BISC Vol.10: ​What are essential makeup brushes everyone should own?

Sunday, June 28, 2015

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What are essential makeup brushes everyone should own?

RAE | Canada | the Notice: a beauty blog

I think everyone needs to own a dense foundation brush, a pinpoint concealer brush (I favour fine-tipped art brushes, or a lip brush like the Make Up For Ever 304), and at least three good eye brushes: an all-over shadow brush, a domed blending brush, and a soft angled eyeliner brush for getting right into your lashline without irritating your eyes!

My favourite brushes of the moment are the Real Techniques Expert Face Brush, the Cozzette S125 and 135 (which are a dream), and, weirdly, the Essence Gel Eyeliner Brush.

DEE | Canada | How Does Dee Do It

The only brushes that I would say I ABSOLUTELY need are my eyeshadow brushes. I love my fingers/beauty blender as makeup implements for my face so don’t have any MUST-HAVE face brushes. If I must, Id say a fluffy blush brush. For eyes however, I would go with 1. a flat eyeshadow brush for all over the lids 2. a crease brush 3. a fluffy dome brush to blend 4. a pointy outer-v brush.  I’m not a slave to any brand of makeup brushes and have good luck with budget as well as high-end brands alike. I say – experiment, have fun – you’ll know when you find the RIGHT brushes for –>YOU<–!

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ANGELA | Canada | Do Want Makeup

I love a good dense, domed concealer brush. I bought the Sephora Advanced Airbrush Set years ago and the round concealer brush is still my go-to. It is amazing at blending and concealing my dark circles without looking too heavy or cakey.

It’s not exactly a brush, but my beautyblender dupe is also a must! It is great for sheering out foundations for daytime makeup, and is a lifesaver when I am dealing with an eczema flareup/dry patches because it doesn’t disturb dry, irritated skin the way a brush can.

SHARI | Philippines| The Misty Mom

I think every woman should have the MAC 217 blending brush especially if they’ve had trouble with eye makeup application. It’s my do-all eye brush. If you’ve slightly smaller eyes, maybe go a smaller/more tapered blending brush to avoid messy blending issues.

For the face, I didn’t think a tapered highlighter brush is one I would consider essential.. until now. I can apply foundation with my fingers and blush with any kind of powder brush (sometimes even my fingers, too!) but I can’t ever apply highlighter properly without a brush. My favorite is the Zoeva 105 Luxe Highlight Brush.

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LILY | Malaysia | Chloe Ash

When it comes to makeup application, tools do matter. They do all the hard work for you. You can always apply foundation and concealer with your hands, and even pat on eye shadows using fingers. Blending however, is the key to makeup looking seamless and flawless. I’d say a good eye blending brush is a must. A medium sized soft blush brush is also the key to natural looking flushed cheeks. A bigger face brush for powder and bronzer is also very handy. Last but not least, if smokey eyes are your thing, always invest in a good pencil brush.

JAA | Thailand | Hello Jaa

For eye makeup, my staples include MAC 239 Eye Shader Brush(lid color), Chanel Eyeshadow Blender #19 (outer corner), MAC 217 Blending Brush (crease and blending), Smashbox Crease Brush #10 (all-over blending), MAC 219 Pencil Brush(smudging), and MAC 211 Pointed Liner Brush (lining). See more.

For face makeup, my staples include Hourglass No 2 Blush/Foundation Brush (foundation), Tom Ford Bronzer Brush (setting), Charlotte Tilbury Powder & Sculpt Brush (highlighting), NARS Ita Kabuki Brush (contouring), Tom Ford Cheek Brush and MAC 168 Large Angled Contour Brush (cheek color), and Real Techniques Setting Brush (concealing). See more.

[Interested in joining BISC Network? Send your request to jaa*at*hellojaa.com]

Silicone-free L’Occitane hand cream review | Currently obsessed with…

Friday, June 26, 2015

L'Occitane hand cream favourites

L’Occitane hand creams are a pretty big Thing (capitalization totally necessary) both in and outside of the beauty blogging world, but because so many of them contain silicones, they’ve never been a thing that I’ve really gotten into.

Until now.

» Availability: $12 USD/$12 CAD for 30ml (which usually equals 1 oz) at Hudson’s Bay, Sephora, and L’Occitane.

