Friday, 30 March 2012

Dupes: Inglot 428 vs Deep Truth by MAC

Inglot 428
When I returned home with my new Inglot purchase I realised that it's almost identical to my beloved MAC Deep Truth. Sigh.
As you can see in the pictures below these are very close dupes but if you really want to see the difference you may notice that MAC Deep Truth is slightly more cool-toned and there's slight purple sheen in Inglot.

Inglot left, MAC right
The weird thing is that when swatched the Inglot eyeshadow performs better than MAC, giving better colour pay-off and applying more evenly. However, when I applied them one on one eye, the other on the other eye I noticed that MAC applied miles better. Inglot applied unevenly and patchy and needed much more work to get satisfactory result. Weird, cause it's so soft and nicely pigmented.

MAC left, Inglot right
All in all it Deep Truth by MAC remains one of my favourite eyeshadows of all times but if you want to save your pennies Inglot is not a bad choice.
Inglot left, MAC right

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 March 2012

Physicians Formula Cashmere Wear Ultra Smoothing Blush Natural: review & swatches

When I saw a review of this blush on one of the blogs I read I went insane about it. I couldn't believe this was a drugstore product and it cost just a couple of dollars. I bought it on e-bay and it arrived from the US within a week.
The blush comes in a velvet box that opens by pulling a cute pink tassel. Inside you can see the blush in a beautiful cashmere sweater pattern. Three light warm-toned satin pink stripes and one of darker pink shade with tiny shimmer. Many reviewers described this blush as peachy pink, to me it seems just pink.

On the reverse of the box there's another "door" behind which there's a brush and a mirror. The brush is one of the most unusable brushes I've seen, the problem not being the general shape of the brush or the stiffness of the bristles but the way the bristles are cut with very sharp edges which make proper application impossible. 
Although the design of the blush is truly gorgeous and unique, on closer inspection this blush does look like a drugstore product. What is made of velvet on the outside is made of khaki paper inside. The pan inside is quite shaky. The peep-through "glass" is made of flexible plastic. What I want to say by that is that the product looks much better in the pictures than in reality.  
The blush itself is rather pigmented but its texture is hard so most of my brushes simply fail to pick the product. My old, cheap and prickly brush performs best here (that's why it's useful to keep even the most crappy brushes in your stash, you never know when they may come in handy). I also didn't notice any particular cashmere effect but I like the shade of the blush very much, I think it may compliment most fair to medium skintones. I get decent 5 hours of wear, but then I do so with most blushes so there's nothing unusual about that.
All in all it's a nice product in a really cute box but I'm not stunned by the quality of the blush so I suppose I'll give Physicians Formula brand a pass.

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 Carrot Sun Cream SPF 30++ : a review

Skinfood Carrot Sun Cream SPF 30++ sample

Skinfood Carrot Sun Cream is not my favourite sun cream. Actually I don't have my favourite sun cream, I find them all similarly disappointing.
Like most sun creams Skinfood Carrot made my face quite greasy, it would be hard to apply make-up over it. Moreover it left the characteristic white cast on my face and smelled like all sun blocks do. I'm definitely not going to purchase it full size, it's definitely not what I'm looking for. I believe BBcreams with high SPF are more versatile and will do a much better job than sun creams.

Disclaimer: review based on a complimentary sample

Friday, 23 March 2012

Clinique Bottom Lash mascara

I'd known this mascara would be small but when I received it I thought at first this was a sample. Not only is the wand so small but also the whole packaging.

After this initial shock I tested the mascara and I think I'll repurchase as long as it's not discontinued.
The small wand really does its job well, coating each single bottom lash nicely. The formula is a bit runny and it doesn't wolumise or lengthen my lashes but the mascara stays put all day with no smudging or leaving marks in my undereye area (which is rare). It doesn't say so anywhere on the packaging but I believe this mascara is waterproof as you need an oil-based remover to take it off.

The reason why I'm enthusiastic about this mascara is that I can trust it. Now I know that no matter what I do, where and in what temperature I'm never gonna end up panda-eyed.

