Lise Watier Arabesque Holiday 2016 collection

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

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Lise Watier Baiser Velours in Swan Kiss swatch & review (after 3 hours’ wear!)

The products: Lise Watier Arabesque collection (Holiday 2016)

Inspired by the ballet, the Lise Watier Arabesque collection is full of see-through foils and sultry burgundies. This review covers the collection’s highs and lows–and you might be surprised which is which.

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Lise Watier Arabesque review – Coppélia

What to save your pennies on 

Lise Watier’s holiday eye palettes are usually the strongest point of their holiday showing, but I found this year’s Lise Watier Arabesque 5-Colour Eyeshadows (limited edition, $42 CAD) to be lacking. I haven’t swatched them for this review, but for good reason: though they look pretty when swatched, their formula totally pulls one over on you. 

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Lise Watier Arabesque review – Isadora

I’m used to seeing really vivid, buttery shades from Lise Watier’s holiday collection, and these palettes just didn’t have it. Even when applied over primer, they blended away quickly to nothingness, leaving not even a hint of colour behind.

I adore flakey shimmers, so I was psyched when I swatched the middle shades of each palette, but I felt like I had been tricked when I tried to use them. I literally could not make these shadows show up on my lids. Zilch, nada, nothing. I’d apply, and then the second I would go to blend, they would just disappear into nothingness, like last season’s booty call.

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Index finger: Lise Watier Arabesque Nail Varnish swatch (2 coats) / Middle finger: Lise Watier Cerise Noir swatch (2 coats) / See this post for that gorgeous glitter!

Similarly, I was really let down by the Arabesque Nail Varnish (both limited edition, $9 CAD). Unlike Cerise Noir, which applied with breathtaking ease and opacity (it almost reminded me of a YSL nail varnish – not quite, but almost), Arabesque is too sheer for its own good.

As a topcoat, it’s passable, but on its own, it straight up just makes my nails look dirty around the edges. I did my toes in Arabesque last week, and I spent an entire morning this past weekend trying to confusedly scrub the dirt off of my feet. Eventually, I realized that my feet weren’t inexplicably dirty – that’s just what the polish looks like.

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I could go either way on the Lise Watier Twist and Sharp Eyeliner in Platine (new permanent, $23 CAD) and the Lise Watier Haute Lumiere Lipgloss in Gold Glory (limited edition, $24 CAD)Platine is a platinum eyeliner with metallic flakes of colour (it would be beautiful on darker skintones), but Gold Glory just boring. C’mon, guys; we’ve seen gold shimmer in clear gloss a million times!

I think that Lise Watier can do better, and they did–within this very collection, as a matter of fact.

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Lise Watier Rouge Gourmand Lipstick in Cerise Noir review (left), Cerise Noir with Gold Glory Haute Lumiere Lipgloss on top (swatched at right)

What to buy immediately (in duplicate, even)

Where this collection really shines is in its matte and creme shades. I first swatched the Lise Watier Rouge Gourmand Lipstick in Cerise Noir (new permanent, $25 CAD), which is a beautiful, glossy black cherry shade. Dark lipsticks tend to be a bit too high-maintenance for me, though, so I moved on from this fruity-scented lipstick pretty quickly.

The next product I tried–and the one that I fell completely in love with–was the Lise Watier Baiser Velours Liquid Lipstick in Swan Kiss (limited edition, $28 CAD). I reviewed the Baiser Velours formula originally in February, and I wasn’t impressed. But this time around, with a different shade, I could not have been more floored.

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Lise Watier Baiser Velours in Swan Kiss review, swatches

Swan Kiss is a flattering, sexy, brown-based lip shade. It makes my lips look enormous, and its matte formula was very comfortable to wear. I tested it out for four hours and ate an entire ice cream bar while wearing it, and it barely showed a single sign of wear.

There’s a major Kylie Jenner vibe to Swan Kiss, and it holds up better to kissing than you’d expect. I’m not usually a fan of the Kardashian/Jenner crowd, but if the trends they created are going to make my lips look this good, I’ll take it!

