August 31, 2011

Lancôme's Star Bronzer In Éclat Bronze Gets A Gold Star!

The second of my bronzer reviews, this bronzer from Lancôme is probably my favourite of the whole bunch. Why? Quite simply, it's because it suits my colouring the best. The packaging is lovely and sturdy; what else would you expect from a high end brand? I have the shade 03 Éclat Bronze, which I suspect was from a Summer collection since this shade is nowhere to be found on Lancôme's website. Still, it's a gorgeous shade that I think will suit me even when I've reverted back to my usual paleness.

From Lancôme: This sheer silky-light powder delivers a natural sun-kissed glow in any season. Exceptional light-reflecting pigments ensure a radiant, tanned makeup result. Smooth and comfortable texture blends effortlessly and evenly into the skin. Skin feels silky soft and even toned.

Result - radiant, yet natural-looking, for a bronzed complexion that stays fresh and color-true throughout the day. Suitable for all skin types. Oil-free. Fragrance-free. Non-acnegenic. Non-comedogenic. Allergy tested for safety.

- Smooth and even application, blends effortlessly into the skin
- Long lasting healthy radiant bronzed complexion
- Anti-oxidant skin protection
- Soft focus effect on skin
- Provides a natural, healthy glow with a soft shimmer finish

- Contains a special emollient blend that allows the powder to blend
- Long lasting powder formula that stays color-true
- Vitamin E
- Light enhancing Mica
- Oil-free

The first thing I noticed was how buttery soft the powder was. It applies so smoothly and feels amazing on the skin. It also has a lovely scent; quite floral and definitely smells like a skincare product. I don't even know if that makes any sense :p. If you're worried about getting a headache, don't; you won't be able to smell this once it's on your face. 

This bronzer also has a slight shimmer. I know that makeup artists suggest matte bronzers for contouring, but the shimmer in Éclat Bronze is quite fine and delicate. I use this mostly to contour and I haven't had any issues with it looking like a glittery mess, the shimmer is so subtle!

Again, I have to mention how gorgeous the colour is... Here's the thing, I'm not big into bronzers (though I suspect winning this giveaway might've changed my opinion on that :p). They're either to orange or too ruddy, too patchy or too expensive. But this bronzer has become a staple in my morning makeup routine, it's just that lovely. It's so perfect for my skin colour, I don't even need to do extra work to make it look wearable. I literally just buff it on and it looks amazing. Ahh, I'm in love!

I have to say though, that photographing this on the skin is a downright pain in the backside. It took a while for me to actually get it to show up on a shot. However, that's probably more to do with my skills than the actual product :p. 

I love that this bronzer doesn't look orange on me at all, so there's no need to be really careful with this product (unlike the Diorskin bronzer). I reckon it'll look good even when Winter rolls around; it's subtle enough that even when I'm back to pale, it will still look wearable. Who doesn't need a little bit of colour in the Winter, anyway?

If you don't spot this in any of your local Lancôme counters, fret not. Lancôme has 3 shades available right now named Lumiere Shimmer, Solaire Shimmer and Riche Shimmer. It has the same formula and texture as Éclat Bronze, so definitely check it out.

Lovelies, do you use bronzer even during the winter time?

August 29, 2011

Explore Your Creativity With Sleek MakeUP's Pout Paints

About a week or two ago, the beauty blogosphere virtually exploded with reviews and swatches of Sleek MakeUP's Pout Paints - the UK High Street brand's answer to OCC's lip tars. Lip paint products have held my interest off and on for some time now but I never really took the plunge. But when I heard about Sleek's Pout Paints, I knew I had to finally try them! AT $8 USD each, it's pretty much a steal!

From Sleek MakeUP: Pout paint is the new, ultimate lip pigment that provides a blast of colour in one purse sized tube! The intensely saturated formula provides outstanding colour pay-off in just one tiny speck and dries to a long lasting, satiny finish. With a wide variety of Pout Paints to choose from, you can mix up your very own unique shade using a combination of colours, or simply go for one stand out, striking pop of colour. To create your own personal shade, experiment by adding a touch of Peek-a-bloo, a unique blue tone to add depth and warmth to any lip colour. Or mix in a hint of Clour 9, a pure white to lighten the load. Create the lip shade you've always wanted with Pout Paints!

I purchased (L - R) Port, Milkshake and Mauve Me Over, the three shades that caught my eye the most. Each tube contains only 8mL's of product, but that shouldn't dissuade you in the least because these babies are pigmented - a little bit definitely goes a long way! And this is coming from someone who has quite pigmented lips.

