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

Multi-masking: new trend or a gimmick?

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Multi-masking is a “thing”. But is there something behind this trend that makes it note-worthy, or is it just a goofy way of follow the groove?

To me, it’s one of the few trends that actually make sense. Using different skincare products on different parts of your face simply works towards an amazing skincare routine, and this method always performed best for me. But if using three-four different face moisturisers, oils or serums might seem a little too extensive (even though I am convinced we are slowly but surely moving that direction), when applied to face masks, this “rule” suddenly makes much more sense. Especially considering that the process of mask application itself is an “activity” you perform on a weekly – not daily – basis, which always takes a bit of time off your other activities, but you dedicate it purposefully.

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The principle is simple: since the majority of population (disregarding different skin types) has pretty diverse skincare needs on different parts of the face, applying various masks at the same time is a trick how to treat your skin with the maximum respect it deserves. Whereas a t-zone is usually of an oilier nature, cheeks are typically much drier, and an under eye area – extremely sensitive. In this case, you’d need to combat the oilier T-zone with a thicker cleansing mask with unclogging properties, usually based on charcoal, minerals or clay ingredients, occasionally even mud. For the contours of your face you’d like to use a treatment for extreme hydration, and apply an eye mask under your eyes – thankfully, there are more and more of those available. A cherry on top might be a lip mask or an overnight mask, which – in my honest opinion – play a role of an extra pampering, special something you treat yourself with from time to time.

My modest selection for this blog consists of five masks (talk about excessive, right?).

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The most efficient one (and the most significant one for my skin needs) is the Warming Mineral Mask from The Body Shop. Not coincidentally, it is also my favourite of the bunch, which I am really missing badly every time I skip a week without it. My T-zone definitely needs some deep cleanse, and clay is an excellent ingredient when it comes to extracting clogged pores and purifying the skin. What’s more, as is clear from its name, this mask has warming properties – perfect for long winter evenings… 🙂 Jokes aside, the warming effect expands your pores and basically provides you with a “sauna” or “hot shower” effect – a.k.a. deeper and more thorough cleanse. What’s more, I like to sense that a mask is doing something – be it stinging or warming feeling on my skin. That is how I feel that the magic is “happening”. I am also a huge believer in kaolin clay, and being the main ingredient of this mask, it will set your pores free. The Body Shop offers a high variety of excellent and affordable products that really work, so look no further!

Next one is a one-use mask from Alverde. Products from this German brand of organic cosmetics are usually hit or miss for me. Their masks, however, have been consistently surprising me positively. Hydration mask with shea butter and rose extracts is targeting sensitive skin. Just like in case of clay for cleansing, shea butter is a no-brainer ingredient for combating dryness. Should I even start on the rose scent? I apply this mask on the contours of my face and cheek area, and with a clay The Body Shop mask applied on my forehead, nose and chin I truly feel like as if I’m in a Hammam. The only thing missing is relaxing music and an eye mask.

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For this, Sephora may serve you well, since they recently expanded the sheet masks range with masks for eye lids and lips. I tried a couple of their eye masks, and cannot recommend them enough: quality-price wise it’s a win-win situation. This time, however, I went further and tried an eye mask from the Teaology brand. Well, you know how I feel about teas – and when I saw a line that promotes itself as “tea infusion skincare”, I couldn’t really avoid investing into it. This skincare brand is not the cheapest, but the White Tea Miracle Eye Mask is rather affordable, and I cannot deny the word “miracle” in its name played a significant role in my final decision. Perfect hydration for under eye area, also works for tired eyelids – or for those moments when you simply feel like closing your eyes and leaving all the worries behind…

Sephora has, however, made it into my collection with its Shea Butter lip mask (you see the pattern here, don’t you?). This mask is a true savioru for those of us with chapped and dry lips – it offers an extra portion of hydration, protects, repairs and smells incredibly! 🙂

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Now, after spending good fifteen minutes with our eyes and lips shut, it’s time to remove the sheet masks and gently wash off face masks – I like doing it with a muslin cloth, but water might suffice. If I feel extra dry (especially after long flights or when my water regime was not ideal) I would go for a “heavy duty” player – an overnight mask. Clinique offers a great one in its Moisture Surge range, but lately I’ve been using the overnight Emergency Hydration Oligo-Thermal Treatment from Biotherm. Somehow the word “emergency” in the name made me feel safe and secure, like I am leaving my skin in good “hands”. Indeed, the mask is perfect for this extra boost of hydration: just apply a thin layer in the evening and you’ll wake up with skin more radiant and plump than when you went to bed. If this doesn’t sound like a dream, what does?

 

 

And what about you? Have you already tried this “multi-masking” trend? If so, which masks are your favourite to use and combine? If not, what masks do you usually go for – are you seeking hydration, cleansing properties or energizing effect? Would love to hear your feedback and tips!

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.