My Summer 2016 Must-Haves

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As the summer (or rather the absence of summer we’ve been having this year) is coming to an end (crying face), I’ve decided to summarise a couple of all-round beauty bits that were accompanying me on a daily basis throughout the season of sunflowers and music festivals, sea breeze and Aperol spritzes…

A good ole’ dry shampoo is a must in summer. No matter how sweaty the summer is. Since 2009, I’ve been pretty loyal to the affordable, yet amazingly efficient Batiste. I adore the brand for the limited editions and various scents they come up with from time to time. In my opinion, the Floral Essences with colourful packaging is a quintessence of summer. I used it on my “third-day-hair”, as well as on freshly washed locks for extra volume and texture. Cannot go wrong with this one!

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It is no secret that I don’t like to fuss when it comes to hair. My favourite summer hairstyle is messy beachy waves. Having naturally wavy hair, I only need a couple of spritzes of salt spray after the wash to create the every day nonchalante hair look. This summer I’ve got to try the TRESemmé Perfectly (UN)Done Sea Salt Spray that I picked up in the US last year. The name says it all – messy “bed hair” is not everyone’s cup of tea, but I feel that it’s what suits me the most.

If you are a fan of Bronze Goddess scents from Estee Lauder, or Beach fragrance from Bobby Brown, you could definitely appreciate the more affordable version of the most summery scent ever: coconuts, sand and light florals. Monoi from Yves Rocher has been my “go to” scent for a couple of summers already. Lower percentage of alcohol in this Hydrating spray turns it into a perfect companion for those days when your favourite longer-wearing perfumes make you feel dizzy. What’s more – apply it directly onto your skin, and you’ll get an extra portion of moisture alongside the heavenly scent.

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My least used product this summer was my last summer’s favourite. Fruity Sorbet from The Body Shop (in the most summery of ’em all Satsuma scent) is incredibly refreshing for those hot and humid days when you don’t want to fuss with a moisturiser. Keeping the product in a fridge definitely serves for the best result – I adore the feeling of cooling juicy sorbet on my skin just after the cold shower. This year, however, due to the limited amount of sunny hot days in my part of the world, this guy spent most of its summer in the fridge.

When  it comes to make up, I go with the summer flow: the last thing I want is the struggle of the melting full-make up face. Hence, BB or CC creams are my every day companions. This summer, I’ve discovered the Aquasource CC Gel from Biotherm. It has minimal coverage, but serves amazingly well as a moisturiser and skin tone equaliser. I love the lightweight gel texture, which is also extremely refreshing in comparison with heavier cream consistency.

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Another summer trick is to go for the “multi-use” creamy products. I’ve tried out the novelty from Maybelline – the latest addition to their Baby Lips range. Baby Lips & Cheeks has a funky cute packaging – which is already a plus, but not the only one. It comes in four bright shades that look incredible on both lips and cheeks. Considering how affordable this range is, I love the effect of fresh and glowy skin it provides. I own three out of the four shades, but I found Flirty Pink works best for my complexion. Simply put, it’s yet another “no fuss” make up product that is easy to re-apply on the go (and what’s more – the scent is just yummy!).

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A crucial step in my summer make up routine is refreshing my face with thermal water. This year I discovered the Vitality Splash from the German brand Be:Yu that has amazing nourishing as well as refreshing properties. If you are new to this whole “thermal water” game, trust me: nothing feels better than spraying your face with a cooling citrus-scented mist. Hence, recommended to keep in the fridge.

How has your summer 2016 been so far? Have you had the chance to enjoy a summer vacation? What were your go-to city or holiday essentials this season?

Let me know!

x

 

My Swimming Pool Beauty Essentials

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Do you like swimming as much as I do? If your response is “yes”, then there’s a high probability we could become good friends, because swimming makes me happy, cheery, bursting with energy and excited. Swimming pool has taken its staple place in my fitness routine, and for years now I’ve been trying to incorporate it into my weekend plans, even though there might be thousand more seemingly exciting things to do.

Swimming pool necessities that consist of a swimming suit, a fresh towel, and voluntarily a pair of goggles plus a swimming cap, are pretty obvious and self-explanatory content of my bag. But what about oh so needed beauty products that should accompany you on the swimming adventure?  I always pack minis of my favourite products, so I can be compact and at the same time enjoy the goodies my skin- and hair- routine consists of.

