Sunday, April 29, 2012

CHANEL Perfection Lumiere Long-Wear Flawless Fluid Makeup

I really, really, really, like this foundation. I bought it because of some favorable online reviews and because it's CHANEL, not because I really needed another foundation.

At Holt Renfrew counter my fave SA, Janette applied this with a CHANEL foundation brush, and I was really sweet on the final look. I also think shade 20 Beige is totally right for me. At $55 per bottle, not exactly cheap, but this stuff is so nice. It has a fragrance but it's light and disappears quickly.
My favorite way to apply it is with my Beauty Blender. It gives me the best even finish, and I'm about to do something here, that I haven't done before. I'll give you before and after shots. There are no major breakouts on my face currently, but there is a lot of redness and scarring. My current aim is to even out my skin tone, I don't hold much hope that it will ever become smooth.

So first shot... first thing in the morning... on my face some moisturizer, sun block, primer, Laura Mercier eye basics on eye lids, Clinique Airbrush concealer under the eyes. Looking red, uneven, and a bit puffy, morning is not my favorite time to take pictures :)
Second shot with the addition of Perfection Lumiere only. Keep in mind that this is not the final look, there is still powder, blush, bronzer and eyes to do. Try to get past the washed out look and notice how great this stuff covers and evens out redness and my overall skin tone. I should probably smile more so I don't look so glum in my pictures... but it was early and I was grumpy :) I used about two quick pumps for my whole face, generous portion of which is absorbed by BB.
The foundation sits very comfortably and doesn't feel heavy. It doesn't turn my t-zone into an oily mess after 3 hours. It claims to last 15 hours... not without help. Around hour 6 I notice some slight separation on my chin, but once I blot and lightly powder it all goes back to neutral for a little bit :) By hour 9 I'm usually home and ready to take it off... but I've had it on for close to 15 hours. By then foundation looks worn, a bit uneven, but skin still looks better than with no foundation at all. Glad I splurged on this.

Friday, April 27, 2012

a mini haul from across the pond

I've been eying a-england nail polishes for a while, especially Dragon, because I've been in a strange dragon book phase lately. So when a-england advertised free shipping on any order, I was so pleased.

I wanted one of every shade, but I contained myself and kept my order small. Because it might say free shipping, until customs gets their hands on it, then you'll have to pay up. I shouldn't have worried, truly shipping was free. The price listed on a-england website is what I paid and not a penny more. I can't believe free shipping all the way to Canada. Now if only Illamasqua caught on :)

My polishes came in a bubble wrapped envelope, and each of them was in its own bubble pocket... safe and sound...
I edited out my shopping cart 5 times, eventually deciding on these 4 shades... from left to right:
Two from The Legends collection:
Princess Sabra - "Alluringly feline golden olive bronzite, the sacrificial Princess constantly shifts with her elusive, myriad hues."
Dragon - "Like sunlight glinting off his iridescent mossy green scales, the fearsome Dragon lays basking arrogantly, awaiting his due."
Two from The Mythicals collection:
Iseult - "delicate romantic pink with opalescent pearly reflection"
Perceval - "splendid and resplendent red"
Oh and this is the most gorgeous postage ever :)

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Dior Capture Totale One Essential Ultra-Detox Treatment Mask

I acquired this mask at the same time I acquired the serum from this range. I did not intend to purchase it. First of all I thought it was a face cream, until I was corrected and informed that is actually a face mask.
 I should have asked how much before I said "I'll take it". But my SA was an angelic 18 year old boy, with impeccable eye makeup, and he was just so enthusiastic, peppy, and nice, that is was impossible to resist his sales spin. His passion for all things Dior was contagious… I was lost… my wallet on the other hand gasped at the $100 charge.
 What is it supposed to do for you?
Well according to Dior, this mask eliminates even the deepest skin toxins, and reduces signs of aging, it plumps and adds luminosity. And according to the very inadequate study done by Dior, 22 women in 6 weeks claim this mask corrected one year's worth of skin damage... I really don't know what that is supposed to mean.
 The boy gave me the impression that this would be a peel off mask, but it isn't. It also doesn't dry on your face. It has the consistency of gel-cream, it doesn't dry down, you can still laugh without worrying that you'll crack or hurt your face while doing so.
 How I use it:
1. Wash and dry face.
2. Apply a think layer evenly over face, avoiding eyes.
3. Leave on until ready to get ready for bed, usually a couple of hours.
4. Wash off, pat dry, moisturize.

