Friday, 31 January 2014

MAC paintpots and dupes

I've always loved MAC Paintpots, but with the nearest store so far away from where I live, my collection just couldn't grow. Until recently when MAC finally opened their online shop in Poland. I immediately purchased a number of these, particularly the new matte ones and would like to show them to you. My intention is not only to review them, but also to show some dupes that I found in my stash say which ones I prefer. I find all my Paintpots easy to apply and wear. They all go on very smoothly, offer opaque colour and last all day. 
MAC Paintpot in Camel Coat

CAMEL COAT is a light brown shade with cool, somewhat purple-gray undertones and matte finish. Nice and quiet on its own, but it also makes an excellent base for all kinds of nude eyeshadows. Couldn't find a dupe in my stash. 

MAC Paintpot in Constructivist
CONSTRUCTIVIST is my absolute favourite in this bunch. It's such a lovely shimmery, but not frosty proper brown colour, which doesn't lean too red or orange or gold or gray. It's just brown.
l to r: Sigma Pose, MAC Constructivist, MUFE #14

As you can see in the picture above I found two other similar eyeshadows in my stash, none of which is an exact dupe, but I must admit that Sigma Pose is a very close dupe. It's a bit redder than MAC and the texture is slightly harder. It's also not meant to be worn on its own, the manufacturer trades these as eyeshadow bases, so probalby the wear time is shorter.
Make Up For Ever #14 looks warmer than the other two, more reddish bronze. 

MAC Paintpot in Stormy Pink

STORMY PINK looks like a grayish, pinky purple to me. More purple than pink, with matte finish. A very unique colour. I love wearing it under my taupe eyeshadows to bring out the purple undertones in them.

MAC Stormy Pink v Origins Perky
Origins Perkle is not an exact dupe, but it is pretty similar. They're both unique and both come from the dusty, grayish purple family, but while Stormy Pink is more on the pinky side, the Perkle is closer to lilac undertone. They both go on very smoothly, but Origins seems much sheerer and doesn't offer as much colour payoff as I expected.

MAC Paintpot in Tailor Grey

TAILOR GREY is a taupe eyeshadow with strong gray undertones and matte finish. Being a fan of everything that seems taupe to my eyes, I reach for it to use under my powder eyeshadows to enhance their colour and performance.

MAC Tailor Grey v Maybelline Permanent Taupe 

Tailor Gray is quite similar to Maybelline Permanent Taupe, which is grayer than MAC. The formula of MAC Paintpot is incomparably better. The texture of Permanent Taupe is drier, harder and way more difficult to apply and blend. Even though the Maybelline eyeshadow is way more affordable, I'd still go for its MAC counterpart for the sake of quality and ease of application.

And here go all my MAC Paintpots swatched side by side for comparison:
top row: Painterly, Camel Coat, Tailor Gray
bottom row: Stormy Pink, Constructivist

  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, 30 January 2014

Avene Cleanance Lotion review

I have oily shin, which I hydrate well before going to sleep, but during the day I like to use a good matifying moisturiser to keep my oilies at bay for longer. I thought Avene Cleanance Lotion would be one of these, but it wasn't.

The first problem is the discrepancy between the translations of the products designation. I ordered this product online from a Polish pharmacy online store and it said in the description box that this is a matifying product that helps to control sebum. And this is what the English and French versions say as well. But it also says in French that this cream is for young. problematic complexions, and in English it's supposed to be a moisturiser for oily, blemish prone skin. 

Anyway, the cream has thick, balm-like consistency, which is rather hard to spread and takes time to absorb, which is something I cannot afford in the morning rush. I would say that this creams gives my face a rather glowy  look instead of the matte one I'm longing for. 
I didn't notice any sebum controlling properties at all. There's a theory that if you matify your skin too much it produces twice as much oil to compensate for what you've stripped it off. Not in my case. I've tried both methods and the only difference I've noticed is that when I use a matifying moisturiser, my skin starts looking oily after 2-3 hours and when I use a highly moisturising cream, my face shines right away. And the latter is the case with Avene Cleanance Lotion.

I think I bought a product that is not for me. I believe this is a perfect cream for those of us who are undergoing acne treatment which leaves their skin extremely dry. I'm sure this moisturiser would long-term bring comfort to dry, acne-prone skin without causing irritation or break outs.

For me, it didn't work.

