Monday, 25 November 2013

Xmas Ideas / The Body Shop

It's exactly 1 month to Christmas and what better way than starting with some gift ideas from The Body Shop?!
The Body Shop has a wide range of pre-packed presents for every budget. You can pick up a cute manicure duo for as little as £6 that it also comes in festive wrapping and limited edition scents.

The Shea Scrub & Soften Gift Set* is one of my favourite from the Holidays 2013; it comes in a pretty tin - to keep and store your bits & bobs - and it contains a full size 200ml Shea Body Butter and 50ml tub of Shea Sugar Body Scrub.

The Body Shop Shea Body Butter is a best seller, super-rich moisturiser that will leave your skin soft and hydrated for up to 24 hrs.
Shea Butter is also an universal scent that will please many: it's naturally neutral, delicate with an hint of  nuttiness. I bet you have smelled it many times in products and never realised what it actually was. :)
It's perfect for people with dry skin but I works very well on my normal skin too; I tend to scoop out a little bit and massage it whilst my body is still damp, after the shower.
It also naturally scents my skin and it stays with me all day long.

The Body Shop scrubs are my absolute favourites and The Shea Sugar Body Scrub is no exception. 
It does contain the best ingredients: the sugar is a natural exfoliant - without being too aggressive - and the shea butter takes care of replenishing the moisture, leaving the skin extra smooth!
I love that it comes in a mini tub which is handy to save for when travelling, I think. 

If you're looking for the perfect present to impress your mother-in-law or stuck for ideas for that last minute Secret Santa in the office, The Body Shop is the ideal destination to get your shopping list sorted.
Also, £200.000 from sales from all The Body Shop gifts will go towards building 5 new schools with Community Fair Trade partners around the world!

Saturday, 23 November 2013

Review / 001 Intensive Elixir

A Beautiful World is your perfect destination to discover new luxurious beauty brands, otherwise not easily accessible in the Uk.
001 - doublezeroone - is one of these exclusive brands, inspired by Asian philosophy and that combines natural botanical ingredients and science.
A well travelled team of experts sourced precious ingredients from all around the world and blended them to create a whole skincare line, targeting the inevitable negative effects of free radicals and environmental and temperature attacks.
And nothing is left to chance: the bottles, for example, are made of top class apothecary Miron violet glass that provides protection for the delicate active ingredients, against harmful light.

I was very excited to received the 001 Intensive Elixir to test - Serums are my favourite products to try.
I love how fast acting they are, you can see results in a matter of weeks and I tend to rotate them quite regularly, based on my skin concerns.
Intensive Elixir is an hand-blended treatment that contains 3 precious essential oils, 4 refined bio-dynamic oils, 4 pure plants extracts and Vitamin E.
You'll find sandalwood, rose extract, frankincense and  evening primrose oil that in synergy hydrate, protect from city life stress and rebalance the skin.

It has a herbal/natural scent with clear patchouli notes, not too overpowering and relaxing on the mind as well.
Recently, I have stopped layering serum first and then night cream but I've actually taken up the habit to mix 2 drops of the elixir with my moisturizer.
This way, I find that I have the opportunity to perform a mini facial, massaging them deep into the skin and stimulating circulation and collagen production too.

This oil targets so many skin concerns that I have been using it for over a month now, and I don't feel the need to switch to a different product; my skin looks considerably brighter, clearer and plumped up... and still improving!
It's a true ally for all skin type, fighting the first signs of ageing and aiming at prolonging your youthful glow!

Have you used the 001 range yet?

Friday, 22 November 2013

Shopping My Stash / #10

I've been a bit depressed lately; I've been struggling with tendinitis in my right thumb probably due to my job. I've been in my current position for about 6 months and it's constant typing for 8 hours so I have developed this inflammation... what can I say? I work too hard! ;)
Anyway, you can imagine that the last thing I wanna do is to come home from work... and type some more, so apologise for the erratic update on the blog and other networks.

Sooooo to cheer me up I picked up the warm, peachy tones of coral in my make-up this week.
On the face: Mememe Seventh Heaven primer, Urban Decay Naked Skin Liquid Makeup in 3.0, Guerlain Meteorites Perles in 01 Teint Rose'.
On the cheeks I used Becca Luminous Skin Perfector in opal - which is my favourite together with pearl; I'm really interested to try a compact version of these too, hope they are not too powdery.
The blusher - Cover FX Bronzed FX in golden peach - is also pretty luminous with it's golden shimmer and not my first choice for autumn but nothing to lift the complexion like this baby.

