Monday, February 24, 2014

Clinique Even Better Skin Tone Correcting Moisturizer SPF20...

Oh my! What can I say?

I'm not sure but I think this is my 4th small jar of this moisturizer. It would seem that ever since it came out Clinique really, I mean really wants to make us get on board with this one by giving one away in every single gift with purchase.

I must say at this point that this is in no way a bashing post! This is my own personal experience with one product from the brand. I have used several of Clinique's offerings over the years that I was quite pleased with. We just can't all like the same things.

I don't know if it's a best seller, I don't know about the reviews, I don't know if people like it! I simply haven't looked it up and will not comment on the claims since I haven't used it long enough.

What I do know it that it's not for me. It's thick, smells like sunscreen and leaves a shiny finish on my skin as if it didn't "want" to penetrate, to sink in. There's also a mild irritation that's unpleasant which doesn't last long but is quite annoying.

This moisturizer was only good for my décolleté and that was on days when the area isn't irritated. I had a major sunburn a few years back and so I have to be careful about the products I use. Still, even there it didn't feel very nice.

I tried, I really tried last year to like it. I used it for about three weeks when I was out of my regular Avène day moisturizer. I had thought the few jars of Clinique Even Better would take me through summer but no. I gave up and purchased a BB cream.

Do I recommend Clinique Even Better Skin Tone Correcting Moisturizer SPF20? Not really. 

If you have normal/combination skin I don't think this is for you and if you have oily skin you should truly stay away but if you have dry skin it may suit you if you get past the sunscreen smell. You do know that to get the full SPF protection you must use 1/4 tea spoon on your face and at least the same on you neck? Having to use that much of this moisturizer was a nightmare for me. It truly didn't work.

In my view this one is more for dry to very dry skin unless it's used during winter when the weather is really cold. I did try it a few weeks ago, on a Saturday and it was still a no go for me. It left my skin super shiny and I had to use a ton of powder to neutralize it. After a few hours I could still feel it at the surface of my skin.

Skin care is such a personal thing and if this is a moisturizer you use and like then I'm glad. Sadly it's not for me and so my little jars are going in the throw away bin since I don't think I'll bother with it on my décolleté next summer. I'll just use a regular sunscreen.

Active: Octisalate (5%), Avobenzone (3%), Octocrylene (2.7%), Other: Water, Butyloctyl Salicylate, Nylon-12, Octyldodecyl Neopentanoate, Behenyl Alcohol, Myristyl Myristate, Saccharomyces Cerevisiae Extract, Ascorbyl Glucoside, Cetyl Esters, Butylene Glycol, Polyethylene, Ammonium Acryloyldimethyltaurate/Vp Copolymer, Yeast Extract, Betula Alba (Birch) Bark Extract, Cucumis Sativus (Cucumber) Fruit Extract, Scutellaria Baicalensis Root Extract, Pyrus Malus (Apple) Fruit Extract, Trametes Versicolor Extract, Triticum Vulgare (Wheat Bran) Extract, Saccharomyces Lysate Extract, Punica Granatum (Pomegranate) Juice Extract, Olea Europaea (Olive) Fruit Extract, Curcuma Longa (Turmeric) Root Extract, Oryza Sativa (Rice) Bran Extract, Citrus Grandis (Grapefruit) Peel Extract, Peg-6, Cholesterol, Dimethicone, Glyceryl Stearate, Peg-100 Stearate, Glycerin, Di-Ppg-2 Myreth-10 Adipate, Steareth-21, Caffeine, Sodium Rna, Cellulose, Acetyl Glucosamine, Simethicone, Tromethamine, Sucrose, Di-C12-18 Alkyl Dimonium Chloride, Salicylic Acid, Sodium Hyaluronate, Tocopheryl Acetate, Trisiloxane, Linoleic Acid, Caprylyl Glycol, Sodium Sulfite, Sodium Metabisulfite, Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate, Betaine, Trehalose, Hexylene Glycol, Dipotassium Glycyrrhizate, Lauryl Peg-9 Polydimethylsiloxyethyl Dimethicone, Disodium Edta, Phenoxyethanol, Polyaminopropyl Biguanide

If you are clog/acne prone, have sensitivity issues or tend to have allergic reactions make sure to patch test first. Know that for some, problems can take up to a month to surface.

What was the last skin care item you purchased (or received) you were disappointed about?

Sunday, February 23, 2014

The Sunday Post, Vol. 11...

Canadians on ice, ROCK!

Gold Women's Curling

Gold Men's Curling

Silver Team Figure Skating!

Oh and by the way... They came, they saw, they conquered!

Gold Women's Ice Hockey! Fourth straight Olympic gold, thank you very much!

Gold Men's Ice Hockey! Second strainght Olympic gold, thank you very much!

I just thought I'd mention it in case you didn't know! Hockey is totally Canada's game! :D

This weeks makeup love...

This week I had fun with my Clinique palette and used Bobbi Brown eye liner almost every morning. I'm not sure why but some days it stayed true better than others... hmmm. As you can see my Diorshow Velvet has been getting quite a bit of love lately but look at Guerlain Crazy Terracotta more precisely the middle portion and bottom curve!!! 

But there's worse...

My Guerlain Crazy Météorites! Look at it! I mean really LOOK AT IT!!! Dents and bumps!!! What will I do when it's gone??? This is by far the best finishing powder there is on this here tiny planet! I'm crushed people! I thought it would last forever, truly I did because it's that good! Ok I know I still have enough to last me a while but this was a sad realisation for me this week. :(

New additions...

