Chanel Les Beiges

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I’m just going to throw this one out there:  I’m a sucker for packaging.  Before the days of trawling blogs to read reviews on different products, many a wage was wasted on pretty packaging and lacklustre products. I’ve learnt a lot since then but every once in while i’m reeled in. Case in point: This little gem from Chanel. Come on guys, can you blame me?

Riding the new wave of powders promising to give the skin a natural, healthy glow; Chanel Les Beiges definitely delivers.  I bought mine with the sole purpose of contouring as its a matte powder that brings it all to the table.  Great for contouring and perfect for giving you that my skin but better look we all pine for.  I tend to be afraid of bronzing products but i’ve welcome this with open arms.  You need a light hand as it is perfectly pigmented and you can easily run the risk of looking a teeny bit orange.  Ive read mixed reviews on this. Mainly people unimpressed with the hefty price tag but I’m completely smitten.  My must have for this Spring.

Have you tried Chanel Les Beiges yet?

The Beauty Rescue

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Digging for beauty treasures.

Ever go through the coves of your make up collection and gush over the little hidden treasures tucked away, almost forgotten?  Yeah, me too!  I’ve been totally inspired by Vivianna Does Make up’s post all about shopping from the stash of make up she already owns.  Chances are, if you’re reading this, you’re a self confessed make up junkie like me *high five* and have once loved pieces waiting to be discovered again.

In the beauty world, you can almost feel like you’re jumping on a new product bandwagon or riding the hype train, continually trying the latest products to enter the market.  For me this shamelessly means once loved gems have to take a back burner to make room for the latest blush or foundation.  So i’ve gone through my stash and have come up trumps.  I’m almost embarrassed at myself that i’ve forgotten these beauty beauties!  Like what I did there?

So come on a journey with me through space and time (not quite) and re-discover with me the products that have well and truly been resurrected into my current makeup rotation.

Chanel Soleil Tan De Chanel – Don’t ask how this slipped the net but my heart did a little happy dance when I found this lurking at the back of the bronzer section of my makeup drawers.  We all have one of those, right?  I think a little bit of intimidation may be to blame for this one because being a little on the pale side can make this little number quite tricky to pull off.  Que Essie Button’s ‘How to apply’ video and i’m almost a bronze goddess.  Almost.

NARS Blush in Orgasm – The cult coral – pink toned blush with flecks of gold.  I’m hanging my head in shame at this one.  I can’t believe it was ever demoted from my daily blush league. Lesson. well. and. truly. learnt.  It’s no wonder why its a cult classic.  It’s pretty enough to look at all day.

Bobbi Brown Corrector in Extra Light Bisque – The very first shade I purchased in the corrector was Peach, don’t ask.  After being colour matched this was perfect for me.  However in the winter months I found it quite drying under the eyes and gave it a wide birth.  Summer is here (British Summer at least!) and my skin is celebrating after shedding its Winter lull.  I’m cracking this bad boy out again to see if it will behave a little better!

MAC Eyeshadow Satin Taupe – Massive Tanya Burr inspired purchase.  I came, I saw, I bought and sadly it went straight into hibernation.  Its been woken up and has been enjoying an everyday simple eye look.

Face Stockholm Brow Gel – Total lifesaver that was somehow replaced by Illamasqua Brow Gel.  To make it up to my brows, i’ve pulled this from the rubble and its back where it belongs – on my unruly brows.

MAC Lip Pencil – Gone are the days of skinny lips.  To get that my lips but better look, I’ve been using this to line and fill my lips to get a bee stung pout.  This is going to see the light of day for a loooooong while.  Well until the pull of another products draws me in…

Do you have any products that you’ve forgotten about that need rescuing?

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Those Bees Of Burt’s

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A skincare buzzkill?

Burt’s Bees used to appeal to me for its spotlight on all things natural.  After all, who doesn’t love a good old guilt free cleanser?!  The packaging always had me hook, line and sinker and my attraction hailed in the days before I used to dissect the ingredients of products for any mineral oils and other such nasties.  Thanks, Caroline Hirons.

So after the huge brand hype a few years ago, would I still be drawn to buying products now?  Well, the long and short of it is: No.  Dont get me wrong, I can’t deny that the products smell incredible and almost edible (don’t try this at home, kids!) however, the results are just disappointing.  I honestly feel with so many brands offering the same all natural idea, you can get a lot more bang for your buck elsewhere.

My skin has been quite well-behaved of late, so I was feeling quite rebellious.  I decided to throw caution to the wind and give the Orange Essence Facial Cleanser one last chance. I was really gunning for it, hoping the steer of this blog post would be different and I’d be singing its praises.  However, a week after using this my skin turned angry and was left with what can only be described as Sahara-dry, stinging patches of soreness.  Not pretty. Maybe it was a combination of using it with other brands, I don’t know but it’s put me off for an eternity.

