2015 favourites: My makeup & fragrance must-haves

Monday, January 11, 2016

2015 makeup favourites

2015 was, for some reason, a major skincare year for me. I didn’t fall in love with any new makeup products until December, and while I do love those with a passion–well, it makes for a favourites list that is much the same as 2014’s.

Which was the same as 2013’s.

You can see where I’m going with this, right?

My favourite everyday products

2015 must-have makeup products

For me, “the basics” begin with a black eyeliner that never smudges (I rely on Annabelle SmudgePaints and Marcelle Double Extension eyeliners for that — I think I’m on my third Marcelle pen) and an eyeshadow base that can keep you totally crease-free (the cheap-as-dirt Wet ‘n Wild Fergie primer or Pür Mineral’s awesome new Eye Polishes, both of which perform, for me, leaps and bounds better than Urban Decay Primer Potion or NARS Pro Prime.)

You’re only as good as the number of people who fear you, after all, and raccoon eyes don’t usually make for terrified weeping.

Best products of 2015

I also couldn’t live without my Revlon Lip Butter in Sugar Plum (the perfect medium-coverage MLBB shade), a few matte eyeshadows to contour with, and a basic lip balm.

I’m currently fixated on Burt’s Bees’ Refreshing lip balm, which is only moderately hydrating. It smells like pink grapefruit, though, so I mean… Really.

Add in a ‘cone-free face powder (no one does a satin finish like Marcelle) and a flawless foundation (thank you again, Pür Minerals, you radiant, beautiful unicorn) and I’m all set.

My favourite colour products of 2015

Makeup colour product favourites

I discovered a lot of absolutely stellar brow products last year, but only a few made the cut for my favourites: Stila’s, which is glorious but outrageously overpriced, and Annabelle’s, which is as wonderful as it is budget-friendly.

My eyeshadow favourites haven’t changed at all–always Clarins, and always their flaky-shimmer quads–and neither have my lip and everyday mascara favourites: Imju Fiberwig (all hail the glow cloud magic of tubing technology), Burt’s Bees, and Clinique Chubby Sticks.

Cheek and eye favourites 2015

Brow and lip favourites 2015

I did add two totally new favourites to my repertoire last year, though, and I couldn’t be happier to have found them!

Annabelle’s Blush On range is awesome (for some reason, I always reach for them before my Clinique Cheek Pops), and the new blue and purple Clinique Chubby Lash mascaras wear like a champ. I don’t think the black shade is a must, but the blue? Totally.

My favourite tools of 2015

Makeup Brush favourites

My do-everything powder brush, Senna’s Powder Point Brush #33, is my only new favourite this year — but it lives at my partner’s house, so I’m afraid I couldn’t include it in this photo! I feel like that speaks for itself, though: it’s my only powder brush at his place, and it does a good job of applying foundation, powder, contour, blush, and highlighter. It doesn’t do an amazing job of any of them, but for that kind of versatility, I’ll live.

My favourite fragrances of 2015

2015 fragrance favourites

And last but not least… The perfumes that I couldn’t get enough of last year. I looooove Aerin Waterlily Sun (I’m wearing it right now, actually!) and Frédéric Malle Musc Ravageur, as I’ve talked about at length on theNotice, but I’ve been using Leila Lou by Rosie Jane a lot, too — it’s great for smelling really, really clean in an instant.

(And–ahem–it’s excellent for directing attention to certain areas at close range.)

What were your favourite products of 2015?

Pür Minerals Epic Illusion Palette & Mystic Lip Lure review, swatches | & A cruelty-free Christmas Eve makeup look!

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Pur Minerals 4 in 1 porcelain review

It’s taken me a little while to really get into Pür Minerals, but now that I’ve done it… man, I don’t think it would even be possible for me to go back. I’ve worn this look FOUR times over the past week (mostly without the lip), and it has performed like a freaking–uh, like something that performs really well. Every single time.

I am going to be reviewing EVERY product in this makeup look at some point, because I am beyond impressed with every one of them, but for today, I’m focusing on the Lip Lure (what a shade) and Epic Illusion Contour Kit (it’s limited edition)!

Pur Minerals makeup look products used

Products used for my Pür Minerals Christmas Eve makeup look. (Don’t they look so pretty together?)

Pur Minerals Double Ego, Wake Up Brow makeup look review

Pur Minerals Epic Illusion contouring palette review

I’m wearing all Pür Minerals products in this look, from the eyes (Eye Polish in Satin, Double Ego Liquid Eyeliner in Milan, Wake Up Brow in Espresso/Hello Bright Eyes and Volume Vixen Mascara) to the lips (Lip Lure in Mystic and nothing else, not even lip balm).

