Lancome Holiday Beauty Collection 2014 Review

Apparently every year Lancome launches a new Holiday Beauty Collection.

This year the collection is amazing and comes in 2 choices.  Party Plums and Chic Neutrals.

In my head, I totally thought I would go for the Neutral Chic, but when I saw them in person, I went with the Party Plums Collection.  Here’s why:

Although, I don’t mind brown eyeliner, I will get more use out of the black eyeliner that comes in the Party Plums Collection.  The Hypnose Drama mascara was also calling my name.  The lipsticks in the plum collection also were nicer in my opinion.  The product that I think was nicer in the Chic Neutrals, was the blush, but I tend to lean towards warmer brighter blushes.  Plum eyeshadows also look really good on brown eyes, and I think they are more interesting than brown toned eyeshadows.  I also love the train case this comes with!

This collection is great value, at $65 CAD, you get all kinds of product for less than the cost of the mascara and the cils booster XL (mascara primer).  It’s been a while since I’ve used Lancome shadows, when I last used them, they weren’t as pigmented as I like, but it’s been a few years.  In my opinion, Lancome mascaras and juicy tubes are their best products, but I’m willing to give their other products a try again.  You can pick this collection up for $65 with a purchase of another product (so I went with another mascara) at Shoppers Drug Mart and the Bay.  On Lancome.ca you need to spend $50 to pick this up for $65.

The Chic Neutrals Collection contains: Full sizes of Définicils, Cils Booster XL, Color Design Sensational Effects Lip in Natural Beauty, Color Design Sensational Effects Lip in Sugared Maple, Le Crayon Kohl in Black Coffee (brown), Juicy Tube in Simmer, Blush Subtil in Blushing Tresor (warm peach), Color Design Sensational Effects Eye Shadow Smooth Hold in Mannequin, Color Design Sensational Effects Eye Shadow Smooth Hold in Kitten Heel, Color Design Sensational Effects Eye Shadow Smooth Hold in Vintage, Bi Facil Double-Action Eye Makeup Remover plus a Dual End Liner & Shadow Brush and a Deluxe Sample of Advanced Genifique.

The Party Plums Collection contains: Full sizes of Hypnose Drama, Cils Booster XL, Color Design Sensational Effects Lip in Love It, Color Design Sensational Effects Lip in Curtain Call, Juicy Tube in Magic Spell, Le Crayon Kohl in Black Ebony, Blush Subtil in Plum Affaire, (blu-ish toned pink) Color Design Sensational Effects Eye Shadow Smooth Hold in Successorize, Color Design Sensational Effects Eye Shadow Smooth Hold in All that Brightens, Color Design Sensational Effects Eye Shadow Smooth Hold in Colour du Jour, Bi Facil Double-Action Eye Makeup Remover plus a Dual End Liner & Shadow Brush and a Deluxe Sample of Advanced Genifique.

I will include pics of the Party Plums Collection shortly.

Oct and Nov Julep Maven Box 2014

It’s been a while since I wrote.  I received my October Julep maven box weeks ago.  I went with the Boho Glam, and received a new lip gloss colour (polished), and Briana, and Marla.  Briana is described as a sailor blue, which is pretty true to the description.  Marla is a really pretty yet sophisticated burgundy colour with sparkle.  I’ve really been into reds and pinks lately so I really love this.

For November, I went with the Bombshell profile selection.  In November, I really liked one colour from each profile, so it’s one of those times I wish I went with the customizable my maven option.  In the end, I went with bombshell, mostly because I was so curious about Jessie.  The description calls it Kalamata…it turns out its a deep dark purple, that reminds me most of OPI’s Lincoln Park After Dark, which was a favourite colour of mine for years.  Fazia is a metallic dark crimson colour.  I really like that also.  I really wanted to try the Go Big! Mascara, but this particular box came with “Length Matters” their new lengthening mascara.  I’m a mascara fiend, so I’m pretty happy with my box overall.

