Subtle Beauty: Butter London Yummy Mummy

File this one under all things soft, subtle and neutral. Coco Chanel famously said “I take refuge in beige because it’s natural”. Here, here I say. As much as I love a pop of colour when it comes down to feeling comfy, cozy and at ease, neutrals are where I want to go. In cosmetics, neutrals are easy to wear, and in my opinion are the best way to compliment one’s beauty in a natural & subtle way. You can let “you” shine without the mask of too much colour. That said,  a fun bright lip or nail or a little glow or shine/ sparkle (key: A LITTLE) now and then or for special occasions is a great thing. You may have noticed there are not a lot of “make up” reviews here, ie eye shadows, liners, different blushes and foundations. That is because I am rather boring, in beauty terms, in that I loves me my neutrals, and I tend to keep buying the things I love, which are often the same. Not too much new and exciting neutrals come out (oxymoron, anyone?) and to be honest, as we age, the truth, when dealing with cosmetics, is, less. Is. More.
Ok back to my nails. One of my favourite looks is the Mannequin Hands nail. A step up from the sheer pinks, which are fab and I wear often but sometimes want a bit more. A great thing about sheers and neutrals is the low maintenance vibe. Tip wear hardly shows, so the mani lasts longer.
Butter London is a neat line whose products are formulated without the use of the harmful ingredients like Formaldehyde, Toluene, DBP or Parabens- they call themselves “3 Free” based on this. Although, so are my usual faves, OPI, Chanel, Lippmann, Dior and Zoya. So it sorta bugs me that Butter London acts like they are the only ones, but, on the other hand, kudos to them for taking the concept and running with it. One thing we do know, is that green beauty is the smallest portion of the beauty market, so I can guarantee you that Butter London’s success is based on their awesome fashion-forward colours and cheeky names. The latest being the “sold out in days” No More Waitey, Katie which was released for the Royal Engagement. And, looks like a sweet colour! One of the other colours I WANT is All Hail The Queen, a gorgeous taupe with sparkle. It was originally called All Hail McQueen but was changed after his tragic death.
Yummy Mummy is a perfect taupe with a teensy bit of shimmer even if the name is gag-enducing. Please. Are we not over this term? Aaannywaaays. The shimmer is more visible in the bottle than on the nail but does add a little something. It is slightly more taupe than the pink-leaning OPI Tickle My Francey, which is my go-to Mannequin Hands shade.  It is lighter and more subtle than the divine Chanel Particuliere, which is super, because I don’t always want to make a dramatic beige statement. If that is possible. Application was a breeze, and with two coats it is opaque but I think three coats might be ideal. All Hail McQueen seems to be YM with super subtle glitter. Hard to describe but gorgeous. I love YM and it is officially added to my rotation.
I got my Butter London nailpolish at a boutique in Ottawa, GreenTree, for around $15, and I have seen the line at Holt Renfrew as well. I’m sure there are many boutiques or spas selling this line, or it can be purchased online at the Butter London website (which also has a Canadian site!) and B-Glowing.

Beautiful Beauty Blog Round Up

Ready to watch the Academy Awards? Who doesn’t love to watch the stars – and their fashion and beauty selections for the evening? We had some ideas this week to make you Oscar-ready.
Tim Quinn, Giorgio Armani makeup artist to the stars (we’re sure he will be helping the Armani favorites get ready for the red carpet this weekend), talked to Kari about finding the right foundation. You can learn from him at Fab over Forty.
Rouge Bunny Rouge is a niche European brand that has been getting a lot of online buzz and a cult of fans. Learn more from Gaia at The Non-Blonde.
The new NARS Illuminators shades are also getting a lot of blogger attention. Check out Amy’s impressions at Café Makeup.
Jo Malone has launched a new line of Tea Fragrance Blends, and Sabrina tried them all. Head over to The Beauty Look Book to find out which one(s) might be right for you.
Charlestongirl got a preview of La Prairie’s summer makeup collection at a Neiman Marcus party. Check out Best Things in Beauty to see what’s coming.
Bare Escentuals has introduced Buxom Smoky Eye Sticks. Jennifer had the scoop at BeautyXposé. Is there one in your future?
Are you starting to look pasty, winter white? Laurie has been loving L’Oreal Sublime Bronze Self-Tanning Towelettes. Want to learn more? Head over to Product Girl.
Do we need a bottom lash mascara? Debbi gave us her opinion of the new Clinique mascara at DivaDebbi.
Kelly has a new obsession. Find out at Gouldylox Reviews how Konad made her wild and crazy!
Michelle at Beauty Editor is all over the nail trends coming out of New York Fashion Week. I’m sure I’d only wear a few, but I love to see the creativity and imagination turning nails into art!
Janine at Beautygeeks tells us how to keep our feet smooth and silky with AHAs, excellent advice for red carpet toes!
Victoria at EauMG has me wanting to try a new candle from Nest- Black Fig & Honey sounds divine and I love the way a candle scents my home….
Let us know what you think about the red carpet! We’ll be chatting next week.

