Wednesday, 12 November 2014

Mythically Smooth with A Beautiful Life Unicorn Mane serum

I had this moment I was almost organic on haircare: think shampoo, conditioner and a good dose of beautiful Yarok mousse that blows it's chemical sisters out of the water. 

My last step: serum.

 I had the gorgeously fraganced Balmain (just finished) & used the Kerastase Cristallize serum frequently while having extensions. But still, there had to be a good [semi]-organic one out there.
I found A Beautiful Life Unicorn's Mane on ASOS [here]. The rare reviews I found were positive about it, and how to resist a bit of Uni-corny mythology: or "Unicorns don't have Bad hairdays". I could not disagree but I'd be glad to check one up close:

 

 Unicorn's Mane is not certified organic. It's ingredient list also reveils it has cyclometicone & dimethicone in it:


I went to Cosne to check on these two. Both Dimethicone & Cyclomethicone are harmless and non-irritating. 

Does it life up to it's promises?

♥ Fights Frizz
♥ Adds Shine
♥ Nourishes
♥ Protects

Anti-Frizz: My post-wash hair had to get used to central heating again and that was paired with a bit of frizz down the ends. Ok, and blame under-conditioning too. A drop of Unicorn made warmed between hands is perfect to tame the wild unicorn-ness of it.
Shine: yes, it's not too amped up faux gloss but the right amount of healthy.
Nourishes: I have only used it short term but I already liked the effect on my ends. And look at the ingredient list -> argan oil, Indian gooseberry and some other potent nourisher.
Protects: I think it does a fair job protecting hair before heat styling.

Hence,  all four get a big YES.

I really like the serum but I'm not that fond about the fragance. It reminds me of a certain cough-syrup I once had. Perhaps the unicorns made it when younger (???). But it disappears within minutes so I'm not too bothered.

Conclusion: Who needs Unicorns when you can have healthy, glossy hairserum like this one.

Friday, 31 October 2014

October Empties

My fave finished-up for this month has been my travel sized Water Calligraphy by Killian. It's one of the three fragances I got it during my 'spoiled Christmas '13'.
 photo foto113.jpg

Aquatic fragances will always be a bit 1990s for me. This version is feminine without being obtrusive, fresh during summer & uplifting when colder.
The empty at the background is Jill Stuart CC foundation: unfortunately too fragancy for me.

More Foundations:

I had some testing this month & the-one-that-got-away: my Giorgio Armani Maestro fluid foundation is still half-full but it turned a bit after 1 1/2 year. It was a favourite in the beginning: excellent cover with my-skin-but-so-much-better finish. Then I found it silicony compared to my newer foundations.
*
Amazing Cosmetics Concealer has been excellent in offering high-cover, thin enough without irritating skin. It could be a future purchase.
*
BE Creative Makeup is the house-brand of beautystore ICIParis (only in the Netherlands & Belgium). Their Photo Perfecting Primer has been a supernice surprise that had similar qualities like my niche Rouge Bunny Rouge Metamorphosis. Their foundation was ok, scentless and high coverage but I have to test it in a lighter colour range.
*
 Hourglass Immaculate Foundation has been Allure's 2014 winner, and actually well-deserved. Scentless, weightless & a gorgeous finish on skin. Or another wishlist foundation for the future.
*
The Essence Ticket to Paradise creamy eyeshadow has dried out. I still like Essence line for experimenting with colours within a good pricerange.
*
The Boscia BB cream has this fresh texture on the skin: like a water-bubble feeling. I sorta stepped away from BB-cream when they gotten popular but this one is quite nice
*
Jouer Matte foundation is a bliss in *oily climate zones*: I'd say Barcelona during summer or similar smog-zone cities. It zaps up un-necessary oilies without dulling skin
*
Oh, I already discussed the craptastic-ness of this eyecream over here: case closed.

Oh wait, I'm not totally done complaining because I had some weird experience with two(!) Therapi creams this month.I had bought both the no 3 Honey Moisturizing  as the Rose Otto Ultra Radiance cream a couple of months ago. I had stored them in my cool storage that totally agrees with my other skincare. Result:
weird shifting of cream/oil in both creams
I know there is a risk with natural skincare with having a shorter lifespan but this one:
1. did not have an expiry date
2. I had it for just 2 months, unopened!

