Friday, 28 February 2014

MAC Studio Moisture Cream review

I'd  never thought of MAC as a skincare brand until I got their Studio Moisture Cream as a freebie to try out.
This cream comes in a nice, handy tube and promises nothing but hydration. It goes on very smoothly and leaves nice canvas on the skin. On my oily skin it gives a kind of satin finish, but I prefer to use it at night as it offers the moisture I need at that time, while during the day I prefer something more mattifying.
Yet, I do see the point of make-up artists using this cream on their clients to create a smooth base for future make up.

The only thing that bothers me is the smell. I believe it's supposed to be fragrance-free, but I'd rather the manufacturer used some floral scent to mask the overpowering chemical smell of the cream. It smells like melted pastic to me, which is not the most pleasant thing to have on your face.

It's a good cream, but I'd never spend this kind of money  on a simple moisturiser that smells so artificial.

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, 27 February 2014

Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wizz in Ash Blonde review

I must admit that brows aren't my favourite area of make-up interest. I've got a couple of favourites like my trusty ELF eyebrow kit or MAC brow pencil, but I rarely buy anything else. 
Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wizz caught my attention with its innovative concept of ultra fine tip which I thought might do a good job filling in the sparse areas in my brows. And yes, this brow pencil is absolutely worth the hype it gets.

This is a very slim twist-up brow pencil that comes in a classy black packaging with copper gold print. This double ended product has an ultra fine tipped pencil on one side and a small, very appropriatelly designed spoolie on the other. 
The pencil is rather hard, which I love. I apply it in small strokes, which makes it go over my brow hairs, not on my skin. This pencil not only fills in all sparse areas, but also allows me to shape my brows precisely. It also sort of seals my brows in place and lasts all day. 
The shade I picked is Ash Blonde, which is a perfect brow colour for all fair-skinned ladies, not only blondes. It's dark enough to tint my very blonde brows and looks very natural without adding any orange tones there.

The only thing I would change about the product is the size of the caps that cover the pencil and the spoolie. The one that covers the spoolie looks identical, but it's much shorter. As you might have already guessed, I happened to switch these two and break the tip of the pencil a couple of times. Now I'm always extra careful not to do this again, but the packaging should be foolproof and not demand any special attention from the user. 

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, 26 February 2014

Aesop Parsley Seed Anti-oxidant Hydrator review

After testing almost entire range of Aesop Parsley Seed line, the Anti-oxidant Hydrator came somewhat as a surprise to me. All previous products were on the heavier, oilier side while this time out of the sachet came a lightweight cream or a lotion. 
This product absorbs very well and leaves my skin feeling hydrated, but without any greasy film.
This makes an excellent moisturiser to be worn under make up, especially on oily skin like mine. A little bit goes a long way, so the 60ml pump-equipped bottle that the full-size product comes in would last for ages. 

I am not a fan of the herbal medicinal smell that Aesop is stubbornly consistent with, but if i were to pick anything from the range after trying out all the whole bunch of samples I got from this would definitely be my pick.

Disclaimer: I received this product as a complimentary sample for my personal use and I'm not affiliated with any company. I am not paid to do this review and everything I said here is my personal opinion. 

Tuesday, 25 February 2014

Giorgio Armani Si EDP review

My attitude to Giorgio Armani Si EDP is quite ambiguous.
I love its simple, classy bottle with the black cap. 
I love how it smells towards the end of the day.
I love how strong and everlasting this is. 

But on the other hand, its opening notes are sickeningly sweet. The cassis does help a little, but still the scent is dominated by strong vanilla notes that make it smell like cotton candy. Fortunately there's woody and chypre base to it as well to give the scent a bit of sharpness.

This perfume is adverised as a modern scent for a modern woman. I couldn't disagree more. It screams '90s to me. After 20 years in oblivion chypre notes seem to storm the market pretending to be something new. Nonetheless, I associate this scent with a decisive, powerful, independant woman. It's very classy and chic. 

I've been reaching for this perfume a lot this winter, it's so cosy and warm, but come spring I'll definitely swap it for something lighter and more floral.  

