August 31, 2012

August Favorites

I hate seeing the end of August. I do like September and its pretty leaves and sunny days (when we have them) but once August is gone, it means stress is back, traffic jams area back, and crappy weather will be back too.
I did, however, enjoy August a lot. We had fantastic weather all month, and so I did change my makeup routine quite a lot, found something that worked and stuck with it all month. So here are my favorites.

This Works Perfect Look Skin Miracle.

I have been using this daily, as it's a perfect base for makeup in hot temperatures: it keeps you rather matte, smooth, and it gives you a bit of color. A great staple for the hot months!

Diorskin Nude Freshglow Mineral Foundation SPF 10.

This has been in my drawers for a long time as it's a slightly dark color that requires me to be to be fake tanned. I have used it on top of the Perfect Look, only applied on the T zone with a Real Techniques Buffing Brush, so that my imperfection would be blurred and I would say shine free most of the day. This, however, doesn't have a slight matte finish so it gives the skin some luminosity, and it's not drying. Perfect summer foundation. I couldn't be bothered to wear liquid when it was 30°C outside!

Illamasqua Naked Rose.

Yes, again. Worn almost every day of the month on top of bronzer. It goes with anything so it's a no-brainer.

Dior Addict Ultra Gloss in Rouge Croisière.
I never wear lipgloss. I bought this on an impulse, with its matching nailpolish, and so I made myself wear it to justify the purchase. But actually I have enjoyed it a lot: it's not too sticky (which is what I hate with lipglosses), it's pretty and very easy to wear because it's much more sheer than it looks in the tube. So it's just a perfect touch of glossy color for Summer, where you don't always want to wear a heavy lipstick, and it's also a nice shade that goes with everything. Perfect with sunglasses too :)

Taaj Micellar Water from the Himalaya.

When I reviewed this, I said I wasn't crazy about its smell. Also, I don't find it removes makeup as well as Bioderma (even though it's close). But I feel this is doing something for my skin. I can't put my finger on it, but it makes me look plump and glowy and hydrated. So I might well buy a full size bottle when the small one is used up (which will be soon). I guess the scent kind of grew on me and I can live with it now.

What were your favorite this month?

August 28, 2012

Candy Apple

Revlon Lip Butter in Candy Apple.

Bought it in Norwich. Forgot about it. Heard raves about it almost bought it (again, by mistake) in France last month, but got distracted (pfew!). Found it in my red lipstick drawer (yes, I have a drawer of reds, so what?) two weeks ago.

Have been wearing it loads.

Love it.

Any current lipstick love in your life?

August 22, 2012

Kerastase Chroma Riche Range review

A month ago I had my hair cut, dyed and ombred (which is still dye, technically, bleach wasn't involved in the process) and the stylist advised that I should use the Kerastase Chroma Riche range (which the salon was obviously selling) to keep my color nice and vibrant for longer.

I had used cheaper products meant for color treated hair before but I thought that since I was finally getting a  good dye job and ombre and all that jazz, investig in good products was a good idea. And since Kerastase is so much hyped, why not give it a try.

So I got 3 products and am going to run you through them.

Bain Chroma Riche (shampoo) - 250ml - 16€
I was very surprised to discover that this is not SLS (sodium laureth sulfate) free, when SLS is supposedly what strips the color off your hair.
The texture is nice, the smell isn't really prominent, it lathers quite well (of course, it's full of SLS) and it didn't irritate my scalp.

I can indeed say that my color has lasted quite well and that, a month later, the fading is really minor. I have to confess though that the dye used is not my usual one and I have no previous experience with this one (which is the new L'Oreal Professional INOA system) so the longevity might come from the dye as much as from the shampoo, I wouldn't know.

Masque Chroma Riche - 250ml - 34€
The most expensive product I got. It's a pink jelly that is easy to spread and that you leave on for 5 to 10 minutes and that leaves the hair smooth and shiny. 
However I had the feeling that this looked a lot like this product :
The ingredients lists are different but the look and feel are very similar. This one is much much cheaper (18€) but also a little bit smaller (200ml).
I also noticed in the ingredients list that the Chroma Riche is full of silicones, which of course give nice aspect to the hair but can build up and do nothing repair wise anyway. The L'Oreal ingredients list doesn't mention silicones, so I kind of feel like it's an as-good-if-not-better and way cheaper alternative.

