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This time of year, some notice that their skin looks a little dull. You can reach for higher coverage foundation and a highlighter, but another option is to exfoliate your skin. I typically do some type of deep exfoliation at least once a week, in addition to cleansing thoroughly with a Clarisonic almost every day.
Recently, I stumbled across a trial pack of five Dr. Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Daily Face Peel, that I must have picked up as a gift with purchase along the way. Sephora.com sells a ten-pack for $28, although there are 30-packs and even larger quantities sold in jars if you wish.
I must precede this review with this caveat–your mileage may vary. Honestly, there are few things as personal as skincare, your individual skin type, needs and sensitivities are probably totally different than mine. Generally, my skin is not very sensitive, it easily breaks out but rarely reacts to some products that others find harsh.
Dr. Dennis Gross’ Alpha Beta’s Daily Face Peel is gentle enough to use every day, although I used them only once every week. They are two parts–you use the cotton square enclosed in each foil pack as a two-step system. First, use Step 1 all over until its dry; second, do the same with the second. I experienced no stinging or redness, and afterwards my skin felt glowing, exfoliated and very clean. I did not notice any other significant changes, such as any lightening or fewer lines of any kind. In other words, these are a very pleasant, gentle and effective way to exfoliate.
And a much better alternative to heavy foundation.
According to the manufacturer:
This quick, easy, gentle microexfoliation formula instantly firms skin and eliminates dullness revealing a luminous look that lasts all day long. It treats enlarged pores and calms redness with soothing botanicals. Patented two-step technology creates radiant results, for all ages and skin types, in two minutes—no recovery time necessary.
The last few days of January are winding down, and I have a feeling that we’ll be seeing some exciting things released in February. For now, I have a few things from the Spring collections to review for you, but also letting a few collections pass me by. Armani, Clinique and Estee Lauder have released things over the past week or two, but I haven’t seen anything very exciting that is a “must have” from a number of lines for me this time around.
Am I the only one that thinks that some of these lavenders are going to start looking a little tired by May? I don’t know, maybe on some they will keep going. I have to keep lavenders and violets either very sheer, or very greyed-down, or they look over the top.
And if I’m not excited looking at it, my view is that it’s not for me. Makeup should be fun.
In the meantime, I’m playing with some of my current products, going to the gym and taking care of some interesting things I’m doing outside of the blogsphere.
With a few exceptions–and one of them is the subject of this post. Over the past few months, drugstore beauty company Wet n Wild been busy reformulating new eyeshadow palettes, including two for neutral lovers–Walking on Eggshells ($2.99) and Silent Treatment ($2.99).
According to one of my favorite drugstore beauty experts, Noveau Cheap, Silent Treatment looks like a drugstore “must have”:
Attention all taupe fanatics! You NEED Silent Treatment. I could just stop there, but I’ll go on. My pics do NOT capture the beauty of this taupe. It’s got a rose-gold sheen to it that you must see in person.
Well, when a fellow beauty blogger writes something like that, how can you ignore it? I’ll tell you how–you can’t! Plus, she’s been giving very high praise for Wet n Wild’s new 8-pan palettes that sell for around $5 (are these octo-pans? for $5? what?). It sounded exciting enough to investigate, so I did.
My local Rite Aid had none of the 8-pans/octo-pans, but it did have the three-pan beauties in stock so I thought I’d take them out for a spin. Shall we?
Here’s Walking on Eggshells, which I believe was released before the holidays. It includes a creamy white highlighter, a medium soft brown-gold and a peach that has a tendency to go frosty.
Certainly, Wet n Wild saves some money by providing bare-bones packaging and tiny sponge-applicators. All of the focus is on the quality of the powder. Wet n Wild gets extra points for having stickers that peel off without leaving a mess, or breaking a nail, yet keep the product sanitary and untested:
Meet the delightful Kelly at Gouldylox Reviews….another passionate makeup lover with a beautiful perspective (and a little peach blush thrown in for good measure!).
