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    NYX Wild Spirit, True Vixen, Flashy, Wisteria, Smoke Me review, swatches, photos | PURPLES

    The product: NYX Pin-Up Pout Lipsticks in True Vixen, Flashy, Wild Spirit, Wisteria, and Smoke Me

    Last fall, I started playing around with a few of NYX’s Pin-Up Pout lipsticks. And by “a few,” I mean “the entire gosh darn range,” so I’ve been playing with them and swatching them for a… While. (Spoiler: NYX Wild Spirit is by and far my favourite shade of the entire range, which is why I’m starting with the purple shades.)

    What? I get overloaded when there are too many things happening at once. It’s not like anyone is surprised by this information.

    NYX Wild Spirit Lipstick swatch

    The NYX Pin-Up Pout formula

    It’s been a while since I’ve worn a traditional opaque lipstick (dry-touch liquid formulas like NYX Liquid Suede and Maybelline Matte Ink have been keeping my food-oriented priorities and me occupied), but I… Actually really enjoyed these. The purples are all surprisingly easy to wear, and they totally deliver on the “extra plush” formula that NYX promises.

    NYX True Vixen Lipstick swatch

    The NYX Pin-Up Pout formula is soft and creamy. It wears without stripping my lips of moisture, and it has a really great cream finish (my fave)! That means that each shade feels comfortable and non-gritty, and all of these purples are shimmer, glitter, and gloss-free.

    I’ve been a monster this month and I seemingly can’t go more than two hours without drinking or snacking, so unfortunately, I don’t have a wear time on these for you yet. (It’s at least three hours without getting dry, but I have a feeling it’s more like 4-5.) I’ll make sure to test them more thoroughly before reviewing more shades, so keep your eyes peeled for that!

    NYX Smoke Me Lipstick swatch

    NYX Wild Spirit swatches (Plus True Vixen, Flashy, Wisteria, and Smoke Me, I guess.)

    NYX True Vixen is a sexy, dark cranberry shade. It was my least favourite of these five – the formula is a little more slippery than the rest, which means the berry stain is a little translucent at times. NYX Flashy is a more vibrant berry.

    NYX Wild Spirit is an absolute stunner; a dark violet that pulls blue. It had a perfectly clingy formula, and is best worn with either a blue-violet liner or overtop foundation or concealer, as it’s very much not the same colour as your lips. I would recommend this one five hundred times to anyone with a cool skintone who is on the lookout for a good blue-based purple.

    L-R: NYX True Vixen, Flashy, Wild Spirit, Wisteria, and Smoke Me swatches

    NYX Wisteria is a bright lavender with both blue and red undertones, reminiscent of (but warmer than) NYX Sway. Finally, NYX Smoke Me is a badass grey-violet. It, too, is best worn over foundation or concealer, but it’s pigmented enough that you can get away wearing it on its own.

    The NYX Pin-Up Pout Lipstick verdict?

    At $8 USD a pop, the NYX Pin-Up Pout Lipsticks are truly a steal. They’re a great, cruelty-free, scent-free formula at a really accessible price point, and the packaging is awesome – it’s simple, but each lipstick shows the colour inside with a plastic disk. (I’m sorry, but I like tops like these way more than colour stickers or see-through tops.)

    When I first started blogging, you really only had one good option for drugstore lipsticks: the Revlon Super Lustrous range. Eventually, other things slowly became less utter garbage, and so on and so fourth, but … I don’t know. What I’m trying to say is that I’m very sleepy, and these are just a heck of a lot better than what was on the market ten years ago, and it makes me really happy that they exist.

    And hey, they don’t even have that gross lipstick-smell of drugstore buys of days gone by, so there’s really no excuse for you not to buy NYX Wild Spirit. 

    Availability: $8 USD/$10 CAD at NYX (US/CA), Ulta, Target, and Rexall (CA).

