Monday, December 2, 2013

NARS And God Created the Woman Set

NARS And God Created the Woman set was for me one of my favourite purchases of 2013. It consists of a compact little palette with 6 eyeshadows (1g each), a Pro Prime smudgeproof Eyeshadow Base (2.8g) and an Eyeshadow Brush (#3).

The star of the set is of course the palette: 6 shades ranging from matte to sparkle in colours which would please any neutrals makeup lover. Many comments online were regarding the actual size of the palette which really is just a little bigger than the regular NARS blushes. However, I like how slim and tiny the palette is and as you get 1g of each shade I'm not worried of hitting pan any time soon. In the palette you get two mattes, two shimmers and two sparkly/glittery shades and a good mix of cool and warm toned colours.

Alhambra is a shimmery light pink highlighter with green and gold shimmer, Bellissima a matte medium grey with slight warm undertones, Kalahari a sparkly mix of gold and copper with slight plummy undertones (and slightly prone to fallout), Galapagos is a dark warm-toned brown with gold sparkles, Coconut Grove a dark cool-toned brown and Night Clubbing a black infused with gold and green glitter

Left to right, top to bottom: Alhambra, Bellissima, Kalahari, Galapagos, Cocnut Grove, Night Clubbing
The texture of the shadows is nice - they are well pigmented, not patchy (even if the swatches make some of the colours appear quite dry) and last well on my eyelids, especially when used over any type of primer. They are not as soft and creamy as for example my Rouge Bunny Rouge or Le Metier de Beaute eyeshadows but they are good workhorse shades and I've been reaching for this palette a lot ever since I got it back in May.

Photo taken in natural light

Photo taken with flash
The colours that I use the most are Alhambra which is useful as an all-over shadow or highlight, Bellissima which works beautifully as a crease colour and Coconut Grove which makes for a great liner shade.

I've been also rather happy with the two added minis in the set: the primer prolongs the wear of eyeshadows and doesn't make blending a difficult task as is sometimes the case with the Urban Decay Primer Potion and the eyeshadow brush #3 (which I think is made of natural hair) comes very handy as it's good for packing the colours on the lid and for blending.

The only downside to the palette is its limited distribution: I could only find it online at SpaceNK (UK) and Sephora (US) and I also believe that it's actually not a permanent item.

I know everyone is probably sick of hearing of gift suggestions for this season but still: this would make a really great gift for anyone and especially a great "To Me... Love, Me" type of gift.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Recent Skincare Empties

I don't know if it's just me but I feel like I always run out of multiple skincare products all at the same time which then warrants for some extra shopping or more like shopping of the stash, as is my current situation.

I always loved Clinique's GWP offers and have found many favourites tucked away in those small pouches but the Clinique Rinse-off eye makeup solvent was a huge disappointment for me - it  didn't really remove my eye makeup all that well and it felt oddly soapy and slightly irritating on the skin.

After I used the thankfully, tiny bottle of the Clinique makeup remover I came back to my old faithful, Bioderma Sensibio H2O Micellar water. In the above photo only the mini size is shown but trust me, I go through the bigger bottles very quickly.

Omorovicza Illuminating Moisturizer and Rejuvenating Night Cream were part of the Omorovicza Mini Essential Kit which I got in the beginning of this year, and these two products were the last two I used up from the set. As mentioned in my initial review I  loved the scent and the overall feel of the Rejuvenating Night Cream and would probably purchase the full-size in the future. On the other hand I wasn't as impressed with the Illuminating Moisturizer and found it was just ok - it did moisturize well but it didn't feel as soothing on my skin as the night cream and certainly not worth the price.

La Roche Posay Toleriane Ultra
became one of my staples and I have repurchased another bottle of this soothing moisturizer soon as I ran out. It is a bit too rich for my t-zone but works perfectly for the rest of my face and I just can't be without it each winter.

