Saturday, November 22, 2014

Smashbox 24 Hour Photo Finish Shadow Primer

My Sephora order arrived yesterday... next post will be my VIB Rouge sale haul :) But today, my thoughts on a primer.   

 When it comes to eyeshadow primers I prefer mine in packaging that doesn't involve a wand. I have come to this conclusion after 4 years of serious makeup loving. Previous to this Smashbox purchase, I used to prime my eyelids with NARS (a favourite among many). I liked it, but I wasn't going to be faithful to it.

I got seduced by Smashbox. Promise of 24hr hold (not that I'm awake 24hrs straight that often anymore), lovely pink formula (who doesn't like pink), and I really liked the tube packaging.
Now first off, the pink formula of course turns translucent once applied. You are not left with pink hued eyelids. And the shadows hold, and wear very well for all my makeup wearing hours. No smudging, fading, or creasing.

But... and I can't believe I'm saying this I don't like the packaging. It just doesn't suit this primer. In my opinion this product is too thick and dense for a tube. This would be better suited in a jar/pot in which I could swipe my finger or brush and apply to lid. I was both surprised and annoyed the first time I tried to get some product out and the amount of force I had to apply to this tiny thing.

Product is great, packaging is not. I'm about halfway through, and I know I'm not repurchasing. Smashbox needs to either a) make the formula more fluid or b) change the packaging.

After I polish this off, my sight is set on the Candlelight and Champagne primers from Too Faced... yes I need/want/will acquire both of them.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

YSL Touche Eclat Radiant Touch #2

November has been such an incredible beauty month for me. I just die when I think of all the beautiful things I acquired. Can’t wait to swatch, show, play, wear, and report back on them all. I hope my Sephora order arrives this week so I can finally film my VIB Rouge sale video. It has to be separate from my regular monthly haul video, there’s just too much to show and discuss.

But while that is still to come. I have to throw my opinion out there regarding YSL’s Touche Eclat pen. I did not spend my own money to acquire this. While I’ve been curious, $50CAD just seems outrageous. However free always changes my game plan.
There are 12 shades (I looked it up), I have shade number 2-Luminous Ivory -  which is described as “for fair to light complexions with yellow undertones“. It’s ideal for my skin tone. I only use it underneath my eyes to dissipate those shadows and make myself look more perky and awake. I don’t rely on just this to do the concealing job because I find that it’s not quite pigmented enough, I layer it on top of a concealer (currently one by Laura Mercier).
I do love the click pen dispenser. I dab a few times underneath my eyes, and then use a damp Beauty Blender to actually get the job done. Texture is very pleasant, smooth and creamy; and while this doesn’t completely erase the dark shadows, it definitely lightness and brightens.

However it’s fifty large… and I think I’d rather buy the one by Clinique for half the price and basically equivalent quality.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Karl for Shu Smoky Velvet Palette

These are the only Shu Uemura shadows in my collection; and they are from a collaboration between Shu and Karl Lagerfeld... they also didn't cost me a nickel (can't say a penny or cent, since these no longer exist in Canadian currency).

Anywho anytime I see SUKL (Shu Uemura Karl Lagerfeld)... I think either "skull" or "school" that is spelled funny. My brains just does it automatically.
I think "school" is more appropriate going by the girl on the palette in Karl's classic white shirt and black tie. Her red eyes do freak me out a bit... so I think "skull" fits too :)
Moving on. Pop the palette open and you are greeted with 5 shadows, 1 blush, 2 applicators (one stuck to the mirror), and the mirror in the shape of the SUKL girl.
Working our way top to bottom. Starting on the left we have a gorgeously smooth and silky black with very fine sliver glitter (which I gouged with my nail). It's really a charcoal, a favorite of mine. Other than mascara, and occasional smudged out pencil, I don't do much black on my eyes. Looks great as a liner; I at least think so :)

Then silver and a gold chunky glitter. These two feel coarse and I apply them by pressing my finger into the pan then pressing it to my eyelid to avoid major fallout. Love the sparkle.
On the right we have two very pretty greens. On top a lovely shimmery olive and below it a pretty mint. Just like the black these are silky and creamy to the touch. Absolutely winning texture.

