Thursday, June 22, 2017

Urban Decay Jean-Michel Basquiat Collection – Gallery Blush Palette Review

Urban Decay has had some fabulous makeup collaborations over the years and the new Jean-Michel Basquait Collection is no exception. The American born artist was a pioneer for the neo-expressionist movement and his graffiti was a fixture around lower Manhattan. Jean-Michel’s iconic art is still exhibited all over the world and his use of varied texture and intense color has inspired a beautiful array of vibrant makeup. The range includes 3 lipsticks, 3 eye pencils, a multipurpose blush palette and two shadow palettes – bright and neutral. The packaging is wrapped in canvas to make the artwork pop and each palette has a cutout at the back so you can hang them on the wall. I've reviewed the collection in three separate articles to emphasize the beauty of each piece but you can also purchase all of the items as a set in the UD Jean-Michel Vault for $299.00.



I’ve already featured the gorgeous Jean-Michel eye shadow palettes – Tenant and Gold Griot so today I will complete my overview of the collection with the Gallery Blush Quad, Eye Pencils and all-new, exclusive shades of Vice Lipsticks - based on the colors from Basquiat’s art.

The blush palette contains 2 cheek colors + bronzer and highlighter - designed to deliver 8 hours of wear and compliment all skin tones. When it comes to “universal shades,” I’m always a bit skeptical but these hues are fantastic! The smooth, velvety texture makes the powders very easy to intensify and blend so you can layer to adjust vibrancy and depth. 



I wasn’t sure the bronzer was going to be deep enough but it is. The brown can be applied lightly for a soft, seamless effect or layered darker for deeper contouring and sculpting. The bottom blush (Noho) is a gorgeous pink-mauve that I absolutely love! It is rich enough to create contrast and definition with a flattering undertone that boosts dull skin.


The highlighter is seriously pigmented with full-coverage, creamy shimmer. It makes a stunning eye shadow and you can definitely use it to strobe. For less drama, simply blend it out lightly to diffuse the color or sweep it on generously for a stunning glow. The finish has a chrome effect with a mix of silver and yellow-gold tones that illuminate and brighten. The palette retails for $45.00.


No collection would be complete without lip color and the Vice Lipsticks deliver lush color in matte and cream finishes. Both formulas nourish and condition dry lips with loads of supple moisture but I wish the shade selection was more diverse since Epigram (sienna) and Abstract (nude taupe) are both neutrals. My favorite pigment is Exhibition - a pink-purple orchid that is perfect for summer!


The lipsticks are also wrapped in the same eye-catching canvass material covered with graffiti artwork. They retail for $21.00 each.


The unique selection of 24/7 Eye Pencils are unlike anything I have in my makeup collection. Anatomy is a matte sienna or burnt-orange that goes very well with the new UD Naked Heat Palette. Post Punk (bright neon green) and Vivid (bright sky blue) are unusual liner shades but I love the electric pop of color that draws attention to the eyes. The moisturizing formula contains jojoba, vitamin E and cottonseed oil for smooth, consistent lines and smudge-proof, water resistant coverage. The liners retail for $25.00 each.



Urban Decay Cosmetics is available at Sephora, Shoppers Drug Mart, UD freestanding stores and online at urbandecay.ca plus sign up for the Beauty Junkies Rewards Program to gain and redeem points for special rewards!

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Arbonne Cosmetics NEW Smoothed Over Lipstick Shades & Liquid Concealer

This summer, it’s all about bright lips and flawless skin with a flush of  radiant color so Arbonne has created a great lineup of new products and trendy pigments to enhance the complexion.


A few years ago I acquired a lovely set of Arbonne Smoothed Over Lipsticks and recently they have been redesigned and reformulated to provide even more nourishment and hydration. The new blend contains beneficial oils and fruit extracts to keep skin supple and healthy while drenching lips in lush, buttery color. The lipsticks are now thicker in diameter with a larger application surface that helps the glossy texture glide on easily and the finishes range from satiny-shine to radiant shimmer.


