Sunday, 23 September 2012

Caudalie mini haul

It all started with a foaming cleanser. Seriously.
I have almost finished the cleanser I have been using for the past months so I started searching online for a new one, preferably "natural" meaning without sulfates, parabens, mineral oils, etc.

So, I came across the Caudalie Fleur de Vigne Instant Foam Cleanser.

I was anyways interested to explore this much talked of brand, because, besides offering products without parabens, mineral oils, sls, animal ingredients, phalates etc, it is based on the vine and its extracts:

  • grape polyphenols that are supposed to be powerfull anti-oxidants, meaning that they block free radicals and they also help to preserve the skin's hyaluronic acid that is responsible for keeping the skin youthful and plump.
  • viniferine that's supposed to reduce dark spots, prevents their reappearance and gives radiance to the skin
  • resveratrol-oleyl that's supposed to stimulate collagen production and to increase the thickness of the epidermis
  • organic grape water that's supposed to boost hydration and reduce skin sensitivity
  • grape seed oil that contains omega 6 and vitamin E in high concentration which have nourishing and regenerating properties and
  • vinolevure that's supossed to help retaining the skin's moisture
Obviously I've done my homework (lol!) but I have stopped buying skincare stuff haphazardly and I really wanted to know what the brand was about. It definitely sounds very good, time and use will show me if there's any truth or if it's just plain old marketing blabber

So, I decided to get the cleanser and it's suitable for all skin types and it is gentle enough so as to cleanse without stripping the skin.

Next step was to find the cheapest price online and to my surprise I found it in a greek online pharmacy! To give you an idea, sells the 150ml €20,15 and I found the same item €10,43 at the online greek pharmacy!

In fact, all Caudalie items were on sale, so I decided to browse a little more.

I also found the famous Vinoperfect Radiance Serum at €32,46 and I thought that I couldn't find a better chance to try it. I haven't used any serums so far but, being fall and all, I decided to get this in order to treat my skin a little more intensively. It is supposed to correct dark spots/discolorations and to prevent them from reappearing, so that the complexion appears more radiant and the skin color more uniform.

Last but not least, I got the 100ml Beauty Elixir at €23,19 whille at it is sold at €37,44 and €35 at my local pharmacy.

I had already tried the - talk of the town - Beauty Elixir, and to tell you the truth at first I was appalled by the scent which is very strong for a skincare product. I was also afraid to carry it (30ml) in my handbag because of the glass bottle, so it stayed forgotten in the fridge.

After reading so much about it, I decided to actually use it and the best use I found was as a toner lotion, after I clean my face and before moisturizer.

So by the by I became accustomed to the scent and to the product in general and this is why I decided to get the 100ml bottle For those that don't know what it is, it is a face mist that's supposed to smooth the features, boost radiance and tighten pores. I haven't noticed any difference to be honest, but it feels very refreshing and pampering and as long as I use it reasonably, it will last me at least until spring.

Here's some photos.

This is the packaging of the serum.
As for the online pharmacy itself ( I hadn't ever heard of it but I was surprised not only by the prices but also by the speedy delivery (ordered on Saturday and received the parcel on Tuesday) and also by the cute and thoughtfull packaging. I also got free delivery because the order was over €60.

They also included a few samples.

That's my haul, if I'm pleased with them, next time I will try a moisturizer and an eye cream.

Have you tried the brand? If yes do you have any recommendations?


Sunday, 16 September 2012

The Body Shop BBloggers event!

I was invited once more by the lovely Dimitra Kaldi, along with other fellow beauty bloggers, to a Body Shop event, this time at Nea Smyrni. I call these events infotainment evenings, because we learn a lot of interesting new things while we're having fun socializing!

Here's my experience from the previous event.

I won't talk again about the values of TBS because I regard them as common knowledge but I will share with you what happened that evening.

