March 29, 2011

Review: MD (now Dr.Dennis Gross) Skincare Hydra Pure Vit C serum

I recently mentioned in my skincare routine post that I had been using this new vitamin C serum, so it's time now I give you my word about it.

What the brand says:
"By combining the benefits of the Hydra-Pure Chelating Complex® with multiple forms of Vitamin C working on all layers of the skin, density is improved and lines and wrinkles are diminished while simultaneously slowing the future aging process." - Dr. Dennis Gross

How you use it:
You need to use it on clean dry skin at night, as sunlight deactivates Vitamin C, so using it for daytime would be less effective and would require a high sun protection factor.

The ingredients list, (I recommend you all read it this time):

Cyclopentasiloxane, Cyclomethicone, Ascorbic Acid, Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Peg/Ppg-18/18 Dimethicone, Squalane, Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate, Ascorbyl Palmitate, Quercetin Caprylate, Tocopheryl Acetate, Linoleic Acid, Sodium Chondroitin Sulfate, Sodium Hyaluronate, Salicylic Acid, Lactic Acid, Palmitoyl Oligopeptide, Pueraria Lobata Root Extract, Salix Nigra (Willow) Bark Extract, Acrylates/Carbamate Copolymer, Butylene Glycol, Panthenol, Pentasodium Pentetate, Phytic Acid, Potassium Citrate, Potassium Gluconate, Tetrasodium Edta, Purified Water (Aqua Purificata), Phenoxyethanol.

My experience with the product:

As you have read in the ingredients (see? I told you you needed to read the ingredients), the product is quite rich in silicones. I was a bit worried about it at first - not that I really have a problem with silicones but sometimes it's used to give the skin a smoothing effect without any real action on the skin condition. But I was explained that, as Vitamin C is very instable, the silicones help stabilizing it and keeping it active - fine by me.
Also, from what I've read on the web, this is one of the most active serums on the market, combining 3 types of vitamin C for effectiveness.

The packaging is totally opaque to protect the serum, and comes with a pump that you twist in and out. I think it's very clever, practical and hygienic - the bottle is also quite light. I wouldn't mind taking it along to travel.
The serum itself is white and siliconey, very easy to apply and feels very smooth.

More reference to the ingredients list: the product contains AHA, e.g. salicylic acid and lactic acid. Since I was using those ingredients already and liking the effect on my skin, I'm quite glad they're included in this serum, this way I get a small daily dosis and it helps keeping the skin smoother.
I have read, though, that some people have experienced stinging and reactions when using this serum but if you're sensitive to AHA, that must be the reason. I must also say that if my skin's a tad bit irritated, I will experience the stinging too, but it's nothing dramatic and I really don't mind.

The one problem I have is that I don't know when to put on moisturizer. The instructions mentioned that you could use moisturizer from the range on top of the serum but I don't really see how any moisturizer would get through that layer of silicone and reach my skin. I've tried to find information about that and have heard 2 main theories:
- the silicon evaporates from the skin, so if you wait a bit before applying moisturizer on top, it will reach the skin
- the silicon will act like a barrier, so you need to apply the moisturizer first
These contradictory information coming from equally reliable sources, taking a side was hard - I have decided to either use the serum alone or moisturize first.

The overall result.
I haven't experienced the same fantastic results I had had with the Vichy serum, but I do see a difference when using this: my skin is brighter than when I don't, and a bit smoother as well.
However I'm not sure yet if I'll repurchase or try something else, purely because of the price: $95, £58. I had been lucky to get it on sale from Zuneta, but at the full price I'm not sure - if I can find something cheaper with similar results, I'll probably give it a try.
On the other hand, my skin deserves good treatments, and if I don't find an alternative, I'll gladly keep using this product because it works well. The product doesn't have a short shelf life so I know I can finish the pricy bottle and won't have to throw away some product.

Blog Sales updated!

I have added a few items, and some prices have been taken down.
Check it out here!

Normal activity will resume tomorrow :)

March 28, 2011

Review: Biotherm Skinergetic range

Products were offered by Biotherm for review but not in the context of this blog.

So I just spent a month trying the Biotherm Skinergetic range (well, not really a month, I'll explain).

