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Thursday, 27 February 2014

Veracious Product Review: Tom Ford Lip Colour in Indian Rose

Happy Thursday, everyone! So close to the weekend! If you read my first Beauty Resolution Post, you'll know that I'm taking on the courageous endeavour of not buying any new lip products for the remainder of 2014. For real! My stash is crazy huge and in the spirit of loving it well, I'm aiming not to expand it further over the coming months. Wish me luck!

So what we have today is my last lipstick purchase of the year. I decided to go out with a bang! During a trip to Holt Renfrew last month, my urge to splurge got the best of me and I popped by the Tom Ford counter. The lipsticks were definitely calling my name, so I went on a bit of a swatching spree. I already own Tom Ford Lip Colour in True Coral, which is lovely vibrant orange pink, so I wanted to opt for a more subtle shade this time around. A lipstick I could wear to work and feel entirely glamorous doing so. I found this perfect match in Indian Rose!

Like all Tom Ford Lip Colours, Indian Rose came in a dark brown, subtly quilted, shiny box with gold lettering:

A nice added touch is that the full ingredient list is featured on the back of the box. Always appreciated!

The lipstick tube is as glamorous as you'd imagine. It is rectangular, sturdy, and luxuriously weighty. The colour is a deep brown (looks black in dim light and nearly amber under bright light) with gold accents. It shuts with the most satisfying click!

The top of the tube is embossed with the Tom Ford logo and the bottom features the shade name company info:

Ta-da! The lipstick bullet is just as lovely. There is a Tom Ford logo impressed in the top, which is deep enough to outlive a few applications. Such a nice, luxe touch!

And now for the shade itself. Indian Rose is a beautiful neutral rosy pink that doesn't lean too warm or cool. It's slightly more impactful than a "my lips but better shade" without approaching anything that resembles bright or vampy. I find that in some lighting it can take on a slightly plummy hue, while sometimes subtle brown undertones are evident. Either way, it's an incredibly versatile, flattering shade!

The texture of the product is rich and creamy without any heaviness or oiliness. The coverage is near-opaque at first swipe and can be blotted down for a sheerer look or layered for more intensity. It leaves a barely-there sheen and has a scrumptious, elegant vanilla fragrance!

Here is a shot of Indian Rose on my lips, which are fairly pale when bare:

And here I am wearing Indian Rose with a couple different makeup looks. You can see that the shade appears slightly different depending on the lighting, but that in both cases it is, at its base, a neutral rosy pink:

Now for my full impressions of the product!

  • Flattering, versatile shade that would look great on a variety of skin tones, both cool and warm
  • Slightly more impactful than your typical "my lips but better" shade, but still accessible to those that are colour-shy
  • Creamy, comfortable texture that stays put without drying and feels rich without being oily
  • Perfectly pigmented- a little goes a long way!
  • Lovely, elegant vanilla scent
  • Beautiful, weighty, luxurious packaging
  •  The price. This is silly expensive for a lipstick, so much so that I won't even list the price here. My mother is a reader of the blog and I don't want her to question my money management skills entirely. Hi, Mom! ;)
  • Nope, that's it- can't think of any other cons!

As you can probably tell, I'm super happy with this lipstick! The shade isn't showy or bold, but the beauty of Indian Rose lies in its subtlety. I wanted a lipstick that I could wear to work on a regular basis, so I needed it to be wearable, neutral, and versatile. I also wanted a lipstick that would add a touch of luxury to my 9-to-5. Tom Ford Lip Colour in Indian Rose checked all of these boxes! I've been wearing it at least a few days per week and it looks rather lovely in my desk drawer. Can't go wrong!

So there you have it, my final lipstick purchase of 2014. Please wish me luck on my shopping ban!

Also, if you didn't catch my last post, thought I'd share a friendly notice that Vibrant Beauty is now on Twitter! You can follow via the button to the right or search me @VibrantVVBeauty. Would love to see you there!

