Thursday, February 25, 2016

Clarins Spring Collection 2016 - Ombre Iridescente Review

Good morning friends!

It is absolutely hellish outside today. It's a little strange walking on thick ice, trying not to fall, while being lashed with rain, listening to the thunder roll. Yes, I live in Canada, but this is some weird weather even for us!

For review this week are the Ombre Iridescente from the Clarins 2016 Spring collection. I'll be reviewing other pieces from the collection next week so stay tuned!

First off, it has to be said, the Ombre Iridescente are stunning guys. Creamy, but intensely pigmented. Sadly, I'm missing Silver Plum but from testing them out, the other three in the collection are just as good.

It's hard to tell in this photo because of the lighting, but how adorable is it that the lids of these shadows correspond to the colour inside? I love it when that happens! And you know, metallic lids! The packaging is sturdy, easy to open, but closes firmly - there's nothing worst than faulty packaging on a cream product!

In artificial light. Left to right Silver Green 06, Silver Ivory 04, Silver Pink 05

In natural light. Left to right Silver Green 06, Silver Ivory 04, Silver Pink 05

I find these shadows, although described as a cream, are not really your traditional cream shadow. They are quite creamy in texture, yes, but they basically apply and feel like any regular shadow - maybe more like the texture of a Make Up For Ever or Urban Decay shadow. I find they apply and blend beautifully with fingers, but also work quite well with a brush.

Silver Ivory 04 is a gorgeous shimmery light taupe shade. Looking through my collection, Urban Decay's Verve is probably the most similar shade but Silver Ivory is a lot more warm. And for me, because it's so warm, it's a very easy shade to wear. I applied it all over the lid and popped a bit of a neutral brown matte shade in the crease and I was good to go for the day. I had no problem with the shade creasing during the day - it wore quite well. For the record, I always wear an eyeshadow base, and in this case, it was the Urban Decay Primer Potion.

I wore Silver Pink 05 in a similar way as Silver Ivory - all over the lid with a warm brown in the crease. It was so easy to blend and looked beautiful on the lid. For those of you who do not like rosy shades on your eyes, I'd suggest skipping on this one. It's quite pink and without an inner corner highlight, darker crease shade and a bit of eyeliner, it can make you look a bit tired. To be fair, I wore this one when I was ill, and it probably wasn't the right shade to wear on a day where your nose is red from using a full box of kleenex. I've been really into rosy shades lately so I was particularly excited to try this one and it ended up being my favorite.

I wanted to wear Silver Green 06 in a different way than the two others to see how versatile these Ombre Iridescente shadows could be. I applied Urban Decay's Pistol (a greyish shade) shade all over my lid and dabbed Silver Green in the middle of my lid and inner corner. Again, I had the Urban Decay primer potion underneath this concoction. It looked beautiful. I'm really not one for green shadows since I have blue eyes, but I loved this. It gave a bit of a twist to a smokey eye! However, this did not wear well on me and I experienced creasing towards the inner corner by the end of the day. I don't think layering this shadow on top of another gave it a good surface to set. Maybe this product is more of a cream formula than I thought? I suspect anyone with non-oily eyelids will not have a problem with this.

Overall, I think these are worth the price. At C$25, it doesn't break the bank and you get a long wearing, easy to apply shadow. I know I don't have it to review, but I'm seriously lusting after Silver Plum and suspect it is probably the most versatile, one shadow and go, shade of the bunch. In case you'd like to see a another review, which includes Silver Plum, check out this one from Temptalia. Second to that, I'd suggest Silver Ivory 04, as it's beautiful on the lid, and quite versatile as well. Honestly, you can't go wrong with these. And if shimmery shades are not your thing, Clarins does offer the same shadow in a matte formula - I haven't tried them, but a quick Google search indicates them being reviewed quite well!

* I have received these products for consideration, but my opinions are always my own. I am not being compensated for this review and I always strive to review products with honesty.

Thursday, February 18, 2016

A Peek at My Beauty Bits

Last time I gave you a peek at my makeup collection was in 2014, so I thought it was time to give you another look at what's been happening in my makeup drawers.

I've spent the last month cleaning out bits I no longer use and throwing out old dried up products. I'm sad to say that I had to get rid of a lot. BUT, now with a more condensed and tailored collection, I'm finding it way easier to be a bit more creative with makeup.

I store my skincare items on this copper tray I found at Home Sense. I also keep samples I plan on using. Anything that requires a cotton pad stays in the bathroom. I'm on my third tub of the Vichy Aqualia Thermal Night. LOVE that product.

On top of my Ikea Alex, I try to keep makeup items that I reach for often, or that I'm testing for review. At the moment, I'm testing out the new Clarins Ombre Iridescente Cream eyeshadows, the Bourgeois Air Mat foundation (on a ttsandra recommendation) and the Estee Lauder Goddess Bronzer.

I also keep my jewelry in little dishes I've picked up here and there. You can't see it but the dish holding my earrings has a heart at the bottom. It's one of my favorites.

