YSL Fall 2014 Cuirs Fétiches - Couture Palette Collector Fétiche, RougePur Couture The Mats #210 Nude Acoustic, Gloss Volupté #106 Cuir Grenat

YSL really hit the ground running with the new Couture Palettes. As I mentioned in my previous review, they are truly a cut above previous iterations from the brand, and stack right up there in my top luxury palette picks for superior pigmentation and performance.

I was really thrilled to see a new version for the Fall, with a colour scheme that's seasonally appropriate but not stereotypical. I love russets and burgundies and golds, but the neutral/teal mix is a nice change of pace, with the deeper tones and smoky richness still evoking autumn. The lip products echoed that twist, with nudes sitting pretty beside the classic wine tones, all in hushed, sophisticated textures of matte and cream.

The entire concept of this collection seems best represented by the limited edition packaging of the palette, black leather embossed with the gold lettering. The "fétiche" in the name indicates that they were going with a sexy and dangerous theme, as does the blown out eye makeup of the promo imagery. (A little Fifty Shades anticipation? Understandable, especially if you've seen the adorably awkward charmer that is Jamie Dornan in action. Because, GOOD GOD MAN.)

For me, though, the colour palette and textures are much more sensual than sexual, more sophisticated than provocative. Either way, I approve.

YSL Fall 2014 - Cuirs Fétiches Couture Palette, Rouge Pur Couture The Mats #210 Nude Acoustic, Gloss Volupté #106 Cuir Grenat
YSL Fall 2014 Cuirs Fétiches - Couture Palette Collector Fétiche,
Rouge Pur Couture The Mats #210 Nude Acoustic, Gloss Volupté #106 Cuir Grenat
The Couture Palette Collector Fétiche is a stunner, no doubt. Although it looks warm-toned, with the gold and gold-flecked bronze shades, it does also have a black and a rather cool-toned espresso brown for balance. The dusky teal shade is also somewhere in the middle, tonally.

All five have wonderful pigmentation, with the gold being perhaps the sheerest. The bronze and the espresso both have obvious flecks of shimmer, and the gold has the most metallic, reflective shimmer throughout. The teal and the black are satins. (As I mentioned in my previous review, the texture seems almost dry to the touch, when you might expect very pigmented and smooth eyeshadows to be creamy/buttery/dense. It's a really unique texture.)

All five shades blend very well, which in the case of the teal is something to actually watch out for, as the intense initial payoff can rapidly become murky. These are perfect for creating a hazy, slightly metallic, smoky eye, and the intensity and shimmery finish of each shade can be augmented easily by applying them wet.

Wear time is great, easily over eight hours with a primer.

(Really randomly, the press package calls the teal shade Amazon Green and describes it as a deep green. Which...obviously not. So I do wonder if they had a more "usual" Fall palette in mind? I'm glad they changed it, if that's the case.)

YSL Fall 2014 - Cuirs Fétiches Couture Palette, Rouge Pur Couture The Mats #210 Nude Acoustic, Gloss Volupté #106 Cuir Grenat
Couture Palette Collector Fétiche
YSL Fall 2014 - Cuirs Fétiches Couture Palette, Rouge Pur Couture The Mats #210 Nude Acoustic, Gloss Volupté #106 Cuir Grenat
Couture Palette Collector Fétiche
YSL Fall 2014 - Cuirs Fétiches Couture Palette, Rouge Pur Couture The Mats #210 Nude Acoustic, Gloss Volupté #106 Cuir Grenat
Couture Palette Collector Fétiche swatched clockwise
For the look below, I started with the bronze applied to the lid, and the teal in the outer corner in a rough triangle shape. I blended the bronze through the crease, and added the espresso to deepen through the outer crease and corner. I dabbed the gold in the inner corner, and lightly swept a bit over the bronze on the inner half of the lid. I also took a mix of the bronze and the gold under the eye. I wet the black to do a soft, fuzzy liner on the top lid only, mostly as a base for the half-lashes (Prima Donna from Liberty Rebublic) at the the outer corners. (Full face picture further down.)

YSL Fall 2014 - Cuirs Fétiches Couture Palette, Rouge Pur Couture The Mats #210 Nude Acoustic, Gloss Volupté #106 Cuir Grenat
Couture Palette Collector Fétiche - applied
The Rouge Pur Couture The Mats in shade #210 Nude Acoustic is the lone nude shade in an otherwise classically wine-coloured array of lip offerings. It's a warmish pink with a strong beige undertone that falls on the MLBB end of the nude spectrum (or at least it does with my colouring).

