Category: Makeup Reviews

Lipstick Queen Chess Collection


There’s really nothing I like better than interesting makeup collections that aren’t eyeshadow palettes. Lipstick Queen’s newest offering is the Chess collection, six matte lipsticks that Lipstick Queen founder Poppy King says is ‘beauty and brains combined in a lipstick!’ Each lipstick is named after a chess game piece and has a personality description attached to it. Now, I have zero knowledge about chess, so I don’t know how well they actually fit with the game but it’s really fun picking a lipstick based on shade and/or personality.

Lipstick Queen really thought of everything for the Chess collection’s packaging. The boxes have the game pieces on them and half the lipsticks are in white tubes and the other half in black. Just like the game. All the lipsticks are matte and apply extremely smoothly. These are not transfer-proof and will definitely require touch ups but they also really moisturizing and feel like you’re just wearing lip balm. I actually have a really hard time picking a favourite shade. I was initially drawn to Bishop but there isn’t a single shade that isn’t flattering on me.

Pawn, Bishop, Knight, King, Rook, Queen

Pawn (Loyal) is a deep nude, Bishop (Determined) is a determined mauve, Knight (Courageous) is dashing mocha, King (Noble) is a rich berry, Rook (Unpredictable) is brick red and the ever famous Queen (Supreme) is ruby red. The bonus of getting all six shades as a press sample, is that I can decide which shade I want to wear depending on my mood. I don’t know if I could actually pick just one.

Anastasia Dipbrow Pomade Quickie Review

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Have you ever feared that it was so hot you would lose your eyebrows? If yes, then this is the investment that you need. I am not Anastasia’s audience for this product. I might use a little touch up for my brows sometimes, but nothing serious. Anastasia’s  Dipbrow Pomade is serious brow colour! This cream comes in a variety of colours to match your brows. It helps to really define, sculpt and create the perfect brows that aren’t going anywhere. On me, it looked crazy. But the waterproof formula can give those in need what they are looking for.

Makeup Hits & Misses

Not every product can be a hit. We hate to call out the misses, but sometimes we have to call it like we see it. Here are some recent makeup hits and misses from our favourite brands.

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HIT – Sephora Collection Cushion Glossy Eyeliner – I’m not really into liquid liner. I don’t have time for the hassle of it. I expected this cushion eyeliner to be similar. It’s not. Just because you don’t have a steady hand for liquid liner doesn’t mean you should count this out. I found that using the brush was a bit steadier than a pencil. The eyeliner itself isn’t a runny as normal liquid liners. You should still be ready in case you need to do touch ups. The finish is stunning. It’s way better than any pencil!

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MISS – Essence Say To Imperfections Concealer – All I ask of my concealer is that it’s no fuss. I don’t want to have to fight with it to stay on or cover everything it needs to. This essence concealer is far from perfect. There have been some days when I’ve had to fight with it. It’s also really affordable and easy to take on-the-go when necessary.

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HIT – Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz – This is going to sound crazy, but this product made me wish that I had problem brows. I have pretty standard brows. I can fill them in a bit and do a little maintenance, but I don’t have to worry about drawing them in or regular waxing. I am usually happy about that, but Anastasia’s Brow Wiz pencil worked so well, I wanted more of an excuse to use it. This pencil looks so natural and real. It must be good if I am wishing away my normal brows.

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MISS – Burt’s Bees BB Cream – I hate to come down on brands that I love, but Burt’s Bees has disappointed me with their BB Cream. My first issue is the smell. It smells a bit like lemons. It’s really strange. Next, the cream always separates in the bottle. No matter how many times I use it or shake it, I always get this weird runny liquid the first time I squeeze it. I have to squeeze it a second time to get the product mixed. Finally after all of that, the coverage of this cream isn’t strong enough to make it worth it. If it gave me great coverage I would be happy to forget those other issues, but the way it sits now I can’t.

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HIT – Annabelle Lash Launcher Mascara – This is really the little mascara that could. I wasn’t excited to try it at all. The first time that I used it, I blew it off as bad without even noticing it. Slowly, day after day, I found myself reaching for the Annabelle mascara more and more. Unlike some other mascaras that I’ve been using lately, this one keeps my lashes looking soft and natural. it has one row of longer bristles that are perfect for making my lashes look extra long. Serves me right for ignoring this little red bottle.

