W3LL PEOPLE Beauty Makes Me Feel Like The Natural Woman I Am

W3LL PEOPLE Beauty Makes Me Feel Like The Natural Woman I Am

I will admit to having some reservations regarding natural beauty products. I am luxury lover, and until recently, at least in Canada, natural beauty was more backyard than luxurious. That, my friends, is old fashioned thinking. The past decade has ushered in an awareness about what we use on our skin, and while I haven’t abandoned all of the conventional beauty brands, I have opened my mind to alternatives. I give thanks to beauties like Jessica aka BeautyGuruNYC.com for enabling my beauty obsession and showing me how luxe and green are not mutually exclusive. And, I give credit to retailers like The Detox Market and ECODIVA for elevating natural and healthy beauty sales to a more suitable luxurious “space” vs the health food store cliché we have come to expect. No thank you, I do not want to see your hairy toes, sir, while I search for a healthy beauty alternative. Jeesh.

So you can imagine my delight when I tried the awesome W3LL PEOPLE. I’d heard of them, but had not really heard a lot about their products, other than knowing beauty lovers loved them. They have a neat story as well, from their site:

W3LL PEOPLE is an uncommon beauty dream team founded by an elite makeup artist, cosmetic dermatologist and treehugging entrepreneur. We’re passionate about making positive choices in life, particularly when it comes to self care. Skin, our largest organ, absorbs about 80% of what we put on it. This crucial fact drives our mission to create super premium quality cosmetics without using the potentially harmful artificial chemicals found in most conventional makeup. Our modern approach to beauty is built on simplicity, authenticity and performance. We get that you want minimalist makeup, but need instant gratification. You’ll find our delightfully stylish products unmatched in delivering a natural “no-makeup” look. State-of-the-art, all-natural formulas effortlessly deliver flawless coverage and soothing protection that’s unbelievably light. With W3LL PEOPLE you don’t just look good, you feel good. Join us in our crazy beautiful dream and look naturally fabulous every step along the way.

I think the “3” in their name refers to two things, the three founders, and their commitment to three things:

  1. advanced performance
  2. natural ingredients
  3. social responsiblity

Sadly, with many natural brands, number one, the “advanced performance” thing,  has been lacking. Not so with W3LL PEOPLE. I have been using their Universalist Multi-Stick Luminous in Creamy Pink and their Realist Invisible Setting Powder  in translucent. And, dear readers, I am IN LOVE. This is saying a lot. I have many fleeting, fair-weather love affairs with my beauty prodz, new and old. But this love has me reaching for these products every single day that they have been in my hands. I was dubious, even skeptical that these would sway me away from similar items in my beauty arsenal.

W3LL PEOPLE Beauty dalybeauty review

Universalist Multi-Stick Luminous ($34.50 US): For the woman who wants it all, say hello to The Universalist. This magic color stick for eyes, cheeks and lips will take your entire look from drab to fab in seconds. The creamy formula has a satiny smooth, weightless texture – free from all harsh, artificial chemicals and petroleum. So, there’s no heavy, greasy film and no creasing. 

Realist Invisible Setting Powder ($24 US): Keep it real with a polished, soft-focus look using this clear, weightless, all-natural mineral powder. Realist Invisible Setting Powder can be used by itself to minimize pores and control shine, or to set foundation for ultra-long wear.

  • Creates polished, soft-focus, matte look
  • Minimizes pores and imperfections
  • Soothes and calms with organic aloe
  • Controls shine with organic arrowroot and cornstarch

Swatches:

Universalist Multi-Stick in Creamy Pink swatched in natural light. Unblended on left, blended on right.

Universalist Multi-Stick in Creamy Pink swatched in natural light. Unblended on left, blended on right.

 

Universalist Multi Stick with Realist Invisible Setting Powder brushed & blended lightly on top.

Universalist Multi Stick with Realist Invisible Setting Powder brushed & blended lightly on top.

The Universalist Multi-Stick is just what it says it is, but is better than you can imagine. I am one of the people who breaks out with the Nars Multiple, as much as I tried it multiple times. The matte, the shimmer – it didn’t matter. I got cheek zits, and I normally never get those. I love the idea of a highlighter, but too much shimmer can be tricky when you have oily skin or, ahem, fine lines (I like that better than wrinkles…). The Universalist Luminous is the Goldilocks of beauty sticks. Not too dark, not too pale, not too sparkly, not too dry. It applies like a dream, and Creamy Pink is a very soft and natural shade for my fair-medium skin.

The Realist Setting Powder is a natural version of the blurring HD powders we all love *cue angel chorus*. It’s a setting powder that helps blend makeup, and blur imperfections. I like natural makeup that doesn’t feel like makeup. I had a friend that used to tease me asking me why I had makeup at all because it never looks like I am wearing any. Why, thank you, I said. That is exactly what I am going for.

I was going to send a Snapchat, when I noticed how ON POINT my highlighted cheekbones were. I had to capture it. LOVE.

About to get goofy on Snapchat, when I noticed how ON POINT my highlighted cheek bones were. LOVE LOVE LOVE

 

 

 

You can buy W3LL PEOPLE beauty on their site, and you can check here for retailers.