Dont get me wrong,  I’m not going to judge the whole brand based solely on the cleanser.  Like I always say, just because a product doesn’t work on me, doesn’t mean it won’t work on you either.  In theory, I should love it.  Sulphate free without any artificial nasties, it was just unfortunate that my skin decided it wanted to create its very own game of dot to dot and break me out like no other.

I used to have the Beeswax and Banana hand cream proudly displayed on my desk at work.  I think the pull of the packaging won hands down over performance on this one.  Until I played around with hand creams a little, I subjected my mitts to a grease fest of the banana variety.  I was forever mis-keying as my fingers were so greasy they felt like a surfboard not good.

The moral of the story is:  Try to resist the pull of packaging.  Do your research first.  I’ve had these for a few years and I learnt my lesson a while ago but it can be easy to be persuaded by the hype of a product that may not be necessarily good for you!

Have you tried any of Burt’s Bees products?  What did you think?

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Clarins Splendours Summer Bronzing Compact*

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Sun for the skin….

Look at it.  Keep looking.  It’s amazing, isn’t it?

The packaging of this product is enough to reel me in but the fact that it is an incredibly wearable product means it gets a massive plainQUIRKY thumbs up!  Many bronzers on the market are so dense in warm pigmentation that they can be a little daunting and overbearing for the paler complexion.  Especially since the epidemic of ‘Orangeitus’ that swept the country a few years ago *shudders* us pale kids have had it tough in the bronzer stakes.

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I’m not saying I’m not partial to a bit of bronzer, I have my fair of the stuff but what I love about this little Clarins number is that its multi tonal, so depending on your skin tone, you can build the matte powder to give you the finish you like.  Plus its multipurpose which is great for travelling as the centre holds an oyster like gem of the most gorgeous shimmering highlighter which can be used on the eyes and on the cheekbones to give you a coveted Spring/Summer glow.  The consistency is silky and not at all ‘cakey’ and blends out really well.  This aztec embossed treat is defiantly a welcome addition to my shamefully expanding makeup collection.

This is Limited Edition, so if you wanted to try it, strap skates to your shoes and GO GO GO!  I love it when I can recommend a product for us pale skin tones. *Happy dance*

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What’s in the bag?

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My Spring Essentials!

For a while now, I’ve had people ask me which items of makeup are in my everyday makeup bag.  Every girl knows that these items change with the season, your makeup bag should be a chameleon; adapting to Summer shades and Autumnal hues depending on your personal preferences.

Not all of my makeup is in my makeup bag.  Most of it is in a set of drawers, hibernating for when I need it.  I’m a bit of a sucker for makeup and tend to go crazy in Selfridges.  I’m like a makeup Magpie, if it catches my eye, its going home with me! After all, isn’t it a woman’s prerogative to want to look good?  So, to start with is my makeup bag itself.  I have a Marc Jacobs makeup bag which I think is super cool.  With monochrome graphics inside and a bright pink exterior, I wouldn’t want my makeup to live anywhere else; would you?

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Firstly I have NARS Sheer Glow foundation.  This is the elixir of all things beautiful.  Such an indulgence that is justified by how little of the product you actually need.  It glides onto the skin effortlessly leaving a flawless base with a brilliant dewy finish.  I always keep MAC Prep & Prime translucent powder in there, just in case the weather is anything over 10 degrees (British Summer!) to keep the foundation from becoming too dewy and adopting the Edward Cullen glisten!  Plus it keeps everything in place without it feeling like you’re wearing too much product.

I haven’t been blessed with super long lashes so I have to fake what my mama gave me.  To do this, I always curl with Lancome lash curlers and apply a thick layer of MAC Zoom Lash mascara.  I have a personal hatred for the plastic NOT fantastic mascara wands and the zoom lash still have a bristle brush which makes me happy all round!  I love MAC eyeshadow in ‘Yoghurt’ and ‘Satin Taupe’ for the perfect everyday lid and crease colours and since being a teenager, I’ve always had a cat eye liner flick.  To achieve this I use a Louise Young liner brush and MAC ‘Blacktrack’ Fluidline which is perfect for an easy to apply, truly opaque black liner.

Through the week, I don’t tend to wear a lot of make up so I make sure my complexion, at least, looks flawless.  My job can sometimes leave me really tired and the first place this shows is around my eye area.  With the much-needed help of Bobbi Brown corrector in ‘extra light bisque’ any blue undertones are neutralised and concealed with MAC Select Moisturecover concealer in NC25.

