Monday, April 14, 2014

Lierac Gentle Cleanser Micellar Cleansing Water

I already told you about micellar cleansing waters a while ago when I reviewed Le Couvent des Minimes's rose infused micellar water. Micellar waters are soap-free, generally alcohol-free multi-tasking lotions that remove light makeup, cleanse the skin and tone it. They're a great way to cleanse dry, sensitive skin without using water and soap or face wash. They're also fast and easy to use on the go (after workout, in the morning, on vacation...). 

Lierac is a French technical skincare brand created in 1975 that belongs to Ales group, which also owns Phyto (high-end hair care) and Caron (niche luxury perfume and the legendary Caron face powder). 

Lierac Micellar Cleansing Water comes in a tall transparent pink bottle with a pump - the packaging is not particularly beautiful or exciting, but it serves its purpose. The pump, however, is a little too powerful for a liquid product and it tends to spit out the lotion way too far. My advice: make sure your cotton pad is right in front (rather than under) the pump before you press it. 

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Browsing new Spring makeup products: hits and misses

The other day I went on an exploratory trip to my local Sephora store to discover some of the new products that popped out this season, and see if they're really as good as they look in the promo pictures. I came out feeling let down by a few products but with a new gloss crush. Here are my thoughts on some of the new spring launches. 

Givenchy Ombre Couture Cream Shadow, $23: let me start by saying that I LOVE cream shadows, for their ease of use and comfort of wear. I also really like Givenchy's style, and I think they've done some really great new products lately, most notably Le Rouge lipstick. Needless to say, I was very excited by this new cream shadow, and in fact I almost ordered a couple shades online before even seeing them in person. I'm so glad I didn't... 
Although the texture feels soft to the touch, I noticed when swatching that it was hard to get an even coverage, and, the worst for me, the shadow made my skin look dry by emphasizing every little line. You know how a lipgloss can get into fine lines in your lips and make them look more visible? That's exactly what these shadows did to my skin. Not good. Moreover, the shades looked very flat and muddy. And I don't mean just subdued, I mean, it looked dirty. If you've seen that beautiful promo pic with the khaki shade looking so shimmery and rich and multi-dimensional, let me tell you, that's NOT how it looked at all in person. I'm very surprised to read so many rave reviews about these cream shadows. They just don't look flattering, and I would expect much better from a high-end brand. Am I really more demanding in terms of quality than the average beauty addict? 

3 of the Givenchy Ombre Couture. Note that
the shimmer is a lot more visible on the picture
than in person.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Michael Kors Bronze Powder in Flush: review

You probably know that popular fashion designer Michael Kors launched a beauty collection a little while ago. The range is limited, with only lip products, bronzers and nail lacquers, and divided in 3 looks: Sporty, Glam and Sexy. The beautiful Bronze Powder had been calling my name for a while, and I finally purchased it in Flush, the shade part of the Sexy look. Surprisingly, the sales associates at the first Macy's I went to didn't seem interested in promoting this line and I got so little help that I decided to just order it online, choosing my shade based on swatches from fellow bloggers. 

The most obvious thing about Michael Kors Bronze Powders is that they are enormous. Really. I don't think I've ever seen such a large pressed powder in my life. The compact looks over-sized, and that's because it contains a LOT of product: there's 21 g of pressed powder in there (.74 oz). For comparison, MAC bronzing powders are 10 g (.35 oz) and retail for $25. So in fact, Michael Kors Bronze Powders are cheaper, since they're exactly twice the price, $50, but contain a little more than double the amount of product. That's something to consider if you're turned away by the high end price tag. 

The compact itself, although large, is quite thin so it fits in my purse or makeup bag easily (if you use a tiny pouch for your makeup that's not gonna happen of course). I think the golden plastic compact with the name of the brand engraved and false rivets looks pretty classy. It does, however, show fingerprints and small scratches. I wish it came in a velvet pouch to protect its flawless shiny finish (like Guerlain and Dior products do). 

The mirror inside covers the whole interior of the lid, so it is huge and therefore actually useful to do your makeup on the go. I can see my entire face in it when I hold it close. If I ever finish the powder (which is probably never gonna happen), I will definitely keep the compact for this giant mirror. 

