November 30, 2009

November Favourites

Eeek, where did November go, it's almost over already! Time to post my favourites, then!

China Glaze Avalanche nail polish

I love this color so much that I have re-used it several times, which I never do - I rotate my polishes and hardly wear the same color twice in a month!
It's a perfect shade of plumy taupe, kind of Mac Satin Taupe turned into a metallic polish, greyish and purple-ish at the same time. I ♥ it.

Armani Luminous Silk foundation
I know I must sound silly for having a new favourite foundation every month. I guess I just need to accept that even if I find holy grails foundations, I'll still want to try other ones just in case there would be a holier grail somewhere. I love Armani on the days where I don't need a full coverage, I'm definitely planning on repurchasing it.

YSL Rouge Volupté #1 Beige Charnel.
Don't be fooled by its name, this lipstick is actually very pink. But the beige undertone makes it warmer, hence much more wearable for me. I have been wearing it a lot this month despite my infamous love for dark lips.

Bobby Brown Gel Liner in Sepia.
My love affair with BB liners continues. As much as I love the Sapphire Ink I got last Summer, there are definitely looks that don't mach a blue liner very well, so I decided to get a more neutral shade and got Sepia.
It's so easy to apply even I can do it perfectly in 30 secs, it lasts all day, can be worn on the waterline, and the color is a very nice muted brown.

Nuxe Rêve de Miel lip balm.

A friend of mine has been raving about this product for years. But I never gave it a try because I have noticed most lipbalms actually make my lips more dry and peely that they already are, so for years I have sticked to the one lipbalm that worked fine for me: Louis Widmer Switzerland.
But you know me... I can't help trying new products and I finally got this product, which is full of honey and essential oils, and actually so yummy that I could eat the whole jar!! (It tastes like a Christmassy orange and cinnamon drink, to me). And well, it WORKS. I apply it every night, fall asleep with this delicious sugary taste on the lips and wake up with soft lips.
This is also very good to soothe irritated skin around the nose or mouth when you have a cold.
Too bad I didn't try it sooner!

What are your favourites for November?

November 28, 2009

Eye of the day: fall colors

Lately I've been finding that all my looks were kind of blah. I have been drawn to neutrals but the way I've used them kind of make them boring, I guess. So yesterday, I thought what the heck and decided to go bright!

I used Mac Golden Lemon and several Dazzle Dusts from Barry M (I ♥ them): Marigold, Bronze and Chocolate (#41, 44 and 53). I lined the waterline with Mac Khôl Pencil Prunella.

That was a nice change. I think, Winter or not, that I need to use brights more often!

November 25, 2009

Foundation review #9 : Armani Luminous Silk Foundation

Just as I was feeling content about having drastically cut down the number of foundations in my stash (from 14 to 4, yay me) and focusing on not increasing the size of my stash thanks to Project 10 Pan, I was given this product by a friend. She's a beauty editor and had gotten a few bottles from a press service, some of them really not being her shade, which is how I gladfully inherited shade 4 - a perfect match for me.

I had never contemplated trying an Armani product, because they're not easily available for me (have to go to France for that, too) and they're not really hyped so I guess I wasn't even aware of what the brand had to offer. So I had to do bit of research on this product, and here's what the Armani website has to say about it:

Capture the glow of perfect skin with Luminous silk foundation, an oil-free fluid with exclusive Micro-fil™ technology. So weightless, it redefines foundation. Its hydrating fluid glides on seamlessly with a silky texture and all-day, buildable coverage (from sheer to medium). All skin types.

You know what? All of this is true. So incredibly true I found it hard to believe. This foundation is everything I wanted Dior Nude to be (total fail from Dior on my expectations): it is so weightless that you feel like you're wearing nothing!
It's oil-free, which is perfect for my oily zones, but it's hydrating enough for my dryer zone. Your skin feels very soft - well, silky- and the product doesn't transfer when you touch your skin.
It's slightly dewy but in a subtle way, not obviously fake like some other dewy foundations.

It's my skin but better.

The only downside is: it is a sheer coverage foundation. And though you can slightly build it up to hide minor flwas, don't expect it to perform miracles on bad skin days. Which means that I can wear it fine most of the time but not all the time.

