November 30, 2012

L'Oréal Caresse by Colour Riche Lipsticks

By now the lipstick/lip balm hybrids are almost omnipresent - and for good reason. More hydrating than the average lipstick, packing more colour punch than the average lip balm, they are a no-fuss option for a lady with 99 things to do and not enough time in the day.

The l'Oréal Caresse version are a great variation on the theme. They claim to have a "feather-light finish that's never sticky or heavy", and that's the truth. I was super excited to find them at Ulta during a trip to the States, and then again more recently here in Montreal. (As per my haul videos here and here.)

l'oreal caresse by colour riche lipstick

They look sleek and elegant, with packaging that reminds me a bit of the YSL lipsticks, though of course not as weighty and minus the detailing. 

l'oreal caresse by colour riche lipstick
Sheer Linen, Rose Taffeta, Pink Cashmere, Velvety Fuchsia, Blushing Sequin.

The texture is thinner than that of the Revlon Lip Butters, closer to the feel of the Dior Nude collection, though perhaps not as plumping. They apply incredibly well, and look wonderfully glossy, almost juicy. Eventually they take on more of a satin finish as the oils in them evaporate.

They can be worn sheer with one quick layer, built up with multiple layers and even blotted down for a stain effect. They have a fair amount of slip, so you may find them migrating slightly outside the border of the lipline if you're not careful. That slip gives them a hydrating feel initially, making them comfortable to wear.

l'oreal caresse by colour riche lipstick swatches
Sheer Linen, Rose Taffeta, Pink Cashmere, Velvety Fuchsia, Blushing Sequin.
Indirect light.

l'oreal caresse by colour riche lipstick swatches
Sheer Linen, Rose Taffeta, Pink Cashmere, Velvety Fuchsia, Blushing Sequin.

The line has 12 shades (in Canada, though Ulta lists 16 shades), and on very pigmented lips like mine, some of them can look more similar than different. My personal favourites are Velvety Fuchsia (you know me and my love of hot pinks) and Rose Taffeta. 

l'oreal caresse by colour riche lipstick swatches sheer linen

Sheer Linen. Beige nude. 

I was actually pretty impressed by how much it toned down the natural pigment in my lips, despite how sheer it looked in the swatch.

l'oreal caresse by colour riche lipstick swatches rose taffeta

Rose Taffeta. Warm, soft rose-pink.

This is exceptionally flattering, and the ideal My Lips But Better Shade. A sophisticated nude that doesn't drain the skin.
l'oreal caresse by colour riche lipstick swatches pink cashmere

Pink Cashmere. Candy pink. 

This was a touch too cool for me, and for some reason it emphasized dryness in my lips and caked slightly in the lines.
l'oreal caresse by colour riche lipstick swatches blushing sequin

Blushing Sequin. Coral pink.

My lips are a plummy shade naturally, so this pulled a lot more pink than coral on me.
l'oreal caresse by colour riche lipstick swatches velvety fuchsia

Velvety Fuchsia. Hot, blue-toned pink.

Love, love, love. This has a lot of opacity for a lip product of this nature. It's beautiful as a sheer wash, maxed out or worn as a stain.

Availability: Most drugstores, including Pharmparix/SDM and Jean Coutu. Prices vary, but usually between 10.99$ and 12.99$ CAD.

Pros: Super lightweight, soft-feeling, can be applied sheerly or colour-saturated with layering and blotting. Easy way to wear what would otherwise be an intimidating colour.

Cons: The colour variation is less distinct on more pigmented lips. Pink Cashmere can pick up on dryness, but YMMV.

(I purchased these from Ulta and Pharmaprix.)

November 26, 2012

Tarina Tarantino Dollskin Blushes - Neapolitan Lane and Carved Rose

As mentioned in my Hyperliner review, the Tarina Tarantino brand is sadly exiting Sephora. The last word on the street (namely, Temptalia), is that the brand was going to re-launch on their own website sometime in the new year. Since I don't deal well with what-ifs and maybes, I snapped up everything that I had been coveting (and that was still in stock) during the sale. Hopefully these items will be available once again, and this review won't be useless.

The Dollskin Blushes always intrigued me, but they were not something I indulged in previous to the 40% of liquidation sale. I debated getting the Dollskin Palette, which contained four of the blushes, but passed on it due to the glitter factor in two of the shades. Instead, I went with two single shades: Neapolitan Lane and Carved Rose.

