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: [EXPAND view]

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. [/EXPAND]

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: [EXPAND view]

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

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?

Lise Watier Rivages review, swatches, photos | Summer 2015

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Lise Watier Rivages Summer 2015 review photos

The product: Lise Watier Rivages, LE Summer 2015

» & don’t forget about the super-pretty Palette Rivages!

I like getting super in-depth when I’m reviewing products, but every now and then, a collection comes along and you’re just like, BUT I HAVE TO TALK ABOUT ALL OF IT. Lise Watier has a tendency to churn those out, so here are some quick (but no less detailed!) reviews of their summer Rivages collection (available mid-April to July 2015).

For those too lazy to stick around and read the whole thing, here’s what you really need to know: the eye products in this collection (palette included) are absolutely killer. And, yeah, you kind of need all of them!

Lise Watier Rivages  Bronzing Powder review

What to buy

Smokey Kohl Velours in Nude Velours ($21 CAD)

I’ve wished for a great nude eyeliner from the drugstore for years, and finally (just weeks after I caved and bought one in a moment of weakness) one exists!

Lise Watier Nude Velours Smokey Kohl review

Described as the “ultimate eye brightener,” Lise Watier’s new Nude Velours Smokey Kohl eyeliner can be used to brighten the waterlines, lashlines, and inner corners of your eyes. It’s creamy, pigmented, and easy to work with, and the matte Nude Velours shade works perfectly against my complexion to brighten up my eyes without looking stark on my waterlines.

» How does it stack up? Nude Velours is cooler, lighter, and more smudge-resistant than Rimmel’s 005 Nude ScandalEyes Kohl.

Lise Watier Nude Velours swatches Smokey Kohl review

Lise Watier Sexy Glam, Chic Glam swatches review photos

Lise Watier 24hrs Glam Eyeshadow swatches in Sexy Glam, Chic Glam; Lise Watier Nude Velours Smokey Eye Kohl swatch

24hrs Glam Eyeshadow in Sexy Glam and Chic Glam ($23 CAD)

The last must-have from this collection is yet another eye product: the 24hrs Glam Eyeshadows. I tested these in Sexy Glam and Chic Glam, both from Lise Watier’s permanent line, and I really liked them — they set within seconds, but it’s pretty easy to buff out their edges and they wear very well.

» Sexy Glam is a glittery light pink; Chic Glam is a smooth, shimmering cool taupe.

Lise Watier 24 hrs glam eyeshadow review Sexy, Chic Glam

Lise Watier Nude Velours eyeliner swatches review

Lise Watier swatches, L-R: Sexy Glam, Chic Glam, Nude Velours

Like a lot of automatic cream eyeshadow/base/liner pencils, the 24hrs Glam shadows are waterproof and have a sort of chunky-glittery finish. I like them best layered underneath powder eyeshadows (may I suggest the Lise Watier Palette Rivages?), where they add an interesting sparkle to satin and matte finishes. Worn with primer, I can get a solid 10 hours out of these without creasing or fading, which on my lids is really good.

Lise Watier 24 hrs glam Sexy Glam, Chic Glam swatches review

Lise Watier Sexy Glam (L), Chic Glam (R) 24hrs Glam Eyeshadow

What to try

Blush Fondant Suprême in Shell ($30 CAD

Lise Watier Blush Fondant Shell review swatches photos

Shell is a skip for me, but I can think of a few fellow bloggers and beauty addicts who it would be an absolute must-have for! (I’d kill to see this on Natalie and Divya — it would look bloody amazing on both of them.)

The Blush Fondant Suprême formula is layerable, velvety, and silicone-y, with Concentrated Labrador Tea Extract and a satin-matte cream-to-powder finish. I like it applied best (sparingly!) with fingertips, but I think it’s rather overpriced at $30. It really is a gorgeous, unique colour, though, so pick it up if you’ve been dying to get your hands on a shade like this! (Swatches if you scroll down.)

Magic Lip Colour Enhancer ($24 CAD)

Lise Watier Magic Lip Colour Enhancer review

The Lise Watier Magic Lip Colour Enhancer is apparently part of the brand’s permanent line now, and it’s a pH-adjusting lipgloss with a shimmer-free formula. I like it, but I like all pH adjusting lipglosses — it’s kind of a weakness of mine.

I think the packaging on this one is particularly sleek, but honestly, I prefer my Physician’s Formula pH-adjusting lipgloss. It’s just a touch more muted and can be picked up for a mere $8 when it’s on sale at Shopper’s.

Lise Watier Magic Lip Colour Enhancer review swatches pH adjusting

Keep reading! »

Annabelle Zebra Biggy Bronzer review, swatches: Haute, Matte, & Dark Gold

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Annabelle Biggy Zebra Bronzing powders review

The product: Annabelle Cosmetics Biggy Zebra Bronzing Powder in Haute Gold, Dark Gold, and Matte Gold

I’m entering week 7 of Rae’s Epic Tonsillitis Fest of 2015, so today, I’ve chosen a really easy product to review: Annabelle’s Biggy Bronzers. They’re just updated versions of the brand’s original Zebra bronzer (which, as a few of you might even remember, was my first bronzer love back in the day), and darn it, their big, silly, striped design makes me happy.

