Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Dior Hydra Life BB Crème Enhancing Moisturizer...

Getting ready for warmer days... I hope they come quick because I'm really tired of wearing a heavy coat and socks!!! Oh how I hate socks!

Warmer days mean I have to lighten my makeup choices and the Marcelle CC cream I was using this winter would not do and neither did the Clinique CC I tried recently. Since I returned the latter I had to find something else at Sephora and the options were not that many mainly due to the color options. I wanted an alphabet creme simply because I just fell in love with the one step go to concept in the morning. I don't care about the name they're given as long as they do the job.

Dior Hydra Life BB Crème Enhancing Moisturizer For Immediate Beauty SPF 30 - PA+++* ...

Here we go with another super long name to describe a tinted moisturizer with SPF!

It comes in only three shades, 01 Luminous Beige, 02 Golden Peach and 03 Sunny Amber. I chose the lightest color and although it's a little too warm for my complexion at the moment I know that in a month it'll be just fine. I can't remember where I read this, who wrote it but truly, companies seem to enjoy giving us few color options when it comes to BB and CC creams. It's like they're getting lazy and expect that these few options will suit all skin tones. Not!

The packaging is just plain perfect! As much as I disliked Marcelle's CC container for the fact that I couldn't see how much product was left I did like it for the pump. I loved my tube of Estée Lauder reviewed here, because I was able to get pretty much every last bits of cream from it. Here Dior offers us the best of both, a tube with a pump that gives the perfect amount of product for one application.

The formula...

It doesn't have that cake icing texture many BB creams have, more "liquidy" than most I've tried I'm surprised at how well it covers. It's not full coverage per say but it's just enough (Lordy I do hope I'm making sense here!). It blends in easily and is much faster to smooth on with a sponge than Marcelle CC was but then again it is slightly less moisturizing. It dries quickly and although I thought at first the finish was too matte it turns out to be a good base and a light dusting of either Hourglass Ambient Lighting powder in Dim or Radiant or Guerlain Crazy Météorites make my skin look almost flawless, almost! The shine on my nose... doesn't show up until mid afternoon!

The proof...

This past week I had a weird sleeping pattern and felt super tired but a co-worker told me on Friday it didn't show one bit and that I looked well rested!!! Oh the joys of good makeup!!! :)

The claims...

Hydra Life BB Crème combines the moisturizing and protective powers of a skincare product with the immediate complexion-enhancing and even-toning properties of a foundation. The complexion is left moisturized, smooth, and velvety soft. This product provides active defense against environmental stress and broad-spectrum UVA and UVB SPF 30 protection. The ultrafine pigments and reflecting micro-pearl particles immediately embrace the skin to cover its surface with a halo of imperceptible color. 

The formula features a revolutionary nylon powder with high absorption properties to smooth the skin’s texture and control sebum for a long-lasting, perfectly flawless, natural finish. Jisten promotes aquaporins to optimize the flow of moisture on the skin’s surface, correcting dullness, uneven texture, and dryness. Black rose strengthens the skin’s defenses against free radical damage which works towards helping sensitive skin, noticeable pores, and blemishes caused by the environment. 

I won't be relying on Dior Hydra Life alone for sun protection. It does not have a DIN number (Drug Identification Number) so it's not considered a sunscreen but it does have a PA+++ rating which means that it's UVA protection factor is above 8. Surprisingly Estée Lauder DayWear BB Cream does have a DIN number but no PA. Even if Dior's pump provides about 1/4 teaspoon of product the fact that I use a sponge to blend it in thins out the protection so on days when I know I'll be spending more time outside I will wear a proper sunscreen. As for the other claims I take them lightly. For me this is a tinted moisturizer that provides good coverage and protection from accidental exposure like waiting for the bus or a short walk.

Do I recommend Dior Hydra Life BB Crème? Yes!

For normal to combination skin Dior's Hydra Life gives good medium coverage and should help control oil for several hours. I don't know yet how it will fare under hot temperatures but my guess is it should do ok but I don't intend to use it on super humid days.

If you have dry skin you may need a to use a moisturizer first because Dior Hydra Life may not be enough.

If you have a very fair coloring, even the lightest shade may be too dark. I know it's borderline for me and the only reason I'm content with it is that I know it'll be just fine in about a month or so as mentioned. For winter, when my skin is super pale, 01 Luminous Beige would definitely be too dark.

I did try to photograph swatches but they just don't show! :(

The major downside... It's $65.00!!! Just typing this made me choke but you do get 20 ml more than Estée Lauder's DayWear BB cream which goes for $45.00. For fun I did a little calculation and as it turns out, Dior is the least expensive of the two at $1.30 per ml versus $1.50 per ml for Estée Lauder. It's definitely a good chunk of money so if you're hesitant do try to get a sample first.

As with any products if you're clog and/or acne prone or have sensitivity issues do patch test first.



Makeup Alley: 3.6 / 5 lippies for 48 reviews.
Beauté-test: 4 / 5 stars for 125 reviews.

By the way, can I just say I loooove opening a Dior product!

That little CD seal gets me every time!

*PA System: The Protection Grade of UVA (PA) system is based on the Persistent Pigment Darkening (PPD) reaction and is now widely adopted on the labels of sunscreens. According to the Japan Cosmetic Industry Association, PA+ corresponds to a UVA protection factor between two and four, PA++ between four and eight and PA+++ more than eight.