Keep reading! »

Burberry Nude Beige Kisses, Chestnut Brown Liquid Eyeliner, Silver Glitter Nail Polish, & Cat Lashes Mascara | Fall/Winter 2016

Friday, November 11, 2016

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The products: Burberry Beauty Kisses Lipstick in No. 01 Nude Beige, Effortless Liquid Eyeliner in No. 02 Chestnut Brown, Cat Lashes Mascara in No. 1 Jet Black, and Nail Polish in No. 453 Silver Glitter

Much like their holiday collection, Burberry’s Fall/Winter 2016 makeup look is full of easy-to-wear basics paired with chunky glitter. As someone who routinely does the same as an easy way to make things festive, I am, to say the least, a fan.

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Burberry Kisses Lipstick in Nude Beige ($33 USD/$36 CAD)

I’ve always been fond of Burberry’s makeup collection (how could you not be, with that packaging,) but the Burberry Kisses Lipstick in No. 01 Nude Beige ($33 USD/$36 CAD) is the first product of theirs that has worked its way into my everyday makeup stash.

With a lightweight satin formula and a paraben-free, fragrance-free formula, it’s easier to wear than an A-line dress in the summer (and that’s saying a lot, for me).

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Burberry Kisses Lipstick in 01 Nude Beige review

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Burberry Kisses Lipstick swatch in 01 Nude Beige (bare lips/1 layer)

The Burberry Kisses lipstick formula is one that I have to reapply often despite its six-hour wear claims, and yet I still find myself reaching for it. The Kisses line is built on this weird principle of “multiple, satin finishes with one shade,” depending on how many layers you apply, and I… kind of think it works.

They function just like any other lipstick, of course, but I like that Burberry has taken into consideration the fact that, well, when you apply only one coat of a sheer lipstick, your lip colour bleeds through. For Nude Beige, this means that one coat sinks into your lips and simply neutralizes your lips’ redness slightly, and that three coats sits on your lips for a thicker, more “classically nude” look. I like toning down my lips with a “nothing” lipstick when paired with a dark eye, and Nude Beige is absolutely perfect for that.

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Burberry Kisses Lipstick in 01 Nude Beige, Effortless Liquid Eyeliner in Chestnut Brown swatches

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Burberry Effortless Liquid Eyeliner in Chestnut Brown review

Effortless Liquid Eyeliner in Chestnut Brown ($34 USD/$37 CAD)

Like Nude BeigeBurberry’s Effortless Liquid Eyeliner in No. 02 Chestnut Brown ($34 USD/$37 CAD) is a natural-look makeup item from their standard range. It defines the eyes well in a very subtle way, and despite its sharp lines, the dark chestnut brown has a softer overall look than an inky black eyeliner.

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Wearing Burberry Effortless Liquid Liner in Chestnut Brown and Cat Lashes Mascara in Jet Black

If you caught my Lise Watier Féline Liquid Eyeliner review, this Burberry liner is a lot like that one – stiff and long. (Are we still doing phrasing, guys?) It’s immensely easy to work with, but I find the formula to be a bit thin.

Skincare plays a big role in this one, and I find that on days when I use a really heavy moisturizer, the Burberry Effortless Liquid Eyeliner is harder to apply and smudges throughout the day. I have to go over my line a few times to get it nice and inky. But, on days when I’m wearing a lighter moisturizer, everything goes off without a hitch. Like Burberry’s Lip Kisses and mascaras, their eyeliner is also paraben- and fragrance-free.

I moisturize like a fiend (like, night cream plus a serum plus an oil during the day), so you likely won’t need to worry about running into any issues. With your eyeliner, at least. I can’t make any promises otherwise.

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Burberry Cat Lashes Mascara in Jet Black review

Cat Lashes Mascara in Jet Black ($29 USD/$32 CAD)

When a mascara is re-promoted in a collection, I don’t always test it out. I know I should, but honestly–so many of them come out each season, and I’m tired of constantly running around with raccoon eyes.

