Review + swatches + look – Lancome Grandiôse Mascara Extreme in Bleu Nuit & Grandiôse Eyeliner in Fuchsia, Cerulean, and Silver Snow

Lancome Grandiôse Mascara Extreme in Bleu Nuit & Grandiôse Eyeliner in Fuchsia, Cerulean, and Silver Snow review and swatches

For Spring 2017, Lancome is releasing new shade extensions to some of their recent eye products. The Lancome Grandiôse Mascara Extreme (C$36) was first introduced for Fall 2016 as an extension to their original Grandiose Mascara. The Grandiose Extreme claims to offer even more volume, curl and length for up to 24 hours of wear. I liked the original Grandiose, but only after a few weeks off testing. The original formula was a bit too wet for my short straight lashes so it wouldn’t build up or hold a curl. I haven’t tried the Grandiose Extreme in the original black, but I have the shade Bleu Nuit to share with you today. In addition to Bleu Nuit, it is also available in Burgundy.

In terms of the formula, this one blows the original Grandiose Mascara out of the water. While it is still a wet formula, it dries down much faster so that you can build up more volume and length to your heart’s content. In addition to it looking fantastic right after application, it is also great at holding a curl. The first time I tried this, I didn’t even curl my lashes because I couldn’t find my lash curler, but this managed to give my lashes a nice lift that stayed in place all day. It also doesn’t flake, smudge, or wear off until I removed it at the end of the day. Removal was easy, as it just melted into my cleansing oil without the need to rub my eye too much.

The Bleu Nuit colour looks very intimidating at first because it’s almost a bright blue coming out of the tube, but it dries down to a dark navy on my black lashes. It gives just the right amount of tint that isn’t too crazy. I would wear this to the office no problem.

Lancome Grandiôse Mascara Extreme in Bleu Nuit & Grandiôse Eyeliner in Fuchsia, Cerulean, and Silver Snow review and swatches

The Lancome Grandiôse Eyeliner (C$40) was a Lisa Eldridge invention. The applicator bends to a 35 degree angle to help make liquid liner application a breeze. It has a felt tip applicator, but this is different from other felt tip applicators because it is soft and bends with ease. I usually hate felt tip applicators because the stiffness makes it hard to create a cat eye, but I did two near-perfect cat eye flicks (one for each eye) in under 10 seconds, no joke. While it is not a one-swipe wonder, i.e. you do need to go over each section of your lash line a few times to build up the formula, you don’t need to re-dip and each dip will give you enough product to finish one eye.

In addition to easy application, the formula itself is seriously amazing. I have very bad luck with Western brand liners because they usually smudge like no tomorrow on me, even the high end ones. The Grandiose Eyeliner lasted all day on me without fading, creasing, or flaking. It looked absolutely perfect on me until I went to take it off. When I did remove this, it came off in chunks instead of dissolving in the cleansing oil, which actually made removal very easy as well.

The three shades that I have are Fuchsia, Cerulean and Silver Snow. Fuchsia dries down matte, whereas Cerulean and Silver Snow dry down metallic with a wet look. This also comes in a Metallic Green shade. I wear Cerulean all the time, it is a very dark navy blue base with blue metal shine to it – it is seriously the most gorgeous eyeliner I own. The colour brings out the colour of my eyes, and really helps to make my eye makeup pop. The colour reminds me of peacocks!

Lancome Grandiôse Mascara Extreme in Bleu Nuit & Grandiôse Eyeliner in Fuchsia, Cerulean, and Silver Snow review and swatches

I can’t say enough good things about these two product formulas. I normally don’t wear coloured mascara or liners so I was a bit wary about these, but I’m so happy to say that I’ve found new favourites. I definitely have to check out the original black shades in store.

The new shade extensions for Grandiôse Eyeliner and Grandiôse Mascara Extreme are available January, 2017, at Sephora, The Bay, Shopper’s Drug Mart, Murale, and other places that sell Lancome.

