Annabelle Lipsies review, swatches, photos (Holiday 2014)

Monday, November 24, 2014

Annabelle Lipsies review swatches - tinted lip balm

The product: Annabelle Lipsies Lip Balm (Holiday 2014 edition)

  ↳in Roasted Marshmallow, Yummy Gingerbread, Flirty Candy cane, Grandma’s Peppermint, Cinnamon Candy, and Hot Chocolate

So, you guys know how much I love jumbo lip pencils, right? (Right). Well — Annabelle Cosmetics has come out with a limited-edition range of six for the holiday season, and they smell amazing.

Annabelle Lipsies Holiday 2014 winter review

The formula and wear: I get 2-3 hours of comfortable, moisturizing wear out of these (more moisturizing than a Chubby Stick; less moisturizing than an eos sphere), with clear to medium coverage depending on the shade. They have a soft-shiny finish, and all five shades are quite understated.

The packaging (retractable!) and overall aesthetic makes them a lot less, uh, luxe than most jumbo pencils, but I think they’d make amazing stocking stuffers — especially for a pre-teen or teenager just getting into makeup. (Or a makeup addict who doesn’t take her stash too seriously!)

Annabelle Cinnamon Candy Lipsies review swatches

Each Lipsies balm comes adorned with a cartoon drawing of their scent!

The shades and scents

Roasted Marshmallow is clear with a bit of super-fine, glossy-looking sparkle and a fruity scent — weird, considering its name, but delicious. Yummy Gingerbread is an almost-clear peach shade, and it smells like sugared cereal in milk (or an Urban Decay Rocket Lipgloss; those things were equally gross.)

Flirty Candy Cane is a sheer milky pink with a white frost finish–which makes it look more pigmented in this swatch than it really is–and again, it smells quite fruity. It’s a more standard fruit scent than Roasted Marshmallow, and a tiny bit sweeter, but both are mouthwatering. Grandma’s Peppermint is a pretty, universal sheer pink that smells like peppermint tea rather than your standard minty lip balm, and is the glossiest of the bunch.

Cinnamon Candy is by far the highlight of the group, and smells exactly like cinnamon hearts — but without the burn. It’s a new-to-me lip product scent, with a warm-red tint that sinks in to look like a stain after 15 minutes. Finally, Hot Chocolate smells like your typical chocolate-scented drugstore product, and both it and Cinnamon Candy have good pigmentation – more than Fresh or Clinique tinted balms, and I’d recommend using a mirror to apply.

Annabelle Lipsies swatches - cinnamon, gingerbread, peppermint, chocolate, candy cane, marshmallow

Annabelle Lipsies swatches: Roasted Marshmallow, Yummy Gingerbread, Flirty Candy Cane, Grandma’s Peppermint, Cinnamon Candy, Hot Chocolate

The verdict?

These ones aren’t available online, but if you can pick them up in-store, do it!! They’re a lot of fun, and at $4.95 CAD, they’re a really good price — for yourself or as a gift.

Must-have: Cinnamon Candyespecially if you look best in warmer reds! And Grandma’s Peppermint, if you love peppermint tea — this scent is spot-on. (The shade’s really pretty, too.)

Nice-to-have: Roasted Marshmallow and Flirty Candy Cane – the shimmer in both is very fine, and both are inoffensively fruity. If colour is of no consequence to you, I say go for the marshmallow.

Skip: Yummy Gingerbread and Hot Chocolate. They’re pretty gross-smelling, to be honest.

Available at drugstores and mass retail stores across Canada while quantities last.

Annabelle Muddy, Glitzy Black Smudge Paint Gel Eyeliner swatches, review | The best gel liners in the drugstore

Monday, September 29, 2014

Annabelle Glitzy Black review

The product: Annabelle SmudgePaint Creamy Gel Shadow + Liner in Glitzy Black and Muddy

I’ve been falling pretty behind on theNotice these past few weeks, so let me make it up to you. Here’s a gel liner that I’ve had for years, but has only stuck a chord with me recently — Annabelle’s SmudgePaint liners.

Designed to be used both as an intense cream eyeshadow & gel liner, these guys were some of the first on the market to feature this all-in-one packaging. More importantly, though, they’re still creamy and soft, even after three years of sitting in my drawer. If that doesn’t sell you on a drugstore gel liner, I don’t know what will.

Annabelle Muddy Gel Liner shadow review

The formula: Light, soft, and easy to blend, I think the SmudgePaint formula is absolutely perfect for its intended use. It takes a while to dry down, so it’s not a great pick if you’re in a hurry, but that makes the formula really easy to smudge and blend — but it’s moussey rather than slippery, so it does pinpoint precision just as well as a smokey haze.

What I like most about this formula, however, is that it really lasts. Aside from Annabelle Black Spark and Lancome’s Artliners, there isn’t a single other eyeliner in my collection that lasts as well on me as Glitzy Black does — with a bit of silica powder through the lid, I get zero smudging and very minimal creasing over 10 hours.

