Sparkled Beauty

I Live to Shine


Weekly flyer deals

Posted by Halifax @ Sparkled Beauty

Shoppers: lots of free gift with purchase for fragrances this week. Beauty Gala is on Saturday with makeovers and skin consultation, $5 from each ticket sold goes to Beauty Gives Back

*** All week: x20 points when you spend $75 or more on cosmetics, select skin care, fragrances, jewelry, hair colour, bath foam & gel, nail care, hosiery
- Vichy skin care: 20% off
- Avene Physiolift, Serenage, Ystheal skin care: 20% off
- Neostrata lightening/ Radiance skin care: 30% off
- Olay skin care: 30% off
- Neutrogena, Clean & Clear, Aveeno facial cleanser: CAD7.99
- L'Oreal Dermo Expertise, Sublime facial cleanser: CAD9.99
- Spectro, Impruv, Prevex, Uremol acne care: 20% off
- Sally Hansen Airbrush legs: 20% off
- Herbal Essences, Aussie hair care: CAD2.99
- L'Oreal Hair Expertise, TreSemme hair care: CAD4.99
- Pantene, Ogx, Whole Blends hair care: CAD6.99
- Dove, Marc Anthony hair care: CAD7.99

- Revlon All-in-One mascara, Colorburst lip: CAD7.99; ColorStay makeup: CAD16.99
- Maybelline Dream, Fit Me makeup: CAD9.99; The Rock Nude palette, Master contour, Brow Drama pro palette: CAD14.99
- CoverGirl Supersizer Fibers mascara: CAD7.99; Plumpify mascara, Outlast lip, TruNaked eye: CAD9.99
- L'Oreal Brow Artist, Voluminous mascara, Infallible eyeliner: CAD8.99Infallible lip: CAD12.99
- NYX lip, eye makeup (selected): CAD8.99; Strobe of Genius, highlight & contour palette: CAD26.99
- Rimmel Lasting Finish lipstick, blush, Scandal Eyes eye makeup: 2/CAD10 or CAD6.99 each; Volume Colorist mascara: CAD10.99
- L'Oreal Colour Riche nail polish: CAD5.99
- Essie: CAD7.99
- Misslyn nail polish: 2/CAD9.99
- Lancome GWP of $36 or more.

*** Bonus Optimum points:
- 8,000 points with Giorgio Armani Si
- 8,000 points with Marc Jacobs Mother's Day gift sets
- 5,000 points with Avene Emulsion SPF50 (50ml) or kids spray SPF50 (200ml)
- 4,000 points with $20 Joe Fresh jewelry purchase
- 3,000 points with La Roche-Posay Anthelios tinted primer SPF45 or Ultra Fluid SPF50
- 2,500 points with 2 Quo by Orly Color Amp'd nail polish
- 2,000 points with 2 Quo lip products
- 2,000 points with 2 Olia hair colours
- 1,500 points with Kermax Essential day foam or thickening hair serum
- 1,000 points with 2 Revlon implements
- x20 points with Strivectin Supercharge, Skin Restore or Wrinkle Fighting kit
- x15 points with CoverGirl Outlast, TruBlend makeup
- x10 points with Quo cosmetic bags
- x5 points with Vichy Idealia after sun oil (200ml).

- Neostrata, Cliniderm: 20% off
- L'Oreal: 25% off
- Maybelline Volume Express mascara: CAD5.99
- Marcelle eye, lip: 25% off
- NYX Pro lip cream palette: CAD14.99 (bonus miles)
- LA Colors/ LA Girl eyeshadow, mascara, eyeliner: 20% off
- Essie: CAD7.99
- Maybelline Color Show nail polish: 50% off
- Danielle oval standing mirror: CAD19.99 ($26 off).

- L'Oreal La Palette lip, brow kit: CAD13.96
- Revlon Super Lustrous lipstick: CAD5.97
- Maybelline Dream Velvet foundation: CAD11.96
- Rimmel Volume Colourist mascara: CAD9.98
- Biore skin care: CAD6.97
- Pond's skin care: CAD5.97
- L'Oreal RevitaLift, Age Perfect skin care: CAD19.77
- Dove hair care: CAD3.74
- Marc Anthony hair care: CAD7.94.

