Clinique A Different Nail Enamel swatches, review, photos

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Clinique A Different Nail Enamel review swatches

L-R: Clinique Base & Top Coat, Call My Bluff, Sweet Tooth, Really Rio, Red Red Red, and Concrete Jungle

The product: Clinique A Different Nail Enamel for Sensitive Skins

   ↳ Base and Top Coat, 01 Call My Bluff, 02 Sweet Tooth, 05 Really Rio, 07 Red Red Red, and 11 Concrete Jungle

I can’t remember how I came by these particular shades. I think (it’s been a while) that my press contact at Clinique picked out some of her favourites and sent them over, maybe? Because they’re not the same set of shades that went out in the wide release, but they’re perfect.

So, if I’m right — thank you. I can’t take the credit for this selection of shades, but you guys, I kid you not, they embody summer! so strongly to me that I just can’t look away.

Clinique Red Red Red review swatch

Clinique A Different Nail Enamel in Red Red Red

The formula: Unfortunately (or maybe fortunately?), how well these nail polishes go on seems to be dependent on the shade. The first two I tried were Really Rio and Concrete Jungle, an entire year ago, and I was so unimpressed and confused by them that I back-burnered this post altogether.

Then, a week ago, I decided to swatch Sweet Tooth out of the blue. And it was awesome. And I kept going, from Call My Bluff to Red Red Red, and just kept being blown away.

(And then I tried Concrete Jungle again and whoops, nope, not going there.)

Clinique Sweet Tooth Concrete Jungle swatches

Clinique Sweet Tooth (1, 3 coats), Clinique Concrete Jungle (1, 3 coats)

Sweet Tooth, Call My Bluff, and the AWESOME Red Red Red

To start off, here are three great nail shades from Clinique: starting with the super-sheer Sweet Tooth and Call My Bluff, which I’m going to come right out and say would be great Dior Nail Glow alternatives. They apply really easily (and evenly), and coat the nail with just a hint of colour – the perfect amount to whiten the white part of your nail & brighten the nail bed.

Clinique Call My Bluff swatch review

Clinique Call My Bluff swatch

Unlike Dior’s Nail Glow, however, Clinique makes two shades to suit a wider range of skintones — and both give a more natural look than Dior’s. For skintones with yellow or olive undertones, try Call My Bluff; for skintones with a lot of pink or peach, try Sweet Tooth. Alternately, choose the whiter Call My Bluff for more of a whitening effect on the free edge of the nail (think a subtle French manicure), and Sweet Tooth to focus on brightening the nail bed.

Dior Nail Glow dupe Clinique Sweet Tooth

Clinique Sweet Tooth swatch (1 coat on index finger, 3 coats on middle finger)

Clinique Sweet Tooth, Red swatch

Bare nail, Clinique Sweet Tooth, Clinique Red Red Red (3 coats, 1 coat)

And to finish up this category of super awesome Clinique nail shades? Clinique Red Red Red, the very best of the bunch. Summer-bright and deliciously vivid, it is hands-down the best red nail polish I’ve tried so far, applying evenly and with the perfect red-yellow-blue balance.

Red Red Red is just shy of opaque at three coats, but I’d actually call it a two-coater. While I’d normally have a problem with anything short of full opacity, it actually works in this particular shade’s favour, creating a really lighthearted almost-jelly finish rather than a super-serious red.

Clinique Red Red Red swatch A Different Nail Enamel

Clinique Red Red Red swatched (3 coats, 1 coat)

Really Rio and Concrete Jungle

These shades are gorgeous, but application-wise, I just couldn’t figure them out. They applied a lot like Essie polishes, if you have any experience with those: some people seem to be able to work magic with them, but for the rest of us, each gorgeous shade after the next applies kind of lumpily. Not even just in streaks, but… lumps.

No one wants lumpy space princess nails, so give these two a pass unless you can pull off Essie-style formulas and brushes with grace!

(Seriously, though. Really Rio would have been such a great, beachy summer shade in a smoother formula.)

Clinique Really Rio Nail Varnish swatch

Clinique A Different Nail Enamel in Really Rio, swatched

The verdict?

If you love bright nails or reds, you need Red Red Red in your life. I don’t know how Clinique did it, but they absolutely killed it with the shade — it’s not super opaque, but it’s one of the most fun, bright shades I’ve ever laid eyes on — without coming off as childish at all.

Aside from Red Red Red, I’d also totally recommend either Sweet Tooth or Call My Bluff for that perfect natural-but-better nail. You don’t need both, but I’d definitely pick up one of them for when you need a super fast, super easy natural nail!

