Thursday, January 31, 2013

Clarisonic Deep Pore Brush Head Review

Next to having squeaky clean skin, the next facial benefit I looked forward to the most from using the Pro would be smaller pores. I picked up the deep pore brush head in anticipation of its pore minimizing aid.
Deep Pore Cleansing: Ideal for cleansing oily skin, large pores or hard to reach areas of the face, such as around the nose.  The deep pore cleansing brush head is gentle enough for daily use.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Clarisonic Body Brush Head Review

The Clarisonic Plus and Pro have the option of attaching a body brush. Both handsets have a body mode. The body brush must be affixed to the Clarisonic in order for the body mode to activate. The body cycle is 3 minutes compared to the facial cycle of 1 or 2 minutes (depending on setting).
Body: For cleansing areas of the body needing extra care and attention, including the décolleté, hands, arms, elbows and feet. Works with Clarisonic PLUS and PRO models.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Clarisonic Sensitive Brush Head Review

The sensitive brush head came prepackaged with my Pro. Clarisonic states that it is suitable for most skin types:
*Sensitive: Comes standard with most of our cleansing brushes. An easy introduction for sensitive to normal skin types.
Since I have sensitive combination skin, I was worried about using a normal brush head. The normal brush heads I tried in-stores seemed too stiff to use on the the face. The sensitive brush head is softer compared to the normal brush head.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Clarisonic Pro Care Guide

After investing so much money in the Clarisonic system, it is pivotal to keep it in good working condition. The user guide recommends washing the handset and brush head with soapy water once a week. Clarisonic also recommends replacing the brush head every 3 months.

Along with Clarisonic's recommendations, I have developed my own method of caring for my Pro based on tips I have read and experimented with. In addition to washing with soapy water, I rinse the handset and brush head with hydrogen peroxide. I once left the brush head submerged in hydrogen peroxide for about half an hour and noticed a film of skin cells at the end of the soak. The hydrogen peroxide really helped in getting rid of build up on the brush heads.

Reviewers have also cautioned about leaving the Clarisonic in the bathroom. There are areas in the handset that can grow mold. Left in the bathroom, the warm moist atmosphere encourages mold growth. Though I regularly store the Pro outside of the bathroom, I forgot it in the shower 3 nights in a row. I noticed a slightly pink tinge on the inside of the handset (where the brush head attaches). It was the beginning of mold! I had to pry loose the rubber ring and clean underneath that to get all the pink slime out. It was quite disgusting.

As for the brush head, I personally think as long as you keep it in clean with soapy water, it will last a long time. Disinfecting it every week helps too. Changing the brush head every 3 months is solely at the user's discretion. I notice that when my brush head doesn't seem to be performing as well, a quick wash with soap and water will improve it's performance drastically. You can also tell how much build up has accumulated by how much soap you need to use on the bristles before it feels clean.

I would love to hear other tips too!

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Clarisonic Pro Review

After writing off the Clarisonic for years, I finally purchased one for myself late last year. I have been increasing my use of facial sunblock and regular cleansers just don't seem to clean SPF off my skin very efficiently. I decided to try the Clarisonic for an extra clean.

In general, foaming cleansers don't clean my skin as well as I would like. It usually feels like it leaves behind a soapy residue or it hasn't effectively broken down the dirt and oil on my face. In the end, I feel like I haven't washed my face at all. Conversely, exfoliating cleansers are too abrasive. It strips my skin of all moisture - along with a few layers of skin. At the end of the week, my face starts to peel from the dryness (despite my strongest moisturizing methods). I have been reduced to mixing cream cleansers with bits of exfoliating cleansers to make my own facial wash. I have been getting increasingly frustrated with this method because facial cleansers usually last me a good year before I need to buy more. By the time I find what works for me,  the cleanser is (unsurprisingly) discontinued.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

An IPL Journey with the Remington i-LIGHT (Part 9 Review)

(Session IV)


The singed hair seem to fall off right away. Perhaps it's because the new hair growing in is weaker than before. I won't be able to tell the exact results until tomorrow.

The Next Day:

About 50% of my leg is bald. I'm wondering if the random spots of hairs are stragglers that I keep missing with the handset. I am really starting to see the difference.

Three Days Later:

My leg has definite bald patches, but I can also see the tiniest hint of new hair growth in all of the areas (or is it dead hair roots?). The incoming growth appears to be thinner and finer.

All photos (c) Little Luxuries 2013.

Friday, January 25, 2013

An IPL Journey with the Remington i-LIGHT (Part 8 Review)

Remington advises users to have three sessions biweekly for a month. (Tangential observation: I'm not quite sure how they worked the math out on that since three sessions biweekly means a month and a half....) So I was super excited to start my 4th session. I figure this would be the turning point where I would really start to see results since I've zapped almost all the active follicles during their growth cycles.

