Tuesday, 31 December 2013

Flormar nail polish #392 and #DC02 review

Flormar glitter polish #392

Since it's carnival time and it's New Year's Eve today, I'd like to share with you the latest nail polish discovery of mine, Flormar polishes.
Flormar has been around for quite some time now, but I always associated it with low-end drugstore make-up which is sold at stalls and counters in shopping malls and never stopped by. Until this December, when my eyes landed on their polishes. 
The range is unbelievably wide, there are regular lines and limited editions, shimmers and creams of all shades and special effects polishes as well, like polka dots, sand textures, glitters, nail artistry tools and polishes etc. From the wide selection I picked two, which seemed the most unique to me.
The polishes retail for about $4 each, but they're often on 3for $10 offers, which makes them so affordable!

Before I review the shades in detail, I'd like to say that I was  more than surprised with the quality of both. They offered opaque colour in one coat with barely any need to add another. Both were easy to apply evenly, without flooding my cuticles and stayed on my nails for ever looking mostly untouched until I got bored with them and chose to remove them after over a week. This hardly ever happens. The glitter one even survived Christmas cleaning! 

The glitter polish in the picture above, #392, is one of the most amazing glitter polishes I've ever seen. This is tons of holographic microglitter densely packed in clear base. In the shade it looks like whitr-silver frost, but when certain light, especially cool artificial light or direct sunlight, hit the polish the holo glitter comes to play. It looks amazing over neutral polishes and equally well over gold (in the picture above it's Barry M Foil Effects #320) or dark navy (OPI Road House Blues). The glitter distributes very evenly and too my surprise is not that difficult to remove.

Flormar duochrome polish #DC02
I felt mesmerised when I saw #DC02 on the counter. I couldn't take my eyes off  the polish even though I hardly ever wear anything gold, let alone pistachio green. As you might have guessed, this is a duochrome polish which is a rather cool-toned old gold shade with pistacho or sometimes even teal green tones visible in certain light or at a certain angle. The polish is gorgeous! It's so shimmery and so unique. When covered with Seche Vite top coat it looks like liquid gold.

If all Flormar polishes are like these, I must say that my collection is definitely going to expand. Great polishes for hardly any money. What's the point of spending £10 or more on Essie or OPI, which are great, but Flormar are even better? I need to explore the brand in greater detail. Perhaps there are some more make-up finds awaiting discovery?

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, 30 December 2013

Essie After Sex nailpolish review

Essie After Sex - 2 coats + Seche Vite top coat

Since New Year's Eve is nearing, I'd like to write a post about nail polish which is absolutely suitable for all festive occassions. 

I have recently fallen in love with Essie After Sex nail polish. 
I was never a fan of Essie as the brush was long, thin and feeble, but to my surprise this one has a short, thick, flat, rounded brush that reminds me of a beaver's tail. This brush made the application easier than ever, especially that the formula was just right, neither too thick nor too runny, so it was possible to achieve a fully opaque, streakless colour in two coats.

The shade seems nothing out of the ordinary, yet I don 't seem to have any dupes for it. I'd describe it as light burgundy red or raspberry shimmer, without the milkiness fresh fruit tend to have.

This is a lovely polish that would suit many skin types and look good both on everyday and festive occassions. I bought it on a 50% off offer and consider it one of the best buys of  December. 

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, 29 December 2013

Glossybox December 2013

The last box of 2013 left me with kind of tepid feelings. There was nothing that I felt particularly enthusiastic about and also nothing I found useless or inappropriate (with the exception of 2 hair/body oils in one box, prehaps).

Products in 'satisfaction level' order
1. Siquens Prevention face cream for oily skin. I've just ran out of my face cream and this one matches my skin type terfectly, so I'll gladly give it a go.
2. Yves Rocher Vanille Shimmering Shower Gel, smells nice and festive. The glitter is just a gimmick, none of it stays on the skin
3. nails inc. nail polish in Victoria. I love nails inc., but this shade is sooo dark, almost black. I don't see myself wearing it too often.
4. NUXE  Huile Prodigieuse OR is a lovely body oil I'll use on New Year's Eve
5. Orofluido hair oil. Yeah, another hair oil...
6. Orientana (Polish brand) eye mask
7. See by Chloe EDP. I absolutely adore Chloe but See by Chloe is a total miss for me. I can't see the difference between this one and the turquoise water by Cavalli. I found them both equally unpleasant.

Friday, 27 December 2013

Alterna Bamboo Volume On-the-Go Travel Set review

The main reason why I ordered this Alterna Bamboo Volume travel set was that this was the only way to try the Uplifting Root Blast, which comes in a pressurised container and theoretically cannot be shipped abroad, but it must have been overlooked in the set and the whole pouch was shipped without any problems.

I also like travel sizes as they give me the chance to try expensive products out and see if I want to spend money on full-sized products. These tacticts paid me well in case of  Bamboo Volume line.