We were informed of the new products in three separate presentations:

  • Skincare
  • Fragrance
  • Makeup
So, skincare was our first stop where a very helpful sales assistant (that also answered patiently all our questions) explained to us the benefits of the new products, in particular:

  • Drops of Youth by the Nutriganics line. This product is focusing on dealing with the first signs of ageing by making the skin look fresher, healthier and smoother.
  • Tea Tree Pore minimizer by the Tea Tree line. It minimizes the appearance of pores, matifies and smoothes the skin and also acts perfectly as a face primer.
  • Aloe Soothing Cream by the Aloe line. Well, aloe is pretty much self explanatory but I've never thought to use it as an after sun product although it makes perfect sense, due to the calming and soothing properties.
  • Vitamin C Face Mist by the Vitamin C line. I love to spritz it on my face in the morning, its scent wakes me up instantly, lol! I also spritz it on my face when I return home after work because I feel it brings back life to it.
Next stop, fragrance. Here, a lovely and very stylish SA informed us of the Scents of the World eaux de toilette and the various accompying products. There are five scents:

  • Amazonian Wild Lily: if you like "green" scents you will love this!
  • Madagascar Island Vanilla: vanilla with an oriental twist
  • Indian Night Jasmine: jasmine with woody base
  • Atlas Mountain Rose: rose with musky and oriental elements
  • Japanese Cherry Blossom: my favorite by far, floral but not boring or overpowering, with some woody base, really pretty and easy to wear, even for work.
For each of the five fragrances there are accompying products (shower gel, body lotion, body mist, perfume oil) and I think that I will treat myself of a Japanese Cherry Blossom set! Also, I find that the perfume oil offers the best longevity of scent, although the body mists and eaux de toilette can be easily combined, even with different scents, thus creating your own fragrance!

Last stop, makeup!

The new BB cream was the item we were all very excited about and its application is very impressive because it changes color from white to pink and then to skintone!

It offers hydration, an even and undetectable finish with light to medium coverage and it feels very nice. I did find one flaw though and that is the color range: although it is supposed to match your skin tone, the lightest shade 01 was dark for me, the only time I could probably wear it is when I'm tanned. So, fair skinned ladies, that's bad news for us!

We also received a bag of goodies and we were super excited because it included:

  • the Tea Tree Pore Minimizer,
  • the LE Peach body butter that smells totally yummy,
  • the BB cream
  • the Japanese Cherry Blossom perfum oil
  • a sample of the Nutriganics Drops of Youth and
  • the Foundation lip butter. The profit from the sale of this item goes to one cause of three selected ones and you get to chose the cause your money will go to. How cool is that! I also purchased one as a gift.
All in all it was a fun evening, we got a chance to chat, talk about the products, see each other, we couldn't ask for anything more!

Thank you TBS!

Sunday, 2 September 2012

Basic tools: Affordable and effective

In order to achieve the best looks, tools are mandatory. Fortunately there's an abundance of brushes out there, in various prices, so that everyone can buy the tools of choice at the desired price.

But do we need every brush that's available on the market? The answer in no, and I will explain why.

Buying a more affordable brush, does it mean that we have to compromise on quality and effectiveness? The answer is no again!

So, let's get started!

Face. We have foundation brushes, powder brushes, bronzer brushes, blush brushes, highlight brushes etc etc. I have in my collection such brushes because I thought they were indispensable. I don't say that I don't like each and everyone, just that if I knew more back then I would skip a few of them.

And to take it to extremes, if I had to choose one brush (shocking!) to do a whole face makeup (foundation, powder, bronzer, blush, highlight) it would be without a second thought the Elf Powder brush at 4,50€ !

The reason is that it's large enough, dense enough, soft enough, doesn't shed like crazy and it's multitasking.

As for application, the best way to achieve a flawless result without wasting excess product on the brush is to work the foundation on my skin with my fingers first and then use the brush to buff it in. Perfect!

Another result of this application is that the bristles stay relatively clean and product free, so it only takes a couple of swipes on a paper towel in order to proceed with powder, bronzer, blush. If you are concerned with product transfer between different type of products, a couple of swipes in between on a paper towel is all that is needed. As for highlight, I use the edge of the brush and it positions highlight just where I want it to.

