Pür Minerals Strobe/Highlight Palette review, swatches | Sun-Kissed Glow, Moonlight Glow, & Glow Together

Thursday, September 29, 2016


The products: Pür Minerals Sun-Kissed Glow & Moonlight Glow; Glow Together Jumbo Matte-Shimmer Bronzer

It’s tough to find creme cheek products that aren’t full of ‘cones, so when I found not one, but SIX shades of cruelty-free shimmering creme highlighters this summer, I was pretty thrilled.

They’re by one of my favourite brands, of course: Pür Cosmetics. (Or Pür Minerals? I’m never sure what to call them anymore.)


The Pür Moonlight Glow Strobe & Highlight Palette ($34 USD/$ CAD) is the cooler variation of Pür’s summer strobing palettes, and it’s the one that I’ve gotten the most use out of. I’m pretty sure that it’s meant to be some sort of highlighter/colour/bronzer combination, but I use the yellow Twilight and peachy Lunar the most – the bronze Eclipse never sees any use.

(Why would I want my contour to shimmer??? Or my bronzer, for that matter?)

The Strobe & Highlight Palettes have a fairly dry creme texture with a powder finish, and I like the level of shimmer in them. I think I would have preferred a glossier base, just because I prefer my creme products to have an inherent sheen to them, but I can see why Pür chose to go in a different direction: powder finishes wear much, much better.


Pür Cosmetics Sun Kissed Glow (first 3), Moonlight Glow (last 3) Strobe/Highlight Palette swatches


Pür Minerals Sun-Kissed Glow

The warm-toned Sun-Kissed Glow Strobe & Highlight Palette ($34 USD/$ CADis equally as pretty, with Aurora, Solar, and Dusk from left to right, but I think it’s better suited to darker, warmer-toned complexions. All three shades are pretty bronzey, Moonlight Glow features more of an ivory, pink pearl, and cool copper palette, Sun-Kissed Glow is more golden, coral, and orange-bronze. 

Both of these palettes feature a light, fruity scent which is kind of fun to use! I know it makes me kind of a monster, but I’m a fan of scented cheek products–when it’s done well.


Finally in Pür Minerals’ summer collection, the Glow Together Jumbo Matte-Shimmer Bronzer ($34 USD) is a warm striped bronzer with both matte (upper) and shimmer (lower) tones. A portion of the proceeds from all Glow Together purchases will be donated to Action Against Hunger, an international humanitarian organization who aim to feed the many!


The verdict?

If you love creme highlighters but struggle (like I do) to find silicone-free ones, then keep an eye out for these palettes at your local Shopper’s. They deliver a subtle, glowy highlight that looks great both indoors and out, and their powder finish and fruity scent make for a lovely morning pick-me-up.

The one thing that I did notice about these palettes is that, while they wear well, they’re not particularly bold – if you want a really obvious, metallic highlight, you’re better off finding a buttery powder (like the NYX Strobe of Genius palette).

Availability: All $34 USD each at Pur Cosmetics & in-stores at select Shopper’s Drug Mart locations. Limited edition.

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KYE for Shu Uemura collection review, swatches, photos

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Kye for shu collection review, photos

The products: KYE for Shu Uemura Summer 2016 collection

The KYE for Shu collection is this summer’s Shu Uemura capsule collection, designed by fashion designer Kathleen Kye. It’s inspired by the “new era fashion culture and hype beauty,” and is chock full of trendy products and things that could basically just be summed as “edgy but also fresh.”

I’m not always taken by celeb-designed makeup collections, not even Shu Uemura’s, but the KYE collection really gets me. It feels very authentic, and I love that it celebrates a youthful energy and gender fluidity. 

Kye for shu uemura eyebrow palette cappuccino, dark rose review photos

kye for shu “cappuccino/dark rose” brow:palette review

The brow products

The KYE for shu brow products are all about graphic, edgy eyebrows – and in this case, that means colour. 

