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!

Pur Minerals Double Ego Liner, Eye Polish, Wake Up Brow, & Volume Vixen Mascara review, swatches

Friday, January 15, 2016

Pur Minerals makeup review

The products: Pür Minerals Double Ego Dual-Ended Eyeliner in Milan, Wake Up Brow in Hello Bright Eyes and Espresso, Volume Vixen 4-in-1 Mascara, and Eye Polish Eye Base + Top Coat in Satin

It’s no secret that I’ve fallen hard for Pür Minerals, so here are four (yes, four!) more mini-reviews of Pür products that I’m loving. I hope you guys are all having an awesome Friday so far!

Pur Minerals Double Ego Eyeliner review

Double Ego Dual-Ended Eyeliner ($21 USD/$23 CAD)

All of my favourite pen liners come only in black, but Pür’s Double Ego Eyeliner Liquid/Pencil 2-in-1 Liner comes in a ton of shades — everything from violet to jewel-toned teal. The Double Ego liners come with a short, stiff brush tip on one end and a creamy mineral pencil on the other. 

I really love the formula and opacity of the liquid liner half (I can easily get 15+ hours of flawless wear from it), but I think the applicator itself is a little too hard. It can draw super precise lines, but the stiffness also pushes up on my eyelid and draws in little folds!

As much as I love the liquid end, though (I think it’s actually the best pen liner that I own), I think I’d pass on these pens — the pencil liner smudged within three hours on my lids, and I just couldn’t get quite enough intensity from it.

Pur Minerals Wake Up Brow Brunette review

Wake Up Brow ($24 USD/$23 CAD)

Pür’s Wake Up Brow Dual-Ended Brow Pencil is, like the double-ended liners, kind of hard — but I love it.

The Espresso end of this pencil makes it easy to draw in super-sharp brows (if you’re seeing too many hard lines, the brow brush on the other end blends this formula out perfectly), and the glowy, pink Hello Bright Eyes end adds noticeable lift to the brows and inner eye.

My only warning? Pür doesn’t do any really cool-toned browns, so skip this one if you’re really worried about your brows looking too warm!

Pur Minerals Eye Polish Satin swatches, liner, brow, Mystic

Pür Minerals swatches: Eye Polish in Satin, Double Ego Eyeliner in Milan (liquid/pencil), Wake Up Brow in Hello Bright Eyes/Espresso, and Lip Lure in Mystic.

Pur Minerals Volume Vixen Mascara review

Volume Vixen Mascara ($21 USD/$23 CAD)

Okay. So the two products above are great but still skipable for some… But you NEED these next two.

The Pür Minerals Volume Vixen 4-in-1 Mascara with Keratin is perfect. It makes my lashes look super long, holds a curl like that’s its only job, and wears like it’s a freaking tubing mascara — all while feeling soft to the touch. 

The brush is awesome, too, with clumped nylon bristles (perfect for feathery separation) and a very slightly flat cross-section that holds just right amount of product every time.

Pur Minerals Eye Polish Satin review

Eye Polish ($26 USD/$32 CAD)

Aaaand last but not least, the AWESOME new Pür Minerals Eye Polish Eye Base and Top Coat in Satin.

This suff, ladies and gentlemen, is the shit. Its novel liquid-cushion format (think Stila liquid liners) is designed to be applied with a silicone paddle applicator (included in the price), and the pairing is just perfect. The silicone applicator is easy to use, and the formula blends out and sets like a dream.

I never end up with too much product with these (the brush picks up very little, which is exactly what you need), and the formula wears well — about nine hours with very light creasing, which is eight hours more than my lids usually get out of a potted eyeshadow!

I’ve been wearing this eyeshadow pretty much non-stop since December, and I would absolutely recommend it. It’s a little pricier than I’d like, but for the unique formula and considering how little you need, I think it’s worth it.

pur minerals eye polish nude swatch review

Wearing Pür Minerals Eye Polish in Satin, Volume Vixen Mascara, and Double Ego Liquid Eyeliner in Milan.

Pur Minerals Eye Polish review swatches

The verdict?

You guys, you *need* to try the new Pür Minerals Eye Polish line. They’re easy to apply, they wear really well, and (don’t pretend this isn’t a factor) they’re like, super cool.

I would also definitely recommend the Volume Vixen mascara (especially if you have trouble finding mascaras that won’t smudge on you), and the coffee-named Wake Up Brow and Double Ego liners are great — although they’re not a must-have, if you ask me!

Availability: Available at Pür Minerals, Shoppers Drug Mart, and Ulta.

