Tuesday, 27 February 2018

My TOP 5 Cleansers

Hello everyone! I hope you are all well and that you all had a good start of the week.

Like most of us - skincare obsessed, I became aware of the importance of skincare when I started having severe acne as a teenager. I was on and off my dermatologist's cabinet too often. I went through so many different treatments, but that is another story! That is exactly when I realized how important it is to cleanse my face. I have tried so many products in more than a decade and cleansers are either a pass or a holy grail. For your information, I have a sensitive and very reactive skin, so it has always been very easy for me to know if a cleanser was good or not. Just so you know, all the products I am going to mention, I have used them on very long periods of time - definitely more than six months and for some of them, a couple of years. My list is not a ranking, they are all number ones!

Avène Eau Thermale - Ultra-rich Cleansing Bar with Cold Cream


Picture from here
The fact that it is a cleansing bar always made me trust its cleansing properties more compared to whatever drug store cleansing gels. 
When I started using this cleanser, my skin was very very dry because of the acne medication I was taking back in the days. The gel cleanser I was using before used to strip my skin of the rare oils it still had. So the itchiness was real! It actually felt more like constant burn! 
This cleanser literally saved my skin. I used it every morning and night. I also used it every time my skin was suffering from the dryness during the day. It instantly brought a calming and soothing effect. I cannot explain how good this cleanser is and how much it took care of my skin when I most needed it. I highly recommend it if your skin is going through hard times and you are in a "I am scared to use any product in case it makes it worse"-phase. Trust this one! It can be found in pharmacies or get in online.

Caudalie - Instant Foaming Cleanser


Picture from here
More recently, actually for the last couple of years, I have been using this beautifully scented, gentle and very efficient cleanser from Caudalie. 
I was browsing one day in one of my favourite pharmacy in Paris and for some reason, Caudalie's products caught my attention. I bought this cleanser amongst other skincare products of the same skincare line and, since then, I could not let myself use any other cleanser except this one. It was the first time I experienced a foaming cleanser. It is so soft! And it feels really good on the skin. I made my friends buy it and I bought it myself countless times. 
The cleansing experience with foam is completely different from the standard cleansing gel or bar. Foam brings it to another level. Besides the texture of the product, the quality is unquestionable. It left my skin smoothed, calmed and feeling extra fresh.


Picture from here

I was lucky to be offered two full-size samples and that is how I discovered this amazing cleanser. It is a very gentle cleanser that does its job. The texture is cream-like and is very pleasant. The cleansing experience feels very luxurious. 
Like both cleansers mentioned above, it left my skin feeling smooth and fresh. The difference is that this cleanser feels like a nourishing treatment. By that I mean, cleansing my face with this product felt like doing a 2-in-1 procedure: cleansing and nourishing. At that time I would have never guessed that it was the Alguronic Acid. 
Now that I have grown and that I am looking a lot more into the components of the products I use, I realize how effective this cleanser is and above all, how much it keeps its promises! I cannot honestly tell you about the rejuvenating effect since I haven't had any anti-aging concern when I used this product. 
Though I am quite curious to try it again for at least six months to test the rejuvenating promise. So there should be a follow-up for this product!


Picture from here

This product combined to the one I will be talking about next, I am currently using them. So this cleanser is a part of my current skincare regiment.
Let me give you some history about this. I ran out of my Caudalie Instant Foaming Cleanser and I needed any good foaming cleanser on the spot. I was shopping and considered checking out the Kiehl's shop. I have heard good reviews about so many Kiehl's products, so I was quite confident and ready to trust this brand. 
My intention was to buy a product similar to Caudalie's so I described what kind of product I was looking for to the employee at the Kiehl's shop. He recommend this cleanser and the description of the product, even the name, everything was convincing. 
When I got home, the first thing I did was to try it out. I was disappointed by the texture. I am being honest here. I was expecting a real foam like Caudalie's. I was really close to return it. But it was very efficient. It deep cleansed my face like it promised. It left my skin smooth and fresh without that loath-able drying effect. 
So, the texture is gel-like when you pump it out and when you start massaging it to your wet skin, it foams reasonably. It is clearly not a foam you pump out but a foaming face wash literally. I love this product for its ingredients and efficiency even though it started with a compromise! Hopefully some day they will make the same product but as a real foam. One can dream haha!


