Saturday, March 30, 2013

From the French Pharmacie: Bioderma's Atoderm Line

Most of you probably know Bioderma for its Sensibio solution - the gentle make-up remover popular with make-up artists, models and skincare aficionados the world over. But that's not all the brand does - they also have a bunch of other products that are gentle and effective.

Their Atoderm line is one I've tried a few products from. First is the Adoterm Ultra-Rich Foaming Gel. This comes in a huge tube and is suitable for use on those with sensitive skin - including children.

It's a blue gel that doesn't have much of a scent and doesn't really foam up much. It is very gentle - I have delicate and dry skin in the winter and this didn't cause it to feel tight or over-washed. And because it comes in such a huge tube, it will last for a very long time.

I decided to try the Atoderm Repair Hand Cream because of my positive experiences with the face cleanser. I have to say, though, this didn't live up to the cleanser.

Sure, it's gentle and doesn't have any strong perfumes to irritate the skin or nose, but it also doesn't feel great on the skin. I found that most of it absorbs almost instantly, but it leaves a sort of sticky residue. Not oily, just sticky and unpleasant. I won't be finishing the tube, because I just can't stand the texture.

The Atoderm Lip Balm is the final product from this particular line that I tried, and I'm pleased to say that this went down a lot better than the hand cream! No scent or taste, soft enough to apply without tugging, but non-greasy and absorbs immediately.

I like that it comes in a tube with an angled applicator which makes application easy, and I found that it left my lips soft and moisturized. It doesn't last as long as Nuxe Rêve de Miel Lip Balm, but not many do. This would be a great one for kids who don't like smelly or greasy products on chapped lips, or for men who don't want something shiny or sweet-flavoured. Two thumbs up.

*Update: After writing this post I ended up buying the Atoderm Lip Balm that comes in a stick rather than a tube. Here it is:

I fully expected it to be like the tube - scent-free, softening but perhaps a little bit slicker. I was way wrong. It's actually closer to Amilab. It's quite a bit softer than you generally expect of a stick lip balm, and it definitely has a scent. I quite like it, though I would like it better if it weren't quite so strong. I tried for the last two days to figure out what exactly the smell reminded me of, and it finally hit me: gummy bears. Yeah, weird, right? Anyway, I don't mind the scent, and I find it softening and hydrating. It's not my favourite, but it's definitely better than most!

Friday, March 29, 2013

First Aid Beauty - Ultra Repair Lip Therapy

I was browsing in the Sephora skincare department (you know, as you do) and I saw this brand. I'd never heard of them before, but I liked the smell of their products and some of the package descriptions appealed to me. I was later browsing on Feel Unique, and once again I came across the brand in their bestsellers. Interesting, I thought. Let's find out what the deal is.

Turns out their Ultra Repair Cream is something of a legend in the skincare industry for its ability to moisturize even the driest and most sensitive of skins (full review on that coming soon). The Ultra Repair Lip Therapy, like the cream, has Colloidal Oatmeal to protect the skin, shea butter as a barrier and moisturizer and an "antioxidant booster" to help fight free radicals.

It's also petroleum-free, which is not only good for those who are sensitive to it, but for people who don't like overly slick, shiny or goopy lip products. And the hint of mint (sorry, had to) is delicious when mixed with the oatmeal. It applies matte, doesn't feel thick or heavy on the lips and absorbs very quickly (much like the cream, once again) to leave lips soft, smooth and hydrated, and the effects last past when you can no longer feel it on the lips.

Similar to the Nuxe Lip Balm in the pot, I feel like this lip balm actually nourishes the lips rather than just acting as a barrier to prevent further moisture loss. Because the formula is based on their cream, it has a more creamy consistency than most lip balms I've tried, and actually feels quite soothing and even a bit cooling.

It has a convenient applicator tip, which makes it really easy to apply on the go - and not only is it non-shiny and nearly flavour-free, but the packaging is simple and gender-neutral, so if there are any lads out there suffering from dry lips, suffer no more!

I've heard a lot of people complaining about getting the product out of the tube because it's so thick. I had trouble too - the first time I used it. After that, once I got it going - no problems at all. I'd recommend just popping it in your pocket when you buy it before the first time you use it and there should be no problem.

I love this stuff. Not quite as much as I love the Nuxe Lip Balm, which I use as a night treatment every night before bed, but it'd definitely second in line. While Nuxe has a lovely orange-citrus scent, while this one's a combo of sweet oatmeal and a bit of fresh mint - so between the two I've got both my favourite lip flavours covered. This one's great to throw in my purse, whereas the Nuxe is in a heavy glass jar that I adore, but isn't the best for lugging about. I don't think I'll ever be without both of these, since I love them both! If you have allergies, are sensitive to petroleum, or are looking for something for kids or  a guy with dry lips, this is my top recommendation.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Weleda - Wild Rose Pampering Body Lotion

I picked this up (along with another Skin Food, which I love to use when my hands and feet need an intense moisture treatment) during the deal I discovered on Weleda at Whole Foods last week. I have to admit that at least 70% of the reason why I got this was because of the pump. I don't know if you can really see in the photo, but it's a really cool shape and because the opening where the product is discharged has a rubber seal on it, the air can't get in so the product left near the dispenser doesn't oxidize and get goopy and gross.

Though the applicator is cool... that's about all I can say for it. The cap is really hard to remove (the testers in the store didn't have a cap, so this was an unpleasant surprise). The product itself is just okay - it's moisturizing, but nothing special. Decent consistency, though not as creamy as I'd hoped. The rose doesn't seem to do anything to soothe my skin more than a regular moisturizer would, and though it absorbs quickly so it's not oily on the skin, it also doesn't seem to make my skin much softer.

But I think probably the biggest reason why I'm not a fan of it is the scent. I'm the first to admit that I'm picky when it comes to fragrance. I don't know if it's because of working at LUSH for years and feeling like I've had scent overload or what, but I either love or hate a fragrance. And if I hate it, it just ain't gonna get used. This, unfortunately, I hate. In the store it seemed to be a subtle rose scent without much else. I don't know if maybe the tester had just been sitting out for awhile and some of the fragrance had worn off or it was a different batch or what, but mine has an unpleasant bitter herbal after-smell that I just can't abide. It's similar to (although not the same as) patchouli. It has that musky lingering thing that I can't stand.

