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Some time ago I was chosen to test a new line of products from the organics company, Yes to Carrots. Unfortunately, this past year has been immensely difficult for my family, as well as challenging in workload for my studies. As a result, the opening of the blog was delayed, and consequently, the review of this product. Nonetheless, I have the review here today, in keeping with my promise.
Yes to Carrots is a company known primarily for their lip balm and skincare products. I, personally, was always a fan of their Carrot and Melon flavored lip butters. Last summer they came out with a line of color products, including 6 lip glosses and 6 sheer lip tints. Yes to Carrots graciously sent me the entire line of glosses to review, and I have to say, I like them!
The glosses are 95% organic, paraben- & carmine-free and certified by the NPA. They’re formulated with:
As expected with such ingredients, the glosses are very moisturizing and have a clean, minty scent. The formula is smooth and applies easy with a Juicy Tubes-like applicator. The gloss, itself is thick but completely unsticky with a sheen finish. To be honest, it feels more like a well-tinted lip treatment than a gloss.
I’m pretty impressed with the variety of unique colors, and they definitely outperform Burt’s Bees lip gloss in pigmentation. Perhaps, most notable, is the milky beige color, Playful Nude, which is a color not often seen in drugstore lip glosses. It’s a nearly opaque, yellow-toned nude, which is mostly creamy with sparse shimmers. In fact, it reminds me a lot of MAC’s Siss lipstick. As much as I was interested by the unique color, it’s completely inappropriate for my skin tone, but looks great on my olive-skinned sister.
The line also includes:
The nice thing about these glosses is that no lip balm is needed to have a fully smooth finish. I find all the colors, except the nude, to be universally wearable. My favorites are Carrot Kiss (another pretty unique color, if you ask me!) and Flirty Pink. Given how non-sticky they are, wear time is about 2.5 hours. At $6.49, I find them to be decently priced for a generous amount of product. The fact that they’re made of such natural ingredients is a nice plus, but for some reason, I’m just not wild about them.
Always appreciative of the fact that I am a student without much means, my petit ami treated me with a Sephora gift card for Valentine’s Day.
After I’d finished dancing with happiness, he asked me if I knew what I wanted to spend it on. I said not yet, but in truth I had a feeling it would the new MUFE HD blushes. I’d seen images and swatches from Christine‘s site and gotten hooked by the pinks and peaches and pigmentation.
I’m already a big fan of the HD foundation, even with its hefty price tag. In store, I sampled the blush in a few colors, of the very wide spectrum, and settled on two of the lightest – 05 Nip Slip & 13 Smooth Talker.
Nip Slip is listed as a “neutral”, but I find it’s slightly warm-toned. It’s a bit of a classic, doll pink, which could easily work on any skin tone. Smooth Talker is a very, very cool-toned pinky lilac, and a part of me bought it just because its such a unique blush color.
The formulation is rich and creamy, and spreads easily. This blush is very pigmented and dries quickly to a satin finish. It’s pretty critical that your skin be well-moisturized, however. I’m prone to small dry patches on my cheeks, and if not prepped properly, the satin finish can make them obvious. One full pump yields far too much product, however, so disperse with discretion. I use about a quarter pump per cheek, dispersing it onto the back of my hand to warm the product and gently pressing on with a cosmetic sponge.
The color is fairly long-lasting, save for a tropical heat wave, at about 7~8 hours. Nip Slip is always flattering, even if I have nothing else on. Smooth Talker is a bit of a different story, however, and requires something else going on in order to look nice. On my pale skin, pinky-lilac alone washes me out like mad. However, with say, mascara and berry lip gloss, its gorgeous. It’s even nice with a bit of bronzer and smoky eyes.
There is one flaw, however, in the packaging. I applaud MUFE for the pump mechanism – its very hygienic and keeps the product fresh. And given the amount needed in application, my tiny bottles are gonna last me a while! But you do have to deal with a small bit of product drying in the nozzle after use. Most of the time, when I press the pump I receive a small dried-out kernel of blush that I have to fish out before application – this is rather annoying.
All in all, the blush blends easily, is long-lasting, and is incredibly pigmented. Subtracting just half a blossom for the annoying pump flaw.
