Sunday, 30 June 2013

Fixations of the Month - the June Edition 2013

Everyone that knows me is fully aware of my uncanny ability to become completely obsessed with things. I do it all the time and I am very good at it!

Case in point - muffins! Last month I loved muffins, I dreamed about muffins, I looked at recipes, stalked Pinterest for pictures, I talked about the best ingredients to anyone who would listen , I consumed at least 2 muffins a day and constantly arranged special deliveries. I was a true muffin connoisseur for exactly 23 days. Today I could care less! 
This month it's all about the muffins better looking, more sophisticated and elegant cousin - the glorious Cupcake. 

Seeing how my enthusiasm is at an all-time high I decided to share some of the things that I obsessed about this June! I honestly can't endorse these things enough.

1. My new Omorovicza skin care routine

Omorovicza Skin Care Routine
I talked about this before and it was featured quite heavily in my skincare haul so it's really no surprise that it ended up on this list. I am waiting to test all the bits and pieces a little bit longer before reviewing them but I am happy to report that after a few bumps, my face is now glowing enough to actually receive compliments. That's a really big deal for me so even though I am still a little cautious, I am seriously thinking that I've finally found "the one" for me.

2. Subscription Box Reviews

Conscious Box Subscription Healthy
There are so many subscription boxes out there now, that it seems to me you can have anything you heart desires stuffed in a cardboard box (or envelope) and delivered by your jolly neighborhood postman no matter where you might be. 
I had dabbled in a few disappointing beauty box subscriptions in the past, all before I realized I was extremely picky when it comes to my products and basically a control freak. Based on those experiences I kind of gave up on the whole idea, thinking the whole subscription trend will retire as soon as the novelty idea runs its course. 
Obviously I was ridiculously wrong. 
Lately I have found myself reading some new box reviews and realized that the subscription fad has seriously stepped up its game. There are boxes for snackers, foodies, makeup queens, nail polish enthusiasts, candy addicts, environmentalists, tea appreciators...the list goes on and on. Overwhelming to say the least! 
Knowing my personality (ms.picky) I am still very hesitant but I would be lying if I wasn't attracted to some of the lifestyle (Popsugar, Seasons, Conscious), foodie (Knoshbox, Fancy Food, Taste Trunk) and healthy snack (Bestowed, Naturebox, Healthy Surprise) boxes. A lot of times I am disappointed that said box do not deliver to Canada or charge a huge shipping fee for Canuck deliveries. Luckily that terrible trend seems to be changing. I am still searching for that perfect box for me and I am bound to find it at the mecca of all subscription boxes here

3. Bad reality shows -Big Brother & The Bachelorette 

The Bachelorette Deseree

I completely understand that its trash TV and I am painfully aware that I am just wasting my brain cells by worrying whether or not Desiree will give the rose to the right guy or if the power of veto will change the nominations in the Big Brother house. I know its dumb and that its insane to take stuff like that personally but I do! I do, every single summer I do!

4. Cupcakes

As i already mentioned, last month's food of choice was the hearty muffin, which I loved a little too much so it finally lost its coveted spot to the elegant, dainty cupcake. It comes in so many flavors, colors and decorations. Essentially the perfect storm of cuteness and yuminess for somebody like me. Did i mention the sprinkles? It usually comes with sprinkles - my kryptonyte!

5. Juicy Couture 

I know that Juicy Couture is not everyone's cup of tee - actually I think they are one of the most polarizing brands in the fashion industry. People either adore their youthful spirit, kitschy trendy designs, wild logos and the infamous "Juicy" velour sweatsuits or are convinced that the brand is one of the tackiest things to ever come out of the glamorous USA. Personally I love them , maybe a little less than I did years ago but still Juicy just makes me happy.
I don't know if its because summer has arrived or because I just feel a little more youthful these days but my old Juicy Couture daydreamer has been making a regular appearance in my daily wardrobe.  It inspired me to pull out my juicy jewelry as well - charms included.

I might make this Fixation list a regular monthly occurrence because I know that someday soon I will wake up and be repulsed by cupcakes, the Juicy bag will be replaced by the Chanel one and Big Brother will switch to Honey Boo Boo. I am pretty fickle when it comes to these things

What have you been obsessing about?



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A Tribute of Sorts - My Beauty Story

I dedicate this Beauty Story to my Beauty Idol. the original Principessa - My Grandmother!

I didn't grow up being a girly girl.

My life started out in a very different, complicated way that even though I was strongly encouraged to be feminine by some key influences I preferred to dabble in some traditional "boyish" habits. My extra-curricular activities included tree-climbing, marble battles in the dust, Kung-Foo movies and animated yelling at TV soccer games. I am pretty sure I wore a dress during most of those things (i think!)

My grandmother was the epitome of an old fashioned beauty queen, she was the most beautiful woman I have ever seen and when I was a little girl I thought her evenings were cut straight from an old Hollywood movie. I swear she looked and acted as if she was best friends with Audrey Hepburn and had Sophia Lauren on her speed dial (if she did, it wouldn't be a shocker!). She would put on her long silk bathrobe, sit in front of her magnificent huge vanity and spend an eternity brushing her long hair, smoothing on fancy, lovely scented potions...making her skin look and feel like velvet. In the morning she would get up early, preform her "spells" in the mirror and finally emerge out of the room looking like she was ready for a Sears catalog shoot (red lipstick included!) The whole ritual was so romantic, so feminine, so mesmerizing and so deliciously unattainable that although I much preferred climbing trees back then, I knew that one day I would want to recreate that scenario for myself.

