Tuesday, 31 July 2012

July faves

I thought I'd do favourites of the months posts, like other bloggers do.
My favourites of the month are not haul posts, the products mentioned don't need to be new. Some of the products have already been reviewed, some are awaiting their reviews. Products of the month are products I have been using religiously which proves their quality or adequacy in certain situations. These products may reappear in the subsequent favourites of the month posts if I continue to use them with the same level of satisfaction.

Holika Holika cleansing oil and foam, Biore Aqua Rich sunblock, Siquens eye cream
Siquens is the only product that won't be reviewed here due to low interest cause Siquens is a new Polish brand I myself haven't been familiar with until now. However this eye cream does wonders as a day cream. Contains light reflecting particles and leaves the undereye area moisturised but not greasy. Just how I want it.

The Holika Holika duo are excellent cleansers and Biore is the best sunscreen I've ever used because it's matifying instead of being greasy like all other sunscreens.

Toni & Guy  sea salt and curl sprays
I love sprays which refresh my hair "the day after". And these two guys do!


Nars eye primer, Smashbox anti-shine primer , Yves Rocher Sexy Pulp mascara, various cream eyeshadows by Shiseido Maybelline and MUFE, Hakuro blending brush, MUFE eyeliner
 Smaxhbox anti-shine and Nars eye primer do excellent jobs preventing shine and creasing.
Cream eyeshadows and the eyeliner have such bright, summery colours!
 I use the Hakuro blending brush to apply eyeshadows in the outer corner to create a nice smoky look or to apply the shadows all over the lid for a sheerer wash of colours.
MAC Mineralize blush in Warmth of Coral, Chanel nail polish #541, Poshe top coat and Chanel glosses 
I love the fuchsia shade of the Chanel polish and the matching lip gloss Levres Scintillantes #169. I also take advantage of the possibility to reapply my lip products as often as I wish so I use glosses a lot, Chanel Rouge Allure Extrait de Gloss is another pick of mine. So natural, fresh and glossy and as moisturising as a lip balm.
To avoid the overll pinkness in my make-up I've been using a coral blush by MAC, one of my favourite MAC blushes ever. Matte but with a certain glow. Gorgeous!
And finally I love the Poshe top coat simply because it works!

DKNY Be Delicious Fresh Blossom
And finally my favourite fragrance this summer: DKNY Be Delicious in its Fresh Blossom variation. The reason is simple: it's so flowery and fresh!

La Prairie Anti-Aging Foundation a cellular emulsion SPF15 review

La Prairie Anti-Aging Foundation

Each time I have the opportunity to test a really expensive foundation (about $105) I ask myself the same question people who usually buy drugstore make-up ask themselves before they buy something Chanel. Is it really gonna work better than the products I normally use? Or am I asked to pay for the feeling of self-satisfaction at surprising the shop assistants, who took me for a beggar, with such an extravagant purchase?
So is La Prairie Anti-Aging Foundation really worth the price tag? Of course not.
La Prairie Anti-Aging Foundation #700

It must be said in the defense of the foundation that in some respects it works really well. First of all, the colour match was obviously very wrong for me which didn't discourage me from trying it out. To my surprise the foundation blended well into my skin and didn't make me look jaundice yellow. With a better colour match it may look almost invisible.
The foundation was quite lightweight and offered a good coverage. It also didn't settle in my pores like many foundations tend to do. What's more, when set with a HD powder it lasted all day, even in hot summer weather.

And this is where the good things end.
On the negative side, this was the streakiest foundation I've ever used. I  could see every single brush stroke on my face. Of course with a bunch of tools, brushes, sponges and applicators you may finally achieve an airbrushed result but you can't expect every single user to be as brush-obsessed as me. Let's be honest, most people use their fingers and a good foundation should apply that way well.
This foundation is also unsuitable for my skin-type. It made my face look horribly oily but it might do wonders to extremely dry skin and this is probably what these anti-ageing are all about: providing excessive moisture or grease.
Finally the foundation had no scent. For some this is a benefit, for me this takes away the pleasure of using a foundation.

