Shu Uemura Satin Radiant Sticks in Pink, Orange Coral: swatches, review, photos

Monday, March 23, 2015

shu uemura brave beauty blush sticks review

The product: shu uemura Satin Radiant Sticks in Pink and Orange Coral

I’ve been all about stick makeup this month, so today I thought I’d share photos of one of my first cheek-stick loves: the Shu Uemura Brave Beauty Satin Radiant Sticks.

They’re not something that I was planning on reviewing, because they contain way more shimmer than I prefer, but… I mean, I’ve been wearing the pink one so often that it would basically just be wrong NOT to post about it.

So, consider this my not-rave product rave.

shu uemura pink satin radient stick blush review brave beauty

The shades: This stick is available (right now, at least; it’s limited edition from the fall) in four shades: two blushes, pictured here, and two highlighters. Orange Coral is a bright, super glowy orange with yellow/gold shimmer, silver microshimmer (for a super dewy finish), and literally no coral undertones. Pink is a gorgeous purpley pink with a cool pink sheen and silver microshimmer.

If you’re cool-toned and you’re looking for the perfect stick blush, the Pink Satin Radiant Stick is totally where it’s at. 

shu uemura pink, coral radiant stick blush swatches review

shu uemura radiant blush stick swatches – pink (blended/unblended), orange coral (unblended/blended)

shu uemura satin radient stick blush review

Heartbreak! Suspense!: So, if I’m so obsessed with these sticks, why the hesitation?

Well… for one, I’m big on totally invisible makeup, and silver shimmer doesn’t quite fit the bill. But more than that, my Pink stick doesn’t twist back down, so I have to twist it up, swipe twice, and then push it back in with my fingers. Which… is kind of icky, for travel purposes.

shu uemura pink, coral brave beauty stick blush swatches review

shu uemura brave beauty radiant blush stick swatches — pink; orange coral

The verdict?

The pros definitely outweigh the cons with these blush sticks, but for a whopping $55 CAD apiece, I expect a blush to be flawless if I’m going to recommend it to you guys. And these, with their silver shimmer and slightly flawed packaging, just aren’t flawless.

Are they pretty? Absolutely. Would I have been heartbroken if I hadn’t gotten something in that gorgeous Brave Beauty packaging? Definitely. But are these two products worth $110? Well… maybe not. I say get Pink if you’re an absolute blush fiend, but in general, I think that the Brave Beauty eyeshadow palettes are a better buy!

Availability: $55 CAD at shuuemura.ca and in select Holt Renfrew locations.

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The Body Shop Lip & Cheek Velvet Stick swatches, review, photos (& a little Smoky Poppy preview)

Thursday, March 19, 2015

The Body Shop Lip Cheek Velvet Stick reviews swatches

The products: The Body Shop Lip & Cheek Velvet Sticks in Universal Shade and 40 Red

↳ Photographed with the limited-edition Smoky Poppy Body Butter ($20), which smells amazing but contains silicones, so I can’t touch it! (But seriously: amazing. It’s super sultry for a Body Shop fragrance.)

My love affair with jumbo lip pencils is a long and almost frighteningly well-documented one, but when I tried these for the first time, I actually stopped and went, “oh, cool,” for a moment.

TBS lip velvet jumbo pencil review swatches

The texture: Unlike your standard jumbo lip pencil (sheer-glossy or opaque-matte), these Lip & Cheek Velvet Sticks are exactly that: velvety. They apply with an incredibly natural finish, softly matte but not at all drying.

Unlike most mattes, though, they’re sheer — or, rather, they’ll sheer out if you blend them. Red (and I’m assuming the rest of the regular line) applies with a very medium opacity, but blends out to create the most seamless, perfect flush; the Universal Shade applies more sheerly, but in a way that’s suited well to the shade.

The Body Shop black universal Lip Cheek Stick review

The Body Shop Universal Shade Lip & Cheek Velvet Stick

The Body Shop Lip Cheek Stick swatches review universal, red

The Body Shop Lip & Cheek Velvet Sticks, swatched – Universal Shade (heavily/blended) and 40 Red (heavily/blended)

The shades: Red is a bright strawberry red, but the pH-adapting Universal Shade is the Lip & Cheek Velvet Stick that really steals the show. Purple-black in the tube, it applies as a very sheer dark purple. It’s less glossy and more plummy than Clinique’s Voluptuous Violet Chubby Stick (the closest dupe that I’ve seen), and you NEED it.

When sheered out, the Universal shade reads as a muted flush of colour, and on the lips, it’s nothing short of perfect. My natural lip colour leans a bit orange (bleh), which makes most medium/dark lip colours look punchy and ostentatious as they wear off, but this weird, pH-adjusting pencil is perfect. It darkens my natural lip colour considerably without making my lips look bright!, which–believe me–is a pretty substantial feat.

