FINISHED! July Edition

First, I’d like to thank all the readers who are reading and following my blog. i have to admit that I’ve been so busy and yesterday I have realized that the second year of blogging has finished.

I would like to thank you for your support :)

I’ve been looking back on my older posts and it is funny how one changes oneself through the period of time.

Reviewing some of not-so-widely known brands was one of reasons for which I have started blogging, and while this still remains true, some of my attitude towards blogging has changed.

I remember how much stuff I have accumulated during my first year as a beauty blogger. I would often find myself in the store purchasing something thinking „I really don’t need it, but I would like to review it on my blog“ and ending up with the product which wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t something I really needed.

As the time flies, I realize that I have changed my attitude towards make-up and cosmetics in general. Today, I have a much clearer perception of what I want and need and what I do not. I’m more focused on purchasing essentials and products that will work for me, rather than purchasing something that has a gorgeous packaging (although I may cave in from time to time).

It seems that I less and less willing to settle for the second best. However, the quest for THE product lasta a long time. I’ve been hunting THE blush for a year and I have yet to narrow the choice down (this is what lists are for). Luckily, this means that I have enough time to finish with the products I already have.

So, without further rambling, here are the products I have spent this month

SEPHORA Flashy Liner Waterproof in Flashy Violet Review and Swatch

Sephora Flashy Liner was often offered as a dupe for Urban Decay 24/7 eyeliners. Since there is no Urban Decay in Croatia, I have hoped that this will be an available dupe.

I have found the shade #13 Flashy Violet on the sale for $4. The shade is gorgeous – a blue based purple,  but the quality isn’t as good.

The texture and consistency is ok – very creamy.

The colour payoff could be much better. If you try to apply a thicker layer to get better payoff, you’ll realize that the pencil applies patchily.

For the purpose of the review, I have tried it on the waterline too and I could barely get any colour.

Since the texture is very creamy, I have expected that I’ll have to sharpen it very often, but after applying it only once on the upper lash line, the nib of the pencil was completely gone. A bit disappointing if you’ll have to sharpen the liner after every use. For your info, I have to sharpen UD 24/7 pencils after 5 uses and Dior Khol Waterproof after 10 to 14 uses.

As for the waterproof claim, I can say it is true. When I tried to wash the eyeliner from my skin after swatching it, it didn’t go away by using only water. On the lids, it stays on without fading or smudging for at least 8 hours.

Overall, this is a gorgeous, gorgeous shade of not so good quality. I’ll maybe purchase another shade to see whether the quality issues are only with this shade or is it a general problem with all flashy eyeliners.

Click for SWATCH

BRUSH Stash

My brush collection is something that I have started to expand recently. Up until two years ago I had like 3 brushes: power brush, two eyeshadow brushes and some of the applicators I got with the eyeshadow quads.

My brush collection varies in price: there are expensive high-end brushes next to cheap drugstore one (and I don’t see much difference in quality).

I take care a lot for my brushes – the oldest one in my collection is 10 years old and it is still good as new (even better). I wash them once per week (depending on how much make-up I do that week) with gentle, no-silicone shampoo in lukewarm water.

Currently I have 4 face brushes (but looking to expand it), 11 eye-brushes (not counting the applicators I got with the eyeshadow palettes) and 1 lip-brush (don’t need more).

Click for the COLLECTION

SEPHORA Oh My Cherie Body Lotion Cake Gourmand (Sweet Cake) Review, Swatch and Ingredients

PRODUCT DESCRIPTION

Oh My Cherie Body Lotion is Sephora holiday limited edition scent and it comes in a 150ml tube. It is advertised as a non-oily shimmery lotion enriched with vitamins A and E.

I have received this lotion as a part of a set (together with bubble bath and washing sponge) packed in adorable plastic bath tub.

TEXTURE

The lotion is very thin in consistency. It spreads easily, a little goes a long way and it sinks immediately. The lotion is indeed non-oily and non-sticky.

REVIEW

I was a bit shocked when I first started to use this lotion because somehow I have overlooked the “shimmery” part. Still, the shimmer is very fine and very tiny and it washes off easily. You will not look like a glittering Christmas Tree wearing it.

I’m a huge hater of body lotions, as I find most of them too greasy and too sticky. This lotion is an exception – the texture is very light, it sinks in immediately and it is not sticky.

