Rodial review, swatches: Instaglam Bronzer & Illuminator, Glamolash XXL, and Powder Brush (plus a makeup look!)

Thursday, March 26, 2015

So, here’s something that I’m excited about: the launch of the new Rodial makeup line, which you can find exclusively at Murale (in Canada).

And here’s what I’m doing about that: two makeup looks. Two image-heavy sets of reviews. Two days of pure, unbridled awesoooome.

Today is day one, and it’s going to cover everything cheek-related.

Rodial makeup review

The lust object: Rodial Instaglam Compact Deluxe Illuminating Powder ($75 CAD)

I love a good highlighter, so I thought I’d start off this post with Rodial’s new Instaglam Deluxe Illuminating Powder. This one is weird, but good. Like, really good. 

The shimmer that Rodial uses is very finely milled, so this powder reads as a sheen instead of a glitterbomb, and it feels like butter. It melts seamlessly into the skin (even if you apply with fingers!!!), and sits in a slightly darker base colour than it glows — so it reads as a really natural sheen on my fair skintone, but looks absolutely lucent against deeper complexions.

Rodial Instaglam Compact Deluxe Illuminating Powder review swatches photos

The base sheen in this powder tends to wear away more quickly than the shimmer, which creates a sort of mid-day transformation: it starts off as a subtle sheen in the morning, then slowly wears down to a fairytale shimmer by the evening.

See? Both weird and good. If you like your illuminators creamy, then you definitely have to check this one out.

Rodial Instaglam Illuminating powder swatch review

Rodial Instaglam Compact Deluxe Illuminating Powder swatches

Rodial Instaglam Illuminating Powder review swatches photos

Rodial Instaglam Compact Deluxe Illuminating Powder

The you-could-skip-it: Rodial Instaglam Compact Deluxe Bronzing Powder ($75 CAD)

The Rodial makeup line is all about sculpting, so they do a contouring powder, a bronzer, and an illuminator. (Surprisingly, each one only comes in one shade!) I tested out the Illuminator with the line’s Bronzing Powder, which is really finely-milled and touts a light yellow undertone.

Rodial Instaglam Compact Deluxe Bronzing Powder review swatches photos

My favourite thing about the Instagram Deluxe Bronzing Powder is how easily it blend into the skin, but I find that it tends to kick up powder when I tap a brush to its surface — not even brush against; just tap.

This particular shade made me look a little sallow and gaunt, but to its credit, I do look very sculpted while wearing this. I say go for the Contouring Powder instead, or head straight for the Illuminating Powder.

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Shu Uemura Satin Radiant Sticks in Pink, Orange Coral: swatches, review, photos

Monday, March 23, 2015

shu uemura brave beauty blush sticks review

The product: shu uemura Satin Radiant Sticks in Pink and Orange Coral

I’ve been all about stick makeup this month, so today I thought I’d share photos of one of my first cheek-stick loves: the Shu Uemura Brave Beauty Satin Radiant Sticks.

They’re not something that I was planning on reviewing, because they contain way more shimmer than I prefer, but… I mean, I’ve been wearing the pink one so often that it would basically just be wrong NOT to post about it.

So, consider this my not-rave product rave.

shu uemura pink satin radient stick blush review brave beauty

The shades: This stick is available (right now, at least; it’s limited edition from the fall) in four shades: two blushes, pictured here, and two highlighters. Orange Coral is a bright, super glowy orange with yellow/gold shimmer, silver microshimmer (for a super dewy finish), and literally no coral undertones. Pink is a gorgeous purpley pink with a cool pink sheen and silver microshimmer.

If you’re cool-toned and you’re looking for the perfect stick blush, the Pink Satin Radiant Stick is totally where it’s at. 

shu uemura pink, coral radiant stick blush swatches review

shu uemura radiant blush stick swatches – pink (blended/unblended), orange coral (unblended/blended)

shu uemura satin radient stick blush review

Heartbreak! Suspense!: So, if I’m so obsessed with these sticks, why the hesitation?

Well… for one, I’m big on totally invisible makeup, and silver shimmer doesn’t quite fit the bill. But more than that, my Pink stick doesn’t twist back down, so I have to twist it up, swipe twice, and then push it back in with my fingers. Which… is kind of icky, for travel purposes.

shu uemura pink, coral brave beauty stick blush swatches review

shu uemura brave beauty radiant blush stick swatches — pink; orange coral

The verdict?

The pros definitely outweigh the cons with these blush sticks, but for a whopping $55 CAD apiece, I expect a blush to be flawless if I’m going to recommend it to you guys. And these, with their silver shimmer and slightly flawed packaging, just aren’t flawless.

Are they pretty? Absolutely. Would I have been heartbroken if I hadn’t gotten something in that gorgeous Brave Beauty packaging? Definitely. But are these two products worth $110? Well… maybe not. I say get Pink if you’re an absolute blush fiend, but in general, I think that the Brave Beauty eyeshadow palettes are a better buy!

Availability: $55 CAD at shuuemura.ca and in select Holt Renfrew locations.

Additional photos & more »

New 21/03/15: Contouring products abound, abound, abound

Saturday, March 21, 2015

And, from the contouring committee… (for some reason almost none of these were available in widget form): six freaking gazillion new releases.

I mean, hey. I love contouring as much as the next gal–possibly more; I learned to sculpt and contour long before I even bothered to buy my first blush–but can you say whoa? Talk about options! These are the contouring products from just the “what’s new” page; this doesn’t even cover the rest of the category!