Getting To Know Our Weekly Roundup Bloggers #9

Today you meet Anne from BeautyXPose. Her blog is a fantastic in-depth investigation on the latest news, trends, and opinions on all things related to beauty and fashion. If you enjoy fashion, make up, bargains and a giggle, you will love BeautyXpose. Meet Anne!

When did you start blogging and why? My blogging partner in crime, Kristin Bassett and I began BeautyXposé two years ago. At the time, we loved reading individual makeup blogs and beauty/style magazines, so we wanted to create a hybrid of the two, featuring both personal product reviews and editorial-style features. We also wanted to be a little zany. For example, we dedicated one post to creating haiku’s to our lost loved ones (discontinued beauty items). Along the way, we’ve brought on some amazingly talented contributors, and we are pleased to offer our readers a variety of topics!
Every blog seems to have a special voice – what’s the message on your blog? Since we have several contributors, each of us have our own voice. But, I’d have to say that overall we can be quite sassy if the timing’s right. Just take a look at any of our “WTF of the Week” columns! I personally have an unhealthy obsession with puns and wordplay, so you’ll see a lot of that in my articles.
Have you always been a beauty fanatic or did it come later in life for you? What made it blossom? I sprang forth from the womb wearing red stilettos and clutching a Glamour magazine. At least that’s what they tell me.
Tell us a little about yourself. I’m kind of Sybil-esque — meaning I have a lot of different sides to my personality that are all really “me”. One day my style will be retro pin-up diva and the next, a rocker chick. My husband likes the variety, so I guess that’s good! Overall though, I think I have a “classic” cosmopolitan feel to my style and beauty preferences.
What’s your daily beauty routine? Given that I’m constantly testing beauty products, it can vary. But if I”m left to my own devices, I start with cleansing using my Clarisonic, toning with Dr. Hauschka Facial Toner and moisturizing with Dr. Hauschka Rose Day Cream (in the winter, anyway). If I’m leaving my house (I work from home), I’ll apply my makeup, which is really different depending on my mood. What does stay the same – my Estee Lauder Resilience Lift Extreme foundation, Shiseido Bronzer and Maybelline Colossal Xtreme mascara. Everything else is a crap shoot depending on the day
How many lipsticks/glosses can be found in your handbag at any given time? Two, though I try to keep it to one if I can — I switch my glosses as I switch up my purses.
What’s the best beauty advice you’ve ever received? It’s going to sound cliché, but it’s true — beauty comes from the inside out. I look for the beauty in everyone and everything. It’s amazing what you see when you’re really looking!
What’s the most surprising thing you have learned since starting your blog? I’m constantly surprised and inspired every time someone comments. It’s like “Someone’s actually reading this and I”m not just writing to myself??” I love interacting with readers and hope they keep coming back!
The Beauty of Derma E Anti-Wrinkle Gel & Cream

