Polishes -Lancome - Vernis in Love - Corail in love (105M)
Ljana 7/26/2012 7:58:00 AM
Vernis In Love is Lancome's latest nail polish line, released to accompany the new(ish) Rouge In Love lipsticks. As far as I can tell, the shades correspond to each other pretty closely, so it should be easy to match lipstick to nail polish. Both lines are supposed to appeal to younger consumers and are hence moderately priced - well, by Lancome's standards anyway. On the downside, the bottles contain only 6 ml of product, compared to Chanel's 13 ml and OPI's 15 ml, so the 15 euros I paid for this doesn't work out to be such a good deal after all - even allowing for the fact that Lancome is a luxury brand, Chanel Vernis turns out to be cheaper per ml. Performance-wise, I'm very happy with it. It doesn't chip or peel on me any more than other polishes and I use a humble Maybelline top coat, so no fancy sealers etc. The formula is fairly thin and dries quickly, doesn't bubble up or streak. In short, the polish is a dream to apply and the flat brush (described in the previous review, so no need to repeat) helps a lot. I find I need two coats for full opacity. If I apply a third coat, it seems that the color darkens a bit, so I generally avoid it. Ah, the color. That's what drew me in, of course. It's the perfect medium pinkish coral. I love that it doesn't pull orange on me and doesn't scream, but it's still bright, cheerful and summery. Looks great on toes as well as hands. The finish is pretty glossy on its own, but I do apply the aforementioned clear top coat for longevity. The deducted lippy is solely for the price/quantity ratio, but otherwise I love this. I'm not really big on nail polish and I'm happy with having half a dozen or so staples. If I notice I'm not using something, I'll pass it on someone else before it dries out. This, however, is there to stay.
I'm no fan of L'Oreal and have never been impressed by any of their products except mascaras; however, this foundation sounded like just what I want from my base, so I decided to buy it. My previous experiences with drugstore foundations have been pretty disappointing - the only other drugstore foundation I've ever liked enough to use regularly is Bourjois Healthy Mix. It seems this may be a serious contender for my drugstore foundation of choice. Happily, this is a very good product and is also suited to my dry skin type, which is - once again - not something I've found in many drugstore bases. Lumi Magique has light to medium coverage. It can be layered freely without becoming cakey; however, too much layering can result in creasing under the eyes or any other crevices in the skin as the formula is very creamy, so I wouldn't recommend going for more than two layers. It does even out the skin nicely and it covers minor imperfections, but anything more than that will show through. The finish is absolutely lovely, especially for dry skinned folk - it's not dewy or slick, but rather glowy and fresh. Just after applying it, I can see a beautiful shimmer effect on my cheekbones in certain lighting, as if I'd applied a highlighter. I love this effect because it perks up my dry, dull skin just enough without being garish. Now, since I'm not buying the whole 'magic light' marketing mumbo-jumbo, I think this may contain some very discreet shimmer, though I can't see any shimmer particles either on my face, in the bottle or on a hand swatch. The subtle 'highlighting' effect does go away after a couple of hours, and then (on my skin at least) the foundation settles down to a nice satin-to-natural finish. It also works very well with dry skin - it doesn't make my skin feel tight or uncomfortable, which most foundations not specifically made for dry skin usually do. I always use a moisturizer prior to foundation and that seems to be enough for this one. Exfoliating also helps - it seems to enhance the smooth, radiant finish. The shade range, while not very extensive, is helpfully divided into three groups: C (pink undertones), N (neutral), W (yellow or golden). The higher the number, the darker the colour, N1 being the palest, as far as I know. Easy to remember and find a suitable shade. As for downsides, there are a few, although none of them are deal breakers for me personally: a) it's not particularly long-lasting even on dry skin; it lasts about 6-7 hours on me and then starts to fade away. This is not something that can take you from morning to night without touching up, but on the bright side, it is easy to touch up. It won't pill or cake if you add a bit later. b) Both L'Oreal's and Boots' websites state that it has SPF18, however the bottle doesn't mention any SPF; this makes me slightly skeptical, so I wouldn't rely on it for sun protection. c) The shade range is not particularly large and varies from country to country. Where I live, C2 (rose porcelaine) is the lightest colour available and it's a touch too pink and too dark for me; I'd have preferred n1 (neutral undertone). There are pale people living in the Balkans, L'Oreal! d) As far as I know, L'Oreal still test on animals. To sum up, I think this is a lovely, light to medium foundation with a radiant finish. It would be most suitable for normal to dry skin without major imperfections.
