Clarins Forest Eye Quartet Mineral Palette review, swatches, photos | Clarins Graphic Expression, Fall 2013

Friday, December 13, 2013

Clarins Forest Eye Quartet Mineral Palette review

The products: Clarins Ombre Minérale 4 Couleurs (Eye Quartet Mineral Palette Long-Lasting) in 11 Forest

Like the Clarins Graphic Expression Face & Blush Palette reviewed earlier this week, the Forest eyeshadow quad launched in Clarins’ Graphic Expression Fall 2013 colour collection. A new addition to the permanent range, it’s a little less gift-able than the powder, but no less lovely.

Clarins Forest Eye Quartet swatches review

Clarins Forest Eye Quartet

The formula, texture, and pigmentation: Introduced this August into Clarins’ permanent range, Forest is a beautifully earthy quad. As a sheer eyeshadow/mixed textures lover, I’ve always been a big fan of the Clarins Eye Quartet Mineral Palettes, though they’re not for everyone.

Like the other products in the Eye Quartet range, Forest features three hard-but-smooth eyeshadows that lend very well to seamless blending and medium-intensity looks, while layering well over primer or foiling works well to add colour density. I find the shades to be a little butterier and more pigmented than some of the other Clarins quads (the darkest shade in particular), and love that they all have a different finish.

Clarins Forest Eye Quartet review

Clarins Forest, Graphic Expression swatches review

Swatched L-R: Clarins Eye Quartet Mineral Palette in Forest (4), Clarins Face & Blush Powder in Graphic Expression (wide)

The shades: In the top row Forest features a really interesting, almost dirty khaki with a bit of very fine microshimmer and a very sheer, white-and-gold shimmer (tiny yellow-gold microshimmer and slightly larger white reflects suspended in a transparent base). On the bottom, it features a green-based charcoal with noticeable gold shimmer (it looks black in the pan, but swatches on dry skin as a medium-sheer matte with a greenish cast and gold shimmer interspersed throughout) and a very pretty neutral-brown taupe (frost).

The finishes of this quad, like all Clarins quads, are what really sell me on it: a satin, a glitter, a matte-with-microshimmer, and a frost. Worn together, the textures of the Eye Quartet Mineral Palettes give any natural, demure eye look a really intriguing edge.

Clarins Forest swatches Eye Quartet Mineral Palette review

Swatched L-R: Clarins Eye Quartet in Forest, Clarins Face & Blush Powder in Graphic Expression

Overall, this quad has a warm green vibe to it — something you don’t see a lot of. I think it would be especially lovely on warm olive tones, but it would work really well on beige and neutral skintones, too. It looks a little bit “off” on me (which eyeshadows very rarely do), so I’d say that the only colouring this quad wouldn’t shine on would be cool olive ones (cool pink overtones and light olive undertones).

Clarins Forest eye quartet swatches

Swatched L-R: Clarins Eye Quartet in Forest, Clarins Face & Blush Powder in Graphic Expression

Clarins Eye Quartet Mineral Palette review swatches Forest

The Face & Blush Palette and Eye Quartet Mineral Palette (Ombre Minérale 4 Couleurs) packaging

The verdict?

The Forest quad doesn’t get quite as much of a gold star from me as the Graphic Expression blush/powder, but it’s a very pretty product, too: the same beautiful-but-lightweight gold Clarins packaging, with four wonderful mix-and-match eyeshadow finishes inside.

Forest is a little more pigmented than other Clarins quads, and is a must-have for anyone who wears khakis really well. Unfortunately, that’s one of the few colours that doesn’t work very well at all on my skintone (I photographed a look with it but had to scrap it), but I think it would look like a dream on my sister’s warmer, more olive-toned skin — to each her own, really.

Availability: $42 USD/$42 CAD, and is a new addition to the permanent range.

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Lancôme Artliner 24H review, swatches, photos & giveaway | An old favourite, reinvented

Monday, October 7, 2013

Lancome Artliner 24H review swatches photos

The product: Lancôme Artliner 24H Bold Color Precision Eyeliner ($30 USD/$37 CAD)

   ↳ in 01 Black Diamond, 02 Gold, 03 Sapphire, 04 Amethyst, and 052 Emerald

The cult-classic Lancôme Artliner celebrates its 20th anniversary this year, and to celebrate, the brand is launching a new 24 hour version of the formula. Available in 10 shades, the new “24H Bold Color Precision Eyeliners” boast a vinyl finish and their new “flex polymer” technology for longer wear.