I was quite enthusiast about this range, which is why I had volunteered to try it. It's aimed at women between 30 and 40 years old who have a very active life, not enough sleep and possibly visible marks of tiredness on their skin. This range is supposed to prevent these signs of fatigue from turning into aging signs.
The range also claims to be paraben-free and made of 97-99% natural ingredients (depending on the product), which I do find nice even though that's not my top priority when picking a skincare product.
After a month, your skin should look plumped, moisturized and radiant. Doesn't that sound nice?

I have to say, though, that the French Biotherm website offers a test to determine what product(s) you need according to your lifestyle and skin condition. This test revealed I should use the night cream only, but we were asked to test the full range. Also I didn't see the same test on the American websites.

Let's get into the details for each product, and I'll also tell you what I think.

The Serum.
This one is meant to be used morning and night under the moisturizer.
It contains an active coming from broccoli, that is kept in a capsule you need to click onto the bottle top before the first use. This way, the active ingredient is released and it stays 100% active for 3 months - that's what Biotherm calls "fresh cosmetics". The serum also contains soy extracts and several fruit acids for gentle exfoliation.

My thoughts:
The product is heavily scented with a very fruity smell, which you might not expect from something claimed to be based on Broccoli! The texture is white and a bit thick, I would say the product looks and smells a lot like apricot yoghurt. 

I found that the smell was a bit too much, and in my opinion not smelling "99% natural" even though the brand guarantees it is. (I'm not saying they're lying, just that it's not the impression that the product gave me).
Also you need the tiniest amount and I'm pretty sure the bottle will last longer than 3 months, unless you apply twice a day on your face, neck and possibly decolletage. Biotherm told us that it's still active after 3 months, even though the effectiveness decreases with time after that mark, but I find it hard to have a product that isn't working at its best till the end when you paid 58$ for it (which I didn't, as I told you before).

The day cream.
This one contains an "Anti-Ox Complex providing nutrients to the skin while protecting it from external and internal free radicals". The main ingredients are coming from a variety of fruits.
There are 2 formulas: a gel for normal/oily skin and a rich cream for dry skin.

My thoughts:
Again, this one is heavily scented with strong fruity smells. Now here comes the first problem: I received the rich cream and this was way too rich for my skin type. It doesn't look like a thick cream, though, more like a very thick peachy gel.
Second problem: when applying this on top of the serum, little silicon balls started rolling on my face - looks like there is a conflict between the two formulas. Might be because I didn't wait very long between the application of the 2 products, but who has that kind of time in the morning?

The night cream:

This one is meant to detox your skin during the night, "D-Tox Complex aids in accelerating the detoxifying process of the skin, activating the elimination of waste and toxins in cells". It's made of roots and tea and some berries, but the smell is very earthy and root based I would say. 

My thoughts:
I didn't like the earthy smell at all, not the kind of stuff you want to go to bed with in my opinion. But I don't really wish for the heavy fruity smell in a product I'll put on before going to sleep, so I rather deal with this one anyway.
The texture is a very white thick cream but when you apply, it doesn't feel heavy or greasy, I was almost expecting a night cream to be richer.
My skin didn't feel greasy when I woke up in the morning.

My overall experience.

Unfortunately I got breakouts after a few days of using the range. I tried to wear the serum only in the morning, giving up on the day cream, but it didn't help.
I have to suppose that either the fragrances or some other ingredients didn't agree with my skin. I was keeping on getting more and more whiteheads and even a couple of cystic zits - which I never get - and my skin was looking greasy by mid-day, so I had to stop using the range after like 8 days.
I did a few more attempts with the night cream but didn't want to take too much risks so haven't been using it on a daily basis.

I can't really say that on the days I did use the products, my skin looked fabulously better. My EL Advanced Night Repair serum does a much better job on that matter.
The products have pleasant textures and application was enjoyable, but I found the perfumes disturbing.
The packaging are lovely and I love the concept and the natural ingredients behind the products, but I'm afraid that this had zero positive effect on me - quite the contrary.
I'm not saying I won't try using those products again separately, because it drives me crazy to have them and not be able to use them, but if I break out again that will be the end of it.
All the products are priced between 50-60 $ or € (bad conversion factor strikes again) so for that price, I was hoping for visible results and no side-effects. If you want to try, make sure you get samples first.

March 27, 2011

FOTD: photo-friendly makeup

This Friday I was participating to a group discussion for a magazine, with 5 other women who were asked, like me, to test the new Biotherm Skinergetics range for a month - I mentioned that here a while ago.

