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.

Friday, 29 November 2013

Vichy NormaDerm Purifying Cleansing Gel review

Today I'd like to review a sample of a product which I fully intend to buy as soon as I spot some decent discount as Vichy and other French pharmacy products are very often on offer.
I've known the brand for years and I've never been disappointed with any of their products, but somehow because of my curiosity and constant temptation to try out other brands I overlook the ones I'm already familiar with.

Vichy NormaDerm Purifying Cleansing Gel is a product that targets acne-prone skin, but is also perfect for oily skin types. I used this cleansing gel in the morning and I must say it kept my oily skin relatively matte for longer that other similar products do.
My skin is neither acne-prone nor sensitive, so I cannot say anything about the reliability of the product as far as the fight with acne or allergic reactions or irritations are concerned. 

As I've said, Vichy NormaDerm gel met all my expectations and I'm going to purchase the full-size version of it.

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, 28 November 2013

Clinique Chubby Stick Intense in Grandest Grape #08 review

Clinique Chubby Stick Intense in Grandest Grape #08

I resisted the Chubby Stick hype for quite a while. The regular ones lacked pigmentation and I didn't think a transparent lip balm in a plastic crayon form was really worth the money. 

I came across Clinique Chubby Stick Intense in Grandest Grape #08 when I was looking for some burgundy shade for my lips to match my autumnal mood. 

Clinique Chubby Stick Intense in Grandest Grape #08

The shade turned out to be exactly what I was looking for. It's a deep wine colour which is saturated enough to look truly burgundy on the lips, yet not too dark to have aging effect.
It seems rather moisturising, and there's a noticeable shine on my lips, but the product does not feel or look like a lip balm nor a gloss.
It also lasts surprisingly long on my lips as for a product of this kind, what's more it fades evenly and leaves a slight tint on my lips, which stays on long enough for me to find some break for touch-ups. 

Clinique Chubby Stick Intense in Grandest Grape #08

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, 27 November 2013

MAC Prepare for Pleasure (Divine Night collection) review and swatches

A month ago MAC Cosmetics opened their online store here in Poland, which I welcomed with enthusiasm and relief as I no longer needed to go through the embarassment of asking  people to bring me something MAC from their journeys to some more civilised areas.

However, it all got off to a bad start in the beginning.
I ordered some stuff from their website and imagine my astonishment when I checked my account and saw that the sum I paid in Polish currency was exchanged into euro and as a result I was charged over four times more than the actual amount. Fortunately there was a happy ending to the story as the customer services at MAC deserved a medal. They were most sympathetic and helpful and they did their best to mitigate my loss. I thought I'd be offered some free shipping or 10% off for the emotional distress I'd suffered, but the compensation I received exceeded all my expectations. I was given ALL my money back and wasn't charged for the producs ordered .
What's more I recently received a surprise gift from MAC, consisting of Studio Fix+ and a moisturiser and a lovely handwritten note. 
I believe this was the best way I was ever treated by any brand and every marketing/customer service  department should learn from MAC how to build customer loyalty.

So as a newly converted, yet devout MAC fanatic I went for a couple of limited edition items from the Divine Night collection. One of them was the most gorgeous lipstick ever, bearing a telltale name, Prepare For Pleasure. 
On MAC website the shade is described as magenta red, which made me worry a bit as I'm not really a fan of magenta or reds which turn magenta when fading, nonetheless I though I'd give it a go. And I'm glad I did as there's nothing magenta about this lipstick.
While when swatched on my hand the colour looks as if it was ever so slighlty leaning towards magenta, in the bullet and on my lips it looks like the most gorgeous cool-toned proper red colour with super-tiny shimmer, which is not noticeable as such, but definitely adds to the incredible shine of the lipstick. I've got such a wide collection of reds that I thought it was impossible for me to find something I don't have a dupe for, but it turns out that the most perfect red, which is neither too dark nor too bright and neither too cool nor too warm.

