Kérastase L’Incroyable Blowdry giveaway! | New This Week

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Kerastase L'Incroyable Blowdry lotion giveaway

Happy Sunday night, friends! I just have a short little post to share with you guys today — a giveaway of the brand new Kérastase L’Incroyable Blowdry lotion, which launched today.

L’Incroyable Blowdry is meant to help shape your hair and make your blowout feel clean for days, which is something that I–I am so lazy when it comes to my hair–can really get behind. It’s a “reshapable heat lotion,” and it’s designed to let you style and re-style without the need to wash between stylings — you just need to add heat.

(And not too much heat, either! This lotion offers heat protection up to 450°F/230°C, but you only need to take it to 150˚C to reshape.)

L'Incroyable Blowdry Anja Rubik

Anja Rubik, styled and restyled by Luigi Murenu using Kérastase L’Incroyable Blowdry.

Every formula that comes out nowadays has its hook, and L’Incroyable Blowdry’s is that it uses Stimuli Responsive Styling (developed at the L’Oreal Applied Research Labs) and a “reshapable microwax technology” to allow you to re-shape your hair up to four times before washing.

In other words… it uses beeswax (which has a melting point of 62-64˚C) to lock your style in place until you heat-style your hair again.

Kerastase L'Incroyable Bow Dry reshapable heat lotion giveaway

To enter the giveaway…

If you want to be one of the first to try out this new Kérastase product, you’re in luck! I’m giving away a bottle to celebrate its launch, and the giveaway is open to all Canadian residents over 18. Just use the widget below to enter!

This giveaway closes on May 15th at 11:59 PM MST. 
a Rafflecopter giveaway

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NYX Strobe of Genius Illuminating Palette review, swatches, photos (& NYX Pro Fan Brush review)

Friday, April 29, 2016

NYX Strobe of Genius palette review

The products: NYX Cosmetics Strobe of Genius Illuminating Palette, NYX Cosmetics Pro Fan Brush

2016, as I’ve said before, is having great spring for illuminators and highlighters. The contouring trend is holding steady with an additional strobing aspect, and the market has been absolutely overpopulated with highlighters.

And hey, I’m no fool. If the beauty industry suddenly gives you 10x the amount of choices for a product category that you love, you snap up that opportunity like nobody’s business.

NYX illuminating palette review

What is strobing? I will say one thing before I get started today: “strobing” is bullshit. It’s not “THE beauty tend that everyone is obsessing about,” and it’s not “fresh” or “new!” (All direct quotes from the NYX website.)

Strobing is highlighting pumped up to the max, plain and simple. Things can be great without being new, oh Great and Powerful Beauty Industry — case in point.

NYX Strobe of Genius illuminating strobing palette review

NYX Strobe of Genius Illuminating Palette

NYX Strobe of Genius palette swatches

NYX Strobe of Genius Illuminating Palette swatches (no primer; indirect sunlight)

The formula: The NYX Strobe of Genius Illuminating Palette features 7 highlighters in two formulas. The lavender, golden pink, bronze, and champagne all feature one formula; the yellow/gold, light pink, and peachy gold all feature a very slightly different one.

In practice, I find that six of the highlighters are all very similar. They’re smooth and blendable but a little bit dry, and are ideal for normal to oily skin. (They emphasize my fine lines slightly.) The exception is the lavender shade; it’s more buttery than the rest, and it has an intense satin-sheen finish rather than a frosty, metallic one.

I totally get that formulas are going to vary based on how their pigments influence them, but man. That lavender highlight is really something else — from a high-end brand, I’d pay $27 CAD (the palette’s SRP) for it alone.

NYX Strobe of Genius palette labels

NYX Strobe of Genius strobing palette review

NYX Strobe of Genius illuminating palette swatches

NYX Strobe of Genius Illuminating Palette swatches (no primer; indirect sunlight)

The shades: All seven of the Strobe of Genius shades wear well throughout the day, but most importantly, they’re all visibly different. If I apply more than one shade on my cheek (even if it’s two similar shades!), I can spot where one ends and the other begins from a good foot away.