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, 24 February 2014

Barry M Gelly Hi-Shine Nail Paints in Pomegrenate and Blood Orange review

Having read a number of enthusiastic reviews of Barry M nail polishes, especially their gel ones I decided to pick a couple of them to see what the hype is all about. 
The first one I picked was shade #302 Pomegranate.
This shade is very hard to describe and even harder to photograph. I would describe it as pomegranate or pink-toned red with a very milky base. This polish is non-transparent and I'm not entirely sure why it is called a "gelly". It's milky, opaque and not particularly shiny. It's a lovely polish that is very easy to apply in one to two coats and will last at least a week on healthy nails, but I really see no difference between this one and a number of other non-gelly ones in my collection.
Anyway, this shade screams summer and watermelon season to me and I can see myself wearing it then a lot.

The second Gelly Hi-Shine polish I picked is Blood Orange. The name is quite misleading and made me ignore the polish when I was first selecting the shade to try out. In fact, there's nothing orange about the shade. It's a proper red colour which would suit any complexion well. The shade was fully opaque in two coats and wore well for 4-5 days. The finish is gelly-like and the shine is high indeed, though I can't say if this was due to the polish itself or the fact that I wore it under my Seche Vite top coat which is the glossiest top coat ever.
All in all, I believe this is a very decent and moderately priced polish that is very feminine and suitable for every woman in every season.

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, 23 February 2014

Aesop Paesley Seed Facial Cleansing Oil review

Aesop Parsley Seed Facial Cleansing Oil

I love cleansing oils and I use them daily to remove my make-up effortlessly, so I jumped at the opportunity to try a high-end one. 

At first I was struck by a weird method of use. Normally you slap some oil onto your face, massage gently, rinse with water (at this point most oils turn to white lotions) and your make-up together with the remains of the oil are gone! In case of Aesop Parsley Seed Facial Cleansing Oil you need to mix it with water in your palms to form emulsion and then massage over your face and neck. Fair enough. It doesn't matter at which point you emulsify the product, does it?

But what I clearly didn't like about the oil is that in spite of the fact that I emulsified it at first, it felt heavy and greasy on my face. It didn't go on very well. Instead of removing my eye make-up it smudged it and turned into gooey mess. What's more after rinsing this left horrible greasy film all over my face which I had to get rid of using a gel cleanser. It felt as if I'd used some edible oil from my kitchen on my face.

Apart from that, like all products within the range the oil smells like a herbal medicine, which I don't find particularly appealing. You can eventually get used to it, but it's not a pleasant experience.

Aesop Parsley Seed Facial Cleansing Oil
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, 22 February 2014

Zoeva #122 Petit Stippling Brush review & comparisons

Zoeva #122 Petit Stippling Brush

Here comes a review of yet another purchase of mine from Zoeva, their #122 Petit Stippling brush. More and more such brushes are appearing on the market, but for the time being they're still relatively rare, so when I was selecting the brushes to choose from their offer, Petit Stippling immediately attracted my attention.

Zoeva #122 Petit Stippling Brush

The stippling brush is made of black and white synthetic bristles of almost the same length (the white ones are not more than 2mm longer than the black ones). The black bristles are softer, thinner and fluffier, while the white ones are sturdier. They are soft to touch but quite densely packed so when blending they remain pretty much upright, they don't tend to give in when you apply pressure to them. I'm not entirely sure if this is a classic stippling brush. It like a cross between a flat top and a stippling brush to me. 

The handle is short and fat, made of wood, varnished black with the company logo, slogan and name of the brush embossed on it in silver letters.

Zoeva #122 Petit Stippling Brush

I bought this brush entirely to use with my cream blushes and I haven't put it to any other purposes so far. As far as applying and blending cream blushes is concerned, this brush does its job amazingly well. Its bristles pick the right amount of product, cream products seem to adhere to synthetic fibres better.
The size of the brush matches my cheek size well, I first dab the product onto my cheeks in stippling motions and then blend the blush in circles without the need to squeeze the brush to make it smaller to target the apples of my cheeks for example. 

Zoeva #122 Petit Stippling Brush

And now on to a couple of comparisons.