Annabelle Cosmetics Matte Gold Biggy Bronzer review

Annabelle “Matte Gold” Biggy Zebra Bronzing Powder review

Annabelle Cosmetics Dark Gold Biggy Bronzer review

Annabelle “Dark Gold” Biggy Zebra Bronzing Powder review

The product: Each Biggy powder bronzer is zebra-patterned with light and dark bronze stripes in either a subtle shimmer (Haute Gold, Dark Gold) or matte (Matte Gold) finish. Each shade blends seamlessly to give you a perfectly gold-hued bronze, and the yellow/red undertones never look ruddy or fake the way many orange-brown bronzers can.

Annabelle Haute Gold, Dark Gold, Matte Gold Bronzer swatches review

Annabelle Biggy Bronzer swatches: Dark Gold, Haute Gold, Matte Gold

The shades: I still adore the subtle shimmer of Haute Gold (there’s a reason why it won the 2014 ELLE Canada Beauty Grand Prix for Best Bronzer Under $30, you know), but the new shades are pretty great, too!

Dark Gold is an intense, metallic yellow-bronze. Haute Gold is ever so slightly redder, and has more of a shimmer finish. Matte Gold is the most sheer of the three, and is impressively close in tone to the others — it’s slightly more red and desaturated, but if you loved the original Zebra bronzer (Haute Gold), it’ll definitely still work for your skin tone.

Annabelle Biggy Zebra Bronzer swatches review

Annabelle Zebra Biggy Bronzer swatches: Dark Gold, Haute Gold, Matte Gold

BEST USED: Apply Haute Gold (for everyday wear) or Dark Gold (for a more metallic finish) to the cheekbones, collarbones, and décolletage to give a golden glow without looking like you’ve had an accident with the fake tanner.

Apply Matte Gold to subtly sculpt and bronze the face — lord knows it’s better for contouring than most of this season’s contouring launches.

Annabelle Cosmetics Haute Gold Biggy Bronzer review comparison

Annabelle Zebra Bronzers in Dark Gold, Haute Gold, and Matte Gold

The verdict?

At just over $10 apiece, these bronzers are some of my favourites — and not just from the drugstore. They’re one of those products that does all the work for you, blending out easily and imparting a really healthy-looking glow with almost no effort at all.

I love that Annabelle has expanded the Biggy Bronzing Powder shade range, but Haute Gold is still my favourite of the three. I recommend applying lightly all summer long with a large powder brush!

Availability: $11.95 CAD at Annabelle.ca and at drugstores and mass market retailers across Canada.

Keep reading! »

shu:palette review, swatches, photos | A shu uemura eyeshadow palette made just for Asian eyes

Saturday, June 6, 2015

shu uemura shu-palette review photos - 16 neutral eyeshadows

The product: shu:palette pressed eyeshadow palette

The palette: What makes the shu:palette special is that, unlike almost everything else available here, all 16 eyeshadows included in it have been specifically selected to work well on Asian skintones, which is — I mean, pretty darn exciting. (Plus, all of the application suggestions are designed to accent monolids, not disguise them!)

shu palette eyeshadow review

Included double-sided synthetic brush

The eyeshadows: I was very, very happy with the formulas here, as always. Yes, shu products are rather pricey, but you always get what you pay for — which is more than I can say for some other brands (ahem, MAC).

That said, I wish there were more light/medium shades in here. For some reason, it contains six highlighters, which seems a little excessive to me? Like, they’re all great, but… that’s a lot of highlighters in one palette.

Top row

shu palette swatches review shu uemura neutrals

shu:palette top row swatches – indirect sunlight; over primer

G beige 821 – A sparkling, transparent yellow gold glitter. (I do love the way shu uemura does their glitter eyeshadows — they’re wonderfully flaky and sparkly.)

M soft beige 814 – A sheer yellow nude; great for neutralizing any lid redness.

ME light beige 825 – A beautiful, peachy metallic shade.

ME medium brown 856 – Taupe lovers, unite! This is a gorgeously buttery taupe with a warm red base and a cool silver sheen. The more of this you apply, the cooler it will look (and vice-versa).

shu uemera palette swatches review

shu:palette top row swatches – indirect sunlight; over primer

M soft brown 851 – Matte camel brown. (The texture of this one is just fantastic.) Not too warm, not to cool.

ME medium brown 862 – Metallic copper. Simple, but lovely!

IR light beige 811 – Medium-pigmented butter yellow frost.

IR dark blue 690 – Functionally, this one reads as a cold, satin-matte black — not a dark teal, as it appears in the pan.

shu uemura neutral eyeshadow palette review photos

Synthetic double sided brush (included). This is the point/liner end.