So, as much as I'd like to become a fan of Weleda body products, between the scent and less-than-impressive performance, I think that's it for me. Oh well, at least I didn't pay full price, right?

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

From the French Pharmacie: Boiron Homéoplasmine

This is a French miracle. It's intended for skin irritations, but can be used for pretty much anything on any body part. Dry skin around the nose and mouth, chapped lips, rashes, eczema - you name it, and this little tube will come to the rescue.

The closest comparison I can come up with for this would be Elizabeth Arden 8 Hour Cream or the Australian PawPaw ointment. But this is a bit thicker, and unlike 8 Hour Cream has a very subtle scent.

I heard abut this in Make-Up Artist Magazine - it was listed as a fave in the kit of one of their featured make-up artists. Upon further research, it turns out to be a lot of artists' and models' fave. Mainly used for severely chapped lips - not only does it help to heal them, but it seals down any flakiness and applies matte so it won't interfere with lipstick application.

Here's what it looks like:

I recently discovered that they also make a lip balm stick, so I'm going to give that a try and see how it stacks up and whether it's a bit easier to use.

The only down side that I can see is that it's really hard to get out of the tube because it's so thick. But once you get some out, a little goes a really long way and the tube is huge - and super cheap. So it's worth the work!

Monday, March 25, 2013


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From the French Pharmacie: Embryolisse - Baume Riche

I originally got this because I'm in the middle of an intense love affair with Embryolisse Lait-Crème Concentré (read my full review of it here) and I thought hey, maybe this is good too. The original is fantastic as a day cream that also acts as a primer and can be worn under foundation. It's non-oily, gentle for sensitive skin and absorbs quickly.

I have used Lait-Crème Concentré at night, and while it did a fine job, it wasn't enough for winter or for dehydrated skin. So I thought maybe this one would fit the bill. I was totally right. It's very similar to Lait-Crème Concentré, but has a thicker, richer consistency and slightly stronger scent (though still pleasant).

From the Embryolisse website:

"When dry skin sends out an SOS, this cold cream is the answer. Ultra-concentrated in essential, moisturising, lipid-replenishing natural nutrients (olive extract, shea butter, white beeswax), it acts as a balm to nourish and repair, protect and soothe the most irritated and driest skins. Restored and reinforced, skin is supple, soft and radiant with a new feeling of well-being and comfort. The very rich and nourishing texture is like a cocoon that protects sensitive skin from external aggressions."

It can be used on the face (just avoid eye area) and body, wherever you need a bit of relief from dryness. 

I wouldn't use it as a day cream, but as a night cream it's fantastic. You can see a sheen on the skin after applying and feel that it's there, but it's not greasy or overly oily and it absorbs well by morning. I think it's great for those who suffer from seasonal dryness or minor skin irritations, and it will also help with skin that feels "tight" after washing.

It's not cheap - but it's not the most expensive product in its class out there either. A little goes a long way, and because it's ultra-rich, you probably won't need to use it every day so it should last for awhile. In my opinion it's worth the price tag as a balm to use occasionally when problems arise, or a few times a week during colder months. If you're a fan of Lait-Crème Concentré as a day cream, give this one a whirl at night!

Sunday, March 24, 2013

From the French Pharmacie: Nuxe - Lotion Tonique Douce

I have a confession to make. It's been years since I used a toner. At least two. Probably three. I did in high school when I needed something more astringent to help manage adolescent skin issues, and I did a few years back when I got a free bottle with a couple of Marcelle products. But since then... I just haven't bothered. I think mainly it's because I started using the MAC makeup removing wipes that do an amazing job of taking off all traces of makeup - and I always wash my face as well. So I feel like between the two, everything that needs to be done is done.

I've been feeling quite a bit of dryness this winter - I think partly because it's been colder, and partly because let's face it, I'm not a spring chicken anymore. That in combination with my recent skincare obsession led me to decide to try this one. 

I like that it has a pop-top applicator lid rather than just a screw-top or snap-top like most of  the other toners I've used. This makes it easier to place the cotton pad and up-end for product, and to control how much comes out.

The product itself is lovely. It pretty much just smells like roses, which I like when not too strong. I also feel like rose is quite a soothing ingredient - particularly to pale skin like mine. On Feel Unique (which is where I bought mine) it says of the "star ingredients":

"NUXE Lotion Tonique Douce Gentle Toning Lotion completes make-up removal (Ultra Soft Surfactants from Coconut derivative) without drying out the skin (Hyaluronic acid of natural origin). Skin is smooth (Witch Hazel Water), soothed and softened (Floral Water from Damascena Rose Petals, Allantoin)."

I find that it is soothing, cools the skin instantly, has no residue or stickiness and leaves my skin feeling extra-refreshed. I also feel like it helps add a bit more moisture to be sealed in when I apply my night moisturizer. Definitely what you want. It's alcohol-free, so great for dry and/or sensitive skin.

I definitely recommend adding this to your daily skincare routine!

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Elizabeth Arden - Eight Hour Cream

For years I've heard beauty bloggers and YouTube makeup gurus raving on and on about the amazing cream that is Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream. As you can tell, mine's a bit old now (the packaging has been updated), but it's still the same formula.

I have had this for months and never really used it. Partly because I wasn't sure what to do with it at first (while I'm all for them in theory, multi-purpose products always take me a little while to figure out). But mainly? The smell. MY GOD the smell. It has lanolin in it - which, for those of you who don't know, is an oil that is naturally-occurring on sheep's wool and is an excellent moisturizer and barrier to lock in moisture - which has quite a gamey scent. On top of that it has a 'herbal' smell, and the combination is killer.

According to the package instructions (above), you can use this anywhere you have dry or chapped skin, including the lips. Seriously? No WAY would I put this anywhere near my nose. I'm guessing that with a smell like that, it wouldn't taste too delicious either! I've heard beauty bloggers on YouTube say that it works wonders on dry lips. In fact, Tanya Burr, whose videos I love, carries it in her purse:

And I'm sure it works well. But I don't think I'd be able to handle it that close to my nose, no matter how well it worked!

So what's the verdict, you ask? Well, while I'm not about to be slathering this on my kisser anytime soon, I can say that the shit works. I suffer from diabetic dry skin, which means that (particularly in winter) the skin on my hands and feet dries until it cracks - painfully. I have found that applying this to my cracked heels, letting it sit for awhile, soaking up the excess with a tissue and then applying a regular foot cream does do an amazing job on softening my heels. So for that it's great - but not really worth the price. There are plenty of intensive and lanolin-based products on the market that will do the same thing for half the price - and that smell better!