My experience with MAC lipsticks is very narrow, I've only had three of their lippies and none of them was a cremesheen, so please excuse me if I say something that everyone already knows: the finish is absolutely AMAZING! The lipstick is fully opaque in one go and the sheen is amazing! It's very close to the glossiness of a gloss, but it's a million times more durable. I must say that this is one of the best performing and longest-lasting lipsticks I've ever used, including matte and dry lipsticks and lip lacquers. 

Prepare for Pleasure is a vibrant colour, which usually bears with itself a risk of uneven and patchy fading, which doesn't look good and calls for regular touch ups. Not in this case! The lipstick refuses to fade at all, and when it finally gives in it disappears evenly without looking gross.

I also feel I need to mention that I love the festive packaging with gold elements and the faint, kind of vanilla scent.

This lipstick is perfect! Go and grab it before it's sold out!

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, 24 November 2013

No (skin)flowers for us tonight. The Young Gods @ B90 Gdansk

I've waited for 20 years to hear Skinflowers live and still haven't.
What I heard tonight didn't leave me completely satisfied, but it was a great show nonetheless.

I didn't have any particular expectations about tonight. The band, whose creative output is so hard to define, have been involved in such a variety of diverse and incogruous projects that I didn't really know what I was going to get. I didn't quite hope for an unplugged show, but thought I'd receive a good industrial thrashing.  The opening of the gig made  me worry how I was going to survive a vocal (almost inaudible at first) and electronic device show only. To my satisfaction after the first song was over, the lights revealed a drummer and since then it was only getting better and better. I was smitten by an avalanche of mad electronic sounds and industrial noises, broken beats and erratic rhythm, booming vocals combined with weird ballerina dances performed by the Franz Treichler. The music gained momentum only to slow down all of a suddeen never to reach a climax.

The gig was one of the shortest ever. The band left the stage after one hour, but there were two encores to mitigate the feeling of being unsatisfied.
The Young Gods arrived in their most ancient line-up and played almost all of the songs from their first two albums, which explains why they didn't choose to play the hit everyone was craving for.
 What surprised me was that twenty years after the icons of the long dead and burried industrial music still sounded fresh and powerful. Although no none plays fifty 2-minute-long songs any more, they didn't sound dated at all. This may be due to the revival of the sounds of the 80s and 90s or it may be that the music has defied the passage of time. Or maybe simply I felt good there listening to the sounds I once loved and cherished.

The attitude of the audience of about 300, who consisted mainly of old fans, grew warmer and warmer and the gig ended with people hurling themselves spasmatically to the music.

On that night I also felt the nearing winter. After the most gentle November in my life December bared its teeth freezing my fingers onto my fag. 

Saturday, 23 November 2013

Dior 5 couleurs Mystic Metallics eyeshadow palette in Bonne Etoille review

I was mesmerised by Dior Bonne Etoile palette from the first moment I saw it. It appealed to me with the unique shade selection and with simply with the gorgeous stars embossed on the shadows themselves. I don't quite know why Dior has decided to release this as a part of their autumn collection as the product screams Christmas to me. Those mystic blues and greens those sparklly glitters and those stars everywhere around... 

It took me a while to get hold of the palette. It was lost in transit in the first place, then it took almost a month to arrive and now it's here with me.
I am a huge fan of Dior 5-couleurs palettes and I own quite a large collection of these. They're all lovely combinations of eyeshadows which blend heavenly well, but they display a hit-or-miss kind of pigmentation and don't last on my lids for as long as other eyeshadows do. And this exactly is the case with Bonne Etoile as well.
I have hooded, oily lids, but since I discovered good quality eye primers the problem of creasing and fading literally ceased to exist. I wear eyeshadows for 14 hours or more every day and they hardly ever show signs of creasing. Unfortunately all Dior eyeshadows perform well for maximum 8 hours. This is a decent wear time, but substantially shorter than other, even the cheap drugstore ones.
The pigmentation and the texture of the shadows differs in this palette, the drier ones perform longer, while the more buttery ones tend to break up and migrate towards the crease.

