Hourglass Arch Brow Sculpting Pencil in Ash review, swatches, photos

Monday, September 21, 2015

Hourglass Arch Brow Pencil Ash review tip

The product: Hourglass Arch Brow Sculpting Pencil in Ash

I’ve tried a lot of brow products this year, but the prettiest by far has been the Hourglass Arch Brow Sculpting Pencil. The brand recently launched a few more shades (for a total of nine), including one that caught my attention: Ash, a cool-toned grey that’s perfect for those with dark hair and cool-toned skin.

Hourglass Arch Brow Pencil review box

Ash grey cool brow filler review - Hourglass Arch Brow Pencil Ash

Great for: The Arch Brow Sculpting Pencils feature a wide, angled, triangular pencil tip one end, and a spoolie to groom the brows on the other. Together, the two work to create the perfect, super-full brow in under two minutes–think Cara Delevingne brows; bushy and full.

The formula of the pencil is soft but waxy, which is ideal for on-the-go but (in my opinion) doesn’t lend itself particularly well to that really sharp, crisp Instagram brow. I don’t think that this is necessarily a bad thing, but it’s something to keep in mind if you’re not a fan of the “wild” look that’s all over runways and magazines right now!

Hourglass Arch Brow Pencil Ash swatch review

Hourglass Arch Brow Sculpting Pencil in Ash swatched

Grey eyebrow pencil review - Hourglass Ash

Hourglass Arch Brow Sculpting Pencil review

The formula and shade: The formula of the Arch Brow Pencils said to “combine the benefits and technique of a powder, pencil, and wax,” which sounds like marketing-speak to me, but I do like it. It’s soft and very easy to blend, giving the diffused look of a powder but with the expediency of a pencil.

I find that the Arch Brow Sculpting Pencil gives me the fullest (and fastest) brow look of any of the brow pencils or powders that I own, and the colour stays in place all day long. Ash is a great shade for me; it looks grey in the tube, but on my skin, I find that it looks like a very natural, cool dark brown. True to its name, it’s quite an ashy shade, and it’s an excellent choice if you find that most brow products look way too red on you.

Hourglass Arch Brow Sculpting Pencil review Ash

The price per ounce: I flinched at the$32 USD/$37 CAD price tag of the Arch Brow Sculpting Pencils, but after doing a price-per-oz breakdown out of curiosity, I feel quite a bit better about it.

Of the angled brow pencils that I looked at, the Hourglass pencil was actually the cheapest per oz by a wide margin. It contains way more product than most twist-up brow pencils, so if you’re looking for a single workhorse product to add to your kit, the Arch pencils are actually a very economical option!

  • Hourglass Arch Brow Sculpting Pencil (0.014 oz/$32 USD) = $2286 per ounce
  • Anastasia Brow Wiz (0.003 oz/$21 USD) = $8000 per ounce *not an angled pencil; just added to serve as a popular comparison!
  • Smashbox Brow Tech to Go (0.007 oz/$28 USD) = $4000 per ounce
  • Bobbi Brown Perfectly Defined Long-Wear Brow Pencil (0.01 oz/$42 USD) = $4200 per ounce

Hourglass brow pencil filler review

The verdict?

I wasn’t expecting to, but over the past few weeks, I’ve become very fond of the Hourglass Arch Brow Sculpting Pencils. Ash is a great match for my skintone/hair colour, and it looks very natural on me — even if I just sort of scribble the pencil into each brow and blend by mussing up the product with the brow spoolie.

I like my brows quite understated, so I have to be careful with the Arch brow pencils. For those who like a full brow, though, I would very much recommend these! They’re gorgeously packaged, very economical per oz, and blend and wear beautifully. 

Availability: $32 USD/$37 CAD at Sephora.

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Clinique Chubby Lash Fattening Mascara review, swatches, photos

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Clinique Chubby Lash Fattening Mascara review

The product: Clinique Chubby Lash Fattening Mascara in 01 Jumbo Jet, 02 Portly Plum, and 04 Massive Midnight

The collection that I have, without a doubt, fallen the most in love with this fall is Clinique’s. Usually, when I’m testing makeup products, I really go at it for about a week and then let them fall by the wayside as the next big thing comes along. But with these Clinique launches…

I mean. I’ve had these mascaras since July, and I’m still wearing them almost every single day this September. In the words of ’90s Posh Spice, they are major.

