Sunday, 31 August 2014

MAC Pigment in Blue Brown review & swatches

 I need more eyeshadows like a hole in my head, yet there are some kinds of eye make-up products that will always lure me and one such category is duochromes.
MAC pigment in Blue Brown had been in and out of my basket a countless number of times before I saw it was available in mini size this summer and that was once in a lifetime opportunity for me, so I grabbed it instantly.  

This is a very lovely duochrome eyeshadow with a very red-toned brown base and aquatic blue sheen.  As with all duochromes this looks different depending on lighting, angle, way of application and blending.
If you apply this on bare lids you can get a sheer wash of colour, but if you use a brown cream eyeshadow as a base, you'll bring out the brown tones and achieve more intensity of the colour. If you use a blue base, the blue sheen will become more prominent.

MAC Blue Brown is a gorgeous eyeshadow and I would love it much much more if I didn't have another eyeshadow that is dangerously close to being its dupe. Inglot loose eyeshadow #85 is a very similar, yet cheaper, alternative to Blue Brown.

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

Friday, 29 August 2014

Korean goodies: Memebox #48 Daily Dose of Beauty unboxing

Memebox Superbox #48 Daily Dose of Beauty has just arrived at my doorstep. Although there was a brief description of the potential contents of the box on the website, suggesting the box would hold a different item for each day of the week, ranging from make-up to cheer you up on Mondays to therapeutic sessions at weekends, it still managed to surprise me.

Not only were there 8 products instead of 7, but also there were 2 Tuesdays and 2 Thursdays and no Saturday or Sunday, just the weekend.  The selection of products was also quite unpredictable, but in fact this is probably one of my favourite boxes so far. 
So, let's  see what I'm supposed to use now day by day:


Cheek Room Eye Shadow in Honey Pink is sheer and crumbly and I'm not a fan of peachy shades. Not my fsvourite item here.


 3 Sally's box Delight Hydrogel Masks could have been added to My Cute Wishlist box. They look lovely! But I think there's something wrong with the description in the information sheet. It says here they're some sort of lip treatment, while they're clearly sheet masks. There's even a leaflet advertising all Sally's box treatments and they're not promoted as lip balms either. Nonetheless, they look very very exciting.

And one more Tuesday product: D'ran Aqua Wonder Intensive Renewing Serum uses glacier water complex to offer skin nutrition and moisture. This is to be used after emulsion to offer skin natural, supple glow. Not much info about any active ingredients, though, but I like korean serums, so I'll be happy to try this out!


Yu Choo By Me Steam Silk Half Pack contains argan oil, olive oil and coconut oil. You wear this like a hat over towel-dried hair for 15-20 minutes and rinse. Quite exciting!


Grinif Rawganic Jojoba Golden Oil is to be used alone for facial massage or mix with a facial cream, BB cream, a body lotion or a hair essence. A real multitasker! And the packaging is really pretty! 
Eglips JolieBeBe Lip Treatment is ... a lip treament that comes in a Juicy Tubes kind of packaging. Great! I've just used up one of my lip balms!


Croquis Bulgeum Lipstick is supposed to be an all-in-one lip product. It's a lip essence (never used one and
didn't know they existed, lipstick, lip tint, and lip gloss. I like the formula and the shade, but not the applicator!

It looks like ProYou S Wrinkle SC Renewal Ampoule is one of the most expensive face treatment I've ever had, with its price tag of $96! Though I never comment about prices that are given on the the Memebox leaflets as they seem a tad overblown.
There's more info about what this product doesn't contain (like parabens, alcohol and other baddies) than about what is actually meant to work, like adenosine, EGF and peptide complex. It's to be used daily, morning and evening.

I must say I'm satisfied with everything except the eyeshadow. I've just been wondering how young girls, who are primarily a target group of Memeboxes, feel about getting tons of heavy duty anti-wrinkle skincare in every single box, even the make-up related ones. 

The Body Shop Vineyard Peach Shower Gel and Body Scrub review

Summer sales could mean just one thing: I picked some half-priced toilerties from The Body Shop. From the narrowed-down selection of their products on sale I picked the Vineyard Peach Shower Gel and Body Scrub.
The Body Shop shower gels are very consistent as far as their silkiness, lathering and moisturising properties are concerned, the major difference being the scent. Vineyard Peach is like peach essence in the bottle. It's smells so delicious and tempting you literally want to drink it! My son Adam, who refuses to eat most of the foods, demanded that I buy him some peaches after using this gel. This is quite unexpected, but I think I should thank The Body Shop for changing my son's eating habits.

