April 25, 2015

Burberry Kisses Lipstick - #77 Blush

Press sample.

What's better than one makeup miracle? TWO makeup miracles. In this case, Burberry is finally available to Canadian buyers via the (relatively) accessible Hudson's Bay website (and presumably certain retail locations), and, almost more importantly for many people, the newest addition to their makeup line is completely fragrance free. (I'm not personally that bothered with scented makeup, but it's definitely a know skin irritant so kudos to them for removing that issue. Here's hoping they continue with the trend.)

But onto the actual product.

The Burberry Kisses Hydrating Lip Colour (36$ CADclaims to feature a weightless gel texture, with a buildable formula and 6 hours of wear and hydration. I think it hits most of those marks square on.


There's some fancy ingredient chatter in the copy as well, regarding "shiny polymers" and "tea, lavender, and rosehip", which all sounds very nice, but won't mean much if they don't nail the actual performance piece of the formulation.

In terms of the weightless and buildable claim, Burberry aces it. The gel formula delivers on an extremely lightweight feeling on the lips, and the lipstick just glides without getting stuck in lip wrinkles. It doesn't have the smoothing or plumping qualities of its more buttery brethren, but it sits so light and seamless on the lips that it truly feels like you're wearing nothing at all. With one swipe, the pigment is even but slightly translucent, and deeper on the second swipe. It doesn't have the full-on opacity of a rich matte, but it's definitely buildable coverage. The finish is a soft satin shine that looks natural and pretty, without being overly glossy or goopy.

Hydration claims for lipsticks tend to be a bit overwrought, and I would say it's no different here. I don't get balm-level hydration, that's for sure, but this is a comfortable lipstick to wear. I can't test the 6-hour claim adequately, since I'm not likely to pass up eating for that long, but I didn't notice any significant fading or weird wearing away from application to my next meal. It just kind of settles on the lips and hangs out, doing its thing, until you realize a few hours later that your lipstick still look nice, if less shiny.

I don't know if this is a truly unique formula, but to be honest I don't think I've come across anything with this kind of gel texture that wears this well. If you're looking for something easy to wear for the summer (and the buttery-type lipsticks feel too heavy or goopy) but that still looks polished, this may be worth checking out.

And the packing is, as always, Burberry perfection. Elegant and weighty, with those little details (Burberry checks, magnetic closure) that make the price tag a little less outrageous.

Burberry Kisses Lipstick - #77 Blush

I was able to try the shade #77 Blush, which is a perfectly polished, office-appropriate, but still totally pretty, rose.

Burberry Kisses Lipstick - #77 Blush

Burberry Kisses Lipstick - #77 Blush

For a better look at how this lipstick looks IRL, I'm wearing it in the Ardency Inn review post.

So are you guys excited about Burberry finally being available at Hudson's Bay? I am, but I'm even more hopeful that this means HB is FINALLY going to step up their beauty department and online shopping experience to be competitive with Nordstrom and Saks.

(This item was provided by the brand. This post is not sponsored or compensated.)

April 19, 2015

Ardency Inn Modster Manuka Honey Enriched Pigments

Purchased items.

I've had the Ardency Inn Modster Manuka Honey Enriched Pigments (24$ CAD) for a few months now and mentioned them in a haul video, but I thought that they might deserve a proper review, what with the Made With Love sale going on over at Sephora.

I'd heard a bit about this brand because one of my favourite makeup artists, James Vincent, is a brand ambassador. Paid spokesperson or not, James has a lot of integrity and I totally trust his standing up for this brand.

So I bought some of the eyeshadows (or pressed pigments, technically), and I am NOT disappointed. These are freaking phenomenal.

Ardency Inn Modster Manuka Honey Enriched Pigments

Ardency Inn Modster Manuka Honey Enriched Pigments

I know that honey is a natural humectant, though I'm not sure how well that function is preserved when it's integrated as an ingredient in a pressed powder formulation. I will say that these are incredibly creamy to the touch, with a rich, smooth payoff that isn't too thick. They have a very playable texture, so they're easy to work with, blending almost by themselves.

The copy claims that these have up to 78% pigment and high grade silicone waxes for long-lasting wear. I do think the pigmentation is fantastic, especially for the shades I've selected (there are a few that are more sheer with a sparkly finish, such as Disco). And over a primer, I didn't have any issues with fading or creasing for over 10 hours, if not longer.

The actual colours are awesome as well.

Rose Gold is a slightly "dirty" variation on the theme, so it translates well to a more deconstructed, rocker look, as opposed to something necessarily pretty and polished.

