Juliette's Dressing Table

"A woman who doesn't wear perfume has no future" Gabrielle 'Coco' Chanel

Tag: Tools

2012 Favourites.

Hello everyone.

The year 2012 has gone and we 2013 has just began so I thought I’d write a few posts about what products I’ve been loving this year. Many of the products I’ll mention in this article have never been featured in my blog as I only started writing it a few months ago, but trust me, they are my favourite products of 2012 and I would recommend any of them!

I wasn’t sure how to select my yearly favourites, I saw some bloggers select a product by category (say best bronzer or best cleanser), other just mentioned products released/discovered in 2012 that really impressed them. I thought I’d just a basket and and raid my bathroom, makeup bag and any places where I keep my beauty supplies. Turns out, I do have quite a lot of favourites, so I’ll still try to write them up in categories.

2012BeautyFavourites

Makeup

Primer – Embryolisse Lait-Creme Concentre.

This is kind of a hybrid, daily moisturizer crossed with primer, extremely popular with makeup artists. I’m originally a Parisian and so I’ve seen this product on the shelves of my local pharmacy, only picked it up earlier in 2012 when I visited my family… I didn’t need much encouragement to get it m, Lisa Eldridge recommended it. I didn’t get on with it at first, applying the right amount of product isn’t easy with this one, apply too much, the skin will feel greasy, apply too little, the skin feels dry. Now… Apply the right amount and you are good to go! The product leaves the skin soothed and hydrated, ready for foundation.

Foundation – YSL Le Teint Touche Eclat

This foundation was featured in many of my Monthly Favourites and I have an in depth review of it here. I loved it during the summer and I just can’t go without in the winter. It’s a light to medium coverage foundation so I wear it on good and not-so-good skin days. It is perfect for dry skin and its dewy finish helps to give dimension to the face.

Concealer – M.A.C. Studio Sculpt Concealer.

This is a highly pigmented concealer, perfect to cover scaring, pigmentation and blemishes. I find it stays very well on dry skin and it is actually quite moisturizing. I fear this has been discontinued though, so best hunt it down before it disappears, I sure am getting a backup.

Under-eye concealer – M.A.C. Mineralize Concealer.

It doesn’t matter which under-eye concealer I use, it will crease as I have lines (not wrinkles) under my eyes; I just always end-up wiping the product off so I don’t have anything sitting in the lines. Whilst M.A.C. Mineralize Concealer still sits in the lines, it just isn’t as had as anything else I’ve tried. It is also very good at covering dark circles.

Bronzer – Soleil Tan de CHANEL Bronze Universel Bronzing Makeup Base.

I’ve tried a couple of bronzers before this one, all of them were powders, all of them looked like dirt on my face and quite honestly I almost gave up on trying to find a suitable bronzer for me. But you’ve guessed it! I have found the perfect bronzer in the Soleil Tan de CHANEL bronzer. It’s kind of a whipped mousse/cream product, the colour works for both contouring and bronzing. I just don’t go one day without it.

Blush – M.A.C. Powder Brush in Easy Manner.

This is a very pale pink blush with a satin finish. But the reason it is my favourite is because it is a the perfect pale pink colour in my opinion and it can be applied very lightly or more heavily. It was one of three blushes released in the M.A.C. Glamour Daze collection for holidays 2012 so I don’t think it’ll be harder to get your hands on one now (Debenhams has a few online).

Highlighter – Soleil Tan de CHANEL Sheer Illuminating Fluid in Sunkissed.

Never ever used any highlighter before 2012 (unless you consider the YSL Touche Éclat is one) and out of the couple I’ve tried, this is definitely my favourite. I’ve got a review and swatches here.

Eyebrow pencil – M.A.C. Eye Brows in Spiked.

Well this year, I’ve had a bad experience at the beauty salon; my usual beautician was on holiday and the lady I was book with for a threading messed up my eyebrows. I was actually so upset that I didn’t have to pay for the treatment. I did however rush to M.A.C. on the way home to pick up something to correct the mess until the hairs grow back in. This is when I picked up this retractable eyebrow pencil. Spiked is a great colour for brunettes, I’d say it’s best used sparingly in small strokes for a natural . The pencil doesn’t stays in place all day.

