Deciem NIOD Lip Bio-Lipid Concentrate review, before & after photos

Saturday, September 17, 2016

niod-lip-bio-lipid-concentrate-review

The product: Deciem NIOD Lip Bio-Lipid Concentrate

When I met with Deciem’s PR genius (and total #ladyboss) last summer, she mentioned offhandedly that she was using NIOD (Non-Invasive Options in Dermal Science)’s Lip Bio-Lipid Concentrate. She has one of the best pouts that I’ve seen in the biz, so I knew immediately that I had to get my hands on a bottle!

deciem-niod-lip-bio-lipid-concentrate-review

The science behind the NIOD Lip Bio-Lipid Concentrate: Deciem’s NIOD line is all about innovative technologies in skincare, and this lip plumper is no exception. It’s a very concentrated dry oil that is designed to “the looks of lip colour, volume, texture, softness and contour,” and it hits the mark on every point.

Just some of the ingredients used in NIOD’s Lip Bio-Lipid include an isolated sugarcane hemisqualane and sea buckthorn oil base, Lipid Palmitoyl Hexapeptide-12 Complex to mimic dermal elastin and increase firmness, and Nicotinic Acid Methyl Ester, a traditional muscle relief ointment that’s used here to redden the lips.

Deciem recommends that you use just a drop of this oil before bed and in the morning, but I’ve been using about a half-drop only in the mornings. It’s more than enough to plump my lips up, but doesn’t require any extra forethought!

niod-lip-bio-lipid-plumper-before-after

Niod Lip Bio-Lipid Concentrate before / after

deciem-niod-lip-bio-lipid-before-after-review-results

Niod Lip Bio-Lipid Concentrate before / after

But does it work? Like most lip plumpers, Lip Bio-Lipid burns – a lot. With that cinnamon-y feeling, however, comes a dramatic increase in both lip redness and lip volume. 

I don’t have the most defined lip line, so I find that the area around my lips becomes reddened for a few minutes as well. After the 5-minute initial discomfort, however, the redness around my lips returns to normal, while my lips themselves stay plump and pinked.

I haven’t used this consistently enough to garner long-term results, but I definitely see a difference immediately after using the Lip Bio-Lipid Concentrate. My lips look fuller, redder, and smoother for the day, and they even look noticeably bigger with lipstick overtop. (This oil is Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride-based, so it doesn’t make your lipstick slide off the way something like castor seed oil would!)

deciem-lip-bio-lipid-review

The verdict?

I’ve never put a lot of faith into lip plumpers, but this stuff is seriously like a lip augmentation in a bottle. It’s spicy and effective, and you get a LOT for what you pay for. Per ounce, it’s less than half the price of the Too Faced Lip Injection Extreme or comparable products, and it’s paraben- and silicone-free to boot.

NIOD’s Lip Bio-Lipid Concentrate own’t give you quite as Instagrammable a pout as Mira’s, but it’ll push enough temporary volume into your lips that it’ll look like a light lip job. Check it out!

Availability: $60 CAD at Deciem online or in-store!

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KYE for Shu Uemura collection review, swatches, photos

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Kye for shu collection review, photos

The products: KYE for Shu Uemura Summer 2016 collection

The KYE for Shu collection is this summer’s Shu Uemura capsule collection, designed by fashion designer Kathleen Kye. It’s inspired by the “new era fashion culture and hype beauty,” and is chock full of trendy products and things that could basically just be summed as “edgy but also fresh.”

I’m not always taken by celeb-designed makeup collections, not even Shu Uemura’s, but the KYE collection really gets me. It feels very authentic, and I love that it celebrates a youthful energy and gender fluidity. 

Kye for shu uemura eyebrow palette cappuccino, dark rose review photos

kye for shu “cappuccino/dark rose” brow:palette review

The brow products

The KYE for shu brow products are all about graphic, edgy eyebrows – and in this case, that means colour. 