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SOMEWHERE IN BETWEEN – Estee Lauder Double Wear Nude Cushion Stick Radiant Makeup – This stick is a great new innovative way to think of foundation. This foundation is all in one stick with a pad on the end to make applying even easier. Let me start by saying that I really like the foundation. It’s just thick enough to fill any fine lines, but not feel too cakey. It dries quickly without any moisture, so my face looks great. It’s the applicator that I’m not crazy about. I don’t feel like I have enough spreading control by using the pad. Once it’s been used, it feels a bit dirty and I would rather use a foundation brush or my finger to spread it around. That is just me being picky though, because the makeup inside is great!

Holiday Most Wanted: Makeup Gifts

To say I love holiday makeup is an understatement. If I could only buy makeup once a year, it would be holiday stuff and these gifts are perfect for any makeup junkie.

Lipstick Queen Smokey Lip Kit
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There are actually two of these kits, one comes with Black Lace Rabbit and Pinky Nude Sinner and the other with Black Lace Rabbit and Bright Natural Sinner. I like both options but for this post went with Pinky Nude. You can use both these lipsticks on their own or layer the Black Lace Rabbit over Pinky Nude for a deeper, smokey look. If you’ve never tried Black Lace Rabbit before, this is a great way to try the sheer, transforming black lipstick that’ll at least double you lipstick options.
Tarte Color Vibes Amazonian Clay Palette
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This palette has been out for months, so it’s getting a little difficult to find, but keep looking because it’s worth it. With twenty eyeshadows in Tarte’s amazing Amazonian Clay formula, there’s a shade for every look you want. I personally love the shades on the Monet, Seascape and Mosaic but there isn’t a single shade I wouldn’t use.
Arbonne Midnight Muse Holiday 2016
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It’s pretty rare for a holiday kit to give you a complete makeup look but Arbonne’s Midnight Muse does a pretty good job of it. The kit includes an eyeshadow duo, a pencil liner and a matte cream & sheer lip gloss duo. All you really need to add is mascara and some blush (or at least I do) and you’re good for any holiday party.
Kat Von D Hello Canada! Set
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This really isn’t a holiday kit, but it’s a fantastic way to introduce someone to Kat Von’s makeup. Available only at Sephora in Canada, this kit includes some of my favourite Kat Von D products. It has deluxe mini versions of Studded Kiss Lipstick in Lolita, Everlasting Liquid Lipstick in Double Dare and Tattoo Liner in Trooper (everyone needs to try this one) and it’s all wrapped up in a vegan leather bag. Did I mention it’s only $30?
Too Faced Grande Hotel Cafe
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I look forward to Too Faced holiday releases every year and while they do seem somewhat similar, there’s always something special about them. This year my favourite was the Grande Hotel Cafe. You open up the cafe to reveal three palettes, a deluxe sample of Better Than Sex mascara and a leaflet with three makeup look instructions. Each of the palettes is scented differently (Eggnog Latte, Gingerbread Coffee and Peppermint Mocha). You can also carry around each palette separately or use them together. I can’t wait to see what they come out with next year.

MAC Cosmetics Blind Score Casual Colour

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This multi-purpose pod is supposed to provide you with lip and cheek coverage all in one place. I love this colour for fall with its rich purple hue and I was pumped when the weather got cool, so I could try it. If you can still get your hands on this product I would rush to the store and find it. Last I looked, it was still available online!

I was surprised by all of the reviews saying that this wasn’t true to the colour they thought it would be. On my skin, it was exactly the shade MAC promised. I love this colour most on my cheeks. It gives just the right amount of blush. A little goes a long way, but the sheerness is forgiving so you don’t have to be worried about making mistakes.

MAC’s Casual Colour is more casual on the lips. The colour is very light on the lips and a bit sheer. I personally prefer darker purple tones on my lips, but this would be great for a Sunday afternoon when I want something with less commitment. This is a great investment piece for people who don’t wear a lot of blush or lipstick, because you get the best of both world in one convenient place.