Is the weather finally getting warmer where you live? Have you started to lighten up your routine?

Sunday, April 27, 2014

The Sunday Post, Vol. 17...

So many products to review and so little time!!!

These days I'm stuck with a pretty horrible work schedule which means that I hardly have any time during the week for blogging. Weekends? Well I do the most I can but there are chores to do and mostly I want to spend time with my daughter. A few weeks ago we played a game of Shrek 2 on the Wii and I think this afternoon it could be fun to bring out Crash Bandicoot especially since the weather is not so nice today. Grey and cold, again! 

Like I said, I have several new products to review and little time to do it! Oh well, I can only promise to do my best and hope you all stick around! :)

This week's makeup love...

I've been enjoying this new Dior Hydra Life BB Creme. Experimenting with layering these two Diorshow mascaras and kind of liking the Smashbox Always Sharp Waterproof Kôhl Liner. Erm.. notice what's getting ready to make an appearance this upcoming week, Diorskin Nude Tan Paradise in Coral Glow... It's coming out of hibernation, yes it is!!!

Update... I'm allergic to my Shu Uemura lash curler!!! 

This doesn't surprise me but I was hoping that I would be ok with it like I was with Shiseido which did cause a reaction when I first started to use it but I guess I was able to build a resistance to it's type of metal. Not the case with Shu Uemura! Out comes the red nail polish to serve as a protector between the curler and my skin. The reaction I get is a type of reddish rash that kind of builds up over time. The first weeks I was fine but these past few days I've been starting to feel the irritation where the metal gets in contact with my skin, especially inner and outer corners or my eyes.

Years ago I used transparent nail polish but then wouldn't know if it had peeled off so a color works way better. I think I've put O.P.I The Thrill Of Brazil to good use. :)

New additions...

A Smashbox Always Sharp Waterproof Kôhl Liner in Storm, Shiseido Sun Protection Compact and some Yves Rocher shower gels. I just can't remember the last time I went in one of their boutiques but these offerings were way too tempting at 3 for $15.00. For my hair which will soon start to go nuts with humidity, in fact it has a few times already, I got Phytodéfrisant by Phyto with which I'm hoping to see results in frizz taming and I also purchased a new hair brush which is suppose to resist the heat of the blow dryer better and be strong enough for my hair. We'll see...

What I have my eyes on...

So many beauty things!!! Guerlain Terracotta Sun Celebration Bronzing Powder & Blush, talk about a beautiful compact! I've been wanting that one for weeks but then I saw Terra Tropica! I believe (I'm kinda sure) one will be my mother's day gift to myself but which??? Then there are a few limited edition offerings from Chanel and Dior...  I know I won't be able to get everything I want but I'll sure swatch to my heart's content! Oh I almost forgot, there's Terracotta Le Parfum!!! This fragrance sounds positively dreamy with it accords of bergamot, coconut and tiare flower for a start and a heart of jasmine, ylang-ylang and orange blossom mixed in with musk and vanilla. This to me sounds like summer!

Guerlain Terracotta Sun Celebration

Guerlain Terra Tropica

Guerlain Terracotta Le Parfum

I think I should probably hand my wallet over to my Guerlain counter... but I need clothes and shoes!!! I did find a tote bag and a pair of jeans but now need tops and a few pairs of Capri pants. Last summer, clothes were not that important since I was still at home but I now work full time and so I do have to make myself presentable.

*Le Sigh*

For your viewing enjoyment...

While on the subject, how to apply bronzer by who else? Guerlain of course!


Have a great week everyone! Hélène xoxo

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Make Up For Ever Smoky Extravagant Mascara...

Last week I received my free birthday gift from Sephora and this year it's composed of two Make Up For Ever (MUFE) products. A Lipstick, which by the way I already own! I mean I have only one lipstick from this brand and just had to get another tiny one in the same color! Just my luck! The other product I was more excited about, a mascara!!!

Y'all know I'm a little obsessed with my lashes don't ya? Here I go rambling about them, again...

They're straight, they're stubborn and they tend to point downwards! Not a great look!

Why this obsession? My lids are starting to look more wrinkly and when my lashes are curved with a good smooth fluttery coat of mascara it's less obvious!

A while back I found the "almost" prefect one in Diorshow Iconic (reviewed, here) which remains at the top of my list of favorites but a tube barely lasts me two months before it starts to thicken to the point that the brush becomes almost useless. If its bristles weren't as tightly placed it would be possible to continue using but it's not the case. Do note that I don't pump the wand. For those who don't know, pumping brings air in the formula so the mascara thicken/dries faster and although for some it's a good thing since they start out pretty liquidy for others like Diorshow Iconic, not so much because it's rather creamy to begin with.

Recently I got a small size of Clinique High Impact that I must say, impressed me a lot, reviewed, here. The combination of the brush, the formula and the price makes it a strong contender to become an HG. At $19.00 it's a very reasonable option but then there's this one...

Make Up For Ever Smoky Extravagant Mascara...

Oh My Word!!!

This formula is fantastic! Goes on like a dream, dries fast, resists the heat of my lash curler and keeps the curl all day!

Beautiful fluttery curved lashes!!!

Really it's pretty much amazing!

But there's one problem... and it's a big one... the shape of the brush!

I wonder who thought of that one, probably a lady with big eyes and amazingly long lashes to begin with!

Here I wanted to give you an idea of the size of the brush.

