Maybelline The Nudes Palette

With Kylie Jenner spawning a thousand 90s neutral lookalike tutorials and the UD Naked on its third iteration, it's about time drugstore brands hopped aboard the "nude" palette trend.

Maybelline is one of the first with their The Nudes palette.

Maybelline The Nudes Palette

Maybelline The Nudes Palette

Unfortunately, it doesn't set the bar all that high.

It looks cute and functional enough, with a practical plastic casing and what appears to be a good mix of mattes, satins, shimmers and metallics in shades ranging from light to dark, cool to warm. The layout is theoretically helpful as well, with three full quads laid out across the palette (or six sets of duos, if break them down further). If the formula was top-notch, this could indeed be a great all-around palette - though one point taken off for travel-considerations, due to the lack of mirror.

Formula is exactly where it stumbles: a mixed bag of some shades that have great pigment and creamy blendability, and others with poorer payoff and choppy application.

The best performers are, not surprisingly, the metallics. The middle "quad" is by the best formulated, with the bronze, gold and burgundy brown applying smoothly and with very good payoff. They blend without a hitch, and aren't prone to thinning out. (They're not UD comparable, but I have yet to meet a drugstore shadow that has that degree of intensity. For the standard I'm judging them on, they do very well.) The matte peach shade has softer pigmentation and tends to feel a little chalky, but as a brow bone colour or transition blender it's just fine. This is by far my favourite quad from the palette.

The satins and shimmers are a little behind the metallics, but not terribly so. They vary between having somewhat sheer to decent payoff, and are generally easy to blend, but they can tend to thin out when applied, leading to a soft, muddied look. (Though if you really prefer a next-to-bare eye look, that could work in your favour.) I'm a little puzzled why there are essentially three taupes in here, however, ranging from quite shimmery to almost matte. They look more distinct in the pan, but on the eye, I can barely tell them apart. I wish they had added something that leaned mauve, or a true warm medium brown, both of which would have added some more versatility.

The three matte shades - which are also the darkest - are the most troublesome. They have a dry consistency, and just don't apply or blend very well, creating a choppy appearance both in swatches and when applied. I had the best luck using them to intensify the outer corner of a look, or to add a bit of smokiness, especially overtop the metallics. I hate to say, they're exactly the kind of eyeshadow that gives drugstore eyeshadow a bad rap.

Maybelline The Nudes Palette

Maybelline The Nudes Palette

Maybelline The Nudes Palette

The colour that really stands out is the pale duochrome lustre from the top left corner. I had a hell of time capturing the colour shift, but the picture below is the closest, taken at a weird angle under incandescent light. It looks like a pale, slightly gold-toned cream when looked at straight on in the pan or when swatched, but it actually has this absolutely stunning pink shift at an angle. The texture is nothing to write home about - sort of a crumbly, flaky shimmer, not unlike MAC lustres - but the colour is lovely, either by itself as an inner corner highlight, or dabbed lightly over another shade.

Maybelline The Nudes Palette

In terms of lasting power, my experience was about average - six hours before I saw significant fading, but no creasing. With a primer, I got an extra couple of hours. The best performance overall - including intensity - was over a Color Tattoo base.

So would I buy this palette again? Probably not. It's a workable palette, but hardly a slam-dunk when almost half the shades are problematic in some way. The overall mix is also not as versatile as I'd like, despite those lovely metallics and the funky duochrome. Too many of the shades blend into one wash of taupe-beige for my preference.

That said, if you 1) really prefer a softer, natural eye look, 2) aren't looking for a ton of variety, but like the option of a metallic smoky and 3) have a limited budget, then this might be something to check out. (Though I'd probably steer you to the Coastal Scents Revealed palette first, or the trios from Wet'n'Wild.)

Here is an example of the very natural, truly nude look that comes from the less pigmented side of this palette. (I used the peach on the lid, a mix of the taupes in the crease and outer corner, a mix of the taupe shimmer and pink shimmer under the lower lashine, the dark brown as eyeliner and the duochrome shimmer very lightly as highlight.)


