Monday, July 24, 2017

ESTEE LAUDER | Advanced Night Repair Complex II & Mask In Oil

REVIEW

ESTEE LAUDER Advanced Night Repair

In the beauty world there are cult favourites but then there are the products that seem to have existed since the dawn of time. As teenager fawning over glossy magazine pages, I looked up to Estee Lauder's Advanced Night Repair like a right of passage into adult hood when one is finally old enough to this serious amber bottle on their vanity. In recent years, Estee Lauder has expanded the A.N.R. line to include a variety of add on products and even relaunched the much beloved serum as the Complex II formula.


ESTEE LAUDER Advanced Night Repair Complex II

ADVANCED NIGHT REPAIR SYNCHRONIZED RECOVERY COMPLEX II* | Perhaps one of the most well known serums and likely a first for many people, the reincarnation of Advanced Night Repair is aimed at regenerating the skin through its nightly rest cycle, providing anti-aging benefits while smoothing and imparting a more radiant complexion. With 25+ patents and patents pending, this is marketed across all age groups and skin types. Housed in a light filtering amber bottle, the dropper dispensing format is easy to control and the serum itself has a slightly medicinal scent which doesn't linger on the skin. The texture is beautifully silky yet without any silicone slip and leaves a non-sticky water light finish makes for a great layering product in all seasons. Ant-aging products are notorious for being heavy yet I was happy to find this so comfortable to use whilst being gentle enough to bring it all the way up near my eyes with no irritation. My nightly application uses 4 drops and it sits right between my toner and moisturizer. At times, I've also used my Sulwhasoo First Care Essence before putting on this serum.

NOTE: Oil-free, non-comedogenic, no added fragrance.

30ml @ $86CAD | 50ml @ $120CAD
Would I (re)purchase: Undecided.

Ingredients: Water\Aqua\Eau; Bifida Ferment Lysate; Methyl Gluceth-20; Peg-75; Bis-Peg-18 Methyl Ether Dimethyl Silane; Butylene Glycol; Propanediol; Cola Acuminata (Kola) Seed Extract; Hydrolyzed Algin; Pantethine; Caffeine; Lecithin; Tripeptide-32; Ethylhexylglycerin; Sodium Rna; Bisabolol; Glycereth-26; Squalane; Sodium Hyaluronate; Oleth-3 Phosphate; Caprylyl Glycol; Lactobacillus Ferment; Oleth-3; Oleth-5; Anthemis Nobilis (Chamomile); Yeast Extract\Faex\Extrait De Levure; Choleth-24; Hydrogenated Lecithin; Ceteth-24; Tocopheryl Acetate; Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate; Hexylene Glycol; Carbomer; Triethanolamine; Trisodium Edta; Bht; Xanthan Gum; Phenoxyethanol; Red 4 (Ci 14700); Yellow 5 (Ci 19140)

ESTEE LAUDER Advanced Night Repair Recovery Oil

ADVANCED NIGHT REPAIR RECOVERY MASK-IN-OIL* | One of their newer additions, this Mask-In-Oil had me intrigued at first sight. I'm no stranger to facial oils but I liked the concept of this being an oil based sleeping mask and thought it made sense to try it together with the A.N.R.. Housed in a miniature version of the amber bottle, it has the same slightly herbal scent as the serum but again does not linger. The oil is very lightweight and I found 3 drops to be sufficient for a full face application, first smoothing the product between my palms then pressing it into my skin. The oil absorbs quickly and leaves my skin with a satin sheen and feels moist to the touch. As I tested this during the warmer months, I did not find it necessary to use an additional moisturizer.

NOTE: Formulated for night time use.

30ml @$100CAD
Would I (re)purchase: No.

