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! »

Lustworthy: Guerlain Météorites Perles de Légende | The Gift Guide

Saturday, November 12, 2016

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This holiday season, I’m featuring the most enticing items from my Gift Guide in a column simply titled “Lustworthy.” Tune in every Saturday from now until Christmas for your weekly dose!

To start off the series, I’ve chosen a no-brainer: this year’s limited edition Météorites. Guerlain releases an enviable holiday release of their iconic finishing powder every year (last year’s was stunning and contained the cutest little pressed stars), and no matter how much I totally do not need them at all, I always fall under their thrall.

The limited edition, French-made Guerlain Météorites Perles de Légende ($65 USD) are available now at Nordstrom.

What’s on your wish list this week?

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! »

Pai Instant Radiance Collection (Kukui & Jojoba Bead Exfoliator, Rosehip BioRegenerate Rollerball)

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

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The product: Pai Skincare Instant Radiance Collection

There’s a little two-piece duo in Pai’s holiday gift selection this year, and it’s a terrible gift to give. No–really. It’s perfectly sized for travel and charmingly small, and if you buy it as a gift, you’re never going to be able to bring yourself to give it away.

You’ll need two, I think. At least.

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The kit is the brand’s new Instant Radiance Collection ($28 USD), and it contains their cult classic Pai Rosehip BioRegenerate Oil Rollerball (10ml) with their Kukui & Jojoba Bead Skin Brightening Exfoliator (15ml). The full size products retail for $40 and $44 respectively, so although this kit is very small, it’s a nice way to try out each product before committing to the full size.

I reviewed Pai’s Rosehip Oil this summer, but as a recap, it’s a light, fragrant oil with really potent anti-ageing properties. I think of it as serum rather than an oil, because it doesn’t provide a ton of hydration–I usually need to mix it with a moisturizer, or follow up with one right away.

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Pai Rosehip BioRegenerate Oil – rollerball vs full size comparison

I liked the ingenuity of putting a facial oil in a rollerball, but I struggled to use the Rosehip BioRegenerate Oil Rollerball. It’s very pretty and well-made, but rollerballs simply don’t dispense a lot of oil! I found myself having to go over each area of my face 2-3x just to get enough product.

The rollerball format was very clean, though, especially because Pai’s rosehip seed oil is on the thin side–my dropper bottle version certainly gets a little greasy around the rim. So, while it wouldn’t be ideal for everyday use, it’s PERFECT for travel: neat and compact, with no chance of in-flight spillage.

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Pai Kukui & Jojoba Bead Skin Brightening Exfoliator gel suspension

Pai’s Kukui & Jojoba Bead Skin Brightening Exfoliator was new to me in this kit, but I really liked it. It’s microbead-free and designed for use 1-2x/week, and it gets used in a non-traditional manner. You massage it into dry skin with dry hands, then you add water and massage again for a gentle-but-thorough exfoliation. 

I greatly preferred the feeling of these spherical jojoba beads to the feeling of a muslin cloth, and I liked the gel-to-oil texture of the exfoliator base, too. It was really rich and hydrating (which is really important to pair with your exfoliation), and my only issue with the product was how small the tube is. I’ve been trying my best to stretch the product out, but when using a comfortable amount, I’d guess there’s only four-ish uses in it.

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The verdict?

The Pai Instant Radiance Collection is a great way to try out two of Pai’s bestselling products, but the exfoliator makes it feel a little too small to be a proper gift. It would make a really lovely stocking stuffer, though, and it would be a great purchase for yourself if you’re going on holiday this winter.

The products are sized like deluxe samples, and if you’re unsure of the products and want to give them a test before buying the full-sized versions, they’ll make excellent travel companions even after you’ve taken the leap!

Availability: $28 USD at Pai, Mankind, and Look Fantastic.

Keep reading! »

Clinique Lash Power Flutter-to-Full Mascara review, swatches, photos | Introducing The Wink

Thursday, November 3, 2016

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The product: Clinique Lash Power Flutter-to-Full Mascara

This October, Clinique launched a first for the brand: an editorial platform called The Wink. The Wink will feature “the people, places, ideas and stories Clinique finds simply amazing – from across Canada and around the world,” and is designed to be just as playful and inclusive as a wink can be.