Chroma Thermique Leave-In Conditioner - 150ml - 24€
This is probably the star in what I got: this is a product that you use on dry hair and leave in, before using hot tools on it. Since I tend to straighten my hair every morning (at least the front part and fringe anyway) and usually neglect using any kind of protection, I always rapidly get split ends after a cut.
I haven't used this every single day but I did on most days and I must say that it does make your hair smooth and shiny and it has prevented split-ends quite well so far (I would usually already have them after a month).
The tube contains 150ml but you use the smallest amount so this is an investment that keeps giving for months.
The one thing I don't like is that it's quite heavily fragranced, but that doesn't linger too much once you're done using the hot tools so it's ok.

My overall opinion on the range.
I can't believe that such a premium range hasn't gone SLS free yet or hasn't made effort to avoid silicones and find alternate manners to protect the heir, as some others have done. So I don't believe these are advanced formulations that are worth a high price tag. I also don't find it works so much more than the one-level-down range e.g  L'Oreal Professionel Vitamino Color (which has a SLS free shampoo, by the way).
The only product I would consider repurchasing is the Thermique one, because it works and is great value for money as it lasts for months. But for the rest, I'm a bit disappointed, I was expecting something way more luxurious and realy stepping up from the L'Oreal Professionel range that I had been using before.

August 20, 2012

This Works Perfect Legs Skin Miracle

Last week I told you about This Works tinted moisturizer, but guess what: the magic has also been put to work for your legs!

Now if you live in the UK or in the Northern part of Europe, you'll be familiar with the situation perfectly described  in this video by the lovely Ruth Crilly aka A Model Recommends e.g weather alternating between polar and tropical in a matter of 24 hours. 

This, of course, makes wardrobe management a bit complicated and also impact the life of those of us who are pale and have fluoro white legs. On the beautiful days, you want to wear your little dresses and sandals but you'd rather not reflect the sunlight with your pasty white tights. Hence, you have to look for quick legs solutions - self tan is always a possibility but frankly, when I know it's only going to be sunny for one or two days before the rain comes back, I can't be bothered to apply fake tan to my whole body as it's an awful lot of skin.

So, I'm always on the hunt for a quick fix for my pale legs, something that will be easy to apply and will give me some color without making me look orange like some product I tried last year! Which is why I wanted to try this Perfect Legs promising product.

What the brand says.
Perfect legs skin miracle is a powerful serum with Vitamin C to perfect, repair and enhance.

MODERN: Instantly enhances legs and helps combat skin imperfections, skin discolourations and scars.
NATURAL: A powerful complex of Vitamin C and vitamin E to help even out skin tone and restructure the skin, while Arnica helps to fade bruising.
BEAUTY: Immediately transforms the skin with a sun-kissed glow.

My experience with the product.

It can be summarized in a few facts, really :

- easy to apply, dries fast and isn't sticky
- leaves the skin soft, can work as a daily moisturizer especially as the treating properties would benefit a long-term use
- gives a slight glow and tint - but then, very slight

Yes, if I only have one sunny day and want to show some leg, this will cut out the paleness a little bit, but it's nowhere as dark or tanned looking as fake-tan would be. You won't look tanned, you'll just look less pale. However, the color is natural and not orange looking at all.
One little thing that bothers me is that this smells quite strong of rosemary and I could still catch hints of this smell during the day. It's not a bad smell but it's obviously herbal and I would prefer something smell free.

Is it worth it?

The 120ml bottle retails for £36 - €44, which is not cheap. If what you're after is a day of color once in a while, it's probably not worth such a huge investment even though the product fits the bill perfectly. There might be drugstore alternative for one-day tans that would work better for you. But if you're interested in the skin treatment properties of the serum and/or are willing to commit to using it regularly, then I do think it's a nice little product. I can't really comment on the bruise fading etc... as I haven't tested that thoroughly but I'm willing to believe this can give a bit of a extra help.

