Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Milani Bronzer XL All Over Glow / Review

Although Rimmel Natural Glow bronzer is my favorite drugstore bronzer, this one comes pretty close to it. I purchased it at Walmart just for the sake of giving it a try and I must admit I'm pleasantly surprised by it. The pan is quite big so it's easy to either chose which color one wants or simply swirl a powder brush all over. The container, superior to Rimmel but that is relatively easy since I think they have a pretty horrible one to begin with. Sorry Rimmel but you do have to do something about that!

The two shades are quite distinct and easy to chose 
if that's what one wants to do.

Using a soft bristle powder brush, there's little fall out
which translates to little product loss. Here I used Ecotools
large powder brush.

Hopefully it's apparent on this picture, there is just 
the lightest hint of shimmer. This is great to achieve 
a natural look.

If I remember correctly this bronzer was about $12.97 at Walmart. I've also seen Milani products at Pharmaprix/Shoppers Drug Mart. This is my first Milani purchase and I will eventually try some of their other offerings. More than affordable, one doesn't have to go without a good bronzer this Summer or the rest of the year for that matter. I do, after all, wear a bronzer all year round!

Pierre Hardy for NARS

Let's be clear, I want ALL of these! Yes, I would love the shoes too!

If you don't know who Pierre Hardy is, go have a look at his website here. Shoes, glorious shoes!

Have you ever thought of shoes as little architectural creations? If your answer is yes then you are a shoe addict! If your answer is no, don't worry, a shoe addict you can still be!

Pierre Hardy has not had any architectural training and yet his creations are. Trained in Fine Arts and dance he got noticed when he designed his first shoe collection for Dior in 1988. In 2001 he collaborated on a fabulous Balenciaga shoe collection which contributed to make of the fashion house one of the most avant-garde couture house in Paris.

These colors in the new NARS collection are inspired by Hardy's 2013 high fashion shoe collection.

Pierre Hardy for NARS blushes in Boys Don't Cry and Rotonde

Pierre Hardy for NARS Nail Polish Pairs in Sharks, Sharplines, Vertebra

Easy Walking, Venemous, Ethno Run

The blushes are $48.00 each. The gold over spray will disappear with a few brush swipes. For some this can be a let down but in my opinion it makes these more wearable.

The nail polish duos are $32.00 each. I can't comment on the durability of the formula but there's a good chance that I will fall for either Sharplines or Ethno Run, if not both!

These are now all available online here.

Still wondering about the parallel between shoes and architecture? Have a look at this article from WebUrbanist: Architecture Meets Fashion: Shoes by Hadid, Gehry & More

Monday, April 29, 2013

Avon Mark Glowdalicious in Prettied Up / Review

This I've purchased when it first came up a few years back. I've rediscovered it this past weekend while I was trying to organize my makeup. So far, I'm not having too much luck with that! Anyways, I'm glad it's still on the market.

I remember when I first received and tried it, being extremely disappointed. So much shimmer! I felt like a disco ball! In fact, I had to wash my face to completely remove what was for me at the time, the glitter!

The mistake I made was wanting to use it as an all over bronzer. If you approach this product as an enhancer/highlighter, it's a whole different thing and it turns out to be a very nice product.

Three shimmering shades that can be used all mixed together or individually.

The brush is hidden under the powder.

If you use the brush that comes with the compact, 
you will notice a lot of falling out. The bristles are too stiff.

I've made some tests yesterday and I must say I'm more than happy to have rediscovered this. It's perfect as a highlighter. Especially the pink outer ring and the whitish middle. I've used a little of the pink on top of my Guerlain Terracotta and it gave me a dewy effect. A touch of the light shade right in the middle close to my eyebrows was enough to illuminate the eyes. For this I used a small soft bristle blush brush. The one that comes with the compact has bristles that are much too stiff to get any kind of soft effect. Maybe if it's gently washed a few times it would soften it but I haven't tried that and don't think I will bother.

Do I recommend Mark Glowdalicious in Prettied Up? Yes!

For the price, $16.00, it's a nice addition as long as you don't use it for an all over look for daytime. I haven't tried it at night but I do believe the shimmer would still be a little too noticeable for that purpose. But hey, that's me!

