Sunday 6 March 2016

February Favourites with Pixi, Becca, Nars and more

It's monthly favourites time! February has quickly come and gone, and beauty wise my favourites have been a no-brainer. I've discovered (or rediscovered) a few absolute gems this month, let's see them together!

Nars Make Up For Ever Burberry Pixi Ren Becca Spring Glow Tonic Pale Barley Narsissist

REN Clearcalm 3 Clarifying Clay Cleanser
Targeted towards blemish prone skin, it contains French Kaolin Clay alongside other naturally derived ingredients to prevent spots, smooth pores and control excess oil. It has a lovely creamy consistency that is not drying on the skin and I find it really calming: my skin has been rather spot prone due to hormonal reasons lately, and this is the cleanser I've been turning to every time my skin has been looking a little bit angry. I love it!

Pixi Glow Tonic Exfoliating Toner
With the exception of a few annoying spots (that are still behaving quite nicely, if I have to be honest!) my skin has been looking amazing lately, smooth and radiant, and I'm pretty sure this is the product I have to thank for. It contains the star ingredient Glycolic Acid to gently exfoliate, Aloe to soothe and Witch Hazel to tone the skin among others, and I like to use it at least once a day on clean skin on a cotton pad. A new must have!

Becca Backlight Priming Filter
This illuminating primer is my new obsession: I've been wearing it almost non stop and I'm so glad I got it! It gives to the skin the most lovely glow, but without being over the top or leaning too pink or golden like other ones I've tried. It looks perfect underneath the Nars Velvet Matte Skin Tint, as it gives that layer of moisture and luminosity that it might need, and they've been my favourite everyday base duo.

NARS Velvet Matte Skin Tint
Fully reviewed in this post, it's been my favourite everyday base this past month. Matte but not flat nor drying, it gives a good medium coverage that lasts all day and feels lightweight. The huge size makes it amazing value for money and the tube packaging it's simple and practical. It's love!

Make Up For Ever Ultra HD Foundation
The days I haven't been wearing the Nars base, it's been this. The amazing shade range and invisible texture has always made the HD formula from MUFE a winner, but this innovative Ultra version is even more amazing. Virtually invisible on the skin, it gives impressive coverage and it's that little bit less mat than the Nars base without compromising the lasting power. A must have!

NARS Impassioned Blush
I have a thing for Spring pinks blushes (last year I was obsessed with this work of art from Chanel), and this year's love is the latest Nars launch, Impassioned. Described by Nars as Pink Orchid, is a light pink mat shade that gives to the cheeks a lovely dusky pink glow that's really flattering. The formula is spot on as usual, and with the Nars Yachiyo brush it applies like a dream and last all day. Nars, you've done it again!

Burberry Eyeshadow in Pale Barley
You probably know my love for this already, as I spoke about it in my last post, but this eyeshadow has barely left my lids this month. The shade is incredible and the formula is amazing: I've been loving wearing all over the lid on its own for a polished and natural look, and I'm still struggling to use anything else. Definitely something worth investing on!

Do you love any of these products too? What have you been loving this month? Tell me in the comments!


Sunday 28 February 2016

The Beauty Resolution that went well... Kind of.

In this post I shared with you my "Beauty Rules", talking you through the steps I was trying to keep in mind during my beauty routine and shopping. One of them was to wear eyeshadow everyday, as I was feeling that all my lovely palettes were undeservedly collecting dust. How did that one go?

Burberry Pale Barley Love Beauty Rules Gyudy Notes Beauty

Well, generically speaking. Badly, talking about making good use of my palettes.

Ever since I reorganized my makeup to fit in my beloved wooden box that makes it feel like a treasure (have a look on my Instagram feed here and here), I have everything on display every time I open it. And that's great!
One of the things I was struggling more to get good use out of was my little collection of eyeshadow singles: I knew there were some absolute gems in there, but the way they were stored before made me forget about them every time.

And so it was happening that I was owning one of the most loved eyeshadows out there, Burberry Pale Barley, and not really using it. But that has changed, and that's the eyeshadow I've been wearing 9 times out of 10 this month.
A quick look through Google Images will bring you the most amazing swatches, and I have no doubt that you're all going to fall in love and run to the closest store if you don't own it already. It's a light golden-y brown with almost a cool tone to it, and looks incredibly chic and sophisticated on the eyes. I've been wearing it on its own using a Mac 286 brush to swipe it on the lid and blend it on the crease, and with lashings of Lancôme Volume-à-porter Mascara my eyes have been done in no time. Occasionally I've been wearing a mat brown shade on the crease to add some depth, but to be honest I don't miss that step when I don't: this eyeshadow is so perfect on its own that it doesn't really need any help, unless you're using it in a more structured look.