The Beauty of Derma E Anti-Wrinkle Gel & Cream

In my never ending quest to stay moisturized without breaking out I try many things. I try to do my research first but often find obscure products that haven’t been reviewed anywhere. I decided to try Derma E as their products are free of parabens and use naturally derived ingredients. They happily provide full disclosure and an ingredient list for all their products which is nice and makes it seem like they have nothing to hide.  Their price point is very reasonable with almost nothing over $20. Derma E products certainly don’t have a lot of “buzz” online, maybe the cream a little but the gel was an unknown. Years ago I used a glycolic gel on my body and then could never find it again and have been looking for a similar smoothing product ever since. The Derma E Vitamin A Retinyl Palmitate Wrinkle Treatment Gel is a fantastic replacement! The Vitamin A Retinyl Palmitate Wrinkle Treatment Crème is also a fantastic product. Palmitate is a form of retinol or vitamin A which helps with aging or acne prone skin. I bought this on a whim to use on my neck, around my eyes and on my décolletage and I am quite pleased with the results.
The  Derma E Vitamin A gel is a nice light gel and is perfect for oilier skins or in hotter weather on its own or if you drier its lovely layered with the Vitamin A crème. I have done this when the temperature dipped down to -30 Celsius and I needed an extra layer of protection from the cold and the indoor heat. The gel feels like an aloe base but it’s not listed in the ingredients- but it is a similar gel texture. It has a very light soft cucumber-ish scent that disappears almost immediately. I used it almost all over at bedtime and after the shower, under my Kiehls Crème de Corps or Nivea Q10. At bedtime I have been using it on my face under my Kiehls Midnight Recovery Concentrate. It is not a strong or irritating vitamin A formulation, but just enough to feel a difference in the texture of my skin. Since using the gel, my skintone is a bit more even and my pores are reduced. I got it for both my daughters as they have inherited my oily skin and it is just the right amount of moisture for them. My younger one will layer a gentle rose day cream on top if she needs an extra boost.
The Derma E Vitamin A crème is lovely. It has a silky texture that is from the glycerin and sesame oil as opposed to silicones, thankfully. It sinks right in and leaves just enough of a dewy finish that stays so one doesn’t feel dry or that you need more product. I LOVE it on my neck on décolletage and around my eyes and whatever extra product is on my hands I rub into my cuticles. It has a very soft scent, a floral scent that makes me think of violets, but again, it does not last and is quite inoffensive. I do my La Mer trick with this product, which is to rub it vigorously between my hands before “rolling” it into my skin. I find this makes a little product go along way and is less likely to irritate my sensitive pores.
All in all these products are a big thumbs up and I will purchase them again. Maybe a case of the gel, I don’t want to run out of this stuff. Its’s also well priced, you can buy a huge bottle (220ml) for $13. If you are only using it on your face it will last forever! The tub of crème is around $13 as well for around 113 g (approximately half as much product as the gel) and is rich so a little goes a long way. They have a hyaluronic line that I am dying to try, if it performs as well as the Vitamin A line, then sign me up. I have not been able to find it yet though, so stay tuned. My only critique of Derma E is their website. They use vague categories for their products and it is impossible to find anything without using their search function.
 I got my Derma E at Shoppers Drug Mart and I have seen at health food stores as well. Have any of you used this line? What are your thoughts?

Chanel’s Beautiful Black Pearl

Ok Chanel you have done it again. WOW. Officialy my new favourite, Chanel Black Pearl is such a gorgeous nail colour I’m almost at a loss for words to describe. Almost.
If black can be dusty and frosty and somehow “lit” from within, then yes this is black. It is a cold black but has light courtesy of the greenish glow that elevates this polish from nice to Wow. It is a cool colour but a greenish hue vs a blue grey hue seems to warm it. It has the typical Chanel formula which is just thick enough but not clumpy. I used two coats and found it just perfect. I do wish they’d do a better brush but their formula is so rich one can almost excuse it.
Chanel Black Pearl comes from Chanel’s Spring 2011 cosmetic collection, which also includes Pearl Drop and Peche Nacrée, a gorgeous pearly white and softly frosted nude/peach respectively. I do believe I love them all. The entire collection is just gorgeous…resist it, I dare you…