I have a few powder products that have been switched up for the new season and have replaced some others that have gone back into the drawers for the Winter period.  Some new additions are Chanel Les Beiges powder which I LOVE which goes perfectly with MAC Mineralize blush in ‘Warm Soul’.  They work perfectly in synch and after the Winter months have left my skin pale and uninteresting, they give a subtle glow and warmth ready for the warm injection of weather, as promised be the weather man!  I can’t live without the Chanel ‘Bronze universel’ cream bronzer but I can’t keep that in my makeup bag as it’s too big!

I tend to alternate between blushes depending on my mood and for that reason I keep a couple on rotation in my makeup bag.  My all time favourite is NARS ‘orgasm’ which is a neon coral with flecks of gold glitter and I love to wear this when the weather is warmer! I also love MAC ‘Dollymix’ for a more intense blush and for days when I don’t really want to make as much of a statement, I opt for MAC Cream Blush in ‘So Sweet, So Easy’, accented beautifully with Illamasqua Gleam in ‘Aurora’.

When the weather heats up, more often than not, I swap lipsticks for a gloss.  On days where I need to get out of the door quickly, I pop on Bobbi Brown clear gloss which I love because It’s not overly sticky.  Mostly I just pop a little bit of Elizabeth Arden 8 hour cream on to moisturise my lips and for days where they need a little bit of exfoliation, Lush Lip Scrub in ‘Bubblegum’ is not only delicious but perfect for preparing the lips before applying any colour.  I’ve not photographed it but Topshop lipstick in ‘Innocent’ is my current daily lipstick and as it has a gorgeous blue undertone, so it’s ideal for those who have a paler complexion.

Lastly, my brow products.  For years I’ve used Bobbi Brown brow kit with a MAC 266 using the shadow in shade ‘Sable’.  It’s the perfect matte brown and Winter or Summer, I won’t use anything else.  Recently however, I’ve discovered the Face Stockholm Brow Fix which is a tinted brown gel that sets the brows into shape perfectly and it hasn’t left my makeup bag since I discovered it!

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Revlon Revival…..

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A Revlon carry on….

Revlon seemed to be a brand that had forced it’s way into hibernation on the British High Street.  When I was younger it seemed to be everywhere but as I grew older, Revlon products became increasingly rare and their popularity dwindled.  For this reason, it was always a brand I had overlooked.  Recently however, their products have enjoyed a huge injection of popularity, becoming firm cult favorites with make up artists and beauty bloggers alike.

Revlon have become hugely aware of trends and what I’ve grown to love is the fact that their colour ranges mirror colour trends seen at Fashion Week.  Gucci Westman, Revlon’s Global Artistic Director placed Revlon at the forefront of winning backstage looks by injecting a red tone at Antonio Berardi at London Fashion Week.  It was one of my favorite looks and was created using Colourburst shades in ‘True Red’, ‘Kiss me Coral’ and ‘Shine City’ lipgloss.  All brought together using the well-loved Colourstay palette in ‘Goddess’ with 3D volume mascara on the lashes.

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One of their stand out products for me, has to be the Photo Ready cream blush in ‘Coral Reef’.  Their collection of cream blush are amazing as they work on a cream to powder formulation so are perfectly wearable on the skin.  They are super easy to blend so if you’re a cream blush virgin these are perfect for beginners and wont be as intimidating as others on the market as they’re not too heavily pigmented.

Hot on the heels of their beauty industry favourite Photo Ready, Revlon’s Nearly Naked is a product that has proven quite rare in it’s price range as it provides a light coverage.  So many drug store brands champion a heavy coverage foundation and as I don’t like this, I tend to stay away.  This verges on the side of a tinted moisturizer but has the perfect amount of pigmentation to give you an even coverage.  It’s builable too, meaning you can achieve your desired coverage without it becoming too ‘cakey’.  I’m hooked.  What’s even more fantastic is the fact that you’re not restricted to a handful of shades, Revlon have created a range of  10 neutral shades with matching powders.  It’s a lovely light and dewy everyday foundation. Revlon are back and they mean business.

Revlon’s Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stains are perfect for the girl who just wants a subtle injection of colour on her lips.  They’re not overly pigmented so if you want to experiment with colours but don’t want anything too dramatic then these are perfect.  I used these on an event I was working on a few weeks ago and they were a hit with every woman I used them on.  I also used the Colourburst lip butters which were also a winner as not only did they plump the lips with a gorgeous hint of colour, they also provided maximum hydration because they contain shea and coconut butter.  They really do tick a lot of beauty lover boxes.

