Sunday, March 30, 2014

The Sunday Post, Vol. 14...


I lost my beloved Givenchy compact!!!

I just can't believe it, it's nowhere to be found and now I think it fell of the stupid bag I'm using at the moment since I almost lost one of my Dior lipsticks on Tuesday. It gave me a pretty good idea of how it happened.

This makes me sad because it was one of the first purchases I made last year that got me back into makeup. As some of you know I love a beautiful compact and this one was way up there for me. Small, with a nifty clap and slide mechanism, it was perfect for touch ups. True, the mirror wasn't ideal due to its size but I got used to it and enjoyed the fact I could powder my nose quickly and discreetly.

I could have replaced it but it wouldn't have been the same. For some reason I had developed an attachment to it, almost as if it had become part of me. This may sound slightly silly to some but hey, last year wasn't easy for me and every bit of pleasure I got meant a lot and this little compact gave me some.

Maybe this is a message to tell me ok, you're done with this first year now let's move on...

So, moving on, I asked my friend Sunny from Mostly Sunny for recommendations for a new compact. She too battles a shiny nose on a daily basis and I figured who better to ask? Why wasn't I surprised when she tweeted back to tell me her favorite was from Guerlain? I mean this company does make the best powders!

I think we should start a club, The Guerlain Powderpuff Girls!!!

Catchy isn't it?

Who wants to be a crime oilies fighter? :D

Her best, Guerlain Les Voilettes. To the store I went but I was doubtful it was still available and when I got there my worries were confirmed. This compact was released last Christmas and for Canada it turned out to be a Limited Edition! *cries* Why? It appears to be part of the regular line in Europe so why not here?

I left the Guerlain counter empty handed (well almost, I got a few more La Petite Robe Noire Couture samples) and landed at Chanel where I got Les Beiges in N°10.

I do believe I'm gonna like it, I'm gonna like it a lot!

It's only been a few days but I like both the texture and finish. Due to the Chanel logo this compact is a little more "in your face" so not as discreet as my Givenchy but hey I'm not gonna flaunt it but I sure as hell ain't gonna hide it.

This week's makeup love...

I wore Diorshow Velvet eyeshadow almost everyday this week with either a Clinique or NARS shadow as a base. I think of all the colors I like to use at the moment this is the easiest to wear on an everyday basis. It's just perfect for my eye color and looks great with everything. It goes on like a dream, buildable, no fall out and the best is that it lasts all day. With it, no head banging on the wall in the morning trying to figure out what makeup to wear.

I've been testing this NARS Orgasm/Laguna compact and it ain't bad, ain't bad at all. M.A.C. Whole Lotta Love has been gettin' some again this week. Constant purse companions, Rouge Dior in Charnelle and Givenchy Rouge Interdit in Secret Pink.

Update of sort on a past review...

One thing I've noticed these past few weeks that made me go huh? I love my Bobbi Brown Navy & Nude palette but the more I use it and the more I see its flaws. The mattes are great and so I use them a lot, on a daily basis actually, especially Cement and Slate but the satiny shades, if not used as bases simply won't blend in. In other words, if I try to use Beige or Twilight Pink over a matte (or any other color for that matter) they seem to just sit on top. It really is the weirdest thing and I have no idea why I didn't notice this sooner.


I'm still alternating between Chanel Coup de Coeur and Guerlain Madame Batifole. I haven't felt the urge to go for lighter colors yet and it sure won't happen today since we're in the middle of a spring snow storm in Montreal! I hate winter and I can't wait to be done with it! This week it'll be Coup de Coeur again.

New additions...

The Chanel Les Beiges compact, a new Diorshow mascara and the week before last I finally purchased a Shu Uemura lash curler (that review is coming soon).

Currently testing...

I'm not keen on trying new skin care in general. Except for my love of trying new cleansers my routine is pretty much set in stone for now but this little number I just couldn't resist.

Phyt's is a French skin care brand created in 2003, distributed to skin care and beauty professionals, it's certified Organic, does no animal testing and has no bad chemicals. I chose the Hyaluronic Acid mask and my first trial was more than pleasant. This brand also has a cosmetic line and I was offered a mascara (yay!). I'll let you know how I got to try these and more about each real soon.

What I have my eyes on...

Again, nothing much really. Since I've had to replace my compact I'll have to wait to get a new BB cream. Fingers crossed my Marcelle CC Cream still has enough in the container for another two weeks. There's a good chance I'll go back to Estée Lauder since I had such good results last year and the tube lasted about four months. I ended up loving Marcelle but it made my nose a little shinier so I don't think it'll be that great once the weather warms up... One day soon I hope!

For your viewing enjoyment...