Mind = blown. And mildly terrified.


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The Body Shop Lip & Cheek Velvet Stick swatches, review, photos (& a little Smoky Poppy preview)

Thursday, March 19, 2015

The Body Shop Lip Cheek Velvet Stick reviews swatches

The products: The Body Shop Lip & Cheek Velvet Sticks in Universal Shade and 40 Red

↳ Photographed with the limited-edition Smoky Poppy Body Butter ($20), which smells amazing but contains silicones, so I can’t touch it! (But seriously: amazing. It’s super sultry for a Body Shop fragrance.)

My love affair with jumbo lip pencils is a long and almost frighteningly well-documented one, but when I tried these for the first time, I actually stopped and went, “oh, cool,” for a moment.

TBS lip velvet jumbo pencil review swatches

The texture: Unlike your standard jumbo lip pencil (sheer-glossy or opaque-matte), these Lip & Cheek Velvet Sticks are exactly that: velvety. They apply with an incredibly natural finish, softly matte but not at all drying.

Unlike most mattes, though, they’re sheer — or, rather, they’ll sheer out if you blend them. Red (and I’m assuming the rest of the regular line) applies with a very medium opacity, but blends out to create the most seamless, perfect flush; the Universal Shade applies more sheerly, but in a way that’s suited well to the shade.

The Body Shop black universal Lip Cheek Stick review

The Body Shop Universal Shade Lip & Cheek Velvet Stick

The Body Shop Lip Cheek Stick swatches review universal, red

The Body Shop Lip & Cheek Velvet Sticks, swatched – Universal Shade (heavily/blended) and 40 Red (heavily/blended)

The shades: Red is a bright strawberry red, but the pH-adapting Universal Shade is the Lip & Cheek Velvet Stick that really steals the show. Purple-black in the tube, it applies as a very sheer dark purple. It’s less glossy and more plummy than Clinique’s Voluptuous Violet Chubby Stick (the closest dupe that I’ve seen), and you NEED it.

When sheered out, the Universal shade reads as a muted flush of colour, and on the lips, it’s nothing short of perfect. My natural lip colour leans a bit orange (bleh), which makes most medium/dark lip colours look punchy and ostentatious as they wear off, but this weird, pH-adjusting pencil is perfect. It darkens my natural lip colour considerably without making my lips look bright!, which–believe me–is a pretty substantial feat.

Bare lips - Korres Cherry Picked reference

Bare lips

The Body Shop Universal Lip & Cheek Stick swatches review

The Body Shop Universal Shade Lip & Cheek Velvet Stick lip swatch

The Body Shop Smoky Poppy Body Butter review

The Body Shop Smoky Poppy Body Butter

The verdict?

These sheer-matte Lip & Cheek Velvet Sticks are great both for the lips and cheeks, but it’s the black Universal Shade pencil that you really need to own. If you’ve ever been intrigued by a sheer purple lipstick, or if you’ve ever been tempted to try Clinique’s classic Black Honey, get this one instead — you won’t be disappointed. 

Availability: $15 USD/CAD at The Body Shop. Permanent.

Keep reading! »

Lise Watier Expression swatches, reviews, photos | Spring 2015

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Lise Watier Palette Expression eyeshadow packaging

The products: Lise Watier Expression collection (Spring 2015)

This year, Lise Watier’s spring collection has been crafted around the idea of “creativity, spontaneity, and individuality” — and so, for today’s review, I’m going to try something ever so slightly different and just kind of… chat about these products. (Let me know if you prefer this format drastically more or something!)

The must-have product

Lise Watier Feline Eyeliner HD Vert review swatch Lise Watier Feline Eyeliner Vert review

liked a lot of the pieces from this collection, but I loved the Lise Watier Féline Eyeliner HD in Vert ($20 CAD; new shade). I am obsessed with this product — if you buy nothing else from Lise Watier all year, make sure you get this eyeliner.

The Féline Eyeliner HD formula wears really well (which surprised me, based on how easily the black version smudges on your hand), and the long, stiff felt tip makes it easy to get a steady, insanely saturated line. Plus, that green!!

Lise Watier Vert Eyeliner Feline HD

Lise Watier Féline Eyeliner HD in Vert (swatch/wearing)

The nice-to-haves

As always, I was a big fan of the Lise Watier Ombre Soufflé Suprême eyeshadow; this time in Fairy Pink ($24 CAD; new shade). The Ombre Soufflé Suprême formula is very bouncy and wet, with a very high-shine finish — this one glows cotton-candy pink in the light, but wears as a sheer, peachy gold straight-on.

Lise Watier Fairy Pink review swatches ombre souffle supreme

Lise Watier Ombre Soufflé Suprême in Fairy Pink

Lise Watier Palette Expression eyeshadow review swatches

Lise Watier Palette Expression Eyeshadows

I also really liked the Lise Watier Palette Expression Eyeshadows ($42 CAD), a palette that you can see worn here with Fairy Pink, Vert, and the grey Expression pencil. It’s not of breathtaking quality (the matte, pastel peach and mint need to be layered quite a bit), but it’s still very pretty — and the shades work together beautifully.

If you really like mint green, I’d say pick up the Palette Expression. Matte mint greens are a dime a dozen, but they’re usually terrible — and this one isn’t. Like, yeah, you have to layer it some, but unlike most, it actually shows up (and sticks around)!

Lise Watier Expression Eyeshadow Palette swatches review

Lise Watier Palette Expression Eyeshadows swatched on lightly primed skin

Keep reading! »

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