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Friday, July 30, 2010

a new nail polish combo

The other day I painted my nails with Revlon's Minted. Lovely color, but I think I had enough/too much of it. So yesterday I decided to spice things up. Milani's Cyberspace was the lucky one to do that job :)
and here's what it ended up with (excuse a weird picture with a hand on a carpet - but it was the only spot with good direct sunlight)




I actually like this combo better then both of the nail polishes by themselves. Milani tends to be a bit grayish-blue on the nails when applied by itself. While together they make a lovely turquoise glitter


(see that's what I meant when I said about the only spot with a good lighting ;)))
 How do you spice up your nail colors?

Have a lovely weekend everyone ;)

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Inspiration

My all time inspiration is Marion Cotillard
In my opinion she's everything a girl should be - polished, stylish, sophisticated and has got an amazing magnetic look in her eyes.






And this picture I came across just wandering around the net. I have no idea who that girl is or what designer she's wearing, but that's not the point. I am absolutely charmed by the carefree feeling that this picture radiates. This exact feeling I miss on a lot of days recently. Isn't it lovely to soar around filled with hmmm... lightness and easiness - I'm not sure that I 'm speaking English right now though. Sounds more like a bird language =)



Anyways, I just wanted to share my inspiration


(all pictures are courtesy of Google images as far as I remember) 

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

my little weakness

You know that you're a beauty junkie when you spot a new product.

Today my friend and I went to a drugstore. There were two new lines of nail polishes (or at least none of us has never heard of it before) called  Professional and Confetti - I got into picking colors right after I read that they both are DBP, Toluene and Formaldehyde free (this is crucial for me). While my friend said that it's stupid of me to get a bunch of a products I know nothing about (gotta love friends for their honesty).

When I use my logics I totally agree with her - googling a product first and buying just one thing to sample after - is the best thing to do. But I just can't help myself when I'm on the loose in a drugstore. There were so many lovely colors, some were already sold out and some had just one item left, and something inside just started telling "get it while it lasts, for $2-4 you can't go wrong". Well, you can, and  5 polishes - that's already $10-20. And besides of foolishly wasted money very often you're also being left with a bunch of rubbish products that simply take up place in your drawers. Or am I the only one like that?

As for today I followed my friend's advice. Though I'll probably be back tomorrow. We shall see

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Alba aloe & green tea oil-free moisturizer

So today I decided to introduce this little kid to my everyday routine.














Here's what the box says : "Certified organic Aloe Vera, green tea antioxidants and oil-free humectants absorb quickly to help replenish and protect skin against dehydration for a soft, healthy, luminous complexion. Gentle for all skin types. pH Balanced. 
100% Vegetarian ingredients. No animal testing
Hypo-allergenic"


Sounds fantastic. Let's see how it works. As I only used it once all I can say is - I like the smell, absorbs super fast and didn't have any reaction so far.

Let me know if you would like a review on this one.

A box collection?

Going through one of my drawers whilst preparing my previous post I came across all the empty boxes that I have. Am I the only one who keeps perfume boxes just because they are too pretty to throw away?

Monday, July 26, 2010

Perfume, fragrance, scent....= LOVE

A couple of years ago I read in one book that all women can be divided into three categories – the ones that love shoes, dresses or perfume the most  - I definitely belong to the latter group. I love perfume, love choosing and wearing it, love my staple ones and love new ones. I am rather compulsive in buying fragrances though. I can buy something that I’m not sure about, but mostly try to stick to the best rule – try how a new smell works with your body chemistry for about 5 hours before buying – this is the best thing to do.

Last year I went through a very strange phase – I hated all my all time favorites and bought some very much out of my comfort zone. So now I have some strange fragrances that I’m trying to make work.

Without further rambling, my perfume collection consists of

My favorites















I have two signature scents, both are fruity-citrusy - Dior Addict Shine and Cacharel Amor AmorThey are a perfect concentration of sweetness for me.  I don’t like too sweet or too flowery ones.