There's no way I can use this brush the same way as I use others. I'm left applying the product with its tip because if I try to hold the wand the way I would any other mascara, I end up with black spots on my upper lids! This happens even if the opening is small and removes most of the product from the larger part of the brush. This also means that you're left with a lot of mascara on the tip of the brush so you have to scrape the extra otherwise it's a thick mess.

Here for an even better idea I photographed MUFE along side other small sized mascaras and would you believe I used to think Benefit's brush was big?

On top Clinique High Impact, middle Benefit They're Real and bottom MUFE. 

Do I recommend Make Up For Ever Smoky Extravagant Mascara? Yes and no.

Yes since it's a surprisingly good formula that defines my lashes almost like no others have but no because of the brush. For me it's really a pain to use. If you have short lashes or deep set eyes I don't think you'll appreciate this one.

I've read some reviews and they're pretty divided. Some say this mascara flakes which didn't happen on me, while others love the brush so you may take my opinion with a grain of salt but at $28.00 a pop I say better be sure and go get your VIB Birthday gift from Sephora to try it first.

The brush for me is a no go and I doubt I'll get accustomed to it so I'll be using this one on week ends, when I can take a little more time to do my makeup. :)


Makeup Alley: 3.2 lippies / 5 lippies for 32 reviews
Beauté-test: 4 / 5 stars for 20 reviews

Have you received you Sephora birthday gift yet? 

Monday, April 21, 2014

First Pedi of the Season... Done!

Last week was cold in Montreal, real cold! Monday we had a gorgeous day which left me thinking I could finally wear a lighter coat and so on Tuesday I did but by the time I got home from work it was frigid again! This was a bit depressing but Saturday I went shopping with Catherine and seeing all the spring clothes and the light colors I figured, ok that's it, I'm doing my first pedi!!!

I had been giving my feet a little extra care in the past few weeks so they weren't in such bad shape and my excitement had been building up for a while about wearing Chanel Le Vernis #603 Charivari as my first color of the season. For those of you who haven't read my original review, here, I wasn't much impressed with it on my fingers but was looking forward to wearing it on my toes.

Aaaand BOOM! Gorgeous! Love it!!!

Here's the color again...

So, a little after shower feet buffing, nail cutting, filing and smoothing. On went Charivari with a top coat and now I'm good for two weeks! Let's hope that by the time I'm ready to redo I'll have removed my socks!!!

Charivari isn't as stunning as my last year's favorite, Taboo reviewed, here, and so it may very well be a one time thing like you know "putting my feet back into color mode" but it's a nice one to start with. 

Oh and by the way, on my fingers I'm wearing Dior Vernis #338 Mirage... review coming up later this week!

What will be your first pedi color of the season or what's on your toes at the moment? 

Sunday, April 20, 2014

The Sunday Post, Vol. 16...

Happy Easter!!!

Whether you celebrate it or not I do hope you're enjoying a few days off and taking full advantage of them, I know I am and so there will be no beauty talk today!

Here is my Easter inspiration...

Marc Chagall (1887-1995), The Tribe of Naphtali...

Created by Marc Chagall in 1964 for the synagogue of the Hadassah-Hebrew Medical Center outside of Jerusalem this image is part of a series. Engraved and printed by Charles Sorlier on wove paper.

The defined contours, the boldness of the Rooster's blues and the gentleness of the goat's expression make this image very appealing to me. Strength and softness, I believe one has to have both.

As a traditional biblical reference, the goat holds a vast history of symbolism in the Jewish faith - on Yom Kippur, the festival of the Day of Atonement, two goats were chosen and lots were drawn for them. One was sacrificed and the other allowed to escape into the wilderness, symbolically carrying with it the sins of the community (from this comes the word "scapegoat"). Contrasted with a brilliantly colored rooster who hovers above, these animals more commonly symbolized ideas of prosperity and abundance. The overwhelming aura of the piece is echoed by the shimmering yellow that radiates and glows from the work. Floral accents throughout give the scene a cheerful and whimsical energy that only serves to accentuate the excellent condition in which we find this piece. Truly one of Chagall's finest in the series!

You can learn more about Marc Chagall here and here and about Charles Sorlier, here.

Happy Easter Sunday and have a great week everyone! Hélène xoxo

Picture credit, here.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Clinique Moisture Surge CC Cream...

Warning, this will be a brief and quick "review"!

Reason? I returned it!

Those of you who follow my Sunday posts saw in my most recent one that I had purchased this product to replace my recently emptied Marcelle CC cream which by the way, I ended up liking a lot for winter.

Clinique Moisture Surge CC Cream Hydrating Color Corrector Broad Spectrum SPF 30...

Ouf! Could the name have been any longer???

As stated Sunday I bought it during Sephora's VIB sale and thought I had gotten a pretty good deal. Regularly priced at $39.00 it was 15% off. Sadly, it's too rich and a little too sheer for me! Not only is it too rich for my t-zone but it made the pores on my nose more prominent. Not the effect I usually go for in a base product.

This would very likely please normal to dry skin, especially if you want a one step option for summer. For those with extra dry skin you may still have to wear a moisturizer under it.

So I'm not saying that this is not a good product in any way, simply that it's not for my skin type and I need a little more coverage.

This is the only picture I took of it from this post, here.

