This is a color-correcting primer with a formula very similar to the DiorSkin Nude liquid foundations. In short if you don't like those, you won't like this - the texture is almost identical: thin, quick to set, and non-drying. It sinks in to the skin very well which makes a nice contrast to silicone-based primers which never really fully absorb. Despite the bright apricot color this product has no more coverage than any other primer and certainly less than a tinted moisturiser. The only thing it will cancel out is light sallow tones, but because it is so sheer you may still need color correction around your eyes and mouth. On the flip side, because it is so sheer this product should work for most skin tones. I myself am pale and cool, yet I don't think this is too much for me - it blends in nicely with my natural color and gives a radiant glow which some non-pigmented primers promise but never seem to deliver. I mainly use this mixed with my normal medium-full coverage foundation, but since it is summer I can also get away with using it as Dior intended: as a base with the foundation on top. The key for me is to blend carefully around the edges of my face, but if you are naturally darker skinned you can probably get away with more. This is a nice alternative to traditional bronzers and shimmer, as you will get a beta-carotene type glow rather than a sun-baked one. It's the sort of look you would get from eating all your veggies and drinking enough water, which think makes it a bit unique as far as glow products go. As a primer, it seems to work fairly well at keeping make up in place on hot days. That said I do get a bit oily with this, so I imagine this product may cause more problems than it's worth for people with oily skin. I am happy I purchased this product but for what it is the price is a bit steep (28.50 GBP) - at the end of the day it is Dior I suppose. I recommend this for people who love the DiorSkin Nude range and/or are looking for a non-bronze summer boost.
Eye Shadow -Chanel - Quadra Eye Shadow Sparkling Satins
mg86 2/27/2011 7:29:00 AM
I have the baked/Euro version of this quad. Not Chanel's best showing, I will admit - the colours seem bit odd together, the yellow is VERY sheer and glittery. But I do really love the light and dark greys. They look almost wet once applied, and I actually quite like the effect as it really brightens up my eyes. The dark grey is an extremely unique shade as well - it almost looks bluish in some lights. I think it makes a nice alternative to a black shadow as it's far less harsh on my pale complexion. My compact is a sparkly mess after one month's use, but I have no problems with fallout once I go to apply the shadows. I have noticed that my US quads are incredibly soft and crumbly so I think the baked texture works much better in this case. I cannot really recommend this quad as one of the colours is a total dud (unless of course you want a sheer wash of glitter). The pay-off of the other shades is decent and the lasting power is good, but this quad just isn't as versatile as some of Chanel's other offerings. It just isn't worth the retail price in my opinion.
Treatments (Eye) -Shiseido - Benefiance Pure Retinol Instant Treatment Eye Mask
mg86 1/17/2011 9:16:00 AM
These masks do a great job of rejuvenating the eye area and they work better and for longer than any cream I have tried. I use them at night and throughout the next day my eyes look bright, moisturised and any crepiness is greatly diminished. I agree with other reviewers who say these won't deliver miracles - the results I get are akin to what happens when I get a great night's sleep. Puffiness is a major problem of mine and so I think these are worth it for the benefits they deliver on that front alone. The product's packaging is impressive, too: there are twelve pairs of individually wrapped masks, totally saturated in liquid. Even after I have removed the masks, my eye area stays moist for a very long time. It's recommended that these be used 2 -3x per week. I like to use the same pair of masks twice per week (I just stick them back on the tray, seal them up, and stick them in the fridge) and then move on to a new pack. I recommend you try these if your eyes are in need of a little relief or you have an event coming up; they're a good investment in either case. If you're still unsure about these, check out TheSublimeAgent's video on Youtube (not affiliated) - he does a good job of explaining how these work.
Not sure about using this as a moisturiser per se - it's isn't very rich at all, in fact the forumla seems remarkably dry on the skin. Also this is VERY strongly perfumed so in my opinion it's not ideal for use all over your body all at once. It does however make a fantastic base for any No. 5 scent (including Eau Premiere) especially if you have dry skin, as the oils in it help the fragrance last all day. Not only that, but it smells pretty darn good on it's own too: weak on the aldehydes, very strong on the heart notes that everyone loves. It smells far better to me than the No. 5 EDT. You get a very generous amount for a considerably lower price than the perfumes, and although this comes in a basic metal spray can it still looks and feels extremely luxurious. I highly recommend it for any No.5 affectionado.
