Wednesday, 28 January 2015

January Clean & Calm

My apologies for the lack of updates. My skin gotten in some kind of January strike which made me question every calming solution I had in my skin-robe. Right now I am still struggling for a bit of skin-peace but I found myself going for a cleaner regime.

I'm trying out this pure water from AS.AP in the calming distilation of lavender, and my skin seems to tolerate it. I have to use it a couple of days to see a positive effect but I'm already glad with the neutral (not making things worse) effect.

However, I'm not completely convinced by everything organic 'miracle' and sometimes the addition of essential oils are not the best match. So I'm still reaching for some calming solutions from French Pharmacies:

 Homeoplasmine is actually a whole bunch of vaseline with a hint of calendula & some other ingredients. Like anything homeopathic the key in into quantity and not quality of the healing aspect (calendula). Avène Cicalfate is another cleam suited for post-operation (dermatologic) skin and it is as innoffensive as anything.

So this explains my lack of posts for the time being. I have not been feeling the makeup-vibe for a while (except concealing) because I felt like eliminating everything that could give me a reaction. But I miss the fun of makeup so I hope to be actively blogging about it soon :-)

Tuesday, 6 January 2015

Best of '14: Face, Body & Hair

In 2014 I have gone mostly organic on everything that skincare & hair.

The main reason is because my sensitive skin responses better on purer ingredients. It can be A equals B but B does not always equal A. Or, just because it says it's (mostly) organic it will not automatically rule out sensitivity issues (see here @ Caroline Hirons). I did not experience major breakouts/rash but some products do get more hype than they deserve.

Nevertheless, My best of 2014:

FACE:


Facial Mist:
Sanoflore Veritable Eau Florale in Camomille
 Chamomille has been my herb of choice as a toner: it calms down my skin and smells wonderful in that dried flower way. I've tried some more expensive facial mists (see here) but sometimes a really sensitive skin needs a bit of simplicity.

Cleanser:
Suki Exfoliating Cleanser
It's not my daily cleanser but a favourite of mine for smelling so zesty and giving skin a mild, organic way of exfoliation.

Serum:
Caudalie Polyphenol C15 Anti Wrinkle Defense Serum
This potion with a newer antioxidant has been a wonderful serum with a good antiageing result. Moreover, my skin tolerates it well. This is my 3rd bottle.

Daycream & nightcream:
No real winners nor losers.

Speciality:
Odacité Pure Elements
These blends really target the problem by location (eg: congested pores at tzone & dry skin @ cheeks). I've always been a fan of essential oil/base oil mixtures and Odacité does them well. The only thing is that they are darn expensive, so you could mix up your own too. Sidenote! I've had a aromatherapeutic course so I have some clue, but if you are unsure about mixing: start with 1 drop of the essential oil on 30 drops of base oil. Overusing an essential oil can have a opposite/negative effect, that's why I really recommend Odacite for convenience and having really good organic oils.

Sensitivity/dry spots/Psoriasis/Exzema
Tatcha Indigo Soothing Renewal Treatment
This is one of the few effective products when I break out in dry spots. It's totally expensive but people who break out on the face know what it is like when you just want to hide behind your hair. So yeh...

Lipbalm:
AS.AP Lip Balm 06
Soothing for wintery or crack-y lips. Also gorgeous as a primer for normal lips.

Mask:
I'm gonna jump upon the [instagram] bandwagon and declare I like Leahlani Mermaid Mask. I don't feel the need to post myself clad in green mud while duckfacing & wearing thick mascara/falsies etc. I hope that's ok.  Ps: I'm still a great fan of my Rhassoul mudmasks (here) too.

BODY/HAIR
Bodylotion:
Avène Xeracalm AD bodylotion
This cream has been an excellent cream in un-itching my body. It diminishes the local dryness/patchiness too. I'd also give Tatcha Indigo bodycream a really high vote, but it is expensive and still has a mild citrus-scent that might not be every-sensitive skin's taste.

Hair:
Less is More Neem Scalp Relieve Shampoo & Lavender Smoothing balm
The shampoo diminishes itchiness on the scalp and cleanses beautifully.
The Lavendel Smoothing balm really smoothes stubborn ends and smells like true lavender.
&
Acure Morrocan Argan Oil + Morrocan Stem Cell condioner
A price-friendly organic conditioner that smoothes down wonderfully.