The swatches

Grandiôse Eyeliner in Fuchsia, Cerulean, and Silver Snow, and Grandiôse Mascara Extreme in Bleu Nuit

Lancome Grandiôse Mascara Extreme in Bleu Nuit & Grandiôse Eyeliner in Fuchsia, Cerulean, and Silver Snow review and swatches

The look

Wearing Lancome Grandiôse Mascara Extreme in Bleu Nuit and Grandiôse Eyeliner in Cerulean

Lancome Grandiôse Mascara Extreme in Bleu Nuit & Grandiôse Eyeliner in Fuchsia, Cerulean, and Silver Snow review and swatches

Lancome Grandiôse Mascara Extreme in Bleu Nuit & Grandiôse Eyeliner in Fuchsia, Cerulean, and Silver Snow review and swatches

Lancome Grandiôse Mascara Extreme in Bleu Nuit & Grandiôse Eyeliner in Fuchsia, Cerulean, and Silver Snow review and swatches

SIBU Sea Berry Therapy – good price for great ingredients!

SIBU Hydrating Facial Serum, Age Defying Eye Cream, Sea Berry Seed Oil reviews

Sea Berry, or otherwise known as sea buckthorn is a fruit that grows high in the Himalayas (12,000 feet above sea level). It contains over 190 bioactive compounds, and is an unsurpassed source of Omegas 3, 6, 7, and 9. SIBU is a U.S.-brand that focuses specifically on harnessing the power of this magical fruit to create skincare products that heal problematic skin. Today I have three products from the SIBU line to share with you: the Hydrating Face Serum, the Age Defying Eye Cream, and the Sea Berry Seed Oil.

SIBU Hydrating Facial Serum, Age Defying Eye Cream, Sea Berry Seed Oil reviews

The SIBU Hydrating Face Serum ($44.95) is a lightweight serum that is infused with vitamins, hyaluronic acid and Sea Berry (Sea Buckthorn) extract. This serum is perfect for those with dry, normal, or even combination skin. It’s very light and gel-like, which absorbs almost instantly into the skin. I wear this underneath my moisturizer during the day. It helps to replenish lost moisture from the heating overnight, plumps up my skin, and also helps my moisturizer absorb better. I only use one plump and I find that it’s enough to prevent dryness throughout the day.

The SIBU Age Defying Eye Cream ($29.95) contains Sea Berry (Sea Buckthorn) and pumpkin seed oils to help firm the skin and smooth out fine lines. I have bad luck with eye creams because I find that most don’t do much for me. This eye cream is lightly hydrating, but that’s about it. I didn’t find it very firming or smoothing, so it probably won’t be great if you have deep lines or wrinkles. It’s a good entry-level eye cream. I do like that it comes in a squeeze tube to prevent air exposure and bacteria.

SIBU Hydrating Facial Serum, Age Defying Eye Cream, Sea Berry Seed Oil reviews

The SIBU Sea Berry Seed Oil ($19.95) is a concentrated formula that contains only 100% pure sea buckthorn oil. Sea buckthorn oil has historically been used to provide relief of skin conditions such as rosacea, eczema, acne, dermatitis and other skin conditions. This oil is definitely an ultra-repairing, ultra-nourishing facial oil for those with dry, sensitive skin, or skin with any of the conditions listed above. A tiny bit goes a very long way, and I would actually recommend not using this all over the face if you don’t require it. I had some dryness and redness on my chin and cheek area, so I applied this overnight only on those spots and my skin cleared up pretty much overnight. Follow up treatments are recommended for maintenance, but I like to use this only when I need it. Alternatively, I found that if you have particularly parched skin, one to two drops in your night time moisturizer will help to replenish your skin very quickly as well.

Overall I like these products, for the price points that they are selling for, they are definitely worth the price. Of the three products, I like the Hydrating Face Serum the most, but those with problematic skin will find the Sea Berry Seed Oil to be beneficial to their skin.

SIBU Hydrating Facial Serum, Age Defying Eye Cream, Sea Berry Seed Oil reviews

SIBU Hydrating Facial Serum ingredients: Water, Glycerin, Betaine, Hippophae Rhamnoides(Seabuckthorn) Fruit Extract, Benzyl Alcohol, Polyglyceryl-10Laurate, Sodium Levulinate, Xanthan gum, Sclerotium Gum,Sodium Anisate, Algae Extract, Artemisia Vulgaris Extract,Dipotassium Glycyrrhizate Ψ Sodium Phytate, HippophaeRhamnoides (Seabuckthorn) Fruit Extract, Glycine Soja (Soybean)Oil, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Peel Oil, Citrus AurantiumBergamia (Bergamot) Fruit Oil, Citrus Grandis (Grapefruit)Peel Oil,Citrus Reticulata (Tangerine) Leaf Oil, Coriandrum Sativum(Coriander) Fruit Oil, Cymbopogon Citratus Leaf Oil, HippophaeRhamnoides (Seabuckthorn) Seed Extract, Sodium Hyaluronate