The sheer, frosty “gold” in the top left corner of the palette is definitely the most unique shade; it’s a pure yellow highlighter, and it’s quite pretty in person! (For everyday use, you could totally use it as a spot highlighter.) The palette also contains a rose gold shade, which you don’t see all the time — I think a lot of warm-toned beauties will really like this one!

The lavender highlighter, however, was by far the best performer. It’s without a doubt the prettiest thing I have ever put on my cheeks, and it made my face G-L-O-W as soon as the brush touched my skin. It’s really high-impact, but it melts right into the skin.

NYX Pro Fan Brush ($17 USD/$17 CAD)

NYX Highlighting brush strobing review

Unlike your prototypical fan brush, NYX’s Pro Fan Brush is dense, velvety, and thick. It is not what you want to use for a light application of powder, which is what fan brushes are usually for. Instead, it makes getting an intense highlight super quick and easy, and it fits perfectly onto the top of my cheekbone to apply the product and blend it in a single stroke (three, at max.)

I can confidently say that there is nothing else in my brush collection that even slightly resembles this synthetic brush, and it’s well worth the $17 it’ll run you!

NYX highlighting fan brush review

The verdict?

I can’t believe how fast I fell for the NYX Strobe of Genius palette or the NYX Pro Fan Brush, but it really was love at first stroke. The second I popped that lavender highlight onto my cheekbone (using the fan brush, which–can I just say–is super luxurious), I was smitten. Later, I found out that the highlighter had held on throughout the entire day, and I had to have a little cry.

(Okay, for real, I didn’t cry. But I did immediately apply all of the other six shades to various parts of my face just so I could get to experience them all at once, and it was a weirdly gratifying experience.)

If you love a good spring/summer glow, then you need this palette. It’s hella expensive for a drugstore product, but seeing as all 7 shades really are different… I think it’s worth it. That’s like, $3.86 per shade, and it’ll take you from spring (lavender) to summer (rose gold) to winter (champagne).*

Availability: $19 USD/$27 CAD at NYX Cosmetics, or at drugstores throughout Canada and the US. (Also available at Ulta and Urban Outfitters.)

The brush is $17 USD/$17 CAD through NYX Cosmetics.

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Elizabeth Arden Prismatic Lip Gloss review, swatches, photos | Sunset Bronze SS16

Monday, April 25, 2016

Elizabeth Arden Prismatic Bronze Lip Gloss review swatches photos

The products: Elizabeth Arden Sunset Bronze Prismatic Lip Gloss in 01 Moonlight Kiss, 02 Midnight Kiss, and 03 Sunset Kiss

Instead of your standard light pink/sheer coral spring lipstick, this year’s Elizabeth Arden Sunset Bronze collection (you know, the one that contains this glorious highlighter) features three glorious tubes of glitter. They’re packaged in gold-capped tubes, boxed in a print pretty enough that I’d hang it on my wall, and are totally, completely awesome. 

Elizabeth Arden Moonlight Kiss Prismatic Lip Gloss swatch review photos

Elizabeth Arden Sunset Bronze review

Elizabeth Arden Moonlight Kiss lip gloss review

LIKE A STICK OF UNICORN TEARS

The shades: There are three shades of Prismatic Lip Gloss from the Sunset Bronze collection. All three are super, super sheer, and look great on their own or layered over top of other lipsticks. They’re described as having “subtle sparks of glittery color,” which is a total lie — for a trio of basically clear glosses, they have quite a bit of visual impact.

01 Moonlight Kiss is an opalescent gloss with cool pink-violet and white-blue reflects. 02 Midnight Kiss is a fuchsia gloss; a little more pigmented than the other two shades and with slightly larger glitter particles (pink and bronze reflects, this time.) 03 Sunset Kiss is probably the most subtle of all three, and features gold reflects with pink and white microshimmer suspended in a sheer, bronze gloss.

