May 30, 2010

Foundation review #17: Biotherm Light! (spf 10)

I know, I know, I should stay away from new foundations but well... I still consider Nars Sheer Glow to be my holy grail, and I wear Clarins Everlasting more than I thought I would, but as the temperature has been going up, I started craving dewiness. Which is weird because I've been into über matte my whole life.

So I went to a local department store on a mission to find some foundation that would be light and easy to wear, sheer and dewy, but would still last all day and be better at evening out my skintone than a simple tinted moisturizer. I gave that briefing to a SA, and was surprised when se recommended that Biotherm foundation. I think I actually didn't know Biotherm did makeup, I only knew them for the skincare only.

Light! is the most natural foundation in their range, and it totally fulfills my requests.

It's sheer but has a bit of coverage
It's dewy without looking greasy at all
It stays on all day as it's not overly moisturizing
It has an SPF 10 in it (which isn't much but probably enough for the days I spent locked in the office).
The packaging is no-nonsense, it comes with a pump and a small transparent cap

For me, none, but the shade selection offer is quite small. Nothing very pale or very pink is available. So this product will unfortunately not work for everybody.

Now how does this compare to Korres Wild Rose or Bobbi Brown Luminous, that I reviewed previously?

Well on me, the Korres one didn't last well all day, and that's probably because it's meant for dry skin and was too moisturizing for me. It worked better on top of a primer, but wearing a primer on hot days when I want lightness isn't exactly what I want. So I just gave that one to a colleague who has a more mature/dry skin.

As far as the BB is concerned, I still like it a lot. Actually I would still be wearing this one if it weren't for one thing: the smell really bothers me. I find it quite sour and really bothering. I don't know if that's normal, though, and I'll be checking that next time I visit the Bobbi counter, because I might just have gotten an old bottle? Other than that it's a tad bit more covering than Biotherm Light, but quite similar.

But Biotherm has one undeniable competitive advantage: it's 24€ for 30 ml, which is much cheaper than Bobbi Brown or a lot of other high end brands. Also, it's available everywhere, unlike some other brands.

All in all, a very nice product that will stay with me for Summer!

May 24, 2010

FOTD: To The Beach - Temperature Rising Facechart

I was browsing Mac face charts and got particularly inspired by this one.

What I particularly like is the contrast between the black liner and lashes, and the bright blue liner on the waterlines.
Although I don't own any of the To The Beach eyeshadows (I passed on these and only got the blushes) I found dupe in my large eyeshadow collection - which I'm quite proud of as I tend to run and buy without really looking at my stash first.

Here's the result!

The eyeshadows I used were Orb (highlight), Pollinator (lid - LE), Coppering (crease) and Espresso (outer crease). Carbon was used as a liner, and UD 24/7 Flipside was used to line the waterline. Mascara is YSL Faux-Cils.

I'm actually disappointed by the pictures as they're nowhere as intense as the look is in real life. But I also think I should have used liquid liner on the upper lashline instead of black eyeshadow - that would have made the look more intense, especially as I haven't used falsies.
However, I think this is a technique I will be using again!

Are you getting stuff from To The Beach? What looks inspire you in this collection?

May 23, 2010

How to wear bright lips.

During my last visit to the Mac counter, I felt very attracted to bright lip colors - that must be a side effect of Summer arriving.
Although I do wear reds and fuschia pinks quite regularly, I am quite scared by bright warm colors. They can be unflattering, they can make your teeth look yellow...

So when the MA offered to put some color on me, I happily agreed and asked to try a very scary but beautiful color: Morange. Look at that gorgeousness:

Honestly, I thought it wouldn't work out since I'm quite pale (I'm fake tanned to the max at the moment, and am somewhere between NC20 and NC25).
But to my surprise, it looked great!

So I thought I'd share with you the tricks the MA gave me and that made it work!

