Clarins Graphic Expression Face & Blush Powder review, swatches, photos | Clarins Fall 2013/The Gift Guide

Monday, December 9, 2013

Clarins Face & Blush Powder review Graphic Expression

The products: Clarins Graphic Expression Face & Blush Powder

This post comes a little late in the year, but as both this powder and the Graphic Expression Forest eyeshadow quad (review later this week) are still available, I’m hoping you’ll be able to forgive me.

These two gems launched in the Clarins Fall 2013 Graphic Expression colour collection, and would make wonderful Christmas gifts — the quad depending on the skintone of the recipient, and this Face & Blush Powder for, well, anyone.

Clarins Face & Blush Powder review

Clarins Graphic Expression Face & Blush Powder review

The formula: Like all of the other Clarins powders I’ve tried, the Graphic Expression Face & Blush Powder has the most beautiful, delicate violet fragrance. It’s soft and ethereal, but with this wonderful fruity edge, tamped down by a hint of powder.

I’ve never been able to test their powders for all-over wear, as all of the ones I own are either too dark, too shimmery, or too silicone-y (or a combination thereof), but I’ve never read an outright bad review for them. Christine (Temptalia), for instance, found that Graphic Expression “wore well for eight and a half hours, and it did seem to help prolong the wear of [her] foundation slightly (by about a half hour),” while Karen (Makeup and Beauty Blog) notes that it “does slightly darken on [her] skin over time.”

Clarins Graphic Expression swatches review photos

Clarins Graphic Expression swatches photos review

Clarins Forest, Graphic Expression swatches review

Swatched L-R: Clarins Eye Quartet Mineral Palette in Forest (4), Clarins Face & Blush Powder in Graphic Expression (blended)

The shade and finish: More peachy than last spring’s pinky-peach Palette Eclat, and much darker than 2010′s apricot-peach Barocco Face PaletteGraphic Expression has a bit of gold shimmer woven through its formula, too. The stripe of gold overspray comes off to reveal a wider pink strip, but the two pink portions carry a hint of finely milled shimmer right down to the bottom of the pan.

Both the light and dark beige/peach strips are smooth and completely matte, with a dry-satin finish. If you use all of the shades at once, the resulting colour is just as surprisingly pigmented as the Palette Eclat was, with a warmer, peachier lean and a very softly frosted finish — but only if you build it up tons, as in a blush or bronzer.

When worn all over, this is, again, warm and peachy, almost orange (but a good orange). The more you buff it in, the more the shimmer seems to come out, but it’s glowy and imperceptible from a foot or more away. If last spring’s palette gave a glow with its rosy tones, then this one gives it with its subtle shimmer.

Clarins Face & Blush Powder swatches review Graphic Expression

Clarins Graphic Expression Face & Blush Powder swatches: without & with overspray

Clarins powder blush review swatches photos Graphic Expression

What makes it such a perfect gift: I mean, look at it. If you had to give one makeup item to someone — why not this? More portable and budget-friendly than something like Guerlain’s Meteorites, Clarins’ Graphic Expression powder is almost alarmingly versatile across skintones, functioning as everything from an all-over radiance powder to a blush or bronzer.

The design of the Face & Blush powder changes with each season, but it too is always so well thought-out: intricate and mesmerizing, with strips of colour that go straight down. I really liked spring’s design, but this one really is much more holiday-appropriate — its lines upon lines remind me of ribbons or wrapping paper, and I just think it would make such a lovely gift.

Clarins Fall 2013 review Graphic Expression Face & Blush Powder

The verdict?

Clarins cheek palettes are always gorgeous in tone and design, and the Graphic Expression Face & Blush Powder is no exception. I love Clarins powders for their beautiful violet scent, and though their Face & Blush Powders’ tones (typically peach or pinky-peach) suit my complexion better in the summer, they’re wonderful all year ’round on neutral and warm skintones.

As always, I would recommend this powder as a brightening, all-over powder for darker skintones, and as a blush or contour on lighter ones.

