Tuesday, July 31, 2012

RoC Micellaire Confort Extrême, Cleansing Water

This is the first micellar cleanser I tried and when I purchased it I must admit that, I didn't even know what it was. Weird I know.

 That evening, I was at the pool with my daughter. She's part of a competitive swimming club and trains several times a week. I decided to go to the drugstore nearby to get a new cleanser since I was all out. 

RoC products where on special that day so I figured, why not? I'm not particularly picky and neither is my skin usually as far as cleansers are concerned. I had used some of RoC's moisturizers in the past and they where fine. I bought the Energizing Cleanser and the Micellar Cleansing Water Extreme Comfort  for about $15 each. When I got home, I asked myself, why the heck did I get two cleansers? It didn't take long for me to figure it out. I started to use the micellar water in the same way I used that lovely Gatineau toner, ages ago. 

Very gentle with no fragrance, it does a good job to remove basic makeup. It was great for eye makeup but I can't vouch for waterproof mascara. I can't comment on tenacious eye liners either. It would seem that no eye liner wants to last all day on me. When I find my HG (Holy Grail) I'll be sure to post about it.

Back to RoC. Like with all micellar waters, my favorite use for it was as a morning cleanser. It gently removed oil and impurities accumulated at the surface of my skin during the night. Not as drying as Bioderma's offerings but slightly more oily than Nuxe and Caudalie.

Why did I not repurchase it? Quite simply because I found it boring! I enjoy a little fragrance and this has barely any. Still, for someone with delicate, sensitive skin, prone to allergies, RoC Micellar Cleansing Water Extreme Comfort might be a very good option.

Here's a little wink at my daughter.

Taken during a competition, I just love this picture.

Sorry! I just couldn't resist. :D

Monday, July 30, 2012

Micellar Waters, Cleansing Waters. What are they?

One of the most important steps in taking care of our skin is cleansing it. Sunscreen, makeup and dirt have to come off at night. How we like to do it is totally personal and the choice of products is made according to one's skin type. I have 4 different cleansers in my cabinet. Unscented baby oil, a creamy cleanser, a foaming cleanser and a cleansing water.

What are they?

These cleansers also known as Eau Micellaire or Micellar Water, have gained quite a following in the past few years. It seems that every cosmetic company out there is coming out with one and for good reason since they are very convenient. They are a mixture of water and extremely fine oil particles without emulsifier so they give the skin the freshness of water, paired with the efficacy of oil with no need to rinse off. 

Read on for reviews of the ones I've tried so far...........

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Olive Oil

I thought it would be fitting to start with, if not the oldest, one of the oldest. In my opinion, this is the queen of oils, the most famous, the one that had the most importance in the Ancient World. It will likely remain at the top of my list, even if alphabetical order comes into play. There is no great discoveries here, nothing new realy. These are the informations I wanted to keep for myself but if they can be useful for others, great!

Historical notes

This entry will probably be the most extensive one. The history of olive oil is linked with the ancient civilisations of the Mediterranean, its commerce, a major part of the economic exchanges of the time. Having studied the arts and architecture of these populations as well as the religions of some of them, from ancient Egypt to the fall of the Roman Empire, the olive oil aspect is one that brings a more human, a more personal element to the comprehension of their customs and way of life. I was curious to know more about this.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Bourjois Little Round Pot Blush

This almost mythical product known as Fard Pastel when it first appeared, was renamed in the 1980's as Fard Pastel Joues to avoid confusion with the Fard Pastel Paupières (eye shadows). 6 millions of these color pots are sold every year. Simply amazing when you know that this little wonder of a product was born in 1863, created by Alexandre Napoléon Bourjois.

1863, Rouge fin extra de théatre

Light and easy to blend, it quickly replaced the thick greasy cheek makeup of the day and became the official provider of imperial theatres. In fact, it was even approved by medicine faculties. Around 1879, all the "coquettes" of the day wanted one and to this day the recipe remains the same, with it's faint rose fragrance mixed with rice powder. It kind of reminds me of a nice, delicate and proud little old lady but it doesn't linger. For me it's kind of a reassuring fragrance.

