Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Hurricane Sandy & MUA Withdrawal Symptoms

Oh the horror!!!

MakeupAlley has been down for more than 24 hours! Trying to log on to MUA you land on a temporary chat board with the title Temporary outage due to Sandy. There are also messages posted on MUA's facebook page.

What are the symptoms of "MUA Withdrawal? They are so numerous I can't list them all but I thought these would give you a good idea:

  • Drinking more coffee.
  • Staring blankly at the computer screen.
  • Roaming through the house in search of something to do.
  • Actually working during working hours.
  • You notice the walls have to be repainted.
  • Your youngest now dresses herself on her own.

On the temporary board and CNN as I mention in a comment below, it was said that it could take as much as 3 days for the site to be back online.

3 days???

I'm sure upon reading this some especially café regulars, started shaking uncontrollably! Some may even have to start considering going into rehab!

Tonight is a full moon!!! Tomorrow night is Halloween!!!




Not good people, just not good!

Or is it?

For many on the East Coast, Sandy was devastating. The lost lives, the damages, the destruction. Can you go on without MUA for a few days? Definitely yes!

Again, my heart goes out to all the ones affected by Sandy.

Full moon picture from nikonites.com

Monday, October 29, 2012

OMG Superstorm Sandy brought down MUA!

Since last Friday all we hear about is Hurricane Sandy. Now it's here!


Nasa imagery of Sandy bearing down 
on the US East Coast on Monday

CNN, 10:40 p.m.

  • Historic, life-threatening coastal flooding now occurring along NY Harbor and Long Island Sound.
  • Manhattan is in the dark!
  • Parts of Lower Manhattan under water.
  • Sandy ravages New York City.
  • Flooding occurring inside of subway stations in lower Manhattan.
  • Seawater rushing into N.Y. Battery Tunnel.
  • New York's JFK International Airport is closed due to flooding.
  • The Queens Midtown Tunnel is closed.
  • All MTA bridges and tunnels are closed to traffic.
  • Streets turned into raging rivers in Atlantic City, N.J
  • Mayor: Part of Atlantic City Boardwalk "wiped out".
  • Atlantic City under curfew until 6 a.m. Tuesday.
  • N.J. Governor: Evacuations no longer possible.
  • Maryland Governor: 300,000+ without power.

This is what I was able to read on the TV screen in just the last 10 minutes or so.

Not surprisingly MakeupAlley is down! It was probably due to the explosion of a huge transformer in NYC. I can't even get on the CNN website at the moment.

There are many people who are probably considering rehab at this moment since the site has been down for close to an hour and a half and I can only imagine the reactions of members when it's back up and running.

Totally unimportant! The main thing is, hopefully people are safe and stay safe.

In Montreal we can feel the winds but they are nothing like what our US neighbors are getting.

No MUA, what to do? Read, write a blog, snuggle up with your darlings, humans and non-humans. In other words, get a life! Not being glued to the computer can be quite liberating.

I do sincerely hope everyone is safe! *Hugs* to all who are living it.


Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Dove Beauty Bar

Contrary to Nivea cream, this staple I grew up with along with Lux soap and if I remember right, my mother used to also buy Dial once in a while and Ivory soap. These where, as far as I can remember, the popular brands of the day. Oh I almost forgot, there was also Camay which I believe was my mom's favorite.

For years I didn't even bother to look at it on trips to the pharmacy or the grocery store. What a snob! Preferring to go for liquid or more expensive formulas, I didn't think it was worth my attention or my money. Then I used Avène's Cold Cream Emollient Soap-Free Cleansing Bar and this product except for the fragrance, felt very similar on my skin. Considering the Avène bar is sold for about $9.00 and Dove can be found at $1.99 for 2 bars, I figured why not give it a go? Now a few years ago I did try one of the Dove creamy shower gels and didn't like it but the Beauty Bar was surprisingly nice to use. I even used it for a week on my face and must admit it didn't dry my skin the way I though it would. That was last summer when my skin was oilier. I don't think I would use it in the middle of winter. For the body, nice lather, the fragrance fresh and quite pleasant brings back tons of memories.


A bit of history

There isn't a lot of information out there about it which is surprising when you compare it to some other brands. All the different sites I visited repeated more or less the same things. I haven't listed any sites for referral for this reason. If you enter in your search engine "dove soap history" you'll likely come across some if not all the sites I've visited.

First developed and introduced in the Netherlands (I wasn't able to find the name of the original company) in 1955, the Dove Beauty Bar is not classified as a soap but as a synthetic detergent bar primarily made from synthetic surfacants, derived vegetable oils and salts from animal fats. Apparently in some countries there are no animal fats in its composition, making it a vegan product. Introduced in the US in 1957 it was quite successful right from the get go. In the 60's Dove continued it's success as a niche skin care product and in the 70's thrived by publicizing dermatologist test findings that indicated that Dove was less drying and irritating than ordinary soap. After a while, Unilever the company that owns the brand, started developing other products under the Dove name.