SIBU Age Defying Eye Cream ingredients: Water, Glycerin, Hippophae Rhamnoides (Seabuckthorn) Oil, CetearylAlcohol, Behenyl Alcohol, Polyglyceryl-10 Pentastearate, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride,Olea Europaea (Olive) Fruit Unsaponifiables Ψ Sea Water, Benzyl Alcohol, LimnanthesAlba (Meadowfoam) Seed Oil, Sodium Stearoyl Lactylate, Sodium Levulinate, XanthanGum, Hydrolyzed Rice Bran Protein, Sodium Anisate, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea)Butter Extract, Panthenol, Sodium Phytate, Brassica Juncea Sprout Extract, BrassicaOleracea Acephala Sprout Extract, Brassica Oleracea Botrytis Sprout Extract, BrassicaOleracea Capitata Sprout Extract, Brassica Oleracea Italica Sprout Extract, WasabiaJaponica Root Extract, Glycine Soja (Soybean) Protein, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice,Cucurbita Pepo (Pumpkin) Seed Extract, Hippophae Rhamnoides (Seabuckthorn) FruitExtract, Sodium Hyaluronate

SIBU Sea Berry Seed Oil ingredients: 100% sea buckthorn oil

Products provided by PR, all opinions are my own.

Review: Guerlain Lingerie de Peau foundation, Multi-Perfecting Concealer, and the Foundation Brush

Guerlain Lingerie de Peau foundation review and swatch

To say that I love Guerlain foundations would be a huge understatement. Every single Guerlain foundation I’ve ever tried in my life has been a complete hit with my skin, making me look gorgeous, luminous, and even skin toned. I started my Guerlain foundation journey almost 7 years ago with the Parure Extreme foundation, which was my go-to foundation for YEARS. I discovered the Meteorites Baby Glow in the spring of 2015, and then last winter I discovered Parure Gold, all of which have continued to be staples on my makeup vanity. The one Guerlain foundation I’ve never got around to trying was the Lingerie de Peau. Thankfully, this product is being reformulated and relaunched for this fall, and I was very fortunate to be sent a bottle from Guerlain to try.

The new Lingerie de Peau (C$69 for 30mL) features a new and improved formula. Like its name, it was inspired by the feeling of naked skin, and Guerlain sought out to create the most natural, weightless foundation there was. The new formula contains Bio-Fusion micro-mesh, which is a technology that contains smoothing and shaping stretch fibers to allow the foundation to move with the skin. It also contains natural linen and silk fibers, for soft, weightless, radiant coverage.

Guerlain Lingerie de Peau foundation review and swatch

I would describe Lingerie de Peau as a foundation good for people with normal or combination skin types. In terms of texture, I’ve never tried the previous formulation, but the new Lingerie de Peau is very lightweight and fluid. It is the thinnest of the Guerlain foundations that I’ve used, making it very appropriate for the natural-faced look. Don’t let the light texture fool you though, because the coverage is buildable to medium. It covers my redness, but not my freckles, leaving a natural finish. If I powder, wear time is fantastic at over 10 hours of smooth, luminous, hydrated skin.

Application is a breeze, I’ve used this with both the accompanying brush (reviewed below) and fingers, and both work equally well. I get more of a natural finish when applied with my hands, and then a fuller coverage finish when applied with the brush. It feels super lightweight on the skin, and just leaves my skin comfortable.

The new Lingerie de Peau also features a much expanded shade range. I’ve been very fortunate in the past to always consistently wear 02 in any of Guerlain’s foundation formulations, including this one (shade 02N), but I do know that since their shade offerings were so limited, most women are not as fortunate and don’t get matched perfectly to a Guerlain shade. For the new Lingerie de Peau, there are a whopping 14 shades in neutral, cool, and warm tones. That being shade, the shade range still doesn’t expand much past medium-dark, so those with very dark skin will still be out of luck. This is a move in the right direction, though, and hopefully we will see even more shades released in the future.

Two downsides of this foundation are that it clings to dry spots, and you really need to powder otherwise it will get fade quickly and pretty unevenly. I’ve had really weird skin lately, with the previous stresses of moving and then travelling, so my skin has been very unbalanced (dry spots on certain areas and oily bits on others). I find that I wear this foundation much better when my skin is balanced. I can wear the Guerlain Parure Gold foundation without powdering, and it will stay looking lovely and luminous all day, but I need to powder with the Lingerie the Peau. I generally powder with the Meteorites Voyage Compact, so I’m not complaining by all means, but it can still be an extra step of effort.

