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Perfectly Imperfect Beauty: November 2011

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Illamasqua Giveaway Winner

And the winner of the Illamasqua Rich Liquid Foundation is...

 Tracey @Beauty Reflections !!!

Thank you so much to everyone who entered! Stay tuned for more Holiday Season giveaways in December. 

Julep Maven Giveaway Winner!!!

And the winner of a 3-month FREE subscription to the Julep Maven Program is...

Karlene A. !!!!!

Thank you so much to everyone who entered and for the lovely ladies at Julep for sponsoring this giveaway. Stay tuned for more Holiday Season giveaways.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Urban Decay 24/7 Glide On Shadow Pencils: Review and Swathces

This 24/7 shadow pencil allows you to blend shimmer, cream, and sparkle finishes. Skip the traditional powder shadow, brushes, and water. These convenient pencils make it easier than ever to get vibrant eyeshadow looks on the go. ($24 CAD) 

The solution to late mornings and frazzled beauty routines? Silky smooth eye shadow pencils. 

Urban Decay's 24/7 Glide on Shadow Pencils are the more expensive twin to Annabelle's Smoothie Eye Shadow Pencil. The formula is nearly identical in luxurious creaminess, smooth application, and long wearing time. I find the Urban Decay version to be pricey in comparison, especially if you want a few staple shades.

They are a triple threat acting as base, eyeshadow, or eyeliner. The product has a great opacity when it is applied but dries down quite quickly, so blend immediately if you want a more sheer application. Some of the sparkly shades-especially Midnight Cowboy-produced some fallout during the day and were not as smooth to apply straight from the pencil. In those cases I rubbed the product on the tip of my finger and then smoothed it over my eye as I would a primer. The colour range is amazing 6 neutrals and 6 brighter and bolder shades-something for the most diverse Urban Decay fans. 

(left to right: Sin, Midnight Cowboy, Lit, Rehab)

Grade: A-

A Must-Have: Annabelle Smoothie Eyeshadow Pencil

The new generation of brightly coloured long wear eyeshadow. Waterproof, crease-free and mess-free, the Smoothie eyeshadow pencils will keep going as long as you do! Use them as a liner, as an eyeshadow by using only one shade all over the lid or by blending more colours of Smoothie pencils together, or even as an eyeshadow base to give your favourite powdered shadows a professional hold and an outstanding colour pay-off! The makeup junkie in you will be ecstatic! Easy to apply, convenient and fast, this versatile, creamy, light-weight pencil is available in a variety of vibrant hues. -Annabelle Cosmetics ($8.95  CAD)
For as long as Annabelle makes the Smoothie Eyeshadow Pencils and releases new colours, I will buy them. This are the best executed shadow pencil I have tried to date and my only gripe is that there aren't enough colours to satisfy me! 

The formula is very similar to Urban Decay's 24/7 Glide on Shadow Pencils, except they are smoother. Yes, smoother! Oh yea, and did I mention that they are also $12 cheaper than Urban Decay? 

These work best when applied directly to the eye from the pencil. Because they are so smooth, there isn't any tugging of the super sensitive skin on your lid resulting in a smooth finish without creping. The consistency is like smooth butter and they apply opaque, but they are easily sheered out with a blending brush or fingers. Smoothie Pencils can be worn alone or as shadow bases (evidenced here and here). I got a solid 8-10 hours wear out of these each time I wore them which is a huge accomplishment on my eyes. 
(Above: Melonade, Down 2 Earth)
(Below: Acaidasiac, Grapeful, Cocoloco)
Grade: A

**Disclosure: 3 out of 5 provided for editorial consideration**


A Cautionary Tale: Illamsqua Rich Liquid Foundation

Lock away your inhibitions and bring your confidence to the fore. Touted by professional makeup artists, Illamasqua Rich Liquid Foundation provides maximum, long-lasting coverage without feeling or looking heavy. It blends easily and hides problem areas perfectly. Create your canvas and then paint your work of ($34 USD)

This whole debacle has finally taught me a much deserved lesson on impulse buying. Shame on me who knows better than to buy a foundation on a whim without testing it properly. And shame on the Sephora consultant who convinced me that this is a miracle in a bottle. 