Superstore: No tax on Saturday (NS)
- Garnier micellar water: CAD6.99 (limit 6, over limit: CAD9.99)
- St. Ives facial scrub, body lotion, lotion spray, body wash: CAD3.99 (limit 6, over limit: CAD4.79)
- Garnier Whole Blends (370ml): CAD4.99 (limit 6, over limit: CAD6.99)
- TreSemme hair care: CAD3.99 (limit 6, over limit: CAD6.49)
- L'Oreal EverPure hair care, Elnett styling, Feria hair colour: CAD8.99 (limit 6, over limit: CAD10.99)
- Nexxus hair care: CAD12.99 (limit 6, over limit: CAD16.99)
- Maybelline Color Sensational Vivid Matte lip: CAD10.99; Face Studio Master contour kit, Master Fix setting spray: CAD12.99
- L'Oreal Infallible Pro Matte gloss, Butterfly Sculpt mascara: CAD10.99
- CoverGirl Clean powder, foundation: CAD6.99
- Revlon mascara: CAD7.99; cream/ powder blush, bronzer: CAD9.99
- Joe Fresh blush stick: CAD8
- Almay foundation, concealer, powder, blush: 20% off.

The Bay: Celebrating its 346th birthday with gift card giveaway online and extra 15% off on almost anything with a Hudson's Bay credit card/ MasterCard with code "LOVEMOM". Exclusions apply.

Sears: Coupons/ codes in the flyer for $20 off $100 or $50 off $200 on sale priced fashion & home items in store or online until Sunday, with exclusions.

Bath and Body Works: $10 off $30 coupon on FB, today only
- 3-wick candles: $15, single wick candles: $10
- Signature body care: B3G3F
- Select Specialty body care: B2G1F
- Hand soaps: $3.50
- Wallflowers bulbs: 6/$27.50 or 4/$22.50
- Pocket Bacs: 7/$10 or 3/$5
- Scentportable refills: 4/$12
- Scentportable holders: BOGO.

The Body Shop: B3G3F in store or 40% off online until Sunday, with exclusions.

The LE Royal tote for Mother's Day is still on for $35 ($105 value) with a $30 purchase until May 8, including:
- Drops of Youth concentrate (30ml)
- Shea body butter (200ml)
- Satsuma shower gel (200ml)
- Almond hand & nail cream (100ml) and 
- A cream bath lily.


Clinique Take the Day Off balm

Posted by Halifax @ Sparkled Beauty

Now that we discussed The Body Shop Camomile Sumptuous cleansing butter, we also need to explore its higher end friend - Clinique Take the Day Off cleansing balm.

I will admit it took me a long while to purchase this product because I was very happy with The Body Shop cleansing butter. For curiosity, and for the blog, I did venture out. And the verdict is I don't like it as much.

Mind you, there is nothing wrong with Clinique Take the Day Off. The basics are very similar to The Body Shop's version - a lightweight makeup remover that goes from balm to oil upon application, dissolves face and eye makeup (emphasizing on those with sunscreen) and then rinses off completely.

Ingredients: Ethylhexyl Palmitate, Carthamus Tinctorius (Safflower) Seed Oil, Caprylic/ Capric Triglyceride, Sorbeth-30 Tetraoleate, Polyethylene, PEG-5 Glyceryl Trisostearate, Water, Tocopherol, Phenoxyethanol.

In a nutshell, Take the Day Off has Safflower Seed oil instead of Olive Fruit oil in The Body Shop cleansing butter, without shea butter and fragrance.

Now I find removing makeup is just as relaxing and fun as putting it on, and scent plays an important role in that process, to me. A scent-free cleansing balm would be perfect for those with sensitive skin, but not for me.

Second reason I prefer The Body Shop cleansing butter: size and price.

Take the Day Off is 3.8oz/ 125ml (almost one and a half times bigger) and costs $36, twice as much as The Body Shop cleansing butter or 4 times if I get it 50% off, plus its thicker plastic jar is not as travel friendly as the thin metal jar with The Body Shop.

To conclude, I will stick with The Body Shop cleansing butter once I finish Take the Day Off, but I hope I give you options for the cleansing balm that suits your skin needs.


Lise Watier Hydraforce cream

Posted by Halifax @ Sparkled Beauty

Another item for review from Glam Sense (under the Topbox umbrella): Lise Watier Hydraforce Hydra-Protective comforting cream ($45) with Gaspe Algae extract (the algae with high resistance against harsh environment) to promote skin's hydration and its ability to protect itself.