The shade in the top left corner is the one of the best quality in the palette. It's a beautiful khaki green with golden shimmer. I love this shade, but it doesn't suit my complexion well, so unfortunately this is the one I don't wear at all.
In the top right corner, there is a light taupe shade with metallic finish. Insanely shimmery and will be most appropriate during the coming festive season. I used it as a blending colour on my usual work day and felt it was definitely over the top. Looks great in the inner corner.
In the centre we find a khaki brown  eyeshadow with golden shimmer. Although this one feels dry and is not as buttery as the other ones, it's the longest-lasting one in the collection.
My absolute favourite eyeshadow is the one in the bottom left corner  of the palette. It's a mystic shimmery teal shade which may lean more blue or green, depending on what other eyeshadows it's paired with.
And in the bottom right corner is a very pretty irridescent mint green eyeshadow, which reads more yellow on my skin than it looks in the pan. Unfortunately, this one is very sheer and very hard to dig out of the pan. You really need to scratch hard to get anything on the brush and return to the pan a countless number of times to get any colour pay off. Pity, cause it's such a nice and unique shade.

All in all, this is a beautiful palette, but I can't see myself reaching for it quite as often as I thought I would.

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, 21 November 2013

project empties #6

As usual my empties consist mostly of skin care products, but this time I have managed to use up one make-up item, and this is the one I'll start from.

MAC Mineralize Foundation is an overhyped product. I know they've changed the packaging, but the one I had was ridiculously nonsensical. It was supposed to be applied with a sponge which resembled an ancient stamp and never worked. The coverage was sheer and the powder accentuated all dry patches I didn't know of before I used the foundation.

Bourjois one second nail polish remover is a product which I loved at first, but soon it turned out that the red polishes I use stained the liquid inside and while the efficiency remained unaffected, my fingers were all blood red. I do realise that you need to change these jars often, but the price tag around 10 pounds makes me think twice. Not going to repurchase.

The Body Shop Camomille Cleanser is a lovely product which does away with all make-up. Didn't make me break out and worked incomparably better than the acclaimed Eve Lom cleanser I'm now using.

Bioderma mattifying fluid was a very decent moisturiser for oily skin. Worked well under make-up and kept my face shine free for a couple of hours.

I finally managed to use up Care Love eye cream, which was a horrible under eye cream but applied on my lids it moisturised them without making them excessively oily.

Cosmetic Skin Solutions eye gel didn't satisfy my needs. It wasn't moisturising enough, so I treated it as a serum and used it under eye cream. nonetheless, I didn't notice nay improvemant, so obviously. I'm not going to purchase.

DAX Cosmetics Perfecta orange scrub (Polish brand) is a wonderful product. Not only does it leave my skin smooth and peeled, but also moisturised so much that using any lotion afterwards makes no sense. Also smells wonderful of sweet oranges and costs little money.

Organix Brazilian Keratin Therapy conditioner is not my favourite condioner ever. I just don't think it worked. My hair was neither smooth nor glossy nor straight. It actually felt kind of coarse after using the conditioner.  

Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Golden Rose Rich Color Nail Lacquer #45 review

I received Golden Rose Rich Color Nail Lacquer #45 in my Glossybox. At first glance I was very happy to get it as the other shades available didn't seem to suit my taste.
The colour is red with golden micro glitter. The red looked blue-toned in the bottle, but read much warmer on my nails.

I liked the flat, wide, stiff brush, which made the application easy. Two coats gave opaque coat and removing the polish was surprisingly effortless, considering the fact that it contains glitter. 

In spite of all these good things I've said about the polish, I didn't like it much. It's hard to describe what exactly was wrong with it. It simply looked... cheap. Even coated with Seche Vite it lacked lustre. It did not chip, but sheered off the edges without any aparent reason. Just generally didn't look good.

