September 7, 2014

Current favorite bases

Oh hai! I realize I have disappeared from the surface of this blog for about 3 months. I wasn't planning on such a long hiatus, in fact I didn't plan any hiatus at all. But Summer just flew away.
No vacation for me (first year of building a business means you're poor in both free time and money), and not much time to slow down either. Which I guess is a good thing as it means the business is keeping me busy.

Came end of August and I realized my skin was entering Fall mode already (thanks cold humid end of Summer). And with that, I had no base that fit. And I do need a reliable base when I go out all days to meet clients, right? So I made a bit of shopping and I was actually very lucky to find 2 products that I absolutely love! And I thought it would be great to let you know about them.


1. Sunday Riley Effortless Breathable Primer in Shade 1



I think it took me well over 6 months to pull the trigger on that one but OMG, do I love it! Now it's actually a primer, so don't expect any kind of coverage from it whatsoever. Even though there is pigment in it, it won't hide anything. This being said, on a good skin day where you would only wear a light TM, and with concealer where needed, it will definitely work on its own. Why? Because the silicone in it have a fabulous blurring effect. And so despite the lack of coverage, you just look better with it on. It makes the pores less visible and the skin look plumped and pretty. Bonus : it doesn't feel oily or make your skin oily through the day.



So when I'm not up to much, not leaving the office, and am having a good skin day, I will just wear that one with some concealer and a bit of powder on the t zone.

This one is 30ml and retails for £38 on Cultbeauty.

2. Charlotte Tilbury Light Wonder Foundation in Fair 2.



I have to say first that I have tried a few other products from the Charlotte Tilbury range and that I wasn't really impressed. But this foundation completely stands out, in fact I'd go as far as saying that it's the best I have tried in a very long time. Possibly in years.
First of all, even though I guesstimated my shade to order on line, I must say that Fair 2 is the best match I have ever had in a foundation (especially since Illamasqua discontinued their shade 125). It's a neutral fair shade with no pink it it, but it's not too yellow.

This foundation feels and smells like skincare in my opinion. It's a light coverage but if you pat on a second layer where you need it, it definitely builds up to medium.
The finish is extremely natural, like a second layer of your skin but better. It holds very well through long days. It's not drying on dry areas or flakey patches (NO ALCOHOL!) and it's not oily on your oilier areas. So I'm confident it will work very well for me through Winter when I'm more dehydrated.
The one thing that could possibly be a problem for some, is that it contains a lot of silicones - but that doesn't bother me.

The packaging is a very hygienic and convenient sleek plastic bottle with a thin pouring nozzel (is that the right word?) so you won't waste any product. Great fact : you get 40ml when most brands offer 30. That makes the price much more interesting.

So this is now my foundation of choice for long busy days of meetings.


See how it's perfect for a business face?  :)
This one is sold on Charlotte Tilbury's website for 38£.

Have you tried a new base recently? How did you like it?

July 20, 2014

Beauty Blog Link Love





Phyrra tells you to Be Cool Honey Bunny and check out the new Urban Decay Pulp Fiction Collection!

Over at Makeup Morsels, MM's putting some bathtime & bodycare products through their paces. Find out which ones made the cut.

This week at theNotice, Rae has found the perfect neutral quad. You heard her: it's perfect. And you'll never guess who it's by.

Jenny from My Funny Valentine explores the Pantone 2014 Colour Of The Year with a FOTD featuring purples, pinks, grey and gold.

Summer is the best time to check out new beauty products! Jenn from Spicedbeauty finds three that she's obsessed with.

Lisamarie from Beauty Crazed discovers the hassle-free joy of a lip stain - check out her swatches and decide if not having to reapply lipcolour all day would make your world a better place!

Beauty Info Zone shares beauties from a name we haven't heard from in a long time Vincent Longo. They've developed gorgeous new products and reformulated many of our old favorites. With a discount code too, you can't help but love Vincent Longo Cosmetics.

June 7, 2014

Beauty Blog Link Love




It's a polish photo-fest over on Makeup Morsels this week. Check out these bright new launches from Morgan Taylor, just in time for summer.

This week at theNotice, a Clarisonic skeptic gives the Mia 2 a try. Come see how it's going so far!

Phyrra tells all about the Makeup Geek Makeup Brushes! Find out which ones she loves and which ones to skip!

Where big is beautiful - Addicted to Beauty checks out the elephant, yes, elephant beauty pageant.

Jenn from Spiced Beauty shows you her favourite summer collection from the Body Shop! Do you like Early-Harvest Raspberry?

MAC Alluring Aquatic Collection is a gorgeous summer collection with the packaging that makes FabDiva20 so excited! Check out her collection haul!

Pammy Blogs Beauty has found the perfect concealer to help her tired Mommy-of-an-infant eyes: Laura Mercier's New High Coverage Concealer!

Beauty Reflections is reliving the 80s with Dior Addict It-Lash Mascara in Blue!