Not new per say but since I got a gift with purchase last week when I bought my Clinique Palette I'll be trying the makeup items and yes, I got a Chubby! Oh I did get an O.P.I nail polish and a new shower gel/oil from Le Petit Marseillais that I can't wait to try because it smells amazing!

What I have my eyes on...

Since I'll probably have a major expense this week there isn't much I'm considering except, again, a Clarins cleanser for Catherine and a Clinique Cheek Pop but I must admit that the more I see the Too Faced Chocolate Bar the more I'm tempted to take the jump and there's also a new Laura Mercier palette that I spotted at Sephora that is just dreamy... Oh gosh I don't even like big palettes!!!

For your viewing enjoyment...

Defending Olympic champions, Scott Moir and Tessa Virtue won silver in Ice Dancing and this is their performance for the team event where Canada also won silver.

Last word about the Olympics...

This time around I didn't get to watch as much as I did in the past but of the bits I got to see were great!

The last 5 minutes of the Ice Hockey game between Canada and the US men was totally nail biting! The gold medal game between Canada and Sweden I did get to watch this morning. I didn't think I would be able to but I guess it was a little easier with English commentators. You see, I always watched major games with André and he probably smiled today when my reactions were a little more demure. For hockey I was the crazy one! He used to say that I was his best hockey buddy!

This was my first time watching a game without him and it was ok. I didn't think I could do it but I did!

On a gagné mon'Amour! 

#GoCanadaGo #WeAreWinter #noussommeslhiver

Hashtags? Yep I went there! :D

Have a great week everyone! Hélène xoxo

Friday, February 21, 2014

Excited about Radiant Orchid?

I must admit that last year I felt somewhat lukewarm to the idea of Emerald Green as Pantone's Color of the Year. True, it is a gorgeous color but it can be so in your face that you don't see anything else. I get the feeling that most designers felt the same since we hardly saw any.

Except for a Sephora collection and Ciaté nail kit that came out late in the year, in August, there really wasn't much out there to satisfy the emerald green aficionado.

Radiant Orchid...

Now this one is really talking to me! I mean really!

Oh the possibilities!

My green eyes were not excited about last year's choice but this time around they are! Oh and my nails are too!

What do you think? Are you, like me, hoping there will be more Radiant Orchid out there than there was Emerald Green?  

*Picture: Pantone Color of The Year's Pinterest board

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Clinique All About Shadow 8-Pan Palette...

Can a girl have too many neutrals? 


So far I've steered clear of most big palettes. I've seen the popular ones, swatched them many times but for some reason I always pass. Some have colors that are too repetitive and I just don't see the point while others have colors that are either too matte or too shimmery. Often the quality of the different shadows appears uneven and I think this is what annoys me the most.

I'm glad to say that the few I have, I use and love!

Here comes a new love!

Clinique All About Shadow 8-Pan palette in Neutral Territory 2...

Please appreciate this picture! This compact is all mirror, 
what you see here was taken after my head exploded!

I did notice it when it first came out and I swatched the colors several times unable to make up my mind but this week I stumbled on Lipglossiping's review of it and made up my mind. If you've never visited Charlotte's gorgeous blog then do it but after you finish reading my post! :D

After seeing her pictures, her swatches, I figured why not? The Urban Decay Naked Palettes get a lot of love but for some reason I find 12 colors a bit daunting and I'm not much of a fan of the packaging which I find bulky. In a sleek and elegant compact, Clinique gives us 8 shades that all complement each other and I was happy to see it included Black Honey!

I'm impressed, truly I am! Except for my Black Honey Almost Lipstick I just can't remember the last time I used Clinique's makeup. I remember using some of their foundations, loved their powders but I don't think I've ever purchased any eye shadows since the ones I have are all from GWP. The quality of each shadow is really surprising.

Buttery and almost creamy they all go on very easily and each as good color payoff. Texture wise these shadows remind me a little of the ones in my Chanel Mystère quad from the 2013 fall Superstition Collection. Somewhat soft, I use a medium soft bristle brush to avoid fall out. The swatches below (natural daylight) were done with a standard brush, two passes on the shadows and one pass on my skin. Three passes on my skin for the first two shades because I wasn't sure the colors would show for the picture.

Do note that the brush that comes in the compact is a little too soft for my taste, the bristles are too long for precise application and and the sponge tip, well, that doesn't work for me much but hey, if you're stuck I guess it's better than nothing.

The first five colors on the left have more of a satiny finish to them and as you progress towards the darkest one on the right you get a little more glitter but nothing that would be inappropriate for daytime and if you shake your brush before applying to skin, not fall out.

You have to admit, I'm making an effort and I think my swatches pictures are improving what do you think? :)

From the left: Sugar Cane - Light shade of Diamonds and Pearls Duo - Light shade of Neutral Territory Duo - Light shade of Day Into Dark Duo - Brown shade of Polar Blue Quad - Hazy - Black Honey - Dark brown shade of Morning Java Quad

Until now my favorite neutral palette has been Bobbi Brown Navy & Nude. I use some of it's colors everyday, especially Cement, Beige and Slate to make my eye makeup more polished but they don't have much punch/impact except for the dark navy which has no staying power on me. Made to be an eye liner, even with an activator (by the way the spot you see on it was caused by an activator) it's pretty much useless and no way can I use it as a shadow since it's too "cakey". I didn't want an all matte palette and I especially didn't want repeats of these colors. I was looking for complementing shades with a little satiny/shimmery finish. True mattes are great for some areas of the eyes to avoid emphasizing "imperfections" but all over than can look harsh on tired eyes...

