November 30, 2011

How to: look polished when you're in a hurry.

A while ago I was talking with one of my good friends about how hard it can be to find time to put on makeup when you're a busy woman. She's a wife, a mommy of two, a full-time working director in a large company... but she loves makeup and she wants to be able to put on some before she hits the road in the morning.
I must say that even for my child-free self, this can be a problem sometimes too. When you have to leave the house at 6 in the morning for a far-away meeting where you need to look fresh, skipping makeup is not an option, but getting up even earlier to put it on doesn't sound too good either.

That's why I developped fast makeup strategies, that I shared with my friend and am now going to share with you.

Rule #1 : Base can be quickly done.
I love spending lots of time on my base but if I'm in a hurry, I want to be able to take care of it in less than 5 minutes. What you need to do is use as little as you can. Use a long lasting-concealer where needed and a lot of times, that's really all you'll need. Add a tinted moisturizer if you want, as this will kill 2 birds with one stone, evening out complexion and moisturizing your skin. If you really need foundation, applying with hands will be faster than using tools.

Rule #2 : Eyes don't require a lot of work.
My friend loves spending a lot of times on her eyes creating complex looks, but clearly in this situation, it's a luxury she can't afford. A wash of a pale color to brighten up the eye and some mascara really are all you need.
For me, since my eyes are a bit hooded, what I'll do is just use a bit of light brown cream shadow above the crease, just quickly blended with a finger, to create depth.
Alternatively, just even curl the lashes and add a bit of mascara, and nothing else at all on the lids: this will make you look more awake.

Keep the eye makeup for when you have time!

Rule #3: be strategic with color.
Since you're not playing up the eyes, you need to use color as a way to look polished without having much makeup on. That means that you cannot skip blush! I find that both cream and powder apply very well but if you have a long day ahead of you, cream might last longer (unless you're oily) and is easily apply with fingers so go for that.
Now the star in this quick makeup is the lip! Be it a gloss or a lipstick, pick a product that will give color to the whole face in combination with the blush. Make sure those 2 are in the same color family if you want to be sure that you make no mistake (rules are meant to be broken but exeperimentation isn't a good idea when you're in a rush).

Rule #4: what can be done outside of the house should be done outside of the house.
Keep a compact powder and a puff in your purse so you can powder in your car or on your way rather than  in your bathroom. Apply lip product in the car, too, that's what I do EVERY single morning.
Hey, that's only 2 mins, but there's no small gain!
If you can't do that during your commuting, work bathrooms work as well for those little operations.

And so here's the result, as I'm following my own advice today:

Ok, I spent an extra couple of minutes on the brows but really, that's a matter of personal preference and that's a little obsession of mine.

With this strategy, you can look fresh, awake and polished in less than 10 minutes - that has been tested and approved by my friend!

Lipstick featured: Illamasqua Maneater. Blush : Illamasqua Unrequited.

November 28, 2011

Bioderma Hydrabio Mask

Always hunting for the mask that will help my skin going through Winter with minimal dehydration issues, I've recently been trying this Bioderma Hydrabio hydrating mask.
I actually got this one for free last Summer when I purchased several other Bioderma products and so it had been hiding in a drawer since then, but now is the right time to experiment!

What the brand says:
  • Hydrabio Mask provides deep-down, long-lasting moisture during periods of extreme dehydration. The skin thus regains its comfort, softness, suppleness and radiance.
  • Patented Aquagenium® biological complex stimulates the skins cellular capabilities, re-training it to generate in depth, and to lock in on the surface, the moisture essential for its balance.
  • Smooth and wrapping texture leaves a pleasant feeling of softness and protection.
  • Hypoallergenic and non-comedogenic.
My experience with the product:

The product is a white rather unscented lotion, not a thick cream. It applies easily and on very dehydrated areas, it can tingle a bit. You can apply a thick layer and wait for 10 minutes, then wipe off the  excess with a tissue and go to sleep. You'll find that it forms a kind of film on the skin, and personally I haven't had anything to wipe off as my skin has absorbed most of the stuff.
You can use this daily for a week when you first start, so you can restore good skin, then use it twice a week.

I do agree that this does nourish the skin and is very well absorbed. However this won't heal your skin overnight - and mine wasn't even that damaged, I have gone through times where it was way worse than that. So you will definitely need to use it for several days to feel improvement.

