Monday, February 28, 2011

A few of my favourite things of February 2011

This month I have still used the products that I mentioned in my January favourites on an almost everyday basis. There were however, a few new products that joined my daily lineup.

- Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Gel: I first started using this moisturizer years ago and then I just stopped using it as I wanted to try something better. No, I haven't found anything better and yes, I can be an idiot. Well, I can say that as far as giving moisture to the skin without addtional break-outs or irritation, this gel works amazingly well for me, it instantly soothes and hydrates my skin. I use it mainly on my t-zone and  I do not use a special "moisturizer" on top of it (I know that the Clinique people would probably scream in horror if they read this because according to them this is not a moisturizer. "Whatever", says I).
- Sophyto Omega Daily Moisturizer: this was previously called Mega Omegas moisturizer but has been recently renamed and re-packaged. It's a great natural moisturizer for normal to dry skin, without the unnecessary essential oils. I use it mainly on my cheeks.
- Nars Deep Throat blush: This is a blush that I mostly reach for when I'm already late for work and don't really have the time or the will to think about what makeup I will use (this has become a very common scenario lately). Deep Throat is a peachy blush with golden shimmer, a less obvious and glittery version of the Nars Orgasm. I'm sure that almost every makeup brand out there has a colour similar to this one and although it's not the most interesting colour, it is the one that is simple to use and goes almost with every type of makeup.
- Bourjois Smoky Effect in 71 Smoked Brown: a gorgeous shimmery dark brown eyeliner with a slight plummy undertone. It is one of the softest eyeliners I've ever used, easy to smudge (although not with the brush at the end which I find useless) and lasts well. 
- Essence blush brush: this is such a great little brush for a great little price (around 2.5€). I think that some blush brushes are too big, the Essence brush is the perfect size and very soft. One of the best buys ever!
- Malin+ Goetz Lip moisturizer: I got this lip balm after reading many great reviews and mentions about it (including on some of my favourite blogs, Visionary Beauty and Lipstick Luvvies). It's a clear fragrance-free gel and what I love about it is that I don't feel the need to reapply it as often as I did with most of the balms that I've tried. I'm thinking of trying the Mojito version next ;)

And lastly, a special award goes to (I'm under the Oscar influence, can you tell?) Bioderma Sensibio H2O Micellar Solution - I've used up a full bottle and will get a new one this week. In my opinion, a great sensitive and efficient makeup remover that doesn't leave an oily residue. You can ready my review comparing the Bioderma to an Avene Micellar Solution here

I try to write a short post and fail miserably, as always. Have you found any new little gems lately?

Sunday, February 20, 2011

You've got mail: Le Metier de Beaute!

Merry Christmas to me! Don't worry, I'm not going all crazy yet, but just a few days ago I received a lovely Christmas surprise in the mail. Now a little warning: you might get blinded by all this beauty over here:

Makeup candy!

Gorgeous, right? I've been playing with these goodies since yesterday and I can't stop looking at them.

So, here's the story: in December, Le Metier de Beaute had a little giveaway on their facebook page: basically you needed to write your wishlist of Le Metier de Beaute products and then they randomly picked 10 lucky ladies who would receive the products on their wishlist. And yes, I was one of the lucky girls (you might use a more colourful description, but let's keep it clean!). Because the packages were sent during the holiday season some of them got lost, including mine, so Le Metier de Beaute re-sent the them and I finally have my grubby little hands on these products:

- Eye Kaleidoscope in Splendid Frost 
- Lip Kaleidoscope in Moonstone Rose 
- Peau Vierge Lash Growth 
- mini Mascara
- Blonzer in Maldives Magic.

Now the products that I got aren't exactly the same that were on my wishlist, however, the colours are just so "me". I especially love the bright rosy pink lip colour and all the rich colours in the Eye Kaleidoscope (I mean, come on, there is a golden taupe, how could I not love that!)

So a huge thank you to Le Metier de Beaute, it was definitely worth the wait!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Micellar solutions: Avene vs. Bioderma

Two empty bottles - a round of applause for me!
A while ago when my skin was having one of its usual panic attacks, including redness, flaky skin and blemishes, I decided to look out for a very gentle cleanser that wouldn't irritate my skin any further. As I've read many positive reviews of micellar solutions in general I decided to try the Avene Micellar Lotion Cleanser and Makeup Remover (12.53€ for 200 mls).

This is an oil-free, preservative-free and alcohol-free cleanser that basically looks like water.