I like using Aussie‘s haircare products to thoroughly cleanse my hair and nourish it appropriately. Miracle Moist range works wonders for dryer hair, especially after being exposed to stress in the form of chlorinated water (that even the swimming cap cannot fully protect from). The thick and silky consistency of this shampoo is targeting mainly damaged and “a bit unhappy” hair, which makes it perfect to tame your mane after the swimming rage. According to Aussie, the shampoo “infuses moisture into hair helping to condition and smooth”. No wonder: macadamia nut oil, the products of the Miracle Moist range are enriched with, definitely has smoothing and deep nourishing properties.

Next step is a cult product of the Aussie brand – 3 Minute Miracle Reconstructor. This truly miraculous hair conditioner (or rather mask, taking its consistency into consideration) has definitely not received all this hype for no reason. For most of the time it is a little bit too thick and nourishing for my rather fine hair – therefore, I only like using it once a week (or even two weeks), for a deep moisture effect. The Australian Balm Mint extract is an “ingredient star” of the 3 Minute Miracle: according to Aussie it ‘helps to restore manageability and adds shine’. Hair is properly nourished and silky smooth after usage.

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The most recent “member” of my swimming pool bag is a true beauty from Lush – the mini size of the Rose Jam Shower Gel. Whatever everyone is saying about this product, it’s all true! Gorgeous scent, wonderful silky consistency and moisturising properties – it all helps me to turn the swimming pool showers into my little personal spa. 🙂

Last step in the shower is a face wash. As important it is for me to nourish my skin properly before diving into the chlorinated water, as important it is to wash the layer of chlorinated water straight after the swim. I fell in love with this mini size of Estee Lauder Perfectly Clean Foaming Cleanser that I received with my purchase. I never looked toward Estee Lauder in regard with skincare, but after this discovery I believe I will need to start learning more about it. The cleanser is gentle, yet not eagerly foamy (which is unnecessary for cleansers anyway): I love the feeling of a deeply cleansed face I have after using it, and you literally need the tiniest amount to get the job done.

Moving to my “apres-shower” routine: I first moisturise my dry after chlorinated water skin. I like using heavy-duty nourishing products, such as body butters or body creams with potent ingredients. My current saviour is an affordable body lotion from Balea with 5% of Urea that is – again – targeting very dry skin (you see the pattern here, don’t you?). Super cheap and so nourishing – you cannot really go wrong with it.

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On another side of the price range is a deodorant from Lancome, a product purchased at a Duty Free once upon a time, but left untouched for a while. In mornings I usually don’t feel like too much fuss, hence this cream deodorant that needs to be applied in a little “old school” manner by spreading the cream with your finger, was transferred to my swimming pool essentials. Gentle Smooth Deodorant Cream Bocage doesn’t have any particularly strong scent (apart from this a little old-schoolish hint), but the protection it provides with is more than acceptable.

It’s time to moisturise my face now: I like doing it with the honey nourishing cream from Sanoflore Miel Nourricier. You won’t be surprised to hear that it’s another favourite of mine: very light in texture, it is dedicated for sensitive skin and provides me with an appropriate dose of hydration. Sanoflore is one of my favourite brands of all time, I haven’t been disappointed with any of their products.

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The last (voluntary) step in my routine depends on the weather outside. If it’s not freezing cold or wintery windy, I like to dry my hair just a bit, but then leave it dry naturally. In these cases, I’ll apply a bit of a salt spray into hair for extra texture and to accentuate the waves. This product is again from Aussie, but in contrast to my excitement with their haircare goodies, I wasn’t a fan of hairstyling. In particular, this Miracle Beach Waves spray is very strongly (and what’s more, unpleasantly!) fragranced, quite sticky and gives a crunchy end result. I believe, it’s not what you want to achieve, is it? I really loved my Lee Stafford salt spray that was also more exact regarding the dosage: 20 pumps were usually enough for a slight beachy look. With this one though I feel like spraying 40 pumps might not suffice. Recommended for advanced users only 🙂 Even though I believe those will prefer a better product.

