Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Good vibes: Blouse

Heard it times and times before.
Stirs something in me.
Would be happy to hear it live.

Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Sunday, 26 February 2012

Make Up For Ever purple eyeshadow #92: review & swatches

30% discount at Sephora rendered it affordable and worth giving a try. This is most obviously an eyeshadow, though it's marked as Blush Powder. How can this thing be a blush - I don't know.

The shade is insanely pigmented vivid, mid-toned matte purple. It definitely needs to be toned down with darker, calmer shades to make it wearable. I love to wear it together with the aquamarine cream eyeshadow by MUFE, worn as a liner. Seemingly these two don't match, but actually they make a stunning combination. Not for the faint hearted, though.

What I like about is the shade and the fact that it's a matte eye shadow with decent colour pay off and that  when applied the shade is actually the same as in the pan, which is rare in case of  matte eyeshadows.

What I don't like about it is that it stains the eye lids like hell. After removing the shadow my lids are horribly pink, as if I was suffering from a terrible irritation or allergic reaction, or cried all night before. No eye shadow has ever stained my lids before. Weird. I guess it's because it's sooo pigmented!

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, 24 February 2012

Korean goodies: Tony Moly Kiss Kiss lip scrub

I needed a lip scrub for a very long time but for some reason these are mostly unavailable or those whihc are available are so expensive that I didn't deem them worth the money. I was using a home-made scrub made of sugar, honey and vaseline but it wasn't tremendously successful. So when I spotted this one while browsing e-bay offers I deciced to give it a chance.

The scrub is packed in kind of tacky lip-shaped plastic container. The product itself is a creamy substance packed with grainy particles which do the job of  peeling the skin off. What can I say, the scrub does its job as expected. Scrubs the lips and moisturises them. It also smells nice and not too strong. I suppose I'll repurchase one day!

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.

Korean goodies: Skinfood Honey Black Tea cleansing oil

I love removing my make-up  with cleansing oils. When I ran out of my Sephora cleansing oil I decided to experiment with Korean equivalents. I chose Honey Black Tea cleansing oil.

It turned out to be different from the Sephora one. It's thicker and more oily in consistency. The one by Sephora was more watery and turned to lather when mixed with water, whereas The Skinfood one remains oily and leaves oily residue on my skin. Using a toner strongly recommended! 

Both oils leave my skin supple and soft and they don't break me out. Both are very successful at removing make-up, though the Sephora one dealt with eye make-up better. Also the price is similar.

What I really love about the Skinfood oil is the smell. Sort of oriental. Exactly my type.

EDIT: Just noticed it contains mineral oil. I'm not going to repurchase. 

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.

Spring is in the air

I would like to announce that the period of my imprisonment at home due to snow, rain, extremely  low temperatures, short days IS OVER!!!!!

Today I took Adam for a walk and then Kuba picked us up and together we went to a shopping mall to get my mother -in-law  a present. Popped in to Starbucks for coffee and Adam got a muffin. Tried on gorgeous Aldo pumps for spring (my birthday is close!)

This was sooo relaxing and sooo different that I felt like on holiday abroad. I'm full of good vibes and sort of less furious that I've got work this weekend.

Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Korean goodies: Skinfood Honey Glow Touch Puff: a cheaper alternative for beauty blender

I've wanted to try out a beauty sponge for some time, but beauty blenders seemed unreasonably expensive. So when I came across this one by a Korean brand Skinfood I decided to have a go. I can't compare it with beauty blenders cause I haven't got these. One thing differs for sure: the sponge doesn't grow bigger when wet. 

This sponge turned out to be a very practical tool, making foundation apply smoothly without getting into pores. I tried using it both dry and wet, when used dry it tends to apply foundation heavier, when used wet the finish is more dewy and sheerer. 
The only drawback is that it "eats" liquids, so if you want to economise on your foundation perhaps it's better simply to use your fingers or a brush.

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.


banqueting room, Kadyn

So we finally managed to get away from it all. I didn't even realise how much I needed a weekend break together with my family. I mean my thoughts'd often been circulating around forcing the kids into the arms of their grandmas and running away from them as far away as possible. This weekend proved how wrong I was. Now I can't wait till spring comes and we can go somewhere TOGETHER.

The whole thing got off to a bad start. We'd been stuck here for sooo long that I came out of practice as regards packing and logisticks. I was running like mad in all directions grabbing things we didn't need, clothes that didn't match, forgetting all sorts of important things. It made me so exhausted I was almost on the verge of refusing to go at all. On Saturday morning I was woken up by a terrible stomachache which evolved to diarrhea and pain so severe that I lay on the floor for fear of fainting and smashing my head ( the last thing I really needed). Strangely enough I recovered my senses before my family managed to wake up properly and was able to go, although the nausea kept coming back every now and then.