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    Make Up For Ever Artist Face Color H106, B306, S118 review, swatches, photos

    The products: Make Up For Ever Artist Face Color in H106 (shimmery champagne highlight), B306 (shimmery mandarin blush), and S118 (dark shadow sculpt)

    Last fall, Make Up For Ever launched their Artist Face Color – 34 cheek shades with a “highly-pigmented, blendable, and long-lasting powder formula.” I tried three of the new line (one blush, highlighter, and sculpting shade) this winter to round out my makeup collection. All three of these are shades that I didn’t really own before now, and it was interesting getting to play with each of them!

    The Make Up For Ever Artist Face Color formula

    The Make Up For Ever Artist Face Color formula uses “atomized pigments” and emollient oils to deliver high-impact colour. They’re mixed with silicones and dry oils to make the pigments easy to blend. (I don’t react to silicones if they’re in small enough amounts, and these cheek products seem okay on my face.)

    I like my cheek products a little dry, so these seemed very, very creamy to me. The formula is on the denser side, but it’s easy to blend whether swatched or with a brush. All three shades wear for the majority of the day on me, with the highlighter’s thinner formula fading first.

    Make Up For Ever ARtist Face Color swatches, L-R in natural light: H106, B306, and S118

    Slipping out of your grove: H106, B306, and S118

    As I mentioned earlier, these shades are… Totally not me. I like my cheek products cool, sheer, and matte, but I wanted to get out of my usual groove with these shades.

    So instead of going with a fair contour, a pink blush (Lancôme Aplum and Rose Fresque are still my forever faves), and an ivory highlighter, I selected a dense gold highlighter, an orange blush (!!), and a dark contour.

    And you know what? I really liked it. I’ve been wearing the same shades for so long that it was refreshing to mix things up, and even though I’m probably never going to use S118 again, I’m quite pleased that I tried it. (It’s way too dark, red, and pigmented for my complexion, but it would be AWESOME on someone with a deep, warm skintone.)

    H106 is a little drier and thinner than the other two shades. It’s very warm, frosty, and gold. It’s dense for a highlighter, but is a lot more translucent than the blush and contour shades in this line. B306 is a really satisfying, springy orange-coral. It’s warm, but it sheers out on my face to blend in well – but I bet it (and H106, for that matter) would look awesome on someone with a medium skintone. It’s a lot denser than the highlighter, and has more of a lustre than a shimmer.

    (I’m thinking Becky/@chavien. Girl, you need these two.)

    The Make Up For Ever Artist Face Color verdict?

    The Make Up For Ever Artist Face Color singles are very, very pigmented – and that’s a good thing. They’re beautiful, dry, soft, and easy to blend, and I definitely think they’re worth it at $29 CAD. My word of advice, however, would be to find swatches (or, better yet, swatch them in-stores) before buying! These pack a lot of pigment and shimmer, and there isn’t a lot of room for shade missteps.

    I really enjoyed using the Make Up For Ever Artist Color Refillable Makeup Palette, too. All sizes are $2 USD/$2 CAD at Sephora (which I swear has to be a mistake), or you can get a filled cheek palette for $45 USD/$56 CAD. (That’s the equivalent of buying two cheek products and getting the third, and the palette, free.) 

    Availability: Single pans are $23 USD/$29 CAD each. Permanent at Make Up For Ever and Sephora.

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    Grey hair, Olaplex, and more | New 18/01/19

    I haven’t done one of these in a loooong time, and there’s so much out there that’s new right now!

    I’m most excited that you can now get Olaplex outside of the salon – I’ve been thinking of transitioning to grey hair (NO PROMISES), and this is definitely a check in the “pros” column! Aside from that, I have my eye on a few things from Milk and Natasha Denova. Those duochrome eye shadow cushions…

    How about you?

    My grey hair inspiration of the moment:

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    A post shared by PAU DICTADO (@paudictado) on

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    Juvente Day Cream, Night Cream, Eye Cream review, photos

    *this post was sponsored by Juvente.

