Clarins Silver Plum, Natural Glow Palette review, swatches, photos | Instant Glow Spring 2016

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Clarins Instant Glow Spring 2016 review

The products: Clarins Palette 5 Couleurs (5-Colour Eyeshadow Palette) in 05 Natural Glow & Ombre Iridescente Cream-to-Powder Eyeshadow in 07 Silver Plum 

The Clarins Spring 2016 Instant Glow eye palette is quickly disappearing off shelves, so before it’s too late, here’s a quick review and a few swatches of the palette!

Clarins Natuarl Glow 5 colour eyeshadow plette review swatches

Clarins Palette 5 Couleurs review – 03 Natural Glow. (Did you know that these are made in Italy?)

I’m usually a big fan of Clarins’ eyeshadow palettes, and Natural Glow was no exception. Like most Clarins eyeshadows, these shadows are blendable and well-pigmented, and there are two signature Clarins iridescent shades in the palette – you know; those gorgeous ones with flakey glitter that are so hard to dupe.

Sadly, though, Natural Glow was way too warm/orange to look natural on me, especially once I applied it to my eyes. It kinda broke my heart, because $39 CAD is an awesome price for five Clarins eyeshadows in travel-friendly packaging, but I suppose warm-toned gals should get to have fun sometimes, too.

I guessss. 

Clarins Natural Glow Eye Palette swatches, review

Clarins 03 Natural Glow Eyeshadow Palette swatches (primed skin in artificial light)

Clarins Silver Plum eyeshadow ombre iridescente

Clarins Silver Plum Ombre Iridescente Eyeshadow review

Also new this spring are four new permanent Ombre Iridescente cream-to-powder eyeshadows ($25 CAD). I have 07 Silver Plum, and it’s pretty darn gorgeous.

These apply with much more pigment than the Ombre Mattes, but they definitely still need a primer underneath – think of them as a fluffy, buttery powder eyeshadow rather than a cream. (I totally need more.) Silver Plum is rich and pigmented, with cool silver shimmer on top of a plummy-grey base. 

It kind of makes me think of wet mud, which is a weird thing that shouldn’t be appealing unless you’re a cartoon pig, but I guess I must be a cartoon pig in spirit, then.

Clarins swatches Pink Cherry, Silver Plum, Rose Praline review

Clarins Silver Plum eyeshadow swatch (and Rouge Eclat lipsticks in Rose Praline and Pink Cherry)

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Maybelline Lash Sensational Mascara review, swatches, photos | A drugstore gem!

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Maybelline Lash Sensational masca raview photos

The product: Maybelline Lash Sensational Mascara in 253 Blackest Black

The brush: The Maybelline Lash Sensational brush is curved and asymmetrical, with “10 layers of bristles.” Its wand is soft and synthetic, and I actually really like the brush — it’s fatter than my usual fare, but I can reach each lash easily.

This brush deposits a fairly heavy amount of product on each lash, so it’s definitely a one-coater for me. (Any more than that and my lashes start to look a little spidery.)

Maybelline mascara review

The formula: I’m not usually a fan of drugstore mascaras, but man, I loooove this formula. It’s not a tubing mascara, but it acts almost like it is. 

The Lash Sensational formula wears literally all day on me, with zero smudging, flaking, or transfer. It holds a curl well (not too wet in the application), and it comes off easily — IF you use an oil-free makeup remover. Mascara is always a battle of cohesion vs adhesion (sticking to itself vs sticking to your lashes), and while this formula isn’t cohesive enough that it comes off in tubes, it delivers the same great wear time and ease of removal as a tubing mascara.

As a result, however, that does mean that your biphasic makeup removers and (some) cleansing oils will struggle to remove your Lash Sensational mascara! Just make sure to opt instead for a micellar water or something similar isntead and you’ll be golden.

Maybelline Lash Sensational eye swatch photos review

Maybelline Lash Sensational swatch – bare lashes / one coat (+this liner!)