Beautiful Beauty Blog Round Up

Snow Sculpture Winterlude Ottawa 2011

Does it seem like winter is dragging on this year?   Maybe there’s a glimmer of spring not only outside, but inside with beauty.  See what our women of beauty are sharing this week.
Carla at Product Girl has the scoop on Butter London’s spring collection, straight from Nonie Creme herself, the brand’s creative director. Find out the inspiration behind the painterly-inspired palette, and her final nod to “greige” nails.
Did you see the red carpet from the Grammy Awards last Sunday?  Kari from Fab Over Forty has the details on the fabulous over 40 Nicole Kidman and her beauty look by Carol Shaw and LORAC cosmetics.
Charlestongirl from Best Things In Beauty is smitten with Clé de Peau’s La Beauté Éblouissante Collection for Spring 2011, with pastel looks for the eyes and brilliant, shiny lips, the collection is right up her alley.
Kelly at Gouldylox Reviews this week reviewed a few pieces of the skincare line By Nieves.  This line was given the accolades of Best Local Skincare Line by the SF Weekly.   Be sure to read the reviews and see her glowing results.
Chantecaille’s latest palette, Sea Turtle Palette is a beauty shared with us in visual exquisiteness by Amy from Café Makeup with her beautiful photos.  Even though this arrived damaged, the palette is a keeper!
Gaia from The Non-Blonde has begun to use the Citron scented products from Crabtree & Evelyn. They were a favorite years ago, so see if this new version is the same or could it be even better?
Tired of paying department store prices for your makeup, yet not being able to find quality drugstore brands?  Chelsea from BeautyXposé shares her experience with the new Maybelline Fit Me line.

Brushes are an important piece to the beauty puzzle.  How they work can change a look completely. Sabrina from The Beauty Look Book shares with us her must-have eye brushes.  Do you own any?

Debbi of DivaDebbi was on a hunt to find a replacement of her longtime favorite blush.   Read about her dilemma and what she ended up finding at Sephora during her hunt.

Ice Sculpture Winterlude Ottawa 2011
Keiko Mecheri Tuberose And Iles de Lointaines- White Floral Beauty

Keiko Mecheri Tuberose And Iles de Lointaines- White Floral Beauty

Keiko Mecheri is a niche perfumer working out of California. She has a large catalogue of scents and is best known for her gourmand beauty Loukhoum, based on the sweet Turkish desert of rose, almond and dates. I am not a gourmand lover so while I appreciate the beauty of this scent, it is never one that appealed to me, but there is a massive cult following for her Loukhoum series. If you love that kind of scent, then you must try them as they probably are among the best of the genre.
She recently launched two white floral scents which are more my speed. I read about them on Ca Fleur Bon and was lucky enough to receive one of each, Tuberose (tuberose and jasmine) and Iles de Lointaines (jasmine, gardenia and amber). As a lover of feminine floral scents I was quite excited to try these. They. Are. Gorgeous. They are quite different from each other, so it is possible you might need both but that said, I can see each one appealing to different noses who want something special out of their white florals.
The tuberose is an unusual and beautiful flower in perfume. I have been scared of tuberose as a perfume after repeated attempts to wear and at least tolerate Fracas, the Grande Dame of Tuberose Perfumes. I cannot wear it, I cannot bear it, and somehow doubt I ever will. It makes my eyes water and I can almost feel an asthma attack come on yet the beauty of tuberose makes me wish I could wear it. I love and adore Estee Lauder Private Collection Tuberose Gardenia and that is my benchmark for a ladylike, feminine and drop dead gorgeous white floral- the kind of perfume a Hitchcock Blonde would wear… but still leave men trembling in her wake like a Bardot bombshell. Humour me.
Enter Keiko Mecheri Tuberose. This is a modern stunning take on tuberose using jasmine to shape shift into a New Flower. It is clean straightforward and unusual as it opens with a mentholated camphor blast that would seem to be the last thing you’d expect or even want in a floral. Think again, because this is incredible. A revelation. It elevates the tuberose scent to something otherworldly, like a space flower from a tropical planet. I call it an Extreme Green Note and it really is the best way to make such a serious flower “bloom” in a perfume. It does veer into soap territory but such a gorgeous unexpected way that soapy seems like the wrong word. Flowing waterfall ice cold clean green bursting flowers in the rainforest is my stream of consciousness description for Tuberose. If you love this flower, you simply must try this scent. I LOVE it and think I would most enjoy wearing this in hot weather. I look forward to leaving a trail of swooning admirers behind me…
Iles de Lointaines gives us jasmine and gardenia tempered with the soft powdery sweetness of amber. Of the two, this one might be the more wearable and easy scent, especially if you are just getting into white florals. The jasmine and gardenia are lowercase here, gentle and soft, like a warm and humid tropical evening. The amber sweetens and softens the flowers and somehow I get wafts of a monoi like scent. There is not coconut per say, but the illusion of a sweet chewy tropical vibe that feels like coconut. Keiko Mecheri knows sweet and she can amp it up to tooth curling levels or keep it a gentle as she has with Iles de Lointaines. It’s almost like the amber is a soft powdered dusting on the jasmine and gardenia to make sure they don’t try to be sharp or indolic. There is still a hint of green here too, but its not nuclear green like Tuberose and is more like you are holding the flowers with the stems and leaves covered in dew still attached. Lovers of (discontinued) Guerlain Plus Que Jamais and Parfums MDCI Promess de l’Aube may enjoy this one – sweet creamy jasmine that makes you want to lean in to get the full effect. In French, Lointaines was a princess used in medieval stories, a “Distant Princess” and the term is often used to describe an unattainable love interest- one that princes would fall in love with, sight unseen, upon just hearing her description. I’m not sure if Ms Mecheri intended to use the word in this manner but I love the romance of that concept…
Sarah Bernhardt as Princesse Lointaine
Keiko Mecheri perfumes are available on her website, from Luckyscent and in Canada, from The Perfume Shoppe. I don’t see Tuberose and Iles de Lointaines on The Perfume Shoppe website yet, but I am sure they will be available there soon.