Nudestix And My Half Empty Make Up Bag

Nudestix And My Half Empty Make Up Bag

Have you heard of the latest thing that is changing the landscape of how we think about makeup? Nudestix has streamlined the beauty process and the products that make it up. Not only that, but the founder, Jenny, is brilliant (chemical engineer) woman who has been inspired by and works with her amazing daughters, Taylor and Ally. How awesome is that? A brilliant woman with amazing daughters – coincidence? Who knows? One of the things I love about this makeup line, is that it allows for the wearer to let their own individuality shine through. I loved the 70s, when sheer makeup that showed a few lines, freckles and actual skin, was considered ok. Nowadays, with HD cameras and photo shopping taken to the max, even by individuals vs just magazines, it’s nice to see some skin.

From the Nudstix lookbook, this is my favourite look!

From the Nudestix website – my favourite look!

From their site:

We believe a natural look is a perfect fit for any face. We’re all born with our  own unique look, so why cover it up with tons of makeup? When it comes to beauty, a little color goes a long way. A touch of color here and there is enough to bring out our finest features, so out with the crazy big collection and in with four simple solutions for face, eyes, lips and even nails. We think doing our makeup should be easy, enjoyable and–above all–fun…

So we created NUDESTIX. A simple collection of easy-to-use makeup crayons that cover all the bases and give you a fresh-faced, nude look. Enriched with skin-saving vitamins, antioxidants and moisturizers, each multipurpose NUDESTIX is loaded with just enough color to get the job done and leave you glowing.

And, that’s it. Just what Nudestix says it is. Who doesn’t want this? The collection has all the essentials – all you need to add is a powder, or a foundation of some kind if you like that kind of thing.  If you are the type who only wears makeup on special occasions, or just not very much at all, this is a perfect line for you. The shades are natural, the application is a breeze, and you won’t feel covered in spackle, or overly done up. If you are a lover of lots of makeup, this collection is for your “off days”, or for a sublte “no makeup makeup” look, while easily allowing a more dramatic look without adding tons of products to your routine.

They come in fabulous reusable tins, which each house a mirror in the lid, so you can put a few pencils in a tin and take your mini routine on the road. I can fit three pencils in one tin. Great for storage as well. The formulas are not too drying nor too oily, and work well on all skin types.

Nudestix Collection dalybeauty

I’ve been taking several Nudestix varieties out for a test drive, but today I will share my experiences with the colour collection. Pardon my arm hairs in the photo below. Photo taken in direct sunlight.

jane daly dalybeauty nudestix

Wearing the Nudestix shades & products reviewed, in indirect outdoor light. All I added was a light dusting of translucent powder.

Sculpting Pencil in Medium/Light: dual-ended, matte cream sculpting pencil that is long-wearing, in easily blendable shades, perfect for sublte highlighting and contouring. Subtle, vs the crazy weird contouring thing going on now – you know what I mean. Just, no. There are several skin tones and shades offered. I’m a medium fair, and I found this helpful review on The Style And Beauty Doctor and she compares the deepest shade available as close to NC50.

Lip/Cheek in Ripe: The perfect rose-y nude shade for your lips but better lips, and a lovely glow in the cheeks. No shimmer that I can see – just lovely glowy pink. From the site: “We love when the same color is used on the lip and cheek for perfect harmony…”. Ok to me this makes perfect sense. I love sameness and symmetry in all things beauty related. The Lip/Cheek pencil isn’t exactly sheer, but is also not thick or fully opaque, so your own lip colour glows through. Not matchy-matchy, just matched enough. Now I want to try Whisper, a gorgeous pale nude, and Love, a pretty more blue toned pink that Ripe. Just when we think we can streamline the collection….

Magnetic Eye Color in Angel: I love this long wearing eye shadow pencil, it’s smooth as silk and just glides on to the lids. It highlights, provides intense color, precise lining and primes lids for all day wear. The soft gold shade of Angel makes my hazel eyes sparkle. Love.

Eye Pencil in Burnish: This pencil is an eye liner, eye shadow and highlighter ‘all-in-one’ that allows for precise application or a smoky eye look using the foam smudger on the end of the pencil, or all over for a creamy shadow.  Burnish is a gorgeous deep bronze, which would be flattering on any number of skin tones.

Nudestix swatches review dalybeauty

I have a few more products from Nudestix to share with you guys. Overall I just adore this line. Using only the products mentioned above, adding in a sheer powder, bronzer, liquid liner and mascara, I have the perfectly practical makeup set for travel and for leaving more space on my vanity. Nudestix are available at several retailers, including Sephora online and in some stores, check this link to find a location near you. Each pencil is $24 US, or $28 CAN (a better deal in Canada for sure), which is a total deal. These will last ages, as the product is rich and concentrated. All in all, fabulous and I love!

Antica Farmacista Brings Gorgeous Fragrance Home

Antica Farmacista Brings Gorgeous Fragrance Home

I love to make my house smell amazing. I mist my bedsheets, I mist my lightbulbs and furniture. I light candles, incense, spritz the air…. I basically want to PERFUME ALL THE THINGS.

prosecco_500-ml-250-ml_00

I fell in love with Antica Farmacista in LA. The hotel I was staying in smelled fantastic. I wandered into the boutique, because hotel boutiques are among my favourite things. They often curate the loveliest stuff, and lo and behold, I found the origin of the beguiling scent. It was Antica Farmacista and their famous scent, Prosecco, which might be one of my favourite fragrances in the world. It’s fresh, tingly and addictive, just like the drink, and it smells elegant and sophisticated.