Once the boys were strapped to their seats I felt the excitement of the trip. Because dinner was planned for evening hours we decided to stop for a pizza  in our favourite place in Elblag. The kids were so excited they hardly ate anything. They played nicely together in the kids' corner and gave us the chance to the pizzas (ours and theirs). We need to get Adam a multi-storey car park for his birthday, he was so clever at using all these lifts and ramps.

Having filled our stomachs off we went to Kadyny, which is a 30min. journey from Elblag. But what a journey! This is one of the most picturesque roads I've seen in Poland but ironically no one's heard of it cause it goes through the most underdeveloped, undersubsidized and generally God forsaken areas in Poland. Nowhere else can you drive higher and higher along a narrow, winding, bumpy road in the midst of centuries old beech forest cut with deep gorges, just like in the mountains. The difference is that from the highest elevation points you can see the sea! I really love going there, especially in the summer, but even in this greyness it looked stunning. No pictures taken, unfortunately.

self-portrait in the rain

When we arrived at the hotel the boys went mad with excitement. I was amazed that Adam somehow realized that he was going to spend the night there. I've never seen these guys soo happy. Mikolaj surprised me with his social skills, I'd always believed him to be a loner, but he instantly found a friend in a boy of his own age and initiated a running competition on the dancefloor. Great! No need to worry about him!

The hotel surprised me with its interiors. I know the decor was supposed to be very old-style, and unfortunately it was, but in a bad sense. Instead of old-style it was simply old without being vintage. The rooms were very clean, the sheets starched and white, the towels (provided in abundance) were also freshly washed, but you could see that they were in use for years and lost colour and shape. I've seen much better in much cheaper hotels. Perhaps that was meant to introduce homely atmosfere? My towels are also kind of used.

on the way home
We were really sad to go back home. The weather prevented us from exploring the surroundings of Kadyny, but I know we'll be back, we liked it there a lot. On our way back home I entertained myself photographing the ugliness of Polish winter. We were so reluctant to go home that we went to see what the stadium for Euro 2012 looks like now and at what stage the construction works are. Inspection results are fine, it stands there ready to be played in!

the stadium
Encouraged by the success of our little journey and its concilliatory effect on all of us we started planning our summer holiday. We're definitely going to Chabowka to see the steam engines and perhaps we'll get some accommodation in Slovakia. It's so empty and beautiful there.

Wednesday, 15 February 2012

Made in Poland: Lajk Cider (jesieny)

Kuba stumbled across this cider in our local grocery store "Krówka". Why not give it a try?, he thought.

So we knocked back a couple of bottles to be able to give a fair and unprejudiced opinion. We expected it to be the Scandinavian type, too sweet and not savoury enough. To our surprise it turned out to be very similar to corporational British ciders like Strongbow, perhaps a bit sweeter. Very decent, reasonably priced drink.

It's produced by a group of cider fanatics from Warsaw, I hope these guys are successful and never cease to provide me with a constant supply of this marvellous drink. The only thing I'd change is the name. It's an example of bad marketing. It was supposed to be funny and cool and I expcect was to appeal to the youngest drinkers, but I don't think they are the target group for a drink which roughly costs twice as much as a bottle of beer. I wouldn't  also count on their refined taste or curiosity to try something different.

Anyway, well done guys, keep up the good work! We lajked you on Facebook!

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Benefit some kind-a gorgeous in medium: review & swatches

Fortunately I got some kind-a gorgeous in sample size, it would be money worst spent otherwise. I don't really get the idea what kind of product this is. It's marketed as "foundation faker", I didn't understand what that means until I used the product. It's a very sheer paste which is to be applied with your fingers or a sponge to provide invisilble coverage. And I must admit it's true. There's no coverage whatsoever except slight yellow cast ( but that's because the shade is too dark for me). I don't see the point of using a foundation that does nothing to your your face. If I was looking for a light, barely there coverage I'd go for a tinted moisturiser, which is usually easier to apply and contains an SPF. I think that if I had a teenage daughter I'd get this for her to play with make-up and boost her confidence without attracting her teachers' attention.

What you can see above is very definitely my middle finger! You must believe me I didn't mean do be disrespectful of my dear readers!

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.

Horizon de Chanel Blush

I just couldn't resist getting Horizon de Chanel. I just love these stripey things which can be swirled together for a slightly unexpected final shade. I was also super excited by the fact that you may achieve a cooler or a warmer glow depending on which half of the blush you use. I loved how nicely pigmented it is and how effortlessly my  brush picks the right amount of the product without scattering powder all over the place. And the glow! Incredible!