Beautiful Lippy- Chanel Rouge Coco Shine in Boy

Let me start out by saying I am not a lipstick girl. I don’t like anything that requires a mirror to apply or anything that has so much colour that it needs a precise and concise application. I like my lips to feel soft and moist so lipstick has just never appealed to me. Too thick, too much colour, and a “made up” look that just didn’t feel like me.  I am lucky enough to have fairly high colour in my lips naturally so gloss has always been enough.
Leave it to Chanel to change the way I think. I’d been reading about Rouge Coco all over the beauty blogosphere and had even swatched a few colours- tempted a bit by Mademoiselle but not quite enough to actually buy it. But, it did seem rich and creamy and the colours were gorgeous. I did get the Gabrielle, a gorgeous true red, for my oh so chic Parisienne sister in law for Christmas. She can wear ONLY red lipstick with no other make up and look like a million bucks. Only the French…
Anyways, the buzz for spring has been about Rouge Coco Shine- a sheer non lipstick lipstick. I was at my local Chanel counter getting a bottle of Rose Insolence nail polish that Sabrina wore so gorgeously on The Beauty Look Book (gorgeous, right?) and, wouldn’t you know it, they had the Rouge Coco Shine in Boy on the counter- “the” colour for spring. I gave it a try and was hooked. The perfect YLBB (your lips but better) look that just enhances my lip colour perfectly. It feels soft and smooth and is somehow perfect. Sold. I love it and know I will wear this. I can put it on without a mirror and love the way it enhances my complexion. A sort of pinky mauve tone that I imagine would work with many skin tones. It seemed to morph from cool to warm when I was looking at the swatch on my arm, depending on the way the light hit it. If anyone can do a colour that shape shifts, leave it to Chanel to do it right.

Available for around $38 at most Chanel counters- I got mine at The Bay.

