Transform your rocker chic look from day to night with Charlotte Tilbury The Rock Chick Luxury Palette, Hot Lips in Bosworth’s Beauty, and KISSING Lipstick in Night Crimson

Charlotte Tilbury The Rock Chick Luxury Palette, Hot Lips in Bosworth's Beauty, and KISSING Lipstick in Night Crimson review and swatches

As you all know my crazy obsession with Charlotte Tilbury’s products, today I’m really excited to share with you the newest Charlotte Tilbury look that I’ve had the pleasure of testing – The Rock Chick! In addition to The Rock Chick, I also enjoy using The Vintage Vamp, The Sophisticate, The Bombshell, and my absolute favourite, The Dolce Vita.

The Rock Chick Luxury Palette (C$66) is coordinated like any other of Charlotte’s palettes to create a desk to dusk, to disco look – from the top left corner in a clockwise direction we have the prime, enhance, smoke, and pop shades, with the top two shades being the desk shades (most daytime appropriate), right two shades being the dusk shades (for after work drinks or events), and adding the bottom two to create the disco look (for those nights out).

Charlotte Tilbury The Rock Chick Luxury Palette, Hot Lips in Bosworth's Beauty, and KISSING Lipstick in Night Crimson review and swatches

The Rock Chick is one of Charlotte’s only cool-tone leaning palettes. It contains a shimmery champagne (prime), a shimmery taupe (enhance), a matte grey (smoke) and a glittery silver taupe (pop). The texture of each shade is as amazing as every other Charlotte palette I’ve used – it’s smooth, almost creamy, and extremely pigmented with very good adhesion and staying power. This palette creates an amazing smokey eye that looks great on all skin tones. I don’t generally use glittery shades, but the pop shade in this one really ties the entire look together. The glitter does not migrate, and instead helps to create a very cohesive, funky chic look. I never use primers with Charlotte’s eyeshadows (I have to with other shadows because my lids are oily) and I always get a full day’s wear out of them with just minimal creasing and fading. They’re the one eyeshadow palette that I reach for time and time again.

Charlotte Tilbury The Rock Chick Luxury Palette, Hot Lips in Bosworth's Beauty, and KISSING Lipstick in Night Crimson review and swatches

During the day, pair your Rock Chick look with the ultra bright fuchsia Hot Lips lipstick in Bosworth’s Beauty (C$38). This is the most cool-toned lipstick in my collection, and honestly a bit too cool-toned for me. It is fiercely bright, and will definitely create a statement. In addition to it being so bright and cool-toned for my skintone, I actually found the formula to be a bit streaky and settle into lip lines. Sadly this one is a pass, unless you have very pale or cool-toned skin. I would prefer something more neutral like KISSING Lipstick in Bitch Perfect or Penelope Pink, or Matte Revolution Lipstick in Pillowtalk.

At night, pick up a more vampy lipstick suck as KISSING Lipstick in Night Crimson (C$38). Charlotte’s KISSING Lipstick is one of my all time favourite lipstick formulas – I think I own like 6 of the 10. I love that it applies easily, is lightly hydrating, and is very lightweight on the lips. Night Crimson is a beautiful vampy red that can be worn sheerly like a vampy stain, or with full on coverage.

I highly recommend you check out The Rock Chick palette, or any one of Charlotte’s Luxury palettes. The KISSING Lipstick is also a winner. If you need more Charlotte Tilbury shopping ideas, check out my shopping guide here.

The swatches

Charlotte Tilbury The Rock Chick Luxury Palette, Hot Lips in Bosworth's Beauty, and KISSING Lipstick in Night Crimson review and swatches
Charlotte Tilbury The Rock Chick Luxury Palette, Hot Lips in Bosworth's Beauty, and KISSING Lipstick in Night Crimson review and swatches

Product received as PR samples for review consideration; all opinions are my own.

Review + swatches – Givenchy Prisme Blush and Prisme Libre Travel for Spring / Summer 2017

Givenchy Spring / Summer 2017 Prisme Blush in No. 1 Passion review and swatches

This Spring, Givenchy is releasing two new face and cheek products designed to improve the convenience of creating that ultimate glow. Givenchy Prisme Blush (C$55) was one of the innovators in the blush palette world. Their original Prisme Blush contained four different shades to help create colour, contour, and highlight, all in one palette. It inspired the creation of countless other similar blush products, such as Marcelle’s quad blush, and Jill Stuart Mix Blush Compact.