Clinique massive midnight chubby mascara swatch review

The shades: The new Chubby Lash mascaras are currently available in a few different shades, depending on where you are. If you’re at Nordstrom, for instance, you can pick up Jumbo Jet (black), Massive Midnight (blue), and Two Ton Teal — but if you’re at a Sephora, you have at your disposal Jumbo Jet and Portly Plum (eggplant).

I’ve tried this mascara in black, blue, and eggplant, and I love them ALL — but Massive Midnight is by far my favourite. It’s a beautiful royal blue that shows up even on my black lashes, and it’s perfectly done: in some lighting conditions, my lashes just look black; in others, the blue is so evident that I can see it in the mirror from a meter away.

Clinique Portly Plum Chubby Lash Mascara swatch

Clinique Chubby Lash Fattening Mascara in Portly Plum (1 coat, plus the Pretty Easy liquid liner)

Clinique Chubby Lash mascara swatches midnight eggplant

Clinique Chubby Lash Fattening Mascara swatches (L-R): 04 Massive Midnight, 02 Portly Plum, 01 Jumbo Jet

The formula: If the allure of perfectly-tinted lashes wasn’t enough, Clinique hit it out of the ballpark with the Chubby Lash formula and packaging, too. These feature a chubby silicone brush tipped all around with short, thin bristles, and they really deliver.

All three of these mascaras give me completely clump-free, voluminous lashes, and the formula holds a curl well. They wear for a good 10-12 hours (!!!) without dropping the curl, flaking, or smudging, and give me results that are extremely similar to the Charlotte Tilbury mascara ($29 USDat a fraction of the price.

Clinique Massive Midnight Chubby Lash Fattening Mascara swatches review Clinique Portly Plum chubby mascara swatch review

The verdict?

For once, I can’t think of a single way that I could improve these mascaras — and that’s saying something. They’re well-priced, come in a beautiful range of colours, and deliver a voluminous, clump-free lash that wears for 12 hours with zero smudging.

These are some of the best mascaras that I’ve ever tried, and I think it’ll be a good, long time before something replaces them as my favourite!

Availability: $17 USD/$20 CAD at Sephora, Nordstrom, and Clinique. New permanent items, available in different shades depending on where you buy from!

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L’Amourose Rosa Rouge Rechargeable Heated G-Spot Vibrator review | Incredibly chic temperature play

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

L'Amourose Rosa Rouge Rechargeable Heated G-Spot Vibrator review photos

The product: L’Amourose Rosa Rouge Rechargeable Heated G-Spot Vibrator

It’s been a while since theNotice’s last toy feature. Missed the last couple? Check them out here! { Je Joue Uma G-Spot Vibrator / We-Vibe 4 and Tango }

L’Amourose’s Rosa Rouge is, I think I can fairly say, a vibrator like no other vibrator that you’ve ever tried before. Its shape, design, and heating element (yes, you heard that right) are entirely without compare, and the not-so-hidden tech geek in me gets a little thrill every time I pull this one out.

L'Amourose Rosa Rouge Rechargeable Heated G-Spot Vibrator

The Rouge difference: What makes the L’Amourose Rosa Rouge so utterly unique is that it’s a heated toy. As in, “designed to heat to a perfect 42 degrees Celsius,” (104 – 107˚F) which is a far cry from the usual, “accidentally heats up sometimes during use,” seen in most vibrators.

An upgraded version of the brand’s un-heated Rosa vibrator–which is otherwise identical–the Rosa Rouge maintains a steady 40-42˚C (normal internal body temp is about 37 degrees), warming up within a minute to skin temperature and reaching its final, toasty destination within 4 minutes.

L'Amourose Rosa Rouge Rechargeable Vibrator review photos

Temperature play: The warmth of the Rosa is focused on the g-spot ridge and is limited to the insertable portion, leaving the base only barely warmed no matter how long it runs for — which I think is quite a shame, because temperature play is typically most effective at skin level.

That said, however, the Rosa is lovely both in and externally. (I guess 42 really is the answer to life, the universe, and everything.) For those who have never experienced temperature play, I would absolutely urge you to! For me, warm objects feel like satisfaction–not even sexual satisfaction, but like… that feeling you get when you step into a hot shower on a cold day; that’s just calm and quiet and good. Like a little moment outside of time, or a really great massage facial totally above-board spa treatment.

L'Amourose Rosa vibrator review photos

The motor and settings: Umpfgh. Oh my god. You guys, the motor on this thing is so rumbly — like, MiMi Soft levels of rumbly, but without the rattling. It’s a constant, demure ruh-ruh-ruh, and it goes up HIGH, too: L’Amourose has tricked this baby out with a whopping 12 speeds and 9 vibrating modes. 