Ingredients: Avene Thermal Spring Water, Cocamidopropyl Betainamide Mea Chloride, Poloxamer 188, Bisabolol, Fragrance, Peg/Ppg-14/14 Dimethicone, Sodium Chloride, Sodium Hyaluronate, Trisodium Edta.

One thing that I don't like about the Avene Micellar Solution is that it contains fragrance - it is very subtle but still why put fragrance in a product that claims to calm the skin and is meant for redness-prone skin; on Avene website they actually claim that: the Pleasant fragrance is tolerated by sensitive skin. Now, I don't know about you but my skin doesn't have a nose and can't distinguish a pleasant smell from an unpleasant smell. Fragrance is fragrance, period.

Rant over, moving over to how the product actually performs. I just used a cotton pad with the Avene Micellar Solution all over my face; I used it only at night to remove my makeup, in the morning I still prefer my cleansing gels. It did good job at removing my makeup although sometimes I woke up with a little bit of mascara left under the eyes. Another thing that bothered me was the fact that it left this annoying sticky residue on my skin. So, after finishing a bottle of the Avene Micellar Solution I decided to try the famous  Bioderma Sensibio H2O Micellar Solution (11.09€ for 250 mls).

This product is very popular with the makeup artists. Combine that with the fact that it's not widely available and you've got yourself  a cult product (or a hype).

Ingredients:  water (aqua), peg-6 caprylic/capric glycerides, propylene glycol, cucumis sativus (cucumber) fruit extract, mannitol, xylitol, rhamnose, fructooligosaccharides, disodium edta, cetrimonium bromide. 

I have to say I like the Bioderma Micellar Solution very much, more than the Avene. and I will definitely repurchase it. The Bioderma H2O is not fragranced and does a very good job at removing makeup - no racoon eyes in the morning. And it feels less sticky on the skin, although I still use a cleansing gel after it. 

So to summarize, the pros and cons of micellar solutions are: 

- they are usually suitable for all skin-types and generally they have very few ingredients, which makes them ok for sensitive skins;
- the Bioderma H2O removes makeup very well and there is no oily residue that you get with the standard oil-based makeup removers.

- I got through both bottles of Micellar Solutions very quickly; each lasted me about 1-2 months and I used them only at night to remove my makeup;

What is your opinion on Micellar Solutions? Have you tried any similar products from any other brands?

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Space NK Gift With Purchase

Yesterday Space NK posted on their facebook page that their new online spring catalog is out. fI lipped through the virtual pages and on page 9 there is a special gift with purchase offer valid from 24 to 26 February 2011. Basically, with any online/phone/in store purchase above 75 GBP you'll get a  goodie bag filled with:
- NARS mini compact foundation
- Lipstick Queen Jean Queen lipstick
- Roccocco Nail Apparel
- Laughter 15ml Eau de Toilette.

Here is the link to the online catalog. Of course, there is the "contents might vary" sentence but still I think it's a very good offer and I am a complete sucker for good GWPs. Anyone else with me?

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Catrice Ultimate Nail Lacquer in Plum Play With Me

Catrice is a German drugstore brand that is available in some European countries, a sort of slightly older sister to the brand Essence that is now available in the US as well if I'm not mistaken. In Slovenia we currently don't have their full makeup collection, only the nail polishes. They have a good selection of colours, one of the most popular shades is called Sold Out Forever, a mint green that's apparently a very good dupe for Chanel Jade (which was of course sold out).

Plum Play With Me is a dusty plum with a cream finish. I applied two coats over a base coat, without a top coat. It started chipping after 2 days so a top coat will be a must next time. It was quite easy to apply, dried quickly and I really like how it looks so glossy even without a topcoat.

Another good thing about these polishes is the price: about 2.5€ for 10 mls. The next colour on my wishlist is Hip Queens Wear Blue Jeans - a deep blue with micro-shimmer. Now I might be hallucinating here, but don't the name and the colour make you think of a certain future British princess?

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

I love Twitter and Thank you Becca!

Well, it's not really love but it's a big like. Let's say if twitter was on facebook I would have definitely pressed the like button (edit: I just checked on facebook and of course twitter IS on facebook. I can be slow sometimes).

