Monday, 30 June 2014

Sephora Cream Lip Stain in Strawberry Kissed #03 review

I got my Sephora Cream Lip Stain in #03 Strawberry Kissed after reading a couple of enthusiastic reviews, especially by British bloggers, who have now gained access to Sephora goodies as they have started shipping to the UK. I really like good matte lip colour so I was pretty much excited to give it a go.

Strangely enough, the red shade I wanted to get was unavailable in the shop. I could get it online, but the product is too cheap to qualify for free shipping, so I picked #03 Strawberry Kissed instead. The shade is, as the name implies, a strawberry red shade with a very matte finish.
The product is highly pigmented, one swipe offers full coverage. It applies very evenly, but you have to work fast as it dries very quickly. A little goes a long way, packing the product may result in clumping. Anyway, I believe that this is the best matte liquid lipstick formula I've tried.
The finish is very matte and dry, so if your lips aren't in tip-top condition, I'd give this product a miss.
Sephora Cream Lip Stain is a long-wearing product, but within 2-3 hours' time I notice bold patches in the inner parts of my lips, which is definitely a far worse result than that achieved with Bourjois Rouge Edition Velvets.

The thing I don't quite like is the packaging.  It's very similar to MAC lip glosses, cheapish sort of clear plastic with black top and Sephora logo around it. The doe foot applicator is kind of obsolete compared to many fantastic applicators by competitive brands. It chases the product towards the edges of my lips and leaves a thicker line there. With such quick-drying formula I just cannot shape my lips as nicely as I'd like to. A lip liner would be handy for tough ups, but I've got nothing similar in shade.

All in all, this lipstick is neither the worst nor the best I've tried. I would position it next to the far more expensive and higher-end Hourglass Opaque Rouge lipstick.  Bourjois Rouge Edition Velvets are more difficult to apply evenly, but wear way better and are practically irremovable.

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, 29 June 2014

Wet n Wild eyeshadow palettes in On Cloud Nine and Blue Had Me At Hello review & swatches

I'd heard so many good things about Wet n Wild eyeshadow palettes that when I was doing my American drugstore shopping on e-bay I added two of their palettes top my basket to see if they're any good. 

My first choice was On Cloud Nine trio, which is a lovely combination of blues and brown which I have been sporting a lot recently.
The first eyehadow, marked as a browbone shade, is a frosty baby blue shade. I can't imagine using it on the brow bone, it's too frosty and too blue, screams so 80's  to me. But it makes a lovely inner corner highlighter.
The second is a lovely matte chocolate brown shade. If you don't like blue colours, this palette might be worth getting only because of this eyeshadow. Matte eyeshadows from the drugstore are relatively rare and this one's beautifully pigmented, blends well and looks good both in the crease and all over the lid for one shade all over looks.
And finally, the third shade, which is a shimmery denim blue. I own quite a collection of blues, yet this shade is nothing like the other blues I've got. There's something quiet about this shade that may encourage those who would like to try wearing blue for a pop of colour, yet are afraid to try.  

This palette is a great choice for:
  • all blue lovers
  • everyone wishing to experiment with blue eyeshadows. This palette is so cheap that you may toss it away if the experiment fails. And even if you don't like the blues, you may end up enjoying a pretty brown matte shade
  • those who want to create a range of different looks from day to more dramatic ones, from all blue to all brown or a mixture of both (my personal preference)
  • everyone looking for a sleek small palette that is travel friendly and occupies little space in the make-up bag or drawer.

The eyeshadows last all day without fading or creasing on oily lids like mine (I always use a good quality primer, though). 
The only thing I don't like is the cheap packaging that doesn't pretend to be anything else than a cheap drugstore product, but then for about $3 what else could I expect? 

The second palette I chose is Blue Had Me At Hello and is a bit of a let down, compared to the other one. 
A palette consisting of 8 shades should theoretically offer some more variety than a trio, but in fact I reach for three shades only. Also the quality of the eyeshadows is a bit inconsistent with some of the shades simply refusing to cooperate with me.

