Month: November 2013

November Empties

11-13empt

La Roche-Posay TolerianeMade in France
Yup, another tube of these. I dreaded going to City Pharma because of the volume of people and the queues and all that so I would stockpile (reasonably) whenever I went there. So I’ve actually been tapping into that stash the past couple of months. Now that I work around the corner I’ve stopped buying backups and really, the waiting has improved a lot after they added more tills and cashiers. I even go there during my lunch break and usually have a maximum of two people in front of me to pay. This is the last tube of Toleriane you will see for a while. I’m trying a new moisturiser also from La Roche-Posay at the moment.

Repurchase? I will always come back to this no-frills cream.

Melvita Shampoo for frequent wash (200ml) – Made in France
This is one of the first products I’ve tried from Melvita. It is probably the best sulfate-free and organic shampoo I’ve used. I should add that I’m not a fanatic with organic beauty products and I’m really not picky with shampoos either. I’ve tried a few organic and sulfate-free ones in the past and my main beef with these type of shampoos is the lack of lather (sulfates). The worst for me was one from Bioderma, it was in a green bottle and almost as runny as water. I don’t need huge foam but I do appreciate some sort of lather without having to use an outrageous amount of product. And on that end Melvita delivers. This shampoo is runnier than the regular sulfate ones but it still has some ‘body’ to it. It contains honey, arnica, lemon myrtle and grapefruit and it smells like honeyed grapefruit. This is an ECOCERT product, meaning 99.42% of the total ingredients are from natural origin. Looking at the list it also has lavendar water (high on the list) lactic acid and various gums.

Repurchase? Yes, I think I will get the bigger size.

Melvita Conditioner for normal hair (200ml) – Made in France
A literal translation of the French name for this is detangling balm. This conditioner has honey, eucalyptus and lemon myrtle. The smell is a mix of lemon and eucalyptus, a herbally fresh scent. Melvita doesn’t seem to have a dedicated conditioner to go with the frequent wash shampoo and this is the one I was recommended to get. On the ingredients lists are many different kinds of oils including macadamia ternifolia seed, pumpkin seed, sweet almond, soybean, lemon peel etc. I’m quite happy with this conditioner.

Repurchase? Yes.

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Beauty Counters Hit and Run

Beauty Counters Hit and Run

I haven’t written a ‘Hit and Run’ post in a long time. My last one was likely to be at a similar time last year, commenting on the holiday collections as well. I’m pretty much immune this year, with a few exceptions of course. Some observations and standouts:

  • Orange and Fuschia are the shades this season, they are everywhere: the Armani neons, NARS’ Coeur Battant, Guerlain’s lipsticks just for starters.
  • NARS/Guy Bourdin: This is a very well done collection, perhaps the best across all the brands in my opinion. You have of course the core limited edition items of superb quality (Cinematic formula), the gift-sets (if you can still find them, especially the big lips case) are a wonderful deal and make great gifts – I would spring for the lip pencils personally since I find the eyeliners too soft to work with. Coeur Battant is crazy pigmented – I gently placed my finger on it without swiping and just lifted it up as is and my finger was saturated with the deep fuschia colour. Very strong holiday collection, without even counting the palettes.
  • Laura Mercier: For me it’s the mini gift sets and not the palettes since I have to deal with the crazy markup and these are such a good deal. Among them all the bold brights mini lip glacé set is beckoning me. Not sure about the palest pink but I’m willing to give it a try. The nudes are nice but I imagine for a couple of them you wouldn’t be able to tell them apart once on the lips; And if they put another shade instead of the Rose Gold in the caviar stick set it would tempt me a lot more.
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Laura Mercier Mini Lip Glacé set (taken from official website)