1957, the first television commercial for the US market

In 2004, Dove launched it's "Campaign For Real Beauty" making us reflect over the unrealistic images of women in advertising and it continued by promoting the "Dove Movement For Self-Esteem".

October 2006, the add that made us think!

About the "Self Esteem Campaign" see the Self Esteem Tool Kit on the Dove website.

The beauty bar is available in an unscented version for sensitive skin. The reviews and ingredient list below are for the original Beauty Cream Bar also known as Beauty Bar for Deep Moisture.

Who can use it? 

Questions about Dove pop up regularly on MUA. Depending on the day and who's on, the responses can be either positive or flat out negative. Some members do have serious skin issues and its quite understandable why they can't use it. Others I believe, will simply say "Heck no!" just because it's "Dove".

As a facial cleanser if you have dry, irritated skin you may want to skip but if you have combination skin that's on the normal side, it can be a nice, more than affordable option. Some clog prone people can't use it while others can. Trying it is really the only way to know. If you find it's not for you, it won't make a big dent in your budget and you'll be able to use it for your body or keep in in a soap dish for hand washing.

If you're planning a trip, consider putting a Dove bar in your toiletry bag instead of a facial cleanser and/or a shower gel. If your skin likes it, it's a great two in one (face and body) and since it's in solid form, no restrictions for air travel. At the end of your vacation/trip you can just leave it behind, at that price, why fuss with a wet cleansing bar? You forgot to bring one, it's available everywhere, really it is!

Reviews:
MakeupAlley: 4.4 / 5 lippies for 766 reviews
Beauté-test: 4.3 / 5 stars for 395 reviews

Ingredients, from the Dove website:
Sodium Lauroyl Isethionate, Stearic Acid, Sodium Tallowate or Sodium Palmitate, Lauric Acid, Sodium Isethionate, Water, Sodium Stearate, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Sodium Cocoate or Sodium Palm Kernelate, Fragrance, Sodium Chloride, Tetrasodium EDTA, Tetrasodium Etidronate, Titanium Dioxide (CI 77891).

Just so you can compare the two, Avène's Cold Cream Emollient Soap-Free Cleansing Bar
Ingredients from Beautypedia
Disodium Lauryl Sulfosuccinate, Zea Mays (Corn) Starch, Cetearyl Alcohol, Sodium Cocoyl Isethionate, Water, Paraffin, Stearic Acid, PEG-45 Palm Kernel Glycerides, Beeswax (Cera Alba), Benzyl Alcohol, Cetyl Alcohol, Fragrance, Glyceryl Stearate, Mineral Oil (Paraffinum Liquidum), Potassium Cetyl Phosphate, Sodium Hydroxide, Titanium Dioxide


Saturday, October 20, 2012

Nuxe Huile Prodigieuse

To think that 2 years ago I didn't know anything about this brand. I first heard about Nuxe though a television documentary which included an extensive interview with Aliza Jabès, the beautiful mind behind the brand. Just the name, Nuxe, a combination of nature and luxury is enough for wanting to try some of it's offerings.


Huile Prodigieuse is available in two sizes: 50 ml for $26.00 & 100 ml for $45.00
Huile Prodigieuse Or, 50 ml for $35.00
Available at The Bay & several drugstores

Huile Prodigieuse

Prodigieuse, translates into prodigious, sublime, extraordinary. Is this oil sublime? Enough so for me to always want to have a bottle. This multi-purpose care, multi-usage dry oil is a complex mixture which include St John's Wort, moisturizing and calming; borage oil that has antioxidant qualities; sweet almond and camellia oils who both are very moisturizing. The formula is completed with vitamin E which helps soothe, protect and regenerate the skin. According to Nuxe's website one bottle of Huile Prodigieuse is sold every 6 seconds, an almost cult like following. Launched in 1991 it met with an almost instant success.

What a novelty! A product that could be used all over. Hair, face an body. It's a dry oil which means it penetrates quickly into the skin leaving a silky, non greasy feel. Non oily and non-photosensitizing? Fabulous!

How do I use it?

I love it as a fragrance, meaning I apply it on my arms, neck, décolleté and use what's left on my hands to smooth out my hair, tame fly aways. In summer on bare legs, it leaves nice a healthy sheen. It can be used as an all over body moisturizer on damp skin but doing so I would probably end up needing one bottle a month. Considering the price it would be overdoing it a bit so at the end of my shower, I use either coconut, almond or unscented baby oil all over on wet skin I then pat dry and use Huile Prodigieuse as stated above.

The fragrance lasts all day on me. Surprisingly the first time I tried  Huile Prodigieuse I didn't like it's fragrance, in fact I didn't like it at all and couldn't understand the hype. Then I received a large sample of it in a little gift with purchase. It remained untouched for about a month on a shelf in my bathroom. At one point I decided to try it again......love!