Prettied Up is the lightest option but it also comes in Shimmied Up and in Amped Up which is darker and may have less glitter.

The compact is quite good looking, it's the same as the Matte-Nificent powder ($10.00) which I've already mentioned in my Beautiful Compacts entry.


MakeupAlley: 3.4 / 5 lippies for 7 reviews and yes, the last one is indeed me. :(
Beauté-test: has no reviews for this product.

Available through Avon.

Introducing City Lights Painted Girls

As some of you may have noticed, I've only recently started to take my own pictures for this here blog. Before, I would go on company websites for screen captures to show you the products mentioned, reviewed. Last Winter I tried several times to take photos but the lighting was always wrong. I didn't have any set up outside and it was way too cold anyways.

My pictures are not the best, I'm well aware of this but I'm doing the best I can with what I have. Now the weather is milder but the sun is still shy. I spent an entire week with products all over my dining room table, ready for their close ups. When finally I had, what I figured would be the right lighting, my camera battery was dead! The next day I still went ahead and took some pictures even if it was cloudy. I was tired of waiting.

For swatches, so far I haven't been able to take a lot of those. Again, my camera is pretty basic and won't allow real close ups. I'm still working on that and hopefully I will figure out how to take pictures of those as well.

Now it's not always necessary to have pictures per say since I sometimes go on rambling about stuff!

Earlier this year I stumbled upon some drawings that I quite simply fell in love with. One in particular, of nail polishes caught my eye and so I started thinking. Would the artist agree to create some images especially for Icaria's?

This is the first drawing I saw, the one that caught my eye.

On January 15th I gathered up my courage and sent her message. I told her about my interest, about the fact that it could be a two way collaboration if she would agree.

As you all know, I share! By this I mean, I always include links of my sources, I always include links to other blogs when they have been sources of inspiration and I always tweet link love so my followers can go have a look at what others are doing.

My take on this, simply put, the more you share, the better one feels. That's my case anyway.

So, to my delight, she agreed!

Her name is Miriam. She lives in Rotterdam in The Netherlands with her husband, her one year old little boy and a girl cat named Sosje (meaning little puff cake). Last year, she decided to test the waters to see how her art would be received with only her husband aware of her plan. The responses have been so positive and she is now being solicited to create more images. I'm so happy about this.

She creates mainly fashion drawings but I must say that I was right, her products illustrations are excellent! For her to come up with the ones shown below, we've only had to exchange a few emails. Hardly any adjustments where necessary, she knew right from the start what I wanted.


These are four of the drawings she created for Icaria's. Can I just say, again, that they are perfect! I just love them!

City Lights Painted Girls

Just so you know, her signature is on each of them. They belong to CLPG and I have the privilege to use them. Please do not copy/paste without linking back to either Icaria's or City Lights Painted Girls. Every time I use one of these as well as the others Miriam has created for Icaria's, I will link back to her site. It's the right thing to do!

City Lights Painted Girls, do go give Miriam a nice big "Like"!

Oh and Miriam, you know I will ask you for more... Don't you?

Thank you Lovely for these! xoxoxo Hélène

Travalo! I Had No Idea This Existed!

As I was reading my emails this morning, the television was on. I'm not sure, I may have seen the commercial once without paying attention but today I looked at it and realised, now this is a smart little invention!

Travalo makes portable, purse size atomizers. The nice thing about them is you don't run the risk of spilling your fragrance. In the past you needed to have a non atomizer bottle of your fragrance and use a tiny funnel to fill a travel size spray. With Travalo it's so simple, just look at how it's done:

The great thing is that all their purse size sprays are quite affordable and are available across Canada at Shoppers Drug Mart /Pharmaprix. Just click on the picture to visit their website.

