Monday, 8 December 2014

The Affordable Jasmine: May Lindstrom The Jasmine Garden vs Taaj Paris Rasayana Rose & Jasmine

Lately I noticed that everyone slightly beautyblogger is venturing organic. That includes an intense stream of hypes around certain products, reading claims about products being "best thing ever". It's kinda fun when you search for the tag reading such a post, and check if the reviewer has been giving out such 'lifechanging' claims before. Or everything is "best thing ever" until the "next thing ever"?

Yeh, I'm taking my reviews with a pinch of salt but I had been quite curious about May Lindstrom The Jasmine Garden. Instead I bought myself The Parisian Taaj Rasayana Rose & Jasmine Face mist first. I mean, I like spending on beauty, but a €60 on a facial mist is just way too much for me. When Cultbeauty had this gorgeous GWP deal, zeeee May Lindstrom Jasmine Garden, I caved.

Best Price: Taaj
Taaj is € 9 online whereas May Lindstrom is € 60. 
Also, price per value: Taaj is 200 ml & May Lindstrom 100 ml

Best Ingredients: depends

Ingedients are a personal matter and what works for some, might not work for others. Both brands have certified organic ingredients: Taaj mentions it is 99% and May Lindstrom gave its certified ingredients a *: but did you notice the Theobroma Cacao did not get a * for being a Certified Organic Ingredient?

In that case, Taaj is slightly more transparent:

Then there is the debate of using Jasmine extract (May Lindstrom) or Jasmine Oil (Taaj). May Lindstrom included silver (Argentum Metallic) quite high in the ingredient list, which is claimed to be the next best thing. On the other team, Taaj included Rosa Damascena oil which has already been proven variously to be a potent anti-ageing ingredient.

Personally, I like that Taaj kept its ingredients simple: less ingredients, less chance of irritations. Also, I really like Rose as an ingredient: it smells so nice & soothing. Initially, I liked the cacao note in May Lindstrom but I noticed it won't agree with me on sensitive [skin]days.

Packaging: May Lindstrom (but Taaj for convenience)

May Lindstrom has a beautiful but heavier glass bottle that is recycable.  Taaj comes in a plastic, blue bottle: perhaps not the most environmentally friendly option but honestly, it does travel slightly lighter.

The Story: May Lindstrom (but Taaj if you don't like exaggerating)

For that bit of escapism, we do like a good story with our skincare.

Taaj offer us Himalaya water and has also been one of the first with Ayuveda skincare:

May Lindstrom has gone the extra mile by giving us such gorgeous descriptions and rituals that it will be like getting even closer to heaven than Himalaya water:

Then you'd pay for those wordly ticklings as well.

I still think skincare is a personal experience. Even more when you bring scent, essential oils and face sprays into the game: those steps are more ritual than actual skin-improving methods (though they still have an effect on skin). 

I would not have paid full price for May Lindstrom the Jasmine Garden. Something in that spray does not agree with my skin when it has a sensitive moment. I think it is the cacao. My skin does agree with Taaj Rasayana Rose & Jasmine and I love the mixture of Jasmine & Rose. 

Taaj Rose & Jasmine is available at (checking out is quite easy) & May Lindstrom The Jasmine Garden is available at, and various other etailers.

Wednesday, 3 December 2014

Tom Ford Lipstick to Boys Luciano, Michael, Cooper & Pablo

Ohhh, I've gotten giddy today for receiving my Tom Ford Lipstick to Boys. 

Finally I could buy something unswatched and slightly dangerous for not really knowing what to get. Normally you can see/read about all beauty with the elite/always-gettin'it-first likes of Temptalia and Wayne Goss. Temptalia still got it first but not like 10 months before. Seems Tom Ford has been democratic about his lippies!

Weather has been more than horrible today, so my apologies for the lack of light and goosebumps. I photoshopped a bit but I did not want to alter the original colour, so some might be not so light.

I picked four brights based on my earlier Tom Ford lipxperience. I adore Violet Fatale. I like my Spanish Pink as well but I think Tom Ford does the brights a bit better.