Did I mention we were having a snow storm at the moment???

Let's dream a little with Dior...

Fingers crossed for all this snow to be melted by next week!

Have a great week everyone! Hélène xoxo

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Searching For The Perfect Rose...

Years ago I had a cottage and dreams of a rose garden...

I was able to enjoy two huge and beautiful bushes of rustic roses but just couldn't seem to nurse any interesting cultivars to their full potential. Although these beauties can thrive in colder climates the ones available here weren't strong enough to sustain the winter cold a few hours north of Montreal. 

Sad, just sad.

Done with trying I left the rose behind and forgot about it but then last year, started to look at it again but this time not for it's legendary beauty but for it's glorious fragrance.

One doesn't have to be a perfumista to know that the rose has been a major part of the perfume industry and whether you can detect its notes or not, it's one of the most, if not the most used flower in the production of fragrances. 

Looking for the perfect rose...

I love rose water especially in the summer on a hot day. I keep some in a small spray bottle and it's such a pretty refresher but sadly its fragrance lasts barely a few minutes. Last summer is when I really started to consider a rose perfume. A uniflora but one that would include just enough of other components to carry its beauty forward. A rose garden in a bottle is what I'm looking for. Not powdery, not musky, just a simple beautiful rose garden!

The contenders...

Serge Lutens, Sa Majesté La Rose: Oh how I was thrilled to finally be able to sample not only a fragrance by Lutens but this one in particular and oh how surprised I was! Not a summery garden in any respect and there's nothing old fashioned about it. At first I just couldn't figure out what was so different about it and I didn't like it's opening much. After a few hours I was impressed by it's complexity. This is a brilliant fragrance and it's quite unforgettable so there's a good chance I might get it in the fall. Although an ode to the Moroccan rose, for me this is a winter rose due to the clove, musk and sweetness of the white honey but depending on one's tastes, it could be enjoyed on a very hot summer night. This one is a whopping $135.00 so there'll be lotta thinking if I do take the plunge!

Atelier Cologne, Rose Anonyme: I won't extrapolate too much here but at first spray it's a beautiful burst of Turkish rose that quickly changes and is joined by among other things, bergamot, ginger, Indonesian patchouli and Indian papyrus. Now I have no idea what this last component smells like on its own but hey, the combination works. This one I found would be quite nice for this time of year, a nice transition from winter to summer. Although I did enjoy it I don't think I'll consider a full size at $85.00 but might get a small purse spray.

L'Occitane en Provence, Rose Quatre Reines: Such a nice surprise! Not the true uniflora I'm looking for but somehow reminiscent of one. Lightly fruity without being powdery, it's the kind of rose every woman can truly enjoy. I tried it at the end of the day and found it quite uplifting and energizing. In other words, perfect for those mornings I would rather stay home than go to work. After about three hours I could notice the hint of musk a little more and this made it quite sexy. This one is very affordable at $48.00 but it also comes in a small roller ball Eau de Toilette at $28.00 and in a small size solid perfume at $14.00 which means there's a good chance I'll pick it up.

Rose de Chloé: This is the "walk in a rose garden" fragrance par excellence! Perfect, just perfect! I keep going back to Sephora for samples of it and just can't get enough! This is summer but this is also the perfect antidote to winter blues and wearing in on snow storm days have helped my morale tremendously. Can you tell this is my favorite so far? A burst of rose with a hint of green leaves is my first impression and then bergamot and magnolia come to play before giving amber and white musk all the toys in the box. Although this one lasts about six hours on me it's the one so far! Only problem is, it's $105.00!!! *cries*

Notice how the colors are in perfect harmony with the picture of roses shown above. 
It truly is a beautiful rose fragrance with the perfect feminine presentation. 

Why am I searching for the perfect rose these days more than before?

Recently I've had a song playing repetitively in my head interpreted by Bette Midler. It came out when I was very young and it was the title song of a movie loosely based on the life of Janice Joplin. I never saw it but the song has remained a favorite of mine. This time around it seems to be taking a new meaning. 

The Rose

Some say love, it is a river
That drowns the tender reed.
Some say love, it is a razor
That leaves your soul to bleed.
Some say love, it is a hunger,
An endless aching need.
I say love, it is a flower,
And you its only seed.

It's the heart afraid of breaking
That never learns to dance.
It's the dream afraid of waking
That never takes the chance.
It's the one who won't be taken,
Who cannot seem to give,
And the soul afraid of dyin'
That never learns to live.

When the night has been too lonely
And the road has been too long,
And you think that love is only
For the lucky and the strong,
Just remember in the winter
Far beneath the bitter snows
Lies the seed that with the sun's love
In the spring becomes the rose.

