Tuesday, April 8, 2014

I'm A Fool For Foundation - Part II

Some more foundations faves from yours truly, the foundation hoarder! [peep Part I here]

I was first introduced to this compact foundation when I attended the Murale Spring 2014 preview last November. It was a treat because I was able to meet Victor Casale, a founding partner of the brand who actually was chief chemist and managing director at MAC. Naturally, I didn't realize who the hell I was rambling on to until about halfway through the chat, but we had a solid discussion about powder foundations for women of colour. I expressed that in addition to not necessarily needing a ton of shine control from powder, I didn't really love the ashy cast of powder foundations on my skin. Vic assured me that CoverFX had put in a tremendous amount of research and effort to find the right shades that were true to the undertones found in a vast array of women of all ethnicities. I was colour-matched to shade G50, which is for medium to tanned skin with golden undertones. I was pretty thrilled with the look and feel of this powder, because it wore more like a cream than a powder (though it isn't a cream-to-powder formula), and it looked very believeable as skin, as makeup should. The powder wears well on oily skin, and I would definitely recommend it to any women of colour looking for a powder foundation that doesn't contain talc.

This one's a new addition to the Chanel foundation lineup, which has been going through some changes in the last couple of years. I was interning at Chanel when the original Perfection Lumière launched and I personally didn't have use for a long-wear product at that point in my life, so I didn't embrace it as I did the more lightweight formulas such as Vitalumière and Vitalumière Aqua. This foundation is a whole other experience than the original Perfection Lumière. They're meant to be different, so I feel ridiculous comparing them, but rest assured, these formulas are very much their own entities. Perfection Lumière Velvet is a medium-coverage, lightweight fluid that smooths on to skin with little effort, drying down to a velvety soft finish. It's apparently replacing Mat Lumière, which is a bit of a bummer (I just hate change, let's be real), so I can definitely see how Perfection Lumière Velvet is meant to be a more modern, updated interpretation Mat Lumière. It's definitely geared towards normal to oily skin, but I wouldn't rule it out entirely for anyone with dry skin, especially as summer heat rolls around. This will be a serious go-to for humid days, because the soft matte finish holds up brilliantly all day. Bonus: the packaging is PLASTIC aka TRAVEL-FRIENDLY! No decanting necessary, no praying to a higher power for leak-free luggage on arrival. HIGH PRAISE TO CHANEL!

Y'all, I've almost used up this foundation. Me. I have nearly used something UP! Big statement and/or accomplishment, one that allows me to comment on this foundation and how it wears. Obviously, Urban Decay has been putting a lot of effort into the whole Naked range (and who can blame them, it's selling like hot cakes), and I was a bit apprehensive about this foundation because I hadn't really ventured beyond lip or eye products from the brand before [Note: and one nail polish in 1999 called "Adrenaline" that Victoria Beckham supposedly sported]. This foundation is excellent! It imparts a satiny finish, it's virtually imperceptible on the skin, and the formula is loaded with a bunch of antioxidants and hyaluronate. It's one I would most certainly consider repurchasing.

Rumour Mill:

Word on the street (internet) for ages now has been that that L'Oreal True Match liquid foundation is allegedly similar to Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk. Now, you'd think that since I'm such a lover of Luminous Silk, I'd run out to my nearest drugstore and snap it up to confirm, but a couple things have held me back from doing so:
1) I need another foundation like I need a hole in my lungs (I have six (6!!!!) bottles on the go on my bathroom vanity at this moment)
2) The price point, while fair for a dupe of a $68 foundation, is a bit steep for drugstore levels (I believe it runs about $20+tax).
If anyone has any thoughts on this dupe situation, do share! 

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

For Your Consideration: Deodorant

A couple years back, I broke out in a pretty heinous rash and discovered that I'd apparently developed a high intolerance to aluminum chlorohydrate. This chemical compound is the active ingredient found in virtually all antiperspirants on the market, as it is the ingredient that literally plugs your sweat glands and prevents them from releasing sweat.

I have minimal desire to hypothesize about the impact of aluminum chlorohydrate on one's overall health. Aluminum chlorohydrate has been linked to breast cancer and Alzheimer's disease, both of which run in my family. I can't say I made the conscious effort to switch to a deodorant from an antiperspirant because of research findings linking the chemicals to the aforementioned illnesses, but I can say I'm happy to release toxins through sweating. That's a good, normal and healthy thing to do, at least in my opinion for my own existence. I suppose it's an inherently Western ideal to not sweat and avoid it like the plague, but if you plug those sweat glands up, where will the toxins go? That thought freaks me out, so I say let it out, and stick to deodorants that will help you neutralize your natural odour. If that's the best than can be done, then so be it!

I've tried deodorants from the following brands: Dove, Dove Men, Secret, Adidas, Dr. Hauschka, Nivea, Tom's of Maine, Weleda, Arm & Hammer, Kiss My Face, Lavilin, Lavanila, Green Beaver, Dr. Mist, Le Couvent De Minimes, Right Guard, Byly, Crystal, Fresh...... the list goes on. Many variables go into the successful pairing of a person and a deodorant, so naturally, some of these products weren't the best fit. Here are some deodorants I've tried and have repurchased in the past couple of years.

