Annabelle Skinny Brow Liner in Universal Ebony review, swatches, photos | One in, one out

Friday, June 10, 2016

Annabelle Skinny Brow Universal Ebony review

The product: Annabelle Cosmetics Skinny Brow Liner in Universal Ebony 

Okay, so this one is a bit of a “cheat post.” I haven’t finished my first Annabelle Skinny Brow Liner yet, but I’ve already bought another one because I’m weak of spirit and I literally could not handle not having one on me at all times.

Does that mean that it: 1) counts as a repurchase, 2) counts doubly as a repurchase, or 3) does not count as a repurchase because you still have your first one; seriously, Rae, what is wrong with you?

Annabelle Skinny Brow Universal Ebony empties

And now, for a quick recap of the week this liner: I recently reviewed the Annabelle Skinny Brow Liner in my Annabelle brow breakdown post, but for those of you who missed it (or just need a quick refresher) – this thing is basically the shit. 

Universal Ebony the perfect shade for my Asian colouring, and it gives me hella flawless brows in just seconds. Nothing makes my face look as flawless as perfect brows (no, not even perfect foundation), and literally nothing beats this formula, except maybe liquid brow pens if the colour’s just right.

Annabelle Skinny Brow Liner swatches before after tutorial

1. Bare brows: Milani Liquif’Eye liner, Clarins Waterproof Eyeshadows in 01 Golden Peach and 02 Golden Sand (review soon!) / 2. Outlined brows

What I missed in my initial review…

I, in my infinite wisdom, managed to forget to do a before & after for my initial review. Which obviously couldn’t be withheld for a product THIS good, so here you go!

I find that the best way to get perfect-for-me brows with this liner is to sketch the outline of my brows (bottom line first, then the top), fill them in (heavily throughout for “Instagram brows”/more faintly on the inner corners for everyday), and then finish by pulling a spoolie through my brows in an outward motion to blend.

This process is literally so easy that I can finish my brows in under 60 seconds, and they stay flawless and natural-looking all day (and night) long.

(58 seconds and 11 milliseconds, and I don’t even have to rush. I know because I TIMED IT.)

Annabelle Skinny Brow Liner review tutorial

3. Filled in / 4. Finished! 

The verdict?

The Annabelle Skinny Brow Liners are literally so good that I couldn’t bear to be without, and dude, you need to give them a try. If my first review didn’t convince you, then please: let this one sway you in the direction of the light!

Availability: $8.95 CAD at Annabelle.com and at drugstores and mass market retailers across Canada. (My advice? Get it through Annabelle. I bought my second one at Shoppers, and it was $10.49!)

Check out these silicone-free ingredients! »

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)

Keep reading! »

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.

Keep reading! »

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.

Keep reading! »

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

Additional photos & more »

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!)

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