Thursday, 30 August 2012

Korean goodies: Skinfood Red Orange Jelly BB #1 light beige review & swatches

I thought I knew almost all about Skinfood and other Asian BB creams when the arrival of Skinfood Red Orange Jelly BB sample proved me totally wrong. In a way I'm excused cause as the name suggests this is not a cream but a jelly, nonetheless I'm very much surprised at the consistency, finish and wear of this product.
Red Orange Jelly BB #1 light beige
To the point. This BB indeed has jelly-like consistency which turns to watery upon application. It doesn't go on as smoothly as a cream and dries really quickly so when  I used it first time with my fingers I ended up taking far too much product, then I turned to a stippling brush and the result was perfect. This BB is sooo lightweight while giving surprisingly good coverage which I would describe as medium, what's more it makes my skin feel highly moisturised while staying completely matte. Even on my oily skin this BB was so matte it didn't require a setting powder.

The shade light beige is as the name says light beige with no pink, yellow or gray undertones. It was a bit too light for my summer tanned skin. I'm normally NW20 and this BB would suit my skintone in winter.

I wish I'd discovered this BB at the start of summer as this is perfection itself. Matte, moisturising, equipped with a decent SPF, smooth, light, smelling fresh but not overwhelming. Red Orange Jelly BB has landed on a very high position on my wish list. This purchase, however, will probably need to wait till the next summer season cause with autumn/winter approaching I think I'll need something thicker to protect my skin from the cold.

The only thing which kind of troubles me about this product is its packaging. It's sold in a glass jar into which you simply dab your fingers or your brush. Not particularly hygenic, might make the product dry faster.
Red Orange Jelly BB #1 light beige
Disclaimer: I received this product as a complimentary sample for my personal use and I'm not affiliated with any company. I am not paid to do this review and everything I said here is my personal opinion.

OPI nailpolish in Danke-Shiny Red: review, swatches and DUPES!

OPI Danke-Shiny Red

I can resist nail varnish throughout the year but autumn collections of many of my favourite brands appeal so much to me that I end up getting some of them. My first purchase was three shades from OPI Germany collection, out of which Danke-Shiny Red was the first to try out.
This shade is the proper red, slightly cool toned with red shimmer. This polish belongs to the glow-from-within group of polishes. Gorgeous, especially that I sort of went nuts over shimmery polishes this summer and this infatuation doesn't show any signs of waning.
The formula of this polish was surprisingly thick, at points I feared for the eavenness of application but somehow, magically it levelled out and looks pretty without much effort. Two coats gave a result that was opaque enough. The brush is large and fanned out, covers a nail in just two strokes.
Nail Tek Scarlet Starlet vs OPI Dank-Shiny Red

can you guess which one is different?*

When I first saw DankeShiny Red I felt I had something similar in my collection. My premonition was right, the polish is a very close dupe of Nail Tek Starlet Scarlet. They're not identical, Nail Tek is more warm-toned whereas OPI is cooler-toned, however if you don't examine them really closely, the difference is imperceptible.Even the formula is similarly thick and the brushes have similar shapes. If I were to choose one of these, OPI would be my choice, simply because cooler tones suit me better, however there's no need to have them both. I'm a bit disappointed those two are so similar but since Scarlet Starlet was one of my faves this summer and I used it quite a lot, Danke-Shiny Red will make a nice replacement once I've used the Nail Tek up.
OPI (top), Nail Tek (bottom)

* the Nail Tek was on my middle finger

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.

Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Algenist Targeted Deep Wrinkle Minimiser review

Sephora did a massive promotion of Algenist products, they showered me with samples whenever I bought anything from them. The Algenist products never caught any of my attention, that's why I never reviewed them. Their Targeted Deep Wrinkle Minimiser, however, is worth writing a couple of words about.