The pout paints apply really smoothly (you'll obviously need a lip brush to apply the pout paints or disposable lipgloss applicators, if you have any) and according to other beauty bloggers, they're less drying than OCC Lip Tars. However, having dry lips, I definitely need to apply lip balm first. Because I layer these pigments over lip balm, that means it only ever lasts as long as my lip balm does; although Sleek does claim that they are long lasting.



Mauve Me Over

The best thing about these Pout Paints is still the fact that you can mix different shades together to create a unique shade; it's perfect for makeup artists or makeup enthusiasts like myself who enjoy creating different looks. If you don't have the colour you want, there's no need to shell out money for a new lipstick; simply create the exact shade (or at least a shade that's close enough to what you need) using Sleek's Pout Paints. 

That said, I really wish I purchased Pout Paints that were drastically different from one another so I could create really unique shades instead of just variations of pink and purple :p. Ah well, you live and learn...

clockwise from top left:
Port + Milkshake
Milkshake + Mauve Me Over
Mauve Me Over + Port
Port + Milkshake + Mauve Me Over

I'm quite liking the Port + Milkshake mix myself. Port is such a lovely, wearable colour; it might look a bit intense, but it doesn't look scary when applied. I think I might purchase Peek-a-bloo in the future to see how it can change the 3 lip paints I already have. 

I have to say, I didn't expect creating different shade concoctions to be this much fun!

Any thoughts on Sleek MakeUP's Pout Paints?

August 26, 2011

Maybelline's Shine Sensational Pop Stick in Fruit Punch Looks Good Enough To Eat!

I remember the first time I saw a translucent lipstick. Rae from theNotice reviewed Clarins' Crystal Lip Balms and I was enthralled. Translucent lipstick, who'd-a-thunk? O_o

I immediately wanted to jump on the bandwagon. After all, who wouldn't appreciate a gimmick like this? But my love for pigmented products was keeping me from going ahead and making a purchase. Would I want to buy a lipstick from a high end brand that was that sheer? I was a conflicted beauty blogger...

Anyway, I soon forgot about these see-through wonders. That is, until I saw these Maybelline Shine Sensational Pop Sticks at my local Shoppers. They were translucent, too! So I picked up Fruit Punch and my heart was happy; I got to join in on the translucent lipstick fun without breaking the bank! And if they were too sheer that I didn't look like I was wearing anything, oh well... It was fairly inexpensive (approximately $11.99) so I wasn't going to cry about it. 

Well, imagine my surprise when I found it was actually more pigmented than I expected it to be! It's definitely not going to give you colour like a traditional lipstick would, but it was still very noticeable on my lips (and my lips are quite pigmented to begin with).

I love that you can apply this like a lip balm; it is so fuss-free that I don't even need a mirror. Although one must still take care not to go over the lip line so much as it will actually stain your skin a little bit. It has a lovely candy watermelon scent; very sweet and slightly cloying, but at least it doesn't give me a headache (hurrah!). I do like the smell and it dissipates slightly after I've finished applying, however you'll still get a slight whiff every once in a while, which I enjoy.

Like a balm, this lipstick lasts around 2-3 hours on my lips per application and one of the things I enjoy the most about this Pop Stick is that although you layer product on during touch ups, you never get that horrid white gunk on the corners of your lips (something I've noticed recently with my MAC TLC). 

These Pop Sticks are limited edition, so head on over to your local drugstores to pick one up! They come in 3 other shades: Raspberry Ice, Citrus Slice, and Pink Lollipop. I haven't swatched Citrus Slice yet, but I can say for a fact that Fruit Punch is one of, if not the most pigmented of the bunch. 

Have you tried Maybelline's Pop Sticks Yet?

August 24, 2011

Diorskin Nude Glow Bronzer in Sunset - Not Just Pretty In The Pan!

This Summer, I won Beauty Crazed's Bronzer Bonanza Giveaway. I can't even begin to describe the feeling of opening that package! Dior, Chanel, Guerlain, YSL and more, it was luxury in a box. So here begins the first of my reviews of the bronzers in the prize package.

This Dior bronzer is a gorgeous blend of 4 shades: a deep bronze, a medium bronze with very subtle shimmer, a medium matte bronze and a peach colour all blended together in a beautiful weave pattern. The darkest shade is definitely much too dark for me and I'm not entirely sure how this shade will fare when I've lost my tan; but applied with a light hand, it gives me a lovely bronze glow.