While this palette isn’t quite as holiday-perfect as Clarins’ Barocco collection powder was (yes, I’m still in love with its aesthetic, even after all these years), it’s definitely more than holiday-ready.

Availability: $35 USD/$40 CAD, limited edition.

Keep reading! »

Annabelle TwistUp Retractable Lipstick swatches, descriptions, and recommendations

Friday, October 25, 2013

To wrap up our #24Days of TwistUp series, here are arm and full-face lip swatches of all twenty-four shades, as well as some pretty wordy descriptions of each.

The lip swatches have been going up every day this month through theNotice’s Twitter and Pinterest accounts, but I wanted to gather them all up & put them into a post for future reference (and for those of you who aren’t into social media! I feel you, ladybro.) Enjoy the swatches!

More TwistUps: Annabelle TwistUp reviewCanadian & international giveaways, {shop}

Nudes & Browns

Annabelle TwistUp in Naked - swatched on lips

Naked is a little drier than most of the TwistUps, but goes on without settling into lines. It’s surprisingly peachy, and looks incredibly natural on fair to light-medium skintones. It’s lighter, peachier, less pink, and more neutral than Havana.

Annabelle Havana swatch - TwistUp Retractable Lipstick

Havana is noticeably drier than many of the other TwistUps. Darker than Naked, it’s fairly neutral with both brown and pink undertones. It looks a little obvious on me, but would be lovely on light to medium-dark skintones.

Annabelle Absolute swatch - TwistUp Retractable  Lipstick

Absolute is a cream-finish warm pink with yellow undertones. It’s a on the sheerer side, making it a pink-nude that’s a little (okay, maybe a lot) easier to wear.

Annabelle TwistUp in Tease swatch

Tease is another sheer TwistUp, this time with strong orange undertones and plenty of shimmer.

Annabelle Romance swatch TwistUp Retractable Lipstick

Romance is a gorgeous nude with mauvey-brown undertones. It looks incredibly natural on my fair yellow-olive skin, but might look a little chalky on darker skintones.

Annabelle Divine swatch - TwistUp Retractable Lipstick

Divine is a… I want to say “tomato nude,” but I don’t know if that’ll make sense to anyone. It made me think of a slightly redder version of Eva’s Nude, which leads me to believe it would make a gorgeous nude on darker olive skintones — but on my complexion (in real life), it wasn’t a hit.

Annabelle Vamp swatch TwistUp Retractable Lipstick

Vamp pulls surprisingly brown on me (I was expecting more of a rich purple), and doesn’t read quite as red in real life as it appears on film. It’s not quite opaque, shimmer-free, and very bold. Vamp is the greyed brown-purple to Cherry’s red-purple, and it’s definitely more of an oxblood than a berry or red.

Keep reading — we’re not even halfway done yet! »

Annabelle TwistUp Retractable Lipstick review, swatches, photos, comparisons | #24Days of TwistUp

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Annabelle TwistUp Retractable Lipstick review

The product: Annabelle TwistUp Retractable Lipstick… in all 24 shades!

   ↳ See all 24 shades swatched here.

The formula: Your average TwistUp is creamy, comfortable, and very well pigmented — so much so, in fact, that they’ve quickly become not only one of my favourite drugstore lipsticks, but one of my favourite lipstick formulas overall. They apply with a nice sheen, settling into a lovely cream finish, and fading down nicely into a stain. I get 3-4 hours of wear out of the average TwistUp before I need to reapply (less if I eat or drink anything).

The TwistUp Retractable Lipstick formula is also scent-free, which gets it big points in my books, and applies without any catching or tugging. I didn’t notice any settling into dry bits or lip lines, despite how creamy the formula is upon application.

Annabelle Vamp swatch TwistUp Retractable Lipstick

Day 24′s (that’s today!) #24Days TwistUp: Vamp. See the other shades here!

Compared to other lip crayons: Okay, so hopefully someone has wondered how these compare to the Clinique Chubby Sticks by now. (Someone? Anyone?? Helloooo?)