Since we were going to be photographed quite a lot, we all had our makeup done. I already had my usual makeup on and I had kept the eyes quite neutral, so the makeup artist didn't redo it all. She just made sure my complexion would be photo friendly.

She used DiorSkin Forever Compact Flawless & Moist Extreme Wear Makeup which is a powder foundation with a very matte finish. She applied with a dry sponge to have a full coverage.
I was actually impressed at how flawless my skin looked, even though it looked a bit powdery seen from very very close. 
My natural oilies started showing through after 4 hours (the photoshoot was finished by then) and it looked a bit more natural. 

She added a touch of blush, also by Dior, the Bronze Harmonie de Blush in 002 Coral Riviera - and a tiny bit of a coral Dior gloss (didn't see which one though).

On the eyes I was wearing Mac All that Glitters, Satin Taupe and Mulch, and she added a tad bit more depth in the crease by adding some Mac Copperplate. (Yes, I can name Mac shades just by seeing them in a makeup artist palette).

I had a lot of fun during this afternoon, and I should receive the pictures taken once the magazine will be published, which won't be before the end of May.
But I'll be sure to review the Biotherm products for you ladies, probably as soon as tomorrow :)

March 23, 2011

Dior Addict lipstick versus Chanel Rouge Coco Shine lipstick. Kate or Vanessa?

Looks like this Spring, the lipsticks world is all about shiny and hydrating formulas. Kind of lipstick meets gloss meets balm and have a love child that only chemistry can bring to life.

Of course I felt very tempted to try them, probably also because the promotional images are so beautiful.

Kate Moss for Dior, and you already know this pic inspires me a lot.

And then French singer and actress Vanessa Paradis (aka. Mrs Johnny Depp) for Chanel.

Now in real life, I'm without a doubt aspiring to be more of the Vanessa type (French, quiet, in a long term relationship with two kids) than of the Kate type (English, rock&roll, addict and dating crazy guys) (Am I the only one thinking it's ironic to have Kate modelling for a product called Addict?).
But in lipstick life I had to give both a try :)

So here's me wearing Rouge Coco Shine in Boy (the mythic color of the year, apparently)

My thoughts on the product:
  • Nice pigmentation
  • Slightly shiny without being glittery, but definitely more thick and matte-ish than a gloss
  • Very classy black Chanel packaging
  • Has the awful same smell that the regular Rouge Coco's have and that I hate - makes me sick, luckily it doesn't linger too long
  • Unfortunately, über drying on my lips, even though it claims to be hydrating. The regular Rouge Coco formula was more moisturizing for me than this one.
Verdict: meh. Wanted to like them but they're really not comfortable to wear for me. I got 2 of these (Boy and Rebelle) and am thinking of putting them on my blog sale as I don't think I'll really wear them because of that.
Now onto the Dior Addict lipstick: here I'm wearing the one called IT Pink (and some Kate-lookalike winged liner)

My thoughts on this one:
  • Excellent pigmentation
  • A bit shinier than the Chanel one with a very soft formula
  • This one does feel hydrating when applied, and not drying on the long term: it feels like balm and I would almost put it on without a mirror as it's so easy to apply
  • Absolutely no smell and no taste
  • Lasts quite a long time for a non-drying formula
  • The packaging is heavier and kind of holographic, definitely not everybody's taste but I don't really care
Verdict: this one I love! It's so easy and comfortable to wear, and also so pretty - I might neeed more colors.
Price info : both products are priced around the €27 mark but in the US, I believe the Chanel one is around $32 while the Dior one is around $27.

So it looks like this time I'll be a Kate. What about you?

March 22, 2011

Review and swatches: Guerlain Rouge G Serie Noire lipsticks

Remember how enthusiastic I was about the Spring collection from Guerlain? Well I talked about the Serie Noire Blush G quite a few times already but we haven't discussed the Serie Noire Rouge G lipsticks yet!

I got two of them, that I had ordered online back in January: Fuchsia Delice and Orange Euphorique. (I bet that won't surprise anyone).
However when I first tried them on, I was a bit disappointed: I expected them to be super bright, like they look on the picture (first and third one) and even on the bullet, but once applied, that's another story...


See? Quite sheer.

