Saturday, January 30, 2010

Calypso Minerals' test

Well this post does not come right in time as this brand is going through taugh time from what I read on the web but anywya I own some stuffes which I had not tested.
Calypso Minerals use(d?) to sell stackers of several colours like a mat rainbow, a shimmery rainbow, pastels and so on. The idea sounds good but to me it is not really that great. Each little pots do not come with its own cap which means you have to take the full stacker every time and you can not reorgarnize the colour order otherwise you will mix different pigments together.

But the most important is still the stuff inside. I do own three samples : a shimmery gold, a shimmery khaki and a mat fuschia which were sent to me by a friend. I decided to go for an eye look with all these three colours together.
- On the inner half lid, Jealousy applied wet (gold)
On the outer half lid, Khaki (well khaki :p)
As a liner on the upper lashline, fluidline Shade from MAC (gorgeous deep forest green)
As a liner smudged under lower lashes, M. Violet (fuschia)
mascara, brows...

And full face pics taken before I went to the hairdresser.
I think that applied foiled, the shimmery pigments are Ok but straight out from the pot, the pigmentation is really low and deceiving (the green does not show up at all). But, the mat version is awesome if you like mats. The fuschia was easy to work with and very intense. A very pleasant surprise for a mat!
If you like good mat pigments and if the shop re-opens one day (what I do doubt a lil) have a look at the mat rainbow stacker. Otherwise, keep your money for something else ^^.

See ya :)

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Black "beldi" soap from Zakia's Morocco

*DISCLAIMER : I was kindly given this product by Zakia's Morocco owner. I was not paid to make my review, so I will share my honest opinion on it.*

What is black soap? It is the central part of the ritual of hammam. First you have to steam all your body to enlarge your pores, then you apply this pasty soap everywhere from head to toes, let the magic happen for 5 to 10 minutes, and then you simply wash it off and scrub with a kessa (traditional scrubby washcloth) or a loofah to maximise the efficiency. In France, you can find kessa everywhere I hope it is the same abroad.

What do I think about it? It is a very thick brown golden paste with green highlights. It contains very few ingredients, that is to say smashed olives transform into soap with sodium hydroxide. The one I was offered to try is infused with argan oil to provide extra hydration to my rough dry skin. It definitely smells like smashed olive so if you can not stand taht kind of very natural smell go for an oil-infused version (there are two more on the website, infused with orange blossom or jasmine, depending on what you prefer, floral ou fruity). When applied, it does not foam it spreads on the skin and does it work. I reallyfeel it acting my skin, specially on my face, it tingles a little but not in a bad way it is hard to explain. Do not use your scrubby washclloth on your face, it is too strong. The smell does not linger on the skin just in case you wonder.

Does it work? Yes it is a very efficient alternative to classical grain scrubs. As I alaways scrub like a savage, this grainy scrubs can leave me strikes everywhere. I know I can be softer :p. I do not get any bad reaction on my sensitive face which is great as finding a facial scrub for me is a challenge. It is very efficient, the skin is supple and well moisten after this scrub ritual. The only little downside is that you have to wait, naked in your shower for the soap to work. In winter, it is quite hard for me :).

Do I recommend it? Yes! I love hammam but I am kind of lazy and not very found of the community aspect that goes along with hammam. So being able to bring it right into my place it is so great!

Prix: 34,95$ by Zakia's Morocco (online seller only). Worlwide shipment avalaible!

I use this only as scrub for now (once or twice a week) and if I want something sweeter I go for a Body Shop scrub from time to time. I go for it every time before removing my hairs (glamour!) and it helps prevent red bumps I used to have. Big thumbs up!

See ya :)

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

My new haircut...

Do you sometimes wake up in the morning and feel like crap? This happens to me way too often these days that I decide to book an appointment in a spa to cheer me up. My former colleagues offer me half a day in a famous Parisian spa so it was the perfect occasion : a full facial with massage and treatment and a hair diagnosis.

