Friday, 30 December 2011

Ange ou Demon Le Secret Elixir perfume by Givenchy




I've been observing this perfume since it was first launched, each new release making me more interested and finally I got convinced by Elixir. And only now I understood fully why the smell is called Ange ou Demon. The opening notes are fresh, flowery and fruity and then, gradually the demon is released and chases away the white angelic sweetness, replacing it with dark musky notes, which linger on endlessly. I love this perfume in every moment: the initial freshness, then the battle of black and white forces and the final smell is exactly my taste, especially for winter.


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.

The Body Shop Candied Ginger body butter



It's been long since products from The Body Shop were the most desired objects in my life. Nonetheless, I simply cannot resist getting their Christmassy body butters. They smell sooooo lovely and they're soooo festive! This year I picked Candied Ginger and I really love it. This butter smells incredible, warm and spicy, I use it before I go to bed and I can still smell it in the morning. And I've almost forgotten how good quality their body butters are. I've made a resolution to stop buying drugstore imitations and return to the good custom of using The body Shop body products.


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, 26 December 2011

Smashbox Limitless Lip Stain and Color Seal Balm in Sangria - review & swatches

Smashbox Limitless Lip Stain and Color Seal Balm in Sangria 
I got this lip stain in search of the perfect long-stay lip product. I saw the shade and I immediately fell in love with it, although it was too intense to  be worn comfortably to work.
Smashbox Limitless Lip Stain and Color Seal Balm in Sangria  ( away from sunlight)
Actually the colour is very intense, but it can be applied more sheerly and made more wearable by putting on the lip balm attached. It feels very comfortable on the lips, thanks to the tinted balm the formula is non-drying and highly moisturising. Unfortunately the colour doesn't last as long as I'd hoped it would. The pigment concentrates in the inner edge of my lips and disappears from the outer edges.
Smashbox Limitless Lip Stain and Color Seal Balm in Sangria  (direct sunlight)
What I find disappointing about the product is that the balm simply fell off on the second day. I keep it in one of these tiny Sephora sample jars and apply with my fingers. And I did only use it once and never dropped the thing or anything. If I'd kept my receipt, I'd have definitely returned it to the shop. This stuff cost too much for such things to happen.
Smashbox Limitless Lip Stain and Color Seal Balm in Sangria  (away from sunlight)

Smashbox Limitless Lip Stain and Color Seal Balm in Sangria  (direct sunlight)


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.

Essie nailpolish in Sexy Divide

Essie nailpolish in Sexy Divide

Essie nailpolish in Sexy Divide



Sexy Divide by Essie is a gorgeous dark purple polish with holographic multi-coloured shimmer. It looked very metallic in the bottle, but actually it's this deep, glow-from-within kind of shimmer. The shade is dark, but nothing close to being black.
The polish applies nicely without problems, the size of the brush matches the formula very well. Two coats were enough to give full coverage.

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.

Favourite songs of 2011

Lana del Rey Blue Jeans


PJ Harvey "Let England shake"


John Maus "Believer"


Nicolas Jaar "Space is only noise"


Other Lives "Tamer Animals"

Sephora mineral powder brush

Sephora mineral powder brush
I've got so many brushes I didn't think I needed another one until I saw this one! It looks EXACTLY like ELF studio brushes, the only difference is the substantial difference in price and the fact that ELF don't have such brush in their range.

This brush is meant to be used for mineral foundation, and I'm sure it does a wonderful job as such, but I'm not a mineral foundation fan and I use it as a buffing brush and for this purpose it's perfect. The dense, rounded, soft bristles will even out any imperfections, remove excess of foundation, help blend blushes and sheer out the more pigmented ones. The function is very similar to ELF Studio powder brush, but with its round top it's much easier to manouvre.

All in all this is a great brush, now I'd like a smaller clone of this brush to apply blush, but unfortunately there isn't anything like this in Sephora range. 

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.

Chanel Illusion D'ombre long wear luminous eyeshadows in Mirifique (85) and Illusoire(83) - review & swatches

Chanel Illusion D'Ombre belong to the group of hybrid eyeshadows which have became immensely successful this year. The texture is spongy or moussy but the product applies like cream eyeshadow. You may use your finger for a slightly shearer coverage or a flat brush with long, fairly stiff bristles (attached) for more opacity or to line your eyes. If you choose to apply this eyeshadow with your fingers it's not because the product needs a bit of a warm-up cause it's so wonderfully soft and creamy. What's more they are soo easy to blend or sheer out, you can make a perfect smoky eye in a couple of minutes without any particular effort. And the make-up won't need almost any touch-ups during the day, the eyeshadow won't budge, smudge or crease.