Before describing the perfume notes I would like to warn you that I’m really bad at this. But I find that when I read blog posts about fragrances I mostly pay attention to what scents I already have, and if two or more match – there’s a big chance that I’ll love the other ones. May be my post will help someone find a “new love”.




Dior Addict Shine smells of raspberry (not the chemical essence, but the real raspberry bush) and citrus. Amour Amour smells of blackcurrant, citrus and jasmine. The perfume picture is courtesy of Google Images as I’ve ran out of it and honestly, it makes me feel incomplete. But I made a promise to myself not to buy any new fragrance until I run out of at least two I have. So, one more to go.

I also love Marc Jacobs Daisy, I believe so far the only floral sweet smell in my favorites. But I don’t think it will make another signature scent.

The ones I like

J’adore Dior is a flower fresh one- it’s very sophisticated and buildable. It can easily take you from day to night and from casual to formal occasion.

Chanel Coco Mademoiselle – very light and fresh, but for me there’s something missing, I would really use a bit more depth in it. I wear this one or Sheseido Zen when I don’t feel like wearing rather noticeable perfume.

My winter/heavy scents





















To be completely honest I’m still not sure why I bought Juicy Couture – because I liked it or because Lollipop26 recommended it. It smells good, just may be not exactly one of “my perfumes”. I enjoy wearing it when I go somewhere with my friends or family (i.e. the people I know – and know that they don’t have this one), because if you wear it out to an occasion where meet new people chances are you’ll end up sharing this scent with a couple of other ladies. This is not good at all!

Idole d’Armani

This perfume has got its own character! Sometimes it smells all day as if you’ve just spayed it – I don’t like that way – it too grown up for me. But on the days when it decides to settle - it’s a very beautiful and charming flower smell.

The little ones




















These three were gifts with a purchase and I neither like them nor hate.

CK Eternity Moment is a fruity-floral, but I mind you mostly floral, scent. Has no sweetness in it and is rather strong. And I quite liked wearing it last summer. But I was also wearing it when I was not in a very good place in my life, so now I prefer to stay away in order not to bring back the memories.  

Zen is also very light – smells of grapefruit, roses and lotus to me, a really lovely sent but unfortunately with no staying power at all.

Couture Couture by Juicy Couture –smells good, but out of my comfort zone.  I’m not a huge fan of sandalwood and vanilla in a perfume.

The unloved ones



















Bvlgary Omnia Crystalline. Everyone in my family knows that I’m a perfume junkie, so on my last birthday I got a Sephora Favourites perfume sampler with a certificate for a full version. I only liked two scents, one being Daisy – but I just bought a new bottle at that moment of time, and another was Omnia. I was hesitant on this one, but hoped to make it work. Unfortunately, I failed. So now it just stands on the back of my shelf collecting dust.

Burberry Brit Sheer. I have two ideas why I don’t like it. First – it doesn’t open up on me – same smell as if you just spayed it – I guess a tester paper in Macy’s had a better body chemistry then I do. Second – one of its notes matches my mom’s go out perfume when I was 5-6 years old. And at that age I hated going to birthdays and any other celebrations that included a big amount of guests (to be honest, I still do) so this scent just brings back all that emotions.

So this is it. What do you think of my collection?
What perfume do you love the most?




Saturday, July 24, 2010

My 2 cents on mascara

As for me I can really survive having only 3 makeup products in a daily makeup routine– foundation (liquid or powder), mascara and lipbalm – I’m not saying that everything else is useless or unnecessary, but those 3 can be enough.

And I am convinced that those three require the most attention. If you have cakey or greasy foundation on I doubt that your blush/bronzer/highlighter will have any chance to be complementary no matter how good they are.

Nourished lips can pull off almost any lipstick or even a bare look.