Why did I not like it the first time? I have no idea! Now, it's part of my routine, one of my staples, a favorite! I alternate between Nuxe and Liérac Huile Sensorielle aux Trois Fleurs Collection Blanche, I rarely wear any other fragrances these days. In fact I believe in the past year I probably wore an eau de toilette ten times or so, preferring the soft, more discreet odor of these oils.

One word of caution, it can be used on the face provided you don't have any issues like a tendency to clog easily or have acne. Still, even without these problems I would personally be unable to moisturize my face with it due to it's strong fragrance. 

Two versions are available, the original Huile Prodigieuse and Huile Prodigieuse Or which leaves a nice natural sheen. The quantity of gold specs in the bottle may give the impression that you'll end up looking like Jill Masterson in the 1964 James Bond movie, Goldfinger but no, it remains very discreet.


Celebrating 20 years, you may still be able to find 
one of these special edition bottles.

Reviews:
MakeupAlley: 4.2 / 5 lippies for 101 reviews
Beauté-test: 4.3 / 5 stars for 1794 reviews

Ingredients from Beauté-test:
Isopropyl Isostearate*, Macadamia Ternifolia Seed Oil*, Coco-Caprylate/Caprate*, Dicaprylyl Ether*, Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Oil*, Corylus Avellana Nut Oil/Corylus Avellana (Hazel) Seed Oil*, Camellia Oleifera Seed Oil*, Parfum (Fragrance)Tocopherol*, Borago Officinalis Seed Oil*, Olea Europaea (Olive) Fruit Oil*,Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil*, Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Extract*, Hypericum Perforatum Flower/Leaf/Stem Extract*, Solanum Lycopersicum (Tomato) Fruit/Leaf/Stem Extract*, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Benzyl SalicylateButylphenyl MethylpropionalCitronellolGeraniol, Hydroxycitronellal, Limonene,Linalool. Sans adjonction de conservateur.

What's next? Prodigieux le parfum! Not yet available in Canada, I can only hope that it will cross the Atlantic, soon.


I just couldn't resist!


The Golden Girl, Jill Masterson played by Shirley Eaton, 1964 LIFE cover

Picture source


Friday, October 19, 2012

Dior Essentials Manucure Set

Now this is definitely going on my Christmas wish list! Yes I do write one. Remember I mentioned in a previous entry, I don't want to end up with a power drill or, God forbid, a new frying pan, as high quality as it may be. Christmas is for fun, for a bit of luxury! Also, I do "need" to renew these!

Dior Essentials Manucure Set 
$62.00 at The Bay

The set includes Dior's essentials for a perfect manicure. Full size Crème Abricot Fortifying nail cream (0.35oz), deluxe sizes of Pelline cuticle emollient, Base Coat and Top Coat, an orange wood stick and a nail file. All this presented in a elegant little patent travel bag.

If you've never tried these before, the Crème Abricot is quite simply dreamy one of my all time favorites. I use at night and as surprising as it may sound, it can also be used as a lip balm. I know, weird but it does work nicely. This product lasts a long time so don't worry if the color changes a little. It tends to get darker but retains all it's moisturizing properties.

The Pelline is a soapy liquid that softens cuticles and makes it easier to gently remove dryish bits. It doesn't feel like a classic cuticle remover, it's much gentler.

The top & base coats, well, they are of excellent quality. Both like the Pelline, are a little smaller than the regular sizes, 0.24oz instead of 0.33oz but still a good deal.

The little cosmetic bag, black patent finish, perfect!

Update: I thought it would be fun to include a vintage classic and elegant add from 1962



René Gruau for Dior

Vous pouvez lire cet article en français ici.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

The Body Shop's Cocoa Butter Body Lotion & Creamy Body Wash

Sometimes I feel that these products have been around forever when in reality The Body Shop appeared in Canada only in 1988. I remember at one point reading somewhere that Princess Diana used the Cocoa Butter Body Lotion and I guess it's what pushed me to try it. Lame I know but what can I say, I was pretty young back then and like millions of others, under the Princess's spell.

I don't remember how much I paid for the body lotion but I do recall that I was pleased at how affordable The Body Shop products where. Quite a surprise actually when you think that the Princess could afford pretty much anything. 

The Cocoa Butter Hand & Body Lotion is light, penetrates quickly into the skin and doesn't feel sticky. I particularly like it in summer but it's nice to use in winter as well for daytime. The smell, well this will sound funny to some, but it reminds me of caramel more than chocolate. Very soft and comforting. I don't use it every day but I always have a bottle.

The Cocoa Butter Creamy Body Wash is another favorite. Non stripping and creamy, it's a smart option  especially in winter when we don't want to dry up our skin and it has the same lovely smell as the body lotion. When you use a shower puff it turns into a beautiful creamy lather.


Cocoa Butter Creamy Body Wash, $8.00 / 250 ml
Cocoa Butter Hand & Body Lotion, $12.00 / 250 ml

What's nice about these is that you can purchase small sizes to try and see if you like them. I don't remember how much they go for but if my memory serves me right I think you can get 3 small sizes for the price of 2, $10.00 or so. Again, I'm not sure since the last time I visited The Body Shop was in August. 