Ok I'll say it, older eyes!   *cries*

With these two palettes I now have the perfect balance between matte and shimmery neutrals for everyday looks.

I could almost imagine these two slowly walking away together in the sunset...

Ok maybe not! I'm keeping these along with Chanel Charming which is also a favorite but that one is more for "wow" looks! :)

Do I recommend Clinique All About Shadow 8-Pan Palette? Yes!

Except for Sugar Cane the lightest shade, all are hits for me. The textures are even throughout, good color payoff and I get a good 10 hours or wear over my NARS Pro-Prime. This is truly a good medley or basic neutrals and if you want one you better make your mind fast because it's a special edition (as far as I know). At $40.00 Clinique has a hit with this one and my thinking is, they should do more!

I believe I now have neutrals pretty much covered! What do you think?

Oh and please tell me my swatches are improving. You have no idea how hard it is with the crappy winter lighting for me to take these pics. Send me virtual flowers guys, peleease!!! :)

Do you have a favorite neutral palette? Oh and I love roses but my favorite flowers are daisies! :)

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer...

Recently I've been looking everywhere for my favorite concealer, Rimmel London Match Perfection but it's nowhere to be seen! In fact most of the Rimmel displays in drugstores in my area are practically empty, especially the ones for face makeup and concealers. Seems they get lippies and eye shadows but don't renew the basics. I could just kick myself for not getting a backup last summer but I didn't think it would get to be so hard to find again.

Although I wasn't much of a fan of Rimmel's packaging it did a good job. Nothing fancy, light, well maybe the formula was a bit too light but still it was ok once set with powder and so I would have gone on using it. A good concealer at under $8.00 is a good thing in my book.

Since last year I wasn't too lucky with my makeup purchases from the drugstore I skipped the brands available there and started to look at Sephora. I swatched several and finally settled with this one...

NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer in Vanilla Light 2...

This is the second lightest shade available and once home I realised I could have gone with Chantilly which is a smidgen lighter but the lighting at Sephora is just horrible for color swatching, especially for foundation and concealer and so it makes it real hard to pick the right shades. Still it's a pretty good match and the difference between Chantilly and Vanilla is really barely noticeable once on the skin.

Thank you concealer Gods for inventing the little sponge applicator! No really I bow to you!

This is my kind of concealer as far as packaging is concerned. I don't like sticks! In fact I think the last time I purchased one was in my teens! Creams? Not so much of a fan although I remember loving the one Dior had in my 20s. Little jars are super cute but my Laura Mercier Secret Concealer is slowly dying... It's too much work! I have to put a bit on my hand to warm it up with my fingers and even doing so I end up having to rub the delicate skin under my eyes to apply. A brush doesn't do much except to finish up and pick the little extra product that ends up in my many, many little wrinkles!!! :(

I'm getting old people!!!

The formula...

Beautiful coverage but you have to work fast because it sets rather quickly, in fact once it's dry it does not budge and it can even feels a little "stiff". Due to the cold weather my under eye area is slightly dryer these days and so I think, well in fact I know I'll appreciate NARS Radiant Concealer a lot more once the mercury goes up a bit and my skin gets back to normal.

Be gone winter! Now!!!

A nice plus, it has just enough illuminating pigments to make it look natural. None would make the eye area look flat and too much would only emphasize tiny lines/wrinkles.

Do I recommend NARS Radiant Concealer? Yes.

If you have normal to oily skin it gives beautiful coverage with little effort due to the sponge applicator, sets in no time and you may not even have to use powder over it. At the moment I don't but like I said my skin is dryer at these days.

I personally don't have that issue but if you have dark circles I think this concealer with it's opaque formula will do an honest job at hiding them.

If you have dry or extra dry skin then you better skip this one for your under eye area because you may find it drying. I used it on a very cold day and it wasn't comfortable to wear.

NARS Radiant Concealer comes in 10 different shades from the very light Chantilly to the darkest Cocao so everyone is sure to find their perfect match whether it's for under eye or for hiding imperfections. For the sake of experimenting I used a little of in on my forehead which is on the oily side and it lasted a good 6 hours so that's pretty good I think.

Getting the perfect color...

If you don't have a perfect match you can mix two. I know it's not the best option but for some it's the only one. You could even get Chantilly to mix with a little bit of your foundation to make it just enough lighter for your under eye area. It will of course modify the formula/texture but if you have a good long wear foundation you like it can work nicely. I used to do this a lot back in the day with another brand's super light concealer. It was the fastest way to get a match when doing a makeup.

Remember that for an illuminating/natural effect you have to go one shade lighter than the rest of your face. Too light and you'll look like you wore goggles while skiing and too dark, well, that truly doesn't work.

As NARS Radiant Concealer become a favorite, an HG?

I just don't know yet. It's an excellent formula that as mentioned I will surely enjoy more once the weather gets warmer but at the moment it's just ok because my under eye skin is on the dry side. Since it's thicker than Rimmel it takes a bit of getting used to an I do have to be careful about the amount I apply.

Here I thought I would show you the color difference between Rimmel and NARS. On my skin it's not that noticeable but I just might get Chantilly anyway and keep Vanilla for summer or for hiding imperfections when I get them.

Make sure if you use it to hide blemishes not to dab with the sponge. Apply on a clean finger first to avoid putting bacteria in your tube.


