Filed In: Lip Gloss

NARS · Wildfire Collection, Spring 2017

 

Always drawing inspiration by his many travels, the NARS Wildfire Collection for Spring 2017 is filled with shades that may initially appear soft, but somehow manage to pack quite an impact just the same. Trust François Nars to create a collection that’s made up of utterly wearable colour, masquerading as neutrals.

 

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MAKE UP FOR EVER · Artist Acrylip Lip Paint

 

From the brand that definitely knows all about high impact colour, comes Artist Acrylip Lip Paint (CAN $29.00/each), 10 pigment-drenched lip shades that were inspired by acrylic paints. To mark their official launch, MAKE UP FOR EVER put on a wild party held at Montréal’s Loft Hotel, where the drinks & hors d’oeuvres flowed freely and the entertainment consisted of insane beats, pole dancers (yup…pole dancers), and meeting up with old friends where plenty of shrieking ensued. It was THAT kind of party, done in true MUFE style.

 

[alternate universe]

Counterclockwise from top left: with PR wiz Aïda, statuesque Sephora beauty Shannon & a cameo of my sparkly boots

ommo was here …

making a grand … exit?

Artist Acrylip Lip Paint (CAN $29.00/each) | Available in 10 shades inspired by the intense colours of acrylic paints, they come in squeeze tubes that are colour-coded for quick recognition along with a slanted flocked applicator for ease of use. Don’t let the small size of the tube fool you; these have serious pigmentation and a little really & truly goes a long, long way. Key ingredients include:

  • Synthetic Mica for shine
  • ultra fine triple ground pigments for mega colour saturation
  • Castor Seed Oil to boost pigment intensity & nourish lips
  • Mineral Clay for a formula with a lightweight & non-greasy texture
  • Silica Gel to help smooth lips & fill in fine lines

The formula on all is surprisingly lightweight, especially when factoring in how strong the saturation is. All are buildable colour-wise; one drop applied to the centre of the lips and then smoothed out with the applicator yields a soft wash of colour. Two or more drops take things to a whole new level of fierce. For even more staying power, try applying a matching lip liner first. Better still, you can layer several shades to create a customized and/or ombré look. The finish can go from gleaming to über-shiny, and all will fade to a light stain which is a nice look as well.

  • 200 – Candy Pink
  • 201 – Fuchsia Pink
  • 202 – Coral Pink
  • 300 – Orange
  • 301 – Poppy Orange
  • 400 – Iconic Red
  • 401 – Raspberry Red
  • 500 – Lilac
  • 501 – Eggplant
  • 600 – Dark Purple

Showing how an unconventional shade like 500 Lilac can be so totally wearable when applied as a light stain

 

As far as liquid lipsticks go, MAKE UP FOR EVER has managed to create one of the most well-rounded products in the genre. Eminently portable, easy to use, a long-lasting featherweight feel and so many wear/layering options, the new Artist Acrylip Lip Paints have brought back something that sometimes gets lost in the beauty world shuffle: FUN. And hella colour too, for that matter.

Available exclusively at Sephora

 

Media samples kindly provided, all opinions my own

Jouviance · Plump FX Lip Plumping Serum

 

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
  • Adenosine
  • 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

Bite Beauty · Limited Edition Holiday Collections

 

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

Tarte · Pretty Paintbox Collector’s Makeup Case, Holiday 2016

tarte-pretty-paintbox-opener

 

For Holidays 2016, Tarte has released the limited edition Paint Box Collector’s Makeup Case, filled with 24 tarteist™ eyeshadows, 4 tarteist™ cheek products, a full-sized so fine micro liner in black, a deluxe-sized tarteist™ lash paint mascara in black, and a tarteist™ glossy lip paint in obvi — all housed in a pucci-esque fabric case with gold accents.

