Make Up For Ever 150 Precision Blush, 174 Concealer, 304 Lip Brush reviews, photos

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Make-Up-For-Ever-Brush-review-Artisan-Collection

The products: Make Up For Ever Artisan Brush Collection – 150 Precision Blush Brush (Wavy), 174 Concealer Brush – Small (Straight), 304 Lip Brush with Cap (Straight)

I’ve been testing Make Up For Ever’s Artisan brushes for the better part of a year, now, but it was just a few weeks ago that I finally fell in love with one of them. I’m fond of the collection on the whole, from the gorgeous design to the fact that all of the brushes are synthetic, but it just — I don’t know. It took me a little while.

Dany Sanz and the MUFE team worked on these brushes for five years, and the finished product is a line of 76 brushes with beech wood handles and straight (for heavier, more precise application) or wavy (lighter, more splayed) bristles. Each brush features a beveled end to help with applying false lashes or retrieving product on set, and the range is broken up into four categories: complexion (100s), eyes (200s), lips (300s), and artistry brushes (400s).

MUFE-brush-review-150-304-174

Make Up For Ever “Artisan” Brushes (detail)

150 Precision Blush Brush ($40 USD/$46 CAD)

I thoroughly believe in starting with your best foot forward (or, at least, I do this week), so here’s the brush that I’m loving right now: the wavy-bristled Precision Blush Brush. Its angled bristles are smooth but firm, and don’t feature the “oily” feeling that some of the Artistry brushes are said to — instead, it’s just kind of narrow and fluffy. 

Make-Up-For-Ever-150-precision-blush-brush-review

Make Up For Ever 150 Precision Blush Brush

Make Up For Ever recommends this brush for loose or pressed powders including blush, contour, and highlighters, but I actually think it excels at applying and blending cream blushes and stains – a tip I got from my sister. I find it to be a little too stiff for everyday powder contour or blush, but does a beautiful job of really working cream products into the skin. (It would also be a wonderful brush to work with for that severe, “Kardashian/Instagram” sculpting!)

MUFE-150-cheek-brush-reviewMUFE 150 Precision Blush Brush

174 Small Concealer Brush ($21 USD/$24 CAD)

The straight-bristled Small Concealer Brush is pretty standard, as far as concealer brushes go, but it serves its basic function well. This one is great for applying and blending concealer on a large blemish or around the nose, but I don’t find that I reach for brushes like this anymore – I prefer sheer, all-over coverage paired with precision spot concealing, so this style of brush just too wide for me.

That said, if you’re looking for a brush of this size to work with cream or liquid concealer, you could do far worse than the 174. It’s well-priced and easy on the eyes, and the bristles have just enough give to deposit product without irritating a blemish.

Make-Up-For-Ever-174-small-concealer-brush-review

MUFE-174-brush-review

Make Up For Ever 174 Small Concealer Brush

304 Lip Brush ($25 USD/$29 CAD)

The last brush I have to share with you today is the 304, a collapsable lip brush. Now, I don’t usually use a lip brush when applying lipstick or gloss, but I love brushes like this all the same — they’re perfect for applying concealer on the go. 

Make-Up-For-Ever-304-lip-brush-reviewMUFE-304-straight-lip-brush-reviewMake Up For Ever 304 Lip Brush (cap used as handle)

You know those days when you have a really bad blemish, but you’re going to be out from 9 ’til 9, too? Brushes like this one are the perfect thing to throw into your handbag, because they have a small enough tip to cover your blemish just right, and the brush handle will then pop off to cover the tip of your brush. Super clean, super compact, and awesome especially if you’re working with a creamy concealer.

The Make Up For Ever Artisan brushes are my favourite brush range, aesthetically, at the moment — what’s yours?

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The multitaskers: Five skincare picks that do it all

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Multitasking products??? MULTITASKING PRODUCTS! I love multitasking products, dude — give me something that’ll preform more than one function for me and I am there.