Elizabeth Arden Moonlight Kiss, Prismatic Lip Gloss swatches

Elizabeth Arden Prismatic Bronze Lip Gloss swatches: 01 Moonlight Kiss (white), 02 Midnight Kiss (pink), 03 Sunset Kiss (bronzey)

Elizabeth Arden Sunset Bronze Prismatic Lip Gloss swatches review

Elizabeth Arden Prismatic Bronze Lip Gloss swatches: 01 Moonlight Kiss, 02 Midnight Kiss, 03 Sunset Kiss

The product: The Sunset Bronze Prismatic Lip Glosses are formulated with aloe vera and vitamins A, C, and E to nourish the lips while you wear them. I find the formula to be only very slightly tacky and a little thick, but I like it — these aren’t drying, and you can’t feel the glitter when you wear them. They’re about as moisturizing as a light lip balm, and they’re not too scented, either. (They smell a little bit sweet and vanilla-ish, but the scent doesn’t hang around.)

Elizabeth Arden Sunset Kiss swatch photos review Prismatic Gloss

The verdict?

I know that none of us really need another translucent lipgloss, but as far as extraneous glosses go, these are some great ones. They’re comfortable and not too scented, and in the tubes, they look the way a chorus of angels sounds. The lovely colour selection is really just the cherry on top!

10/10 would recommend, if only so you can pull Moonlight Kiss out of your purse when you’re feeling down and pretend that you’re a unicorn. Or that you’ve killed a unicorn and bottled its tears, if that’s your jam.

Availability: $19 USD/$25 CAD at Elizabeth Arden counters and online. Limited edition.

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Annabelle Big Show Lacquer review, swatches, photos

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Annabelle Big Show Lacquer lipgloss review

The product: Annabelle Cosmetics Big Show Lacquer in Adore Simply, Caress Tenderly, Kiss Swiftly, Enchant Romantically, Love Fiercely, and Hypnotize Deeply

As I’m sure most of you know already, I am a huge fan of Annabelle Cosmetics. They’re Canadian, affordable, and cruelty-free, and all of their products pack an awesome punch of pigments–especially when you consider that most items are $10 or less.

One of the lines that I just haven’t been able to really get behind, however, is their Big Show range. I liked but didn’t love their Big Show Mascara (which is a HUGE fan favourite) and, later, their Big Show Lip Glosses. Similarly, it pains me to say that I liked these Big Show Lacquers, but… I didn’t love them.

Annabelle Big Show lacquer review

The formula: The Big Show Lacquer formula follows on a trend similar to that of the YSL Glossy Stains and Shu Uemura Laque Supremes: high-impact liquid lip colours that have the saturation of a lipstick, the finish of a lipgloss, and the lasting power of a lip stain. 

If I’m being honest, the Big Show Lacquers hit all three of these out of the park. They’re glossy and highly pigmented, and unlike the YSL and Shu Uemura gloss-stains, they’re opaque in just one swipe.

But, while other bloggers seem to just adore these, I’m on the fence about them. There aren’t any MLBB/”no makeup” shades in the range, and I find that once these start to wear away (within 1-2 hours), they become quite tacky and drying. And then there’s the smell: chemically fruity. They’re not any more drying than a Glossy Stain, but I’ve definitely noticed how actual-lacquer-y these can feel.

Annabelle Big Show lipgloss review photos swatches

Annabelle Big Show Lacquer applicator

Annabelle Adore Simply Caress Tenderly Kiss Sweetly swatches review

Annabelle Big Show Lacquers swatched L-R: Adore Simply, Caress Tenderly, Kiss Swiftly, Enchant Romantically, Love Fiercely, and Hypnotize Deeply

The shades: As I mentioned above, there aren’t any natural-looking shades in the Big Show Lacquer range. (I really want to try the Marcelle Lux Colour Rush Lip Lacquers for this very reason; they look to have the exact same formula as these, but they’re unscented and come in only pink/peach/nude shades.)

That being said, if you love colour, then this is a great range to check out. The Big Show Lacquers currently come in six super-shimmery shades, including the particularly-shimmery nude Adore Simply, the orange Caress Tenderly, and two pinks. Kiss Swiftly is more of a milky fuchsia, while Enchant Romantically is a darker, warmer pink with blue reflects.

