Make Up For Ever Rouge Artist Lipstick swatches, review, photos


    The product: Make Up For Ever Rouge Artist Lipsticks in C105 Grege Beige, C211 Rose Wood, M401 Hot Red by Icona Pop, C502 Taupe Violet, C506 Dark Purple, C603 Midnight Blue by Icona Pop

    When I first opened up this box of Make Up For Ever Rouge Artist Lipsticks, I thought immediately of New Year’s Eve. (Well, once I was done swooning, of course.) These bold shades are the perfect pairing for a night out, and what night is bigger than New Year’s?

    They’re great on their own, but for even more of a statement lip, top them with a glittery gloss or loose shimmer!


    The formula: The Make Up For Ever Rouge Artist formula is thick, creamy, and opaque. They’re VERY high coverage, and most of the cream colours are packed with so much pigment that they wear like soft mattes.

    Overall, these lipsticks are heavy but extremely comfortable, with a hydrating finish. The mattes in particular are very well done – just look at the way that red glows!

    The new Rouge Artist lipsticks contain 25% more pigments than the old Rouge Artist Intense formula, and reportedly wear for 8 to 10 hours for the cream and matte finishes – which I wasn’t able to achieve. I saw <4 hours of wear out of these cream formulas with noticeable fading at 1-2 hours; by hour 5, all that was left was a ring around my lipline.

    I know: super classy.


    The best Rouge Artist lipsticks

    The best of the bunch: C105 Grege Beige, C211 Rose Wood, M401 Hot Red by Icona Pop.

    Like with many bold lipsticks, the Rouge Artist lipsticks vary by shade. These three are glorious: opaque in one swipe, easy to work with, and just the right texture not to move around once applied.

    Grege Beige is a nude best suited for medium skintones, and Rose Wood is a somber medium-rose that was right up my alley. Both feature a tacky, heavy cream formula that feels hydrating but not slick.

    Hot Red is a breathtaking super-matte bright red. It’s the kind of shade that almost seems like it’s breaking your eyes (yesss!), but it doesn’t feel heavy or chalky in the least.


    Make Up For Ever Rouge Artist lipstick swatches / TOP: C105 Grege Beige, C211 Rose Wood / MIDDLE: M401 Hot Red (LE), C502 Taupe Violet / BOTTOM: C506 Dark Purple, C603 Midnight Blue (LE)

    The good Rouge Artist lipsticks

    Shades that wore alright: C502 Taupe Violet, C603 Midnight Blue by Icona Pop.

    These two were great, but definitely harder to work with. They weren’t as opaque as Grege Beige and Rose Wood, and they suffered as a result. I couldn’t get perfect coverage with either, but they were opaque enough to pass. If these were human beings, they’d be the kind that you loved – but wouldn’t bring home to your parents.

    Seriously, though: how gloriously odd are these shades??


    Make Up For Ever Rouge Artist in C603 Midnight Blue by Icona Pop review, swatches


    Make Up For Ever Rouge Artist lipstick swatches: C105 Grege Beige, C211 Rose Wood, M401 Hot Red (LE), C502 Taupe Violet, C506 Dark Purple, and C603 Midnight Blue (LE).

    The Rouge Artist shade to skip

    What to skip: C506 Dark Purple. 

    Dark Purple was, honesty, a mess. It’s slicker and more sheer than the rest, which makes it slide around and cling to dry patches. Even when I swatched it on my arm, it was obvious how different the texture was to the other cream lipsticks.

    I would love to see a reformulated version of this, because it really is a great shade–just poorly executed. (I guess its people-equivalent would be that person in your Econ class who sits at the front and asks lots of annoying questions, but never reads the textbook and has to drop the class after midterms?)


    The verdict?

    Overall, I enjoyed these lipsticks, but they weren’t perfect. They’re beautiful and high-coverage, with an interesting, artistic shade range. I would have liked to see the full 8-hour wear as promised (I need to touch up after 2 hours, which is unusual for me), but they’re comfortable and opaque enough that I’m willing to make the trade.

    There are 45 shades of Rouge Artist lipsticks. I recommend skipping slipperier cream finishes like C506 Dark Purple and snapping up stunners like M401 Hot Red immediately — I’m really hoping M401 will be added to the permanent range!

