Keep your paws off my Japoneseque Safari Chic Bronzer Brush (because I’m kind of smitten.) | A quick Japonesque Safari Chic review

Friday, August 10, 2012

The product: Japonesque Safari Chic Bronzer Brush

The brush: Do you have any idea how hard it is to write about a fantastic, adorable, cruelty-free brush and not just babble affectionately about it the whole time? (Hint: it’s hard. Like, extremely hard.)

Japonesque’s Safari Chic collection features a three-piece mini brush set, but it showcases this little guy, too. Densely-packed and oh-so-soft, the Safari Chic Bronzer Brush is basically the bronzer brush that all the other brushes grow up wishing the could be. Plus, the whole collection has been done in animal-friendly synthetic fibers, making them a kind of ridiculously perfect gift for animal lovers.

 

I love it for: Not bronzing, actually! I’m not huge into bronzers, and when I do wear them, I do so quite sparingly. This is too big for me to use as a bronzing brush (but only because I’m a werido; check out Dovey’s review at Cute & Mundane for size comparisons), but I love it as a synthetic kabuki. 

The size and dense, luxuriously soft bristles make this one perfect for buffing in liquid and creme products, and I think it would do a pretty okay job with powders, too.

The brand: As a beauty blogger, I definitely recognize the name — but as a consumer? I live in Canada (and try my very best not to leave the house unless absolutely necessary), so I’ve never actually seen the line in stores.

So, as a quick primer: you might recognize this tools-and-accessories-only brand from their precision lash curlers, tweezers (did you know that they have a tweezer reconditioning program, like Tweezerman do?) or cult-favourite lipstick palettes — honestly; I think every makeup artist owns at least one of those by now. (And so they should; the palettes are brilliant!)

 

The verdict?

Yes. Absolutely. I honestly can’t think of a bad thing to say about this brush — it’s gorgeously soft, luxuriously dense, and animal-friendly. I’ve been reaching for it a lot recently to buff in base products, and (even though it wasn’t the intended purpose), this bronzing brush does a wonderful job with it.

But perhaps most importantly… this is so cute! I’m of the firm belief that animal print is usually a bad idea, but even still, I’m ridiculously fond of this one.

Availability: $22 USD; Ulta is probably your best bet. (Japonesque has a store locater here, though, if that helps!)

Keep reading! »

Annabelle Biggy Bronzer in Caribbean Sun review, photos, swatches

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

The product: Annabelle Biggy Bronzer in Caribbean Sun 

The packaging: Okay, okay, so I kind of do like the “Biggy” packaging of Caribbean Sun. What can I say; it’s kind of cute! The large size (just shy of 10cm) makes it easy to pick up the individual shades, but it’s not so big that you can’t fit it in your handbag. (Don’t look at me like that; it happens! Lise Waiter, Clarins: we’re looking at you.)

Plus, at just $12.95 CAD for 18.7g of bronzer (almost double the size of MAC’s), it’s a pretty darn good buy for the size.

The shades: So, here’s the catch. While I like the tones of this Biggy Bronzer, I’m less crazy about the amount shimmer in it. Which is to say: a lot of shimmer. It’s a really nice glow if you like a shimmer bronzer, but–while I know I’m in the minority here–I don’t. I think it would have been nice to see a mix of mattes and shimmers from Annabelle in this one (maybe the darker shades in matte, and the lighter ones in shimmer?) but I guess I’ll just have to keep my fingers crossed for next summer.

Annabelle Caribbean Sun swatches – individual

Annabelle Biggy Bronzing Powder swatches, blended / really heavily

vs. Annabelle Zebra Bronzer: I don’t have swatch photos for you, but I just wanted to cover this briefly. I know some of you picked this one up when I first raved about it two (eep!) years ago, so: if you already have Zebra, you don’t need this. If you have this, though, I still totally think you need the Zebra bronzer!

These are both warm, shimmery bronzers, but I really do prefer Zebra. It has less shimmer overall (Caribbean Sun has additional frosty yellow-gold microshimmer to Zebra’s finely-milled gold), significantly more pigmentation, and more of a warm, rich glow. Which isn’t to say that Annabelle’s Zebra bronzer isn’t any of these things at all, though; it’s still definitely shimmery and can be sheered out!

The verdict?