Now mascara is an absolutely magical product. It can completely transform/improve/ruin your look depending on the quality. I haven’t seen a person yet who was able to rock a panda look caused by fallouts and smudges (unlike smudged eyeliners or eye shadows).  While long and fool lashes can easily become the most attractive “accessory”.

If you are interested - my all time top 3 mascaras are (in no particular order)

1.       Maybelline Full’n’Soft – my first mascara ever! As a loyal fan of Buffy the Vampire Slayer in my early teens as soon as I saw Sarah Michelle Gellar in this commercial I had to have it though I didn’t wear makeup before that. Seems like I was a sucker for marketing using celebrities from the very beginning, I never had a chance, did I? And I keep coming back to this mascara for more than 10 years (sounds scary – I didn’t realize I am THAT old). It does just what it says – makes your lashes full and soft, providing just a perfect mix of length and volume for me. Some people say it smudges a lot, but I didn’t notice anything like that. The down side – it’s not really buildable and as its soft don't expect it to be good in holding curls.

2.       Lancôme Hypnose – separates, lengthens and adds volume, great at holding curls and I don’t have any smudges or fallouts. As I have allergies I prefer waterproof version in the summer time, which can be a mess to remove, but I like it – and it lets you keep lashes curled until you take it off. 

3.      Diorshow – love them both the original one and the Blackout. I especially love the huge brush as I have rather big eyes and it’s very convenient to work with. I find it applies without clumping, leaves no fallouts or smudges and leaves my lashes looking very full, I would even say “rich”.  Although none of my friends seem to care for it – some say that its nothing special, others hate it calling it too clumpy– I guess if you prefer to add layers it might lose its charm – I only wear 1-2 coats, so for me it work amazing. The only down side that I personally notice – the price tag.

But the thing with makeup junkies is that as much as we love our HG products- twice as much we always want to try something new.

So here’s what I have in my drawer today 














*didn’t like the curved brush, so I switched with the Almay 3-in-1 mascara – which I didn’t use(so no contamination possibility there).
                                                      
1.      Cover Girl Lash Blast Volume  - provides great volume and even adds length, buildable, holds curl for a couple of hours, starts flaking on me in about 6 hours, I didn’t notice any smudges though.

2.       L’Oreal Voluminous  - good volume, fair-to-poor length (though it never claimed to add length), buildable, lasts all day without falling out, but smudges like crazy, doesn’t seem to hold curls. 

3.       L’Oreal Collagen – me-no-like-it, absolutely nothing special, can clump on the first application before you let it dry up for a couple of weeks, adds a bit of volume, but mostly only color, flakes a lot and stays for about 3-4 hours only. I don’t really remember it holding the curl.   

4.       Lancôme Hypnose – see description in a top 3 above. Yay! I managed to stick with at least one HG product!          

5.       Lancôme Cils Design PRO – very close to Hypnose, the only reason it’s not in the top products – because it costs $10 more for the feature I don’t use. It comes in a two-sided tube. Both have the same product but different applicators. First you apply mascara with a traditional wand, and then if you want a more dramatic finish – you can use a comb on the other end. Very nice product. I think I like the formulation better then the Hypnose’ one, but the brush is a bit too skinny for me.

What are your experiences with mascara? Any warnings/recommendations? Let me know if you would like to see how any of the mentioned mascaras look like on.

Xoxo, have a great and hopefully sunny weekend

Renee

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Skincare routine - July 2010

Being blessed with a sensitive-combination-acne prone skin from my early teens I have been trying out what it seems every skincare item meant for this.  Not a lot of them seemed to work for me. But I learned a lot from this and the most important lesson that learned (excluding “never pick your face”, which every esthetician I’ve been to always tells me, and which I truly believe in and never fallow) is that when your skin is in its worst you should not treat it with the harshest products – they might clear up excising break out, but the skin condition will suffer a lot. For example I personally love how products made with benzoyl peroxide clear up my complexion, but they also are extremely drying for me (regardless its percentage in the product) they also seem to lead to skin thinning, that boosts sensitivity and leads to new breakouts, while dehydration of skin is likely to lead to whiteheads that are not really willing to leave your skin once they appeared.  And I will be extremely happy if someone could advise me how to get rid of them – facials seem to work only for a couple of weeks.