 As you may have guessed from reading plainQUIRKY, I usually stick to what I know and trust when it comes to makeup brands.  I rarely experiment with drugstore brands as we have a history of not liking one another and it had seemed we had made an unspoken pact to stay away from each other.   I foolishly favor the luxury end of the beauty spectrum.  However, if Revlon continue to churn out more of these little lucky charms I’ll have to humbly eat my words and find space in my makeup collection for more drugstore brands.  I like surprises, so I’m going to give a few more drugstore brands a whirl and see if I can be converted……

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Reader Review! Embryolisse Moisturiser.

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Lait-Crème Concentré

A few weeks ago, I sent Chelsea Holland one of plainQUIRKY’s readers, a tube of Embryolisse to test.  Her brief was simple, try it out for two weeks and write about exactly what she thought of it.  It’s a product that has been a beauty staple for French women for years. Created by French dermatologists to work on every skin type, it has earned a well deserved reputation for being a miracle moisturiser.  Embryolisse has hopped the pond and begun to convert us British beauty lovers to change-up our skin care routine.  So, is Embryolisse all it’s cracked up to be?  I’ve been using it for a month and I’m completely sold! Here, Chelsea gives her honest verdict…..

Well, what can I say? It wasn’t ‘love at first sight’ with this product as it’s packaging is quite bland, it was more like ‘love at first touch’. When I first saw Embryolisse in its packaging, I wasn’t very impressed but as the saying goes, never judge a book by its cover.

When I first see a product, the packaging normally has to stand out to a certain extent.  I would never have thought to try Embryolisse for this reason but after looking beyond this, I would have been missing out not to have tried this amazing product. The texture of Embryolisse isn’t too thick or too thin; it’s just perfect.  My skin is a combination skin so I have to be careful where I put rich products as they can often cause more oil to be produced. When I first used Embryolisse, I thought I would try it all over my face, just after a bath and see how fast it would take to soak in as I don’t like anything that won’t soak into my face. As soon as I applied it,  it started to disappear immediately and left nothing sat on my skin; I was sold!

I have been looking for a product like this forever! As for using it under my make- up, I didn’t experiment much, as I was using this as a morning product before work to give my skin a nice glow.   When I did use it as a base for my make-up, I used it around the side of my nose where I tend to have really dry skin from a cold and it worked wonders by not letting the make-up irritate my skin. I would definitely suggest this product to anybody, it’s amazing!!!

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GLOSSYBOX Goodie Box…?

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Top of The Box….

I’ve been subscribed to GLOSSYBOX for a good few months now.  It’s something I’ve known about for ages and would have had to have been living under a rock not to have heard of it, especially being a beauty blogger!  So with this being said, I gave it plenty of time before I made my mind up about it.  I continued to receive my monthly box of beauty products and I’ll have to be honest, I wasn’t bowled over by the brands and products.  After all, the subscription is £10 a month and although I wasn’t expecting the world, I was however expecting more than samples of products I’d be able to get from a department store for free…..  Plus with my first box, the contents of one of the products had leaked over the others.  GLOSSYBOX wasn’t on the path to my good books!

Initially, I loved the concept.  A tailored box for you skin, hair and makeup preferences, chosen using the results of your multiple choice beauty profile.  However, although this is great in theory, I’ve always felt like I had been sent the worst products from that month’s selection.  For example, last month saw Elizabeth Arden’s 8 hour Cream which I love and Immortelle’s Precious Cream amongst the goodies on offer and I ended up with some hairspray and a MONU face mask that made my skin angry.

So there I was, adament that when I’d received April’s box, I’d log into my account and cancel my subscription. What happened, however, is another story. It’s like GLOSSYBOX have this weird radar for when a customer is not satisfied, causing a box full of really great products to be sent out to keep you wanting more.  You guessed it, I was sucked in again and for good reason.  This month saw treats from one of my favourite makeup brands Illamasqua with a versatile medium pencil in ‘Thrash’.  It’s the most gorgeous tangerine orange tone perfect for an edgy lip.  Although suitable for the eye, I doubt I’m that brave!   A cult classic Essie nail polish in ‘we’re in it together’, perfect for Spring with light reflecting glitter particles and the cutest pink tone.  Crabtree & Evelyn ‘Somerset Meadow’ hand cream which is a great moisturizer but I’m not too keen on the smell!  Along with the NIP + FAB ‘Pistachio Sundae’ body butter which is already one of my firm faves.  The only product I didn’t like was the Yves Rocher perfume sample which turned my stomach as it smelt like an overly sweet version of mouthwash.  All in all a crowd pleaser and a box which has made me question my subscription.

For the moment, I’m going to give GLOSSYBOX the benefit of the doubt.  Yes, they’ve sent me some garbage in the past (although I was impressed by December’s Seche nail polish!) I’ll be keeping my membership for another couple of months at least.  Let’s hope I haven’t jinxed myself for next month!  The jury is still out but for now, I’ll be here, enjoying my treats for April!