A Wednesday ramble: Tom Pecheux at Estée Lauder, Molton Brown Aroma Rocks, and the elusive Erika F

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Have I told you about my enormous crush on Tom Pecheux? Or, more specifically, on his talent? (Hint: the answer is yes; I talk about my unhealthy Pecheux-fixation on a fairly frequent basis.)

Pecheux, who had initially intended to be a pastry chef (seriously!) started out doing fashion shows, then moved onto celebrity/celeb editorial makeup, and finally ended up working for L’Oreal, Shiseido (did you know that he devised the Shiseido The Makeup line?) and–currently–is at the forefront of the Estée Lauder makeup line.

“I want young girls to be able to say, ‘My mother loves it, my grandmother loves it, and I love Estée Lauder, too,'”

– Tom Pecheux (as quoted in)

I’m crazy about a lot of things, from cartoon whales to neuroanatomy, but rebranding is close to the top of the list. Since they signed Pecheux in 2009 as their new Creative Makeup Director, the brand has had such a drastic revival. And, while I still (!) haven’t gotten around to really giving their new products a spin, I’m thoroughly enjoying watching the rebranding in real time.

(And herein lies the origins of this ramble: have you seen this fall’s Violet Underground palette? Gah.)

Other things that have been knocking around in my brain this past week: things in unexpected formats. I briefly mentioned Donna Karan’s Cashmere Mist ‘Pearl Essence’ Bath Beads earlier this week, and Tatcha’s Rice Enzyme Powder the week before that, but I’ve been keeping an eye out for innovative formulas ever since.

I did find some interesting textures, but in the last place I’d have expected: Molton Brown, a brand that focuses mainly on home and personal fragrance. How cool are these Cedrus Room Aroma Rocks? Made of acacia tree sap, Moroccan cedrus tree oil, and Bulgarian lavender oil, they’re one of the last things I’d have expected to run into at the start of the week.

(And as a sleep aid; how cool is that!)

Finally, we have Lancome Erika F, because things are best done in threes, and I’ve really only gone over two topics so far this morning. I need your opinions, my dear readers: is it a must-have? Because I’m not one for cult products most of the time, but everyone seems to be crazy about it, and… the recurring frenzy kind of makes me want to search it out.

I don’t even like silvery-greens most of the time, you guys. Make it stop! 

(Image via the gorgeous Xiao, at Messy Wands — read her ode to Erika F here.)


Note: This post contains a few sponsored links, but the content — you should know by now; that nonsensical ramble’s all mine! 

The Dark Eyeliner Rises | An Anne Hathaway (as Catwoman) makeup tutorial + look

Monday, August 20, 2012

Because Selina Kyle is a BAMF.

In a few more words, though: here’s a quick look (tutorial + more photos here) to make up for the fact that I’ve been AWOL recently. Soft red lips, matte neutral eyes, and (what else?) smudgy winged black eyeliner.

While editing these photos, I realized that I look rather… displeased with the entire world in them, which — not intentional, I promise. (Okay, maybe a little bit intentional. It has been so hot in Edmonton this season; I am so, so ready for the fall.)

Honestly, though? This look isn’t exactly prototypical DC superhero — you could get away with wearing it in pretty much any scenario (no ass-kicking or taking of names required). Take the edge off a red lip by applying your lipstick quite sparingly, and then blotting it down with a fingertip for a really soft, lived-in edge.

(Alternately, wear the lipstick full-force for a more dramatic, evening look, or grab a classic-red gloss–with shimmer!–for something a bit more fun.)

Alright. I’m sure you’ve had enough of my boring face for the time being, so I’ll add in one last note and then leave you be!

Black liner through my sparse lashes is my #1 makeup tip for looking just… better, without making it obvious at all that I’ve actually got anything on, and this liner does a fantastic job of it. More awake, larger eyes, more expressive, you name it — liner in my actual lashline (not above it, and not below it) is a makeup trick that I rely really heavily on, and this super-creamy, super-black Annabelle Smoothie pencil has been my pick of the month to do it with.

Keep reading! »

New 19/08/12 | New Dior foundation brushes, jewel-toned Clarisonic Mia 2s, and AERIN Beauty

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Ahh! There are a ton of interesting launches coming up this fall, and I loved really enjoyed experienced a reasonable amount of happiness while putting together this week’s “New…” widget.

Launching this month are a few Clarisonic Mia 2s that are so cute that I actually kind of want one (jewel tones! greens and teals and cranberries!), and I don’t even believe in daily physical exfoliation. And then there are the new theBalm mascarasso. cute.–, a handful of new brushes, a cream concealer from (!!) Bare Escentuals…

Yeah, it’s a pretty exciting week as far as launches go.

Another very cool thing? AERIN Beauty (as in Aerin Lauder, and oh my god, what I wouldn’t give to have been born into that family — think about it; decades and decades of beauty in your family heritage!) is now online at a handful of shops. The line (see it on the Estee Lauder site here) is broken down into the Essentials and a seasonal Colour Collection, the latter being broken down further into “Weekday” (plummy pinks) and “Weekend” (bronzy peaches).

Honestly, I think the price point is quite high for a new beauty brand affiliated with Estee, but I’m interested to see where it goes! For anyone lamenting the way Estee Lauder Beauty is rebranding under Tom Pecheux, are you insane AERIN is going to be right up your alley.

