A late holiday treat | LUSH Snowcake Soap review, photos

Monday, January 9, 2012

Just a bit of a product ramble for you this morning, rather than a review! (It’s the first Monday of term; who can blame me if I don’t want to work?)

I’ve had a bar of LUSH Snowcake in my bathroom for — weeks, now. It spent most of December (and possibly part of November) in my “to test” box, travelled around from box to box to bowl to table… and finally, finally, weeks too late, I’m ready to review it.

(Tell me I’m not the only one that loves slicing soap.)

The thing about Snowcake is that, at first, I hated it. Hated. I couldn’t stand the way it smelled, with notes of rose, cassis, and benzoin, but I think I know why. It’s not the scent; not at all. It’s the weather.

Edmonton’s been unseasonably warm this winter, and to be honest, it’s rather put me off my usual cold-weather scents. I’m still reaching for my classic, springy Balenciaga Paris Eau de Parfum when I should (based on the time of year) be back in love with my winter favourites – Frederic Malle Musc Ravageur layered with Guerlain Spiritueuse Double Vanille.

(And oh god, don’t even get me started on the obscene price points of those two. Both scents that I adore, but that I doubt I’ll ever own in anything more than small decants.)

Strangely, after sitting in my bathroom for a few weeks, I found myself seeking out the comfortable warmth of Snowcake. It’s a sort of creamy, holiday fragrance, based (according to LUSH) off almond marzipan and rose absolute. They sound like strange notes to be listed together, but — it works.

If you can still get your hands on a bar of Snowcake, and you’re a fan of almondy gourmands, I’d say give it a go. (Oh, and if you can’t find it, perhaps keep an eye out for Smitten, a rich hand cream that features the same scent.)

Keep reading »

Clarins Passion collection review, photos, swatches

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

The products: Clarins Smokey Passion Eye Quartet and Passion Rose Rouge Prodige

Full names; Clarins Ombre Minérale 4 Couleurs Wet & Dry Eye Quartet Mineral Palette in Smokey Passion and Clarins Rouge Prodige True-Hold Colour & Shine Lipstick in Passion Rose. Both these products are limited edition as part of the Clarins Passion collection, Holiday 2011. Sorry for the late posting!

The quad

The Smokey Passion quad features four shades – and they are right up my alley. No kidding; the proof’s in the brackets.

There’s a russet brown (the sort of shade that would fit perfectly into my fall 2011 colour palette), a silver glitter suspended in a creme base (perfect for a glossy eye, if your lids aren’t oily), a classic brown-taupe (and we all know I’m a sucker for a taupe), and finally, there’s a brown-black with gold flecks (and seriously, I’ll sell my right kidney for a flecked brown-black.)

(Wait, before I do: you do have two kidneys, right? Those are the ones you have two of? I always get it wrong, and I don’t want to sell a kidney only to find out that it’s actually your liver that you have two of.)

Photographed under bright fluorescent lighting, to better show the textures and shimmer

Clarins Smokey Passion quartet, swatched & photographed in indirect sunlight

While I really appreciate the inclusion of a new texture in this palette (it’s definitely a refreshing change!), I do have my reserves about the silicone-slippery silver glitter. It’s too chunky to be used as an under the brow product, but not dry enough to use as a base – which keeps it to (a) dry lids, or (b) areas that don’t typically crease, like the inner corner or lower lashline. The effect is gorgeous, though, especially on its own!

See the quad in last week’s Lipstick Bandit feature, or this Monday’s Clarins Passion makeup look. I still haven’t found time to do a darker eye with the palette, but I hope to before the quad disappears from counters for good.

The lipstick

Right off the bat, I thought Passion Rose would be too glittery for me – but, surprisingly, it wasn’t at all! The finish is more like a frost with fine shimmers, and I’ve been getting so much more wear out of it than I’d expected.

Like all Rouge Prodige lipsticks, Passion Rose goes on smoothly, wears off evenly, and carries a light, fruity scent that should honestly be illegal because it smells so tasty and I just want to eat it. In the tube, it appears brown with a slightly pink lean, but swatches (and wears) with a good balance of brown, pink, and gold microshimmer. The effect is pretty without being girly, subdued without being boring, and effortless without being sloppy.

If I’d have been clever, I would have used this lipstick in this monday’s Clarins FOTD. However, I’m not, so you can see it in a look here, instead.

Clarins Passion Rose swatch (applied more heavily on the left)

The verdict?