Availability: Most drugstores now, prices vary but the cheapest I saw were at Wal-Mart for about 10$, with Pharmaprix/Shoppers retailing them for 14-15$.

(I purchased this palette at Pharmaprix. Not sponsored, opinions are my own.)

Bite Beauty Deconstructed Rose Lipsticks - Damask, Centifolia, Grandifolia, Crimson

My love of roses was inherited from my mother. She has cultivated a gorgeous garden in her backyard for decades, with varied types, carefully tended beds and a gorgeous, all-encompassing fragrance. (Compared to my approach to gardening, which is loosely based on Game of Thrones - you bloom or you die. My roses are aggressive little shrubs with prolific blooms and little scent to recommend them.)

Since rose is my second favourite floral - next to lilacs - I tend to have a fondness for products that remind me of them. (I know a lot of people associate rose with "old lady" perfumes, but I find the scent elegant and deeply comforting.) When I saw that Bite Beauty was doing a small series centred around a rose theme, I was ALL ABOUT THAT.

The Deconstructed Rose collection has four lipsticks: Damask, a rosy pink, Centifolia, a muted peach, Grandifolia, a fiery red, and Crimson, a muted dark purple.

(Side note: Glandifolia means "large leaves". So for example, Fagus grandifolia is a species of beech tree. Pereskia grandifolia is the rose cactus - and not a rose at all. I think what they meant is Grandiflora - which means "large bloom" and is used to describe a rose cultivar group. )

Bite Deconstructed Rose Lipsticks
Bite Beauty Deconstructed Rose Lipsticks
Bite Deconstructed Rose Lipsticks - Damask, Centifolia, Grandifolia, Crimson
Clockwise from top left - Centifolia, Damask, Grandifolia, Crimson
Bite Deconstructed Rose Lipsticks - Damask, Centifolia, Grandifolia, Crimson
From top - Damask, Centifolia, Grandifolia, Crimson
Despite the typo, I'll forgive Bite, because damn, are these colours gorgeous or what?? Like...really, really ridiculously good-looking. The descriptions are pretty apt too, though I would categorize Crimson as more of a deep berry than purple. They are housed in the same kind of casing as the rest of the lipstick line, but special care was taken with the exterior packaging to play on the rose theme. I have the say that the boxes are so pretty that I'm finding excuses not to throw them away. (I think part of why I blog is so I can have the pictures of all the lovely things so that I can use them/throw away the packaging. It's an issue.)

I can't say if the formula for these is distinct from the regular line, as I don't have much to compare it to. I do find them all to be very rich, well pigmented and supremely buttery - almost too buttery. I find these a little tricky to apply, actually, as they tend to slip easily past my hipline. The best method, for me, is to pat a little on from the tube, spread out with a brush, blot, and add another thin coat. This gives me the most control and precision, without sacrificing the creamy feel and intensity. If I don't do this, I end up looking a five-year-old who's gotten into her mom's purse.

That said, if you like a hydrating, creamy lipstick, you have it right here. The wear time is surprisingly long for a lipstick with this kind of texture, though not comparable to a matte or truly long-wear lipstick. They also tend to collect a bit at the outer edge as they're worn when a thicker layer is used. (Again, patting and blotting thin layers work best.)

These lipsticks are also all scented with rose otto, which is a natural distilled oil. It has supposed anti-aging benefits, but if you have sensitivities to fragrance, I would suggest doing a patch test first. Even if you're not sensitive, the scent is not remotely shy, so be warned. (Like I said, I love rose, so no issues for me personally.) The taste is, as with most Bite products, faintly sweet and pleasant, despite the floral perfume.

Bite Deconstructed Rose Lipsticks - Centifolia, Damask, Grandifolia, Crimson
Left to right: Crimson, Grandifolia, Centifolia, Damask

Bite Deconstructed Rose Lipsticks - Centifolia, Damask, Grandifolia, Crimson
Damask

Bite Deconstructed Rose Lipsticks - Centifolia, Damask, Grandifolia, Crimson
Centifolia

Bite Deconstructed Rose Lipsticks - Centifolia, Damask, Grandifolia, Crimson
Grandifolia

Bite Deconstructed Rose Lipsticks - Centifolia, Damask, Grandifolia, Crimson
Crimson
Availability: The Deconstructed Rose series is exclusive to Sephora and limited editions, and they retail for 32$ CAD (28$ USD).