Lancome Artliner applicator - felt tip liquid liner

Lancome Artliner 24h vs original ingredients

The product

The wear: While I haven’t tested these for a full 24 hours (a girl’s gotta sleep and shower), I can tell you that the formula is made with us oily-lidded gals in mind. I don’t get any flaking or smudging when I wear these, no matter how long I wear them for, and oil seems to LOCK the product onto the skin — sort of like how a tubing mascara works.

These remove easily with warm water or an oil-free makeup remover, but don’t so much as budge during the day. My swatches of these liners didn’t even flake when I tried to “peel off” the product with my fingernails — which, for the record, was kind of painful. I lost a bit of arm to the cause–ouch–but can happily report that the liners stayed intact!

(What’s that? My product testing doesn’t actually need to be that rigorous? Don’t be silly; of course it does.)

Artliner 24H precision eyeliner review swatches

Lancome Artliner 24h liquid eyeliner - gold

Lancome Artliner 24H swatches - Emerald Amethyst Sapphire Gold Black Diamond

Lancôme Artliner 24H swatches, L-R: 01 Black Diamond, 02 Gold, 03 Sapphire, 04 Amethyst, and 052 Emerald

The shades: 01 Black Diamond is a rich, opaque black with a glossy finish and no noticeable shimmer. 02 Gold is a metallic yellow-gold; a hair less opaque but definitely still a full finish. 03 Sapphire is an opaque, amazingly vibrant blue, without shimmer but with an eye-catching vinyl finish.

04 Amethyst is a medium-opacity purple with blue shimmerbut (as Lancôme notes) it is not suitable for contact lens wearers, as it can stain the contact lens. I would have liked to have seen more pigment from it, at $37 CAD, and its swatch washed off my arm noticeably sooner than the other shades I tested. 052 Emerald is a medium-opacity dark green with light green shimmer.

Lancome Artliner 24H swatches - Black Diamond, Gold, Sapphire, Amethyst, Emerald

Lancôme Black Diamond, Gold, Sapphire, Amethyst, and Emerald 24H Artliner swatches

A look in black and gold 

I wanted to put together something basic-but-pretty for this post, so here’s a quick eye look with simple black and gold liner. It’s super easy to do, and eye-catching without being, you know, eye-catching. Think of it as holiday party appropriate and lunch date appropriate, all in one.

Perilously PaleTon Petit LookSimply Stacie, and Beautezine have all created looks with the Artliner 24Hs today as well — make sure to check out their posts!

Black and gold liquid liner look - holidays, Lancôme Artliner

Wearing Lancôme Artliner 24H in 01 Black Diamond and 02 Gold (any metallic shade would work) with their Hypnôse Star mascara in Noir Midnight and Aquatique Waterproof Eyecolour Base in Nude.

The giveaway (plus 10% off and a free sample!)

I didn’t really have time to for this post, but when Lancôme generously offered to give away three 24H Artliners and one tube of Hypnôse Star (value of $144) to one of our Canadian readers… how could I say no?

The original Lancôme Artliner was my very first eyeliner, and I loved it to bits. This new version? Even better. To try them out for yourself, enter using the form below:
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Keep reading for 10% off, free samples, and the ingredients! »

YSL Marrakesh Sunset Palette swatches, review, photos | YSL’s Summer 2013 5 Colour Eyeshadow Palette

Monday, September 23, 2013

YSL Marrakesh Sunset 5 Colour Eye Shadow Palette review

The product: Yves Saint Laurent Marrakesh Sunset Palette (Ombrés 5 Lumières/5 Colour Eye Shadow Summer Look 2013)

Summer may be over, but I couldn’t not share this gorgeous YSL palette with you anyways. From the packaging, to the formulas, to the eyeshadow shades, this is one palette that really can’t be missed — um, so I’m really very sorry that I’ve taken so long to get this post up.

YSL Marrakesh Sunset Eyeshadow Palette swatches

The packaging: To start us off, this palette is packaged in a gorgeous gold case, unique to this collection. The same in size and function as the regular 5 Colour Eye Shadow palettes, the Marrakesh Sunset Palette features a Moroccan arabesque design on the front, “engraved with golden satin contrasting against shiny golden reflects.”