But you know what? I've grown into loving them. Yes, loving, really! Because I don't always want to wear a super bright lipstick, for example on days that I wear a more sophisticated eye look. With these two, I can still enjoy my 2 favorite lip colors without it being too 'in your face'. And soo I've been wearing them a lot these past 2 months!
Like here:
Wearing Orange Euphorique.
What can I say, it's Springtime, the sun is shining, and my sunglasses take away the focus from my eye makeup haha!

Nothing offensive, really. Which means that if you're interested in these sheer colors but were scared of the bright promo pictures, you can now indulge!

Other notes on these lipsticks:
  •  I love the formula, it's very moisturizing and comfortable
  • The smell and taste are very slight and really non-offensive
  • The packaging is gorgeous, the mini-mirror very useful BUT it's quite heavy, you have to know that.
  • It's SUPER expensive: €38, USD46. Yes, that's painful. But after all I like the Guerlain lipsticks so much and I wear them A LOT so maybe it's worth the investment and the sacrifice of a few cheaper lipsticks that I won't like so much.
Have you tried these? What did you think?

March 21, 2011

Wanted: new holy grail eye makeup remover

I'm very sad I have to say this, because I love the brand, but La Roche Posay has made an habit of discontinuing my holy grail products and that's becoming kind of upsetting.

First, they reformulated their Effaclar mattifying moisturizer in a way that my skin didn't like at all. That was the beginning or my transition to the "no moisturizer" journey.
Then, last year they discontinued the Hydraphase mask I talked about here and I barely made it through this winter with the last backups I had.

And now they have discontinued my favorite makeup remover that I use for the eyes, the Rosaliac micellar lotion.
I have been using this for at least 5 years. While I love micellar lotion for my face, I don't find it as comfortable to use for the eyes and my beloved Bioderma Crealine H2O does irritate my eyes a bit, particularly if I have to use it for the waterline.
This Rosaliac, it was just perfect: a gel texture, absolutely not irritating, no smell, very comfortable and it was getting rid of almost anything (the Asian mascaras being the exception).

I finished my last bottle yesterday night.

I had already bought a possible replacement:
SVR Rubialine micellar jelly

I was tricked into getting this by the name, and the very similar packaging, but the product is different. It's more liquidy and that makes it harder to use: it's not liquid enough to soak the cotton buds, but  it's not enough of a gel and is very runny, which is very impractical.
Plus, it does sting my eyes a bit.

So, I'm turning to my readers for advice: what would you recommend? Knowing that:
a/ I don't want any dual phase product for daily use
b/ I prefer a gel texture
c/ I need to be able to buy the product in Europe or to get it easily online

Any suggestion?

March 19, 2011

Random Saturday

If you don't already know the Beauty and the Bullshit blog, I really recommend you check it out. The author used to work in the cosmetics industry and tells it all: why your favorite lipstick color always ends up being discontinued, are drugstore eye pencils really different from the high end ones, tactics to make us buy more makeup... It's not all pretty and nice, but the way she writes it is hilarious and even though I don't love beauty products any less after having read that, I kind of enjoy knowing the dirty secrets of that world.

Buy makeup for a good cause, this blogsale donates 50% of proceeds to the Japanese Red Cross.

We're going to raise funds for Japan with the Beauty Blog Link Love network, more info coming soon.

This week I've been wearing lots of winged liner looks this past week, since I found how to create all kinds of crazy liner colors with eyeshadows and Illamasqua Sealing Gel. I use a Mac 266 to draw the line and I'm good to go, this is staying in place all day!

Reviews to come soon: Rouge Bunny Rouge cream eyeshadow and blush, Chanel Rouge Coco Shine lipsticks versus Dior Addict lipsticks, and my Illamasqua Toxic Nature haul!

Happy week-end!

March 18, 2011

Favorite Orange lipsticks (with swatches)

I recently took you through my collection of fuchsia lipsticks, now it's time for my other lip-color obsession: orange.
Yes, you can be fair and wear orange, I absolutely love this color, it's very flattering, it brightens the face, and some of them actually make teeth look whiter like a blue based red would do. (Oh! Reds! That's something for later.)

You'll notice that I use the name "orange" a bit loosely: Nars Niagara is leaning more to coral than to true orange but well, at least it serves for comparison purposes.

