CLARINS | Ombre Cream – Powder Eyeshadow


I thought for a moment on how to start this post but if I were to condense the following paragraphs into one sentence it would simply be…

Where have you been all my life?

Yes, a little strong here isn’t it but my new love for the Clarins Ombre eye shadows run deep. I currently have 5 shades that are all in my top drawer collection and they are often part of my every day makeup look. While not a brand that gets a lot of online publicity, those who have been faithful to Clarins have really been hiding some gems!

Brand: Clarins
Product: Ombre Eyeshadow*
Size: 7 grams
Colours: 8 Matte, 7 Iridescente (some LE)
Price: $26 CAD
Availability: Clarins counters, Clarins online, The Bay
Would I repurchase: Yes!

Ingredients: Mica, Octydodecyl Stearoyl Stearate, Dimethicone, Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Bis-Diglyceryl Polyacyladipate-2, Cetyl Dimethicone, Dimethicone/Vinyl Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Hydrogenated Polycyclopentadiene, Sorbitan Sesquioleate, Sodium Dehydroacetate, Isododecane, Disodium EDTA, Tocopheryl Acetate, Bambusa Arundinacea Stem Powder, Barium Sulfate. May Contain: Talc, CI 77891/Titanium Dioxide, CI 77491/CI77492/CI 77499/Iron Oxides, CI 77007/Ultramarines, CI 77742/Manganese Violet, Silica, Tin Oxide, CI75470/Carmine, CI 42090/Blue 1 Lake, CI 19140/Yellow 5 Lake, CI 77510/Ferric Ferrocyanide, CI 77288/Chromium Oxide Greens.

House in small, portable, lightweight screw top jars, the Clarins Ombre shadows come in two general formulas – matte and iridescente (or iridescent for us non-francais). As of their online listing, there are currently 15 colour options between the two finishes although the brand often releases limited edition colours are part of smaller seasonal collections. The spectrum features wearable neutral shades with variations of browns, mauves, greys and pinks but do lean towards the deeper tones. The dimension in the iridescente grey is stunning and check out the swatch on that black #07 Carbon!

Top – Bottom | Rosewood | Sparkle Grey | Carbon | Silver Ivory | Silver Grey

Marketed as a cream to powder formula, I find less creamy than anticipated and much more like a pressed powder. It doesn’t have the moist touch like that of Lise Watier for example but are perfectly smooth and easy to apply with both fingers or a shadow brush. I love that there’s next to no fall out during application and it’s just overall an easy product to work with. Intensity can be controlled by the pressure used when putting on the product but opacity is great with all the shades I’ve tried. No patchiness and no fuss. While I have not tried layering this with other branded eyeshadow, I don’t expect there to be a problem at all. The darker colours would also work great as a soft liner with a slanted brush.

Without a primer or any other add-ons, these Clarins Ombre colours last a happy 5-6 hours depending on my activity for the day. Once in a while, there will be some slight creasing but the colour never fades until I’m ready to take it off. If you have oily skin, I would recommend prepping with an appropriate base as needed but I find the longevity perfect fine for an average day out or at work.

Absolutely none. For the way I wear eye shadow on the regular, these are perfect as they are.


The Clarins Ombre shadows are a smooth and easy to use addition to your beauty wardrobe. The colour palette makes them great for neutral lovers and even the seasonal “pop” shades have a soft, sophisticated quality to them so you never look overdone! I love that these apply smoothly with consistent colour pay off every time plus they are quick to put together a look for the office. I’d like to see the permanent collection expanded to include more colourful options but for now I’m tempted to collect them all!

 Chat soon,

ANASTASIA | Mario Master Palette – Instagram made me buy it

It doesn’t happen often but once in a while I fall hard for a makeup palette and this time around it caught me completely off guard. I first peeped this Anastasia collaboration with Makeup by Mario on Instagram and was instantly drawn to the gorgeous array of jewel toned neutrals. In fact, despite being the hand behind ultra glam celebrities, I had a new found respect for his work after reading an interview in InStyle in which Mario talked about the need to separate TV makeup from the everyday – the man has a good grip on reality and I adore that!

By no means is there any shortage of brown eye shadow in my collection yet this one looked so rich and inviting. It certainly leans towards a more medium to deeper skin tones if you want to wear this as a daily neutral but I’m hoping a lighter hand would make this everyday appropriate for me as well. A perfectly paired colourful palette for a neutral lover; I can’t wait to dig into this one!
Chat soon,

Review: L’Oreal La Palette Nude Eyeshadow | Look & Swatch

LOreal La Nude 2 Review- Vancouver Blogger

Drugstore makeup has come a long way now in the past 5 years that you can find just about every single category of product right in the beauty aisle down the block. While breadth has certainly expanded, there’s always been one thing lacking for my everyday routine and that is eyeshadow. This spring, L’Oreal is hoping to change my mind (and yours perhaps) with their newly released nude collection eyeshadow palettes.

