Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Lancôme: All About Eyes with Advanced Génifique Yeux, Monsieur Big Mascara, and Le Monochromatique

Your eyes are the window to your soul, as the expression goes, so naturally we're always trying to do everything we can to make them POP. For some of us, that means focusing solely on skincare and sticking to serums or eye creams that will take away the puffiness and keep our skin looking young, while others opt to include colours and lengthening our lashes for the va-va-voom factor. I had the opportunity to try out three products that are designed to do a combination of just that, and I wanted to share my thoughts about them today. Let's jump in!

Products Provided for Free by Influenster in Exchange for My Honest Opinion

Lancôme is a brand many are familiar with after visiting the big stores at the malls with our moms. While my mom wasn't into wearing makeup when I was growing up, I was, so I enjoyed visiting the Lancôme counter, especially to pick up another tube of my then-favorite Définicils mascara. The brand has evolved and changed over the years, and now products can be found at Sephora stores. The brand had admittedly fallen off my radar over the years as my taste in cosmetics has changed, but is has caught my attention once again with these products. Let's get a closer look at each of them.

Advanced Génifique Yeux

The Advanced Génifique Yeux is a lightweight eye serum that works to brighten your eye area- say farewell (and don't let the door kick you in the you-know-what) to dark undereye circles, puffiness, and wrinkles under the eye. The applicator is a metallic bulb engineered for a cooling massage onto the eye area. This serum can be applied under the eyes and to the lashline to fortify your lashes and prevent breakage.

I have only had this serum for just over three weeks to test, and I can see that my eye area is nicely moisturized. While I didn't start out with a lot of eye puffiness, especially in the mornings, the Advanced Génifique Yeux has helped to minimize them. My darker undereye circles also have improved, and I'm looking forward to seeing how my eyes look after the six week mark!

Easy to apply, this serum does take a little longer than some of my other eye products to absorb into the skin by an extra minute or two. I don't mind the extra bit of time as I'm a multi tasker when it comes to getting ready for the day or for bed, but it is still something of note. My eyes and skin are a little sensitive, but I haven't had any issues with this serum. Once absorbed, it leaves the skin with an ever-so-slight tacky sensation. I haven't noticed any issues with makeup application, but please note I follow this step with a sunscreen before moving onto makeup.

Retail: $69.00 for 0.67 Fl. Oz. (20mL)

Monsieur Big Waterproof Mascara

As I mentioned previously, the Lancôme Définicils mascara was a go-to for me, and I actually used it for years when I was wearing makeup about once a week. I stopped using it when makeup became an everyday thing for me and had to switch over to more affordable drugstore brands. Because of previous experience with the brand, I was really looking forward to trying out the Monsieur Big Mascara (Waterproof formula). Sadly, this mascara was a flop for me.

The wand is rather large, and I actually like larger wands for applying mascara on my upper lashes. It is a bit unwieldy for the lower lash line, but it is doable with care and precision. My biggest issue with this mascara was with the bristles. In this photo, you can see the bristles are fairly long. Unfortunately, this mascara formula is a little on the thicker side, and when I remove the wand out of the tube, the bristle length appears to be half the size they actually are. So much product is held by these bristles that you end up with clumpy, spidery-looking eyelashes. This is not a look I personally care for, so that is a big NO from me. Even with scraping as much mascara off the bristles as possible (which, by the way, is more than enough to cover the opening of the tube), I was still left with thick patches on the brush. This meant some of my lashes would look nice and others would have too much mascara and look clumpy. I likely would have enjoyed this mascara had the formula been much thinner to prevent excess product coming out on the brush.

As far as the waterproof claims, I was not a fan. I actually wore this while out in my pool but avoided submersing my head in the water. My face and lashes would still get a little wet, and this mascara was everywhere but my eyelashes in no time. I have had other waterproof mascara hold up better and was shocked by how this performed. Now, I generally don't wear waterproof mascaras, so if this was the only issue I had with this mascara, I wouldn't have minded. Add the thick formula with less than ideal application though, and this is sadly a pass for me.

