December Empties


Kosé Medicated Sekkisei Lotion (360ml) – Made in Japan
I’ve stopped keeping track of the number of bottles I’ve gone through since rediscovering it a few years ago. This bottle lasted me four months.
Repurchase? Always.

Hadalabo Gokujyun Medicated Skin Conditioner lotion (170ml) – Made in Japan
Mentioned in my last skin regime update here. This was my first product from the Hadalabo Gokyjyun range. This medicated version has a alcohol/medicinal smell. It’s nothing offensive though and I was never bothered by it. I’m not sure this did anything for my skin, I reckon it would be more suitable for younger acne-prone skin type who aren’t necessarily breaking out from monthly hormones fluctuation. Usually blemish control products tend to be drying but I never felt that with this. The Gokyjyun range are formulated with hyaluronic acid and the world ‘gokyjyun’ pretty much means ‘extreme moisture’. This medicated range is a relatively new member and I think is an interesting range to try if you have problem skin. The only challenge is perhaps locating it, I got mine online from alphabeauty (not affiliated).
Repurchase? I will try the Premium Rich one next. (more…)

Urban Decay Pulp Fiction Mrs. Mia Wallace Lipstick

[Edited to add more photos – 12 November 2014]


Following the eye shadow palette which I wrote about here, I have now the red lipstick and lip liner.

They are both named ‘Mrs. Mia Wallace’ and described as a ‘deep blood red’. I hemmed and hawed before purchasing these because I have quite a few nice red lippies already that don’t get reached for enough and I have no business buying anymore but we all know how that story goes. These are my first UD lip products so I’m no expert and can’t compare them with the usual UD formula. I’ll concentrate on the lipstick for this post and the one on the lip liner will follow.

The colour payoff of the Revolution lipstick is indeed very rich, intense and opaque in one swipe. Seriously impressed. My lips aren’t in the best condition at the moment (leaning on the dry side) but the lipstick doesn’t highlight nor sink into the lip lines. The lipstick is very creamy and emollient, doesn’t make my lips feel dry at all. I don’t know if it makes sense but it is ‘thick’. It doesn’t really tug per se but I do have to apply certain amount of pressure onto the lips to get a good swipe. [A lipstick that truly glides for me is the Givenchy’s Le Rouge first and foremost, then by Terry and the Guerlain Rouge Gs]. This could also be due to the lack of a tapered bullet as a tip for the Revolution lipsticks, which may have too creamy/heavy a body to employ a blunt cut like this. For a colour like Mia Wallace you should be using a lip brush anyway so it’s not too much of a problem I suppose. When it comes to the finish, the Revolution lipsticks promise a ‘creamy shine’ in general but I wouldn’t call the finish I get with Mrs. Mia Wallace shiny. To me shiny is like the Rouge Coco shines, or other balmy ones that really reflects and throws light back. This is more of a satin, which luckily I prefer anyway.

Now onto the shade!

First things first, I don’t know if it’s me but the colour I see in the tube isn’t the colour I get when applied. In the tube it’s a deep red with sort of a brown undertone, fitting UD’s ‘blood red’ description. When swatched, it’s a blue-based red. You can see a deep fuschia if you wipe on a white tissue. So even if it does apply opaque in one coat, if you want the deep dark red that’s promised you really need to go all out and intensify the application. *Then* it turns into this beautiful, deep red that for some reason looks quite neutral and you think might actually be flattering on a variety of skin tones. It’s weird.

I thought I would have more similar looking reds but I don’t. I actually have more blue-based reds than I previously thought. Anyway these are the ones I found that are closest to Mrs. Mia Wallace. Sorry the swatches aren’t so neat:

mia swatches

You can see Mrs. Mia Wallace (#2) isn’t particularly shiny and has pretty much the same finish as the others

Another photo: (more…)

Project 2 x 5 Pan – Update #2

First up: No pans.

Second: I should admit upfront that I’m hopeless at this and confess that I have made purchases doing the project, which defeats the purpose doesn’t it?

Having said that I must also point out that had it not been my commitment to this project and the self-imposed ‘ban’ (albeit broken) I would have caused much greater damage to my wallet with ‘unnecessary’ purchases. Because of the project, I at least kept my promise to not buy any more eyeshadows. You will not believe how many times I’ve been tempted to buy another quad or palette. The new Birds of Paradise Dior quint for example (I like the green one more) is sooo beautiful; And I almost bought the smashbox photo op eye palette on Sephora because I know I like the formula and it’s a good deal.

I’ve become an expert at the pretend-shopping-cart game: Whenever a sale of 20% comes up (= tax free on the inflated prices here in France) I go on the site and fill my basket up with everything my heart desires, look at the final price, apply the coupon code, and proceed to eliminate items until I’m left with the ‘minimum’. And then further consider whether it’s worth it and if I don’t already have something similar at home. Most of the time I end up closing the window and breathing a sigh of relief, having conquered the shopping demons. I am also thankful that the Sephora website doesn’t stock everything they have in store, and Sephora itself doesn’t get every single makeup releases. The Lancome ‘In Love’ ones with Emma Watson are only available in Lancome counters, for instance.

So… to reiterate, the tally for makeup pans since January, still at 0.

However, I have the 5 skincare pans to do as well. This is good news because I have finished 3 products in March. Which means that I have only 2 products to go before my skincare pans are done. Have I bought skincare products during the project? But of course, I bought two creams (on sale). This means I’ve only got 1 pan, doesn’t it?

*sigh* ……

Despite my failures, I’m not giving up. I guess this means the project will continue indefinitely until the end of the year, and will primarily act as a reminder to restrain myself more than anything.