Benetint is a great for building a healthy glow in terms of both pigment and finish - it adds a subtle flush and not much more. In my opinion, naturally flushed-looking cheeks are ideal as they rarely look overdone and work with all sort of lipstick and eyeshadow finishes. While I love my powder blushes, I do feel, as a cool PPP, that even the lightest swipe of pigmented blush can sometimes transform what's supposed to be a smokey-eye look into heavy, lady of the night slap. Benetint (along with a good cream highlighter) is all I need to add luminosity and color to my face without simultaneously weighing it down. Benetint goes on very sheer if rubbed into the cheeks with fingers, which is what the bottle says to do. I prefer to dab a few drops on my cheeks and then blend it in with a little kabuki brush (like the freebies that come with Bare Minerals foundation samples). I find that if I apply with a brush, the pigmentation is easier to spread or build. (and I don't end up with pink fingers!) I HATE using the packaging brush on my lips, so I dab a little in the center of my bottom lip and blend out with a proper lip brush instead. Because I do agree that the formula is drying on the lips, I usually use a sheer moisturising lipstick over it such as Guerlain's Lychee Shine. Over all I think this is a very versatile product with good lasting power and would recommend it to anyone as a light alternative to powder blush.
if you dread garish-looking lipstick, Perle is the colour for you. It's a very natural, pretty nude shade with copper undertones and a sliver of mauve - a shade that I think would work on almost anyone. It has lots of shimmer but won't give you a disco ball pout. In fact, the satin finish looks ultra sophisticated and flattering. I'm a cool PPP with purplish lips. After a few hours wear, Perle seems to mesh with my natural color so my lips just look more pigmented. This particular shade is not tremendously pigmented, so it takes a few swipes to get the full color. I also find the formula a bit more drying than other shades. However, this has become a winter staple for me as it's inconspicuous and can be worn anywhere with almost any other colours.
Moisturizers -La Prairie - Anti-Aging Stress Cream
mg86 12/17/2010 10:09:00 AM
Everything I have read about moisturizer - all the scientific reviews, articles and studies - has told me that a product like this is really no better than any moisturizer from the drugstore. I was very skeptical when I went with my mother (who is in her early 50s with dry, aging skin) to a department store and we were approached by a La Prairie rep, who gave her a makeover using the Anti-Aging Stress Cream as a base. By the time the rep was done, my mom's skin was transformed - while she didn't look 20 years younger, there was an undeniable improvement: her face looked instantly smooth and dewy, and her wrinkles were at least 50% smoother. She decided to buy this cream, along with a few make up treats, and gave me a week's sample. I like to think that I take good care of my skin: I always wear sunscreen, exfoliate, and moisturize so it is in decent condition. I normally use Origins products which I feel do a great job for the money. I tried to keep a realistic mindset when using this product, especially as it is formulated for people who already have wrinkles and I have none. (not to mention that I can't exactly afford to buy my own jar) After just one use I too noticed a big difference - my skin was perfectly even and the moisturizing effect lasted all day. The lines under my eyes were much smoother and my skin had a glow that was not quite there before. The ultimate test for me was wearing this product on a transatlantic flight, which normally leaves my already dry face feeling like sandpaper no matter what I do. I applied the last of my sample before leaving for the airport and when I got to the other side I had no dryness - in fact my skin still looked refreshed. I can't deny that the effects outlasted every low to mid-priced cream I have tried, without being greasy or sitting on top of my skin. As with most high end creams, you don't get much product for the price. The packaging is a massive jar, which on top of being less sanitary than an airtight container also seems a bit bulky, albiet luxurious. This product smooths on very easily so you only need a dab for your face but it is hard to tell just how much is left. I didn't seen an ingredient list anywhere on the packaging so I have no idea how this works. If I lived in a very cold, dry climate or travelled more frequently, I would consider this product to be worth saving up for - as things stand, I am happy to keep using my Origins Make a Difference, which is great for reducing redness but doesn't moisturize quite as well. After a month of constant use, my mom has told me she still thinks this cream is worth every penny and won't be going back to Clinique any time soon.
