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  • Ulta50% off Urban Decay Naked Concealer (now $14.50), ends 10/28.

Life-Changing Beauty Products from France

By Lulle, France, Local Contributor

Lulle was born in France, and she says she came to life so hungry that she was trying to swallow her entire first–and the fondness for food never went away! She wasn’t obsessed with makeup as a teenager or young adult. At 25, she moved to Instanbul, Turkey, where she lived for five years, and this is where the beauty addiction started. When she wandered through duty-free shops while traveling, she discovered a whole new, glamorous world.

Lulle is easy-going, loving, and spontaneous; she loves to enjoy every moment of life. Check out her blog, Beau Miroir!

Life-Changing Beauty Products from France

A few products that changed my life, and the best tip I ever got from my Grandma!

Cicabiafine Crème Hydratante Corporelle Anti-irritations (about €15) doesn’t have sexy packaging or an appealing scent, but believe me, it’s worth a thousand tequila-marshmallow-flavored moisturizers. If your skin is desperately dry in the winter, to the point where it becomes itchy and uncomfortable, this body cream will save your life like it saved mine. It works like magic to relieve extreme dryness and irritation without being too heavy or greasy.  It is unscented, paraben- and coloring-free. Without this Holy Grail, I would have lost my sanity last winter, when the skin on my legs felt like the Siberian desert.

One of the very first pieces of advice I was given at my beauty salon was “Sop using a scrub on your face–it is too harsh–use a gentle granule-free exfoliator instead!”  I wasn’t really convinced, but I bought a tube of Institut Esthederm Osmoclean Crème Douce Désincrustante (around €30) to try it out. I’m glad I trusted my beautician! This gentle purifying cream absorbs impurities and all you have to do is massage it on your face until it thickens and then rinse it. It leaves my skin feeling soft, perfectly clean and refreshed. Since I started using this exfoliator instead of mechanical scrubs, I have noticed that my face looks healthier, clearer, and less oily on the T-zone.  Obviously, aggressive treatments were just harming my skin, which led it to produce more sebum as an attempt to protect itself. This exfoliating cream has been the biggest revelation in my skincare routine since I discovered soap-free cleansers!

Caron is not only one of the greatest Parisian parfumeurs–the brand is also a master in the art of face powder. Their loose powder La Poudre Libre Caron (€44) was formulated in the 1930s, yet it is still the best face powder on the market! The metal box looks luxurious and can easily be manipulated and transported (no mess in your weekend suitcase) thanks to the screw top hidden inside. The powder itself is lightweight, very finely milled, and has a rose scent. What makes it so amazing for me is that it delivers excellent coverage but still looks very natural on my skin. I love the slightly powdery finish that keeps my face looking matte and polished all day long! I wore this powder on my wedding day, and I had a lot of compliments about my flawless, radiant skin. I don’t think I will ever be able to use another loose powder without being disappointed!

When I was a teenager, my grandmother gave me a tip–very simple but extremely efficient and gentle–to exfoliate lips. You want to get rid of dead dry skin and have perfectly soft and smooth lips before you apply your favorite lipstick. All you need is a cotton pad and warm water! Soak your cotton pad in the water for a moment, press it between your fingers to remove excess water, place it between your lips and “bite” for about a minute. The warm wet cotton will soften the dry skin. Then, rub it gently on your lips to remove the dead skin and immediately apply a moisturizing balm. Voila!

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Chanel Rebelle Rouge Coco Shine

Chanel Rebelle Rouge Coco Shine
Chanel Rebelle Rouge Coco Shine

Chanel Rebelle Rouge Coco Shine

Chanel Rebelle Rouge Coco Shine ($32.00 for 0.10 oz.) is a semi-opaque red-coral with a healthy shine. It has warm undertones, but they’re subtle and come from the pink-red hue, rather than orange, so it should work on both cooler and warmer complexions. Guerlain Bal de Mai is similar but more opaque, less red. MAC Hibiscus is more orange. Bobbi Brown Guava and Chanel Flamboyante are brighter.

