Thursday, January 30, 2014

Chanel Jardin de Camélias...

Have you had a chance to take a look at Chanel's latest makeup collection, Notes de Printemps? Still salivating over the Illusion d'Ombres, nail polishes or the fab quad Quadrille? Wait till you see what they're coming up with next...

Jardin de Camélias...

Another spring collection that's likely coming out on January 31st. I say likely since the details aren't that clear. It'll probably be available through Chanel's website first and then at stores like Nordstrom in the US. So far all I could learn is these may be sold online only. Fingers crossed it's not the case and that flagship Chanel counters get to present these beauties to us.

Following in the footsteps of a fabulous jewellery collection inspired by this beautiful flower which apparently was one of Mademoiselle's favorite, it's fresh, it's pink and I think I want that blush!!! Oh and notice the beautiful Camellia pattern on the Illuminating Powder, gorgeous!





Ombres Tracées Quadra Eyeshadows in Jardin Zen
Illusion d'Ombre in Rose des Vents




Joues Contraste in #87 Sakura
Illuminating Powder in Jardin de Camélias




Rouge Allure in #139 Fleurie and #142 Charmeuse


I haven't purchased a Chanel lipstick in ages but I just might fall for one of these. I know, I know I keep saying this but what can I say, I'm picky and at $40.00 a pop for me to buy one it definitely has to wow me! I can't wait to see swatches, better yet, swatch them myself.

Just like Notes de Printemps, I don't think this is an original collection but it's one that will please many due to the nice twist on classic spring and summer shades with the advantage that they're not pastels. There are also four Aqualumière glosses and a Ligne Graphique in #14 Noir Scintillant to go along with these beauties.

Surprisingly there doesn't seem to be any nail polishes in this collection. I searched high and low on the web and couldn't find anything.


Let's dream a little... From the Chanel Camélia Fine Jewelery Collection...





Besides the ring is there anything calling your name in this collection? 



Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Chanel Le Vernis, Charivari...

In it's latest collection, Notes de Printemps, Chanel released two new nail polishes which will join the regular line up. #605 Tapage, a bright coral red which I had hoped would have a little more pink is a beautiful color but I preferred to go with #603 Charivari.

Chanel Le Vernis #603 Charivari...

Looking at the bottle we see a beautiful deep eggplant, smokey plummy purple. Creamy gorgeousness and just my kind of color. Seeing swatches all over the blogosphere I just couldn't wait to get my hands on it. 




As usual, Chanel's formula is perfect! It goes on like a dream, a little streaky on the first coat but the second one levels everything up. Surprisingly on the second day it was already loosing some of it's shine so a top coat is definitely a requirement and I would say a gel would be preferable. 

The hick...

On my fingers the color is not that striking! It looks great in the sun or under spotlights like one sees in pictures but in everyday lighting it's pretty ordinary and I didn't get to admire the color much. I did wear it an entire week and whether at home, office or in the metro it never really wowed me the way it does in the bottle.




Again, it's a beautiful color in the bottle and although you get to see the color on the pictures above, natural light on the left and a soft light on on the right, in real life, on me it doesn't look that way. 

Mmm maybe I need glasses!  

A bit of a miss for me but not a total loss for I do believe I will enjoy it more on my toes later this spring paired with a brighter color on my fingers.

Gosh I can't wait for warmer temps!


Have you started to think about mani-pedi colors for spring? :)



Sunday, January 26, 2014

The sunday Post, Vol. 7...

We've just had another week of extremely cold temperatures!!! Enough already!

Snow, I don't mind but cold I do! Even in the house it was cold because the heating system couldn't keep up. I mean 17° Celsius is NOT comfortable. Fine for sleeping but the rest of the time it's truly unpleasant. This week it's suppose to warm up outside to an almost balmy -6° Celsius and I just can't wait!

It'll almost feel like Capri pants and flip flop time!

Bring the 30 cm of snow but stop with the cold I say!


This week's makeup love...




For eye makeup Chanel Illusion d'Ombre in Diapason and NARS Fairy's Kiss palette have been favorites this week and for lips it was NARS Dolce Vita and Rouge Dior Esquisse. For face it was mainly Hourglass Ambient Lighting palette and my good old Guerlain Terracotta, the original one for a neutral look which was perfect to give Esquisse center stage.

I'm still not using Incandescent much, the middle powder of the Hourglass palette. It's a tricky one that tends to give my skin a frosty look, emphasizing tiny wrinkles. Not a good thing. Dim, on the left is great all over and Dim, on the right gives a nice definition to my face and is particularly nice over Terracotta to make it look more natural. At this point if I were to repurchase one of these I would go for Dim but these powders are so finely milled that I think it'll be a while before I reach pan. Notice how untouched it looks, I have been using it, really I have. :)




Benefit They're Real is OUT!!!

Given my not so good experience with Givenchy mascara, this week I'd been using Dior Iconic which is still doing ok for me although it's a little thicker. On Friday I figured Benefit would work faster and so it's the one I used. Remember it was cold! -29° Celsius cold and windy! Waiting five minutes for the bus, my lashes became a clumpy straight mess!!! By the time I got to the office my eye makeup looked horrible and there was nothing I could do about it! No curl, goopy looking lashes are not a good thing, not one bit. So far Benefit had done great for me, resisting the heated lash curler and keeping the curl for the longest time it really was pretty amazing but, and this is a huge but, it doesn't resist extreme cold! My lashes didn't look feathery smooth, they actually looked all crocked and rough (hope this makes sense). The first thing I did when I got home that night was remove my eye makeup.