My Nailpolishes, on the other hand, had a good couple of years before drying up.
 photo foto48.jpg
 photo foto234.jpg
Some Essies, Color Club & a Brazillian one on the right

Then my skincare:

Bioderma HydroBio Legere has been the equivalent of Nivea to me: nicely moisturizing but not much else. I've only used it twice.
*
Soap & Glory Scrub Your Nose in it is such a versatile mask/cleanser hybrid. I'd picked it up in the UK. 
*
A smaller La Roche Posay thermospray always comes in handy for a dewier complexion.
*
Macademia oil is a nice fatty moisturizer to use on hair: I smells wonderfully nutty.
*
MU London White Chocolate Moisturizer smelled similar to Palmer's Cocoa butter. This is a organically friendlier version and I really liked this travel size.
*
I didn't like the oily residue after using Live Nature Exfoliating cleanser. I felt like washing my face a couple of times again which shouldn't be necessary.
I really liked the Algenist Renewing Balm eyecream and I might repurchase in a bigger size.  The Algenist Reparative Anti-ageing Moisturizer has this kind of neutral/lab scent and aura that would be perfect for sensitive days. 
*
Continuing on Algenist, I totally liked this sample of the Brightening Mask. It's another hybrid product of exfoliating & cleansing, resulting in clearer, more radiant skin.
*
My Chelle Supreme Polypeptide cream has been nice introduction to the formula.
*
I've used the S5 brightening serum before, but this time I really needed it. I previous long-weekend left me with a sunburn (lousy sunscreen's fault). I think this generous sample did lighten me a bit.
*
First Aid Beauty Total Repair cream is so incredibly neutral and moisturizing at the same time. I think it would be bliss when you really need it.

Last but not least:
 photo foto222.jpg
Lyonsleaf Beauty Balm is a firm favourite among Organic oriented beautybloggers. That's for a good reason because this is an amazing multitasker being able to cleanse, moisturize lizardy cuticles and other dry areas. It smells gorgeously herbally.
*
I've been so curious for Living Proof Full Shampoo. Obviously, because it's co-owned by hair of the 1990s (and still) Jennifer Aniston. Reviews were mixed and I get that: it leaves a residue behind that curly/dryer types will love and the thinner strands won't. I liked the result, but I didn't like the green tea scent.
*
My 1st Vine-ed item on this blog: The Balmain Hair perfume [here]. Something did leak out but I'm sure I'd finished it with much enthousiasm anyway. Basically, LOVE: a fab hairglosser and a gorgeous fragance in one.

Ok, I've lied about it being the last. There are still some lip-products:

The Aube Frutina Gloss EX03 so amped and it probably one of my glossies glosses. I had it for too long so time to let go *sheds tear*
*
Ah, a Mascara. I really love Kanebo Kate eye-primers but this mascara is just average.
*
The Pixi Lipgloss (right corner) has been discontinued and I totally worn off the name. This gloss is your-nude-but-better. I wonder if their newer glosses have a similar grip on lips like this one.
*
To finish with a mystery lipstick:
the lipstick on the bottom is Korean but I cannot say which brand. I did so many Gmarket orders in the past #goodtimes. It just has Korean signs & PK 002 at the bottom.

Now after writing this down I feel nostalgic for ordering from Gmarket again: the effort, the hassle, the decifering Korean signs, but most...that awesomely big package that's the equivalent of a Russian doll:
past Gmarket haul
Yes, such box-i-ness can only be Gmarket!

Sunday, 26 October 2014

The Blush of my dreams & other newbies I'd been eager to get...

Holy purchasy October...
I've finally caved on a couple of items that were very wishlist for a while. 

It has been a yes/no/yes/not-yet debate, resulting into visiting certain sites frequently, making a cart, leaving the cart behind, getting reminders from websites I have a cart (I KNOW, it's so hard to forget), pretending I don't want it, visiting the same reviews over-and-over again to decide I still want it...

I've scored the most perfect blush I have encountered in a while: Meet my Surratt La Vie en Rose.

After falling in love with the neutral Grisalle shader (here) I upgraded towards colour. I picked a colour most closely to my own flushed cheeks (after working out/being embarrased/in love, ect): a rosy flush. 

