REVIEW | AFFILIATE LINKS
Giorgio Armani’s Power Fabric Foundation is a medium slightly buildable coverage soft matte foundation which photographs excellently but lacks in staying power. The SPF is a nice added bonus and doesn’t appear to cause any flashback but shouldn’t be relied upon for solo sun protection. I can see Power Fabric useful for achieving a particular velvety finish for a short event or occasion but it’s not something that I feel can put up with day to day stressors unless you work in mild temperature controlled environment or have dry to normal skin. So while this is not a bad product per say, it was a disappointment measured against its claims. Additionally, for a similar effect and similar lasting ability, MAC’s Studio Fix Fluid or Estee Lauder’s Double Wear are very comparable at a much lower price point.
REVIEW | AFFILIATE LINKS
NOTE: Oil-free, non-comedogenic, no added fragrance.
30ml @ $86CAD | 50ml @ $120CAD
Would I (re)purchase: Undecided.
Ingredients: Water\Aqua\Eau; Bifida Ferment Lysate; Methyl Gluceth-20; Peg-75; Bis-Peg-18 Methyl Ether Dimethyl Silane; Butylene Glycol; Propanediol; Cola Acuminata (Kola) Seed Extract; Hydrolyzed Algin; Pantethine; Caffeine; Lecithin; Tripeptide-32; Ethylhexylglycerin; Sodium Rna; Bisabolol; Glycereth-26; Squalane; Sodium Hyaluronate; Oleth-3 Phosphate; Caprylyl Glycol; Lactobacillus Ferment; Oleth-3; Oleth-5; Anthemis Nobilis (Chamomile); Yeast Extract\Faex\Extrait De Levure; Choleth-24; Hydrogenated Lecithin; Ceteth-24; Tocopheryl Acetate; Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate; Hexylene Glycol; Carbomer; Triethanolamine; Trisodium Edta; Bht; Xanthan Gum; Phenoxyethanol; Red 4 (Ci 14700); Yellow 5 (Ci 19140)
NOTE: Formulated for night time use.
Would I (re)purchase: No.
Ingredients: Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride; Squalane; Aleurites Moluccana (Kukui) Seed Oil; Prunus Armeniaca (Apricot) Kernel Oil; Bisabolol; Vaccinium Myrtillus Seed Oil; Garcinia Mangostana Peel Extract; Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil; Salicornia Herbacea Extract; Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Extract; Anthemis Nobilis (Chamomile) Flower Extract; Salvia Hispanica Seed Extract; Coffea Arabica (Coffee) Seed Extract; Magnolia Officinalis Bark Extract; Cholesterol; Linoleic Acid; Tocopheryl Acetate; Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate; Bht
ng some redness from daily aggressors and did not clog my pores or cause any breakouts.
Estee Lauder’s Advanced Night Repair Sychronized Recovery Complex II works well as a daily skin maintenance, restorative and balancing serum. It’s light weight consistency will likely work for all skin types and I’d recommend this to those in their 20s and beyond. Despite being marketed as an anti-aging powerhouse, I found it mild and see it more as a preventative and early stage treatment. The corresponding Recovery Mask-In-Oil, while working great as an add on moisturizer, is overpriced for its lack of results and you’d be just as happy with many other lower priced oil options on the market.
INGREDIENTS: Aqua/Water/Eau, Paraffin, Potassium Cetyl Phosphate, Copernicia Cerifera Cera/Carnauba Wax/Cire De Carnauba, Ethylene/Acrylic Acid Copolymer, Styrene/Acrylates/Ammonium Methacrylate Copolymer, Cera Alba/Beeswax/Cire Dabeille, Synthetic Beeswax, Bis-Diglyceryl Polyacyladipate-2, Polybutene, Cetyl Alcohol, Steareth-20, Glyceryl Dibehenate, Steareth-2, Phenoxyethanol, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Acacia Senegal Gum, Tribehenin, Caprylyl Glycol, Glyceryl Behenate, Sodium Dehydroacetate, Hydrogenated Jojoba Oil, Hydrogenated Palm Oil, Disodium EDTA, Butylene Glycol, Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Silica, Tetrasodium EDTA, Potassium Sorbate, BHT, [+/- May Contain/Peut Contenir: CI 77491, CI 77492, CI 77499/Iron Oxides, CI 77007/Ultramarines]. B195342/1.