When did you start blogging and why? I started blogging in 2009 as a way to share my favorite things with my friends. I was always being asked to go to cosmetic counters and stores like Sephora with my friends, so I thought it would be fun to start writing about makeup, hair and skincare.
Every blog seems to have a special voice – what’s the message on your blog? I love to write about color, but I also love to research ingredients to find out what works and what doesn’t. Instead of sounding like a professor, I try to relate to other beauty lovers like their friend. I assume they understand my quirks and goofiness and don’t hold it against me. Every now and then my sarcasm, silliness or oddball comments anger some people. If you’re one of them, I’m sorry. My blog probably isn’t for you.
I always try to approach makeup like someone who is a serious fan, not someone who is all about fashion and the role that makeup plays in that world. I love drug store finds as well as higher end goods. Don’t get me wrong, I love to embrace (or mock) trends, but I don’t live or die by the latest words of WWD. I’m more of a real woman, who struggles with things like growing my hair, finding a mascara that actually lengthens my lashes and the perfect peach blush. It’s all an adventure I enjoy writing about and sharing.
Dior is currently selling a mini-release of three nail polishes, Gris City Vernis ($21 each), in cool shades of gray and blue to celebrate some of its most famous boutiques. The three colors are named for the streets on which those boutiques are located. These are sold exclusively on Dior’s website and a few boutiques, with the exception of Gris Montaigne which is sold as part of the Dior Spring 2011 collection.
Gris Montaigne (#707) is named for Dior’s main Parisian store, located at 30 Avenue Montaigne, a jewel of a street that has the Champs Elysee at one end, and a breathtaking view of the Eiffel Tower over the Seine on the other. It is a short street lined with luxury boutiques, including Louis Vuitton, Chanel, Paul and Joe, Dolce, and several more. Yes, it’s fashion heaven. In Paris.
When I saw Gris Montaigne, I was reminded by the Dior boutique which has, in my mind, a very light, dove-gray appearance:
Inside this large, impeccably presented store have rooms with high ceilings and very soft, light gray elegant tones:
This boutique carries a full line of makeup, shoes, bags, jewelry and couture clothing. It’s beautiful. One afternoon, I watched a ballerina (no, really, I’m serious) get a makeover as I waited for help to pick out some sunglasses for Liz. The artist did a beautiful job–the effect was subtle, and he set off the her features without weighing her down with too much. The end effect was lovely. Sigh….ah, to be in Paris…..
For more about the polishes, read on….
Chanel’s Spring 2011 collection includes Poudre Universelle Compact Natural Finish Pressed Powder in a limited edition shade called Rose Merveille (now $45). From my own point of view, I was a little surprised to find this powder included, because the pearl theme of the collection seemed to lend itself well to the softly shimmery Chanel Poudre Douce line ($50), which gives a pretty, subtle glow. However, I suppose that the glowy eyeshadows, lipsticks and glosses that are part of Chanel’s Spring line may require a matte skin to balance the textures in combination.
Unlike Chanel’s standard Poudre Universelle Compact powders, Rose Merveille has a textured patterned surface and is embedded with silver micro-sparkles. It comes in the familiar luxurious Chanel compact with the full size mirror and with a small, thin embossed sponge.
Rose Merveille is a very, very slightly deeper and peachier tone than my warm, fair skin (Chanel Intensity 1.0/MAC NC15). When applied, the adds the faintest touch of rose-peach color, but does not give enough coverage to substitute for a foundation. Essentially, this mattes down my skin (or foundation, when applied), leaving the faintest hint of silver microsparkles throughout.
The matte texture of the powder does not lend itself to use as a highlighter, in my opinion. The microsparkle effect is quite subtle, and therefore does not impart the luminous effect of traditional highlighters. Rather, Rose Merveille is a true finishing powder although it adds a slight spark of light. I can see this working over a sunscreen or light foundation for a formal Spring event, although this is not a must-have powder in my opinion. My personal preference would be to choose the Poudre Douche in Peche Tendre, which a beautiful, luminous powder that is part of Chanel’s permanent line.
