Filed In: Mascara

MAKE UP FOR EVER · Lip Fever – Explosive Orange Lip Collection & Excessive Lash Mascara

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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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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MAKE UP FOR EVER · Lip Fever – Explosive Orange Collection swatches

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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.

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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

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PR samples/As always, all opinions are my own

Burberry · Cat Lashes Mascara, Lip Velvet Lipsticks & Nude Beige Burberry Kisses Lipstick

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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

 

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Burberry · Nude Beige Burberry Kisses, Damson & Nude Apricot Lip Velvet

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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

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Burberry · Nude Beige Burberry Kisses, Damson & Nude Apricot Lip Velvet swatches

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Burberry · Cat Lashes Mascara

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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.

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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

Available at The Bay & online

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Press samples/As always, all opinions are my own

Giorgio Armani Beauty · Mascara Eccentrico Rouge Iron

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Drawing inspiration from the Giorgio Armani Spring/Summer 2016 runway collection, Linda Cantello, International Makeupup Artist for the brand, has created Eccentrico Mascara in Rouge Iron — a shade so revolutionary and avant-garde, it will change the way you look at lashes.

In theory, you’d figure that wearing a red mascara would be basically impossible to pull off in real life or that it’s a colour best left to supermodels in an editorial shoot, but when I wore this on my lashes just last week at a media event (paired with a flawless complexion that was only lightly shaded along the cheeks, groomed brows & a matte oxblood lip), the response was immediate and unprecedented: people were literally stopping me left & right to find out what I had on my lashes. To say that Rouge Iron is a showstopper, would not be far from the truth.

 

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Giorgio Armani Beauty · Mascara Eccentrico Rouge Iron

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Mascara Eccentrico Rouge Iron (CAN $41.00) | A deep & opaque red mascara hue made with a textured gel binding polymer formula which allows it to adhere to lashes with ease and is also flake & smudge-proof for all day wear. The rubber brush has alternating rows of bristles that perform like ‘hooks’, enabling them to grab onto lashes to deposit an even coat all along their length, providing length as well as lush volume.

My thoughts: after stepping out of my usual comfort zone of wearing black, I dove in to testing Rouge Iron full throttle. Shaking off my initial fear that wearing a red mascara would make me look like I was either crying hysterically or sporting a vicious eye infection, after application I then spent a good chunk of time admiring the effect — which was nothing short of WOW. Forget those insipid hues of the past that barely gave off any colour; this is an in-your-face shade that somehow manages to look totally wearable and not theatrical (although it definitely is far from the norm, that’s for sure) and makes eye colour really pop.

The swatches below show Rouge Iron in two versions: full out (2 coats applied on both upper & lower lashes) and as an accent touch (1 coat applied over black mascara).

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Giorgio Armani Beauty · Mascara Eccentrico Rouge Iron

 

GA Mascara Eccentrico brush

Giorgio Armani Beauty · Mascara Eccentrico Rouge Iron

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Giorgio Armani Beauty · Mascara Eccentrico Rouge Iron

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Giorgio Armani Beauty · Mascara Eccentrico Rouge Iron

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Giorgio Armani Beauty · Mascara Eccentrico Rouge Iron swatch

GA Mascara Eccentrico Rouge Iron swatch

Giorgio Armani Beauty · Mascara Eccentrico Rouge Iron swatch

 

I’ll keep this short: backup-worthy. Apart from the visual impact (which is MAJOR), this formula is excellent: applies with ease, coating lashes from root to tip, provides the volume I love with the bonus feature of great length, stays put without smudging, creasing or flaking, and removes effortlessly at the end of the day.  Enough said – you need Rouge Iron in your life.

Available at The Bayonline

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Press sample/All opinions my own

Benefit | Benefit Brown Roller Lash Mascara

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As a self-professed mascara fiend, I tend to stick to several tried & true faves but that doesn’t mean that I stop looking out for that next breakout star either. When Benefit launched their Roller Lash mascara last year (reviewed here) it became an immediate hit, delivering fabulous length and helping the lash-curl challenged reach new curves. The only downside? It came in just one shade, black. But now there’s a spanking new brown shade joining the family: fair-lashed lovelies (or everyone else for that matter) can rejoice.