You would think that with such glamorous genes I would grow up and grow in to such classic beauty, making the smallest ritual seem to be so effortless and movie she did. Sadly and unfortunately that's not how things work out.
My beauty life has been very awkward to say the least and my cosmetic interest didn't bloom till much later on, and even then it was brought upon by a necessity, but I am evolving each day like all of you and always striving to improve, to discover that one bottle that will obviously change my life...right? I practice my very own beauty rituals, which are nowhere as fancy looking as hers did and I apply all kinds of creams and balms trying and failing miserably to achieve her velvety skin. I also regularly frighten people with random facial masks each week - you'd be surprised how easy that really is! 

Despite the fact that she is gone now I will always remember all the things she taught me and showed me while she was alive. The strength of our relationship and contentedness is something i treasure so much and the fact that there are so many small things that remind me of her now is an unexpected blessing that warms my heart each day. I don't like the scent of Chanel No. 5 but I will always have a roller ball of it in my purse , just because a small whiff of it instantly transports me to her bedroom and that glamorous Hollywood vanity table. 
She had many "beauty secrets" that she tried to pass on to me but I think the one that resonates the most is that we should always strive put our best foot forward no matter what the en-devour is. Regardless of what life was like for her, she was always beautiful, always strong, always determined and most importantly always dignified. 

All in all I think my grandmother would be so proud that after all her training and constant reminders about what it takes to be a "true lady" her little tom-girl transformed into the ultimate girly girl with her very own fancy vanity table and even her own little beauty blog. 

And eye cream! If nothing else - always, always use eye cream!

What or who is your beauty inspiration!



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Saturday, 29 June 2013

Sensitive Skin Club REN Hydra-Calm Line

Its no secret that I love REN. Its probably one of my top 5 all time favorite brands and I honestly can't say anything bad about them, their amazing customer service or any of their products. There aren't too many companies out there that I can stand behind completely and REN's Clean philosophy is a pretty awesome approach on how everyone should take care of themselves and their surroundings at the same time.

And please don't worry, it might sound like it but this is not a sponsored post in any way! I purchased all of my REN products myself and would gladly repurchase (and have!) again - I have nothing to gain by this review and all my thoughts and conclusions are my own. 
The Hydra-Calm line in the REN magic apothecary is designed and meant for those of us that did not win the genetic skin-care jack pot of normal people skin. What i mean is if your face gets red and blotchy for no apparent reason, if it feels tight and dry in the morning but sometimes magically transforms to weirdly oily by the afternoon, or if you are known to blush equally by looking at cute things and by the sight of plain baby carrots...your skin is not normal, right? Plus if you are completely comfortable with words such as rosacia, dermatitis, psoriasis and dermatitis; then that means you are in the super exclusive Sensitive Skin Club. 

REN describes the Hydra-Calm glory as;
REN's best selling Sensitive Skin range avoids known allergens and detrimental skincare ingredients, protects against environmental aggression pollution and is formulated with a range of bio actives that calm, strengthen and "train" sensitive skin to be less reactive.
With REN, you'll forget you have sensitive skin!

The two products i want to talk about are the REN Hydro-Calm Cleansing Milk and the the REN Hydro-Calm Global Protection Day Cream. I have used both of these for several months and I don't know if my skin is "trained" to be less sensitive but I can definitively say that my skin was a whole lot calmer whenever i stuck to this regiment. 

REN Hydra Calm Cleansing Milk
REN describes this cleanser as;
A gentle, cleansing milk designed to leave more sensitive or delicate skin purified, fresh, calm and soothed. 

When I first started using this cleanser I was once again put off due to my obviously deep-ridden addiction to bubbles. Apparently I cant seem to feel clean unless things foam up and my first impression of this milk was obviously tainted by this. However I was pleasantly surprised by REN (again!) and once i rinsed my face did feel clean and i didn't feel any of the dreaded filmy residue. My face was left soft, hydrated, smooth but still clean, maybe not deep clean but the feeling was definitively very different from what i was expecting. Cleansing milks usually make me feel pampered and girly but never completely clean, which is an issue of course so REN definitively got bonus points on that end.

The regular daily grime melted easily but as usual I would recommend a double cleanse on makeup days just to make sure that everything is properly removed. The last thing we want is congested skin due to to something we sensitive skin girls can actually control. The texture of this really helped as well since its thicker than traditional cleansing milks and feels almost like a a facial cream when its massaged in. The scent exudes freshness albeit its very mild, almost non-existent so if that's an issue you don't need to worry. There isn't even a trace of greasiness, which was important to me since i am kind of a stickler when it comes to needing my cleansers to be easy to rinse-off and even though its not required I actually liked using a muslin cloth with it it to help things along even more. I was even able to use it with my Clarisonic Mia 2.

Ultimately I liked the way my face felt afterwards so even though there were no bubbles I was comfortable enough in feeling that i was cleaning my face sufficiently without stripping it like usual. Therefore I would happily recommend this to any members of the Sensitive Skin Club or anyone looking for a great, gentle non-foaming cleanser.

REN Hydra-Calm Global Protection Day Cream

This is what REN has to say;
A moisturizer formulated to leave more sensitive skin optimally hydrated, calmed, soothed, protected and looking beautifully healthy. 

This Hydra-Calm Global Protection Day Cream lived up to everything REN promised and more. Honestly if this had SPF protection built in I would say it was 100% perfect. I have used this on and off for about a year and my over-reactive skin feels great each and every time i smooth this on. The texture is thick, creamy, fresh and luxurious to say the least, it smooths on easily, absorbs quickly without any greasy residue and almost seems to soothe the redness on my cheeks. After a few minutes my entire face feels moisturized, soothed, smooth and yes CALM.
Along with the fact that my skin is annoyingly sensitive, its also dry which is why I can vouch for the Hydra-Calm cream performance in dry-skin hell - Canadian Winters. I am happy to say that REN worked wonders during the daytime under a good makeup base or tinted moisturizer but fell a bit short at night, when I needed something a little richer, with a bit more hydration to avoid the tight parched feeling the next day. I was able to fix that by adding the Rose O¹² Moisture Defence Serum underneath so I guess you could say REN still worked, I just needed to do a bit of customizing which is something I love the most about skincare in the first place.