  1. Warm up your skintone if needed, using a bit of bronzer all over the face: of course, apply with a big brush and a very light hand, and if you're pale like me, use a bronzer that has no orange in it. Mac Refined Golden (permanent) works well for that purpose.
  2. Make sure you conceal any redness on your face, especially on the cheeks. You don't have to use a high coverage foundation, a green primer or a bit of concealer can help balance your skintone.
  3. Use blush! You do need to have some color on your face when you have a bright color on the lips! Use a neutral blush if you're scared of color clash. Mac Warm Soul is a great neutral color fot that purpose.
  4. Use a lipliner. This kind of bright color isn't forgiving and if you don't want it to bleed, lipliner is a must. With Morange, she MA used Temperature Rising (from the To the Beach collection) which is exactly the same color as the lipstick.
  5. Gloss is your friend. You might feel the lipstick color doesn't work 100% you, but sometimes a touch of gloss on the centre of the lips can change a lot! On me, the MA used Lichee Luxe Lipglass, wich gave a nice corally touch to the look.

I have worn Morange several times since I got it and I really love this color. I think my next purchase could be Lady Danger or some other very bright color!

Do you wear bright lips? What are your favourite bright lipsticks?

May 19, 2010

Perfume: Serge Lutens Un Bois Vanille

Fragrances and me, we don't always mix well.
Not because I can't find any scent that I like, but because a lot of them will just mess with my sensitive nose and make me want to go shower presto to get rid of the smell. Do not even mention citrus to me, orange and grapefruit will just make me feel sick - and these are common in perfumes!
Also, I'm very picky, I don't get all these modern fragrances that smell like nothing known on earth and don't trigger any memory; to me they're all just a bunch of chemical odors that I maybe might like on someone else but that I'm never drawn to for myself.

This being said, once in a while I will fall in love with a fragrance, but it's hardly ever a mainstream one (which often leads to them being discontinued and me being left sad and lonely). Last week-end, I was introduced to a range I didn't know: Serge Lutens.

There are quite a lot of Lutens fragrances, and their names all evoke real natural things that my olfactive memory can rely on. Smelling some of them, I was immediately impressed by the complexity and pureness of these fragrances.

And then I fell completely in love with one of their Eau de Parfums: Un Bois Vanille.
I'm not a perfume specialist, obviously, but I will try and describe it for you.

At first, I get bitterness, but a kind of sweet bitterness that reminds me of almonds. And at the same time there's vanilla and maybe coconut. The sweetness walks hand in hand with a cloud of smoke, it's rich and complex.
Very quickly, the sweetness takes advantage, caramel is all over the place. But not for long, as it gets more subtle than that - suddenly you're in a kitchen and Crème Brulée is cooking in the oven, maybe cooking a bit too much as there's still a bit of smoke floating around.
As hours go by, the sweetest notes fade away, and what remains is the vanilla, but still with a bitter touch - the smoke, again, and also licorice.

Un Bois Vanille may be sweet, it's nonetheless woody and sophisticated, it is a real woman's fragrance that has nothing to do with the sugar overdose you can smell on teenagers. It manages to be sweet, dark and smokey at the same time.
It lasts for a very long time on the skin, you don't need to use much and it will be with you all day.
I will definitely explore other Lutens perfumes and maybe get tempted by another bottle (too bad they are so pricey, 80€ in Europe, about 120 USD) as I already smelled another fragrance that I liked a lot and want to try.

May 17, 2010

A collective haul and some swatches

Once in a while, I cross the border in order to have access to Sephora and a bunch of department stores that have brands not available in my country.
Of course that often leads to large hauls :) and this is the one I did this week-end.


As you can see, I got a few skincare items as well, including an Estee Lauder Daywear Plus tinted moisturizer with SPF that I plan on using on very hot days (if they ever come) or at least for my Summer Vacation.

Good thing I wasn't too excited about the Mac To The Beach collection, because European counters received a ridiculous amount of products (as in: 3 pieces of each item) and were sold out within a couple of hours.
I particularly wanted the blushes and the bronze Lustre Drops (I have the pink ones from last year's Style Warrior collection).
Other than that, I got a few Pret à Papier items: Coral Crepe paintpot, Cut to Fit and Gazette Grey eyeshadows.
And then I picked a lipstick I had wanted for quite a long time, after having had it applied by the mua to make sure I wouldn't scare people: Morange. Which lead me to getting the Temperature Rising lipliner from To the Beach as well, since it's a perfect match.

