Sunday, December 21, 2014

What I really want for Christmas...

It's the first day of winter and this means that in just a few days it's gonna be Christmas closely followed by New Year's!

I have no idea where the year went and so in a way it's kinda taking me by surprise. As some of you have noticed, I've been pretty much off the grid recently due to a health problem. I've been nursing my right shoulder and elbow back to their usual old selves. A few weeks ago I developed excruciating pain and just had to keep my energies for work where I type a lot and have to use a mouse. That little devilish gizmo is the worst when you have the kind of pain I had, really it is! It's not quite healed but I just had to touch base!

So with Christmas in just a few days I figured I would post my list...


... I had none but it would appear that a certain someone has been spying the blog to try to figure out what would make me tick!

Honestly at the moment there isn't much in fact this year I have no makeup on my list, only fragrances...

Serge Lutens La fille de Berlin... Probably the one I want the most. For some reason this scent moves me is a very particular way. It's a rose with strength!

 She's a rose with thorns, don't mess with her. She's a girl who goes to extremes.
When she can, she soothes; and when she wants ... !

Her fragrance lifts you higher, she rocks and shocks.
Serge Lutens

Serge Lutens Gris Clair... this smoky goodness wowed me at first try! Simply delicious! Totally grown up, it's lavender in all it's glory

 Like pollen blowing over a lifeless city.

As grey as ashes floating through a sky of sunbeams.
Lavender, then, to add grey to clarity, I added incense. I'm crazy about it! In every sense, incense makes sense to my senses.
Serge Lutens

Prada Candy... I'm not a fan of the name nor of the flacon but the juice is pure joy this time of year.

Prada CANDY is instantly seductive—pure pleasure wrapped in impulsive charm. In an explosion of shocking pink and gold, Prada CANDY takes us on a walk on the wild side, showing us a new facet of Prada femininity where more is more and excess is everything. Magnified by white musks, noble benzoin comes together with a modern caramel accord to give the fragrance a truly unique signature. 

Chanel Chance Eau Tendre... a fragrance I just can't forget, I first tried it a few years ago and every time I stop by a counter I have to spray some on.

The whirlwind of CHANCE echoes once again and reveals CHANCE EAU TENDRE: pure olfactory poetry, a fruity-floral fragrance, a vibrant yet delicate scent like a wave of tenderness... 

Guerlain Shalimar... This one needs no introduction, a classic but a recent discovery for me. Years ago I tried to wear it but it didn't suit me, didn't go with my personality but now, so yummy!

The queen of exotic Oriental perfumery, this beautifully feminine fragrance is an everlasting classic. Its voluptuous base of powdery, sweet vanilla embraces warm notes of incense and amber. Opulent and tenacious, the seductive appeal of Shalimar endures.

Here you have it!

Are there any delicious fragrant concoction on your wish list this year?

Sunday, November 30, 2014

The Sunday Post, Vol. 34...

Long time no see!!!

To answer my buddy Melissa's tweet this week, no, I haven't gone all MIA again!

Unlike last September this absence was totally unplanned. Oh how easy it was to blog when I was able to do it full time! These days I got full time work (which by the way has gotten real crazy this week), a daughter, cooking, "cleaning" (I ain't doin' too good with that part), a dog. a cat and a Mr J (I think I'm doin' good with that part)!

The result? Many posts written but sadly, of poor quality so most won't be published! I'll just have to re-write them. Then there's the "taking pictures" issue which is a big one! The lighting in my house is so bad it hurts and for a makeup blog it's a major handicap. Outside is not much better since I just can't seem to be able to get the sun on my side during week ends (only then do I have time to take them). I need a light box desperately and just don't know when I'll be able to whip one up. There are many tutorials out there including this one here, which doesn't require any nails or paint. Now to find a collapsing laundry bag in white! Hmm... Might ask Mr J if he could figure something out for me...

Christmas is coming...


