December 30, 2011

What Makeup Means To Me

The lovely Dain from the Ars Aromatica blog recently wrote on what makeup is to her. That was definitely a very well-written and thought-proving post. It lead to a private conversation between us, even more interesting that we have different views on the topic, and so it got me thinking a little bit more and I decided it would be nice to end this year sharing my view with you all.

Unlike Dain, who owns a very well edited makeup collection with a small amount of things she knows work perfectly for her, I own a lot of makeup. There are several reasons for this. First of all, I love products. I rarely talk about my job on here but I’m a Product Manager (not in the cosmetics industry, mind you!). Conceiving products, looking at what exists, comparing, fine-tuning ingredients list... that’s a part of my job I enjoy a lot, and I realize I love doing the same thing with makeup. New products keep me excited because they mean new concept, new formulation, new colors... the getting them, testing them and reviewing them is probably half of the makeup excitement for me.
I must say, though, that I part very easily with anything that doesn’t look good on me or doesn’t meet my expectations. But since more than often, I do like what I get (I always buy with the intention of wearing and so never purposedly get something I know won’t work for me), my collection has expanded quite a bit over the years. That’s ok, it’s my hobby, it’s where my “fun” money goes, I’m happy with that situation. When I notice that I have too much to remember what I own, I go through everything and get rid of what I never use. It’s not that I don’t like the stuff, it’s just I have other stuff I like more.

But for me, there’s more to makeup than the product aspect.
If you think of it, there are very few things in life that we can do the way we want, or that are virtually free of consequences. Of course, I know my life is easy compared to the life of people who don’t know what they’re going to eat today - let’s compare what is comparable. We might only have “first world problems”, there are a lot of things to swallow in this life. I often feel that the system in which we live wants us all to be square and to fit in. Get up on time, do your job, here’s what you should eat or not, wear or not, look like or not... It takes a lot of strenght to resist that all. It would take even more strength to try and change that. I don’t know if I have that kind of strenght. But with makeup, I have a little space that belongs to me, in which I can be creative and different, and it’s free of consequences because it washes off.
I’ve gone through many things looking like the perfectly square thing I was expected to be, but wearing an accent nailpolish on one finger, or a fuchsia lipstick, I knew that I was still myself inside of that polished image. It was like a breathe of fresh air and freedom inside of the system.

I know it sounds like it’s just an image thing - that’s a topic on which Dain and I disagreed. I think image is important. Not because of others or because of all the power image has been given in this society. But because I think that someone’s image is a projection of their identity. (even when you don't care about your image, that says something about your identity).
Identity is a complex thing, it’s full of paradoxes and weirdness. A life isn’t enough to understand who your self really is, and I think it’s an illusion to believe that you can, at any point in your life, be fully understood by anybody else.
But the image, the image is more simple. It can’t reflect, let alone explain a whole complex identity. But it can project a little part of it. And if you want to, it will show the world a little bit of who you are (they might not understand it, but that’s another story). And I find that this is very easy to do with makeup.

I can wear a red lipstick today just because I feel like I need color in my life, and that just says a little something of my mood for the day.
I can wear the same lipstick tomorrow and pair it with black winged liner, because I feel pin-upish for the day, and that’s another little something said about my self.
And I can wear it again as my war paint if feel I need extra strength on a very tough day. People won’t know, but I will, and that’s all what matters.

I could also write on how makeup is a great confidence booster. In some ways it is, and weirdly makeup helped me learn more about my features and what I liked in me, so now I feel perfectly confident without makeup on. But I don’t see completely makeup as something to rely on to prettify an imperfect face. I can actually chose to try a makeup look that I know won’t do anything for me - just because I like the look of it, or the image it projects. Or more generally, just because I want to try something new without having to deal with any consequence. The worse that can happen is me having to remove it and to do it again.

A recreation of a Brody Dalle makeup tutorial by Pixiwoo.
Not what suits me the best, but interesting to try for the sake of it.

I don’t hide behind makeup - maybe some people do, but that’s not what I’m looking for. And so, even though I know what works for me and what I prefer in terms of textures, colors and finishes, I am still free to decide to go another way and I enjoy that sometimes.

That freedom makeup gives me, it can give everybody. Women, men, young, old, with any kind of body shape, any kind of budget. Makeup is virtually accessible to anybody, so why not enjoy it?

I thought it was interesting to write about this to end the year. Of course, feel free to comment.
Thanks a lot to everyone who’s been reading this, and reading my blog in general - this is very much appreciated.
I wish you all a happy start of 2012.