The Body Scrub isn't my favourite scrub ever. The peach scent is somewhat less realistic and it's thick creamy consistency together with peach stone particles are nothing unusual in the body scrub world. I don't mind, this does its job perfectly well, especially now, in the self-tanning season, but my expectations soared after using the raspberry version of The Body Shop Body Scrub and nothing compares to that one now. It's a decent product, but I'm sure you can get plenty of dupes in the drugstore. Considering the fact that I bought this on offer, it was money well spent, but for the full price I would repurchase the raspberry or get the new argan oil one that seems to have the same gelly consistency.

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, 28 August 2014

Redken Body Full Shampoo, Light Conditioner and Instant Bodifier review

As an owner of ultra thin and fine frizz-prone hair I know there are two contradictory solutions that never become one: either a head full of frizzy, windswept in all directions hair or a sleek, yet flat and greasy-looking hairstyle. 
Redken Body Full set definitely works successfully to achieve look number one.

The whole line targets fine/flat hair and promises volume that defeats gravity. And all the three products deliver what they promise 100%. But I'm unsure whether I like what they make my hair feel and look like. But I'll talk about that later.

When washing your hair with the shampoo, you'll instantly feel that the fullness of your hair increases in your hands, but you'll notice that it'll get all frizzy and tangled. The conditioner promises to provide lightweight moisture and help ease detangling without weighing the hair down, but it seemed to me that it kept only the last promise and left my hair suspiciously dry and not as smooth and ready for brushing as I normally like. 

The combo left my hair visibly volumised, but at a cost. This made my hair dry and shineless, feeling coarse and frizzy. I was under the impression that my hair suddenly turned into straightened afro kind of hair. It's true it was weightless, but it also made my hair weightless and static which meant that with the slightest blow of the wind my hair looked really mad, no matter how flat I tried to flaten it with my straightener. 
I can't say I didn't like the two, I do appreciate the volume it gave me, but I feel straight and heavy Asian hair would benefit way more from using this set.

The shampoo and the conditioner have some kind if weird scent that took me a while to get used to, but I liked it eventually.

The Body Full Instant Bodifier is the most puzzling item in the whole bunch. 
This is a foam, but not the dense aerosol mousse, but the soft one that is created as you pump it. 
First time I used this I made an orange-size ball, which turned to be waaaaay too much for short fine hair. This thing is very sticky and made my hair coarse, frizzy, crisp dry, inflexible, helmet-like and impossible to comb.
The Instant Bodifier will work best for naturally straight, smooth and heavy hair to give it a lift. I myself do use it occassionally, but never more than 2 small pumps and never in combination with the other two Redken Body Full products. It does give my hair some boost when I use hair oils or a smoothing shampoo/conditioner, which tend to make my hair go flat. 

I'm definitely not going to repurchase the shampoo and conditioner, but the mousse is handy, especially when you want to give your hair volume at the roots.

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.

Korean goodies: Too Cool for School Dinoplatz Cinema City CC cream review & swatches

 Although I'm well past the BB/CC stage I was glad to discover Too Cool For School Dinoplatz Cinema City CC cream in my Memebox.
I'd heard a lot about the brand, I even own a blush from them, and the packaging was so fun that I immediately pulled it out of the packaging and entered the testing phase. 

To be honest I'm not entirely sure what and who this product is for.
It offers almost no coverage. Yes, yes, I'm familiar with the theory behind CC creams, that they're meant to correct the skin tone and stuff, the thing is that I don't notice much of this correction on my skin that does have some redness, but is not particularly plagued by acne or blemishes. There's one persistent spot on my jaw line and this CC cream neither toned it down nor hid it in any way.

The second thing is that this CC cream is ghostly pale with pink undertones. I can get away with this as I'm normally pale when I don't self-tan and my skin has cool undertone, but I fear it might not be suitable for Asian ladies, who are primarily the target group for this product. But, on the bright side,I noticed that you can correct this paleness nicely with a bit of bronzer.

 My way of using this CC cream is to treat it as a tinted sunscreen (SPF30), apply it on those days when I take my kids to the beach and I want some toning product on my face, but nothing too noticeable to avoid looking too made-up. Then I slap on some bronzer to add warmth to my face and I'm good to go.