Eye Liner – M.A.C. Fluidline in Dipdown.

I have been loving wearing a subtle line of eye liner on my eyes, I used to wear black but now much prefer a dark brown one. The M.A.C. Fluidline has a great longevity and doesn’t smudge. I also like the packaging. Only thing to bear in mind, and that’s something that I’ve read from online reviews, make sure to screw the lid back on very tightly so the product doesn’t dry out. I’ve had mine for most of 2012 and never had a problem with it.

Mascara – Benefit BADgal Brown.

Again, I haven’t used much black products on my eyes this year. I picked this one up because I did like the Benefit BADgal Lash Mascara in black. The brown one I bought however isn’t the same mascara as the one I originally had. It is very good nevertheless, and it’s been my go to mascara. As a side note, Benefit seem to have good quality mascaras, I did get a sample of the They’re Real! mascara in the YOU Advent Beauty Calendar, and it is pretty good too.

Lipstick – CHANEL Rouge Allure Velvet in 41 L’Exquise.

I’ve mentioned it many a time, I rarely wear anything but lip balm on my lips. I do however like to wear a bit of colour when Autumn comes. This year’s berry and plum colours have really made me quite excited to try to wear something on my lips. First lipstick I bought, it was a winner! The packaging of the CHANEL lipsticks is amazing, especially this one, you need to push down the top so the lipstick is released. L’Exquise is a browny/plummy colour, I wear it in a sheer layer or pack on the colour for a more vampy lip.

Lip Balm – Vaseline.

Yes, pure petroleum jelly. It’s cheap and effective and it doesn’t smell of anything. It isn’t a very glamorous product to whip out of your back when you’re in public but it does the job. I use it throughout the day and always remember to put on a thick layer on the lips before bedtime. It’s also very useful when you have a cold and an irritated nose.

Makeup Tools

Foundation Brush – Sigma Foundation F60.

This is a classic foundation brush and I find that it’s what works best when I want to apply a sheer layer of liquid foundation, face mask or moisturizer.

Bronzer Brush – Real Techniques Contour Brush.

I’ve seen many people use a powder brush or a blush brush for contouring. Whilst I admired their confidence, I just know I’ll be going a terrible job at contouring my face with a big brush, and this is why this small contour brush is ideal for me. The brush isn’t available as a standalone brush and has to be bought in the Core Collection.

Sponge – Beauty Blender.

This is a fantastic sponge for applying foundation for an even and natural finish. I also blend under-eye concealer with the Beauty Blender. And I also use it as an eraser, to blend the edges of a harsh bronzer line or soften the colour of a too heavily applied blush.

Skincare

Makeup Remover – Bioderma Crealine TS H2O.

This is the makeup remover every blogger is talking about, I’ve known it for year and just rediscovered it in 2012. The one I currently use is the TS version, for very dry skin. The down side to this product is that it is very hard to find somewhere to buy this product. I get mine from back home, every time I go back to France.

Cleanser – Estée Lauder Perfectly Clean Splash Away Foaming Cleanser.

I’ve been loving it for years and still haven’t used anything better in 2012. I mentioned it, along with other products in the skincare category, in this article. I loved using this cleanser with water and my hands, loved it even more since I own a Clarisonic Mia.

Toner – Caudalie Beauty Elixir.

This is a very nice product to use. A few spritzes on the face, whenever you feel like it really. I enjoyed using it a lot during the summer. I’ve got a review here.

Electrical – Clarisonic Mia.

I now have it for over a year and it truly is fantastic. I no longer worry about leaving any makeup or dirt on my skin, it leaves the skin feeling so clean and exfoliated.

Facial Mask – GlamGlow Tingling & Exfoliating Mud Mask.

In short, smells divine, leaves the skin feeling amazing, the exfoliating beads don’t irritate my skin. In long, head over to this article, for a complete review.

Treatment – Avene Cleanance K Cream-Gel.

I call it the ‘Miracle Blemish Zapper‘, I’ve written an article about it here.