I have imposed a hair removal ban on the areas of my body where I am testing the Remington i-LIGHT, so I can see real results as it progresses. My underarm shows progress - mostly bare with areas of stubble. I have bald patches on my leg and patches of stubble too. It is half and half at this point. The areas where new hair is growing back is much finer and sparser than before.

For my 4th session, I put on my sunglasses and started to work as usual. Underarm first. Leg next.

It was quick and I almost debated changing my leg setting to the highest level this time. I barely felt anything on my leg. I think I will try the higher setting for my 5th session. The areas where there is no hair has no sensations to the IPL. It was only the parts that had more stubble that I felt the hot rubber band snapping sensation.

There was the usual burnt hair, but I feel like they are also much weaker or easier to burn since I started my IPL sessions.

Fine hairs and hairless areas.
All photos (c) Little Luxuries 2013.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Victoria's Secret: Very Sexy Shimmer Powder Review

Victoria's Secret released a bunch of shimmer powders for the 2012 holiday season. According to the site, while packaged in different colors and shades, all bottles contain scented golden shimmer. The scents are different scents from their perfume line: Angel, Bombshell, Heavenly, Noir Tease, and Very Sexy.
Very Sexy
Shimmer Powder
A shimmering fragrance fantasy. Sparkling powder touches skin with golden glimmer and Very Sexy scent.
Vanilla Orchid, Sun-drenched Clementine, Midnight Blackberry

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

The Body Shop: The Sparkler in Enchanting Gold Review

Unbeknownst to me, for the last couple of years, the Body Shop has been releasing a limited edition holiday item called The Sparkler. The original colors are Boudoir Pink and Enchanting Gold. I would have loved to own Boudoir Pink. In my head, it is the elusive pink shimmer powder that I have been lusting after. I had hoped for Boudoir Pink to be released again, but The Body Shop went with Enchanting Gold and Dazzling Copper for 2012. So I picked up Enchanting Gold along with my Brush on Radiance.
Our brilliant spritz-on highlighter is back for winter 2012. This limited-edition atomiser releases a fine shimmery powder to highlight the face, body and hair. Perfect for the party season.
  • Golden shimmer
  • Even application
  • Mess-free
  • Lightly scented
  • Limited edition

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

The Body Shop: Brush On Radiance Review

While browsing through The Body Shop, I noticed a little item in their makeup line that caught my eye: Brush on Radiance. They call it color pearls that provide illumination. It looked and sounded like an affordable Guerlain dupe! I had to buy it just to test it out.
Best if you want to: Enhance your complexion and add a touch of illumination to your face with light-reflective, iridescent pearls of color.

Best for: all skin tones

What it is designed to do:
  • Multi-colored beads provide skin with subtle, yet stunning illumination.
  • Light-reflective, iridescent pearls enhance the complexion.
  • Community marula nut oil promotes moisturization and hydration. 

Monday, January 21, 2013

Tarina Tarantino: Sparklicity Pure Review

I imagine Tarina Tarantino's Sparklicity Pure should have been the loose powder equivalent of the original Sparklicity Shimmer Dust. It is loose shimmer dust in light pink.
What it is: A touch of luxurious, crystalline sparkle for eyes, cheeks, and lips.
What it does: Complete your look with a unique, reflective finish, thanks to a formula composed almost entirely of pure-refraction reflex (unlike traditional glitters). Sparklicity Pure's soft, muted background shade layers perfectly with the rest of your makeup to accentuate the arch of the brow, eye lids, cheeks, and lips.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Tarina Tarantino: Sparklicity Pure Nude Review

I enjoyed Tarina Tarantino's Sparklicity Pure line so much I picked up a couple of additional colors when they went on sale at Sephora.
What it is: A touch of luxurious, crystalline sparkle for eyes, cheeks, and lips.
What it does: Complete your look with a unique, reflective finish, thanks to a formula composed almost entirely of pure-refraction reflex (unlike traditional glitters). Sparklicity Pure's soft, muted background shade layers perfectly with the rest of your makeup to accentuate the arch of the brow, eye lids, cheeks, and lips.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

An IPL Journey with the Remington i-LIGHT (Part 7 Review)

(Session III)


No change noticable change. No tenderness. I could see a few burnt hairs here and there.

The Next Day:

Still no visible change. Though it looks like the remaining hair on my legs are growing out slower than before.

Three Days Later:

It looks like the bald patches are regrowing hair! At the moment, it looks like finer and thinner hair than before. Maybe a couple more sessions will get rid of it entirely....

You can see all the variations here. Stubble, wispy new hair, missed areas, bald patches.

All photos (c) Little Luxuries 2013.

Friday, January 18, 2013

An IPL Journey with the Remington i-LIGHT (Part 6 Review)

My third IPL session started exactly on my third week into using the i-LIGHT.