To conclude, this is not a bad foundation at all. It has its advantages for sure. But having tried it for a couple of days I was unable to notice anything that would make it threefold superior to let's say YSL and about ten times better than any drugstore stuff.

Korean goodies: Skinfood Fresh Apple Mild Pore Peeling Gel review

I've reviewed almost the entire Skinfood apple line here but I seem to have left out one thing: the Fresh Apple Mild Pore Gel.

The gel is a white, quite runny substance which smells exactly like all Sparkling Apple products in the line. When you apply it at first you don't even notice that it contains any peeling beads, but as you massage it on your face and some of the product gets absorbed you start to feel those tiny grains embedded in the gel. The peeling gel is very mild and does its job very well without irritating the skin.

This is an excellent product which receives my full approval.

This review was based on a sample received with one of my purchases.

Monday, 30 July 2012

Korean goodies: Etude House Collagen Moistfull firming eye cream

I love eye creams and I'm always willing to try one. So I was very happy to receive a sample of Etude House Collagen Moistfull firming eye cream.
This cream is very similar to Clinique All About Eyes in many respects and similarly to All About eyes doesn't work for me.
This cream, like the one by Clinique, made me ecstatic in the first moment of application. Thicker that the All About Eyes it glided extra smoth under my eyes. Very pleasantly. but it refused to sink in immediately. Can't be used under make-up without dissolving my mascara, I thought. So I felt this would be an excellent solution for my night cream, but after half an hour or so the cream disappeared completely, making my undereye feel exceptionally dry (just like All About eyes does).
The conclusion is that although the cream performs well in the beginning, in the end it doesn't suit my needs.

Korean goodies: Innisfree Balancing Skin Rosemary toner review

I bought the Innisfree Rosemary toner to replace my beloved Skinfood Peach Sake toner. When it arrived I was quite unsure whether I got the right product cause on the packaging there's no mention of the fact that this is a toner, on the contrary, it says the product is a moisturiser for oily and combination skin, however after trying this thing out I can say this is a toner for sure. 

 The toner belongs to the group of Korean toners which have moisturising properties. It's not as dense as some Skinfood toners I've tried but it's slightly thicker than water. It's a very mild toner which causes no irritation or redness to my skin. This is not an alcohol-based toner so it doesn't evaporate completely, leaving a kind of wet, sticky finish, which my oily skin doesn't appreciate that much under make-up. However, at bedtime it works excellently as the final stage of cleansing. 

What I absolutely love about the product is its smell (lovely refreshing rosemary fragrance, quite strong actually) and the packaging. The toner comes in a green glass bottle with a very "European" sticker which looks like recycled paper. Generally the bottle design reminds me of these eco products like L'Occitane or Origins. Very pretty.

So the final question is do I like it better than the Peach Sake? No. It's a very nice toner but the the Skinfood one seems to work for my oily skin 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.

Korean Goodies: Etude House Collagen Moistfull BB Cream review

Etude House Collagen Moistfull BB Cream
I thought my curiosity about BB creams was completely satisfied and I got a clear picture what these creams are and how they perform and I thought I didn't need any more of them when a sample of Etude House Collagen Moistfull BB Cream arrived under my roof and immediately landed on my wishlist!

This BB cream is lighter than the ones I used before, distributes sooo smoothly and evenly making my skin so nice to touch. The coverage is rather sheer, hardly there at all but it improves the way the skin looks instantly. Just adds this fresh glow, evens out the texture even though the coverage is rather low.
Etude House Collagen Moistfull BB Cream

This BB cream is said to have anti-wrinkle properties which made me think it might be inappropriate for oily skin, but I couldn't have been more wrong. The consistency of this BB cream is slightly runny and it sinks in wonderfully, leaving a beautiful semi-matte finish. Just how I like it!

The shade is pink-toned beige which blends beautifully into my NW20-30 skin. This is not the fairest BB cream in my collection, not the darkest either.

Finally it needs to be said the Collagen Moistfull BB cream has SPF 30 and no smell at all.

