All Used Up March 2016

All Used Up March 2016

Another month over (time flies) and I had quite a few empties:

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Okay, admittedly, this isn’t used up as you can see. This is a  Glassy Lip Gloss from Rouge Bunny Rouge. I liked it quite a bit, quality gloss. Sadly, the packaging, even though it felt like it was good quality also, broke. The applicator broke off from the rest of the cap in a way that the whole thing didn’t close tightly anymore. I had lip gloss all over the place and was afraid the gloss would go bad from exposure as well. So I said bye. 😦

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I used up a sample of Lush Softy, a foot cream. Softy is a thin cream, but it still works very well so you need only  a little bit for the whole foot. It made the skin, like the name promises, softer. The reason I won’t be buying a full size is that it has a strong smell of rosemary and thyme and I don’t like smelling like Hannibal Lecter’s latest victim.

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A mini size of Lancome Hypnose Doll Eyes: This is THE va-va-vom lashes mascara! Length and volume in one stroke. Two and more coats can give really intense lashes. The brush took some getting used to, because it is long and very thick at the same time. At first I was poking myself in the eye, but once I got the hang of it it worked. I did the first coat with the thick half and then added with the tip. I might buy a full size, although it did smudge on me a little. Not really bad, and probably not noticable, but I have mascaras that don’t smudge at all on me. So despite the really good result it’s not an insta-buy for me. Might splurge when I see it reduced, though.

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And since it’s me, your resident hand cream addict, there’s a hand cream named Blush from Accentra. It claims to smell like Velvet & Vanilla, but really it had a sort of coconutty scent. It is nice, but nothing special. Kept my hands soft.

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List of ingredients.

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A Marionnaud Lip Balm: the sort of purchase when you need one more item to get a discount… it was okay, but not very good either. Strong vanilla scent.

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Davidoff Silver Shadow EdT: I have a few cool waters, but I didn’t know Silver Shadow existed until I found this sample. Guys, this is really good! Considering this can be found in the ‘male’ section, this is actually very fruity. At first it starts sort of metallic, but then the heart is his intense fruit salad, and then it gets powdery. This sounds like the components don’t really go together and maybe they don’t. But the powder and the metal balance the strong fruits, making them bearable. There’s of course not really a metal note in it, it’s the cedar combined with the spices that give the impression to me.

I’ll probbaly end up with a full bottle sooner or later. Perfumer is Francis Kurkdjian.

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And then I used up another sample, but that one gets it’s own review on friday. It’s Guerlain‘s new Aqua Allegoria, Pera Granita.

 

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All Used Up July & August 2015

All Used Up July & August 2015

Here are the combined empties of the last two months. I think I made some good headway. 🙂

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Soap & Glory Glow Lotion: body lotion with lovely shimmer. You can see it applied in this post. I liked the effect and lotion itself very much, but I dislike the smell. It is very strong, a sweety floral fruity scent. I could live with that, but the smell refused to go away. It was interfering with any perfume I applied and the smell lasted until the next shower. This is good if you like the scent and don’t want to wear perfume, but I found it annyoing. Otherwise really good, though.

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A sample of Guerlain La Petite Robe Noire Couture: Couture is a flanker to La Petite Robe Noire (LPRN). Couture is the one with the long dress on the bottle. While LPRN is more cherry based, Couture is raspberry based. Lightly applied (one spritz) I got a faint whiff of old candy. With two or three pumps I got the magic out. You see, strongly applied the raspberry really gets through. But it is not real raspberry, it is raspberry candy. I got flashbacks to being a sticky fingered six year old. It smelled just like the really disgusting candy stuff a kid likes. It made me happy, made me think of being a carefree kid. So, yes, this scent has its merits, but it is certainly not elegant like the bottle and name want to make you think. After a couple hours the berry had worn off and left me with a weird sort of old fashioned something (probably rose and moss. I’m not big on rose). So it’s nice, but no must-have. Maybe for the berry-rose lover.

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Catrice All Matt: Blotting paper. Very useful during hot days. Already repurchased.

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Balea Q 10 Anti Aging hand cream: my fav handcream, always repurchasing. You can see the new bottle with a slightly different look on the right. Sadly, the packaging was so changed that the cap is harder to close now, which leads to squeezing the bottle while closing it. Please go back to the old bottle, Balea. Also make the SPF higher, 10 is too low for real anti aging.

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Two items:

Firstly, Lancome Visionnaire serum. I already reviewed it here. While I liked it, if I bought a full size of a Lancome serum, it would be Advanced Genifique again, which seems to be just a tad better to me.

Secondly, Douglas Beauty System Sea Thalasso body lotion. I also have the matching shower gel, but it seems that one isn’t used up yet. Despite the sea thalasso in the name and the fact that this is a bright blue gel-like cream, the smell is straight up neroli. Neroli, neroli, godly neroli. The lotion is light and good for summer. Might not be enough for winter. Am still on a body product no buy, but might repurchase this in the future.

