vrijdag 29 maart 2013

A Haul; Part One, Beauty

Yesterday, me and my mom went to my old uni town to do some shopping. Housing a Sephora, a MAC store and all my favourite clothing stores (Zara, I’m looking at you), it’s one of my favourite cities to shop ever and even though I stopped going to university there, I find myself frequently going back there to do a spot of shopping, most of the time with my mother. It’s a really beautiful city, especially in summer, with all of the gorgeous buildings and there’s even a church that houses a book store- I know, cool, right? So when me and my mom went there yesterday, it was thankfully one of those sunny days and I knew beforehand that my bank balance was going to suffer.

I bought quite a lot of things, most of them which I had wanted for a really long time, so I will start with the first part; beauty stuff.
First of all, Essie polishes were on offer; 2 for €15, where they normally cost €11 (at least that’s what I think) each. They only had a limited set of colours, but thankfully, two of the colours I’ve been eyeing up were part of the offer. The first polish I picked up is ‘Meet Me At Sunset’, which is the most gorgeous orangey-red. Being called a dupe of Chanel’s Holiday, I knew I had to have it, especially since I prefer the formula of Essie polishes to that of the Chanel ones (more on that in this post). The second polish that I picked up was 'Chinchilly', which is just a gorgeous, gorgeous grey-purple colour which looks really good on every skin tone and is the perfect all-year-round colour.
The next items I picked up are two skincare items. I knew beforehand that I wanted to buy an eye cream, since my eyes always feel really sore and the area around them can get quite dehydrated. I was browsing the Clinique stand in Sephora and my eye immediately fell to the All About Eyes serum. It sounded exactly like the thing I needed and more. I also picked up the Turnaround Concentrate, which is something I’ve been wanting for absolutely ages after reading numerous reviews on it. It’s basically a serum which exfoliates dead skin cells overnight, leaving you with brighter and clearer skin upon waking up.
Now on to the make up. Since Sephora is leaving the Netherlands in June, all of their make up was priced at €5, except for their foundations and primers, which were €7.50. Sephora is one of my favourite stores EVER so I’m really, really, really, REALLY sad they’re leaving. I couldn’t leave without picking up one of their blushers, which are normally priced at €12.50 so it was a really good deal. I picked up Romantic Rose, a really nice pinky colour which goes really well with my blue eyes and blonde hair. I also really wanted to pick up the Urban Decay Naked 2 palette, since Sephora is the only store in Belgium/the Netherlands that sells Urban Decay, but sadly, they were all sold out, so I opted for the Naked Basics palette. Since I’ve been wanting to experiment with eye shadows a little bit more, this seemed like the perfect option to start with, providing all natural and matte colours. You just can’t go wrong!
The next stop was MAC. The first thing I picked up there was their ‘Rebel’ lipstick, which was another item that I’ve been wanting for a couple of months. It’s a gorgeous plum colour, and I absolutely loved it. Lastly, I picked up their 224 blending brush. I actually wanted the 227 but the lady at the counter said the only difference was that the 227 is white whilst the 224 is black? I didn’t actually own a blending brush before (I know) so I’m really excited to get started experimenting with eye shadow!

So that’s all I’ve picked up beauty wise. My bank account is crying right now, but at least I’m absolutely in love with everything I bought! What do you think of my purchases?

dinsdag 26 maart 2013

Smoked Out

I’m not really an eyeshadow type of girl. Most days, I just chuck on some mascara and lipstick and I’m ready to go. I used to be one of those girls who wore a thick line of black liquid liner , and occasionally, I would wear a nude colour on my eyelids just for a little bit extra shimmer. This is why I don’t really own eyeshadows. Lately, I’ve been getting more and more interested in eyeshadow and I’m even thinking of buying some MAC eyeshadows, just so I can start getting more into wearing colour on my eyelids. I’ve been experimenting with the eyeshadows I already own today, and I thought I should write a little blog post on it.