For Spring, Givenchy reformulated and repackaged this iconic blush palette with the introduction of eight different variations (pictured below) to help create that beautiful complexion. Instead of four shades in one, which used to be a bit tedious to use individually, now each palette contains two complimentary shades that work together to bring light and colour to the face. Each compact is formulated with Black Tahitian pearl powder to create a smoother and more radiant complexion, synthetic pigments varying from shimmers to mattes, and lauroyl and lysine for improved ease of application and greater staying power.

Givenchy Spring / Summer 2017 Prisme Blush in No. 1 Passion review and swatches

The shade I have to share with you is No. 1 Passion, which is a gorgeous coral red. On the left is a lightly shimmery champagne, and on the right is a satin coral red. Blended together, you get this most beautiful natural flush of colour. While I love the colour combination, I found the blush palette to be a little bit chalky and not as smooth as other blushes I’ve used. It is also intensely pigmented, which means that you will have to use a light hand, particularly when using the coral red shade on the right.

Givenchy Spring / Summer 2017 Prisme Blush in No. 1 Passion review and swatches
Givenchy Spring / Summer 2017 Prisme Blush in No. 1 Passion review and swatches

Givenchy Prisme Travel for Spring / Summer 2017 review and swatches

In addition, Givenchy has created a travel loose powder, the Prisme Libre Travel (C$48), but combining the four different shades of its cult favourite Prisme Libre loose powder into a convenient travel case that you can take with you on vacation or in your daily makeup bag. Prisme Libre Travel is available in one shade – 01 Mousseline Pastel – which is also the universally flattering shade of the Prisme Libre powder. This powder is unbelievably finely milled, so much so that it feels like it dissolves on your skin into nothingness, while still creating a beautiful blurring effect.

You can apply this directly with the accompanying sponge (which is SO SOFT, by the way), or you can use a small powder brush. I prefer using the small powder brush, just because I’m kind of OCD about sponges. The brush also allows for a light dusting of powder, which works better on my dry skin.

Givenchy Prisme Libre Travel for Spring / Summer 2017 review and swatches
Givenchy Prisme Libre Travel for Spring / Summer 2017 review and swatches

You can pick up both the Prisme Blush and the Prisme Libre Travel at Sephora. Prisme Blush is available both online and in store, whereas Prisme Libre Travel is available online only.

The swatches

Givenchy Prisme Blush in No. 1 Passion

Givenchy Spring / Summer 2017 Prisme Blush in No. 1 Passion review and swatches

Givenchy Prisme Libre Travel in 01 Mousseline Pastel

Givenchy Prisme Libre Travel for Spring / Summer 2017 review and swatches

Product received as PR samples for review consideration; all opinions are my own.

Review + swatches – Dior Lip Addict Lip Tattoo in 451 Natural Coral, 761 Natural Cherry and 771 Naturally Berry

Dior Lip Addict Lip Tattoo review and swatches in 451 Natural Coral, 761 Natural Cherry and 771 Naturally Berry

It’s Dior lip week! I love wearing liquid lip products because they are long wearing, food and drink-proof, and if you find the right formula, also very comfortable to wear. For Summer 2017, Dior is releasing new Dior Addict Lip Tattoo (C$36) in six deliciously juicy shades. With a super long 10-hour wear time, this is the perfect lip formula to take with you on vacation, to the beach, or on a night out with the girls or significant other.

The Lip Tattoo formula is very lightweight, similar to a liquid gel, which coats the lips in a beautiful veil of colour. The product itself applies with a cooling sensation on the lips – it’s not a peppermint-like tingle, rather just a light freshness. Because it is so fluid, it’s a bit hard to apply in that it can run outside of the lip lines quite easily. You’d definitely have to fix any mistakes right away especially because it stains the skin so quickly. It dries down to a satin finish, and you are left with a very beautiful tint that lasts and lasts. It really does last, especially if you aren’t eating or drinking. The stain is hard to remove, even with oil remover. That being said, you can definitely make out with your significant other with this, and you will still be left with a beautiful lip colour.

Dior Lip Addict Lip Tattoo review and swatches in 451 Natural Coral, 761 Natural Cherry and 771 Naturally Berry

The three shades I have are 451 Natural Coral (Nordstrom exclusive), 761 Natural Cherry and 771 Naturally Berry.  451 Natural Coral is a summery bright coral, it doesn’t lean too orange or too red, making it the perfect coral tone. 761 Natural Cheery is a bright pink-red, it’s very skin-brightening, especially on Asian skintones. Lastly, 771 Natural Berry is a beautiful subtle berry colour. Most lip stains have the most difficulty nailing down dark, vampy colours, but 771 Natural Berry is so easy to wear. It dries down completely and does not cling to any dry spots. I was testing this when my lips were super dry, and it did not look patchy at all.

