January 21, 2013

Hydraluron Moisture Booster

You know me and my Winter skin, I am always looking for something that is going to solve all my dehydration issues. And what sounds best than hyaluronic acid to do that, right?
After I first read about this on Caroline Hirons'blog, Beautymouth, and seeing how she raved about it, I knew I had to give it a go.

What the brand says.
Hydraluron is a hydration serum inspired by injectable hydration treatments employed in Swiss clinics. The mechanism of action of Hydraluron is two-fold. Firstly, Hydraluron uses the worlds purest grade of hyaluronic acid from the Netherlands as it's hydration active. Hyaluronic acid is a superb hydration ingredient that can hold up to 1,000 times it's weight in water.

Our pure grade has a microgranule-like powder that features a low density and a polydispersity below 1.5, which simply means greater quality, exceptional safety and extraordinary consistency. Secondly, a bio-engineered strain of marine red algae causes controlled and mild stimulation of skin turnover to allow thorough penetration of Hydraluron's hyaluronic acid.
Apply a small amount over the entire face before applying other moisturising creams. Using this product increases the skin's ability to retain moisture over time and reduces the amount of topical moisturisers needed to maintain ideal skin hydration
I am not entirely sure I understand it all. I mean, I understand the words, but don't ask me if the ingredient in this can effectively hold up 1,000 times its weight in water, I have no idea how to verify that. Same thing with the secret power of red algae.

My experience with the product.
The product is a clear gel that comes in a small tube. You use it under moisturizer as you would with any serum, but the consistency is definitely gel like and not runny nor liquid. It is not sticky at all, a little bit fresh but not cold, overall very pleasant to use.
To be perfectly honest, when I first tried this, I was quite disappointed. I used it instead of my Advanced Night Repair serum, with a bit of moisturizer on top, and I didn't find that my skin was perticularly more plump or felt more hydrated the next morning. Actually, I thought it didn't look as good as when I use ANR.

So I left this aside for a little while, until the end of December when I got a cold and the skin around my nose was peeling and red and irritated. On a whim, I decided to sandwich this between my ANR and my moisturizer. Miracle: after only one application my skin was healing well already and after 3 days it was back to normal.

Since then, I cannot be without this serum. I still use it between ANR and moisturizer (Estee Lauder is all about layering serums so you can absolutely put something on top of ANR) and it really helps. Right now the temperatures outside are very very cold, and my skin suffers a lot, but this is really calming down the irritation and healing the flaky areas.

My overall opinion. 
At £24.99, this is not cheap at all. And you can only get it from Boots in the UK. But if you can get your hands on it, then absolutely do: you will understand what all the raves are about. This simply works, if you find the right combination of products to use it with. My moisturizers are always very light so that might be why the ANR was needed here.

Too bad the tube is only 30ml, I wish it was bigger (but it would be more expensive too).

Ingredient list for the science nerds:
Water/Aqua/Eau, Propanediol, Sodium Hyaluronate, Ahnfeltia Concinna Extract, Carbomer, Butylene Glycol, Disodium Edta, Sodium Hydroxide, Phenoxyethanol.

January 17, 2013

Face of the Day: cool pinks and taupes

Some weird weather change happened and after weeks of gloominess (is that even a word?), we suddenly got snow. Which means I got snowed in for a whole day - with my makeup and with daylight! Good time to take pictures!

This is a cool toned pinks and taupes themes, which I think fits January very well (enough of the Christmas golds and reds already!)

Products used:
Nars Radiant Tinted Moisturizer in Finland
Illamasqua Skin Base in AU to contour
Illamasqua Promise cream blush
Illamasqua Gleam Cream highlighter
Burberry Pale Barley eyeshadow
Inglot matte cool taupe eyeshadow in the crease (don't have the number)
Clinique High Impact Mascara
Dior Addict in It Pink on the lips

I love the very glowy and slightly pink looks for this time of the year, I think they're very flattering on pale skins in the cool toned light.

Sad note: Burberry Pale Barley, which is one of the prettiest taupes I've ever seen, is now discontinued as it was in fact limited edition for 2012 only. It seems to be out of stock everywhere already. I am very glad I got it last month, not knowing it would soon disappear, but very sad I could not get a replacement if needed.
(Who am I fooling, I never finish any eyeshadow!) If I hear of a dupe, I will let you know. For now you can use something along the lines of Inglot Pearl 402 (but it's a bit darker and pinkier).

January 16, 2013

Laura Mercier Angled Eye Colour Brush

Hello everyone. No, I have not disappeared from the surface of the earth. And it's not that I have been consciously taking a break of feeling uninspired. The truth is, the last 6 or 7 weeks have looked and felt like a long rainy day of November. I can't remember when I saw the sun for the last time and that means that for weeks I have had zero daylight available to take pictures. That means no faces of the day, no swatches, no haul pics, nada.
A project for this year will be to get decent lighting and photography material so this stops being a problem, but that is a lot of money to invest and I have other projects to save for as well so... for now I'll have to do with my Ixus and daylight, when I can get any.

As you can see, the weather hasn't held me from shopping! I don't know why exactly but i recently developped an obsession about getting an angled shader brush. I think in my mind, I was imagining this would apply shadow and blend at the same time and would be great for quick and easy looks.

During a little visit with friends at a Laura Mercier counter, I decided to get their Angled Eye Colour Brush.

It is seriously angled, as you can see. It is also 100% natural hair, so not suitable for vegans.
And actually it doesn't really do what I think it would do, although that is entirely my fault : this is a very stiff brush, and you cannot blend with it, I should have known better when I bought it.

On the other hand, the surface is quite large. It will pick up quite a lot of product, scratching the surface of your eyeshadows a little bit, and then it will apply the color efficiently and easily all over the lid.

If you have very small eyes, this is not going to be a brush for you as it is quite big. Unless you like your wash of eyesadow to go quite far up, like I do, you will find this is not precise enough.
For me, I actually like it. I'm used to using the huge Mac 227 to apply large washes of color and this one is a good substitute for it. But - it doesn't really blend and won't save you the extra blending brush and time.

Laura Mercier Angled Eye Color Brush : USD 29 - € 35 (bad conversion factor strikes again)

January 1, 2013

Happy New Year!

May 2013 be full of beauty for you all!