I don't know about becoming a rose but it's spring time, a year alone has gone by and I've recently realised that I'm more than strong for having lived through it. I wouldn't have been able to do it alone, Catherine has been there every step of the way and this song is for her as well...

Resilient is what we are!

Do you have a favorite rose scented fragrance? I need recs, I need to explore more...  

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Maybelline New York Color Elixir...

Recently at the drugstore I stumbled upon a new display of these little beauties! I've been looking at pink shades for lips more and more but before going for that high end lippie that will take me back $40.00, I figured I would start with less expensive options, for the colors, to see if I would really wear pink again. Seeing these I figured why not give them a try?

Maybelline New York Color Elixir by Color Sensational...

Twenty shades in all, these go along the new trend of hybrid lip products that are popping up everywhere. The Maybelline version is said to have a trio of concentrates to deliver color, care and shine. These apparently came out last November but for some reason I had never seen them in Montreal until now.

The colors... 

I chose Captivating Carnation #080, a pretty bright pink that pulls a little coral on my lips and Mauve Mystique #025, which appears like a deep berry in the container but for some reason looks more like a mauvish lilac on my lips. Neither are saturated but they go on smoothly and the colors can be built up but high saturation doesn't last that long on me because I tend to rub my lips a lot with this type of formula.

Ok guys, look at those colors... WHAT'S HAPPENING TO ME???

You do know I'm a NUDE lippie girl don't ya?

The formula...

More sheer than a liquid lipstick, not as sticky as a gloss and a little more "there" than a balm is how I would describe them. These will last a few hours but will not resist a meal. They are very comfortable to wear and their textures remind me of Clarins Lip Perfectors (if you go have a look at the first phrase of that post you'll see why I think I've flipped!), the only products I own I could compare them with, but with more color. Sadly they don't have the same lovely caramel/chocolaty taste. I couldn't quite put my finger on what they tasted like so I had a peek at reviews on Makeup Alley and one reviewer had the perfect description. These have a floral, almost laundry soap kind of taste that I just don't get and it lasts a little too long for me. The weird thing is that when you take the applicator out of the container, these smell like vanilla! That I could have lived with.

As you can see the colors are way more saturated than my beloved 
Clarins Lip Perfector in Candy Shimmer on the right.

A few hours of wear, first the shine goes and then the color but it disappears evenly even with the darker Mauve Mystique.

The applicator is a little flimsy and honestly they could have gone with a classic doe foot type but I guess this one makes the product more in tune with the times. Sometimes I wonder if companies are trying to reinvent the wheel! :)

Do I recommend Maybelline New York Color Elixir? Yes...

If you can get past the taste (I'm having a hard time to but I know some don't really notice it), these have a lovely formula and you can get three for the price of one high end lipstick. Great to try colors your not sure you would wear on a regular basis.

What annoys me the most about drugstore brands...

The sticky tape they use to keep people from opening the products is such a pain to remove!!! The fact that their offerings are box less for the most part is what makes these less expensive and I do get it but how many times have I gotten to finally use the product only to still have either tape or glue traces on the packaging oh and good luck in removing those traces. In some cases oil works but sometimes it doesn't. I don't mind much for a concealer but for a lip product that can be taken out of one's purse in public, me no likey!

Notice the nice traces of tape on the caps! Grrr!

What do you dislike most about drugstore brands?

Monday, March 24, 2014

Shu Uemura S Curler...

Recently I've been having major issues with my eyes. As some of you know there's been the watery eyes problem that I seem to have overcome but the other issue that's been almost as annoying if not more so, my lashes! Somehow I just couldn't curl the outer lashes on my left eye. Instead of curling up, they would curl down with my Shiseido lash curler!


Shu Uemura S Curler...

This little baby is new and unlike a traditional lash curler is made to curl only portions of lashes. I had noticed it about a month ago at Sephora but at $27.00 found it a little expensive but then I got so annoyed with my left eye, wasting major time in the morning trying to "fix" my lashes that I decided to go back for it and give it a try.

How did it perform? Very nicely.

First off I would have liked it to be a little less wide but at the moment it's the only one of it's kind that's readily available in a brick and mortar store so I won't complain. The design makes it very safe to use and I haven't pinched my lids once. The fact that the upper plate is covered with a removable silicone protector still gives me the option to heat it but so far, after a week, I haven't had to do so. It gives a soft curl and definitely gives those lashes that keep pointing down, the upward lift needed.

Good to use on the middle and outer corner lashes, I did try to curl the inner corner ones but it was way too tricky. I just couldn't seem to get close enough to the base of those little lashes and I was afraid I would pinch my lids. I doubt this would've happened since the design is quite safe but I just couldn't do it. The pad is just a little too wide and combined with the way it closes on the lashes I doubt anyone will be able to use it in that area. Now of course, correct me if I'm wrong and just too clumsy!