The conclusion is quite easy for me - I loved the Hydro-Calm picks and I love REN so I would recommend it to the Sensitive Skin Club wholeheartedly but also to anyone looking for a no-nonsense, no-frills, full performance moisturizer.

Ren Hydra-Calm can be purchased at their site here or at Sephora here

I hope someone finds this helpful!

Have you tried REN before? Any favorite skincare products?



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Monday, 24 June 2013

Dior Addict Lip Glow Lives Up To Its Name

I don't repurchase many beauty products! There are always so many new things out there that I want to try, new lemmings that call out my name and whisper sweet promises directly to the all-believing wide-eyed girl, always looking for that new it-item...What I am trying to say is that things can get very overwhelming in The Canadian Principessa beauty world so if something wants to make a repeat appearance then it has to be basically amazing from start to finish!

The Dior Addict Lip Glow has now been repurchased three times so that fact alone means that this somewhat pricy "lip balm" has managed to impress me to a point that despite the fact that i am surrounded by things my lips love I just had to find a way to make it mine again and again. 

Christian Dior Addict Lip Glow

The Dior fancies at Sephora describe the Lip Glow like this;
A sheer balm that enhances your natural lip color while moisturizing and protecting the skin.
What it "promises" to do for us;
Awaken and enhance the natural beauty of your lips with this unique balm that promises the perfect pout. Formulated with color reviver technology, this silky lipstick reacts with the chemistry of your lips to create a special shade that will last all day. The addition of SPF 10 will keep you protected, while hydrating mango butter and loofah extract nourish for beautiful luscious lips. 

Despite the fact that I have purchased exactly 3 tubes of this pink, girly perfection, I have some specific problems with the description given by Dior and subsequently endorsed by Sephora and other retailers. Personally I feel that the official spiel is kind of misleading for anyone purchasing this sight-unseen, for example on line or anyone who takes company jargon too literally. This is the perfect example of a product where personal reviews and blog posts are significantly more useful than any amount of item information found on actual retail sites. 

Christian Dior Addict Lip Glow

Lets start with the fact that this is initially introduced as a "sheer balm" that is suppose to moisturize your lips and at the same time "enhance" the natural lip color of the wearer. Now enhancing a color is kind of an abstract term - at least for me! Does it mean it will brighten my natural lip color? Or add tint and shine to give it more of a "pretty" look? For me i have to say that the brightening is most prominent and the effect gets stronger the longer the balm stays on my lips, hence the correct labeling it as a "lip glow". However a balm this is not, maybe a very-very sheer one but if your lips are in need of any amount of moisturization then this is not going to help at all. The good news is that a light layer of any non-waxy lip balm underneath the Dior Addict will not interfere with it's intended "glow" feature. 

If you continue reading the official description the Lip Glow is also refereed to as a "silky lipstick" that is suppose to "last all day" and lets not forget about the protection claims given to the low SPF 10 included in the formulation. Well after having used this for so long I can confidently disagree with the "lipstick" label, simply because the added tint does not contain any pure pigments and the graduation of color is supposedly produced by a chemical reaction triggered by your own body temperature. Calling it a lipstick is just silly and can mislead first-time buyers into thinking they are getting an altogether different product type, which can easily result in disappointment and inevitably complaints! And it does not last all day, 4-5 hours without eating is its limit! 

Since most of you lovelies already know about importance of SPF then I don't need to comment too loudly about the fact that almost all dermatologists now recommend a minimum of SPF 15 for adequate protection, meaning that the SPF 10 in the Dior Addict Lip Glow is just not going to cut it. I would expect a high-end company like Dior to improve basics like that in the future and at least consider revising some of the "claims" promised in their eloquently written description. 

For those of you dedicated enough to have made it this far, it must be puzzling why I would repurchase a product so many times if I found so many things that I disagree with. 
Well, the short answer is that I am addicted to the "lip glow"! Dior nailed that part perfectly - my lips look brighter, lusciously supple, comfortable and finished with a very subtle, sophisticated glossy sheen. The main attraction of course is that promised "lip glow" - the tint starts off as a subtle English rose, slowly blooming into that very fresh bright Barbie pink that really pops and compliments my fair undertones like no other "regular" pink lipstick. Most conventional pink lipsticks usually end up washing me out,resulting into a very sallow skin tone or they are so bright that i end up feeling kind of "trashy" or self-conscious, which inevitably leads to short wear-time anyways. 

If you need any more evidence that i am hopelessly girly in every aspect of what that means then i will also point out that the Dior Lip Addict Lip Glow comes in a beautiful,  feminine but also classy PINK tube, which in itself was a major factor in the initial tube purchase. The pattern will continue :-) Sad, I know!

You can guys can purchase your very own Lip Glow here
This seems to be one of their bestsellers since they are often sold out, so if you want it I would suggest pouncing on it as soon as it comes in stock.  

Dior released some additional items to the "Dior Addict Lip Glow" line up just to tempt me -  Addict Lip Glow ($30) and Dior Nail Glow ($24). I hope to bring their reviews to you soon!

Christian Dior Addict Lip Glow GlossChristian Dior Nail Glow

Recently I discovered that the L'Oreal Colour Riche Balm in Pink Satin is a great quality but also significantly more wallet friendly "dupe-like" alternative to the Dior Lip Glow. You can check out my review on the L'Oreal version here.   