For the base, I’ve dug out an old favourite of mine; the Rimmel Wake Me Up foundation. I bought this in the summer as I’m a sucker for a good ol’ blogging hype, and loved it at the time, but I have kind of forgotten about it. The smell reminds me of summer; it smells really fresh and fruity. I would say that the coverage is medium but buildable; it has definitely a lot more coverage than what I would usually go for, but I like a little bit of change from time to time. It leaves my skin kind of dewy and really fresh and radiant looking, and I would say that it does exactly what it says on the bottle. I also really like the packaging!
On to the eyes, I’ve used the Maybelline Colour Tattoo 24 Hour in 35 – On and on Bronze. This is a really nice brown cream eyeshadow, which I applied with my finger to create a nice eyeshadow base. You can apply this lightly for just a tiny wash of colour, but the colour is also really buildable so you can also use this for creating an intense smokey eye. On top of that, I’ve been using the YSL Waterproof Eyepencil. I got this in a set and even though I’m not really one for kohl eyeliners, but this one is really creamy and pigmented. I drew a thick line on my upper eyelid which I then blended out using a little blending brush, to make it blend into the cream eyeshadow.
On top of the eyeliner, I’ve been using my favourite colour out of the Sleek i-Divine Au Naturel Palette (which is sadly enough the only eyeshadow palette that I own- I know what you’re thinking + it's looking gross, I'm sorry!). The colour I’m talking about is the fourth colour on the bottom row, starting from the left. It’s a really nice, shimmery cool dark brown colour. I think the quality of this palette is really good, especially for the price; the eyeshadows are really pigmented. I blended this together with the cream shadow and the eyeliner to create a more intense ‘smokey eye’.
On the lips, I’ve kept it neutral with just a tiny bit of MAC’s Dazzleglass Crème in Sublime Shine (at least that’s what I think it’s called?). It’s a really nice coral lipgloss which came with the Illustrated collection, together with the Ravishing lipstick I blogged about yesterday and another lipliner. I don’t really like the formula of these, because they’re quite thick and sticky, but the colour is absolutely gorgeous.

So this is my very first attempt at using different eyeshadows to create one eye look. I’m not that happy with it, but I think it’s a good start. Do you have any recommendations for MAC eyeshadows? What are your favourites?

maandag 25 maart 2013

Three... Spring Lipsticks

I thought I'd show my face on here for once... Please be gentle, for I'm a really insecure lil' birdie
I am a big lover of the good ol’ bold lip. To me, lipstick can put your whole look together, which is why it’s my favourite beauty product to buy (except for blushers. I do love a good blush). On a day to day basis, I tend to go for more neutral shades just because they’re easy to just throw on and you don’t really have to be careful whilst applying. I do, however, find that I’m more partial to a bold lip as soon as the sun comes out. It just makes me happy.

The first lipstick I’m wearing is a YSL Glossy Stain in number 11, Rouge Gouache. I featured this in my Flawless Face, Bold Lips post and it is still one of my favourite lipsticks, ever. Being a liquid lipstick, I just adore the formula, which is long lasting and easy to apply. It does smell a little bit like paint (cue me smelling a lipstick at 9am trying to describe the scent) and does hurt my lips just a little bit, but after all I really love the colour and the formula so it’s a winner in my eyes. YSL lipsticks are also just gorgeous and I can’t wait to get my hands on another one, being a Glossy Stain or one of their Rouge Volupté lipsticks.
The second lipstick does kind of resemble Rouge Gouache, but it’s not pigmented as much and the formula is a lot less-wearing. I’m talking about the L’Oréal Rouge Caresse lipstick in 202 – Impulsive Fuchsia. Being a cool bright pink, Impulsive Fuchsia is a really nice springtime colour which is much easier to wear than the YSL Glossy Stain. If you want a little pop of colour on your lips without having to worry about lipstick on your teeth, this is the perfect option for you. It feels a little bit like a lipbalm and keeps your lips supple the entire day, which makes it more of a tinted lipbalm. This is perfect for going on a lovely spring adventure!
The last lipstick is a MAC cremesheen lipstick in Ravishing. Ravishing is a lovely neon-ish coral colour which is a great alternative for a nude lip, because it has the perfect pop of colour without being too overwhelming. This is the perfect lipstick to wear with a smokey eye, since it’s not too bold, but also not boring. The cremesheen finish makes it glide on smoothly and your lips feel really moisturised, but it also means that it’s not that long lasting. It’s the perfect summer colour and even though I didn’t really like it when I got it at first, I now wear it almost every day and I have really grown to love it.