L'Occitane Pivoine Flora hand cream review silicone-free

L’Occitane Pivoine Flora Hand Cream review

Over the past few months, I have been absolutely in love with my silicone-free L’Occitane hand creams. (They come in quite a few different formulas, so while most of them–including the original shea butter formula and the recent Collection de Grasse additions–do contain silicones, there are a few that don’t.)

I’ve been using them at my desk, throwing them in my handbag, taking them to school… I very, very rarely leave the house anymore without a little tube of L’Occitane with me.

L'Occitane 20 shea hand cream review - rose petals

L’Occitane 20% Shea butter Hand Cream review (Rose Petals)

The three that I’ve particularly fixated on are photographed here. First, there’s the Pivoine Flora Hand Cream ($12 USD/$12 CAD), which is a light, liquidy lotion with a strong but sophisticated peony fragrance. (It smells a little sharp in the tube, but the top notes fade quickly.)

Next, there’s the L’Occitane Rose Petals Hand Cream from a charity collection a few years back; it’s more of a true creme formula, like the other 20% shea butter hand creams. It’s more hydrating than the Pivoine Flora, and I love the very feminine rose scent.

L'Occitane 25 shea whipped hand cream review

L’Occitane 25% Shea Butter Whipped Hand Cream review

Finally, there’s my favourite of the bunch: the 25% Shea Butter Whipped Hand Cream ($12 USD/$12 CAD). This one smells like the rest of L’Occitane’s shea line (comforting, like one of my favourite moisturizers!) and it absorbs really well, leaving my dry hands feeling smooth and hydrated for hours.

More importantly, though… the Shea Whipped Hand Cream comes out of the tube like FROSTING. Which, if you ask me, totally makes up for the fact that (because it’s whipped) it contains only 59% as much product as a regular tube of L’Occitane, making this hand cream a particular treat to use.

Because frosting.

Charlotte Tilbury The Ingénue makeup look & review | #CBBLovesTilbury

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Charlotte Tilbury Coachella, Love Glow review makeup look

Every makeup line asks a question. 

For some, it’s how can we help you look your best? For others, it’s who are you inside? And for more still, it’s how can we pack as much pigment as humanly possible into this eyeshadow?

The Charlotte Tilbury line asks something different. Not who are you, or even who do you want to be, but:

Who do you want to be today?

Charlotte Tilbury haul review

There’s nothing quite as pretty as a present from Charlotte Tilbury…

Charlotte The Ingénue makeup look review photos

L-R: Charlotte Tilbury Chic to Chic in Love Glow, Coachella Coral lipstick, Full Fat Lashes, Portobello Girl lip lacquer, Champagne Dreams eye pencil, Pink Venus lip cheat, Audrey eyeliner

This week, I and nine other Canadian Beauty Bloggers are helping bring Charlotte Tilbury into Canada with a splash. The line launches in Toronto as of June 22nd at Holt’s on Bloor (there’s a meet & greet with Charlotte herself this Wednesday at 6-8!), on July 6th at Holt’s Vancouver, and online with free Canadian shipping for all of June.

So, today, I’m sharing The Ingénue with you. It’s a look that’s meant to be pretty, fresh, and effortlessly gorgeous; the “cool” girl; the fresh-faced, wide-eyed stock character and the low-maintenance It girl who plays her… you know, the girl we all wish we were but that nobody–aside from Blake Lively and Kate Bosworth, probably–actually is.

Charlotte Tilbury makeup look review photos swatches

Charlotte Tilbury makeup look

Charlotte Tilbury The Ingenue

The Ingénue

The Ingenue focuses on that electric coral lip, so I started with the skin and eyes to keep the suspense going.

I started off with just a bit of homemade tinted moisturizer — the tiniest amount of Kevyn Aucoin Sensual Skin Enhancer ($48 USD), which I am completely obsessed with, plus a bit of Bioderma Sensibio Tolerance+ and Odacité Ca+C serum. Then, I filled my brows in just a touch with some Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Brow Colour ($21 USD) and prepped my lids.

Charlotte Tilbury Champagne Diamonds swatch review The Audrey

The eyes for this look are just the Charlotte Tilbury Colour Chameleon in Champagne Diamonds ($27 USD), which is a total glitterbomb, paired with the Audrey Classic Eye Powder Pencil ($22 USD), which is gorgeously velvety and blendable — it’s just a brown liner, but I think it wowed me more than anything else here!