Others don't rinse off this mask, simply scrape off the excess after 15-20min with the little plastic spatula provided and let the rest be absorbed by your skin. I just wash it off because I leave it on for so long.

The mask feels cooling and soothing; most of the time I forget I have it on. Once I wash it off, the only way I can describe my face is "relaxed" :)
 I try to use it once a week. When I do there are no post mask breakouts, no tightness, no aggravation, no irritation. Really it's a surprisingly lovely mask. But is worth a whole bill? Well this is the way I justify it to myself... I don't get facials. I don't like anyone picking at my skin, I just have an aversion to strangers touching me (it takes me forever to warm up to anyone, I'm an introvert, I like myself that way). So one facial can easily run you way into 100-something + tip... this jar gives me way more than one use (so far 5 and there is plenty left, at least another 5). Therefore I'm actually saving myself money :)

Monday, April 23, 2012

EOTD #2 and Brunch

Yesterday was a lovely Sunday. Sunday's usually make me sad, because it's the end of the weekend. But we met up with a couple of friends and had a lovely brunch catching up on our lives.

I did this eye look and liked it so much, I decided it to share it.
eye base - Laura Mercier Eye Basics in Linen
lid - Bobbi Brown Shimmer Wash Eye Shadow in Bone (16)
lid (over Bone) - Bobbi Brown Metallic Eye Shadow in Champagne Quartz (2)
corner & crease - Bobbi Brown Shimmer Wash Eye Shadow in Fawn (9)
lower liner - Bobbi Brown Shimmer Wash Eye Shadow in Lilac (7)
top liner - Giorgio Armani eye pencil 02 (brown)
inner corner -  Sephora Collection Nano Eyeliner (unfortunately the name is no longer visible, but it's a nice light gold shade)
mascara - MAC
 I took my McQueens for their first walk...
 We went to Frank at AGO for brunch... here is what we dined on... sorry for the blurry pics, but I don't use flash in restaurants out of respect for other diners, and it was overcast and we weren't near a window...

- raspberry jam and lemon creme fraiche
 for a basket of pastries...
 buttery and eggy I couldn't have any... but they looked adorable...
 instead I treated myself with a glass of pinot noir...
 truffled potato & porcini mushroom perogies with truffled sour cream sauce
 blood orange salad wild arugula, pickled red onion,medjool dates, marcona almonds & sherry vinaigrette
 house-cut frites & house made ketchup
 buttermilk pancakes rhubarb vanilla compote, vanilla whipped cream & sunnybrook farm maple syrup
 daily special: soft shell crab sandwich
 eggs charlotka: two poached eggs, served on a croissant with house cured salmon gravlax & lemon dill sour cream sauce

Saturday, April 21, 2012

bareMinerals Matte mini sample

I got this cute little set at Sephora a while ago. This was not a 100 point trade it, this was a true adorable freebie.

I have never used Bare Minerals before although I know it's all the rage, and has quite a large fan base. My sister uses their makeup and loves it. I was quite happy to try something out I didn't have to pay for.
XThe mini set includes primer, matte mineral foundation in shade fairly light, and the tiniest little kabuki ever. 

I prepped my skin with my usual routine. Primed with Prime Time, a gelish type of a primer that seem to smooth everything out; let is set for a couple minutes, then went to buff town. I used the tiny kabuki, and followed the application instructions I saw on tv once: tap out a bit of the product onto the lid, swirl with brush, buff onto face… due to the tiny size of the brush it took a while, but I was in no rush :)

And I have to say I am not a convert. While the product itself is nice, it doesn't even come close to coverage I want or expect. There is just too much redness, and skin tone unevenness on my face for this to deal with. I need my liquid or cream foundations to bring a semblance of "alright" to my visage.