Zoeva #122 Petit Stippling Brush

In the picture above you can see the difference in size between a regular stippling brush (ELF Stipple Brush) and the Zoeva Petit. The Zoeva's bristles are much shorter and less fanned out. There's also much less difference between the length of the bristles.

Zoeva #122 Petit Stippling Brush

And here it is compared to the Sephora Stippling brush #113. The Septhora one has a fancy handle, very much in the vein of Real Techniques brushes, but it's way too long for personal use, especially when using a hand mirror.  The Sephora bristles are clearly made of different fibres, with the white ones being straight, stiff and prickly and  the black ones being soft and rugged. In case of the Sephora brush the black bristles play only an aesthetic role as the white ones are so stiff that they do not need any support of the black ones. The difference in length between the bridtles is almost 1cm, which means the black ones never touch the product or your face. So if you're wondering which one to pick, the answer is clear, get the Zoeva one, it also costs a third of the Sephora brush.

Zoeva #122 Petit Stippling Brush

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, 21 February 2014

Aesop Parsley Seed Anti-oxidant Facial Treatment review

Before opening this sachet I didn'y exactly know what to expect, but still, I was quite surprised when a substantial amount of clear oil flowed out. Of course I used too much first time, trying to save as much of this priceless oil as possible.

Aesop Parsley Seed Anti-oxidant Facial Treatment, like all facial oils I've used so far, felt nice on my skin and made it feel smooth. I have oily skin but use oils from time to time to offer my skin extra nourishment. It 
takes time to absorb, never absorbs fully, I'd never recommend it to anyone with oily skin to wear under make-up but might be a godsend for super dry skin types. For me, this is definitely a night-time treatment.

I found the scent repulsive at first, smells like the herbal medicine my mum used to offer me to relieve the stomachache I got quite regularly before going to school. This definitely made me feel uncomfortable. Fortunately this fragrance evaporated quickly, giving way to some other more pleasant, natural scent.

I believe this is a lovely facial oil for dry skin types. For me, this one is far too expensive to raise my interest, I'm not prepared to spend that much money on skincare..

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, 20 February 2014

Goldwell Style Sign Heat Form Heat Styling Lotion and Sleek Perfection Thermal Spray Serum review

Goldwell is one of my favourite hair care brands. I've tried their shampoos, conditioners and styling products for curly hair and now time has come to test two heat protectants for straightened hair.

The first one is Style Sign Hot Form  Heat Styling Lotion.
This is a straightening spray for fine to normal hair that offers frizz control together with colour protection. You use it on towel dry hair and dry your hair with hot tools, by which the manufacturer means a hair dryer, I guess. 
This spray doesn't weigh my hair down nor does it make it sticky. 
I believe it does work as far as eliminating frizz is concerned, but I cannot say whether it really does its job preventing split ends. I hope it does, but it's almost impossible to notice. What I can say is that my hair doesn't seem more damaged than before, but whether it's due to the styling product or the shampoo and conditioner, I don't know.
I'm not entirely sure whether I'll repurchase this spray. There are many other similar products by other, sometimes cheaper brands that do the same job, so most probably I'll get something other, which doesn't mean this is a bad product.

Style Sign Sleek Perfection Thermal Spray Serum, on the other hand, is an irreplaceable product.You spray this onto dry hair to use in conjunction with flat irons. The thing is that this serum is oil, not water based. Most heat protectants, like the one reviewed before, are water-based. So when you spray them onto your hair and proceed directly to use hot tools like flat irons or curling wands, this will actually damage your hair instead of improving its condition.
Sleek Perfection Thermal Spray Serum comes in a pressurised container that distributes very fine oily mist. I suppose using too much of the product might make the hair look greasy, but applied in moderation the serum adds beautiful shine and successfully prevents damage. The result is frizz-free, shiny hair.
I've never heard of a similar product on the market and I really like the idea behind the product.
You must have already guessed that this is the one I will 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.

Wednesday, 19 February 2014

Roberto Cavalli Just Cavalli review

When I saw a sample of Roberto Cavalli Just Cavalli in my Glossybox I didn't expect much. I really do hate Cavalli Acqua like no other perfume, so the brand was kind of lost for me. Nonetheless, I tried Just Cavalli out and bingo!