1881, Rose de ville

Originally, the boxes where made of galuchat finiched cardboard (replicating a leathery texture). In 1914, the boxes where changed and their colors reflected the ones of the blushes inside. Today the round boxes are made of plastic and the little powder puff has been replaced by a brush for touch ups and a little mirror was added.

The most popular colors are 34 Rose d'or and 33 Lilas, but the most famous Bourjois' Little Round Pot Blush remains 48 Cendre de Rose Brune which has been available since 1924. 

Fard Pastel Joues, 48 Cendre de Rose Brune

My personal favorite, the one that suits my skin coloring the best is 74 Rose Ambré. I always highlight my face with a bronzing powder and this color gives me a natural glow. It doesn't clash with the bronzer and makes it look more natural. I can't believe I discovered this brand only last year. It's available in several drugstores and costs around $20 which is very reasonable for the quality. Now the compact is not as glamorous looking as high end brands but I find it looks better tan the usual drugstore brands. Since it's a small container, it's easy to keep in your purse in a small cosmetic bag. 

Fard Pastel Joues, 74 Rose Ambré

At that price, If you feel like owning a little piece of cosmetic history, Bourjois' Little Round Pot Blushes are more than well worth it. I'm very impressed by it and highly recommend it.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Carrier Oils


Carrier oils, a term that usually relates to aromatherapy, are vegetable oils derived, pressed from the fatty portion of a plant (kernel, nuts, seeds). They're known as such for they are usually used as a base for essential, fragrant oils. Mostly of vegetable source, mineral oil and emu oil (animal source) can also be called as such. Although some are odorless, others have a faint sweet nutty or fruity aroma. If the odor is too strong, this may be a sign that the oil as gone rancid. Some are more delicate than others and require refrigeration after a certain period of time.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Oils & Ingredients List Project

As I've been learning a lot about oils and ingredients in the past year, I thought I would indulge myself and make a list of my favorites and of the most popular ones. More often than not, when you search on the web for a specific oil or ingredient, you end up with many links loaded with so much information and so many claims that it's often hard to figure out what it all means. Plus, some of those sites are there to sell you products so of course, they will tell you what you want to hear to make sure you purchase from them.

Garden of Wisdom, a popular US seller of raw ingredients and skincare, has a nice Oils List info but it's very succinct. I personally need a bit more that that. Another source, Beautypedia with its Cosmetic Ingredient Dictionary, as either too much or too little. I guess it depends on the interests of Paula Begoun. I can't say that I'm always in agreement with either her reviews on products or even some of the information about ingredients. Still, it can be a good place to start, since in some cases the descriptions are quite elaborate. Wikipedia also has an extensive list of vegetable oils with links for extra information about each. The problem is that in some cases the information gets a bit too scientific and becomes boring.

I will be adding to this list regularly since I won't be writing it in one go. I will also include historical bits. Sorry but that's my main reason for doing this. I wanted to concentrate the information that interests me in one place. You can simply scroll down to the paragraphs that call out to you. Also know that this list with the information it contains or will contain, is far from being a novelty. I personally wanted to know more and wanted to share this new or in some cases not so new, acquired knowledge. Again, this should include the
popular oils and natural ingredients so there are many that I will not mention.

I will separate the lists, one for oils and one for ingredients which will be, for the most part of natural origins. I can only hope that some of you will find in it informative elements. 

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Origins Ginger Gloss Smoothing Body Oil


For the past few months I've been wanting to try one of Origins' Ginger fragranced product. A friend on MUA keeps raving about the smell and mentioned recently that it was her signature scent. Yesterday I finally had the opportunity to sample it and, well, fell in love! Who would not? Tangy ginger, lemon, lime and bergamot make this a very uplifting fragrance.