I came across this product while researching possible dupes for Urban Decay 24/7 liners, as UD isn't available where I live, so I had to got through a lot of trouble to get hold of them. These are not only available in my country, but are also considerably cheaper (these cost about 6 euros here). I wouldn't go so far as to say they are superior to UD 24/7, but they're very, very close. They're very creamy; they smudge easily at first, but set within a minute or two and then they do not budge or smear on me for at least 8 hours, except on my waterline. They'll disappear from the waterline within 3 hours, but I haven't found any pencil liner that stays longer than that, including UD 24/7. Of course, the darker the colour, the longer they'll stay on, but that once again goes for all products of this type. I prefer this to Chanel and Lancome pencil/khol liners, which used to be my staples before I discovered these. They glide on more smoothly, last longer and are far cheaper. The UD 24/7 ones do last a bit longer on me (maybe an extra hour?), but not enough to justify the price and the hassle of getting hold of them. UD 24/7 liners also have more complex, interesting colours. Sephora's lineup is fairly simple and basic, so you won't find something akin to UD Asphyxia or 1999 or Stash. However, I personally use fairly neutral eye makeup, so that's not a problem. I currently have three of these: 06 Flashy Brown (which isn't a true brown actually, but rather a deep metallic copper-bronze); 16 Flashy Ultra Brown (a deep true brown with the tiniest bronzy shimmer); and 14 Flashy Taupe (a medium greyish taupe with a sheen; not as metallic as 06 and not as shimmery as 16, but still not matte). The best thing about these is that they don't irritate my eyes at all. I don't have particularly sensitive eyes, but I do wear contacts. I'd hoped UD Bourbon would be my HG everyday liner, but sadly it irritates my eyes (must be the glittery flecks!), makes them red and watery and feels very uncomfortable. No such problem with these. Overall, I'm very impressed with these. I would repurchase and would buy more shades if they came up with more complex, interesting ones.
Cleansers -Logona - Cleansing Foam, Mint for combination skin
Ljana 3/3/2012 1:26:00 PM
This is an absolutely wonderful product and one of the very few I've come across that could really be said to work for all skin types (except maybe very sensitive/reactive skin, since it does contain alcohol). My skin is normal to dry in summer and very dry in winter, so this cleanser is not what I typically go for, in fact it is the only product intended for oily/combination skin I've ever been able to use. I have no idea how or why, but it miraculously doesn't dry me out despite its alcohol content. I have gone through at least 5 bottles of this a few years ago, and then kind of forgot about it and went on trying other cleansers. I've recently rediscovered it and instantly noticed an improvement in my skin tone. I don't get any acne or blemishes, but I do get a few clogged pores if I don't pay much attention to my cleansing routine. This cleanser is so simple, yet so effective. It is a fairly light foam that washes away cleanly, without leaving a film, and leaves my skin feeling clean and refreshed. The refreshing sensation (due to the mint in the formula, I suppose) is especially nice in the morning - just makes me feel instantly awake and fresh. It is very mild - harsh or drying cleansers aggravate my skin very visibly. I'll feel a burning sensation and get red patches on my cheeks and forehead, but this doesn't irritate me at all, while making sure I don't get any clogged pores. However, it is not a makeup remover, so I'd suggest using one prior to this at night. I typically remove my makeup with a micellar water and then follow up with this and my moisturizer. The only fault I can find is that I go through it rather quickly - a 100ml bottle costs about 10 euros and lasts me about 5-8 weeks. However, I do use it both at night and in the morning; maybe I'm also too heavy-handed with it (I typically use 2-3 pumps). By comparison, Nuxe's Reve de Miel cleanser (which I also love) costs about 17 euros for 200ml and lasts me at least 4 months, so works out to be cheaper. But pricing aside, this is a wonderful little product and a firm staple of mine.