Lastly we have a rose/cranberry blush. At first I thought "oh a red shadow" but then I realized no... it's a blush with very, very fine gold shimmer. I wish this was bigger. Strong even color payoff, easy to blend, and easy to wear. I think I want to check out other Shu blushes.
Lastly some swatches.
I've been reaching for this palette regularly sine I got it. I feel it's becoming my Holiday palette of choice. It's just so easy to wear. Good job Karl :)

Sunday, November 16, 2014

YSL - Flower Crush Palette - Rosy Blush

Freebie posts continue. In this case I'm so glad I did not buy this myself. While my eyes greedily covet everything and my heart flutters whenever I'm near a YSL counter, I know that some of those things would disappoint me. Case in point this blush... is it really a blush?... When I think of blush, I think flushed cheeks... I don't think pale powdery highlight. Which is what came to mind once I swatched this.
I have to say that I do love the packaging. It is gorgeous. But packaging alone does not make a product.
When I first popped this open, I gasped... so, so beautiful, I was ecstatic to have it in my possession.
Then I swirled my finger in it and dragged it across my arm and though "what the hell.... why is it so pretty to look at and so disappointing to wear".  I cannot wear this alone as a blush, it does nothing for me, cheeks look even paler. This is a highlight,  the words "rosy" and "blush" should never been used to describe or name this.
I'm not writing this off as a total loss. I mean one it was free, two it is YSL, and three it is a pretty pale pale pink. I think I will reach for this as an eye shadow or a highlight... or to lighten another blush, but never as a blush on it's own.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Shu Uemura Lip & Cheed Fun-Tasy in Magical Red (Princess by Takashi Murakami)

I love this, totally love this. Another Shu Uemura product from the Holiday 2013 release that made its way into my hands at no cost to me... I'm having the best November ever.
Called "magical red" I tried not to get my hopes up too much.
I did not know what to expect from this lip and cheek tint. It looks like a lip gloss tube, but it does not have a lip gloss type applicator.
Actually I'd find this packaging to be a bit awkward if trying to apply to lip straight from the tube... when I do I reach for a lip brush.
I love the texture: soft, creamy, unscented. But more importantly I love, adore, swoon over this colour. A perfect, dare I say "magical" :) matte red. Looks great on lips, fabulous on my cheeks (gives you Sleeping Beauty kind of flush).
See for yourself below.
Not sure what this retailed for, not sure if it's still available, but I had to share this new fave in my collection.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Shu Uemura Eyeliner in Black Star & Miraculous Purple (Princess by Takashi Murakami)

First things first... I did not purchase these... these came to me gratis via my husband. As well these were released as part of 2013 Holiday collection, so not on the shelves anymore... although I did check Shu Uemura website, and they were available there at a discount.
 I like the packaging of these, slim and sleek. Easily twist up to dispense product.
But I do think the names which sort of imply the colour one expects to find inside area a bit deceiving.
Black Start is not black, it's dark grey. It also doesn't have that "star" aspect that I was hoping it would. I expected more pronounced silver shimmer, but nope, once you apply it, it looks like a one dimensional grey creme. It's pretty, and I do prefer grey to black, but it's not Black Star.

Same thing when it comes to Miraculous Purple... I don't know what your idea of purple is, but this isn't mine. I would describe this as wine. It's pretty, but it's not purple.

Swatches below. The two thin lines in the middle are single swipes after popping the cap. As they are described as "soft gel" I wanted to see how soft. Well first swatch is a fail, but a couple more and you get the idea.
Lastly these do wear very well. Stay put all day long, do not fade, do not smudge. If the prices on the Shu Uemura are correct these are quite pricey. I wouldn't shell out the dough, but love the free :)

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Video: Beauty Haul - Oct. 2014

I can't figure out my uploading troubles this month... but after 2 days of trying finally succeeded..

Monday, November 3, 2014

Video: Beauty Empties - Oct. 2014

Boy did I have problem trying to upload this 4min video... I'm not sure if the fault lies with Youtube or Rogers, but frustration was high... Hopefully my haul video won't be this much hassle...

Friday, October 31, 2014

Happy Halloween!