LOreal La Nude 2 Review- Vancouver Blogger
Brand: L’Oreal
Product: La Palette Nude 2 *
Variation: Nude 1 for light skin tones, Nude 2 for darker skin tones (shown)
Size: 17.5g total
Price (suggested retail): $29.99 CAD
Availability: Drugstores nationwide
Would I (re)purchase: Undecided.

Another nude palette you ask? Well, that was also my first reaction until I stopped and thought that there really wasn’t very many options in a large cohesive format from the drugstore. Sure you can pick and stack your favourite singles, trios or maybe even quads but there’s certainly still a need for a one piece does it all palette. To step up the game, this La Palette Nude has two variations in #01 for fair/light skin and #02 for medium/deep skin which is what you’re seeing right now.

LOreal La Nude 2 Review- Vancouver Blogger
Set in a large black plastic casing, the Nude 2 is a selection of 10 eye shadows in finishes of shimmery satin, buttery matte and lustrous sheen according to the press details. This variant is also called Nude Intense for it’s richer, deeper shades of taupes, mauves and plums. Now from my eyes and swatches, it was difficult to easily differentiate between the lustrous and satin shades so as far as I’m concerned this palette has 6 visible matte finish colours along with 4 visible shine finish colours.

La Nude #01 is focused on ivory, beige and caramel shades.

LOreal La Nude 2 Review- Vancouver Blogger
L’Oreal has also included a dual ended applicator with a sponge tip on one end and a small medium density rounded brush on the other. Before you cast this away in the name of useless cheap makeup tools, I actually found this to be well designed for this particular formulation.

The matte shades were all very smooth to the touch and not at all crumbly though quite powdery leading to some fallout but they do have good pigmentation. The shine shades were drier than what I expected (I’m used to wet/soft textures in my shine colours) and pigmentation is good as well, though perhaps slightly less than the mattes.

LOreal La Nude 2 Review- Vancouver Blogger

One thing to note is that the colours in the pan do not completely coordinate to the infograph on the back of the palette. All the shades however, translate very true from than to the skin but the formula layer badly and I wasn’t able to build up the intensity of any of the shades beyond 2 layers. What you get in a single swipe is pretty much all it will ever be. The beautiful intense eye combinations in the promo photos are most definitely achieved by lighting and post production enhancements as I can’t see this palette offering that type of depth on it’s own.
Wear time is an average of 4-5 hours and I didn’t notice any major creasing though as always, a primer is suggested if you have very oily eyelids.
LOreal La Nude 2 Review- Vancouver Blogger
La Nude #02 | Clockwise from top left: Shades 2, 3, 4, 1
LOreal La Nude 2 Review- Vancouver Blogger
La Nude #02 | Clockwise from top: Shades 6, 7, 8
LOreal La Nude 2 Review- Vancouver Blogger
La Nude #02 | Clockwise from top: Shades 8, 9, 10

The look I created (below) uses colours from the darker mauve/plum end of the spectrum with a pop of highlight in the center of of the lid. The palette inspired me to try a smokey hazy variation on a softly contoured eye with lots of heavy shadowing on the lower lash line. This was one of those looks that looked like it was going to be a crazy fail until the last minute when you put on some lashes, lower mascara and suddenly the whole thing pulls itself together!

LOreal La Nude 2 Revi
ew- Vancouver Blogger
LOreal La Nude 2 Review- Vancouver Blogger
LOreal La Nude 2 Review- Vancouver Blogger

LOreal La Nude 2 Review- Vancouver Blogger

With all that being said, there are 2 major downfalls to this palette that keeps it from being a top hit in my collection and they both have to do with the texture and formulation of the powders. For one, they seem to lack adhesion on my lids and often find myself reaching for an eyeshadow primer or a cream base to help it along. As well, the soft very talc heavy texture blends away almost a little too easily and what started out as an intense gradation can accidentally be blended away into a muddy singular colour if you’re not careful.

The best way I’ve found to compensate for the latter is actually to use the sponge tip applicator to lay down and pat-blend the colour gently first before taking a brush to smooth out just the edges of the shadow. Resist the urge to over blend!

LOreal La Nude 2 Review- Vancouver Blogger


The L’Oreal La Palette Nude is a very welcoming addition to the drugstore beauty lineup which is currently terribly lacking in the big palette selection. The fact that this release comes with two options of a light and dark variant makes it double the creative fun and well suited for a wide range of skin tones. However just as there are things to love about this palette (smoothness and pigmentation) there are equally as many downfalls (lack of adhesion and too much blend out). Also, priced at almost $30 I’d be more inclined to go up to an introductory high end option even if it meant getting a smaller palette. On the other hand if I drugstore was my budget then this would easily be my pick of the bunch. To buy or not to buy? Well, it’s your call.