Have a wonderful weekend :)

Tuesday, 25 February 2014

Currently Obsessed: Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush in Diffused Heat

Hi, everyone! Wanted to start with a brief and exciting announcement- Vibrant Beauty Blog is now on Twitter! I'd been a hesitant tweeter for ages, but figured that joining the platform could be a fun new way to interact with all of you. Have been having a blast with it so far! You can follow me via the button to the right or search me @VibrantVVBeauty. Hoping to see you there!

Now onto the main attraction! There has been much buzz in the beauty blogosphere about the release of the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blushes and I was eager to jump on the anticipatory bandwagon due to the overwhelming loveliness of Hourglass's Ambient Lighting Powders. I strategically innocently stopped by Sephora over the weekend to see if the blushes had come in (I knew they were available online) and I was over the moon excited pleasantly surprised to see that they had! After a brief beauty nerdgasm, I inspected each of the shades and ultimately selected the colour that had been tempting me most, Diffused Heat. Here it is in all its glory:

For the sake of a thorough review, let's take a brief step back. The Ambient Lighting Blushes come in a reflective, glossy taupe box with pale gold lettering:

The box highlights that the formula is free from talc, fragrance, parabens, nanoparticles, and gluten.

The box also includes instructions for application, including the fact that the powder is fragile and must be handled carefully. The back of the box describes the product, stating that the blush offers "seamless, soft-focus colour and a natural radiant finish".

The box also includes a full list of ingredients, which is always a bonus for the informed consumer and those with sensitive skin:

The compact itself is gold, light-weight, and reflective, about two-thirds the size of the Ambient Lighting Powders.

I know I say it a lot, but it's upon opening the compact that the angels start singing. Can you hear them? ;) The Ambient Lighting Blushes have a marbled colour pattern, which mixes a bolder, colourful hue with a more neutral, glowy tone. The pigmented portions represent new, unique blush shades, and the neutral portions are the inclusion of the corresponding Ambient Lighting Powders, which offer various effects on the skin. The product itself is slightly domed and is quite solid in texture.

Hourglass describes Diffused Heat as "a vibrant poppy blush combined with Diffused Light for a subtle halo effect". I would label it the perfect cheery blend of pink, peach, and coral with subtle gold iridescent finish. 

Here are swatches of Diffused Heat on my inner arm (MAC NC15 skin tone). The swatch on the left shows the blush layered heavily, while the swatch on the right is a lighter, more blended application:

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush in Diffused Heat (L) swatched heavily and (R) swatched lightly

And here are some shots of me wearing the blush! I applied it to the applies of my cheeks, blending up towards the temples. I layered it rather heavily for the sake of demonstration and because I love a heavy-handed blush look!

Under artificial lighting:

In natural sunlight:

Given the title of this post, I'm sure you've gleaned that this blush is a goody, but I have to say this is one of the most flattering blushes I've ever tried! The texture is sheer, fine, and buildable, which allows for a subtle look or a more vibrant flush, depending on your mood! It also means that it's difficult to over-do things with this blush. Yes, the colour is on the bolder side, but the elegant formula is forgiving of heavy handedness. Diffused Heat imparts a lovely glow to the skin, without any evident shimmer or glitter. Not an easy feat! It applied effortlessly and required minimal blending, plus the wear time was mighty impressive. An all around winner!

I have to really credit Hourglass with this one; they could have rested on the laurels of their Ambient Lighting Powder success, but instead they released a line of blushes every bit as beautiful as their powder counterparts. Well done! I can see myself reaching for Diffused Heat over and over again, especially during the Spring and Summer. It really is a perfect pick-me-up! The only downside I can see is the price, but if you're going to splurge on anything this season, I'd say one of these babies should be it!

Have you tried any of the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powders yet? Is Diffused Heat  a shade that would catch your eye?

Thanks for reading! xo

Sunday, 23 February 2014

Veracious Product Review: Aerin Kaleidolight Palette

As I sit here, I'm feeling pretty patriotic. I'm up at the crack of dawn with seemingly the entire nation watching the Canadian men's hockey team play for the gold medal. Win or lose, days like today work to swell up my national pride. Go Canada!

