Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Clarins Spring/Summer 2016 Preview Featuring Mont Blanc, Nuxe, Bio Beaute and Pur Minerals

Although it's barely winter yet, already beauty brands are looking towards the future. Recently I got a sneak peek at some of the new releases for next year from the Clarins group of brands.

For 2016, Clarins is predicting it will be all about "dat glow." Yes, strobing will continue to be around and everyone will be illuminated with a variety of "lit from within" products for eyes, cheeks and skin.

pur minerals blush sticks

Pur Minerals has a couple of interesting contributions to the glowy trend. The first is a trio of sheer blush sticks called the Chateau Cheek Stains. These limited edition blush sticks will come in three shades and feature a brush end that helps blend in the gel-like product for a natural look.

Pur Minerals chateau cheek stain swatches
Swatches of the Pur Minerals Chateau Cheek Stains

On top of that, Pur Minerals is also launching a crazy gorgeous set of strobing palettes. These silky cream-to-powder trios give off just the most stunning shimmer that is both incredibly illuminating and yet still subtle. I tried to capture the beauty of these highlights with my camera, but failed utterly.

Pur Minerals strobe highlight palette

Pur MInerals limited edition strobe palette
So in love with dat glow! Swatches of the Pur Minerals LE Strobing palette
Finally, besides awesome makeup, Pur Minerals also showcased their collection of makeup brushes. These aren't new, but they were new to me and I couldn't stop stroking them! Each brush is so plush and super soft.

Pur Minerals makeup brushes

While makeup was all about etherealness, on the skincare front, it was all about harnessing the powers of nature. Nuxe had several new offerings with the first coming out in January. The Reve de Miel Face Cleansing and Makeup Removing Gel, is a plant based cleanser containing honey and sunflower oils that will gently dissolve dirt, makeup and impurities.

nuxe reve de miel face cleanser and makeup remover gel

Nuxe also is releasing in spring a special limited edition version of their famous Huile Prodigeuse oil. This multi-purpose oil (which I've reviewed before here) can be used on your face, body and hair. It smells divine and is one of those rare dry oils that doesn't leave you feeling greasy! Must have.

nuxe huile prodigieuse oil limited edition for paris

Nuxe's sister brand, Bio Beaute, will be releasing a new body care line that uses the powers of Corsican citron extract to brighten and refresh. The line includes an exfoliating gel, moisutiring oil and deodorant.

nuxe bio beaute exfoliating gel and oil

On the men's side, there were some really awesome releases as well, mainly in the fragrance department. I got to try several of the new men's fragrances and all were absolutely delectable. Each fragrance featured a complex blend of masculines notes such as woods and spices, paired with herbal notes and citrus highlights. My favourite was definitely the Montblanc Legend Spirit Eau de Toilette with its notes of grapefruit, cardamom and oak moss.

mont blanc legend spirit mens cologne

Looking at everything at the event, I am super excited for 2016 and cannot wait to get my hands on that strobing palette! Was there anything here that you have your eye on?

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Monday, November 23, 2015

Sephora VIB Haul!

If there's anything that causes haters to point fingers at blogs as narcissistic and materialistic, then it's probably haul posts. But who the hell cares, because this is my narcissistic space and although I don't normally do haul posts, for this special time of year I will do an exception.

You know what time of year I'm talking about.

VIB sale time at Sephora.

For weeks the blogosphere had been buzzing with people sharing their picks, lusts, and strategies for purchasing.Yes, it's only for a 20% discoutn, but it's 20% discount off EVERYTHING and along with everyone else this pretty much expressed my state of mind:

A photo posted by Makeup Memes (@makeup_memes) on

Finally last week, the event happened. A chunk of change and a week later, the results of my materialism arrived and I'm #sorrynotsorry but it felt extremely satisfying. After a long, irritating workday, what gives a better pickup than new goodies??

caudalie grape water and detox mask

I've been wanting to try Caudalie forever and especially their famous grape water. The Grape Water misting spray is supposed to be incredibly hydrating and can be used as a hydrating toner and primer/setting spray for makeup!

As well, the Instant Detox mask just sounded so cool I had to get it. I've been all about masking these days, especially when they promise to deep clean my pores, illuminate my skin and repair environmental damage, so this was a no-brainer to purchase too.

clinique mini mask sample pack

Continuing with the mask theme, I somehow found myself adding this Clinique mini mask set to my cart. In my defense it was only $10! And you can never skimp out on your face, especially as you get older. I've only tried Moisture Surge before and LOVE it, so this was a great way to try out the other Clinique masks without committing to a full size just yet. Plus did I mention it was $10?! I think my mask supply is officially at maximum saturation!

sephora urban decay 500 point reward

sephora 500 point reward from urban decay

Now onto the freebies! As I had saved over 1000 Sephora points, I figured I might as well spend a little on some freebies so I added in this mini palette from Urban Decay. The Urban Decay Urban Vices contains four gorgeous plum-toned shades and a creamy brown eyeliner. I've carefully thumbed these with a finger and like all UD shadows, they feel sooo good.

sephora free samples

I then spent another point redemption on this Tarte sunscreen and then threw in some free samples. It seems the theme for my VIB haul this year is all about skincare, but it's really because I wanted to stay away from purchasing more makeup as I normally purchase way more makeup than I use up in a given year.