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

Wednesday, 29 January 2014

project empties #9

1. ORLY nailpolish in ROYAL VELVET was a lovely blue-purple duochrome. Unfortunately quite sheer, needed plenty of coats to achieve the opacity I wanted.
2. TOO FACED SHADOW INSURANCE is my absolute favourite eyeshadow primer. I used this sample tube for almost a year. Will repurchase ASAP.
3. SEPHORA DAILY MAKE UP BRUSH CLEANER a very effective brush sanitizer. Spray, wipe and the brush is ready to use again within minutes (as soon as the alcohol contained in the spray evaporates)
4. CHANEL POUDRE UNIVERSELLE COMPACTE was a drugstore-quality high-end product. Don't buy it. It does nothing to your skin that Rimmer or Maybelline wouldn't do.
5. MAYBELLINE DREAM MAT POWDER isn't used up fully yet, but with a hole in the centre my full, fluffy brush doesn't pick the product evenly. This was a very nice finishing powder. It did what it was suposed to so and didn't cost a fortune. 
6. SOAP & GLORY SEXY MOTHER PUCKER GLOSS STICK in NUDIST was quite a disappointment for me as I'd expected something more pigmented. I ended up using it at home as one of my favourite lip balms.
7. SEPHORA ATOMIC VOLUME MASCARA is one of the worst mascaras ever. I didn't like the shape of the wand and the results. It wasn't volumising at all and crumbled horribly. 
8. I returned to my SMASHBOX LIMITLESS LIP STAIN in SANGRIA as it suited my mood for dark wine colours well. Pity I can never get even application using lip stains. The colour was great, though, so I used up whatever was left in this marker-style pen.

1. BIOTHERM Aquasource Non-stop SOS emergency hydration mask was a lovely hydrating mask. Smelled so nice and left my face feeling refreshed and nourished.
2. PALMERS Natural Bronzer gave a surprisingly strong tan as for a moisturising bronzing lotion. Unfortunately the tan was orange and my body smelled gross.
3. ALTERNA Bamboo volume shampoo was all right, definitely added volume to my hair, but nothing to write home about. Too expensive.
4. NIVEA AQUA SENSATION DAY CREAM was a decent, lightweight moisturiser for oily skin, though it didn't mattify enough. I used this cream on my no mae-up days.
5. TONI & GUY finishing hair spray added nice shine to my hair without making it feel greasy. Unfortunately it seems that this product is no longer available.
6. THE BODY SHOP Seaweed Clarifying Toner was a lovely toner for my skin type. No irritations, no unwanted dryness.  
7. Tolpa Dermoface micellar solution didn't do much to remove my mascara, but otherwise it worked fine. I bought it mostly to remove fall out from under my eyes when I applied my eye make-up. Very cheap and served its purpose well.
8. L'Oreal Ideal Soft micellar solution is often called a dupe for Bioderma. I really don't know how it is possible to compare micellar solutions and call them dupes. They're all so similar. Some of them are more effective at dealing with mascara and some are less and that's all. I recently heard the blogger Lily Pebbles say that there's some kind of oily slip to L'Oreal Ideal Soft and believe me, I have no idea what she was talking about. I've used up 2 or 3 bottles of this and never noticed. Of course, we might conceive a conspiracy theory that L'Oreal Poland wanted to make savings on us Poles and did not add an ingredient or two to lower the cost of production, but I don't think so. The only thing I really didn't like about this product is the packaging. The opening in this bottle is so big that tons of liquid flow out once you slightly tilt the bottle. You need to get used to it and control how much you take, otherwise the whole bottle will last for maximum 20 applications. 

Tuesday, 28 January 2014

Emite Make Up eyeshadow in Nect review

When I saw in my Glossybox Emite eyeshadow in Nect I thought there was no way I was gonna like it.
I didn't know the brand and the shade didn't appeal to my taste at all. Yet I did give it a go...

So the shade is a very shimmery ivory, which is neither frosty nor glittery. 
The consistency is amazing. The shadow feels and goes on like butter. It's a very fair colour, so it doesn't show that much, but it's madly pigmented. One swipe does the job perfectly well.

This is not a shade that I would use all over my lid due to its shade and super shimmery finish. This is also not a shadow that is of primary importance in any beginners make-up collection, as it is not a base colour, but a highlight. It looks amazing in the inner corner or (used in moderation) on the brow bone. Because of its buttery smoothness it gives just this gorgeous sheen that comes to play in certain lighting conditions.
It also looks amazing when layered on top of dark eyeshadows, just in the centre of the lid to add this lovely glow there.

What's more, I discovered that this eyeshadow can also be used as a face product, to highlight the cheekbone area. It adds such a pretty moonlit glow to my face!

In my excitement I forgot to mention that the packaging is also very pretty. It's small and lightweight, made of good quality plastic with a see-through window in the lid that enables you to see the shade inside. Simple and convenient.   