And y’know what? I’m usually a pattern-hater, but I have to give L’Amourose credit for these ones. They let you use only the internal or only the external motor (yup, this vibrator has two motors; it’s that high-tech), alternate between the two, or slide from one to the other in a slow, hypnotic transition.

The motors totally aren’t “whisper-quiet” as promised, but they’re still very quiet. Despite this being one of the most powerful vibrators I own, it’s near-silent under a blanket!

L'Amourose Rosa Rouge G-Spot Vibrator review charging dock

The design: Apart from a super-sexy, gemlike silhouette, the Rosa Rouge is equipped with all the good stuff, too. It’s made from silicone and ABS plastic (for the shiny, multifaceted base), is fully waterproof, charges by simply sitting on its pedestal (LITERALLY A PEDESTAL), and has a battery that’ll last for 3 hours at medium speed on a 2 hour charge. 

What makes the Rosa design truly brilliant, however, is the fact that, once inserted, it’s basically a hands-free toy. It pairs well with clit vibes like the We-Vibe Tango, but it stays in place easily on its own, too.

And, finally, in terms of its g-spot design, I find the Rosa Rouge to have quite an intense curve to it. The flexible shaft keeps things relaxed, however, so no matter how filling it may be, the Rosa’s shape is never bruising or sharp. I find that it’s best used in a nudging/rocking motion (like the Tex), and if I pair it with the Tango, I can get off in an unbelievably short timeframe–the two together are a dirty, efficient, mind-blowing dream.

L'Amourose review photos

The verdict?

As a big fan of rumbly vibrations and temperature play, I can’t not recommend the L’Amourose Rosa Rouge. It’s an absolutely beautiful piece of technology, covered in velvety-soft silicone, and it is by far my favourite internal vibrator.

At 4.5″ insertable and 1.5″ around, the Rosa Rouge is something of a work of art. It’s not something that I reach for all the time and it’s not a toy designed for thrusting, but when I feel like I’ve been very, very good, the Rosa Rouge makes me feel simultaneously like a princess and an–actually, nope, it pretty much just makes me feel like a princess.

So… my final recommendations. A $240 toy isn’t feasible for all of us (I was lucky enough to have mine given to me by the lovely folks at SheVibe), but the Rosa and Rosa Rouge offer things that other vibrators simply don’t: a comfortable hands-free design, temperature play, and (and!) 3+ hours of near-silent play on a single charge. If you can do it, I say do it.

Availability: $239.99 USD at SheVibe, or $179.99 USD for the non-heated Rosa (currently available at SheVibe in Emerald or Cerise). To help take the sting off of the price tag, L’Amourose pieces come with an 18 month warranty and a lifetime quality guarantee (50% off any replacement piece if yours breaks, even 25 years down the road), as well as a beautiful storage box and a satin-lined velvet pouch.

Keep reading! »

Embryolisse Lait-Crème Concentré review | The BEST primer for dry skin

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Embryolisse Lait Creme Concentre review moisturizer

The product: Embryolisse Lait-Crème Concentré Nourishing Moisturizer

I don’t typically buy products due to hype, but when the Pixiwoo sisters say something is really good… I have a tendency to believe them & buy. (What? Anyone with that much makeup prowess and standards high enough to make my favourite brush range is to be trusted implicitly.)

Net a Porter Embryolisse review

The Lait-Crème magic 

I was pulled to the Embryolisse Lait-Crème Concentré because it was one of the only cult-followed, silicone-free moisturizers that I had left to try, but the real magic (and the thing that pulls most people in) is how brilliantly it works as a primer.

This “milk-cream” formula is the silkiest skincare product I’ve ever tried, and creates a gorgeous, hydrating veil over my dry skin. It does a better job smoothing over my dry patches than even the popular Korres silicone-free primers (available at Beautylish), and multi-functions as a moisturizer and primer in one.

Embryolisse review lait creme concentre

Embryolisse says the Lait-Crème Concentré can be used on all skin types as a moisturizer, makeup remover, mask, after-shave cream, or baby-care product, but I think where it really shines is as a moisturizing primer. I use it on my “bad skin days” and whenever I feel like giving my skin a bit of a treat; with its French pharmacy packaging and subtly perfumed formula, it feels simultaneously utilitarian and luxurious. 

Embryolisse Lait Creme Concentre primer review

The verdict?