The problem is that the product doesn't seem to work for me. Gorgeous as it is when swatched it looks like a "meh" kind of product on my cheeks. Unfortunately it accentuates my pores (which aren't my major concern at all) and instead of making my skin look glowy and fresh Horizon makes it looks oily. I'm sure this blush would  look much better on dry skin. Mine is combination but that does mean that I can't wear shimmery blushes. MAC Style or Dollymix work on me pretty well.

I still do like this blush and insist on wearing it all the time, but I can't hide the feeling of disappointment. I guess I expected too much!

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, 5 February 2012

Estee Lauder Pure Color Gelee Powder Eye Shadow in Cyber Lilac - review & swatches

This one is definitely the most beautiful and usable purple eyeshadow I've got. The colour is highly shimmery lilac with taupe undertones. It glides on my eye lids like butter, blends wonderfully and looks gorgeous when used alone (many other eye-shadows look flat without other shades to combine them with)..

Although it's so shimmery, almost metallic I feel it's better suited for day-time wear than nights out. Although the shadow is highly pigmented the make-up never looks overdone or too dark. It brightens up the eyes sooo nicely. 
Cyber Lilac performs really well on my oily lids, when used over a primer it started to crease seriously after about 10 hours of wear. 

This eye shadow was particularly difficult to photograph and swatch. Photography brought out all the taupe tones, which dominated the purple. The eye-swatch looks most realistic of all these pictures.

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 Brow & Liner Kit #01 - review

Today I'd like to review a product I've had for quite a while now and I must say I like it a lot, although it does have its flaws for sure.

So let's start with the PROS:
1. I absolutely adore the packaging. This is a large container which looks more like a powder box than a product for brows. A very tasteful and classy silver pan which holds 2 brow shadows and a folding brush and there's a large mirror inside. Too large to travel with, it's rather meant as a beautiful object on the dressing table.

2. I like the lighter shade a lot, looks nice on my uber light brows. Defines without looking vamy or too dramatic. The shade on the right is far too dark and yellow, it'll remain unused for sure. When I swatched these shades in the shop I thought they would be barely visible on my brows, they seemed so light, but believe me they read darker when allpied. I feel they might actually be too dark for typical blondes although this set is meant for blond or auburn hair.

3. The quality of these shadows is excellent. They are sort of creamy and they apply really nicely and stay put for a long time.
1. The brush. This is for sure the most ridiculous and useless brush I've seen attached to make-up products. Women often question the usability of these little brushes and applicators which come with different products and Icouldn't agree more that it's always better to use a professional brush instead of a sponge applicator which is sometimes not more than 1 cm long, but in some circumstances they can be used instead of full-sized brushes. This can't be said about the applicator attached to The Body Shop Brow & Liner Kit. First of all it's weird in shape, not particularly handy. Keeps folding all the time. What's more the bristles are so dense, thick and hard they feel like this kind of brush that handy men use to remove rust from metal objects. Can you imagine such thing to be used to apply make-up? Not only does this prove useless as a tool, but also it scratches the delicate powder so much that it actually destroys it. I tried to use it once, it scratched the powder horribly... went straight to the bin.

2. What is definitely missing in this kit is wax. Wax is such a useful thing when styling your brows and the set would be perfect if instead of this horrible brush they put a pan of clear wax..

3. There are no clear instructions as to how this product is supposed to be used. I don't mean how to apply it to the brows, but since the name is : Brow AND LINER kit and one side of the brush is very small and narrow the only thing I can gather is that this is meant to be used as a liner. But since the product is powder not gel the question arises how do I transform the powder into a more liquidy formula? I've consulted The Body Shop website and I assume this is a product which is meant for brows only, there's nothing that suggests it can be used in multiple ways. Fine with me. I needed a brow thing and I got one, but why name a product in such a misleading way?

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.

Saturday, 4 February 2012

Korean goodies: Tony Moly Whipping BB Cream # 01 "Ivory"

Tony Moly Whipping BB Cream is a product I wanted to have because of its ingenious packaging.
This is a mousse-like foundation contained in a jar, the top of which holds a little retractable brush ( see the sequence of pictures below). 

As for the product itself I'm in two minds about it. It's weird I both like and dislike it at the same time. Does this make sense? I guess it doesn't. So let me explain.
I'll start with my reservations. First of all I'm not sure if this should be called a BB cream at all. This is a foundation of moussy kind which does not have any attributes of typical BB creams: no SPF, no healing properties, no acne treating properties, no wrinkle care, no moistirising properties etc. Why is it called a BB cream - I don't know. 

The brush provided is of excellent quality. It's both stiff enough to blend the product and soft to touch. It's like a good quality kabuki. The problem is that when I use it to apply foundation the foundation it settles into my pores accentuating them like hell. When used with a sponge the foundation looks much better. Nonetheless the brush is so nice I'm sure I'll keeep it after I've used up this foundation and it will be a perfect, pocket-size brush for powder or blush.