Picture from here
Last but not least is this great cleanser by the trustworthy Estee Lauder Advanced Night skincare line. I still dream about THE serum and it is on my wishlist, most probably my next skincare purchase (since I have been ready to buy it for such a long long very long time!).
I have been gifted the mini-size version and I did not want to start using it because I did not want to finish it. This is the kind of product I know for sure I will go through and scoop the last milligram off the tube. 
The texture is cream-like, quite similar to Algenist's mentioned above. It is definitely a "nourishing cleanser" (if that is even "a thing"). It leaves my skin plumped, smooth and very fresh. The smell and the experience of the application are very pleasant. It does its job, it purifies and cleans the skin. It is for sure a product I will buy as soon as I will be approaching the end of the tube. I can only wonder how wonderful this product must be used along the rest of the products of its skincare line. 


Sunday, 25 February 2018

Skincare 101

Happy Sunday! Enjoy the weekend while it lasts. 




Today I decided to share with you my current skincare regiment. But before I start talking about any product, I must say that skincare is truly a journey. And a very long one! We all start by not knowing anything about our skin. At a certain point, we think we know our skin type, what it needs and we decide and choose products we think are what suits us. No matter what your age is and what your skincare history is, it is never too late to start taking care of your skin. 

Skin is the largest organ of our bodies and yet we care less! Your skin is the first and most efficient shield to protect your inner organs, your general health from the various external aggressions. So don't wait for trouble to become aware of the importance of a good skincare! 

How to start?

The most important thing to start with is to know what your skin type is. We all have a personal opinion about it but it is certainly not enough! By that I mean that you might be sure that your skin type is dry while it is oily or the other way around. Having a wrong idea of what your skin type is could be a huge waste of time and money but more importantly, it could have been making your skin condition worse and worse during all that time while you were thinking of doing it good. 
So start by consulting a dermatologist! Men and women working in department stores and skincare brand shops are definitely not dermatologists. All of them are just trying to sell products and that is okay. That is their job: selling products, not dermatologists. It is quite easy to be fooled. I have been fooled! Forehead patches that shows what your skin type is?! No matter how smart you think you are, there will always be someone smart enough to make you buy. 
Dermatologists are trained to look at skin, to differentiate between skin type and to recognise all kind of skin conditions. They are doctors so you should feel safe and trust their medical opinion about your skin. They might even suggest products to use or to avoid.

When you know your skin type

The basic routine I think everyone should have is a morning and an evening routine. It is very important to shield your skin to face the day and, in the evening, get rid of all the accumulated junk.

AM / PM : CLEANSE TONE HYDRATE

This is the bare minimum of a skincare routine! 

Cleanse your skin with a gentle cleanser and please: no soap! You do not want to strip your skin from the good it naturally has. Leave the soap for the rest of your body where your skin is thicker and less fragile. Or do not use any soap anywhere and you will be on the safe side at all times. Why cleansing? You need to cleanse your skin from all the make-up residues, the dust, the pollution, all kind of impurities that sits on the surface of your skin and can possibly damage it. 

Use a toner! A toner finishes the cleansing step, making sure your skin is clean. A toner also brings back a pH balance which could have been disturbed by your cleanser. There are a ton of different kind of products on the market but the main categories are hydrating toners, smoothing and calming toners, and astringent toners. Choosing the right one can possibly make a huge difference in your skin condition but it can also make it worse. You know your skin type because you trust your dermatologist and you know what are your main skin concerns. So choose consciously! 

Last but not least: hydrate your skin! No matter what is your skin type, you need to moisturise. Yes, even oily skin! Moisturising is obvious when your skin type is dry. Your skin feels uncomfortable and you know you need it. But when your skin is oily, you tend to think that you are going to make it worse by adding moisture. It is actually the opposite. Your skin is oily and produces more sebum because it consistently signalled that more moisture is needed. So if you add moisture, you are signalling your skin that it does not need to produce more moisture any more. 

Those are the major and most important steps for a bare minimal skincare routine. We are all on the learning path and we all start at different levels. And that's okay! What matters is that "we all make it". I hope this post is helpful. If you have any further question, please do not hesitate to leave it in the comment section and I will try to answer the best way I can. 

Take care of yourselves beauties, you should hear from me again very soon! xx 

Saturday, 24 February 2018

Easy Soft Glam Makeup Look: Products details

Hello everyone! Happy weekend! 
I hope you are all doing well. This post breaks down the products details of this soft glam make-up look. To be honest, this was the fastest make-up look I ever done (with a full base)! I was wondering if I was actually going to work how I would do my make-up, keeping in mind the time limit. And this is what came out. I hope you like it and if so, please let me know in the comment section!

 
Soft Glam Make-up Look #YourAmazingFace


BASE



EYES


This eye liner is one of my holy grails. I must have gone through five of them at least since the first time I tried it!! I also used The Balm's Schwing Black Liquid eyeliner to finish up my wing.

