Thursday, April 17, 2014

Perfect gloss-lipstick hybrid: Shiseido Lacquer Rouge

This is the last of the Shiseido Fall 2013 hoard that I'll be showcasing. See previous reviews here, here and here.

I originally wanted to review the Ibuki skin care line, the entirety of which I received in a huge bonus draw from Dave Lackie's Twitter giveaways, but I ended up donating most of them to my mom who was in dire need of updated skin care. I managed to try most of the products once or twice, but it's really hard to review skin care products even after finishing an entire tube or jar, and there's not much I can say after just a few dabs, other than that they seem nice.

What I ended up being really impressed by is Shiseido's revamped makeup line. From the foundation to the lipsticks to the eye shadows -- there was not a bad or even a mediocre product in the bunch. Today, I'm talking about their Lacquer Rouge, a product that I think was quite unique in the beauty world until several months ago when suddenly every other brand released opaque and glossy lip products that bear some resemblance to the Lacquer Rouges. Initially, these were what excited me the most about my Shiseido win.

I received six of the new colours that were released last fall. This post is missing BR616 Truffle, which I sent to Awesome Larie after she dyed her hair red. I still have terrible flashbacks to the boredom that was 90s makeup, awash in bland neutrals and brown tones, so I wasn't terribly upset to part ways with it. (If you're curious to see it, check out Larie's review here.)

What is a Lacquer Rouge, anyway? According to Shiseido:

Inspired by Japanese Laquerware, one coat provides intense color and deep luster. This rich liquid lipstick leaves lips as smooth as lacquer. Applicator fits closely against the lips for a comfortable, even application that does not bleed. Lacquer Rouge improves dry, rough or peeling lips with continued use, leaving them smooth and deeply moisturized.

In short: a non-staining moisturizing liquid lipstick with shine and opaque colour payoff.

In my opinion? All quite true, with beautiful colours ranging from deep reds to bright orchid to soft peaches.

I find that they wear very comfortably, feeling feather light on the lips without making them peel afterwards. Often while out and about, I forget that I'm wearing a rather high maintenance formula. Lacquer Rouges don't bleed past the lip line, but they will rub off like traditional glosses and aren't meant to be budge-proof. They will easily replace lipsticks for those who find even satin formulas drying, without sacrificing colour and visual impact. Personally, I found the shades looking slightly softer on my lips than on arm swatches, but that's not something anyone would notice in person. I only happened to notice it while trying to take lip swatches for the blog, and it's also not at all the case for other bloggers like The Makeup Blogette, who demonstrates all six Fall 2013 shades fabulously on the lips. (Sorry, I chucked my lip swatches. But I really do think that they appear slightly muted on my lips for some reason.)
Possible colour disparity aside, my only quibble with Lacquer Rouges is the short and stubby doe-footed wands. I wish that they were pointed like the new Lacquer Glosses, and I wish that the wands were longer, as they don't quite reach the bottom of an already short tube.
Shiseido has since added new shades to the range (see them on Xiao here), as well as to introduce the new Lacquer Glosses, which are a more translucent version of these Lacquer Rouges (again, Xiao got the scoop on those here). I'm going through a major lipstick moment and still consider Perfect Rouges my favourite from the Shiseido offerings, but there are many days when I reach for a Lacquer Rouge for its comfortable wear and pretty colour. In comparison to the latest liquid lip formulas on the market such as Dior Fluid Stick and YSL Kiss and Blush, one thing that Shiseido Lacquer Rouge does better is to offer a more elegant and varied colour selection, creamier consistency and lack of obnoxiously cloying scent. It's well worth picking up a shade or five. I'm contemplating one of the newer violet shades for next fall/winter.

CAD$30, 6mL. Made in USA.