Foundations -Garnier - BB Cream Miracle Skin Perfector Daily All-In-One
Ljana 2/5/2012 5:44:00 AM
I bought this purely for the novelty of it - I have never tried a BB cream before and this is the first one that launched in my country. I have this in the shade 'Light', which at first glance seems too orange and dark for me, but I can get away with it due to the sheerness of the formula. This offers virtually no coverage at all - all I see is a slight evening out of my skin tone. However, it does change its texture: my skin is very dry in winter, and this gives it a healthy, moisturized, glowy finish, which I love. The moisturizing properties of this are truly amazing - not only does it make my skin look moisturized, it also feels and stays that way all day, even in these harsh winter conditions (well below zero degrees Celsius, strong winds, inches of snow). However, I prefer a little more coverage, so I've found an alternative use for this. I use it as a primer beneath a semi-matte or matte base which would normally not be moisturizing enough for me. This has finally allowed me to use my Sisley Phyto Teint Eclat without it drying me out and making my skin feel parched (it's kind of ridiculous that a 7-euro product would make a 90-euro product work, but it does.) I've also used it beneath Bourjois Flower Perfection with similar results. I apply the Garnier BB cream quite sparingly (say, a pea-sized blob), blend it in, let it set for a few minutes and then apply my base. And voila - no dryness, flaking or parched skin, just a wonderful, healthy satin finish, with SPF 15 to boot. As a stand alone product, this is really a your-mileage-may-vary product. If you don't need a lot of coverage, it could work on its own or it could be powdered over on the T-zone to take away the shine and add coverage. What I love about this is that it's a very flexible product. It could probably slip into many a foundation routine, not necessarily replacing your base, but nonetheless proving useful (either as a primer, a hydrating, non-sticky winter sunscreen or a tinted moisturizer). After all, it is meant to be a 'skin perfector'; Garnier could have left out the 'bb cream' and 'miracle' claims since this is not a replacement for foundation in the traditional sense. I will repurchase it to use as a hydrating primer in winter (I can hardly find a cheaper one than this) and will also try it as a stand-alone skin perfector in summer, on those hot days when it's too hot and sticky to bother with my full base routine of moisturizer, sunscreen and foundation.
Liquid -Bourjois - Flower Perfection Youth Extension Foundation
Ljana 2/4/2012 11:17:00 AM
I was very much looking forward to this foundation because I've enjoyed various other Bourjois foundations and the (vague) product description sounded like something I'd love. Turns out it is not at all what I look for in a foundation, but that's not to say it's not a good product. For all their colorful, creative marketing, Bourjois are really not very specific and informative in their product descriptions (azalea flower? seriously? youth extending? the model in the visuals looks about 17), so I assumed this would be in the vein of typical anti-aging foundations - hydrating, satin to dewy finish, creamy texture, light to medium coverage. It is, in fact, the complete opposite of that. This is a full-coverage, matte finish foundation. I have rarely come across such a full-coverage, pigmented base at the drugstore - Revlon Colorstay is the only one I can think of at the moment, but FP is, in my opinion, a much better, more modern take on a full-coverage, matte finish base. Flower Perfection will give you lots of coverage and a flawless result, but I do mean *flawless* - it will hide the natural texture of the skin along with the imperfections, so the end result seems a little bit...well, fake, unrealistic - a kind of porcelain-doll, too-good-to-be-true result. The consistency is fairly thick, but not impossible to manage. I got the best results by applying it patiently and gradually, blending and building up where needed. My usual slather-it-on and smooth out the edges method does not work for this. The sponge that comes attached to the cap is - predictably - quite useless. Both fingers and a proper foundation brush work much better. I was surprised to find that this does not feel as heavy as I'd thought it would considering how much it covers . It's not airy and imperceptible like many lighter coverage foundations, but it doesn't feel like a sheet of concrete over your skin, which is how Revlon Colorstay feels to me. I suppose it's a happy compromise between coverage and comfort. However, Flower Perfection is not hydrating enough for my dry skin, at least not in winter. I expect normal and combination will fare much better, but I can't wear it on a daily basis in winter. It highlights any dry and flaking patches, so I need to make sure I've exfoliated and applied a nourishing moisturizer before using this. The finish it dries down to is quite matte, almost powdery. I've never powdered over it because it's too matte for me anyway, but I think even normal and combination skin could get away without powder over this. It does have quite a strong, flowery scent, but it dissipates fairly quickly and is at any rate not unpleasant. The lasting power is very good - I haven't worn it for longer than 6-7 hours, because it gets too uncomfortable for me long before it starts to fade. However, it was still going strong when I removed it, with only minor signs of fading. It seems to me that the colors run a little lighter and more beige compared to the two Healthy Mix foundations, which tend to have a strong yellow base. I wear Healthy Mix #51, but #52 was a decent enough (not perfect!) match in Flower Perfection, probably because it is more neutral than the yellow-toned Healthy Mix in the same number. In short, I don't like this foundation because it's simply not what I want my base to be. However, it is a well-done, full coverage foundation, which is not that easy to find among drugstore brands. This retails for about 15 euros. (On a side-note, the powder from the same collection is pound for pound one of the most expensive powders on the market. For 10 euros, you get a mere 5 grams, so per gram it costs more than Chanel Poudre Universelle - 30 grams for 45 euros. That's why I didn't buy it - it's simply not a good long-term investment.)