Annabelle SmudgePaint gel eyeliner review

Annabelle SmudgePaint in Glitzy Black

Annabelle Muddy SmudgePaint Gel Eyeliner, shadow

Annabelle SmudgePaint in Muddy

The shades: I’m not a brown eyeliner fan, but I think Muddy has its appeal as a soft, natural liner or a heavier all-over base. (See it in a makeup look here!) It’s a pretty bronze-brown, with plenty of gold shimmer and no red undertones. (I think red-browns are far more interesting than yellow-browns, but I do admit that they’re harder to pull off.)

While I think Muddy is a little boring, however, I adore the admittedly-dupeable Glitzy Black. It’s quite an intense black, like most gel liners, and it has just enough silver shimmer to give my eyes a bit of a – but the stray glitter particles never irritate my sensitive eyes, and any travelling they do is done completely separate from the base shade. I think it was limited edition, but if they still do a similar shade, be sure to snap it up!

Annabelle Glitzy Black swatch SmudgePaint gel liner

Annabelle Glitzy Black swatched in indirect sunlightAnnabelle Glitzy Black gel liner review

The verdict?

I wish the opening of these pots was a little wider, but honestly… that’s the only complaint I have for them. With a good eye base, a smudgy wing of Glitzy Black lasts well into the evening on me, which is more than I can say of any other gel liner I’ve tried so far – and it’s very well pigmented, to boot.

The handy packaging and great price are just the cherry on top when it comes to these liners, so if you can find them — buy them.

Availability: $10.95 CAD at drugstores across Canada. Maybe. I don’t know. I could have sworn I just saw these in-store, but now I can’t find them on the Annabelle site and I’m kind of panicking.

Swatches, pot shots (heh) & more »

Annabelle Chai Eyeshadow Quad swatches, review, photos | Beautifully bronzed at the drugstore

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Annabelle Chai eyeshadow swatches review

The product: Annabelle Cosmetics Eyeshadow Quad in Chai Chai Chai

This week is kicking my butt, you guys. It’s already Thursday and I’ve barely gotten out of bed because my abdominal muscles hurt so much – they’re so tender that touching them makes my head spin, which: never a good sign.

So, well, let’s talk makeup. I picked out a stellar product from one of my favourite lines today, and hopefully writing about it’ll help cheer me up a bit!

Annabelle eyeshadow quad review Chai

Annabelle Eyeshadow Quad in Chai Chai Chai

The product: Chai Chai Chai includes four gorgeous, super-smooth eyeshadows that are a dream to apply and blend. They’re crazy pigmented for a drugstore product, and apply vividly even without primer, never crumbling or kicking up dust.

The top two shades are a little more frosty than the bottom two, and the chocolate brown (third swatch) is just divine — it’s rich and dense, even more-so over primer, with a beautiful, uninterrupted finish. The darkest brown is a little drier than the rest, but makes up for it with a smattering of silver shimmer that twinkles as you move about.

Annabelle Chai eyeshadow quad swatches

Annabelle Eyeshadow Quad in Chai Chai Chai, swatched dry on unprimed skin

What impressed me most about these shades, I think, was how wearable they are. Yes, the overall feeling of the palette is very bronze, but it’s not so warm that I couldn’t wear it around if I wanted to. (If you love metals or warm colours but can’t always pull them off, this might be a good one to try.)

And, if warm bronze isn’t your thing, these quads come in cooler options, too — stormy grey-blues, cooler taupes, mossy browns, and purple-pinks.

Annablle eyeshadow quad swatches - Chai Chai Chai

Annabelle Chai Chai Chai swatches

The packaging: Where this product flounders (just a little!!) is its packaging. Chai Chai Chai comes with two applicators that are really just too small to be of any use — “crapplicators,” if you will.

It’s also a really hard palette to get open, which is both a positive and a negative: on one hand, it can be frustrating, but on the other, I feel 100% confident just throwing this into my bag, because it’s definitely not going to spring open if jostled the wrong way.


Annabelle Chai Eyeshadow Quad review

The verdict?

Annabelle consistently proves itself to be one of the best budget brands out there, and this quad is no exception. While the particular colour palette of Chai Chai Chai was a little too warm for my preferences (though it worked ok with my colouring), I would absolutely recommend these quads if you’re looking for a great drugstore palette for day-to-day use or travel!

Availability: $10.95 CAD at Annabelle.ca & in most drugstores across Canada.

Keep reading! »

Soft neutrals: a daytime, bridal, or evening eye look ft. Esqido, Clinique, and Annabelle

Monday, July 28, 2014

The moment I swatched Jenna’s Essentials for the first time, I knew I had to create a makeup look using it. Something simple; maybe just an eye, with easy options for making it more or less bold…

So here’s a quick tutorial for a soft, pretty eye makeup look, in bullet form. If you do choose to give it a go, I hope you have fun with it!