The scent is very cookie-like – impossibly sweet, biscuity, but at the same time slightly fruity . I don’t think it is everyone’s cup of tea, sometimes even I find the scent too strong. The scent stays on the skin until you wash the lotion off, but after an hour of wear it is not as intense.

The consistency of this lotion has won me over completely, and I’m looking forward to try some other scents from the range.

Click for INGREDIENTS and SWATCH

SKINCARE STASH INVENTORY (January 2012)

In my Make-up stash inventory post, I’ve promised skincare and body care stash post so here I am, fulfilling my promise.

You can read on my make-up inventory HERE.

Click for MORE

MAKE-UP STASH INVENTORY (January 2012)

I think it’s high time for me to start to control my impulsive purchases and redirect the money I spend on cosmetics I don’t need on something else. I’ve had much more self-control before I started to get involved in beauty community. Before, I’d purchase something only when I would need it, but now I’ve been buying things only because they seem pretty or I think that I simply must have it (even though I’ll probably use it several times before the product is lost in my stash.

I don’t like feeling overwhelmed every morning when I’m doing my make-up with all of the products which I have. Sometimes it takes me literary 10 minutes only to decide which eyeshadow I should use. I’ve tried the concept of creating “looks” which would include several products and then wearing the look for the next week. It is a good concept, but this means that 90% of my stash sits there unused while I’m wearing the “look”.

I do not plan to use up all of my make-up. I’ll use eyeshadows only until I hit the pan (especially if it is a discontinued or LE product). The same goes with lipsticks. I always leave a millimetre or two of the lipstick in case I ever need to find a dupe. After that, I put the product in the original packaging and put it in my “finished products” drawer. I know this sounds a bit ridiculous, to keep the boxes after you have spent the product, but I have paid a lot for these products and I cannot imagine throwing the compact of, let’s say, Guerlain eyeshadow away.

I have taken a photo of all the items in my stash, for my reference (I’ll do the same the next year). Compared to the previous stash pictures, you can see that I have spent some items (yay! for me) and hit the pan on many others.

Click for STASH INVENTORY

Post-Christmas Rambling, Chocolate Pralines and Gifts

I haven’t really posted much the past week, as I was busy with the preparations (mostly cleaning and baking cakes and cookies). 12 hours and one and a half kilo of chocolate later, I had 300 pralines (filled with raisins and chocolate cream).

I hope you have had a lovely white Christmas and that you have found what you wanted underneath the Christmas tree :)

I have many reviews prepared for several weeks – several of which will be foundation reviews. Since my Clarins Everlasting foundation comes to an end (and I cannot find my shade anymore in Croatia), I’ve been looking for something new. Chanel really made me happy with the colour range of their Perfection Lumiere range, so I have found a sample of the lightest shade and during the last week I’ve been testing it. I still have to take photos of the face swatch (btw for some reason my skin is completely horrible for the last month and a half – I know for sure it isn’t the skincare regime, but I hope it is because of stress and not anything more serious). I’m also waiting for Oriflame Studio Artist foundation. I have really liked the sample I had, and I believe that it will be a good light-coverage foundation option. There are also several other skincare reviews prepared, as well as tighlining tutorial and another guest post by Aleya.

You can let me know which of the above mentioned items you’d like me to review first :)

Click for CHOCOLATE PRALINES and MORE

SEPHORA Vernis Pink Agate Review and Swatch

Sephora nial polish in Pink Agate is a pink based nail polish with pink and silvery flakes. This shade is not very photogenic, but it is a nice twist on light pink polish.

The bottle is tiny (onl 5ml) and it retails for 5 euros. If I’m not mistaken, this shade has been discontinued.

It is very transparent – even four coats won’t be fully opaque. The consistency is very goopy nad the brush could be better. I suggest to use it as a top coat over a more opaque base.

Overall: 

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Click for SWATCH

SEPHORA Mineral Double Compact Review

I’ve bought this compact during that time when absolutely every company had to launch their version of minerals.

Sephora Mineral Double Compact has 10 grams and it retails for $22.

I got Mineral Double Compact in D25, which is a bit too dark, but it is the lightest shade I can get here. I liked the idea of this being talc free powder and I hoped it would be a great alternative to much pricier Diorskin Nude Loose Mineral Powder. I’d say that D25 is very similar to NC25. Currently, it is almost the perfect match, but I never use it during winter. I wanted to swatch it on my arm, but it is impossible as D25 is the exact shade of my underarm. I’ll try to make a swatch in several months, when I’m back to my normal pale self :)

The powder comes in a round compact. Underneath the powder pan is a dual-side sponge and a mirror (not very practical since you have to flip the foundation pan up and down).