I believe there is a scent-free version of this, which I haven't yet tried. If you have, share your thoughts! Is it really scent-free? Does it work as well as the original? 

Friday, March 22, 2013

From the French Pharmacie: Roger & Gallet Crème Sublime Bois D'Orange

Roger & Gallet is a legendary French perfumerie, first established in 1862. They were the first to synthesize violet as a perfume scent, and currently have about 24 different perfumes. They also have an extensive catalogue of soaps, shower gels, lotions, oils - even shaving creams.

I was, I admit, won over by the romantic idea of a product steeped in so much history - and French perfumerie history, at that! I stumbled across this in a couple of reviews, and decided to give it a try.

I wanted to fall in love with this. I really did. And to a certain extend, I'm still bewitched by the packaging and the idea of it... but the actual product is just okay. I am often quite sensitive to scents, so strong perfumes can be difficult for me. I guess I should have realized that a perfume company's cream would be more heavily scented than, say, Caudalie, but I didn't really think about it.

That said, though a bit strong for my tastes, the smell is nice. It has a deep, almost musky or amber-y bottom note layered with a hint of citrus. The cream itself isn't too thick, and while it's not as moisturizing as a few of my favourites, if you don't suffer from overly dry skin it will definitely do the job. I'll use it - a bit at a time - but I don't think I'll re-purchase.

One final thing - and I didn't realize this until I started  doing more in-depth research for this post, but the company was bought by L'Oreal, who I generally avoid purchasing from. So not thrilled about that either.

If you are a big perfume-lover, or if you are likewise bewitched by the idea of using products from one of France's oldest perfumeries, this might be a wonderful treat, but if your nose is sensitive or if you're not a fan of L'Oreal, give this one a miss.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

EWG's Skin Deep Cosmetics Database

While reading up reviews on Weleda Skin Food, I came across one where the reviewer mentioned an "EWG hazard rating." Having no idea what this meant, I set about finding out.

Turns out an organization called Environmental Working Group maintains a website database of cosmetic products and ingredients that gives consumers information on a variety of "hazard" factors - whether a product contains ingredients known to be carcinogenic, cause allergies or skin irritations, developmental and reproductive toxicity, etc. A product is rated for each category and then given an overall hazard rating.

According to information on their website, their information is based on published scientific literature as well as company and government information. In addition to info on ingredients and products themselves, they also have a tab on animal testing where they tell you if there is any known info on the company's practices regarding the issue.

On the one hand, it can be kind of scary. I'm nervous about searching for some of my all-time favourite products in case they come back with a high hazard rating and I have to stop using them. But the practical side of me says it's better to know. After all, skin is the largest organ on the body, and whatever we put on it is largely absorbed.

And I like that they take into account the ethics of the company as well as the ingredients used - as any of you who've been following my blog for awhile will know, I find animal testing abhorrent.

I also feel like this site is useful for parents - it's one thing if you're fine slapping whatever on your own skin, but when it comes to kids who have more sensitive skin and can be more prone to allergic reactions and irritation, it's even more important to know what's in the products you're using.

If you're curious, you can find out more about the organization and website here, or go here to search for brands or products.

Thoughts? Opinions? Similar websites to recommend? Share in the comments!

xo M.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Deal Alert! Weleda at Whole Foods

So I decided to stop by Whole Foods on my lunch break just for food. Nothing else. Yeah, that didn't last long. A bunch of their Weleda products are on sale. I can't remember everything that was on sale, but some of the items were:
  • Body creams (reg $19.99 on sale for $13.99) 
  • Large Skin Food (reg $19.99 on sale for $12.49)
  • Small Skin Food (reg $12.99 on sale for $8.99) 
Great deals, right?
But wait, it gets better. On top of these deals, they have a $2.00 off Weleda coupon (only applies to some products though, so make sure to check which ones!) that most of the cashiers have at their tils if you ask. So I got Skin Food for pretty much half price! Sweet.

I went to the Whole Foods on Cambie and 8th in Vancouver - so I have no idea if this is a chain-wide sale or specific to that location. But if you love Weleda, it's worth calling to find out!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

From the French Pharmacie: Biafine

Biafine is a French legend. For one thing, it's one of the ubiquitous products that everyone has in France - like rubbing alcohol or polysporin here. French families apparently ALL have this in their homes to use on bumps, bruises, burns, chapped skin and lips, rashes, scars and sunburns. But it does have some beauty uses as well.

There isn't currently an English Biafine website, so everything I know about it I learned on blogs and by trying to translate from the website in my (quite rusty) French. But here's what I found out.

Biafine was originally developed for use in a hospital setting - on burn victims and those recovering after cosmetic surgery. It is used to aid with healing damaged skin - it helps to eliminate dead skin cells while boosting the cells that help to heal collagen and promote healthier skin. (It is not recommended for use on bleeding or infected wounds or rashes caused by allergies, however.)

There are two versions of this - and I ended up ordering them both because for the life of me, I couldn't figure out what the difference was. On their website the ingredients are identical. But, for some reason, in the US Biafine (original) requires a prescription while BiafineACT is available over the counter.

So, when they arrived, I eagerly tore into both of them to see if I could figure out what the heck was up. And I discovered...that they are exactly the same. The original Biafine looks like this:

BiafineACT looks like this:

They smell the same, feel the same and seem to do exactly the same thing. From what I can tell, the only difference is the packaging - aside from looking different, on Biafine it says (roughly translated) that it's for skin irritation due to radiation treatment, first and second degree burns and any other non-infected wound.

BiafineACT, on the other hand, is for the treatment of superficial burns, broken skin (I think), localized sunburns and non-infected wounds.

Honestly I'm pretty confused, so I'm going to go with it's the same stuff, but one is packaged with listed uses that seem more minor so that they'll sell it to you without a scrip in the States.

The tubes are huge, nearly 200 mL, and cost less than $30, so it's a great deal and will last you forever.

Now, so far this cream probably sounds very functional and more like it belongs in a first aid kit than on a chic Parisian's bathroom counter. But wait. There's more. Apparently this can also be used as a facial mask to help moisturize the skin and even skintone, according to one of the blog reviews I read. Which would make sense since it's essentially for helping the skin heal and regenerate. At the very least I'm anticipating getting a lot of use out of the burn-healing - I'm pale so I sunburn like a mofo!

