Don’t miss this | A soft, effortless Spring look

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

I’ve been doing about a look a week the last little while, but most of them have been for the purpose of, well, the look. Which is to say, the concept of the makeup came first, and was then followed by the selection of products — which is how things usually go, if I’m not mistaken.

This week, though, I set out with only two things in mind: one, create something that would more or less realize the idea of a staple Spring makeup look, and two, feature a number of the products I’ve reviewed recently, so that you lot can see what they look like in an actual look, instead of just on my arms.

You can read the She Said Beauty post here, but just keep on scrolling if it’s the product babbling (and not the tutorial) you’re here for.

(Note: all the product links in this post go to reviews on theNotice!)

The cheeks

Ah, Senna. Quite a few comments were left asking to see these on my cheeks, and I’ve been using them in various FOTD photo sets since they came across my desk. This look happens to include the Senna Sheer Face Color Powder Blush in Clarity and Face and Eye Color in Enlighten, as blush and highlight, respectively.

I’ve been using the two Senna blushers (not including, of course, the hilighter) for a good few weeks now, and I have to say — not loving them any less, even after all this time. I thought some of their appeal might wear off, as it does, but Senna products tend to stick around for me. What can I say? The colours are just that good!

(Or my frontal lobe is just that fixated; really, it’s a toss-up between the two.)

The eyes

To start, I used Vasanti Mount Rushmore through the whole lid – just the shimmery taupe, though, mind. For a touch more definition, I added a few of the Sephora Moonshadow In the Light shadows; lighter in the inner corner and a hint darker on the outer third.

Then, to finish things up, I added two pencils to the look. First, the black eyeliner from Physician’s Formula Shimmer Strips in Nude Eyes along the upper lashline — I’ve yet to review this eyeliner trio, but I keep reaching for the black. It’s got a bit of shimmer in it, which makes it a bit more interesting than a solid black).

And, finally, a whisper of Marcelle Accent Brow Pencil in Granite through the brows. I’m not crazy about Granite, but it’ll do, you know? I tend to fill my brows sort of (okay, extremely) lightly, so it doesn’t really matter what I use as long as it’s sheer and grey(ish).

I know I’ve mentioned this before, but: grey eyebrow products really do work wonders for cool skintones + black hair! It’s a makeup secret ;)

The lips

Last but not least, two products from a little farther back: L’Occitane Lipstick in Pivoine Délicate and L’Occitane Lipgloss in Rose Frémissant. I photographed this look with both lips; though it’s a small change, I couldn’t decide if I preferred the bare look of the lipstick or the light, playful edge that the gloss gives.

Anyhow; the photo above is the only one with the gloss layered on top. Feel free to decide which version you prefer on your own, because I haven’t any help to give!

Sunday in France: a brief foray into the magical world of Sephora.fr

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Instead of the usual “New…” widget, I thought I’d do something a bit different this Sunday – a glance at a few new products in French Sephora stores, with a bit of babble about the site (and beauty market) enjoyed by our beauty-addict counterparts over there.

I have a soft spot for the Sephora.fr online shop, even more so now than I did a few months ago. Once the newness of the Sephora.com revamp wore off, I found that I… don’t really like it, to be honest. I’m quite fond of the aesthetic, but I’m a lot less crazy about the actual functionality. (That said, though; the Canada/US site has ingredients listed for more of the products, and I wouldn’t give that up for the world.)

The brands

As could be expected, Sephora shops in France carry a different product range than those in North America — more skincare, more fragrance; less makeup. They carry different brands, at times, too: they get Chanel, Serge Lutens, and La Prairie, for instance, (those lucky dogs), but miss out on Korres, Fresh, and a number of our newer brands, like Ellis Faas or Edward Bess.

Strangely enough, I spied a few North American drugstore brands on the French site; Sally Hansen and Hawaiian Tropic intermingled amongst the expensive skincare and impressive fragrance ranges.

The addiction

The last time I went through the Sephora.fr site this thoroughly (I think it was about a year ago), I noticed that they had a bit of an obsession with travelling beauty products. It wasn’t just a passing fancy, though, apparently, because there’s still a small-but-highly-visible section on airplane-appropriate products!

(I don’t know why, but I find that absolutely hilarious. I’m aware that, objectively, it isn’t funny at all. It doesn’t really seem to be making any difference in my reaction, though.)

The bestsellers

Of course, you can’t have a post about a foreign beauty site without going over the country’s bestsellers list. In France, 12 of the top 20 bestsellers are skincare, 3 are makeup, and 5 are fragrance; in Canada, only 8 are skincare, with 9 being makeup, and 3 being fragrance.

If you look at the products themselves, things get even more interesting. French women tend to focus their makeup purchases on mascara, while Canadians buy more base products. (Hey, maybe that focus on skincare is paying off, after all!) The Urban Decay Naked 2 palette is the only bestselling product the two sites have in common.

In skincare, the Clinique Even Better Clinical Dark Spot Corrector is the only product to grace both bestseller lists. The Sephora.fr list is dominated by Clarins (which, as we all know, I have a soft spot a mile wide for), but the brand doesn’t appear in Canada’s top 20 at all. We’re apparently just running around buying tinted moisturizers and BB creams like crazy at the moment, apparently, which–I cannot tell a lie–actually sounds pretty accurate.

Different, too, are our tastes in fragrance – I’d say the French have more refined olfactory palettes, but that wouldn’t explain how (or why, or what?!) a Hello Kitty EdT made it onto their bestseller list and Balenciaga Paris didn’t. Again, there was only one product in common between the lists: the ever-classic Dior J’Adore. (Don’t you just love it when patterns keep up being all pattern-y?)