This year’s Passion collection was a bit of a disappointment for me – compared to last year’s ultra-luxe Barocco collection (Face Palette / Rouge Prodige / Eye Trio), I think we can all agree that it was rather underwhelming. I’d have loved to see a Barocco redux of sorts; another gold-and-black collection with special packaging, a bold red lipstick, and that festive, luxury feel…

…but you know what? I really liked the Passion collection, too, once I’d recovered from the initial shock.

I’m getting a lot more wear out of the Passion collection than I did out of the Barocco one, but – well, it’s not very holidays, you know? So, here’s my verdict, clean and simple: I love both these products, but I think they’d have been better suited as additions to the permanent line-up, or even as a Winter collection. They’re gorgeous, but they just don’t have the bang! I associate with the Holidays, you know?

Packaging, ingredients & more »

A classic, natural eye with Clarins’ Passion collection

Monday, January 2, 2012

I don’t want to clutter up this post with too much text, but here’s a quick eye look with Clarins Ombre Minérale 4 Couleurs Wet & Dry Eye Quartet Mineral Palette in Smokey Passion. (What a name! Because “quad” wouldn’t have done it?)

As I’m sure all my fellow neutral lovers already know, there are a ton of looks that you can create with just four shades – but I went with something light, fresh, and a little bit ethereal, using mainly the silver shimmer and the taupe in the bottom right corner of the palette. Then, for a bit of definition, I added a flick of black liner – Annabelle Black Spark, because I wanted to keep that translucent feel, and its sheen makes it perfect for that.

I’ll be reviewing the quad in full tomorrow, but needless to say, it’s absolutely lovely. I might try a more full-on look with it later this week, depending on how much time I have, because I’m certain it would create an intense look that’s just as flawless as this is – that’s the beauty of dense, finely milled eyeshadows, after all.

Keep reading »

LIP SET WEEK | Korres Cherry-Picked Lipgloss Quad: review, photos, swatches

Thursday, December 22, 2011

The product: Korres Cherry-Picked Cherry Oil Lipgloss Quad

↳ Cherry Full Color Gloss in Natural Purple, Rose, Fuchsia, and Light Purple

The formula: The Cherry Full Color Gloss formula doesn’t knock me out of the park, but I do really like it. The glosses wear with a bit of weight to them, and surprisingly, they stay where they’re put – despite the fact that these are quite pigmented, and despite the smooth, non-sticky texture*. They’re comfortable, moisturizing, and at $7 each (the set’s just $28 US, and the glosses are full-sized), they’re a really good buy.

The scent: Okay, so this is the only thing I’m not crazy about. I don’t love it, but I don’t hate it, and it’s light enough that it’s not going to turn me off them, at least. The cherry scent is a little bit too cough-syrup-sweet for me, which is never a fun trip down memory lane, but a lot of people do really like it! I suppose I’m just not one of them. (As usual, ugh, nose why are you doing this to me I thought we were friends.)

The shades: The Cherry-Picked Quad (and really, quad? Am I the only one who thinks this is a weird term used out of the context of eyeshadow?) includes, you guessed it, four different shades. There’s Natural Purple 25 (described as a sheer dusty rose), Rose 22 (sheer golden rose shimmer), Fuchsia 54 (shimmering muted fuchsia), and finally, Light Purple 23 (mauve pink shimmer).

I’ve never really understood Korres’ naming scheme, but whatever, I’ll run with it.

Swatched L-R: Korres Cherry Lipgloss in Natural Purple, Rose, Fuchsia, Light Purple

I’m guessing that I’ll get the most wear out of Natural Purple, because it’s the only one that’s shimmer-free (and I’ve never been all that into shimmery lip glosses). It’s sort of a rosey medium-nude; a warm mauve, if such a thing is possible. The resulting lip is really natural, and while it would look quite different on all skintones, I can’t think of any that it wouldn’t suit.

Korres Natural Purple swatch

Rose is the medium-pink to Natural Purple‘s medium-nude. Again, it would make a great everyday lip colour, and would suit quite a few skintones & makeup looks. Despite the fact that I don’t like shimmer, I’m actually quite fond of this one – the sheer colour goes on really evenly, and the gold-toned shimmer compliments the fresh, slightly-coral pink perfectly.

Korres Rose swatch

True to their confusing naming scheme, Korres’ Fuchsia doesn’t seem all that, erm, fuchsia to me. Of the set, this gloss packs the most pigment, and creates the boldest lip colour.

But – fuchsia? I don’t know.

I’d probably describe this as a sheer, bright red, or a cool, bright berry-pink. (Er, not because it’s awesome and I’m in the nineties; cool as in blue undertones). Anyhow, Fuchsia features tiny, subtle silver and pink shimmers dispersed through the formula, and– Korres just does good shimmer, okay? Don’t judge me for being so fond of it.

