Monthly Archives: April 2015

Trying out Arbonne Cosmetics

Arbonne lipstick and lip liner
Up until a few weeks ago, I’d never heard of the Arbonne brand. If you’re wondering why you’ve never seen it in stores, that’s because Arbonne is sold through reps (like Avon or Mary Kay). Known primarily for their skincare products, they also have a line of makeup. When I got invited to an Arbonne party by someone I work with, I thought it might be fun to check out their makeup.

arbonne makeup

Playing around with the Arbonne rep’s makeup kit!

I tried out the eye shadow, blush, lip products, and mascara. Overall, my initial impression was that the products are pretty pricey! For example, the small blushes looked extremely similar to the NYX blushes in size and shape and had similar inexpensive plastic packaging. However the NYX blushes (which are awesome) are about $6.50 CAD, and the Arbonne blushes are $36 CAD, which is more than what a NARS blush costs! I had to pass on the blushes.

Arbonne blush

I didn’t get any good pics of the Arbonne blushes

I had a chance to swatch many of the Arbonne eye shadows, but they left me similarly unimpressed. They didn’t feel smooth or soft. Several were patchy when swatched. None of the shades really appealed to me either. At $27 CAD each, these were also a pass for me.

Arbonne eye shadows

The Arbonne eye shadows available to swatch

You know how when you go to a party like this you feel like it would be rude not to order anything though? What I ended up getting was the Arbonne Lipstick ($31 CAD) and Lip Liner ($26 CAD). Shipping was an additional $7 CAD, which I wasn’t super happy about, because I’m sure reps place one order for multiple customers and it all gets shipped together, so the shipping fee seemed a little bit gougey to me.

The lipstick packaging is quite nice: classic black, sleek, substantial, with a secure snap-shut cap. I like the cute little Arbonne logo too. My only complaint is that its one of those skinny lipsticks instead of the standard sized bullet. Its also only 2.17g of product (vs a less expensive 3g MAC lipstick). Remember how I mentioned it all seemed a tad overpriced?

Arbonne Lipstick in Mauve

Arbonne Lipstick in Mauve

The lipstick is described as “Longwearing, feather-resistant…glides on easily for full coverage, and intensely conditions and hydrates lips.”

I got the oddly named shade Mauve which isn’t really mauve at all. Its a pinky-brown nude type of shade. Very pretty. The lipstick is rich and moisturizing and slightly glossy – the type of formula I really like. Its completely unscented too.

Arbonne Lipstick in Mauve swatch

Arbonne Lipstick in Mauve

I am such a sucker for lip liners. I love them! So, unsurprisingly I couldn’t help getting one. The Arbonne Lip Liners are the retractable kind, and are described as “Smudge-proof, creamy…defines lips with durable pigments, helping to extend the wear of…lipstick.”

Arbonne Lip Liner in Pink Mauve

Arbonne Lip Liner in Pink Mauve

There wasn’t a huge range of shades, but I thought Pink Mauve was a pretty and versatile pinky-nude that I would get a lot of use out of.

Arbonne Lip Liner in Pink Mauve swatch

Arbonne Lip Liner in Pink Mauve

The lip liner is the kind of liner that is a bit thick and matte, which means its super long-wearing, but needs to be paired with a balmy, hydrating lipstick to avoid drying out your lips, which the Arbonne definitely is. So these two work awesome together. They stay on for hours feeling comfortable. I do think they’re both on the expensive side, but I don’t regret getting them.

For me the Arbonne makeup was a little hit and miss. I wasn’t impressed with the blush or eye shadow, but I ended up quite liking the lip products. I’d love to hear about other people’s experience with Arbonne!

Thanks for reading!
Love,
Nerdy Librarian Girl ❤

9 Comments

Filed under Lip Liner, Lips, Lipstick, Reviews

Review: L’oreal Voluminous Butterfly Intenza Mascara

L'oreal Voluminous Butterfly Intenza Mascara

L’Oreal Voluminous Butterfly Intenza Mascara

I’m a big fan of the L’Oreal mascaras – Telescopic and the original Voluminous both come to mind. There was something about this new L’oreal Voluminous Butterfly Intenza Mascara that grabbed me and made me really want to try it out, and when I saw it on sale at my local drugstore I couldn’t resist. I blame the pretty, pretty packaging! Plus, who doesn’t want to look as beautiful as a butterfly?