The wrapping / film creating texture feels a bit weird but it makes your skin smoother when you wake up in the morning.

What I'm not too sure about, though, is te "re-training skin to generate moisture" thingy. As soon as I don't use this for a few days, my skin starts feeling tight again and dry patches reappear.

My conclusion:

I do think this is a very good product for sensitive, allergy-prone skins. On this level, I'd recommend it over Lierac Hydra Bio, for example. Same thing if you don't like scented products and want something really neutral.
It's also very easy to apply and not sticky, unlike the Lierac product. It feels much more "medical" on all aspects where Lierac feels very luxurious.
In terms of effectiveness, I would say it's quite good as long as you keep using it as often as you feel the need. It's no miracle solution that will heal your skin once and for all, but it's quite easy to use on a daily basis.

Bioderma Hydrabio Mask, 75ml, 38$ - 12€ (bad conversion factor strikes against US, this time).

And of course, the ingredient list for the science nerds:


November 24, 2011

If you don't have it, fake it.

Sometimes, I tend to act reasonable. Like, right now, mostly because of The Big Secret Project you cannot know about.
And so when I'm reasonable, I focus on not expanding my makeup collection any more.
However, it's always when I plan on not buying that I come across things that I desperately want: enters the current lemming, Guerlain Les Gris eyeshadow palette.

(NB: I stole this picture from my friend Martha over at Planet Martha - go visit and subscribe because she's beautiful and she has the prettiest makeup collection! And she has swatches of this gorgeous palette too!)

I have swatched this in store about a dozen times now. The blue is just gorgeous, and the silvery color on the left is one of the most beautiful and complex shades I have seen. (I do find all the shades were looking warmer on me than the do in the pictures, though.) Serious lemming here! BUT... I'm being reasonable. And so I haven't bought it (yet?) and I'm trying to dupe it with things that I already own.
Here goes:

Featured here: Nars Rajasthan (both colors, obviously) on the lid, and Mac Satin Taupe in the crease.  Very fine liner line was drawn with Gosh pencil in Majestic Sea.

Oops, blurry!

Fellow makeup addicts have told me that this is duping Les Gris perfectly, and I try to go by the rule that if only I can see the difference between 2 eyeshadows when it's applied, then I don't need both. That means that the lemming is killed... for now at least.

Other products featured:
Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua in B10+Illamasqua RLF in 133 on the cheeks
Illamasqua Ambition blush
Integrate brow liner in 002
YSL Faux-Cils mascara
Mac Fanfare lipstick

November 22, 2011

Lost Week-End FOTD

Taking a FOTD picture seems impossible these days. Not enough light, too much sunrise light, polluting artificial light... I just despise this season for this reason (amongst others, I don't enjoy being frozen either...).
Anyway, I more or less managed to photoshop enough of above's picture to give you a general idea of my face of the day.
Below picture is unretouched and natural light, though, and so you can see my Becca Lost Week-End palette (ha! how perfect is that for a Monday morning) in action!

Those eyeshadows are just so easy to apply, blend and wear!

Other products featured:
Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua B10 + Illamasqua Rich Liquid 133
Bobbi Brown creamy concealer in Warm Ivory under the eyes
Integrate brow liner in 002
Illamasqua Lover blush
Guerlain Les Perles Meteorites in 01
Chanel Le Crayon Waterproof in 20 Expresso
YSL Faux Cils in black
Dior Addict lipstick in MissDior

And for some reason, this look put me in a good mood - always a bonus on Mondays! :)

November 21, 2011

Nuxe Nirvanesque Eye Cream

A couple of months ago I was out of eye cream and decided to give a try to a new one for some change. You know how much I love Nuxe products and so I decided to get their Creme Nirvanesque.

This claims to "Address the first signs of aging in the eye contour area. Smoothes fine lines and wrinkles as well as works to diminish the appearance of dark circles. Eye contour is visibly more radiant. For all skin types."
I have very few fine lines around the eyes, but I want to keep them away and that's why I rely on eye creams. And of course I'm always happy if a product can diminish the appearance of my dark circles - so I thought this might be it for me.

The cream is lightweight, really non greasy and not sticky at all, but it's still a cream and not a gel. It's unscented, white, and it sinks in quickly after application. I can use it night and morning, before makeup, without any issue.

