Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Chanel Poudre Universelle Compacte pressed powder in Clair (20)


Chanel Poudre Universelle Compacte in Clair
When I was about to return to work I thought I needed a bit of encouragement in a form of make-up that would be useful for touch-ups. So I thought: matifying powder! I took many factors into consideration, small , convenient and classy packaging being the dominant ones. Chanel Poudre Universelle Compacte was finally my choice.
This powder comes in a typical Chanel black container with a white logo on top, which really appeals to my taste. It can be conveniently carried in a bag in its velvet pouch, which prevents the packaging from opening and scratching. And this is where my enthusiasm ends. Unfortunately I must say that the product quality is really below average. I would be perfectly satisfied with the product if it was Maybelline or Rimmel, but I expect much more from a product with such a high price tag and most of expensive powders I owned were really spectacular. This powder is does not make any visible difference to the appearance of the skin and doesn't prevent oiliness. The sponge attached does a horrible job as an applicator, making the product apply unevenly and chalkily. Of course you may say that powder is best applied with a brush, and I couldn't agree more, but I don't want to carry so much stuff in my bag. I actually chose this powder because it had its own applicator.
And on top of it all it doesn't smell and I love my powders to smell nice.

I think Chanel powders and foundations are such hit or miss things, they range from amazing products like Vitalumiere Aqua to such crap things as Poudre Universelle Compacte.

swatched

Disclaimer: I bought the product myself for my personal use and I am not affiliated with any company. I am not paid to do this review and everything I said here is my genuine opinion.

Monday, 28 November 2011

Orly top coats: In a Snap and Primetime

I had trouble choosing between In A Snap and Polishield. I gathered from the producer's description that they did exactly the same. So what do I usually do when I can't decide? Buy both! So that's how I came into possession of these two top coats. 

I've put them to several tests and I must say there is no difference between them (I didn't read the list of ingredients, though). But what needs to be said is that I don't regret buying them both cause I've got two great top coats which will last longer.

Both of them speed up polish drying time, give shiny finish, prevent chipping and neither of them makes polish shrink. What else to ask for?

EDIT: After finishing the bottle of Polishield I switched to using In a Snap and I managed to figure out the difference. In a Snap takes a bit shorter to dry, but it tends to shrink polish, not as much as Seche Vite, but it does, whereas Polishield doesn't. 

Disclaimer: I bought the product myself for my personal use and I am not affiliated with any company. I am not paid to do this review and everything I said here is my genuine opinion.

Sunday, 27 November 2011

come fly with me


Love these guys! Hope to see more of them whatever they do!

Tigi Curlesque Defining Serum

Tigi  Curlesque Defining Serum
Tigi  Curlesque Defining Serum is the only product out of the entire Curlesque line that I like. It really works providing moisture to my dry hair and adding definition to my curls without weighing them down and making them droop. You need only a drop or two, so the product goes a long way. You may also mix it with other styling products for added shine and structure. Contrary to other products in the line, the serum smells very nice and fresh. I probably won't repurchase, the only reason being that there are so many other hair products out there which are worth giving a try. 

Disclaimer: I bought the product myself for my personal use and I am not affiliated with any company. I am not paid to do this review and everything I said here is my genuine opinion.


Thursday, 24 November 2011

Strictly Curls curl enhancing lotion by Marc Anthony

Strictly Curls by Marc Anthony

The best review of a hair product is that it simply works. And is the case with Marc Anthony curl enhancing lotion. It does its job well without weighing down my fine, thin hair. The curls are bouncy and shiny as the product is highly moisturising without being greasy. The tube goes a long way cause you need very little of the product. And it smells nice and fresh. Not the cheapest product on the market, but it's worth the price.

Disclaimer: I bought the product myself for my personal use and I am not affiliated with any company. I am not paid to do this review and everything I said here is my genuine opinion.

Orly Bonder - rubberised base coat

Orly Bonder

Orly Bonder is my favourite base coat so far. When it dries it remains sort of wet and sticky, enhancing the adhesive properties of nail polish. The polish applies much more evenly than on glossy surfaces and chipping is relatively rare. There's nothing more I need.

EDIT: Bonder does not prevent staining nails. I've been using it continuously for over a month and my nails are yellow as hell. This doesn't bother me much cause I paint them anyway, but I thought you might be interested to know.

Disclaimer: I bought the product myself for my personal use and I am not affiliated with any company. I am not paid to do this review and everything I said here is my genuine opinion.