Jenna's Essentials natural smokey eye tutorial

Clinique Jenna’s Essentials with Inglot M346 (matte lilac), Annabelle Night Light glitter liner, and Annabelle Expandable mascara

The basic steps

1. To begin, prime your eyelids (I used NARS Pro Prime Smudge Proof Eye Shadow Base), then apply the shimmering sandy taupe from Jenna’s Essentials across the entire lid.

2. Next, add the second shade (satin-matte chocolate brown), blending a small amount onto the outer half of the lid.

3. Follow up with the first shade of the palette (shimmery white) to highlight the inner corner, and a matte skin-shade around the outer edges to blend things out (I used MAC Blanc Type).

4. Finish up with Jenna’s Essentials by using the galaxy black as a liner shade, creating a small, subtle flick at the outer corner. Curl the lashes, then add a quick coat of mascara (Annabelle Expandable).

Soft neutral smokey eye - bridal inspired

Clinique Jenna’s Essentials with Annabelle Night Light

The rest of these steps are optional, and each adds an extra bit of interest to the eye look.

  • To add a bit of sparkle to the eye, add a clear, shimmering liquid liner to the centre of your upper lashline– I used Annabelle Glitterama Liquid Eyeliner in Night Light. (This glitter liner is really delicate and pretty, making it appropriate for both a day look and a night out!)
  • If you prefer a cooler neutral eye, blend a small amount of a light, matte lilac through the lid (Inglot M346), concentrating on the centre of the lid.
  • For a really dramatic finished product, add a pair of false lashes — I used Esqido Mink Eyelashes in Unforgettable with Duo lash glue.
  • For nighttime intensity, apply the eyeshadows wet, and use a black liquid liner instead of the soft black shadow from Jenna’s Essentials.

Natural wedding makeup tutorial Unforgettable mink Esqido lashes

Jenna’s Essentials, Inglot M346, and Esqido Unforgettable lashes (inner corner trimmed on right)

Products used »

Annabelle Expandable Mascara Review, Photos, Swatches | Not a gimmick, but a gold mine

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Annabelle Expandable mascara review

The product: Annabelle Cosmetics Expandable Mascara

I mentioned taking sixteen months to review a product a couple of weeks ago (this one!), but I’ve been testing Annabelle Expandable for even longer — yes, really, much to my shame.

I have absolutely no good excuse for why it’s taken me so long to review a product that I’ve had since it was a lab sample in a small, un-labeled black tube, but without further adieu, may I please introduce you to Annabelle Expandable: a drugstore mascara that I’ve loved since the very first time I tried it.

Annabelle Expandable swatches review photos

Annabelle Expandable – short and long wand results, no lash comb

The “gimmick”: What makes the Annabelle Expandable mascara special is that, well, it really is expandable. The wand handle twists at the base, allowing the plastic bristles to expand or contract — not with each bristle getting longer or shorter, but with each bristle getting closer or farther from its neighbour. 

What looks like a gimmick is, in this case, actually really awesome. I love the formula of this mascara, but for those who don’t struggle as much as I do with smudging, this may well be Expandable’s biggest pull. It allows you to have just one mascara that can deliver dramatically different effects: lots of separation and length at the (-) end, or lots of product and volume at the (+) end.

Annabelle expandable short wand

Annabelle Expandable mascara – short wand (separation)

Annabelle expandable long wand

Annabelle Expandable mascara – long wand (volume)

The curl and wear: Like most “wet” mascaras (though Expandable isn’t super wet — it’s just not super dry, either), this mascara drops the curl of my lashes only when I apply it. It’s just enough to give them a bit of a droop, so I tend to apply a quick coat or two of mascara, then “push” the lashes toward my face with my fingertip and hold for a few seconds. This helps the lash to set into a nice curl, and once dry, Expandable holds the curl in place for the rest of the day.

Where Annabelle’s Expandable mascara really excels, though, is in its wear. I get maybe 3-4 hours wear without smudging with your average mascara, but Expandable wears like a champ: I can make it 8 hours without any smudging, and over 10 hours with very minimal smudging. This is the longest-wearing non-tubing mascara that I’ve tried so far, and it comes with a mere $10 price tag.

Annabelle Expandable mascara review swatches

Annabelle Expandable mascara – one light coat short wand, second coat short wand, third coat long wand

Annabelle expandable long wand swatch

Annabelle Expandable mascara – one heavy coat, long wand

The verdict?

Annabelle claims that their Expandable mascara is volumizing, lengthening, anti-clumping, and easy to remove — and you know what? I’d agree with all of these claims.

Expandable is my go-to mascara for both natural, everyday lashes and high-impact volume (it’s outclassed very slightly for photos by Giorgio Armani’s Eyes to Kill mascara, which is gorgeous but not $30 USD worth of gorgeous), and I would absolutely recommend it to a friend. It gives me both better wear and more believable volume than Le Big Show, and I’ll be frank with you: the awesome, unique wand certainly isn’t doing it any harm.

5/5 would-buy-again, Annabelle.

Availability: $10.95 CAD at Annabelle.ca (ships to Canada & the US), or in-store at most major drugstores throughout Canada.

Keep reading! »

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