Sunday, September 28, 2008

Product Review: Annabelle Eyeshadow

Hey folks! This will be a random sort of post... I had a big fun-and-funnel-cake filled day at Canada's Wonderland today, so I am kinda pooped, not to mention a bit queasy still from all the sugar and spinning.

But some things cannot wait! There are often times when I bemoan my Canadian status, in the sense that there are so many great drugstore lines (e.g., Max Factor, Neutrogena, etc) that just aren't available up here. But sometimes, the tables turn and it is WE that have awesome brands that can only be had from the Great White North. Quebec-based Annabelle Cosmetics is definitely one of these, and my Canadian lovelies, this one's for you!

I've tried their blushes (ok, but not too exciting) and lip glosses (great texture and shine, but somewhat limited colour selection). But the real standouts are their eye shadows... smooth, silky shades with good colour payoff (no chalkiness here) that blend well and stay put. Some people even draw favourable comparisons to MAC shadows... what more could you ask for?

I have Annabelle shadows in just 3 shades so far... Gleam (pictured) is a pretty, neutral (almost cool) shimmery light-to-midtone champagne shade, perfect as a base or highlight. Suedine (pictured)is a gorgeous neutral-warm taupe, perfect for creating a softly smokey eye. It's not really as dark or red as it looks. Cloud is a shimmery light silvery taupe, cooler than Suedine, but great as a highlight shade for said soft smokey eye.

I've also tried a couple of eyeshadow duo's from Annabelle, but they didn't really appeal... not sure if I just picked the wrong shades, or if the quality is actually not as good. They also shatter relatively easily, which is not good for my clumsy self. But the single shadows! They are winners.

Oh, and what handy timing! Shopper's Drug Mart is having a sale on these! $2.99 for select types of Annabelle shadows, eye liners, and lip liners (oh, yeah, the lip liners are nice too! Love the metallic ones... Berry Bijou is so creamy it's almost lipstick). Even at the regular price of around $6, the single shadows are a steal, and with a good mix of easy-going shades and trendy pops of more vibrant colours, I will for sure be stocking up! The sale is only on until Friday Oct 3, so get on down and check it out!

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Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Awesome Sale! 25% off ANY Lumiere Cosmetics Purchase

Hey folks! If you've been a long-time reader of this blog, you'll know that I am a huge fan of Lumiere Cosmetics. And if you're also a fan, or you're looking to try out some new mineral makeup, then there's no better time to act, because Lumiere is offering a 25% discount on their entire inventory*! Lumiere's prices are very reasonable to begin with, so this extra discount adds up to a really fantastic deal.

While I'm super thrilled about the deals, the reason behind the sale is bittersweet: The owner of Lumiere, Kim, recently lost her beloved dog Bruno. Bruno was a rescue pup from the Humane Society, and had been a gentle and loving companion to Kim and her kids for the past 8 years. Bruno will be greatly missed and fondly remembered, and Kim is paying tribute to his memory by donating 10% of all profits during this sale period to her local Humane Society, so that other pets like Bruno can continue to be adopted into loving homes.

Having dealt with Kim on several occasions, I can say that she is the nicest person, and her dedication to her customers amazes me every time I deal with her. I'm so sorry for her loss, but so appreciative that she is taking time and effort to do good deeds with her business, even during what must be a difficult time for her. Please support her endeavour (and the Humane Society!) by checking out the Lumiere website... you're sure to find something you'll like!

As for me? Predictably, I had trouble cutting down the huge list of things I wanted. I'm stocking up on their Luminess mineral foundation, which gives light coverage and a beautifully glowy (not sparkly) finish. As well, I've fallen hard for Sweet Cherub silk blush: it is this gorgeous, slightly shimmery nude-pink that looks angelic and innocent, and unlike any other blush I've tried.

I'm also getting a truckload of eyeshadow samples (seriously, these little containers last FOREVER), and I'm looking forward to testing out their mini-lip gloss sampler as well (so cute! 6 shades! your choice! only like $11!).

Another favourite is Lumiere's Silk Radiance in Island Sands -- a light dusting of it adds a soft-focus glow... it's like carrying around your own personal supply of flattering lighting! In my books, it's essential for a romantic date or a fun night out on the town. Or weddingns. Or photos. Or mornings after you've stayed up all night blogging and your face looks as blah as you feel. I think you get the point.

