LUSH Valentine’s Day 2016 reviews, photos: The Kiss, Prince Charming, Unicorn Horn

Monday, February 8, 2016

LUSH Valentine's Day 2016 review

The products: LUSH The Kiss Lip Gloss and Lip Scrub, Prince Charming Shower Cream, and Unicorn Horn Bubble Bar

Lush has six pretty-in-pink, limited edition launches out for Valentine’s Day this year, and like they did with their fruity holiday releases, they’ve subverted expectations juuust a little bit with pomegranate and mandarin scented products. (Don’t worry, there are a few rose-scented ones as well, for all of us traditionalists.)

I tried out three of them and photographed one more, but I have to admit: my heart’s just not in it this year.

LUSH The Kiss Lipgloss swatch review

The Kiss Lip Gloss ($8.95 CAD) and Lip Scrub ($9.95 CAD)

Lush’s product page for The Kiss Lip Gloss leads you to believe that it’ll leave your lips shiny and pink, but while I do actually like this balm, it’s just that: a balm. It’s relatively hydrating and completely transparent, with a sheer, frosty shimmer finish and a scent that reminds me (and the others that I’ve asked) more of bubblegum than citrus. It’s not shiny, and it’s not pigmented, much less glossy and opaque (as it’s swatched on the Lush site.)

LUSH The Kiss Lip Scrub review

The Kiss comes in Lip Scrub format as well, and its twinkling pink sugar bits and edible red hearts had my hopes up high. But, like the last Lush scrub I tried, this one left my skin over-scrubbed and raw, and even though it’s described clearly as a “caster sugar scrub,” it’s half salt sea salt — so when you take Lush’s advice and lick up the excess, you end up with a very literal bitter, salty mouthful of disappointment. 

I have loved Lush’s lip products in the past, but these ones just aren’t working for me at all.

LUSH Prince Charming, The Kiss review swatches

The Kiss Lip Gloss swatch (yes, really), The Kiss Lip Scrub, and Prince Charming Shower Cream x2

LUSH Prince Charming Shower Cream review stain

Prince Charming Shower Cream ($9.95 CAD)

You’re killin’ me, Lush. You guys make some seriously awesome products (I’ve got, like, two measly uses of Gorgeous left and it makes me want to cry), and then there’s… this business.

For a company that prides itself on its natural, eco-friendly image, it’s weird to me that Lush keeps making all of these practically fluorescent Shower Creams. Like Lord of Misrule, Prince Charming can and will stain you and your shower, so watch out.

I get synthetic pomegranate & vanilla notes from this one, and while it does leave my skin feeling lovely and soft, that’s no excuse for staining. It performs more ore less okay under the spray of the shower, but if you apply this to dry skin, it WILL stain you pink with a vengeance.

So stop it, Lush. Seriously. No one else ever even has this problem.

LUSH Unicorn Horn Bath Bomb review photos

Unicorn Horn Bubble Bar ($7.95 CAD)

It turns out I still hate baths, so I can’t really tell you anything about the Lush Unicorn Horn Bubble Bar except LOOK, YOU GUYS. IT IS A RAINBOW UNICORN HORN AND IT IS COVERED IN GLITTER.

You need. Hell, I need, and I already have one. I wonder if I could tolerate a bath if I could convince boyfriend to sterilize the tub for me beforehand…

(Good for foaming up two baths, or for a single evening of super-plush lavender, ylang ylang, and neroli dreams.)

LUSH Unicorn Horn review photos

The verdict?

I loved that LUSH gave us something a little different this year, with pink products that don’t smell like roses, cocoa, or vanilla, but honestly… I’m a fan of the classics.

None of these products really “spoke” to me (well, aside from the unicorn horn, but who doesn’t that speak to), and love the idea of gifting your darling a bar of Roses All the Way Soap, or surprising them with a massage with of Lush’s classic massage bars. (I have Tender is the Night, which by some miracle still hasn’t gone bad, and I LOVE it.) I say skip the Lush Valentine’s Day launches this year, folks, and go with a tried-and-true from the brand instead.

Available: Limited edition at Lush stores and Lush.ca while supplies last!

Nuxe Rêve de Miel Ultra-Nourishing Lip Balm review, photos, comparison

Friday, January 29, 2016

Nuxe Reve de Miel Ultra-Nourishing Lip Balm review

The product: Nuxe Rêve de Miel Ultra-Nourishing Lip Balm

In the world of high-end lip balms, there are few names that are muttered as frequently or as reverently as Rêve de Miel. This dense, potted lip balm has been an iconic product for more than twenty years, and despite the hundreds of lip balms that have launched since then, it remains the go-to lip balm recommendation for many.