The color payoff varies by shade but overall the formula delivers sheer to medium coverage with the ability to be intensified and layered for more vibrancy. The new additions in red, pink and coral tones are perfect for the season and offer just enough illumination and shine to create a voluminous effect. The lipsticks retail for $29.00 each.


Arbonne also makes beautiful blush in a variety of flattering shades for all skin tones. When I tried the Berry powder it was love at first swatch and I just had to have it! The blush is silky, lightweight and smooth for seamless blending without accentuating skin texture and the micro-fine shimmer creates subtle radiance. The pigment is very buildable so you can deepen the contrast by layering and instantly boost a dull complexion. The blush retails for $32.00.



Left to right: Berry Blush, Lipstick: Orchid, Gladiola, Zinnia and Lily

If you have blemished skin (and let’s face it, we’ve all had pimples) then a good concealer is essential for creating a flawless finish. Arbonne’s new liquid formula is available in 7 shades and provides full-coverage color to camouflage imperfections, dark circles, discoloration and signs of aging while hydrating and brightening. Because this is a cream product, it's wise not to cake it on too heavy. I use the wand for direct application by dabbing or swiping, lightly blending with a brush and then setting the area with powder. It corrects and covers everything that needs to be concealed for smooth, even skin. The concealer retails for $28.00 and the shades featured below are Tan (top) and Dark.


Arbonne Cosmetics is available online at arbonne.ca or through independent consultants. 

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Clarins Instant Light Lip Comfort Oil Review - NEW Shades

Last winter the cold and flu season hit me hard and I was sick for a long time while working and traveling. The only thing that kept my lips hydrated, protected and chap-free during illness and long, drying flights were the amazing Comfort Oils by Clarins. Compared to other balms and treatments, this healing formula lasts for hours so I don't have to reapply as frequently. It also saves my lips from environmental assaults, painful peeling and dryness, which is why I’m obsessed with the delicious new summer scents and candy colors.


There are 7 delicious shades to choose from and each formula contains a cocktail of 2 plant oils - organic jojoba and hazelnut mixed with 1 replenishing oil specific to the color. From left to right I have - Honey (Hazelnut Oil), Candy (Amaranth Oil), Tangerine (Buriti Fruit Oil) and Mint (with Mint Oil). 


The paddle applicator is large and flat – perfect for slathering on the oil and thoroughly coating lips in lush, glossy moisture. At first the formula may seem a bit thick but once blended it feels light, silky and plush without greasiness. I love how the rich emollients and conditioners seep in deeply over several hours and totally replenish my skin while making my pout appear luminous and healthy. Lips are bathed in supple hydration to alleviate discomfort and irritation without stickiness and the irresistible new scents smell good enough to eat!


The pink Candy oil is composed of cherry, raspberry and strawberry (all my favorite summer berries) and transforms into a personalized tint. Tangerine has a fragrance based on red currant with a subtle coral finish and Honey is the only shimmer in the collection with a dazzling effect. The Mint treatment feels cool and refreshing with a volumizing formula that plumps your pout. If you’re torn between which oils to get, I would choose based on ingredients and scent since the colors are very translucent and provide a natural tint.

TIP: If you're glossing-up on-the-go and forget your compact mirror, the shiny cap is reflective enough to help with application. 


The oils shield and protect during the day and at night they make a wonderful treatment to prepare your lips for bold pigment and matte lipstick. They retail for $25.00 each and Clarins is available at department stores nationwide, Sephora and online at clarins.ca.

Monday, June 19, 2017

Vichy Normaderm Skincare & NEW Mineral 89 Booster

Now that summer is finally here, it’s time to refresh your skincare routine. Warm weather = heavy sunscreen, greasy skin, pore clogging impurities and more time spent outdoors exposed to daily pollutants. All these factors can contribute to more breakouts so Vichy has formulated the Normaderm Collection to balance, hydrate and prevent pimples.