I tried out the Shu Uemura Eyebrow Manicure in Dark Violet ($26 CAD) and brow:palette in cappuccino/dark rose ($55 CAD), and you know what? I really liked both of them. Shu does brows well, and these tinted versions of their regular products really hit the spot for me – although I wouldn’t give you $55 for the brow powder.

shu uemura violet brows swatches review photos

kye for shu swatches – ME pink 12 and M white 91 on eyes, eyebrow manicure in dark violet (left) and brow:palette in cappuccino/dark rose (right)

The Eyebrow Manicure is really where it’s at. The formula is easy to apply and doesn’t leave too much product on your skin, giving you definition and shape without really adding visual weight. And Dark Violet? It’s gorgeous. It brushes up gently against the skin, leaving a muted lilac brow that glistens in its wake... it’s a really lovely way to do colourful eyebrows while still looking totally daytime-appropriate.

(Yes, really!)

KYE for shu uemura eyebrow manicure dark violet review photos swatches

kye for shu “dark violet” eyebrow manicure review

Kye for Shu xxxxx

kye for shu “glow in pink” sheer colour balm review

The cheek & lip products

Okay, so full disclosure: these two product formats happen to be ones that I’m predisposed towards, so I’m maybe being a little lenient here.

I love alternative blush formats, so the KYE for Shu Fresh Cushion Blush ($39 CAD) caught my eye immediately. Hibiscus Orange is full of silicones and the sold-out Hisibscus Pink one would almost certainly look better on me, but the formula is just so cool watery, sheer, shimmer-free, and dewy. It’s a very Korean-inspired blush, right down to the names, but I hope we see more cushion blushes from Shu in the future.

For the lips, I also really liked the Shu Uemura Sheer Colour Lip Balm in Glow in Pink ($36 CAD), but I think they’re overpriced. The KYE Sheer Colour Balms are all translucent, pH-adjusting neons, and they’re really comfortable… but at the price, they’re not a must.

Shu Uemura kye collection swatches review

kye for shu swatches in indirect sunlight: hibiscus orange cushion blush, glow in pink sheer colour balm, cappuccino/dark rose brow:palette, dark violet eyebrow manicure, M white 91 drawing pencil, ME pink 12 drawing pencil.

Kye for shu hibiscus orange blush review swatches

kye for shu hibiscus orange fresh cushion blush review

The eye products

I tried out two of the KYE Drawing Pencils ($28 CAD each), which are eyeliners from Shu’s regular collection done up in adorable KYE packaging.

I’ve never been a fan of the Shu Drawing Pencil formula, and these are consistent with my past experiences. The matte M white 91 is a gorgeously opaque white eyeliner, but it snapped off on me the second I tried to swatch it. (And then again, and again, and again.)

The intense, metallic ME pink 12 fared better, but it too is very soft – the metallics are so buttery that you have to re-shape them as you line your eyes. However, they’re also a total pain in the butt to smudge or remove, so if you have any upcoming end-of-summer pool parties planned, ME pink 12 is pretty much mandatory. It’s like glittery indelible ink for your eyes!

Kye for shu eyeliners M white 91, ME pink 12 swatches review

kye for shu drawing pencils in M white 91, ME pink 12

kye for shu collection swatches

kye for shu swatches: hibiscus orange blush, glow in pink lip balm, cappuccino/dark rose brow:palette, dark violet eyebrow manicure, M white 91, and ME pink 12 eyeliners

Everything else

The KYE for Shu collection also includes a few cleansing oils and conditioners, but as they’re just re-packaged classics, I won’t be reviewing them here. I will note, however, that the pink Porefinist Fresh Cleansing Oil ($38-82 CAD) is my favorite Shu cleansing oil, though, and that the KYE packaging is even cuter in person!

Kye for shu uemura absolute conditioners review

kye for shu art of hair conditioners

The verdict?

