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Canadian Spotlight: Annabelle Cosmetics

By Tamara, Local Contributor – Canada

Tamara lives in southwestern Ontario, where she works in a multi-disciplinary physical rehabilitation clinic. When she’s not there, you’ll find her at the local cosmetic counters or freelancing as a makeup artist.

She rediscovered makeup in her early twenties, and since then, she’s become immersed in the beauty community. Tamara loves the idea of sharing information with others who share her beauty interests. After being an observer for some time, she started her own beauty blog. She has learned so much and had an amazing time since starting, and she considers herself lucky to have two jobs she adores.

Annabelle Smoothie Eye Shadow Pencils

Canadian Spotlight: Annabelle Cosmetics

Annabelle is a brand that has been around for quite some time. The line was first launched in August of 1967 by Morrie Cohen, a Montreal businessman. Known as “the house of colors,” the have always offered a wide range of color cosmetics, makeup accessories, and nail polish to consumers.  (Though sadly, in 2004, the line of nail polishes was discontinued!)  The company was named after Mr. Cohen’s mother-in-law, Anabel. The name Anabel, was modified to Annabelle to give a bilingual twist to the Canadian brand.

My top three products from Annabelle are…

Le Big Show Mascara ($9.95 CDN): I’ve had a drugstore favourite for mascara for a long time, but Le Big Show took over a few months ago. This is an absolutely fantastic mascara that gives length, volume and an intensely black colour payoff.

Smoothie Eye Shadow Pencil ($8.95 CDN) As someone with eyelids oily enough to eat through many popular bases, these over-sized pencils really impressed me with their longevity. They can be worn on their own or layered under shadows. I frequently use Melonade (mid-tone peachy pink) or Cocoaloco (rich chocolate brown) with some mascara for a quick low-key look, and Licoriche is perfect for smokey eyes.

Hush Mineral Powder Blush ($10.50 CDN): Amazing colour payoff, smooth application and good wear time are all hallmarks of a great cheek colour and Hush has them all. This was my first experience with a mineral blush and it was a pleasant surprise to find a mineral product at the drugstore that showed up on my skin tone.

Annabelle is widely available across Canada in a number of box-stores, drugstores and supermarkets. U.S. customers are able to make telephone purchases, but only for those products permanent to the line.

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Bobbi Brown Spring 2012 Collection: Neons & Nudes

Bobbi Brown Spring 2012 Collection: Neons & Nudes

“The most modern way to wear bright color is as an accent on an otherwise neutral face.” — Bobbi Brown

The Neons & Nudes Collection features a unique pairing of bright, neon colors that are balanced by soft nudes and neutrals. Pair a soft, nude eye with a neon lip or a bright eye with a nude lip depending on your mood.

Ultra Nude Eye Palette ($45.00) (Limited Edition)

  • Stone (Eyeshadow)
  • Chino (Eyeshadow)
  • Pink Chandelier (Metallic Eyeshadow)
  • Praline (Shimmer Wash Eyeshadow)
  • Champagne Truffle (Shimmer Wash Eyeshadow)
  • Cocoa Berry (Shimmer Wash Eyeshadow)

Ink Liner ($24.00) (Limited Edition)

This liner is the perfect complement to the neon and nude face. Offering the precise, dramatic look of liquid liner, it easily defines the eye. The slanted, flexible felt tip applicator releases rich pigment in one simple stroke, and since the formula is long-wearing, there is no need to re-apply throughout the day.

  • Really Black Black

Lip Gloss ($23.00) (New, Permanent)

Gorgeous, sheer and super shiny, these lip glosses are pure fun and will pair perfectly with a nude eye to polish off your look.

  • Cosmic Pink Pink
  • Citrus Tangerine
  • Ultra Violet Violet

Lip Color ($23.00) (Limited Edition)

Two super vibrant colors and one neutral shade, these new lip colors are made of a unique blend of Beeswax and Vitamins E and C for comfortable wear.

  • Atomic Orange Orange
  • Neon Pink Pink
  • Uber Beige Beige

Eyeshadow ($21.00) (New, Permanent)

  • Ultra Violet (Shimmer Wash Eyeshadow)
  • Bluebell (Eyeshadow)

Blush ($24.00) (New, Permanent)

Nothing gives the face a lift like blush. These two universally flattering, muted pink and peach blush shades are the perfect complement to brightly accented eyes and lips.

  • Nude Peach Soft peach
  • Nude Pink Soft pink

availability: January 2012 (I saw a few pieces pop up at Nordstrom this morning!)

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Chanel Blush Horizon de Chanel

Chanel Blush Horizon de Chanel
Chanel Blush Horizon de Chanel

Chanel Spring 2012: Chanel Blush Horizon de Chanel

Chanel Blush Horizon de Chanel ($58.00 for 0.53 oz.) is a new and limited blush for springtime. It’s described as an “elegant highlighting face powder” with “subtle gradations of rose, coral, and peach.” Though Chanel says you can apply them on their own or applied together, you’ll tend to use at least a few strips at a time, as they are very skinny and won’t accommodate most blush brushes in just one of those little strips!

