Friday, August 31, 2012

The End of Summer

Can you feel it? Even though the weather is still gloriously beautiful, it's more than obvious, Summer will soon be replaced by Fall. Just a few more weeks and some of us will have to bring in the patio furniture, prepare the yard for winter.....

Soon we will start to think about more moisturizing cleansers and creams. Some of us will start wearing foundation again.... Heavier fragrances will replace those light spritz we've been enjoying so much. Socks, stockings.... Oh how I wish I could live where those are unnecessary! Although I must admit that last year I didn't start wearing them before November. Hopefully we will enjoy a similar Fall and another beautiful mild Winter with little snow.

So lets get out there and enjoy those last t-shirts and flip-flop days!

I'll be going to the market for fresh vegetables and some of the last berries of the season. Since the forecast calls for a beautiful warm weekend, a fresh tall glass of lemonade will be the perfect complement.

Quite a treat for Labour Day Weekend!

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Interesting discovery about acne? Face Mapping?

Achieving beautiful, flawless, acne free skin! Every day on MUA questions are asked. Some are desperate and just want to find a solution while others are just ranting. There are success stories and those always bring positive reactions, compliments. Many want to know how these glorious results where obtained. Since we are all different, the routines described are often quite personal and would not agree with everyone. Now, every once in a while, someone will come up with a blog entry. Some make sense but others, well...

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Nuxe Micellar Cleansing Water / Saying goodbye to a favorite

My favorite cleanser has been discontinued! ARGH!!! Why? Oh why?

This of course is not the first time and it will certainly not be the last. Cosmetic companies do have to renew themselves constantly to be able to face the competition, to expand. In many cases, they will simply modify a formula. How often have you seen "new and improved" on a tube or jar? Countless! Sometimes, products are altered without warnings and that can wreak havoc on one's skin. You're then left wondering, why was this so great for my skin before? This, unfortunately, can happen when a smaller company is purchased by a bigger one. Some of the reasons for this may be that certain ingredients are too expensive or harder to find. They are then being replaced by what they figure will be more economical in the long run.

How annoying!!!

Talia's Back!!!

I'm so happy about this! Gingy just posted an entry on her blog. She also posted her latest video. Do go have a look!


Friday, August 24, 2012

Caudalie Cleansing Water / Review

When I first tried this cleansing water I wasn't sure at all if I would like it. Why? The fragrance! Fortunately it's not strong but it's a bit surprising at first. To me it's like candied grapes. Very sweet, almost like a lollipop. After a few days, not only did I get used to it but I must admit that it grew on me. I now find it, delicious! For those who are sensitive to fragrance you may decide to pass and go for RoC or Bioderma Créaline but remember, it doesn't linger and is quite mild. You could still give it a chance.

How does it perform? Very nicely. In fact it comes close second to my favorite from Nuxe which I will review in a future post.

It's very effective and mild. For me, I find that it has the perfect balance of water and oil particles, and so, it doesn't leave my face feeling dry or sticky. I use it on a large cotton pad and it removes everything, even my eye makeup without any oily residue. Actually it leaves my skin feeling fresh and soft. What more could I ask for?

Caudalie Cleansing Water

From Caudalie's official website:


Makeup Alley: 4.1 out of 75 reviews

Beauté-test: 4/5 stars for 150 reviews

Oh by the way, after a week or so, I kind of forgot about the grape lollipop. I now find the fragrance to be fresh, delicate and in a way, invigorating.

I must now confess that after writing this review, I would totally go for one of those!

Hammond's Grape Lollipop

Other cleansing waters reviews can be found here

Monday, August 20, 2012

Unfreaking believable!!!

Talia's channel was hijacked by a lowlife!  WTF???

I wanted to view her latest video but it was not her lovely face that appeared. I am just floored!

I did not just write a post about her because Gingy did! This young lady really touched me. She made me think & reflect.

Not just me, my daughter as well.

Who would do such a thing?

This makes me so sad. What a society we live it.

So I emailed the Ellen Show:

& so did Gingy:

To all of you lurkers out there, it would be nice if you could do the same.

                                                                                                       Thank you!

Art: Pablo Picasso (1881–1973) Marie-Therese 

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Gingy's Post

Every once in a while we stumble onto something that touches us, inspires us. It can either come from the media, personal experience or from....the internet! There is lots of bad but thankfully, I would like to believe, more good.

A few days ago, my friend Gingerrama posted a new entry on her blog. I love reading her because she has a unique perspective on things and a beautiful writing style. Her article, in praise of makeup is quite simply, one of her best so far. It's not a long post but it'!