Notice how the upper metal plate is designed, you can not pinch your lids 
unless you bring the bottom part "inside" your eyes.

It was designed for short lashes after all. There is no curve to it and no side bars so you could definitely use it to curl all your lashes but it will take longer than with a traditional curler and in the morning I want to be done fast. Now this makes me regret not getting the Urban Decay lash curler when it was available which was full sized with no side bars. I know it got some love but there was also a lot of women who didn't like it. No side bars is really a good idea if you ask me.

Here you can see the difference between the upper plates 
of the S Curler and the classic Shu Uemura Curler.

Do I recommend Shu Uemura S Curler? Yes...

As a complement to your usual normal sized lash curler or if you only want the outer lashes to be curled. For me it's too small to use on a daily basis as my sole tool. For the purpose I purchased it for, as I've said, I would have liked it to be a little less wide but I won't complain, it's better than having lashes pointing downwards that end up being almost itchy and annoying all day. The silicone pad is thicker so the curl is softer and more natural.

Maybe not an essential for some but if you have the same issue I have or have a hard time finding a lash curler that fits your eye shape well, the Shu Uemura S Curler is a nice tool to add to your beauty arsenal.

Do you use a lash curler? Would you go for a smaller one like the S Curler?

Saturday, March 22, 2014

One Year...

Thank you!

Thank you my lovely bloguerette friends and thank you for all you "clickers" out there who have kept an eye on Icaria's this past week!

On march 21st 2013, at 12:05 am to be exact, André left Catherine and me for the Angel world, one year ago.

One year ago today I posted this... here.

Last Sunday I was starting to feel a heaviness, an extra weight on my shoulders and I just knew that I had to step away. Out of respect for my Love, out of respect for the father of my daughter I just had to step away from the subject of beauty and didn't want to burden anyone with my sadness. As it turned out, the week wasn't that hard to get through and on both Thursday and Friday I was able to go to work. For that I have to thank the two co-workers who were stuck in a room with me and who kindly gave me without knowing, the strength not to crack.

The pain is still raw and I miss him every single moment of every day but André left me the best part of himself in our girl Catherine, who has remained unbeknownst to her, my rock! She has been just "freakin' amazing" this past year and I truly feel that upon leaving us, her father has transferred some of his strength to her. She's now 14 and so mature and wise for her age it still surprises me, even more so today than in the first months when we were alone together. We have grown incredibly close to my great delight, closer than I ever thought possible for she was a daddy's girl, a real one! It would seem that she's moved on but with grace, determination and a knowledge of where she came from. She knows who her father was and wants to emulate him. Of this I'm glad! His character, his values were golden!

Again thank you! Thank you for your support and thank you my bloguerette (and non bloguerette) friends for your gracious comments and words of support last week, your open arms have warmed my heart but mostly, have made me felt not so alone.

Before Icaria's goes back to it's regular programing there is this...

For some reason these past few days this song, The Wind Beneath My Wings has been constantly in my mind just like The Wonder of You was last year at this time. It's a song both André and I loved but like Elvis' number, weren't fanatic about. The message is clear, he was my Hero!

Life ain't fair for some of us but we just have to go on and do the best we can. I've done that and I've realised I'm way stronger than I thought. I woke up one morning with nothing but was able to go on...

Merci Mon'Amour pour la douce brise!

Hélène xoxo

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Not really a Sunday Post...

This is not an easy time for me. Closing in on one entire year on my own isn't an easy concept to grasp. Being abandoned by friends and family, having to find a job to make sure my daughter would need for nothing, hasn't been a walk in the park.

One year ago today was the last day I spent with André, the next morning he fell into a coma.

I can barely remember that last day, that last evening...

I'm feeling extremely sad, tired and preoccupied these days but I will get out of it, I have no choice in the matter. It's just another bump in the road I guess, another hurdle.

Please do stick around, I'm not going anywhere I just need a little break.

John William Waterhouse (1849-1917)

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Bobbi Brown Ultra Fine Eye Liner Brush...

I'll start with the end... this brush is perfect but the price is the equivalent of highway robbery!!!

I think I've mentioned before that my lids aren't what they used to. Aging is starting to show and so I've had to tweak my eye makeup application a little, especially my eye liner. I've been using the same brush ever since I fell in love with L'Oréal Infaillible Lacquer Liner but recently it wasn't doing as smooth job as before. It's a little too wide for the precision I now need. I don't like pointy thin brushes for I find most of them too soft most of the time and so I wanted something that would fall in the middle. Thin but wide enough to do a good line quickly.

