June 28, 2010

Foundation review #19: Diorskin Nude Fresh Glow Powder SPF 10

I'm wondering if I should put a limit on the amount of foundations I'll ever review on this blog, hmmm... I actually recently purged my foundation collection since I find myself wearing the same 3 all the time (Nars Sheer Glow, Clarins Everlasting and Biotherm Light!).
But even considering this, I couldn't help trying something new!

You may remember my recent review of Estee Lauder Daywear Tinted Moisturizer, and how I said in the Summer I always dream of being able to go out with only some tinted moisturizer on. Well, I kind of have the same fantasy about mineral makeup: it looks healthy, it looks easy, it's so light on the skin when the weather is hot and it control the oils. Quite enough good reasons to get one, and since it has extremely good reviews on the web, I chose Dior Nude Powder Foundation.

Dior describe this foundation as containing 20% mineral water, which should make it moisturizing and give a fresh cooling effect when you apply it.
I must say I didn't feel anything, but as this wasn't really the reason why I got this, I don't mind.
I should also mention that even though I am 20 in Dior Nude fluid, I had to go this powder foundation in 30 (Medium Beige), as it runs much lighter than Dior foundations usually do. Number 10 was actually ghostly pale on me, so it's a good one to check if you're on the hunt for a very fair foundation.

  • it does stay on very well all day and does control the oil, even in very hot weather
  • the finish is satin, not flat matte, so it doesn't look cakey at all
  • you don't need much product
  • SPF 10
  • very pretty and convenient packaging: there's a small plastic cap that prevents the powder from going out when the jar is closed, and the actual lid of the jar is wide enough to put my Mac 182 kabuki in it
  • wide range of colors available
  • it's finely meld, enough to be used as a finishing powder on top of another foundation if you want to
  • I didn't experience any itchiness or allergy, contrary to some of the mineral foundations I tried in the past (yes, I'm talking to you, Everyday Minerals)

  • expensive (I paid 33€) especially if you compare it to the numerous mineral foundations available on the web
  • light coverage, building it up is possible but takes a lot of work and is time consuming, at least for me (I might lack of practice, though, but I think nothing beats liquid applied with hands for a quick face)
  • can feel a tad bit dry, you definitely need to put a moisturizer and/or primer underneath
So, how have I been using this? Well, on top of said Estee Lauder tinted moisturizer! This gives the bit of coverage on pore and blemishes that I was lacking when using the TM alone. I must say, though, that I have been applying with a puff instead of a kabuki on the zones where I wanted more coverage. Lazy but efficient :)
Edit: I found out this morning that applying with a Mac 109 was even more efficient, and much easier! Better coverage guaranteed.
I find this combo is perfect for hot days or week-ends as it's really long lasting, and I love the nude finish - it truly looks like you're wearing nothing.

I think this is definitely a foundation to consider if you're on the hunt for mineral makeup. I wouldn't get this for the purpose of using it as a finishing powder, though, as I think Mac MSF can perform as well for much cheaper - but as foundation it does perform better, especially on lasting all day.

June 27, 2010

Bring on the blueeeeees

This is a look I did this week-end. I used to wear a lot of blues and I still think I can pull them off but I don't like them as much as I used to, and I don't wear them as often as I once did.
But I got inspired by a picture on a forum and decided to dupe the look.

What I used on the eyes:
Mac Delft paintpot as a base
Mac Fashion on the lid
Mac Blue Flame on the outer V
Mac Electric Eel under the lower lashline
Mac Brule as a higlighter
YSL Singulier mascara

On the cheeks I'm wearing Ripe Peach, and for the rest of my face, come back tomorrow as I'll have a review on that up for you :-p

June 23, 2010

Favourite highlighters: Mac Strobe Cream - Illamasque Body Electrics Illumine Oil

When I first got Mac Strobe Cream, I didn't really know what to do with it, other than mixing it to very rich high coverage foundations like Studio Sculpt.
I have also used as a lightmoisturizer on those "no makeup" days, as it gives a nice moisturized and very slightly dewy look.