That was when I bought a small size of the Cocoa Butter Body Butter. I don't know why but until then I had never tried it. I know it's been out for a long time but I was never tempted by it. 

Good thing I got the small size! Although it does provide deep moisture and is excellent for dry patches, I just can't get past the fragrance! It smells chemical with only a slight reminder of the caramel/chocolate odor. So again, good thing I got the small size.

You will notice that the reviews below show that the Body Butter is the most well liked of the 3 products mentioned today. This shows that we are all different and that reviews are just an indicator, a way to get extra information. I'm only telling you about my personal experience.

Cocoa Butter Body Butter, $19.00 / 250 ml

Reviews:
MakeupAlley: 3.7 / 5 lippies for 38 reviews
There are no reviews on Beauté-test 

Water, Theobroma Cacao (Cocoa) Butter, Glycerin, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Ceteth-20, Octyl Palmitate, Steareth-2, Dimethicone, Phenoxyethanol, Benzyl Alcohol, Carbomer, Potassium Sorbate, Methylparaben, Fragrance, Propylparaben, Sodium Hydroxide, Citronellol, Benzophenone-4, Disodium EDTA, Linalool, Geraniol, Amyl Cinnamal, Hydroxycitronellal, Benzyl Salicylate, Limonene, Alpha-Isomethyl Ionone, Benzyl Benzoate, Isoeugenol, Cinnamyl Alcohol, Farnesol, Citral, Eugenol, Benzyl Cinnamate, Yellow 6, Yellow 5.

Reviews:
MakeupAlley: 3.9 / 5 lippies for 14 reviews
Beauté-test: 3.5 / 5 stars for 45 reviews

Water, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, PEG-5 Cocamide, Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Coco-Glucoside, Glycine Soja (Soybean) Oil, Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Sodium Cocoa Butter Amphoacetate, Acrylates/Steareth-20 Methacrylate Copolymer, Phenoxyethanol, Sodium Benzoate, Sodium Hydroxide, Glycerin, Fragrance, Citronellol, Disodium EDTA, Linalool, Tocopherol, Geraniol, Amyl Cinnamal, Hydroxycitronellal, Benzyl Salicylate, Limonene, Alpha-Isomethyl Ionone, Benzyl Benzoate, Isoeugenol, Cinnamyl Alcohol, Farnesol, Citral, Eugenol, Benzyl Alcohol, Benzyl Cinnamate, Yellow 6, Yellow 5.

Reviews:
MakeupAlley: 4.2 / 5 lippies for 193 reviews
Beauté-test: 4.5 / 5 stars for 165 reviews

Water (Solvent/Diluent), Glycine Soja (Soybean) Oil (Emollient/Skin Conditioner), Theobroma Cacao (Cocoa) Butter (Emollient), Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter) (Emollient), Glycerin (Humectant), Cyclopentasiloxane (Emollient), Glyceryl Stearate (Emulsifier), PEG-100 Stearate (Surfactant), Cetearyl Alcohol (Emulsifier), Lanolin Alcohol (Stabiliser/Emollient), Phenoxyethanol (Preservative), Fragrance (Fragrance), Methylparaben (Preservative), Propylparaben (Preservative), Xanthan Gum (Viscosity Modifier), Benzyl Alcohol (Preservative), Disodium EDTA (Chelating Agent), Sodium Hydroxide (pH Adjuster), Caramel (Colour), Yellow 5 (Colour).


Fun thing to do, bath puff tutorial



Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Omorovicza's Queen Of Hungary Myst

Browsing the Sephora website today I stumbled upon this. Having written about Caudalie's Beauty Elixir, where I dug a little into the history of such a product I was intrigued by this one as well. Omorovicza is a fairly new and exclusive brand which was launched in 2006.

As it turned out it was a great opportunity for me to learn something new, There are thermal baths in Budapest! Hungary is a country I know very little about except that is was part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire which was dissolved in 1918 after 51 years of dual monarchy. Off to Wikipedia I went to refresh my memory and try to retain new information. What can I say, I love history!

Rudas Bath (Rudas fürdő) and Király Baths (Király fürdő) were both built in the second half or the 15th century by the Ottomans and are the most ancient ones. The Széchenyi Medicinal Bath in Budapest is the largest medicinal bath in Europe, it's water, supplied by two thermal springs. This one dates back to 1913 and the Neo-baroque architecture appears quite stunning with all its curves and details. Depending on the time of day, where the sun is, it must be quite interesting to see the game of lights and shadows on the structure.

