Wednesday, August 31, 2011

La Roche-Posay Anthelios Sunscreens Review

Summer in Canada is drawing to a close, but protecting your skin from damaging UV rays should be an year round consideration. La Roche-Posay kindly sent Beauty Squared some of their newest line of sunscreen - the Anthelios with Mexoryl XL face and body cream.

Anthelios with Mexoryl is high protection UVA-UVB sunscreen and comes in eight products. Click on the above link to see the full line.

The products that we were sent were the Anthelios XL Ultra-Fluid Lotion in SPF 60 for face and the Anthelios XL for sun sensitive skin. Both are made with the patented Mexoryl technology and other UV blocking properties and have been rigorously formulated to provide excellent protection.

Both claim to be non-greasy, easily absorbed and gentle on sensitive skin. I used both for a few weeks in July and August to test them. 

Anthelios XL with Mexoryl XL Face and Body Cream

Anthelios XL with Mexoryl XL Face and Body Cream

Anthelios XL with Mexoryl XL Face and Body Cream

Anthelios XL with Mexoryl XL Face and Body Cream swatched

Start of application.

Worked into skin completely. 
The Anthelios XL Face and Body Cream I only used on my body as I found the consistency too thick for use on my face. I wear some make-up most days so I need a sunscreen that is imperceptible on my skin. 

I applied the sunscreen mainly on my shoulders, throat, chest and arms and on the tops of my feet and legs. I tend to wear sleeveless, open neck dresses and tops and skirts in the summer. I have fair skin that burns quite easily and quickly so I was eager to try a higher-end sunscreen. 

Studies show that an SPF of 30 is the highest you need and provides 97% of UV rays. Wearing anything higher isn't really protecting you better but if it means more reassurance if you burn like I do, go for it. Just don't spend a tonne more money on an SPF 60 if you don't need it.

The Face and Body Cream if applied lightly does go on quite silkily but if you go a bit heavy with your application, it's heavy, shiny and tacky. One of the pet peeves about sunscreen is that it's tacky and since it has to sit on the surface of the skin, it gets on your clothes and is greasy and unpleasant. 

With the La Roche Posay Face and Body Cream, if you apply it lightly and thoroughly about 20 minutes prior to getting dressed, you should be ok. You won't leave greasy marks on the couch or on walls this way.

It was an effective sunscreen. Only when I forgot to reapply did I get some colour to my skin.

I was most impressed with the La Roche-Posay Ultra-Fluid Lotion. Finding a sunscreen you can wear on your face under makeup is tough. Sunscreen has to sit on the surface of your skin with minimal absorption in order to be effective. This doesn't tend to work well with makeup products. It can also feel quite heavy on the skin, which isn't appealing at all.

This wasn't the case with the Ultra-Fluid Lotion. 

Anthelios XL Ultra-Fluid Lotion in SPF 60

Anthelios XL Ultra-Fluid Lotion in SPF 60

Anthelios XL Ultra-Fluid Lotion in SPF 60

Anthelios XL Ultra-Fluid Lotion in SPF 60

Anthelios XL Ultra-Fluid Lotion in SPF 60, swatched

Start of application
Worked in completely

The Ultra-Fluid lotion has a light, almost liquid texture, goes on very nicely and while it's slightly visible once applied, it's not tacky and shiny and heavy like so many sunscreens. Putting make-up on top isn't a problem at all and it doesn't absorb it either. I forgot I was wearing it, it felt so light on. 

I did not get any colour on my face all summer, thanks to this sunscreen. I actually bought a second bottle and plan to wear it all year round. 

Do you wear sunscreen in the summer? All year? Have you tried the La Roche-Posay sunscreens? 


Tuesday, August 30, 2011

FACE Atelier New Products: Facade and Ultra Matte

Beauty’s best-kept secret…and it’s made in Canada!

TORONTO (August 2011)—FACE atelier just launched two new products to complement its carefully curated range of makeup and tools, including its famed Ultra Foundation.

Facade is a one-of-a-kind, silicone-based liquid-to-powder formula that sets 
with a natural glow. Silky soft and extraordinarily light, it comes in five different shades for face (cheeks) and lips. $26 for 8 ml/.33 fl oz.

