Sunday, 6 April 2014

March 2014 faves and fails

March 2014 was the sunniest and the warmest March I can remember. All the snow disappeared in mid February and since then we experienced long spells of hot weather with temperatures reaching even 20 degrees. My mood shifted instantly after the unpleasant events of February, I left hospital with the need to change something in my life. I went on a diet that I'm obsessed with right now and started reaching for brighter, sunnier make-up.
First of all face products:
1. I rediscovered my Armani Maestro foundation. It's a lovely lightweight foundation that makes my skin so smooth and soft!
2. I fell in love again with my good old Diorskin Nude compact foundation. I use it for touch-ups mostly, in places where my foundation seems to disappear during the day - along my nose in particular- and I'm absolutely satisfied with its satin finish and lasting power.
3. Soap & Glory Solar Powder is a gorgeous powder that consists of a lighter and a darker powder that can be used separately or swirled together. The powder isn't matte, but it's not glittery or shimmery either. It offers spectacular, natural glow.
4. Diorskin Nude Matte Sun Powder in Matte Amber looks scary orange at first, but when applied highthandedly and blended in properly it offers beautiful, naturally tanned complexion.
5. Maybelline Master Hi-light in Pink Rose is a lovely highlighter that is not too shimmery and can be also used as a blush if you dab your brush onto the more pigmented 'bricks'. I'm thinking of getting more of these as they're such a good value for money.
6. Clinique blush in Ginger Pop is such a lovely warm shade that is not insanely bright, yet screams spring to me. 
And now on to the eyes:
7. I'm currently using a sample of Lorac Behind the Scenes eye primer and I must say I like it a lot. It's a bit thicker than Urban Decay or Too Faced eye primers, but it works nonetheless.
8. Too Faced Chocolate Bar palette offers a wide variety of incredibly beautiful browns and smells heavenly. I just cannot resist the temptation of opening the lid!
9. TheBalm Balm Voyage palette is such a perfect combination of neutrals and brights. I've been reaching for the minty and teal shades a lot recently.  
10. Lancome Graphic Eyes Artliner in Sapphire is a real stunner. It's a madly pigmented bright cobalt that looks perfect with browns and taupes. Takes a while to learn how to use, but once you've mastered this you won't be disappointed!
11. Physicians Formula Shimmer Strips Eyeliner Trio in Nude Eyes is an incredible feast for eyeliner users. For about $10 you get 3 high quality pencils in gorgeous taupey and black shades that can be used alone to create a neutral smoky eye.
12. L'Oreal False Lash Wings mascara both in its regular and waterproof version is a must for anyone that longs for volume. Since I got it I use it almost every day.
And finally the lips:
13. Revlon Colorburst Matte |Balm lipstick in Sultry may not be that siutable for spring, but it's just arrived under my roof and it's such a good quality matte lipstick that I can't stop using it. Especially on rainy days.
14. YSL Rouge pur Couture #8 Orange de Chine is a lovely orange that screams spring. Lasts and shines all day and looks pretty even on such cool-toned complexion as mine.   

My hair has been so greasy recently, especially where my fringe touches my horrible oily forehead. That's why, to combat this oiliness and flat style I started using mousses again and my favourite one is John Frieda Luxurious Volume Mousse (1.). It gives my hair the volume I need without making it look shineless. When I need a bit of shine I apply Pantene elixir with argan oil (2.) which seems to me to be less of an oil, more of a gel which means it's not as heavy as hair oils and looks on my hair better. And finally, I treat my second day hair with Bumble & Bumble Thickening Dryspun Finish (3.) that gives no white cast and makes my hair look nice and fresh without irritating my scalp. 

All winter I stuck to red and burgundy nail polishes and now time has come to brighten my nails up. 
1. China Glaze nail polish in Don't Make Me Wine isn't the springtime bright I was talking about, but paired with Sally Hansen Extreme Wear glitter polish in # 140 Rockstar Pink it makes the perfect party combo.
2. Nails Inc. in Charing Cross is a lovely bright red polish and it's quality is amazing! I doubt there's any other polish in my collection that goes on so evenly and opaque in one coat!
3. Calvin Klein in Caught Red Handed is another gorgeous red with see-through, glass-likr, gel-like finish.
4.   OPI polish in Are We There Yet is such a unique shade. It's salmon with subtle micro shimmer that is so spring-appropriate.

I don't often include fails as I try to select the products I buy carefully. I rarely buy anything on a whim, a thorough research usually preceeds my decision. And in case of the first three fails of March the products simply did not live up to the hype.
I got three Maybelline Color Elixirs and while I like every single shade and the packaging I simply cannot see anything out of the ordinary about them. They aren't more pigmented, smooth, even or long-lasting than other glosses. 
Exactly the same can be said about L'Oreal Color Riche Extraordinaire which is also very gloopy. It looks nice when swatched, but the wear time is short and the product doesn't feel comfortable on the lips.
Sephora Rouge Infusion is quite a different story. This time I was lured by the commercial and impressed by how it swatched. The product offered intense colour and left on my hands stains that lasted pretty much all day. Unfortunately, this product wears very unevenly off my lips and makes them look (not feel) parched.

NYX Color Mascara has a gorgeous blue colour, but the mascara itself is very bad quality. It smudges and crumbles and is very hard to build up.

And finally two samples, the first one being The Body Shop Vitamin C Daily Moisturiser and the second one Estee Lauder Matte Perfecting Primer.
I was looking for a daily moisturiser with sunscreen so I got from The Body Shop a sample of the one that  has the highest SPF in their offer. This cream turned out to be very thick and heavy, way too greasy for my oily skin, but I also feel that it is too thick even for dry skin types to be used in the summer heat. I also tried the ones with Vitamin E and Seaweed and the Vitamin E one seemed the closest to what I expect, even though the Seaweed one targets my skin type.

Whatever can be said about Estee Lauder Matte Perfecting Primer is not that it works. I haven't noticed anything matte nor perfecting about it. My face didn't look matte even straight after the application of the primer nor did it make my pores less visible or my foundation last longer. I'm lucky I didn't buy it full size.

And I nearly forgot my most hated nail polish. It's Inglot Breathable Nasil Enamel #663. It's such a lovely orange shade that I dig it out every year and struggle to make it work and then toss it aside in a fury but never had the guts to ditch it. This time I did. It's horribly streaky, adding coats doesn't improve anything, it only turns the polish gooey and difficukt to dry. The polish shows signs of wear a couple of hours after the application and chips within a day. Urrrrgh. Horrible, horrible stuff! 

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