I truly loved this thin angled brush pictured on top of Bobbi Brown's but as you can guess, it's wideness makes it hard to get in little tiny corners. With nice smooth lids this is not really an issue but when the skin starts to sag a little the "pointiness" of Bobbi Brown takes care of that.

Bobbi Brown Ultra Fine Eye Liner Brush...

I've had my eyes on this brush for a while now and this week, after having to redo my eye makeup because I totally messed my eye liner application, I decided to get one. 

Positively perfect!

Thin enough to be precise and wide enough to do a good line with bristles that have just the right stiffness to distribute product evenly. My first try was with with Bobbi Brown Long Wear Gel Eyeliner in Caviar Ink and when I was done I looked at myself and went, Wow! With my old brush I would do a ok with L'Oréal but always struggled with Bobbi Brown due to the darker color but with this baby, my eyes looked transformed. I'm not kidding!

This is a great brush but... 

$31.00 CAD!!! Are you kidding me?

Somebody is having fun with setting prices. If it weren't that good I would totally feel like a fool for buying it but I guess there's no turning back now. The worst part is, I'm considering getting a second to always have a clean one handy...

Do I recommend Bobbi Brown Ultra Fine Eye Liner Brush? Despite the price, yes!

If you want the eye liner gods on your side you definitely have to put your pennies away for one of these. It takes a little practice but once you get the hang of it the results are amazing. Why consider this one over a less expensive option? The quality! The ferule is tight and the bristles are strong but don't expect it to last years and years. This is not the same as a blush or even an eye shadow brush. I give it about two, three years tops which is reasonable given the number of cleanings it'll get.  

And voilà, my new perfect combination...

So for now my new technique is I first do my line with my wide angle brush (I'm so used to it, it does the fastest even line) and fill in with Bobbi Brown's Ultra Fine Eye Liner brush. The end result is truly amazing and I couldn't be happier. On some mornings I even do an bit of a wing!!!

What's your favorite type of eye liner, liquid or gel?

Sunday, March 9, 2014

The Sunday Post, Vol. 13...

Ouch! What a week!

I've suffered a bad tooth infection that required antibiotics. On Thursday my face was so swollen I didn't go to work. Today the pain has subsided a little but on Tuesday night, it's coming out! :(

Only one new blog post since last Sunday because on top of that my internet connexion was wonky and so I wasn't able to read as many blogs as I usually do and I didn't write much either since half the time I couldn't even open Blogger. I called and spoke to a technician from my internet provider Friday night and maybe next week I won't have any other choice than to have someone come over to change my modem.

If you see I'm off the blog grid, know that this is the reason. Leaving comments via my phone is such a pain and somehow doesn't work half the time.

Daylight Saving Time...

We're losing an hour of sleep in the morning but Yay we will have "longer" days! Last week I noticed that there was still daylight by 5:00 pm and that was quite uplifting. That little hour in the morning will probably make a big difference this week and I must say that today, the first day, I'm already falling behind. I got up at 8:30 instead of 7:30!!! Sundays aren't long enough to begin with but today has made me go ARGH!!!

This week's makeup love...

Mixing Chanel Mystère with Clinique Black Honey = LOVE! Since for the past few days we've been enjoying a bit more sun in Montreal I've started to use my Dior bronzer and a little more pink on my cheeks. For lips it's been a mixture of NARS Dolce Vita and Clarins Lip Perfector in Candy Shimmer.

The medium shade of Chanel Mystère with Black Honey (the reddish brown, second from the right of the Clinique palette) made a great pair this week, I've tried to put them as close to one another as possible to give you an idea. Applying my Bobbi Brown Caviar Ink eye liner with the Ultra Fine Liner brush from the same company has made a world of difference and my eyes have looked... Wow!  M.A.C Whole Lotta Love Pro Longwear Blush got a little busier. Applied lightly over the sheer warm glow of Dior Bronze #010 Healthy Look was a nice change and I guess it would seem Spring wants to "spring" !

I was happy last Sunday to go back to Chanel Le Vernis Coup de Coeur for my nails. As pretty as O.P.I's The Thrill Of Brazil was the week before, I really wasn't feeling the call of the red. I need plums and berries!


Sad to say but I've returned the NARS Radiand Creamy Concealer I reviewed recently. I believe it was part of my watery eyes problem. As careful as I was not to bring it close to my waterline, my eyes were a mess. I finally was able to get my hands on a replacement of my beloved Rimmel. The coverage is sheerer but at least my eyes seem to stay dry. It still hasn't solved the mystery since I did start to have problems before I got the NARS.