Have you tried any of the Dior Lip/Nail Glow products? What did you think? 



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Friday, 21 June 2013

Do You Put Oil On Your Face? I Do!

If someone would have told me years ago that I would be slathering oil on my face every day I would have never believed it. My skin is combination dry and even though it can get dehydrated from time to time, I always assumed that oils are better left for "dry-skinned" individuals. Its not that I didn't think oils were beneficial, on the contrary being a beauty connoisseur I was very-much aware, but I was afraid of oil inducing congestion and pesky breakouts that come with it. 

My first facial oil experience started out with Paul & Joe (review here) so after that success, naturally I decided to explore a bit more and "presto" a new obsession was born. After much trial and error I have finally narrowed down my collection to a manageable size, which means that only the best (for me, personally!) made the cut!

Antipodes Organic Avocado Oil & Rosehip Divine Facial OilREN Rose Moisture Defence Serum
If my skin is feeling particularly parched I tend to reach for some of the more hydrating formulas. For me that means REN Rose O¹² Ultra-Moisture Defence Serum and Antipodes Organic Avocado & Rosehip Divine Oil. Just a few drops added to my night cream soothe and heal any pesky dry spot practically overnight. Massaging the oil in to my skin quickly transforms my standard skincare routine into a pampering experience especially when its coupled with a scent i cant resist. REN's Rose Serum wins that prize hands down!

When I am after something with some added benefits then I reach for my Pure Marula Facial Oil and my newest discovery NUDE Skincare ProGenius Treatment Oil. Both of these oils provide deep hydration but its coupled with some anti-aging properties too. Marula Oil
NUDE Skincare ProGenius Treatment OilThe NUDE oil is said to be formulated using 10 specific plant oils which are suppose to be rich in all the good stuff your skin needs - Omega 3,6,7 and 9. This oil produces a plumping effect on my face better than any I have ever tried and I always wake up with grease-less glow on my cheeks. You could say that ProGenius has become my MVP in the oil word.

Marula Oil is produced from the oil found in Marula nuts, which are harvested by women in East Africa and then cold pressed for the hughest purity and quality possible. I love the light texture and for this reason this is the only oil that I can use during the day as well and not worry about makeup meltdowns.

The Trilogy Certified Organic Rosehip Oil was recommended to me for treatment of scars, hyper pigmentation, old acne "dots" and even stretch marks. Its suppose to be quite good for dehydrated skin and anti-aging concerns, including fine lines and wrinkles. The results are definitively not dramatic and if you are looking to see immediate results you will be disappointed, however give it a few months and the results will be obvious even to the most critical of eyes.

Honorable mentions that I will feature or review in the future include - Clarins Lotus Oil, REN Omega 3 Night Repair Serum, Decleor Aromessence, Josie Maran Argan Oil, Suti Rejuvenate Organic Facial Oil and others.

Do you guys use facial oils? What are your favorites?



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Thursday, 20 June 2013

Discover: Biologique Recherche Creme Dermopurifiante

Biologique Recherche p50 is and probably will continue to be one of my greatest skincare discoveries of all time. It is the only product i have ever tried that actually made a huge difference in my skin condition and lived up to all the promises and claims listed on the bottle. 
This extremely positive experience with such a niche brand inspired me to do a bit of research and see what else they had to offer. After i received a sample of the Creme Dermopurifiante in one of my p50 orders from Rescue Spa, i tried it for a few days and decided to take the plunge and order the full size. I had faith and high expectations, especially after one of their skin specialists mentioned that the Dermopurifiante would compliment the p50 beautifully.

Biologique Recherché Creme Dermopurifiante

This is how their site describes this purifying moisturizer;
"Creme Dermopurifiante is the go to moisturizer for unbalanced, prone to breakouts, and combination skin. It helps to purify the skin, reduce the appearance of redness and regulates oil production, it's anti-aging as well. For best results use with Lait U cleanserP50 1970 and Masque Vivant. After two weeks I guarantee your skin is going to be clearer and balanced!" Danuta Mieloch 

Biologique Recherche Creme Dermopurifiante: It protects the epidermis against external aggressions. It provides effective treatment for seborrheic skin without drying out the epidermis. It is recommended for imbalanced and/or reactive skin.

Active Ingredients;
Yeast extract, centella asiatica, thyme, lavender, usnic acid, aloe, wild pansy extract, coffee extract and vitamin C

Just like my beloved p50 this cream smells horrible  Its potent to say the least and may be extremely unpleasant to some people. I was prepared for this so I cant fault it on that but i am happy to report that the scent does not last very long and dissipates within minutes. Having used it now for a few months I will say that i am completely used to it now and honestly the results are worth the short-lived discomfort. 
The texture of this is kind of like whipped butter that becomes quite slippery once warmed up, ending with a satiny feel & finish on my face. Its not heavy at all, absorbs fully and quickly plus it leaves my skin feeling comforted and hydrated.

Despite the fact that I really love this cream and i would repurchase it again I am inclined to feel somewhat underwhelmed by the whole experience. However before i judge a great product I need to take in to consideration that because the p50 was so life changing I had extreme expectations for this cream. I really like it and i feel that its been very good to my skin overall so I would recommend it wholeheartedly to anyone who is struggling with various skin imperfections. If you are already using the famous p50 then this is definitively something you may want to explore because they really do compliment each other. 

Biologique Recherche products are kind of tricky to find and purchase in North America but you can find almost their whole collection at Rescue Spa here. They also stock a lot of other hard to find brands such as Institut Esthederm, Chantecaille, Eve Lom and Jan Marini. 