The packaging is definitely luxe. It has a large mirror inside the compact (definitely comes in handy for those mid-day touch ups) and comes in a velvet bag, complete with a pouch for the brush. As luxurious as velvet feels though, I'm not really a fan. It's just too much of a lint/fluff magnet (I must've spent 5-8 minutes editing all that lint out). Also, I prefer a round brush for cheek products because I feel like I have better control, but the brush that comes with the compact does the job well enough. You might need to do some extra blending with your fingers, though.

Such a gorgeous bronzer, no? I love that there's the peach/coral shade weaved through, it adds that pop of colour I love and it means I don't need to use any blusher. It feel buttery soft, applies so smoothly over my face and never looks patchy. Out of all the bronzers in the prize package, this was what I was looking forward to the most. And while it wasn't exactly the shade I wanted, it still blew me away!

What's your favourite bronzer?

August 22, 2011

Cargo's Mediterranean Collection: More Bang For Your Buck

Scene: Dani at Sears.

Her Mission: To test her self control.

Mission: FAILED

No one is surprised.

But can you blame me? Look at that bag, just look at it! Isn't it adorable? It was the very first thing that caught my eye... And look, there's a dolphin! Who doesn't like dolphins? (deep breeeaaath)

That said, there was no way I was going to buy a whole collection because of a bag. I'm not made of money, yo! So I looked at the list of products, found the corresponding items on the counter, and swatched to my hearts delight. From then on, it was undeniable, I had to have this collection!

Eyeshadow Duo - Made In Italy

This Made In Italy duo has two gorgeous shades that compliment each other very nicely. My only gripe is that the gold shade has a very crumbly texture, so expect quite a bit of fallout. Both shades do blend nicely although the gold shadow is a bit more gritty so it takes a bit more work to smooth it out. It has regular wearability and didn't crease until much later. 

Blush - Mendocino

This blush sealed the deal for me. It looks a bit scary on the pan (and by a bit, I mean a lot), but it's really not overpowering once you swatch/wear it; it's important to use a light hand, though. Cargo describes this colour as a "wildflower pink with a gold sheen." The gold sheen just adds another, utterly gorgeous dimension to this blush. Also, it was nice to see it still visible after a crying sesh (don't ask :p).

Lip Gloss - Morocco

Another lovely shade, this lipgloss looks gorgeous with the Mendocino blush. As you can see in the swatch above, it has small glitter particles going through it; it's very pretty, but I prefer my glitter/shimmer much subtler than that. It has no scent, is a bit tacky, and feels pretty comfortable on the lips. 

Swimmables Eye Liner - Teal 

Along with the Mendocino blush, this Swimmables eyeliner is the star of the show. It is such a gorgeous shade, it applies smoothly (no tugging, at all!), and it lasts so long! I don't normally wear anything on my lower lash line because they disappear within an hour or two, but this eyeliner does not. Amazing, amazing, uh-may-zing product!

Better-than-waterproof Mascara - Black

And this is where Cargo missed the mark a bit, at least for me. Let's start with what I do like: the true black colour and the fact that it is, indeed, waterproof. What I don't like though is that the formula's too wet for my lashes, it doesn't keep the curl I've created with a lash curler, and it doesn't volumize (not that the mascara claims to)... The latter two are very important to me, so I can't say I recommend it. 

Go get it!

With only 1.5 of the product (the .5 being the gold half of the eyeshadow duo) being a bit of a disappointment, I would still wholeheartedly recommend this collection! The bag is adorable, the blush is gorgeous, and the eyeliner is amazing - those three alone are well worth the $38.00 (CAD with HST) price tag. Just to give you a bit more incentive: a full size blush (like the one in this collection) retails at $28 CAD (pre-HST). For $6 more (the whole collection retails at $34.00 CAD pre-HST), you get a super cute bag and 5 makeup products (3 of which, are full size). Amazing, no?

Cargo's Mediterranean Collection At Work

First, I applied the gold eyeshadow all over the lid (on top of already existing eyeliner) and blended the edge with the brown-bronze shade. Then I used the teal Swimmables eyeliner to line the lower water line and lash line. Finally, I curled my lashes and applied 2-3 coats of mascara on the top lashes and one coat on the bottom lashes.

(wearing Mendocino on my cheeks and Morocco on my lips. Apologies for the horrid base, it was a rather impromptu FOTD and I couldn't be bothered to touch up :p)

What do you think of Cargo's Mediterranean Collection?

August 19, 2011

Better Late Than Never: Call It Beauty Finally Purchases Soft & Gentle

I was never really that into highlighters, but the more I watched tutorials on YouTube, the more I became enamored with that gorgeous glow at the top of your cheekbones. I wanted to be all glowy, too!