Toleriane Ultra is probably the most basic moisturizer I've ever used, but it's also one of the best (for reference, my other favorites include Avene Hydrance Optimale Riche, Avene Rich Compensating Cream, Lush Celestial and L'Occitane Almond Apple Velvet Concentrate). I'm amazed that they managed to come up with such a wonderful product with so few ingredients. I'm not usually picky about the contents of my skincare - fragrance, parabens, silicone - as long as it works for me and I see no adverse reactions, I'm good. And this does work wonderfully. My skin is quite dry, so the first thing I look for in a moisturizer is... well, heavy duty, continuous moisturizing, which sounds kind of obvious, but is in fact not that easy to find. Many creams will just sit on the skin, giving me that heavy, slathered-on feeling, but not get rid of any tightness. Toleriane Ultra sinks in and keeps my skin moisturized for a long while. The best thing about it is that it's a great multitasker - I've used it in the summer (two pumps), in winter (three pumps, mixed in with a few drops of facial oil at night), as well as on my eyelids and under-eye area. The company claims it has soothing properties and in my experience it does - it will calm any mild irritation caused by external factors (sun, wind, cold, etc). I've also used it to soothe mild irritation on my eyelids caused by eye makeup which hadn't agreed with me. My boyfriend also uses it to moisturize after shaving, since it helps with razor burns. However, this is pretty heavy duty stuff, even though it has the texture of a lotion rather than a cream. It does leave a slightly greasy residue, which my dry skin drinks in within 5 minutes, but it may not sink in that quickly on oilier skin. The packaging is pure genius. It comes in a pump bottle, which encases a clear plastic bag which in turn holds the actual product (hope that makes sense!). LRP claim it's this method that allows them to leave out the parabens. As you go through the product, you see the plastic bag becoming emptier, which makes it easy to keep track of how much you have left. This costs about 18 euros in Europe. I consider that a fair price, especially considering many of my expensive, but ill-fated dabbles in luxury skincare (Lancome HydraZen and Chanel Precision, among others). This is simplicity at its best. Great little moisturizer to keep in your cabinet, even if you don't use it daily and enjoy experimenting with your skincare as much as I do.
This is one of those old, classic products everyone knows about, so I won't go into details. I tried it only recently just because it turned up in every Google search of 'best foundations for dry skin'. The thing is, I love a good foundation and wear it daily, but as I suffer from pretty dry skin (truly dry skin, not dehydrated or dried out by anti-acne treatments), most foundations tend to feel tight and taut on my skin in winter, regardless of moisturizing and prepping. My skin simply needs continuous moisture to feel comfortable and look nice, so I bought this. The coverage is light and not very buildable, akin to a tinted moisturizer. It will not layer well, you'll just end up piling on the infamous sparkles. Now I don't need a lot of coverage, so that's fine, but - as the previous reviewer asked - why the sparkles?! I can't imagine anyone would want to look like they spilled a powder highlighter all over their face. However, it does keep my skin very hydrated and soft - it's probably the most moisturizing foundation I've ever tried. In short, it's a decent product with two major downfalls - the sparkles and the play-doh smell. I think there are many better options out there for dry skin: Chanel's Vitalumiere (a much more sophisticated finish, no sparkles), Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer (not much less coverage), her Creme Smooth and a few others. But, if you, like me, ended up impulsively buying this and want to use it up, try mixing it with other foundations - this will reduce the amount of sparkle and even help a bit with the smell, while still providing the necessary moisture. I've tried this with Shiseido Perfect Refining and Bourjois Flower Perfection (both lovely, but too matte and unsuitable for my skin) and it turned out pretty well. This tip was the whole point of my review, but I sort of got carried away. Hope this helps!