Embryolisse’s Lait-Crème Concentré is French pharmacy goodness at its best. I love the silky, glossy texture of this moisturizer, and it is both the best primer I have ever found for dry skin and the best silicone-free primer I’ve ever tried.

To top it all off, the Lait-Crème Concentré is delicately scented and extremely affordable, and currently ships free at both Look Fantastic and Birchbox (US)!

Availability: 30 ml for $16 USD at Net-A-Porter, $20 with free shipping at Look Fantastic (use code LFNEW for 10% off); $16 USD with free shipping at Birchbox; $16 at Beautylish.

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Make Up For Ever Ultra HD (shade Y225=117) foundation photos, launch party

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Make Up For Ever Ultra HD liquid stick foundation range shades

While I was in Toronto this summer, I got to check out a pretty cool new product: the new Make Up For Ever Ultra HD Invisible Cover Foundation ($50 CAD), which launched this July in liquid format, and the Ultra HD Invisible Cover Stick Foundation ($50 CAD), which launches this month.

I wanted to share a really quick little recap of the event, because (a) blogger love!, and (b) the new foundations are pretty darn cool.

Make Up For Ever Ultra HD foundation review, stick foundation

Make Up For Ever Ultra HD liquid & stick/cream foundations

Make Up For Ever Ultra HD steph fun size beauty

I’ll just be over here, pretending to be one of the cool girls… | with Zubie, Steph, and Jenn

Make Up For Ever Ultra HD Amy Bratty B

Amy (who just started Bratty B)! I can’t even put into words how much I love this girl.

Made for use with 4K camera technology, the new Ultra HD foundations are an update on Make Up For Ever’s original HD foundation, which has been the top selling foundation at North American Sephoras since it launched in 2008. (Unfortunately, like the original, both of these foundations contain silicones!)

The key makeup artist at the event demonstrated both of the new “invisible” foundations on his model Ashley, pairing them with the brand’s correcting primers — the translucent Skin Equalizer primer in the centre of the face to reflect and bounce light, plus the yellow primer to add brightness.

UltraHDGeneration launch party

The technology: the new Ultra HD foundations use hyaluronic spheres to make the foundation blend automatically, so the makeup artist at the event recommended a bit of a traditional application method: apply (2 pumps of the liquid is enough for full coverage), let bake, then blend. 

The foundations also include light-diffusing sericite, made to “act like an Instagram filter!” as well as amino acid coated pigments, which blur flaws as they cover. They pair well with the brand’s matte skin equalizer, too: just pat it on top (yes, on top!) of your foundation when you’re finishing up your makeup.

MUFE Ultra HD launch party

The utterly gorgeous Chelle, from Makeup Your Mind

Make Up For Ever Ultra HD Jenn a beautiful zen

Jenn, as in “A Beautiful Zen Jenn”! (The beauty blogging world has more Jenns than we know what to do with.) I’m so sad that this girl isn’t gonna be there the next time I go to TO :(

MUFE Ultra HD Zubie

Zubie is pretty much the coolest cool girl. She basically always (ALWAYS) looks like she’s just fallen out of a photoshoot.

Make Up For Ever Ultra HD foundation 117 y225 review photos

Make Up For Ever Ultra HD Liquid Foundation in Y225 (117 shade match)

The formulas: Make Up For Ever recommends their Ultra HD Liquid Foundation for a natural finish in a lightweight, oil-free formula, and their Ultra HD Stick Foundation for medium-full coverage, touch-ups, and contouring.

The liquid, which is lighter than the original HD liquid, is supposed to be better for normal to oily skin, while the super-smooth stick formula is targeted toward normal to dry skin.

Make Up For Ever Ultra HD stick foundation 117 225 review photos

Make Up For Ever Ultra HD Stick Foundation in Y225 (117 shade match)

Make Up For Ever Ultra HD launch party shades

The shades: The new foundations have a wider shade range than the original, and a new shade numbering system to go with it. I was matched to Y225 Marble (the old 117) in my summer tan, which was the brand’s lightest yellow-based shade… until now.

Y225 is still the lightest shade in the stick foundation, but for the super-pale guys and gals out there, Make Up For Ever now also offers Y215 Yellow Alabaster and Y205 Alabaster in liquid format! (The pink-based equivalents are R210 Pink Alabaster and R220 Pink Porcelain.) The stick foundation will be available in 15 shades, and the Ultra HD liquid is available in a whopping 40 shades

Additional photos & more »

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