Since then I have experimented a bit, and now I find that it works great under very matte foundations, like Clarins Everlasting, to give that "glows from within" look. That allows me to highlight only some parts of my face and avoid the zones that could look oily.
A MUA friend also told me she did use it a lot to highlight the cleavage area so I've tried that and I must say I quite like the effect! It works great on the shoulders and arms, as well.

However, since the tube isn't that huge, I thought it wasn't very effective to use my Strobe Cream on the body - especially as I wanted to highlight the legs as well. So I decided to get another body product that would give the same effect, and picked Illamasqua Illumine Oil (from the Body Electrics collection) in the color Pulse, which is a light bronze.

This is a "dry oil" which means it's not going to be sticky or feel oily, it just leaves the skin soft. It has a very light coconut smell (I love the coconut smell) but nothing upsetting and it fades away very quickly. It's infused with very fine glitter particules, so it is quite light reflective, more than Strobe Cream, I would say. But it works great on the body - I wouldn't put it on my face though.
I have used it on the legs, shoulders, arms and decolletage and I find it lasts very well all day.
Don't be scared by the bronzey color: it doesn't really show and certainly does not make you look orange, even when you're pasty white like me.

I have found myself using these 2 products daily and I'm sure they will be staples in my Summer makeup bag!

June 21, 2010

Review: L'Oreal Youth Code Serum

A couple of months ago, I got samples of the infamous Lancôme Génifique. You know, that $78 - €75 miracle serum that claims to bring back youth by working on your skin cells' DNA? No need to tell you I don't buy that pseudo-scientific crap, but since I had received samples I thought I'd give them a try.
Now, I don't know if it was a coincidence, but I used them for a week and from the first day, my skin was perfection: clear, baby soft, plump. You know how addicted I am to foundations, well on that week I went to work with only powder on my face because I felt guilty about hiding my skin.

Long story short, the samples got used up and I considered getting a bottle of Génifique, but was (and still am) hesitant because of the price tag.

So I asked the members of a skincare forum if they had recommendations for a cheaper serum that would work as well, and several replies told me to try L'Oreal Youth Code. Since L'Oreal owns Lancôme and both products claim to work the same way, I thought it made sense. So I got it, paid € 14 (16 minus a coupon) and got all excited to try it.

Well, what a disappointment! First of all, this has a gel-cream consistency, which I find utterly weird for a serum. When applied, it gives an instant mattifying effect, and leaves the skin smooth but also feeling very siliconey.

When it comes to its effect: nada. Zero, nothing. Total waste of time and money.
Even worse: if I put it on in the morning, the matte canvas would turn into a grease mess after a couple of hours.

I have checked online reviews (which I should have done before buying, obviously) and found nothing but experiences similar to mine.
So, ladies, save yourself some money and just don't get that stuff.

June 19, 2010

Recent FOTD

I haven't posted any FOTD's in a while, even though I make it a priority to be late for work to take pics every morning :)

First of all, a little change: I am now either wearing contacts (but I can't keep them on more than 6 hours at the moment) or statement glasses: out with the old frameless one that tried to make themselves invisible.

These are by Michael Kors Eyewear and I love them.

Then a few looks: I have been on a winged eyeliner kick again lately!

I have also rediscovered Mac Graphology and really wonder why I haven't worn it more!

And other than that, I always get back to my old time favorite: bronze smokey eyes (this one was done with Mac Constructivist paintpot, Tempting, Bronze and Embark)

Now I do notice something on all these pictures: I am wearing either Nars Sheer Glow or Clarins Everlasting foundation in all of them, and wow, total photoshop effect!

Any look you've been wearing a lot lately?

June 17, 2010

L'Oreal Professionnel Delicate Color sulfate free shampoo

You may remember how addicted I am to L'Oreal Professionel shampoos, as they make my hair pretty and protect my color without irritating my scalp.
You may also remember I gave co-washing a try a while ago, in an attempt to embrace a sulfate free life. This was an epic fail, and I returned to my beloved L'Oreal Professional Vitamino Color.

