Canadian beauty manufacturers are having a well-deserved moment. When it comes to buying unique holiday gifts, they are the ultimate destination for the beauty loving recipient. Their products are well-made, they stand out in the market of dupes, are competitively priced, and bear the firm seal of the True North.
Two such companies are Maison Jacynthe and Caryl Baker Visage, based out of Quebec and Ontario respectively. The latter you’ve probably seen me talk about before, but Maison Jacynthe is new to me. I was approached about reviewing the products for you, and as always I am here to give my honest opinion.
A little information about the brand: it was founded by Jacynthe René, a “dedicated artist with an inspiring journey.” The line claims to be 100% natural and cruelty-free, and is currently available online (link below) and in the La Prairie boutique in Quebec. The collection piqued my interest for two main reasons: first, the pretty packaging, inspired by the merge of technology with the environment. And second, much of the makeup line appears to be designed with the pro artist in mind. I requested to try a few products and set out to put them to the test.
We’ll start with what didn’t work, just to get it out of the way. Upon first swatch the 03 Concealer appeared to be a runaway success; a green color-corrector in lipstick form for easy application, which easily reduced redness on the skin and blended flawlessly. However, when I pulled it out to use on a client, the whole bullet fell from the casing and tumbled to the floor. Put aside suspicions of mishandling or improper temperature, as all my other makeup made it safely onto the client’s face in one piece. I think the product itself is solid, but unfortunately the innovative packaging adversely affects performance. It could have been a bad batch, but regardless, that was my experience. It retails for $33*.
That being said, the powders I tried were A+ level. It should be noted that both came as individual pans without external packaging (beyond standard cardboard, of course), so you should have a magnetic palette to use these with should you decide to purchase (the individual ones sold on the site are pricey at $29* a pop). Overall, I would recommend to stick to powder products from this line, which they seem to be superior at. And of course, fans of natural products will find them attractive. I used 01 Compact Powder ($29*) in the demo photo to set my foundation, and pictured also is 02 Blush ($26*).
From Caryl Baker Visage I was thrilled to receive a few pieces from the True North Beauty holiday 2016 collection, inspired by Canadian iconography and geography. The collection spans four lipsticks, six shadows, two blushes, six lip lacquers and one palette, which is where we’ll begin. This is the Northern Lights Glow Palette, an exciting trio of MUFE shadow-sized highlighters/blushes. Though unlabeled, these can be popped out easily, which is good because I’m not crazy about the rattling sound the mirrored plastic casing makes when handled. The shades include a neutral gold, warm coral with gold micro glitter, and silver with pink reflect. As a whole the palette doesn’t make much sense (blush? Dark skin highlight? Fair skin highlight? Shadow?) but if you like the individual shades for different purposes it is a great value at $46* compared to the regular priced CBV powders of this size at $22.50*. I’m a fan, and for the demo photo I used the gold shade to highlight my cheeks, the pink shade as blush and the silver shade as inner corner highlight on the eyes. They kicked up a lot of product when used with synthetic Sephora Pro brushes but applied with high intensity and were beautiful.
Speaking of eyes, the shadow that caught my attention is called Maple Sugar ($18*), described as a sweet buttery copper. On the skin it comes off as a beautifully rich burnt orange brown with gold micro glitter. These types of shades can be difficult to manipulate with a brush, but it proved easy to blend and absolutely beautiful. I paired it with a selection of matte brown shadows to create the fall-inspired eye in the photo. To finish the look I chose the lipstick in Yonge ($18.50*), named after the previously longest street in the world (which, as a Torontonian, I am very familiar with). The color is a luscious muddled raspberry matte. It appears full-bodied and creamy, but I would caution you to use with a lip liner to avoid feathering. It is also quite drying, even with a lip balm. The light vanilla scent and handy packaging is a bonus. As you can tell, I’m really happy with most of these!
I hope this review helps you find some beautiful ideas from local companies, which I believe as Canadian bloggers we have a responsibility to band around. Thank you to Kim and Judi for organizing this!
*Prices true at time of writing.
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