Ok I'm being harsh I know, Benefit They're Real! is still a good mascara but it's definitely not one to use in extreme cold!

Nails...

Oops! I had naked nails this week, the entire week!!! Dunno what happened, I guess I was lazy... :(

New additions...

Double oops! Nothing! Nada! No new purchases! In fact the only thing I purchased, two weeks ago in fact, was a three wicks candle from Indigo in Tahitian Coconut Fig. Such a beautiful fresh fragrance, they go for $24.00 and last a good two weeks burning about three hours every night! I'll likely get a new one this week.




What I have my eyes on...

The new Diorshow Mono Fusion Matte eye shadows. These look amazing and their respective textures are positively dreamy! The ones I'm considering are Mirage a nice taupe that has a bit of a satiny finish and Nocturne an almost black with gentle sparkles which would be perfect paired with some of my tamer colors to give a bit of drama and I'm thinking it could also be used as a soft liner. Do have a look at the videos below you'll see what I mean.

Of course there's Chanel Quadrille quad that's been on my mind ever since I swatched the colors! I must get this one since I don't think I'll fall for Jardin Zen, the quad from the upcoming Chanel collection, Jardin de Camélia which will be coming out later this Spring. Then again, who knows, I didn't think I'd like Quadrille!

Lipsticks? From the current new collections I haven't been wowed by any of them. For some reason I'm more interested by the regular colors, Rouge Dior mainly.

Blushes, except for one of the new Clinique Cheek Pop, I'm not sure I'll splurge for one at this time and the same goes for nail polishes. I'm not much into pastels. I love them on others but I find my nail shape isn't the best for them. I'm not saying a definite no but at the moment none are calling my name except maybe for Dior's Trianon Edition Perlé 187 a matte pearly white which can be used as a top coat.


For your viewing enjoyment...

A treat! If you've been salivating over Dior Spring 2014 Collection Trianon then you better have a look at these...

Stunning!!!


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3IERNqKPY7s&list=PLACB3E339E86B6DE6&feature=c4-overview-vl

Ok that's it! I want that girl's face!!! :D :D :D


Have a great week everyone! xoxoxo Hélène



Saturday, January 25, 2014

Givenchy Noir Couture 4 in 1 Mascara...

One thing I have to give Givenchy, presentation!




Recently I returned a mascara to Sephora and got into a lengthy conversation about brushes with one of the SAs. She was just lovely and as geeky about them as I am. This was right after my mascara brushes post and she gave me a few suggestions, among them Tarte and YSL because they were out of Guerlain's Cils d'Enfer which is on my "to try" list. I decided to go for...

Givenchy Noir Couture 4 in 1 Mascara...

What it is:
A four-in-one mascara that creates intense volume, strong curl, infinite length, and complete lash care.

What it does:
This multitasking mascara is formulated with Givenchy’s exclusive Lash Booster Expert Complex that provides nutrition, revitalization, fortification, and protection. 

Research results:
-Based on a self-evaluation on 32 women after 4 weeks of daily application, 91% had visibly volumized, curled, and lengthened lashes.
-Based on clinical scoring on 32 women after 8 weeks of daily applications, 100% recorded lash beauty and strength, surface shine, evenness, and suppleness. 

Sephora is the exclusive beauty retailer for this product.




Such a beauty! The brush... must have been designed by an even more geekybrushpickynut than me! Despite the fact that it's totally out there, it works amazingly well.




If only the mascara itself was up to par with the brush! You can see on the top picture the nice point the formula has. It's just the right consistency, not too thick, not too thin and on the bottom picture, notice the rounded tip of the brush. It surprisingly works extremely well, even in the inner corner of my eyes. Since it does keep quite a bit of product on you must not "wiggle" the brush when applying this mascara otherwise you'll end up with a thick mess.

It does go on smooth, gives length, volume and is a beautiful satiny black but sadly it doesn't last. It tends to flake a little and kind of disappears during the course of the day. It resists the heat of the heated lash curler and does keep the curl for about six hours but it has no oomph!

I could apply two coats but more and it started to clump!

Would I recommend Givenchy Noir Couture 4 in 1 Mascara? Sadly no.

Unless you have beautifully long curly lashes to begin with I doubt this one will do much for you. I myself will be using it on weekends when I go for lighter eye makeup and maybe my lashes will take advantage of it's lash boosting properties.

By the way, that nice SA at Sephora was 100% correct about Givenchy's. She told me they often recommended it to women who wanted to achieve a natural look. For this it does work but I'm not ready to let go of a more dramatic effect yet so this one will not be a repurchase.

Have you tried any of Givenchy's makeup offerings?


Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Rouge Dior Nude Lip Blush, Esquisse...

This little beauty was purchased back in November, I think! Well not long after getting my beloved Rouge Dior Grège 1947. I so fell in love with the formula of Rouge Dior that I had to go and get a few more almost on the spot! I must say that Dior was my favorite formula ages ago and I'm glad to say this new incarnation doesn't disappoint. I purchased two more barely a week after Grège but realised once home that they were different.

Rouge Dior Nude Couleur Blush Voluptuous Care...




The packaging is stunning with its luxurious house of Dior cannage pattern and jeweled CD on top. On the bullet itself there is of course the Dior name embossed. Such a decadent treat!

The formula...

Described as a rich and creamy balm it's an extremely comfortable formula. Meant to plump, smooth and hydrate lips to create a beautiful elegant finish with a light illuminating effect.

In other words, it's more than a lipstick and it's more than a balm. It truly is both!