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! »

Maison Kitsuné for Shu Uemura 24k Gold Eyelash Curler review | Pretties you need!

Thursday, January 7, 2016

shu uemura gold eyelash curler

I’m in the midst of covering the Maison Kitsuné x Shu Uemura holiday collection right now, but I had to take a moment for this: a 24K gold-plated version of the brand’s iconic eyelash curler! 

Normally, I’d group this in with a bunch of other reviews but I had to get this post up fast. Why? The curler is limited edition, and it’s almost 100% sold out. 

Maison Kitsune Shu Uemura 24k gold eyelash curler review

maison kitsune shu uemura gold eyelash curler

Shu Maison Kitsune Beauty Remix Plum palette EOTD

Lashes curled with the Shu Uemura gold lash curler!

If you’re not familiar with Shu’s eyelash curler yet, you can get chummy with it in my full review here. I find that Shu Uemura curlers have a fairly prominent curve to their design with a very narrow vertical opening, and require a lot of pressure to crimp your lashes.

So, while I never reach for my Shu curlers when I’m in a hurry, I do tend to use them for makeup looks or nights out. It’s really easy to control how much curl you’re getting with these, and I find that the design lends itself well to a very doe-eyed lash look — my lashes always end up nicely curled (never crimped!), with even vertical lift delivered to each lash.

shu uemura gold eyelash curler review

The verdict?

If you’ve been holding out on trying a Shu Uemura Eyelash Curler, now’s the time to get one! They’re extremely sturdy tools, and available in gold only sporadically (usually during the holidays).

I would not recommend this curler if you have arthritis or other problems with your hands, but for an even, eye-opening curl, Shu’s eyelash curlers are a great tool to have in your beauty kit. They’re a great way to prevent over-crimping, so if you find that you tend to be too heavy-handed with your beauty tools, this should make curling your eyelashes a lot easier!

Availability: $24 CAD (as much as a regular Shu Uemura curler) at shuuemura.ca, Holt Renfrew, and select Sephora, Nordstrom and Hudson’s Bay locations.

Keep reading! »

Bio Beaute Flash Perfection review, swatches | A NYE-ready review!

Thursday, December 31, 2015

Silicone-free Flash Perfection review

The product: Bio Beauté by Nuxe Flash Perfection Beautifying Serum

OH GOD IT’S THE LAST DAY OF 2015 I CAN’T HANDLE THIS HELP ME

Happy New Year’s Eve, readers! How are your holidays going?

I wasn’t really feeling a NYE makeup look this year, so I have a different New Year’s themed post for you instead: a review of this neat little Flash Perfection serum by Bio Beauté. It sounds pretty New Years Eve party-ish, right? Flawless and instant and, most importantly, luminous?

Bio Beaute Beautifying Serum review.jpg

What’s in it: This new Bio Beauté by Nuxe serum (well, not-so-new if you’re in France; I think it launched in the spring for all of you lucky ducks) is silicone-free and certified organic, and it’s lightly scented with a 100% natural rose, freesia, and raspberry fragrance. (I had to read the press release for that info — it honestly doesn’t really have much of a scent.)

What’s nifty about this serum, though, is that like products such as Deciem’s Photography Foundation and Neutrogena’s Instant Tone Corrector, it’s designed to blur out imperfections with “chameleon nacres” — basically, a light nude/peachy tint and delicate micro shimmer that instantly makes all skin tones look better.

Nuxe Flash Perfection serum swatch

But does it work? Sadly, on my skin… Not so much. It does make my skin look lovely and glowy, but it’s subtle. I was hoping Bio Beauté’s Flash Perfection would be a great pre-party product (perfect for things like New Years) because of, you know, the name, but it’s more of a lightly luminizing long term product for me. It’s still a nice serum, but didn’t really deliver on the flash!

On a dark or medium skin tone, I think you’d see more of an effect, but I don’t find myself reaching for this when I need a quick fix.

Bio Beaute By Nuxe Flash Perfection review.jpg

The verdict?

Sadly, Bio Beauté’s Flash Perfection Radiance Beautifying Serum wasn’t what I wanted it to be. It was a close thing, though — it does instantly make my skin look more luminous and smooth, but no more so than a great facial mist would have. 

However, I do think there’s a small group of people who would LOVE this product. If you really like the idea of those “instant complexion booster”-type products BUT you want something that’s (a) silicone-free or (b) truly invisible under a macro lens, this is going to be your jam. The trade-off will be that it won’t give you major results at a distance, though, so I think this one is best used daily for long-term luminosity instead! 