Availability: $12.50 USD/$16 CAD at Clinique (US), Sephora, and Nordstrom, as well as Clinique counters.

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Clinique Chubby Stick swatches, review: Hazelnut, Blush, Tomato, Orange, & more!

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Clinique Chubby Stick review swatches

The product: Clinique Chubby Stick Moisturizing Lip Colour Balm

   ↳ in 09 Heaping Hazelnut, 10 Bountiful Blush, 11 Two Ton Tomato, 12 Oversized Orange, 13 Mighty Mimosa, 14 Curvy Candy, 15 Pudgy Peony, and 16 Voluptuous Violet

I love Clinique’s Chubby Stick range. I talk about them all the time; I carry them around in my bag like they’re the keys to my house, I own all of the lip shades except maybe three or four of them.

I haven’t, however, had the chance to post swatches of many of them yet. So: here are eight more Clinique Chubby Sticks. I hope you enjoy.

Clinique Chubby Stick review

A recap of the formula: The classic Clinique Chubby Stick formula is comfortable and sheer, and wears for about 2-3 hours on my lips. The twist-up pencil packaging and no-mirror opacity makes them easy to throw into your handbag and apply on the go, and the large shade range literally has something for everybody.

All of the Chubby Sticks are taste- and scent-free, and get a lot of flack for being really sheer — but it’s important to remember that they’re marketed as a lip balm, not a lipstick. The Chubby Stick Intense formula offers full opacity, while the original formula varies from almost completely-sheer to medium-opaque depending on the shade.

Clinique Chubby Stick sheer lipsticks

Clinique Chubby Stick swatches Hazelnut Blush Tomato Orange

Swatched L-R: 09 Heaping Hazelnut, 10 Bountiful Blush, 11 Two Ton Tomato, 12 Oversized Orange, 13 Mighty Mimosa, 14 Curvy Candy, 15 Pudgy Peony, and 16 Voluptuous Violet

The shades: Heaping Hazelnut is a sheer, warm nude with a hint of shimmer. Bountiful Blush is a pinky-brown with medium opacity and a subtly frosty finish (I bet it would make a gorgeous nude on a darker skintone). Two Ton Tomato is a sheer, bright strawberry-orange. Oversized Orange is a super-sheer orange with a hint of gold shimmer (pinker, less shimmery, and way more sheer than Mega Melon).

Mighty Mimosa is a sheer soft pink with very subtle shimmer. Curvy Candy is also sheer with subtle shimmer, but is a cooler-toned pink. Both are a little more pigmented than Whoppin’ Watermelon, which is shimmer-free. Pudgy Peony is a bright blue-pink; it’s also sheer, but appears more pigmented due to how vivid the shade is. Voluptuous Violet is a super-sheer subdued violet — it is the sheerest shade in the entire range, but adds a really pretty, wearable violet veil to the lips.

Clinique Chubby Stick Swatch mimosa candy peony violet

Clinique Chubby Stick swatches, L-R: Heaping Hazelnut, Bountiful Blush, Two Ton Tomato, Oversized Orange, Mighty Mimosa, Curvy Candy, Pudgy Peony, ad Voluptuous Violet

Clinique tinted lip balm lipstick review Chubby Stick

The verdict?

As someone who loves low-maintenance products, I love the comfortable Chubby Stick formula and super-cute packaging. These Chubby Sticks (released initially in 2012) tend to be a little more pigmented than the original eight shades, and more of these shades contain a small amount of natural-looking shimmer.

My must-have Chubby Stick shades are Whoppin’ Watermelon (for everyday), Mega Melon (for the summer), Super Strawberry (for more pigment), and Voluptuous Violet (for a really sheer wash of cool-toned pigment). For those looking for a bright, sheer lip, I would also recommend Pudgy Peony.

Availability: $17 USD/$19 CAD at Nordstrom, Sephora, and Clinique counters.

More Chubby Sticks & individual product shots »

Punk Rock + Sepia Tones | A Marc Jacobs/NARS-inspired makeup look… twelve months late

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

!Sepia toned makeup, eyeshadow tutorial

Do you know how long it’s been since I’ve done a full makeup look and posted it? Months. Seasons. The last two were in April and May of last year.

Despite what the wait may have led you to believe, here’s a makeup look that I actually really loved. I shot it a year ago to the day, so I barely remember applying it, but I do remember being inordinately fond of the entire thing. It’s loosely inspired by the makeup created by François Nars for the Fall 2013 Marc Jacobs show — messy, smokey, a little punk rock.