This is definitely a floral scent, but I don't seem to recognize individual flowers from the bouquet. Most probably because the dominant notes belong to Tahitian tiare flower and neroli, none of which I've had the opportunity to see and smell in real life. 
Floral as it is, this fragrance is not light and refreshing. There's a strong, musky, woody base to it, which makes me associate the scent with autumn and winter than with light and airy spring notes.

Just Cavalli is a very strong and everlasting fragrance. On my skin it lasts pretty much all day, but on my clothes it even survives washing. 

The only thing I don't like is the packaging. The shape and the design of the bottle is all right, but the pink snake skin motif is so bad taste. And the snake skin print on the cap is made of sticky tape that tends to get unstuck at the ends. This definitely looks cheap and unattractive.

 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, 18 February 2014

Bourjois 123 Perfect CC Eye Cream review

I bought this Bourjois 123 Perfect CC Eye Cream to accompany my CC cream from the same line. This is the first CC eye cream in my possession and the third eye product of BB/CC type. I hoped this would be similar to my beloved Dior BB Eye cream, which, apart from being a lovely product, is also very pricey and I believe this is a very decent, budget-friendly replacement.

The packaging of these two products is obviously very different. The Bourjois 123 Prefect CC Eye Cream comes in a pen-style twist-up form with a plain plastic applicator. To be honest, I much prefer the fluffy, doe-foot one to the touch of plastic on my skin, but I do realise that it's waaaay more hygenic as the product inside never has any contact with your skin before you twist it out. And the applicator itself is very easy to wash or even sanitise.

In my drugstore there were two shades available, out of which I picked the lighter one, which is #21 Ivory. It's a light neutral beige shade what goes well with most foundations and my 123 Perfect CC cream as well.

This eye cream goes on very smoothly, creating a kind of canvas on the skin. It has lovely moisturising properties and doesn't seem to dry me eye area much during the day, which is my basic requirement for undereye concealers. This CC eye cream, just like its all-over-the-face counterpart has SPF15, which is pretty rare among eye products.

This CC cream won't give you amazing coverage for very dark circles. My issue is redness and it does a great job neutralizing it, while still looking natural. When I set this CC cream lightly with powder it doesn't crease or cake. 

I believe this is a perfect product for those of us who don't suffer from very dark circles. I see it as a must-have product for spring and especially summer when you want your make-up to look natural and hot-weather appropriate andf also long for some sun protection. 

 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, 17 February 2014

Inglot #337 eyeshadow review

Inglot #337

This very plain eyeshadow has been a favourite of mine for the past couple of months and I have been reaching for it almost every single days. 

Inglot #337

So why have I chosen this one from hundreds of others?
Well, actually its flaws have become its comparative advantages. 
This eyeshadow is one of the worst quality eyeshadows by Inglot. Its texture is very hard, so you literally need to dig for product and scratch it with a brush. The pigmentation is also pretty weak, this impression only being enforced by the fact that the brush hardly picks any product.

I never use this eyeshadow all over the lid and if I did, I'd definitely apply it over some kind of dark brown base, like MAC Paintpot in Constructivist. But what I really like to use this eyeshadow for is lining my crease and blending the egdes of other eyeshadows.

Shade #337 is this perfect milk chocolate shade that doesn't lean too warm or too gray. It's matte and quite sheer, thanks to which it very gently lines the crease, blends well with all kinds of other eyeshadows. More pigmented eyeshadows, even though they're light in shade, tend to look too dramatic for everyday purposes. 

Inglot #337

I thought I could come up with a number of dupes, but when I started swatching them side by side Inglot #337 turned out to be pretty unique. Urban Decay Buck and Lorac Taupe seemed to be the closest matches, yet they leaned more taupe while #337 seems to be a light neutral brown.

Inglot #337

 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.

