Sunday, 29 September 2013

Biotherm Aquasource Non-stop SOS emergency hydration mask review

Biotherm is a kind of underdog brand in my opinion. Everyone's raving about Bioderma, Origins, Kiehls, Eve Lom, Elemis, countless French pharmacy brands, but no one seems to mention Biotherm.

Biotherm was the first high-end skincare brand I used back in my mid-twenties and I loved it. Then I somehow fell out of the habit of buying their products and was attracted to many other brands - drugstore and others, depending on my finances - never to return to Biotherm, except for last holidays when I received a couple of jumbo-sized samples from

The Aquasourse Non-Stop sos mask, which I'm about to review today, is yet another great product from the brand.
It looks like a lightweight white cream, when you apply it it does feel and look like a highly mousturising cream, with no white cast or residue. You need to keep it on for about 15 minutes to allow it to work and then just wipe the excess with a damp cotton pad. The instructions don't mention following it with a regular moisturiser, so I don't.

First of all, what I liked about this mask was that although it's highly moisturising, it didn't make my oily skin greasy. I could use this in the morning and still follow with my make-up routine, which remained unaffected by so highly moisturising a mask.
And secondly, it made my skin feel amazing! This masks gives an immediate sensation of comfort and pleasure due to its lightweight consistency and gorgeous scent. After wiping the product off my skin looks glowy, but not oily and feels sooo smooth and supple.

This mask targets all skin types in need of quenching. I usually use clay masks to target my pores and oiliness, but this one felt so amazing on my skin that I'm considering getting it full size. A little goes a long way, so I think it might be well worth the investment.

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, 28 September 2013

Chanel Le Blush Creme de Chanel in #65 Affinite review

This year has marked the appearance of a large number of cream to powder blushes on the cosmetic market. I have oily skin and the typical cream blushes didn't work for me and I've always stayed away from them, but the cream to powder ones are quite another story.

I'm generally drifting away from the more pigmented blushes and I'm experimenting with the paler ones so I actually wanted to get the fairest one out of the six Chanel shades, but it was sold out. So I got #65 Affinite instead.
The blush comes in a lovely compact, which is smaller and leaner than the regular Chanel Joues Contraste box. The shade of the blush was hard to photograph, as you can see below in different lighting conditions my camera picked different tones. I would describe the shade as slightly coraly, bright pink. The blush is very pigmented, so do be careful or else you'll end up looking like a clown.
I like the formula very much and I feel it's much easier to work with than the typical creamy one. Although the blush looks and feels like a cream blush in the pan, it turns to powder while blending. There's no greasy shine or glow. It seems to me fingers are the best applicators here, they buff the product well into the skin and allow controlled application, cause, as I've said, the blush is easy to exaggerate with.
I feel it also performs better than the typical cream blushes, looks less streaky on my cheeks and I don't notice bald patches.
This is not the longest-wearing blush in my collection, but it lasts on my cheeks for 5-6 hours, which I find pretty satisfactory.

All in all, I'm excited about this new formula of cream-to-powder blushes and I'm planning to get some more. I hope Chanel bring out some more shades to choose from in the future. 

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

Friday, 27 September 2013

Why do you need so many brushes? Part one: face brushes

Why do you need so many brushes is one of the most frequently asked questions by the visitors to my home. The thing is that my other make-up stuff is neatly hidden in the drawers and the brushes stand up proudly and shamesly and catch everybody's attention. They instantly reveal my hobby, which many people believe to be nonsensical and I guess I should be ashamed of. If I collected stamps or stickers, that would be a different matter, but make-up?
Kozlowski R-CB 635

So, I repeat the question again: why I need so many brushes? Because they all serve a different purpose. Because sometimes a product which seems crappy simply needs the right tool to use it with. Because you may achieve different results using the same product. Because they are pretty and please my eye when I look at them.

