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

 

What’s on My Face: Current Make-up Routine

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Long time no see! I don’t have any surprising justification for my absence, apart from the overwhelming preoccupation with both my job and preparation for my post-grad finals. But it’s not what we are here for, is it?

Since I haven’t really got into playing with new make-up items nor into trying new trends recently, I felt like sharing my current make-up routine will do it justice: after all, it’s what I’ve been on for a couple of recent months and what served me well.

The recent acquisition was the cushion foundation from Yves Rocher. I know, I know, it’s a trend. Yes, they are indeed everywhere, but you know – I actually like it. This type of foundation is a perfect match for my skin: it’s somewhere between the BB cream (that I prefer anyways for my daily make-up) and a very dewy medium-coverage foundation. Since I got several questions about application, I need to make it clear here: my skin is normal to combination and I haven’t had any troubles with coverage, nor longevity of wear. To me, this foundation provides the coverage I usually go for anyways. I might need to re-apply it in the afternoon or powder over it just a bit, but the thin consistency makes it all possible, without looking cakey. And just by the way: at first, I was super sceptical about the soft fabric applicator that comes with it, but now I’m completely converted – it just does the trick! My shade is in 200 Rosé.

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I like to proceed with the cream blush from Clarins that I re-discovered while shopping my stash: it’s a weightless consistency cream to liquid Instant Light blush in the shade 02 Coral Tonic. Not the most handy product if you are not used to thinner formulas, but definitely a convenient one. It’s super easy to apply with a doe foot applicator, and that’s what I like the most about it. The effect it provides is a natural touch of colour with slight shimmer, so I cannot but recommend it.

The star of my routine is definitely the eyeshadow palette from Nars, which was acquired in late 2015. So versatile, yet so unique. The Narsissist Dual Intensity Shadows palette is everything and more you could wish for: I tend to combine shades HIMALIA and URSA MAJOR for a daytime look, but thanks to darker tones, like SUBRA or SYCORAX it’s extremely easy to create a more sultry, evening look as well, or even to upgrade your daytime make-up. I first noticed these shadows about a year ago, fell in love with them immediately, and never regretted purchasing this palette, regardless the high price point. NARS’s Dual Intensity shadows can be used wet or dry, and the palette combines both shimmery and satin shades. And, it comes with a brush, which is always amazing!

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I like to finish my look up with the new(ish) L’Oreal Paris lipstick from the Bold Pinks (La Vie en Rose) collection. The shade Blake appealed the most to me – bright, almost fuchsia pink is very complementary to my skin tone and always does the trick of making me look more awake, in an instant.

As an extra step, I started using the Givenchy Mister Radiant Made-To-Measure Glow Totally Weightless primer (what a mouthful of a name!) that I also re-discovered while shopping my stash. Remember all the hype about this “magical” primer a couple of years ago? Well, I definitely do. It’s a but tricky to use, but if you manage to master the application, you will be rewarded with the most natural looking bronzy glow ever. Sounds like a dream for the summer months, right? Just start with a thin layer, let the bronzing particles dissolve and apply on the face parts where you’d normally apply a bronzer – at least it’s how I rock it.

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A final step – even though not connected with make-up – is a couple spritzes of the summer edition La Vie en Rose (yes, again) of Victor&Rolf‘s Flowerbomb. La Vie en Rose is an annual summer version of the favourite fragrance – keep your eyes open for this year’s bottle!  I got it last spring by mistake, but now can’t really live without. The combination of roses, juicy mandarine, grapefruit and notes of jasmine is a quintessence of summer to me. Aaaaand… you are ready to go and rock the heated city!

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What does your summer make-up routine consist of? Do you have any recent favourites that you cannot imagine your routine without? 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

Winter Purples: What’s Trending in My Daily Routine?

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Have you ever experienced winter blues? I have, and not once. However, I made a conscious choice to re-qualify this state of mind for the winter purples. Simply put, there is no reason whatsoever to not feel uplifted during the colder months, however dull and “bluesy” the world behind the window might seem.

Here is my selection of “must have” beauty products that accompany me on my winter routine.

First things first, hair. The crown of beauty. In winter, its state is usually far from the perfect mane we envision ourselves with, be it due to the indoor/outdoor temperature change, static electricity from scarves and hats, or finally, simple vitamins deficiency. Kerastase V.I.P. Volume in Powder spray is a winner for me. It has this magical power to return my dull hair back to life within seconds. Let’s say, it is an ‘easier to get’ alternative to the Oribe Dry Texturizing Spray. I know, this comparison is quite bold and might seem a little rushed, but both these products, although quite pricy, work wonders on thin, lifeless hair.

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The Body Shop Christmas line has never managed to let me down. This year (meaning December 2015) I especially liked their Frosted Plum range. Mesmerised by the scent, I picked up their Body Butter and Hand Cream, knowing that these are the items I would get the most use out of. But secretly plotting on how to become a source of this very scent wherever I go. Body Butter is amazingly nourishing, hence perfect for my dryer skin in colder months. Hand cream is too thin to my liking, but the small packaging is quite handy on the go.

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The newest discovery of mine was the Too Faced Love Flush blush in the “purpliest” shade available – Your Love is King. You’ve surely heard much about this product: for a good couple of months it’s been all over the internet. No wonder, it is pretty much perfect. Sleek packaging (even though I find the shape quite cheesy), pretty pattern inside, but more importantly, amazing pigmentation and long-lasting effect do the trick.

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Purple or dark burgundy shades of nail polishes have certainly become one of the staples of fall/winter season. My colour of choice is Essie‘s Sole Mate. Having it in my collection for years, I’ve fully acknowledged my affection towards it only recently.

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And the nice final touch to my purple routine is a spritz of YSL Manifesto perfume. Not a fan of the original scent – Manifesto EDP – I found myself inclining towards the L’Eclat version of the fragrance. Less intense, and definitely less sickly sweet, Manifesto L’Eclat could be described as a “woody” scent with distinct note of vanilla and tonka beans.

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And of course, it all blends well together only accompanied with tea. My choice for the winter purples days is Prince Vladimir from Kusmi Tea. Nothing warms up your day like a “Russian blend of China teas with scents of bergamot, lemon, grapefruit and spices”.

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And what about you? Have you tried any of these products? What are your purple favourites of the season? Does your winter routine have a colour?

Let me know!

x.