Friday, May 31, 2013

Chanel Avant-Première, Le Vernis...

I don't know what's happening to me these days! I've been going nuts over nail polishes, Chanel nail polishes mainly. I thought I had my Summer look all figured out. My plan was to get Lilis for my finger nails and wear my beloved Taboo on my toes. Now, Chanel has stopped me in my tracks!

Chanel Collection Avant-Première...

I mean can you blame me? On this picture, from, these colors do look kind of tame but seeing swatches of them is a totally different thing. Now I don't know if I'll still go for Lilis or if I'll go for Starlet, a nice light peach with satiny shimmer. Paparazzi, a bronze rose with hints of mauve is right up my alley and I do believe I will eventually fall for it. Cinema, well, lets just say it's a stunningly beautiful red, a little on the cool side if one compares it to Dragon, also from Chanel and from what I've read, it has a more gel like finish. Finally, Provocation a dark vampy color that at first look seems quite similar to Essie Recessionista, the color I wore most last Winter.

There are always new temptations out there... I believe I will have to make a special budget just for nail polishes...

After all, I haven't even started with Dior yet!  :)

NARS Larger Than Life Lip Gloss / Review

I received a small size of NARS Larger Than Life Lip Gloss in Gold Digger when I purchased Tolède Satin Lipstick (which I'm still loving by the way, reviewed here). All excited, when I got home and opened it, looked at the little tiny brush, well what can I say, I was disappointed.

Now that didn't last long! For this gloss, this brush is quite appropriate. It's precise and prevents applying too much especially  since a little goes a long way. Still, I did have to dip the brush a few times to get an even finish. To put it to the test, I wore it alone. A transparent gloss loaded with gold glitter, it would not have been my first choice but since it was a gift I was more than happy to try it. A little sticky at first, I think it's actually the thickest gloss formula I've tried so far but I must say that after about an hour it becomes quite comfortable and just like NARS Satin Lipstick, it has no taste.

The shimmer, which was truly spread evenly on my lips, lasted a good 5 hours and it was still visible after eating. Oh and I didn't end up with gold specs all over the lower part of my face like it happened recently with another gloss for which I'll bring you a review soon.

It is of course a smaller size gloss but the brush is the same. 
Sorry about the big thumb, I wanted to give you a better idea. 
As you can see it's quite small.

If you like glitters, NARS Gold Digger won't disappoint. Me I think I'll keep it to use once in a while, lightly in the middle of my lower lip for it's that shiny. Still, having said that, I would think that the other colors wouldn't need to be applied over a lipstick. They appear so pigmented that it would be pointless. Now I'm curious about this little brush and how it performs for the other versions of NARS Larger Than Life glosses. It's perfect to deposit a small amount but for the entire lips it may become annoying after a while. We'll see, hopefully I'll get to try one soon.

Guess what's on my nails? Chanel Taboo of course! :)

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Rimmel London's New Line of Nail Polishes...

Oh I do hope these are coming our way! In case you didn't know, the quality of Rimmel's nail polishes is way up there and the big flat brush, like O.P.I, makes the application a breeze.

Today I popped over Makeup4All, a beauty blog written by Marina and what do you know? She was mentioning her excitement over the launch of this new line of nail polishes created by Kate Moss. I know, this is probably old news but again, I was out of the blogging world for close to a month and a half. Surprise to me, I'm very happy about this new collection.

From Cosmopolitan UK On this page you can also read an interview with Kate Moss.

Here the supermodel talks about the new collection...

Rimmel London Salon Pro Nail Polish TV commercial...

By now you must know that Rimmel London is one if not my favorite drugstore brands because so far, everything I've tried has been pretty good. What's super nice is their wallet friendly prices, anyone can get "The London Look". The nail polishes are usually around $5.00 so let's keep our fingers crossed and hope we get them soon. They where launched in the UK in April.

My 2 favorites, Burgundy Flirt & Stiletto Red
These are the ones currently available. 
Click on the image to visit Rimmel London's 
Canadian website.

If I get more information about availability I will update this post.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Nuxe Sun for Total Glamour?

I just received this in my in-box, an offer for a chance to try new Nuxe Tanning Oil SPF 10...

...Yes you read right, SPF 10!

A dry tanning oil with an "anti-aging cell protection" for a glamorous tan!!! A natural and non blotchy tan!!! Oh and it's for face and body.

Ok so last time I checked, any tan is a bad tan! Of course the sun is there for a reason and hiding completely from it would be totally unrealistic. Still, dermatologists keep warning us about the risks of skin cancer and sun exposure. Here is a product that if you only read the first part, the promotional part, encourages you to go out there and bake!

After seeing this I went on Nuxe's website to get more information. No complete list, only the "star" ingredients are mentioned so there's not way of verifying how protective it really is.

When you scroll down that you can read the following prescriptions...

