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Review: NYC Waterproof Eyeliner Pencil

17 Nov

 Price: $3.99 CAD at Wal-Mart

These are some eyeliners I found while on one of my drug store treasure hunts. They are by N.Y.C. (New York Color); a brand I normally pass over when shopping, but I faintly remembered reading something about their waterproof liners so I bought a couple.  After playing with them at home for a few days, I went back and bought the rest.

They remind me of a waterproof version of the Urban Decay 24/7 eyeliners, which I always thought should come in a waterproof version too. Be careful with these on your water line; some have shimmers in them that feel a bit scratchy. The blue and purple felt fine on me, but the teal was really itchy.  If you plan on wearing these on your water line for a night out, I suggest you test it out a few days before so your eyes have time to recover if it’s irritating.

Formula: Similar to Urban Decay’s 24/7 liners, but not as creamy. I like that, since the Urban Decay ones can melt when it’s hot and never stay more than a half hour on my water line. These have MUCH better staying power, and don’t make me want to scratch my eyes out after a day or night of wearing them.

Pigmentation: Very strong, this was the most surprising feature to me. In my opinion, they have the pigmentation of a high-end eyeliner. You get opaque colouring with one or two swipes. And they blend beautifully. These blended into a MAC Paint Pot or Maybelline Color Tattoo base makes for a quick and polished daytime look.

Longevity of wear: All. Day. Long. These babies will last you all day and night. As far as I can tell, they are completely unaffected by tears and sweat. They can be a bit annoying to take off at the end of a long day, make sure to use makeup remover or Vaseline so you don’t pull at your eye too much. 

Packaging: Cute and made from durable plastic. Unlike some brands, the colour of the packaging actually matches the colour of the product inside. This is great if you’re like me and you hate searching through a pile of eyeliners for those little coloured tips.

They come in seven colours. I discovered they make two completely different Smokey Plums, so really there are eight altogether.

931 Black (last): A nice, inky matte black. This is my go-to black eyeliner for filling in my upper lashes and putting on my waterline. It doesn’t itch and make my eyes water like so many black eyeliners do. Anchoring this with a little black eyeshadow (or any colour really) will keep in in place for hours.

 

932 Dark Brown: Very dark matte chocolate brown. This is my favourite and most used eyeliner of the bunch. I wear it pretty much every day because it’s dark enough, but doesn’t have the harshness of black. This is a universally flattering shade of brown.

 

933 Mink: A medium brown with fine silver and gold sparkles. I usually wear this one with some mascara when I don’t have a lot of time to get ready in the morning. It also works well blended out over the lid as an eyeshadow base. Not terribly unique, but a beautiful shimmery brown to have in your collection. (Not good for the waterline).

 

934 Smokey Plum (version 1): I’m calling this one version 1 because it’s more of a true plum than the other.  A gorgeous amethyst/eggplant purple with a red-pink shimmer. This is such a spectacular colour and would be so beautiful on green eyes. If you’re doing a purple look, this shade ties everything together nicely. It also pairs nicely with green, brown and gold shades.

(version 2): Also called ‘Smokey Plum’, this is more of a true, medium matte purple. It looks similar to the first Smokey Plum, but without shimmer and slightly darker. It had the most uneven consistency of them all, and because of this I wear it the least.

 

935 Moody Blue: This is a dark indigo blue with light blue iridescent shimmer. I’m a sucker for jewel tones and this is just such a great sapphire. Another great alternative to black eyeliner, but it’s still dark enough to make your lashes stand out.  The shimmer in this is fine enough for wear on the water line, in fact the shimmers seem to stop it from bleeding as much as the shades with no shimmer.

 

936 Sky High: This is a light purple-blue with very fine blue and pink shimmer. It’s a very unique colour that I would liken to a periwinkle blue. This is the lightest shade and to be honest I haven’t used this one at all, but I’m working on finding a way!

 

937 Teal: A green-teal colour infused with yellow and gold glitter. Wow! This is super shimmery and has that lit-from-within appearance in the swatch. I would not recommend this go in the waterline at all, but you can sort of tell when you’re swatching it because the glitter is really big and visible.  What’s more, the glitter doesn’t feel gritty at all.

Overall: These have become the eyeliner I reach for pretty much every day. They come in a fantastic array of shades for s drugstore brand (the double Smokey Plum is a bonus too!). I would recommend these to anyone looking for some good, colourful eyeliners.

What’s your favourite eyeliner?

– Julia

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Review: essence Forget It! 3-in-1 Concealer

7 Sep

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What: essence Forget It! 3-in-1 concealer; a multi-purpose pan concealer. This product is no longer shown on the essence website, but is available at Shopper’s Drug Mart and Ulta. Essence is a German cosmetic brand and is available in most European drugstores.