And, finally, the reason why I was nosing around Sephora.fr to begin with:

They’re just so cute! {1} {2} {3}

New 20/05/12 (aka the giant Spring 2012 Sephora launch post of doom)

Sunday, May 20, 2012

So, I’ve spent the last few weeks waiting (and waiting, and waiting, and waiting) for Sephora’s site to start routing in properly again through Shopstyle, only to find that… it may just be my computer.

See, I can get onto the site just fine through Safari, Firefox, and even Chrome Private Browsing, but my regular ‘ol Chrome browser? Gives me an angry ERROR 101 screen, and (if I somehow luck out and get through), falsely tells me that the Sephora site is down. And I ask you this, internet: what’s a beauty blogger supposed to do when they can’t get onto Sephora? Isn’t that, like, the entire purpose of the internet?

(That was a joke. Rae used sarcasm! It’s super-effective!)

Anyhow, here’s this month’s New at Sephora spread. It’s been some time since I last did one of these, so I’ll save the others (that is, the recent non-Sephora launches) for next week, yeah?

Sets

Keep reading: Sunday Riley, kittens, Tokyomilk, and more »

Sephora Moonshadow palette review, photos, swatches

Thursday, October 13, 2011

The product: Sephora Moonshadow Baked Palette in In The Nude

Sephora describes this palette as a “collection of glittery baked eyeshadows [in] ten sultry nude shades.” And if that’s not enough to get you going, they add on claims of “a cosmic amount of diamond dust shimmer” and “a super sparkly finish.” I gave it a try assuming that, okay, the palette was going to be shimmery. But like, another glittery nude palette – whatever, right?

The lesson of the day is that I obviously need to stop being such a cynic, because I keep having to eat my words.

In my opinion, the top and bottom rows are separated out pretty well. The top ones pack your serious shimmer chunks, while the pigment is mainly found in the bottom shades. On the whole, the palette is really “love it or hate it” – you’re either going to adore the ridiculous (and we mean ridiculous) amounts of shimmer, or it’s going to drive you absolutely insane.

If you’re going to pick up this palette, or you already have it, you NEED to give foiling a try. I’ve read a few posts where the reviewers were frustrated with the lack of pigment, and I’ll admit, you’re not going to get any colour out of these if you try to apply them with a fluffy brush to a dry lid. They definitely do best applied with a damp, dense brush, and you’ll want to prime first, but I think it’s worth the effort – that is, if you’re a glitter lover, of course!

Swatched L-R: Cream, Light Bronze, Soft Gold, Peach, and Taupe

Swatched L-R: Silver, Deep Brown, Honey Brown, Deep Sienna, and Plum

The verdict?

This palette wasn’t “made for me,” but I still actually… really like it. Which I didn’t see coming! I’m always drawn toward palettes like this one (nude shades, a hint of colour, and tons of shimmer), but I find that I very rarely actually like them in the long run.

It would do well to carry more of a pigment punch, but honestly, I find it hard to knock off points for that - they never promised pigment; just tons and tons shimmer. And on that, Sephora definitely delivered.

If you’re a glitter girl and you love your neutrals, give this one a go!

Mica, Talc, Ci 77891 (Titanium Dioxide), Ci 77491 (Iron Oxides), Synthetic Fluorphlogopite, Dimethicone, Ci 77499 (Iron Oxides), Isopropyl Palmitate, Polysorbate 20, Acrylamide/Sodium Acryloyldimethyltaurate Copolymer, Magnesium Aluminum Silicate, Octyldodecyl Stearoyl Stearate, Cetearyl Ethylhexanoate, Isohexadecane, Caprylyl Glycol, Sorbitan Stearate, Sodium Dehydroacetate, Phenoxyethanol, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Ci 77492 (Iron Oxides), Tocopheryl Acetate, Polysorbate 80, Tin Oxide, Hexylene Glycol, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Nylon-12, Sorbitan Oleate, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Calcium Aluminum Borosilicate, Lauroyl Lysine, Silica, Tocopherol.

Additional photos and swatches »

A fall face of the day (ft. Sephora Moonshadow and Annabelle Muddy)

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

It’s only a day late, EVERYBODY CALM DOWN.

(Read: sorry that it’s a day late! :P Hope you enjoy the FOTD – I just got caught up in all this Thanksgiving business and wasn’t able to find the time to post!)

Because I had originally put on this look for product testing (rather than to feature as a makeup look), it’s super basic – just a touch of blush, a bit of contour, and a whisper of colour. I found I had troubles getting a lot of pigment out of the Moonshadow palette, but I’ll talk more about that in the review. Primer (which I used) helps a bit, but it really does need to be foiled for that “punch” of pigment.

Well, then again, I’m fairly certain I chose the most finicky shadow in the palette to work with. Which was totally not my fault; I couldn’t help it! Hand me something sort of mauvey-pink and I’ll fall over my feet trying to get at it, every time.

The other product I was trying out for the first time was Annabelle Muddy, and I have to say: I’m impressed. For a brown liner, it’s remarkably unboring (shush, it’s totally a word), and the wear time is leaps and bounds better MAC Teddy (my other brown liner love, based on looks alone). The formula’s ridiculously smooth, and I was surprised to like it as much as I did!

(Which is dumb. Because – when aren’t I surprised by Annabelle? You’d think I’d have gotten over the constant shock by now.)

(Rae, 0. Lack of response inhibition, 1.)

Products used and more photos »

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