All of them have doe foot applicator, but the doe foot applicator in the Lip Tattoo is smaller than other doe foot applicators I’ve used, maybe 2/3 the size of a regular one. This allows for easy and precise application.

Dior Lip Addict Lip Tattoo review and swatches in 451 Natural Coral, 761 Natural Cherry and 771 Naturally Berry

It reminds me a lot of the Revlon ColorStay Moisture Stains, which were my go-to lip products to wear a few summers ago. Those have more of a glossy finish though, and also left a beautiful long-wearing stain. If you like the idea of those, give these a try. The biggest difference is that this dries down after a few minutes to a satin-matte finish, whereas the Revlon ones leave a glossy finish.

The Dior Addict Lip Tattoos are available as at May 1 at Sephora, Nordstrom, Holt Renfrew, Hudson’s Bay, Shopper’s Drug Mart, and all Dior counters in Canada. Only 451 Natural Coral is a Nordstrom exclusive, but everything else should be available at all counters.

Lastly, I also wanted to share with you these new upcoming Dior 5 Couleurs eyeshadow quints. Dior reformulated and repackaged their iconic eyeshadow quints so now that eyeshadow applicators are on one side of the palette. The shade I have is 357 Electrify (C$71), which is a beautiful blue palette with a pop of gold-pink. Love it! They seem have raised the prices quite a bit for these though, I remember when Dior quints were “only” $58… but that was something like 10 years ago.

Dior 5 Couleurs eyeshadow quint 2017 in 357 Electrify
Dior 5 Couleurs eyeshadow quint 2017 in 357 Electrify

The swatches

From left to right: 451 Natural Coral, 761 Natural Cherry and 771 Naturally Berry, freshly applied in the first photo (before dry down, it does dry matte), and then the aftermath leftover stain after I tried to remove this off my arm with remover.

Dior Lip Addict Lip Tattoo review and swatches in 451 Natural Coral, 761 Natural Cherry and 771 Naturally Berry
Dior Lip Addict Lip Tattoo review and swatches in 451 Natural Coral, 761 Natural Cherry and 771 Naturally Berry

Product received as PR samples for review consideration; all opinions are my own.

Review + swatches – Dior Addict Lacquer Stick in 577 Lazy and 925 Sauvage

Dior Addict Lacquer Stick in 577 Lazy and 925 Sauvage review and swatches

For Spring 2017, Dior Beauty, under the direction of Creative Director Peter Philips, reformulated its popular Dior Addict lipsticks. The new Dior Addict Lacquer Sticks (C$43) feature increased pigmentation along with high shine and high moisture content.

The new formula wears very comfortably, and is significantly more pigmented than the last generation of Dior Addict lipsticks. The texture is very soft, and you cannot twist up more lipstick than you need or else it will break when you apply it. It also feels way slicker on the lips than before, with a wet glossy finish. My lips feel gently moisturized, but I have very dry lips so I still prefer to nourish with lip balm before applying this. It is scented with a powdery rose fragrance, similar to some of the older Dior lipsticks, but a bit more modernized.

Dior Addict Lacquer Stick in 577 Lazy and 925 Sauvage review and swatches

It comes in a variety of shades, but the two I wanted to share with you today are 577 Lazy and 925 Sauvage.  577 Lazy is a cool-toned mauve that wears very milky on the lips. 925 Sauvage is a dark, vampy, chocolate brown. Both shades wear very wet on the lips, with a lot of slip. Wear time is not great, maybe lasting through 2-3 hours of full wear, but the darker shade Sauvage does stain so you can get a few more hours of stained lips. I would recommend wearing a lip liner underneath this to prevent feathering, otherwise it will bleed a bit outside of the lip lines.

While I really like that wet look and the improved pigmentation, unfortunately I dislike the feathering and bleeding and short wear time. It seems like it’d be a nice topper for another lipstick, but when worn on its own, its too high maintenance for not the best return on investment. Personally, I would pass on this and get something like the Charlotte Tilbury KISSING Lipsticks, or Burberry Kisses (not a coincidence there, just good quality formulas!).

Dior Addict Lacquer Stick in 577 Lazy and 925 Sauvage review and swatches

If you are still interested in trying out these new Dior Addict Lacquer Sticks, they are out now at all Dior counters, including Sephora, Holt Renfrew, Nordstrom, and Shopper’s Drug Mart.

Dior Addict Lacquer Stick in 577 Lazy and 925 Sauvage review and swatches

The swatches

577 Lazy layered and single swipe, and 925 Sauvage layered and single swipe

Dior Addict Lacquer Stick in 577 Lazy and 925 Sauvage review and swatches

Product received as PR samples for review consideration; all opinions are my own.