Aesop Parsley Seed Anti-oxidant Facial Toner review

Aesop Parsley Seed Anti-oxidant Facial Toner is probably the best toner I've ever used.
It has a 'dirty' earthy colour and smells as if it contained alcohol but it doesn't.
It felt very refreshing and moisturising on my skin, yet it  didn't leave any greasy residue in spite of the fact that it has a number of oils among its ingredients.

I do use toners, but they're not the staple product of my skincare regime. Even when I have them on my shelf, I often forget to use them. That's why I don't feel tempted to spend an unreasonable amount of money on this plant-based toner, even though I really like it. If toners are your poison, I strongly recomment splurging on this one. Believe me, it's worth 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.

Sunday, 16 February 2014

Benefit Gimme Brow in light/medium review

        Making a brow gel that works seems to be the simplest thing. About 4 non-orange shades to choose from, waterproof formula and the right shape of the applicator and a bestseller is guaranteed, yet, somehow no one managed to do it right before Benefit Gimme Brow appeared on the market.

While the colour range and formula of similar products by other brands is usually fully satisfactory, the brushes are usually the standard size mascara applicators, which might do the trick for thick, full brows, but were way too imprecise for my barely existent brows.

I'm sure Benefit orders their packaging from the same contractor as Clinique do for their bottom lash mascara, they're just identical, the only difference being another colour and logo. 
The product comes in a timy tube with  an even tinier applicator, which makes it possible to brush through my sparse brows without staining my skin underneath, which I hate, or looking splotchy or unnatural.

Due to the formula my brows stay in place all day. The colour doesn't smudge or fade.

One substantial drawback is that shade range is limited to two: light/medium and medium/deep. I obviously picked the light/medium one, and it looks all right, but I feel a lighter shade would work better for me in everyday situations. But I like the shade, which is a rather cool-toned taupe brown that matches my complexion well.    

The second disadvantage is connected with such tiny packaging. 3.0g is the amount of product you get in mascara samples, which means that if I continue to use this product on daily basis, I'll need to repurchase soon.

 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, 15 February 2014

Becca Ever Matte Poreless Priming Perfector review

I couldn't have been happier when I found this little sample of Becca Ever Matte Poreless Priming Perfector in the box containing my new  Becca Matte Skin Shine Proof Foundation. I have oily skin, which means I obsessively hope I can find some product that would help me control the sebum production and this primer received such good reviews from beauty bloggers who described their skin as overly shiny or oily that it immediately landed on my wishlist. I was actually going to get the primer before the Becca foundation, but then the foundation went on sale and I changed the order of priorities.

When I opened the sachet I immediately had a deja vu feeling. I rummaged through my make-up drawers and bingo!  I pulled out my old Smashbox Anti-Shine primer, probably discontinued now or replaced with Photo Matte anti Shine.
The texture, the application and the results of the two are exactly the same. I even performed a kind of test, applying the two products to different sides of my face and observing how they performed.
The primer has rather thick consistency, but when warmed up with my fingers or on the back of my hand, it turns to a watery substance that needs to be applied quickly as it starts drying instantly, producing absolutely matte surface on the skin.

This is a very heavy duty mattifying primer, so it's best to use it only on targeted areas. And dry skins wouldn't benefit from it in any way. 

So far, this seems a kind of primer I was looking for, yet there are a number of drawbacks that made me stop using my Smashbox primer and prevented me from wasting my money on the Becca one.
First of all, the kind of primer that leaves your skin infinitely matte and devoid of any kind of slip makes application fairly diffucult. Foundations cling to where they hit the skin and refuse to blend. The best tools in this case turn out to be make up sponges and stippling brushes that dab the product onto the skin instead of blending it with circular movements.
Secondly, since blending is so hard, I tend to apply too much product, trying to cover area after area. This, combined with very dry and matte base results in making my foundation look cakey, overdone and mask-like.
All, right, application, however difficult it may be, can be mastered. But how about the results?
I tested the primer in extreme weather conditions. No, no, it's not summer heat. It's severe winter cold and snowdrifts followed by overheated rooms, time spent wearing cosy sweaters or fleece jackets in tropical indoor conditions.
For the first one and a half hours everything seemed all right, but then my oilies broke through, melting my excessive make-up and turning it into gooey mess. Yuck! 

