theNotice’s favourite products of 2013 | New Year, New Loves… but here are my favourites from the last one

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Laura Mercier Artist Palette for Eyes 2013

Laura Mercier Artist Palette

First off: sorry again for the radio silence. I had hoped to get a few more posts up before the end of the year (Laura Mercier Artist Palette, Osmia Organics Honey-Myrrh Lip Repair, and Marc Jacobs Showstopper Lip Gel), but, well — you know how it is. I was hardly the only person who got sick this winter, so for all of you who are still battling colds and the flu: I hope you feel better soon! 

(And for all of you who haven’t gotten sick yet: you are the worst. Yes, you. I can’t even believe your gall, coming over here, all — sturdy. And vertical. And lucid; how terribly unfair!)

theNotice’s must-have products of 2013

These are the ones that I reached for again and again in 2013. They weren’t just the ones that I tried, tested, and loved — they were the ones that I used on a regular basis, even when I had other things (prettier, shinier, newer things) that I really should have been testing instead. They’re the apple of my eye, not the cream of the crop — I’ve chosen them based on both quality and how well they fit into my life.

Senna Cosmetics Ultra Last Eyeliner - Ultra Black, Brown

Senna Cosmetics Ultra Last Eyeliners

To start off, the Senna Cosmetics Ultra Last Eyeliner in Ultra Black. I’ve tried a lot of black eyeliners in my time (I think at last count I had over twenty in my stash), but this one really is the best. I push black liner into my upper lashline every morning–it really wakes my face up–and this one has wear time like nobody’s business. It’s not totally bulletproof, but it’s very pigmented, very black, and wears better than any other black pencil eyeliner I’ve ever tried, whether it’s on my waterline, in my lashline, or on the lid.

The other eye product that I can’t live without is the Dejavu Fiberwig Extra Long Mascara — a long-time favourite of mine. It never drops a curl, flakes, or smudges, and removes so easily with warm water. That said, it gives a very natural, lengthening lash, with great separation: if I want more volume, I need to layer it overtop another mascara. (See honourable mentions).

Real Techniques Expert Face Brush

Real Techniques Expert Face Brush

Next up is the Real Techniques Expert Face Brush, which makes blending out cream products both fast and easy. At a crazy-cheap $9 USD, it’s dense and soft, and has completely ousted the Sephora/Shiseido flat-top brush as my favourite brush for foundation or concealer. This is my only “best of 2013″ tool or face product — there isn’t anything else that both I use every single day and adore. (Canucks can order online at Farleyco, with free expedited shipping over $50.)

I don’t have anywhere better in this review to put a fragrance, so: Serge Lutens Chergui, I still adore you. Chergui is such a beauty – amazing for the winter, and sexy in a very cozy way, without using vanilla as a shortcut-to-sexiness crutch. (Ugh, vanilla). loves this; it’s the only scent that he tells me smells “really good,” eyes dilated, every single time I wear it. I’m actually cheating on Serge with Etsy dupes (there’s just something about the warmth and depth of Chergui that makes it seem more appropriate as an oil), but must-have status is applied to both the dupes & the original!

Bobbi Brown Lip Balm SPF 15 review

Bobbi Brown Lip Balm SPF 15 from this very old post, plus buckets of Photoshop. I am equal parts proud and horrified at myself.

Finally, a bit of skincare. I discovered the Mario Badescu Buffering Lotion this year during the worst breakout of my life (I tried sunflower oil and my skin lost it), and haven’t looked back since. It’s amazing at treating cystic acne in particular, and still incredible at treating everything else — whether that means preventing them from coming to a head altogether or encouraging my skin to clean up shop without ever needing to “purge”.

I’m still loving the Bobbi Brown Lip Balm SPF 15, which hydrates my lips like no other, and the Marcelle Essentials Cleansing Milk, which removes makeup & pollutants without drying. They were holy grail products for me last year, and continue to be — with skin as dry as mine, I can’t imagine life without them.

(Okay, that’s a lie. I can imagine it, and it’s horrible. If you have dry skin, you need these.)

