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.

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Three to try: Body oils from L’Occitane, Clarins, and Osmia Organics

Friday, August 1, 2014

Body oil reviews

For something that sprays: L’Occitane Amande Supple Skin Oil ($ /3.4 oz)

With a formula containing over 50% sweet almond oil (and following up with fractionated coconut oil), the makeup of L’Occitane’s Amande Supple Skin Oil is pretty great. It hydrates well despite its lightweight texture, and comes in a gorgeous glass bottle with a spray dispenser — and while I don’t think it’ll make well-hydrated skin any more firm or supple (as it claims), any good body oil will do that for chronically dry skin!

L'Occitane Almond Supple Skin Oil

However, despite the fact that I love the feel and presentation of this oil, I personally hate the scent. It opens with just a second of beautiful, nutty synthetic almond, but turns into something sharp and cloying once misted and rubbed in; something that sits in the back of my throat with painful honey-sweetness.

But, to each her own: I adore the idea of honey scents, but for some reason, I just can’t stand them in practice. If you love scents like Lise Watier’s Something Sweet or Marc Jacobs Dot (or anything with honey in it!), I bet the L’Occitane Amande body oil would work beautifully for you.

L’Occitane Supple Skin Oil ingredients:

Sweet Almond Oil, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Fragrance, Oleyl Alcohol, Camelina Sativa Seed Oil, Rosa Canina Fruit Oil, Sunflower Seed Oil, Bergamot Fruit Oil, Carrot Seed Oil, Tocopherol, Dioleyl Tocopheryl Methylsilanol, Limonene, Coumarin, Linalool, Citral.

Clarins Shimmer Oil

For shine and shimmer: Clarins Shimmer Oil for Face & Body ($ /3.3 oz)

Of these three oils, Clarins’ is the only one I haven’t tested — and for good reason. This beautiful bi-phase oil (the shimmer separates out) has wonderful, chunky-chic packaging and a captivating amount of warm shimmer particles, but it’s actually a silicone-oil: the formula contains plenty of glittering minerals, but its liquid phase is based mainly on coconut oil fractions and cyclopentasiloxane.

For those of you who missed out last year, this is an exact copy of Clarins’ Splendours Body Oil, from the packaging to the ingredients; the packaging simply lost the “Splendours” label and picked up a “face & body” descriptor.

Clarins Shimmer Oil ingredients: 

Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Cyclopentasiloxane, Hydrogenated Polyisobutene, Isononyl Isononate, Hazel Seed Oil, Mica, Titanium Dioxide, Iron Oxides, Bisabolol, Fragrance, Silica, Tocopheryl Acetate, Tocopherol, Hexyl Cinnamal, Limonene, Tin Oxide, Sunflower Seed Oil, Coumarin, Linalool, Farnesol.

Osmia Organics body oil review

For a sexy scent: Osmia Organics Sunset Body Oil ($30 USD/2 oz)

I seriously need to try out some new Osmia oils, because Sunset still has me smitten – months after the first time I tried it. Their oils are all-natural and beautifully scented, with a luxurious fractionated coconut oil & jojoba base that delivers wonderful, completely lightweight moisture.

I’ve tested quite a few body oils since falling in love with this one, but Sunset is still my favourite by far. The delicate, feminine scent lasts all day long (it’s a super-sexy rendition of vanilla; slightly spicy and just barely floral), and though the price tag is a little high, it’s an easy compromise to make – it may be sold as a body oil, but it can definitely double as your perfume.

Osmia Organics Body Oil ingredients:

Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride (Fractionated Coconut Oil), Jojoba Oil, Kukui Oil, Sweet Almond Oil, Rosehip Seed Oil, Cannabis Sativa Hemp Seed Oil, Avocado Oil, Borage Seed Oil, Evening Primrose Oil, Sea Buckthorn Berry Co2 Extract, Rosemary Co2 Extract, And A Proprietary Blend Of Organic And Wild-Harvested Essential Oils And Co2 Extracts.

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 »

Benefit Coralista Ultra Plush Lip Gloss review, swatches, photos | Benefit blush-inspired lipgloss

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Benefit review - Coralista Ultra Plush Lipgloss

The product: Benefit Cosmetics Ultra Plush Lip Gloss in Coralista

The shade: Coralista imparts just a hint of colour to the lips; a very sheer “medium coral”. (Think orange and red, not fluro-pink and peach.) It acts more as a gloss than anything else, but there is a subtle difference in colour before an after I apply it — enough to make your lips look healthy and glowing, but not like you’re wearing any colour.