I tried out the Shu Uemura Eyebrow Manicure in Dark Violet ($26 CAD) and brow:palette in cappuccino/dark rose ($55 CAD), and you know what? I really liked both of them. Shu does brows well, and these tinted versions of their regular products really hit the spot for me – although I wouldn’t give you $55 for the brow powder.

shu uemura violet brows swatches review photos

kye for shu swatches – ME pink 12 and M white 91 on eyes, eyebrow manicure in dark violet (left) and brow:palette in cappuccino/dark rose (right)

The Eyebrow Manicure is really where it’s at. The formula is easy to apply and doesn’t leave too much product on your skin, giving you definition and shape without really adding visual weight. And Dark Violet? It’s gorgeous. It brushes up gently against the skin, leaving a muted lilac brow that glistens in its wake... it’s a really lovely way to do colourful eyebrows while still looking totally daytime-appropriate.

(Yes, really!)

KYE for shu uemura eyebrow manicure dark violet review photos swatches

kye for shu “dark violet” eyebrow manicure review

Kye for Shu xxxxx

kye for shu “glow in pink” sheer colour balm review

The cheek & lip products

Okay, so full disclosure: these two product formats happen to be ones that I’m predisposed towards, so I’m maybe being a little lenient here.

I love alternative blush formats, so the KYE for Shu Fresh Cushion Blush ($39 CAD) caught my eye immediately. Hibiscus Orange is full of silicones and the sold-out Hisibscus Pink one would almost certainly look better on me, but the formula is just so cool watery, sheer, shimmer-free, and dewy. It’s a very Korean-inspired blush, right down to the names, but I hope we see more cushion blushes from Shu in the future.

For the lips, I also really liked the Shu Uemura Sheer Colour Lip Balm in Glow in Pink ($36 CAD), but I think they’re overpriced. The KYE Sheer Colour Balms are all translucent, pH-adjusting neons, and they’re really comfortable… but at the price, they’re not a must.

Shu Uemura kye collection swatches review

kye for shu swatches in indirect sunlight: hibiscus orange cushion blush, glow in pink sheer colour balm, cappuccino/dark rose brow:palette, dark violet eyebrow manicure, M white 91 drawing pencil, ME pink 12 drawing pencil.

Kye for shu hibiscus orange blush review swatches

kye for shu hibiscus orange fresh cushion blush review

The eye products

I tried out two of the KYE Drawing Pencils ($28 CAD each), which are eyeliners from Shu’s regular collection done up in adorable KYE packaging.

I’ve never been a fan of the Shu Drawing Pencil formula, and these are consistent with my past experiences. The matte M white 91 is a gorgeously opaque white eyeliner, but it snapped off on me the second I tried to swatch it. (And then again, and again, and again.)

The intense, metallic ME pink 12 fared better, but it too is very soft – the metallics are so buttery that you have to re-shape them as you line your eyes. However, they’re also a total pain in the butt to smudge or remove, so if you have any upcoming end-of-summer pool parties planned, ME pink 12 is pretty much mandatory. It’s like glittery indelible ink for your eyes!

Kye for shu eyeliners M white 91, ME pink 12 swatches review

kye for shu drawing pencils in M white 91, ME pink 12

kye for shu collection swatches

kye for shu swatches: hibiscus orange blush, glow in pink lip balm, cappuccino/dark rose brow:palette, dark violet eyebrow manicure, M white 91, and ME pink 12 eyeliners

Everything else

The KYE for Shu collection also includes a few cleansing oils and conditioners, but as they’re just re-packaged classics, I won’t be reviewing them here. I will note, however, that the pink Porefinist Fresh Cleansing Oil ($38-82 CAD) is my favorite Shu cleansing oil, though, and that the KYE packaging is even cuter in person!

Kye for shu uemura absolute conditioners review

kye for shu art of hair conditioners

The verdict?

Shu Uemura releases a lot of really big makeup collections, but the KYE collection is my favourite Shu release in recent history. There isn’t a single product that disappoints (well, the eyeliners are a pain, but they wear like a champ as long as you pretend they’re gel pots), and the prices are very reasonable for Shu.

My top recommendations are the Dark Violet Eyebrow Manicure and Fresh Cushion Blush, but you really can’t go wrong with anything here!

Availability: Limited edition summer 2016 at shuuemura.ca, shuuemura.com, and in-stores at select Holt Renfrew & Sephora locations.