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: The Face Shop Blackhead ex mask: a review

Blackhead ex mask is a peel off type of mask which is supposed to replace pore strips in their job of removing blackheads. 

You need to apply a thick layer of  sticky substance on those areas of your face where the blackheads are, wait till it dries (15min) and peel it off . While the process of peeling it off is only slightly less unpleasant than peeling off pore strips the thing is hardly effective at all. Blackheads stay where they were.

The product doesn't do what it promises to do so I suppose I should write a negative review, but it's not all that bad. It definitely does unclog the pores and makes my skin smooth and soft. I'm gonna use it up but not 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.

Thursday, 22 March 2012

Lancome Hypnose Doll Eyes mascara: a review

My expectations connected with thismascara were so high that when I used it first time I had a sort of meh reaction. First of all the conical wand worked perfectly on my left eye ( I'm left-handed) whereas the proportions were reversed when I started coating my right eye lashes, the narrow tip was supposed to work on the longest lashes in the outer corner. However, I soon discovered that the conical wand is just a gimmick cause it didn't really matter whether I used the narrow or the thick end of the wand.

The second disappointment was the lack of strong volumising effect which I look for in my mascaras. Moreover, my lashes are naturally curly and with a help of a good mascara they may look as if I'd used the curlers, Doll Eyes failed to curl my lashes that way.

Third and most important, the mascara doesn't stay put on my bottom lashes, whenever I look down it leaves a mark in my undereye, which doesn't look nice. I have this problem with many mascaras but there are some that deal with it  wonderfully (eg. Clinique Bottom Lash mascara).

Initially I was going to write a negative review of Doll Eyes mascara but then I incidentally saw my picture (below) taken to make lip swatches and it struck me how beautiful my own lashes looked. Only then did I realise that the mascara is actually not that bad. It definitely makes my lashes look longer and nicely separated. Doll's eyes? I suppose they're dolls eyes indeed.

I'm getting used to the wand and apply Clinique Bottom Lash mascara on my bottom lashes and I'm satisfied with the look. I don't think I'll repurchase, but then I've never repurchased a mascara, even the favourite one!

EDIT: I've just repurchased. It's a very good mascara after all and Lancome makes these excellent goodie sets I just couldn't resist!

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: Peach Sake Pore Serum a review

This is my favourite Korean purchase so far. This is a pore minimising serum which also helps sebum control. This is a white, lightweight substance which dries powdery matte with tiny, almost invisible shimmer. I don't think this serum may replace a good pore primer but it I love it as a mattifying product which can make very dewy foundations like Illamasqua Skin Base appear less dewy.
I definitely need to mention the packaging which strongly appeals to my taste. It's a matte white bottle with a well-designed sticker and a cork-like top. 
The soft, peachy smell of the serum adds to the pleasure of using the product. 
This little bottle has won its place in my bathroom cabinet and I'm going to repurchase it for ever and ever.

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.

Estee Lauder Double Wear Light foundation: a review

I was given 2 of these samples to try out when doing my Sephora shopping. The amount was  sufficient for a couple of applications, and I guess I'm able to give my opinion on the product. I've never used the original Double Wear foundation so I"m unable to compare these two.

The samples I was given were in intensity 2.0 which was a bad colour match for me. A tad too dark and made me look orange. The substance was very liquidy and it seemed rather dewy then first applied, then it turned completely matte. I haven't had such matte foundation in years! No need to use powder at all. It helped control oil very well, my face stayed reasonably matte for very long, which is really good.
Moreover, the foundation didn't settle in my pores and lasted all day.
Due to its liquidy formulation it applied easily with my fingers and even better with a sponge.

Now for some reservations I have about this foundation:
When I received these samples I consulted Estee Lauder website to find out that this is a light, sheer coverage foundation, which led me to believe that this product would resemble my beloved Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua. The foundation is nothing close to Vitalumiere Aqua. First of all I don't believe the coverage is that sheer, to me it seemed at least medium but not buildable (when overapplied it turned chalky). Secondly the word light may refer to the liquidy formulation cause this is not light make-up at all. I  very definitely felt I had foundation on since the moment I applied it till the moment I removed it in the evening. Very heavy for a lightweight foundation! I don't mind personally but I know some people might be surprised.

