Thursday, January 7, 2016

Drugstore beauty reviews: PÜR, Essence, Prestige etc.

Here it is, my current top palette of all time, by PÜR Cosmetics, the Soul Mattes Shadow Palette that they had at my favourite Shoppers Drug Mart. This line has been quietly gaining popularity based on the consistently high quality of their mineral-based products. Many beauty reviewers report that this palette quickly becomes an everyday essential once discovered. The outstanding formula of these shadows is frankly peerless. For my darker skin, finding light matte shadows that aren't chalky and powdery is an eternal quest. Usually, they're too sheer and I have to build layers of powder as I try to get the desired colour intensity, which can get messy and even highlight fine lines around the eyes. Well that is not the case with these ultra-finely-milled shadows. They are all matte, and each applies true to colour on the first swipe. They blend smoothly onto the lid and with each other, and I cannot get over how much I appreciate this colour selection. I could go on and on singing the praises of PÜR's products, but you should do what I did and just go swatch some of their offerings yourself so you'll see what the fuss is about. It wasn't cheap ($39.99CAD) but is good value considering the amount of product and the ingredients used. There are numerous other items from this brand that I'm now eager to try, I'll keep you all posted.

Now back to my ongoing love story with Essence Cosmetics. I got my hands on their Make Me Brow Eyebrow Gel Mascara in 02 brown , the deeper of two shades. This is possibly the best eyebrow mascara I've tried, especially since it is a perfect dupe for Benefit's Gimme Brow that retails for $30, but this one only costs $2.99CAD (yes, you read that right). The extra-small spoolie applicator makes filling in and taming wayward eyebrow hairs idiot-proof, and it's great combined with other products when you're stepping up your brow game but still want things to look realistic instead of drawn-on Sharpie brows. Then in the clearance area, I stumbled onto this sweet Good Girl Bad Girl Quattro eyeshadow quad on sale for only $2CAD. While I shy away from liquid and cream products in the discount sale area, these shadows are a lovely find, especially in such a great colour combination. The inclusion of a well-pigmented matte black makes this perfect for my travel kit.

While at Shoppers Drug Mart, I couldn't resist picking up L'Oréal's Infallible Pro Matte Gloss in 318 Bare Attraction, hoping for a nice nude lip, but as you can see from the swatch on my arm, this shows up as a light dusky orange on my arm and looked even lighter on my lips, absolutely not what I was looking for. While the formula is light and comfortable on lips with great colour payoff, I couldn't get past the scent of this product and eventually felt like I was ingesting weird chemicals so I won't be trying any more of these. I think my recent focus on more organic, cruelty-free and vegan makeup has made me even more sensitive to noxious ingredients than ever. For $12.99CAD, I am not a fan.

Over at London Drugs, I stopped at the Prestige Cosmetics display when the little 'on sale' tags winked at me, so I got this stunning duochrome Total Intensity Fierce Color Eyeshadow in the shade TIS-04 Hocus Pocus.  As you can see, it is a gorgeous shade of shiny teal with a coppery-brown undertone that looks different depending on how it's applied, the lighting and your skintone. While it appears as a vivid blue-green on my skin, it looked more mellow light brown on a very fair friend of mine. With no primer or prep, she wore it for almost 8 hours as lid colour and liner in a natural demure eye look. She later told me that it did not budge, fade or irritate through a long day of wear. Definitely a steal on sale at 30% off for $9.79 each, I'm encouraged to see what other colours jump out at me the next time I'm there.

Continuing with Prestige Cosmetics, I bought another of their Waterproof Lipliners, this time in Mocha, and let me tell you, I am wearing this pencil OUT. For my darker lip tone, this shade is a barely visible barrier that prevents lip products from straying, and it works nicely as an all-over lipcolour that looks completely natural but lasts for ages. It is a bit plummier than the browner shade Cocoa that first turned me on to these lipliners. They glide easily on lips, set tenaciously under or over other products, and are my favourite liners to use daily, especially when I need to define and darken lips for light nude shades that I want to rock. For only $4.79 on sale instead of the already affordable regular price of $6.99, I'm going to have to rush back for more.

After watching scads of reviews and demos of waterproof drugstore mascaras, I decided to give this version a try by Rimmel for $7.99CAD. The ScandalEyes Retro Glam Waterproof Mascara in Black has a nicely-shaped brush applicator and is highly-recommended by Asian and other beauty reviewers who struggle with small straight lashes. Waterproof formulas often help to maintain the shape of the lashes after curling and can prevent dark panda eye circles from forming over the day. While I'm a dedicated true believer in the power of tubing my lashes, I'm always open to trying a great new product. The other test this mascara will have to pass is that it will have to GTFO when it's time to get clean, I'll let you know how we make out.
Finally from London Drugs' expansive nail polish and accessories section, I repurchased the only top coat I ever use, the Dry Fast Top Coat by Seche Vite for which I paid $11.99.  If you paint your nails and you don't have this top coat, you're doing it wrong. Nothing makes even three thick layers of polish plus base coat dry to a perfectly glossy hard finish like this topper right here. It can also make your cheaper nail polishes look and act higher-end, and it's ideal to set nail art or jewels in place since it dries so fast.

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