Now on to the good things. This foundation is the fullest-cover foundation I've got. When correctly applied it really makes a difference, skin looks sooo smooth. This is a matte foundation which dries to powder so you don't need to powder your face. I definitely don't recommend this for dry skin cause for sure it will feel uncomfortable. And  unlike some other BB creams this one will never replace a moisturiser. I have oily skin and this foundation is really good for oil control, but dry patches start appearing on my cheeks, though I suppose this might also have something to do with the extremely low temperatures

Shade #01 "Ivory" is a neutral beige which makes me look pale, but in a nice sense. Elegantly pale, I would say. But definitely this is not the kind of look I'd enjoy on holiday (unless I decide to go for Goth gathering in Bolkow). This foundation will have to be skipped for the summer anyway cause as I've already said it contains no SPF.

All in all with a hint of blush this foundation looks really classy and nice. But it also makes you look all made-up, kind of unnatural, like all these gorgeous Asian girls reviewing Beauty products on You Tube. I'm not absolutely sure if I want to look like that. But it's just 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.

Yes to Blueberries Intensive Firming Eye Repair Cream

This is my second approach to the Yes to... range and this time I must say I like the cream a lot. 
The producer claims this is a product based on natural ingredients which help combat signs of ageing and improve the appearance of the undereye area. Unfortunately I haven't noticed my wrinkles disappear, but then I must say I don't  believe any cream does.

As regards improving the condition of the eye area it seems to me that the cream does a fantastic job. It moisturizes nicely for hours without being too thick or sticky. The consistency of the cream is lightweight and it glides smoothly when applied. I can put make-up on straight after using the cream and it doesn't make my mascara smudge. It has this faint smell which I find hard to describe and I'm not particularly fond of, but it can be ignored since it's not very strong or persistent. 

It's quite expensive, but you need only a tiny drop to moisturize the area under both eyes so I hope it'll go a long way. I think I'll repurchase if I don't find anything better.

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, 3 February 2012

Korean goodies: Skinfood Apple Can Multi Blush #1 "Apple Pink"

The only reason why I bought this blush was because it was so cute and so Asian that I really wanted to have it as an object, not as a beauty product really. And this said I must say I'm not disappointed.

The blush lies on the bottom of an apple or rather kidney-shaped metal box, the top of which flips open to reveal a mirror and a lovely, fluffy powder puff adorned with a cute little ribbon. The blush itself consists of 3 stripes of uneven size: very light pinky pearl highlight, darker peachy pink blush in the middle  and a tiny light pink stripe on the bottom. When you use the puff you can actually transfer this stripey look onto your face, the contrast between the pigmented blush and the highlight being particularly visible, but not in good sense. If the highlight and the blush are not blended they contrast so much that the highlight looks like white spots under the eyes. Though I must admit that theoretically the idea of full cheek make-up in one swipe does work out here.

When used with a proper blush brush this one behaves like a very decent blush. The colour is rather pigmented, glows nicely on the cheeks due to its satin finish with occasional sparkles. And it smells insanely like Dolce & Gabana Light Blue (not my favourite perfume at all, but I love perfumed powders and blushers) and this smell lingers on for a really long time.
these colours are very representative of what the blush looks like in reality

All in all this blush is of surprisingly good quality, the only thing I can hold against this little cutie is that it's not as branded as I like my make-up to be. But now I'm having a crush on Korean beauty products and I do enjoy having Skinfood Apple Can Multi Blush in my stash.
and here it is 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.

Thursday, 2 February 2012

Good old Cocteau Twins

Still has the power!

Nicolas Jaar "Materials"

Life sucks

We were supposed to go to Poznan for a weekend break and of course we're not going. The kids are sick, Kuba's sick, I keep coughing, but otherwise I'm fine. With temperatures of about 15 degrees below zero I feel like I'm turning into an isicle, the only good thing is that I actually don't need to leave home very often, which also gets me down cause I feel like a prisoner here. Again.
I've been on a diet since the beginning of January, I've lost 3 kilos, should have lost 4 or more but that's because I"m doing it half-heartedly and don't stick to the diet plan too much. Well, better something than nothing. Wanted to return to regular work-out but I'm either too tired or too busy. Or I'm painting my nails. Lame excuse, I know.  I might as well start today.
Only one week of my holiday left and I don't feel relaxed at all, that's because I've spent all that time running after Adam and rescuing him from window sills, pulling him out from behind the sofa, taking him off the shelves listening to him miaowing while pretending to be a cat on our coffee table (this list could go on and on). Fortunately he's become a great fan of Pingu so there's one interest we share.

I want spring! I want spring to come NOW!