This is going to be my attempt to do a 'favourite brushes' post, but I'd like to approach the topic from a slightly different angle. Today I'm about to discuss the face brushes that I use daily, and expect a similar post about eye brushes in the near future.
Real Techniques Expert Face Brush and Hakuri H54

For liquid foundation I like dense synthetic duo fibres like Hakuro H54 or Real Techniques Expert Face Brush, which buff the product flawlessly into the skin and offer fairly high coverage. Synthetic brushes don't 'eat' foundation and are easy to wash and reshape.
For sheerer coverage I can obviously recommend using a stippling brush like this one by ELF, though I tend to reach for the two buffing brushes mentioned above much more often.
If my foundation tends to settle in the pores I always grab any drugstore sponge wedge and dab it all over my face. This simple trick helps remove excess product which would later clog my pores and stimulate sebum production. Removing excess foundation prevents setting powder from caking and oxidising.
Some foundations actually look better when applied with sponges, eg. the Beauty Blender which provide more even and less excessive coverage. When my foundation underperforms, looks streaky or migrates on my face, I always try different methods of application and in most cases with the appropriate tools you can get the most wanted results.
Hakuro H14 and Hakuro H55

Other cream face products will also need synthetic brushes. Cream bronzers are pretty rare on the cosmetic market, but I happen to own the Bronzing Primer by Bourjois which I apply either with my HakuroH55 (large fluffy brush) when I want to add some all-over summer glow to my face, or the tapered HakuroH14 to contour. These two brushes are perfect for cream products, but they don't perform so well with powders. Powders don't seem to cling to the soft and smooth bristles so the brushes pick very little product.  
Sephora Mineral Powder Brush and a flat foundation brush (left) and Real Techniques Duo Fiber Contour Brush (right)

Cream blushes are very difficult to work with, they tend to slide off my face when blending leaving bold patches where I blended them too much, which is usually in the middle of my cheek. I figured out that patting the blush onto my cheeks with a flat foundation brush like this fake MAC 190 (yes, I got a fake MAC brush set on e-bay when I was just getting into make-up, thinking I'd grabbed a bargain) or with a small buffing brush like Sephora Mineral Powder Brush. For a sheerer wash of colour I like to use the small Real Techniques Duo Fiber Contour Brush. This brush is no good for contouring with powders, but for patting on a blush it's perfectly fine.
ELF Studio Kabuki, Studio Stippling Brush, Bamboo Powder Brush, Studio Powder Brush and a no-name powder brush

Once you are done with all your cream products you may want to dust your face with some powder. My absolute and all time favourite in this department is the large and fluffy ELF Studio Kabuki Brush to use both with loose and pressed powders.  For a sheerer coverage I grab one of my ELF powder brushes or their stippling brush to apply even less powder. I generally like soft, and non-prickly brushes and having one of those mentioned above is quite enough to use with most powder products I own, however, there are some pressed powders which are  much harder and require tools that will dig into the product with their not-so-soft bristles eg. this cheap no-name drugstore brush with quite sturdy and kind of rugged hair which I believe is goat. I use this brush with my Chanel Les Beiges powder, which is really hard to dig out of the pan, while using this brush with my Hourglass ambieng Lighting Powder would be a terrible mistake as it would send clouds of dust in all directions, waste tons of expensive product and turn my face all moon-white.
ELF Studio Kabuki and Maestro 155

 Now time to add a bit of shape and colour. I'd normally start with a bronzer which I like to apply with a full, round brush like the ELF kabuki mentioned earlier. I've got two of these kabukis, but one of them is substantially smaller and this is the one I use for bronzer. When I want to contour, just like with cream bronzers, I like to use a round tapered brush (Maestro155), but this time the brush is made of goat hair. This kind of brush picks the right amount of pressed bronzer and fits in the hollows under my cheeks well and makes it possible for me to draw the contouring 3s from my forhead to my chin effortlessly. Initially I used my Hakuro14 for that purpose, but I find that the Maestro does a better job when using a product of harder consistency, like the NYX blush in Taupe. If I used something more pigmented or softer I'd reach for the Hakuro to avoid exaggerated results.

