Wednesday, September 30, 2015

SK-II Facial Treatment Essence

Today I am featuring an iconic product from SK-II; a brand I always browse but seldom purchase (price point ensures my wallet stays in my pocket :)). Not that I don't try hard to justify why it should.  I've tried a couple of items from this brand, and enjoyed them... and one day decided to try the original as well. 

This product can be used by saturating a cotton pad with it and swiping all over the face, or shaking out a bit into the palm and directly patting onto the skin. I opt for the second option, no need to waste this on a cotton pad (I don't consider it a toner, but a very liquid lotion). 

There is a video online comparing soaking banana slices in SK-II Facial Treatment Essence vs soaking them in water. The point of the video is that the banana slices in water turn brown and in the essence they don't; and what you are supposed to take away from this is that the banana slices are equivalent to your face and the essence will preserve it (at least that's what I concluded with an eye roll)...

But my face is not a banana slice and the clock moves forward no matter how much I wish it wouldn't... and while I enjoyed using this lux product, currently my product preference is shifting and it doesn't include SK-II...

Also in all honesty I wouldn't recommend it... unless of course you want to try it for yourself... then by all means do. It didn't have any negative impact on my skin, but I also don't think it's made a vast improvement. I like using it while I have it, but I'm sure I won't miss it when I no longer will.

Monday, September 28, 2015

Duty Free Splurge - Estée Lauder Travel Exclusive Eye Palette

I started off this year with a week in Cuba. Our flight was departing from T1, my favourite Duty Free terminal. That is where I like to spend most of my time before boarding. Plenty of things I wanted to purchase, but in the end didn't. For all that I wanted there was only one item I regretted not buying.

So when a couple of weeks ago, I was once again heading for a little R&R via T1; a Duty Free browse was in order. As luck would have it a couple of these were still of the shelf, I didn't think twice.
A sizeable rectangular palette encased in a classic plush sleeve that many high end brands are know for.
The gold case looked gorgeous until I got my fingers all over it, but I can live with that.
The palette is classified as "travel" by EL because 3 of the shades are labeled as having been produced in the US and 3 in Italy. Is it true? I don't know... but I like the idea.
I've always been  a fan of EL shadow formulation (no exception in this case), nicely pigmented, easy to blend, excellent wearability. It's the green that stuck in my head when I passed on this initially, that I couldn't wait to swatch, even if it's also the one that I'll wear the least :) It swatches darker than I anticipated. I promise myself to make use of it, this coming holiday season.
Vacation is now over and I'm back to my regular schedule;

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Caudalie Vine Body Butter

I acquired this at the end of 2014. It was a part of one of the many holiday gift sets that Caudalie puts out. It sat in my drawer until I ran out of something else first, then I pulled it out and enjoyed it for a few weeks. Tubs of body cream don't last me long, but it is my favorite form of packaging.
Just look at that delicious thickness... true to name, this is a body butter... so luscious.
One of my favorite Caudalie products is their hand cream, for texture and scent. This body butter, has a similar scent, but not quite as delicious. It was rich and decadent, and I enjoyed using it. But it is not my favorite body butter on the market, and so while I had it and liked it a lot, it is not on my repurchase list.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Origins - Eye Doctor

I finished this jar yesterday. All I have to say is that Origins makes a really solid eye cream. Used this in the morning as part of my morning routine. It was light, fast absorbing,  and non-scented (to my nose at least).

Origins claims that this eye cream will "counter crow's feet, de-pouf puffs, and fade dark shadows", with cucumber, rosemary, and ginseng.

Well does it?

Hard to tell. No cream will make you look like the model in the add, unless your mirror comes with air brushing and some Instagram filters :) Crow's feet are there, more pronounced in the evening when I'm tired, less so in the morning when I'm rested (that's not a revelation).  I counteract my dark shadows with concealer, which works really well.

I will agree that this cream does  help with my morning puffiness. It's moisturizing without being greasy, and wears very well under makeup. It has a rather friendly price point as well, $44 CAD.