Makeup Alley: 4.3 / 5 lippies for 208 reviews.
Beauté-test: 4.2 / 5 stars for 78 reviews.

Aqua (Water), Dimethicone Hydrogenated polydecene, Propanediol, Butylene Glycol, Peg-9 Polydimethylsiloxyethyl Dimethicone, Glycerin, Disteardimonium Hectorite, Peg-10 Dimethicone, Polymethyl Methacrylate, BIS- Butyldimethicone Polyglyceryl-3, Sorbitan Sesquiisostearate, Dimethicone/Vinyl Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Phenoxyethanol, Isostearic Acid, Polysilicone-2, Aluminum Hydroxide, Maltodextrin, Trisodium Edta, Lecithin, Silica, Tin Oxide, Triethoxycaprylylsilane, Tocopheryl Acetate, Sodium Metabisulfite, Magnolia Officinalis, Tocopherol, Vitis Vinifera

This product may not be for everyone. Created for the eye area it could still cause allergic reactions. If you use it to hide blemishes make sure it's not making them worse because sadly this could happen. 

Have you ever mixed 2 concealers or foundations to get the perfect match?

Monday, February 17, 2014

OT Post: It's Fifi's Birthday!

Today is our girl Fifi's 9th birthday!

She was born on my couch! Really she was!

The summer before Catherine started school (she had turned 5 in June) a cute white and black girl cat started to visit our yard and she adopted our daughter. She was so sweet and had such friendly and loving dispositions that she totally stole our hearts. She started to live with us and so we named her Kia.

We knew she had been abandoned. You see there's a strange phenomenon that occurs every year in my part of the world. I do think I've mentioned this before so, sorry if it's a repeat for some of you. Every 1st of July there are thousands of people who choose to move from one apartment or house to another. In Montreal that first week of July, you can see moving trucks at every street corners. Sadly what this means that thousands of animals are abandoned, mainly cats. We were sure Kia was one of them because she wasn't a feral cat. She behaved well in the house and knew what a litter box was.

The following winter we discovered she was going to have babies and so on the evening of February the 17th, she was lying on the couch next to me and boom! A baby was coming out. I rushed to the kitchen to get my rubber gloves to pick up the little kitten and place it in the kitty tent we had purchased for the occasion. I didn't want to touch the baby for fear Kia would reject it.

She got in the tent to cuddle the baby and 30 min later another kitten was born.

That first baby was Fifi! It wasn't long before both she and her brother which we named Stripes started to have control of the house. Sadly we couldn't keep both. Why did we chose Fifi over her brother?

She charmed André! It always comes back to him doesn't it?

Adorable is what she was! Every evening when André would be sitting in the living room she would either climb on his leg or jump on him from the couch to go and cuddle up with him. As a game, he would put her back on the couch and every time she would jump back. It was just too cute for words to see that little baby kitty go after what she wanted. Since he wasn't too keen about the idea of having another cat we figured he might as well choose for us between Fifi and Stripes.

Sadly we lost Kia the following year but she did give us a beautiful gift...

She was André's cat. He's the one Fifi adopted and now she's Catherine's best pal. She's aways there for her, I always know where to find her on week end mornings, on my daughter's bed, all comfy, cuddled up next to her.

Fifi is for Fiona from Shrek but we've never called her that. It's always been Fifi.

She's our girl, Julius' big sister!

Here she is, nesting on Catherine's bed. 

Bonne fête Fifi!

Sunday, February 16, 2014

The Sunday Post, Vol. 10...

I'm done with this winter thing!

This Friday we got about 15 cm of snow which I didn't mind about much but I'm tired of the cold!


I've been rather quiet on the blogosphere and Twitter recently because after weeks of fighting it and being an almost germaphobe whipping everything with disinfecting wipes, even at the office, my body gave up and so I caught a cold! On Monday I had to leave work early because I felt nauseous, Thursday and Friday I was all stuffed up and feverish. No coughing, no throat ache but all yuck! This is a weird one and I hope it'll go fast. Catherine had it a few weeks ago and it was bad! I'm glad to say that today I'm feeling better so hopefully the worst is behind me and this week I'll be a little more "there". :)

Here's a question for you... What do you think about applying your makeup in public?

This has been on the back of my mind for over a month now and this morning Gio from Beautiful With Brains, asked the question in her Sunday Random Ramblings weekly post.

Every day I take the metro to go to work and since it's public transportation I get to see all sorts of people. Some are fully awake and some, well, you wonder if they slept at all. I don't read or listen to music in the metro, I discretely observe. What can I say, it's my contemplative nature.

What does this have to do with applying makeup in public you say? Well, there's a young woman who applies a full face of makeup every morning in the metro! I kid you not! Eye shadow, liner, mascara, blush, powder and lipstick! The only things missing are concealer and foundation but then maybe she puts these on as well before she reaches my stop I just don't know. What amazes me the most is that she does an excellent job despite the crowd and the sometimes abrupt stops the train makes. Oh and I almost forgot, she does this with a tiny little round mirror!

What about you, would you do this?

Me? No! I will discretely reapply lipstick and powder my nose but that's it! :)

This week's makeup love...

My NARS Fairy's Kiss palette has truly become a staple lately. That little goldish pink, the upper middle shadow and the purple next to it make an easy and pretty everyday look that I'm loving a lot at the moment.

The Laura Mercier Caviar Stick in Khaki combined with Diorshow Mirage and Bobbi Brown Gel Liner in Caviar Ink is very classy. It takes a little longer to apply due to the cream formula but the result is a very polished look.

