Monday, 28 October 2013

What's in my bag!

It's been almost a year since my last "what's in my bag" post, so here's an update!

I have this bag for almost two months now and I absolutely love it because it is spacious but not overwhelming, meaning that it holds everything I want but it doesn't look bigger than me and I can carry it easily because it is very lightweight.

The funny part is that I was looking everywhere for a pink bag or one with pink accents and when I saw this one it was love at first sight!

It is a coated DKNY tote and I got it at the Nine West outlet at Factory Outlet.

Without further ado, here it is!

Here 's a look inside


I have also attached a little hand antibacterial at the back for easy access

Makeup bag, wallet, a pink pouch for my mobiles, car and home keys, car papers, tissue paper, lighter, lipbalm and chewing gum. 

Here's what I currently keep in my makeup bag.

  • EOS hand cream
  • Mac Cockney lipstick
  • A Hondos Center wet tissue (life saviour!)
  • Clarins lipbalm
  • Two Revlon Kissable Balm Stains in Lovesick and Rendezvous
  • Mac mini blush brush
  • Maybelline Dream Lumi Touch concealer
  • YSL mini black eye pencil
  • Bourjois brow pencil
  • Travalo atomiser containing a B&BW body mist
  • Mac Hibiscus Kiss blush/bronzer
  • Folding hair brush
  • Mini Mac Fix +
That's my current handbag configuration and I 'm going to keep it like this for a while because I do enjoy it very much.

That's it for now, I hope you are all well and thriving! 

Sunday, 20 October 2013

Benefit mini haul!

A few weeks ago a Sephora 35% off sales gave me the opportunity to try a few brand new Benefit items and here they are along with my thoughts on them.

Rockateur blush: everyone is raving about this blush so it was the first item on my wishlist. As soon as I swatched on my hand it went straight into my basket because it is a lovely peachy/pink/bronzy shade with a very pretty sheen and it is ideal for all seasons more so for fall and winter. It is the kind of shade that can be the star of a no makeup look, or can be the best - shy but still there - friend of a smokey eye or red lip, it all depends on application. 

I've also used it as an eyeshadow all over the lid and up to the crease, it defines beautifully the eyes.

Shadewise it does remind me a tiny bit of Sunbasque by Mac but less pigmented and more caramel.  

The only thing I really dislike about it is the packaging, I find it very tacky and cheap looking.

Here is a swatch as well as one next to Sunbasque (on the left)

Stay Flawless 15h primer: face products have a hard time trying (unsuccessfully) not to slide off my face after the first couple of hours.  So I thought I should give it a try and I am very happy I did because it definitely works!

According to Benefit you're supposed to apply it one section of the face, follow up quickly with foundation, then cover another section of the face, follow up with foundation, etc.

Well, I'm a little impatient so I slap it on all over my face and then I quickly put some bb cream on my hands and massage it thoroughly all over my face. Then I go over with a brush so as to blend everything perfectly.

It really feels like putting stick glue all over my face and in essence that's what it does. It acts like a medium to adhere the foundation on the skin and if I overdo it it certainly feels tacky but the feeling goes away as soon as I put on the foundation.

As for color, it is clear although in the stick it looks quite beige.

The only thing I'm concerned about is that it may dry out quickly so I always put on the internal lid and then the large lid.

Gimme Brow in light/medium: this is the only product I am still on the fence about. I've tried it alone on my sparse brows but it took a lot of work to achieve the desired result, it is much easier and faster with a pencil or eyeshadow. Maybe it's the tiny brush or just the fact that it is something new.
On the other hand the tiny brush makes it perfect for detailed work, it's just that I am not that patient.
I love it though after I've done my brows because it really makes them stay in place all day.

That's it for now, I hope you are all well and thriving!

Thursday, 17 October 2013

Clay Masks: Ren Detox & Glamglow

Face masks is a relatively new idea to me because I discovered how beneficiary and fun they are only a few months ago.

I have normal to dry (in the colder months) dehydrated skin and I wanted a weekly step towards really cleaning my skin because I do live in a city, commuting every, so I was looking for something more.

So, today 's post is about clay or "mud" masks. But, first of all, what does a clay mask do?

  • Deep clean the skin, pulling away all dirt, grime etc that's been building up, especially if you're living in places with high pollution etc.
  • Getting rid of dead cells
  • Stimulate blood flow
  • So you end up with fresh "baby" skin
They're primarly marketed towards combination/oily/acne prone skins but it doesn't mean they can't be used by other skin types, it just takes a little extra care:

I don't let it fully dry before washing it off because if I let it totally dry my skin feels parched afterwards. 