EYEBROWS




LIPS

  • Mac Cosmetics' Creme Sheen - shade: Innocence Beware [This shade is from a limited edition kit. I can't find it anywhere. I linked the lipstick collection and a similar one would be Crème D'Nude.]



Monday, 22 January 2018

Black & Yellow Make-Up Look

Hello everyone! I hope you are all well.

This post is to give you all the product and application details of this beautiful black and yellow make-up look so you can be able to recreate it if you wish! Instagram is not really the best place to share it all since it has a character limit (which is sooo annoying btw!). So I decided to write it down for you. Bear with me, it is my first blog post since ages ago. It is not perfect but I hope it will be useful to some of you. Let me know in the comment section below what you think I should change or improve or add as in the format and content of this kind of posts. I would be very grateful if you did and hopefully the next posts will be better! Also, show me your looks if you tried to recreate this look, I would LOVE to see your recreations. But for now, enjoy the read!


Full Face

STEP 1: Prep your skin!

I always start by cleansing my face. So put your hair away and grab your daily cleanser and cleanse! This step is so important, you can not avoid it. You do certainly not want to add layers and layers of products on a filthy skin covered with dead cells and all sorts of impurities. Cleansing will also make your make up application much easier and your final look way smoother and more beautiful.

Once your skin fresh and clean, move on with your skin care routine. Whatever steps it has, the most important one before a make-up application is moisturising. 

STEP 2: Eyebrows

My brow routine is quite easy and quick. I rarely do the full on "Instagram brows". I prefer the "natural looking" brows which are filled but not over filled. For this specific look, I used a brow pencil by Anastasia Beverly Hills, the famous Brow Wiz in the shade Medium Brown. I drew little strokes to fill them up. I start by brushing all the hair up and filling from the bottom. Then I brush the hair down and repeat. 

After filling, I set the hair with a brow mascara. Brow mascaras set the hair in place so it does not go anywhere. It is mandatory if you are gifted in the brow area. For this look, I brushed my brows with the Super Liner Brow Artist Plumper in Medium/Dark by L'Oréal Paris. I like that it is tinted and picks up even the smallest brow hair I have. It gives a darker and fuller brow look.

To finish the brows, pick up your usual concealer to clean up the edges. For this look, I used my NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer in the shade Custard. I usually put the product on the back of my hand and use a small flat brush to apply the product. I will give you all my make-up brushes details and which one I use for what kind of application in another blog post. 

STEP 3: Eye Shadow

Eye Close-Up

Before using any eye shadow, you need to prime your lids especially if they tend to be oily throughout the day or if your complexion is dry. Priming your lids helps a lot with the eye shadow application. I notice a huge difference with the blending process, the time the whole eye look takes to do and how long the look lasts. 

At the moment, I ran out of eye shadow primer but no need to panic! Your concealer can be your perfect eye primer. That is what I did for this look: I applied the concealer all over my lids and I blended it with my finger. Then I powdered my lids with my
Soft Focus Transparent Loose Powder by Technic. The powder sets the concealer and plays as the perfect canvas for your eye shadows.

For this look I used two different eye shadow palettes from the same brand Morphe: the 35N and the 35B. I started with a warm light brown all over my lid, followed by a darker  brown (but still a warm tone) in the crease. In the outer V of the lid, I slowly worked with the black eye shadow from the 35N. Black eye shadows tend to be very pigmented and if you do not want to ruin the whole eye look, you better take your time! I slightly touched the black eye shadow with my brush and pressed it in the eye area I wanted it to be. Then I used a clean brush to blend it in and repeated the same actions till I had the intensity I needed. When I was done with the black, I sprayed a flat eye brush with a make up setting spray, dipped it in the yellow eye shadow from the 35B and tapped it all over the inner 2/3s of my lid. With a clean blending brush, I blended the yellow into the black.
Then I drew my black wing with my Schwing eyeliner by the Balm which is my current favourite.

At this point, the eye look is not finished. I choose to stop here to start working on my complexion, in order to not have any powder fall out on my lashes when I apply my mascara and/or false lashes.

STEP 4: Complexion

https://www.instagram.com/p/BeN2FVYBf9M/


At this stage, your face is prepared to support layers of products because while you were working on your brows and lids, your skin had plenty time to absorb all of your skin care products. 

I always start by using a make-up primer. My OG face primer is the POREfessional face primer by benefit cosmetics. I apply it with my fingers on my T-zone, the areas around my nose and my smile lines. It "minimizes the appearance of pores and fine lines for smoother-than-smooth skin" and I totally agree! The texture feels really soft and nice. You can try take a picture before and after applying the primer, you will definitely notice a difference. 