    The products: Juvente Parfaite Day Cream, Absolue Night Cream, and Radieuse Eye Contour Care

    Late last year, I was introduced to a new, Canadian skincare company called Juvente. Designed to provide users with a plant-focused cosmeceutical option for their skincare, the 98% natural brand targets free radical damage to combat the signs of ageing.

    As I’m sure longtime readers know by now, I love anti-ageing products–but not for their anti-ageing properties. Instead, I love how they provide deep, dermal hydration (a must-have for my dry skin), and I really appreciate the fact that they minimize damage caused by pollution. So, because there’s no better time to start a new skincare regimen than the beginning of the year, I thought I’d kick off 2017 with a skincare post!

    Juvente products are free of silicones, gluten, parabens, mineral oil, animal byproducts, and phthalates, and the brand is committed to never using microbeads, artificial colourants, or SLS. Their packaging is designed to reduce the brand’s carbon footprint, right down to the vegetal ink. (I’d love to see future iterations of these products with glass bases instead of plastic – it’s a more eco-conscious alternative, and would be incredibly satisfying to use.)

    The science behind Juvente

    Juvente calls their product range a “7/3 solution.” Each product uses 7 key ingredients, with 3 key actives.

    The crowning ingredient of this line is beta-glucan, extracted from GMO-free oats. It’a water-soluble polysacchraide that, like hyaluronic acid, can absorb right down to the dermis, where it’s been shown in vitro to stimulate collagen synthesis. The products also feature anti-inflammatory oat-derived avenanthramides, and astaxanthin, a powerful antioxidant that comes from the sea. (It’s a micro-algae extract from the carotenoid family.)

    The Juvente Anti-Ageing Day Cream – Parfaite ($107 CAD)

    The Juvente Parfaite Day Cream comes in packaging with a sunny yellow stripe. It has a very subtle sweet, floral fragrance, and a cushy, almost gelatinous texture. It absorbs easily and is moderately hydrating – I’d like to see more hydration for the price, but it should work well for anyone with normal to combination skin.

    These products get their pink tint from astaxanthin, which helps protect against UV damage, but this day cream doesn’t contain SPF. I enjoy my Juvente Day Cream, but I’m going to level with you: I don’t use it unless I know for certain that I’m going to be indoors all day long.

    As any skincare junkie knows, sun damage is a key part in slowing down free radical damage. I know most luxury day creams don’t contain SPF (and I will forever wonder as to why), but I’d really like to see an updated version of this day cream in the future with a physical sunscreen component.

    The Juvente Anti-Ageing Night Cream – Absolue ($103 CAD)

    I also tried out the Juvente Absolue Night Cream, which has a super-subtle herbal fragrance. Honestly, the scent is so faint that it just smells good. Clean, but like nothing at all. Like the other Juvente products, this one is very experience-based: it has that cushy texture, hefty packaging with super-smooth threads, and just the barest hint of fragrance.

    The Juvente Night Cream is creamier and heavier than their Day Cream, but I definitely need to pair it with an oil or some squalane. (Thanks, Alberta.) The packaging, however, is just a pleasure to use, and I hope it’s here to stay.

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    Je Joue Classic Bullet Vibrator review, photos, comparison

    The product: Je Joue Classic Bullet Vibrator

    I’m a big fan of Je Joue, so when I found out that they’d be making a bullet vibrator… I was psyched. My We-Vibe Tango is forever in a state of “I’m almost dead but I’m not going to warn you beforehand, because I want it to be a surprise!”, so I was well ready to move onto the Je Joue Classic Bullet Vibrator instead.

    The Je Joue Classic Bullet Vibrator specs

    The Je Joue Classic Bullet is described by the brand as “the luxury version of the Classic Bullet,” with a medical-grade silicone finish and a waterproof body. It’s 4.75″ by 3.25″ with a width of .875″.