First of all, reading the name of the product, I was sure it was an anti-wrinkle cream for mature skin. My skin is not that mature and I don't have any fine lines on my face (except the eye area) to minimise so I didn't think this would work for me. Nonetheless I decided to give it a go. To my surprise the substance inside the sachet turned out to be very thick in consistency and left my skin feeling very dry and tense. I tried to apply foundation over it and it ended up in a complete mess. It simple refused to glide on. I've never seen anything so streaky and patchy. At that moment I decided to consult the manufacturer's website.
It turned out that the Targeted Deep Wrinkle Minimiser is a primer which makes wrinkles optically disappear  and, more interestingly, minimises the appearance of pores.

When I applied this product over a day cream it performed much better. Immediately after application it dried to smooth matte finish. The application of foundation was slightly easier and controllable, though not the simplest task of all. Unfortunately the attempt to set it all with a loose powder ended in a fiasco. The whole thing caked horribly.
To sum up quick for and against:

  • makes my skin look incredibly smooth
  • fills in pores and leaves very matte finish
  • packed with lots of moisturising and wrinkle preventing ingredients
  • for those who look for whitening effect this primer offers instant whitening effect

  •  the rubbery finish makes it impossible to apply foundation nicely
  • my face looks matte only for an hour or so, then my oilies break through
  • extremely expensive for a primer 
Disclaimer: I received this product as a sample for my personal use and I am not affiliated with any company. I am not paid to do this review and everything I said here is my genuine opinion.

Tuesday, 28 August 2012

MAC Mineralize Concealer NW20 review & swatches

MAC Mineralize Concealer NW20
I bought MAC Mineralize Concealer after reading a number of enthusiastic reviews, describing this product as moisturising in the eye area and double checking my knowledge about the product with a MAC make-up artist in Warsaw. Unfortunately these opinions proved wrong in my case.
MAC Mineralize Concealer NW20
I bought this concealer to use under my eyes and  I sadly noticed that although it might not be very drying, it does accentuate fine lines under my eyes, which disqualifies it. 
MAC Mineralize Concealer NW20
I'm very disappointed cause the concealer itself has many advantages. First of all I think the colour match is perfect for my fair, pink-toned skin. Secondly, this is the highest coverage concealer in my possession (except the MUFE one, which is definitely not meant for eye area) and it makes my skin look very nice as far as evening out the skin tone is concerned.
The consistency is rather thick for this kind of concealer and I believe this is the reason why it accentuates my wrinkles. The brush applicator is soft and allows for precise application in those hard to reach places, then you need to use your fingers or a fluffy brush to blend it in.

I believe this is a very good concealer for young skin owners who suffer from very dark circles. And I'm neither of them. I  need lightweight, non-drying light-coverage concealers. I guess I'll use it up to conceal some blemishes and redness but it doesn't serve my purpose.
MAC Mineralize Concealer NW20
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, 27 August 2012

Korres Multivitamin Compact Powder for oily-combination skin #52N review.

Korres Multivitamin Compact Powder
I've had this Korres face powder for over a month which gave me enough time to test it and I still have no opinion about it. This is one of the products I got for free when purchasing some of my stuff on I chose the shade at random, the fact that this powder was meant especially for oily skin influenced my choice.

Korres Multivitamin Compact Powder
When the powder arrived it looked so dark in the pan that I thought I could use it as a bronzer rather than a powder. However, upon application it matched my slightly tanned skin pretty well. Shade #52N  is a medium neutral beige, leaning towards yellow a bit.

As for the quality of the product itself I must say it's a very decent powder. It's very soft and the brush picks up a lot of product so you need to be extra careful not to cake your foundation with it. I don't know if that's the use of the product but it seems to me that you can use it as sheer coverage compact foundation. 