Every morning I open my wooden box to get ready and I have to force myself to not pick this one up to wear it, and honestly, I've been embracing this and wearing it without worrying too much. When it's true love that's not so much you can do...

Do you love this eyeshadow as much as I do? What's the thing you love so much you're unable to put it down and use something else? Tell me in the comments!


Wednesday 24 February 2016

NARS Velvet Matte Skin Tint SPF 30 Review

The Velvet Matte Skin Tint SPF 30 is the new tinted moisturizer/foundation offering from NARS, and just like any NARS base, it's already proving to be a huge hit.

Nars Velvet Matte Skin Tint Foundation Review

Here's how NARS describes it: "Instant gratification. Effortless application. Protects and perfects with a soft-matte finish. Oil-free. All-day wear.". It contains a "Velvet Illusion Complex" that's meant to transform the skin immediately and over time: the blurring powders guarantee a soft focus effect to diffuse imperfections, and they have a special spherical shape compressed like a cushion for a velvety smooth finish, whilst the formula contains Rose Fruit Extract to minimize the appearance of pores and control shine and Vitamins C and E together with SPF 30 to protect from free-radical damage.

To say it briefly, I LOVE this foundation. Because yes, even though the name skin tint would make you think this is not more than a tinted moisturizer, this is in fact a foundation. Please Nars, we love you, but try to make a foundation that matches the name! From Sheer Glow that isn't glowy nor sheer, I have the feeling you and foundation names don't really agree. But in reality it really doesn't matter, as this Velvet Matte Skin Tint is incredibly amazing.

I love to apply it with my hands, and it's really easy to blend. It's matte, but easy to spread on the skin: do not expect one of those stiff mousse-y formulas, as it just feels like a drier creamy consistency. It's pretty forgiving on drier areas of my face, as it doesn't completely smooth any dry flakes but doesn't cling too badly to them either, which is amazing for a matte formula.
With my hands, which is the only method I've tried because it's my preferred one for foundation application, I get a solid medium coverage: it doesn't completely cover my dark circles, redness or spots, but I'm more than happy with just a bit of under-eye concealer (for matching purposes I've been using my Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer and loving them together).
Still going for the matchy trend, I've been setting it with the Nars Light Reflecting Setting Powder - which is amazing too -, and this combo lasts all day. Not only that, it looks even better as the day goes by, when a bit of my skin natural oils start to break through the formula, amping up the glow in a really natural way.

The best thing about this is that it's a mat but not flat formula in the slightest: even when freshly powdered looks natural and with a subtle glow, that I like to amplify with the Becca Backlight Priming Filter underneath. That is my current favourite face base combination, and I've barely worn anything else (with the exception of the Makeup Forever Ultra HD Foundation which I need to write a post on as it's awesome!).

The bonus? The tube is huge, as it's 50 ml and not the usual 30 ml foundation size, for about the same price (or even less) of other NARS bases, Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturizer included. That makes it incredible value for money, as a quick math tells me that the standard 30 ml size would be € 22.8. It's amazing! Even though, given my love for foundation, at the beginning I was almost sad: if I'm unable to finish a normal foundation, how can I get though a huge one?! But I love it so much that I might even use it till the last drop. You're all witnesses! ;)

Are you a #narsissist too? Have you tried this new release?
And more importantly, do you struggle to finish foundations like me?
Tell me in the comments!


Saturday 20 February 2016

GlamGlow Youthcleanse Daily Exfoliating Cleanser Review

I love GlamGlow masks: the Supermud is my go to for when my skin has a few spots, and only a few thing work like Youthmud at making my skin brighter, softer and smoother. When I heard that they were launching the matching cleansers, I was intrigued. I’ve been using Youthcleanse for a while, and here’s my review!

GlamGlow Youthcleanse Review Cleanser

This cleanser has a innovative formula, that GlamGlow calls “Mud to Foam”: it transforms from a really pleasant mud consistency into a soft lather, and contains tiny particles that exfoliate the skin at the same time, designed to leave skin looking glowy.
It is formulated with Brazilian superfruits acai, guarana, and acerola to provide antioxidants, and with flaxseed and quinoa which are rich in omegas 3, 6, and 9 for stronger, healthier-looking skin. The French sea clay revitalizes skin, the microalgae scrub and phytic acid gently exfoliate, and “Teaoxi” green tea leaf delivers antioxidants too to protect against free radicals, working with ground ginkgo biloba leaf to optimize the skin’s natural renewal process. 
You have to massage one to two pumps on dry face, then lightly add water to start the foaming lather, and then rinse. They advise not to use it at a mask.