By the way, the color I had purchased was Light which normally should have been fine but again, it was not enough for my nose. Do know that I'm not Rudolf so it wasn't a color issue, it was an oil issue! It made my pores more visible but I must admit that the coverage wasn't that great to begin with. I thought NARS was too sheer and had passed on it but today I tested both again side by side and Clinique definitely offers the lightest coverage of the two.

I really did think I was going to like it but after wearing it four days straight, had to admit it wasn't for me and so yesterday I was relieved to be able to get some BB from my "superpressed" Estée Lauder tube. Honestly, if Sephora had had this one I would have repurchased it! You can see my review of it, here.

Do I recommend Clinique Moisture Surge CC Cream Hydrating Color Corrector Broad Spectrum SPF 30? Yes and no...

Yes if you have normal to dry skin and if you only need light coverage but it is possible that it could look more opaque on a dryer complexion.

No if you have normal to oily skin or if you live in a warm climate. I honestly don't think it would be long wear on hot days! On me it lasted about three hours on my t-zone and maybe six or seven on the rest of my face which it pretty normal these days.

Needless to say I won't comment on the "color corrector" promises since I haven't used it long enough but then again I don't really believe in these claims to begin with. I like these alphabet creams just for the fact that they're a one step skin perfectors in the morning.

Oh by the way I did replace it with another... Stay tuned...

What was the last veauty product you took back and why?

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

I Got An Award!!!

I was nominated by lovely Jenny of Belletristic Beauty a gorgeous blog I just recently discovered, for the Leibster Award or like Bellyhead of Wondegondigo called it, the Lobster Award which sounds much more appropriate for me as for her! I mean come on, what's not to love? Hot, warm, cold, in a hot creamy sauce or in a salad... Oh gosh I'm hungry now!

Sorry Liebster people I just couldn't resist! You gotta admit that it kinda works, kinda, right?

This award is for up and coming blogs -> Erm I guess even if Icaria's is two years old, it's still up and coming, right?

For those who have less than 200 followers -> Kinda!

With this lovely nomination Jenny has put together a series of questions (Oye!) to help you know more about me... sadly no food questions but I did find a way to get around that little detail...

1. What is the best book you've read recently (or your favorite book of all time)? I used to be an avid reader but in the past year and a half have read nothin'! Of all time I would have to say Ken Follet's Pillars of the Earth with Gabriel Garcia Márquez' One Hundred Years Of Solitude as a close second.

2. If you could meet any one person living or deceased, real or fictional, who would it be? King Priam of Troy! Why on Earth did he let Paris enter the city with Helen when he knew it would cause a war? I would have kicked her back to Menelaus in a New York minute!

3. What are your favorite places to shop at? My office is a 5 minutes walk from Sephora!!! My wallet is about to ask for a divorce! It's also close to a big Indigo which is a book store I love to go to with my daughter. I looove smelling the candles!

4. What is your favorite makeup brand? That's a hard one but if I were to go for colors alone I guess that would be Chanel but you can't take away my Dior lipsticks and mascara!!! I'll fight you for them, really I will and the way I've been feeling these days you can be sure you'd lose! Long nails people, long Chanel polished nails! Nuf' said!

5. Describe yourself in three words. At the moment, strong, determined and resilient. I won't take any cr*p from anyone.

6. Do you have a favorite scent or perfume? If so, what is it? Citrus and roses but not together. I'm on the hunt for the perfect one of each.

7. What has been your worst hairstyle? Mullet... *runs away screaming* The hairdresser, a famous guy at the time, had decided to do an experiment on me because I have very thick hair, it was the latest look, I was one of the first... It took a year to grow back! :(

8. If you could visit anywhere in the world, where would you go? Greece! I would love to be able to admire in person those three ladies you see on my blog banner! Oh and the FOOD!!! Who cares if they don't have lobsters, they would probably have to "roll" me back to the plane! Ever heard of Feta cheese and Kalamata olives?

Told ya I'd find a way to include food!

9. What is your favorite holiday? I don't have one.

10. Who are your biggest inspiration (for your blog and just life in general) and why? My Love of course, André! Even through rough patches always kept a good attitude and spirit. Such a solid, honorable man I would consider myself lucky if people thought of me in the same way although I do have to work on the attitude part...A lot!

11. Why did you start blogging and is it what you expected? I had just lost a job and had to do something! I was so bad at first but I think I've improved and it turned out to be a life savior. It took me through hard times and most importantly has enabled me to make beautiful web friends.

Now I'm suppose to tell you 11 random facts about myself (Oye!) That's even harder than coming up with good questions...

1. I hate housework, cleaning, dishes, laundry... I need a maid!

2. I'm obsessed with my lashes, really I am!

3. Most mornings I put a half teaspoon of coconut oil in my coffee, so yummy!

4. I started drinking coffee at 27, before that I was a tea drinker.

5. If I could I would eat deep fried food every day!!!

6. I hate shopping for jeans!

7. I think I'm lazy so that's probably why I hate shopping for jeans!

8. I looooove lemons! Hey I got a Pinterest board dedicated to them! Delicious with Feta and Kalamatas!

9. I hate winter and want to move to Spain!

10. I have green eyes but for some reason people think they're blue. It's the weirdest thing!

11. I've been wearing the same Gucci sunglasses for like, forever! I just can't let go of them, I just can't!

I nominate...