The hairdresser suggested me to do something with my hair and this time I agreed. I have never done that before because I am so scared about how it would come out.
So I said her to do what ever she wanted except blonde or very light strands and that it must be a easy-to-go haircut which can be tighten in a ponytail. So she went for a medium length cut with a lot of layers, a side bang or fringe (I never knew the difference) and many many very small strands of lighlty bleached hair. Please do not mind the creepy make up, I had 5 seconds to put it back on after my facial (no foundation does not help, I need to carry around concealer at least)

It definitely changes a lot. What do you think about my new hair cut? Hit or miss?
The lighter strands do not show up in the pics (inside with flash) but in bright daylight, it warms up my dull brown. I was so scared about bleaching but it came out OK, I think.

See ya :)

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Make up of the week

Well I was supposed to post pics of my face today to show how my "new" bows go along with my face but I won't. Yah a nasty volcano on the side of my chin prevents me from showing you this horror vision. I know there are some great sofwares out there like Photoshop to get rid off that but no cheating is one of my policies. Photoshop is for pros and models that are supposed to make us dream, I am not right? ^^
Anyway, I will post my eye look of the week. I tend to wear this one neraly everyday because I was too lazy searching around my evergrowing collection. I like it off course, I am not taht lazy to wear something I hate :p. I think it suits quite well eyes with a hint of gold or green.
This is a MAC look, one of the e/s has been discontinued (all the Matte² collection will be down soon).
That's what it looks like (do not mind the dry flaky pimple between my brows, humpf...):
On a golden cream base, hydro powder eyeshadow from Shiseido H9, from lashes to brow:
- from lashes to crease, Greensmoke from MAC
(silvery green, hard to build up colour)
in outer V blended inwrds, Graphology from MAC (deep dark mat purple, this is the gorgeous discontinued shade)
as a liner on upper and outer lower lashlines, Deep Plum from CS
- in the lower waterline, NYX Purple eye/eyebrow pencil
- to blend towards the browbone ans along the inner lower lashline, Rockin Egyptian de The She Space (the owner is discontinuing the whole eye pigment line so everything is on sale)
- to smoke out the liner on outer lower lashline, Graphology then Greensmoke
- mascara, brows and you're set to go.

Hope you like it. It is one of my favourite MAC combo, I like how it brightens and changes my weird eyecolour.

See ya :)

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Specific intensive smoothing eye cream from Yves Rocher

I have decided to add a new category to this blog: beauty on a budget.
Well to be honest, what I called "not too expensive" is a beauty product that costs less than 20€. I know for some of you it may not be cheap but here in France, it is the price range for drugstore brands and most of the beauty supplier brands too like Sephora, Marionnaud and Yves Rocher. To me, each product I tried lasts at least 2 months so 20€ all in all is not that bad.

You are ready?

I will talk about the Inositol range from Yves Rocher. Funny enough it is meant for 30 year-old women in France and for 25 in the US. Do US people get older faster than European one???

What do I think about it?
It is a plastic tube with a pointed tip which makes it really hygienic to use. First good point. The cream inside is slightly tinted, a pale orange with a hint of sheen that is meant to help conceal dark circles. The texture is great : not too thick nor too liquidy which help to measure it. It is supposed to smoothe the eye area, renew its brightness and wipe away dark circles in 15 days with a twice daily application.

Does it work?
Well concerning how it spreads on the skin nothing to worry about. It glides on and is fast absorbed. The colour is not noticeable. I personnally apply it twice in the morning, right after cleaning and then jsut before applying my foundation. It is not moisturizing enough for me but under make up it is perfect. On darkcircles, no effect at all but I am truly convinced taht no cream can handle this issue. Another good point is that it does not irritate or sting.

Do I recommend it?
Yes, it is not the best eyecream in the world or my personal HG but if you are not willing to pay a lot for it, it is one of the best quality/price product I have tried in this area.

Price : 17,40€ from Yves Rocher in France. We have frequent offers here like "2 for 1" or 50% sale.

I am not a big fan of Yves Rocher but some of them are correct. This one is not bad, it nearly makes me want to try some other products from Inositol range. I tried the Sebactiv range a while ago but this was a huge huge fail :s.

See ya :)

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

What about brows?