As you know some companies do make refillable atomizers of perfume but not all and they can still be quite expensive. This is a pretty nice option.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Clarins Bronzing Duo Mineral Powder Compact / Review

My daughter recently started to complain about the fact that she thinks she looks like a ghost! It's the end of April, Spring had been horrible this year and since she's careful about sun exposure, she does look a little pale compared to some of her friends who have darker complexions. I'm very proud to say that she's well informed and so she's aware of the risks of tanning. Now I do know that by the end of Summer she will have a bit of color but so did I when I was her age. I've also suffered a few sunburns like her. I guess it's part of growing up. You can't be with your kids 24/7. It's one thing when they're little but once they start to go to school, have outdoors activities you can only hope for the best.

So far she's done ok but when one lives is a society that still somehow glorifies tanning, it can be hard to resist peer pressure. I know I've lived through it. When I was 15, all my friends where tanned by May. During our lunch breaks we would meet in the park next to our school and sit in the sun. After a while, I started to sit in the shade. The sun made me sick! Too hot, it made me feel woozy.

In order to make her feel more like her friends I bought her a bronzer. Originally I thought or getting her Rimmel Natural Bronzer since it's one I really liked using but the packaging is so horrible I figured she deserved better since this was going to be her first item of makeup. She'll be 14 next month and hasn't started to wear any yet. Last week I offered to buy her a mascara but she wasn't interested. She's clearly not a girly girl.

I set my choice on Clarins Bronzing Duo Mineral Powder Compact in 01, the palest shade. Now this states SPF 15 but please do not rely solely on this for UV protection. Do use a proper SPF moisturizer or sunscreen, especially is you plan to spend a lot of time outdoor.

First the compact looks very good and it comes with a nice velvet pouch to protect it. Clarins usually opts for a gold finish but for the bronzer it's a nice dark chocolate color, like the pouch. The way the powder is presented and pressed, beautiful, with the Clarins name embossed on it.

Two shades, a light matte and a darker one with light gold shimmer. Depending on the brush one uses the effects can vary. The lighter shade can be used all over with the darker for accents or you can simply mix the two all over. For a first bronzer it's quite simply perfect!

The quality, excellent! Swatching it with my fingers it almost felt buttery. Using a soft powder brush there's practically no fall out so no loss of powder. For my daughter's complexion, again, perfect! As you can see on the pictures, no orange!

To go along with the Bronzer I purchased the Ecotools Large Powder brush. Again, for her, perfect. It's soft, picks up the right amount of powder and it's easy for her to use. Since the bronzer goes for $39.00, I didn't want to spend too much for a brush. This powder brush, which by the way is surprisingly nice, is around $10.00 and Ecotools are sold in most major drugstores.

How does she use it?

In the morning after applying her SPF moisturizer she uses the brush for a quick light dusting of loose powder. She uses Laura Mercier the one I recently purchased. I've discovered that on her the white cast is not as pronounced. She is lighter than me. She applies some all over to take care of the shine left on by the moisturizer and then proceeds with the bronzer. She goes all over with a bit for the neck and then goes again for the cheek area and temples. The effect is quite natural and when she comes back from school it's still on. We don't know yet how it will perform on hot days but so far so good. Maybe by then she won't bother with it much.

Would I recommend Clarins Bronzing Duo Mineral Powder Compact? Yes!

Beautiful presentation, beautiful product, the quality is excellent! Even at that price, the powder is so compact that you clearly get your money's worth. Plus the fact that it comes with a little protective pouch means that it will look good for as long as you have it. 

Clarins Bronzing Duo Mineral Powder Compact sells for $39.00 
and is available at The Bay as well as most major drugstores.

What was my daughter's reaction when I gave her these? "Oh thanks mom!"

Spoiled I tell you, just spoiled!

That's fine, she's a good kid and she deserves it. :)

Oh Dear! Another Troll Has Crashed & Burned...

I don't go much on MUA anymore but will still post here and there, especially for anniversaries. Here, one of our sweet members celebratory thread was disrupted in an abrupt way.

It started like this...

And ended like this...

This was the message that was removed by MUA:

Just bumpng since \i am awaiting JoshuaPs studies+

I gave yiou more than 24 hrs to respond.
I got your website for gay people ,none of my biz and doesn't fall into my thinking 1 way or the other AND also you argueing with a number of different derms. So studies??
message by cheesepleese 

I always find such rudeness surprising. Note that she even mentions the recent loss of her husband... I will not comment on this. Simply wether it's true or not, doesn't excuse the fact that no one has the right to behave this way. Treat others the way you want to be treated and be respectful. Before you join a group, try to learn a little about it first.