    Availability:$22 USD/$27 CAD at Sephora; permanent. The Icona Pop shades are limited edition as of Aug 2016.

    Keep reading! »


    Lustworthy: Face masks | The Gift Guide



    This holiday season, I’m featuring the most enticing items from my Gift Guide in a column simply titled “Lustworthy.” Tune in every Saturday from now until Christmas for your weekly dose!

    For the very last holiday instalment of Lustworthy, I have two products that are both luxe and practical: face masks. Because they need to be carefully applied and left to sit, face masks are one of the most enjoyable beauty luxuries, and they can really help perk up a holiday complexion, too.

    Whether you’ve indulged in too many sweets or the dry air is getting to you, these face masks will help you balance out your complexion should you so desire. (But you already look beautiful as it is!)


    Featured here: the Shangpree Silver Premium “Rubber” Mask ($20 USD from Peach & Lily) and the all-natural BHA Tata Harper Resurfacing Mask ($58 USD/$77 CAD).

    What’s on your wish list this week?


    How LELO promotes unsafe sex | Or, why you shouldn’t buy a Mona on Boxing Day


    With Christmas coming in just a few days, I’m officially calling it: this is the end of my holiday gift guide coverage. Instead, I’m moving on to Boxing Day sales – and talking about one brand that you shouldn’t buy from. (Spoiler alert: it’s LELO.)

    Like high end makeup, high end sex toys are definitely luxury items, and a great sale can really help take the edge off of a hefty price tag. But no matter how good the sales get, LELO is one brand that I refuse to support. I was asked recently to expand on this, so here’s why.


    How LELO became popular (and where their toys went wrong) 

    Simply put, LELO was the first on the scene. When most brands were still churning out jelly dildos packaged in paper boxes, Lelo was making sleek, rechargeable silicone toys. They were one of the first brands to treat sex toys like luxury pieces, and at the time, it was awesome.

    But here’s the thing: the market changed, and Lelo didn’t. 

    Je Joue MiMi Soft vs Uma

    Fun Factory started creating new sensations with their mechanics. We-Vibe invented the partner vibe. And Je Joue? Well, they made the Je Joue MiMi Soft, and my clit will be eternally grateful for that.

    But Lelo just kept on making products with ABS plastic handles and buzzy vibrations. To this day, I still haven’t found a Lelo toy that I enjoy – I find their vibrations so grating that they hurt (and not in a fun way.)

    On top of that, Lelo started floating bulky ripoffs and and poorly-built toys. Dangerous Lilly, one of my favourite sex toy blogs ever, covered this point so well that I’m going to point you to their blog post directly. The long and short of it? The paint on Lilly’s Isla chipped off (gross), the Tiani was just shit all around, and the Ida inspired one thought only: “Did they even test this with human genitals?”


    Why I won’t buy from LELO 

    If all of that isn’t enough, just wait! Because folks, THERE’S MORE. This is the train wreck that never ends.

    Meet the Pino.


    The Lelo Pino is, I shit you not, a cock ring designed for “the most demanding executives” who want more out of their “intimate investments.” It’s marketed exclusively to male bankers, and it’s sold with cufflinks and a money clip embossed with the phrase “Always Be Closing.” I cannot make this shit up. 

    Epiphora, who is my sex blogging idol (and, incidentally, also my #hairgoals) has a truly excellent post on this if you’d like to read more. And no one is as funny as Piph is, so I really would encourage you to read their entire blog more.


    Finally, let’s talk about the giant prophylactic elephant in the room: the Lelo Hex. Goddamn, you guys. The Hex.

    The Hex is a condom made by Lelo with a marketing strategy so bad you almost wouldn’t believe that the actual product could be even worse… But somehow, it is. The spokesperson Lelo picked to represent the Hex is none other than Charlie Sheen, who (just in case you forgot) is:

    • A misogynist
    • A convicted domestic abuser
    • And, on that point, someone who has assaulted, threatened to kill, held at knifepoint, and literally shot his partners.


    But wait. Remember how I said the Hex was somehow even worse than its marketing?

    I wasn’t joking. One of Hex’s main selling points is the fact that it doesn’t tear if punctured, which looks super-slick in gif format and is also, incidentally, some of the dumbest shit I have ever seen. (My fellow bloggers Dizzy and Lorax agree!)