Here is the situation: I was in Seattle a few weeks ago for two press events and made a quick stop into the Sephora downtown before we left to come home.  Illamasqua is a brand I have been wanting to try for years but it is not available here in Canada. Sephora won't even ship it to a Canadian address, so when I saw it in store I knew I had to get something. I was looking for their new Skin Base Foundation which has been receiving raves from all of my favourite UK beauty bloggers and vloggers. Unfortunately it has not reached the US yet but the consultant raved on about how the Rich Liquid Foundation was its amazing matte full coverage sister. FALSE!
Rich Liquid Foundation is so thick it is almost a cream, hyperpigmented, and smells faintly of vanilla. Seems like it should be a winner, but do not be deceived. One would assume that "rich" would allude to a moisturizing or emollient formula that glides smoothly on the skin, but in fact this is one of the most drying and patchy foundations I have ever tried. I have combination-oily skin so dry patches have never been an issue when applying my foundation, especially since I moisturize and prime. This foundation will find any molecule of dry skin and cling to it for all its worth. The more you blend, the worse it looks. 

Not only does it highlight non-existent dry areas, but it emphasizes any textural problems. My acne scars and bumps looked 100x times worse after I applied this foundation than it did before. Instead of neutralizing red spots and hyperpigmentation, it highlighted them and made my skin look blotchy. It caked around the nose and stuck to the fine hairs between my brows making the finish very uneven sallow. 

I thought that cutting the foundation (mixing it with a moisturizer or primer) would help, but it only made it slightly more blendable. The texture problems were still there. 
No foundation should require this much work. If the finish was at least something amazing and worth the frustration maybe I would be willing to commit for special occasions, but this is just rubbish all around. 

Now I am faced with a real problem: What do I do with stuff?! I will never use it and the bottle is completely full. This is where you come in. If you are a MAC NC15-NC20, live in Canada or the US and want to try this foundation, leave me your email address below and I will pick a random person to send this to. FREE. Maybe you can find a way to make this work for you. 

Grade: F


Saturday, November 19, 2011

Beauty Link Love for 19/11/11

Have you heard of Beauty Bloggers for Charity? Tune into between Nov. 28th and Dec. 12th to bid on some awesome products. The auctions will be open internationally and all proceeds will go to Doctors Without Boarders, so don’t miss it!

Addicted to Beauty is excited to hear about the latest scented mascara - Guerlain's Noir G! Will it be a hit or a miss?

Get them before they are gone - polish insomniac shows you two of the Nicole by OPI Holiday Glitters!

Have you found your perfect fall lip colour yet? Rae, at theNotice, unearths another "hidden gem" in the brand's permanent lineup. Be sure to check out her MAC Desire lipstick review to see it for yourself!

My Lips But Better learns why you should always get a sample before purchasing new foundation!

The Pink Sith tells you a story about an "Ugly Duckling" or sorts and how she was transformed by Votre Vu SnapDragon Body Cream. This story has a happy ending.

Want perfect party nails for this season? Amy Antoinette shows us some sparkle with Models Own Pink Fizz.

Tracy at Beauty Reflections says Deborah Lippmann Stairway To Heaven is winter skating party worthy!

Want a compact powder for great coverage and convenience? Bun Bun Makeup Tips recommends the MAC Studio Fix Foundation.

Have you seen Guerlain's Spring 2012 Collection yet? Anita at Pleasureflush wants everything! What about you?

Kajal Couture shares her 5 Must-Have MAC Shadows that complement every skin tone!

At Musing on Beauty, Mariella tries a shampoo that smells like creme brûlée and keep your color vibrant.

Prime Beauty's Guest Reviewer takes you on a fragrance journey - or should I say fragrance quest? See what she ended up choosing.


Want to win 3 month's of free nail polish customized to your taste? Enter Perfectly Imperfect's Julep Maven giveaway!

Smashinbeauty is have a Sigma Beauty & E.L.F. Cosmetics Giveaway. Make sure to check it out.

Shivani at Adorable On Your Vanity is celebrating her puppy's first birthday, with a gorgeous namkesake lipstick from Dior, Dior Addict Lipstick in Millie. Come and tell who is cuter!

It's Holiday Giveaway time! Enter to win a Conair Spin Air Brush from Audrey Dao!

Forever Young With Photoshop Super Restorative Day Cream

Are you looking at perfection through a distorted lens? 

Fotoshop by Adobé from Jesse Rosten on Vimeo.

Kristin Stewart: One of These Things is Not Like the Other

in J MENDEL (my favourite makeup)

in Roberto Cavalli (my favourite dress)

I am admittedly and unashamedly anti-Twilight, but Kristen Stewart knocked it out of the fashion and beauty park this week, so I am willing to forgive all of her angst driven acting for a moment.  I like that she doesn't pretend to be an haute couture glamazon or allow herself to be pushed into the young Hollywood starlet mold. I loved the makeup from the Los Angeles premiere (I see a recreation in my very near future) and preferred the dress from the London premiere. 


Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Benefit Turns Up The Wattage With New Highlighter

When I first heard the name of this new highlighter from Benefit, I immediately had flashbacks of that obnoxious Budweiser commercial that plagued prime time television during my high school years. Thankfully there is nothing obnoxious or déclassé about this gorgeous product-definitely another addition to Benefit's claim to fame
If the name doesn't clue you in to what this product is supposed to do, then the packaging dispels all doubt. The box is a novelty, mimicking a vintage light case with the actual product looking guessed it-a light bulb. The applicator is double ended with the highlighter on one end and a sponge on the other. Initially I thought that the sponge also applied product, but it is just for blending purposes. It really isn't that affective and fingers work much better for blurring away any fine edges, not to mention that it will be impossible to clean, ergo, unsanitary. 
The product itself is WATTerful! So easy to apply by gliding over the cheekbones or rubbing on to your finger and smoothing it over your browbone and cupid's bow. It applies as a cream but sets as a powder (similar to NARS Multiples) so you don't have any oily residue to wetness to the skin. The colour is a perfect nude champagne that is perfectly luminous and will work on any skin tone. I liken it as a colour dupe for the Chanel Soleil Tan Sunless illuminator (and significantly more affordable). 

Grade: A+


Sunday, November 13, 2011

Soleil Tan de Chanel Sheer Illuminating Fluid-Sunkissed: Review and Swatches

Sheer, weightless liquid instantly brightens skin and evens out skin tone. Light-reflecting pigments provide radiance and luminosity. Botanical extracts soften, smooth and moisturize. Oil free. Fragrance free.
Someone down the line perpetrated the myth that in order to have a sunkissed glow you have to be tan or bronzed. I don't agree with this at all. Firstly, not everyone likes the tan look on the themselves. It just doesn't look natural or chic on everyone. Secondly, glow should look like it is emanating from within and is not uniform flat colour. It is so easy to go over board and then-in the flick of the tanning bed switch- you look George Hamilton. 

Chanel understands bronze glow for pale girls. So many highlighters that promise the "sunkissed goddess" effect clash with my skin or look too fake to step out into public. In a liquid highlighter I don't want sparkles, glitter, metallic, frost or wetness; I want luminous, healthy, radiant "my skin but better." This product certainly delivers that. It catches the light in a subtle and sophisticated way and doesn't look like you are wearing a highlighter. 

This illuminator has a medium consistency and blends well over the skin. The dry time allows for blending and layering so it avoids patchiness. It also works on oily skin because once it dries it stays put. Application is as easy as a shake, dab, and blend to the high points of the face.

The swatch below shows the illuminator at its full and medium opacity. When it is properly blended, it is difficult to photograph up close because flash can overpower the in-person glow. 

Grade: A


Chanel Joues Contraste Blush #99 Rose Petal: Review and Swatches

This blush is not new, just new to me. Described by the makeup artist as "the colour that goes with everything" it has become an immediate staple in my blush arsenal. Rose Petale is a refined and chic natural rose that can be paired with almost any makeup look.  It brightens the skin with a ladylike glow that is classically fashionable, not trendy.  The texture is like velvet and the edges blend away effortlessly to leave the perfect flushed cheek. It has an average staying power (approximately 6 hours) and fades without patchiness. 

Grade: A-


Chanel Poudre Universelle Compacte Review and Swatches

Imparts a translucent, natural matte finish when applied over makeup in the morning or as an anytime touch-up. Ultra-fine lightweight formula with light-reflecting pigments and luxuriously soft feel creates a flattering, halo-like
Loose face powders and I are sworn enemies. Inevitably, I always end up with powder in my hairline making me look like I am prematurely aging. I have used Chanel's Poudre Universelle Libre and loved the finish (it is one of the best finishing powders on the market), but couldn't be bothered with the mess. Clearly I wasn't the only one lamenting as Chanel has released their famous finishing powder in a pressed compact. 

Did you hear that? That was the sound of my MAC Mineralize Skinfinish Natural hitting the rim of the garbage. 
The only difference I can perceive between the compact and the loose powder is that it is pressed. I know.  Great revelations taking place. The description pretty much says it all. This is a fool proof, velvety soft, untraceable finishing powder that makes sure that oils are held at bay and your makeup doesn't migrate south during the day. Easy, reliable, and now portable. 

Grade: A+