This bit I just can't believe! Tempus fugit so fast my head is spinning... Really it is! It will be a quiet affair but this year there might be a Christmas tree in the house again but that's if Catherine and Mr J come to an understanding. I am not getting involved... not even for the lights! There! I may bake cookies and that's all I'm gonna say bout it!

Recent beauty love...

Well there are several (as mentioned a few times already) and several haven't been reviewed yet... erm some of them are amongst the ones I pointed out that will not be published, they'll simply have to be redone so for now I'll just show you my last little wallet damage that I instagrammed recently and I guess you can see what I mean by bad lighting...

Repurchased are my beloved Rouge Dior in Charnelle #459 along with Nuxe Huile Prodigieuse, Caudalie Huile Divine and NARS Pro-Prime Smudge Proof Eyeshadow Base. Oh yes there is Guerlain's La Petite Robe Noire in there isn't there? Who would have thunk? I just didn't have any other option than to get a full size of the eau de parfum since I've ended up emptying so many samples... It totally grew on me and so I'll get my Cherry Coke fix on a regular basis...

For your viewing enjoyment...

Chanel Christmas 2014, Les Plumes makeup. Now I'll admit that nothing in this collection is calling my name but the promo video is positively stunning!!!

Ok so this was a quickie Sunday Post! Sorry bout that, I feel a little rusty writing but just like Mr J texted me, it would seem it's like riding a bike. Guess I got a lil' ridin' to do!

Do have a look a my buddy Melissa's blog, Kiss and Makeup, she's a riot...

Love you girl! :D

Have a great week everyone! Hélène xoxo

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

The PowderPuff Girl Question, N° 8...

Nail color on your toes in winter? 

I know, I know, most of us have now put our feet in hibernation for it seems that as soon as we have to start wearing socks we give up on them!

This year I've decided to try to keep my feet in good shape and this will include not only a weekly pampering session but nail color! ... We'll see how long I keep it up! :)

For the past month I'd been wearing Dior Massaï, a beautiful darkish red and I almost went with it again last night but then I stopped myself and texted Mr J! I was curious to see if he would have an opinion and I gave him three options: Dior Massaï #853, Chanel Taboo #583 and Essie Cashmere Bathrobe! Ok so I didn't give him the names for they would have meant nothing to him. I simply wrote: dark red, dark purple (although I did mention it was called Taboo to see if he would bite) and dark grey. To my surprise he answered dark grey, the one I least expected. 

Toe nails now have Cashmere Bathrobe on! Do excuse the quality of the picture, the sun has been a no show for a while and this is poor indoor lighting. In real life they all are a smidgen darker.

Oh and Mr J did thank me for asking! How sweet is that?

So, do you keep on pampering your feet in winter and if you do apply color, how do you go about in choosing which one it will be?

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Going almost nacked with Dior Nail Glow...

Before we start do know that I'm not an exhibitionist, truly I'm not! I love buttoned up blouses and they're what I wear most of the time but once in a while I can show a little cleavage... hmm now that doesn't count now does it? Joining a nudist colony? No way baby! First I don't think I'd enjoy the view(s) and as for myself, I'd need a portable Photoshop beautifying chamber!

Ok so joking aside, for the past few months, well actually for almost four months now, my nails have been in rehab! For some reason I just can't get them back to the shape they were in before. My index fingers and thumbs keep splitting and cracking at the ends! :(

The cracking and splitting are likely due to me wearing colors on them for so long so I've stopped! *cries* I miss my dark claws! This Kitty ain't happy but hey, I gotta do what I gotta do to get them back into shape!

Now no color is boring but naked nails are flat out depressing! To the rescue...

Dior Nail Glow...

Oh how I love thee! This baby is part of the Dior Backstage Essentials Collection and yes, I can truly say it is an essential, for me anyway. It's a clear high gloss polish with a rosy tint that instantly illuminates natural nails. I never apply more than one coat, really it's enough and the beauty of this little wonder is that if you don't have time to redo every few days or so, it fades evenly, really a no fuss product. This is what makes it different than any other clear polish I've ever tried. It doesn't peel or flake away, it just fades evenly.