Personally I feel this product is ideal for someone with an "alright" epidermis or someone who loves mineral makeup and won't use anything else.

I will most likely use this tiny little pot of foundation as a setting powder or pass it on… but I just can't wear it on it's own… it's just too sheer for me.

However I'm going to find a use for this tiny little thing :)

Friday, April 20, 2012

Peter Thomas Roth Anti-Aging Cleansing Gel and Sephora has a bug

My favorite body wash is a face cleanser. I had a 100ml sample bottle of this that I took with me to New York last year, and doubled it's duty as a face and body wash. This is a very nice face wash, but since I already have current fave face cleansers, I decided to use this on my body because I seriously couldn't give this up, and I needed a good body cleanser;
Also the scent is incredible, and my body deserves to receive all the benefits my face does :)

8oz bottle of this retails at a steep $40.00 CAD, but I don't need a lot and I combine it with my Lush coal face soap to achieve my perfect body cleansing concoction, so I feel I can justify the price.
 
Anywho this cleanser contains the following ingredients worth mentioning:
1% Glycolic Acid (AHA) - exfoliates, promotes cell turnover
1% Salicylic Acid (BHA) - prevents breakouts, loosens sebum, cleanses pores
Pro Vitamin B5 - moisturizes, clarifies, brightens
Lemon, lime, grapefruit, peach, white oak bark, and linden extracts.

The white peach scent dominates… it is so deliciously delicious. I love lathering this up all over every day. Combined with my Lush it leaves my skin wonderfully clean and soft. I'm not sure when I'll get sick of this combo, but it definitely won't be anytime soon :)

Currently Sephora has a limited time offer online for this cleanser, 32oz for $78, but they won't ship to Canada… ohhh Sephora sometimes you can be such a biatch, why won't you let me save money?! WHY?! Please fix your shit… it's been broken since you launched your "new, better, improved" site.

If you're wondering what I mean by Sephora won't let me save money…. This is the screen I get when attempting Canadian checkout….
 It alternates with this screen...
scroll down a bit to see this little icon….
sigh… I'm exasperated... I got an email from Sephora a couple of day ago, informing me they are working out some technical issues... this better be one of them

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Guerlain by Emillio Pucci Terracotta Vernis

Baby I need something.
Need or want.
Baby I want something.
What is it?
Guerlain has two limited edition nail polishes for summer. They are so pretty.
Is it May already?
(so confused) No
What happened to May?
It's on its way.....
Hmmmm
I don't understand....
So you're not sticking with your promise...
Promise? What?
You know, your self imposed ban not to buy any beauty products until May...
Omg... I totally forgot! 

I think I fell off that wagon within the same week I got on it... Seriously, it's pathetic how little willpower I have... like none, none at all.
Guerlain hasn't had a nail polish in their collection for like ages... I just couldn't say no...
Shade 01 Paradisio - coral pink
Shade 02 Riviera - indigo blue

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Laine Blogger Award

Sandra at Beauty Balm passed on the Laine Blogger Award. Thank you so much :)
This is a simple one:
    - Link back to the blogger who awarded you
    - Blog about your award
    - Give the award to 5 blogger and let them know

Five blogs that I check practically every single day even if I don't comment every single time other than Sandra's are:

Dyno Pretty Pup Beauty Diary
Iridescent Makeup
Things which make me smile
Bright Town Girl
Beauty and Make-Up Boudoir
Cute and Mundane

Ok so that's 6... I got carried away... I'm not going to spam the girls, but I do urge you to check them out :)

L'Occitane Immortelle Brightening hand Care SPF 15/PA ++

Every single day I slap spf 55 on my face, 32 under the eyes, and 60 on my arms and legs if exposed. Once I wash my hands, there is usually no sun protection on them of any kind, because the hand creams I use don't contain any, and body sunblock just feels too sticky and greasy on my palms.

