Guess what? 3 new beauty products have just found a home in my rotation (and trust me—this doesn’t happen often)

3.1 Phillip Lim 2010

I always say that if this job ended tomorrow, and the constant stream of beauty product deliveries came to a halt, I’d be pretty much fine with shopping at the drugstore—save for a few key items. You see, even though beauty editors recommend products all the time and shout about how this or that Armani or Chanel or YSL is a “must-have” that you “need” to be “on-trend” for the “season” (yes, I’ll stop using those air quotes now)…  the truth of the matter is that we have our own little measuring system.

And that is “Would I actually pay money for that?”

I know it’s wrong when we tell YOU to buy stuff all the time. Obnoxious, even. But when you’re spoiled by never having to throw down your credit card at Sephora, EVER, you start to become super-discerning about what actually makes it into your personal beauty product rotation. It’s a big, big deal. So I’m happy to announce that these three newbies have achieved just that. It’s love.

New to the fragrance rotation: Tom Ford Lavender Palm

Tom Ford Lavender Palm Eau de Parfum Guess what? 3 new beauty products have just found a home in my rotation (and trust me—this doesnt happen often)

I’ve wanted to like one of Tom’s fragrances for a long time now, but it just wasn’t happening for me. (Maybe this doesn’t exactly surprise you since I’ve been known to sing the praises of lowbrow scents like Pink Sugar and J.Lo.) Whenever I spritzed something from his line at a press event, it was just a bit too heavy… too serious… too masculine (even though they’re unisex). Just not me.

And then Lavender Palm arrived and changed everything. This is the newest offering in the range, and if you know me (which I think you guys do, by now), you can just tell from the description that it’s a keeper: “Inspired by California, Lavender Palm perfectly captures its sparkling sunlight, natural blossoms and expansive coastlines.” HELLO TOM.

To be honest, the whole idea of lavender doesn’t really sing to me, even though studies say it’s one of the top scents for increasing penile blood flow. Really! Anyway, here it’s paired with citrus, palm leaf accord, clary sage, sensual woods and tonka bean… so it’s not some frou-frou spa scent or grandmother thing. Just the opposite, actually: it’s a little bit masculine and musky and totally sexy. And I NEVER like masculine scents, so I don’t really know what’s going on here except that I want to wear this all the time now.

Yes, it’s pricey ($215 for 50 mL) but scent is one of those things that you’ve got to follow your heart on. You can buy it at Harry Rosen in Toronto (82 Bloor Street West), Calgary (TD Square) and Montreal (Les Cours Mont Royal).

New to the blush rotation: Shu Uemura Creamy Dome Blusher in Fairy Pink (Limited Edition)

Shu Uemura Creamy Dome Blusher in Fairy Pink Guess what? 3 new beauty products have just found a home in my rotation (and trust me—this doesnt happen often)

Even though I like to pile it on, I’m pretty discerning about my blush. The only powder one I ever got into a relationship was NARS Orgasm, which I still return to now and then since it really does live up to its cult status of flattering every complexion. (I just hesitate a bit with the shimmer factor.) But more recently I’ve been in an extended cream blush phase, which started rather appropriately with  YSL’s cream-to-powder Creme de Blush. I also got into Giorgio Armani’s excellent Blushing Fabric Second Skin Blush, and then (perhaps the most natural-looking of them all), Make Up For Ever’s HD Microfinish Blush.

The problem, though, with all of this cream business is that it can still be a little tricky to apply. You have to work quickly to blend, blend, blend, and if you somehow apply too much, you’ve got to wipe a bit of it off to tone things down.

And this is why Shu’s new blusher is amazing. It’s also a cream-to-powder, and the domed shape lets you swipe it over your cheeks and blend super-quickly, without even using your fingers if you don’t want to. Amazing.

I’ve been using it all the time, especially on weekends or, say, before I head to the gym. (I wear blush to the gym. What of it?) Because it’s also incredibly portable (the lid just twists off), it’s great for your purse or travelling. In fact, my friend was just in Africa last month and brought this with her.

It’s limited edition and $29, so grab it while you can, girls.

Giving my Shu eyelash curler a run for its money: Chella Heated Lash Curler

Chella Heated Lash Curler Guess what? 3 new beauty products have just found a home in my rotation (and trust me—this doesnt happen often)Everyone knows about Shu Uemura’s classic eyelash curler. I’ve been using mine on the daily for years and years now, and no other one I tried could compare. (Especially not Urban Decay’s new one, which looks like an instrument of torture to me. I just couldn’t get the hang of it.)

Then about a year or so ago, I started hearing some buzz about heated eyelash curlers. Intrigued—because in my pre-beauty editor years, I used to do the old heat-it-with-a-hairdryer-trick—I searched for one, but to no avail. So it was a surprise and a delight when Chella spokesperson DeeDee Marcelli introduced me to this one when she was in Toronto a couple months ago.

It’s battery operated and, with a flick of the switch, heats up in just 20 seconds to a level that is hot enough to secure your lashes in place, but not enough to harm. I’ve been amazed—AMAZED, I tell you—at the result. You have to put your mascara on first, which is kind of a pain, but it’s so, so worth it when you see how dramatically this gadget opens up your eyes. You just comb it through and use it to hold your lashes in place against your lids for 10 seconds or so, repeating up to three times as necessary. Then, switch off, let cool for 30 seconds, and wipe off any excess mascara on the curler with a damp cloth.

