April 29, 2012

Warm look with Le Metier De Beauté eyeshadows

One with the glasses, for a change.

A very well known brand amongst beauty bloggers, Le Metier de Beauté is nevertheless a very hard one to find for anybody outside of the US. Luckily, Zuneta recently started carrying it, and it is now much widely accessible to everyone.
I hadn't had any opportunity to try it before, so I was excited to finally be able to get some products.
I will have to do an in-depth review, but this is a simple look I did using Nutmeg and Goldstone eyeshadows.

I added a bit of depth in the crease with Mac Cork. The blush, as per usual when I 'm doing a warm face, is Illamasqua Lover.

If you are interested in LMDB eyeshadows, the lovely Karlasugar has excellent swatches of all of them.
The eyeshadows are 2g each, presented in a round rubbery compact that feels a bit like Nars packaging, and they are £25 each (about €30)

April 25, 2012

If you need a little Rouge Bunny Rouge cheer me up

then I have good news for you! (and, incidentally, for myself)
You have heard me more than once declare my love for Rouge Bunny Rouge products, in particular (but not only) their eyeshadows so I was thrilled to hear that 6 new shades are being launched this week!

Wait, there's more! These new shades will actually be launched in pan form, as you can now buy empty duo and trio palettes for your RBR eyeshadows.

Here's what the palettes will look like:

RBR Empty Duo Eyshadow Keeper - 12£
RBR Empty Trio Eyeshadow Keeper - 15£

Both formats will come with a sponge applicator, which I don't really care for but I know some people like using.
I do suppose that if you already own RBR shadows and want to depot them into this, there would be no issue. That could help you save some space in your eyeshadow drawer.
EDIT: the compact eyeshadows are bigger and won't fit in the palettes :(

The pan eyeshadows will look like this:

They will retail at £16 for 2g, versus 22£ for the regular shadows in compact, which is a nice saving. Even if you don't want to get the RBR palettes, you could still put those in any free-form palette of your choice.

Now the existing eyeshadows from the current line will not all be released in pan form, only the 3 best sellers will be available at the moment:

Unforgettable Oriole - Delicate, metallic white gold Solstice Halcyon - Semi-matt mauve beige Abyssinian Catbird - Metallic bronze with golden highlights

But the exciting thing, as I said, is that we're getting 6 new colors, named and described as follows:

Lilac Reef Curassow - Pale lilac with iridescent effect
Trumpeter Koel - Dark lead-grey with lilac-blue iridescence
Bohemian Waxwing - Iridescent bronzed champagne
Olive Violeteare - If ever there was a smoky olive this is it; with satin finish (Great for smoky eye)
Golden Rhea - Iridescent pale gold, pure and simple
Umber Firefinch - Iridescent dark umber chocolate

If you haven't tried RBR eyeshadows yet, this might be a good opportunity at a more affordable price. The texture of these eyeshadows is incredibly buttery, easy to work with and pigmented and they're really a joy to work with.

All these new products will be available from Zuneta from this Friday (April 27th, 2012).

On another note, apologies for the lack of blogging lately, I haven't even been wearing much makeup at all so I kind of ran out of interesting things to report, but I do have a few novelties that I'm going to review for you very soon.

April 18, 2012

Skin S.O.S routine

So right after I told you about my skincare routine and how it was working for me, everything just fell apart. Suddenly, my whole face looked and felt like the desert: it was dry, dehydrated with lines that weren't there before, and any makeup I would put on it just looked flat matte and so so dry.

I'm not too sure if I have identified all the culprits, but there are two that I can definitely point out: hard tap water and products containing alcohol (yes, I'm looking at you, Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua).
I didn't know what to do and asked for advice to my good friend Une Fille Lambda who is the resident skincare specialist in our friends group, and I followed all of her recommendations, which were:

- ban all tap water from my face cleansing routine, and use only Bioderma Micellar Water morning and night, followed by Avene Spring Thermal Water. If you don't know why Avene Water is so much more than water in a spray bottle, you can go and read the guest post I wrote on that topic over at Modesty Brown. This is really a must have in all difficult skin situations.