ELF Bamboo Mini Kabuki and Kozlowski R-CB 635

On to some blush. I prefer to build up some colour rather than look like a clown, that's why I use a small and not very dense brush and my trusty one turns out to be ELF bamboo kabuki. This brush is meant for powder foundations, but I cannot really imagine buffing anything with something so feeble, whereas it's perfect for light-handed blush application. For blushes that lack in the pigmentation department or are less powdery I use my extravagant Kozlowski R-CB 635 made of racoon hair. This is a large, rounded, angled brush which is nice and soft but can be prickly if you rub it up the wrong way. Thanks to this feature it picks a nice amount of product and helps to blend it well. The shape of the brush would adjust to all cheek sizes, the more you press, the larger the circle you can draw will be.
ELF Studio Fan Brush

And finally something to highlight. I have oily skin and what I want the least is shine, that's why I rarely reach for my highlighters. When I do, I want to go very lighthandedly and use a fan brush from ELF Studio line.  

The Body Shop kabuki brush

I hardly ever use powder foundations, I've got only two of them in my possession and I rarely reach for them. But when I do I go for The Body Shop kabuki brush, which is a very dense brush made of natural bristles, which aren't as soft and fluffy as ELF kabuki, but stand upright. This brush picks a lot of product when swirled around, buffs the foundation in perfectly and allows to achieve really high coverage. Some people use ELF Studio kabuki to apply mineral foundation, I've tried that, and believe me working with the Body Shop's brush is more efficient and just quicker. Instead of adding layers and layers you achieve the coverage you want in one go.

I admit that in my collection there are some some brushes that are dupes of one another, but most of them were bought in sets and I usually bought the sets because they contained other brushes which I found so useful that I bought the entire set. Sometimes getting a set is also cheaper than buying individual brushes.

Sometimes you need a brush of a particular shape not because you like it that much but it's the only tool that matches fancy packaging. For example, like in the picture above the flat, angled brush attached by the manufacturer cannot be used to swirl the rainbow colours of the blush together. The large domed brush in the top right corner is first of all too big, and secondly thanks to its rounded, pointed shape it touches the blush right in the middle, digging a hole in the very centre without picking much of the multi-coloured blush. The flat angled brush, however, indispensible to use with the oval-shaped blush in the bottom left corner. A small rounded brush in the bottom right picture fits in perfectly and makes it possible to pick all the colours at the same time.

Another reason why I have so many brushes is that I don't use the same brush for powder, bronzer and blush. When I do I notice that my bronzer goes on powdery sheer and  in the end my blush loses its original colour and turns all muddy.

And the final reason why you need backups for your face brushes is that they take ages to dry. The drying time ofmost of  my brushes is about 2 days or even longer, so in  the meanwhile I need to use something else instead.

You must have also noticed that I use a lot of face brushes by ELF. I bought a couple of sets over 3 years ago and I believe they are some of the most versatile, high-quality and affordable brushes ever. I reach for them all the time, wash them thoroughly and regularly and never had any issues with them, that's why I've never felt the urge to replace them with Sigmas or MACs. Perhaps in the future.

Thursday, 26 September 2013

Aussie 3 Minute Miracle Reconstructor review

While I wasn't really that enthusiastic about the Aussie Miracle Moist Conditioner, reviewed here, my opinion about the brand's 3 Minute Miracle Reconstructor is way better!
Although unfortunately Aussie is consistent with the scent of their products, which I find highly unpleasant, their 3 Minute Reconstructor is a very good conditioner for dry and damaged hair. 
After having the product on for about 3 minutes my hair feels softer, it's more manageable and less tangled, and there's noticeable shine.
 The only thing is that, as it is the case with most hair products, you need to choose volume or shine. I have never used a hair product that would provide both at the same time (but then I'm no hair specialist, I'm only talking about my personal experience in the area).  Hair products make hair look shinier because they coat it with oils that help nourish and reconstruct. Unfortunately, the consequence of that is that the oils weigh the hair down and make it look flat. When I wore my hair curly I didn't notice a thing, but now that I straighten my hair, it goes totally flat the day after. So I spray it with a dry shampoo to add volume, but this takes away the shine. And a vicious circle begins...
To the point, I admit that the Aussie 3Minute is an excellent product, but I just wish someone came up with a volumising shampoo/conditioner which adds shine, or the other way round. 