I thought that I might like to explore the brand further but I hit a dead wall there. There are no local distributors here, but that doesn't normally stop me. The only website selling Emite products seems to be the manufacturer's one, all in Swedish with translation available through Google Translate. I wasn't able to figure out the prices, terms and conditions, postage etc as once I demanded the translation of the site, it froze. Well, not worth my time and effort. There are other brands that await exploration are easier to get.

Monday, 27 January 2014

Make-Up Atelier Paris eyeshadow palette #24

This post is going to be about my greatest make-up discovery of  2013 and the strangest underdog in the make-up business. Make-up Atelier Paris eyeshadow palettes received a number of enthusiastic reviews from influential beauty gurus like Wayne Goss, yet somehow this did not mean a substantial increase in the  popularity of the brand. Before I made my choice I searched for swatches of all the Make-up Atelier 5-pan palettes and I must say these are pretty rare and some palettes aren't swatched and reviewed at all. Finally I picked palette #T24 Urban Grey without reading a single review or seeing any swatches. 

#T24 is a set of four shimmery taupe eyeshadows and one flesh-toned highlight shade. 
All the four taupe eyeshadows come from the same colour family and the main difference between them is that each one is a shade darker than its predecessor, which is the only disadvantage of the palette. 
Shades #2 and #3 are very similar, #3being a tad darker. They're both buttery soft and apply like butter. They are lovely moth brown taupes with slight gray undertone. 
Shades #4 and #5 are darker than the first pair and less buttery. Their texture is harder and drier, which doesn't mean their performance is worse. #4 differs slightly in tone and is browner than the other taupes. #5, obviously the darlest one of the bunch, is a charcoal brown that completes the set perfectly.

All off these shades contain multi-coloured shimmer that comes to play in broad daylight, but the shadows are nowhere near to being frosty or glittery. I have no idea as to how the manufacturer categorises these eyeshadows as this information was missing on the website, but to me they seem like satin finish.They're definitely not matte, but not terribly irridescent either. Very suitable for women of all ages and skin tones.

The texture, the blendability and the colour pay off are incredible. These eyeshadows are like nothing else in my collection, and trust me, I've used products both by very high end brands like Burberry and cheap drugstore ones like Essence and have never ever seen a texture like this. It's really hard to grasp what makes them so different. I guess you need to see to believe. I myself didn't quite know what the reviewers meant when they raved about these eyeshadows. Now I know.

Of curse you can always complain that this palette isn't versatile enough. And you'd be absolutely right. The shades are very similar and there aren't any matte eyeshadows. This palette doesn't give the opportunity to create a plethora of looks, no chance of a pop of colour. But if you're a fanatic of taupe eyeshadows, like me, you'd be perfectly satisfied. I think everyone needs at least one Make-up Atelier palette in their collection, to know what the experience is like, and if you don't like this particular shade selection, you can choose from 25 palettes of different shades and finishes.  

  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, 26 January 2014

Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector in Rose Gold review & swatches

Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector in Rose Gold 

Year 2013 was definitely a year of foundation in my make-up life. Considering my current area of interest, it seems to me that 2014 is going to be a year of face contouring products with a special focus on products I'd never bought and used before, namely the highlighters.

Becca highlighters feature in countless favourites of the year, top fives of all times etc, so the brand was a natural choice for me. I was hesitating which shade to get and finally I picked Rose Gold as it was a brand new shade and Rose Gold seems to be the shade of the year, but now I believe Moonstone would have been a better choice for my skin tone. Nevermind. Moonstone remains on my wishlist and one day will be mine, especially that shopping with the seller I got the highlighter from turned out to be an incredible experience.

In the past I'd bought my make-up and skincare goodies from a variety of renowned retailers, including Liberty UK, Nars and others , and never ever, not ever did I receive my order packed in the way that did. The cardboard box it arrived in was beautiful, but what I found inside exceeded all my expectations. The product was wrapped and protected from breakage by beautiful scented papers, the smell of which instantly filled the whole room. The receipt was in a perfumed envelope, tied with a ribbon, and I was also showered with samples of luxurious skincare products by an Australian brand Aesop. This kind of experience is addictive and I must admit Galilu got me hooked. There are still a couple of Becca items I want from them and I might also explore the luxury perfume ranges I've never heard before and which lure me with their names and descriptions. Baudelaire. Can I really resist the scent of rotten decadence?

Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector in Rose Gold 

Enough of this introduction. Time for a proper review. 
Becca is one of the most consistent brands as far as their packaging is concerned. All their powder products come in round containers an industrial-looking metal lid and a rubberized edge. Very pretty and practical. 
When you open the compact up you'll notice the cubism-inspired surface of the product and a large mirror.

Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector in Rose Gold 

The shade of the product is surprisingly dark and not as cool-toned as rose gold tends to be. It seems gold peachy pink to me. Nonetheless it is very pretty. It's very pigmented as for a highlighter and if it wasn't for its almost metallic sheen I could use it as a blush. 
The manufacturer advertises the product as a creamy luminizing powder that veils skin in soft pearlized glow with a lustrous velvet finish. And I must totally agree. The product, in spite of the fact that it comes in a form of powder, has very creamy texture that applies effortlessly and blends well. 
Becca suggests this powder can be used all over or on targeted areas. While the latter is exactly how I use the product, I can't imagine applying this product all over my face for numerous reasons. First of all, it's way too pigmented to be used on eg. forehead or chin. Or maybe on very dark yellow-toned skins only. But even if the shade matches some complexions, it is way too shimmery (but not glittery) to be used in the same way as the finishing powders by Hourglass, Chanel, NARS and others. 

Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector in Rose Gold 

All in all, I really like the product, it's a powder of superb quality. Unfortunately I find it hard to use on everyday occassions. It seems too pigmented and too obvious while what I expect from highlighters is a sheen, not a wash of colour.

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, 25 January 2014

Sephora Orange Blossom Smoothing Body Scrub, Bubble bath & Shower Gel and Hand Wash review

This lovely set was a Christmas present from my lovely friend Anka. She couldn't have thought of a better present as I'd run out of some skincare items and above all, I'm a great fan of Sephora own brand and always happy to try new things out. 

I got a shower gel, a body scrub and a hand wash, all from the Orange Blossom line. Everyone knows what oranges smell like, but orange blossom experience is reserved for those who live in hot countries or travel them at the right time. Thanks to Anka and Sephora I now know that I like it and would like to see to what it's like in real life. All three products have lovely floral fragrance, not overpowering, but strong enough to make my body smell nice and fresh. 

The soaps are good quality and they produce the right amount of lather, so a little goes a long way. I didn't notice any particularly moisturising or skin-beneficial results, but then, neither of the products promises any. What I really loved about them was the packaging, which looked so classy and festive in the bathroom.

The body scrub looks like it's got sugar particles embedded in a gel-like texture. The particles are large and coarse and do their job pretty well. I think that apart from peeling my skin, the scrub doubles as an anti-cellulite massage product that stimulates blood circulation in the skin.

All in all, this was an excellent gift and I enjoyed it thoroughly. What I liked most about these is the presentable  packaging that makes them such a lovely addition to your bathroom toiletries. If you aren't a fan of orange blossom, or orange colour, there are countless other scents and colour variations to choose from to suit everyone's taste. I'm contrmplating cocoa or caramel for winter time and something floral for spring. 

Friday, 24 January 2014

See by Chloe - a very brief review

I absolutely adore Chloe, so imagine my disappointment with See by Chloe. 
This scent is not up my alley at all. 
To me this smells exactly like Roberto Cavalli Acqua. I can't explain it, but I associate these two fragrances with something heavy and oily. When I told my husband about it, he agreed and said he felt the same, so there must be something in it.
According to the description the scent is supposed to be fresh and floral, but I couldn't sense any of this.
Sorry Chloe, it's a no from me. 

Thursday, 23 January 2014

Clinique High Impact Extreme Volume Mascara #01 extreme black review

I'm always on the lookout for a volumising mascara that does not smudge, transfer nor interfere with my concealer. I'd read a number of raving reviews, seen some 'demos' and thought that could be 'the one'.   

I'm not normally a fan of Clinique packaging as most often it looks like drugstore brand, but this time it's different. The mascara comes in a pretty, quite bulky silver tube. 
The silicone wand is neither ridiculously big nor too thin, the spikes are quite short and dense and they go over the head of the wand as well. This shape of applicator makes it easy to apply the mascara on upper and bottom lashes and even in the inner corner.

The formula of the mascara is very dry and thick so one coat gives my lashes incredible volume. Just imagine what two coats can do! Even thouth the formula is dry, the lashes retain some kind of elasticity and you can keep building it up as much as you like.
This formula does not give you the effect of natural, separated lashes, so if that's what you're after, don't get this mascara.  