Since hands are said to show signs of aging first, and me being in my 30s, I'm worried about developing gnarly spotty grandma hands before my time. So when I spotted this at L'Occitane I nabbed it. Granted it's only spf 15, but something is better than nothing, and their Immortelle range is all anti-aging and youth preserving and all, so there is that.  I like the packaging a lot, the cap is nice and big and deep. It doesn't feel flimsy, so the chances of it coming unscrewed by itself in your purse are slim.
A bit of a L'Occitane blurb:
"Immortelle and Bellis Perennis (Daisy). Immortelle essential oil stimulates collagen production to fill wrinkles,* while Bellis Perennis extract, combined with a vegetal complex, evens skin tone and diminishes existing age spots.* Finally, UV filters have been added to protect your hands from the harmful effects of sun rays."
 
 I do love my L'Occitane products. This cream is non-greasy, actually I want to say it's kind of dry feeling, it absorbs super fast and has a lovely light scent. It smells like the Immortelle flower, if you don't know what one looks like, here is a pic :)
http://www.asergeev.com/pictures/archives/2009/701/jpeg/09.jpg
 I use this cream during the day when I'm heading outside. At night or when I'm just bumming around the house I reach for my Aveda, because it's supper moisturizing and I feel it helps my nails more.

Oh yes… I should mention that getting older and trying to delay looking older is pricey… 75ml tube of Immortelle hand cream costs $32 CAD, but unless I find something else I will most likely repurchase.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Dior Capture Totale One Essential - Skin Boosting Super Serum

Feb. 7th - Lunch break in front of my computer, browsing the net. Itching for a new skin care product… What I use works for me… still I need to mess with it… improve it, I tell myself.

I find it, a product that claims to work with other products, if applied first before anything else it boost the efficiency of anything you apply after. There was an anniversary limited edition version of it available at the time: 1oz regularly priced at $85 CAD, 1.7oz $125 CAD… but for a brief time Dior released a 2.5oz bottle for $155 CAD… I know still pricey, but at the same time what a deal!

This bottle of wonderful claims to: "detoxify skin cells to powerfully correct all visible signs of aging: wrinkles, loss of firmness, dark spots, and lack of radiance (…) it helps to eliminate more than 7 billion toxins (accumulated in skin each day)." Now that's a lot of gross on our faces… how did they count/measure all these toxins… is there a list one can view? :)

Feb. 7th - Dinner time, I tell Jay about it…
Jay: So you're telling me this, because you already know you'll get it.
Me: Yes…
Jay: Still you want my permission to get it.
Me: Yes…
Jay: You want me to get it for you.
Me: Yes… please :)

As I was getting ready for bed that night, on a hunch I looked through my sample stash, and found a little tube of One Essential… slapped it on, and took pictures. I had about 5 days worth, I decided if in that time I have no adverse reaction I will invest in the full sized version.
 
I wanted to really test it out, and share it with you guys… so that evening I had Jay help me take a picture of the two fissures forming on my forehead. The blue dot is right between the two lines… it's purpose was for the camera to have something to focus on… (you'll see the pics further down)

By Friday every single time I'd find myself in front of a mirror I'd stare, my skin just looked so different... smoother, even... my initial reaction was a bit of a surprise whenever I saw my reflection. Part of me started to wonder if I'm experiencing a placebo effect... you know the product has absolutely no effect, but you want it to so bad, that you see and experience changes... a 'mind over matter' kind of phenomena... In which case if I could convince myself that common dirt is the fountain of youth, I'd be so much richer :) 

Feb. 10 - the limited edition 2.5oz version was in my possession :)
on the left the sleeve... on the right the box that was encased by the sleeve 
 
below the heavy, large, limited edition, bottle of serum
 
look how sizable it is...
 
pump dispenser... the product is a bit thin, has a nice Dior fragrance... and it absorbs really quickly
 
I used this serum twice a day, morning and night, after toner, before anything else. Below pictures of my forehead, taken on day 0, and day 60. These photos were all taken at approximately the same time and in the same light conditions, in the evening, after I have cleansed and moisturized my skin. I have not retouched them in any way… the only picture tampering I did was to put my labels on them. So let's take a look… but warning this is my forehead without any coverage, and really close up :)
Impressions… Well this did not have any effect on the lines. None that I can see, however it's been only 60 days, maybe it takes longer. As of now I'm pairing this with another wrinkle targeting product, and we'll see. I'll post about it in 60 to 90 days :)  I've read reviews where this caused people to temporarily breakout at the beginning of use… I had no major flareups… but we are all different. What I'm actually noting but I don't think you can tell from my pics is that my pigmentation and congestion has cleared up slightly. I'm hoping it only gets better.