Also I find that it tends to wear off on my nose and forehead at the end of the day but it's kind of the same with other foundations, and at least this one is great for touching up without looking cakey, so I consider the problem solved :-)

Oh and I need to say that it comes with a pump, which is always nice. I do the whole face and jaw with 1.5 pumps and I find it's very easy to apply with the hands. It looks at his best applied over a primer.

I consider this to be a more wearable, daytime version of Chanel Pro Lumière in the same price range (39€/ 30 ml) and this is going to be a keeper in my collection.

November 23, 2009

Eyeshadow palettes organization.

I have something like 80 Mac eyeshadows, all in pro-pan form (or depotted, at least), and I store them in 15 palettes.
Until recently, managing my palettes by colour was quite easy and everything fitted well. But for some kind of colors that I particularly like, my palettes were getting too small and I don't like splitting one color through several palettes because then I tend to forget about some of my products.

So, to break a lazy Sunday afternoon, I decided to get rid of the 15-grid on my Shimmery Neutrals palette so I could fit more eyeshadows in it. And here is the result:

From left to right, Row 1: Nylon, Honey Lust, All That Glitters, Woodwinked, Satin Taupe, Twinks, Cranberry.
Row 2: Ricepaper, Amber Lights, Patina, Tempting, Style Snob, Antiqued, Smoke&Diamonds.
Row 3: Goldmine, Mythology, Sable, Mulch, Bronze, Smut, Vex.

I use the name "simmery neutrals" losely, it's actually a palette where I keep my gold, bronze, shimmery browns and taupe eyeshadows.
It's my favourite ever palette, the one I can't live without, the one I'd pick if I had to keep only one item out of my whole stash.
So, since I love these colors although they're not part of the same range, I keep Vex and Cranberry in there, too. This way I have all my favourites together!

How do you store your eyeshadows? Do you keep them in their pots? Or in palettes? How do you organize them?

Almost 3 weeks into Project 10 pan...

... and still doing good.

Unlike during all my previous "no buy" attempts, I have not failed or cheated. The goal apparently makes thing easier for me than just deciding not to buy anymore for the sake of it.

Now what's really upsetting is, the 2 products I will have used up first are 2 of my favourites: Bobby Brown concealer and YSL Faux-Cils. And since I have other concealers and mascaras to use up, it means I won't start using my back-ups of these...

I am really not sure anymore that I will have finished my project by the end of December, but it's fine - January is a big Sales month here and I'll be able to use my money for discounted clothes, bags and skincare if I don't buy any makeup at that time.

November 17, 2009

Foundation review #8: La Roche Posay Unifiance Creme Satin

I recently dig out this foundation from the bottom of my stash. I wore it last Winter and then kind of forgot about it, and I felt like trying it again last week. I was actually going through a few bad skin days and my makeup had not been doing much in hiding it.

When I tried this on, I remembered why I had loved it so much (and had not gotten rid of it). It's silky, moisturizing and covering, long lasting and feeling light at the same time. The winning combination! It does a great job in hiding flaws without ever looking cakey.

This product is actually designed for dry and/or sensitive skin, but I have been using it on my oily t-zone without any problem, it's not the kind of foundation that will make you greasy if your skin is on the oilier side.

This foundation is not very expensive, it is sold here in pharmacies under 20€ for 30ml. I know it can be ordered on the web for those who live in the US, but unfortunately it is more expensive this way - prices vary a lot though, so do make your research.
The main downside of it is that there are only 5 shades available, and luckily I can wear the lightest one. But I think most of the light ones are beige or yellow tones (for a change, they're usually too pink for me!)

So really, if you feel like you have tried everything and nothing makes your skin look flawless, I think this is the last chance foundation that you need to try!

You're going to ask me why I keep on trying other products if this one is so perfect. Well, I like to play the snob and be able to tell I wear Chanel. But secretly I know this LRP foundation is what makes my skin look at its best.

November 16, 2009

The worst products in my stash...

otherwise known as "Products I regret to date".


La Roche Posay mattifying moisturizer, Effaclar, used to be my HG. Until they changed the formula (as well as the name, it's now Effaclar M) last Summer, now it's very drying and I can't use it anymore.

The BodyShop Aloe Vera moisturizer: this is supposed to help soothing sensitive skin, it didn't do much for me, not even really moisturize, and I hated the smell. The thing is, it's fragrance free, but any fragrance free cosmetics do have a strong chemical smell, which is why most companies do use fragrances.