The lash: While I’m not crazy about the Lash Sensational lash, I definitely don’t hate it. It’s not as full or fluttery as some of my other mascaras, but it makes a great everyday lash. I finished product testing for it about two weeks ago but have just kept wearing it since then, so I guess something about it must be working for me! 

Maybelline Lash Sensational Blackest Black review photos packaging

Maybelline Lash Sensational mascara packaging

The verdict?

There are very few non-tubing mascaras that I trust to wear outside of the house, but this one gets a seal of approval from me. It’s affordable, holds a curl well, and wears all day long. 

If you have really oily lids, this would be a great product to check out. I think I have enough mascara stockpiled to take me into next year, but once I’m out, I’ll be re-purchasing this one as my day-to-day mascara!

Availability: $9.49 CAD(ish) at drugstores and mass market retailers.

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Annabelle Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner 24H review, swatches, photos

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Annabelle waterproof liquid eyeliner review photos swatches

The products: Annabelle Cosmetics Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner Super Long Wear +24H in Blue Spark, Bronze, and Black Star

Annabelle recently re-launched their liquid eyeliners, pulling the old formula from the range and replacing it with a waterproof, 24 hour version of itself. (If the familiar packaging is shocking to you, then so be it.)

But, while the packaging is very similar in these new eyeliners, the formula couldn’t be more different. From the ingredients to the texture, these Super Long Wear liquid liners are a whole other can of chicken-flavoured cat treats from their older siblings.

Annabelle 24h liquid eyeliner brush packaging review

The formula: The new Annabelle Liquid Eyeliner formula is awesome, but… it’s actually not as awesome as the original, which is weird.

I’ve tested it up to 16 hours, and it wears really well throughout the day. There’s no smudging or wearing in that time, but it just doesn’t hold up to friction under water the way the old formula did — like, you can cry while wearing them, but you can’t take a shower. Granted, it comes off more like a pen eyeliner now, which some people might prefer to the old “pilling” version (but I definitely don’t!)

The new formula is also thinner, which makes it super easy to apply without that inky clumping that you can get with some liquid liner formulas. It’s sometimes a little too watery, though, and can apply unevenly if you don’t use consistent pressure (see: the Blue Spark swatch below), so make sure to apply in short, steady dashes.

Annabelle Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner swatches bronze

Annabelle Black Star, Bronze, and Blue Spark Liquid Eyeliner swatches

The shades: The new Annabelle Waterproof Liquid Eyeliners are available in three shades right now: Black Star, which replaces Black Spark as a glossy black with silver shimmer, Bronze, which is a medium-opaque, glossy, shimmery bronze, and Blue Spark, which is a total superhero colour!

Blue Spark dries matte, despite the fact that it contains shimmer, and it compliments the other two liners really well. It’s definitely my top pick from this line, and it looks awesome paired with a bit of Black Star through the lashline.

Annabelle cosmetics 24h liquid liner review

The verdict?

The new Annabelle Waterproof Liquid Eyeliners are pretty good, but they’re just not as good as the line’s old liquid liners. So, if you already have a tube of Black Spark, I wouldn’t bother updating to this new formula — it’s just not waterproof the way the older ones were.  

If you’re looking for nothing more than an easy to apply, long-wearing liquid liner from the drugstore, though, I still think that these are some of the best. They don’t budge (even on my super-oily monolids), they’re awesome for beginners, and they (can) have a really beautiful, glossy finish.

Availability: $8.95 CAD at Annabelle.com (US and Canada shipping) or at drugstores and mass retailers across Canada. Permanent as of January 2016.