Korres Multivitamin Compact Powder
Although I hold no regrets about this product I'm not totally satisfied either. When I deal with a high-end product, and I believe Korres aspires to be one of them,  I always hope for something special. Unique Selling Point/Proposition as the marketers say. In case of this Korres powder there's none.
I don't like the white compact, the print on the compact is very low quality, I've already almost wiped it off when opening the box. 
The quality of the powder is all right but I feel it's comparable to many drugstore products like Maybelline or Bourjois or even Rimmel. I always look for powders which will give my skin some extra boost, make it look special in some way, matte, velvet or luminous, in case of my Korres powder I don't notice anything like that.
And finally, I need to mention the fact that I don't like the smell. It's not perfumed at all (which I deeply regret cause I love my powders to smell nice) but it doesn't mean it's odourless. It smells of chemicals quite strongly and I don't like it at all.
Conclusion? Excelent freebie, quite disappointing high-end product.  

   Disclaimer: I received this product as a complimentary gift 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, 26 August 2012

Make Up For Ever Aqua Lip Pencil #8C review

I must say that Make Up For Ever lip liners are the best products of the kind I've ever used. 
The formula is totally different from other lip liners. They are very soft and creamy at the moment of application, apply evenly and then they dry in an instant and wouldn't budge until you treat them with some make-up remover.

What's more they resist the dissolving properties of lip glosses and stay put for a long time under glosses.
The matte texture is definitely drying but since dry lips are not an issue for me, I sometimes use them on their own as a matte lipstick.

#8C is the most gorgeous suit-all shade of red. Or proper red in other words. It's the cool-toned red which doesn't lean towards towards burgundy, purple orange or pink. Perfect on its own and looks lovely under all kinds of red and pink lipsticks and glosses.   
The only drawback is the price but if you're looking for a really good lip pencil this one should be your choice.

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 August 2012

Warsaw August 2012

When I try to get myself to write about our short holiday in Warsaw no narrative forms in my mind. My head is full of snapshots, mental pictures but there's no story. Nonetheless I'd like to write something, lest we forget. That's why this post will take the shape of a photo story and random reflections here and there.

Just like in May we stayed in the very heart of the city, in Novotel hotel which is a huge establishment just across the square from Palac Kultury i Nauki. I never thought I'd feel so comfortable in such a huge and overwhelming building with long hallways and identical doors leading to exactly the same rooms. To my surprise the reception staff are so nice that they make you feel welcome, the kids are showered with little gadgets (eg.Toy Story watch this time, occupied Mikolaj for a good couple of hours and made us more aware of the passage of time cause regularly in one-minute intervals he kept informing us about all the new digits he could see on the dial), foreign tourists say hello to everyone they encounter.  

I'm constantly drawn to big cities. I love being anonymous. Which doesn't mean invisible. I love the constant roar of the engines, and the lights. Warsaw at night was surprisingly quiet. Too quiet for my liking, and those soundproof windows did their job really well. But the lights.. just look at those lights...  beautiful!

We didn't really see any popular landmarks this time. Except the zoo. We spend time loitering around, letting the kids to fool around. Luckily there weren't many people so they didn't disturb anyone so much. 

Geocaching led us to some very nice places like the the former house of Fremasons' Lodge (above). We really liked the building and the quiet street where it was situated. Now there's some sort of geographical museum there, which explains the presence of enormous boulders everywhere around. 

We also came across an inner courtyard with a small chapel inside, the figure of Jesus and a burning candle at his feet locked in a glass aquarium. And a single tree behind. Kuba says this is typical of Warsaw courtyards so next time we will dedicate out time to visiting more of them.
I really like the picture I took there. Contrasts so much with the modern establishments of this vibrant metropolis situated just round the corner. 

Ha, in the picture above you can see the big fat guy I shared my bed with on the first night. Actually there were two more guys in my bed that night. I wonder when Adam's gonna stop sleepwalking to our bed, I don't remember when we last spent a night without him. 

I wouldn't have been me if I hadn't dragged all my family across some less touristy areas of the city in search of treasures. The geocachers from Warsaw seem to have a different style of cache-making. Never saw a ketchup jar before. But the place where it was hidden was really nice.



When I browsed my pictures I was surprised to discover how many animals I'd photographed.
The squirrels in Warsaw were as cheeky and pestering as the London ones. I still don't know which are more beautiful, the red ones perhaps. They do know how to stand out from the crowd and I respect them for that! 