Now I don't really like Facebook but twitter is a whole different thing. A great way of interacting with people and getting the scoop from your brands, websites, stores etc. And another awesome thing about twitter are twitter giveaways. A few weeks ago the Australian makeup brand Becca was having a quick giveaway and guess what? Yup, I won one of the Mineral SPF Primers SPF 30

I will have a chance to properly try the primer out next week when we go skiing and of course when the weather will get warmer to see if this will make my makeup stay on longer and keeping my skin shine-free (I might also use it on a friend who's getting married in July, will just have to check first if this causes any problems in flash photos).

Oh, and did you notice how the note above is from Claire to Klara (moi)? I just find that awfully cute.

Thank you Becca!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Blueberry Tart

As I mentioned in my first post I love food - eating it and making it. During the week I'm more for the quick and (sometimes) healthy recipes but in the weekend I usually have a bit more time for more "complicated" recipes. This weekend I made a wonderful dessert, I followed this recipe on the BBC Good Food website - Raspberry, lemon and frangipane tart.

Obviously, I made some adjustments; firstly, I used the blueberries instead of raspberries (you didn't see this one coming, did you?) and I've used less lemon zest and lemon juice. I have tried this recipe before using raspberries like in the original recipe and it worked great as well.

Now the tart/pie is obviously not very photogenic (yes, I'm blaming it on the cake) and it looks a bit messy in this photo but trust me, it's delicious! The only downside is that it takes quite a while to make: first you have the pastry, then the lemony creme patisserie (or pudding as I'd call it), then there is "frangipane" which is actually an almond creme (who knew, well I didn't), followed by whipped creme and blueberries. So you need to have some free time on your hands but otherwise it is one of the best desserts I've ever had: fruity, refreshing but at the same time full of flavour. Well, it's really yummy, sorry for the lack of a better description!

I will try posting some of my favourite recipes in the future and any great recipe recommendations are always welcome!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

A few of my favourite things of January 2011

I always love reading other bloggers' monthly favourites posts so I decided that this month I would start writing about my favourite products of the month. They might not be the most exciting products out there but I have been reaching for them very frequently.

- Revlon Colorstay Foundation for Combination/Oily Skin: I first tried this foundation years ago when it came out and then I stopped using it because I was tempted to try other foundations. After a very disappointing experience with the Laura Mercier Oil-free foundation I decided to go back to the Revlon Colorstay and now I feel silly for not using it all these years. It's a medium coverage foundation that doesn't look cakey at all. I apply it with the Sonia Kashuk Synthetic Flat Top brush (another favourite that I picked up last year in a SpaceNK sale) and it covers some minor imperfections really well but doesn't look like I'm wearing a heavy foundation. I guess sometimes sticking with old favourites is not a bad idea at all (yes, I know, I'm being all smarty pants right now, in my Feburary favourites you'll probably »hear« me talk about a new favourite, ah!)

- Clinique High Impact mascara: another old favourite of mine that I have repurchased over and over again. I do try other mascaras but always return to this one. It's not one of those false-eyelashes mascaras that in reality can often look like spider-eyelashes mascaras, instead it just gives your lashes some length, volume and curl and looks very natural. One other thing that I love about it is that it doesn't smudge on me after a long day so no panda eyes here.

- Becca Eye Tint in Baroque: I've talked about this cream/liquid eyeshadow before and I have been using it a lot this past month by itself or as a base for other eyeshadows. It's very subtle, easy to apply and long-lasting so a definite winner in my books.

- Bobbi Brown Pot Rouge in Powder Pink: I've read such great reviews of the Pot Rogues so last year when I was in London I picked up this beautiful muted warm rosy colour. It works really well with my colouring and creates a soft, natural finish.

- Rouge Bunny Rouge lipstick in Whim of Mine: a gorgeous neutral rosy-brown shade (actually now I see that it's very similar to the Pot Rouge above). The consistency is wonderful and considering it's such a creamy formula it lasts very long on my lips. The easisest way to describe it would be saying that it just looks very elegant and »polished«.

That's it for the makeup, as I said just some basic products that I have loved in January. When it comes to skincare there have been only 2 products that I have really been liking this month (sorry, I forgot to take photos):

- Nuxe Reve de Miel Cleansing Gel:
I bought this product completely by accident I just needed a new cleansing gel, picked this one on the shelf of a pharmacy and I guess I got lucky with Nuxe this time. It's a very gentle cleansing gel that doesn't irritate my skin or make it oilier than it already is. Yes, it's simple but it works.

- Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant: I've had this big bottle for ages – it is the most gentle exfoliator I have ever tried and I've used it very often lately because my skin just gets very dry in this cold weather.

So goodbye January, you were actually nice for a change!


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