My experience with it has been fantastic from day one: the mud is really luxurious to use and the exfoliating particles are not too harsh. I like to slowly add water and when you do so it begins to slightly foam. Slightly, because from the description I was expecting a lot more lather than what it produces. It’s really easy to rinse off and you immediately feel the skin a lot softer, and when I look in the mirror I never fail to catch my skin looking a little bit brighter.
Ever since I started using it my skin has been feeling and looking smoother, and even if I’m using  few other exfoliating products in my routine I think a lot has to do with this.
The only thing I can compare it too is the REN Clarifying Clay Cleanser, as it’s a clay cleanser too, and I find them pretty different. Not only the GlamGlow one has exfoliating particles (and physic acid too), but the consistency is a lot more luxurious on the skin. I don’t find it drying at all on my dry combination skin, and I like to use it a second cleanser at night or as my morning cleanser a few times a week when my skin needs something more than a regular cleanser.

I’m really loving this cleanser, and it’s been a welcome addition to my skin care routine!

Are you a GlamGlow fan? What have you tried from them? Tell me in the comments!


Wednesday 17 February 2016

3 steps to look good with a cold

The inevitable happened this Winter too, and I'm writing this post with a terrible cold. Oh well, and this year isn't being too bad! Apart from the runny eyes and nose, the next thing I hate the most about having a cold is how hard it is to look good, as the skin is suddenly lifeless and a long lasting face is incredibly hard to achieve. I've been doing my best to avoid those nasty effects, and here's the step I've been following in the last few days!

Becca Backlight Priming Filter Vichy Aqualia Serum La Roche-Posay Hydraphase Dior Diorskin Nude Dioraddict Lip Glow Bare Minerals Complexion Rescue

The first thing I like to do is giving my skin all the possible hydration, as having a cold makes the skin dehydrated and dull. For this I like to use an intense hydrating mask like La Roche-Posay Hydraphase Intense, that I apply in a thick layer at night and top it up with the Kiehl's Midnight Recovery Oil right before bed to seal in the moisture. This mask is intensely hydrating and soothing, and contains Hyaluronic Acid and La Roche-Posay Thermal Spring Water.
Another lifesaver is the Vichy Aqualia Thermal Dynamic Hydration Serum, that is concentrated in Thermal Spa Water and enriched with Hyaluronic Acid too. It's a lightweight serum that is instantly absorbed and leaves the skin looking instantly brighter and suppler. It's intensely soothing too and works great on skin left irritated by the cold.

Makeup wise, when having a cold I take two things in mind: I need a primer and it better be an illuminating one to bring life back to my face, and the base needs to be light as a super high coverage would look terrible as it would be perfect all over and completely ruined near my nose. My latest primer addition, the Becca Backlight Priming Filter, is everything I thought it would be and better: it gives the skin a gorgeous glow and feels like velvet on the skin, blurring imperfections. Then I go in with a BB cream/tinted moisturizer, and lately I've been enjoying mixing the Bare Minerals Complexion Rescue with my tried and tested love Dior Diorskin Nude BB Creme. I started doing this for shade purposes but I really enjoy how the Complexion Rescue slightly sheers out the medium coverage of the Dior base, for a combination that's incredibly skin light and allows the luminosity of the primer to shine through.

To finish off the look I love using soft brightening hues on the eyes, and a cream eyeshadow is perfect for its lasting power. I love using pink tones on my eyes, and a cream eyeshadow favourite is the Chanel Illusion D'Ombre in Moonlight Pink from the Spring Collection. A little bit of mascara and the eyes are done. A little bit of bronzer and pink blush on the cheeks, and on the lips I stick with the comfort and glow of the aptly named Dior Addict Lip Glow in the original pink shade. It's my "I can't live without it" lip product, as it gives a gorgeous brightening pink tint to the lips, looks glossy without shimmer and it's super comfortable to wear and hydrating.

With these steps I make sure to look good and not too made up, as it would be pointless when facing a cold. Do you wear makeup when you have a cold? Do you go for a full face or a few brightening steps like me?


Saturday 13 February 2016

Valentine's Pinks with Kiko

I've never been a huge Valentine's day fan, to be honest. It's a nice holiday but I've never been one to look forward to gifts or anything special, as for me it's not more than another reason to remember why we're in love.
I've been feeling the Valentine's atmosphere this year though, might be the red hearts everywhere or the fact that I would actually have a great reason to celebrate this year, and these relatively new launches from Kiko were perfect for a themed look.

Kiko Matte Fusion Powder Shade Trio Blush Eyeshadow Precision Eyebrow Pencil Look

The eyes are the stars of this look, with softly smoked out pinks and purples from their latest eyeshadow range, High Pigment Wet and Dry Eyeshadow, in #05 Metallic Warm Rose, #12 Pearly Wine and #11 Pearly Marsala. They're sold separately in a really nice looking compact (you can spot one in this Instagram picture here) and you can buy a empty palette with room for three. They're amazingly pigmented and really soft to blend, just make sure to tap off the excess from the brush to avoid fallout.
On the brows I used the Precision Eyebrow Pencil in #02 Dark Chestnut, a great eyebrow pencil that's great for precise work as the name suggest and allows to fill in the brows without looking heavy.