FaceTools:
Yung Yu Roller in Jade facial
I gotten this roller as a freebie with a large Cultbeauty purchase. I've become a fan of facial massages and the Jade is known as a cleansing stone in Chinese medicine. 
 &
Sarah Chapman Skinesis Facialift
This medieval tool of [...] feels more vigorous when used (video here), like those facial massagist people can do when they want to stimulate the connective tissue. Quite effective as my slightly slacking jowl (I'm a slacker, not a real wrinkler) is a tighter baby the morning after. I have the same tool for body but I should use it more.

I'm quite happy to have found a couple of winners that are organic, or at least quite natural. I feel organic skincare gotten a long way and the choices are sometimes overwhelming. I still like to read reviews beforehand, or read up on the ingredients before I try as 'organic' has become some kind of lucrative magicword these days.

Sunday, 4 January 2015

What happened to Last Year's Resolutions?

Last year I made a slightly ironic spin to some resolutions that were somewhat serious: 


An overview:

1. Taking my superfoods (here):
The superficial: I linked this resolution with a new eyecream from Nourish. I'll spare you the complete name but it has Kale inside. I really enjoyed this eyecream but somehow I have not repurchased yet. I think I will soon.
The deeper meaning: I was already on a good roll in the previous year but I continued taking my green juices meticiously. It might have been too much, which will connect to my next resolution.

2. Focus on Inner Beauty (here):
The Superficial: I've bought a holistic Flower Remedy from Californian blender Alexis Smart (more here). I love to repurchase but shipping costs are exuberant. Still debating...
The Deeper: getting closer to the big 4.0., getting single, photo/face-obsessed society & competing (sorry, but that sometimes how it is) with women who are becoming more & more 'flawless' can be a total B&*%. I'm not quite there yet so that resolution still stays in 2015.

3. Improving my French (here):
The Superficial: buying a buckload of French cosmetics: ✓, ✓ and another check. I refound my love for this online retailer who has sharper prices.
The Deeper: Another ✓ for improving language: I've lived in Barcelona for 2 months to go to a Spanish language school. Living in a metropole has always been a bucketlist thing and, though my Spanish kinda seeped down the last couple of months, I improved on it.

4. A New Cafeine Habit (here):
The Superficial: I think few people would say that they want to use more caffeine in the new year, but I'm talking anti-cellulite creams here. That's a serious business to stay perky upon.
The Deeper: I drank a lot of coffee and still do. I'm going to replace some cups with herbal tea to tone it down.

5. Cleaning Up (here):
The Superficial: Facial cleansing grains from quirky etsy-shops.
The Deeper: I always thought that getting closer to the dreadful 4.0 would include a sudden vigour into cleaning the house. In my case: not really (or really not). I just have to tackle this undesire with a sharper schedule and a good playlist on my headphone.

I'm gonna think of a new set of resolutions so you'll hear soon about them....

Ps: do you have some resolutions? Either superficial or deeper?

Thursday, 1 January 2015

Best of 2014: Makeup

Last year has been an adventure in makeup, and in beauty-stuff in general. I thought I finally had it figured out looking quite pretty...Then winter came and I gotten into the "why I look like this? I'm so healthy, use such great products, etc" phase. Either way,  makeup has helped me in getting my extra-pretty on in the good phase, and taking of the edges on the 'blah'-moments.


Blush:
Surratt, especially La Vie en Rose & Grisaille

I started out with a little number called "la Vie en Rose" and ended up with 4 more! I would say that Surratt makes the most unobtrusive blush around...I can either shade it in gently, or give it a bit of 80s exaggeration. Basically: LOVE.

Bronzer:
Ellis Faas Glow Up in S503.

Originally, I was send the wrong colour and tried it before I noticed (mind, Dutch shops are less forgiving on returning policies). I ended up loving this little number for being a supergorgeous bronzer, though the season for bronzing has not really arrived yet.


Foundation:
Edward Bess  Ultra Dewy Complexion Perfector
 Actually, a tinted moisturizer with the right kind of build-up level. My healthy lifestyle gave me the liberty to go lighter on foundation (until winter came...sight).