I'm glad to report that this person's profile was erased.

She will likely be back under another screen name... *sigh*

Thursday, April 25, 2013

M.A.C. Art of the Eye: Elegant and Exotic

Here we go with another M.A.C. collection only this time it's strictly for eyes and I do find it appealing and I must say, I'm a little excited about it. Let's admit it, the latest, Baking Beauties wasn't that great. I did see the Pearlmate Face Powder compacts, which where by the way the only items I was interested in, over the weekend and they where definitely so so for me.

The look of M.A.C. Art of the Eye is exotic and luxurious. Seductive, it seems to channel Scheherazade, the legendary Persian queen, storyteller of One Thousand and One Nights also known as Arabian Nights.

Five single eye shadows:

Gameela, Farasha, Banafsajii, Hajar Karim, Parrot

Masat Al Lail Eye Shadow x4

Carbon, Rondelle, Watt, Gentle Fume 

Rimal Dahabia Eye Shadow x4

Shroom, Soft Brown, Beauty Burst, Najm el Lail

Three Chromagraphic Pencils and a Khol Power Eye Pencil

 Process Magenta, Hi-Def Cyan, Landscape Green
Khol Power Eye Pencil in Feline

Liquid Eye Liner and Opulash

Liquid Eye Liner in Boot Black, Opulash in Sama 
and Opulash Optimum Black

Glitter in Gold and Antique Gold

Fluidline Brow Gelcreme in Deep Dark Brunette

4 Lash

The single eye shadows seem to be highly pigmented, Banafarjii, the blue shade, looks gorgeous! I'll be curious to see the quads when they hit the stores on May 2nd. They are available now through M.A.C. website here.

Now this is more my style as far as collections go! More grown up, it shows more attention to details and I do think these colors will be quite a smash once the mercury rises.

Marcelle Xtension Plus Mascara / Review

Hypo-allergenic, lenghtening and curling formula, I purchased Marcelle's Xtension Plus Mascara about a month ago for under $10.00. It's regular price is $12.50

How did it perform?

This is a good everyday mascara. With it I still have to warm my lash curler with the blow dryer. If I don't do this, it doesn't hold the curl. Now that's a big thing for me. No curl! No go! My lashes are extremely straight and super stubborn and using the blow dryer helps keep the curl longer. With Marcelle Xtension Plus Mascara, the effect lasted a good 6 hours. When I wear it I do get a bit of flakes by the end of the day but it's quite minimal.

Compared to my other favorites, Estée Lauder Sumptuous and another that I will be reviewing soon, the formula is thinner. This means that it does give me lenght but not the "false lashes effect" mentioned on Marcelle's website. I apply one coat and once my makeup is done, I add a little more mascara on the tips of my lashes as a finishing touch. It helps give them more dimension.

Do I recommend Marcelle Xtension Plus Mascara? Yes.

Reasonably priced, this is a very good option for me. It will enable me to get more mileage out of my more expensive mascaras by alternating. I will likely repurchase for that purpose.

Deodorant Wars: Nivea vs Dove

So we haven't had much of a Spring season so far but hopefully Summer will make up for it!

*fingers crossed*

Summer should, if we're lucky, translate to, hot humid days!

A good deodorant is a must and I usually keep one in my purse, just in case. I don't go for the "clinical" formulas anymore since I find them too strong and irritating, I prefer, if need be, to reapply during the day. This is usually required only on days with extreme heat.

One I've been liking a lot for the past few years is Dove Ultimate Go Fresh with the fragrance Energizing. Keep in mind that unscented in summer is not a good idea. I have yet to find one that works. A bit of fragrance makes a big difference. Oh and I'm not going to compare ingredients, just effectiveness, my own personnal experience.

Dove Ultimate Go Fresh Energizing in stick form, has a faint grapefruit and lemongrass fragrance that is sweet and for me, uplifting. A few swipes, I'm good to go and the protection lasts all day unless of course it's super hot. After about 30 minutes or so the scent becomes quite faint so there's no conflicts with other scented products.