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Matrix Biolage Color Care Shampoo: I have yet to find a product of this brand that is good for long term use. This one made my hair unbrushable. Boo. 😦

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Rexona Ultra Dry Deo Stick: a staple of mine. works 100% because of aluminium salts (the good stuff, forget about the scare mongering).

Sun Dance Sonnencreme: Sun cream for the face with SPF 30. Very cheap, and not so good. I mean the sun protection was there, yes. But it made me sweat. I don’t mean oily, I mean sweat. Huge beads of water suddenly coming up and not from the heat either. I tested with one side with cream and the other without. So this was completely useless for the face. I used it up on my hands. I know the sun protection itself worked well, because my hands got lighter in color than my belly, which sees sun a lot less often than my hands.

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Dior Eau Sauvage Cologne: I already reviewed it here. Not identical to the newly released “Sauvage”. Very refreshing, especially in summer. Me likey.

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4711 Acqua Colonia Melissa & Verbena Shower Gel: as name and packaging promise, a very green smelling product. Green and sharp and no weird soapiness. You can really pick out the verbena. I liked this shower gel, but only on hot days. For winter I prefer sweet things. This shower gel goes with the Eau de Cologne of the same line, but I think you could also pair it with Guerlain’s AA Herba Fresca, in case you’re looking for a matching shower gel.

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Last two items: Lancome DreamTone serum 2: I already had a sample of 1 (review). The difference between those is the color: the liquid of 2 is a deeper peach. However, the color does not transfer to the face. It looks like you have nothing on, so the number on the bottle is irrelevant. This serum is so good with pores. SO GOOD! I did not see anything else. I mean, my age spots got lighter, but that started earlier (when I was still using Advanced Genifique) and I attribute it mostly to use of sun cream.

And last item was my other shimmery body lotion by Nougat: Sparkling Body Shimmer (more pics here). It comes with a cherry blossom scent that I don’t like very much, but luckily it goes away fast. The lotion itself is wayyyy too liquid. I kept getting drops everywhere. It also doesn’t get into the skin fast enough, leaving me sticky. The sparkle was nice, almost a bit much, but at least goes with the current trend of strobing. Not very nourishing. Do not recommend, unless it’s for a ten year old in a fairy phase.

And these were all my empties of the summer. I think I’ve been very good. 😀

All Used Up June 2015

All Used Up June 2015

Hello and welcome to my newest empties post. There are only a few items this month.

Rodial Glam Balm

First I used up the Rodial glam balm lip with SPF 15. This is a rose scented balm. I don’t like rose very much but I grew used to it. The balm itself is extremely good, very nourishing. I was all ready to complain about the amount of product in this review, because the full size only contains 7,5 ml in a tube that could easily hold 15 ml. BUT then this single tube lasted very long; I have used this almost everyday twice since last July. So I am left with no negative points except maybe the price (about 20 € I think – mine came in a beauty box so I don’t know for sure). Recommendation.

Lancome Advanced Genifique

Then I used up a full size of Lancome‘s Advanced Genifique serum. I already reviewed the samples here. After that I bought the full size of 50 ml. Only when I had the full size I noticed the ingredients list included alcohol. Damn, I really want to minimize alcohol in my skin care. But apart from that, it is so good. For now, I’ll use the samples that have collected in my drawer again and see if I find anything else I like. But I may buy Advanced Genifique again some time (if I get a good discount because wow this is expensive!).

I also like the packaging a lot, with the dropper and the fact that it’s black on top and becomes clear in the bottom. This is useful because you won’t run out unexpectedly. Also I felt like some evil fairy tale queen using this (and the results are quite magical, too). 😉

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Last two items: My sample of Guerlain L’Homme Ideal Cologne ran out. Sobsob. Review is here. I had this in my bag and used it on hot days.

And the other is Douglas XSmall Velvety Body Lotion. Douglas has this skin care range called XSXL. You can guess the sizes. 😉 The small ones are very useful travel sizes. This one is a very regular body lotion, I can’t say much about it, except the scent could be less strong.

Ingredients

Ingredient list of Body Lotion.

And that’s it, my empties of the last month! 😀

Lancome Erika F Ombre Hypnose Stylo

Lancome Erika F Ombre Hypnose Stylo

Lancome has released eyeshadow sticks! I love a good eyeshadow stick so I had to have one. The colors range from gentle gold and beige to several shades of silver and grey to light blue and navy. And one of the silvery colors is:

Lancome Stylo Erika F

the infamous Erika F in stick form!!! Erika F is a powder shadow by Lancome. It is famous for its particular color and infamous for the fact that it is not available in the US. Rumour says due to an ingredient that is banned there. You can get it easily here in Europe, though. Anyway, I’m not a huge fan of single powder shadows, but give it to me in stick form and I’ll need it!