Antica Farmacista Prosecco candle

The notes of Prosecco: sparkly top notes of satsuma citrus balance beautifully with subtle floral notes of muguet (lily of the valley). Sensuous apricot, nectarine and passion fruit complement the sweetness of sugared black currant. Mellow accents of sweet vanilla ground this incredibly fresh effervescent scent. Heaven! I bought the room spray ages ago, but now I think I *need* the reed diffuser….

Antica Farmacista Damascena Rose, Orris & Oud

I recently got the opportunity to sample their newest fragrance launch, Antica Farmacista Damascena Rose, Orris & Oud. They had me rose, then got me again at orris. Orris is the root of the iris, and smells like (from Fragrantica) “powdery, slightly bitter, starch notes, resembles violets”. I adore iris and orris in perfume, and it smells gorgeous when paired with rose, as in Chanel Misia, my recent perfume love affair.  From Antica Farmacista’s site: An exquisite floral fragrance built on fresh Damascus Rose absolute, sensual Violet and rich Tuscan Orris root. Tart rhubarb and dewy apricot add a hint of lush fruit, while the warmth of rare Oud and Amber lend an exotic earthiness. A soft dry down of musk and cashmere result in an intoxicating and complex floral scent. 

It is one of the loveliest treatments of oud I have sniffed, the closest thing I would compare it to would be Ex Idolo Thirty Three, which is probably one of the smoothest rose-oud perfumes in the world. The powder of the iris, and the creamy warm beauty of the roses combine to make my house smell like heaven. The most beautiful thing about Antica Farmacista home fragrances is that they never overpower or overwhelm, they just become part of your environment. I loathe heavy or cloying scents – on my skin and in my home. Damascena Rose, Orris & Oud is olfactory velvet, surrounding your environment with beauty. I use the reed diffuser for this fragrance, but now I want the room spray too!

You can get Antica Farmacista online, at Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus, Saks, Bergdorf’s and more. See link for retailers.

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Perfumes That Smell Like Warm Sunny Days

Perfumes That Smell Like Warm Sunny Days

Lately I have been thinking about my perfumes in groups. Like, these are my favourite roses, these are the violets, these are the skin scents, these are the rainy day perfumes, these are the divas etc etc. As I lit my Sage Lifestyle candle last night, I started thinking about perfumes that make me think of warm sunny days. Perfume is a multisensory experience for me, and associating tastes, colours, sensations of touch and sound are all part of journey. Sometimes all it takes is a quick sniff of a perfume to send me off on a fantastic journey.

Coming around to the end of a long, cold winter has me craving sunshine. I took a good sniff around my collection, looking for sunny days. This is what I found:

Cali Blue Perfume dalybeauty

Cali Blue

This is a favourite of mine! I have the oil version of Cali Blue and it’s the perfect pick me up and I feel happier the instant I put it on! It’s like an ocean breeze and warm skin. Interesting back story about the creator of Cali Blue. Kimberly Brown Lemler, was diagnosed with EBV (Epstein-Barr Virus) and MCS (Multiple Chemical Sensitivity). She could not wear any kind of fragrance or be around household cleaners, detergents, etc. She spent many years in this condition, dreaming of the day when she could again wear fragrances again. Cali Blue is what she created for herself, and she wanted to share it with everyone. If you love fresh, clean and gentle scents that are simple, pretty and easy to wear, you need Cali Blue. This cool, cult perfume is a must-have in the world of boring perfumes. The west coast in a bottle! From the site: Cali Blue has a citrus medley of natural lemon, orange, mandarin and bergamot in the top-note, a floral bouquet of lily, lavender, rose and a whisper of night blooming jasmine in the middle, and an ambery, vanilla, musky sage-like base-note. The combination is a clean, beachy fragrance, reminiscent of spending vacations at the shore… Wearing Cali Blu feels like you’ve been walking on the beach, in the sunshine, with wildflowers blowing in the wind nearby, and the ocean spray kissing your face.

sage machado turquoise perfume dalybeauty

Sage Turquoise

I am obsessed with Sage Machado perfumes- have you tried them? Sage puts her heart and soul into her perfumes, and each one is like a little poem ode to something she truly loves. You can tell as soon as you put it on your skin. In 1998 Sage Machado opened her gorgeous jewellery store in Los Angeles. Soon afterwards she decided to put her creativity and talent to work with perfumes as well as jewellery, and she based the perfumes on the gemstones she uses in her creations. From their site: Named after that vivid blue-green stone favored as an ornament across continents throughout the ages, Turquoise is an effervescent scent that stirs the spirit with oceanic beauty. Its youthful, enlivening top note accord of blue chamomile, grapefruit, cassis and ozone elements glistens like fragrant, sun-kissed sea spray. Turquoise’s base note accord of watery, flower-infused musk melds with Mysore sandalwood for a dry down of freshly subtle depth. Certain Native American tribes revere Turquoise for its healing properties, which arguably are shared by the timeless, deep blue seas of the world that also inspired this fragrance fit for a mermaid. It is so refreshing and uplifting, and the grapefruit-cassis combination is so bright and sunny. It just makes you feel…happy.

the 7 virtues afghanistan orange blossom dalybeauty

7 Virtues Orange Blossom

Another gorgeous favourite, this pretty pretty orange blossom perfume is lovely and uncomplicated – when you want to smell wonderful, and feel good, too, you need this beauty. Soapy, clean and sparkling, like sunshine through the leaves of a tree. From their site: A joyous fragrance, Afghanistan Orange Blossom is layered with notes of freesia and jasmine. This precious organic oil is made from delicate orange blossoms harvested by Afghan farmers who bravely choose to tend these ancient groves instead of the poppy crop. Read my review of The 7 Virtues Orange Blossom here.