L'oreal Voluminous Butterfly Intenza Mascara

L’Oreal Voluminous Butterfly Intenza Mascara

I also thought the wand was very different and intriguing.

L'oreal Voluminous Butterfly Intenza Mascara wand

Double Wing Butterfly Brush

Here’s what L’Oreal has to say:
Lashes are dressed in ultra-intense deep matte black volume, spread like butterfly wings. The exclusive Double Wing Butterfly Brush spreads lashes outwards while building greater intensity. L’Oréal’s Intenza formula is enriched with micro-fibres for up to 9X the volume without clumps or flakes. Creates a simply sophisticated matte finish.”

I find the whole “matte” thing a bit perplexing. Are other mascaras not matte? I have no idea. Anyway…on to the review. I liked the brush. Similar to the Telescopic mascara, it had awesome short little rubber bristles that make it very easy to apply and get down to the base of your lashes without the mascara smudging all over your lids.

I thought the formula was kind of meh though. I like a very intense black, very dramatic, volumizing mascara that almost gives you a false eyelashes effect (insert another nerdylibraiangirl shout out to Guerlain Maxi Lash if you’re not too sick of hearing about it). This mascara is more of a your-lashes-but-slightly-better. It was very lengthening, but not volumizing, which is what I really need.

I did get a tiny bit of flaking (not too bad) and otherwise it wore well. I like it, but am not in love with this mascara.

I got the L’Oreal Voluminous Butterfly Intenza on sale for $8.99 CAD (yay!) but its regularly about $12.99 CAD.

Thanks for reading!
Love,
Nerdy Librarian Girl ❤

9 Comments

Filed under Eyes, Mascara, Reviews

The New NYX Hot Singles Eye Shadows!

NYX Hot Singles eye shadowI recently did a post about my NYX eye shadows only to discover from readers that NYX has discontinued its line of square eye shadows! The good news is they’ve replaced them with a new line of Hot Singles in 88 shades. The Hot Singles have round packaging that is nearly identical to the MAC singles with the addition of a cute little bow on the front, like the NYX Baked Blushes. The round pans are the exact same size as the MAC, so if depotted, I’m certain they’d fit into the MAC palettes.

The new NYX Hot Singles eye shadow (middle) compared to MAC (left) and the old NYX square eye shadow packaging (right)

The new NYX Hot Singles eye shadow (middle) compared to MAC (left) and the old NYX square eye shadow packaging (right)

I was really curious to try out some of the new shadows and when I went to the Cherry Culture site they were on sale for $3.50 USD (about $4.50 CAD). I was so excited to see all of the fabulous neutral shades that I *might* have gotten a little carried away and ordered 14 of them. Be prepared for neutral shadow overload. It was so hard to choose!

I am really impressed with the Hot Singles! I ‘m finding them smooth, easy to apply, and – with only a few exceptions – don’t have any fall-down. They have been wearing well without creasing (I always wear a primer with any shadow). I would say they aren’t quite as long wearing as MAC. They do fade a little by the end of the day, but they are very good quality for their price.

Hope you enjoy all the swatches and that they help you out if you are deciding which singles to get!

I’m starting off with the 7 matte shades.
NYX Hot Singles eye shadow S.O.S., Over the Taupe, and Coquette

  • S.O.S. – This is one of my favourite type of shades, a soft, matte, cool-toned “greige” that is perfect for a no-makeup makeup look. Perfect for fair skin! You could also use it to fill in your eyebrows or maybe even to contour. It reminds me of favourites MAC Omega or Revlon Shadow Links Greige.
  • Over the Taupe – Similar to S.O.S. but darker and a little more purple-toned. This completely matte taupe took a bit more work to blend than the other mattes.
  • Coquette – This shade reminds me of MAC Quarry. Its a soft, matte, purpley brown neutral perfect for a crease or blending out colour. I would say its lighter than Quarry. It blended beautifully.
NYX Hot Singles eye shadow S.O.S. swatch