Generally, Rose Merveille will work best for those with fair to medium skintones, who seek a matte effect with a touch of light. My sense is that this powder will turn a bit ashy on darker skintones, and add a peachy blush-tone to very, very fair skin. If you fall into either of those skin tones, I highly recommend counter-testing before purchasing.
Le Metier de Beaute’s Precision Liquid Eyeliner ($42) in Noir has been my go-to liner since I got one a few weeks ago. My typical routine is a gel eyeliner (nearly all Bobbi Brown). I’m still in search of the perfect pencil liner in black, although Giorgio Armani’s in certainly in the running.
I’ve used liquid liners in the past, including using up two of the Ecriture de Chanel ($34). The liquid liners that I’ve used in the past give a bolder, crisper and more dramatic look than gels or pencils.
This isn’t necessarily true with Le Metier de Beaute’s Precision. This liquid liner truly gives control–it can be used to give a more subtle or dramatic look–and is rekindling my love for liquid liners. I find liquid liners very easy, you don’t need a separate brush, they go on very quickly and they’re quite easy to slip into a bag for travel. Plus, I love the pen aspect to them–like other makeup addicts, I love great writing supplies and am sometimes lost looking at sites like JetPens. (By the way, if you are in the market for a good writing pencil, these in 6B are seriously good!). Sometimes I wanted a softer look, something that I can achieve with Le Metier’s Precision.
Some women find liquid liners difficult to apply. The best advice I can pass along is to practice on the back of your hand, using very short strokes to build up your line. Trying to do an entire eye in a single stroke is reserved for master makeup geniuses, for me using little feather-lines to build up a solid line is the best way to go.
Le Metier’s Precision is based on the concept of fine writing instruments–the ink flows out at your touch. Unlike Chanel and Shu’s liquid liners, there is no pump or twisting action to get the ink flowing. Out of the box, the pen brush is black and ready to go.
I noticed that Le Metier’s Precision is physically smaller than other liners; it’s quite slim and petite. Here is a picture of Le Metier’s next to Shu Uemura’s (both list the same amount of product at .002 oz)(below). The Shu uses a pump on the bottom of the product, which you push to get the product moving to the brush. In contrast, Le Metier’s feeds the brush without requiring any pump–there simply is no pump on Le Metier’s Precision. The ink flows as you apply it:
Another–as you can see, the brush on the Shu liner is still white because I haven’t started using it yet. Le Metier’s Precision was black out of the box:
Generally, I found that Le Metier’s Precision gave me far more control than other ink liners. The liner goes on in a very fine line, and typically I stop right there. My fair skintone and smallish features do not hold up well with a Marilyn-Monroe-thick-black eyeliner. It becomes overwhelming. Le Metier’s Precision allows me to do a simple fine line that looks natural, gives my lashes a nice black base, and doesn’t look over-the-top. Le Metier’s is a good normal black, but it’s not extreme, dark or overwhelmingly dark (if you’ve ever tried L’Oreal’s Hip Cream Eyeliner in Black, you know what I mean. Some blacks are too dark for my coloring, and I have a hard time applying gel liners very sheerly).
Having said that, if I want more black, Le Metier’s Precision can be layered and built up very easily:
If you want to really saturate the tip with ink, press it against your finger with some pressure for a second or two. Ink will flow fairly quickly to it. Le Metier’s Precision gave me excellent control to get exactly the effect that I want, which I find more difficult to do with gel liners and pencils. It’s very intuitive to use, very clean and beautifully made. Yes, you can go bold with it–but you don’t have to.
As a complete aside, there are a few reviews and other rumors floating around that the tip of Le Metier’s Precision Eyeliner is made by Mont Blanc. The other day on twitter, Le Metier dispelled this rumor and said that this is not the case-rather, instead stating that the eyeliner is inspired by fine writing instruments and “100% LMdB.”