New Essence Palettes: All About Nude, All About Paradise, All about Sunrise

If you're near an Ulta or Shoppers Drug Mart/Pharmaprix location that has a little display of Essence Cosmetics, you neeeeeeeed to check out the new 6-pan palettes in their permanent line-up. For 4.99$, I picked up three on a whim and haven't regretted the purchase.

There are four available currently, and I passed on the pastel-hued one, opting for All About Paradise, All About Nude and All About Sunrise.

New Essence Palettes: All About Nude, All About Paradise, All about Sunrise

The texture, finish and pigmentation varies a fair bit between all the palettes, and even between the individual colours in each palette. There are a few matte looking ones that nevertheless pick up a satin sheen when applied, and the rest are shimmers, metallics and satins with shimmer/micro-glitter. Some feel quite dense and creamy, and pick up easily with a brush, while a few are firmer and drier in feel, with a more powdery kickback. I find that the majority of them swatch really beautifully, but they have the same adherence issue that I think is common with budget eyeshadows that lean on the creamier side - whatever combination of ingredients is used to give that texture and good pigmentation doesn't always translate into good "sticking" quality.

That said, the solution is simple enough that I don't view the less than stellar adherence as a major drawback, especially considering the price and the results that can be achieved. I take the extra step of using either a cream base or some concealer on my eyelid (over the primer).

All About Nudes has the most wearable shades, as expected.

The off-white shimmer and light taupe shimmer in the top row have a bit of micro glitter and a slightly drier texture and sheerer finish. The delicate pale pink satin is smooth and soft, with nice pigmentation. For greater intensity, the shimmers benefit from being applied with a damp brush, but in all honesty I prefer the subtle look that can be created using them as is. Sort of a...Your Eyelids But Better? YEBB?

The bottom row doesn't lack for punch though. The iced pink frost is dense and creamy with very good payoff, and the deep, greyed taupe shimmer, and intense mulberry shimmer are just slightly less velvety.

New Essence Palettes: All About Nude, All About Paradise, All about Sunrise

New Essence Palettes: All About Nude, All About Paradise, All about Sunrise

All About Paradise has the most vivid shade range of the three, obviously. This is a great option if you're looking to add some crazy colours into your eyeshadow wardrobe, but you're not inclined to spend the money on something like the Urban Decay Electric palette. This gives you a taste at less than a tenth the price, but that sticky base is a must.

The white-gold shimmer verges on metallic, with a smooth, creamy texture and excellent pigmentation. The peach shimmer is less smooth, with a sort of flaky shimmer that makes it a shade best applied wet or dabbed on with a finger. The hot pink and canary yellow shimmers are gorgeous, and best over a primer to get the best payoff. The aqua and blue shades are both drier feeling, and definitely need that base to showcase their vibrancy, otherwise they sheer out quite a bit.

New Essence Palettes: All About Nude, All About Paradise, All about Sunrise

New Essence Palettes: All About Nude, All About Paradise, All about Sunrise

All About Sunrise is my absolute favourite out of the three palettes, not only because the pigmentation is the best but also because of how beautiful it looks when applied. This is a metallic heavy palette, with all but one shade being a variation on gold.

The white gold frost is buttery, dense and very pigmented, totally gorgeous. The following two are variations on the rose gold idea, the middle one being more pink and warm-toned, the latter one having a deeper, taupe undertone. They're not quite as smooth or creamy as the white gold, but they do have great payoff.

The rich yellow gold has the same formulation as the white gold, while the peach gold is similar the to the rose-toned ones in terms of feel and performance. The brown at the bottom right is the odd man out, being cooler-tone, having a drier texture and much sheerer application. It is nice, however, for balancing out the richness of the rest of the palette.


New Essence Palettes: All About Nude, All About Paradise, All about Sunrise

Below is an eye look created with the All About Sunrise palette a little back. I used a mix of the champagne gold and the rose gold all over the lid, with the peach gold as a dimensional layer in the very middle of the lid. The pale beige gold shade was used in the inner corner, and the light brown in the crease and under the eye, mixed with a touch of the rose gold. The look came out with that sunshine-sparkling-on-water effect, which I think was quite pretty.






New Essence Palettes: All About Nude, All About Paradise, All about SunriseNew Essence Palettes: All About Nude, All About Paradise, All about Sunrise

Availability: At Pharmaprix/Shoppers locations that carry Essence, in the regular display case. Also at Ulta. Price is 4.99$ CAD per palette. (Which is a freaking STEAL.)

Have you guys spotted these yet? Tried them? What do you think?

(I purchased these items. This post is not sponsored or compensated, all opinions are my own.)

No Fuss Makeup (ft. Clarins Ombre Matte, Bourjois 123 Perfect, YSL TheMats)

I really like the concept of the No Makeup Look. I just can't be bothered to spend all that time on my makeup only to appear the same walking out the door as I did rolling out of bed. If it's a no-makeup day, then it's really a NO makeup day. If I'm going to wear it, it's because I want to do something transformative and fun with my face - not to create a more presentable version of myself for others, but because the ritual and the results please me.