All in all I'm still interested in this foundation because of the long-lasting matte finish it gives. I'll try intensity 1 out and if the colour match is fine I might consider getting it full size.

Disclaimer: complimentary sample

Sunday, 18 March 2012

Korean goodies: Skinfood Grape Cell Essence sample:a review

This essence, as all the essences I've tried so far lesf my face quite sticky, which I don't like, but there's something about the product that made me consider getting it full-size together with other products in the range to include them in my night care routine.
What I liked about the product is that it left my skin incredibly smooth and soft. It was really pleasant to use. I hardly ever notice such a visible difference. And it smells very nice too! Wrinkle care is never targeted at oily skin so I don't suppose I'll ever find anything suitable for me for morning use but for night time application this essence is definitely a hit.

Disclaimer: based on complimentary sample

Korean goodies: Skinfood Royal Honey line samples: a review

This review is gonna be based on samples received with my Korean orders. I was sent a number of  samples of Skinfood Royal Honey products and I decided to review them in one post.

The line consists of a large variety of products that have highly moisturising properties and treat the skin with honey extracts.

According to the producer this eye cream contains royal black honey and royal jelly extracts that moisturise and add a nice honey glow to the delicate skin around the eyes.

I must say I haven't noticed any positive effect on my skin. I'm very fussy as regards my eye creams and this certainly is not my favourite. It's rather dense and hard to distribute, has a very greasy feel when applied. It takes time for it to finally sink in and when it does it leaves my skin uncomfortably dry. This actually often happens when I use these heavy, thick eye creams. Liquid, gel-like formulas work way better for me.

Royal Honey Nutrition Cream is "a nutritive tratment cream with royal black honey and royal jelly extracts that nourishes and transforms skin into a nice honey-glazed complexion".
The cream is very rich  and heavy, though it applies surprisingly smoothly.  Not bad for night time to give my skin proper nourishment and anti-wrinkle treatment, totally unusable under make-up. I suppose it's a good cream for very dry skin types.

Royal Honey Hydro Cream is actually the best suited one for me in the line. The cream has gel-like consistency and leaves my skin almost matte, a bit dewy with a slightly sticky feel, which this time isn't a bad thing cause it makes my foundation cling better. I'm considering purchasing this one full size, but on the other hand I believe there may be better skinfood creams for me.

I"ve also tried Skinfood Honey Nutrition Essence of which I have no picture, this essence turned out to be a watery substance which made my face extremely sticky. I can't imagine using it under make-up on its own, not to mention following the essence with any of the creams mentioned above. Perhaps as night time  skin care routine.

Disclaimer: based on complimentary samples

Korean goodies: Skinfood Peach Sake toner

Peach Sake is so far my favourite line of Skinfood skincare products. It's well-suited to my oily skin, helps minimize pores and control sebum.

Peach Sake toner is an alcohol-based toner and I find that alcohol based-toners work perfectly for my skin. They help me combat break-outs, leave my skin cleansed and fresh and are really effective for sebum control. My favourite toner has so far been Clinique 3 steps clarifying lotion but it produced a kind of unpleasant tingling sensation when used for the first time, then my skin got used to it. Peach Sake toner is much more gentle, causes no irriattions, doesn't dry my skin out and smells lovely!

I also need to mention the packaging, the toner is sold in a matte glass bottle with a very classy sticker and a screw top. It looks soo European.  

Might try some other Skinfood toners out of curiosity, but I'm sure this one has won a stable place in my bathroom cabinet.

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.

Inglot brow wax #574

Inglot is such a hit or miss brand. While their eyeshadows have been my hit for the past month or so, their other products I've tried fall short of expextations. This unfortunately is the case with their brow wax. 

The wax is a very sticky, greasy, kind of melted substance. I did notice this when I swatched it in the shop but I thought it would somehow dry out but it doesn't. This thing doesn't work at all, it doesn't hold my brows in place and doesn't make them look nice. Instead, it leaves very noticeably greasy residue on the brows, which remanins there all day and tends to migrate outside outside the brow bone.

Total waste of money, fortunately not that much 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.