In general, I like this foundation but not as much I love the Parure Gold. Of course the price difference is pretty big (the Parure Gold is $95), but I think for an extra $30 I want something that I truly love. If you are new to Guerlain foundations though, this one is definitely a fantastic starter foundation.

Guerlain Lingerie de Peau foundation review and swatch

In addition to the new Lingerie de Peau, Guerlain is also launching its inaugural (that I can remember) full coverage concealer. The Multi-Perfecting Concealer (C$42 for 12mL) comes in three shades, and two undertones each, for six shade options. I have the shade 01 Light Warm which is too light for the rest of my face, but works well to conceal the undereye area. I have the worst luck with undereye concealers because pretty much all of them crease on me, and this one unfortunately is the same way. I always powder under my eye though, so I don’t know what causes the creasing. If you have tips, please let me know. Otherwise, this concealer does a fantastic job at brightening my undereye area and covering my dark circles. The texture is very cream and slightly like a puddy, so you only need a tiny bit which will go a long way.

Lastly, to complement the release of these new base products, Guerlain has launched a synthetic-fibre Foundation Brush (C$53). This is a fluffy foundation brush, designed to buff the product into your skin. Compared to Guerlain’s past brush releases, this one is very soft, dense, and easy to use. It’s not at all rough on the skin, and can work well to buff in your foundation of choice. One thing to note is that this brush is made in China, which I was surprised to see because I thought all of Guerlain’s products were made in France. Although, don’t let that make you think the quality of the brush is subpar, it is a good quality brush, well made, and relatively weighty. That being said though, I don’t really believe it is worth $53. There are a plethora of other brush choices on the market that would perform very similarly without the Guerlain brand and associated price tag.

Guerlain Multi-Perfecting Concealer review
Guerlain Multi-Perfecting Concealer review

The swatches

Left to right: Guerlain Lingerie de Peau in 02N (see how it’s quite fluid), Guerlain Parure Gold in 02, Guerlain Meteorites Baby Glow in 02 (more pink/peach leaning)

Guerlain Lingerie de Peau foundation review and swatch

On the very right: Guerlain Multi-Perfecting Concealer in 01 Light Warm

Guerlain Multi-Perfecting Concealer review

Guerlain Lingerie de Peau ingredients:

Guerlain Lingerie de Peau foundation ingredients

The products in this post were provided by PR for review considerations; all opinions are my own.

Review – Imbue Skin Recovery Mists in Heaven, Muse, Soothe and Lust

img_20161123_235539

A few months ago, I was contacted by local Vancouver brand Imbue to try out their Skin Recovery Mists. I did an extensive roundup of a few of my favourite facial mists a while back, check it out here. There are four Skin Recovery Mists in total, all of them made with rose water to help hydrate the skin, plus a cocktail of vitamin E and various essential oils. Each individual bottle is priced at C$22, and Imbue also offers a four bottle set for C$78.

Heaven is the brand’s most popular formula. It contains scents of jasmine, rose, neroli, and ylang ylang, all of which are my personal favourites. This contains Purified Water, Rose Water, Vitamin E & Essential Oils of Tangerine, Jasmine, Rose, Neroli, Ylang Ylang, Vanilla & Lime.

Muse contains Purified Water, Rose Water, Vitamin E & Essential Oils of Grapefruit, Bergamot, Orange, Lime & Mandarin. I love the freshness of Muse, making it perfect for mornings. The blend of citrus oils really helps to wake me up!

Soothe contains Purified Water, Rose Water, Vitamin E & Essential Oils of Bergamot, Grapefruit White, Lavender, Marjoram, Tea Tree, Spearmint & Chamomile. This is my least favourite as it contains tea tree and spearmint. My skin is pretty sensitive to any types of mint on the skin so I couldn’t really use this one much.

Lust is made of Purified Water, Rose Water, Vitamin E & Essential Oils of Orange, Patchouli, Rosewood, Indian Neroli, Bergamot, Cardamon, Cedarwood, Champa & Vetiver. Lust is great for evenings where you want something deeper to help relax before sleeping.