To wear sunglasses, put on some clothes if your skin is sensitive to the sun on top of sun protection, wear a hat, drink lots of water, etc.

Now of course you'll need to do all this with a SPF 10! Even my daughter wouldn't consider this oil.

Nuxe Sun also offers a creamy body spray of SPF 20 and a face protective cream of SPF 30.

I love Nuxe's Huile Prodigieuse, I have Crème Fraîche in both regular and light versions but I'm sorry, these are just not for me and I'm not sure anyone should consider them since I don't believe they offer enough protection, especially come vacation time if you plan any outdoor activities.

Avène, La Roche Posay, Ombrelle, Shiseido to name only these, should be looked at way before in my book.

Do note that I am not an anti-sun maniac! I do wear an SPF day moisturizer but only wear SPF protection on the rest of my body when I know I'll be outside more than my usual "getting to the gazebo and back". My daughter does wear an SPF 60 every day and she will, more than likely, have a buttery glow by the end of Summer but the way I see it, she needs her high dose of vitamin D.

I totally respect the fact that the Sun is viewed differently in North America as it is in Europe but I think it would have been good of Beauté-test, the website that sent me this offer, to promote the face cream instead. With it's SPF of 30, it would have been not only more suitable for a larger number of people but it would have sent the message that a good protection is important not only to avoid wrinkles but skin cancer.

Lancôme Gloss In Love Now Available Online!

While on the subject of Lancôme, this just in, the new Gloss In Love, available online.

12 beautiful shades with a comfortable vinyl finish. As a bonus, 6 hours of moisture. The 5th from the right, which I think is Lily en Lamé would likely be a good one to keep in my purse! :)

On the picture below, it may not be easy to see clearly but the applicator is curved for a more precise application.

Emma Watson for Lancôme In Love, click on the picture to go to Lancô

Available through Lancôme website, $28.00 each if they're not yet in stores it shouldn't be long.

Lancôme Alber Elbaz Collection Is Almost Here!

There has been a lot of buzz surrounding this new collaboration between the grand beauty brand and this brilliant designer. Needless to say that for many, excitement has been building ever since it was first announced back in January, I wrote about it, here. At the time there where no hints of what the  procucts would look like but as you may know, as with most "secret" ventures, there are always leaks and so pictures have been circulating for a while now and some bloggers have had the chance of not only seeing the products but play with them as well. 

Here is part of the Alber Elbaz collection. The pictures are from Glamour Paris...

May I say I personnaly love these! Each item is covered with Elbaz drawings and although they may appear like doodles to some, I find them fresh and fun. I brought you my current Beauty Envies a few days ago and I completely forgot to include a Lancôme mascara! Although I love my Benefit They're Real! I will get one of these Hypnôse Show mascaras not only to bring you a review but for the presentation, as a keepsake. Why? Because it's too darn cute! :)

The Lancôme Alber Elbaz Collection should be available starting June 15th.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Want to feel like a kid again? Doodle on your fingers...

These days more and more schools are getting interactive boards to replace the old blackboards, many of which had already been replaced by green boards because they where supposedly easier on the eyes. As a child I can still remember how I loved it when the teacher would use colors to grab our attention. Math and French could be soooo boring! Oh and how important we felt when we where asked to either clean the blackboard or go to the "special machine" to vacuum the chalk dust of the board brushes. That thing was loud and vibrated like crazy. For a kid, sooo much fun!

Want to feel like a kid again?

Could this be the reason why I love this kit! All the possibilities it offers, for a big kid it could be such a kick!

Ciaté Chalkboard Manicure...

Love the look!

Ciaté Chalkboard Manicure, Sephora, $25.00

The kit includes a Matte Top Coat, Chalkboard Paint Pot and four Chalk Pens in Teachers Pet (blue), Satchel (white), Jump Rope (pink) and Recess (yellow). It even includes a chart of fun doodles you can replicate. Of course you don't need a "kit" to create the look but this is quite convenient and I do find the price  reasonable.

As much as I love the idea I would not wear it myself, it would look a little childish on me. Well ok maybe on one nail but what would be fun is if my daughter plays with this look. I can still see her when she was little, with her bucket of colored chalks, drawing on the sidewalk next to our yard. To have her busy for a full hour was quite a feat and she was proud to show us her artwork once done. More often than not whe drew horses since her favorite character was Spirit! Those are great memories! Really, who needs video games?

Great creative summer fun! These are Crayola's Sidewalk Chalks 
but you can get some nice ones even at the dollar store. 

Is the Ciaté Chalkboard Manicure a look you would go for?

Vous pouvez lire cette entrée en français en cliquant, ici.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Beauty Envies of the Moment...

Recently I was able to satisfy some cravings I had, beauty cravings that is. Now of course, if you're like me, once I get what I want, I'm happy for a week or two, until the next beauty crush.