Shu Uemura releases a lot of really big makeup collections, but the KYE collection is my favourite Shu release in recent history. There isn’t a single product that disappoints (well, the eyeliners are a pain, but they wear like a champ as long as you pretend they’re gel pots), and the prices are very reasonable for Shu.

My top recommendations are the Dark Violet Eyebrow Manicure and Fresh Cushion Blush, but you really can’t go wrong with anything here!

Availability: Limited edition summer 2016 at shuuemura.ca, shuuemura.com, and in-stores at select Holt Renfrew & Sephora locations.

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Marcelle Pink Lace, Berry Blossom, Show of Pink review, swatches, photos & more | Fall 2016

Monday, August 29, 2016

Marcelle fall 2016 collecdtion review

The products: Marcelle Fall 2016 collection – Rouge Xpression Lipstick in 840 Pink Lace, 875 Berry Blossom, and 960 Show of Pink; Ultimate Easy Lash and Ultimate Fringe Effect Mascaras; and Face Powder in Translucent Medium

Have you ever looked at a makeup collection and thought, “Okay, this is me. They made this collection for me? Because that’s exactly how I feel about Marcelle’s fall collection this year.

The collection contains a new Flawless foundation and concealer that, unfortunately, I won’t be able to cover because they contain silicones, but I am all about this collection aside from that. It features three really wearable lipsticks, a couple of mascaras, and my favourite face powder ever, so I knew the second I saw it that I was going to be a fan.

Marcelle rouge xpression 2016 review photos swatches

The Rouge Xpression lipsticks

Three new Rouge Xpression Lipsticks ($11.95 CAD each) are being launched this August from Marcelle, and though the Rouge Xpressions aren’t my favourite Marcelle lipstick formula (give me Rouge Vitality or give me death!!!!), I still quite like them.

The Rouge Xpression lipsticks are creamier and more slick than the Rouge Vitality lipsticks, and they feature a fragrance-free, paraben-free, cruelty-free formula with omega 6 fatty acid-rich avocado oil.

I’ve been getting the most wear out of Pink Lace, a really wearable pink-nude that’s just a shade lighter than my natural lip colour, but the cool pink Berry Blossom and coral-pink Show of Pink are lovely options for bolder shades. I don’t know – I’ve been feeling the muted lip pretty hard recently. Maybe it’s all the 15 degree days we’ve been having this August.

Marcelle Rouge Xpression pink lace, berry blossom, show of pink swatches review photos

Marcelle Rouge Xpression Lipstick swatches: 840 Pink Lace, 875 Berry Blossom, and 960 Show of Pink

Marcelle Pink Lace nude lipstick review swatches photos

Marcelle Pink Lace – a really easy, wearable nude lip

The mascaras

I’m too busy trying out all of the new Annabelle mascaras to test these right now (more on that soon), but I love that they released two separate Ultimate mascaras. Mascara is one of those products that’s really subjective, so it’s cool that they’re recognizing right out of the gate that some people are going to prefer an easy everyday lash while others will want that full-on fringe.

Marcelle Ultimate Fringe Effect mascara review

Marcelle Ultimate Easy Lash mascara review

A good eyeliner is a good eyeliner across the board, but what constitutes the perfect mascara could be either a really natural looking lash, like in the Marcelle Ultimate Easy Lash ($9.95 CAD), or something with as much volume and length as humanly possible, like in the Marcelle Ultimate Fringe Effect ($12.95 CAD).

The ingredients listed online are the same for both, so I’m guessing that these two mascaras feature the same formula with a different brush (à la Eyeko). The Easy Lash mascara has a traditional bristled brush with short bristles on one side and long bristles on the other, while the Ultimate Fringe mascara has a springy, flexible silicone brush with short bristles all around.

Marcelle translucent medium face powder review

The face powder

Marcelle’s loose face powder got a black-and-clear makeover a couple years back (the original featured a white lid), and seeing it being re-promoted to bloggers makes me happy beyond words. I LOVE Marcelle’s Face Powder ($14.95 CAD), and I can’t even begin to tell you how many other makeup lovers I’ve converted over the years.