This volumising set comes in a zipped travel bag, which contains the Bamboo Abundant Volume Shampoo and Conditioner, 48-hour Sustainable Volume Spray and Uplifting Root Blast. 
All products have been formulated with eco-cretified bamboo and maca root (whatever that is) and are free of sulphates, parabens, soduim chloride, phthalates, gluten and synthetic color.

I found the shampoo and the conditioner quite disappointing. Although as far as volume is concerned they do deliver, but at the same time they leave my hair frizzy, unmanageable, coarse and shine-free. While I don't mind it when my hair feels coarse after washing it with a shampoo, I believe the function of a conditioner is to smooth, moisturise and detangle. This is not the case with the Bamboo Abundant Volume Conditioner. What's more, in order to get the desired effect I tended to use much more conditioner than I suppose I needed. This didn't weigh down my hair, but I used up the conditioner when the shampoo tube was still half full.

On the positive note, both products have a very pleasant, refreshing smell.The shampoo is rather economic as a little goes a long way with the rich lather it produces.   
I also have the impression that these products prevented my hair from getting greasy too soon. What's more they didn't irritate my dry and sensitive scalp.

It may seem I found the Alterna set disappointing, but I liked the styling products much more. 
You use the 48-hour Sustainable Volume Spray on wet, towel-dried hair before blow drying. It's weightless, non-sticky, completely imperceptible on my hair, but it it really does add body to my ultra fine hair and allows me to enjoy voluminous hairstyles. I'm not entirely sure whether this uplifting effect lasts for 48 hours, but that's where the Uplifting Root Blast comes in. This is an aerosol spray with a plastic head which allows for precise application at the roots of your hair. This spray offers instant fullness to '2nd day' hair which has fallen flat. This is not a dry shampoo, so you don't use it on the length of your hair nor does it leave any white powdery cast. This product is not as imperceptible as the 48-hour spray, I can definitely feel product build-up in my hair. Unfortunalely, it also thwarts my efforts to straighten my hair which turns kind of nicely wavy and texturised after using the product. To my surprise I really like what it makes my hair look! And it's a perfect rescue in emergency situations when travelling or when you don't have time to wash and style your hair.

So, to sum up, I think the styling products, especially the root blast thing have won my heart and I'll definitely get it full size, but the shampoo and conditioner aren't worth the effort, let alone the 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, 26 December 2013

The Emu Oil Well Moisturising Eye Cream Review

Today I'd like to review my discovery of the year in eye cream category.
I came across The Emu Oil Well Moisturising Eye Cream quite incidentally when browsing feelunique.com website. The tin packaging and the unfamiliar brand caught my attention, I read a good number of enthusiastic reviews, the price tag seemed more than encouraging so I topped up one of my orders with this eye cream.

When it arrived I was pretty much surprised with how lightweight it was. The customers who bought this cream compared it to a balm, which lead me to believe the consistency of the cream would be thick and greasy. In fact the consistency of the cream resembles whipped cream more than balm and it moisturises the eye area really well without leaving greasy residue. The cream absorbs well and its results last all day. I suffer from dryness under my eyes but when I use this cream I don't notice any dryness throughout the day, even in winter and in heated or air-conditioned areas. 

The manufacturers do not claim that this product reduces wrinkles or puffiness, but I'm sure it keeps eye issues at bay by moisturising the area well. 

I paid £8 for this cream, which is very affordable, especially that instead of the typical 15ml what you get is a jar full of 25g of product. 

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, 23 December 2013

Burberry Body Tender EDT review

I'm a huge fan of the original Burbery Body fragrance so I was more than happy to have the opportunity to test a sample of its new incarnation, called Tender.

I carried out a small test, spraying the original EDP on one wrist and Tender, which I suppose was an EDT, on the other.
At first, the difference was very clear. The very first notes of Tender were much more floral, after they evaporated, the scent became more similar to its parent. It seemed to me almost identical, just more... well... tender!

I know that you shouldn't compare an EDP and an EDT in terms of strength and duration, and indeed, in case of these two fragrances the original one dominated the Tender one mercilessly. The original Body fills in the entire room, whereas you need to come close to the wearer to sense Tender. 

I don't think I really need both of these, they're so alike. I think Tender might be a better choice for those of us who love Burberry Body, but cannot wear killer scents to work.
Fortunately, I don't need to adjust to tastes and requirements of others in my workplace, so I'll stick to my good old Burberry Body in its original form.

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. 

Friday, 20 December 2013

Dior Fusion Mono eyeshadow #281 Cosmos review & swatches

Dior Fusion Mono eyeshadow #281 Cosmos

Years after the appearance of first hybrid eyeshadows, Dior presented to us their take on this kind of product. Released in autumn 2013, the line consists of 7 shades, ranging form pearly whites, through taupes and olives, to blues and grays.
Cosmos and Hypnotique instantly caught my eye, however, inconsistent reviews by other made me pick only one of these in case these aren't worth my money. Cosmos seemed more unique out of these two.