*Le Sigh*

I have quite a few beauty envies but here are the ones at the top of my list. Contrary to some other dreamy lists I've brought you in the past, these are items that I'm really hoping to get my hands on. I'm in dire need of eye shadows and the two palettes shown would, I think, complement each other nicely.

Bobbi Brown, the Navy & Nude Eye Palette. As much as I thought that the Lilac Rose Eye Palette was pretty, there where a few colors in it I would not have used. This one I can't wait to see since I do believe I would have much more mileage out of it. Dark navy blue somehow makes my eyes pop more than deep purple, even if I have green eyes and when done right, I find it goes with everything. As a bonus, the selection of neutrals can easily be mixed and matched with any It color of the moment. For me this would be a great basic.

Navy & Nude Eye Palette
Not available yet, Spotted on Barney's New York website for pre-order,
 it should be available in June. I believe it will be around $70.00

NARS, part of the NARS Loves New York kit. Combined with the Bobbi Brown palette, I'd be all set! The only item from that brand that I own is Tolède Satin Lipstick which I love but I really want to try their eye shadows. Here with the Amour blush and Laguna bronzer I find this one to be quite a catch!

NARS Loves New York
The kit also includes a nail polish in China Town & lip gloss in Dolce Vita. This limited Edition is 
now available through NARS website. Hopefully either The Bay or Sephora will have it in stores. 
As of last week it still wasn't in stock, $85.00.

Viktor & Rolf Flowerbomb. Every time I go downtown, I spray some on myself. I don't think I can get enough of this. I do believe that soon I will at least get the small roller ball available at Sephora for $30.00

Chanel Le Vernis in Lilis. This color is so pretty, the perfect coral! I know I should make my mind soon about this one since it's part of L'Été Papillon Summer 2013 Chanel collection. Oh and the picture below, from the Chanel website, does not illustrate the beauty of the color, it's way more vibrant than it appears here.

Chanel Le Vernis in Lilis

What are your beauty envies of the moment? Any specific cravings?

Vous pouvez lire cette entrée en français en cliquant, ici.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Quick Post: Revlon File'n Peel 6-in-1 / Review

In my opinion Revlon makes the best nail files out there. I don't like metal or glass and most emery board files don't last very long. I have strong nails and shortening them sometimes can take forever. I hate doing it!

For well over three months now I've been out of my favorite Revlon files. These are gritty enough to work fast but not so much so as to break you nails.

I can still find the small ones but for some reason the long ones are nowhere to be seen!
I do hope they will still be available.

Yesterday I stumbled upon this...

Just as gritty as the standard Revlon files, this is quite a smart idea. With a plastic core, you get three files on each side that you peel off once they no longer do the job. The downside is that you don't get a finer grit side like with the standard emery boards so it's a little harder to smooth out the edges. I can still do that with one of my other boards. Slightly flexible, it's more solid than a standard board. The lenght, between the small and long traditional ones is quite convenient.

Smart, quite smart except for the fact that like lip balms, I have nail files all over the place. I'm not sure I could replace them with this which goes for about $4.50 for six.

I like it, it's quite pretty (it also comes in mint and black) and I think it would be a good one to keep in either a makeup bag or drawer at the office.

Biotherm Eau de Paradis / Review

Did you know Biotherm has five different fragrances? Yes, they do and they are all fabulously delicious!

Eau d'Énergie (orange)
Energizing body spray. The fragrance, notes of orange pulp, mandarin, physalis, lemon, apricot pulp and fresh jasmine.

Eau Vitaminée (yellow)
Uplifting body spray. The fragrance, a blend of citrus fruits, with sweet orange, pink grapefruit, citrus leaf and orange flower.

Eau Pure (aqua)
Invigorating body spray. The fragrance, green fruits, green tea, lime and kiwi.

Eau Océane (blue)
Vivifying body spray. The fragrance, as per Biotherm: Top notes, a zesty splash of bergamot, citrus and water-based fruits. Heart notes: a second wave of feminine and floral blends of jasmine and cascalone. Base notes, deep aquatic notes of freshly-crushed algae, musk and cedarwood.

Eau de Paradis (pink)
Sensual body spray. Red fruits of paradise, pomegranate, raspberry, blueberry and blackcurrant.

To visit Biotherm's website, click on the image.

They are all lovely and I truly would have taken more than one but the local drugstore I went to recently only had Eau du Paradis left in this nice promotional/purse size.

I just love these smaller sizes and think they should always be available. So convenient, they can be kept in our purses if we want a boost of freshness during the day. They also give us the opportunity to really try a fragrance without having to invest too much.

Biotherm Eau de Paradis body spray... 

Created by Bernard Ellena in 2010, it starts with lemon, red berries, blueberry, black current and pomegranate. This is followed by rose and freesia. Definitely rose which I've been liking a lot these days. It ends with Lebanese cedar and sandalwood with a bit of musk. It had me at lemon and kept me happy with it's rose aroma. Fruity and sweet, I never thought I'd be going for this category of fragrance but for some reason I've been drawn to them more and more recently..