But then there are those days when I want to wear makeup, but I just don't have the time or the energy for the process - I need effect with minimal investment.

That's when I pull out the three staples that I know will always work for a No Fuss Look: a shimmery, mid-toned cream eyeshadow in a neutral but dimensional colour, a matte finish, medium cover foundation, and a MLBB lipstick.

The cream eyeshadow is what really makes this work. It needs to be something that picks up on the natural colours of the eyelid, so something in the taupe, greige, mauve, plum families for my skin tone. A bit of shimmer keeps it from looking too flat (or the look starts to lean into the Hungover Troll category).

The one I've been loving lately is the Clarins Ombre Matte in the shade Sparkle Grey (#05), which is that perfect mix of grey and plum - more silvered grey when applied intensely, more plum when buffed out. The texture is softer and than the Maybelline Color Tattoos, a bit more along the lines of the powder/cream texture of the Giorgio Armani Eyes To Kill, or the Dior Fusion Monos. (I don't know if that's the case with the other shades in the range, as this is the only shimmer one.) It's ridiculously easy to apply and blend out, which is a big plus for this look, though I generally do need to use a primer as well to keep it from creasing or fading a bit after a few hours.

I usually apply it with a flat synthetic brush all over my eyelid, and run some under my lower lashes (not too thin, the idea is to have a bit of a haze rather than a defined line). Then I take a fluffy brush and buff it out from the crease. Mascara and some black liner to tightline, and done.

No Fuss Makeup Clarins Ombre Matte, Bourjois 123 Perfect, YSL The Mats

No Fuss Makeup Clarins Ombre Matte, Bourjois 123 Perfect, YSL The Mats

Then foundation. Here I do prefer it be matte, because I find the lasting power is generally better, and there's usually minimal need for a concealer or powder on top of it, especially with a medium coverage formula. I always apply with a beauty blender, fas the matte finish is tempered down to a more skin-like satin (which I prefer), without sacrificing longevity.

I've been trying out the new Bourjois 123 Foundation, which is marketed under some dubious claims about having special pigments that counteract the various defects in your skin tone. (Trufact: EVERY foundation has those same pigments. They're what gives foundation the beige/brown colouring. When you were a kid, did you ever mix all your different paints together and get some brown goo at the end of it? Same concept, only with titanium dioxide added to lighten the tone as needed.)

Eye-rolling claims aside, it's actually a very nice foundation. The finish is very comparable to the matte-but-not-flat result you get from the Chanel Perfection Lumiere (not shocking, as Chanel and Bourjois are sister brands), though it shares the latter's similar tendency to emphasize flakiness. (Which is another reason to apply it with a beauty blender.) I don't get the 16 hours of wear promised by the label, but it definitely keeps up during the better part of the day, getting a bit shiny around my nose about 6-7 hours in, but otherwise looking stable. The only touch up I'm likely to do is a quick pat with a kleenex. The coverage is decently medium on its own, and I find that dabbing a little extra on spots is usually all I need to cover those up. (Though I do still need my usual salmon concealer to cover up the epic sleepless zombie purple under my eyes.)

No Fuss Makeup Clarins Ombre Matte, Bourjois 123 Perfect, YSL The Mats

For lips, I like a product that 1) is easy and fast to apply and 2) equally easy to reapply during the day. Usually this translates into a nude-pink shade that just lightly deepens my natural lip colour, and in a finish that's doesn't require precision.

In the past the YSL Volupté Shine in Nude in Private was my go-to, but lately I've been using the YSL The Mats in Nude Acoustic (#210). I have a review here, but the short version: lightweight and comfortable to wear despite the matte finish, superbly flattering colour, and surprisingly easy to apply - no need for lipliner, and can be dabbed on using a window or other shiny surface as a stand-in mirror without getting that lipstick smear that makes me look like a barmy maiden aunt.

No Fuss Makeup Clarins Ombre Matte, Bourjois 123 Perfect, YSL The Mats

If I have more time and/or energy, I'll swipe on a quick blush, but generally I find these three main items are enough for me to feel "done".

Some quick swatches!

No Fuss Makeup Clarins Ombre Matte, Bourjois 123 Perfect, YSL The Mats

And the finished, No Fuss face! :)

No Fuss Makeup Clarins Ombre Matte, Bourjois 123 Perfect, YSL The Mats

The nice thing about this look is that it can be juiced up with minimal effort as well, should I feel like it. The Ombre Matte works well as a base, so I can just dab a lighter shadow in the inner corner, blend a charcoal in the crease and a bit under the eye, and then add more liner if need be. I can add blush or contour or highlight as I wish, maybe powder if the shine is breaking through on my nose, and then retouch the lip, maybe add a dab of gloss. With that extra few minutes, it goes from No Fuss to Casually Sexy Smokey.

Do you guys have a go-to look for those days when you have limited time or resources? What are the staple ingredients for you?

(I purchased the Clarins and the Bourjois items, the YSL was compliments of the brand. This post is not sponsored or compensated, opinions are my own.)

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 din't blow my mind as I was expecting. 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).

While I can't say it's a formula that wows me when it comes to matte lipstick, it is lovely. (That being said, the colour 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.)