So this is my lipstick line-up for the next few months. If the snow and cold ever go away, that is. I can already imagine myself hopping through a nice field of grass, flowers in my hair and my white dress delicately floating around my body… Or maybe that’s just my imagination going crazy because of all the bad weather we’ve been having lately. Oh well. What are your favourite bold lipsticks? Do you like my picks?

zaterdag 23 maart 2013

Operation Hydration

With the snowy spring days we’ve been having lately, we’ve all been feeling a little bit under the weather. To give our moods and our body a little bit of boost, we could use just that little bit extra hydration to keep us in check before the warmer days are well and truly there and we can embrace the lighter lotions and potions. Take a look at my hydration essentials…

First up is our body. After stepping out of a really hot bath or shower to warm us up after a long, cold day, our legs and arms can often feel really dry and sore. To combat the dryness of my limbs, I use the Nivea Soft Milk body lotion, which is a thick cream that still absorbs into your skin really quickly and makes you feel all smooth, especially after shaving. A few times a week, I mix it with the Nuxe Huile Prodigieuse dry oil, just for that little bit of extra hydration. After that, I also use one pump off the stuff, warm it up in between my hands and apply it to the ends of my hair, which have been looking rather dull and dry lately.
For the face, I’ve been using the Nuxe Masque Frais Hydratant on pamper nights. After exfoliating, apply this onto dry skin and you’ll wake up with plump and hydrated skin the next morning. You can leave it for ten minutes and then wipe it off and use your regular moisturiser afterwards, but you can also just let it on and then it’ll work as an overnight mask.
I’ve also traded in my regular moisturiser for a more heavy duty one. The Nuxe Rêve de Miel moisturiser is a really thick cream, filled with all sorts of natural ingredients that do wonder for the skin, such like honey, argan oil and shea butter. I use this both day and night and it makes a massive difference to my skin, which looks more glowy and radiant after every use.
For make up, I’ve been swearing by the Erborian BB Cream (review here!) which I’ve been using every day since I got it. It’s moisturising and leaves a really dewy finish to my skin, which I absolutely love. It covers up all imperfections whilst still being a ‘skincare’ product. For a little bit extra hydration, I’ve been mixing it up with the Laura Mercier Oil-Free tinted moisturiser (review).

So this is my hydration-heroes line up. What are your holy grail hydration products?

vrijdag 22 maart 2013

Essie 'Lilacism'

Sausage fingers galore!

When it comes to nailpolishes, I always tend to opt for more pastel and neutral shades. I just believe that they look better on my (really pale) skin tone, and those are just the colours I prefer wearing, combined with a really nice and neutral outfit. I really want to bring more colour in my wardrobe as well as my nail polish collection, but for now I think I’ll stick with the pastels and soft, more feminine shades.

Essie ‘Lilacism’ is a shade I’ve been eyeing up for a good while. I was put off of buying it at first because I do already own OPI’s ‘Do You Lilac It’, which is also a nice pastel lilac colour. I thought the two were very similar and didn’t think about buying Lilacism until now, almost a year later. I saw someone on Instagram wearing it, and I immediately fell in love; it didn’t look that similar to my OPI nail varnish, so I decided I needed Lilacism in my ever-expanding make up collection.
Lilacism is a lot lighter than Do You Lilac It, but they do resemble each other quite a lot. It comes across as a really soft pastel colour, whereas the OPI counterpart can look quite harsh. I think I prefer Lilacism; I believe the colour looks better on me. The finishes of both nail polishes are quite similar, as well as the lasting power. They both last quite a few days (if I do use a basecoat and topcoat, that is), so it’s really just a matter of colour taste and maybe your skintone.

