Friday, 30 November 2012

I've won an Avon make-up competition!

A couple of months ago I apparently won an Avon competition organized by but I seem to have deleted the first e-mail asking me for my contact address, so when I received the other one I couldn't remember what the competition had been about.

Anyway, what I received was a set of Avon cosmetics including a lipstick in the shade Pink Freeze (not my shade at all), Super Drama Mascara in Black (seems very nice), Perfect Eyebrow Pencil in Dark Brown (a bit too dark, but an excellent product in itself), Glimmerstick Diamonds Eyeliner in Sugar Plum (my favourite out of these four).

All of these goodies are undergoing a test phase and will be reviewed later.

Jimmy Choo Eau de Parfum and Eau de Toilette review

During my recent Douglas shopping I received two samples of Jimmy Choo fragrances: eau de toilette and eau the parfum. Normally you'd expect these two to be the same product in a more and less intense (and expensive) version. In this case these are two completely different products.

Jimmy Choo Eau de Toilette is a very pleasant, fresh and floral fragrance which to my astonishment evaporates minutes after you spray it on. For me it's a waste of money. I do understand that not everyone enjoys smelling like a perfume shop and having a drop-dead effect on everyone who walks into the same room. But for such a price tag I'd expect some value for my money. This is definitely the best non-smelling perfume in the world. The only market area for this product that comes to my mind are teenage girls whose mothers don't want them to wear anything too obvious in the perfume department. Pity cause the fragrance is really nice for day wear in the spring.

Eau de parfum is a completely different story, which also proves that there's nothing wrong with my nose. This time chypre notes definitely dominate the fruity ones making the fragrance heavier, stronger and pretty long-lasting. Objectively speaking, this is a classy smell for self-confident women who are aware of their own beauty and power. Sweet and feminine. I personally don't feel repelled by the smell but it's not my favourite either. It's too sweet for my liking and more importantly it lacks in the uniqueness department. I feel this is a perfect dupe of a large number of perfumes from 10-15 years ago. That's why I cannot help feeling that the target customer for this perfume is an affluent mature woman.

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.

Thursday, 29 November 2012

Helena Rubinstein Hydra Collagenist line review

Recently I've had the pleasure to test a set of samples of Helena Rubinstein Hydra Collagenist skin care line.
The line consists Deep Hydration Anti-Ageing cream, serum and eye cream, all of which proved to be of superb quality.
Every single product within the line is truly moisturising, lightweight, absorbs easily and smells nice. What else could I ask for?

The serum was pretty watery, applied and absorbed easily within seconds. It made my face look dewy but in a fresh and healthy kind of way. 

I followed the serum with the cream which made my skin looking fresh and relaxed but too dewy to be used under make-up on such oily skin as mine. However, in the evenings or on days when I didn't need to go to work this combo worked beautifully.

And finally, the eye cream. As I've said it countless times before, I'm very fussy as regards eye creams. Hydra Collagenist instantly won a prominent position on my eye cream wish list and I'm desperate to get it as soon as I've used up all the eye creams in my stash. 
This cream is lightweight, applies very smoothly, absorbs within a matter of seconds, doesn't leave a greasy film under my eye, yet this area feels moisturised all day long. This cream doesn't ruin eye make-up nor cause my mascara to smudge. Perfect in the morning, perfect at night.

All in all I need to say that all three products are well worth their prices but I can do without the cream and the serum while the eye cream is truly irreplaceable. Excellent stuff!

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.

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Visit Poland: Zamosc

Kuba's just returned from his business trip to Zamosc. I've never been there myself but the pictures he took amazed me so much that I decided to share. This place has always been on my wishlist of places to visit, now it's been promoted 'must see' position. 

It seems such a beautiful place but looks so deserted that it inevitably gave me this creepy Revident Evil feeling.

Korean goodies: Skinfood Watery Berry Eye Cream review

When it comes to eye creams I'm very hard to please. I have very dry undereye area which wrinkles tends to wrinkle partly due to the ageing process but mostly it's because of dehydration.
The problem with eye creams is that they are either comfortable for my eye area but greasy and smudge my make-up or absorb instantly, leaving my undereye quenched and more wrinkled than before.
I ordered the Watery Berry eye Cream solely for the reason that it offered wrinkle-smoothing effect by virtue of providing enough moisture. This seemed to make enough sense to me.
When I saw the consistency of the cream I was a bit scared cause it reminded me so much of Clinique All About Eyes which doesn't work for me at all. Fortunately my fears were unjustified.

Skinfood Watery Berry Eye Cream is one of the best eye creams I've used so far.
It's a lightweight cream with consistency close to a gel which glides on my skin soo smoothly, absorbs fairly quickly, doesn't dry my skin, provided plenty of moisture, works pretty well under my make-up, doesn't smudge the mascara nor make my concealer run! What else do I need?