I hope this was helpful! Have you tried any Biologique Recherche products?



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Kiehl's Midnight Recovery Concentrate

It wasn't so long ago that the thought of putting oil on my face brought visions of grease balls, pimples and other unpleasantries. Even though my skin is essentially combination-dry I believed that hydration should come solely from a conventional moisturizers and/or hydrating serums. That being said I have loved body and bath oils for years but never even considered such a product to my facial beauty routine. 
Fast forward to the present and I am now a proud owner of multiple facial oils that have benefited my skin so much that i couldn't really imagine a regiment without one. 

One of my favorite facial oils comes from a tried and true North American brand - Kiehl's. This is a true apothecary old-fashioned New York brand that has consistently been on the top of its game when it comes to combining natural ingredients with the latest scientific innovations, thereby coming up with products that deliver what they promise (for the most part!).  

Kiehl,s Midnight Recovery Concentrate
The Midnight Recovery Concentrate is oil-based elixir that is to transform and deliver skin health virtually over-night! The ingredients included in the formulation: squalane, evening primrose oil, lavender oil and omega-6 fatty acids are all supposed to aid hydration, renew skin surface and repair the damage caused by everyday environmental factors. 
Those are some mighty big promises for a few drops of oil! So does it deliver? 

I have used the Midnight Concentrate sporadically for the past 4 months and I have to say that I definitively notice some encouraging results each time i use it. My skin never feels or looks greasy the next day and my entire complexion looks significantly more radiant. I have also noticed that my skin tone and texture always improve the next morning, giving me that "plumped up" soft appearance. It may be my wish-full thinking but I can almost say that i look more rested and fresh in the morning. Pretty impressive for just a couple of drops, I say! 
The texture of the elixir itself is very light but that means that it spreads very easily and absorbs almost instantly. Some nights it almost reminds me of the consistency of a dry oil, which I love. Kiehl's classifies this as fragrance-free but I have to disagree, however the scent is very light and it gives it kind of an aromatherapy feel of pampering. I can mix it with my moisturizer or just use it as that extra treatment step after cleansing & toning but regardless of method the results are the same. My skin glows!

The price tag may seem high at first ($48 for 30 ml here) but if you consider that each use only requires a few droplets, this bottle will last a very long time. I for one consider this Kiehl's product to be one of my skin care investments 

Have you tried this before? What is your favorite oil?



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Wednesday, 19 June 2013

The Hero Club of the Month - June

I am sure most of you are familiar with the staple "Monthly Favorites" post, which shows up on almost every beauty blog out there (at some point anyways!)
Well as usual I am "late to the party" but never one to be left behind, I decided to unveil my own line-up of HERO products and things that really made a difference in my girly struggles this month anyway!

Make Up For Ever Mat Velvet Foundation
Since my skin has been going through some kind of freak-out stage this month, I was forced to break out some heavier-duty foundations to cover it all up. I rediscovered an old favorite, MAKE UP FOREVER Mat  Velvet + Matifying Foundation, which preformed amazingly and actually made me wonder why it was forgotten in the first place. I love the fact that it provides medium to full coverage, remains undetectable, lasts a good 8 hours or more and leaves a "real skin" finish. It covered all redness, blotchiness and breakouts but didn't melt in the humidity either.  Perfection in a bottle and one that will not be put back in the vanity drawer.
You can purchase it here

Benefit Cosmetics Velvet Eyeshadow Fawn Over Me
With finals, classes, all-nighters and feeble attempts to figure out Calculus, this month has been very rushed and I've had to make every minute count in order to balance everything out. Unfortunately that meant that makeup-play was very limited and I've had to stick to a fairly simple, low maintenance look every day. This is where a forgotten Benefit Velvet Eye shadow came in - "Fawn Over Me" is a perfect neutral color that manages to define my eyes without being boring and best of all it takes mere minutes to perfect. 
For your very own click here 

By Terry Or de Rose Elixir Extreme
Whether you are up all night partying or studying or panicking, the result is always the same - lack-luster, dull, sallow and just plain drab complexion. The cure or remedy would of course be a good night sleep and vitamin spiked smoothie but when that cant be scheduled i rely on the beautifully scented By Terry Or De Rose Elixir Extreme to bring me back to life. The price tag is a tad ridiculous ($170) but I cant deny the fact that it does work beautifully and smells like a true summer rose garden. I use a few drops to mix in my foundation, layer it on as a primer or on the days i am really rushed I just wear it by itself. It definitively gives a true illusion of health and radiance without being all obvious about it. 

Origins Dr. Weils Mega-Mushroom Skin Relief Mask
In an attempt to calm and heal my skin I dug deep into my stash for some skin pampering and discovered a mask I purchased around Christmas that lay forgotten and lonely. Since my complexion is suffering from the whole trinity - redness, reactivity and irritation, Origins Dr. Weils Mega-Mushroom Skin Relief Mask seemed like a perfect fit. I was impressed after just one use! My skin felt soothed, hydrated, cooled and in general a lot more comfortable. The results in the mirror were just as promising too - the redness was almost completely gone after 10 minutes. The instructions say to leave on for 10 minutes and then tissue off, however i like rinsing it off just to make sure its removed completely. Its a little pricy ($45 here) but it made such a difference for me that i don't even care about that aspect.   

Have you tried any of these? What are your HERO products this month?



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Summer Time Lips with YSL Beaute

The summer and spring season in Atlantic Canada has been unusual to say the least. Instead of sunny spring days we have been faced with rain, grey skies and just an overall gloomy atmosphere. I don't want to complain of course, seeing how so many have suffered recently due to dramatic weather events that don't even compare to the situation here BUT i will say that its been really hard for me to feel springy and colorful with all this rain.
In order to kick-start my "summer feeling" I was inspired to look through my lip treasures and find some forgotten colors to help me out. After a bit of digging I realized that a lot of the lippies I was pulling out were by the luxe YSL. Its one of those brands that are frequent visitors to my vanity but for one reason or another often overlooked when it comes to writing reviews. 
Today I want to change that!