(You have no idea how crushed I was to find out that there aren’t any 2-in-1 ‘cone-free shampoo-conditioners. There may have been tears.)

Marcelle Ultra Gentle Cleansing Gel Marcelle Ultra Gentle Cleansing Gel Marcelle Ultra Gentle Cleansing Gel HTML Map

The multitaskers

Marcelle Ultra Gentle Cleansing Gel ($1.99-$12.95 CAD) – a silicone, fragrance, paraben, and sulfate-free makeup remover and cleanser. This one is great for removing makeup (it even took off that new Hourglass 1.5mm liner I’ve been testing!), but I still definitely think Marcelle’s Cleansing Milk is better for extra-dry skin.

L’Occitane Immortelle Brightening Eyecare & Mask Duo ($42 CAD) – also silicone-free, this one’s not your usual kind of 2-in-1: used sparingly, it’s an eye cream; slathered on more heavily, it functions as a 10-minute mask to moisturize, luminize, and de-puff. Also worth noting is that it has a metal tip similar to that of the Clinique Lid Smoothies (but larger and more round), so application is mess-free and very cooling.

Marcelle Ideal Skin Perfector ($24.95 CAD) – this one’s not silicone-free, but it does do a whole bunch of things — and it’s brand spankin’ new. If you’ve had your eye on the Clinique Smart Custom Repair Serum, this might be a good option instead if you’re on a budget!

Neutrogena Healthy Skin CC Fair Light swatch review

Neutrogena Healthy Skin CC Cream SPF 30 in Fair to Light swatches

Neutrogena Healthy Skin CC Cream SPF 30 ($16.99 CAD) - you guys, this CC cream breaks my freakin’ heart. It doesn’t just do everything well, it does everything perfectly – except for one big, glaring thing. Lightweight and insanely comfortable, it minimizes redness and smoothes over dry, flaky patches like a champ, but leaves the skin looking and feeling totally natural… until you walk into the sunlight.

See, the thing is, this CC Cream is actually packed with disco-ball levels of completely unnecessary microshimmer, which is a total deal-breaker for me (and probably some of you, too!) Skip it if you’re one of the shimmer-free camp, but definitely, definitely give it a go if you’re not adverse to shimmer. Lovers of Annabelle’s BB Pressed Powder, Guerlain Meteorites, etc., this means you! 

Clinique Smart Custom Repair Serum ($59.50 USD/$69 CAD) – our last product today is the ultimate do-it-all: a serum that claims to target skin concerns based on the distress signals being sent out by your own skin. I don’t buy that for a second (despite the 37 patents backing this product), but I do believe in the six zillion actives crammed into this serum (including soothing caffeine, plumping hyaluronic acid, and brightening Vitamin C, to name just a few.)

Clarins Ombre Matte Earth, Nude Bronze review, swatches | Smooth nudes in Clarins’ Fall 2014 Ladylike collection

Monday, August 25, 2014

Clarins Ombre Matte eyeshadow review

The product: Clarins Ombre Matte Cream-to-Powder Matte Eyeshadow in 01 Nude Beige and 06 Earth 

The formula: Like other potted cream-to-powder eyeshadows, these aren’t really a cream, per se — more like a slightly damp, very creamy powder eyeshadow. (Which sounds super gross if you haven’t tried an eyeshadow like it before, but trust me, they’re actually pretty cool!)

(It’s funny because the dampness makes them feel cold.) 

These are drier than similar iridescent formulas I’ve tried, but apply more sheerly and with zero fallout as a result. It takes a bit of time to layer them, but when you do, they create a really lovely satin-matte eye that doesn’t ever look chalky or flat. 

Clarins Ombre Matte Cream to Powder Matte Eyeshadow review

Clarins Ombre Matte Eyeshadows

The shades: The “skintoned” 01 Nude Beige wears more matte than its chocolate-brown counterpart, but while it applies smoothly, I’d skip it if you’re intending to use it as an all-over base — I find that this formula doesn’t wear as well as other eye bases, so it’s not a practical choice. Also, I mean, it’s kind of boring, and at $24 each, I just don’t do boring.

