Archive for February, 2010

Madara Eco Cosmetics – Cleanser & Toner

I discovered Madara Eco Cosmetics in the Wallpaper* City Guide to Riga, and became interested in their products and ethos. Based in Latvia, Madara products are entirely natural and organic (certified by ECOCERT), and use plant and flower extracts grown in the Baltic region. They use environmentally friendly packaging and energy efficient production methods, sounds good right?

Whilst I am concerned about using environmentally friendly packaging, not all chemicals in skincare are bad, and some skins can’t tolerate essential oils which are used a lot in natural products. I try to find what works best for me, and if it’s clean and natural, so much the better.

About a month ago, I purchased my first two Madara products, the Deep Purifying Foam and the Deep Comfort Toner. I should mention at this point that I have combination, acne prone skin and got these products when it was extremely cold, so my skin was more dry and flaky than usual, as well as experiencing a bad breakout.

The Deep Purifying Foam is the only cleanser currently sold by Madara, and is meant for all skin types to deeply and gently remove traces of makeup and cleanse the skin. At first I was skeptical because all my previous experiences of foaming cleansers had left my skin feeling overly dried and uncomfortably tight. I was more than pleasantly surprised because this is the creamiest foaming cleanser! You only need a tiny amount,  apply to a damp face and you get a comforting lather which rinses cleanly and leaves the skin feeling clean and fresh, not at all dry. I’ve used this on my eyes with no problems and it’s great for removing the last tiny bits of makeup, but I would not expect this to remove all my makeup because it’s not designed for that purpose. It comes in a white pump bottle with clear cap.

I believe I paid 17 € for this cleanser, and it’s 150ml.

Ingredients

Aqua, Rosa Damascena (Rose) Distillate*, Sodium Cocoamphoacetate, Alcohol, Glycerin*, Surcose Cocoate, Achillea Millefolium (Yarrow) Extract*, Hypericum Perforatum (St. John’s Wort) Extract*, Calendula Officinalis (Calendula) Extract*, Chamomilla Recutita (Camomile) Extract*

* Ingredients issued from Organic Agriculture;
100% of the total ingredients are of a natural origin;
30,2% of the total ingredients are issued from Organic Agriculture;
Natural and Organic cosmetic certified by ECOCERT SAS – B.P. 47  F-32600 according to ECOCERT Standards.

I chose to purchase the Deep Comfort Toner for dry to very dry skin because I wanted something really simple and calming to use after cleansing. Containing only water, rosewater, camomile and glycerin (very hydrating), this fit the bill perfectly. I use this both alone and after cleansing to freshen and moisturise my skin – its simple ingredients are what I love about Madara. This was 18€ for 200ml.

Ingredients

Aqua, Rosa Damascena (Rose) Distillate*, Anthemis Nobilis (Camomile) Flower Water*, Glycerin*

* ingredients issued from Organic Agriculture;
100% of the total ingredients are of a natural origin;
21.5% of the total ingredients are issued from Organic Agriculture;
Natural and Organic cosmetic certified by ECOCERT SAS – B.P. 47  F-32600 according to ECOCERT Standards.

Using these two products, my skin is much calmer and less affected by the recent cold weather, overall it feels more balanced and clean. I would love to try more products in the future.

Picture source & further information | http://www.madara-cosmetics.lv/intl

(I purchased both these products myself)

Forty Beauty Questions

I saw this tag on a youtube video and thought it would be a good way to introduce some of my likes & dislikes without having to write an essay about myself. Plus I love reading these kinds of things about other people!

SKINCARE


-How many times do you wash your face daily? Always at night, first makeup removal and then cleansing clean skin. Sometimes I do it in the morning but only if I feel I need it.


-What skin type do you have? (dry,oily,combo) Combination, but not extreme – my cheeks are normal, chin is oily, forehead is both oily and dry. My skin seems dehydrated most of the time which tends to cause dryness and oiliness.


-What is your current facial wash? I use Madara Deep Purifying Foam cleanser.


-Do you exfoliate? Yes, I find it really helps.


-What brand do you use? Mostly I use a liquid exfoliator by Biologique Recherche called P50W but I also like Natura Bisse Glycolics.