Notice the poor state my index finger nail is in! :( 

I know some prefer to go all dressed up or flat out naked... on the nails I mean, but mine have a yellowish color that makes them look neglected in a way. Could be due to my nail shape I just dunno. Dior Nail Glow is like instant Photoshop for my nails, love, just love!

This is my right hand, nakked nails! Not an option! 

So, if like me going nakked isn't an option, go grab this baby, really it's a great beautifying product to own!

Now what do you like, colored, naked or a little somethin somethin... on the nails?

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Olfactive Memories, The one that Seduced Me...

Fragrant memories...

I know some don't believe in that phenomenon but trust me when I say, I was literally hit by lightening the first time I saw André! I was getting in the elevator of the building where I lived accompanied by both my parents... I froze! Dang did I feel like a girl! Oh wait! I was a girl! I mean that first time I saw him I was six months shy of 18!

Wow! Just wow! The dude lived in my apartment building and yes, I almost did *faint*.

In French we call it: Coup de foudre and yes, I was hit hard!

The classic tall, dark and handsome dreamy looking guy! Always well dressed with a lil' somethin' extra... Well as we got closer the following spring that little something extra was, among other things, his fragrance...

Christian Dior's Eau Sauvage...

The first men's fragrance from the house of Dior was created by Edmond Roudnitska who was also responsible for Diorissimo and Diorella. Launched in 1966, it's an uplifting juice composed of strong notes of lemon, rosemary and spicy lavender for it's opening and closing with the sexiness of oak moss, musk, vetiver and amber.

Illustration: Gruau for Dior

A classic! 

This was the fragrance André wore that first summer we were together! Manly but yet romantic. Virile but not in a "in your face" kind of way. He had self confidence to spare but was never ever condescending, always respectful of others, especially of me...

Compared to some of the popular men's fragrances today, Eau Sauvage could appear to be a little too tame, unadventurous and even a little old school but back then it was extremely popular, a top seller! Me I only cared about the way it smelled on him! After all, what did I know about men's perfume at 18!

He was my guy, he was my love, he was my life!

Today would have been his birthday and yes, both Catherine and I miss him for he was the center of our universe! Truly he was!

I didn't think it would but yes, life does go on! Catherine is doing great and he would be so proud of her. She's becoming a beautiful young women with a good strong head on her shoulders. She's smart, considerate, respectful of others and yes, like her dad, she's very self confident! Quite amazing at 15!

As for me, well, he will always be in my heart and I'm thankful for the fact he has left me with beautiful memories. Thinking about Eau Sauvage has reminded me of so many!

Yes Eau Sauvage seduced me but let's be honest, it was the man wearing it that made it memorable!

Bonne fête mon'amour! 

Sunday, October 19, 2014

The Sunday Post, Vol. 33...

Ooo now it's been a while since I wrote a Sunday Post so here we go...

New man...

Oh yesss!!! I did post about it yesterday so I will not get into it again but I do want to thank you for the lovely comments, Seems I got a few people on my side coz I also got great reactions from co-workers as well. I'm floating so please bare with me! Lucky is what I am and well yes, so is he, after all I ain't so bad myself! :)

First date...

No we didn't go to a fancy shmancy restaurant! I've had my share of those and honestly I can do without and no we didn't go to the movies either which is also a good thing since nothing interesting is showing these days. What we did do is go hiking at a beautiful spot barely 10 minutes from Montréal called Île Charron. It's a protected area, a small island where nature is free to run it's course and it's positively dreamy! Maps are available on site so you can decide which trail to follow but since Mr J had already been there a few times there was really no need for one but for the first timer, it can come in handy. We walked for a total of 2:30 hres and figured we had covered about 7 km which is pretty good. Along the trails are benches to either catch your breath or admire the view. The weather was so beautiful that day it was positively perfect!