Nuxe Reve de Miel Ultra-Nourishing Lip Balm

The formula: The Nuxe Rêve de Miel Ultra-Nourishing Lip Balm is scented with honey and grapefruit, and smells comforting without smelling sticky-sweet (as I find many honey-scented products do). But what makes it so special is its texture.

I expected this lip balm to be waxy and hard, like my other favourite potted lip balms, but I couldn’t have been farther off the mark. Instead, it’s soft but dense, almost like a bowl of frosting that contains too much icing sugar — it’s mouldable and not at all sticky.

Nuxe Reve de Miel review photos

Nuxe Reve de Miel lip balm texture

The wear: This stuff is lovely. It lingers throughout the night, forming a thick, protective layer over your lips and doing a great job of keeping moisture in.

It’s also soft enough that you can use it to treat other dry areas of skin (Nuxe actually recommends it), but I haven’t given this a go — the formula is full of silicones, and I think it may be breaking me out as it is. (Since I started testing it, I’ve been getting a recurrent blemish juuuust along my hairline in the very spot that my lip balm finger touches my face when I brush my hair back. Nowhere else!)

Nuxe Reve de Miel Ultra-Nourishing Lip Balm review texture comparison scent

The verdict?

It took me far too long to try this lip balm, but my opinion of it is clear: I’m a fan.

I am a fan, however, with reservations. If you’re sensitive to silicones, then I wouldn’t recommend this one for you; likewise, if you’re on a budget, I would try a different potted lip balm. This one preforms on par with or just slightly under the Osmia Organics and Bobbi Brown lip balms that I love, but due to its super-soft texture, a $17 pot won’t last you nearly as long.

However: that soft texture, created undoubtedly by waxes and oils suspended in silicones, is exactly why I would recommend this one as my #1 lip balm for dryness in combination with ageing skin. Its formula has virtually no drag, unlike the others that I have listed above, and will be far more gentle on your lips and lip contour area — a definite plus for many!

Availability: $19 USD/$17 CAD (!) at Shopper’s Drug Mart, Scarlet & Julia, Target (US), and Birchbox (US/Canada).

Keep reading! »

2015 favourites: My makeup & fragrance must-haves

Monday, January 11, 2016

2015 makeup favourites

2015 was, for some reason, a major skincare year for me. I didn’t fall in love with any new makeup products until December, and while I do love those with a passion–well, it makes for a favourites list that is much the same as 2014’s.

Which was the same as 2013’s.

You can see where I’m going with this, right?

My favourite everyday products

2015 must-have makeup products

For me, “the basics” begin with a black eyeliner that never smudges (I rely on Annabelle SmudgePaints and Marcelle Double Extension eyeliners for that — I think I’m on my third Marcelle pen) and an eyeshadow base that can keep you totally crease-free (the cheap-as-dirt Wet ‘n Wild Fergie primer or Pür Mineral’s awesome new Eye Polishes, both of which perform, for me, leaps and bounds better than Urban Decay Primer Potion or NARS Pro Prime.)

You’re only as good as the number of people who fear you, after all, and raccoon eyes don’t usually make for terrified weeping.

Best products of 2015

I also couldn’t live without my Revlon Lip Butter in Sugar Plum (the perfect medium-coverage MLBB shade), a few matte eyeshadows to contour with, and a basic lip balm.

I’m currently fixated on Burt’s Bees’ Refreshing lip balm, which is only moderately hydrating. It smells like pink grapefruit, though, so I mean… Really.

Add in a ‘cone-free face powder (no one does a satin finish like Marcelle) and a flawless foundation (thank you again, Pür Minerals, you radiant, beautiful unicorn) and I’m all set.

My favourite colour products of 2015

Makeup colour product favourites

I discovered a lot of absolutely stellar brow products last year, but only a few made the cut for my favourites: Stila’s, which is glorious but outrageously overpriced, and Annabelle’s, which is as wonderful as it is budget-friendly.

My eyeshadow favourites haven’t changed at all–always Clarins, and always their flaky-shimmer quads–and neither have my lip and everyday mascara favourites: Imju Fiberwig (all hail the glow cloud magic of tubing technology), Burt’s Bees, and Clinique Chubby Sticks.

Cheek and eye favourites 2015

Brow and lip favourites 2015

I did add two totally new favourites to my repertoire last year, though, and I couldn’t be happier to have found them!

Annabelle’s Blush On range is awesome (for some reason, I always reach for them before my Clinique Cheek Pops), and the new blue and purple Clinique Chubby Lash mascaras wear like a champ. I don’t think the black shade is a must, but the blue? Totally.