Diorshow mascara: the formula is dry and the brush is too big, I hated it.

Everyday Minerals foundation: although it has no bismuth oxichloride (which is the ingredient most likely to cause irritations in mineral powders) it made my skin react within minutes, I had to remove all my makeup after a couple of hours or I would have scratched my skin away!

Chanel eyeshadows: the colors are gorgeous but they are very pricey and they have no staying power whatsoever. A waste of money.

Clinique airbrush concealer: it might brighten but it doesn't conceal anything, especially not undereye circles

What are the worst products in your stash?

November 15, 2009

What's your beauty style?

Another tag I thought would be interesting. Since I haven't posted many pics so far (not that I don't want to, but taking good pics when there's no daylight at times where you're home is quite a challenge), it might tell you more about my stile. Feel free to answer these questions in the comments or link to your answers on your blog!

1) What is your beauty style? (Natural, classic, minimalist, dramatic, trendy etc.)
I would say "changing"! I like to try a lot of different things, look good in bright colors, am not afraid of heavy black smoky eyes... So I can do any type of look but I have a preference for trendy and/or bright.

2) Where do you get your beauty inspiration from?
On beauty blogs and videos, but also on pictures I find everywhere on the web, in magazines etc... I collect those pictures in my Tumblr, which I use as a scrapbook if you like.

3) What beauty product(s) do you have the most of?
Eyeshadows. The slightest nuance between 2 shads kind of justifies it for me to get both, but I'm trying to learn how to combine the ones I have to create new colors without splurging systematically.

4) What's your favorite/holy grail color for (can be more than one):
  • Eyes : YSL Faux-Cils mascara, and for drugstore Maybelline Colossal, in black.
  • Lips : Bronze colors look good on me
  • Cheeks : I love pink but it makes me look like a doll, so peach tones are what I wear the most and it looks good!
  • Nails : oh I can't pick a color here, I wear anything from bubblegum pink to taupe or purple or black
  • Other? Foundation - anything pale and neutral will work (but it's not easy to find) Illamasqua 125 is my best match ever.
5) Top three favorite brands of the moment.
Mac for the large color choice and the easy to use eyeshadows. Urban Decay for the bright colors and amazing liners. Illamasqua for the blushes and intense lipglosses, as well as for their cream foundation.

November 12, 2009

Hell, it works!

I was recently given a mini-size of Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair serum. Actually, I got a very pretty invitation from Estee Lauder to go and discover the product at my counter.
I had of course heard about this product before but I'm not really into serums. Since it was free, I thought it was worth the trip anyway.

So there I was, with my mini serum: I used it a few times, I liked the smell, which reminded me of essential oils. I found it was nice but it had nothing special, and that was it.

Until the beginning of this week, when my skin started acting up. Dry patches on the cheeks, zits, dull complexion, you name it! My skin had gone to hell overnight for no reason.

So I tried to solve the problem with what I had handy - I exfoliated with my regular Lauder exfoliator (which I usually do twice a week anyway), and decided to use the Advanced Night Repair serum under a heavy moisturizer (Vichy Aqualia Thermal), and I went to bed.

I couldn't believe the results the next morning! I had babysoft skin and the zits were already healing. My complexion didn't look dull anymore. I got a mini skin miracle from the mini serum. And let me tell you I have been looking for years for something that would help the dry patches I get in the Winter, and nothing ever worked as quickly and as efficiently as this!

Which means I am probably going to have to actually buy this serum, and it's a very expensive item (€67 for 30ml). Damn Lauder, you tricked me!
But you actually use very little at a time and my sample is likely to last long enough for me to get the regular size during January sales with a discount.

So if you have a desperate skin, no matter your age or skin type, you know what you have to do now.

November 10, 2009

12 most used things

I thought this would be a fun tag to do. And since I'm rediscovering my stash due to project 10 pan, it's the right time to do it :)

Blush: Sonic Chic was one of the first collections from Mac that I got, because Mac had finally open a store in my country a couple of months before. That's when I got my first Mac blush, Nuance (which is currently repromoted in the holiday kits FYI). I love the mineralize blushes, they're subtle but pigmented and not too shimmery, I turn to them quite often, and this one is really lovely and suits practically any look.