 

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Hourglass Immaculate Liquid Powder Foundation Mattifying Oil Free

This Foundation was the first product I tried in the Hourglass line up.  My skin has a tendency to be shiny so I love the mattifying effect of this foundation.  I went to Sephora to be colour-matched, and it matched me with beige in the Mineral Veil Fluid Make Up Oil Free Broad Spectrum SPF 15 foundation (review on that to follow).  The cosmetician helping me said that the beige in this formula would also match.  I bought this is beige and warm beige, mostly because in the summer my skin tone becomes a bit more tanned, and I figured I can mix them to get the right shade up until the fall winter season.  I’m glad I did.  The beige in this formula is a bit lighter than it is in the other.

This is the formula I choose if there are potential photo ops, it keeps the shine down, and is velvety in texture.  But mixing of the shades is a bit cumbersome.  Overall, I really love it.

According to Hourglass/Sephora this is “A breakthrough liquid-to-powder foundation formula that absorbs oil, camouflages imperfections, and delivers a long-lasting, velvet-matte finish.”

What it does:
This high-tech foundation incorporates cashmere kaolinite clay, which offers exceptional oil absorption—absorbing 75 percent of its weight in sebum while retaining the skin’s natural moisture. The oil-free, humidity-proof, and water-resistant formula transforms instantly from liquid to powder creating an all-day finish that camouflages imperfections and never looks dull or flat. Immaculate’s superfine treated pigments provide unsurpassed coverage without looking cakey or mask-like, and effectively eliminate the need for powder, blotting, or constant touch-ups throughout the day.

Apparently there are anti-aging properties in this foundation.  I wasn’t able to tell, but I love the finish, and am a bit hooked on Hourglass products as a result.

I’ll post some swatches shortly.

September Julep Maven Box 2014

I skipped the August Wanderlust collection this year…my first skip, mostly because I prefer Creme finishes in polishes and most of them weren’t.  Truth be told this was a super popular collection and probably won’t be available again for some time.

On to September…my September selections arrived pretty late…Julep has been suffering from some shipping mishaps in the last month or two.  Mine was slow, mostly because I live in Canada and the box goes by super slow mail.  I’m sadly one of the fortunate ones who at the very least received mine before the October window opened.

I stuck with Boho Glam as the profile – which included Erin , Mary Lee and Plush Pout in Almond Nude.  I splurged and added Lupita, Mahina and Julep Nail Masks.  Erin in a fab medium grey (that I love), and Mary Lee is an Oxblood Satin, Mahina was originally described as a gold creme, so I got it out of curiosity, but it’s a gold chrome (I still love it), and Lupita is a “Ripe Rhubarb Creme”.  I’m loving pinks and reds right now, so I just had to have it.

When I finally received my Julep Maven box, I was really happy, everything that I ordered shipped, and arrived in good condition.  What more can you ask for?  I’ll attach pics when I can get to better light.

If you want to check it out…you can subscribe through the following link… https://www.julep.com/rewardsref/index/refer/id/257005/

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July Julep Maven Box

My July Julep Maven Box finally arrived.  Apparently it’s taking longer to ship to Canada now because they can’t air ship.  It appears to have left the US on July 1 and it arrived on July 17.  It’s way longer than it takes in the US, but I guess nail polish isn’t a necessity, so waiting a bit longer isn’t going to kill me.

This month’s collection is called the Poolside Collection.  I really love this collection, the colours are bright, and mostly consisted of creme finishes.  I splurged and picked up the whole polish collection this time around.  The past few months’ collections had a lot of different finishes, but cremes are my favourite.

The colours are called:

Tamara – Lipstick Red Creme (it’s a tomato-y looking shade)

Lorenzana – Shitake Creme

Lissa – Tumbled Turquoise Creme

Beverly – Boysenberry Creme (medium dark violet shade)

Kelsey – Powder Peach Creme

Vicki – Pink Flamingo Creme

Braiden – Graphite Stardust (Textured Matte Glitter)

Linden – Pool Blue Creme

Dawn – Citron Creme

Most of the descriptions are very close to how I would describe each colour, but I’ve added extra descriptive words to those colours that I thought I could better describe.

I can’t remember how much this upgrade box cost, but I’m really happy with the colours.  I went with the polish lovers upgrade, but the program has gotten more complex so there are a couple of upgrade options now.