663 Esquisse...

Given the fact that it's a little darker than what I usually wear it took me a while to warm up to it.

Baby steps, baby steps... It's finally getting some love! In fact, in the past two weeks I've found myself reaching for it often.





A lovely warm berry that's a step above the usual "my lips but better" look for me. More than flattering, it's the perfect complement to a more natural eye look. On the picture it looks much darker than in real life and it's also not quite as pink, it's a little more warm than cool. It truly is a pretty color, suitable to many carnations.


On the left one pass, on the right, two.


Here is the best I could do for swatches (I know, blurry!). The difference between the two pictures is on the left, the lighting is slightly brighter. I've seen this color described as sheer! Well it ain't that sheer as you can see. It feels buttery and soft but for a lip treatment it's got nice color payoff and excellent wear time. I'd say I get a good three if not four hours of color and even when the moisturizing feel is gone there is still a nice natural stain on my lips. It fades evenly and unlike Grège 1947, it doesn't leave a wonky line on the inner rim of my lower lip. As for the plumping effect claims, well there isn't much of that but then it would have to sting and irritate a little which it doesn't. It's a very comfortable formula and that's what counts for me.

Love!!!

There seems to be five colors in all in Rouge Dior Nude Couleur Blush Voluptuous Care...

#123 Trompe L'Oeil
#319 Trench
#459 Charnelle
#618 Twill
#683 Esquisse

A little confusing is that I've seen on some sites Grège 1947 as part of this range but as you know I do own it and mine is a Rouge Dior.

Rouge Dior Nude Lip Blush are for me worth the splurge. So comfortable with such a lovely finish, I mean next pay day, why not treat yourself to a little something that will make you feel special every time you use it?

I got my eye on #459 Charnelle next...


Have you seen/tried this incarnation of Rouge Dior?



Tuesday, January 21, 2014

L'Occitane Shea Butter Body Lotion...

This was a little Christmas indulgence, a little gift to myself. I know, another one! What can I say, I figure I deserved it!

Some of my favorite body moisturizers over the years include Clinique Deep Comfort body butter, Biotherm Anty-Drying Body Milk, Clarins Moisture Rich Body Lotion, Nivea (yes plain little Nivea the one in the dark blue bottle), several of The Body Shops Body Butter (I love their Cocoa Butter Hand & Nail lotion) and the one that kind of comes up on top is Avène Cold Cream Body Lotion. I think I went through four bottles of that one in recent years!

For some reason I tend to be unfaithful. I like to change and I must admit that my long time relationship with Avène and Nivea is exceptional for me. I get bored easily but these have remained staples.

There's a new one on my block...

L'Occitane en Provence Shea Butter Body Lotion...

Ok I know it's not that new but for me it is, there! L'Occitane* was founded in 1976 by Olivier Baussan who's intention was to preserve the traditions of his native Provence. The company took the name L'Occitane en Provence in the late 1990s.




This lotion with it's 15% shea butter from Burkina Faso a little landlock country of West Africa, is rich, luxurious and has an amazing fragrance! I can't quite put my finger on it but it has a flowery and powdery smell that reminds me of products my mother used when I was a child. In other words, it's very comforting. Maybe it's the smell that surrounds you when you step into a lovely ancient French house on the outskirts of Nice or Arles in the south of France.

Rich but non greasy, just the way I like a body moisturizer, it penetrates quickly and keeps my skin soft a good twelve hours, even my elbows! If you have very dry skin you may want to try the Shea Ultra Rich Body Cream which comes in a jar. I only tried that on in store but it did seem extra moisturizing. The Shea Butter Body Lotion is a little on the pricey side at $34.00 for 250 ml, especially compared to Avène which is the same price but for 400 ml.

L'Occitane en Provence Shea Butter Body Lotion may not be the most moisturizing body lotion on the market, that is of course if you have extra dry skin, but it does an excellent job for my winter skin and just the fragrance alone makes it totally worth it.

Shower, this lotion and flannel pj's = super comfy fuzzy feeling inside.


Have you tried this body lotion or any of the L'Occitane en Provence offerings?



Reviews:

Makeup Alley: 3.8 / 5 lippies for 50 reviews.
Beauté-test: 4 / 5 stars for 88 reviews.


Ingredients (from Sephora website):

-Shea Butter (15%): Protects, nourishes, and moisturizes the skin. 
-Extra Pure Apricot Oil: Regenerates and nourishes with vitamins A, B, and C. 
-Honey and Coconut Oil: Moisturize and soften. 

Water*, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter*, Glycerin*, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride*, Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Seed Oil*, Dicaprylyl Carbonate, Dimethicone, Prunus Armeniaca (Apricot) Kernel Oil, Cetearyl Alcohol*, Glyceryl Stearate*, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil*, Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Fruit Extract*, Mel Extract/Honey Extract*, Hydroxyethyl Acrylate/Sodium Acryloyldimethyl Taurate Copolymer, Tocopherol*, Ethylhexylglycerin, Fragrance, Xanthan Gum, Propylene Glycol, Sorbitan Isostearate*, Polysorbate 60*, Chlorphenesin, Peg-100 Stearate, Phenoxyethanol, Ceteareth-33, Benzyl Alcohol, Benzyl Benzoate, Hydroxyisohexyl 3-Cyclohexene Carboxaldehyde, Linalool, Citronellol*, Butylphenyl Methylpropional, Coumarin, Hexyl Cinnamal, Limonene*, Geraniol. 
*Natural origin ingredients.