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, 25 September 2013

Urban Decay All Nighter Makeup Setting Spray review

I bought a small bottle of Urban Decay All Nighter setting spray cause everybody was raving about how good it is at keeping your oilies at bay and prolonging the wear time of my make up, especially in the summer. Someone thought of me, I thought and grabbed one (oh, actually there were two of them, but I haven't used the other one yet) to see if it is any good.

Well, I've used it all up during the hot summer months and I must say this left me unimpressed. I'm not saying this doesn't work, perhaps it does. The thing is that after reading all these reviews I was lead to believe that this spray was going to solve all my skin problems. 
I didn't feel that my face stayed shine-free for much longer than without setting it with the spray. As everyone with oily skin knows, nothing keeps oil at bay. And neither does Urban Decay All Nighter. The search for something to have long-lasting mattifying resultd on oily skin is futile.

It's hard for me to say whether my All Nighter prevented my make-up from melting, cracking, fading or setting into fine lines. I suppose it did, but when I go out to work or at night I usually reach for high quality, long lasting foundations which perform well on their own, so there's no way of knowing whether the fact that my make-up looked good indeed can be attributed to the performance of foundations and setting powders or the results of spraying my face with the UD All Nighter. Let's assume that the All Nighter played some role in keeping my make-up in shape.

So, will I repurchase? Probably not. The spray was all right, it felt comfortable on my skin, the dispenser sprayed very fine mist, which didn't form large drops on my face, there was hardly any fragrance, so I didn't find that irritating. The thing is that the results of using the spray weren't spectacular enough to convince me.  

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

Tuesday, 24 September 2013

Syoss Shine Hairspray review

This is definitely the last time I've bought anything from Syoss. Neither their shampoos nor hair colouring stuff has satisfied me and now the hairspray turned out to be the last straw.

This review is going to be quick, as there's not much to say. 
The spray barely keeps the hold. A minor wind messes my hair up horribly.

I suppose it does actually work as far as adding shine to my hair is concerned, but it's at the cost of making it look greasy and lie pathetically flat on my head. I can do without the shine, but greasy hair in the morning? Yuck.

Inhaling this thing ends up with bitter taste in my mouth for hours. I hold my breath, spray my hair andf then rush out of the bathroom so as not to breathe and of the spray in.

I did manage to use this thing up, but I won't repurchase.

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

Sunday, 22 September 2013

John Frieda Luxurious Volume Visibly Fuller Touchably Softer blow out spray review

Before I start my review I need to say that I have curly hair and never wore it straight until a month ago when my hairdresser suggested straightening it for a change. She sprayed my hair with some pro-spray and dried it using a round brush and it looked amazing. 
Unfortunately, when I tried to style it the same way myself my hair looked flat and greasy.
I got myself a travel-size John Frieda Luxurious Volume spray and it changed the way my hair looked.
You spray this volumiser onto damp hair and blow dry.
This is a very lightweight spray which is undetectable on my hair. When I sprayed it first time I wondered how it was supposed to work as I couldn't feel it on my hair at all. 
When dried my hair was slightly lifted at the roots, non-frizzy and looked visibly fuller. What's more it looks equally well the day after! 
The spray has a fresh scent, which doesn't linger on long.

Excellent spray, I'm definitely going to get it full size.

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.

Saturday, 21 September 2013

J. Del Pozo Halloween Blue Drop EDP review

I got a sample of one of the countless incarnations of J. del Pozo Halloween Blue Drop perfume. 
The original one has been on my wishlist ever since I saw it for the first time on a ferry carrying me from Calais to Dover, but the Blue Drop has nothing in common with the purple one except the shape of the bottle. I find this one highly imitative of Dolce &Gabana Light Blue, which brings to my mind memories of a certain summer when everyone wore the scent, though I never liked it and never bought it for myself. 