I'm going to eat way too many sweets today :)

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Clinique Cream Shaper for Eyes in Black Diamond (101)

Here is a little treat that my husband brought home in July. Boy sometimes it really takes me a while to get around to a post. But I didn't pay for it, so it wasn't really a priority of mine. Plus I don't love it and so didn't feel the urgency I usually do to share my latest obsession.
It's a pretty black pencil with silver shimmer. It's creamy and smooth, and swatches so lovely.
But where does it go throughout the day??? I just don't know. I don't put this on my waterline, but I like to line my upper lash line and about halfway on my bottom one. At the end of the day, there is barely anything left on my bottom one, and the top one looks a bit blotchy, faded, and uneven. I don't rub my eyes, this pencil seems to dissolve into thin air...
So pretty, but I wouldn't spend my own money on it. Glad I didn't.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Peter Thomas Roth - Skinstant Mask Magic - Rose Stem Cell, Cucumber Gel Mask, Pumpkin Enzyme Mask

I bought this set when it first came out in August... or rather shall we say when I first spotted it on Sephora shelves (it's possible this came out weeks earlier... I have hard time keeping up). Any-who I don't see the set on the selves anymore, but one can purchase these individually (the jars of course are a tad bigger as well).

The breakdown of these colorful jars:
Pink - Rose Stem Cell - age repair
Green - Cucumber - soothe, hydrate, and detoxify dry, irritated skin
Orange - Pumpkin Enzyme - exfoliates dull, aging, congested skin

I've tried them all, and they're all great in their own way... but I really like only the top two. Rose and Cucumber are gel masks, that feel smooth, cooling, and comfortable. I have left both on for more than the recommended time of 10 minutes and no negative side effects.

The Rose mask does warm up on my skin a tad, and I mean a tad. It never becomes uncomfortable; and when I rinse it off, my skin has a rosy flush for a few minutes.

Cucumber just rocks. I love this stuff. I don't consider my skin to be dry, but it does need soothing, and this does the trick.

Pumpkin is fire in a jar... seriously. 3 minutes is too long for this to sit on my face. It doesn't tingle, it doesn't warm up... it simply burns. So much so, I seriously thought I melted off a couple layers of my skin. It feels granular, and your supposed to exfoliate as you rinse off, but since it felt as if my skin was melting already, I just take this off my face as fast as possible. Then try not to make eye contact with the beet in the mirror.  This is the one I will not repurchase. I don't consider myself to have sensitive skin, I think it's quite hardy actually... but this, this makes me feel like I'm tissue paper... I can't take it, I don't understand who can. 

When I rinse off the rose and cucumber my skin feels healthy. When I rinse off Pumpkin my skin feels like someone took sandpaper to it. Personally I can't recommended it, but at the same time, if you like exfoliating masks, then I suggest a sample first... I'm just not a fan.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Agave Oil Treatment

Watching beauty mavens on youtube leads to shopping... it's a fact. This is one of those purchases. She showed it in one of her hauls, and her description of it made me want to put oil in my hair as well. Hers is long, blonde, and lustrous, mine is fine, short, with more grays by the day :) I had nothing to loose. I placed my order with Sephora.

I've been using this for months now (9), and I'm about half way through the bottle. Eventough the oil is described as light-weight and non-greasy I don't want to take chances, and use a tiny amount each morning on my toweled dried hair along with some Alterna Caviar CC Cream (my hair is fine and thin to begin with, I don't need much). Since then my hair has been soft, and no dry, split ends in sight (I also try to get a trim/cut every 3-4 months).

The oil is clear, and has nice viscosity to it. One thing that I will disagree on with this vlogger, is that she described the scent as coconut. Nope sorry, no coconut for me in this bottle, to me it just smells sweet, like agave syrup. This is great because the scent doesn't compete with anything else I put in my hair, it just sweetens it :)

This is the description on  
"Restore and rejuvenate unmanageable, frizzy hair with the hydrating and color-restoring sugars of the agave plant. Unlike heavy nut oils, this plant extract conditions hair with a light touch, building strength and resiliency, while helping boost vibrancy and color. Other natural botanicals like coconut, vanilla, sunflower, and safflower are blended with madagascar baobab seed oil to nourish and transform hair’s outer layer. "

With near perfect 5-stars, it seems after 283 reviews (at the time I'm writing this) majority agrees with these claims, and so do I.

