Dreaming in taffeta: A Clinique The Nutcracker Act I makeup look

Monday, January 12, 2015

I may not have been crazy about the (dusty) qualities of Clinique’s The Nutcracker Act I palette, but I’ll be darned if I let that get in between me & my pinks.

Here’s a really quick makeup look that I put together while testing out a whole bunch of new products this month — literally none of what I used here was from my regular “kit”. (Scare quotes because I don’t actually have, like, a makeup artist kit. It’s pretty much just a drawer-full of boring stuff that I use all the time.)

Clinique Nutcracker Act I pink makeup look

See? Not that pink. (I wish it was more pink!)

There’s a proper product listing below, but for this look, I used all four shades of Snowflake Suite shadows from the palette, plus a Stila brow pen (LOVE) and Cover FX Cream Foundation that I picked up with my Optimum points — I’ll work on getting reviews up on both for tN’s silicone-free series, because they’re both really excellent!!

I also used Make Up For Ever’s new Graphic Liner pen in this look, which I’m crazy about (the wear is so good), plus a pair of Esqido Mink Lashes. They’re crazy pretty (also seen here), but I have to trim them down a lot to make the thick band–which is supposed to last for 25 uses–stop making my eyes sting and tear. I haven’t decided if I like them or not yet, but I’ll let you know when I know!

Clinique Nutcracker Act I palette review swatches

Keep reading! »

Clinique The Nutcracker Suite Act I Palette & Powder swatches, review, photos

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Clinique The Nutcracker Plie Pink review palette

The product: Clinique The Nutcracker Act I Palette and Blended Face Powder & Brush in Snowflake Dreams

» Inspired by “the tulles and velvet fabrics in vivid pinks, glittering whites and vibrant purples” in The Nutcracker.

Clinique The Nutcracker Act I Palette ($36 USD/$46 CAD)

The pink Nutcracker Act I Palette (not to be confused with the purple-themed Act II) contains an All About Shadow Snowflake Suite quad in the shades Sugar Cane (available as a single), Crystal PinkMushroom (also in Clinique’s Greys 8-Pan Palette), and Boron, as well as a Blushing Blush Powder Blush in Plié Pink.

Clinique The Nutcracker Act I Snowflake Suite review

Clinique The Nutcracker Act I Palette

The shadows were much dustier than I’m used to seeing from Clinique, and apply fairly sheerly but with little fallout. I adored the taupey Mushroom and the Blushing Powder Blush in Plié Pink, which gave my cheeks a seriously gorgeous pink glow, but the other three shades in the palette (a boring shimmery white, a super-sheer pink heaped with silver glitter, and a boring sparkly black) were a big letdown for me.

At $46 CAD, I think this palette is worth it if you really adore those two top performers (all five pans are of middling-to-good quality), but it’s not getting a standing ovation from me. While it’s not like, the worst, I know that Clinique can do a lot better than this in terms of quality — and knowing that, it’s hard not to expect more from the brand.

Clinique Snowflake Suite Plie Pink swatches review The Nutcracker

Clinique The Nutcracker Act I Palette swatches: Blushing Powder Blush in Plié Pink (heavy/light), All About Shadow Quad in Snowflake Suite (Sugar Cane, Crystal Pink, Mushroom, Boron).

Blended Face Powder & Brush in Snowflake Dreams ($24 USD/$29 CAD)

Okay, so this one was another pretty-but-nonsensical letdown. Who, in their right of mind, needs ANOTHER shimmery powder?! I see at least five of these come out each holiday season from brands high and low, so someone must be buying, but this kind of product is just not up my alley.

Clinique Snowflake Dreams review Blended Face Powder

Clinique Blended Face Powder in Snowflake Dreams

Snowflake Dreams, which comes with a non-optional scratchy brush, is intended to add shimmer to the shoulders, neck, and chest, but the glitter is just too big and unidimensional — it’s just chunks of silver glitter in a crazy-sheer pink base. This Blended Face Powder would be great for an actual performance of The Nutcracker (theatre makeup, after all, has to be extremely obvious for the audience to see it), but in real life, it’s way too much.

Unless you were putting on some sort of crazy, Nutcracker-themed party with strobe lights and strippers, I guess? In which case this would probably be an awesome product to dust all over your body. I wouldn’t know; raves aren’t really my thing. (But I bet a Nutcracker-themed one would somehow manage to be really, really cool.)