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Burberry Lip & Cheek Bloom in Poppy: swatches, review, photos

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Burberry lip and cheek bloom review photos swatches

The product: Burberry Lip & Cheek Bloom in Poppy No. 9

Alright, so I don’t know how I left this Burberry blush sitting in my stash completely unswatched for months (that’s a lie, I know exactly how; it’s because it looked so pristine and pretty and I couldn’t bring myself to do it), but I finally swatched it.

And dudes. It was NOT what I was expecting.

Burberry lip review poppy cheek bloom swatches

As a blush: This Lip & Cheek Bloom is springy, mousse-y, and sheer. I was expecting a solid-feeling silicone gel (because this formula is heavy on the ‘cones), but for some silly reason, I saw that glossy finish and immediately thought, “Hmm, I guess it’s going to be slick.”

And I mean, I guess “slick” isn’t totally incorrect. But this is far from your standard gel blush: it’s more like a dense little cloud of powdery delight. It’s sheer and so easy to blend, and while the shade isn’t the best for me–it definitely looks a little warm and ruddy on my olive complexion–I think it works. It’s a classic colour, you know? Like a classy rendition of primary red.

Burberry Poppy lip cheek bloom swatches review

Burberry Poppy No. 9 Lip & Cheek Bloom swatches (heavily/lightly, artificial lighting)

As a lip colour: The Burberry Lip & Cheek Bloom formula, if you can stand silicones, is nice as a blush. Where it really shines, though, is as a lip colour.

It’s very strange to see a satin product that’s this sheer, and even though the Lip & Cheek Bloom formula isn’t hydrating, I really like it. Its sheer, satin finish is really unique, and Poppy instantly gives my lips a “popsicle stained” effect. It also layers overtop of any other lip colour to transform the finish into a soft matte (à la Smashbox Insta-Matte, which totally lied when it said “matte”), and looks beautiful overtop of a brown lipstick.

Seriously. Throw Poppy over any ’90s browns that you’re regretting buying & you’ll end up with the most gorgeous deep pink ever.

Burberry kip cheek bloom poppy review

The verdict?

While I think a shade like Rose or Purple Tulip probably would have been better suited to my makeup aesthetic, I surprised myself by really enjoying the French-made Burberry Lip & Cheek Bloom formula. Its satin finish is cloud-like, very blendable, and uniquely sheer, and it creates a beautiful, blooming lip or cheek!

Availability: $30 USD/$33 CAD at Nordstrom, Sephora, Burberry (US), and Hudson’s Bay (CA).

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Contour & Sway with Rodial and NYX Cosmetics | A bright-lipped makeup look!

Friday, July 29, 2016

Rodial NYX makeup look

Every time I post a makeup look, it’s like, “Hi, I know it’s been a while, but surprise!”

This NYX Liquid Suede Cream Lipstick was a pretty big surprise too, at least for me. I just finished being disappointed by the brand’s Soft Matte Lipstick in Transylvania, so when I pulled out Sway to finish off this Rodial contouring feature, I was really surprised by how lovely it was.

I haven’t given it a day-long test just yet, but it feels awesome – thick and creamy and dense, with the opacity and finish to match.

NYX Liquid Suede cream lipstick swatch Sway

NYX Liquid Suede Cream Lipstick swatch in LSCL 06 Sway (Emprise)

Rodial makeup look motd products used

Products used

I used Rodial for my base, of course, and their Contouring Powder, Illuminating Powder, and South Beach Blusher on my cheeks. Their lightest foundation matches my summer tan really well, and the contour is nice (if a bit subtle). Then, I threw on my standard eye base/brow combo of the moment: Clarins Waterproof Liquid Eyeshadow and Annabelle Skinny Brow Liner.

Clarins Rosewood new 2016 4 colour eyeshadow palette review swatches makeup

Clarins 4-Colour Eyeshadow Palette in 02 Rosewood, Marcelle Double Precision Liner in Black, and Annabelle BigShow Waterproof Mascara

To give a little colour to the eye, I used the brand new Clarins 4-Colour Eyeshadow Palette in 02 Rosewood ($43 USD), which looks… Surprisingly unlike the old Eye Quartet Mineral Palette in 03 Rosewood ($42 USD). I’m not sure why they didn’t just give it a new name – the near-identical packaging and labelling make things a little bit confusing!