Once again, Benefit has nailed it with the awesome press packaging details; this makeup bag is not only adorable AND large enough to fit tons of stuff, but is able stand open on its own without teetering or tipping over. Love!

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Benefit | Benefit Brown Roller Lash Mascara

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Benefit Brown Roller Lash Mascara (CAN $31.00) | A rich brown hue that’s dark enough to provide definition without looking as stark as black can sometimes get. Excellent for those with fair complexions and/or blonde lashes (again, the whole black-looking-too-harsh thing) as well as THE shade to reach for when going for a more ‘natural‘ lash look. The formula is the same as the original, containing Provitamin B5 and Serine — both known for providing conditioning benefits, while the unique patent-pending Hook’N’Roll™ Brush has these little ‘gripper hooks’ that are meant to grab & lift your lashes from the base. By using a rolling motion with the wand (i.e.: rolling the brush from base to tip) you wind up with both length + curl.

My mascara criteria are first & foremost volume, followed by length; curl isn’t something I’ve ever really worried about as my lashes have a pretty decent natural curl. I prefer my lashes to feel flexible and not crunchy, with the product able to stay the duration without flaking, smudging, or dropping down & creating those dreaded half-moon smears under my eyes. I don’t have an issue with clumpiness, provided it doesn’t leave actual blobs, as this effect makes for a trendy look and may provide the illusion of boosted volume as well. Lastly, I want my mascara to remove easily at the end of the day without needing to pry it off my lashes. So how does the the Brown Roller Lash Mascara fare, especially for someone like me who rarely opts for anything but the blackest black? Amazing. On all counts. And my new fave trick? I like applying a layer of the brown on my upper lashes topped with a layer of black mascara — provides a really nice depth this way — and the brown mascara solo on my lower lashes for a softer, yet still defined effect. Who would have thought that mascara could be this versatile?

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Benefit | Benefit Brown Roller Lash Mascara

Benefit Brown Roller Lash macro

Benefit | Benefit Brown Roller Lash Mascara

Benefit Brown Roller Lash swatches

Benefit | Benefit Brown Roller Lash Mascara swatches

 

Back in the 70s, brown mascara was quite the scene, most likely inspired by the free-loving hippie movement and as a backlash to the Twiggy-esque lashes of a decade earlier. Then the 80’s hit and electric blue tips were all the rage (which I still adore & wear to this day) but sadly the formulas usually left much to be desired. Fast-forward to today, and Benefit has something really good going here with Roller Lash. As someone who rarely wears brown mascara, this little tube is impressing me with every wearing. Enough said.

Available at Sephora

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Provided courtesy of Benefit for review consideration/All opinions my own

NARS Chic Out Audacious Collection

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Hot on the heels of NARS’ Powerfall 2016 Colour Collection (previously reviewed), comes the Chic Out Audacious Collection for Fall 2016, bringing new (& permanent) shades to the brand’s best-selling Audacious Lipstick range, along with a brow cream you’ll wonder how you ever did without. And Audacious Mascara which I’ve had on repeat since it launched (it’s THAT good).

Oh and by the way, how perfectly hip does Aya Jones look in the ad below?

 

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Aya Jones for NARS Chic Out Audacious Collection

NARS Chic Out Audacious Lipsticks

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If you’ve yet to try NARS’ range of Audacious lipsticks, then A) you’re in the minority (for real) and B) you’re truly missing out on an amazing lippie experience. Made with a ton of nourishing ingredients along with a weightless feel, you literally get total coverage with just the first swipe — that includes the lighter shades as well. The texture glides along the lips and I swear it feels like butter; not the greasy-drippy kind, but more like velvet. Yes, it feels like velvety butter. It’s totally a thing.

