I have dry skin that is also acne prone (adult acne, fun). A double whammy: greasy moisturizers break me out. If I don't moisturize, my skin is tight and flaky. I'm also allergic to something in cosmetics - many products irritate my skin. This is my HG winter moisturizer. I discovered this when I was looking for something that would help my peeling and flaky nose and eyebrows. I had tried many other creams with poor results - this helped overnight. I now use this as a daily moisturizer during winter and under my makeup. (My 70+ mother likes this too .) In summer, this feels too rich - I switch over to the light blue Eucerin with SPF 15, my summer HG. For me, the urea is the magic ingredient. The Eucerin product family is large and confusing. In some countries, this is sold as Eucerin 5% Karbamid (karbamide=urea). I've also tried Eucerin Aquaphor - too rich for my skin, would work for chapped lips.
I'm officially in love with this perfume. It smells complex, delicious, ever-changing. The lasting power is great and it's highly unique. (The initial notes are slightly strident and scary, but pass quickly. Don't scrub before 10-20 minutes have passed.) Wore Frederic Malle's Une Fleur de Cassie on the same day. They are different takes on the same theme. UFdC is more sophisticated, "couture", but fades quickly. Farnesiana is foodier and more almondy, more lulling and feminine. I like them both but Farnesiana would be my pick - I feel it becomes one with my skin.. Farnesiana and Chanel's Coromandel are the most delicious-smelling perfumes I've come across. Will get a full bottle, and it will probably last a long time, a shame that this great perfume is so difficult to source.
This is the best undereye concealer I have ever used - perfect five lippies. No settling into fine lines, good coverage, easy to use and spread, very economical. HG, HG, HG. The end? Not so fast. This sucker is very strongly perfumed: within a month I became allergic to it. After applying, my eyes started to sting, burn and became bright red and after that I couldn't use any Dior product without major irritation (had to eBay my Diorskin foundations and eyeshadows - minus 4 lippies for this. I had to throw out so much stuff it hurts). Have been searching for a similar concealer high and low, haven't found one yet. Revlon Colorstay and Physician's Formula twin concealers are the best I've found, but both a lot heavier and more cakey.
Treatments -Chanel - Hydra Beauty Sérum (new 2011)
DonaAna 12/29/2011 8:19:00 AM
I'm not a huge serum expert but this is an instant HG for me. I got a free sample in summer, wore it a few times and liked it so much that I purchased the full-sized product and have been wearing it every day every since for the past 2 months. It has made my skin clearer, smoother and suppler. Have just bought a back-up, it's so good I don't want to be left without for even a day... I have pretty good skin to start with, I'm 38, no major lines, normal/dry, occasional flakiness and the odd hormonal breakout. Most moisturizers are too comedogenic for my skin, they tend increase acne, but this product doesn't clog my skin. This product is hydrating enough so I won't need moisturizer (and after using this in the morning, night cream is optional). It also creates a perfect canvas for makeup, it also dries quickly. I'm a fan of longwearing foundations and they tend to be drying if I don't hydrate my skin well enough. This stuff does the job. I don't usually love perfumes in cosmetics, but this one smells lovely and doesn't irritate. (Genifique did nothing to me and smelled too strong.) My only gripe is that I cannot see how much product is left - but the pump is lovely.
Currently my favorite red lipstick (meaning, I wear it occasionally - I wear pinks every day). Will probably last me a lifetime. I often forget I own this but realized it's a good one. Solid but not mind-blowing - hence rating 4 lippies. Dark pure red on my lips. Good staying power, slightly but not overly drying. Flatters my skin tone, easy to wear, wear it mostly in winter (for the reference, Coco Rouge in Etole may be slightly too dark on me and Cambon is definitely too bright). I'm very pale cool-toned Nordic blonde (NC10) Easy entry-level red. No lip liner needed.
First, hats off to Almay, they manage to produce cheap and cheerful and nonirritating eye makeup - a treat to anyone with sensitive eyes. I can't wear most other brands (Maybelline, Dior for example) - two lippies to that. I got this pencil as a part of an ugly and forgettable e/s palette. It's bright blue-green teal, so not ideal for my gray-green eyes (makes them look a bit faded and dirty) but I thought this would be fun to layer with Chanel Murano e/s - and it looked really fresh and nice. A few hours later, I happened to see myself in a mirror. The teal pencil was all over the place, it had transferred itself from my upper lashline to my waterline, and dots of it had ended up on my cheeks of all places. (My skin is dry, my lids are never oily, and I had been indoors.) Please do yourself a favor and save up your pennies for a real eye pencil. Chanel's pencils won't fade or budge before I remove them 12 or 15 hours later, they sharpen well and last a long time. This one was a total waste of money.
Love love love this shade - it brightens my face up instantly. I'm less in love with the lipstck itself. At 29 euros, I expected perfection. The lipstick feels quite moisturizing - I was looking for a winter lipstick - but perhaps not quite as moisturizing as I expected. It wears off quite quickly, in an hour or two, but my least favorite part is that while it fades, it also leaves a white crusty ring of residue on my lips (cheap lipsticks do that all the time but I expected quality here). So, keep a stack of napkins ready to wipe off the scum. In summary, lovely shade, beautifully packaged, but a mediocre product. I'm a huge fan of regular Coco Rouges - I have at least 9 of them - but won't probably purchase another Coco Rouge Shine.