Brush: Mac 217, it's probably the only brush I could do a complete look with if I had to. You can even blend concealer with it!

Eyeliner: Bobby Brown gel liners are the best, hands down, and they're waterline safe. I currently own Sapphire but am getting Sepia soon.
If we're talking liner pencils, Urban Decay 24/7 in Zero is by far my favourite.

Mascara: YSL Faux-Cils. It's a recent discovery but I'm never looking back.

Foundation: here comes the tricky part! I feel like I have tried a million of them and won't find peace until I have tested everything on the market. I am going to cheat and mention 2 of them, because I use both equally: Illamasqua Cream foundation (125) and Chanel Mat Lumiere (20).

Nail Polish: I have been loving OPI Done Out in Deco this year, and now with Winter coming, I turn more often to Illamasqua Velocity, which to me is kind of Done Out in Deco and You Don't Know Jacques' love child.

Eyeshadow/Palette: I love Mac Tempting. Yes, I know, everybody hate lustres because they supposedly cause a lot of fall out but I never really have problems with them and I love the colors. If I had to cut down my mac collection to a quad, Tempting would be in it.

Lipstick: Tough one, I feel like I wear a different color everyday. But there's one kind of color I have loved since I am old enough to wear lipstick, pretty much. It's a brick-red bronze, kind of terracotta color. My first one, way back then, was actually from Guerlain but these days I have one from Nivéa Beauté that I like a lot.

Hair care product: My L'Oreal Professionel Vitamino Color shampoo.

Skin care product: Bioderma Crealine micellar lotion, I don't feel my skin is clean if I can't use this.

Illuminating product: I wasn't into highlighters very much until last Summer. I love Mac MSF's and BodyShop shimmer waves but they're too shimmery to use all year round, IMO. Mac Cream Color Base in Pearl is great for any part of the face at any time of the year, so I pick this one!

Random: my Essence brow powder. Costs less than 2€ and it's the best product I've ever found to fill in my very sparse brows.

I tag anybody who feels like answering this, either in the comments or with a link to their blog!

November 8, 2009

Project 10 pan!

I need to go on Project 10 pan. And since I gloriously failed on all my previous attempts at not buying more makeup than I already have (only challenges I ever succeeded on were No Heat and One Week-One Palette), I thought I'd write it on here to make sure that I will be publicly ashamed if I cheat.

I made a list of all things in my stash that need to go, because really, my motivation in doing this is to get rid of some products and not repurchase them, so my collection gets a bit lighter.
Here's the list:

Since I consistently buy and use up the same stuff, I'm not going to include skincare in my project, but I am making one exception for a very expensive eye cream by Orlane I splurged on and that I won't repurchase because it's not that better compared to my usual products.
#1: Orlane B25 eyecream (1/3 left)

I have a ton and will probably end up throwing some of them unfinished because they're over they 3 months death mark but I intend on using all of them as much as I can within this period:

#2 YSL Faux-Cils (my HG, that I will repurchase)
#3-4 Maybelline Colossal in black AND brown (will repurchase the brown)
#5 Bourjois Volume Clubbing
#6 L'Oreal Volume Intense Collagene in brown (hate it)
#7 Diorshow in blue - what was I thinking, really?? And it was the most expensive mascara I ever got!

#8 T.Leclerc Pressed Powder in Beige (before I switch for good to Mac MSFN, that I already own)
#9 Cargo Blue Ray Bronzer (pan is already showing on this one)

#10 Nuxe Teint Prodigieux - it's a dupe for YSL Touche Eclat
#11 Clinique concealer pencil (works better as a highlighter than as a concealer, really)
#12 Laura Mercier concealer in #2 (actually too peachy and a bit too dark for me)
#13 MUFE lifting concealer in #3 (not covering enough for my liking)

#14 Clarins eyeshadow base (I prefer UDPP and TFSI now but want to use this one up)

#15 T.Leclerc peachy apricot
#16 L'Oreal Glam Shine in a bronze shade, I"m a bit sad about this one because I got it for a wedding in Italy in 2008, it's linked to good memories, and it's discontinued; but if I don't use it up it will go bad eventually...