 * Violets to Orchids Pablo

Tom Ford Pablo looks like a pure colder Purple. I immediately thought of Bite Beauty Violet.

Also, my 1st Tom Ford Violet Fatale from the regular line & YSL Glossy Stain Violine Out of Control:
Tom Ford Violet Fatale looks so demure next to Pablo! It is a softer pinker hue compared to the blueness of Pablo. Bite Beauty Violet is even a more shocking Blue pink. TF Pablo is slightly sheerer than the other TF lipsticks, hence it wears beautifully sophisticated with the right kind of edge.

* REDS, Luciano

I figured Luciano would be a close sibling to Cherry Lush. In fact, they are family: Luciano is a hint more muted and rosier.
I added YSL Glossy Stain in Rose Tempura 13 for another reference. Rose Tempura is a deeper pinker hue. All of them are in the group of Rosy Reds.

* Fushia to Magentas: Cooper

  I have absolutely no dupe of this colour but Dior addict lipstick show 778 is slightly close. Cooper has more red in it and is more opaque.

Multifaceted flecks
TF Cooper: the lushious finish from another angle

 * Pop Pinks to Roses: Michael

Michael looks deceptively demure in murky daylight but wait until you swatch him with some other poppy peachy/pinks:

I've been comparing it with NARS Audacious Kelly, Guerlain Chamade (164) Rouge Automatique, Chanel Scintillantes 124 , Deliplus Mate 01 

Picture 1 shows how poppy pink Michael can look, and picture 2 shows his peachier side. I have no close due but Deliplus Mate 01, a Spanish supermarket brand, comes closest.

Conclusion: I love them all and they are all such originals in my stash. 

Ps: I've skipped the background story with the Tom Ford promotion about the fantasy about the threesome...I agree Tom Ford picked some handsome guys online to pose with the girls: if only they came with the lipstick! As for fantasies, a guy once wanted to include a girl but I guess the only threesome for me would me be pushing the other girl away, and perhaps hurting him too for suggesting. But a suggestive promo never hurt any cosmetic brand, right?

November Empties

"And so we're finished"
(but we might meet again...)

 I haven't been that empty-tastic like last month, but I did my share.

  • Aurelia Revitalise Glow Serum is a repeat serum I crack open before winter starts: it's potent enough with anti-agers but soothes for skin-that-doesn't-like-cold. I've repeated before, and will repurchase next transition.
  • Ciate Amazing Gracy has been from the 2013 Advent set and it started to thicken up. I wanted to buy this year's set but I had the most craptastic saleslady so I passed at the counter. :( Perhaps I'll get it online anyway.
  • SWELL Volumizing condition travel size has been such a gorgeous organic conditioner that doesn't compromize on smoothness nor volume. I need the full size but I still have tons of other conditioners to use.
  • I've been liking this Keep Calm & Spray On ThemeFragance perfume since 2009 and it still smells as good as then, but it's almost finished. They don't have this lable anymore so I'll keep the bottle!
  • (leftcorner) This Kose Fasio Smart Curl Mascara curl has been a lovely mascara holding up my curl and giving a nice amount of volume. I won't repurchase as I'm adoring my Kate Base + MakeupForever mascara combo so much. 