Bottom row

M light beige 813 – Matte bone shade with sparse microshimmer for depth (reads as a medium-sheer matte white.)

P soft beige 823 – A very pretty, sheer shimmer with a very fine particle size. Can lean either pink or yellow, depending on the light. I’m quite fond of this one!

S light beige 815 – Creamy, satin-finish light beige.

P light beige 822 – Peachy and medium-sheer with very fine, uniform shimmer.

shu palette swatches for asian eyes

shu:palette bottom row swatches – indirect sunlight; over primer

P medium brown 875 – Warm (orange, not red) brown with distinct gold shimmer and an absolutely gorgeous texture. (You can really see the gold shimmer in the swatches below).

M dark brown 895 – Dry matte brown with very good pigmentation. This one is actually very neutral/cool, and doesn’t warm up as it sheers out (which is a rare find!)

ME medium olive 471 – Cool grey with a strong metallic finish and green (!) undertones.

M black 990 – A very, very neutral, dry black. Good pigmentation, but not the blackest black to ever black.

shu palette swatches review 16 neutrals

shu:palette bottom row swatches – indirect sunlight; over primer

shu eyeshadow palette for asian eyes review

The verdict?

It took me a horrifyingly long time to test each and every one of these shades to finish my review, but if you can still get your hands on this palette, do. Each and every one of these eyeshadows is up to snuff, and with 16 full-sized pans, you’re only paying $6.56 per eyeshadow — which is less than a lot of drugstore eyeshadows out there, and far less than shu’s usual $19 CAD price tag.

The only thing that I’d change? I’d love to see a version 2.0 with more light-medium shades!

Availability: $105 CAD at shu uemura counters in Holt Renfrew.

Keep reading! »

Clinique Pop Lip Color + Primer review, swatches, photos | Beige Pop, Poppy Pop, & Fab Pop

Friday, May 29, 2015

Clinique Pop Lip Colour + Primer lipstick review photos swatches

The product: Clinique Pop Lip Color + Primer in 04 Beige Pop, 06 Poppy Pop, and 12 Fab Pop

New this spring from Clinique are sixteen Pop Lip Colour + Primers, which are designed to pair rich colour with a smoothing primer. They’re part of Clinique’s current strategy of releasing pretty, accessible products without any complicated steps, and just like the rest of the no-fuss products Clinique has released recently… these rock.

Clinique Pop Lip Colour + Primer lipstick review

The formula: It’s been a long time since I fell in love with lipstick formula, but the Pop Lip Colour + Primers had me at hello. The formula is perfect: creamy and comforting without feeling too heavy, slippery, or drying, and absolutely packed with smooth, velvety pigment. These remind me a lot of the (mosly discontinued) Marcelle Rouge Vitality Lipsticks, AKA my favourite lipsticks ever — but the Clinique Pop lipsticks might just be even better.

Formulated with shea and murumuru butters and designed to provide “moisture maintenance” with a flexible polymer blend, these are one of the only lipsticks I’ve ever worn that don’t leave my lips crinkly and dry. They feel just as rich in texture as they are in colour, and on top of all that, the formula is totally scent-free.

Clinique Lip Pop Lip Colour + Primer swatches beige fab poppy

Clinique Pop Lip Colour + Primer swatches in Beige Pop, Fab Pop, and Poppy Pop

image

A quick, messy iPhone shot of Fab Pop, filched from my Instagram — @thenotice

The shades: I tried three of the sixteen Clinique Pop shades, and surprisingly enough, Fab Pop was the one that I realy fell in love with. It’s bright and milky with lavender undertones, and really brightens up my face without looking like TOO MUCH (caps lock totally necessary.)

I wasn’t as crazy about Beige Pop, which is an objectively lovely medium-nude (I need a little less pink from my nude lipsticks to counteract my natural lip colour, unfortunately), and Poppy Pop wasn’t really for me, either — poppy reds make me look, for some reason, both flushed and yellow-toothed.

But Fab Pop – oh, my. What a shade.

Clinique Beige Pop lipstick primer review swatches

Clinique Pop Lip Colour + Primer in Beige Pop

Clinique Fab Pop lipstick primer review swatches

Clinique Pop Lip Colour + Primer in Fab Pop
Clinique Poppy Pop lipstick primer review swatches

Clinique Pop Lip Colour + Primer in Poppy Pop

The verdict?

You need. You absolutely, totally, definitely need. I’ve been wearing Fab Pop bascially non-stop for the past two weeks, and it hasn’t lost its appeal by even a bit. (Plus, for once, my lips don’t feel stiff and dry when I’m wearing lipstick.)

The Clinique Pop Lip Colour + Prime formula is fast becoming one of my all-time favourites, and for anyone looking for creamy, luxurious, scent-free lipstick, these are totally it.

Availability: $18 USD/$21 CAD at Sephora, Clinique, and Nordstrom.

Keep reading! »

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