Not my favourite fragrance at all, but if you liked Light Blue and you need a cheap replacement I'd seriously consider Halloween Blue Drop. It wore well on my skin, lasted good 6 hours, and on my clothes till the next day at least. There's nothing innovative about the scent, but it makes a decent budget buy in the perfume department.

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 September 2013

project empties #3

It's time for another empties post!  Much of the stuff I've used up is summer-related and some items have been with me for ages!

Let's start with skincare:
my kids and I have used up Biore UV Mild sunscreen. We all loved this stuff, it applied and absorbed so easily and Adam, who suffers from skin allergies, never showed symptoms of being allergic to Biore.
Scottish Fine Soaps Oatmeal Body Butter would have received a HG status in my bathroom if it wasn't mineral oil based. 
Tolpa Dermo Face Strefa T is a mattifying cream by a Polish pharmacy brand. Excellent stuff, smells gorgeous, mattifies well while keeping skin moisturised. Sold in aluminium tubes like an ointment, which are meant to preserve sensitive ingredients better.
Lierac Energsing Smoothing Fluid was a lovely, lightweight treat for my face, unfortunately only in sample size.
Biotherm Aquasource gel was a great source of moisture for sun-drenched skin. I loved the gel consistency and primer-like finish it gave to my skin.
Nivea lip butter is my favourite lip balm of all times. No essential oils to irritate my throat, no dryness after the product absorbed. I will definitely repurchase once I've used up the lip balms that were sent to me in Glossyboxes.

My make-up empties are not always empties in the strict sense. My NYX single eyeshadow in True Taupe got shattered and I incidentally threw the contents out not realising it got THAT smashed. Pity, cause this was my favourite crease shade and I used it daily.
The other not-exactly-empty product was the Smashbox Photo Finish Targeted Primer, which was simply off. I didn't like this stuff at all and I didn't use it. Now came the time for this product to make its way to the bin.
Guerlain Champs Elysees is another oldie in my empties box. I loved it when I bought it, then, its evident rosiness put me off for years, this summer I rediscovered the fragrance and found it rather nice and refreshing. 
The blue mascara by Chanel turned out to be such a disappointment. Not only did it dry out pretty fast, but also the tube seemed half empty from the start. The brush didn't pick the product from the tube well, or it was never there from the start. The only good things about the mascara were the shade and the fact that it I did actually swim wearing it and it never smudged or budged.

Nars Velvet Gloss Lip Pencil in New Lover and Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain in Honey seemed such lovely summery shades to go that I used them daily when taking the kids out to the playground or to the beach.

There's also one hair product in my empties box. This is the travel size John Frieda Luxurious Volume spray which really does add volume to fine and flat-looking hair, while being totally undetectable when you touch your hair. Excellent stuff. Now I'm using a John Frieda Luxurious Volume Mousse, which is also very good, but I somehow feel the spray did a better job on fine hair like mine.

Thursday, 19 September 2013

Real Techniques Expert Face Brush review

The Real Techniques Expert Face Brush belongs to the family of  my favourite foundation brushes. When I say 'family' I mean rounded, dense-bristled brushes like Sephora Mineral Powder Brush or Hakuro H54. Expert Face Brush differs from the other two in two respects: it's flatter and more dense than Sephora and Hakuro.

The brush is actually very pretty and looks much more playful than the plain black brushes I mentioned earlier. The handle is made of matte orange aluminium and the base is kind of rubbery. It's also wider at the bottom so the brush may stand upright on its own, however, I keep all my brushes in whisky glasses and they are doing perfectly fine there. 

The bristles of the brush are soft and dense, that's why they don't bend sideways when applying foundation. The brush feels pleasant on the face and buffs foundation in flawlessly. Due to its flatter shape it reaches all hard-to-reach areas so well that I don't need any smaller brushes to cover the areas on the sides of my nose etc.  
I think I don't even need to mention that it doesn't shed and retains its original shape after washing.