I should run out of this in another 9 months... I'm not sure if this is what I'll repurchase, I like to switch up my products, but I do know there will be a replacement hair oil on my bathroom shelf.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Love - Laura Mercier Mini Caviar Stick Eye Colour Quartet

This is my favorite time of the year. From Oct to New Year's Eve I'm in seasonal bliss. I love the weather (fall to winter), but more than that I love all the holiday sets that makeup companies put out.

There is a few that I would like, but I'm trying to keep a tight rein on my wallet. So far so good :)

One set that I knew I couldn't resist, and I wasn't going to even fight it is the mini caviar eye sticks from Laura Mercier. I already own a one is full sized version called Sandglow, and I absolutely love it. The formula is outstanding, super creamy, beautifully pigmented. It glides on, depositing color evenly, without any tugging, and it blends seamlessly. I highly, highly recommend Laura's caviar sticks... that is if you can justify the price point. Each regular sized one, retails for about $34 CAD.
Now the reason I wanted this set, is for one color... Amethyst, because all of the beauty bloggers and vloggers who I follow who own it, just rave over this shade. The other 3 are a sweet bonus. Made even sweeter by the fact that none of them is Sandglow... so no dupes for moi. Below comparison between the regular and the minis.
The colors included in this mini collection are:
Rose Gold - rosy gold shimmer
Moonlight - metallic champagne beige 
Amethyst - soft mauve with pearl
Cocoa - chocolate brown with bronze pearl
The set cost me $46 CAD (with taxes $52 CAD)... a splurge for sure. But supposedly the actual value is $74 CAD... so I couldn't help but do some math.

A single full sized caviar stick costs $34 and you get 0.05oz of product.
The mini set gives you 0.03oz of product in each stick (a whopping 0.12 oz all together :)) for $46.

So each 0.01oz in a full sized version sets you back $6.80, and the same amount in the mini set works out to be only $3.83. Which means the mini set is a deal for sure, as long as you like and will use at least 3 out of the 4 shades.

I don't see how you wouldn't, see below for how gorgeous these are. On the left the shade blended out, on the right in it's full pigmented glory. Now I understand the love affair everyone seems to have with Amethyst...

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

It's OK - Lancôme Grandiôse Mascara

My original thought was to repurchase Smokey Eye by Bobbi Brown, but Penelope Cruz ads swayed me just a tad and I decided to  finish of 2014 with Grandiôse.
As I've mentioned in my videos, I purchase 4 mascaras a year. On schedule every 3 months I replace the old with something new. This is how I justify a mascara splurge, and tend to stay away from drugstore brands.

Now Grandiôse has received a  bit of hype and press, especially within the beauty community, and so I wanted to experience it for myself.

This is one of the pricey ones, $35 CAD and I got mine at Sephora.

First off the packaging is gorgeous. I'm of the same opinion as a certain beauty maven who compared it to a nail polish bottle. I do agree, it does look like something polish could be housed in. Beautiful shape, from the black Lancôme rose in the cap to the gently rounded belly.

 But its what's inside that really matters. First of, the wand and brush. The "swan neck" shaped wand is fantastic; design genius. When you hold the brush near your eye, the angle of the wand allows the brush to hit your lashes at the perfect angle, allowing you to easily sweep the formula from roots to tips, from inner corner to outer corner.

But the formula and the brush itself leave me wanting. Combined they're not really good at separating the lashes. In the first days the formula was a tad too wet for my liking, and it was a struggle not to end up with spidey lashes. It's not a look that works for me or one that I like. Now after three weeks of use, the formula is less wet, the clumping easier to manage, but it's still a daily morning struggle. I have mascara on my eyes, but I don't feel as if this has added any volume, length, and it definitely fails at separation.

I will not repurchase and I would not recommend it. At $35 a pop, it's not something that I'll throw away either; it would eat away at me to waste money like that. I take comfort in the fact that in just a little bit over two months, I'll be going back to a favorite. Because this mascara isn't horrible by any means, it's just not anything fantastic either... and at that price point it should at least come close.