Availability: $37 CAD at select Shopper’s Drug Mart boutiques in Canada. (Should be available at the Beauty Boutique soon!)

Keep reading!

Pür Minerals 4-in-1 Pressed Mineral Makeup SPF 15 review, swatches, photos | Porcelain vs Fair

Monday, December 28, 2015

Pur Minerals 4 in 1 fair review swatches

Pür Minerals 4-in-1 in Fair

The product: Pür Minerals 4-in-1 Pressed Mineral Makeup Borad Spectrum SPF 15 foundation in Porcelain 

Note: These images look a little off in Chrome. To get a really good idea of what these foundation shades look like, please view this post in a different browser!

According to my editorial calendar, I’m supposed to be writing about my 2015 favourites right now. And I am, technically, but my favourites roundup is going to have to wait just one more day, because this stuff? This stuff is too good for me to not blog about for even just one more minute.

The newly-reformulated Pür Minerals 4-in-1 foundation is, to put it simply, my favourite product of the year. 

Pur Minerals 4 in 1 pressed mineral makeup review

Pur Minerals 4-in-1 Pressed Mineral Makeup SPF 15 in Porcelain

The formula: I’ve never found a powder foundation that has been just right for me before, so Pür Mineral’s 4-in-1 is kind of like my unicorn product. It kicks up a lot of dust when you pick up product, which is my only complaint about the formula, but it’s lovely — it has just the right amount of medium coverage, and its skin-like satin finish both looks and feels like you’re wearing almost nothing at all.

Pür Minerals’ 4-in-1 foundation is the kind of product that’s so good that it seems almost boring, but where it differs from other powder foundations is where it really shines. (Jayne went through a whopping three pans of the original 4-in-1, which I think really says something about how great it is!!)

I tried both Porcelain and Fair for this review, and weirdly enough, the formula is different for Porcelain vs. the rest of the line. Both formulas wear very well, in my opinion, but I did find that Fair oxidized a bit on me after about an hour!

Pur Minerals foundation review

Pur Minerals 4-in-1 Pressed Mineral Makeup SPF 15 in Porcelain Pur Minerals Porcelain vs Fair review swatches

Pur Minerals 4-in-1 Pressed Mineral Makeup SPF 15 in Porcelain (L) and Fair (R)

What makes the 4-in-1 so special: My #1 pet peeve with foundations of any kind is that they can apply just fine, but then feel almost gritty by midday–sort of like a sunscreen, you know? Where they look fine, but if you touch your face with your hands, it feels dirty.

The Pür powder foundation feels velvety from application to removal, though, and the range runs really light — Porcelain is a perfect match for my skintone (I can even use a dense brush with it to apply as concealer), meaning it runs lighter than even the Make Up For Ever foundation range.

(MAC, unfortunately, don’t offer any silicone-free foundations, and mineral lines like Bare Escentuals would need to add another 1-2 light shades before I could find a match.)

Pur Minerals 4 in 1 powder porcelain, fair swatches review

Pur Minerals 4-in-1 Pressed Mineral Makeup SPF 15 swatched: Porcelain, Fair

How I apply: I’ve been applying my 4-in-1 Pressed Mineral Powder with the line’s Chisel Foundation Brush, but the brush is a little rough. Application is a breeze, though (I can finish my entire face in under 60 seconds), and if I want a completely invisible finish, all I have to do is spritz my face with one of my MIYU Beauty Essences and let it dry.

Pür Minerals is launching a number of new brushes in March (you heard it here first!) including a really soft-looking powder foundation brush, but I would love to hear your brush recommendations in the meantime!!

Pur Minerals Pressed Mineral Makeup foundation review

Pur Minerals 4-in-1 Pressed Mineral Makeup SPF 15 in Porcelain, Fair

The verdict?

I’ve never really fallen in love with a foundation before. I’ve liked products (timeBalm and Sensual Skin Enhancer come to mind), but this–this is a whole other level.

The Pür Minerals 4-in-1 Pressed Mineral Makeup really does make me look like I’ve applied a flawless layer of foundation, concealer, and powder in under a minute (I’ve timed it), and it comes with unnoticeable SPF 15 (thanks to weightless titanium dioxide) and a silicone-, fragrance-, and paraben-free formula. 

I wish that this was a little less than $32, of course, but for the perfect shade, formula, and packaging, I’m willing to pay it!

Availability: $28 USD/$32 CAD at Shopper’s Drug Mart (and online at their Beauty Boutique!), Ulta, Beauty.com, and Pür Minerals.

Keep reading! »

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