I'm a huge fan of multi-taskers, particularly ones that are so cheap! I have a feeling this is going to be a bathroom (and pantry) staple from now on.

**If you want to get a bit more medical info (in English) you can check here or here- though I don't know who runs the sites or how accurate the info is, so please be sure to talk to a pharmacist or other medical professional if you have any concerns about using this on your skin!

Sunday, March 17, 2013

From the French Pharmacie: Amilab

From what I can tell, Amilab - or Amilab Baume Lèvres Réhydratant Régénérateur, Calmant (that's the full name - I know, a mouthful, right? No pun intended) is France's answer to Burt's Bees lip balm or Blistex. It seems to be pretty cheap and widely available in pharmacies. But once you try it, you'll swear it cost at least three time as much.

It's a portable stick, which is good, but this is where the similarities to our drugstore lip balms end.

It's creamy, light, very easy to apply and smells like an alluring mixture of sweet orange and vanilla. Basically, it smells like a Creamsicle. It sinks in well, lasts for ages and works to nourish the lips rather than just providing a barrier to prevent further moisture loss.

If you ever come across this, I recommend stocking up and buying a few extra to give to friends. It's that good.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

French Pharmacie: The Secret to French Beauty, Part 2

Time for part 2 of French pharmacie products! I've got some more must-haves  to tell you guys about, but first, if you haven't read part 1 yet, go here.

The more I've been making French pharmacie products part of my daily skin routine, the more happy I've been with my skin. While each product varies in terms of effectiveness and my enjoyment in using it, overall I've had more success with French skincare than anything I have purchased in the past at Canadian pharmacies.

There are a few general things that really stand out about them. First of all, they seem to universally be non-irritating. I'm pale and pink to begin with, so my skin definitely isn't hardy. It doesn't like things that are too oily (it'll break out), too harsh (it'll develop dry patches) or that have too much perfume (I've been known to have the odd allergic reaction and rash). So far I haven't had any of these problems with a single one of the French products I've tried.

Secondly, the textures. Oh, mon dieu! The creams are luxurious, the cleansers are smooth and the toners are refreshing and cooling. They each leave my skin feeling like a million bucks. Which brings me to my final point - the scents. See, here you can kind of tell the drug store vs. high end products. Drug store products have an over-abundance of fake fruity and sweet perfumes that I can't stand - or (if they're for an actual skin problem) they smell distinctly medicinal. Not so with French products. Everything - from the cleansers to the hand creams to the burn creams to the intense ointments - have lovely, delicate scents. They all smell expensive - even if they cost the equivalent of ten bucks.

I'm  falling more and more in love with France every time I wash my face! Here's a few more things for you to try so you can too!

1.  Caudalie - Beauty Grows Here Hand and Lip Set
Caudalie is one of the French brands that has traversed the Atlantic via Sephora to become widely (if expensively) available in North America.This set includes a mini tube of Hand and Nail Cream and a full sized Lip Conditioner stick, both aimed at banishing winter dryness and delicately vineyard-scented.

2. Bioderma - Sensibio H2O
Yes, this is that make-up remover. The one you've heard about from YouTube makeup artists and read about in backstage runway confidentials. It's a very gentle yet effective make-up remover, cleanser and toner. This is popular with makeup artists because it won't irritate sensitive skin, it'll take off all make-up, and it's gentle enough to use multiple times for models who need their make-up re-applied frequently for shows or shoots. It's a bit pricey ($25 CAD, or thereabouts) but a little does go a long way.

3. Nuxe - Lotion Tonique Douce (Gentle Toning Lotion)
I decided, after years of not bothering, that it was time to re-insert a toner into my skincare routine. This is a really gentle one that comes in a pop-top dispenser. Just apply a little bit to a cotton pad and gently wipe cleansed face with it to remove all traces of make-up and re-hydrate skin before applying moisturizer. (Full review here.)

4. Roger & Gallet - Crème Sublime Bois d'Orange Mains et Ongles (Hand and Nail Cream)
Roger & Gallet are a brand best known for creating enchanting scents. This is a hand and nail cream to help with dry skin and rough cuticles. The scent is a deep, heady one with a hint of rich citrus. I'm terrible at describing smells, so if you get a chance to smell this in person.... (Full review here.)

5. Cytol NAT Centella - Crème Dermatologique
Another therapeutic fave, Cytol Nat is for irritated, sensitive or burned skin. You can use it on everything from rashes to eczema to sunburns to post-shave (or wax) sensitive skin to soothe and moisturize. It's got a slightly stronger scent than a lot of the other ones. A tiny bit stronger than I'd prefer, but still not unpleasant.

6. La Roche-Posay - Cicaplast Baume B5
Similar to Cytol NAT and Biafine, this cream is for skin irritations. According to the package, it is for: "Dry skin irritations in adults, children and babies (chapping, rough patches...). Cutaneous heating sensations in adults. Can be applied to body, face and lips. Optimal tolerance, suitable for sensitive skin." Aw, such cute English. Anyway, this is a super-delicate cream for... well, pretty much everything and everyone. It's fragrance-free, too, so if you are someone who can't handle any scents in your products, take this one over Cytol NAT.

7. Bioderma - Atoderm Ultra-Rich Foaming Gel
I like most of the Bioderma Atoderm line - gentle, scent-free products that are great for sensitive skin. This is no exception. It's a blue transparent gel that bubbles up a little bit and cleans skin gently. It's what I consider to be a basic cleanser - not for any particular skin-type or problem, just a good overall wash.

8. Embryolisse - Baume Riche
So remember my rave review of Embryolisse's Lait-Crème Concentré? I am absolutely in love with the stuff. I've used it for morning and night, but because it's winter and because I'm pale and sensitive, I decided I could do with a richer cream for night-time. Enter Baume Riche (or Rich Balm for you English folk). It's exactly what I wanted it to be - identical to Lait-Crème Concentré in every way except richer and a bit thicker. A dream for night-time dry skin. (Full review here.)

9. Nuxe - Aroma-Perfection Gel Nettoyant Purifiant (Purifying Cleansing Gel)
A clarifying face wash for combination and oily skin that's gentle enough to use daily on sensitive skin. I don't have oily skin, but in the summer I do get oilier areas, and occasionally I want something that cuts through the oil on my skin a bit more than my regular sensitive/dry skin washes. This is lovely - smells great and works well.