SHU UEMURA LASH CURLER + L’OREAL LASH PARADISE
L’Oreal’s Lash Paradise mascara is a decent everyday option for those who already have long lashes but want a little extra darkness, depth and definition. Between both its lengthening and volumizing claims, I’d say it’s more of the latter although other options at a lower price point also provide similar if not better volume. The formula has a good consistency and is easy to work with but beyond the basics, it didn’t dramatically wow me one way or the other. I have seen others with beautiful results so this might just be me and my challenging lashes but I feel Lash Paradise just caught a lucky social media wave and was hyped up a little more than what it actually is. Good for everyday but much too expensive for a drugstore product.
REVIEW | AFFILIATE LINK
Covergirl’s Total Tease is a high performing lash defining mascara for those who are looking for depth, separation that’s great for the office but can also stand its own paired with your going out makeup. It creates a classic and clean look plus plenty of lift which lasts all day. You will need some practice with the wand to find out which side of the applicator fits you best but the smooth, dark and creamy formula will surely impress even those with fine lashes like mine who would normally pass on a lengthening mascara. Does this look a little like the Benefit Rollerlash? Maybe. But this one ticks all the boxes and it’s been a key item in my current daily makeup routine. You gotta try it!
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!
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!
TEXTURE & APPLICATION
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.
WEAR & LONGEVITY
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.
THINGS TO NOTE
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!
I might be a bit of a makeup hoarder but blush has always one of those things I can pick one and be perfectly happy for months on end. And when it comes to options, the drugstore has some hidden gems – like my recent find from Essence which has quickly gained top shelf residency all for less than a cup of coffee.
Product: Satin Touch Blush
Size: 5 grams
Colours: 3 shades (shown: Satin Love, Satin Coral)
Availability: Essence online, select Superstore & Shoppers Drug Mart
Would I repurchase: Yes!
Ingredients: MICA, TALC, ALUMINUM STARCH OCTENYLSUCCINATE, ISOCETYL STEAROYL STEARATE, OCTYLDODECYL STEARATE, MAGNESIUM STEARATE, TOCOPHEROL, SILICA, ETHYLHEXYLGLYCERIN, PEG-8, ASCORBYL PALMITATE, ASCORBIC ACID, CITRIC ACID, PHENOXYETHANOL, CI 15850 (RED 6 LAKE), CI 15850 (RED 7 LAKE), CI 19140 (YELLOW 5 LAKE), CI 77491 (IRON OXIDES), CI 77499 (IRON OXIDES), CI 77891 (TITANIUM DIOXIDE).
Housed in an easy to see plastic flip lid pan format, the Essence Satin Touch Blush has slightly varying colour options depending on your country as I’ve found 3 shades listed on the Essence international website but only 2 shades online and in stores here in Canada. The names of the colours may also vary but look for the quilted design on the powder. All shades are quite wearable and appropriate for pale to medium deep skin tones. To the eye there’s micro shimmer flecks in the product but on the cheeks it truly just comes off as a sheen. Personally I find Satin Coral to be more flattering on my complexion with both heavy and light makeup while Satin Love is a little too deep and needs to be paired with a more done up face.
TEXTURE & APPLICATION
To the touch, this Essence blush comes off quite powdery but packs a strong punch in pigment even with a light swipe. When used with a brush, there very little powder kick and application should be smooth and flawless. The colours are true to pan and I do love how it doesn’t look heavy on the skin and is instead youthful with a slight satin sheen as the name suggests. With this type of pigmentation, I recommend a duo fiber blush brush and a very light hand to build up the colour to suit your makeup for the day.
WEAR & LONGEVITY
Despite not marketed as a long wearing product, I was excited to find out this is an impressively long wearing product for my combination skin and every time I had a chance to check on my makeup expecting the blush to have faded, it was always still there. I would put this at around the 4-5hr mark easily and even a few more hours if you work in a mild temperature environment. Granted I’ve worn this in the crazy snow season this winter in Vancouver and it’s lasted me the whole work day until I was ready to take it off, all with very minimal fading. It seems to work well with both liquid and powder foundations with little difference.
The Satin Touch Blush by Essence is a complexion flattering, well pigmented blush with a youthful sheen that will be well loved for the casual makeup wearer who needs an everyday staple that can be put on in 5 seconds. I love that while the brand is often marked to a very young demographic, the colours here are actually quite sophisticated and easy to work with. It’s a hidden gem that takes a little hunt to find here in Canada but will surely be worth your time. Go and get it!
Water, a family legacy, a love story. This is the life of Omorovicza.