Clinique Snowflake Dreams swatch Blended Face Powder review

Clinique Blended Face Powder swatch in Snowflake Dreams (brushed on below/patted on heavily over primer above).

The verdict?

As much as I love Clinique, this collection is an act that I would not like to see again. (Aside: what’s the best theatre performance you’ve ever gotten to experience? For me, it was a four-hour-long production of Pride and Prejudice. Worth every damn minute — to this day, I regret not seeing it again before it closed.)

I would love to see Plié Pink released as a standalone blush, and if you can get your hands on Mushroom, absolutely do, but aside from that — skip The Nutcracker Suite, and save your pennies for one of Clinique’s 8-pan palettes instead.

Availability: Online at Clinique and exclusively at the Hudson’s Bay in Canada.

An easy holiday makeup look & giveaway with Marcelle’s new Trio+ eyeshadows

Friday, December 12, 2014

Marcelle Trio+ makeup look and giveaway - Smokey Chestnut, Chocolate Vanille

As I was writing my Marcelle Trio+ Eyeshadow review, it occurred to me that (seeing as Marcelle is one of my favourite brands) it might be nice to put together a little Marcelle makeup look and giveaway for you guys. So, today, I have a really light, simple makeup look to share with you — and a giveaway with three party-ready products, so you can put together your own Marcelle makeup look.

(Also, I’m pretty sure this is only like, my second makeup look of 2014, so — well, sorry. Oops.)

Marcelle giveaway Trio+ Golden Glow CC Double Precision Liner

Marcelle Trio+ Chocolat Vanille makeup look, Double Precision liner

Marcelle Chocolat Vanille Trio+, Double Precision liner (I used both ends), and Fiberwig mascara

I’m wearing Chocolat Vanille here, but the giveaway features the Eye Shadow Trio+ ($15.95) in Smoky Chestnut, Marcelle’s Golden Glow CC Cream ($29.95; paraben-free but not ‘cone-free) and their Double Precision Liquid Eyeliner Pen ($14.95) — which, oh my god, you have to try this. Seriously, even if you don’t want the Trio+ or CC cream, it’s totally worth entering the giveaway just for the liner. It makes its 12hr+ wear claims look easy.

Seriously. You need this liner. (And it’s on sale for a measly $8.97 CAD on their website right now, so you have no reason not to buy it! And stock up, dude. Definitely stock up.)

Enter the giveaway

Marcelle Trio+ liner giveaway

The giveaway goodies!

This giveaway is open internationally, and it runs until December 21st at 11:59PM — I figured I’d add on the weekend since this is going up so late in the day. Good luck!

PS: Congratulations to Lika D and Brittnie C, who won last week’s Neutrogena Rapid Repair giveaways. I will be emailing the two of you tonight!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Shop this look & more photos »

Marcelle Trio+ Eyeshadow Quads: reviews, swatches, & photos of the entire range!

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Marcelle Trio+ Eyeshadow Quad review photos

The product: Marcelle Cosmetics Eye Shadow Trio+

   ↳ in Smoky Chestnut, Chocolat Vanille, Starry Night, Emerald Isle, Plum Envy, and Glacial.

Today, I have something very, very exciting to share with you: the entire range of the new Marcelle Trio+ quads (I mean, I’m calling ‘em quads. If there are four colours, they’re quads. But I do respect the Trio+ name, because that fourth shade is tiny!). As a blogger, it’s rare that I see the entirety of any given line, so this is as much a treat for me as I hope it will be for you!

This one is super-long, so: swatches & shades / TL;DR

Marcelle Smoky Chestnut Trio+ review swatches eyeshadow quad

Marcelle Trio+ in Smoky Chestnut

The formula: With their new trio/quads, Marcelle promises intense colour payoff; a creamy, velvety texture; long-lasting colour; and an ultra-glitter accent shade (that’s the “+”!)

Unfortunately, while I think these look amazing in terms of layout and colour pairings, I don’t agree with a lot of these points. The colour payoff was okay (not super-intense) and the ultra-glitter accent shade was a big hit, but the formula was a little dry — I wouldn’t call it creamy, and it had a tendency to create fall-out.

Overall, I think I’d have liked to see a little more butteriness and adhesion out of all four shades, and at least one satin/frost in each palette (preferably the large pan) instead of four shimmers — I think for Marcelle’s consumer, this amount of sparkle is kind of overkill.