Bare lips - Korres Cherry Picked reference

Bare lips

The Body Shop Universal Lip & Cheek Stick swatches review

The Body Shop Universal Shade Lip & Cheek Velvet Stick lip swatch

The Body Shop Smoky Poppy Body Butter review

The Body Shop Smoky Poppy Body Butter

The verdict?

These sheer-matte Lip & Cheek Velvet Sticks are great both for the lips and cheeks, but it’s the black Universal Shade pencil that you really need to own. If you’ve ever been intrigued by a sheer purple lipstick, or if you’ve ever been tempted to try Clinique’s classic Black Honey, get this one instead — you won’t be disappointed. 

Availability: $15 USD/CAD at The Body Shop. Permanent.

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Lise Watier Expression swatches, reviews, photos | Spring 2015

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Lise Watier Palette Expression eyeshadow packaging

The products: Lise Watier Expression collection (Spring 2015)

This year, Lise Watier’s spring collection has been crafted around the idea of “creativity, spontaneity, and individuality” — and so, for today’s review, I’m going to try something ever so slightly different and just kind of… chat about these products. (Let me know if you prefer this format drastically more or something!)

The must-have product

Lise Watier Feline Eyeliner HD Vert review swatch Lise Watier Feline Eyeliner Vert review

liked a lot of the pieces from this collection, but I loved the Lise Watier Féline Eyeliner HD in Vert ($20 CAD; new shade). I am obsessed with this product — if you buy nothing else from Lise Watier all year, make sure you get this eyeliner.

The Féline Eyeliner HD formula wears really well (which surprised me, based on how easily the black version smudges on your hand), and the long, stiff felt tip makes it easy to get a steady, insanely saturated line. Plus, that green!!

Lise Watier Vert Eyeliner Feline HD

Lise Watier Féline Eyeliner HD in Vert (swatch/wearing)

The nice-to-haves

As always, I was a big fan of the Lise Watier Ombre Soufflé Suprême eyeshadow; this time in Fairy Pink ($24 CAD; new shade). The Ombre Soufflé Suprême formula is very bouncy and wet, with a very high-shine finish — this one glows cotton-candy pink in the light, but wears as a sheer, peachy gold straight-on.

Lise Watier Fairy Pink review swatches ombre souffle supreme

Lise Watier Ombre Soufflé Suprême in Fairy Pink

Lise Watier Palette Expression eyeshadow review swatches

Lise Watier Palette Expression Eyeshadows

I also really liked the Lise Watier Palette Expression Eyeshadows ($42 CAD), a palette that you can see worn here with Fairy Pink, Vert, and the grey Expression pencil. It’s not of breathtaking quality (the matte, pastel peach and mint need to be layered quite a bit), but it’s still very pretty — and the shades work together beautifully.

If you really like mint green, I’d say pick up the Palette Expression. Matte mint greens are a dime a dozen, but they’re usually terrible — and this one isn’t. Like, yeah, you have to layer it some, but unlike most, it actually shows up (and sticks around)!

Lise Watier Expression Eyeshadow Palette swatches review

Lise Watier Palette Expression Eyeshadows swatched on lightly primed skin

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Annabelle Blushon Spring 2015 swatches, review, photos | Cheek-chic, indeed

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Annabelle Blushon review

The product: Annabelle Cosmetics Blushon Powder Blush (new permanent shades)

↳ in Lotus, Rosebud, Peony, Spring Petal, and Hibiscus

There are five new shades being added to Annabelle’s Blushon range this spring, and they are fantastic. I haven’t been this excited about the expansion of a range since MAC came out with Full of Joy (which, yes, I know, I still haven’t featured on the blog), but ugh, these are all so pretty!

Annabelle Lotus Blushon review swatches photos

Lotus

Annabelle Rosebud Blushon review swatches photos

Rosebud

Annabelle Peony Blushon review swatches photos

Peony

The formula: These are actually the very first Annabelle Blushon blushes that I’ve tried, and can I just say: I really regret not buying some sooner! The formula in these is just gorgeous — really finely milled and velvety, and not too solid in the pan, either. They kind of remind me of the Clinique Cheek Pops (you know, creamy), but they get their smoothness from non-chalky talc and mineral oil, not dimethicone and bismuth oxychloride.

You get great pigmentation with each swipe, but not so much that you’re going to end up with crazy cheeks if you’re not careful, you know? We’re talking medium-layerable pigmentation, not sudden attacks of rouge.

Annabelle Blushon swatches review - Lotus Rosebud Peony

Annabelle Blushon swatches: Lotus, Rosebud, Peony, Spring Petal, and Hibiscus

The shades: On one hand, I kind of wish that I had tried these sooner, because they’re lovely — but on the other hand, I don’t. This range expansion includes five new (and totally not-brown) shades, and each shade is more my style than the last.

There are three pinks: Lotus (matte; similar to Lancôme Rose Fresque), a purpley light pink, Rosebud, and Peony. Rosebud looks softer than Peony in the pan, but actually swatches more strongly; Peony has more shimmer in it, as well as more coral. Lotus (my favourite) works very well on fair skin, Rosebud is the best “true” pink, and Peony will be gorgeous on warm and medium-toned complexions.