In the drawers, I keep eyeshadows in the first one. Because my local Shoppers Drug Mart now carries Urban Decay products, I've been able to redeem my points for the Naked and Naked 2 palettes which I absolutely love. I also keep my Lorac Pro palette, a few Dior palettes and individual shadows. One of my favorites is the Le Métier de Beauté Corinthian shadow. A lot of my cream shadows have dried up, but I can't seem to part with them.

The second drawer stores foundations, blushes, bronzers, highlighters, concealers, primers and some brow products.

The third drawer contains my lipsticks. The ones I wear the most are usually in the jewelry trays on top of my dresser, but I try to change them up once in a while. I have a little bit of everything in there - high end lipsticks and drugstore options as well. For someone who rarely wears reds, I sure have a ton of them in this drawer! My favorite reds are Nars Cruella and the Bourjois Rouge Edition Velvet lipsticks. Clinique's Two Ton Tomato is pretty great too!

My brushes reside in old candle jars and a candle holder from my wedding. I like the simplicity of these and they do the job perfectly.

So there you have it, a peek at my makeup bits. I love the way I store my makeup because it's so clean and organized (for me). How do you store your makeup?

Friday, February 12, 2016

Laura Mercier Second Skin Cheek Colour Blush in Rose Petal Review

I've been sort of looking for the perfect product to replace my beloved Shu Uemura Blush in the shade M Pink 31. Since this favorite of mine seems to be discontinued, I haven't had much of a choice but to selectively use it while looking for another similar option. About a month ago, when I purchased the Laura Mercier Second Skin Blush in Rose Petal, it occurred to me that the texture and the shades were very similar. They are also both so soft and light it reminds me of the feel of a powder like the MAC Prep and Prime.

When I realized they were so similar in texture and feel, it occurred to me they were also very similar shades. A quick swatch later, I realized that they were in fact very similar. The Shu Uemura pulls a bit more nude/plum than the Laura Mercier blush, but still, quite similar.

I bought the Laura Mercier blush and by chance it ended up being a dupe for my favorite blush! Score!

Laura Mercier Rose Petal (left) and Shu Uemura M Pink 31 (right)

I love Laura Mercier's blush packaging. It's compact, classic and sturdy, aka, perfection for me.

Rose Petal is the perfect natural blush pink. It's pigmented, but not so pigmented that you have to be careful when applying it. I know a lot of makeup fanatics love a pigmented blush, but I prefer when I don't have to work or think too much when applying my makeup. This is why I reach for this product so often - I don't even have to think about it and I get perfectly rosy cheeks.

I own a couple more shades of Laura Mercier blushes and they are of excellent quality. If you're looking for a natural rosy flush and have light to medium skin, this will definitely suit you. However, I'd suggest some of the darker shades in this range if you have darker skin tone as this blush is quite light. At C$30, this blush isn't drugstore cheap, but totally worth the price in my opinion.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

A Review of the Make Up For Ever Ultra HD Concealer - Y23

Ah yes, the famed Make Up For Ever Ultra HD Concealer. This product has gotten a lot of hype recently, and with good reason.

The Ultra HD Concealer comes in two sets of shades - the R shades that are peachier for correcting darkness on your skin, and the Y shades for general concealing. They can be used separately, or together by layering the product to completely mask any imperfection. 

I received shade Y23 for review which is a perfect match for my skin tone. Surprisingly, the concealer has an even lighter shade than that - I'm usually the lightest shade!

This concealer is incredibly pigmented. In the picture below is an example of how much you need to conceal your under-eye area. Basically, the tiniest little drop. The applicator is a plastic tip, which is nothing special in itself, but it dispenses the product very little at a time. Luckily, there isn't much of a chance of over-doing it.

The product applies beautifully - I've used it with my fingers, a synthetic concealer blending brush as well as with a Beauty Blender. I personally prefer using it with a small concealer buffing brush or the Beauty Blender. I find that using my fingers can make the product stick to my fingers rather than to my skin. The formula is a bit tacky, so my fingers can cause it to lift from my skin, especially if you are spreading the product around. Patting it lightly works perfectly fine, though, but ain't nobody got time for that. And I certainly don't have the patience. So buffing brush it is!

I've used this product to cover my dark circles and it works wonderfully, leaving a brightening effect under my eye. It leaves my skin looking like skin and not caked with product. It is worth noting that unless you have a very smooth under eye, you most likely will have to set this product with powder. I did experience a tiny bit of creasing closer to my inner corner without powdering. With powdering, I experienced no creasing - and I always set my under eye so it's not a problem for me. To test this product fully, I've also used it around my nose, my forehead and some blemishes and I'm happy to report that it works quite well. I think that in the future I'll be less inclined to use it on my blemishes simply because the formula is so thin. The concealer stayed on my skin all day without fading when set with powder.

I hope this review was helpful in deciding whether this is a product for you. If you're looking for a darkness cancelling under eye concealer, I'd suggest checking out the R range of shades, but if you're looking for more of brightening effect, with good concealing properties, I'd say this product might be for you. The product is not cheap selling at Sephora for C$32.00, so I suggest you give it a try in store before purchasing. However, with the extremely pigmented formula, this concealer will last you a long time for the price point!

* I have received this product for consideration, but my opinions are always my own. I am not being compensated for this review and I always strive to review products with honesty.