Liquid -Guerlain - 'Lingerie de Peau' Invisible Skin-Fusion Foundation
Ljana 11/22/2011 11:43:00 AM
This is an incredible foundation in my opinion. Now don't get me wrong, it has its weaknesses too, but its strong points are...well, so strong that I am prepared to put up with the faults. Its best feature is its finish - freshly applied, this gives the most beautiful, soft-focused, healthy, hydrated finish to the skin. I am rarely tempted to study my face up close in the mirror, I'm more of a put-the-slap-on-and-run type of makeup user, but until I got used to this, I frequently found myself admiring its finish in the mirror. It's dewy, but not overly so - a long way from the dewiness of Chanel's Vitalumiere, which can make some skin types appear too oily. The skin just seems so silky and fresh with this. It's also very easy to apply - the consistency is fairly fluid and blends well. I always use my fingers to apply foundation and this method yields a great result with LdP - neat and smooth. The coverage is quite light, but it layers well, up to medium. It can't take you any further than that, but it is supposed to be a light coverage foundation, so fair enough. As for its weak points, there are two major ones. The first is the shade range - we can only hope Guerlain will eventually expand it on both ends of the spectrum. However, there ARE lighter shades than 02 and 12, but are quite difficult to find. I chose Rose Clair 12, which is a bit rosier and darker than I'd like, but I can get away with it due to the light coverage. I've heard that Guerlain's flagship boutique in Paris (68 Avenue des Champs Élysées 75008 Paris) carries all shades they make, so if anyone gets a chance to go there, it might be worth having a look. The other disadvantage is that it's not hydrating enough for dry skin. Normal skin should be fine with it, but very dry skin will need a hydrating primer or a heavier moisturizer underneath it. Finally, it seems many people are confused by the difference between LdP and Parure Aqua. Since I have both, I thought I'd add a short comparison. Firstly, Aqua is more moisturizing and feels more comfortable on my face after a long day (no alcohol in that one!). It also has a thicker consistency: whereas LdP is a standard thinner liquid, PA is more of a gel-mousse, which makes it a bit harder to apply and blend, but it makes up for it in coverage - Aqua gives medium coverage, which is still a long way from full, but is by no means light. If layered, it will cover under-eye circles, minor blemishes and capillaries. However, it does not have that magical, angelic finish - it's a fairly standard, natural, run-of-the-mill finish. In short, LdP looks amazing and feels nice, Aqua feels amazing and looks nice. Normally, I'd find it strange that the dewier of the two should be more drying, but LdP belongs to the new generation of weightless, your-skin-but-better foundations (Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua, Lancome Teint Miracle, Dior Nude etc.) which all contain quite a lot of alcohol. To sum up, LdP and Aqua are both great foundations - it's just a question of picking the one that suits your needs best. Or buying both, if you are a foundation addict like myself.