06 Earth, on the other hand, has a more complex satin finish – and an absolutely beautiful tone that makes up for any shortcomings its formula may have. It also feels a bit wetter than Nude Beige, which kind of gets rid of said shortcomings altogether (as it’s easier to pick up and build.)

Clarins Ombre Matte EOTD Nude Beige, Earth

Clarins Ombre Matte Eyeshadows in 01 Nude Beige and 06 Earth worn with the sparkly gold from Clarins’ Odyssey palette

Clarins Nude Beige, Earth Ombre Matte swatches

Clarins Ombre Matte Cream to Powder Matte Eyeshadow swatches: 01 Nude Beige, 06 Earth

The packaging: Like the rest of the Clarins line, the packaging on these is absolutely lovely. It’s chic and sharp-edged, but very lightweight — Clarins has opted to make these out of plastic rather than glass, which sacrifices the luxury feel (but maintains the luxury look) in favour of making them portable and perfect for travel.

Clarins Roly Poly Rosy, Coming Up Rosy review swatches FOTD,  Clarins Ombre Matte

Also wearing Imju Fiberwig, Lise Watier 24Hrs Gel Liner, and Clinique Chubby Cheeks & Baby Tint Sticks

The verdict?

You know how I’m always talking about “the Clarins eye”? Well, with five mattes (two of which are nudes; skip the nudes) and one sparkling finish, the Ombre Matte eyeshadows are perfect for crafting the iconic Clarins eye: that wonderful mix of satin and sparkle that create something special from something very subtle. (Much like the Eye Quartet Mineral Palettes ($42 USD/$42 CAD) that I adore.)

Like all of Clarins’ mattes, the Ombre Matte formula is perfect for layering, and never has any fallout or chalkiness. Skip them if mattes bore you–don’t even front; I know mattes bore some of you–but if you love mattes or if you have yet to find a matte to love, this formula is a gorgeous one to begin with.

Availability: $24 CAD at Clarins.ca & Clarins counters.

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Clinique Cheek Chubby Sticks, Baby Tint swatches, review | Fresh, flawless lips & cheeks in 10 seconds or less

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Clinique Baby Tint Chubby Stick review

The product: Clinique Chubby Stick Cheek Colour Balm in 02 Robust Rhubarb and 03 Roly Poly Rosy; Chubby Stick Baby Tint Moisturizing Lip Balm in 01 Poppin’ Poppy and 02 Coming Up Rosy

New this month to Clinique are two all-new Chubby Stick formulas — which, duh, I am super freaking excited about.

And guess what? They’re both awesome. 

Clinique Chubby Stick Cheek review swatches

Clinique Chubby Stick Cheek Colour Balm in 02 Robust Rhubarb, 03 Roly Poly Rosy

Chubby Stick Cheek Colour Balm ($21 USD/$24 CAD)

The Clinique Chubby Cheek Sticks are the same length as your average Chubby Stick, but they’re much wider, with a nice, domed tip – and they make applying blush really quick and easy. Just scribble a bit of the product onto your cheeks (straight from the stick!) and blend with a fingertip, and voila! perfect blush in under ten seconds, no brushes needed.

The Cheek Colour Balm formula is smooth and scent-free, medium-sheer with a texture that blends with a light touch without blending away. It’s a treat to work with, but I think it would be particularly perfect for makeup beginners and busy moms! (Much like this bronzer blush that I talked about on Thursday.)

Clinique Robust Rhubarb, Poppin Poppy review FOTD, Clarins Ombre Matte

Wearing Robust Rhubarb on cheeks, Poppin’ Poppy on lips

Clinique Robust Rubarb Chubby Cheek review swatchesClinique Chubby Stick Cheek Colour Balm in 02 Robust Rhubarb

These feel comfortable and lightweight on my cheeks, and they give an all-day glow without making your skin look shiny. I think the shimmer-free Roly Poly Rosy would make a great basic medium-pink blush for cool skintones like my own, but I actually really loved the coral-pink Robust Rhubarb, too.