December 28, 2011

11 Products in 2011

I think that last year I came up with my top picks for every category of products and for every brand I use, but this year, really, I'd be saying a lot of the same things again and I don't think it's very interesting.
So instead I'm gonna do the "11 products in 2011" tag that has been floating around, so I can focus on the things I really discovered and like during this year.

Let me introduce, in no particular order...

1. Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua

Best foundation I've used this year - you can find my review here.

2. Japanese brow liquid liner pencils.

Can't live without them anymore, they stay on so much better than powder or pencil!

3. Cleansing Oils and OCM.

Even if I still prefer Bioderma for the eyes, I cannot be without cleansing oil anymore!

4. Origins Vita Zing.

The only tinted moisturizer you'll see me leaving the house wearing :) Review here.

5. Dior Addict Lipsticks.

Comfortable, moisturizing, colorful with just a little bit of shine. The grown up version of a gloss!

6. Chanel Illusion d'Ombre cream shadows

Long lasting, easy to use, great texture and beautiful result - something that really was missing in the High End ranges!

7. Urban Decay 15th Anniversary palette.

UD released quite a lot of palettes this year, but for me this is the most interesting, with its perfect mix of neutrals and brighter colors - definitely the one I've used the most this year!

8. Real Techniques by Samanth Chapman brushes

I absolutely love my Real Techniques brushes, particularly the ones for the face (even though the eyes ones are quite nice as well!) - I think it's fantastic that you can now get a collection of brushes of excellent quality for an affordable price. Review here.

9. Dior Skin Nude Aurora bronzer

For me, the bronzer of the year - too bad it was limited edition.

10. Clinique Gel Liner

Nothing new under the sun but due to limited availability, I had never tried this one before and I do think it's the best gel liner formula on the market!

11. Becca Loose Powder

The best powder I've tried, I haven't looked back since I've had this one, even though I used to empty Mac MSFN's compacts! It gives the perfect amount of coverage and doesn't make your face look cakey or flat matte.

What were your 11 favorite for this year? Feel free to share!

December 26, 2011

PS : the Christmas manicure

... that I forgot to show you!

Illamasqua Scarab (2 coats)
Sephora By OPI Nail Polish Only Gold For Me (Glitter Top Coat)

Christmas day FOTD

I hope all of you who celebrate had a great Christmas day! I was very unsure of what to wear until the last minute and ended up doing this.

Products featured:

Rouge Bunny Rouge mattifying primer
Chanel Vialumiere Aqua - B10 (applied with a Real Techniques angled foundation brush for more coverage)
Bobbi Brown concealer in warm ivory
Guerlain Meteorites #01
Illamasqua Ambition blush
Kate brow liner 002
On the eyes: Urban Decay Wreckage + Hustle
Mac Blacktrack fluidline
Lashes are Eyelure Girls Aloud - Nicola
Lipstick = Mac Fanfare

In case you're wondering, I just set my hair on heat rollers, sprayed it, then pinned up the front part, it took about 2 mins to style after the heat rollers were taken out.
I couldn't take a decent outfit pick, but basically I'm wearing black boots, black skinny jeans, a black blouse with lace and black glitter, and that gorgeous taupey purpley velvet jacket that dresses up pretty much anything.

What did you wear for Christmas?

December 23, 2011

Quick and easy Christmassy look

I'm not really in the Christmas mood. Correction: I'm not in it at all.
Reason #1 is that I'm burried under work, and it is going to stay this way pretty much till the end of January, so for me Christmas is a regular week-end in the middle of 2 hectic weeks, excepted I have to celebrate it on top of doing the laundry and the grocery shopping. So in the end, it's actually a week-end without the relaxing factor. I lose.
Reason #2 is that the weather is just not so December-like that it doesn't feel like Christmas at all. With 9°C/48°F outside at night time, my Winter coat is actually too warm.

So I decided that, to cheer myself up and putting myself in the right mood for this week-end, I'd do Christmas makeup this whole week at work. Think gold, and glitter. (And you could throw red in the mix if you wanted).
I came up with this one that I particularly liked and thought I'd share with you, because it's pretty easy to do.

The key to this look: using a gold glitter liner on top of a black liner. I used Illamasqua Precision Liner in Alchemy (Winter 2010), but you can find glitter liners in many brands, even drugstore ones (Gosh has a nice selection).

