Burt’s Bees Hydrating Lip Balm with Coconut and Pear review, photos

Monday, June 9, 2014

Burt's Bees Coconut & Pear lip balm review

The product: Burt’s Bees Hydrating Lip Balm with Coconut and Pear

Coming this month to Burt’s Bees is a new beeswax-based lip balm. During June–aka Pollinator Month–100% of the proceeds of this all-natural lip balm will go to Burt’s Bees’ WILD FOR BEES campaign, which celebrates its third year this month.

In partnership with Fairmont Hotels & Resorts, this money will go toward expanding the WILD FOR BEES bee hotel initiative across Canada. The initiative hopes to have 100 bee hotels open across Canada by 2015, designed with bees in mind by SUSTAINABLE.TO Architecture + Building. These “bee hotels” will help provide the dwindling bee population with a safe space to rest in the summer (and hide in the winter).

Burt's Bees WILD FOR BEES bee hotels

The formula: The Burt’s Bees Hydrating Lip Balm with Coconut and Pear formula feels light and slippery, and feels more hydrating than Burts’ other spinoff formulas right off the bat.

That said — for my super-dry lips, this formula just doesn’t cut it. It hydrates while it lasts, but I need to re-apply within 1-2 hours or my lips feel parched; however, if other drugstore or scented Burt’s Bees balms work for you, this one definitely will as well. (You’ll probably find it a little more hydrating than the others, even!)

Burt's Bees Hydrating lip balm review

The scent: Flavour-free, the coconut really predominates in this blend. If you take a close sniff, though, you can smell a bit of pear-y fruitiness in the undertones, which becomes much more apparent as the coconut scent fades. It’s a really lovely scent blend, especially for the summer!

The ingredients: (Which, might I add, I’m really impressed with.)

Sunflower Seed Oil, Coconut Oil, Beeswax, Natural Flavor, Castor Seed Oil, Shea Butter, Lanolin, Pear Fruit Extract, Ammonium Glycyrrhizate, Tocopherol, Soybean Oil, Rosemary Leaf Extract, Canola Oil, Linalool, Limonene, Geraniol.

Burt's Bees Hydrating Lip Balm Coconut & Pear review

The verdict?

Burt’s Bees may make tons of other products nowadays (their iconic cuticle butter and excellent peppermint foot cream come to mind), but I will always think they do lips best. This new Coconut & Pear lip balm is comfortable and hydrating, and though the hydration doesn’t last for me, I think it’ll be a big hit for most — especially with those who  like the tropical smell of coconut.

Availability: $3.59 USD/$4.89 CAD at burtsbees.ca, pollinatorpartnership.ca, and in stores at The Fairmont Store at the Fairmont Royal York this June. Launching July 2014 nationwide.

Keep reading! »

Lancome Urban Ballet Baume in Love swatches, photos, review

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Lancome Baume in Love review - Urban Ballet

The product: Lancôme Baume in Love in 110 Urban Ballet

Lancôme’s Baume in Love won an Allure Best of Beauty award last year. But get this: it won for best sheer lipstick. The thing literally has “balm” in its name, and it won as a lipstick. I honestly don’t even understand how that happened.

Anyhow – the winning shade (this one; Urban Ballet) is still available, as are seven other shades at Nordstrom. And so, without further adieu: may I please introduce the classiest, brightest lip balm you’ll ever have the pleasure of owning.

Lancome Baume in Love review swatches photos

The formula: With these balms, Lancôme promises to “saturate lips with comfort” and moisture, with a lasting stain of colour. But, while I like the way its light, oil-based formula feels, I have to say — they didn’t do so great on the moisture front, and the stain isn’t too noticeable on the lips.

For a tinted lip balm, the Baume in Love formula feels pretty standard. It isn’t as hydrating as, say, Fresh’s, but it’s also way less gross and melty — it holds its shape elegantly, even in the heat, and seems rather “moisture neutral” on my lips. It has a very light scent that fades quickly.

I need to re-apply this balm in a decidedly not long-lasting two hours, but — it’s not exactly a trial to reapply, you know? I’d expect three, maybe four hours at least from a lipstick or gloss, but a couple of hours from a balm (while it doesn’t live up to its claims) is pretty much par for the course.

