Products with bad packaging

Posted on June 18, 2015 under Lists

I’ll admit it: I’m a packaging snob. I have all the makeup basics covered, which means that to introduce a new product into my collection I need to be wowed – and packaging is definitely something that I take into consideration. For me, makeup isn’t just something I put on my face. It’s something I experience, and if it looks pretty my experience is even better. Just today I bought a YSL Rouge Volupté lipstick, which I have wanted for the better part of a year pretty much solely based on the packaging. It makes me feel so fancy! (And it’s my birthday tomorrow, so I can do what I want.) But packaging isn’t just about beauty, either: it needs to be functional.

So, today I bring you some of my least favourite packaging, both aesthetically and functionally. Let’s begin!

Rimmel Stay Matte Powder

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Rimmel Stay Matte Powder packaging, how do I hate thee? Well, let me not count the ways, because we’ll be here all damn day. I hate that you’re not a compact. I hate that your lid has no fastening mechanism, meaning I cannot in good faith toss you into my makeup bag and expect you to stay intact. I hate that you have no mirror. I hate how goddamn cheap you are. But what’s inside of you? Well, there’s a reason this powder is a $5 staple in makeup bags all over the world. But you suck, packaging. You truly do.

Joe Fresh Matte Lipstick

joe-fresh-matte-lipstick

I genuinely love the formula (and colour) of this $6 lipstick, but the packaging betrays its price point. Not only does it look cheap (white and clear plastic are dead giveaways), it’s flimsy as hell. I’ve never had lipstick packaging break in the way this one did – that middle piece in the picture is part of the tube! Add into the mix the tendency to get really dirty really quickly and you’ve got a recipe for unambiguously terrible packaging.

Wet N Wild Eyeshadow

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By now we all know that Wet N Wild eyeshadow is some serious drugstore sorcery. There are, like, two powder eyeshadow formulas I will pull off the drugstore shelves and buy, and this is one. But the packaging is just so cheap. It’s entirely plastic, and no effort whatsoever has been made to make it look even a bit pretty. At ridiculously low prices I know I can’t complain, but I just wish the packaging would reflect the quality of the shadows. Think of how many people might overlook these amazing, insanely inexpensive eyeshadows just because the packaging makes them look like crap!

Benefit Boxed Powders

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Don’t get me wrong – the packaging on these blushes is very aesthetically pleasing. Like most Benefit products, their boxed blushes are adorable. However, from a practical standpoint this packaging is hell. It’s, like, at least an inch thicker than it needs to be, making the products hard to store and even harder to pack for travel. Benefit Hervana would be my go-to neutral travel blush if it weren’t for the goddamn packaging! They’re also very annoying to store, since they take up so much room. Seriously – look at all that unused space! And I’ll always sideye cardboard packaging when I’m paying $35+ for a product.

Milani Baked Blushes

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Ugh, talk about bulky! This compact is ostensibly so large because it contains a brush and a mirror, but I don’t think most people use the dinky brushes that come with blushes. I certainly don’t, as evidenced by the fact that it’s still in its wrapper. And I fail to see why the mirror can’t just be in the lid, instead of in a special panel underneath the product. There is nothing sexier than a slim, sleek blush compact, and THIS IS NOT THAT.

Every Physician’s Formula product ever

physicians-formula

I know, I know. A lot of people think their packaging is cute. I think it’s gaudy and unnecessary. This Happy Boosting Powder that I have is actually rather inoffensive compared to some of their packaging, but it’s still unnecessarily large. Like the Milani Baked Blushes, it has a panel with a mirror and brush, both of which go completely unused. I find a lot of PF packaging to be similarly large: their mascara is almost offensive to me, for example.

I know it’s what’s on the inside that counts and that I shouldn’t judge a book by its cover. But I think my days of buying crappily packaged products are, for the most part, over. I like beautiful things, and I like things that aren’t a pain in the ass to use and store. Maybe that makes me high maintenance and shallow, but at least I’ll have a lot of pretty pretty things!

Some recent looks #2

Posted on June 04, 2015 under FOTD

I can never seem to get it together enough to do a dedicated, single-look FOTD post; rather, I photograph looks that I like and then compile them into one post when there’s enough to warrant such a thing. Here are three recent looks I did that I particularly liked. All of these have one thing in common: the (relatively) low-key lip colours. I’ve been into neutral lips lately – how very unlike me!

Peach

Peach FOTD using Lancôme and Milani

I wanted to try a peachy look mainly because peach is a colour that I’m afraid of. I also wanted it to be fresh, simple, and glowy, which meant that I skipped eyeliner and went light on the mascara. I decided to try out this Lancôme lipstick that Aisling gave me back in November; she thought I would dislike it because I steer away from peaches, and I let it sit there, taunting me, for half a year. Finally, I tried it out and – shocker! – found I liked it. I got compliments on it all day at work, too!

(I also finally tried an orange-red lipstick and liked it. Everything I thought I knew is a lie.)