estee lauder bronze goddess eau fraiche dalybeauty

Estee Lauder Bronze Goddess Eau Fraiche Skinscent

Seriously, if you love beachy perfumes, you need this in your collection! It is an eau fraiche, which is a light and soft eau de toilette – perfect for daytime and office wear. From their site: The fragrance that worships every inch of you. The original, alluring Eau Fraîche you know and love—back for another Spring/Summer season. A sensuous, sun-drenched blend of Bergamot, warm Amber, Tiare Flower and Vanilla combined with delicious creamy Coconut. All heat. All desire. All woman. Tom Ford had collaborated with Estée Lauder in 2007 with the beachy Azuree Soleil Eau Fraiche, an immediate sell out everywhere! Having had both, I cannot tell the difference. The flowers are sweet and feminine, and the amber-vanilla-coconut combo is like sunkissed skin. It is a perfect beachy “skinscent”.

Guerlain TerracottaLe Parfum

Guerlain Terracotta powders are legendary, and pretty much guarantee a softly bronzed look, like you just got back from from the south of France. To celebrate the 30th anniversary of Terracotta, Guerlain’s in-house perfumer, the brilliant Thierry Wasser, created Terracotta Le Parfum. So now, you can also smell like you just back from the south of France, or more suitably, la plage. From their site: The fragrance’s intricate harmony opens on captivatingly fresh notes of bergamot, before developing into a heart of tiaré flower and ylang ylang. One of Guerlain’s emblematic ingredients, ylang ylang infuses scents with its warmth. Its sweet, sensual signature finally reveals a delicious vanilla-tinged dry-down. It is a softly sweet floral scent that manages to be beachy without being like a pina colada. If I had to compare it to anything, I’d say it smells like a soft and sophisticated Monoi fragrance. The white flowers really play centre stage in Terracotta, and the vanilla is subtle and gorgeous.

L’ Artisan Parfumeur L’Ete en Douce

This is yet another favourite of mine – choosing just one favourite perfume would be like choosing a favourite child. I love them all!!! L’Artisan Parfumeur excels at beautiful and elegant scents that are gentle, easy to wear and elegant. Never cloying, and never loud. L’Été en Douce is like a warm summer breeze in a bottle. This is summer in a meadow, not the beach, and is based around linden and hay notes. I grew up on a street lined with linden trees, and this scent reminds me of hot summer evenings, after a bath, sitting on the front porch in my pjs with my brother, eating orange popsicles. It has a clean linen feel as well, which is always a winner for me. From the site: L’Eté en Douce is all about purity and light. It is quiet and soft, the scent of clean white sheets drying in garden rich with orange blossom and shimmering dewy grass. The gentle blend of linden and white musks has hints of freshly cut hay and willow. Wandering through a golden landscape , this is L’Eté en Douce, the softest of summers. It is fresh and green, and I get the clean laundry note as well – like cotton dried in hot sunshine and breeze. I also smell something that makes me think of almond scented soap, and I adore it.

CB I Hate Perfume At The Beach 1966

Christopher Brosius is a memory maker, and is more about “smells” than perfume. He hates perfumes, and sometimes I have to say I agree with him. Yes, I said it. But stick me in an elevator with someone wearing too much perfume, and I simply hate it. Anyways, CB I Hate Perfume At The Beach 1966 appeals to me for two reasons – firstly, the year of my birth, and secondly, the construction of the scent. Here is what he says about it: The prime note in this scent is Coppertone 1967 blended with a new accord I created especially for this perfume – North Atlantic. The base of the scent contains a bit of Wet Sand, Seashell, Driftwood and just a hint of Boardwalk. The effect when you wear At The Beach 1966 is as if you’ve been swimming all day in the ocean. And you know what? It is exactly that. Which is why I love it. A sweet summer memory in a bottle, that also happens to smell yummy on the skin. The salty ocean scent mingles with the Coppertone, and gives it a softly floral feel, although it is decidedly unisex (spoiler alert – all perfumes are unisex).

Creed Virgin Island Water

This scent is for true beach lovers. It features a delicious coconut note that is never too sweet, as the lime balances it out perfectly. It is light and soft, and perfect on a man or woman. It is an elegant beachy scent, to be worn on a beach somewhere “near Ginger Island, an uninhabited Xanadu in the Virgin Islands ruled by the British crown“. And it “captures the tropical splendor of scents carried in the trade winds of Sir Francis Drake Channel in the Caribbean“. Um, where do I sign up? How about these delicious notes: coconut, lime, white bergamot and mandarin orange, ginger, ylang-ylang and Indian jasmine, sugar cane, white rum, and musk from Tonkin. The ginger, sugar can and musk become creamy and velvety, almost mouth watering. Try it!

There are others that I should mention: Bobbi Brown Beach, Jennifer Anniston’s perfume (yes really), Kai, and the odd, discontinued but still can be found ones: Jil Sander Sun, which is lovely, and Salvador Dali Laguna – which I haven’t smelled in  years, but remember loving. What are your favourite summer scents?