I’d love to see a purple in this range (it’s the perfect formula for it!) but for now, lovers of darker lip colours can opt for Love Fiercely, a metallic, warm brick red, and Hypnotize Deeply, a purplish berry.

Annabelle cosmetics Big Show Lacquer lipgloss review

The verdict?

The Big Show Lacquers are huge in the blogosphere right now, but I’m just… not a fan. The synthetic fruity scent gives me a headache, and ALL of these shades are punchy and shimmery, which just isn’t my thing.

I also noted a distinct “lacquer” feeling when I wore these (almost like there was a film over my lips), but I have to admit: they definitely make good on their promises of gloss, pigment, and endurance, and they apply with glorious opacity and evenness. When my lips are in better condition, I might pick up a Marcelle Lux Colour Rush Lip Lacquer to see if I’ll like the formula any more without the shimmer and scent, but I think this is about it for the Big Show Lacquers and I!

Availability: $9.95 CAD at Annabelle.com (US & Canadian shipping) and in-store at drugstores and mass retailers across Canada. Permanent as of January 2016.

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Marcelle Rouge Vitality reviews, swatches: Rose Classique, Angel’s Blush, Royal Berry

Monday, March 28, 2016

Marcelle Rouge Vitality lipstick review Spring 2016

The products: Marcelle Rouge Vitality Lipsticks in Rose Classique, Angel’s Blush, and Royal Berry

Happy Easter Monday, folks! I’ve been having the CRAZIEST Easter weekend this year, so my apologies for the lack of posts recently. It’s, uh, kind of graphic but I’m gonna share it, so skip down below the next image for the review. 

My partner cut the tip of his finger off at work (which I have many opinions about; he was working on four hours of sleep following three 13-hour days when he had his accident), so that–that was a bit of a rocky start. It wasn’t just a little sliver or anything, either; it was a big ‘ol horror movie chunk. Then, on our way to Easter dinner, we got rear-ended just off of Jasper Ave in heavy traffic.

Thankfully, we left with as many limbs as we started out with, although not with as many car parts. So drive safe out there, kiddos! And go tell your families that you love them and stuff.

Marcelle Rouge Vitality review swatches

Marcelle Rose Classique, Angel’s Blush, and Royal Berry Rouge Vitality lipsticks

The formula: Marcelle’s Rouge Vitality Lipsticks have been my saving grace all month long. Whenever I’m having a rough day, I whip one out and put it on to cheer myself up.

See, the Rouge Vitality Lipsticks and I share a special bond. They’re my favourite lipstick formula ever, thick and carnauba wax-y and unscented with medium to opaque pigmentation. Unlike most lipsticks, they never slide around on my lips or apply unevenly, and they’re never drying. In fact, the formula is enriched with castor seed oil, aloe, and vitamins A, C, and E to slow down damage caused by free radicals, so they’re actually good for your lips!

Sure, they’re not as buttery as a trendy Bite or Guerlain lipstick, but they’re a really awesome–and often overlooked–lipstick formula. I thought they were being slowly discontinued in favour of the Marcelle Rouge Xpression line, but these three brand-new shades give me hope!

Marcelle Angel's Blush Rouge Vitality review swatch

Marcelle Angel’s Blush Rouge Vitality Lipstick review

Marcelle Angel's Blush review swatch Rouge Vitality

Marcelle Rouge Vitality Angel’s Blush lipstick swatch, review

The shades: Including these three, the Rouge Vitality line now offers 12 matte and shimmering shades. I really like their mattes, but they’re more of a soft matte, if you ask me — they go on creamy and settle into the lips with a soft, comfortable matte finish. The matte formula is actually my favourite thing about these lipsticks, because it sinks into the lips slowly, meaning you have no awkward fading, feathering, or drying out of the lip area.

I love the shade of 480 Rose Classique (a really pretty, cool pink), but it has a finely-milled shimmer finish, which can sometimes catch on my lips if they’re really dry. So, instead, I’ve been wearing 330 Angel’s Blush a lot — it’s that cream/matte finish in a warm, medium-toned pinky-nude shade.