EDIT 06/01/13 – Shower Oil – L’Occitane Almond Shower Oil.

Sorry guys, I’ve just realised I’ve forgotten to include this product in my 2012 Favourites. This is my favourite shower oil ever. I love anything that smells like almond, I love marzipan and this is a lovely non greasy shower oil. I generally buy a bigger size of the bottle with a pump on Boxing Day every year and it lasts for months.

Nail Care

Nail File – Leighton Denny Crystal Nail File.

I’ve talked about this nail file a few times now. It’s something I’ve never tried before and I don’t think I could go back to exclusively using a standard nail file. Read my review here.

Nail Polish – Essie Skirting The Issue.

I’ve been loving Essie nail polishes this year, especially the polishes available at Boots and Superdrug, they have a wide brush. My favourite colour was Skirting The Issue. This oxblood red came out as part of the Essie Autumn 2012 collection. It’s the sort of colour I like to wear all year around on my toes and during autumn and winter on my fingernails.

Top Coat – Seche Vite Dry Fast Top Coat.

I tried a couple of Sally Hansen top coats, and I was very disappointed, all of them cracked and chipped within a day. Well Seche Vite is very different. Not only does this top coat helps speed up the drying process, it also protect the polish from chipping, which is very handy for me, as I wash my hands regularly throughout the day.

Nail Polish Remover – Bourjois Magic Nail Polish Remover.

It’s just a very handy product, I’ve had it for months now and still can’t see that it’s about to run out; it lasts forever and is very helpful if you mess up one nail.

Fragrance.

DIOR Dolce Vita.

This is my go to fragrance, and it has been for years. I always get compliments about it when I wear it (which is pretty much every day). The only fear I have is that it might get discontinued one day, this is a less popular DIOR fragrance.

Haircare.

Leave-in Treatment – Kerastase Resistance Ciment Thermique.

This is a fantastic leave-in treatment for brittle, damaged hair. It protects the hair against heat and styling tools in general.

Hair Oil – Moroccanoil.

Well of course this would be my favourite hair oil. It is pricey, but nothing compares to it in my opinion, I just use it every single day. Read my review here.

Miscellaneous

Braun Silk-Epil 7 Dual Epilator 7891 Wet & Dry.

I have absolutely no idea as to how I’ve managed to live without this piece of technology. I use it everywhere I want to but on the face, it is fantastic to use in the shower and is so practical as it is cordless.

Well, this is it; my 2012 Favourites. Thank you very much (and congratulations) if you’ve managed to read the entire article. Please let me know what your favourite products of 2012 are.

Juliette

Advent Calendar – Day 1 to 12.

Hello everyone.

You may wonder what the title of this article means, let me explain. Back in October, I was thinking of getting a beauty Advent calendar this year as they were some good offers available. I missed out on the Ciate Advent Calendar, now thinking about it, I really don’t need twenty four new nail polishes. Also missed out on the Selfridges one… I looked at  the Liz Earle one, but then thought I’d rather not as the only product I really want to try is the Cleanse & Polish. I just decided to stick with a good old chocolate Advent calendar in the end… Until I saw all the UK YouTubers open theirs on Vlogmas…

The YOU Advent Beauty Calendar caught my attention and I had to track one down, funnily enough, whilst it was already days into December, it is still in stock, and I was pleased to see how affordable it was compared to other beauty Advent calendars I looked at. It costs £59.95 plus £2.95 P&P (though I didn’t pay any delivery charges for some reason) and is actually worth over £210.

I’ve received it today and I am so impressed. The calendar is quite big and heavy, it has an enormous fuchsia bow at the front and when you open it, you see all the windows, some small some big, all very exciting.

YOUBeautyAdventCalendar

Because I’ve obviously opened twelve windows today, I won’t be writing an article for each product but I will list them in this post and tell you what are my first impressions. I may write individual reviews for some of the products, when I’ve actually tried and tested them.

AdventCalendarDays1To12

Day 1 – Mavala Nail Color in 385 Rouge Rubis.

