Estee Lauder Pure Color Envy Defining Wet/Dry Eyeshadow, Lip Volumizer, Matte Sculpting Lipstick review, swatches, photos

Friday, November 13, 2015

Estee Lauder Pure Color Envy lipstick Commanding review swatches

The products: Estée Lauder Pure Color Envy collection

↳ Lip Volumizer, Matte Sculpting Lipstick in Commanding, Defining Eye Shadow Wet/Dry in Blue Fury

Pure Color Envy Lip Volumizer ($28 USD/$32 CAD)

I love a good pH-adjusting lip product, so I wanted to start off today’s post with the Estée Lauder Pure Color Envy Lip Volumizer ($28 USD/$32 CAD), a plumping gloss that adjusts to a sheer pink once applied.

Estee Lauder Lip Volumizer review swatches

The Estée Lauder fall launches this year mainly consist of two collections: the New Dimensions range, which I talked about on Monday, and the Pure Color Envy line, which is an extension of the brand’s colour cosmetics range.

All of the Pure Color Envy products are just gorgeously packaged (especially the lipsticks), and this volumizing gloss is no exception. I don’t really see plumping results with this one, but it definitely delivers on sheer colour (nothing like the hot pink applicator!) and an extremely moisturizing, shiny, minty finish. 

I think that $32 is a lot to pay for a gloss, but if price was no object, I’d be recommending it to everyone! It’s crazy hydrating, super-smooth, and smells delicious — definitely one of the most comfortable glosses that I own.

Estee Lauder Pure Color Envy Lip Volumizer review

Pure Color Envy Matte Sculpting Lipstick in Commanding ($30 USD/$34 CAD)

I also tried out the brand new Estée Lauder Pure Color Envy Matte Sculpting Lipstick in Commanding ($30 USD/$34 CAD), which comes in just the most exquisite, weighty, magnetic packaging.

Commanding is too bold for my tastes (all 12 of the Matte Sculpting Lipstick shades are “statement” shades), but the formula of these is fantastic — even a shade this dark feels creamy and smooth as it’s applied, and the finish is as velvety and comfortable as it is opaque.

Estee Lauder Commanding swatches review Matte Sculpting lipstick

I couldn’t wear Commanding for a full evening without topping up with lip balm, but I’m not kidding, you guys: the Pure Color Envy Matte Sculpting Lipstick formula is the #1 most comfortable matte that I own. I’m just a serious dryness wimp!

(Note: these are not, however, a “hard matte” the way that MAC Ruby Woo & co. are. Rather, they’re fairly matte, but have a slight creme sheen to them.)

Estee Lauder Pure Color Envy reviews swatches

Swatched L-R: Estee Lauder Commanding Matte Lipstick, Lip Volumizer, and Blue Fury Wet/Dry Eyeshadow (dry, then wet)

Pure Color Envy Defining Eye Shadow Wet/Dry in Blue Fury ($25 USD/$28 CAD)

And, finally, my least favourite Pure Color Envy product: the Estee Lauder Pure Color Envy Defining Eye Shadow Wet/Dry in Blue Fury ($25 USD/$28 CAD).

Estee Lauder Pure Color Envy Blue Fury swatches review

I can’t speak for the rest of the Pure Color Envy eyeshadows (Ominous, for instance, looks absolutely stunning ), but Blue Fury is just kind of underwhelming. Like every single other dark blue eyeshadow out there, it applies as a sheer, patchy charcoal with blue shimmer when used dry, and shines only when used wet: it’s luminous, pigmented, and even, with a lovely dark blue glow.

Estée promises a “tri-brid” formula with these, though, combining “the best properties of a cream, powder and gel,” but all I really see here are the old Estée Lauder eyeshadows, rebranded with a made-up word.

Estee Lauder Pure Color Envy reviews

Would you ever buy a “tri-brid” product? Or would you just angrily yell “THE WORD YOU’RE LOOKING FOR IS HYBRID” while shaking your fist at the sky?

Check out these other Pure Color Envy reviews:

  • Temptalia – wet/dry eyeshadow reviews by shade (not all of them are great, and not all are terrible!)
  • Writing Whimsy – wet/dry eyeshadow and matte lipstick reviews
  • A Beautiful Zen – featuring Joan Smalls’ matte violet lipstick and one of the matte wet/dry eyeshadows
  • Fun Size Beauty – a rave for the wet/dry eyeshadows!

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 »

All about brows with Annabelle (reviews & swatches) | Annabelle BrowShow, Skinny Brow Liner, Stay Sharp, and Brow-to-Go Kit

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Annabelle brow feature stay sharp pencil before after dark brown

Annabelle Stay Sharp Brow Liner in Dark Brown

This fall, Annabelle took a focus on brows and launched three brand new brow products plus three new shades in an old favourite. All of them retail for an insane(ly good) $9.95 CAD or less, and right now, they’re on sale for $3.95-$4.95, which is… I mean, you have to buy at least two of them, at those prices.