Peacock is one of those teal/red-brown ducochromes that I had to get, even though I own several iterations of the theme. I will say the green in this is much deeper and emerald-like than in any of the other eyeshadows I have.

Hell is really complex and hard to define - sort of a khaki grey-brown with a slight red undertone? It's insane. And fabulous.

Royal is what I'd consider a "hot" violet - purple with deep pink and blue undertones, and super intense. It has a thinner texture than the other three shades here, but it doesn't lack in the pigment department. If you're looking for a purple that maintains its vibrancy and doesn't wind up looking murky, this is it right here.

Ardency Inn Modster Manuka Honey Enriched Pigments
Rose Gold, Peacock, Hell, Royal.

Ardency Inn Modster Manuka Honey Enriched Pigments
Rose Gold, Peacock, Hell, Royal.

And how they look actually applied: I used Rose Gold in the inner two thirds of the lid and the inner half of the lower lash line, and used Hell through the crease and the outer third of the eyelid and outer half of the bottom lash line. Super simple, a little grungy, but still chic, I think. They blended perfectly, I really didn't have to do much work here.

Ardency Inn Modster Manuka Honey Enriched PigmentsArdency Inn Modster Manuka Honey Enriched Pigments

Here I just added a plum liner from Tarte to the bottom lash line, and slightly intensified the crease color.

Ardency Inn Modster Manuka Honey Enriched PigmentsArdency Inn Modster Manuka Honey Enriched Pigments

(The other makeup worn: Clarins Everlasting Foundation in #105 Nude, Essence All About Matt! Powder, Make Up For Ever Pro Sculpting Duo #1 (bronze shade), MAC Redhead MSF, Make Up For Ever Smoky Lash Mascara, Burberry Kisses Lipstick in Blush. Reviews coming soon for some of these items as well!)

Have you guys tried the Ardency Inn line yet? I really want to pick up more of the eyeshadows, but I'll probably wait for the next Sephora sale in the Fall. I can't say I'm super intrigued in the other products in the line, though. Maybe the foundation (which is a concentrate that can be mixed with other mediums), but I have a feeling Cover FX probably nailed the concept better.

(I purchased these items. Not sponsored or otherwise compensated.)

April 15, 2015

Lise Watier Expression Spring 2015 Collection

Press samples.

By the time it actually feels like Spring, it's time to bid the seasonal collections goodbye. (Oh, Canada.)

So here's one last hurrah for the Lise Watier Expression Spring Collection, as summer waits in the wings.

Lise Watier Expression Spring 2015 Collection

The packaging on this collection was a vivid splash of colour, a bit of playing around on an artists palette (and totally connecting with the desire to see some bold, beautiful shades after a grey, dreary, never-ending season).

Doesn't this blush look like something you'd see from a plane, flying over the southwest United States? So pretty and original, but still graphic and unexpected (read: non-floral) for Spring.

Lise Watier Expression Spring 2015 Collection

Lise Watier Expression Spring 2015 Collection

Lise Watier Expression Spring 2015 Collection

The three different shades of the Expression Blush Trio (38$ CAD) are a little tough to separate out, and I tend to either focus my brush on the right side for a more coral-peach look, or more on the left for a warm pink.

The texture is soft and velvety smooth, and actually a bit powdery when picked up with a brush, but it looks very natural and texture-less on the cheeks. It has some sparkle in the pan and a bit swatched, but comes up as gently glowing on the cheeks. Very flattering, and almost more of a summer type colour, at least for me. It can be built up very easily for a punchier look over (faux) tanned skin.

Lise Watier Expression Spring 2015 Collection

Lise Watier Expression Spring 2015 Collection

Lise Watier Expression Spring 2015 Collection

The Expression Eyeshadow Palette (42$ CAD) just delighted me as soon as I opened it. Combine teals and olive greens, and you've made me the happiest camper. That said, I don't think this palette actually works all that well by itself, unless you happen to like pastel eyes. But it's perfect for integrating some much-needed colour and pairs well with the embarrassment of neutral palettes I have in my collection.

The formulation here is the same not-quite-cream-not-quite-powder that has been featured in the last few limited collections. It feels really plush to the touch, and some of the shades swatch especially nice, but I find the application can be a little tricky, at least as far as blending the colours together goes. Sometimes they don't buff out or build up particularly well (the mint green was particularly troublesome in this respect, remaining sheer and almost chalky), but they do look amazing once on the lids, with a glow that's not overly metallic or shimmery.

The teal and the olive are by the far the standouts in the palette, and I would easily buy those as singles. The mint is the weakest, as I said, and the peach is almost a little dry and faded when applied. The gold is oddly chunky, kinda thick to apply, but is works as a highlight.

