Saturday, 31 March 2012

March favorites

March is gone and it's time for favorites!

Green Herbs by Zara Home is a line with body products and I got the body lotion to use mainly as a hand cream. It's not very emollient for such a use, it is more of a light all over moisturizer, but the fragrance is so awesome that I use it constantly. It is definitely herbal, fresh and relaxing, nothing fancy but simply brilliant. Next time you pass by a Zara Home store, I strongly suggest to give it a sniff!

The Mineralize Charged Water by Mac has been my constant companion, I also poured some in a little spray bottle to keep in my purse. The reason is that it really hydrates and refreshes my face, especially during this harsh and cold March, it definitely feels more moisturizing than my Fix+. Just a spritz of this stuff made my dry skin feel luscious and plump.

In the quest for products that take good care of my hair I came across the Tangle Teezer and I decided to give it a try. I got it from beautybay and it has replaced my hairbrush because it untangles and combs my hair without breaking them, wet or dry, in a second. I also don't get loose hair after using this, maybe one or two but that's it.

This month I started to pay more attention to my eyelashes and I also decided to experiment a little.

First of all I wanted a new curler because the one I had purchased from elf was pinching my skin, maybe it was too wide for my eyes or I didn't use it properly. Anyway, I saw this one on beautybay and the curve caught my attention, as well as the fact that it came with plenty replacement pads. The price was reasonable so I decided to give it a try and I'm so happy I did! It curls my lashes beautifully and mainly it doesn't hurt my eyelids!

I also decided to experiment with colored mascara for day looks and my first choice was the "safe" brown. The variety of brown mascaras is not that great, so I got the Maybelline volume express because I generally like Maybelline products. As for the mascara itself, it's ok, nothing spectacular. As for the brown color in general, I'm so pleased that when this one is used up, I will definitely get another one, from another brand.
The reason is that brown has a little of the intensity of black but not the harshness, so my eyelashes are certainly defined but not in a prominent "makeup" way, the result is natural but not bare, in a few words the color and the intensity frame my eyes beautifully.

Talking about eyes I could not omit eyeshadows etc. For some strange reason, I stuck with bronze/copper shades, in particular Expensive Pink and Mythical eyeshadows by Mac. Another eyeshadow is the color tattoo "on and on bronze" by Maybelline, I used it as a color base for powder eyeshadows or alone when I was in a hurry and I really like it both ways.

Mac fluidlines are my favorites not only because of the quality of the product but also because of the colors they come up with in the various collections.

So, although during the whole winter Avenue fluidline (from the Make me Over collection) was my everyday, go-to eyeliner, when I saw online swatches of the Added Goodness fluidline (from the Mac Shop, Mac Cook collection), I knew I had to have this because it fits into my "brown/natural with a twist" color scheme. I was set on getting this one because of the complexity of the color, it's deep brown with some gray, even some plum, I can't accurately describe it but it's not just another brown and since I got it I love it so much that I use it everyday.
If you pass by a Mac store take a look, you may find it appealing too!

Here are Expensive Pink, Mythical, On and On Bronze and Added Goodness.

As for lip products I won't bore you to death with my YSL Vernis a Levres raves (although since I got them I don't wear anything else, lol!) but a lip product that I constantly used are the Revlon Colorburst lip butters, especially Tutti Frutti.
The sad thing is that they don't respond very well to heat (as I suspected) so I think I will not use them when the temperature rises, at least I won't keep them in my purse.
They are great products nevertheless and I enjoy wearing them.

Last but not least, nail polish!

Being in search of the perfect spring green, I saw the "Thanks a Windmillion" from the Opi Holland collection and it was exactly what I was looking for: medium in tone, pastel but not candy pastel, more dusty and muted, very pretty and elegant!

The other one I 've been constantly using is the "Gouda Gouda Two Shoes" from the same collection, it's kind of a medium caramel/pink with a hint of brown and fine golden shimmer, on the same muted and dusty tone as the green one.

The fact is that I wanted a couple of transition shades because from dark, winter colors I couldn't jump to bright and light colors and these two serve this purpose perfectly.

That's it for March favorites, as you can see it's was a rather orange-y / brown month, lol!

Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Spring Award!

Maria from mirmigaki gave this cute spring award to my lil' blog! And although the weather is currently not very spring-y, my heart is really warmed up!

Thank you so much Maria!

