Shu Uemura Shupette Pampearl-Me Face Powder swatches, review; Furry Fantasy False Eyelash photos | Cats! Cats! Cats!

Friday, November 14, 2014

shu uemura furry fantasy shupette eyelashes packaging choupette

Shupette Furry Fantasy Premium False Eyelash case

The products: Shupette by Karl Lagerfeld for shu uemura (holiday 2014)

↳ pampearl-me face powder in pearl; furry fantasy premium false eyelash

This post is a continuation of the Shupette reviews you saw on Wednesday. If you missed that post, make sure to check it out!

Availability: Online at shuuemura.ca and in-stores at Holt Renfrew (as well as select Sephora and Hudson’s Bay locations) this November.

shu uemura shupette furry fantasy false eyelashes review

Furry Fantasy Premium False Eyelashes ($100 CAD)

I’m not a big fan of outlandish false eyelashes (or outlandish anything, really), so I’ll leave you just with a photo of these ones! The Furry Fantasy Premium False Eyelashes are one of two false eyelashes included in this collection, and are featured in the promo images if you’re interested in seeing what they look like on.

The second, non-premium set ($35 CAD) are shown here.

shu uemura furry fantasy premium false eyelashes

Choupette from the HORROR MOVIE EYES angle

karl lagerfeld for shu uemura shupette pampearl-me face powder review

Pampearl-Me Face Powder ($50 CAD)

The Pampearl-Me Face Powder was the second product in this collection that really wowed me — and as such, I think it, too, would be another great “what one product should I get from this collection” pick. It’s well-priced at $50 and features both Karl’s drawing of Choupette (on the lid) and those adorable little kitty-prints (on the powder puff), and the powder itself is a very fine, delicate shimmer mixed with face powder for a subtle glow.

shu uemura shupette pampearl-me face powder review

Shu Uemura Shupette Pampearl-Me Face Powder swatch review

Shu Uemura Pampearl-Me Face Powder, swatched heavily twice. 

Keep reading! »

Shu Uemura Shupette Eye Need Shu Trio, My Precious Glitter Set swatches, reviews, photos | This holiday season, let there be cats.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

shu uemura shupette my precious glitter set review

The products: Shupette by Karl Lagerfeld for shu uemura (holiday 2014)

↳ eye-need-shu trio 01 Parisienne Chic and 02 Tokyo Kawaii; my precious glitter set

I always take forever to get reviews up, but for once, I put a rush order on this one — because what’s more exciting than a holiday collection adorned with cats? (Look at all those little itty-bitty footprints!!)

So, here are swatches, photos, and “mini reviews” featuring shu’s long-awaited, Choupette-inspired holiday collection. If you’re interested in seeing a particular item from the collection worn, or hearing about its wear time, please let me know in the comments & I’ll put a look together with the most popular products!

Availability: Online at shuuemura.ca and in-stores at Holt Renfrew (as well as select Sephora and Hudson’s Bay locations) this November. Or, enter to win the entire collection at shuuemura.ca.

» This post has been split up into two parts. Part two will go up on Friday!

shu uemura shupette eye need shu trio reviews

Eye-Need-Shu Eyeshadow Trios ($45 CAD each)

If there is one product in this collection that I think most will love, it is these. Smooth and pigmented, they’re the most “reliable” of the products that I tried, and easily create day-appropriate looks… unlike those fluffy pink eyelashes!

shu uemura parisienne chic, tokyo kawaii swatches review eyeshadow trio

Shupette by Karl Lagerfeld for Shu Uemura swatches: Parisienne Chic (L) and Tokyo Kawaii (R) Eye-Need-Shu Eyeshadow Trios

I wish there had been a neutrals trio (brown/taupe/highlight, or even taupe/gold/ivory), but these are still a great way to work a little Choupette into your makeup collection without spending too much. The cool-toned Parisienne Chic contains a navy blue (blue shimmer on a very dark base), sky blue, and white, while the warmer Tokyo Kawaii contains a rich, rust-toned red alongside a baby pink and a light yellow.