Ingredients list for the science nerds.

Aqua, Dicaprylyl carbonate, Caprylic/Capric triglyceride, Butylene glycol, Coconut alkanes, Glycerin, Sodium ascorbyl phosphate, Disodium lauriminodipropionate tocopheryl phosphates, Sorbitan olivate, Laureth-4, Cetearyl olivate, Caramel, Cetyl palmitate, Butyrspermum parkii (Shea) butter, Phenoxyethanol, Sorbitan palmitate, Hydrogenated macadamia seed oil, Mica, Arnica montana flower extract, Allantoin, Benzyl alcohol, Algae extract, Coco-caprylate/caprate, Sodium stearoyl glutamate, Macrocystis pyrifera, Parfum, Xanthan gum, Carbomer, Ethylhexylglycerin, Limonene, Dehydroacetic acid, Pogostemon cablin (Patchouli) oil, Citrus aurantium dulcis (Orange) peel oil, Pelargonium graveolens (Geranium) oil, Amyris balsamifera wood (Amyris) oil, Cinnamomum camphora (Ho Wood) oil, Boswellia carterii (Frankincence) resin oil, Cocos nucifera (Coconut) oil, Rosa damascena (Rose) flower absolute, Vanilla planifolia (Vanilla) absolute, Evernia prunastri absolute, Eugenia caryophyllus (Clove) bud oil, Styrax benzoin absolute, Hibiscus abelmoschus (Musk Mallow) seed oil, Linalool, Isopropyl titanium triisostearate, Citronellol, Caprylyl glycol, Benzoic acid, Evernia prunastri extract, Chlorphenesin, Hexylene glycol, Geraniol, Eugenol, Potassium sorbate, CI 77491.

August 16, 2012

Side note: there is a blogsale going on

I put quite a few things on the blogsale blog and some have already sold very fast, but there are still very nice things available so have a look!

Sisley Express Flower Gel

This overhyped and oh-so-costly product was part of my birthday haul. I thought turning 35 was a good reason to get a nice treat. I have used it a few times since and thought I could already share my thoughts with you, in case you're considering this very expensive purchase.

What the brand says:
For skin that feels fresher, smoother and more supple in 3 minutes flat!

A very refreshing cream-gel mask: sheer bliss for dehydrated, lifeless or energy-depleted skin.
With its high concentration in moisturising (moisture-binding Lily and Iris extracts) and replenishing active ingredients (vitamin F-rich organically grown Sesame extract), Express Flower Gel helps to:
  • chase away the visible signs of fatigue and stress,
  • moisturise and tone the skin,
  • create a feeling of significantly firmer skin.
Active Ingredients:
  • Iris: softens
  • Lily (white):moisturizes, softens
  • Rose:refreshes, softens
  • Sesame: hydrates, restructurates
My experience with the product.

The packaging is a pretty blue tube, very easy to take along. it's very well sealed so you can be sure that the produc has been well preserved until when you open your tube.

This is a light refreshing gel that is in fact not scented (which I appreciate a lot). You put it on and it sets quite quickly, giving your face a dewy appearance. After 3 mins you can wipe off the excess and go on with your life. I have personally used this at night only, before going to bed, but it's definitely something you can use in the morning or before an event for a quick pick-me up.

I usually wipe this off in the morning with a toner (La Roche Posay physiological toner, no alcohol in there) and yes, my skin feels very soft.

Now, I don't know if this really makes my skin feel firmer, but I don't really have any firmness issue.
Also, we're now in Summer and I am not experiencing too much dryness. I wonder how this will perform this Winter when my cheeks feel like cardboard again - but for now, on normal/combo skin, it does an honorable  moisturizing job.

The one big question: is it worth the price tag? Well, I paid €61 for this 60ml tube, which isn't cheap but is still something I was ready to consider. It's about the price of a Guerlain quad, to give you a comparison. However I've seen online that this costs £75 in the UK and $140 in the US!
This is a very nice product, but is it $140 nice? I wouldn't say yes, I'm pretty sure other cheaper products can give the same result on normal skin.
Now, if this performs better than anything I've tried on my dry winter skin, I'll be ready to review my judgement .