Stylo Erika F

The difference between Lancome stick shadows and most other high end ones is the tip. It is very precise. Sadly there’s no sharpener with it and I’m afraid it will dull down.

Lancome Erika F Shade

Swatch 1: shade.

The color of Erika F is very hard to describe. It is a grey with a darker base and silvery and khaki shimmer.

Lancome Erika F Swatch

Swatch 2: direct sunlight.

In the sun it looks sort of taupe.

Quality: this stick is one of the easiest to apply I ever had. The tip makes it very precise and blending is almost unnecessary. It can also be easily used as a smokey liner. It sets after a few seconds, so any blending has to be done quickly.

It lasts about five hours on me. Then it isn’t gone but visibly less. Did not crawl into my crease, though.

I did not get any glitter fallout.

 

Overall: If I didn’t have so many golden shades already, I’d want those too. As it is, I got an eye on the navy one. I swtached these next to the Chanel ones and Lancome’s are a lot more pigmented. Absolutely worth a look.

Most Used Makeup Items February & March 2015

Most Used Makeup Items February & March 2015

After finishing my series of seasonal favorites I thought I’d make a bimonthly series showing the items I reached for the most, excluding base products. Because even when I think a particular lipstick is my favorite, I find I’m not wearing it as often as others. So this is not a ‘favorites’ post, it’s a tally of ‘most reached for’. 🙂

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And these are the makeup heroes of the last two months.

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MAC Brow Set in Beguile: This has completely replaced my routine of brow powder and wax. Review upcoming; I was just so busy using it that it took me forever to take pics. From now on this counts as a base product staple!

Lipstick in front is L’Oreal Blake’s Red.

The powder in the back is MAC Powder Blush in Easy Manner. I use this so much and it’s not even dented!

The pencil is MAC Chromagraphic in Process Magenta. I’ve been using this as a lip liner for various bright pink lipsticks. I think it’s funny that a pink liner and a red lipstick made it into the list, but I used Blake without and with varying liners and I somehow never used the same pink lipstick…

The lipstick on top is actually a lip balm, Lancome Baume in Love A la folie, cherry. It goes on almost transparent and as such is very wearable.

Last one is a MAC Paintpot in the universal color Painterly. I used this sometimes as base underneath other shadows but often on its own for a bare look. I have two paintpots and I think I never talked about them before. Reason is that I never used them as they crease terribly. I’m always awed when people say, oh I use a paintpot as my makeup base, it holds forever. On me it holds about one hour. However, since I have the wonderful Primer Potion by Urban Decay (not pictured, because total base staple) now, the paintpots stay in place and almost don’t crease! Huzzah! So I went from never using Painterly to using it lots. Thank you, Urban Decay!

So these were the products I used the most the last two months. Do you keep track of what you use?

All Used Up Feb 2015

All Used Up Feb 2015

After no empties last month, I got a few of them this month:

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Alessandro Hand Spa Sun 50: a hand cream with high SPF. It was pretty good, maybe not as nourishing as I need it, but my hands seem to be unusually needy. The sun protection has worked very well, the one age spot I have on my hand even got a little lighter. The cream itself leaves a white cast due to the SPF 50. On my face that would annoy me, but on my hands I didn’t care too much.

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Two items from Nivea: First, the day cream (feuchtigkeitsspendende Tagescreme) with SPF 15 for normal skin. I may have reviewed this before, not entirely sure. It’s a rich face cream. I know it says ‘for normal skin’ and there’s an even richer one for dry skin, but this one is already pretty rich and I would only recommend it for dry skin. It worked well for me during this winter. The sample was surprisingly long lasting; I used this from the december  holidays all through january and part of february.

The other item is my new favorite shampoo: Pure Impact. I chose it for the short list of ingredients, because I don’t like silicones in my hair and the last few shampoos left my hair overwhelmed. Only at home I realized I had picked a men’s shampoo!

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List of ingredients. Sorry for the blurriness. 😦

Luckily the scent wasn’t cliché man-shampoo smell. In fact it’s very fruity. But not overwhelmingly so. This shampoo does exactly what it promises. It gets you clean in a gentle way. And that’s it. No volume, no extra shine or conditioning. It is a relief, I tell you, after all the gunk women’s shampoo has left in my hair! My hair has never been so soft and managable. I barely use conditioner anymore. You see, my hair is especially unruly and almost impossible to comb. Yes, it is also completely straight and it looks like it’s manageable, but it is not. Until now. I heart this shampoo! Repurchased already.

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Clinique Airbrush Concealer: Favorite under eye concealer. Perfect balance of pigmentation and highlighting. Already repurchased, the package you see here is from my new one.

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Balea Q10 Anti-Aging Hand Cream: Best hand cream I know. Have not repurchased yet, but will. Comes with SPF 10, that could be higher. Otherwise perfect.

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List of ingredients.

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La Roche Posay Toleriane Cleansing Milk: I already talked about it here. At the risk of sounding like a broken record, already repurchased. I guess I ran out of a lot of favs last month.