Rouge Dior lipstick no 522 (Bronze Zeline) review + swatches

Rouge Dior lipstick no 522 (Bronze  Zeline)
I've been wanting this lipstick for sooo long. And now I'm disappointed. Although there's nothing really bad about the lipstick, it is a kind of meh product for me.
First of all: the colour: it seemed to me that the colour was a kind of shimmery coppery, brownish shade, but as it turns out it's coral orange with gold shimmer. Not very bad, but I've got at least 3 coral or orange lipsticks and I wanted something different, more muted for the autumn. What is more this tone is not terribly flattering for my pinkish skintone. Actually the shade seems to me fairly similar to ELF Mineral Lipstick in Cool Coral.


swatched in daylight

As to the quality of the lipstick I must say it's very moisturising, but feeling greasy at the same time. Now that I'm back to work my lip products are put to a serious test as I spend a couple of hours in a row talking. My Dior Rouge completely fails this test as it fades away quite unevenly within the first 30 minutes.  

This is my first Dior lipstick after many years' break and I don't feel tempted to get any more of these.




on my lips



Disclaimer: I bought the product myself for my personal use and I am not affiliated with any company. I am not paid to do this review and everything I said here is my genuine opinion.

Sunday, 20 November 2011

Illamasqua Masquara in Raven

Illamasqua Masquara in Raven
I bought this mascara cause I'd read a couple of reviews and it seemed to give exactly the effect I like. And I'm not disappointed. The mascara guarantees length and volume without clumpiness. It's possible to layer a couple of coats for a more dramatic effect and the lashes are still flexible, separated and curled.
How does Masqura compare with my favourite mascara of all times, namely Make Up For Ever Smoky Lashes? Well, the effect of Masquara is definitely less spectaclar, it takes more effort to build up the volume (you need a couple of coats for the same result as one coat of Smoky Lashes). But Smoky Lashes is more clumpy and doesn't separate the lashes as nicely as Masquara, and it's almost twice as expensive. Considering a potential repurchase I suppose I'll stick to Smoky Lashes, the decisive factor being simply the availability. I can get Smoky Lashes from my local Sephora store, whereas Masquara needs to be ordered online and it happens that I prefer the immediate experience of doing shopping in a point of sale with the possibility to test and sample to the hit or miss game when buying things online.

EDIT: The mascara turns clumpy after a couple of weeks using it and the packaging turns into a horribly looking cheap and tacky tube.


Disclaimer: I bought the product myself for my personal use and I am not affiliated with any company. I am not paid to do this review and everything I said here is my genuine opinion.

Illamasqua Skin Base foundation (SB4)

Illamasqua Skin Base foundation
Choosing the shade using online swatches and reviews (thank you m4dswine) was a difficult task, but I must say I'm absolutely satisfied with my choice. The colour description on the Illamasqua website is highly confusing as they claim the foundation has both pink and yellow undertones. And strangely enough it does, although I believe that when the foundation is sheered out the tone becomes fairly neutral, which suits me fine. I'm posting the two pictures below to prove that although it's hard to believe there actually are both pink and yellow undertones.
Illamasqua Skin Base foundation no.4

Illamasqua Skin Base foundation no.4


As to the product itself I believe this is one of the gratest foundations ever. It blends evenly and effortlessly, literally melts into skin. The coverage is medium to high without clogging the pores. The finish is rather dewy without looking greasy. I sometimes don't use any finishing powder and it looks very natural and fresh.  

I was quite surprised with the packaging cause it looks smaller than I'd expected, though there's the same amount of product as in any standard foundation bottle. It's also a bit hard to squeeze the tube, which is not an issue now that the tube is full, but I wonder whether it will be just as easy to dig the product out when it is almost used up.

The only reservation I've got is that the foundation is made in Thailand. I hope this fact has no influence on quality, but I suppose using cheap labour should influence the price (like in case of ELF, Sleek or even Calvin Klein).

EDIT: This foundation will suit those with dry skins best. On my oily skin it looks decent only when applied in tiny amount over a matifying cream. I suspect it also causes the break outs my skin has been suffering from recently.

Disclaimer: I bought the product myself for my personal use and I am not affiliated with any company. I am not paid to do this review and everything I said here is my genuine opinion.

Friday, 18 November 2011

Illamasqua nailpolish in Scarab (review + swatches)

Illamasqua nailpolish in Scarab

I expected Scarab to be shimmery vampy red with brown hues, but it's the other way round: dark brown with red tones. A lovely colour anyway. I love the glow and the fact that the polish looks great in all kinds of lighting.
The aplication was marvellous, one coat was opaque enough, I added one more to eliminate any slight imperfections. The brush is just the right size, it picks the right amount of the relatively thick product. Great polish!