Now the irony in this, is that what I have the most and should be willing to get rid of, is eyeshadows. I have numerous Mac 15-palettes, UD palettes, Nars palettes, 88 and 120 palettes... You get the picture. But I am far from finishing any of my eyeshadows, even the ones I use the most: good candidates would be Mac Vanilla, Brulé and Woodwinked but it could take months!

If you've gone through a similar project and you want to share advice, please feel free :)

November 4, 2009

Rouge Bunny Rouge haul and mini-review.

Rouge Bunny Rouge is a Russian cosmetic brands that was launched at the very end of 2005. The products aim to be luxurious and are targeted to elegant women who focus on independance. It might seem contradictory, as the brand image is very fairy-tale like, it's out of an enchanting world full of birds and bunnies and flowers all looking very victorian.

"We always found it sad that many new brands and products lack an atmosphere of romance and seduction”— declared one of the brand’s creators, Alexandra de Montfort. This aristocratic brand with a unique spirit of Victorian times and Russian Tsarism represents an interlacing of a classic and a mystery, restoring exclusiveness and originality in women."

Rouge Bunny Rouge is now available in the UK, and sold all around Europe via eseller Zuneta.
After having seen a few reviews on beauty blogs, I was intrigued by the brand and its image, and decided to order a few products to try out. I splurged on a week-end where Zuneta was offering a 20% discount, which was quite nice as the products are pricey. The parcel arrived quickly, in a very cute cardboard box wrapped with a dark blue ribbon.

Here's what I got:

(Please excuse the crappy light, that's what happens when you're spending all your precious daylight hours at work.)

On top, there's a Blush Wand from the collection "Cheeks in Bloom" in the color "Manet". It's a cream blush in stick, and I was amazed at the size: it's very very tiny, like 5cm height! That makes it very portable. I find it's quite easy to apply but not sticky at all, and well pigmented. Quite expensive, though: 28£.

Then we have 2 singles eyeshadows. The range is called "When the Birds are Singing" and these 2 shades are "Fire-Tailed Sunburd" -a pretty peach with a bit of gold in it- and "Delicate Hummingbird" -the prettiest purpley taupe I have ever seen. I must add that all their eyeshadows are called after birds.
The consistency is very nice, and these shadows are slightly shimmery but they also have a range of matte which I haven't tried. The packaging is very nice, made of black solid plastic, and comes with a real mirror in it. The eyeshadows are pricey, 22£ each, but you do get exactly twice the amount in a Mac eyeshadow, so it makes sense to pay twice the price as well.
The colors are vibrant, easy to blend, and very long lasting.

Then there's an eyeshadow duo, called "A-Major". The packaging is slightly bigger, comes with a mirror too, but is also more expensive: 28£. The quality is as good as for the single ones.
All eyeshadows have a nice logo or drawing embossed in them, which almost made me sad when I had to put my brush on the product for the first time!

So my general impression over the whole range is good. I have only good things to say about them, they're cute and they work well. Considering the amount you get, the price is reasonable. But on the other hand, I hardly ever hit pan on a Mac eyeshadow, so I don't really need to pay more to get twice the amount. The eyeshadows are great, but the color range is limited at the moment and I haven't seen a shade that would be so unique that I'd have to get that one over Mac.
I do not intend to try other products, because the ones that get the best reviews on the web, like their liquid highlighter, is very expensive - 45£ if I remember well. I am very happy with the ones I have and will most certainly keep on using them but I think for the same price or cheaper, I can get something different, like Illamasqua products for example.

Have you tried RBR? What are your thoughts on their products? And how do you like the brand image?

November 3, 2009

A quick EOTD: unexpected color mixes.

I thought it would be nice if I started posting pictures of looks from time to time - that is, when I am not leaving home before the sun sets and I can take pictures in natural daylight.

I tried something new today. I was inspired by this look Lollipop26 did a while ago, but since I don't have access to Shu Uemura products here (which is a pity, really, because that eyeshadow looks gorgeous), I had to look for a quick dupe.
So here's what I did:

I used Mac Woodwinkd eyeshadow on top of Artifact paintpot. Pretty unusual, eh? Ten I blended the crease slightly with Expensive Pink, added some Mulch in the outer V to give some depth and also slightly lined the upper and lower lashlines with it, and I cleaned the edges with Brulé.
Too bad the real colors are washed out on the picture, Artifact really does bring out the gold in Woodwinked, I think I even like it better this way than on its own! (It's pretty on top of Indianwood, too, tough).