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Beauty Crazed is giving away a naughty little Agent Provocateur Fatale set - including the fragrance - so get in on the action and win it!

Have you checked out Sophie's Remington 5 in 1 epilator giveaway over on her blog? Head over to Makeupwonderland now and enter!

April 26, 2014

Beauty Blog Link Love




At Musing on Beauty, Mariella compares the new Dior Glow Maximizer with her trusty laura Mercier Radiance Primer. Find out why they are very different!

What brush range does Rae think is the best buy for your buck (and sometimes just the best, buck aside)? Find out on theNotice!

Lisamarie from Beauty Crazed likes the look of coral lips and pink tips as a warm weather look - check out her swatches and see if you agree!

Did your favorite MAC lipstick get picked for the MAC By Request Collection? If so, FabDiva20 has got the gorgeous lipstick shades to show you! Check out her MAC By Request haul.

Phyrra brings you the best vegan foundations!

Did you know that April is Rosacea Awareness Month? MM has the scoop on Avène's redness relief line at Makeup Morsels.

Jenn from Spiced Beauty falls in love with Radiant Orchard, the new Sephora+ Pantone Universe Collection.

Pammy Blogs Beauty shares some of her recent loves from the fabulous Kate Somerville skincare line!

Beauty Reflections says you can get a custom self tan with Clarins Radiance-Plus Golden Glow Booster!

April 23, 2014

Foundation Review #39: Chanel Perfection Lumière Velvet


You know me and new foundations, especially if they're from Chanel. Even more so if they are marketed as lightweight or second-skin like. No need to say I ran to get this new one as soon as it was out!

What the brand says.
PERFECTION LUMIÈRE VELVET is a lightweight second-skin foundation. It naturally smoothes and evens out the complexion for a velvety matte makeup result.
The lightweight texture of PERFECTION LUMIÈRE VELVET makes it perfect for normal and combination to oily skin. This ultra-soft emulsion instantly becomes one with the skin, transforming into a natural powdery matte finish that disappears onto the skin.
• The Perfect Skin Affinity complex acts in perfect affinity with the skin to maintain hold and radiance all day long.
• The "smooth-effect" powders selected by the CHANEL Laboratories diminish surface irregularities and instantly smooth pores.
• The patented* Perfect Light Control complex (combination of two semi-sheer hemispherical powders) perfectly evens out dark spots and lightens redness, without a hint of thickness.
My experience with the product.

Packaging wise, this is the same 30ml plastic bottle that Vitalumiere Aqua comes in, which is a packaging I like a lot.

When it comes to shades, this is where things got complicated for me. I am normally a B10 in Chanel, but go figure why, B10 is not available in my country. So I was left to chose between BR12, which has a hint of pink, and B20. B20 is extremely dark and orange, a good NC25 in my opinion, so that was an absolute no-no, and I was left with BR12 which didn't look really pink straight out of to bottle. Nor on my neck, as a matter of fact.

This foundation is indeed extremely lightweight. The formula is very liquidy, and spreads very easily. It feels like nothing on the skin and feels really velvety when you touch your face.
However, this isn't love at all for me.


Even though Winter is gone and I'm getting more combination, I found this quite drying, particularly on my cheeks that can suffer from dehydration. From close, every little dry patch was enhanced, even though I had heavily moisturized prior to application, as I was foreseeing this kind of issue.
The finish has been reported a lot to be "not fully matte" or "not flat" and it's true that I have seen matter/chalkier foundations. But this does not qualify as satin in my book and it does drain all luminosity out of my skin, which I can't help but think looks ageing.
Even though the color looks like a good match on my face, it's not working great on my face. It's nothing obvious, but I know I have seen myself in products that made me look better than this, and looked more natural.

Also, one thing upset me a lot: the smell. I know all Chanel foundations are smelly, but while I can get along with the smell of Vitalumiere Aqua, Perfection Lumiere Velvet smells very fruity and sweet (very much like the orginal Perfection Lumiere, in fact) and that really bothers me.


My overal conclusion.
If you are oily, this is probably an excellent equivalent for Vitalumiere Aqua. Without surprise, this contains alcohol, so if you are sensitive, be cautious.
If you are the tiniest bit dry or dehydrated, I would avoid this foundation and go for Vitalumière Aqua instead (again, if alcohol does not aggravate your skin). Same thing if you want the slightest bit of luminosity in your foundation.

Chanel Perfection Lumière Velvet, 30 ml, US$45, €41.

Picture borrowed from Bellachique.be

April 21, 2014

Dior Glow Maximizer versus Laura Mercier Radiance Primer.



This review/comparison is going to be short and sweet, because really, in my opinion, those two products don't compare in terms of results.