Disclaimer: I bought the product myself for my personal use and I am not affiliated with any company. I am not paid to do this review and everything I said here is my genuine opinion.

Illamasqua cream blusher in Rude (review + swatches)



Illamasqua cream blusher in Rude


Does this blush seem orange to you? Well, it does seem orange to me as well, there's nothing misleading about the photo. Orangey pach to be precise. Before I first applied it I  thought there's no way it would suit me at all. However, it's actually a very nice shade when sheered out, but I believe it would look miles better on someone with warm skintone.

Regardless of the obviously wrong colour match I must say that this definitely is the best cream blush I've used. There aren't many cream blushes in my collection (1 by MAC and 2 by ELF) because they never worked for me, MAC's Cremeblend blush being too greasy and ELF being too dry and plasticine-like and therefore harder to apply. And worst of all these cream blushes seem to attract dust which gets stuck to the sticky surface and there's no way of removing it, and finally it ends up on your face. I suppose the Illamasqua blush won't be much different in this respect, but othrwise the product is just wonderful. In spite of its insane pigmentation and shade it may be applied sheer, for  a discreet wash of colour. What's more it doesn't get in my pores or accentuate any imperfections. Blends easily, evenly and smudgelessly no matter whether you use brushes or fingers. Last but not least, it's impossible not to mention the gorgeous packaging, classy with a twist.

It seems to me that my adventure with Illamasqua cream blushes has just began, I need to experiment with pinkier sort of shades like Seduce or Promise perhaps.


Illamasqua cream blusher in Rude
 Disclaimer: I bought the product myself for my personal use and I am not affiliated with any company. I am not paid to do this review and everything I said here is my genuine opinion.

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Sunday, 13 November 2011

Calvin Klein nailpolish in Tutu (review + swatches)

Calvin Klein nailpolish in Tutu

CK nailpolish in Tutu is a black polish with tiny gold glitter. Looks very nice indeed, both goth-like and festive in a discreet way. Although the first coat was pretty sheer, 3 coats gave decent coverage. The polish wore very well for a couple of days, until I decided t take it off. The removal caused no issues, my fingers didn't go all black and the glitter showed no resistance at all. Nice polish for parties and other special occassions.


Disclaimer: I bought the product myself for my personal use and I am not affiliated with any company. I am not paid to do this review and everything I said here is my genuine opinion.

A night in one's own bed

Adam spent last night in his own bed and slept till about 7.30. This is so rare that I thought I'd commemorate the event with this post. Who knows when we'll have our bed just for us again? No hopes for tonight for he's already taken his position on the line of demarcation between us.

Friday, 11 November 2011

top coat comparison




SALLY HANSEN Double Duty Strengthening Base and Top Coat

Pros: shiny finish, but nothing outstanding
Cons: takes ages to dry

SECHE VITE
Very thick, but distributes like butter

Pros: dries instantly to touch, dries out completely within a matter of minutes, provides the most beautiful glass-like finish, evens out any bumps on th nail. The best top coat ever in those respects.
Cons: unfortuately Seche Vite has three serious flaws: 1. makes polish shrink ( within a couple of hours after the application the polish retracts about 1mm from the edge of the nail and looks quite worn out), 2. contains substances considered harmful for pregnant women and their unborn babies, prohibited in certain states in the US (makes you think, huh?), 3. smells horrible (like this sort of glue degenerate teenagers sniff to get high) .

NAILS INC.

Pros: dries instatly to touch, shiny finish, quite flexible when dry (this prevents chipping a lot)
Cons: none, though the finish is not as beautiful as Seche Vite

ORLY IN A SNAP and POLISHIELD
I can't compare those two separately cause they seem to me quite identical. I would describe them as the same substance sold under different names.

Pros: dry instantly to touch, completely dry in a relatively short time, chip resistant (the most chip resistant of all top coats mentioned here)
Cons: again, none except the fact that the finish can't beat Seche Vite.

NAIL TEK QUICKEN

Pros: dries fairly quickly, especially when followed with fast dry drops
Cons: takes longer to dry than Orly coats or Seche Vite, the least shiny of all mentioned here.