So, I can't believe my luck. This little sample that was meant to get me hooked, helped me to save my pennies.

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, 14 February 2014

My chubby lip pencil collection

This post is so long overdue. I've putting off writing about all chubby stick likes for so long simply because there are so many of them in my collection that it seemed quite a challenge to gather them all together and compare in a reliable manner.
As everyone knows, these pencils are all stealing the idea of a bulky twist-up lip crayon, initiated by Clinique. Sheer and lip-balmy at first, these pencils have since their first arrival on the market shown countless faces, including highly pigmented and matte ones. 
My collection, consisting of 10 chubby stick look-alikes, will soon be enriched by the addition of Revlon Colourburst mattes and when they arrive, they'll receive a separate review.

I tried to arrange my pencils colourwise, from nudes, through reds, towards pinks, but I wasn't very successful at that, so please bear with me.
Here they come, left to right:

1. Soap & Glory Sexy Mother Pucker Glossy Stick in Nudist is a sheer nude shade with high shine and lovely moisturising properites. In order to get any colour payoff you need to load tons of product onto your lips. I prefer more pigmented lippies and used this up wearing it at home as a lip balm. This product has a sweet, sort of vanilla scent. This product isn't heat resistant, don't carry it with you to the beach as it'll definitely melt.

2.  Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Lip Stain in Honey is a pinker nude with less glossy finish and less moisturising properties than the S&G one. But it stains my lips slightly and is more pigmented. It has a sort of weird scent that is a cross between watermelon and mint.

3. Soap & Glory in Plum Jam is as glossy, moisturising and scented as Nudist, it's very sheer and when you pile tons of it up you'll get a kind of light plumy shade.   

4. Bourjois Color Boost Glossy Finish Lipstick in Plum Russian is a lovely autumnal burgundy shade, not as sheer as Soap & Glory Plum Jam but almost equally glossy. The only thing I don't like about these Bourjois sticks is that they seem to contsin some essential oils that seem to irritate my throat and make me cough. But this might not the case for everyone, my throat is dry and sensitive and this happens quite often when I use glosses.

5. Clinique Chubby Stick Intense in Grandest Grape is my favourite of the bunch and also one of my absolute favourite lip products of last year which I continue to use on daily basis. This is a lovely burgundy shade, intense, long-lasting and moisturising. not as glossy as the Soap & Glory ones, but very comfortable and lightweight on the lips.

6. Jelly Pong Pong Lip Blush is a lovely tomato-leaning-towards-coral red shade with satin finish that glides on wonderfully and stays on my lips for a long time, mainly due to its slight staining properties. It's opaque and has a lovely rosy scent. Unfortunately contains parabens.

7. Bourjois Color Boost in Red Island is a highly pigmented cool toned red with highly glossy finish. There is a slight scent to it which I find hard to associate with anything particular. The Bourjois packaging (this refers to Plum Russian too) is a bit feeble and it tends to twist up on its own, just by rubbing against other things in my make-up bag. This doesn't happen with other pencils of this kind.

8. Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain in Amour is my favourite go-to red. It's always in my make-up bag ready to perk up other lipsticks on the go. It's so easy to use, doesn't call for a liner or ultra precise application, sometimes I use it on the centre of my lips without a mirror and it still looks good. It's a fairly dark, muted red with some shimmer. It does stain my lips slightly and last on them for ever. One of the most wearable reds in my collection.

9. Soap & Glory in Fuchsia-ristic is another sheer ultra glossy crayon from the brand, buildable to a kind of bright coral with sheer base.

