Friday, August 28, 2015

The Body Shop | White Musk Libertine

The Body Shop - White Musk Libertine
White Musk is one of those scents that appeal to the masses, with a few rare exceptions. The Body Shop's White Musk range is a successful example as it has a cult status among TBS fans. I myself love the range so much so that their body mist just has to be in my perfumes stash at all times. 

Their White Musk Libertine range is nothing new, its been around for as long as I can remember. It is a sweet take on the original; and although sweet scents are something I strictly stay away from, I couldn't help getting Libertine.

The first thing I ever purchased from this range was their White Musk Libertine solid perfume (KWD 3) and I have this in my handbag for those sudden uncalled for touch-ups. It is very easy to carry around, the texture of the perfume is soft, white with a silver shimmer and blends well into the skin leaving behind a fresh trail of sweet musky goodness.

When I knew that this scent wasn't all too bad, it was time for the big plunge. And so happened the shower gel, body mist and the accompanying body lotion (KWD 12). 
The Body Shop - White Musk Libertine (solid perfume)
As with all TBS shower gels, it is strongly scented, the gel foams up quite luxuriously and stays fresh all day. Pairing it with its body lotion ensures that the scent lingers longer without fading. Coming to the fragrance mist, it greatly enhances the scent when layered on top of the body lotion but is also strong enough if applied on its own. I prefer body mists more than EDTs frankly, as they are lighter on the nose and can be layered later accordingly. This has moderate to heavy sillage and I find that it lasts all day on me, albeit not as strong as I first whiff it on. It does tend to fade a little. 

What is your favorite TBS scent? Do you like the Libertine range? 

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Real Techniques | Nic's Picks

Real Techniques - Nic's Picks
I was lucky enough to lay my hands on the limited edition Nic's Picks (KWD 17) set from Real Techniques from Lifestyle over a month ago. I think they launched sometime last year and since they were LE, I didn't imagine I'd get to buy them now after all these months but I guess they are slow to get sold out here in the Middle East. 

Anyhoo, the two main reasons why I wanted this set more than anything - first, there were three exclusive brush cuts in this set, meaning they are brand new brushes and NOT sold separately or in any other RT collection. And secondly, because I wanted a big fluffy brush to powder my face as I didn't own a single one and this happened to include the duo-fiber brush from their LE Duo Fiber Collection that launched about 2 years back. And which is still being sold here as well, LOL. So much for "limited edition".
Real Techniques - Nic's Picks
Quickly coming to the brushes themselves, the Duo Fiber Brush which I was really looking forward to owning is a neutral for me. Not bad, not great - just good. It has extremely fine, sparse bristles meaning it picks up very less product, so you're definitely not going to overdo any powder, blush or all-over bronzer. I wanted this for setting my makeup with powder, and it does a fine job. I still want that big fat RT powder brush though. 

I've read online that the exclusive Cheek Brush is somewhat similar to the Expert Face Brush. I don't own EFB personally so I cannot compare, but it really does look a lot similar from the pictures. This was also the main reason why I wanted this set desperately. By the time I get around to finally buy an EFB, I might as well do with a cheek brush. The bristles of this brush are dense, soft and pack on a good amount of product. I love this brush. 
Real Techniques - Nic's Picks
A brush I already own is the Base Shadow Brush, but its always good to have a back up. This is a good brush, applies smoothly all over the lid and also works well to define a crease for those who have small, barely visible eyes like me. The Angled Shadow Brush is my favorite among this lot and it makes defining a crease much easier. If you start out from the outer corner of the eye crease into the middle, it ensures the color is rich and dark at the corner while blending out beautifully at the middle. Very convenient to use. 

Lastly, the Angled Liner Brush is a good addition. I haven't really used it that much, but the angled shape does make drawing out a flick easier for those who are beginners. This is great for defining brows as well as its small and dense enough to ensure a natural stroke. I personally use the brow brush from the Starter Kit collection to draw a feline flick on my eyes, that works WOW; but for brows I feel it is too thick. 

So that's it for Nic's Picks. My favorites are the Angled Shadow Brush and the Cheek Brush. What's your favorite pick? 