The small size I purchased had a regular price of $17.99 but had been reduced to $13.99. The full sizes of Biotherm body fragrances are $54.00 for 100 ml which remains quite affordable.

On my skin's chemistry Eau de Paradis lasted a good six hours without having to layer it over a moisturizer. I find this pretty good. Flowery and sweet, quite nice for summer.

These are body sprays but a word of caution, given the fact that the fragrance lasts so long, I'd be careful about using too much, it could end up being unpleasant for people around you. I sprayed it on my arms mainly and a little on my legs since I was wearing capris that day and it was enough for a light sillage.

If you want a light fruity, sweet and "rosy" fragrance for Summer, do sample Biotherm's Eau de Paradis, it just might be your go to for the hot season and if ever it turns out to be a horrible one, weather wise, well at least you'll smell "summery".

If you live in Europe, you can get the shower gel as well as the body lotion. You can view them, here.

Just sayin' since today is pretty bad outside. Like I said already this week, May started with a bang but turned on us. :(

*fingers crossed* it changes soon...

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Benefit They're Real! Mascara / Review

I've had this mascara for a month now and can now bring you my review...

A revelation! Amazing! Da Bomb!!!

The End.

Ok I know, I can't stop here. Sorry!

So far, this mascara is the best I've used in years. No kidding!  My lashes point down not up (grrr!) and they are quite stubborn to boot. This mascara holds the curl like no other so far without being a waterproof formula. It's stiff, real stiff so it keeps lashes looking nice for a good 10 hours if not more.


Back in April I received this little birthday present at Sephora which included small sizes of Watts Up! highlighter reviewed here, and They're Real! mascara.

I was so impressed by how the mascara performed that the following week I went and got the full size.

I don't know if this has happened to any of you but sometimes you get a promotional size of a product, like it, go get the full size and are left disappointed. This is the reason why I wanted to wait before writing my review. I wanted to make sure it was that good.

How did it perform? F.A.N.T.A.S.T.I.C!!!

I take the wand out once and do both eyes. I don't pump it in the container because I want to introduce as little air as possible. The formula is just perfect! Not too thin and not too thick. It dries fast so you can easily do two or three coats in no time. No clumps, no mess. For real! 

I know I sound like a commercial, sorry about that but it's that good!

It lenghtens and thickens my lashes and sometimes it even... wait for it... gives me a little curl without using the lash curler! Practically unheard of for me.

As much as Estée Lauder's Sumptuous mascara had been a hit and run, this one is hitting the ball way out of the ball park! 

Do I recommend Benefit They're Real!? Hummmm, what do you think?

I understand that at $29.00 it's not cheap for a mascara but if you have a hard time with your lashes, if they're hard to curl, don't keep the curl, if they're short or whatever the issue is, do try this one! You can purchase the small size for $12.00 and the formula really is the same, so is the brush. 

I've mentioned before, a good mascara is a combination of a good formula and a good brush. This one, just like Estée Lauder's reviewed here, definitely has both. 

Let's compare the two...

Top, Benefit they're Real!
Bottom, Estée Lauder Sumptuous.

Both brushes are roughly the same size, they are big so if you're accustomed to smaller ones you may find getting accustomed to one of these a little tricky. This would apply if you have short lashes as well but it's doable. The lashes in the inner corners of my eyes are kind of short and I have no issues with either of these brushes. What makes Benefit's superior, in my view, are the little spikes you can see at the end. They get in there and grab every single one of those tiny little lashes!

For curling, I still have to heat my lash curler with the blow dryer but I don't have to press as much as with Sumptuous. The only way this works for me is if I curl with the mascara on. Neither of these formulas budge or clump but with They're Real! I only have to do it a few times. I get great results faster than with Estée Lauder.


Since it's stiffer than other mascaras, you need a little more eye makeup remover or micellar water on your cotton pads to remove it. Between the two, Estée Lauder is easier to take off but Benefit is worth the little extra time for that gorgeous all day finish you get.


Estée Lauder's Sumptuous does remain an excellent option and if you already use and like it, keep doing so but for me Benefit's they're Real! is superior and has reached HG status! Total Holy Grail!

I will of course try other mascaras to bring you more reviews but I do believe that this one will remain in my makeup bag for a long time!

Makeup Alley: 3.5 / 5 lippies for 763 reviews.
Beauté-test: 4 / 5 stars for 523 reviews.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Smith's Rosebud Salve / Review

Last week at Sephora while waiting to pay for my new NARS Tolède lipstick I just had to look in the little bins, you know the ones that are filled with tempting goodies, just before you get to the cash register? Smartly placed if you ask me. Last minute little indulgences, that's what you find there.

What I stumbled upon is this, Smith's Rosebud Salve. The tin was so darn cute with it's old apothecary look, I just couldn't resist. An extra $7.50! *sigh*

When I got home and opened it, surprise! Look at that beautiful soft pink! Lovely, just lovely!