(The mascara is Annabelle BigShow Waterproof ($9.95 CAD), which is also new to me. I liked it, but not as much as their Expandable Mascara.)

NYX Sway Liquid Suede review motd makeup look

And, finally, there was that NYX Liquid Suede lipstick. The formula smells a little bit like paint in the tube, but it’s actually super lovely: it has a velvety matte finish and applies so easily that I didn’t even need a lip brush to apply it. I’m kinda dying to add a couple other shades to my makeup collection!

What’s your favourite bold lip colour range?

Rodial Instaglam Contouring Powder 03, South Beach Blusher swatches, review, photos

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Rodial makeup review 2016 new launches

The products: Rodial Instaglam Contouring Powder in 03 and Blusher in South Beach

I’ve been using a ton of Rodial in my everyday makeup recently (mostly the new Rodial Airbrush Make-Up and Airbrush Concealer, which I LOVE), so I have one more little review for you guys! And, of course, a makeup look with a nice, bright lip – it’ll be up on Friday.

Actual Friday, not “oops sorry today is Tuesday.” Seriously. I already have it drafted and everything.

Rodial instaglam contouring powder 03 review swatches photos

Rodial Instaglam Compact Deluxe Contouring Powder ($57 USD)

I began my testing, of course, with the much-lauded Rodial Contouring Powder ($57 USD). The shade is great for light skintones (very balanced, and definitely not too warm), and Rodial released a new contouring shade this year to fit a wider range of faces.

However: Rodial’s Contouring Powder Dark is a solid medium at best, and saying that it “works well for dark skin tones” feels like an act of exclusion to me. The formula of Rodial powders is very sheer and the line’s contour shades are very light, and they are simply not designed with ethnic skin in mind.

» If you’re a POC or you want to support a brand who designs makeup for ALL makeup wearers, check out the contour powders offered by NYX, Anastasia, Black Up, or Kat Von D instead.

Rodial packaging contouring face sculptor and definer swatches review photos

Rodial Deluxe Contouring Powder review, swatches

Rodial contour, south beach, instaglam highlighter swatches review photos

Rodial 03 Contouring Powder (lightly/heavily), South Beach Blusher, 01 Illuminating Powder swatches – lightly primed skin, indirect sunlight

Rodial blush south beach review photos swatches

Rodial South Beach Blusher review, swatches

Rodial South Beach Blusher ($35 USD)

I didn’t personally have problems with the opacity of the fresh, springy South Beach Blusher ($35 USD), but again, I didn’t love the formula. Like the contour powder, this blush is very sheer. Both of these pressed powders contain a lot of talc and a fair amount of silica (as well as cornstarch in the contour powder), so they kick up some dust and have that slippery-smooth silica feel.

In other words, they blend well, but you can’t build them up. Which means that they’ll never have the ability to make you look awful (even if applied in the dark!), but it doesn’t give them any versatility at all. Even with my fair skin I have to apply two layers of this blush whenever I wear it, and I’ve never been able to get my Rodial contour as dark or sharp as I like it – it just blends itself away.

Rodial makeup new items

The verdict?

I enjoy using these powder products from Rodial, but if I’m being honest… they’re just not as good as the brand’s Airbrush base products. I’d recommend them only in a strictly luxury capacity, and not at all if you have medium to dark skin.

For the price, I am disappointed in the quality of these products. The packaging and luxury “feel” are spot on, but they’re very sheer, and (in my opinion) their ingredients and formula just don’t justify the price tags.

Availability: Rodial, select Shopper’s Drug Mart Boutiques, and Murale.

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Smashbox Inspiration lipstick, Insta-Matte, & Mulholland Mauve review, swatches, photos

Monday, June 6, 2016

Smashbox Be Legendary lipstick Inspiration review

The products: Smashbox Cosmetics Be Legendary Cream Lipstick in Inspiration, Insta-Matte Lipstick Transformer, and L.A. Lights Blendable Lip & Cheek Color in Mulholland Mauve

Smashbox Spring 2016 review

Smashbox Be Legendary Lipstick ($21 USD/$36 CAD)

The Be Legendary lipsticks are a staple of the current Smashbox lineup, and with Inspiration, it’s not hard to see why. This new shade is a super-flattering bright fuchsia pink with subtle shimmer (which I think makes it NOT a “true” cream!!) and it’s a total dreamboat.