Monday, August 17, 2015

Herbline Essentials | The Radiant AHA Cream

Herbline Essentials Radiant AHA cream 
Herbline Essentials Radiant AHA cream
By now, I have become a huge fan of Herbline Essentials and here's another amazing review of the Radiant AHA cream from their Premium range. Radiant AHA cream is to be used only at night as its (obviously) a cream loaded with alpha hydroxy acids. Just some background info, AHAs exfoliate the uppermost dead skin layer that cause dullness to reveal brighter skin from within. AHAs can cause photosensitivity, so any creams containing AHAs are mostly recommended to be used at night. 

Radiant AHA cream boasts an amazing array of ingredients like castor oil, grape seed oil and wheatgerm oil, all of which help in maintaining optimal skin elasticity. Lavender, clove and calendula effectively promote cell regeneration whilst also protecting the skin from external infections. Almond and coconut oil are great natural moisturizers. There's shea, aloe vera and jojoba oil in it along with many beneficial ingredients. Doesn't this sound too good to be true? But is it, really? Read on.

I have been using this cream along with Herbline's White Lily & Ginger face wash for over 2 months now. It is a milky white cream, smells herbal (but pleasant!) and spreads very well into the skin. About a tiny pea sized amount is needed for the entire face and neck; I've only finished about half of the tub till now. I love how it just vanishes from the skin after massaging it, does not feel greasy at all yet is still moisturizing enough. The best part is, it does not form tiny white clumps. I wonder if any of you guys find any cream clumping if you blend it too much into the skin or is it just me?! 
Herbline Essentials Radiant AHA cream
Herbline Essentials Radiant AHA cream
The next morning my skin feels a bit oily around the T-zone (that's a usual for me) and once I wash off using my Clarisonic, my skin is SO much clearer than it was the day before. The mild peeling effect is clearly visible in the way my skin is brighter, and literally breathing. I use this cream every alternate night, as I feel it might be too much if I use it daily. 

The packaging is slightly different from their original line. Since this product belongs to their Premium range, it has frosted plastic and gold packaging. The prices are also on the expensive side for this range but it is rightly so. While this may not be a miracle product, it does turn your skin from drab to fab within a week's use. My skin has been in a very good condition lately, as I've also been keeping it balanced by using their Papaya & Honey Mask once weekly. 

Radiant AHA Cream retails for KWD 28 and can be purchased online at their website www.herblineessentials.com or in major co-ops in Kuwait. 

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Bioderma | Matricium

Bioderma - Matricium
Bioderma - Matricium
When I first heard about Matricium, the concept itself was intriguing to me. It wasn't a cream or lotion that would make you fair with regular use or erase your pigmentation, oiliness or whatever - but it was a medical procedure that would complement whatever routine you are currently following. And it was only a course of 1 month, so although I am not the most determined of people when it comes to sticking to a routine, I really wanted to see the difference this made to my skin since I suffered an extremely bad breakout back in December due to which it hadn't completely healed.

Matricium comes in daily use plastic containers from which you should use twice a day - morning and night. It is basically just like water. There is no texture to it - no oiliness, no sticky feeling whatsoever. Just watery. It is like applying plain water to your skin and letting it sit there until it sinks into the skin by itself. There should be about 10 drops in total in each container, 5 each for morning and evening use. It has no fragrance, parabens and contains around 60 natural elements that support healthy skin turnover. What this whole thing promises to do is regenerate the cells from within so it helps in healthier cell renewal process. This is recommended for those that have suffered first degree burns, or any surgical treatment or condition that has made their skin fragile. 
Bioderma - Matricium
Bioderma - Matricium
Coming to my experience, the first two weeks that I used this showed visible improvement in skin texture and clarity. My skin was much smoother than it has been in years. There was no dramatic lightening or brightening effect - just the feeling that my skin is healthy from within. It felt happy. LITERALLY. AND that's it. There was no further improvement in my skin. Whatever magic had to happen was already done within the first couple of weeks. I didn't see any more changes in the way my skin felt for the rest of July. 

This whole thing definitely did not break me out, which is why I was even able to use it for a whole month. I obviously didn't expect it to work like a magic cream, but what I believe it did was to make sure my skin was healthy from the inside. No breakouts, no dullness and I usually suffer from dehydrated skin, so that's also reduced to a great extent.

When I started this at the onset of July, I hadn't made any other change in my normal skincare routine, so I really believe that Matricium helped enhance my skin renewal structure to a certain extent. Is it a miracle product, I dunno. And I cannot even comment on how well it would work on skin that's burned or had any medical surgeries. But it did help me a little.