Retail: $25.00 for 0.33 oz (9.75mL)

Le Monochromatique

If you've been following me for any length of time, you likely know I like to travel light. Makeup is no exception to the rule, and I like to pack items that are multifunctional. When I received Lancôme's Le Monochromatique in the shade Haute Couture, I knew this would fit the bill nicely. The cream-to-powder formula is buildable and can be used on the eyes, cheeks, and lips. This warm burgundy-red hue is a great option for summer and the upcoming fall season.

I like to use brushes when it comes to applying most of my makeup, and this is what I used when applying to my eyes and cheeks. I had found that some of my tried and true brushes did not perform well when it came to using this formula, and the result was patchy, uneven makeup. Once I switched my brushes and modified my technique, I ended up with far better results. This isn't unusual by any means, but if you're used to more powdery eyeshadows and blushes, just keep in mind there is a good chance you'll have to change something to get ideal results.

I have worn this on my lips, and I preferred to apply it with my pinkie finger. While this is a colour I would wear on my eyes and cheeks, this isn't quite my type of red for my lips. I have applied it directly onto bare lips, and the colour payout on me isn't as intense as I was expecting. It does leave a powdery sensation on the lips, and while I didn't find it uncomfortable, it is noticeable. I was afraid it would get uncomfortable if I layered more on for a more intense look, so I kept it light. I still haven;t written this shade off completely when it comes to lip looks, and I think I'll stick to lightly dabbing some on a different lipstick for when I want a metallic look but less of a powder sensation on my lips.

There are currently 10 shades in the Le Monochromatique lineup, 4 of which are available at Sephora.

Retail: $25.00 for 0.13 oz (3.8g)

Here is a look I created while wearing Haute Coutour. I have it on my eyes and cheeks.

Here is a closer look at my eyes. I paired Haute Couture with other eyeshadows with a similar cream-to-powder formula, and they played beautifully together. I also used the Monsieur Big mascara after wiping off as much excess from the brush as possible and following up with a lash separator to help with some of the clumping.

I really enjoyed trying out these Lancôme products! While the mascara did not work for me, the Advanced Génifique Yeux and the Le Monochromatique 3-in-1 in Haute Couture were great products that I will continue to enjoy. If you are in the market for products like these, I would check them out. I will add the major drawback to these is that Lancôme is currently not cruelty-free. Their policy is to test on animals where required by law, and this includes mainland China where they sell. While China has made a step in the direction towards a cruelty-free world when it comes to post-market testing, pre-market animal testing is still in effect. I know this is a deal breaker for some of my readers, so I wanted to be clear on the cruelty-free status of these products.

Do you use Lancôme products? If so, what are your favorites? Do you prefer their skincare, cosmetics, or fragrances? Do you like multi-purpose products like Le Monochromatique? I'd love to hear from you!

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Saturday, September 7, 2019

Highlights from the Beauty Spotlight Team

Summer may still have a little bit of time left on the clock, but I Know all the Words is prepping for fall with some new autumnal shades from Mary Kay. With matte lipsticks and two shadow quads, you can't help but feel seasonal vibes. 

The Beauty & the Box Traveler Deluxe makeup travel kit is perfect to organize and carry ALL your makeup and toiletries whether you’re a beauty enthusiast or a seasoned traveler. Prime Beauty LOVES it! 

Lola's Secret Beauty Blog has a penchant for eco-luxe cruelty-free skincare products, and therefore is very happy to introduce you to Kristina Holey + Marie Veronique Serums! They are worth every cent, and they deliver on their promises– plus they are good for your skin, and the environment. 

Never Say Die Beauty is hosting a giveaway that's perfect for fall. Enter to win iconic Paula's Choice 2% BHA Liquid Exfoliant, the gentle, leave on exfoliator that smooths skin and unclogs and shrinks pores! 

Stacie from The Makeup Obsessed Mom thinks Vitamin C should be part of everyone's anti-aging skincare routine. Read her post to see why. 