If you find orange hard to wear, a touch of litchee colored lipgloss on top will make it more wearable, that's how I started wearing Mac Morange a year ago:

Pic from May 2010 - time flies!
Mac Morange with Mac Mimi lipgloss on top

I ended up ditching the gloss and wearing the lipstick alone and I still do. These days I tend to wear the Givenchy one more, as well as the Guerlain, but that deserves a full separate post :)

Do you wear orange on the lips? What are your favorites?

March 16, 2011

Review: Avene Eluage Firming Gel

Yesterday I told you about my favorite anti-wrinkle eye cream. What I didn't tell you is that now, I sometimes combine it with another product.
What has been proven to be the most effective against wrinkle? Retinol and all its cousins (retinoids, retinaldehydes etc...) for in-depth action and Hyaluronic Acid for its "plumping" properties. So when it comes to crow's feet or any other soon-to-be-deep wrinkles on the face (think around the nose, on the forehead...), a combination of those 2 can really help. And that's what I found in Avene Eluage Firming Gel. I also need to tell you that Avene has the highest non-Rx retinaldehyd concentration on the US market.

What the brand says:
Targeted firming gel formulated with a patented combination of Retinaldehyde and exclusive Hyaluronic Acid Fragments (HAF) visibly reduces the appearance of deep lines and wrinkles around the corner of the eyes, nose and lower cheek.
For all skin types, especially mature skin with deep visible lines and wrinkles.
  • Increases skin firmness and thickness with higher concentration of Hyaluronic Acid Fragments (HAF).
  • Resin based gel fills in lines and wrinkles. To be used on targeted areas such as crow's feet, nasal labial folds and marionette lines.
  • Contains Avene Thermal Spring Water to soothe and soften skin.
  • Hypoallergenic and non-comedogenic.
My own experience:
The product is actually not really a gel, it looks more like a peachy colored cream but with a very light texture. It doesn't really have any smell and it melts into the skin quite fast.
This gel is meant to be patted on problem areas on top of your moisturizer, that means you can pat it on top of your eye cream - which is what I do. I also use it around my mouth and nose so I know how effective it is on an area where I'm not using any other treatment.
You'll need to give it a few weeks to see an improvement, but given the high quality ingredients in it, you will notice a difference. Again, I know quite a few women who started using it and were thrilled by the result.

Do I recommend?
Obviously, not a cheap product : €30/USD46. But a tube goes a long way and I'd rather spend €30 on something that I know does work than €10 in a drugstore product that will leave me unsatisfied. There are also much more expensive alternatives that can't claim the same results.

What if I can't afford this one AND the LRP one for my eyes area?
Then I'd say get this one. Retinoids are proven to have a preventive effect on further development of wrinkles so I'd put my money on this one even though the other is an excellent product as well.

Water (aqua), Cetearyl Alcohol, Cetyl Esters, Caprylic/Capric Triglycerides, Ceteareth 20, Glycol Montanate, Cyclomethicone, Ceteareth 33, Sodium Hyaluronate, Acrylates Copolymer, BHT, Butylparaben, Carbomer, Fragrance (parfum), Phenoxyethanol, Polymethyl Methacrylate, Propylparaben, Red 33 (CI 17200), Retinal, Triethanolamine.

March 15, 2011

Review: LRP Redermic + Yeux aka my eye cream of choice

This eye cream was featured in my recent skincare routine, and it's high time I bring you the review I promised!

What the brand says:
Combines 5% pure Vitamin C, a leading anti-ageing active ingredient, and Madecassoside, a more than 95%-purified active ingredient recognised for its skin-repairing properties, to intensify synthesis of the skin's filling and support fibres (collagens I, III, IV, VII). REDERMIC[+] EYES includes a new anti-ageing active ingredient, Neurosensine, to fight against the "micro-inflammatory" stress that speeds ageing. Fragrance-free, ophthalmologist-tested on subjects with sensitive eyes and contact lens wearers.

My experience:
I use this eye cream every night, but you can use it twice a day. It's specially formulated to help with crow's feet and fine lines around the eyes and I must say that on the long term, I do find it makes a difference.

The formulation has been slightly improved but I had already used a full tube of it in the past and had found it did work on smoothing the eye area and reducing fine lines. I do find that the Madecassoide LRP use in their anti-wrinkle products is really effective: the first time I ever used it was 10 years ago, after a minor skin surgery to reduce scarring and it really worked! No wonder it's working against age signs as well. And of course, the Vit C does help brightening the skin.