Now as for the effect: I don't know what effect it has or has not on fine lines. I haven't noticed any improvement but then again I don't have real issues, and it's impossible to know how much worse they would be if I wasn't using a product on them.
Regarding the dark circles, I unfortunately can't report any effect. The product description said that Corrective Pigments in the formula would visibly improve them but I don't notice anything.

So, all in all, it's a nice eye cream - no miracle, nothing extraordinary, but it does the job of a regular eye cream.

As usual, the ingredient list for the science nerds:


Nuxe Nirvanesque Eye Cream: € 19 - USD 29.

November 20, 2011


Blog Sales has been updated with new items and price for older items have been lowered.
Please go and have a look at it! It's all here!

November 18, 2011

The one where I try on 2 new products but my FOTD ends up being a huge fail

... so stay tuned, you might actually learn something from my experience!

First of all, you know how I loved my Bare Minerals High Shine in Glisten that I told you about yesterday. Well, I actually got another one at the same time, called Vapor, that I wanted to use today.

Well, first of all, from what I had seen online, I was hoping for it to be a greyish blue. Bummer, on me its blue blue, but then even blacks turn blue on me, so what was I hoping?

Secondly, I thought I could go and apply like I had done with Glisten: use applicator, put on lid while you hold a tissue on your cheek, blend and you're done.
HUGE mistake. My blending brush was already saturated in one swipe, and despite the tissue, this went everywhere. And once it's there, it doesn't leave, it just spreads. Don't even think about swiping with your finger, because you'll just make it worse and your finger will get very derty and spread the damage even more.

And so, for the first time in years, I've had to grab cottons, q-tips and Bioderma, and try and clean my mess with successive layers of makeup remover and concealer/foundation. Actually, if I hadn't been running late already, I would have redone my base entierly - I even wonder if that wouldn't have been easier.

So here I am with very bright blue eyes, hoping I don't look too 80's (but since a male colleague just noticed my makeup, I'm seriously worried...)... and of course ALL THE PICS I TOOK ARE DARK AND CRAPPY. When you fail, fail well and fast.

But wait... there's MORE!

I am also using a new mascara on these pics (not that you can see...)
I keep trying mascaras and keep telling you that nothing beats YSL Faux-Cils (click on the mascara tag in the side bar if you want proofs), yet I can't help but trying others just in case.
Subject of the current experiment: Bare Escentuals Magic Wand.

This is call a magic wand because it really is a wand, there's no brush. That made me really curious. The wand has little indents in it that coat your lashes with the product, but you need to work horizontally (parallel to lashes) without wiggling the wand, and you also need to coat the top side of the lashes. Curling is mandatory in my opinion, since this won't give any curled form to your lashes on its own like brushes generally do for me.

My opinion on this... the formula is nice, stays well, doesn't flake, removes easily. The color is very black, which is always good.
But this can seriously clump your lashes unless you use a spoolie to separate them. And, if you use a spoolie... IT DEFEATS THE PURPOSE OF NOT USING A MASCARA BRUSH!
And so, once again, this definitely doesn't compete with YSL Faux Cils, even by far.

So that's it for today, and it's probably a good thing that the week-end starts tonight.

(NB: both products were purchased from BeautyBay for 14£ each)

November 17, 2011

FOTD with Bare Minerals High Shine - Glisten

There are some brands that I always swatch in store, always look at on websites and then never buy anything from. Bare Minerals is one of them. Until recently I had never tried any product at all from the brand.
However, seeing blog reviews on their new High Shine eyeshadows made me want to give those gorgeous products a try. I got 2 of them, and the one I am trying on today is Glisten.

The thing that made me get this product is the fact that, despite the lose form, it's supposedly less messy than a lose eyeshadow in a pot form, thanks to the little applicator. And indeed I found this quite easy to apply, providing you do put a tissue on your cheeks while you do because there will be fall out.

Glisten is a gorgeous complex color. It looks like a gold with a rose undertone when you see it in the pot, but once applied it's even more complex than that - it makes me think of Max Vex on crack.
The shine factor obviously comes from the very shimmery (not glittery) formula so I would say that this might enhance fine lines on the lid, which can be a problem for some people.
I would also recommend you use a primer or base underneath so this lose powder has something to stick to - I used my beloved Nars primer.
I used Glisten all over the lid with Mac Plumage on the outer corners.