As you can see I've got 2 of these eyeshadows and I must say that they differ, not only (obviously)  in terms of the colour or finish, but also in quality. Whereas Illusoire is perfect, Mirifique is not flawless.

So let me begin with Mirifique:
Chanel Illusion D'ombre in Mirifique
As you can see Mirifique is a gorgeous black eyeshadow with masses of large silver glitter. You can create a number of different looks using only this eyeshadow. I make a lovely smoky eye using it with a blending brush, or I use it as the most beautiful eyeliner. The lines may vary from 1mm to 1cm and they always look stunning. The best thing about this shadow is that all this glitter clings to the lids so well that it stays they as long as you wear your make-up. This is very rare about glittery cream shadows or liners - they seem glittery in the box, but it does not show on the lids. This one DOES show. This is so unique that you can actually recognize that someone is wearing this particular eyeshadow (I know it from my own experience).


Mirifique - applied with the brush attached (L) and sheered out with a finger (R)

Unfortunately there's one major flaw connected with this eyeshadow: it crumbles. I think it results from the amount of glitter that the texture is more gritty and crumbly than Illusoire. This doesn't affect application as such, which is still very smooth and even, but there's some fall out of tiny bits which have crumbled during the application. And can you imagine what pitch black dots of creamy nature look like when accidentally smeared? They make lines across your face as if you were covered with soot! And it's not enough to remove these black spots right after the application, the crumbling continues all day. 


Regardless of this serious flaw this eyeshadow remains my favourite eyeliner cause it looks so pretty. Simply irresistible.



Chanel Illusion D'ombre in Illusoire
 Illusoire is really spotless. This is a very shimmery taupe eyeshadow which can be applied lightly for a sheer wash of colour or even tinted shimmer, I would say, or a more defined colour. Surprisingly enough it is also very wearable for daytime looks cause all this shimmer comes to play only in artificial light or direct sunlight. In December gloom it doesn't look sparkly at all. It looks nice on its own and even better blended with Mirifique. Although taupe is not my favourite colour and I hoped it'd actually be more silver I absolutely adore this eyeshadow and recomment it to everyone who likes beautiful, effortless make-up.




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.

Smashbox single eyeshadow in Enchanted

is the only Smashbox eyeshadow I have and since I'm not a fan of Smashbox I wouldn't have bought it if it wasn't for a massive sale making it cheaper than Inglot (a really cheap brand here). To my surprise this eyeshadow is excellent quality. The texture is sooo soft and creamy, it applies smoothly, blends easily wears really long hours. The colour is this lovely lilac-lavender-heather purple with pearly finish. Not particularly unique, I guess I already have something similar in my stash, but qualitywise this one beats other purple eyeshadows I've got.



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.

Dior 5 Couleurs Designer palette in Navy Design (208) - review & swatches


Dior 5 Couleurs Designer palette in Navy Design
Navy Design is the second Dior Designer palette which I own. And I believe these are the most beautiful and usable palettes I have. There's no mad variety of shades or textures and finishes, which are hard to combine. Actually only 2 of these are responsible for eye colour, whereas all others contribute to achieving a polished, classy look.




Dior provides detailed instructions as to how to use the palette, which of course you may chose to ignore.
The palette consists of five different products:
1. bottom left - luminous base
The producer advises to apply it with a finger, but I don't think this is the best method. I did try to follow the instructions when I got my first palette, but the base got sort of hard and uneven and it was difficult to apply as this is a non-creamy and non-powdery substance. So this time I started using a fluffy brush to apply it and it really works! The result is a transparent coat of luminescence all over the eyelid. Evens out the skin tone without looking patchy, makes an excellent highlighter.

2. centre - light blue eyeshadow
This is light blue with slate hues and pearly finish. Gorgeous colour, but I prefer to use it over some kind of base cause it's too sheer for my liking.

3. top left - navy eyeshadow
Quite opaque navy blue with pearly finish, applies slightly grayish.

4. bottom right - blackened navy cream eyeliner
This is to be applied with a stiff angled brush to contour the lid. Works well if you want smudgy lines, narrow, graphic lines are impossible to achieve.

5. top right - light blue glitter
You may apply the glitter wherever you want. The producer advises higlighting your brow bone with this, I love it in the inner corner for just a hint of luminescence. This glitter is not chunky or gritty and it stays put on your lids without causing any fall out issues. Looks stunning applied all over the eyelid (for festive occassions).

Dior eyeshadow Navy Design
Dior advises to start with the base, then put the light blue in the inner part of the eyelid and the dark blue in the outer corner and the crease. Then line your eye with the eye liner and apply the glitter on the brow bone.