I tried a generous sample of this product - looking for a new foundation after I developed an allergy to Diorskin Nude and Forever. Perf Lum is extremely underwhelming. Not really longwearing (looked ghastly patchy after 5-6 hours), accentuated my pores and minimal dry patches (have normal/dry skin, in very good shape right now) and the shade range is too limited (the palest shade available here in Italy was tangerine on me, I think it was 22 - it's sister was Hepatitis A yellow). Coverage also questionable, didn't help me much, would need a good concealer still. Didn't give me a nice finish either. In summary, doesn't stay on but is devilishly hard to remove. Felt like bad car paint. An old bottle of Revlon Colorstay is ten times better (and they have better pale shades) - wears much longer and gives better coverage. Don't waste your money!
Got sucked into the hype a bit late and got mine on eBay without swatching it first. Big mistake. Not worth the money - the slightly warm-toned neutrals on this palette do nothing to me (I'm cool-toned - but online pics were ambiguous, I expected a slightly frosty pink and a less yellow champagne color and a less dirty-murky green) Getting the colors wrong is my fault, not Chanel's, but the the shades started streaking like crazy after half an hour of wear. A really inferior product. You can get e/s like this by the cartload at any drugstore near you. I'm a big fan of regular Chanel eye shadow quads and they stay on (without primer) all day long and give subtle shimmer and definition to my eyes without ever looking overdone. I have the cool/ neutral Chanel Prelude e/s quad and it looks really, really pretty on me - I love it, it's my favorite neutral look. However, the reddish brown on Ombres Perlees may be the most unflattering makeup color for my eyes - it instantly makes them look tired and puffed out. Ombres Perlees was an expensive mistake I won't repeat. With the money, I should just have purchased an ordinary quad, or actually almost two :(
I'm a naturally very pale and cool-toned Nordic blonde. If I don't wear any blush, my mother asks whether I'm ill. So I've worn blusher pretty much every day since I was 15. After a lifetime of searching for a perfect blush shade, this may finally be it: the perfect neutral cheek color, neither too dark (Chanel Joues Contraste Pink Explosion is a tad too bright on my winter skin - and it became very hard after a few weeks of use) nor too peachy (JC Rose Petale is good for those days when I need a slightly warmer shade, but borders on being too coppery). Very powdery, so the pretty black case is messy after your first application, but still great. The brush is pretty useless too. But I don't care - the shade is perfect and that's the most important thing for me.
Brows -Shiseido - Natural Eyebrow Pencil in Natural Black
DonaAna 12/11/2011 9:57:00 AM
I wouldn't have found the Shiseido pencil on my own but a helpful Italian sales associate showed it to me. I have naturally ashy blonde hair, gray-green eyes, pale cool-toned skin but relatively dark (although by no means black) brows. Dark dirty blonde would describe them best. Most eyebrow pencils meant for blondes are way too red for me and look strange and don't match the rest of my coloring - this includes Dior and Chanel and Guerlain pencils. And dark browns and blacks are too harsh. The name of this product is quite misleading. It is a neutral grayish color, very long-wearing, simply perfect. No sharpener is included, but the pencil stays sharp for a long time. My brows look perfectly groomed now, this is my HG brow pencil. If you are a blonde and are frustrated with blonde eyebrow pencils, try this out (it's sibling, the natural brown, didn't look reddish either).
I purchased this palette on a flight from the duty free trolley. All the shades looked perfect for my pale skin and gray green eyes. Unfortunately, I'm allergic to Dior - the eye shadows made my eyes itch and water - I ended up with bright eyes. Not sure what it is - perfume, pigment or preservative. Steer away from this if you have sensitive eyes. Such a pity too because I would have been able to use all the shades and the palette was fairly inexpensive. Another thing I didn't like about the palette was that it was quite thick (not a good thing for a travel-sized item) and that the lower compartment where the brushes are kept seemed flimsy and easy to break.
The Prelude quad looks muddy and unassuming on the palette and the sales associate actually advised against purchasing it (I'm very pale and cool-toned). I bought it anyway and just need to say that the shades are the most amazing neutral / flawless daytime no makeup -look shades you could ever imagine. They add subtle light to my face and make my gray-green eyes brighter. Love love love this palette (and I have a stack of Chanel quads).
Eye Shadow -Chanel - Quadra Eye Shadow Sparkling Satins
DonaAna 11/26/2011 5:32:00 AM
Another impulse purchase at an airport. I'm a cool-toned pale blonde with gray-green eyes. For me, the pale shades are perfect - not drag queen strong, subtle but visible, good for daytime use. I had given up wearing eye shadow for almost a decade because of sensitive eyes and also because many other eye shadows I have tried in the past have really poor staying power. This quad (and it's sister, Chanel's Lilium quad) have made me fans of eye shadow again. Staying power is good but not great.
I'm a cool, light blonde with light green-gray eyes. Black eyeliner is often overwhelming on me, brown makes my eyes look tired. This lovely silver eye pencil, picked up at an airport counter, however, opens up my eyes and looks so classy and elegant and radiant I hardly can believe it. I've had no problems with its staying power - on me it last all day long (I have dryish skin and live in a moderate / cool climate area). Unlike my Chanel Stylo Yeux in Violine, this doesn't tug (I have to warm them up a bit with a hairdryer before applying). If you like this and share my coloring, also try Chanel Stylo Yeux Waterproof in Rose Platinee. It's a light gold color but also looks fantastic. My eyes are extra sensitive - many eye makeup products (eg, Dior, Maybelline) use a fragrance, preservative or perfume that irritates my eyes. Chanel and Almay are problem-free choices for me.