So for winter I went for Kevyn Aucoin The Sensual Skin Enhancer Fluid Foundation. It reminds me of Armani Designer Lift Foundation in terms of being powdery/velvety, only better. I don't have a full review yet but Monsieur Alex has a good review going on and foundation-pro The Beauty Professor too.

Powder:
Koh Gen Do Natural Lighting Powder
Light, airy and a beautiful finish without loosing radiance.

Concealer:
Dolce & Gabanna in Creamy has been both brilliant in concealing pesky spots as eliminating undereye circles.
I liked Charlotte Tilbury retoucher for blurring out undereye circles. But I'm still smitten with Givenchy Mr. Light.

Highlighter:
Charlotte Tilbury wins it on the liquid front.
Surratt is the perfect powder highlighter.

Primer
No real winners either. I'd be curious for By Terry Densiliss if only it was not claimed to be so fraganced.


Mascara:
Makeup Forever smoky Extravagant Mascara.....
I received a mini-size in the Sephora Happy Birthday set. I just love everything: from the way the brush is shaped to it's glossy but still 'grip-py' formula. I pair in over my lash-primer Kanebo Kate Maximizer in black (review here) which will keep my lashes long, strong and weatherproof until I take it off.

Eyeliner
Kanebo Kate Supersharp Liner
I rediscovered it again for being thin & foolproof for dummies like I am. Also, it stays on until you take it off.

Eyepencils:
Marc Jacobs Highliner Gel Eye Crayons
I still really like Pixi Endless but the Marc Jacobs wins by convenience: the twist-up formula!

Eyeshadow:
 Chanel Poésie
Chanel is not my ultimate eyeshadow formula around but I reached most for this palette for having the perfect balance of neutral colours.

Eyebrows:
Anastasia Beverly Hills Dipbrow Pomade in Blonde. The right colour for my light brows and the cream is a breeze to apply with the right brush.
 
Special Occasion:
Velours 'Are those Real' Fake Eyelashes
There are times a girl needs some extra flutter and these held up quite well with a bit of clear eyelash glue.


Lipstick:
Tom Ford Lips & Boys
The boys won from NARS female stars (Audacious): The formula is more my cup of tea, the packaging, and what about the brilliant selling point?

Lipgloss:
2014 was such a lipstick year but Marc Jacobs Lust for Life Lip Vinyl won me over for feeling so minty fresh and having that superb multisparkle that only a lipgloss can really pull off.

Nails:

Burberry nails in Nude Pink has been my favourite for being so effortlessly neutral, having good coverage and a longer wear than most nailpolishes.
 
 In general, I have had some changes since my Best of Makeup 2013, but I still love plenty from that year. I rotate my Koh Gen Do Maifanshi foundation and the RBR Time Defying foundation with my newer loves. NARS concealer is still one of my favourites.
 I somewhat lost my love for organic makeup, which I made up in skincare. I did try out some newer formulas and I still rely on Kjaer Weis & RMS Uncover when my skin is acting up. I hope to find some newer organic makeup loves in 2015 so I can have a cleaner choice when I want/need to.

Wednesday, 31 December 2014

Last Empties 2014!

Before I'm gonna wish you all a wonderful 2015, I'm gonna share some of the last Empties of 2014:

  1.  Yarok Feed Your Roots Mousse for hair: This mousse is absolute love for me. I have a mild psoriasis condition and every bit of chemical on my hair can trigger my skin into producing more. This mousse is totally natural, but works even better than any chemical I tried so far. #repurchase in bulk!
  2. Lierac Body-slim Destock Nuit: ahhh, those French and their thin thighs. So if you question me if/whether their anti-cellulite works, I would say: Yes, but...The but(t) is always the problem (area) about: so I think it gets the extra results with the training, the green juices and the lack of alcohol. Mind you, I'm still taking my sugar too much and I'm certainly not a skinny thighs. However, it will help with some millimeters and sometimes that's all a woman needs. This particular version is for the night: it helps, but it smells a bit funky. I will  have already repurchased the daytime version with my famous 10% caffeine.
  3. Rituals Heavenly Hamman Bathoil: This brand from Holland sure gotten far and popular. I love the combination of fresh & mild of this blend.
  4. Rouge Bunny Rouge Metamorphosis Mattifying primer: I really like this one, however, it's pricy and I found a lovely dupe. Btw, I'm gonna try to find an organic primer that functions well.
  5. FutureDerm Time-Release Retinol 0.5: This retinol potion really is gentle for the skin and I can still see a good result when using it: smoother, more decongested skin.
I had more things I've used up, but I couldn't be bothered photographing a zillion of samples that were simply nice, but not earth-shockingly special.