To this routine I would add using a good primer to make the colour pop and most of all to make the shadows stay on for longer, cause unfortunately they tend to fade and crease on oily lids like mine. Or, and this is how I like them best, use them over cream eyeshadow base, which will make them go on with no end. For the make-up below I used Bobbi Brown gel eyeliner in Denim Ink.


Below I'm posting swatches in daylight and using flashlight and the final look.


To sum up I want to say that this palette is not without flaws. Eyeshadows crease without a primer, they don't allow a plethora of looks, some people will find the base useless. But the colours are pretty, the shadows are so soft and creamy and they apply and blend so well that it's impossible not to love them. I with there was a purple design palette, maybe one day?  

L to R: base, light blue, navy blue, glitter (daylight)

L to R: base, light blue, navy blue, glitter (flashlight)





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, 25 December 2011

Zoya nailpolish in Liz: review & swatches


Zoya nailpolish in Liz
Zoya's Liz  is a wine-coloured polish with brown hues. On my nails it came out much darker than it seemed in the bottle. Not particularly unusual, but a nice polish if you haven't got anything similar. Qualitywise, as all Zoya polishes, Liz is and opaque polish, which applies evenly and easily. I reached the desired effect in 2 coats.
Zoya nailpolish in Liz



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.

Chanel Paris-Bombay Métiers d'Art 2011/12 Show

This is INCREDIBLE! The venue, the decor, the outfits, the make-up, the hairstyles and models of true beauty. Lagerfeld, no matter what sort of pompous buffoon he may seem, is an Artist in the world of commerce.

Friday, 23 December 2011

Bye bye autumn, here comes winter!



Today was my last day at work this year! I managed to survive without scraping my frozen car to reach some basic visibility level, removing tons of snow trying to actually get near the car, opening the door and a huge ball of  this white stuff falling onto my seat! Oh, how I dreaded getting up in the morning and seeing that evidently there was no chance of driving Mikolaj to his kindergarten and myself to work on time. However weird it may sound on the first day of winter I'm celebrating the death of gloom and all this ugliness. From now on we'll have more light and optimism and hope.
Though looking back at this year's autumn I'd like to remember it as one of the mildest autumns in my life, especially after the 2 previous ones. September was definitely the most beautiful month this year. So warm, sunny and golden. October was also lovely, bit colder, obviously, but still delightfully nice. Never too windy or rainy. November is my most hated month of the year and this year it was more than bearable. We switched to winter tyres only in the second half of the month and we usually do before All Saints'.
It's interesting that the first day of winter was marked with a frosty day, when I woke up everything was covered in white frost and the temperature reached -4 degrees, must have been lower earlier in the night, considering how frozen the car was. But the day was beautiful with this peculiar, unclear sunshine which you may see on a frosty day and the air was completely still, which is rare here, by the sea.  Tomorrow I'm taking Adam for a walk, I don't take him out that often now that I spend most of my time at work.

Bloody Mary chased by Mad Dogs



I haven't drunk vodka for over 5 years and this week I've been drinking like a mad eejit without getting drunk. I wonder what that means? Do I need to drink even more or have I became immune?

Monday, 19 December 2011

Skinny Puppy revisited

I feel so sentimental about this. I can't stop wandering why their name has beem erased from the history of music. One of the most influential bands of the industrial era fell into oblivion. Seeing them live (while stil alive) would be one of my biggest dreams come true, though I don't even dare to hope to ever hear Testure or Assimilate live. Anything would do.

Sunday, 18 December 2011

Taft Heat Style


Heat-shield sprays are hard to evaluate cause they are supposed to protect, not style. They do their job without being noticed. 
So, I hope this one does its job well and what I really like about it is that it's much cheaper than my previous Tony &Guy heat defense spray. I was glad to notice that there are plenty of such products in the supermarkets and I don't need to go for upmarket products to protect my hair from damage. Taft Heat Style doesn't weigh my hair down or affect styling, which is good. I hope the real effects will be visible in the long run!


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.

Mr Hermit crowls out of his den attracted by the smell of my mincemeat pie

the little hand reaching for a piece of the pie vouchsafes quality

Thank you for entering my humble abode, Mr Hermit, thank you A&A! You introduced the festive Christmas atmosphere here.


Here's the recipe from my new cookery book entitled 500 Cakes and Bakes ( very stimulating, but I can foresee some serious weight gain after putting this stuff into practice).