Olympics aside, I have a lovely makeup product to share with you today! I was at Holt Renfrew a couple of weeks ago, casually peeking at the new Spring offerings. When I walked past the Aerin counter, I literally stopped in my tracks. I'd never purchased anything from the brand and was never intensely interested in their previous offerings. But when I spotted the Kaleidolight Palette, I was instantly mesmerized! It's a unique multicolour face palette with chic packaging and a beautiful, feminine design.

Let's start at the beginning. The Aerin Kaleidolight Palette comes in a soft pink cardboard box with rose gold lettering.

The back of the box features multilingual instructions, which are brief, to the point, and allow you to take some creative license with the palette: "Apply all over face wherever a little light and colour are desired"

It also features a full list of ingredients:

 Upon opening the box, a pretty little pink pouch emerges:

Pulling out the contents of the pouch, a beautiful gilded metal compact is revealed. It looks stunning in the light! Chic, classic, and sophisticated.

The palette opens via a clasp in the front and features the Aerin logo:

Upon opening the palette, six beautifully geometric sections of colour are revealed, some smaller, some more robust in area:

The back of the compact includes a handy map of the shades in the palette:

As you can see, the palette has six slots and five unique shade, as one is doubled. The five hues are:
Lavenderlight, a pale, slightly warm lavender pink aimed at brightening the skin
Bronzelight, a mid-tone bronzy brown for contouring or adding serious warmth
Nudelight, a neutral face powder, to balance the more pronounced shades in the palette
Radiantlight, a lighter shimmery golden brown for a sun-kissed glow
Roselight, a warm rosy pink for a pop of colour

The unique thing about this palette is that you can use each shade separately for isolated effects, or you can swirl all five shades together for an overall glow. Quite versatile!

Here are swatches of the five shades on my inner arm (NC15 skin tone):

(L-R): Aerin Kaleidolight Palette shades in Lavenderlight, Bronzelight, Nudelight, Radiantlight, and Roselight

As you can see, all of the shades offer a satin, glowy finish that provide radiance without noticeable shimmer or glitter. I've swatched the shades quite heavily above, but they can also be applied with a lighter touch for a sheerer effect.

Here are some shots of me wearing all of the shades from the Kaleidolight Palette. The only makeup products I'm wearing in addition to the palette are foundation, powder, brows, mascara, and lipstick. The rest of the look is all Kaleidolight!

I first applied Nudelight lightly all over as a setting powder for my foundation. It's a tad dark for my NC15-20 skin tone, but worked when applied with a light hand. I then applied Lavenderlight all over my lid as an eye shadow and Bronzelight in the crease to add some definition to the eye look.

I then applied a tiny bit of Bronzelight as a contour underneath my cheekbones. Next, I swept some of Radiantlight up my cheekbones, onto my temples, along the top of my forehead, and down the bridge of my nose as a glowy bronzer.

I finished the look with a pop of Roselight on the apples of my cheeks for a rosy flush.

I felt like my skin was glowing, which was such a welcome feeling given what a bleak, dreary winter we've been having. It was as if summer had visited!

So you've seen the palette in action; now for a full breakdown of the ups and downs of Kaleidolight:

  • Chic, sophisticated, sturdy packaging with a unique, eye-catching design
  • A beautiful selection of shades that coordinate incredibly well together
  • Each shade leaves a subtle, satin glow without any hint of obvious glitter
  • Incredibly versatile- outfits face, cheeks, and eyes effortless. A time-saver for sure!
  • Sheer, but buildable formulas allows you to wear the shades subtly or more intensely
  • Would be perfect year-round for those with medium skin tones and a wonderful summer palette for those with fairer skin
  • Some of the shades are a touch too dark for my NC15 skin tone, particularly in winter. Bronzelight is quite a deep brown (more suited as an eye shadow than a bronzer for me) and Nudelight is more suited as a setting powder for those with NC25 skin.
  • Some of the colour sections are particularly small (e.g., Bronzelight), which makes them difficult to apply with a larger, fluffier brush.
  • At approximately $70, this is a splurge for sure!
  • May not be the best choice for those with a very fair or deep skin tone