I think that concerning make up, brows are a crucial question. I know very few girls who were born with the perfect arch and hair thickness.

Mine are thick and quite bushy. I used to have them wax by an aesthetician when I was younger until a very bad experience which makes me scream after tweezers and wax coming too close to my eyeareas. But I am still convinced brows are really important, they frame your eyes and your face globally so you have to be very careful on how you shape and take care of them.
So after a lot of musing and step-back, I finally make an appointment to have mine slightly modify. Before I show you the before/after pic, I know the difference is really tiny, they have simply been groomed, shorten (a lot I was surprised to see how long they were) and thin a little on the outer portion but I was too scared for a huge change. Click on the pic to enlarge it :p

So what do you think? They look better than they used to or not? They need to be thin out more?

See ya :)

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Argan oil from Zakia's Morocco

*DISCLAIMER : I was kindly given this product by Zakia's Morocco owner. I was not paid to make my review, so I will share my honest opinion on it.*

Well I am not sure a introductory speech is useful here as everyone may know where argan oil comes from. Just a quick reminder: it is extracted fom argan nuts which grows on Moroccan trees.

What do I think about it? Well I have already talked about argan oil here, search the "beauty of the world" tag to find more info. :p
But let's have a closer loot to this one. It comes in a 50ml glass bottle with white prinitng directly on it. So be careful not to use it with wet hands as the lettering may gat damaged. It has a gorgeous amber colour and smells slightly like nuts (which is quite normal of course). Smell and colour are the two most important things to look after when choosing an argan oil. This one is cold-pressed with young nuts to preserve all the goodness inside. When nuts are hot-processed, the extracted oil is darker and stronger in smell which is not so good as some qualities have been destroyed by heating.
When you apply it, you need no more than 3 dots for you all face, one on each cheeks and one on the forehead. That's it! It sinks right into the skin and does not leave a strange oily film. The texture is awesome, very fine, and glides on the skin.
On for all, people have to remember that oil does not mean comedogenic or pore clogging. Most of the molecules inside are way too big to clog pores.

Does it work? Yes, of course it is a really good care. It has been used for centuries by Arabic women!
This oil has great advantages. It can be used for absolutely everything : as cuticule and nail oil, as hair mask before shampooing, as a dry ends care after shampooing, as a facial moisturising mask, as a night facial care and as a eyecream.
My preferred uses are :
- as an eye contour every night, I love it it plumps and rehydrate my overdry undereye area like nothung else. No more cracks and fewer fine lines there.
- as a facial mask, I first spray some thermal water and then spread 3 drops of oil on my face, put a piece of paper tissue on top and let my skin dirnks this cocktail for 20 to 30 min. Glowing skin :p
- as a fast night care when I am super lazy, three dots and good night sleep.
This one has not break me out. I have been using it daily for over a month and no skin issue. It has helped a lot with my dehydration issue. Moreover, it is very travel friendly for busy grils who spend ther time on flight. You can take it on board and need nearly online this to take care of yourself.
The only downside is the price maybe

Do I recommend it? Yes, it is one of my top 3 oil and this one is particularly good even for the price. It can be used by every skin type and offers interesting anti-ageing properties over the top :p. For dryeczema or dryness, it will be your best friend.

60$ by Zakia's Morocco (vente en ligne) for the pure version I tested out. You can find two other version with blends of essential oils for more demanding skin (add 5$ more). So yes it is on the pricey side but you need just a couple of drops everyday (5 drops for the whole face including the eye area) that it will last you for ever ^^.

I have tried many different brand and this one hits the top. For use on hands and hairs maybe you can go for something cheaper in price and quality. But for facial care, you have to choose something cosmetic grade with top qualitu like this one. Something I like too about this one is the little note handwritten in the box by Zakia herself to let people know about the "best before use" date. It makes me feel special

Do you use argan oil? What for? Are you ready to pay that much for quality?

See ya :)

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Color therapy

Well I do not know if the whole north hemisphere has to suffer from this hideous weather but where I am it is terrible. It gets slightly warmer but still no pieces of blue sky or sunrays to cheer me up. I miss the sun so much :s.