New is the NARS concealer which will be reviewed this week.

Chanel Le Vernis in #609 Coup de Coeur has become an instant favorite and with a top coat lasts pretty much all week.

Also not yet reviewed is L'Occitane en Provence hand cream. Love! Deep moisture combined with a beautiful comfy fragrance, it's become my go to at bed time.

New additions...

At the beginning of the week I picked up NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer because my Rimmel concealer is just nowhere to be found these days. On Friday I took advantage of the Clinique Bonus at The Bay and purchased the All About Shadow 8-Pan Palette which just might get a bit of daily love because not only are the colors beautiful but the textures are bordering dreamy. Reviews coming up soon.

What I have my eyes on...

Clinique Cheek Pop! I just couldn't make up my mind this week on which color(s) to get! They are so adorably cute and the textures are beautiful! I may also make a stop at Clarins' counter for a new cleanser. Catherine still doesn't like the Vichy Pureté Thermale Purifying Foaming Cream so I've been thinking about getting her either the Pure Melt Cleansing Gel or the Gentle Foaming Cleanser for Normal/Combination skin.

For your viewing enjoyment...

This one is totally random but oh so funny!

Have a great week everyone! Hélène xoxo

Friday, February 14, 2014

Chanel Le Vernis, Coup de Coeur...

Coup de coeur means you like something on the spot. You know when you buy something because you simply must have it? That's a coup de coeur! Not to be mistaken with a coup de foudre which is love at first sight.

Chanel Le Vernis # 609 Coup de Coeur...

I had a total coup de coeur when I first saw pictures of this nail polish and just couldn't wait to get my hands on it. In fact when I went to my Chanel counter they had just received it and so the SA had to go look for it in a box! Seeing it in real life did not disappoint and so it's become an instant favorite!

I'm not a red person, not one bit. I find real true reds beautiful on others but I'm not comfortable wearing them, seems they're just not me. I own one for good measure but it's not a regular go to.

I need plums and berries! This color is perfect, a joy and I do think it'll be my saple up until we start to see summer collections appear. Now about that, Chanel will have four gorgeous nail polishes in their Reflets d'Été 2014 Summer Collection... *dreamy*

This week the weather wasn't that great and so this means that lighting wasn't the best. I was able to snap this Instagram on the third day. Note the little tip wear. This color requires a top coat and so this is what you see. Two coats of Coup de Coeur and top coat applied on the second day.

In real it's a little more plum, a little less flashy and so quite appropriate for the office. Not that this would stop me! :)

The formula goes on like a dream, as usual and two coats make it perfect. Dry time is fast and this is a great point. I did my nails one hour before going to bed and no pillow traces by morning!

If you're looking for a nice classic color to transition from dark vampy to spring colors, Chanel Le Vernis #609 in Coup de Coeur is perfect! Really it is!

See what I meant about Coup de Coeur being a new arrival! :)

So many pretty lippies!!!

Available at Chanel counters now, Coup de Coeur is part of an early spring collection called Variation which except for this beautiful nail polish, focuses on lips. You can see the entire collection on Chic Profile, here.

Do you like red nails? True red or more berry/plum?

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

A Best Seller?

The Body Shop's Hemp Hand Protector...

Talk about deep moisture! This is a great hand cream but there's a problem with it and it's a big one...

It stinks!!!

Ok I don't want to offend anyone, we all have different tastes as far as fragrances go and that's a good thing. It's just that this product seems to be either loved or hated. I'm part of the second groupand it makes me wonder if it has something to do with our personal preferences like for example cilantro. You either like or hate it. Seems there's no middle ground.

A web friend on Makeup Alley asked this week: "Does anyone else here find that The Body Shop Hemp Hand Protector smells absolutely disgusting but works extremely well?"

I purchased it two years ago and I tried, oh how I tried to like it but just looking at the tube to take the picture below made me feel nauseous! I just don't understand how this product can be so popular, a best seller!

Total mystery!

In fact I'm a little annoyed at The Body Shop! They have great hand creams but all have fragrances that last and last, to the point that I just can't deal with them. Last summer I purchased their Wild Rose hand cream (I love rose smelling products) and received generous samples of both Absinthe Purifying Hand Cream and Almond Hand & Nail Cream. Their respective fragrances, way better than Hemp by the way, were so strong they lasted hours on my skin!

Now I do like a nice lightly perfumed hand cream but after half an hour or so I'm done, enough! These just don't give up!

I could still smell them even after washing my hands!

Since I don't want to walk around pinching my nose, in fact I'd have no other way than to use a clothespin since the smell would come from my fingers, The Body Shop's hand creams, yes all of them, are a no go for me!

After two years you would think I would have given my small tube of Hemp Hand Protector to someone but there's no one I dislike enough to do that!

Now about the Wild Rose Hand Cream...

It is a nice earthy rose smelling cream but like the others it's a bit strong for me to use on my hands and believe me, I loooove rose fragrances, in fact I'm not sure there is one rose scented product I've smelled recently that I didn't like. The thing is with The Body Shop's Wild Rose Hand Cream is that it's not like a fragrance that wears close to the skin or a standard body lotion whose smell would fade after an hour or so. I've enjoyed using a tiny bit of it on my arms for the smell but on my hands which I bring to my face often it gets to a point where it's too much so it's a no no. :(

Catherine likes it so it's hers!

Have you ever purchased a product and ended up finding it's fragrance was too strong or unpleasant?

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Rouge Dior Nude Lip Blush in #459 Charnelle...