Have you guys tried these lipsticks, or any others from Bite? I have to say that I'm 100% coveting the new Matte Creme Lip Crayons right now, and need to head over to Sephora for a swatching session.

(I purchased all of these from Sephora. This post is not sponsored or compensated, and all opinions are my own.)

Lise Watier Eden Tropical Collection - Summer 2014

I know the Lise Watier Eden Tropical Collection has been out for a little while now, but to be honest I wasn't inspired to use it until fairly recently. With the spate of blisteringly hot summer weather a few weeks ago, though, the tropical theme felt very appropriate.

This is a pretty massive collection, with mostly limited edition items, but it also includes some premiering additions to the regular line-up, as well as a limited item that feels like it might be a test run.

The major set piece is, of course, the Palette Eden Tropical (43$ CAD).This guy really is a stunner, from the vibrant and bold aesthetic of the packaging to the actual shades included within.

Lise Watier Eden Tropical Collection - Summer 2014

Lise Watier Eden Tropical Collection - Summer 2014 palette eyeshadow

Lise Watier Eden Tropical Collection - Summer 2014 palette eyeshadow

All the colours are evocative of tropical flora: a super-pale mint, a green that shifts between sage and forest, a lovely violet-pink, a burnished antique gold, a slightly "dirty" bronze, and a rich turquoise.

Lise Watier Eden Tropical Collection - Summer 2014 palette eyeshadow

On the surface, this looks like a somewhat difficult palette to work with - the finish on every shadow is frosty, verging on metallic, with really only one true neutral included. (I wouldn't term the antique gold a neutral, especially with the highly reflective finish it boasts.) This is definitely not the kind of palette you can tuck into your travel bag to cover your basic needs. That said, you're not limited to cobbling together some crazy Bird of Paradise eye look either, especially if you combine them with those workhorse "transition" shades in your collection.

The texture is fairly uniform on these, with an almost cream-like consistency that applies with medium pigmentation but is super malleable - you can sheer out, build or blend as you wish. You do have to be careful not to over-blend, but in this case it's not because the texture is so powdery that it wisps away. The longevity is good too, but not ironclad unless you use a primer. (I found a bit of creasing after 6 hours otherwise.) Out of all the shades, the mint-white and the violet-pink had the softest pigmentation.

This collection also introduces a new (and, for now, limited) product, the 24 hrs Gel Liner (25$ CAD). It's curious that Lise Watier hasn't had this in their repertoire until now, actually. It's a nice formula, a matte black that reads rich but not too intense, applies very smoothly, and dries to a smudge proof finish after about a minute of playtime. I do get a bit of separation in the corner of my eye, but that's usual for me due to the war my eye creases. If you're prone to that with gel/cream liners, I would suggest passing on this and sticking to liquid, otherwise this should be exactly as expected.

Lise Watier Eden Tropical Collection - Summer 2014 24 hrs gel liner ombre souffle sortilege

I have to say I was a little less wowed by the new addition to the Ombre Soufflé Suprême range. One of four new shades, Sortilège (24$ CAD) looks like a gorgeous gold-flecked bronze in the pot, but applied to my eyes it reads a little murky and dirty. Applied more thickly, I get more of that pretty colour, but the whipped-mousse formula doesn't play too well on my eyes when applied heavily - it tends to crease and slide off. (Though applied over a primer, or as a base for powder eyeshadow, it fares much better.) If you have drier lids, it may be the perfect formula, especially now that it has the added antioxidant benefits of Labrador Tea extract.

Lise Watier Eden Tropical Collection - Summer 2014 24 hrs gel liner ombre souffle sortilege

The other major piece in the collection is the Eden Tropical Bronzing Powder (38$ CAD). It's a totally gorgeous looking bronzer with a raised leaf motif and a peach blush at its heart.