!Lancome Urban Ballet swatch Baume in Love on lips

Lancôme Baume in Love in Urban Ballet – swatched on lips (one swipe)

Lancome Baume in Love Urban Ballet swatch review

Lancôme “Urban Ballet” Baume in Love

!Lancome Urban Ballet Baume in Love swatches review

Lancôme  Baume in Love in Urban Ballet

The colour: On the other hand, where this balm clearly earns its keep is that gorgeous, “neon-translucent” pigmentation — their words, not mine, and wonderfully accurate. The fluoro-pink Urban Ballet is eye-searingly bright, yet it reads on the lips like nothing more than a balm.

As an extremely sheer bright, Urban Ballet is exactly what one would hope for. It makes the lips look soft and plush, as if you’re wearing nothing but clear lip balm and just happen to have perfectly flushed lips. This pink is a little darker and more vivid than my natural lip shade, and it brightens my complexion in seconds while still running totally under the radar.

!Lancome Baume in Love

The verdict?

It’s a splurge, but if you want to treat yourself with something luxe but super low maintenance (am I the only one who gets stressed out by those gorgeous, full-coverage reds?), this really is the way to go. Everything about the Baume in Love range is so Lancômeelegant but vivid in a very Parisian way. I can’t speak toward the other shades, but Urban Ballet will suit literally any complexion to add a bit of instant brightness.

On a budget, the Maybelline Baby Lips Neons ($3.99 USD) lip balms will offer a similar sort of neon-sheerness — but they’re a very different experience, and feature a chunky sort of electric-fun vibe in contrast to Lancôme’s refined feeling of spontaneous-luxury.

Availability: $26 USD/$30 CAD at Nordstrom (8 shades) and Lancôme counters throughout Canada (which carry just this shade, I believe!)

(more…)

Lise Watier Eden Tropical reviews, swatches: Hydra Kiss Colour Balm, Blush Crème Satin, Ombre Soufflé | Summer 2014

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Lise Watier Rose Eden Satin Creme Blush

The products: Lise Watier Hydra Kiss Colour Balm in Rose Eden, Ombre Soufflé Suprême in Sortilège, and Blush Crème Satin in Rose Eden

I’m trying to prioritize a little now that I’m back from hiatus, so today, I’ve hand-picked three items from Lise Watier’s Eden Tropical collection to review first. These three items are my favourites from the range; the best of the best, the absolute crème de la crème. 

I hope you love them as much as I do.

Lise Watier Hydra Kiss Colour Balm Rose Eden review

Lise Watier Hydra Kiss Colour Balm in Rose Eden ($22 CAD)

The Lise Watier team lists the Hydra Kiss Colour Balm as their favourite product from this collection, and I have to say — I can see why. The Hydra Kiss Colour Balm has the most beautiful texture; sheer and wonderfully smooth. It’s slick without being too slick, and feels hydrating with just the right amount of shine.

Lise Watier Hydra Kiss Rose Eden review

Rose Eden is a beauty all on its own, though — this balm is also available in Coral Paradise, but I’m telling you now, snap up Rose Eden before it’s gone. It’s that wonderful, soft-but-bright sort of lip colour that is so hard to find; a flattering medium-pink with a lovely milkiness to the shade. The balm does have a faint, off-putting fruity scent, but it fades quickly enough.

Lise Watier Hydra Kiss Colour Balm ingredients:

Pentaerythrityl Tetrastearate, Isostearyl Isostearate, Diisostearyl Malate, Polybutene, Octyldodecanol, Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate, Polyethylene, VP/Hexadecene Copolymer, Candelilla Wax, Butyl Methoxydibenzoylmethane, Cera Microcristallina Microcrystalline Wax, Ozokerite, Tocopheryl Acetate, Flavor, Parfum.

+/- Mica, Titanium Dioxide, Red 6, Red 7 Lake, Iron Oxide, Yellow 6 Lake, Anise Alcohol.

Lise Watier Rose Eden Tropical swatches

Swatched L-R: Lise Watier Hydra Kiss Colour Balm in Rose Eden, Ombre Soufflé Suprême in Sortilège, and Blush Crème Satin in Rose Eden

Lise Watier Ombre Soufflé Suprême in Sortilège ($24 CAD)

Lise Watier Ombre Souffle Supreme review

Like all of those other wonderful, not-powder-not-creme eyeshadows, the Lise Watier Ombre Soufflé Suprême range touts a moist, loose formula. It’s a powder, but it’s held together with springy, cloud-like moisture – and not only do all of the shades in the range feel wet, but the high amount of shimmer in the formula almost makes them look wet, too.