Blush is something that’s always been critical in my daily grooming routine. If I’ve got 30 seconds, and my choices are either covering a blemish or swiping on some blush – I will always choose the blush. This is perhaps most due to my pale complexion, as I frequently appear washed out under the harsh lighting of offices and lecture halls. More often than not, the blush is some sort of shade of pink or peach, as these two colors consistently compliment my fair skin and don’t require the attendance of other products to look natural. I have been known to break out a bronze or plummy brown, however, when I’ve got the time to ensure the rest of the features can support it. Nonetheless, in most cases, 30 seconds with a pink blush can do wonders for my appearance – especially after an all-nighter or a week of 2-hr-a-night sleep.
Bourjois blush, encased in that tiny round pot with ergonomic brush, will always hold a special place in my collection. I own only four, but they are tried and true shades that I never have to worry about hastily swiping on. The blush itself is baked – meaning that pigmentation is light to begin with but easily built up. The included blush is one I imagine many people dislike – its curved like a shell and quite small, made to rest on top of the blush itself. I, however, like it quite a bit as its convenient and cups the shape of my cheek bones quite well. Its also a much coarser hair than one usually finds in a blush brush, but this is a good thing as the dry baked blush isn’t easily captured by soft/thin bristles.
Its worth noting that Bourjois blushes are scented – and rather heavily at that – with a rose perfume. I actually love it and enjoy the scent released as you drag the brush across. If they bottled it, I’d buy it; it feels very posh and Parisian. The rose scent is more powdery rather than floral, and far more tolerable than the obnoxious scent Anna Sui’s products have. (As an aside, I purchased one Anna Sui lip gloss online because the clear pink with stars had me in a tizzy, and although I carried it in my purse for some 6 months hoping I would use it, I couldn’t bear to apply it once I brought the applicator near my lips. Ugh.)
Pigmentation amongst the shades is light to medium. Many of the shades have a significant amount of shimmer to them, but upon application, the result is much more glowy than sparkly. Some, are completely shimmer-less, but the finish is still a bit different from true matte.
Sadly, the case of Rose D’Or, my favorite, broke 2 years ago during my move to Toronto. I dropped it on my petit ami’s bathroom floor and the case cracked at the hinge, which is why its not pictured with the 3 above. It still closes, thankfully, but I do have to remove the top to use it. I own the following:
Rose D’Or – perhaps my most favorite blush. It’s a doll-pink that always looks the definition of “cute”.
Lune D’Or – More of a highlighter than blush. Makes for a beautiful neutral eyeshadow, also.
Peche Vitaminée – Although this looks rather orange in the pot, it goes on more true apricot. My skin’s more neutral-yellow toned, but I can imagine this is probably not for those with pink undertones.
The case, although apparently somewhat fragile, is something I love. It easily slips in your purse and houses a mirror, brush, and product. The blushes tend to fade after 4-5 hours, so its nice to have that touch up option.
In the United States, I believe these can be found at Ulta stores, and in Canada they are sold at selected Shoppers Drug Marts.
Truth be told, I’ve been a fan of Nivea ever since I first found the original Cherry lip balm in a small-town pharmacy in Quebec. Coming from the States, I had no idea Nivea even produced color products, as I mainly saw facial/body care items in our local Walgreens. I ended up using that little cherry balm all summer long, and it began a Nivea collection which continues to grow ’til this day.
I’ve chosen to review these two new additions to the Nivea balm family because when they first popped up in my local Shoppers, I noticed that the packaging was quite similar to the previous “Star Fruits” line, only they were now billed as “Fruity Shine,” and I was curious of the difference. I had tried googling some reviews but as they appear to be a strictly Canadian release, and had no luck. It was only when I caught them on sale as 2/$3 that I decided to pick them up and figure the difference out for myself!
Only two Fruity Shine flavors are being sold in Canada: Strawberry and Cherry. The International Nivea website also lists Dragonfruit and Pomegranate, which sound incredible, but I probably won’t be able to get my hands on them unless I go the E-bay route.
The most notable things about this product are the scent and texture.
They have a natural fruit smell, nothing artificial. That is to say, Strawberry smells exactly like real strawberries taste and Cherry smells like true cherry – not like cough drops. Furthermore, the gel-like texture is really unique and refreshing – the balm feels weightless on, without a hint of waxiness. The finish is glossy with a sheer wash of color, similar to look of fruit juice on your lips. The balm is decently moisturizing, more than enough for summer time, but probably not enough for winter. Cherry goes on me as a sort of cool-toned berry color whereas Strawberry is more of a true red. Wear-time is about 2-3 hours, but most of the balm is absorbed (leaving behind a stain of color) by the 2 hr mark.