Review + swatches – Givenchy Spring 2017 Couture Edition Prism Libre and Le Rouge

Givenchy Spring 2017 Couture Edition Prism Libre and Le Rouge

Every season, Givenchy releases a limited edition Couture Edition of some of its most popular products, featuring prints right off the runway. I previously reviewed last season’s collection here, which features a gorgeous floral print. For Spring / Summer 2017, the Couture Edition features a print of mini white crosses (or plus signs) on a black background.

Givenchy Spring 2017 Couture Edition Prism Libre and Le Rouge
Givenchy Spring 2017 Couture Edition Le Rouge in shade #315 Framboise Velours review and swatches

The products in the collection as Prisme Libre in No. 1 Mousseline Pastel, and a re-release of a previously limited edition, and one of my all time favourite lipsticks Le Rouge in shade #315 Framboise Velours. The Prisme Libre features a vegan leather lid, and the Le Rouge lipstick is covered in genuine leather, both adorned with the limited edition print.

The Prisme Libre in No. 1 Mousseline Pastel (C$69) is a universally flattering variation that contains green, blue, soft peach, and purple-toned powder. I previously already reviewed the Prisme Libre powder here. The Le Rouge lipstick in #315 Framboise Velours (C$45) is a seriously gorgeous raspberry shade in a satin-matte finish.

Givenchy Spring 2017 Couture Edition Le Rouge in shade #315 Framboise Velours review and swatches
Givenchy Spring 2017 Couture Edition Le Rouge in shade #315 Framboise Velours review and swatches

I’ve said this time and time again – Givenchy’s Le Rouge lipstick is THE matte lipstick for those who don’t like the feel of matte lipsticks. It’s lightly hydrating, and looks so beautiful on without any of that shriveled lip look you often get with other mattes. Framboise Velours is a universally flattering blue-based raspberry that instantly brightens up any complexion and teeth. It was original launched with the fall 2014 collection, at the time in a limited edition berry leather case. I remember when I first went to the store to check out that collection, I had intended on purchasing Rose Plumetis, which is the rosy-nude shade that was released in the same collection. I tried on both Rose Plumetis and Framboise Velours, and instantly fell in love with how much Framboise Velours just brightened my skin overall. Of course I had to have it. Since then I’ve worn this countless times, and despite my massive lipstick collection, this shade continues to hold a very dear spot in my heart.

If you were to buy anything from the collection, I highly recommend picking up the limited edition Le Rouge in Framboise Velours. Your life will never be the same! This Couture Edition collection is available at Sephora (both in stores and online) as at April 20, 2017.

The swatches

Le Rouge lipstick in #315 Framboise Velours (left is the one from the fall 2014 collection, right is this year’s variation, basically the same, but I wanted to show you guys anyways).

Givenchy Spring 2017 Couture Edition Le Rouge in shade #315 Framboise Velours review and swatches
Givenchy Spring 2017 Couture Edition Le Rouge in shade #315 Framboise Velours review and swatches
Product received as PR samples for review consideration; all opinions are my own.

Review + swatches – Paul & Joe 15th Anniversary Collection

Paul & Joe 15th Anniversary Collection review and swatches

My fingers are shaking as I’m typing this. I’m just so excited to share with you the Paul & Joe 15th Anniversary Collection (C$90), a treasure kit of everything a cat lady loves. The star product is absolutely the vanity kit, which includes six adorable single Eye and Cheek powders in the shape of cats, a cat-head lipstick (it wears a top hat and has a mustache!), a travel box for the single shadows, and a very cute cat head makeup pouch, all housed inside an orange blossom-print jewelry vanity that can be reused to store your most precious makeup collectibles.

The Eye and Cheek shades are a nice mix of matte, satin and shimmers. The shades are: sky blue, bronzey taupe, bright pink, gold, charcoal, and light pink. They are quite sheer, and a bit chalky. The shimmers are also more dispersed rather than smooth shimmer. The quality of the powders themselves are quite average. The lipstick is a beautiful coral shade, and has the texture of a gel-like lipstick with medium coverage.

Paul & Joe 15th Anniversary Collection review and swatches

I honestly wouldn’t really use the Eye and Cheek powders much. They aren’t the most travel-friendly of eyeshadows and blushes, even though it does come with a travel case. They are molded to be quite sturdy – I assumed that they’d crumble when touched but they do withstand a bit of moving around and putting back into the box. That being said though, if you are a cat lady or love cute things, you should just get this kit anyways because it is so adorable. The lipstick is also a collector’s item – I don’t see myself using this on a daily basis, even though the colour is very wearable and goes with a variety of looks.