The Laura Mercier Radiance Primer.
  • Comes in a tube
  • You apply this under makeup
  • It gives a very radiant finish to the skin, a bit too much to be worn on its own, but looks perfect once your base is on top - never oily, just fresh and luminous.
  • It makes my makeup wear like IRON. That's what I wear for weddings, special events, long days... you name it. It never disappoints me.
  • 30 ml tube - US$ 33 - € 41
Laura Mercier Radiance - ingredients.Water, Hydrogenated Didecene, Glycerin, Pvp, Ricinus Communis (Castor) Seed Oil, Sorbitan Stearate, Mica (Ci 77019), Cetyl Alcohol, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Glyceryl Stearate, Propylene Glycol Stearate, Phenoxyethanol, Hydroxyethyl Acrylate/ Sodium Acryloyldimethyl Taurate Copolymer, Propylene Glycol Isostearate, Glyceryl Isostearate, 1,2-Hexanediol, Boron Nitride, Squalane, Caprylyl Glycol, Oleth-25, Ceteth-25, Tocopherol Acetate, Polysorbate 60, Retinyl Palmitate, Tin Oxide, Triethoxycaprylylsilane, Ascorbyl Palmitate, Triethanolamine, Tropolone, Butylene Glycol, Plankton Extract. May Contain (+/-): Ci 77891 (Titanium Dioxide), Ci 77491 (Iron Oxide).

The Dior Glow Maximizer - Light Boosting Primer
  • Comes in a nice tube with a pump, very hygienic
  • You apply this under makeup, mixed with base or on top of it
  • Although I do see on my fingers that this is giving a golden sheen to the skin, I cannot see the effect on my face to save my life. I have tried it under makeup, on top of makeup, mixed with base, under AND on top of base... It just doesn't look like it's on my skin at all.
  • It improves longevity a little bit, but nothing drastic
  • 30ml tube - US$ 42 - € 38.

Dior Glow Maximizer - ingredients.
Water, Caprylic/Capric/Succinic Triglyceride, Synthetic Fluorphlogopite, Propanediol, Ci 77891(Titanium Dioxide), Polymethyl Methacrylate, Limnanthes Alba (Meadowfoam) Seed Oil, Pentylene Glycol, Hydroxyethyl Acrylate/Odium Acryloyldimethyl Taurate Copolymer, Phenoxyethanol, Steareth-21, Squalane, Butylenes Glycol, Caprylyl Glycol, Steareth-2, Peg-60 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Tocopheryl Acetate, CI 77491 (Iron Oxides), Aplinia Galanga Leaf Extract, Polysorbate 60, Sodium Citrate, Citric Acid, Fragrance, CI 77499 (Iron Oxides), Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Xanthan Gum, CI 75740 (Carmine), Linalool, Limonene, Bytylphenyl Methylpropional, Silica, Citronellol.


Conclusion.
If you are normal to oily and want to put a toe in the world of liquid highlighters, then perhaps this Dior product is for you.
In any other case, don't think twice and get the Laura Mercier. I very much regret getting the Dior one.

April 7, 2014

March Favorites

I know, I know, I'm a week late! And I was definitely missing in action lately. That's because of three (four?) very intense weeks on the work front, that didn't leave me a minute for blogging (I didn't even have enough time to sleep).
That also played a role in last month's makeup, of course. Which had to be done in 12 mins exactly every morning, while still looking, fresh, pretty, professional, polished, you name it...

So for most of this month, I wore this face:




Oh, right! A lot of hair was chopped off in March. That allows me to do quick lose curls with my good old Cloud 9 straighteners. Because when you have long hair, there is nothing quick and easy to do anymore, outside of a poney tail. And when I'm running late, I can still wear it straight, or tie it up, it's a no brainer. So this new hair cut is my first favorite.

On the makeup front, I have been loving:

- Light bases: with Spring, and particularly high temperatures, I wanted to update my base. Out with the Winter foundation, in with the tinted moisturizers, CC creams, and very light foundations. So I have been wearing Nars Radian Tinted Moisturizer, Bourjois CC cream and Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua a lot.

- A pop of coral: the combination of my Chanel Intonation cream blush and the Pink Coral Clarins lipstick as seen here is just so easy and fresh.

- The prettiest taupe eyeshadow in the world: that's Inglot Pearl 402. A wash of that and you're done, you can add a darker brown if you want. If you don't have it, Burberry Pale Barley or Mac Patina are in the same color range.

And then on my nails, I've been enjoying the bright colors as well! This is just one coat (one coat, people!) of belgian brand BE nailpolish in the shade 07 Dare. Isn't that pretty?



That's pretty much it for March. How was your month?


March 30, 2014

Beauty Blog Link Love




Jenny reviews the NARS Eye Paints in Mozambique and Iskandar on My Funny Valentine.

Love the Urban Decay Electric Palette but need vegan dupes? Check out Phyrra's UD Electric Palette Dupe List.

Over at theNotice, Rae has a warning about a fraudulent online shop that sells cosmetic supplies... but doesn't always ship them. If you live in Canada or the US, consider yourself warned!

Love cream blush? Then you should check out Musicalhouses' MUFE HD Second Skin Cream Blush swatches!

At Musing on Beauty, Mariella revisits some old favorites: Barry M. Dazzle Dusts. Go down the memory lane with her!