Sooo, Happy 2015:

Wednesday, 24 December 2014

Happy Holidays


I'd like to wish everyone a splendid Christmas and a fabulous NYE! 

I'll be having plenty new lipsticks to play with (some new Tom Ford boys) and I'll be keeping the perfumes limited to 1.

♥ Have a gorgeous time ♥

Monday, 8 December 2014

The Affordable Jasmine: May Lindstrom The Jasmine Garden vs Taaj Paris Rasayana Rose & Jasmine

Lately I noticed that everyone slightly beautyblogger is venturing organic. That includes an intense stream of hypes around certain products, reading claims about products being "best thing ever". It's kinda fun when you search for the tag reading such a post, and check if the reviewer has been giving out such 'lifechanging' claims before. Or everything is "best thing ever" until the "next thing ever"?

Yeh, I'm taking my reviews with a pinch of salt but I had been quite curious about May Lindstrom The Jasmine Garden. Instead I bought myself The Parisian Taaj Rasayana Rose & Jasmine Face mist first. I mean, I like spending on beauty, but a €60 on a facial mist is just way too much for me. When Cultbeauty had this gorgeous GWP deal, zeeee May Lindstrom Jasmine Garden, I caved.


 *
Best Price: Taaj
Taaj is € 9 online whereas May Lindstrom is € 60. 
Also, price per value: Taaj is 200 ml & May Lindstrom 100 ml


*
Best Ingredients: depends

Ingedients are a personal matter and what works for some, might not work for others. Both brands have certified organic ingredients: Taaj mentions it is 99% and May Lindstrom gave its certified ingredients a *: but did you notice the Theobroma Cacao did not get a * for being a Certified Organic Ingredient?

In that case, Taaj is slightly more transparent:


Then there is the debate of using Jasmine extract (May Lindstrom) or Jasmine Oil (Taaj). May Lindstrom included silver (Argentum Metallic) quite high in the ingredient list, which is claimed to be the next best thing. On the other team, Taaj included Rosa Damascena oil which has already been proven variously to be a potent anti-ageing ingredient.

Personally, I like that Taaj kept its ingredients simple: less ingredients, less chance of irritations. Also, I really like Rose as an ingredient: it smells so nice & soothing. Initially, I liked the cacao note in May Lindstrom but I noticed it won't agree with me on sensitive [skin]days.

*
Packaging: May Lindstrom (but Taaj for convenience)

May Lindstrom has a beautiful but heavier glass bottle that is recycable.  Taaj comes in a plastic, blue bottle: perhaps not the most environmentally friendly option but honestly, it does travel slightly lighter.

*
The Story: May Lindstrom (but Taaj if you don't like exaggerating)

For that bit of escapism, we do like a good story with our skincare.

Taaj offer us Himalaya water and has also been one of the first with Ayuveda skincare:

May Lindstrom has gone the extra mile by giving us such gorgeous descriptions and rituals that it will be like getting even closer to heaven than Himalaya water:


Then you'd pay for those wordly ticklings as well.

*
Overal:
I still think skincare is a personal experience. Even more when you bring scent, essential oils and face sprays into the game: those steps are more ritual than actual skin-improving methods (though they still have an effect on skin). 

I would not have paid full price for May Lindstrom the Jasmine Garden. Something in that spray does not agree with my skin when it has a sensitive moment. I think it is the cacao. My skin does agree with Taaj Rasayana Rose & Jasmine and I love the mixture of Jasmine & Rose. 

Availability:
Taaj Rose & Jasmine is available at easyparapharmacie.fr (checking out is quite easy) & May Lindstrom The Jasmine Garden is available at cultbeauty.com, naturisimo.com and various other etailers.