It’s just so good, you know? It looks totally natural and has a transparent “skin” finish, but it instantly makes your skin look better than normal. Whether you’re trying to make your base product look more like skin or you’re just trying to make your own skin look totally flawless, this stuff just magically makes it happen.

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Tunakitten may not know what pants are, but he still knows what’s cool. 

It lasts forever, too – I’ve had my jar of Translucent for half a decade and have spilled huge amounts of it twice, but it’s still half full. For $14.95, it’s a crazy good deal.

(My only complaint? The new packaging is really squeaky, and it makes the experience of using it way less luxurious. I wish you would go back to your old factory, Marcelle!)

Collection availability: Marcelle is available online (US/Can) and in drugstores and mass market retailers across Canada.

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Charlotte Tilbury Tell Laura Hot Lips, Kiss ‘n’ Tell Lip Cheat | Luxe lipstick for a great cause

Friday, August 5, 2016

Charlotte Tilbury Hot Lips review

The products: Charlotte Tilbury Hot Lips Matte Revolution Lipstick in Tell Laura, Lip Cheat Lip Liner in Kiss ‘n’ Tell

Alright, so firstly: I still haven’t found it in my heart to swatch these two gorgeous products. I will get to it eventually, but I look absolutely terrible in orange-based tones, so it’s been really hard for me to motivate myself to ruin the perfect finishes! To see what it looks like on a (truly) wide range of faces, check out its Charlotte Tilbury product page.

Secondly? If you’re not following me on Snapchat, go do that now!! I’ll be chronicling my belated birthday plans for all of today (I still haven’t the slightest idea what my partner has planned), and I usually have lots of Tuna photos & puppy videos up there. All in all, it should be a pretty good time.

Alright. I’m off to get this post scheduled and get to bed, so I’ll leave you with these Tilbury photos! Enjoy.

Availability: Hot Lips Lipsticks $32 USD/$38 CAD; Lip Cheat Lip Liner $22 USD/$27 CAD.

Charlotte Tilbury Lip Cheat Kiss n Tell

Charlotte Tilbury Matte Revolution Tell Laura review

“Inspired by 12 of the world’s most mesmerizing women, Charlotte Tilbury has created 12 hot lipstick shades which celebrate the beauty, style and power of each namesake celebrity. 

Charlotte Tilbury will donate $2 from the sale of each Hot Lips lipstick for the first two months of sale to the Women For Women International charity, an organization which actively works to better the lives of women around the world who are affected by extremism and conflict occurring within their country.”

Charlotte Tilbury Lip Cheat Kiss n Tell packaging

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Contour & Sway with Rodial and NYX Cosmetics | A bright-lipped makeup look!

Friday, July 29, 2016

Rodial NYX makeup look

Every time I post a makeup look, it’s like, “Hi, I know it’s been a while, but surprise!”

This NYX Liquid Suede Cream Lipstick was a pretty big surprise too, at least for me. I just finished being disappointed by the brand’s Soft Matte Lipstick in Transylvania, so when I pulled out Sway to finish off this Rodial contouring feature, I was really surprised by how lovely it was.

I haven’t given it a day-long test just yet, but it feels awesome – thick and creamy and dense, with the opacity and finish to match.

NYX Liquid Suede cream lipstick swatch Sway

NYX Liquid Suede Cream Lipstick swatch in LSCL 06 Sway (Emprise)

Rodial makeup look motd products used

Products used

I used Rodial for my base, of course, and their Contouring Powder, Illuminating Powder, and South Beach Blusher on my cheeks. Their lightest foundation matches my summer tan really well, and the contour is nice (if a bit subtle). Then, I threw on my standard eye base/brow combo of the moment: Clarins Waterproof Liquid Eyeshadow and Annabelle Skinny Brow Liner.