Vichy Teint Idéal

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I have to admit, I’m not really a foundation person. I’m more likely to use a tinted moisturizer if I use anything at all, but I do appreciate a good foundation for days when I need a little more coverage. I generally don’t have a preference between liquid, cream and powder foundations, I’ll use any of them as long as they don’t irritate my combination skin or leave me with dry, flaky patches. So when Vichy announced they were releasing foundation, I was pretty excited. Vichy is one of my favourite skin care brands, so their makeup had to be as good, right? Vichy’s Teint Idéal comes in three formulas; liquid, cream and powder and I tried the liquid and powder.
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The liquid shade I tried was 15 Ivory, which is the lightest shade. My skin hasn’t fallen into the super winter ghost-like appearance yet, so this was a pretty decent shade for me but it’s going to end up being slightly too dark by January. The foundation comes in five shades, which definitely won’t cover everyone, but this entire line needs way more shades. The liquid was pretty thin and since I generally apply liquid foundations with my fingers, I noticed that I really didn’t need a lot. Vichy says that this is a light to medium coverage. I disagree. This was basically full coverage unless I mixed it with moisturizer, which I ended up preferring. The entire Teint Idéal line is supposed to be illuminating and it really does that. My skin looks glowy and generally amazing. Unfortunately, this liquid made me break out. Since I break out so rarely, I’m guessing my skin just doesn’t agree with one of the ingredients. Luckily, I had another version to try.
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For the powder compact, I used 1 Light which is again, the lightest shade they offer. Right away I knew the sponge that came with was going to be a pain to work with, too small and flimsy. So I used a fluffy powder brush and it worked with the foundation really well. This is more like a combination between a powder foundation and a pressed powder. I got really good sheer to medium coverage depending on how much I used and the best part is that even when I kept layering it on, it never got cakey or caused flakiness. It leaves my skin with a semi-matte finish and stays put for most of the day (I use the little sponge for minor touch-ups. The powder compact definitely won between the two foundations for me.
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The Teint Idéal line also includes a cream foundation, concealer, highlighter and bronzer. I just wish it also came with more shade selection.

Wander Beauty Slide Liner & Carryon Lip and Cheek Gel

Slide Liner

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Eyeliner is one of my favourite makeup products and I prefer a pencil over anything else. Kohl, gel, it doesn’t matter, I just like the control I get with a pencil. I’d also prefer to not have to sharpen it. Enter Wander Beauty’s Slide Liner Automatic Gel Eyeliner. I was already impressed with the initial Wander Beauty products I had tried, so I had high hopes for these pencils. I was given Black Sand and Tan Line to try and I was really happy with these pencils. They’re unbelievably pigmented and creamy, which makes applying them a breeze. They’re a little soft, so the pointed tip goes away pretty quickly but I can live with that. What I love the most is how long they last. On my upper lash line, these didn’t budge for hours and while my waterline didn’t fare as well, these did last longer than most gel eyeliners. Use an eyeshadow primer and you’ll be golden.
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Carryon Lip And Cheek Gel

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I love blush almost an unreasonable amount for someone with so much pink in my skin but I hate travelling with it. When I’m away, I keep the brushes to a minimum. Carryon Lip And Cheek Gel is an interesting hydrating stain balm concoction that actually does what I want it to. I tried Pink City (mauve) and Island Hop (bright pink). These work really well as a blush and are extremely buildable but also natural looking, so you don’t have to worry about looking a little clown-like. Because these are part stain, they last a really long time. I do like them for my lips as well but more as a tinted lip balm than an actual stain.
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Wander Beauty just keeps impressing me and you could totally hit the road with just the Slide Liners and Carryons and get a decent look out of it. I can’t wait to see what else they come up with.

For more information on Wander Beauty products you can go to their website but you can only buy them in Canada at Sephora.

Gosh Contour’N Strobe Kit

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I like the idea of these contour kits that give you all the powders that you need in one place, but Gosh is joining my contour game pretty late. I have spent the past year trying contour kits from every other brand and I only just got the Gosh palette now. Trying to get me to change my favourites at this point is a challenge.