YVES ROCHER French manucure vernis brillantissme

This was part of a french manicure set. Very watery as far as the consistency is concerned, but this actually does not affect its performance. A thin coat dries much more quickly!
Pros: dries very quickly on its own (when applied on dry polish, to refresh the look), but does not have any polish-drying properties.

Cons: doesn't speed up the nail-polish drying period

Disclaimer: I bought the product myself for my personal use and I am not affiliated with any company. I am not paid to do this review and everything I said here is my genuine opinion.

Sunday, 6 November 2011

base coat comparison (orly, nails inc., nail tk, sally hansen)


Nail Tek Foundation III (not in the picture)
Pros: matte finish guarantees even application of the polish
Cons: makes polish chip really quickly, didn't heal my nails

Sally Hansen Double Duty (the oldest one in my stash, probably discontinued)
Pros: can be used both as a base and top coat
Cons: I don't like base coats with glossy finishes, the polish adheres much better to rougher surfaces

Orly Bonder:
Pros: its rubbery finish ensures even distribution of the polish and prevents chipping
Cons: none

Nails Inc. Kensington Caviar
Pros: can be worn alone instead of nail polish for healthy looking, ultra glossy nails
Cons: I didn't notice any healing properties, first coat of polish distributes quite unevenly on the glossy surface

Nail Tek III
Pros: although this treatment is meant to be worn alone, I sometimes wear it just like Nails Inc Kensington Caviar and the effect is similar.
Cons: didn't manage to heal my nails


 Disclaimer: I bought the product myself for my personal use and I am not affiliated with any company. I am not paid to do this review and everything I said here is my genuine opinion.

China Glaze glitter polish in Ring in the Red


China Glaze in Ring in the Red
 Yes, I know, I promised not to buy any more glitters, and actually this polish landed under my roof by mistake. I didn't bother to read any descriptions before ordering it and I'd thought this would be a shimmer polish, not glitter. I hate glitters cause they're so hard to remove, but with this one the struggle wasn't as long and troublesome as with OPI Gettin' Miss Piggy with It, so I guess I'm gonna use it quite more often.

Ring in the Red looks very pretty on its own, but you need 3-4 coats to make it opaque. It looks even better when applied over some dark polish like dark, vampy red or black. Ring in the Red is rather small red glitter with sheer red base. The glitter distributes evenly on the nails (much better than Gettinng Miss Piggy with It) and dries pretty quickly. There's a need for a top coat to make all that sparkle come out.
over Nails Inc in St Pancras
 The polish isn't very unique, I guess every brand has something similar to offer, but it's a kind of evergreen, which will always add glam sparkle on festive occassions. It's good to have it in my stash, though I won't use it very often.

over Nails Inc. in Charing Cross  (centre) and Nails Inc in St Pancras (right)


Unfortunately the polish chipped badly within a matter of hours. Boooo.

China Glaze in Ring in the Red - started chipping badly a couple of hours after application, but I suspect bad base coat (Nail Tek) is the culprit

 Disclaimer: I bought the product myself for my personal use and I am not affiliated with any company. I am not paid to do this review and everything I said here is my genuine opinion.

Wish I was there

Thursday, 3 November 2011

Nail Tek III Protection Plus

Nail Tek III Protection Plus

Well, the only thing that can be evaluated in case of a nail treatment is whether it's effective or not. I thought it'd help my brittle, splitting nails and prevent the damage the polish does to them and all I can say is that it does not. End of story.

Disclaimer: I bought the product myself for my personal use and I am not affiliated with any company. I am not paid to do this review and everything I said here is my genuine opinion.

Nails Inc Kensington Caviar base coat

Nails Inc Kensington Caviar base coat
Kensington Caviar base coat is an OK sort of product. It applies nicely, can be worn alone making the nails look well groomed and polished. When it's dry it stays quite flexible, which prevents chiping. However, I doubt its conditioning properties (actually no treatments seem to have any effect on my nails). And also I believe glossy finish is a disadvantage of a base coat, since rougher surfaces have better adhesive properties and it's simply easier to apply polish on matt or rubbery surface cause it does not slide along the nail and stays where it's supposed to be.
To conclude, I think Nails Inc Kensington Caviar base coat is all right, but there are better products on the market, like Orly Bonder for example.
Disclaimer: I bought the product myself for my personal use and I am not affiliated with any company. I am not paid to do this review and everything I said here is my genuine opinion.

