All posts by D

Fall Glow


Autumn is officially here! There’s something magical about this season and although we connect it to berry tones when it comes to beauty, this year I’d like to focus more on the glow. The glow that just makes you look healthy and radiant and that still reminds you a bit of those summer days.

The two products I’m talking about today might be seen as summer staples but they look so subtle and beautiful that I don’t see a reason not to include them in my autumn routine, as well.

I’ve been using this Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector Spotlight in Opal for a couple of months and I can’t seem to be able to put it away. First of all, it’s a mini which makes it perfect for any handbag or travel makeup bag. This liquid version is great if you like a more subtle look or if you prefer to mix it with your moisturiser or foundation, for example because it has a thin, almost water-like consistency. I like that it applies easily even if the skin is a bit more dry or dehydrated and it doesn’t make the dry patches more visible. Opal is a soft peachy gold that looks pearlescent but when it’s in this liquid form the colour is less visible and it simply leaves a beautiful dewy sheen with no glitter. I usually apply a little bit on the high points of my face, as I have shiny T-zone. I don’t really use dewy bases, so I don’t mix it with my foundation but the combination looks beautiful on normal and dry skin. I’d like to add that for me, this is the most flattering shade from the Becca range on all skin tones, it’s absolutely beautiful.

The Colourpop Super Shock Shadow in Sunset Blvd was featured in my June Favourites post because it’s a really pretty golden bronze summer shade but I have to say, it’s lovely to use all year round (you can see it swatched on the last photo or in the favourites post). And that is because you can apply it lightly for a sheer wash of colour with a beautiful sheen or you can make it look more opaque and luminous.
I usually use it on its own all over the lids or with a bit of brown eyeliner or eyeshadow smudged in. I just love a simple and elegant look. The formula of the shadow is very soft and creamy, it’s so easy to work with, blends like a dream and doesn’t crease.
Some people said it’s been discontinued but I noticed that it’s still available on the brand’s website as part of sets.

My makeup routine has become even more simple than before because of the allergy/rash I got. At the moment I’m all about fresh looking skin, I rarely apply foundation, I cover up imperfections with concealers just to look a bit more awake and I focus on eye and cheek products. I’m looking forward to the autumn days, hoping that the lower temperatures will be better for my skin, as well.

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The Bigger the Better | Lancôme Monsieur Big Collection


Lancôme
have been treating us to amazing launches and just when I thought there couldn’t be anything else to be surprised with, they proved me wrong!
You may have noticed that I like to wait for the hype to pass, so that I can try out and talk about something just because it can be a bit too overwhelming. The products that I’m showing you today are still new but the time that has passed gave us a chance to really appreciate what they are.

Lancôme Monsieur Big Collection consists of mascara (probably the most popular item out of all), liquid eyeliner in the form of a marker, brow pencil and brow highlighter. I’m really happy that I had the chance to test them all out and to share with you my experience with the products.

I’ve mentioned a couple of times that I struggle with bristle mascara brushes although I’ve found brilliant mascaras with bristle brushes in the past couple of years. When I saw the brush of Monsieur Big Mascara*, I understood where the name of the collection came from. It’s pretty thick and big which made me think it would be quite difficult to apply without being left with mascara all over the face. But I was so amazed by the effect of this mascara and how easy it was to work with it that my initial fear instantly vanished. The mascara made my lashes super voluminous but separated at the same time. The formula is not too wet which is brilliant because I often find it hard to work with new mascaras. What surprised me the most was that it wasn’t clumpy at all and that’s what worries when it comes to bristle brushes. I love volumised lashes but bristle brushes tend to create clumps on me and I want my lashes to be well-separated without looking spidery. This brush has such soft bristles that it almost feels like they hug every single hair. I usually don’t apply mascara on my bottom lashes because I always look as if I’ve been crying but for the purposes of this review I did try it and it was a bit difficult for me, so I’d use a smaller brush.
What’s important to say is that Monsieur Big Mascara* didn’t smudge on me even after 12+ hours of wearing it in the heat, not even a bit. And it is not a waterproof mascara. I also haven’t faced any irritations, considering I’m a contact lens wearer with sensitive eyes. For me, it’s definitely worth the hype and I’m adding Monsieur Big Mascara* to the list of mascaras with bristle brushes that are actually amazing.

Monsieur Big Marker* was the one product I didn’t think I could work with. I adore a cat eye but I’m terrible at applying liquid liner. I always go for a delicate look and I end up with this bold eyeliner that just doesn’t quite suit me. You can see the tip of the liner looks like a proper marker and indeed, it’s great if you’re brave and want to create a daring cat flick. But here comes the surprise, the very tip of the marker is ideal for drawing a really thin line while the pigmented formula makes the application incredibly easy. It’s made of smooth foam material and the tip is soft but doesn’t move too much. I was stunned! The first time I tried it, I needed only 4 minutes to achieve a cat eye and I can honestly say that this is impossible for me normally. I can’t believe I’ve been using it almost every day in the past few weeks. Monsieur Big Marker* is the biggest surprise for me from the entire collection and I can finally say I’m not so scared of cat flicks anymore. In addition to that, I have to say the liner is pretty long-wearing, it does smudge a bit at the end of the day but I’m really impressed by the staying power.