HydraForce is named the new Canadian line of weatherproof moisturizers, where skin is 3 times more hydrated. The comforting cream itself is very pleasant to use. A nice fresh scent, like a typical scent of a higher end skin product. which does not linger long.

The texture is light, almost like the cream is lightly whipped before being bottled. It absorbs quickly but does feel slightly sticky after if you run your fingers across the skin.

The brand suggests to apply the cream to the face morning and/or evening. Because of the light stickiness, I prefer to use it at night.

Ingredients: Water, Glycerin, Butylene Glycol, Dimethicone, Dicaprylyl Ether, Cetyl Alcohol, Coco-Caprylate/Caprate, Laminaria Saccharina Extract, Opuntia Ficus-Indica Stem Extract, Opuntia Ficus-Indica Leaf Cell Extract, Squalane, Biosaccharide Gum-1, Ascorbyl Palmitate, Ascorbic Acid, etc.

Lise Watier also introduces the Hydra-Detect app, with sensor (pictured above) to measure your skin hydration during the testing period of products in the line, quite fun to play with.

It is free to download, but you will need the hydration tool plugged in on your phone through the microphone jack, then touch the 2 little silver wing nobs to different skin areas to measure the hydration levels.

The legends for skin moisture level:
- 20-30%: dry
- 30-40%: normal
- Above 40%: hydrated
- 60%: exceptional.

I was at Shoppers once during one of the beauty galas where they had the little machine to measure skin hydration and I got pretty bad reading. This year, I have Obagi Professional-C serum and Vichy Neovadiol Magistral Elixir to thanks, as the app showed quite positive figures even before the comforting cream.

Here are the readings on my T-zone before and after using the product:

Similarly readings for the cheek area:

I am glad to see improvement in hydration instantly, but will need at least a month to confirm the effect on the skin. The samples were sent out in waves and I received mine a lot later than most others. I will update the post down the road.


TBS Camomile cleansing butter

Posted by Halifax @ Sparkled Beauty

I am still wondering sometimes why cleansing balms do not get the raves that they deserve, compared to cleansing oils.

Balms do just as good of a job if not better than oils in removing makeup and impurities from your face and leaving the skin so soft. It is also in a solid form (only melts when it comes to contact with the skin), much less messy to use and to store, super convenient for traveling.

The first cleansing balm I tried was The Body Shop Camomile Sumptuous cleansing butter, and it was really hard to try others after. Yes, it is that good!

The Community Fair Trade camomile water used in this cleansing butter is made with freshly cut flowers, steam-pressed and cooled by Norfolk Essential Oils, a family-run co-operative in England, to produce essential oil.

The texture almost feels like coconut oil when it is solid, smooth, soft to the touch and fast to melt. The scent is clean, slightly floral but very gentle.

Instructions: Apply to dry face and massage into skin, rinse off with warm water or remove with a wet muslin cloth for a more thorough cleanse.

Ingredients: Ethylhexyl Palmitate (skin conditioning agent), Synthetic Wax (binder/ emollient), PEG-20 Glyceryl Triisostearate (skin conditioning agent), Olea Europaea (Olive) Fruit Oil (emollient), Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter (skin conditioning agent - emollient), Caprylyl Glycol (skin conditioning agent), Tocopherol (antioxidant), Fragrance, Water (solvent), etc.

A little illustration of how the balm works its magic. These are swatches of a liquid liner, a lipstick and a long wearing liquid lipstick, with the balm being massaged on for a few seconds.

At this stage, the liner holds on the best while the lipstick does not stand any chance but they all wash off so fast once rinsed off under the water. No trace left behind!

I am half way through my current jar (the pic above is of the brand new backup), and have no intention of stopping. I heard it is also a great cleanser for your makeup brushes and beauty blenders but have not had the heart to try it :)

The balm is 2.7oz/ 76g/ 90ml, $16, suitable for sensitive skin and contact lens wearers. Catch a 50% off or B3G3F sale at The Body Shop for it.


Obagi Medical

Posted by Halifax @ Sparkled Beauty

A major skin care post for you today - one of the most expensive product lines I have tried, one of the longest testing periods I invested in, and one of the most visible effects I have seen on my skin.