Price: $3.49 at Shopper’s Drug Mart.

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Colour correctors are a great tool and I don’t think you can ever have too many. I picked this essence one up a few weeks ago and I really like it. It even has a guide on the back that tells you what to use each colour for.

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Formula: It has a smooth, gel-like consistency. Since it’s a pan concealer, it’s thick but not too thick to wear under your eyes. The beige and pink melt into the skin very well, but the green appears a bit chalky.

Pigmentation: All three have great pigmentation when swatching, but fade a bit when applied. You can layer them to a certain degree to build up the colour, but if you add too much the product will slide off. Of the three colours, green had the weakest pigmentation. It kinda just settled into lines after a while, which is not what you want when trying to cover a red blemish.

Longevity of wear: The wear time could be improved; the green and the beige colours faded after a while even after setting them with powder. These would probably wear much better on someone with regular to dry skin, but did not last on me. I had no issues with the pink shade under my eyes.

Packaging: It’s made from pretty flimsy plastic. I kinda feel like if I dropped this once, it would be done for. But at this price replacing it isn’t so bad.

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Overall: Good quality product, worth buying for the pink and peach shades. I would recommend this is you’re just starting out with colour correctors and don’t want to spend a lot.

What’s your favourite colour corrector?

– Julia

Review: KORRES Multivitamin Powder in MVP7

21 Aug

What: KORRES Multivitamin Compact Powder in MVP7. A sheer, oil-free pressed powder enriched with vitamins (description and ingredients available on KORRES website).

Price: € 27,50. $25 – $30 in Canada and U.S. (this product is not available on the Sephora website).

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Although summer is coming to an end, I was still on the hunt for the perfect bronzer. My requirements were: matte, not too dark and with no hints of orange. I didn’t have anything by KORRES and I was a little hesitant to purchase this, but since my last foray into a new makeup brand (the amazing CARGO) was such a success, I decided to go for it.

Boy am I glad I did! This powder is buttery and beautiful! Amazingly, its even replaced NARS Laguna in my makeup bag. This also contains more product, with 10g of powder (NARS Laguna is 8g).

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This is a pressed powder that is meant to be used to set your foundation. I bought it a few shades darker than my complexion and it works great as a bronzer. It’s matte but also sheer, which makes it perfect for contouring and creating a naturally sun-kissed look.

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Formula: Gorgeously silky to the touch and blends beautifully. It’s also oil-free, which is a must for me during the summer. This powder is made with vitamins E and C and other natural botanical ingredients, and you can tell from the scent. Not an irritating chemical makeup smell; it’s a wonderful fresh scent that feels like you’re stepping outside. You can just tell this is high-end makeup.

Pigmentation: This powder is meant to be sheer, which is ideal for setting foundation. Since I bought a darker colour it shows up subtly, but you can build up the colour. I really like the sheerness of this powder; it makes it more wearable year-round. Since it’s matte and sheer it’s almost impossible to go overboard.

It’s great for all over bronzing or just to contour. Be careful not to over-blend when contouring, you can lose the definition you’re trying to create.

Longevity of wear: This has worn beautifully on my skin on very humid days with no fading. I think the hydration from the natural ingredients will make it wearable in the winter as well.

Packaging: Very chic, its made from brown plastic with a subtle sparkle, similar to Laura Mercier products. The only thing I don’t like is that the pan flips up so there is room for a sponge underneath. It is a good idea if you were using this on-the-go to touch up oily spots, but I personally have no use for it.

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Overall: Extremely happy with this purchase, its fast becoming an everyday staple of mine. Anyone looking for a great matte bronzer should check this out. It’s compact and versatile; you can use it as a bronzer, a contour or to blend out your eyeshadow.

I’ve been reading about more KORRES products and their lip butters seem to be a favourite among beauty bloggers. Have you guys tried them? What do you think?

– Julia

Review: CARGO Blush in Mallorca

15 Aug

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This is a product by CARGO that I picked up a few weeks ago. These are sold on the CARGO website for USD $29.00. They come in fifteen shades and I bought Mallorca.

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It’s described as a “bright cherry”, but I would classify it as halfway between red and pink. It’s a dusty-cherry colour that really pops on the cheeks, which is probably why it’s described as “bright”, even though the colour itself is not. Confusing? Then just look at the pictures!

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Let me just start off by saying this blush is HUGE! A regular MAC blush contains 6g of product, and this baby has 8.9g, almost a third bigger! This blush will last you an extremely long time.

Formula: Creamy, dreamy and beautiful! It’s soft and silky to the touch and very pigmented in the application. No chalkiness whatsoever, which can sometimes happen with bright matte blushes. It has a very slight scent of hand soap in the pan, but this is barely detectable once applied.