10. Nuxe - Huile Prodigieuse

Okay, so I have a confession to make. Until I started researching French skincare, I'd never even heard of dry oil. This started popping up in more and more of the blog posts I was reading on the subject though, so I got curious. Turns out it's pretty interesting stuff. I've always hated the feeling of oil on my skin - even for massages. I avoid bath oils, oily creams and anything else that leaves a layer on the skin. But this stuff soaks in nearly immediately leaving only a hint of sheen on the skin, and because it's a liquid instead of a cream it actually feels lighter than a moisturizer. It can also be used for the face, body and hair, making it a multi-purpose gem. Smells lovely, too!

Individual reviews and details on these (and many others!) still to come, and I'll update this with individual links, so stay tuned!

What are your French pharmacie faves? Share in the comments!

Thursday, March 14, 2013

From the French Pharmacie: Avibon Pommade

Over the course of my French pharmacie essentials research, I came across this on several blogs, most noticably Gwyneth Paltrow's blog, Goop. She did a post about her favourite French pharmacie products, and this was one of them. According to her, it's an anti-aging miracle used every night by an "older movie star" who has amazing skin.

It's got retinol and a really high dose of vitamin A, so it's good for healing blemishes (and preventing new ones), as well as helping to reduce fine lines. According to some of the blog reviews I read, it's hard to get a product with this much vitamin A in it without a prescription in North America, and the prescription products are pretty pricey. This is available over the counter in France, and it's also dirt cheap.

The product itself is a thick ointment - think vaseline, but thicker. Here's what it looks like:

Because of the consistency, it's difficult to spread on the skin. I recommend taking a few dabs, smearing them on a the cheeks and forehead, and leaving them for a few seconds before spreading. This allows the product to warm and soften to avoid pulling at the skin and to get a thinner layer. You can also rub it between your fingers to warm it, but I feel like this wastes a bunch of product, so I prefer the direct-to-face method. Put it on right before bed and by morning it will be entirely absorbed. Because of the retinol and vitamin A, it can be used on combination and oily skin and won't cause breakouts.

I've only used this a couple of times so far, but it does seem to help skin appear healthy and hydrated - I actually went foundation-free for the first time in ages the day after using it for the first time!

There are a couple of down sides. One is the scent - it's strong and floral, almost grandmothery. It fades a bit as you wear it, but still, not my favourite. The floral scent is also masking a more medicinal one - I only notice it when applying near my nose, but it's not too pleasant. It's also a bit sticky on the skin for awhile after applying, so if you have pets (long-haired cats in particular) it's kind of a magnet for stray fur. Not the best experience, hence my recommendation to put it on right before bed!

Despite the thick consistency, it's actually not as uncomfortable to wear as you might think. Once warmed to skin temperature it spreads easily and thinly, so while it's a thick product, the layer you end up with on the skin isn't. This also means a little goes a very long way. I hate anything heavy or oily on my skin, but despite some initial discomfort, the feeling of this on the skin really isn't that bad. And if it's good enough for Gwyneth...

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Bobbi Brown's Natural Beauty Philosophy

So I'm a huge fan of Refinery 29's beauty and make-up articles and slideshows. They're sharp, relevant and have so many great tips! I'm also a fan of Bobbi Brown - I have most of her make-up books and I love that she's so down to earth, despite being one of the reigning queens of the beauty universe.

One of the things I love most about her is her stance on aging. With the trend towards increasing amounts of cosmetic "enhancement" and a pressure to stay young-looking well into our 40s (and 50s - just look at Demi Moore and Madonna) the natural aging process has started to look, well, unnatural.

Enter Bobbi. She recently spoke up in an interview (see it here) about the topic of fillers - most notably Botox.

"I think we’ll all soon be having a lot more laser treatments instead that don’t alter the way you look, but do improve the texture of your skin and help you look healthy."

That sounds just fine to me. I'm all for non-intrusive beauty innovations - but surgery? Injections of botulism? No, thank you. I'm not judging ladies who decide to go this route. It's a personal decision and everyone must make it for themselves. But personally, the idea terrifies me! Yeah, I'm a total wimp.

Bobbi also mentioned daily use of SPF as one of the largest contributors to great skin as we age. Amen, sister.

What do you think? Are you all about the natural like Bobbi? Share your thoughts in the comments!

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

From the French Pharmacie: Nuxe Rêve de Miel Lips

I suffer from very dry lips. I also suffer (though that may not be exactly the right term) from a life-long obsession with lip balms. So that works out quite well, really.

That said, rarely do I find one that actually helps my lips feel less dry and chapped once it wears off. I find that a lot of them act more as a barrier and make the lips feel better when applied, but if I go a day without using them, my lips are worse than ever.

Nuxe Rêve de Miel Lip Moisture Stick
Enter Nuxe Rêve de Miel Lip Moisture Stick. I discovered Nuxe recently during my obsessive research on French pharmacie cosmetics. The lip balm in the pot got excellent reviews, so I ordered it online - only to discover on my next trip to Shopper's Drug Mart that they carry the brand! I had a few bucks leftover on a gift card, so I treated myself to the stick.

I think I can quite accurately say that I have been applying it 5+ times a day since buying it. It isn't a solid texture like so many stick lip products (Burt's Bees comes to mind) where you have to warm it up before applying or risk uncomfortable tugging on the skin. It applies smoothly and easily, and it soaks in quite quickly leaving just a bit of slippiness behind, so it's very comfortable to wear.

One problem I've had with petroleum-based lip balms is that if I re-apply a few times in the day, I end up feeling like they migrate and my face gets oily. That doesn't happen with this lip balm. I also like that it's not super shiny. And because it is packed with healing honey and nourishing sunflower, it actually seems to help my lips feel healthier.

Nuxe Rêve de Miel Lip Balm (pot)
Once this arrived, I eagerly tore into it, wondering if it would live up to the hype. And boy, does it ever. I can safely say this is the best nourishing, long-lasting lip product I've tried, and I've tried pretty much all of them.

It isn't glossy or slimy at all, so you have to dig into it a bit to get the product out, but once you start applying it it goes on pretty evenly and easily. It instantly makes lips feel hydrated. Because it goes on completely matte you an wear it under lipstick.

And does it ever last. I put it on at bedtime and when I get up in the morning I can still feel it working on my lips. Between this and the matte texture, it would be a great one for guys who suffer from chapped lips, because you don't have to keep re-applying it and no one will be able to see it.