The first two "lipsticks" come from the well known Volupte Sheer Candy Glossy Balm line up and my picks for summer are No.1 Lush Coconut and No.4 Succulent Pomegranate.

Yves Saint Laurent Volupte Sheer Candy Glossy Balm
YSL desribes these glossy balms as;
This balm dresses your lips in a sheer veil of brilliant color boosted with vitamin- and antioxidant-rich fruit extract. Its ultra-light, sensual texture leaves lips feeling soft and hydrated for up to eight hours and is ideal for year-round use.

- Hyaluronic Acid Spheres: Penetrate the upper layers of the epidermis (stratum corneum) where they absorb water from the environment, swelling and growing up to 30 times their initial volume.
- Rosemary Extract, Pomegranate Extract, and Gamma Oryzanol blend: Help protect the lips against free radicals that cause premature aging.
- Candellila Resin: Forms a thin protective layer on the lips that helps lock in the moisture and magnifies the color particles on the lips.

My initial impression of the Sheer Candy Balms was very good despite the high price tag. I understood before purchasing that these were suppose to be "sheer" so the light pigmentation didnt faze me. Don't get me wrong, color was definitively there but these are not lipsticks so i didn't expect them to be bright. The Lush Coconut was a nude like shimmer shade which looks amazing on tanned skin, hence it being a summer pick. The Succulent Pomegranate looked a bit intimidating in the tube but transformed my lips into a "wet berry shade" with a bit of a glow. They feel amazing on my lips, give me the feeling of hydration and I am impressed by the fact that the formula absorbs and doesnt just sit on top. I would prefer that there was no fragrance or artificial taste but its not a big enough issue to be a problem for me. However those with sensitivities may need to be prepared to deal with that. 

My other two YSL summer re-discoveries are from the Rouge Pur Couture Vernis a Levres Glossy Stains, the chosen colors being No.19 Beige Aquarelle and No.15 Rose Vinyl. 

Yes Saint Laurent Rouge Pur Couture Vernis a Levres Glossy Stains

YSL describes the glossy stains as;
A revolutionary new lip product that combines the texture and shine of a gloss with the long wear of a stain.
Coat your lips with this lip color that offers a lightweight texture, which immediately melts onto lips. Glossy Stain delivers intense glossy color for an extremely long-lasting shine.

There is a bit of controversy when it comes to these YSL glossy stains - people either love them or feel "betrayed by the description" so they hate them. Personally I like them, however I will admit that they fail to deliver to some degree when it comes to the glossy stain premise. 
The texture falls somewhere in between a gel and a creamy lip lacquer, almost like a hybrid between the two and the pigmentation depends on the shade you choose (the darker colors tend to be brighter). The trick to making these work on your lips is application technique and a bit of patience since you'll have to apply a couple layers on the lips and wait in between to make sure the color is properly absorbed. Don't be alarmed if after applying it the color shifts a little and looks uneven - just give it a few minutes to "set" and repeat as needed. The finish is not sticky once dry, doesn't accentuate every lip imperfection, can be layered for a stronger color effect but most importantly it lasts a lot longer than a regular lipstick. I appreciate the fact that as the color fades from the lips, it does so in a natural manner without the tacky "lip ring"  

The two shades I love are the Beige Aquarelle and Rose Vinyl and they couldn't be any more different. The Beige Aquarelle caught my eye because it looked like a nude shade and that seemed to be kind of unique in the field of lip stains. The finished look was that of a muted nude rose, perfectly suitable for understated day-wear.
My Rose Vinyl purchase was my attempt to branch out and try wearing some brighter lip shades and this was a good start. A bright berry pink shade was just enough out of my comfort zone that I felt bold but not self-concious - perfect for a date or a night out, since its just "special enough".

As I mentioned I have a lot of YSL cosmetics but they seem to be below the radar all the time. But with lip gems such as these, they deserve to be mentioned for sure 

What do you think about my picks? 



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Sunday, 16 June 2013

Clarins Lip Perfector in Rose Shimmer

Clarins Instant Light Lip Perfectors are another one of those products that seem to have blown up in the blogosphere just recently, most likely driven by the addition of the new shades to the somewhat small collection. 
Today the lineup consists of six shades: 01 Rose Shimmer, 02 Apricot Shimmer, 03 Nude Shimmer, 04 Petal Shimmer, 05 Candy Shimmer and 06 Rosewood Shimmer. I believe the last 3 are the new colors.

Clarins Instant Light Lip Perfectors Shades

I am not exactly sure when Clarins initially brought these out but it must have been a while back since I remember using them even years ago. My color of choice was and still remains the original 01 Rose Shimmer, which is a perfectly natural rosy shade that compliments my lips, adding just enough shine and shimmer, without being too obvious. In fact that's exactly what the point of these lip perfectors really is - to add a little bit of color, moisturize, erase any imperfections (flakes, anyone?) and technically "light up" your own lips.  

This is how Clarins describes the Lip Perfector;
A softly textured lip gel with a deliciously sweet scent and 3D shimmer.Experience the lusciously  smooth, shiny and fuller lips you've always dreamed of. Sheer but shaded enough to wear alone or to complement your favorite lip shade. 
Supple, well moisturized lips; extracts of Shea Butter, Wild Mango and plant perhydrosqualene repair and soften
Derivatives of Vitamin E and A, reinforce the repairing action and protect against free radicals.