I have oily skin and this CC cream replaces my morning moisturiser. I'm pleasantly surprised that although the finish is nowhere near matte, it doesn't turn into oil skick during the day as some Korean BB creams tend to do.

All in all, I do believe that this product has numerous advantages and I will definitely use up the 10ml de luxe sample, but I see no need to buy a full-size version of this.  

Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Lorac Pro Palette 2 review & swatches

I haven't bought many eyeshadows recently as not many of them have stirred much interest in me, but when I heard that Lorac were about to release another palette from their Pro series I instantly knew it would be a must-have for me.

Just like its predecessor, the Pro 2 palette comes in a sleek cardboard packaging with rubbery coating that makes it feel like Nars compacts. It's equipped with a large mirror, though I would prefer it to be full size.
What I really love about the palette is that its 16 shades are arranged according to a number of different rules that complement each other and make the product more user friendly. The eyeshadfows come in two rows of matte and shimmery to frosty, but never glittery, eyeshadows. The lightest shades are on the right and then they get darker and darker towards the right. You will also notice, when you look at the swatches below, that vertical pairs complement each other to offer you a variety of at least 7 completely different looks made using 2 eyeshadows only.  

Buff is a light beige eyeshadow with neutral undertones that is perfect all over the eyelid to even out the skin tone and make blending easier.
Light Brown is a tad too dark, but I like to use this shade in my crease to add some depth to my hooded eyes.
I don't like Snow. It's too white and too frosty. But this is exactly what you expect from snow, don't you?
Beige is a shimmery shade that can be used in the inner corner or very moderately on the browbone. Together with Lt. Brown it makes a lovely work/school friendly combo. 

Cool Gray is one of my favourite shadows in the palette, but it's not as gray as the name suggests. There are strong plun undertones to this shade! I love wearing this all over the lid.
Nectar doesn't lie within my comfort zone, but I can imagine many people will find the shade exciting. This shade will look perfect on olive skin tones.
Rose is a nice rose gold that makes a nice highlight shade or will look good all over the lid if you're after neutral make-up. Look how beautifully it's paired with Cool Gray!
Mocha is a gorgeous brown-bronze shade. One of my favourite shades! 

Plum is a lovely plum purple shade that transfers beautifully and true to the pan onto the lid! I can picture myself wearing this a lot this autumn!
Navy is definitely the highlight of this palette. It's such a gorgeous dark, cool-toned navy blue that is quite bright in spite of being so dark! Unfortunately, the colour tends to turn muddy when blended. I love using this as an eyeliner, but it produces tons of dark fall out. If you compare  at all the mattes swatches, you'll notice that this one happens to be the most powdery and crumbly.   
Chrome is another favourite eyeshadow of mine! It doesn't seem all that chrome to me. To my eyes this seems a kind of brownish taupe shade. I have an enormous variety of taupes in my stash, but somehow this one manages to stand out! Chrome and Plum will certainly make my favourite autumn combination.
Silver is a light silver shade that is a bit too frosty for my ageing lids, but it's a pretty shade nonetheless. Looks lovely paired with Navy!

Charcoal is the shade that I see as pure gray. Very nice and handy for a variety of looks where you don't want to darken your crease with black.
Black actually is also not the pitch black shade, but a very very very dark gray. I've got tons of pure black shades, so this one makes a nice addition to this seemengly unimaginative and unvaried collection.
Jade looks like khaki green leaning more green. I know I'll never use this shade as this one and its likes don't go together with my skin tone, but I'm sure this will look gorgeous on someone more tan and warmer toned.
And finally Cocoa is this gorgeous dark chocolate brown shimmer.

My absolute favourites are Cool Gray, Chrome, Navy and Cocoa and I've been incorporating them to a variety of looks this month. 

The main advantages are:
  • equal number of shimmers and mattes
  • no glitters
  • amazing pigmentation
  • some unique shades
  • lots of cool tones
  • some shades offer a pop of colour 
  • generic names

There arent't many disadvantages of the palette, but I feel I need to mention that 
  • some shades powdery
  • the shadows tend to produce fall out
  • the colour doesn't always transfer  true to the pan

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, 26 August 2014

Korean goodies: Secret Key Snail+EGF Repairing Cream review

I'd already used a couple of snail creams in my life, so when I got a couple of samples of Secret Key Snail+EGF Repairing Cream I expected something quite thick that would sit on my skin for a long time and that I could use on my oily skin only before going to bed. To my surprise this cream turned out to be totally different.
It's rather lightweight, but not runny. The cream absorbs easily and it makes a good make-up base for oily skin such as mine. It moisturises my skin in a watery way, which is really nice. It has a nice faint scent that reminds me a bit of a cologne.

