- 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
I don’t remember when I received my very first box of Crayola™ crayons, but boy do I remember inhaling that unique waxy scent and staring mesmerized at the rainbow of colours. It actually pained me to even use them, as I didn’t want to mar their pristine beauty but that didn’t last long before I dove head-first into colouring. Well, upon receiving these Crayola™ x Clinique Chubby Sticks™, I had the same visceral reaction and was transported right back to my childhood. Has there ever been a ‘happier-looking’ beauty collaboration than this? I don’t think so. Oh and in case you’re wondering, I ALWAYS coloured within the lines.
The Spring launch from YSL is taking its cue from the street, although there’s nothing remotely gritty about this collection, that’s for sure. Bright pops of colour are made wearable by new layerable textures and formulations: now that’s what I call being street & beauty savvy.
The latest innovation from Dior’s Backstage Pros, is Lip Sugar Scrub — or as I like to call it, some much-welcomed lip care, especially at this time of year. Also adding to the Lip Glow range is a new luscious shade for spring, 006 Berry: a product that provides adaptive colour & major nourishment as well. Think of this duo as a lip dream team … pretty ‘sweet’, no?
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