Dior Fusion Mono eyeshadow #281 Cosmos

This eyeshadow is a mix of cream and powder eyeshadow. The consistency is of a hard, bouncey mousse which tends to shrink, come unstuck at the edges and rattle in its tiny jar, even though the product is a brand new release and can't have spent more than a couple of months on the shelf. Fortunately, this doesn't affect the performance at all. The product remains as creamy as expected and turns nicely into powder after allowing decent amount of time for blending.  

Dior Fusion Mono eyeshadow #281 Cosmos

When it arrived, I immediately fell in love with the shade. It's the most gorgeous peacock blue. It seems to me that there's a blackened base to it and tons of green and blue micro glitter, which make this shade so multi dimensional.
Some reviewers described this eyeshadow as sheer. Well, I find the colour pay-off absolutely satisfactory. This eyeshadow applies well with the sponge-tip applicator attached and even better with a finger. Although glittery, it does not produce any fall out nor does it result in glitter all over the face.
I usually use this eyeshadow to accentuate the outer corner, but it also looks great applied all over the lid.
Despite the fact that it's full of glitter it can be worn during the day without looking inappropriate, since it's cool artificial light that makes the glitter come to play.   
When used over a primer, this eyeshadow lasts pretty much all day on my oily, hooded lids.

Dior Fusion Mono eyeshadow in Cosmos is definitely one of my recent favourites. I have a feeling my collection is going to grow.

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, 17 December 2013

Hourglass Immaculate Liquid Powder Foundation in Ivory review

Hourglass Immaculate Liquid Powder Foundation in Ivory

A long, long time ago I realised there's nothing that would keep my fairly oily skin matte for hours, nonetheless, I get easily tricked into buying products which not only promise to tackle my problem, but also receive enthusiastic reviews of other oily-skinned users, who vouchsafe their efficiency and lasting results.

Hourglass Immaculate Liquid Powder Foundation is one of such products.  
Just like all Hourglass products, this foundation is hard to lay hands on due to limited distribution channels, insanely expensive and truly outstanding as far as its packaging is concerned.
The product comes in a metal bottle, which looks like a pressurised container, but in fact it's dispensed with a more traditional pump, which you need to assemble yourself. 

Hourglass Immaculate Liquid Powder Foundation in Ivory

I have very mixed feelings about this foundation, so let me start with the good.

First of all, it needs to be said that this is a truly unique foundation. I've never used anything quite like this before. 
The foundation sets immediately and it really does turn into powder. There's absolutely no need set it with powder. It takes a bit of effort to blends but it's not that hard if you use a soft buffing brush like Real Techniques Expert Face Brush or Hakuro H54, and do a fragment of your face at a time.
The foundation is sheer as far as coverage is concerned, but this is fine by me as I don't suffer from breakouts or blemishes. It feels tight on my face initially, but it's generally quite lightweight, especially that you don't need to add any setting powder. 

Hourglass Immaculate Liquid Powder Foundation in Ivory

Now, on to the bad.
First of all, I found it very hard to find the righ colour match when picking the foundation online. Shade Ivory turned out to be too dark and too orange for my NW20 complexion. Luckily, the foundation is quite seer so I can get away with this slight colour mismatch, but the shade definitely isn't the one for me. 

The second thing I don't quite like is the fact that no matter how dry the foundatio feels in the first place, it does not prevent my oilies from breaking through within an hour or two. And my face looks exactly the same as if I used any other, much cheaper foundation.

I have oily skin all over, with no dry patches etc. so this problem does not concern me personally, but I can see this product accentuating any dry areas you might have, so you'll need to moisturise well prior to use.

What's more, apart from the fact that the packaging is classy and adorable, it also turns out to be impractical. This liquid product turns to solid powder and the pump regularly gets clogged with dried remains of the foundation. You need to press the pump a couple of times before the dispenser spits some foundation out under high pressure, staining everything around. Dry, gooey, caked foundation bits mix with the proper liquid foundation and make flawless application impossible unless you take your time and effort to separate them. I started cleaning the nozzle with a toothpick prior to every use, but this is not what I expect from a high-end and rather pricey product.

And finally I really don't like weird smell, like arabic gum glue we all used to have in my childhood. 

Hourglass Immaculate Liquid Powder Foundation in Ivory

To sum up, I'd like to say that although this isn't a bad foundation at all, the claims, the hype and the price tag made my expectations soar.   
There's also another conclusion related to this foundation. This is by far the most matifying foundation I've ever used, and if this doesn't work for me, nothing will.