My favourite tools of 2015

Makeup Brush favourites

My do-everything powder brush, Senna’s Powder Point Brush #33, is my only new favourite this year — but it lives at my partner’s house, so I’m afraid I couldn’t include it in this photo! I feel like that speaks for itself, though: it’s my only powder brush at his place, and it does a good job of applying foundation, powder, contour, blush, and highlighter. It doesn’t do an amazing job of any of them, but for that kind of versatility, I’ll live.

My favourite fragrances of 2015

2015 fragrance favourites

And last but not least… The perfumes that I couldn’t get enough of last year. I looooove Aerin Waterlily Sun (I’m wearing it right now, actually!) and Frédéric Malle Musc Ravageur, as I’ve talked about at length on theNotice, but I’ve been using Leila Lou by Rosie Jane a lot, too — it’s great for smelling really, really clean in an instant.

(And–ahem–it’s excellent for directing attention to certain areas at close range.)

What were your favourite products of 2015?

Shu Uemura x Maison Kitsuné holiday 2015 | Everyday makeup with party-ready palettes

Friday, January 8, 2016

Maison Kitsune for Shu Uemura makeup look

The holidays are over, the new year has begun, and you, this story’s intrepid beauty junkie, have been left with a mountain of holiday makeup pieces and no holiday parties to wear them to. 

Fear not! Because today, I’m delving into the gorgeous Maison Kitsuné for Shu Uemura collection to put together a makeup look that’s party and paper-writing ready. Your holiday palettes won’t need to go into hiding until next December after all!

Shu Uemura x Maison Kitsune makeup look

I decided to go with a really fresh, pink look with these palettes, so I started with the basics: first, my beloved ‘cone-free Pür Minerals 4-in-1 Makeup in Porcelain, then a sweep of the pink G1 Glow On Blush from the Indigo Beauty Remix Palette ($85 CAD).

To add definition to my features, I used (as always) just a tiny bit of plummy-brown eyeshadow under the cheekbones, then defined my brows with the Marcelle Eyebrow Pen in Universal Dark.

shu kitsune Beauty Remix palette - Indigo review

Shu Maison Kitsune Beauty Remix Plum palette EOTD

On the eyes, I used Pür Minerals Eye Polish in Satin as a base (you can see it worn alone in this holiday makeup look!) and Marcelle Double Precision Liquid Eyeliner Pen along the upper lash line.

I then swept the taupe and lilac purple shadows (P2 & P4) from the Plum Beauty Remix Smokey Eye & Cheek Palette ($85 CAD) through my lid, and used a fluffy brush to blend a small amount of the burgundy shadow (P1) from the same palette to the outer corner of my eyes.

Maison Kitsune for Shu Uemura Beauty Remix Palette plum review

shu maison kitsune makeup look fotd

There’s no such thing as enough glitter, so I finished the eye look by dabbing just a tiny amount of silver sparkles (P4) on the middle of my lid, and defining my lower lashline with the Shu Uemura x Maison Kitsuné Play & Remix Drawing Pencil in # G Gold and the taupe P2 shadow.

On my lips, I’m wearing the Maison Kitsuné for Shu Uemura Lacque Sparkler in Fleur Shine, a glossy lavender pink with pink microshimmer. Unlike some of the other Lacque Coutures, I found that Fleur Shine applied really evenly, and the sparkle was a lot finer than I was expecting — it’s actually a really wearable shade that I think many will love!

Maison Kitsune for Shu Uemura Fleur Shine Lacque Sparkler

Keep reading! »

Pür Minerals Epic Illusion Palette & Mystic Lip Lure review, swatches | & A cruelty-free Christmas Eve makeup look!

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Pur Minerals 4 in 1 porcelain review

It’s taken me a little while to really get into Pür Minerals, but now that I’ve done it… man, I don’t think it would even be possible for me to go back. I’ve worn this look FOUR times over the past week (mostly without the lip), and it has performed like a freaking–uh, like something that performs really well. Every single time.

I am going to be reviewing EVERY product in this makeup look at some point, because I am beyond impressed with every one of them, but for today, I’m focusing on the Lip Lure (what a shade) and Epic Illusion Contour Kit (it’s limited edition)!

Pur Minerals makeup look products used

Products used for my Pür Minerals Christmas Eve makeup look. (Don’t they look so pretty together?)

Pur Minerals Double Ego, Wake Up Brow makeup look review

Pur Minerals Epic Illusion contouring palette review

I’m wearing all Pür Minerals products in this look, from the eyes (Eye Polish in Satin, Double Ego Liquid Eyeliner in Milan, Wake Up Brow in Espresso/Hello Bright Eyes and Volume Vixen Mascara) to the lips (Lip Lure in Mystic and nothing else, not even lip balm).