Lise Watier Sortilege Ombre Souffle Supreme eyeshadow review

Sortilège is a beautifully complex brown, a little darker than most mid-toned shades. Its shimmer is riveting, capturing everything from pink to lime green and, of course, gold – the neutral/cool brown paired with the gold highlights should make it wearable on most. Honestly, Sortilège (French for spell, as in: magic!) is a little like looking into the universe itself… if the universe was made of equal parts “chocolate” and “pretty”. 

Sorgilège is a new permanent addition to the Ombre Soufflé Suprême line, alongside Prune Astral (a darkened plum), Tinker Bell (a soft, mossy green), and Wonderland (a bright yellow gold).

Lise Watier Ombre Soufflé Suprême ingredients:

Isododecane, Polymethylsilsesquioxane, Polysilicone-11, Petrolatum, Butyl Acrylate/Hydroxypropyldimethicone Acrylate Copolymer, Talc, Phenoxyethanol, Propylene Glycol, Ledum Groenlandicum Extract.

+/- Calcium Sodium Borosilicate, Calcium Aluminum Borosilicate, Silica, Alumium Hydroxide, Mica, Titanium Dioxide, Ci 77491, Ci 77492, Iron Oxides, Carmine, Ferric Ferrocyanide, Aluminium Powder.

Lise Watier Blush Creme Satin Rose Eden swatch review

Swatched L-R: Lise Watier Hydra Kiss Colour Balm in Rose Eden, Ombre Soufflé Suprême in Sortilège, and Blush Crème Satin in Rose Eden

Lise Watier Blush Crème Satin in Rose Eden ($24 CAD)

Lise Watier Rose Eden creme blush review

Finally, to complete this trio of seriously beautiful products, a bit of cheek love. The Lise Watier Blush Crème Satin formula is new to the line, packaged in very solid-feeling glass and plastic — none of that flimsy business. Larger than the line’s cream eyeshadows, the blush is silicone-based, which both makes me wary of it and makes me want to touch it all the time.

Lise Watier Blush Creme Satin review Rose Eden

In the Blush Crème Satin formula, Rose Eden is blindingly bright — the kind of bright that never captures quite right on camera, and almost makes you want to put sunglasses on in real life. And, you guys, it’s beautiful, blending out to the softest, prettiest pink with no more than a flick of the wrist. It’s unbelievably easy to work with, blending like velvet to a powdery, second-skin finish and layering just as easily. 

The Blush Crème Satin is also available in Coral Paradise, a much more subdued shade — a sort of coral-nude, warmer and more natural than Rose Eden.

Lise Watier Blush Crème Satin ingredients:

Propanediol Dicaprylate, Dimethicone/Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Cyclopentasiloxane, Beeswax, Silica, Carnauba Wax, Candelilla Wax, Hydroxystearic/Linolenic/Oleic Polyglycerides, Polyglyceryl-6-Polyricinoleate, Tocopherol.

+/- Mica, Titanium Dioxide, Ci 77491, Ci 77492, Iron Oxides, Red 6, Red 7, Red 28 Lake, Red 40 Lake.

Lise Watier Hydra Kiss Rose Eden swatch review

Swatched L-R: Lise Watier Hydra Kiss Colour Balm in Rose Eden, Ombre Soufflé Suprême in Sortilège, and Blush Crème Satin in Rose Eden

The verdict?

BUY ALL THE THINGS. 

I have literally never said that in a post before, but you guys – these are my highlights from Lise Watier’s summer launches. These are only the best of the very best, and I love them all (rather a lot). The jumbo lip pencil is beautifully fresh while still being elegant, the blush formula is literally the easiest one to work with that I have ever tried, and the eyeshadow — that’s just pretty. Really, really pretty.

Availability: the Hydra Kiss Colour Balms ($22 CAD) and Blush Crème Satin blushes ($24 CAD) are both limited edition until July, and I would absolutely recommend them both in Rose Eden if you can pull off pinks. The Sortilège Ombre Soufflé is permanent ($24 CAD), so you could wait for a sale (if you have that kind of restraint), and it would definitely suit warmer skintones better than the other two.

Keep reading! »

Marcelle Lux Gloss & Lux Gloss Sheer swatches, and a sort-of review | Canadian beauty

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Marcelle Lux Gloss swatches review

The product: Marcelle Lux Gloss & Lux Gloss Sheer (the entire range of each!)

It really, really bugs me that it’s so hard to find swatches of Canadian products online.

