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 LancĂ´me (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!