*Occitane to put it simply, is a female native/resident of the pays d'Oc. Its language, originating from the Middle Ages is still spoken today in southern parts of Spain, France, Monaco and Italy. Although considered as a dialect by some (it would seem to be the fusion of several dialects), others firmly believe it's a language and that, even if there are different ways to speak it. Occitan is often synonym to Provençal which in turn originates from Latin Provincia likely of Romain origin.


Sunday, January 19, 2014

Icaria's Turns 2...

This was such a crazy week that I completely forgot about my blog Anniversary!!!

Icaria's turned 2 on the 16th of January, at 3:29 pm to be exact!!!

This is my 510th post!!!

When I think about the first one I can still remember how nervous I was just before pressing "Enter". Would anyone read it? Well according to my stats, yes. It got 34 hits on that first post and a guy named Phil, who is partly responsible for this venture, graciously left a comment.  :)

I honestly don't know how I would have gotten through this past year without this beautiful creative platform which has brought me so much pleasure and personal satisfaction. If you click on the About Moi tab you'll understand what I mean. It's been more than therapeutic, it's enabled to not only express myself about what I love but also to become part of a community comprised of beautiful passionate ladies...

Olivia, Sunny, Stacey, Gio, Tavia, LilyTracy, Melissa... are some of the ladies who have been there for me with beautiful words of encouragement when I truly needed them. Oh and there's Linda who pops in here and there, in fact always at the right moment from Ottawa, a non blogger who just loves beauty stuff!

There are many others of course! New commenters are starting to pop up, new web-friendships are starting to bloom and I couldn't be happier. Icaria's is growing and this mom is pretty proud of her baby!

Those first 34 views are what told me that I too might have my place in the blogosphere and today I know I do!

Here is one of my favorite paintings. As a child it was on a box of felt crayons I owned and I had no idea who Van Gogh was at the time but I loved the style and dreamed of visiting this enchanted place one day. If I could, I would invite you all to this little café in Arles for a celebratory drink!


Vincent Van Gogh (1853-1890)
Musée Kröller-Müller, Otterlo, Pays-Bas


Thank you for stopping by, thank you for reading and thank you for leaving comments...

You have no idea what this means to me, really you don't! 


Merci!



Hélène xoxoxoxo.................



Saturday, January 18, 2014

Chanel Illusion d'Ombre, Diapason...

The new Chanel Note de Printemps collection for spring 2014 is out!

Notes de printemps stands for spring notes, musical notes for all the items in the collection have names that refer to music.  

Honestly if I could, I would probably purchase every single item except for the Poudre Universelle Compacte in Préface which I found surprisingly too matte. The rest of the collection is really, I mean really very pretty and not as "been there done that" as I thought it would be.

Soon the quad Quadrille will come home with me but what has already found it's way into my makeup bag is one of the two Illusion d'Ombre...

Chanel Illusion d'Ombre, #92 Diapason...

I knew I was going to love it, I just knew it!




Diapason, which commonly refers to a tuning fork, is a beautiful deep purple with a warm base that has nothing to do with any usual purples especially the pastel ones we are starting to see pop up here and there in spring collections. This one is for grown ups!

The texture is light and blendable but you have to work quickly when applying it because it sets fast. I personally don't like the little brush that comes with it much but if you want major color payoff it does deliver. I prefer to use a standard eye shadow brush for a lighter effect. Fingers work well too but my pinkie isn't very precise.




The formula...

The great plus here is that there are barely any glitter fall out especially compare to a powder eye shadow. I apply it over NARS Pro-Prime base and it stays put all day, almost as long as Chanel Illusion d'Ombre in Fatal. I don't know if it's because of the different pigments used but Diapason did start to crease a little after about 11 hours and the glitter did fade a little more than Fatal. Still I won't complain since this is long enough for a work day.

Chanel really has a hit on their hands with these Illusion d'Ombres because compare to others I've swatched, they wear like iron, well almost. I swatched a few from another brand today and although the texture was creamier and easier to work with, it was obvious that I would have gotten barely 6 hours of wear and probably some glitter fall out as well.

Hey I have SWATCHES!!! :D


Next to Fatal we can clearly see the warm undertones of Diapason.

On the left is Fatal first applied with the little Chanel brush, then with finger. I did the same for Diapason on the right. Notice the little blob of color that occurred with the brush. It does make the colors darker but it can also make the finish uneven so smoothing out with a finger is a must when using it and again, you have to work fast because these babies set in no time! As mentioned in my review of Fatal, there is glitter but it's not an overdone in your face glitter. It barely shows on the picture but believe me it's there although I do think there's a little less in Diapason.

At $38.00, Chanel Illusion d'Ombre are pricey but you get a lot of product, 4g. (0.14oz) and a jar that closes shut so it should be a while before it dries out.


What do you think of cream eye shadows? Have you tried any of Chanel Illusion d'Ombres? 



Friday, January 17, 2014

NARS Dolce Vita...

Ah la Dolce Vita!

I dream of this! To be able to do what I want when I want would be a dream but sadly I live in the real world so I guess I'll settle for a lazy Sunday and a lipstick!

NARS Dolce Vita...

Given NARS tendency to stick with cinematic and artistic themes, I would think the name refers to Federico Fellini's 1960 movie La Dolce Vita but I won't go there since I get the feeling that it's been written about already. Still, I'm quite sure this lipstick would have been stunning on Anouk Aimée. :)




Dolce Vita is another gorgeous "my lips but better" color! Creamy, it feels like a balm, fades evenly and doesn't enhance dry spots due to its light pigments. A medium dusty rose that appears darker on the bullet, Dolce Vita is sheer with some slip which means that it lasts about two hours but fades evenly and leaves a light stain on the lips. It's just perfect for this time of year and I love the fact that I can swipe it on without a mirror.

