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.

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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.

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2015 favourites: My makeup & fragrance must-haves

Monday, January 11, 2016

2015 makeup favourites

2015 was, for some reason, a major skincare year for me. I didn’t fall in love with any new makeup products until December, and while I do love those with a passion–well, it makes for a favourites list that is much the same as 2014’s.

Which was the same as 2013’s.

You can see where I’m going with this, right?

My favourite everyday products

2015 must-have makeup products

For me, “the basics” begin with a black eyeliner that never smudges (I rely on Annabelle SmudgePaints and Marcelle Double Extension eyeliners for that — I think I’m on my third Marcelle pen) and an eyeshadow base that can keep you totally crease-free (the cheap-as-dirt Wet ‘n Wild Fergie primer or Pür Mineral’s awesome new Eye Polishes, both of which perform, for me, leaps and bounds better than Urban Decay Primer Potion or NARS Pro Prime.)

You’re only as good as the number of people who fear you, after all, and raccoon eyes don’t usually make for terrified weeping.

Best products of 2015

I also couldn’t live without my Revlon Lip Butter in Sugar Plum (the perfect medium-coverage MLBB shade), a few matte eyeshadows to contour with, and a basic lip balm.

I’m currently fixated on Burt’s Bees’ Refreshing lip balm, which is only moderately hydrating. It smells like pink grapefruit, though, so I mean… Really.

Add in a ‘cone-free face powder (no one does a satin finish like Marcelle) and a flawless foundation (thank you again, Pür Minerals, you radiant, beautiful unicorn) and I’m all set.

My favourite colour products of 2015

Makeup colour product favourites

I discovered a lot of absolutely stellar brow products last year, but only a few made the cut for my favourites: Stila’s, which is glorious but outrageously overpriced, and Annabelle’s, which is as wonderful as it is budget-friendly.

My eyeshadow favourites haven’t changed at all–always Clarins, and always their flaky-shimmer quads–and neither have my lip and everyday mascara favourites: Imju Fiberwig (all hail the glow cloud magic of tubing technology), Burt’s Bees, and Clinique Chubby Sticks.

Cheek and eye favourites 2015

Brow and lip favourites 2015

I did add two totally new favourites to my repertoire last year, though, and I couldn’t be happier to have found them!

Annabelle’s Blush On range is awesome (for some reason, I always reach for them before my Clinique Cheek Pops), and the new blue and purple Clinique Chubby Lash mascaras wear like a champ. I don’t think the black shade is a must, but the blue? Totally.

My favourite tools of 2015

Makeup Brush favourites

My do-everything powder brush, Senna’s Powder Point Brush #33, is my only new favourite this year — but it lives at my partner’s house, so I’m afraid I couldn’t include it in this photo! I feel like that speaks for itself, though: it’s my only powder brush at his place, and it does a good job of applying foundation, powder, contour, blush, and highlighter. It doesn’t do an amazing job of any of them, but for that kind of versatility, I’ll live.

My favourite fragrances of 2015

2015 fragrance favourites

And last but not least… The perfumes that I couldn’t get enough of last year. I looooove Aerin Waterlily Sun (I’m wearing it right now, actually!) and Frédéric Malle Musc Ravageur, as I’ve talked about at length on theNotice, but I’ve been using Leila Lou by Rosie Jane a lot, too — it’s great for smelling really, really clean in an instant.

(And–ahem–it’s excellent for directing attention to certain areas at close range.)

What were your favourite products of 2015?

Annabelle Lipsies Lip Balm in Grapefruit | Your one-step pink grapefruit fix

Monday, December 21, 2015

Annabelle Lipsies Grapefruit, burt's Bees, Clinique Chubby Stick

The product: Annabelle Cosmetics Lipsies Lip Balm in Grapefruit

One of my go-to lip combinations is to apply a swipe of grapefruit-scented Burt’s Bees Refreshing Lip Balm ($3.29 USD), and then top it off with a Clinique Chubby Stick ($17 USD) in either Super Strawberry or Whoppin’ Watermelon.