-What moisturizer do you use? At the moment it’s Biologique Recherche Creme Dermopurifante, I’ve been using this for about 6 months.


-Do you have freckles? Yep! But pretty faint, I tend to forget I have them now.


-Do you use eye cream? At night I use Neutrogena Healthy Skin Anti-Wrinkle and for day time I use Natura Bisse eye contour cream.


-Do you or did you have acne prone skin? I do, mostly hormonal.


-Did you ever have to use Pro-activ?
Never.

MAKE-UP


-What foundation do you use? By Terry Lumière Veloutée in Fair Ivory, I also have Make Up For Ever HD in 110 which I’m trying out.


-How about concealer? Haven’t found one I really like, so I’m just relying on foundation at the moment but I do need to get one. I’m thinking about trying MUFE.


-Do you know your undertone color? I’m pale & pink, so I think that means I’m cool?


-What do you think of fake eyelashes? I love them on other people if they’re done well.


-Did you know that you are suppose to change your mascara every 3 months? I do know that although I tend to stick more to the actual lifespan of the mascara, so I change it when it’s finished.


-What brand of mascara do you use? At the moment I’m using By Terry Mascara Soyeux in black. My favourites are Giorgio Armani Eyes to Kill and Dior Iconic.


-Sephora or MAC? Overall Sephora, not crazy about MAC but I like some things.


-Do you have a MAC Pro-card? Nope.


-What makeup tools do you use in make up application? Brushes, sometimes fingers.


-Do you use make-up base/primer for the eyes? I use Urban Decay Primer Potion, but I think I’ll try Too Faced Shadow Insurance when I’m finished.


-For the face? Face primers don’t seem to agree with me. I love L’Oreal Studio Secrets Resurfacing Primer for oil control but it breaks me out so I save it for special occasions. Most days I use a coloured base to help with redness, By Terry Colour Skin Enhancer in Midnight Mauve.


-What is your favorite eyeshadow (color or shade)? I like neutrals, and my favourite brands for eyeshadow are Chantecaille, Giorgio Armani and By Terry.


-Do you use pencil or liquid eyeliner? I’ve used all different kinds, but my favourite at the moment is cake – Chanel La Ligne.


-How often do you poke your eyes with an eyeliner pencil? Never.


-What do you think of pigment eyeshadows? I always use pressed.


-Do you use mineral makeup? I’ve used Bare Escentuals and it was ok, but irritated my skin a tiny bit so it wasn’t worth it.


-What is your favorite lipstick? My Lips But Better shades, Chantecaille Lip Chic in Camellia, Giorgio Armani Rouge d’Armani in Beige 100, and Beige 103. For red I like Dolce & Gabbana in Ultra, and bright pinks like Giorgio Armani Lip Wax in 7.


-How about lipgloss? All the Chantecaille Brilliant glosses have a great texture, also By Terry Baume de Rose Crystal gloss, and Korres Cherry gloss in Light Pink 11.


-What is your favorite blush to use? Changes daily! But I like peaches and corals, from Chantecaille, Nars,
and Giorgio Armani.


-Do you buy your makeup on ebay? Nope, I don’t shop on ebay for anything.


-Do you like drugstore makeup? Since I tend to research my more expensive purchases, I’m rarely disappointed in them, and I prefer high end products. Drugstore makeup is more likely to be an impulse purchases that goes unused, but Prestige Total Intensity Liners are probably my favourite.


-Do you go to CCO’s? (cosmetic company outlets) Not very often, there’s none very close.


-Did you ever consider taking make-up classes? Yes, but I don’t think I want to be a make up artist.


-Are you clumsy in putting on makeup? Sometimes with mascara.


-Name a makeup crime that you hate? Too much frost & glitter!


-Do you like colorful shades of makeup (lipstick,eyeshadow) or neutral ones? Neutrals for most, I’ll only wear brighter colours on toes & lips.


-Which celebrity always has great make up? Someone like Jennifer Aniston always looks fresh & polishes and never overdone.


-If you could leave the house using just ONE make up item,what would you use? Mascara, everytime.


-Could you ever leave the house without any makeup on? Yes absolutely, but I prefer to have something on. Just a little mascara and blush makes all the difference. Having said that, if my hair is bad, nothing helps!