Wanting to try a new one I chose Nivea Happy Time also in stick form with bamboo extract and an orange scent. 

Since we are not talking about high end fragrances here let me just say that the scents of both is quite similar.

How did they compare?

On my skin's chemistry, Nivea doesn't come close to Dove. I've been using it for the past few weeks and by mid afternoon I don't feel as protected. Not a good thing since I don't sweat a lot and it's not even Summer yet! It makes me feel like I could end up smelling like a big sweaty construction worker! Dove is much more effective on me.

Bottom line, between the two, Dove wins!

Reviews on Makeup Alley:

Dove: 4.2 / 5 lippies for 54 reviews.
Nivea: 3.5 / 5 lippies for 2 reviews, one good & one bad.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Keihl's Creamy Eye Treatment with Avocado / Review

Let's get this straight, we don't need an eye cream! Really, I'm serious! I've known this for the longest time but for some reason, in the past ten years or so, I started buying them. The last ones where Clinique's All About Eyes (not yet reviewed) and Estée Lauder's Vérité.

Most, if not all, are simply moisturizers sold in smaller containers. Now of course some facial moisturizers are too "perfumy" to use in the eye area so this would be a reason to get one. Some will use the regular Creme de La Mer or Clinique's Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion for example. Others will simply use petroleum jelly on damp skin.

I personally use Avène Eluage, the face cream and alternate with unrefined shea butter. The results are excellent!

Keihl's Creamy Eye Treatment with Avocado

This eye cream is a best seller for the brand and a staple. For many it's a favorite! I've been wanting to try it for the longest time, out of curiosity, and finally was able to do so.

A few weeks back I got two samples of it and instead of using it from the little plastic pouches, I transferred the content of both in a small sample jar. I realised that it was more than enough to get a fair opinion about it.

With two samples I got a good month's worth.

How does it perform?

It has a lovely texture. Thick but non greasy, it penetrates quickly. Keep in mind that you need very little. Using too much could not only cause milia but could make your eyes puffy by morning. Also, it may not be necessary to use a moisturizer in that area in the morning. Using a good treatment at night often eliminates that need.

This cream is just a plain moisturizer that doesn't contain any actives. Honestly, I did like it's texture but it didn't do more than my unrefined shea butter which costs way less. I don't have super dry under eyes so I only need to use it about three times a week. The other nights, as mentioned, I use Avène Eluage.

Do I recommend Keih'ls Creamy Eye Treatment with Avocado? Yes and no.

Yes if your usual facial moisturizer has too much fragrance but even if it's the case, unrefined shea butter is, in my opinion, superior as far as deep moisture. Still, this cream penetrates well and leaves a comfy feel. Hopefully this makes sense.

No if you already have a good moisturizer that your eye area can tolerate. No need for an extra jar...

But I know, we do love little jars, don't we?

Comes in two sizes: 15 ml, $35.00 & 28 ml, $56.00

Ingredients (from Beautypedia):
Water, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter), Butylene Glycol, Tridecyl Stearate, Isodecyl Salicylate, PEG-30 Dipolyhydroxystearate, Tridecyl Trimellitate, Persea Gratissima (Avocado) Oil, Isocetyl Stearoyl Stearate, Propylene Glycol, Dipentaerythrityl Hexacaprylate/Hexacaprate, Sorbitan Sesquioleate, Magnesium Sulfate, Phenoxyethanol, Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Sodium PCA, Sodium Dehydroacetate, Methylparaben, Ozokerite, Tocopheryl Acetate, Disodium EDTA, Retinyl Palmitate, Copper PCA, Zea Mays (Corn) Oil, Beta-Carotene

A Memorable Date!

Today is April 24th, a memorable date in every sense of the word. It's a date I will never forget because on this day, André and I had our first date!

This year will be extremely hard with all it's firsts. Last week my first birthday without him, today the anniversary of our first date, soon Mother's Day, Catherine's birthday...

These will all be days that will be difficult to get through. The pain is so raw, there are no words to describe the emptiness.