BM Glisten + Mac Plumage

As you can see, this can settle in lines/crease a bit but it's gorgeous nevertheless!

I think this kind of eyeshadow can easily be worn on its own with liner, thanks to its complexity. That's something I need to try, too!

Other products used:
Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua in B10
Estee Lauder Double Wear Concealer
Integrate brow pen in brown
Nars Penny Lane blush + Mac Stereo Rose MSF on top
Mac Brule on the brow bone
YSL Faux-Cils mascara in black
Dior Addict lipstick in 332 Stunning Beige

November 15, 2011

Bed Head Colour Control - Colour Goddess shampoo : a review

You will have noticed in my recent FOTD pictures that I have changed my color for Fall, going for a much richer copper shade (if you're wondering, that's L'Oreal Professionel Richesse in 6.40, Copper). I love those rich shades but they have the disadvantage that they get stripped off your hair with every single wash, and fade away really quickly, ending up looking dull and not very well groomed.

Now I am a bit obsessed with washing the day off my hair every night, even though everybody knows it's not a good idea, but I just can't get rid of that habit and when I don't wash my hair, I just feel like I should go hide in a corner the next morning and dry shampoo just doesn't cut it. So yeah, about 6 shampoos a week, that doesn't make my red color happy.

So when I went to my supplies store to get a tube of my color, I decided to pick a shampoo that would help it last longer and decided to go for this one.

What the brand says:

Colour Goddess Shampoo - Therapy for Racy Red Heads or Bodacious Brunettes. Battles Dulling & Fading Dryness.
Keep those rich caramel brown and spicy red hues as delicious as the day you put them in! Colour LockDown Technology protects colour vibrancy longer as it shields hair from untimely colour loss. The sulfate-free formula smoothes and imparts shine like no other while helping to protect against UV damage. A Toffee Heaven scent leaves hair smelling deliciously mouth-watering. 

What I have to say:

The consistency is a sheer taupe colored gel like formula that comes from a tube. A formula that is sulfate free is a good thing for colored hair, as those damn sulfates are contributing in the fading issue. However I had noticed with other sulfate free products that the lack of foam was making them hard to spread, and that my scalp didn't always agree with them. Now I haven't experienced any of these issues with this shampoo: despite the lack of sulfate, it still creates quite a lot of foam and is easy to spread all over my long hair. I haven't experienced any irritation nor flat sad hair with it.

The smell is absolutely heavenly! I would have described it as Crème Brulée, but I guess Toffee works too. I love it, as it's nice but not overpowering. It won't linger for too long once your hair is dry but if you use hot tools like a flat iron, it will be reactivated.

Now I am using the shampoo alone and not the conditioner, and I am usure about the "battles dryness" part. This shampoo does NOT make my roots or my scalp dry at all, but my ends, which were already dry , don't get much moisture from this shampoo alone. I will need to try the conditioner at some point but for now I can do with the moisturizing masks that I have at home.

As far as the color is concerned, I can say that usually, you do lose quite a lot of vibrancy after the 2-3 first shampoos as the dye will sometimes keep bleeding from your hair. That's the reason why I usually dye my hair with a color darker than what I really want: I know that after a few days it's faded to what I want to get and then stays quite the same for a few weeks (or the time it takes you to do 20 shampoos, if you're braver than me). With this shampoo, I still haven't noticed any loss of color or vibrancy after several shampoo, so I'm absolutely thrilled and I know already that the life of my color is going to be expanded - I just don't know by how much yet.

As a conclusion, I definitely recommend this product! If you're a blonde, there's a Color Combat range for you alled "Dumb Blonde - Therapy for Highlighted or Bleached Blonde Babes", not the nicest name, but if it works as well as the Colour Goddess, it's worth a try!

Bed Head Colour Combat Shampoo - 250ml tube - around €12 - $12.50

November 14, 2011

Perfume review: Serge Lutens Vitriol d'Oeillet

I recently stopped by the Serge Lutens counter to get back-ups of my beloved Bois Vanille and Five O'Clock, and the lady gave me a couple of samples of the new and much awaited fragrance release, Vitriol d'Oeillet.