10. Revlon Kissable Balm Stain in Cherish is my attempt to embrace the pink lip area, quite a failed one I must admit. I thought this would be a rather sheer pink that would fit within my comfort zone. This lip crayon looks sheer when swatched, but on my lips it kind of oxidises and turns a rather bright pink that I'm sure is pretty wearable for many, but for me this is a bit too much.

swatches taken in different lighting conditions
To sum up the winners are:
in terms of pigmentation - Clinique Chubby Stick Intense in Grandest Grape
in terms of glossy finish and moisturising properties -  Soap & Glory Sexy Mother Pucker Glossy Sticks
in terms of staying power - Clinique Chubby Stick in Grandest Grape, Revlon Balm Stain in Amour and Jelly Pong Pong Lip Blush
in terms of favourite shade - Clinique Chubby Stick Intense in Grandest Grape, Revlon in Amour and Bourjois Red Island

 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, 13 February 2014

Aesop Parsley Seed Anti-Oxidant Eye Serum review

Aesop Parsley See Anti-Oxidant Serum is probably the most welcomed sample I've received when shopping in I love all kinds of eye creams, treatments and serums so I couldn't be happier than to give it a go.

The first surprise was that this serum is actually a facial oil. It is not defined as such anywhere on the packaging, nor on Galilu's website. 

This oil doesn't feel heavy on the skin, but takes a while to absorb. After that it leaves a kind of tacky residue on my skin, but it gives me a weird feeling that my skin is actually uncomfortably dry. This makes me constantly look in the mirror to see if this doesn't give me wrinkles.
I feel more comfortable when using some eye cream on top, but perhaps this feeling of tightness shows how effective the serum is at smoothing wrinkles. The instructions say nothing about whether this product is meant to be used alone or under an eye cream, but I suppose, since by definition serums enhance the results of creams, it's only the base layer.

This product is extremely efficient. You need only a tiny drop to cover all you eye area, so I suppose the 15ml bottle will last for a year of daily use. This makes the steep price tag more bearable. 

I managed to use this little sample for almost a week. I must say that in spite of all the natural goodness enclosed in the product I didn't  notice any improvement in my skin condition. Perhaps it's too early to say. Yet, I don't feel convinced enough to spend almost $100 on this serum. 

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. 

Wednesday, 12 February 2014

Bourjois Happy Light Matte Serum Primer review

Bourjois Happy Light Matte Serum Primer

I'm not a primer person, I've tried a number of them, but I was never able to find anything that would have long-term mattifying, skin-enhancing or foundation wear-time prolonging results that would satisfy me.

Most primers have either too much of silicony slip or no slip at all due to their superdrying properites. 

Bourjois Happy Light Matte Serum Primer is completely different.
This primer comes in a clear glass bottle with a pump.The product itself is peachy pink tinted, but this colour doesn't transfer onto the skin at all. When applied, Happy Light primer feels watery on the skin. It absorbs super fast, dries to a powdery finish that feels very comfortable on the skin. No weird itchy feeling of silicone, no tight skin. The skin feels very soft and velvety. 
What I absolutely adore about this primer is that it makes it possible for me to wear foundations that aren't exactly meant for oily skin types and which without a primer look too dewy on my from the very first moment and things only get worse later on. I mean here Nars Sheer Glow or YSL Youth Liberator to name but a few. Combined with this primer such  foundations look beautiful on my skin. The primer does not adversely affect the application or blendability but it makes foundations look better on my skin and doesn't make my oilies erupt like lava during the day.  

I really love this product and a backup is already waiting in the drawer, but my review wouldn't be complete without mentioning the drawbacks of the product.

The manufacturer claims this product minimises pores. Well, I must say my silicone-based primers do a much better job here. I'm sure Happy Light does even out the skin surface a bit, but it's nothing to write home about. 

I've noticed that then I apply cream products (especially Illamasqua pigment in Hollow) on top of my primer and foundation, these tend to ball up. This doesn't happen each time, so I haven't been able to work out what exactly triggers the reaction, but it occurs frequently enough to associate it with the primer.

And finally, the bottle contains 15ml of product, and after playing around with the primer for less than a month, not daily, I've used up a third of the bottle. Luckily, this is a drugstore product and frequent repurchases are quite affordable.

The Happy Light line is unavailable in Poland so I purchased my primer from

  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.

Zoeva #101 Luxe Face Definer brush review

Today I'd like to show you one of my favourite brushes from Zoeva brush range.  
#101 Luxe Face Definer is a fairly large and fluffy brush made of natural bristles, which I suppose are bleached goat hair.
Its short and fat handle bears the company logo and the number and designation of the brush.
Like all Zoeva brushes, #101 is made of high quality materials and skilfully crafted so any quality related issues are out of the question here.