It is all about Obagi Medical products - ELASTIderm Eye Complete Complex serum and Eye treatment cream, and Professional-C serum 15%, sent to me for review over 2 months ago. The press release suggested a 9-week testing time frame, and I have gone slightly over that. Time for a review :)

Obagi ELASTIderm eye Complete Complex serum, with caffeine, is to help reduce the appearance of lines and wrinkles dramatically, improve elasticity and firmness and achieve more resilient looking skin.

Now caffeine in skin care, an antioxidant to help decongest and reduce under-eye puffiness, is not new by any means - as seen on the blog with 100% Pure Organic Coffee Bean Caffeine Eye cream, Garnier Miracle sleeping cream, Vichy LiftActiv Supreme or H2O Instant hydrating stick, so I assume you all know about its effects by now.

On top of that, the eye serum also has a bi-mineral complex that helps replenish elasticity and support collagen for tighter, smoother-looking skin and Malonic Acid to help stimulate the production of healthy skin cells for overall skin improvement.

I love the rollerball format, very easy to apply the serum - simply roll on the outside and underneath the eye area gently and smooth it in until fully absorbed.

The opaque tube, however, means I cannot tell how much product is left inside after 2 months of constant use (once a day in the morning) to gauge the value of the product.

I tested this serum together with the eye cream below, so let me introduce them both before reviewing them.

Ingredients: Water, Dipropylene Glycol, Ethoxydiglycol, Caffeine, Malonic Acid, Zinc Carbonate, Arginine, Laureth-9, Copper Carbonate Hydroxide, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Sodium Hydroxide, Phenoxyethanol, Ethylhexylglycerin.

The tube has 0.47oz/ 14ml of product, retails $110.

The ELASTIderm eye treatment cream uses a Restorative Elasticity complex to help improve elasticity and collagen synthesis to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

Almost the same size as the serum above, but the eye cream comes in a jar. And let me tell you, I barely made a dent to the surface after 2 months, as all it took was a light dab of a finger to pick up enough product for both eyes.

I apply the eye cream on the exact same eye areas as the serum, after giving the serum a bit of time to absorb.

Ingredients: Water, Ethylhexyl Palmitate, C13-15 Alkane, Glycerin, Glyceryl Stearate, Cyclopentasiloxane, C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate, PEG-100 Stearate, Dipropylene Glycol Dibenzoate, PEG-15 Stearyl Ether Benzoate, Propylene Glycol, etc.

The jar is 0.5oz/ 15g, $116. Could have been a tube for better sanitary option, but not a deal breaker.

Now together, the duo works well on my over-40's eye area, with fine wrinkles and light puffiness.They are quick to apply and absorb, make concealer go on easily and keep the area hydrated through the day. The effect is visible about the 4th week in and continue on consistently.

I do realize they are already a big investment individually but would still suggest them if you have the issues that they tackle and have the budget for them, or at least the serum.

And lastly, the product I fall in love the most is the Professional-C serum 15%, meant to neutralize free radicals at all layers of the skin and prevent them from damaging skin cells and accelerating aging.

Again, vitamin C for the skin is not new. The closest product to this serum I have tried in the past, in format, was Palmer's Skin Therapy oil., but there was no indication of the amount of vitamin C in the ingredients.

According to Obagi:
- 10% Vitamin C is effective for dry, irritated or sensitive skin
- 15% offers high performance for most skin types and
- 20% is best for normal to oily skin.
I am definitely in the 20% category, but 15% is a safe start.

The packaging is great - dark bottle to protect the antioxidants, the dropper is easy and mess free for an oil product. The oil is lightly orange tinted but does not leave any discoloring on the skin.

I use about 5 drops for the face and neck in the morning before sunscreen and makeup, as suggested. There was a warning of slight tingling that might occur, which will diminish with continued use, but I did not experience that. The scent is so light, I hardly notice it. By week 4, I saw the best version of my skin in a long time.

Now the serum did not cure acne nor create a once-in-a-lifetime miracle, but it took years of my skin. I feel 30 in this skin - plump, smooth and other products go on my face like a dream. If you have not experience high-potency Vitamin C, try it!

Ingredients: Propylene Glycol, Water, L-Ascorbic Acid, Alcohol, Ascorbyl Glycoside, Fragrance.

The bottle is 1oz/ 30ml, $102. I am about half way through it after 2 months. This would be something I am willing to repurchase. The brand suggests to call 1-855-904-4884 for an Obagi skin care physician in your area.


Weekly flyer deals

Posted by Halifax @ Sparkled Beauty

Sephora Halifax Shopping Centre has a Benefit event featuring the Hoola collection today and tomorrow. Call the store for more info.