Korres Fuchsia swatch

Finally, Light Purple is a slightly milky baby pink with silver glitter. The shimmer isn’t actually larger than that of Fuchsia or Rose, but I still feel like the particles “jump out” from the base colour in a way that it doesn’t in the other shades. (Perhaps because it’s so contrastive; pink in Fuchsia vs. gold in Rose vs. silver in Light Purple).

Again, I think it would flatter both warm and cool skintones — though perhaps cool a bit moreso — and it has enough pigment to tone down my natural lip colour.

Korres Light Purple swatch

Is it giftable?

Nope. Nuh-uh. Not even a little bit. If you’re going to pick these up, you’re keeping ’em. Period.

If, however, you picked up two sets (in a flurry of clarity and proactive-ness), then: yeah. They’re giftable. The trick is just to convince yourself to actually let them go ;)

Honestly, I think that Korres summed this one up really well for us in their product description: (a) full-color, (b) shine without a sticky finish, and perhaps most importantly, (c) a range of shades, from natural to vibrant, for every mood and occasion.

Crazy, right? Marketing-speak that’s actually right on the nose!

Ingredients & more »

Coming up | Korres Cherry-Picked

More details in the morning! (Er… six hours from now. Or less, really.)

More photos »

LIP SET WEEK(end) | Bite High Pigment Pencil Trio: review, photos, swatches

Sunday, December 18, 2011

The product: Bite High Pigment Pencil Trio (High Pigment Matte Pencils in Pomegranate, Honey Berry, and Bouquet)

The formula: the Bite High Pigment Pencils feel absolutely gorgeous. Good mattes have a very specific texture, and it’s hard to describe unless you already own a matte with a similar formula. It’s sort of… well, it’s sort of a bit like poutine. Everyone always says that the cheese “squeaks,” which makes no sense to someone who’s only ever had fries, and so much sense the second you try your first bite of cheese curd.

So, yeah, these pencils have the formula of a good matte. Velvety, surprisingly lightweight, and (perhaps most importantly), not drying!! There’s a bit of a lingering “fruity” scent, which I’d have preferred to do without, but the gorgeous shades & formula more than make up for it. (Worth noting: I believe the fragrance is naturally-derived, so those who have problems with synthetic scent headaches should be OK with these.)

The shades: Bite’s High Pigment Pencil Trio includes full-size versions of three of the line’s six High Pigment Pencil shades: Pomegranate (described as a rich red), Honey Berry (toasted almond), and Bouquet (peachy pink). The amount of pigment they’ve packed into these is really, really impressive – I’m used to being let down by “high pigment” marketing talk, but pigment-wise, these really deliver!

Of course, Pomegranate is my favourite of the three – it’s a delicious, completely opaque, bright blue-red. As fair warning, though, it has a sort of wild red vibe: no red lipstick is understated, of course, but this one seems particularly bright. As far as mattes go, though, it’s very forgiving. The formula of Pomegranate seems to wear  just a bit more velvety than the other two, but I’m not complaining!

Bite High Pigment Matte Pencil swatch in Pomegranate

Honey Berry was perhaps the most surprising of the bunch; it’s a medium brown (which normally look awful on me), but somehow, it looks totally fine – even against my fair skintone. I’ve swatched it for full opacity here, but it really brings its A-game when worn sheerly. It’s an unexpectedly lovely medium nude, with just the right balance of yellow, brown, and pink tones.

Bite High Pigment Matte Pencil swatch in Honey Berry

Finally, Bouquet is a lot brighter than I thought it would be. It looks a fair bit more muted in these swatches than it does in real life, where it (like Pomegranate) comes to the field as anything but demure. It’s bright, loud, and will definitely appeal to lovers of shades like MAC Chatterbox and Please Me. There’s something about this shade that, when paired with the matte finish, takes it from quiet to L-O-U-D in ten seconds flat.

Bite High Pigment Matte Pencil swatch in Bouquet

Is it giftable?

Yes. But with reserves! For a beauty addict, this would be a fab gift – it’s all gorgeous satin-matte finishes and high pigment. For a muggle, though? Perhaps it would be best to hold off. Pick up a Colour & Shine set for them instead, perhaps!

As for whether or not this set is a good deal for yourself: it’s $38 US, but has a $72 US value. The pencils twist up (always a plus; no need for a sharpener), and I’m betting that you’re all going to pick up Pomegranate anyways. So, in short, yeah. It’s a good deal. ;)

As an introduction to the Bite line, the High Pigment Pencils are fantastic. I’m excited to try more! Which, okay, is probably going to take forever, because it’s me, but still. I’ll get to it. Eventually.

Keep reading for ingredients and more »

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...