The texture, that too was a surprise. That evening I stuck my finger in it thinking it would be hard like Nivea Lip Butter but no. The texture is quite close to petroleum jelly, maybe just a little firmer but quite similar.

The fragrance, think that famous baby product smell but it's quite pleasant on lips.

Smith's Rosebud Salve has been around for a while, in fact since 1895 and was originally developed as a multi-purpose balm. It's many applications include lip balm and gloss, diaper rash remedy, skin blemish, dry skin moisturizer and minor burn relief. Now I'd be careful about the skin blemish mention but I can easily imagine this salve working for  dry skin, boo boos and of course lips. It does leave a glossy finish, again, similar to petroleum jelly which is it's main ingredient.

How does it perform? Nicely.

Quite nice and the fragrance is pleasant but in all honesty, it's not life changing. I used it four nights in a row and didn't see much difference compared to other basic lip balms I've used that where less expensive but it did last longer on my lips than plain petroleum jelly. By morning I could still feel it on my lips.

Now I did use it on a minor cut and it was quite soothing. So I do believe I'll use it more for dry irritated spots as well as for cuticles.

Do I recommend Smith's Rosebud Salve? Yes and no.

If you're looking for an outstanding lip care product, no. If you're looking for a basic all purpose salve you can keep in your purse, yes. Plus, the tin does look a little more elegant than a jar of petroleum jelly.

Update: It is available in tube form. You can see it below when you click on the link for Rosebud Perfume Co. :)

Only three ingredients: cotton seed oil, the main vegetable oil produced in the United-States in the 1940s gives this balm stability and longer shelf life. Aromol, a secret oil blend which has been trademarked. It does have oil derived from roses. Petrolatum.

You can learn more about the history of the Rosebud Perfume Co. as well as see their other offerings, here.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Some Summer 2013 Nail Polish Collections & a Few Drugstore Options to Consider...

Out are several beautiful new makeup collection which all include gorgeous nail polishes. If some of us can't afford a high end compact of eye shadow palette, there's a good chance we can go for either a lipstick or a nail polish. Here are some of the nail polishes that have been creating quite a buzz so far for Summer 2013.

YSL Tie & Dye. Sheer top coats that give a hint of color, they can be worn alone or over another color. Interesting to see the deposit of color at the bottom. When you shake the bottles, the pigments stay evenly distributed for a while so you don't have to shake every time you dip your brush in the bottle. They are $34.00 each which I find a little out there for such a sheer finish but I know many will love them.

Dior. From the Birds of Paradise Collection inspired by Latin America, Brazil and its luxuriant and tropical nature these polishes are sold as duos. The first, Samba, reminds us of the feathers of the peacock. The second, Bahia, more whimsical with its hibiscus pink and beautiful lagoon blue. Each duo sells for $30.00 and they are available now. In June, Dior will also introduce Summer Mix which is a collection of four new nail polishes at $24.00 each, paired with cream blushes. Also worth a look at is their Gel Coat, a top coat that gives a gel like finish.

                                                          Samba                                             Bahia

Capeline, Creoles, Sunnies & Tie & Dye (name similar to YSL)

Chanel Summer 2013, L'Été Papillon Collection. Stunning, just stunning! Papillon means butterflies and here seeing these beautiful colors, you can trap a bit of these ephemeral flying beauties on the tips of your nails. Just a little info, when you see a butterfly, do not touch its delicate wings for it will die shortly after. Three colors, Bel Argus, Azuré and Lilis at $27.00 each. I have my eye on Lilis. :)

Clinique! Did you know they had brought back nail polish? They did and for Summer 2013 they have beautiful limited edition colors. Mid range, they sell for $18.00 each.

Hula Skirt, 70 and Sunny, Juiced Up, Pinkini and Hi Sweetie (regular color)
There's also, Grape Ice (purple magenta), Strappy Sandals (silvery grey) and Hot Date (purple)

Butter London may be more your style if you're not into pinks and brights with Summer Holiday Bespoke Collection 2013, they will be available at The Bay for $17.00 each.

Sun Baker, Champers, Pool, Body Dazzler, Marbs & Bit Faker

From the drugstore...

If you don't want to splurge for a nail polish you can find great ones at the drugstore in practically every color imaginable. In many cases, you can find good dupes of high end shades and most are under $10.00 which is great. Even if some high end colors are pretty unique, in some cases, you wouldn't be able to tell if one is wearing Dior or Sally Hansen.

Every time I go to to one, for some reason I always end up looking and looking and looking... at nail polish displays! Last Thursday at one point, I must have had four in my hand with intent of purchase but as usual, I put them all back in their respective spots. I know, I'm a little bizarre.

I thought it would be fun to show you the ones I've been looking at recently. Here's just a few new nail polish collections, from my tiny little drugstore.