If I could I would nominate all the great bloguerettes I visit or at least try to visit on a regular basis (some weeks are just too crazy so I miss a lot of good stuff and there are blogs I love I haven't visited in weeks!) but the list would be too long. Also there's the fact that everyone is bigger than me so I've decided to go with only four but it's for good fun since I know, they all have a strong base of followers. Again if I could, all my buddies would be on it!

Expat Make-Up Addict

Natalie Loves Beauty

Makeup Morsels

Chic Science

The questions...

1. What is your first beauty memory (could be you loved to smell Mr Bubbles or enjoyed using your mom's perfume as a room refresher...)?

2. What beauty brand would you love to try but have yet to take the plunge?

3. Here is a trick question... Lobster or crab?

4. What was your first makeup purchase ever and how old were you?

5. Cats or dogs?

6. Favorite movie genre... Chick flick, epic or horror?

7. Another trick question... Oranges or lemons?

8. Which is your favorite mascara and why?

9. Stuck on a desert island what would you wish to have on you (if you're there I guess it wasn't planned and luggage is likely lost on the high seas)?

10. What makeup item have you repurchased the most? In other words, your ultimate HG?

11. This one you know I just gotta ask, why did you start blogging?

Thank you Jenny!!! 

Do visit her beautiful blog as well as these other great ladies (and Gent) tagged by her...

For thirty random facts:
For the Liebster:

Ok this was fun but now I'm exhausted!

Sunday, April 13, 2014

The Birthday Post...

It's my birthday today!

Another year, another number and no I won't tell you what it is! :D

Photo source, here.

This week I've been looking left and right for birthday goodies to give to myself but didn't fall for much... so far!

I almost did get Serge Lutens La Fille de Berlin but decided no because there are several makeup goodies that will start popping up at my favorite counters in the next month. There's also the fact that I need clothes, shoes and especially a bag!!!

Yesterday I went shopping with Catherine and found nothing that wowed me enough to buy except maybe for a Dooney & Bourke bag. I just spent my entire morning looking on the web for bag inspiration but now I guess I'll end up at Ogilvy getting a Lonchamp Le Pliage for now. Pathetic I know but I need something fast! Oh and you should see my wallet! It's a mess and every time I take it out Cat looks the other way. It's that bad! I've been looking for months now but I just can't seem to find one that fits my needs. This is what happens when you've been a stay at home mom for so long, you just don't renew stuff as often and wake up one day with practically nothing!

I took care of fall and winter but now for spring and summer I'm stuck! Argh!!!

Enough of that! Here's a very quick weekly update because I gotta go do the grocery shopping and might take my girl see a movie so here goes...

This week's makeup love...

It's been the same for several weeks and I'm not much inspired by spring looks at this time. Just look at last week's and you see what I've been using. I've only written one post these past few days, about Chanel Les Beiges and I must say, it's love!

New additions...

Dior Le Vernis in Mirage (I just applied it and the formula is pretty much amazing!) and I just might go back for Aventure! I finished my Marcelle CC cream and on Friday I purchased Clinique's CC cream which I do think I will like. I went to Sephora to take advantage of their VIB sale and looked at Dior's  BB or CC (I just get so confused about these alphabet creams) but the lighter shade was too dark. NARS' Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturiser seemed a little sheer so I opted for Clinique. In the bins close to the cash registers I picked up a little roll-on from Comptoir Pacifique Sud in Vanille Coco. Since I wont be travelling anytime soon I figured this would make me dream about the Caribbeans!

What I have my eyes on...

So many things but I did say I was going to keep it short so you may get a double dose next week! :)

For your viewing enjoyment...

This is so off topic but hey, it's my birthday and it's my blog! :D

The trailer for the new Captain America movie that I will likely go see with Catherine later today because of course, the weather just had to be bad today...


Have a great week everyone! Hélène xoxo

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Chanel Les Beiges N° 10...

As some of you know recently I lost my beloved Givenchy compact and true, I could have replaced it with another identical one but for some reason, didn't want to. I guess I had developed some sort of attachment to it and without going into much details, again, I decided to go for something completely different...

Chanel Les Beiges Healthy Glow Sheer Powder (Poudre Belle Mine Naturelle) in N°10...

Although I'd been wanting a Chanel Compact for a while now I don't think Les Beiges would have been my first choice especially since I much prefer their black compacts to this one but hey, I needed something to use during the day and since spring is just around the corner (or so we hope) I figured that going for a powder with a little color would be a good option. Even if I'm very careful about the sun I still get a bit of a tan and a pale or translucent powder can sometimes leave a lite white cast even if super finely milled.

The name...

Poudre Belle Mine... In English could be translated into "Pretty Face" which is quite charming when you think of it.

The presentation of Chanel Les Beiges is as it should be, classic, simple and luxurious! It comes with an elegant black velvet pouch and a good brush nestled on a plastic protector.

Chanel Les Beiges in N°10 is almost perfect! The color is surprisingly natural and the texture is quite nice. I'll be honest and admit that I do prefer Guerlain powders but since Les Voilettes wasn't available in a compact version and there was no way I was going to spend $140+ for the Météorites compact, Chanel will do nicely for now, hence the "almost perfect".

I chose Les Beiges in N°10 which is the lightest shade but there seems to be some different options depending on where you live as far as the color range is concerned. It appears that in Europe it starts with N°20 going up to N°60 but here in Canada it goes from N°10 to N°50! Also looking at pictures online I believe that N°10 is slightly paler than the European N°20. I may be wrong and correct me if need be but one has to admit, Chanel can be so confusing sometimes!