LOreal La Nude 2 Review- Vancouver Blogger


Review & Look: 16 Shades of Nude Palette | Shu Uemura

This spring, nude shades continue to dominate in makeup trends. While we’ve seen many variations from high end to low end, warm to cool shades and multitude of sizes in between. This time, it was Shu Uemura who dropped a fully loaded, incredibly valued, 16 shade full sized eyeshadow palette. Say hello to the 16 Shades of Nude.
Brand: Shu Uemura
Product: 16 Shades of Nude*
Size: 16 x 1.4g
Price: $105 CAD
Availability: Shu Uemura Online Exclusive
Would I (re)purchase: Possibly
Now I must say $105 sounds like one very expensive palette; in a way it is and in a way it’s not. It turns out that all the individual colours in this palette are full sized, normally retailing for $19CAD if sold individually. Break this down in a palette and this rounds off to approximately $5.6CAD per eyeshadow. Bang for your buck? Definitely.

The Shu:Palette comes packaged in a very sturdy yet slim matte black plastic casing with a wide mirror under the lid and an accompanying flat duo ended shading brush. I personally prefer a thicker, denser brush for all over shadow application but I have had Shu artists use a similar flat brush for eyeshadow and create some amazing results on me so this really comes down to personal preference.

Note that this palette is designed in Japan but made in Korea according to the packaging.

A closer look at the range of colours and finishes in this palette which are set up from light intensity (denoted by a 1) to medium intensity (denoted by a 2) and dark shades (denoted by a 3). This systematic approach or numbering is meant to help you easily create pairings for a 3 step gradation eye look.
Shades & Intensities according to Shu Uemura

TOP: Beige 821 (Glitter 1), Soft Beige 814 (Matte 1), Light Beige 825 (Metallic 1), Medium Brown 862 (Metallic 2), Soft Brown 851 (Matte 2), Light Beige 811 (Irridescent 2), Dark Blue 690 (Irridescent 3)
BOTTOM: Light Beige 813 (Matte 1), Soft Beige 823 (Pearl 2), Light Beige 815 (Satin 1), Light Beige 822 (Pearl 1), Medium Brown 875 (Pearl 2), Dark Brown 895 (Matte 3), Medium Olive 471 (Metallic 2), Black 990 (Matte 3)

On the rainbow scale, I feel like the shades even out to be fairly neutral. Although there are some golden tones (like the flecked golden glitter) and cooler tones (like the bottom brownish purple), it doesn’t swing dramatically in either direction and thus is a very approachable palette for a variety of skin tones. From my count, there are 5 mattes, 3 satins, 2 glitters, 6 metallics.

Above: Colours layered over each other to show variance.

For my light NC15-NC20 skintone, I felt that certain paler shades were just too similar or too light to show up well on my skin and in an everyday situation I wouldn’t need all of them in my palette. For someone with a more light-medium skin tone intensity, this would be the perfect colour spectrum with super pale highlights and rich smokey darks. 
The overall texture of the shadows were super smooth (except the glitters which were a little patchy but not gritty) with the matte being exceptionally impressive. What I’ve learned about Shu eye shadows as a whole is that they are really designed for layering rather than the “one swipe does all” method that you may be used to from brands like Urban Decay for example. The formulations here give a translucency that makes it easy to create subtle or dramatic nuances by building the various textures and finishes together without ever coming off as powder or heavy on the skin.

In this look, I decided to try out a very basic high contrast eye but keeping the style and placement simple. I started with the matte Soft Brown 851 all over the lid, then layered the metallic Light Beige 825 over the same area. I also decided to try out the intensity of the matte Black 990 (a tricky shade for any brand) using the flat brush included with the palette to create a super deep smokey extended liner. In fact, I was so impressed with the richness of the black eye shadow that I did not even pick up my usual liquid liner and instead merely dotted some pencil liner between my lashes, popped on some falsies and called it a day.

Without any additional primer or setting spray, these shadows stayed pristine for 4-5 hours before I noticed some slight creasing but there was no significant shifting to warrant a touch up through the rest of the day. Some of the colours had slight fall out during application but again it was minimal.

The Shu Uemura 16 Shades of Nude Eyeshadow Palette is a very versatile and approachable every day neutral eye shadow collection that will take care of not only your daily makeup but also a few party time looks as well. If you appreciate the subtle nuances in your colours then this is a must have for your collection and at an incredible value as well. The textures of the powders are very easy and forgiving to work with whether you like a singular, gradated or a layered multi-faceted makeup look and you don’t need a makeup artist to make this look spectacular. If you’re just a very simple neutral sophisticated makeup lover looking to build up a great wearable fool proof routine, this is it. Personally I don’t think every single colour in this palette is a must have but there I’m sure I will be able to put them all to good use.