Bottom line :  a nice luxurious product if you're not afraid of the price mark. Not sure yet if this makes miracles.

Sisley Flower Gel, 60ml : €61 - £75 - USD 136

August 15, 2012

Tempting FOTD

When the weather gets hot, I tend to be a bit uninspired about what to wear. It feels like anything too heavy will just slide off my face at some point. However, a good eye primer make a difference, hence my (uninspired) choice for a gold and brown smokey look.

And to resist the heat, tweaking the skin routine is actually the most important part, so you get enough glow but don't look like an oilslick by mid day!

What I'm wearing:

This Works Perfect Skin Look moisturizer (slightly tinted)
Mac Strobe Cream on the cheeks only, on top of This Works
Concealing with EL Double Wear concealer in shade 2
Diorskin Nude Freshglow mineral foundation in #30 applied on the T zone with Real Techniques buffing brush
Dior Aurora bronzer (LE/2011)
Illamasque Naked Rose blush
Brows: Shiseido pencil + Mac Omega

Nars eyeshadow primer
Mac Dazzlelight (inner corner), Tempting (lid), Mulch (Outer V) and Brule (highlight)
Nars Larger Than Life liner in Via Appia (brown)
Givenchy Noir Couture mascara

Dior Addict Ultra Gloss in Rouge Croisière

August 13, 2012

This Works Perfect Look Skin Miracle

A little while ago, I saw this product featured in a video by Lisa Eldridge, who is probably my biggest provider of lemmings when it comes to beauty.
So of course, I checked it out online and decided to give it a try!

This Works.
The brand is UK based, including for manufacturing. They aim at being socially responsible by using fair trade and sustainable ingredients (organic when possible), recyclable packagings, and they avoid the use of nasty stuff such as phthalates, sulphates, synthetic colours and fragrance, parabens, GMOs, mineral oils, petrolatum, propylene glycol.
Good brand ethos in my book!

What the brand says about the product.
An instant tinted skin perfector that hydrates and brightens.

MODERN: A miracle-effect, tinted moisturiser that provides instant radiance as well as long term hydrating and replenishing benefits to the skin.
NATURAL: Naturally effective Caramel and Mica provide a subtle skin tint. Potent vitamin C and anti-inflammatory vitamin E diminishes skin imperfections while Hyaluronic acid delivers long lasting hydration while fighting free radicals.
BEAUTY: Not only preps the skin for make-up. You can also wear it alone. Suitable for all skin types and colours, its non-greasy texture quickly absorbs into the skin, so you can achieve a glow at a moment's notice.

The Packaging.

A 30 ml tube that comes with a pump. Light, portable, not breakable and very easy to use, the pump delivers as little as you want. Great job.

My experience with the product.

This is tinted, and this is a moisturizer, but this is not a tinted moisturizer the way Laura Mercier or Nars do it - don't be fooled by the name. They say the tint is subtle, and this is the correct word in my opinion. There is a slight tint to the cream, which very lightly smell of caramel and does look like it indeed, but once applied and blended into the skin, it is really subtle. You are definitely not going to go up a shade by only using this, or you'd have to layer it maybe but I don't know how that would look in the end.
What the product does, however, is give a slightly warmer appearance to the skin and slightly even it out.
Here's my naked mug wearing only Perfect Look Skin Miracle:

Once applied, the product sets rather quickly and it does set matte. It leaves the skin soft and prepped for makeup, or you can simply wear it alone. It is not the most moisturizing product I've ever tried, I doubt dry skin could get along with this alone (you could use a serum underneath though) but for my combination skin it is perfect, so I do use it as my daytime moisturizer, I think it's great for Summer as it mattifies and the hint of color goes unnoticed (in Winter it might look weird since I'm so pale).
Caution: there's alcohol in it so if you're dry or sensitive to that, be warned.

Bottom Line.
A good product that is free from nasties and will work very well for normal to oily skin (dry skin - not so sure), great base for makeup but will work on its own. This is not a tinted moisturizer in the foundation sense of the term.
Retails for £28.

