- Beauty Journalist & proud Montrealer with a passion for beauty in all its fabulous diversity. "Beauty begins the moment you choose to be yourself" - Coco Chanel
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Filed In: Lip balm
This past November I was invited to attend the launch of PlumpFX Lip Plumping Serum by Jouviance, a brand based right here in my hometown of Montréal. Ever since discovering this brand, I have been absolutely loving their products; in fact, their Glyco|Laser Soft Peel moisturizer (reviewed here) is one of my all-time faves, as proven by the fact that I’ve already gone through 3 jars of it.
Looking to create a product that would deliver a long-lasting plumping effect to lips in a non-invasive way, PlumpFX was created to deliver on all counts. Plus, there’s major science behind this product as founder Roger Southin is a biochemist who really understands the synergy of the way ingredients work together.
Preparing my flatlay setup …
Absolutely had to test it out on the spot
PlumpFX Lip Plumping Serum (CAN $32.00/4.7 ml) | Tinted a universally flattering sheer soft rose, this lip serum helps to provide an almost instant plumping effect (takes about 5-10 minutes to kick in once applied), and when used consistently for 30 days it also serves to give long-lasting results (although not permanent). Housed in a clear tube which conveniently shows product usage, the applicator is of the soft doe-foot variety for easy application. Key ingredients include:
- SWT-7™ Complex
- Volulip™ and Maxilip™
- Hyaluronic Acid
- Mint & Ginger
Said to give results similar to that of Hyaluronic Acid lip injections, although I couldn’t say since I’ve never gone that route, the first thing felt upon application is a slight tingling effect, although the intensity will vary with each individual and bear in mind that this sensation doesn’t last very long. Instantly, my lips look smoother and almost “juicier”; within a few minutes — and without using callipers or other special measuring equipment — I actually noticed my lips looking fuller. The formula has a good viscosity to it, being neither too runny nor thick, and also serves to keep lips hydrated throughout the wearing and long after that.
Bonus: does not contain any parabens, sulphates, phthalate, mineral oils, colourants, artificial fragrances, animal-based or potentially irritation-causing ingredients. Not tested on animals.
I’m now on my second tube of this product and plan on never being without — it’s THAT amazing. Not only does it actually show results, but having used this consistently since the launch, I’ve noticed my lip lines appear more filled in and I’ve even managed to go through most of the Winter thus far without experiencing the usual dryness and flakes that always accompany the season. After cleansing and moisturizing, PlumpFX is also the last product I apply before going to bed and I swear I wake up with the softest lips ever. Also, I can’t get over how many compliments I’ve received when I wear it solo from people wanting to know what lipgloss shade I’m wearing.
To sum up: I am a huge fan and love everything about PlumpFX. The press kit states that you can wear this on its own or even layered over lipstick, but the effect it gives bare lips is so pretty, you’d be doing yourself a disservice by adding it to something — although it’s nice to know that you have that option. Bottom line, if you’re looking for a product that adds lushness and fullness to lips and have no intention of visiting a cosmetic surgeon in order to achieve this result, look no further: PlumpFX is the bomb.
Available exclusively at Jean Coutu and online
Media sample kindly provided, all opinions my own
Canadian brand Bite Beauty churned out some pretty amazing holiday sets this year and if you’ve yet to indulge in their lip products, any one of these would make an amazing starter. Fair warning, however: you will definitely become hooked. Apart from the fact that all the products are literally good enough to eat (seriously: all ingredients are food-grade safe), the textures and colours will blow you away. Then there’s the fact that everything is handmade in small quality-controlled batches at the brand’s Toronto-based lab. My Canadian pride is showing …
Discovery Set (CAN $45.00) | This set comes housed in a reusable red tin and includes 2 full-sized products and 2 mini sizes:
- Léché Matte Crème Lip Crayon (full size) – dusty pale pink
- Beetroot Amuse Bouche Lipstick (full size) – bold berry
- Agave Lip Mask (mini) – transparent
- Line & Define Primer (mini) – transparent
What’s great about this collection is that it not only includes two completely wearable lip shades, but also the products needed to properly prep your lips. The Agave Lip Mask is created with organic agave nectar, jojoba oil, vanilla CO2 extract and triple the amount of the antioxidant trans-resveratrol found in red wine, to nourish & totally hydrate lips. The Line & Define Primer with silicone, argan and jojoba oils not only preps your pucker for lipstick application, but adds deep hydration as well. The Léché Matte Crème Lip Crayon has been created with orange peel wax and antioxidant resveratrol for long-lasting colour & a creamy-matte texture while the Beetroot Amuse Bouche lipstick has intense pigmentation (it’s a stainer, but I don’t mind) and a totally lush feel as well.