This little NARS beauty has found a permanent residence in my purse along with Rouge Dior Grège 1947 which pulls a little more coral on me. Not as "pink" nor as pigmented as NARS Tolède, Dolce Vita is a nice seasonal "replacement". Tolède with its long wear formula remains a favorite but it has a matte finish which means it's slightly drying and wearing a balm under alters the look I love so much so that's not an option.




I was looking for a similar shade with a more moisturizing feel and Dolce Vita is perfect! Sooo comfortable to wear! It's no wonder it was voted "Best Overall Lipstick" by InStyle in 2011. I'm not a fan of magazines "best of" lists but this time I do agree and there's also the fact that it suitable for most skin tones. Tasteless, with antioxidants and a blend of conditioners, you can definitely feel it's moisturizing effect. Truly a perfect winter time lipstick!

Do you find you use different lipstick formulas in winter?



Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Mascaras, Let's Compare a Few... Brushes!

Every time I review a mascara I always mention the importance of the combination of good formula and good brush. You really can't have one without the other. Basic I know but this is something that may have been overlooked by some of those who are still searching for "The One".

I think the first step is trying to figure out which brush works best for you and then take it from there because even if you have found a great formula, if you keep struggling with the brush, well, that's not a good thing. There is a perfect mascara for everyone out there, believe me!

Why was it such a struggle for me? My lashes are on the short side and point straight down plus they are stiff and hard to curl. The only way I can keep a curl all day is by heating my lash curler with my hair dryer and that's with mascara on! If I do this before application it's always a major fail. Doing this the mascara formula must be on the amazing side because not all can sustain a heated lash curler. Several "melt" on point of contact and although not super noticeable it's a little annoying.

The mascaras mentioned below all have great formulas that did good with the heated lash curler. Some believe that you're not suppose to curl your lashes with mascara on, thinking that it will break them but I've been doing this for years with no issues. If you break or pull off lashes the problem is the lash curler itself not the fact that you have mascara on. Oh I almost forgot, all these mascaras kept the curl a good 12 hours too!

Let's compare some brushes...

These are the ones I've used this year. Of course if you have long naturally curly lashes (I could almost hate you right now, yes I'm talking to you Melissa from Kiss & Makeup and Tracy from Beauty Reflections) you may not even need to bother with this entry, these comments but, you may still find it... informative. :)

L'Oréal Voluminous Million Lashes Excess:  the brush is huge compared to the others and I don't quite get the curve of it. The wand itself is kind of soft and a little flimsy and I must admit that I was a afraid it would break at one point leaving the brush in the container. Still it was a good drugstore option because it did a good job and it's one I'd reconsider.

Estée Lauder Sumptuous: my favorite! It's a standard no fuss conic shaped brush that due to the fact it's more pointy makes mascara application easier on those inner corner tiny lashes.

Benefit They're Real!: Ok this one is a little funky and prickly but it does a good quick job. Combined with a good product it's one that I now buy in it's small size to always have available.

Diorshow Iconic: I truly loved this beautifully smooth formula but as mentioned the brush is a pain! Notice the difference below compared to the others? How the bristles are tight, close to one another? Once there a bit of products on the lashes it can barely grab on to them for a second coat. I was able to achieve a good look with it but it did take longer and that was rather annoying some mornings.

Diorshow Iconic Overcurl: curved brushes aren't my favorite and this one made it hard to grab the lashes on the inner corners of my eyes. I can't comment on the formula since it appears I ended up with a bad one that I had to take back but do know it gets a lot of love. I don't think I will try again just because of the brush.




My wish...

Could someone combine the formula of Diorshow Iconic with Estée Lauder's Sumptuous brush? This would make it one of the best mascaras out there!!!

Yes I dare say, even better than Benefit They're Real!

The mascaras mentioned here are all top sellers and get high ratings so yes, if you want to try any of them do go ahead. You may have noticed in the reviews I wrote about them, I really have nothing negative to say about their formulas* and unlike me, you may have no issues with their respective brushes. I guess I'm a bit of a perfectionist in this area but at the same time I thought it would give you something to think about the next time you decide to purchase a new mascara. That is if you haven't found "The One" yet!

Of course this year I will be trying others in fact, I already have a few I'm considering and can't wait to play with! :D


When deciding on trying a new mascara, is the brush an important selling point or am I the only nut case out there?



*It was confirmed again this week that there was a bad shipment of Diorshow Iconic Overcurl mascara from another Dior counter where they too had some returns. My guess is it may have been exposed to extreme temperatures.


Sunday, January 12, 2014

The Sunday Post, Vol. 6...

Oh my what a week!!!


Update on furbaby Julius...

He's going to be fine! Catherine and I are so relieved and want to thank you all for your kind words last week.

He got sick totally out of the blue and it would seem it was a severe case of upset stomach. We brought him to the clinic on Monday and they took some blood for analysis. The vet gave us a few scenarios one of which was pancreatitis. Apparently schnauzers are prone to this and it would have required hospitalisation. I'm so thankful and relieved that it wasn't what he was suffering from. That dog is so precious to us, he's been our therapist, the one who made us smile when we thought we couldn't. He's one heck of a barking machine but he's our baby and we love him. So does Fifi by the way since she kept hovering and meowing around him as to say come on, snap out of it! :)

Given the highly emotional weekend I spent the week in a mild coma and was only able to deal with my day job. This means that I don't have anything written and I have a bit of writer's block at the moment but I should be able to get back on track soon since I have a few nice goodies to review.