It’s not a must have, but if you do like the look of it, snap it up soon. While I wasn’t crazy about the shimmer-to-pigment ratio of this one, it does give a glow that photographs quite well from a distance (i.e. not macro shots).

Easy to blend and completely unscented, give this one a try if you like your summer glow to come from a sheer, super-shimmery bronzer. (I prefer spot-highlighting, but then, I guess I’ve always been a bit of an oddball!)

Availability: LE in Canadian drugstores this summer. $12.95 CAD, 18.7g. (I spied this in-store last week, so you should still be able to find it!)

See it: Photographed with the Hawaiian Hues eyeshadow palette in this Aqua Queen collection teaser, or in last month’s festival makeup look here and here.

Additional photos, ingredients, & more »

Get Mod (Muse) with Senna’s latest and greatest | Review & swatches of Adonis, Arabesque, and Fantasy

Friday, August 3, 2012

The product: Senna Cosmetics Mod Muse Eye Colour eyeshadows in Adonis, Arabesque, and Fantasy.

Have you ever stumbled your way into a collection where everything–literally, everything–seems like the best thing since sliced bread? Because, man, Senna eyeshadows are the best thing since sliced bread.

And that’s coming from a bona fide carb junkie.

The shades

Arabesque is a “sunlit peach” in their Glow formula, and it’s a good place to start. While it’s not a must-have, I really like it — it’s chunky shimmer interspersed through a sheer, glowing peach base, and the unique finish and texture puts it in a fairly small class of eyeshadows. (I used it in this violet-lidded makeup tutorial, just in the inner corner. The almost-flaky texture pairs really interesting with finely-milled shimmers and mattes, particularly in person.)

Then we have Fantasy, which, I have to say: definitely my favourite. It’s a “reflective blue purple,” also in the Glow formula, and it happens to be one that I’ve been in love with for years — here’s a swatch and makeup look featuring it from way in ’09.

Fantasy is quite possibly my favourite subtle-pop-of-colour shade ever (even for a violet, and trust me, I have a lot of violet eyeshadow). I’d definitely call it a must-have for fair skintones and lavender (web) lovers, which if you ask me, is really saying something!

(Yes, okay, it is possible that I have more violet eyeshadows than I socks. Don’t judge.)

For a lot of people, though, I think Adonis is going to be the attention-grabber of this collection. It’s a matte “smokey blue teal, and like all of the brand’s matte eyeshadows, it’s intensely pigmented and blendable. Senna’s mattes sit on the dry end of the spectrum (think NARS or Make Up For Ever mattes, rather than MAC Matte2), and I’m generally quite fond of them.

(For a brighter, truer teal in the same matte formula, try Peacock.)

The formula

Senna eyeshadows have always been a favourite of mine, whether they’re shimmers, glows, or mattes, and these three are no exception. Like the rest of the line, they’re pigmented when they need to be (ahem, Adonis), but they know when to lie low — I mean, can you imagine a full-finish Arabesque, still with the same chunky-glow finish?

(What a trainwreck that would be!)

The verdict?

The Senna brand has always been really artistry-focused, and I think that’s something seen best in their eyeshadows. No, most people aren’t going to have a use for a sultry dark teal, or a sheer, chunky peach, but those who are looking for interesting shades and finishes will be really pleased with these.

Senna eyeshadows are hard to come by in-person outside of an IMATS or the state of California, but they retail for $16.50 each (online here) and come in conveniently-sized 26mm pans. 

Additional photos &amp ingredients »

LUSH Emotional Brilliance: the full range

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

With all the talk of LUSH’s new Emotional Brilliance range, I thought I’d take a moment to cover the entire lineup on theNotice. We’ve seen a lot of previews and such recently, but I’ve been hard-pressed to find a post with both product & shade breakdowns!

The line, which launched on the 21st, starts at $18.95 (for the auxiliary products) and goes up to $22.95 (for the staple items). All 30 products are 100% cruelty-free and vegan-friendly.

Now, here’s the green cool green and definitely cool part: the colours all come in clear glass bottles (glass is one of the most easily recycled materials globally, which I didn’t know before) with disposable-or-reusable brush inserts made from recycled black LUSH pots.

Each bottle holds 8g of product (liquid eyeliners are typically only 2g), and all the ingredients are listed inside the label, attached to the cap with a hair tie. Kind of awesome, right?