I've been using Avene products for a couple of years, but I tried this cream only recently. It is a wonderful cream for dry skin. I doubt it would work on any other skin types besides dry - this is not meant for dehydrated skin, but for dry skin (lacking in lipids rather than water). Consequently, this cream is more of a nutritive cream than a moisturizing one. The Hydrance Optimale line is meant to be primarily moisturizing, while this is supposed to meet the needs of lipid-starved skin. So that's what it's supposed to do and it does nourish dry skin wonderfully. It sports a fairly thick texture (hence the jar; I'm not sure this could be stored in a pump bottle), but it nonetheless sinks in within 5 minutes. It doesn't leave a film behind, doesn't sit on top of the skin, and can be used underneath makeup without trouble. Actually, that's what I like most about this cream: most heavy duty creams for dry skin have a slick, slippery feel against your skin (now I'm no expert on chemistry, but I imagine that has to do with silicone). This doesn't - it's just a soft, emollient cream that still manages to be deeply nourishing. It leaves my skin soft, supple and well nourished - no easy task during winter. This is perfectly fine for use on slightly to moderately sensitive skin. It does contain fragrance, but a very light, inoffensive one. Personally I like it, it's mild, pleasant and comforting. But if your skin reacts to fragrances in cosmetics, you may want to check out Avene's other, non-scented products (Tolerance Extreme, Skin Recovery Cream). I've been using this as both day and night cream during these harsh winter months, but in the summer I will probably switch to Hydrance Optimale Riche (love this one too, I've gone through at least 3-4 tubes) for day use and keep this as my night cream. This comes in a pretty, 50ml jar with a small plastic spatula and costs about 28 euros. NOTE: Recently there seems to be another similar cream which Avene call Extremely Rich Compensating Cream. I'm not sure if this is the same product as the RCC and they just changed the name, or if it's a new, even richer product. I suspect it's the latter. Currently both are availabe both in-store and on Avene's European website.
Vitalumiere Aqua is Chanel's contribution to this year's trend of bare-skin, weightless, light coverage foundations (Dior Nude, Guerlain Lingerie de Peau, Lancome Teint Miracle etc). I've heard that this is going to replace Teint Innocence (which I wore and loved a few years ago), but currently both are available where I live. This foundation has an extremely light, almost watery formula. In fact, its consistency is more like a fluid moisturizer than a foundation. The coverage is sheer to light, but it layers well, which makes it possible to build up to medium coverage where needed. A pea-sized blob will do no more than even out your skintone, so if you need more coverage in certain areas (like I do) you'll need to layer and/or follow with a concealer. It feels very nice on my face as long as I've moisturized well, because of its weightless formula. No obvious mask-like effect, no heavy feeling, no dry patches, but I wouldn't say this moisturizes well - it doesn't dry me out (my number one concern with foundations), but neither does it add moisture - you have to rely on your moisturizer for that. However, this contains alcohol (so does Teint Miracle, by the way), so it could be drying in the long run. The numbering system is new and does not correspond exactly to Chanel's old foundations (Vitalumiere, Prolumiere etc.). This introduces three shade groups which supposedly achieve different effects: Beige gives radiance, Beige Rose are matte shades and there's also a single white-based shade for Asian markets. Each shade group features a few colours which range from 10 (lightest) to 40. I got Beige 10, which seemed the lightest, most neutral of the bunch. It's not an exact match because it's a tad too yellow for me, but since the coverage is so light, I can get away with it. I haven't noticed the 'radiance' Chanel speaks of; in my opinion, this gives a natural finish, certainly not dewy and not too matte, just natural. The staying power is decent, but not stellar. I generally don't have any problems with makeup sliding off, but this fades somewhat on me towards the evening. It's not that it peels off in certain places, it just fades away evenly, and by the time I take my makeup off (usually evening or late night), there's not a lot to take off. I suppose I could try touching up in the afternoon. The foundation has a tendency to separate in the bottle, and the box states that you need to shake well. Not a huge problem for me, but still a bit bothersome. Frankly, I bought this out of sheer curiosity - I'm perfectly happy with my Kanebo Sensai Fluid Finish otherwise. I like Vitalumiere Aqua, but I'm not in love with it. I'll use it up, but I'm still undecided on whether I'll repurchase or not. I prefer a little more coverage and moisture in my foundations, but if a sheer, barely there, weightless foundation is what you're after, this is certainly worth a shot. EDITED March 3rd, 2011. Well, I've been using this for roughly two months now, and it seems like I'm already nearing the end of the bottle. It's hard to tell because the bottle is completely opaque, but the liquid takes a while to come through the nozzle now. I'm rather surprised at how quickly I went through this - especially since I did not use it exclusively. That's probably because I tend to layer it and thus use more. Anyway, IMHO, this is NOT for dry skin - no matter how rich a moisturizer/hydrating primer I use underneath, it feels tight and uncomfortable on my skin within hours. But I have truly dry skin - no shiny T-zone, I never blot or powder at all because I never get oily. It is marketed towards normal to combination, so there's no need to deduct points on that account, I should just read the blurbs more carefully. I suspect the dryness may be caused by alcohol, which is rather high on the ingredient list. Other than that, it is a very nice foundation, as I've already described. I'm going back to my faithful Kanebo Sensai, but I'll give this another go in the summer when I'm less dry. Unless you have dry skin and/or want higher coverage, try this by all means, it is an outstanding product.