One note about the color, it is darker in the pan than a traditional "touch up" powder but again, it's finely milled and so this means that it's very sheer and I get the feeling I could have gotten N°20 and still would have been pleased for it's that fine and natural looking. Do note that my skin tone is very pale, if I remember correctly it's around to NC15 on the M.A.C scale for those who know what that means. In other words, in winter I'm super pale! I can easily imagine the darker Chanel Les Beiges options used as lite bronzers for fair skinned gals. You really must try them to know what I mean.

How does Chanel Les Beiges perform? Very nicely.

N°10 is more matte than my Guerlain Crazy Météorites but since it's also a super finely milled powder it still produces a natural look as a finishing powder due some faint light reflecting particles. These are almost unoticeable and you really must look at it up close to see them but they are there.

How does it control my shiny nose?

Not as good as Givenchy. Recently, before I lost it, I would use Les Plumetis two times during the day but must take out Chanel at least three times. I can't really vouch for last summer since I was at home and didn't mind the shine as much but I get the feeling that Les Beiges won't be that effective once the weather really warms up and so I'm predicting having to use it four to five times during the day

Do I recommend Chanel Les Beiges Healthy Glow Sheer Powder (Poudre Belle Mine Naturelle)? 

Yes if you have normal to dry skin for I believe you would be very pleased with the finish. If you have normal to oily skin my guess is you will end up taking it out of your purse more often than not for touch ups but hey, the compact is stunning!

What I don't like about it...

Please somebody tell me, what the heck to I do with the plastic protector??? Do I keep it to avoid damaging the powder's surface or do I ditch it and put the brush directly on the powder?

See? What do I do?

I didn't have that dilemma with Givenchy. That compact was soooo smart! I didn't have to worry about the brush damaging the powder since it was tucked into a little "drawer" under the powder, see it, here (I know, I know I've linked back to it so many times but hey, it was a winner in my book). Now with Chanel Les Beiges I'm at a lost! In fact I do believe I would have preferred a little powder puff instead of a brush... This makes it very awkward to use and not as quick and discreet as Les Plumetis.

I'll admit I'm glad to have this compact but at the same time I know I'll end up getting another Givenchy eventually unless (maybe even if) Guerlain makes Les Voilette available in a compact version for Canada because after all I do believe I've become hooked on their powders...

Have you heard of "The Guerlain Powderpuff Girls"? I think I'm on to something, what do you think? Sunny of Mostly Sunny approved so what say you? :) 


What do you "Powderpuff Girls" like to use during the day to tone down a shiny nose?


Sunday, April 6, 2014

The Sunday Post, Vol. 15...

These past few weeks I've been more busy and have had less time to read and leave comments on my favorite blogs and it seems thing aren't going to change any time soon. If only we had Wi-Fi at the office I could use my iPad but sadly we don't. With my phone I can read blog posts but for some reason can't leave comments on most of them so for now I'll try to catch up on weekends! Argh!!!

This week's makeup love...

There isn't much to say about the makeup I wore except that it was pretty much the same as last week. I've got this eye look I'm enjoying a lot and it's super fast in the morning. Hazy from the Clinique All About Shadow 8 Pan Palette as a base, Diorshow Velvet mono for definition and Bobbi Brown Cement on upper lids make a great every day look. This week I brought back Benefit They're Real! mascara to compare with Diorshow which I haven't yet reviewed. It had been "out" for a while because of the cold weather. The formula clearly didn't enjoy the -30° Celsius temps that were the norm this winter.

A little extra step to improve my skin tone...

Is it the long winter? Is it aging? Probably the latter... *sigh* My cheeks are showing a little more red and I've noticed a few more broken caps even though I never use scrubs or anything harsh on my facial skin. Marcelle CC cream which has a medium/light coverage wasn't enough and I was starting to use a lot more Guerlain Crazy Terracotta so I've decided to bring out an old favorite, Avon's Smooth Minerals compact foundation, reviewed, here. For such a cheap price this little compact is just plain amazing and I'm wondering why I stopped using it.

With a medium sized brush, for more precision, I apply Avon's foundation on my cheeks where the redness is more obvious, lightly on my forehead, nose and chin. Since the color is slightly darker than my natural skin tone it gives definition as well as coverage and it's perfect as a base for bronzer or these days my beloved Crazy Terracotta. Smooth Minerals has micro light reflecting particles that contribute to the smooth non flat finish and I'm just as pleased with the finish now as I was back when I first tried it. Recently I'd been considering some high end compact foundations but I think I'll wait a little longer since this little number does such a good job for my current needs.

It may depend on your browser but I do hope you can get a glimpse of the gentle shimmer...

Avon Smooth Minerals in T03 Light Beige

I just had a look at Avon's website and I'm relieved to say it's still available... $15.00 CAD!!! Of course it's even cheaper south of the border at $11.00 US.


This week I did a complete 180°! I got tired of both Guerlain Madame Batifole and Chanel Coup de Coeur nail polishes! I'm wearing a NUDE color at the moment and loving it! (did you notice it on the above picture?) Even more weird is that I'm considering another...

What I have my eyes on...

This past week I've made stops at both Dior and Chanel counters. I've had a closer look at the new Dior Addict Fluid Stick colors and decided to pass for now. I was surprised at how big they were. Gorgeous presentation but a little bulky for my taste and so I may consider one of the new Lancôme Lip Lover instead which are smaller with a formula that appears to be similar.