I suppose I could make a couple of attempts to make the polish work, but I simply don't hope that would change much. There are so many high quality polishes in my collection that I don't think forcing a bad one to work is worth my time and effort.

Tuesday, 19 November 2013

Glossybox November 2013

November Glossybox was a total surprise. It consisted of 5 full-size products and a perfume sample. Not all of the products suited my taste perfectly, but I do appreciate the fact that they're all high quality goods.
I havent't given most of them a go yet, so they'll apperar in left-to-right order.

1. Emite eyeshadow in Nect didn't seem much in the begginning, but in fact it turned out to be a perfect highlight for the inner corner or even chhekbones.
2. Olay Total Effects Serum + Cream. I'm not a fan of Olay, and I know that others got 2 mini products from Vichy Idealia line, so I feel a bit disappointed.
3. Tolpa Spa Eco Vitality shower gel (Polish brand). I love Tolpa, but unfortunately it smalles of lemons, which the only fragrance that no one in my family likes.
4. Balance Me lip salve is a veri nice tinted and fragranced lip balm.
5. Killer Queen by Katy Perry enchanted me with the first notes, but in the long run turned out to be flat and just sweet. I would never buy a celebrity fragrance anyway. Just on principle.
6. Schwarzkopf Essensity Colour Shampoo is a good match for my coloured hair, though a volumising one would satisfy me better.  

Monday, 18 November 2013

China Glaze Red-y&Willing and Don't Make Me Wine nail polish review

Today I'd like to review my two top favourite nail polishes of this season which also belong to the group of my favourite polishes ever, thought it's too soon to tell.
They both come from Chine Glaze Autumn Nights collection.
They're quite similar as far as the shade, finish, application, quality and lasting power is concerned. 
They achieve full opacity in two coats, the application is foolproof and the result is metallic shimmery, streak-free polish, which does last. 

Since I'm more drawn to classic shades, I prefer Red-y & Willing, which is a deep burgundy red. It seems to be a dupable shade, though no polish in my possession is as shimmery and metallic. Moreover my other burgundy shimmers lean brown, but this one doesn't.

Don't Make Me Wine is sort of similar, but it has very strong purple undertones, which are particularly visible when you compare these two polishes side by side. This shade is very pretty and unique.

Both shades suit my taste and fulfil my ezpectations regarding nail polish. Lovely stuff!

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, 17 November 2013

Origins A Perfect World antioxidant Moisturiser with White Tea review

Origins A Perfect World is an antioxidant moisturiser with white tea, which is meant to be used in the morning, but I have oily skin so I picked it up to serve as my night cream.

The product comes in a beautiful green glass jar, with a plastic stopper on top. The consistency of the cream is semi-thick, it is almost like balm, but it doesn't feel heavy on my skin. 
As I've already said, I've got oily skin so can use this cream only before going to bed or on non-make-up days to give my skin some extra moisture boost. I believe people with dry skin would be able to appreciate fully how good this cream is. It absorbs quickly, but leaves a kind of film on the skin which would make dull and dry complexions glow, and which in my case constitutes a make-up melt factor. 

This cream provived my skin with the right amount of moisture at night time, when I wake up my skin feels fresh and plump.
I also love the scent, quite strong, yet  luxurious and adorable.

I won't probably repurchase this cream for myself as I think I'll get a proper night cream next time, but I do strongly recommend this cream to everyone with dry skin which is not sensitive to fragranced cosmetics. 

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, 16 November 2013

L'Oreal Mat Magique foundation #03 Sand Review

Having oily skin means less wrinkles and no skin discomfort, but also constant search for products that could possibly help reduce sebum production and make your make-up last longer. 
When I saw L'Oreal Mat Magique foundation, swatched it in the shop, I thought it might be my Holy Grail drugstore foundation. As it was on some discount offer, I grabbed it immediately and took home with me.
Imagine my surprise when I browsed the net to find any info about the foundation and it turned out that this foundation wasn't sold anywhere except Eastern European or Balkan countries. 
I have strong suspicions that this foundation is meant to get rid of whatever was left in stock of the L'Oreal mousse mat foundation which was sold in jars a couple of years ago. I don't have that foundation and I don't remember it ever entering the Polish market, but I might be wrong.  