Spring is finally here and FabDiva20 has got some Spring related goodies from NARS Final Cut Collection! Check out her NARS Final Cut Collection Haul!

Are you short on time yet you still want a high-end, results-oriented, and spa-like treat for your skin? See why Pammy Blogs Beauty loves reaching for these Age-Defying Exfoliating Pads from Radical Skincare. From the effervescent feel to the amazing results, these are totally worth checking out!

Jenn from Spiced Beauty shares her L'Oreal Extraordinaire Gel-Lacquer 1-2-3 manicure experience! What do you think?

Lisamarie from Beauty Crazed takes MAC Studio Sculpt Mascara for a spin - check out her swatches and see if a comb really does make a better brush!

Beauty Reflections is in love with Lancome Lip Lover Rose Ballet #313! It's her favourite long-wearing gloss ever!

Whether you're feeling an understated nail or something outrageously sparkly, Makeup Morsels' latest lacquer discoveries have you covered for the weekend.

March 22, 2014

Clarins Rouge Eclat in Pink Coral


After having acquired the gorgeous Chanel Chamade Cream Blush, I realized it would look lovely with a coral lipstick. But I didn't have one that was quite the right shade.

Cue a visit to the department store, and this: Clarins Rouge Eclat in Pink Coral.
Oh. My. God.  Smooth texture, light pomegranate smell, beautiful pigmentation: I can't say enough good things about this lipstick.
And so I've been wearing it a lot with said Chanel blush.



The finish is satin and really comfortable. It applies easily and doesn't dry out the lips. It wears quite well for a few hours (or until you eat), and wears off nicely. I am now regretting I never investigated the Clarins lipstick lines earlier.

If you need a nice coral that is non-offensive for Spring, don't look any further.

Clarins Rouge Eclat lipsticks are 3g and cost €24, US$ 27.

March 20, 2014

Throwback Thursday: Barry M. Dazzle Dusts

I've decided to revisit some products that have been sitting in my makeup collections for years, and that I haven't used in a really long time. So this Throwback Thursday thing should be coming back regularly.
I felt like starting with two products that I used to wear a lot, and that used to be so popular in the beauty community. If you can remember, circa 2008-2009, YouTuber Panacea81 aka Lauren Luke made the Barry M. Dazzle Dusts incredibly popular. The range was huge, back then, but has been quite reduced since.
At some point, I owned almost all the colors, including the most crazy ones. I got rid of a lot because I really didn't use them at all, but I kept some favorites, and that includes those two:



Barry M Dazzle Dusts in Mushroom and Old Gold. Do you remember the taupe gorgeousness that is Mushroom? It was raved about on all the blogs back then.

And I think they really do work well together! See for yourself:




You'll see that face again because I need to tell you about that lipstick.

Do you still own some Barry M Dazzle Dusts? Did you use to use them? Would you wear them again?

March 15, 2014

Beauty Blog Link Love



Check which blush Jenn from Spiced Beauty has on her must have beauty list.

Ever wonder which Canadian beauty products are worth battling our winters for? Rae lists off some of her all-time favourite Annabelle makeup products & Marcelle skincare must-haves this week at theNotice.

Lisa from Beauty Info Zone was intrigued when she found a product named Whoopie and now we're sure you will be too.

Lisamarie from Beauty Crazed discovers the lazy girl's way to applying lipstick with a selection of delicious scented and easy to use lip pencils - check out her swatches and start conserving your own calories!

FabDiva20 has been loving the 10 new shades of the NYX Cosmetics Butter Gloss and they are so amazing! Check out her Cherry Culture haul!

For skin that glows model-bright this spring, you only need one product. Get the scoop over at Makeup Morsels!

It's a battle of the brushes, as Musicalhouses compares the Hakuhodo, Real Techniques, and Body Shop blush brushes!

Do you love intensely pigmented cosmetics? Pammy Blogs Beauty checks out Prestige's new line additions to their Total Intensity collection!

Beauty Reflections has been showing most of the Sephora + Pantone Universe Radiant Orchid Collection this past week, including the Sephora Radiant Rush Matte Lipstick and Ravishing Dew Cream Blush! While your there check out the rest of her Radiant Orchid collection reviews too!

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Phyrra's ecstatic for the new Urban Decay Electric Pressed Pigment Palette! Check out the chaos-inducing colors, tutorial and giveaway!

March 3, 2014

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blushes


Blushers. What could be nicer to start the week than new blushers? I'm telling you: nothing.
I never got interested in the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powders because a/the brand is hard to get here and b/finishing powders and I, we don't agree, they don't do much for me. But blushers? I bit the bullet and ordered internationally from SpaceNK. (Fantastic service, by the way).

So what about these? They are Diffused Heat, Dim Infusion and Luminous Flush. Aren't they pretty?
Yes, the packaging is beautiful too, and I like the good mirror and the fact they don't give you a crap brush that takes up place but that you will never use. However your fingerprints will be all over the gold packaging in no time - luckily it's much easier to clean than a Nars comapct!
The idea behind these blushers is that they are marbled with the lighting powders, and they will give you color as well as a "lit from within" glow.

