NARS Final Cut, Barry M Dazzle Dusts, and more | 29/03/14 Link Love

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Jenny reviews the NARS Eye Paints in Mozambique and Iskandar on My Funny Valentine.

Love the Urban Decay Electric Palette but need vegan dupes? Check out Phyrra’s UD Electric Palette Dupe List.

Over at theNotice, Rae has a warning about a fraudulent online shop that sells cosmetic supplies… but doesn’t always ship them. If you live in Canada or the US, consider yourself warned!

Love cream blush? Then you should check out Musicalhouses’ MUFE HD Second Skin Cream Blush swatches!

At Musing on Beauty, Mariella revisits some old favorites: Barry M. Dazzle Dusts. Go down the memory lane with her!

Spring is finally here and FabDiva20 has got some Spring related goodies from NARS Final Cut Collection! Check out her NARS Final Cut Collection Haul!

Are you short on time yet you still want a high-end, results-oriented, and spa-like treat for your skin? See why Pammy Blogs Beauty loves reaching for these Age-Defying Exfoliating Pads from Radical Skincare. From the effervescent feel to the amazing results, these are totally worth checking out!

Jenn from Spiced Beauty shares her L’Oreal Extraordinaire Gel-Lacquer 1-2-3 manicure experience! What do you think?

Lisamarie from Beauty Crazed takes MAC Studio Sculpt Mascara for a spin – check out her swatches and see if a comb really does make a better brush!

Beauty Reflections is in love with Lancome Lip Lover Rose Ballet #313! It’s her favourite long-wearing gloss ever!

Whether you’re feeling an understated nail or something outrageously sparkly, Makeup Morsels’ latest lacquer discoveries have you covered for the weekend.

Aveeno Eczema Care App: skincare charting made easy

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Aveeno Eczema Care App 2

I grew up on Aveeno’s Daily Moisturizing Body Lotion. There were creams before it (Keri) and creams after it (Olay Quench), but, well. It was the one body lotion that my entire family used and loved, and I think the brand will always have a special place in my heart because of that.

We no longer have four-or-more bottles of Aveeno kicking around through our house at any given time, but my fondness for the brand is still firmly in place. (Did you know they do a ‘cone-free chemical sunscreen? I’ve been meaning to try it for ages). So, when they released an app for charting your eczema flare-ups, I knew I had to give it a mention on theNotice.


Aveeno Eczema Care App

Aveeno and the Eczema Society of Canada have teamed up to create a free app for charting your (or your child’s) eczema flare-ups, and it’s as basic as it is handy. I’m a charting nut, and I think you can learn a lot about yourself, your habits, and your skin just by keeping track of things on a daily basis — whether it’s just raw information to share with your doctor, or something that can help you figure out whether or not a certain product or treatment is working for you. 

App or not, and eczema or not, that’s my tip of the day: chart things. Chart all of the things. Chart everything, because charts are awesome at helping you see patterns you wouldn’t notice going day to day, and because charts are super-secret badass tools of effectiveness.

Revlon Icy Violet Super Lustrous Lipstick photos, swatches | Revlon Legacy Collection

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Revlon Legacy Collection - Icy Violet Super Lustrous Lipstick

Continuing my accidental trend of embarrassingly delayed posts, here’s a lipstick that I swatched and photographed four years ago, good lord.

Revlon Icy Violet was first launched in 1946, but is back temporarily as part of the brand’s Legacy Collection. It’s a cool-toned plum (red, brown, and violet tones) with medium opacity and a frosty lavender finish.

The Legacy Collection by Revlon

Revlon Legacy Collection: Icy Violet, Snow Peach, 5th Ave Red, Jungle Peach, and Sandstorm

Revlon Icy Violet Super Lustrous Lipstick review

Revlon Super Lustrous Lipstick in Icy Violet

I have Icy Violet on as I write this, and I have to admit: against my colouring, this lipstick doesn’t look very violet at all. Instead, like most plums, it reads as a neutral colour on me — a little more purple than my natural lips, but in a very subtle way. I don’t love the frost finish (you can see each and every shimmer particle from a foot and a half away), but at “stranger distance,” the effect is very pretty — almost as if my lips are glowingly moist. Up close and in the sun, you can see the ruddy, red-violet base colour and lavender shimmer more distinctly.

(The shimmer in this is gorgeous: micro-explosions of clear shimmer into bursts of lavender. I wouldn’t be surprised if I spent the next ten years trying to dupe it in an eyeshadow.)

Revlon Icy Violet swatch - Super Lustrous Lipstick

Revlon Icy Violet (Legacy Collection) – swatched on skin, lips in indirect sunlight

Like the rest of the Super Lustrous line, I find Icy Violet to be comfortable but not hydrating, with an average wear time. Its formula and packaging is wonderfully basic while still being rather chic, and I think the range is one that every burgeoning makeup addict should have at least one of. To me, the Super Lustrous line is the quintessential starter lipstick: well-priced and well-made, without any scents or frills. It’s not too much of any one thing, and while I’d love to see a more modern colour selection (more creme finishes, please!), the lipsticks themselves are the perfect place to begin.

I’ve gone anti-shimmer since buying this, but if you’re situated in the sparkly camp, Icy Violet is at least worth a swatch. It’s not a must-have, but it’s kind of mind-blowing to wear a colour that was formulated 68 years ago.

These photos are four years old. Please forgive me. 

Saffire Blue: What are your worst online shopping “horror stories”?

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

As you all know, I’m not one to complain… very much. When I run into problems behind the scenes at theNotice, 95% of the time, you never hear about it — whether that’s a PR firm who’s upset over a product getting a bad review, or a rep for the company who could stand to learn a few things from Emily Post.