The product is unscented and absolutely non irritating. It does penetrate the skin quickly and doesn't feel sticky or heavy. The tube is small (15ml) but you obviously need the tiniest amount so it will last you several months.

It's not the cheapest eye cream on the market - €22/£17/USD41 -  but it's definitely not as expensive as some high end brands are, and definitely more effective in my opinion.

Do I recommend? Yes. The friends who tried it on my advice have had a great experience with it as well.
Also, LRP tends to market this as a product for women over 40, while I do think that it's never to early to fight ageing signs, particularly around the eye area. So if you're in your late 20's or early 30's and find that your eye skin isn't what it used to be, don't think twice before starting to use an anti-ageing product.

Ingredients (for the science geeks):
Note: Yes there are silicones in it, which not everyone is keen on using, but I have been explained they are useful in maintaining the Vit C stability and effectiveness, so I can live with them.

March 14, 2011

Review: Rouge Bunny Rouge Deliquescence Makeup Melt Cleanser

Since I needed to place yet another order with Zuneta after the Oskia incident, I decided I wanted to try a couple of skincare novelties while I was at it.

I had been eyeing RBR cleanser called Deliquescence, which is a cleansing balm, for a little while. I like to think of it as some kind of hybrid between a cleansing oil and a cream and for some reason that felt really appealing to me. I mean, how luxurious does the description sound:

This luxuriously rich and creamy balm melts like butter with the warmth of your skin; add warm water to swiftly transform the butter into a heavenly milky sap that dissolves even waterproof make-up without a trace, while nourishing and pampering your face. Use a delicate muslin cloth, wrapped around your hand, to sweep away all impurities, cleanse and gently tone, leaving your skin angelically resplendent.

Also the formula is packed with natural ingredients supposed to have promising properties:
Cacao Butter offers excellent moisturising and smoothing properties for a soft, velvety appearance. Meadowfoam Seed Oil is an outstanding moisturiser and anti-oxidant, helping to prevent moisture loss and boost your true radiance. 
Inspired by aromatherapy and enriched with an essential oil mixture of Chamomile, Clove, Eucalyptus and Lavender, our Make-up Melt Cleanser will not only improve your skin’s suppleness and softness but also revitalises and leaves you with a sensuous and soothing feeling. 
Chamomile calms the skin with anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-depressant effects. Clove adds stimulating and aphrodisiac qualities. Eucalyptus is anti-bacterial, balsamic and antiseptic. Lavender provides soothing, anti-inflammatory, refreshing and antiseptic effects, and also acts on the nervous system as an extraordinary mind refresher, restoring your inner balance, strength and vitality.

In short: the ultimate cleansing experience!

How do you use it? Well, you massage the product (a rich transparent balm) into your skin and then remove your makeup with a moslin cloth. It's very easy to do, as you can see in this video:

It is very effective and works on all types of makeups, like a cleansing oil would do.

What I like about it:

  • the packaging is very pretty: a smoked glass jar with a black cap - very nice to look at
  • you do get a moslin cloth with it, no need to buy separately (although you won't go very far with only one)
  • the smell is really lovely and natural, no heavy perfume but a light herbal scent
  • the balm texture is very pleasant
  • it leaves your skin clean and feeling very soft but not greasy at all unlike some cleansing oils
What I don't like about it:
  • I always find it uncomfortable to remove mascara with my fingers and anything else than a micellar jelly, so I tend to use a separate eye makeup remover
  • I don't find it's that easy to massage this product into the skin (and particularly the eyes) without using quite a lot of it and...
  • ... the jar is quite small (50g) and...
  • it's super expensive: £46
My overall opinion:
At that price, and considering I have a lot of cheaper options to cleanse my normal/combination skin, I don't want to use this product on a daily basis. Maybe if you're very dry, the unique texture will make it work the price but for me that's not the case.
It is a luxury cleanser and so I keep it for luxury treatments: either when I'm doing a facial at home or if I'm super tired and want to pamper myself. It does a perfect job, but it's really pricey.

Have you tried anything from RBR Skincare? Anything you recommend?