Every month that you take your maven box you’re award Jules.  You can collect them and use them to redeem for future monthly boxes!  (it works out to be getting a free box for every 7.5 maven boxes you take of the same value…if you get the basic box every month, after the 8th month, you can get your 9th month free using your jules).

If you want to check it out, use this link http://www.julep.com/rewardsref/index/refer/id/257005/.  Julep will send you a code for a free box!  It’s awesome!

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Clarisonic Aria

I read a ton of reviews before deciding to get a Clarisonic Cleansing system.  There are currently 4 models, the Mia, Mia2, Aria and Plus.  There might be several differences, but simply put the Mia, has one speed, normal.  The Mia 2 has 2 speeds low and normal, and the Aria has 3 speeds, low, normal and high; the Plus is for face and body.

I decided to go with the Aria.  I like that there are 3 speed settings, and there there is a 2 year warranty, and it comes with a drying stand, so it sits compactly by the bathroom sink.

I started to use the system a few nights ago.  The system is easy to use.  The default settings on the Aria are set to 1 min, it beeps at 20 seconds, 40 seconds, 50 seconds, and 60 seconds.  They recommend you start at the forehead, then use the brush on the nose and chin for the second 20 seconds, then 10 seconds per cheek.  I like the notifications they provide, it makes the minute go by really fast.

Before this, I’m pretty sure I didn’t regularly clean my forehead for 20 seconds, but I guess it gives you time to change the settings if necessary (to increase or decrease the speed as you see fit).

After the first night, I noticed a small difference in my skin.  I was keeping my fingers crossed that using this wouldn’t make my skin worse.  I read that for some people with really clear skin it made their skin worse.  My skin in ok, kind of middle of the road, but there’s always room for improvement.  I don’t get break outs often and I’m happy to report that using this system is not making my skin worse.

After a few days, there is a noticeable improvement in skin tone.  My skin appears to be brighter and feels really smooth.

After a few weeks, my skin still looks pretty good, I haven’t had any breakouts.  I use this morning and night.

The biggest difference is a large reduction in white heads and clogged pores.  Because I have an oilier T-zone, I still have visible pores on my nose, but the pores on my cheeks seem slightly reduced.

Overall, I recommend this product.  It’s worked well for me.

L’Occitane Precious Night Cream Review

This cream is described by L’Occitane as being able to minimize the appearance of wrinkles and to help revitalize skin.  They do post results of observations of 49 women indicating that they noticed an improvement in the skin.

The Precious Night Cream is a nighttime moisturizer offering triple action benefits* to minimize the appearance of wrinkles and help revitalize skin **. The appearance of wrinkles is visibly reduced and skin’s texture looks smoother for firmer-looking skin. Achille extract helps the skin’s natural exfoliation process which helps to refresh and revitalize the complexion. A satisfaction test on 49 women over 4 weeks revealed that in just one night, skin seems repaired (96%) and regenerated (92%). With continued use, skin becomes visibly smoother (82%) and skin slackening looks reduced (78%). In the morning, skin looks visibly rested and younger-looking. Patents pending in France and/or in the USA. * In vitro test on ingredient.”

From my observation, the cream itself has a nice, creamy, thick-ish texture.  It’s thick and light at the same time.  It’s lightly fragranced.  I use my moisturizers liberally, so it might be more scented for me.  (The girl at L’Occitane scolded me for using such a heavy hand – it was quite funny).  From their youtube videos and from staff, you don’t need to use that much product.  Upon application, my skin feels soft and moisturized, but there is a noticeable layer of something on my skin.  This is harder to describe.  I may have used too much, it seems to coat my skin while it’s moisturizing.  After a bit of practice using a lighter hand with the cream was a bit more effective.  I didn’t have that layered feeling when I was using less.  If you warm the product between your fingers before applying it also goes a lot further.

After a few days, I did notice a fresher look to my skin in the morning.  I normally have combination skin, with oilier bits in the T-zone, particularly around the nose.  My skin had a less oiler appearance in the morning.

My skin is softer.  I’ll have to report back about longer term affects!

The cost of this product is $92 CAD for a jar.  So far I think its good value, as I don’t use much per application.