Sometimes you need a luxurious skin tool in your life to bring you to the next step. Lisa from Beauty Info Zone has just the apparatus that you'll need and want with the JeNu Ultrasonic Infuser. The difference in her skin makes it well worth the cost. 

Are you looking for ways to make your home more natural? While not all chemicals are bad, sometimes it’s better to look back to nature when it comes to surrounding our lives with products. Jen from Laugh, Love, Contour has delved into the world of essential oils with Simply Earth, and has tested out and reviewed their September soap making-themed recipe box this week. These boxes and the different products you can make with them are sure to be a hit this upcoming holiday season! 

Have you tried the Hourglass Veil Translucent Setting Powder? Erika of Notes from My Dressing Table shares why she loves to use it as an under eye setting powder. Check out her review and how-to to learn more.

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Friday, September 6, 2019

My Raw Chemistry Brings All the Boys to the Yard

Summer is almost over, and that means the cold days of scarves, boots, and snuggling by the fire are almost upon us! Living in Arizona, it's going to be a little while until we're in cold mode, and I'm a little jealous of those of you that can enjoy it soon. Whether you're currently happily tied down with a significant other or still trying to find your perfect partner(s), do I have a post for you!

Press Sample

I had the pleasure of testing out Raw Chemistry's For Her Pheromone Perfume Oil Concentrate, and I wanted to share my thoughts about it. This lab-created pheromone perfume utilizes high concentrations of human grade pheromones that are believed to target men's attraction centers in the brain. The patented blend contains 50mg of pheromones, including Copulins and Estratetraenol.

The Pheromone Perfume Oil Concentrate is packaged in a 15mL bottle with an oil dropper-type cap. The silky smooth formula is dabbed onto the body and absorbed into the skin. Because this is a perfume as well, it is not an unscented pheromone product. I've been unable to locate an official scent description, so unfortunately, I'm severely limited when it comes to pinpointing exact scents. I'll try my best though!

On my skin, the scent starts out sweet and warm with a slight hint of floral. To me, the smell is more vanilla like, almost like cupcakes. Within about 10 minutes of dry down, the vanilla lessens  significantly as the fragrance becomes less warm and the floral scent takes over. A slight spiced musky note appears, although it is subtle and merely accentuates the floral notes. After about an hour, the intensity of the floral notes dissipates, and I am left with a more even blend of sweet, floral muskiness. I have about 5 to 6 hours of wear time until I no longer notice any scent on my skin.

The real question I'm sure you want to know is: does it work?

My answer to that is both YES and NO.

Here's the thing: if someone isn't remotely attracted to you in the first place, this is not going to make someone want to be all over you. This isn't some crazy love potion. While it may be fun and catchy for a blog post title, wearing this perfume oil concentrate has NOT, in fact, brought random men to my house. Thank goodness for that because I do NOT want to be dealing with that kind of creepiness in my life!

My personal opinion is that wearing this perfume oil will make you feel more confident, especially if this scent type suits your taste. You'll walk a little straighter, your head held higher, and you'll be throwing out some major "I'm a bad b*tch" vibes. Maybe you'll be smiling more than usual, or perhaps you'll find yourself acting just a little more flirty yourself, which in turn will receive a similar response from others.

Should you run out and buy this? Or men, should you run out and buy the male equivalent?

Ultimately, that decision is up to you! I don't feel there is enough research on specific pheromones yet to accurately pinpoint which truly work. Perhaps you disagree, and that's ok too! While I don't, I do believe in the placebo effect, so this may have the effect you want. For me, I think the main determining factor in whether or not to purchase this product is if you like the scent itself. Raw Chemistry offers a guarantee, called The Raw Promise, where you will get back 100% of your purchase price, INCLUDING shipping, if you are not completely satisfied.

For only $29.90, you can test it out for yourself!

If you do pick this up and try it, or if you have already tested it out, I would love to hear how it worked for you! Did you meet a significant other while wearing a Raw Chemistry Perfume Oil? Did it bring you and your partner(s) closer together? What are your thoughts on pheromone products in general? I would love to hear from you!

Until next time, dear readers, have a wonderful day!

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