Recently I brought you a review of Rouge Dior Nude Lip Blush in #683 Esquisse and already I had my eye on another. I love Esquisse but it's an almost bright color, not really a nude and so I'm not comfortable wearing it everyday. Rouge Dior Grège 1947 is still a favorite but it's more on the beige side and not very moisturizing even with it's slippy formula. I wanted a slightly more pink nude!

Presenting my first favorite of the year...

... Rouge Dior Nude Lip Blush in #459 Charnelle...

Oh how I love thee!

Again, the beautiful house of Dior cannage pattern and although 
you can't see it on this picture, Dior is embossed on the bullet.

Look at that elegant jeweled detail!

The perfect every day color for my skin tone which doesn't make my lips disappear! When you think of it, the idea of "my lips but better" is a bit silly. Why would we want that instead of a burst of color? Well, to put it simply, it's not always appropriate to have bright or dark vampy lips in daytime. I personally much prefer to put emphasis on my eyes and since most days I opt for dark eyes I can't reach for a lipstick color that would make me look like I'm wearing a lot of makeup.

There needs to be a balance. Light eyes, dark lips, dark eyes, light lips. That's my motto.

I do like the nude lip fab but not everyone can pull it off. There's a fine line between a nude lip and a disappearing pout! It can look gorgeous on pictures with the right lighting but in real life it's not always flattering. A little color is needed and whether it pulls on the warm or cold side totally depends on personal preferences and/or skin tone.

For the every day go with everything "nude" I say try to find one that will complement your skin tone. Believe me, it'll truly go with everything!

Esquisse, Grège 1947 and Charnelle.

I found mine and it now they have a permanent place in my purse!

Charnelle is a soft warm pink that pulls one tone darker than Grège 147 on my lips and since it has a little more pink it looks more natural with my skin tone. They are very similar so you may not need both but on my lips I do see a difference and I'm glad to have them.

Esquisse, Grège 1947 and Charnelle.

I think the difference between Grège 1947 and Charnelle is apparent on the swatches above. Both would suit light to medium skin tones. I find that when I wear a little more bronzer the first works best but the second is the most natural for my carnation and it truly enhances my lips which have good pigmentation to begin with.

That's the thing with "nudes", one has to be careful not to go too much lighter than the natural lip color. That's when it somehow starts to look not so flattering.

The formula is identical to Esquisse and so doesn't last quite as long as the regular Rouge Dior. I'd say about three hours leaving a light even tint behind. The Dior claim about plumping? Well it does none of that for me but I don't mind since I didn't buy it for this. I bought it for the color and the fact that it keeps my lips moisturised and comfortable all day especially when it's super cold out.

About the Dior Nude Lip Blush range...

I spoke to two different Dior ladies and both told me that it was here to stay. Rouge Dior Grège 1947 did start as a Nude Lip Blush but was relaunched last fall to complement Dior Vernis Nuit 1947 and thus became a Rouge Dior.

Do you own a good nude lipstick? If so, which is your favorite?

Sunday, February 9, 2014

The Sunday Post, Vol. 9...

Let the games begin!

After what I would call an interesting opening ceremony, the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics have begun! I know this is so not beauty related but I wanted to wish our Canadian team the best! We have so many hard working good hearted athletes it would be fantastic if all could return with a medal!

I can dream right? :)

Go Canada!

In my opinion, for any athlete to make it at that level is an exploit so I do hope these games will go on smoothly and that many will achieve personal best. Since the blogs I visit most, my top commenters, bloguerette and Twitter friends are from all over I thought I would wish their respective countries the best for these games. I sure hope I didn't forget anyone!

Great Britain
... United States

Erm about the United States...

Don't get me wrong, I love you guys from the south but not on the ice ok!

The gold medals in both men and women's hockey will be OURS, AGAIN!

Just sayin'! :-D

Recent makeup love...

I say recent since last week was about Julius' birthday! :) These have been my go to for the past 2 weeks!

NARS Fairy's Kiss palette, Laura Mercier Caviar Stick in Khaki and Diorshow Nocturne have been favorites for the eyes with Iconic mascara. Rouge Bunny Rouge in Starina for cheeks, Rouge Dior Nude Lip Blush in Charnelle and Clinique Almost Lipstick in Black Honey felt all comfy on my lips and had a privileged spot in my purse with NARS Dolce Vita which I forgot to include in the picture.

Since I was slightly disappointed by Chanel Le Vernis in Charivari I needed a burst of color and reached for Guerlain Madame Batifole. In fact I've been wearing it for the past two weeks.

New additions...

After my fiasco with Benefit They're Real! mascara in cold weather and the not so good performance of Givenchy Noir Couture 4 in 1, I needed a new one and so repurchased Diorshow Iconic. I'm still not impressed with the brush but I love the formula which lasts all day on me.

I finally purchased a Laura Mercier Caviar Stick and a new Chanel Le Vernis which I believe will be my first favorite beauty purchase of the year! Oh no wait! It's actually my second since I got that new Dior lippie mentioned already in my latest makeup love! Reviews coming soon...

What I have my eyes on...

Nothing much at this time. Sadly I've swatched some offerings from new collections and was left pretty much unimpressed and I missed out on Chanelle Quadrille. By the time I was ready to purchase it they they were out! What can I say, my heating bill was more important, sniff! But that's ok I won't complain since I did get a few nice items.

...Update on Chanel Jardin de Camelias, it'll be at counters in Canada on may 26th!!!

