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.)

L'Oréal Magic Skin Beautifier BB Cream: Anti-Fatigue and Anti-Redness

I don't want to begrudge the cosmetic scientists who no doubt work long hours over at l'Oréal RnD their due. I'm sure they had a lot to do with the awesomeness of the brand-new Magic Skin Beautifier BB Cream.

But let's be honest about what really made the difference here.

SORCERY.

L'Oréal Magic Skin Beautifier BB Cream: Anti-Fatigue and Anti-Redness

L'Oréal Magic Skin Beautifier BB Cream: Anti-Fatigue and Anti-Redness

Like many of you, I tend to greet the release of yet another BB cream with a jaw-cracking yawn. Skin-smoothing, tone-enhancing, wrinkle-blurring - you and I have heard it all. Do we really need to hear it again and again with every new season?

In the case of the Magic Skin Beautifier, YES. Also, HELL YES.

This formula comes in two versions, one claiming to work against signs of fatigue to awaken the complexion, and the other to reduce the look of redness. Both of them come out of the tube distinctly coloured  - one a sherbert orange, the other pale mint green - and transform to a peach tone when rubbed in. (In the swatches below I applied the Anti-Fatigue one a little more thickly, so it's showing darker and more opaque.)

L'Oréal Magic Skin Beautifier BB Cream: Anti-Fatigue and Anti-RednessL'Oréal Magic Skin Beautifier BB Cream: Anti-Fatigue and Anti-Redness

I have to say that I wasn't particularly overwhelmed with the Anti-Fatigue version - on my skin it gives my skin a subtle bronzed glow, which is certainly welcome, but not game changing. If you have deeper skin in need of perking up, or skin with a washed-out, grey cast, it might be right up your alley.

The Anti-Redness one though, is purely amazing. Here are some before and after pictures to give you a better idea...

L'Oréal Magic Skin Beautifier BB Cream: Anti-Fatigue and Anti-RednessL'Oréal Magic Skin Beautifier BB Cream: Anti-Fatigue and Anti-Redness

L'Oréal Magic Skin Beautifier BB Cream: Anti-Fatigue and Anti-Redness

The first picture is bare skin, with just some moisturizer.

The second picture is with a thin layer of the Anti-Redness Magic Skin Beautifier BB Cream. You can see that through some strange alchemy, it's easily taken care of the redness I had in my cheeks, around the top corner of my eyebrow, and on my chin. It even muted some of the darkness below my eyes, cancelling out the red in the violet shadows. Where I applied it more heavily by mistake (just under my eye) it shows up a bit more yellow than the rest of my skin, but otherwise I don't feel like this looked visibly peachier or darker than my skin tone, despite what it looked like when swatched on my arm. (And unlike tinted green primers, it does't leave my face looking strange and ghostly.)

I suspect that if you're very pale, or you have a lot of redness to cover and thus need to apply the product more heavily, it might look more obvious. If you're using it purely as a BB cream, chances are you probably don't need a ton of coverage. If you do, then I suggest using it as a primer instead. It feels comparable to a mix of the Hourglass Mineral Veil and those new-fangled second-skin foundations, with a very liquid, silicone texture and a quick-dry, natural matte finish. Like both those products, it can look powdery and cake up over dry areas if you apply a lot, so I would suggest going with a thin layer, and using foundation, concealer and/or powder, if needed, overtop. That said, I think you'll be surprised at the amount of coverage this has, and how little of the other products you'll need to use afterward.

The third picture is with my full makeup applied on top, to test whether it would wear as a regular primer would. And it did. I applied my Revlon Nearly Naked Foundation with a moist sponge (which would normally give me negligible coverage), misted down my face with a floral water, then dabbed some Maybelline Dream Lumi Highlighting Concealer under my eyes, a bit of Nars Light Reflecting Powder, and that was it for the face.

I am incredibly impressed with this product, even though I really don't understand how it works. So in the long tradition of humans before me, I'm going to ascribe its wondrous properties to the dark arts, and call it a day.

Availability: Should be showing up very soon (possibly now) at your local drugstore, with a suggested retail price of 16.99$, though of course that can vary with vendor and promotion.

(Item was sent by the brand/PR to be considered for review. Opinions are my own, and I am not compensated.)