There are two cleansers (safe for sensitive skin) that foam away excess sebum, remove makeup and unclog pores with a blend of Salicylic Acid, Glycolic Acid and LHA – to stimulate renewal. The Purifying Gel ($19.95) has a refreshing lather that abolishes dirt with antibacterial properties while minimizing shine and pores. If you prefer a mousse texture, the Mattifying Foam Cleanser ($19.95) coats well and rinses away excess oil to treat and prevent pimples. Both formulas are hypoallergenic, paraben-free, alcohol-free and soap-free so they don’t leave your face feeling dry, tight or irritated.


The Normaderm Skin Balance Anti Oiliness Aquagel ($19.95) is your solution to a grease-free, matte complexion and smaller pores this summer. It can be applied under makeup and used as a silky base. I didn’t expect the gel to be so hydrating since it is a mattifying product but the cool, soothing texture is infused with thermal water which plumps and moisturizes for a supple finish. It also contains acne fighting ingredients to keep your complexion bright and clear.


The Corrective Anti-Acne Treatment 24H Hydrating Lotion ($29.95) helps reduce pimples, blackheads, shine and acne marks. Think of it as a recovery treatment that works around the clock to rejuvenate, replenish and undo some of the damage caused by blemishes and irritation. It also helps reduce oil production and correct discoloration. When used with the other products in the line, it makes a great defense against zits.


The Mineral 89 Booster ($39.95) is a daily revival treatment composed of 89% thermal water from French volcanoes and natural hyaluronic acid that locks in nutrients, quenches dry skin, plumps and fortifies. It also helps protect against pollution and other external aggressors while toning and improving elasticity for anti-aging effects. The cooling gel-serum formula is free of parabens, fragrance, oil and silicone but it does create a supple film so I prefer to use it at night. Overtime skin looks radiant, revived and healthy!


Vichy is available at drugstores nationwide and online at vichy.ca

Friday, June 16, 2017

Lise Watier Limited Edition Luxotika Summer Collection - Review & Swatches

The Lise Watier Summer Collection features soft shadows contrasted with warm bronzer, sheer lip color and luminous shimmer - inspired by the elegance and exoticism of Africa, America and Asia.


The uplifting wave motif on the packaging stylishly represents the aesthetics of cosmopolitan cities.


The 5-Color Eye Shadow Palette features an ultra-soft cream-to-powder texture that feels rich and applies smoothly. Initially the pigments are dense and velvety for optimal glide and coverage but once set, they become lightweight and radiant. At first glance these shades may seem pale and simple but on the skin they appear iridescent with a hint of metallic brilliance. The steel grey is great for defining the crease and I love the shimmery coral and bright gold.


For even more intensity, layer over a good primer - the shadows are non-creasing, silky and long lasting plus the color combination is perfect for warm, summer days. The palette retails for $44.00.


The Luxoil Lipstick (26.00) is available in 2 shades – Voyage (coral) and Sauvage (nude). The sheer pigmentation and buttery texture is similar to tinted balm so lips feel soft, smooth and moisturized for hours of healing protection against dryness. The neutral hue is flesh tone so it isn’t very noticeable on my complexion but the coral can be enhanced for more vibrancy.


Bronzer is popular all year but during the summer many women prefer more shimmer and warmth. The Luxotika Bronzing Powder features a gorgeous multi-toned, marbled surface with various shades of gold, champagne and bright pink. The luxurious mineral texture is incredibly silky for seamless blending and the refined shimmer makes skin appear to glow from within for a natural finish. There is no chunky glitter or sparkle and the powder is enriched with moisturizing Shea Butter and Vitamin E which prevents it from settling into lines or emphasizing rough skin. It can even be used on the arms, legs, back, torso and décolleté to accentuate the entire body! Although the powder can be intensified for glamorous looks, the effect is soft and elegant. The bronzer retails for $45.00.


The Highlighter Sticks ($36.00) are available in 2 shades - Pearl (ideal for fair to medium skin tones) and Gold (ideal for medium to deep skin). These luminizers emit spectacular brightness and glide-on smooth and creamy before transforming into a light powder. The color payoff is highly saturated with frosty, high-impact shimmer and dazzling radiance. If you want to tone them down, simply blend to diffuse the color or layer boldly for a strobing effect. Once set, the pigment lasts all day without fading and they don’t rub-off or transfer easily. With a good primer you can even use them as eye shadow!