This was my first experience with The Mats formula, and I have to say that while it was really nice, it wasn't quite mind-blowing. The lipstick is light and very pleasant feeling on the lips, matte without feeling dry. I can't say that my lips felt particularly loved after the application, but they weren't parched, and the formula didn't make a muck out of fine lines or dry bits. It applies smoothly, and this shade in particular is a great one for touch-ups, as it's so forgiving. I don't think this lasted as well as the darker ones in the collection probably do, as the staining effect is limited by the mild colour, but it wasn't out of line with what I would expect from a matte (a few hours, but not past a meal).

Overall,  I just can't say it's a formula that wows me when it comes to matte lipstick, lovely as it is. (The colour, on the other hand, is a hands down winner.)

The Gloss Volupté formula is a stronger contender for my heart. Creamy, cushy, non-sticky, moderately thick, it's a formula that is lovely to apply and feels even better on. It's a great winter lip gloss, if that makes any sense. The shade here is #106 Cuir Grenat, a wine berry that looks way more warm and red-toned in the tube than it does swatched or on my lips. It also appears to have some faint shimmer in the tube, which doesn't translate at all on the lips. It has a moderately pigmented, creamy finish that doesn't look overly glossy or goopy. As it wears down it leaves a faint stain, but the lasting power is otherwise average for a gloss.

I have to note that both of these have a very strong floral-fruity scent. I'm not usually bothered much by scented lip products, but these were quite noticeable, so take that for what it's worth.

YSL Fall 2014 - Cuirs Fétiches Couture Palette, Rouge Pur Couture The Mats #210 Nude Acoustic, Gloss Volupté #106 Cuir Grenat
 Gloss Volupté #106 Cuir Grenat and Rouge Pur Couture The Mats #210 Nude Acoustic
YSL Fall 2014 - Cuirs Fétiches Couture Palette, Rouge Pur Couture The Mats #210 Nude Acoustic, Gloss Volupté #106 Cuir Grenat
Gloss Volupté #106 Cuir Grenat and Rouge Pur Couture The Mats #210 Nude Acoustic
YSL Fall 2014 - Cuirs Fétiches Couture Palette, Rouge Pur Couture The Mats #210 Nude Acoustic, Gloss Volupté #106 Cuir Grenat
Gloss Volupté #106 Cuir Grenat and Rouge Pur Couture The Mats #210 Nude Acoustic
YSL Fall 2014 - Cuirs Fétiches Couture Palette, Rouge Pur Couture The Mats #210 Nude Acoustic, Gloss Volupté #106 Cuir Grenat
Rouge Pur Couture The Mats #210 Nude Acoustic
YSL Fall 2014 - Cuirs Fétiches Couture Palette, Rouge Pur Couture The Mats #210 Nude Acoustic, Gloss Volupté #106 Cuir Grenat
Gloss Volupté #106 Cuir Grenat
So this is the whole look with the items that I received from this collection. I'm wearing the Mats #210 here, with just a bit of lip balm underneath to temper the matte finish. (I also used the YSL Fusion Ink Foundation, review coming sooooon.)


Availability: At YSL counters at Hudson's Bay, Holt Renfrew. Possibly at certain Murale locations? Also at www.thebay.com. Price is 39$ CAD for The Mats, 35$ CAD for the Gloss Volupté, and 64$ CAD for the Couture Palette.

Have you guys already checked out this collection? Anything ring your bell? I'm pretty much addicted to the palettes, and will be going all Pokemon on them as soon as I can swing the dough. I had a peak at the Holiday ones thanks to a lovely YSL SA at Hudson's Bay, and I need to have the limited edition version of the Tuxedo palette. SO MUCH.

(The YSL items mentioned were provided by the brand/PR to be considered for review. The Liberty Rebublic lashes were purchased by me. This post is not sponsored or compensated, all opinions are my own.)

Shu Uemura Brave Beauty - Vision of Beauty Rouge Unlimited and Satin Radiant Stick


The lip portion of the Shu Uemura Brave Beauty collection is, much like the palettes, a mash-up of the in-your-face and the very wearable. The packaging has that same bold, almost-floral design that reminds me of hothouse blooms, and the Vision of Beauty Rouge Unlimited lipsticks as viewed in the tube promise equally florid colour on the face: the deep plummy wine of Maroon, and the vivid tangerine orange of, well, Orange.

I think claret shades for fall are entirely appropriate, and after this spring's orange lip trend we're all well used to citrus tones. Still, these aren't exactly meek shades, and I imagine that for folks who generally favour nude or MLBB lipsticks (and I place myself in that category) they can come across as a little....much.