So, on to the proper review. 
The shade I picked (#03 Sand) is a very decent match for my skin in winter. A bit too yellow, but nothing too dramatic.
The foundation is very lightweight, both in the tube and on the skin. It has a mousse or whipped cream consistency, which when swatched on my hand applies like a dream. It makes my skin feel as smooth as if I've used a silicone-based primer, and it gives a gorgeous velvet matte finish.
However, on my face this foundation doesn't look so nice. I mean, the finish is all right, but the foundation immediately settles in the pores and makes my face look like it's dotted with tiny light beige points. Since most of the foundation just sits in the pores, whatever is left after filling the pores in completely just slides off my face. The coverage, therefore, is not high and it's fairly uneven and patchy.
The finish is indeed matte, so matte that it accentuated all dry spots, which I don't even have. 

But that's not all. I would accept this patchiness and migration into pores if the matte effect lasted at least for a couple of hours. Unfortunately, my face stays quite uncomfortably matte and tight for like half an hour and then my oilies break through with quadruple intensity and all this stuff on my face turns into oily goo which swirls around at the slightest touch and massively transfers onto my mobile. Blotting with blotting papers removes most of the product and patting with powder makes it go cakey. 
Rare are the occassions when my products land in bins. I usually try to find other uses for them or give them to people who might be happy having such products, but this time I got rid of this thing as soon as I got it.

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, 15 November 2013

project empties #5

Just a couple of items this time. 
1. Clinique Bottom Lash Mascara which is a lovely mascara to reach those troublesome bottom lashes. Quite expensive as for such a tiny product, though. This is a repurchase, but I'm looking for something else to replace it.
2. Aussie Miracle Moist Shampoo is a nice moisturising shampoo with a disgusting smell. No more Aussie for me.
3. Tigi Bedhead hi-def curls is the last product for curly hair for me for the time being. Now I style my hair straight so my haircare routine is totally different now. But even if it wasn't, I wouldn't repurchase hi-def curls as I don't think it did much to my curls. I enjoyed its jellybean smell, though.
4. Etude House Happy essential foam is a very nice foam wash which didn't dry my skin out and left it clean and blemish free.

Thursday, 14 November 2013

Maybelline Lasting Drama Gel Eyeliner #10 Ultra Violet review

If you are regular readers of my blog, you'll notice that I don't often give negative opinions. Some products don't work for me, which doesn't mean they don't work for other people. I also tend to make conscious choices and use products I've read or heard about. Maybelline Lasting Drama Gel Eyeliner is one of such products, and I must say it turned out to be one of the greatest disappointments of the year. 

Instead of picking the shade that everyone does, meaning black, I went for  #10 Ultra Violet. When it arrived, I loved everything about the product.
It comes in a gorgeous matte glass jar with a metal lid. It looks so cute and classy that it leaves the competition behind as far as packaging is concerned. 
Apart from the product itself, you also get a brush, which is not the best I have, but I find it quite handy.

The shade of the eyeliner didn't disappoint. It's a darkened violet purple, which doesn't turn blackish or muddy on the lid. It offers a nice pop of colour, but nothing too crazy. This is not the most opaque liner ever and needs to be layered to achieve the vibancy desired, but the final result is pretty satisfactory. The product was waterproof and smudgeproof and lasted pretty much all day.

However, a couple months later, meaning 2 or 3, this product started drying out and turned into a clumpy mess. It didn't separate from the edges or show other characterictic symptoms of drying out but it simply turned useless. 

The pictures below show how much product I've used up within 3 months and what lines I can draw now, using the product.

Clumpy goo sticks to the brush and produces lines nobody wants on their eyes.