I suppose this palette is divided into a colour range that will give you a classic smokey eye (left) and a crazier aquatic blue eye look (right), but of course they can be combined in any way you want.

The browbone shades are a very frosty white pearl (l) and a light mint green with more of a pearl finish (r).

The eyelid shades are a lovely metallic silver that is highly pigmented and blends in really well. Unfortunately such metallic shades don't look good on my ageing lids.
The other eyelid shade is a bright turquoise blue with golden yellow sheen. This is a very pretty bright shade, for those who long for a pop of colour. It goes on very smoothly and blends in well.

The next pair look very similar in the pan, but when swatched it turns out that the one on the left is a black shade with dark blue shimmers. This shade is not the easiest to work with. It's dry and powdery, produces tons of fallout and in the process of blending all the shimmers disappear and what we're left with is a charcoal shade with satin finish.
The other one on the right is quite a unique shade of blue. It seems to be a cool-toned navy blue, but when swatched it looks much warmer and looks like a dark cornflower shade to me. There's some sheen to it, but no frost or sparkle. It would be my favourite shade in the palette if I didn't experience problems with pigmentation. This eyeshadow tends to disappear from the lid when blended. When layered oner the bright turquoise above it, it barely shows at all, just offers a kind of warmer sheen to it. 
I also don't think these two make proper crease shades. They look good in the outer corner, but I like to see some neutral shades in my crease.

And the final duo are two blach eyeshadows that are meant to be used as liners. The one on the left is matte and the one on the right has some silver sparkle that doesn't cling to the lids too well. It's useful to have an eyeliner shade in a palette to use according to the purpose or to darken the outer corners, but who needs two black shades?

My favourite look is a 'peacocky eye'. First I apply some blue cream eyeshadow in the outer corner, then pat on the blue crease shade on the right over it. Then I apply the turquoise shade on the centre of my lid and blend it with the blue one and finally I apply the mint browbone shade in the inner corner of my eye and blend all three shades together.  

As I've already said, you get 8 shades, but a number of them is actually pretty similar. 3 of them are basically black. Most of the shades are shimmery and this palette lacks a nice matte base shade. 

I must also say that while I found the quality of the first palette amazing, the shadows from the second one failed to last all day. They crease, transfer and there's some fallout during the day that gived me sickly looking green circles under my eyes. 

While On Cloud Nine is adorable, I think Blue Had Me At Hello is not a necessary addition to my collection. The shades are nice, but not irreplaceable, I could create a similar peacocky look using MAC Tilt and Deep Truth.

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, 28 June 2014

Yves Rocher Hydra Vegetal moisturising cream spf25 review

My mum  recently gave me a bunch of samples of Yves Rocher products, out of which Hydra Vegetal Moisturising Cream SPF 25 immediately caught my attention as not only was it a moisturiser, but also a sunscreen for normal to combination skin which made me hope it would suit my needs.

Sometimes using a sample of a product doesn't tell you anything, but in this case I'm more than grateful I had a chance to try it out before buying as this saved me some money.

This cream may be moisturising, but above all it is greasy. It remained sticky and didn't absorb at all. It sat on the surface of my skin without drying.  Considering that it was supposed to be used in the summer heat, this guaranteed a major make up melt-down. For prolonged exposure to sun the manufacturer advises layering with sun care, which I cannot really imagine.

But greasiness is nothing unusual in cae of many 'western' sunscreens. Almost every single one felt heavy, but thisone sat on the surface of my skin and finally balled up horribly, which was too much.  

This is a big big no for me.

Thursday, 26 June 2014

Soap & Glory kick Ass Concealer review & swatches

Soap & Glory is one of my favourite drugstore brands ever. I wish it was available here in Poland. Not only are their toiletries worthy of attention, but also their make-up products do not disappoint.

