Shu Uemura Pink Hues Prêt-à-Palette review, swatches, photos | Pulling off an easy, pretty pink makeup look

Monday, September 8, 2014

shu uemura pret a palette pink hues review

The product: shu uemura prêt-à-palette (“Ready-To-Wear palette”) in pink hues

As someone who has always, always loved pink eyeshadows, I’ve never understood how they ended up with such a bad reputation. Like, sure, they can be unflattering, but — so can any colour. It’s never the colour that’s the problem, as far as I’m concerned; it’s the way the wearer has chosen and applied it, or the way the manufacturer has produced it.

So, if you find your pinks are too pink, or your pastels are too chalky, add a bit of black eyeliner to your tightline. And if that fails, prepare yourself for a rave review and buy this palette, because, dude, it makes pink easy

shu uemura pink hues eyeshadow reviews

shu uemura matte smokey purple (new), matte smokey dark bluish pink (new), G135, pearl rosy pink (new)

The shades: The Pink Hues palette begins with a matte plum, dusty in colour but not texture. Next, there’s a matte medium pink, which feels very bridal to me – I think it would look incredibly soft and pretty on medium skintones (especially medium Asian skintones!) The matte pink is followed by a pan of clear sparkles, which reflect green, pink, and silver and impart a base colour only in a very heavy swatch over primer. [ I fracking love sparkles, you guys. ]

The palette winds down with a frosty pink-white, which is rather cool, a frosty beige (quite similar, but smoother in both texture and shimmer), and a muted matte ivory, which applies surprisingly solidly but is a little… grey. It’s a rather corpse-like, but it’s designed to act as a base to intensify and brighten the other shades, and it does a wonderful job of it.

Shu Uemura Pink Hues Pret a Palette swatches

shu uemura pink hues prêt-à-palette swatches

shu uemura pret a palette review - pink hues

shu uemura G135, pearl rosy pink, ME126, M813 eyeshadows

The textures: Honestly, I’m smitten with every single texture in this Prêt-à-Palette — but I have to tip my hat to the matte plum in particular. It applies sheerly with each swipe but layers incredibly well, revealing a darker, richer hue that never starts looking chalky.

Overall, these satin mattes preform very well, with a dense, smooth formula and sparse microshimmer that adds depth without being apparent. (I’m partial to the frosty beige for a wash of colour, because, you know, I’m boring.) The frosts perform equally well, and none of the shades kick up any dust.

shu uemura pink hues palette swatches

shu uemura pink hues eyeshadow palette swatches: matte smokey dark purple and matte smokey dark bluish pink (new), G135, pearl rosy pink (new), ME126, M813

shu uemura pink hues eyeshadow palette review

shu uemura pink hues ready-to-wear eyeshadow palette

The verdict?

I love a lot of things about this palette – and there’s no “but…” attached to that.

With both delicate and dramatic shades, this is easily the most elegantly executed palette of pinks that I’ve ever seen. Each different finish (man, I love it when palettes mix finishes) has the quality to back up these wearable shades, and the shiny black compact is so sleek it practically makes me shiver. Which, in retrospect, may be TMI.

I think Pink Hues plays best on the light to medium Asian skintones it was designed for, but it works well with other fair, yellow, and neutral skintones, too. For darker skintones, however, perhaps pick a pink palette with less light frosts and more fuchsia – that way, you’ll get more distinct colours on your lids.

Availability: $85 CAD (ouch) with free shipping at shuuemura.ca, or at select Holt Renfrew and Sephora locations across Canada. Also available in warm brown, black and white, and blue morning.

The shimmery pink (G135), frosty beige (ME126), and base colour (M813, the No. 3 top selling shade in Japan) may be available for $19 CAD each, or are available in Japan.

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Back to school beauty with I love…

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Back to school beauty with I Love

Fall term started yesterday, and so far it’s been… kind of hellacious. So today I’m doing a brief overview of a bright, fruity back-to-school kit sent my way by Farleyco Beauty (thanks, guys!) It’s not a review, because guys, I want to go to bed, but hopefully those happy-looking stripes will make up for it. They certainly cheered me up.

I love…

I Love strawberries & cream body butter

Despite having the worst name in the history of ever (you try Googling a company called “I love”), these Shopper Drug Mart exclusives actually smell delicious — and they’d be a great send-off for a first-year college student, at their door or in a care package.

The Raspberry & Blackberry Bubble Bath and Shower Crème ($9.99) directions are, honestly, kind of creepy (“pour me seductively under running water… squeeze me generously into the palm of your hand”), but the product itself smells like candy, and the not-as-explicit Strawberries & Cream Nourishing Body Butter ($9.99) makes up for it — though I do prefer the raspberry scent.

You can check out the rest of the I love… range at Farleyco (though, again, it’s a Shopper’s exclusive), but keep in mind that the body butter is not silicone-free!

I Love raspberry blackberry bubble bath shower gel

Perspirex and X3

This particular back-to-school kit also included a bottle of Perspirex Roll-On Antiperspirant ($19.99), which claims to last up to 3 days, and a thing of X3 Labs Foaming Hand Sanitizer ($4.99) — you know, for dorm life. I prefer to wash my hands than use hand sanitizer, but in a pinch, this has always been my brand of choice! It’s alcohol-free as well as fragrance-free, so it plays well with my crazy-dry skin. And also my tendency to put my hands in or near my mouth.

X3 hand sanitizer

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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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