On the eyes, I used another Becca product has a primer: Becca Eye Tint in vicuna that its pretty translucent just with a hint of glitter and most especially, does not budge and it's waterproof.
 As eyeshadow I applied Chanel Illusion d'Ombre in ebloui that I know it works well with corals and I can simply slap it on - not much effort required! ;)
Finally on the lips, I went for a balmy texture with Revlon ColorBust Lip Butter in peach parfait or  a more opaque finish with Lancome French Touch Lipstick in sweet marmalade.

Well, let me know if you suffer/suffered from this condition too and have any advise. For now, I'm just taking it slow and believe me,  using the mouse on the other hand is soooo frustrating!!!

Tuesday, 19 November 2013

Review / Liz Earle Healthy Glow Cream Blush in 04 Rose

Most of Liz Earle skincare products are already part of my daily routine; they always manage to keep my skin in tiptop condition, even in the harsh winter months.
I'm glad to see that I can also trust their formulations when it comes to my make-up bag.
Now look at this beauty...
Liz Earle Healthy Glow Cream Blush in 04 Rose* is simply perfection!

The blush is encased in a signature blue glossy & glittery mini compact that also contains a mirror; I actually like the packaging a lot! There's something about it, I find it extremely satisfying to hold and the perfect size for your stippling brush.

The shade is just the right mix of pink and coral to give a natural rosy flush to the cheeks.
I'm a fan of the formula too:  it's very creamy and blends in synergy with the skin; it also has the property of delivering a dewy finish but feels velvety to the touch and it lasts all day on me.

The picture is pulling a bit on the pink side, but it's actually more muted and 'flesh-looking' in real life.
I would definitely say that it's a must-have shade to have; it'd work with any look and I also discovered that - because of the warm tones - it marries beautifully with bronzers too.
Added bonus: it can be dabbed on the lips to complete the look!

Have you tried any of the Liz Earle make up range, yet?

Sunday, 17 November 2013

Recent Loves / Nars Velvet Gloss Lip Pencil in Mexican Rose

I kinda of what to end this post here and just leave you with these images because this colour simply speaks for itself!
I'm not one to shy away from bright lips in autumn/winter and it's a disgrace that forgot about this beauty for so long (I clearly have too much sh*t - I can't explain it, otherwise).
I bought the Nars Velvet Gloss Lip Pencil in Mexican Rose when it first came with the Spring 2012 Collection but - not to worry - it's now part of the permanent line.  

I bought it for the shade, obviously, which is a bright magenta with cool undertone.
What makes it so wearable is the shiny finish and it certainly lives up to it's name; because of the glossy formula, it can be applied sheer but you can definitely dial it up too, to achieve a more opaque result. 
I'm really impressed with the formula because it applies evenly and it's lightweight as well; it also contains Vitamin E, hyaluronic spheres and phytosterol esthers - all delivering hydration and creating a barrier to protect from environmental agents.

I guess that the only downside is that it needs sharpening which seems obsolete considering the twist-up mechanism used by other similar products.
Anyway, Nars is probably my favourite make-up brand and I'm eager to try more of these; there are different versions too - the Satin Lip Pencil in Lodhi is top of the wishlist!
Have you tried these pencils yet?

Friday, 15 November 2013

New In / L'Oreal Paris Glam Shine Balmy Gloss

L'Oreal has recently released their own version of lip crayons in the form of L'Oreal Paris Glam Shine Balmy Gloss.
I had a glimpse at these when I was in Italy during the summer and they looked very promising under the bright light of Sephora. Well, they are still as glorious and perfect to brighten these Scottish autumnal mornings.
I find the packaging very attractive with the silver shine finish; the shades also are juicy and the tip glides smoothly on the lips.
The finish is glossy and I was pleasantly surprised with the colour saturation too.

909 Mad For Pomegranate* especially is a blue undertone red, steering towards magenta; the colour pay-off is fantastic with just one swipe and leaving the lips stained for few hours, even after the gloss has worn off. I've been wearing it constantly in the last week and also received compliments in the office.
I have a feeling that 914 Fall For Watermelon* could be a favourite for many ladies. :) It's a pinky peach with a warm undertone and the slightly silver shimmer enhances the glossiness, giving a mirror effect to the lips.
 915 Die For Guava* is a true bubblegum cool-toned pink and understandably my favourite too.
It's gorgeous with only black eyeliner and tons of mascara for the perfect rock chick look.

top-bottom: 915 die for guava, 914 fall for watermelon, 909 mad for pomegranate

In conclusion, they certainly live up to expectations: non-stick, very hydrating (perfect for the drying central heating air) and enriched with flower extracts.