The honourable mentions (& best ad) »

Senna Brilliant Bronze Bronzer & Highlighter review, swatches, photos | Senna Sunglow collection, Summer 2013

Friday, September 6, 2013

Senna baked mineral bronzer highlighter review

The product: Senna Cosmetics Brilliant Bronze Baked Mineral Bronzer & Highlighter in Sunset and Dawn

Every now and then, I’ll come across a product that’s strangely, inexplicably difficult to review. Senna’s new Brilliant Bronze baked bronzer/highlighters are the perfect example of this: they’re limited edition in this summer’s Sunglow collection, and I really want to love them, but I’m still not sure if I actually do.

Senna baked mineral bronzer highlighter review dawn

The packaging and aesthetic: Let’s start with an easy one, then. I love the glossy black boxes that these bronzer/highlighters come in — everything from the sharp, sturdy lines to the Senna logo & design. There’s just something so fresh and chic about them, and opening the compacts to reveal almost-veined domes really completes the effect.

Mirrored compacts aren’t always something that I’m a fan of, but I think they work here. The size makes them big enough to be useful, but the thick plastic (as opposed to glass, metal, etc.) means that the addition of a mirror doesn’t make things too heavy, either.

Senna Brilliant Bronze review Dawn

Senna Brilliant Bronze Bronzer & Highlighter in Dawn

Senna Brilliant Bronze review Sunset

Senna Brilliant Bronze Bronzer & Highlighter in Sunset

Senna Brilliant Bronze Baked Mineral Bronzer Highlighter swatches review

Senna Brilliant Bronze swatches: Dawn, Sunset (highlighter/bronzer/mixed)

The shades: The Brilliant Bronze Bronzer & Highlighters are available in Sunset, which pairs a pigmented brown bronzer with a sheer buttery-yellow highlighter, and Dawn, featuring a lighter, cooler bronze shade and a soft pink highlighter. Sunset has mainly golden shimmer, while Dawn has mainly silver shimmer.

As you might expect, Sunset is better for darker and warmer skintones, while Dawn shines on paler, cooler complexions. Both shades are beautiful, but while I prefer Sunset on an aesthetic basis (I’m loving gold highlighters at the moment, and the bronzer is gorgeous), Dawn is definitely better for my skintone.

My advice? If your skintone is warm or medium-to-deep, go for Sunset. If you’re fair-to-medium with cool undertones, opt for Dawn.

Senna Brilliant Bronze Baked Mineral review Sunset

My experience with these: I applied these with the Powder Point 33 brush (also featured in the Sunglow collection), and while I absolutely adored the shape of the brush, I thought it was a little too large and disperse for these products.

The thing about the Brilliant Bronzes is that they’re absolutely loaded with shimmer, and while I know a lot of bronzer lovers are into shimmer, I always end up with it everywhere by the end of the day. These have great staying power, each lasting easily through nine hours and two naps on a hot summer day, but the shimmer has a tendency to migrate. (The dusty texture of these doesn’t help, either — I bet they’d fare better with a smaller, more controlled brush.)

Senna Cosmetics Dawn bronzer highlighter swatches

Senna Brilliant Bronze swatches, to show off the shimmer: Dawn, Sunset (highlighter/bronzer/mixed)

The verdict?

If you’re into makeup that you can see, then these are a really lovely example of a glowing bronzer-and-highlighter done right. The tones, shimmer (of which there’s a noticeable amount), and packaging are excellent, and they stand up well through daily life.

If you don’t want your makeup being spotted from two paces, though, give these a pass. Being able to catch glimpses of individual shimmer particles can be pretty visually interesting, but it also means that these Made-in-Italy baked domes are quite obvious on the skin!

Availability: $42 USD online & in-store. To my knowledge, these are limited edition while available.

Makeup daydreaming, a how-to video, & ingredients »

Bright Blue Pastel Lids | Topshop AW13 (Drugstore Eyes!)

Monday, May 13, 2013

!Soft blue eyeshadow Topshop look

Okay, so: I know I haven’t been the best about posting recently, but I’m trying to be better, I swear. I think I still need a couple weeks to really get back into the swing of things, but I may as well start now!