Features and Benefits:
• translucent, non-streaking, buildable matte colour
• ideal for use with high definition technology
• long-lasting
• slant tip for easy application
• moisture and sebum-resistant
• fragrance and flavour-free
• 100% vegan
• non-comedogenic

Ultra Matte is the first-ever spray mattifier that reduces shine before, during 
and after makeup application. The silicone-based formula contains optical 
blurring pigments that provide microscopic reflection to minimize fine lines 
and wrinkles for an overall softer appearance. $35 for 118 ml/4 fl oz.

Features and Benefits:
• perfect prep for oily skin
• no build-up (unlike powder)
• undetectable by the most sophisticated high definition technology
• fragrance-free
• 100% vegan
• non-comedogenic

Both are now available online at, select spas and boutiques across Canada and worldwide,


FACE atelier, a kit staple amongst makeup artists and industry professionals worldwide,enjoys a cult-like following among pros and consumers alike.  It was an official sponsor for Madonna’s Confessions Tour, and has a host of celebrity fans that include Fergie, Lady Gaga, Miranda Lambert, Sara Slean, Katie Couric and Rachael Ray.

Canadian-based FACE atelier was founded in 2005 by Debbie Bondar, a successful businesswoman with almost twenty years of niche retail experience, and degrees in English Literature, Journalism and Law.  As the single mother of two grown daughters, Ms. Bondar appreciates the importance of empowering women of all ages and encouraging healthy, positive self-esteem.  

Thus FACE atelier is dedicated to helping women put their best face forward with the help of sophisticated, versatile products that simply work, and work simply. At FACE atelier, each woman is her own beauty icon, and company’s goal is to help women feel better about themselves - one brushstroke at a time. 

All products are fragrance-free, PETA-approved, and perform without false promises.

Monday, August 29, 2011

MAC Me Over Makeovers and Haul Swatches

To celebrate the release of the MAC Me Over collection last week, MAC stores were offering free makeovers with the purchase of $55 worth of product. A friend and I took advantage and got made over, which is a real treat for me. I don't normally justify getting something done that I can easily do on my own. 

I like that MAC offered these makeovers with the MAC Me Over collection. It's quite a neutral and subdued colour-wise collection and these shades can be intimidating for many people to wear. However, if you look at the makeovers of the six people MAC chose to represent this collection, you can see that these are not boring products. 

Because it's not a makeover without before and after photos, Jenn and I took before and after photos of each other.

Here's Jenn before:

And here's Jenn after: 

Jenn had asked for dark and dramatic and was disappointed with what she got. I think she looks sophisticated and very pretty. 

These are the products used on Jenn:

The MAC Me Over Lady Grey palette (three of the four shadows) was used on her eyes and then the make-up artist lined her eyes with Dark Diversions Fluidline. Jenn's blush is Dainty and her face was powdered with a MAC Mineralize powders. Her lipstick is MAC Me Over's Rebel, applied lightly. 

Here's my before:

 And my after: 

I asked for a smoky eye and really liked the result. My eyes look bigger in the after photo wearing heavier makeup. 

My MUA used the MAC Me Over Fluidline in Avenue all over my eye, applying it more heavily in the crease and along the lashlines. Then she topped Avenue with Moody, the blackened green in the MAC Me Over Evil Eye quad, in the same manner (darker in the crease and along the lashlines). Finally she used Avenue to line both my top and bottom lashlines with an angle brush. 

She applied MAC Me Over Stunner blush to my cheeks and topped it with some Soft & Gentle Mineralize Skinfinish for a glowy effect. On my lips is Whirl lip pencil and Frou lipstick.

Some fun photos taken on my iPhone:

Here's what I ended up buying from MAC Me Over:
  • Stunner blush
  • Tundra shadestick
  • Avenue and Midnight Skies fluidlines

The Tundra shadestick is an icy silver and it was one of the products I really wanted to check out. I love the eye look on Xee below, particularly the way the light hits the silver beneath her eyes.

Tundra swatched
The MAC Me Over fluidlines are fantastic. I already own Dark Diversion and I picked up Midnight Blues and Avenue as well.

Here's Midnight Blues, a blackened blue.

Midnight Blues fluidline swatched

This will be gorgeous as a simple cat eyeliner in place of a traditional black. 

Avenue was used as the base of my smoky eye makeover as well as as a liner. It's a charcoal black with gold pearlized pigments. 

Avenue fluidline swatched
Stunner blush was pretty much mine when I first saw the preview photos and swatches online. It's a light coral pink and I am wearing it in my after makeover photo (under Soft & Gentle Mineralize Skin Finish). 

