How's that for the title of this week's editor's picks? Not the most intellectual-sounding endorsement, I know—but I'm not sure how else to express my surprise about the random mix of makeup I'm going to show you today.
You see, last week I was having #beautyeditorproblems: testing things here and there, but nothing really jumping out at me as being "blog-worthy." That—and the fact that I had to jet off to the U.S. for a couple days without my massive product stash—meant that this here editor didn't have any picks! Quel dommage. So upon my return, I decided to get busy with the embarrassment of riches that I own in beauty products. This is, in fact, my favourite Saturday afternoon activity (and sometimes, if you're not too sloppy with the 27 different things you've layered on your face at once, you can actually leave the house like that!).
All of that "hard work" (cough) paid off and I made some cool new discoveries, starting with these five. More to come!
Bourjois Paris Volume Glamour Max Definition Mascara
Bourjois Paris sits in a neat spot when it comes to the whole prestige versus mass thing. It's a little more special than your typical drugstore offerings... but it's not quite as luxe or expensive as the big guns at department stores. (In Canada, you can find it at select Shoppers and Murale.) Plus, it's French! It's flirty! You kind of get the best of both worlds. I don't have a lot of stuff from this brand, but what I do have is great—number one being the nail polish Kate Middleton wore on her wedding day. I still wear it to this day when I want something understated and classic.
Now, mascara. I'd never tried one of theirs before, but I may convert if they're all like this one. The brush kind of reminds me of Lancôme's Hypnôse—which is considered by many, including me, to be up there in the Mascara All-Time Hall of Fame—so you can really get in there at the base of the lashes to coat them with product. It's definitely a thicker formula, so you get a lot of lash coverage with this one, and without clumpiness; it seems to curl your lashes a bit as well. You won't get a whole lot of length, but I'm actually not a fan of most mascaras that promise that—I think it's much more flattering to use a product like this that builds thickness at the roots. If you're more of a low-key minimalist then it's probably not for you—but if you like drama then check it out.
PS: I had a quick look at some other reviews online, and it seems some peeps had problems removing this with regular face wash. I'm also testing a new oil-based makeup remover right now (more on that soon!) and had zero issues. Anything oily will get this off, no probs.
Out now for $20.00 at select Shoppers Drug Mart and Murale stores.
NYC New York Color Big Bold Plumping & Shine Lip Gloss
This NYC brand (technically NYC New York Color) makes me so happy. It reminds me of high school! And those innocent, pre-beauty editor days when it was a big deal to spend even $5 on a lip gloss. (Now, I obnoxiously tend to forget how much things even cost! So, so spoiled.) But I maintain that I am not a snob. The hot pink lip I'm wearing in this photo? It's Mary Kay of all things. (Which I should also blog about one of these days.)
Anyway, randomly tried on this ultra-cheap lip gloss and loved it. The only shade I have, and can vouch for, is called Coral to the Max (pictured), which is a highly pigmented, super-shiny coral. And it's the ideal coral too, not too pink nor too orange, so it would flatter most every skin tone. The wand is ginormous and extremely satisfying to apply it with, and it makes you feel all supermodel-y with your big, shiny lips. Speaking of which, there's a little bit of plumping action, but it's not so tingly as to be annoying.
Plus, it's $5! Win win all around.
Out now for $4.99 at drugstores and mass retailers.
Smashbox Be Legendary Lipstick
Just when I was gushing about the greatness of red lipstick, along comes this one, which is a total keeper. Smashbox actually introduced it last year—and not just the red ones, mind you, a full 20-shade range—and they feel totally different to what I remember of their lipsticks before. It's that whole movement to easy, balm-like textures: this stuff glides on REALLY well but isn't at all heavy or cakey-looking. Your lips feel moisturized, like you've just put on lip balm. Plus, it somehow manages to be pigmented yet slightly sheer... hard to explain, but you'll know what I mean when you try it.
The shade I have is Legendary, and it's a clear, true red. I like my reds bright and cheerful, so it's quite possibly the best one in my collection (save for NARS Flaming Dust, which I'm not even sure is still sold anymore?). The advantage of the Smashbox, though, is the completely high-tech formulation. I'm obsessed and want more! There are 16 cream shades (of which Legendary is one) and four matte.
Out now for $22.00 (US$19.00); click here to learn more and purchase.
Benefit Fake Up Hydrating Crease-Control Concealer
I went to a Benefit event the other week where they did some makeup demos based on some other new products they have coming out... but as soon as the artist started talking about this "no-crease" concealer he was using to prep the models' faces, I could no longer focus. A no-crease concealer? That's, like, one of my beauty Holy Grails. With the exception of a couple brands (Make Up For Ever and Hourglass), pretty much ALL of the concealers I have do that crease-settling thing. It looks bad. It's annoying.
This thing really works, though. I can't tell you how, but it does. Other cool facts: it comes in a twist-up lipstick tube where the concealer part is in the middle, and the outer bit is a solid moisturizer infused with vitamin E and apple seed extract, so you get some extra moisturizing as well. It also diffuses fine lines. And it comes in three shades.
Pro tips: This is good for people whose dark circles aren't too major, since the coverage is on the medium-ish side. And although you can apply it direct from the tube, you'll get better control if you use a brush or your ring finger. I wouldn't use it elsewhere on my face, though, since it's got a bit of iridescence.
Out now for $29.00 (US$24.00); click here to learn more and purchase.
Rodial BB Venom Eye
This here was the finishing touch to all of my experiments—and let me just say that it creates makeup magic. Rodial recently came out with a BB cream as well as this BB eye product, a "perfecting and brightening concealer." At first, I didn't get it. Didn't get where the BB part came in (still don't, actually) and didn't feel like it covered much of anything when I applied it straight up underneath my eyes. I still had too much darkness, and all I noticed was that it gave me a nice light-reflecting effect. But that was it.
Then I decided to combine it with my usual concealer (currently Hourglass as well as the new Benefit one above). Blown. Away. You know how makeup artists are always telling us to apply highlighter at the inner corners of our eyes? I rarely do it, because it's kind of a pain in the ass. But this product, which is basically packaged like a lip gloss, makes it super-easy. You just dab the wand at your corners—over top of your normal coverage product of choice—and then lightly blend. Suddenly you've got massively brighter-looking eyes but they look naturally brighter, with none of the fake-looking sparkle or powdery texture that tends to draw too much attention to your highlighting trickery.
So take it from me: use this in tandem with your regular concealer, and you'll be happy. It's available in two shades, Aspen (Light, which I have) and Malibu (Medium).
Out now for $36.00, click here to learn more and purchase.
Do you ever sit at home and play with all of your makeup?
Have you tried any of these products yet?
What do you love for under-eye concealing and highlighting?