April 24, 2013

Laura Mercier Secret Finish

Last week-end I had a makeover at Laura Mercier with a group of girlfriends. We had a really nice time and were introduced to quite a few very nice products from the range. I will need to give you the details of the subsequent little haul.
You would think by now I'd know about everything - well, everything that isn't new - in the beauty market, but this Secret Finish had to be a well-kept one because I had never heard of it. 
Let me tell you this: it is seriously under-hyped and deserves much more publicity!

What the brand says about this:

A secret last step that helps set makeup and leaves the skin with a youthful glow.
  • Use a refresher for skin anytime during the day
  • Leaves a radiant look
  • Skin looks lifted and tightened
  • Works great after Foundation Powder application to prevent powder from looking dry in fine lines
  • Instantly gives a moist and natural looking glow to the skin
  • Oil-free
  • Can be used by all skin types
How it was used on me:
The makeup artist followed the directions that the brands give: you pour a little bit of the cream in the palm of your hands, rub your hands together and pat -not rub- all over the face, paying attention to the undereye area too. It is as simple as that. After a minute, the products sets in and your skin is left glowy and fresh and feeling velvety.


This is me having applied the product 7 hours after having put on my makeup. Can you believe how fresh and glowy it looks?

Of course you can use the product in the morning immediately after makeup application, for example to get rid of a powdery feel.
If you are oily skinned, there is a mattifying version of the product.

Laura Mercier Secret Finish, 30ml: €33/US$ 27

Ingredient list for the science nerds:
Aqua (Water), Propylene Glycol, Octyldodecanol, Oryza Sativa (Rice) Starch, Sorbitan Stearate, Hydrolyzed Milk Protein, Hamamelis Virginiana (Witch Hazel) Extract, Olea Europaea (Olive) Leaf Extract, Camellia Oleifera Leaf Extract, Retinyl Palmitate, Tocopherol, Citric Acid, Bisabolol, Disodium EDTA, Phenoxyethanol, Polysorbate 60, Triethanolamine, Carbomer, Methylparaben, Ethylparaben, Butylparaben, Butylene Glycol, Cyclomethicone, Propylparaben, Isobutylparaben, Fragrance, Red 4, Yellow 5. 

April 23, 2013

Current Empties

I can only do empties posts on very rare occasions, because I hardly ever finish anything. So I'm quite proud of what has been accomplished during the past few weeks there!
I thought it would be good to tell you how I liked those products.

Phyto Phytojoba hydrating shampoo : previously mentioned here but also in previous empties posts, this is really my favorite shampoo for dry hair. It smells fabulous too and is very gentle for the scalp. I have repurchased it again.

Aussie Mega Shampoo : I bought this one in Norwich almost a year ago - I told you I'm slow. I love that it left my hair really soft and that it smells like pomegranate syrup. But it's not SLS free and you can't use it after a dye job because it would strip the color too much, also if you use it daily it can be drying for your scalp after a while. But all in all I loved it and I'm a bit sad we can't get this brand here, I won't be able to use it again.

La Roche Posay Physiological Toner: this is what I use in the morning to wipe away the night (instead of cleanser) followed by a spritz of Avene Thermal Water. It's alcohol free and smells really fresh. I have of course repurchased it.

Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair: has been my night time serum for years, I can really see a difference in my skin when I don't use it, and not in a nice way, so I can't be without it. Have obviously repurchased.

REN Active 7 Radiant Eye Gel: I told you everything about it here, it's a little bit upsetting that this new packaging doesn't allow you to see when it's time to repurchase, one day it was empty and that was it. But I still love the product and have purchased it again.

Kielh's Ultra Facial Cream : this was a 7ml travel size and I absolutely adored using it, so I got a full size product since. I use it at night on top of the ANR serum and it leaves my skin soft and moisturized.

Estee Lauder Double Wear Concealer shade 02: one of the best concealers out there, I can't be without it. It covers everything and won't budge through the day, and the texture is light enough to work under the eyes as well as on the face. I have obviously repurchased.

Clinique High Impact Mascara: I recently reviewed it here, I liked that mini so much I did purchase a full size!

Essence brow gel: I have used this product for years, it was great and dirt cheap (about 2.50€) but it has been discontinued and it was my last back-up. I have switched to Gosh but am not liking it as much. I'm a bit sad about this one.

Have you used up anything lately? Did you repurchase it?

April 15, 2013

The Lipstick Bandits do Corals for Spring!

When, during one of our secret Bandit meetings, we decided on the color coral for this Spring edition, we realized there was a bit of a debate around it. Is it a pink? An orange? A red? All of the above? 
My idea was that coral had to be the color of the marine coral. You know, the red-orange pinkish (yeah, that helps) deposite used to make jewelry? 
Anyway, there was still a bit of controversy, so to solve my dilemma I went for a lipstick with "coral" in the name - if the color is wrong I cannot be blamed.
This lipstick is Estee Lauder Coral Fantasy.

Is it red, pink, orange? It is CORAL!
I have had it for two years and it is one of my favorite colors for Spring Summer. Despite the fact that Lauder lipsticks have a very strong fake fig smell that I am not crazy about, I love their very creamy texture and insane pigmentation. Plus, I think the packaging is really cool as it allows you to see the color, yes it's still elegant.
And what do I pair coral lips with? Navy flicky liner, of course (this is Bobbi Brown Cobalt Ink).