By the way my review of NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer stands. It's not because it seemed to irritate my eyes that it will be the same for you if you decide to try it. Just be aware that irritation or an allergic reaction can happen with any product, especially one used in the eye area.

New purchases...

Being a little more attracted by pinks recently, I bought two Maybelline Color Elixir, a replacement to my Rimmel London Match Perfection concealer and a Bobbi Brown eye liner brush.

What I have my eyes on...

Shu Uemura S Curler!!! This week I went back to Sephora to get one but they were out! I hesitated too long and so I pray they get a new shipment soon. On some mornings I mess up the outer corner lashes on my left eye and when this happens it drives me nuts. I figured that little curler may be just what I need to get my lashes to point in the right direction.

For your viewing enjoyment...

I'm not much of a glitter on nails kinda girl but I know many love the look and for those who do they know that the worst thing about wearing glittery finishes is the removal part. One trick I read was applying white glue as a base! Yup, white glue like Elmer's. I don't know how long the finish lasts but this apparently makes removal easier.

You don't feel like using glue on your nails? Well you might consider this new product from O.P.I...

Finding this video I noticed that there are numerous tutorials about glitter removal on youtube so if not this products there might be an option for you among them.

This day is going by way too fast so gotta run and get ready for the week!

Have a great week everyone! Hélène xoxo

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Clinique High Impact Mascara...

I don't know why I practically discarded this mascara a few years back! I thought it didn't hold the curl and so I used the small sizes I had for the tips of my lashes. I received a new mini in my latest Clinique gift with purchase and figured why not give it another chance?

Clinique High Impact Mascara...

On the first try I thought it was sticky when I curled my lashes but that was due to the fact I didn't wait long enough for it to dry. On the second, not only did it resist the heat of my hair dryer (I heat my curler, it's the only way my lashes can stay curl all day) but it did keep the curl and stayed pretty true for a good 10 hours!

The formula...

Goes on smoothly, not too wet and not too dry. Not as stiff as Benefit They're Real! but not as soft as Givenchy. So far I haven't had any clumps or flakes and putting it on in the morning is petty much a breeze.

The brush...

As you know I love my brushes! This one works like a charm and compare to my Diorshow Iconic (the one on top on the picture above) you can see that there's more space between the bristles and so it's much easier to apply a second coat. It's your typical boring classic brush but it does the job well and the pointy tip is perfect to reach those pesky little lashes in the inner corners of the eyes.

Do I recommend Clinique High Impact Mascara? Yes.

It's an excellent mid range ($19.00 CAD) mascara that does the job well, covers evenly, keeps the curl all day which for me is a biggie and doesn't flake of fade.

I'm suspecting it might reach HG status because I do believe I will purchase the full size once my Dior is done. How come I didn't like it the first time around? I just don't know why or maybe it's my lashes that have changed who knows? :)

Was there ever a makeup item that you weren't that impressed with at first but were pleased with the second time around?

Monday, March 3, 2014

Givenchy Rouge Interdit Satin Lipstick...

Do I need more lipsticks? Oh yes I do! So many brands, so many beautiful colors, I definitely need more!

The piece of plastic is to protect the ribbon that one holds 
to take the lipstick out of it's beautiful sleek case.

Givenchy Rouge Interdit Satin Lipstick in Secret Pink #03...

My first lippy from this brand and I'm afraid it won't be my last! Recently I was roaming through Sephora and decided I needed a little pick me up. It was so cold that day I just had to get something to remind me that spring is coming... It's been so cold in Montréal, crazy!

Look at how pretty is it! So elegant and classic!

In case you didn't know, Rouge Interdit means forbidden red! Interdit! Mon oeil! 

The color...

Secret Pink #3 is described as a muted coral but on my lips it pulls more pink, a very nice light pink. Looking at the bullet one would think it's pretty similar to my last Rouge Dior purchase, Nude Lip Blush #459 Charnelle but it's brighter which was exactly what I needed.

It may not be that evident but the light pigments are in there!

Brighter but not flashy in any way. The finish is just amazing and is in part due to the most delicate light reflecting pigments. There's no shimmer, no glitter but there's light! If you find that matte is too flat for you and are looking for an alternative to creamy finishes, this lipstick may just be calling your name. I know that I love the effect every time I put it on. Although Secret Pink is on the light side, it requires a mirror for application unlike Dior Charnelle which is more sheer.

Natural daylight although on the right my skin looks warmer.

Givenchy Secret Pink, on the left is a nice coral pink but as I've said it pulls more pink on my skin. On the swatches above (one pass) you can see the difference with Rouge Dior in Charnelle on the right which appears almost brown next to it. Can you see why it's been the perfect pick me up? :)

The formula...