Ingredients: Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride; Squalane; Aleurites Moluccana (Kukui) Seed Oil; Prunus Armeniaca (Apricot) Kernel Oil; Bisabolol; Vaccinium Myrtillus Seed Oil; Garcinia Mangostana Peel Extract; Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil; Salicornia Herbacea Extract; Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Extract; Anthemis Nobilis (Chamomile) Flower Extract; Salvia Hispanica Seed Extract; Coffea Arabica (Coffee) Seed Extract; Magnolia Officinalis Bark Extract; Cholesterol; Linoleic Acid; Tocopheryl Acetate; Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate; Bht

ESTEE LAUDER Advanced Night Repair

OVERALL RESULTS | 5 WEEKS
To say I had high hopes for this duo would be a complete understatement yet at the same time, I went into this without really knowing what the Advanced Nigh Repair system was actually supposed to do and I even doubted if my skin was ready (aka. mature enough) for it at all. First thing I noticed was the elegant yet lightweight formulation which is something many people overlook in skincare but I feel is part of what separates the high-low price spectrum. It didn't feel heavy or greasy on my skin and I could easy layer these with other products which is more than what I can say for many other anti-aging lines. They were gentle and soothing, calming some redness from daily aggressors and did not clog my pores or cause any breakouts. 

The immediate noticeable changes in the first week applications was the overall smoothness of my skin in the morning after, followed by more balanced oil production for my combination skin and then some visible firmness and lift at the end of my 5th week. Switching it up being using the Complex II alone and in combination with the Mask-In-Oil, I didn't find the oil to add to the benefits but simplely worked as a moisturizer. The serum did not help correct surface dehydration or fade any of my pre-existing dark spots and hyper-pigmentation. My skin looked less-fatigued and almost "reset" but I have not seen any dramatic results for now. I am looking forward to keeping this in my collection and seeing if the full bottle results would be any different.


ARE THEY STAYING IN MY PERSONAL COLLECTION: Yes, Advanced Night Repair Complex II but not the Mask-In-Oil.

OTHER SKINCARE USED DURING TESTING: Omorovicza Mud Cleanser*, Fresh Soy Cleanser, Origins Gen-zing Moisturizer*, Sulwhasoo First Care Essence

THE FINAL VERDICT
Estee Lauder's Advanced Night Repair Sychronized Recovery Complex II works well as a daily skin maintenance, restorative and balancing serum. It's light weight consistency will likely work for all skin types and I'd recommend this to those in their 20s and beyond. Despite being marketed as an anti-aging powerhouse, I found it mild and see it more as a preventative and early stage treatment. The corresponding Recovery Mask-In-Oil, while working great as an add on moisturizer, is overpriced for its lack of results and you'd be just as happy with many other lower priced oil options on the market. 

Chat soon,

Thursday, July 20, 2017

L'OREAL | Lash Paradise Mascara + Swatch

REVIEW

LOREAL Lash Paradise Review

Once in a while, a lucky makeup product drops from the sky, gets blessed by unicorns and suddenly becomes the hot new thing to sell off of every shelf. Sure the photogenic metallic pink packaging does help but the L'Oreal Lash Paradise mascara's rise to fame took me by surprise. 

THE BASICS
Brand: L'Oreal
Product: Voluminous Lash Paradise Mascara (WP)
Size: 7.61ml
Price: $13.99 CAD (approx.)
Availability: Walmart, Ulta (Drugstores nationwide)
Would I (re)purchase: Probably not.
Website: www.lorealparis.ca

INGREDIENTS: Aqua/Water/Eau, Paraffin, Potassium Cetyl Phosphate, Copernicia Cerifera Cera/Carnauba Wax/Cire De Carnauba, Ethylene/Acrylic Acid Copolymer, Styrene/Acrylates/Ammonium Methacrylate Copolymer, Cera Alba/Beeswax/Cire Dabeille, Synthetic Beeswax, Bis-Diglyceryl Polyacyladipate-2, Polybutene, Cetyl Alcohol, Steareth-20, Glyceryl Dibehenate, Steareth-2, Phenoxyethanol, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Acacia Senegal Gum, Tribehenin, Caprylyl Glycol, Glyceryl Behenate, Sodium Dehydroacetate, Hydrogenated Jojoba Oil, Hydrogenated Palm Oil, Disodium EDTA, Butylene Glycol, Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Silica, Tetrasodium EDTA, Potassium Sorbate, BHT, [+/- May Contain/Peut Contenir: CI 77491, CI 77492, CI 77499/Iron Oxides, CI 77007/Ultramarines]. B195342/1.


LOREAL Lash Paradise Review

DESIGN & APPLICATION
Lash Paradise is an extension of L'Oreal's long loved Voluminous mascara range which has been a makeup artist and magazine favourite long before bloggers were even a thing. This new reincarnation is packaged in a lightweight metallic pink tube with corresponding gold detailing. L'Oreal promises a feathery soft fringe with both length and volume.