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, 16 December 2013

project empties #7

This time, as usual, my empties include mostly skincare items, but I'm proud to say I've used a couple of make-up and nail products as well.
It took me ages to use up The Body Shop Raspberry Shower Gel. You may say that a shower gel is a shower gel and they're all the same. Apart from the lovely scent, I noticed that you need much smaller amount, comparing to the drugstore counterparts. also a small nozzle prevents the excess of the liquid from flowing out.
I've used up another bottle of Bioderma micellar solution and I remain quite faithful to the product, though I tend to drift away from using it to remove eye make-up. Too much effort.
Aussie Miracle Moist conditioner didn't impress me at all. Not only did I find the smell repulsive, but also it left my hair feeling coarse.
I don't normally get excited about things like deodorants. I got RSS Dermo Rassoul in my Glossybox and at first I felt very disappointed. The packaging looked very cheap and not encouraging at all. It turned out to be the best roll-on deodorant I've used. It was gentle and had a lovely soft floral fragrance, which didn't interfere with my perfume.
Clarena Stem Cells cream is another item from the Glossybox. My initial reaction was 'meh', but when I started using it, I noticed that the results exceeded all my expectations. My face felt noticeably smoother and plumped. Very good cream, just a bit too expensive.
I've also used up two creams by  Clinique. Repair Laserwear Focus  is one of the best eye creams ever. It moisturised my eye area well throughout the day and made a lovely base for concealer. Superdefense moisturiser, however, is one of the most horrible moisturisers with high SPF I've used. It leaves white cast and smells horrible. 
The Body Shop Shea Body Butter , like all TBS body butters, is a lovely moisturiser. Quite thick, but effective. And smells gorgeous.
Nivea Make-Up Starter is a very good make-up base. Absorbs immediately, moisturises thoroughly, leaves my face matte, but not dry and feels a bit like a primer.

The only make-up item I've used up this month is MAC Mineralize Skinfinish Natural, which is one of the most overhyped powders in history. I think it didn't do anything to improve the appearance of my skin. What's more it made my oilies break through faster.

Nails Inc Caviar Base Coat didn't improve the condition of my nails. They remained as chipped as they were before. 

Essie Good To Go Top Coat  is nearly as good as Seche Vite. Speeds up the drying process, adds shine, it's readily available in my nearest drugstore. I've already repurchased.

Saturday, 14 December 2013

Hermes Jour d'Hermes EDP review

I'm quite as obsessed with perfume as with make-up so I'm always excited when I have the opportunity to try something new out. 

It says on the packaging that this fragrance is a profusion of flowers, without specifically mentioning any.
And indeed, the first notes strike as intensely floral and somewhat citrusy as well, unfortunately soon after the smell chsnges into something thst reminds me of cheap drugstore soap rather than sophisticated high-end perfume.
The fragrance is quite flat and does not develop any further notes as time goes by. On the contrary, it starts to fade and disappears pretty soon. Very soon, considering the fact that this little sample I used was an EDP, not EDT.

I love light, floral perfumes, but this one has definitely not won its place on my wishlist.

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. 

Friday, 13 December 2013

Straight Sexy Hair shampoo and conditioner review

After changing my hairstyle from naturally curly to straightened I needed, quite obviously, to change my entire haircare routine. 
For the first time in my life I started experimenting with straightening hair products and Straight Sexy Hair shampoo and conditioner were my second pick.

I quite liked the packaging, which, despite being rather simple and unimaginative, is very practical. It's possible to squeeze the bottle or store it upside down to get the product out of the bottle easier. 

A drop of this shampoo produces very rich lather, which is enough to wash my entire hair. My hair immediately feels moisturised and smoothed. I find it easy to comb through my hair with my fingers, even before I apply the conditioner.

I like the fact that the coonditioner works instantly. You don't need to leave it on for a couple of minutes, just rinse right after the application and it makes your head smoother and softer. It isn't meant to restore your hair to better condition, it's function is just to facilitate styling.

Both products have a very pleasant, fruity, peachy smell, which lingers on my hair for quite a while, but without interfering with my perfume. 
What I find weird is the names of the products on the packaging in Polish, and couple of other languages, while Sexy Hair is neither popular nor officially distributed in my country of origin. Nothing else is in Polish, neither the directions of use, nor the list of ingredients. What was the intention of the manufacturer? No idea.

Now, the question is: does this combo really work?
Well, I thought it didn't until I switched to a volumising shampoo by another brand. Only then did I realise that Straight Sexy Hair really did make it straighter, smoother and sleeker. It added some shine too.
This doesn't mean that the shampoo and conditioner made my curly, but easy to style hair permanently straight. Not exactly. Curls keep coming back when humidity of any kind hits my hair or during sleep. 

The reason why I started using a volumising shampoo and conditioner was that although my hair looked nicely straight and shiny after using Straight Sexy Hair, unfortunately it also looked flat and turned greasy way too soon, especially my bangs. This is partly due to my hair touching my horribly oily forehead, but mostly it was because of the shampoo and conditioner as altering my haircare reversed the situation. 

I like this combo a lot, I'd describe it as a good shampoo and conditioner for daily use for somebody with normal to dry hair. I fear the results on oily hair might be disastrous.