Then I made a little detour and went to Sephora, where I got Mauwi Wowie eyeshadow by Urban Decay, it looks like the perfect gold eyeshdaow I've been looking for for so long.

I ended up at the Bobbi Brown counter where I got 2 metallic eyeshadows, one cream (Galaxy) and one powder (Sage).

Here are a few swatches I did on my bare NC15 skin!


Coral Crepe paintpot; BB Galaxy cream e/s, BB Sage metallic e/s, UD Mauwi Wowie, Mac Gazette Gray, Mac Cut to Fit,
Mac Morange lipstick, Mac Temperature Rising lipliner.

Now I'm going to have to restrain from buying more makeup during the coming weeks, or my Summer vacation will be a very poor one :)

Did any of you shop for beauty stuff this week-end?

May 16, 2010

Sharing some love 3.

I though this lovely Sunday would be a nice time to share some love and link you to some blogs I love and follow!

The lovely Rocaille is a fellow European blogger who writes a lot of beauty-related product reviews (not only makeup) and has some nice FOTD pictures too.

Tina from The Fancy Face is very talented and comes up with very bright and fierce looks! You might recognize her from the Ideas Gallery, and she has now started doing some YouTube tutorials.

My friend Melanie started blogging on A Little Purple Folie; like me she s a French native speaker, unlike me she writes all her posts in both French and English! She writes in-depth reviews for beauty products, including great drugstore stuff.

And finally, another British blogger (you know I love them) whom I haven't mentioned before but I guess you already know her, the lovely Gemma aka Gemsmaquillage. She also started doing more YouTube videos recently and I like her makeup style a lot because it's never complicated and always pretty.

That's all, folks! I need to go paint my nails now :)

May 10, 2010

Back, with a little Dolce&Gabbanna eyeshadow haul & swatches.

First of all, I know I've been missing in action these last days - I have been awfully busy at work and just couldn't find the energy to blog. Normal service should resume in a week, as my schedule is still quite full for the coming days.

In the middle of this hurry, I finally got something I had been waiting for for quite a while: my D&G order from Saks Fifth Avenue.
I can't blame Saks for this delay, it's actually the volcano ash cloud's fault. But it was quite frustrating to have to wait for several weeks when you have been forced to pay huge shipment fees to get express delivery (which is the only option they give you when they ship international). Oh and there were custom fees, as well. And the products weren't cheap in the first place (about 46€ each!). So all in all, it's a very expensive delayed haul. (end of ramble)

I have been wanting to try D&G cosmetics mostly because they look so good in The Beauty Look Book pictures. So pretty and elegant!
The brand not being distributed here, I had to do some research to find where I could get it online. I was thrilled that Saks have it, but also immediately turned off by their terrible swatches. So I had to do some more online research to see real pictures, and they weren't easy to find as this brand is apparently not very mainstream.

I finally decided to get 2 eyeshadow quads: Elegance and Stromboli. Let's discover them together, shall we?

This is the pretty, classy box the product comes in.

Then comes the little pouch (not the prettiest I've seen, but well...):

And inside, there's the quad in its golden splendor:

It's actually quite small, as it fits in the palm of my hands (and my hands are quite tiny, I can assure you).
Now let's open them!



The eyeshadows look small as well, but they're 1.2g each, which isn't bad at all.
The compact contains a real glass mirror, and 2 sponge tip applicators (which I don't use, but to each their way!).

Now onto the swatching. I picked Elegance with the idea of using it for daytime, maybe professional, smoky looks. I was (and still am) unsure about the green eyeshadow in it, since I find greens usually look awful on me, but I liked the other 3 enough to get the quad.
But I must say I was quite disappointed when I swatched it:

My hands aren't actually that red, but I had to saturate the colors on the picture so you could actually see the swatches, as they were really sheer. (Applied with finger with no base underneath). A base will definitely be a must with these ones if I want them to show up.
The dark greyish purple is a matte shade, the other 3 are satin.