-Do you think you look good even without any makeup on? Hm, I think I look better with it but I don’t mind not wearing it either. Hard for me to say!


-In your opinion, what is the BEST makeup line? I have the most from By Terry but every brand has their standout products, so I like to pick and choose what gets a place in my makeup bag.


-What do you think of Makeup??
Love it! I may expand more on this point in a future post when I can get my thoughts together.

Paul & Joe x Alice In Wonderland

Whilst I’ve largely overlooked the seemingly endless Alice In Wonderland collaborations, this was one I couldn’t ignore. Paul & Joe have created two limited edition kits to tie in with the upcoming film and I picked one up yesterday. Again I’m not sure when they were officially released in stores, but this was the first time I’d seen them in person so I would assume very recently. They retail for 34€ and I got set 001, Fantasy.

Each set is packaged in a pretty card box (this was hard to take good pictures of, the gold lettering didn’t show up very well!)

Inside each box is a pretty tin containing a tinted lip treatment, blotting paper compact and blotting paper refill (I think there’s 100 in each).

The tin

Front, back and inside of blotting paper compact, this is made from a leather effect material.

Blotting paper refill packaging

Lip Treatment Stick, the tube is cardboard.

Overall this is a nice, well designed and useful kit. I’ve read that it works out as fairly good value to buy the set as opposed to buying the items seperately, though I haven’t done the numbers myself. The lip treatment stick is essentially clear, though it does minimally tone down the pigmentation of my lips – but it’s nicely moisturising without being waxy or heavy. Paul and Joe doesn’t seem to usually sell out but there’s been a lot of buzz about this collaboration so I hope that it will encourage people to look at their other products as well.

I also received a GWP for spending over 50€, which was a brush roll decorated in the same fabric as the new potted glosses. I really wanted this because I don’t have anything similar for packing brushes when I travel, and I was pleased to see that it’s well made, with 8 slots of different widths and a net pocket for smaller items and sponges. However as you’ll see, it’s not big enough for some of my longer brushes! For scale I’ve used a MAC 217 which fits perfectly and a MAC 129 which is just a bit too long.

Paul & Joe Creamy Cheek Powder

Source | Paul & Joe Beaute Facebook

Paul and Joe recently added a small range of cream blushes to their line, as part of the Spring 2010 Wild Flowers collection. There are 5 colours in total, all with a slight shimmer and fragrance. They retail for 22€, or £18.

  • 01 Marionette – a bright, but not shocking pink.
  • 02 Kitten – a softer, paler pink.
  • 03 Peaches – just as the name suggests, a peach!
  • 04 Butterfly – similar to Peaches, but more orange / coral
  • 05 Dusk – a darker brownish colour, slightly golden.

I’m not sure exactly when these were released but I purchased mine this week at Printemps in Paris, and they’re also available on asos.com. I believe they are the same size as the face powders and come in the solid pink compact with mirror. Though I’m usually attracted to peaches and corals, I decided to buy Kitten.

What I wanted when I bought this product was something that was quick and easy to use, but the texture of this product means that it requires a little bit of work, as well as the correct tools. The name “Creamy Cheek Powder” is worth paying attention to. I don’t find this to be particularly creamy, but it’s definitely not powdery or chalky either. With a little bit of warmth from your fingers, you can build up the product to apply but it’s then very hard to blend that onto your cheek, it doesn’t slip onto the skin like other cream blushes. After patting the product onto my cheek, I then used a blush brush to buff the colour , it started to blend better.  So this is what I mean when I say that the blush needs a bit of time and effort!

But it might just be worth it. When I stepped back from the mirror, the effect was very pretty and fresh & unlike other cream blushes, this one did not sit on my skin or look greasy. The shimmer is only really noticeable when you swatch, it’s very subtle once applied – just enough to ensure that the blush doesn’t look “flat”. What really surprised me about this was the staying power. After a long day of walking around, my blush still looked as fresh as when I’d applied it – I’ll be interested to see if this is still true in warmer weather. Nevertheless, this was really an outstanding result for me as I rarely feel that my blush stays true all day and I feel that this would be an excellent layering product or base for powder blushes.

Overall, though it’s not the easiest to work with, it’s non sticky and has great staying power and though the colours are dupeable, the texture is unique in my opinion.
Click here to see ingredients