Because scent and flavour are a big part of making a lip product a hit or a miss, I have to say that both of these are winners. They have a very (and I mean very) subtle scent of citrus, and almost no flavour. They don't smell at all synthetic and aren't too sweet or intense.

As much as I love variety in my lip balms, and as curious as I am to try all the different ones out there, I have a feeling I'll always have some of this kicking around, too. Merveilleux.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Aesop - Rosehip Seed Lip Cream

I can't actually remember what led me to this brand - some blog post or other. But I decided to give it a try. This Rosehip Seed Lip Cream is hyped as a light-weight, vitamin-e rich formula meant for frequent application to soften lips. Well, it does that.

It's a creamy formula, very lightweight. More like a lotion than a lip balm:

As you can probably tell from the picture, there is a problem with this. It comes in a metal tube, which normally I'm a fan of - but with this product it's a disaster. The pressure seems to build up so whenever the cap is removed, a ton of product leaks out nearly immediately and won't go back in. So I end up wasting a lot, which sucks considering that this is a tiny tube (6 mL) which cost a fair amount (~$15+shipping).

The product itself is lovely, but you really need a tiny amount. The flavour is a bit stronger than I'd like, but it's not unpleasant. Overall if you can find a deal on it, or if you really want a gloss-free balm, give it a try - but I doubt I'll re-purchase. Just too much mess for the price.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Tag: 40 Beauty Questions

So I thought I'd jump in on the action and answer those 40+ beauty questions that have been going around. I'm linking from Shannon's Raspberry Kiss blog - go check her out, she posts frequently and has some great tips and opinions to share!

So without further ado, let's dive into the questions. Get comfy, cos this might take awhile!


1. How many times do you wash your face daily?
Two, morning and night. I don't have a set routine of cleansers at the moment, but I'll almost always use a different one in the evening than in the morning.

2. What skin type do you have?
I'd say normal to dry sensitive skin. I'm pale and pinkish, what can I say?

3. What is your current facial wash?
Like I said, I use different ones. Right now I'm mostly using two Origins ones - Checks and Balances and Make A Difference. The former is a foaming, refreshing one and the latter is a milky, very mild one (which quite frankly I don't think is up to much, but I want to finish it!).

4. Do you exfoliate?
I do, sometimes as much as every day, depending how my skin is feeling. Because I have sensitive skin, though, I try to use one that isn't too harsh.

5. What brand do you use?
I'm in the market for a new exfoliator - at the moment I use either the St. Ives Apricot Scrub or the Burt's Bees Citrus Facial Scrub. I'm planning on trying the this works. exfoliator once I've used up the Burt's Bees, so I'll keep you posted on how that goes!

6. What moisturizer do you use?
Oh, a bunch of different ones! My most recent fave, as you'll probably know from a couple of posts ago, is the Embryolisse Lait-Crème Concentré (if you want to know more, read the full review here). I also like Clinique's Dramatically Different and, if my skin's in need of some TLC, Avibon.

7. Do you have freckles?
Yep. Scottish genes. Apparently when I first got them as a child and my dad pointed them out I freaked and was all "get them off, get them off!" I don't mind them so much now.

8. Do you use eye cream?
Yes I do. In the morning I use No. 7 Protect and Perfect eye cream under my eyes. At night I'm using Origins Ginzing, which I got a sample of, in the whole eye area.

9. Do you have acne-prone skin?
I got breakouts in high school, but never had intense acne, thank goodness. Now I get the odd hormonal breakout or if I'm stressed or sick.

10. Did you ever use Pro-Activ?


11. What foundation do you use?
I normally don't use just one. I usually mix and match however the mood strikes me - often half a tinted moisturizer and half a foundation. Some of my all-time faves for foundation are Nars Sheer Glow, Lancome Teinte Miracle, MUFE HD and Dior Nude. For tinted moisturizer, I love Smashbox and Laura Mercier (the luminizing one).

12. How about concealer?
I need to find a new one for my dark circles. I currently use Benefit Erase Paste or MAC Moisture something or other - the one in the tube with the doe-foot applicator.

13. Do you know your undertone colour?
I'm assuming by this they mean either warm or cool. Definitely warm (pink, remember?)

14. What do you think of fake eyelashes?
Don't have any strong opinions. They can be really fun for special occasions, and the more subtle ones can be really pretty anytime. My only pet peeve is when girls go with the really huge, drag queen overstated ones during the day. Then they just look like spiders and it's not good.

15. Did you know that you're supposed to change your mascara every 3 months?
Yep. I don't, but I know you're supposed to. With all my products I toss them when they change consistency, smell or colour.

16. What brand of mascara do you use?
It depends. I've got a few - MAC False Lashes and Plush Lash are a couple of my faves. Also like Clinique Lash Doubling mascara and the Dior one isn't bad.

17. Sephora or MAC?
Both. I could never choose!

18. Do you have a MAC Pro card? 
No, which is probably a good thing because I spend enough money there as it is!

19. What tools do you use in make-up application?
I have a few favourite brushes - the Sephora airbrush one (55, I think) for foundation, MAC 231 and 217 for eyeshadow, and a couple of the Real Techniques ones occasionally.

20. Do you use make-up base/primer for eyes?
Yeah, I have to. I have "hooded" eyes, so when I blink the skin folds and drags. If I don't use a really good primer, I end up with a line of shadow in the crease and none on the lid - it ain't pretty. My all time fave is Too Faced Shadow Insurance, but Nars Pro-Prime and Lorac aren't bad. I'll use MAC paint pots sometimes, but they don't have the staying power of the other ones.

Can I just pause for a moment and say that I can't believe I'm only halfway through these questions? My fingers are getting tired. Anyway...

21. For the face?
Yeah, most of the time. Though I have to admit that since starting using Embryolisse (which can be used as a base) I sometimes forget and don't really notice the difference. My fave is MUFE HD, but I also like Becca Resurfacing Primer and Nars Pro-Prime SPF 30.

22. What is your favourite eyeshadow? Colour or shade? 
Oh man. How much time you got? I LOVE eyeshadows. It's a problem. I love a good neutral, like MAC Jeté, taupes are also great, as are bronzy browns (like Nars Fez) and plummy shades (Nars Kalahari has both of those). I like a nice matte mid-tone brown for blending (MAC Wedge) and you always need a shadow that matches your skintone to blend out edges (MAC Brulé works perfectly for me).