Perhaps most importantly, there IS a difference between “Fruity Shine” and its “Star Fruits” predecessor – the introduction of micro sparkles. Mind you, these sparkles are nothing like the frosted hot mess that Nivea’s Pearl Shine gives – instead, these sparkles are subtle, and really only noticeable under direct sunlight. I can’t feel them on my lips, (although I’m generally pretty tolerant of glittery gloss) but they add a dimension to the finish that I really like.
Packaging-wise, it’s the same old Nivea/Labello packaging. A tough, little bullet that yields a satisfying *click* upon closure.
The only flaw, I find, is that due to its gel-like texture, the balm tends to sweat when left in a pocket. This is easily prevented, however, by just tossing it in your purse – but if you’re anything like me (generally I walk around with at least 1 balm on my person) it can be a tiny hassle. Nothing too bad – just a couple of beads of condensation at the top of the balm – but it can make application strange of you don’t dab them off first.
The lack of SPF might also be considered a flaw, but I believe SPF would really interfere with the gel-texture unpleasantly. Not to mention, I always make sure to run my daily SPF70 sunscreen over my lips, each morning, so I can handle lacking sun protection in a balm.
All in all, this was an amazing buy at ~$1.50 CAN.
Welcome to the launch of SiJolie.com!
After years of daily reading, I have decided to forge my path in the already saturated world of beauty blogging. Primarily, I have done it as a way of embracing the girly side of myself, which is too often ignored due to the the highly scientific concentration of my studies. So a part of me sees this as an opportunity to express that side. In addition, over the years, I have amassed quite the collection, which continues to grow. I hope that sharing my opinions can provide others with the same opportunities to indulge in their girly side as many of the beauty blogs (linked at the right) have given me.
Onto a little bit about me:
Career: Currently double-majoring in Astrophysics and Engineering Physics, working towards graduating with a B.S. with honors. Currently employed in summer research.
Location: Toronto, ON.
Hobbies: browsing the web (naturally!), yoga, video gaming, cooking, relaxing with family and mon petit ami.
When did you start wearing makeup?: Probably around the age of 14, which by modern day standards is somewhat late. I remember sneaking my mother’s Corn Silk powder and Voluminous mascara to jr. high school, hastily applying it in girls bathroom, and removing it just as hastily at 3pm. I was a bit of a tomboy growing up, so around 14 somehow, the world of fashion and makeup was entirely foreign and exciting.
Favorite brands?: Dior, NARS, Fresh, Lancôme, Chanel, Jill Stuart, Givenchy.
First product?: At the age of 13, my mother and I were in a Marshall Field’s when I confessed I wanted a lip gloss. She took me to the Dior counter, where I obtained a blue and gold in No. 367 Bonbon. I cherished it, and to this day, the scent brings me right back.
Coloring: I’m definitely light-skinned, if not porcelain. I run a NC15 in Winter/Spring and sometimes NC20 in Summer/Fall. Similarly, I’m a Dior Nude 021 Linen, MUFE HD in 115, Lancôme Color ID I-20(W), L’oreal True Match W1. I’m of Greek/Polish/Dutch heritage. I have light freckling on my cheeks and nose, but if I could banish them, I would!
**Its a bit amusing really, because i am the only pale face in my immediate family. The Greek blood proved dominant in my sisters and brothers – all of whom bronze gorgeously in the summer and remained olive toned in the cooler seasons. Growing up, I stuck out as both the skinny and white kid, whom mom was constantly reapplying sunblock to.**
What is sijolie and what does it mean?: Si jolie is a phrase in French which translates as “so pretty”. In short, the vast majority of domain names were taken, at least in English, and I wasn’t left with many options. “Si jolie” was suggested by my boyfriend, a francophone, who blesses me with the compliment more often than I probably deserve it. It’s a transitive phrase, heard whether I am barefaced in sweatpants on the couch or fully made-up in a dress and heels. “Si jolie” is meant to evoke confidence in the recipient, which is really what we all luxuriate in beauty products for – to feel confident and beautiful.