With a classic bristle tipped brush, the shape slightly resembles a peanut - a longer profile with a dip in the center - this mascara holds a creamy formula but doesn't actually deposit very much product so layering is required to build up intensity. I found the brush shape a little challenging to get to all my lash hairs but this tends to be part of the learning process of any new lash product and with a little practice, I could make it work. Lash Paradise went on very smoothly with little to no clumping but there seems to be a threshold where the mascara would no longer layer so volume capped at about 3 coats.

I would call the results natural on my fine straight lashes.


LOREAL Lash Paradise Review

LOREAL Lash Paradise Review
SHU UEMURA LASH CURLER + L'OREAL LASH PARADISE

WEAR & LONGEVITY
Wearing the waterproof version, as I always do with mascaras, Lash Paradise initially held my curls reasonably well but within a few hours it was noticeable that my lashes were loosing lift though it never went full flat. With a full day's wear, there was a small amount of smudging, especially at the outer corners (#highcheekboneproblems) but there wasn't any flaking. The mascara did loose it ooomph throughout the day but I felt it still held on fine until night time. As it did not rank high on the curl test, it wouldn't be a choice for swimming or intense outdoor activities.

THINGS TO NOTE | Not for oily eyelids, not the best for super straight lashes, not a maximum impact mascara.

LOREAL Lash Paradise Review

THE FINAL VERDICT
L'Oreal's Lash Paradise mascara is a decent everyday option for those who already have long lashes but want a little extra darkness, depth and definition. Between both its lengthening and volumizing claims, I'd say it's more of the latter although other options at a lower price point also provide similar if not better volume. The formula has a good consistency and is easy to work with but beyond the basics, it didn't dramatically wow me one way or the other. I have seen others with beautiful results so this might just be me and my challenging lashes but I feel Lash Paradise just caught a lucky social media wave and was hyped up a little more than what it actually is. Good for everyday but much too expensive for a drugstore product.

Chat soon,






Tuesday, July 11, 2017

GUERLAIN | Mon Guerlain Fragrance

REVIEW


Mon Guerlain Perfume

Earlier this spring, the house of Guerlain introduced a new fragrance to its core lineup - Mon Guerlain* was created to represent new modern femininity. To be honest, I had been waiting for years for Guerlain to launch a true power scent as its recent releases seemed lackluster and felt more like fillers with its attempt at playful chic. With grandiose, there was no detail left unpolished. From the selection of the bottle to the gold accents and the cushion cut cap, this looks like a beautiful heirloom sitting on my vanity. 

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

BEAUTY LOOK | SHU x AMBUSH Makeup

SHU UEMURA AMBUSH MAKEUP

With the weather finally hitting up to solid twenties, I'm excited to be in the mood to chat about warm season releases. This season, Shu Uemura, known for their artistic collaborations, have teamed up with Japanese jewelry design duo AMBUSH to release a gold dipped, limited edition set of products. The vibe is independent, urban and edgy. 

SHU UEMURA AMBUSH MAKEUP

SHU UEMURA AMBUSH MAKEUP

My first take on the collection is a more toned down work appropriate version with golden shadow and a majorly glossy lip but as with most Shu products I've used, they key to their textures is layering so don't be afraid to build up the colour to something that's a little more style. 


PRODUCTS USED
  • SHU | Pore Erase UV Base*
  • MAC | Face & Body Foundation C1
  • SEPHORA | Baked Blush Duo* - "Medium"
  • SHU | Eye Foil Shadow* - dark bronze, yellow gold
  • SHU | Ambush Blush* - "Ambushed" (as shadow)
  • SHU | Soft Gel Pencil* - "Navy Black"
  • SHU | Eyelash curler*
  • SHU | Calligraphy Liquid Liner Pen*
  • COVERGIRL | Total Tease Mascara* WP
  • SHU | Rouge Unlimited Shine Lipstick* - "Ambush Freedom"

SHOP SHU UEMURA | ONLINE / SEPHORA

I'm most looking forward to seeing how the new Eye Foils stand the wear test and especially matched against my beloved Armani Eye Tints as they seem similar at first glance. Who knows, I might even come back with a blue accented gunmetal smokey eye sometime...