The middle shade of each of these trios was a little more see-through than the rest, but over all, I think Tokyo Kawaii is a little bit better in terms of quality.

shu uemura my precious glitter review shupette

My Precious Glitter Set ($58 CAD for the trio)

The My Precious Glitter Set was the product (were the products?) that I was most excited for from the Shupette collection, but unfortunately, it was also the biggest letdown. They’re very tiny, a mere 0.035 oz each, and feature chunky shimmer — which, while pretty, isn’t glitter. None of the three can create opaque colour, even with primer underneath, and they’re best worn layered carefully over other eyeshadows for a lucent, uplifted look.

That said, each little pot has kitty footprints tracked around the outside, and it is pretty cute. 

shu uemura loose eyeshadow pink gold platinum swatch review

Shupette My Precious Glitter Set swatches: Platinum, Gold, Pink (over primer)

See the rest of the collection! »

Illamasqua Infinity Precision Gel Liner swatches, review, photos

Monday, November 10, 2014

Illamasqua Precision Gel Liner review

The product: Illamasqua Precision Gel Liner in Infinity

Today, I ask you this: what makes a gel liner? Because in my mind, gel liners have a gel texture; they’re smooth, and slick, and lock down like a waterproof liquid liner once set. What they’re not, however, is creams.

But therein lies the problem. See, I liked this liner (a lot), but it read 100% “cream eyeliner” to me — not at all a gel.

Illamasqua gel liner review

Illamasqua Precision Gel Liner in Infinity

The texture & application: Illamasqua’s Precision Gel Liner applies like a dream – better than any liner I have ever tried before. It’s easy to sneak in through the lashline; easy to line your upper and lower lashes with; easy to create a tiny, tiny wing with. It’s very smooth, and goes where you want it, and pairs beautifully with a thin, angled liner brush (my weapon of choice).

The thing is, it also applies… like a cream. It picks up on my brush with more soft-creaminess than gel-like slickness, smudges around like nobody’s business, and leaves a trace of colour wherever you smudge it off of (if, say, you’re using a q-tip to tweak a just-applied line). Yes, perhaps it’ll seem more gel-like in a few months when it begins to dry out, but right now: it’s acting very, very cream-like for a gel liner.

Illamasqua Precision Gel Liner Infinity swatch

Illamasqua Precision Gel Liner in Infinity swatched thickly/thinly

The shade: Infinity is a simple, cream-finish matte black. It goes on very opaque, but isn’t quite as black as many of my other liners — especially as it smudges throughout the day, it appears quite charcoal-black rather than super-intense-black.

That said, Illamasqua makes no promises that this will be the blackest black liner to ever black, so I don’t have any issues for this shade. It definitely does give a “smooth, rich black line,” (no chalkiness here!) but if having the blackest black is important to you, then skip this one.

Illamasqua Precision Gel Liner Infinity review

The wear: And here! Here’s the rest of the issue. See, Illamasqua’s Precision Gel Liner applies precisely (though with softer lines than the Annabelle Smudge Paints I loved so much), but it smudges — a lot. In some cases, that’s a great thing, because it gives an instant, super sexy smokiness to my eye area, but for a “precision” liner, it’s a bit of a problem.

If I wear this with eyeshadow overtop and an eye primer beneath, I can only manage to get about three hours’ wear from this formula before it tracks on my upper lid — something I’ve never even seen from a drugstore gel liner. This is the other reason why it feels more like a cream liner than a gel one, to me; it just doesn’t have the wear time you’d expect from a gel liner.

Illamasqua Infinity Precision Gel Liner review

The verdict?

We could have had it all, Illamasqua. I loved this product as a smokey cream liner, but as a “precision gel,” it seriously under-preformed. Its edges were just a little too soft to be properly precise, and its wear time before smudging (2-3 hours, without fail) was a huge letdown.

If you want a gel liner that won’t budge, then this is not the droid you are looking for. (Am I allowed to make movie references about a movie I’ve never seen?) But if you want sexy, smudgy liner that creates itself, then this one is PERFECT. I’ve been wearing it pretty much every single day for the past week and a half straight, and it looks amazing. I mean, it’s a complete mess, but it’s a really attractive complete mess.