The Burberry Cat Lashes Mascara in No. 1 Jet Black ($29 USD/$32 CADhas one weird-ass brush, though, so I had to do it. It’s an elastomer hourglass with spiky bristles, and it’s bendy. Not just “soft enough to bend intentionally,” but almost floppy.

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Burberry Cat Lashes Mascara bendy brush

The Cat Lashes Mascara gets its name from the curved end of the brush, which lets you “stretch out” the lashes in your outer corners (using it vertically) for a cat-eyed effect. It works so well that I did this intuitively, and only found out that it was designed for this purpose after the fact.

The formula gives great separation and length, and it wears for a solid nine hours with minimal smudging.

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Burberry Nail Polish in 453 Silver Glitter review

Nail Polish in Silver Glitter ($22 USD/$23 CAD)

Finally, the piece in this collection that I’m convinced the folks at Burberry must love the most. (What is it with them and holiday glitter?) The Burberry Nail Polish in No. 453 Silver Glitter ($22 USD/$23 CADis a basic glitter polish in, as always, an excellent clear base.

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Burberry Nail Polish in 453 Silver Glitter swatches (1 coat on bare nails on the ring finger, one coat over polish on the pinkie finger.)

It applies with dense silver glitter and dries quickly. Burberry says their polishes dries in 2 minutes and hardens completely in 6 1/2, which is oddly specific, but I’m into it. I would urge you to try one of their standard nail polishes at that price, however, because they’re stellar–not YSL good, but a big step up from the likes of Essie and OPI. Glitters are easy, but Burberry does a great job of deep shades like Elderberry, and of obscure ones like Sage Green.

I tried my best to run around with Silver Glitter on my nails for a weekend, but I just couldn’t do it. Finger nail polish, no matter how gorgeous, drives me nuts! It did make me feel very festive, though… or maybe that was all the rum and eggnog.

What are you loving from the Fall/Winter 2016 Burberry makeup collection?

Keep reading! »

Shu Uemura x Maison Kitsuné collection reviews, swatches, photos

Friday, March 4, 2016

Maison Kitsune for Shu Uemura Beauty Remix Smokey Eye and Cheek Palette review Indigo Plum

The collection: Shu Uemura x Maison Kitsuné (Holiday 2015) including the Beauty Remix Smokey Eye & Cheek Palettes in Indigo and Plum, and the Laque Sparklers in Fleur Shine, Persimmon Glow, and Plum Shimmer

Today’s review is a bit of a phone-in, because there are so many gorgeous products that I want to share with you guys, but I don’t want this post to get too long. It has a lot of gold and a lot of glitz, though, so I hope you enjoy!

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To begin, I found some swatches of the Shu Uemura x Maison Kitsuné Beauty Remix Smokey Eye & Cheek Palettes ($85 CAD) on my camera that I had totally forgotten about, and I just had to clean them up and post them. I wore both the Indigo Beauty Remix Palette and Plum Beauty Remix Palette in this makeup look, but honestly… I don’t think these ones are worth the $85.

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Maison Kitsuné for Shu Uemura Indigo Beauty Remix Palette swatches

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Maison Kitsuné for Shu Uemura Plum Beauty Remix Palette swatches

I really appreciate that the cost of these palettes hasn’t gone up in the past few years, but at $85, I just don’t think these two are worth the price. Both of them are still really well-formulated (Shu Uemura never disappoints), but there are four iridescent/glitter shades per palette, and they’re all pretty much interchangeable. They look different swatched, but when applied, the effect is very much the same.

All Shu Uemura palettes are priced as luxury items, but most of the time, you know what you’re getting. The neutral shu:palette, for instance, is $105 CAD, but it’s worth every penny. It has a great range of beautifully pigmented colours, and there’s only one glitter shade, so you’re paying for 16 eyeshadows and actually getting all 16.

shu maison kitsune taupe plum remix review swatches

I’m obsessed with this purple from the Plum palette, though. What a beauty!

shu maison kitsune laque sparkler review fleur shine

While I was testing the Shu’s holiday collection, I surprised myself by falling in love with Fleur Shine, a limited edition  Maison Kitsuné for Shu Uemura Laque Sparkler ($35 CAD) shade.