Talk about a name, vitriolic Carnation. To me this sounded dark, possibly violent, and at the same time quite old-fashioned. Frankly, when was the last time you saw a carnation? You get the point.
Actually, launching a Carnation based perfume nowadays is quite a daring gesture, as there are IFRA restrictions on a lot of the ingredients that are needed to create the Carnation smell, so Mr Lutens is facing a big challenge here.
What he wanted to do with this fragrance was recreate a fragrance that would evoke 19th century dandies in a woody spicy way, and would be wearable for both men and women. He also wanted this Carnation to be angry, hence the vitriolic atmosphere.

When I first sprayed it on, my first reaction was: "Wow. Wow, wow, wow!" and you should read that in a claustrophobic tone, because I was actually feeling invaded and overwhelmed by the fragrance. These were the top notes, full of clove and all kinds of peppers, jumping at me in a quite agressive way.
That lady Carnation, she's not a femme fatale: she's wearing war paint with her stilettos, her teeth are deadly sharp and she's a killer. She's probably the cousin of another Lutens perfume called Tubereuse Criminelle (criminal tuberose).

The clove and pepper never disappear, but quite fast, the dry down reveals a subtle flowery note made of wallflower, lily and ylang-ylang. That's the most interesting moment for me, as the scent is complex and you have to stay focused to distinguish the flower behind the pepper but it's there, and it's beautiful. 

And then? Well, to my disappointment, nothing. I was expecting Vitriol d'Oeillet to linger on my skin for a long time but it just disappeared after a few hours. Sad conclusion.

So, my overall opinion on this... The name is justified by the opening, but those top notes don't stay violent for more than a few minutes. The dry-down is less old-fashioned than I expected, as this fragrance never fully turns into a floral and stays a strong woody spicy one till the end because it is loaded with black pepper, pink pepper, pimento and clove that will just not go away. But there are lovely flower notes somewhere behind them, and they're not as old-fashioned as I expected them to be. And, that is an important point for me, I don't think Vitriol d'Oeillet would be bothering to the people around you as it's not strong to the point that it invades the whole room.

If this fragrance weren't disappearing so fast on me, I would consider it as a special occasion/ evening out perfume. I think it would also be beautiful on women layered with something more floral, and I definitely think that this is a great fragrance for men when worn on its own.

November 13, 2011

Random Sunday In's & Out's

I have not shared ins and outs for such a long time, I thought it might be good to write an updated one this week end.


My cognac boots, I have been wearing them non stop for the past month.

Red hair. It's high maintenance and I'm not sure I'll keep up with that for more than a few months, but that's a bit of a statement color in those gloomy Fall days and I like that!

Good skin days. As the cold hasn't striked too much yet, my skin hasn't freaked out so far this Fall, or then only for a couple of days, and I'm enjoying good skin and very light coverage bases - providing I get enough hours of sleep, of course.

Fringe. I LOVE that kind of mystery-sci-fi genre, I discovered the series last Summer, watched all the first three seasons on DVD and now wait impatiently for every new episode of season 4 to be available on the internet every Saturday. Plus, Anna Torv is beautiful and Joshua Jackson is serious eye candy, that doesn't hurt either.

The Secret Project.  I won't tell you more about this before it really starts and that's not before next Spring, but until then, I have to seriously cut down the spendings and will have less fancy novelties to review on here. But that's for the best! And since two of my BFF's are involved in the same project, they're on the same low-buy boat and we're trying to support each other in not spending too much! It's hard being a makeup addict :)


The serious lack of daylight, particularly in the morning when I have the opportunity to take FOTD pictures. And then when I leave work, night has fallen already - not my favorite time of the year, I can tell.

Finding outfits. As days get colder, I find it harder to create new outfits everyday that will be a/ in style, b/fitting my mood, c/work appropriate and d/keeping me warm! It's a daily morning dilemma that strikes back every year and that I really don't enjoy.

The lack of energy that goes with shorter days. As soon as it gets dark, your body produces melatonin, which tells your brain that it's time to go to bed. Apparently my melatonin production is hyperactive because these days I'd love to go to bed at 7PM, and finding the motivation and energy that is necessary to work out several times a week is really, really difficult. Eating, on the other hand, is very appealing. No wonder it's that time of the year where I always put on a few unwanted pounds (and that's a big OUT too!). So now is the time to keep up with the good working out resolutions and the healthy diet!