Clarins Instant Light Lip Perfectors Rose Shimmer
When I initially purchased one these Instant Light lip glosses I was expecting just that - a lip gloss! I am happy to report that I was so very wrong! This is no ordinary lip gloss that adds some color to your pucker - its actually a hybrid of a lip color and a lip treatment. What that means is that i don't need to apply lip balm before this, just 1 layer of this and my lips are smoothed, moisturized, protected and just plain pretty. I am not usually a fan of fragrance when it comes to face products but the Lip Perfectors smell of caramel, vanilla, candy and pie, so I enjoy that feature very-very much! Compared to other lip glosses the stickiness is negligible, which is something i always take in to account since my hair is quite long.  
Final verdict is a resounding rave and since the price ($20) is reasonable for a 10 ml tube I would recommend this to anyone 

The Instant Light Lip Perfectors are available for purchase directly on the Clarins website here and counters everywhere!

Have you tried the Clarins lip perfectors?



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The Multi-Taskers - Rodial VS. Nip+Fab

As a beauty blogger I obviously love my products - ok, i am obsessed with them!
The inevitable result of my addiction is that I end up complicating my beauty routine so much that it can take ages to get "ready" for anything (even if its just going to bed!). However since beauty products are not my "whole life" I too end up needing to find a few shortcuts here & there BUT they need to be great to satisfy the craving for pretty!

Multi-tasking Balms are those "creams" marketed, promoted, advertised and pushed along with promises of hundreds of ways they can be used, multiple places they can be slathered on, miracles to be achieved...Well being someone who has tried so many different things over the years, I don't fall for that kind of fluff and PR padding! Sure, the balm may have a 1000 uses, it can fix this and that but ultimately we are talking about a rich moisturizer with a fancy label.
That being said they can be quite lovely and very useful too!

One of my favorites comes from a luxury brand, Rodial and its none other than the cult product Glam Balm Multi.

Rodial Glam Balm

The company describes it as;
Rodial GLAM BALM \multi is an intensive anti-ageing balm. 3D Hyaluronic Filling Spheres instantly hydrate to smooth skin and reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles while Calendula, Shea Butter and Vitamin E soothe and restore moisture to promote elasticity. 
You can see the 100 uses Rodial recommends here (they are very impressive)

The texture of the Glam Balm is quite thick and dense but that's actually works in its favor since it means that a little goes a long way and once warmed up between your fingertips it preforms beautifully for its primary purpose - moisturizing! The price is quite high ($49) but due to its nature and targeted use, it will last a very long time.
I use it as a hand cream, overnight lip treatment, cuticle moisturizer, eye balm, overnight hydration treatment and even as an in-flight mask. I particularly enjoy the fact that its almost completely fragrance-free, which is an issue i had with the similar type product Elizabeth Arden's Eight Hour Cream.

A more affordable version of the Glam Balm actually comes from Maria Hatzistefanis who is the brains behind Rodial anyways! Her "drugstore" line Nip+Fix comes from the UK and takes the same "targeted approach" that made the luxe line famous in the first place. Each Nip+Fix product is marketed with a very specific use, promising ingredients, fun but not juvenile packaging but unlike Rodial, the price won't make you cringe and second-guess every purchase.

Nip + Fab Lip + Nip

Nip+Fix Lip+Nip Fix is decribed as;
No beauty bag should be without this multi-talented gem.  Designed to ‘feed and protect the skin’ from the outside, this rich, soothing, healing balm is perfect for use on the lips, delicate nipples and is a welcome relief on areas of dry, damaged skin.
Blissfully moisturising, this SOS ‘must-have’ contains pure, nourishing lanolin, renowned for its ability to prevent moisture loss, repair the skin’s natural barrier, protect against environmental aggressors, soothe irritation and it has hypoallergenic/bacteriostatic properties.

The Lip+Nip Fix is kind of like GLAM BALM's little sister, working very hard to imitate everything the other does, copying it to a point and succeeding in a very impressive way. It might not come with a fancy 100 things list but I am sure if we put it on the spot it would probably do pretty good. Not to mention that since these little tubes can be purchased for about $5-6 in almost every Shoppers Drug Mart in Canada, if I lose a few my heart wont be crushed and my wallet might not hate me as much as it would if its big sister goes MIA. 

I have a stash of multi-taskers by my bedside as well, since they seem to be very useful when i don't want to get up from my comfy position and search for something to smooth over my blobs and bits. These two gems are high performers and they never let me down so they frequently come out to play!

Nip+Fix Lip+Nip Fix can be purchased at Shoppers Drug Mart or from their own website here
The Rodial GLAM BALM is available here or here

I hope someone finds this helpful!

What is your favorite multi-tasking product?



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Friday, 14 June 2013

My Girliness on Display - Wishlist

I obviously have no shame and a big problem BUT everything is so pretty and packaged so well :-)

Whats on your wishlist these days?



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Smelling Roses With LUSH

I am a complete girly girl - I love everything single thing that comes with that label (flowers included). That being said I don't think anyone would be surprised to learn that I get very mushy when it comes to flowers - Roses being my favorite of course. I have a huge weakness when it comes to roses - the scent is absolutely my favorite fragrance so when it comes to beauty products chances are if the marketing even touches upon that I will be all over it!
A lot of people associate roses with "old ladies" and old-fashioned criticism and I wholeheartedly disagree. I would never describe them in manner - for me the soft rose scent reminds of classic beauties, glamorous vanity tables, pure feminine energy and most importantly LOVE. There isn't anything more romantic than receiving roses from that certain someone, the scent always fills the air with a promise of beautiful things to come...I know, I am a complete mush! 
But I digress...