Even the skin in this look (Epic Illusion Contour Palette and Pür’s 4-in-1 Pressed Mineral Powder Foundation SPF 15 in the shade Porcelain, which actually matches my skintone!!!) is Pür Minerals — I didn’t need any concealer or powder after using the 4-in-1, which was awesome (and super fast!)

pur minerals eye polish nude swatch review

Pür Minerals Double Ego Liner in Milan, Eye Polish in Satin, Volume Vixen Mascara, and Wake Up Brow in Espresso. Plus the line’s 4-in-1 Foundation to conceal my undereye area!

Pür Minerals Lip Lure in Mystic ($22 USD/$26 CAD)

Pur Minerals Mystic Lip Lure lacquer review

I personally think that the standout products of this look are the foundation and eyeshadow, but the Pür Minerals Lip Lure Hydrating Lip Lacquer in Mystic is certainly the most eye-grabbing. It’s described as a “ripe blackberry with a hint of raspberry” by Pür Minerals, but on me, it reads more of a berry-red. 

My skin eats cool tones for breakfast, however, so make sure to check out the shade on bloggers with your skintone before buying! It’s gorgeous and glossy on Glamorable, who describes the shade as a plummy burgundy, and it reads very purple against Brigette Ramos‘ warmer colouring. I have liked it on every single blogger (including myself) that I’ve seen it on, though, so it might just be one of those unicorn shades!

pur minerals Lip Lure Mystic swatch review photos

Pür Minerals Lip Lure swatches: Mystic in indirect sunlight (L) / indirect artificial light (R)

As for the formula? I’m in love. It’s insanely pigmented, with a creamy, hydrating texture. I haven’t worn this one for hours and hours–I’ve been eating far too often recently to really test out a colour this opaque–but within the hour or two that I have tested it for, it’s been wonderful.

The liquid lipstick formula looks glossy if applied heavily or satin-matte if applied sparingly (I’ve applied it thinly here, believe it or not), and it hasn’t made my lips feel even the littlest bit dry!

Pur Minerals contour palette review

Pür Minerals Epic Illusion Contour Kit ($28 USD/$32 CAD)

The last Pür Minerals gem that I have to talk to you guys about today is the brand’s limited edition contour kit.

Now, I’m not usually a fan of contour kits (they’re always so warm and harsh), but… I like this one. It contains two rows of products (a yellowier row for lighter skin and a darker row below, as usual), with a highlighter, contour/bronzer, and blush in each row.

Keep reading! »

Pür Minerals Love Your Selfie palette giveaway | Updated and extended!

Friday, December 4, 2015

Pur Minerals Love Your Selfie bestsellers giveaway

A few months ago, I teased a quick snap of the Pür Minerals Love Your Selfie palette ($40 USD/$49 CAD) on Instagram. Then, this Wednesday, I realized that in the face of all of its beauty… I still hadn’t summoned up the courage to swatch it yet.

So, because I am therefore clearly undeserving of this amount of pretty, I am giving away my palette to one of you!! Think of it as a cruelty-free Christmas present from me to you. If Christmas involved multiple days of presents, that is.

(And no I don’t mean Hanukkah; Hanukkah hasn’t been co-opted by atheists everywhere yet. Plus, I have four giveaways planned, not more — but a big congrats to Steph nonetheless for winning the first one!)

Pur Minerals Love Your Selfie palette packaging

Pur Minerals giveaway Love Your Selfie

The Love Your Selfie palette is available at Shopper’s Drug Mart and contains eight limited-edition eyeshadows (five mattes, three shimmers) and five of Pür Minerals’ best-selling products: their Mineral Glow Bronzer, Savvy Chateau Cheeks Blush, Big Look Mascara, and Afterglow Illuminating Powder, as well as a bigger-than-full-sized tube of Exposed, their best-selling plumping lip gloss!

To enter, use the giveaway widget below. This giveaway will be open until midnight MST next Friday and is open worldwide, so everyone is welcome to enter! ;)

EDIT: I’m getting reeeeally into the holidays this season, so I’m extending this giveaway until SUNDAY, December 13th! Plus, for a whopping FIVE entires, tell me in the comments what makes you feel beautiful. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Pur Minerals Love Your Selfie palette giveaway

One final shot of the Love Your Selfie palette…

Shu Uemura Haute Street review, swatches, photos | Vision of Beauty Vol. 02

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Shu Uemura Haute Street Vision of Beauty collection reviews photos swatches

The products: Shu Uemura Vision of Beauty Collection – Vol. 02 Haute Street

Haute Street is shu uemura’s interpretation of street art for the face. However, the brand’s artistic director, Uchiide, is adamant that this collection (which is the second in a series; see Vol. 01 Brave Beauty hereis not “graffiti for the face.”