I got a sample of this foundation in a magazine, and while I usually don't review products based on tiny samples, I thought I'd still give my two cents about this, primarily to warn anyone with my skin type to stay away from this. So, loud and clear: this is not for dry skin. I'm unsure if this would even work for normal skin types. Now, it's perfectly OK to make foundations for different skin types, but neither the magazine ads nor the packaging states that this is meant for oily/combination skin. Bourjois raves about its organic ingredients and its Ecocert approval, but fails to mention that it is, above all, a mattifying foundation. A huge thumbs-down from me to Bourjois on that account: at the very least, I expect to know what I'm buying and would appreciate knowing whether a product is intended for all skin types or not. OK, now that my consumer rant is out of the way, on to the foundation itself. It has a very unusual consistency: a thick, sort of clay-like fluid. As a consequence, the pigmentation and the coverage are pretty good, let's say medium to full; but this also makes it very difficult to spread and blend. It dries in mere seconds and after that becomes impossible to blend. I used my fingers, the quickest technique to apply makeup, and still ended up with an uneven result. It felt very uncomfortable on my face, tight and heavy, and I took it off within 2 hours. Not that it looked good to begin with anyway. The finish is matte and accentuates any dry or peeling parts for the skin. Bio Detox has a relatively strong herbal, earthy scent that takes a while to dissipate, maybe half an hour. I personally don't have trouble with scented products, but this isn't exactly pleasant. I wouldn't say that it smells badly, but it's not very nice either. Sensitive noses better stay away from this. To sum up: this is NOT for dry skins, even moderately dry, nor for people sensitive to scents. If you don't fall into either category, you might give it a shot, but I still think there are far superior foundations on the market for oily skin. I would not recommend this to anyone, and if you're curious, I'd advise trying a sample prior to purchase. I hope this helps someone. I was myself very excited about this because I liked both Healthy Mix and 10 Hour Sleep Effect and because of the organic ingredients, but thankfully I got to try a sample before I threw away 15 euros, which is how much this costs in Europe.
This blush came out in Fall 2009 with the Venice collection, but I've heard it's going to become permanent. When I saw the promo photos for this collection, I wasn't planning on buying this, in fact I didn't even like it because it seemed to run too dark and too orange. But when I saw it in-store, it was love at first sight - it's such a beautiful, soft, pale peachy colour, with maybe a hint of pink and a slight sheen (not shimmer) in it. The moral of the story is that Fresque doesn't (or rarely does) photograph true to its colour. The uploaded photo is misleading and shows it much darker than it really is, at least on my screen. I wouldn't advise anyone to buy this online without seeing and/or swatching it in person, especially darker skinned ladies. Fresque is not very pigmented and even on my pale skin shows up as a light peachy flush. But that's exactly why I love it - most peach blushes are too strong for me, so this is just right. It blends so well (of course, with a proper blush brush, not with that tiny little useless broom Chanel insists on including in their otherwise amazing blushes) - if blended well, it can *almost* melt into your skin like a natural flush so it doesn't even look like you're wearing makeup. I haven't noticed the duochrome effect that other reviews speak of, but I do notice a nice depth to the colour. It doesn't turn muddy, flat, dirty or orange on me, regardless of how much I apply. The staying power, texture and packaging is all typical JC - no surprises there. I find it can last a whole day on me if I layer it, but my skin is dry and generally holds makeup well. Those with oilier skins may have to reapply, probably half-way through the day. Fresque is typical Chanel in many ways: very basic, understated, no-frills, but especially elegant and well made. It's not unusual or eye-catching in any way, but it does what it's supposed to, and better than most others. Note: I have the European version of this. JCs sometimes have different versions for different markets (Europe/U.S./Asia), but I'm pretty sure Fresque is one and the same everywhere, though I can't guarantee it.