Shu Uemura Brave Beauty - Vision of Beauty Rouge Unlimited and Satin Radiant Stick
Vision of Beauty Rouge Unlimited: Orange and Maroon

Shu Uemura Brave Beauty - Vision of Beauty Rouge Unlimited and Satin Radiant Stick
Vision of Beauty Rouge Unlimited: Orange and Maroon

The formula, however, is what makes these waaaayyyy less intimidating to actually wear. This is one of those hybrids between a gloss and a lipstick that has a translucent, stained glass effect when worn. The colour applies very true to the what's in the tube, but the sheerness softens it without altering the actual shade. Orange is NOT a colour I will normally wear, but the shade here was surprisingly pretty, and looked more like pumpkin than tangerine with my colouring. I don't know, what do you guys think?

(There are two milder shades in the collection, namely Rose and Beige, if you're not at all inclined to wear bolder colours, as well as equally robust offerings like Red and Fuchsia - which is, as far as I'm concerned, a Modern Classic.)

In terms of texture, this is a very comfortable, emollient lipstick with a nice amount of slip that doesn't slide around or feel greasy. As it dries down some of the gloss fades, and it lasts a couple of hours before wearing away relatively evenly. It's not a revolutionary formula, but it is a very nicely done version, and very comfortable to wear. Again, I'm just kind of wowed by an orange that doesn't make me look jaundiced or like the 8-year-old-version of me, who had an unrelenting love for those orange Freezies.

Shu Uemura Brave Beauty - Vision of Beauty Rouge Unlimited and Satin Radiant Stick
Vision of Beauty Rouge Unlimited: Maroon and Orange

Shu Uemura Brave Beauty - Vision of Beauty Rouge Unlimited and Satin Radiant Stick
Vision of Beauty Rouge Unlimited: Maroon

Shu Uemura Brave Beauty - Vision of Beauty Rouge Unlimited and Satin Radiant Stick
Vision of Beauty Rouge Unlimited: Orange

If you prefer shimmer over colour, I suspect the Satin Radiant Sticks might please you. A more elegant version of the Maybelline Master Glaze Blush Sticks, these toe the line between a highlighter and a blush. Though they are split out on the site by category (the highlighters being Light Pink and Bronze Gold, the blushes being Pink and Orange Coral), I think I would still consider them all as highlighters, at least based on the two I have.

Light Pink is a very pale champagne pink that just barely registers as a colour on my skin, and sheers out to essentially shimmer. Pink has more obvious pigmentation when swiped on heavily, but the sparkle content wouldn't incline me to wearing it quite that heavily. Sheered out, it's a very light babydoll pink.

And these are shimmery. Not obnoxiously so, but very obviously so, especially in sunlight or certain overhead lights. This is not the subtle glow that suggests a recent bout of yoga, but a more perceptible shimmer and shine. For me personally it's just a little too much, but if sparkle is what you've been looking for, then this is probably what you want. (And here I'm thinking of a friend who uses a shimmer lotion all over her body, including her face, and looks absolutely stunning. For some people, the shimmering halo just works.)

Texture-wise, this is a more wearable formula than, for example, the Nars Multiple or the afore-mentioned Maybelline Blush Stick. Both of those can feel overly greasy and slippery (and the matte version of the Multiple has that weird dry-silicone feel), but these have a nice amount of initial slip, which makes them very easy to blend and diffuse. After that, they set and feel weightless on the skin.

Shu Uemura Brave Beauty - Vision of Beauty Rouge Unlimited and Satin Radiant Stick
Satin Radiant Stick: Light Pink and Pink

Shu Uemura Brave Beauty - Vision of Beauty Rouge Unlimited and Satin Radiant Stick
Satin Radiant Stick: Pink and Light Pink

I will say they photograph really well, as none of the swatches had perceptible shimmer particles in the photos, while they do show up in real life.

Shu Uemura Brave Beauty - Vision of Beauty Rouge Unlimited and Satin Radiant Stick
Satin Radiant Stick: Light Pink (blended and heavy) and Pink (heavy and blended)

Availability: These are up on www.shuuemura.ca and www.shuuemura-usa.com, as well as Shu Uemura counters. The Rouge Unlimited lipsticks are 36$ CAD and 30$ USD, and the Satin Radiant Sticks are 55$ CAD and 39$ USD. (To which I say, What the price jump, Batman??)

I can definitely see myself getting more of the lipsticks (I have a lippie problem, I know), but the radiant sticks are not something I would pick up, especially not at that price point. What do you guys think?