I’m kind of super bad at the whole “stop being lazy and layer your goddamn products” thing, though, so when I realized that Annabelle made a product that would cover both steps, I immediately made grabby hands at it.

Annabelle Lipsies Grapefruit swatch review

Annabelle Grapefruit Lipsies Lip Balm swatches

Annabelle Grapefruit Lipsies Lip Balm review

Annabelle Lipsies Lip Balm in Grapefruit

Annabelle’s grapefruit scent isn’t quite as bright or zesty as Burt’s Bees’, but it helps lift my mood and my look at the same time with a lovely, juicy-looking swath of colour. And, for less than the price of a cup of coffee, who can say no to a tasty scent and a moisturizing hint of pink?

Availability: $4.95 CAD online at Annabelle.ca (US/Canada shipping) and in drugstores & mass-market retailers across Canada. Read my full review of the Lipsies formula here!

Annabelle Lipsies review

The whole (current) Lipsies range! I think. As of Spring 2015, at least.

See what other bloggers thought of the Annabelle Lipsies:

  • Beauty Infinitum loves Fruit Punch (which looks SO good on her lips) and Cupcake!
  • Workaday Beauty and her super-cute spring hair has Grapefruit swatched alongside Strawberry, Cherry, and Raspberry.
  • Just J reviewed Fruit Punch and Coco-Vanilla, and totally hated the scent of the latter. (It’s okay, MizzJ. I hate the way it smells too.)

Annabelle Glitterama Eyeliner in Milky Way review, swatches, photos | Add a little sparkle to your holiday look

Friday, December 11, 2015


Annabelle Mily Way Glitterama liner review swatches

The product: Annabelle Cosmetics Glitterama Liquid Eyeliner in Milky Way

It’s no secret that I’m a huge fan of Annabelle’s Gliterama Liquid Eyeliners. So, when my beloved Night Light liner went off a couple months ago, I immediately ran to the nearest drugstore and picked up a tube of their most similar-looking glitter goop.

(Which I mean lovingly. Very lovingly.)

Annabelle Night Light Glitterama eyeliner review swatches

Annabelle Glitterama Liquid Eyeliners: Night Light, Milky Way

Annabelle Glitterama swatch review Night Light

Annabelle Glitterama Liquid Eyeliner swatches: Milky Way (x2), Night Light (x2)

The formula: Like the rest of the Glitterama range, Milky Way touts a whole whopping bunch of glitter suspended in a glue-like, easy-to-use formula. The formula takes a few moments to dry and re-stickifies itself if your eyes water a lot, but it wears like a champ — all day and night long.

You have to give the Glitterama liners a fair couple of minutes to dry fully, but I promise, it’s worth it once you do!

Annabelle Glitterama swatch review Milky Way

Annabelle Glitterama Liquid Eyeliner swatches: Milky Way, Night Light

The shade: Unfortunately, Milky Way isn’t really a substitute for the glowy gloriousness that was Night Light. It’s still gorgeous and multi-faceted, but it’s more “multicoloured glitter in a clear base” and less “crystalline, angelic veil.”

It’ll still make for a great holiday (or any day) eye look, but I’m really going to miss Night Light. It was pretty one-of-a-kind.

Annabelle Glitterama review swatches - Mily Way vs Night Light

Annabelle Night Light Glitterama Liquid Eyeliner (top), Milky Way (bottom)

The verdict?

If you’re looking for a way to add just a hint of (manageable!) glitter to your makeup look, Milky Way is it. I like it best used sparingly in the centre of my upper liner, or dotted just once or twice at the centre of my lower lashline for a subtle, “was that intentional or do you just cry fairy dust like a magical unicorn cupcake goddess” look.

Plus, at $8.95 CAD (or less if you can catch it on sale), the Glitterama liners make it easy to cry your way through temporarily losing your boyfriend to Fallout 4 get hooked on glitter that’s fallout-free. Good glitter liners are not hard to find, so there’s no need to shell out $20+ for one!

Availability: $8.95 CAD at drugstore and mass-market retailers across Canada, or online at Annabelle.ca (ships to US & Can.)

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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.

Keep reading! »

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