Enough about the packaging, let's talk about the powder itself. This powder is one of the most finely milled products I have come across. It is so fine that it has virtually no grains, and it almost applies like a cream. There is a little stiffness when you run your finger on the surface, but I've never had a problem getting enough product on my brush. This grain-free imperceptible texture allows for an incredibly natural finish that blends into your skin without being really there. If you dislike products that sit on top of the skin or look powdery, I think you might want to try this. It has a flowery scent that I don't really like, but it's light enought that you can't smell it once applied to your face. 

The pigmentation is excellent, and you need to apply with a light hand if you don't want to overdo it. Flush is a rosy beige that becomes very warm on my skin, with a glowy frosted finish. It's a beautiful shade that warms up my complexion without the brownish muddy undertones a lot of bronzers have. The frosted finish makes it more of an illuminating bronzer, so if you're looking for something to sculpt and contour, this is probably not the right product for you (in this case check Glow, a more neutral shade with a satiny finish). 

I like my face makeup to be natural, so I apply Flush with a very soft, fluffly brush using the classic 3-E technique: starting on the forehead at the hairline, run your brush in a curve that goes through your temple to your cheekbone, then another curve from your cheek to your chin along the edge of your face. The whole shape makes a 3 on your right side and an E on your left. I usually come back to the cheeks to build a little more color there (and don't use a blush). The result is a very luminous, sun-kissed glow that makes me look healthy and happy! It doesn't emphasize pores or skin texture despite the frosty finish. I really love the way it makes me look polished and radiant without being too much. 

Overall: Michael Kors Bronze Powder in Flush is definitely a statement piece in my makeup collection. But I'm not going to just keep it on display, since it's also an incredibly flattering high-quality product. It has quickly become my favorite face product and works as a great complexion enhancer. 

Where to buy: Macy's, Michael Kors' website

The product featured in this review was purchased by Lulle. I received no compensation to write this post, which only reflects my personal opinion.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Guerlain Les Tendres eyeshadow palette for Spring 2014

Guerlain's spring 2014 makeup collection, Meteorites Blossom, is without a doubt my favorite new release so far this year. In fact, I haven't loved a new makeup collection so much in a good while. Proof is that I hadn't bought a high-end eyeshadow palette in many months, but I decided to purchase Les Tendres. I felt like I couldn't pass on such a unique harmony of shades, despite its hefty price tag ($63 - are high-end eyeshadows becoming even more grossly over-priced or is it just me??). 

Ecrin 4 Couleurs in Les Tendres is an eyeshadow quad containing a frosty minty green, a shimmery champagne beige, a satin medium taupe and a mostly matte plum with strong red undertones. The two lighter shades have a similar frosty finish but the mint is more opaque while the beige is sheerer. However on the skin, the mint shade is not quite as vibrant as it appears in the pan, it loses some of its green tones to look more like a greenish off-white. The taupe shade looks very brown (and sheer) when swatched on my arm, but it looks more true-to-pan when applied to my lids. The plum shade is a beautiful reddish purple, and although it seems to have some faint shimmer in the pan, I can't detect any pearl or sheen on the lid. 

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Milani Shadow Eyez in Almond Cream: a disappointment

If you have any interest in drugstore beauty products, you probably read rave reviews all around the blogosphere of Milani Shadow Eyez, a creamy eyeshadow pencil, and particularly about the nude beige shade Almond Cream. So did I. Having dark upper lids and not only under eye circles, I'm always looking for easy-to-use nude or brightening cream shadows that will conceal the discoloration, so believe me when I say that I wanted to love this shadow pencil as much as every other blogger out there. It didn't happen. 

Friday, January 31, 2014

Clinique All About Shadow duo in Beach Plum

When Clinique recently released their re-vamped eyeshadow formula, Beach Plum duo is the one that caught my eye, and I bought it when Sephora had their VIB 20% off event. I can't say that I've had much experience with the old formula, so I won't be able to compare it to the new one. 

The duo is housed in a sleek compact with a mirror-like top (the palm tree in the picture is in my yard, not on the lid :P) and a partially transparent body. It comes with a sponge-tip and brush double applicator, but the brush side is too small and too soft to be really useful. 

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