Thursday, 15 March 2012

Korean goodies: Skinfood sample sets Gold Kiwi and Gold Kaviar emulsion+ toner

This review is based on 2 sample sets which I received together with one of my purchases. What needs to be said is that Korean skincare routine is extremely complex and involves application of numerous products on your face, I must say I can't imagine doing that for 2 reasons. First of all it's too time-consuming for being my pre-make-up stage at 6 am. Secondly putting on toner, emulsion, serum, essence and cream would make my skin horribly sticky and oily. Moreover products like toners or emulsions, which you'd normally expect to be lightweight, tend to be thick and sticky.  

Gold Kiwi is a range is intended for sun-damaged skin. Totally inapproproate for me. Nonetheless I gave it a go and I suppose that I would actually take it with me if  I were going on holiday to Egypt. The toner is a kind of thick substance, not the watery thing you'd normally expect and the emulsion is also quite thick, very hard to get out of the little bottle. Both have highly moisturising properties which might bring relief to sun-burned skin. I can't imagine, however, using all the recommended products in the range at the same time, this duo would definitely suffice. 

Gold Caviar is a range which is meant to combat wrinkles with the help of Russian caviar extract and gold particles. This is definitely intended for dry skin, I  was able to use it only before going to sleep otherwise it would ruin my make-up. 
The toner is a very thick gel-like substance with gold particles in it. It was very hard to get it out of the bottle and it left my face very sticky. The same can be said about the emulsion. I believe this line of skincare may bring relief to very dry skin cause it has strongly moisturising properties. I might consider using the emulsion as  night treatment but using the toner is definitely out of the question.

I've also sampled the eye serum in the Gold Caviar range and this is a completely different story, I'm going to purchase a full-size bottle soon and then I'll write a full review.

Disclaimer: based on free samples

Garnier Miracle Skin Perfector BB cream: a review

Yes, I'd read the reviews. Yes, I'd known it'd be bad. Yet with promotional price of 15PLN ($5 or £3) I thought I'd see for myself.

So, what did I discover?
Well, it's even worse than I thought. There's no miracle or perfection so I have every right to feel cheated by the producer, don't i? If I hadn't had any previous experience with Korean BB creams and this one was my point of reference I would never give any of them a try.

First of all this cream is horribly greasy. I've got oily skin, but I suppose it's greasy enough to clog even the driest skin. The cream doesn't sink into my skin at all, greasy film on my skin lasts for ever.

And second there's no coverage whatsoever. There are only two shades, but to me it doesn't matter cause this cream simply does nothing to my face (except leaving it greasy of course). No whitening,  no darkening, no coverage, no spot concealing, no evening out, no nothing.

All in all there's no similarity between Garnier BB cream and even the worst Korean BB creams. The only thing which may actually work here is the sun protective feature, although SPF 15 is the lowest you can get among Korean BBcreams as their factors normally oscilliate around 30.

I'm gonna give it to my mum, perhaps she'll be able to use it up instead of her morning moisturiser.

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, 12 March 2012

Ian McEvan: Solar

After a couple of years of illiteracy my interest in reading starts coming back to me. I must proudly announce that I've read another book, this time a piece of good fiction.

The story is about a not-so-noble Nobel laureate, paradoxically, a failed scientist, a human wretch devoid of morality, higher emotions, whose only interest circles around his own carnal pleasures i.e. women and food. The story starts like a piece of light writing, full of comical situations, humorous dialogues, slapstick comedy scenes soon to evolve into an account of  worthless life of this repulsive short, ageing, sex-obsessed fat man of  international renown.

In the course of action we start strongly wishing for Bears (that's his name) to be punished, so as the noose starts tightening around his neck we feel  sort of excitement that justice shall soon be done. We see his comfortable life in ruins, his reputation and esteem shattered and even his death. 

But there's no repentance.

McEvan is one of my favourite writers. And Solar is an exceptional novel. Very bitter thing to read.

Dior 5 Couleurs eyeshadow palette Bleu de Paris # 254 : review & swatches

When I saw this palette on Lisa Eldridge's  Youtube channel I knew it had to be mine. 
With some birthday-present money I was able to get this gorgeous set of blues and grays and silvers. 