Despite the beautiful scents, the formula itself is a bit lacking. I would call these facial mists only lightly moisturizing, and good mostly for the summer time when my skin isn’t too try. I was surprised to find that the rose water was diluted with more water, although I don’t know what the proportion of water to rose water is. I prefer my rose water mists to not have additional water to dilute its moisturizing properties. The bottle states spray 1-3 times, but I usually end up spraying around 6-8 times to get my skin to the level of hydration that I prefer. Otherwise it doesn’t seem to do much. In addition, the C$22 price per bottle for just 60mL is really quite high, particularly because you need to use so much of it each time.

Overall, I love the concept of these, but wish that they would be more hydrating. Perhaps add some glycerin, or increase the rose water to water ratio? If you have normal, combination, or oily skin, you might enjoy these, but those with dry skin (like me) would definitely need something else to prevent dryness.

Products provided by PR; all opinions are mine.

Review + swatches – Lise Watier Spring 2017 Beauty Blossom and Rouge Intense Supreme collections

Lise Watier Spring 2017 Beauty Blossom review and swatches

Lise Watier is one of my favourite Canadian brands. They consistently release high quality products with beautiful formulas. For Spring 2017, they are releasing two collections: the Beauty Blossom limited edition colour collection, and the Rouge Intense Supreme, which is a new permanent line of lipsticks.

The Beauty Blossom collection is inspired by delicate florals and soft pastels. I was sent the 24 Hrs Glam Eyeshadow sticks from this collection, which are three shades of matte, waterproof, budge-proof cream eyeshadows that blend easily, dry quickly and stay in place until they are removed. The three shades are:

  • Ivory Velours – a matte ivory that works great as a base makeup to help bring out bright pigments
  • Urban Velours – a matte soft taupe that is a perfect eye contour shade, and can also be used elsewhere on the face
  • Petal Velours – a matte delicate peach that works well to neutralize any colours on your lids

 

Lise Watier Spring 2017 Beauty Blossom review and swatches

Lise Watier Rouge Intense Supreme in Kelly, Daphne and Maya review and swatches

Also new for spring is the Rouge Intense Supreme lipstick. Lise Watier makes fantastic lipstick formulas, and the new Rouge Intense Supreme has become an instant favourite of mine. It claims that it provides intense colour payoff and incredibly comfortable sensation in just one swipe. It is also infused with the Lise Watier exclusive ingredient, Labrador Tea.

The shades I have are:

  • Daphne – a medium brown
  • Kelly – a rosy pink
  • Maya – a nude peach

I love the texture of the Rouge Intense Supreme lipsticks, they are so incredibly creamy with beautiful colour payoff. You do get medium coverage in just one swipe. I have very dry lips so these are comfortable to wear.

Lise Watier Rouge Intense Supreme in Kelly, Daphne and Maya review and swatches
Lise Watier Rouge Intense Supreme in Kelly, Daphne and Maya review and swatches

The swatches

Lise Watier 24 Hrs Glam Eyeshadow Ivory Velours, Urban Velours and Petal Velours

Lise Watier Rouge Intense Supreme in Kelly, Daphne and Maya review and swatches

Lise Watier Rouge Intense Supreme in Maya, Kelly, and Daphne

Lise Watier Spring 2017 Beauty Blossom review and swatches

Dine Out Vancouver, my favourite food festival, is back for another year!

chambar-dining-brunch-photo-cred-farah-nosh

If you follow me on Instagram, you’ll notice that I love to eat. I love trying out new restaurants, but it does get expensive over time, so every year I look forward to Dine Out Vancouver, where diners are treated to three course meals priced $20, $30, or $40, often with values going up to over $100. The most exciting day for me in January is the day that Dine Out menus get released (my friends can testify to that), and I try to make reservations right away so that we can get the best availability for seating.

You’ll be able to book your Dine Out Vancouver reservations on January 9, and the festival itself will take place January 20 to February 5, 2017.

I’m really happy to say that I was sent, in advance, the menus for two classic Vancouver restaurants, one that has been one of my favourite restaurants for years since I first discovered it at a Dine Out event a few years ago, and one that I am aching to try.

chambar-venetian-plaster-photo-cred-ema-peter

Chambar is a very well-known Vancouver restaurant. I love going here for date night, and even the boyfriend who isn’t a huge foodie was quite impressed by their food. Their Dine Out menu features their famous mussels and fries, as well as some of my favourites such as their beef.