So, while I’m not in love with these glosses (they’re a little dated, no?), here are swatches of the Marcelle Lux Gloss & Lux Gloss Sheer ranges! Hopefully they’ll help some poor soul out there, and in exchange, I get to take a little break from the photograph-test-review-new-stuff routine. (I may be burning out a little, oops.)

Marcelle Lux Gloss Sheer review

Marcelle Lux Gloss Sheer in 51 Chic Bronze, 62 Sorbet, 63 Passion, and 80 Nectar

(I am so sorry; these photos were taken years ago under an overcast sky. At sundown. Not my brightest moment.)

Marcelle Lux gloss review

Marcelle Lux Gloss in 10 Whisper, 20 Starlet, and 21 Muse

Marcelle says that their Lux Gloss formula is plumping and long-lasting, with a metallic finish, and that their Lux Gloss Sheer formula is sheer and shimmery, with a wet-look finish. I’ve never found their glosses to be plumping, but the description is otherwise quite accurate.

On the whole, I find the Lux Gloss range to be a little too sticky, and a little boring. They’re not bad by any means, but… they’re just not exciting, you know? I’d love to see Marcelle update their gloss range past their new black lids; maybe focus more on the creme finishes, or try a less-sticky formula. (The now-discontinued Vita-Lip Plumping Glosses were a favourite of mine – I just pulled Rio Rose out again for the spring!)

Marcelle Lux Gloss swatches, sans creme

Swatched L-R: Marcelle Lux Gloss in Magic (Sheer), Whisper, Chic Bronze (S), Starlet, Sorbet (S), Passion (S), Serenade (S), Mousseline (S), Nectar (S), and Muse

Marcelle Lux Gloss Sheer swatches

Marcelle Lux Gloss in Magic (Sheer), Whisper, Chic Bronze (S), Starlet, Sorbet (S), Passion (S), Serenade (S), Mousseline (S), Nectar (S), and Muse, swatched L-R. 

Availability & recommendations

Along with a shimmer-free Lux Gloss Creme finish, the Marcelle Lux Gloss and Lux Gloss Sheer ranges can be found on the Marcelle website (US & Canada shipping), and at drugstores throughout Canada. They retail for $10.95 CAD and are fragrance-free.

My top picks from this range are Sorbet and Nectar, with honourable mentions going out to Chic Bronze and Mousseline. The shimmer in Magic is also quite lovely in person, if you haven’t a shimmery topcoat in your collection yet!

Numbered swatches & ingredients »

Senna Midnight Wine, Fall 2014 review, swatches, photos | Over the break

Friday, April 25, 2014

Senna Midnight Wine fall 2013 review

As some of you may already know, I took a “partial hiatus” starting last November, and ending May of this year. Over the break, I wasn’t accepting new product samples, and focused on slowly (very slowly) reviewing what I already had on hand. Here’s some of what you missed while I was away.

This week, we’re going over a few of the things you may have missed while theNotice’s doors were closed — starting with a few highlights from Senna’s Midnight Wine collection.

Senna Cordovan, Coppertina review - eye colour glow

Senna Eye Color in Cordovan (left) and Coppertina (right)

The products: Senna Eye Color (Glow) in Cordovan and Coppertina ($18 USD)

It’s no secret that I adore Senna’s eyeshadows — their Glow formula in particular.

Like the other Senna Eye Colour (Glow) eyeshadows that I’ve tried, Cordovan and Coppertina are absolutely lovely. They’re a little orange for me, but are great picks if you’re doing a warmer eye look! Cordovan in particular is incredibly smooth and buttery, and I bet these two paired together–maybe with a nice, flakey-shimmer highlight–would make a beautiful copper or bronze eye.

Coppertina is described as a “gold sparked copper,” and Cordovan is a bronzed brown — heavy on the bronze.

Senna swatches - cordovan coppertina glow

Senna Eye Color (Glow) in Coppertina and Cordovan – last two swatches

Senna Mulberry Sheer Face Colour blush review

Senna Sheer Face Colour in Moonberry

The product: Senna Sheer Face Color Powder Blush in Moonberry ($18.50 USD)

Senna’s Sheer Face Color blushes are another one of my favourites from the brand, but Moonberry was a surprise for me — it swatches quite a bit warmer than it looks in the pan. 

Unlike most berry shades, which are red-blue with a neutral or blue base, Moonberry goes very red-orange/yellow-brown on my skin — ruddy and burnt. It’s not a good look for me, but would probably be more flattering on skin without olive in it! (I was expecting it to be more like MAC Fever, which it certainly was not.)

Keep reading! »

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