Lastly, I've used up two eye creams and truthfully, wasn't really impressed with either of them: the Clinique Even Better Eyes is a lightweight eye cream with a slight tint and shimmer to it which only momentarily improve the appearance of the undereye circles. I found that this cream wasn't really enough on days when my undereyes felt very dry but luckily it didn't irritate my skin either. Basically, it's a bit of an inbetween product - it wasn't awful by any means but I wouldn't repurchase it either. The second eye moisturizer was the Lierac Diopticalm - this was a little bit of a funny one as it's supposed to be used more as a balm for the eyelids. I used it all around my eyes and whilst the gel-like formula felt refreshing on my skin it did absolutely nothing for the fine lines, undereye darkness or just general smoothness of the eye area. Looking at the ingredients list I shouldn't really be all that surprised as it's mostly water, witch hazel, escin and a mix of parabens. One last thing which was disappointing with both of the eye products was the size - the Clinique one contained 10 ml and the Lierac one only 8 ml, as opposed to the "regular" 15 ml. Not impressed. I am now happily back at using the Paula's Choice RESIST serum as my undereye cream.
Now that was a mix  of some hits and misses and I think there will be plenty of empty pink Bioderma bottles in the future before I use any other skincare products. But, in the meantime I am *this* close to finishing not one, not two, but three lipsticks. To be continued...

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Autumn Wishlist

Autumn Wishlist

Runny nose, first spritz of Shalimar, thick black stockings, soups for lunch, lazy afternoons. Yep, it's beginning to look a lot like Autumn. It is also the perfect time to make a new Wishlist of some items perfect for this beautiful and moody Month (I swear it has nothing to do with the fact that my birthday is just a few days away, ahem).

1. By Kilian Amber Oud
After finishing two rather generous samples of the Amber Oud and still sighing at its beauty everytime I apply it, I think it's finally time for a full bottle (or rather the beautifully ornate travel and purse friendly refillable spray).

2. Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder in Diffused Light
After the initial hype about these powders I still see favourable reviews on blogs and online forums so I guess it must be good. The colour in Diffused Light had me at "conceals redness and gives skin clarity". Sold!

3. Monica Vinader Siren Stacking ring
I've been looking at the Monica Vinader website way too often lately. I really like the simplicity of her jewellery and the possibility of endless combinations and I'm actually finding it hard to decide which colour/stone I would go for. I think that the combination of yellow gold with the lapis stone is my (current) favourite - and as a side note, a little bit of googling revealed that Lapis is actually one of the birthstones of Libras.

4. Charlotte Tilbury Colour Chameleons in Amber Haze and Bronzed Garnet
This new beauty brand on the block was at least for me a highly anticipated new launch. After the initial excitement, these Colour Chameleon pencils look like clear winners from the range and I think Amber Haze and Bronzed Garnet are the obvious first choice for my "are they hazel, are they brown" eye colour. Oh, and some good news for us non-UK folks: Selfridges who sotck the Charlotte Tilbury range now ship internationally!

5. George R. R. Martin Song of Ice and Fire book set
First I started watching the Game of Thrones series and now I'm going through the first book of the set, to help me pass the time until Season 4 starts. I like the book so far and it makes me appreciate how well done the series are even more.
6. Chanel Le Blush Creme de Chanel in Presage
I haven't had a proper look at these new-ish Chanel cream blushes yet but I think I'd like the cream-to-powder consistency. I'm especially interested in the bright coral Presage.

7. Neom Organics Scent with Love Gift Set 
Autumn is the perfect time to scent the home with the help of some candles. I don't have much experience with scented candles but I think this Neom Organics set would be a good place to start. Another highly tempting option is the Diptyque Exclusive Collection, a set of 10 mini 35g candles with a beautiful mix of floral, spicy and woody scents.

