kosås lipsticks

These devastatingly chic lipsticks have racked up countless accolades, and it was easy to see why. Sheena Yaitanes, creator of the line, designed a straightforward range of modern shades that flatter across her clientele spectrum. Yes, we’ve heard this idea countless times before, but Yaitanes took a novel approach here. While studying art, she decided to forgo the usual brown nudes when building her shades and instead opted for primary colors. The result? Lively colors that bring a vibrant energy to the wearer, rather than dulling things down.

The lipstick containers are lightweight, as is the formula on the lips. The vanilla scented bullets impart a supple, hydrating veil of breathable color.

The minimalism of the line (tinted face oils, lip balms and blushes are out, but word on the street is that cream eyeshadows are forthcoming) means that there’s less work and mental effort involved. Regardless of the direction this line continues in, these lipsticks will likely remain a hero product.

Just a slick of a lipstick (in my case, Rosewater or Stardust as shown below), on an otherwise bare face feels both polished and pretty. Royal was really popular in the Vancouver’s Gastown boutique where I’d first discovered the line, so much that it had sold out. But if you’re gun shy about going for a bold color, the coolly delicate Rosewater (which makes a brilliant blush in a pinch) or the warmer Stardust are safe bets.

$28.

Available via Credo Beauty, Detox Market or Kosås.

Rosewater & Stardust.

Nu Evolution Mascara

I can’t think of a more polarizing beauty product than mascara. What’s celebrated as an icon by some, is deemed a fail by others. It’s incredibly subjective; everyone’s criteria on what makes a mascara great is really personal. (I still cannot understand what the fuss has been around Maybelline’s Great Lash the past few decades.)

Here’s my criteria:

  • Let me do a quick swipe and look natural.

  • Let me apply several coats, building so I’m *this close” to looking like I have lash extensions on.

  • Truly black pigment, nothing that looks dark grey in sunlight.

  • No black crumbs stuck to the tips of my lashes, no flakes accruing underneath my eye.

    (Lastly, the clincher that separates a winning formula from just about every other tube on the market.)

  • Holds a curl all day.

My lashes are blessedly thick and somewhat long, but really fine and stick straight. Which means a couple minutes post application, they flop down, defeated, underneath the weight of the mascara. This is even after a serious session with a Shu Uemura lash curler (the gold standard by many) used Kevyn-Aucoin-style (curl at the bottom, walk it out and keep lightly pressing as you angle the handle of the curler upwards each time. Feels weird at first, but really makes a difference!)

This tube, by Nu Evolution, has been a repeat buy several times. I can’t believe it’s taken me this long to write about it, it’s frankly brilliant. The formula and brush surpasses any other. It checks all my boxes and gets better with each use as the pigment dries down and gives me more control. I used to be able to buy this at Credo Beauty, who’s sadly stopped stocking the line. But it is still available from the brand’s website directly. ($28 Nu Evolution).