Ingredients (for shade RD215): Hydrogenated Polyisobutene, Diphenyl Dimethicone, Hydrogenated Polydecene, Isododecane, Titanium Dioxide (CI 77981), Trimethyl Pentaphenyl Trisiloxane, Dextrin Palmitate, Microcrystalline Wax (Cera Microcristallina), Silica Dimethyl Silylate, Mica, Calcium Aluminum Borosilicate, Silica, Dipentaerythrityl Hexahydroxystearate, Red 7 (CI 15850), Iron Oxides (CI 77491), Iron Oxides (CI 77492), Dipropylene Glycol, Aluminium Hydroxide, PEG/PPG 36/41, Dimethyl Ether, Red 6 (CI 15850), Polysilicone-2, Tocopherol Calcium Stearate, Blue 1 (CI 42090), Butylene Glycol, Water (Aqua), Oryzanol, Limonene, Nylon-12, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Oil, Crataegus Monogyna Flower Extract, Iron Oxides (CI 77499), Red 27 (CI 45410), Diisostearyl Malate, Glyceryl Diisostearate.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Amost Empty: Spring 2014

I conveyed in my last empties post that I had lost some steam, and many of you left positive comments that helped to recharge my batteries! Thank you for that. My good friend Vita of Making Up 4 My Age also motivated me to be better about finishing products, especially with her "Beauty Diet" challenge. (Check out her latest empties post here where she also explains how the beauty diet is going. She is a master at finishing makeup!)

Back in November, I also spoke about finishing up some makeup. I'm pleased to report that one of those items mentioned is now in the empties bag. Since then, I've moved on to finish up a few other items, and am currently working on this handful of products below:

Ah, the sight of pan is always a sweet relief to my eyes.

BY TERRY Peach Nude Cream Blush- I'm sure that you're all tired of seeing this tiny pot of peach blush by now. It gives and gives and gives... and I want to finish it before it gives my face a rash or something. God help me. 2014 will see this thing die.

Nanny Rose's Queen Bee Lemonest Lemony Lip Balm + Sunscreen - I'm driven to finishing this because I guiltily spent my sister's emergency pesos on this while visiting her in the Philippines when she lived there for a year as a human rights volunteer. Obviously I paid her back, but it's always embarrassing to remember that moment of frivolity.

The Face Shop Lovely Me:Ex Lip Gloss - It was a gift that I unexpectedly loved and featured in favourites posts here and there. Right now I'm more into lipsticks than glosses, so the last half is going to be difficult to finish, but I try to use it as a lip balm substitute because it's so light and moisturizing as well as pretty.

Urban Decay 24/7 Perversion Glide-On Eye Pencil - I inherited this half-size pencil from Awesome Larie and decided to not squander its remaining length. I've never finished a pencil before and want very much to see this reduced to an unwieldable stump.

BECCA Resurfacing Primer - Most recently discussed here due to packaging issues. BECCA kindly sent me a replacement and assured me that the rip in the tube is an anomaly rather than the norm. I could just chuck this one and start on the new tube, but... dammit, I'm so close. I'll try to finish it so long as I don't sense a change in the product. The second it feels/looks/smells bad, it's gone.

Beauty For Real Very Black Miracle Mascara! (Press Sample) - I rarely feel pressure to finish press samples, obviously because I didn't have to spend money on them. But I do commit to finishing them if I like them, want to see how it performs from beginning to end, or have no other replacement options. I was on a mascara break when this came along and actually revived mascara interest. I'm not crazy about the bulkiness of the tube nor the gimmicky light, but it is actually a really good mascara that works well as a work horse product without major issues or big drama. But it's going into the empties bag right now, because it lasted way past the safety date and I didn't realize that until just now. This kept so well that I didn't even notice the passing of time.

Need more motivation? See my previous posts on finishing products:

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Fresh Face for Spring Days with Clarins HydraQuench Lotion

This post features a press sample.

Technically, it's spring -- although, today we have snow again and it looks absolutely miserable outside. (I'm keeping indoors and pretending otherwise.) I made small adjustments to my skin care routine about a month ago, rotating in the new Clarins HydraQuench Lotion SPF 15 for normal to combination skin in place of heavier face oils and creams.