I've been eying these for a while but the colors, although beautiful are too sheer and would 
take more than two coats to achieve the look shown, a type of gel like finish.

Sally Hansen's...

On the left, fruity sherbet, on the right, blues and more beautiful blues. I just might end up 
with one of those for a pedi. The fourth one from the left would look great with jeans.


This is my favorite. Often overlooked, these are fun and don't require a long term relationship.The small sizes are perfect if like me, you tend to change nail color often. Mavala has always had a great color selection. As a teen I had blue and green, way before it was in fashion. Their names... make me dream of exotic vacations.

Chili & Spice Collection, I want them all!
Trinidad, Bamako, Samarkand, Bali, Cuzco and Jaipur

Also to be considered, Revlon,which by the way is coming out with scented nail polishes again this year, Maybeline, Essie, Nicole by O.P.I and depending on the drugstore you go to there may be other brands available I'm missing here. Another brand that must not be overlooked, although not available at the drugstore but with excellent prices is Avon. Every season they come out with great colors and the quality is way up there.

About the drugstore display pictures, I know! Experience is starting to sink in. Next time, I'll turn the bottles a bit so the price stickers will be less obvious! :)

So, as I said, I have my eye on Chanel Lilis as well as the Sally Hansen blue but I must admit that Dior's Summer Mix colors appear to be stunning. I just might go for one of them.

Do you have a favorite so far?

Monday, May 20, 2013

NARS Tolède Satin Lipstick / Review

Finally I bought my first NARS lipstick!


This definitely makes me want to take a vacation and go to Spain! The Cathedral, the Monastery of San Juan de los Reyes, Museo del Greco... I know, a bit lame but what can I say, the color is inspiring and just beautiful!

These are the two best swatch pictures I could get. 
On both, left one pass, right a few.

Although my swatches are blurry (I simply could not get these in focus) you can still see that it's a warmed toned pink. On my lips, even with just one pass I get good color payoff. 

Described, as per NARS, as a lustrous long wearing lipstick infused with conditioners to provide comfortable wear and sumptuously silky color.

Is it? I would say yes. 

For quite a while now I've been wearing glossy transparent colors except for my Make Up Forever Rouge Artist which is a rather creamy formula. NARS Tolède is dryer and more matte but not totally. On application it has a satin finish that after an hour or so, does become matte but remains comfortable. Of course the sensation is dryer than what I'm used to but not so much so as to make me want to reach for it to reapply. This is quite a change for me but I like it a lot and it's nice not to have to reapply every few hours.

This formula has no taste, lasts a good four hours (unless you eat and drink) and fades naturally.

My daughter was with me and she wanted me to get Niagara which was placed right next to Tolède. More coral and slightly more bright, it scared me a little. Remember, as far a colors go, I'm taking baby steps. Had I not purchased Chanel Taboo on that day I may have taken it as well but I had to make a choice and I'm very happy with my decision.

Tolède is $30.00 which is not cheap but it's a great color for summer. For me, it will go with everything so this will be my go to for the hot season,

Tolède is a new color part of NARS Summer 2013 Color Collection, Summer Shock. Quite subdued compare to the rest of the collection, it will be joining the rest of NARS' lipstick line up.

I had originally mentioned (here) that I was interested in Paris Follies but again, I'm glad I got Tolède instead. This is a great everyday color that will suit many skin tones and many different makeup looks

NARS Summer Shock

Do you own any NARS lipsticks? What do you think of them?

Sunday, May 19, 2013

What's New & a Few Notable Reads, Age & Weight...

Back in December I had started a weekly rendez-vous called Notable Reads of the Week, did eight of them, and then had to stop because I didn't have time to keep up with other blogs, my mind was elsewhere. See March' entries.

I think I have regained a sort of rhythm for blogging but I'm still somewhat out of the loop as far as catching up with what others are writing about. I haven't been on Bloglovin for quite sometime now for it would seem I'm still stuck in a kind of bubble.

The momentum was rather easy to get back and I'm thankful that it's helped me keep my mind off things, off my sadness. Now, moving forward, I may have to cut down since I'm looking for a full time job. This means that there will eventually be less entries and this informative section, which started as a weekly rendez-vous, may be modified to become a monthly one. For now there are no specific schedule for it.

What's new?

Some of you may have noticed that I've started to take my own pictures. Finally!

This is the camera I've been using so you can understand why my pictures are not the best but I think some have turned out ok. It doesn't enable me to do real close ups or great swatch images but it's what I have. Other pictures have been taken with my iPhone, also not the best option I know but it's easier to use than an iPad! :)

My new banner! 

I'm so happy about it and I hope you like it. It's from the Palace of Knossos on the island of Crete. For some reason, every time I see it it makes me smile. It could be seen as a representation of The Three Graces for that is what they remind me of. Charites from the Greek mythology, goddesses representing charm, beauty and creativity. For the Romans they where known as the Gratiae. These have been represented countless times in art, one of the most famous depiction being Primavera by Sandro Botticelli.