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, 11 December 2013

Shiseido Bio-Performance Super Corrective Eye Cream and Benefiance Wrinkle Resist 24 Intensive Eye Contour Cream review

Shiseido Bio-Performance Super Corrective Eye Cream is one of the best undereye moisturisers I've ever used. It is very lightweight, seems almost watery as far as consistency is concerned, however, when you apply the cream you'll notice that it glides on like balm. The results last for ever, my undereye never turns dry, no matter what concealer I use. What's more it's incredibly efficient. I needed only a tiny little drop to cover the area under both eyes.
This cream is only good for people with dry undereye. If dry undereye is not your issue, this cream may seem too greasy and it may interfere with your concealer. For me, it is a life saviour! One of the best eye creams ever!

Shiseido Benefiance Wrinkle Resist 24 is thicker than Bio-Performance and doesn't stay so greasy on the surface. This cream seems to absorb better, but still provides the relevant moisture level.
I must say that I've been using these two samples simultaneously and I cannot make-up my mind which cream to get full size. It seems to me very subjectively that I would prefer to use Benefiance in the morning, while Bio-Performance would make a better night cream for me.

In both cases I strongly recommend these creams for people suffering from dry undereye. If dry undereye is not your issue, I don't really thing you need these. Clinique All About Eyes would provide enough moisture for normal skin types, and it's cheaper. There are also countless good drugstore options. 

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, 10 December 2013

Chanel Joues Contraste #84 Accent review

When I saw Chanel Holiday 2013 collection I immediately knew I needed the little quilted eyeshadow palette and the blush. However, I made my way to Sephora too late. When I got there, with my 20% off offer in hand, it turned out the eyeshadow palette had already been sold out. I didn't even have the chance to sneak a peek.  It's such a pity, the palette didn't seem very unique as far as the colour selection is concerned, but every reviewer pointed out the quality, so I really wanted to dip my fingers in these eyeshadows to see for myself what was so amazing about them.

So, what was left of the collection was the Joues Contraste blush in #84 Accent.
It took me a while to make up my mind whether to get it or not. It swatches very badly and you can see tons of glitter on the surface. I really wasn't sure whether I wanted something that would display no pigmentation at all and turn my face into a disco ball.
Now I know I would've made a terrible mistake if I hadn't finally grabbed it as this is one of the nicest and most unique blushes that I own.

The shade is slightly rosy beige, which makes it closer to a bronzer than to a typical blush. I thought at first that Accent was a dupe of Benefit Rockateur, but it isn't. Rockateur is rosier and contains no glitter, but it has more sheen to it.
I believe the name Accent is perfectly suited to this particular product. Although it looks very sheer when swatched, it's perfectly visible on my NW20 skin. It won't give you rosy glow. I would say it gives very muted, elegant contour, nothing over the top.

In the pan, and when swatched the blush seems to contain a large amount of silver glitter, but I can't see that much of it when applied. I'm not saying it isn't there, but perhaps it would come to play in full sunlight, which is virtually non-existent at this time of the year.

There's also this gorgeous fragrance to the product, not as strong, however, as in the case of the other Joues Contraste I've got. 

All in all, I believe this blush is an excellent work-appropriate cheek colour, which suits my late-autumnal mood perfectly. This blush is a part of Chanel Holliday collection, but I'm not sure if it's festive enough for this season and the carnival time.

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, 9 December 2013

Givenchy Mister Light #4 Mister Macaroon review & swatches

I got this sample quite unexpectedly from the ebayer from whom I bought my Tarte blush palette. I had no idea that samples of such products as highlighter pen existed, so I was very happy to try this product out.

The shade I got was #4 Mister Macaroon, which was definitely too dark for me. It's a dark peach which will work only for deeper skin tones. For me it was darker that most of my foundations and it's supposed to be lighter.
This pen is definitely a highlighter, not a concealer. It's very shimmery and displays strongly luminising properties.
When used under my eyes it offered medium coverage, but it was too dark to look fresh and well-rested.
What I really liked about this highlighter was that it was moisturising and didn't dry my eye area much. I would seriously consider getting this full-size if I thought highlighting my ageing and wrinkling eye area  was a good idea. 

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. 

Sunday, 8 December 2013

Guerlain La Petite Robe Noire review

Today's review is going to be a very short one. 

I was really excited to receive a sample of Guerlain La Petite Robe Noire. 
I'm a very big fan of the brand, so my expectations were very high indeed. 

I read on the packaging that the fragrance is a combination of fresh floral and fruity notes, so I thought I might be interested. However, upon testing the product on my skin I discovered it smelled like soap. Savon Marseille. Then it develops into something slightly more elaborate, feminine and sweet. But the association with soap remains. 
What's more the scent doesn't last long on my skin nor on my clothes. Thank goodness.   

Stay away from this fragrance unless you want to make an impression of someone who's just had a bath and tried to save money on toiletries and resorted to the very basic soap.