Now let's have a look at them once they are applied!

This one is Luminous Flush.


This blush wears its name well: a very nice flush with a luminous quality to it, I really like it - more on myself than in the pan, in fact.

This is Dim Infusion.



Dim Infusion is the palest/less pigmented of the bunch. But it means you can be heavy handed with application, or build up the color to what you like, from very subtle to really warmer. 

And finally, Diffused Heat.


Diffused Heat looks a bit dark in the pan, and is indeed more pigmented, but as you see it can be applied with a light hand and will look really nice on a pale skin.

All three colors have the same qualities: they are very fine in texture, blend effortlessly, look like they are part of your skin and last all day. There is a slight luminizing quality to them but nothing really obvious, not as if you were wearing highlighter on top anyway. 
As they're not too crazily pigmented and don't go on patchy, I would almost say that they're foolproof.
Interesting fact: they contain no talc, no parabens, no fragrance, no gluten and no nano-particles.

Now, at £28 / US$ 35 each, I don't know if I would necessarily recommend them over Illamasqua blushers, for example. The pigmentation is a bit weak, it's something I enjoy because I have more control this way on my pale skin, but not everyone will appreciate that.
On the other hand, if you want to invest in a high end blusher that you can use with no fuss, I would say this performs better than a lot of luxury brands I've tried and I would chose Hourglass blushers over a Chanel baked one or a Dior one. 
Bottom line: these are very nice, but not necessarily a must have.

Have you tried them? What do you think?








March 1, 2014

Beauty Blog Link Love




Phyrra shares the best tips on how to gracefully grow out a pixie cut.

It's never too late to post a makeup look you love -- even if an entire year has gone by. Over at theNotice, Rae is (still!) loving this Nars-inspired punk rock & sepia makeup look.

How do you make a lip wardrobe? Doll 10 Cosmetics think their lipstick/gloss mashup is irresistible.

After 5 years of blogging Hellcandy finally takes the leap into vlogging with her first YouTube video! Check out her simple winged eyeliner tutorial here & show some fellow blogging love!

Check what Fleurissante thinks about new Essie Resort Fling nail polish collection.

Have you heard of the oft-beloved Nuxe Huile Prodigieuse? Head over to Makeup Morsels for the scoop on this do-all French beauty secret.

Want to freshen up your makeup look for Spring? Pammy Blogs Beauty scopes out the new for Spring 2014 Enlightenment Eye & Cheek Palette from Laura Mercier. It's gorgeous!

What better excuse is there for a sugary-sweet nail look than Valentine's Day? Check out Angela's skittles mani featuring a heart pattern on Do Want Makeup.

Are you a loving a little Boho in your life? Lisa from Beauty Info Zone is loving the latest colors from butter LONDON's latest collections. From cosmetics to nails, they have you covered.

Beauty Reflections has found her perfect girly fragrance in Vera Wang Be Jeweled Rouge! Do you have a "girly" fragrance too?

February 24, 2014

Chanel Cream Blushers in Chamade and Intonation


Look at these beauties, that Chanel has released for Spring!
Last year, when the cream blushers were launched, I decided to pass on them as I was very happy with the Bourjois ones and thought they would be pretty similar in texture and finish.
Not untrue at all, in fact. But what I know now is that the Chanel blushers are a hundred times more pigmented than the Bourjois ones.
And also, those beautiful colors had to be mine!

Chamade is very red in the pan, and is described by the brand as a "deep pink". If you are pale like me, be really cautious with this one because you it really is pigmented. Which means that much darker skintones will be able to wear it too.
On me I would say that it is indeed a deep pink, with perhaps a hint of fresh berry, and I have to apply the tiniest amount with my finger, then blend with a buffing brush.


Apologies for the bad pic taken in late afternoon gloomy light, but the blush color shows true to self here! Lipstick is MakeupGeek Delightful.

Intonation is described as a "warm rose" but I would definitely say that it's a coral. It looks a tad bit orangey in the pan, but it's really corally on my cheeks, and it pairs perfectly with my coral lipsticks!


Intonation is Limited Edition, while Chamade is permanent, so if you want to pick just one, I would definitely go for Intonation, which is also a little bit easier to work with on paler skintones, in my opinion.

The texture of these Chanel blushes is very unlike any other cream blush I tried, excepted as I said, the Bourjois ones, perhaps. They're definitely cream but they do feel like powder. They're not glowy, they don't feel sticky but they do last much longer than powder and feel like you're not wearing anything.

Chanel Cream Blushers are €31/ USD 38 which is not cheap considering you get a small amount (2.5g, in comparison a Bobbi Brown pot rouge is 3.5g) but I think these are beautiful products that deserve the hype.

February 17, 2014

Caudalie Vinexpert Radiance Fluid SPF15



Right before Christmas I got a little pampering session with a Caudalie consultant, and I got to try this produc. Now anything called "radiant" has my name written all over it, so I just had to get it.
Now it's time to tell you how I feel about this product.