Play the Emotional Brilliance game to pick your colours…

or keep reading to see the whole range!

Liquid Eyeliner, $22.95

LUSH made an interesting choice with their liquid eyeliners, using two formulas for dramatically different effects. Independent (black) and Fantasy (gold) are designed with a no-smudge, stay-put formula, but the others have the same base as the cream eyeshadows — meaning you’ll have time to blend, despite their liquid base.

Cream Eyeshadow, $22.95

Formulated with a rose petal base and skin-softening almond and jojoba oils, LUSH’s cream eyeshadows are designed to blend easily and dry down to a soft, refined look.

Liquid Lips, $22.95

Formulated using LUSH’s Ultrabalm formula as a base, the Liquid Lips products have been made to moisturize, soften, and carry intense pigment. The effect can be worn on its own for a stronger lip (perfect for their wide range of reds!) or blotted down with lip balm for a softer look.

Eyes Right Mascara, $18.95

AKA the Fresh Wheatgrass mascara, which… I don’t know, man. I think that’s a hilarious and extremely LUSH thing to call a product, even though there isn’t anything strictly funny about it.

The Eyes Right mascara comes in just one colour (black), and promises a natural lash effect with no smudging or flaking. 

Ingredients lists & the rest of the range »

New 22/07/12

Sunday, July 22, 2012

I sorted this week’s “New…” widgets a little differently — limited edition items vs. permanent ones. Nothing’s double-checked or cross-referenced, so don’t blame me if a few of the items are on the wrong list, but this should be more or less correct!

Permanent-range items

I love the look of the new Clarins mono eyeshadows. They’re one of the last (or perhaps the very last?) Clarins products to be repackaged and relaunched, and the brand did not disappoint! (Review coming soon for ome of the shades; just need it to get light out in Edmonton again.)

The product that surprised me the most to see, though, was YSL’s Touche Éclat foundation — I just figured that if they were planning on doing one, they’d have done it sooner, you know? It’s not exactly news (anymore) that the illuminator has done well for itself! Better late than never, I suppose, though, and foundations have been “in” again this year.

Limited edition items

From NARS, Fall 2012; from Chantecaille, Safari Chic (elephants!); from Lancôme, Midnight Roses… the list goes on. Dior Purple Revolution (and hey; if you’re going to have a revolution in violet, I am not going to complain); MAC Illustrated (Nordstrom/The Bay exclusives, if I’m not mistaken); Estée Lauder Violet Underground.

Oh, and then there’s… »

A bright gold Monday morning Fantasy with LUSH Emotional Brilliance

Monday, July 16, 2012

I wear a really startling amount of gold eyeliner, so a good, reliable (read: permanent-range) gold has been on the top of my wishlist for months. I have and love Marcelle Lux Diamond Pure Gold, which I rave about on a pretty frequent basis, but I’m constantly on the lookout for a solid gold: a smooth, metallic finish, rather than chunky glitter.

(Which isn’t to say that chunky glitter is a bad thing; I’m crazy about chunky glitter. It would be nice to have both on hand, though, you know?)

I can think of very few brands who do gold eyeliners, and even less who do them in the tone I’m looking for. (Less bumble-bee yellow and a little bit closer to white-gold, or at the very least, antique gold). Take the liquid component of the sentence–an integral part thereof–into consideration, and just like that… results found: 0.

(Make Up For Ever #9L might have fit the bill, but: pencil.)

Meet LUSH Fantasy.

I haven’t had a chance to see this one in person, yet, but I’m excited for it: a permanent-range gold liquid eyeliner, no chunkiness in sight. At $22.95 CAD for a whopping 8g of product–most liners are about 2g,–Fantasy is one of two eyeliners in the Emotional Brilliance range that have been formulated with a long-lasting, no-smudge formula. (The others are designed to take longer to set for a softer, more blendable look.)

Keep your fingers crossed for this one, fellow gold-lovers!

P.S. The Emotional Brilliance range is housed in glass bottles (both recyclable & easy to reuse) with disposable wand applicators made from recycled black LUSH pots. With no extra packaging (the ingredients and info are all on the name-tag, attached with a basic black hair elastic), they’re designed to look cool on a dressing table & travel just as well.

This cruelty-free range will launch July 21st in LUSH stores and online.

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