Chat soon,




Sunday, June 11, 2017

VICHY | Idealia Peeling Lotion & Serum

REVIEW 

It might have something to do with the pretty pink bottles but when Vichy's Idealia skincare range came out, I was quick to flock to the counter and check it out. Being in my late twenties, I still refuse to use consistent anti-aging skincare because most of them use big daunting adjectives that seem more fitting for those with a few more decades under their belt. The Idealia range is created for those who are looking to refresh and revive their skin but don't quite need heavy anti-aging skincare just yet. Think of it as a transitional range for your in between skin.

VICHY IDEALIA Skincare

IDEALIA OVERNIGHT PEELING LOTION* | While this was the single product that intrigued me the most, I opened the bottle thinking it was either going to freaking amazing or terribly awful - let's face it, peeling lotion is not an easy category to get right. Vichy however, has done a commendable job formulating this to be mild (not single sting) yet leaves my skin feeling clean and with a noticeable morning after glow. The percentage of active ingredients isn't explicit but it does advertise a cocktail of glycolic acid, antioxidant blueberry polyphenols along with fermented Black Tea extract. It contains a mild floral fragrance and has slightly thicker consistency than water but spreads easily on the skin. Skin is left lightly moist but not greasy.

Note: As with most Vichy products, alcohol is high on the list but despite using multiple products, I haven't noticed any visible negative effects thus far. This is also not oil-free.

100ml @ $39.95 | Would I (re)purchase: Probably Yes.
SHOP | Idealia Overnight Peeling Lotion

INGREDIENTS: AQUA / WATER ALCOHOL DENAT. HYDROXYETHYLPIPERAZINE ETHANE SULFONIC ACID PROPYLENE GLYCOL GLYCOLIC ACID GLYCERIN SODIUM HYDROXIDE CITRIC ACID BHT BIS-PEG-18 METHYL ETHER DIMETHYL SILANE PPG-26-BUTETH-26 PEG-40 HYDROGENATED CASTOR OIL CI 17200 / RED 33 POTASSIUM SORBATE SORBITOL SACCHAROMYCES/XYLINUM/BLACK TEA FERMENT VACCINIUM MYRTILLUS FRUIT EXTRACT SODIUM CITRATE PHENOXYETHANOL ASCORBYL GLUCOSIDE HYDROXYETHYLCELLULOSE BIOSACCHARIDE GUM-1 XANTHAN GUM PANTHENOL BIOTIN PARFUM / FRAGRANCE 

VICHY IDEALIA Skincare

IDEALIA SERUM* | Vichy does mid-range serums really well and this one is no exception. It has the same mild fragrance as the peeling lotion and I immediately feel in love with the fluid, refreshing consistency that has almost a calming effect on the skin. It leaves my skin with light hydration and a soft matte finish that's silky to the touch. It's not quite as hydrating as their Aqualia Thermal Serum* (which I've also used) so I would categorize this as ideal for oily skin types who've been previously afraid of serums. It advertises ingredients of licorice root, adenosine, and antioxidants.

30ml @$49.95 | Would I (re)purchase: Undecided.
SHOP | Idealia Serum

INGREDIENTS : AQUA/WATER • GLYCERIN • CYCLOHEXASILOXANE • ISOPROPYL ISOSTEARATE • OCTYLDODECANOL • DICAPRYLYL ETHER • SODIUM TETRAHYDROJASMONATE • DIMETHICONE • DIPROPYLENE GLYCOL • POLYMETHYL METHACRYLATE • CI 17200 • CI 15985 • CI 77891 • MICA • CARBOMER • SODIUM HYALURONATE • SODIUM HYDROXIDE • SILICA • PHENOXYETHANOL • ADENOSINE • POLOXAMER 338 • AMMONIUM POLYACRYLDIMETHYLTAURAMIDE • DISODIUM EDTA • CAPRYLOYL SALICYLIC ACID • POLYSILICONE-11 • PARFUM • CODE FIL : B160458/4 


VICHY IDEALIA Skincare

OVERALL RESULTS | 8-10 days
Since the advertising claimed results in as little as 8 days, I thought it was fair to put it to its word. After about a week and a half of daily usage, I'm impressed to say that I did notice an overall clarity to my skin as well as evident smoothness. Note that I decided only to test theses two particular products from the range as the creams didn't excite me and I made a logical deduction that the serum and peel would be the power players.