My leg has bald patches here and there. I would say that perhaps about 30% of my leg has no visible hair. I also noticed tiny little black roots under the skin in these areas. I am waiting to see if this is new hair growth or old hair roots that need to be pushed out. The Remington manual advises that hair grows in cycles of 18 to 24 days, so there may still be active follicles to zap.

Now that I have developed a system, the sessions are extremely fast and over with in about 5 minutes. My only concern is that I feel like I am missing parts of my leg. All four corners of the handset must simultaneously touch the skin to activate. Since the contours of the legs are naturally curved, sometimes it is hard to activate the handset on certain areas of the leg.  I also didn't use white eyeliner on my leg because I didn't want to go through all the trouble of marking up my leg for each session.

The pain level has slowly lessen over the course of each session. The zaps are starting to feel more like rubber band snaps now. The sensation has not lessen to the point where I would feel comfortable turning up the light intensity though. It definitely hurts more where there is more hair too.

The grossest part is finding and cleaning the trace amounts of singed hair from the handset area.

To be honest, I'm not sure if the before and after photos help. At the 3 week mark, my leg still mostly looks like it did 2 weeks ago.

All photos (c) Little Luxuries 2013.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Tarina Tarantino: Eye Dream Highlight Duo Review

I picked up Tarina Tarantino's Eye Dream Highlight Duo in Mr. Gold Mr. Silver during its final run at Sephora. I debated between the 4 duos available and finally settled on gold and silver because I believed they would be the most versatile shades. As the name implies, I wanted these colors more for their highlighting purposes than as eyeshadows.
What it is: A collection of superb shadow duos that highlight the eye area for fantastical glowing effects.
What it does: These shadows deliver a gorgeous pearlized metallic finish to the eye. The reflective properties of diamond dust and micro-fine platinum powder diffuse light, creating a luminous soft focus effect. Plus, each shadow's smooth texture blends easily and feels silky soft on the skin.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Tarina Tarantino: Sparklicity Shimmer Dust Review

The original Sparklicity Shimmer Dust is the only bottle I intended to purchase from Sephora. It was also the only bottle I could never find in stores or online. Naturally, after giving up, I finally found it on Sephora's online site after I had acquired the gold and bronze shimmer dusts.
What it is: A microcrystalline sparkle product in an atomizer that poufs just the right amount of luxurious shimmer onto the face, body, and hair.

What it is does: "All sparkle is not created equal. Sparklicity Pure is total microcrystalline sparkle pigment to create fantastical sparkling effects. It can be used anywhere: face, body, or hair."

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Tarina Tarantino: Sparklicity Bronze Shimmer Dust Review

I had only wanted the original Sparklicity Shimmer Dust. It seemed to be hardest one to find though. So along the way I ended up with the gold version and the bronze version as well.
What it is: A microcrystalline glitter for the body and hair.
What it does: Sparkle is a state of mind and this product adds dazzling shimmer to bare shoulders, legs, hair, and the decollete. Its microcrystalline sparkle pigment is made almost entirely from a reflex material, which creates a luxurious and fantastical twinkle effects in a glowing bronze shade that's a perfect accent to a bronze complexion. What else you need to know:" Influenced by soaring Moorish architecture and dusty Turkish horizons, Sparklicity Bronze conjures up images of sun drenched vistas and regal exoticism. Dazzling geometric tiling from the famed Topkapi Palace inspires this sophisticated update of summer colors. Shimmering neutrals, misty golds, and soft oasis blue lure you eastward on this elegant voyage." XOXO, Tarina Tarantino, jewelry designer and makeup artist

Monday, January 14, 2013

Tarina Tarantino: Sparklicity Gold Shimmer Dust Review

I discovered Tarina Tarantino's atomizers of shimmer dust while wandering around Sephora. The concept of this atomizer is simple. It ties the elegance of old school perfume bottles with the novel concept of dispersing loose shimmer dust for the body or hair.

What it is: A pure-refraction glitter for body and hair.
What it does: Pouf this product's atomizer for a shimmery spray of fine dry powder. It adds a pretty golden sparkle to bare shoulders, legs, hair, and the decollete. A luxurious finishing touch, this product is made from an Italian formula called reflex, which delivers pure glitter, without base or binder.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Tarina Tarantino: Dollskin Cream Blush & Pressed Sparklicity Duo Review

I started to expand my Sparklicity collection after playing with my Sparklicity Opal. I wanted a pink shimmer highlighter after missing out on Guerlain's Cruel Gardenia and Tarina Tarantino's Dollskin Cream Blush & Pressed Sparklicity beckoned me. There are two shades: Coral Cameo and Mr Pink. I choose Mr Pink because of the pink Sparklicity powder. In my overzealous quest to find a nice pink sparkle powder, I didn't give much thought to the cream blush side of things until my order arrived.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

An IPL Journey with the Remington i-LIGHT (Part 5 Review)

(Session II)


No change. There was no redness or tenderness that accompanied the first session. 

