Avène

Ten Current Favourites

I was originally going to call this ‘2014 Favourites’ or something along the line, then realised the products I mention are permanents and aren’t dependent on the year. Which could be misleading for those searching for 2014 releases.

I stopped doing the monthly favourites cos a lot of the times it’s whatever shiny new toy I happen to have my paws on, plus some staples. It wasn’t really honest, like I was doing it for the sake of doing a favourites post. And it got boring for everyone.
So now I’ve decided to do these only when I feel like I have used/tried/like ’em enough to share. Ten is a good number, and I feel that a lot of what you’ll see are at the top of the categories list.

10faves

1. Too Faced La Creme lipstick
This was the biggest discovery of 2013. I’ve never tried Too Faced before, kind of ignored it really because I lumped them with Benefit (similar packaging vibe) and I’m not a huge fan of Benefit. Prejudice/judging a book by its cover etc etc. This lipstick surprised me. I loved Spice, Spice Baby so much I went back and bought a second one (Naughty Nude). They are just so creamy and so comfortable to wear. Pleasant lemon pie scent. Great colours, nicely opaque. Spice, Spice Baby is a great everyday colour and it’s the lipstick I’m counting on to be my first used up lippie. I’ve never used a shade so often. I took it on my holidays, wore it to a wedding. Love it.
I’ve started paying more attention to this brand on the strength of this lip formula. The Pretty Rebel eye palette (LE but still available on Sephora US website) is nicely put together. (more…)

July & August Empties

Another month of silence on the blog. In my defense I’ve started a new job, returning to the kitchen since my two years’ of rest working at the front. It’s quite challenging for everyone involved at the moment since the place is one of the newest openings in the city that’s gathering a lot of buzz in the industry. All eyes are on us, and we’re doing crazy hours across all sections. There are still a lot of wrinkles needed to iron out and we’re tackling them as we go.

Since I’m back in my whites, I no longer wear base makeup (they just melt) or colour makeup (inappropriate) and limit myself to eyeliner and mascara. My makeup playtime is now limited to my days off, and even then I’m so tired I usually just want to stay home and don’t see the point of wearing a full face of makeup.

Having said that though, I still try to read blogs and new releases and have my eyes on a few items coming for Fall/Winter. In the meantime, here are my combined empties for the last two months:

aug-emtpies

Glysomed Hand Cream (150ml) – Made in Germany
This is the perfumed version, housed in a tub that lasted me for quite some time. I kept this at home, usually around the kitchen. I paid perhaps 9 euros for this. As mentioned in the June empties post where you’ll find the unscented tube version, I really like their formula and budget-friendly pricing. They are my go-to and never disappoints. I should add this to my holy-grail page. Here are the first 10 ingredients:
Aqua, Glycerin, Cetearyl Alcohol, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Octiydodecanol, Petrolatum, Dimethicone. Sorbitol, Sodium Cetearyl Sulfate, Phenoxythanol.
Repurchase? Yes!

Avène Cleanance Spot Treatment (0.25g) – Made in France
Cleanance is the acne treatment range from Avène. I got this on a whim, thinking I could use something like that in my makeup bag. It never left my dresser. Anyway from the back of the box:

Targeted at oily, blemish-prone skin, this spot treatment is ‘formulated to help eliminate skin imperfections’ and is ‘drying and purifying’.
For drying, ‘powders and clay’ to help absorb excess oil; Glyceryl Laurate (patent) regulates its over production
For purifying, Key ingredients reduce bacteria growth
For exfoliating, BHA known keratoregulating ingredients help reduce skin blemishes.

They recommend applying 2-3 times a day and warn that it may cause a tingling sensation which never occurred to me. It is odorless and the tip is colourless so it goes on invisible. I will say however that you can’t apply foundation on top of the areas where you spot treated. It just doesn’t go on smoothly and you’ll see straight away the areas where you have the Cleanance.

I actually quite like this little pen which surprisingly worked well on me. I apply this maybe morning (if not wearing foundation) and in the evening, rather generously. It’s efficient in reducing redness and calming a blemish before it gets to be big and angry. I had a look at the ingredients and the first 5 are mostly waxes and oils. So who knows why. The only thing I’ll say is that it doesn’t come with much product and I went through the pen rather quickly. I paid 7.25 euros for this so it is actually rather expensive for what you get. On the beaute-test website it’s one of those YMMV products.