  • I'd ranted about Revitalash stinging my eyes but I guess it had been something else. Fact is, it has given me a wonderful grow and some dainty lashes. 
  • Becca Resurfacing Primer has been a GWP but has begon to smell wiffy. It's slightly silicony.
  • Koh nailpolishes are from a Dutch company with a Japanese aesthetic. Their nailproducts are brilliant, but expensive. I gotten this colour in the Bijenkorf beautybox from last year's GWP.
  • This Bourjois Docteur Glamour lippy had been in my collection for too long. It still smells fresh but I had to make some space. This gorgeous colour is 15 Fuschia o Boho.
  • Similar with this NYX Pumpkin Pie: I'm not that fond of nude lipsticks anyway.
  •  Odacite Ac + R (Acai & Rose Youthful Glow) Oil has been the most gorgeous & glowifying serum on my holidays: a perfect after-sun antioxidant & moisturizing blend. Alas, it's only 5 ml so the price per use holds me back.
  • I've already bought & used Bella Freud J'Adore Jane candle and I was curious for Ginsberg is God. I prefer Jane as I'm not too fond of fig as a home-fragance. It's still really nice, though.
  • I guess everyone knows about Manuka honey so I won't elaborate on it.
  • Normally I go French with my anti-cellulite but L'Oreal (I consider it American instead of French) had a BOGO. It's nice, but I prefer my French for celllutite blasting.
  • Tatcha Indigo Bodycream (travelsize) will gets its own feature on the blog: it's THAT good and I already purchased full-size.
  • Rotho Lychee eyedrops are a staple of mine. I'll repurchase for sure.
  • The black tube next to it is Kjaer Weiss Mascara refill. Nice, but so far the chemicals and chemical primers have given me a better result.
  • The sample next to it is Tammy Fender Intensive Repair cream. I like it, I use to have full-size, and it's rather expensive.
  • The Caudalie Polyphenol C15 eye & lip serum is also nice. I always use the excess of eyecream for the contour of my lips as well but I like the marketing of including both.
  • Clean Fresh is like its name, and Frederic Malle's Fleur the Cassis is almost it's florally heady opposite. I like both but not enough for going full-size.
  • Suki Balancing Day Lotion has been better than I expected. It's thin but moisturizing enough and it kept my blemishes at bay. Potential repurchase.
  • Tatcha Luminious Deep Hydration Firming Serum feels quite neutral and soothing on. I might upgrade to the 10ml travel size.
  • Jouer Luminizing Moisture Tint is a wonderful hybrid between a tinted daycream and a luminizer: on some days you just need a bit of extra [faux] glow.
  • The 2 Ole Hendrikson's are from Sephora's 7 day 'transforming' set. Ugh, the more they come with 'transforming'/'flawless' terms, the more wary I get (they never work for me!). The Truth Serum is a mild Vitamin C based serum: I used to like this one but I feel there are more diverse serums around these days. Similar with the Moisturizer: nicely bland but I'd pick the Suki one over it.

    In general, my November was not so spectacular on a social level, but I found some really effective products. I'm gonna discuss some of the likes of #Team-anti-irritation soon. And I'm so delighted that my Tom Ford Lipstick & Boys arrived minutes ago. Thus, I'll be getting lippy and report soon ;).

Monday, 1 December 2014

LIPSTICK ALERT: Tom Ford Lips & Boys on Selfridges!

One word: SWOON!

I limited myself to just four:

Find them on over here at

This chart might be handy because live swatches are not up yet:

Happy choosing ;)

Wednesday, 26 November 2014

the Xmas set cave: Addiction Tokyo Jazz

Geehh, I've been missing this blog. It gotten almost as far that I wanted order things for the mere purpose to review it over here. Ok, eventually I ordered from narcisistic cravings but I was tempted on altruistic spending for review's sake only...

This year I'm slightly more about palettes than last year. I've already caved on Laura Mercier, a brand I seldom use...And I just couldn't resist Addiction Tokyo Jazz: Purple??? Mustard??? and my first powdery highlighter from them??? Yes, bring it on!
leather-look clutch: Addiction;  catmask: my own from Venice

I would love to show you some swatches today, but somehow they went a bit weird on my arm. My
 instinct was like...darn, crappy quality. However, they seem to blend better on my eyelids. Though it's not as finely milled as Addiction's usual quality.

I don't want to draw any conclusions yet as I swatched the palette directly from the icy cold box it came from. The colours do look like a funky mix. 

The highlighter:

I'm not that keen on the highlighter blush: it swatches irregularly and it's quite sparkly: I'll compare it with my superbly textured Surrat highlighter soon.