I hope you like it as much as I do.

!Marc Jacobs, NARS Sepia toned punk rock makeup

I literally don’t remember putting this eye makeup on, but looking back, I do really love the way it turned out — smoked-out black with eye open, and a flash of a toned-down burnt orange with eyes shut. The “sepia” shade is Clinique Fuller Fudge (a Chubby Stick for Eyes), and the black is the soft charcoal-black from Clarins’ Graphites Eye Quartet. 

The other three products listed at the bottom of the page are just your standard window dressing: MAC Blanc Type, still my go-to matte highlight, and Annabelle Licoriche softly through and along the upper lashline (and, okay, with the dregs then pulled through my brows — multi-tasking, man). On my lashes is Armani’s Eyes to Kill mascara, which I’m still reaching for whenever I want a super-pretty, voluminous, clump-free lash with no fuss.

!Marc Jacobs eye tutorial !Soft punk makeup look

For the base, I used theBalm timeBalm Concealer in Lighter Than Light and Marcelle Face Powder in Translucent — always, always, with these two. I really should try something new, but it’s hard, you know? Especially when you feel like the only cool-toned, too-pale, vaguely-olive person out there who can’t come within arm’s reach of anything containing ‘cones. I hear Marcelle’s Monochromatic Pressed Powder is ‘cone-free, so maybe that’ll be my next powder to try — though I did really want to try something glowy.

On the cheeks, I’m wearing MAC Harmony (much warmer than my usual fare), and on my lips is Clinique Curviest Caramel — a Chubby Stick (Intense), of course.

!MJ NYFW F13 look

Products used & an extra super surprise photo »

The Lipstick Bandits | Clinique Heftiest Hibiscus Chubby Stick Intense: His Pick (+ a surprise bonus selection!)

Monday, July 22, 2013

Clinique Heftiest Hibiscus Chubby Stick Intense review

This month’s Lipstick Bandits collaboration is something a little different. Instead of a colour or challenge theme, Lily suggested that we do a “his pick” post, featuring a lip colour chosen by a guy in each of our lives.

I gave M free swatching reign of my collection, and lo and behold: he picked a Chubby Stick. It’s like we were made for each other.

Clinique Chubby Stick Intense Fall 2012 review

The pick

My boy is pretty terrible (like most) at being able to tell when I’ve got makeup on, but he has one thing down pat: his taste in products. Out of everything he could have picked, Mathew gravitated straight toward my Clinique Chubby Stick Intense Moisturizing Lip Colour Balm in 04 Heftiest Hibiscus ($16 USD/$19 CAD), which–despite its terrible name–is one of my all-time favourite Chubby Sticks.

I want it noted, right now, that I did not coerce him into this decision in any way, despite my fanatical love for Chubby Sticks. (And wow, brain, please stop with the terrible innuendo, I cannot deal with you at present.)

!Jesus can I please go to bed now

Clinique Chubby Stick Intense Hibiscus swatch review

Clinique Chubby Stick Intense in Heftiest Hibiscus swatch

Heftiest Hibiscus is a gorgeously vivid hibiscus-hued lipstick: a bit tomato, a bit fuchsia, and almost a bit fluorescent, it might just be the boldest shade out Clinique’s entire product range. The Chubby Stick Intense lineup is full-coverage and comfortable to wear, lasting a good 3-5 hours on me — which is to say, however long I need it to last before I give up and wipe it off to eat things.

(Remembering to eat things: very important.)

Availability: $16 USD/$19 CAD at CliniqueSephora, & Nordstrom. Permanent.

The boy

If I was a better blogger, I’d have put together a smokey eye to pair with this lip, had Mathew photograph it, and written up a humorous tale of how we met.

I love this boy.

I did not take this picture of M (but damn, is it pretty.)

We’ve been busy all summer, though (okay, he’s been busy mixing the upcoming Ghost Cousin album; I’ve just been sick), and we never really had a meet-cute. I met him at a quiet basement show, we parted ways. I think it was September. It slipped our minds — I ran into him by chance, months later, and we started talking.

We never really stopped.

Mathew and I have nothing in common, past the way that we think, but I’d like to believe we make each other better. He prods at the way I phrase things; I poke at the words he chooses. He tells me about audio engineering; I talk to him about brains. I tell him that I’m not a fish; he sweeps me off my feet just to hear me laugh.