Brow crayons are definitely new to me and the shade I’ve got from the Monsieur Big Brow is 02 Chestnut* which looked a bit too light in the pen but turned out to be a good match for my brows. The texture is quite soft and creamy and you may think it would be too intense once it’s applied but it can look quite natural if you use a light hand. At first, it may seem a bit tricky but now I use it when I don’t have time to do my makeup and just need a bit of an oomph to my brows. It blends really well and looks like powder but the soft texture turns this crayon into the perfect tool for achieving bold brows. It’s great for those of you who like big sculpted brows.
This pencil is double-ended and on one side we’ve got the crayon while there’s a blending brush on the other. The brush gives me the possibility to achieve more of a soft finish, as I like my brows natural-looking. The crayon glides on smoothly and it’s quite pigmented, so I can fill in my brows really quickly. The formula contains film forming polymers, waxes and powder pigments. Monsieur Big Brow comes in 4 shades and a Highlighter*. It’s meant to be used as a brow bone highlighter but as I’m usually going for a natural and simple look, I found another way of using it. It’s actually my favourite handbag highlighter now because I tend to reach for it when I look more tired in the afternoon. I’ll just pop a bit in the inner corners of my eyes and even in my waterline. Fresh look in just a few seconds!

These are my thoughts on the Lancôme Monsieur Big Collection, the two must-haves for me are definitely the mascara and the eyeliner. I think they’ve done a great job with these products and I can’t wait to see what the brand has in mind for the following months. 

*PR Samples

Empties #16

I’ve used up some beauty products again and I thought I’d share with you a bit more on them.

Skincare and Makeup Products

L’Oréal Micellar Water for Sensitive and Dry Skin – I got a big bottle of this one, hoping it would be very good, especially considering it’s meant to be suitable even for sensitive skin. Unfortunately, it stings my eyes, it’s tough to remove mascara (although I try not to use micellar water around my eyes) and it leaves some residue on the skin. I always wash my face after taking my makeup off but it’s just not a pleasant feeling;
Clarins Anti-Pollution Cleansing Milk – This, on the other hand, is really mild yet effective and simply lovely to use. It has a beautiful and delicate scent, it doesn’t irritate my eyes, feels soft on the skin and the mini was great for travelling;
Avène Cleanance Cleansing Gel – One of my favourite cleansing gels at the moment. It’s soap-free, it’s suitable for blemish-prone skin, it can be used on both, face and body and you can read more details on my experience with the product here;
Avène Thermal Spring Water – This summer has been so hot and I really like it but it’s been a bit too much for my skin. This thermal water is not only cooling but also soothing and refreshing. I’ve used up more than 4 bottles of it in the past few months and now I’m halfway through a huge one that would probably be the last one for the season. I just don’t seem to reach for thermal water sprays in the colder months or at least not so often;
La Roche-Posay Serozinc – Another mist but this time specially designed to help healing blemishes and mattifying the skin. I’ve mentioned so many times that I love this product, it’s been featured on my blog multiple times and I will keep repurchasing it;
Balea Active Charcoal Sheet Mask – This is my favourite affordable sheet mask for days when I need ingredients like Salicylic Acid and Zinc. It’s lovely to use, it helps reducing the redness caused by blemishes, it also heals them a lot quicker and I always try to have a few of this sheet mask in my skincare stash;
Origins Flower Fusion Raspberry Sheet Mask – The Flower Fusion Sheet Masks are still not mentioned much in the community but in case you’re curious about them, I shared my opinion and experience here. The Raspberry one is probably my favourite of all because it’s perfect for my combination skin, it’s really refreshing and contains vitamins and antioxidants;
Superdrug Simply Pure Hydrating Serum – This is one of my favourite budget-friendly hydrating serums although there’s another one I like just a little bit more. This is my second bottle of it, I think I purchased about 5 when I was in London simply because I can find it only in the UK. My skin is hydrated, plump and radiant when I’m using this little gem;
Eucerin DermoPURIFYER Day Cream – I haven’t talked about this cream in a long time but it still must be the one that holds the record for being in Empties posts the most. I can use it in the summer or winter and it will still be effective. It’s soothing, hydrating without being greasy, absorbs quickly, regulates sebum production and I’d recommend checking it out if you have oily/combination and blemish-prone skin;
Estée Lauder Revitalising Supreme + – This is just a beautiful product. The mini of 15 ml is great for travelling but it actually lasts a really long time. The cream visibly makes the skin look smoother, more radiant and firm. Sometimes it can be a bit too rich for my skin but mum has dry skin and she absolutely loves it;
Nuxe Rêve de Miel Ultra Comforting Night Cream – Another product that is actually mum’s but I occasionally steal and use when my skin is very dry and dehydrated. The texture is rich, so I don’t use a lot on my combination skin but it’s still enough to make me look more fresh on the next day. It feels nourishing and leaves the skin plump and soft, I also love the scent because it’s nice but not too overpowering;
Vichy Dermablend Corrective Resurfacing Active Foundation 16HR and Fluid Corrective Foundation 16HR – Both of these are great for covering acne or scarring, redness, blemishes. I’m happy I had the chance to try both although the first one is too thick for me, it’s just heavy and difficult to work with on my skin, it feels more like a mousse and the shades look a bit too dark. The fluid one is a foundation I’m thinking about getting full size of because it’s really easy to use, it has great coverage although I don’t usually wear such high coverage bases and it just hides everything I would want to hide when I have bad skin days;
Dior Forever Cushion – I love Dior Forever range, the Forever fluid foundation is my all-time favourite foundation, it’s brilliant and I can talk about it for days. Its cushion for came in handy during my travels, it has different texture but it’s still long-lasting. You can read more here but the only thing I didn’t like is the fact that it didn’t last very long. It’s quite pricey and I like that you can purchase a refill but I wish it lasted longer;
Maybelline Lash Sensational Mascara – I think this is a second tube of this mascara I’ve used up although it’s not my favourite one. And that is simply because the formula is too wet for my taste. I don’t hate it, I quite like it because it makes my lashes fluttery but there’s just something missing;
Bourjois Volume 1 Seconde Mascara Ultra BlackBourjois have amazing mascaras and this is great one, it gives me volume, separation, length and it’s super black;