Each product is best for a different set of brow needs, so here’s what I thought of the different formulas! (Spoiler alert: the Skinny Brow Liners are my new brow must-haves, so go grab them for next-to-nothing on the Annabelle site before they sell out!)

Best budget eyebrow products Annabelle review

Annabelle Fall 2015 brow launches

Annabelle BrowShow Brow Liner & Highlighter ($9.95 CAD)

↳ Best for: Unruly brows and tired eyes

The Annabelle BrowShow Brow Liner & Highlighter ($9.95 CAD) was the product that, I’ll admit, I was the most excited to try out of Annabelle’s fall launches. Available in two shades (both swatched here), it features a gel-like pencil on one end that delivers colour and hold to the brows, and a highlighting pencil on the other end to give that wide-eyed, “brow lift” effect.

Annabelle BrowShow review light medium, medium dark

My brows don’t need a lot of hold, so I go easy on the brow liner, but I make very liberal use of the highlighter on the browbone and in the inner corners of my eyes. The highlighter, which is the same shade in both the Light and the Medium pencils, delivers a sheer, pretty pink glow, while the brow liners can be applied sheerly or heavily and really do act as both tint and wax. 

I found Light to be nice and taupey, but a light feathering of Medium suits my brows best — it’s not too warm or yellow at all. Plus, at $9.95 (or $4.95 right now), the BrowShow pencils totally act as a Benefit High Brow dupe ($22 USD/$29 CAD) for just a fraction of the price!

Annabelle BrowShow swatches light medium, Skinny Brow Liner Universal Ebony

Swatched L-R: Annabelle BrowShow in Light/Medium, Medium/Dark, Skinny Brow Liner in Universal Ebony

Annabelle Skinny Brow Liner review swatches

Annabelle Skinny Brow Liner ($8.95 CAD)

↳ Best for: Natural-looking brows, brow beginners, and on-the-go

If you’re not sure where to start with your brows, start with this pencil. The Annabelle Skinny Brow Liner ($8.95 CAD) makes filling in your brows super easy, and because it’s a micro-pencil, you’ll never have to sharpen it or worry about drawing outside the lines.

I’ve been wearing the Annabelle Skinny Brow Liner in the new Universal Ebony, and it is the PERFECT shade for Asian brows: not too warm, not too dark, and not too red. It just looks natural, like I rolled out of bed with perfect brows and defined features, and it makes me certain that there’s a perfect match for everyone in the line’s six matte, long-wearing shades. 

Annabelle Skinny Brow Liner Universal Ebony review swatches

Plus, the Skinny Brow Liners are an insane $3.95 right now, so they’re ideal for beginners. The formula is dry and sheer (aka exactly what you want out of a brow pencil), and I honestly think that these are just as good (if not better) than the Anastasia Brow Wiz pencils ($21 USD/$26 CAD). Plus, at these prices, they’re cheap enough that you can keep one in your vanity, one in your handbag, and one in the car!

Just in case.

You know, for emergencies.

Keep reading! »

Lise Watier EYEvolution collection review, swatches, photos (Fall 2015)

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Lise Watier EYEvolution review

The products: Lise Watier EYEvolution Fall 2015 collection

Lise Watier’s fall collection is a bit of a unique one, both for the brand and for the makeup community. It features only eye products, and it was designed by Rachel Ladouceur, Lise Watier’s former public relations manager who now works as their product creator. (For real!!)

Rachel’s quiet transition into her new role has quite a fairytale vibe to it, if you ask me, and EYEvolution is a beautiful first collection to put out. Plus, all of the products are either limited edition or new to the permanent line, so there are lots of new, pretty basics for the rest of us to dig into this season!

Lise Watier EYEvolution eyeshadow quartet review swatches

Lise Watier EYEvolution Eyeshadow Quartet ($37 CAD, LE)

The highlight of the collection, if you ask me, is the EYEvolution Eyeshadow Quartet. It’s limited edition and will likely disappear off of shelves at the end of the month, so make sure to get it while you can.

Lise Watier EYEvolution eyeshadow palette swatches review

Lise Watier EYEvolution Eyeshadow Quartet swatches (indirect sunlight; swatched over primer)

The formula used for these eyeshadows is described as a “half-cream, half-powder formula,” and it results in a really smooth, creamy pressed powder eyeshadow experience. The peach and charcoal shades have a slightly sheerer semi-matte finish, while the khaki and taupe have a slightly more luxurious, medium-opacity satin finish.