I'm a big fan of these palettes, they never disappoint. Look here to see my other review.

Bleu de Paris consists of 5 shadows versatile enough to enable you to create a number of different looks from light to dark, from matte to extremely shimmery. The number of combinations is unlimited, everything depends on your taste and imagination.

In the top left corner there's a gorgeous denim blue frost, in the top right - light silver, frost finish.
In the centre - baby blue kind of pearl which actually reads quite matte
Bottom left - anthracite, frost. bottom right - matte navy blue.

All shadows are decently but not insanely pigmented, making them perfectly wearable at any time of the day.  Almost all of them (except the navy blue) are incredibly soft and creamy without causing any fallout. They blend perfectly and stay put all day when used over a primer.    

Highly recommended.

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, 11 March 2012

Lancome Teint Idole Ultra 24h (010) - review, swatches

This needs to be said. Lancome Teint Idole Ultra24h is my favourite foundation (for the time being, of course).

So, why I like it so much?

1.  Best colour match for my NW15-20 skin ever. 
2. Medium coverage with very natural finish.
3. Rather matte finish without dry patches or skin discomfort.
4. Easy to apply, doesn't migrate to the pores.
5. Lightweight.
6. Lovely smell.
7. Classy bottle.
8. SPF 15 ( could be higher actually)
9. Relatively inexpensive ( substantially cheaper than foundations by other high end brands)


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.

Happy Birthday to me!

The title of this post may suggest that nobody's remembered about my birthday and that's why I had to mention it myself. Quite the contrary. The clip above was attached to lovely wishes from my best friend Kasia and I must admit it's changed my life forever and hence the post.
And the tulips from Kuba scream springtime! How good it is to be born in March!

Saturday, 10 March 2012



Benefit the Porefessional pore primer: review

Since most foundations tend to gather in my pores I thought it would be a good idea to invest in a good primer which would both diminish the appearance of pores and keep shine at bay.

My choice was the Porefessional by Benefit.

The primer is, unlike most other primers, slightly tinted but once applied it's invisible on the skin. It leaves my skin incredibly smooth, kind of brighter and powdery matte. This powdery finish makes my foundations cling better. Pores seem to disappear and I can apply foundation much more smoothly. It also makes a good base for the dewiest foundation I've got - Illamasqua Skin Base, renders this foundation wearable for my oily skin.

Considering the fact that I only need a tiny drop and I don't use primers regularly this little tube will go a long way but when I need another one I'll definitely 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.

Inglot matte gray eyeshadows #348 & # 387: review and swatches

I must say I'm not a fan of Inglot but I buy some of their stuff only to be disappointed and put off for some period of time.
This time I got encouraged by enthusiastic reviews of make-up gurus, bloggers and youtubers that Inglot eyeshadows are definitely worth giving a try. With a very low price tag of 10PLN ( £5 or $3.5) the risk was minimal and the surprise great!
First of all these round refills fit my MAC palette but also MAC eyeshadows can be stored in much cheaper Inglot Freedom System palettes. The only problem is that MAC palettes aren't magnetic, their shadow pans are, whereas in case of Inglot it's exactly the other way round. The result is that you may store MAC shadows in Inglot palettes but if you want to keep Inglot shadows in MAC palettes you need to stick a small magnet to the pan. I use my son's promotional Danone fridge magnets.

 Matte shadows are first of all hard to find and then they usually lack pigmentation or are really hard to get out of the pan (eg. MAC) . This is not the case with Inglot. Their mattes are incredibly soft, highly pigmented and easy to apply and blend. They may look chalky in the swatches but they're absolutely not when used. And when used over a primer they last all day with no signs of creasing or fading.

348 is a warm-hued dark gray. Dark but not nearly black.


I bought 387 to match 348 to create a softer smoky eye version. Again, it's a kind of warm-toned gray, only lighter this time. Excellent as base shadow. These two most certainly make a lovely pair.

Inglot 387

Inglot 387

#387 all over the lid, #348 crease, Chanel Illusion d'ombre in Mirrifique as a liner

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.