The first thing that I notice is that the colours in this palette all seem to have a bit of a golden sparkle. Luckily for me, that tone suits me, but be careful if gold isn’t your colour. Even though gold suits me, I don’t always want to sparkle. That kept me away from this makeup kit more than anything else.

I want to contour, but not to sparkle. The powders themselves are ok. The darker contouring powder was too dark for me, so I was thankful for two options.

The blush and the highlighter gave me the glow I expected. Overall this palette was ok, but as I said it’s coming last in the contour trend and I already have my makeup bag favourites set. If it isn’t offering me something new, I don’t know why I would replace it.

Most Wanted Fall Eyeshadow

Fall is really my favourite time of year for makeup. I love the warmness of the shades and I love that you can play around with different finishes and colour combinations. Other than fall nail polish, fall eyeshadow is my absolute favourite, so these are our Most Wanted Fall Eyeshadows
Kat Von D Metal Crush Eyeshadow in Synergy
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This metallic copper bronze shadow just screams fall to me. I’ve gotten to the point where I generally like single shadows better than a palette because I can mix and match. Kat Von D’s Metal Crush shadows are some of my favourites because they’re so creamy and blendable and I find there’s minimal fallout. They also have incredible staying power for a metallic shadow, especially if you use a primer first. I have two Metal Crush shades I love an insane amount and Synergy is one of them.
Paul & Joe Eye Color CS 102 Les Feuilles Morte
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If you’re going to do a post on fall eyeshadow, you have to include one where the shades are inspired by autumn leaves. You can wear each shade of this trio individually, but if you mix them together you get this gorgeous dark rose gold. I love Paul & Joe’s packaging, especially the limited edition designs and the light paper packaging. You just have to be careful not to leave it too close to the sink or get it wet.
Lise Watier Chic & Rustique Palette
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I adore Lise Watier’s palettes, especially around the fall and holiday seasons and I especially love this one. Three of the shades are matte and three are shimmery. The colours range could be the definition of fall, with green, rust and brown. What sets these shadows apart is that their formula is half cream and half powder, so you get the best of both. They’re really creamy and blendable and there’s virtually zero fallout.
Quo Cosmetics Clean Sweep Eyeshadow Palette
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If you’re looking for shades that aren’t typically fall, this Clean Sweep palette might be what you want. With shades ranging from gold to grey to blue, there are a ton of options for different looks here. The shadows are a little on the powdery side, so you’ll need a primer to get good coverage but this palette is a great option for someone who loves to play with different shadows.
GOSH 9 Shades – To Be Cool In Copenhagen
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To Be Cool In Copenhagen is pretty much my essential matte palette. It has a great range of shades from nudes, to browns to black which makes it something I use on an almost daily basis, even if I’m using it as a base under other shadows. The shadows are powdery but not chalky and they’re a good size for a palette. There are a few other palettes in the 9 Shades collection but I really like this one the best and can see myself replacing it if it ever runs out.

Tarte Tarteist Metallic Shadows

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One of my favourite things about being a beauty blogger is trying new products that are destined to be instant classics and aren’t an eyeshadow palette. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good palette, but there’s something to be said for eyeshadow singles and the ability to put whatever shades you want together. Until now, I’ve only used Tarte shadows in a palette and most of them have been matte, which is my shadow preference. I’m really not a sparkly, glittery kind of girl so I tend to gravitate toward matte anything. But Tarte has just majorly stepped up their shadow game with Tarteist Metallic Shadows.
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With eleven shades that are all fairly neutral (so far), there’s a shadow that can fit into any look whether it’s day or night, dramatic or subtle. The packaging is pretty flimsy but you can pop the shadows out and put them in a magnetic palette. The star of these shadows is the formula. These are buttery and pigmented and shimmery but not glittery. They’re smooth and blendable and work really well together. I was pleasantly surprised by the lack of fallout but you’re definitely going to want to use a primer with these. The colours are pretty spectacular. I personally love Poker Face (silvery lilac) and Dame (dusty rose) but I really liked all five I tried. There are a couple others I have my eye on (Sinful, Speakeasy) and I’ll probably end up grabbing them.
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I love Tarte but it’s been a really long time since I was blown away with a new launch by them. This whole Tarteist line has been great but these shadows are the winners for me.