Oh, and I can't believe I've never given it a proper review, but Lumiere happens to make the best Kabuki brush I've ever tried, forever and ever amen. I couldn't imagine applying mineral foundation without it: kitten-soft, but dense and firm enough to do the job right, this thing has yet to shed 1 hair, and I've been using it daily for over a year. Plus, it's only $16, which means only $12 with the discount! Crappy drug-sore kabukis cost more than that... if I didn't already have 2, I'd buy another one. (Have I mentioned how much I love this brush??)

Okay, that's enough out of me for now. Get on over to the website and place your order already! The sale is only on until Friday September 26th, so don't miss out!

* Minimum purchase of $10. Which is laughable, since I could easily spend 10x that amount on their stuff.

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Monday, September 08, 2008

Product Review: Laura Geller Lip Shiner

Arrgh! Is there anything more frustrating (at least in the world of makeup) than finding your perfect shade of something, only to see it discontinued? Especially when that item is crucial to the classic look that is the Nude Lip. I'm talking, of course, about my favourite nude lip gloss, Beige Théoric by Bourjois (aka: The Gloss That Cured My Nude Lip Phobia). I was finally running out of my little purse-sized version, so I decided to pop into Sephora to pick up a full-sized gloss. But to my (astonished) chagrin, they were discontinuing the Bourjois line! I couldn't believe it... Bourjois seemed to be well-liked brand, and at a pretty reasonable price-point. What gives???

Anyway, I immediately began swatching like a crazy person, looking for a duplicate shade. Sadly, nothing matched exactly. Oh there were close ones: Vincent Longo's Perfect Shine Lip Gloss in Dolce was lovely, with a great texture, but didn't have enough warmth or pink. Stila's Lip Glaze Mocha was too cool and dark. The darker shade of Soho in Cargo's Lipgloss Duo was also close, but I'd heard not-great things about the lasting power, plus the tin was bound to get super goopy in my purse.

Sephora's Ultra-Shine Lip Gloss in Beige (#20) had nearly the same effect as Beige Theoric -- even though it was a few shades paler, it was also much sheerer, so the end result was similar. But, I hesitated to spend $17 on a gloss with such a low colour payoff. I allllmost went for Lorac's Plumping Gloss in Missie -- the shade was almost dead on (a teeeeny bit too peach/brown, but whatevs), but at the last minute decided against it due to all the sparkle and the plumping factor (it seemed to irritate a little, but that could have been because I'd been rubbing gloss on and off my lips for the past hour).

Okay, yes, I know, high maintenance much? But I swear, there's a happy ending here. While I didn't end up finding an exact dupe of Beige Theoric, I did come across a totally fantastic gloss. Remember the Creme de Gloss by Christian Dior that I practically faintned over? Well, Laura Gellers Lip Shiners totally mimic the texture and look of those glosses, at about half the price!

The gel-based formula feels super creamy and moist, just like Creme de Gloss. It's maybe just the slightest bit tackier, but leaps and bounds better than most glosses. And just like Creme de Gloss, it leaves a nice amount of pigment, and the shine comes from the super-fine shimmer in the formula, rather than entirely from the gloss itself. This means that even after your morning cup of coffee, you'll still have a bit of nice gleam on your kisser.

I could probably do without the burnt-caramel scent in the gloss ... it's not really unpleasant; sort of like crème brûlée. It's just not really my thing. Fortunately, the scent disappears pretty much immediately, so it's not bothersome at all. Most of the shades are all shimmery, but not frosty (they also have a clear shade), and there are 9 easy-going colours to choose from. I ended up grabbing Bermuda Sand, which is a gorgeous golden/bronzed pink shade. No, it's not the same as Beige Théoric, but it's awesome. It's not quite a nude shade for me, but it tones down my pigmented lips, and would bring a bit of fresh colour to the typical smokey-eye/nude lip look.

And the best part? At just $17 CAD a pop, I can afford to indulge in several chic tubes of this plush gloss without massive amounts of spendy guilt. Which is more than I can say about anything by Christian Dior.

Oh, and as for the saga for My Perfect Nude Gloss... I ended up hopping online to to buy my coveted and endangered gloss. has a whole bunch of Bourjois goodies in stock (some discounted!), and will ship anywhere for free. Naturally, I stockpiled a bit, just in case. If you prefer to do your bargain shopping IRL, I found that L'Oreal's Made For Me Naturals in Dune, Maybelline's Moisture Extreme in Nude Blush, and Annabelle's Le Gloss Stick in the nude shade (sorry, can't remember the name) are all decent.

So I guess the moral of the story is that a: Laura Geller's Lip Shiners totally rock, and b: there really is a nude lipcolour out there for everyone. I should know... I've tried them all!

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