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A bad pic of the ingredients list.

And now, this is technically cheating because I ran out last week, but I don’t want to wait until April to talk about them:

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Rexona Aloe Vera Deodorant: yes, I use the evil, evil aluminium. Except it’s actually stable aluminium salts and I think it’s laughable the way people get worked up over aluminium that’s applied on the skin while they take in that much more with food. /rant

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Last item is Lancome‘s La Vie Est Belle EdP. If you want a representation of what this smells like, please watch this video. The smell is highly similar to Armani’s Si, but more rounded and grounded with a deeper streak. That didn’t make me like it more, it made me like it less. It’s like having overeaten. I don’t mean to say it’s a bad perfume, it’s like the epitome of a fruitchouli, a landmark. It’s just not for me. La vie est belle was created by Olivier Polge, Dominique Ropion and Anne Flipo.

Unboxing: Douglas Box of Beauty Feb 2015

Unboxing: Douglas Box of Beauty Feb 2015

I haven’t ordered any beauty boxes in a while, long enough to get nostalgic about it. 😉 So I decided to get the newest Douglas box.

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This is how the open package looked.

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The samples in the package (not part of the actual box) were Burberry Brit Rhythm,

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and Lancome Advanced Genifique. Sure, I’ve already got a full size of this, but now I have a small one for travels, too. 🙂

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The price for a box was raised from 10 € to 11€ and the number of available boxes was raised from 600 to 800. I’m okay with that.

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The content. The Origins product was too big to go inside the neat wrapping. XD

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Here we have the star product of the box, Origins Drink It Up Overnight Mask, 100ml.

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List of ingredients. Lots of good oils.

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And the rest of the package.

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Marc Jacobs Daisy Dream Body Lotion 30ml. Well, a perfume mini would have been nice, but you can’t have everything.

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Ingredients.

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Then there was the Shiseido Bio-Performance Glow Revival Serum, 7ml.

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With a long list of ingredients.

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And the Elizabeth Arden Flawless Future Caplet Serum, 5ml.

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Ingredients.

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And the actual bottle. I’m fascinated by these kind of pearls in liquid products.

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And the last item: Sensai Cellular Performance Mask, 20ml.

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Ingredients.

That’s it. I guess this was the super skincare box or something. XD I like how before this box I had exactly zero moisturizing face masks (but I wanted one) and now I have two. The whole box is a bit heavy on the face serums. Personally I like these samples but some people might be disappointed. I still think it’s a good idea that with Douglas boxes, you know one item beforehand (the full size) and the brands of the samples. It means you could guess approximately what you might get. Which is how I skip the boxes that will come with hair products. So I guess people who don’t want too much skin care would not have ordered it, anyway.

I like that it’s full of high quality products and I’m happy I scratched the box itch. 😉

All Used Up December 2014

All Used Up December 2014

I didn’t expect to have many empties at the end of the year, but there were a few. Here are my last products used up in 2014:

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Annemarie Börlind Naturoyale Lifting Serum: This luxury sample came in a beauty box. When I checked for the price of a full size, I did a double-take: for a few bucks more you can get a Lancome serum. The second ingredient of this serum is alcohol, and you really notice it. It has a strong smell of alcohol, and after using it for weeks, my pores were not happy. At first it seemed like they got small and ungunky, but the long term showed the opposite. That’s not the worst thing that happened to me, though. The worst thing was I was allergic to this natural serum and I didn’t notice until after I’d used it up! Suddenly my angry red skin and tearing eyes were healed almost over night! *headdesks* I spent a whole month suspecting food or scented candles! This is further proof that natural cosmetics are a health hazard for me and ‘natural’ clearly doesn’t equal ‘gentle’ or ‘good’. For everyone who is not allergic I still can’t recommed it because of the high amount of alcohol in it combined with the hefty price tag.

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Let’s go on to greener pastures: Garnier Micellar Cleanser was my discovery of the year. This was the second bottle I used up and I stick with what I said before: this is even slightly better than expensive Micellar Cleansers. It gets my makeup off just fine, even the majority of eyeliners. Some need a dual phase remover.

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Declare Ocean’s Best Marine Moisture for sensitive skin: This is a soothing moisturizer on the richer side, perfect for winter or when you need to heal allergy damage on your skin.

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Biotherm Lait Corporel: This is already the second small Biotherm body lotion I used up. It makes skin all smooth with a delightful smell of  citrus peel. The citrus peel smell is more on the gentle side, not super zesty. I would buy a full size, but I’ve got way too much body lotion atm. XD

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And my last item: Lancome O de L’Orangerie EdT. This is a flanker to the classic O de Lancome, released in 2011 (the flanker, that is). It goes nicely with the body lotion above because it also smells of citrus peel, albeit a lot stronger and zestier. Some people call it a summer scent, but for me citrus peel signifies winter, which is when I eat the most citrus fruit. I also don’t find it very green or all that refreshing. So it’s not very surprising I used it up in december, even though I did use a good amount of it in august just to try.