(Items were provided by the brand/PR to be considered for review. This post is not sponsored or compensated, opinions are my own.)

Sale Score - The Sonia Kashuk 15 Year Anniversary Brush Set

Sometimes the shopping-fu is with me.

I was on my way home from physio when I had the sudden and overwhelming urge to check Target for a bath mat I had been thinking of purchasing. As is my usual practice, I did a quick walk-by the beauty department, on the off chance there was something new and/or awesome.

AND BEHOLD.

Sale Score - The Sonia Kashuk 15 Year Anniversary Brush Set

This is the 15 piece Professional Brush Set that came out recently, to celebrate the past 15 years of Sonia Kashuk as a brand. When I saw reviews popping up on Youtube and fevered posts on Instagram, I relegated this to the "Aw, that's nice" part of my brain, as I never, ever assumed I would have the luck of stumbling upon one.

And then the shopping-fu. Not only were two of these prime sets sitting on the shelf, happy as you please, but they bore that most of exciting of signs: the red liquidation sticker. Already reasonably priced at 39.99$, I snatched this one for a mere 20$. The purple and gold was perhaps a tad more gaudy than I'd generally like, but math won over aesthetics in this case, as fifteen brushes for 20$ worked out to about 1.33$ per brush. I figured if I liked 5 out of the brushes, I would still consider it money well spent.

Sale Score - The Sonia Kashuk 15 Year Anniversary Brush Set

Sale Score - The Sonia Kashuk 15 Year Anniversary Brush Set

I have yet to put these through their paces, but based on very superficial first impressions of how they feel, I am doubly pleased with my score. The powder and blush brush are full and silky soft (not Chikuhodo, obviously, but better than the Sigma and Quo in my collection). The round buffing brush feels a touch too stiff in the centre, but a good wash may soften that up. I think it'll work for cream contour products. The foundation paddle brush is smooth and evenly tapered, with no scratchy bits (often an issue with drugstore paddle brushes - I'm looking at you, Real Techniques).

The narrow contour brush is soft but dense, and I'm really curious to try this one out, as I don't have anything like it. It's a big part of why I bought this kit, hoping it wouldn't suck. The angled buffing/foundation brush is really nice, very dense and silky.

For the face brushes alone, I am impressed.

Onto the eye brushes:

The crease brush is too full, firm and dense for me to use for that purpose, except to really soften and blow out an eyeshadow over the crease, but it's a nice enough brush. I could see myself using it for concealer or specific contouring. The second crease/blending brush is also too big for me, except to maybe apply brow bone highlight. It's quite a bit denser, as well. I need to play around with it to figure out how I would use it.

The lay down brush is interesting - it's almost a cross between the MAC 217 and 249 in terms of the length and shape of the bristles, though it has a narrower profile and a slimmer shape. It's a little too slim and precise to blend the crease, but for laying down product and getting a tight shape in the crease or the outer corner, I suspect it might be perfect. If it picks up powder as well as the 249, I have a feeling this will be the sleeper hit of the set.

The bullet brush feels a little stiff for me, as does the pointed brush and the tapered smudge brush. I think they'll wind up feeling scratchy when used closer to the lash line, but I'll have to try them to be sure.

The concealer brush is basic, like pretty much every concealer brush ever included in any set ever made. (I really wish they would start including fluffier version, which is the way a lot of people apply concealer these days). Same "basic" comment applies to the angled brush and spoolie. I'm also assuming the angled brush is meant for the brow, and not eyeliner, as it's too thick and not quite evenly cut on the edge.

So overall? Strongly positive about 6, potentially positive about 3, unimpressed but no qualms about 3, and wary about 3. I think that's not a bad breakdown at all, especially since the ones I'm most confident about are the brushes that would be more expensive anyway. So...super pleased!

Have you guys seem this at your local Target? Are you thinking about tracking it down? Or have you scored anything else on sale that you're thrilled with?

(I purchased this item. This post is not sponsored or compensated.)

Shu Uemura Brave Beauty - Green and Orange Eye Palettes

I don't know if Shu Uemura has made better palettes than the Brave Beauty ones. I think sometimes the concepts behind the Shu collection don't always translate to an immediately accessible product...and that's cool. That's sort of to be expected with a brand that is grounded in both makeup artistry and the art world in general. I like that there's a brand on the makeup field that's in it for the risks and the high concept and the artistic vision. (Much in the same way that I appreciate the existence of Prince.)

And when all that comes together with great performance and top-notch execution? Perfection.