Pigmentation: Very strong pigmentation, but can be applied lightly. You can sheer out the colour with blending, or build it up in layers for a strong cheek colour. Strong colours like this can be difficult to apply lightly, but I had no issues with this. I would recommend using a blush brush that is semi-stiff so you have more control in the application.

Longevity of wear: Lasts all day long on me with no visible fading. Not much to say, but definitely no complaints.

Packaging: I love this packaging! The metal packaging gives it a vintage feel, reminds me of my Grandmother’s makeup collection. I also like that it doesn’t have a hinge or plastic top for me to break. The packaging makes it feel very durable and long-lasting.

Here is a cheek swatch:

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Overall: I’m so impressed with the quality, colour and size of this blush! I’m definitely going to be on the hunt for more CARGO blushes because this one has surpassed all of my expectations; these are an absolute must-have for any blush-lover.

What are some of your favourite blushes?

– Julia

Review: CARGO Eye Shadow 5-Palette

7 Aug

This is an eyeshadow compact that I bought from (surprise, surprise) Winners for $8.99. The CARGO Eyeshadow 5-Palette is regularly $34 CAD, but are now for sale on the CARGO website for $8 each.  I didn’t own anything by CARGO and this was a nice little neutral palette so I thought I would try it out.

This palette is called Paradise Island and it consists of five eyeshadows in the warm brown family. (I swatched them clockwise, with the centre shade last).

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(1) Bronzy-brown with a copper shimmer.  (2) Light pink highlight with white shimmer. (3) Light bronzy-brown, very similar to the first colour but sheerer. (4) Light pinky-brown that appears matte, but has a very fine pink iridescence. (5) Mid-tone brown loaded with warm brown shimmer.

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Formula: The formula feels very nice to me; the shadows blended very well. I noticed a bit of fall-out with the darkest shade, but nothing that can’t be fixed with concealer. Other than that, all colours applied smoothly with no patchiness. 

Pigmentation: Strong, consistent colouring in all shades. There is shimmer in all of these colours, which would normally bother me in a neutral palette. The shimmers differ in size and colour that gives the shades beautiful dimension. This sets it apart from most average brown eyeshadow compacts.

Longevity of wear: These will go all day with no fading when you use a good primer. I haven’t worn them on their own, but I would if my lids weren’t so oily. Yesterday was very humid plus I was building IKEA furniture, I wore them under a MAC paint pot and they didn’t budge.

Packaging: Nothing special, just regular clear plastic. Definitely not cheap plastic, the case feels very sturdy and the clasp is has not come loose. 100% travel safe!

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This is what I wore yesterday: (5) is on the lid, with (1) in the outer corner. (4) is in the crease with (2) on brow bone and tear duct. I wore this over MAC paint pot in Groundwork and blended NYX Jumbo Pencil in Dark Brown on the outer part of the upper and lower lash lines.

Overall: A nice palette to own if you like neutral brown eyes, or if you just want a quick go-to look for everyday. High quality eyeshadow for a great price; I’m glad I picked this up. I will definitely be trying out for more CARGO stuff in the future.

Are you familiar with CARGO? What are some of you favourite products?

– Julia

Review: NYX Love’s Anthem 10-Lipgloss Set

30 Jul

This is a set of 10 NYX lip glosses that I bought at Urban Outfitters while I was in the States. There isn’t very much listed on the packaging, the glosses don’t even have names, but I think these are supposed to be smaller/sample size versions of their Mega Shine Lip Glosses. It doesn’t say how much each tube contains, but it looks like about half as much as a regular 11ml tube.

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Formula: It seems to be a bit different from the full size Mega Shine Lip Gloss formula. In my opinion it’s not as good, it’s much more drying. They don’t have the cherry medicine smell the regular version does, but I am picking up a sweet, candy-like scent. It’s faint, but you may not like it if scented products irritate you.

Pigmentation: Good pigmentation for all glosses, some were obviously meant to have stronger colouring than others. The more opaque-coloured glosses bled a little bit so they would be best worn over a lip liner or lipstick for an extra pop of shine. The shimmers in the glosses very finely milled and don’t feel gritty on the lips.

Longevity of wear: As I mentioned, these glosses bleed so they’re not exactly made for super-long wear. They settle into lines after a while, so frequent reapplication is necessary.

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The first gloss is a bright, shiny, candy-apple red. It’s very pretty and opaque, but I think because of the bleeding issues it would be best worn over a lipstick or lip liner. As you can see, it kind of goes all over the place!

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This is a darker, blue-based red. Less pin-up red, more of a vampy red. I think I will be reaching for this in the fall. This is very opaque and has less bleeding than the first red, but I would still wear it over something.