Anyways, the only drawback is that the 2.5oz bottle is most likely gone from the shelves, so if you feel compelled to try it out for yourself you won't be able to take advantage of the deal. But I really wanted to do a through review on this… properly… and that took some time. I'm sure you'll be able to score some samples though :)

Bottom line, I'm happy with this purchase, and I'm looking forward to see how this enhancing serum enhances the promised effects of the products I have in mind to try.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

2012 Green Living Show at the Direct Energy Center in Toronto

The Green Living Show is on Apr 13 - 15 at the Direct Energy Center. Jay and I had some free tickets, and my sister volunteered at one of the booths for a couple of hours yesterday. We met up and did a bit of shopping :)

I thought it was going to be a lot of solar powered stuff... and there was... but there were also conservation booths, furniture from reclaimed wood, food booths many of them vegan, eco wines, clothing, jewelry, and of course skin care... and so much more.

We got some food stuff... Jay being a chef and all... and if this was a food blog I'd post about that, maybe I'll show you one thing once it is ready. But for now I'll share my beauty haul...
From Lush:
     - a tub of Charity Pot hand and body lotion. This is just a feel good product, 100% of proceeds from sales got to charity. The company even donates the products and time it takes to make it.
     - Coal Face face soap. A big chunk that was cut into three pieces for me. One of my current faves and must haves for my body.
     - Breath of God toothy tabs.  Sometimes I like to brush my teeth in the middle of the day, and I've had a toothpaste tube explode in my purse before. This is a lovely solution.

Then the rest:
     - CocoVie AHN-Virgin Coconut Oil Shampoo. This 100% natural not tested on animals shampoo smells divine, I couldn't resits it.
     - CocoVie AHN-Virgin Coconut Oil Hand & Body Cream, Rose Petals flavor. Once again the scent was irresistible.
     - Live Clean Exotic Nectar Replenishing Body Lotion with Argan Oil, daily moisture for dry skin. Only $4.00 a tube, and 98% plant ingredients.
     - Green Beaver Company Gardener's Balm Hand & Heels with Canadian organic cranberry oil... The cranberry oil had me sold on it....
     - Cheeky Monkey nail polish. Ummm the names alone can make you blush, cringe, or roll your eyes... but the colors looked pretty tempting and I've decided to try 3: Cheap Whore, Nympho,and Pop My Cherry... I'll let you know how I like them when I try them :)

Some free samples:
     - Fair Trade Foot Lotion form Lush.
     - Live Clean Moisturizing Body Wash.
     - Live Clean Exotic Nectar Restorative Shampoo with Argan Oil.
     - 100% Biodegradable Bamboo Facial Cleansing Cloth from Kaia.
     - Cinnamon soap from the Meadow.
     - Solid Hand Cream from Faerhaven.
I've been presented with the Blogger Appreciation Award from the fabulous Lipstick Fridays. Thank you for deeming my blog worthy.

Rules:
1. Thank the person who gave you the award with their blog link on your post.
2. Answer the following 4 questions.
3. Award the Blogger Appreciation Award to as many reader/commenters/supporters/followers as you'd like.
4. Let the blogger know you've just awarded them, either through comment, email, tweet.

QUESTIONS:
1. How long have you been blogging?
Since 2006... but beauty specifically since Nov. 2010.

2. What are 1-2 reasons you started blogging?
I just started to get into makeup and felt compelled to document it. This is a sort of beauty diary, that I decided to make public.

