Diptyque Art du Soin Skincare Range.

maggio 29, 2014

Infused Facial Water // Protective Moisturizing Lotion // Radiance Boosting Powder // Multi-use Exfoliating Clay // Nourishing Cleansing Balm. //
Being a huge fan of their swoon-inducing candles and gorgeous fragrance range, when I found out Diptyque was launching a skincare line I tried not to clutch my pearls too hard, although I may have screamed a little.
It looked sophisticated and absolutely intriguing, with one-of-a-kind textures, gorgeous natural scents and multi-purpose products that change entirely when mixed together. I had to try it.

One of the stand out products for me is the Protective Moisturizing Lotion (£44)*. Nice and moisturizing but not too nourishing, it sinks quickly into the skin to set to an almost completely matte finish. The texture is quite unique, fluffy and airy, with an incredible zesty scent that feels super energizing. The opaque look is perfect for the upcoming warmer months and will definitely make anyone with combination and oily skin feel a little more confident with their base. On the other hand I can already tell that this moisturizer won’t make it to my winter lineup, as my dry skin usually needs something heavier and richer to face the cold. The spf 15 makes it very city appropriate and overall it’s a lovely way to jump start my day.
The gorgeous smelling Infused Facial Water (£35)* is another favourite. Vitamin-infused waters are always a great way to bring back some moisture into the skin after cleansing and this one can be used in multiple ways: as a toner, a quick morning cleanser or can be mixed with the other products of the range to get even more benefits from them. It's a great radiance booster and what with the gentle fragrance and the wonderful formula, which is both soothing and refreshing, I find it really hard to put down.

The Radiance Boosting Powder (£38)* was quite a surprise to be honest. Apparently powder cleansers are the coolest thing in Asia right now and of course Japan and South Korea know a thing or two when it comes down to luxury skincare. I simply pop a wee bit of powder in the palm of my hand, add a few drops of lukewarm water - or Flower Infused Water even - and gently rub my hands together. It lathers beautifully to a soft foam that cleanses the skin and erases any trace of unwanted oils and night treatments residues, to get the skin ready for the rest of my morning routine. Usually foaming face washes can be a bit too harsh and stripping but this one doesn’t leave my skin feeling dry and tight at all and I can definitely see some improvements in the brightness department after using it.

To remove my makeup at nighttime I’ve been using the Nourishing Cleansing Balm (£44)* which unfortunately didn't wow me as much its powder equivalent. It does melt away any type of makeup without effort but it's very rich and it leaves a heavy oily residue behind. The scent is once again out of this world – easily the best smelling cleansing balm I had the chance to try – but its performance is easily comparable to other cheaper alternatives and I’m not sure I could justify the outrageous price tag simply for the scent.
Last up, the Multi-use Exfoliating Clay (£44)* is a 2-in-1 clay mask and scrub with extra fine marble powder to gently remove impurities and dead skin cells. I usually stay clear of mechanical exfoliators as my skin can react badly to too much friction and although this one feels fairly mild, I don't find myself reaching for it very often. I also used it as a mask and it wasn't particularly groundbreaking either. Overall I'm not impressed with this one.

Expensive skincare is not everyone's cup of tea and the price tag here is high enough to make my piggy-bank uncomfortable; also, the selection is quite limited and clearly targeted toward normal and combination skins, however there's enough uniqueness in the textures and formulas to tickle any skincare fiend's fancy. I know I'm charmed, that's for sure.
Have you tried or do you plan to try anything from the Art du Soin range?
*Press Sample

April Favourites.

maggio 22, 2014

Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish Hot Cloth Cleanser //  Make Up For Ever Mat Velvet + Foundation #20 // Benefit Gimme Brow in Light/Medium // Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz in Caramel // Wayne Goss Brush #14 // Foreo Luna Mini in Magenta // Laura Mercier Foundation Primer Protect spf30 PA+++. //
As a makeup and skincare hoarder I own quite a lot of products and I tend - or try at least - to switch them up on a daily basis; last month, however, there were a few stand-out products that I couldn't just leave alone and I ended up using pretty much every single day.

At the beginning of the month my skin reacted badly to a product and got a little spotty; whenever that happens, I like to strip down my skincare routine to the very bare minimum and dig out the Liz Earle Cleanse&Polish Hot Cloth Cleanser 200ml (£24.75). Despite being quite a basic cleanser, it's still pretty amazing and I always make sure to keep a bottle around all the time, in case something like this happens. It melts away all the makeup and grime whilst nourishing the skin and calming any redness, soothing and cleansing without too much fuss. Rather than with the muslin cloth that comes with it, I've been using it with my Foreo Luna Mini (£99), simply washing it away with warm water afterwards. The Luna Mini was an easy choice for this favourites post as it is now a staple of my everyday routine and definitely something I look forward to using morning and night. In just one minute it dislodges dead skin cells, refines pores and leaves my skin baby soft and radiant and ready for the rest of my skincare lineup.

On the beauty front, as I've mentioned in my previous post, I've been absolutely obsessed with brow products in the last few weeks and I have two on rotation at the moment. With a couple of extra minutes to spare I reach for the Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz (£15.50) in Caramel to draw all the missing hair and fill out my far too short brows, for a defined look that doesn't look artificial or too painted-on.
For quick fixes and busy days, enter the Benefit Gimme Brow (£17.50) which is great to set those unruly hair and give definition either on its own or in combination with pencils or powders. Light-medium is an amazing shade for ladies with fair brows like me, as it's not too warm or too ashy and looks very natural and flattering. The gel definitely makes the hair appear thicker and the brows generally fuller, although I can't really see those fibers everyone keeps talking about. This one goes in the essentials pile for sure.