I have never heard of this brand. The nail  polish came in a very sweet winged packaging, it can actually be hung on the Christmas tree as a decoration. It’s quite a small bottle (5ml) and the colour is festive red with a lot of tiny red sparkles, it applied quite well but doesn’t have a smooth finish. It is a nice colour for the Christmas season I suppose, but nothing I would personally buy or wear it as I generally stick to more conservative colours.

Day 2 –  The Vintage Cosmetic Company Eyelash Curler.

I was thinking of getting a new eyelash curler as my Number 7 one is on its last leg. I had my eyes on the Shu Uemura one as it gets rave reviews and I like the look of the Karl Lagerfeld Mon Shu one. I’m quite pleased to get to try the The Vintage Cosmetic Company one as I never owned anything from that company but my first impressions are not to good if I’m honest. The product seems a little flimsy and I think the pad has to be readjusted as it seems to have come out of the ridge, the good thing is though it comes with two replacement pads. I’ll still try it, who knows, it might be an amazing product?

Day 3 – Benefit They’re Real! mascara.

I love love love my Benefit mascaras, I own both the black and the brown BADgal ones and I’m pretty chuffed to get this one to try out. Really looking forward to trying it and see if it’s as good as the ones I have.

Day 4 – L’Occitane Shea Butter Hand Cream.

If you read my blog for a little while, you know I loved this product when I first tried it as a sample and loved it even more when I got an even bigger sample of it just before I was going to buy the full size product. Well this is pretty much the third sample in as many months and it doesn’t look like I’ll ever have to buy it full size. Good good good.

Day 5 – Richard Ward Couture Hair Volumiser Root Booster.

Never heard of the brand but I recently changed my entire hair care products (article to follow soon) and was thinking of adding a volumising product so yes, very good timing there and it does smell very nice.

Day 6 – Espa Super Active Lift & Firm Intensive Eye Serum and Moisturizer.

These two samples come in a nice box that slides open like a matchbox. I think these products are targeted at maturing skin, I’m not quite there yet so might give it to someone who could benefit from it. Bt again, I do like trying out samples so I might end up using it…

Day 7 – Perricone MD No Foundation Foundation.

No Foundation Foundation‘, I like the sound of that. So… the colour looks good, I like the texture on the back of my hand, but it smells like smoked salmon, you read that right, ‘it smells like smoked salmon’. I am aware of the enormity of what I just stated but I asked my partner to smell it and he does agree with me… I will still try it out as it does look very promising but I really hope the ‘scent‘ doesn’t linger too long on my skin.

Day 8 – Philosophy Purity 3-in-1 Cleanser for Face and Eyes.

I wanted to try this cleanser out so I was excited to see it behind the window number 8. I am not too keen on the scent if I’m honest, but this shouldn’t matter too much, I will obviously rinse it off anyway.

Day 9 – BioEffect EGF Serum.

This serum comes in such a cute tiny glass bottle with a little pipette, this only won me over (weird I know…). I mentioned in earlier articles that I was going to change my entire skincare routine as soon as I finish the products I’m currently using, I’m glad to have a serum to try out.

Day 10 – Dermalogica Starter Kit.

So many skincare products to try! This one is a full system, cleansing gel, daily microfoliant, smoothing cream and eye cream. The samples are not too big and i think i only have enough for a couple of days but hopefully this would be enough to help me make up my mind. The spa I go to uses Dermalogica and I never had a bad reaction to these products so it should go fairly smoothly.

Day 11 – Jo Hansford Intensive Masque.

Very citrusy hair mask for coloured hair. I will definitely try it out even if my hair isn’t coloured.

Day 12 – balance Me Radiance Face Oil.

I’ve got pretty dry skin and it’s just gotten worth with the sudden drop in temperature so I hope this will help as a targeted treatment. I’ll let you know if it’s anything worth writing about.

And there you have it, twelve first days of the YOU Advent Beauty Calendar! I am pleased with most products and I am really looking forward to opening the twelve remaining windows. I will post a daily article with my first impressions so check my blog daily (or maybe subscribe via email?) to see what I get next.