Lise Watier Eden Tropical Collection - Summer 2014 bronzer creme blush satin coral paradise

Both the bronzer and the blush have a very flattering satin finish, but both have a lighter pigmentation than I would expect. The bronzer is a dainty, yellow-toned gold, and the peach is barely perceptible on my skin. I really had to squish my brush in there to get any payoff, and I don't imagine it would be visible on any but the fairest skin. When they're swirled together, the effect is a gentle hint of sun on the skin. I personally wouldn't use this as either a bronzer or a blush, but I do like it for adding some warmth to overly cool blushes, or for a faintly sun-kissed effect across my face. If you're especially pale, this may actually work very well as a bronzer, without looking overly strong or muddy.

Lise Watier Eden Tropical Collection - Summer 2014 bronzer creme blush satin coral paradise

This collection also has two limited edition cream blushes - the Blush Creme Satin in Rose Eden and Coral Paradise (24$ CAD). I have the Coral Paradise, which is actually more of a warm pink than coral on me.

Lise Watier Eden Tropical Collection - Summer 2014 bronzer creme blush satin coral paradise


Lise Watier Eden Tropical Collection - Summer 2014 bronzer creme blush satin coral paradise

The formula is silicone heavy, going on dewy and drying down to a seamless, but not powdery, finish. It has a ton of slip, feeling almost greasy when you first your finger across it. It blends super easily, and is perfect for fingertip application. The colour can be built up, but it sheers easily for a natural look. The lasting power average for a product of this type, looking faded on me after about 8 hours or so.

Lise Watier Eden Tropical Collection - Summer 2014 Hydra Kiss Balm Rouge Gourmand Velours lipstick

Lise Watier Eden Tropical Collection - Summer 2014 Hydra Kiss Balm Rouge Gourmand Velours lipstick

The Hydra Kiss Colour Balms (22$ CAD) included in this collection are perhaps my favourite, surprisingly. These have a translucent, glossy finish that is perfect for the season, and look wonderfully juicy and fresh on the lips. They're nicely hydrating, and, of course, completely not long-lasting. That's ok, though, as the sheerness and pencil format makes them a breeze to re-apply. The shade I have is Rose Eden, which is cool-toned pink.

Though not part of the collection as such, the Rouge Gourmand Velours Lipsticks (22$ CAD) debuted alongside, and are an EXCELLENT addition to the permanent collection. They are ridiculously pigmented and opaque in one swipe, with a modern matte finish that still feels comfortable and rich on the lips. Compared with certain other matte lipsticks I've recently tried, the formula actually seems to soften lip lines instead of emphasizing them. The claim is that these will visibly increase the volume of your lips - I don't know about that, but between the show-stopping punch of the pigment and the smoothing effect, it can certainly create the appearance of a fuller mouth. My shade here is Cassis, an intense blue-based red, with an almost berry slant.

Lise Watier Eden Tropical Collection - Summer 2014 Hydra Kiss Balm Rouge Gourmand Velours lipstick

Lise Watier Eden Tropical Collection - Summer 2014 Hydra Kiss Balm Rouge Gourmand Velours lipstick

Lise Watier Eden Tropical Collection - Summer 2014 Hydra Kiss Balm Rouge Gourmand Velours lipstick

Overall, I think there are some excellent products that bear checking out, before the Fall collections start rolling in. From the permanent collection, I highly recommend taking a look at the new Rouge Gourmand Velours lipsticks. From the limited items, the major standouts for me are the Hydra Kiss balms and the eyeshadow palette. If you are pale, leaning towards a warmer skin tone and in search of a bronzer, the one here might be worth a look as well.

PS - I will have a video coming up shortly, featuring most of the items from this collection! Here is a preview of the look:


(This collection was provided to me by the brand/PR to be considered for review. All opinions are my own, this post is not sponsored or compensated.)

Benefit They're Real! Push-Up Liner

To paraphrase the guy, sometimes a gimmick is just a gimmick.

Benefit is a brand I generally enjoy. I'm a fan of their boxed blushes, their eyeshadows and their foundation, and I usually find their faux-vintage vibe very appealing. They've come up with innovative products that really stand out as iconic - their liquid blushes, for example - and are the masters of the uber-cute sampler sets.