Simplify Your Skincare Routine: Rodan + Fields Redefine

Simplify Your Skincare Routine: Rodan + Fields Redefine

I have no shortage of skincare stuffs in my stash. I try lots and lots of products (so you don’t have to) and some I love, some I learn to love, some give me zits, some give me a rash, some make my skin peel. When a new Rodan+Fields regimen came across my beauty desk, I thought it might worth a try. The first Rodan+Fields product I ever used is Proactiv. I still use Proactiv from time to time, as do my daughters. My oily acne prone skin benefits from their cleanser and lotion when it’s feeling particularly oily or zitty. So Proactiv is always in my skincare cupboard. It’s simple no-nonsense skincare, and it’s easy to use. I like that. I like it even more now that I can buy it from a retail shop as well.

Rodan + Fields Redefine Regime

Rodan + Fields Redefine Regime

The Rodan+Fields Refine regime is simple and easy, and makes some pretty reasonable claims. The Refine Kit I have includes a clay cleanser/exfoliant, a refining/exfoliant toner, a daytime moisturizer with full spectrum SPF 30 protection, and a night cream that restores. From the Rodan+Fields website:

Redefine Daily Cleansing Mask:

Creamy, kaolin clay-based cleansing mask dries in two minutes, drawing impurities from pores without robbing skin of essential moisture. Fine dimethicone microbeads gently exfoliate to smoothe the skin without disrupting skin’s delicate moisture barrier.

Redefine Pore Minimizing Toner:

Exclusive combination of pore-clarifying ingredients minimizes the appearance of enlarged pores in this fast-acting, alcohol-free liquid vehicle. Gentle polyhydroxy acids exfoliate pore clogging dead skin cells while natural oligosaccharides help reduce the appearance of pores and prepares skin for the treatments that follow.

Redefine Overnight Restorative Cream:

An ultra-hydrating cream which replenishes skin’s natural moisturizing factors (NMFs) while you sleep for visibly firmer, less-lined skin in the morning. Moisture recycling complex of hyaluronic acid and glycerin prevent moisture loss while 12-hour, time-released antioxidants A, C and E replenish vital skin nutrients.

Triple Defense Treatment Broad Spectrum SPF30:

A moisturizing treatment with photostable broad spectrum SPF 30 protection. It contains a clinically proven concentration of powerful peptides to reduce the appearance of lines and wrinkles and visibly firm skin. SHIELDrf provides effective broad spectrum UVA/UVB protection and visibly decelerates the signs of photoaging that appear over time.

I love the Cleanser – it is a gentle exfoliating cleanser that my oily and sensitive skin loves. My skin feels fresh when I use it – not scrubbed. It says you can use it daily, however I use it a couple times a week which is perfect for me. I use the toner in the evening, and it makes my skin feels fresh as a daisy for the Overnight Restorative Cream. It feels terrific on the skin, and I do wake up with a glow. I will sometimes use it under my Garnier Miracle Sleep Cream, for extra moisture and radiance.

I use Dove Soap in the morning, then the Triple Defense Treatment Broad Spectrum SPF30. It feels moisturizing and my skin drinks it up. It works beautifully under makeup as well. If I need a little more moisture, or if I’m tired and dehydrated, I use my latest Vichy love – LiftActif Supreme (review to come).

I’ve been using Rodan+Fields Refine for a little over a month, and each product does what it promises. My skin is smooth and radiant, with no signs of irritation or breakouts, which is saying a lot! My skin feels smooth and fresh, and fine lines are less visible, which is probably a combination of the exfoliating and moisturizing properties of the products. There is a slight scent to all the products, but it’s soft and clean smelling and doesn’t last on the skin. I love all the products and would recommend them to anyone looking for a smoother glowing complexion!

vintage beauty ad skincare

All four products can be purchased on the Rodan +Fields website for $193 USD.

Look Wide Awake Without Trying: The Only Concealer You Will Ever Need, And A Perfect Eyelid Primer

Look Wide Awake Without Trying: The Only Concealer You Will Ever Need, And A Perfect Eyelid Primer

It is not often that I use a beauty product that blows my mind. Yes, I fall in love with many beauty items, and they often fall into the pile of All The Beauty Products Like This That I Love And Already Own. I also have holy grail items that become the favourite, the one thing I fall back on, even if I have other similar items that I love. If you read this blog you know that Lancôme Effacernes Waterproof UnderEye Concealer has been my go-to for doing exactly what it says it does for around twenty years. I’m not sure what made me try something different. I read a review somewhere for a Tarte concealer. I bought it, and while I like it well enough, it is very thick, and despite the fact it’s called “creaseless”, it is not. Thick as in “concentrated” is one thing, but thick as in “goopy and hard to blend” is another. The review I’d read mentioned a “glow”, and I did not get that.

So, hours days a month or so later, I’d read everything I could find on concealers. I read blog reviews of expert opinions I trust (vs editorial content that is the same on every blog because they are all being paid/given product to write a good review), I read Make Up Alley, I read Sephora customer reviews.

At Armani Beauty Counter - thank you Jolanta!

At Armani Beauty Counter – thank you Jolanta!

After much comparing and analysis, I narrowed it down to one- Giorgio Armani High Precision Retouch Concealer ($39 USD). Anyone who uses this is probably gently nodding their head right now, saying “Yes, this is The One you were looking for, Grasshopper”. I popped over to the Neiman Marcus Armani Beauty Counter where I met Jolanta, the Armani MUA.  A love woman, Jolanta is Polish (her lovely accent was easy to spot!), smart, funny and gorgeous. She was so lovely! She sat me down and said “Let me treat you!”*. First, she busted out the Crema Nera Reviving Eye Cream, which she said adds radiance. It sure felt good, and it did look pretty amazing on it’s own, but for $170 USD, I was not immediately sold.