Smashbox Inspiration review photos Be Legendary Creamm Lipstick

Smashbox Be Legendary Lipstick in Inspiration review

Smashbox Inspiration swatch Be Legendary Lipstick review

Smashbox Be Legendary Lipstick in Inspiration swatches in indirect sunlight. (Can you tell that I took these photos with my old Canon? Just not as good, man.)

The Smashbox Be Legendary Cream Lipstick formula is comforting, heavy, and smooth – I wouldn’t mind owning another couple (dozen) of these. They remind me of the Clinique Pop Lipsticks, actually, but with a lighter texture.

The Be Legendary “cream” finish (they’re also available in a matte finish) is luscious and looks almost glossy thanks to the shimmer, and Inspiration is well-pigmented with colour that goes exactly where it ought to, no lip brush necessary.

Smashbox Be Legendary Inspiration review photos swatches

(See the glitter?)

Smashbox Insta-Matte Lipstick Transformer ($24 USD/$26 CAD)

Smashbox also introduced their Insta-Matte Lipstick Transformer this spring, which I think is a pretty nifty product. It’s a silicone-y gel that’s similar to their Photo Finish primer, but thicker, and it’s designed to turn any cream (!!) lipstick into a matte.

 Smashbox Insta-Matte transformer review

I liked the idea behind the Insta-Matte, and it worked well to mattify Inspiration when I tried it on. However, it doesn’t do anything that a sprinkling of loose powder could do (a trick that makeup artists have been using for decades), and the effect is subtle.

Granted, it’s a lot more comfortable to wear than loose powder is, but it can’t be used overtop of glosses, lacquers, or balms, which I think kind of minimizes its appeal. Cream lipsticks are halfway to today’s mattes anyways, you know? Just pat with tissue and you’re 90% of the way there.

Smashbox Inspiration, Mulholland Mauve swatches, Insta-matte

Smashbox swatches L-R: Insta-Matte over Be Legendary Lipstick in Inspiration; Inspiration on its own; L.A. Lights in Mulholland Mauve lightly, then heavily. Swatched in artificial light. 

Smashbox L.A. Lights Blendable Lip & Cheek Color ($29 USD/$36 CAD)

I love a good stick/pencil product, but the Smashbox L.A. Lights formula just didn’t grab me. It’s workable, but it feels tacky and heavy to me. The formula drags on the skin as you blend it out, so while the finish looks lovely and dewy, I find that I rarely reach for these.

As a lip product, though, I found Mulholland Mauve to be extremely disappointing. A darker colour would fare better, but it looks pasty and thin on my lips–almost like a $2 bargain bin lipstick or an early-2000s party girl lipgloss.

Smashbox L.A. Lights cheek lip review

However, the L.A Lights sticks are one of the few silicone-free stick blushes that I’ve found, and Mulholland Mauve is a rather unique colour. It looks passable on my fair olive skin (the shade choice was my mistake!), but would be gorgeous on a warmer complexion.

As a note, the availability on the L.A. Lights is a little weird. If you’re looking for Mulholland Mauve or Fairfax Fuchsia in Canada, they’re only available at Shopper’s/Murale – you won’t be able to buy them at Sephora. Make sure you shop accordingly!

Smashbox Mulholland Mauve review swatches

The verdict?

Sadly, none of Smashbox’s spring launches were total must-haves for me–but I do really like their Be Legendary lipsticks, so it was nice to see that shade range expanded.

On the whole, I’d say that the Be Legendaries are a nice-to-have, the Insta-Matte is a cool-to-have, and the L.A. Lights are a skip. I’ve heard excellent things about the L.A. Lights from other bloggers, though, so if you love ’em, hit me up in the comments. I want to know what I’m missing here!

Availability: New permanent products (as of January 2016) at Shopper’s Drug Mart Beauty Boutiques, Murale, Nordstrom, and Sephora.


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