Her words, although masterfully put together as always, had little meaning except send me on my own train of thoughts!

Gingy! This time you gracefully put the spotlight on a star! A beautiful inspirational shining star!

What are the reasons we wear makeup? My guess is we want to be socially acceptable. Seems it's to be expected of us and depending on the social roles we play, it can become a requirement.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Manic Panic!!!

Notice when you start doing a bit or research about skin care you end up on either websites or blogs full of links re-directing you to some obscure self proclaimed miracle product that will give you a "face lift" effect without going under the knife?

Yeah Right! Madness!

Oops! Not the right madness more like this:

The Scream, Cross Eye Version 1893 Edvard Munch

Lemon Dreams & The Body Shop's Sweet Lemon Beautifying Oil / Review

Lemons! Who doesn't like the smell of lemons, the taste of lemons in a Greek salad, lemon curd on freshly baked scones, candied lemon rinds at Christmas.... Just using lemons in the kitchen, the fragrance alone resonates Summer all year round.

In popular culture lemons have gotten somewhat a bad wrap! *sigh* Why oh why? When something doesn't work right, it's a lemon. Enough! 

Well, there is that! Seems we can't escape car jokes.

Sorry, it seems I'm not making sense or at least not giving you what you want. A review! Can you tell I love lemons! 

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Avène Micellar Lotion Cleanser and Makeup Remover / Review

My first miss with Avène. 

According to Avène it's a no-rinse cleansing water that will effectively remove all traces of makeup on face, eyes and lips. Will hydrate and calm the skin, leaving it moisturized and soft. Pleasant fragranced (tolerated by sensitive skin) it has no preservatives and is oil free, soap free and alcohol free. Hypoallergenic and non comedogenic.

First off, although I do like Avène's fragrance, in this it's chemical like. Not pleasant even if thankfully, it doesn't linger. 

Not a one step cleanser for it removes makeup poorly. 

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Argan Oil

A bit of History

From the argania spinosa tree which grows in south western Morocco. The oil extracted from the seeds of its fruits has become quite popular in recent years. In 1998 it was added to the UNESCO World Heritage list for it's considered one of the rarest trees in the world as well as one of the oldest.

The tree itself, considered pious and holy, can grow up to 10 metres high and withstand temperatures up to 50 degrees Celsius. It can live up to 200 years and if it dies, remain dormant and revive again 7 years later. With it's strong root system it prevents erosion and helps preserve the fertility of the soil by stopping the advance of the desert.

Traditionally, Moroccos' Berbers would pick the undigested pits from the waste of goats who climb argan trees to eat their fruits. I wonder where they got that idea! Today, I'm glad to say that these days, the fruits are harvested directly from the trees. Although we know of it mostly for skin and hair, argan oil is used by many Moroccans in their daily diets. For this, the seeds are roasted before being pressed giving the oil a dark brown color and a deeper nutty flavor.

     Goats up an argan tree                                                                                                                 Argan fruits  


Why the high price?

Argan oil is a product of the kernels. The fruits have to be harvested, the flesh removed and the hard shelled nut has to be cracked open by hand to remove the 3 kernels lodged inside, hence the high price of the oil. It takes about 30 kg of argan fruits to produce 1 liter of oil which is about the total produce of one argan tree for one season.

The production of argan oil as traditionally been a Berber women affair. Due to it's increased popularity, European cosmetics companies have been moving in, looking for large profits. They started production on a larger scale reducing the original argan oil producers as mere seed suppliers while advertising that it was hand-made by Berber women when in fact they had nothing to do with their product.

Cooperatives of women where formed in the 1990's to help preserve the traditional ways of production and protect the fast vanishing argan trees. They also help insure that only the best seeds are used and that they are processed as soon as they are extracted which diminishes oxidation risks. Some of the oil they produce can be extracted by hand but also mechanically. These cooperatives help women get fair wages, better working conditions and education.

So, if you see argan oil at a ridiculously low price, there's little chance Berber women where involved even if it states to have been processed by them.

The claims

Restorative with age-defying effects. It's high vitamin E content can help all sorts of skin problems like dry skin, acne, eczema, psoriasis and wrinkles. Soothing and anti-inflammatory, Moroccans use it on their hair, nails and skin. It's a rich and very nutritious oil. From time to time a member on MUA pops up claiming argan oil as "erased" her wrinkles. It's more likely her skin was dehydrated before she started using it, responsible for the wrinkled appearance. Don't expect this type or result, expect healthier looking skin, comfortable looking skin. If you do plan on trying it on your face, make sure to patch test first. Everyone is different and even if some swear by it, it can be disastrous for others. Clogs, cystic acne, not desirable at all.