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Shu Uemura x Maison Kitsuné collection reviews, swatches, photos

Friday, March 4, 2016

Maison Kitsune for Shu Uemura Beauty Remix Smokey Eye and Cheek Palette review Indigo Plum

The collection: Shu Uemura x Maison Kitsuné (Holiday 2015) including the Beauty Remix Smokey Eye & Cheek Palettes in Indigo and Plum, and the Laque Sparklers in Fleur Shine, Persimmon Glow, and Plum Shimmer

Today’s review is a bit of a phone-in, because there are so many gorgeous products that I want to share with you guys, but I don’t want this post to get too long. It has a lot of gold and a lot of glitz, though, so I hope you enjoy!

shu uemura x maison kitsune collection review photos

To begin, I found some swatches of the Shu Uemura x Maison Kitsuné Beauty Remix Smokey Eye & Cheek Palettes ($85 CAD) on my camera that I had totally forgotten about, and I just had to clean them up and post them. I wore both the Indigo Beauty Remix Palette and Plum Beauty Remix Palette in this makeup look, but honestly… I don’t think these ones are worth the $85.

shu maison kitxune beauty remix palette indigo swatches review

Maison Kitsuné for Shu Uemura Indigo Beauty Remix Palette swatches

shu kitsune remix palette plum swatches review

Maison Kitsuné for Shu Uemura Plum Beauty Remix Palette swatches

I really appreciate that the cost of these palettes hasn’t gone up in the past few years, but at $85, I just don’t think these two are worth the price. Both of them are still really well-formulated (Shu Uemura never disappoints), but there are four iridescent/glitter shades per palette, and they’re all pretty much interchangeable. They look different swatched, but when applied, the effect is very much the same.

All Shu Uemura palettes are priced as luxury items, but most of the time, you know what you’re getting. The neutral shu:palette, for instance, is $105 CAD, but it’s worth every penny. It has a great range of beautifully pigmented colours, and there’s only one glitter shade, so you’re paying for 16 eyeshadows and actually getting all 16.

shu maison kitsune taupe plum remix review swatches

I’m obsessed with this purple from the Plum palette, though. What a beauty!

shu maison kitsune laque sparkler review fleur shine

While I was testing the Shu’s holiday collection, I surprised myself by falling in love with Fleur Shine, a limited edition  Maison Kitsuné for Shu Uemura Laque Sparkler ($35 CAD) shade.

The Sparklers wore more evenly on me than their shimmer-free counterparts, and Shu actually managed to achieve a wet look with this shimmer — which is a difficult feat! Fleur Shine is hydrating and easy to wear, and it like the rest of the Laque Sparklers, it’s softly floral-scented and lasts for about three hours before I feel like I need to reapply.

The Sparkler formula is the same as the original (save for the added shimmer), so expect a little bit of staining from them. It has a thick, comfortable gloss finish that keeps your lip colour & glitter in place.

shu uemura laque sparkler plum shimmer swatch review

Maison Kitsuné for Shu Uemura Laque Sparkler in Fleur Shine swatched

shu uemura plum glitz nail review maison kitsune

Maison Kitsuné for Shu Uemura Nail Laquers in Plum Glitz and Indigo Glitz

If you’re a fan of Maison Kitsuné, I think the Shu x Maison Kitsuné Party Mixer Glitz Nail Enamels ($25 CAD) are worth checking out, too. I have both Plum Glitz and Indigo Glitz, and they are beautiful — dimensional and really eye-catching, with the most adorable fox decals on the packaging!

shu uemura nail enamel indigo glitz review maison kitsune

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Amaterasu Brunette Liquid Brow Liner swatches, review, photos (formerly Geisha Ink)

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Amaterasu liquid brow liner review

The product: Amaterasu Liquid Brow Liner in Brunette

Okay, so I know I keep finding new brow things to love, but I ACTUALLY MEAN IT this time; I promise.

Amaterasu (pronounced AH-mah-tay-RA-su, after the Japanese Sun Goddess; formerly Geisha Ink) is a Canadian company created Sara Au Yeong that makes just the most amazing liquid brow liner. It’s the perfect combination of my other two liquid brow loves: the great shade match of the Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Brow Color, but with the fast application of the Marcelle Eyebrow Pen.

Amaterasu brow liner review

Look at that gorgeous tip!

Amaterasu liquid brow swatches brunette

Amaterasu Beauty Liquid Brow Liner in Brunette swatched in indirect sunlight

The formula: Huh. I kind of blew this one in the intro, eh?