  • shu uemura: last year was Karl Lagerfeld, this year it’s Murakami. The packaging doesn’t suck me in but I did like the tubes of lip and cheek tints – super pigmented and a tiny bit goes a long way. Probably has a fair bit of silicones though and they can feel drying on the lips if you don’t condition them before. My shades to get would be Dream Pink and Magical Red as they are the ones that work best both on the cheeks and lips. The fuschia and coral are really bright. shu has  -25% offer until 20th November on its US website I think. I know I’ll never finish one and since I’m paying double here (they are 28 euros each) and this VIP sale is not available on these shores I’ll be reasonable and not get them.
  • Guerlain: At first glace I thought the whole packaging is tacky. Reminds me of Crazy Horse (and consequently Pigalle) with the neons and brights. Then I looked closer at the product and like the meteorite compact more and more. The eyeshadow palette is also looking a lot more interesting and for some reason I really like that pink in there.
  • If you missed out on the Kate Winslet red lippie from the Golden Hat collection a couple of years ago they are re-releasing it this year. Same number #132 and name Caprice. I have swatched it in my red lippies post. Otherwise their main Holiday collection is very sparkly.

These are the standouts for me. Nothing from Chanel (the LE blush Accent I found too sparkly and shimmery), likewise for Dior and YSL. We don’t get Hourglass here and I’m not a fan of Urban Decay. Clarins has a nice neutral palette but the box looks a little clunky. The only thing I want to look at from Bobbi Brown is the Hollywood red lipstick but I have enough reds. Hmmm… I’m sure I’m missing something but oh well. It’s already the end of November is what I’m thinking and I hope to post again before the month is out 🙂

NARS Cinematic Lipstick

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Finally a good-ol’, simple review. What a breath of fresh air! There are so much I’ve been wanting to write about but it just takes me so long to do a post. I’d have a new product but by the time I sit down the item would have long fallen off the radar. And since I’m on this very lenient ‘no-buy’ I (usually) only allow myself to get LE stuff, a lot of the time the item would no longer be available and it felt a little pointless to write about it.

So here I am rushing out this little post because for once it can still be relevant: The NARS Cinematic lipstick in ‘Last Tango’ and ‘Short Circuit’.

The Cinematic lipsticks are said to be formulated especially for this collection, delivering high pigment without sacrificing comfort. I bought these two sight unseen, something I don’t often do. I’ve been popping into Le Bon Marché and and Sephora but didn’t see them and just couldn’t wait for them to launch. So I caved and ordered them through the NARS website.

Here I kindly remind our American readers how lucky they often are because they pay USD26 while here we pay 26 euros. And they get F&F sales and so on. The last ‘great’ sale I got was 25% off Sephora – they usually only do 20% which means I don’t pay the EU sales tax. No huge discount though. In short, I’m rambling because I’m jealous 😦

Anyway the items that got my attention from what I’ve seen online were ‘Cambodia’ eye shadow and ‘Last Tango’ lipstick. When it came to the crunch I dumped Cambodia, knowing I’m not really an e/s kind of gal (plus oddly I felt like I really need to see and touch eyeshadows before I buy them) and got ‘Short Circuit’ instead, a shade that takes me out of my comfort zone.

This reasoning makes no sense at all of course when you think about it. Anyhow the old me would have gotten ‘Future Red’ but we all know I really don’t need another red lipstick. And ‘Short Circuit’ as you will see, is different.

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L-R: Short Circuit, Last Tango

I found it very hard to photograph these lipsticks because the shades don’t come out true to what I see. The lipstick swatches Karen did on her site are among the more accurate at the moment on the net. Here is my pathetic contribution nonetheless: (more…)

Project 2 x 5 Pan Update #4

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I’ve finally hit pan!! Yes!! I accomplished this back in July actually, just before going away on a weekend. I know documented this with glee when it happened but I couldn’t for the life of me find that first picture. Anyway, the product I’ve finally hit pan on is the Sofina powder foundation, which was reviewed in depth/death here. It’s a good foundation that performs particularly well in summer. I’m still hoping I can hit pan on one of the blushes by the end of the year (it will be either the NARS or the Chanel) but they are just so resistant. Here are the most used products from where I left off last, meaning you get July to September! I’ll do October and November together.