Annabelle’s TwistUps are most similar to the Clinique Chubby Stick Intense Moisturizing Lip Colour Balms ($17 USD/$19 CAD), and I would definitely recommend both ranges. I find that the Chubby Stick Intense formula is more slippery at first, but wears for a smidgen longer once it sets (an extra hour or so). I also find that the Clinique lipsticks are a hair less comfortable; however, the two products weren’t wear-tested during the same season.

It may be helpful to note, for some, that the Clinique formula is quite a bit more simple and far more natural — these two lipsticks feel and perform very similarly, but the formulas couldn’t look less alike. (Full ingredients for the TwistUps at the bottom of this post.)

Best lipstick pencil review Annabelle TwistUp Canadian

The variation: Quite a few brands nowadays are doing split ranges (e.g. MAC Amplified/Lustre/Matte, YSL Rouge Pur/Rouge Pur Couture/Rouge Pur Couture The Mats/Rouge Pur Couture Golden Lustre), but the TwistUps are all sorted into one category. It not a bad thing by far, but it does mean that you can’t know what to expect from a stock photo! 

This will be discussed further in tomorrow’s post, but in general, most of the line is similar to the Clinique Chubby Stick Intense range: high coverage, creamy, and comfortable. However, a few of the TwistUps are more like NARS Velvet Gloss Lip Pencils (Fizz) or the original Chubby Sticks (Tease, Absolute), and a couple are more dry than the rest (Havana, Naked, Cherry).

Annabelle TwistUp review Fizz

The verdict?

Honestly, I cannot recommend these enough. Not only are the Annabelle TwistUp Retractable Lipsticks impressively pigmented (in general) and wonderfully scent-free, but they’re also very portable, well-priced, and comfortable to wear. Annabelle has done a wonderful job with both the finish and (lack of a) scent with these, and the shade range is fantastic.

My personal favourites from this range are Cherry and Naked. For individual shade descriptions, swatches (arm and full-face photos), and overall recommendations, check back tomorrow!

Availability: $9.95 CAD online and in Canadian drugstores across the country. (On sale for $7.25 CAD each at the Annabelle.ca site as I write this!)

Don’t miss seeing seeing all 24 of these TwistUps swatched, together and individually!

Keep reading! »

theNotice’s #24Days ofTwistUp giveaway (Canadian & international!)

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Annabelle Fizz swatch TwistUp Retractable Lipstick

Today’s Twist-Up: Fizz

We’re sixteen days into #24Days of TwistUp, and with just over a week left to go, I thought today would be a good day to kick off the giveaway.

Annabelle Cosmetics has generously offered up a full set of TwistUp Retractable Lipstick Crayons (that’s two dozen lipsticks!) to give to one lucky Canadian winner, and due to a little product overlap, I have another three that I’d like to send out to an international reader. Both giveaways will close on the 28th at midnight MST with one randomly-selected winner each, so read on to find out how to enter!

For our Canadian readers

Lipstick giveaway - Canada TwistUp theNotice

If you live in Canada, consider yourself lucky. Not only do you have publicly-funded healthcare and live in the same great country as yours truly, but you’re also about to be given the chance to win a full set of 24 Annabelle TwistUp lipsticks. Which, hey, just so happen to be one of my new favourite lipstick formulas, so it’s a pretty good day for you.

(Also, kittens are often free here. There is nothing better than free kittens.)

To enter, all you have to do is live in Canada and check off the right boxes in the form below. International entries are also allowed as long as you have a Canadian mailing address, but I’m not liable if your great aunt Maggie decides she loves lipstick more than she loves you and steals your prize.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

For our international readers

Annabelle TwistUp Giveaway international

If you don’t live in Canada, I’m very sorry. Unfortunately, you do not live in the same country as yours truly, and you may or may not have a healthcare system as great as ours. Also, kittens might not even exist where you live, or could instead be suspended in midair in the men’s bathroom of your local radio station.

That said, you are still about to get the chance to win three Annabelle TwistUp lipsticks, so it’s a pretty good day for you.

