Testing out mineral makeup – from Bellaphoria and Lumiere Cosmetics

I’ve seen a lot of hype about mineral makeup in recent times but my only experience with mineral makeup has been with MAC. I’m actually not sure about what’s behind the hype so I will be doing some digging on why it’s gained so much popularity. In addition, over the next few weeks, I’ll also be testing out two mineral makeup lines. The first is from up and coming Canadian cosmetics company, Bellaphoria, and the second is an American brand I’ve heard about from other bloggers called Lumiere Beauty & Skin Bar.

markets itself as “Canada’s Pure Mineral Online Store.” It says its products are 100% natural and pure. The company sells through its Web site and ships internationally. I’ll be testing out a variety of eyeshadows, blush, and foundation that Bellaphoria kindly sent over for me to try (see photo above). I swatched a few of the products initially and they seem super smooth and soft. I am looking forward to creating some looks with these.

(Bellaphoria swatches below — hard to see as my camera is being finicky but the top is a blush and the rest on the bottom are a few shadows)

Lumiere Beauty and Skin Bar
also sent some over some great samples of shadows, blush and foundation. The company also sells its products from its Web site and ships internationally. These too seemed to be finely milled and smooth to apply on first swatch. My fellow bloggess from UK, Liparazzi, tested these out recently so I’m interested to see how these work for me.

I’m going to do a bit of research into mineral makeup and will do more thorough reviews of the products in the coming weeks as well as some FOTDs if my camera cooperates.

What are your thoughts on mineral makeup and have you tried anything from these two brands?

Expanding my makeup horizon: Palladio Beauty (Review)

I’ve been a loyal MAC customer since the 1990s and as such have favoured department store makeup brands. Any brands that weren’t found in the department stores were ignored by this girl. Even when I worked as a ‘beauty advisor’ at the local Shopper’s Drug Mart, I never got into the products available to me. At the time, I thought, if it can’t compare to my beloved MAC then why bother? Well, times have changed.

Don’t get me wrong. I still love MAC but I feel I’ve expanded my horizons. These days, I’m trying out everything, from super high end (hello Dior!) to obscure drug store brands and as you know, my new obsession is brands from other countries (ummm, UK makeup anyone??).

So what’s my point. Over the next couple of days, I’m going to be reviewing products from brands I’ve never tried before. First up is Palladio Beauty. For the last two weeks, I’ve been doing a test run of some of the products that were kindly sent my way to try.

When I first saw the products I was impressed visually — everything looked really pretty. That said, I admit I was still a bit skeptical. The eyeshadows for instance reminded me of some MAC mineral shadows but I couldn’t imagine they would be at all close to comparable. In any case, I kept an open mind and went ahead with the review. And you know what, I was pleasantly surprised. Here’s a summary:

Eyeshadows (Caffe Latte Trio Baked Eyeshadow; Plums Trio Baked Eyeshadow)
- very pigmented and smooth to apply
-easy to blend
-offers a hint of shimmer without being glitter bombs
- reminded me of the MAC mineralize shadows in packaging
- all the colours worked really well together; the Caffe Latte trio is a beautiful neutral palette with a bit of shimmer in each colour; the Plums Trio are very wearable and worked well for my office looks.

-it did crease for me
-after seeing that after the first use, I ended up using MAC Painterly as a base and it worked very well to prevent creasing

Herbal Lipstick (Surely Pink, Nude, Clearly Coral)
-creamy and non-drying
-no scent
-very pigmented
- all three colours were very wearable for my skin tone; my favorite was the Nude (if you’re interested in seeing swatches let me know and I can post)

-staying power was okay but I did have to reapply throughout the day

Blushin’ Baked Blush
-very pigmented
-pretty peachy/pink colour gives a great rosy glow

-it faded by lunch time in most cases
-the pan is a bit small in size for a blush. I tend to like to have a bigger pan for a blush. I really don’t know why but maybe so I can dip my brush in ‘properly’. This was similar in size to the eyeshadows

EyeLiners (Brown Felt tip Liner and Black Liquid Eyeliner -Boxed)
-smooth application
-cute packaging; the brown felt tip is tiny so great to throw in a purse; the black liner reminded me a bit of the Wet N Wild liquid liner packaging

-Though it lasted all day, the colour did fade later on in the day
-I’m used to gel liners so it took a bit of practice to get these right

Above is a look I created using the Palladio lipstick in Surely Pink, Plum Trio eyeshadow and Black liner. Excuse the blurriness — took this with my phone when I got into work earlier this week. I had forgotten to take a photo at home.