23. Do you use pencil or liquid liner?
Both - pencil in the daytime, liquid, gel or cream liner in the evening.

24. How often do you poke your eyes with an eyeliner pencil?
Never. Have poked my eye with a mascara wand, though.

25. What do you think of pigment shadows?
Uh... well, like any eyeshadow, it depends on the colour, texture and quality of a particular pigment more than just that it's a pigment. MAC and MUFE have some gorgeous ones.

26. Do you use mineral makeup?
Not specifically, but my face powder from MAC is one of the mineralize ones.

27. What is your favourite lipstick?
Just one? Really? What kind of make-up addict came up with these questions? I'll try to keep it to a few. MAC Rebel is awesome, also a huge fan of Dior Addict Paparazzi and MAC Sweetie.

28. How about lip gloss?
I like the Sleek Glossed ones, and MAC's Cremesheen are alright. Not a huge fan of gloopy, sticky ones though (ahem, MAC Lipglass).

29. What is your favourite blush to use?
MAC Petticoat, Nars Orgasm, Benefit Sugarbomb...

30. Do you buy your make-up on eBay?
Yes, but very cautiously. I know a lot of people would be appalled, but I've done a lot of research and have gotten to a point where I have a few sellers I trust who I've been shopping with for years, and I'm always careful to avoid some of the more popularly counterfeited items like MAC pigments. I mainly use it for discontinued products or ones you can't get in Canada.

31. Do you like drugstore make-up?
As a broad, sweeping statement? No. It's so hit or miss, there aren't testers of everything, and you can't return things that don't work. It may cost less, but you end up spending more trying to find a product that actually works. That said, I do keep an eye on what beauty bloggers and YouTubers are raving about and if I see enough good reviews about a product, I'll give it a try. So, things like the Revlon Raspberry Pie ColorBurst Lip Butter, Maybelline Color Tattoo pots... they're pretty good.

32. Do you go to CCOs?
No, because they don't have them in Canada. Wish they did, though!

33. Did you ever consider taking makeup classes?
Yes, but they're a huge investment and it's such a competitive field. And I blew all my money on regular university. C'est la vie.

34. Are you clumsy at putting on make-up?
Hmm. No, not overall, but there are certain things I am a bit messy at, like liquid liner, mostly because I don't do it very often.

35. Name a make-up crime that you hate.
Oh, where do I start? The biggest and most basic is foundation. If it's too light or too dark, it doesn't matter how perfect the rest of the makeup is, it's gonna look horrible. Also not blending it in, particularly if it's not exactly the right shade. Oh, and spider lashes - gloops and globs of mascara on top and bottom lashes. Awful.

36. Do you like colourful shades of make-up (lipstick or eyeshadow) or neutral ones?
Neutral eyes, colourful lips. Usually. But sometimes the other way around. Never both colourful.

37. Which celebrity always has great make-up?
Always? Angelina Jolie, Jennifer Aniston, Kerry Washington, Charlize Theron, Kate Winslet - I like that their looks are simple, classic and flawless. But I also like Kristen Stewart's dark liner and Adele's more made-up '60s glamour.

38. If you could leave the house using just ONE make-up item, what would it be? 
I'm assuming moisturizer and lip balm count as skincare, so I'd probably have to go with my MUFE waterproof eyebrow gel. I have Vitaligo, so some of my brow hairs have lost pigment. Unfortunately I have to colour them every day to get them even! If I didn't have that though, I'd probably go with a hint of blush or a tad of mascara.

39. Could you ever leave the house without any make-up on? 
Yeah, yesterday I just did my brows, which barely counts.

40. Do you think you look good even without any makeup on? 
I did when I was a bit younger and my skin was more even. Now I prefer to wear a bit of tinted moisturizer at least.

41. In your opinion, what is the BEST make-up line?
I can't really pick just one - each has its strengths. MAC's good for shadows and lipsticks, MUFE is good for HD products and those few little things like brow gel that no one else does quite right, Too faced for eye primer, Nars for blush... I can't honestly say there's just one line I think is fantastic across the board. But I guess if I had to pick one to use forever it would be MUFE.

42. What do you think of make-up? 
Uh, hello, I have a make-up blog! I love it. I do think, however, that it should be fun. Something that helps make you feel just that little bit extra special. I don't think it should be caked on and I don't think you should ever get to the point where you hate how you look without it. It's gotta be an added bonus.

Phew! That took awhile! Okay, you're up. I tag you all - write or video your answers, and share your links in the comments!

xo M.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

French Pharmacie: The Secret to French Beauty, Part 1

French pharmacies are a dream destination for any beauty fanatic. They're full of swoon-worthy skincare products that you were swear were the fanciest and most expensive out there - but they're not. Some of them are downright cheap.

Before you ask, no, I haven't just returned from a trip to Paris (more's the pity), but I've been tracking down French pharmacie skincare lines in local stores and online over the years and have tried most of the big cult favourites. So I thought I'd share them with you guys and maybe introduce a few of you to the wonders of French skincare!

1.  Avibon
Avibon is a "pommade" containing vitamin A and retinol. It's basically a topical ointment. Used for skin irritation and as an intense moisturizer. This one has become pretty well-known since appearing on Gwyneth Paltrow's blog in her French pharmacie post. (Full review here.)

2. Nuxe -  Melting Cleansing Gel
I haven't used this yet, but according to the tube, it "cleanses, removes make-up and gently clarifies." I mainly bought it because it has an amazing, subtle rose scent.

3. Nuxe - Rêve de Miel Hand and Nail Cream
An intense hand cream for really dry skin. It has honey, sunflower, "precious oils," and vitamin E. It's pretty light in texture and absorbs quickly.

4. Embryolisse - Lait-Crème Concentré
This cream is a cult fave with makeup artists the world over. It's a particular fave of the ladies at Pixiwoo - nearly every video they make mentions it since they use it as their base and moisturizer. It has a similar texture to cold cream, a light, pleasant scent and can be used as a day cream, night cream, makeup base and cold cream. (Full review here.)

5. Biafine
Biafine was originally developed in a hospital setting to be used on burns and post-surgically to aid in healing. Apparently it's now a staple in most french homes for use on minor injuries, burns and as a beauty aid - moisturizer and night mask. The tube is HUGE (it doesn't say on the tube or box the volume of product, but I'd guess near 200ml) so it should last you awhile! (Full review here.)