On the skin I used the Matte Fusion Pressed Powder in the shade #02 Tan to set my Vichy Dermablend [3D correction] foundation (review!), and then the Shade Fusion Trio Blush in #05 Marsala, a beautiful blend of dusty pinks that gives a slightly sculpted look if you pick up the shades just like they're placed into the compact.

The lipstick I chose for this look is from a past LE, Haute Punk, and it's the shade #01 from what was the Luscious Creamy Lipstick range. It's a beautiful semi-mat nude pink with a great formula, just like pretty much every Kiko lipstick I've tried in the last few years. Every nude pink shade would work!

Are you doing something special for Valentine's Day? Are you a lover of pink hues on the eyes like me? Tell me in the comments!


Wednesday 10 February 2016

Vichy Dermablend [3D CORRECTION] & Vichy Ideal Soleil SPF 50 3-IN-1 Tinted Anti-Dark Spots Care | New At The Pharmacy

Spring launches are everywhere, and there’s something new in the French Skincare department too! Vichy, alongside other products, has launched a new foundation, the Dermablend [3D Correction], and a new tinted sunscreen, the Idéal Soleil SPF 50 3-in-1 Tinted Anti-Dark Spots Care. I’ve tried samples of them both, and here’s my thoughts!

Vichy Dermablend [3D CORRECTION] & Vichy Ideal Soleil SPF 50 3-IN-1 Tinted Anti-Dark Spots Care Review

Vichy Dermablend [3D Correction] Foundation

The Dermablend line from Vichy is targeted towards skin that needs a lot of coverage: the (newly repackaged) liquid foundation is a beautiful full coverage formula that works amazingly as a concealer too, the cream foundation is easier to sheer out for a medium coverage and the concealers are great too. My favourite item has always been the translucent powder, that is really finally milled and works perfectly for setting those high coverage products in place.

But what about the new formula? This foundation is said to be a “corrective resurfacing active foundation” with 16 hours wear: it’s formulated with oily and acne prone skin in mind, and claims to immediately cover and smooth skin imperfections and reduce them with day by day wear. It contains Salicylic Acid and Eperuline (a soothing anti-redness ingredient), and the texture is an innovative bi-phase oil free formula to make it well tollerated by the skin and allow the product to cover even with a really fine layer.

When I came to try this foundation, I wasn’t expecting to like it. I usually go for medium coverage skin like bases, and something designed to cover acne isn’t usually exactly that. Usually, because this foundation is pretty close! it’s less skin like than I usually like but still looks natural, and not at all mask like. The innovative formula is really, really smoothing: it dries to a beautiful satin finish and makes the skin look poreless. I had the “luck” to try it on a week when my skin had a few hormonal breakouts, and the verdict is good on that aspect too: it glides beautifully over imperfections, and whilst concealer for complete coverage is needed (this foundation sits on the upper side of medium coverage I’d say!) it doesn’t accentuate any dryness or irregularities of the skin. I’m wearing it here!

If your skin is prone to breakouts this foundation is perfect for you: it covers without being mask like, and that’s amazing! If you have more normal skin it still going to look beautiful though: it gives a really perfected look, and the active ingredients in it might help prevent that few blemishes almost everyone tends to get now and then!

Idéal Soleil SPF 50 3-in-1 Tinted Anti-Dark Spots Care

The Ideal Soleil SPF 50 3-in-1 Tinted Anti-Spots Care is a multitasking product in the form of a tinted sunscreen. It’s aimed at people that use a high SPF daily to treat and prevent dark spots, and can be used in conjunction with a day cream or alone.
It contains PhE-Resorcinol, known for its tyrosinase inhibition properties that prevent melanin production. It contains mineral pigments for lightweight coverage, and the sun protection is given by both chemical and physical filters.

It is a really beautiful tinted moisturizer: it simply looks like your skin but better, and if you don’t have many imperfections or redness it’s going to be more than enough. It gives to the skin a beautiful natural finish, not mat but not too glowy either, and it doesn’t tend to slide off during the day. The shade is a light to medium universal shade that isn’t orange: I’ve used it when I was slightly paler than its shade and it worked perfectly fine as it’s so light, and when it was slightly too light for me didn’t give me a ghost face effect. The high SPF is perfect, and the fact that treats dark spots at the same time is a really good bonus. If you want a fuller coverage you can pair it with a light to medium coverage foundation and use it as a primer: your skin is going to look perfect without anything heavy! You can see me wearing it here.

Two very different bases that get two big thumbs up for me! Have you tried any of these? Are you a fan of Vichy foundations?