Over the past few months, though, I’ve been going through one of the most upsetting interactions I’ve ever had with a company. I don’t have any other form of recourse for their behaviour (you can’t Yelp an online store, after all — can you?), so here’s a warning for any of you in Canada who are thinking about buying cosmetic ingredients and packaging.

saffire blue - fraud vs bad business

I made an order at Saffire Blue this January (just shy of $100), and it arrived in early February. When I opened up the box, however, I found that a number of the items I bought were missing — seven of them, to be precise.

I contacted the company immediately, and contacted them again a week later when I hadn’t heard back from them. We exchanged a handful of emails, and then, after about a week, they suddenly stopped responding.

saffireblueinc

I called them out on it on Twitter to help speed things up (PayPal’s insurance is time-limited) because the squeaky wheel gets the grease, right? But instead of saying “oops, sorry, we’ll get right on that,”, they instead made public claims saying I had never contacted them, even though their customer service rep had replied to many of my emails, and I have a record of all of them.

I had paid for the order through PayPal, so I opened up a dispute about the items. Throughout the course of this interaction, their CEO repeatedly stated that they had offered to send me the missing items – a request which I had been making for weeks, and which they had repeatedly denied. Each time I offered to take them up on it, they immediately backtracked and said that they would only reimburse me for the cost of the missing items, and refused to send them out or refund me the cost of shipping for the missing items — a cost which was worth 4x the value of the items, which made up over half of what they charged me for shipping, and which they never had to pass forward to the shipping carrier.

saffire blue false claims - mission statement

Sure, I’m raving — but probably not in the way you wanted, guys.

PayPal has now said that my only form of recourse is to file against them for fraud. I don’t intend to do this–because I don’t think it was fraud, I think it was just spectacularly bad business–but I did want to get a post on their company out there in the open.

If you need to buy raw ingredients or packaging materials in Canada, I encourage you to avoid Saffire Blue at all costs. They have a wonderful selection and website, but their customer service is unhelpful, humiliating, and quite frankly, full of lies. I’m not saying you should avoid all small retailers (this is the only time I’ve had anything but gold-star service from any online store, big or small!), but remember: even in the business world, you can’t count on everyone to be honest or professional.

What have your worst experiences with online shopping been? Is there anyone that you’d like to warn us about?

Annabelle Expandable Mascara Review, Photos, Swatches | Not a gimmick, but a gold mine

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Annabelle Expandable mascara review

The product: Annabelle Cosmetics Expandable Mascara

I mentioned taking sixteen months to review a product a couple of weeks ago (this one!), but I’ve been testing Annabelle Expandable for even longer — yes, really, much to my shame.

I have absolutely no good excuse for why it’s taken me so long to review a product that I’ve had since it was a lab sample in a small, un-labeled black tube, but without further adieu, may I please introduce you to Annabelle Expandable: a drugstore mascara that I’ve loved since the very first time I tried it.

Annabelle Expandable swatches review photos

Annabelle Expandable – short and long wand results, no lash comb

The “gimmick”: What makes the Annabelle Expandable mascara special is that, well, it really is expandable. The wand handle twists at the base, allowing the plastic bristles to expand or contract — not with each bristle getting longer or shorter, but with each bristle getting closer or farther from its neighbour. 

What looks like a gimmick is, in this case, actually really awesome. I love the formula of this mascara, but for those who don’t struggle as much as I do with smudging, this may well be Expandable’s biggest pull. It allows you to have just one mascara that can deliver dramatically different effects: lots of separation and length at the (-) end, or lots of product and volume at the (+) end.

Annabelle expandable short wand

Annabelle Expandable mascara – short wand (separation)

Annabelle expandable long wand

Annabelle Expandable mascara – long wand (volume)

The curl and wear: Like most “wet” mascaras (though Expandable isn’t super wet — it’s just not super dry, either), this mascara drops the curl of my lashes only when I apply it. It’s just enough to give them a bit of a droop, so I tend to apply a quick coat or two of mascara, then “push” the lashes toward my face with my fingertip and hold for a few seconds. This helps the lash to set into a nice curl, and once dry, Expandable holds the curl in place for the rest of the day.

Where Annabelle’s Expandable mascara really excels, though, is in its wear. I get maybe 3-4 hours wear without smudging with your average mascara, but Expandable wears like a champ: I can make it 8 hours without any smudging, and over 10 hours with very minimal smudging. This is the longest-wearing non-tubing mascara that I’ve tried so far, and it comes with a mere $10 price tag.

Annabelle Expandable mascara review swatches

Annabelle Expandable mascara – one light coat short wand, second coat short wand, third coat long wand

Annabelle expandable long wand swatch

Annabelle Expandable mascara – one heavy coat, long wand

The verdict?

Annabelle claims that their Expandable mascara is volumizing, lengthening, anti-clumping, and easy to remove — and you know what? I’d agree with all of these claims.

Expandable is my go-to mascara for both natural, everyday lashes and high-impact volume (it’s outclassed very slightly for photos by Giorgio Armani’s Eyes to Kill mascara, which is gorgeous but not $30 USD worth of gorgeous), and I would absolutely recommend it to a friend. It gives me both better wear and more believable volume than Le Big Show, and I’ll be frank with you: the awesome, unique wand certainly isn’t doing it any harm.

5/5 would-buy-again, Annabelle.

Availability: $10.95 CAD at Annabelle.ca (ships to Canada & the US), or in-store at most major drugstores throughout Canada.

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