I'm still eyeing a few of the new Chanel Les 4 Ombres Multi-Effect Quadra Eyeshadow but for now I'm keeping my money for other beauties that are coming out soon. Still I got to admire and swatch the "very" limited edition Dentelle Précieuse compact. Absolutely beautiful!!! The embossed lace design is perfect and stunningly realistic. I really don't know how one can dare to swipe a brush on this one but I can tell you that the pattern will last quite a while. At the Chanel counter the tester which is kept in a drawer and had been put to good use was still showing some of the details. Click on the image below to visit British Beauty Blogger, you'll see it's clear that Jane has fallen in love with this beauty. She graciously allowed me to use her picture for I was too absent minded to take one myself this week!

I mean LOOK at it!

OT but I had to mention... Catherine is now a tea drinker...

Drinking tea is cool!!! Carrying a tea filled colorful travel mug is cool!!!

A while back Catherine asked me to prepare a cup of tea for her so she could have a taste. Her first trial, David's Tea Cream of Earl Grey and she loved it!

To think my first taste was Orange Pekoe, how times have changed! Not that I have anything against it, I still enjoy this classic from time to time but there are so many delicious options out there now to appreciate.

The following week I purchased for her a "cool colorful travel mug" and several tasty blends all from David's Tea (it's the "in" tea store at the moment) and since then she's left with her mug every day and I know that she makes herself a cup when she returns home from school. Good thing I got a new kettle last week with a proper whistle!

Catherine's new "cool colorful travel mug" in blue, her favorite color with David's Tea 
Cream of Earl Grey and Agave sirup (apparently this too is another "cool" thing). 

The other blends I purchased for her are...

Strawberry Rhubarb Parfait: this one even she found way too sweet (she even said it tasted like bad flavored gelatin) so yesterday I tried it myself and mixed it with some Twinings Gunpowder Green Tea. I did a one for three ratio and it was perfect!
Ingredients: Apple, hibiscus, raisins, carrot, yogurt bits, beetroot, strawberry, rhubarb, natural and artificial flavouring*.

Mango Madness: that one has a bit of zing to it with it's orange peels and pineapple.
Ingredients: Apple pieces, white Bai Mu Dan tea, orange peel, pineapple, mango,orange slices, freeze dried tangerine pieces, safflower petals, freeze dried strawberry pieces, marigold blossoms, artificial flavouring*. 

Coco Chai Rooibos: this blend actually has pink peppercorns in it so it does have that spicy edge. It was a great treat last Sunday when we were having what I hope will have been our last snow storm.
Ingredients: Rooibos**, cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, cloves, coconut, pink peppercorns, natural and artificial flavouring*. 

I get the feeling that Cream of Earl Grey remains her favorite for now. It's the one she reaches for in the morning and I must admit I can't blame her. I've stayed away from this classic Bergamot flavored black tea for years because I simply couldn't stand it anymore. I drank soooo much of it! Now with the addition of vanilla it's love again!
Ingredients: Organic: Black tea, cornflowers, marigolds. With natural flavouring*. 

Isn't funny, my daughter has gotten me to drink tea again! :)

For your viewing enjoyment...

Since I did mention the new Dior Addict Fluid Stick I thought it would be fun to see the Pandore Look.


Did you notice the nail polishes at the end? I do believe I want them all!!!

Have a great week everyone! Hélène xoxo

Friday, April 4, 2014

Shu Uemura Lash Curler... I'm a convert!

Oh my, how could I have been so clueless???

If you don't feel like reading my ode to this amazing tool, just skip the words and enjoy my awkward pictures. If you don't already have this little wonder, go get it, now!

For the past few months now I've been obsessing about my lashes! I know it's like I have nothing better to do in my life...


My lashes have good length and although I would like them to be a little longer and it would be nice to have a bit more at this time I'm not that interested in lash growing products. Who has the time for those anyway?

Finding the right mascara has been a bit of a struggle and I think I've got that part nailed with Diorshow Iconic but on some days it was great and on others not so much. Lashes pointing down, not picked up by my Shiseido lash curler? I got the Shu Uemura S Curler to take care of that.

Shu Uemura S Curler next to the Classic Curler

Having to heat my Shiseido curler (mentioned in this post, here), on some mornings I just couldn't get that curl! You know that glorious smooth natural curl? I've been using it for about three years now and if I'm being honest, I've never been wowed by it. The fact that it's dark colored I can't really see my lashes through it and often ended up with lashes pointing in the wrong direction, all crimped up. Not a good look and so annoying. There's also the fact that it's not quite curved enough for my eye shape so most of the time the lashes in the inner corners of my eyes ended up not being curled at all.

Bows down to Shu Uemura Lash Curler...

To think I almost bought another! This curler is DA BOMB!!! The perfect curve for my eye shape and there's something magical about the silicone pad! Really, I'm not joking!

A few weeks back I changed the pad on my Shiseido curler thinking/hoping it would make a difference even if the old one didn't seem to show any signs of being out of shape. It didn't make any difference on the curl.

Half the time it didn't pick up the lashes on the outer end of my eyes, for some reason the left eye more than the right but I guess that was due to the way I was holding it. I'm still quite glad I got Shu Uemura S Curler but I knew still I had to change because I just couldn't take it anymore. Lash managment in the morning was starting to take way too much time.