Ingredients list for the science nerds.

Aqua, Butylene Glycol, Dicaprylyl Carbonate, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Glyceryl Stearate SE, Glycerin, Caramel, Polyglyceryl-3 Methylglucose Distearate, Ascorbyl Glucoside, Alcohol Denat., Xylitylglucosides, Stearic Acid, Tocopherol Acetate, Tapioca Starch Polymethylsilsequioxane, Ribes Nigrum Seed Oil, Cetearyl Alcohol, Phenoxyethanol, Anyhydroxylitol, Mica, Hydrogenated Macadamia Seed Oil, Xylitol, Parfum, Sodium Stearoyl Glutamate, Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Polyacrylamide, Dehydroacetic Acid, Sodium Salicylate, Plantago Lanceolata Leaf Extract, Plantago Lanceolata Leaf Extract, Ethylhexylglycerin, Ethylhexylglycerin, C13-14 Isoparaffin, Tin Oxide, Limonene, Mahonia Aquifolium Root Extract, Laureth-7, Benzyl Alcohol, Benzyl Salicylate, Linalool, Citral, Geraniol, Benzyl Benzoate, Citronellol, Farnesol, Eugenol, Isoeugenol, CI 778

August 8, 2012

Taaj Micellar Water from Himalaya

During my last shopping trip to France, while I was literally taking as many bottles of Bioderma as I could carry, my eyes fell on this little product: the Taaj Micellar Water from Himalaya. This does exist in a 500ml bottle, same format as the Bioderma, but they also have a 100ml travel bottle that was about €3.50 and I thought I would give it a try. I must say that I've seen a few positive reviews pop here and there lately on beauty blogs, and this excited my curiosity.

Also, as you may know, I have been reading on Ayurvedic cosmetics, and Taaj also works around these principles, so I thought that was interesting. However, the label tells you that this product is suitable for all doshas and skintypes, so you don't have to know anything at all before you give this a try.

The product claims to contain Spring Water from the Himalaya (which you cannot really verify, can you?), green tea for antioxydants, chamomille to soothe the skin and rosemary to act as a toner. This is suitable for eyes and face and doesn't need to be rinsed before you apply your skincare. I, for one, always rinse off micellar lotions with thermal water.

How does it work? Surprisingly well! You've heard me say that not all micellar lotions were created equal but this is definitely one of the best I've tried.
The one thing that bothers me: the smell. Where the Bioderma is completely unscented, this one has quite a citrusy fragrance to it, which I suppose comes from the plant extracts in it. Although I got used to it a little bit, I'm not a fan of that smell at all. It also scares me a little bit to use something fragraned around my eyes so I have, in fact, used this only on my face.
However, as a cleanser, this is briliant. Removes all the makeup, leaves the skin fresh, glowy and plumped, I absolutely love the result.

If you cannot find Bioderma where you live but can get the hold of this (and aren't bother by the fragrance), this is definitely something to consider as a replacement!

August 6, 2012

Sheers! (A Lipstick Bandits adventure)

I know, I know,  worst title in the the history of blogpost titles. That must be because I was slightly panicking when we decided on this theme: sheer lipsticks. Sheer? I don't do sheer! Bold is my middle name when it comes to lipstick!

Excepted: not really. I actually wear a couple of sheer colors and there is one I wear a lot, especially since we got reunited a few weeks ago. I had been looking for it for a couple of months, and it was quietly waiting for me under my car seat! Since I found it back I have worn it loads, and let's face it : it's sheer.

Introducing: Dior Addict in Miss Dior (343)

Isn't it the prettiest sheer peach?

I love the Dior Addict lipsticks because their formula is moisturizing and easy to wear, they're almost like a balm but they are more pigmented, although quite a few colors like this one are on the sheer side.
I wear this one with virtually everything!

Check out the sheer lipsticks picked by the other Lipstick Bandits :

Beauty Reflections
Bloomin' Beauty Blog
Call It Beauty
Eye Heart It
Getting Cheeky
Glitter Geek
Makeup Morsels
Messy Wands
My Women Stuff
Rocaille Writes
theNotice: a beauty blog