S.O.S

NYX Hot Singles eye shadow Over the Taupe swatch

Over the Taupe

NYX Hot Singles eye shadow Coquette swatch

Coquette

NYX Hot Singles eye shadow Suede, Happy Hour, Guilt Trip, Own the Night

  • Suede – This one was a bit of a miss for me. This matte camel shade has got a bit too much warm peachy undertone going on for my skin tone. If you like warm shades, you’ll probably love it though.
  • Happy Hour – A really lovely, matte, cool-toned light brown. Very wearable!
  • Guilt Trip – A deeper, richer version of Happy Hour.
  • Own the Night – This is a really interesting shade! Its a cool-toned, dark brown with a hint of purple. I find this type of shade difficult to find, because most dark browns tend to be warm-toned.
NYX Hot Singles eye shadow Suede Swatch

Suede

NYX Hot Singles eye shadow Happy Hour swatch

Happy Hour

NYX Hot Singles eye shadow Guilt Trip swatch

Guilt Trip

NYX Hot Singles eye shadow Own the Night swatch

Own the Night

These next 3 shades have more of a sheen to them, but aren’t shimmery.

NYX Hot Singles eye shadow Damage Control, Loaded, and Strike a Pose

  • Damage Control – This might be my favourite! I love taupe eyeshadow. Its similar to Over the Taupe but has a really pretty, subtle sheen to it and is so soft and blendable.
  • Loaded – Another fabulous taupe that is darker and more neutral (not really cool-toned) than Damage Control.
  • Strike a Pose – Like Suede, this shade is more warm-toned. A warm, light brown with a slight sheen.
NYX Hot Singles eye shadow Damage Control swatch

Damage Control

NYX Hot Singles eyeshadow Loaded swatch

Loaded

NYX Hot Singles eyeshadow Strike a Pose swatch

Strike a Pose

The last 4 shades are the shimmers:

NYX Hot Singles eye shadow in Lust, Fancy That, J'Adore, and Illusion

  • Lust – An absolutely gorgeous cool-toned brown with a hint of golden shimmer, this shadow in particular reminded me so much of the quality of MAC shadows: it was pigmented, easy to apply, had zero fall-down, and a lovely subtle sheen. The colour is complex and unlike anything I already have.
  • Fancy That – Not really my cup of tea. This warm, peachy-coral type of shade borders on the glittery side and I had some fall-down with it.
  • J’Adore – This one as well was a little too glittery for me with some fall-down.
  • Illusion – Really like this one! A shimmery golden brown similar to MAC Woodwinked I think, although I haven’t swatched them side-by-side.
NYX Hot Singles eye shadow Lust swatch

Lust

NYX Hot Singles eye shadow Fancy That swatch

Fancy That

NYX Hot Singles eye shadow J'Adore swatch

J’Adore

NYX Hot Singles eye shadow Illusion swatch

Illusion

Here are all 14 shades swatched side by side:

Swatches: S.O.S., Over the Taupe, Coquette, Suede, Happy Hour, Guilt Trip, Own the Night, Damage Control, Loaded, Strike a Pose, Lust, Fancy That, J’Adore, Illusion

Top L-R: S.O.S., Over the Taupe, Coquette, Suede, Happy Hour, Guilt Trip, Own the Night
Bottom, L-R: Damage Control, Loaded, Strike a Pose, Lust, Fancy That, J’Adore, Illusion

I’m going to swatch these against shadows from my collection to see which ones might be dupes for the old NYX shadows, MAC, and any others I can find. So stay tuned for that post coming up!

Thanks so much for reading!
Love,
Nerdy Librarian Girl ❤

19 Comments

Filed under Eyes, Eyeshadow, Reviews

What Would You Like to Pick Up at the Sephora VIB Sale?

Sephora VIB Sale

Its the VIB Sale at Sephora!

