All about brows with Annabelle (reviews & swatches) | Annabelle BrowShow, Skinny Brow Liner, Stay Sharp, and Brow-to-Go Kit

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Annabelle brow feature stay sharp pencil before after dark brown

Annabelle Stay Sharp Brow Liner in Dark Brown

This fall, Annabelle took a focus on brows and launched three brand new brow products plus three new shades in an old favourite. All of them retail for an insane(ly good) $9.95 CAD or less, and right now, they’re on sale for $3.95-$4.95, which is… I mean, you have to buy at least two of them, at those prices.

Each product is best for a different set of brow needs, so here’s what I thought of the different formulas! (Spoiler alert: the Skinny Brow Liners are my new brow must-haves, so go grab them for next-to-nothing on the Annabelle site before they sell out!)

Best budget eyebrow products Annabelle review

Annabelle Fall 2015 brow launches

Annabelle BrowShow Brow Liner & Highlighter ($9.95 CAD)

↳ Best for: Unruly brows and tired eyes

The Annabelle BrowShow Brow Liner & Highlighter ($9.95 CAD) was the product that, I’ll admit, I was the most excited to try out of Annabelle’s fall launches. Available in two shades (both swatched here), it features a gel-like pencil on one end that delivers colour and hold to the brows, and a highlighting pencil on the other end to give that wide-eyed, “brow lift” effect.

Annabelle BrowShow review light medium, medium dark

My brows don’t need a lot of hold, so I go easy on the brow liner, but I make very liberal use of the highlighter on the browbone and in the inner corners of my eyes. The highlighter, which is the same shade in both the Light and the Medium pencils, delivers a sheer, pretty pink glow, while the brow liners can be applied sheerly or heavily and really do act as both tint and wax. 

I found Light to be nice and taupey, but a light feathering of Medium suits my brows best — it’s not too warm or yellow at all. Plus, at $9.95 (or $4.95 right now), the BrowShow pencils totally act as a Benefit High Brow dupe ($22 USD/$29 CAD) for just a fraction of the price!

Annabelle BrowShow swatches light medium, Skinny Brow Liner Universal Ebony

Swatched L-R: Annabelle BrowShow in Light/Medium, Medium/Dark, Skinny Brow Liner in Universal Ebony

Annabelle Skinny Brow Liner review swatches

Annabelle Skinny Brow Liner ($8.95 CAD)

↳ Best for: Natural-looking brows, brow beginners, and on-the-go

If you’re not sure where to start with your brows, start with this pencil. The Annabelle Skinny Brow Liner ($8.95 CAD) makes filling in your brows super easy, and because it’s a micro-pencil, you’ll never have to sharpen it or worry about drawing outside the lines.

I’ve been wearing the Annabelle Skinny Brow Liner in the new Universal Ebony, and it is the PERFECT shade for Asian brows: not too warm, not too dark, and not too red. It just looks natural, like I rolled out of bed with perfect brows and defined features, and it makes me certain that there’s a perfect match for everyone in the line’s six matte, long-wearing shades. 

Annabelle Skinny Brow Liner Universal Ebony review swatches

Plus, the Skinny Brow Liners are an insane $3.95 right now, so they’re ideal for beginners. The formula is dry and sheer (aka exactly what you want out of a brow pencil), and I honestly think that these are just as good (if not better) than the Anastasia Brow Wiz pencils ($21 USD/$26 CAD). Plus, at these prices, they’re cheap enough that you can keep one in your vanity, one in your handbag, and one in the car!

Just in case.

You know, for emergencies.

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Annabelle Smokey Nudes Eyeshadow Palette review, swatches, photos

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Annabelle Smoky Nudes review swatches photos

The product: Annabelle Cosmetics Smokey Nudes Dark Lights Eyeshadow Palette

Okay, so here’s the thing. This palette? Pretty great. But that name? It is KILLING me! Your palettes can be smokey or they can be natural, makeup world, but they CANNOT BE BOTH.

Except. Except maybe not this one! Sure, the name is an oxymoron, but the shades… somehow, they make it work. The left side is all nudes; the right side, all smoke. It’s the perfect drugstore neutrals palette, with lots of options for both night and day looks and no bright pops of colour.