225g flour
10ml ground cinnamon
50gground walnuts
115g butter
50g sugar
1 egg
vanilla extract
1 tbsp cold water

For the mincemeat
2 apples, peeled and grated
225graisins
115g figs or prunes
225g green grapes, halved and seeded
50g almonds, chopped
finely grated rind of 1 lemon
2tbsp lemon juice
30ml brandy
1/4tsp mixed spice
115g brown sugar
25g butter , melted

Mix the mincemeat ingredients together and refrigerate overnight.

Process the flour, cinnamon, nuts, butter and sugar in a food processor top make fine crumbs. Beat the egg with the vanilla extract and water and stir into the dry ingredients. Form a soft dough, kneed until smooth, wrap and chill for 30 min.

Use 2/3 of the pastry to line the tin (about 23cm). Trim and fill with mincemeat.

Roll out the remaining pastry and cut into strips. Arrange the strips in a lattice over the top of the pastry.

Preheat the oven at 190 degrees C. Brush the pastry with water, dust with sugar. Bake the pie for about 40 min. Leave to cool and remove from the tin.





My mum says they were caught in a blizzard in the outskirts of the city today. Seems like winter is lurking from just around the corner!

Thursday, 15 December 2011

Nubar nailpolish in Beguiling Carmine (review & swatches)

Nubar nailpolish in Beguiling Carmine (sunlight)


Let's start with the colour. It's supposed to be Carmine and it's classified as belonging to the reds family, but I must say to me it seems warm brown with both red and mikky chocolate tones to it. To me this is a perfect shade for the autumn. Beautiful, but not red.
As for the application the polish is fairly easy to apply, the formula is rather thick (but not gloopy) and pigmented, but strangely enough after applying 2 coats bald patches were still visible, 3 coats provided decent coverage.
All in all this is a very decent polish, not particularly unique, but good. Cheaper than Essie or Opi and the quality is the same if not better!

Nubar nailpolish in Beguiling Carmine (away from direct sunlight)
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.

Skinny Puppy Handover

Hmmmm, seems like a very very good come back. I definitely need to listen to the whole record!

St Nicolas' Day

 December starts in my family with celebrations of Mikolajki, one of the most exciting days for Polish kids (apart from Christmas Eve and the birthdays) and this also happens to be my firstborn's name day! I guess so far he didn't realize fully what was about to happen during the night of 6th December, but this year he went nuts about St Nicolas (that's what we call Santa in Poland) coming and whether he knew what presents to bring etc. For the first time in his life our heavy sleeper woke up in the middle of the night and started searching for Mc Queen's buddy in pitch blackness, failing to notice a little bag at the feet of his bed and suspecting he hadn't actually been such a nice boy recently. Especially towards his little brother.
Before I had my kids I believed that every human being, including the little ones, was different and had different needs. My little boys managed to dissuade me from my misconception. The only way to prevent constant fights and acts of jealousy is to buy them identical toys, clothes, dishes, furniture, sweets and whatever else. So as you can imagine I begin to suffer from very strong deja vu, different objects start to multiply, Lightning Mc Queens are lurking from different corners, I stumble on two identical Roarys at the same time. For Kuba it's even more difficult cause he lives convinced that many other things multiply in our flat quite magically like nail polish or eye shadow...

This year we've decided to make all X-mas tree decorations ourselves and we're busy attaching strings to cones we picked this autumn. I think our X-mas tree will look very different, but it'll be soooo ours!

Mulled wine night


Adam's been sick for the past week, not particularly seriously, but I didn't go to work. This time spent at home made us all feel more relaxed, everything slowed down. Kuba started getting up later for work, driving Misiek late to the kindergarten, then Misiek insisted on staying at home with us and I let him do so and now we're drinking mulled wine and picking photos for the calendar which we wish to give all grandmas and grandpas this Christmas. I feel so holidayish, I really don't know how I'm gonna survive one more week at work.

Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Aura by Swarovski: a review



I'm hopeless at describing smells. I have my own categories, which do not involve any of the sophisticated terms used to describe notes of the smell. My categories are flowery (eg. Clinique Happy or Anais Anais by Cacharel), musky, incense-like (eg. Shalimar by Guerlain, Opium by YSL), sporty (eg. Coolwater by Davidoff) or sweet, candy-like (YSL Baby Doll). I love flowery perfume for spring and summer and musky for winter. Other categories don't count.

This winter I thought I needed something new, so I started tp look for the smell that would enchant me and surprise me with something new. To my deep disappointment I've noticed that the perfume industry has entered a vicious circle re-promoting old, really very old smells as new. The examples are too numerous to mention them all, let me just mention J'adore by Dior, Shalimar by Guerlain, Ange ou Demon by Givenchy.