Two differently coloured sides of the sponge serve to give various degree of coverage – the white side is for light coverage and the black side is for heavy coverage. I find that both sides apply the foundation too heavy for my liking. Instead, I apply it with a powder brush.

The powder seems pretty dense – you can tell that it is made to cover. The foundation minimizes the appearance of pores up to some degree, but it doesn’t mask them completely. However, it doesn’t cover acne well. Nevertheless, I never expect full coverage from a compact powder foundation.

Mineral Double Compact is drying. Therefore, I usually only wear a thin coat of it as a finishing powder. It also emphasizes dry patches, and if applied heavily, it can look cakey. This improves as the day goes and my natural oil „melts“ the powder.

It did not break me out and it didn’t oxidize.

There is 10g (0.35oz) of the product. It has SPF 10.

Overall:

 

Click for INGREDIENTS and to see how it looks ON THE SKIN

SEPHORA Foundation Brush

 

I’m not 100% sure if I really like this brush.

On one hand, it is very soft, but on the other hand it doesn’t apply foundation well. The brush comes with the protective cover for the bristles.

When I apply the foundation with a brush, I usually dip the brush  several times into the foundation, as I’m working part by part of my face. When I dip the clean brush for the first time, the foundation is applied perfectly even. As I redip the brush, which is now slightly wet, it applies the foundation streaky. It doesn’t help if I try to wipe of the foundation remains – in order for the brush to work properly, I would have to wash it with detergent each and every time.

Other than that, I really like it. The size is perfect – neither too big or too small and I can easily apply foundation on the smaller parts of my face.

As this is my only foundation brush, I really don’t know whether other brushes work better.

Overall:

My Stash: Eyeshadows, Mascaras and Eyeliners

We have finally arrived to my favourite part: eyeshadows. I think that if I’d stop to buy eyeshadows today, I’d still have enough to last me a lifetime.

As for the eyeliners, I’m not a great collector. I prefer black, but here and there I use colour eyeliners.

Click for the PICTURES

My Stash: Foundations and Powders

When it comes to the foundations and powders, I’m still having control over it. I have three foundations, plus several 5ml samples, and 4 powders. Although I’d be happy if I could only have one of each, I don’t believe this is over the top.

Click for the STASH PICTURES

SEPHORA Baume Nourrissant Ongles Review

Sephora Baume Nourrissant Ongles (Nourishing  Nail Balm) is my saviour. The tiny jar contains only 9 grams of apricot scented balm and it costs 8 euros.

Every nailpolish, no matter whether it is high end or drugstore ruins my nails. Every time I remove the nailpolish, my nails are brittle and very prone to breaking. I wanted to get something that would nourish the nails and make them at least less prone to breaking. I’ve been considering Dior Creme Abricot, but I’ve decided to get Sephora nail balm since it was cheaper.

Sephora nail balm has a gorgeous apricot scent and the balm is actually a swirl of peach and white colour. Usually, I gently massage a tiny amount of balm onto the nails and cuticles. If I apply too much of balm, I simply leave it on the nails and it sinks in very quickly.

I have noticed an improvement in the quality of my nails. Of course, it didn’t happen instantly – it took me over two weeks of putting the balm on the unpolished nails once, sometimes even twice per day. There is still a place for improvement, but my nails are definitely in much better condition – they are not as brittle and they break less.

The only thing I dislike about this balm is the packaging. Naturally, the jar is gorgeous looking, but it is extremely impractical to get the product out (especially if you have longer nails). The diameter of the jar is less than an inch and it is difficult to get the balm out without scraping it with the nails.

Overall:

SEPHORA Vernis a Ongles Paillete #7 Blue Sapphire Nailpolish Review

Recently, I went a bit crazy about nail polishes. I think I’ve purchased more nail polishes in the last two weeks than ever before in my life. Sephora nailpolish retails for 5 euros and I believe that a bottle has 5ml.

Sephora nailpolish in #7 Blue Sapphire is a midnight blue with tons of big blueish and silver glitter. In the bottle, the colour looks absolutely amazing. It’s a shame that it isn’t as pretty on the nails.

The blue shade is very sheer and even though I have put three coats, it still doesn’t look the same as in the bottle. The glitter is also more muted and it is not very sparkly on the nail.