Sunday, 29 July 2012

Lierac gel douche sensoriel review

This is one of my Glossybox July items I wanted to review. There isn't much to say, I'm absolutely love with the smell which is fresh blossom, white flowers of whatever kind, soooo gorgeous and beautiful. But that's where my enthusiasm ends. Apart from the smell the gel does nothing special. I haven't noticed any particular effect apart from the smell that would justify the price tag. It's not more moisturising or smooting than the cheap drugstore brands. There's no way I'm gonna spend so much money on a body wash which does nothing to me.

Inglot taupe-greige matte eyeshadow #349: review & swatches

Since I dyed my hair blonde I've started feeling more confident with neutrals on my eyes and my collection of these started growing. Here's my latest purchase in the nudes department: Inglot matte eyeshadow #349.
The shade is pretty hard to define. It's rather light beige or rather taupe with strong gray undertones. Although the colour is fairly light, it's also very pigmented so the colour is pretty discernible on the lid. Can be paired with a number of different eyeshadows for a more dynamic look.

The texture of the eyeshadow, like with all Inglot mattes, is powdery and soft, it applies and blends very well. The colour pay off is excellent, with the use of a primer this eyeshadow lasts all day long.

If you're a fan of neutrals and you're looking for something fair and calm and matte this is a must for you.
#  on all lid except the outer corner

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.

Stila lip liner contour no.4 review+ swatches

Stila lip liner contour no.4 
 Stila lip liner is a product I got for free when making my first purchase from strawberrynet.com. This isn't a shade I'd normally pick but there wasn't much to choose from and also I've noticed that swatches of Stila lip liners are relatively rare on the net and I sort of bought a pig in a poke.
So contour no.4 is a fairly dark reddish brown with shimmer. This colour, gorgeous as it is on its own, is way too dark for me to wear. It's been decades since I sported the Pamela Anderson look of nude beige lips with dark brown liner and I don't think I'm gonna return to that any time soon. I've tried to do a bit of smudging and blending with light glosses, the effect was acceptable but nothing stunning.
Qualitywise, this is an average kind of liner. Neither too hard nor too soft, applies really smoothly and it's creamy and doesn't dry the lips out, but it doesn't set like my beloved MUFE does and as a consequence doesn't last long either.
I think, even if the colour was right, this wouldn't make my favourite liner. It's not bad but it's a kind of meh product for me.

Stila lip liner contour no.4 

Saturday, 28 July 2012

Maybelline Color Tattoo eyeshadow in #40 Permanent Taupe: review

Maybelline Color Tattoo eyeshadow in #40 Permanent Taupe

Maybelline Color Tattoo eyeshadow in #40 Permanent Taupe
I surprised myself at how much I loved Maybelline Colour Tattoo eyeshadow in Permanent Taupe. I'm not naturally inclined to wear neutrals, they make me look tired and serious, though sometimes I make exceptions and some eyeshadows work really well. I've reviewed other eyeshadows in the line here but this one seems to be my favourite.

Maybelline Color Tattoo eyeshadow in #40 Permanent Taupe
Maybelline Color Tattoo eyeshadow in #40 Permanent Taupe
In case of Permanent Taupe I loved the shade, which is as the name suggests a taupe, though it's worth mentioning that it's the cool, gray toned kind of taupe, not the beige one. What's more this eyeshadow is completely matte, which is a rare find in the cream eyeshadow department. Compared to other Color Tattoos I've got (and most of them are excellent) the Taupe is far more superior in terms of how evenly it applies and how long it lasts even in hot weather. Perfect!

Similarly to all other Color Tattoo eyeshadows this is a versatile product which can be used alone or as a base for other eyeshadows or as a liner.  

Maybelline Color Tattoo eyeshadow in #40 Permanent Taupe

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, 27 July 2012

Korean goodies: Etude House Milk Talk Strawberry body wash review

Today I'm reviewing a very nice product which is Etude House Milk Talk Strawberry body wash. It wasn't obvious from the packaging a sample of what I'd received. Everything on the packaging, except the product name, is in Korean.

The body wash is a pinkish white substance which foams very nicely. It left my skin incredibly moisturised and feeling soft and smooth. What I didn't like was the smell, almost identical to Mc Donald's strawberry milkshake, which was obviously the intention but not my taste. I don't like milkshakes at all.