On a Monday I got the S Curler (reviewed here) and on the following Thursday I got the classic Shu Uemura Lash Curler and now my life is changed for the better!

Really it is, I swear!!!

Here you can see the difference in the upper metal plates.

Amazed is what I am! On Friday morning I applied my mascara, waited a bit and then went for it! Using Shu Uemura for the first time with NO HEAT and I was blown away!!!

Used twice on each eye, holding it for about 10 seconds each time... Aaaaand it picked up ALL my lashes!

The curl was perfect and lasted ALL DAY!

*keels over from amazement*

Ok this was beginner's luck because the next morning I did have to use heat but that's ok since I'm used to it. It's still making me save time in the morning.

Do I recommend Shu Uemura Lash Curler? Really? What do you think? 

One of the best $24.00 I've ever spent!

Unless your eyes are "flat" Shiseido would be the one to go with to but I believe that for most eye shape, Shu Uemura will do a great job.

And here are my lashes essentials! Both Shu Uemura curlers, Diorshow Iconic mascara and my little Tweezerman lash comb which I use only a few times a week but is quite handy if for one reason I've piled on too much mascara and my lashes need to be separated...

Instant HG!

Are there any tools in your beauty arsenal that you just couldn't live with? 

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

NARS Orgasm/Laguna Duo...

This blush gets either love or hate with no real middle ground. I swatched it a few years back and hated it steering clear of it every time to go to a NARS counter but recently, because of Liz the Beauty Reductionista extraordinaire I've decided to give it a go aaaand, erm... Now love it!!!

Huh? Me loving a glittery/blush! I think I've lost it completely! I'm on a dangerous slope guys, first eye shadows and now blushes???

NARS Orgasm/Laguna Blush/Bronzing Powder Duo...

I've been eyeing this duo for about a year! Really, I'm not joking! As much as I wanted to try NARS Laguna bronzer, I didn't want to spend over $40.00 for it especially since I already have *cough* a "few" bronzers, way more than my face can take! What kept stopping me from getting this little $27.00 compact was that monster of a blush...


Afraid of looking like a Disco Ball!!! Good thing that style of music is long gone!

Just so you know, I hated disco music and still do!

First let me say that the name is a total turn off to me! Ok maybe the choice of words here is a bit wrong but what can I say...   This blush was made to give one the "after you know what" lite heated glow on the face color! Erm... I don't think it does quite that but the color is lovely. A beautiful coral peach with micro gold glitter and yes, you do have to be careful with it otherwise you just might look like a glittery dancing fool from the 70s who just woke up in the age of gentle satiny shimmer.

No Disco Balls Allowed!!!


For some reason I thought NARS Laguna bronzer was matte but it's not. I must admit that I did swatch it a few times but never really noticed neither color nor the finish. Dumb I know but this is what happens to me with the products that Sephora puts in those bins just by the cash registers... You know the ones that make you spend that extra $20.00 almost every time you go there? Similar to Terracotta in 01, unlike Guerlain it too has micro glitter but less so than Orgasm. It's lovely and it works well with my skin tone! You may have noticed that it almost looks muddy in the pan but on my face it's perfect.

Laguna next to Terracotta 01

My skin tone is quite fair and I have some redness on my cheeks so I have to be extra careful with bronzers. Muddy or orange are not looks I go for and even if I always go with a light touch some colors just don't work.

Laguna as a nice bronzer to define my face and add a touch of sun but due to the micro shimmer it can easily emphasize my pores and wearing both Orgasm and Laguna at the same time is not an option for me.

Here both appear cooler than the first picture on top. It really
depends on the lighting and I think this is why these can be
worn by so many different skin tones. Sorry, I know it's a 
little crooked! Ok it's a lot crooked!

How I've used them so far...

I love either one over my matte Terracotta for a bit of oomph! On their own as mentioned, they just seem to get stuck in my pores making them more visible and giving me a frosty/shiny look which is weird since I don't get that effect with neither Diorskin Nude Tan in Coral Glow nor with Guerlain Crazy Terracotta who both also do have micro glitter... Hmm I think the difference here is micro shimmer which is quite different. No specs just "satinyness"...

Argh! I sure do I'm making sense here!

Here is another pathetic attempt at swatches. Grrr! 
Still I think you can get a pretty good idea of the shimmer. 
One really has to be careful with Orgasm on the left. 

Ok so my usual suspects are satiny and Orgasm comes out as sparkly on my skin! Again, I sure do hope I'm making sense here. You really have to see it in real life because pictures (mine aren't that great so don't rely on them) can only give a two dimensional renditions that can look flat.

For Laguna I've done: Terracotta, Laguna with a touch of Guerlain Madame Batifole.

For Orgasm I've done: Terracotta with a touch of Orgasm on both top of cheeks and lightly swiped on upper lids.

I can't wait for the weather to warm up because I get the feeling I'll enjoy that little compact more on sunny days with light colored clothes.

The size is perfect if you want to get a taste of Orgasm but even more so for Laguna. Don't be scared of either, you really have to try them because on face is quite different than on one's hand or arm and if ever your verdict is that neither are for you, well, they can both be used on the eyes! Really, I'm not joking!

So, thanks Liz (or is it Blush Mistress now?), for mentioning this little monster that is Orgasm I've stepped out of my comfort zone and I'm quite happy about it! :)

When was the last time you stepped out of your comfort zone?

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