This week's makeup love...

Guerlain Terracotta La Sélection de l'Été! Ok I can see you frown from here but wait! It's not because it was released for summer that I can't enjoy it in January! There I said it! :) The beautiful khaki green paired with the mauvy brown are just sooo smashingly beautiful together and went so well with the clothes I wore. I also enjoyed Chanel Charming palette which has definitely become a staple.

Lipstick love were fuss free NARS Dolce Vita and Clarins Instant Light Lip Perfector in 06 Rosewood Shimmer which I could both reapply without a mirror. The was also Rouge Dior Nude Lip Blush in Esquisse #683 which hasn't been reviewed yet due to the lack of good lighting. It's a beautiful rosewood color that's a little darker than what I've been reaching for lately.

Of course the pictures are not optimum! It's been cloudy and overcast lately. I'm sorry but this was the best I could do.





Guerlain La Sélection de l'Été (2013)


Nails...

Chanel Le Vernis Taboo!


New additions...

I took back Diorshow Iconic Overcurl to Sephora and wanted to try Guerlain Cils d'Enfer but they were out of black so I decided to go for Givenchy Noir Couture. I also returned Chanel Joues Constraste #85 Évocation due to the fact it wasn't the color I wanted in the first place and in the pan it looked pretty similar to a Bourjois blush I rarely wear these days and keep at the office in my emergency bag. I exchanged it for Illusion d'Ombre in Diapason and Le Vernis in Charivari... :)

Recently I purchased L'Occitane en Provence Ultra Rich Lotion for Body and so this week got a small size of the hand cream.



I got a gift!

Sunny from Mostly Sunny sent me a gift which I received just before New Year's (I think!). I won't tell what it is except that it was extremely thoughtful of her. It's a little something that I really, I mean really wanted to get my hands on, a pretext to write about a certain subject that is dear to me. I don't know when I'll have enough time to do it justice but hopefully it will be soon.


For your... listening enjoyment...

This week it's a song to which there are apparently no video, a rare occurrence these days. Those of you who live in Canada will probably recognise it from a TV commercial. It may be well known in Europe, I have no idea except I love it's retro sound.

On the image below, can you tell which lip gloss she's holding? :)


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IUNcEU6A56M



Have a great week everyone! Hélène xoxo



Monday, January 6, 2014

Revlon Lash Curler Diamond Collection...

For the past two years or so I've been using a Shiseido lash curler. At the time I would have loved to get a Shu Uemura but they were hard to find in my area. Although Shiseido's does a good job I still have to heat it with my hair dryer for it to create a curl that will last all day and that's with any mascara I've tried so far.


Revlon on the left, Shiseido on the right.

The problem with Shiseido?

The color of the metal it's made in. It's a dark brownish grey, not black but quite dark with a black silicone pad. What this means is that I have a hard time placing my lashes in it. This would probably not be much of an issue if I didn't heat it but since I have to it's always a struggle to avoid burning my lids. Tired of this I decided to get a silver colored one and since I've spend quite a lot on makeup recently I went for this Revlon offering which was on special when I purchased it for a little under $6.00.

I used it once, or at least tried to and to the bin it will go unless I find someone to give it to.


Notice the difference of the with of those top plates? 
It's impossible not to touch the upper lid with it.


Due to the wideness of the top metal plate I almost burned my upper lid. There's no way I can use it without injuring my eyes. Oh and this one doesn't even close evenly!


Notice how Revlon is a little crooked? Shiseido is still perfect after 2 years of daily use.


The curve of Revlon Diamond Collection Lash Curler would have been perfect for my eye shape but the risks of injury make it a no go. I'll continue using my Shiseido for now and will be looking at different options in the next few weeks.

It's important to note that I've used Revlon lash curlers in the past with good results and here I should have purchased the more traditional one. They do have one that strangely looks like Shiseido but with a red pad which is the one I should have gotten.

Revlon Diamond Collection Lash Curler does look feminine and cute but if you use a heating tool, stay away!


Do you use a lash curler? Which is your favorite?


Sunday, January 5, 2014

The Sunday Post, Vol. 5...

This will be a quick entry.

A word of apology...

Feeling overwhelmed by the holiday season I haven't been able to leave too many cheerful comments on my bloguerette friends Christmas or New Year's posts. In fact, on New Year's eve, at work of all places, I totally lost it when I thought I was home free, when I thought that it wouldn't happen.

This was the worst year of my life and there's no getting around it!

What I'm thankful for? My daughter, fur babies and that I was able to find work. The rest? Well, let's just say that this blog has been a godsend! To be able to communicate with people through Twitter and blogs has kept me out of solitude and was extremely helpful and therapeutic. I hank you all for your good wishes.

A rough start to the new year...

I can't really concentrate today due to the fact that since yesterday, early morning, my dog Julius has been sick. I'm so worried and will have no access to a vet before tomorrow morning. I just don't know what we would do if anything happened to him. A web friend has been helping me with her knowledge and so I'm praying he will get out of this. I don't know why the stomach problem since his diet hasn't changed and so I pray he doesn't have any foreign body stuck inside him.




Hélène xoxo





Friday, January 3, 2014

Diorshow Iconic Overcurl Mascara...

I finally purchased it! I think it was back in August that I first started to notice this one so why not until now? I have no idea!