Okay, this stuff is available on Amazon.ca, but it costs a small fortune. I only ever spot antiperspirants from Arm & Hammer in our Canadian drugstores, and I think maybe a deo or two, but the smell is totally different. I usually stock up on this particular product when in any American drugstore, or I get my dear mother (thanks mom!) to grab it in Publix when she's in Florida for $2.99. It's aluminum-free and paraben-free, smells fresh and very gender neutral. It won't compete too aggressively with any fragrance you choose to wear. This one didn't stop me from sweating, but it did inhibit any odour quite effectively.

This roll-on was a product I purchased on a whim from grocerygateway.com, of all places. I was pleasantly surprised at how effective this liquid is. It seems to have curbed both sweat and stench in one fell swipe (hehe), so it's my current go-to. I have a backup ready to rock, as I'm nearing the end of my first one. It has no smell of its own, which thrills me, but it does come in a sport scent and a lavender scent, neither of which sat well with me when I sought them out at Loblaws. One severely annoying downside to this deo: the packaging leaks like CRAZY, so it's a no-go for travel, especially air travel. Do not pack this on a trip, because the entire contents will leak out almost instantly. KISS MY FACE, if you can HEAR (read) ME, PLEASE REPACKAGE THIS FLUID!!

This was a recommendation from Lesa Hannah, who suggested I keep my pits guessing by switching up my deodorant on a regular basis. I ordered this one from well.ca and while it wasn't cheap, it does work well. Do follow directions and also note that a stick and cream version exist if roll-ons aren't your preferred method of application. There's apparently a fragrance-free version also floating around out there, but I haven't come across it to give it a whirl. The Lavilin scent is unoffensive and won't overbear your senses by any stretch.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Chanel Le Volume de Chanel Mascara Vending Machine

I wandered into Holts Bloor today and was greeted by a pretty fun concept: A Chanel Le Volume de Chanel Mascara vending machine !

Here's the scoop: go to the counter and purchase a token (for $37 aka the price of the mascara, and as you may know, I'm a MONSTROUS fan of this formula - instant huge volume with practically no effort), scurry over to the vending machine that's sitting front and centre as soon as you walk into the main entrance of Holt Renfrew Bloor Street, and insert the obviously cool token to dispense a fresh mascara that you will love.

While you're around the counter, be sure to take a gander at the new eyeshadow quads, Les 4 Ombres Eyeshadows that have just been reformulated for the first time since they launched in 1982. The colours are inspired by tweeds (lest we forget, this is CHANEL!), and the pigmentation is outstanding compared to the former baked formulation.

I believe the vending machine will be in-store for another week, so stop by the counter to peep what's new and tell'em Poonam sent you!!

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Travel Bits

I recently escaped the cold for a brief jaunt to sunny Arizona. Here are some products I used on the daily (if not multiple times a day) while traveling! 

This product alternative title is apparently "24-hour Miracle Cream", and I'm thinking that's a substantial claim, but not one that I'm really going to argue with. I first started using this when I heard about it in a Pixiwoo video and then stumbled upon it at Ricky's NYC. I'm pretty into the texture and hydrating properties (shea butter, beeswax, aloe vera, soy protein), though I'm not wild about the packaging. The metal tube is pretty beat up, as it's my go-to travel moisturizer. I figured it'd be a great contender for any airplane dryness I'd face (boo HISS @ connecting flights), and it was.

It's a daily staple, not just a travel necessity, and frankly, sunscreen ought to be a daily staple for all y'all! This is an incredibly lightweight titanium dioxide/zinx oxide formula that absorbs quickly with no greasy residue at all. If you're at all averse to sunscreen greasiness of yesteryear, try this formula to have any and all of your sunscreen apprehension dramatically shift to complete and utter love. This one won't leave any whitish cast on your skin, so it's great for any and all skin tones. It's a needed product in your daily routine. Also: this sunscreen wears beautifully under makeup!

As I've mentioned, I have unusually pigmented lips, and time in the sun makes the edges of my mouth much darker. My go-to tinted balms that contain SPF usually melt in no time in heat (sorry,  Fresh Sugar Lip Tint), so I avoided carrying them in my bag for touch-ups or taking them with me when traveling. For sunscreen protection without a tint, I packed this Nivea stick, which is comfortable to wear thanks to vitamin E and sunflower extracts.

A newcomer to the Benefit range and a totally welcomed addition to my warm weather face routine, this lightweight foundation formula adjusts to match your skintone (though there are multiple shades in the range to begin with), goes from a creamy liquid to a matte, powder-like finish and contains SPF 35. What's not to like about this?

Nabbed a mini of this perfectly summery EDP as a Sephora VIB Rouge deluxe sample and have thoroughly enjoyed both wearing it and admiring the adorable nature of the teensy bottle. The pink peony, rose and amber notes are unusually appealing to me, a not-so-floral fragrance lover. Reminder: I like mini beauty things.

I can't say I love decanting products too much for travel purposes. I seem to buy endless amounts of travel-size containers for this exact purpose and they all seem to collectively suck because they all end up being the containers that leak endless inside my Ziploc bag. No bueno. Every hand cream I had in my arsenal seemed to be 2+ ounces, so I was amped when this sample surfaced in a drawer. I've had a number of these over the years, and the smell now reminds me of air travel (in a good way - and yes, I do think that's a thing!), and it really does an excellent job of hydrating, softening and soothing hands. Well worth the full size purchase!