I was afraid this collection would only be available online since there was so little information out there but this was confirm at the Chanel counter this week. Now I realise I completely forgot to ask about nail polishes! :(

For your viewing enjoyment...

Remember how we were all drooling over the beautiful Camélia ring?

Well, have a look at this...

Now if only I could win the lottery!

Have a great week everyone! Hélène xoxoxo

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Laura Mercier Caviar Stick...

I finally took the plunge and purchased my first Laura Mercier Caviar Stick last week! After months of hesitation I caved in when I saw that Sephora had finally received a new shipment.

These have been reviewed left and right so I won't bore you with a long review, just my thoughts guys, just my thoughts... :)

Laura Mercier Caviar Stick in Khaki...

Green on green is not the best combination to make my eyes stand out but it's a great option for every day when worn with a good liner and mascara. In fact, for me, it goes with everything.

The texture...

From the stick it goes on dark but it's very easy to blend with either a finger or a brush. I've actually been contemplating getting a pack of sponge applicators because the more I think of it, the more I believe these would make a more precise application easier. I'll get back to you on that.

How does Laura Mercier Caviar Stick in Khaki perform? Very well thank you!

Not as tenacious as other cream formulas I've enjoyed recently but it lasted a good 9 hours over NARS Pro-Prime before it started to crease a little. I'm not sure if I will get such performance during summer when my lids can get a little oily but at the moment I'm pretty pleased. Unless you have dry lids, I definitely recommend you apply this over a primer.

Ok I know my swatches are not yet what they should be but bare with me! The lighting these days is horrible and it's so cold out that I don't want to freeze my arm in order to take pictures.

On its own it pulls a bit golden brown on my skin. On the left, right from the stick, middle is blended 
and right is blended with a little Nocturne which makes it slightly more khaki.

For a good basic day look I've paired it with Diorshow Nocturne and they go together like fries and mayo!

Ok I know, I'm sure some of you think it should have been fries and ketchup but hey, I'm in the mayonnaise clan. If you haven't yet, try it! Decadently delicious and if you're lucky enough to have homemade and spicy, even better! :)

Now I have my eyes on Amethyst and Sanglow!

Have you tried Laura Mercier Caviar Sticks? 

For your French Fries what are you, Ketchup or Mayonnaise?

Thursday, February 6, 2014

What about SA's?

Do the SAs at cosmetic counters make a difference in the brands you choose?

Why the question? Simply put, some are snobs and I know that some ladies steer clear of some brands because of this.

Me? I'll admit, I was a snob at one time but these days I couldn't care less about attitude. I go for what I want and if the SA is unpleasant, I start to ignore her and zoom on another to make my purchase. Here they get commissions on sales so I figure, if the SA ain't nice with me, why should she get extra?

What about you? If the lady at the Chanel or Guerlain counter is a snob do you turn away or forgo the attitude?

Picture: Bergdorf Goodman

Monday, February 3, 2014

The Perfume Tag...

I was tagged by lovely ChicScience!

Which perfumes are finished?

I thought I would "cheat" a little on this one because at first I just didn't know which I would choose. In recent years I've been more about body oils, Liérac and Nuxe to be more specific, you can read about both, here. These, instead of fragrances per say were my go to and were perfect for the stay at home mom I was. So the cheating part was that I thought I would write about these and the many samples I've emptied but instead I figured, why not do a little trip down memory lane and go with some of my favorites? Some from way back when and some more recent.

Here goes...

Eau de Givenchy

I haven't worn this one in years and taking it out of it's box brought back many delightful memories. The cap is broken and doesn't stay put, in fact I think I broke it the very first week arfter purchasing it. For some reason it makes me smile every time. A beautiful daytime white floral which opens with grapefruit, mandarin orange and bergamot. I then deepens with ylang-ylang, jasmine, narcissus and even rose with a hint of lily-of-the-valley. A summer scent that is fresh and elegant but that doesn't take itself too seriously.

Chanel, Coco Le Parfum

With it's opening of coriander, mandarin orange, peach, rose and jasmine this is a stunning oriental. It came out in 1984 at the height of Opium's popularity. For me, Yves Saint-Laurent's juice which I did wear and loved, had nothing to take me away from Coco. I switched in a heart beat. Love at first smell! Sadly I think I threw away the bottle because I couldn't find it. I'm just not sure, who knows it's probably at the bottom of a drawer or a box somewhere. I never really got on board with Coco Mademoiselle but recently my friend Sunny sent me a sample of Coco Noir and I do believe I'll end up purchasing it.

Gucci N° 1

Another white floral that opens with mandarin orange, ylang-ylang, bergamot and lemon. It then reveals a blend of lily, violet, lilac, jasmine, iris, rose and again some lily-of-the-valley. I see a strong pattern forming here as far as my preferences go... I wore this one so much, it didn't matter if it was summer or winter. It too always put a smile on my face and made me feel grown up. Well, grown up with a twist!

Giorgio Armani Acqua di Giò

Such a dreamy fragrance! A mixture of aquatic and fruity notes. Grapes, pineapple, citrus, watermelon with ylang-ylang, freesia and hyacinth. So different yet so familiar. This one I stopped wearing because there was someone in my not so immediate entourage who kept copying me and after she had been at my house she purchased it. This was not the first time, not the first fragrance! I got Acqua di Giò before everyone else (insider's contact) and although I knew it was gaining in popularity I was really unhappy by the fact that in order to know which fragrance I was wearing she had gone through my things! She really did! I know that to be copied is a form of flattery but when it comes from a person we don't really like and behaves this way it's a little unnerving.