How I use them: 

Once a week, I apply a moderate amount all over my face, neck and on the upper part of my hands, leave it on for 6-7 minutes and then rinse off. I always follow up with a hydrating mask. 

Ren Invisible Pores Detox Mask:

I got this one out of pure curiosity, with a hefty discount on some online store, I think about 17€ final price.

It claims to:
  • Reduce the appearance of pore size and blackheads
  • Draw out impurities
  • Leave the skin purified, smooth and toned
Does it deliver?

I don't have blackheads so I can't tell you about that but it does all the rest. 

What I love about it:
  • Brilliantly designed package with an little stopper attached to the pump so that it stays shut, keeping the product sanitary and the pump from clogging at the same time.
  • Creamy, smooth consistency that spreads very easily
  • Doesn't irritate my skin, doesn't feel weird on.
  • Easy to wash off.
  • Leaves my skin baby soft and fresh
  • Parabens, sulfates, mineral oil etc free

What I don't love about it: 

At first I used to remove it by rubbing it off while dry and then I washed it off. This way my skin was extra smooth but the sink etc was covered by a fine powder (the dry product I rubbed off my face), very messy to clean!

Glamglow Youthmud Treatment

This is a hyped product and I got it on a whim, when I saw it 35% off at my local Sephora (I think 30+€)

It claims to:
  • Leave the skin radiant and glowing
  • Activate moisturising collagen synthesis
  • Exfoliate
  • Tighten skin texture and pores
  • Leave skin smoother brighter, softer and more youthful looking
  • Absorb impurities without removing natural oils
  • Help to protect against free radical damage

Does it deliver?

Well, as it happens some times when a product is so much praised, it didn't wow me.

My bait was the "radiant and glowing" aspect of this miracle in a jar.

I know that this is a gimmicky way to lure consumers and I should know better but deep down I did hope it will give my dull, tired complexion a little boost, like a mini exotic holidays in a bottle (no, I'm not 5 years old, just a gemini that when reason doesn't prevail I get a liiiitle tiny bit carried away with expectations!)

Leaving the glow mishap aside, it is a very good clay mask, doing more or less the same thing my Ren Detox mask does. It is also paraben free.

What (other) I don't love about it:

  • The consistency! I have never seen anything like it. It is a thick paste (you have to shake it up before use, I don't just shake it up, I put it in the washing machine, lol).
  • It is difficult to spread it out evenly. 
  • It has some leaves in it that hang off and make my face look like a salad bowl after lunch. 
  • It doesn't want to come off and I don't want to use extra pressure because it isn't smooth and I don't want to scratch my face by accident. 
  • I don't like jars (in general) I find them unsanitary and more chances for the product to go bad faster.

I don't count as a negative the strong tingling sensation because I don't mind nor do I have sensitive skin. 

Bottom line: I will definitely use it up but I will not repurchase. Out of the two I definitely prefer the Ren one.

Glamglow on the left, Ren Detox on the right

Word of notice: when you use a product for the first tine, skincare more so, always test it on your arm before use. You never now if there is something in it that will irritate your skin.

What's your favorite mask?

That's it for now, I hope you are all well and thriving! 

Sunday, 13 October 2013

Fair as a Ghost: Estee Lauder Maximum Cover & Mac Pro Longwear Concealer.

Being quite a pale gal when the summer "tan" goes away, I start to look like Casper's sibling.
The problem that I find with my skin tone is that is hard to find a light enough foundation to match me and even when I do, they're usually too pink or too yellow.

I've used foundations that are a tiny bit darker and at first the difference is not apparent but after a while the colour usually oxidises and by midday I look a bit like oumpa loumpa!

So, after a lot of trial and error, I realized that finding a true match will probably never happen and I concluded that the only way was to DIY a shade myself!

In order to do that I needed a true white foundation and my first choice, years back, was the Mac Face and Body foundation in white.

I really liked it for the purpose but I disliked the huge bottle because in the end it went bad and in the garbage.

A few months ago I purchased the Estee Lauder Double Wear Maximum Cover foundation in shade 11 Very Light.

I found two uses for this one:

  • it works beautifully mixed with another foundation in order to make the shade lighter
  • it is perfect for the inner eye corner, as a highlight and also everywhere on the face where there is a shade and I want to lighten the area, for example under eyebags when I wake up a bit puffy.
On the other hand, texture-wise this is not one to use as is because used alone is quite dry and mask like. 

I also like the tube because it is very easy to get the right amount of product and at the same time it is very sanitary. 