Have you tried them yet? They are currently on 3x2 in Boots and I'm very tempted to grab Dare The Dragonfruit too - a gorgeous berry shade with blue shimmer! 

Tuesday, 12 November 2013

Shopping My Stash / #9

I prepped the skin with Clarins Beauty Flash Balm: love the 'old fashion' scent and it's rich enough to act like my daily moisturizer. I used Urban Decay Naked Skin Liquid MakeUp in shade 3.0 as my base and, since I have few blemishes to cover, I set with Mac Mineralize SkinFinish Natural in medium that gives me a fuller coverage than usual.
Because I don't feel very confident with my skin lately, I also kept a minimal face and used a neutral blush like Tarte Amazonian Clay 12-hour Blush in exposed; these tarte blushes are definitely living up to the hype - can't wait for Tarte to become available in Uk too! I also added a touch of highlighter - Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector in opal - that with its golden tone, works beautifully with exposed.

Purplish, yet with a touch of warm coral for the eyes: I used Pupa Wet & Dry Eyeshadow in 102 peach all over the lid and Neve Cosmetics Mineral Eyeshadow in dormouse dreams in the crease: these 2 colours are perfect for each other!
Finally on the lips, I kept the plumy theme with a Ted Baker lip pen or L'Oreal Rouge Caresse Lipstick in 101 tempting lilac.

Sunday, 10 November 2013

Review / Magnifibres Lash Extender

I was never blessed with luscious lashes... or with the skills to apply false lashes effortlessly.
I usually just put a couple of coats of mascara in the morning but can't say that I'm always satisfied with the results; I'd love to be able to achieve big lashes with just the stroke of a brush.
I've heard of fibre mascaras before but also read mixed reviews of fibres falling off during the day or travelling into the eye with quite uncomfortable consequences.

 Magnifibres* is made of 100% natural eyelash fibres that you brush-on on and it amplifies your regular mascara, adding length and volume.
I can only describe it as 'fluff on a stick' - which I realise doesn't sound all that appealing - but it's very effective.

I found it surprisingly easy and fast to use, that I can apply it on a daily basis. You use it as a regular mascara and you can build it up to the desired effect, just adding more coats. 
First step would be to apply your own mascara and then immediately a coat of Magnifibres;
the fibres are dry and they need to stick to the mascara so I recommend to use quite a wet formula. Then wait about 30 seconds and finally, seal with another coat of your normal mascara.
As I said, it's really fast so I can easily finish off my blush and lips - in between steps.

I need to say that I was worried that I would end up with white bits showing on the lashes, but the fibres are so fine that the second coat covers them with pigment and you can't really tell that they are there.
Of course you're wearing make up, but the lashes are simply enhanced in a glamorous, yet natural way.

Anyway, proof is in the pictures: 

bare lashes
1 coat of mascara
with Magnifibres

What do you think? I'm really pleased with the effect - especially for such little work - and I find that it really opens up the eyes.
I like the fact that I can keep using my favourite, trusted mascaras and, because it's a dry formula, it also minimises the risk of infections or bacteria spreading.

Have you heard of Magnifibres before? Would you give it a try?

Saturday, 9 November 2013

Must Have / Estee Lauder Double Wear Concealer

I've been using this concealer for a while now and I've come to truly rely on it.
You may say that it wasn't love at first sight (or use), since it can be a bit drying - I guess the reason it's because it's a long wear product. 
Since the first fine lines made an appearance around my eyes, in recent eyes, I've been having some creasing issues so I decided to try it; my usual concealer just wasn't cutting it anymore and the creasing really annoyed me. 
Estee Lauder Double Wear Stay-in-Place Flawless Wear Concealer does last all day and once it's set, I don't experience any creasing. 

Added bonus: it also contains spf10 and it can be built to a pretty full coverage without looking cakey. It's medium coverage to start with, and I find that even a small amount makes a big difference to my undereye area; I don't get many spots thankfully but it does a great job at hiding my dark circles and also add a touch of luminosity.

concealer on the eye on the right (my left eye)

What do you think? Personally, I'm pleased with the result and it still looks very natural.
It definitely gets a A- from me (for the dryness issues). Have you tried this product yet? What do you think?

Wednesday, 6 November 2013

Empties / October 2013

Bioderma Sensibio H2O Micelle Solution: not much to say about this one - everyone loves it, everyone uses it. Although - as I mentioned in my holiday haul post - I'm branching out and started trying different brands, this is still my favourite in the micellar water world.
Repurchase: definitely!

