Essence Cosmetics BB Beauty Balm Lipgloss*

Friday, September 23, 2016

Psstt....have you heard that Essence Cosmetics is my favorite go-to drugstore brand?

Essence Cosmetics is a brand that rarely ever fails me - honestly, I've only disliked about three products I've tried and trust me, I've tried a lot. When the brand launches new products and collections I always seem to be able to hunt them down with no problems and I'm always really excited to try what they have to offer. For Fall 2016, Essence Cosmetics has come out with a BRAND NEW selection of permanent products that are sure to make heads turn and get consumers more excited about the brand.

Over the next couple of weeks - to a month - you are going to see several of these products pop up here on Embrace & Ignite, first starting with the new BB Beauty Balm Lipgloss.

The BB Beauty Balm Lipglosses are currently a permanent product to the beautiful line-up of Essence products and can be found at Shoppers Drug Mart stores right here in Canada or various US-based stores that sell Essence Cosmetics. Here in Canada, these product retails for $3.49 (CAN) and come in five absolutely beautiful shades:
  • 01. Keep It Real
  • 02. Shh, Just Kiss Me
  • 03. Flirtylicious
  • 04. Sweet Dreams
  • 05. Heartbreaker
In my review and swatches today, I'm going to be focusing on the three shades that I have been able to try which include:
  • 01. Keep It Real
  • 04. Sweet Dreams
  • 05. Heartbreaker

01. Keep It Real is the first shade in this beautiful collection and it's the one that I've been wearing the most. This is your traditional creamy nude shade with a slight hint of pink but depending on your skin tone this might come off as a slightly pale nude shade. I've been wearing this shade on its own, but I've also been rocking it with a wide shade range of lipsticks from Milani's Color Statement Lipstick in Matte Naked to MAC's Creamsheen Lipstick in Up The Amp. This is a very versatile shade for me and it's just super simple to throw on without a mirror not worrying about getting it outside of your lip lines.

04. Sweet Dreams is a beautiful true coral pink shade - it doesn't lean warm or cool and to me, this type of shade would be perfect for everyone. Again, depending on your skin tone this shade might be quite a bit light for you but mixed with the right lipstick and it can be absolutely beautiful. Once again, I love wearing this shade on its own because it gives me a beautiful fresh look to the lips.

05. Heartbreaker is a stunning shade of strawberry with a creamy finish. Unlike the other shades, this one is the perfect shade and shouldn't be too light on those with a darker skin tone. Like the previous shade, I love to wear this shade completely alone because I love how the color gives me a just bitten kissable look.

Have you ever heard of a BB lip product before?

When this product came into my mailbox, this was the first thing that really interested me about the product because I had never heard of a 'BB' lip product before this. We always know that BB means beauty balm and when we use our BB Creams we know that they are packed with amazing moisturizers, SPF and pigment complex's to give a beautiful all-in-one radiance to the skin. But when you think of that in lip product form, what does that really mean?

Essence Cosmetics website describes this as:

This balm lipgloss has a high-shine texture and leaves behind a beautiful color finish on your lips. Enriched with Shea Butter and Vitamin E ingredients, a soft and pampered pout without stickiness is now possible! "

Based on the description, this BB lip product is packed with nourishing and high-quality ingredients to help with your lip health and look. The rest of the description is also extremely accurate. These products are smooth, comfortable, packed with pigmentation and have a beautiful high-shine finish. However, they do have some stickiness when first applied but as the product heats up with your lip temperature the product becomes more creamy and much smoother. In regards to pigmentation, these have just enough pigmentation that they can be worn alone for a really fresh look but they also have just enough pigmentation to pair with all sorts of lipsticks without altering the color of these lip products. 