I quite liked the cream, but after using up a good couple of samples both day and night I noticed nothing spectacular about it that would encourage me to buy a whole jar of it. It's all right, but I'm sure I can find something better. I wouldn't recommend it for very dry skin as I feel it might not be moisturising enough and used in winter it might even make matters worse.

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, 25 August 2014

Essie Summer 2014 Collection Brick review & swatches

For many years I thought of Essie as an overhyped brand. Or perhaps an inconsistent one. Some of the formulas were excellent, while orhers were crap, some wore perfectly for weeks, some chipped within 24h, some have nicely fanned out brushes, I even own one with a wide flat brush, but some brushes are ridiculously narrow. 

Encouraged my my good experience with Essie After Sex, with its wide flat brush and excellent formula, I went ahead and picked the craziest summer shade ever, Strut Your Stuff, and a week later I won in a competition the entire Essie Summer 2014 Collection Brick, containing 4 minis, including Strut Your Stuff!
The competition was organized by an online store who sell cosmetics by such popular brands as Sleek, Zoeva, Sugarpill, Lime Crime among others. Together with the polish brick I got from them a Sleek palette and a mini Sleek lip gloss plus a couple of samples! Such generosity is still rare among Polish online businesses! 

The brick contained 4 polishes: Haute in the Heat, Strut Your Stuff, Roarrrrange and Fierce, No Fear. All of them unfortunately had these ridiculously narrow brushes which scared me at firstm but it turned out later that, combined with the wonderful formula of every single polish within the set, the brush performed surprisingly well. Every single polish was fully opaque in 2 coats, applied streak and ridge-free, shone beautifully (though this could be attributed to my Seche Vite top coat) and went without showing the signs of chipping or wearing out for days. I'm head over heels in love with Essie now and I wish my local drugstores sold also collections, not only the basic line. 

Strut Your Stuff is hard to describe and even harder to photograph. My pictures don't seem to do it much justice as, even though this is an undeniably bright blue shade, it's less turquoise. It seems to be an epitome of blueness, yet I've never seen anything that blue.

Although I've got a number of oranges, Roarrrrange turned out to be fairly unique as well. The polish was opaque in two coats, but offered a kind of see-through finish. The colour is obviously orange, but it's a kind of  muted, dirty, brick-toned orange. It's sooo pretty and I see myself wearing it a lot this autumn!

Haure in the Heat looks very different from what I've managed to photograph. It's a very summery raspberry/watermelon shade, quitr bright, but nowhere near a neon. I like this shade, but it's not unique at all, I have at least 2 other polishes that are very close to this.

And finally, Fierce no Fear is the one I have mixed feelings about. It looks strangely separated in the bottle, but applies like a dream. The shade is a pretty neutral taupe that screams late autumn to me, but in the dark all its yellow tones come out and it doesn't look pretty at all. 
It's a king of dull shade, but I managed to stirr some life in it by adding an Essence glitter top coat (below)


Sunday, 24 August 2014

Geocaching photostory 2014

Not many of you know that make-up is not the one and only area of my interest. For the past couple of years together with our sons we've been involved in Geocaching, which is an outdoor treasure trove game that can be done by everyone. We're probably the worst team of geocachers in the area as the number of caches found is nothing to boast about, which doesn't mean we're not involved in the game. The thing is that we're quite selective about where we want to go and what we want to find.

We never enter private territories or places with restricted access, we don't enjoy rummaging among all sorts of rubbish, we don't undertake unnecessary risks, we don't enjoy ugly, nonsense places, we prefer solitary searches to being surrounded by crowds of curious onlookers. The caches we found this summer have all passed our quality control and will stay in our memories for a long, long while.

We've experienced terror, fear and the macabre...

We wandered in daylight and were led by ghosts at night time...

We found maps burried in ruined households basements...

We found things big and small...

We waddled in rivers and wallowed in mud...

We solved puzzles...

We visited places of interest and places of special interest...

We followed disused railway tracks...

till we couldn't go any further.

We travelled off the beaten track...

to discover long forgotten places...

or the beauty of nature. 

We made our sacrifices (take a close look at the windscreen)...
but were generously rewarded with every gasp, thrill, adventure, reason for travelling that others gave us.