False lash effect is not that rare in the make-up business. Maybelline Rocket Volume will probably give you even more stunning results. What made me fall for this mascara was not what it looked like but how it performed. 
This is the mascara I can trust. 
No matter what undereye cream or concealer I use, whether I set my undereye with powder, whether I cry or sweat or get caught in the rain or blizzard, I know I won't arrive at work with panda eyes.
It doesn't say anywhere that this is waterproof formula, but it acts like one. It's also not the easiest one to remove, so I prefer oil-based removers to break it.

It lasts all day, survives my naps without smudging, crumbling or transfering.

But unfortunately all that glitters is not gold. 
The mascara reveals its drawbacks in the long run. 
It's dry formula dries out very quickly. After about two months of non-daily use the mascara went so dry that I was almost unable to use it. 

Also the volumising effect means that you use a lot of product. After two months I noticed that there was barely anything left in the tube. I needed to swirl the wand around to get some product. This hardly ever happens. I usually discard my mascaras for hygenic reasons, after less than 6 months of use as you're not supposed to use them for more than 3 months actually. Clinique High Impact is the one I did really use up!

And the last thing I didn't like was the gross-looking crust that built up on the nozzle of the tube. And I didn't wipe the wand against it, this just resulted from the daily use.

If you want to buy this mascara, my advice is: don't stash it, use it on daily basis, otherwise it'll dry out or shrink in the tube  before you manage to use it up. 

This mascara featured in my favourites of 2013 post and I still cling to my opinion that this was one of the best mascaras I used in 2013, almost perfect, but I'm sure there are better mascaras out there which I need to discover in 2014!

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

Wednesday, 22 January 2014

Batiste XXL Volume Dry Shampoo review

I know, I know, I know. Some time ago I wrote an unfavourable review of Batiste dry shampoo I got in my Glossybox and now I've bought the product myself. 

The thing is that ever since I started wearing straight bangs across my forehead my hair gets greasy quicker than ever, I suppose it has something to do with my hair touching my very oily forehead. So in order to perk up my hair on the second day I started experimenting with dry shampoos. 

The obvious choice was something I knew, something that was easily available in the drugstore next door, something that came in many varieties and didn't cost a fortune.

So I picked Batiste XXL volume dry shampoo. 
This is a white powder kind of dry shampoo that you spray over your hair. You need to comb your hair through or tousle it with your fingers to make the product reach everywhere and to eliminate the white cast that sits on your hair. 
I noticed that this shampoo works just as expected. It eliminates the greasy look and adds substantial volume to my hair. Great saviour in the morning.

Unfortunately, this product has its disadvantages as well.
First of all it needs to be said that I suffer from dry, flaky scalp, which I thought I had treated with my Redken shampoo. Using this dry shampoo caused a horrible relapse, making my scalp flakier than ever before.
Secondly, the shampoo is a stark white powder, which you need to comb through to make it disappear. But it never disappears completely. It makes my hair look very, very matte while I'd rather it was on the shinier side.
And finally, after each application all shelves in my bathroom are covered in dust as, once sprayed, this fine powder lands not only on your hair, but everywhere else as well.You might not notice if your bathroom is really huge, but a small one like mine looks as if my neighbours were refurbishinbg theirs and remains of plaster and concrete were coming in through the vents. In the end I started using this in the hall, there the results aren't that noticeable.

So is this dry shampoo worth picking? Yes, as long as you don't suffer from dry scalp and messy bathroom isn't an issue for you. It's cheap and effective. 
I've almost used this up as sometimes the good outweighs the bad.

  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, 21 January 2014

Caudalie Vinosource S.O.S. Morning Rescue Eye Cream review

I ordered a full-sized version of Caudalie Vinosource S.O.S. Morning Rescue eye cream after testing a sample of the creem attached to my purchase from  

What I first noticed was a substantial difference between the designations of the cream, depending on the language of instruction. The English name states clearly that this is a MORNING RESCUE cream which is meant to make my eyes look rested. The French version suggests that this targets sensitive skin types. In both versions, however, we're instructed to use the cream twice a day.

It says nowhere in the leaflet that this cream prevents or treats wrinkles, and I don't think it does, but it's a lovely lightweight moisturiser. It absorbs pretty well, doesn't leave any kind of greasy residue, which in consequence means it doesn't contribute to my make-up smudging or creasing.  What's more, my dry undereye area feels moisturised all day long, which is a rare thing among eye creams, my skin often starts feeling thirsty by midday if I don't moisturise it properly or use too much setting powder. 

When the cream arrived it appeared weirdly separated, but a good shake and a couple of squeezes did the trick and it became one again. 
The product comes in a practical, but rather average tube.
This cream retails for £16.20, I got it on 20% off offer, which rendered it quite affordable.
I'll buy it again as it serves its purpose well and is not that expensive. 