Lise Watier is available at department stores and drugstores including: Hudson’s Bay, Shoppers Drug Mart, London Drugs, and online at lisewatier.com.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Mary Kay 2017 Summer Collection – Review & Swatches

This season Mary Kay kept it simple, chic and stylish for effortless, everyday looks. The collection includes the Summer Time Jewel Look Kit consisting of a mineral eye shadow palette, black liner and semi-matte lipstick (sold as a set for $89.00), 2 gorgeous baked cheek powders ($23.00 each) and a detoxifying charcoal mask ($26.00).


The limited-edition cheek powder comes in two lovely shades - Kind Heart (frosty golden coral) and Giving Heart (light frosty pink). The names of the pigments correspond to Mary Kay’s Mission to enrich the lives of women and children living with cancer and $2.00 of each sale will be donated to the foundation.


The silky powder provides lightweight, buildable coverage so you can adjust the intensity and it blends smoothly without settling into lines. Both shades contain a hint of soft color and dazzling shimmer that makes skin appear bright and radiant without any chunky glitter. Whether you sweep it on lightly for a subtle glow or layer it generously for more glam, the light reflecting particles accentuate the face with a lustrous sheen and both colors compliment all skin tones.


The cute heart design appeals to all ages and with a good primer you can also use the powders as eye shadow or highlight around the tear ducts for a bright, wide-eye effect. To keep your skin luminous this summer, these beauties are a fabulous addition to your makeup bag.


Mary Kay’s Global Beauty Ambassador Luis Casco created the Jewel Look which focuses on simple elegance to enhance all eye colors. I didn’t expect to see such neutral shades for summer but the shimmery green adds a pop of vibrancy and you can go heavy on the liner (included with the collection) for more drama. The matte shadows are smooth, velvety and soft while the sheer green requires some layering for vivid coverage. The Sunny Spice Blush can be intensified to create subtle contrast and the color compliments the mauve lipstick beautifully. Since I personally prefer brighter hues for the season, I usually opt for the Glistening Horizon or Sunlight Palette from the spring collection and the Pure Dimension Eye Palettes.


To compliment the shadows or any summer look, the Semi-Matte Lipstick in the shade Mauve Moment is gorgeous! The universal undertone looks great on everyone and the rich, creamy texture drenches lips in supple moisture to diminish dryness and keep your pout kissably soft. The color payoff is medium to full and holds up for hours of comfortable wear.



To keep your skin looking clean, fresh and blemish-free this season try the new Clearproof Deep Cleansing Charcoal Mask ($26.00). Using the power of activated charcoal, rosemary, honeysuckle and peppermint, the formula draws out pore-clogging impurities, to soothe, balance, and diminish discoloration. After treatment my face is soft, rejuvenated and more receptive to the adsorption of skincare.


Mary Kay is available online at marykay.ca and through independent consultants

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Pelle Beauty Skincare Review

Pelle Beauty is a Canadian company based in my hometown and it was one of the first all-natural skincare brands I tried and loved! When it comes to pure, effective formulas free of preservatives, water, dye, fillers and parabens - the essential oils from Pelle are high quality and ultra-nourishing. Uncapping one of the glass bottles releases indulgent botanical scents that tantalize the senses and promote a feeling of wellness and relaxation. The aroma therapy benefits remind me of being at a luxury spa and they help release tension before bed.


The first step in my evening routine is always cleansing and the Pelle Beauty Oil+ Makeup Remover infused with hemp, castor, pumpkin myrrh, tangerine, ylang ylang and spearmint oils is suitable for all skin types. You simply massage a few pumps onto the face and allow the oil to emulsify and lift stubborn makeup before gently wiping with a damp cloth. Although the formula helps break down pigments and foundation, I still have to follow-up with face wash to get rid of the remaining residue. I prefer to use this product as a morning cleanser because it is gentle and hydrating. When mixed with water, it forms a light, milky lather that refreshes, smooths and softens without dryness, grease or irritation but you may need to rinse several times as it does contain oil. The Cleanser retails for $22.00.


