July 31, 2013

REN Satin Perfection BB cream : the one BB cream that I love

No, I have not changed my mind: I still hate most of the BB creams on the market. But I have find one that I really like and no surprise: it's from REN, a brand that has yet to disappoint me.

What the brand says:
A silicone free BB cream that leaves the skin looking flawless, even toned and luminous with a perfect non-oily, satin finish. This true multi-function cream provides flawless coverage that banishes imperfections, gives SPF and anti-oxidant protection while photo-rejuvenation technology offers a toning, firming, anti-ageing effect.

  • Skin looks satin smooth, matte and flawless
  • Corrects imperfections
  • Protects against UV damage
  • Revitalizes and boosts radiance
  • Skin looks firmer and more toned

My experience with the product:
The first thing about this product that I like a lot is the texture. Where lots of BB creams have a very rich texture that I find hard to blend and quite dry, this one is a much lighter texture that almost feels like a mousse. I do apply it on top of moisturized skin, though, otherwise it can still feel a bit dry when spreading it - but nowhere near as much as all the other BB creams.

The second thing is the color: where lots of BB creams are either greyish or frankly orange (yes, L'Oreal and Garnier, I'm looking at you), this one gives a bit of a healthy glow that does remind me of Origins VitaZing. It would probably look like skin on an NC20, if you are lighter, it will give you a bit of color, but in an non-orange non-offensive way!

I found that it is more satin than matte (which I like) and that through the day it can be a bit too dewy if you don't powder it - but that's what I experience with most products. 

The coverage is very light, if you want to hide redness or discoloration, you will need to add some concealer. What I like to do during Summertime is to use a product like this one or This Works Perfect Skin Miracle all over, and then dab a light foundation like Chanel Vitalumière Aqua around the nose and chin where I want more coverage.

When it comes to packaging, this is an airless pump, which is really hygienic, and you can always see how much is left as the tube is transparent. Little bit of a negative there though: the pump isn't always working great, and also you need a good couple of pumps to do your whole face, particularly as it doesn't dispense the same amount every time. That would be my biggest negative point about this product.

Finally, this product has SPF15 with broad spectrum. It's really not enough in the Summer time, unless like me you spend your days working behind the computer inside the house - otherwise, you'll need a stronger SPF underneath.

Ingredient list for the science nerds:
Aqua (Water), Caprylic/ Capric Triglyceride, Zinc Oxide, Oleyl Alcohol, Camelia Oleifera Seed Oil, Titanium Dioxide, Glycerin, Cetearyl Olivate, Silica, Yeast Amino Acids, Sorbitan Olivate, Isononyl Isononanoate, Myristyl Myristate, Sucrose Palmitate, Tricalcium Phosphate, Oryzanol, Cetearyl Alcohol, Phenoxyethanol, Isopropyl Myristate, Polyhydroxystearic Acid, Vaccinium Macrocarpon (Cranberry) Seed Oil, Mannitol, Lactic Acid, Yeast Extract, Mica, Sodium Hydroxymethylglycinate, Tocopherol, Carbomer, Isostearic Acid, Stearalkonium Hectorite, Limonene, Morinda Citrifolia Extract, Isopropyl Titanium Triisostearate, Glycogen, Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate, Propylene Carbonate, Citrus Nobilis (Mandarin Orange) Peel Oil, Parfum (Fragrance), Linalool, Laminaria Ochroleuca Extract, Citrus Grandis (Grapefruit) Peel Oil, CI 77492/ CI 77491/ CI 77499 (Iron Oxides)

As per usual, REN avoid using as many nasties as they can, which is a great bonus.

Have you tried this cream and did you like it?

REN Satin Perfection BB Cream SPF 15, broad spectrum SPF 15 - 50ml - £26

July 27, 2013

(Makeup) Instructions for a Heatwave

If you haven't read that excellent book y Maggie O'Farrell, I really recommend you do. However it does not, sadly, give any real instruction on how to deal with the kind of weather we've been having these past weeks. Nor on how to keep your makeup from melting off your face. 

But I have found, I think, I routine that works well - and interestingly it does involve a lot of cream products, as you can see on the picture above.
Mind you, I don't use them all at the same time, here's what I'd have on my face on one typical day:

And that would be:
- some kind of tinted moisturizer, which is usually This Works Perfect Skin Miracle. But the REN BB cream (yes, you read that well, more to come on that subject) does work as well
- a bit of foundation around the nose and chin to hide discoloration
- powder bronzer of some kind, this one is the Dior Skin Nude Glow one
- cream blusher - and I love those Bourjois ones, they're easy to apply and blend and stay on all day
- a wash of one cream eyeshadow with mascara :  Maybelline Color Tattos are fab and inexpensive, but of course Mac Paintpots or cream shadows from Shiseido, Bobbi Brown or other brands are great as well. I use Nars eyeshadow primer underneath and they won't budge
- a chubby stick type of thing on the lips, this one is also by Bourjois and a great little product.

The result: a face that stays on all day through the heat, with just a bit of Chanel Les Beige to touch up the T-Zone mid day.

Bonus: it takes less than 10 mins to put on.

Do you have a makeup routine for hot weather? 

July 22, 2013

SPF reminder

We've been under a really hot sun for more than 2 weeks now and it's not foreseen to stop any time soon. Though this long awaited Summer is welcome, it means that you have to take a few precautions, like drink enough water (2 litres a day is recommended in this heat), avoid physical exercise during the afernoon, and of course: wear SPF.