The last two I tried and reviewed were L'Oréal Voluminous Million Lashes Excess and Diorshow Iconic. While the first did a good job in the beginning it turned rather quickly into a weird goop, the second had a great formula that kept the curl all day but the brush was a little of a pain to use due to the tight placing of the bristles.

Diorshow Iconic Overcurl...

A favorite for many! The brush's bristles are placed in a more traditional fashion and so application is faster and easier than with it's mate Iconic. Holding the brush against the lashes for a few seconds you can get a bit of a natural lift but on me this doesn't last. I still need to heat my lash curler not only to achieve the effect I want but it's also the only way the curl will last all day.




For me a good mascara does indeed require a good formula but if the brush doesn't do a proper job during application, well, it's kind of for nothing. Of course we all have our preferences in that regard.

What about Diorshow Iconic Overcurl's brush?

It's curved!

I'm not a fan of curved brushes because I find them hard to work with, especially in the inner corner of my eyes where my lashes are shorter. Ok I know it's not only me, we all have shorter lashes in that area! Many swear by the curve but I'm not one of them.




The formula...

I'm not sure if I got a "good one"! The first week I used it, it went on like a dream, thickened and lengthened my lashes in just a few swipes. Kept the curl a good 10 hours (with the help of my heated lash curler) and didn't produce any flakes.

After that, it went downhill! It's like it dried up in no time. The formula got thick and was hard to use by the end of the second week. It's important to note that I never, ever, pump the brush in the container. This is a big no no since it brings air in and can ruin a mascara in no time. I just don't know what happened. The temperature where I keep my makeup is on the normal side at about 21°C with no direct sunlight at this time of year. I did not leave it open, I love the little "click" it does when I screw the wand back in so this didn't happen. I purchased it at Sephora and the box was pristine so I doubt it had been opened. If you have any idea please let me know in the comments section because I'd really like to solve this mystery.

Would I recommend Diorshow Iconic Overcurl Mascara? I just don't know!

The formula that first week was excellent and had just the right consistency to be able to apply 2 to 3 coats for a beautiful dramatic effect. I was even able to get a bit of a "lift" before using my lash curler. After those first 10 days or so, it got thick, was hard to apply with clumps here and there and horror of horror, flakes, lots of them. The last straw was that it didn't keep the curl for more than 5 hours or so. This is truly baffling!

For this one, don't take my word for it, really I mean it! Just look at the reviews below, it's a favorite for many and several of my bloguerette friends swear by it and that's after having tried several other high end formulas. This is the reason why I think I got a bad one. Even a not so good mascara will be relatively good for at least a month and a half, not barely two weeks! I just can't remember this happening to me before

One last note...

The wand is quite long and some may struggle a little with this at first but you do get used to it.


Reviews:

Makeup Alley: 4 / 5 lippies for 17 reviews.
Beauté-test: 4 / 5 stars for 83 reviews.


Update...

Last night out of the blues I thought why not try to take it back at Sephora where I purchased it? So today I did and the first thing I was told was that I wasn't the first one disappointed with this Dior mascara. Apparently there seems to be a bad batch out there! Duh!!!

I guess this answers my questions!

I'm glad I didn't press "enter" on this entry this morning!

They did exchange it, I didn't even have my receipt and so that's what I call great customer service!

So if Diorshow Iconic Overcurl Mascara is you favorite than please carry on! Just know that it is possible to get a dud, even with Dior! :)


Have you ever purchased a mascara that dried up in no time or with an "off" formula?



Thursday, January 2, 2014

An Ode to Spring...

Over and done with the holidays now we can start thinking about spring! Seriously! Only 2 1/2 months left of winter! I know, I know we could get a snow storm in April but let's not think about that!

Starting to appear by mid January these beauties below will sure help make you forget about the horrible cold (and snow) outside! Here are the ones I'm most looking forward to see in real life!


Chanel Collection Notes de Printemps...

Ok so these colors, just like the ones from the holiday palette of Ombres Matelassées in Charming aren't the most original but and this is a bit but, given the long wear I get from this brand's eyeshadows, it's more than likely that I will get something from this collection. The duo, Rose Majeur looks mighty tempting and I haven't worn a real purple in ages so the Illusion d'Ombre in Diapason seems to be calling for my green eyes. Now the compact! I mentioned recently in my second Beautiful Compacts post that I was planning on getting a Chanel this year and what would be better than a special edition? This light pinkish color looks perfect to create that spring time glow, you know the one we get from being outside on those first days of sunny warm weather?



Les 4 Ombres, 537 Quadrille  Ombres Contraste Duo, 70 Rose Majeur
Illusion d'Ombre, 92 Diapason  Chanel Poudre Universelle, 160 Préface


Guerlain Météorites Blossom Collection...

This brand is literally killing me! The eye shadows of this collection are all a bit meh for me (you can see swatches of the quad on Wondegondigo, here) but look at the Doré Météorites!!! I think I died and went to heaven when I saw these! This year Guerlain reinvents the legendary Météorites with the "Stardust Technology" a spherical pigment contained in each pearl. Along with these new beauties, Guerlain is also launching two new cream blushes, (picture from Chic Profile, just click on it to see the rest of the collection) Météorites bubble in Pink (#01) and Cherry (#02). Although I'm not too impressed by the not so Guerlain packaging with transparent caps (Shu Uemura has an almost identical blush, the Creamy Dome Blusher), I believe these will sell like hot cakes especially given their respective colors. Since cream blushes scare me a little so I'm not sure I'll fall for either but I will definitely have a closer look and swatch them.