If you want your own YOU Advent Beauty Calendar, it s still available here. I’ve personally decided to try to avoid looking at what’s in the calendar but if you want to see before buying to avoid disappointment, the full content is shown on the website.

Juliette

First impressions – LY34.

Hello everyone.

Just a quick article for you today, just wanted to give you my first impressions on the Louise Young LY34 Super Foundation Brush. I mentioned this brush in a previous article and bought it shortly after.

The brush isn’t like your standard foundation brush, it looks like a classic brush (Sigma F60) but isn’t flat but rather full. It is a big heavy brush with a long wooden handle and looks really nice.

The brush is very dense and the bristles are extremely soft, so soft that I kept on brushing them against the back of my hand.

I couldn’t wait to try it and so I put the brush on trial as soon as I got a chance, that’s when I noticed there was a problem with it, the brush was faulty. The handle didn’t sit securely in the metallic neck and so it was moving and the full body wasn’t actually straight.

Although it was faulty, I carried on applying foundation with it as I already started. I did like the application process despite the annoying movement of the handle and I did also like the finish. So much so that I returned the brush for an exchange.

I did received the replacement brush yesterday and guess what? It is faulty as well and was the last one on the Selfridges website. I am obviously returning this one but will hunt a new one down as soon as possible so I can write a thorough review on it. The brushes are actually available on the Louise Young‘s website so I’ll make sure to put an order through sometime soon.

So yes, good first impressions, only a shame both brushes were faulty.

Juliette

September Favourites.

Hello everyone.

It’s that time of the month again! I can’t believe how quickly September flew by, October already, Christmas is just around the corner.

So… What have I been loving this month?

I’ve been using the Estée Lauder DayWear Advanced Multi-Protection Anti-Oxidant Creme for years and it’s never let me down. The brand has a new DayWear moisturizer (which replaced the one I was using), and so I bought it when I almost ran out last August. I am glad to report that I love the new version, at least as much as the previous one, I was worried it would be too different from the one I’ve used for ever. I’ll write a short article about them.

Whilst I’m talking about moisturizers, I’ve been loving using the La Roche-Posay Lipikar Lait body moisturizer. I just apply it in the morning after the shower and let it dry for a couple of minutes before getting dressed. It is lovely on the skin and reply helps with dry patches I may have. I will be moving to the body balm version of this product (which is a lot richer) when winter comes as it is very moisturizing. I bought mine in a Parisian parapharmacie but you can get yours here.

I still absolutely adore my YSL Le Teint Touche Éclat, even more so now that I have the colour BD40 that I mix with BD50 to get the perfect colour match. I wore this foundation a little longer than thirteen hours and didn’t need to touch up and it did still look very good when I took it off, very impressive. I actually wrote an article on this product.

I have been loving using my Sigma F60 brush to apply the YSL foundation. It’s just a classic foundation brush really, it does the job it’s suppose to do and I get the right amount of coverage when I use it.

If I need to hide some dark spots or blemishes with concealer, I use my Detailer Brush which came in the Real Techniques Core Collection kit by Samantha Chapman. It’s quite small so it ideal for precision work. Real Techniques brushes are available at Boots.

I am gone contouring and bronzer mad this past summer and I just can’t get enough of the Soleil Tan de Chanel Bronze Universel Makeup Base. I absolutely love it, it works so well with my skin tone. I use it every single day, to the point that I skip blush now.

I have very long and full lashes so I don’t tend to too much mascara as it makes my eyes look very dramatic and I’m more into subtle makeup. If I wear mascara, I prefer brown and one I have been loving is the Benefit BADgal brown mascara. It just gives more definition to my lashes and that is all I need really.

I don’t really worry about blemishes anymore, and if I get any I just apply a bit of the Avène Cleanance K Cream-Gel on the spot before bed and it would be gone the next morning (two nights for more persistent blemishes). I have recommended this product to a couple of friends and family members, every single one of them came back to me saying how impressed they were with the product. Just be aware that it might sting a bit. It’s available at Boots.

I’ve also been enjoying my weekly application of GlamGlow Tingling & Exfoliating Mud Mask, it is a very pricey mask but I can safely say that I will repurchase it when I run out of it, not that I can see this happening any time soon. Read my review here fore more details.