After I 'm done with face makeup I'll always spot clean it on a paper towel. The brush cleanser that I find works best with this type of Elf bristles is absolute alcohol (70% or higher) and the bristles get clean very easily and quickly. This way, apart from the obvious hygienic results, the brush is in perfect condition for next time because a dirty brush is not only unsanitary but will compromise the result of makeup application.

A more pricy alternative than the Elf one but still quite affordable is the Sigma F80 at $16. I don't have this one but I do have the F82 and the F84 from the same line and they are my most favorite face brushes.

As for concealer, a fine pointed one is perfect for precise application on spots etc. Look no further than the Elf Angled Eyeliner brush at 4,50€. It doesn't have to be angled, it's just the one I have, any type of fine pointed brush will do.

For applying concealer under eyes, I pat in on the under eye area with my finger and then buff it in with the Mac 217 brush. Sigma also makes a similar one, the E25 Blending brush at $9.

Eyes. Here as well, the diversity of the available brushes is insane, but you definitely don't need many of them in order to achieve the desired eye look.

I 've come to the conclusion that the best way to choose a brush is the size of the area above the eyes (small or big) and the preferred way of eyeshadow application (packed or diffused).

  • For small eyelids I would suggest the Sigma E45 Small Tapered brush at $9. I have a similar one from Mac, the 226 and can be used:
    • sideways to pack color on the lid,
    • just the tip to do a smokey outer v or apply eyeshadow on the lash line and
    • it is also perfect for the crease and
    • applying highlight on the inner corner
  • For more eyelid space I think the Sigma E25 is a good option.
For eyeliner, if you use gel eyeliners you can use the Elf Angled Eyeliner brush I mentioned above (yes, it can work for spot concealing and eyeliner at the same time as long as you thoroughly spot clean between different products).
Another option is the Sigma E75 Angled Brow at $11, it's thin enough to be used as an eyeliner brush although the line will not be as fine as with a designated eyeliner brush. Of course it can also be used for eyebrows.
Mac 208 which is a similar brush is my favorite not only for eyebrows but for eyeliner as well because it offers more control than an eyeliner brush with a fine tip.
So, the most affordable and efficient way I've found in order to do a whole face makeup is with these brushes:
  • Elf Powder brush for foundation/powder/bronzer/blush/highlight
  • Elf Angled Eyeliner brush for spot concealing
  • Sigma E25 Blending brush for under eye concealer
And for the eyes:
  • Sigma E25 Blending brush or Sigma E45 Small Tapered brush for smaller eyelids
  • Sigma E75 Angled Brow brush for eyeliner and eyebrows
Here's my interpretation of the above list, obviously I have included the Mac ones I own instead of the alternatives I've suggested. If I knew then what I know now my wallet would be fuller, lol!


If you have very pigmented blushes/bronzers and you have difficulty in using them, a duo fibre brush will help a lot because with it you can achieve a lightweight application. You can also use it with foundation when you're going for a more lightweight and transparent result.

I have the Mac 187 but also Sigma makes one, the F50 Duo Fibre at $18

Elf makes one as well, the Stipple brush at 4,50€.

If you want to do a detailed eyeshadow work, a pencil brush will be very handy, like the Sigma E30 Pencil brush at $9. Elf has also a couple of small brushes, like the Small Precision brush or the Small Smudge brush.
If you prefer to apply eyeshadow in a wash of color instead of packing it on, a large fluffy brush is ideal and it can also be used for blending. Sigma makes the E40 Tapered Blending brush at $11 and the one I use is the Inglot 6SS.
Finally, an extra that to me is a staple tool is a lash curler. I had the Elf one but it pinched my eyelids and the most affordable and effective that I've found and use for a few months now is the Mister Mascara lash curler from
What's your most effective and affordable makeup tool?

I'm not affiliated or sponsored by any of the mentioned brands, I just added the links so that it would be easier for you to see the brushes!


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