Paul & Joe 15th Anniversary Collection review and swatches
Paul & Joe 15th Anniversary Collection review and swatches

I use the box to store all of my previous limited edition Paul & Joe products, and it works out very well. I love the orange blossom print, which is the original print on all of Paul & Joe’s makeup products. This is a great throwback to her old collections!

Paul & Joe 15th Anniversary Collection review and swatches

In addition to the 15th Anniversary Collection kit, there are also three variations of the Eye and Cheek palette, also with a cat design that goes all the way through the powder, as well as two cat head lipsticks (see the Instagram gallery below). The lipsticks are pretty neat – one of them in a pretty pink coral colour, and the other is one that looks blue-grey in the bullet, but actually is a PH-adjusting lipstick that will create your custom hue for you based on your skin’s PH levels. In addition to receiving this box from PR, I also purchased the pink lipstick and one of the Eye and Cheek palettes. They’re being shipped to me right now, but I will be sure to share on Instagram once I get them.

This is available as at April 7th at beautyBOUTIQUE.ca and at select Shoppers Drug Mart locations. If you are interested in this, please call ahead to your local Paul & Joe counter because it is likely to sell out!

The swatches

Eye and Cheek colours

Paul & Joe 15th Anniversary Collection review and swatches
Paul & Joe 15th Anniversary Collection review and swatches
Paul & Joe 15th Anniversary Collection review and swatches

Product received as PR samples for review consideration; all opinions are my own.

Review + swatch – Givenchy Rouge Interdit in No.13 Rouge Interdit and Lip Liner in No.11 Universel Transparent

Givenchy Rouge Interdit in No.13 Rouge Interdit and Lip Liner in No.11 Universel Transparent review and swatches

Givenchy makes some of my favourite lipsticks formulas (Givenchy Le Rouge… seriously so good, go try it!). This Spring, they reformulated their Rouge Interdit lipstick (C$40), one of the iconic lipsticks by Givenchy. I never tried the older formula, but it’s considered to be one of the classic lipstick formulas that had a big cult following.

The new formulation contains 19 shades, plus one marbled shade which is a blend of a classic red and a sheer black, to create a darker, vampier red. Each bullet is made with black rose oil to improve moisture, extra fine oils for comfort and lightness in wear, and the brand’s Absolute Colour Complex, to create absolutely long-lasting colour. The packaging itself is simply gorgeous, it’s housed in a very hefty black lacquered case with a beautiful ribbon that you can pull to reveal the lipstick. Despite it being a plastic case, it feels very substantial and luxurious.

Givenchy Rouge Interdit in No.13 Rouge Interdit and Lip Liner in No.11 Universel Transparent review and swatches
Givenchy Rouge Interdit in No.13 Rouge Interdit and Lip Liner in No.11 Universel Transparent review and swatches

I was fortunate enough to be sent one of the new lipsticks to try. The shade I received is No. 13 Rouge Interdit, a bright neutral red. In terms of the formula, it is probably one of the more gel-like lipsticks I’ve used. It’s definitely not a true cream. It wears very lightweight on me, and is very comfortable to wear. I can normally get very long wear out of most red lipsticks (usually ending with a stain that lasts even longer), but this one lasted a few hours on me before fading, without much staining at the end either.

My biggest gripe about this product is that I felt like it didn’t apply very evenly on me, likely due to the gel-like formula. It is easier to apply, as you don’t need to be as precise as with a cream lipstick, but you do need to go over the lips a few times with the bullet to ensure full and even coverage.

Givenchy Rouge Interdit in No.13 Rouge Interdit and Lip Liner in No.11 Universel Transparent review and swatches
Givenchy Rouge Interdit in No.13 Rouge Interdit and Lip Liner in No.11 Universel Transparent review and swatches

With the launch of the new Rouge Interdit, Givenchy also introduced a range of new Lip Liners (C$35). The one I received is a translucent, designed to prevent lipstick from featuring without altering the look of the colour. While translucent lip liners aren’t entirely new, this is the first one I’ve seen being released that isn’t by a niche brand. On the lips, it feels quite waxy and it does prevent my dark lipsticks from featuring. It doesn’t really extend the wear of lipstick though, as I often rely on my lip liner to be my “last line of defense” from lipstick fading. When lipstick does fade, it just fades completely without another layer of coloured liner underneath. I also found that my lipsticks didn’t stain as much.

Givenchy Rouge Interdit in No.13 Rouge Interdit and Lip Liner in No.11 Universel Transparent review and swatches

The swatches

Givenchy Givenchy Rouge Interdit in No.13 Rouge Interdit. Lip Liner in No.11 Universel Transparent is completely transparent so there’s really nothing to swatch 🙂

Givenchy Rouge Interdit in No.13 Rouge Interdit and Lip Liner in No.11 Universel Transparent review and swatches

Product received as PR samples for review consideration; all opinions are my own.

Review + swatches – Burberry Liquid Lip Velvet in Regiment Red and Bright Plum

Burberry Liquid Lip Velvet in Regiment Red and Bright Plum review and swatches

I’m so excited to share with you my thoughts on the Burberry Liquid Lip Velvet (C$38). This was one of my most anticipated launches this year from Burberry. I love liquid lipsticks, particularly velvety matte ones as they apply easily and have great staying power. Burberry makes some incredible lipsticks, so it made sense that they also made a great lipstick lipstick.

The Liquid Lip Velvet is a matte liquid lipstick, but not so matte like the other matte ones you see on the market where your lips look kind of shriveled. This one has more of a velvet finish, and is ultra comfortable on the lipstick. I have very dry lips and I can wear this without needed to go home and rehabilitate my lips.

Burberry Liquid Lip Velvet in Regiment Red and Bright Plum review and swatches

The two shades I have are Regiment Red, which is an orange red (Burberry’s true red is Military Red), and Bright Plum, which is a plummy dark mauve. I LOVE BRIGHT PLUM. I can’t say that enough. Influenced by Angela, I’ve been slowly getting into dark lips, and even though this one isn’t super dark or vampy, it’s dark enough to change my look.

In addition to being a gorgeous shade, the formula is also fantastic – the Liquid Lip Velvet formula is almost moussy, in that it feels very creamy on the lips. It reminds me a little bit of the Jeffree Star liquid lip formula, but the Burberry one doesn’t dry down as much. It still feels very plushy on the lips, and it doesn’t sink into lip lines either. If you are someone with dry lips and want to try the liquid lipstick trend, you’ve gotta try the Burberry Liquid Lip Velvets.

While it is available in a good selection of colours, I find that Burberry colours are starting to look the same as they basically just use the same colour but in different finishes. I would have liked to see them release more unique shades for each formula. They’ve started to do that a bit with the Liquid Lip Velvet line, but it still looks a bit repetitive.

You can purchase Burberry Liquid Lip Velvet now at Sephora in store and online, as well as at the Bay in store and online.

The swatches

Bright Plum and Regiment Red

Burberry Liquid Lip Velvet in Regiment Red and Bright Plum review and swatches

Product received as PR samples for review consideration; all opinions are my own.

Products that did not do it for me, featuring Estee Lauder, Sally Hansen, Live Clean, and NARS

I think a lot of bloggers get a lot of flack for always loving products, or never having anything negative to say about products, especially ones that they get from PR. A lot of times, I do get products I dislike, but I only have so much time on my hands so I try to only share the ones that I recommend to my readers. That being said, there have been a few big releases recently that just haven’t earned my stamp of approval. I went into trying these products being hopeful, as usual, that I found the next HG products, but sadly they failed to performed, and were even downright bad on some levels. So… read on for some of the products that I’ve disliked recently.

Just a caveat though – these are products that I personally dislike because I have a different skin type, or general preferences as you. If you like any of these products, please continue to use them. I’m not trying to dissuade you from using them, I’m just saying they did not work for me personally.

Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair Intensive Recovery Ampoules

Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair Intensive Recovery Ampoules review

I was introduced to this product when I was going through a really rough time in my life – I was really sick for over 3 weeks, I was stressed out over the closing of my first apartment, I was busy planning a three-week trip to Asia, AND my day job was crazy busy – so I was really looking forward to trying this product. Basically it is a oil concentrate contained in individual ampoules, which is designed to calm and repair the look of over-stressed skin. Even though the Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair line is designed to be anti-aging, this product was created for those with dry, combination, and stressed skin, as well as those with sensitivity. You would use this as a skin “reset,” applying one ampoule each evening for a two week period at a time.

Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair Intensive Recovery Ampoules review

I have to say it smells so warm and inviting, and the ingredients list looks very promising. Unfortunately, this product failed to absorb in my skin, and left a greasy mess every time I used it. I even tried using it over wet skin, which is how most oils absorb into my skin, but still this was stubborn and just stayed on the top layer. It also broke me out, and left congested pores on my cheeks, temple, and chin. Despite it being so “oily,” I actually woke up with dry patches all over my face, I have no idea how that happens. I tried using it alone, over hydrating serum, under moisturizer, with both hydrating serum and under moisturizer, and I just couldn’t get it to work. My suspicion is that the oil is too thick and not refined enough, so you’ll probably need to be someone who has very dry skin in order to enjoy this.