I made a series of articles titled ‘Autumn Nails‘ and whilst I liked most of the polishes I absolutely loved wearing O.P.I. Nein! Nein! Nein! Ok Fine! nail polish. I love this dark olive polish, plus it has an amazing formula. I’ve reviewed it here.

What have you been loving this September?

Juliette

Wish List #1 – Makeup Tools.

Hello everyone.

I have been stuck in bed with a cold for a couple of days now and that’s given me plenty of time to lust over many products! I thought I’d cheer myself up and make a wish list of products I’m hoping to try.

I didn’t use to apply makeup with brushes until a few month back, I was more of a Beauty Blender kind of girl (still am a little bit). After trying a few brushes I want to try them all! Here is a list of the ones I have my eyes on :

Louise Young LY34 – Super Foundation brush. It looks like a classic foundation brush but it isn’t flat, this one is round and quite full. I want to see it in the flesh before buying but it looks quite big and nothing like anything I’ve tried yet. Oh and it is Louise Young‘s bestselling brush apparently.

Jemma Kidd Pro Brush 10 – Pointed Cream Blush/Foundation. I’ve first heard of this brush on FleurDeForce YouTube channel. Again, I haven’t seen in it the flesh but it looks very similar to the one above. I want to try it because of the pointy tip, I’m sure it would be great to go around the nose with this one.

M.A.C. 163 Flat Contour Brush. It’s just came out with the new Face and Body collection and it looks great! I need to get my hands on this brush and one of those Pro Sculpting Cream bronzers. I’ve started to contour this past summer, I need to keep exploring this.

DIOR BACKSTAGE Make-Up Full Coverage Fluid Foundation Brush. This one reminds me of the Shiseido Perfect Foundation Brush which I reviewed here. I really like the Shiseido one but wasn’t too keen on its short handle, well it looks like the DIOR one has a long handle. A bit pricey at £36 though.

Other tools and brushes.

Louise Young LY24A – Superfine Liner. I’m a fan of very little on the eyes, I just like having a fine line of gel liner for definition and that’s all I usually go for for my everyday look. The finer the line the most natural the eye.

Shiseido The Makeup Eyelash Curler. I’m just in the market for a new curler and this one is highly rated by many beauty bloggers and YouTubers.

The list could go on and on but I think this is quite enough. Maybe one of these items will make an appearance in one of my future hauls, who knows?

What do you think of this wish list?

Juliette

 

The perfect brush?

Hello everyone.

So I’ve used the Shiseido Perfect Foundation Brush and  though I’ve only used it a couple of times, I’m ready to tell you what I think. Please bear in mind that this isn’t a review based on long term use of the brush, I will make sure to bring you another article if anything worth mentioning occurs.

First of all I must start by telling you how surprised I was by the size of the brush, it is tiny! It comes in a plastic box and I have to say, I couldn’t tell that was my brush from opening the parcel. Was I a bit foolish to think that a brush with that price tag would be bigger?

The short bristles are very tightly bunched together and they are very, very soft, this is by far the softest brush I have ever touched. It feels lovely on the skin during application too.

Talking about the application, I used the brush to apply my YSL Teint Touche Éclat foundation and am I impressed! I am a Beauty Blender kind of girl so applying my makeup with a brush really isn’t my favourite technique, but the Shiseido Perfect Foundation Brush is fantastic! I used the stippling technique and it worked well though I had to buff the foundation in to avoid ending up with a full coverage. I think that was a mistake on my part though, maybe I used a bit too much foundation as it was my first time mixing two shades in together.

I have no complains whatsoever about the finish the brush gave me, it looked amazing and so natural! I usually find myself using my Beauty Blender after applying foundation with a standard foundation brush (I believe my most used one is a Sigma F60).

Now onto the downside… And I apologize but I am going back to that ‘size issue’, it was difficult to hold the brush so if you are anything like me, it might take you a little while to get used to the shorter handle.

So, not the perfect brush but it is the best one I’ve used so far.

Have you tried this foundation brush? What is your favourite tool to apply foundation?

Juliette