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. 

Saturday, 7 December 2013

Maybelline Color Tattoo #260 Matte Brown review & swatches

Maybelline Color Tattoo #260 Matte Brown

I'm a big fan of cream eyeshadows, which I usually use as my eyeshadow bases. They are the best way to alter the shade of an eyeshadow or enhance its performance. 
Matte cream eyeshadows are relatively rare, so when I saw Maybelline Color Tattoo in #260 Matte Brown I immediately knew I needed to have this one in my collection.

It seems like it isn't rocket science to make a plain brown eyeshadow that would suit all tastes and complexions, yet somehow these are incredibly hard to come across. 
Maybelline Matte Brown is exactly this kind of shade.
In the pictures below the camera picked very warm tones in direct sunlight, while away from the sun the eyeshadow looked almost taupe. The swatches below look much more representative.  
Maybelline Color Tattoo #260 Matte Brown (L: in direct sunlight, R: away from the sunlight)

If you look at the swatches, you'll notice that the eyeshadow looks quite dark. It's not that dark when applied, but it's buildable. It's not sheer either. 
This shade looks so beautiful on its own, but it also makes a lovely eyeshadow base which combines well with a plethora of browns and taupes.
The only thing I quite dislike about this eyeshadow is that, just like the other matte Color Tattoo I've got, Permanent Taupe, it seems quite dry. The best method of application is by patting it onto the lid with a finger, which warms the product up a bit, but not by blending it with a brush. When I got my Permanent Taupe, I thought it was close to its expiry date, but Matte Brown is a brand new limited edition release and is just as dry, so I gather this must be a characteristic feature of matte Color Tattoos.  

All in all, this is a beautiful shade. I don't quite understand why Maybelline did not decide to include it in their permanrnt range. There's such a huge demand for matte shades that I believe Matte Brown could become just as successful as their iconic On and On Bronze. Or maybe the company know that they cannot handle their matte shades all that well.

Maybelline Color Tattoo #260 Matte Brown (L: built up, R: one coat)

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, 6 December 2013

MAC Fluidline in Stares and Speculation and Deliciously Rich (Night Divine Collection) review & swatches

I love MAC Fluidlines, but the permanent colour range is quite limited, so when the opportunity to expand my collection presents itself, I grab the new shades available.
This Holiday MAC released two new shades and repromoted one from their permanent line, which I've had for a while.
The new shades are Deliciously Rich and Stares and Speculation. Both make excellent liners, eyeshadow bases and cream eyeshadows. They're soft and creamy, apply evenly, and wear well for hours. I tried to remove the swatches with L'Oreal micellar water and they wouldn't budge. They gave in only after using an oil-based solvent.

Stares and Speculation looks like shimmery pewter but compared with other pewter eyeshadows reveals strong olive undertones (see the comparison with Benefit Holy Smokes! below). I usually wear dark eyeshadows, so this one is usually not dark enough for me to work as a liner, but it makes an excellent eyeshadow base.

Deliciously Rich is a brown shade with golden glitter. This liner looks great when paired with matte neutral eyeshadows and makes a perfect festive all over the lid colour. This Fluidline produces slight glittery fall out under the eyes.

Now, the question is, do you need these? Well, it depends. If you're just completing your basic make-up kit, these aren't the shades you'd go for. But if you're looking for something off the beaten track or something slightly over the top (I mean tons of glitter) these might be the shades for you. 

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, 4 December 2013

Soap & Glory Sexy Mother Pucker Gloss Sticks in Nudist, Plum Jam and Fuchsia-Ristic. Review & Swatches

Soap & Glory Sexy Mother Pucker Gloss Sticks in Nudist, Plum Jam and Fuchsia-Ristic

This post could as well be titled 'Youtube made me buy it". I saw such a number of trustworthy British youtubers rave about Soap & Glory Sexy Mother Pucker Gloss Sticks that I was lead to believe that I was in desperate need of at least one of these chubby crayons. 
Then I saw this gorgeous Holiday set, packed in a lovely vintage-looking tin box and I could resist no longer.
The set consists of three shades: Nudist, Plum Jam and Fuchsia-Ristic.
They all look totally different in the bullet, but as you can see in the picture below, they show hardly any difference when swatched, and even less so when actually applied.
Nudist, is, quite obviously a nude shade. The colour barely shows on my lips, but it gives my lips a slightly beige, neutral tint. I've already used this up, wearing it at home instead of a lip balm. 
Plum Jam looks like it's going to be a very saturated, dark colour. Nothing more misleading. It gives my lips a slightly pink tint, you can try to build it up to get a brighter pink shade, but it will give you the feeling of too much product on your lips.
Fuchsia-ristic looks like scary neon orange, but in fact on my lips it looks exactly the same as Plum Jam. I've even made and experiment to see if I was right and applied one of them on my upper lip, the other one on the bottom. No difference at all.