Then, a quick coat of Full Fat Lashes Mascara in Glossy Black ($29 USD), the line’s #2 bestseller — it’s right up there with the Filmstar Bronze & Glow and Charlotte’s Magic Cream.

Charlotte Tilbury The Ingenue makeup look review

The cheeks are Cheek to Chic Swish & Pop Blusher in Love Glow ($40 USD), which I really liked — the whole “swish and pop” thing really appeals to me, because it’s such a subtle way to add definition to the cheeks. (You “swish” the outer ring up the cheekbone, then “pop” the inner shade on the apples of the cheeks.)

Then, for the lips, I went a little crazy and layered all three of the included lip products on at once: first, Charlotte’s Lip Cheat Lip Liner in Pink Venus ($22 USD) (I’m not a huge fan of those velvety-waterproof lip liner formulas, and this one was no exception), then, a quick coat of the super-pretty K.I.S.S.I.N.G. Lipstick in Coachella Coral ($32 USD), and finally, a touch of Charlotte’s Lip Lustre in Portobello Girl ($22 USD).

Charlotte Tilbury swatch Coachella Coral, Portobello girl

Charlotte Tilbury The Ingénue lip

Keep reading! »

Lise Watier Rivages review, swatches, photos | Summer 2015

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Lise Watier Rivages Summer 2015 review photos

The product: Lise Watier Rivages, LE Summer 2015

» & don’t forget about the super-pretty Palette Rivages!

I like getting super in-depth when I’m reviewing products, but every now and then, a collection comes along and you’re just like, BUT I HAVE TO TALK ABOUT ALL OF IT. Lise Watier has a tendency to churn those out, so here are some quick (but no less detailed!) reviews of their summer Rivages collection (available mid-April to July 2015).

For those too lazy to stick around and read the whole thing, here’s what you really need to know: the eye products in this collection (palette included) are absolutely killer. And, yeah, you kind of need all of them!

Lise Watier Rivages  Bronzing Powder review

What to buy

Smokey Kohl Velours in Nude Velours ($21 CAD)

I’ve wished for a great nude eyeliner from the drugstore for years, and finally (just weeks after I caved and bought one in a moment of weakness) one exists!

Lise Watier Nude Velours Smokey Kohl review

Described as the “ultimate eye brightener,” Lise Watier’s new Nude Velours Smokey Kohl eyeliner can be used to brighten the waterlines, lashlines, and inner corners of your eyes. It’s creamy, pigmented, and easy to work with, and the matte Nude Velours shade works perfectly against my complexion to brighten up my eyes without looking stark on my waterlines.

» How does it stack up? Nude Velours is cooler, lighter, and more smudge-resistant than Rimmel’s 005 Nude ScandalEyes Kohl.

Lise Watier Nude Velours swatches Smokey Kohl review

Lise Watier Sexy Glam, Chic Glam swatches review photos

Lise Watier 24hrs Glam Eyeshadow swatches in Sexy Glam, Chic Glam; Lise Watier Nude Velours Smokey Eye Kohl swatch

24hrs Glam Eyeshadow in Sexy Glam and Chic Glam ($23 CAD)

The last must-have from this collection is yet another eye product: the 24hrs Glam Eyeshadows. I tested these in Sexy Glam and Chic Glam, both from Lise Watier’s permanent line, and I really liked them — they set within seconds, but it’s pretty easy to buff out their edges and they wear very well.

» Sexy Glam is a glittery light pink; Chic Glam is a smooth, shimmering cool taupe.

Lise Watier 24 hrs glam eyeshadow review Sexy, Chic Glam

Lise Watier Nude Velours eyeliner swatches review

Lise Watier swatches, L-R: Sexy Glam, Chic Glam, Nude Velours

Like a lot of automatic cream eyeshadow/base/liner pencils, the 24hrs Glam shadows are waterproof and have a sort of chunky-glittery finish. I like them best layered underneath powder eyeshadows (may I suggest the Lise Watier Palette Rivages?), where they add an interesting sparkle to satin and matte finishes. Worn with primer, I can get a solid 10 hours out of these without creasing or fading, which on my lids is really good.