So, what better way to celebrate the platform’s launch than a mascara that’s perfect for winking?

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When I first tried Clinique’s new dial-up mascara, I was a little confused. Even on its lashiest setting, the results (pictured here) are relatively natural-looking. They’re voluminous and clean, but not overwhelmingly so, and the formula seemed a little dry.

And then I waited to see how long it would take to smudge. Four hours went by, then six, then ten, and the next thing I knew, I had been wearing Clinique Lash Power Flutter-to-Full for a full 13 hours and it hadn’t moved at all. When I went to wash it off, I realized why: this custom-lash mascara is a tubing formula.

My perspective shifted immediately, because as anyone who loves tubing mascaras knows, they tend to be two things: 1) only lengthening, and 2) extremely wet. Flutter-to-Full defies both of those expectations, with a formula that’s dry enough to leave your curl perfectly intact and thick enough that it provides good volume. (Think of it as normal-mascara “moderate volume” and tubing mascara “insanely voluminous.”)

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Clinique Lash Power Flutter-to-Full Mascara (1 coat on its fullest setting) with Annabelle Skinny Brow in Universal Ebony and Burberry Effortless Liquid Eyeliner in Chestnut Brown No. 002 (review next week!)

The verdict?

Clinique says their Lash Power Flutter-to-Full Mascara wears for 24 hours and removes easily, and I believe them 100%. At 13 hours, my lashes were still picture-perfect and fluttery, and it washed off with warm water and no rubbing. (As with any tubing mascara, just remember NOT to use an oil-based makeup remover!)

I’m not sure that I would personally re-buy this mascara at $28 CAD, but I did really, really like it. It’s the most volumizing and long-wearing tubing mascara that I’ve tried, and trust me: I’ve tried a lot.

Availability: $21 USD/$28 CAD at Sephora, Nordstrom, and Clinique.

Keep reading! »

Matrix Biolage R.A.W. Recover Shampoo & Conditioner review, photos

Monday, October 31, 2016

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The products: Matrix Biolage R.A.W. Recover Shampoo & Conditioner

Disclaimer: these are not food products. No matter how good they look, or how tasty they smell, you should not put them in your mouth. 

Uh… just trust me on that one, okay?

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The Recover Shampoo and Conditioner duo is part of the new Real, Authentic, and Wholesome (R.A.W.) line from Matrix Biolage, who are jumping on the natural train in the best way possible. The line features “natural-origin products” (more details on the Matrix site), recyclable bottles made from 100% post-consumer plastics, and plant-based surfactants. So far, it includes shampoos, conditioners, and–this part is cool–clay hair masks. 

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I’ve been testing the line’s Yucca & Goji Berry Recover Shampoo ($25 CAD) and Coriander Oil & Kaolin Clay Recover Conditioner ($25 CAD), and I kind of adore them both.

The Recover duo is made to replenish and restore shine to stressed hair, and while my hair doesn’t exactly have to deal with bills or midterms, it still feels particularly awesome after I use these products. They’re a lot less stripping than my normal haircare products (Live Clean), and even my partner gets weirdly possessive and jealous over who gets to use them and when.

(The proper answer should be: I do, because they’re mine and hi, do you really want to be single again.)

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There are a lot of things that make the R.A.W. Recover line great, including the fact that they contain no artificial colourants, silicones, or parabens. They’re also 99% biodegradable, and they smell really unique – a bit like goji berries and coriander, respectively. In other words, I think they smell nice for most of the month, but they make me want to throw up when I’m on my period.

The biggest pull for this duo, though, is the shampoo: it’s weird. It flows out of the bottle really quickly, like an oil, but it feels almost sticky when you touch it. Once you lather it up, it acts just like a regular shampoo, but it’s nothing that I’ve ever seen before, at home or in the salon. It’s a pretty cool textural experience.

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The verdict?

I don’t usually cover shampoos and conditioners on theNotice, but for this duo, I had to make an exception. They’re nice to use and look adorably like smoothies, and while they don’t make my hair look CRAZY INSANE AMAZING, their price tags aren’t crazy insane expensive, either.

For me, the coolest thing about this duo is the texture of the shampoo. It’s a little detail, but it’s one that I find enjoyable every morning!

Availability: $25 each at select salons; both permanent products.

Keep reading! »

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