Availability: £18.50/$30 USD at Illamasqua and ASOS

Keep reading! »

eos Sweet Mint, Summer Fruit, and Blueberry Acai lip balm reviews, photos | The best lip balm under $5

Thursday, November 6, 2014

eos-smooth-sphere-lip-balm-review

The product: eos Smooth Sphere Lip Balm in Sweet Mint, Summer Fruit, and Blueberry Açai

I don’t typically re-review products, but in the case of eos’ Smooth Sphere Lip Balms, I think I have to change my tune.

When I reviewed these the first time around, I focused on Honeydew Melon — which, as it turns out, is kind of the runt of the litter, scent-wise. But I’ve been leaning on these since my Beautycounter review in June, and they’ve really stepped up to the plate: the 95% organic, 100% natural formula doesn’t make me feel so bad about how much lip balm I probably ingest, and they do their job when it comes to keeping my lips hydrated from day to day.

I have a whole friggin’ bunch of these, but here: these are my three favourites of the moment.

eos sweet mint smooth sphere review

eos smooth sphere lip balm in sweet mint

Sweet Mint

What really started off my current Smooth Sphere obsession is the line’s Sweet Mint variation. No less hydrating than its fruity counterparts, Sweet Mint is, well, both extremely minty and (like all eos lip balms!) sweetened with all-natural stevia. It’s thinner and more slippery than a Burt’s Bees lip balm, with a different peppermint scent — it’s sweeter, and smells less like peppermint patties.

The thing about Sweet Mint, however, is that it goes bad really fast. I’ve gone through two of these so far, and I find that they can only make it through one summer before starting to smell “off” — despite the fact that I’ve had other eos balms for twice as long (or longer). At this price, I’ll keep re-buying anyways, but it’s worth noting.

(Also available in stick form!)

eos Sweet Mint lip balm ingredients:

Olive Oil, Beeswax, Coconut Oil, Jojoba Seed Oil, Peppermint Oil, Shea Butter, Stevia Rebaudiana Leaf/Stem Extract, Tocopherol, Limonene, Linalool.

eos summer fruit lip balm review

eos smooth sphere lip balm in summer fruit

Summer Fruit

As much as I love Sweet Mint, I have to admit: it’s not an ideal choice for irritated lips. So, on days when my lips are really raw, or when I’m just hankering for something sweet, I’ve been turning to Summer Fruit. Its scent is hard to describe (it’s a blend), but “summer fruit” is a pretty good way to put it.

This lip balm smells bright and fruity, in a delicious way that never strays from juicy into saccharine-synthetic. And, uh, have I mentioned that it smells super, super tasty?

eos Summer Fruit lip balm ingredients:

Olive Oil, Beeswax, Coconut Oil, Jojoba Seed Oil, Natural Flavor, Shea Butter, Stevia Rebaudiana Leaf/Stem Extract, Tocopherol, Sunflower Seed Oil, Blueberry Fruit Extract, Strawberry Fruit Extract, Peach Fruit Extract, Linalool. 

eos blueberry acai smooth sphere review lip balm

eos smooth sphere lip balm in blueberry açai

Blueberry Açai 

Blueberry Açai isn’t the fruitiest Smooth Sphere, but to me, it’s the most believable. Unlike Honeysuckle Honeydew or Summer Fruit, it’s identifiably blueberryish and sweet-smelling, like a blueberry pie or compote. For those who love berries but not that zing! pop! of most fruity scents (which, admittedly, I totally adore), this one is one to own.

eos Blueberry Acai lip balm ingredients:

Olive Oil, Beeswax, Coconut Oil, Jojoba Seed Oil, Natural Flavor, Shea Butter, Stevia Rebaudiana Leaf/Stem Extract, Sunflower Seed Oil, Tocopherol, Blueberry Fruit Extract, Acai Fruit Extract, Limonene, Linalool. 

IMG_0657

The verdict?

While I still think these fall short of a superhero lip balm, I’m loving them a lot more than I used to. With regular, generous application, they’re doing a pretty good job of keeping my lips in shape, and the domed shape make them easy to use.