Picking a colour like this is like adding youth to your face. It's my effortless colour, though I need a softer brush for application (think NARS Mie Kabuki) as it is delightfully pigmented. 

I have been wearing this blush 7 days in a row: a record! Then I decided my other ones felt neglected and I went for some peachy pink again: sometimes I like to look made-up dolly instead of natural :).

The other haul: my 1st Suqqu & Chanel brush.

After debating for more than 1 year I've finally have my 1st Suqqu blend palette in the most neutral no. 10 Kochueza. As for elegance sake, I added the Chanel brush No. 19 for eyes that is supposed to be quite the catch (review here & here)

I'm glad I caved to see what's the deal about Suqqu blend, but I'm also slighty underwhelmed. Don't get me wrong: Suqqu's texture is simply amazing, but the colours are too neutral for me. It's a "maybe in 3 years"-type of palette.

And finally that horribly pricy Tom Ford brush no. 2: foundation-time.
Tom Ford's brush no 2 feels slightly too limp. Oh gosh, I could imagine telling mr. Ford that his brush it too limp, and then I couldn't. Perhaps I'm too used to Real Technique's expert face brush firmer bristles. Temptalia reviewed this one as the most flawless foundation-brush ever and I'm probably not that used to it yet....
*Practice-makes-perfect?*

And sorry, I don't have any reviews or swatches going on yet. It's been busy and if it wasn't, it was just too cloudy for photos outside. I might take it slower on this blog as I'm slightly too obsessive/high maintainance on beauty lately: think full-face makeup to the gym whereas the other girls go bravely barefaced (or mascara only). Just a bit easier on being pretty on the outside to focus more on my inner beauty, or such... :). Well, we'll see...

Monday, 20 October 2014

SÉROZINC for everyone

I've been reading a lot about La Roche Posay Serozinc: how good it works, but mostly how hard-to-get it is...


I'll probably rejoice the ones that haven't got it yet (but want) and dissapoint the ones that got it by all kind of difficult ways: It's relatively easy to get by easyparapharmacie.com (here).

This used to be a complicated, French only site: Nowadays they are fully in English with various ways of payment, shipping & other uncomplicated webshop-la-la-la thingies.

Ofcourse, I added something more. The Phytokeratine travel set has been a mere €4.50 for a 50 ml shampoo &  mask. And here is that Lierac Bodyslim stuff again: I'm gonna try the nightime version.

DHL shipping is €10 for my region & it took only 2 days. It might be a lot but most of their products are slightly cheaper: eg. The Serozinc is €4.94 whereas on Dutch sites it's like 9. 

Ps: not promoting or affiliated with anything, just ask my creditcard company ; )

Friday, 17 October 2014

Clay-time: Rhassoul

Today I'm gonna share some about Clay & beauty. You might have read some things about clays before, so consider this your 2 cents that completes the other 98 cents :)

There are a lot of varieties that can basically be defined in colour. Every one has different properties, but most share the one that they are good as detoxifier by absorbing the baddies our of your system; either your skin, scalp, or some even digest it. Personally, I only put it on my skin & scalp.

Two varieties that I have used lately:
'White' Rhassoul Clay from Kae: 
I bought a cosmetic-market targeted version from Kae because of the amazing reviews. The white brown version of Rhassoul is the polished one. A purer version is often red, as seen in the next one.

Argiletz Red Clay Ultra Ventilated

Argiletz is a French Brand that comes in a 200 gr package within a nice pricerange:


& clear Instructions:
 photo argilezinstr.jpg
sorry for the smudgy
Rhassoul clay:
Rhassoul or Ghassoul is a Morrocan  clay. Most people in beauty have positive connotations hearing Morrocco: Argan oil & the brand Moroccan Oil. Clays are also being used in various beauty-rituals. 
  • claymask for face and body: it's both a gentle and effective cleanser for withdrawing impurities
  • It has a rejuvenating effect as the high content (58%) of Silica stimulates collagen production
  • bathing: the gentle detoxifying effect & the addition of various minerals are suitable and perhaps even healing for eczematic skin (I personally have not seen any shocking healing)
  • Scalpmask: I have done this and I have some reserves on this one too. 