The holiday period usually sees more than its share of palettes being launched by practically everyone and while in the past I have tended to pass on anything too “all-in-one”, it appears like brands have really stepped up their game in this department by releasing well-curated collections that not only have visual appeal (I mean, just look at the outer packaging here) but that are good performers as well. Case in point is the palette showcased today — which would also make for a pretty impressive Christmas gift, by the way #hinthint

tarte-pretty-paintbox-closed

tarte-pretty-paintbox

Pretty Paintbox Collector’s Makeup Case, limited edition (US $59.00)

tarte-pretty-paintbox-eyeshadows

Created with mineral pigments for an ultra-soft application and smooth feel along with Amazonian clay for long-lasting wear, these eyeshadows come in a broad mix of matte, lustre, satin, and metallic finishes with catchy art-inspired names. Upon opening the case, I confess to staring in admiration at the array presented, as all sit totally in my comfort zone of neutrals. Swatching these eyeshadows revealed another surprise: with the exception of a few, all show good pigmentation (obviously the deeper hues have a stronger colour payoff) and blend effortlessly. Despite some powdery kickback on certain shades, none result in fall-down and when worn over primer, they stay true until removed. I’ve opted to divide them by vertical rows (starting from the left) for the swatches below:

Row 1

  • glitter glue – pearly white with shimmer
  • waterlilies – bone, matte
  • pearl earring – oyster, satin shimmer
  • fresco – nude, matte
  • porcelain Dali – pink/nude, matte
  • pastel – nude rose, matte

Row 2

  • nudes – champagne, matte
  • van Gogh with it – milk chocolate, matte
  • frameworthy – soft camel, matte
  • hearts & crafts – light pink/tan, matte
  • monochrome – pearlized light taupe
  • I Louvre it – dusty mauve, matte

Row 3

  • bronze casting – light bronze, shimmer
  • metal work – copper, shimmer
  • first impressionism – blackened teal, shimmer
  • selfie portrait – champagne taupe, shimmer
  • hot MoMA – cranberry, shimmer
  • get surreal – lilac, multi-tonal shimmer

Row 4

  • silhouette – black, matte
  • charcoal sketch – deep brown, matte
  • starry night – blackened navy, matte
  • one too Manet – rich brown, shimmer
  • stained glass – berry, matte
  • still life – eggplant, matte

tarte-pretty-paintbox-eyeshadow-swatches

 

tarte-pretty-paintbox-liner-mascara-gloss

The covered compartment across from the eyeshadows holds a black liner, black mascara and a neutral lip gloss. The so fine micro liner in black has an ultra-fine tapered felt tip for precision work, although you can also create a thicker line by using it more along its width. The waterproof formula does dry relatively quickly, so I suggest working on one eye at a time. The tarteist™ lash paint mascara in black has a full head of bristles with a good sized width, making it easy to use on both upper & lower lashes. Not the most volumizing formula I’ve tried, but I do like how the brush grabs each lash to coat it well. As nude lippie shades are what I usually turn to, I’m really liking how this tarteist™ glossy lip paint in obvi has hints of rose in it to keep it from appearing flat, coupled with a good pigmentation which provide decent coverage — a feat not always easy to accomplish in a shade this light.

tarte-pretty-paintbox-liner-mascara-lip-gloss-swatches

 

The cheek/face portion of this palette is really, really pretty — both visually, and applied. With one blush, two bronzers and a highlighter, all shades do lean more on the warm side but as the pigmentation isn’t too strong, they can still be made to work on those with fair/cooler complexions.

  • moment – peach blush, satin finish
  • authentic – champagne highlighter
  • unique – warm tan bronzer, lustre finish
  • provocative – taupe/tan bronzer, matte finish

tarte-pretty-paintbox-blush-bronzer-highlighter-swatches

 

I have to say that all the colours in this palette are totally up my alley, and that includes both the face and eye shades. To sum up, the eyeshadows performed well enough, although some definitely blew me away while others could have used a bit more work. Surprisingly the lip gloss had more pigmentation than I expected (a good thing), while the face products appear to fall much lighter than what’s seen in the pan, but can also easily be built up for more intensity. Overall, the Pretty Paintbox has a well thought-out colour selection and would make that budding beautista on your list very happy indeed. Bonus point scored for this awesome outer print (love anything Pucci-looking).

Available exclusively at Sephora

PR Sample/As always, all opinions are my own