Les Petits Plats
Les Crudités – Hannah Brook Farm cauliflower, radish & sunchoke, carrot hummus, mint & yogurt chutney, picked greens
Bison Fumé – Buffalo carpaccio, celeriac, fennel & chervil remoulade, smoked tomato aioli, shaved parmesan, pine nuts
Thon Au Miso – Seared Albacore tuna, sea asparagus, black garlic tapenade, miso & tahini emulsion
Les Grosses Pieces
Moules Frites ‘Vin Blanc’ – Mussels, white wine, butter, braised celery & leeks, coarse black pepper
Moules Frites ‘Congolaise’ – Mussels, tomato coconut cream, smoked chili, lime, cilantro
Pastilla – Spinach, yam, caramelized onion & almond phyllo pie, babaganoush, lentils, zucchini, orange blossom coulis
Pot au Feu de Poisson – Arctic Char, local beets, Brussels sprouts, tapioca, galangal & shisho broth, curry leaf
La Pièce de Boeuf (add $10) – AAA 9oz char grilled beef brochette, kale & cauliflower puree, green beans & bacon, peppercorn bourbon sauce
Le Dessert
Tarte aux Pommes – Caramelized white chocolate, poached apples, spiced crumble, shortbread ice cream
Chocolat Tropicale – Dark chocolate fudge bar, hazelnut praline, passionfruit curd & sorbet

chambar-lounge-to-dining-room-photo-cred-ema-peter

Juniper is a restaurant that I’ve been wanting to try. Their Dine Out menu features a mix of land, sea and vegetarian.

First
grilled beets, california burrata, toasted hazelnuts
roasted carrots & brussels, crème fraiche, pickled mustard seeds
elk tartar, blueberries, juniper, crispy roots, burnt hay aioli
Second
albacore tuna, nori emulsion, charred broccolini, wheatberry porridge
bison short rib, smoked potato, creamed brussels, onion, bone marrow jus
brown butter risotto, trumpet mushrooms, roasted rutabaga, watermelon radish
Third
chocolate charcuterie for two
maple & walnut pannacotta
pear & apple tart

Which of these restaurants would you want to try the most?

Photos are of Chambar, credit to Ema Peter and Farah Nosh, via PR.

GIVEAWAY – Inlight Organic Skincare Try Me Collection, Indulgence Collection, and Body Beauty Collection

Today, I am giving away three travel gift sets from Inlight Organic Skincare. Inlight was created when Lucy searched for a company that produced 100% organic skincare.

The products are certified organic and contain high concentrations of essential oils. In addition to face products, there are also products for the body, children, pregnant women, and even vegan products. Today I’m working with Inlight to give away three travel sized sets containing some of their most popular products, in convenient sizes that are perfect for tossing in your carry-on or in your gym bag.

The Try Me Collection contains: Face Cleanser 0.17 fl. oz., Floral Face Tonic 0.17 fl. oz., and Daily Face Oil 0.17 fl. oz.

The Indulgence Collection contains Face Cleanser 0.17 fl. oz., Floral Face Tonic 0.17 fl. oz., Daily Face Oil 0.17 fl. oz., and Line Softener 0.17 fl. oz.

The Body Beautiful Collection contains: Body Oil with Arnica 0.17 fl. oz., Body Butter 0.17 fl. oz., Foot & Leg Balm 0.17 fl. oz. and Firm & Tone Oil 0.17 fl. oz.

To enter:

  1. Follow @maddylovesblog on Twitter and retweet – for one (1) entry
  2. Comment on this post about which product you are most interested in trying – one (1) entry

Contest ends January 14, 2017, open to readers in U.S. and Canada. Good luck!

This post and giveaway were sponsored by Inlight Organic Skincare.

Review + swatches – NARS Spring 2017 Wildfire collection

NARS Spring 2017 collection review and swatches

I hope everyone had a lovely Christmas! Did you do lots of Boxing Day shopping? I had a nice four day break, but I’m back at work tomorrow for the following two days, and then off on Friday for another four day weekend. I love this time of year because it’s so chill and relaxing. I mostly just sit at home and watch Netflix with a nice cup of tea.

I know it’s still winter, but today I have my first spring collection to share with you guys. For Spring 2017, NARS is introducing a new colour collection inspired by burnt reds, chestnuts, and big-sky blues. I have a few products from the collection to share with you today.