For base, I have a new favourite primer/foundation combo. I've been testing out the Make Up For Ever Mat Velvet Foundation (£26) for my pro kit and, while I'm not a big fan of matte foundations on my dry skin, it's impossible not to enjoy the perfect shade match - which is such a rare thing for me - and the long lasting formula that goes seamlessly from day to night without need for setting powder or touch-ups along the way. To keep it light and fresh, I buff an uber thin layer on top of my current primer of choice, the Laura Mercier Foundation Primer Protect (£29). It fits somewhere in between the Oil-free formula and the Radiance one, combining a mix of clear glow that shines through the base, great lasting powers and an spf of 30 PA+++ which is an absolute must-have for the warmer days to come.

I'm always on the hunt for the ultimate makeup brush - not the cheapest activity, I'm afraid - and recently I've got my hungry mitts on the Wayne Goss artist brush range. One of my top pick has to be the Wayne Goss Brush #14 (£22) as I reach for it daily to dust on my Hourglass powder, a super sheer layer of bronzer and blend everything together for a flawless base. The uber soft bristles are also ideal to apply anything from insanely pigmented blushes to glittery highlighters and achieve the most natural finish.

Last on my list, the Dove Refresh+Care Dry Shampoo (£4.59) is now a staple of my styling routine and also a great option for anyone on the market for the perfect mix of texturizing and volumizing spray and of course an extra help to keep the hair looking fresh in between washes. It smells divine, doesn't leave any awkward grey cast behind and gives a second day-hair feel without making my locks look gross or in need of a wash the next day. So far the best dry shampoo I've tried.

What are your winning products for the month of April?


A Cult Beauty Haul.

maggio 05, 2014

Foreo Luna Mini in Magenta // Jouer Anti-blemish Matte Primer // Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz in Caramel // Oskia Renaissance Cleansing Gel // Jouer Luminizing Mini Moisture Tint in Opal //Kevyn Aucoin The Creamy Glow Duo in Sculpting Medium/Candlelight. //
Apparently everyone and their grandmothers know about my pee-wee shopping addiction, since one of the most frequently asked questions I get is about my favourite websites to shop at. There's plenty of course, but Cult Beauty is definitely at the top of my list with its amazing selection of standout products and beauty junkies favourites. Most of the time I'm simply happy to browse their incredible selection and read through the witty product descriptions but a few weeks ago I've placed not one but two very naughty orders and as usual my picks took my breath away.

The Foreo Luna Mini Magenta (£99) may be the best thing since ice cream. My skin has never looked this good: it's baby soft, radiant and incredibly even. I'm still a bit shocked by how effective this little thing is: it lifts dead skin cells, unclogs pores, drains and de-puffs with no sign of redness or of the faint discomfort that usually comes with other exfoliating devices. It works beautifully with all kind of cleansers but I especially enjoy using it in combination with the OSKIA Renaissance Cleansing Gel (£32.50) which is my new number one cleanser and likely ultimate Holy Grail. I find this works best at night time as it melts away every last bit of makeup, stubborn waterproof mascara included, in just a few rubs. It leaves a small residue behind that doesn't feel unpleasant at all and actually seems to improve radiance and elasticity and nourish the skin, fully harmonizing with the rest of my routine.

I do like my medium coverage foundations but every now and then I feel the need for something a little bit lighter, both in coverage and texture, and that's when the Jouer Luminous Moisture Tint Minis (£17.50) step in. I was already addicted to the Matte alternative of this tinted moisturizer, but this heart-stopping radiant formula has now snatched the crown of best sheer base in my stash. It's extremely lightweight and sheer, but not so much that it becomes pointless, and it evens out my skin tone beautifully. What I love the most about it is the utterly perfect way it reflects the light, only in the right places, making my skin look firm and healthy and my pores almost invisible. Also from Jouer, I picked up the Anti-blemish Matte Primer (£30) on a whim, because I've been looking everywhere for a silicone-free mattifying primer. I'm a huge fan of treatment makeup and this primer is the ultimate skincare hybrid: it calms redness and treats blemishes whilst helping prevent new breakouts and of course keeps the skin shine-free but not overly flat, which I really like. I'm still testing it out but I'll keep you posted.

Last month at Cosmoprof the gorgeous Anastasia - yes, the Anastasia as in Anastasia Beverly Hills, I'm still in awe - gave me a brow makeover and I've been completely obsessed with brow products ever since. I've put aside my precious MAC Fling for a moment and I've treated myself to a Brow Wiz (£15.50) in the shade Caramel, which is a great match for my light golden brown hair. I love that it twists up and down - unlike Fling - and since the nib is extra fine and stiff, I can draw every single hair and fill in any sparse area in just a few strokes. It gives great definition but the result is surprisingly natural and the built-in spoolie is super handy for quick blending and taming. Holy Grail material for sure.
Another great pick is the Kevyn Aucoin Creamy Glow Duo in Sculpting/Candlelight (£23), something I've coveted for the longest time as I absolutely adore its powder counterparts. It's my current go-to product for fresh, glowy skin: Candlelight gives a stunning, uber flattering sheen to the cheekbones and even if Sculpting looks a little bit dark and scary, it blends seamlessly and mimics the perfect shadow to sculpt and define.

Have you tried any of these products? Did anything catch your eye?