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?


Saturday 6 February 2016

January Favourites ft. Clinique, Smashbox, Kiehl's and more

February has already started a few days ago, so I'm a little late with my monthly favourites. The reason is that with my once a week schedule I thought monthly favourites wouldn't fit, but now that I'm starting to post more (twice for now!) I really don't want to skip one of my favourites posts to write.
So, what have I been loving this past month?

Seohora Wonderful Cushion Kiehl's Micro-Blur Smasbox Contour Kit Clinique Lip Pop Pep Start Clarins Pure Mel Dior Glowing Gardens

Clarins Pure Melt Cleansing Gel
I'd been wanting to try this cleanser for the longest time, but for some reason I never ended up getting it. Then a few weeks ago I read a few posts mentioning it, and I decided the time had come. I'm so glad I did! It performs like an oil or balm cleanser but is in the form of a gel (a bit like the Oskia Renaissance Cleansing Gel), that glides smoothly on the skin removing the last traces of makeup as I like to use it mostly at nighttime. It has a gorgeous smell that I find truly relaxing, and it makes me indulge in a little massage before starting to add water to turn it into a milky consistency and rinsing it off. The star ingredient is Marula Oil, that thanks to its content in fatty acids helps to reinforce the skin barrier and improves its moisture. I'm really enjoying using it every night!

Clinique Pep-Start Eye Cream
This eye cream claims to make you look wide awake and refreshed in 3 seconds, and I have to say that yes, it's kind of awesome! I have been using this mini size for a little bit more than a couple of weeks and I love it. It's great under makeup as it's not too heavy but it's hydrating enough, and the amazing thing is that it really makes you look more awake really quickly: sometimes I tend to wake up with my eye bags a little bit worse than usual, and in those mornings this really makes a difference. I'm definitely thinking about purchasing the full size as soon as I run out!

Kiehl's Micro-Blur Skin Perfector
This, for me, is the only primer I'll ever need. Sure, I like to try new ones, but as a need this is more than enough for me as it's just perfect. It smoothes the skin like nothing else whilst being super light on the skin, and the added skincare benefits are a really nice plus. It contains a Lipo Hydroxid Acid derived from Salicylic Acid that smoothes the skin and fight imperfections, making it more than a simple primer but something able to improve skin over time. Every foundation looks better over it and I haven't had any of the annoying problems you sometimes get with primers like the Benefit Porefessional, that tend to ball up when something rather silicony is applied over the top. I seriously can't be without this!

Sephora Wonderful Cushion Foundation
Cushion Foundations are starting to be more popular, and this new Sephora release is great. It's really skin like and weightless, but still has good coverage and staying power. It's a great everyday base as it's super quick to apply with the enclosed sponge and I've been wearing it a lot. You can read my full review in this post!

Smashbox Step-By-Step Contour Kit
I know I recently reviewed this one too, but I've been loving it too much not to mention it again. It's the perfect contour kit that contains three unbelievably smooth and blendable powders, and I've been wearing it almost everyday for months forgetting about my other contouring products. The contour shade is perfect and never looks patchy, the bronzer is lovely and not too orange and the slightly yellow tint of the mat highlight powder makes it great for adding dimension and setting under-eye concealer too. Here's the full review!

Dior Diorshow Color and Contour in #557 Twig
I love, love, love this from the Dior Spring Glowing Gardens Collection. It's a dual ended eye product with a cream stick eyeshadow on one side and a twist up pencil on the other. The cream eye shadow side is a super shimmery light beige-taupey shade that gives the lid a gorgeous almost wet look, and the pencil side is a mat brown that gives a really soft look to the line. Some might even say that the cool brown liner isn't pigmented enough, but I love it for that reason. Even if it's a really shimmery look I've been really loving it for a quick daytime eye that still involves eyeshadow, and I love the handy packaging! I've seen something similar from Kiko, I need to have a closer look at that too because their stick eyeshadows are great.

Clinique Pop Lip Colour + Primer Lipstick in Plum Pop
This was a no brainer just like the Smashbox Contour Kit as I've been wearing it almost everyday all month. First, I love the formula. It's incredibly smoothing and pigmented, and it's really comfortable. It wears off leaving a little bit of a stain behind, but lasts a long time before doing so. The shade is incredible: I think the best way to describe it is as a slightly plummy medium pink, and it's that kind of shade that it's a little bit more than a simple pink without being too bold. You can have an idea of what it looks on me from this Instagram picture.

Tell me, have you tried any of these products? What have you been loving this past month? Tell me in the comments!


