Saturday, June 29, 2013

European Beauty Haul and First Impressions

Hello lovelies!  Apologies for being MIA.  If you follow me on Facebook (Vinmaquillage), you'll know I recently went on holiday in Europe.  I was extremely excited to shop for makeup and skincare abroad, especially in Paris because let's face it, the French mesdames are famous for their skin care.

The first leg of our holiday was London.  Unfortunately, our itinerary was so jam packed in London that I was only able to stop by Harrod's to shop.  I was disappointed that I wasn't able to go to Boots drugstore to shop UK brand makeup lines: Sleek, Collection 2000, and Barry M to name a few.  And while what I ended up buying is accessible to me in the States, I scored them for a better deal since Harrod's was having a 40% off sale on beauty products.

Giorgio Armani's Neo Classic Face & Eyes Palette in Neo Brown
Blush: Sheer Rose
Eye shadows left to right: Greige, Brown, and Earth Brown
Retails at $95 but I got it for 40% off.  This is a limited edition.  I no longer see it on the Giorgio Armani cosmetics website but lady luck may be on your side if you search a few counters.

Elle Magazine's Hall of Fame Foundation
2013 In Style Best Beauty Buy - Best Liquid Foundation
2012 Nordstrom Beauty Awards
2012 Nieman Marcus Beauty Award Finalist
Retails at $60

Believe me - this lightweight foundation is worth the hype!

And in Paris...

I knew I had to have this little pouch the second I laid my eyes on it.  I bought this at the gift shop at the Le Meridien Etoile hotel in the 17th Arrondissement in Paris.  This cute pouch now functions as my makeup bag for my purse.

Based on a review from my favorite UK makeup artists, Pixiwoo, I purchased the La Roche-Posay Hydreane in Ligera and Riche (Hydreane Light, Hydreane Rich).  This line boasts great use for those with sensitive and dehydrated skin.  I don't have sensitive skin but my skin is dehydrated.  La Roche Posay products are paraben and mineral oil free and rich with the thermal spring water found in the small village, La Roche Posay, in central France.  The thermal spring water from La Roche Posay has an almost neutral pH, is protected from all pollution, and is not treated until safely packaged.

Sounds good, doesn't it?  Enough for me to make a 3rd trip back to a French pharmacy to make sure I purchased these two moisturizers

To the right of these moisturizers is the Nuxe Baume Levres (Nuxe Lip Balm).  

Back story: I have been absolutely OBSESSED with finding a nourishing and moisturizing lip balm these past few months.  Every year my lips suffer a period of extreme chapped lips.  I'm not just talking dry lips that you can fix with one application of chap stick - my lips take on an extra layer of skin that hardens.  It's extremely uncomfortable (but fortunately has never progressed to the level of pain) and it usually lasts a few torture-some weeks. You'd think this condition would occur during the dry winter months.  Nope.  I am currently in recovery from this extreme chapped lips condition.  This time around, it actually led to an outbreak of a rash surrounding my mouth area.  A trip to the doctor was required.  Hydrocortisone cream immediately got rid of the skin rash but my lips are still giving me problems every few days.  While I avoid vaseline at all costs (petroleum is not good for your skin), it was the only thing that helped with locking in whatever moisture I had in my lips.  I was dismayed to discover my Josie Maran Argan Oil didn't help.

With my lips improving from the use of vaseline, I wanted to find a lip balm made with healthy ingredients to moisturize my lips.  This lip balm is a cult favorite in the French pharmacies and makeup gurus.  Contains honey, plant oils, shea butter, and grapefruit essence.  So far, it's been doing a fine job of moisturizing my lips without the slippery feel of vaseline.  

This is a cult favorite in the makeup artist and beauty guru world.  Every makeup artist who stops in Paris will make an immediate stop to a local pharmacy to grab a bottle of this.  It's a gentle formula that effectively removes all traces of makeup.  Every beauty guru who talks about this product always comments how soothing it is.  It's a non rinse formula so you do not need to rinse but it is important that you gently dry your face afterwards.  Use with a cotton round.
It is offensively priced on Amazon at a whopping $28.45 for 500 mL.  That's for one bottle.  I purchased the set of 2 for 16 Euros ($19.53 in USD).  As far as I'm aware, you have to purchase this online if you're in the States.

I had to grab a box of this while at the French pharmacy.  Established in 1862 but inspired by the original Eau de Cologne by Jean-Marie Farina, official supplier to Emperor Napoleon I since 1806.  These soaps are so fragranced that users have reported not having to use perfume afterwards.
$23 for a box of 3

A rich moisturizing lotion that makeup artists use for 3 purposes: makeup remover, primer, and moisturizer.  Paraben free and not tested on animals!  I love how this moisturizer works great for day time makeup as it isn't greasy but still manages to moisturizer your skin.  I initially bought one bottle to try but immediately returned back to the pharmacy to buy more (a few as a gift for my mom) after I tested it out as a day/night moisturizer.  

Since I'm always on the look out for moisturizing products to maintain my dehydrated skin, I immediately grabbed this masque when I was able to decipher the French on the box.  Formulated with plant milk, aloe vera sap, white almond, and orange flowers (notice a trend in what I look for in ingredients?).  The product promises to also sooth any skin irritations for 24 hours.  I applied this masque last night and loved how soft and supple my skin felt afterwards.  

Hope you all enjoyed my European Haul.  Once I've been using these products for a while I'll do a more in-depth review of each product.  Until then...ta-ta!


  1. i absolutly agree with the quote by Coco Chanel!!
    you have picked up some great buys hunny amazing!!