Finally, there’s 200 Royal Berry, which is the darkest shade of the three. It’s more of a brick red on me, but I betcha it would be the perfect berry shade on someone with a warmer skintone. If you find that most berry shades pull outright purple on you, then definitely give this one a try!

Marcelle Rose Classique Royal Berry swatches

Marcelle Rouge Vitality Rose Classique, Royal Berry swatches

Marcelle Rouge Vitality review Rose Classique

Marcelle Rouge Vitality Rose Classique Lipstick review

The verdict?

Marcelle’s Rouge Vitality lipstick formula isn’t for everyone, but I love it. It’s classic and stiff, with a soft matte finish that wears incredibly evenly and never dries out my lips.

I would looooove to see more cool-toned matte shades in the range, but hey — I thought that the Rouge Vitality line was going to disappear entirely, so I’ll take what I can get! Angel’s Blush hasn’t left my handbag in weeks, and I’m really enjoying the shimmery Rose Classique, too.

Are any of you guys Rouge Vitality lipstick fans?

Availability: $10.95 CAD at Marcelle.com (US/Canadian shipping) and in drugstores & mass-market retailers across Canada. Permanent.

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Lise Watier HydraForce launch & hydration detector app!

Monday, March 21, 2016

Lise Watier HydraForce Hydra-Protective moisturizer gel-creme review

Last weekend, I had the privilege of being able to attend a Lise Watier skincare launch at West Edmonton Mall. It was a really nifty event; just a small booth and a few super helpful ladies manning the table & makeover station, but the way the line is being marketed is really unique.

The Lise Watier HydraForce line features Gaspé algae and offers a gel moisturizer, a cream moisturizer, a glossy, lemony lip balm that feels great and tastes a little sweet (don’t judge me), and an app.

Now, I know what you’re going to say: cosmetic apps are overdone! But this one involves testing tool that lets you quantifiably measure how well your moisturizer is working (or not working), and its accuracy is actually repeatable.

Lise Watier HydraForce hydration detector review

Verifying the science

My partner and I tested out the HydraForce detector for before and after readings at the counter, and the results were pretty cool to see. My hands (the HydraForce range contains silicones) went from 36% hydrated to 57% after applying the Lise Watier HydraForce Hydra-Protective Creme-Gel ($45 CAD), and Boyfriend’s face went from 48% to a whopping 76%, which surprised even the Lise Watier rep!

Lise Watier HydraForce test app

Much boyfriend. Very suspicious. Such hydration!

Lise Watier HydraForce lip balm review

Even with three before & after tests that matched my expectations, I wasn’t sure about the science, so I headed back home to broaden my sample size. My combination-skinned mom’s t-zone had a 48% moisture level (which is more or less perfect hydration, according to the app), and my dad’s scaly legs eked out a 28%.

The really scary result, though, was my own: I re-tested the skin on my freshly washed, un-moisturized hands, and I got a 13.4% reading. I tested again on my other hand to replicate the results and got 14%. So, obviously, I panicked and cried applied some moisturizer to my hands and tested again; this time, with much higher results — 28%, which is still in the dry region of the chart, but not painfully dry.

Lise Watier HydraForce app

My Lise Watier Hydration Detector app results / what your results mean!

Lise Watier HydraForce launch the bay west edmonton mall

Lise Watier HydraForce bubble

HOW CUTE IS THIS BUBBLE, THOUGH

The products

As I mentioned, I can’t test these products in the long-term because they contain silicones. However, I can tell you that I really liked what I saw. The moisturizers smell and feel amazing, and the Hydra-Protective Creme-Gel is an awesome starter product from the HydraForce range. It’s super lightweight and designed only to provide your skin with hydration, so it can be used as a standalone moisturizer or used as a hydration gel-serum under the treatment product of your choice.

If you want to test your skin’s hydration levels (and grab a free deluxe sample of the Hydra-Protective Creme-Gel), the HydraForce tour has three stops left: Toronto, on April 2nd; Montreal, on April 8th; and Dartmouth, on April 16th. I highly recommend going to one of them if you can!

Availability: Get the HydraForce line here at LiseWaiter.com (US & Canada shipping).

Additional photos & more »

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