Even if I liked the smell I don't think I'd order one from Korea. There are many good body washes or shower gels here the drugstores, and also I don't enjoy overspending on body washes. But if you like milk shakes and are desperate to use everything Korean this would be a good choice.

This review was based on a sample received with one of my purchases.

Thursday, 26 July 2012

Dupes: Make Up For Ever Aqua Eyes eyeliner #15L vs Inglot Soft Precision Eyeliner #26

Make Up For Ever Aqua Eyes eyeliner #15L
Today initially I'd like to offer a review of MUFE Aqua Eyes eyeliner #15L. 
It needs to be said that I absolutely adore MUFE eyeliners, I like their softness, smoothness, quality and colour range. There's always a shade I'd like to pick. Since it's holiday season I went for something bright and blue cause this seems to me to be the the shade of the summer sky and water and flowers. 
Make Up For Ever Aqua Eyes eyeliner #15L
#15L is a beautiful cornflower blue, I love cornflowers and I adore the shade in make-up. The pencil is incredibly soft, it glides on like butter but it sets very quickly and then it's unmovable. Performs beautifully on top and bottom lash lines and on waterline. Non-transferable and waterproof. I wouldn't recommend smudging it cause it sets so quickly you might actually end up with half of your lid smudged and half in a sharp line, which I wouldn't like at all. 
If you look at the swatch below you might feel it's a bit clumpy and applies unevenly, I think it's due to its softness that it swatches like this. On my lids it applies evenly and smoothly.
Make Up For Ever Aqua Eyes eyeliner #15L

When I'd swatched #15 I had the feeling that I have something similar in my stash. That was Inglot Soft Precision Eyeliner #26. It seems like MUFE is a tad darker, though it's hardly visible when swatched.
 Inglot Soft Precision Eyeliner #26
The Inglot one is definitely inferior  as far as quality is concerned. It's not as soft, I'd even say that the soft precision liner is on the hard side, which means tugging and pulling which I honestly hate. It also doesn't set, which means you may sheer it out but at the same time it's not smudge proof. I tried using it on my waterline but it irritated and dried my contact wearer's eyes and also it didn't last long there.

However, if you're on a budget and you need a cornflower liner Inglot might be your choice cause it costs a fraction of MUFE's price.  
 Inglot Soft Precision Eyeliner #26
Now on to some pictures which show both side by side.
Make Up For Ever Aqua Eyes eyeliner #15L vs Inglot Soft Precision Eyeliner #26
Make Up For Ever Aqua Eyes eyeliner #15L (left) Inglot Soft Precision Eyeliner #26 (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.

Korean goodies: Skinfood Facial Water Vita-B (mist) review

I love facial mists to set my make up or to refresh my face during the day, so when I'd used up my vitamin E spray from The Body Shop I decided to get something Korean that would have the same function. By reading product descriptions I was lead to believe that Skinfood Facial Water Vita-B mist is especially intended for oily skin. The product contains oil controlling powders which settle on the bottom in a half-centimetre-thick layer so you need to shake it well to mix the powder with liquid.
I thought these powders would dry on my skin creating a powdery film to absorb my oilies during the day and make my face look matte and fresh without packing on loose powder etc. I couldn't have been more wrong. There's no powderiness here whatsoever. I actually have no idea what this powder is for, I think it might only clog pores. Quite contrary to my expectations this mist leaves my skin horribly shiny and sticky. There's no way I could use it under make-up, spraying it over make-up is even a worse idea, this would ruin my make-up completely. I tried using it at bed time on freshly cleansed skin and noticed it can be used instead of a moisturiser. 

I'm not saying here the product is bad, what I want to say is that the product description is misleading. I'd honestly recommend it to those with dry skin. I think it could give excellent relief to thirsty skin, the product is simply not for 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.

Korean goodies: Skinfood Agave Cactus Emulsion and Cream (light) review

The Agave Cactus skincare line promises to brighten the skin and prevent wrinkles by providing the right amount of moisture. I had the pleasure to test samples of two products within the line: the Emulsion and the Cteam (light). The samples were too small to notice any long-term brightening. There was no immediate brightening to be noticed.