It took me years to reconcile with it and by the time I did, I wanted to repurchase to have a back up, I discovered it had been discontinued and "replaced" by Acqua di Gioia which doesn't have the same beautiful ending, the deep warmth of it's predecessor. Woody and musky, so sexy!

Trésor de Lancôme

A floral that's bordering oriental it was quite à propos at the time it came out in 1990. With a wink to some popular offerings of the time, the heavier orientals, it turned out to be quite a favorite of mine. A nice change from Coco it still had such warmth with it's rose, apricot and iris. It took me a while to appreciate it but I did like it a lot and still enjoy it from time to time. This was the fragrance I was wearing when Catherine was born!

Issey Miyaké L'Eau d'Issey

Aquatic, white, springtime! This is such a beautiful fragrance with it's lotus, freesia, melon. No citrus notes here but I don't miss them. This is probably one of the fragrances that made me feel the most elegant, the most "put together" but yet I wore it with flip flops! With a stunning black top, Capri pants and jewelled flip flops, this one is oh so perfect! This fragrance has a transparency, a certain je ne sais quoi that makes heads turn. So subtle it's like, oh what did I just miss?

You can read ChicScience's tag post here. Now I want to try Hermès Concentré D'Orange Verte!!!

What's the last fragrance you finished or have you ever emptied a bottle?

If this inspired you, feel free to do this tag too, it was fun! :)

Sunday, February 2, 2014

The Sunday Post, Vol 8...

This is an OT post...

It's Julius' Birthday Today!!!

Our big boy is turning 6!

I'm so thankful to have him! This past year he was able to make me smile at moments I thought it would be impossible! In a way he's been my therapist. No need for my brother in law the psychiatrist (sorry S!) I got Julius!

In fact he's Catherine's dog. Against his better judgement, André went along with the idea of getting her a dog for her 9th birthday. She had had a pretty bad year at school and I had figured a dog would help her get through the badness that was around her. At first I thought about a poodle because a friend had one, a toy and then a giant. Since it was a no go with the Royal poodle I started to think about a schnauzer.

The decision was made quickly and André along with Catherine's godfather found Julius in a pet shop! Now don't shoot me for this! I'm quite sure our baby comes from a puppy mill, the province of Québec was well known for them but honestly, at the time we didn't know*. Her dad simply fell in love with his gorgeous black truffle of a nose and his beautiful soft and gentle eyes!

André regretted his decision many times! Julius is a barking machine and he drove him nuts some mornings. Open the door to let the dog out, open the door to let the dog in, open the door to let the dog out....... You get the idea. Still, he loved animals and I know he had quite a soft spot for Julius!

From Heaven my love must have had many laughing fits by now, every single times Julius barks like a maniac out in the yard and I want to pull my hair out!

Merci mon'Amour pour le beau bébé! Il t'a fait perdre la boule bien des fois mais il est devenu si important pour Catherine et moi! Garde un oeil sur lui pour qu'il reste avec nous encore longtemps! 

He's our baby and we love him! Bonne fête Julius!

Have a great week everyone! Hélène & Catherine xoxoxo

*Things have changed since then, most pet stores now sell animals who come from shelters and not "independent breeders".

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Diorshow Fusion Mono Matte in Nocturne...

Dior's spring 2014 collection, Trianon, was quite tempting on pictures but in real life a bit of a let down. To me the colors turned out a little too pastel, a little too light and I simply knew I wouldn't wear them much so I passed. What did grab my attention was the launch of the new Diorshow Fusion Mono Matte eye shadows...

Diorshow Fusion Mono Matte 091 Nocturne...

Nocturne is a beautiful dark charcoal grey, almost black but not quite. Thankfully it's not a real matte, it's got a beautiful gentle shimmer to it which on lids translates to a soft satiny finish. Under certain lights you can see the micro teal and silver glitters but it's rather subtle especially compared to others I purchased recently, namely Chanel Fatal and Diapason.

Described as a mousse formula, this eye shadow is very easy to work with. I personally prefer using a regular eye shadow brush but I know some like to use a concealer brush. It goes on almost like a powder but without the fall out and with this type of dark color this is a big plus. The little Dior brush that comes with Nocturne will make it darker but don't expect it to look like it does in the jar. It does have good color payoff but you'll have to pack it on thick if you want the same initial darkness. One big plus, you get a little more time for blending than with Chanel Illusion d'Ombre which sets almost on contact.

The first swatch on the left of each picture was made using the little Dior brush, 
the others, 2 passes with my finger. The picture on the right is under soft 
lighting and you can see the glitter which is quite mild.

In my opinion this is the kind of color we all need, Diorshow in Nocturne is a beautiful basic to give more dept to your look, for a smokey eye if you're daring enough or to be used as a liner.

Diorshow Fusion Mono in Nocturne lasted a good 9 hours on me layered over NARS Pro-Prime eye shadow base without creasing and no transfer to my upper lids. I paired it with Chanel Illusion d'Ombre in Fatal and the look was pretty amazing.

There are three other Diorshow Fusion Mono Matte colors available...

Céleste, Fantaisie and Mirage

Céleste is pretty matte but both Fantaisie and Mirage have a bit of a gentle velvety sheen to them which makes them look very natural. They are, like Nocturne, on the sheer side and in my opinion, totally worth a swatch. There's a good chance I may end up with one or two more especially since you get a generous 6.5 g of product for $32.00 compare to Chanel Illusion d'Ombres' 4 g for $38.00.

What do you think about these, tempted?

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