Artdeco is my favorite med-to-low end brand. If I don't want to splurge on a high end product, Artdeco is always the first brand I turn to. Their star products are the eyeshadows, the eyeshadow base (which many find comparable or even superior to UDPP and Too Faced SI), All in One mascara and the Glossy Lip Care, which is almost identical to MAC's Slimshines. The eyeshadows are always sold individually and come in small rectangular pans, which are magnetized and are meant to be inserted into Artdeco's palettes. They call this ''Systeme Mosaique'' (similar to Bobbi Brown's customized palettes) and the palettes can also be used for blush, concealer or any combination of the three. The palettes themselves are cute and sleek and well made, but aren't exactly cheap considering you're basically buying a piece of plastic (about 7-15 EUR, depending on size) . They are convenient, but aren't necessary. Actually, you can use any metal case you happen to have (such as a cigarette or pencil case). The magnet is strong enough to hold the pans and they won't fall out. I currently have about 10 of these and two palettes, a small duo for travel and a large one which can house up to 8 eyeshadow pans or a blush and 5 eyeshadows. (The blush takes up the space of three e/s pans, and the concealer two.) The eyeshadows are very smooth, silky, blendable and quite pigmented, although some are more pigmented than others. The colour selection is quite large, but doesn't feature many unusual shades. Since I'm mostly into neutrals, I've always been able to find what I need, but I do find some shades a bit dull and/or flat. Artdeco makes 4 types of shadows - pearl (that's actually satin), matte, duochrome and glamour (glittery). I like the pearls and mattes, but the other two tend to be gritty and chunky, and don't blend as well. Still, for that price (4-5 EUR per pan) you can't really go wrong. They stay on and don't crease too much on me, but then I have dry lids. If worn with the base, they'll stay on pretty much all day. Overall, Artdeco eyeshadows are far superior in quality and pigmentation to any other lower-end brand I've tried. I really appreciate that they offer quality products at reasonable prices - I can't always splurge on, say, Chanel duos, but still want a decent product. Artdeco's stuff fits the bill perfectly.
Lipstick -Yves Saint Laurent - Rouge Volupte Silky Sensual Radiant Lipstick SPF 15
Ljana 7/26/2009 5:09:00 AM
This was an impulse purchase at an airport. My flight was delayed, I was bored and upset and well, I caved in and bought a travel exclusive two-pack of these. I'd seen the swatches online and was familiar with the product (and the hype), so I thought I couldn't go wrong with these. Turns out I don't like them that much, which is not to say these aren't exceptionally well made. Hence the rating - I gave them 4 lippies, but will not buy again. I'll admire their formula from afar, but the ones I bought got passed on to others. So anyway, this is a very strange product - its main advantages for some may turn out to be its downfall for others. Talk about a full coverage lipstick! I have never in my life come across such an opaque lipstick as this. It literally paints your lips the colour you see in the tube. I don't usually shy away from opaque lip colour, but these are just too much for me. As a consequence, they are very high maintenance - they require careful application, lip liner, etc. They are very risky to touch up on the go, as such a highly pigmented colour is very unforgiving of any mistakes. On the other hand, it's a wonderful formula - buttery smooth, nourishing, not drying in the least. I wouldn't say these are shiny or glossy, but not quite matte - maybe satin. A finish that's hard to describe. It has SPF 15 and a mild, pleasant scent. The two shades I got are #1 Nude Beige (Beige Charnel in the Euro version) and #8 Fetish Pink. The first one made me look like a corpse even though I'm quite pale, which brings me to another flaw. The colour selection, especially the paler shades, is not universally flattering. To make this work, you need to have a specific skin tone and make sure the rest of your make-up works with your lipstick. If worn with a neutral look it almost made me invisible, but with a dramatic bold eye it turned into a goth, huge-eyes-no-lips kind of look. The other one, Fetish pink, was better, but simply too vibrant (and maybe too blue-based?) for me. I passed it on to my mother, who is considerably darker than me and she loves it. Looks great on her, especially when she's tanned. Overall, The Volupte is quite possibly the best lipstick formula I've ever tried, but it's too opaque and too demanding for me. For now, I'll stick to Chanel Rouge Allure, but if they ever come up with Rouge Volupte Light (or Sheer), I'll happily try it.