Annabelle Blushon swatches review Spring Petal Hibiscus

Annabelle Blushon swatches: Lotus, Rosebud, Peony, Spring Petal, and Hibiscus (blended)

I was particularly smitten with the pinks, of course (especially the matte Lotus, which pulls a little bit lilac and just seems more velvety than the rest), but there are also two orange/coral blushes: Spring Petal, which leans a little bit more pink, and Hibiscus, which is noticeably more metallic.

Spring Petal will quench your coral cravings — especially if you, like me, love the idea of coral but really do look better in pinks. If you want a true orange blush, though, go for Hibiscus!

Annabelle Spring Petal Blushon review swatches photos

Spring Petal

Annabelle Hibiscus Blushon review swatches photos

Hibiscus

The verdict?

If you like perfectly-pigmented, non-dusty blushes, then definitely check these out. The new shades really remind me a lot of the MAC Très Chic collection (bright, pretty, and springy), and the formula feels very Clinique Cheek Pops-y!

Plus, at $7.95, you don’t have to pick between the lilac pink, the shimmering orange, and the bright coral — for the price of just one MAC or Clinique blush, you can get all three.

Availability: $7.95 CAD at online at Annabelle.ca & in drugstores and mass-market retailers across Canada.

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Clinique Wear Everywhere Neutrals “Greys” 8-Pan Palette swatches, review, photos | Super sleek + super affordable, with a side of extra-super-awesome

Friday, February 13, 2015

Clinique Wear Everywhere Greys Palette review

The product: Clinique All About Shadow 8-Pan Palette in Wear Everywhere Greys

This palette, you guys, is everything.

“Pretty. Simple. Overstuffed makeup bags everywhere are rejoicing.

Life is complicated. With Clinique, pretty is easy. Mistake proof combinations exist within every palette. Go matte, go shimmery, and get creative. There are no wrong answers.”

-Clinique, preachin’ the truth

The shades: Clinique is always great at telling you which shadows are what, and this palette is no exception. In Wear Everywhere Greys, you’ll find Fawn Satin (Matte, from the Seashell Pink duo), a pinky satin-matte; High Tea (Matte, LE), a lovely purpley taupe; Mushroom (Super Shimmer LE), a gorgeous taupe that is not the same as the one in the Nutcracker Act I eyeshadow palette (see it worn here); and Grey Matters (Matte, LE), a dark grey-brown.

Clinique Nutcracker Mushroom swatch vs Wear Everywhere Greys Mushroom

Clinique The Nutcracker Suite’s Mushroom (L) vs. the Wear Everywhere Greys’ Mushroom (R). You could have used ANY OTHER NAME, Clinique. Why would you do this.

Fifth comes the bright, white Sugar Cane (Soft Shimmer, permanent), then the neutral Silver Lining (Super Shimmer, permanent; not too blue!), both from the regular line. The palette finishes off with two insanely buttery liner/crease shades: Stormy (Soft Shimmer, LE), a gorgeous neutral-warm brown, and Stroke of Midnight (Matte, permanent), your standard soft black.

The formula: Clinique has played around with a lot of different eyeshadow formulations over the past couple of years, and while this palette doesn’t represent the very, very best of them, it’s still really good. Some of the shades feel a little dry in the pan (keep that in mind if you look at these in-store), but when you actually use them, they work perfectly — zero fall-down, easy to blend, and really well-pigmented.

Clinique Wear Everywhere Greys review swatches 8 pan

Clinique Wear Everywhere Greys swatches

Clinique Greys 8 pan Neutrals palette review

With primer, I get all-day wear out of these (which is really rare for me). The buttery, pigmented Mattes and Soft Shimmers are the best performers in the palette, while the few Super Shimmers remind me a lot of Clinique’s old Colour Surge eyeshadows — they feel drier and almost gritty when swatched, but still apply really gently and smoothly to the lid.

Overall, this Wear Everywhere Neutrals palette is of excellent quality, and there are no poor performers in Greys that drag the rest down.

Clinique 8 pan palette Greys review Wear Everywhere Neutrals

Just the right size! And shades!

The verdict?

Okay, okay, okay: here is the most exciting part of this post. I don’t care if you wear a lot of eyeshadow or only very little, you need one of the Clinique Wear Everywhere Neutrals palettes, because they’re foolproof and only freakin’ $40!!!

Are these palettes perfect perfect? Eh, not technically — but if you want a monochromatic palette, these are your very best bet. They’ll leave you crease- and fallout-free, and strike the perfect balance between variety & simplicity. (Plus: $40!! And just as well-thought-out as the Shu Uemura Prêt-à-Palettes, which are more than twice the price!)

Availability: $36 USD/$40 CAD at Clinique counters & online.

Keep reading! »

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