So my rose fixation and love of body care products pretty much guaranteed that LUSH's Ro's Argan Body Conditioner and Turkish Delight Shower Smoothie would eventually make their way in to my bathroom. The combination of fragrance, impressive ingredients (actual rose petals, anyone?!) and uniqueness of the product formulas, made it very hard to resist but I assure you I tried. Even though i wasn't entirely sure of what it was I was ordering, I took the plunge and didn't look back. I am happy to say I wasn't disappointed!

LUSH Turkish Delight Shower Smoothie

Turkish Delight Shower Smoothie is described by LUSH on their site as;
Lather up with our delightfully buttery rose-scented shower smoothie. Each pot is made with superb quality ingredients including aphrodisiac jasmine and Turkish rose, smoothing almond oil, moisturizing cocoa butter and neroli - the euphoric essential oil. Smooth on this softening smoothie in the shower, let it sit for a minute then rinse off for clean, touchably soft and fragrant skin. A pot of this suits all skin types, but it is particularly good for dry and sensitive bodies that need moisture.

The Ingredient list provided is;
Rose Water (Rosa centifolia), Glycerine, Rapeseed Oil, Coconut Oil (Brassica napus; Helianthus annuus; Cocos nucifera), Almond Oil (Prunus dulcis), Cocoa Butter (Theoproma cacao), Water (Aqua), Perfume, Rose Oil (Rosa centifolia), Rose Absolute (Rosa damascena), Jasmine Absolute (Jasminum grandiflorum), Neroli Oil (Citrus amara), Sodium Chloride, EDTA, Tetrasodium Editronate, Benzyl Salicylate, Geraniol, Citronellol, Hydroxcitronellal, Limonene, Linalool, Titanium Dioxide, Propylene Glycol, D&C Red No.33

When I first ordered this I thought I was buying a body lotion or a in-shower moisturizer. Once i had it in my hands and opened the black tub, the consistency & texture indicated that I was wrong and it implied i was dealing with a fine body scrub. It wasn't until I was in the shower that I realized my error but I am happy to report that I loved it regardless. The texture of this is very unique - whipped like butter but solid at the same time, easy to work with with a light foaming action. You don't need a lot but if you are like me you'll end up using more just to enjoy the scent longer. I don't find it very moisturizing but it definitively doesn't dry out my skin like some conventional shower gels. The scent does linger after rinsing but not as long as i would like, however I cant really fault LUSH for that - its not suppose to be a perfume, I just really want it to be! 
The price ($34.95) is a little steep for what is essentially a very luxe body cleanser but if you love the fragrance it is worth the occasional pampering splurge. 

LUSH Ro's Argan Body Conditioner

Ro's Argan Body Conditioner is described by LUSH on their site as;
LUSH product inventor Rowena made this decadent, rose-scented shower ‘lotion' – so it's Ro's Argan Body Conditioner which very conveniently sounds like Rose Argan Body Conditioner. She noticed how much she liked the sultry soft feeling conditioner gives her hair, so she thought how nice it would be if she could have the same feeling for the body too. With scoops of cocoa butter, cupuacu butter, almond oil and Argan oils, this is the most luxurious body softener that ever was (if we don't say so ourselves!). After washing up, slather yourself all over with this new invention. Rinse, pat dry and revel in supremely soft, rose-scented skin.

The ingredient list provided is;
Fresh Spring Water (Aqua), Glycerine, Almond Oil (Prunus dulcis), Cypress Leaf Infusion (Cupressus sempervirens), Brazil Nut Oil (Bertholletia Excelsa), Vanilla Pod (Vanilla planifolia), Fair Trade Shea Butter (Butyrospermum parkii), Stearic Acid, Argan Oil (Argania spinosa), Cupuacu Butter (Theobroma Grandiflorum), Fragrance, Triethanolamine, Cocoa Butter (Theobroma cacao), Goji Berry Decoction (Lycium barbarum), Rose Absolute (Rosa damascena), Geranium Oil (Pelargonium graveolens), Lemon Oil (Citrus limonum), Limonene, Cetearyl Alcohol, Citronellol, Coumarin, Geraniol, Methylparaben, Propylparaben.

This Body Conditioner was not the first in-shower lotion I have ever used but it was certainly the best. I hadn't read any reviews about this (rare for me) so my expectations were pretty high, maybe even a bit unrealistic but i have to admit LUSH fulfilled every single one of them. I love Ro's Argan Body Conditioner! The texture is that of a light lotion, really refreshing feel on the skin, absolutely no greasiness and enough fragrance to fill your whole bathroom (and then some). Basically all it entails is stepping out of the shower, slathering this on, taking a deep breath - letting the steam take effect while keeping busy preforming some other beauty ritual for a few minutes (applying a face mask, perhaps?) then doing a light rinse, pat and done. This, combined with the Turkish Delight is my favorite shower ritual resulting in the softest, silkiest baby skin EVER!
Final verdict on this pricey little gem ($32.95) is a very positive one - maybe not every day but its perfect for those times I really want to remind myself of my deeply-rooted girly nature. 

For more information on these two rosy favorites and other LUSH products just visit their vast number of international websites here

Have you tried these two 2 LUSH concoctions? What did you think?



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Thursday, 13 June 2013

My Summer Beauty Heroes

I wanted to share my very own "Summer Beauty Essentials" post. These are products that I have been using almost daily and are the things I would gladly recommend to anyone.
They all have some hero qualities and help me in my endless quest of pursuing my girliness to the highest degree. I tried to cover each category, face, body, hair with little bits of color thrown in.
I hope you enjoy my little collection - please let me know if you want to see a review of any product in particular.

I would love to hear about your summer essentials as well!