Kick Ass Concealer is one of my favourite products by the brand. It comes in a lovely small compact and contains two concealer shades, white setting powder with a sponge and a mirror. The only thing that bothers me is that the powder comes in the upper section and the concealers in the bottom one, which is a sort of reverse chronology, but maybe it's just me.

The concealer drawer is split in half, the one on the left is a salmon shade that is supposed to be used to hide undereye circles and brighten the area. This concealer is creamy and moisturising. I have dry undereye and many concealers do more bad than good accentuating my wrinkles, but this one doesn't. I barely set it with powder and I don't notice much creasing or migrating towards my wrinkles. I don't have dark undereye circles, just a bit of redness and I use just a tiny little bit of this concealer, which is incredibly pigmented, to brighten the area and even out the skin tone.
The one on the right is a bit dryer and yellow toned. I use it on blemishes or areas of redness that my foundations don't manage to cover. It blends in perfectly and conceals everything beautifully, making all imperfections invisible.

 The powder is meant to be brightening, it's white and finely milled, but not fully transparent. It can go cakey if overapplied and I usually give this stage a miss, especially that the powder has some luminising properties and I don't want to attract attention to my eye area.

All in all, this is a cheaper version of my Bobbi Brown concealer and powder duo, equally efficient and moisturising, with the added benefit of a face concealer. This is one of the most often reached for concealers in my stash.

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

Tuesday, 24 June 2014

Bourjois 1 Seconde gel nailpolish in Blue no Blues #26 and Perle Illusion review & swatches

My hubby bought me mint shoes. There's nothing in my wardrobe that could possibly match mint shoes so I thought a mint green nail polish would be the easiest way to restyle my look and make my shoes look less random. I went on a polish hunt and immediately grabbed Bourjois 1 Seconde gel nailpolish in Blue no blues #26, which is not quite as minty as it was supposed to be, but to be honest I treated my mint hunt as a pretext to get some more of these polishes as I believe them to be the best on the market currently and I just cannot resist the urge to have them all. That is why shade #20 Perle Illusion returned home with me as well. 

The reason why I'm obsessed with these polishes is they deliver what the manufacturer promises and look incredible on the nails. They come from the Bourjois 1 Seconde line which is all about 1 stroke - 1 second concept, which is obviously to be treated metaphorically as no one is able to coat an entire nail or all lashes in one stroke, but what the manufacturer means is that one coat is enough to get the job done and this is absolutely true.  
What's more the polishes are the so-called gel effect ones, which means they are incredibly shiny, they last long on the nails without chipping and the drying takes no more than a minute (I can't say much about that as I use fast drying top coat anyway).

Blue no blues is not exactly a mint shade. It's much brighter than that, it's a saturated pastel minty blue shade.
This kind of shades are usually difficult to work with, but this one performs amazingly. One coat was madly opaque, it levelled itself out, giving streak-free colour with shiny finish. This polish wore beautifully for a couple of days, showing no signs of wear. I removed it only because I wanted something other on my nails. This freezing cool shade made my pale hands look tanned. It looks gorgeous on my toes.

Blue no blues is a crazy shade that isn't exactly my taste, but the polish is such a lovely quality and the application is so effortless that I'm sure I'll be reaching for it quite often. 

#20 Perle Illusion could pass as a one-coater, yet I chose to apply two thin layers this time. Two coats gave wonderful, even, streak and bold patch free look with shiny finish.
The polish dried to touch very quickly, yet I treated it with my Essie Good to Go top coat just in case.
The shade is this quite peculiar cool-toned old gold or champagne that suits my pink complexion pretty well. This polish is shimmery, almost to the point of looking quite metallic.
I really like this polish. I'm going to wear it a lot on more formal occassions or in autumn.

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, 23 June 2014

Maybelline Super Stay gel nail color in Surreal review and swatches

Yes, yes, I admit it. I've bought too many nail polishes recently. But that's because drugstore polishes have recently surpassed the level of high-end ones. For affordable prices, with countless promotional offers you can get incredible polishes for less than $3, like the new Maybelline Super Stay Gel Nail Color in Surreal.