While skincare hype comes and pretty little jars come and go on the internet, my latest experience with Hungarian luxury brand Omorovicza caught me off guard. After experimenting for years, I’d like to think that I know what my skin likes, wants and needs but when a cleanser leaves your face glowing like a fresh facial, I think we’ve really hit on something fantastic. A wonderful marriage between nature’s healing waters of Budapest and a scientifically patented Hydro Mineral Transference system, in the past few weeks, I’ve grown rather smitten with this cleansing routine…
THERMAL CLEANSING BALM* | $135CAD
One of Omorovicza’s cornerstone products, the Thermal Cleansing Balm is a solid to liquid oil based cleanser that’s travel friendly, effective and calming. Mixed together with it’s sweet almond and beeswax base there’s a blend of detoxifying Moor mud which gives this cleanser its iconic charcoal hue. I’ve been using a pinky nail sized amount over the face to take off the days’ worth of face makeup and it’s always left my skin fresh and pampered. The fine particles of mud provides a gentle scrub but is wiped off easily with a warm damp cloth. Granted you will have to have an ongoing rotation of face clothes if you plan on using this regularly as the cleanser doesn’t simply rinse away with water. Though this doesn’t emulsify like regular cleansing oil, I didn’t have any issues nor has it caused any breakouts. I don’t recommend this as an eye makeup remover but for everything else, its been such a welcomed treat.
Cetearyl Ethylhexanoate, Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Oil, Glyceryl Stearate, Stearyl Heptanoate, Squalane, Cera Alba (Beeswax), Polysorbate 20, Cetearyl Alcohol, Phenoxyethanol, Benzyl Alcohol, Limonene, Fragrance, Saccharomyces (Hungarian Thermal Water) Ferment Extract, Tocopherol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Hungarian Thermal Water, Linalool, Malpighia Punicifolia (Acerola) Fruit Extract, Phospholipids.
MOOR CREAM CLEANSER* | $80USD
I am hardly ever wow’d by a cleanser but like many things about this brand, the Moor Cream Cleanser has convinced me that washing your face can be something worth getting excited about. While I’m usually a fan of foaming cleansers, this Omorovicza version is a light cream that again contain a blend of healing Moor mud. I like to use this on wet skin and spend a good 2 minutes slowly and thoroughly massaging the product over my skin until most it begins to dry slightly. The rinse off is painless and you won’t need an extra towel to scrub off lingering mud patches because there are none. I am very impressed by the texture of this cleanser and how its both simple yet manages to leave my face with a noticeable invigorated glow. Watch out for the Eucalyptus and Peppermint oil at the end of the ingredients list, I had a feeling they were in the cleanser but it seemed to only provide a fresh scent and it has not irritated my skin. It feels so lightweight yet cleanses thoroughly so this is one for all skin types.
Aqua (Hungarian Thermal Water), Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Glycerin, Cetearyl Ethylhexanoate, Silt (Hungarian Mud), Theobroma Cacao (Cocoa) Seed Butter, Stearic Acid, Cetearyl Alcohol, Cetearyl Olivate, Sorbitan Olivate, Saccharomyces Ferment Extract, Zinc Oxide, Phenoxyethanol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Disodium EDTA, Tocopherol, Parfum (Fragrance), Eucalyptus Leaf Oil, Mentha Piperita(Peppermint) Oil, Phospholipids, Xanthan Gum
QUEEN OF HUNGARY MIST* | $110CAD
As a finish off step to my little mini facial, I’ve been toning and refreshing with the Queen of Hungary Mist. I would categorize this as an indulgent bonus because for me, it’s a nice pick me up but doesn’t have the same healing and treatment effects as the cleansers so for the price point this probably only something for the most dedicated of skincare enthusiasts. The overall design of the product is beautifully luxe and it also has a well engineered spray with a delicate yet full spray with each pump. If you adore something like the Caudalie mist, then this could be a worthwhile addition.
THINGS TO NOTE
Of course whenever we talk about luxury skincare, the main debate is always… is this worth the money? From my own experience I would say this is one of the rare occasions where a product has promised and delivered then exceeded my expectations. You can read more about the properties behind Omorovicza’s healing mineral waters (on their website) as it’s a little more science than I’m able to talk about eloquently but I can say that its been the most effective mineral water based skincare range I’ve used to date. Some of the products do contain essential oils which may be problematic for some people depending on your allergies but that’s a common precaution that should be taken with any product that contains natural based ingredients.
Pricing for Omorovicza does put this brand well in the mid range of the luxury skincare market so if this is within your budget, it’s definitely a worthwhile range to try and should be taken as a serious competitor amongst brands like Estee Lauder, Guerlain and Tatcha. The category itself does mean it will not be accessible to all consumers but I feel its worth saving up for.