Edit of June 10th: these shadows work fine with a base underneath, and the green is gorgeous as a liner under the lower lashline!

Now onto Stromboli. I picked this one for very different reasons: I found the combination unusual and colorful without being over the top, and I kind of thought it would be nice to have for my Summer vacation in Italy because of the name :)
The swatches here are a whole different story:

The gold color looks a bit mustard-ish in the pan but it's a very pretty true gold on my skin. (oh and THAT is the real color of my hand, didn't have to touch up the pic this time). Kind of what I've always wanted Mac Goldmine to be. The three other colors are just crazy pigmented and right up my alley (I'm a bronze addict, what can I say?). The darker shade isn't the blackest black but that's ok, I like to have different intensities in that color.

So here's what I can tell you so far, as I haven't tried the shadows on my eyes yet.
I will do my best to try them this week and will make sure to take pictures for you ladies, so that I can show you what they look like once applied and give an more in-depth review!

May 1, 2010

Review: Chanel Soleil Tan (formerly known as Bronze Universel)

I mentioned this product in my April's favorites, and the lovely Mora requested a review, so here it is!

I got this product around New Year time, not that I wanted to look bronzed up for some fancy party, but I read about it in Tali's blog, aka The GlossGoss, and it instantly woke up the lemming I had previously had after seeing Nic from Pixiwoo using this product.
Yes, too many cool people loving it for me not to try it.

The Packaging is a very classy round box that contains 30ml of product. It's plastic, so it won't break or feel heavy if you travel with it, but it doesn't look cheap at all and it has the typical Chanel lid.

What this is: a bronzer. For some reason, Chanel recently changed the name and started marketing this as a complexion base but the product still is what it's always been, which is a bronzer.
What makes it unique is the formulation, which is kind of a dense cream. It's almost the consistency of a gel but it applies like a cream-to-powder product that wouldn't have a powdery finish - does that make sense? I guess you have to touch it to understand. Anyways, it melts easily onto the skin and isn't hard to blend at all. Oh, and it has a delicious but light fruity smell.

Color range: there's only one color and for once, it suits pale skins better! I do believe, indeed, that this doesn't show off really well on darker skins, so let's say this is a bronzer for fair to medium skin. It's not too brown that it would look muddy, and it's not oompa-loompa orange as many bronzers can be.

Application: I think Chanel recommends using your fingers or a sponge. I don't like sponges that much so I tried with fingers, but I found it kind of hard to apply and blend properly this way. As the product is very firm, you can't take a lot on your fingers at once, so that's not practical. I tried with different brushes and I must say that the Mac 109, which is dense and has a flat top, works great. But... that sucker sheds like crazy (although I've had it for a year and have washed it numerous times) and I found myself digging out hair from my precious bronzer. So I switched to my Illamasqua blush brush, which has a similar shape and never ever sheds.
I apply lightly doing the infamous 3 shape, then blend down my neck and decolletage if needed.

Pro's: very pretty color, easy to apply, very natural looking unless you overdo it, great light formula for a luminous skin.
Con's: I'm still unsure about how it lasts through the day but I have this bad habit of touching my cheeks a lot (well, resting my cheeks on my hands while I work, actually) so that won't help.

Price tag: I paid about 31€ for this product, and I must say I was a bit surprised it wasn't more expensive. For a Chanel product, this is along the same price line as other high end bronzers. And as you really don't need a lot, this jar will last quite a long time.
However, I've seen this on US websites for over 60 US$, which is definitely expensive.
If you don't want to break the bank, I read somewhere that Eyeko Tinted Cream could be used in a similar way, and it's sold for a fraction of the price - but I haven't tried this one.

Would I repurchase: sure! I have a couple of other bronzers that I like, but I've been wearing this one every day for a month and haven't really reached for anything else! I like that it feels so light on the skin, that's great for warm days.

I hope you learned something from this! Is anybody using this product, maybe in a different way? What are your favorite bronzers?