You get 60 ampoules though, for C$135 (ouch), which is enough for just over four treatments.

Sally Hansen Color Therapy Nail Polish (with Argan Oil)

Sally Hansen Color Therapy Nail Polish review

I was really excited to try this Color Therapy polish formula from Sally Hansen because it contains an infusion of argan oil, which sounded so promising since my nails are super dry and brittle. Unfortunately, this is one of the worst nail polish formulas I’ve ever used… the instructions say that you don’t need a base coat, but I used a red shade (not the one pictured) which then stained my nails. The worst thing wasn’t even that, it was when I applied the specifically designed top coat on already-dried colour, there was a ton of colour transfer onto the brush of the top coat which then dyed my top coat red. I tried a different shade on my ring fingers, and due the red colour bleed, my ring finger ended up with streaks of red on it as well.

Sally Hansen Color Therapy Nail Polish review

The only good thing I can think about for this formula is that it doesn’t smell as foul, but if it’s not effective as a polish, I don’t really care how it smells because I just won’t be using it. Wear time was average, maybe 5 days on me before it chipped substantially, but then it got another week’s wear out of it, so even though it does start chipping quickly, the entire nail doesn’t chip off that quickly, which I guess can be another good thing. Maybe.

The argan oil cuticle oil is okay, but not amazing. It smells pretty fragranced (powdery floral) and does temporarily hydrate my nails, but it’s nowhere as good as my CND Solar Oil (which I carry around with me everywhere).

Live Clean Exotic Silk Keratin Oil Smoothing Shampoo and Conditioner

Live Clean Exotic Silk Keratin Oil Smoothing Shampoo and Conditioner review

The Live Clean Exotic Silk Keratin Oil Smoothing Shampoo and Conditioner was my first foray into Live Clean hair care. I’ve previously tried their body care products and I’m a fan of the natural, SLS/sulfate-free, phthalate-free and paraben-free formulas. Sadly, the Keratin Oil Smoothing Shampoo was probably one of the worst shampoo / conditioner combos I’ve ever used. My beef is mostly with the shampoo – it suds up nicely but it refuses to rinse out completely so it leaves a thick layer of reside on my hair, making it heavy, limp, and also very greasy looking. The shampoo, together with the conditioner made my hair look and feel kinda gross, which is unfortunate.

I stopped using the shampoo after about 2-3 weeks, but I continued to use the conditioner. I don’t have ultra damaged hair but it can get frizzy, especially with the cold dry winter air. This conditioner is very nourishing, but also heavy so that you aren’t able to style your hair with a lot of volume. It’s not amazing enough for me to recommend, but it does its job.

Don’t get me wrong, I am a fan of Live Clean products, but the Keratin Oil line is not great.

NARS Sculpting Multiple Duo

NARS Sculpting Multiple Duo review and swatches

I was really looking forward to these NARS Sculpting Multiple Duos. Dior had previously released similar (but limited edition) contouring duos so I was interested to see how this performed. The Dior and NARS sculpting duos are both priced similarly, the Dior is C$48 and NARS is C$52 (I was surprised too that Dior was cheaper than NARS). That’s kind of where the similarities ended – the NARS Sculpting Multiple Duos are very dry, much dryer and waxier than the Dior duos, and also sheerer. The two variations I have are Copacabana – Sidari Beach (swatched on the left) and Hot Sand – Laguna (swatched on the right).

NARS Sculpting Multiple Duo review and swatches
NARS Sculpting Multiple Duo review and swatches

As you can see, the highlighter shades are pretty patchy, and don’t blend out very well. The contouring shades are slightly better, but they end up blending out so naturally that it doesn’t look quite contour-y. I was hoping that despite it not being intense contours, you can still get a nice bronzed look with highlight, but again the highlights continue to blend patchy, rendering them basically useless. Lastly, the tubes are quite large, my face isn’t that wide so when I swipe this down my cheek, it covers too much area so I have to be careful when I apply and blend. I like NARS regular Multiples way better, and I think you might get better results purchasing the highlight and contour shades separately, or instead get powder contour products that apply better.

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All products featured in this post were provided by PR; opinions are my own.

Review + swatches – Too Faced x Kat Von D Better Together Ultimate Eye Collection, Better Together Cheek & Lip Kit, and Better Together Bestselling Mascara and Liner Duo

Too Faced x Kat Von D Better Together Ultimate collection review and swatches

I’m a bit late on the bandwagon but earlier this year, Too Faced and Kat Von D released a collaboration collection, combining both of the brands’ classic styles into one. I was curious about this collection because I like Too Faced products, but I’ve never tried Kat Von D.