SHOP OMOROVICZA | Sephora online, Omoro
THE FINAL VERDICT
If I ever get a chance to go there, Omorovicza‘s healing water based skincare has made me curious about what other treasures are hiding in Budapest. The Moor Cream Cleanser is currently my favourite go-to product both for morning cleansing and to revive my skin after a long work day. In fact, it has even made me look forward to washing up even when I’m tired and would secretly rather go for a face wipe. Together with the iconic Thermal Cleansing Balm which thoroughly melts away my face makeup, the two has left my skin glowing every single day since I’ve put them in my routine and dare I say it’s encouraged me to go a few days completely makeup free…and feel good about it. In a market saturated with options, it seems that Omorovicza is the real deal.
Uniquely shaped, ergonomically designed and just simply luxe – I hardly get gushy about makeup brushes but this post has been a long time coming. The Bold Metals collection follows the success of Sam and Nic’s Real Techniques drugstore priced and well marketed makeup brushes that’s known for being some of the most popular synthetic options around. But if you’re not quite satisfied with the rubber handle gathering dust, melting in the heat and bristles that loose its omph after a couple of months then these are the ones you need.
The Bold Metals range is the high-end lineup from Real Techniques and features colour coordinated high shine weighted handles, premium synthetic bristles and some unique designs that make them a collectible even if you are a brush connoisseur. Like a good paint brush does, the heavier balanced handle forces you to apply makeup a little differently and perhaps a little more delicately but after using them for a few months, they are still my most reached for tools. Although they are synthetic, the brush hairs washes up superbly without any fraying and even as I run them through a rainbow of colours from bright pink blush to black eye shadow, they wash up pristine without any staining.
The only thing that detracts from the quality is the fact that the paint/foil on the handles seems to ding really easily because despite keeping them in a jar and only using them at home. I have managed to get a few scratches on them so do treat them with extra care.
TAPERED BLUSH BRUSH #300
One of my most used brushes, I love this shape for adding colour and shine to my cheeks. While most magazines of my youth have insisted on a large fluffy brush for blush, I’ve grown to love using a flat shaped brush instead because it not only allows me to pat my blush on but is also much more precise instead of simply fluffing the colour into a large round patch. In real life, I generally use one side for colour and then flip the other side for highlight. Just perfect.
ARCHED POWDER #100
Taking another cue from KBeauty tutorials, I’ve also transitioned to using a flat profile brush for powder (or a round tapered brush) instead of a giant traditional powder brush. The bristles are cut with such beautiful precision and it can be seen in the way they taper smoothly into a soft rounded shape. Between this and the #103, use this for loose powder and #103 for pressed powder.
LE ANGLED POWDER #103
Part of a trio released during the holidays by Real Techniques, this brush came as a limited edition collectors item and sadly its my least used brush. While it’s the fluffiest brush of them all, I actually don’t find myself needing something this large on the regular and I pick up the #100 much more often. For those who love traditional big powder brushes then this is your pick.
FLAT CONTOUR #301
Packed densely with bristles and cut to a slim flat shape, this brush is so easy to fall in love with and I’ve been using it religiously with my Kevin Aucoin shading powder especially since its functions for application and blending all in one. I’ve tried fan brushes and tapered brushes but the design of this flat contour just does the job for you so it’s the perfect user friendly brush especially for those just starting out. Side note, I did also recently purchase a very similar ELF brush that has a slightly slimmer profile so if you have smaller features, that may be a better option.
OVAL SHADOW #200
This is a very large brush for the size of my eyes and it turned out to be bigger than it seemed online. I use it occasionally to lay down a single base colour but it’s just too large for any precision. It’s actually the exact shape of some of my favourite eye shadow brushes but just in XXL format so how much you love this brush will just depend on your features.
TAPERED SHADOW #203
My favourite out of the eyes set, this brush has a softly tapered shape but a flatter profile and is versatile enough to be used both as a main applicator brush or for blending; the latter is how I tend to use it. The longer bristles give it quite a bit of flex for smooth gradations when you pair it wit a transitional eye shadow colour.
POINTED CREASE #201
This brush is (again), a case of great shape but wrong size. Think of this as a huge bullet brush because there’s no way this will fit properly in my crease. In fact, when I tried to use it as such, it just deposited too much eye shadow too thickly and gave me a case of the stripes. If you have very large or very deep set eyes then this might be the one for you.
FIND BOLD METALS:
THE FINAL VERDICT
Though the collection includes both eye and face brushes, I really think the gems in the Real Techniques Bold Metals Brush Collection are in the later due to their unique design and versatility. The eye brushes are just too large for my eye shape personally but I presume they were designed to fit someone with more prominent features (like Sam and Nic themselves) so it’s a matter of personal preference. Either way, t
he quality of the Bold Metals holds their own and fills a much needed spot for introductory premium category and between you and I, I’d gladly trade a few of my $50 brushes for these.