If I had any brand faithfulness I would repurchase, but I do not, and so on to the next thing that caught my eye :)

Saturday, September 19, 2015

CHANEL Illuminating Powder

This is an unfair post, because I don't think you can find this at Chanel counters anymore. I spotted this on Instagram, and that's how I came to want it. My husband managed to snag the last one from HR on Bloor.
Standard Chanel packaging. I tend to hang on to these little purses, but it's not like they're multi-purpose.
Included a little brush. Once again I tend to hold on to these but not to use them. This is one of the best quality wise ever.
The product might be called "illuminating powder " but to me one of the prettiest bronzers in my collection.
Beautiful warm shade, that you can easily build up or sheer out.
A summer release I'm glad I got my hands on. If you did too, I'm sure you're not regretting your splurge.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Love - Laura Mercier Lip Parfait in Raspberry Ripple

Lip product love continues. Today with a treat from Laura Mercier. This is a pretty recent one for the brand and for me. There are 12 shades to choose from and I have my eye on two, but for now I decided to  acquire just one.
Raspberry ripple, is a fantastically friendly pink mauve. A color that I naturally gravitate towards, and wear most often.
LM claims that this product is non-sticky, and "provides the comfort of a lip balm, the coverage of a lipstick, and the shine of a gloss". I agree with all of those claims. This is one of the best lip products I own, with a delicious light vanilla scent. If you're in the market for all in one balm-lipstick-gloss product, check this out.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Sephora Rouge Infusion Lip Ink - The Neutrals - Peony #19

Let me show you another lip product I've been loving lately. This one I got in a beauty bag from Sephora (part of a promotion). I believe it's a mini version, and it's my first Sephora brand lip product.

Cute "test tube" like packaging. I wish it was transparent so I can see the product, but that's not in my power to change.
There are 10 shades in this range, and the opinion on the quality is split quite evenly.  I am one of those who loves it... you might be one who doesn't.

The shade included in the promo bag was Peony (#19), categorized as a neutral.
Standard doe foot applicator, gets the job done.
My favorite thing about this product is the scent (something many hate), I find it smells like raspberries and I love it. Texture is a bit strange, smooth, but not quite natural. I might not be such a big fan if not for the scent... and the color.

Peony is a gorgeous "rose" :) A neutral with  some pop.
This has a pretty powerful stain. Is that a positive or a negative for the product? ... individual preference decides.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Love - MAC Huggable Lipcolour - Bare Hug, I'm Game, I'm In, Play It Soft, Soft Takin'

I credit YouTube for this purchase. I was unaware of these MAC lip products until I watched a kathleenlights video. I loved the shade of Soft Talkin’ on her lips so much that I wanted one of my own. 

MAC counters I visited had already sold out of all huggable lipsticks, however The Hudson Bay company still had them online… I purchased 5 shades from the range, because it was free shipping for anything over $99… yeah I can feel what you’re thinking.
But it wasn't a struggle to choose 5... well a little, Google posts made my decision a bit hard... all of the shades in this range were gorgeous... but I drew the line at 5 :)
MAC lipsticks smell amazing ... yummy light vanilla cookie; and these have a lovely wash of colour and creamy comfortable feel (huggable :)) I almost purchased backups... almost... then I slapped myself silly and didn't.  Because there is always something new out there... and these will just have to do. Loving all the shades I chose, see below....

Friday, September 11, 2015

A little R&R...

I have a few pre-scheduled posts coming up in the next couple of weeks... because I won't have any laptop time... I'll be too busy sightseeing and posting it all to Instagram.

First up a few days in this gem...
and then a few more here...

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Love - NARS Galapagos

YouTube made me do it. I swear I sit there and make a shopping list as I catch up on my videos. This was one item I can scratch off the ever growing wants inventory. I may not need another shadow in my collection, but that doesn’t mean I don’t want more; and thanks to Sephora VIB sale (few months back) I scored this little gem for 15% off… so no regrets.
Part of the joy (for me at least) of purchasing individual NARS shadows is the adorable packaging. I know with use it will become battered and ugly, but I still love it.
Galapagos is described as warm brown with gold shimmer, and that gold shimmer is just so stunning. I couldn’t wait to get my finger then my brush all in it. Below pictures and pictures and more pictures…
Playing with layering intensity... I lean towards being light handed with my shadows, when heading out... but I do like to play by packing it on when bumming around the house..