I've already posted a few pictures on my Instagram, here, but here are a few more. On the island there are picnic areas and you can also rent a canoe as shown on the second picture. Truly a great place to visit, even if you're not into hiking.

Recent makeup love...

This past month one of the shade in my Clinique All About Shadow 8-Pan Palette has been my everyday base and Black Honey did receive a lot of love. That one is perfect for green eyes and the hold over NARS' primer is just amazing! Laura Mercier Caviar Stick in Amethyst is da bomb and I've worn it at least three times a week since I purchased it. Of course Dior Velvet is still one of my basics and wow does it go well with Amethyst!

I'm a little out of the loop about the new collections but reviews are starting to pop up about what will be available for the holidays. My bloguerette friend Sara from Color Me Loud just posted one about Chanel's new palette Les 5 Ombres Oiseaux de Nuit, here, which will be available soon when the Plumes Précieuses 2014 Holiday Collection launches. In fact I think it's out now but I haven't checked it out. Seeing her review has inspired me to bring out last year's beauty, Charming and yesterday I had a bit of fun with it. I think it will be my main go to this week.

Lips have started to go a little darker thanks to another Clinique product, Almost Lipstick in Black Honey. I like its sheerness but I also enjoy giving it a little more intensity so I guess I'm taking baby steps back into darkness... :)

What I have my eyes on...

Would you believe nothing much! Really! I've steered clear of makeup counters this past month since I've purchased some new items of clothing including black skinny jeans... Never thought I'd go there but my weight loss made it possible and I must say I feel pretty dang good wearing them! *swoon* :)

Ok back to beauty, as I was saying there isn't much I'm contemplating except Guerlain Les Violines and a few lipsticks like one of the new NARS especially Brigitte and maybe one of the new Dior balms but then I have yet to repurchase my beloved Rouge Dior in Charnelle.

For your viewing enjoyment...

A great treat! The new Chanel N° 5 ad campaign with Gisele Bündchen (even sans Le makeup the woman is just gorgeous) and directed by Baz Luhrmann. First the behind the scene and then the film...



Sorry I got no makeup pictures this week, I'm still catching my breath! I'll probably end up brigning you a double dose next week!

Have a great week everyone! Hélène xoxo

Saturday, October 18, 2014

What are the chances?

Before I resume with the regular programing of Icaria's, I needed to share this personal update...

What are the chances of meeting the one person that will make your life better and more complete? To get to live it once is the most amazing thing but to get to live it twice, now that is just beyond incredible!

I was lucky, oh was I lucky to be loved by a man for whom I was the center of the universe, till the end. André was the most amazing man and I miss him every day. He was the one mainly responsible for who I became, the person I am today and I will always be thankful. He left me my daughter Catherine and for that too I will always be thankful.

The emptyness after the loss, the insecurities, what did the future hold for me have kept me up so many nights...

The Crystal Ball
John William Waterhouse (1902)
Private Collection

I can still vividly remember last year when after his death I had to pick myself up and think of the future, the stress of finding a job to be able to provide for my daughter in the way she was accustomed was just maddening. Oh the pain! At times I didn't think I would make it. There was of course my beautiful bloguerette friends but two people were largely instrumental in helping me get through the darkness, my web friend Laura and my neighbour, Mr J.

Laura was "there" that long winter during which André fought his ultimate battle and to my great despair, lost. She was there to console me and to encourage me. She was my one confidant, the one who knew all about my frustrations, anger and deep sadness. Then in April I started to have little chats with Mr J, a neighbour, who would stop by the fence and kindly chat with me when getting home from work. Those little bits of conversation made my summer slightly more bearable. He was my only human contact besides Catherine.

This past spring the chats with Mr J resumed after a long cold winter. Tall, handsome and extremely charming, he knew I wasn't looking,..

Because of the strong love I had for André I wasn't looking to find someone, I thought I wasn't ready and in fact every time I would start to think about meeting someone new there was always a feeling of disdain, a recoil of sort... no just no... No way could I be with someone else!

