- 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: Mascara
For Spring 2017, Guerlain is adding to the range of La Petite Robe Noire makeup with 3 new lip shades, a gel blush, a mascara, and one new limited edition nail polish hue. All feature the iconic ‘upside down heart’ on the packaging and I can pretty much guarantee that you won’t come across a more love-themed collection than this. Oh, did I mention that they’re not only all stellar performers, but smell so good?
When it comes to mascara, there’s always room for innovation — from the formula, the brush, and even the tube shape. Instacurl Lash, the latest to come from beauty powerhouse MAC, has nailed it on all counts … and all this before you even try it on. Did I mention that the brush head is adjustable?
Instacurl Lash Mascara (CAN $28.00) | A rich black hue in an ophthalmologist tested formula that is said to be clump, smudge, and flake-free and while not waterproof, it is sweat and humidity-resistant. But first things first: the tube. Looking suspiciously dagger-like (or a sabre-tooth tiger fang, maybe?), once the brush is removed from the tube, the top (yellow) part can then be rotated to adjust the angle of the brush (see the diagram below). Pretty cool, no?
Far from being gimmicky, this feature is actually rather brilliant, as you can then ‘form’ the brush to fit your unique eye shape. Since eyelids are not universally the same, having a brush that adjusts makes perfect sense and enables the user to effortlessly reach all lashes. After having tested Instacurl for several weeks now, and despite the initial learning curve (LOL) in using this feature, I’m a fan. And while this may not be the most volumizing mascara I’ve ever tried, I absolutely love the length and definition it provides, along with the fact that it stays intact throughout the wearing. Bonus points scored for being easily removed at the end of the day, without needing to use excessive force for the job either.
You’d think that with the plethora of new mascara launches, it would be near impossible to come up with something original, yet somehow MAC has managed to do just that with Instacurl. Putting aside the conversation piece that is the outer casing (fill in the blank: it looks exactly like a _____), it’s the excellent formula which speaks for itself and for mascara-fiends like me, that fact alone makes it definitely worth checking out. Just keep the sniggering to a minimum.
Available at The Bay and MAC counters
Purchased product/As always, all opinions my own
Charlotte Tilbury · Legendary Lashes Mascara, Legendary Brows, & Hot Lips in Kim K.W. and Very Victoria
When I think of Charlotte Tilbury and her eponymous beauty range, I expect nothing less than full-on glam and in that regard, she never, ever disappoints. Today’s I’m exploring how to beautify my lashes & brows with her Legendary Lashes Mascara and Legendary Brows Gel, and I’ve said often enough that neutrals are my comfort zone, so here’s to Kim K.W & Very Victoria Hot Lips – both nudes with sass that fit right smack into my wheelhouse.
Charlotte Tilbury may be known as the queen of glamorous makeup and happens to work with some of the biggest celebrities today, but I applaud her for also wanting to do some good with her products and bring awareness to worthwhile causes. For example, during the first two months of release (July & August), $2.00 of the sale price of each Hot Lips shade was donated to Women for Women International, a charity that empowers women to rebuild their confidence after enduring major difficulties – nothing more awesome than beauty with a cause.
Kim K.W K.I.S.S.I.N.G lipstick (CAN $38.00) | A cool toned and white-based pale nude pink shade that I can definitely see Kim Kardashian West wearing. Made in the brand’s original K.I.S.S.I.N.G. Fallen From The Lipstick Tree™ formula, the texture is creamy and smooth upon application, leaving a buttery soft feel behind along with a light glossy sheen. There’s some initial patchiness and settling into lip lines, but that appears to level out to a more even tone with the wearing. Staying power is around 4-5 hours without eating and/or drinking, which is about what I expected from a shade this light.
With the light golden undertones in my complexion, pulling off that pale nude pout is tricky at best. That said, something about the coolness of Kim K.W does happen to work with my skin tone but it’s still just a fraction too light for me, although I can totally see it as being the perfect shade for creating that Bardot-sex-kitten look (paired with heavy black liner, maybe?).
Very Victoria Matte Revolution lipstick (CAN $38.00)| Inspired by Victoria Beckham, this is a soft nude shade with a mauve-taupe undertone in the base. Made in the brand’s matte formula (although a far cry from the traditional flat type of matte; think more satin/velvet), the texture is actually ridiculous easy to work with and glides effortlessly along the lips, leaving a nourishing feel behind.
On another note, I do believe I have now found my perfect nude lippie. The fact that it also comes tinged with a hint of Victoria’s über-cool chicness, only sweetens the deal further.