Lasting power is average/good, maybe 7 hours before I see some fading (over primer).

This is a fairly simple but bright look using the palette, and a barely-there application of the blush. I managed to use all the shades on the eyes, going from yellow on the inner corner, through mint and teal on the lid to the outer corner, with the olive deepening the crease and smudged into the lash lines. I used the peach very lightly as a transition shade.

Lise Watier Expression Spring 2015 Collection

The summer collection is coming out soon, but these guys are still available at Lise Watier counters. (And if not, keep an eye out for the online warehouse sale in the fall, as past collections tend to pop up regularly.)

(Items were provided by the brand. This post is not sponsored or otherwise compensated.)

April 14, 2015

Kat Von D Innerstellar Palette

Purchased item.

So at this point I pretty much auto-buy anything Kat Von D. There have been some misses, certainly (the mediocre Holiday palette, the underwhelming lipstick re-launch), but more often than not, I dig it. And honestly, KVD herself is growing on me, even though she has had some equally unfortunate missteps (see: her gross affair with Jesse James, the "Celebutard" controversy). She just seems so grounded and actually sweet in her tutorials, and genuinely passionate about her brand. Her instagram is also chock-full of interesting bits about art and literature, which is not at all what I had in my head about her.

ANYWAY.

On to the Interstellar palette (55$ CAD at Sephora).

Kat Von D Innerstellar Palette

Kat Von D Innerstellar Palette

Kat Von D Innerstellar Palette

Pretty, right? I love the groovy packaging design, and I was drawn to the cool-toned, neutral-leaning shades, balanced by a glimmery lilac and vibrant eggplant purple.

Kat Von D Innerstellar Palette

Kat Von D Innerstellar Palette

Performance-wise, most of the shades are spot-on with the quality I've come to generally expect: soft, creamy, not overly dense, but well-pigmented and blendable, lasting a work day over primer without fading. But there are a few exceptions.

The most iffy shades are actually in the first "quad" in the palette. The ice pink being a bit sheer and powdery, so while it's not a shade that I'd apply over a larger area, it works for the tear duct area, and has enough iridescence to add a duochrome flash to a colour layered underneath. The cool taupey/plummy brown is great, an easy satin-finish shade that's perfect for the crease. The shark-grey is maybe a bit sheer as well, but otherwise lovely.

The purple, however, was my biggest disappointment. It has super choppy payoff, and fades out like you wouldn't believe. To get it to show up on the eyelid, I had to use primer AND concealer AND a setting spray to wet the brush, and it still showed up more ashy than it does in this swatch. If you're buying the palette with this shade in mind, don't. There are definitely better options out there.

Kat Von D Innerstellar Palette

But then if you're in it for the cool neutrals, you have some great ones in the middle quad. All of these are beautifully textured. LOOK AT THAT PEWTER. The lilac is gorgeous as well, especially layered over the gray.

Kat Von D Innerstellar Palette

The final quad is good too, with the vanilla satin being the weakest, but for a brow bone shade it's actually just right, as it blends out the transition shade without adding extra frosting. The shimmery taupe is perfect, and the silver is out-of-control pigmented, definitely the richest feeling shade as well. The black is about average, pigmented but a touch choppy, but nothing daunting.

Kat Von D Innerstellar Palette

The purple fail and a couple of quibbles aside, this is a sweet little palette that could fill a hole in your collection if you need cooler tones, especially those mid-toned crease and transition shades (seriously, FOUR taupe/medium brown shades here, albeit all with different textures and finishes).

It's probably not one I'd recommend as a starter palette (not quite enough variation, since everything leans to one side of the spectrum, and heavily favours the medium shade range), nor would I urge the serious makeup aficionado to prioritize it, since they'd probably have these types of colours already. If you're a KVD collector, on the other hand....well, I don't have to convince you, since you probably already do have it.

My personal feeling is that I probably loved it a lot more initially, but that bust up with the purple broke my heart a bit. That said, I do find myself reaching for it quite a bit when I'm looking for that perfect crease colour.

I have a couple of looks here to show you how it applies. The one on the left is a typical cool-toned, work-appropriate, classic eye look, which this palette is perfectly suited to. (I've also rocked out a fantastic grungy, silver smoky eye with it.)

The picture on the right was my attempt to get the purple to show up with some kind of vibrancy (with grey contact lenses for some added contrast). I'm sure someone with more skills could put together a more flattering look, but it doesn't change the fact that's it's a righteous mess to work with, and actually started looking grey and faded within a couple of hours. (No such issues with the rest of the palette.)

Kat Von D Innerstellar Palette

Have you guys tried Interstellar or any of the other KVD palettes? What do you think of her line in general?

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