This video from BodyTalk daily is a great reminder of the basics:

Little summary:
- SPF doesn't add up, putting 2 SPF 15 products in top of each other does not make an SPF 30
- the SPF is an indication of how long your skin is protected. SPF 50 protects your skin longer than SPF 30. So don't think that an SPF 50 will prevent you from tanning or will be too heavy for you: it's a question of time, nothing else

And as a side note, if you have young children, a sunblock, which is a mineral filter, is better than a sun protection with chemical filters. Avene has a great SPF 50 mineral filter (see picture above) that is great for the whole family

Stay protected and hydrated, and enjoy the sun!

July 17, 2013

Current loves from The Body Shop

Although they don't have any store in my immediate area, I'm always happy to give The Body Shop a visit when I come across one of their shops. There is something comforting about their body products, as they are so nice to use and so reliable. I also like to browse their makeup even if I don't own many of those products, but I did find some little gems in the past (particularly in the blusher section) so I am always happy to give their new products a look or a try. So I thought I would tell you about 2 little products that I currently love and use daily.

The first one is the Olive Body Butter. I got a mini jar of it in a beauty box and at first I was a bit surprised by the idea of using olive - not that they're not rich and moisturizing, but because you'd think their scent is quite far from the usual sweet Body Shop body butters. I must admit I thought this would smell a bit like pesto.
Well, not at all. Although the butter itself is definitely green (a nice peppermint green I would say), I don't find it smells of olives at all. In fact, it smells rather fresh, a bit like bamboo shower gel if that tells you something. So it's a really nice fresh smell that is very nice to use in the current heat.
I know, I know, it might sound weird to use a body butter in the Summer. I should really do that in the Winter more, but I can't be bothered when my legs don't see daylight. But in Summer, I want everything to look moisturized and firm, and body butters are great for that, giving your skin a slight sheen that looks very healthy. Perfect for arms and legs!

The second one is the All In One Concealer. I was sent this one to try by The Body Shop in the shade 01, which is the lightest and slightly pink/salmony in tone. I wasn't sure I would like it because I often find nothing compares to my Estee Lauder Double Wear, and also because it's not the kind of shade I usually go for. 
Again, I was pleasantly surprised. You actually see a different color in the center of the product, it's a bit like a two-in-one moisturizer and concealer. The whole formula is really emollient and easy to blend, but also lightweight. I would definitely recommend it to anyone with a dry undereye area, as it would be very comfortable to wear. Despite the moisturizing ingredients, it doesn't slide around at all, I just set it very lightly with my face powder.
The salmony color is surprisingly brightening. On good days I use it on its own, mainly on the inner and outer corners of the eyes. If I didn't sleep enough, I use a little bit of the Double Wear on top, but much less than when I use it on its own, and the All In One Concealer acts as a corrector - but with a much lighter texture than, say, the Bobbi Brown one.

Olive Body Butter - 200ml - £13 - €17 - $20
All In One Concealer - 2.3g - £8,50 - €11 - $12

These two little products are going to stay with me this Summer. What are your favorite Body Shop products at this time of the year?

July 6, 2013

Caudalie Jambes Divines - Divine Legs body bronzing fluid

First of all, let me apologize my lack of posts recently. My MacBook started to act really weirdly, which made it very hard for me to work and to blog, and I spent hours trying to fix things until I realized that my hard drive was about to die.
Hence more time spent in HD hunting (not my usual kind of shopping), playing with screwdrivers, but mostly reinstalling everything which takes hours and hours.

After this whole debacle, I feel it'a s a bit too late to talk about my June favorites, so I'd rather jump into reviewing something new I've started using.

For the record, I am a very pale creature, nevertheless I have cool olive undertones which give my pale yellow skin a green tinge. That means I would rather not have to expose my bare legs. Heck, I'd rather not see them myself. 
For years I've spent time exfoliating and fake-tanning my skin, but as years go by I find I can't be bored anymore. And this year it's been even worse because we have had so few sunny days that going through the whole routine for just one day of going out bare-skinned.

Enters this new product, released in May, bought in June and pretty much useless until now: Caudalie Jambes Divine. This is a bronzing fluid that will make you look like you are fake tanned yet will go away with soap next time you will shower. Perfect when you wake up and see it's sunny and want to wear a skirt, much easier than planning in advance and going through the whole fake tanning process.

The product comes in a glass bottle in a pump. You will need a couple of pumps to do a half-leg. It smells a little bit sweet but I have found that you don't smell it at all anymore after a few minutes so nobody is going to ask what your perfume is. 
It sets in a few minutes too, so you won't have to walk around the house without being able to sit down for 15 minutes and you won't feel sticky. Once it sets, it feels like a lightweight moisturizer.

The result: bronzed legs. The color is not orange at all, it is even a little bit yellow for my taste (I usually go for the more olive fake tans) but it is nevertheless very natural and really does the trick.

Is it foolproof, then? Well, yes and no. You can actually build up the intensity by using more product, which means that if you don't apply as much on both legs, you'll have a tan that doesn't match on both sides. For this reason I recommend applying in daylight and not in a dark bathroom. You can apply with your hands but be careful to blend well, especially around the ankles and feet, or you will end up with stains like you would with badly applied fake tanned. I have not yet tried to use a mitt but I suppose that might help.

Does it last well? Again, yes and no. If, like me, you are crossing your legs a lot when sitting, and particularly on one side, you will notice after a little while that there is a white patch on the knee where your leg was resting. Probably even more so if it's really hot and you are sweating but I did experience the problem under circumstances that were not that extreme.

The verdict: this is a good product, that I will definitely continue to use. As it's light and natural, you can also use it easily on your arms and chest, it's a perfect all-rounder. You need to be a bit careful when applying, though.

Caudalie Divine Legs is 100ml and costs €28. It is made of 92% of natural ingredients.