The Harmony Beauty Oil ($58.00) infused with orange, rose, hemp and grape oils, helps balance skin by locking in moisture and delivering a boost of revitalizing vitamins. Oils are usually easier to work with when applied to slightly damp skin but I like to use a couple drops on top of moisturizer or serum and massage with my fingers. Since I prefer a matte finish during the day, I use oils as a night treatment to enhance my skin’s regenerative process during sleep. This concentrated formula is light and silky so it leaves behind a radiant sheen without clogging pores or causing breakouts. My skin feels incredibly soft, smooth and plump plus rough, problem areas are healed and deeply hydrated for hours of dryness relief.


The Nurture Beauty Oil ($58.00) is loaded with antioxidants, Vitamin E, jojoba, castor oil, rose and essential fatty acids with many of the same benefits as the Harmony blend. Just 2-3 drops leaves my complexion moisturized, dewy, plush and comfortable plus you can even mix a drop into your foundation if you suffer from dry skin. The rejuvenating formula also makes a wonderful cuticle, hand and nail treatment for brittleness and after exposure to environmental assaults and sun damage, it helps alleviate discomfort and itchiness.


The Oils also come in travel-friendly bottles for $24.00 with roller-ball applicators. You can pop one in your carry-on bag or purse and rejuvenate your skin anywhere which I love! Pelle Beauty has also introduced me to the ultra soft, highly absorbent Shoo-foo Bamboo Cleansing Cloths which are great for gently removing makeup and general facial care. The 3 pack retails for $15.00 and once you try them, you won’t be able to go back to regular washcloths.


Since we all love a good face treatment, I had to try the Beauty Mask ($26.00). Infused with pure botanical extracts and clay - the formula decongests pores, refines, exfoliates and purifies. 


I was pleasantly surprised with how soft my skin felt after treatment and although I usually prefer pre-mixed clay, the powder stays fresher without clumping or hardening. You can also control the texture by adjusting the amount of water you add and I like to steam my face prior to application for enhance absorption. In just ten minutes my complexion looks and feels wonderful!


Pelle Beauty is available online at pellebeauty.com

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Lise Watier Rouge Gourmand Velours Lipstick Review

As a Beauty Editor I’ve amassed an impressive makeup collection but the products that excite me most are stunning eye shadow and gorgeous lipstick!

Bold, creamy color is totally on-trend for summer so why not make a statement with the luxurious Rouge Gourmand Lipsticks from Lise Watier. With 8 complexion flattering shades to chose from there is something for everyone and the formula is lush, comfortable and insanely vivid!


The first thing that drew me in was the color selection – each shade seems quite universal with a pretty range of neutrals and brights. Once you glide on the rich, buttery pigment and feel the smooth, moisturizing texture, you will fall in love! Infused with Vitamin E, antioxidants and skin quenching emollients, they protect against environmental aggressors and bathe lips in layers of velvety, long-lasting color with a creamy, matte finish. Since the formula doesn’t dry down completely, it provides moist flexibility and you can layer to adjust the intensity.


The lipsticks are lightweight, long-lasting and very conditioning so they keep lips smooth and supple for hours. The color payoff is highly saturated, vibrant and full-coverage with no dragging or skipping and the plush texture creates the illusion of fullness. I also like the application surface because the thin, pointed edge along the tip helps line and shape for more definition.

Swatches from left to right: Red Velvet, Glacage, Sundae, Zinfandel and Cake Pop


The waxes in the formula make the lipstick susceptible to sweating/condensation so avoid leaving them in the car or sun this season. Other than that, these beauties are great quality and retail for $24.00 each. Lise Watier is available at department stores and drugstores including: Hudson’s Bay, Shoppers Drug Mart, London Drugs, and online at lisewatier.com.
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