Here’s a quick, springy look to start off the week. Created by Hannah Murray for Topshop AW13 at the last last London Fashion Week, the look is “a bit Brit pop, a bit Eighties, a bit New Wave with an urban edge,” according to Murray. Backstage artists paired fresh skin with almond-shaped pastel blue eyes, and — I don’t know. It’s a bit of a “look,” isn’t it? Super-easy, but still not something I could ever see myself really loving.

Read Vogue’s backstage report for the show here, and catch a full tutorial here.

!Pastel bright blue eyes

Topshop recommends using their Eye Crayon in Kingfisher to get this look, but it’s not actually what was used backstage. Rather, Murray put down a green eyeshadow base (I’m guessing a cream eyeshadow), then topped it off with a pale blue eyeshadow.

I went with a more direct approach, layering a white primer with a matte blue eyeshadow, but I would have liked to have used something with more intensity — the soft “glow” was lovely in real life, but I think the way it photographed left a little something to be desired.

You win some, you lose some, I guess!

1. No makeup look (prep)

Start with a blank canvas

2. Cornflower blue makeup (intermed step)

& add a little colour. (Pre-blush & mascara)

The cool thing about this look, though, is that you could honestly sub in whatever shade you wanted to. I love the look of a matte finish for an eye like this, but I’m not crazy about bright blues — I think I’d have loved to do a lilac or a cobalt instead (both of which happen to be part of Sephora’s current ColorVision forecast, handily enough!)

Here are a couple springy shades that caught my eye:

Colourblocked pastel eyes

Shiseido | Sephora | MAC | Stila

Keep reading! »

The Lipstick Bandits’ Secret Santa Look Swap | Big hair & a plush pout, inspired by call it beauty.

Monday, December 24, 2012

!LB look swap - call it beauty

Happy Christmas-Eve-Day, my dearlings!

This month for The Lipstick Bandits, we’ve put together something a little different — a bit of a “secret santa” project, for both ourselves and our readers. Each Bandit has been paired up (by myself, unbeknownst to the other person) to create a look inspired by the other blogger, whether in product, application, colour… you get the idea.

The inspiration: Dani, at call it beauty. 

Dani - call it beauty

I ended up being paired with the absolutely gorgeous Dani, a wonderfully talented Vancouverite with a fantastic blog (and even more fantastic hair.) To mimic her look, I tried to copy said hair (of course), using hot rollers and a flat iron to add as much curl and volume as possible.

I think the hair went surprisingly alright, all things considered, but I’m completely bummed that I forgot to line my waterlines in black, as she usually does!

!LB look swap - Dani

After making my best attempt at getting Dani-hair, I applied a quick flick of coloured eyeliner (Shu Uemura Blackish Satin Purple) overtop a neutral smokey eye (mainly Clarins Smokey Passion, used also here and here), and paired with a pop of colour — in this case, a bright teal along the lower lashline.

Finally, I applied a sheer layer of a coral-y blush, and layered a Marcelle Rouge Vitality lipstick (one of my all-time favourite formulas) with Korres‘ Cherry Oil Lipgloss in Rose for a bright, plush pout, something I absolutely associate with Dani’s look.

! The Lipstick Bandits Secret Santa Look Swap

I also made sure to take the eye shots from my left eye, rather than my right — I feel like I never see Dani’s right eye unless it’s in a full-face shot! :P

My right eye is certainly my favourite, but I have to admit, it was kinda nice to change things up a little & photograph the other one for once.

!The Lipstick Bandits December Look Swap

Keep reading! »

The Gift Guide | Senna Haute Nudes Palette in Mystic

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Senna Haute Nudes Mystic - teaser

I’m trying to get a review up for the Senna Cosmetics Haute Nudes Multi Makeup Palette in Mystic ($48 USD) as quickly as possible, but the long and short of it is simple: Mystic gets two thumbs way up from this particular peanut gallery.

With gorgeous textures (as you could expect from a brand like Senna) and an absolutely divine colour palette of cool-toned mauvey-neutrals, this might just be my favourite palette of the year. Until I can find time to get a review up, here are a few photos and swatches to tide you over!

Senna Haute Nudes - Mystic palette swatches

Senna Mystic Haute Nudes - teaser

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...