I'm sure I will repurchase, especially that it's relatively inexpensive cause the jar contains 30g of product whereas all European and American eye creams are sold in 15ml tubes or jars. 

Disclaimer: I bought the product myself for my personal use and I am not affiliated with any company. I am not paid to do this review and everything I said here is my genuine opinion.

Sunday, 25 November 2012

Made in Poland: Cashmere Eyeshadow Base review

In my last Glossybox I found an interesting object, which turned out to be an eyeshadow base by an unfamiliar brand. It turned out to be a new product by an established Polish drugstore brand - Dax Cosmetics.
I was quite distrustful at first cause I'm so attached to my Urban Decay, Too Faced and Nars eyeshasow bases and I didn't believe any local brand could outdo these. But I was in for a nice surprise.
What I found in the jar was a creamy substance in light beige with barely perceptible pearl shimmer. It applies soooo smoothly I decided to run it all over my lid up to the brow, which I never do normally cause eg. Urban Decay Primer Potion would make this area look unpleasantly dry. Cashmere Eyeshadow Base applied like a good quality eye cream. 
At this point I started to suspect that it wouldn't really work on my oily lids but I couldn't have been more wrong. My eyeshadows lasted all day long with no fading or creasing.

However, it must be said that I don't think it makes my eyeshadows look brighter or more vibrant like eg. UDPP does. It just prolongs the wear time and evens out the skin tone on the lids.
Another disadvantage is the packaging which many of us will consider unhygienic, but on the other hand it's quite the same shape and size as MAC Paint Pots which no one objects to.

All in all I find myself reaching for this product surprisingly often. I really like it for how smooth and moisturising it is and for the fact that it unifies the tone of my skin without adding any tint or colour.

Friday, 23 November 2012

Organic cosmetics: Organique Shea Butter Body Balm Cranberry review

Organique is a Polish brand which manufactures organic cosmetics the quality of which they can be proud of.
My first contact with the brand was when I received their Shea Butter Body Balm in one of my Glossyboxes.
The packaging immediately caught my eye. A large plastic jar, approximately the same size as The Body Shops body butters, with an aluminium lid with the company logo embossed on it. Very pretty and classy.
What I first noticed upon opening the jar was the insane smell of the balm. It's supposed to be cranberry but my nostrils don't associate it with cranberries so much as with something sickeningly sweet and edible.

The body balm is of very hard consistency (you can cut it with a knife into little blocks), which immediately reminded me of Figs&Rouge lip balm (also an organic product). Once heated the butter melts and becomes an oil-like substance. It's smooth and easy to distribute.
Unfortunately it makes my body feel greasy for hours and hours and I don't quite like that. I don't have dry skin so fast absorbing lotions are the best solutions for me. 
I ended up using the balm as my hand and foot cream and in these areas it does a great job.

I'm not obsessed with organic cosmetics but it was a pleasure to read the list of ingredients which included only a couple of entries, all of which were natural substances like shea butter or beeswax etc.

All in all, a great product for those with dry skin or to be used on dry patches. 

Affordable make-up: NYX Long Pencil Eye in 02 Brown review

As much as I'm in love with NYX Jumbo Pencils I just couldn't get myself to like their Long Pencil Eye.
The adorable shade of brown is not enough for this pencil to impress me. 
I've said it countless times before that the most important feature of an eye pencil is, in my opinion, its softness, which the NYX pencil lacks. 
This pencil is REALLY HARD! It not only refuses to glide smoothly along my lid but also just pokes my eyes unpleasantly. 

It's not a total waste of money, though, cause turned out to be an excellent brow pencil. The shade is not totally appropriate for my brows but if I use it lighthandedly and in moderation it matches darker shades in my make-up nicely.

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 November 2012

Pumpkin season

 Pumpkin fever has reached Poland, the newest discovery of ours in that matter being pumpkin ale Diniamit (dynia in Polish means pumpkin so I guess you see the pun).
The ale has a surprising taste of pumpkin sweetness and aroma which quickly gives way to bitterness. 
It's not the kind of beer which I'd enjoy drinking on regular basis but to celebrate pumpkin season it was an interesing experiment.

Too Faced Sweet Indulgences set review

After my successful debut with the Too Faced brand (The Return of Sexy palette reviewed here) I couldn't resist the temptation of getting their Holiday 2012 set called Indulgence.

Well, Indulgence is a completely different story than The Return of Sexy. First of all you need to treat it as a gimmick. expensive, luxurious gift for a family member. Something pretty you don't expect much of. 

But if you want to treat it seriously a number if issues will arise.

Let's take a look at the packaging. The set comes in a lovely tin box, just like gourmet a box of chocolates. The thing is you don't need to open a box of chocolated too often, you eat them and then use the box to store your little treasures. The Ingulgence box, however, is meant to be opened daily and after one week of experimenting with the products I can already see the lid coming off its hinges. I've already started thinking of  some other way of storing the products but they come embedded in a sort of artist's palettes and are impossible to depot. 