6. BiafineACT
Very similar to the original Biafine, this one is available over the counter in the US (whereas Biafine requires a prescription). Can be used to soothe sunburns as well as abrasions and skin irritations. Like the original it can be used to sooth sensitive skin and help relieve redness and irritation. They both also aid in reducing scarring. (Full review here.)

7. Bioderma - Atoderm Lip Balm
I actually bought this ages ago when I first discovered that a local pharmacy was carrying the Bioderma line. It's a really basic lip balm for dry and chapped lips.

8. Nuxe - Rêve de Miel Lip Balm
This lip balm comes in a huge jar and has a lovely scent. One of the main reasons this one's pretty popular is that it goes on matte, so it's great if you don't like the glossy look, want to wear it under matte lipstick - even if you're a guy! Lasts for ages, too. (Full review here.)

9. Amilab - Baume Lèvres Réhydratant Régénérateur, Calmant
This is probably similar to Burt's Bees in terms of use and price point, but I like it so much better. It's softer and goes on without tugging the skin. Very creamy, not at all waxy and smells like creamsicles. (Full review here.)

10. Nuxe - Rêve de Miel Lip Moisturizing Stick

Not quite as good as the jar, but more portable, so it's great for throwing in a purse to use throughout the day. (Full review here.)

11. Homeoplasmine
Another makeup artist fave, this cream is used for severely dry or chapped skin pretty much anywhere, but is most often used on the lips. Makeup artists and models love it because it instantly relieves any chapped, flaky skin making lips smooth for lipstick application. Pretty cheap and comes in a huge tube that will last forever. (Full review here.)

These are really brief overviews of each product and what it does, but I will be doing full reviews of the products one at a time as I use them more!

What are your French pharmacie faves? Share in the comments!

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

From the French Pharmacie: Embryolisse Lait-Crème Concentré

If you're an avid beauty enthusiast and/or if you are a fan of the Pixiwoo ladies, you will have heard of this cult favourite. A multi-purpose beauty chameleon, this is a staple of many a pro makeup artist's kit (apparently).

As you may be able to tell from the name, this is a French product, widely available at the notorious French Pharmacie. Not as easy to find here in Canada, let me tell ya! But I finally managed to get my hands on some, and I have become addicted. Which will be problematic when I run out, but for now I'm in skincare heaven!

This basic cold cream has very little scent (but what there is is very pleasant), absorbs into the skin quickly, but does an amazing job of long-lasting moisture. It can be used as a day or night cream, spot treatment for dry skin patches and primer under foundation.

I've been using this for about a month now, and I've all but abandoned all the other creams in my bathroom! On a recent trip to Vegas I only took this moisturizer and used this morning and night with Origins Checks and Balances cleanser - and my skin was actually better than usual!

And as an added bonus? It comes in a metal tube. You might think it's weird that I derive pleasure from this, but there's just something so satisfying about squeezing the product out (though you do have to be careful not to squish it when packing for a trip!).

It's not too expensive if you can find a store that sells it - about $25.00 and a little goes a long way. If you are planning a trip to France, make sure to add this to your Pharmacie list!

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Monthly Faves: February 2013

Time for a roundup of the things I've been reaching for most often over the last month! I didn't keep a list this month, so I'm sure I'll be updating later with things I forgot!

1. Embryolisse - Lait-Crème Concentré
I just started using this, but I'm in love already. I use it morning and night, and it's like a really luxurious cold cream. I can see now why makeup artists love this so much!

2. Palmer's Cocoa Butter 
I get really dry skin, particularly in the winter. This has helped a bit - I like that it's not super oily and has a light cocoa butter/vanilla scent. And it's dirt cheap!

3. Origins Checks and Balances Frothy Face Wash
I got a bunch of Origins sample sizes as a Sephora 500-point perk set, and this was one of them. I decided to just take the sample size of this, along with my Embryolisse, on a trip to Vegas. I used both of them morning and night and my skin felt so good! I love that this foams up so much that you need to use very little, has a light minty scent and really seems to help my skin.

4. Nars Pro-Prime Multi-Protect Primer SPF 30
I'm always on the lookout for a good primer - and this works pretty well and has a lovely subtle citrus scent. I also love that it has such a high SPF, since my fave new cream doesn't have any. I don't use it every day, and I still like the MUFE HD primer better, but this definitely works well!

5. Dior Nude Skin Foundation (Shade 020)
I got this really cheap on All Cosmetics Wholesale because I was curious about how it compared to my fave Nars Sheer Glow. It's probably a medium coverage, and the colour works well for me. I generally mix it with my Laura Mercier Bare Radiance tinted moisturizer, but overall I like it.

6. Smith's Minted Rose Lip Balm
This is the same formula as the original rosebud salve - but with a hint of minty tingle. I like putting this on before bed to keep my lips hydrated during the night. I also like the tube rather than the tub because it's less messy and easier to keep in my purse!

7. Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector SPF 25+  (in Moonstone)
I first heard about this because Lisa Eldridge uses it all the time. It's now my favourite luminizer. It's subtle, not sparkly, smells lovely and even has SPF! I used this for my wedding and it gave just the right dewy glow in photos.

8. Bare Escentuals Pretty Amazing Lip Colour (in Witty)
I love this formula! Comes with a wand-like applicator and is kind of like a cross between a lip cream and a stain. Not shiny  like a regular gloss, and lasts for ages. It's the most amazing berry shade, similar to MAC Rebel, but perhaps a bit more pink/red. 

9. Shu Uemura Eyeshadow (in 856 Medium Brown)
One of my best friends went to Taiwan and brought this back for me (along with some other awesome treats!) and I've completely fallen in love with it. It's the most gorgeous metallic taupe that can work for day or night - I really like layering it over whatever I've got on for daytime to dress it up a bit for nighttime.

10. MAC Eye Pencil (in Coffee)
I've always loved this, but mostly use it on the upper water line because it stays put better than kohl. But over the last month I took to just using this for both the lashline and waterline and it's excellent.

11. Nars Eyeshadow (in Fez)
I have brown/hazel eyes and this bronzey shade looks gorgeous. I use a thin layer on the lid for daytime and apply more on the lid and along the lower lashline with a dark liner for nighttime. One of my all-time faves from Nars!

So that's most of the products I remember loving last month. What have you been loving lately?   
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