In that case, it tends to put more colors everywhere and the brighter the better. Summer is back at least on my face :)). I know this FOTD is not really wearable for everyday work but guess what I spend most of time typing on my computer for an hypothetical job so who cares? I will not put a list of the stuffes I use (unless you require it for your next Halloween or fancy-dress party :p). First of all, the eyes :

Then the whole face just to show you the lipstick I stole from Barbie herself ^^

It is the brightest pink I've ever come accross. I have to admit I really do not know if it is wearable for everyday. But the color is gorgeous (it is a Armani lipstick but I do not know the colour sorry :s)

Hope you're all feeling better than I do. I am slightly annoyed by how things go...

See ya :)

Thursday, January 14, 2010

High performance balancing cleansing oil fresh from Shu Uemura

Ready for another review? This time it will be about a make up remover I really really like. Removing make-up is an important step in a skincare routine not to say the most important step in taking good care of your skin. It is especially vital if you wear a lot of foundation as I do and if your skin tends to break out. Nothing clogg better pores than sweat, make-up or pollution. I bought this oil a while ago and used it extensively for the past months so I think it is reviewing time.
Plus, have you notice that this oil is pink? Yep nice finky girly pink. For once the girliest version has been created for bad skin ladies like I am. It is avalaible for all skin types but the only one to be pink is the fresh version! Yeap thumbs up

What do I think about it? Well it is PIIIIIIINKKKKKK! All right calm down :p. The smells is great but hard to describe, something fresh but at the same time floral and sweet. You have to pump twice (yes it comes with a handy pump) and then massage it into your skin to melt everything down. You can use it safely on your eyes and if like me you hate the cotton pads contact onyour lids, it will be heaven :p. Then you rinse it and it will emulsify into a soft milky lotion. Welcome your fresh glowing skin with a big smile :). The only little downside is that yes it leaves a slight oil film on your skin but it will not last after you pat dry. I do double cleanse (make up remover + facial cleanser) so I do not care much about that but I know it annoys some people.

Does it work? Yes really well. It is the best oil-based remover I tried. I love the colour, the texture and the smell of it. It does not break me out!!! Thumbs up ^^. But there is a but... For organic-concerned addicts, the composition is crap : first ingredient is mineral oil. Sorry about that!! I can not say if it has improved my skin but it makes it feels so fresh that I think so. I know love to remove my make up and so be more cautious about the way I do it. It removes any kind of make up even waterproof without any lash fallouts :)

Do I recommend it? Yes but it is pricey. For addicts on a budget, it will not be in the price zone I assume.

78,30€ for 450ml by Sephora France. For what I see now, my bottle will last at least 6 months. So it is not that expensive in my opinion. If you just went to try it there is a smaller size, 150ml which retails for 37€ by Sephora France.

I am hooked, it will not prevent me from trying something new for time to time and maybe look for cheaper alternatives. But this one has proven it is efficiency. What I like about it is the all-in-one aspect (eyes, lips and face) and the no cotton pad routine (I hate them they feel scratchy yeek)

Have you tried it? Do you like it or not?

See ya :)

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Shopping on sale

I was a little annoyed by several things today, so I have to do some shopping to destress. And for the first time, no make up or skincare!!! Yeap, thumbs up for me :)
So I went to the closest shopping mall from my place and headed to two shops : one of clothes and the other one of accessories.
-For clothes, I chose Uniqlo. I do not know if there are shops abroad but it is a japanese brand which sells tops in all the colours, cuts and sizes you can dream off. I took 3 long-sleeve, V neck pullovers made of blended cashmere. I love cashmere, it is so silky and hot. They are not over funky but they are well cut and easy to wear on a daily basis. What rocks is the sizing, the smallest size which is S is based on japonese standards which make them really small. For skinny top girls like I am, it is a pain to find tight-fitting tops but here it is heaven!!!Creepy pic, but you see the colouring. Not very bright, yeah I love dark clothes!