!The Lipstick Bandits His Pick post

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Clinique Chubby Sticks for Eyes review, swatches, photos | A fan favourite, translated to the lids

Friday, July 19, 2013

Clinique Chubby Stick for Eyes review swatches photos

The product: Clinique Chubby Stick Shadow Tint for Eyes

↳ in 03 Fuller Fudge, 04 Ample Amber, 05 Whopping Willow, and 09 Lavish Lilac

When I heard Clinique was doing a Chubby Stick for Eyes, I was thrilled. A longtime fan of the original Chubby Sticks, I couldn’t wait to see how these would fare on my finicky lids: would they be just as chic, smooth, and sheer? Or would they let me down, like so many other cream eyeshadows?

This review has taken me much too long to put together (I think I’ve had these since the end of January), but I hope you enjoy the post nonetheless.

Clinique Fuller Fudge Ample Amber review

L-R: Clinique Fuller Fudge, Ample Amber, Whopping Willow, and Lavish Lilac

The formula: Designed to be sheer, buildable, and long-wearing, the Clinique Chubby Stick Shadow Tints for Eyes apply smoothly and blend out easily. I know layerable, medium-sheer products get a lot of flack in beauty blogging, but it’s hard to fault these for it — after all, that’s what they’re designed to be.

I find these to be drier and more silky than most cream eyeshadows, in a way that makes themdream to work with. There’s no catching, sticking, or rush when you blend these out, and they’re not going to crease if you open your eyes before they’re fully set. The formula isn’t flawless (more on that in “the wear,”) but I really enjoy the shades & texture of the Chubby Sticks for Eyes.

Clinique Shadow Tint for Eyes review swatches

Clnique Chubby Sticks for Eyes

The packaging: The formula paired with a soft-click lid means that I have no worries about these drying out — I’ve been testing them on and off for at least five months, and the texture is no different. It’s a nice change from potted cream eyeshadows with a six-month lifespan, and I like not having to store these upside-down to keep them from becoming unusable!

Clinique Lavish Lilac Whopping Willow review

The wear: Like every other eyeshadow I’ve ever tried, I don’t get all-day wear with these. I do get good wear, for my stubborn lids, however: overtop NARS Smudge Proof, I get 6-8 hours from these before the creasing becomes noticeable. (For comparison, 2-3 hours is the norm for cream eyeshadows on my lids.)

These weren’t a holy grail product for me, but I’ve heard really great things about them from other bloggers – Christine, for instance, gets a solid 10-12 hours out of them!

Clinique Ample Amber Fuller Fudge swatches review

Swatched L-R: Clinique Fuller Fudge, Ample Amber, Whopping Willow, and Lavish Lilac

The shades: Finally, I get to talk about sparkly things!

As someone who likes colour, but doesn’t always love a super-bold look, I really like the Clinique aesthetic. These Chubby Stick Shadow Tints are no exception: soft, flattering, and medium-sheer, they tout a slightly frosty finish (think “soft metallics,” not “era makeup,”) and contain gorgeous, dimensional microshimmer (everything from fuchsia to light blue, all in tiny amounts) to add mesmerizing depth.

Clinique Chubby Stick for Eyes swatches

So, quickly: 03 Fuller Fudge is a warm bronzed-brown with a frost finish and red undertones. 04 Ample Amber is a bit similar (in that they’re both warm and would pair together beautifully), a slightly-coppery soft amber “everyday” shade.

05 Whopping Willow is an mossy olive/khaki green with a distinct “old gold” sheen – a great not-quite-neutral for anyone starting to wear colour. Finally, the metallic 09 Lavish Lilac is my favourite of the bunch: a beautiful, silvery-grey lilac, it’s perfect for both spring looks (try it with a cool taupe) and autumn ones (pair it with a chocolate brown in the crease).

Clinique Chubby Stick Shadow Tints for Eyes review

The verdict?

If you love cream eyeshadows, I’d probably skip these. But here’s the catch: if you love the theory of cream eyeshadows, these might just be perfect for you. 

With a drier, smoother formula and a softer finish, these are sort of the cream-to-powder product of the eyeshadow world. I’d say give them a pass if you want startling, opaque colour, but try them out if cream eyeshadows have never quite worked the way you wanted them to.

(Or if you love subtle, shimmering shades. These are actually medium-opaque if you ask me, and they’re very, very pretty!)

Availability: $16 USD/$19 CAD, in-stores and online. All 12 shades are permanent.

Keep reading! »

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