First of all, I need to comment upon the photo above. This nail polish doesn't look like the one in the first photo at all. For some reason it tends to look in the blog post completely different than in the original picture and even more different than in reality. When I was buying it I thought I was getting something purple, but it seems to me now that it's excatly half way between cornflower blue and lilac purple. It's a kind of romantic, dreamy, muted shade, nothing like the bright blue above, the picture below represents the shade much better. 

What I really hated when I started applying the polish was the brush. Although I really loved the fact that it was wide and flat, I was more than disappointed by hairs sticking out in all directions. I noticed this right after opening the bottle, so this wasn't a result of wear or my careless poking around with the brush. The shape of the brush was rounded, but very irregular, with one side more rounded than the other. The fibres themselves seemed wonky and feeble and not as stiff as those in applicators by other brands (eg. Bourjois ! Seconde). 

With some effort, however, it was possible to apply the polish on my nails. The first coat was uneven and streaky, but the second one evened out all imperfections and made my nails look amazing! 
This polish is worth the effort and waste of time with the horrible brush. The effect fully compensated for the sacrifice. The colour is opaque and unbelievably shiny. It wears well for days without shrinking, chipping nor showing any symptoms of wear and tear. 
In spite of the fact that the brush needs improving, I'm going to get a couple of other shades from the line.

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.

YSL Youth Liberator Serum Foundation #B30 review & swatches

As an ageing lady I'm kind of drawn towards make-up that offers some skin care benefits like all those BB and CC creams. 
YSL Youth Liberator Serum Foundation combines medium to full coverage with skin-firming benefits of Forever Youth Liberator Serum which it is infused with. It also offers 24-hour hydration and SPF 20 coverage. Youth Liberator Serum Foundation promises to hydrate the skin for 24 hours (though I'm not sure whether we're supposed to wear it for 24 hours to achieve these benefits or perhaps it works even when removed). The foundation is supposed to correct dullness giving a newer, brighter complexion. Youth Liberator Serum Foundation corrects, unifies and evens all skin tones, giving the skin an instantly younger appearance. 

Although some attributes of this foundation, like the 24hour moisturising properties, we're clearly meant to ignore, I believe the foundation lives up to its claims and is one of the most beautiful foundations in my collection.
Shade B30 is a neutral light beige shade that strangely enough matches my skin tone both in winter and in summer (with a bit of perking up with a bronzer). It offers medium coverage in my opinion, I usually use 1 pump or a little bit more and this evens out my skin tone and covers most imperfections. The foundation goes on very smoothly, blends in beautifully and looks like skin as long as you don't overapply. 

The finish is neither too glowy nor matte. I have oily skin and this foundation sometimes replaces my face cream and sits very comfortably on my skin. I do need to powder to set it, but my skin reacts very nicely to this foundation as it doesn't stimulate sebum production. My skin doesn't turn into an oilslick within a couple of hours like after using most mattifying foundations like the acclaimed Hourglass Immaculate Liquid Powder Foundation. It lasts pretty much all day, doesn't oxidise or melt in the heat. 

I absolutely adore the packaging, which is a clear glass bottle that gradually darkens to finally reach the black colour of the cap. The packaging isn't travel-friendly, but it's classy and gorgeous. 
The foundation has a distinct floral scent, which I adore, but if your skin is sensitive to fragrance, you should keep away from this.

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

Sunday, 22 June 2014

Guerlain Les Voilettes translucent compact powder review & swatches

I've been a fan of Guerlain face products since times immemorial. I remember their powder foundation as one of the first high-end products I bought and I enjoyed it greatly. I still love their foundations, BB creams and powders so when I'd run out of my make-up bag powder compact and needed a replacement I instantly thought about Guerlain. 

