A French And English Beauty Swap

Monday March 25, 2013 | Beauty

Receiving parcels in the mail always feels like Christmas! Which is why beauty swaps are so much fun!

Also, I’m in a really enthusiastic mood today!! So that’s why your eyes are getting bombarded with Exclamation Marks!!!!

So! I recently arranged to do a beauty swap with Miss Jo, of Patent Purple For Life, who blogs about beauty from London.

This was my first beauty swap. And the idea was to send each other beauty products that are hard for us to get a hold of within our respective countries.

The trickiest part about doing the swap was matching up the values of our products. This of course included the shipping cost. So figuring out the total weight of the products and their shipping price was also another tricky part.

It took a few exchanges of email messages over the length of a week. But eventually, I think we did a pretty good job of matching up the costs of the swap evenly.

Royal Mail Red Envelope

So, these are the English products that I got from Jo in the mail today:

1) Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish Hot Clothe Cleanser – This was her choosing because I wanted to be surprised.
2) Collection Lasting Perfection Ultimate Wear Concealer – I read about this concealer from an impressive review by Young For Good in her 9 Concealers, 8+ Hours Challenge. So I was really curious to try it.

And then her own added touches, which were:

  • Beauty Samples of Abahna body lotion, Monu night cream and Elemental Herbology facial cleanser
  • A happy sun smiley card!

Thank you Jo! For this very well-put together package:

Beauty Swap Liz Earle Collection Concealer

In exchange, I sent her two French products:

1) Florame Almond Body Lotion – which Jo chose after reading my review on it.
2) Baija Fleur d’Oranger Body Oil – which Jo spotted during my write-up of the Spa & Beauty Salon.

Beauty Swap Florame Body Lotion, Baija Body Oil

(photo taken from Jo’s Instagram)

I did also throw in a few beauty samples in her package. Which made the weight totally go over the maximum weight of the pre-paid envelope that I’d bought. Just so you know, it really doesn’t take much to make a few grams!

Luckily, her package went through anyway. But next time, I’m going to be more vigilante because that was a pretty risky move on my part.

But hey, all is well that ends well!

And now I’m very eager to try these two. And I’ll be writing up a product review of them very soon!

Beauty Swap Collection Concealer Liz Earle Cleanser

Collection Long Lasting Concealer

Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish

Have you done a beauty swap before? And if not, is it something you’d like to try?

Ziba Is Back In Business

Friday March 22, 2013 | Other Shop

Okey dokey, the Ziba Shop is up and running again!

I am currently selling some really great natural and organic French skincare products.

But check back again soon, as I will be adding more to the shop.

Eventually, the shop will have many unique and niche beauty products from around the world. They’ll all be carefully selected by me. And if you read my product reviews, then you’ll know that I have some high standards!

Please keep in mind that for now I only ship to the U.S. and countries in the European Union. Prices are in dollars. Shipping is a flat $7. Unless you buy products worth over $100.

Then in that case, shipping is free AND you get a cake.

Ziba Shop Screenshot


Visit the Ziba Shop: http://www.ziba-shop.com



Alorée CC Cream Second Life. Not A Happy Ending.

Wednesday March 20, 2013 | Product Reviews Skin Care

Alorée CC Cream Second Life

Let’s cut to the chase.

Alorée’s CC Cream Second Life is a flop.

This is really too bad because Alorée happens to be one of my favorite french natural and organic skincare brands.

To be fair, I’ve NEVER had a good experience with any BB creams. And CC creams are supposed to be the evolved version of BB Creams. But this nonsense needs to end right now.

No matter how far up the alphabet you go, if you have a crappy cream then you’ve got a crappy cream. CC. DD. EE. Whatever. Crap is crap.

Now I love Alorée. In fact I’m in real awe of the science and technique behind their skincare products, which harness the anti-aging powers of chlorophyll. I’m a big fan of their moisturizers, serums and masks. I’ve even met the créatrice for goodness sakes. And she’s a really nice lady who’s obviously dedicated herself to providing quality skincare products.

Unfortunately, the few positive qualities found in Alorée’s CC Cream are easily outnumbered by the negatives.

Alorée CC Cream Second Life

Alorée CC Cream Second Life


What Is It: Alorée CC Cream Second Life Complexion Perfector with SPF 6

The Description Reads: A day cream that provides an even, perfect coverage while also enhancing the skin’s natural glow. It is a complexion perfector with the benefits of a daily, anti-aging formula.

Claims To:
– Provide instant and natural skin coverage
– Conceal any blemishes
– Suit all skin types (including sensitive skin)
– Reflect light to provide a soft glow
– Protect against external attacks, sun rays and premature signs of aging (with SPF 6)
– Excellent as a make-up base


* Sourced from organic farming

Alorée CC Cream

First Impressions:

Alorée’s CC Cream has real quality ingredients. A lot of the BB creams out there are loaded with silicones and other synthetic ingredients which allow them to act like foundation. But then they contain few other ingredients to support the claims of all their purported benefits.

Not so with this CC Cream. The Barley Seed Water and Barley Leaf extact contains the chlorophyll compounds which provides the skin with oxygen. And the grape seed oil and olive fruit oil contain anti-oxidants.

But the sun protection factor, weighing in at a measly 6 SPF is almost a joke.

My Experience:

The first thing that I noticed about this product is the scent. It reminds me of apple flavored candy, and I have no idea why. Other girls hate the scent. But I LUV it.

The next thing that I noticed about this cream is that it dries quickly. If you look at my swatches below, the photo on the left shows the cream 3 seconds after I put it on my arm. It’s already dry. This makes it really hard to apply.

Because it dries so quickly, the cream starts peeling and caking off right away. The more I try to smooth it off, the more I end up peeling and caking off little bits of it. Not good!

You can see how cakey my skin looks in the closeup photo of my face (btw, closeups are never a good look).


Alorée CC Cream Closeup


Along with making my skin really cakey, flaky and resemble melting wax–this cream did not conceal my blemishes. So scratch that claim. I can almost fool myself into believing that it gives me a more uniform complexion, if I happen to be standing 10 feet away from the mirror!

The cream does provide sufficient moisture throughout the day. But, after a little bit of time my face starts getting a greasy sheen. And the worst part? Even though the tint is “universal nude,” after a few hours my face starts taking on this orange tint.

What I Like About It:
– The scent
– Good moisture
– Good ingredients
– Nice packaging
– Natural & organic

What I Don’t Like About It:
– Sigh…
– Where do I begin?
– Dries too quickly
– Peels and cakes off
– Does not conceal blemishes
– Greasy sheen
– Orange tint
– I look like a third-generation oompa loompa

How Much: €12.50 for 13ml tube / €32.00 for 40 ml tube

Would I Buy It Again: No! Luckily, I only picked up the small tube and bought it at a very discounted price.

Conclusion: I really do think BB creams are just one of those passing beauty fads.

There’s too much going in one product. They’re trying to roll in a cream that acts as a primer, illuminator, moisturizer, sunscreen, pigment corrector, anti-aging formula—all in one. But really, all you end up with is gobbledy goop.

And Alorée should not have fallen for a fad like this! I hope Alorée will keep working on great skin care products with the oxygenating powers of chlorophyll.

But please, leave the BB gimmicks to the real quacks out there. It’s a fad that must quickly pass and die soon.


Have you had any good experiences with BB creams? Which ones? I’d love to know.