NARS Thessalonique Duo Eyeshadow for Spring 2017 review and swatches

Thessalonique Duo Eyeshadow contains an iridescent seashell pink and an iridescent smokey violet. I find NARS Duo Eyeshadows a bit hit-or-miss. I love some of the classics such as Kuala Lumpur and Grand Palais, but this one was just a bit above average. The light pink shade on the left is super powdery, like imagine lots of powdery fallout. The iridescent smokey violet is almost like a violet taupe. The colour is beautiful, the texture is soft but not powdery, and you get great colour payoff and pigmentation. I would use this Duo for just the right side alone, but the left side would require a bit more care during application.

NARS Bumpy Ride Blush for Spring 2017 review and swatches

NARS Blushes are known for being one of the best on the market; its Orgasm blush is a makeup lover’s staple. Surprisingly, this is my first blush from NARS… I owned Orgasm for a while back in university, but I never got around to using it so I returned it to Sephora. The shade Bumpy Ride is a cool-toned candy pink with silvery shimmers. It is quite powdery as well, but you get good blendability.

NARS Velvet Shadow Stick in Siros and Usbek for Spring 2017 review and swatches

My two favourites from this collection are the Velvet Shadow Sticks in Siros (bronze) and Usbek (vivid purple). These are one swipe wonders, SO creamy, pigmented, and very easy to apply and blend out. My issue with them is that they don’t fully dry down to a matte, long-wearing finish, so I usually have to start with an eyeshadow base, and then end by patting a bit of similar-toned powder shadow on top to prevent creasing. Sadly this takes a bit away from the metallic finish, but the end result is still very bright, vivid colouring.

NARS Spring 2017 is available starting January 2017 at Sephora, and February 2017 at all other NARS retailers, such as Holt Renfrew, Nordstrom, and the Bay.

The swatches

From left to right: Velvet Shadow Sticks in Siros and Usbek, Thessalonique Duo Eyeshadow, Bumpy Ride Blush (swatched heavy and blended out).

NARS Spring 2017 collection review and swatches

Products provided by PR, all opinions are my own.

Favourite products of 2016

May Lindstrom Skin review

I haven’t done one of these roundups in what feels like years. This year I had several milestone favourite products so I really wanted to share them with you.

It’s no secret that I have fallen deeply  in love with May Lindstrom. I’ve written about them extensively, and I just can’t get enough. I own, or will be acquiring in the next month or so, almost all of the products. The ones that I always fall back on are The Honey Mud and The Blue Cocoon (my next buy!). May’s brand is truly loved by almost everyone who has tried them. May herself is one of the sweetest women, and she is supported by the best team possible. Her Director of Care, Elli, is also someone I always enjoy corresponding with.

May Lindstrom Skin the Honey Mud review

I’ve been loving all things oil this year, which is a big contrast from the last few years when I never wore anything oil-based. My body oil of choice is the Rocky Mountain Soap Co. Berry Blossom Body Oil. In terms of facial oil, Vintner’s Daughter Active Botanical Serum takes the #1 spot. My full review of this liquid gold is still coming (you can see my Instagram rave here), but since the day I received it, I’ve been recommending this to everyone. It is truly a miracle worker for my skin.

Tata Harper is another brand that I’ve been obsessing over for all of 2016. Her Regenerating Cleanser tops the list as one of my favourite cleanser discoveries this year. I’ve also fallen in love with the Honey Blossom Mask and the Repairative Moisturizer, both of which contain organic honey to help moisturize and soothe my dry skin.

Vichy Double Glow Peel Mask review

Masking was one of the hobbies that I developed in 2016. Even though prior to this year, I’ve been masking once in a while, I never did it consistently this year. I generally rotate through my collection of masks, but I can’t help but go back to the ones I really love. The Vichy Double Glow Peel Mask, Tata Harper Purifying Mask, May Lindstrom The Problem Solver, and Even Tide by Collective Skin Care, are all ones I use on a regular basis. I recently discovered Herbivore’s Blue Tansy mask, and even though I’ve only used it a few times, I can already tell that I will be a fan.

 

In terms of makeup, my favourite foundation discovery this year is the La Prairie Skin Caviar Concealer + Foundation (review coming soon). This foundation is what I wear when I need my makeup to stay on all day and all night, with medium coverage and a satin-matte finish. It leaves my skin looking so radiant and fresh, and I really enjoy the ritual of applying this.

