February 28, 2013

Now we have to dance for one more of us

I rarely, if ever, talk about personal stuff on here. It is a beauty blog and that's how I want it to be. But this week something happened and I have felt just unable to write all the posts that I had planned, so I'm writing this one instead. Normal activity will resume tomorrow.

It's a given, when you grow older, that you are going to lose people from the previous generations. I'm not saying you are ever ready to go through that, but you know, deep inside of you, that it will happen.
What you don't expect, is seeing people your age going. People just like you, in the same stages of life, with the same energy, the same projects for the future. Gone, in an instant, just like that.

Or, rather, like that : 

Full lyrics available here if you want to read them. 

We're all going to live to dance another day, so let's enjoy it to the fullest. No point in postponing the good stuff for too long, or keeping a nice perfume or a luxurious bath oil just for special occasions we don't know for sure we'll have.
 And that applies to many many other things in life.

Enjoy the dance as much as you can, people.

February 25, 2013

Illamasqua I'mPerfection speckled liner FOTD

The one look I loved the most when discovering the whole Illamasqua I'mPerfection collection is this one. I found it actually looked wearable, and was even more convinced after I saw bloggers Gemsmaquillage and Essiebutton wearing it. So of course I had to try and recreate it!

See? Very wearable!

Products used:
- a wash of Furore Pigment
- Precision Ink in Abyss and Scribe
- blushers in Lover and Hussy (permanent and now released in a duo)
- lipstick in Immodest (released with this collection)

For a night out, I would have had false lashes, but for a normal day, I just kept things like this and I absolutely loved the effect. Nobody threw stones at me in the streets, by the way?

What do you think of this look? Would you wear it? 

February 22, 2013

The "Use as many products as possible" challenge FOTD

You know how those makeup challenges are popular in the beauty blogosphere: a 4 products face, a 10$ face (good luck with that in Europe, you don't even buy a drugstore mascara for that price), a drugstore only face...

But what about a challenge where you use whatever products you have but make it a really full face, with as many products as possible, without looking like a drag or a Kardashian
I think that, contrary to what lots of people think, it can take a whole lot of products to do a natural face (even if it doesn't necessarily have to), and what looks "too much" on a face is not the quantity but rather the application.

So this morning I managed to put on no less than 23 products:

No, the Lutens perfumes don't count, they're just on display because I'm wearing them (both, yes) and they look pretty in the picture.
And here's me wearing this all:

Let's have a look at what I used. I'm going to put a little * next to items I usually do not wear on a daily basis.

Laura Mercier Illuminating Primer*
Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua B10
Estee Lauder Double Wear concealer in #2
Clarins Instant Light Brush On Perfector (wear this most of the time but sometimes skip it)
Nars Penny Lane Cream blush * (rarely wear 2 blushers unless it's to create a new color)
Nars Sex Appeal blush
Jemma Kidd Dewy Glow*

Becca Loose Powder in Sesame

Brows: Shiseido brow pencil in shade #002, Mac Omega e/s, Essence gel
Nars eyeshadow primer
The 5 eyeshadows on the top row of the Inglot palette, which are Matte 351, 390, 358, 363 and 329 * (I don't always use 5 shadows on a daily basis, I can do with 3)
Mac chromographic pencil in NC15/NW20 on waterline*
Mac champagne eyeliner in the inner corner to brighten*
Majolica Majorca Lash Gorgeous Wing mascara on bottom lashes*
Clinique High Impact mascara on top lashes

Dior Universal lip liner*
Bourjois 3D Max volume lipgloss

I think this is absolutely daytime/office appropriate and doesn't look like 23 products. It doesn't feel to heavy to wear either but it's definitely more time consuming to apply that many products so I am glad I can skip a few on a daily basis!

What's the maximum amount of products you use?

February 14, 2013

Illamasqua I'mperfection

I am always very excited when Illamasqua launches a new collection, and I was even more excited for this one because nothing else really caught my eyes within the S/S 2013 collections.

As always, the theme of the collection celebrates individualities and uniqueness in beauty, rather than trying to force a rigid vision of beauty on us.  It is about embracing who we are and not trying to cover up the so-called "flaws" that make us unique.