Instead, it’s meant to bring the “essence” of street art into everyday makeup looks, but here’s the thing: street art, and especially graffiti (which the visuals of this collection centre around) isn’t about beautifying streets or letting overprivileged youth express themselves. It’s a form of protest and a way to claim spaces; a way to disrupt, interrupt, and change the discourse when your voices aren’t being heard.

So, while I think the bright hues and mixed-media textures of the Haute Street collection are wonderful, I also think it’s kind of uncool that shu uemura is re-appropriating graffiti culture to sell $90 luxury eyeshadow palettes.

Shu Uemura eye color pencil cool chic review swatches

Shu Uemura Dual-Ended Eye Color Pencil in Cool x Chic

Cool x Chic

The Haute Street collection is a really big one, so it’s separated into “cool x chic” colours and “warm x vibrant” colours. I started, of course, with the cool tones!

First up: the Shu Uemura Dual-Ended Eye Color Pencil in Cool x Chic ($30 CAD), which is a double-ended matte neon green and neon blue shadow/liner. I loved the bright matte colours of these liners, and the colour payoff is so good, but I couldn’t get behind the “traditional” dry pencil texture.

I find that I have to make multiple stiff passes to get an opaque line with these, and they perform best as an eyeshadow base.

Shu Uemura Haute Street reviews swatches cool x chic

Swatched L-R: Shu Uemura Dual-Ended Eye Color Pencil in Cool x Chic, Rouge Unlimited Lipstick in City Neon, Tint in Gelato in Street Rose (heavily/lightly)

Shu Uemura City Neon swatches review

Shu Uemura Rouge Unlimited Lipstick in City Neon

Next, we have the Shu Uemura Rouge Unlimited Lipstick in City Neon ($36 CAD), which is sheer, juicy, and so, so pretty, and the gorgeous Shu Uemura Haute Street Eye Shadow Palette in Cool x Chic ($90 CAD), which is full of beautiful plums, blues, and greens.

Shu Uemura Haute Street Cool x Chic swatches review

Shu Uemura Haute Street Eyeshadow Palette in Cool x Chic

Shu Uemura Cool x Chic eyeshadow palette swatches review

Swatched over primer in indirect sunlight: Shu Uemura Haute Street Eyeshadow Palette in Cool x Chic

Shu Uemura Street Rose swatches review

Shu Uemura Tint in Gelato Lip and Cheek Color in Street Rose

The Tint in Gelato lip/cheek colours (repackaged without a doe-foot in the Haute Street collection) have always fascinated me, but they’ve never worked for me. Something in the formula makes my lips tingle (in a bad way), and on the cheeks, the silicone content always breaks me out — but oh, they are an artist’s dream!

Each Tint in Gelato is wildly pigmented and features a mousse texture with a velvety matte finish, and the Shu Uemura Tint in Gelato Lip Color in Street Rose ($28 CAD) is no exception.

Shu Uemura Tint in Gelato swatches review comparison

Shu Uemura Haute Street Tint in Gelato packaging vs. original/regular packaging

Warm x Vibrant »

Estee Lauder New Dimension reviews: Expert Liquid Tape; Shape + Sculpt Face Kit; FW15 previews

Monday, November 9, 2015

Estee Lauder New Dimensions review

I spent one lovely morning at the dream-inspiring 130 Bloor St. West (also known as the Lauder building) while in Toronto this summer, and at long last, I finally have a post ready to share them with all of you guys about all of the lovely gems I got to learn about while I was there!

I’ve got a Pure Colour Envy makeup follow-up to finish for you guys tomorrow, but for now, here are all the skincare goodies ;)

Estee Lauder New Dimensions Expert Liquid Tape review

Estée Lauder New Dimension collection

The New Dimension collection is your standard high-tech anti-ageing collection, designed to address the structure and volume of the skin to maximize contours and minimize wrinkles, but it contains one product that (I think) makes it really special: the Estée Lauder New Dimension Expert Liquid Tape ($70 USD/$78 CAD).

The Expert Liquid Tape is made to be used like actual tape, which is… kind of super cool. You’ll want to apply it to clean, dry skin and let it tighten and lift the area over the next 10 minutes, laying down thin, even strips of product from the brow bone, undereye, and nasolabial fold to the temple.