Eau Premiere is a soft, powdery floral perfume that's more boudoir than candy dish as far as feminine scents go: it's as sophisticated as it is youthful and, in a strange subtle way, sexy. I feel that this is a special everyday fragrance, if such a thing can exist. I want to wear it all the time and yet I feel very guilty dabbing it on if I am having a low-maintenance day. I'd skip this if I wasn't wearing a full face of make-up for example, but I wouldn't necessarily choose it for a special occasion. Despite that, I adore the way this perfume smells - it's understated elegance makes it special to me in a way that the other Chanel perfumes are not. There really is something very classic and pure about it. Another plus is that Premiere doesn't have the same baggage as the regular No. 5. People may not instantly know this scent the way they do No. 5 and so I think that makes it a bit more personal - the presumptions people have about No.5 wearers may not necessarily apply to people wearing Premiere. In short it is a smart but casual, somewhat low-key scent with a special edge. Skeptics may find they have a new favorite perfume after wearing it for a few hours. I know I did...
Blush -Chanel - Les Tissages de Chanel - Blush Duo Tweed Effect in Tweed Rose
mg86 12/7/2010 8:52:00 AM
I like this blush. First of all, as with a lot of Chanel MU, it's multi-tonal: there are neutral and warm shades of pink, brown, and orange so that even one swipe has lots of dimension. I think this translates very well on the face. Secondly, this blush is effortless to apply as it goes on very sheer - perfect for me, because as a PPP I really don't like to use highly-pigmented blush. The other thing I like about it is the lack of shimmer, and though there is a glitter overspray I didn't get any sparkles on my face that I could see. Now, there are a couple of things I am not so wild about. I'm convinced Tweed Rose would suit lots of different skin tones, but I think it would look best on warm tones as it's a little ruddy on my cool skin. I have also noticed the color fades quite quickly and requires touch-ups for all-day wear - frankly I expect better from Chanel. This color certainly adds some variety to my blush collection, but if you are a cool PPP and looking for a sheer blush I recommend Dior's Touch of Blush instead - it also gives a radiant glow to the skin, but lasts longer.
The creator of this scent says it comes to life on the skin - I kept that in mind after I took a whiff from the sample jar and was pretty disgusted. Curiosity got the best of me so I decided to spray a little on my wrist; lo and behold it was like stepping into a garden after a rainstorm. Rose is one of my favourite scents, and I am thrilled with this fragrance because it breaks all the rose perfume stereotypes (ie that they are for grandmas or boring). It's sexy, loaded with pure rose oils, and best of all doesn't have any fruity notes. The other thing I like about it is how true the scent stays as it wears down - which admittedly doesn't take very long, at least in the solid format. The big downside of this perfume for me is the solid packaging! I keep mine in a cool closet and it's melting. I bought some of the old Lush perfume tins and this never happened to them. I never finish my perfumes so I don't think I will buy this again, but if I do it will be liquid all the way!
Toners -Origins - A Perfect World Liquid Moisture with White Tea
mg86 11/8/2010 5:43:00 PM
I've always been dubious about the second step of the traditional skincare regime, but in my defense most toners either A) seem redundant or B) irritate. It is true this one does feel like it is adding something which may not be for everyone, but my dry skin loves it. Plus, I am certain it does help keep my face moisturised and make-up fresh as I notice a big difference when I skip it. I'm not sure what I think about the protective barrier the A Perfect World range supposedly offers, but my skin was still soft and healthy-looking after a night out in central London - to me, that says it all. I will say that I don't find this toner to be firming as Origins claims but then I don't really suffer from sagginess yet. I recently also purchased Pure Cream and I think these products work extremely well together; they really help balance my skin texture and prevent redness.
Like many others, I too have come to love Origins products - unfortunately this is one that hasn't lived up to the hype for me. I initially went to my counter wanting to try this out, but the SA talked me into choosing Eye Doctor instead after testing it on my eyes during a free facial. When I went to pay, my bill seemed a bit low - and on my way out of the store, I realised the SA had accidentally sold me Ginzing. I decided not to exchange it, thinking it could be great based on all the rave reviews I had read. The skin around my eyes is very dry; I have fine lines, puffiness, and bags. If I don't get enough sleep I tend to look more haggard than I feel, to the point where I continuously get the dreaded "you look tired" line all day long, even post-coffee. I wasn't expecting miracles but I am a bit disappointed that this has not helped with the puffiness nor brightened my eyes in the slightest. I've been using it for a couple of weeks and so far it has proven to be a good moisturiser, but that's about it. Perhaps I am at the point where I need a cream designed for mature skin or which contains retinol. Or maybe just Eye Doctor. In any case, while I like the light consistency and non-greasy feel of this product, I will not buy it again.