Amuse Bouche Lipstick Duo (CAN $17.00/each) | There are four duos in this collection (Gold/Sour Cherry not shown), each that come with mini sizes of the brand’s best-selling Amuse Bouche lipsticks on either end (a lighter and darker shade respectively):
- Opal/Jam – pearl & rich merlot
- Rose Gold/Fig – cool rose gold & nude rose
- Bronze/Pepper – warm bronze & dusty rose
The shimmery shades of all the duos appear to be unique to these sets and not part of the permanent collection. Apart from the 12 edible oils and triple milled pigments that all Amuse Bouche shades are created with, they also have an amazing citrus flavour that’s made from freshly pressed fruit. Gorgeous AND yummy.
Best Bite Redux Matte Crème Lip Crayon (CAN $29.99) | This set contains four mini Matte Crème Lip Crayons in a reusable red tin; three are permanent and one (Orchid) limited edition:
- Fraise – jewel red
- Orchid – cool lilac
- Red Velvet – rich, deep red
- Truffle – deep brown
Housed in a retractible pencil format, these are not only portable but wind up giving you major bang for your buck since each shade can be worn either individually, or combined for something totally customizable. Apart from ease of use (I mean, it’s a pencil – doesn’t get easier than this), the texture is rich and creamy, gliding effortlessly along the lips and provides full coverage. They’re also well named, as the finish is a true matte/cream, being neither too glossy nor flat and therefore very comfortable to wear.
The Perfect Bite Amuse Bouche Mini Lipstick Set (CAN $29.00) | This set comes in a reusable red tin and holds 4 Amuse Bouche lipsticks in mini sizes. The four shades included in this collection are all 100% wearable; in fact Honeycomb which I already own in the full size, is one of my favourite nudes.
Gold Crème Lip Gloss (CAN $) | Made with gold pearl, this gloss is meant to provide lips with a “gold foil look”. The doe-foot applicator fits comfortably along lips, although there’s a slight bend to it that makes it a little tricky to pull in & out of the tube. The texture of the formula is dense and quite smooth, with enough gold shimmer to fall opaquely along the lips — although getting it smoothly on all areas will take a bit of work. Bonus: it can also be layered over shades for a little pop of shine (as seen in the Mistletoe swatch below).
Mistletoe Amuse Bouche Lipstick (CAN $30.00) | This limited edition shade comes housed in an outer box that bears a fun lip print, with the pattern repeated on the bullet case as well. A plush deep carmine and the epitome of a holiday red hue, the rich Amuse Bouche formula makes this an easy glide product along lips, providing an intensely nourished feel throughout the wearing. Even though this shade can be rather staining, I don’t mind; long after the majority of colour has faded, I apply a layer of balm on top and my lips still have a nice light tint to them.
There’s something about this brand that draws you in and once you start playing around with the products, you will definitely want more. All the right components are in place: from the packaging, the colours, textures to the ingredients, Bite Beauty is the one to watch … the fact that it’s Canadian only sweetens the deal. Several of these sets are sold out online but it’s still worth visiting your local Sephora store, since you just never know what may be available.
Available at Sephora and online
PR samples/As always, all opinions are my own
Before you know it, it’ll be Christmas (I know right? Like where did Summer go?) and if you’re anything like me, you’ll want to get a head start on your shopping, although I’ve also been guilty of racing around like a madwoman until the 24th. That said, the one thing I’ve managed to do every year ahead of schedule, is to prepare my daughter’s Christmas stocking. A personal fave item to include has always been an eos lip balm (or two!) and I’m proud to say that this year I’ve partnered up with eos to share their new Limited Edition Gift Packs for the holidays. With such festive packaging, you won’t even need to wrap them up — how’s that for the perfect stocking stuffers?