Black Vinyl Legendary Lashes Mascara (CAN $38.00) | With flirty eyes printed on the tube and the signature rose-gold casing, this mascara was created to give you major va-va-voom lashes. Inspired by red carpet beauties, the formula contains:
- Marine Glycogen – a hair tonic known for stimulating the hair follicle and increasing keratin production
- Tamanu Oil – with known regenerative properties to protect, nourish and strengthen lashes
- A blend of waxes – to give lash hairs flexibility, length and texture in a weightless feel
- Carbon Black Pigment – for maximum colour
- Multi-Bristle brush – varying sizes ensure the brush will grab & coat each hair
The first time I tried it out, I wasn’t sure if the volume factor was anything special plus I did notice smudging within an hour of application. The second & third times I tried it out was a whole other story: you see, once a little bit of oxygen gets into the tube (which is inevitable since you need to open it to remove the brush), the formula starts to thicken a bit — which is exactly how I like it, and I haven’t seen any smudges since either. Staying power is great and looks on point until removal, the latter which is easily done by using a dual-phase product for the job.
Legendary Brows in Linda (CAN $30.00) | A coloured gel available in 3 tinted and 1 clear shade to help fill in, shape, and sculpt your brows. Housed in the brand’s signature rose-gold metal casing, the Micro-Fine Miracle Precision brush is actually teeny-tiny and one of the most defined I’ve seen for the job. Several years in the making, the formula includes:
- volumizing Magic Elasticizing Wax
- nourishing Vitamin E
- strengthening Castor Oil
- natural pigments to lift and tint
Back when I was a teen and ridiculously thin brows were a trend, I plucked mine as well not realizing that at one point, the hairs would stop growing back. Needing to add back what I [stupidly] took away, my preferred tool is primarily a brow pencil. I now include a light coating of Legendary Brows to add some volume and depth, which in turn provides natural-looking hold.
It’s a simple equation: if you’re in a hurry (or just not the fussy type with your makeup), and are looking for a polished yet ‘natural’ look, then all you really need is mascara, some brow gel to add definition and a swipe of a neutral lip shade, and BOOM — done. Both the Legendary Lashes & Legendary Brows have been getting quite a workout from me, as they’re not only effectively easy to use, but provide results as well. As to the lipsticks, I have fallen madly for Very Victoria (Kim K.W isn’t quite there yet, but I’m working on it).
Available through select retailers and online
Press samples/As always, all opinions are my own
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
When I think of Burberry, the words “classic” and “timeless” instantly come to mind, followed by: elegant, chic, mod, and pretty much anything else that’s luxurious and über-cool. The latest mascara release from this brand, Cat Lashes will not only win instant approval from all the feline fans out there, but meets all the desires of mascara aficionados such as myself, while the lush new Lip Velvet lipstick formula has winner written all over it. Well done, Burberry.
For reviews on other products from this brand, click Burberry
Burberry · Nude Beige Burberry Kisses, Damson & Nude Apricot Lip Velvet
Housed in gunmetal hued casings that are etched with the iconic Burberry plaid pattern both on the caps and on the lipstick bullets, they also come with a hefty feel to them (which I love) and a magnetic closure for added security. The new Lip Velvet has a matte casing (same design) with the lipsticks displaying a richly pigmented formula to provide excellent coverage from the first swipe. Along with excellent wear and a non-drying feel, these have a slight sheen at the finish; not full-on shine exactly but far from the traditional flat-matte look.
- Nude Beige N°01 Burberry Kisses (CAN $36.00) – A blend of satin-finish pigments and shiny polymers, this formula is meant to be buildable, although a light/neutral shade such as this will not become overly opaque. Buttery smooth in feel and with a good mix of both cool & warm tones to suit a variety of complexions
- Damson N°425 Lip Velvet (CAN $38.00) – deep mulberry, cool toned
- Nude Apricot N°401 Lip Velvet (CAN $38.00) – soft apricot, warm toned
Burberry · Nude Beige Burberry Kisses, Damson & Nude Apricot Lip Velvet swatches
Burberry · Cat Lashes Mascara
Housed in the brand’s signature gunmetal casing, this formula is meant to deliver length & volume, with a lightweight yet still flexible feel. The uniquely shaped hourglass brush has been designed to grip and coat all lashes evenly, helping them fan out for an eye-opening sculpted effect.
- Midnight Blonde N°03 – dark grey/taupe, excellent for those with über-fair lashes
- Chestnut Brown N°02 – rich deep brown
- Jet Black N°01 – inky black
The formula is very user-friendly and effortless to apply; that being said, I really love the brush head and how easy it is to reach all lashes from corner to corner, but I personally find the wand a touch too long for my taste. Bonus points scored for lashes that are clump-free and beautifully defined, as well as a no-fuss removal at the end of the day.
Burberry · Cat Lashes Mascara swatches (2 coats for each shade)
Mascara is easily my “desert-island” staple and the one product which in my opinion gives one’s face definition like nothing else can. That being said, my standards are fairly high with regards to performance and Cat Lashes totally delivers, even with the too-long wand (side note: you get used to it. But still). From the three lippies shown here, Damson has won me over completely – both in terms of colour and formula … and how cool is that name?
Feel free to drop me a line & let me know if you’ve tried any of these lovelies
Press samples/As always, all opinions are my own