What are your beauty essentials you like to keep in your sports bag? Or take along to a gym or swimming pool? Let me know!

x

 

 

 

 

Best Spring Blushes: Corals, Pinks and Magic

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Hello everyone! I hope you’ve thoroughly enjoyed these almost 2 weeks of meteorological spring (I know, I know, the weather outside says otherwise). To put myself in a perfectly springy mood, I always raid through my drawers, in search of inspiration. Pastels, bright pinks and corals, maybe a bit of shimmer – this is the direction I’m heading as soon as my soul starts longing for spring.

The best (and easiest, I believe) way to open your heart to spring is to incorporate some of the bright and radiant colours into your make-up routine. And is there an easier way to do it than by using a blusher? Not only does it immediately bring life to a pale wintery face, but it also acts as perhaps the fastest and the simplest way to experiment without any extra fuss.

In the following paragraphs I will present you my all-time favourite spring blushers that I withdrew from the drawers for this season while shopping my stash.

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Too Faced, the love of my life. In my last beauty post I was all about the newest edition to their range – the Love Flush blushes. Now, I’m coming back to basics and selecting a star of spring/summer 2014. I am typically not the biggest fan of shimmer, but this blush makes me love it. So subtle and finely melt, the Too Faced Sweethearts blush is the only one out of my selection I present here that could also be used as a highlighter. Swipe over all three shades, or apply one of the stripes – this blush is a recipe for a perfectly fresh glowy look in peachy nuances. And the name of the shade is pretty darn appropriate – Peach Beach.

My second “suspect” is the trio from Sephora. Technically, it’s not a blush, but a palette that combines bronzer, highlighter and a blush. But it definitely comes in handy, doesn’t it? I like using the blusher for its gorgeous flashy effect and warm-toned coral shade (whereas bronzer is a bit too dark for me, and highlighter is a tad too pink). MicroSmooth Baked Sculpting Trio is, indeed, extremely smooth and easy too apply. What’s more, it’s very affordable, compact and versatile. I went for the shade 02 Medium.

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Cha Cha Tint from Benefit is my favourite from the Tints range. Benefit describes it as “mango-tinted” (thank you, otherwise I would’ve gone with an obligatory “peachy”, but mango sounds just so much better… and juicier). I know it’s not up of everyone’s alley – first of all, due to the application. It’s not the easiest on Earth, and you definitely need to be as speedy as it gets with it. Secondly, the shade: orange (even mango orange) is simply not everyone’s cup of tea. But for me this product is a miracle! When blended into the skin, it stays put for hours. It also provides you with this beautiful dewiness and glow no powder blush is capable of. And an added benefit: you can also smear it over your lips!

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Next beauty is the only limited edition I present you here. I have many gorgeous shades from spring collections of various brands, but I believe it’s a little unfair to include them into the selection. This, however, I cannot omit. The concept itself is quite ground-breaking. Released in last year’s limited edition Fancy Beauty Tales, this blush from the German brand P2 is one of a kind (if not, please widen my horizons!). Cream blush that comes out completely white (strange!) and turns into subtle rose colour as you blend it into your skin (magic!). I’ve always had this strange weakness for all kinds of gimmicks, but this one seems to work. The blusher applies quite well, and in comparison with some other products that come invisible and adapt to your skin tone with time, this one would not surprise you neither with an intense flush of colour, nor with streaky application. Shoutout for the team of developers who decided to name it “Unexpected magic blush“! Mine is in the shade 02 Catch the Glow.

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Alongside this unpredictable beauty, the very predictable, and I even dare to say, expected blusher is coming to the light. It’s a classic. NYX’s High Definition Blush. I believe everyone and their dog know about this range – they are affordable, compact, great value for the price and… decorated with a cute bow 🙂 The shade I selected – Baby Doll – looks like the most “typical” spring tone. Bright pink with iridescent shimmer works like magic (not as magical as its predecessor though :-P)! So flattering, yet so seasonal. I would never wear this shade in winter, but it was certainly made for spring.