The emulsion is a greenish substance of gel-like consistency which sinks in your skin immediately and completely. My oily skin is normally satisfied with a dose of Korean emulsion, this time I felt my skincare procedure needed to be completed by following the emulsion with a cream. My skin felt uncomfortably tight. As I've said my skin is oily, I can't even think how dry skin might react to this emulsion.
The emulsion might constitute a good base for the foundation for oily skin. It has some cosmetic smell usually associated with freshness.

To my surprise the cream was much more runny than the emulsion, it was a clear watery substance with no particular smell. It was absorbed even more quickly than the emulsion, leaving my skin dry and tense. I used both in combination with the essence and alone, with the essence it definitely provided more moisture, whereas afterwards my skin felt more quenched than before. It makes a very good cream for oily skin to use under make-up, but I wouldn't recommend it for dry skin.  
I personally liked this cream due to its oil control and will consider purchasing it full size when I run out of my moisturisers. I only think it shouldn't be sold as a product with strongly hydrating properties.

This review was based on the samples received with my purchases.

Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Essence gel eyeliner #02 London Baby review

Essence gel eyeliner #02 London Baby
I'd been hunting high and low for decent gel or cream eyeliners, trying different brands, ordering them online, asking friends to buy them for me when they travelled abroad and I didn't realise that the solution was so close. And so cheap.
I'd heard about Essence liners a lot but somehow I never experimented with them. A couple of weeks ago while looking for a hair mask my eyes fell on an Essence display where I located 3 gel eyeliners and decided to give one of them a go. I chose a shade which I didn't seem to have in my stash.  
Essence gel eyeliner #02 London Baby
I have no clue how to describe the shade of #02 London Baby. In the shop I was absolutely certain I was getting a dark brown but it turned out to be something different. It's like blackened brown with pearl or black with very dark taupe sheen, or metallic blackened taupe or brownish anthracite or something like this. It's hard to define and I like it very much for this. It's certainly very unique and may match a plethora of eyeshadows.
Essence gel eyeliner #02 London Baby
I'm pleasantly surprised with the quality of the eyeliner itself. It's no worse than my MAC gel liner. It's very soft and creamy, you can easily dip a brush in it, none of my gel/cream liners has ever been so soft and smooth.Therefore it's possible to draw a line which is very similar to the one left by liquid liners. This liner doesn't dry immediately, which makes it possible to blend the line well for a smoky look. The liner also performs brilliantly when applied all over the lid or used as an eyeshadow base. With such soft and creamy texture there's always the risk that it'll turn dry in time and become hard to use. However, the liner is so cheap that I'm sure I'll always be able to afford it and purchase when needed. 

The liner lasted all day on my upper lid, showing no symptoms of wear, didn't smudge even during my siesta nap. I didn't wear it in the rain nor cried so I can't say how water resistant it is.   

Essence gel eyeliner #02 London Baby
The only thing I didn't quite like is the packaging. I'm not questioning the simple and quite cheap design but the dimensions of the little jar. The nozzle is so narrow that the only way to pick the product is by dipping the brush inside. This way it picks too much product, which results in clumpy application. You need to wipe some of it off to get rid of the excess product. I prefer to lay my brush flat on the surface of gel liners and turn it around to pick the product, which in this jar is impossible.

But generally I'm super excited about this product, I wish they had a more extensive colour range, in my local drugstore I saw only three basic shades. But when I need to replace my MAC black liner I'll definitely pick one of those for less than two pounds.

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.