Primavera, 1482, tempera on wood
Uffizi Gallery, Florence

On the left, you can see The Three Graces in vaporous diaphanous white garments where they appear to be dancing. Many interpretations exist of this controversial painting and you can learn more about it by clicking on the different highlighted links.

Ladies in Blue
Two frescoes named “Ladies in Blue” and “Ladies in Blue” were found in the Palace of Knossos during an archaeological excavation Again, they have open clothing on top, which exposes their breasts, and have on necklaces, bracelets and hair ornaments. In “Ladies in Blue,” one of the women is holding a necklace in her hand. (Oxford). They all wear slight smiles on their faces, have very small waists and one is turning her head in a different direction. They hold their heads high, and seem to have an air about them, as if they know they are important and want to show it off. They could be Goddesses, or they could simply be women with a high place in society.

What's interesting is that I fell in love with this image without knowing it was from the Palace of Knossos. There's a link with Icaria. You can read about it here.

This week this image got me into thinking about aging and weight. Bizarre I know but let's just say that inspiration comes from weird places sometimes.

The idea of beauty is not recent as can be seen in "Ladies in Blue". Whether real women posed for the image or not is irrelevant. It's idealistic, same as countless others produced through the ages, whether artistic impression or sponsored by admirers of beauty, they are everywhere. They are still produced today but in some cases they seem to have been out staged by advertisement and magazine covers using supermodels. These are to be the new muses, the new ideal of beauty but keep in mind, like in painting and sculpture, they are, for the most part, fake. Photoshop seems to be the new "artist"!

Here's for a dose of reality...

Every Spring we see the same phenomenon. On magazine covers, in the papers and even in television commercials. The launch of miraculous anti-aging beauty products (these are rather constant), exercise machines and diet pills with the promise that you will look better, younger, thinner for Summer!

Doesn't she look good... for her age?  Or  She looks amazing! Did she lose some weight?

Ever heard those before?

These are the kind of statements that just make me go nuts! According to a large part of society, young and thin is the way to go. Problem is, we all age and not everyone can maintain a thin look in a healthy fashion. Wrinkles will appear and for most, the tummy will lose it's firmness. Our metabolism changes, that's just the way it is.

So, if we have a few eye wrinkles or is we are a little round at the hips, does that mean that we are less valuable, less attractive or God forbid, less intelligent? Of course no but sometimes according to magazine covers one would think so.

I have lost a lot of weight recently. The two pairs of jeans I used to wear where falling to my hips, I'm not joking. I got a new pair. Seems I'm going to have to get a new one, again since the one I bought a little over a month ago is now loose. No I'm not on a diet and I'm not sick. It happened due to what I was and still am going through. Recently I've been told "You look good, you lost some weight?" What? Didn't I look good before? I was also told a few times, "You don't look your age!" Although this in a way is nice to hear, it's still a bit frustrating.

One would think that maintaining a "youthful" appearance over 40 is worthy of getting a medal or some kind of badge. I believe more in a "healthy" appearance but that doesn't translate so well in the "beauty" business. Even supermodels get "thinned" out and their expression lines are removed with Photoshop for magazine covers. Some of them are barely 20! So, if even they are not good enough how can the rest of us feel confident in the way we look?

This is just crazy!

So many women who would be viewed by society as overweight find themselves beautiful and they are happy and they don't care if their expression lines have little wrinkly brothers and sisters. Ever notice the glow a cancer survivor has? 40, 50, 60 years old, it doesn't matter, these women are beautiful and that's with or without makeup. They find themselves beautiful and are happy to be alive!

So, wrinkles aside, what is considered overweight by the beauty industry? A size 10!!! This means that unless you're 12, the majority or women are overweight. No wonder it's less frustrating to buy fragrances and shoes!

Here are some articles I've stumbled upon recently.

About aging...

Aaaand I'm Officially Starting to Use Eye Cream, by Megan Rabbitt on Total Beauty, May 3rd.
This "article" is about aging sisters. Every year, for 36 years, the husband of one of the sisters, photographer Nicholas Nixon took a picture of the four of them together. It starts in 1975 when the age of the Brown Sisters  ranged from 15 to 25. On most they are not smiling, they just pose for the camera. If one looks at the first and then clicks on the last picture it can be somewhat of a shock but if you click on them in order, you see life going by.

This is what happens to every one of us regardless of social status. Rabbitt writes she found the passage of years "nauseating". That comment troubled me. The website is called Total Beauty and aging is part of that in my opinion. She points out that the sisters don't smile. My view is that the photographer wanted to make a statement about the passage of time and smiling wasn't necessary to get his point across. They are neutral, we don't know what life threw at them. Children, sickness, loss, we just don't know. In a way, the mystery of life is presented to us visually and it makes us wonder. These are real, period.