    What I really love about the Je Joue Classic Bullet is that, unlike most bullet vibes, it has a 3-button design: (+) and (-) buttons to control intensity, and a (~) button to cycle through patterns. The buttons are raised on the side of the toy but sit fairly flush, so they’re hard to press accidentally. This leaves the base open for direct micro USB charging, so there are less pieces to carry around (and, if you’re me, lose).

    The three new Je Joue bullets are all different shapes on the same base, all with the same 3-button design. They charge in 60 minutes, which gives you up to 1.5 hours of use. The bullets have 5 vibration levels and 7 pulsation patterns, and they come with a silicone finger… Thing.

    The Je Joue Classic Bullet in practice

    The weirdest thing about the Je Joue Classic Bullet is definitely the finger sleeve attachment. It’s designed to create a “more hands-free experience” by strapping the toy to your finger, but like… That doesn’t actually make any sense? Like, just as many hands are involved? I guess there’s no more clutching at the toy, which is nice, but then you have to disentangle your fingers anyways to turn up the intensity.

    The sleeve is a super-stretchy silicone that fits over two of my fingers. It’s a cool inclusion, and I think some people will enjoy it, but I’m glad that it’s included in the box (because I’d never purchase it on my own). The most interesting thing about it is that it’s made to be reversible; as in, you can turn the toy to the back of your fingers and get both skin-to-skin contact and (some) vibrations. 

    The Classic Bullet is as rumbly as Je Joue’s other toys, which was the one thing that I was worried the brand wouldn’t be able to translate into a bullet vibe. It’s thicker than standard bullet vibes (i.e. the ones that you can insert into dildos), but that seems kind of irrelevant: you wouldn’t be able to comfortably slide silicone into silicone anyways.

    The Je Joue Classic Bullet Vibrator has a soft, velvety finish, and the vibrations range from very thuddy (on low) to intense and more buzzy (on high). Its vibrations on high are comparable to the vibrations of something like a Lelo or JimmyJane toy; that is, they’re buzzier than I’d like, but not buzzy like $10 bullet vibes are buzzy.

    How does the Je Joue Classic Bullet compare to the We-Vibe Tango?

    I prefer the We-Vibe Tango’s size for pinpoint stimulation. It has a rumblier motor on high, and as a result, feels much more intense. I use it more often than my Je Joue bullet.

    I prefer the Je Joue Classic Bullet’s charging method and controls. It has a far more reliable battery, and actually lasts for 90 minutes on its 1 hour charge. (My Tango lasts about 40 minutes on a 90 minute charge. It advertises 2 hours of use.) I have a better track record with Je Joue toys, too; my Mimi Soft lasted me 3 years, while my Tangos usually die within 1 year. At $59 USD, it’s also cheaper than the Tango, and more likely to go on sale. It has a rumblier motor on low.

    Both are rechargeable, body-safe, discreet, and quiet.

    My verdict on the Je Joue Classic Bullet Vibrator?

    I enjoyed using the Je Joue Classic Bullet Vibrator, but I still prefer the Mimi Soft. The squishiness of it is what made it so ideal for me, not the motor alone; it’s pleasing to use on your own, but also feels more comfortable for me during sex, when everything is sort of… Stretched out and in different places. The Je Joue Classic Bullet Vibrator doesn’t have that advantage for me, because its squishiness is only on the tapered tip.

    It’s still an excellent bullet, and at $59, I’d recommend it – with two caveats. If you need pinpoint stimulation, these may be too large; similarly, if you want a bullet you can insert into other sex toys, this one won’t work. I prefer the We-Vibe Tango over the Je Joue motor in use, but if slightly buzzy vibrations aren’t an issue for you, the Je Joue Bullets are all-around better toys. 

    Availability:$59 USD at Je Joue (who sent this item in for review), $59 USD at SheVibe, $64.99 USD at Lovehoney (G-Spot version), $59 USD at Peepshow Toys.

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