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Regret - Hair is Fabric (HIF) - Colour and Growth Support Cleansing Conditioners

Hair care is important to me:
- one because I don't have a lot of it and I want to keep what I have
- two because it is fine... not having much of it shows

I wash my hair everyday. I have to . When I work out, I get so sweaty, I look like I took a shower, except I don't smell like I did. I tried dry shampoos... they are not for me, I feel my scalp and hair are even more filthy by putting that stuff in... I pass.

So I prefer, and am on a constant search for a nice, gentle, daily shampoo. I strayed when I spied these two on DECIEM site. I kind of liked what I saw, and felt it would be nice to replace two products (shampoo and conditioner) with just one.There are a lot of different formulations, and after reviewing all of them, I decided to purchase Growth Support (see the very first lines of this post), and Colour Support (because I do every 3-4 months).
Overall I like the packaging. The oversized toothpaste tubes work for me. I don't like the cap on my Colour Support though. I don't know if you can tell in my picture but it's not screwed on right. It was on just fine initially, then I twisted it open to have a sniff, and I could no longer close it tight again. Faulty packaging. No such issues with my Growth Support.
A couple of "coefficients" to notice depending on type chosen: cleansing, conditioning, and activation time. Listed on the tube. I kind of know what they mean and kind of don't; and  I couldn't find on what scale.. is it out of 10?  I assumed it is.

The formulation between the two is very different. Growth Support is an airy mousse, Colour Support is a dense cream. Significant difference in weight.

First dislike. Both of these are heavily fragranced (it's one of the top  ingredients... should have taken note before purchase). The scent is so strong that I can smell it all day long (I wonder what it's like for people who get close to me); And it's not that lovely... a sort of unisex cologne. I don't hate it, but I do grow tried of it... and delicate noses will hate it. (I prefer Growth Support scent to Colour Support if I had to choose).

Growth support has a very nice lather. It rinses clean, and other than the strong scent, my hair is left bouncy and soft.

Colour Support is fast becoming a purchase regret. It is a cream formula, and it doesn't foam one bit. It's almost like cleaning your hair with conditioner... I say almost because your conditioner isn't oily. Yup you read right, oily. I don't know how this is supposed to clean my hair (it's supposed to clean my hair right?), it feels heavy and greasy. My tub is slippery after, dangerously so. My hair is left feeling flat, weighed down, and dirty; my scalp, itchy and clogged. This is opposite of what I want. I wish I could return this, but too much time has passed, and I didn't keep the receipt. The only way I see myself using this up, is by following with another shampoo... which defeats the purpose of this purchase.

Overall I'm not a fan. If you like strong cologne-like scented products that linger maybe you'd like Growth Support (but other than clean hair, I haven't seen any growth). If you like your hair to feel greasier after a shower than before, then you might like Colour Support... I highly doubt you do.

I take a pass and don't plan to explore the range any further. Sticking with my Alterna and Bumble and Bumble for now.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Korres Pomegranate Toner

ummmm it's September... I don't know where my summer has gone...

Half-way through this bottle. Time to briefly talk about it. I purchased this toner and moisturizer (already used up, and talked about last time)  from Korres' mattifying range, hoping for magic. While these products are good, they are nothing fantastic. My skin isn't impressed.

I use this toner in the morning, and over the past few weeks I feel as if my skin became a bit dryer. I'm feeling tightness I haven't before (until I slap some moisturizer on)... is that my pores shrinking? If so I don't like it. It's supposed to mattify, but that is very short lived. My skin will not be restrained.

It smells nice... and I will use it up... then onto something else.

Lastly, I feel the need to mention that this has a lot of positive reviews on Sephora online (4/5 stars)... which leads me to believe that it delivers for most... don't base your decision on anyone's review though, base it on your own experience.

PS. $22 CAD for 200ml