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Cool-toned purple-fuchsia with fine blue shimmer. I’m pretty sure this is supposed to be African Queen, which is a colour very unique to NYX.  You could probably wear this one on its own, but the full sized version wears much better.

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Mid-tone, cool bubblegum pink. This one looks like Dolly Pink, but is a bit lighter. You can see a slight blue shimmer in the tube, but it’s undetectable on the lips. Very opaque, but slightly bleed-y and settles into lines.

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Super shimmery opaque copper. I think the massive amount of shimmer in this stops it from bleeding as much, but I wouldn’t wear this on it’s own. The shimmer in this shows up range so I can see it being really nice over reds for the fall.

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Tan-nude peach with fine gold shimmer. I’m picking up a bit of a yellow undertone, but maybe that’s just against my skin. On it’s own this is semi-opaque but I could quickly see it settling into lines after I applied it.  This could be worn on its own, or over nudes and peaches.

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The last four look very similar. This is a semi-opaque peachy-pink with obvious silver sparkles (bigger than shimmer). It’s more of a subdued peachy pink, as opposed to the usual bright, summery peachy-pink. It didn’t seem to settle into lines quite as much as the other light colours.

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Light, almost pastel pink. It’s cool-toned, with the same silver sparkles as the previous gloss. It’s fairly opaque, but settles into lines very quickly.

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Translucent light pink base with gold and pink flecks. This is the lightest colour, but  the sparkles almost give it a two-toned effect. It would be really nice over an everyday neutral lipstick for an extra kick.

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The last is a mid-tone pink with fairly large silver shimmer. It’s opaque and doesn’t seem to bleed or settle into lines. It’s nice, but pretty standard as far as pink glosses go.

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Overall: Nice set, but glosses just don’t feel as good on the lips as the regular Mega Shine Lip Glosses. It’s great if you’d like to try out some new colours, but the full-size glosses aren’t very expensive (you can usually get them from cherry culture for about $4.00 each) and you get a lot more product.

What are your favourite NYX Mega Shine Lip Gloss colours?

– Julia

Review: Essence Silky Touch Blushes

21 Jul

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Essence is a German cosmetics brand that has recently (in the past year or so) come to Canada. You can buy essence at Shopper’s Drug Mart locations and their products are very inexpensive. Like, everything is under $5.00 type of inexpensive.

I’ve bought a number of things from essence since discovering the brand and I have been extremely impressed by the quality of everything. My absolute favourite are the Silky Touch Blushes. They’re beautifully pigmented, blend well and come in great colours (a good, natural brown-hued blush is a rare find in a drugstore). The formula is simply amazing.

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The Shopper’s Drug Mart website does not list the prices, but the essence Silky Touch Blushes could not have been any more than $3.00 and they come in four difference colours. Let me just say, these little babies are amazing. Here are my thoughts:

Pigmentation: These are very pigmented, going from pan to face is a no-no. Swirl your brush on the back of your hand before applying, repeat until you have your desired opacity.

Wear: Perfect, absolutely no problems. It’s been extremely hot and humid lately and these last all day with no fading.

Blend-ability: No issues with blending into powder or liquid foundation. I tend to give my cheeks a once-over with my powder brush after applying the blush, just so there are no harsh edges.

Packaging: No problems so far, the plastic is study and the hinge feels solid. I’ve even dropped them while open, and they still survived. Traveling with these might be a bit tricky, but the price is reasonable so replacing it wouldn’t be too tough.

Ok here are the shades:

NATURAL BEAUTY 40

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This is a peachy-brown colour with warm undertones. A slight shimmer shows up in the swatch, but it’s not obvious on the cheek. This one is my favourite! I love this on it own, or with bronzer. It pairs nicely with colourful and dramatic eye looks because it is so neutral. It gives me a very naturally flushed look.

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SECRET IT-GIRL 30

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This is a warm, bright orange-coral with obvious gold sparkles. It looks quite pink in the swatch but it doesn’t look like this in person. It’s a fun blush; perfect for a pop of summery colour. It comes off a bit chalky in the swatch, but it blends fine on the cheek.

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BABYDOLL 20

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This is a mid-tone pink with a hint of berry. It’s the most pigmented of all the blushes, so be careful! It also has a fine shimmer in the swatch, but it doesn’t really show up on the cheek. I haven’t used this one much yet, but I can see myself reaching for it more in the fall.

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ADORABLE 10

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This is a light, yellow-hued pink with a matte finish. It’s kind of like a bubblegum pink, but not as bright.  This one also swatches a little chalky, but doesn’t appear that way on the cheek.

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OVERALL:

These blushes are fabulous, whether you’re on a budget or not.  Anyone looking to expand their blush collection could easily pick up all of the colours. What do you guys think of these?

– Julia