I’ve reviewed numerous Rouge Coco Shines in the past, and while it’s not my favorite formula, I know that there are plenty of readers who love it! For me, where this product consistently falls short is in its hydration–it’s not drying, but it’s not moisturizing. Rebelle wore for two and a half hours, which is one of the longer wear times I’ve been able to get out of the formula. It’s a shame, because the consistency feels great; creamy, nice level of slip, and lightweight on the lips. With the shorter wear time, the lessened product amount compared to other Chanel lipsticks, is a bit painful.


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Tarina Tarantino Lovely Jewel Eyeshadow Palette

Tarina Tarantino Lovely Jewel Eyeshadow Palette
Tarina Tarantino Lovely Jewel Eyeshadow Palette

Tarina Tarantino Lovely Jewel Eyeshadow Palette ($32.00 for 0.32 oz.) is a smoky eye palette that consists mostly of grays and silvers. Tarina Tarantino’s eyeshadow formula can be used wet or dry, and each shade is supposed to have excellent pigmentation.

The shade on the left is a bright white-silver with a frosted finish. It has good color payoff, but the texture is a touch dry. MAC Filament is a bit darker and not as bright. MAC Misty is grayer.

On the top, there is a shade that’s a pale ivory with subtle warm undertones and a frosted sheen. The color payoff is decent to good, but it could be softer and smoother. MAC Dazzlelight is similar, but Chanel Prelude is closer.

The shade on the right is a charcoal gray with a shimmery sheen. This has good color payoff, but the texture is slightly drier–not quite as dense or as buttery as other shades have been in the past. Bobbi Brown Gunmetal is similar but darker. Urban Decay Gunmetal is very similar.

In the center, there is a soft beige-brown with a soft shimmer. The color payoff is good, but the texture is a touch powdery. Chanel Eclosion is darker and warmer. MAC Sweet Satisfaction is warmer. MAC Grain is similar.

The last shade, on the bottom, is a dark black with a satiny finish. It has good color payoff, and because it has more of a matte finish, it has a drier feel overall but still soft. Bare Escentuals Lights Down is slightly lighter. MAC Carbon is lighter but more matte.

It’s my least favorite palette of the ones I’ve tried by Tarina Tarantino, because of the difference in quality; these shades were less pigmented than expected with drier/powdery textures.  A great smoky eye palette is nice to have, but this one leaves something to be desired.  It’s not bad, but it’s not great, and given how nice her other palettes have been, it’s a let-down.  When I wore this to test out the wear, it wore for around eight hours without creasing without a primer, but it was slightly faded after nine hours.  With a primer, I didn’t have any wear issues.

Tarina Tarantino Lovely Jewel Eyeshadow Palette


5 Stunning Chartreuse Eyeshadows

5 Stunning Chartreuse Eyeshadows

One of my favorite colors to wear on the eyes is chartreuse.  It’s one of those colors I fell madly in love with from the get-go.  I can’t tell you how happy I was when MAC made Lucky Green permanent!  I love pairing chartreuse with deeper greens, blues, and teals.

What’s your favorite chartreuse eyeshadow?

This Week’s Sales for January 24th, 2012

Feel free to share any upcoming deals you’ve spotted!

  • EBATES:  SkinStore (8%), DermStore (7.5%), Lancome (7%), Clarins (7%)
  • GILT:  —
  • HAUTELOOK: Cargo (1/23), Skin Authority (1/23), Alterna (1/24), Allison Raffaele (1/24), Dermelect (1/24), Evis MD (1/25), VIOlight (1/25), Nia 24 (1/25), Ricky’s NYC Mattesse Elite (1/26), La Fresh (1/26), Strixaderm (1/26)
  • IDEELI:  360 Skincare (1/25)
  • MRREBATES:  Murad (12%), Apothica (10%), DermStore (10%), ULTA (8%)
  • MYHABIT: Bremenn Research Labs (1/23)
  • Rue La La:

Free Shipping, Coupon Codes, GWPs

  • APOTHICA: Free shipping on orders of $49+.
  • BATH & BODY WORKS:   20% off entire purchase with code GIFT20, expires 2/15/2012.
  • BEAUTY.COM:  Get a free Issa London Designer Bag + deluxe samples ($175 value!) with your $100 order, while supplies last — link.
  • BENEFIT: Free shipping on $50+ purchases with code PRETTY50. Free international shipping with $115+ purchases with code WORLD115.
  • BLOOMINGDALE’S: Free shipping on orders of $150+ with code FS150.
  • BLISS:   4 free travel-ready treats with $75+ purchase with code FOURGIFTS, expires 1/31.  Free the Youth as We Know It Eye Cream when you book the new Youth as We Know It Facial, 1/16 thru 1/30. Free pair of glamour gloves with $75+ purchase with code GLAMHANDS, expires 1/31.  Free Sisley Discovery Kit Mini with $250+ Sisley purchase with code DISCOVERY, expires 1/31.
  • BOBBI BROWN: Free shipping on $65+ orders.  Free long-wear cream shadow in Suede + free shipping with $65+ purchase with code SUEDE9, expires 1/3 (one time use).  Free shimmer lip gloss in Glacier + free shipping on $65+ orders with code GLACIER9, expires 1/31 (one time use).  Free Plumberry Treatment Lip Shine SPF 15 with $65+ order with code PLUM11, expires 4/13.  Free Nougat Lipgloss with $65+ order with code GLOSS12, expires 4/13. Receive Bobbi’s Classics to Go Set with $150+ purchase with code ROSEG12, expires 1/27.
  • CLINIQUE:  Free shipping on $50+ orders.
  • DERMSTORE:  10% off when you shop for your My Favorites List, expires 6/2/12.
  • ELIZABETH ARDEN:  15-piece Luxe collection ($165 value) for $29.50 with any order, expires 2/10.
  • GIORGIO ARMANI BEAUTY:   Free shipping with $75+ orders + 2 samples of choice for registered members. Free shipping with any $75+ purchase with code DESIGNER10, no expiration. Free shipping with $75+ purchase of spring color, expires 1/24.
  • KIEHLS:  Free shipping on orders over $50.   Purchase Creamy Eye Treatment with Avocado + receive free shipping + deluxe Ultra Facial Cream with code AVOCADO, expires 1/29.  Purchase 2 Ultra Facial products + receive deluxe Hand Salve and Powerful Strength Line Reducing Concentrate with code UF123, expires 2/15.
  • LANCOME: Free 4-piece sample + free shipping with $45+ orders with code NEWYEARLAN, expires 1/31. Free 6-piece + tote with $75+ orders.
  • NORDSTROM:  Free shipping & free returns everyday.
  • ORIGINS:  Free shipping on $50+ orders, no code necessary. Free Perfect World Antioxidant cleanser with White Tea + free shipping on any purchase with code BONUS1, expires 2/4.
  • PHILOSOPHY:   Free shipping on $50+ orders, no code necessary.  Free Gift of Hope with $65+ purchase with code HOPE2012, expires 1/13.
  • SAKS FIFTH AVENUE:  Spend $150 and get a free subscription to Harper’s Bazaar with code BAZAAR. Receive an exclusive Sophie Theallet cosmetic case + 7-piece beauty set (up to $151 value) with $65+ Lancome purchase with code LANCOME4A, expires 1/30.
  • SEPHORA:   Free Skincare Sample Bag with $25+ purchase with code TRY14, expires 2/1.  Free deluxe sample of Algenist Firming & Lifting Cream with $25+ purchase with code FIRM, expires 2/1.  $10 Fresh Soy Cleanser & Mascara duo, no code needed, expires 2/1.  Free deluxe sample of Living Proof Restore Hairmask Treatment with $25+ purchase with code HAIRMASK, expires 2/1.  Free deluxe sample of REN Micro Polish Cleanser with $25+ purchase with code RENMICRO, expires 2/1.  Free Carol’s Daughter Monoi Repairing Trio with $25+ purchase with code MONOI, expires 2/1.  Free deluxe sample of Laura Mercier Radiance Primer on $25+ orders with code RADIANCE, expires 1/31.
  • SKINSTORE.COM:  20% off select gift ideas under $200 with code NEW2012, expiration unknown.
  • THE BODY SHOP (USA):  Free shipping on $50+ orders. Buy 2, Get 1 free on bath & body products, expires 2/5. 2 for $20 hand creams, expires 2/5. Free shipping on $30+ orders today only.
  • ULTA:  20% off with code 62714 (exclusions apply).
  • YSL:  Free shipping on any order, no code necessary.