- Then I finished my shop trip to Accessorize. Most Britains know about this brand. They sell accessorizes (funny indeed). I bought two pairs of earrings, long, feather-like shape... They are the kind I like the most, not too overpowering but stylish enough on my personal opinion. I like the fact that they are not too voluminous, not too eye-catching and then they will not attract attention on my elf ears.
Sale frenzy, anyone?

See ya :)

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Night moisturizer?

Well as I annoyed you so much with that you may know that I am currently spot free :).
But as it has not happened to me for a while, I currently stick to my "fighting the spots" routine which tends to be a lil too drying for this cold days. You see where I want to come?

I am looking for a good moisturizer to use at night to help restore my skin hydration without being too oily or it will defo break me out.
I will keep using my morning routine to keep the spots and pimples at day. Yeah taugh question!
My skin type is combo to oily I think, it depends on the day... Any suggestions? It can be a serum, a cream or a fluid! As I plan to try some of them the cheaper, the better :). Go go go!

See ya :)

Monday, January 11, 2010

Argan oil cream revitalizing shampoo from Zakia's Morocco

*DISCLAIMER : I was kindly given this product by Zakia's Morocco owner. I was not paid to make my review, so I will share my honest opinion on it.*

That being said, this shampoo is meant for normal to dry hair which is frequently washed and dried without any special care. Well I think it has been created specially for me :)). I used it extensively in the past month, once every other day, so I can give you a thorough review with pictures as pieces of evidence.

What do I think about it? It is an organic-inspired shampoo, it contains very few silicones, no other mineral oils and no parabens to declare. It is a all-in-one formula which cleanse, condition and prep the hair in a signle wash.
The shampoo itself has a gorgeous golden-bronzey colour and you need really a little to make it work. As all natural shampoos, it does not foam much but it does not mean it does not cleanse (foam is linked to chemical surfactants in classical shampoos). Not convinced?? Just think about dry cleaning shampoos, no foam but great washing efficiency. A single wash with a delicate massage is sufficient even on real dirty hairs. The packaging is well designed, a flip top bottle made of soft plastic that is easy to grip even with wet hands (who has never drop the shampoo bottle in the shower tub?). No labels that get dirty, instructions are printed directly on the bottle (really great idea).

Does it work? The low foaming efficiency was disturbing at first but when I saw the results I was pleasantly surprised. Hairs are untangled, easy to style, silky, soft and shiny! All this just by shampooing!! I blow dried my hairs each time I used it and no further damages even without an extra heat protection.
Pictures: the two first with a natural light and the last one is taken inside! It explains the colour difference between the pictures!
Well you can too see me without any make up (just lip balm). I do not look great, tired eyes and slightly red skin, but all in all my skin has greatly improve. Maybe I will be able to walk out unmade up one day :p

Do I recommend it? Yes... It is a very soft shampoo even if it is a deep cleansing formula. It contains luxurious ingredients that go deep into your hair. For people who wash their hair really often and do not like to spend extra time for care, thumbs up!!! Small downside, it is only avalaible for sale in the US at the moment. Yeah that's life!

Price : 19$95 for 200ml on
Zakia's Morocco website

Just in case you wonder, I just blow dried my hairs upside down for these pics. They are my real hairs, no extension and no dye...

See ya :)

Saturday, January 9, 2010

A photorealism quad look

I bought this quad form MAC a while ago and I never found time to try it out. It travelled with me during my holidays but I dediced to give my skins some rest so make up stayed alone in my stash.
I am sure this particular quad is not evryone's cup of tea but I like it. It completes well my hazel, kind of greenish, strange colored eyes. All the LE e/s have green undertones with hints of blue or yellow. Here is the look I came out with, this time full face and lips pics as my skin is great for several weeks now (hallelujah). As my skin is not looking too bas, I wore less make up. It makes me look younger but also fresher I think (any opinion?)
On a light silvery base, jumbo eye pencil Pots&Pans from NYX,
- In the inner third of the lid, Fresh Approach from MAC
- On the other two thirds, Image Maker from MAC
- In the crease and outer V, Grey Range from MAC
- As a highlight, Photorealism from MAC
- Along the lower lashline, Acidic Reign pigment from the She Space (outer part) and Photorealism from MAC (inner part)
- Mascara Volume Shocking Brosse Exacte from l'Oreal Paris
(not so convinced, I like Beauty Tubes better).