- stop using any active ingredients (retinol, glycolic acid etc...) and use only basic, bland moisturizer. The one I used was actually a gift from Lambda that I hadn't tried yet, it's Ünt Derma Oasis, which is a clear, frangrance-free gel meant to restore the skin barrier on very dehydrated skin.
- rule out any makeup product containing alcohol, and replace foundation by a tinted moisturizer. I started with Clinique Moisture Surge then switched to Nars Radiant Tinted Moisturizer when things started improving.

I followed this religiously for about 10 days, and it did help a lot. However, on some areas of my cheeks, particularly the right one, I just couldn't restore the skin barrier completely. I felt like there was some kind of dead layer I needed to get rid of to find good skin underneath, but of course, there was no easy or safe way to do that. On top of that, those same areas were red and sensitive, very irritated and prone to little red zits.
I did exfoliate slightly just once (you never want to over exfoliate sensitive skin) and started using my LRP Cicaplast Balm B5 on those areas - yes, the one that had saved my hands from dermatitis not so long ago. I applied it morning and night and after only 5 days, it had completely restored my skin.

The result, after 3 weeks:

my naked mug
Ok, I know, I look awfully tired, wich I am, but it's a completely different story. If you don't look at my dark circles and my usual redness/discoloration around my nose and mouth, my skin is clear and looking good.
I actually have kept on wearing tinted moisturizer, as I feel it's all I need right now - I wore Nars Sheer Glow last week-end and in comparison, it made me feel like I had a ton of makeup on!

I still feel a little bit of a tendency for my cheeks to get dry, so I'll need to keep on exfoliating gently once a week. I am probably going to start using a glycolic toner because I have a tendency to get clogged pores in the areas that I moisturize heavily - it ain't easy being dry/dehydrated AND prone to whiteheads and clogged pores. This should be gently exfoliating and keeping the pores clean.
Other than that, I am not sure yet how I'm going to re-introduce active ingredients in my routine, but I'll probably add them one at a time for a couple of weeks before adding another active. 
The Ünt Derma Oasis is probably going to stay as a staple in my routine: it's just perfect under makeup and can be used as a mask at night time if you apply a thicker layer.

Do you have special Skin SOS tricks?

April 12, 2012

A bit of drama.

What do you do when you're home on a long holiday week-end and it's pouring outside? You play with makeup.
And since you're not really going anywhere, you don't need to make the look wearable :)

Nars Tinted Moisturizer in Finland
Illamasqua Hussy blush

For the eyes:
Nars Primer
Illamasqua cream pigment in Hollow
Illamasqua pencil in Severe (plummy red) along the upper lash line
Illamasqua eyeshadows in Daemon (red, on the lid) Vulgar (orange, to blend out the edges) and Gimp (slate grey, outer V) and pigments in Fervent (on top of the red) and Furore (higlight).
YSL Faux-Cils mascara in black
Illamasqua brow cake in Thunder

I wasn't too sure about what to put on the lips. If I had been going on a night out, I would probably have worn a red (Maneater?) but I decided to be daring and try a black. I added Illamasqua Intense Lipgloss in Revulse.
I must say it was hard to make it opaque, I should have used a black pencil (Sophie) as a base.

I'll admit I'm not too crazy about this lip but I adore the eye look! I will definitely be doing it again next time I have a night out, I think it suits me better than an all black smokey. And I didn't even need false lashes!

What's the lastest über dramatic look you wore?

April 10, 2012

I killed them because I love them

My Urban Decay Book of Shadows #1 and 2.

When I first got the BoS 1, I had just gotten into makeup, I didn't own many eyeshadows and so I was using it loads. Then I got more things, forgot about it a little bit, never used #2 too much either and then, as my collection grew, I had to move these beauties to another place because they were taking too much space in my eyeshadow drawer.