Seeing my disappointment, the ladies at Sephora tried to introduce me to a couple of new brands, but when smelling their products I had an ominous deja vu sensation, I felt like some very distant, and not always pleasant recollections were being dug out of my past.

Finally, they offered Aura to me, recommending it as a good buy, cause this was being promoted with 50% discount. My first impression was very bad, the first notes smelled like a kind of unisex perfume or men's perfume for these feminine metrosexual guys. But then the smell started evolving into something much nicer. What I like about the smell is that it's strong  and lingers on your clothes for ever (not for the faint-hearted, and I'm not one of them), it's perfect for the winter-time with its deep, musky notes, and it turns out to be very sweetly feminine in fact. 

The bottle looks both modern and classic to me, but unfotunately it doesn't appeal to my taste much. I like something prettier than that and glass is my favourite material. The metal with a weird crystal-embedded satelite top tube puts me off.. 

All in all this is a perfume that you need to learn to love. But once you do you'll stay fascinated for a long, long time. This was a good buy for a nice 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.

Models Own Pro nailpolish in Come to Bed Red

Models Own Pro nailpolish in Come to Bed Red

This is the second Models Own polish I've tried and I must say I am more and more positively surprised. The shade of Come to Bed Red is not particularly unique as this is bright true-red jelly. Every brand has a similar shade in their range, but what I find unusual about this polish is the formula.
This polish is extremely easy to work with. Although it's a jelly , the polish is not very sheer so two coats were enough for nice application. What is more the consistency of the polish is just right, neither too thin nor too thick, it went on smoothly in 3 strokes without flooding my cuticles. The polish dries super fast, by the time I finished painting my last nail the first one was already dry to touch without any top coat. Excellent polish!

Models Own Pro nailpolish in Come to Bed Red

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.

Zoya nailpolish in Blair (review & swatches)

Zoya nailpolish in Blair


Zoya nailpolish is a gorgeous dark wine red with glow-from-within kind of shimmer. This is the colour I'd hoped Illamasqua Scarab would be. The polish is very opaque, it's a true one-coater. Applies like a dream, dries very quickly and looks stunning. It's vampy, but at the same time very wearable, I absolutely love it!

Zoya nailpolish in Blair

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.

Models Own Pro nailpolish in Black Grape (review & swatches)

Models Own Pro nailpolish in Black Grape

Black Grape by Models own is a purple polish with pink and aquamarine blue shimmer. The purple base is dark, but there's no way of mistaking it for black. It's quite unusual and it suits my taste perfectly.
Formulawise this is the first polish I managed to apply with absolutely no flooding of cuticles.The first coat served as a base, the second one evened out all imperfections and provided satisfactory coverage. I loved the consistency of the polish and the brush. Although the bottle looks kind of suspiciously tacky to me I guess this is actually one of the better polishes I've used.

Models Own Pro nailpolish in Black Grape

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.

Chanel Rouge Allure Velvet lipstick in La Ravissante (review & swatches)

Chanel Rouge Allure Velvet lipstick in La Ravissante

This lipstick has become my favourite these days. The shade itself is only partially important, but the formula is something that appealed to me most. This is a matte lipstick with powdery finish, which lasts for ages without changing colour or fading. Working as an academic teacher I put lots of lipsticks to tests and so far this one is a winner.  It resists 6 hours of constant talking without reapplication and looks just perfect! I don't suffer from dry lips, hardly ever use lip balms etc. so for me this product is just perfect, but somebody with dry lips may find this product too dry. This is not a moisturising lipstick at all.


As regards the colour the lipstick is classified by Chanel as a shade of beige, but beige is the last colour that comes to my mind when looking at it. When swatched on my forearm it looks reddish berry, but on my lips it is a sort of medium coral-orange. Very pretty, not ostentatious but not nude either.
I have a feeling that my collection of Chanel Rouge Allure Velvet lippies is going to expand, unfortunately (fortunately for my wallet) the range of shades that would interest me is quite limited, but I suppose there are still two or three that seem wearable to me.

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.

Nubar nailpolish in Burgundy Velvet


I thought I had all I needed as regards nailpolish and then I discovered Nubar. Burgundy Velvet is the shade that was definitely missing in my collection.When I first saw the bottle I was rather disappointed cause it seemed to be yet another red-brown with shimmer, but in reality this is a really pretty burgundy red jelly with glow-from-within golden shimmer.
However, the shade is fairly sheer, I applied 3 coats, but I should have added one more cause I can still see some bald patches here and there.
The consistency of the formula was great, though, very easy to apply. I also liked the shape of the brush.

All in all I think I'll explore the brand in more detail!


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.