Clarins Rosewood new 2016 4 colour eyeshadow palette review swatches makeup

Clarins 4-Colour Eyeshadow Palette in 02 Rosewood, Marcelle Double Precision Liner in Black, and Annabelle BigShow Waterproof Mascara

To give a little colour to the eye, I used the brand new Clarins 4-Colour Eyeshadow Palette in 02 Rosewood ($43 USD), which looks… Surprisingly unlike the old Eye Quartet Mineral Palette in 03 Rosewood ($42 USD). I’m not sure why they didn’t just give it a new name – the near-identical packaging and labelling make things a little bit confusing!

(The mascara is Annabelle BigShow Waterproof ($9.95 CAD), which is also new to me. I liked it, but not as much as their Expandable Mascara.)

NYX Sway Liquid Suede review motd makeup look

And, finally, there was that NYX Liquid Suede lipstick. The formula smells a little bit like paint in the tube, but it’s actually super lovely: it has a velvety matte finish and applies so easily that I didn’t even need a lip brush to apply it. I’m kinda dying to add a couple other shades to my makeup collection!

What’s your favourite bold lip colour range?

NYX Transylvania Soft Matte Lip Cream swatches, review, photos

Friday, July 22, 2016

NYX Transylvania review swatch photos

The product: NYX Cosmetics Soft Matte Lip Cream in 21 Transylvania 

Man, it has been a LONG time since I reviewed any makeup! I feel like I just haven’t had the time or energy to wear any recently – my everyday face consists of tinted moisturizer (Rodial foundation and Clarins Beauty Flash Balm), a light brow (Annabelle Skinny Brow Liner, of course), and like, nothing else.

Lather, rinse, repeat; day in and day out. So, a couple weeks ago, I decided to change things up a little.

NYX TRansylvania soft matte lip cream review

NYX Transylvania review photos swatches

The formula: Alright, so I’m just gonna stick my head out there and say it: I don’t like the NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream formula. I can see why other people like it, but I just don’t.

It feels light and airy without too much transfer, which I like. And it smells like cupcake batter, which I also like because I’m not a monster. And it’s way more comfortable than a retro matte, so that’s nice too.

But my lips are DRY, you see. They’re not just dry; they’re Alberta-dry. They have dry patches galore, all of which this lipstick catches on, and after half an hour, my lips get uncomfortable. So I fidget and press them together to compensate, and this lipstick (which never truly sets) heads for my lipline faster than an ex who can’t get away from you fast enough.

NYX Transylvania Soft Matte Lip Cream swatch

NYX Soft Lip Cream in Transylvania swatches – after 15 min

The colour: In the tube, Transylvania is gorgeous. It’s this beautiful “matte deep violet” (description right from the NYX site), and it looks like it’s going to turn you into an instant Bad Grrl, with capitalization totally necessary.

On my lips, though… Transylvania is yet another dark, moody red. And don’t get me wrong; it’s still totally gorgeous! But in everyone else’s swatches, it looks like it’s going to be this mind-blowing eggplant shade, and I just couldn’t get it there without plum or black liner underneath (which is totally cheating.) Even with three layers, it was just red, red, red on me.

A sexy red that’s totally ’90s (Faith would have worn the hell out of this shade), but still. With my naturally red lips, this wasn’t purple on me at all. 

NYX Transylvaia with lipliner

NYX Transylvania overtop of nude lipliner (left) and eggplant liner (right)

NYX dark violet matte lipstick review

The verdict?

I think that Transylvania looks killer on most humans, but my lips aren’t having any of it. The formula seems to only have medium opacity, so unfortunately, the colour of my reddish lips bled right through it.

Would I buy a different Soft Matte Lip Cream, though? Well… Probably not. (Make Up For Ever does a way more comfortable soft matte). But I’d definitely try a shade like this one again; maybe in the NYX Full Throttle or Liquid Suede formula instead!

Availability: $6 USD/$9 CAD at Nyx Cosmetics, Shopper’s Drug Mart, Rexall, and London Drugs.

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