A month ago it all changed... Mr J gave me a hug, a simple comforting hug. He too knew all about my sadness, frustrations, anger and loneliness. He knew André, knows how much I loved him and always will. In my heart is where he belongs now... He's my past and it would seem that Mr J just might be my future...

Sadly some of us never get to experience deep love, the kind of love that comes out of passion yes but mostly out of respect for one another, consideration and oh, tenderness...

With André, passion brought us together, with Mr J, friendship was the culprit...

It would seem that I was born under a lucky star for I do believe I'll get to experience it twice!

Saturday, October 11, 2014

I'm Back!!!

Ok that's it!

I got my blogging mojo is back and I couldn't be happier about it. Over a month!!! Unreal but I did need it both physically and mentally. Stepping away from the web was difficult but had to be done due to the fact that I've had to deal with unpleasantness which caused great amounts of stress. Real life simply had to come first because bottom line, I just couldn't concentrate and I had total writer's block.

I had to recharge my batteries and I so did, in a big way...

So September started bad but October appeared with a bang!!! A big one and I'm keeping it to myself... for now!

Catching up...

I'm so out of the loop at the moment it's just plain pathetic but hey, I won't stress about it. I have kept track of what my bloguerette friends were up to and wow, just wow, such great posts!

A huge thank you to a few fantastic ladies (you know who you are) for your incredible support, kindness and friendship. I know I've said it many times already but I just don't know what I would have done without this great community, the beauty blogging community.

Way more than pretty faces with artistically applied eye shadows, perfect lashes and sexy vampy lips, the ladies who make it real, are much more than perfect canvases for the latest makeup collections, they're a group of smart, super smart women! This is something I truly never expected.

So, no makeup talk today, just a little hello and thank you for your patience.

Regular programing to resume shortly!

Sunday, August 31, 2014

The Sunday Post, Vol. 32...

Last week as I had just finished writing my Sunday Post something happened that took me completely off guard. I don't want to go into details but let's just say that for me it was big and so there was no way I could concentrate on blogging and honestly, I can't much at the moment either. I just need a little time to get my things in order so I hope you'll bare with me and stick around.

Thank you for your emails guys, you know who you are... amazing! I have no words to express how thankful I am and can just say that the beauty blogging community is awesome, just plain awesome!

Although I haven't been writing nor have I left many comments on my favorite blogs I have been keeping track during the day and in the middle of the night (insomnia's a b...). Phone and tablet aren't the best for commenting and in the evening I just didn't have the energy to open my lap top. If you want to know what I've been reading have a look at my blogroll and at Wondegondigo's. Yes I stalk Belly's blogroll! :)

Oh and by the way, any idea on how an Instagram tag works? I was tagged yesterday by my friend Sara and have no idea how to complete this. I guess it would have to be with either my tablet or phone since it's kind of not working on my lap top but still I just dunno how to do this. 

This week's beauty...

Makeup this week was on cruise control and so there's nothing to mention but I do have a bit of skincare news, well an experiment I'm planning. A colleague brought back a tin of Germain Nivea from Portugal for me and so I plan on doing a split face testing of it and the Mexican version. So many comments and reviews have been written about the differences between the two that I figured I'd do my own non scientific comparison. I don't know how long it will last, my guess is about a month or so unless one or both break me out so stay tuned. 

German on the left, Mexican on the right.

Bath & Body Works finally opened a store down town Montréal!

About dang time too! I wonder why it took so long but hey better late than never I guess. Of course on Friday I had to go have a look. Stacey from Expat Make-Up Addict has mentioned their candles so many times that I went with one idea in mind, buy a few! Sadly I came out of the store empty handed. Opening day wasn't a good time to go. When The Face Shop opened a month ago there was a bit of a hoopla but here with Bath & Body Works it was chaos! Below is a quick pic I took and I had chosen Aunumn the white one on the left but had to put it back because there were too many people waiting in line to pay.

Fear not, I shall return and get my candle(s)! :)

For your viewing enjoyment...