How I use it

Facial skin. Sadly I can't use it every day. It's clogging for me and that is even if it rates 0/5 on the comedogenic scale of cosDNA but, a few nights a week, in winter when I feel my skin needs a little more, it feels soothing when I apply it. I do my usual routine and 30 minutes or so after my nightly moisturizer has sunk in, I dab on a bit of argan oil for extra moisture and it takes about 10 minutes or so to sink in.

Eye area. Although I prefer unrefined shea butter for the eye area, I sometimes use argan oil. It's gentle and effective if the skin is dry and little is needed since you wouldn't want it to travel into your eyes.

Hands and nails. If on a particular night I find my hands are dryer than usual, I wash them, use a few drops of argan oil, massage a bit and follow with a rich hand cream making sure I don't forget my cuticles. Doing this just before bed, I wake up with super soft hands. You could wear cotton gloves if you wish but personally, I can't fall asleep wearing them.

Hair. Nice pre-treatment, I apply it to the lenght of the hair about 30 minutes or so before shampooing. I must admit that I've done this only a few times since I rarely take the time. I have long thick hair and find that it does give it an extra silkiness. You can even heat it for a luxurious "hot oil treatment". On dry hair, I use it to get rid of fly-aways and also use on the ends to prevent breakage. I must admit that I don't use argan oil exclusively for this. Sometimes I want to put on a bit of fragrance so I go fro either my Nuxe or Lierac body oils reviewed in a previous post.

Where to buy and at what price?

One company that's been partly responsible for the popularity of argan oil is Josie Maran, available at Sephora. Her whole cosmetic line is based on this golden liquid. Her line does include pure argan oil but it's outrageously overpriced. It's in fact double the price of what you can get in health food stores and some larger drugstores. The one I use is from Melvita but there are other options just make sure the one you choose is 100% argan oil.

Josie Maran's Argan Oil, 1.7 oz, $48.00
Melvita's Huile d'argan, 50 ml, $24.00

Same product! You could even find 100% pure argan oil for less on the Internet if you chose to go that route. Here are 2 other options.
Garden of Wisdom ($9.65 US 1 oz)
Lotion Crafter ($15.95 US 2 oz)                                                              

From Melvita's US website:

Fair Trade:
Oil is cold-pressed extracted from raw hand-crushed kernals. Processing is done through an Aunarha women's co-operative in Essaouira. Melvita complies with all ethical criteria for fair trade: fair prices when purchasing raw materials, preservation of biodeversity in the environment, as well as responsible farming.
Melvita guarantee:
First cold-pressed organic oil.
Colorant and preservative-free.

Argan Oil Society is one of several websites I consulted for this entry. Wikipedia also provides a bit of information as well as many others. Again, be careful about the claims many sites will make in order to sell you their products. It's a very nice, rich oil but it's not miraculous as some would want you to believe.

Artwork: decorative tile pattern from Mosque of Hassan II

Saturday, August 4, 2012

LUSH Eyes Right Mascara is a Winner!

 I wasn't expecting to post again about this mascara so soon but it was a must after the day I just had!

We went to visit some family this afternoon and so I figured, let's give this mascara a try. Outside, with the humidity factor the temperature felt like 44C. and by 5:00 pm it still felt like 39o C.! It's a good thing I don't wear foundation, in fact I rarely do. It would have totally melted! Sweat was practically coming down on the sides of my face! Yuck!

So, I applied 3 coats total of the Eyes Right Mascara, waiting for it to dry between each. It went on smoothly with no clumps. The only thing that annoyed me was the brush which I find a bit short. Once the mascara was set, I proceeded to my torture chamber to curl my lashes. No I don't have a special room for this, it's just my bathroom.

In order for my lashes to stay curled, I have to not only use a lash curler but have to heat it with the blow dryer. If I don't, they end up pointing downwards after just few minutes. Sad but hey are very stubborn!



Curled lashes

Ok now my lashes didn't exactly end up looking like this but, they kept the curl a good 7 hours in crazy hot humid temperature and a horrible dinner at a buffet like restaurant! Who cares about the bad food, my lashes stayed curled and for me it's just fantastic! No melting, it stayed put! I used a mild foam tonight to cleanse my face and the mascara came off easily. Nice that I didn't have to go for my micellar water to remove any residue.

Do I recommend it? Oh yes! More expensive than drugstores options, I must say that none I've tried so far ever did a good job, it's in the low range of department stores and the price not so bad. At $18.95 I find it a fair price for what it does for me. Dark black, no clump, keeps the curl and comes off easily! 