Thicker and more pigmented than Dior and so one has to have tip top lips to wear this formula otherwise it picks up on dry patches. It goes on smoothly and feels like creamy goodness! Givenchy Secret Pink lasts a good three hours and on days where I'm not working, fades evenly. On work days it's another matter, by the end of the morning I end up with a wonky line on the inner rim of my bottom lip (this also happens to me with Rouge Dior in Grège). Why the difference you ask? I talk a lot during the day and always have a bottle of water within reach. This is a bad combo for a creamy lipstick.

Do I recommend you run to your Givenchy counter for a Rouge Interdit Satin Lipstick? Yes, but...

I love both the color and formula but and this is a big one, as mentioned, your lips have to be perfectly smooth because it can look unfaltering. This thicker formula will pick up any dry patches and although it does feel super creamy it's not more moisturizing per say and on some days I've had to apply a little lip balm mid day.

Look at the pretty duo...

My little Givenchy Le Prisme Visage compact is very happy to have a new friend. Can I say it's a real pleasure to take these out of my purse!

Now I feel I must have a few more compacts to go with my lipsticks, what do you think, Dior next?

What was the latest little pick me up you got to chase away the blues of winter?

Sunday, March 2, 2014

The Sunday Post, Vol. 12...

Writer's block...

I don't know if it's because I'm tired or stressed these days but this past week I've struggled putting words together. I usually try to write my posts on weekends but last week I was too preoccupied to write anything remotely good enough to consider putting online even though I did have a few nice offerings to review. I mean how hard is it to write a review? Well, in some cases it can be tricky since I don't want to sound too redundant although it sometimes is pretty unavoidable.

I'm glad to say that yesterday I got my inspiration back and was able to write a few posts for the upcoming week! Fewww! :)

This week's makeup love...

For the past month or so I've been getting watery eyes in the morning. Trying to experiment and figuring out what's the cause has been a pain! I still don't know if it's my NARS Pro-Prime, eye shadows, concealer or a combination of all that's causing the problem. I know it's not mascara but could it be setting powder? I just don't know! I feel like I'm slowly turning into Katherine Hepburn (she developed an eye condition after jumping in the Venice Lagoon in a David Lean movie in the 50s). Some mornings I'll think I'm safe and then after 5 minutes waiting in the cold for the bus, boom! Watery eyes! I now have to use my little Annabelle crayon when I get to work to correct my eye liner. :(

This week's eye makeup has been pretty much on the neutral side again. My Diorshow Velvet has been getting a lot of love and I'm thinking about getting more monos. The texture is dreamy and so are the finish and lasting power. Cement, Beige and Slate from my Bobbi Brown Navy & Nude palette have continued to be staples and I've been enjoying Black Honey from my Clinique All About Shadow 8-Pan palette on a few mornings.

Oops! Is that a new lipstick? You got it and the review will be posted this week! :)

New purchases and a gift...

A small size of A-Derma micellar water, a new Vichy deodorant (I know, exciting, right?) and that new lipstick! The gift, Chanel Coco Noir!!! Such a beautiful and thoughtful end of winter treat! It's not on the picture because it deserves a more appropriate setting. I mean come on! It's Chanel! :)

What I have my eyes on...

It's Estée Lauder bonus time at The Bay and so I'll go have a closer look at their new range of lipsticks. There's a crayon from Smashbox I'm considering. I swatched it several times and it seems to wear like iron! I would love to have a faster eye liner option in the morning but so far all the long wear crayons I've tried don't perform well on me so I'll see. Chanel is coming out with a new range of eye shadow quads and I get the feeling I'll be licking the display if they've received them...

Screen shot from The Bay website.

For your viewing enjoyment...

This week has been extremely cold in Montreal, again... and it seems this upcoming week will be pretty much the same! I'm soooo tired of this and you wouldn't believe the heating bills I'm getting! I thought it would be fun to fast forward and have a peek at a summer look from Dior.

I find the end result a little heavy but do notice the blush application. For older ladies (or not) this is a good trick if you have slightly droopy upper eye lids. When done right it can take 5 years off, I'm not kidding! I must admit that I've been doing this for years for the look but now it's for the 5 years thing! :(

Using a bit of blush over bronzer, where the sun would naturally hit the face, makes the look much more natural, like a bit of fake sunburn which would tell others you've been having fun outside.

One last note, I'm surprised Dior didn't choose to showcase the new bronzers that will be available for summer. Not quite as colorful as last year's Coral Glow (mine is still in hibernation) but beautifully stunning!

Oh gosh I can't wait for the weather to warm up!

Have a great week everyone Hélène xoxo

Saturday, March 1, 2014

O.P.I The Thrill Of Brazil...

Ahhh  Brazil...