  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, 20 January 2014

Korean goodies: Too Cool For School Art Class Blusher in Pink review & swatches

There are three reasons why I was attracted to Too Cool For School Art Class Blusher in Pink. I'm a sucker for packaging, I also love cream blushes and I found the brand image irresistably fascinating.

This blush has the cutest packaging ever. It comes in a recycled cardboard box with Art Nouveau kind of font and print and looks like a tube of art paint. 
The shade is a milky pale and rather warm pink. The consistency is fairly thick, but it blends surprisingly well. It feels as if it contained a primer that blurs pores and leaves skin powdery matte. The skin feels smooth and there's a kind of slip to it. The colour is on the sheer side, but buildable. I would definitely recommend it for fairer skin tones, on darker ones it might reveal white cast or simply not show up at all.

The only, but unfortunately substantial, drawback is that once applied, this product does not cling to the skin well. If you overblend you'll simply wipe the blush off your face. The primer feel remains on the skin, but the the tinted powder the product turns to upon application, disappears. It is possible to master application, but it takes time. But even then you should avoid touching your face as there's always some risk you'll simply wipe it off.

This product is fragrance free.

The good: 
1. packaging
2. smooth finish
3. cream to powder formula
4. good for oily skin

The bad:
1. easy to overblend
2. does not last long on my skin

  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, 18 January 2014

The Balm Nudetude palette review & swatches

The Nalm Nudetude palette was featured in my make-up disappointments of 2013, so you might have guessed this is not going to be a terribly favourable review. Don't get me wrong, this is not a bad palette, but in the market flooded with dozens of neutral palettes to choose from, this one does not surpass its competition. 

So as not to sound mean, I'd like to start with what I liked about the palette. 
It's obviously the packaging that drew me to Nudetude. It comes in a cardboard box with a large mirror and a double-sided brush. The eyeshadows themselves cover private parts of lovely naked pin up-style ladies. I adore this vintage imagery, the overall look of the palette, the font, the fact that each eyeshadow has its name printed underneath, the feel of the cardboard, the sleek size of the palette.  

And now on to things I didn't quite like. 
I order most of my make-up and skincare stuff online mostly because the majority of brands I'm interested in are unheard of in Poland, so there's no possibility for me to see the produts in real life before buying them and secondly, those that are distributed here are ridiculously more expensive.That is why I need to choose the products I buy carefully. I read reviews, analyse swatches, consider whether they would suit my skin tone and purposes, nonetheless surprises are unavoidable. 

I'd seen the images of the palette million times before, yet I was so mesmerised by the vintage design that I failed to notice how small the actual pans are. I'm not complaining about how much product I get, I've got so many eyeshadows that I'm unable to use them up until the end of my life. The thing is that an average-sized brush barely fits in there.  

Secondly, I don't think the neutral eyeshadow selection here is the most versatile in history, the quality of them leaves a lot to wish for. I find myself reaching for about two or three shadows from the palette and I still need to grab other base, highlighting, crease shadows cause none of these within the palette serve the purposes well.

I'm not going to go over each single eyeshadow, I'd like to group them according to purpose discuss them in terms of usefulness and performance.

There are four light eyeshadows on the left, but none of them makes a neutral base colour nor a good highlight. They range from stark whitre, through rather pigmented pinks and peaches to mustard yellow, all of them with frosty finish. While I like some shimmer here and there, I believe frost all over the lid or on the brow bone looks cheap and tasteless on everyone regardless of age or race. 

There's only one matte brown eyeshadow that can be used in the crease (Sultry), but I find it too dark for lighter complexions to give just a hint of colour.

There are three more matte shadows, which fortunately contribute to the variety of the palette. Also the glitter one (Silly) can be counted as a matte one as it has a matte base and the glitter doesn't show that much, especially after blending it manifests itself under my eyes more than on my lids.
The trouble with the matte shades is that they're very dry and chalky. When they are blended, the colour turns all dark muddy. I don't see much difference between Sexy, which is a beautiful eggplant shade and Sleek with is a lovely dark coffee brown. 

Sophisticated and Silly are the waekest two within the palette. Especially Silly. They're both dry and hard-textured eyeshadows with gold glitter.   

 Selfish and Seductive are the best and most wearable eyeshadows and I find myself reaching for Selfish most often as it suits my skin tone better. 

The shadows in general are on the warm side, while I prefer cooler-toned ones for my pinky complexion. I'm sure those of us with olive skin tones will have a totally different opinion of the palette. 