When the primer is done, it is time for foundation. Depending on your complexion type, you will probably not use the same foundation as me. Basically, foundation is one of the most personal pick for your make-up. For reference, my skin type is combination and it tends to be oily or dry in different areas like the T-zone and changes depending if it is summer or winter weather. 

For this look, I used the Bourjois Healthy Mix Foundation in the shade Light Beige. As you can see, this is a quite cheap foundation! It is a very common misconception to think that cheap goes with bad or not good enough and expensive with luxury and excellence. This foundation is the perfect counterexample! The Healthy Mix Foundation is so good and way better than many mainstream high-end foundations you hear everyone and their mothers talk about!

So, I sometimes apply it with a flat foundation brush all over my face and spread it by tapping with my Beauty Blender make-up sponge. Or I will take few pumps on the back on hand and go straight with the sponge. I never ever do a brush only application for foundation any more since I first tried the Beauty Blender sponge. Brushes always left bristle marks. I could see them on my forehead and the sponge gets instantly rid of them, leaving your foundation application smooth and even.

Foundation done, it is time for concealer. Depending on what you "need" to conceal or correct you would use different type of concealers and different application techniques. But today, I will tell you only what I did for this look and bring up a more detailed blog post later. I used the same concealer to define my eye brows and to brighten my face which is the NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer. I apply it with its own applicator under my eyes, on my forehead in the area between the eye brows, in the middle of my nose bridge, on the sides of my nose, on my smile lines and on my chin. I blend it all using my sponge.

At this point, your face is ready for powder unless you want to do a cream contour and all that jazz. For this look, I went straight to powder under my eyes first, to not let my concealer crease in my fine lines. Then I powder my whole face to set my foundation and concealer. The powder I used is the Soft Focus Transparent Loose Powder by Technic which I bought from a random beauty shop in London but you can find it on Amazon.
Once the powder done, I slightly contoured/bronzed my face with the famous Benefit Hoola Bronzer. I own different products for the same use but I can not get my hands off my Hoola. I am on my third pan and it is half way used! I applied it on cheek hollows, on the edges of my forehead and around my jaw line. 

Blush time is fun time! For this look, I used the Becca x Jacly Hill Champagne Collection Face Palette that I was lucky to get as a birthday gift. Unfortunately it is a limited edition product that you might or might not find but you need to know that most of the shades in this palette exist in Becca Cosmetics make-up product range. I used the shade Rose Luminous Blush on the apple of my cheeks to my temples. You can stick to the apple of your cheeks or elongate the application like I do: you do you. I tend to spread my blush to my temples because I think it gives a more "natural" effect. I also use a large and clean powder brush to blend my blush or the same brush I used to powder my face. 

For highlighter, I used the shade Champagne Pop Shimmering Skin Perfector Pressed from the same face palette but you can find it as a single pressed powder.

STEP 5: Back to the eyes

https://www.instagram.com/p/BePe-4Ph4cw/


When I am done with my complexion work, I come back to finish my eye look on my lower lash line. For this look, I decided to keep the lower lash line bright. So I dragged all over my lower lash line, with a small pencil brush the yellow eye shadow I previously used on my lid. With a clean blending brush, I blended the edges. Then I tight lined my water line with my Deep Black Kajal by Kiko. I curled my lashes, applied false lashes from Primark! Yes, you did not misread! One pound lashes that I used 3 times so far!! The glue is very good and the style fine. The ones I used for this look are in the style Sultry. After applying the falsies, I apply mascara on my bottom lashes. Most of the time, I skip mascara unless I need to blend my lashes with the falsies. For this look, I used my favourite mascara which is the Perversion Mascara by Urban Decay.

STEP 6: Set the face and you're good to go!

I usually use my Urban Decay All Nighter Long Lasting Makeup Setting Spray but I ran out and I had no choice but to use my least favourite spray which is the Beauty Amplifier Set & Refresh Spray by Sephora. I might have a faulty product because the spray is not spraying a mist as it is supposed to do but it splashes your face with big drops and if you do not blend it with your sponge, you are left with round spots all over your beautiful face. Which is very annoying when you just spent two hours perfecting your make-up!

STEP 7: SELFIES!

Your make-up is done! Grab your phone or your camera and treat yourself with dozens of selfies! Don't forget to share them with all your beautiful friends and if you recreated this look, please tag me! I would love to share your looks on my blog and my Instagram!

Take care of yourselves beauties, you should hear from me again very soon! xx

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Disclaimer:
All the links I used are NOT affiliate links and I bought ALL the products mentioned with my own money, so there is no ad in all of this.