Others product used:
Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua B10
Bobbi Brown concealer - Warm Ivory
Kate Brow Liner 002
Nars Laguna bronzer
Illamasqua Ambition Blush
Mac Femme-Fi and Mystery on the eyes
Mac Blacktrack fluid line in black
YSL Faux Cils in black
Rouge Bunny Rouge Glassy Gloss - Sweet Excesses in Jungle Fudge* on the lips - but a red lipstick would work really well too

Speaking of gold liners, I also own the Chanel Or one from the current Holiday collection.

There are quite a few differences between these 2 gold liners. The Chanel one is an opaque, solid gold color and the applicator is a very fine brush. There's not glitter in this one.
The Illamasqua Alchemy liner is a mix of gold liquid with lots of gold glitter, and it comes with a felt tip applicator.

The result they give is very different: I find the Illamasqua one much more dramatic, not only because of the glitter, but because the overall payoff is better. I thought the Chanel one, since it's opaque, would have more payoff but when I wear it I find it much more discrete.

Do you have an easy look for the Holidays?

* received for free as a gift.

December 22, 2011

Battle of the mattifying primers - Review #2: Rouge Bunny Rouge Metmorphoses

The Product.
Rouge Bunny Rouge Metamorphoses contains 29 ml, almost 1 Oz.
It is sold on Zuneta and costs about USD 69. *

The Packaging.
The product is in a beautiful transparent frozen glass bottle, with a black airless pump and dispenser, and a black cap. It does look and feel very luxurious.

This is a bit of a thicker formula but it spreads very easily. It's not really a gel but it feels dryer than a lotion, and is very smooth upon application -almost slightly powdery feeling I would say.
You do feel the difference on your skin right after application, as it is very soft and definitely creates an intermediate layer between your skin and your makeup. I found it worked quite well on smoothing dry areas.
I didn't find this drying at all, which was something I initially feared. It didn't make my dryer areas worse either. However, it did create a really matte base. Not completely flat but well matte.
For those that are sensitive to smells, this product has absolutely none. It does, however, contain silica, to which some people can be sensitive.

Ingredients list.

The results.
You can find the full testing protocol here.

This is right after application of the primer and of my base.

Here we are a few hours later. I've done grocery shopping, an abs workout (no big sweating involved but that's still some level of activity). Obviously I haven't touched up anything, only added liner, mascara and a tad bit of blush on the back of my cheeks.
We can see a tiny bit of discoloration and natural oil reappearing around my nose but for the rest, the result is still pretty much flawless.

We're now looking at the right side of the picture, and it's quite hard to tell any difference with the other side.
What I did notice in real life is that the other side of my face had a little bit of luminosity reappearing after a few hours while this one hadn't.

Again, my end of the day pic is taken with a daylight lightbulb and no flash.
You can see that my makeup has moved around a bit on the nose and mouth area but the rest is still quite ok after 12 hours of wear.
That is, in fact, the same kind of issue I noticed with the other side of my face.

An very good product! It is expensive but the packaging is very nice, so this is a bit of a treat (like the whole Rouge Bunny Rouge range is!). Although the difference in result with the Illamasqua primer isn't big at all, I prefer this RBR formula because it feels dryer and smoother upon application. I also enjoy the airless pump. I would say that if you can afford the high price mark, this is definitely a great product.

* I was offered this product by Zuneta for review consideration. I am however not compensated in any way to write this review and this is my honest opinion.

December 21, 2011

Battle of the mattifying primers - Review #1 : Illamasqua Matt Primer

The Product.
The Illamasqua Matt Primer contains 1 Oz. / 30 ml and costs £19,50 - USD 30.
It has a SPF of 20.

This is a transparent plastic bottle with a nose that allows an easy pouring of the product. Being plastic, the bottle is quite light. The cap is square and you can store the product on it.

This is a rather liquidy product, easy to pour, it makes me think of a lotion. It has the typical Illamasqua vanilla smell (think Mac lipsticks, if you want) but that fades very quickly.
Since it's quite liquidy, it's easy to spread but it does feel a tad bit sticky, unlike a silicone-rich gel formula would be, for example.

Ingredients list.
Aqua (Water), Nylon-12, Octocrylene, Homosalate, Cyclopentasiloxane, Glyceryl Stearate, Glycerin, Octyldodecanol, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Butyl Methoxydibenzoylmeth-Ane (Avobenzone), Ceteareth-12, Ceteareth-20, Tocopheryl Acetate, Phenoxyethanol, Xanthan Gum, Cetearyl Alcohol, Methylparaben, Allantoin, Cetearyl Glucoside, Ethylparaben, Propylparaben, Parfum (Fragrance).

The results.
You will find my detailed testing protocol here. I was wearing the Illamasqua primer on the right side of my face. Here are a few pictures taken through the day.

This first picture was taken right after application of the primer and of my base. As you can see, when i say I have redness on my cheeks, I'm not lying: this isn't blush!!
Foundation was easy to apply, not as sliding as on a silicon base because of the slight tackyness of the product, but it didn't make my foundation blotchy in anyway.

Here we are after a few hours of wear that included going to run errands and doing and abs workout. Since I got out of the house, I had added liner, mascara and a tad bit of blusher on the back of my cheekbones - but obviously no powder and no base touch-ups at all.
Even if some areas are getting a tad bit oilier (and I'm not even saying oily, just slightly shiny due to natural oils), the overall result is still pretty good.

And as you can see, at this stage, there is no evident difference between this side of my face (on the left of the picture) and the other side. In real life I would say that there was a slight difference, this side being a very tiny bit more luminous (I couldn't even say glowy, let alone oily!) after a few hours, but nothing worrying.

Unfortunately, since the days are currently so short, taking good pictures of my face at the end of the day was quite difficult. So here's one taken without flash but with daylight light bulb directed at my face: that's the best I could get.

We are now a good 12 hours after application. As you can see, redness has started to reappear around my nose area. We can say that my foundation has slightly disappeared around places, wich is hard to avoid after 12 hours. But you can also see that shine is avoided on most of my face - my eyes don't count since I didn't prime that area, but this way they're also a good comparison between primed and unprimed skin!

I would say that this definitely offers good value for money. It will provide a smooth base for your makeup and increase its longevity, keeping most of the shine at bay. I would totally recommend it!

December 20, 2011

Battle of the mattifying primers : Rouge Bunny Rouge versus Illamasqua

You might already know that I'm not using primers on a daily basis. I'm rather a fan of wearing as less layers as I can and I generally put my foundation directly on my skin.

I do, however, like to use a primer under particular circumstances: a night out, an exceptionally long day,  a particularly hostile weather when I'm going to be outside, or a skin that isn't agreeing with me and does require some buffering layer between itself and makeup. 

I recently got the Rouge Bunny Rouge Metamorphoses Mattifying Primer from Zuneta*, and wanted to test it, but I also have owned the Illamasqua Matt Primer since I went to London in May, and I never really tried it extensively nor reviewed it. So I thought that, beside a review of the two products, you might be interested in having a detailed comparison of both products.

And so I did a little experiment: I wore both primers on the same day, each being used on one side of my face.

On the right of the picture, Rouge Bunny Rouge Metamorphoses, and on the left, Illamasqua Matt Primer.

In order to be accurate in testing how well they both work, I used the same base products that I usually use without any primer: Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua on the whole face, a bit of Illamasqua Rich Liquid Foundation on the cheeks to hide redness, and Bobbi Brown creamy concealer under the eyes.

However, I didn't powder any part of my face, nor did I use Fix+ to set my makeup. This way, I could really see how matte or shiny any area would be with the primer underneath.
On this picture I am not wearing any blush or any other makeup than my base, so you can truly see the effect.

The programme for that day included running errands, doing an abs workout (not the kind where you sweat like crazy, but still, it's a workout) and my regular computer activities. A nap might have happened as well. Normal activity level, I would say.

So, if you're interested, please stay tuned for the detailed reviews of the products, as well as through-the-day comparison pictures.

Find the Illamasqua primer detailed review here!
Find the Rouge Bunny Rouge primer detailed review here!

* This was provided for free for reviewing consideration, but of course that won't impact my opinion and I'm not compensated to review it... bla bla bla, you know the story.

December 18, 2011

Santa came a bit early

My girlfriends know me well...

and they also know what's in my bathroom or in my wishlist!

Ok this one is a gift from me to myself. I'm very happy it reunited me
with Instagram, which didn't work so well on my old iPhone 3G.

T-shirt from ThinkGeek
iPhone 4S from... well, Apple
Huge pile of makeup and skincare from her.

Have you received some Christmas presents already?

December 13, 2011

Evening looks call for red lips!

I had some work dinner to go to this week, but it was a bit of a challenge on the look front because it was happening right after a very long day of meeting followed by team building outdoors activities, and I wasn't too sure how much time I'd have to switch to a more evening appropriate version of me.

Lucky me, this past week-end, the beautiful Ruth Crilly aka A Model Recommends released a new video on 3 ways to wear red lipstick. You know how much I love my statement lips, and I surely believed that it was an appropriate look for an evening out. But what I found even more interesting was the fact that her look #1 was very simple, easy to do, but still  impactfull. So I decided I'd go for that one : an understated neutral face and eye with some liner and the red lip, associated with sleek pulled back hair - an easy look when you don't have the time to wash your hair, let alone give yourself a fancy brushing! The makeup could easily be done by transforming my day makeup if needed - lucky me I had enough time to redo it completely.

And so here's the final result! (in harsh hotel bathroom light, though)

Products in action here:

  • Clarins Beauty Flash Balm as a primer - lovely stuff
  • Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua in B10 + Illamasqua RLF in 133 also used as concealer
  • Dior Aurora bronzer
  • Rouge Bunny Rouge Starina blush (very neutral matte brownish shade).
  • On the eyes: my beloved Chanel Le Crayon Yeux Waterproof liner in 020 Expresso, on top of a wash of peach and a bit of light brown in the crease. YSL Faux Cils in black.
  • On the lips, which are the focus point here: Mac Lady Bug applied on top of lipbalm
Of course, with such a strong look and the hair, if you can avoid wearing glasses, that would be nice, so I throwed in contacts for good measure.

In my opinion, this in addition to a black outfit was definitely polished enough for the occasion, and really not too much work nor time to achieve.

I really recommend (no pun intented) that you check amodelrecommends'video on the red lipstick topic, as now is the season to wear your red proudly!

December 10, 2011

FOTD experiment of this past week (Asian inspired)

So not too long ago, my friend Kate (aka The Driveller) posted this picture on our favorite makeup forum.

Kate and I share a love for anything bold, so a look consisting mainly and a heavy application of lavenderish pink blush and nothing else wasn't even that scary to us.

I decided I needed to try it and adapt it to myself so I could wear it to work - no less.
Turns out that a/ I really liked it, b/ it's fast and easy to do so c/ I ended up wearing it all week (so much for telling you about my makeup rut in a previous post: I left it behind but I'm sure it will be back soon).
However, and that's my d/, this look is super hard to photograph because the light washes out the cheek color a lot and leaves you looking like a corpse when really, in real life, it's just so pretty.

But with several attempts and a bit of photoshop, I think I now have enough material to demonstrate.

Version 1 : pretty in pink - that's directly inspired from that pic.

How to get the look?

  1. Absolutely flawless skin is a must since there won't be much color to bring the attention elsewhere! You want to look dewy and airbrushed, there's no other way to say it. I'm not a fan of using primers all the time but here you definitely need to prep your skin, at least with a good moisturizer.
    I used Nars Sheer Glow in Gobi, Illamasqua RLF 133 everywhere I needed to hide redness or pigmentation and Bobbi Brown concealer in Warm Ivory under the eyes.
    At this stage, you just look dead. Don't be scared, go on.
  2. If you need to do anything to your brows, do it now. I used Integrate brow liner in 002.
  3. Bring definition to the eyes but make sure they look like you used nothing on them. I like doing that by using a champagne cream shadow all over the lid (here it is a Shiseido one in H1, now discontinued) and a bit of light brown matte shadow above the crease to create depth - I used Rouge Bunny Rouge in Solstice Halcyon, it's barely there but it does the job.
  4. Make sure you tightline (= line between your upper lashes) or your lashes will look miserable with this pale background. I used Mac Sense of Style khol (LE), then added my YSL Faux-Cils mascara.
  5. Now is time for the blush. I like to think that a slightly transparent but very glowy one is easier to wear than a full color like they used on the editorial picture. Since the color is more sheer and diffuses the light, you can get along with a heavy and large application. I used Givenchy Prisme Glow Blush in Lune Rosee (LE, current season) applied in round motions with a Mac 109.
  6. Add a glossy pink lip (matte won't work with this look): Dior Addict in It Pink

And voilà:

Version 2 : Pretty in Apricot.

Since I can only get along with such a cool pale pink look in gloomy cool Winter light. Comes Spring, this will be unwearable for me. So I tried a warmer version that could be more suitable for warm skintones.

Everything is identical but I used Mac Rubenesque as a lid color, Dior Addict in Miss Dior on the lips, and the star blush in this look is Mac Stereo Rose MSF.
You can see the glow pretty well in this picture, but I can assure you it doesn't look too glowy nor greasy in real life.

I would say that this is an easy look to put on: it's fast (only the base can take a bit of time to ensure flawless face), it doesn't require many products, and any Mac MSF or Bobbi Brown Shimmer Brick or similar stuff will work to achieve the cheek effect.
It's cute for daytime, it might even look natural and polished enough for a day date and it's definitely work appropriate.

On the other hand, it's actually not the easiest look to wear. If you have problematic skin, concealing will be a nightmare. If you're under harsh light, like work neons, you will look sick. At night time, you'd be completely washed out unless you'd add liner and a more vibrant lip.

For me, I will definitely keep this in my arsenal of looks for days where I am lazy or late, or need to look very natural.

December 4, 2011

Sunday Night Rambling

In no particular order...

1. Attended a congress with lots of great speakers and heard a fantastic talk by Dan Ariely on how our brain tricks us all the time and how our decisions are made by the context in which the choice is presented. That is worth for very important life decisions as well as for purchasing decisions. I know, it sounds nerdy, but it's really fascinating. More about his book Predictably Irrational on here.

2. I dropped my beloved MacBook. First time it happens to me in 8 years of owning MacBooks. The Apple gods weren't with me to give a "free of consequence pass" just for this once : my screen is broken (some areas of it, at least) and it's the most expensive part to replace. If any of you have experience in DIY screen replacement, I'm all ears.

3. I finally found a fitness blog that doesn't spread nutritional nonsense, so go read it, it's the Fitnessista. I am very upset about all the bulls**t that can be found on the internet when it comes to fitness and nutrition. No, you shouldn't do 3-4 liters of water a day, because that will damage your kidneys, I know because my doctor freaked out and screamed when I told him about that. And yes you do need sugar. Real sweet sugar. It's the only fuel that your brain accepts, cutting on it completely is irresponsible. Do I need to go on? Anyway, hop over the Fitnessista for real smart advice.

4. Heaving heard that Google Connect wouldn't allow us anymore to follow blogs that aren't hosted by Blogger, I added a BlogLovin button on the bottom bar of the blog - just in case you want to follow me through another system than Google.

5. Laura posted about Makeup Ruts, right when I noticed being in a makeup rut myself. Not that this is a bad thing, it's just that it gets harder to post interesting FOTD pictures on here when all I do is a variation of the same look composed with one of the 3.876 similar eyeshadows that I own and rotate.

But that's ok, there's nothing wrong with makeup ruts, actually a lot of people love them - just have a look at the comments on Laura's post to get convinced and... get new lemmings from the other's ruts :)

Happy Sunday!

December 1, 2011

November Favorites

Oh My Goodness, the year is almost over, I can't even believe that!
Even though the weather is generally gloomy and sometimes cold, this Fall has really behaved like one, instead of blasting us with snow in October already, like it did last year. Which means that for once, I got to really enjoy Fall clothes, colors and products for the whole month.

Lierac Hydra-Chrono balm, it does not completely healing my skin these days, as the central heating really makes it dehydrated and sore,  but it's the best I have for now and it helps a lot already.
Illamasqua Ambition. It goes with everything, it just looks perfect, it's the kind of blush that you could pick if you had to chose just one.

Chanel Illusion d'Ombre Mirifique, because it makes a gorgeous sparkly black liner that is also very easy to apply.

Body Brushing - maybe  it's all in my head but I've been using this for months and I swear it makes a difference, so I thought I'd mention it again.

Dior Aurora bronzer is just perfect to give a tiny bit of warmth to my now extremely pale face.

Chanel Vitalumière Aqua: brace yourself ladies: I'm reaching the bottom of the bottle! Yes, me, the girl who never finishes a foundation!! 

Nuxe Reve de Miel handcream: my hands haven't been too damaged yet but so far this keeps them smooth and soft!

Rouge Bunny Rouge Deliquescence Cleanser: I reviewed this here and told you I was keeping it for special occasions. Well I have decided that dark cold Winter nights were enough of a good reason to enjoy this more often.

Pan Am : Loving this series, it started slowly but it's getting better and better.

Blog : Ars Aromatica : this is a bit of a UFO in the beauty blogosphere and I absolutely love it. It's actually held by a team of bloggers, which allows us to read about different skins, colors, likings and interests. It's extremely well written and sometimes thought-provoking. If you don't know it, go check it out.