Review: Smashbox | Full Exposure Eyeshadow Mini

I don’t know about you but I rarely travel with my large expensive makeup items with the fear of breaking an eyeshadow in my luggage or loosing a lipstick by accidentally leaving it in the hotel bathroom. This is especially true for eyeshadow, where large palettes can make me feel overwhelmed while looking at my makeup bag with just 15minutes to get ready.The key is bring something, small, loaded and affordable. Lately I’ve discovered the Smashbox Full Exposure Travel Palette which seemed perfectly designed for the job.

Brand: Smashbox Cosmetics
Product: Full Exposure Travel/Mini Eyeshadow Palette (Limited Edition)
Colours: S1, S3, S4, S6, M1, M3, M4, M6
Size: 6grams net weight
Price: $23CAD
Availability: Sephora exclusive
Would I repurchase: Absolutely!

Beautifully colour coordinated yet totally utilitarian in design, this travel/mini palette comes with 8 eyeshadows versus the 14 shades in the ever popular full sized Full Exposure palette. It has the size and dimension of about 5 credit cards stacked together and comes with a mirror attached to the flip lid. Slim and super lightweight, it’s even small enough to slip into your jeans pocket in a hurry.
Despite its demure size, the Full Exposure Travel palette houses 8 of the most popular shades from the Full Exposure collection with 4 shimmer options and 4 matte options split into warm (left), neutral (center) and cool tones (right). I love that it takes away much of the decision making by giving me just enough of what I want, without the burdensome extras. Less decision making means more time to do other important things.

L-R | M1, S1, M3, S3
Now the pigmentation and smoothness of the Full Exposure collection has been highly debated. Some thought they were greatly subparr while others loved the variety and multi-purpose functionality (Jordan Liberty from GiveGoodFace gives it his approval).

My take on the whole situation about having a good chance to play with all the colours is that I think this is a different type of formulation than what most people have come to know (and love) about “good” eyeshadows. We’ve been trained to expect a creamy, soft, smooth powder formulation that has a thicker tactile quality which you can almost simply smear onto the skin and have full coverage.

L-R | M4, S4, M6, S6

These Full Exposure shadows feel thinner, are less powdery and have a medium layerable type of pigmentation. I find all the matte shades to be smooth and easily blendable. The shimmers range between a fine sheen to a slightly chunkier grit and work better with a dense shading brush versus a fluffy blending brush. All the shades are very true to the colours your see in the pan. 
Lasting power is a solid 6-7 hours before I see any signs of fading and creasing seems to be minimal to none on my lids. Again I think this goes back to the fact that this is not a thick, powdery product so there it’s less prone to breaking down and gunking up.

I love that I’ve been getting a lot of uses from this little palette and on some days I actually have to remind myself that I have other products waiting to be tested out. The less powdery texture mean that I can easily mix and layer the matte shades without having a lot of fall out or fear of everything getting into a muddy mess on the skin.


The Smashbox Full Exposure Travel/Mini Palette is a life friendly quick and functional eyeshadow option for neutral shadow lovers. In fact, I think these shades are a necessity in everyone’s makeup bag because it can take you from subdued to smokey all in an incredibly compact case. For those who are very picky about their eyeshadows, these do not have the thick, creamy, buttery texture you crave but personally I’ve had no issues working with them. The shimmer options are not the most intense shadows I have used but rather provide a metallic sheen with some speckling of sparkles so choose accordingly. At the end of the day, this palette may not exactly be a hit with everyone but I can certainly see myself purchasing this again or perhaps even the full size option.


Review: Colour Tattoo Leather Eyeshadows | Maybelline

As one of the most popular drugstore cream shadow products in the last few years, Maybelline recently expanded the line with a much anticipated leather collection. Though metallics are the most available choices when it comes to cream products, these new matte and satin finish options give you more variety to spice up your drugstore look.

Brand: Maybelline New York
Product: Color Tattoo Leather Cream Eyeshadows
Colours: 5 in total (shown: creamy beige, deep forest*, chocolate suede)
Size: 4grams
Price: $7-9CAD
Availability: Drugstores nationwide
Would I repurchase: Undecided

Now I think it’s worthwhile to preface by saying that I already have 7 Color Tattoo Eyeshadows in my current makeup collection (reviewed here), not including these new leathers. Sometimes they go on sale, sometimes I love a limited edition colour but somehow I ended up with a lot of them.

From the packaging to the pricing and general feel, there doesn’t seem to any notable differences between the previous releases and these new leather editions. The 5 colours available comprises of earthy muted shades that work great for this season or for those who just love a smokey eye look all year around.

I think its easy to get confused by the term “leather” but you’ll see that Chocolate Suede is satin finish while Creamy Beige and Deep Forest look virtually matte on the skin but actually contain minute shimmer particles for some muted dimension versus a completely matte (and flat) product.

All 3 colours feel creamy to the touch but I found them harder to blend evenly versus the MAC Paintpots. I’d pick up some product on my finger and it would take a good 10 seconds to smooth it out in an even layer as it just doesn’t seem to have enough slip for a quick and smooth application. Once properly on the eyes and set, they should last you an easy 5 hours without needing to recheck the mirror.