As for me, I would like to give this award to you all of you lovely girls who read my posts and share your thoughts with me!

Sunday, 25 March 2012

YSL Vernis a Levres - Glossy stains

Lip products are almost always a fail on me, they never last more than a few minutes on me (with the exception of the Pro Longwear by Mac, they last a little longer, lol!).

So when I read all the raves about the new Vernis a Levres (or Glossy Stains) by Yves Saint Laurent, I was very sceptical but curious as well, so I decided to give them a try and get one.

The first one I purchased was #7, Corail Aquatique, a discreet peach. After a week of wearing nothing else on my lips but this, I decided to get a few more (the 25% off at Hondos Center really helped!).

The above is a reasonal description. The truth is that until I got my hands on the rest of them, I was like on caffeine abstinence, I wanted some like crazy! And that's a first time for me.

So here are all my beauties together

From left to right on all photos:
#7 Corail Aquatique, medium subtle peach
#12 Corail Fauve, red coral
#15 Rose Vinyl, mid tone pink
#17 Encre Rose, a cotton candy, lightly lilac pink

One layer swatch

Two layers swatch

The stain after removing them

#12 Corail Fauve on my lips, two layers

The punch line: Are they worth the splurge?

They apply pretty much like a usual lip gloss but I don't press my lips together, and I keep them apart for a minute, so that the product sets. The result is just brilliant because what I get is truly beautiful, fresh, dewy, semi transparent and shiny but pigmented color, it's hard to describe. If I apply a second layer, with the same method, the color result is more vibrant and prominent. I haven't tried a third layer, but I think it is possible and it will result in even more vibrancy and color depth. Basically it's like each tube has three different shades, depending on application, which I think is awesome!

The sensation on my lips is also new, they don't feel like lipstick or lipgloss or lip butter. It's light, a little tacky but not sticky, not moisturizing but not drying, in a word my lips are very happy!

The longevity is the main advantage because for the first time a lip product lasted on me for HOURS! The first to go is the gloss after 2-3 hours but even then the pigment stays on for a good 3-4 hours as well and even when the pigment is gone, it leaves behind a "ghost" like tint, so my lips are never bare.

In a few words, these little treasures are pigmented, long lasting, not parching my lips, low maintenance (I reapply only after eating, mainly because I swipe my lips a lot) and depending on application I get more than one color depth from each tube.

Benetint etc by Benefit are truly stains BUT they parch my lips like hell and the color selection is limited to three shades if I'm not mistaken.

Superstay by Maybelline is a low budget alternative but they dry my lips as well and the gloss is really sticky and must be constantly reapplied. Also, the product doesn't apply evenly and I see goo on the inside of my lips.

So, these Glossy Stains are fabulous, but is there a con? Yes, they smell awfully! Some say like rose but to me they smell like heavy wine, thank god they smell only during application and the perfume doesn't linger afterwards.

The only thing I would like to warn you of is that some shades are a little different from the hand swatch. For example, on me #7, 15 and 17 are close enough to the hand swatch but #12 on my lips is actually quite red (and not that coral), especially if I apply two layers.

The truest to life online swatches i've seen are from Karlasugar take a look!

Saturday, 17 March 2012

Clarins Éclat Minute Blushes

First time I saw this kind of blush was in a video from Lisa Eldridge and I don't know why but I knew it was something I had to try.

So, I was super excited when I found it at Hondos Center, at a reasonable price as well (22€), and at first I chose a "safe" shade, 01 Vitamin Pink. After wearing for a few days, I knew I had to get the 02 Coral Tonic as well. So here they are!

Vitamin Pink and Coral Tonic

Coral Tonic is peach with a slight coral tint and a subtle sheen, very fresh and will be pefect for spring/summer. Even though I usually don't like peach on me, I find this shade very flattering, probably because it's not too much on the orange side.

Vitamin Pink is my favorite of the two, it's such a dewy rosy pink shade, I love it!

The reason I like them so much is the consistency, it's like a thick lipgloss and all it takes is just a dot on each cheek. The Clarins sales assistant advised me not to move it around on the cheek but to press it lightly with my finger, this way it doesn't disturb the foundation etc.

I also like it because it lasts and that's a first time to me with non powder blushes.

They come in a short lipgloss kind of plastic package, with an a doe foot applicator. That's also a plus because it's easy and safe to carry it along in my travel bag and it takes a really small space.