Which is why I so wanted the They'reReal! Push-Up Liner to be everything it promised. I mean, a cream liner formula in a convenient pen format that would make it foolproof to achieve a precise, lash-hugging line? A flexible, angled dispensing tip that would facilitate a neat wing? I was ready and willing to be converted, and doubly delighted when a deluxe preview sample of the liner found its way into my Sephora bag.

Benefit They're Real! Push-Up Liner

Benefit They're Real! Push-Up Liner

And yet.

I'll start with the positives, because there are indeed some really strong points here.

The actual formula is an incredibly pigmented, matte black. It goes on rich and velvety, and it wears like iron. It is waterproof, rub-proof, and generally ready to have a tangle with anything you throw at it. It's one of the only things that wears well on my waterline. (And despite reviews claiming that the only thing that gets it off is the They'reReal! Remover, I had no issues getting it off with a Bioderma-soaked cotton pad, pressed to the eye for 10 seconds and gently wiped away.)

Conceptually, the pen idea is also quite brilliant. It turns the usually cumbersome cream liner and brush duo into something that can be tucked away in a purse, perfect for adding some drama for a post-work cinq à sept. It's also a neat option for travel. The angled silicone tip is also great for precise lining, though still too thick for creating a really sharp point on a wing.

So if the formula is nice and the applicator is great, what's the issue? Simply put - they shouldn't be together. The product inevitably smears over the side and tip of the applicator as you use it, creating balled up product that needs to be wiped off or risk a gunky line. I tried eking out as little as possible, but that made the application patchy, as there was not enough product to work with, leading to skipping and weird "fraying" at the edge of the line. This required going over it a few times, which actually ended up being more of a problem, as the formula dries incredibly quickly - and the result was more crumbling.

Benefit They're Real! Push-Up Liner
Left to right: Clean line achieved with careful wiping,
thicker smeared line used as is, patchy line when using smaller amount.
You can see in the picture below that there is some patchiness evident in the inner corner, where I tried to use less product, and then again some of that on the wing and along the top edge where I tried to go over areas that had crumbled. The point is also not as sharp as I'd like it to be. From a distance it's probably fine, but close up it's just not the clean, flawless line I can usually get.

On the other hand, it's a nice, deep black, and it's kind of incredible for tightlining the waterline (if you click on the picture you can see in full size). That said, I would still need to follow up with a brush to get some of that black into the base of my lashes to get rid of any visible skin, as the silicone tip doesn't let me do that.

(Warning: Eyeball pic ahead.)

Benefit They're Real! Push-Up Liner
Yup. Kinda shitty.
And then there's just the sheer amount of product trashed, as it crumbles around and needs to be wiped off the tip. Considering that there's only 0.04 ounces (for 29$ CAD) compared to, for example, 0.17 ounces for a pot of Clinique Cream liner (at 17$ CAD), the waste is extra outrageous.

Benefit They're Real! Push-Up Liner
Product that needed to be wiped off, to achieve the liner in the pic above.
The formula, for this kind of application, really needs to be a little softer, but then I have to wonder if that would make the silicone tip problematic, as it would likely cut though the product it was setting down? I also assume that the quick dry time is also due to whatever it is that makes it so hardy, which is a point in its favour, at least for me.

I think if you're good at working with liner already and you want something tidy to carry and that will wear well, then you'll probably be able to forgive the application woes in favour of the indestructible formula and convenience. Personally, the time and energy (and wasted product) needed to achieve the same cat-eye effect I can get with a brush and a pot of my favourite cream liner just doesn't balance out. (And if you're a lining novice looking to execute a perfect wing, I would recommend starting out with a liquid pen liner. Same concept, but with a better applicator/formula match.)

That said, I do like this a lot for using in my waterline, and for that alone I might consider purchasing it.

Have you guys tried this yet? What do you think of it? (Tracy, I know you love it ever so much. :P)

(This was a gift with purchase at Sephora, and you can use code PUSHUP to get one if you place an order for 25$ USD/35$ CAD.)