Products used to create a peachy look: Lancôme and Milani

Foundation: Revlon ColorStay for Dry Skin in 110 Ivory
Concealer: MAC Studio Finish SPF 35 Concealer in NC15 on blemishes; L’Oréal La Touche Magique Highlighting Concealer under the eyes
Powder: Rimmel Stay Matte
Blush: Milani Baked Blush in Luminoso topped with ELF Baked Blush in Peachy Cheeky
Contour: Illamasqua Cream Pigment in Hollow
Brows: Maybelline Color Tattoo in Tough As Taupe
Eye primer: NARS Pro-Prime Smudge-Proof Eyeshadow Base
Eyeshadow: Lancôme Kitten Heel over the eyelid; Lancôme Platform in the crease
Mascara: Maybelline Illegal Length
Lipstick: Lancôme Rouge In Love lipstick in Corail In Love topped with Lancôme Fever Gloss in 100 Degrees

(Apparently I was loving Lancôme here.)

Taupe

Taupe FOTD, featuring Wet N Wild and Stila.

This look was a bit of an experiment: I wanted to pair Stila Patina, a “dusty rose” (as per Stila) with slight grey undertones, with one of my favourite taupe-y eyeshadows. That was a lot of neutral for me, so I used an indigo eyeshadow as liner, though if I did it again I’d probably use a product like Lise Watier Métamorfix to get more colour out of it!

Products for a taupe-y FOTD: Stila, Wet N Wild, Lancôme, The Body Shop.

(So, I love that gorgeous purple-y taupe Wet N Wild eyeshadow shade, but I’ve never touched the other two colours in the trio. Debating depotting.)

Foundation: Revlon ColorStay for Dry Skin in 110 Ivory
Concealer: MAC Studio Finish SPF 35 Concealer in NC15 on blemishes; L’Oréal La Touche Magique Highlighting Concealer under the eyes
Blush: Benefit Hervana
Contour: Illamasqua Cream Pigment in Hollow
Brows: Maybelline Color Tattoo in Tough As Taupe
Eye primer: NARS Pro-Prime Smudge-Proof Eyeshadow Base
Eyeshadow: From Wet N Wild Silent Treatment Trio: “Eyelid” all over the lid. The Body Shop Honey Bronzer in the crease
“Eyeliner”: Lancôme Color Design eyeshadow in Infinitely Indigo
Mascara: Make Up For Ever Smoky Extravagant
Lipstick: Stila Stay All Day Liquid Lipstick in Patina

Smoky

Smoky eye using Stila and Urban Decay

One of the nice things about working in cosmetics is that a smoky eye is not too much for work. Generally I don’t go too heavy on the eye makeup, since I prefer to play up my lips, but once in awhile I go for something more dramatic! The other day I decided to go for a smoky eye, and went with the conventional wisdom that says “eyes or lips, not both”. I don’t have very many neutral lip colours relative to the bold ones, but this one in the Rimmel Kate Moss line is one of my most-used lip products, period.

Products used to create a smoky eye.

Foundation: Revlon ColorStay for Dry Skin in 110 Ivory
Concealer: MAC Studio Finish SPF 35 Concealer in NC15 on blemishes; L’Oréal La Touche Magique Highlighting Concealer under the eyes
Blush: Lancôme Blush Subtil in Sheer Amourôse
Contour: Illamasqua Cream Pigment in Hollow
Brows: Maybelline Color Tattoo in Tough As Taupe
Eye primer: NARS Pro-Prime Smudge-Proof Eyeshadow Base
Eyeshadow: From Stila All Day 3D Wet-to-Set Eyeshadow Trio in Thunder Cloud: middle shade all over the eyelid, lightest shade as inner-corner highlight. From Urban Decay Naked 3 Palette: Blackheart on the outer corner, lightly in the crease, and along the lower lashline. The Body Shop Honey Bronzer in the crease.
Eyeliner: Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner on the upper lashline; Rimmel Exaggerate Waterproof Eye Definer in Noir on the waterline
Mascara: Make Up For Ever Smoky Extravagant
Lipstick: Rimmel Lasting Finish by Kate Moss #17 over Rimmel Exaggerate Lip Liner in 63 Eastend Snob

This look seems to be all about the Rimmel, balancing out my Lancôme love.

And there we go: some things I’ve put on my face recently! I’m sure there will be some more exciting looks coming at you in the future, since my job allows me quite a bit of freedom in terms of how I wear my makeup.

New in Beauty: Spring/Summer 2015

Posted on May 29, 2015 under New Products

One of the perks of working in cosmetics is first access to new items. Last summer when we got in the summer LE Maybelline Colour Tattoos, we only got two of each colour – but because I put the product out when the order came in, I snagged one of each, no problem.

This summer I’ve noticed some gorgeous products that I’m dying to try, so I thought I’d share. Maybe one of these days I’ll get my hands on some of this stuff – the emplooyee discount helps up the odds!