Stunner blush swatched
What did you get from MAC Me Over? It's such a great collection - go in and ask any MAC make-up artist about the products. 


Friday, August 26, 2011

MAC Colourizations Review and Swatches

Originally I wasn't going to be purchasing any of the shadow duos in MAC's Colourizations collections, but on a recent trip to the US I thought I would take advantage of the somewhat cheaper pricing.

The last time MAC attempted pre-packaged eye shadow duos was Suite Array in 2008, which by all accounts, bloggers and otherwise was a colossal failure. The shadows were dry, stiff, chalky and under pigmented, on top of that they were small, packaged in the same container as the old eyebrow powder was. Fast forward to this summer and MAC seems to have done a little better this time on the duo venture.

There are 8 duos in total, and each shadow is the same pan size as regular shadows. I picked up 4 of the 8, and generally these shadows had the best textures and finishes. The shadows are unnamed and simply go by a numbering system. Photos of product taken with flash, photo of swatches taken in natural light on NC 40 skin. All duos are LE ($30.00 CA/26.00 US).

Clockwise from upper left: Double Feature 6, 3, 7 and 4.

Double Feature 6

Double Feature 3

Double Feature 7

 Double Feature 4

Left to right: Double Feature 6, 3, 4 and 7.

Double Feature 6 - This is the most neutral duo of the collection, and if the store I bought it from was any indication, the best selling duo of the 8. Both shadows are well pigmented and have a nice creamy texture. The light colour is a matte greyed beige which leans on the cool side, an interesting twist on the usual beige highlighter. The other shade is a gorgeous shimmery golden brown veluxe pearl which is a little like Woodwinked except slightly darker, and less coppery.

Double Feature 3 - Pairs a matte sky blue turquoise with a satin finish ash brown. The turquoise shade has excellent colour payoff and texture, especially for a matte. The brown shade is a little dry and sheer, but still workable.

Double Feature 4 - My favourite in the collection. It pairs a deep forest green teal with an ochre. The teal shade has a veluxe pearl finish and is gorgeous, while the ochre shade is matte but highly pigmented and creamy in texture. This is a very earthy, fall type pairing.

Double Feature 7 - Pairs a intense fuchsia pink with a muted charcoal black. The pink shade is highly pigmented with a frost finish and has fantastic intensity, especially for a pink. The charcoal black shade is a satin finish and runs a bit sheer and dry. 

General Thoughts

I really like the unusual colour pairings in this collection - they remind me of Nars eye shadow duos, and I like that MAC took some chances with these. Of the collection my favourite is Double Feature 4 due to the uniqueness of the colours and the quality of the shadows. Double Feature 6 is a winner too, just more dupeable in the colour department.


Thursday, August 25, 2011

Sasson Salon launches 'Minimum' - The Fall/Winter 2011 Salon Collection

This season, Sassoon Salon once again showcases the power of personalisation. At the forefront of the industry for over 50 years, renowned for distinctive looks that are perfectly tailored to each client, Sassoon Salon now introduces the ultimate in bespoke tailored colour, showcased in the vivid looks of the Fall/ Winter 2011, MINIMUM collection.

Skin tone, eye colour, face shape, personality and sense of style all determine perfect hair colour. Sassoon Salon Colourists are expertly trained to identify and create the precise colour palette that will accentuate natural beauty.

The MINIMUM collection’s latest colouring techniques, developed exclusively for Sassoon Salon by European Colour Director Peter Dawson, precise placement of ‘accents’ of colours add tone and contrast, working in tandem with the shape and cut of the hair to create sweeping accent lines that bring the look to life.

MINIMUM heralds a contemporary reinvention of classic minimalism through precision colour. As block colors – clean silhouettes energised with the clarity of pure, powerful color – sweep the catwalks of New York, London, Milan and Paris – MINIMUM’S bold accent colors give a vibrant, modern energy to a series of graphic shapes that are irresistibly precise.

Sassoon Salon Colorists train long and hard to master these exclusive mixing and application techniques, honing the art of precision personalised colors: from the dramatic bold shades showcased in the latest collection, to subtle blends that ensure your hair is perfectly tailored to your overall look and style.

“Advanced colour placement is an art form; with personalisation at its core. At the highest level, bespoke colour involves assessing everything from skin colouring, personal style – and even personality – to understand the specific tones and shapes that will bring each client’s individual beauty to life,” says Peter Dawson, European Color Director.