What I don't see, I don't use - sad, but true. So I decided that if I wanted to get back to using my Book of Shadows more, I needed to make them less bulky and more portable.
Removing the eyeshadows from the cardboard is very easy, you just need to leverage them with a knife (there are tons of tutorials on YouTube)

The eyeshadows are now living in a Mac 15 pans palette (of which I removed the grid)

It still needs proper labelling and double-sided tape so the eyeshadows won't move, but you get the idea. Now this palette can go back to my regular eyeshadow drawer :)

Do you depot your palettes?

April 7, 2012

Viva Glam V giveaway winner

So there were 16 valid entries for the Viva Glam V giveaway, which I listed and numbered (in order of entry) before using Random.org to pick a winner.

Our winner is - congratulations!

I have your contact information so I'll be in touch with you!

April 5, 2012

Don't forget to enter the giveaway!

If you want to make a chance of winning a Mac Viva Glam  lipstick (and a few skincare and perfume samples, I'm ready to fill in the enveloppe!), don't forget to read the post and leave a comment here
You need to enter before Friday, April 6th, midnight London time (GMT).

Good luck everyone!

April 4, 2012

Today you'll find me there

at Modesty Brown's! I am guest posting and talking about all the secret virtues of Avene Thermal Spring Water for problematic skin, I hope you'll hop there to read it!

April 3, 2012

Review: Nars Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturizer SPF 30

I think I heard about Nars launching a Tinted Moisturizer well over a year ago. And I probably immediately thought that I'd like to try it. Put Nars on a base product and I'm the first in line.

But then when it launched I was hesitant. I was very scared that I would be disappointed in this, just as I have been with almost every tinted moisturizer I ever tried: they're just too heavy on my skin, they look greasy by noon, and they don't give as much coverage as I want on their own.
Which is why I kept on ignoring all the raves I was reading about this product all over the makeup forums.

So, what made me change my mind? Well, a little skin crisis I already told you about, which required me to stay away from foundation. Of course, I was happy with my Clinique Moisture Surge tinted moisturizer, but the situation was providing me with a good excuse to try another tinted moisturizer. And so I ordered it.

Well, I am so happy that I did!

Wearing Nars Pure Radiant TM in Finland - concealer applied under the eyes only
The Packaging.

A black plastic tube. Lightweight and portable - I'm just a little bit scared the lid isn't very solid and I might break it if I don't handle it with care, but other than that, it's just fine.

My experience with the product.

I got the ligthest shade available, which is Finland. It's about an NC15 with a yellow tone, which is perfect for me. (Too bad, though, that paler beauties or ladies with pink undertones won't find anything suitable - bad point, Nars, bad point!).
The product has a very light citrusy smell that fades away really quickly - nothing disturbing at all for me.

The texture is very easy to spread - that is thanks to the silicones in this, which might be a problem for some but for me that's not an issue. This is just so easy to apply with your fingers, you only need a minute. I must say that I have been wearing a regular moisturizer underneath as my skin is currently dehydrated.

The product does even out your skintone perfectly without hiding it, and the finish is absolutely stunning: not tacky at all when you touch it, but very luminous on the skin. You do look radiant, even if you have dry skin. I wasn't expecting such a sheer product to even out my skintone so well, nor so much luminosity to come from it without having to deal with stickyness. I was absolutely blown away by the look of this product.

And the best thing: it doesn't move all day. I do set my T-zone with a little bit of lose powder because I don't necessarily want to be glowy there, but the product just stays on all day beautifully.

See that lovely glow?
The verdict.
I did read that this is supposed to improve your skin over the course of a few weeks, we'll see how that goes but even if this doesn't get any better, I absolutely love this product.
I can totally see myself using this daily instead of foundation for the foreseeable future, at least if I don't need to hide too many skin uglies. But even when I started using this and still had some irritation marks and zits on my face, I did look much better wearing it anyway! 
A keeper!