Of all the product releases for Fall 2016 from Essence Cosmetics, I have to say that this is BY FAR my favorite product and the one that I have been using the most. Chances are every single day I'm reaching for the shade in 01. Keep It Real if I'm not reaching for one of the other shades. I'm actually loving these so much that I'm patiently waiting to get into my local Shoppers Drug Mart so that I'm able to pick up the other two shades that I don't have. 

Have you tried these products from Essence Cosmetics yet?
Are they something you are looking to pick up soon?

*** Products featured in this post were sent to me as press samples for consideration here on Embrace & Ignite ***

QUO Cosmetics Limited-Edition Fall 2016 Collection*

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Can you believe that in just two short weeks Summer will be completely over and Fall will have started? For me, it's not as heartbreaking. Fall is my absolute favorite time of the year from getting to wear boots and sweaters again to indulging in the brand new makeup collections that have launched. And that is exactly what today's post is going to focus on; brand new makeup for Fall 2016.

QUO Cosmetics has released yet another seasonal collection for Fall 2016 and I'm really excited to bring you a review of some of the key pieces within this collection.

QUO Cosmetics is currently only sold in Shoppers Drug Mart stores here in Canada and many of their collections appear in stores and only days later tend to be sold out. If by the end of this review you are thinking you need to pick something up I highly suggest taking the time three to four times a week to check out your local cosmetics section so you are able to snag what you want.

Today's review for the QUO Cosmetics Fall 2016 Collection I'm going to be chatting about:

  • Face Palette in Perfectly Ordinary
  • Eye Shadow Palette in Neutral Ground
  • Brow Palette in Raise Your Brows
  • Matte Lipstick in Red Alert

With fall approaching I think many of us start to think of those beautiful golds, chocolate browns, and an overall warm-toned shade range. Within the new QUO Cosmetics Fall 2016 Collection you get just that inside of the Eye Shadow Palette in Neutral Ground. This palette retails for $18 (CAN) and each shadow inside of the palette contains 0.7 grams of product for a total product count of 7 grams. Like many of the other QUO Cosmetics collection, this palette comes in a beautiful hard plastic black case with a beautiful artistic design on the front - this season it's a beautiful purple lace or leaf style pattern.'

Many of us are starting to get overloaded with neutral palettes, myself included, but I think that QUO has launched something really unique within this palette. Right from the very first light white and cream shades to those darker chocolate browns, I think each shade is infused with a really warm tone that many palettes just don't focus on. I actually think that QUO really pumped even more warm tones into this palette to create that fall vibe. While I own many warm-toned palettes most of them are mixed with cool tones or are a really toned down version of warm shades. I love that QUO really went with the warm-toned theme within this palette to make a stand alone product.

In saying that, the Neutral Ground palette contains a great variety of shades ranging from really light all over the lid shades to darker shades that can be used to deepen natural looks or to create smokey eyes. There are also a great variety of shades within this palette ranging from matte to metallics.

In terms of pigmentation, this palette stands high above the other palettes that I've tried in seasonal collections from QUO Cosmetics. The shades in this palette remain beautifully soft but really pack an amazing amount of pigmentation. In saying this, some of those lighter shades are really similar to my skin tone (light to medium) so those using this palette might find it hard using some of those. But the stand out's are the darker shades on the right side of the palette. If I were looking for a new neutral eyeshadow palette I would absolutely gravitate towards this palette because I think it's well worth the $18 (CAN)!

Last year during the release of the Summer 2016 Collection I was able to try the Face Palette in Medium but that is the only other QUO Cosmetics Face Palette I've tried. So, when the brand new Face Palette came into my mailbox I was the most excited to try this product. The Face Palette in Perfectly Ordinary retails for $20 (CAN) and contains three products (a blush, translucent face powder, and a bronzer) which in total contains 15.4 grams of products.

The first product located in this palette is the beautiful medium dusty pink shade with some slight micro-glitter - however, these glitters don't apply to the face in a noticeable way. This particular color is something I reach for on a daily basis because it tends to look very natural on my skin tone and it goes with so many of the looks I create. Combining this perfect blush color with the stunning shadows from the Neutral Ground palette create the perfect cohesive and easy look.