This quad was meant to be the perfect everyday/night palette, and I think it does a great job of it. It looks fantastic both on light skin and on a tan (not my tan; an actual tan), and I think that those with yellow and olive undertones in particular will really like this one!

Lise Watier Ombre Velours Supreme review peche rose the velours

Lise Watier Ombre Velours Suprême Eyeshadow in Rose Thé Velours and Pèche Velours ($25 CAD/each, new)

Next up are the Ombre Velours Suprême Eyeshadows, which are the brand new matte counterparts to Lise Watier’s well-loved (but crazy shimmery) Ombre Soufflé Suprême Eyeshadows ($25  CAD). 

The new Ombre Velours shadows have a gorgeous, marshmallow-y cream texture, and still somehow manage to maintain the same “bounce” that the Ombre Soufflé eyeshadows have. They dry to a powder finish and hold up very well when swatched, but unfortunately, my eyelids decimate these sheer creams within two hours. 

Lise Watier Ombre Velours Supreme swatches peche velours rhose the

Swatched L-R: Lise Watier Ombre Velours Suprême in Péche Velours, Rhose Thé Velours; Extreme Hold CC Eye Primer; Intense Waterproof Eyeliner in Chocolat Intense and Espresso; Dramatique Intense 3D Volume Mascara in Noir

Lise Watier waterproof eyeliner review swatches chocolate intense, espresso swatches

Lise Watier Intense Waterproof Eyeliner in Espresso and Chocolat Intense ($22 CAD/each, new)

Next up, the new Intense Waterproof Eyeliners. Here, Lise Watier has taken a page out of Clinique’s book and updated an old favourite with more pigment — in this case, the Lise Watier Waterproof Eyeliner ($22 CAD).

I tried out Espresso and Chocolat Intense, and both are super smokey and, yes, intense. With this much pigment, though, I would love to have seen a more workable formula — these set almost immediately, and within seconds, they’re locked down tight. They do wear very well, however (much better than the originals!) and still look intense and smokey at the end of the day.

Keep reading! »

Annabelle Smokey Nudes Eyeshadow Palette review, swatches, photos

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Annabelle Smoky Nudes review swatches photos

The product: Annabelle Cosmetics Smokey Nudes Dark Lights Eyeshadow Palette

Okay, so here’s the thing. This palette? Pretty great. But that name? It is KILLING me! Your palettes can be smokey or they can be natural, makeup world, but they CANNOT BE BOTH.

Except. Except maybe not this one! Sure, the name is an oxymoron, but the shades… somehow, they make it work. The left side is all nudes; the right side, all smoke. It’s the perfect drugstore neutrals palette, with lots of options for both night and day looks and no bright pops of colour.

Annabelle fall winter 2015 collection review

Annabelle Smokey Nudes Dark Lights eyeshadow palette review swatches photos

The formula: If you’re a fan of Annabelle eyeshadows already, the Smokey Nudes Dark Lights palette definitely won’t disappoint. The eyeshadows are on the drier side, like the rest of the brand’s eyeshadows, with not a dud in sight.

The lightest shades are a touch chalky, but all ten shades (even the two mattes on the end) blend well and layer up to medium opacity. For drugstore eyeshadows, I really like Annabelle’s — they’re not as pigmented as something really buttery or crumbly may be, but they have very little fallout and lend themselves well to a shimmery, effortless makeup look.

Annabelle Smokey Nudes Dark Lights palette review swatches photos

The shades: The Smokey Nudes eyeshadow palette was designed with versatility in mind, and Annabelle did a great job achieving that! It contains both warm and cool tones (cool tones in the top row; warm tones in the bottom row), and none of the shades contain too much red — something that I find that a lot of “versatile” palettes mistakenly do.

As usual, I’m completely smitten with the taupe in the top row, but I’m pretty keen on the last two brown shades, too. (Especially that gold-flecked one!)

Annabelle Smokey Nudes Dark Lights swatches review

Annabelle Smokey Nudes Eyeshadow Palette swatched over primer (top row/cool tones)

Annabelle Smokey Nudes eyeshadow palette swatches review

Annabelle Smokey Nudes Eyeshadow Palette swatched over primer (bottom row/warm tones)

The verdict?

For less than the cost of one MAC eyeshadow (and we all know how hit and miss those can be), Smokey Nudes is a steal. It’s an excellent naked/smokey/beginner’s palette, with five cool-toned and five warm-toned eyeshadows that mix and match like a champ and a soft shimmer finish that’ll work well for an expert artist or one that’s just starting out.

Annabelle just put out a Natural Nudes palette as well, but this one seems a lot more wearable to me. I recommend snapping it up before it’s gone, and maybe buying a backup for the holiday season!

Availability: $12.95 CAD at and in drugstores across Canada.

Keep reading! »

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...