All in all, this is not a bad palette, but if I had  to choose, I'd pick any of the Naked palettes or Lorac 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.

Thursday, 16 January 2014

Redken Scalp Relief Soothing Balance Shampoo review

My scalp problems started about a year and a half ago when I decided to bleach my hair. I suffered a strong allergic reaction, which left my scalp covered in scabs and feeling sore. After the scabs peeled off, my scalp kept flaking. I thought it was dandruff and I treated my hair for that, quite unsuccessfully. 
Only recently my hairdresser told me my issue was not dandruff at all, but extremely dry scalp. She suggested that I use milder shampoos and apply conditioner only to the ends of my hair, which is rather hard to so as my hair is kind of  short now. 
I returned home, did some research, which did not include organic or home-made concoctions, and picked one of Redken shampoos from their Scalp Relief line, which directly targeted sensitive, flaking and itchy scalp.

The shampoo has a mild menthol scent and due to its content has an immediate cooling effect. It produces rich lather and washes my hair really well. After using this shampoo my hair feels a bit coarse and looks as if I've used a volumising shampoo like Alterna Bamboo Volume. I feared that a shampoo that would target my scalp problems would also make my hair look flat or unruly, but it doesn't, which is great.

I've been using this shampoo for the past month and to my great surprise I noticed a substantial improvement in the condition of my scalp. I do not see these huge flakes in my hair any more and it also doesn't itch me almost at all. I don't intend to use this shampoo all the time, I hope that once my scalp is treated I can come back to my regular hair care. But I'm always going to have a bottle in stock, just in case. What's more, I'm not the only user of the shampoo, as Mr Hubby seems to enjoy its cooling and anti-itching results just as much.

The only regret is that this shampoo doesn't come with a matching conditioner, which means that while I'm treating my scalp with the right shampoo, I need to reach for some other conditioner, which might be the source of or aggravate the skin  problem. 

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, 14 January 2014

Korean goodies: Missha Sheer Fluid Blusher No. 2 Morning Rose review & swatches

The arrival of Missha Sheer Fluid Blusher under my roof is a result of my fascination with liquid blushes in the vein of Estee Lauder Pure Color blush. Unfortunately, apart from the packaging, there aren't many similarities between the two products.

Missha Sheer Fluid Blusher comes in a small plastic tube with a pump. The packaging is transparent, so you can clearly see how much product is left, which is so convenient! 

I picked shade No.2 Morning Rose, which is a very nice quite warm-toned pinky-peachy shade with pearl shimmer which screams summer to me. The consistency is very soft and easy to blend. True to its name, the blush is rather sheer, but I like it as I feel rather fed up with those extremely pigmented blushes that you need to be extra careful if you don't want to end up looking like a clown. 

Unfortunately, there are also drawbacks of this product.
First of all, the pearl pigment and very, very dewy finish don't go well with my skin type. This blush turns my skin into an oil slick in an instant. 
Secondly, it melts on my skin and lasts just for 2-3 hours without leaving any stain or sheer flush.

The blush is rose scented.

To sum up, I'd strongly recommend this product to those of us with very dry skin only. I'm absolutely certain this would offer dry skin the healthy glow everybody is after. I'm sure it would also last longer on less oily skin types.
If your skin is more on the oily side, think twice before getting this product, as you may end up looking sweaty, not glowing.

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.

project empties #8

1. Organix Brazilian Keratin Therapy shampoo was a nice shampoo that made my hair look shiny and straight, but unfortunately it contributed to making my hair rather oily, even though it's not oily at all.
2. Tigi Curlesque Curls Rock Amplifier remembers times of curly hair. It was the weirdest gooey substance which, when used really sparingly, did make my curls look nice. The following day however, my hair looked greasy and flat.
3. Tolpa Strefa T cleansing gel was a wonderful shine-control cleanser. I would't recommend it, however, for dry skin.
4. Eveline Hyaluronic Acid Eye Cream wasn't moisturising enough, but it  it did a good job moisturising my upper lid.
5. Etude House I'm Blooming cleansing gel was a nice cleansing gel that didn't strip my face of moisture and overdrying. I won't repurchase, though, as I found the scent unpleasant.