Lets look at the most reached for makeup products in March:

Hits and Misses of 2012 – The Hits

Looking back the year I made so many purchases … it’s a little crazy but not quite out of hand, luckily. I’ve made many discoveries this year, tried new brands and what were for me new genre of products (highlighters for example). There’s almost an overwhelming amount of things I want to single out but I do realise I need to be selective and keep it streamlined. Even so I’m quite excited to gush about some of these products and you will find there are significantly more products in this entry than the ‘misses’, thankfully.

One last word on how I categorise, ‘Discoveries’ are not necessary instant favourites, however some of them do overlap into the ‘Hits’ category.
The products listed under ‘Hits’ are the real standouts that pop in my head instantly when I think about the topic. They are my ‘best-of’ and favourites of 2012.


La Roche-Posay Cicaplast
Perhaps my greatest skincare discovery of 2012, this is now my go-to SOS topical cream. I reach for this when I have peeling skin, flakiness or general tightness from the dry weather and it works like a charm.

Bourjois Magic Nail Polish Remover
I don’t know if Bourjois was the original innovator behind this but this has changed and improved the way I clean my nails. It’s fast, efficient and most of all I really like that it’s more environmentally friendly without the use of a million cotton balls to wipe polish off.

Kiehl’s Creme de Corps
I’m so late to the party it’s unbelieveable that only this year did I find out about the wonders of this cream. This has attained HG status during the year. (more…)

Hits and Misses of 2012 – The Misses

You may have noticed I didn’t do a favourites post in November. One of the reasons was that there weren’t any particular standouts, and the other was it would be less redundant if I were to consolidate it to make a favourites of the year post.

But what are hits without misses? I always find ‘Misses’ more interesting to read on blogs. I have a tendency to spend my time writing about products I like than those that I find lackluster, unless they are at the same time really bad and cost a lot or hyped about. So for once, and in no particular order, here are the products that disappointed, that didn’t work and that I’m pretty sure won’t find their way again under my roof. Not all of the products are 2012 releases, nonetheless they are what I discovered and purchased in 2012. Here they are, the Misses of 2012, or alternatively, ‘Products I won’t repurchase’: (more…)

November Empties

Caudalie Peche de Vigne Shower Gel (200ml)
Got this half price. It is a soap-free formulation suitable for sensitive skin. Here is the blurb on the back:

Enriched with aloe vera, this shower gel maintains the skin’s physiological pH balance. Soft vine peach is infused with almond milk and fresh mint leaf to create a fresh scent.

Biodegradable gentle plant-based cleansing formula. Against animal testing.

The best thing about this shower gel, (apart from being SLS, parabens and mineral oil free) is the smell: like fresh summer peaches, not those artificial perfumey peach smell. The gel itself is clear and thickish, so that when you squeeze it you get a glob. I enjoyed using this, especially after using a string of unscented shower gels. I bought another scent during the same sale and am looking forward to using that!

Repurchase? Yes

SANA Super quick gel pencilliner EX
See in depth review here. This liner lasted me 4 months. It’s the first time I’ve used up an eyeliner and at such a rate.

Repurchase? A big yes.

YSL Natural Action Exfoliator Granule-Free (Sample, 5ml)
I usually don’t put samples in empties post but thought this is a product worth writing about. I got about 3-4 applications out of this tiny tube. As the name implies, it’s an exfoliator without granules. You apply the product on dry as you would an oil cleanser and massage until it liquifies and then you add some water to emulsify it and rinse off. The texture of the product is thick, like honey. So the initial massaging could tug a little if you don’t squeeze out enough product. I caught myself missing feeling the granules and doubting the efficiency of the product but my skin always feel baby soft after I use this. I think the massaging action helps a lot, and it’s something I should be doing but not. I am tempted to buy a full bottle of this when my go-to runs out. It is pricey though. On the other hand I also heard wonderful things about Darphin’s and would like to try that too.
Purchase? Yes


Dr. Hauschka Revitalising Mask (30ml)
This is a staple of mine for almost a decade (!) and I use it as a moisturising mask. It’s a greenish yellow colour lotion/cream in the tube, and I apply it all over my face and let it sink in for about 10 minutes before I take it off. First with a wet face cloth and then I rinse. My skin always feel drenched and pampered afterwards.
Repurchase? Yes.

Dr. Hauschka Rhythmic Night Conditioner (50 x 1ml)
I use this twice a year when the season changes. I’ve been using the ampoules for almost as long as I have the mask and it worked extremely well for me in the past. However I did remark that the last couple of times I used it (and this time as well) it broke me out. Not excessively, just a couple of spots here and there. I don’t know what to make of this. Either it’s a result of my skin regulating / rebalancing itself, or it’s a bad reaction. Nonetheless apart from the spots my skin feels excellent. I use one ampoule at night after cleansing and nothing else. I do this for a month. This is a pricey product, this particular box cost 53 euros when I bought it in Germany and it usually costs more than that here in France. I think I’ll wait until my skin is in better shape before I invest in another box.

Repurchase? Uncertain

Holiday Haul & Thoughts on the Collections

So the Christmas collections are all here finally and while I may have been busy I have made time to do some shopping. Here are my selections:
Top row, left to right: 
Giorgio Armani Eyes to Kill 4 Color Shadow Palette in #1 Maestro, Dior Diorific lipstick in #037 Diorling, YSL Boréal Palette Polar Light
Bottom row, left to right:
shu uemura karl for shu smoky velvet palette, Bourjois BB Cream 8 in 1 foundation, Chanel polish in 637 Malice
They are all limited edition items, apart from the Bourjois foundation. Detailed reviews will come soon, and Maestro palette will be the first since I got it a few weeks ago and have had the time to use it. (more…)