March 13, 2011

FOTD: Kate Moss inspired

This advertising is to be seen everywhere at the moment, not only in magazines but in the streets around my place.
You know how much I love winged liner, and even though I'm not particularly a fan of Kate Moss and I don't own Dior Iconic lipsticks, I thought this look was stunning and that I'd love to try it. So I did!

Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua (B10)
Estee Lauder Double Wear Concealer (01)
Mac Oh So Fair beauty powder blush

Mac Fling eyebrow pencil and Mink brow gel
Mac Blanc Type
Mac Wedge
Lancome Art Liner in black
YSL Faux Cils in black

Mac Violetta

I took the pictures in a changing room (great light, huge mirror) while I was trying on clothes so you get my outfit of the day as a bonus (yes, these are my clothes, not ones I was trying on).

Any look you've been inspired by lately?

March 10, 2011

Makeup Artist Crush

I have a new makeup artist crush (note: some of my friends can attest I fall in love with a new male makeup artist every 2 days). He's Belgian, like me (yay!), and he has officially become Creative Director for Chanel Makeup at the beginning of this year. I'm talking about Peter Philips.


Heaven knows I'm usually not the biggest fan of Chanel makeup, mostly because I'm often disappointed by the pigmentation and texture. But doesn't this just looks gorgeous, and very modern?

These are the looks created by Peter Philips for the Winter 2011 catwalk. If you saw pictures all over the web like I did, you probably spied new cream eyeshadows on his working station - and you know I have a weakness for cream eyeshadows. I can't wait to swatch them when they're released and see if they live up to my expectations.

No matter how the products work, I love Peter Philips' approach on makeup artistry. You can learn more about him and his work (and the new products!) on the Chanel Confidential website.

What do you guys think?

Pictures properties of Chanel.

March 9, 2011

Favorite Fuschia lipsticks (with swatches).

If you've been reading my blog for a while, you know I have a slight addiction to fucshia lipsticks. (And to orange ones, too, but that's for another post). Even though I'm pale, I love the way they look on me and brighten my face.
I recently decided to put them side by side to make sure I wasn't buying duplicates without knowing. Thanks Heavens, I'm not. I do swear there are differences in all of them!

These are my Fuchsia lovelies. See? They're all different in tones (and finish, too)
While I was at it, I decided to swatch them for you - on white paper because I'm lazy. Ok, maybe not, but they're all quite pigmented and hard to remove, swatching them on lips would have been pointless.
Hope you can read my scribblings :-)

Don't ask me to pick a favorite, that would be like chosing between my children! I will say, though, that I have probably worn Girl About Town the most, but that the Maybelline Crazy Pink is more comfortable on the lips. Lickable is infused with gold particles that make it really lovely, and is a good dupe for the pro color Show Orchid (that I don't have), and Gulabi and Schiap are both matte, but I prefer the Nars matte texture.

Revlon gloss in Pink Pop is also well loved.

Do you have a favorite fuchsia lipstick? And what's your skintone?

March 8, 2011

Hair Care routine updated

I'm the kind of girl who isn't always nice enough with her hair. I wash it almost every day, I blowdry it,  I straighten it (it's not naturally straight), I dye it and I'm growing it so I avoid getting it cut as much as I can.

This regularly ends up in my hair hating me and me having to agree to have it trimmed to get rid of damaged ends. That was last Friday.

I'm going to try and be a good girl now, and use my hair care products more regularly - because yes, I do buy them, and then I don't use them really often.

The products I am currently using are:

  • L'Oreal Professionnel Delicate Color Sulfate Free shampoo as it's quite gentle for my scalp and hair, so this is my daily shampoo of choice
  • If I need something more moisturizing, I'll use L'Oreal Professionel Intense Repair shampoo instead, this is meant for dry hair and very good when I've overdosed on the straighteners
  • L'Oreal Professionnel Absolut Repair mask: this is meant for damaged hair and it makes dry ends feel super smooth. I'm not sure if it does really repair anything, but it certainly nourishes the hair and is a good weekly treatment to make!
  • L'Oreal Professionel Liss'Ultime Serum : If I want poker straight hair, I run this through it when it's half blow-dried. It makes hair silky and smooth and helps keeping it well straightened.
  • Phyto 7 Daily Hydrating Cream I run this through my hair in the morning, so this is really a day cream! It's the only product that I use on dry hair, as if it were a styling product, and it does help dry ends feel smoother.
Once in a while I'll use hairspray, and that would be L'Oreal Professionnel Infinium Laque.  