The Sparklers wore more evenly on me than their shimmer-free counterparts, and Shu actually managed to achieve a wet look with this shimmer — which is a difficult feat! Fleur Shine is hydrating and easy to wear, and it like the rest of the Laque Sparklers, it’s softly floral-scented and lasts for about three hours before I feel like I need to reapply.

The Sparkler formula is the same as the original (save for the added shimmer), so expect a little bit of staining from them. It has a thick, comfortable gloss finish that keeps your lip colour & glitter in place.

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Maison Kitsuné for Shu Uemura Laque Sparkler in Fleur Shine swatched

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Maison Kitsuné for Shu Uemura Nail Laquers in Plum Glitz and Indigo Glitz

If you’re a fan of Maison Kitsuné, I think the Shu x Maison Kitsuné Party Mixer Glitz Nail Enamels ($25 CAD) are worth checking out, too. I have both Plum Glitz and Indigo Glitz, and they are beautiful — dimensional and really eye-catching, with the most adorable fox decals on the packaging!

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Additional photos & more »

Lise Watier Expression swatches, reviews, photos | Spring 2015

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Lise Watier Palette Expression eyeshadow packaging

The products: Lise Watier Expression collection (Spring 2015)

This year, Lise Watier’s spring collection has been crafted around the idea of “creativity, spontaneity, and individuality” — and so, for today’s review, I’m going to try something ever so slightly different and just kind of… chat about these products. (Let me know if you prefer this format drastically more or something!)

The must-have product

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liked a lot of the pieces from this collection, but I loved the Lise Watier Féline Eyeliner HD in Vert ($20 CAD; new shade). I am obsessed with this product — if you buy nothing else from Lise Watier all year, make sure you get this eyeliner.

The Féline Eyeliner HD formula wears really well (which surprised me, based on how easily the black version smudges on your hand), and the long, stiff felt tip makes it easy to get a steady, insanely saturated line. Plus, that green!!

Lise Watier Vert Eyeliner Feline HD

Lise Watier Féline Eyeliner HD in Vert (swatch/wearing)

The nice-to-haves

As always, I was a big fan of the Lise Watier Ombre Soufflé Suprême eyeshadow; this time in Fairy Pink ($24 CAD; new shade). The Ombre Soufflé Suprême formula is very bouncy and wet, with a very high-shine finish — this one glows cotton-candy pink in the light, but wears as a sheer, peachy gold straight-on.

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Lise Watier Ombre Soufflé Suprême in Fairy Pink

Lise Watier Palette Expression eyeshadow review swatches

Lise Watier Palette Expression Eyeshadows

I also really liked the Lise Watier Palette Expression Eyeshadows ($42 CAD), a palette that you can see worn here with Fairy Pink, Vert, and the grey Expression pencil. It’s not of breathtaking quality (the matte, pastel peach and mint need to be layered quite a bit), but it’s still very pretty — and the shades work together beautifully.

If you really like mint green, I’d say pick up the Palette Expression. Matte mint greens are a dime a dozen, but they’re usually terrible — and this one isn’t. Like, yeah, you have to layer it some, but unlike most, it actually shows up (and sticks around)!

Lise Watier Expression Eyeshadow Palette swatches review

Lise Watier Palette Expression Eyeshadows swatched on lightly primed skin

Keep reading! »

Sally Hansen Miracle Gel Sugar Fix, Top Coat review, swatches | A look at lampless gel polishes

Monday, November 3, 2014

Sally Hansen Miracle Gel no lamp nail polish review

The product: Sally Hansen Miracle Gel Polish in Sugar Fix and Top Coat

The promise: This summer, Sally Hansen announced that they had solved the Big Question — of the nail world, that is. How do you get the wear time and look of gel nails, but without a trip to the salon?