Repurchase? I’ve just bought another to confirm its effectiveness. We’ll see.

Kate slim gel eye pencil (0.12g) in BR1 in BR1 brown – Made in Japan
I used up one of these last month in black. Click here to read what I wrote. In one word: love.
The brown is obviously more subtle, just quietly defining the eyes. I do prefer black in general but brown is a nice change. This is a warm, mid-toned milk chocolate brown. The darkest brown eyeliner I found is Armani’s Smooth Silk Eye pencil waterproof. The ones that used to be LE.

I’ve read that Hourglass recently came out with their version of these type of pencil gel liner. These ones from Kate (and SANA, and apparently shu’s as well) contain 0.12g, or 0.004oz. Hourglass’ is 0.002oz. I don’t know how they compare as I won’t be getting the ones from Hourglass, all I can say is it’s way too pricey.

I’ve been wearing these type of gel pencil liners for a while and have had good experience with the ones I’ve tried. I admit from time to time they transfer a little to just under my eyes but 99% of eyeliners do that on me, and most of the time they perform really well and are the least smudging/transferring liners I’ve used. YMMV of course.
Repurchase? Yes

Fancl Mild Cleasing Oil (120ml) – Made in Japan
Reviewed here.
Repurchase? Yes, I have received 2 more backups!

Clinique Cream Shaper in Egyptian (1.2g/0.04oz) – Made in Germany
Laura Mercier Kohl Eye Pencil in Brown Copper (1.2g/0.04oz) – Made in Italy
These are more purges as I rarely reach for them now that they are nubs. I’ve had these for years and in a way am glad I can finally ‘move on’. I really like the Cream Shaper formula and have one ready to go in the same shade. Black Diamond is also a nice alternative.
I love the colour of the Laura Mercier pencil but it didn’t perform as well as I want it to. Good for smudging out for a smokey eye look but if you want a clean line and for it to stay that way, you might be disappointed.
Repurchase? Yes; No.

May Empties

mayempt

*sigh* Bit late as usual. I hesitated including the stuff from this month (June) into the post and decided to do a separate one, just to see if I’ll manage to add anything with two more weeks to go. Lots of duds in May.

Kose softymo Speedy Cleansing Oil Foam (200ml) – Made in Japan
Previously reviewed here. I wanted to get this one actually:

softymo

Read a lot of good reviews on that but didn’t find it in any shops so I bought the foam one to try.
This lasted around 3-4 months, I felt like I’ve used this one up faster than the others even though it has the same amount of product in the bottle.
I didn’t really enjoy using this one because of how it stings the eyes. And just to be clear I didn’t apply it on the eye area when it’s a foam, but waited til it’s turned to an oil before doing so. I had to use a separate eye makeup remover with this product and this defeats the purpose of using an oil cleanser for me.
Repurchase? No.

Lierac Anti-Blemish Mattifying Fluid (50ml) – Made in France
On the label, my notes taken from the leaflet in brackets:
[8.5%] patent-pending SKRL3 (this re-balance, protect and moisturize)
acnacidol BG+systenol A + HA (sebum regulating and limit release of key inflammation mediators)
grafted azelaic acid + zinc (clarifying and limit release of key inflammation mediators)
with marine spring water, for blemish-prone skin, adults.
It’s hypoallergenic and non-comedogenic. Instructions are to apply morning and/or night. Promises to ‘rapidly diminish appearance of blemishes and help reduce sebum. Skin is lastingly mattified and ideally moisturized’. (more…)

Skincare Haul

Everything from Citypharma except the Nivea sunscreen and Bourjois foundation

Everyone knows about the Citypharma, the para-pharmacy that’s said to be the cheapest in Paris, sometimes up to 20% of a markdown. It’s in all the travel guides (I imagine) and all over the internet. I happened to just walk into it years ago without knowing its fame, as I used to live in the area and I would always walk past it while on my way to Pierre Hermé, and be intrigued by the non-stop number of people going in and out.

(more…)