On my lips, Creme de Nude from MAC applied over a lipbalm
(otherwise I can not wear this colour, it washes me out when I apply it plain, straight on my lips). Sorry for the poor lighting of the pic (anyhow happy to see lip pics Tali?)
To conclude this never ending post, creepy full face pics. Same foundation routine as in my precious FOTD (search for the FOTD tag for more details)

A nice and quiet winter look not to scare the snow falling outside. Maybe I will go back to neon colours as I hate winter and snow in cities :p.

See ya :)

Thursday, January 7, 2010

100th or so post!!!

Hey I do not realise I posted more than a hundred post here.

I hope you enjoy reading my little beauty stories as much as I enjoy writing them. I started this blog in july along with my French version one (much easier to write in French first and then translate :p).
I know my blog is a little drop in the sea of famous beauty blogs but I do enjoy all my fellow readers. You are not so many but I am happy to see you around :))).
Yeah I know I am in a happy, kind of "sharing the love" mood. Maybe it has something to do with the new year. Hope it will last ^^.

See ya :)

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Buffering lotion from Mario Badescu

Here we are, my last review on Mario Badescu products I currently own. This one is meant to treat the deep cysts you can sometimes have. You know these ugly underskin spots taht hurt like hell and take weeks to disappear. They leave a bump on your face and make you want to disappear under your living room carpet... See what I am talking about?? It is where the Buffering lotion comes into play

What do I think about it? It is a very liquid lotion that has to be shaked before use to help the powder to mix in a lil. You have to spot each cysts with a drop and leave it to work overnight. On the website, it is recommended to use it before and after the drying mask but I do not own the last one so I do not know. It is specific for combination to oily skin as other skin types do not face this kind of spots.
No tingling or itching sensation after application and no bad afterwards skin reaction. No particular smell either. Many active ingredients inside and I am too lazy to sum them up here (if you want to know, check the ingredient list)

Does it work? What do you think? Of course, yes again. The first time I used it, I did not think that a such soft product could do any good to my skin but I was wrong. No more dep cysts to declare after I put this on at first signs of pimple. I also discovered that it helps a lot with the granular aspect of my skin on my chin. Maybe it was a mild from of cystic acne? Anyhow it worked great

Lambda recommande? Yes again. It is really efficient and results last a while.

16,75€ from HQHair or 16€ from Beautybay (online retailers).

I have to deal with the remaining scars now. Luckily enough I just have flat overpigmented scars. I know they will slowly disappear with time but if I can make them vanish faster I will be happy. I will try some radiance skincare just for the sake of trying new stuffes :p

See ya :)

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

2009's best of...

Hi beauty addicts from around the world!
Hope you enjoyed your Xmas holidays as much as I did for mine :)
Did you miss me a little... Nope? Not even a lil? Come on! I had a lot of fun and food (way too much food) and now I am thinking about all the resolutions I will fell to achieve this year :)
Anyway, 2009 has flown by but it has offered some incredible discoveries I want to share in this post :). It will not be perfectly organize as I still try to digest the food mountain I swallowed in the past 2 weeks. It uses all my concentration capacities ^^.

Let's begin...
For skincare, I nominate Mario Badescu at the first place because I never thought I would be spot-free on day and it is the case! Yihaa :). I have to deal with the scarring now! Special mention to Clinique (the 3-steps program) and Estée Lauder.
For makeup, I need to distinguish things a bit....
For face, big up to Bobbi Brown and special mention to La Roche Posay (French :)) ) and Nivea.
For eyes, ex aequo Urban Decay for the amazing palettes and l'Oreal for the best mascaras on Earth, honorable mention to Sleek Makeup

For lips, YSL (unbeatable lipsticks) and thumbs up for Benefit and Too Faced

That's my personal hit parade!

Concerning resolutions, finding a job and a nice guy are also on my list :p

See ya :)