What I find interesting, the comments left by readers have nothing to do with the diaporama. It's almost as if they where "selected". Could it be the author was told to get real and not be so judgemental? Also, the presentation of the article has changed since the first time I saw it on May 6th. Having read so many things since then I can't tell if the article was modified per say but it did appear different. You can learn more about the work of Nicholas Nixon, here.

About weight...

Why The Whole Concept Of Bikini Body Is Ridiculous by Gio, Beautiful With Brains, May 3rd.
Here is the comment I left. This is a must read!
*Stands up and cheers Gio* Great article! I find it interesting that you’ve included Jennifer Love Hewitt since a few years back she was “bashed” because she had gained a bit of weight and was showing some dreaded cellulite! In fact it’s obvious here that her picture was retouched. Tyra Banks was also thrown under the bus for having gained weight! Because of these articles, these covers, I did grow up with insecurities and I still have some today. I keep an eye on my daughter and talk a lot with her. So far I thinks she gets it. Everyone is different and there are no “ugly” bodies. Health should be glorified not beauty, at least what is perceived as beauty these days. Remember Rubens, Renoir, Matisse just to name these, and their representation of women, beauty? Quite different than what we are seeing today. So no, I don’t agree with the concept of “Bikini Body”! Stupid and condescending, especially given the fact that every single picture shown has been retouched!

Elle Quebec's Plus-Size Cover Model Is Justine Legault. Huff Post Style Canada, May 3rd.
Now that's what I call a statememt! Elle Québec, I can only stand up and cheer, again! Bravo Justine!

Model chooses normal weight, becomes hero for normal women. On Now MSN, May 18th.
How model Jennie Runk decided enough was enough and became a plus-size model. Again, a size 10 is considered plus size which in my book is just crazy.

Finally, food for thought...

WTF Woman? by Rowena, Beauty and the Bulshit, May 4th.
No comments necessary except for I too believe!

Justine Legault on the cover of Elle Québec

I hope you have a great week! Now go get a nice tall glass of lemonade! xoxo

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Chanel Taboo, Le Vernis, Is Mine!

Recently I ranted a little about the hype surrounding this nail polish. I'm not sure but I don't think this type of reaction has been seen since the release of Chanel's Rouge Noir. You can read my previous entry here.

Yes, this is the original bottle c1995. Told ya I was a hoarder!

Where did this all start? In 1994 a makeup artist covered the bare nails of models with black marker just before a photo shoot for an upcoming fashion show. An almost black nail polish was then develop especially for the runway and was noticed by photographers and beauty editors. Made to look like dried blood, it became one of the most in-demand products in Chanel history. If I remember correctly they did try to recreate the same envy with 21 Brun Sortilège but it just wasn't the same.

For the past few months there's been talk of this new nail color. Reviews, comments and pictures have been circulating. It's now available through Chanel's website but hasn't been officially launched. As mentioned in my previous entry about Taboo, I had left my name at the Chanel counter with the hope that I would be able to get my hands on it.

Here I thought it would be fun to put them side by side.

I got the call yesterday morning and late afternoon picked it up at The Bay downtown Montreal. When I got there the first sales assistant I asked didn't know what I was talking about. When I said Taboo she thought I meant the fragrance Tabu by Dana. Funny since I don't think The Bay sells this anymore.

Next was the counter manager, she had a big grin on her face due to her co-worker's reaction. I was the first one there to get it. It will be on the counter next week, if there are any left that is. Anyways...

...Veni, vidi, vici!* 

Applied last night, 2 coats.

The application went like a breeze! Perfect consistency, not too thick and not too thin. This is truly a great formula. This was a relief to me since in the past Chanel has had some misses, thinking about light colors like the old number 69 called Ironique. They've come a long way. $27.00 isn't cheap for a nail polish especially since you can get almost every color imaginable for about $10.00 or less, still, I swear this one is quite unique!

Here it really comes alive with one coat of Seche Vite
Picture taken around Noon.

Sadly my camera doesn't render all the subtlety of the color but can you see the little specs of dark pinkish red in there? They end up dancing on the surface of my nails. Silly I know, but last night I must have stared at my nails for a good five minutes straight. My daughter thought I had completely lost it. The same happened again today after I applied the coat of Seche Vite. With it, the color popped!

Taken at the end of the day after cleaning the balcony and yard.
It survived!

If you are into dark colors, if you like purple, if you like dimension... get this! It should be more readily available starting next week and will eventually be part of Chanel's regular collection of nail polishes so every one can have their own.

Here are some of my old, next to the new...

Rouge Noir, Brun Sortilège, Ironique, Topaze & Taboo

Topaze. I'm glad I still have that one. Part of Chanel 1999 Summer collection, my daughter's first!

*I came, I saw, I conquered! - Julius Caesar

Pour lire cet article en français, cliquez, ici.

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