Simple Kind to Skin Cleansing Facial Wipes: I use wipes before the gym to remove most of my face make-up; these were allright but a bit on the dry side and I felt I had to scrub more than when using other ones.
Repurchase: no.

Wei White Lotus Moisture Rich Eye Blend: I received this eye cream in the January Birchbox; It's quite thick in consistency, so I mainly used it at night for this reason. Nevertheless I enjoyed using it and didn't feel heavy on the skin (just takes a while to absorb).
Repurchase: maybe.

Nuxe Reve de Miel Lip Balm: ohhhh my precious - I love everything about this lip balm - the grittiness, the smell, the performance. The matte finish is also an unusual and welcome quality. You can read more in my original review here.
Repurchase: hell yeah!

Liz Earle Orange Flower Hand Wash: can go wrong with a bit of posh hand wash ;) Lovely fresh scent, lathers nicely and not drying - I actually really liked this wee sample.
Repurchase: yes.

Sprout Cream: Sprout's now become S.W. Basics but same lovely products. This is a very thick cream, nearly pure shea butter. I used it on rough areas as knees, elbows and heels and lasted ages. Love the sweet smell, too.
Repurchase: yes.

L'Occitane Date Bouquet Hand Cream: this was from the shea butter limited edition from last year. L'Occitane hand creams are probably my favourite hand creams ever, the date scent was lovely too. I'm currently using the Passionate Jasmine version and it is just as gorgeous - You can check this post for the Limited Edition 2013 scents :) 
Repurchase: always!

Nivea Firming Body Oil: pretty inexpensive body oil, for after shower use that I highly recommend! Easy to dispense, not greasy and beautiful scent.
Repurchase: yes.

All in all a very positive month! Have you tried any of these products yet?

*** New items added to the Shop :) ***

Saturday, 2 November 2013

Urban Decay Vice 2 Palette

Urban Decay Vice 2 Palette

I've totally been in awe of the Limited Edition Urban Decay Vice 2* since it popped through the letterbox last week.
If you're already a fan of the Urban Decay Naked palettes - for your neutral looks - Vice 2 is your chance to add a 'colourful' selection of shades to your collection.
Having said that, they are still very wearable colours. You get 20 brand new greens, pinks, blues - some brights and many with a touch of smokiness, making them work for winter too; there are also a couple of extraordinary neutrals. At a first look, you may think that you will just end up with a bunch of dupes but, once swatched, this palette shows its true (stunning) colours.

The case is also very pretty with overlay of purple petals and jeweled UD logo; it has a huge mirror, opens at the push of a button and it's still reasonably flat that there's space for a double-ended Good Karma brush, too.

Dope is a pinky champagne with warm undertone and satin finish, ideal to highlight the inner corner and browbone; Radar is a warm brown with a metallic bronze finish, it also has a predominant yellow undertone and gold micro-glitter; Prank is a dark navy blue with turquoise shimmer, it just transforms into a stunning deep blue with incredible staying power; Smokeout is a satin black with a brownish warm undertone and just an hint of shimmer.

Toxic is a beautiful pinkish copper with micro-glitter and metallic finish, it's a shade that works in every season, on its own or as a base for a smokey look; Damaged is a gorgeous deep green with emerald shimmer, it has a metallic finish and it's incredibly smooth; Madness is a lighter blue than Prank with blue glitter and metallic finish; Lovesick is a true black with silver micro-glitter, probably my least favourite as it's a bit powdery and I don't really use black eyeshadows often.

Habit is a matte nude, perfect as a base colour and beautifully buttery; Voodoo is a deep purple with iridescent purple micro-glitter and metallic finish, I love purple eyeshadows and can't wait to wear this one; Strike is a metallic true gold with silver shimmer, perfect to add a touch of light to the centre of the lid; Shellshock is a very bright metallic silver, I still have to figure out how to use it, 'cause I want to use it!!!

Ambush is a dark brown with warm, reddish undertone and metallic finish; Betrayal is a lighter purple than Voodoo, with lilac micro-glitter and blue undertone; Stash is an olive green with khaki and green micro-sparkle, frosted finish; Coax is a metallic pink with gold micro-sparkle and cool undertone.

Rewind is a matte medium brown, neutral with grey undertone; Derailed is a beautiful taupe with warm undertone and metallic finish; Poison was a bit of a pleasant revelation, a dark charcoal with silver and blue micro-sparkle; X-Rated is a true baby pink with cool tones and satin finish.

My favourites are the bright Prank and Toxic, the safe Derailed and Ambush and the new found love Poison!
So, what do you think... Pretty special, uh?! ;)

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