Face?
I'm always on the lookout for real pore-cleansing masks. I seem to have the unlucky combination of open pores (larger) but they refuse to let go of their gunk easily. My facialist thinks I do a good cleaning them: I guess regular claymasks work.

I liked both Kae as Argiletz. I've been doing French green masks before: the Rhassoul variety is much gentlier for sensitive skins. It draws out some impurities, enough to see a difference. I do not feel the need to follow up with a moisturizing product afterwards.
 So the scalpmask?
Not the most succesful way of doing clay for me:
  • I felt my hair looked redder afterwards: Note, lightened/bleached hair is often porous & changes colour in swimmingpools -> green. So why wouldn't it attract red pigments from clays?
  • My hair felt greasy afterwards: Rhassoul has moisturizing properties that make it a gorgeous treatment by people with curly to very curly hair.. I had to wash it a couple of times to get the greasy feeling out
  • It calmed down my flakey scalp. Unfortunately, that was counteracted again by the overzealous hairwashing afterwards.
I think this mask is bliss for people with curly or middle-African hair. It was not that succesful for my type of hair, which is a shame because it felt nice and relaxing during scalpmasking.

Overview:
Various blogs & people have been embracing the natural & organic lifestyle lately. Like any product, it's a trial & error field. Sensitive & allergic skins might think they're better of with organic, but the added essential oils might not always be the best choice for them.
Clays are a more neutral option, unless you add something extra to them, like honey, oil or essential oils. 
Nevertheless, what works for one skintype or hairtype might not work for you. Thus, test-patches are probably the best way to know what your skin will do. And personally I would not do put anything with either natural & artificial colour (unless desired) on lightened hair.

If this has been your first 2 cents on clay and/or you want to add more 2 cents:

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

I still have Nothing: soon I don't...

If you finished your Nothing, will you finally be something?

Or perhaps to discuss the purpose of the state of Nirvana, that the ultimate state is being nothing again? Or that ultimate Yoga goal?

Nice philosophical question but I'm just about the material stuff on this blog. Hehehe, I'm almost about to finish up 'L'Air de Rien' or 'scent of Nothing': a gorgeously composed fragance by Jane Birkin for Miller Harris.

Smelling of nothing has never been so dominantly present. I absolutely love this fragance for autumn, but the mixture is quite strong. Jane Birkin mixed up a fragance that reminded her after a night out: think cigarretes, leather, and a bit of dance sweating. My nights out were probably not as sexy as hers, but I do think it smells like you can after a good (or bad as in being) night out. 

It's the kind of perfume I can only wear for one day. If I smell it on my clothes the next day, I feel nausious or overwhelmed. Still, I managed finishing a full bottle after 4 years and that says something. I consider it to me my most unique fragance and it feels so warming wearing it during autumn, but maximum 2 times a week, with interval days...

I have been decanting it to friends: it draws both a male & female crowd  without calling itself unisex. Perhaps that's why it's 'l'air de Rien', it's neither male nor female, it's just present: 

like nothingness is as present as it denies it is...

Monday, 13 October 2014

Becca Beachtint Raspberry/Opal in Vine

Sometimes moving images say more than the still ones.

So I would like to Vine-review Becca Beachtint in Raspberry/Opal I gotten in July (here). It started out as a cushiony dream but I have some reserves I will share later. Let's Vine first:

<

 Pros
  • love the colour-payoff: cannot get enough ofa  berry-ish glowy cheek
  • blends easily on my skin 
  • Fits my Adesign Pointed Foundation brush like a dream
Cons:
  • dents easily: I've only used it about 10 times to get this dent!
  • Not really fingerproof: this one needs a proper brush for applying

I'm slightly dissapointed to have this effect when I only had it for 3 months. The result is pretty but the Cons make it a blush I do not reach easily for it. Also, It looks I only have 50% left after only 10 uses, which makes it quite pricy per use.
unlike the bird, the early pan doesn't get the worm

I really love Becca as a brand. I prefer their matte eyeshadows over Rouge Bunny Rouge's, I love their illuminators and they have some awesome blushers. This formula is neither fish nor fowl.
It also dissapears faster than my other blushes.

Conclusion: Love at first sight can be deceptive if the substance looked more than it eventually is