Anyways, she went on to test out different shades of the Armani High Precision concealer until she found the one she thought best. One was actually a perfect match for my skin, so it looked invisible, and one was a tad lighter, which always freaks me out because I remember the 80s. I would have gone for the exact match, if left to my own devices. But, she insisted it would be better to go with the lighter one. I looked in her mirror right away and was like WUT.

Natural makeup look,  using Armani concealer + Dior primer, with Blinc mascara

Natural makeup look, using Armani concealer + Dior primer, with Blinc mascara. Look how it glows under my eyes! Outside in shade.

From the Armani Beauty website:

A high precision concealer which blurs imperfections, treats dark circles, and highlights the complexion. Contains light reflecting pearls, which diffuse light for radiant skin. Vitamin E and moisturizers pamper the delicate eye area. High definition applicator. All skin types.
- conceals imperfections and blurs dark circles
- adds radiance
- rich, moisturizing formula
- high-definition applicator

Those “light reflecting pearls” are so subtle they are not really visible to the naked eye. This swatch on my hand looks matte. It is only when I stand back and look in the mirror that see a visible glow! I could not stop staring at myself.

Giorgio Armani High Precision Retouch Concealer

Armani High Precision Retouch Concealer swatched in indirect natural light, applied on left, blended on right

Armani High Precision Retouch Concealer Dior Backstage Eye Prime

Armani High Precision Retouch Concealer Dior Backstage Eye Prime

 

 

Inside, with natural light

Inside, with natural light

Armani High Precision Retouch Concealer is amazing. The tiny brush allows you to put a tiny drop anywhere you want. I use a tiny amount under my eyes, and on the inside of my eyes, around my nose, on lines, and on blemishes. It blends seamlessly, and wears on and on. I did yoga (regular, not hot) while wearing it, watched a few animal videos on Facebook that made me cry, and STILL it looked incredible. I used the Dior Backstage Eye Prime on my lids – it is my new obsession for a no-makeup-makeup look, and stays put all day. Protip: a paler shade on the eyelids adds a youthful look. A light dusting of Jane Iredale Pure Pressed Base and touch of Dior Rosy Glow Healthy Glow blush, which is a lovely petal pink blush.

*side note: sometimes, when you feel down, tired or just bleh, there is something about having someone touch you gently and just pamper you. I remember when my father was very sick, near the end of his life, and I felt like I was living in the palliative care unit. I went to see my girlfriend who was with La Mer. She had an aesthetician at the counter that day and she said, “You look tired. Let me give you a hand treatement”. She went on to wash, scrub and massage my hands, while I turned to jelly in her chair. So much tension left me, I may even have had a little cry. But there was something so wonderful about trusting someone else and letting them take care of me. I feel like this when an awesome MUA is working on my face. Heaven.

Banish Oil & Pores With Shu Uemura Under-Base Pore Eraser Mousse SPF 35

Banish Oil & Pores With Shu Uemura Under-Base Pore Eraser Mousse SPF 35

Shu Uemura Pore Eraser Under Base is a mousse formula skin primer that is the sheerest beige ever- almost invisible on skin but it does give enough of a glow to make it better than bare skin. It also works as a primer which means it makes a nice surface for other make up like powder, blush and bronzer. Plus, it has SPF35, which is perfect. Unlike many primers on the market, it does not contain silicone. This is not an issue for everyone, but if your skin is silicone sensitive, this is key, as breakouts are not an issue for me with this beauty.

I imagine you could layer foundation over it if you were so inclined but I find adding a bit of powder and concealer is all the coverage I need. Under Base has witch hazel for minimizing pores and some kind of magic potion that makes skin glow without shining. Sort of what I wanted MAC Strobe cream to be without making me look like I was going to a rave or had at least been sweating at one all night. Yikes.

Same Under Base in Beige (what I use) now called Pore Eraser

Same Under Base in Beige (what I use) Pore Eraser

I like to keep as few layers of stuff on my face as possible. As I say ad nauseum, my skin is oily, sensitive and prone to breakouts, and certain sunscreens can be problematic. When one first applies Under Base there is a bit of a white cast on the skin, which initially terrified me – but, of course that is the sunscreen. Not to worry, it blends and dissipates leaving only a dewy yet matte surface. As far as colour or tint goes, Under Base has a pretty perfect and light “presence” on the skin and stays matte for hours. It has a neat semi- sticky consistency when first applied, which I swear just grabs the make up you apply and holds onto it for dear life, making it last even longer. Love it. I apply only this to my face before heading out to spend a day in the sunshine and have yet to get a sunburn.

This is around 4 hours after applying some powder/concealer & blush over Under Base. It is 30C with 60% humidity. No. Shine.

