Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Luxury makeup treats: Aucoin, Guerlain, PÜR, Watier & Oribe

The beauty event held this past weekend at Shoppers Drug Mart meant that I when I redeemed 50,000 Optimum Points, it was worth $100 off my purchase instead of the $85 off I would normally receive, so I took the opportunity to splurge on a few high-end items I've been ogling for a while. The utterly gorgeous Guerlain Terracotta Bronzing Powder in the shade 07 Foncé Brunettes pictured above was my main goal when I decided to spend my points, and it is pure bronzing perfection. I tested two shades 07 Foncé Brunettes and 08 Ebony on my foundation-prepped skin and found the darker shade was way too cool and made me look like an extra for Les Miserables with a dirty mud-streaked face. The shade I chose gives a natural healthy glow to my skin as it subtly defines the contours of my face. I am not a fan of glittery bronzers that sparkle in the light, nor do I want my contour to look obvious. Many see this exquisite product as the top bronzing powder on the market, and I admit, I feel a secret thrill whenever I catch sight of this elegant compact full of sunny goodness. The product description states that it's formulated with skincare ingredients which may be why it feels so much creamier and less powdery than other bronzers, and this translates into a flawless wash of warmth on my skin. As retail therapy goes, this buy is a 10 out of 10.

I'm on a PÜR Minerals kick, and I've had my eye on the Eye Polish pots for a few weeks now. I finally decided on the shade Silk, a vibrant metallic light rose gold coloured product that applies like liquid eyeshadow and sets decisively for the long haul. I came back to the display after a swatch from the day before stayed on my hand until I wiped it away with eye makeup remover, so I knew that this was something special. It's blendable when first applied and looks shimmery and bright on the lid. It is meant to be used 3 ways: as an eyeshadow base, on it's own as all-over lid colour, or in conjunction with other eye products either blended in on as a topper. The joy of this eye polish for me is the precise control I have over where the shine goes and there's no glitter particle fallout. On top of the brilliant product, the package contains a beauty tool that I longed for so badly that I would have spent the $30 or so dollars I paid for the shadow just for the applicator. This little silicone-tipped eye shader tool is a miracle worker for glittery shadows that work best with fingers but keeping things sanitary is a higher priority. Unlike brushes, the silicone's surface picks up and slides shadows over the skin so you can pack a serious pop of colour onto your lids with less mess.

After lengthy deliberation, I chose to buy this PÜR Minerals Lip Lure Hydrating Lip Lacquer in the shade Fancy, and I absolutely love it. Creamy and opaque, this dusky mauve tone shows up as a very natural pink shade on my lips. The rich pigmentation is combined with skincare ingredients which makes this lipstick feel so hydrating. The colour wears off nicely and hours after application, my lips still didn't feel completely bare or dry. I know this will be an everyday favourite and it's purse-friendly too.

The Shoppers beauty event had many prominent beauty brands providing samples, demonstrations and complimentary services, so I sat down with Lise Watier MUA Michele and was treated to a fulsome tour of the line's best products. I was able to test-run a full face of makeup and see how it looked in different lights, how it wore through the day and if I had any sensitivity reaction. The one standout for me was this Rouge Fondant Suprême lipstick in the shade Leah, which is the most buttery, delectably mildly fruit-scented lipstick I've ever used. It feels so moisturizing that I forget that it's lipstick and not a thick balm. The shade she suggested was one I would have passed over left to my own devices, but once she put it on my lips I had to agree, it's a beautiful peachy-nude, lovely anytime but especially with fresh spring makeup. I love the crisp little eyeliner wing she drew on me, it made my eyes look wide and open without being overly dramatic. I also fell in love with the Simply Nudes 12-Colour Eyeshadow Palette she used on my eyes and may not be able to resist it much longer...

I've never mentioned it, but one of the most stalwart beauty staples I own is this incredible Sensual Skin Enhancer cream by late makeup genius Kevyn Aucoin in the shade SX08. The first time you try this stuff it might scare you, the coverage is so intense that you'll likely be too heavy-handed. Yet the way this product covers everything and melts into the skin is astonishing. The steep price can be initially off-putting for such a minuscule jar, but devotees know that nothing out there packs a coverage punch like this does and the tiniest bit goes a long way. This is the only face product that I scrape out into my travel palette and it's all I need as foundation, concealer, tinted moisturizer, I just blend and go as needed. I suspect that I also love this because it doesn't dehydrate my skin or highlight dry patches and wrinkles for it's quite dewy and emollient. I appreciate that they have many shades for women of every ethnicity, so finding one that matched me perfectly was easy.

The other decadent beauty favourite by Kevyn Aucoin that has really been worth the money is this Essential Eyeshadow Set #2, which contains five superb shadows that again are so heavily pigmented that they take a little getting used to at first, but once you do, they are pure heaven to apply and blend. The black powder is my favourite to set eyeliners so they look matte and won't smudge or fade. I don't mind periodically spending the extra money to spoil myself with beauty products that still delight long after the thrill of the purchase, and this palette continues to do just that.

Finally, a shout-out to my beloved stylist P. for turning me on to Oribe's Dry Texturizing Spray. Not to be mistaken for an ordinary dry shampoo, the idea here is to mist some of the product into your hair where it's a bit flat, scrunch it up with your fingers and you get instant volume minus the crunchy feeling of hairspray. It smells great and is effective, like everything I've tried from this luxury haircare brand, available in Canada at ritzy salons and beauty retailers.

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