Lashing up with the new Annabelle #ABMascaras range

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Annabelle Expandable mascara

Are you subscribed to the Annabelle newsletter yet? You should be… ;)

Annabelle (one of my favourite cruelty-free companies) dropped something BIG: an entire new lineup of mascaras. They released not one, not two, but FOUR totally new mascaras in addition to the three favourites in their old permanent collection.

And that new range? It’s nothing short of stellar.

Annabelle lash launcher, supernova review photos swatches

Why would anyone need seven mascaras?!

My first thought, of course, was “why.” Seven mascaras in a single range seems excessive, but strangely enough, once you try out all of them, it makes sense. Each one serves a very different purpose, and none of these mascaras look alike on the lashes. Even of my two favourites from the new Annabelle lash line (Expandable and Supernova), I wouldn’t dream of replacing one with the other.

There’s very much a mascara for every preference in this range, and I’m quite impressed with the way that Annabelle has curated the collection to have zero redundancies. 

Annabelle blast off, bigshow, outlash mascara review

ABmascaras review photos

Because the effects of a single mascara can differ so much from lash to lash–and even application to application–I didn’t take mascara swatch photos to share with you today.

Instead, I thought I’d go old school and simply describe the wear and application of each. I tested all of them again and again over the course of the month, and my notes on them definitely give a better depiction of the lash than my photos did (at least in my opinion!)

Unfortunately, I lost the photos that I took of Expandable and Supernova on my lashes in an incredibly frustrating computer blip, so I’ve borrowed my old swatch photos of Expandable and will be featuring Supernova in an eye makeup look soon.

Annabelle Expandable x theNotice

The mascaras

The new mascara range is divided into two halves: BigShow Mascaras, with lots of volume and drama, and Lash Launcher Mascaras, with lots of definition and length.

Best for VOLUME – BigShow

BigShow ($9.95 CAD) – BigShow gives a nice, sooty lash, but I find that it smudges on me within 8 hours. It’s a little clumpier and more “traditional” than the rest of Annabelle’s mascaras, so if you like a lot of volume, it’s a good choice.

BigShow Waterproof ($9.95 CAD) – BigShow Waterproof is very similar to the original. It holds a curl well and is super pretty, but I find that it smudges on me every few hours. If I had to choose, I’d recommend BigShow over BigShow waterproof; the latter still smudged on me, but was a pain in the butt to remove on top of that.

Expandable ($10.95 CAD) – Expandable has been my favourite mascara for years, and I still love it. I use it with the wand scrunched-up for more length than volume, and it produces a full, natural-looking lash.

Outlash ($9.95 CAD) – Outlash’s twisted brush does a great job of packing mascara onto the lashes while also giving great separation. It wears for a full 12 hours on my lashes (quite the feat!), but it’s too heavy for my stick-straight lashes – it really takes the curl right out of them.

Annabelle mascara wands - bigshow, expandable, outlash, lash launcher

Best for LENGTH: Lash Launcher

Lash Launcher ($9.95 CAD) – Lash Launcher is very much a length-based mascara, which isn’t really my cup of tea – I need more curl and volume. It offers a lot of length and separation, but I’d definitely recommend it most for those who have naturally voluminous lashes to begin with.

Supernova ($9.95 CAD) – Okay, this green tube is my new favourite thing ever. It gives serious false lash-like length, with good separation and volume as well. The falsie-like length is really natural-looking, too – more like a small set of extensions than a criss-crossed false lash strip. I get anywhere from 8-12 hours of smudge-free wear from this, and I would highly recommend it!

Blast Off ($9.95 CAD) – Blast Off is a little heavy for my tastes, and it brings my lash curl down quite a bit. The formula smudges wildly on me, but might work better for someone with very curly lashes to begin with.

Annabelle Expandable mascara review

Annabelle Expandable mascara review – old packaging (bottom) vs new (top). The brush is unchanged.

The verdict?

If you’re lucky enough to live in Canada and can pop over to your nearest drugstore for a mascara fix, consider yourself lucky. Annabelle has brought its entire game to their new mascara range, and if literally all other brands stopped making mascaras tomorrow, I think I’d feel just fine about it. 

I’ve loved Expandable for years and still adore it, but the new Supernova mascara may be even better. If you’re looking for something with mega volume that still wears well & looks natural, I’d definitely recommend those two to start with!

Availability: $9.95-$10.95 CAD each; permanent as of July 2016. Available at drugstores and mass market retailers througout Canada and online at (US & Can), where the entire #ABMascaras range is currently on sale.

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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,, and in-stores at select Holt Renfrew & Sephora locations.

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Marcelle Pink Lace, Berry Blossom, Show of Pink review, swatches, photos & more | Fall 2016

Monday, August 29, 2016

Marcelle fall 2016 collecdtion review

The products: Marcelle Fall 2016 collection – Rouge Xpression Lipstick in 840 Pink Lace, 875 Berry Blossom, and 960 Show of Pink; Ultimate Easy Lash and Ultimate Fringe Effect Mascaras; and Face Powder in Translucent Medium

Have you ever looked at a makeup collection and thought, “Okay, this is me. They made this collection for me? Because that’s exactly how I feel about Marcelle’s fall collection this year.