Now I recently ent to my local beauty supplies stores to get a new bottle of it, and discovered that the range had expanded. The new products include a sulfate free shampoo called Delicate Color.

This shampoo is supposed to protect the hair dyes that fade quickly, like the reds and purple ones, thanks to a less agressive (hence: sulfate free) and more protective formulation. So I decided to give it a try, not that my color is particularly delicate, but you know...

Well I'm liking this a lot!
The shampoo is a clear pink gel, and indeed it doesn't foam much - this reminded me of washing with conditioner. But it does leave the hair feeling clean and very soft, without irritating the scalp at all.
Conclusion: I'm sticking to this one, my hair looks very good and I'm happy :)

June 15, 2010

Update on products I reviewed in the past

Sometimes you use a product for a few weeks and rave about it, then on the very long term you change your mind. Or you hate something at first, make yourself use it up and on the way, you decide it wasn't that bad. That happens to me sometimes, so I thought it would be fair to share my opinion changes with you in case you have been reading my reviews and based your decision on it.

YSL Singulier mascara :I thought it was good but not as good as Faux-Cils. Well on the long term I have changed my mind and switched. As much as I do love Faux-Cils, I hate how fast it dries up (I like wet mascaras) and I have noticed Singulier doesn't dry up within the 3 months mark. Even better: the older it gets, the better it applies. So I have now repurchased Singulier.

Bobbi Brown Luminous Moisturizing Foundation
: I loved it and have used it quite a lot, but at some point I got really turned off by the smell. Next time I'm at the counter, I need to check if this is the normal product smell or if I got a bad batch, but I really can't wear this anymore.

Armani Luminous Silk Foundation: I have kind of fallen out of love with this one. It doesn't last long enough on me, it feels a bit siliconey, I think I now have better options for the kind of look it achieves.

Clarins Everlasting Foundation: I said I wouldn't repurchase it because of the alcohol in it, and yet I find myself grabbing it a lot. It's the most long lasting foundation I have ever tried, so I totally rely on it when I have very long days. It actually doesn't stay flat matte, and I have also used strobe cream underneath with success. And weirdly, I have never experienced any discomfort again because of the alcohol. I now consider this one a long-lasting version of Chanel Mat Lumière and it might be a keeper.

June 14, 2010

(Sort of) Foundation Review #18: Estee Lauder DayWear Plus Tinted Moisturizer

Every year around this time, when the sun is shining and the weather gets hot (and my office temperature gets even hotter), I want a tinted moisturizer. I dream of a simple morning routine that would leave looking beautified, young and fresh with the smallest amount of product.

This year is no exception, but what is exceptional is that I actually found a tinted moisturizer that doesn't look horribly reddish on me. I'm talking about Estee Lauder DayWear Plus Multi Protection Tinted Moisturizer SPF 15 (what a mouthfull).
This comes in 4 colors and I picked the first one, Light. I was a bit scared that even this would be too dark but it doesn't apply as dark as it looks in the tube.

- feels great when applied, the texture is very pleasant and not sticky at all, and it doesn't have any strong smell
- sheer application which lets the skin show through
- meant for all skintypes
- SPF 15 (not enough to go sunbathing but it's a bonus nevertheless)
- 4 different colors
- it really is a good moisturizer
- non-acnegenic

- sheer application which lets the skin show through... means that your problem areas are still visible!
- gets very dewy on me through the day, probably because it is too moisturizing for my skintype (combination)
- not widely available: I had to go to France to get it and Sephora didn't have it, I found it on a larger counter at a department store
- a bit pricey: 33€ for 50ml

I have to use some kind of powder on top of this product to set it and hide my little flaws (Mineralize Skinfinishes work well this way, or any mineral foundation or powder). Concealer is also a must as this won't cover dark circles or pimples at all.

All in all, a very nice product for those who like tinted moisturizer. Me? I think I'll never be able to wear any TM on its own. I'm glad to use up this one as long as I can put powder on top.
Now I'm wondering if Laura Mercier Oil Free would have been a better choice. Anyone has an insight to share on this?