The exception to this of course, and the item that I wanted to leave to last to share, is this:

tarte tartelette palette

tarte tartelette palette

I know I know, ANOTHER palette and a NUDE PALETTE at that! I have a sickness I think, but just look at this beauty!

tarte tartelette eye shadow palette

12 full shades of gorgeous plum/mauve/pink/cream gorgeousness and all of them are mattes! You cannot believe how hard it is to find this many mattes all together and secondly to have them be actually good! I've been eyeing the Tarte Tartelette palette for awhile now and after swatching the holiday set in store and finding it lacking, I opted to go for this classic.

All in all, I'd judge this a profitable haul, especially withe the freebies I scored on top of my order. As always, shopping at Sephora was a breeze as it's super easy to find what you need and there's tons of reviews on every product to help you decide whether something is worth it.

Now I want to know - what did you get, if anything, from the VIB sale? 

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Friday, November 20, 2015

Lush Christmas Preview or the Time My Nose Found Its Happy Place

It's pretty safe to say that nobody does holidays quite like Lush. The UK bath and beauty brand is renowned for their exuberant approach to any holiday, whether it be Halloween, Valentine's or, in this case, Christmas, and it's always fun to pop into one of their stores to check out the latest creations. On a recent particularly chilly evening, I found myself doing just that as I scurried through the crisp evening air into the warm, fragrant confines of the Lush store on W. 4th in Vancouver. I was there alongside a slew of other local bloggers for an intimate media preview of the Lush holiday collection.

The store on W. 4th is cozy and recently renovated to align with Lush's new store aesthetic of exposed wood beams and a slightly apothecary-ish feel. Like all Lush events, there was a ton to see and do with live demos of staff making fresh face masks and stations where guests could press their own bath bombs or get some freshly chopped soaps to take home.

There's really something for everyone in this year's holiday collection, but my favourites have got to be the holiday soaps. I'm not one for baths, so it's all about the skincare and shower-ready products for me.

Some of the must-have items I spotted at the store are:
  • Santa Fun moldable bath bar ($6.95) - a great gift for kids, this all-in-one bar is like bath playdoh, and can be used as a soap, bubble bath and shampoo!
  • Old Father Time soap ($7.95) - this sage and thyme infused soap just smells so clean and earthy. A great unisex scent for the bath
  • Joy to the World gift set ($19.95) - for all the creamy vanilla lovers out there, this gift set contains a hand cream and soap that will leave you feeling luxuriously smooth all season
  • Rose Jam shower gel ($9.95+ depending on size) - a perennial favourite, this rose scented shower gel is amazing and I'm not even a huge rose lover!
  • Yog Nog soap ($6.95) - a soap inspired by the smell of egg nog and which contains clove bud and ylang ylang to keep skin super soft? HELLZ YEAH! 
  • Snowcake soap ($7.95) - another soap that's so good you just want to be buried in it! Snowcake smells of vanilla and marzipan, so keep this for nights in with your special someone!
  • Santa's lip scrub ($8.95) - Lush lip scrubs are the best at banishing away flakes, which I have constantly in the winter. This one tastes of cola and contains sugar grains for exfoliating and coconut oil to protect and soften.
  • Baked Alaska soap ($7.95) - this soap is the coolest looking of the collection as the outside is a creamy opaque color but the inside is reminiscent of the Northern Lights. Baked Alaska is super refreshing and is a must-have for citrus lovers with its mix of lemon myrtle, grapefruit and gardenia.
  • Snowman shower jelly ($6.95) - another example of Lush's creativity are their famous shower jellies. These are like using Jello as a bath soap and come in all sorts of seasonal shapes. Snowman has a lovely citrus scent and is just so fun to poke that I think I'd want this just for poking!

Overall I'm super impressed with the wide variety of products available this year for holiday and the fact that none of them are too expensive!

Being the mooch that I am, I hovered around the soap cutting station most of the evening, waiting for my turn to pick my gifted soaps and to periodically sniff everything. I ended up taking four soaps home (Yog Nog, Snowflake, Baked Alaska and Old Father Time) and trust me when I say that my room now smells divine. I'm kinda tempted not to use these at all and just keep them as home fragrances!

Anyhoo, I could blab on more about how awesome Lush is, but instead I'll just let the photos I took at the event speak for themselves. Thanks again to Lush for a lovely evening and if you haven't checked their store out yet, then get out there asap!

making of lush fresh face masks
Making fresh face masks

lush cosmetics store on west 4th vancouver

lush cosmetics scarves
Cute seasonal neck scarves. Kinda loving that polar bear one!

lush fresh cut soap
These soap wheels were huge! Really interesting to see the design as a whole as opposed to chopped up into soaps

lush bath bombs

lush bath bombs

lush fragrances

Lush old father time soap
Old Father Time soap

lush snowflake soap
Snowflake soap

lush yog nog soap
Yog Nog soap

lush baked alaska soap
Baked Alaska soap

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