According to the Clarins website, the HydraQuench Lotion SPF 15 provides "hydration for a fresh, matte appearance with added sun protection." Ingredients include hyaluronic acid to help restore the skin's water reserves, katafray extract to reinforce the barrier effect of the outer layer of the skin and limiting dehydration, extracts of rowan tree buds to boost skin's radiance, pomegranate extract to help tighten the pores, and alpine willow herb extract to prevents shiny skin.

Like its sister products in the HydraQuench range (see my reviews of the HQ Cream for normal to dry skin and HQ Cream Mask), the HydraQuench Lotion SPF 15 has a light, fresh scent and immediately feels lightweight while hydrating on the skin. It absorbs quickly and makes the face feel comfortable and at ease. Personally, I don't notice tightening of pores or shine prevention, but that's not something that I expect from a moisturizer to begin with. What I do notice after using the HQ Lotion is a fresh face that looks clean and healthy. It's a fantastic lightweight day moisturizer for those who like to layer different serums underneath moisturizers and add sunscreen and foundation afterwards. For my combination skin with an oily T-zone and slightly dehydrated cheeks, this is the ideal day moisturizer.

I also really like the lightweight bottle it comes in, with a pump for dispensing small amounts (I use one and a half pump for the face; two full pumps to include neck). It's a nice departure from the heavy glass jars that most Clarins moisturizers are packaged in, and it's easy to travel with as well.

It's another skin care hit from Clarins -- you really shouldn't be surprised at this point. This one is actually my favourite out of the HydraQuench line, and I see absolutely no need to go searching for a different day moisturizer. We are covered for spring and summer.

CAD$49.50, 50mL/1.6 fl oz. Made in France.

Active Ingredients: Avobenzone 3% (Sunscreen), Homosalate 5% (Sunscreen), Octocrylene 2.7% (Sunscreen).

Inactive Ingredients: Aqua/Water/Eau, C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate, Glycerin, Butylocctyl Salicylate, Cetearyl Alcohol, Tapioca Starch, Hydroxyethyl Acrylate/Sodium Acryloyldimethyl Taurate Copolymer, Potassium Cetyl Phosphate, Parfum/Fragrance, Caprylyl Glycol, Cetearyl Glucoside, Disodium EDTA, Ethylhexylglycerin, Tocopheryl Acetate, Xanthan Gum, Cutylene Glycol, Sodium Dehydroacetate, Tocopherol, Sodium Hyaluronate, Sodium PCA, Alcohol, Phenoxyethanol, Pentylene Glycol, Biosaccharide Gum-4,  Cedrelopsis Grevei Bark Extract, Thermus Thermophillus Ferment, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Lapsana Communis Flower/Leaf/Stem Extract, Pyrus Sorbus Bud Extract, Epilobium Fleischeri Extract, Punica Granatum Bark Extract, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Potassium Sorbate, Rhodiola Rosea Root Extract, Sodium Lauryl Sulfate.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Unicorn Beauty Product: Milani Luminoso Baked Powder Blush

I know exactly who to blame for this. There are a handful of bloggers who brought this obscure drugstore blush to my attention in the past, but the one who made me race out to seize upon it was none other than the gorgeous K of Shameless Fripperies. (Just watch her last three videos -- I think she pulls out Luminoso every single time.)

Luminoso is famous in the beauty blogging world for being a unicorn of blushes: high quality despite low price, pretty please-all-skin-tone shade, shimmery without being gritty and glittery... the list goes on. I always thought that it looked nice, of course, but I never felt the need to own it until a bunch of factors collided in a timely manner to change that mindset.

1. The discovery of Milani makeup at Loblaws.
2. The fact that I have a bazillion PC points from maintaining two PC accounts for over a decade.
3. The discovery of Shameless Fripperies.
4. My recent hankering for peach coloured things.
5. Milani's amazing online sale that I missed out on. (Well, I abstained because shipping charges to Canada basically cancelled out the discounts.)

I was pretty much doomed.