I love the colours of peacock feathers. This teal and royal blue and gold.... Not my favourite shades at all, but on this bird they look gorgeous.

We took the kids to the zoo. Very disappointing. The one we've got in Gdansk is much more beautiful and modern and comfortable for animals. The Warsaw zoo is just a regular city park where the animals are squeezed in their tiny cages, presented through dirty plexi glass (you can admire yourself in the reflection and imagine how you'd fit the cage). We liked the gorilla for his static, monumental posture.

And the tigers. 
I really like the picture I took. 
Still life vs motion picture
Passive vs active
Responsibility vs fun
Maturity vs youth
Dignity vs frenzy

I though of adding my children here but I couldn't find an appropriate picture. But anyway, the empty space below is for them.

Korean goodies: Skinfood Platinum Grape Cell Eye Cream review

My eye area is the most troublesome area on my face. Years of ongoing party, living a rock'n'roll style of life combined with regular work, lack of sleep and the duties of a mother of two cute boys have taken their toll. My skin is in perfect condition, except for the area under my eyes. 
That's why I'm always happy to try out a new eye cream, though finding the one that suits my needs is almost impossible. I don't believe any cream can undo the damage already done but I hope to delay the inevitable ageing process.
Unfortunately, Skinfood Platinum Grape Cell Eye Cream is an all-wrong-cream for me. The problems start at the first touch. I totally hate the consistency. This cream is simply hard. The consistency is of well refrigerated butter but the difference is that butter melts instantly when heated whereas the eye cream doesn't. You need to rub this thick substance under your eyes, then it turns to something softer, with quite pleasant silicon like smoothness. Hopes are rising at this point.
Unfortunately the cream takes a long while to absorb, leaving a greasy film under my eyes (forget using it under make-up), and strangely enough once it finally sinks in it leaves the area unpleasantly dry, tense and wrinkled. 
Horrible stuff and quite expensive. I'm glad I got the sample cause I'm not gonna waste my money on that.

Disclaimer: I received this product as a complimentary sample 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, 23 August 2012

Spinal Tap

I know it's about 30 years too late but better late than never. We watched the movie this night and it blew our minds off! Brilliant, brilliant, brilliant! And because of the convention adopted you feel like this film was made last year or so. One of the best comedies in history!

Nars Sheer Lipstick in Autumn Leaves (for Fall 2012): review &swatches

Nars sheer lipstick in Autumn Leaves
I hate autumn but I love all these autumnal colours with which manufacturers coax me into buying new make up. Lip and nail products in particular. 
Nars sheer lipstick in Autumn Leaves
So could I resist Nars Autumn Leaves when I saw it? Of course not.

The lipstick comes in a very nice packaging which has a slightly rubbery feel (like all Nars products do) and a brand name printed on the cap.
The lipsticks photographs really badly. It seems fiery orange which it is not. The shade is more of a brownish red or brick red with some orange undertones.
When you look closely at the lipstick you'll notice tiny golden shimmers embedded in it. However, upon application the individual shimmers are invisible, they contribute to the overall glow of the lipstick. Needless to mention that the shimmers are so tiny that they aren't gritty at all and you can't feel them on your lips.
The lipstick is classified as sheer and I do agree it's not as opaque as some lipsticks that I have but if you're looking for a sheer wash of colour you might be very surprised cause it's intensely pigmented.
As far as the wear time is concerned there's nothing revolutionary or unique about this lipstick. The length of time will depend on how long lipsticks last on you, which means less than an hour for my mum and over 3 hours on me (no drinks or snacks). 
The lipstick feels very comfortable on my lips and I find it sufficiently moisturising.

Nars sheer lipstick in Autumn Leaves

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.