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Last, but not least is Rimmel’s Stay Blushed! Liquid Cheek Tint in 002 Touch of Berry. It is quite similar to the P2 blusher mentioned above, but good news is that it’s widely available all over the world. Bad news is that it’s not magical 🙂 It’s a great one though – it comes as a lightweight gel-cream and applies quite evenly. It wears off beautifully, however I didn’t find it too long-wearing, Cha Cha Tint from Benefit is a definite winner, longevity-wise. Other than that, I cannot complain: it’s cheap as chips and comes in a handy little packaging that is so easy to use on the go.

These are my faves for the upcoming season, and as you can see, I “served” them with some Peeps I got from the United States. Peeps are definitely a sign of spring for me! Especially considering it’s so hard to get a hold of them where I live.

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What are your favourite spring blushers? What colours and shades do you gravitate towards as it gets warmer? What is you preferred texture: cream or powder? Let me know!

x

Leap Day Beauty Round-up

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Leap year, leap day – although it’s Monday, it just gives you (or at least me) this sparkling feeling of blessing, boost of energy and not the least extra 24 hours that we so eagerly wish for. For this year’s last day of February, I’ve decided to sum up my recent beauty discoveries from this month.

First things first, my love for Benefit has been proven throughout the years, and it looks like at this point nothing and no one can question it. Regardless, it took me all these years to finally grab their iconic product – the Hello Flawless powder that has been on my list since its launch. Very finely blend pressed powder comes in a hefty square packaging, which is a downside. The first and last for me. On the positive note: it includes mirror and the second “compartment” that hides not one but two types of applicators – an obligatory sponge (that I am going to avoid) and a more solid brush (that I am going to use on rare occasions). I know that the majority of us would not care about these “extra benefits” too much, nonetheless they could be quite handy when on the go. And by the way, my shade is Me, vain? Champaigne, and it looks like a pretty much perfect match.

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Second product from Benefit is a rather new Puff Off! Remember when it was launched back in 2014, and many were shocked by the iron-shaped applicator? 🙂 In fact the cooling metal tip reminiscent of an iron is a great method to de-puff your under-eye area and smoothen fine lines. I don’t tend to suffer from puffiness, but from time to time it comes uninvited, and as you know – it’s always better to be safe than sorry. The only concern I have with this product described as “instant eye gel to help smooth the look of puffies“, is the prominent metal tip. Being allergic to the vast majority of metals other than noble, I am not so sure about using this applicator on a – sensitive by definition – under-eye area. Have any of you who’ve tried this product had any issues with it?

Next goodie is a Sephora Duochrome Eyeshadow from the Duo Reflects line. A little (a lot) more shimmery than I expected, so definitely not a pick for an everyday use. The colour itself is a gorgeous aubergine, but it gets lost in the flood of glitter. I love the name (Siren’s Charm, N 111) and its pretty scale pattern. I can imagine it very well for a night out or a ball, but the longevity of wear still remains to be seen. It claims to be long-lasting, however due to the amount of shimmer I wouldn’t recommend you to ever wear it without an eyeshadow primer underneath.

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Make Up Forever Mist & Fix Setting Spray was a pretty much blind pick. After trying a bunch of setting sprays from very affordable (NYX or Revolution ones) to very pricey (Urban Decay, which is still a winner for me), I’ve been on a hunt for alternatives. I haven’t heard much about MUFE fixing spray. To be entirely honest, I haven’t ever heard anything about it, but considering the handy 30ml size and a bold claim “moisturising”, I was convinced. After all, in comparison with drugstore setting sprays alcohol is not straight at the beginning of ingredients list here. MUFE setting spray has a light scent to it, but it’s not the scent of alcohol. If fixing sprays in general do not benefit your skin at the slightest, this one at least doesn’t seem to be able to damage it completely.

The only pick from drugstore was the latest Max Factor‘s launch – Lipfinity lipstick, that I have to admit, was love at first sight. Unfortunately, in my country the complete line consists of only 6 shades, but all of them are so appealing and wearable, that I considered it to be for our (and our bank account’s) best 🙂 After a long decision-making process I stopped on the shade number 50 Just Alluring. First of all, of course I was attracted by the name (yes, I am THIS type of person). Secondly, the colour is a perfect wearable lilac, that seemed to be great for transitioning into the warmer season, but also had enough intensity for the colder months. And finally, the beautiful texture of this lipstick that glides like silk and stays put for hours, staining your lips and providing them with the plumped look. This Lipfinity line is one of the best Max Factor‘s launches in the recent years, I dare to say.

