatches

Marcelle Rouge Vitality review Rose Classique

Marcelle Rouge Vitality Rose Classique Lipstick review

The verdict?

Marcelle’s Rouge Vitality lipstick formula isn’t for everyone, but I love it. It’s classic and stiff, with a soft matte finish that wears incredibly evenly and never dries out my lips.

I would looooove to see more cool-toned matte shades in the range, but hey — I thought that the Rouge Vitality line was going to disappear entirely, so I’ll take what I can get! Angel’s Blush hasn’t left my handbag in weeks, and I’m really enjoying the shimmery Rose Classique, too.

Are any of you guys Rouge Vitality lipstick fans?

Availability: $10.95 CAD at Marcelle.com (US/Canadian shipping) and in drugstores & mass-market retailers across Canada. Permanent.

Keep reading!

Annabelle Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner 24H review, swatches, photos

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Annabelle waterproof liquid eyeliner review photos swatches

The products: Annabelle Cosmetics Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner Super Long Wear +24H in Blue Spark, Bronze, and Black Star

Annabelle recently re-launched their liquid eyeliners, pulling the old formula from the range and replacing it with a waterproof, 24 hour version of itself. (If the familiar packaging is shocking to you, then so be it.)

But, while the packaging is very similar in these new eyeliners, the formula couldn’t be more different. From the ingredients to the texture, these Super Long Wear liquid liners are a whole other can of chicken-flavoured cat treats from their older siblings.

Annabelle 24h liquid eyeliner brush packaging review

The formula: The new Annabelle Liquid Eyeliner formula is awesome, but… it’s actually not as awesome as the original, which is weird.

I’ve tested it up to 16 hours, and it wears really well throughout the day. There’s no smudging or wearing in that time, but it just doesn’t hold up to friction under water the way the old formula did — like, you can cry while wearing them, but you can’t take a shower. Granted, it comes off more like a pen eyeliner now, which some people might prefer to the old “pilling” version (but I definitely don’t!)

The new formula is also thinner, which makes it super easy to apply without that inky clumping that you can get with some liquid liner formulas. It’s sometimes a little too watery, though, and can apply unevenly if you don’t use consistent pressure (see: the Blue Spark swatch below), so make sure to apply in short, steady dashes.

Annabelle Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner swatches bronze

Annabelle Black Star, Bronze, and Blue Spark Liquid Eyeliner swatches

The shades: The new Annabelle Waterproof Liquid Eyeliners are available in three shades right now: Black Star, which replaces Black Spark as a glossy black with silver shimmer, Bronze, which is a medium-opaque, glossy, shimmery bronze, and Blue Spark, which is a total superhero colour!

Blue Spark dries matte, despite the fact that it contains shimmer, and it compliments the other two liners really well. It’s definitely my top pick from this line, and it looks awesome paired with a bit of Black Star through the lashline.

Annabelle cosmetics 24h liquid liner review

The verdict?

The new Annabelle Waterproof Liquid Eyeliners are pretty good, but they’re just not as good as the line’s old liquid liners. So, if you already have a tube of Black Spark, I wouldn’t bother updating to this new formula — it’s just not waterproof the way the older ones were.  

If you’re looking for nothing more than an easy to apply, long-wearing liquid liner from the drugstore, though, I still think that these are some of the best. They don’t budge (even on my super-oily monolids), they’re awesome for beginners, and they (can) have a really beautiful, glossy finish.

Availability: $8.95 CAD at Annabelle.com (US and Canada shipping) or at drugstores and mass retailers across Canada. Permanent as of January 2016.

Keep reading! »

Elizabeth Arden Eclipse Sunset Bronze Highlighter review, swatches, photos | The prettiest spring launch! THE PRETTIEST!

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Elizabeth Arden Sunset Bronze highlighter review

The product: Elizabeth Arden Sunset Bronze Prismatic Highlighter in Eclipse 01

I’ve really been feeling the whole “glistening golden glow” thing this season, but somehow, I didn’t have a single product in my collection that really fit the bill — until Eclipse came along.