L-R | Creamy Beige | Deep Forest | Chocolate Suede
Pigmentation looks great on initial application but note that I swatched these quite heavily on my hand and once applied properly to the eyes, it will usually take 2-3 layers for this type of intensity. For everyday use I’ve actually found them much more likeable as a base colour for my powder eyeshadows (especially drugstore types that needs a little extra help) and depending on your choice of combinations it can reveal multiple looks from a single powder eyeshadow!

My major issue with this product (as with the whole Colour Tattoo Range) is that I found it hard to blend multiple shades together if I am planning a contoured look though it works fine if you mix the colours together first with your finger into a single shade before applying it to your eyelid. For those who prefer to wear a single shade anyways this wouldn’t be an problem but if you are temp the sculpted look shown on the Maybellie promo images then you’re up for a hard battle.


While I like the finish and the drugstore option that these Maybelline Color Tattoo Leather eyeshadows bring to the market, there was no improvement over the formulation and I feel that there wasn’t enough tonal variety for the range. For those who own the original range already, I don’t feel that you need to pick up the whole set of these leather varieties. However if you don’t own similar cream shadows then I would recommend adding either Deep Forest or Creamy Beige to your fall collection as they’ll work great as inexpensive layering options.

INGREDIENTS: Cyclopentasiloxane, Isododecane, Polypropylsilsesquioxane, Ceresin, Cyclohexasiloxane, Caprylyl Methicone, Synthetic Fluorphlogopite, Alumina, Silica Dimethyl Silylate, Disteardimonium Hectorite, Cyclomethicone, Propylene Carbonate, Candelilla Cera / Candelilla Wax / Cire De Candelilla, Caprylyl Glycol, C30-45 Alkyldimethylsilyl Polypropylsilsesquioxane, Calcium Sodium Borosilicate, Calcium Aluminum Borosilicate, Silica, Polyethylene Terephthalate, Tin Oxide, Acrylates Copolymer, Paraffin. May Contain: Mica, CI 77891 / Titanium Dioxide, CI 77491, CI 77492, CI 77499 / Iron Oxides, CI 77007 / Ultramarines, CI 19140 / Yellow 5 Lake, CI 16035 / Red 40 Lake, CI 77000 / Aluminum Powder, CI 77510 / Ferric Ferrocyanide, CI 75470 / Carmine, CI 42090 / Blue 1 Lake, CI 77400 / Bronze Powder, CI 77288 / Chromium Oxide Greens, CI 77289 / Chromium Hydroxide Green, CI 77742 / Manganese Violet, CI 77400 / Copper Powder, CI 77163 / Bismuth Oxychloride, CI 77510 / Ferric Ammonium Ferrocyanide.

Review: Shu Uemura | Drawing Pencil & Pret-a-Palette | #eyeloveshu

Shu Uemura fans are a loyal brood and while you don’t always hear word on the street about Shu, those who love their products are fiercely protective.

While famous for it’s iconic eyelash curlers, Shu is also a master colourist. The brand produces a beautiful array of artisan colours stemming from Mr. Uemura’s ideology of making makeup more creative and enjoyable for all women.

The Summer 2014 Collection highlights the newly reformulated Drawing Pencils, the ready to wear Pret-a-Palette and the Petal Lash Mascara. Today’s post and look will focus on the shadows and pencils both of which are all about bringing more colour into your everyday makeup wardrobe.
SHU UEMURA | Pret-a-Palette* $85cad | Pink Hues
Available in 4 ready to wear, pre-selected colour combinations, my pink palette is filled with 6 pink and purple toned shadows each weighing 1 gram for a total of 6 grams altogether. The case itself can be taken apart, allowing you to refill individual shade ($19cad each) or create your own perfect rainbow combination. The full array of Shu eyeshadow pans comes in 5 finishes including matte, pearl, iridescent, metallic and glitter.
The 6 shades in this palette include

  • PK01 | Off white matte
  • PK02 | Iridescent light pink
  • PK03 | Pearl pale rose pink
  • PK04 | Medium pink glitter
  • PK05 | Cool blue pink matte
  • PK06 | Medium-deep aubergine matte

All colour descriptions above are based on what I see in the pan but a few colours like the PK3 and PK4 swatch differently on the skin. The pearl shades have a particularly reflective sheen that can appear to be two slightly different colours depending on the light. For a makeup artist’s discerning eye there is a visible difference between the few lighter shades but for the average user, they are probably too similar to be a necessity in a single palette. Personally, I’d like to see either PK02 or PK03 switched out for a different pink.