Robust Rhubarb is the only coral blush that I’ve ever thought looked good on me (no joke!!), and it has some incredibly flattering cool pink nuances tucked in there alongside super-subtle shimmer. I’ve actually been wearing Rhubarb on the apples of my cheeks, with Roly Poly Rosy relegated to adding depth like some kind of backup dancer, and it’s been awesome.

Clinique Baby Tint, Chubby Cheek swatches review

Clinique Chubby Stick Baby Tint in 01 Poppin’ Poppy, 02 Coming Up Rosy swatches; Chubby Stick Cheek Colour Balm in 02 Robust Rhubarb, 03 Roly Poly Rosy swatches

Chubby Stick Baby Tint ($17 USD/$19 CAD)

Clinique Baby Tint Coming Up Rosy review swatches

Clinique Chubby Stick Baby Tint in 02 Coming Up Rosy

Like most of the regular Clinique range, the Baby Tints are sheer — but unlike the rest of the Chubby Sticks, they’re pH adjusting to “custom fit” the wearer.

This is, obviously, a load of crock, but you know what? Who cares. pH-adjusting products may not actually be made to suit your unique skintone, but they go from clear to tinted in a matter of seconds, and they’re fun. Show me a person who doesn’t think that colour-shifting makeup is cool and I’ll show you a liar.

Clinique Baby Tint Poppin Poppy review swatches

Clinique Chubby Stick Baby Tint in 01 Poppin’ Poppy

Clinique Poppin Poppy Coming Up Rosy swatches Baby Tint review

Clinique Chubby Stick Baby Tint swatches – 01 Poppin’ Poppy, 02 Coming Up Rosy

Both of the tints that I tried, Poppin’ Poppy and Coming Up Rosy, are shimmer-free, comfortable, and glossy. I find that they appear much more tinted on the lips than they do when swatched on the back of my hand, but they’re definitely sheer enough that you could pick up whichever shade suits your fancy.

Like any tinted lip balm, these aren’t going to last all day (unlike those Chubby Cheek Sticks — which, yes, I know that’s not their real name, but it should have been), but they do alright. Expect to reapply with the same frequency as lip balm, but no more often than that.

Clarins Roly Poly Rosy, Coming Up Rosy review swatches FOTD,  Clarins Ombre Matte

Wearing Clinique Chubby Stick (Cheek) in 03 Roly Poly Rosy, Baby Tint in 02 Coming Up Roses

The verdict?

I squealed out loud when I first saw these teased online, and for once, I’m 100% comfortable telling you that yes: these are every bit as good as I was hoping. (Especially Poppin’ Poppy! If you love corals but always find them too warm, try it. You’ll thank me later.)

The Clinique Chubby Stick Baby Tints are nice to have around (that purple!), but it’s the new Chubby Stick Cheek Colour Balms that really steal the show for me. I can’t find a single flaw in them, from the way they apply to the way they blend, and they’re an absolute steal at $24 CAD. I love stick blushes, and these are the best that I’ve ever tried.

Availability: August 2014. CheekNordstrom, Sephora, Clinique / Baby TintNordstrom, Sephora, Clinique.

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Marcelle Trio+ Eyeshadows | (Also) New This Week

Monday, August 18, 2014

Marcelle Trio+ eyeshadow quads

They’re heeeere!

Teased last week by @MarcelleTweets (the brand’s English Twitter account), the brand-new Marcelle Trio+ Eyeshadow quads ($15.95 CAD) are now up for grabs through Marcelle’s online site. Perfume and paraben-free, the quads promise three intense, velvety powder eyeshadows with one ultra-glittery shade – exactly the way I like it.

Available now in six different colour palettes (but I only have eyes for Smoky Chestnut and Chocolate Vanille, of course — how beautifully do those look like they would swatch?!)

Ingredients & individual photos »

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