And by doomed, I mean blessed. Eeeeeeeeeeeeee, it's so PRETTY! I think that even in the pan, you can see how soft and luminous its effects could be.

Here's Luminoso next to Corallina.

Aaaaand... because I can't help myself, I have to search in the stash to see if there are any dupes. I remember seeing other people compare Luminoso to NARS Orgasm, so I did it too even though they look nothing alike. NARS O is very pink while Luminoso retains its warm golden peachy appearance.

Ah, but it does bear a remarkable resemblance to Chanel Fresque Joues Contraste.

That is pretty close, but Luminoso is clearly darker and shows up better on my face while Fresque is pretty much invisible. I've been meaning to get rid of Fresque anyway, so this works out perfectly.

I sense a new sick addiction, y'all.

Do you have Milani Luminoso? When was the last time someone influenced you to buy a beauty product? 

Saturday, April 12, 2014

YSL Crème de Blush in #4 Audacious Orange

See this jar of sexy? Oh, yes, I did.

I was still high on birthday month when I received a "we miss you, here's 20% off" coupon from Eeeeeevil place. YSL is quite expensive in Canada, which is why you almost never see me mention the brand. It's expensive in the States, too, but the inflation here is crazy. This tiny pot of orange costs CAD$52 at Sephora and department stores. But it's CAD$47 on StrawberryNet, and the coupon saved me $9.40 additionally. There was also free shipping and extra 1-2% loyalty discount. So I made an order while feeling indulgent, and now I have mixed feelings about it. But first, the product.

It's gold, it's shiny, it's luxurious, and it's pretty. All the checks. But it's TINY.

But it's orange and it's hot? And it's the only way I'll ever finish a blush?

Next to its predecessor, BY TERRY Peach Nude, outshining its orangeyness.

Fine, whatever -- I finally have a YSL Crème de Blush. Stop this whining.

But it's... not orange enough. My inner clown weeps.

The texture is soft and smooth, but not insubstantial or airy. It blends like a dream but almost too well. I have to add three layers on the cheeks for the blush to identify itself as orange. That's where it burns me a little. Where's the audacity? Hello, Audacious Orange!

Maybe I'm uncouth and coarse. Maybe I'm just not a YSL kind of gal. I don't know. It's not a bad blush by any means and applies well on top of powdered or unpowdered base. It's pretty and enlivening. It's just not as orange as I expected, that's all.

The search for bold orange cream blush continues. Frodo is getting tired. In the mean time, I'll just consider Audacious Orange a lembas bread -- lembas bread from the makeup gods. It will sustain me until I find the next orange cream to salivate over.

CAD$52, 0.19oz/5.5g. Made in Italy.

Ingredients (for #2 Powdery Rose, according to Sephora): Cyclopentasiloxane, Hydrogenated Polyisobutene, Dimethicone, Octyldodecanol, Hdi/Trimethylol Hexyllactone Crosspolymer, Polyethylene, Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Nylon-12, Dimethicone/Vinyl Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Titanium Dioxide, Alumina, Cyclomethicone, Dimethiconol, Parfum (Fragrance), Tocopheryl Acetate, Caprylyl Glycol, Triethoxycaprylylsilane, Rosemary (Rosmarinus Officinalis) Extract,[+/- May Contain : Ci 77891 (Titanium Dioxide), Talc, Ci 19140 (Yellow 5 Lake), Ci 77019 (Mica), Ci 15850 (Red 7), Ci 15985 (Yellow 6 Lake), Ci 42090 (Blue 1 Lake), Ci 77491 (Iron Oxide), Ci 77492 (Iron Oxide), Ci 77499 (Iron Oxide), Ci 15850 (Red 6), Ci 45410 (Red 28 Lake), Ci 73360 (Red 30), Ci 75470 (Carmine), Ci 77000 (Aluminum Powder), Ci 77007 (Ultramarines), Ci 77289 (Chromium Hydroxide Green), Ci 77510 (Ferric Ferrocyanide), Ci 77742 (Manganese Violet).