3. What types of blogs do you like to follow/read?
Well written ones :) I like blogs with a personal touch :)

4. What is the one thing you would like to improve on as a blogger on your blog?
I could use an all over improvement, from writing to photo taking... maybe in time :)

And we already know I'm going to skip #3 and 4... can't pick favorites... I'm just horrible when it comes to these awards, I know... but I do appreciate them :)

Saturday, April 14, 2012

MAC Pro Lash Faux Cils Pro Mascara

I don't have much to say about this mascara. I bought because I felt the need to expand my MAC experience. The shade is Coal Black.

Overall it's good stuff. Not great, but good. The formula has even consistency, and the brush size is adequate for both top and bottom lashes. I do have to be careful a bit or I'll get a little bit of clumping, but it's nothing major... I don't know I have nothing really bad to say about this product, I'm just not enthused by it.

Simply put it's not my favorite. I have no regrets with this purchase. It's just that once it's done I won't be buying it again.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Art Battle - March 27th

Jay and I have been attending this monthly Toronto event on and off for the past year. We learned about it from my sister.

Art Battle is exactly what it sounds like, a paint-off between artists. Some are pre-chosen some have their name pulled from a hat at the event and join the battle.

There are three rounds, after each round the audience votes for their favorite painting. The painter with the most votes gets to paint again in round 3. Every painting goes for sale silent auction style. Paintings which do not sell are destroyed at the end of the night. Oh yes the rounds are 20 minutes long, I think... the last round maybe 15? Seriously you'd think I'd pay more attention to the rules... maybe my sis can clarify in the comments :)

I've liked many a painting during the events that I attended, some that I wished to buy quickly went past my bidding limit. However I got lucky during the March battle and purchased my first Art Battle painting. I just like it so much… it reminds me of the bird and the fish… except in this painting it's a horse and a sea-horse… and I just love it.

The artists name is Cat Reyto, and my sister purchased the first painting she painted that night. Cat didn't win the overall battle that night, but I think she totally should have.

I'm still undecided about framing it or leaving it as is.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Amore Pacific Bio-Enzyme Refining Complex

I am ridiculous. I know it. The fact that I found someone who can love me and my ridiculousness, is kind of miraculous. I think it keeps him amused, and entertained, never knowing what silly path I'm on next.

Two years ago while on a search for my unicorn:  flawless complexion, one day in May 2010 I ended up at the Amore Pacific counter at Holt Renfrew. The SA presented me with this "miracle product". She informed me that her skin resembled mine only a short while ago (and you should have seen my skin, I cringe at the memory). She pulled out a manual, which had detailed description and ingredient list of the said product. On top of the page I notice $250.00... OMG!!! I ask a stupid question:

Me: Is that the price?
SA: No that is US currency, it's $275 Canadian + taxes

Me doing quick math in my head... Oh Lord!!! Thats over $300 for a goddamn face serum!!!... and I walked away.

I tried to find some reviews online, but there really wasn't much out there. I think it might have something to do with the price point of the whole line.

Anyways...three days later, I owned it.
I used it religiously for about a month, but I was actually terrified of the stuff. Yes terrified... I never owned a skincare product so expensive. Part of me wished for it to work, part of me hopped it didn't, because then I'd have to repurchase it regularly, and the thought of spending so much money on regular basis on only one item, tied my guts into one uncomfortable knot.

After a month of daily use I saw no difference in my complexion... most likely due to stress using it gave me, it just counterbalanced whatever effects this serum had :) Once I stopped, I felt relived... ridiculous I know...

It's been almost two years, and I'm well aware that products have a shelf life, but I couldn't part with $300 worth of "magic". So I started to use it again but on my neck, so it wouldn't go to waste.

It was a lovely serum when it comes to texture and scent. Whatever positive effects it had on my skin, I'm too daft to note. Possibly because any active ingredients are no longer active. But it didn't cause any adverse reactions or breakouts which makes me happy. No repurchase, $300 is a lot of change...

... sigh... I could have saved myself so much money... well Jason... Jason could have saved himself so much money... he indulges the ridiculous too much :)