Bourjois Paris is Back in Canada

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Michelle Villett
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Say bonjour.
bourjois_mascara

Do you remember Bourjois Paris? It used to be at Sephora a few years ago, and then quietly disappeared. That mystery hasn't been explained to me, but no matter—it's BACK. As of this month, it's available exclusively at select Shoppers Drug Mart and Pharmaprix locations across Canada.

Why should you care? Well, first of all, I always think it's kinda cool when there's a story behind a brand. And this one? It debuted in 1863. Yes, 1863! Who knew?

The very first product was a powder blush—the world's first—which is still available today (it's known as the Little Round Pot Blush—cute!—and is $19). In fact, the company has not only preserved the same formula, but also some of the same shades, including the original Rosette Brune (now called Cendre de Rose Brune). It's one of those healthy, looks-good-on-any-complexion shades—a true classic. But make sure you throw out the weirdly shaped brush that comes with it and use a big, fluffy one—otherwise, the colour (which is pretty intense) will go on streaky.

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Not everything in the line is circa 1863, of course. No, Bourjois is quite trendy (as you can see from the French mascara advertisement above). Biggest surprise? Just how pigmented all the colours are. I tried the Effet 3D Max Lipgloss ($20) in 64 (a medium red), and my God—my lips were saturated with colour and looked almost vinyl, they were so shiny. Same thoughts on the Illuminating Touch powder and the eyeshadows ($17), which also come in cute little single-serve pots.

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I haven't tried the mascaras yet, but they sound impressive—most notably, one called Liner Effect, which is supposed to impart a doe-eyed look by emphasizing the roots of the lashes. WANT.

So here's the bottom line: There are some GREAT, innovative and well-priced finds in this line. But let me repeat: you'll need to apply everything with good-quality (and properly-sized brushes). Toss out the useless little brushes that come with the products! Aside from that, I think you'll love this line for injecting equal parts French chic and joie de vivre into the whole maquillage process.