Wednesday 3 February 2016

Smashbox Step-By-Step Contour Kit Review

There’s a product I’ve been loving that I never see mentioned on blogs, and it’s the Smashbox Step-By-Step Contour Kit. If you follow me on Instagram you’ve seen me feature it in almost every single “face of the day” post, and that’s the truth, as I’ve been wearing it nearly everyday for months.

Smasbox Step-By-Step Contour Kit Review and Swatches

The little compact contains a contour powder, a shimmer free bronzer and a highlight that is matte too. The texture of these powders is incredible: they blend super easily and never look patchy.
I love how the pigmentation is strong enough to show up but not too strong, as it allows me to go for a softer or stronger look with ease. They layer well and they even blend well on not powdered (but allowed to set) foundation if needed.

I usually only contour my cheeks, and this trio is perfect for that. I apply the contour shade right on and slightly under my cheekbone, blending upwards. Then I follow with the bronze shade, right above the contour, and then apply the highlight shade on the top of my cheekbone. It’s perfect for a shimmer free highlight and sometimes I use it under my eyes too, as if anything it has a slight yellow tint that looks wonderfully brightening. I then follow with blush (creams pair well with this trio too) and, if I want, a shimmery highlighter too.

I forgot to photograph it, but the palette comes with an amazing angled brush that I use for all the shades, and you can see it on their website here (I've just seen they feature a dark shade too if you're interested).

Since I started using this I haven’t felt the urge to take out of the drawer any other contour powder, let alone buying new ones. It’s pure love. A trio of shimmer free super smooth powders that are foolproof to apply, with the perfect brush included? I really don’t need to look any further.

Have you tried this Smashbox Contour Kit? What is your favourite contour product?


Saturday 30 January 2016

The Beauty Rules

When I shared with you my goal of finding more balance in my life a couple of weeks ago I touched briefly on what it meant to me regarding beauty. Today I want to explore the rules I’ve given me since to ensure my collection gets the love it deserves and at the same time doesn’t grow out of control, telling you why I chose them and what they mean to me. Hope I can give you some ideas too!

The Beauty Rules

First, let’s talk about how I want to make better use of my beauty stash.

1. Reorganize, gift and toss
This one is maybe the most obvious and one I’m sure everyone follows, but it’s worth remembering. Every once in a while is useful to go thorough our collections to see what’s just sitting there collecting dust, and find a better home for it. Be it a spot on the first line to get used more, a better home if we realize someone would use it more than us or simply the bin if it’s too old to be used.

2. Rotate regularly
It goes hand in hand with the first one, but when we have far more than the bare necessities it’s so easy to forget about products. Rotating the things we use daily regularly ensures everything gets enough love, and we might even rediscover some hidden gems!

3. Experiment
I know what I like, and what suits me. But I also know I’ve found it experimenting day after day, year after year, and I might just find something even better if I keep experimenting! I used to be a nude lipstick wearer only and now those shades barely though my lips anymore. I need to remind that and try something new once in a while!

4. Don’t be lazy
Following the previous rule, I have to avoid being lazy. Be it with wearing eyeshadow, exfoliating my body more often or rotate my products, there’s no room for laziness! I have to remember it because as it is with everything as soon as I get up and start doing something I know I enjoy it.

5. Stick to a routine if it works
It might seem to go against what I previously said, but I mean it more about skincare than anything else. Sometimes I’m guilty of switching up my skincare too often, and while I’m not so bad at sticking to a routine I have room for improvement. But I could also try to stick to a foundation routine I like or avoid switching up staples like brow pencil or concealer too much… Than would be actually mean finishing some makeup for once!

6. Wear nail polish
I love nail polish. I love wearing it and enjoy the process of painting my nails. Sometimes though I just can’t be bothered, and whilst a break for the nails can be good I know I regret it when I don’t wear it for too many days. My nail polish collection deserves more love!

7. Wear eyeshadow everyday
I’m being good at this lately. But I really need to stick to it, otherwise all my lovely palettes keep sitting in the drawer without getting the love they deserve! A simple wash of shadow with some definition in the crease doesn’t take me more than 5 minutes and can add variety to my otherwise pretty similar everyday look of liner and mascara.

8. Keep the lipstick of the day in my bag and reapply it
I wear lipstick or some kind of lip product everyday that I wear makeup but I’the worst at reapplying it because I leave it at home without fail. I need to start carrying them around while remembering to put them back when I get home, this way the day I will see the end of a lipstick will probably come.

9. Take care of the skin of my body too
I really, really need to get better at this. When I have time I happily slather my body with lotions, but as soon as I’m a little bit in a rush I simply skip it. I  never fail to regret it though, so I have to tell myself to just do it, It only takes a coupe of minutes!