Give it to Dior to have great promos! In case you didn't know the iconic brand has revamped it's entire quint collection called 5 Couleurs and they are gorgeous, every single one of them. I've had a bit of a swatch party recently and there are a few I would love to get my hands on but at $61.00 CAD I'll do a bit of thinking before taking the plunge and there is that Guerlain Écrin 4 Couleurs, Les Violines, that I so want! Sara (the Instagram tagger) from Color Me Loud has already reviewed a few and so far I think the one I like the most is Trafalgar reviewed, here.


Have a great week everyone! Hélène xoxo

Sunday, August 24, 2014

The Sunday Post, Vol. 31...

It's back to school time...

Fall sadly, is definitely at the door with the weather slightly cooling and kids of all ages getting ready to hit classrooms everywhere. Catherine got her class schedule on Friday and she was pretty happy about the fact that she got the science class she wanted. A few notebooks and a new backpack were all she needed... feww!!! Erm... Of course there are other essentials that will have to be purchased but nothing too crazy.

My posting schedule may become even more erratic due to the fact that something real unpleasant happened today to me personally, it's not work related. Just as I was catching up on blogs and was about to take the time to respond to all your comments of the past two weeks I find myself having to deal with a huge task. Just as I was starting to think things couldn't get any worse they did. Call it remnants of André's passing (for those who don't know read the about me tab). I don't know how I'm going to get through that one but I guess I have no choice in the matter, again.

This week's makeup love...

Well, it's been Laura Mercier Caviar stick in Amethyst all week!!! Love the color which reminds me a little of Chanel Illusion d'Ombre in Fatal but with no glitter. It is on the shimmery side and if applied dark can appear metallic but swatching it on your hand is definitely not the same as wearing it. A year ago I wouldn't have looked at it twice but now I'm really glad I took the plunge. I've been wearing it with Bobbi Brown Caviar Ink gel liner and I've even used a little gold from my Illamasqua palette for extra glam... Imagine that, me going metal crazy!

Since I've been doing more of a dark smokey eye look I've been keeping the rest of my face pretty neutral with my faithful Guerlain Terracotta and NARS Dolce Vita for lips.

Fingernails have been happy this week with Dior Glow and I think they will continue to enjoy it for a while since now both my index fingernails are in pretty bad shape. That's the price to pay for wearing colors non stop for two years! :(

What I have my eyes on...

While on the subject of nails, I'm still considering Chanel Le Vernis in Atmosphère for a lite shimmer since I can't really do dark at the moment and I have to admit none of the new nail polish collections are really calling my name. Dior and Chanel are on the boring side for me (except for the one mentioned) and so is YSL. I haven't seen Guerlain and in fact, being a little out of the loop at the moment I don't even know if they have new nail colors for fall. Last year they had the smashing Madame Batifole which I enjoyed a lot with an amazing formula. My guess is once the Back to School craziness is behind me it'll be all about eye shadow palettes and a few lipsticks.

For your viewing enjoyment...

Want the perfect pout? Have a look at this simple NARS tutorial for how to get that perfect red lip or any color for that matter. Using a lip crayon as a base not only gives more depth but also helps with long wear. After Rouge Dior, NARS lipsticks are my favorites (Tolède and Dolce Vita are HG of mine) and they've just launched a new range of fabulous colors called Audacious. I have my eyes on Brigitte and Juliette. They should be available at counters on September 1st and you can see them on NARS' website, here.

Now here's a bit of music for you... I've seen if first on Color Me Loud when Sara reviewed the new Guerlain Kiss Kiss lipsticks and this morning on Kiss & Make-up where Melissa created a beautiful Black & Gold eye look. Never heard of it before and it's been out since 2008, got a Grammy in 2009! After seeing it twice this week it's now stuck in my head! Oh and the dude is Australian. No clue as to why I'd never heard this song before! Read Sara's post, here and Melissa's, here.

Have a great week everyone! Hélène xoxo

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