The adorableness of eos lip balms has usually had something to do with adding these little orbs to my daughter’s stocking, but now I’m even more impressed with their background; each balm is 95% organic (the highest level of USDA certification) and not only 100% natural, but non-GMO as well. Additionally, they are all: gluten, paraben, petrolatum & phthalate-free, along with being water & sugar-free as well. The last two points are key; since each balm is anhydrous (fancy for ‘containing no water’), no microbial growth can occur and therefore eliminates the need for preservatives such as parabens. Just to sweeten the pot further, each eos lip balm also contains:
- oils, butters & waxes for smoothness, long-lasting moisturization and healthy-looking lips
- Antioxidant-rich Vitamin E
- Shea Butter
- Jojoba oil
Known for their unique domed (and much-copied) design plus absolute cuteness factor aside, each balm is also ergonomically shaped with a soft-touch hold, while the spherical form allows them to be applied directly to the lips, making them much more hygienic to use than pot balms, a fact I actually never really considered before but am really happy to know now.
Bonus: Here are some eos Fun Facts (that Canadians will especially appreciate):
- eos is the largest user of organic beeswax in the world — 2.5 times the amount of maple syrup that Nova Scotia produces annually
- eos buys enough organic raw materials a year to equal the daily beer consumption of 8.6 million Canadians (LOL, even though it’s true)
- eos buys enough olive oil a year to equal the ice used in 8 hockey rinks
- eos buys enough coconut oil a year to fill the two large water tanks at the Toronto CN Tower
The Limited Edition Organic 2-Pack contains a couple of much loved favourites, Vanilla Bean (which I am quite literally obsessed with) and Winterberry (really does smell like Christmas!)
The Limited Edition Organic 3-Pack contains the New Visibly Soft Honey Apple (which smells so insanely yummy, by the way), New organic Wildberry, and organic Passion Fruit.
eos · Limited Edition Holiday 2016 Gift Sets
I find something so totally irresistible about eos lip balms and having a daughter who’s basically a lip balm guru give these the thumbs up, means that something is working. The perfect stocking stuffers they might be, but I’d recommend picking up an extra for yourself as well to avoid any potential lip balm envy (it’s totally a thing).
SRP CAN $10.99 – $16.99 and available at Shopper’s Drug Mart/Pharmaprix, Walmart, London Drugs, Jean Coutu & other mass retailers. Visit evolutionofsmooth.ca for more info
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of eos Products LLC/The opinions, text & photos are all mine
A range originally created by a makeup artist Dany Sanz for the industry, MAKE UP FOR EVER has gone on to carve a name for itself as producing some of the most innovative and pigment-rich products available today. Following along in the success of their last Pink Fever Lip Collection (previously reviewed), the latest in the series is the Explosive Orange Lip Collection, which is built around an orange theme (duh, lol) and offers choices from this vibrant shade that everyone can easily wear; if a neutral-lover like myself can fall for these hues, then anyone can. Also new from the brand is Excessive Lash Mascara and being somewhat obsessed with lashes, I’m so happy to say the name definitely fits the bill.
For all previous reviews on this brand, click this MAKE UP FOR EVER tag
Sensual Coral Artist Lip Balm (CAN $25.00) | A stick-format lip balm with an ultra-soft texture and semi-sheer colour payoff. Providing a light touch of colour as well as a hydrating feel to lips, the convenient twist-up style of this pencil makes it not only portable but a perfect swipe-and-go type of product.
Flammable Tangerine Artist Lip Blush (CAN $25.00) | A matte lip shade in a deep orange hue in a twist-up jumbo pencil format. The texture upon application is super smooth which makes for an effortless glide along the lips, while the long-lasting formula will be there for the duration, leaving a stain behind when the majority of colour finally fades.
Juiced Up Pumpkin Artist Acrylip (CAN $29.00) | I don’t even know where to begin with this; incredible colour saturation from the first swipe, this is more like a liquid lip shade but in mega-concentrated form. The flocked applicator makes it easy to reach all areas of the lips, while the colour deposited goes on über-smoothly and leaves a vinyl-like gloss behind. Super long wearing.
MAKE UP FOR EVER · Lip Fever – Explosive Orange Collection swatches
Excessive Lash Arresting Volume Mascara (CAN $31.00) | A deep-black volumizing mascara with a small brush designed by makeup artists to specifically reach and coat every lash. The buildable formula goes on easily and stays clump and smudge-free throughout the wearing, while the brush not only defines each lash but helps in adding a nice lift as well.