What are your current in's and out's? Please share in the comments!

November 12, 2011

Looks of the week - variations around the same theme

Fall is really there now, most days this week were gloomy, foggy and generally grey, which just makes me crave for some warmth and color. I have mostly been wandering around bronzy or gold shades all weeks, often with a lip variation.

Day 1 :  gold and bronze from the UD 15th Anniversary palette (that's Chase and Deeper combined) and my Illamasqua Precision Liner in Alchemy (gold) under the lower lashline.

Here I kept the lip toned down, wearing an old favorite, Mac Charismatic.

Day two: gold, brown and winged liner with a red lip.

Yes, I'm that awfully pale, especially in cool Wintery light.
I used my UD Naked Palette this time, Half Baked on the lid and Buck in the crease, with Mac Blaktrack fluidline. Lipstick is Guerlain Rouge G in Geisha.

Day 3: I wanted to keep the eye quite similar to the day before (I just added a bit of Creep to make the crease a bit cooler), but change the lip to a much cooler shade, that is my favorite fuchsia lipstick, Mac Girl About Town.

Different weather makes my skintone look completely different too.
I have also re-dyed my hair copper, which I love, but is quite high maintenance as the red tones fade away rather quickly. I need to tell you about a new shampoo I'm using to keep the color vibrant, though, so expect that review for next week.

Happy week-end, ladies!

November 10, 2011

30-30: the final one, #30

30. Pictures of yourself with and without wearing makeup.

Brace yourself, ladies, here's me sans makeup!

See, color wise, my own face doesn't match my own neck?!

I know, I can't complain too much -  a bit of uneven skin tones, dark circles, some pores - no big deal.
I'll admit that this pic was taken on a week-end, though, so my dark circles aren't as bad as during the week since I've had enough sleep!

And well, you've seen me with makeup on a million times! :-)

That's all, folks!

30-30 #29

29. Do you like wearing liquid liner? If so, what's your favorite?

As I said on question #25, I prefer gel liner. 
I have lots of liquid liners, from Gosh, Mac, Lancôme... The one I prefer, if I use liquid, is the Estee Lauder Pure Color as the formula is nice and very long lasting, and the tip is nice for precise application.

November 8, 2011

30-30 #28

28. Favourite makeup remover?

I don't even need words to answer this one.



30-30 #27

27. Favourite powder?

I rarely powder my face, actually, I am totally over the 100% matte skin and prefer some dewyness. If I powder it, it's either because I wear a very dewy foundation (like Becca Luminous Skin Perfector) or I'll just put a light dusting on the T-zone on an oily day. I then love Becca Fine Lose Finishing Powder, which I wear in Sesame.

However, for touch-ups or travelling, a compact product is easier and I have been using Mac Mineralize Skin Finish Natural (in LIght-Medium) for years on that purpose.

30-30 # 26

26. Do you wear makeup everyday?

Not every day, but most days. Usually on week-ends I spend one day without nothing on my skin so it gets a break. Well, I don't know if my skin gets a break, it's actually me who gets to be lazy and not care :)
Other than that, yes, I wear a full face of makeup 5-6 days a week, purely because I enjoy putting it on.

November 4, 2011

30-30 # 25

25. Favourite eyeliner?

Definitely gel liner! I love the Bobbi Brown ones but the best formula I have used so far is Clinique, which unfortunately isn't available in my country (but I'll find ways!).

30-30 #24

24. Which do you like: cream, matte, powder, sheer, or shimmer eye shadows?

I love them ALL! Cream is easy for quick looks, powder is great to create blended smokey looks... I do like matte a lot but I find them hard to wear them on their own, so I always combine with a bit of shimmer.
The only things I don't like about an eye shadow is: a sheer pigmentation and chuncky glitter that falls out. I much prefer to have enough pigmentation and apply sparingly and blend, than to have to add tons to build up color. And the glitter is a nightmare, I just can't stand all the Midnight Cowboy series from Urban Decay, for example - every time I tried using them, I could still find glitter in all my brushes 2 days later. Not good.