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Foundation
Sofina Primavista – PAN!!

Primer
Sofina Primavista Multicover Base
This really helps on those hot summer days.

Highlighter
Clarins Instant Light Complexion Perfector
Also used in June.

Clinique AIrbrush Concealer in 04 Neutral Fair
This was something I bought just before the ‘no buy’ (ha-ha) that I finally opened and used when I binned the Cargo. I thought it has visible shimmer but it actually doesn’t, and just brightens the undereye area. I really like this product.

KIKO Perfect Eyes Duo Highlighter Pencil
Great nifty product – on one end a matte beige shade to highlight just underneath the arch of the brows and the other, a shimmery champagne to highlight the inner corners of the eyes. I know I’m on no-buy but this is a really good idea and it’s cheap and I can’t resist.

Eyeliner
SANA Superquick Gel Pencilliner in EX Real Black
This is when I opened my backup and pretty much started using it every single day.

Clinique Cream Shaper in Egyptian
Still going strong.

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October Empties

October Empties

ettusais face blotting paper
I have no idea how many sheets there were in this packet but it took me years to finish this. To be fair I had other packets going as well at the same time. It comes in very thin sheets that are beige coloured. I noticed a lot of brands use the same paper. The ones I had from DHC certainly were identical. Nothing exceptional with these ones, they do their job. In summer I need to use two sheets.

Repurchase? No. The Shiseido Pureness ones are better for summer, and I do prefer slightly thicker sheets.

La Roche-Posay TolerianeMade in France
Another month, another tube finished. Honestly I think by now I can use another facial moisturiser if I want to (for those not in the know the Toleriane was recommended to me by my dermatologist a couple of years ago). Something with more pizazz. Or Patyka, for example [- that’s not to say I won’t try this one]. But I’ve come to actually liking this no-frills cream. If I do get a reaction from something on my face I know it’s not this.

Repurchase? Yes.

Le Petit Olivier Hand Cream
Previous review of the body cream is here. I ran out of ideas when I needed to buy a tube of handcream to carry with me and went for this, knowing there’s a good chance that I will like it. And I do.

Repurchase? Yes.

Glysomed Hand Cream – Made in USA
This big tube was at home with me and then later, left at work because of its size. Such a good staple though. Previous reviewed here.

Note that this tube is the unscented version, and it’s made in the USA and not Germany. I don’t know if they changed the country of manufacture or if it’s just the unscented ones. I got this tube from my brother and his gf who didn’t want to lug around a big tube of cream when they were in town late last year. So it was purchased after I got mine. Currently I have one flat screw-top can left from my hoard and it’s the scented version and it’s made in Germany. So I don’t know. I don’t think it matters where it’s made though.

Repurchase? Yes

Anastasia Brow Wiz – Brunette – Made in Korea
I’ve briefly mentioned this product in one of the ‘most used’ posts. The Brow Wiz is a brow pencil with a very fine nib, like 1mm. As is the case with many brow pencils you get a spoolie on the other end of the pencil, which is always handy. This one is softer and more malleable than my older ones, it probably has less wax as well. I like how precise this pencil and it really allows you to draw in your hair naturally. My brows are quite sparse and the way I use this is to start first with my brow powder and then go in with this pencil on the areas where the powder doesn’t adhere or where I have a particularly sparse area. The pencil redefines the brows very nicely and it always look natural.

The one thing I don’t like is you only get 0.08g / 0.002oz of product. I can’t remember how much I paid for this (I got it in a Sephora in NYC) but I know I didn’t think ‘wow, what a bargain!’ when I was picking it up. Since it’s made in Korea, I have a feeling there may be a cheaper alternative in Asia. I will see if I can find a fine-tipped brow pencil when I find myself over there next time.

Repurchase? At the moment they’re not available in France AFAIK. But I’m leaning towards yes in spite of it cos I really did enjoy using this.