YSL Le Teint Touche Eclat foundation review

YSL Le Teint Touche Eclat sample

After 20 years on the market the iconic YSL Touche Eclat highlighting pen got a sibling, Le Teint Touche Eclat foundation.
The YSL claim they spent over 20 years working on the foundation, trying to translate the illuminising effect of the pen into the foundation and to introduce a breakthrough product to the world of foundations.
YSL Le Teint Touche Eclat sample

Such PR before the launch made my expectations so high that I almost danced at the possibility to try out a sample before official launch in Poland. The sample I received is in shade BR30 which, similarly to Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua, stands for beige rose (pinky beige). The YSL range includes also neutral beiges and golden beiges for those lucky ones with olive skins. I feared shade 30 could be too dark for me as usually the second fairest shade matches my complexion but it turns out to be perfect. Perhaps in winter this one will be a tad too dark. As far as the BR shade is concerned it also makes a perfect match, even too perfect, bringing out the redness in my skin. I suppose when I get a full size bottle I'll go for the neutral beige which should tone down this unwanted redness without looking too yellow.
YSL Le Teint Touche Eclat swatched against my skin, looks neutral beige but it's certainly not

As far as the foundation itself is concerned it does indeed feel different when applied. It has this king of smooth feel like face primers do. Applies incredibly evenly, looked perfect applied just with my fingers, didn't settle in my pores like lots of foundations do. It's a lightweight formula which you barely feel on your face. I've been testing this foundation both  in the summer heat and in the cool of the evening. Whereas in the reasonably cooler weather it leaves a lovely semi-matte finish, in the midday heat my oily skin wins with the foundation within minutes, there's no point in setting it with powders as this will only look cakey. I don't actually blame the foundation, in this sort of weather nothing really works on me. Nonetheless, even if shiny the foundation doesn't melt off my face and continues to looks decent.
YSL Le Teint Touche Eclat swatched against its golden packaging which brings out the pink tones

The foundation is on the sheer side, won't cover bigger imperfections or discolouration, but true to the manufacturer's promise it gives a beautiful glowy look. The skin looks so smooth and healthy and perfect without loading it with tons of foundation and powder! You may build it up but I don't think it could give much more coverage and you'd be wearing tons of make-up to no avail.
YSL Le Teint Touche Eclat sheered out, didn't cover imperfections but made my skin look beautiful without being noticed

Finally what I also loved about the foundation is the lovely smell and the classic, chic bottle. It's also got a weird SPF19, which is always an asset.

So as I've already said I'm gonna get this foundation full size, though in neutral beige. But do I really need it? It's a lovely foundation and since I'm foundation obsessed I will definitely make this purchase but I don't feel it's as revolutionary as it claims to be. Could do better in the oil control department to impress me more.

This review was based on a complimentary sample.

Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Korean goodies: Skinfood Aloe Vera Foam and Cream cleansers

This isn't going to be a comparison of the two cleansers cause they're totally different but I decided to put them in one post cause they belong to the same line.

This is the second time I've sampled the foam cleanser, I totally didn't know how to use it first time and it ended with a hate relationship between the two of us. The thing is that I applied it directly on to the wet face and it completely refused to foam, it was smeared all over my face but failed to perform at all and didn't resemble any kind of foam cleanser at all. This time I added some water onto my palms and tried to create lather in my palms and it started to work! Rich, dense foam appeared which cleansed my face thoroughly. But once I splashed my face with water to rinse it the product disappeared completely, leaving a kind of non-slippery feel to my skin. I don't know how to describe it, it's like all residue, sebum and anything on my skin was erased in a second. It's supposed to be highly moisturising but my skin actually felt rather tense after using it and in need of a moisturiser.
The cleanser itself is a very hard substance, so hard you could cut it with a knife, looks sort of pearly white with a greenish tone. It has a pleasant fresh smell, similar to cucumbers or other artificial aromas you're supposed to associate with aloe.
I've been considering a purchase of a full size tube, though it definitely didn't turn out to be a Holy Grail for me, there are so many other products worth giving a try so I think I'll get something else.

The problem with the cream cleanser is that I haven't been able to figure out what kind of cleanser it actually is. Is it the one you wipe across your face with a cotton pad or the one you remove with water. According to   the internet sources it's both but to me it's rather the first option. But on the other hand it left a sort of greasy residue I didn't like so each time I ended up trying to remove it with water and toner. I don't know how to handle it, I don't like cream make-up removers, I only use them to remove fall out from under my eyes and I'm not gonna order any of these from Korea. My Garnier will do.

This review was based on complimentary samples I received with one of my purchases.