The Outdoor Swimming Pools of Szechenyi Thermal Baths in City Park, 

Budapest, Hungary by Martin Moos


The Story of the brand
The Omorovicza story begins over 2, 000 years ago, when the curative properties of Hungary’s thermal waters were first discovered and the famous baths built. 
Today, Omorovicza harnesses this ancient health and beauty phenomenon with Mineral CosmetologyTM and takes natural, anti-aging skincare to a new level. 
Founders Margaret and Stephen de Heinrich de Omorovicza met in the beautiful city of Budapest. The descendant of a noble Hungarian family, Stephen had been drawn there to explore his roots. Margaret, an American, had been brought to the capital by a diplomatic posting. 
Relaxing at Budapest’s ancient thermal baths, the couple were amazed by the effect the mineral-rich, healing waters had on their skin. Margaret and Stephen were fascinated by the natural power of these minerals and saw their potential to be harnessed in a remarkable skincare range. 
Working with a Nobel-prize winning laboratory of dermatology, Omorovicza Cosmetics developed Mineral CosmetologyTM , a pioneering, patented delivery system that takes mineral skincare to a new level. 
The Omorovicza product and professional treatment range launched in 2006 at the eponymous spa in Budapest, where the story began. 
Loved by beauty editors, the range quickly earned an international following and has appeared on the pages of numerous glossy magazines. Meanwhile, Omorovicza products and treatments are now available at some of the world’s leading stores and spa destinations.
The Omorovicza story continues as the range expands to include further natural, highly-effective skincare treatments ignited by the science of Mineral CosmetologyTM .
                                                                                            From Omorovicza's website 


Omorovicza's Queen Of Hungary Myst
Available at Sephora, CAD $86.00

You read right, $86.00! Thankfully there's free shipping from Sephora since it's over $75.00. Is such a high price justified? In my opinion, no. This is the 2nd least expensive product from the brand after the cleansing foam, which goes for $70.00.There are several other companies that offer healing thermal water based products for less but, I can't comment on Omorovicza's products for I haven't tried them myself. They just might be outstanding products but I'm not sure I would go for a $600.00 regimen, the approximated amount one has to pay for a cleanser, moisturizer, serum and Queen of Hungary Myst. In my view, high price doesn't determine good results but again, this brand may be an exception.

The Queen of Hungary Myst is used in the same way as Caudalie's Beauty Elixir. As a toner, refresher, a pick me up whenever your skin needs it. 

As per Sephora website, here are the ingredients:
-Mineral Cosmetology: Patented combination of Budapest healing water, complex mineral compounds resulting from lengthy process of bio-fermentation, and complex mineral compound liposomes resulting from encapsulation of mineral compounds in phospholipids. Enhances bio-availability of minerals found in Budapest healing waters to the epidermis and dermis for firmer, suppler skin that looks and feels revitalized, regenerated, and energized. 
-Orange Blossom, Rose, and Sage Waters: Acts as an astringent to tone the skin. 
-Apple Pectin: Provides long-lasting hydration. 

Glycerin, Polysorbate 20, Phenoxyethanol, Disodium EDTA, Ethylhexylglycerin, Mannitol, Malpighia Punicifolia (Acerola) Fruit Extract, Chlorella Vulgaris/Lupinus Albus Protein Ferment, Pectin, Yeast Extract.

Reviews:

MakeupAlley: 3.7/4 lippies for 3 reviews

There are a few reviews on the Sephora website but I'm not sure how reliable they are.  I've read that they don't always publish the negative ones.
To my surprise, there are no reviews of any of the Omorovicza's products on Beauté-test.

For the moment they are available only at the Stillwater Spa, Park Hyatt in Toronto. They can be ordered online through Sephora.

If anyone uses and loves these products I would really like to read your comments in order to learn more about them. :D


Brad Pitt for Chanel No 5, what is the appeal?


What a disappointment! I read somewhere Brad Pitt got $7.000.000 for being Chanel No 5's spokesperson! They could have gone so many different directions. So many options with the novelty of having a man to promote this beautiful fragrance. Hopefully there will be more. This is just not cutting it.

Really???

Last night I posted the commercial but today I took my time to really have a look at it. Come on! Are you serious? Somehow I bet he looks more "romantic" when he gets up in the morning and don't let me start about his reading! Seems he's talking to a piece of wood!

Which reminds me of a Katie Melua song If You Where a Sailboat, where she said: "If you where a piece of wood I'd nail you to the floor." My husband loves that song and I must admit, she was much more convincing!

Of course it was talked about on MUA:


Reading this I couldn't resist looking up the Charles Bronson's commercial and I must admit, it IS better!


Brad Pitt's commercial is such a let down! Geez! I never thought that writing a "beauty" blog I would be writing about ...Brad Pitt. I don't have anything against him but, it's just, hmm, unusual!


Katie Melua, If You Where a Sailboat




Monday, October 15, 2012

Biotherm Anti-drying Body Milk / Review

A light lovely moisturizer, it's been around for ages. Well it was actually launched in 1972. With it's light citrus fragrance, it's a great option to use in the morning since it penetrates quickly into the skin for a comfortable feel that lasts all day. This is one of the products that I keep revisiting. A favorite!

Since this is the season for gifts sets, Biotherm has come out with a few interesting offerings. Although not such a great deal, it's still an opportunity to try another of their products, the Lait de Gommage Body Scrub, for $2.00 more than the usual price of the body milk alone. The small body scrub is a $10.00 value.