All the colours had a pleasant smooth texture that was incredibly smooth to blend with the exception of PK4, which came off only as a fine glitter with just a slight hint of colour rather than the bright pink as seen in the pan. The general depth of the colours would have much more versatility on someone with a light medium tone since the lighter shades are too close to my natural colouring for high impact.
What I find really beautiful about these shadows is how well they layer over one another. I must admit pink is not one of my most reached for colours for the fear of looking like a red eyed rabbit but the addition of the slightly smokier mauve and purple shades made this a much more wearable palette than expected. When worn over a pink base, the deepest aubergine transforms into a near magenta shade that’s colourful and unexpectedly pretty. A touch of of the glitter shade right on the center of the eyelid is one of my favourite ways to finish up an eye look.

Now if you’re eyeing that pop of colour on my lower lash line, that is thanks to the reformulated Shu Drawing Pencils which come in 4 textures and 24 shades for infinite mix and match options. And when Shu says colour, we’re talking reds, baby blues, yellow and even a hot pink in addition to your wearable everyday neutrals. If you’re having a hard time choosing your colours, 10 shades are specially picked out to fit Asian skin tones: M01, P01, M02, M03, M04, M05, M81, M82, M83 and M84.

SHU UEMURA | Drawing Pencil* $28cad | 24 shades total
These pencils boast a soft texture, blendable consistency, intense colour payoff in a waterproof formulation and I say they pass all the above. They have a firm feel that allows for control but still smooth enough for an easy glide, a little less creamy than the Rimmel Scanadaleyes but perfectly workable.

The intricate combination of ingredients contains an evaporating agent which allows the colour to be blended almost like an eyeshadow when applied but once the solvent evaporates, it sets and your fine work is here to stay. I even ran my hand under water and proceeded with some vigorous rubbing which made absolute no difference to the eyeliner. Can we say, thoroughly impressed?

L-R | M11, ME7, M81, M01

To compliment the Pret-a-palette, I wore the matte black to fill in my upper lash line, M11 (red purple) along the outer lower lash line/slightly as a base in the outer crease and ME71 (sparkly purple) along the lower lash line topped off with PK06 eyeshadow for a really vibrant look.
On the cheeks and lips I am wearing the Shu Uemura Lip and Cheek Tint* in “gelato”.

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For a limited time, free shipping is available online for all orders with the code: “PETAL”.


For a girl who prefers colour on her lips rather than eyes, I must say I am happily impressed by Shu Uemura’s approach to colour. The Pret-a-Palette is easy to work with, travel friendly, design smart and layers beautifully for all kinds of experimentation. It was very important that they don’t get muddy when blended but build smoothly with each layer and these certainly fit the bill. The matte shades are especially worth checking out if Shu is within your budget. For those seeking for maximum versatility then the Drawing Pencil liners will be your new favourite play thing. Reminiscent of artists colouring pencils, I’ve seen Shu makeup artists create some incredibly quick and polished looks with just a few of these blended together. Altogether, I am beginning to understand why Shu has such a faithful following and I can’t wait to work these colours more into my every wardrobe.


Review: Essence | Eyeshadow Singles

Of all the wonderful abundance of beauty products out in the drugstores these days, I must say that I’d be hard pressed to find a really lovely eyeshadow. While I’m no eyeshadow connoisseur, it does seem that such a product requires the perfect combination of pigment, smoothness and blendability to really stand on it’s own. Over the past few years, Essence cosmetics has become my little secret treat. Their low prices and frequently occurring limited edition collections have always kept me coming back.

Brand: Essence
Product: Mono eyeshadow
Colours: 15 total, non including limited edition
Size: 2.5grams
Price: $2.49 CAD
Availabilty: Select Shoppers Drugstore locations nationwide, Ulta (in USA)

Yes you read that right, at only $2.49CAD a piece this is the low calorie answer to your beauty sweet tooth. I’ve collected 4 shades thus far, out of a permanent total of 15 in the mono collection not including the limited edition releases.

Essence’s target market is quite the young crowd and everything from their pricing to packaging reflect fun and affordability while promoting experimentation. The clear plastic container of the single shadow compacts may seem utilitarian but are, in usage, very functional as I can clearly pick out the colour I want without having to open each lid individually.

The range of colours seem to be categorized into 3 main finishes, metallic, sparkling and shimmer effect. Your choices range from pearly pastels to a few surprising brights and handful of basic nudes. Pigmentation as whole is very satisfying with a few shades being excellent. Note that my photo (below) was taking in natural light so less of the metallic and shimmer particles came through, with flash photography however you can get quite a disco going here.

  • DISCO DIVA | (metallic effect) | Exceptionally pigmented and creamy with just the right amount of cool toned shine, this lavender eyeshadow rivals some of my MAC favourites.
  • GET READY! | (shimmer effect) | Dark cool toned brown with fine gold shimmer, can be borderline chalky and hard to blend. Not a favourite.
  • PARTY ALL NIGHT | (metallic effect) | Metallic stardust effect on the lids with a champagne undertone, buttery and smooth.
  • SHRIMP ME UP | (shimmer effect) | Unexpectedly lovely medium toned coral that leans towards satin rather than shimmer, creamy but can be a tad uneven to apply.
*swatched on bare skin*

All four of the colours I own do have decent colour payoff though smoothness isn’t consistent among them. When it comes to application, try using your fingers or a sponge tip applicator to press the product onto your eyelids for best adhesion as I find a brush tend to make the colours very sheer.