    You know why condoms are usually made to tear if they rip or get a hole in them? Because you need to know that shit. That’s what lets you know that you’ve just been put at risk of things like incurable gonorrhea and accidental pregnancy. If it doesn’t tear, you could be exposed to an STD and have no idea, or become pregnant and not find out until it’s too late for Plan B.



    What I’m doing about it

    Aside from this post? Nothing – and that’s the whole point.

    I will not be buying LELO products. I will not be accepting press samples of LELO products. I will not be signing onto partnerships with LELO. And I’d like to ask you to join me in this. 

    I know that most sex toy shops can’t afford to drop a popular brand, but if you’re a sex blogger or consumer who can: please. Do this with me. Don’t recommend LELO products to your friends, family, or readers, and add disclaimers to your posts whenever LELO is mentioned.

    Instead, take the opportunity to direct people to more people-positive companies like SheVibe, CAYA, BS Atelier, Je Joue, and L’Amourose. Those are just a few companies that I’ve shown love to recently, but there are so, so many more–and they’re just waiting to be discovered.

    This post contains images from LELO. 


    Annabelle TwistUp Metallic review, swatches, photos


    The product: Annabelle TwistUp Metallic Retractable Lipstick Crayon

    It’s no secret that I love Annabelle’s TwistUp range. So, when they released a few new TwistUp Metallics this year, I knew immediately that I had to review them. There are 6 new metallic shades: 4 that were released in 2014’s Metal Mix collection that have been brought back, and 2 brand new ones.


    The formula: Like the original TwistUp Lipsticks, the Metallics are comfortable and smooth. They’re a “clingier” formula, so the product doesn’t settle into my lip lines or migrate to the outer edges of my lips when I press them together.

    While I wouldn’t say that Annabelle TwistUps or the TwistUp Metallics are moisturizing, they’re very comfortable to wear, and they don’t leave my lips feeling dry. According to Annabelle, they can also be worn as cream eyeshadows, but I haven’t been brave enough to wear any of them as such yet!


    Annabelle TwistUp Metallic review


    Annabelle TwistUp Metallic swatches: Heavy Petal, Crazy Coral, Nude of Fame, Rock & Rose, Heartbreaker, Purple Panache

    The shades: On the whole, the Metallics are bright and punchy, with medium opacity. They’re not as pigmented as most of the original TwistUp creme formulas, which I think is for the best – it really helps them look like modern metallics instead of ’90s frosts.

    Out of the 6 new shades, the only one I wasn’t keen on was Nude of Fame. The pink-nude base colour is quite sheer, and the gold shimmer really stands out. The resulting lip is more of a chunky frost than a metallic to my eye, but lovers of shades like MAC Nymphette and NARS Orgasm might enjoy it!


    The verdict?

    If you love a metallic lip, the Annabelle TwistUp Metallic Retractable Lipstick Crayons are a great example of metallics done well. They’re free of fragrance, parabens, and animal testing, and their medium-sheer opacity works well with the metallic finish.

    I like to think of these as “soft metallics“. They’re definitely a festive step up from mattes or cremes, but they’re not SO metallic that they start looking frosty. (I like my frost to stay on my cookies and windows, thank you very much.)

    Availability: $9.95 CAD at as well as at drugstores and mass market retailers across Canada. New permanent as of Fall 2016.

    Keep reading! »


    Lustworthy: Diptyque & Byredo | The Gift Guide


    This holiday season, I’m featuring the most enticing items from my Gift Guide in a column simply titled “Lustworthy.” Tune in every Saturday from now until Christmas for your weekly dose!

    There’s something special about gifting fragrance during the holidays, and these two cult brands are total no-brainers. Though I haven’t fallen head over heels for any specific Bryedo or Diptyque scent just yet, I love gazing at their minimalist packaging in the shops.

    The lovely thing about Diptyque is that, while their products undoubtedly carry a luxury price tag, their candles are available in gift sets all throughout the holiday season. Featured here is the Diptyque Mini Candle Set ($78 USD), which houses Feu de Bois, Opopanax, Ambre, Pomander, and Benjoin.


    What’s on your wish list this week?