Now the results are a little complicated to explain and it's one of those instances where I think the camera isn't picking up the finer details. It's not an anti-acne product but my pores looked clearer. It's not a brightening product but my overall complexion looked more radiant. And while there's still some visible redness and a few blemishes in my bare skin photo, my skin felt refreshed, clean and with a little extra pep. While it does do fulfill its purpose, I think there are other competitive products at a similar price point with more active ingredients though you might sacrifice the censorial experience, especially the serum. If you're looking to treat hyper pigmentation, fading, sunspots or persistent fine lines this is not the right range for you.

If I wasn't testing these products exclusively for review purposes, I think pairing them with an extra exfoliator (I didn't use any during my trial) would make it even better. The textures are also great for combination skin and especially in warmer climates as it provides a boost without feeling heavy on the skin. They aren't quite enough ooomph for me as a solo pair but I am keeping them to mix in with my other products and I think they will be a great fit this summer.

ARE THE STAYING IN MY PERSONAL COLLECTION: Yes.

OTHER SKINCARE USED DURING TESTING: Omorovicza Mud Cleanser*, Origins GinZing Cleanser, Clarins Hydra-Quench Moisturizer*, Omorovicza Illuminating Day Cream*


THE FINAL VERDICT
Vichy's Idealia skincare range smartly fills the gap for those who have outgrown basic skincare yet aren't ready to commit to serious anti-aging; think 20s-30 or those with generally normal, non fussy skin types. The overall user experience and textures are wonderful in both products not to mention I saw visible results in a just a week of usage. It felt gentle on my skin, didn't cause breakouts or irritation and were a real pleasure to use. Between the purpose and pricing, I would recommend starting out with the Night Peeling Lotion first before diving into the others.

Take care,



Tuesday, June 6, 2017

5 Cool Shareables | #3



THE HISTORY OF BLUE | Through solidifying my wardrobe staples his past year, I've grown to rely on blue on as one of my reliable go-to neutrals. From faded pastels, to rich denim and every shade in between, it has such a transcending quality which flows between seasons and temperatures equally well. From an artistic perspective, blue was coveted by classical painters as well as modern artists like Yves Klein and Mattise for whom it became a signature hue. This short video about blue is pretty neat.


RHUBARB ICE CREAM SANDWICH | There's something wonderfully playful and delightful about ice cream sandwiches and this creative twist on the classic really caught my eye. Now in all honesty, I've never actually tasted rhubarb myself and before reading this post by the lovely duo that is Luis and Elsa, all I had in mind were pie and the odd green juice. Not only does it look super simple but the rhubarb adds a wonderful colour that's deceivingly raspberry-esque.

I've also been having a wonderful time discovering a few new-to-me food blogs and The Green Stories lured me in with their authentic writing style and drool worthy photographs. Worth bookmarking.








CUSTOM FACE POWDER IN 1958 | Whilst bumbling around and watching vintage fashion clips, I happened upon this short clip demonstrating how makeup was customized in the 1950. When we think about the personalization of beauty products that's recently become the rage again in the last few years, it's worth recognizing that specialized products have long existed. All vintage undertones aside, I love watching the beautician nonchalantly scoop up the pastel coloured powders housed in pretty little candy jars. I wished they still did this by hand today!


ROSE GOLD RABBIT RING | 
It's no secret that I have a thing for rabbits and this limited edition ring from Korean jewelers Ted & Mag on Etsy is darling! I'm usually not a fan of motif designs and I don't even wear jewelry all that frequently but their whimsical designs are so happy to look at and I'm sure even more smile inducing to wear.

If you're not a long eared kinda person, they also feature other woodland animals like deer and birds.




NUTRI NINJA BLENDER | Let's get one thing straight here. I really do like cooking and I look forward to dreaming about my weekend brunch and all the possibilities. But possibilities also needs some multi-functional tools to be realized and blame it fully on the infomercials and QVC's Youtube channel because I am now fully convinced that I need one of these Nutri Ninja kitchen heroes. I'm imaging that it'll be perfect for single or double servings and leaves more time for enjoying rather than prepping and cleaning. Thoughts?


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