So here’s what I use every day – you can call it my “almost organic” routine

Dr Bronner’s Magic soaps





















Their full name is 18-in-1 Hemp Pure-Castile soaps made with organic oil.

I am so glad that Tali posted a review on those ones.  I don’t think I’ve ever been more pleased with any other face wash.  Unlike many other products that seem to improve your skin during the first week of use and then things go back to where they were Dr Bronner’s soaps improve gradually. On the first week I felt that my skin is calming down, on the second the oil level started to even out, on the third blackheads started to vanish (though there are still some on my nose, things keep getting better), I’m not sure about the pore size – some seem to shrink some don’t.  May be that’s just because the blackheads are gone they seem smaller.
I got small tester bottles to try how my skin reacts on them. I picked Mint one for mornings and lavender to calm my skin in the evening. Unfortunately, the Mint one made my face itch, so stick to the Lavender one. But the mint soap made a wonderful shower gel.
They leather super nicely and you don’t need much at all.

Boots Botanics 




















Rose water toner

AMAZING! I’m on my third bottle and it looks like we have an HG product here.
Not drying at all, though the fact that it has alcohol in it almost put me off in store (luckily I still picked it up). It does everything I ever wanted from a toner - clears up, calms down and every time when I apply it I feel hmmmm… not sure if makes any sense- I feel as if my skin takes a deep breath.

Soothing eye makeup remover

Let me just say that this kid has replaced Lancôme Bi-facile remover. It’s so much nicer for me and leaves fewer residue and what’s more important It has no problem removing my favorite waterproof Hypnose (which seemed to be impossible). Although if you wear a waterproof liner you are very likely to be left with traces around your eyes, or maybe it’s just me. I also have a feeling that it has improved my eyelash condition – they seem to be fuller and shinier. An as I didn’t add anything to my routine except for this one and the eye cream – I guess it has to be due to one of them.

Here's what I use afterwards 





















Boots expert hydrating eye cream

When I was buying the Botanics range I wanted to get their eye cream as well, but they were out, so I went with this one. Actually I like it. I didn’t think it would do that much considering its price tag ($5 as far as I remember). I wear contacts and work on the computer all day long so my eyes don’t need much to get irritated. With many creams I find that they feel great when you apply them, but in the morning you get red itchy and puffy eyes. The Boots one it really great although keep in mind that it needs some time to absorb.

Clinique Dramatically Different moisturizing lotion

To be honest I’m just using it up – I’ve been using their 3-step system for almost 6 month and I didn’t really notice that it worked any better than any of my previous routines. I’ve just ran out of my Neutrogena Oil-Free Moisturizer for sensitive skin. Now this one is great. Got to get myself a new one soon or maybe go with Alba Aloe Vera and Green Tea moisturizer. Has anybody tried this one? What do you think on it?

Tea tree oil

I use it as a spot treatment and add 4 drops in my water mist (say hi to Lush Tea Tree Toner  from me=)) It is a magic product. The key is not to use too much as tea tree oil can be extremely drying.

Other stuff I use weekly 





















I exfoliate twice a week once with St. Ives Tea Tree Oil Scrub and once with Murad Pomegranate Mask.

St. Ives Scrub has very refined beads and really doesn’t hurt my face unlike their Apricot one which I hate for what I did to my face with just one application (but let’s not talk about the past). I like it though I try to stay away from salicylic acid, because I have a feeling that my skin gets used to it and misbehaves after I discontinue using such a product. But I guess it just doesn’t have enough time to get used to this scrub since they only meet once a week.