10. Be less of a saver with products
I know this might seem strange, but I’m literally the biggest saver when it comes to actually using products. Sure, it makes me get my money’s worth and it’s useful especially with expensive skincare, but I can really use my products more liberally. I won’t be wasting my products either but if that little bit more makes my skin even softer or my shampoo lather a tad more it can only be good!

But, more importantly, what are the rules I set myself regarding new purchases?

11. Ask for samples, and use them
I started doing this a while ago (and I got to try gorgeous new foundation launches that way), but I need to keep doing it and getting better at it. Be it skincare or foundations (those are the easiest ones to get samples of) I can get a better idea of the products before making a purchase and it can really save me some money. Let’s not address the fact that I could probably live on foundations samples only given how many I love to try…

12. Wait for discounts
I’m quite good at this - Sephora 20% off how I love you! -, but there’s always room for improvement. I need to get over the fear of missing on products, especially when they’re not limited editions, and since that gorgeous Sephora discount comes roughly every three months I can survive without buying more than a couple of things without it.

13. Avoid the drugstore
This might seem a strange one since we all like to have great things while saving money, but I learnt the hard way that it’s not how I work. It might be because every time I clear my stash I find myself getting rid of mostly drugstore products since I paid less for them, but I really need to think about it more before making impulse buys because of the low price. There are a few drugstore brands and products I really love (and the new H&M Beauty range is amazing), but I need to think a hundred times before buying something only because it might be good and it’s cheaper, because I might just end up using it less and wasting my money.

14. Try to buy no more than one item from each category each season
Let’s notice the fact that this rule comes with “try” at the beginning. I have set this rule to attempt actually using up products, and I think this could be a reasonable amount of products to add to avoid going on a spending ban or being too strict. Let’s say I can choose one foundation, one primer, one concealer, one eyeshadow, one palette, one blush, one lipstick… Only one of each for each season. Sounds pretty reasonable, right? Well, I have to admit I already broke that rule in this first month of 2016, but in my defence it was before deciding to give it a try. So, trying to avoid buying things I already got one till March and then a lot of thought about all the new things that will be around. Luckily the news about new launches always come early!

15. Treat myself
Let’s end on a positive note. I need to remember that sometimes I can get myself something nice because I deserve it, and not think too much about it. One thing I’m thinking of doing is giving myself a prize for every kg lost, as I’m slowly but surely getting those few extra kilos off and a little incentive could only be nice. Let’s see how that goes!

I’m really positive about actually following this and being satisfied with my approach to beauty: I want to enjoy it without feeling guilty for not doing the best I can and I think these rules are really going to help.

What do you think of these beauty rules? Have you got some suggestions? Tell me in the comments!


Sunday 24 January 2016

Sephora Wonderful Cushion Foundation Review

There’s a new storm coming in the makeup world: cushion foundations! Just like it happened with BB creams, that for quite some time were only a few and then they started appearing everywhere, this year cushion foundations are starting to come out more.
Today I want to share with you my thoughts about the new Sephora Wonderful Cushion Foundation: let’s see how it performs and how it compares to other cushion compacts I’ve tried!

Sephora Wonderful Cushion Foundation Review
This foundation is designed to give the fresh and radiant look of a liquid formula with the practicality of a compact. It claims to give an instantly even, smooth, fresh and naturally radiant result that lasts all day with a moisturizing feel. It provides buildable light to medium coverage without any cakey effect or lines of demarcation. It’s enriched with pure pigments, soft focus agents and gel filler, and contains hyaluronic acid and albizia extract that smooth and moisturize the skin.

That’s a round up of what Sephora says about it. But is it true? I’m trying not to be too excited about it, but… YES! I’m absolutely loving this formula. It’s incredibly light on the skin, and it’s truly moisturizing. It’s really long lasting too though for such a light formula, and at the end of the day the foundation is still in place and I’m not walking around with a red shiny nose (I know, such a great look to go for, LOL!). The coverage is light but can be easily built to medium: I’ve been wearing a first light layer (literally a single press on the cushion with the enclosed sponge then dabbing it all over the skin), followed by concealer under my eyes, on my nose and on a red patch I have on my left cheek, and then another really light layer that I then set with powder. The result is incredibly smooth and comfortable, and the coverage is beautifully natural.

Sephora Wonderful Cushion Foundation Review
How does it compare with the other two cushion formulas I’ve tried? The Miracle Cushion Foundation from Lancôme (here’s my review), is a touch more radiant looking but it’s lighter in texture and coverage. It’s incredibly beautiful too, but the Sephora one has the same benefits with more solid coverage. The Kiko CC Cream Cushion (reviewed here) is a little bit more foundation like and a little bit more heavy on the skin, although very similar. I have to say the Sephora one wins, but they’re all three beautiful formulas.