To enter, all you have to do is have a mailing address somewhere in the world reachable by post (winners living in uncharted territory populated by wildcats and spirits of evil are not guaranteed to receive their prize). Check off the right boxes in the form below and, hopefully, you’ll soon be the proud new owner of three new Annabelle TwistUps in Monroe, Vamp, and Cherry!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck!! And remember — tweets can be made every day for extra entries ;)

Lancôme Artliner 24H review, swatches, photos & giveaway | An old favourite, reinvented

Monday, October 7, 2013

Lancome Artliner 24H review swatches photos

The product: Lancôme Artliner 24H Bold Color Precision Eyeliner ($30 USD/$37 CAD)

   ↳ in 01 Black Diamond, 02 Gold, 03 Sapphire, 04 Amethyst, and 052 Emerald

The cult-classic Lancôme Artliner celebrates its 20th anniversary this year, and to celebrate, the brand is launching a new 24 hour version of the formula. Available in 10 shades, the new “24H Bold Color Precision Eyeliners” boast a vinyl finish and their new “flex polymer” technology for longer wear.

Lancome Artliner applicator - felt tip liquid liner

Lancome Artliner 24h vs original ingredients

The product

The wear: While I haven’t tested these for a full 24 hours (a girl’s gotta sleep and shower), I can tell you that the formula is made with us oily-lidded gals in mind. I don’t get any flaking or smudging when I wear these, no matter how long I wear them for, and oil seems to LOCK the product onto the skin — sort of like how a tubing mascara works.

These remove easily with warm water or an oil-free makeup remover, but don’t so much as budge during the day. My swatches of these liners didn’t even flake when I tried to “peel off” the product with my fingernails — which, for the record, was kind of painful. I lost a bit of arm to the cause–ouch–but can happily report that the liners stayed intact!

(What’s that? My product testing doesn’t actually need to be that rigorous? Don’t be silly; of course it does.)

Artliner 24H precision eyeliner review swatches

Lancome Artliner 24h liquid eyeliner - gold

Lancome Artliner 24H swatches - Emerald Amethyst Sapphire Gold Black Diamond

Lancôme Artliner 24H swatches, L-R: 01 Black Diamond, 02 Gold, 03 Sapphire, 04 Amethyst, and 052 Emerald

The shades: 01 Black Diamond is a rich, opaque black with a glossy finish and no noticeable shimmer. 02 Gold is a metallic yellow-gold; a hair less opaque but definitely still a full finish. 03 Sapphire is an opaque, amazingly vibrant blue, without shimmer but with an eye-catching vinyl finish.

04 Amethyst is a medium-opacity purple with blue shimmerbut (as Lancôme notes) it is not suitable for contact lens wearers, as it can stain the contact lens. I would have liked to have seen more pigment from it, at $37 CAD, and its swatch washed off my arm noticeably sooner than the other shades I tested. 052 Emerald is a medium-opacity dark green with light green shimmer.

Lancome Artliner 24H swatches - Black Diamond, Gold, Sapphire, Amethyst, Emerald

Lancôme Black Diamond, Gold, Sapphire, Amethyst, and Emerald 24H Artliner swatches

A look in black and gold 

I wanted to put together something basic-but-pretty for this post, so here’s a quick eye look with simple black and gold liner. It’s super easy to do, and eye-catching without being, you know, eye-catching. Think of it as holiday party appropriate and lunch date appropriate, all in one.

Perilously PaleTon Petit LookSimply Stacie, and Beautezine have all created looks with the Artliner 24Hs today as well — make sure to check out their posts!

Black and gold liquid liner look - holidays, Lancôme Artliner

Wearing Lancôme Artliner 24H in 01 Black Diamond and 02 Gold (any metallic shade would work) with their Hypnôse Star mascara in Noir Midnight and Aquatique Waterproof Eyecolour Base in Nude.

The giveaway (plus 10% off and a free sample!)

I didn’t really have time to for this post, but when Lancôme generously offered to give away three 24H Artliners and one tube of Hypnôse Star (value of $144) to one of our Canadian readers… how could I say no?

The original Lancôme Artliner was my very first eyeliner, and I loved it to bits. This new version? Even better. To try them out for yourself, enter using the form below:
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Keep reading for 10% off, free samples, and the ingredients! »

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