Their words, not mine. You know palettes mean business when they come engraved — and though this one fingerprints like crazy, I have to admit: it’s pretty unique.

Limited edition YSL Marrakesh Sunset palette packaging

YSL Marrakesh Sunset 5 Colour Eye Shadow Palette packaging

YSL Marrakesh Sunset Palette review

YSL Marrakesh Sunset Ombrés 5 Lumières Eyeshadow Palette

The eyeshadows: The shades of the Marrakesh Sunset palette are, well, made to be representative of a beautiful Moroccan sunset, and they do a wonderful job of it.

The centre highlighter and bottom two shades create the impression of a warm, hazy sky, brightening and lifting the eye area with shimmering finishes and peachy undertones. The highlighter, softer than the other four shades, swatches almost like a shimmer finish within a frost — from a distance, it has a watery, metallic effect, and it makes a beautiful inner corner highlight.

YSL Marrakesh Sunset Eyeshadow palette swatches review

YSL Marrakesh Sunset Palette swatches: bottom left, centre, bottom right, top left, top right

The top two shades are the accents of this palette, but while both are gorgeous, I felt like they could have used a little more pigment.

The medium brown has green-yellow undertones, and on the lids (where the gold shimmer is more diffuse than in the swatch), the undertones make my eyes look rather haggard. On someone warmer, darker, more peach, or even just a little bronzed, I think they’d have worked much better.

YSL Ombres 5 Lumieres eyeshadow swatches - Marrakesh Sunset review

YSL Marrakesh Sunset 5 Colour Eye Shadow Palette swatches

Finally, the violet. Oh, god — this one is absolutely beautiful both swatched or in the pan, but like the bronze, it doesn’t quite work. It’s a medium-opacity shade with most divine undertones, perfect for both warm or cool skintones, and they’re complemented with absolutely mesmerizing fuchsia and blue (!) microshimmer.

The shimmer, however, has a terrible tendency to fall down during application — it actually has less shimmer than the other four shades, but it was the only one that speckled my cheeks as I blended. While beautiful, at the price point, I was left wanting more from this one: more pigment, a more buttery texture, more adhesion to the skin.

YSL Marrakesh Sunset palette swatches review

The verdict?

At $72 CAD, this palette isn’t a must-have. I love the shades in theory, but they’re best on warmer, darker, more bronzed skintones — on anyone who can pull off sheer golds and peaches well.

The violet (oh, the beautiful violet!) has a tendency to produce shimmer fallout during application, and none of the shades were as pigmented or buttery as I would have liked them to be. Though beautiful, Marrakesh Sunset simply doesn’t make enough of an argument to justify its price tag, and I think it can be skipped.

Availability: $58 USD/$72 CAD where still available. (Limited edition Summer 2013).

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There’s more than one of everything | Or, things that exist in many forms

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Flankers - Chanel Coco Mademoiselle Noir

I was thinking the other day (on very little sleep, might I add) about product ranges that stretch beyond a single product: more specific than a brand’s entire lineup, and a far cry from products that are simply offered in different shades.

You know — the products that all fall under the same name, or series, but that aren’t actually the same formula at all. The flankers of the cosmetic world, if you will; the long-stretching follow-up to a product that’s done particularly well for the brand.

shu uemura cleansing oil range

The big three

What got me thinking about this post initially was a Shu Uemura cleansing oil post that I was working on. Different in scent, formula, and targeted concerns, the oils are far more extensive than your usual product X for daytime wear/nighttime wear. The more I thought about it, though, the more I realized that this wasn’t an isolated incident at all.

Lancome Hypnose mascara range

Take Lancôme’s classic Hypnôse mascaras, for instance. With the same name as their Hypnôse fragrance (fun fact: Daria Werbowy’s campaign for the fragrance was the first time that I paid any attention to perfume, packaging, or models), the line now composes of seven different mascaras, all “Hypnôse” but all completely different.

Laura Mercier tinted moisturizers, primers range

Or, in an even more recent example, the nigh-iconic Laura Mercier Foundation Primers & Tinted Moisturizers. There weren’t a lot of tinted moisturizers on the market before Laura came along (or was it simply that no one paid them any heed, prior to?), but they didn’t just show up on the scene — they exploded onto it.

Both lines now contain quite a range of formulas, from Illuminating to Oil-Free, and the Tinted Moisturizer has even recently branched out into a solid (crème) format.