This is around 4 hours after applying some powder/concealer & blush over Under Base. It is 30C with 60% humidity. No. Shine #nofilter

Shu Uemura has gone into very limited distribution in North America but we are lucky that Holt Renfrew in Canada carries the line and indeed this product – I paid around $45 CAN. I don’t know if Shu Uemura is even sold in the USA anymore….It sells out quickly in Canada and I usually buy 2 cans at a time. But they do last me 6 mos+, keeping in mind I am an “under applier” and go easy on my make up application, and I also don’t wear it in cold, dry weather. There is a reason this stuff is a cult fave. Have you tried it? Thoughts?

 shu uemura

 

 

(Ingredient list: OCTINOXATE 4.9% , TITANIUM DIOXIDE 1.9% , , COSMETIC INGREDIENTS , WATER , SYNTHETIC FLUORPHLOGOPITE , SEA WATER , CALCIUM CARBONATE , BUTANE , BUTYLENE GLYCOL , PROPANE , ISOBUTANE , DIPOTASSIUM GLYCYRRHIZATE , HAMAMELIS VIRGINIANA (WITCH HAZEL) EXTRACT , HDI/TRIMETHYLOL HEXYLLACTONE CROSSPOLYMER , PEG-10 DIMETHICONE , STEARETH-10 , CETEARYL ALCOHOL , CAPRYLYL GLYCOL , POLYSORBATE 60 , POLYSORBATE 20 , CETYL ALCOHOL , METHICONE , HYDROGENATED EGG OIL , PROPYLENE GLYCOL , TOCOPHERYL ACETATE , PENTANE , C9-15 FLUOROALCOHOL PHOSPHATES , ETHANE , HEXYLENE GLYCOL , SILICA , ALUMINUM HYDROXIDE , CHLORPHENESIN , PHENOXYETHANOL , METHYLPARABEN , HYDROXYISOHEXYL 3-CYCLOHEXENE CARBOXALDEHYDE , BUTYLPHENYL METHYLPROPIONAL , CITRONELLOL , FRAGRANCE)

Escentric Molecules – Molecule 01- Proof That Science Makes Perfume Sexy

Escentric Molecules – Molecule 01- Proof That Science Makes Perfume Sexy

Normally when I review a perfume, I have to edit myself, as I could literally go on and on, and on, and on, etc. I am going to reign myself in right now, and keep it simple. Molecule 01 demands it.

Escentric-Molecules-Molecule-01

Escentric Molecules is a simple perfume line, but not simple in a boring way. You can read more about the concept of the creator and artist behind Escentric Molecules, Geza Schoen, here. But, in the spirit of this simple line, I will share Mr Schoen’s perfect analogy: Molecule is to perfume as Bauhaus is to Baroque. In the perfume I am reviewing today, Molecule 01, Geza Schoen used one single ingredient - Iso E Super, which is a trademarked aromachemical owned by IFF (International Fragrance & Flavours) known as  7-acetyl, 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8-octahydro-1,1,6,7-tetramethyl naphthalene. IFF describes it as:

Smooth, woody, amber with unique aspects giving a ”velvet” like sensation. Used to impart fullness and subtle strength to fragrances. Superb floralizer found in the majority of newer fine fragrances and also useful in soaps. Richer in the desirable gamma isomer than isocyclemone e.

Iso_E_Super_structure.svg

It is very hard to describe a scent molecule in words. It’s deceptive, because you think – oh it is an ingredient, aka a note. It’s not really a note, per se, but more of an evolving scent-sensual sensation, if that makes sense. Molecule 01 has taken Iso E Super and made it magical. It is often used to boost other notes in a perfume, or to ground them. It diffuses and adds longevity to woodsy, warm and floral perfumes. Many perfumistas, in fact, claim that if given some actual Iso E Super (available from perfume suppliers online) they could create their own Molecule 01. This is where my respect for the artist comes in. I have tried two homemade versions and sorry – no thanks. Geza Schoen isn’t recreating The Emperor’s New Clothes with his Escentric Molecules, or just tossing together some crap in bottles hoping suckers will come along and throw money at him. He is an exacting artist, and that is why Molecule 01 is still one of the best selling fragrances at LA’s Lucky Scent, perfume ground zero for the USA’s west coast.

What’s funny is that I don’t like the perfumes that use Iso E Super in copious amounts. Even though it adds a velvety smooth accord, when it’s used with too many other notes, it makes me feel nauseated and suffocated. Ormonde Jayne is one of them, and after 15 minutes in one of her perfumes, I have to hose myself off. Or, use my special method of unsavoury scent neutralization. Don’t get me wrong – Ormonde Jayne perfumes are lovely, beautifully composed and elegant. Jean Claude Ellena loves Iso E Super and uses it in some of his gorgeous and elegant compositions for Hermes, which to my nose are like nails on a blackboard. I said gorgeous and elegant, and I recognize gorgeous perfumes when they happen, even if I can’t stand them on my own skin. Seriously people, with perfume, as well as any art, there is no accounting for taste.

Skin Musk Ad dalybeauty

So. Molecule 01 – what does it smell like? Sexy, warm skin that is clean, but not in a sterile way. Clean in a way that perhaps there were two of you (or more) in that shower. Woodsy is a word that comes to mind, but also musk – musk in the 1970s model of musks. Sexy yet clean. It wafts in and out all day long, and some have said that Molecule 01 has pheromonic-like effect. Do pheromones in perfume really work, or actually make one sexually or sensually more attractive? All I know is that I find it addictive in that “I can’t stop smelling this” kind of way, and if I smell it on someone else, I want to get closer to them.