You'd think I would have reached the top of excitement possibilities there but no: it reached new summits when I received this in the post:

This lovely package, from Illamasqua's PR, looking like a little nest, contained 2 beautiful products: Nailvarnish in Fragile (a speckled soft blue) and Blush Duo in Katie+Ambition.

The nailvarnishes, as you can see them on the picture below, are really the stars of this collection in my opinion. Their freckled look is very unique and they truly look like eggshells. I had never seen something similar before (although I see similar top coats popping here and there now) and all the shades are perfect for Spring.

The blush duos are quite new in the Illamasqua range, and this one is being released with this collection. Katie is certainly one of the most famous Illamasqua blushes because it suits the palest and coolest skins. Ambition, which was released in Fall 2011 I think, is a brighter shimmery pink which I already owned and have worn a lot.

The duos come in a larger compact than the regular blushes, in fact they're the same compacts as the eyeshadow quads, and they also have a real mirror in it which is really neat.
If you have a darker skintone, there is another duo released with this collection that brings together Beg (dusky rose) and Bronzella (new shade, copper bronze) that will be perfect for you.

I have already placed an order for more nailpolishes and for Immodest lipstick, a vivid pink shade.
If you are worried about UK Royal Mail not shipping nailpolishes or perfumes anymore, be aware that Illamasqua has found an alternate carrier and is now able to ship those products again.

I leave you with my favorite visual for this collection: this speckled eyeliner is just stunning and the whole face is perfection.

Have you tried or ordered anything from this collection?

- Disclaimer: some of the products mentioned here were sent to me for free for PR consideration. As always, my opinion on the product is honest and I'm not being compensated for this review. As I told you, I even spent my own money on more products from the range!

February 9, 2013

If you are on Facebook...

Come and say hello, I am late on the bandwagon but finally created a page for the blog. I'll also be able to post mini reviews and pictures on a more regular basis there when I don't have time to blog so that would be a nice way to stay connected.

See you there!

February 8, 2013

Elemis Rehydrating Cleanser + Rehydrating Toner

I got the opportunity to try the Elemis Rehydrating Rosepetal Cleanser and Ginseng Toner that are available on QVC.
At the heart of Winter, anything that has the word "rehydrating" in it sounds pretty good so I was very happy to give those products a chance, even more so as Elemis is being raved about on the blogosphere.

Rehydrating Rosepetal Cleanser :  what the brand says.

Elemis cleansers use natural bases and pure plant extracts, including lecithin, to gently and effectively melt away make-up and daily grime. 
The rehydrating rosepetal cleanser replenish moisture whilst cleansing with extracts of rose, vitamin E and F. 

My experience with the product.

This cleanser is actually a milk, and you are instructed to massage it into the skin like you would with for example, an oil, then wipe away with a cotton pad. You could also use a hot cloth to remove it, but that is not always recommended for dehydrated skins as very warm water can distress it even more.
The milk is very soft and soothing, and smells of rose but not in an agressive or artificial way - which is good as I am generally not a fan of rose smells. 
Very good point: it does remove my eye makeup, including industrial strength gel liner  (I don't use waterproof mascara though) and it doesn't sting the eyes at all.
The bad point: when I wear a heavy base this doesn't remove everything. I'll wipe my face with a toner afterwards and will find remaining makeup on the cotton pad. So I wouldn't recommend using it as your sole cleanser to get rid of a full face.

All in all I think this is an excellent product for very dehydrated, dry or mature skin, that is best kept for morning cleansing or when you are wearing lighter makeup. You can of course use this with heavier makeup if you follow up with another type of cleanser (foaming, oil...). 

Rehydrating Ginseng Toner: what the brand says.

Elemis toners are alcohol free and designed to rebalance the skin’s PH level, lift away traces of cleanser and gently tighten pores.
The Rehydrating ginseng toner tones and clarify the skin with ginseng and sweet betty flower.

My experience with the product.