Two more (give me some lip)

YSL Rouge Volupté vs Dior Addict

In the lip world, there are two main formulas that I can think of which always confuse me. You’ve got the YSL Rouge Volupté lineup, in everything from the full-finish Rouge Volupté lipsticks to the sheer shine of the Rouge Volupté Sheer Candy balms, and then you have the Dior Addict lipsticks and glosses – Addicts, Addict Extremes, Addict Lip Glows, Addict Glosses, Addict Lip Maximizers, Addict Lip Polishes

I can never decide if ranges like these are a great showing of brand coherency or just the beginnings of a really bad headache. (I think I’m going with the former, though!)

And that awkward shade that just won’t go away

NARS Orgasm lineup launches history

It has to be said: NARS Orgasm. This one shade, NARS’ glistening crown jewel, exists in so many forms that I find myself often alarmed — from polish to illuminator, and (of course) all of its Super Orgasm incarnations. But, then again, perhaps I would feel differently if it was simply a different finish, or a different name, or a different shade altogether.

One that I liked, preferably.

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A quick primer: theNotice’s readership is pretty evenly split throughout North America, so the brackets link to Sephora.ca & the brand names link to Nordstrom. I hope it’s helpful!

Sephora + Pantone “Night Fall” Eyeshadow Palette review, swatches, photos | A singular palette, for a colour-loving crowd

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Sephora Pantone Night Fall eyeshadow palette review

The product: SEPHORA + PANTONE UNIVERSE Night Fall Full Spectra Eye Shadow Palette

This summer’s Sephora + Pantone Universe collection was based around duochromes: from their gorgeous liquid eyeshadows to their Full Spectra palettes, they promised colour-shifting pigments and pearlescent-matte finishes.

My swatches hardly do these shades justice, but hopefully they’ll be helpful in context!

Sephora Pantone summer 2013 eyeshadow palette review

The shades, as organized by duos

Gravel & Ocean Wave pair a gorgeous, medium-opacity matte seafoam green with a sheer, duochrome champagne. Gravel (the gold) is quite an interesting shade; straight on, it’s a light toffee on my skin; at an angle or on darker skintones, however, it’s a pure, shimmering champagne.

Eggnog & Yellow Iris are actually both mattes; Eggnog is a very light ivory (think MAC Blanc Type, but lighter) with sparse silver microshimmer if examined from an inch or two away, while Yellow Iris is a punchy matte yellow leaning almost chartreuse. 

Sephora Pantone Full Spectra palette review

Top: Eggnog & Yellow Iris / Bottom: Gravel & Ocean Wave

Sephora eyeshadow palette swatches review - Night Fall

Swatched L-R: Gravel & Ocean Wave, Eggnog & Yellow Iris

Coral Pink & Parisian Jewel pair a smooth, opaque, metallic burnt orange (I’m not sure if this is a true duochrome, but it certainly looks brighter and more pink at some angles) with a dusted-down primary blue. It’s the most flashy duo in this palette, but I’d have liked to have seen just a touch more pigment in the blue.

Crystal Pink & Pink Lavender, the last duo in this palette, consists of a stunning pink-violet confection with a gorgeous, dense, buttery, mesmerizing crystal pink. I am so crazy about the larger shade — it really does make me think “crystal pink,” with its duochrome (clear/white to metallic light pink), and it’s beautiful blended into the matte shade.

Sephora Pantone Night Fall palette review

Top: Crystal Pink & Pink Lavender / Bottom: Coral Pink & Parisian Jewel

Sephora Pantone Night Fall palette swatches review

Swatched L-R: Coral Pink & Parisian Jewel; Crystal Pink & Pink Lavender

The verdict?

At full price, this would have been a pass — while I think Night Fall offers very interesting shades and finishes, it wasn’t quite good enough to warrant its $46 CAD price tag.

At half price, however, I think the two Full Spectra eyeshadow palettes are worth a look, especially if you like your makeup interesting. The mattes aren’t flawless, but they’re pretty good, and the mix of finishes is quite singular — you have everything from punchy mattes to metallic duochromes, and all in rather unique shades.

And, of course (you know, in case you missed it), I am smitten with the last duo in this palette!

Availability: $46 CAD $23 CAD, online & in-stores now at Sephora. Limited edition.

Additional photos & more »

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