 

In conclusion  the items used up most often over the year: makeup remover, hand cream and small perfume samples. In makeup: mascara and foundation. None of these are surprising and I suspect the trend will continue in 2015. While I can live with my makeup remover coming in 400 ml bottles, I do wish they were 500 ml and I seriously wish that good hand creams came in bigger tubes.

Best Of 2014: the Dandy picks

Best Of 2014: the Dandy picks

In my Best Of 2014 Pt. 2 I’ll list only a few things which I liked a lot/used a lot this year.

Foundation: MAC Mineralize Compact

Somehow I still haven’t managed to snap a pic of this, despite the fact that I used it almost every day. Sorry. In 2014 I was on a hunt for the perfect foundation and up until that point I wasn’t even aware MAC had Compact Foundations. I also wasn’t aware that a compact foundation might be the one for me. I’d always used liquids or mousse. But thanks to a great MAC MUA I have my perfect long lasting, good coverage foundation which plays nice with dry patches and doesn’t get too oily either. Downside: I already hit pan and will need a new one next year and it contains alcohol.

 

Skincare: Lancome Advanced Genifique

The samples I had were convincing, sadly the price of a full size is steep. It contains something called LHA, a hydroxy acid patented by L’Oreal.

 

Lipstick: Chanel Rouge Allure Velvet

My lipstick discovery of the year was matte and semi-matte lipsticks and the range I used most over the whole year was Chanel’s. My most used colors were L’Exuberante and La Diva.

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Nailpolish: I love metallic shimmers. The two colors I enjoyed wearing the most were Essie No Place Like Chrome and OPI Just Spotted the Lizard:

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Blush: I’m an avid blush wearer; I love them all. Most worn was probably Bobbi Brown Desert Pink because it is such a universal color.

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Mascara: My most used mascara this year was Chanel Le Volume Khaki Bronze. I’m afraid I’ll run out soon. The color is so useful to me, because it’s not as harsh as black. Yet it gives a lot of definition and volume. On the lashes it is darker than it looks like on the wand. And it is easy to remove!

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Eyeliner: This was a toss up between MAC Smolder and Chanel Stylo Yeux Waterproof in Santal, but I think MAC’s Khol is even more useful, especially on the waterline.

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Hair: I had no real hair favorites yet, although I’m currently using a wonderful shampoo. I’ll talk about it next year.

Perfume: In 2014 I really (re-)discovered perfume and I learned so much! I don’t really feel qualified to choose one I loved most this year. The brand I used most was definitely Guerlain.

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Mini Haul

Mini Haul

Does it count as haul if you buy one item but get a bag of goodies?

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Because if I’m going to break the bank on Lancome‘s Advanced Genifique I’ll certainly do it with extreme couponing and get the most of it. 🙂

In the back: silver Lancome Bag. I can get all of the pictured items in and then some.

In the front: samples of Shiseido Ultimune Power Infusing Concentrate, Lancome Visionnaire, Lancome Dreamtone Shade 2, Schwarzkopf essence ultime conditioner.

Then the purchased item, Lancome Genifique and next to it a 300 ml pot of Soap & Glory Butter Yourself. There was also a body scrub but my mum stole it.

😀

All Used Up September 2014

All Used Up September 2014

A new month, a new empties post.

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First off, Clarins UV Plus HP with SPF 40: used this on my face during ‘summer’. This has a lightweight texture, it sinks in immediately and doesn’t leave a white cast either (even if it first looks like it will, but it just needs to be blended in). It’s not mattifying, it leaves a little dewy shine (possibly whats left over from the white cast). I think it protected well enough. My biggest problem, and I mean with ALL sunscreens, is that they always leave me with clogged pores. I experiemented around, and I’m pretty sure it’s the sunscreens (when it’s not MAC foundations). So this product is pretty good, also to wear under foundation, but not mattifying and I’m still on the look for sun protection that doesn’t clog pores. Before I forget this was only a 3 ml sample, but I needed so little for the whole face that it last a long time.

 

To battle the clogged pores and every other skin problem: Lancome Advanced Genifique: been wanting to try this for a while, but I waited until I had several samples to have a nice long testing period. Now I’ve used up my last sample and I’m already missing it. Advanced Genifique claims to be a youth activating concentrate. It doesn’t really claim much else. What does it do on my skin? The first couple days it reminded me a lot of Biotherm’s Blue Therapy Serum. It also felt like it flushed out some blemishes, meaning after about a week I had more pimples. Those healed up in record time. After that, Advanced Genifique went to town on my pores, blackheads vanished or got significantly smaller. This puts it ahead of Blue Therapy in my books, because that one never managed to get my pores smaller. Does Advanced Genifique also reduce wrinkles? Small ones, I guess.