Annabelle fall winter 2015 collection review

Annabelle Smokey Nudes Dark Lights eyeshadow palette review swatches photos

The formula: If you’re a fan of Annabelle eyeshadows already, the Smokey Nudes Dark Lights palette definitely won’t disappoint. The eyeshadows are on the drier side, like the rest of the brand’s eyeshadows, with not a dud in sight.

The lightest shades are a touch chalky, but all ten shades (even the two mattes on the end) blend well and layer up to medium opacity. For drugstore eyeshadows, I really like Annabelle’s — they’re not as pigmented as something really buttery or crumbly may be, but they have very little fallout and lend themselves well to a shimmery, effortless makeup look.

Annabelle Smokey Nudes Dark Lights palette review swatches photos

The shades: The Smokey Nudes eyeshadow palette was designed with versatility in mind, and Annabelle did a great job achieving that! It contains both warm and cool tones (cool tones in the top row; warm tones in the bottom row), and none of the shades contain too much red — something that I find that a lot of “versatile” palettes mistakenly do.

As usual, I’m completely smitten with the taupe in the top row, but I’m pretty keen on the last two brown shades, too. (Especially that gold-flecked one!)

Annabelle Smokey Nudes Dark Lights swatches review

Annabelle Smokey Nudes Eyeshadow Palette swatched over primer (top row/cool tones)

Annabelle Smokey Nudes eyeshadow palette swatches review

Annabelle Smokey Nudes Eyeshadow Palette swatched over primer (bottom row/warm tones)

The verdict?

For less than the cost of one MAC eyeshadow (and we all know how hit and miss those can be), Smokey Nudes is a steal. It’s an excellent naked/smokey/beginner’s palette, with five cool-toned and five warm-toned eyeshadows that mix and match like a champ and a soft shimmer finish that’ll work well for an expert artist or one that’s just starting out.

Annabelle just put out a Natural Nudes palette as well, but this one seems a lot more wearable to me. I recommend snapping it up before it’s gone, and maybe buying a backup for the holiday season!

Availability: $12.95 CAD at and in drugstores across Canada.

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Unusual beauty finds | The Edit

Monday, August 24, 2015

The beauty world has been coming out with some pretty cool new innovations this year, so for the newest instalment of The Edit, I’ve selected nine products that have something different about them. They’re mostly skincare (what? I’ve been on a skincare kick this month), but don’t let that fool you: there’s some really nifty stuff coming out of the makeup department, too!

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Beauty Essences

Beauty essences are far from new (they’ve been popular in Korea and the rest of Asia for years), but they’ve been tricky to get ahold of here in North America until just recently. I picked out two for this edit: a classic, the Cremorlab Mineral Treatment Essence ($42 USD), which is now easily accessible outside of Asia thanks to Peach and Lily (get a $10 off code here!); and a personal favourite, the Canadian-made MIYU Beauty Hydrate Mi Beauty Essence ($34 CAD), which touts all the benefits of a traditional beauty essence but applies conveniently as a spray.

Mask On, Mask Off 

I also picked out two cool masks for this feature: one for oily skin, and one for dry. Clinique’s new Pore Refining Solutions Mask ($27 CAD) is one of three masks that the brand is putting out this fall, and targets problem skin with its charcoal-based formula — its muddy-charcoal texture looks super cool coming out of the tube.

On the total opposite end of the spectrum is Odacité’s Hydration Masque ($55 CAD; sample size pictured), which is bright white and is a great choice for dry skin. And, still working off of K-beauty trends, it makes an awesome sleeping mask for those inclined!

!NIOD Copper Amino Isolate, Odacite Hydration Masque

Make-Up Shake-Up 

I love a newfangled makeup product, so I picked out the Shu Uemura Laque Supreme ($35 CAD) and the Annabelle EyeInk2 Mistake-Proof Eyeliner ($10.95 CAD) for this feature. I reviewed the Shu just last week, and have been playing around with the Annabelle — the formula hasn’t been working out for my oily lids, but I love the long, thin, reversible (!!) felt-tip applicator and the built-in double-ended touch-up pen!