Overall, I would say these particular Palladio products are worth a look. The price points are affordable and the colours and textures to me were of good quality. The Palladio site has more details on the products and colours available.

The products are available at Sally’s (in store and web site) and on Palladio’s web site for Canadian and U.S. orders. For the UK, you can find the products at http://www.beautynaturals.com/ For other countries, or for more infromation, send an email to [email protected].

If you want me to post swatches of anything leave me a comment.

I am still trying out the lipglosses, lipgloss pencil, bronzers/illuminators and the rice powder products. The next review will be on the rice paper products as many of you have indicated interest in these.

COMING SOON: Lipstickrules.com!

I have some exciting news to share — I have just bought the URL for Lipstickrules.com! It will be easier to type without the blogspot and easier to explain to people who wonder, what’s with the the blogspot address?

In the next few weeks, I’ll be moving over to this URL and to WordPress. The transfer will apparently be seamless to you as you will be directly sent to the new site from here…but if not, I hope you will follow me over to the new site once it is up and running.

I will continue to maintain this site for a while until all the bugs are worked out. The Husband is ‘managing’ the transfer as he’s a Web wiz and designer — I on the other hand am a complete technical dunce.

As you know, I’ve had some major technical issues with Blogger in recent weeks. I’m also looking to create a more dynamic look to the site and I have heard that WordPress gives more flexibility to do this. We shall see!

Stay tuned!!!

QOTD: To Line or Not to Line?

I wear eyeliner almost every day. Whether I’m attempting a natural look by’tight-lining’ or trying to go more glam with winged liner (still haven’t got the hang of this!), I think I am an eyeliner girl for sure.

My preference is gel liner such as MAC’s Fluidline or Bobbi Brown’s Gel Liners. Pencils are okay but I don’t reach for them as often. I am also starting to like the pen-like liquid liners such as from Joe Fresh, MAC and Palladio Beauty. With the latter, Ido tend to struggle still with getting a straight line. I guess practice makes perfect. I think that’s why I like gel liners; I find they are more forgiving when you make mistakes. And in terms of where I line, I only do the upper lash line as I haven’t figured out how to do my lower lash line properly, or my waterline for that matter.

Over to you ladies, do you line your eyes every day? Why and why not? If you do, what do you like to use best — gel, pencil or liquid/’pen’? Where do you line? I guess this is more than one question. Look forward to your comments!

Simplified Skin Care Regime: Cetaphil and St. Ives

A few weeks ago I posted about my mission to simplify my skincare regime. I was spending a fortune on high-end skincare and I questionned whether it was worth the money and if I could achieve great results with basic, more ‘affordable’ skincare.

I ditched the NARs skincare (I was already close to being done the products anyway) and embarked on my Cetaphil journey. I had heard people raving about it and The Husband actually uses the moisturizer. For the last month, I have been using both the cleanser and moisturizer.

And so far all is well! My skin is clear and not dry which was one of my key concerns. I am loving the simplicity of it all — and the price points. In addition, I’ve also ditched using the undereye creams and I think it actually has improved that area for some reason — which I think is a bit strange.

Then I read a post by Laura a.k.a Liparrazi about exfoliating and realized I don’t do this enough. On vacation I picked up the St. Ives Warming Scrub which I’ve been using for the last two weeks. I use it every other day and I am also loving it. My skin has never felt smoother. A lot of people have been raving about the St. Ives Apricot Scrub and that was what I was originally going to pick up. But seeing it wasn’t really geared for my skin type, I was drawn to this product instead. It’s supposed to ‘warm’ your skin when its applied but I don’t personally notice the difference. The smell is pleasant but not overpowering. After I use it, I apply my Cetaphil moisturizer and I’m done.

Overall I give my new skincare regime an A. I’ll check in again in about a month to let you know if it’s stil working.

Let me know if any of you have tried the St.Ives product. I know many of you said you love the Cetaphi.