This brush has gained the status of my favourite foundation brush and my Sephora brush has now been moved to cream blush department and I use Hakuro for contouring with cream bronzer.

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.

Aussie Miracle Moist Shampoo and Conditioner review

Yeah, I know. Everyone knows these already. 
But let me explain why I'm writing this review. Once upon a time in London I bought an Aussie mouse for curly hair which I loved dearly. I run out of the mousse, got tons of other products and never thought I would ever be able to buy anything Aussie in Poland.
Imagine my surprise when I saw ads connected with the launch of the brand in one of the most popular high street shops here. The mouse was not among the range of the products available, but sentiments prevailed and since my hair had sustained serious damage due to dying it white, I thought Miracle Moist line would suit my purposes well.

 The first thing I noticed was the smell which I immediately associated with cheap disinfectants used in public toilets. Hubby said the fragrance was unpleasant, but not that bad, so maybe it's just me. Unfortunately it's one of the longest-lasting hair product scents I've ever encountered.

Apart from the scent I quite liked the shampoo. It produces rich lather, so a little goes a long way. It seems truly moisturising, my hair is smooth and detangled during washing and I hardly need a conditioner to make it manageable.

The conditioner smells exactly the same, which is good cause I can't imagine what would happen it I actually mixed two different fragrances. I have reasons to suspect that the concoction might actually be unbearable.
As far as performance is concerned, it seems to me that it leaves my hair feeling more coarse than before using the conditioner.

All in all I didn't notice any substantial improvement in my hair condition, however, it felt soft and manageable. The shampoo was a much better buy of the pair, but I think that generally you can get much better hair products, both drugstore and pro.

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 September 2013

Korean goodies: Etude House Happy Essential Foam review

I bought the Etude House Happy Essential Foam in travel size when I was planning out trip to Warsaw, but I like the product so much that I wish I'd bought the full-size version.
This foam is actually a thick white-pearly cream which starts foaming once you mix it with water. The thick foam cleanses my skin pretty well without making it overly dry. 
If you're familiar with any Korean cleansing foams you'll know what the skin feels like after using the product. Etude House Happy reminds me of a number of Skinfood cleansers, which give your skin a rubbery feel, which I haven't experienced after using any European foam washes and which is so hard to describe if you haven't tried the product. However, I've noticed that this foam wash leaves my skin more moisturised than after using similar products by Skinfood, and that's probably due to the high content of Hyaluronic Acid.
Those of you who are fragrance-sensitive may complain about the strong and obviously artificial floral scent. Well, since my skin isn't sensitive, and I like my cosmetics to smell nice as they give me the feeling of being pampered so I must say I really do like the way this foam smells.
I can honestly recommend this product, but whether I will repurchase is another matter. I don't get attached to one brand or one product, I like trying things out as I believe there are many good products out there that are worth discovering. 

Monday, 16 September 2013

Embryolisse Lait-creme Concentre review

Embryolisse Lait-Creme Concentre is a day/night cream for all skin types. When I read 'for all skin types', i'm immediately alarmed the cream is not meant for my oily skin to be used during the day. 
This cream was different. It's quite liquidy in consistency, but it felt pretty rich on my skin at first. Once absorbed it turned to a semi-matte finish which would feel comfortable on all skin types, including mine. I wore it under make-up and it performed really well.
However, although it felt good on my skin I saw no further benefits that would hook me and make me want to use a full-sized product. It was all right, but nothing special. I even scanned the list of ingredients, which I radely do, to look for some amazing ingredients that would guarantee something special, but to my lay eye th, apart from one or two natural ingredients, there appeared only names of some chemicals.
The cream was all right, but nothing special. 

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.

Institut Esthederm Sun Sheen Intense Tan Self-Tanning Body Jelly review

As the summer is definitely waning, last night I decided to try out the last self-tanning product in my stash. I received this sample when shopping at Cult Beauty so I gather this is some kind of high-end or French pharmacy product. I haven't actually bothered to check as I know I won't be getting any super expensive tanning products in the future.