From Origins Bath & Body Ginger webpage 

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Words of Wisdom

Iconic beauty, symbol of elegance, this woman was so much more.

For attractive lips, speak words of kindness.
For lovely eyes, seek out the good in people.
For a slim figure, share your food with the hungry.
For poise, walk with the knowledge that you will never walk alone.
People, even more than things, have to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed, and redeemed.
Never throw out anyone.

                                                                                                 Audrey Hepburn

Her role as Holly Golightly made her an icon

But she would probably prefer to be remembered 
as a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador

These are some of the things I want my daughter to know.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Witch Hazel a bit of controversy

Last night someone on MUA asked about the benefits of witch hazel. A member posted a blog entry about it in which there was the following quote:

Be aware that the witch hazel you purchase in the drug store is generally steam distilled with added alcohol. It doesn't tend to contain those great tannins, so the alcohol is added to give the sensation of astringency.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Witch Hazel

A tiny bit of history

The witch hazel tree, Hamamelis Virginiana is native to North America and can be found all along the eastern coast, from Nova Scotia Canada right down to Florida in the US. Native Americans started to figure out it's therapeutic uses around the 1600s. It seems to have been introduced to Europeans in the 1800s but it's quite possible that the first settlers started to use it upon contact with the First Nations.

Witch hazel became popular in the 1900s and was sold by 2 major companies who are still in existence today.

In 1847, Dr Henry Thayer opened a laboratory on Main Street Cambridge Massachusetts. It would later become Henry Thayer & Company, known today as simply Thayer's. They offer a wide range of combinations. Meaning, they have several options of witch hazel mixed with other ingredients like, for example, aloe and rose water.

Thomas Newton Dickinson Sr is credited with starting commercial production of witch hazel. Based in Essex Connecticut. Diskinson refined the distillation method developed by missionary Dr Charles Hawes which was being sold  locally in Essex by Alvan Whittmore a druggist and chemist, as early as 1846. Dickinson took over the company in 1866 and he is credited with the addition of the 14% alcohol which would remain a family secret for as long as the Dickinson's remained proprietors of the company. Today, the company known as Dickinson's, has been owned by M.K.Laboratories since 1980.

Witch hazel, Hamamelis Virginiana

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Memories, a bit of history & sunscreen

Sorry for the long absence! Life got in the way and so, I was less inclined to research, less inclined to write. I will try to be more diligent, and dare I say, more disciplined....

You may be noticing some changes. More will come for I am still trying to figure out how blog stuff works. I haven't really taken the time yet to organise the presentation properly. Hopefully I'll be able to create something that will seem slightly more pleasant to readers. For now, here's what I've been working on, thinking about...


As a child and early teen, my mom used to take me to Miami Beach every winter. We would spend the month of January there and stay right across from Bal Harbour Shops. I can still remember buying my first Chanel nail polish at Neiman Marcus. Now in those days, January was a quiet month and so it would be dreamy to take long walks on the beach. This was at the start of the South Beach revival. I would walk from our little Art-Deco hotel to the star of Miami Beach in those days, the magnificent Fontainebleau and back. I can't remember how long it took but it was what I liked to do. I was always a bit of a loner, probably due to the fact that I was an only child. In the morning I would do my school work and spend my afternoons walking. I was never one to lie in the sun. I had to “do” something.

Beside the gorgeous Art-Deco Architecture of the little hotels on the beach there wasn’t much to see except admire the ocean, the pelicans, the palm trees and...

The leathery dark skinned elderly people on the beach.


Let's just say that none of them looked like this!

Some where so dark and burned that you could swear
that this is what they where doing. 
Lying in a frying pan!

Today I'm wondering if they where really “elderly”, realising now that some of them where probably in their 40's and 50's. The overdose of sun tanning was, most likely, what made them look older, like worn leather. Seems like I can still smell that Hawaiian Tropic Coconut oil that in all likelihood, had an spf of -2!

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