I picked Guerlain Les Voilettes for a number of reasons. My brand loyalty is the first, but also the product seemed to fulfill all my needs. It was supposed to be a translucent mattifying compact powder. It comes in gorgeous sleek packaging that is not only spectacular but also fits in my make-up well without being too heavy or occupying too much space. It's also got this gorgeous tulle embossing and has a strong scent of violets that is consistent with all Guerlain face products and which I love so much and which is one of the main reasons why I reach for Guerlain ever so often.

However, I must sadly say that Les Voilettes compact powder is a bit of disappointment for me.
I have oily skin and no matter what cream, primer, foundation or powder I use, my face gets oily within approximately two hours. So the obvious reason why I need a compact powder is touch-ups on the go. Unfortunately, Les Voilettes is not as translucent and not as mattifying as it promises to be. Instead, it turns my make-up into a sort of cakey mess. I look as if I've put way too much make-up on, which is not true. I know I should blot, and I sometimes do, yet still I don't see much of the difference and this doesn't happen with all powders I've got, so I can clearly attribute the cakeyness to this particular powder.

The shade I picked is #3 Medium and in spite of its name it is rather fair and matches my skin really well.   

I will use this powder up for sure, it's not that dramatically bad, but surely I won't repurchase. Soap & Glory One Heck of a Blot does the job a million times better, but doesn't look as elegant in the purse. I guess I need to pay for my snobbery and use a product I don't like just becasuse I was attracted by the brand.

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

Saturday, 21 June 2014

Korean goodies: Illi Green Tea Brightening sheet mask review

Illi Green Tea Brightening Mask is the first item from my first Memebox I'm reviewing. 

This mask is quite different from other sheet masks I have tried as it is made up of two parts instead of one. I suppose it's meant to make it match different face shapes better, but I really am not sure if this is necessary. Nonetheless, it fitted well and felt comfortable on my face.

The mask was well soaked with liquid, it had a nice, non-artificial smell.  

This mask lives up to all its claims. It revitalises, comforts and hydrates. It instantly replenishes dehydrated skin, leaving it refreshed and cool. I wore it for longer than the 10 minutes prescribed and then tapped all the excess in. My skin felt very pleasantly supple afterwards, however, this is the feeling I have experienced after using every single Korean sheet mask, so if you want to know whether I feel this particular product is indispensable in my skincare stash, I'll say any sheet mask- yes, this particular one - no. I'll probably get some Purederm mask from the drugstore next door or I'll find one in one of my Memeboxes.

Friday, 20 June 2014

The Body Shop Honey Bronze bronzing powder #01 review

Back in early spring my face was looking horribly pale. I knew I needed to add some warmth to my complexion, but all bronzers seemed too dark. I'd heard a lot about The Body Shop Honey Bronze bronzing powder and thought I'd give it a go. The packaging was a bit battered, so the lovely assistant offered me a 30% discount, which satisfied me greatly.

This is a nice bronzer, but not everything is perfect about it. Although I like the shape and colour of the packaging, like many make-up products from The Body Shop it's made from bad quality plastic, it's not resistant to scratches and the logo wears off while still on the shelf in the shop. It looks like a drugstore product, even though it's substantially more expensive.

When I swatched shade 01 in the shop I feared it would be too light, but I was wrong as it does show up in a non-obvious way, which is the reason why I love this powder so much. The shade is very pale indeed and it's rather cool-toned, without any orange undertones. 
Embossed in a beautiful way with a honeycomb pattern, this powder is not powdery at all. The brush picks a minimal amount of product, which makes it go on sheer and blend in incredibly well. After using the product for about three months, the embossing still remains clearly visible.
Now that some sun rays have hit my face and I apply my self tan on regular basis, this powder doesn't show up too much, but it's a perfect bronzer for the sunless winter months.  

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, 18 June 2014

Garnier Ultra Doux Heritage of Provence Lavander Essential Oil and Rose from Grasse shampoo and conditioner

For the past couple of years I've used professional hair care and hardly ever wondered among the drugstore shelves. However, when doing food shopping and looking for a new hair colour for myself, I spotted Garnier Ultra Doux Heritage of Provence Lavander Essential Oil and Rose from Grasse shampoo and conditioner. There's no denying that the reason why this duo returned home with me was the packaging. And the scent.