The new Miracle Gel system promises to be the answer, delivering up to 14 days of wear and a gel that cures using natural light (there’s a photoinitiator in the top coat), no lamp necessary. It’s a two-step polish-and-top-coat process, but the polishes are available in a whopping 45 shades, and the system promises soak-free removal with acetone-based or even acetone-free nail polish remover.

So now the question is… does it work?

Sally Hansen Miracle Gel Sugar Fix

Sally Hansen Miracle Gel Polish – Sugar Fix review

The polish: I tested Sugar Fix for this review, a milky, vibrant light blue. It’s a cream finish shade (and unfortunately I haven’t tried any metallics or shimmers from the line), but even considering this, it was pretty underwhelming. The formula is extremely thin, needing four coats to even come close to opacity, and even then I find that it goes a bit streaky unless you’re careful.

The top coat: Despite this, though, I actually really enjoyed using the Miracle Gel Top Coat! It applies smoothly and quite thickly, immediately giving a very “gel” look to the nail. I find that it goes on without disturbing the polish at all, but like any good top coat, it also makes your colour look instantly smoother — which is perfect for someone who gives as shoddy a manicure as I do.

Sally Hansen Miracle Gel Sugar Fix review swatches

Sally Hansen Miracle Gel Polish in Sugar Fix swatch (four coats)

Sally Hansen OMGel nail polish review

Sally Hansen Miracle Gel polish in Sugar Fix: 1, 2, 3, and 4 coats (L-R)

The wear: I actually tested these twice: first, I had a friend try out the system for me, and then I repeated it on my own. She saw barely 24 hours of wear before her polish began to form little cracks throughout, but I’m told that this could be because she used a base coat — so, if you give this system a try, NO BASE COAT! None!

When I used this set, however, I saw about 2 1/2 weeks of wear on my pedicure with no chipping, wearing, or cracking… in either the Miracle Gel polish or my control group nails. Once they did wear, I noticed the following things:

(1) There was no difference in wear between Sally Hansen’s Miracle Gel polish and their Complete Salon Manicure polish,

(2) The Miracle Gel Top Coat presented no chipping over three weeks (dude) but did develop tip wear near the end,

(3) The Sally Hansen Hard as Nails Top Coat nails lasted the longer than the Miracle Gel Top Coat nails by a day, but then showed major chipping.

Sally Hansen Miracle Gel Top Coat

Sally Hansen Miracle Gel Top Coat review

The verdict?

This is the most rigorously I have ever tested a product (what? I really wanted it to work), so it is with reasonable confidence that I can say: don’t buy into marketing hype. The Miracle Gel system is, in my opinion, not worth investing in at $20/duo… but that includes the polishes.

The Miracle Gel Top Coat, however, is a different story. It delivered on its promise of durability and a gel-like look, and though I did see tip wear, it came with zero chipping and super easy removal. If you do like the look of gel nails and want a top coat that will wear well (caveat: but not as well as a true gel manicure), I’d say get the Miracle Gel Top Coat, but skip the polishes. 

Availability: $8.95 USD/$10.95 CAD each, for both the polishes and top coat.

Keep reading! »

Clinique A Different Nail Enamel swatches, review, photos

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Clinique A Different Nail Enamel review swatches

L-R: Clinique Base & Top Coat, Call My Bluff, Sweet Tooth, Really Rio, Red Red Red, and Concrete Jungle

The product: Clinique A Different Nail Enamel for Sensitive Skins

   ↳ Base and Top Coat, 01 Call My Bluff, 02 Sweet Tooth, 05 Really Rio, 07 Red Red Red, and 11 Concrete Jungle

I can’t remember how I came by these particular shades. I think (it’s been a while) that my press contact at Clinique picked out some of her favourites and sent them over, maybe? Because they’re not the same set of shades that went out in the wide release, but they’re perfect.