I'm utterly disappointed, especially that many people mention Maybelline Lasting Drama Gel Liners as their best liners of all times. Perhaps the black one is different, but I'm not going to experiment any further.

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, 12 November 2013

Nails Inc gel effect polish in Kensington High Street review

I'm a big fan of Nails Inc. polishes, so when I heard of their gel polishes there was no other way but to get one to try out myself to see how they compare to traditional polishes.
For the time being there are four polishes within the range, out of which I picked Kensington High Street, which is a deep oxblood shade with very slight purple undertones.
The polish is rather opaque, 2 coats allowed for streak-free, even appplication.
When topped with Seche Vite the polish looked incredibly shiny.
What I liked most about this polish was how long it lasted on my splitting nails. I got over a week of chip-free wear, which is quite unusual on my nails. I removed the polish only because I was getting bored with it, not because there was any immediate need to do so.
To me this nail polish seems perfect. I hope Nails Inc come up with more shades in the future. 

Excuse the clumsy application. This is not due to the product's quality but my lack of 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.

Urban Decay Vice2 palette: review & swatches & dupes

I'm a huge fan of Urban Decay eyeshadows so there was no other course of action but to pick their Vice  palette, even though I had many reservations about it even before I got it.  Vice palettes are limited editions, and they sell out fast, so the decision had to be quick. So, it is here with me and after I've been playing with it for a couple of weeks I know this is not my favourite palette, but I do not regret getting it at all.

The palette , which holds 20 shades comes in a shiny purple plastic case with 'crystal' UD logo in the middle. It opens automatically after you press the button. What I really like is the huge, full-size mirror, which is quite rare in eyeshadow palettes. I like to use the mirror even when I'm not using the shadows. There's also a double-sided brush, which is one of the worst eyeshadow brushes in history. It's stiff and prickly and I don't know why UD insist on attaching these brushes to their palettes. I'd much prefer any of their 24/7 eyeliner pencils.
Qualitywise, the shadows do not disappoint.  Most of them are creamy and incredibly pigmented. There's a variety of finishes ranging from mattes, through satins and glitters to metallic shimmers. Most of them apply and blend well, though the majority produce massive fall out. After I use a good primer UD eyeshadows last over 10 hours on my hooded oily lids.

Not many of the eyeshadows here are terribly unique but most of the eyeshadows are perfectly wearable and may be used to create day to night looks.

So what do I dislike about the palette?
Well, when I buy a palette I expect it to offer me a number of coordinated eyeshadows that go well together and give me the opportunity to create a variety of wearable looks. In case of a 20-eyeshadow palette I'd normally expect countless possibilities, but this is actually not a case here. First of all, the eyeshadows don't go very well together. I tend to reach for the same shades all the time. Rewind, Ambush, Smokeout and Derailed seem to be my favourites, Voodoo and Betrayal go very well together. Others form more non-obvious combinations and it's best to try them out to see if they match before applying them in the morning rush cause it may turn out that they clash horribly. 

The other problem is that the eyeshadows seem so repetitive. Who needs 2 pink and 2 more pinkish shades in one palette? There are also 2-3 dark, brownish outer corner shades, which perhaps aren't that alike when swatched side by side, but when blended out with other shadows they look so similat you wouldn't be able to tell the difference.

What the palette definitely lacks is a medium dark matte crease colour.

Many shades have dupes within UD eyeshadow range, I'll mention these as I discuss each shade individually. Although the palette is an excellent value for what you get, advertising these eyeshadows as 'all new' is a marketing ploy and quite unfair towards the fans. 

I treat this palette as a set of 20 individual eyeshadows, which is definitely a good value for money, but I'd be much more satisfied if it gave me the opportunity to create a larger number of unique looks. 