Calvin Klein nailpolish in Caught Red Handed (review + swatches)


Calvin Klein nailpolish in Caught Red Handed
This nailpolish was part of a 3-piece Calvin Klein collection, which I managed to get from TK Maxx. The colour is a very bright red jelly, the only jelly in my collection. The first coat was fairly sheer, but the second one gave surprisingly opaque and even coverage.  The shade itself is nothing unusual and probably easily dupable, but being a jelly it lacks those milky tones present in creme polishes. Very nice true red with shiny finish.

Calvin Klein nailpolish in Caught Red Handed




Calvin Klein Splendid Color Collection
 Disclaimer: I bought the product myself for my personal use and I am not affiliated with any company. I am not paid to do this review and everything I said here is my genuine opinion.

How lucky I am not to have bought Chanel Perfection Lumiere


This review is based on a sample I received from Douglas perfumerie. I couldn't be more happy to have this sample cause it saved me from making a really pricey mistake. Having read a couple of rave rewiews I was really determined to get Perfection Lumiere and it turned out the most horrible foundation I've ever sampled or used. The colour match wasn't that bad, could have been lighter, though. But the quality of the foundation was hopeless. I tried all methods of application I know and stippling turned out to be definitely the best one. The best one doesn't mean a good one. First of all the foundation looked quite smudgy, secondly I didn't notice any decent coverage. I don't like heavy foundations, but at least I expect them to even out my skin tone, which Perfection Lumiere certainly didn't do. And worst of all, instead of providing any reasonable coverage, the foundation got stuck in the pores all over my face and wouldn't budge. I'm desperate to get some nice foundation, but Chanel is definitely out of the question.

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

Calvin Klein nailpolish in Hannah Pinktana

Calvin Klein nailpolish in Hannah Pinktana

Hannah Pinktana is a gorgeous glitter nailpolish, part of Calvin Klein Splendid Colour Collection I managed to get from TK Maxx for about  £10. It's a sheer jelly with a pink-purple toned base with holographic micro glitter. Looks very elegant and discreet when worn alone, with  3 coats giving a decent coverage. Stunning when worn over a creme polish (Essie Size Matters is just an example, I suppose it would look lovely over black). The glitter is soooo shimmery and yet not too obvious and cheap. What is more this polish can be removed like any other non-glitter polishes, without all the fuss of chunky glitter sticking to your nails and refusing to let go.
Such an unusual shade for so little money! Yay!

for some reason the out-of-focus pictures show the holographic nature of the glitter better

Hannah Pinktana over Essie in Size Matters

Hannah Pinktana over Essie in Size Matters

CK splendid color collection



Disclaimer: I bought the product myself for my personal use and I am not affiliated with any company. I am not paid to do this review and everything I said here is my genuine opinion.

Black pudding and apple tart




This was definitely the weirdest thing I've ever cooked and eaten. Quite tasty, actually. Kuba liked it even more than I did and he never touches black puddng!

Nails Inc. Vitamin E Oil Pen for cuticles

Nails Inc. Vitamin E Oil Pen
One thing that needs to be said about cuticle oils is that I don't believe they work and I wouldn't have bought this one if it hadn't been a part of a set.
So again I must say it didn't do anything to my cuticles, but I admit this pen is a pleasure to use. It is an elegant and classy object, silver with white flowery design. It distributes the right amount of oil in the right place, causing no mess or greasiness everywhere around. And smells nice.
So all I can say is if it works for somebody then it's a fine object to have, for me it's a waste of money.

Disclaimer: I bought the product myself for my personal use and I am not affiliated with any company. I am not paid to do this review and everything I said here is my genuine opinion.

Orly nailpolish in Royal Velvet (review + swatches)

Orly nailpolish in Royal Velvet
Now this is a gorgeous polish! Royal Velvet is a blue-purple duochrome shimmer, with blue being the dominant tone. I've taken a couple of pictures trying to capture the nature of the polish. I like both the cool-toned blue and the slightly warmer purple and the way the shades melt into each other making this polish so outstanding  and hard to define.

Orly nailpolish in Royal Velvet
 As far as the application is concerned the polish is fairly sheer, I needed 3 coats to get the desired effect (though I'd actually expected more considering how sheer the first coat was). Once applied, the polish wore very well resisting chips and scratches.

Orly nailpolish in Royal Velvet 
The polish is so lovely an so unique I guess I'll soon be repurchasing the full-sized bottle (mine is the mini version). Royal Velvet is definitely one of my favourites.
Orly nailpolish in Royal Velvet 

Disclaimer: I bought the product myself for my personal use and I am not affiliated with any company. I am not paid to do this review and everything I said here is my genuine opinion.