Overall, I’m really happy I picked up Lilacism and I still think there are a few other pastel colours I need in my collection. I do really regret not picking up Absolutely Shore and Bikini So Teeny from Essie’s Spring/Summer collection last year, so I do hope they will release them again sometime soon (I am aware that that is most unlikely, but a girl can dream, right?!). Essie have also released a new shade called ‘Go Ginza’, which is part of their Spring 2013 collection and looks a lot like Lilacism, but still a little bit different. Essie polishes are my all time favourite. What are your favourite nail polish brands? Any pastel shade recommendations?

donderdag 21 maart 2013

The Classics

As in every other sector, the beauty world has got its own cult products. Products that have been around for a while; that have made a statement in the beauty world and won’t be disappearing very soon. Products that have made their way into our stash for one reason and one reason only; they’re just really good products that every woman needs to own.

The first product is the well-known Chanel No. 5 Eau De Parfum. This elegant bottle of golden goodness was the first perfume created in 1915 for the fashion brand Chanel, by the Russian-French Ernest Beaux, who was a chemist and perfumer. The design of the bottle has remained the same ever since.
Gabrielle ‘Coco’ Chanel wanted to create a perfume that would ‘release women from the monotonous, ordinary scents’ and said that ‘a woman should smell like a woman, and not like a rose’. To meet the requirements of Coco Chanel, Beaux created to series of perfumes numbered 1-5 and 20-24. Without a doubt, Chanel chose the fifth perfume; she believed number 5 was her lucky number, which is why she also chose to release the perfume on the fifth day of the fifth month, in 1921.
The packaging of Chanel No. 5 is what made the little bottle of perfume a designer classic. Being simple and square, the flacon is identical to the map of the Place Vendôme in Paris. The simple packaging guarantees that women give more attention to the perfume itself instead of the packaging, which is timeless, but still modern. I think the perfume smells really grown-up; it contains aldehydes (which makes it one of the first perfumes which contains aldehydes sold on a mass scale), orange-blossom, jasmine, rose from Grasse (if you haven’t read Perfume yet- do it. You won’t regret it), ylang ylang, sandalwood, vetiver, musk and vanilla. When I smelled it for the first time, it reminded me of old-fashioned soap and baby powder, but after a while, the scent evolves and transforms into something really beautiful. Its fans being Andy Warhol, Catherine Deneuve and Marilyn Monroe, the sales only went up and up to this day it still remains one of the most sold perfumes ever. Marilyn Monroe even claimed that it was the only thing she wore to bed at night, which made the perfume world famous. I'm wearing it right now and I just can't stop sniffing myself!

The second product I’ve chosen for this edit is the YSL Touche Eclat. It was developed in toe early ‘90’s, and up until now YSL claims that one of these highlighter pens gets sold every ten minutes. Claims go from ‘it’s the only make up product you ever need’ to ‘the secret of make up artists around the whole world’. The golden container holds 2.5ml of luminizing products that brings radiance to the skin, brightens your entire complexion and cleverly conceals any signs of tiredness and fatigue. Contrary to common belief it’s not a concealer; it truly is a highlighter, and its sole purpose is to add light to the face to create the appearance of lifted eyes. When applied with care and attention, light gets drawn to the light-reflecting particles in the product, which is why everyone loves this so much as it makes you look younger, better rested and highlights your best features, whilst still not concealing everything.

So there you have it; a 500-word essay just on two beauty products that I absolutely adore and think everyone should own. Not just because they’re both really good and timeless, but also because of the chic packaging and to inject a little bit of glamour in our lives. What do you think of these products? Do you own one (or both!) of them? I have to admit that I stole both of these from my mom for the sole purpose of taking a picture of them. I might have stolen them a few times before for ego-based purposes, but ssshh...