NARS Chic Out Audacious Lipstick swatches

NARS Audacious Lipstick swatches, Chic Out Collection

NARS Chic Out Shirley macro & swatch

Shirley (CAN $39.00) | Red Crimson, with brick undertones (warm leaning)

NARS Chic Out Kate macro & swatch

Kate (CAN $39.00) | Purple Orchid, almost a dirty mauve & will suit all skin tones

NARS Chic Out Apoline macro & swatch

Apoline (CAN $39.00) | Pink Rose, so definitely both pink AND rose perfectly combined

NARS Chic Out Stefania macro & swatch

Stefania (CAN $39.00) | Deep Fuchsia, also probably the most wearable hot pink ever

NARS Chic Out Mona macro & swatch

Mona (CAN $39.00) | Mahogany, umm… maybe – but I see warm brick red (so gorgeously retro)

 

NARS Chic Out Black Panther Stylo duo

Black Panther Unrestricted Eyeliner Stylo, limited edition (CAN $34.00/each) | Felt liners are having a total moment right now and this brand is making it easy by giving you just 1 colour choice: black, but in true NARS fashion it’s the finish that gets tweaked. Long-lasting without any flaking or fading, they also dry relatively quickly so do work one eye at a time to avoid any swearing overload.

  • Black Panther Matte – more charcoal than ebony, colour saturation is much lighter than I expected although I’m really digging this effect as it’s quite different from anything else I currently have in the genre.
  • Black Panther Satin – with its semi-glossy finish, this is more statement making than the Matte version and with a rich pigmentation as well.

NARS Chic Out Black Panther Stylo duo swatches

NARS Black Panther Unrestricted Eyeliner Stylo swatches, Chic Out Collection

 

NARS Chic Out Audacious Mascara

NARS Black Moon Audacious Mascara (CAN $34.00/repromote) | As I’ve previously reviewed this shade in depth (check it out here), I won’t get into the nitty-gritty here. Suffice it to say, I have already gone through 2 tubes of it (and currently emptying a 3rd). Testament to how much I love it.

 

NARS Chic Out Brow Defining Cream

NARS Brow Defining Cream, Chic Out Collection

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Show me someone’s brows, and I can tell you [approximately] which generation they’re from; sparse & over plucked? 70’s. Comma-shaped? 80’s. Today’s brows are making up for past transgressions by staying true to their nature: fuller and looking almost untouched. Naturally, if you’ve been overly zealous with the tweezers (guilty) and don’t have a snowball’s chance in hell of ever sporting a Cara-like set, there help: NARS Brow Defining Cream.

With a silky formula that won’t clump or cake upon your existing hairs, this product not only fills your brows in beautifully, but does so in a softly natural-looking way. I was initially surprised to see only 4 shades, but after a little experimenting I’ve discovered that you can not only mix & match them for a truly customized colour, but you’re able to dial the intensity up or down, all depending on how much you apply and whether you brush through it after or not. Long-lasting, sweat & humidity-proof as well (nothing worse than brow product dripping down one’s face) it stays put all day until removed. Best part? You can actually brush through your brows without ending up removing and/or disturbing the cream. Oh yes, it’s also so easy to use – no specific brow wizardry skills required.

NARS Chic Out Brow Defining Cream macros

  • Sonoran (CAN $29.00) – Blonde, with a good mix of both ashy & warm undertones
  • Tanami (CAN $29.00) – Auburn, ruddy in tone with a soft brown base
  • El Djouf (CAN $29.00) – Light Brown, universally wearable shade/both cool & warm
  • Danakil (CAN $29.00) – Dark Brown, deep yet still wearable & will keep black brows from looking too harsh

NARS Chic Out Brow Defining Cream swatches

NARS Brow Defining Cream swatches, Chic Out Collection

 

You know what’s interesting here? Apart from the eye liners, this is a collection that doesn’t have a bunch of limited edition products to induce any hoarding frenzied behaviour, staying true to the NARS philosophy of creating wearable yet truly original makeup. The lipsticks are all amazing and even if none of the shades shown here don’t grab your fancy, there are so many more to choose from. Brows get the royal treatment with these creams and even work perfectly in tandem to accompany regular brow pencil-users like myself. I’m still working out the kinks of my eye-lining skills (so not there yet), and using a marker make it a whole lot easier, let me tell you. So I’m not sure if I can even call this a collection in the usual sense of the word, mainly because everything is just so … right, if that makes any sense, and just so totally worth checking out too.

Available now online, September 1 at all NARS counters

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Groovy, gorgeous, chic-ness kindly provided/As always, all opinions are my own