The ingredient breakdown | Tatcha Radiant Deep Brightening Serum

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Earlier this week, a good friend of mine (aka She of the Glorious Cheekbones, or “Xiao,” for short) asked me to tell her about the ingredients in the Tatcha Radiant Deep Brightening Serum. I’m no skincare expert, but I do end up doing a lot of skincare research just for interest’s sake, so I thought I’d share the breakdown with all of you, too.

To start off, here’s the full ingredients list: 

Water, Glycerine, Propanediol, Alcohol, Cyclopentasiloxane, Squalane (Olive Extract), Isocetyl StearateInositol (Rice Bran), Phenoxyethanol, Oryza Stavia Germ Oil (Rice Bran)Polyglyceryl-2 Triisostearate, Polyglyceryl-10 Isostearate, Ethylhexylglycerine, Glyceryl Stearate, Behenyl Alcohol, Sericin (Silk), Arginine, Carbomer, Xanthan Gum, Biosaccharide Gum-1, Sodium Hyaluronate, Zizyphus Extract (Jujuba Fruit), Glycyrrhiza Glabra Root Extract (Licorice Root), Scutellaria Baicalensis Root Extract (Baical Skullcap), Ctearyl Alcohol, Sodium Lauroyl Lactylate, Sorbitan Stearate, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Hydrogenated Lecithin, Red Algae ExtractCamellia Sinesis Leaf Extract (Green Tea), Fragrance.

[Italicized ingredients are of natural origin.]

What you need to know about ingredients lists

As I’m sure you all know, the FDA dictates that all ingredients be listed in order of predominance, with the notable exclusion of:

a) Any ingredients that are also drugs (eg. chemical sunscreens), which are listed first;

b) Colour additives, which can be listed at the end in any order;

c) “Trade secrets,” which can be listed as simply “and other ingredients,” and finally;

d) Any ingredient making up less than 1% of the finished product, which can be listed in any order amongst themselves.

Because of this, I’m going to focus on the first handful of ingredients, and touch on the rest only briefly — just in case you were wondering why I haven’t broken down all 32 ingredients for you!

The base


Okay, this one’s obvious. Most skincare products do start out with water (aqua/eau, whatever you care to call it); starting out your product with water doesn’t make it a “cheap dilution.” Dilution? Well, yes, but it’s always nice not to burn your skin off with overly-concentrated ingredients!

Remember, when it comes to skincare, more isn’t always better. It’s all about a balance: you don’t want a product that’s too diluted, but you don’t want one that’s too concentrated, either.


Another common ingredient. My worry with glycerine is always that, while a good, cost-effective humectant (think of humectants as skin conditioning agents for locking in moisture), it can give a suffocating, sticky finish if you use too much — which I definitely find is the case with this serum. (I’d recommend starting off with just two or three small drops for your entire face if you want a soft finish, rather than a sticky one.)

Effective or not, I’m a little disappointed to see so much glycerine in a product that retails for $150 a bottle, to be honest — it’s hard to fork over that much when you know the largest components of a product are dirt-cheap!


Um, this is awkward.  1,2- or 1,3-propanediol? Anyhow; this is probably around as a humectant and/or viscosity-controlling agent; group it in as “supporting character” rather than “story arc.” There have been some concerns raised over this one with regards to skin irritation, so do keep an eye out for any unusual redness or sensitivity, especially in your eye area.

What’s with all the extracts? Keep reading »

Steals & Deals | 20% off at Inglot USA 10/08 to 20/08

Monday, August 13, 2012

Just a quick heads-up, for those of you who haven’t seen it yet! Inglot USA is currently doing 20% off online to celebrate their third birthday, running until the 20th. (Enter the code BIRTHDAY at checkout.)

The sale includes everything but their Single Eye Shadows (all the round shadows on their site), which are being cleared out at 40% off instead; pot format only. (Which kind of sucks, because I was planning on getting a bunch more round pans for my palettes!)

I’ll have to ship to a relative in the US (who’s sending a package up soon anyways — who knew it would be so hard to find polypropylene pellets in Canada?), but the quad above is what I’ve ordered.

Clockwise from the top left, the shades are 420P, 434P, 436M, and 358M. The single pan photos are from Temptalia.com, which (take note, anyone who’s thinking of making an order!) is a fabulous Inglot resource — Christine went and swatched their entire single eyeshadow lineup last June.

A few links you might find helpful

  • Christine’s Inglot brand category, & the brilliant Swatch Gallery,
  • Vesna’s Inglot eyeshadow swatches at BeautyAddict.net,
  • xSparkage, for more than just the single eyeshadows (though she has those, too),
  • Elvira’s Inglot swatches at Pink Sith, full of (what else?) taupey goodness,
  • Futilities and More, for some lovely fingertip & skin swatches, and finally,
  • Swatches from three of my favourite people fellow Lipstick Bandits: Jenny (My Funny Valentine), Monika (Rocaille Writes), and Paris (My Women Stuff).

Hope those’ll help you make your Inglot eyeshadow-buying decisions! ;) Oh, and just to note — Inglot eyeshadow singles are paraben-free, and $4.80 each, with the sale.

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