Skin Musk series 70s dalybeauty

I’d say it is probably the most masculine of my perfumes, which is odd for me, as pretty pretty florals are my signature. Yet I love it. And,  I think it is perfect for the man who simply wants to smell wonderful, but not perfumed. One of Molecule 01’s biggest tricks is how it disappears for hours and seamlessly blends with one’s own chemistry, only to reappear hours later, like a phantom. Hands down, Molecule 01 is the single biggest compliment getter in my collection. You have to wear it to get it. I have friends who wouldn’t believe the hype, then I’ve sprayed them. The next day, they are trying to find out where they can buy it. Molecule 01 is a perfume I wear when I can’t decide what perfume to wear.

I don't know what this smells like, but I kinda want to.

I don’t know what this smells like, but I kinda want to.

I got my Molecule 01 at Etiket Boutique in Montreal. I’m sure it’s sold somewhere in Toronto, but I don’t know where. It’s sold at Barneys, as well as Lucky Scent – of course! The value of the CAN dollar has probably caused an increase in CAN pricing. I don’t recall paying $170 for my bottle, but perhaps I blocked that part out.

Smith & Cult Is The Nail Polish For True Beauty Junkies

Smith & Cult Is The Nail Polish For True Beauty Junkies

 Did you wear Hard Candy in the nineties? I remember when it launched – nail polish in funky shades was almost unheard of. Painting your nails in shades of blue, purple or green? That was for weirdos and outliers. Well, apparently it wasn’t, and the brilliant founder of Hard Candy, Dineh Mohajer, was way ahead of the curve.

Dineh Mohajer

Dineh Mohajer – stunning

 

From the Smith & Cult website:

Smith & Cult represents the duality we all inhabit throughout our lives and our individual expressions of beauty, which reflect who we’ve been, are and aspire to become. Each shade is inspired by and representative of the experiences depicted in the diary entries of our beauty addicted heroine who sees her world through a lens of color.

Smith & Cult was created by beauty veteran Dineh Mohajer, the voice of our beauty junkie, who revolutionized the color cosmetics industry when she launched Hard Candy. Several years and creative collaborations later, Mohajer is bringing about the next evolution of beauty with Smith & Cult.

Smith and Cult’s Nailed Lacquer consistently delivers both flawlessly smooth coverage and brilliant shine. While custom tailored to provide high performance, the exclusive 5-Free formula is formulated without Dibutyl, Phthalate, Toluene, Formaldehyde, Formaldehyde Resin and Camphor.

Do yourself a favour and explore the Smith & Cult website. It is one of the most gorgeous and dynamic sites I’ve seen. The Smith & Cult bottles are like little works of art – heavy glass bottles with gorgeous sculptural caps. These bottles want to sit out where everyone can see them. Love!

I stumbled upon this gorgeous line during a recent visit to Gee Beauty Bal Harbour. I can always depend on the Gee sisters to dig up the latest, greatest and coolest in beauty. They kind of blew my mind with Smith & Cult. PS- I think I have to go back for more Smith & Cult, because Gay Ponies Dancing In The Snow is calling to me. I bought Bitter Buddist,  described as an “opaque celadon green”, and I love it. Actually, I noticed many things in my wardrobe match it almost perfectly. Seeing a theme here…

Smith & Cult Bitter Buddhist dalybeauty

 

Smith & Cult Bitter Buddhist dalybeauty

Two perfect coats of Bitter Buddhist with Essie Out The Door quick dry topcoat in sunlight. Gorgeous!

The formula is gorgeous – self levelling, not thick, yet I got perfect coverage in two easy coats. It lasted, lasted and lasted. Probably one of the best wearing polishes I have. Even just writing this makes me want to go get more. If you want me, I’m on my way to Gee Beauty in Bal Harbour. I can pick you up on the way, ok?

babes_in_vintage_640_04-1

 

 

Smith & Cult nail polishes retail at $18 USD an are available online, and at select boutiques.

Report From The Rabbit Hole: I Got 2 New Gorgeous Chanel Nail Polishes

Report From The Rabbit Hole: I Got 2 New Gorgeous Chanel Nail Polishes

Chanel, how do you do that magic you do? Because you do it so well! Coco help me, but I cannot resist a delicious Chanel nail polish. They are my nail polish Kryptonite. This spring, they released a trio of gorgeous shades, which including Tenderly, a perfect dusty mauve-rose, that is reviewed here. And, a gorgeous fuchsia, Désirio, which I haven’t reviewed yet. The one I am obsessing over presently is Chanel Paradiso – a super soft and pale green, with a silvery shimmer. I get compliments like crazy when I wear it. It is a flattering shade, and would compliment most skin tones. Gorgeous. I use two coats, which still allows for some visible nail line, which I don’t mind. But a third coat would take care of that.

Chanel Le Vernis Paradiso swatch dalybeauty

 

The other beauty that came home with me is Chanel Sweet Star. It was released last November for Vogue’s Fashion Night Out, in Australia. The more I could not find it anywhere, the more I wanted it. I was shopping for my beautiful Chanel Misia at Saks and saw Sweet Star on their counter. I died! Then I bought it. It’s a crazy butterfly colour, the kind that changes depending on the lighting. It appears silver head on, but turns blue-purple, and then a gun metal shade. It also has a gorgeous multi colour micro glitter that blows my mind.

Chanel Le Vernis Sweet Star nail polish dalybeauty

 

Chanel Le Vernis Sweet Star nail polish dalybeauty

 

Chanel Le Vernis Sweet Star nail polish dalybeauty

 

 

I got both of these at department store Chanel counters. I am pretty sure that Sweet Star is not available in Canada, however. That could change though!