The packaging is very feminine, albeit far less saccharine than the original iteration (pink, plastic, cutesy-girly. The pewter shade of the plastic skews it a little more towards the elegant side.

Carved Rose

Neapolitan Lane
Both of these shades have a matte finish, and a slightly dry but silky texture. They don't feel powdery or chalky, but rather have what I would describe best as a "clean" feel. They have good pay-off, are true-to-pan and the pigmentation is such that they apply softly but build easily, and blend without problems.

Because of the drier texture, they can pick up a little on any flakiness on the cheeks, but not very noticeably. Wear time is very good - they last a regular work day when applied over foundation.

Carved rose is a lovely medium, cool-toned pink that looks bright and healthy on my fair-medium skintone, and should show up fairly well on deeper tones. Neapolitan is an beige-apricot, extremely natural on me. Applied lightly it gives just a bit of warm and depth. I think this kind of shade would be excellent on very fair but warm-toned skin to give the cheeks definition without being overwhelming.

Natural indirect light.

Mix of artificial and natural light.
Availability: Unfortunately non-existant at the moment, unless you happen to find any at your local Sephora store. Sale price was 18$ CAD.

Pros: Matte finish makes these very day appropriate, as do the flattering colors. Great texture for both sheer and intense application.

Cons: Can emphasize flaky skin in a minor way.

(I purchased these from Sephora.)

November 24, 2012

Kat Von D Shade Shifter eyeshadow - On The Road

I've been eyeing the Kat Von D Shade Shifter eyeshadows for a while now, and courtesy of the VIB 20% off sale, I recently succumbed to their lure. These are billed as multi-dimensional shades that are "activated" by water. The duochrome nature is however quite evident when used dry as well. If you've tried Club from MAC, you might expect something along those lines - only MUCH better. (More on that in a bit.)

The packaging is the usual KVD affair, though the sticker of the eye on the outer packaging feels a bit cheesetastic.

The duochrome is already very obvious in the pan, going from brilliant emerald green to a murky reddened brown at different angles. It's equally apparent when applied.

For comparison's sake, I dug out the other green/red-brown duochromes in my collection to see how they compared: Club by MAC, Lounge by Urban Decay, and the definer shade from the Comfort Zone palette from Wet'n'Wild.

Clockwise from top left: KVD On The Road, Urban Decay Lounge, MAC Club, Wet'n'Wild Comfort Zone palette.

Left to right: KVD On The Road, MAC Club, Urban Decay Lounge, Wet'n'Wild Comfort Zone 

Left to right: KVD On The Road, MAC Club, Urban Decay Lounge, Wet'n'Wild Comfort Zone
As you can see from the swatches, Club has the murkiest coloring and the subtlest shift. Lounge pulls more teal than green, and the comparable shade from Comfort Zone is also a touch more blue, and the pigmentation is the thinest out of all three. Out of the four, I have to say that On The Road has the most vibrant duochrome effect. The value for the money is also something to consider, as the KVD version contains 2.76 grams of product, while Club and Lounge are both 1.5 grams.

Like most of the KVD shadows I have tried, the texture is wonderful. Dense, buttery, smooth, it is a pleasure to apply and blends very well. If you have oilier lids like me, I would recommend a primer as it can begin to crease and fade after 4-5 hours when worn on bare lids.

Availability: Exclusive to Sephora stores and online. Price is 19$ CAD.

Pros: Very strong duochrome effect, soft and smooth, blendable texture, terrific pigmentation.

Cons: May require a primer to prevent creasing midday.

(I purchased this item at Sephora.)

November 19, 2012

Sephora Cinderella Compact Mirror

I'll be honest - when I heard that Sephora was putting out a Disney Cinderella collection I was expecting something aimed for the tween market. Cute, bubble-gum, insipid.

How wrong I was. The whole collection is beautiful, whimsical and aimed at adult women who can still remember themselves as girls, warbling along to Ariel and Belle (my personal favourite - her face when she saw the Beast's library endeared her to me forever). The star product is the most unexpected: the compact mirror. I'm not the type of girl who carries a compact with me, but I'm damn well going to be from now on, just so I can have an excuse to whip this out at any given moment.


So, so pretty. It's beautiful, and intricate. It feels like you're holding a fairytale in the palm of your hand.  It makes me want to coo at birds and squirrels. Plus it actually feels substantial and well-made.

Yeah. I have the sudden need to watch Enchanted, right this minute.