The Amaterasu Liquid Brow Liner formula is really lovely, with great pigmentation (more than the Stila) and amazing wear — think power brows from 7AM to midnight, with face-down physio and a nap in between. It’s easy to apply even on scarred areas of skin, and it takes a few seconds to set, so it can be smudged gently with a q-tip or fingertip for a softer brow look.

Before after Amaterasu brows

Before & after with the Amaterasu Liquid Brow Liner! (Plus concealer, lashes, a touch of Maybelline 24H Color Tattoo eyeshadow pencil in Pink Parfait, and the new Annabelle Blue Spark liquid liner.)

Amaterasu liquid brow swatches brunette vs stila and marcelle

Marcelle Eyebrow Pen Universal Dark, Stila Stay All Day in Medium, Amaterasu Brunette

The shade: I’m always wary of trying “brunette” brow shades, but Amatetasu’s Brunette knocks it right out of the park. It’s the shade that Geisha Ink/Amaterasu founder Sara Au Yeong wears daily (after many rounds of sending samples back to the lab and saying, “It’s still too red,”) so when I say that it is PERFECT for Asian brows, I mean it! It’s not too light, too warm, or too red.

Amaterasu Liquid Brow Liner review Brunette

The plum blossom can be found on all the new Amaterasu packaging!

The packaging: The Amaterasu packaging is great, too, with a tight seal and a long, calligraphy-style tip. The brush makes it easy to get just the right amount of product, and I never find that I need to go over an area twice (like I often need to with my Stila liner).

It’s also nice and soft, so if you have extremely sensitive skin, this could be what you’ve been waiting for!

Geisha Ink brow pen review swatches

The verdict?

If you passed on the Marcelle pen that I love, and you (wisely) passed on the Stila pen that I adore, then you MUST give this a try. The Amaterasu Brow Liner is the perfect brow product for Asian brows with no caveats or exceptions, and the crazy-long-wearing formula and packaging are worth the price even if you don’t struggle to find brow products in the right shade for you.

Plus, it’s a Canadian company (made in Japan) founded by an incredibly badass business woman & makeup artist, so you know your pennies are going to a great group of folks instead of some nameless corporation! ;)

Availability: $23.20 USD/$29 CAD at Amaterasu.ca and at all of these places in Canada, the US, and worldwide. (Use code SHIP30 for free shipping over $30 CAD!)

ColourPop Meow, So Quiche, I ♥ This, Pop Rocks swatches, reviews, photos

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

ColorPop eyeshadow review

The products: ColourPop Cosmetics Super Shock Shadows in Pop Rocks (Tie Dye), So Quiche (Metallic), I ♥ This (Metallic), and Meow (Tie Dye)

In the world of Instagram beauty brands, there’s no one bigger than ColourPop. Their products are cheap ($5 each!!), high-intensity, and super-hyped by heavy-hitting makeup aficionados, and the brand’s founders rarely give out interviews — which media publications like Fashionista are so completely dumbfounded by that they’ve decided there’s some sort of weird conspiracy going on.

I made a tiny little ColourPop haul a year or two ago, but I’ve been campaigning hard for the title of Tardiest Blogger Ever, so obviously I had to drag my heels on this one for as long as I could.

ColorPop eyeshadow review packaging

ColorPop eyeshadow review packaging label

The formula: The ColourPop Super Shock Shadows are the product that really put ColourPop on the map, but they’re not actually the brand’s biggest seller anymore — that title now belongs to the ColourPop Ultra Matte Lip Creams (which I haven’t tried yet). The Super Shock formula is a moist-pressed-eyeshadow one, with lots of cyclopentasiloxane (which will evaporate out) and dimethicone to give smoothness to some seriously high-intensity shadows.

Because of this, the Super Shock Shadows will slowly dry out over time (hence the twist-cap pots). It’s a formula that I happen to really like, however — the dampness means that each swipe of eyeshadow applies as if it’s been foiled, whether you apply with a finger or an eyeshadow brush.