Shu Uemura Brave Beauty - Green and Orange Eye Palettes

The packaging is the classic hard plastic casing with an abstract print that somehow looks vaguely botanical. I personally love the packaging, because it is sleek, simple, and practical. It's also completely convertible, as the pans can actually be removed by pulling on the piece on the left side of the palette. Each pan then slides out and can be added to a z-palette or what have you. (You can also theoretically mix and match your shades in these palettes if you so choose.)


Exteriors aside, it's all about those colours.

Shu Uemura Brave Beauty - Green and Orange Eye Palettes

It all starts with the incredible evergreen matte shade in the Green Eye Palette.

Shu Uemura Brave Beauty - Green and Orange Eye Palettes

I have a vast and varied collection, but I can honestly say that I don't own anything that comes close to the intense and utterly gorgeous depths of that green. I'm a bit of a dramatic gasper by nature, but when I opened this palette I think I knocked myself back by a pace or two. 

The texture is firm and almost a touch dry feeling, but it puts out the pigment like nobody's business. Due to the opacity it can be a bit tricky to work with in terms of blending out, but no more so than the mattes in the Lorac Pro 2, for example. 

The olive shimmer right next to it is actually my second favourite, and it has the kind of rich, smooth texture that immediately telegraphs both high-quality formulation and artist-friendly functionality. Very lovely to work with, and great payoff as well. The third colour is a interesting variation on the classic shimmery beige, with that slight khaki undertone. Smooth and soft, slightly sheerer but easily built up. The very pale, slightly minty frost is also dense, with a high-gleam intensity. The chartreuse and forest green shades have a more subdued shimmer, and a similarly smooth, easy texture with great pigmentation.

Shu Uemura Brave Beauty - Green and Orange Eye Palettes

The Orange Eye Palette is no less awesome, and includes an incredibly vivid tangerine orange. I like that they went with complimentary shades of coral and plum rather than more orange tones (as they did with the Green palette), because it can take some serious stones to rock a blazing orange eye. This palette actually winds up being the more versatile one, strangely enough.

Shu Uemura Brave Beauty - Green and Orange Eye Palettes

The orange has that same matte finish as the evergreen, and can build up to equally amazing pigmentation - but best represented over a primer. Otherwise it can look dusty.

The mahogany shimmer is gorgeous, and also follows along with the formula of the olive in the Green palette - smooth, dense, rich, easy to blend. The beige shimmer and champagne first are similarly textured, though a bit sheerer, as is the light coral pink satin. The plum shimmer at the end reiterates the texture and pigmentation of the mahogany, and actually leans almost metallic. It's definitely my favourite from the palette.

Shu Uemura Brave Beauty - Green and Orange Eye Palettes

Compared to the wondrousness that is the palettes, the Lasting Gel Pencil Eye Liners do, unfortunately, feel like a bit of an afterthought. The formula is waterproof and smudge proof (though not quite the 12 hours claimed, at least not on me), but I find the pencil doesn't apply all that smoothly or opaquely. It requires several passes and still looks a little feeble, yet the formula is firm enough to make that a little uncomfortable, especially on the waterline. If you're a completist and want to have the eyeliners to go with the palettes, then by all means - but I think if you're in the market for a long-wearing eye pencil there are more impressive options out there.

Shu Uemura Brave Beauty
Top to bottom: Lasting Gel Pencil Eye Liner M Green and M Violet

Top to bottom: Lasting Gel Pencil Eye Liner M Green and M Violet

Availability: Currently on the shuuemura.ca site, as well as at Shu counters. The palettes are 90$ CAD, and the eye pencils are 36$ CAD.

In all honestly, my jaw did drop a little when I saw the price for the palettes. The individual eyeshadow pans available on the site are 19$, so the palette is 24$ less than buying six pans would be (plus the cost of the empty case). Still that's not an insignificant amount of money, certainly placing it in the realm of extra-fancy for a lot of people, me included. If I splurge, I tend to go for a top-notch formula in conjunction with the kind of packaging that could knock someone's teeth out. As lovely and practical as the Shu casing is, it doesn't fall into that latter category, so I'm left wondering if I would spend that much money on the eyeshadows alone. If I consider the great balance of textures and colours in each palette (especially those incredible mattes), and weigh it against the cost of each pan (12-15$ each, depending whether you take the cost of the case into account), then I definitely think the value is worth the price, despite the initial sticker shock. (Though I do recommend signing up for the newsletter, as there are the occasional promo codes that can lessen the sting.)

(These items were provided by the brand/PR to be considered for review. All opinions are my own, this post is not sponsored or compensated.)