I used this product on my legs, which are super white and the results of any tanners are most visible there. I used my Garnier mitt to apply.
So what have I found out?

The product has a lightweight gel consistency, which is quite tinted, though the shade is so golden brown patrly thanks to the presence of gold shimmer in it.
The jelly absorbed almost immediately, leaving my skin dry to touch, which is great if you're in a hurry and need to put your clothes on immediately.
I noticed that the tan I got is streak free and the product doesn't seem to build up on my knees or feet.
The product has a very nice smell, which is not too strong, but it successfully masks any smell of typical self-tan products.

It seems to me that the tan shade is quite yellow. This might be imperceptible on warmer skin tones, but with my pink complexion yellow legs look quite unnatural.
The shimmer is not obvious once applied, I inspected my legs carefully and it was barely there. It doesn't gove my legs the glow that shimmer oils do. 
This product doesn't claim to provide any skincare benefits and I don't think it offers any. It didn't feel moisturising nor did it make my legs feel particularly smooth. 

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, 15 September 2013

The Body Shop Raspberry Shower Gel review

I rarely buy expensive shower gels because I think cheaper ones are just as good and I don't think they offer enough skincare benefits that would justify the price. 
However, a 50% off offer induced me to get the Raspberry Shower Gel from The Body Shop.
The basic reason why the product is worth having is the scent. If you like raspberries this thing is for you. It smells so natural and raspberry-like that the manufacturer has even placed a warning that this is a skincare product and is not meant to be eaten or drunk. For me using this gel is one of the greatest bath-time pleasures.
Apart from the beautiful fragrance I noticed that this gel foams better than many drugstore ones and a little goes a long way so it lasts much longer. Also the nozzle is pretty narrow, which helps you control the amount of product you use. I've banned all my boys from using this shower gel so I can exactly measure how long it lasts for. I've been using it daily for over a month now and there's still half left. Considering all this I must say that this product is good value for money (especially if you buy it at half the price).
If you are looking for some extraordinary skincare benefits, like anti-cellulite, moisturising etc, well, there are none. It's meant to give you the pleasure of washing your body and that's fine by me.
I didn't think I would become addicted to shower gels from The Body Shop, but it seems to me I'll try some different fragrance when I run out of this one.  

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.

Saturday, 14 September 2013

Korean goodies: Elisha Coy Skin Repairing Snail Cream review

Snail creams (and not only) are a big hype in the world of Korean cosmetics. I haven't tried any of them so when we started planning to go on holiday by train, which meant the need to travel light, I ordered a set of samples of Elisha Coy Snail Repairing Cream.

I must say that the cream disappointed me a lot. The consistency is a bit on the watery side which absorbs easily, which is obviously good, but I expected the cream to be way more moisturising. It just sinks in and that's it. I didn't notice any results. No particular smoothness, suppleness, softness, disappearance of pores or wrinkles, anyhting really.

What's more there's this weird scent. I don't associate it with snail secretion at all as I know it's completely odourless. To me this cream smells of soap marseille, which didn't bother me at first but the longer I used the cream the more revolting the smell became. I used only 8-9 samples, I can't imagine having to use up the whole jar. This is obviously a personal thing, but couldn't it have been more floral?

I definitely won't purchase this cream, but this experience has taught me to get samples before buying a full-size products.  

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, 13 September 2013

Roberto Cavalli Acqua EDT review

I love perfume so I was extremely excited to get this mini-product in my Glossybox a good couple of months ago.
Unfortunately, apart from the beautiful packaging, which screamed holiday on the beach there was nothing I liked about this scent.
I'm no good at describing fragrance, but this one reminded me of nothing, so I reached for the description to help me figure out what I'm supposed to smell and I found water, yasmine, lemon, lily of the valley and musk among the notes. I can't sense any of them. I'm familiar with all of them but I what does water smell like?
Call me weird, but the only association that this fragrance brings to my mind is balm, whatever it means. Something heavy and greasy. But, to my surprise, my hubby's associations were exactly the same.
The perfume is supposed to be a summer fragrance, but I find it very heavy and far from being refreshing.
What's more the fragrance doesn't last on my skin long, but does it really matter since I don't like it anyway?