I've been using these two for the past couple of weeks and I must say I've got no excuse for using high-end hair care any more. 
The shampoo lathers beautifully, when washing my hair I feel that it doesn't strip my hair of moisture, nor does it tangle it. I barely need any conditioner at all. But I do use it and the combo leaves my damaged hair incredibly shiny and soft and relatively frizz-free. I also love the lavender scent that lingers on my hair for hours.
This combo doesn't give my hair any volume, but this is where I rely on styling products.

The only thing I'd change is the size of the conditioner. The shampoo is sold in 400ml bottles, while the conditioner comes in 200ml packaging, which means I'll have to repurchase before using up the shampoo. 
But otherwise, this duo is just perfect.

Tuesday, 17 June 2014

Clarins Radiance Plus Golden Glow Booster review

For the most part of the year I don't notice how pale I am. I live in a cold country, the weather is cloudy most of the time and I'm not in a mood for tan. But on warm spring days I start feeling uncomfortable about my pale pink skin tone, but my previous experience with fake tan on my face has made me stay away from such products. Until now.

This spring I've decided to experiment with some face tanning products. My first purchase was St Tropez Gradual Tan face moisturiser, which hardly gave me any tan at all. Then I did some research and I discovered this brand new product by Clarins that got so many positive reviews that I decided to see for myself what it is like.

Clarins Radiance Plus Golden Glow Booster is not a self-tanner. It's a concentrate that comes in a small 15ml bottle. What you need to do is mix 3 drops of the product with your moisturiser of choice. At first I thought it would be too much fuss, but actually I quite like the process. This gives you the possibility to stick to your skincare routine and control over how much product you use. 

As I've said before, Glow Booster is not a self-tanner. When I applied it for the first time before going to bed I didn't notice any difference in the morning. However, after using 2-3 drops of the product consistently for about a week, my skin tone changed to lightly tanned and summery warm. 
Glow booster is the term that best describes what kind of product this is. I'm sort of addicted to using this before gong to bed, I've been using it almost every day for the past couple of weeks and my face isn't spectacularly tanned, but there's this healthy warm glow to it. 
What's more I haven't noticed any single streak on my face, even though when I'm tired I sometimes slap this on quite carelessly. And above all, the shade of the tan is warm, but not tangoed orange.    

I'm half way through the bottle right now and I must admit I'm seriously addicted. I'm sure I'll repurchase as soon as I've used this one up. It's a must have for pale people looking for natural golden glow.

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, 16 June 2014

Korean goodies: Memebox #11 unboxing

My first Memebox has arrived!
It took 10 days to deliver to Poland, the package was fully trackable, which is not always the case with Polish postal services, and generally arrived save and sound. The box was packed full with Korean goodies, though somehow I believed all of the items would be full size, while most of them are de-luxe samples. I don't mind actually as I have the chance to use these up before my next box arrives as I feel I'm catching the bug!

So let's see what I got there:

Dear by Enprani Moistfull Booskin is a cross between a toner and an essence. I'm really happy to have received this!

Illi Fresh Moisture Body Lotion is very lightweight and smells divine!

Purederm Botanical Choice Pure Solution Eye Cream is one of the full-size items. It comes in a 30ml tube. It's one of the items I'm most excited to try. I love eye creams!

Illi Green Tea Brightening Mask is another sheet mask for me to try. I don't notice much difference between different masks by different brands, but I really do enjoy using them.

Hope Gilr Nail Travel Bling Bling set consists of three polishes in three variations of minty green and deeper green.One of them is shimmer and the other two contain glitter. 

Witch's Pouch Radiant Lolli Tint is a small sample of a plumping and moisturising lip product.

Too Cool for School Dinoplatz Cinema City is a sample of a CC cream that is very light and sheer. I think this will replace my sunscreen more than my foundation.