I can't ask for more except maybe for some antacids to help digest the oily calamari and unrecognisable fried  food I had to sample tonight. My stomach is not happy! :(

Good thing I have some of those!

LUSH Emotional Brilliance Makeup

Oh my word! LUSH makeup! Really?

I never thought my first makeup post would be about LUSH but I was quite surprised to learn that they now offer a few makeup items. I just had to know more the main reason being that they're cruelty free.

LUSH Natural Brilliance Color Wheel

Personally I'm not a fan of this brand for skin care. To many highly irritating ingredients along with lots of essential oils but, my daughter just loves their bath products. It's one of her guilty pleasures that she gets to indulge in when she does something great, as a reward. On those occasions we go in the LUSH store at our local Mall and I let her chose a few things.

Cruelty free! Yay! We don't have many options in my area. I'm not a super green person but animal testing really annoys me especially for cosmetic purposes. Try to find one these days, it's harder and harder. Every company wants to expand and to do so, several have chosen to export their products to China. The downside to this is that China does tests on animals! Seems like what's good for the rest of the world isn't good enough for them. This situation is so sad, it's like going back 40 years in time and rare are the companies who don't wish to enter the Chinese market. There's just too much money to be made to pass.

So, kudos to LUSH for holding it's grounds, for now at least.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Bioderma Micelle Solutions Reviews

Bioderma first appeared about 20 years ago in Lyon France. Working in close collaboration with dermatologists to develop dermo-cosmetics intended for medical prescriptions and medicinal consultancy. According to Beauté-test they are the precursor for micellar solutions.

Bioderma Créaline H2O fragrance free

This is the first one I tried. I recieved a large sample of it and had enough for about a week. I used it mainely at night and a few times in the morning.

Well, it was almost like using plain water on my skin. I don't wear heavy makeup. Bronzing powder, blush, concealer, eye shadow, a light cake eye liner and non waterproof mascara. Did it remove everything? No. I had to use a lot of it and it didn't do well on my mascara which at the moment is Estée Lauder's Sumptuous.

Not only did it not do well for me but I found it drying. The one good thing is that it didn't irritate my décolleté area. What I don't get is how come my friend Caroline from Secret Girly Side had such great results with it when she tried it. It's obvious our skin's chemistry is different. She has a great picture showing the makeup products Créaline H2O was able to remove.

Bioderma Sébium H2O

So, I figured, probably Créaline H2O didn't do a good job because I have combination skin. Since it's summer, my skin is a bit more oily then it would be in winter. Sébium H2O is recommended for combination/oily skin. This formula has fragrance but it's very mild and doesn't linger.

It did a better job but ended up irritating my eyes as well as my décolleté area. This took me quite by surprise actually, especially since my skin is not that reactive or picky. In a way, it felt like there was alcohol in it. Then again, I have no issues with the alcohol in the witch hazel I use as a toner.

I asked my friend "L" about what could be irritating in it and this was her answer based on the ingredient list I sent her.
"Nothing really, but Fragrance, Ginkgo, Propylene glycol can be irritating, it's one of those products that it could be anything even though it looks pretty harmless. Fructooligosaccharides is a "form" of sugar, which could also irritate certain people!"

These little bottles are available at the moment. 
Very convenient with a flip cap, nice for travel.

Bioderma Micelle Solutions are probably the most popular cleansing waters on the market at the moment and honestly after trying these mentioned above and being disapointed, I could be wondering, why? Maybe if I had tried them first my opinion would have been different.

Now of course, this is based on my skin's chemistry in combination with the makeup I use. They would not be top sellers if this was the case for everyone. If you can grab one of the small bottles to try out, go ahead and make up your own mind. Like many others, you could be very pleased with either one of them depending on your skin type.

Here are the ingredient lists, both taken from Beauté

Créaline H2O fragrance free ingredients: Water (aqua), peg-6 caprylic/capric glyceridespropylene glycolcucumis sativus (cucumber) fruit extract, mannitol, xylitol, rhamnose, fructooligosaccharides, disodium edtacetrimonium bromide.

Sébium H2O ingredientsWater (Aqua), PEG-6 Caprylic/Capric Glycerides, Sodium Citrate, Zinc Gluconate, Copper Sulfate, Ginkgo BilobaExtract, Mannitol, Xylitol, Rhamnose, Fructooligosaccharides, Propylene GlycolCitric AcidDisodium EDTA,Cetrimonium Bromide, Fragrance (Parfum).

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