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making faces :: product review [sephora haul]

if you're a lady or a lad who's into making yourself look good, sephora is sort of like the antechamber to paradise. it has everything you need to make yourself look, smell and probably taste perfect in every way before you make your big entrance. unfortunately, and for no reason i can understand, when sephora opened stores in the montreal area, they put them in the suburbs of laval and pointe claire, rather than establishing a presence downtown. well, i suppose that keeps my wallet happy, but it means that going there is something i can't do very often.

but this week, for the first time, i made the pilgrimage out to pointe claire to see what i'd been missing- all those brands for whom sephora is the sole distributor in canada. and, yes, i was like a kid in a candy store. i decided to let myself have a couple of treats, because what's the point of making the trip if you aren't going to come back with some kind of trophy? i also decided that i would stick exclusively to things that i can't get closer to home. i did pretty well on both counts. i don't know why i ended up with only lipsticks, but i do find that they're just such a good way to get oneself introduced to a brand...

i would like to take a moment and say a big thank you to heather and daniel who were way beyond helpful and truly did make the outing there like a fun adventure in toyland. who doesn't enjoying a few moments of escapism on a dreary day in march?

SEE WHAT GOODIES I RETURNED WITH AND MY THOUGHTS ON THEM



here are the trinkets i returned with [pics are clickable]:

oil slick
urban decay :: oil slick :: this is actually not my first experience with urban decay by a long shot. i have a couple of their eye shadows (sin and asphyxia) at the moment and have had more. i even owned one of their lipsticks before, a lovely (discontinued) shade of greyish lilac called "pallor". back when they started, urban decay embraced their name, featuring colours that oozed with the decrepit beauty of the inner city at a time when everyone else was still introducing six new shades of soft pink a season. but, as often happens, others noticed what was happening and soon they had a lot of competition. with the originality of their colour palette diminishing, urban decay was left to fight on the strength of their products, which, at the time, was not great. however, they've made incredible strides in recent years and are now one of the most respected brands around, particularly among the younger demographics (which wouldn't include me, but anyway).

oil slick
"oil slick" is actually an old colour for u.d., but it has, like the rest of their lipsticks, undergone a reformulation. where older lipsticks tended to be dry and cakey, the new formula is unbelievably moist. it smells faintly of caramel, which doesn't bother me, although it does make me crave creme brulee at the most inappropriate times. it's a sheer colour, which means that a lot of your natural lip colour will show through. i've seen pictures where it looked almost colourless, but in fact, it can be built up with a couple of passes to a very visible stain. the base colour is a blackish brown shade and there is loads of silver shimmer added. the shimmer and the moist texture combined mean it's incredibly reflective and catches the light just beautifully. the shimmer isn't gritty, although you may notice little flecks of it in odd places on your lips.

given the sheerness of the shade, it doesn't have great lasting power, but i wouldn't really expect it to. the only thing i found myself wishing was that, given the name, they had made the shimmer multi-coloured, like the rainbow sheen on an actual pool of oil. but perhaps that's for another revision. until then, i'm happy with this sort of "summery vamp" shade. ($22cad)

candide tangerine
givenchy :: rouge interdit candide tangerine :: well, as you can see, i'm still getting over my orange crush from last week. i didn't really see myself as needing another bright orange shade, but the second i laid eyes on this one, i knew that i had to either wear it or eat it, which meant that one way or another, it was coming home with me.

i have to say that i wasn't really aware of givenchy's cosmetics. while i expect that lesser-known brands like urban decay will only be available at sephora, i see givenchy's perfumes everywhere (dom actually wears their men's scents fairly regularly), so when there was no adjacent cosmetics counter, i just figured that they weren't in the business. in fact, they seem to have a small but beautiful selection that i wished i'd met sooner. their pricing is actually a little lower than chanel or yves st. laurent, who i would see as their natural competitors, so that's a welcome surprise. it's not a lot but, hey, i'll take it.

candide tangerine
"tangerine" is an absolutely perfect name for this shade, because it's exactly what it looks like. an intense reddened orange, tantalisingly juicy, different than any shade on the market. it's a limited edition from what i understand, part of the company's spring collection. i'm late getting to it and, for those in the montreal area, i grabbed the very last one at sephora pointe claire, so you'll have to take your chances at the laval store (or online at sephora.com). it's a luscious shade and a wonderful, moisturising formula. it's not quite opaque, but a couple of passes basically meant there was nothing of my natural lip colour peeking through. applying a single layer would give you more sheer covereage, obviously, which might be preferable for those who like their lips a little tamer. there was a very faint "cosmetic" scent on application, but that faded very quickly. i can't say whether the rest of the rouge interdit lipsticks are the same quality, but i can guarantee that i'll be checking them out.

as a shade, "candide tangerine" is deeper and much shinier than mac's "neon orange", brighter and redder than guerlain's "gipsy". i also found that it was less warm than either of those shades, which probably makes it a better bet for those who have cooler complexions. delicious. ($32cad)

drop dead red
too faced :: drop dead red :: ok, if there is one thing i do not need in my life, it is more red lipsticks. but put one like this in front of me and i'm just a girl who can't say no. this goes double if dom is around since, as i've mentioned, he's a man who loves the bright lips.

i'd heard of too faced, but i had never bought anything from them before. they're overall look reminds me a lot of benefit in its cuteness and cheekiness- it looks a little like something old-fashioned, but viewed through a modern eye. they have a number of well-priced kits that allow you to sample a number of their products at once, all of which are housed in adorable, music box-like packaging. for individual products, their pricing falls around the same level as mac.

as a colour, this one is killer. even for an intense shade, the pigmentation is incredible. it stained my hand when i swatched it and removing that stain took some work with makeup remover. on the lips, that translates to maximum staying power. it goes on shiny, but settles pretty quickly to a semi-matte finish. while it's not drying, it doesn't add any moisture to the lips, so if you might want to apply a light coat of balm first.

drop dead red
the colour looks more red in the photos (particularly the close-up) than it does in real life, i find. to me, it looked like a very strong reddish pink, a deep berry colour, rather than a true red, although it's close enough to go either way. it's quite cool and it's a colour i really can't see working on warmer tones. on fair skin, as you can see, it makes a real statement. on darker complexions, it would be a strong shade as well, but not as "shocking". the pigmentation is pretty much completely opaque, even with a single swipe, so i don't think that it's going to vary much from person to person. personally, as a lover of dark, intense lips, this is perfect for me. ($18cad)

the awful part about this is that i already have a list of things that i want to go back for. normally, you'd have a lot of trouble getting me to go near a suburb (particularly since i have a bad tendency to get lost in them). now, all of a sudden, i can't wait. hurry up and open a downtown store already, sephora. just make sure the staff are as awesome as the place in pointe claire.

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