All in all, this is by far the worst perfume I've ever used. It's not sophisticated at all, smells heavy but of nothing in particular, the only nice thing about is the bottle (though not exactly my taste either) and the fact that I got this little vial for free.

Thursday, 12 September 2013

Avon Mega Effects mascara in Blackest Black review

When I first saw the pictures of Avon Mega Effects mascara I knew this was not meant for me. Imagine my surprise and moxed feelings when I discovered it on the bottom of my Glossybox. At first I didn't even want to try it out. I thought I'd have a giveaway to get rid of it without opening the box so that it wouldn't show any signs of tampering with it. 
But then my curiosity won.

The box, which said the shade was "the blackest black" revealed the weirdly-packaged mascara together with a detailed manual telling you how to open the mascara and how to apply it, which discouraged me once again. It reminded me of 'how to put a condom on' instruction leaflet and the whole procedure seemed soooo complicated that I thought the mascara was really not worth the effort. 
But once you let your curiosity prevail, there's no turning back.

The mascara comes in an innovative container, which steps away from the usual tubular shape and instead of having a long wand with a brush on top it looks more like an ice cream on a stick. The wand is much shorter and can be bent at an angle you find convenient to match your eye shape. I don't think that's necessary cause this short wand is easy to manouvre anyway and I don't find it any more comfortable when it's bent than when it's straight. 
What I find very practical is the squeezable bottom part. The plastic it's made of is quite flexible, almost rubber-like, and thanks to this it will be easy to scrape the remains of the mascara off the sides.

I was pretty much surprised to discover that the mascara actually works pretty well. I was able to reach every single lash with this weirdly-shaped applicator. One coat gave my lashes extreme length, which was particularly visible on my bottom lashes which I never thought were so long and dense. When I added one more coat of mascara I noticed that my lashes were nicely volumised.

What I really liked about the mascara is the wand. The fact that it's bent is not as important as its bristles that vary in length, size and thickness. They are able to reach all lashes and coat them top to bottom in one or two strokes.
The formula wears all day on my lashes without crumbling or chipping, though it smudged a bit under my eyes, but that's because the mascara made my bottom lashes illegally long, I believe.
I'm also pretty much surprised at how much I liked the packaging. It's small and travel-friendly while containing the same amount of product as other mascaras.

What I disliked was that the formula is very thin and if you aren't extra careful you'll stain everything around your lashline. Application of this mascara isn't foolproof and requires some learning.  You also need to allow some drying time before you look down or high up, otherwise all your mascara will end up under your eyes or on your brow bone.

All in all, I like this mascara more than I expected. I would even consider repurchasing if I didn't have buy it through a consultant, which I honestly dislike. 

Wednesday, 11 September 2013

Korean goodies: Etude House BB dation review

Etude House BB Dation is sold together with an electric device which helps to apply the product. Obviously, I've had the chance to try out the BB cream only, but I don't regret not using the applicator as I'm highly distrustful of such gadgets and I consider them useless gimmicks.   

Shade W13 was too light for me in the summer but would suit my fair, pink-toned complexion nicely in winter.
The BB cream offered light to medium coverage, but when you start building the coverage issues arise. 
The finish was dewy to greasy , the product didn't set at all, it kept moving around my face and finally settled into pores. The more product you apply, the more of it swims around your face. There was enough product for more than three applications but after all the product ended up on my mobile phone the sample landed in the bin.

On the positive note, the BB cream was very lightweight and contains SPF40.

I'm quite surprised cause Etude House make some marvellous BB creams, so they know how to come up with the right formula. If this was the first BB cream for me to try, I'd never get another one.

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.