Hi everyone! I took advantage of the 15% off VIB Rouge discount to order a few things today. I re-ordered some favourites, the Guerain Maxi Lash Mascara, the Clinique Bottom Lash Mascara, and my favourite perfume, Issey Miyake. I love getting it in the rollerball form because its so easy to apply and to travel with.

I’d purchased a WEN On the Go Travel Kit and really liked the Sweet Almond Mint Replenishing Treatment, but the full-size is fairly pricey ($41 CAD), so I’m glad I could get this on sale.

I also got two lipsticks to review for my ongoing High-end Lipstick Review series, Dolce & Gabbana and YSL. Can’t wait to review these!

How about you? Are you taking advantage of the VIB sale?

Thanks for reading!
Love,
Nerdy Librarian Girl ❤

11 Comments

Filed under Eyes, Favourites, Health & Skincare, Lips, Lipstick, Mascara

Mini-Review: Estee Lauder Sumptuous Mascara

Estee Lauder Sumptuous Mascara

gift with purchase

Hi everyone! This is just a quick review of the Estee Lauder Sumptuous Bold Volume Lifting Mascara. I received this sample sized mascara a while back as a gift with purchase when I picked up some EsteeLauder lipsticks. I’ve used up my favourite Guerlain Maxi Lash and I’m waiting for the Sephora VIB Rouge sale (which starts tomorrow!) to purchase another one, so I’ve been trying out the Estee Lauder.

FYI – the full size looks like this:

Estee Lauder Sumptuous Mascara

Full-sized Estee Lauder Sumptuous Mascara ($29 CAD)

I am not a fan of this mascara. The brush is way too big and the bristles are thick and close together. I can’t apply it without getting mascara on my eyelids. #hoodedlidproblems

Estee Lauder Sumptuous Mascara wand

Sumptuous Mascara wand – a ginormous, bristle brush

It also flakes off like crazy! By the end of the day I have all kinds of little black flakes under my eyes and on my cheeks. Total deal breaker for me when it comes to mascara. I haven’t tried any of the other Estee Lauder mascaras (they have 10 of them!) but I am a huge fan of their Pure Color Envy Lipstick.

Thanks for reading!
Love,
Nerdy Librarian Girl ❤

9 Comments

Filed under Eyes, Mascara, Reviews

250 followers GIVEAWAY!

Giveaway from Beautifulbreakable

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High End Lipstick Review Series: Rouge Bunny Rouge

Rouge Bunny Rouge Succulence of Dew Lipstick

Rouge Bunny Rouge Succulence of Dew Sheer Lipstick

I recently ordered some Rouge Bunny Rouge products from the UK, and you can check out my previous post for reviews and swatches of the Long Lasting Lip Pencil, Original Sin Blush, and Long-lasting Eye Shadow.

The Succulence of Dew Sheer Lipsticks are 23.53 EUR (about $33 CAD).
The RBR site ships internationally for 5 EUR (about $7 CAD), but I ended up owing an additional $30.94 CAD in customs fees for the four items. So really the lipstick ended up costing closer to $47.75 CAD.

The description of the Succulence of Dew Sheer Lipsticks fr0m the RBR site:

“The easy glide, weightless formula with moisturising, lip-shaping and skin-protecting benefits comes in five delicate yet rich colours with an outstandingly sheer, glossy finish. The precise application and perfect coverage of this texture create a polished look effortlessly.

With Hilurlip, an innovative moisturising, anti-aging and skin-protecting Sodium Hyaluronate based agent, lips are redefined, their volume is boosted, and fine vertical lines are minimised while fighting the negative effects of free radicals. Our Sheer Lipstick formula is also infused with nourishing Rosehip Butter, a natural powerhouse of essential fatty acids, vitamins and minerals.

Transparent, juicy colour of a lip stain, wet-look finish of a gloss. Free from parabens and fragrance.”