Pür Minerals Secret Crush eyeshadow palette

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The Secret Crush palette is described by Pür as “indulgent”, and with the saturation of the neutral eyeshadow market I would agree – although I don’t think that’s what they were going for. In my swatching I felt that the texture was reasonable; they’re pigmented and fairly smooth, although, predictably, the matte shades less so. The lighter two shades don’t show up very well on my fair skin, though they’d be good base shades. I fear they might look chalky on darker skin tones.

purminerals-secret-crush-swatches

The sturdy tin packaging is a definite upside to this palette – I’m glad to see that cardboard packaging seems to slowly be on its way out. The included brush gets the job done; it’s not the most amazing quality, but it’d be perfectly adequate in a pinch.

Realistically, this particular range of shades isn’t anything special within the neutral niche, so I’ll undoubtedly pass it over even though I’m hardwired to automatically want pretty eyeshadow palettes. It’d be a good starter palette for someone with thirty bucks to blow on versatile, easy to wear shades.

purminerals-secret-crush-palette-closed

The Pür Minerals Secret Crush eyeshadow palette retails for $32 CAD and is available at most Shoppers Drug Mart locations, as well as select American retailers.

Lancôme Blush Subtil Crème

lancome-blush-subtil-creme-open

The lipsticks in the Lancôme French Paradise collection do nothing for me – it’s the cream blushes that I’m interested in! The limited edition Blush Subtil Crème collection comprises three blushes with that trendy mousse texture. I haven’t managed to get my paws on any ColourPop products yet, but from what I’m hearing these blushes have that same texture – they’re not very solid, and a finger can go right through them, as some lovely customer demonstrated on one of our testers.

lancome-blush-subtil-creme-closed

They do feel nice and go onto the skin evenly. They’re buildable and dry down to a powder-like texture. I’ve only swatched them on my arm, so no word from me on the staying power. The colour range is limited, in my opinion, and not just because there are only three shades – I find them to be quite similar, and blended onto the cheeks I wager they’d be pretty much indistinguishable. The bright plastic packaging does seem a bit cheap considering the price-point, but it’s not a dealbreaker for me – these blushes are so tempting to me, if only because I don’t have anything like them in my collection, strictly speaking from a textural standpoint.

lancome-blush-subtil-creme-swatches

The Lancôme Blush Subtil Crème retails for $36 CAD and is exclusive to Shoppers Drug Mart in Canada (well, and the Lancôme website). Those interested in other items in the LE French Paradise line can view the full collection online.

Lise Watier Baiser Velours liquid lipsticks

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I always look out for new Lise Watier products, as this Canadian brand consistently delivers high-quality products. I’m also a bit of a liquid lipstick aficianada (oh, who are we kidding, if it goes in the lips I want it, period), so this launch is very exciting for me!

lise-watier-baiser-velours-swatches

I think the colour selection here is great; there’s a nude, a coral, and various options in the pink and red families. This is an ideal range for a nine-item line, in my opinion. The packaging is a bit utilitarian, but then, so is all Lise Watier packaging. It’s not the most beautiful, but it’s solid and sturdy.

The lipsticks are beautifully opaque and pigmented and dry down to a true matte finish. I haven’t tested any on the lips so I can’t speak to comfort or staying power. I’m going back and forth on buying one: I really don’t need any more lip products, but, well, I want one. So, we’ll see. If I end up cracking, this blog will certainly hear about it!

After I swatched these on my forearm, a man came into the store and asked which one was my favourite. I told him I wasn’t sure, and he said he liked “the dark red” (Eternal Kiss) best. That was a few weeks ago now and I’m still not sure! I’m leaning towards Passion Kiss, Fashion Kiss, and Love Kiss, but I’ve been going back and forth on this ever since I first spotted them in the wild six weeks ago. Oh well – if I can’t make a decision that’s a good enough excuse not to buy one!

Lise Watier has also come out with a stunning neutral eyeshadow palette (… this seems like familiar territory). Rae at theNotice wrote an absolutely glowing review of this palette, which makes it VERY HARD TO RESIST. (The $54 price-point makes it a bit easier. Just a bit.)

The Lise Watier Baiser Velours liquid lipstick retails for $27 CAD and is available at Shoppers Drug Mart in Canada and online. Sadly, Lise Watier only ships to Canadian addresses. This is, like, the only time it pays to be Canadian when it comes to makeup availability.

Avène High Protection Spray SPF 50+

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We’ve got eyeshadow, we’ve got blush, we’ve got lipstick, and we’ve got… sunscreen. Womp, womp. Not exactly the most exciting product, but necessary nonetheless. I was lucky enough to be gifted Avène’s new launch by a rep (perks of being in the business!), and so far I’m loving it. A full review will follow, but let’s just say that if you prefer a spray because you’re lazy, prefer to avoid aerosol because it’s evil, and don’t like your sunscreen to make you feel like you just bathed in grease, this guy is a solid option. If I didn’t have AN ENORMOUS SUNSCREEN STOCKPILE to work my way through before it expires, I’d gladly put down my own cash for this product.

The Avène High Protection Spray SPF 50+ retails for $26 CAD and is available at Shoppers Drug Mart and London Drugs in Canada, Boots in the UK, and various online retailers.