It’s part of the Elizabeth Arden Sunset Bronze Summer 2016 collection, which is all about sunset hues and the bronzey look that the golden hour gives you.

Elizabeth Arden sunset bronze review prismatic highighter

Elizabeth Arden sunset bronze highlighter swatch review

Elizabeth Arden Sunset Bronze Prismatic Highlighter swatch (blended / heavy)

The shade: You guys. This is gorgeous.

The Sunset Bronze Prismatic Highlighter only comes in one shade, Eclipse, but it’s a stunning golden bronze colour. Ultra-fine mica and titanium dioxide shimmer gives a sparkly gold finish to a light copper base colour, and the stick texture blends out easily to a translucent shimmer finish that makes my cheekbones GLOW in natural sunlight. 

Patting it into the skin offers a more intense sheen, and it reminds me of the Becca x Jaclyn Hill Champagne Pop Shimmering Skin Perfector ($38 USD/$46 CAD) when patted — but with more controllable shimmer placement. (Am I the only one who didn’t really like Champagne Pop? Becca highlighters are so pretty, but kind of get everywhere on me.)

Estee Lauder sunset bronze highlighter stick swatch review

Elizabeth Arden Sunset Bronze Prismatic Highlighter in Eclipse, swatched (blended / heavy)

The formula & packaging: Elizabeth Arden’s Prismatic Highlighter formula contains silicones, but it is gorgeously creamy — and doesn’t seem to breaking me out in this concentration (yet). The texture is melty-smooth without being slippery, and it comes amped up with vitamin E, zinc PCA, and aloe vera leaf extract to nourish your skin.

Elizabeth Arden Sunset Bronze Prismatic Highlighter review stick

Elizabeth Arden Eclipse Sunset Glow highlighter vs Clinique Chubby highlighter

Elizabeth Arden Sunset Bronze Prismatic Highlighter swatch (top), Clinique Chubby Stick in Hefty Highlight (bottom)

The only other highlighting stick that I use regularly is the Clinque Chubby Stick highlighter ($21 USD/$24 CAD), but the two are like night and day. The Elizabeth Arden stick is softer, creamier, stouter, and easier to blend, while the Clinique stick is firmer and disappears into the skin.

Both are stunning in their own way, but one is a cool-toned illuminator while the other is warm, intense highlighter. (In other words, you totally need both!)

Elizabeth Arden Spring 2016 highlighter review

The verdict?

Elizabeth Arden is one of those brands that can sometimes feel dated, but they absolutely killed it with their Sunset Bronze 2016 collection. The entire launch is tightly edited and beautifully packaged, and the Sunset Bronze Prismatic Highlighter is honestly the crown jewel of the whole production.

My only reservation about this highlighter is that it won’t be going into the permanent Elizabeth Arden line, so snap it up while you can!

Availability: $28.50 USD/$34.50 CAD. Limited edition at select Hudson’s Bay, London Drugs, and Shopper’s Drug Mart locations as of February 2016.

More pictures! »

Lise Watier Baiser Satin, Basier Velours reviews, swatches, photos | Matte liquid lipsticks you need

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Lise Watier Baiser Velours vs Satin lipstick review

The products: Lise Watier Baiser Velours in Party Kiss, Love Kiss, and Passion Kiss; Lise Watier Baiser Satin in Candy Kiss, Bombshell Kiss, and Red Hot Kiss

When the Baiser Velours Velvet Liquid Lipsticks launched last year, I couldn’t have been more excited. Between the gorgeous matte-and-shiny tubes and the absolute siren of a model that they photographed for the campaign, the Baiser Velours lipsticks sounded like they were going to be my next big lipstick love.

They fell short of my expectations (and fell to the bottom of my to-review pile), but then the Baiser Satins came out… and everything changed.

Lise Watier Baiser Velours liquid lipstick review

The Baiser Velours formula ($28 CAD)

The Lise Watier Baiser Velours formula is pigmented and extremely matte, with a dry, transfer-free finish (on glass), but I just couldn’t make myself fall in love with them.