In the terms of how longwearing the nailpolish is I’d say that is the same as every other. I’ve tried many different brands (Chanel, Dior, YSL, Catrice, Sephora, Max Factor…) with or without base and top coats and I have yet to find a nailpolish which won’t wear off on the tips or chip in two days.

All in all, this nailpolish was a disappointment since it doesn’t looks as I had expected seeing it in a bottle.

Overall impression:

Click for SWATCH

SEPHORA Professionel Mineral Powder Brush #45 Review

„This expert tool is equipped with a durable aluminum handle and soft, synthetic bristles that are ideal for picking up the perfect amount of powder. The plump shape complements the circular movements needed to apply mineral powders. Whether you are working with foundation, bronzer, or blush, this essential will help you achieve your desired look.“ (from sephora.com)

Click for REVIEW

My Favourite Cosmetics Products in 2010

I probably should have published this earlier, but it was a bit hard to decide which items I should put on the list. I didn’t want to de recommendation for every category because I simply haven’t tried every new product that has been released in 2010 and I’d feel stupid recommending something if I haven’t tried all other products from the same category.

I’d like to talk about the products I’ve found in 2010 and which have become my HG (holy grails) and irreplaceable items in my stash.

SKINCARE

In 2010 I’ve stopped being a skincare snob. For a long time I’ve been using only high-end French cosmetics, because my dermatologist (he is also a skincare snob) told me that French make the best skincare. In spite of that, in 2010 I have finally ventured in drugstore skincare. Today, I’m so glad I did it, because I have found some excellent skincare items there:

OLEA Moisturizing Toner. I cannot rave enough about this product. It is so cheap and yet so good. This is a definite replacement for Sisley Floral Toning Lotion

OLAY Complete Night. Excellent moisturizer, which moisturizes without making me greasy. It made me want to try out the Day version and Beauty Fluid

HYGIEIA Zincia face cleanser. (not on the picture) One of the rare items in my skincare routine which I have repurchased. Naturally, I have to combine it with cleansing milk when I have to remove make-up, but this is the most gentlest, the most non-irritating cleanser I have found.

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There are also some high-end items which I won’t give up:

SISLEY Gel Express aux Fleurs. Excellent moisturizing mask for times when I need that extra boost of moisture.

SISLEY Creme Gommante. Very gentle exfoliator, which I also use as cleansing mask.

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Also my favourite hair care item has become:

GARNIER Natural Beauty Vanilla shampoo and conditioner. It lathers well, the hair isn’t dried out and it has a lovely smell.

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As a body exfoliator, I’ve only used:

L’OREAL Exfotonic. Body exfoliator with AHA which is neither too mild not too strong. I was afraid that it is discontinued, but I regularly find it in my drugstore.

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MAKE-UP

As far as the make-up is concerned, in 2010 I haven’t discovered many new HG items, but there are a few worth mentioning:

GUERLAIN Cherry Flower Blush. At first I hated it, but now I cannot live without it. This is a wonderful neutral peachy-pink.

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GUERLAIN Jeu d’Ombrelles eyeshadow quad. Purple eyeshadow usually makes me look sick, but this is an exception.

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GUERLAIN Rouge G #61 Gaela. Even though the lipstick could be more moisturizing, it has a lovely bright pink colour and it is very longlasting.

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SISLEY Phyto-Lip Star Rose Quartz. Excellent non-sticky pink lipgloss with tons of silver and pink microglitter.

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CLARINS Everlasting Foundation. I think I have said everything about it in my recent review.

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CATRICE Nail Lacquer in Bloody Mary To Go, Clay-Ton My Hero, Let’s Mauve On and Caught on the Red Carpet. These four shades are my favourites so far. They offer excellent pigmentation where only one layer is necessary to get almost exact shade as it is in the bottle.

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SEPHORA #45 Mineral powder brush. It is the only brush I have backups of. You can use it in various ways: as a stippling brush for liquid foundation, for loose powder both regular and mineral, for blush, for cream foundation, etc…

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GUERLAIN Meteorites #3 Teint Dore. I love everything about meteorites and this shade is my favourite. I use it instead of loose powder and the result is soft glowy skin.

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And my final discovery is the perfume:

GUERLAIN L’Heure Bleue. I have debated for so long about this fragrance and finally I have caved in and purchased EdT version. I adore the soft violet and vanilla scent.