Orange is definitely the LAST shade I would ever reach for so when this lippie collection arrived, to say there was much eye-rolling on my part wouldn’t exactly be a lie. So imagine my utter surprise at finding out that I actually really liked the way each of these lippies looks [on me] – especially the crazy vivid Artist Acrylip … who would have thought?As to mascaras, I’m the first to admit that my standards are high and this is the first mascara from this brand that I’m truly loving, giving me the full & lush fringe I prefer, lasts intact throughout the wearing, and removes easy-peasy at the end of the day. The only warning here is that while the mascara is permanent, do be advised that the lip products are all limited edition. I know, I know.
Available at Sephora
PR samples/As always, all opinions are my own
Lately it feels like I’ve done more than my share of lip swatches and as a result, I’ve needed to give my lips some major TLC. That’s where this trio of Dior Addict Lip Glow Care lovelies have come to the rescue to not only give me back some much-needed hydration (plus very gentle exfoliation), but to help get my pout back to optimum shape. A good thing too, as I have about ten bajillion more lip products to swatch …
Dior Addict Lip Glow lip care
Dior Addict Lip Glow lip care
Dior Addict Lip Glow lip care
001 Universal Pink Lip Glow Pomade Colour Reviver Instant Oil-Gel Care (CAN $41.00) | The cue here is in the name: from the French ‘pommade’ which means ‘ointment’, this is an intensive moisture treatment for the lips. Its unique new oil-gel texture is dispensed via a velvety flocked applicator which contains high levels of shea butter for long-lasting & deep nourishment. The universal pink shade (which also matches both the Lip Glow Liner and any of the Lip Glow Colour Awakening Balms) can be worn alone or under any lipstick for some extra pucker protection, although I prefer wearing it an night to let it thoroughly drench my lips with restorative moisture while I sleep. Gotta love a beauty product that does its work for you.
Dior Addict Lip Glow Pomade swatch
Lip Glow Liner Contour Colour Reviver & Filler, limited edition (CAN $36.00) | This is a barely there nude-rose lip liner that can be worn alone or with any other lip product, which can also provide a custom ‘filler’ effect. The angled bevelled tip makes it easy to work with whether used along its broader side to cover larger areas of the lip, or with the pointier tip in the event any precision work is needed, although why anyone would need precision from a relatively transparent product is beyond me (but I still felt like throwing that out there). I prefer using this as more of a ‘dam’ to help prevent darker lip shades from feathering out or bleeding into surrounding lip lines – works like a charm!
*To the best of my knowledge, this product is only showing availability at Sephora
EDIT: this is limited edition and exclusive to Sephora, so better get it while you can!
Dior Addict Lip Glow Liner
005 Lilac Lip Glow Colour Awakening Lipbalm (CAN $41.00) | Ever since trying my first Colour Awakening Balm a few years ago, I have been hooked and totally get why people stock up & hoard these limited edition lip saviours. A must-have at all Dior backstage shows, these act to not only prep the lips with soothing moisture, but will also enhance and bring out your natural lip colour by reacting to your unique chemistry via Dior’s Color Reviving technology. Wild Mango and Luffa Cylindrica in the formula add an extra protective and moisture boost as well. I personally absolutely love the faint lilac hue this shade gives my lips, and usually prefer wearing this solo for a hint of colour to go with all the other yummy good stuff it includes.
Dior Addict 005 Lilac Lip Glow
Dior Addict 005 Lilac Lip Glow
Dior Addict 005 Lilac Lip Glow
Being in this industry, I’m fortunate to have access to all the latest products that get released and while you can always find me testing a bagful of lip care products at any given time, I always come back to time-tested favourites such as the Colour Awakening Balm. The Pomade has been a steady and regular staple in my lip care routine since it arrived and while I may not need the Lip Glow Liner all that often, I like knowing that I have that option in the event of. Like with all those intense Fall & holiday hues that are everywhere right now …
Do let me know if you’ve tried any (or all) of these, as well as what your faves are!
Available at all Dior counters/Lip Glow Liner at Sephora
Press samples/As always, all opinions are my own