And not on the pictures is their Eyeliner Pencil in Blackjack. This one knows how to draw an inky-black line: and that for a pencil:

First impression:  
I'm not too exhilarated about this set.  I'm normally quite a fan of Addiction (see earlier reviews) and I like their single eyeshadows for the combination of a buttery texture with a fun/original dimension of colours. Tokyo Jazz palette: The sparkly whitish eyeshadow is purely gritty, the mustard is as sheer as you can find and the purple is not a beautifully multi-dimensional one. Neither is the Eggplant/grey colour.
The only thing I'm really liking right now is the Eyeliner pencil in Blackjack. 

I hope my luck will get better with swatching the colours later...

Wednesday, 12 November 2014

Mythically Smooth with A Beautiful Life Unicorn Mane serum

I had this moment I was almost organic on haircare: think shampoo, conditioner and a good dose of beautiful Yarok mousse that blows it's chemical sisters out of the water. 

My last step: serum.

 I had the gorgeously fraganced Balmain (just finished) & used the Kerastase Cristallize serum frequently while having extensions. But still, there had to be a good [semi]-organic one out there.
I found A Beautiful Life Unicorn's Mane on ASOS [here]. The rare reviews I found were positive about it, and how to resist a bit of Uni-corny mythology: or "Unicorns don't have Bad hairdays". I could not disagree but I'd be glad to check one up close:


 Unicorn's Mane is not certified organic. It's ingredient list also reveils it has cyclometicone & dimethicone in it:

I went to Cosne to check on these two. Both Dimethicone & Cyclomethicone are harmless and non-irritating. 

Does it life up to it's promises?

♥ Fights Frizz
♥ Adds Shine
♥ Nourishes
♥ Protects

Anti-Frizz: My post-wash hair had to get used to central heating again and that was paired with a bit of frizz down the ends. Ok, and blame under-conditioning too. A drop of Unicorn made warmed between hands is perfect to tame the wild unicorn-ness of it.
Shine: yes, it's not too amped up faux gloss but the right amount of healthy.
Nourishes: I have only used it short term but I already liked the effect on my ends. And look at the ingredient list -> argan oil, Indian gooseberry and some other potent nourisher.
Protects: I think it does a fair job protecting hair before heat styling.

Hence,  all four get a big YES.

I really like the serum but I'm not that fond about the fragance. It reminds me of a certain cough-syrup I once had. Perhaps the unicorns made it when younger (???). But it disappears within minutes so I'm not too bothered.

Conclusion: Who needs Unicorns when you can have healthy, glossy hairserum like this one.

Friday, 31 October 2014

October Empties

My fave finished-up for this month has been my travel sized Water Calligraphy by Killian. It's one of the three fragances I got it during my 'spoiled Christmas '13'.
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Aquatic fragances will always be a bit 1990s for me. This version is feminine without being obtrusive, fresh during summer & uplifting when colder.
The empty at the background is Jill Stuart CC foundation: unfortunately too fragancy for me.

More Foundations:

I had some testing this month & the-one-that-got-away: my Giorgio Armani Maestro fluid foundation is still half-full but it turned a bit after 1 1/2 year. It was a favourite in the beginning: excellent cover with my-skin-but-so-much-better finish. Then I found it silicony compared to my newer foundations.
Amazing Cosmetics Concealer has been excellent in offering high-cover, thin enough without irritating skin. It could be a future purchase.
BE Creative Makeup is the house-brand of beautystore ICIParis (only in the Netherlands & Belgium). Their Photo Perfecting Primer has been a supernice surprise that had similar qualities like my niche Rouge Bunny Rouge Metamorphosis. Their foundation was ok, scentless and high coverage but I have to test it in a lighter colour range.
 Hourglass Immaculate Foundation has been Allure's 2014 winner, and actually well-deserved. Scentless, weightless & a gorgeous finish on skin. Or another wishlist foundation for the future.
The Essence Ticket to Paradise creamy eyeshadow has dried out. I still like Essence line for experimenting with colours within a good pricerange.
The Boscia BB cream has this fresh texture on the skin: like a water-bubble feeling. I sorta stepped away from BB-cream when they gotten popular but this one is quite nice
Jouer Matte foundation is a bliss in *oily climate zones*: I'd say Barcelona during summer or similar smog-zone cities. It zaps up un-necessary oilies without dulling skin
Oh, I already discussed the craptastic-ness of this eyecream over here: case closed.