The Base Coat, a local nail blogger, is launching her nail vinyl online store today at noon. Please support her if nail vinyls are your thing. Use code "TWAPRIL" for 20% off, shipping is free for Canada, $2 for US.

*** Saturday & Sunday: Free $10 Indigo bonus card with $50 purchase.

*** Sunday & Monday: Quo brushes: 40% off.

*** All week:
- Neostrata, Cliniderm skin care: 30% off
- Reversa skin care: 25% off
- Marcelle facial cleansing cloths, eye makeup remover: 20% off
- Neutrogena skin/ sun care: 30% off
- Biore, Clean & Clear, L'Oreal facial cleanser: CAD7.99
- Olay Total Effects, L'Oreal, Aveeno facial moisturizer: CAD19.99
- Garnier Fructis, Aussie hair care: CAD2.99
- L'Oreal Voluminous mascara, Colour Riche mono eyeshadow/ lip: CAD6.99
- Maybelline Lash Sensational/ Volume Express mascara: CAD8.99; Color Sensational lip: CAD9.99
- CoverGirl Simply Ageless makeup: 20% off; Supersizer mascara, Ready Set Gorgeous makeup: CAD7.99; TruNaked palette, Outlast foundation, TruBlend liquid makeup: CAD12.99
- Rimmel makeup: 25% off
- Physicians Formula InstagramReady BB cream/ stick: 30% off
- Essie Bridal collection: CAD7.99
- Katy Perry/ Vera Wang fragrances: 25% off
- Quo Luxury cotton pads (165's): CAD6.99.

*** Bonus Optimum points:
- x15 points with $15 purchase on participating nail products from L'Oreal, Revlon, Sally Hansen, Essie, Quo by Orly and Misslyn
- x15 points with Quo lashes, implements
- x15 points with Joe Fresh implements
- x15 points with Strivectin skin care
- x10 points with Gosh makeup
- x10 points with Soap & Glory Sit Tight intense body serum (125ml)
- x5 points with No7 Beautiful Skin quick thinking wipes
- 7,500 points with $75 Clinique purchase
- 2,500 points with any Smashbox mascara
- 2,500 points with 2 Garnier Olia hair colours
- 1,000 points with Sonicare power toothbrush.

- Garnier, L'Oreal RevitaLift skin care: 20% off (bonus Airmiles)
- Aussie hair care: CAD2.99
- Maybelline eyeshadow, eyeliner: 20% off
- L'Oreal lipstick, gloss, lip liner: 20% off
- Annabelle eyeshadow, bronzer, blush, Smoothliner, eye/ brow liner, Kohl duo eyeliner, eye makeup remover pads: 20% off
- Marcelle mascara, cleanser, eye makeup remover, moisturizer: 20% off
- NYX Butter gloss/ lipstick: CAD6.99
- Rimmel foundation, powder, concealer, blush, makeup remover: 25% off
- L'Oreal Extraordinaire gel nail polish: 50% off
- Baby Foot peel treatment: CAD15.99 (bonus miles).

- Herbal Essences, Aussie, Garnier Fructis hair care: 2/CAD5 or CAD2.99 each
- got2b, L'Oreal Hair Expertise hair care: CAD3.99
- Head & Shoulders, Pantene hair care: CAD6.99 (limit 6, over limit: $8.99)
- Marc Anthony hair care: CAD7.99
- L'Oreal Hydra Total 5 moisturizing cream: CAD9.99 (limit 6, over limit: $12.99)
- Simple cleansing wipes: CAD6.99 (limit 6, over limit: $8.49)
- Dove/ Axe dry spray: CAD4.99 (limit 6, over limit: $5.99).

Sears: Clinique GWP of $31 or more until May 9. The 7-piece gift, $85 value, includes:
- Foaming sonic facial soap (30ml)
- Turnaround overnight moisturizer (15ml)
- Clarifying lotion 2 (60ml)
- High Impact mascara
- Your choice of All About Shadow duo or and Long Last soft matte lipstick - Go Bold (Morning Java and Matte Crimson) or Go Nude (Night Cap and Matte Beauty)
- Lulu DK for Clinique cosmetic bag.

Sephora: x3 points with fragrances online and in stores until May 8.