Cutting-Edge Technologies 

And, finally, the coolest of the coolest. NIOD (by Deciem) has a new Copper Amino Isolate Serum 1.00% ($60 CAD) available this fall, and it packs a major anti-ageing punch — most brands only bother to put a 0.01 to 0.10% concentration into their products, which doesn’t give you the same effects.

Also from Deciem is a range of drinkables from FOUNTAIN, including this bioavailable hyaluronic acid supplement, The Hyaluronic Molecule ($38 CAD). And, from Estee Lauder, something that’s (also!) altogether new: the New Dimensions Expert Liquid Tape ($70 USD), which creates a thin, flexible layer over the skin that tightens over the course of ten minutes to literally lift and smooth the area!

What’s the coolest beauty product you’ve tried this year?

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 and at drugstores and mass market retailers across Canada.

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Annabelle Blushon Spring 2015 swatches, review, photos | Cheek-chic, indeed

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Annabelle Blushon review

The product: Annabelle Cosmetics Blushon Powder Blush (new permanent shades)

↳ in Lotus, Rosebud, Peony, Spring Petal, and Hibiscus

There are five new shades being added to Annabelle’s Blushon range this spring, and they are fantastic. I haven’t been this excited about the expansion of a range since MAC came out with Full of Joy (which, yes, I know, I still haven’t featured on the blog), but ugh, these are all so pretty!

Annabelle Lotus Blushon review swatches photos


Annabelle Rosebud Blushon review swatches photos


Annabelle Peony Blushon review swatches photos


The formula: These are actually the very first Annabelle Blushon blushes that I’ve tried, and can I just say: I really regret not buying some sooner! The formula in these is just gorgeous — really finely milled and velvety, and not too solid in the pan, either. They kind of remind me of the Clinique Cheek Pops (you know, creamy), but they get their smoothness from non-chalky talc and mineral oil, not dimethicone and bismuth oxychloride.

You get great pigmentation with each swipe, but not so much that you’re going to end up with crazy cheeks if you’re not careful, you know? We’re talking medium-layerable pigmentation, not sudden attacks of rouge.

Annabelle Blushon swatches review - Lotus Rosebud Peony

Annabelle Blushon swatches: Lotus, Rosebud, Peony, Spring Petal, and Hibiscus

The shades: On one hand, I kind of wish that I had tried these sooner, because they’re lovely — but on the other hand, I don’t. This range expansion includes five new (and totally not-brown) shades, and each shade is more my style than the last.

There are three pinks: Lotus (matte; similar to Lancôme Rose Fresque), a purpley light pink, Rosebud, and Peony. Rosebud looks softer than Peony in the pan, but actually swatches more strongly; Peony has more shimmer in it, as well as more coral. Lotus (my favourite) works very well on fair skin, Rosebud is the best “true” pink, and Peony will be gorgeous on warm and medium-toned complexions.

Annabelle Blushon swatches review Spring Petal Hibiscus

Annabelle Blushon swatches: Lotus, Rosebud, Peony, Spring Petal, and Hibiscus (blended)

I was particularly smitten with the pinks, of course (especially the matte Lotus, which pulls a little bit lilac and just seems more velvety than the rest), but there are also two orange/coral blushes: Spring Petal, which leans a little bit more pink, and Hibiscus, which is noticeably more metallic.

Spring Petal will quench your coral cravings — especially if you, like me, love the idea of coral but really do look better in pinks. If you want a true orange blush, though, go for Hibiscus!

Annabelle Spring Petal Blushon review swatches photos

Spring Petal

Annabelle Hibiscus Blushon review swatches photos


The verdict?

If you like perfectly-pigmented, non-dusty blushes, then definitely check these out. The new shades really remind me a lot of the MAC Très Chic collection (bright, pretty, and springy), and the formula feels very Clinique Cheek Pops-y!

Plus, at $7.95, you don’t have to pick between the lilac pink, the shimmering orange, and the bright coral — for the price of just one MAC or Clinique blush, you can get all three.

Availability: $7.95 CAD at online at & in drugstores and mass-market retailers across Canada.

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