Soap & Glory Sexy Mother Pucker Gloss Sticks in Nudist, Plum Jam and Fuchsia-Ristic (L to R)

These lip crayons are extremely moisturising. They're the most balm-like product among the wide range of similar pencil-shaped lippies. If you try to build the colour up and apply too much, they can feel quite heavy on the lips.
 True to their name, Sexy Mother Pucker Gloss Sticks offer high shine wet-looking finish, which last for surprisingly long. Maybe it's because the product stays on the surface of the lips, without getting absorbed. I would say that the moisturising effect is visible as long as the lipstick is on, then the lips may return to their chapped shape.
The Gloss sticks have a pleasant faint vanilla scent, which I quite like. 

All in all, I don't regret getting these, the packaging is lovely and I've already used one up as a lip balm. However, you definitely do not need the three of them, Nudist is probably the best pick of them all, I think it's this nice, suit-everyone kind of shade.  
I would recommend these to women for whom wearing colour on their lips is outside their comfort zone and for teenagers who are just beginning their adventure with make-up.

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, 3 December 2013

Tarte Off The Cuff blush and bronzer palette review & swatches

Tarte Off The Cuff blush and bronzer palette

I'd been musing over getting some Tarte Amazonian Clay blush, but the fact that Tarte has no distribution in Europe and the only way to get it was to order one on E-bay for twice the retail price plus p&p successfully put me off the idea.
However, when I saw the Off the Cuff Holiday palette, I treated it as a now or never oppotrunity to get my hands on not one but four blushes and a bronzer.

The five products come in a gorgeous palette, which looks like a clutch bag I'd love to take with me for carnival parties. It's shimmery silver with a small logo in the corner and comes tied with a black band with a gold bow, which actually turns out to be a cute bracelet.
The palette has a magnetic closure, which works surprisingly well, and a large mirror in the lid.

The blushes themselves are all embossed with Tarte signature print, symbolising a jungle and there's 4.5g of product in each pan.
CRAVE is a vivid coral pink, matte. I feel this shade will be my spring favourite.
DAZZLED is a dark mauve with with golden sparkle, which somehow fails to fransfer onto the skin. It might also be just an overspray since the deeper I dig, the less pronounced the shimmer becomes. If used with moderation this shade makes a lovely cheek colour for the autumn. 
DARLING is a dark peach shade, matte. This is the second favourite of mine for autumn.
DOLLFACE is a very bright, cool-toned dollish pink, matte. I can see myself using this quite often on cold, frosty days yet to come.
And PARK AVE PRINCESS is a medium-dark bronzer which is a perfect neutral brown colour, which leans neither too orange nor too muddy gray. I use it both for contouring and adding warmth all over my face.

Tarte Off The Cuff blush and bronzer palette

I was suprised by how dark and how cool-toned the shades selected for the palette are. Only Dollface is on the lighter side, while others are definitely dark, and no shade, even the peach and coral ones, displays warm, orangey tones. I'm more than happy to get such a selection of shades as they match my complexion better.

This came as no surpprise to me that these blushes are insanely pigmented. I would actually like them to be less so. I usually take small amount of ptoduct on my blush brush, then dab it on the back of my hand, and only then I start applying the blush onto my cheeks. If I don't do that I inevitably end up looking like a clown and spend hours trying to blend the red patches away from my cheeks. 
Apart from the overpigmentation issue, the blushes are of excellent quality. They blend well and wear pretty much all day. They are soft and the brush picks the desired amount of product without kicking off clouds of dust. 

My purchase was definitely not on the cheap side, but considering the fact that I got five products instead of one and paid for the shipping only once makes it good value for money. Now that my curiosity is satisfied, I won't order any more Tarte products, unless they open their distribution here, even though I'm completely satisfied with the quality of the blushes. Just can't afford them.

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, 2 December 2013

Caudalie Vinoperfect Enzymatic Peel Mask review

I received this Caudalie Vinoperfect Enzymatic Peel Mask together with one of my purchases and after trying this out I feel I definitely need to get it full size as soon as I've used up all peels and scrubs I've accumulated, mainly thanks to the Glossybox.

I applied the mask all over my face and left on for about 10 minutes. After rinsing my face felt smoother than ever before. The mask is very gentle, it does not contain any abrasive particles or hydrogen peroxide or soda (like some Korean enzymaytic peels do).
The product has a kind of thick whipped consistency and a pleasant fruity smell.

The Enzymatic Peel Mask is the third or fourth product by the brand that I've had the opportunity to test or use and I must say I've never been disappointed. I've put a number of Caudalie products on high positions of my wishlist and will definitely order once the need for these specific products arises. The Enzymatic Peel Mask is definitely one of them.

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.

Sunday, 1 December 2013

Palmers Natural Bronze Body Lotion review

I've noticed the appearance of Palmer's cosmetics in certain Polish drugstores and started wondering whether to get one of their self-tanners to try out.
While I was still hesitating, the Glossybox made the decision for me and sent me a travel-sized bottle of their Natural Bronze Body Lotion.