Reminder: the freebie code "COLDFACE" for Perricone MD Cold Plasma Face deluxe sample (0.5oz, $99.50 value) with CAD25 orders still works this morning. Thanks Nouveau Cheap for the heads up.

Holt Renfrew: Beauty in Bloom event in store and online until Sunday, with GWPs on high-end brands, in store demos, etc.

Bath and Body Works: 20% off coupon on FB, good until Sunday

- Hand soaps: 10/$35.50 or 5/$25.50
- Signature fragrance mists: $6
- Select Specialty body care: B2G1F
- 3-wick candles: 2/$38.50, single wick candles: $10
- Wallflowers bulbs: 6/$27.50 or 4/$22.50
- PocketBac: 7/$10 or 3/$5
- Scentportable refills: 4/$12, Scentportable holders: BOGO.

The Body Shop: 50% off when you buy 3 or more items in stores and online until Sunday.

Exclusions: items priced at $6 or less, Fresh Nude foundation, Adjusting drops, Spa of the World/ Oils of Life/ Drops of Youth/ British Rose/ Black Musk, Rose palette, Lip & Cheek stains, gift sets/ bundles, in store sale items, charitable items, gift cards/ LYB membership.

The LE Royal tote for Mother's Day is $35 ($105 value) with a $30 purchase, including:
- Drops of Youth concentrate (30ml)
- Shea body butter (200ml)
- Satsuma shower gel (200ml)
- Almond hand & nail cream (100ml) and 
- A cream bath lily.

Sally: Extra 50% off red tag clearance nail polish, cosmetics and skin care until Sunday.


NOTD: Zoya Stevie

Posted by Halifax @ Sparkled Beauty

I took a really long break from buying nail polish (only started again last month with a few holographic bottles), I am still tackling the unworn stash.

2013 was the year of Zoya Pixie Dusts, a true blast from the past :) So far I have shown you a shade from the Spring collection - Nyx and 2 from the Fall collection - Dhara and Chita.

Today is one from the Summer collection that year - Stevie. Now if you know me, I do like purples but the dark, vampy type more than this innocent-looking violet/ lilac colour. However, the sparkles and textures naturally drew me in fast.

This is 2 coats, complete opacity. I have not come across a Pixie Dust that I don't love, and Stevie is not an exception.

I do feel more girly wearing it, which is normally not what I look for in a nail polish. But it is just nail polish, similar to the "It's just makeup, it will wash off" mentality, so I am ok with it.

How has April been treating you? We got late snowfall for the first half of the month and it only starts getting warmer as we speak. May will be a very busy month at SB HQ, we'll see if I can keep up with the 5 posts a week standard :)


Smashbox Insta-matte

Posted by Halifax @ Sparkled Beauty

It was a struggle in my head whether to get Smashbox Insta-matte lipstick transformer, until the latest Shoppers' bonus redemption :)

It is basically a gel that instantly transforms any cream lipstick into a comfortable matte finish.

There are always other options - the "setting powder over a tissue" method, W7 Lip Legend matte top coat for lips (0.1oz, $7 on ebay) or Cargo matte top coat (0.1oz, $24). The choice is totally yours, depending on product availability and convenience!

Classic sleek black tube packing, with slanted tip which works well for the gel texture. Just that you can't tell how much product you have left inside.

Instruction: tap with finger over cream lipstick until a matte look is achieved. Not for use with lip glosses, lacquers or balms.

The quick and short verdict is it works the way it is intended to. I did not detect a scent, but it could easily affected by the scent of the lipstick it was put over. Also did not notice a change in colour or comfort.

Ingredients: Dimethicone, Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Tocopherol, Tocopheryl Acetate, Caprylyl Glycol, Hexylene Glycol, Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate, Phenoxyethanol.

This is L'Oreal Colour Riche Pure Red lipstick in Blake's Red I showed you yesterday - on its own (left) and with Insta-matte on top (right). My cream lipstick stash is just doubled :)

Note the size of the tube: 0.34oz/ 10ml, quite a bit more product than in the 2 alternatives I mentioned above. The $26 price tag now sounds very reasonable.

I do recommend Insta-matte if you like the matte lips without sacrificing the comfortable wear.


L'Oreal Colour Riche 30 Years

Posted by Halifax @ Sparkled Beauty

L'Oreal celebrated the 30th anniversary of the Colour Riche lipstick line last year with a collection of 30 best selling colours (LE which are long gone, and core, still around):

- Collection Privee (Nudes): Freida's Nude, J.Lo's Nude, Doutzen's Nude, Julianne's Nude, Liya's Nude and Eva's Nude.