The collection contains a new Flawless foundation and concealer that, unfortunately, I won’t be able to cover because they contain silicones, but I am all about this collection aside from that. It features three really wearable lipsticks, a couple of mascaras, and my favourite face powder ever, so I knew the second I saw it that I was going to be a fan.

Marcelle rouge xpression 2016 review photos swatches

The Rouge Xpression lipsticks

Three new Rouge Xpression Lipsticks ($11.95 CAD each) are being launched this August from Marcelle, and though the Rouge Xpressions aren’t my favourite Marcelle lipstick formula (give me Rouge Vitality or give me death!!!!), I still quite like them.

The Rouge Xpression lipsticks are creamier and more slick than the Rouge Vitality lipsticks, and they feature a fragrance-free, paraben-free, cruelty-free formula with omega 6 fatty acid-rich avocado oil.

I’ve been getting the most wear out of Pink Lace, a really wearable pink-nude that’s just a shade lighter than my natural lip colour, but the cool pink Berry Blossom and coral-pink Show of Pink are lovely options for bolder shades. I don’t know – I’ve been feeling the muted lip pretty hard recently. Maybe it’s all the 15 degree days we’ve been having this August.

Marcelle Rouge Xpression pink lace, berry blossom, show of pink swatches review photos

Marcelle Rouge Xpression Lipstick swatches: 840 Pink Lace, 875 Berry Blossom, and 960 Show of Pink

Marcelle Pink Lace nude lipstick review swatches photos

Marcelle Pink Lace – a really easy, wearable nude lip

The mascaras

I’m too busy trying out all of the new Annabelle mascaras to test these right now (more on that soon), but I love that they released two separate Ultimate mascaras. Mascara is one of those products that’s really subjective, so it’s cool that they’re recognizing right out of the gate that some people are going to prefer an easy everyday lash while others will want that full-on fringe.

Marcelle Ultimate Fringe Effect mascara review

Marcelle Ultimate Easy Lash mascara review

A good eyeliner is a good eyeliner across the board, but what constitutes the perfect mascara could be either a really natural looking lash, like in the Marcelle Ultimate Easy Lash ($9.95 CAD), or something with as much volume and length as humanly possible, like in the Marcelle Ultimate Fringe Effect ($12.95 CAD).

The ingredients listed online are the same for both, so I’m guessing that these two mascaras feature the same formula with a different brush (à la Eyeko). The Easy Lash mascara has a traditional bristled brush with short bristles on one side and long bristles on the other, while the Ultimate Fringe mascara has a springy, flexible silicone brush with short bristles all around.

Marcelle translucent medium face powder review

The face powder

Marcelle’s loose face powder got a black-and-clear makeover a couple years back (the original featured a white lid), and seeing it being re-promoted to bloggers makes me happy beyond words. I LOVE Marcelle’s Face Powder ($14.95 CAD), and I can’t even begin to tell you how many other makeup lovers I’ve converted over the years.

It’s just so good, you know? It looks totally natural and has a transparent “skin” finish, but it instantly makes your skin look better than normal. Whether you’re trying to make your base product look more like skin or you’re just trying to make your own skin look totally flawless, this stuff just magically makes it happen.

Processed with VSCO with f2 preset

Tunakitten may not know what pants are, but he still knows what’s cool. 

It lasts forever, too – I’ve had my jar of Translucent for half a decade and have spilled huge amounts of it twice, but it’s still half full. For $14.95, it’s a crazy good deal.

(My only complaint? The new packaging is really squeaky, and it makes the experience of using it way less luxurious. I wish you would go back to your old factory, Marcelle!)

Collection availability: Marcelle is available online (US/Can) and in drugstores and mass market retailers across Canada.

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Clarins “Rosewood” 4-Colour Eyeshadow Palette review, swatches | 2016 vs Eye Quartet Mineral formula

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Clarins Rosewood old vs new review swatches

The product: Clarins 4-Colour Eyeshadow Palette Smoothing & Long-Lasting in 02 Rosewood

When I found out that Clarins’ Eye Quartet Mineral Palettes were being reformulated and relaunched as 4-Colour Eyeshadow Palettes, I was heartbroken. They’ve been my go-to eyeshadow range for half a decade, and I loved the old quads so much that they even had their own tag here on theNotice – something that I reserve only for my very favourite products.

Rosewood in particular was one of my favourites, so much so that I bequeathed my original to my sister and caved not three months later to re-buy one for myself. So, when I found out that it would be in the new range as well but that the shades themselves wouldn’t be duplicated, I was furious.

Until I tried it.

Clarins Rosewood neutral eyeshadow palette review swatches

The shades: Frustratingly enough, the old 03 Rosewood and the new 02 Rosewood are entirely different palettes. They’re just similar enough to be confusing, but different enough that I would have appreciated Clarins giving the new palette a distinct (and far less confusing) name.