June 11, 2010

Friday Fun - Makeup Survey

Feel free to do it and put the link in the comments!

1. What time did you do your makeup today?
7.24AM - every minute counts in the morning and I keep an eye on the clock!

2. What's the least expensive beauty item you used?
A brow gel by Essence, cost less than 2€

3. What was the biggest problem you needed to correct?
Dark circles and puffy eyes, like every morning

4. Did you apply false eyelashes?
I never do.

5. Did you do anything while applying makeup?
Come on, it's the highlight of my day, why would I want to not focus completely on it?

6. Biggest makeup mishap today?
Picking a lipstick as I was running out of the door, only to discover that it smelled rancid and has probably gone bad :(

7. Did you have a makeup inspiration in mind?
I mostly knew what colors I wanted to use, other than that I don't do creative makeup on week-days.

8. What's the most time-consuming part of your makeup routine?
My eyes. I can do the whole foundation/concealer/powder/bronzer/blush/ and brows in 7-8 minutes, but eyes take a lot of time, especially the blending and eyeliner.

9. What's part of your routine is the most fun?
I like it all, excepted brows maybe.

10. What part of your makeup makes the biggest difference in the way you look?
Undereye concealer, I think.

11. Neutral or colorful eyeshdaow?
It depends on my mood, but it's more and more neutral.

12. Liquid or mineral foundation?

13. Do you do your hair or makeup first?
I do my hair first, which consists of straightening (I was it at night) and takes 2 minutes.

14. Did you pack a makeup bag to take with you for the day?
No I hardly ever do that, but I have pressed powder in my bag, and I have my lipstick of the day.

15. When did you finish your makeup?
7.46 AM :-)

June 10, 2010

Skincare life saver: Avène Cleanance K Oil control lotion

When I used this product for the first time, 2 years ago, I got it all wrong.

I must have been mislead by the name, "oil control lotion", so I slapped this on generously on my t-zone and within a few days, my skin was as dry as the desert but also red and irritated. Mind you, with AHA and BHA in it (both hydroxy acids types used for chemical exfoliation), this is serious stuff that needs to be used wisely!

But I have learned my lesson since then and now that I know how to make this work for me, I absolutely love this product!

The product benefits, as described by Avène, are:
  • PH of 3.5 for maximum exfoliation without irritation
  • Helps minimize oil and purifies the skin
  • Oil-absorbing micro-capsules provide a matte finish
  • Creates thinner, smoother upper layer of skin and improves elasticity of the skin
  • Avène thermal spring water to soothe and soften skin
  • Hypoallergenic and non-comedogenic
Apply PM after thoroughly cleansing with Cleanance Soap-free gel cleanser. If bothersome tingling occurs, reduce frequency of application accordingly.

How and why I use it:
What this doesn't tell you is that reactions to AHA and BHA are quite common, so unless your skin is crazy oily, I wouldn't recommend putting this on your skin everyday.
What I do now is put it around the nose where I have pores and impurities issues, but also on blemishes.

And this is where the product performs its miracle: be it on cystic pimples (you know, the ones that don't have a white head, hurt like crazy and stay there for days) or on smaller whiteheads, this is really effective! I put it on at night and wake-up practically spot-free the next morning. This requires patting the tiniest amount on the blemishes only, as the lotion would be too drying for the skin around them.

It's also a great product when you have been a bad girl and have picked at a pimple until it turned into a giant mess: put ice on it to soothe it, then apply a bit of the lotion. Yes, it will tingle, but things will be much better the next day.

If you have very oily, acne prone skin, and want to use it on larger areas, you can. Just make sure you use both moisturizer and sunscreen at daytime, since your skin will be more sensitive and dry because of the treatment. And if any side effects occur (irritation, dryness, excessive tingling), reduce your frequency of application (some people can't handle this more than once every 3 days).

Finally, the ultimate benefit is that it's an affordable product. You get 40ml/1.35oz for about 19USD (or about 10€ in Europe), and that will last you for a long time!