I haven’t been to keen on Sephora bases in the past, but this one’s a winner for sure. So, what’s next? I spot a YSL Le Cushion Encre De Peau Foundation and a Mac Matchmaster Shade Intelligence Compact coming…

A few words on the Clinique Pep-Start Eye Cream you see a mini size of near the foundation: it seems great! Light and rapidly absorbed, it instantly awakens the eye area and seem to be effective on undereye bags. Will report back once I’ve used it a little bit more!


Sunday 17 January 2016

Striving For Balance

I always feel like I’m striving for balance. I like to joke and say that’s because I’m a Libra, but seriously, it’s what I always look for and still I see as a distant destination. I think that everyone would like to have balance in all aspects of his life, but still, I think that it can have a different meaning for everyone. Lately I’ve been reading a lot of posts about 2016 goals and all that jazz, and I didn’t want to write another one of those posts without finding a true purpose for it, and then I found it.


My one goal for 2016 is finding balance.

I don’t ask for everything to be perfect, I only want to find a place I’m happy at in what I feel I need to adjust at the moment. In the constant search for balance I always make the mistake of going all black or all white in everything, but that’s not how I work, be it for getting something done or stick to something long term. I need the black and the white to be the same amount.

Let’s talk about fitness and healthy eating, to start with. We all know a restricting diet without a good variety is not a great idea, as it opens the doors for a sudden fall where you go to have one biscuit and eat the whole box. I perfectly know this, but then tend to do the same mistake all over again. I begin happily eating an healthy diet thinking I’m going to be perfectly fine without a single slice of bread and not even half a plate of pasta once in a while, and then fall hard on the carb craving bandwagon again.
What to do then? Well, lately I’ve decided to follow a few guidelines to ensure my diet is healthy and balanced but without restricting myself too much. And I’m enjoying it. I look forward to cooking lunch and dinner and I haven’t felt the need to avoid the bakery area of the shops because it would hurt too much to see all that good stuff thinking “I’m never going to be able to eat that again”.
The hard part? Sticking to this. Not going overboard with it. Keeping balance in it.

And fitness wise? My problem is sticking to something. I love being active but I easily get excited about something, try it for a while, and then jump into something else too soon to see real changes. I have to find what works best for me, and maybe accept that I need variety to keep things interesting. I want to be able to say, at the end of this year, that I’ve finally found a way to stay fit, get stronger and better while having fun.

Another thing I want to find balance in is my love for beauty products. We all love the next new shiny thing and get excited for the new cult product, but I have to be realistic. I can’t physically fit all the things I like on my face, so I can’t get them all. At the same time though, I can’t tell myself “You’re not going to buy a single piece of makeup until you need it”, because who am I trying to fool? It would only make my life sad and then make me buy unnecessary things on a bad day. I want to come to a place where I do enjoy what I have and get a few new things worth having, but without having to think too much about it. I’m going to try to set a few rules to follow, to feed my beauty love whilst keeping the house free of too much stuff. Let’s see how that works!

2015 has been a year of huge changes for me, and 2016 is not looking less exciting. But to enjoy everything like it deserves I need to be satisfied and happy with myself. And what I feel I need, is balance. Those above are only examples of areas I want to improve - work and saving money whilst traveling and having fun are in too -, but the theme is the same everywhere, balance.

What are your goals for 2016 or the next few months in general? What’s going to be the word of the year for you? Let’s talk about it in the comments!


Sunday 10 January 2016

January Makeup Wishlist

Wishlists are something I don’t usually write about. I often go on about how much I’d like to buy something when I comment on other blogs though, and mentally the list gets bigger every day. At the moment there are a few things that look really worth getting, so let’s see what’s really high on my wishlist at the moment!

Wishlist Chanel Les Beiges Foundation MUFE Ultra HD UD Gwen Anastasia Self-Made Palette

1. Chanel Les Beiges Healthy Glow Foundation
Chanel. Blame the chic packaging, blame the cult products, or blame my expensive makeup taste, Chanel aways lures me in. I love the concept of their Les Beiges line, and the product that started it, the powder, is one of my favourite formulas (if only I could find a shade to use all year round as a setting powder!). This foundation sounds right up my street: skin like and luminous, comes with a pump (I was so worried when I saw the first images!) and I’ve already heard pretty good things about it. Not that I really need another foundation at the moment, but this one sounds too good to wait too long to try it.