A more recent find is the Mac Pro Longwear Concealer in shade NW15.

At first I swatched the NC15 but the SA suggested that I should try the NW15 and it definitely is a bit lighter than the NC15.

I use it for the same purposes as the Estee Lauder one (although it technically is a concealer) but it is more opaque so it offers more coverage and it is also very long lasting.

I wouldn't use it normally alone as an under eye concealer though because this one is also very light and it can result in the reverse panda effect.

Off course it can work as a concealer if used with a light hand and buffed adequately (and quickly because it sets fast!) then the under eye area looks really rested and light.

It comes with a pump and although I do like it because it is very hygienic at the same time I don't like it because I always end up with more product than I need, it is difficult to regulate the pressure. 

I also hate the fact that it stains my brushes, especially the Sigma ones are a nightmare to clean. On the other hand it comes off really easily from my Real Techniques brushes. They're all synthetic though, I don't understand why there's such a difference!

Enough talking, here are some photos!

Estee Lauder on the left, Mac on the right. 

Any suggestions for pale foundations are highly appreciated. 

That's it for now, I hope you are all well and thriving!

Thursday, 10 October 2013

5 Products Makeup Tag!

Dear fellow bblogger Tina from All the Vanity has recently done the 5 products makeup tag! and also tagged me to do one.

So, without further ado, here it is!

Dior Diorskin Nude BB Cream: since I'm going for a minimalistic look (with 5 products only it's one way more or less!) I chose a lovely and natural looking base that will enhance my appearance without wiping out my face structure.

Benefit Rockateur Blush: new addition to my mini army of blushes and quite a love at first...application, it is ideal for such difficult missions because it gives a lovely light warmth with a bit of bronzy tint so it adds colour and dimension at the same time. 
I also used it as an eyeshadow all over the lid up to over the crease, blended the edges and it defined the eyes in a polished and understated way.

Benefit They're Real mascara: no matter how many times I "cheat" with other mascaras, I always return to this one. It's the only makeup item that I have a backup, at all times. 'Nough said.

Mac Veluxe Brow Liner: having sparse and light haired brows a product to shape and fill them is indispensable to me and the Mac one is a current favorite. 

Mac Cockney lipstick: this is the jewel of the crown for such a look because it is a pretty, juicy, semi transparent red that gives life to the whole face. 

Benefit Rockateur, Mac Cockney, Mac Strawberry Blonde brow liner.

Thank you Tina for the fun challenge!

That's it for now, I hope you are all well and thriving!

Sunday, 6 October 2013

Estee Lauder Bazaar (it's this time of the year!)

The Estee Lauder biannual bazaar has been a fun habit to me for the last 2 years.

I always stay away the first 3 days because although I do enjoy makeup and cosmetics I cannot stand the mayhem and I don't appreciate being run over or shoving and pushing.

On the other hand, going "late" means that there is space and time to look around and take my time but a lot of things are gone. Not that much though because the stuff works relentlessly to serve and restock the shelves, so there's always a bargain or two to find!

By saying bargain I mean ridiculous prices that make me wonder on the money we spend when we buy something for full price, but that's another story.

So, about 15:30 today I was there and there was no crowd, no waiting, no long lines to the cashiers.

There was something for everyone, in various price ranges.

As for the main brands I saw Estee Lauder, Mac, Clinique, Bobby Brown, Jo Malone, Origins, Puppa, La Prairie, lots of fragrances etc.

Here's what I got!

- Mac To the Beach body oil at 5€.  I'm not sure if this is permanent or LE but it's a very pretty shimmery body oil, perfect for my light skin tone, there was also a deeper one but it was too dark for me.
- Mac Betty pigments grom the Archie's collection 4€ each, retail price 19€-20€. I was thrilled to see these, when the collection launched here I was debating whether I should get them but the price was too steep for me.
- Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair Complex 29€ retail price 90€ (I asked the SA out of pure curiosity!). I 've never used it before but anything anti stress/aging/dehydration is useful, more so when it has such a strong reputation.  We 'll see though.

I also got the little heart coin purse from the Mac Archie's collection for 5€ retail price 25€, no picture because it's all wrapped up and I can't find mine!

Big bummer thought I didn't find my beloved Make a Difference toner by Origins, I got it last time for 9€, if I knew I would like it that much I would have bought 3-4 bottles!

Would I go again next time? Definitely!
Do I think you should go if you are nearby? What are you waiting for?

It is open until Wednesday, working hours 11:00 - 20:00.

Here are some more photos.

Here are my previous visits:

first time

second time

That's all for now, I hope you are all well and thriving!

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