What I love most is the fresh, slightly glowy finish with a a very fine and subtle shimmer/sheen.

The only downside is that (I think) they are limited edition, so if you get a chance give them a try!

Saturday, 10 March 2012

A little spring haul

Although the weather today was not very spring-y, I felt the urge to do a little spring shopping. So, I arrived at Ermou street without a plan, I decided to get anything that caught my attention (within my budget of course).

It seems though that the cloudy sky had also clouded my excitement because I didn't find anything that interesting, until I reached the H&M store.

H&M stores for me are sometimes a hit and sometimes a miss but this time it was totally a hit since I found these little treasures:

A pair of tan everyday summer shoes, the kind I knew I would need but was afraid to search for because of the insane price tags. At H&M the price is €34,95 and my wallet was never happier! I also love the fact that they are really lightweight.

Speaking of insane price tags, a few streets ahead, at the Nine West store, I found a white plastic patent cork platform of the simplest kind (and rather low quality)) for €99 (doing doing doing). I wouldn't mind paying the price if it was a well crafted, real shoe, but for cork and plastic I can look at other shops, with a very lower price (€20? €30?).

At H&M I also found:

- a simple watermelon tee, at €9,95 I just couldn't resist! The flared neck line also is a great feature, it gives a little extra oomph!
- a too cute ivory long scarf, part fabric part lace, €7,95
- last but not least a pink bracelet, €3,95

When I returned home, I remembered that I had a lipstick, purchased a long time ago, burried in some drawer, that would be perfect for spring/summer. And guess what? I found it and it is gorgeous!

The color is coral with a little pink and fine gold shimmer but it is quite sheer, I think it will be perfect! The weird thing is that I cannot understand why I ignored it for sooo long, but nevertheless I'm glad that I remembered it!

For reference, it is #92, Monte Carlo.

What spring color excites you the most?

Monday, 5 March 2012

Mac Technique Seminar (and a little haul)!

March is here and it's been a while since my last post due to family health problems (everything is alright now!).

Although I'm a known Mac fan, I had never participated in a Mac technique seminar, so, when my local Mac artist informed me of an upcoming event, I knew it was just the thing to get me back on track (lol!).

It lasted about an hour and a half and it was very interesting to watch live how a makeup artist uses tools and products in general. We had the chance to see two different makeup looks demonstrated on two models and we were given a little notebook with the respective face charts, tips and tricks, etc.
It was a really pleasant interval to my everyday routine!

The participation was free of charge and you could also buy anything you wanted with a 15% price reduction, so I took the opportunity to buy the following three items ( two of them were scheduled purchases, one was a spontaneous reaction!)

Mineralize Charged Water - I love this stuff because it really resfreshes and hydrates my face. Can be used before or after makeup (or both ways) and the only thing that I would love more is to see it available in a mini bottle as well, like the fix +, so I can keep it in my makeup bag. No big deal since I just filled an empty mini fix + bottle I had, just saying!

Fling eye brow mechanical pencil: this brow pencil was in my to buy list for months, but every time I entered a Mac shop I totally forgot about it! Fling is described as "light taupe ash blonde" and, although I'm definitely not an ash blonde, it is the perfect match for me. I never liked harsh, intense brows on me,I just want them defined and apparent, but not overwhelming. I was debating whether I should get Fling or Lingering, but Lingering is quite darker and more warm, so Fling was the winner! The main reason I wanted a pencil from this line is the fact that they are really long lasting, something that doesn't happen when I use wax+powder type of brow products, it also takes less time to fill my brows this way (handy for these mornings when I operate on auto pilot, LOL!).

Last item I purchased (the spontaneous reaction I mentioned above) was the Prep+Prime skin brightening serum. It was used on a model and being curious, I tried it on the back of my hand. Guess what? I really liked it! The reason is that I could see a subtle difference comparing my two hands, the one where the serum was applied looked more even and smooth and the lines where less visible. On my hands it was apparent enough since they are constantly dry and unless I exfoliate and hydrate them regularly they look a bit harsh and "tired".
It can be applied directly on bare skin or mixed with the foundation.

Prices (with the 15% off price reduction)

Mineralize Charged Water €18,70
Prep+Prime Skin Brightening Serum €31,45
Fling Eye Brow Pencil 14,02

Enough said, time for a few photos!

Hope you're all well and thriving!
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