(I purchased this item at Sephora.)

November 18, 2012

Burberry Haul at the Clarins Warehouse Sale

 Montreal has its flaws (political corruption, insane construction, blistering winters), but it more than steps up when it comes to warehouse sales. For beauty brands, we get l'Oréal, Guerlain (assuming you are willing to brave the 3 hour line), Clarins, Lise Watier and Annabelle/Marcelle.

The Clarins sale isn't my favourite, since it tends to be heavy on the skincare and fragrance, light on the makeup. (See my review from the Spring sale here.) That's why I nearly fell over when I saw what they had at this last Fall sale - namely, Burberry Beauty.

Oh yes. Much flailing ensued. They didn't have a ton from the range: four foundations, two of the bronzers, a handful of eyeshadows, about a dozen lipsticks, one eyeliner and a sad blonde mascara that no one even looked at. Still, I found it hard to parse out what I truly wanted from what I felt like I should get, based on the price alone. I'll admit that my restraint was not based on moral fortitude, but on the fact that I already splurged a bit at the Nordstrom counter when I was Stateside last month. (Reviews for those items forthcoming!)

I ended up getting Sheer Eyeshadow in Midnight Blue and Midnight Plum, Lip Cover in Blush, Cameo and Deep Burgundy. No reviews, as I have not worn them yet, but I thought you might like to see  some pictures and quick swatches?

Midnight Plum and Midnight Blue

Midnight Blue and Midnight Plum. Natural and artificial light.
Midnight Blue and Midnight Plum. Artificial light.


Cameo, Blush, Dark Burgundy.
Cameo, Blush, Dark Burgundy. Natural and artificial light.

Cameo, Blus, Dark Burgundy. Artificial light.

I gotta say, Burberry makes a great first impression. The quality is obvious from the start, just in the feel of these. The packaging is incredibly elegant and swanky, with the Burberry check and the magnetic closures.

I can't locate my receipt, but I remember the eyeshadows being 15$, and the lipsticks were either 15$ or 20$. I just checked the pricing on the Burberry Canada site, and it is 30$ for the Sheer Eyeshadows, 40$ for the Lip Covers. year? Anyone willing to brave the lines?

November 09, 2012

Lise Watier Quatuor Millésime - Les Vins Palette

Aiiiee! How is it NOVEMBER already?? I am not ready for winter, and snow, and the horrible, horrible darkness.

Instead, allow me to clutch onto the remaining bits of fall, starting with the Les Vins palette from the Lise Watier Millésime collection. It's the less stereotypically autumnal of the two palettes in this collection, making it a great transitional palette into *shudder* winter.

I am a really big fan of the Lise Watier eyeshadow formula. With few exceptions, it is dense, pigmented, well-wearing and blendable. Les Vins is par for the course. 

All of the shades are excellent, not a stinker among them. They all have a shimmer finish, so if you are looking for an all-around type of palette, this is probably not it. The colors are so lovely, though,  I can't be bothered to care. Truth be told, you can create a variety of looks with these four shades, ranging from a simple wash of the taupe shade for everyday, to a seriously smoked-out indigo eye.

Lise Watier Quatuor Millésime - Les Vins Palette

Lise Watier Quatuor Millésime - Les Vins Palette

As a taupe-lover, I am thrilled by the beauty in this quad. It may look uninspiring in the pan, but it morphs in different light, pulling grey, mauve and even gold.

The pale, peach-leaning gold is more basic, but nonetheless a terrific highlighter shade.

The plum is also unassuming in the pan, but the interplay of the red-violet shimmer and smoky base raise it to another level.

My only real disappointment is the navy shade - and that's only because the pan is small. It is SO pretty, a navy with royal blue and violet shimmer dusted throughout.

Lise Watier Quatuor Millésime Les Vins Palette swatches
Natural light.

Lise Watier Quatuor Millésime Les Vins Palette swatches
Artificial light.

Lise Watier Quatuor Millésime Les Vins Palette swatches

Sunlight, slightly out of focus to show shimmer in the plum and navy shades.

Availability: At Pharmaprix/SDM, Jean Coutu, and The Bay. If you can no longer find it in-store, still has the fall collection available, as well as several items from previous collections. (They now also ship to the US!) Price is 36$ CAD.

Pros: Smooth, rich pigmentation, dense texture, and gorgeous, complex colors. 

Cons: None that I can think of.

(I purchased this item from Pharmaprix.)