Is Advanced Genifique really as good as the hype says? I say yes, and I’m already saving up for a full size.

 

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Also used up: a 300 ml bottle of Balea hand cream Sheabutter Arganöl: I like that you can unscrew the pump to get at the very last bit of the cream. I’m neurotic about hand washing so I use a lot of hand cream. Big bottles are perfect for me. Sadly, despite being described as rich, this one isn’t rich at all. It’s a very thin cream, not like the name would make you believe, since both shea butter and argan oil are very rich ingredients. It was okay for summer, but now I need something better.

 

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Also used up two perfume samples:

Moschino Chic Petals: This is a fresh fruity floral. And that’s about all I can say. It’s not overly offensive, but not very interesting either. Longevity is medium to strong, imho.

Chanel Chance Eau Fraiche: Perfect for summer, it has a very citrusy opening, although I can’t quite pin down which citrus. That phase is very short and then I am left with a clean chypre*, possibly the regular Chance smell (I don’t know Chance, sorry). Longevity is extremely short, so I had to reapply during the day. To be honest I also used it as a room spray. I think it’s a wonderful room spray. I wouldn’t buy a full size of this for myself (a scented candle would be another story), but I’ve bought a full size for my mum. My mum likes inoffensive clean chypre.

* the emphasis here not on chypre, but on clean. very very clean.

 

I’ve also used up a CC cream, but I’ll give it its own post.

Thank you for reading.

A good nude: Lancome L’Absolu Nu Corail Evanescent

A good nude: Lancome L’Absolu Nu Corail Evanescent

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You probably know how hard it is to find a good nudeish color or a “my lips but better”. For me, they usually look off and I stopped searching. This one’s a pretty good one, though: Lancome L’Absolu Nu in 101 Corail Evanescent. The Nu lipsticks are the sheer variants of the L’Absolu Range. But unlike the L’Absolu they don’t offer SPF. Probably because they are so sheer.

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As the name suggests, Corail Evanescent is a peachy coral. It’s not actually meant to be a nude, Lancome lists it in the “coral to red” range, not the “beige to brown”. But they also mention “lip enhancing pigments”.

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Swatch. It’s a sheer coral. For me it is so universal it goes with everything. And like I mention up there, it’s my personal nude/mlbb.

Other than the color what I like best is the pretty design. What I dislike is the smell, it’s such an old fashioned lipstick smell.

Availability: I’ve had this for a while, so I’m not sure. As you can see in the link above, the L’Absolu Nu are still listed on Lancome’s website, but they are not on display in my usual haunts. If you can find them they are worth checking out. They are bit like Chanel’s Rouge Coco Shine, but smoother, creamier.

All used up July & August 2014

All used up July & August 2014

Here are my empties of the last two months:

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I already did a whole post on the CC Lumi Serum by By Terry, but I continued using it afterwards until all four colors were gone, so I’m adding a little: I used either Nr. 1-3 all over my face as primer before foundation, and Nr 4 as a bronzer. When I put these on I used no other moisturizer. On my previous post I said I consider these makeup and not skincare, even though it gets categorized as skincare. I changed my mind on this, my skin seemed to really like it, so it certainly counts as skincare as well. After these samples were open for a while, they started drying up, becoming denser. I liked that, it made the shimmer stronger, but it also gave it some coverage. Now, this seems counterproductive, but when I put the serum all over my face, I patted some extra onto my nose to cover the pores. Highlighter to cover pores??? I know how it sounds, but it worked. Great stuff, highly recommendable.

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Neutrogena Body Balm with Nordic Berry: Leaves a thick, soft film on the skin.

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Sorry for the blurry list of ingredients. I meant to show that it mostly consists of paraffinum liquidum and silicone. Basically, it’s not your skin that is soft afterwards, it’s the film this leaves on you. I’m not usually against silicone in skincare, but it felt a bit much. The fact that I managed to use this up in august is testament to how rainy and cold august was. When it was hot I couldn’t use this balm; it made me sweat.

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SP System Professional Volumize Shampoo: I had two of these. And both of them broke apart after the second use. The cap broke, I mean. The shampoo itself is okay, and it does give volume. But I wouldn’t buy a full size. If they can’t even create small sizes that don’t fall apart, I don’t trust them to get the big sizes right.

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Lancome Renergie Multi-Lift: Anti wrinkle cream with SPF 15. Nice scent, and I could feel my skin tighten. Quite rich, it is for dry skin.

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Garnier Micellar Cleanser: I already repurchased. At the moment my absolute favorite. Better than the Lancome, even and cheaper too. Unlike the Lancome, it does not contain alcohol. It is gentle, but manages to get most makeup off.

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Lancome Dream Tone Skin Corrector: in the shade 1. As the name suggests it is supposed to correct your skin tone and help with dark spots. It comes out peachy and shimmery, a bit like the Clarins Beauty Flash balm, but not so thick. Applied to the skin I could not see any shimmer. I did not see any difference in my age spots, but the sample was small. It helped a little with pores.