Oh wait, I'm not totally done complaining because I had some weird experience with two(!) Therapi creams this month.I had bought both the no 3 Honey Moisturizing  as the Rose Otto Ultra Radiance cream a couple of months ago. I had stored them in my cool storage that totally agrees with my other skincare. Result:
weird shifting of cream/oil in both creams
I know there is a risk with natural skincare with having a shorter lifespan but this one:
1. did not have an expiry date
2. I had it for just 2 months, unopened!

My Nailpolishes, on the other hand, had a good couple of years before drying up.
 photo foto48.jpg
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Some Essies, Color Club & a Brazillian one on the right

Then my skincare:

Bioderma HydroBio Legere has been the equivalent of Nivea to me: nicely moisturizing but not much else. I've only used it twice.
Soap & Glory Scrub Your Nose in it is such a versatile mask/cleanser hybrid. I'd picked it up in the UK. 
A smaller La Roche Posay thermospray always comes in handy for a dewier complexion.
Macademia oil is a nice fatty moisturizer to use on hair: I smells wonderfully nutty.
MU London White Chocolate Moisturizer smelled similar to Palmer's Cocoa butter. This is a organically friendlier version and I really liked this travel size.
I didn't like the oily residue after using Live Nature Exfoliating cleanser. I felt like washing my face a couple of times again which shouldn't be necessary.
I really liked the Algenist Renewing Balm eyecream and I might repurchase in a bigger size.  The Algenist Reparative Anti-ageing Moisturizer has this kind of neutral/lab scent and aura that would be perfect for sensitive days. 
Continuing on Algenist, I totally liked this sample of the Brightening Mask. It's another hybrid product of exfoliating & cleansing, resulting in clearer, more radiant skin.
My Chelle Supreme Polypeptide cream has been nice introduction to the formula.
I've used the S5 brightening serum before, but this time I really needed it. I previous long-weekend left me with a sunburn (lousy sunscreen's fault). I think this generous sample did lighten me a bit.
First Aid Beauty Total Repair cream is so incredibly neutral and moisturizing at the same time. I think it would be bliss when you really need it.

Last but not least:
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Lyonsleaf Beauty Balm is a firm favourite among Organic oriented beautybloggers. That's for a good reason because this is an amazing multitasker being able to cleanse, moisturize lizardy cuticles and other dry areas. It smells gorgeously herbally.
I've been so curious for Living Proof Full Shampoo. Obviously, because it's co-owned by hair of the 1990s (and still) Jennifer Aniston. Reviews were mixed and I get that: it leaves a residue behind that curly/dryer types will love and the thinner strands won't. I liked the result, but I didn't like the green tea scent.
My 1st Vine-ed item on this blog: The Balmain Hair perfume [here]. Something did leak out but I'm sure I'd finished it with much enthousiasm anyway. Basically, LOVE: a fab hairglosser and a gorgeous fragance in one.

Ok, I've lied about it being the last. There are still some lip-products:

The Aube Frutina Gloss EX03 so amped and it probably one of my glossies glosses. I had it for too long so time to let go *sheds tear*
Ah, a Mascara. I really love Kanebo Kate eye-primers but this mascara is just average.
The Pixi Lipgloss (right corner) has been discontinued and I totally worn off the name. This gloss is your-nude-but-better. I wonder if their newer glosses have a similar grip on lips like this one.
To finish with a mystery lipstick:
the lipstick on the bottom is Korean but I cannot say which brand. I did so many Gmarket orders in the past #goodtimes. It just has Korean signs & PK 002 at the bottom.

Now after writing this down I feel nostalgic for ordering from Gmarket again: the effort, the hassle, the decifering Korean signs, but most...that awesomely big package that's the equivalent of a Russian doll:
past Gmarket haul
Yes, such box-i-ness can only be Gmarket!