It surprised me how effective this lotion was after one use. It definitely changed my skin colour overnight, and it stayed tanned for incredibly long. This is quite unusual with gradual self-tanners, which are meant to be used daily. I used this moisturiser two or three times a week as using it more often could produce ridiculous results. 
What I was not very enthusiastic about was the strong cocoa fragrance, which was so intense that it seemed artificial. But scents are a matter of personal taste and I do realize other people do not need to find this particular one unpleasant.
Unfortunately, there are also two things that I really didn't like and which managed to put me off quite successfully. One is the yellow shade of the tan, which looked very unnatural on my cool-toned and very white skin (on my legs in particular), and the second is the way my body smelled the day after. The strong cocoa fragrance masks the odour of self tanner for a couple of hours, but then it comes out and is very strong and unpleasant.

I believe this tanning moisturiser might look good on olive-toned skin, on mine it didn't look natural at all. I would be prepared to bear the smell of my own skin if the results were satisfactory. 
St Tropez remains invincible as far as tan shade is concerned.


Saturday, 30 November 2013

Clarins The Essentials Palette for Autumn 2013 review

Clarins The Essentials Palette

I've recently picked a couple of limited edition items which I haven't had the opportunity to review, so I've decided to take advantage of the fact that I'm on a sick leave and catch up with these reviews before these products are completely sold out. 

The first one is The Essentials palette, which was released this autumn. I was attracted to this palette as the selection of nudes and neutrals seemed rather cool-toned, with a variety of taupes and reddish browns.
The palette comes in a lovely, lightweight cardboard packaging with an elastic band which ties the lid securely and prevents the palette from incidental opening.
There's also a double-ended natural fibre brush, whiuch is one of the most usable brushes included in such palettes. It won't do the blending well, but for patting the eyeshadows onto the lids it's perfectly fine. 
Inside the palette you'll find a transparent foil with pictorial instructions on how to use the eyeshadows to create a subtle and a more bold look, which is so unclear that I couldn't make head nor tail of it and never attempted to follow the instructions.

The comparison to the iconic Naked palettes is inevitable. The Essentials palette is closer to the Naked 2 one as it offers a set of rather cool-toned eyeshadows. There are 12 eyeshadows in the Naked palettes, while The Essentials offer only 10, but they are wider, so they're easier to use. The proportion of matte shades to the shimmery ones is similar, there are only two matte shades in the Clarins one. But the advantage of The Essentials is that almost none of the shimmery shadows is glittery or frosty  (with the exception of shade2). Most of the eyeshadows are buttery shimmers/satins that produce less fall out than the UD eyeshadows, but the're also less pigmented. I'm not saying they aren't pigmented, but the winners definitely are their Naked counterparts. The thing with the pigmentation of The Essentials is that they seem more pigmented when swatched with fingers, but on my lids they seem to have much more subtle effect, so I often use cream eyeshadows as a base to enhance the performance. But the possibility to achieve a subtle look is not a bad thing by any means.
A couple of shades in The Essentials palette seem to be lighter and darker variations of the same colour (shades 5 & 8 and 9 & 7 in particular). 
What is missing in the palette are definitely a matte light brown blending colour and a very dark, almost black or black shade to accentuate outer corners or line the eyes. I tend to use darker shades on my eyes and I find it very difficult to contrast the medium-dark shades with something somewhat darker.  The colours don't look more intense nor dark, just a kind of different shade.
 I'd say that if I were to choose, I'd go for any of the Naked palettes, but it's a very nice palette overall which would make a lovely Christmas gift for make-up lovers.

Clarins The Essentials Palette

#1. is a matte yellow, slightly peachy beige which refused to show up on my skin.
#2. is a frosty yellow champagne colour
#3. is a more peachy champagne shade with irridescent, shimmery finish
#4. is a very pretty and unique shade. It's a rosy brown, matte. I love this shade as my all-over-the lid colour. It looks like one of the darkest shades in the palette, but once on the lid the colour is much lighter. Blends perfectly and is not chalky at all, which is a rare thing when talking about matte eyeshadows.
#5. is a very light shimmery taupe, a nice shade for those who like light make-up, I blend it with darker shades to get the tone I want.
#6. is the warmest shade here, it's a shimmery brown eyeshadow with olive undertones.
#7. looks in the pan like a shimmery counterpart of #4 but in fact it is much darker. It's a rather dark reddish drown. I like this shade very much.
#8 is a medium-dark taupe with shimmer. Looks like a darker version of #5.
#9 fits in the same colour family as #4 and #7. It seems to be a rosy taupe, which is a shimmery variation of #4.
#10 is the darkest shade in the palette. I'd describe it as warm, dark pewter with shimmer. Very similar to Urban Decay Darkhorse.

Clarins The Essentials Palette

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.