The old 03 Rosewood contained 1) a transparent white shimmer, 2) a light, satiny salmon pink, 3) a warm, taupey brown frost, and 4) a dry, subtly shimmery chocolate brown. It’s a much warmer palette, and it’s an excellent representation of what Clarins quartets used to be: one sparse shimmer, a colourful satin, an easy-to-wear frost, and a sooty liner shade.

Clarins 4 colour eyeshadow palette rosewood swatches review photos labelled

(L) old Clarins 03 Rosewood Ombre Minérale / (R) new Clarins 02 Rosewood Palette 4 Couleurs

The new 02 Rosewood, contains 1) a sheer white satin with a pink duochrome, 2) a much more intense orange frost, 3) a cooler taupe frost, and 4) a dark, matte mauve. The taupes (#3) of the new and old palettes are the most similar; the newer version is just a bit more purple/less orange.

The new 02 Rosewood is cooler and less natural-looking overall, with stronger pigmentation and plummier tones.

Clarins Rosewood swatches old vs new eye quartet palette

Clarins 03 Rosewood Eye Quartet Mineral Palette (Ombre Minérale 4 Couleurs) / Clarins 02 Rosewood 4-Colour Eyeshadow Palette (Palette 4 Couleurs)

Clarins Rosewood 4 colour eyeshadow palette 2016

The formula: The updated Clarins quartet formula is even better than the original, too. I’ve always loved Clarins palettes for the way that their super-smooth finishes blend seamlessly into the lid, and these new shades do the exact same thing–but better.

They’re less dry and more pigmented, so you can easily buff in each eyeshadow until it looks seamless with your skin OR apply them over a sticky primer for a really intense look. (Like the old palettes, the new ones can also be used wet.)

They also have better wear than the originals; I’ve never had a problem with creasing with these palettes, but the new formula looks a little more intense at the end of the day.

Clarins 4 couleur minerale review vs comparison 4 colour eyeshadow palette - packaging

Packaging update: old on left, new on right

The verdict?

I have mixed feelings about these new Clarins palettes. They lack the magic of the old ones (those transparent shimmers are basically the light of my makeup collection), but at the same time, I think they’re better palettes overall. The updated formula is butterier and more pigmented, and even the shape of each eyeshadow pan is easier to work with.

Regardless of the comparison between the old and new, the Clarins 4-Colour Eyeshadow Palettes are excellent quads to add to your makeup collection. They’re beautifully formulated, pretty stunning, and altogether just very chic!

Availability: $43 USD/$43 CAD at department stores and online.

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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?

Amaterasu Liquid Eyeliner, Brow Liner review & giveaway! | Canadian beauty at its best

Monday, July 4, 2016

Amaterasu brunette liquid brow liner review swatches photos

The products: Amaterasu Liquid Eyeliner in Espresso, Liquid Brow Liner in Brunette 

I love covering Canadian beauty products here on theNotice, and I loooove giving my favourite products a little extra screen time. Today, I get to do both!

Amaterasu liquid eyeliner giveaway canadian beauty

I’ve teamed up with the lovely folks at Amaterasu to bring you a pretty awesome giveaway: one lucky reader will win an Amaterasu Liquid Eyeliner in Brunette and an Amaterasu Liquid Brow Liner in a shade that’s picked out just for them.

I’m a big fan of the Amaterasu Liquid Brow Liner ($29 CAD), and the great tone and sheer finish of the formula still wow me every time. The pen itself is pretty small, but it hasn’t dried up on me yet (which is a pretty tough feat to accomplish!)

Amaterasu liquid eyeliner espresso swatch review photos

The Amaterasu Liquid Eyeliner ($30 CAD) is new to me, and it’s definitely unlike all other liquid liners that I’ve tried before. The formula seems very similar to a liquid brow liner – it’s surprisingly sheer and sinks right into the skin instead of looking inky or painted on.

The liquid liner stays on incredibly well (no smudging or bleeding on my lids, even all day long!), but it rinses off easily and doesn’t stain the skin. If you like a really opaque line, I don’t think it’ll be for you, but for a natural look, it can’t be beat. There are very few liquid eyeliners that can pull of a tint, but this one does!

Amaterasu liquid brow, eyeliner swatches espesso, espresso

Amaterasu Liquid Brow Liner in Brunette (the sheer one) & Liquid Eyeliner in Espresso (the chocolately one) swatches

What I think makes the Amaterasu liquid liner super special is its brush tip. Sure, a lot of other brands do a fibrous pen tip too, but this one just works. Because the formula is so liquidy, you can make full use of the brush from root to tip, getting a thick line that tapers into just a hair’s breadth in just one movement.

The giveaway

Amaterasu giveaway

If you’re excited about these two products now (and you should be), you can enter below for your chance to win a set! The prize ($59 CAD value) will include both an eyeliner in Espresso and a brow liner in a shade that’s handpicked just for you – the folks at Amaterasu will email the winner directly to figure out which of the shades will work best for them.

I’m super psyched about this giveaway, which is open to all US & Canadian residents of legal age and closes in two weeks, at 11:59 PM MST on July 17th. Happy entering!!

sheer anda Rafflecopter giveaway

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