Colorpop So Quiche Super Shock review swatches photos

ColourPop Super Shock Shadow in So Quiche (Metallic)

Colorpop I Heart This Super Shock swatch review photos

ColourPop Super Shock Shadow in I <3 This (Metallic)

Colorpop Super Shock Shadow review texture

All four of these eyeshadows (post-swatch brush cleaning). See those little flakes?

What I will say about the Super Shock formula, however, is that some of the shades can be a little too glittery/chunky. I had this problem with Meow in particular, so it’s probably a good thing that the Tie Dies were discontinued (see below), but I saw more chunkiness in all of these than I’d have liked. I’ve always been more of a smooth satins + separate fairy glitter kind of gal, though (thank you, Shu Uemura and Clarins)!

If you loved the original Urban Decay eyeshadow range (AKA glitter, fallout, and colour central), then you are going to LOVE the ColourPop Metallics. For a “nothing” look, though, you’re going to have to go with ColourPop’s Mattes — the Metallics look super-smooth when swatched, but they won’t buff down the way you’d expect them to. (Instead, you’ll just see a lot of wishy-washy colour speckled with lots of chunky shimmer, so go with the shade you want, not the shade you want to blend out!)

Colorpop Meow Super Shock swatch review photos

ColourPop Super Shock Shadow in Meow (Tie Die)

Colorpop Pop Rocks Super Shock swatch review photos

ColourPop Super Shock Shadow in Pop Rocks (Tie Die)

The shades: I ordered two neutral Metallic Super Shock Eyeshadows and two Tie Dye Super Shock Eyeshadows, but the Tie Die line (I’M SO SORRY) has been discontinued since I made my order. I’m glad that I have them, though, and I still wanted to share them with you guys! Tie dye products get me every. damn. time.

Pop Rocks, the blue and purple Tie Die shadow that was the whole reason behind my order, is a periwinkle blue with plenty of blue, white, and violet glitter. Meow, the pink, white, and black Tie Die shadow, is a medium-toned grey with white and pink glitter. And you know what? Swatching each shade for the first time made the whole order worth it, even though they’re discontinued now and I rarely wear either. That’s how much I absolutely adore multicolour products.

ColorPop I heart This Meow swatch review

ColourPop Super Shock Eyeshadow swatches: Pop Rocks, So Quiche, I <3 This, and Meow

ColorPop So Quiche Pop Rocks swatch review

ColourPop Super Shock Eyeshadow swatches: Pop Rocks, So Quiche, I <3 This, and Meow

I loved the novelty of the Tie Dies, but the Metallics really got me. While their finish is definitely still glitter on top of a smooth metallic base (rather than what I think of as a traditional metallic), they were easier to work with than the Tie Dies, and a little more wearable. 

I <3 This is a gorgeous, super casual light taupe (I like describing this kind of shade as a “wheat taupe,” if that makes sense), and So Quiche (still available!) has just the most stunning yellow-gold/pink duochrome finish on top of an olive-khaki base.

ColorPop I heart This Super Shock Eyeshadow swatch review

ColourPop Super Shock Shadow (Metallic) in So Quiche

ColorPop I heart This swatch review

Also ColourPop Super Shock Shadow (Metallic) in So Quiche. Look at that duochrome!!

The verdict?

At $5 per shadow, I would be tempted to recommend Super Shock Shadows as it was — but knowing just how well they work, I’m not just tempted to do so, but I’m happy to. They’re a great way to build up a starter eyeshadow collection, but they’re pigmented enough that they’d be a fun haul for someone with a huge makeup stash, too.

The one thing that I’d warn about ColourPop eyeshadows is that, while they’re great for $5, they don’t feel like a high-end eyeshadow. The shades with shimmer will look a little Instagram-y and will give you some glitter fallout, so if you prefer a “natural” makeup look, make sure you opt for their mattes instead. But, at $5, these guys are awesome! 

Availability: $5 each at ColourPop.com. (Yes, really, $5!)

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