8. Lastly, for some accessories: now, most of my bags are black so I think I can safely justify a burgundy/maroon coloured bag for Autumn, right? The bag in the above Polyvore set is oh, I don't know, about 10.000€ above my budget, but I think I can find something similar which won't force me to sell my kidney. And to go with a bag a scarf like the Liberty print one above with a mish mash of bright and subdued colours would be perfect.
I'll keep you updated whether/when I'll get my hands on any of the above beauties. Tell me, what's on your wishlist at the moment? 


Thursday, July 18, 2013

How skincare samples should be done

I love samples! I know, who doesn't but honestly I sometimes get more excited about a pretty little sample than a regular sized product.

Makeup samples are of course great, especially foundation sachets and the more generous Barbie-sized lipsticks but when it comes to skincare, sampling the products before splurging on the full size product is at least for me very important. Reading the ingredients list is one thing and it is a good indicator on whether the product would hopefully work for me (or in most cases not work for me), but having the chance of trying the lotions and potions for at least a week or two and see the initial reaction of the skin is even better.

Not many brands offer any type of sampling prior to purchasing but in my opinion this part of the purchasing process is becoming more and more important especially since a lot of brands are now available on the virtual store shelves and may be harder to find in regular stores. Case in point, Pai Skincare and Paula's Choice: Pai products are not available in any stores here in Slovenia and the distribution of Paula's Choice skincare is limited to beauty salons. That's why I think that offering these sample sets is a brilliant way for us potential customers to at least get an idea of the brand and the products they sell.

The Pai Sample Pack comes with a set of six 4-5 mls jars giving you a chance to try their cleanser, moisturizers and exfoliator. Plus, there's a cute little muslin cloth included in the package. Price? 6€ and the shipping's free!

Paula's Choice on the other hand lets you choose samples of almost all her products on their website but it was the Paula's Choice Resist sample set that I chose. For 3€ and again free shipping you get a selection of at least 10 samples from her Resist line. One bad thing though is that you can't choose the exact samples you'll receive but in my package there was a complete range of products - from cleanser, toner, serum to moisturizers.

I truly wish more brands would do such sample sets, for a reasonable price of course. Do tell if you know of any similar sampling programme by any other skincare brands!

Monday, July 15, 2013

Illamasqua now in Slovenia!

Illamasqua products are now much to my surprise available in Slovenia - you can find them in some of the larger Müller stores. The selection of makeup brands in Slovenia is quite standard and there hasn't been much change for years so I'm happy that the colourful Illamasqua products can now be tested, swatched and purchased in our brick&mortar stores.

Funnily enough, the first product I picked out is probably one of the least colourful options from their range, the Cream Pigment in Hollow which I intend to use mostly as a contour. So far the colour seems to work well with my skintone but I'll report more about it once I'll have it tested thoroughly.

Next on my wishlist is their Powder Blusher in Lover or the blusher duo in Lover and Hussy. When I swatched these blushes their pigmentation and texture were just so soft and silky to the touch and I really don't have anything like the beautiful apricot coloured Lover in my makeup stash.

What are some of your favourites and recommendations from Illamasqua?

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Some fantastic offers from Cult Beauty

This week Cult Beauty started their week-long birthday celebrations by putting out some really great offers - unfortunately, I missed the free goody bag on Sunday but if you are a sample lover like me you will love today's offer of 5 free samples with every order above 30 GBP. There is no code necessary you simply add 5 samples of your choice at checkout. Currently they have a good selection of samples from the standard sachets to what looks like much more generally sized tubes (for example the Caudalie Divine Oil, REN Satin Perfection BB Cream).

Also, an e-mail from "Zuneta" (which has recently been acquired by Cult Beauty - by the way, I really hope Cult Beauty will start carrying some of the brands which were previously sold on Zuneta) landed in my inbox this morning with a great GWP: a free DJV mascara with all orders above 40 GBP - simply enter the code DJV at checkout. Add to this free worldwide shipping on orders above 50 GBP and you're all set.

Are you getting anything from Cult Beauty? If so, please share!


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