Treatments -Origins - Brighter By Nature High-potency Brightening Peel Pads
mg86 10/18/2010 10:32:00 AM
I've nearly finished my first package of this product. At two pads per a week (as Origins recommends), one jar has lasted me about 5 months - so this is excellent value if nothing else. I haven't had a professional peel in a salon, so I cannot compare these little pads to a full-blown treatment but, for me, they are better than any other physical exfoliant I have tried at home. I have dehydrated, sensitive skin and scrubs have always left me looking a little worse for the wear with redness and irritation spots. This product on the other hand really makes a positive difference to my skin - albiet only in the short-term. The morning after application, my skin looks brighter with a smoother texture than the day before. Make-up goes on easier and I just generally look healthier. This effect lasts one to two days, then my skin dulls a bit until I am due to use the pads again. There are no instructions for how to best use this product, but I always cleanse my face first then rub a pad over my face, neck, and the top of my chest without rinsing. The pads do smell very strongly but I think the forumla is slightly weak for an AHA; I can feel it working, but it doesn't burn nor take off lots of dead skin. So this is probably like a mini-peel - great for people like me who aren't used to chemical exfoliation but it may not satisfy those looking for a traditional peel. The most impressive thing about the pads is how thorough they are at removing hidden dirt and grime. So again, this is good value for the money but I cannot gush about it the way some people do over AHAs. I will probably try other products before buying this again, but I would certainly recommend it for people looking for an effective deep cleanser.
Rouge G le Brillant is the mother of all luxury lipsticks. I'll admit that wasn't my first thought when I slid open the ridiculously heavy case and swivelled up the comparably small amount of actual lipstick it contained, but it was love at first swipe for me. As a fan of Guerlain lipsticks eager to try anything in the Rouge G line, I jumped at the chance to own B03 Bridget, one of the nude shades. To compare formulas, Rouge G le Brillant is like satin silk to KissKiss's Chiffon - the latter is lightweight and buildable yet slightly grainy, while the former is unbelievably smooth, shiny, sleek and let's not forget pricey...but once I had it on, I didn't care about that. The shade, a neutral smattering of rose, mauve, and copper, looked seamless on my naturally mauve lips - a definite MLBB, and yet so much more. I don't know whether it was the subtle shine or formula (probably both) but my lips appeared obviously fuller after application and the rest of my face looked instantly bright and healthy. The real dealmaker for me has to be the lasting power of this lipstick - it stays fresh for hours. The shine diminishes, but the sheer color and plumping qualities don't. Reapplying is very easy with the built in mirror, the texture is moisturizing without being sticky. This has quickly become a true favorite of mine. I love my Rouge Cocos, but I like my le Brillant slightly more in some ways. It just feels like magic.
I am tempted to describe this RA Laque as a cross between a lipstick and a gloss, but actually it is much more like a thick liquified lipstick than anything else. A mirror and lip brush are essential tools here, and I find using the doe-foot applicator just makes a mess. The forumla is slightly drying, too. Why bother then? Well, for the extra effort and prep I need to pull this off, I get a highly pigmented, creamy finish with a long-lasting stain. This is what I would expect from any Chanel lipstick, only I find the Laque is far easier to build and requires no liner or gloss. It gives a fully-polished look with less product - so much less, that I wonder if anyone one the planet has actually been able to finish a tube of this?? Imperial is a sultry warm brick red on me - a fab alternative to the berry shades of fall and winter. Though it is quite dark, it is still suitable for daytime, especially if only a thin layer of product is used. And if you do decide to pack it on, then you have an easy to wear vamp shade. Bottom line: a spicy lip product that probably looks a bit different on everyone, this is a versatile shade that will definitely be making my winter a little more interesting. It isn't a must-have by any means, but I have to admit I'm dying to try more RA Laques!