The next product is the translucent face powder as indicated by QUO Cosmetics on the back of this palette but this is absolutely not what the product is. This product is more of a sheer pink highlighting shade with a beautiful satin finish. To me, this is absolutely not a product I would use for the purpose of setting my face or using as a face powder and instead, I would opt for using this as a beautiful natural highlighting shade. Like the blush color, this product is smooth and beautiful with a flawless application.

And the final product is the bronzer shade that contains some beautiful shimmer and sheen. While this type of product isn't something I would purchase on its own I can appreciate that it's within this palette. Typically I use this shade really lightly on all of the areas of my face that would naturally be kissed by the sun, I use this lightly because I do find sometimes if I pick up too much of the product I can also transfer a lot of the glitter within this shade onto the skin - which simply isn't my desired look. Once again, the powder is really smooth and beautiful and it has some really great pigmentation.

Overall, I think the Perfectly Ordinary Face Palette is the stand out product, I received from the Fall 2016 Collection. All of the products in this palette are really great for me and I love that all three products work together to help complete a full face look. $20 (CAN) for a product like this is an absolute steal and I think if you grab one product from this collection it should be this beautiful Face Palette!

The product that I was the most disappointed in would be the Brow Palette in Raise Your Brow's and really it was because this product was seen in the Spring 2016 Collection, so this is actually a double product for me. This product retails for $12 (CAN) and contains 2.9 grams of product which is an exact match to the previously launched version.

Both the latest version and the Spring 2016 Collection are great products both in shade range and formula. In both of the products, for my skin tone, I find that the shades within the palette lean on the warm side and I generally reach for more of a taupe shade. But I believe that if you are looking for a more warm-toned look within your brows that this product would work for you. Not only does this product comes with a translucent wax it also comes with a lighter and darker version of powder so that you can create a natural finish with your brows.

Sadly, this product just didn't work out for me enough for me to reach for it on an everyday basis. I used this product long enough to test it out and compare it to the previous version but I've since switched back to my everyday brow products. If there is one product I would recommend skipping it would be the Brow Palette. There are much more affordable products out there for the brows that I believe perform in a better manner.

And finally, the last product I'm going to be chatting about is the Matte Lipstick in Red Alert which currently retails for $14 (CAN). While I don't wear red lipstick very often, I like to keep a few of these shades in my collection for special occasions when I do need to dress up fancy and pull out some of my perfect red lipsticks. Along with the shade in Red Alert, the new Fall 2016 Collection comes with two colors shades called Brandy and Mysterious.

One of the hottest trends in lipstick right now is the matte appearance but, for me, I don't enjoy the dry feeling of these lipstick formulas. I've finally found a formula that doesn't crack, dry and flake off. The Matte Lipstick formula from QUO'S Fall 2016 Collection leaves my lips feeling healthy and beautiful even in the Red Alert color that I don't feel comfortable in.

If you are in the market for a brand new lipstick with a matte formula and beautiful rich pigmentation that I would suggest hunting down these Matte Lipsticks at your local Shoppers Drug Mart.

The products within the Fall 2016 Collection are really impressive. Everything within the collection had some great qualities. I don't think there is really anything negative I would say about the products I received other than I wish the Brow Palette would have been in a different shade. The overall collection is really cohesive and each of the products can be used with each other to create a very beautiful seasonal look.

If you are looking to invest in one product or a few products from the collection I would highly recommend the Eye Shadow Palette in Neutral Ground and the Face Palette in Perfectly Ordinary. I think the powders are really a standout for this collection right from the pigmentation to the wear time.

What product from QUO Cosmetics Fall 2016 Collection are you most excited for?
What Fall Collection (from any brand) are you most excited to try?

*** The products featured in this post were sent to me for consideration on Embrace & Ignite***