I ordered the shade, Murmurings, a pinkish-burgundy toned brown which definitely has a 1990s/Marsala feel to it.

swatch Rouge Bunny Rouge Murmurings

Rouge Bunny Rouge Murmurings

Packaging
duchess pointduchess pointduchess point

 

I love the whole theme of the RBR product names and packaging, and the lipstick is no exception. This lipstick “is inspired by the translucently delicate butterflies from the Enchanted Garden.” 🙂 I love black for lipstick packaging, and it has these subtle, black-on-black butterfly-esque shapes on it as well. The weighty, substantial tube closes very securely. I also love the RBR logo, which is on the top of the cap. 3/3 Duchess points

Formula
duchess pointduchess pointduchess point

 

I really like this formula! Its very moisturizing and comfortable to wear. Its pigmented yet has that sheerness and slightly glossy finish that I prefer. 3/3 Duchess points

Wear
duchess pointduchess pointduchess point

 

I like it best over the RBR Long Lasting Lip Pencil (I ordered Roald). I think they pair really well together and I would totally recommend getting them both. The lip pencil is very long-wearing and almost feels sticky or tacky, but when you add the hydrating, glossy lipstick over it, its the perfect combination and stays on for hours. On its own, the lipstick applies more sheerly and isn’t’ as long-wearing as when you pair it with the lip pencil. 2/3 Duchess points

Scent/Taste
duchess pointduchess pointduchess point

 

The RBR site claims these are fragrance free, but it has quite a strong scent I, at first, couldn’t place. Then I suddenly realized it smells exactly like tea!  The scent could be from the Rosa Canina Fruit Oil or the Linalool (a liquid with a sweet odour that naturally occurs in many essential oils), plus “Aroma (Flavour)” is also listed as an ingredient. Not exactly fragrance free RBR! It doesn’t have a noticeable taste, but I would have preferred it without the scent. It wasn’t so bad that it turned me off from wearing it, but its an unusual scent for a makeup product. 2/3 Duchess points

Sensitivity Test
I’ve been testing this one diligently for the past couple of weeks now just to be sure, but I have not had any reaction or irritation from this lipstick. No Duchess points deduction.

MAC Test
This was tough. I liked the formula a lot (as much as or more than some MAC finishes actually) but really disliked the scent of this lipstick. I didn’t want to deduct a whole Duchess point so I am going with, scent aside, I like it as much as MAC. Neutral Duchess points

Would I pay $47.75 CAD for another one?
negative 1 duchess point

 

Because this brand isn’t available in Canada, with the exchange rate, shipping and customs, I just would not be interested in paying nearly $48 for another RBR lipstick. -1 Duchess points

Rouge Bunny Rouge Sheer Lipstick total: 9/14

high-end-lipstick-comparison-chart

At the end of this series, I’m going to decide on my favorite high-end lipstick and give one away to a subscriber (in a shade of their choice)! Check out my initial post for a full explanation of my rating scale.

Other reviews in this series:
Chanel Rouge Coco Shine
Dior Addict Extreme
Giorgio Armani Rouge Ecstasy
Rouge G de Guerlain
Estee Lauder Pure Color Envy
Hourglass Femme Rouge Velvet Crème
NARS Audacious Lipstick
Marc Jacobs Lovemarc Lip Gel
Tom Ford Lip Color
Burberry Lip Cover
NARS Lipstick (original)
Givenchy

As always, thanks for reading!
Love,
Nerdy Librarian Girl<3

16 Comments

Filed under Giveaways, Lips, Lipstick, Reviews

Makeup Geek Last Dance

Makeup Geek Last Dance

Love the new Makeup Geek packaging!

In a previous post, Two Makeup Geek Eyeshadows that are Dupes for Each Other?, I compared Homecoming to “Last Dance” which seemed to be identical. Turns out they were! I had been sent a mislabeled Homecoming instead.

Stashmatters commented suggesting I contact Makeup Geek and I did. I sent them an email with a link to my original post, and got a response right away:

“We are very sorry about this, you are absolutely right, you have 2 Homecomings there! We’re going to resend you a last dance. Hope this helps.”