The whole thing is extremely inconvenient to use. You need a lot of space to unpack the products. In order to reach the blushes and bronzers you need to remove the top palette.

What's more, many eyeshadows carry a surprise in them. They are completely different shades when applied  than in the pan. Such surprises are not always welcome cause you may spoil you look with something totally unexpected. What's more the palette lacks a proper highlight colour to be used on the brow bone.

The palette comes with 3 lookbook cards for those of us who lack imagination and need some help pairing the shadows. I tried on all three of them and I must say that none of them matched my complexion well and what's more important the looks suggested such clashes of colours that they made my teeth ache. Perhaps these looks weren't intended for me. I think ladies of colour would look gorgeous in some of these.

But on the brighter side, the palette contains lots of different products, thanks to which you may create a number of complete looks. It comes with a primer, 16 eyeshadows of different finishes (matte, irridescent, 
frost, irridescent with glitter, matte with glitter), 2 bronzers (both irridescent), 2 blushes (one glittery, one irridescent), one highlighter, a double-sided brush (flat eyeshadow brush + sponge applicator) and 3 lookbook cards.

Let's take a closer look on all the products. 

In the Buff in an off-white matte shade. A bit hard and sheer when applied. If you're looking for a pure white eyeshadow, this one won't do. But it's fine to be used as an all-over-the-lid eyeshadow base.

Peach Fuzz is a very light peach with plenty of golden shimmer. The shimmer is more pronounced than the peach shade. The base shade is almost invisible on my skin, it blends in so well.

Copper Peony surprised me with its name cause I didn't see anything peony about it until I applied it. On my lids it turned out to be bright copper with pink undertones.Irridescent finish.

Teddy Bear is one of my favourite eyeshadows in this collection. Beautiful mid-tone brown, with slight taupe undertones. Matte finish. Applies smoothly and blends really well, doesn't look too dry like some matte eyeshadows do.

Marshmallow is a frosty light beige with strong yellow undertones. Very soft and tends to apply patchily. I don't know how to describe this precisely, but the consistency is of millions of tiny flecks which instead of going on smoothly looks like separate flecks of shimmer. I had the same issue with some irridescent eyeshadows from Sleek palettes. Marshmallow is definitely too shimmery for a decent highlighter. One of the looks suggested this shade as an all-over-the-lid base, I tried this out and I looked as if I was trying to recreate some kind of late 70s /early 80s Debbie Harry kind of looks.

Lovey Dovey is another favourite of mine. Dark chocolate brown, with slight reddish tones and pretty shimmer. Not terribly unique, but gorgeous nonetheless.

Gum Drop is a bubble gum pink, not as bright in practice as in the pan. Irridescent with silver glitter. Looked quite decent even on me, didn't make me look as if I'd cried my eyes out.

Malted Milk Ball is a pretty mid-tone brown, kind of similar to Teddy Bear but this one is irridescent.

Satin Sheets looks very definitely like light pink but it reads as golden, slightly peachy shimmer. Nothing pink about it at all.

Nice stems! is yellow-toned green. Or pea green as we would say here, in Poland. Irridescent.

Honeymoon is very similar to Satin Sheets, seems like the peach undertones were replaced with yellow-green ones.

Pastille is a very dark forest green, irridescent finish with glitter. The glitter doesn't really transfer onto the lid. I like this shade of green very much, even though it verged on black.

Nice ash is an anthracite colour which leans towards navy blue but when blended out it starts to look like matte anthracite.

Cherry Cola is definitely the most unique shade here, and one of my favourites. It's a burgundy-brown shade, matte with glitter. The glitter doesn't really transfer onto the lid, so we get another matte shade in this selection. The shade is very pretty, but the texture could be creamier and softer. It doesn't apply and blend as well as it should.

Cop a Teal is a very pretty navy blue with slight teal undertones. Irridescent.

Black Sugar is a matte black with shimmer. Very similar to Beautymark from my beloved the Return of Sexy palette, the difference being that black Sugar is harder, more chalky.

As I've said before, the palette contains 2 bronzers. I really like the lighter one called Sun Bunny Light which is a good match for paler complexions. It's irridescent but looks very nice and fresh on my face.
Exclusive Bronzer is a tad darker yet very wearable. Again it's irridescent and seems to contain minuscule particles of glitter, it's more shimmery than Sun Bunny Light but does not contain any pronounced glitter.

The two blushes are La Vie en Rose (pink with gold glitter and rather poor pigmentation, which is not always a bad thing cause it gives you more control over the application of such bright shades but not in this case) and Papa Don't Peach, which is a rather dark peach shade with brownish undertones and pearly finish, which looks like very pretty glow.