The Next Day:

Taking a pair to tweezers, I tested the hairs on my leg again. They were clearly still attached to the root. Parts of stubble have been singed off.

Three Days Later:

I haven't touched the hair on my leg except with the i-LIGHT so all changes recorded are natural reactions to the IPL sessions. Patches on my leg now look like hair have fallen out. My underarm looks noticeably more hairless. On the other hand, I can still see little black roots of hair that haven't broken the skin yet. I am left to wonder if what I am seeing is hair that is slowly disappearing or if it is new hair starting to grow out.  

On the way to hairless?
All photos (c) Little Luxuries 2013.

Friday, January 11, 2013

An IPL Journey with the Remington i-LIGHT (Part 4 Review)

I started my second session exactly a week after my first session. Despite the initial redness and tenderness on my leg, all symptoms were gone within two days. More importantly, after a few days, it seemed like the stubble on my leg had been growing! Remington claims that after the first couple of sessions hair will appear to be growing, but in reality is being "pushed out" from the skin.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Tarina Tarantino: Sparklicity Pure Opal Review

I tried many of Tarina Tarantino's highlighers before gathering the courage to splurge on Guerlain météorites. Even though Tarantion's contract with Sephora has ended, I think her products are still worth mentioning. Her items are always sleeper hits that provide beautiful pigmentation.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Guerlain Météorites: Perles du Paradis Review

Immediately after I purchased my Perles du Dragon, I heard whispers about Guerlain's Spring 2013 release. Within days, I found photos of the Cils D’Enfer collection online.

The beauty theme in Spring 2013 is all about pink. Guerlain météorites for Spring 2013 are no exception.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Guerlain Météorites: Teint Rose Review

After receiving Perles du Dragon, I knew I wanted Teint Rose.

Teint Rose is a part of Guerlain's regular météorites collection. The year round météorites come in three shades: Teint Rose, Teint Beige, and Teint Dore. Teint Rose is for light skin tones. Teint Beige is for medium skin tones. Teint Dore is for dark skin tones.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Guerlain Météorites: Perles du Dragon Review

Guerlain's Perles du Dragon are my first météorites purchase. I haven't regretted a penny of it. The photos of the météorites combined with the rave reviews I read spurred me on to make my first Guerlain purchase after coveting météorites for so many years.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

My Beginnings With Guerlain

I have been coveting Guerlain météorites for years. I have never had the courage to buy them because of their extremely high price tag. During one of Sephora's Friends and Family sale, I had them sitting in my cart, but removed them last minute. Even with the F&F discount I couldn't justify the purchase to myself.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

An IPL Journey with the Remington i-LIGHT (Part 3 Review)


(Session I)


After my first IPL session, I figure I would see how long it would take for the sensitivity and tenderness to disappear. I don't recall reading too much about the aftermath from the many users who posted online about their experience. My underarm was fine with the exception of a few singed hairs. My leg, on the hand hand, had patches of pink accompanied with tenderness.

Friday, January 4, 2013

An IPL Jouney with the Remington i-LIGHT (Part 2 Review)

Before using my i-LIGHT, I tried to remember all the user tips I read about Boots Smooth Skin. Granted these are two different machines by two different companies, but they have extremely similar functions with a similar layout. I figure it wouldn't hurt to try to utilize this tips for the Remington as well.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

An IPL Journey with the Remington i-LIGHT (Part 1 Review)

My sister surprised me with a Remington i-LIGHT Pro for Christmas. I haven't mention IPL to anyone since my British grad school days, so this was an extremely unexpected but delightful surprise.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) Technoloy

About 3 years ago, Boots, the mega UK beauty retailer, released a machine called Boots Smooth Skin Hair Reduction System on the British market. The portable home machine claimed to use intense pulsed light (IPL) technology to reduce and eliminate hair growth. It instantly caught attention. Someone created a Facebook group where users reported their weekly experience, shopping threads buzzed about it, women blogged about their IPL journey.

Boots Smooth Skin Hair Reduction System (Original)

Everyone had one big question at the time: "Does it work?" Reviews at that point where mixed. IPL as a home product was a new introduction to the beauty market. It was clear that a portable IPL machine would be nowhere as strong as as IPL machine at an aesthetician's office. Critics question if the machine worked at all.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013


Welcome to Little Luxuries!

This blog will be dedicated to enjoying the simple pleasures in life.

Things we don't need, but might like to enjoy.

Things we can occasionally indulge in. 

(Disclaimer: This is a random photo found on the web and not mine.)