You can buy this for $20 at The Bay. Yay!

Tell me, guys:

Does it take a lot for a beauty product to make it into YOUR rotation?
Have you tried any of these prodz?
What are your favourite scents, blushers and/or eyelash curlers?


Tuesday, March 27/2012 at 1:44 pm

I’ve been looking for an excuse to buy the Shu Uemura eyelash curler. NOW THERE ARE TWO I NEED!? This is hard.


Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Thursday, March 29/2012 at 7:23 pm

For me I think the Shu is still a #1 must-have as a daily regular lash curler. The Chella would be a second investment for days (nights?) when you really want that wow factor.


Tuesday, March 27/2012 at 1:59 pm

I always tend to stick to things that I love, even though I love trying new things. Theres not enough minutes in the day to be picking out a new “face” every morning! When something makes its way to my daily routine it’s got to be a great one!

I just discovered (and feel in LOVE with) a Smashbox blush stick that is a cream to powder formula that I had stashed in my makeup kit for a couple years…and im pretty sure that is been dicontinued *cries*. Its perfect for my handbag and I love that its in a stick form, so I can apply it straight to my cheeks! Cream blush just has that ability to look so natural.

That Shu blush looks like it could be a nice replacement! However…I do tend to shy away from LE products…to me, it seems like youre buying something you (hopefully) will love, while full on KNOWING its going be discontinued immediately.


Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Thursday, March 29/2012 at 7:24 pm

I think I know the blush you’re talking about – is one end of the stick a brush?


Emily @ PartyMixTape
Tuesday, March 27/2012 at 4:50 pm

Here are my Top 10 products!
Loved this post, thank you! E.


Tuesday, March 27/2012 at 5:10 pm

i would say go for the shu umera, better for your lashes and works great.


Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Thursday, March 29/2012 at 7:26 pm

Actually if you’re worried about harming your lashes I’d go with the Chella. Although it’s never happened to me with Shu, any eyelash curlers with a clamp can pinch or even break your lashes. Heated ones don’t carry that risk (and the heat in the Chella is nowhere near enough to be harmful).


Wednesday, March 28/2012 at 1:21 pm

Love that blusher, but I think a change is coming in the way we do our lashes. We’ve had big, bigger and biggest doll-like eyelashes. I’m seeing a trend for just extension on the outer few eyelashes only, a sort of side sweep.
A x


Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Thursday, March 29/2012 at 7:27 pm

I hope so!


Wednesday, March 28/2012 at 1:30 pm

Ooooooh. I am super interested in the eyelash curler. Have you tried Blinc’s heated eyelash curler? It’s been my favorite brand for a while now and does a great job on my lashes. You have to use it on bare lashes though and THEN apply mascara. I’m intrigued by a curler designed to be used afterwards instead. I think I’m going to have to trying to find this product and give it a whirl! I am wondering if I would damage my Blinc heated curler if I tried using it after applying mascara – what makes the construction of this curler different?


Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Thursday, March 29/2012 at 7:29 pm

I haven’t tried the Blinc one so not sure what the difference is… they look the same to me. I’m sure there is no harm in experimenting with curling pre- or post-mascara to see what your preference is.


Thursday, March 29/2012 at 4:48 am

speaking of pink blush, I recently bought pinch o’ peach by mac and love it, try it out. Its not event a shade of peach, its actually a nice subtle pink shade.


Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Thursday, March 29/2012 at 7:31 pm

Looks like a good universal shade!


Thursday, March 29/2012 at 3:33 pm

So putting ANYTHING heated next to my eye sounds terrifying. Weren’t you a bit uncomfortable with the idea? Is it foolproof? And what IS the blowdryer-for-lashes trick?

And speaking of cream blushes, would love to hear your thoughts on the Estee Lauder Mad Men cream blush… I’m so tempted but with the price, I definitely need to think hard on it. Your insight would help muchly!


Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Thursday, March 29/2012 at 7:35 pm

It’s really not hot at all – just slightly warm. I can’t imagine anyone having problems with it – I don’t find it scary at all.

The blow dryer trick is to heat a regular eyelash curler for a few seconds with the hot air, and then curl as normal… the heat helps lock in the curl. But that method’s kinda dangerous because you can easily heat it too much and even burn your lids. So a heated lash curler is a much better option.

I didn’t get a sample of the Mad Men blush so unfortunately can’t advise… sorry! For pure cream blushes (since the Shu I mention here is kind of a hybrid), I really strongly recommend the MUFE HD—tons of colour options and it’s definitely the most natural-looking one I’ve ever tried (and I’ve tried a zillion over the years).


Tuesday, April 3/2012 at 10:48 am


Upon reading your review I rushed over to the Bay and inquired about the Chella Heated Lash Curler. Just a heads up they do not have them in stock at this time at both Bays in downtown Toronto. They are apparently still being ordered in by there buyer. Hopefully they get them in soon!


Wednesday, April 11/2012 at 5:42 pm

I switched to cream blush a few years ago after reading your blog, and I still wonder about the application of it …. I have one from Joe Fresh in Peach, tho it’s def more pink than peach, and sometimes I wonder if I’m putting too much on. The Shu Uemura one sound a little more idiot-proof though; maybe I’ll try it!


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