So off I searched for a highlighting powder and I did see some really gorgeous products; but the prices were not impressing me since I knew I wasn't going to be using it that often. LORAC's Perfectly Lit Luminizing Powder, comes to mind. Oh, it was so pretty </3. But I digress...

I then remembered a product that, I think, is a staple for a lot of beauty addicts: MAC's Mineralize Skinfinish in Soft & Gentle.

What I Like

- The smooth, velvety texture.
- It's easy to blend; it's not grainy or gritty at all!
- The price: $33.50 CAD, pre-HST (I hate the HST!)
- Its wearability: I wore it for a full work day and it even lasted through some blotting.
- The shade! "Gilded peach bronze" sounds beautiful and it looks beautiful, too!
- It looks natural: it makes you look like you're glowing, not oily.

So I walked out of MAC, happy with my purchase. But then I thought, "I feel like I just bought something I already own." Sure enough, when I pulled out my "cheek drawer," there it was: By Candlelight by MAC (from the In The Groove collection). I set them side by side and was dismayed to see that they looked very, very similar. But, before making a judgement, I needed to be sure; and there's only one way to be sure: SWATCHES.


Turns out, By Candlelight is much pinker and bronzer than Soft & Gentle. Crisis averted! Not really (crisis averted? What am I even talking about?)...

Anyway, I've been loving highlighting my cheekbones these past couple of weeks. I purchased a fat eyeshadow brush from London Drugs and I use it to sweep Soft & Gentle on the tops of my cheeks. I also like applying some on the bridge of the nose (to create an illusion that I even have a nose bridge -_-') and on my "cupid's bow."

The name says it all, really: Soft & Gentle. It's a subtle luminosity that looks absolutely gorgeous and I don't know how I've went this long without it! 

Do you have any unique ways of using a highlighting powder?
If so, hit me up in the comments! 

August 17, 2011

These Cute & Functional Z Palettes Will Keep Your Powder Products Well Organized

I can't even remember the first time I heard of Z Palettes; it must've been a year or so ago when pretty much every beauty blogger was reviewing them. I didn't think much of it at the time because, to be honest, it didn't seem that sturdy to me. So I decided on getting MAC palettes instead. However, those soon failed me and I needed to get new palettes to fit all my package-less powder products.

Thankfully, Z Palette was being sold at IMATS Vancouver, so I decided to pick two up for myself...

The first thing I noticed was how surprisingly sturdy the palettes were. Because it looks like it's made of cardboard (Z Palettes are actually made of recyclable materials), I made the mistake of thinking they were flimsy; but that's not the case at all!

These palettes have a clear top, which obviously makes it easier to see which products you have in the palette. It snaps close firmly because of the magnets on the outer edges. The inside is also magnetic, so if you've purchased some MAC eyeshadows or blushes in the pan, they will attach nicely on the surface. If you decide to de-pot products yourselves, then you'll need to put a magnet to the back of the pan. Z Palette also sell magnetic stickers, but you can also purchase them at your local Michael's or craft stores.

I also love how you can place pans of all different sizes in one palette. Yes, I know you can remove the dividers in the MAC palette, but why do it? I'll be paying for that extra layer of plastic anyway so I might as well use it, right? I just feel like it's a bit of a waste if done that way... Of course, that's not an issue with the Z Palettes.

All in all, it's such a fantastic buy! It's an amazing way to keep products organized and they have cute patterns and colours, too. After all, there's no reason one can't be organized and stylish at the same time. Now if only they released a purple palette <3...

On a side note, I have to mention how impressed by Z Palette's customer service. When I came home from IMATS Vancouver, I noticed a tear on the corner of one of my palettes. So, I took a photo and tweeted the folks over at Z Palette (ahh, the power of social media :p) and they told me my best option was to head back to IMATS and have it exchanged. Thankfully, IMATS allowed for me to be escorted to the Naimie's booth to have it exchanged. To my surprise, the man behind the booth asked if I was the one who tweeted about my damaged palette and he directed me over to a kind lady who then helped me out with exchanging my palette for a new, undamaged one. I was truly impressed that they even knew about my situation beforehand; they seemed to really care about what had happened and were eager to make it right. So BIG THANKS to the lovely staff of IMATS, Naimie's and of course, Z Palette for making that effort.

Z Palettes are available online (they ship internationally) or at various makeup stores in Canada.

Have you tried the Z Palettes out yet?


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