So there you have it!  My full thoughts of the Aerin Kaleidolight Palette. While it may not be a perfect match for my winter-pale skin, I think this will be the most lovely accessory during the summer months. It imparts a subtle, sophisticated glow and really limits the number of makeup products that you have to reach for. It has your powder, bronzer, blush, and eye shadow covered! I've yet to test the technique of swirling all five shades together, but I can imagine the effect will be lovely.

Overall, I think the Kaleidolight Palette has been a wonderful introduction to the Aerin line. It embodies the brand nicely, with its chic, elegant, and totally functional aesthetic. I'm very happy to have it in my collection!

Can you see yourself using and loving this palette? Any other favourites from Aerin?

Thanks for reading! xo

Thursday, 20 February 2014

Pretending it's Spring: Clinique Cheek Pop in Ginger Pop

Hi, everyone! If you saw my latest haul post, you'll know that I recently caved to the hype and succumbed to the sheer beauty of the brand spakin' new Clinique Cheek Pop in Ginger Pop. Clinique has really been stepping up the quality of their makeup offerings lately, and these new Spring blushes are proof positive of these efforts. The packaging is stunning and the formula is lovely to boot!

The Cheek Pops come in tiny square-shaped boxes printed with Clinique's signature green, yellow, and pink floral pattern:

Clinique describes these blushes as "A burst of colour, buildable and bright". They're also touted as allergy-tested and 100% fragrance-free.

The blushes themselves come in a translucent, plastic, circular disk that reveals the product inside and is marked with the Clinique logo:

The back of the packaging features the shade name and net weight:

All good and lovely, but it's when you open the case that the angels start singing. Have you ever seen such a pretty blush!? The product itself is carved into a three-dimensional daisy shape for an ultra spring-like, feminine feel. So unique!

There are four colour options in the Cheek Pop range and the shade I chose was Ginger Pop, as I had nothing quite like it in my collection. I'd describe it as a predominantly warm, shimmery tawny peach with subtle bronze and pinky undertones. 

Below are swatches of it on my inner arm, swatched heavily on the left, and more lightly on the right. As you can see, it has a soft shimmery finish with no hint of glitter or grit. It can be applied lightly for a sheer wash of colour and is equally buildable for full impact!

Clinique Cheek Pop in Ginger Pop (L-R) swatched heavily and lightly against my NC15 skin tone

I knew that the blush looked heavenly in the pan and luckily I was equally impressed from the very first application. I think I literally looked in the mirror and said "Ooooohhh" after the first couple swipes- it was instantly fresh and flattering! With a light hand, Ginger Pop leaves a sheer, warm healthy glow. With a heavier hand (which is always my preference with blush, heehee), it leaves a bolder, but still wearable bronzy peach hue.

Here are some photos of me wearing it in artificial lighting:

And a shot in direct sunlight:

If you couldn't already tell, I'm thoroughly amazed by and smitten with this blush. It was love at first swipe! I find that cutesy, ornate packaging can sometimes be a ruse for sub-par formulas, but this is definitely not the case here. Not only is Ginger Pop stunning to  look at in the pan, it blends easily, offers buildable colour, gives a glow without unsightly glitter, and wears for hours and hours. Absolutely no complaints! I think Ginger Pop will be a well-used shade during the Spring and Summer months, and I'll persist in using it currently as a means of pretending that it's no longer Winter. I'm ready for some warmth!

I likely won't be buying any further shades from the Cheek Pop range, but solely because I have my sights on some other upcoming blush releases (Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blushes, anyone?). But make no mistake, I would recommend the Clinique Cheek Pops to anyone who loves pretty packaging and fresh, flushed cheeks :)

Are you tempted by the Clinique Cheek Pop blushes? What are some of your favourite blush shades for Spring?

Thanks for reading! xo