Dior Trianon Collection Spring 2014...

Inspired by the Petit Trianon the private estate of Marie-Antoinette on the grounds of Versailles, the collection is composed of beautiful pastels in matte and satin finishes. There are two quints coming out but they appear to be a little to light, a little too pastel for my personal taste. Below is the item that caught my eye, the Trianon Palette. From other pictures I've seen the shades seem a bit darker in real life and so more wearable for me. Dior is also launching a new basic called Backstage Eye Primer, an eye makeup base lightly colored to help even out skin tone and make colors more true. 



Dior Trianon Palette


Bobbi Brown Uber Pink Collection...

This collection you can read about on British Beauty Blogger by clicking on the picture below. Both the lipstick and blush are calling my name!!! They look a little on the coral/warm side which would be just perfect for my skin tone. :)






NARS Final Cut, Edge of Pink Collection Spring 2014...

Look at these blushes!!! I might fall for one of them, might! What makes me sad is that there are no "real" lipsticks and only crayons. I dislike crayons with a passion! I know they get smashing reviews but to me they lack in elegance. I might try one this time around but it's really not a done deal.






YSL Flower Crush Collection Spring 2014...

Will I take the plunge? I sincerely have no idea. For some reason I always pass on YSL and to this day have never purchased any makeup from this brand mainly because the packaging just doesn't do it for me. This palette below might change that. The compact is not that stunning but the colors it holds are. I could definitely see myself wearing these right into summer but that of course is if I don't go for the gorgeous Dior shown above. I mean how many Spring palettes does a girl need and there will be more for summer, let's not forget that. 



YSL Flower Crush Collector Eye Palette



Lancôme French Ballerine Spring 2014 Collection...

A beautiful palette with a soft pink and what appears to be a dark purple mixed with neutral earth tones, flattering for almost any carnation. The highlighter blush looks positively stunning with it's embossed Lancôme Rose but I'm actually quite intrigued by the Hypnôse eye colors. I might try one of these so see how they compare with Chanel Illusion d'Ombres. 







Estée Lauder launches Pure Color Envy Sculpting Lipstick...

Designed to sculpt lips with high intensity colors that stay true up to six hours this new formula is composed of an exclusive Time Release Encapsulated Moisture Complex with Hyaluronic Acid. The packaging which is pure Estée Lauder with it's gold enhanced navy blue is elegant and features a magnetic closure. Twenty new shades! I haven't purchased an Estée Lauder lipstick in ages but I do think I'll get one of these babies... or maybe two! :)






Clinique Gerbera Blush "Cheek Pops" Spring 2014...

Ok now these are totally adorable and according to Jane, British Beauty Blogger, they are even lovelier in real life. Read her comment and see her pictures, here.





This was what the weather was like today in Montréal!!! Please Spring, come fast!!!



That's -36.4° Fahrenheit!!!


So, are you as excited about Spring as I am? Did anything strike your fancy? 




Wednesday, January 1, 2014

2013, The Favorites...

This is my first time doing such a list and to make it easier for myself I decided to go with the products that were hits "at first use", the ones that really made me go... Wow! This past year I've had to replace a lot of my old makeup and yes there were a few misses along the way but I'm glad to say that there were more than a few great finds.

Those of you who follow Icaria's on a regular basis will recognise most of them for they have been mentioned several times already. This in a way feels a little redundant but what can I say, they are my ultimate favorites of 2013!


Favorite compacts...




I went a little nuts this year with face products and this started with Givenchy Le Prisme Visage Mat which was such a great find, never having tried any of this brand's products before. It's always in my purse and I use it every day to keep the shine away! Diorskin Nude Tan Paradise Duo in Coral Glow... Oh how I love thee!!! The perfect summer glow! Honestly, I don't know how Dior can top this one! Guerlain Madame Rougit Blush came out last fall and is such a pleasure to use and just perfect for my skin tone aaaaannnnd.... Guerlain Crazy Terracotta and Guerlain Crazy Météorites. These two amazing powders should definitely become part of the brand's regular line.


Favorite eye palettes...




You will notice that these palettes are on the neutral side. As mentioned, I had to replace some of my old makeup and so these are now part of my "basics". Bobbi Brown Navy & Nude Eye Palette gets some love almost every morning, especially Cement which is great for my upper lids and Slate that I use with a slanted brush to lightly define my lower lash line. NARS Fairy's Kiss, to think I almost missed out on this one for I took my sweet time to get it. Chanel Ombres Matelassée in Charming was a big splurge but oh so worth it! Not the most in your face colors but so perfect for every day.


Favorite eye combination...




My favorite combination this year? Chanel Illusion d'Ombre in Fatal and Diorshow Velvet eyeshadow! I know on the picture they look a little similar but Velvet is more grey than Fatal and gives my eyes more Oomf! Who would have thought I would go for glitter? :)


Favorite lipsticks...




Now this was easy! NARS Tolède Satin Lipstick and Rouge Dior Grège 1947. Nuf said! :)


Favorite nail colors...




Chanel Le Vernis 583 Taboo and Diorific Vernis 995 Minuit are my year's ultimate favorites. Funny that Chanel was the first I purchased and Dior the last. In between there were some smashing colors that I really loved wearing. Essie The Girls Are Out made my summer more lively while Guerlain Madame Batifole was a great transition into fall where I fell for Dior Vernis Nuit 1947 and Essie Sable Collar.


So here you have them, my favorites of 2013! Have any of mine made your list?



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