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:

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?