Beautiful Beauty Blog Round Up

Winter has been hanging on. Fortunately, spring beauty and fashion have hit the stores to give us hope for an end. Find out what we’ve been up to in beauty land.
Our own Kari at Fab over Forty was asked by Ladies’ Home Journal to name her favorite
beauty products for their annual “Beauty Awards” issue. See what made the cut for the magazine’s March issue.
There is a lot of new makeup to love. Amy showed us Chanel’s Rouge Coco Shine in Boy at Café Makeup. The demand for it has been amazing.
We Edward Bess lovers are almost cult-like in our love for Edward and his extraordinary makeup. Head over to The Non-Blonde to find out why Gaia finds his Luminous Eye Shadow in Nude an essential.
Charlestongirl received her Chantecaille Sea Turtle Palette this week and promptly fell in love. See the palette and find out why you should support “the cause” at Best Things in Beauty.
Sabrina is on the prowl for a new foundation. Part 1 of her three-part series is ready for you at The Beauty Look Book.
Ever wonder if RevitaLash lash growth Serum and Mascara works? Find out what Kelly thinks at Gouldylox Reviews!
Is you skin suffering from winter? Kathryn has offered us some great tips for winter skin care at BeautyXposé.
As winter drags on, it damages our hair too. Laurie at Product Girl listed her recommendations for keeping hair healthy. She would love to hear what works for you.
Debbi wrote a fun feature on her beauty graveyard. Check out DivaDebbi to see the discontinued products that she’s hanging onto – for as long as possible.
Hang in there – winter has to end! Let’s all dream about daffodils!

Soap & Glory…& Beautiful!

I have always loved the Soap & Glory product packaging. I love retro stuff and their pink kitschy bottles with the cheeky names have always appealed to me. I had yet to try any of their products, not sure why, I guess there is always Something I need when I wander into the pharmacy and I somehow managed to pass them by. I am so glad I took the time to give them a try. I was out of bath bubbles- yes bubbles- and needed a replacement for my well loved Vitabath. I wanted something different, moisturizing, that smells nice and that makes lots of bubbles. A luxurious bath to me has bubbles up to my chin. I also needed some shower gel  for myself and my daughter- again, something that would smell nice, feel gentle and give some good lather on the pouffe. I decided to give the Soap & Glory products a go, and after doing a little sniffing of the line, ended up getting the Calm One, Calm All bath bubbles and the Clean, Girls body wash.
Calm One, Calm All is simply a wonderful product! Bubbles galore with just two capfuls and the scent is a cross between the nostalgic and clean scent of J&J Baby Shampoo with just a touch of something that smells a little like Coco Mademoiselle meets Miss Dior Cherie. Soft, floral, and soapy and very girly. I am very choosy with scent, and this was soft and benign enough to not interfere with my perfume, which is very important! It is a calming scent for sure, and my bathroom and surrounding areas smelled all day. It has a lovely creamy pink consistency that adds to the luxe experience. I considered not draining the tub to make the scent linger longer. It most definitely has skin softening properties as even after a hot bath (I know, not a good idea in cold weather…can be drying…blah blah blah) my skin was smooth and soft and not remotely tight or dry. The scent lingered on my skin in the subtlest of ways, I imagine it was along my hair line as I almost submerged myself. As I warmed up under my scarf and coat I’d catch comforting little wafts of clean & pretty from time to time. At $10 for a 500ml bottle and at two capfuls a bath, this is an amazing value and no-brainer for lovers of warm bubbly and luxurious baths.

Clean, Girls is just as lovely as the bubble bath. It shares a similar scent as well, and is also a thick creamy consistency. It has a touch of a pearlescent colour to it, which is pretty, but does not leave a glittery or frosted residue on the skin. It comes with a handy pump, which makes dispensing in the shower a breeze. Just a few pumps was all it took to lather me up from head to toe and again, pretty much scent my whole ensuite zone. It is moisturizing for sure, and again, I noticed that I did not feel a panic to get to my cream after drying off as my skin felt smooth and soft. The scent lingers gently for a few hours, less so than the bubble bath does, but either way the scent is so agreeable that I am ok with it. My daughter loves it too, although she is less picky and pretty much uses whatever I give her, Miss Dior Cherie was her perfume for the last year and so the scent is a win with her. She is not a big moisturizer so the added moisturizing properties are just perfect. Again, at $10 for 500ml this stuff is going to last forever, and the pump makes sure you don’t waster or overuse the product.
I got my Soap & Glory products at Shoppers Drug Mart. Nothing like a little good clean fun!