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List of ingredients.

It felt pretty good on my skin, but at the moment I wouldn’t buy a full size.

Dior 5 Coleurs Trafalgar

Dior 5 Coleurs Trafalgar

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The new Dior look hit the stores only this week. I immediately fell in love with this quint, 876 Trafalgar.

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Dior have revamped the packaging. Left, the new one, right the old one with the blue CD. Personally I like the sleek black better.

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Top, the old bigger packaging, bottom the thinner new one. Despite the smaller size the amount of eyeshadow stayed the same.

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Swatch in the shade. This time I put the lightest colors in the middle. So we have the brass shade, then the dark brown, the two top shades, first the pink shimmer, then the white shimmer and last the red from the middle.

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Swatch in direct sunlight. All shades except the red contain some shimmer. The red also has a little shimmer, but you can barely tell.

Quality wise, I am torn. I have learned by now that Dior does the very light shades sheer on purpose, but the brass shade also needs several layers to show up properly and the brown shade is harder to work with than the brown shade in the other two Dior quints I own. The red is highly pigmented. Compared to the other companies, most of which have released new quads or quints this year, Dior’s are worse. I mean, in general they are good eyeshadows, but they’re not on top of the game.

However, lasting power is pretty good. I have experienced creasing, but it’s on the less noticable end. All in all, it’s a great palette, the colors are beautiful and the combinations endless.

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Here’s a pic of me wearing it (in rather bad lighting, imagine the colors to be stronger). I put the red shade on the lid and the brass shade in the crease. Then I put the white shade in the corner of my eye and the pinkish one all over to soften the red down. I used the brown as liner in the corner, but it wasn’t as cooperative as I hoped. You can’t see it but I also put the brown on the lower lid, which worked better.

Mascara is Lancome’s Hypnose Doll Eyes; under eye concealer by Clinique. Brows: Flormar brow powder and Sumita brow wax.

Serum Masterpost

Serum Masterpost

What is a serum?

Unlike regular skin creams, which mostly act as a barrier and to moisturize, serums have a higher amount of active ingredients. They are the powerhorses of skincare.

How do you use serums?

Well, this depends on personal preference, of course. Usually serums are meant to be used underneath skin care, probably so that the company can sell you two products instead of one. 😉 Personally I do not add anything on top of the serum unless my skin still feels tight. When I use a serum I will use it every night; on mornings it depends on what else I plan to slap on (I try to use as few layers as possible).

Serums are my favorite part of skin care, because they make a visible difference, but I don’t have to work for it. I don’t have to put on a mask and wash it off again or anything similar. I simply smear the serum on after washing my face, done. 😀 When I don’t have eyecream on hand, I use the serum around my eyes as well, works perfectly. (The concept of eye cream is pretty much a marketing gag anyway, if you ask me.)

Serums I have reviewed on this blog, in alphabetical order:

The links mostly go to my all used up posts, so you may have to scroll a little, sorry for that.

Annemarie Börlind

Naturoyale Lifting Serum

Biotherm

Aquasource Deep Serum

Blue Therapy Serum

Blue Therapy Serum in Oil Night

By Terry

CC Lumi Brightening Serum

Clinique

Repairware Laser Focus

Kiehl’s

 Powerful-Strength Line-Reducing Concentrate

Lancome

Advanced Genifique

Dreamtone

Visionnaire Serum

Marbert

24 h Aqua Booster Intensive Moisture Serum

Foundation Reviews

Foundation Reviews

I’ve been procrastinating on this post so hard, oh my. When I ran out of my Catrice Foundation I had to find a new one, because that one had been discontinued. I thought, well how hard can it be? Very, very hard, it turns out.

For preparation I rewatched Lisa Eldridge’s Foundation Course, which is so helpful. And I decided to ask for samples, like she suggests. Asking for samples in Douglas stores gets you gentle “no”s at best and bewildered stares at worst. Then I went over to Marionnaud and was very pleasantly surprised. I did not even have to ask for a sample. When we decided which foundation might be best for me, the SA walked away and I was like “what” but then she came back with a little pot and filled it with foundation, while apologizing it was probably only going to be enough for two uses, but there wasn’t enough left. Usually they give you samples for three uses at least, I have discovered. So, yay, I got to test some stuff!

 

Clarins Foundation Teint Haute Tenue (=Everlasting Foundation)

This comes with SPF 15. The coverage is on the strong side, between medium and full I would say. The finish is mattifying, but still sort of dewy, if that makes any sense. It lasted through the whole work day, only rubbed off on the sides of my nose. It emphasized the dry skin parts a lot. I’d say it is best for normal to oily skin.