The ingredients for the geeks.
ACTIVE INGREDIENTS ( Octinoxate 7.4% Titanium Dioxide (6.1%) Inactive Ingredients: Water, Dimethicone, butylene glycol, propanediol, diethylhexyl succinate, glycerin, nylon-12, cyclomethicone, peg-9, polydimethylsiloxyethyl, dimethicone, peg-10, dimethicone, aluminum hydroxide, diphenylsiloxy phenyl thrimethicone, disteardimonium, hectorite, sorbitan sesquilsostearate, stearic acid, phenoxyethanol, polymethylsilsesquioxane, fragrance, dimethicone/vinyl, dimethicone crosspolymer, trisodium edta, aluminum distearate, talc, ascorbyl glucoside, polysilicone-2, vibrio alginolyticus ferment filtrate, tocophenerol, alteromonas ferment filtrate, sea salt, hydrogen dimethicone, bht, algae extract, sodium metabisulfite, curcuma longa (tumeric) root extract, potassium sorbate, ( /- may contain titanium dioxide, iron oxides)

Nars Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturizer SPF 30 is available from Narscosmetics.com - €38, USD 42

April 2, 2012

A Lipstick Bandits Adventure: In Search of... the Universal Lipstick!

As Lipstick Bandits, we tend to fear nothing when it comes to lip products. We venture in the darker, brighter and most unusual colors.

Yet, sometimes, we do need something easy to fall back one. A color that will look great no matter what the circumstances or the outfit are. One that will put together any kind of look. And, possibly, one that will work all year round even if our skintone changes.
We need a Universal Lipstick.

And guess what? We found it! 

Meet Viva Glam V!
Launched in 2004 to support the MAC AIDS Fund (all the money you pay for this goes to the fund), this is a natural "my lips but better" pink with a lustre finish, which makes it very comfortable to wear and doesn't require a lipgloss on top for some shine.

That is the one color that you can keep in your bag and fall back on at any time without thinking twice: it will work, no matter how much or how little you're wearing on the rest of your face.
A great color everyone should own, and for once, shopping benefits a greater cause :-)

Find out how the other Lipstick Bandits are wearing Viva Glam V!

And now, a little something special for my lovely readers!

To thank you guys for your support and for reading my blog, I'm giving away one brand new Viva Glam V lipstick!
This is open to everyone, although I'd appreciate if you're subscribed to my blog through Google or Bloglovin.
To enter, just leave a comment below explaining with what kind of look you'd wear VG V, and you have till Friday April 6th, midnight GMT (London) time to enter! Winner will be selected at random.

April 1, 2012

March Favorites

I'll tell you more on that when it's definitely behind me, but I had a bit of a skin crisis for the second part of the month. I'm blaming stress, hard water, and possibly a combination of not moisturizing enough and using foundations containing alcohol.
So there's actually a lot of skincare in my favorites of this past month.

Bioderma Micellar Water.

The only thing I use for cleansing right now, in combination with the next product.

Avène Thermal Spring Water.

No tap water is touching my face at the moment, this is what has replaced it, and seriously, this has saved my skin in crisis time more than once in the past, and it's still working its magic at the moment as I could definitely see some improvement after just a few days of spraying it morning and night.

Ünt Derma Oasis Hydro Surge Recovery Gel.

It's all in the name! If your skin is severely dehydrated, this will recreate a film on top of your skin to help it heal and retain its moisture. It works perfectly under makeup, or as a mask in thick layer at night. I can't say enough thanks to the friend who sent it to me!

Embryolisse Lait-Crème concentré.

This also works great as a base under makeup or as a night treatment. Unlike some rich creams for dry skin, this doesn't clog my pores on the T-zone where I'm still mostly normal to oily.

Clinique Moisture Surge.

When your skin looks like the desert and most foundations in your collection contain alcohol, it's time to look for an alternate solution! I was also advised to give my skin a break while it heals by using tinted moisturizer only. That's where this one enters the scene. It gives me moisture through the day (on top of another moisturizer like the Ünt gel) and it does give a very good coverage - more than some foundations, actually.

Chanel Spring Nail Polishes - April and June.

When your face is a mess, you have to find another playground for color and nails are just perfect. I've really been enjoying those 2 colors and the great formulation of Chanel nailpolishes.

What were your favorites this month?