Murad Pomegranate Mask – I love it – you can literally see it work, pores clear up and shrink and stay this way for about 2-3 days! Yay!!! For me that IS a lot. It comes in a box with 6 treatments. I find that one package is actually enough for 4-5 applications, so I dispense each pack in a tight closing jar. 

So that’s probably it. If you made it through this post – Congratulations!!! I kind of got carried away a little bit.

By the way if you are curios I found Dr Bronner’s and Boots products in Target.

What is your routine? Do you have any HG or just surprisingly good products to recommend?


Have a beautiful time of the day, ladies

Renee

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Review: EOS lip balm

When I was a kid my mom told me that there was no reason doing something I don’t want to just because everybody else does. I always follow her advice and it always does me good.

But that was until I came across beauty community online. There’s always something about the hyped products that just makes me think my life is incomplete without them.

And as much as I love beauty related blogs their hype proves my mom’s words rather often.

The one I’m talking about today is the famous EOS lip balm - that beautiful unusual egg-shaped organic lip balm. 
















I kept seeing it in the posts of the most reputable and loved bloggers, I looked for it in drugstores and even had to wait for almost a month until it hit my local Rite Aid.  By this time my rather vivid fantasy already proclaimed it the best thing out there. I was so glad when I got it in my hands (I even feel like saying happy won’t be a big lie). But after the very first use I knew something went wrong in out perfect romance. It felt like I was applying some weird mixture of butter and cold wax on my lips. And it doesn’t do anything special to my lips - just another lip balm, after some applications I think that it’s even a little bit drying. But this is just my experience with it. This balm might be a HG product for someone. We are all different. 

That’s when I started to realize, that I never came across a positive review on it all I saw was EOS lip balm featured in hauls and swaps. Stupid me! I could’ve at least paid more attention to that before craving and purchase.

Oh well, let’s at least hope that this will teach me not to believe the hype (I know people often tell me I’m too naïve).

Almost forgot - there is one thing I absolutely love about - it's the peachy smell/taste, I'm really tempted to bite a bit while applying.

What are your experiences with this balm?

Have a lovely day, sweethearts

Xoxo
Renee

Monday, July 19, 2010

Nail polish collection

I decided to start off with one of my favorite items at the moment - nail polishes.
So far I don't have a lot since I recently moved and left all my polishes to friends and family as they can be a mess while travelling, but I'm working on that.
So here are some of my little friends

A lonely Sephora by OPI couple

My current favorite Havana Dreams and infamous Metro chic



I have rather mixed feelings about these polishes - I absolutely love the colors and lasting time on my nails, but I totally hate the consistency I takes 2-3 coats to get somewhat opaque coverage. 






















excuse my chipped nails, though it's rather good for day 3 considering that I spend a lot of time dealing with water.

Next comes team Revlon

 (left to right) Lilac Pastelle - Gum drop - Minted

Love the colors, but to me they seem a bit too streaky. The Gum drop one actually smells like a bubblegum when dry, but I don't think much of that feature.

The most represented brand is Milani

Although I happen to like those polishes, their number is explained not by their exceptional quality, but because I happened to be stuck in a local CVS one day. Doesn't sound like a good excuse, oh well :))))




(left to right) Peach cream - She's so glitzy - PC girl - My network - Cyberspace - HI-Res

As you can probably see my favorite one is Peach cream. It's not much on the nails, but it really flatters complection.

Orly and Borghese 




Left to right

Borghese Cannoli Cream - got it as a gift and still haven't used it properly, from a swatch I can tell that it's rather sheer - I guess this one is meant for French manicures.

Orly Lift the Veil - my favorite pink at the moment. Love Orly's coverage. Staying power is OK.

Orly La Playa - on the nails comes up darker then in a bottle - it's a very deep blue - bright in sunlight and almost navy indoors. Found out that it chips a little bit more then a pink one.

What are your favorite colors? I am picking a "mud" color to add to my collection now, what would you choose Essie Mink Muffs, Chinchilly or OPI You don't know Jacques?

xoxo,

Renee


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