And the Candlelight Glow highlighter is a pretty warm neutral beige with gold shimmers. I don't wear highlighters often cause they don't go well with my oily skin, but I'll definitely reach for this one when I feel I need to add some glow to my skin.

To sum up, I believe this palette has many drawbacks but it is definitely a very pretty gift box. It just screams Christmas and who cares whether it's practical or not. It's not meant to be!

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.

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Clinique Brush-on Cream Liner review

I got Clinique Brush-on Cream Liner in Black Honey relatively late, by which I mean that it was released as a part of some last year's collection but it was still available in Douglas store in November 2012. I was considering getting it months ago and I didn't suspect it would be waiting for me for that long. What dinally persuaded me to get this product was that after such a period of time the tester seemed still brand new, as soft and creamy as  months ago.
Clinique Poland do not distribute cream liners at all, so this is my first contact with this kind of product by Clinique. It's not cheap, but quite reasonably priced when compared to eg. Bobbi Brown liners. The product comes in a small jar, the size and shape of which is fully comparable to Bobbi Brown gel liners, and there's also a little brush which is actually pretty handy.
I have mixed feelings about the liner so I decided to divide my review into pros and cons to make everything clear.


  • I love the shade which is dark, reddish chocolate brown with plenty of gold shimmer.
  • It's soft and creamy and I suppose it'll stay like this forever (just like the tester)
  • It's completely smudgeproof and waterproof. Sets quickly and will not budge. I'd even say it's soapproof too.
  • Can be used not only as a liner but also as a cream eyeshadow or eyeshadow base.

  • It's sheer and not highly pigmented. The lines you draw on top of eyeshadows seem to blend in. Good for smudgy, smoky looks, bad for making a definition.
  • I'm not a big fan of such amount of glitter
  • I'd prefer a jar of a wider diameter. I don't like diving a brush in the product, it prefer to run it flat along the surface. 
  • The brush the product comes with would be perfect if it was slanted.

All in all, I believe nothing can beat MAC gel liners, but I seem to be reaching for this one surprisingly often. I just love the shade!

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, 19 November 2012

Drugstore solutions: Beauty Formulas Deep Cleansing Facial Wipes review

 I use facial wipes to remove fall out from under my eyes cause I don't really think covering the mess under my eyes with tons of concealers does the trick. 
I bought Beauty Formulas Cleansing Wipes with this purpose in mind but one day I thought I'd change my eye make-up without removing my mascara etc. I just wanted to wipe my eyeshadow from my lid, but it was impossible to do so with these wipes. They simply don't work. I could have used water instead. I can't imagine removing all my make-up, including waterproof mascara. 

I think the problem of these wipes is that they are meant for oily skin and therefore deprived of any oils as cleansing agents.  They don't run smoothly along the skin, but feel a bit harsh, not because of the texture of the wipe itself but because of the liquid they're soaked in, which reminded me very much of a micellar solution. 

These wipes were hopeless at removing eye make-up, and left my undereye area dried out but they were pleasantly refreshing when used all over my face, on warm, humid days in particular. 

To conclude, I can't say that my opinion about these wipes is negative top to bottom. They are a nice refreshment for oily skin, but I wouldn't depend on them as make-up removers.

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, 18 November 2012

November in Poland

beach in Rzucewo

Autumn has been surprisingly mild this year. At least some consolation after this year's summerless summer. For over a month we've been surrounded by omnipresent gloom which makes all yellows, reds and browns of the season look dark and rotten. But at least the temperatures are relatively high and autumn storms seem to have forgotten about us here. 

For some reason unknown my organism doesn't protest much when woken up at 6.30 every pitch black morning. Feels like I've finally accepted the routine which totally violates my life cycle. I also feel pretty powerful and keep my autumn spleen at bay. Adam, my friend, says it's because the end of the world is coming and we have no time to waste.

For the past couple of days the boys have been ill, so I took a sick leave to stay with them. It turned out to be a great opportunity for me to recharge my batteries. These days may be described as an ongoing party with Kuba, my younger son Adam and me as the only participants.
All three of us watched Wes Anderson's Moonrise Kingdom which is definitely the best film I've seen this year. Delightful! 
  Everyone's talking Christmas and I don't feel the atmosphere at all. I've reached an autumnal plateau and I'm comfortable with that. I enjoy having nothing to anticipate or look forward to. Nothing to plan or organize. 

The only thing I regret is that we stopped making sightseeing or Geocaching trips this year. Kuba travels a lot for his work and prefers to stay at home at weekends. I, on the other hand, often work on Saturdays and Sundays, which makes it impossible for us to arrange anything. But I hate us turning into couch potatoes and seeing that the TV's on more and more often.   

Pictures by my fabulous Hubby. If you're curious about what he does click here or here! And thumbs up, if you like it!
shrine in Rzucewo