$31.00 Lait Corporel 400ml et Lait de gommage 75ml
Value of $42.00 at The Bay 

It can be a risky thing to give skincare or fragrances as a gift. This is a perfect option. Who doesn't like a citrus fragrance? As a hostess gift of for yourself, at this price it won't break the bank. Truly, worth every penny!

Reviews:

MakeupAlley, 4.2 out of 5 lippies for 46 reviews
Beauté-test, 4.5 out of 5 possible stars, 149 reviews

Ingredients:
Water, Glycerin, Olea Europea/Olea Europaea Fruit Oil, Dimethicone, Propylene Glycol, Triethanolamine, Isopropyl Palmitate, Citrus Dulcis/Citrus Aurantium Dulcis Oil, Stearic Acid, Parraffinum Liquidum/Mineral Oil, Cetyl Alcohol, Urea, Fructose, Glucose, Sucrose, Glutamic Acid, Aspartic Acid, Alanine, Dextrin, Hexyl Nicotinate, Hexylene Glycol, Citrus Grandis/Citrus Grandis Oil, Tocopherol, Glycine Soja/Glycine Soja Oil, Dimethiconol, Paraffin, Xanthan Gum, Sodium Cocoyl Hydrolyzed Soy Protein, Glyceryl Stearate, Carbomer, Phenoxyethanol, Sodium Dehydroacetate, Methylparaben, Propylparaben, Butylparaben, Ethylparaben, Isobutylparaben, Fragrance

This ingredient list was posted on MakeuAlley. I don't know its provenance since it was not listed on Beauté-test, nor on the Biotherm Canada website. 


It's no wonder I used to love this body lotion, with it's citrus grandis oil (grapefruit). Uplifting, refreshing and reviving! Now it's a nice boost when you put it on and the smell doesn't linger so you can if you want, wear any fragrance. I do believe I will have to get one of those gifts sets for myself and soon!   


Sunday, October 14, 2012

Brad Pitt's 1st Chanel No 5 Commercial

Here is the first one out! What do you think?

There you are - Chanel No 5


Honestly, slightly disappointing! I was hoping for casual but this is too casual in my view.

Oh my, how insensitive!

I confess, I'm a history nerd! If you've been following me for a bit, well, hopefully you've figured it out by now. I love to learn about the origins of things and recently I've been enjoying researching about cosmetics that where launched ages ago and are still around today. Staples, mythical, legendary products. The ones that have barely changed since their often humble beginnings and that so many of us still use today.

I was looking into soaps, yes the kind we all use every day. Society requires good smelling people and primarily our health requires it. Good hygiene is a must and we learn this practically at birth.


Friday, October 12, 2012

Cargo Mascara & SmokeyEye Eye liner Duo in Budapest

Buying cosmetics at Winners can be a risky thing. Often outdated, you have to be vigilant and whenever possible, keep an eye on the expiration dates. That's of course when there is one.

Last week I purchased the Cargo SmokeyEye kit for $14.99. 
SmokeyEye Eye Liner Duo in Budapest, Cargo 3 Triple action Mascara and the SmokeyEye brush.


Thursday, October 11, 2012

Chanel No 5 & Brad Pitt, part 2

I just found an English version of the Inside Chanel - For the First Time, video I posted yesterday.


What do you think of Brad Pitt for Chanel No 5? Here are a few of the answers I got after posting the question on MakeupAlley's Fragrance Board.


As far as the look is concerned, the picture below just might help some change their minds as to the selection of the actor as the spokesperson for the iconic fragrance.

Mario Sorrenti's black and white image of Brad Pitt as the new ''face'' of Chanel No.5

In my opinion, Cary Grant would have been too old, Jon Hamm not known enough internationally and Gerard Buttler well, a bit too rugged. Much better than the picture where we don't see his face, here is a great image. Classic elegance on one side but with the casualness of the untied bow tie. Again, the tuxedo didn't do much for me. This is much better! I do believe Chanel's choice is slowly growing on me!



Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Chanel No 5 & Brad Pitt

Chanel No 5  innovating with another first? 

The mythical fragrance as come up with a new strategy, yet again, breaking up with traditions. Just the name, No 5 was quite innovative when it first came out in 1921. The story of Coco Chanel herself, controversial. Coco, a name she acquired while working as a poseuse at La Rotonde in the town of Moulins, entertaining the crowds in between star numbers. Did the name come from a popular song, like Ko Ko Ri Ko or Qui a vu Coco? Did it refer to kept women of the time, known as cocottes? Considering what came after, it is of little importance. Upon hearing the name Coco Chanel, both No 5 and fashion come to mind.


Beautiful timeless beauties have contributed to the image of luxurious femininity that the classic bottle brings to mind. If one cannot afford a Chanel suit or bag, chances are, a bottle of this golden concoction is within reach.