Due to the combination of its tapered shape and loosely packed natural bristles makes it a unique brush on the market and also means that this brush can be used for a wide variety of purposes.

First of all, it makes a lovely brush for sweeping a setting powder very lightly around the face. If I don't wan't to build and coverage or disturb my base make-up, just dust my face with a mattifying or finishing powder, this is the brush I reach for. Powder particles do cling to this brush nicely, but the loose and fluffy bristles never let me go over the board with powders.

Secondly, it makes a perfect contour and blush brush. It's tapered end makes it possible to apply bronzer right in the hollows of my face, never picking too much product, allowing me to adjust the level of contour I want to achieve. Then, when you use this brush in circular motion, it does blending job perfectly well.
I like to use this brush for pigmented blushes as well an it allows for controlled application of these. Just pat, pat, pat slightly and then blend.

I have a number of tapered contour brushes in my collection, yet none of them is close enough to be called a dupe of Zoeva #101. This brush seems pretty unique to me and I love it dearly as I can add all the finishing touches using one brush.  

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, 10 February 2014

ELF Studio Eyebrow Kit in Light review

ELF Studio Eyebrow Kit is definitely the most repurchased items in my make-up stash. I've been using this for years and just realised I've never got round to reviewing it. 

The eyebrow kit comes in a sleek plactic compact with a mirror. The product consists of a tinted gel and and eyeshadow and a double-sided applicator which I actually use.
You may use the gel or the powder or a combination of both, I usually end up using the gel only as it seems to give my brows the shade and shape I want, but on special occassions, when I wear darker make-up I like to use the powder on top.
The gel is a sheer taupe brown shade that gives my very light and sparse brows a nice and natural  wash of colour. Although this product doesn't really set, it is rather thick in consistency and it doesn't move around my face not does it melt it hot weather. I never felt I really needed to set it with powder to make it work. This wax doesn't stain the skin under my brows and my brows stay put all day. I use this so often that I've already hit the pan on this product again.  
 The powder is a very light taupe that gives my brows an even more natural look, but I prefer the gel as it somehow manages to make my brows look fuller. Although it's much lighter than the gel, when used on top of the gel, makes my brows darker. So, this kit makes it possible to differenciate the shade or look you want.
I don't need to mention that ELF products are the most affordable make-up products you can think of, except that due to long chains of distribution and postage and packaging costs they reach regular drugstore prices here in Poland. While this kit costs $3 in the USA, in Poland you can get it for around $12 plus about $3 for shipping.  

  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.

Bourjois 123 Perfect CC Cream in #31 ivory review & swatches

I'm a foundation changer. I use my foundations and other similar products in constant rotation. I don't have bad skin and I don't need much coverage, but somehow slapping some tinted product on my face makes me feel well groomed and elegant.

So when I stick to one product for longer and use it on daily basis, this means something. 
And this new found love is my Bourjois 123 Perfect CC Cream.

This product, apart from 24h hydration of a moisturiser and SPF15, claims to contain a combination of pigments to correct the colour of your complexion. Apricot helps conceal symptoms of fatigue, green combats redness and white brightens dark spots. Well, no matter what science says, this product simply works.

 This CC cream is very runny as far as consistency goes. In this respect it reminds me a lot of Garnier BB cream for oily skin. Even the packaging, which is a tube with a very narrow, pointed nozzle that prevents excessive amount from flowing out, is similar. 123 CC cream of  goes on beautifully, applies well with fingers, sponges or brushes. It gives my skin natural, satin finish with medium coverage. 

Shade #31 Ivory matches my skin in winter, but I suppose it would be too light in summer. This is a neutral beige shade that couls satisfy most fair-skinned beauties. 
The product had a lovely floral scent, which isn't overpowering but adds to the pleasure of using the product.

My skin starts looking oily after 3 hours, but this happens even with the most matifying products, so it's rather my personal skin problem, not a disadvantage of the product.

I really love the product, I use it daily all over my face or just on my eye lids to unify my skin colour without making it dry. 

 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.