Because Coralista is so sheer, it’s very easy to wear no matter your skintone – I personally have a cool-toned complexion with green undertones, which makes wearing most corals difficult, but this one reads mainly pink due to my natural lip colour.

Benefit Coralista review, swatcehs

The formula: Though it doesn’t stick around for very long, Benefit’s Ultra Plush Lip Gloss formula is actually quite a treat to wear. It’s very light and slippery, with zero stickiness and a light, fruity scent. (It’s the scent that really sells me on this line, honestly.) The Ultra Plush glosses smell like the line’s old Ultra Shine formula, actually, but with a less sticky formula and a fuss-free application.

Benefit Coralista lip gloss swatch

Benefit Coralista Ultra Plush Lip Gloss swatch

Benefit Always a Bridesmaid Creaseless swatch - Cream Eyeshadow

L-r: Benefit Always a Bridesmaid, Coralista, Girl Meets Pearl swatches

The packaging: Like with Benefit’s Always a Bridesmaid Creaseless Cream Shadow, I wanted to wait for just the right season for this gloss — and the perfect season just so happens to be the middle of summer.

Coralista’s bright scent and sheer colour pair perfectly with its packaging, which is fun and carefree (like the brand’s boxed blushes). Rather than a finicky doe-foot or pot, these glosses are packaged in a handy squeeze-tube with the cutest applicator — it’s a slanted tip, but it’s a slanted tip with a rounded-off edge.

I don’t know. Something about that is just so on the nose, like it’s reminding you one last time that the Ultra Plush glosses are here to be your friend! Befriend us! 

Benefit Ultra Plush Lipgloss review, swatches

Rounded slant-tip applicator

The verdict?

Up in Canada, these glosses are a little pricy at $19, so I don’t think they’re a must-have — but Coralista is certainly a nice-to-have! The Ultra Plush formula is comfortable, 100% non-sticky, and very sheer, with a fruity fragrance that never comes off as too sweet or sticky (even in 30 degree heat), making it a great “handbag lipgloss” for while you’re out and about.

This formula is also available in Hoola, Sugarbomb, Dandelion, and Rockateur tints ($16 USD/$19 CAD at Sephora), as well as in a few non-blush-inspired shades at Ulta ($16 USD) with super-cute Art Deco packaging.

Availability: $16 USD/$19 CAD at Ulta, Sephora, Murale, and Shopper’s Drug Mart Beauty Boutiques.

Keep reading! »

Clarins Ladylike collection | Fall 2014 preview

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Clarins Ladylike collection Fall 2014 preview

Clarins’ Fall 2014 collection introduces something to the market that I’ve seen only very rarely: wet powder eyeshadows in a matte finish. (I feel like I’ve been waiting for this moment for years.) Ladylike pairs subtle mattes with creamy nude lips for an “ultra feminine” look — and the collection looks beautiful.

I know I don’t usually do collection previews, but you guys, this one looks so pretty. I couldn’t help myself.

Availability: August 2014 at Clarins counters & Clarins.ca

Eyes

Clarins Ombre Matte eyeshadows cream to powder

Ombre Matte Cream-to-Powder Matte Eyeshadow ($24 CAD) 

5 mattes & 1 sparkling shade: 01 nude beige (matte), 02 nude rose (matte), 03 taupe (matte), 04 rosewood (matte), 05 sparkle grey (sparkling), 06 earth (matte). New permanent.

Clarins Ladylike 2014 fall

Clarins Be Long Mascara in 01 Intense Black ($27 CAD)

Enriched with matrikine and panthenol to encourage lash growth and help strengthen lashes. Permanent.

Instant Light Eye Perfecting Base ($26  CAD/10 ml)

Enriched with oat extract to both illuminate & improve eyeshadow hold. New permanent.

3-Dot Eyeliner in Brown ($28 CAD)

Exclusive to department stores (not available at Clarins counters in drugstores.) New limited edition.

Clarins Skin Tones eye quartet Eyebrow Kit

Perfect Eyes & Brow Palette ($37 CAD)

Contains three powder shades to define the brow, a nude pink powder eyeshadow to illuminate the eyes, and a transparent wax to tame unruly brows. (Also contains mini tweezers, a brow spoolie, and a double-ended sponge/blender brush.) Exclusive to department stores. New permanent.

Eye Quartet Mineral Palette in No. 13 Skin Tones ($42 CAD)

Contains four wet & dry eyeshadow shades: a satin beige-taupe, an off-white matte highlighter, a warm matte brown, and a cool-toned grey-taupe with a satin finish. New permanent.

Lips

Clarins Ladylike lipsticks

Keep reading! »

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