Lise Watier 24 hrs glam Sexy Glam, Chic Glam swatches review

Lise Watier Sexy Glam (L), Chic Glam (R) 24hrs Glam Eyeshadow

What to try

Blush Fondant Suprême in Shell ($30 CAD

Lise Watier Blush Fondant Shell review swatches photos

Shell is a skip for me, but I can think of a few fellow bloggers and beauty addicts who it would be an absolute must-have for! (I’d kill to see this on Natalie and Divya — it would look bloody amazing on both of them.)

The Blush Fondant Suprême formula is layerable, velvety, and silicone-y, with Concentrated Labrador Tea Extract and a satin-matte cream-to-powder finish. I like it applied best (sparingly!) with fingertips, but I think it’s rather overpriced at $30. It really is a gorgeous, unique colour, though, so pick it up if you’ve been dying to get your hands on a shade like this! (Swatches if you scroll down.)

Magic Lip Colour Enhancer ($24 CAD)

Lise Watier Magic Lip Colour Enhancer review

The Lise Watier Magic Lip Colour Enhancer is apparently part of the brand’s permanent line now, and it’s a pH-adjusting lipgloss with a shimmer-free formula. I like it, but I like all pH adjusting lipglosses — it’s kind of a weakness of mine.

I think the packaging on this one is particularly sleek, but honestly, I prefer my Physician’s Formula pH-adjusting lipgloss. It’s just a touch more muted and can be picked up for a mere $8 when it’s on sale at Shopper’s.

Lise Watier Magic Lip Colour Enhancer review swatches pH adjusting

Keep reading! »

L’Occitane Vervine Agrumes Fresh Shampoo, Body Milk review, photos

Monday, June 15, 2015

L'Occitane Verveine Agrumes Fresh Shampoo review

The product: L’Occitane Verveine Agrumes Fresh Shampoo & Fresh Body Milk

I’m not a huge fan of L’Occitane’s original Verbena scent, but for some reason, I always really love their summer limited edition flankers.

This year, the line is doing Verveine Agrumes (Citrus Verbena), and they’re introducing a few unexpected products to the range — deodorant, shampoo, an conditioner.

L'Occitane Verveine Agrumes Fresh Shampoo Body Milk review

The Vervine Agrumes scent

Verveine Agrumes smells good. Like, really good. It smells like lemons, oranges, and grapefruits being squeezed for their juice — there’s that almost bitter undertone to the oils in the rind that no one ever seems to get quite right, but with Verveine Agrumes, L’Occitane gets it just right. 

There’s something immediately very real about this scent (unlike so many synthetic lemon-cleaner and lemon-sugar fragrances), and it’s paired with a cedar base for a very “fill in the blank” kind of effect. I really like the way these products smell, but they’re not overpowering — they’re definitely unisex-friendly, and they pair well with most summer perfumes and colognes, too.

L'Occitane Verveine Agrumes Fresh Shampoo review photos

L’Occitane Verveine Agrumes Fresh Shampoo ($23 CAD)

Okay, but like — was anyone else even aware that L’Occitane did shampoos up until now? Because let me tell you, I was very much not aware of this. But apparently they do a bunch: a Roses et Reines shampoo, a Shea Ultra Rich shampoo, a whole bunch of Aromachologie shampoos… apparently I’ve just been very (very) behind the times.

The Verveine Agrumes Fresh Shampoo pairs with a Daily Use Conditioner ($23 CAD) that I didn’t have a chance to test, but I really like the shampoo on its own. It’s tingly and minty and just a little acidic (I’m guessing; I don’t have any pH testing strips right now), leaving my hair feeling clean and weightless without stripping it too badly.

To note, however, this one gets very sudsy. It plays well with my dry scalp, but I wouldn’t recommend it for really overprocessed or heat-damaged hair.

L'Occitane Verveine Agrumes Fresh Body Milk review

(I couldn’t test the Verveine Agrumes Fresh Body Milk ($32 CAD) due to its silicone content, but it smells just as good!)

The verdict?

I don’t love Verveine Agrumes as much as last year’s Frisson de Verveine (which I bloody adored; I still regret not buying the EdT), but I do really like it. The shampoo is pretty good, especially from a brand that isn’t really known for its haircare range, and it’s worth a try fo a little dose of summer in your shampoo.

For anyone who loves the scent of citrus fruits being peeled, though (and really, who doesn’t?), definitely give the Verveine Agrumes EdT a look — I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised!

Availability: Available online and at L’Occitane boutiques beginning this July. Limited edition.

Keep reading! »

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