What the brand says.
The all-day radiance enhancer!
This ultra-light SPF15 oil-free sheer pink fluid hydrates, illuminates, protects while combatting wrinkles and lack of firmness in a single step. Skin is visibly younger, firm and smooth, and wrinkles are filled from the inside. Instant healthy glow effect.
Apply in the morning to face and neck. Avoid eye contour area
My experience with the product.

The product is a light cream (not really a fluid in the sense it's not runny or very liquid) with a light pink color. The pump is great and delivers just what you need for the whole face. It has a slightly floral smell but nothing that will linger on for too long.
On the radiance front, you won't be disappointed: it does give a glow to the whole face, and you can definitely see that there are some light reflecting ingredients in there!
On the moisturizing front, this is marketed as being for all skin types, but I sadly don't think it's the case. I've been using it on top of my Nuxe Creme Fraiche serum (targeted for hydration) but the combo hasn't been moisturizing enough for me. I would definitely not recommend this product to anyone with dry or dehydrated skin -  the cream version would probably be more suitable for that. But I had opted for the fluid because I don't like a heavy moisturizer under makeup. 
Other than that, it's a nice little product - bit scented, bit of a long list of ingredients too, which does kill the 'natural' vibe that goes around Caudalie for me. I don't know if I'll repurchase it, but I'll be using it up in Summer when I need less moisture and like to embrace radiance enhancing products.

Ingredient list for the science nerds:
INGREDIENTS : AQUA (WATER), OCTOCRYLENE, GLYCERIN*, HEPTYL UNDECYLENATE*, ETHYLHEXYL SALICYLATE (OCTISALATE), DIMETHICONE, ETHYLHEXYL METHOXYCINNAMATE (OCTINOXATE), ISOAMYL LAURATE*, BUTYL METHOXYDIBENZOYLMETHANE (AVOBENZONE), SQUALANE*, GLYCERYL STEARATE CITRATE*, SILICA, PANTHENOL, CETEARETH-20*, CI 77891 (TITANIUM DIOXIDE), POLYGLYCERYL-3 STEARATE*, HYDROGENATED LECITHIN*, TOCOPHERYL ACETATE*, BISABOLOL*, PARFUM(FRAGRANCE), PROPYL GRAPEVINE SHOOT EXTRACT OLIVATE*, POLYACRYLATE CROSSPOLYMER-6, CAPRYLYL GLYCOL, MALTODEXTRIN*, SODIUM POLYACRYLATE, ISONONYL ISONONANOATE, PALMITOYL GRAPEVINE SHOOT EXTRACT*, POTASSIUM SORBATE, ISOPROPYL MYRISTATE, CASSIA ANGUSTIFOLIA SEED POLYSACCHARIDE*, SODIUM BENZOATE, PISUM SATIVUM (PEA) EXTRACT*, CYCLODEXTRIN*, CITRIC ACID*, HYALURONIC ACID, CI 77019 (MICA), SODIUM PHYTATE*, SODIUM CARBOXYMETHYL BETAGLUCAN, CI 77491 (IRON OXIDES), ISOPROPYL TITANIUM TRIISOSTEARATE, CI 77492 (IRON OXIDES), STEARALKONIUM HECTORITE, PANAX GINSENG ROOT EXTRACT*, BHT, PROPYLENE CARBONATE, POLYHYDROXYSTEARIC ACID, TOCOPHEROL*, LIMONENE, LINALOOL, GERANIOL, CITRAL,BENZYLBENZOATE. (006/230) * Plant Origin
Caudalie Vinexpert Radiance Fluid, 40ml, £39 - €32

February 11, 2014

The new Bourjois 123 Perfect CC Cream.

Yet another CC cream launched on the market, this time in the drugstore, and we all know that I generally dislike them.
But when it's Lisa Eldridge who uses it and it looks so good, I just can't resist and so I needed to try it.




So I went to the drugstore and purchased this in the lightest shade, #31, for €9.50.


What the brand says.
A new generation of base products! It combines :
The color correcting properties of a foundation :
Thanks to the 3 corrective pigments that blur imperfections 3 pigments correction couleurs qui gomment les imperfections
. Apricot > Anti-tiredness
. Green > Anti-redness
. White > Anti-hyper pigmentation

+ The skincare properties of a moisturizer :
24H Hydration
SPF 15

Result : a luminous and smooth skin in one step

My experience with the product.
I was very surprised, having experience so many thick and hard to blend BB/CC creams, to find out that this one was quite the opposite: it's very liquid and so easy to spread and blend.
Another positive surprise was to see that the color matched me perfectly, because usually, the palest colors in bases have the wrong undertone for me. This one is just neutral/yellow and pale enough for me.
And the third positive surprise, coming from a Bourjois product: no smell. Or hardly any, at least I didn't notice anything.