Unfortunately the major downfall of these shadows is their wear and long lasting ability. If you plan on wearing them for more than 2-3hrs then a primer is definitely needed to keep it from traveling to places you don’t want it to go and also make the colours a touch more vibrant. Personally, I love a cream shadow or paint pot underneath.

Disco Diva | One of my go-to purples


Not every colour is going to be a win in these Essence mono shadows but it’s definitely worth picking up a few if you want an inexpensive way to play with some fun colours or as a starter kit for a makeup beginner. All stands have testers and I do suggest you make use of them since consistency and smoothness vary between the colours. For the true eyeshadow connoisseurs, these likely won’t make the grade but for the casual wearer, it’s worth owning a few.



Review: Physicians Formula "NUDE" Shimmer Strips Eyeshadow Palette

Admit it, you’ve probably walked down the makeup aisle at your local drugstore and have at some point picked up and looked at this pretty little lace number. With it’s classic good looks and seductive negligee packaging, you might have even taken her home.

Brand: Physicians Formula
Product: Shimmer Strips Nude Eyeshadow Palette
Size: 7.5g
Price: $15-20CAD ($11 USD)
Availability: Drugstore, Ulta, iHerb
Would I repurchase:  Possibly Yes.
Details: Hypoallergenic, Fragrance Free, Paraben Free, Gluten Free, Sensitive Eyes approved

There’s no denying this Nude shadow palette by Physicians Formula is a looker and with that alone has probably charmed its way into many a shopping baskets, mine included. In the recently few years the brand, mainly known for it’s skin friendly formulations, have taken a rigorous approach to re-branding their products with a more popular and modern aesthetic.

Their “Nude” Collection which now not only includes 4 palette variations (not available in all locations but Ulta seems to have a full selection) but also liquid shimmer liners, kohl kajal liners, powders, bronzer and blush.
The palette itself is slim, lightweight (especially compared to their regular Shimmer Strips packaging) and very portable. Containing a triple trio collection of shadows, each grouping of three is meant to offer you a different finished look be it natural, playful or dramatic.

In lieu of an eyeshadow brush or even a traditional rounded sponge applicator, this palette is paired with a slant tip foam “brush” with an emphasis on the sharp edge, that is meant to allow you to pick up the darker colours and use it as liner to complete your look. While this sounded like an innovative idea, this only seems to work if you prefer a thicker smokier “line” if I can even call it a line at all as the tip is neither firm nor slim enough to create a decent smooth result.

Being part of the Shimmer Strips line or products, the finishes of 8 of these shades are a soft foiled satin with only the black being a matte with miniscule silver shimmer. Pigmentation is light for the paler half of the palette and reasonably good for the darker half, soft and creamy to the touch though again the black colour felt strangely chalkier and drier than the rest. Unfortunately these pretty colours have a hard time staying put, a primer may help but overall I wouldn’t depend on these for a long day.
Because of it’s texture and consistency, I found my regular eyeshadow brushes to be mostly pathetically useless when trying to pickup the powder as it just doesn’t hold. A sponge tipped applicator (like the one included) or your fingers actually produces the best and most saturated results with this formulation though a fluffy blending brush can help soften the edges. It did seem that it was very easy to over blend this soft formulation, causing all the colours to get very muddy so try using a smaller brush when doing so or just stick to a sponge applicator which is what I preferred to do.

For something quick and pretty to keep in your makeup bag, the Nude Palette from Physicians Formula is still a good pick. While the formulation isn’t the most versatile to work with (and I still rarely touch that chalky black shade) I do find myself frequently reaching for this palette when I need a subtle neutral eye on days when I don’t require my makeup to be life proof. This would also make a useful starter palette for those who are on a budget or just beginning to experiment with makeup. However if you are an Urban Decay Naked or Lorac Pro devotee then this little thing wouldn’t be missed in your drawers.

Mica, Polybutene, Ethylhexyl Palmitate, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Oil, Pentaerythrityl Tetraisostearate, Synthetic Wax, Silica, Dimethicone, Lauroyl Lysine, Beeswax, Dimethicone/Methicone Copolymer, Ethylhexylglycerin, Kaolin, Tocopheryl Acetate, Phenoxyethanol May Contain: Carmine, Ferric Ferrocyanide, Iron Oxides, Manganese Violet, Synthetic Fluorphlogopite, Tin Oxide, Titanium Dioxide, Ultramarines, Blue 1 Lake, Red 40, Yellow 5 Lake

Review: Maybelline | Color Tattoo Eyeshadow

Hailed as one of the biggest breakthrough drugstore products last year, the Maybelline Colour Tattoo eye shadows have truly redefined our perceptions of drugstore beauty. During my novice years in makeup when drugstore was the most accessible (and affordable), I often found myself stuck in the eyeshadow section with few options to choose from. Cream shadows were even rarer to come by, making temporary appearances from time to time but in the end never gaining enough popularity to stay on the shelves for long.