Wednesday, 22 August 2012

MAC Paint Pot in Painterly review

Oh, Painterly, why did we start our relationship so late? I'd read and heard so much of you but somehow kept ignoring you! I thought Urban Decay Primer Potion was good enough for me so I wouldn't bother having a look at you! 
The problem is that each time I was in a MAC store there were more exciting limited lines of their make-up  and I always focused on them rather than on their regular products. This summer nothing, really nothing out of MACs limited editions was worth my attention so my eyes fell on Painterly. 

Painterly is a shade I wouldn't use on its own but it makes a lovely eyeshadow base. First of all it's very similar to my own skin colour. In the swatch it looks slightly darker but on my lids it actually seems lighter. The texture is actually quite hard but it warms up with the heat of my fingers and applies very smoothly on my lid. It reminds me very much of Maybelline Color Tattoo in taupe. Of course taupe is a different shade but they are both matte and apply in a very similar way.
What I like about this product is that it intensifies the eyeshadow shade without changing its colour. Rare thing! What's more, it dries to such finish that makes blending eyeshadows an easy task.

Nothing more to add. Excellent product. At least three more Paint Pots have entered my wishlist, which is the greatest recommendation I guess!

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.

Yves Saint Laurent Pure Chromatics Eye Shadow #11 (Autumn 2012 look) review & swatches

YSL have just launched two new Pure Chromatics palettes for their Autumn Look 2012, one of them, #10 in sparkly/pearly greens and khakis and the other one, #11 which is the subject of this review. I ordered this palette online, without seeing it, only having read a small number of reviews cause #11 seems to be far less popular than its green sister which seems to better fit in within the safari theme so hot this season. 

 I can't really describe clearly my relationship with this palette. The closest term would be difficult love, I guess. Or snakes and ladders. A series of negative and pleasant surprises.
To the point.
After reading the reviews and product description I gathered it was a set of 4 matte shadows, which suited me well and I also thought it quite unique. Imagine my surprise when upon opening the palette I saw micro glitter! Thumbs down.
To my surprise, however, I discovered that the glitter is kind of superficial and the shadows swatch mostly matte and the shimmer, although barely visible, prevents them from looking flat. Thumbs up!
swatched on bare skin
Yet another snake awaits round the corner. The eyeshadows swatched as if they lacked pigmentation whatsoever. Look above! They performed better over a primer (look below) but still not great. What's more the shades look like the dullest shades ever. I must say I find it hard to describe them. The one in top left corner is something dark and sheer, something inbetween blackened gray and navy. In the top right corner we can find nude beige, in the bottom left corner there's a medium brownish eyeshadow (this one is the most sparkly of them all) and bottom right is a very very dark navy, almost black yet not asphalt black. All of the shades may be described as earthy.
over MAC paint pot in Painterly
And now comes a surprise: these dull, sheer and hard to swatch eye shadows come to play when applied. Both dry and wet. They blend beautifully without producing any fall out, cling to the lids magically and last there all day even in hot humid weather. All shades match one another so you may combine them as you wish. They are matte but not one-dimensional, which is great! 
Using them wet obviously intensifies the colour, you are supposed to turn them into a paste with water using the special applicator you can see in the picture below.  It's entirely made of silicone or rubber. I  tried to apply the shadows both with this applicator and a synthetic brush and I must say that both worked fine.
What's more, adding quite a lot of water to turn it into a paste did not ruin the eyeshadow. Once it dried out it didn't turn to stone like many of my wet/dry shadows did. Thumbs up!
The shades however, are not the most unique and irreplaceable of all. They are quite unimaginative as well but if you're looking for something within back to school/work theme they might be an excellent choice for you. I am school related but fortunately no one tells me what I should look like so I take the liberty of  applying some bolder and brighter shades. 
beiges and browns applied dry, over MAC Paint Pot in Painterly

All in all I surprised myself with how much I like the palette and how often I reach for it these days. If I'd swatched the palette in Sephora, I would never have bought it cause it swatches sooo badly. So I'm glad I ordered it like a pig in a poke cause it turned out to be such a nice product!

blackened navys applied wet 

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.