Bright lips + blue liner = love

This combination of a bright lip and liner is probably my favorite look of all time, possibly my signature look. I love it with fuchsia all year long, with red in Winter, but for Spring, coral wins my heart!
If you need a great coral blush to go with it, Illamasqua Tremble will always do the trick as you can see.

Now check out what kind of coral the other Bandits picked!

April 11, 2013

An introduction to Chanel Les Beiges

"The best things in life are free. The second best things in life are expensive." Coco Chanel

Some things are really too pretty to pass on.
I needed a new powder compact for touch ups, and Chanel just released Les Beiges in this absolutely beautiful packaging.

Let's have a look inside :

That's the box it comes in.
The inside of the compact is black with a large mirror and a nice little brush.

And that's the powder!
So what is this new magic product exactly? It's mostly a press powder, one that is very fine and goes on quite sheer. It has no shimmer whatsoever but it gives a slight glow, kind of a soft-focus effect, to the skin while still mattifying it.

It comes in different shades, the first one being #10 - but it is not sold in my country. So I went for #20 even though I am B10 in most Chanel foundations, but it works quite well because it goes on lighter than what it looks like in the pan. It is also quite sheer so you can get along with a shade that is not exactly your skintone.

Here is me wearing it, on top of Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua in B10.

After trying the product, I would say that it's great (and pretty) to look in your purse for touch ups during the day. If you are looking for a mattifying powder for an oily skin, I don't think this will be enough as it didn't keep me shine free all day and I am not even that oily. But since I was looking for a product to touch up on the go, this is perfect. At 38€, it is also reasonably priced compared to other high end brands.

You can see the product in action is this video as well as the Le Beige kabuki brush,  but I personally don't think that this powder would be enough as a base on its own, unless you have perfect skin already. I actually don't think Lisa Eldridge had nothing on her skin before applying it.

Have you tried Les Beiges? Did you like?

April 3, 2013

Five new Makeup Geek eyeshadow swatches and FOTD

Makeup Geek just released five new colors that I find absolutely perfect for Spring so I was really excited to try them.
As usual, they are very pigmented and have an easy to blend texture. Let me show you some swatches photographed in daylight (in the sun, even, who thought it would ever come back?)

Simply Marlena, Graphite, Cosmopolitan, Frappé, Hipster

Simply Marlena is a bright matte pink, and it's Marlena's favorite color (I am totally jealous she did this, if I were to create my own makeup line I would obviously love to give my name to my favorite shade!). It is very pigmented and it shows up extremely well with just one swipe.
Graphite is well, a graphite grey, and it has silver specks to it that I find very pretty
Cosmopolitan is a rose gold with gold flecks and a shimmery finish to it, it is a good dupe for Mac Expensive Pink and is very pretty as a wash of single color, as well as in more complex looks
Frappé is a matte medium maple shade, a very pretty warm crease shade
Hipster is the only one I had to pack on a bit more for the swatch to show up well, but it is a gorgeous shade that lays somewhere between dark sand and light tan - I would just say a very pretty taupe with a bit of shimmer. A great one for taupe and neutral lovers.

Inspired by some Shiseido looks I recently saw on the web (the mix of sand and pink shades is very present in their Spring collection) I decided to use 4 of the shades together to create this Springy look!

On the lid: Hipster outer part, Cosmopolitan inner part.
In the crease: Cosmopolitan, with a touch of Simply Marlena for a pop of color in the inner part 
Along the lashline: Graphite smoked up and out

Blush is Illamasqua Tremble!

Makeup Geek eyeshadow pans can be ordered from the Makeup Geek store for $5.99 (international shipping available)

*Disclaimer : I received these shadows from the Makeup Geek store for free. I was not asked to review them nor am I getting any compensation for this review. My opinion on them is honest, as usual.

April 2, 2013

March Favorites

Not missing on the favorites recap this month! Although there is nothing exceptional in there... March tricked us into thinking that Spring was here, gave us 3 days of lovely weather, only to let Winter return with a vengeance. So freezing temperatures and snow ruled my skincare and makeup all month.

Kiehl's Ultra Facial Cream.
I haven't been that excited about a moisturizer in for a very long time, I bloody love this product. Perfect texture, no tacky residue, my skin is more hydrated than it's been in ages... this is adopted for good!

Orofluido Hair Oil.
I can never be bothered using haircare products, other than shampoo obvioulsy.  But this one smells good and is so easy to apply on wet hair that I have actually made the effort of using it quite regularly this past month. My dry split ends love it.

Illamasqua Speckled Nailpolishes.
I own the blue, the lilac and the beige and I can't decide which one I love the most. They're very Springy but I think they'll transition into Summer very well. The glitter is not the worse to remove (I thought that would be a turn off but it's okay) and I love the overall effect.

Clinique High Impact Mascara
First time in forever that I buy a full size mascara that is not YSL. This is a great product to give oomph to your lashes if you want both length and volume.

Rimmel Apocalips.
Cheap, easy to wear, super long-lasting, not drying, extremely pigmented... what more could you want? I only own one at the moment (Apocaliptic, the fuchsia) but have my eyes on the red, coral and one of the nudes, I think they will be as easy to wear in Spring/Summer as they are in Winter.

Kevyn Aucoin Creamy Glow in Liquifuchsia.
I owe you a proper review of this one. I got it as a gift at the beginning of the month and have been wearing it 90% of the time since, that's just how much I love it. The color is fabulous and extremely wearable, despite the scary bright color it looks like in the pan.

What were your favorites this month?