Estee Lauder Expert Liquid Tape review

Unfortunately, I didn’t see a lot of lift from the Expert Liquid Tape, and it’s definitely not (as I know some of you were wondering) strong enough to lift a monolid or add a double fold. It’s a very unique product, though, and I think it’s definitely worth checking out if you’re a fellow product nerd! ;)

Estee Lauder Sculpt Shape compact review

The other New Dimension product that I really got to test out is the Estée Lauder New Dimension Shape + Sculpt Face Kit ($50 USD/$55 CAD), which features two neutral-toned cream products and a sponge to blend them with.

Like the Expert Liquid Tape, however, the Estée Shape + Sculpt Face Kit didn’t quite work for me. The contour shade was too warm for my skintone, and the cream highlighter was actually darker than my face! (Which, yes, looks just as weird as you think it would.) 

Estee Lauder New Dimension Sculpt Shape Kit swatches

Estée Lauder New Dimension Shape + Sculpt Face Kit swatches

Estee Lauder New Dimensions contour kit review

Everything else! 

Aerin Rose Oil collection preview

Estee Lauder Pure Color Envy lip glosses review

Keep reading! »

Charlotte Tilbury The Ingénue makeup look & review | #CBBLovesTilbury

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Charlotte Tilbury Coachella, Love Glow review makeup look

Every makeup line asks a question. 

For some, it’s how can we help you look your best? For others, it’s who are you inside? And for more still, it’s how can we pack as much pigment as humanly possible into this eyeshadow?

The Charlotte Tilbury line asks something different. Not who are you, or even who do you want to be, but:

Who do you want to be today?

Charlotte Tilbury haul review

There’s nothing quite as pretty as a present from Charlotte Tilbury…

Charlotte The Ingenue makeup look review photos

L-R: Charlotte Tilbury Chic to Chic in Love Glow, Coachella Coral lipstick, Full Fat Lashes, Portobello Girl lip lacquer, Champagne Dreams eye pencil, Pink Venus lip cheat, Audrey eyeliner

This week, I and nine other Canadian Beauty Bloggers are helping bring Charlotte Tilbury into Canada with a splash. The line launches in Toronto as of June 22nd at Holt’s on Bloor (there’s a meet & greet with Charlotte herself this Wednesday at 6-8!), on July 6th at Holt’s Vancouver, and online with free Canadian shipping for all of June.

So, today, I’m sharing The Ingénue with you. It’s a look that’s meant to be pretty, fresh, and effortlessly gorgeous; the “cool” girl; the fresh-faced, wide-eyed stock character and the low-maintenance It girl who plays her… you know, the girl we all wish we were but that nobody–aside from Blake Lively and Kate Bosworth, probably–actually is.

Charlotte Tilbury makeup look review photos swatches

Charlotte Tilbury makeup look

Charlotte Tilbury The Ingenue

The Ingénue

The Ingenue focuses on that electric coral lip, so I started with the skin and eyes to keep the suspense going.

I started off with just a bit of homemade tinted moisturizer — the tiniest amount of Kevyn Aucoin Sensual Skin Enhancer ($48 USD), which I am completely obsessed with, plus a bit of Bioderma Sensibio Tolerance+ and Odacité Ca+C serum. Then, I filled my brows in just a touch with some Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Brow Colour ($21 USD) and prepped my lids.

Charlotte Tilbury Champagne Diamonds swatch review The Audrey

The eyes for this look are just the Charlotte Tilbury Colour Chameleon in Champagne Diamonds ($27 USD), which is a total glitterbomb, paired with the Audrey Classic Eye Powder Pencil ($22 USD), which is gorgeously velvety and blendable — it’s just a brown liner, but I think it wowed me more than anything else here!

Then, a quick coat of Full Fat Lashes Mascara in Glossy Black ($29 USD), the line’s #2 bestseller — it’s right up there with the Filmstar Bronze & Glow and Charlotte’s Magic Cream.

Charlotte Tilbury The Ingenue makeup look review

The cheeks are Cheek to Chic Swish & Pop Blusher in Love Glow ($40 USD), which I really liked — the whole “swish and pop” thing really appeals to me, because it’s such a subtle way to add definition to the cheeks. (You “swish” the outer ring up the cheekbone, then “pop” the inner shade on the apples of the cheeks.)

Then, for the lips, I went a little crazy and layered all three of the included lip products on at once: first, Charlotte’s Lip Cheat Lip Liner in Pink Venus ($22 USD) (I’m not a huge fan of those velvety-waterproof lip liner formulas, and this one was no exception), then, a quick coat of the super-pretty K.I.S.S.I.N.G. Lipstick in Coachella Coral ($32 USD), and finally, a touch of Charlotte’s Lip Lustre in Portobello Girl ($22 USD).

Charlotte Tilbury swatch Coachella Coral, Portobello girl

Charlotte Tilbury The Ingénue lip

Keep reading! »

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