SMOKEOUT is a gorgeous very very dark shimmery brown shade. It's like a kind of blackened taupe. Buttery and soft with excellent colour pay off.
LOVESICK is black with silver glitter. Creep from the Naked palette is not as dark and the glitter is less chunky.
SHELLSHOCK is a metallic silver, which is the best quality eyeshadow of this kind in my collection. Looks perfect when layered and blended over darker eyeshadows. Doesn't look flaky like many metallic eyeshadows do.
COAX is a shimmery bubblegum pink and
X-RATED is a lighter, more milky pink with satin finish. I do understand that there are people who reach for pink eyeshadows, but having both in the same palette is a bit too much.

PRANK is a beautiful peacocky blue-green-teal colour. Unfortunately it's a bit dry and when blended it reveals its black base. To pull out the real colour just pat it on the lid and try not to blend too much or it will simply turn black.
MADNESS is a lovely turquoise  shimmery shade. In reality it's darker than in the swatch above.
STRIKE is a lovely shimmery gold colour. Perfect for the coming season. Buttery and soft, like all the shimmers in the palette. Blitz from Vice palette is more green-based, whereas Strike seems more 'true gold' to me.
STASH is a perfect khaki colour, very pretty, just doesn't suit my complexion well.
POISON looks like it's a green-based charcoal /black colour, but when swatched resembles Creep very, very much. It's got the same texture and amount of microglitter. Just seems a tiny little bit more cool-toned. 

RADAR is a medium-dark brown shade with both shimmer and tiny glitter. Smog from the Naked palette is similar, but it doesn't have the glitter.
DAMAGED is a lovely proper  shimmery green shade, which is neither too blue nor yellow.
VOODOO is one of the most beautiful purples in my collection. It's like tons of violet glitter embedded in black base. This eyeshadow is quite dry and prone to fall out.
BETRAYAL is another lovely purple. It's a very irridescent lilac or lavender kind of purple. I don't have Asphyxia, but they seem similar.
DERAILED is an almost exact dupe of Mushroom from the Smoked palette, the only difference is that Mushroom leans more towards gray and Derailed more towards brown. And mushroom is more irridescent. Both are shimmery taupes.

DOPE is a pinky-peachy champagne highlight colour with shimmer, very similar to Bleach from the Shattered Face palette
TOXIC is very hard to describe, I can see there salmon pink and copper tones and some light mause undertones as well. 
HABIT is a matte base shade which looks warmer in the pan, but on my skin it turns pinky-peach. Freestyle (Smoked palette) is exactly the same. Laced (Vice palette) is darker.
AMBUSH is red-toned shimmery brown. Barlust (Smoked palette) is exactly the same.
REWIND is a  matte taupe brown, which would make a perfect crease colour if it was lighter. 

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, 11 November 2013

Glossybox October 2013

I've just realized that I'm terribly late with posting the contents of my Glossybox October. 
What's more I haven't even opened most of the products, so I can't say much about them.

Here are the products I got in "satisfaction" order
1. Palmers Natural Bronzer  - I wanted to try some of their products, but the Natural Bronzer seems to give me kind of yellow tan, which I don't really like.
2. Bioderma Micellar Solution is a product I know very well, but I really do appreciate getting a travel-size bottle of my favourite product.
3. Love Me Green Organic Face Peel - I find it useful and I'm sure I'll make good use of when I run out the prodict that I'm currently using.
4. Pat & Rub sugar body scrub - like I said before, a useful product in bathtime routine
5. Wella Hair spray - Travel-size hair products are always welcome
6. Golden Rose Rich Color polish #45. I really loved the shade in the bottle, it's a cool-toned red with gold glitter, unfortunately when applied it looked... well... cheap. I've got so many better quality polishes that I won't waste my time with the one that doesn't seem to work for me. 

Sunday, 10 November 2013

October faves

I don't do many 'faves' posts. The reason is that I don't tend to stick to one or two picks throughout the month. But this time it is different. 
There's a number of products I absolutely loved and used religiously in October, and I still do.