How I tricked him...

We lived in the same building, he on the 4th floor, me on the 2nd with my parents. I had noticed that he left every evening at around the same time for work because he always carried his attache-case. One evening, I had to go somewhere and went down in the lobby a little before him. I waited for the elevator to get to the 4th floor and "slowly" got out of the building. As I was "slowly" crossing the street, he offered to give me a lift. I "hesitated" and said yes. Before he dropped me off, he asked me out. Victory!!!

Our first date...

André took me to a sports center to.... play tennis!

I was a swimmer not a tennis player! I did own racket but had never really played. Our match, if I can call it that, was pretty pathetic! Also, in all honesty, he was barely better than me!

A fiasco! But...

That evening I was going to see a movie with my best friend Nicole and so when he took me home I asked him if he wanted to join us. I just didn't want to let him go. He declined but asked me out for the next evening.

Somehow that Friday afternoon I knew. He was mine and that was it! He didn't know it yet but it proved to be true.

Of course I was (almost) always right! After all, I had just turned 18 and I was so sure of myself!

It almost did last forever...

The weather is finally starting to warm up for which I'm glad but also sad. I don't feel like cleaning the yard for I don't think I'll be spending much time there. It will be a long sad Summer.

It almost did last forever...

For those wondering, March 23rd entry, here.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

I Got A Birthday Gift / Care Package!!!

Look at what my London friend sent me!

Laura Mercier Foundation Powder in 01 for fair to light skin tones

A sample of YSL Le Teint Touche Éclat, in Beige Rose 20

Rouge Bunny Rouge Original Skin Blush in Starina

A sample of Forever Diorskin Fluid Foundation in Light Beige 020


An adorable promotional size of Chanel Glossimer in Wild Rose 119

Thank you Marilla!

I'm going to have fun in the morning!

I'm A Happy Beauty Blogger!!!

Some of you may remember back in February I wrote about one of my articles that had been stolen by another weird cheapish looking site. A site probably set up just to sell stuff. They had shamelessly copied and pasted an entry without any link back. I responded with this post:

On Twitter today I caught a conversation between Sunny from Mostly Sunny and Kelly K from VampyVarnish. Apparently someone stole picture(s) from Sunny and watermarked it/them as their own.


Again, like mentioned in the above article, we work hard to prepare our articles, some of us have full time jobs and still do this because we love it!

This takes part of the fun away!

It doesn't take much to link back to the original!

I always do it!

Linking back to blogs, to Twitter accounts or facebook pages (although I rarely do since I have an aversion for it) won't take anything away. On the contrary, I believe it makes for a better, friendlier community.

It is a community!

Do pay these ladies a visit, I'm sure you will enjoy what they do!


Kelly K's

So, why am I a happy Blogger??? Because Sunny suggested I tweet Word Press about the theft. I went back to my emails to find the link so I could tweet it, clicked on it aaaaaannnddd.... IT'S GONE!!!

The link is broken, replaced by a more serious looking company, yes a company, not a free for all kind of cheapish site. Also, googling the page comes up with nothing!

So, I'm a happy beauty blogger! :D

Monday, April 22, 2013

Laura Mercier Mineral Finishing Powder / Review

In the past few years, loose powder has become a staple for me. I've mentioned several times already, I rarely wear foundation and so in the morning, after putting on my moisturizer, it's perfect to take care of the shine and it allows me to brush on bronzer effortlessly.

In a recent entry I showed what my old Clinique loose powder looked like. I had it for the longest time and it needed to be replaced, not because the container was in bad shape but because there was hardly any powder left. I'm still amazed at myself. It took years but I did get to the bottom of the jar!

I could have replaced with the same but for the sake of trying I looked to other brands and decided to go with Laura Mercier.

I purchased the Mineral Finishing Powder which comes in one shade only, 1 Translucent. I got the last jar from the drawer since there where none left on the shelf display. Last jar, I took this as a good sign. On Sephora's website, we can see that Laura Mercier has in fact six different types of loose powder. In the store there where only two, this one and the Mineral Powder SPF15 which comes in height different shades.