Catherine Deneuve

 Carole Bouquet

 Nicole Kidman

 Audrey Tautou

Remembering Nicole Kidman's fabulous post Tom Cruise campaign, the last beauty to represent No 5 was Audrey Tautou, who stared in the 2009 movie Coco Before Chanel, telling the story of the creator's early years.

Enters Brad Pitt. 

On May 9th it was announced that he would be the next spokesperson of the new add campaign for the mythical fragrance. I do like the idea of a man for this but I'm not too excited about the choice of Brad Pitt nor by the look of what was presented so far. Timeless handsomness? There are several others who could have been selected. In fact I find this picture shown below, ordinary. No oomf! It could have been taken out of Ocean's Eleven. A glass in hand, old fashioned and outdated. Reminiscent of a spy movie? James Bond? Appropriate maybe for Chanel pour Monsieur or Bleu de Chanel, for N5, it does nothing for me. 

Brad Pitt

I've asked around about this and didn't get much positive responses. A Johnny Depp or a Clive Owen, walking casually on a beach with a dog, the classic woman trap, would have appeared more dreamy for me than the tuxedo and glass. Cliché as well, but simplicity and attainable realism appeal to me more and it seems to be the case for many. Using a celebrity is also risky. Not everyone likes Brad Pitt just as not everyone likes the names I've mentioned. 

The campaign will be launched on October 15th. These 3 teasers where released. 







Brad Pitt with director Joe Wright 

Is Chanel trying too hard? Maybe. Will the new campaign be a success? Time will tell. In my view there was no need for such a drastic change. No 5 sells, it sells a lot and will continue to do so whether this campaign works or not. It certainly is not because I don't like it that millions of others will feel the same. After all, Brad Pitt does have a very large fan base. Still, this probably marks a new day in fragrances advertising.

Si vous désirez lire cet article en français, cliquez ici

Unpleasant Trollishness!

Why is it some people seem to have unpleasantness anchored deep inside of them? 

On MUA we get the occasional trolls here and there. Most of the time they are "flagged" off the board and their profiles are erased either by them or the moderators of the site. 

Depending on the time or year, "eager newish members" pop up. All excited to participate, give their opinions and their recommendations, they jump in going from one thread to the next. They get offended when told the information they're giving is inaccurate. Some disappear while others stick around. Some love to argue and push buttons in order to create drama on which they seem to feed. Fortunately most of them eventually crash and burn on their own. We have seen quite a few frustrated melt downs.


If only they could all disappear this way!

Unfortunately, some stick around....

Case and point, well follow the time stamps of the thread below. Find the Troll! Easy, she's the one attacking two long time members who between them have helped a countless number of people. Like other long time regulars, they are favorite targets or this person.




She waits for threads to get a day or so old to come back with other insults. Sometimes she simply wants to appear superior, better behaved than others like in this example below.


Keep in mind that people on MUA are not paid to give advice. They do so simply because they, for the most part, like to exchange and share their experiences. I'm just so thankful for those regulars from whom I've learned so much in the past year. Of course, they don't know everything, they too continue learning. This is, I believe, the reason for which they stick around.

So what if once in a while some have fun?

As for the avocado joke, I plead guilty! Buying them in Montréal is often an act of faith so when I can get my hands on good ripe ones, I'd much rather eat them then put them on my face. Oh and no, I don't eat them with chips as mentioned but with a spoon. I simply cut them in two, remove the stone and enjoy the beautiful green colored flesh, just like that. No need to put anything on them.

Now if only I could put my hands on one...


Monday, October 8, 2012

Top 10 of current drugstore favorites for Fall & Winter

There are some basics for which it's not necessary to spend a fortune. I thought it would be fun to do a top 10 list. These are my current favorites from the drugstore.
Nivea Extra Nourishing Body Milk $9.99
2x a day for continuous moisture. You can read my review of it here.

Dove White Beauty Bar $1.99
I've started using this again recently after years of sobbing it. Super cheap, I like it for either hand washing in the bathroom or for the shower. Available fragrance free.

Aveeno Skin Relief Body Wash $10.00
Non drying, a cream gel formula that lathers lightly. Great option for when winter skin gets dry and itchy. Available fragrance free.

Eucerin Foot Cream 10% Urea $17.99
For extremely dry feet, color and fragrance free. Worth every penny. I didn't pay as much for my tube. If I remember correctly it was about $11.00.

Revlon Colorburst Lip Butter $9.59
Favorite shade, Pink Truffle. On me, it looks very natural. Like an improved version of my natural lip color. Not exactly a lip balm, but less drying than a regular formula.

Petroleum Jelly $1.00 and up
This is a must have. It's easy to keep a small jar in our purse. On super cold days it can easily be applied on nose, cheeks, anywhere that needs to be protected from the wind and the cold. You can get some at the dollar store but if you prefer, there's a non petroleum product available, Live Clean Baby Non-Petroleum Jelly for $7.49.

Head & Shoulders Classic Clean 2-in-1 $7.99
I tried last spring to change. No go! If I want to keep my sanity, not itch, this is what I have to use.