Do you use unconventional color mixes that end up working great? Please, share!

Une Beauty

I have never been really attracted to organic cosmetics. Not that I don't care about organic stuff - I do- but most of these lines have such a "baba cool" positioning that I just find they're not my style, not me.

Bourjois is now launching a new brand called UNE. The aim of this brand is to offer natural makeup that contains mostly natural or organic ingredients, all GMO-free and with no artificial colorings or synthetic perfumes. Some are even paraben free.
They are massively coming to department stores and drugstores in France, Belgium, the Netherlands and Spain, and I guess they will expand even more in the future.

The concept is all about naturalness: it's a brand of natural products for women who want to be naturally beautiful and not "hide behind makeup" (which I think is quite judgmental for us bright color wearing girls, but I guess they don't care since we are not their target) and who care about the environment. (Again, why couldn't we wear bright colors AND care about environment? anyway...)

I have had a close look at the whole range in my drugstore. All colors are indeed quite nude, earthy and natural. The eyeshadows are matte or satin and all very neutral (plums and browns), the blushes are pretty but the color range is not very large (a lot of peachy tones). The lipstick range was quite larger.
They have 2 types of foundations: mineral or liquid. The mineral range looks nice and they also have mineral veils in different colors like pink or lavender to brighten the complexion. The liquid foundations are mostly ranging on the beige/yellow side and are supposed to be light and glowy.

And well, despite the fact I didn't find anything really appealing to me in the range (I must say I like the packagings a lot, though) I decided to try the foundation. Since it claimed to be light coverage and sheer, I thought it could be nice, closer to tinted moisturizers than to my usual medium to full coverage foundations.

I was quite disappointed, I must say. It is indeed very light - don't expect it to cover redness or marks- and dewy. But even with powder on top, the dewiness came back in full force within a couple of hours and not in a pretty way. It still looked OK on natural light but under artificial light, it just looked greasy - and I do spend most of my days under artificial lights, unfortunately.
At the same time the product started to feel quite thick on the skin, as thick as high coverage foundation. There isn't much more to say... if you like the dewy look and are interested in natural products and very natural looks, this might be for you, but it's not really for me.
I'm not saying I won't try either the blushes or lipsticks later, but again, I think it's too bad there aren't more brighter or pinkier tones in the range.

More information on the range can be found on

November 2, 2009

Review: L'Oreal Extra Volume Collagen

I already talked bout how YSL Fax-Cils is no my holy grail mascara. But I still use drugstore ones, let me explain why: sometimes, maybe once in the week, I'll go for a natural look and will prefer brown mascara. Now since I don't use my brown mascara regularly, it generally dries up before I can finish it, or the deathly 3-months mark will happen, and I will need to toss it. Of course, now way I am going to spend 25€ in a product I know I won't have the opportunity to finish!

The fun part is that I can test drugstore mascaras this way, and still enjoy my YSL at the same time. As my beloved Maybelline Colossal was running dry, I decided to give some L'Oreal mascara a try. I know everybody raves about them, be it Architect or Voluminous, but for som reason I had never been drawn to them before.

So I picked the new Extra-Volume Collagen. Here, see what it looks like :

The brush is not too long but is quite fat, and has a lot of very fine bristles, I don't think I've ever seen a mascara brush with that much bristles actually. They're not rubber but they're quite stiff and feel somehow plasticy. But it's easy to use and certainly not too big for smaller eyes.

The formulation is quite dry, I find, too much for my liking. It's closer to Diorshow than to YSL, definitely.

The result is not what I expected, unfortunately. It does separate the lashes very well and will catch even the tiniest hair, which is nice. But since the formula is quite dry, I find it hard to build it up, and in the end, the volumizing effect is not there for me.
I curled my lashes right before using it and I find the curl didn't last very well (pics taken after 3 hours, and it's not as good as it was already).

Verdict : not my taste, I'd get Maybelline Colossal any time over this one. From my experience, you won't get that much volume from L'Oreal Extreme Volume Collagen. It's a good everyday mascara but it has zero va-va-voom compared to what the name would let you expect.

Pictures, maybe? Here's the result with L'Oreal:

And, for comparison purposes, here's what I get with one generous coat of YSL Faux-Cils: