January 31, 2012

January Favorites

I feel a bit ridiculous telling you, once more with feeling, that this month went by so fast, but it did, and I actually  almost forgot it was time for the monthly favorites post.
Considering I've lived those past weeks in a hurry, I also find it a bit difficult to remember exactly what I've been using this month, and thinking of it, it's mostly skin products that come to my mind.

Clarins Blue Orchid Face Treatment Oil
Review here. This is what has kept my skin rather smooth and hydrated all month. Since the cold is really striking just now, we'll see how it performs under aggravated circumstances, but for January, it did its job pretty well.

The BodyShop Seaweed Cleansing Facial Wash.
An old love. For some reason my skin seems to prefer this to oil cleanser right now, but on the other hand, this doesn't do such a good work for blackheads. The solution: alternating between both methods, or using this after the oil (which seems counterproductive but the ingredients in this seem to balance my skin well, so it's ok.

La Roche Posay Cicaplast.
Review here. I am currently using this as a primer under foundation (excepted on my T zone where I use nothing). It actually works really well and does a good job at keeping dry patches away, as it heals the skin very well and fast.
That allows me to keep using another favorite, that is :

Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua.
Review here. This isn't meant for dry skin, it does contain a bit of alcohol and so I should be avoiding it in Winter but I just can't live without this foundation anymore, as it's so easy to apply, so easy to wear and so beautiful. So Cicaplast is the perfect barrier between my skin and Vitalumiere Aqua to prevent dryness.
(Side note: I might reach the end of my bottle of this, and I haven't finished a bottle of foundation in the story of this blog!!)

Fuchsia Lipsticks.
I grab Mac Girl About Town the most, but I still give all my fuchsia lipsticks good love and I find they work perfectly in cool blueish Winter light, brightening your face and giving dull days some color!
A must have all year round!

What were your favorites this month?

January 30, 2012

Makeup Geek eyeshadows: favorites (with swatches)

You may know that Marlena at Makeup Geek did launch her makeup line last November. For now, the range consists of about 60 eyeshadows, there are also lip products and blushes in the making for 2012.

I did receive about 40 of the eyeshadows. Let's get this out of the way immediately: no, I didn't pay for them, and yes, I do have links with Makeup Geek, but I wasn't involved in the making of those products and I haven't been asked nor compensated to write this review. Besides, it's not like there's someone from the MUG staff watching me when I put my makeup on, so I only use stuff that I really like :)

I have tried quite a lot of the eyeshadows right now, but it would be hard to review them all in detail.
You saw me using Corrupt, the matte black, in my New Year's Eve makeup and I still think this is the best matte black I've ever used.
Next to that one,  I decided to pick up a quad of shadows that, in my opinion and considering my personal tastes, are standing out of the lot.

Introducing, from top left to bottom right: Shimma Shimma, Pretentious, Twilight and Moondust.

And here are some swatches for you, both pictures were taken with flash (daylight is rare, these days).

Shimma Shimma, Pretentious, Twilight, Moondust
Why I like them :

Shimma Shimma is a gorgeous shimmery champagne, and believe it or not, I had nothing like it in my collection even though I had been looking for a similar color for quite a long time. It's not leaning yellow like Mac Nylon does, and even though it's shimmery, it's not glittery at all. The pigmentation is excellent and the texture is very soft.
Bottom line: the perfect inner corner or browbone highlight, also very nice wash shade to combine with a dark matte crease and some liner.

Pretentious is a beautiful bronze. Call me errh, pretentious, but I love the name too :) This is more yellow than Mac Bronze but more bronze than Mac Tempting, with a shimmery finish and a very nice texture. The pigmentation is very good too.
Bottom line: gorgeous all over color, I like to wear it on its own with dark brow liner, like I would do with UD Deeper, for example.

Twilight is a taupe with a plum/lavender undertone. Although I find it a bit harder and less pigmented than the other 3, I do find it's a very nice crease or blending shade, that reminds me a bit of Mac Style Snob (which was LE, so this would be a good substitute).

Moondust might be the most unique shade in the range, at least when it comes to neutrals. If Mac Patina and Mac Vex had a lovechild, it would be MUG Moondust. This reminds me a bit of Lancome Erica F or  Urban Decay Mauwi Wowie, but minus the chunky glitter and with a less green and more grey undertone than those two have - which I do think looks better on me. The pigmentation is absolutely awesome and the texture is really buttery soft. Not only is this color unique, I think the quality is also incredible.

Here's a quick FOTD I did with Moondust (inner 2/3rd of the lid) and Pretentious (outer 1/3rd and crease).

Makeup Geek eyeshadows are $5.99 each (pro pans only) and sold here; international shipping available.

January 26, 2012

Current hair routine with Phyto, and new Cloud 9 straighteners

My hair has been looking bored to death. It doesn't like Winter more than I do, I guess.
I'm currently due a trim and a color but I'm feeling lazy (might get around doing at least the color next week-end, we'll see), however I thought a little change in routine wouldn't hurt either and decided to turn to a brand I know but never really used much: Phyto.

Phytojoba shampoo for moisture and shine.
This is the intense hydrating shampoo in the range, and I thought it would be good for my dry ends that are looking even drier because of central heating and blowdrys (I just can't wait for my hair to airdry in Winter, it's way too cold!). This smells divine thanks to the coconut oil in it. I wish the bottle had a pump, though, as it's easy to pour too much from the wide bottle neck.
My hair doesn't look super soft like it would with loads of silicons, but is that what we really want? It actually has more body than before and it looks healthy and reasonably soft, so I'm happy to keep on using this and seeing how it improves my hair over time.

Phyto 7 daily hydrating cream for dry hair.
I have reviewed this in the past, and I still like this product very much. I apply it at night after I have blowdried my hair, and it does help relieve the dryness on the ends and make everything feel smoother.

New Cloud 9 straighteners.
My trusty Braun straighteners broke - well they still work but they cut the power every time I use them so it was time to retreat them! I had been considering going for a very good straightener like GHD or Cloud 9 but had decided not to splurge as long as I was happy with my current ones. Now was then the perfect occasion to invest. I chose the regular sized Cloud 9 iron and ordered from the brand website. They arrived in 2 days in a gorgeous box!
Very good points include international voltage, plugs for EU and UK electricity, and a heat protecting thing to put around the tool when it's still hot but you need to transport them.
They heat up in a matter of seconds and you can do a lot of things with them (there's a little how-to guide in the box) from poker straight hair to curls. I haven't done anything much than straightening so far but I can tell they're doing their job very well and leaving my hair soft and shiny :)

Here goes the result (bad lighting, sorry)!

January 23, 2012

Givenchy Spring FOTD

Sundays often are my lazy makeup-free days, but this time I had plans for a lunch out and so I thought it would be a perfect occasion to try my new Givenchy goodies and do a Spring look.

The editorial look for the collection was my inspiration, however I didn't buy the eyeshadow quad and am not too keen on the full teal lid with pink crease (remind me that in three months when I tell you it's my new signature look) so I decided to do a much more discrete version, saving the star position for the lips and cheeks. Here's the result!

If only it felt like Spring, instead of that disgusting rainy windy weather, I'd be totally happy, as I absolutely love how this look came out!

Products used:
  • Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua B10
  • Bobbi Brown creamy concealer in Warm Ivory + pale yellow powder
  • Rouge Bunny Rouge Sea of Clouds liquid highlighter applied liberally (hum) on cheeks, bridge of the nose, browbone, cupid's bow... you got it, I went a bit crazy with it
  • Mac Phloof and Wedge, plus UD Deep End (15th Anniversary Palette) for the pop of teal
  • Chanel Crayon Waterproof liner in Espresso to tightline and YSL Faux-Cils mascara
  • Givenchy Le Prisme Blush in Bucolic Poppy and Rouge Interdit lipstick in Bucolic Poppy.

I am so satisfied with the look of these products and how the "poppy" theme works for me!

On another note, my beloved Braun hair straighteners broke. Well, they still work, but they make the electricity cut down for the whole house every time I use them. Time for a new device, me think (I've used this one daily for 3 years so it was well loved). As a result, I curled my hair instead with a large barrel curling iron (Braun, too).
The question is: do I repurchase the same straighteners (about 50€), or do I splurge and get a GhD or a Cloud Nine one?

January 21, 2012

The Givenchy Spring haul, and a Chanel makeover!

I was at the mall today and, surprise!, between Wednesday and now, all Spring collections have arrived!

Let's start with Givenchy: everything is as gorgeous as I hoped it would be! The only thing I decided not to get was the other blush, the peachy pink one. I found that, once swatched, it looked pinked and glowy and reminded me of Lune Rosee from the Winter collection. So I decided to pass on that one.

I did see and swatch a lot of other things, though. Nothing appealing to me from Dior nor Guerlain, but Chanel did unexpectedly catch my attention, particularly as one of their makeup artists was their for the day to do makeovers.

I had already decided I would get the pretty blusher, and I was also interested in the nailpolishes but even though they were on display, the store hadn't received them yet - that will be for another time.
While I was at it, since I had nothing else on than VitaZings tinted moisturizer and my brows, I asked if the makeup artist could do a look on me with the eyeshadow quad, Eclosion.

This was pretty interesting because I find those Chanel quads very hard to use. We get a baked, dome shaped version of them in Europe that is very different from the other Chanel eyeshadows. The makeup artist told me that the key to working well with them was to not use brush, but rather cotton tip applicators (she insisted on cotton and not sponge). That's what she used to apply the eyeshadows on me.

She also used the new Crayon Waterproof liner in Grenat, which I thought was very pretty. Since this has been my favorite pencil liner for a while (I own Espresso and Ebene), I decided to get it as well.
Other than that, she used their concealer pen, their mascara base under their mascara and the Poudre Universelle Compacte in Jasmin (also part of this collection). On the lips I think it's Rose Coco Paradis, at least it looked like it in the tube but it's not that bright in real life.

I like the way she worked with the liners, mixing Grenat with a bit of Ebene (black) on the outer corners and on the waterline. As for the shadows and their application, though, I have doubts. There is no matte color in the quad, so it's a bit too shimmery all over for my liking. The placement with the little applicators lacks a bit of blending for my liking, even though a sharp application can be a look.

I didn't get the quad (no big negociation with myself there as it was already out of stock anyway) and don't think I will. I can easily dupe that look with eyeshadows in my collection, and the Grenat liner is a key to the look so I'm all set.

So, that should be it for my Spring shopping, excepted for some polishes, as I said.

I'm not sure about May, but I want April and June!

What do you ladies think of these products? What are you looking forward to/getting this Spring?

January 20, 2012

Clarins Blue Orchid Face Treatment Oil

In one more desperate attempt to cure my Winter dry cheeks skin, I got this a few weeks ago, after having read about it on the blogosphere.
The reason it was mentioned there was that Clarins is apparently relaunching the product in a new packaging, the one that you see above, but when I went and bought it, I got the good old version that looks like this:
...which isn't as practical because it opens to a simple bottle neck. Clumsy hands, beware.

But well, let's go back to the product itself after this packaging interlude.

What the brand says:
Moisture care for Dehydrated Skin. 100% pure plant extracts with no preservatives. This best-selling oil contains extracts of Rosewood, Patchouli and Blue Orchid to tone, revitalise and restore radiance to moisture-depleted skin. Hazelnut Oil helps prevent moisture loss and the formation of fine lines. 
In the evening, after thorough cleansing and toning, apply a small amount to face and neck still damp with Toning Lotion, avoiding the eye contour. Gently dab face with a soft tissue to remove any excess product.

My opinion on the product:
This natural product has been around since 1965, so that says something about the product's efficiency.
I tried it in a few different ways: on its own on dry skin (you need quite some product for it to rub in), on top of slightly damp skin like recommended by the brand - which I found a bit weird to spread and massage in, and then as a serum, on problem areas and with a layer of my Estee Lauder Double Wear cream on top.
The third method worked the best for me, but even on its own the product worked quite well and I woke up with much softer skin.
The smell is slightly herbal, typically like essential oils, and I was afraid this would bother me but it didn't. It doesn't linger too long and it's not too strong, I would definitely not get a headache from that kind of smell so it works fine for me.
Obviously the old fashioned packaging isn't the most practical, but if you get the new version, it's all sorted out.

My overall conclusion:
An excellent natural product to soothe dehydrated skin and dry patches. I have seen improvement within a couple of nights with this and I would definitely recommed it. I found it more efficient that some so-called "barrier repair" serums that I've tried.
As a side note, Clarins has a few more facial oils in their range for different problematics so if you don't have dehydrated skin but suffer from other issues, there might be one for you too.

Clarins Huile Orchidée Bleue for dehydrated skin, 40 ml - £33 - €36 - USD 50

January 19, 2012

Impatiently waiting for...

... Spring makeup collections to launch! (Europe doesn't see the launch of any Spring stuff before February, that's a yearly frustration)

Or, actually, I'm waiting for one collection in particular: Givenchy.

Most upcoming collections for this Spring feature pastel colors: light blues, light pinks, light mints. I don't like those colors too much. They don't really flatter me, I don't enjoy them particularly and so unfortunately, most of the stuff I've seen on the web for this Spring isn't very appealing.
But Givenchy, thankfully, has understood that some people would love to counterbalance the pastel eyeshadows with brighter colors on the cheeks and lips!

Look at these beauties:

On the left Le Prisme Visage (powder) in Bucolic Blossoms.
I talked in the past about how much I love those powders Givenchy brings up regularly and I won't be passing on this one!
On the right: Le Prisme Blush in Bucolic Rose (pink) and Bucolic Poppy (red). 
I'm not sure about the pink one, even though the combination of peach and pink looks beautiful, but I will certainly be getting the Poppy one as it's looking so unique!

Now to go with that, there's a gorgeous lipstick:

Rouge Interdit Bucolic Poppy. I smile even at reading the name!
There are a matching lipgloss and nailpolish, but I'm not so keen on those,  I wouldn't be using them as much.

My counter told me those products should be available in a couple of weeks, and I can't wait.

What are you looking forward to in the Spring collections?

January 16, 2012

Foundation Review #32: Rouge Bunny Rouge Milk Aquarelle

Yes, I'm in a foundation hoarding period again, it's my thing, don't judge. (That mostly happens when Winter makes my skin a hell and my old favorites don't look good on me, though)
This one I have wanted to try for the longest time, but it's a very expensive one and so I waited until I could get a discount code to try it. I was also a bit scared that I wouldn't find a match, even though Zuneta now sells samples of this foundation for you to try out before you commit. I am happy to report that I got this in the shade Almond Milk Parfait, which is the second one on the ladder, a beige with yellow undertones - and that it works well for me.

The packaging:
Luxurious, as with any Rouge Bunny Rouge product! The foundation is packaged in a frozen glass bottle with an airless black pump and a black cap. It comes in this lovely solid cardboard round box, which opens on some kind of holder into which your bottle will stand.
This is, as often, a 30 ml - 1 O.z bottle.

What the brand says:
The dreamily light gel texture blends and moves with the contours of the face like a second skin and minimises imperfections to give the appearance of a flawless complexion whilst allowing your natural beauty to show through.
Packed with skin-saving protectors and botanicals including Detoxyl, a powerful anti-pollution ingredient to keep the world at bay and Bamboo, which conditions, softens and repairs the skin. Shea Butter nourishes; Panthenol imparts long-lasting moisturisation, stimulates cell regeneration and normalises skin. Egyptian Lotus and White Water Lily Extracts protect, soften and fight free radical damage.

Apply our MILK AQUARELLE foundation quickly, using our foundation brush or your fingertips.
Foundation is best applied with a brush as this ensures an even and professional finish. Use light up-and-down strokes on the cheeks to give a natural look. As MILK AQUARELLE has a gel texture, it can be layered to give the coverage you want.

My experience with the product.
The pump delivers quite a lot of product, so one pump is definitely enough to do your whole face.
When I tried this for the first time, I was really afraid that the product would be too olive toned, but was very pleased to see that it mixed quite well with my skin. It might be just a tad bit too dark for my Winter skin, but it's the perfect undertone and so it blends perfectly.
You can apply with brush or fingers, in my experience, fingers give a tad bit more coverage, but for me it's always the quickest way to apply and what I tend to do the most. I found the product very easy to apply and blend with a brush too, though.
If you read the ingredients list below, you'll see that this foundation has a high content in silicones, which can definitely be feeled upon application: the texture is light, almost mousse-like (I didn't find it fet like a gel like announced in the product description) and it feels velvety. It spreads very easily and you don't need much product at all.
The finish is slightly luminous, not overly shiny but definitely not matte. You might want to powder your T-Zone if you tend to get shiny on there. The coverage is light-to medium, it will erase redness but you'll still need a bit of concealer on problem areas. You could build up the coverage, however, but then this starts looking less natural in my opinion, and you will look like you're wearing makeup - which is ok but not always what we want.
It lasts pretty well all day, with our without primer, but I like to use my Metamorphoses Mattifying Primer underneath on my T-Zone. This also prevents the enhancing of pores, which can happen with this kind of formula in my experience.

Yes, this is me wearing Milk Aquarelle.

Not sure about the skincare claims, though. It doesn't dry out my skin or break me out , but I can't say much more than that.

My Conclusion.
This foundation retails for £59, which is expensive. You might want to order when there is a discount code available to ease the pain.
However, if you are on the hunt for a high end product with a natural finish and a light-medium coverage, this is an excellent product, definitely one of the best foundations I have tried in a while. It is quite different from my beloved Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua, a notch up coverage wise, and a very different texture. But I think Milk Aquarelle is perfect for normal/combination to dry skin, while the Chanel one is more for normal/combination to oily - so they are suitable for different people or different skin conditions through the year. I would also say this is lighter in feel and coverage and more natural than Chanel Perfection Lumiere (which I might not be liking that much after all).

Ingredients list for the science nerds:

January 12, 2012

Rouge Bunny Rouge Seas of Illuminations liquid highlighter - Sea of Clouds

Liquid highlighters can be tricky to use, but when they're used well, they look damn pretty. And often less frosty or shimmery than their powder counterparts.

I used a few liquid highlighters in the past, the most famous being Becca Luminous Skin Perfector, but I couldn't find one that I really liked. That Becca product irritated my skin a bit so I got rid of it. I like their Illuminate Wash better but it's a thicker texture that you can't really mix with foundation because of it's lipgloss-type packaging.  I have a lovely Illamasqua one but it's so tinted it almost looks like a blush, and I often forget about it, too.
And so, under peer pressure and using a discount, I decided to try a RBR highlighter.

I went for Sea Of Clouds, which is a white pearly color, as I think it's more versatile than a pinky or peachy version, and also easier to mix with foundation.

Identical to the foundation or primer, this is a glass bottle of 30ml with a black airless pump and cap.

What the brand says:
This multipurpose water-based fluid blends easily with moisturiser, or with foundation, to customise the look - to yours alone. Create an inside-out illumination effect and blend it to a thin, refined wash of pearls. Light fragrance of Cucumber with a touch of Peach Flower will add to your application pleasure. A quartet of shades with Melissa extract to soothe, and Vitamin E to guard against ageing. The highlighting liquid can be used alone or over moisturiser and as a highlighter, over foundation, too.

My experience with the product.
Holy highlighter Batman! This really wears its name well!!
The first time I used it, I put a generous pump on the back of my hand, used my Mac 188 stippling brush, and I honestly think I applied way too much. Even though I kind of liked it. And it did show up well in pictures.

See that lovely glow?
I have now come to learn how to use it properly: try to get less than half a pump out (not always easy with that pump, I'm afraid), start lightly and build up. Using fingers gives a less diffused look but allows more control on where to place it. I am yet to try a blending brush in the style of a Mac 222, I think it would work pretty well.

I love the light scent of this product too, nothing cloying or overpowering, it doesn't last too long either, but it's very fresh and nice - a bit coconutty but in a very understated way.
Again, I can't say too much on the supposed skincare virtues of the ingredients, but I didn't have any skin issues using this.

My conclusion.
This is love. This is seriously my favorite amongst all the liquid highlighters that I have tried, not only in terms of results when applied on the sking, but also in terms of texture, blendability, ease of use and longevity on the skin.
If you can afford only one liquid higlighter and are ready to invest a bit for a great product, this is the one to get.

Rouge Bunny Rouge Sea of Illuminations highlighters come in four colors and can be ordered from Zuneta for about £49.

Ingredient list for the science nerds:

A Mirifique FOTD

I had black smokey envy, yesterday. Even greasy creasy grunge smokey, to be honest. (I blame Killer Colours for that). But well, I wasn't too sure how a creased look would look after 10 hours at work so I decided to go for a safer route and to do it with Chanel Illusion d'Ombre in Mirifique, applied over Nars eyeshadow primer with a Mac 217. Too bad the gorgeous shimmer in this shadow doesn't show on pictures.

And yet this creases a bit, my lid is really too deep set!

Other products used:
Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua B10
Estee Lauder Double Wear Concealer Light
Dior Aurora bronzer (LE)
Illamasqua Unrequited blush
Kate brow liner 003
Mac Wedge (crease blending) and Femme Fi (inner corner)
Chanel Le Crayon Waterproof in 10 Ebene along the lashline
YSL Faux Cils
RBR sheer lipsick - Perfume of His Gaze

This, at least, behaved and stayed on all day!

January 10, 2012

A Rouge Bunny Rouge FOTD

Trying out some new goodies I got from Zuneta, I decided to do a full face of Rouge Bunny Rouge.
I hope you can see the higlighter on the pictures, I went a bit overboard with it on that purpose :)

What I used.
Oskia Get Up And Glow Serum
Rouge Bunny Rouge Milk Aquarelle foundation in Almond Parfait (review to come)
Estee Lauder Double Wear Concealer in Light
Rouge Bunny Rouge Highlighting Liquid - Sea of Clouds (review to come)
Rouge Bunny Rouge Original skin blush - Florita
Kate brow liner 003
Rouge Bunny Rouge When The Birds Are Singing e/s - Delicate Hummingbird and Bejeweled Skylark
YSL Faux Cils
Rouge Bunny Rouge Sheer Lipstick - Perfume of His Gaze

January 9, 2012

Foundation review (sort of) #31: Clinique Moisture Surge Tinted Moisturizer SPF 15

Does this count as a foundation? I don't know. But I wear it as if it were one, so let's say it does count.

So you have heard me whine about my cheeks being dry, my usual HG foundations not looking right and the Bourjois Healthy Mix Serum fiasco, I couldn't leave things at that and I went looking for another option.
I usually don't like tinted moisturizers because they can look shiny on my T-zone and they don't cover much, but I had read great reviews on this one, and I must tell you that I'm pleasantly surprised!

The packaging: 
A very light plastic tube with a cap. The tube is very flat so it doesn't take up too much space. The product pours through a little nose.

What the brand says:
Smooth on an instant moisture boost with SPF protection and a hint of skin-perfecting colour. Refreshingly lightweight formula provides a no-makeup look and feel, yet covers imperfections with a natural, hydrating touch. Oil-free.
6 shades available - All skintypes - Sheer coverage

My opinion on the product:
I got the product in the shade 2, which is the lightest one available here. It looks quite dark and rather peachy, and I was convinced it wouldn't match me at all, but actually it's not that dark at all when you apply, and once it's set, it's looking like a good match. 
The product is very liquidy, rather easy to spread but maybe a tad bit sticky. Nothing dramatic, though. I apply it with my hands, like I do most of the time with foundations.

The product being perfume free means that it doesn't smell very good. The truth is, most cosmetics smell pretty bad, which is why they're heavily scented, so if you skip the perfume, there's a chemical smell going on. I used Clinique moisturizers in the past that smelled like this so maybe it's typical for the brand. However the smell doesn't linger at all once the product is applied.

I have been using this on top of my Oskia Get Up And Glow serum, and on my T-Zone I also add the Rouge Bunny Rouge Metamorphoses primer. I add a bit of powder on the T-zone so that I don't get shiny through the day. The product being oil free is definitely an asset.

I was actually very surprised by how much I liked this Tinted Moisturizer. It has a very decent amount of coverage and it doesn't look greasy at all, as you can see on this picture.

Even though I still need to use concealer on my undereyes area and around the nose, this hides the redness of my cheeks incredibly well, I wasn't expecting that at all.
The finish is luminous but not greasy and if you're a bit combination, some powder will definitely solve that for you.

This has been bringing a lot of comfort to my dry cheeks. I don't know if anything else in my routine has influenced my skin at the same time, but I do notice improvement now that I'm using this, so this definitely works better for me at the moment than foundations that may countain alcohol or other ingredients that are too harsh for dryer skin.

My conclusion
Clinique Moisture Surge TM SPF 15 retails for USD26 - €23 to € 28 (depending on your country).
This is definitely an affordable product with a very good quality.
If you're usually turned off by tinted moisturizers because they're too sheer or too rich in texture, this one might change your opinion!

January 7, 2012

Could I be a Lipstick Bandit?

Because, really, how could I not be part of a band of beauty bloggers who declare that red lipstick is not an indulgence, but a necessity?

So I asked my friend Monika at Rocaille Writes what I should do to join. "Wear a mask with red lips", she said.

I'm happy to oblige, in the hope they let me join the club.

Do I look like a bandit, now?
What I used :
Rouge Bunny Rouge Milk Aquarelle foundation in Almond Parfait
Estee Lauder Double Wear Concealer
Makeup Geek Corrupt eyeshadow
Illamasqua liquid metal in the gold color
Illamasqua Sophie pencil
YSL Faux-Cils
Beauté Masochist liquid lipstick

Lots of Bioderma Crealine H2O to remove it all :) (Yes, alas, I had to remove it before leaving the house).

A now a few more smiling shoots!

So, ladies, can I be a Lipstick Bandit?

January 6, 2012

Foundation Review #30 : Bourjois Healthy Mix Serum

Believe me, I resisted for a long time before getting this. The original Healthy Mix fiasco wasn't very encouraging, I must say.
But then everyone is raving about this little guy all over the blogosphere, Lisa Eldridge has used it, Pixiwoo sisters have used it... peer pressure, I'm telling you, so I gave in. Not a very expensive purchase, since Bourjois is drugstore here, so I got this 30 ml bottle for about 9€. I got the shade 51, which is the lightest one and has a beige neutral undertone.

The packaging:
This comes in a sleek plastic bottle with a pump. Makes you wonder why some high end products come without one, if you can have one at this price. The bottle is very light.

What the brand says:
16 hour radiance booster, Instant anti-fatigue result! Give your skin a boost of radiance with Bourjois’ Healthy Mix Serum Gel foundation with a vitamin-rich fruit therapy formula for an even complexion and an instant anti-fatigue result! Contains 3 anti-oxydants: litchi, goji and pomegranate. Semi-matte finish.

My opinion on the product:
Let me tell you right away that I didn't have any allergy issue with this one, so that's good.
Other than that: I really, really wanted to like it. But I don't. Let me explain.

First of all, this has a very heavy fruity scent. Luckily, it doesn't linger on the skin after you have applied, but while you're applying it's really strong and it's not for everyone, as it is kind of sickly sweet.
When you pour it, the product definitely looks like a liquid more than like a gel, but when you apply you do feel that this is in fact a bit thicker in texture than a regular liquid. I used almost 2 pumps for my whole face, but the pump isn't really precise so it's hard to tell if both pumps were equal.

Now I was expecting a light coverage but this actually doesn't cover anything at all. I mean, it will even out your skintone a bit, but it doesn't cover any redness or anything. I have honestly used tinted moisturizers that had more coverage than this foundation (my Origin Vita Zings covers more, just to name one). That means that you definitely need concealer for your undereye area but also for any redness or discoloration that you would like to hide - unless you have perfect skin there's no way you can get away with this product without doing some extra concealing.

The finish is supposed to be semi-matte, as described on the packaging. I actually looked like I had put a layer of water on my face. I gave it up to a couple of hours to set but it was, if anything, only getting worse. And that wasn't on my T-zone only, but also on my cheeks that are currently as dry as the desert of Gobi. I ended up powdering my face to balance that - which is counterproductive when you have dry patches that you'd rather not powder.
After about an hour, the shine was peeking through the powder again, only in a more subtle way.

I rarely wear makeup for 16 hours straight, so I don't know if that longevity claim is right. I used the product without primer and even though it lasted relatively well (with the powder on top, remember), it kind of disappeared a bit on my nose area.

My conclusion.
I cannot really recommend this. It might work for you if you're normal to dry, with a skin that needs virtually no concealing, and that you love an extremely dewy finish.

This product is available at drugstores in Europe and Canada (as far as I know), or can be ordered from ASOS and delivered anywhere in the world.

January 4, 2012

Review: SUQQU Reset Cleansing Oil

Months and months ago, I had ordered this cleansing oil from Ichibankao, because I wanted to give Suqqu (a very fancy high end Japanese brand) a try withouth buying yet another eyeshadow quad or makeup item. But right after that, I got my HG cleansing oil from Shu Uemura in London, so I only got around to using this one a little while ago, after I used up the Shu one.

The Packaging:
This is a 150 ml transparent plastic bottle with a pump. It comes in a white box and all in all, this is looking very clean and almost medical, particularly as the oil itself is transparent.

What the brand says:
Infused with three textured oils, this oil cleanser quickly and effectively removes heavy makeup and any skin impurities, leaving your skin feeling smooth and refreshed.

My experience with the product:
This oil has a slight scent. I don't know what it is, but it's more of an artificial perfume than an herbal scent reminding you of some natural ingredient.
It's very easy to use, not too thick to apply, it emulsifies very easily when you add water and rises off without any issue.
It's very effective at removing all my makeup, but I need to remind you that I remove my eye makeup with Bioderma Crealine H2O prior to using any oil, so I don't know how this performs with mascara (I hate getting oil in the eyes).
So this is definitely a very effective cleanser.

However, I am quite used to the comfort that the Shiseido oil for dry skin brings to my face. With Suqqu, there is only one oil that is supposed to suit any skintype, and you would think that an oil would obviously work for dryer skin. Unfortunately, I have noticed this doesn't help my dry cheeks (courtesy of central heating and Winter weather) and possibly makes them dryer. Every time I stop using this for a few days and get my skin back to more normal, it will get dry again within a couple of days of me using this again.

So I would recommend this oil for normal to combination skin, but in my opinion, this won't work as well if you're dry skinned, and I'm not sure it would be gentle enough for oily skin either, as you don't want to strip an oily skin rom its natural oils too much because that causes more oil production.

Suqqu Reset Cleansing Oil, 150 ml,  £37 at Selfridges or around USD50 on various websites.

January 1, 2012

New Year's Eve Look!

When, really, can you go as dramatic as you want if not for New Year's Eve? I had loved loved the black and gold look Emma Watson wore for the last Harry Potter movie premiere, so I decided to recreate that.

I had a lot of fun doing it!
Warning: definitely do the eyes first and the base afterwards when going with this kind of look!!
Here's the breakdown - lots of Illamasqua going on here, what's better for drama?

Illamasqua Matte Primer
Illamasqua RLF 133
EL Double Wear Concealer Light
Illamasqua Brow Cake Thunder
Makeup Geek Corrupt (the blackest black I've ever used!!)
Illamasqua liquid metal in gold
Nars Etrusque
Illamasqua Sophie Pencil
YSL Faux Cils
Illamasqua Unrequited blush
a random lipgloss
Illamasqua Alchemy liner (outer part, on top of the black, instead of gold leaves)

Did you wear a dramatic look for New Year?