Distilled Witch Hazel $3.99 for 100ml
Morning and night, my favorite toner ever. I've written an article about this marvelous potion. You can read it here.

Unscented baby oil (light grade mineral oil) $3.00 for 592ml
This would be the generic version. All the major drugstore banners have it. Great to use on wet skin after showering to seal in moisture. Just pat dry. You may not even have to use a body lotion with this. In Summer I rarely do but in Winter I do so most of the time. Now of course you can go for any scented baby oil. It's just that last Spring I kind of got sick of the fragrance so I opted for unscented.

Garnier Nutrisse Cream Hair Color $11.99
Just a few months ago I was still using a hair color by L'Oréal. I was not satisfied with it anymore because after just a few shampoos I could see some grey reappear. As if the color had not penetrated the hair properly. Garnier gives me better results for less. Most of the time, you can find it for under $8.00 a box which is good since I need 2 to cover my thick long hair.




All the prices listed are from Well.ca. Most of these products will, I believe, be less expensive at your local drugstore, plus, they're often on sale which is nice. For all the major banners, you can have a look at their weekly flyers online on their respective sites.

Pour lire cet article en français, cliquez ici.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

New Look!

I hope you like this new look. As I mentioned previously, I'm a bit technologically challenged. The previous presentation was what I figured at the time I started this blog, hmm, nice.

I believe it was time to grow up. Visiting and reading several other blogs, I noticed that I could make it a little more representative of... well, me!

I love Greek mythology, hence the name Icaria and the Victoire Samothrace. Looking at templates, to my joy I found the daisy, my favorite flower!

I sincerely hope you agree and will find this new presentation more pleasant to read.



Giant Daisies (M. Meade)




Wednesday, October 3, 2012

M.A.C.'s Marilyn Monroe Collection

In recent years I must admit I had been losing interest in M.A.C. Other than a few eye shadows and brushes, their collections where not calling out to me. For example, last year's Bloggers Obsessions (June 2011) but especially Wonder Woman Colors (February 2011) collections where way to much out there for my taste. I am a fan of bright images, cartoon'ish and pop art'ish but not for my makeup. Even when I was in my 20's, bright eye shadows and blushes where not really my thing.

Out comes the new M.A.C. Marilyn Monroe collection!


All I can say is WOW!

First the presentation. These pictures of Marilyn are just amazing! Taken from what is called, the Black Sitting by Milton Green in early 1956. This was just before she left New York for California where she would star in Bus Stop, her best movie in my opinion for which she was nominated for a Golden Globe.

Black velvet, champagne and caviar set the intimate and relaxed mood for the Black Sitting. The end result of what is considered by some as the best Monroe-Green collaboration are sexy, classy and sensual images. While they may appear provocative to some, I don't find them to be so. This is probably because, in my opinion, Marilyn always projects a certain look of innocence, like a little girl playing dress up. 

Upon reading several entries on the subject of the new M.A.C. collection, I was surprised to read negative comments concerning the selection of these pictures for the new makeup. I guess most would have preferred pictures from the 1954 Ballerina Sitting. Although very beautiful as well,"the little girl playing dress up" is even more evident, in these photos and in my view would have steered the collection towards a more summery color selection.

The Ballerina Sitting, Milton Green, New York, 1954


 The Black Sitting, Milton Green, New York, 1956

These pictures show a 29yrs old Marylin who appears to be happy and sure of herself. Sexy and provocative they are quite different from the glamour style of the time. This was during her Actors Studio period, a few months before her marriage with playwright Arthur Miller. It's obvious that she loved the camera and the camera loved her. Sorry, I know this has been said many times.

The M.A.C. Marilyn Monroe Collection is quite stunning. I can easily imagine the legendary bombshell wearing Shopgirl eye shadow, the black Penultimate eye liner (although she apparently usually went for brown eye liner), the Fascinating Eye Kohl on the waterline along with the False Lashes Extreme Black Mascara. Pure Zen Lipstick to create the nude lip look which comes out so beautifully in black and white. Her skin, always flawless, could have been prepped with Forever Marilyn Beauty Powder and defined with a light dusting of Perfect Cheek Powder Blush.

M.A.C. hit the mark with this collection.  Famed makeup artist Gregory Arlt worked closely with M.A.C.'s product development to help create a somewhat updated version of the look of Marylin while at the same time respecting it's essence. You can read about Arlt's research process in an Elle interview here.


Marylin Collection, from $18.00 to $34.00

Available online since September 27th, in stores October 4th.

I have my eyes on Pure Zen lipstick, Vintage Vamp nail polish and will probably be tempted by one of the blushes. I don't know yet if I'll go for Legendary or The Perfect Cheek. Ah! Decisions, decisions!!!
I'm selfish, impatient, and a little insecure. I make mistakes, I'm out of control, but if you can't handle me at my worst you don't deserve me at my best.
Marilyn Monroe 

Thank you Laura! xoxoxo H

Pour lire cet article en français, cliquez ici


Milton H. Green, article


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