2. Make Up For Ever Ultra HD Concealer
The Mufe HD foundation has always been one of my favourites, and I’m loving the new version even more, as it’s truly invisible on the skin but has amazing coverage. I’m really intrigued by the new matching concealer, as it’s meant to cover really well whilst still being undetectable. I’ve already started hearing good things on this one too, and since my hunt for the perfect concealer hasn’t come to an end yet I really want to see if this is “the one”!

3. Anastasia Beverly Hills Self-Made Palette
Anastasia is a brand that still makes me feel the thrill of owning and using something cult and hard to get, even if I’ve used more than one of its eyebrow pencils ordering them easily from Cult Beauty in the last year or so. This palette looks incredible, as it has a huge variety of shades and I’ve heard great things about the formula too. I just hope I can still find it because it’s currently sold out and listed as limited edition.

4. Urban Decay Gwen Stefani Eyeshadow Palette
I know, I know, another eyeshadow palette? Well, blame the incredible reviews I’ve read in the past weeks, I simply cannot get it out of my head! Full of neutrals but far from boring with the addition of a few fun shades, I know I can’t go wrong with a bit more Urban Decay eyeshadows in my stash.

5. Urban Decay Gwen Stefani Blush Palette
The first pictures and swatches of this have only been around for a few days, but I’m already in love. It looks like a gorgeous mix of blushes, bronzer and highlighter and the perfect opportunity to try the UD blush formula. Urban Decay has done so well with this whole Gwen Stefani thing, and I can’t help but being attracted by the gorgeous packaging and the great quality of the brand.

Have you tried any of this things, or are they on your wishlist too? What do you think I should add to my list? Tell me in the comments!


Sunday 3 January 2016

Discovering H&M Beauty

H&M is probably my favourite clothes shop. I’m all for basics, and on a daily basis you could probably catch me with a complete H&M outfit. So when I noticed the new shiny makeup area I couldn’t just walk past, and after swatching everything I could fit on my arm I selected a few things to try. Here’s my first look into the new H&M Beauty Department, and just like its clothes… I’m in love!

H&M makeup lipstick blush cream eyeshadow lipgloss concealer

Cover-up Concealer in Amber
Out of all the base products, this one caught my eye the most. And I have to say it’s pretty great! It covers without looking cakey and I love the shades selection, as it goes from the really pale shades up to the darker ones. I’d say if you’ve got a really light skin tone and usually struggle to find a shade for you H&M should have you covered!

Pure Velvet Cream Blusher in Cameo Brown
I have a love-hate relationship with cream blushes, and they’re often an item that tends to get neglected in my collection. I’m really loving this one though, and I’ve been reaching for it on an almost daily basis, as it blends incredibly easily and doesn’t need multiple layers to show up. The shade is a nice dusty pink perfect for everyday wear, and the finish is really true to its name, pure velvet!

Colour Essence Eye Cream in Dauphine Truffle
Strangely enough, another thing I used to neglect in the past were cream eyeshadows. It probably goes hand in hand with the fact that lately I’ve been able to use them without primer as my skin has got a lot drier than it was a couple of years ago, and so I’ve been using them as a daily quick eye look. This is a gorgeous brown that’s just got a hint of shimmer to avoid it looking flat, and lasts all day without creasing.

H&M, Swatches, Saudade, Urban Orchid, Dusty Rose, Cameo Brown, Concealer, Dauphine Truffle

Sheer Lip Colour in Dusty Rose
This is a great everyday lipstick, that gives to the lips a hint of colour, moisture and quite a lot of shine. It’s got a lot of tiny shiny particles in it, which is something I would usually avoid, but they’re so small that you can’t feel them on the lips. The formula is great as it’s pretty long lasting for a sheer lipstick and really hydrating, and I think I spotted a few other interesting shades in this formula too.

Pure Lustre Gloss in Urban Orchid
Let me start by saying that I’m not a lipgloss girl, and this one hasn’t managed to really convert me. But the shade was just too gorgeous to leave it on the shelf! I just have to remember to avoid this on windy days and it’s a pretty sticky formula, but it’s amazingly pigmented and doesn’t disappear in just a few minutes too.

Lip Colour To Go in Saudade
I love glossy chubby lip pencils, and this one doesn’t disappoint. It’s a gorgeous and effortless way to wear a darker lip, and the formula is amazing. Easy to apply, lasts pretty well and is gorgeously hydrating and glossy. This might be my favourite item of them all, and I’ve been wearing it a lot, as it pairs really well with a natural eye for a slightly more sophisticated everyday look.

I think H&M did really well with this new Beauty Department, as it’s a really big selection of great makeup at affordable prices. I can’t wait to try a few more things!

Have you tried the new H&M Beauty line? Something else I need or something I better avoid? Tell me in the comments!