To me Brazil is synonymous with Carnival, Samba and Carmen Miranda...

This Friday starts the Rio Carnival, last bits of celebration before Lent the 40 days period which precedes Easter. This grand street party can be quite wild for some and so must be very different these days than when it started back in 1823.

Before writing this entry I knew nothing about the Rio Carnival and so I read bits about it here and there on the web. Like everybody else I had seen images of people dancing next and on top of lavishly decorated floats in what appeared to be a wild party atmosphere. What I’ve learnt is that it’s all about the Samba which seems to have originated in Bahia, Brazil, with roots in Rio de Janeiro and Africa via the West African slave trade and African religious traditions. Samba is most frequently identified as a musical expression of urban Rio de Janeiro where it was developed between the 19th and 20th century.

The Rio Carnival is a big party but it’s also a Samba competition. The carnival parade is for samba schools to compete against rival samba schools. Each chooses a theme they try to portray in their performances, floats, costumes, some pretty amazing artistic makeups and of course, music. There can be as much as 4000 participants/revelers per school.* Now talk about a party!

O.P.I Spring/Summer 2014 collection, Brazil...

Twelve new colors inspired by the largest South American country have hit the shelves about two weeks ago. I hadn’t planned on getting any but hey, why not?

The Thrill Of Brazil...

I decided to go for the beautiful bright red in the collection but ended up being duped!!!

I purchased The Thrill Of Brazil thinking it was color from the new collection only to find out once home that it had been originally released in 2002 as part of the South American Collection. It now has its place in O.P.I’s  regular line up. Even more annoying is that there was a swatch of it on the store's color wheel along with those of the new offerings.

Still, even if this is not a new shade it does come up as a pretty perfect dupe of Red Hot Rio which is likely the reason it was on the same display. A co-worker was wearing the gel version of it this week and our two hands side by side, truly looked identical. When two colors are that close it really makes me wonder about some limited edition collections out there and I don’t know if you’ve ever noticed but O.P.I has pretty extensive selection of reds similar to this one. I guess it's getting a little hard to develop new ones.

The formula...

Slightly on the thin side but if you lick the extra on the the neck of the bottle it goes on easily and I had no pooling. This one could actually be a one coater but I preferred to go with two for durability. Drying time was pretty quick so that was nice. I’d say I was able to use my hands 30 minutes after applying the second coat.

I applied it on Sunday morning and early in the afternoon did some cooking where I prepared three dishes for the upcoming week. After about an hour I could see that I was starting to get some tip wear so this one definitely needs a top coat just like most O.P.I cream nail polishes I own.

I removed it on Friday nights and by then it didn't look that good. I must admit that I didn't reapply my top coat mid week. Longevity is not as good as some higher end formulas I own but for the price this is a good quality nail polish. Just note that if you have soft nails you may end up with chips on the second day, especially if you don't wear a top coat over it. Staining may also be an issue so a base coat may have its place here if it's something that annoys you. I don't mind much since I'll be going for another medium dark color right after.

I don’t wear reds that often, in fact up until now I only owned one from Essie (Twin Sweater Set reviewed, here) released last fall and the reason I decided to get O.P.I’s was because I thought it would be a little brighter, which it is but since I’m not a red aficionado I could have lived without it. I find them pretty much interchangeable.

I tried to take pictures of it I really tried and every time the color came out almost tomato red which it’s not. It’s much cooler thus more wearable in my opinion for this time of year. Even the swatches I’ve seen on other blogs all appear warmer than it is. On the pictures above, natural light on the left is the closest I could get to the actual color. You can get an idea of what I mean on the right with indoor lighting about the tomato effect.

Who knew red could be so hard to photograph?

Here next to one another Essie Twin Sweater Set does appear much darker but in real life it's not that evident.

So this took care of The Thrill Of Brazil, the carnival and samba portion but who the heck was Carmen Miranda?

A popular Brazilian actress from the 1930s/1950s. She was Hollywood’s generic kind of stereotypical “Latinness” who was a sort of mixture of Brazilian, Mexican, Portuguese, Cuban and Argentinean styles. Flamboyant, she would wear over the top colorful costumes, crazy fruit loaded head pieces and platform shoes high enough to make Lady Gaga jealous! You can learn more about her, here.

I do believe she would have loved O.P.I’s Red Hot In Brazil!

If you love red you might want to check out The Thrill Of Brazil or Red Hot In Rio and who knows, they just might inspire you to take samba lessons!  :)

How do you feel about red nail polish? Go or no go?

*To learn more about Samba schools and the carnival in general there's this very informative website you can visit, Rio Carnival but be warned, it's slow and a bit of a pain to navigate. 
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