- Collection Exclusive (Pure Reds): Julianne's Red, Blake's Red, Eva's Red, Freida's Red, Zoe's Red and  Liya's Red, and 3 LE shades:  Doutzen's Red, J.Lo's Red, Laetitia's Red.

- Other reds: 297 Red Passion, 315 True Red, 350 British Red.

- Oranges: 163 Orange Magique, 293 Orange Fever, 342 Crystal Cuivre, 417 Peach Fuzz, 444 Tropical Coral, 800 Fairest Nude.

- Pinks/ Berries: 165 Tickled Pink, 266 Rose Saphir, 287 Sparkling Amethyst, 288 Intense Fuchsia, 453 Rose Creme and 580 Peony Pink.

I slowly collected the Pure Reds over a few months, not much for new trend blogging but for my stash record :)

The shades I have so far: Julianne's Red, Blake's Red, Eva's Red and Zoe's Red.

I am glad I did not overlook this collection, as these semi-matte reds are incredible - pigmented, not drying and long lasting. They are hidden gems in the drugstores for sure.

Julianne's Red is a traditional red, neutral toned while Blake's Red has more of a  blue base, more vibrant. Eva's Red has the orange undertone that is flattering on medium skin tone. Zoe's Red is the darkest in the bunch but still very wearable.

Can't you tell I could not pick a favorite among these 4? The line is on sale quite often at Shoppers, so have a swatch fest and pick a few to add to your red collection.

My Shoppers still has a small slot on the permanent shelf that shows the "30 Years lipstick collection" and I grabbed the 2 that, you know me, are bright and bold - 293 Orange Fever and 297 Red Passion (both from the Intense Blondes line).

I sure did overlook the Colour Riche core shades in the last year or so, being carried away by the latest/ more exciting new releases. Mind you, my stash has more than enough Colour Riche shades that last me a lifetime, but also for that reason, I did not give them enough attention.

Orange Fever is the most intense and shimmery orange I have come across in a long while. One swatch and I wonder why I never tried it before. Too much for work for sure but extra fun for weekends, once it gets warmer.

Red Passion would fit right in with the Pure Reds above, except for its finish. I would say it is between Julianne's Red and Blake's Red and not satin matte.

Final words: Get all the bright lipsticks, 30 years or not :) The Colour Riche lipsticks sell for $10.99 each normally, could go on sale as low as $6.99.


Burt's Bees lipsticks

Posted by Halifax @ Sparkled Beauty

The start of the new week, the week that I hope is the end of late season snow and below 0 temperature.

Bright makeup normally is a nice distraction and mood booster in my book, but sometimes, in a rare case, it is also a letdown against the hype.

I had a great experience with Burt's Bees lip crayons in the past, so when I heard bloggers raved about the brand's latest release of lipsticks, I sure wanted to try them.

Also 100% natural, infused with Beeswax, Vitamin E, Moringa and Raspberry seed oils, the lipsticks claim to be vibrant and full coverage, with 8 hour moisture and a satin finish.

Couldn't help myself, I picked up 5 shades - 502 Suede Flash, 514 Brimming Berry, 520 Scarlet Soaked, 531 Juniper Water and 532 Russet River.

Gorgeous packaging, with honeycomb shaped cutouts and colour indication on the tubes. The name stickers are placed over the opening, so you can tell if the tube is tampered with.

The bullet is thin and slightly longer than usual, which I am not sure is a good decision, for the fear of breaking it in half if I get carried away with heavier hand than needed. There is also a faint scent to these to note.

The testers on the shelf swatched quite beautifully and helped with the purchase decision. At home, however, the 5 I bought go on my hand and lips semi sheer and not that pigmented. I would assume with constant use, the drier layer at the top of the bullets would wear off and they would perform better but that does not happen yet.

For that reason, I will show you how the intense colours in the tubes above turned into these swatches. If pigmentation changes down the road, I will update the post.

Suede Flash disappears on my dark lips if worn alone, unfortunately. Brimming Berry and Scarlet Soaked are the brighter shades, slightly better coverage. Juniper Water and Russet River look deliciously dark in the bullets but so light on. I was sad!

The lipsticks are 0.12oz/ 3.4g, $9.99 each at Shoppers. Let me know if you have better luck with them.