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And finally, the definite star of the month of February is a gorgeous lipstick from the long-awaited Gwen Stefani collection for Urban Decay. Traumatised by missing the beautiful palette after its November launch, I couldn’t afford myself another failure, and was one of the first ones in line 🙂 Decisions, decisions… which one to choose, when all shades look so glorious?! And their names!!!! In the end, I went for the Rocksteady – I still felt like rocking intense burgundy shades before the winter is gone for good. Needless to say, the lipstick itself is extremely comfortable on the lips – it is not matte, but it gives both incredible intensity of colour and stain that survives meals, drinks and talking. I had to blot it with a tissue a couple of times after applying, just because I didn’t feel too comfortable with wearing this intense of a shade in the daylight (and this comes from a passionate Mac Rebel wearer, so you can imagine…). It’s a whole different story for the nighttime and I would recommend it to anyone who dares wearing a bolder lip colour.

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As always, I have a tea recommendation for you. As we are approaching spring and getting our beauty routine adapted accordingly, there could not be a more appropriate choice than the Spring Tea (Früng) from Alnatura. A perfect refreshing herbal infusion for wellbeing – a review will follow.

Are you ready for spring to arrive? Have you tried any of the mentioned products? If so, please do share your thoughts… What were your favourite picks or discoveries of February? Let me know, I’m always on a hunt!

x.

 

 

 

How to Incorporate Mustard Colour in Your Beauty Routine?

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One of the hot hot hot colours of this Fall/Winter season was a rather obscure Oak Buff shade, as stated by Pantone. Perhaps its less fancy and more “user friendly” description should be mustard. To be honest, I blindly added some mustard-coloured pieces into my wardrobe, even though I never felt like this colour suits me. But you cannot go against fashion, can you? 😀

The more I struggled with mustard clothes, the more I was eager to incorporate this fashionable shade into my make-up routine. Being a blue-eyed blonde I needed to work with this colour a little bit more than just smearing it all over my face (what would possibly lead to disappearance of my – already soft – features). So let me introduce you to a couple of mustard jewels I found in my stash and share my own way to start liking mustard outside your plate.

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First piece of inspiration came with this Avon eyeshadow palette in Metal Eyes. Not a regular user of Avon products, I found this palette a perfect way for a gradual introduction of mustard into your make-up routine. After all, being the quad, this palette offered you a perfect “how to”. No need to think much – just add a little bit of yellow mustard shade into your eye make-up, and tone it down (with transparent white) or tone it up (with the help of intense and highly pigmented brown and metallic black shades) as you wish. A little pop of colour on your eyelid or in the teardot makes all wonder.

Next product is an oldie, bud goodie. Nail polish from the summer limited edition of the brand P2 in the shade Honolulu Juicer seemed like a perfect accomplice in my quest. Is there an easier way to incorporate an “out of my comfort zone” colour into your beauty routine than painting your nails? Regardless of the summery character of this shade, I found it being as appropriate in the winter. Especially when applied over some nude or even white polish.

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Another product I discovered while shopping my stash was this Vibrant Curve Effect lipgloss from Max Factor in the shade Vibrant (06). The first thought that crossed my mind was: what were you thinking when you picked up THIS colour? Nothing is as bad as it seems to be. I found this gloss perfect for pairing with your oranges or even warm toned reds. The full “mustard” effect could be achieved by applying this lipgloss in the centre of your lips, contoured with an orangey liner – it all works for the most unusual ombre effect.

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Last item is cheating a little bit, since it technically has nothing to do with the mustard colour. But the packaging made me do it! Skinsheen Bronzer Stick in Gilty Bronze from Mac‘s limited edition years ago – adds slight shimmer to your face. But what’s most important here is that it helps you to look healthy and not too washed out after exaggerating with the Oak Buff shades! 🙂

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Did you find your way to make mustard work? Are there mustard/oak buff-coloured pieces that you got recently and you are proud of? Have you ever tried incorporating mustard colours into your make-up? Let me know!

x