Bite Beauty Amuse Bouche in Pepper, Beetroot, and Jam review and swatches

Lipsticks are my big weakness, and I’ve been wearing Bite Beauty’s Amuse Bouche lipstick the most this year. My favourite shades are Pepper, Rhubarb, and Beetroot. My go-to eyeshadow palette was Charlotte Tilbury’s Dolce Vita Palette. I didn’t realize I could love a palette more than I loved the Vintage Vamp palette, but this definitely proved me wrong. In addition to how gorgeous the texture, pigmentation, and quality is, this eyeshadow stayed on my lids flawlessly and without an eyeshadow base for over 10 hours.

Charlotte Tilbury the Dolce Vita palette review and swatches

My go-to eyeliner this year was Amaterasu Liquid Liner – it draws a cat eye flick so easily and it also lasts all day without smudging or budging. I’ve recently been using their Pencil Liner and I’m so far a fan as well. Lastly, even though I didn’t discover this product in 2016, I’ve been using it nonstop. The Filmstar Bronze & Glow by Charlotte Tilbury will always be my favourite bronzer/sculpt palette.

Charlotte Tilbury Filmstar Bronze & Glow review review

What are some of your favourite products this year?

Last minute holiday gift ideas for all budgets!

csf1c_with_bag_dsc0214So the holidays are fast approaching but your tree is still pretty much empty, what do you do? Check out this holiday gift guide of course. I’ve consolidated a mish mash of different products at different price points to help give you some inspiration regarding holiday gifts. Almost all of these should be available at your local mall, drugstore, or supermarket, so you can pick up gifts wherever you go.

1. Calgon Body Care Set

Body Care sets from Calgon are a convenient hostess / office exchange / acquaintances holiday gift. You can buy them at just about any drugstore for under $20, and they come in a variety of scents. The version I got to try was Hawaiian Ginger and it smells so fresh – brings me back to my Hawaii trip with friends last year! This kit comes with a body wash, bath beads, and a body mist, along with a shower loofah.

2. Conair Hair Straightener

Conair is brand that produces great, reliable results at an everyone-friendly price. Their holiday-edition Infiniti Pro Elite straightener is super cute and my pick for this holiday season… did I mention it contains adorable gradiant gold sparkles on a back background? The plates are titanium-coated, and comes with a heat-resistant thermal clutch so that it becomes travel-friendly. Priced at just approximately $80, this is a great last minute gift to buy, available at Shoppers Drug Mart and Walmart.

3. The Body Shop gift sets

The Body Shop releases pretty awesome gift sets every year. This year in addition to the gift sets they do, they are also offering customized Body Butter pots where you can get your giftee’s name printed on a sticker on the lid of the Body Butter. This is part of their Jungle Bells (not a spelling mistake!) campaign where they are raising money to build bio-bridges to join healthy rainforests with deforested or degraded lands, which helps to move animals to new, safer environments. The $20 pot of Body Butter (sometimes even cheaper with promos) make great stocking stuffers, or casual office gifts. Other gifts vary from $10 to $150, making it the perfect one-stop-shop for all of your last minute gift.

4. For Beloved One face masks

For Beloved One sheet masks are some of my favourite sheet masks on the market. The reason being is that now that I am trying to adult, I actually need to do stuff and that requires me to be up and about all the time. These sheet masks stay on like there’s no tomorrow. Made with a cool fermented jelly-like substance, the mask sticks to your skin and won’t fall off even if you’re jumping around the house, doing laundry, vacuuming, or anything else that you need to get done. The Melasleep Brightening Lumi’s Key Bio-Cellulose Masks usually come in a pack of 3 for $63, but for Christmas they are offering a limited edition set of 7 for just $110. They are pricey to begin with, so if you like these masks, or know someone who love pampering themselves, then these are a fantastic buy.

5. Lip Smacker Tsum Tsums

For that little niece, sister, or ah, the little child in you. I have a set with Mickey and Minnie and I LOVE IT. Lip Smackers were the first lip products I (and probably every other little girl) ever bought, so when they came out with these adorable Tsum Tsum editions, of course I had to get my hands on it. Sadly, they are actually pretty hard to find. I got mine via PR, but I looked for them for MONTHS before at various drugstores but never found them. I know people in my social circle have seen them at Shopper’s and other drugstores so I think it’s just my luck. If you do find these, they are seriously the best gifts you can get anyone who likes cutsy things.

Are you done holiday shopping yet?