If I skip a shampoo, I'll use Tigi Rockaholic Dirty Secret dry shampoo, which works OK - nothing exceptional for the price. Now that Batiste is available here for a much more reasonable price, I'll probably give it a try next.

Yes, that's a lot of L'Oreal Pro products: I actually buy them from a professional store but I believe they're widely available online. I find they are good quality for a cheaper price than Kerastase, and they work better for me than some other ranges I used like Bona Cure or even Laboratoires René Furterer, which is nice but very expensive for what it is.

Are you good at taking care of your hair? Anything you ladies have tried that I should look into?

March 7, 2011

Skincare Routine

I haven't updated my skincare routine for you ladies in a long while, so I thought I'd show you what I've been using for about the past 2 months.
(Yes, you are seeing it right, Oskia Get Up And Glow has been repurchased since the incident).

Some of these products have been reviewed in the past, some are new and will be reviewed very soon. We have:


  • Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair: used every night
  • MD Skincare Vitamin C Serum: used every night as well, will be reviewed soon
  • Oskia Get Up And Glow: used in the morning
  • Estee Lauder Idealist: used in the morning on my nose area; this helps hiding my pores but will not be repurchased as it doesn't have a real action on my skin condition.
  • Louis Widmer Switzerland Emulsion Hydro-Active: it's a lightweight moisturizer that I use night or day, when I find I need it

  • Mac Fast Response: this one is almost used up, I use it in the morning as it's a good makeup base
  • Louis Widmer Switzerland Gel Contour Yeux Non Parfumé: I use this one in the morning when I don't wear makeup, but since it works really well under makeup too, it will replace the Mac one when it's used up
  • La Roche Posay Redermic + : I find this is one of the most effective anti-wrinkle eye creams on the market, I use it at night - will review it soon
  • Avene Eluage Gel Concentré: this isn't technically an eye cream, it's an intensive treatment that contains Retinoids and that you can use on problem areas like around the eyes, around the mouth or anywhere where wrinkles appear. You put it on top of your moisturizer, so I use this at night as the last product in my routine, on my eyes outer corners. Will review this soon.

However, for the month of March, I have committed to change my routine and use this:

Biotherm Skinergetic Range

Here comes the mandatory disclaimer: I got these for free - but not at all in relation with my blog! I was actually chosen with 5 other ladies to try the range during a month and then discuss our experience for a magazine that is issued by a beauty products retailer (think the equivalent of Sephora for my country). We'll also be taking part in a photo shoot for said magazine.
The good news is, since I've received the products, I'll be able to review them for you as well after that session, at the end of this month! 

The range consists of an active serum (you mix in the ingredient and can use the product for 3 months), a day cream and a night cream. It's designed for active women between 30 and 40 who want to fight against visible signs of tiredness and super active lives, and all products contain over 97% natural ingredients. We'll see how that works!

So stay tuned for all these coming reviews!

March 6, 2011

Blog Sales updated!

There's some very nice stuff left in my Blog Sales and I have just lowered most prices.
All items are barely used and in excellent condition (some pics don't do them justice LOL, I'm a bad photographer).
So feel free to have a look!

March 5, 2011

FOTD (featuring Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua)

Sometimes, maybe a couple of times a year, I feel absolutely happy with the way I look -clothes, hair and makeup.
Yesterday was one of these days. Maybe because it was really sunny (even though it's still freezing cold), or because I love my new dress or had a perfect skin day. Maybe I was just in an excellent mood because it was Friday!
Chanel Vitalumiere Aquan foundation in B10
Estee Lauder Double Wear Concealer in 01
MUFE Aquacream #5 as a blush (perfect long-lasting dupe for Nars Orgasm!)

(no powder, no setting spray - you see the foundation as it is)

Mac brow pencil in Fling and brow gel in Mink
Mac All That Glitters
Mac Satin Taupe
Bobbi Brown Sapphire Shimmer Ink gel
Hourglass Superficial Lash mascara

Givenchy Rouge Interdit in Candide Tangerine

Yes, I got a bit happy with the cream blush, but I don't care, I like it this way.

Essie Clambake (2 layers) - it's a jelly color and I love it!

And a quick look at the whole outfit, which I absolutely love! (Crappy pic taken in the work bathroom)

Any look you particularly liked this week?