They shipped me a new eyeshadow right away for free. Here’s my new, actual Last Dance:
Makeup Geek Last Dance

Makeup Geek Homecoming VS Last Dance

The original “Last Dance” I received (actually Homecoming) next to my new one

Makeup Geek Last Dance

Last Dance

The shadow is a very pretty and unique shade that is rather complex. In the pan it looks more like a dark purple, but applied, its more of a purpley toned brown. Its also a little iridescent with a purple sheen. I did a very pretty smokey eye look with it that was also daytime appropriate. Its really wearable.

Makeup Geek Last Dance Swatch

Last Dance

I thought it was awesome of Makeup Geek to send me a new shadow. I was really impressed with their customer service.

Thanks for reading!
Love,
Nerdy Librarian Girl ❤

9 Comments

Filed under Eyes, Eyeshadow

Blog Awards: Premio Dardos and Versatile Blogger

Premio Dardos Award
I was nominated for two awards by the very cool fellow Canadian blogger, Fivezero. Thanks so much! First up is the Premio Dardos: The Premio Dardos Award is given for recognition of cultural, ethical, literary, and personal values transmitted in the form of creative and original writing. These stamps were created with the intention of promoting fraternization between bloggers, a way of showing affection and gratitude for work that adds value to the Web.

Then there’s the Versatile Blogger Award: When you consider nominating a fellow blogger for the Versatile Blogger Award, consider the quality of the writing, the uniqueness of the subjects covered, the level of love displayed in the words on the virtual page. Or, of course, the quality of the photographs and the level of love displayed in the taking of them. Honor those bloggers who bring something special to your life whether every day or only now and then.

Versatile Blogger Award

The Versatile Blogger Award requires you to reveal 7 things about yourself. Here are 7 (hopefully interesting) facts about me:

    1. I love old, black and white movies and classic TV shows. I have literally seen every single episode of Bewitched. My favourite film of all time is Gone with the Wind.
    2. Even though I’m a Librarian, I don’t have any books or bookshelves in my house. I borrow books from the library or read them on my eBook reader.
    3. If I could have any super power it would be teleportation. I love to visit new places but I hate the traveling part.
    4. My whole life I never liked olives which I thought was silly, so 3 years ago I decided my new year’s resolution would be to like olives. I kept trying them over and over, and now I do actually like them!
    5. I used to be a vegetarian (for over 7 years). My iron was always low and eventually I caved and started eating meat again and have never looked back. Yay bacon!
    6. I am the worst singer yet I love karaoke.
    7. I have always secretly wanted to play the banjo.

Both awards require me to nominate 15 other bloggers. I am nominating:

Katelynn of Sentimental Stuff
Finger Candy
Jessica Kachan
Kayla Cheyenne Boyd of Kaylas Chaos
Thalia of ChromaMeSilly
Denisse Rios of Queen Denisse
Broke Beauty Blogger on a Budget
Katie of Plus+ Beauty (for the Premio Dardos because she’s already been nominated for the Versatile Blogger)
Raisa The Makeup Whoreder
Beautiful Beakers (for the Premio Dardos because she’s already been nominated for the Versatile Blogger)
Canadian Stash Matters
Hatice thebeautyvampire
Pooja from My Exquisite World
Carol of cassmadaboutfashion
The World of Cos (for the Premio Dardos because she’s already been nominated for the Versatile Blogger)

Thanks for reading!
Love,
Nerdy Librarian Girl ❤

18 Comments

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Another Hit from Revlon Gel Envy

Revlon Colorstay Gel Envy in 300 All In

Revlon Colorstay Gel Envy in All In

I am totally in love with Revlon Colorstay Gel Envy, a nail polish that actually stays on more than a day for me. The latest colour that I’m loving is 300 All In, a rich, midnight blue with shimmer. This shade is so pretty! I love that you get an iridescent sheen but it’s not a “glitter” polish. This lasted a full 5 days which, on me, is amazing. With other polishes, like Essie or OPI, I sometimes don’t even get a full 24 hours without significant chipping.

Check out my reviews of some of the other shades I’m loving, like High Stakes and Ace of Spades.

Thanks for reading!
Love,
Nerdy Librarian Girl

6 Comments

Filed under Favourites, Nails