30-30 #23

23. Favourite eye shadow palette and blush palette?

I think it's a very cruel question to ask to a girl who owns hundreds of eyeshadows. I am tempted to say that my favorite palette would be my custom made Mac neutrals palette but I guess that's not the spirit of the question. So the one palette I take with me when I go away always being UD Naked, I guess it's the answer. I have the version that comes with the double liner, which is helpful too, so I only need to take a separate mascara and I'm good.

I don't own any blush palette, if I had to pick just a few blushes to take along, I would pick Illamasqua Lover and Unrequited.

November 3, 2011

News from the exercising front

A few months ago, I told you about my favorite exercising DVD's and videos. 
Since the month of September, I have however lacked time and haven't been exercising as much as I should. I have been keeping up with the Bollywood workouts during the week-ends but I was feeling like I needed something new and maybe a bit more challenging.

That's how I came across Tracy Anderson DVD's.
Now, if you google reviews on Tracy Anderson methods, you'll find opposite opinions, and I would like to explain which workouts I like and what I like about them.

First of all, a bit of background. Tracy is a dancer, she's very petite, and she says she had the hardest time getting the right body when she was studying dance because she couldn't get rid easily of her extra pounds, and when she would work out a lot, she would just get very muscular and that's not the kind of looks that a dancer is expected to have. So she did a lot of research and came up with her own method, that consists of cardio workouts and specific workouts with repetitions of quite unconventional moves.

I actually like the way she looks, e.g. not like a body builder but like a very fit and lean woman. That's the kind of body I want, I don't care for fitness competition looks.

Tracy says her workouts are meant to create lean defined bodies while avoiding bulk. That is also why when you do use weights in her workouts, they're never heavier than 3 pounds. 

Now, Tracy has a whole lot of DVD's available but the main complain lots of people have about them is that she doesn't give a lot of instructions (Tracy says you stayed focused better if you aren't listening to someone at the same time) or doesn't deconstruct the moves. That can make things very difficult for a beginner. However, some or her DVD's are very well explained and these are the ones I use.

First part of the method consists in cardio workouts. I use the Dance Cardio DVD. I like this one because it's in 3 parts: first Tracy explains step by step all the choreographies, in a very detailed manners and at a slower tempo. Then you see her dance all the choreography from the front, and then again from the back, as if you were behind her in a dance class. That is great for someone like me who can barely tell the right from the left :)
This is extremely fast and intense, but the musics are nice and dancing is probably the only kind of cardio that can keep me interested for 45 min on a regular basis (well, I can't do the whole 45 min yet but you see what I mean).

Second part of the method is the Mat Workout. Here you will do repetitions of various exercises for your arms, legs and abs. There are standing exercises and others you do laying on a yoga mat.
I find the legs and arms exercises very effective (some of the arms exercises are done with a 3 pounds weight), this DVD seriously caused me to feel pain in muscles I didn't know existed.

There aren't lots of instructions given on here but since there are a lot of repetitions, watching the video is pretty self-explanatory.

You can buy these 2 DVD's, as well as a third one with more cardio, in a box set or separately like I did.
However, browsing through reviews on the web, I read about another DVD that is supposed to be a very good one, and it's the Post Pregnancy workout.

Nope, I haven't had a secret baby, but this DVD is a killer for abdominals! 20 minutes out of the 45 are pure abdominals, then there are some butt/legs exercise that will also engage your abs, and then some arm exercises that are very similar to the ones in the Mat Workout.
The atmosphere of this DVD is very soft, the background music is actually a selection of well-known classical pieces and I find that really relaxing and it's really helping when you're trying to focus on doing your crunches properly! So I actually prefer this one to the Mat Workout since it's more focused on the abs. It's also rather easy to follow despite minimal instructions.
Now in all honesty I don't know how a young mom can keep up with that routine since I do find it very hard myself, but it does work incredibly well and you will definitely feel it in your body the next day!

Tracy recommends doing both the cardio and the mat 4 to 6 times a week, which in all honesty I don't know how I would fit that in my daily routine, especially as, if I work after 7PM, it totally messes with my sleeping schedule. 
But my plan is to go through Winter with these workouts so I can do them integrally by Spring - it's probably better than being a potato couch from November to March then panicking when it's time to put on my Summer skirts again! We'll see how that goes...

Note: you can watch demos, workouts and tips on the Go Tracy youtube channel.