Now, don’t get me wrong: they look AWESOME freshly applied. They’re the perfect “Instagram” lip; matte and opaque and incredibly sexy. But that transfer-free promise goes totally to the wind the second you put your lips to good use (with  casual, daytime-television-friendly make-outs; get your minds out of the gutter), and the formula starts getting pretty uncomfortable after about two hours.

What really kills me about the Baiser Velours formula, though, is the way that it gets messy. After 2-3 hours of making sure I don’t kiss any wayward strangers lest we both end up looking like bad horror movie extras, the inner rim of my lips does that thing that you see sometimes with lipglosses — you know, that thing where the product decides that it can’t handle the moisture and gets white and gooey and really gross. 

Lise Watier Love, Passion, Party Kiss swatches Baiser Velours

Lise Watier Baiser Velours lipstick swatches in Love Kiss, Party Kiss, and Passion Kiss (not fully dried down).

Lise Watier Baiser Satin vs Velours review

Lise Watier “Love Kiss” Baiser Velours on (your) left sides of lip in both pictures / “Bombshell Kiss” Baiser Satin on right side

So, well, these ones get a big “skip” from me, on account of the fact that I’d prefer if people didn’t think I had rabies. They’re awesome and sexy both inside and out, but the formula just doesn’t hold up!

The Lise Watier Baiser Velours ingredients:

Cyclopentasiloxane, Trimethylsiloxyphenyl Dimethicone, Neopentyl Glycol Dicaprylate/Dicaprate, Isododecane, Silica Dimethyl Silylate, Triacontanyl PVP, Trimethylsiloxysilicate, Dimethicone/Vinyl Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Methoxy PEG-17/Methoxy PEG-11/HDI Isocyanurate Trimer Cosspolymer, Fragrance, Ethylhexyl Palmitate, Butylene Glycol, Caprylyl Glycol, Sodium Hyaluronate.

+/- Titanium Dioxide, Red 6 Lake, Red 7 Lake, Yellow 6 Lake, CI 77491, CI 77492, Iron Oxides, Red 28, Blue 1 Lake.

Lise Watier Baiser Satin liquid lipstick review

The new Baiser Satin formula ($28 CAD)

And then (and then!) this happened. Lise Waiter launched the Baiser Satin range, which is a satin-finish update on the award-winning Baiser Velours formula.

In reality, though? The Satins are totally less “slightly different flanker product” and more “OH GOD, HOW LOVELY.” They’re packaged in gorgeous, shiny tubes with window openings to reveal the colour of each shade, and their satin finish is absolutley perfect. It’s not as dry to the touch as the Velours formula, but it still looks quite matte — I’d say it’s in between a matte and a cream, with zero shimmer and a really comfortable hold. 

Lise Watier Bombshell, Candy, Red Hot Kiss swatches Baiser Satin

While the Baiser Velours have that totally dry (and dry to the touch) papery finish, the Satins feel more like a gloss and look like a non-MAC matte lipstick bullet: matte, but like, soft matte. I can get a comfortable five hours of wear out of them with no liner, lip balm, or lip primer, and they’re totally more “expression friendly” than the Velours.

Sure, the Satins don’t lock down immediately, but they do:

  • Offer even more pigmentation than the Baiser Velours lipsticks in a single swipe,
  • Feel super comfortable everywhere & wear well on the inner rim of the lip, and
  • Facilitate a wrinkle-free transition from wild grinning to sudden withering glares.

The Lise Watier Baiser Satin ingredients:

Polybutene, Diisostearyl Malate, Dimethicone, Trimethylsiloxyphenyl Dimethicone, Bis-Diglyceryl Polyacyladipate-2, Silica, Dimethyl Silylate, Isododecane, Dimethicone/Vinyl Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Trimethylsiloxysilicate, Methoxy PEG-17/Methoxy PEG-11/Hdi Isocyanurate Trimer Crosspolymer, Parfum.

+/- Titanium Dioxide, Red 7 Lake, Yellow 6 Lake, Ci 77491, Ci 77492, Iron Oxides, Blue 1 Lake, Red 6, Red 28 Lake.

Lise Watier Rouge Satin liquid lipstick review

The verdict?