Maybelline Colour Tattoo_01
Brand: Maybelline New York
Product: Colour Tattoo 24hr Eyeshadow
Shades: Original 9 shades, Metals 5 shades
Size: 4 grams
Price: $7-10CAD
Availability: Drugstore
Would I repurchase: Yes, likely.

These Maybelline pots bursted onto the beauty scene with some bold claims to its name, 24hr wear, a creme gel formula and a daring selection of shades including a bright tangerine and a matte taupe, all things I associated with high end products (and also high price tags). The eye shadows come in solid glass pots, clear at the bottom so you can easily see the shade you  have in hand. The colour selection tend to be on the satin or metallic side with only a few matte choices. There has since been released a “Metal” collection, which is really just an introduction of new shades rather than finishes since many of the originals are already metallic.

Maybelline Colour Tattoo_02
Perhaps you are like me and wondered why these are labeled as “creme gels” versus the more popular “gel creme” descriptions of most cream eyeshadows. Looking at the product in the pot, they appear to be quite solid (no amount of upside down shaking will dislodge it from the container) and even a bit dry when you put a finger to the surface but upon warming it slightly the dense creme transforms into a creme gel consistency. Once on the eyes, you have to work quickly before it sets into a film of colour on the skin. These are best applied in thin layers to achieved the desired effect instead of one heavy later, be it a sheer wash you are after or something more intense. Beware that these don’t layer well at all with other cream products once set, I learned this the hard way. When dried and set they leave absolutely no moistness and is completely dry to the the touch, perfect for layer powders on top without the fear of getting patchy.
Maybelline Colour Tattoo_03
Through out the months, I have collected 6 colours ranging from both the Original and the Metals series. Pigmentation is consistent through the various shades, being light to medium in one stroke and certainly buildable to achieve more opacity. A few shades, like Inked in Pink and Bad to the Bronze swatched surprisingly different than they appeared in the pot so do test the shades in the shops first if you can.

The most pressing question left is that of the 24hr wear claim because let’s face it, cream shadows are infamous for creasing and smudging. I’d say that these Maybelline ones last most of the day for causal daily wear but won’t hold up against a workout or other steamy sweaty situations, they will crease albeit much less so than most cream shadows. So unless you are going to be doing nothing but sitting pretty in an air conditioned room for 24hrs then claim is a bit far fetched in my opinion but none the less I think for a drugstore product they perform superbly well overall and is the best I’ve come across in this category thus far.

Those who’ve been with me for some time know that I am faithfully devoted to my (single) MAC paintpot in Groundwork, a medium matte brown that I use almost every time I wear makeup. In comparison, I do prefer the creamier texture of the MAC (Maybelline feels very dry initially) and the fact that it is easier to blend over the eye because of that, giving me more time to work with the product. Wear time is quite similar with the paintpot edging out by a few hours more but both are enough for an average 9-5 day. I’m just hoping that Maybelline will release a matte series so there will be more to love for days I’m not feeling all sparkly.

Maybelline Colour Tattoo_04
Ingredients: General list (will vary slightly depending on the shade)
Cyclopentasiloxane, Isododecane, Polypropylsilsesquioxane, Ceresin, Cyclohexasiloxane, Caprylyl Methicone, Synthetic Fluorphlogopite, Alumina, Silica Dimethyl Silylate, Disteardimonium Hectorite, Cyclomethicone, Propylene Carbonate, Candelilla Cera / Candelilla Wax / Cire De Candelilla, Caprylyl Glycol, C30-45 Alkyldimethylsilyl Polypropylsilsesquioxane, Calcium Sodium Borosilicate, Calcium Aluminum Borosilicate, Silica, Polyethylene Terephthalate, Tin Oxide, Acrylates Copolymer, Paraffin. May Contain: Mica, CI 77891 / Titanium Dioxide, CI 77491, CI 77492, CI 77499 / Iron Oxides, CI 77007 / Ultramarines, CI 19140 / Yellow 5 Lake, CI 16035 / Red 40 Lake, CI 77000 / Aluminum Powder, CI 77510 / Ferric Ferrocyanide, CI 75470 / Carmine, CI 42090 / Blue 1 Lake, CI 77400 / Bronze Powder, CI 77288 / Chromium Oxide Greens, CI 77289 / Chromium Hydroxide Green, CI 77742 / Manganese Violet, CI 77400 / Copper Powder, CI 77163 / Bismuth Oxychloride, CI 77510 / Ferric Ammonium Ferrocyanide.