The price? It is more expensive: $42.00 for 12 g, compared to Clinique which is $27.00 for 35 g. Quite a difference!

How does it perform?

Well but nothing exceptional. It does what it's suppose to do, which for me is mainly taking care of the shine but it leaves a white cast which I didn't get with Clinique.

Do I recommend Laura Mercier Mineral Finishing Powder? Sadly, no.

It's a good product but it's not all that. I find it's texture coarser than my old Clinique and the white cast, since I'm quite fair, I found surprising. If you have a darker skintone than check this one off your list.

Then there's the cost! Considering that it's almost twice the price for a third of what you get with Clinique then I guess it's a no brainer.

So for me this one is a no but remember, Laura Mercier has six loose powders in all, five of which I haven't swatched nor tried.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

O.P.I's Amazing Promo...

Surfing the net yesterday I stumbled on this and just had to share it with you. Maybe some of you have already seen it but I had not.

Stunning! Just stunning!

My favorite dancer? The Lady in Black!

Music, Down The Road by French DJs C2C

I hope you had a lovely Sunday!

Saturday, April 20, 2013

The Body Shop Brazil Nut Define & No Frizz / Review

I'll admit, I'm one of the lucky ones! I have super thick hair.

This has been said to my by several hairdressers, every time I go to a new one in fact. When I used to have my hair color done professionally it would always take 2x the usual amount of dye if not 3 depending on the lenght. When they blow dry it, they end up with quite a work out! 

So ok, I'm lucky! 

I do have one major issue! It's curly! Not in the nice way! It's in between, mid straight and mid curly. This means I have frizzy hair if I let it dry naturally. Even if I try to give it definition it doesn't look polished in any way. It only looks like I haven't made the effort to make myself more presentable. Good for when you know you're staying home for a few days but not good if you have to go out there in the world!

Blow dryer and flat iron are not enough to give my hair that chic sleek look. I need to put something in it (or is it on it? sorry, French got in the way here), otherwise, a few hours later it starts to frizz. It's very stubborn!

Le Sigh

I guess my hair has always been important to me but for whatever reason I've never really invested in hair products and I've never been faithful to any I've purchased through the years, except for shampoo. I cannot, will not live without Head and Shoulders! I've tried to replace it a few times and always end up with an itchy, uncomfortable scalp. Going crazy, not an option!

On the look out for a cream to help tame my mane I've stumbled upon a post from my friend Gingy (Gingerrama) about The Body Shop Brazil Nut Define & No Frizz.

It smells so delicious one has to refrain from tasting it. It's light and applies like a dream. The nice thing about it is it doesn't leave any chemical scent on my hands.

If only it performed better I would be in Brazil Nut Heaven!

Unfortunately, this product alone doesn't cut it. I've used it on damp hair, blow dried, flat ironed and a few hours later I could see some frizzies! The next morning, I had to use my flat iron all over. I noticed that it also made my hair a little greasy even though I was careful about the amount I used.

I also tried it on dry hair to give it definition. It barely lasted an hour.

Sadly, this product isn't made for my type of hair.


I really wanted it to be THE one. Like I said, the smell alone is so dreamy!

To read Gingy's review click here.

Hard Candy Glamoflauge Heavy Duty Concealer / Review & Swatches

For a $5.98, this concealer is pretty amazing! It almost wears like iron, I kid you not!

I know I'm on a no buy but yesterday I had to get a few essentials at Walmart. Not my favorite place to shop but for some items they do have good deals. Of course I stopped by their cosmetics department! I picked up a concealer brush and started to look around, stumbled on the Hard Candy display, which by the way is almost always empty and came across this concealer.

I have heard a lot about it and at that price I figured, why not give it a try?

I chose Ultra Light 487 since I'm quite fair. In the plastic box you get, along with the tube, a little pencil. The pencil is also a concealer but the color is darker, more appropriate to hide blemishes. It's texture is quite dry and so it wouldn't do for the eye area in my opinion.

How did it perform?