So, if I’m right — thank you. I can’t take the credit for this selection of shades, but you guys, I kid you not, they embody summer! so strongly to me that I just can’t look away.

Clinique Red Red Red review swatch

Clinique A Different Nail Enamel in Red Red Red

The formula: Unfortunately (or maybe fortunately?), how well these nail polishes go on seems to be dependent on the shade. The first two I tried were Really Rio and Concrete Jungle, an entire year ago, and I was so unimpressed and confused by them that I back-burnered this post altogether.

Then, a week ago, I decided to swatch Sweet Tooth out of the blue. And it was awesome. And I kept going, from Call My Bluff to Red Red Red, and just kept being blown away.

(And then I tried Concrete Jungle again and whoops, nope, not going there.)

Clinique Sweet Tooth Concrete Jungle swatches

Clinique Sweet Tooth (1, 3 coats), Clinique Concrete Jungle (1, 3 coats)

Sweet Tooth, Call My Bluff, and the AWESOME Red Red Red

To start off, here are three great nail shades from Clinique: starting with the super-sheer Sweet Tooth and Call My Bluff, which I’m going to come right out and say would be great Dior Nail Glow alternatives. They apply really easily (and evenly), and coat the nail with just a hint of colour — the perfect amount to whiten the white part of your nail & brighten the nail bed.

Clinique Call My Bluff swatch review

Clinique Call My Bluff swatch

Unlike Dior’s Nail Glow, however, Clinique makes two shades to suit a wider range of skintones — and both give a more natural look than Dior’s. For skintones with yellow or olive undertones, try Call My Bluff; for skintones with a lot of pink or peach, try Sweet Tooth. Alternately, choose the whiter Call My Bluff for more of a whitening effect on the free edge of the nail (think a subtle French manicure), and Sweet Tooth to focus on brightening the nail bed.

Dior Nail Glow dupe Clinique Sweet Tooth

Clinique Sweet Tooth swatch (1 coat on index finger, 3 coats on middle finger)

Clinique Sweet Tooth, Red swatch

Bare nail, Clinique Sweet Tooth, Clinique Red Red Red (3 coats, 1 coat)

And to finish up this category of super awesome Clinique nail shades? Clinique Red Red Red, the very best of the bunch. Summer-bright and deliciously vivid, it is hands-down the best red nail polish I’ve tried so far, applying evenly and with the perfect red-yellow-blue balance.

Red Red Red is just shy of opaque at three coats, but I’d actually call it a two-coater. While I’d normally have a problem with anything short of full opacity, it actually works in this particular shade’s favour, creating a really lighthearted almost-jelly finish rather than a super-serious red.

Clinique Red Red Red swatch A Different Nail Enamel

Clinique Red Red Red swatched (3 coats, 1 coat)

Really Rio and Concrete Jungle

These shades are gorgeous, but application-wise, I just couldn’t figure them out. They applied a lot like Essie polishes, if you have any experience with those: some people seem to be able to work magic with them, but for the rest of us, each gorgeous shade after the next applies kind of lumpily. Not even just in streaks, but… lumps.

No one wants lumpy space princess nails, so give these two a pass unless you can pull off Essie-style formulas and brushes with grace!

(Seriously, though. Really Rio would have been such a great, beachy summer shade in a smoother formula.)

Clinique Really Rio Nail Varnish swatch

Clinique A Different Nail Enamel in Really Rio, swatched

The verdict?

If you love bright nails or reds, you need Red Red Red in your life. I don’t know how Clinique did it, but they absolutely killed it with the shade — it’s not super opaque, but it’s one of the most fun, bright shades I’ve ever laid eyes on — without coming off as childish at all.

Aside from Red Red Red, I’d also totally recommend either Sweet Tooth or Call My Bluff for that perfect natural-but-better nail. You don’t need both, but I’d definitely pick up one of them for when you need a super fast, super easy natural nail!

Availability: $12.50 USD/$16 CAD at Clinique (US), Sephora, and Nordstrom, as well as Clinique counters.

Keep reading! »

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