Now in terms of wear, this will give you a sheer coverage with a satin finish. Your skin will look smooth, like blurred, but not flat at all. It's also not too luminous, and I didn't feel the need to powder at all after applying, the glow was just lovely. However, even with pretty good skin (I had a really good skin day when I took that picture), you won't cover everything with this product. Concealer under the eyes and around the nose still necessary for me. 
I am pretty happy with the final result and how this looks on my face.


I do have to say that this isn't the most long lasting base I've tried, though. After a few hours of wear, I did feel the need to add a bit of powder on the T-zone as the product was starting to move around a bit. But in all honesty, Nars Radiant Moisturiser does the same on me and it costs three times the price.

The final verdict.
Great product, especially for the price. If you're not super oily and are looking for a sheer base that gives you a healthy look, definitely go for it! There are 4 shades available, and a matching concealer that I haven't tried.

This is already available in Belgium, France and UK, as well as on ASOS for international customers.

February 6, 2014

Not your usual Valentine perfume gift!

Valentine's Day is definitely one of those few yearly occasions where lots of perfumes are gifted, they are like the obvious gift for this kind of occasion.
However, if you are anything like me and you're bored to death by the mainstream perfumes,  you might rather enjoy niche perfumes of high quality or even... a more personal creation!

French labo Parfums137 has come up with a lovely concept for those like me who like to mix and match their own scents. They carry a range of 7 eau de toilettes with distinct notes, and you can mix them to suit your taste and mood.

What is very interesting with this concept, is that not only can you buy whatever EDT you like to combine them, you can also get a pre-made box with a more limited selection and a little guide on how to mix them together.




I was lucky to receive a little sample box (worth 10€) that contained the samples of two "collections" as they call them : Nara 1869 and Hollywood Stromboli 1950.



Hollwood Stromboli 1950 is a "journey from Hollywood to Sicily". The EDT in this kit are Spearmint, Immortelle and Myrte. They are all already complex EDT with different notes that are detailed on the little card, as well as different ways to combine them. You can go from very citrusy to more musky or spicy depending on how you wear this one.



Nara 1869 is inspired by a long trip to Japan. The EDT here are Bigarade, Osmanthus and Olibanum. Again, you can go very green or more spicy/woodsy depending on how you mix them.

If you start with a sample kit, you can then decide what EDT you like the best and order them individually or in sets. The sets presented here are 55€ for 3x15ml.
Good to know: there are kits more geared to men, like the Blake and Mortimer one (but you know I don't believe in gender classified scents and wear whatever I like).

I personally think this is a wonderful gift for anyone loving perfume and enjoying a little creative play with scents. The concept is very original and the fragrances are exquisite quality.

All products can be ordered from http://www.parfums137.com/, and Parfums137 ships internationally.



January 29, 2014

Quick review of a few foundations (YSL, L'Oreal, Clinique, Suqqu)

I have not bought many foundations last year, I have really slowed down my purchases on that front - but it doesn't mean I am not trying many of them. Yay for samples!
So I thought I'd give you a very quick review of some of them, and tell you why I didn't buy them in the end.

L'Oreal Magic Nude Liquid Powder.
I actually bought this one because it was a/cheap and drugstore and b/hyped as a perfect dupe for the very expensive Armani Maestro.
The good: feels like nothing on the skin, evens out the skintone very naturally, matte finish, lasts well. Has some pale shades in the selection.
The bad: contains lots of silicone and alcohol so if you're sensitive to any of these, it won't work for you. The packaging is pretty but there is no pump so it can be a little messy, I personally didn't care though.

I will be wearing this in Summer as the alcohol makes it unsuitable for me in Winter.




YSL Youth Liberator Serum Foundation.
I wanted to try this because I thought it looked fabulous on several YouTubers. I would look at their skin and thing "wow" and this is what they would be wearing.
Alas, for me, it didn't do much.
Heavily fragranced (like a lot of YSL products) and with a weird shade selection in which I couldn't find a match (I was somewhere between BR20 and B30), I also found the product a bit slippery to apply and not particularly good looking or long lasting on myself.





Clinique CC Cream
Some bloggers who hate BB creams as much as I do, said that this was a game changer. And also, I had used and rather liked the Moisture Surge tinted moisturizer, so I thought this might be a good Winter product for me. Bonus: it has several shades and some are really pale, I think I wasn't even the paler one.
Too bad, but I didn't like it. I felt it was thick and hard to blend and a bit greasy, which is what I don't like with most BB creams. I really didn't see a huge difference between this and a BB.
I may miss something but for me, there was no revolution in this product.






Suqqu Frame Fix cream (old formulation)
There is a new formulation in the market right now, but the old one is still available - in very selective places, like any Suqqu product.
I found this very hard to work with, but okay, not impossible if you use the right tools and the slightest amount. Definitely not something for beginners though.
On me it started melting off my T-Zone after 4-5 hours and I'm not even super oily. I didn't look great as time passed.
So, that's over 60€ saved there.






Have you tried new foundations lately? Which did you like or dislike?