I feel bad dragging a product as pretty as the Lise Watier Baiser Velours lipsticks through the mud, but my dear readers — it had to be done. The Baiser Velours line is what you’ll want to go with for a paper-finish, opaque matte lip, but for everyone whose logic functions are still working else: the Lise Watier Baiser Satin lipsticks are totally the way to go.

The Baiser Satins are 9/10ths as sexy as their matte counterparts, but they make up for that extra 10% by wearing for twice as long, not crinkling after you smile, and not going goopy AT ALL on the outer or inner edges of the lip.

Availability: $28 CAD at LiseWatier.com (US & Canada) and in-store at Shopper’s Drug Mart, London Drugs, and the Hudson’s Bay Beauty Underground! Lise Watier is a cruelty-free Canadian brand.

Keep reading! »

Amaterasu Brunette Liquid Brow Liner swatches, review, photos (formerly Geisha Ink)

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Amaterasu liquid brow liner review

The product: Amaterasu Liquid Brow Liner in Brunette

Okay, so I know I keep finding new brow things to love, but I ACTUALLY MEAN IT this time; I promise.

Amaterasu (pronounced AH-mah-tay-RA-su, after the Japanese Sun Goddess; formerly Geisha Ink) is a Canadian company created Sara Au Yeong that makes just the most amazing liquid brow liner. It’s the perfect combination of my other two liquid brow loves: the great shade match of the Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Brow Color, but with the fast application of the Marcelle Eyebrow Pen.

Amaterasu brow liner review

Look at that gorgeous tip!

Amaterasu liquid brow swatches brunette

Amaterasu Beauty Liquid Brow Liner in Brunette swatched in indirect sunlight

The formula: Huh. I kind of blew this one in the intro, eh?

The Amaterasu Liquid Brow Liner formula is really lovely, with great pigmentation (more than the Stila) and amazing wear — think power brows from 7AM to midnight, with face-down physio and a nap in between. It’s easy to apply even on scarred areas of skin, and it takes a few seconds to set, so it can be smudged gently with a q-tip or fingertip for a softer brow look.

Before after Amaterasu brows

Before & after with the Amaterasu Liquid Brow Liner! (Plus concealer, lashes, a touch of Maybelline 24H Color Tattoo eyeshadow pencil in Pink Parfait, and the new Annabelle Blue Spark liquid liner.)

Amaterasu liquid brow swatches brunette vs stila and marcelle

Marcelle Eyebrow Pen Universal Dark, Stila Stay All Day in Medium, Amaterasu Brunette

The shade: I’m always wary of trying “brunette” brow shades, but Amatetasu’s Brunette knocks it right out of the park. It’s the shade that Geisha Ink/Amaterasu founder Sara Au Yeong wears daily (after many rounds of sending samples back to the lab and saying, “It’s still too red,”) so when I say that it is PERFECT for Asian brows, I mean it! It’s not too light, too warm, or too red.

Amaterasu Liquid Brow Liner review Brunette

The plum blossom can be found on all the new Amaterasu packaging!

The packaging: The Amaterasu packaging is great, too, with a tight seal and a long, calligraphy-style tip. The brush makes it easy to get just the right amount of product, and I never find that I need to go over an area twice (like I often need to with my Stila liner).

It’s also nice and soft, so if you have extremely sensitive skin, this could be what you’ve been waiting for!

Geisha Ink brow pen review swatches

The verdict?

If you passed on the Marcelle pen that I love, and you (wisely) passed on the Stila pen that I adore, then you MUST give this a try. The Amaterasu Brow Liner is the perfect brow product for Asian brows with no caveats or exceptions, and the crazy-long-wearing formula and packaging are worth the price even if you don’t struggle to find brow products in the right shade for you.

Plus, it’s a Canadian company (made in Japan) founded by an incredibly badass business woman & makeup artist, so you know your pennies are going to a great group of folks instead of some nameless corporation! ;)

Availability: $23.20 USD/$29 CAD at Amaterasu.ca and at all of these places in Canada, the US, and worldwide. (Use code SHIP30 for free shipping over $30 CAD!)

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...