If you stay on the upper half, you’ll get a pinker look, and if you stay on the bottom half, you’ll get a peachier look. When you swirl, it’s a pink-coral with a peachy sheen. Tarina Tarantino Parasol is a more pigmented pink-coral. MAC Stunner doesn’t really have any coral to it, but it is similar to the upper portion of this blush. Chanel Pink Cloud is similar but less pink and subtler on. Benefit Bella Bamba is pinker but with a light hand, similar enough on.

At first glance, this was very reminiscent of Guerlain’s Blush G Serie Noire, and for the most part, it is. The strips in this product are much, much skinnier, so it’s difficult to focus on particular shades, but the shades of each strip are very similar to Blush G. Chanel’s doesn’t have the darker orange shade (which you’ll find at the top of Blush G), but everything else is similar, so the end result can be similar. If you tend to prefer a darker, more coral blush, then you’ll prefer the Blush G, since you have that darker orange shade to yield those results. Chanel’s is more of a pink-coral to pink-peach. The other major difference is Guerlain’s has a stronger golden sheen, while Chanel’s appears a bit softer. Blush G has more pigmentation overall, due to that darker orange shade, and Chanel’s is less intense. If you missed out on Blush G, this is a good substitute, though.

The texture is really nice–soft, smooth–and the finish looks lovely on the skin, as it’s luminous and glowy without being frosted or emphasizing pores or imperfections on the skin.  Given that it’s not supposed to deliver a lot of color, it’s true-to-form; it gives a subtle flush but tends to yield more luminosity.  I expect on fairer skin tones, you’ll see this as more of a blush and highlighter combination, while deeper skin tones will find it works mostly as a highlighter.  A nice bonus is–despite the high price tag–it’s a good value, because it’s over half an ounce of product (most blushes are between 0.15 to 0.30 oz.). On me, it wore for around seven hours and started to fade; it was noticeably faded after nine hours.

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Chanel Eclosion Eyeshadow Quad

Chanel Eclosion Eyeshadow Quad
Chanel Eclosion Eyeshadow Quad

Chanel Spring 2012: Chanel Eclosion Eyeshadow Quad

Chanel Eclosion Eyeshadow Quad ($57.00 for 0.24 oz.) is described simply as having shades of “peach, gold, beige, and plum.”  It looks like it’s joining the permanent range, per Chanel’s press release.  This color palette should work across skin tones, both warm and cool, light to dark.

The upper left shade is a peachy-orange with a soft frosted finish. It’s not quite peach, but it’s not quite orange. I almost thought it was in the vein of corals but it doesn’t have enough pink in it. The pigmentation is rich, and the texture is buttery and dense, so it’s very soft and smooth. Dolce & Gabbana Jewels has a slightly similar shade, which appears more orange and less vibrant. Make Up For Ever #153 is the closest shade I could find, though it has a golden sheen.

The upper right shade is a pale ivory with yellowy gold sparkle. This is the frustrating shade I mentioned earlier; it is sheer, powdery, and the sparkle gets everywhere. I tried to use this on the inner third of my lid, and the majority of the shimmer landed underneath my eye, plus the sheerness made it look like virtually nothing was on my lid. MAC Carefree is similar but a little yellower in the base color and doesn’t have fall out issues. Make Up For Ever #101 has a stronger gold sheen instead of the gold sparkle.

The lower left shade is a medium-dark beige brown with a pearly sheen. It’s soft and smooth, and the color payoff is nice. Make Up For Ever #13 is more metallic and a bit darker. MAC Sweet Satisfaction is similar but seems warmer. MAC Grain is a touch lighter, while MAC Arena is a little darker.

The lower right shade is a reddened burgundy with red-brown undertones. The pigmentation is intense and opaque, while the texture is silky smooth. Make Up For Ever #17 is more metallic and browner. MAC Festive Delight is redder and lighter. MAC Cranberry is redder and lighter. Inglot #452 is more metallic but similar in color–just a touch lighter.

With the exception of one really frustrating shade to work with (more on that later!), I really enjoyed this quad. I think it’s fairly dupeable, though, so you may want to shop your own stash to see if you can recreate the color palette yourself. I can’t recommend something that has such a dud in it at this price point.

Chanel Eclosion Eyeshadow Quad


Chanel April Le Vernis

Chanel April Le Vernis
Chanel April Le Vernis

Chanel Spring 2012: April Le Vernis

Chanel April Le Vernis ($25.00 for 0.40 fl. oz.) is a berry red cream that’s opaque in two coats. It’s a new shade for spring (and according to Chanel’s press release, it’s not limited edition!). The formula on this felt really lovely; it was thin without being streaky or watery, but it applied easily to the nail and evened out nicely.  I’ve had good luck with Chanel’s lacquers; they last about a week on me without chipping and just have minor tip wear.  It’s a darker shade that’s still lighthearted; it’s like the last few days of winter and the first few days of spring.

For whatever reason, creams always seem like they will be dupable, but so often, they really aren’t. Essie Size Matters is a much deeper, darker shade, that appears redder. Instead, Butter London Blowing Raspberries is the shade I have that is most similar, but it is a bit more berry–it is fairly close, though, and with the price difference, it may be more palatable. Zoya Sarah reminded me of April, too, but it is very shimmery and redder, so it is quite different.