At the same price as a crappy Chapstick, these are the best affordable, all-natural lip balm out there — and they’re a great buy even if all-natural isn’t important to you. They’re not going to fix super-chapped lips, but for day-to-day maintenance care, these are hands-down my top lip balm recommendation.

Availability: $3.99 at most drugstores in Canada & the US or online at drugstore.com and Beauty Bridge.

In other news, I have got to get my hands on the SPF 15 Lemon Drop version of this lip balm! Lemon, you guys. Sun protection and also lemon.

Sally Hansen Miracle Gel Sugar Fix, Top Coat review, swatches | A look at lampless gel polishes

Monday, November 3, 2014

Sally Hansen Miracle Gel no lamp nail polish review

The product: Sally Hansen Miracle Gel Polish in Sugar Fix and Top Coat

The promise: This summer, Sally Hansen announced that they had solved the Big Question — of the nail world, that is. How do you get the wear time and look of gel nails, but without a trip to the salon?

The new Miracle Gel system promises to be the answer, delivering up to 14 days of wear and a gel that cures using natural light (there’s a photoinitiator in the top coat), no lamp necessary. It’s a two-step polish-and-top-coat process, but the polishes are available in a whopping 45 shades, and the system promises soak-free removal with acetone-based or even acetone-free nail polish remover.

So now the question is… does it work?

Sally Hansen Miracle Gel Sugar Fix

Sally Hansen Miracle Gel Polish – Sugar Fix review

The polish: I tested Sugar Fix for this review, a milky, vibrant light blue. It’s a cream finish shade (and unfortunately I haven’t tried any metallics or shimmers from the line), but even considering this, it was pretty underwhelming. The formula is extremely thin, needing four coats to even come close to opacity, and even then I find that it goes a bit streaky unless you’re careful.

The top coat: Despite this, though, I actually really enjoyed using the Miracle Gel Top Coat! It applies smoothly and quite thickly, immediately giving a very “gel” look to the nail. I find that it goes on without disturbing the polish at all, but like any good top coat, it also makes your colour look instantly smoother — which is perfect for someone who gives as shoddy a manicure as I do.

Sally Hansen Miracle Gel Sugar Fix review swatches

Sally Hansen Miracle Gel Polish in Sugar Fix swatch (four coats)

Sally Hansen OMGel nail polish review

Sally Hansen Miracle Gel polish in Sugar Fix: 1, 2, 3, and 4 coats (L-R)

The wear: I actually tested these twice: first, I had a friend try out the system for me, and then I repeated it on my own. She saw barely 24 hours of wear before her polish began to form little cracks throughout, but I’m told that this could be because she used a base coat — so, if you give this system a try, NO BASE COAT! None!

When I used this set, however, I saw about 2 1/2 weeks of wear on my pedicure with no chipping, wearing, or cracking… in either the Miracle Gel polish or my control group nails. Once they did wear, I noticed the following things:

(1) There was no difference in wear between Sally Hansen’s Miracle Gel polish and their Complete Salon Manicure polish,

(2) The Miracle Gel Top Coat presented no chipping over three weeks (dude) but did develop tip wear near the end,

(3) The Sally Hansen Hard as Nails Top Coat nails lasted the longer than the Miracle Gel Top Coat nails by a day, but then showed major chipping.

Sally Hansen Miracle Gel Top Coat

Sally Hansen Miracle Gel Top Coat review

The verdict?

This is the most rigorously I have ever tested a product (what? I really wanted it to work), so it is with reasonable confidence that I can say: don’t buy into marketing hype. The Miracle Gel system is, in my opinion, not worth investing in at $20/duo… but that includes the polishes.

The Miracle Gel Top Coat, however, is a different story. It delivered on its promise of durability and a gel-like look, and though I did see tip wear, it came with zero chipping and super easy removal. If you do like the look of gel nails and want a top coat that will wear well (caveat: but not as well as a true gel manicure), I’d say get the Miracle Gel Top Coat, but skip the polishes. 

Availability: $8.95 USD/$10.95 CAD each, for both the polishes and top coat.

Keep reading! »

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