On my face, instead of my morning face cream, I used Diorskin Nude BB cream, which offers the most gorgeous glowing skinlike skin, and under my eyes I applied NARS Creamy Radiance Concealer, preceded by my Emu Moisturising Eye Cream, which prevents my skin from feeling dry during the day. Amazing budget find! 

Urban Decay Shattered Face palette turned out to be one of the best picks this season. I love every single eyeshadow in the palette and Overexposed is one of the two most often used blushes this autumn.

I apply the shadows with my brand new Zoeva crease and blending brushes, the quality of which made my jaw drop. Superior quality for drugstore kind of money. I'm sure my collection of these beushes is going to expand soon!

To line my eyes I reached for Kryolan Cream Liner, which is one of the best cream liners I've ever used. It's pitch black, easy to use and still fresh after almost a year of being in use. It does seem dried out as it;s cracked in the middle, but this doesn't affect the performance at all.

On my cheeks, apart from the aforementioned Overexposed blush by Urban Decay, you could see Benefit Rockateur blush, which offers lovely autumnal glow I really enjoy.

This autumn season I rocked all shades of wine on my lips and Clinique Chubby Stick in Grandest Grape turned out to be my absolute favourite. It's such a lovely saturated burgundy shade, which looks equally  good when layered for opacity and fades after a couple of hours.

On my nails I wore matching burgundy and purplish shades. The polishes that impressed me most were China Glaze Red-y & Willing (deep burgundy shimmer), and Don't Make Me Wine (purple burgundy shimmer) and Nails Inc Gel Effect Polish in Kensington High Street (burgundy cream). All of them beautiful polishes of excellent quality.

As every year, this autumn I set out to search for a warm, woody fragrance to wrap myself in and I found perfection in the the new perfume by Armani, Si. It's slightly floral at first, but then turns chypre and musky (my favourite scents ever) and lingers on my body and clothes for ever. 
The same thing can be said about Soap&Glory Righteous Butter Body Lotion. It smells kind of vintage, but both I and Mr Hubby adore it! I use it after my bedtime bath and I wake up in the morning still smelling nice. Excellent stuff, love Soap&Glory and this scent is my favourite so far.

Monday, 4 November 2013

Diorskin Nude BB Cream in #002 review & swatches

I'm a big fan of Korean BB Creams, but from time to time I venture into the 'western' BB Cream area and manage to pick something really worth my attention. The product I've been loving recently is Diorskin Nude BB creme.
Just like all other BB creams Diorskin Nude combines the benefits of skincare products and make-up. It promises to deliver seamless correction and rosy glow and I think it fulfills the promise perfectly.
I have oily, but quite blemish-free skin, so I use this product in the morning instead of my daily moisturiser. Used over a moisturiser this product gives my face more glow than I like. The coverege is pretty light, but just enough for my needs. This product doesn't cover blemishes or major imperfections, but evens out the skin tone, while looking incredibly natural. At first this BB cream looks demi matte on my face, then gets shinier, but that's fine with me as I have already given up my search for something that would keep me matte. It's lightweight and I don't feel it on my skin. This does not  last all day but survives good 6-8 hours, which is a good result on my oily skin. I mainly use this in autumn /winter as the SPF  is a bit too low for the summer.
This is my go to all-in-one face product which I use on those rare days when I don't need to go to work.

The product comes in 3 shades, I changed my mind about which one to pick a couple of times. Shade 001, and I usually pick the fairest shades of BB creams, is too light for me and has very strong pink undertones, which accentuate the the redness of my complexion. I chose shade 002, which was absolutely perfect when I was more tanned, but now I feel it is a bit too dark. I'm quite positive that a combination of these two shades would make a perfect match, but i'm definitely not going to but two BB creams of the same kind just because the manufacturer failed at providing exactly what I need. Anyway, when I use a self-fanner on my body and neck, shade 002 seems to blend with my neckline pretty well. It's just that I'm not used to looking tan in autumn/winter.

All in all, thios is a perfect go-to product. Easy to apply with any kind of tool, offers effortless and flawless finish.

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.