Too Faced x Kat Von D Better Together Ultimate collection review and swatches

Too Faced x Kat Von D Better Together Ultimate collection review and swatches

The highlight of this collaboration is definitely the Better Together Ultimate Eye Collection (C$79). This a two-palette eyeshadow kit that sticks together with heavy magnets. On one side you have Too Faced’s classic sweet neutral eye look with some pinks and lots of shimmers, and on the other you have Kat Von D’s more glam, sultry eye look featuring darker shades. I’m very happy that each side actually creates a very cohesive eye look on their own, and the colours work together seamlessly and are pretty much fool-proof.

Too Faced x Kat Von D Better Together Ultimate collection review and swatches

Too Faced x Kat Von D Better Together Ultimate collection review and swatches

The Too Faced side features two matte shades, two shimmery metallic shade, one satin shade with gold glitters, and another shimmery satin shade. The quality of these shades is fantastic, and each of these are one swipe wonders, giving you incredible colour payoff with fantastically smooth texture and blendability. The only shade that didn’t perform as well was Better Together, which was slightly patchy and blended unevenly. Otherwise, even the two matte shades were perfect.

Too Faced x Kat Von D Better Together Ultimate collection review and swatches

On the Kat Von D side, I was going crazy over the shade Swoon, which is a duo-chrome metallic red. I now know why people are so in love with Kat Von D shadows, they truly are quite amazing. While the Too Faced side was quite warm, the Kat Von D side is noticeably cooler, but even then you can create a plethora of different eye looks with just this one palette. One other thing is that the shade Devotion, which is a matte black, is so crazy deep black, but still very pigmented and smooth. I was really disappointed with some of Urban Decay’s matte blacks before, so this definitely beats it out of the park. The only shade that was disappointing on this side was Lovestruck, the neutral golden shimmer. It had very little colour payoff, and was also harder in texture than the others.

Too Faced x Kat Von D Better Together Ultimate collection review and swatches

The Better Together Ultimate Eye Collection also comes with a full size Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara in Black and full size Kat Von D Tattoo Liner in Trooper (black). These alone have values of C$55 together, so the palette is essentially only C$24, which is pretty awesome.

Too Faced x Kat Von D Better Together Ultimate collection review and swatches

My personal favourite of this collaboration is the Better Together Cheek & Lip Makeup Bag Set (C$47). The makeup bag features a cute dog with a glitteyr background on one side (for Too Faced), and a Sphinx cat on the other side (for Kat Von D). It also comes with a mini Kat Von D Studded Kiss Lipstick in Muse (shimmering nude), a mini Kat Von D Everlasting Liquid Lipstick in XO (matte oxblood), a mini Too Faced Love Flush Blush in So Happy Together (peony pink), and a mini Too Faced Candlelight Glow Highlighting Powder in Rosy Glow (golden sheer). This kit is a great discovery set for you try out multiple fan favourites at once, all housed together in one cute makeup bag!

Too Faced x Kat Von D Better Together Ultimate collection review and swatches

Lastly, there’s also a mini Better Together Bestselling Mascara & Liner Duo (C$28), which contains minis of the Faced Better Than Sex Mascara in Black and  Kat Von D Tattoo Liner in Trooper. If you’ve never tried either of these formulas before, this would be a nice set to pick up.

In terms of my overall thoughts on the collection, I was a little bit surprised from the price of the mini sets. The Ultimate Eye Collection is a great buy, especially if you are already a fan of the Tattoo Liner and Better than Sex mascaras. I was expecting that the Bestselling Mascara & Liner Duo would be priced under $20, and the Cheek and Lip Makeup Bag would be under $40. Maybe I’m just used to Sephora offering value products all the time, who knows, but my first impression was a bit of a sticker shock.

Other than that, if you’re fans of either Too Faced or Kat Von D, I do highly recommend picking up the Ultimate Eye Collection, the eyeshadows in the two palettes are simply beautiful.

The Too Faced x Kat Von D collaboration is available now at Sephora.

The swatches

Too Faced eyeshadow palette from the Ultimate Eye Collection… these are one swipe wonders except for Better Together (last shade)

Too Faced x Kat Von D Better Together Ultimate collection review and swatches

Kat Von D eyeshadow palette from the Ultimate Eye Collection, all one swipe wonders except for Lovestruck (last shade)

Too Faced x Kat Von D Better Together Ultimate collection review and swatches

PR samples; opinions are my own.