June 8, 2010

My favorite sunscreens

When I was a kid, I used to tan a very pretty caramel color, even with the copious amount of sunscreen my mom would put on me (I never had a sunburn). But then at the age of 9, I started having Summer Lucitis, which is a totally benign sun allergy. It causes extremely itchy red bumps on the skin everywhere it's been exposed to the sun.

Most of the time I won't have any issue with it - it's the advantage of living in a country where there isn't that much sun. But if I go to the seaside (even at the North sea) or when I'm on vacation abroad, the allergy will flare up if I don't use proper protection.
One more reason not to forget the sunscreen, even if I consider that protecting my skin against premature aging and skin cancer risks was already enough of a reason (and I hope it is for you, ladies).

So here are my favourite sunscreens :

For the body: Bioderma Photoder Max SPF 50

The Photoderm Max products are formulated for the most sensitive skins - if you have sun allergy or have a very fair skin that burns easily, if you're a redhead with freckles... this is the product for you.
It's photostable, water resistant (although like with any sunscreen you need to reapply during the day), fragrance free and it does feel light on the skin.

For the face: La Roche Posay Anthelios XL Fluid SPF 50

I like this product a lot because it's formulated specially for the face and for normal to oily skin. It's a very light fluid sunscreen that isn't greasy or sticky, and you can totally apply makeup on top. It is paraben free and perfume free. And it is completely suitable for the most sensitive skintypes, as it's one of the most photostable products on the market. It never let me down.
Bonus: it does exist in a tinted version!

For when I have to wear makeup and make it last: MUFE UV Prime SPF 50

When we can enjoy a lot of sun, my colleagues and I would go eat our lunch in the garden behind our office building, but of course, at noon, you have every chance to get sunburns. And, as I am there for work, I do wear a full face of makeup. This primer is perfect for these days: it makes my makeup last all day and it does protect during my outside lunch.

These are my 3 assets for a Summer with no sunburn nor sun allergy!

June 7, 2010

A fulll face using only Mac Mineralize SkinFinishes (aka MSF's)

Mac Brunette MSF - pic from Temptalia

Some people collect them avidly, as most are limited editions. They are coveted, but they're also a bit of a mystery : a question that often raises on makeup forums is "What are Mac MSF's for?". And the usual answer is: some are dark enough to be a sheer blush or bronzer, most are used for highlighting. And that's also how I have been using mine so far.

Until a few days ago... On a makeup forum, I read a post from a lady, who was explaining that she used MSF's - and MSF's only - to do her full face. She was also happy to report she had met a MAC MUA who used the same technique as well. I was intrigued, so I e-mailed her for explanations. And then of course, I had to try.


The technique is pretty simple :
1/ Keep this in mind: use cool colored MSF's for cool skin, and warm ones for warm skin
2/ Use a primer or moisturizer, and dab concealer where you need it if you want to
3/ With a dual-fiber brush like the mac 187, use an MSF that is darker than your skintone - I used Brunette. Apply in the hollow of the cheeks and blend on the temples and along the hairline on the corners of your forehead. Basically, this is contouring.
4/ Apply blush
5/ Apply a highlighting MSF on top of the blush, I used Porcelain Pink
6/ With a kabuki like the Mac 182, use a light MSF all over the face, on top of what you already apply as well as where you haven't applied anything yet.

And you're done!

How can this work, you'll ask me, and how am I not going to look like a greaseball?
Well, MSF's are light reflecting powders. By using them this way, you actually work with the way light is going to hit your face, and that is what is making your face look good. (This, and a bit of Mac mystery, maybe)

I think this works perfectly if you don't need much coverage, want to be ready in a few minutes (because it's really quick) and want a very light, non greasy product to even out your skintone, for example on very warm days. And I am definitely going to use this technique again!
If you try it, let me know your thoughts!

