Friday, November 21, 2014

Osmoclean Osmopure micellar cleansing water by Institut Esthederm


Institut Esthederm is my absolute favorite French brand of skincare products. Before I moved to the US in 2012, most of my skincare routine was composed of Esthederm products, and I was regularly going to a day spa for facials with the brand's line. I would describe Institut Esthederm as a high quality professional brand (a lot of their products can only be purchased at salons after a skin analysis by a beautician - those are the ones that come in deep blue packaging if you already know the brand) with a unique philosophy: skin is a complex eco-system that should be protected and nourished with the elements it needs to thrive, rather than forcefully corrected through aggressive treatments. The idea is that skin should "know" what to do to be healthy, so it will reach that state if you provide it with the tools it needs to achieve it but refrain from interfering too much with its natural processes. It's my Esthederm beautician in France who convinced me to completely stop using mechanical exfoliation, i.e. abrasive scrubs, and that decision changed my life (at least my skin's life!). 

Healthy skin starts with a gentle but efficient cleansing routine, and Esthederm has a range of cleansing products called Osmoclean. Being an avid user of micellar water (read more about micellar water here and here), I recently finished my bottle of Osmopure Face and Eyes Cleansing Water



Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Dior Golden Reflections palette: a tale of flying sparkles



With Christmas just around the corner, holiday collections have invaded department stores. In fact, they might be sold out long before Christmas - the annoying result of new collections launching a whole season in advance. This year again, to my disappointment, most brands have released very classic, boring holiday collections centered around one theme: GOLD EVERYWHERE. I have nothing against gold, but when everybody has been doing gold for Christmas for several years in a row, it gets old. Creativity, trend setting anyone?? 

Anyway, Dior is surfing the gold wave with their collection called Golden Shock (I'd like to name a collection Gold Indigestion...), however beyond the packaging and nail lacquers, a lot of the new products have quite interesting shades to offer. I found both new eyeshadow palettes to be stunning in pictures, and decided to go the less traveled path and purchase Golden Reflections, a cool harmony of grey and bronze


There's not much gold about it really and Metal Reflections would have been a more suitable name. It's a really interesting combination of platinum, white gold, silver and golden bronze, really unique in my (rather large) collection. Unfortunately I wasn't able to find a tester before I made the decision to purchase it online, so I was a little worried that such a cool toned palette might not work so well on my neutral to warm complexion. I was also concerned about the quality of the shadows, because Dior's creations sometimes lack pigmentation. So, how did it go?

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Shupette Blush by Shu Uemura




I'm not afraid to say that I'm a cat lady - I don't think I'm crazy though, I only have one feline in my house, and at the moment he's happily purring on my lap, covering my black pants with fur. Cat hair everywhere, that is the story of my life... Being a kitty enthusiast, I was close to hysterical when I learnt that Shu Uemura (the trendy professionnal-quality Japanese makeup brand) had teamed with Karl Lagerfeld (Chanel's creative director), or to be exact, with Lagerfeld's cat Choupette, to create a holiday makeup collection with a feline touch


The Shu Uemura x Karl Lagerfeld collection, aka the Shupette collection, comprises a wide range of products, from an eye and lip palette that comes in a white furry pouch with blue eyes, to a special edition of the brand's cult makeup removing oil. Some of these products are unfortunately not available on the US website (why?? I wanted an eyeliner and a nail polish!!), and I decided to purchase one of the two blushes from the collection, the Silk Cushion Cheek in shade Pink (the other available shade is Orange). 

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Chantecaille 15 Year Eye Shade Trio, and baby elephants






Chantecaille is really a brand I can relate to. Founded by Sylvie Chantecaille, a French woman who made her life in the USA, the brand focuses on the quality of their formulation. Chantecaille is a "niche" luxury brand, with a more restricted range of products and a more selective distribution than mainstream high-end brands like Chanel or Dior. 

What really got me hooked was Chantecaille's involvement in philanthropy, with a focus on endangered species. What they do is use their notoriety to draw attention to causes through limited edition collections, released every year, the proceeds of which (or parts of the proceeds? I wasn't able to find detailed information on that) are donated to a charity that works in the field to protect the species. Recent collections have included gorgeous palettes in support of sharks, bees, horses, and elephants. 



Friday, September 26, 2014

Clarins Huile Lotus: an oil for oily skins?


It sounds counter-intuitive, I know. If you've been fighting oiliness with mattifying lotions, powders and blotting papers, you might cringe at the idea of applying oil to your face. If you can go past that initial rejection however, you could very well transform your skin for the better. Huile Lotus has been around for a long, long time. I first used it 10 years ago, and recently came back to it when my skin started acting up. I loved it when I was younger, and I'm still in love as a thirty-something. 


Wednesday, September 10, 2014

New Diorskin Star Foundation by Dior - is it worth it?

There are many new foundations being released this year for fall, and the one that's creating the most buzz is certainly Dior's Diorskin Star foundation. It promises to recreate professional studio lighting on your face, and I was very curious - how can a cream create light? Is it an exaggeration, or a flawed description, or does it really somehow attract light to your face? I decided to give it a try with the help of Sarah, an amazing cosmetics specialist at the Dior corner of my local Neiman Marcus store (Fashion Valley in San Diego - ask for Sarah, she's THE most knowledgeable sales rep I've ever talked to in a department store). 



According to Dior, Star has medium coverage, buildable to high coverage, and it covers imperfections very well for a flawless skin with a very luminous effect, and a weightless texture. Sounds exciting! Unfortunately... that's not really what I experienced. 

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