Marcelle Emerald Isle Trio+ review swatches eyeshadow quad

Marcelle Trio + in Emerald Isle

Marcelle Chocolat Vanille Trio+ review swatches eyeshadow quad

Marcelle Trio+ in Chocolat Vanille

The wear: Marcelle’s eyeshadows have always been a little dry and sheer, but the shimmer in these ones just didn’t “work” for me. It was too omnipresent and uniform in size, and it felt a little messy in combination with the wear time of these shadows — they creased on me within four hours overtop the best primer I own (and within two hours when worn alone).

In addition, when I wear-tested Chocolat Vanille, I ended up with glitter everywhere by dinnertime. There was a noticeable amount of fallout all the way down past the apples of my cheeks, and that’s just — that’s crazy, dude.

Marcelle Starry Night Trio+ review swatches eyeshadow quad

Marcelle Trio+ in Starry Night

Marcelle Plum Envy Trio+ review swatches eyeshadow quad

Marcelle Trio+ in Plum Envy

The shades…

Marcelle Chocolat Vanille Smoky Chestnut swatches Trio+ review photos

Marcelle Trio+ Eyeshadow swatches: Chocolat Vanille, Smoky Chestnut

Chocolat Vanille features a super-shimmery white (small triangle), a warm brown, a cool charcoal, and a sheer base shade (large triangle) that’s packed with gold shimmer. Smoky Chestnut features a less-intense peachy small triangle, a medium-sheer rust orange (upper), a well-pigmented taupey brown (lower), and a more-intense shimmery white large triangle.

Marcelle Trio+ Starry Night Emerald Isle swatches review eyeshadows

Marcelle Trio+ Eyeshadow swatches: Starry Night, Emerald Isle

Starry Night may be the best quad out of all of these, and features a super-shimmery white (the yellow tones are negligible) alongside a well-pigmented yellow-olive and a soft black overlaid with olive shimmer. Its large triangle is a pretty light yellow with, again, plenty of shimmer. [Aside: my packaging on this one doesn’t snap closed.]

Emerald Isle features a dirty green with an entire universe of multi-coloured sparkle (small triangle), a crappy black with green sparkle (lower trapezoid), and a see-through large triangle of sparse white shimmer. Its upper trapezoid, however, is a dream: an intense, skin-staining jewel green with more gorgeous emerald green shimmer than should even be legal.

Keep reading! »

Shu Uemura Shupette Pampearl-Me Face Powder swatches, review; Furry Fantasy False Eyelash photos | Cats! Cats! Cats!

Friday, November 14, 2014

shu uemura furry fantasy shupette eyelashes packaging choupette

Shupette Furry Fantasy Premium False Eyelash case

The products: Shupette by Karl Lagerfeld for shu uemura (holiday 2014)

↳ pampearl-me face powder in pearl; furry fantasy premium false eyelash

This post is a continuation of the Shupette reviews you saw on Wednesday. If you missed that post, make sure to check it out!

Availability: Online at shuuemura.ca and in-stores at Holt Renfrew (as well as select Sephora and Hudson’s Bay locations) this November.

shu uemura shupette furry fantasy false eyelashes review

Furry Fantasy Premium False Eyelashes ($100 CAD)

I’m not a big fan of outlandish false eyelashes (or outlandish anything, really), so I’ll leave you just with a photo of these ones! The Furry Fantasy Premium False Eyelashes are one of two false eyelashes included in this collection, and are featured in the promo images if you’re interested in seeing what they look like on.

The second, non-premium set ($35 CAD) are shown here.

shu uemura furry fantasy premium false eyelashes

Choupette from the HORROR MOVIE EYES angle

karl lagerfeld for shu uemura shupette pampearl-me face powder review

Pampearl-Me Face Powder ($50 CAD)

The Pampearl-Me Face Powder was the second product in this collection that really wowed me — and as such, I think it, too, would be another great “what one product should I get from this collection” pick. It’s well-priced at $50 and features both Karl’s drawing of Choupette (on the lid) and those adorable little kitty-prints (on the powder puff), and the powder itself is a very fine, delicate shimmer mixed with face powder for a subtle glow.

shu uemura shupette pampearl-me face powder review

Shu Uemura Shupette Pampearl-Me Face Powder swatch review

Shu Uemura Pampearl-Me Face Powder, swatched heavily twice. 

Keep reading! »

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