Even the skin in this look (Epic Illusion Contour Palette and Pür’s 4-in-1 Pressed Mineral Powder Foundation SPF 15 in the shade Porcelain, which actually matches my skintone!!!) is Pür Minerals — I didn’t need any concealer or powder after using the 4-in-1, which was awesome (and super fast!)

pur minerals eye polish nude swatch review

Pür Minerals Double Ego Liner in Milan, Eye Polish in Satin, Volume Vixen Mascara, and Wake Up Brow in Espresso. Plus the line’s 4-in-1 Foundation to conceal my undereye area!

Pür Minerals Lip Lure in Mystic ($22 USD/$26 CAD)

Pur Minerals Mystic Lip Lure lacquer review

I personally think that the standout products of this look are the foundation and eyeshadow, but the Pür Minerals Lip Lure Hydrating Lip Lacquer in Mystic is certainly the most eye-grabbing. It’s described as a “ripe blackberry with a hint of raspberry” by Pür Minerals, but on me, it reads more of a berry-red. 

My skin eats cool tones for breakfast, however, so make sure to check out the shade on bloggers with your skintone before buying! It’s gorgeous and glossy on Glamorable, who describes the shade as a plummy burgundy, and it reads very purple against Brigette Ramos‘ warmer colouring. I have liked it on every single blogger (including myself) that I’ve seen it on, though, so it might just be one of those unicorn shades!

pur minerals Lip Lure Mystic swatch review photos

Pür Minerals Lip Lure swatches: Mystic in indirect sunlight (L) / indirect artificial light (R)

As for the formula? I’m in love. It’s insanely pigmented, with a creamy, hydrating texture. I haven’t worn this one for hours and hours–I’ve been eating far too often recently to really test out a colour this opaque–but within the hour or two that I have tested it for, it’s been wonderful.

The liquid lipstick formula looks glossy if applied heavily or satin-matte if applied sparingly (I’ve applied it thinly here, believe it or not), and it hasn’t made my lips feel even the littlest bit dry!

Pur Minerals contour palette review

Pür Minerals Epic Illusion Contour Kit ($28 USD/$32 CAD)

The last Pür Minerals gem that I have to talk to you guys about today is the brand’s limited edition contour kit.

Now, I’m not usually a fan of contour kits (they’re always so warm and harsh), but… I like this one. It contains two rows of products (a yellowier row for lighter skin and a darker row below, as usual), with a highlighter, contour/bronzer, and blush in each row.

Keep reading! »

Annabelle Lipsies Lip Balm in Grapefruit | Your one-step pink grapefruit fix

Monday, December 21, 2015

Annabelle Lipsies Grapefruit, burt's Bees, Clinique Chubby Stick

The product: Annabelle Cosmetics Lipsies Lip Balm in Grapefruit

One of my go-to lip combinations is to apply a swipe of grapefruit-scented Burt’s Bees Refreshing Lip Balm ($3.29 USD), and then top it off with a Clinique Chubby Stick ($17 USD) in either Super Strawberry or Whoppin’ Watermelon.

I’m kind of super bad at the whole “stop being lazy and layer your goddamn products” thing, though, so when I realized that Annabelle made a product that would cover both steps, I immediately made grabby hands at it.

Annabelle Lipsies Grapefruit swatch review

Annabelle Grapefruit Lipsies Lip Balm swatches

Annabelle Grapefruit Lipsies Lip Balm review

Annabelle Lipsies Lip Balm in Grapefruit

Annabelle’s grapefruit scent isn’t quite as bright or zesty as Burt’s Bees’, but it helps lift my mood and my look at the same time with a lovely, juicy-looking swath of colour. And, for less than the price of a cup of coffee, who can say no to a tasty scent and a moisturizing hint of pink?

Availability: $4.95 CAD online at Annabelle.ca (US/Canada shipping) and in drugstores & mass-market retailers across Canada. Read my full review of the Lipsies formula here!

Annabelle Lipsies review

The whole (current) Lipsies range! I think. As of Spring 2015, at least.

See what other bloggers thought of the Annabelle Lipsies:

  • Beauty Infinitum loves Fruit Punch (which looks SO good on her lips) and Cupcake!
  • Workaday Beauty and her super-cute spring hair has Grapefruit swatched alongside Strawberry, Cherry, and Raspberry.
  • Just J reviewed Fruit Punch and Coco-Vanilla, and totally hated the scent of the latter. (It’s okay, MizzJ. I hate the way it smells too.)
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