1. Etude House Drawing brow liner was a bit too dark for my brows, but otherwise it was perfect. It was easy to manouver due to the fact that it had a slanted tip, thicker at one end and very narrow at the other.
2. Skinfood make-up sponge received a positive review from me, but I didn't have much experience with beauty blender kind of tools back then. Compared to other sponges that I bought later, this one turned out to be hard and not as efficient as the other ones, so down the bin it went.
3. Etude House Sweet Recipe eye liner had a fancy packaging which didn't close properly. The liner dried out within months. I kept it for a while, and later on it accompanied the Skinfood sponge on the trip to the bin.
4. Maybelline Rocket Volume waterproof mascara is yet another product that dried out before I used it up. I just didn't use it often enough. It was a good mascara, though, and I think I'll repurchase it when summer comes.
5. L'Oreal Mat Magique was one of those mattifying foundations that make your face soo velvety matte at first, but turn into gooey mess just within a couple of hours.
6. Maybelline Age Rewind concealer is one of my favourite concealers of all times. Already repurchased. 

Monday, 13 January 2014

Barry M #320 Foil Effects review

I bought this Barry M polish on a whim, as a result of a sudden craving to try out some foil polishes. Barry M was one of the cheapest and readily available, so despite the limited colour range and the fact that gold is not up my alley at all, I picked #320 Foil Effects.

What I really like about this polish is the cool tone of gold, which leans almost silver and matches my pink complexion surprisingly well.

The polish was very opaque and I hardly needed to apply more than one coat, but unfortunately the result was nowhere near the foil finish I wanted. By foil finish I understand something that looks like tin kitchen foil, shiny side up, while what I got here was exactly the opposite. This polish has a metallic look, but matte finish, just like the reverse side of tin foil. Topped with Seche Vite it achieves superficial shine, but still there's mothing mirror-like about the polish.

The polish applies fairly evenly, the second coat was needed more to eliminate streaks rather than to build up colour. It also wore for four or five days solid without chipping or wearing out.

Generally it's a good quality, affordable nail polish, it's just not what I wanted.

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, 12 January 2014

Make-up disappointments of 2013

And the final post summarising last year in terms of beauty products. Like I said in my previous post, products mentioned below are those I found disappointing, mostly probably because of high expectations connected with them or because I had hoped they would work for me just because they impressed others.

1. BENEFIT STAY FLAWLESS 15 HOUR PRIMER does virtually nothing to prolong or perfect my make up. Not worth the money.
2. HOURGLASS IMMACULATE LIQUID POWDER FOUNDATION is a lovely foundation and I only with the matte effect lasted longer. So many people claimed this foundation kept their oilies at bay all day that I started to believe it would do the same for me. In terms of longevity of the matte effect it is pretty average. Considering that this is probably the most expensive foundation in my possession and one of the hardest to get I don't think it was worth the money and the effort. 
3. I know LAURA MERCIER SILK CREME FOUNDATION is not exactly meant for my skin type, but so many people with oily skins vouchsafesd this foundation did a world of good for them and looked rather healthy satin than oily so I got it. It doesn't work for me at all and what's more it's one of the thickest foundations I've got and I don't quite like it. I'm sure it's a miraculous foundation for those of us with oily skins  who have something to hide.

CHANEL INIMITABLE WATERPROOF MASCARA in BLUE NOTE was difficult to use, the brush hardly picked any product as it seemed to slide off it somehow, the results were far from desired, and it dried out super fast. Meh. 

1. THE BALM NUDETUDE PALETTE is a nude palette which is too warm toned for me. Apart from that a number of shadows are dry and chalky (the matte and glittery ones) and they are very small in size, while the palette itself is rather big.
2.  ORIGINS GINZING cream eyeshadow in PERKLE is a gorgeous shade and it's very soft and silky. What I found disappointing is that it's quite sheer and turns patchy when I try to build it up.
3. SOAP & GLORY SEXY MOTHER PUCKER GLOSS STICKS turned out to be soo sheer that I used them up as glosses, but I bought them to serve as glossy lipsticks.
4. MAYBELLINE VIVIDS lipstick in SHOCKING CORAL disappointed me with its shade. This product is unavailable in Poland, so I had to order online. The swatches made by other bloggers proved highly misleading. The shade is much closer to warm-toned pastel pink than to coral. This doesn't look good on my lips at all.
5. BURBERRY MIDNIGHT BLUE is a gorgeous shade, but the quality of the shadow leaves much to wish for. The colour seems to turn to black when blending, and it generally applies patchily and is not as pigmented as when swatched or seems in the pan. It's not terribly bad, but many drugstore eyeshadows perform much better.
6. MAYBELLINE LASTING DRAMA GEL EYELINER in ULTRA VIOLET dried out completely within about 3 months after opening.  

LE SOFT PERFUME ROCK'N'ROLL PERFUME STICK didn't suit my taste in perfume, but regardless of that, contains only about 1,5 cm of product. Not worth the money.