Here goes for repeating myself, this stuff wears like iron! On me anyway. Before you go on trying it on your eye area do a few tests on your hand. Very little is needed, hardly a pin head, for real and it takes some getting used to since it's a rather thick formula. Much thicker than Rimmel London Match Perfection Concealer which I had been liking lately. For a product in a tube, it's almost as heavy as Laura Mercier Secret Concealer. Also if you apply too much, it will set into fine lines and will give you the dreaded white eye look, as if you've been skiing and wearing goggles. Not elegant!

Here is a swatch. Now of course the eye area is quite different than the hand but this is just to give you an idea. I know this is not the best picture but hey, I'm trying! :)

Here on top the crayon concealer. 
Below, the cream from thick to blended.

For the past few weeks I had been using Laura Mercier on my upper lid as an eyeshadow base and Rimmel to lighten the under eye area with fairly good results. Today I wore Glamoflauge on both areas. It stayed put for a good 8 hours and I've only had to lightly wipe into the fine lines once. I had set it with loose powder once my makeup was all done and I don't have a lot of wrinkles but if a concealer is too drying or too thick it makes the area look cakey. By applying a thin layer it dried to a powdery finish and stayed almost perfect all day.

Would I recommend Hard Candy Clamoflauge Heavy Duty Concealer? Yes!

On the Hard Candy webside they do say that it's a heavy duty, highly pigmented, blendable concealer that provides the ultimate coverage. Creates a flawless surface by covering birth marks, freckles, dark circles and even tatoos! Given the texture of this product, I tend to believe them.

In a way, it was easier to work with than my other two. It didn't dry as fast as Rimmel and it made my upper lid look smoother than Laura Mercier. Hmm... Let's not forget that the latter is $30.00...

Here is the brush I purchased for my concealer. Super soft, it's very gentle and does an excellent job to make it nearly invisible. I still use my fingers since I find it's easier for initial application but the brush is quite useful for the inner corner of the eyes and for the finishing touches, like picking up product that has set into fine lines... argh! Oh well, that's the way it is. Even my 13 yrs old girl has some so no biggie, for now!

SPAresource Cream Shadow brush, $2.47
Soft, perfect for concealer.

Finally, for the price, this tube is huge and filled to the top with product. Not like Rimmel which also comes in a big tube but you have to press quite a bit to get any product out. In fact that was my only issue with it, that the container was too big for the quantity of concealer inside. In the case of Glamoflauge, given the amount needed to get good coverage, my guess is that it will last for quite a long time. You really do get your money's worth.

Remember? It's $5.98!!!

Friday, April 19, 2013

Clinique Black Honey Lip Duo / Review & Swatches

This seemed like such a good idea at the time! Combining Clinique's Almost Lipstick in Black Honey with a Long Last Glosswear SPF15 gloss.

In 2011, Clinique came out with a small collection based on Black Honey. I remember at the time being tempted by the blush but sadly passed. What I did get was this duo.

Clinique Almost Lipstick in Black Honey is quite unique. It looks so dark but it's really a color you can make your own depending on your lips' pigmentation and on how thick you apply it. On me, with only a few swipes, it's my lips but better. Combined with the Black Honey gloss, the finish is a little darker, more polished.

I just loved the idea of the two together but sadly the packaging is not even worth that of a drugstore brand.

This is what it looked like when I first got it:

This is what it looked like after a few months in my purse:

To make matters worst, the cap on the lipstick side kept falling off. Of all the lipsticks I own, this is truly one of the most disappointing as far as packaging is concerned. Needless to say I didn't even want to take it out of my purse in public. 

If only Clinique could release Black Honey as one of their regular Long Last Glosswear colors I'd be a happy girl. At the moment, it's only available through this duo.

Here below are the best swatches I could come up with. As you can see, the colors are nothing like one would imagine just by looking at the lipstick or the gloss. 

On the left, Almost Lipstick in Black Honey, 
Middle, Long Last Glosswear in Black Honey,
On the right, lipstick & gloss layered.

Clinique Black Honey Lip Duo is still available at Sephora for $25.00. 

Since I want to keep it in my purse, I'll be replacing only the lipstick which goes for $19.00. The extra $6.00 for this duo is in my view not worth it, unless it's kept at home, but then what would be the point?

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