If you are familiar with my skincare routine, you'll know that I mostly use toners in the morning, instead of a cleanser, to wipe away the night. This one fits the purpose very well: it has a fresh invigorating smell, isn't sticky nor stingy. You can absolutely use it for a 3 mins lotion mask to leave your skin rehydrated and plumped.
All in all a very good toner that does its job perfectly.

If you like a good deal, you can currently buy a set with both products (full size cleanser with a smaller sized toner) for £20 on here!
More skincare offers on here.

Products were provided for free for review consideration, this review reflects my true opinion on the products and I wasn't offered any compensation to write it.
Links are not affiliated link - I don't make any money if you buy the products :)

February 5, 2013

January Favourites

Ykes! Being a bit late with this one. And a bit uninspired, too, I must say, because I did not do anything extraordinary this past month on the makeup front. Being tired I tried to have longer nights and spend less time on makeup for one, and for two, the bad weather and snow called for solutions more practical and protective than really pretty. 
So here's what I have for you this month.

Hydraluron Moisture Booster Serum.
Patted on top of my Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair and under my moisturizer, this has helped my skin not to turn into sandpaper during the coldest (-12°C!) weeks. A saver for dehydrated skin.

Avene Soothing Hydrating Serum.
Another saver, I use this one during the day because the finish is dry and siliconey so putting makeup on top is no issue and it does constitute a protective layer between the skin and the outside.

Ünt Derma Oasis.
I am almost at the end of this one, I still like the gel texture that does hydrate the skin but, unlike many moisturizer, doesn't make my normal areas greasy, so this is what I use for daytime most days. 

Phyto Phytojoba Hydrating Shampoo.
I'll have to tell you in detail about that, but my last dye job left my scalp very irritated and dry, and this shampoo is the only thing that was able to calm things down a bit as well as leaving my hair very soft. Plus, I adore the coconutty smell.

Nars Luminizing Tinted Moisturizer.
Yes, again. What else can bring you moisture and a lovely glow in Winter months? This is still an absolute favorite of mine, as it is also very gentle on my Winter skin.

Jemma Kidd Dewy Glow
More glow, more highlight! That's what you want in Winter! I am so sad this makeup line is going out of business because I absolutely adore this product, it is just so easy to apply, totally foolproof and always looks good.
However his successor will be Illamasqua Gleam in Aurora, of which the texture is a bit harder but the result is equivalent.

Clinique High Impact mascara.
I got a mini of this in a beauty box and used it for a good 6 weeks until it ran out. Fabulous mascara, my new second best after my beloved YSL Faux-Cils. Price tag is about 5€ cheaper so that could be a reason to change once in a while when budget is tighter or I don't want to spend yet another 27€ on a tube of Faux Cils.

Revlon Lip Butters.
I have worn nothing else but these all month, especially Candy Apple, Macaroon and Raspberry Pie.
With my lips being extremely dry and even cracked at some times, most of my lipsticks were too uncomfortable but these were just perfect.

What were your favorites this month?

February 4, 2013

Pink, it was love at first sight (A Lipstick Bandit adventure)

* credits for the title go to Aerosmith

Valentines' day is coming up soon and the Lipstick Bandits decided to go pink for the occasion!
I never ever do a full pink look, but it's fun to give it a go once a year, so I really decided to go overboard with it.
Disclaimer: I don't pretend at all that this is wearable or suitable for a date, even on Valentine's day!

Products used:
Nars Sheer Glow in Gobi
Givenchy glowing blush in Lune Rosée (LE - AW 2011)
Mac Blanc Type e/s
Mac Satellite Dreams e/s
No name black gel liner
Clinique High Impact Mascara
Illamasqua Atomic lipstick on top of some Elizabeth Arden 8 Hours Cream

If you have seen the new Illamasqua I'mperfection collection, you must have noticed those gorgeous pictures of dotted winged liner - as if there were freckles around the line. 
I did try do do the same thing with pink here, but not having a pink gel liner (what a fail), I used Illamasqua Sealing gel and the same Satellite Dreams eyeshadows. The effect is quite subtle though.

Inspired by the color pink? Discover what the other bandits did with it!

And new to the Lipstick Bandits this time around - Welcome, ladies!