June 4, 2010

In and Out's


Summer weather and dresses, it feels so good to see the sun again!
Bright colors on eyes, lips, nails...
Gladiator sandals
Chanel Bronze Universal for the face and neck
Xen Tan dark lotion self tanner for the body
Lisa Taubes 42 inch sterling silver chain
Contacts although I only wear them for a few hours at a time at the moment


Not getting enough sleep because of the heat
Being locked in my office on beautiful days
Antibiotics for a stupid nail infection - they ruin my stomach
Gossip Girl season 3 being over, and Flashforward ending for good this week-end

What are your in and out's?

June 2, 2010

Liquid pen eyeliners: L'Oreal versus Majolica Majorca

I must be honest, it took me quite a long time to master the art of eyeliner application, and I have been known to use mainly gel liners as they're supposedly foolproof. But I have been using liquid ones more and more lately, fooling myself with the thought of a quicker application from a pen and no brush to wash... Wel it is quick, when it works. When it doesn't, it's a pain in the back.

So the 2 liner pens I have been using are these 2: the L'Oreal Super Liner (aka Lineur Intense in the US) in glittery black and Majolica Majorca Perfect Automatic Liner in bronze. I like and dislike different things in both of them, so I thought it would be interesting to compare.

L'Oreal Super Liner
+ felt tip liner
+ shake and use, the liner is in the pot
+ available everywhere
+ doesn't dry immediately, mistakes can be fixed
+ lasts well and easily removed

- this formulation is a bit sheer (Carbon lack version must be darker)
- the felt tip could be less flexible, actually, for more precision
- you need to reclose it and shake everytime you need more product

Price in Europe: about 13€ ($16)

Majolica Majorca (by Shiseido) Perfect Automatic Liner
+ a true pen liner
+ turn the top part and the liner comes down to the tip: no need to reclose while using
+ the firm tip makes it easier for me to apply
+ extremely pigmented
+ quite easy to fix mistake before it dries
+ very long lasting but still easy to remove
+ lots of colors available and regular limited edition

- when you click the top part to get product, it delivers too much
- unless you're in Asia, you can only get this online

Price: bought 14€ ($17.5) shipped from ichibankao.com to Europe

What I keep, what I toss!
Well I'm actually keeping both as a I plan on using them up :) But I will not repurchase the L'Oreal one. Although it's easy to find here, it's not very practical to use (as you need to reclose and shake to add product) and the result is a bit disappointing in terms of pigmentation.
Also I feel the felt tip isn't helping in clean application as it tends to bend, which can make a mess.

For roughly the same price, the Majolica Majorca gives a better result, is easier to apply and available in more beautiful colors. You just need to be cautious and rub the pen on the tap to get rid of the extra product that might come out, but other than that I find it quite easy to use.

You can buy Majolica Majorca from Ichibankao (my favorite because all prices include shipping, so no surprise), Sasa , Adambeauty and Gooddealer.com(whic is often the cheapest, but shipping needs to be added). It's listed under the Shiseido range.

Do you use liquid liner? What are your favorites?

June 1, 2010

May Favorites

Time flies, ladies, we're in June already (although looking at the weather you wouldn't know it, but that's another story).
So here's the stuff I've been using a lot this month!

Biotherm Light! foundation whenever the sun has been showing up and I have been playing up the dewy look.

Coral lips of which I apparently can't get tired. Nars Niagara is one of my favorite but I have also been wearing Mac Fresh Salmon (LE/Spring Color) on top of Mac Viva Glam Cindy. They're both gorgeous colors when used on their own, but they definitely work well together too!

Mac Lustre Drops in Pink Rebel and Sun Rush (LE/To the beach) that I have been mixing with my foundations to get a glowy sunkissed look.

Champagne eyeshadow and winged eyeliner that go perfectly with the bright lips. My current favorite champagne are mac Retrospek and mac Sugarshot (LE/Sugarsweet). Yes, it's a Lustre, as you can see on the picture, but I don't mind, I actually love a lot of Lustre eyeshadows.

And finally, Nars Sheer Glow (in Fidji, at the moment). Although some days I prefer something more sheer and more glowy, this stays my absolute favorite as it gives me the most perfect skin ever, and it still deserves its holy grail status!

What are your favorites o the month? Share or link them!