 

Giorgio Armani Maestro Fusion Makeup

Also SPF 15. This feels so amazing upon application, unlike anything else I used so far. The color selection is also pretty great. The coverage is light, it covers my pores, but not any blemishes. It offers less coverage than my Dior BB Creme. The finish is completely matte, emphasized dry skin. This is best for people with oily skin who don’t want much coverage, imo.

 

YSL Le Teint Touche Eclat Foundation

Do you know this situation, where you applied make up in the morning, then spend the day kicking around, not looking at yourself in the mirror, and then maybe you go out in the evening and you get home sometime past midnight and you see yourself in the mirror and think: “OMG D:” or is it just me?

So, when I applied this foundation and did what I described above and then looked at myself in the mirror in the middle of the night I went: “OMG :D”! I now understand why many celebs swear by this. Somehow this foundation looks better after several hours of wearing than it does when you apply it. I don’t know how, but I swear it happened to me.

Has SPF 19, light coverage (like the Maestro above), dewy finish. It’s not mattifying, does not emphasize dry skin. I really want a full size of this, but since the coverage is less than what my Dior BB Creme offers, I refrained. I might buy it when the BB Creme runs out. Best for dry skin. Does not emphasize fine lines.

 

At this point in my research I had swatched almost every high end foundation. Everything by Chanel was out for being too dark, except for the new Les Beiges Fluid, which doesn’t really have any coverage, I think it’s more of a primer. Everything by Clinique is pink or orange, Shiseido had some good stuff, but again not enough coverage. I didn’t think it was that hard to find something with medium coverage that is not drying.

So I purchased the Maybelline Fit Me Liquid Foundation on a whim.

It comes with SPF 18 and has a good range of colors. The lightest, 105, is only a little too dark for me. Sadly, the coverage is light and the worst thing about it is that two hours in, my nose turns shiny and no touch ups on earth help. And as you probably noticed reading this post, my skin is mostly dry. I even wore mattifying primer. I don’t know what’s up with that.

 

Finally I found my new holy grail foundation, completely on accident:

I let the MAC Makeup Artist do my face and she looked at my skin and said “You’re more on the dry side, hm?” and then she pulled out a compact foundation and I was like “but aren’t these drying?” and she explained to me that all the MAC liquid foundations are oil-free and it’s the compacts that are made for dry skin. Well this explains why the liquids never worked out for me.

MAC Mineralize Foundation Compact

SPF 15, medium coverage, not drying, does not emphasize dry skin. Can emphasize fine lines, when applied too much. Thin layers are the key. Lasts very well, needs to be taken off carefully or it will clog pores.

 

And while I’m at it, the foundations I already owned:

Clinique Anti Blemish Solutions liquid makeup

Too dark and too orange, but still the best emergency acne makeup: Strong coverage, absolutely mattifying. When I really want to make sure my nose does not get shiny I apply this without any primer. Lasts all day. Dries the skin something horrible, can not be worn two days in sequence. Emphasizes dry skin, aggravates dry skin, makes it look redder. Can look very cakey. What I do is, I use this on my nose and chin when I get really bad break outs and do the rest of the face with something else.

Does not list SPF, but includes Titanium Dioxide and Iron Oxides, so I believe it does offer some sort of sun protection.

 

Diorskin Forever Fluid:

SPF 25. The name is program, this is another one that needs to be cleaned off well at the end of the day. Medium Coverage. Sometimes my nose gets really shiny and sometimes not. Might be connected to primer/powder. I wouldn’t call this either matte or dewy. This would in fact be my go-to foundation if the lightest color wasn’t too dark for me. This thing oxidises into an orange tint. I checked it on photos and it’s not noticable there, but I notice it in the mirror. 😦 I use this in summer when my skin is darker (does not usually happen) or together with the Clinique Anti Blemish.

Diorskin Forever Compact:

Also SPF 25. This is what I keep at work for touch ups. The color, even though it is the same number as in the fluid (010) is absolutely perfect for me. It’s light enough and it doesn’t change. It’s mattifying and gives good coverage, on the strong side of medium I’d say. But I think it’s too dry to use it as a foundation in the morning as opposed to only doing touch ups with it.

 

I also have a mini size of Benefit’s Hello Flawless Oxygen Wow, but it’s really too dark for me, so I didn’t even test it properly. I also tried Lancome’s Teint Miracle, but it has way too little coverage.

And that’s it! If you made it here, you deserve a cookie. Thank you for reading and sorry for the lack of pics, but I used up the samples completely.

Lancome Vernis in Love Jolis Matins 220M

Lancome Vernis in Love Jolis Matins 220M

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This is one coat of Lancome Vernis in Love Jolis Matins 220M, no top coat. It’s like the perfect nude color. It has a very subtle silver shimmer, practically invisible on the nail. It’s not opaque in one coat but I don’t think it needs to be. However, it looks dirty on the whites of the nail. Next time I’ll clip them all down when I want to wear this color.

The brush is wide, I think it’s the widest brush on a nail polish that I own. The quality of the polish is perfect, goes on like a dream.