January 26, 2014

Garancia Elixir du Marabout Serum



I recently went hunting for some new serums to try, and decided to give this one a go after it was recommended by a friend.
Garancia is a French brand that I had never tried before. Their concept revolves around witchcraft and magical potions, which is usually not my cup of tea (I'm more into science when it comes to skincare) but if it works... why not, uh?

What it is.
So this Elixir is supposed to be an anti-ageing and anti-imperfection serum and it claims that you will see a difference in 10 days. The active ingredients are mostly from plants, and the formula holds 3 patents.
The product is slightly smelling of flowers, but that comes from a frangrance and not the ingredients. It is not offensive anyway and disappears real fast.

The packaging.
This is a glass bottle that holds 15l and comes with a pipette for precise drop counting. I confess I did drop the bottle once and really thought I would have broken it but nope. Good point there - but I wouldn't take the risk again.

How you use it.
The serum has an oily consistency but actually contains no oil. You need to use 4-5 drops for the whole face and apply morning and night. I personally only apply at night. It sinks in very fast and leaves the skin quite dry to the touch. After I couple of days I found that my skin was lacking hydration because I was using this instead of Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair which is more moisturizing. So I decided to use the Garancia Elixir first, then apply ANR on top then Hydraluron and moisturizer as usual.

The results.
I didn't expect this, but I am seriously impressed. I actually started to see results after only 3 days. In Winter my skin is always blotchy and irritated, particularly on the cheeks, and it breaks out in tiny red bumps that are like a hybrid between a papule and a whitehead. Yes, sexy, I know. It's the bane of my existence Winter after Winter.
Three days of using the Elixir, and I had noticeably less redness and papules. Ten days later and my skin is 90% clear. I have not had cheeks that pale and normal looking in years. Since the serum is the only change I brought to my routine and life in general, I can't seen any other explanation: this works.

No need to say I can only recommend this. The 15ml bottle costs €36, which is not cheap but is not excruciating either - especially if you get good results.

Ingredient list for the science geeks:
AQUA (WATER/EAU), LACTOBACILLUS/PUNICA GRANATUM FRUIT FERMENT EXTRACT, BUTYLENE GLYCOL, MALTODEXTRIN, SODIUM DEXTRAN SULFATE, GLYCERIN, PHTYOCIDE ASPEN BARK EXTRACT POWDER, SYRINGA VULGARIS (LILAC) LEAF CELL CULTURE EXTRACT, DIMETHYLMETHOXY CHROMANOL, ARRABIDAEA CHICA LEAF EXTRACT, ACETYL DIPEPTIDE-3 AMINOHEXANOATE, POLYSORBATE 20, PARFUM (FRAGRANCE), XANTHAN GUM, PHENETHYL ALCOHOL, PPG-2 METHYL ETHER, METHYLISOTHIAZOLINONE

January 2, 2014

2013 Favorites

I feel like this year, I've been really faithful to staple products, and I haven't shopped all over the place like I did some other years. I wish it was because I'm becoming more reasonable, but I think it's mostly because less new releases were appealing to me in 2013, and also that I'm getting much more aware of what I like and what suits me best and I don't feel the need to try a million different things all the time.

Anyway, I'll try to sum up some products that were released this year and that I have been liking a lot.


Skincare: Illamasqua Hydraveil.
Not a moisturizer but not your average primer, this is a unique boost of hydration to perfect your skin and create a smooth base for your base. A savior on dry or dehydrated skins! Great innovation there.




Base: REN Satin Perfection BB cream.
You know I hate BB creams with a passion, I have tried many and never liked them but this one is the exception. Its mousse-like texture is light and easy to spread, and it gives you an even skintone with a lovely satin finish. This is what I wear on no-makeup days.





Base: Clarins Extra Comfort.
My new HG foundation for Winter. Slightly luminous but not too much, perfect for dry skin but doesn't slide off oilier areas, full coverage and flawless finish. If you can see past its awful packaging, this is a fantastic product.




Base: Chanel Les Beiges.
This has been in my bag since it was realeased: it's my perfect powder for mid-day touch-ups. It never looks cakey or flat matte, it's light and natural, and the compact is beautiful.



Body: Caudalie Jambes Divines
The perfect product to make your legs look great, even if you're deathly pale, in just a few seconds. Completely foolproof, smells divine, washes off in the shower.





Lips: Rimmel Apocalips.
The first liquid lacquer released in drugstore brands, incredible pigmentation and longevity, comfortable formula, easy to apply. I wish there were more colors, but they have a fuchsia so I am happy :)





Eyes: Illamasqua Reflection Palette.
This weird texture of eyeshadow, between gel, powder and cream, is in my opinion one of the few innovations we got this year in the eyeshadow department. They could have better longevity, but they are beautiful and so easy to work with.




Nails: Illamasqua speckled nail poilshes.
These were all the rage when they were released last Spring. They are very pretty, quite innovative, and I can totally see myself wearing them again next Spring!


That's it for me! What products did you love this year?