Body Products

Lancôme La Vie Est Belle Shower Gel and Body Lotion Travel Duo – I love the fragrance, I have several of its variations and this mini duo was part of a set along with the perfume. The whole bathroom remained fragranced with this beautiful scent every time I used the two products and I really enjoyed the experience;
KICKS Lemongrass Sugar Scrub with Argan Oil – One of my favourite body scrubs. In case you want to read more about it, take a look at this blog post;
Yves Rocher Cranberry and Almond Body Lotion – This body lotion was part of the brand’s Christmas collection last year and it took me a long time to use it up because I always seemed to find myself applying other body moisturisers. Not that I didn’t like this one but it can be a bit too light sometimes when my skin is more dry and dehydrated;
Clinique Mineral Sunscreen Body Lotion SPF 30 – This is my second bottle of this sunscreen, I loved using it every summer morning when I had to go out in the garden and take care of the kitties we adopt. Most of them have health issues and summer is the best time to enjoy some outdoor activities with the little cuties. This sunscreen is physical, so I don’t need to wait for it to work after 20 or more minutes. I just apply it and I’m good to go. The only thing I don’t like about it is that it stains my clothes a bit;
Alverde Calendula Hand Cream – I picked up this hand cream randomly one day because my hands felt really dry and I was passing by a drugstore. It ended up being pretty nice, I love calendula products because they are very soothing and also antiseptic. The tube is quite small, so it’s also great for the handbag;
L’Occitane Pivoine Flora Hand Cream – Another miniature hand cream. I love L’Occitane hand creams and Peony scent is my favourite along with their Cherry Blossom one because they are delicate and feminine. The texture of their creams is lightweight but nourishing and absorbs quickly while the fragrance lingers around the whole room around you.

These are my recent empties and I hope you’re having a beautiful Sunday!

Guerlain La Petite Robe Noire Black Perfecto


Guerlain‘s La Petite Robe Noire family has a new member! So far, they’ve added a twist to all variations and it has always been really exciting to learn what’s inside these beautiful bottles but it might be even more thrilling now.

I have to say the La Petite Robe Noire from 2012 is not my favourite because the Cherry notes feel a bit too sharp on me. The ones I absolutely adore are the Eau Fraîche because of its sparkling Mandarin notes and the Intense version that is still fresh but a bit more creamy (I have review on it here).

The new addition, Guerlain La Petite Robe Noire Black Perfecto* has a rocky edge, it’s modern, it’s cheeky. The bottle design is cool… although pretty tough to photograph.

Black Perfecto* is a bit less powdery than the ones before. As a rose lover, I was really happy to learn that this fragrance celebrates rose in all its forms: Grasse Rose Water, Rose Essential Oil and Rose Absolute. Rose is essential in all La Petite Robe Noire scents but here it is more spicy and smoky.
Behind the Rose we find Leather that makes the scent more deep and enigmatic.

Top notes are of Rose and it feels sweet but not too overpowering.
In the heart we find Rose Essence, Rose Absolute and Almond.
Base includes Black Tea, Black Leather and Black Musk.

When you smell Black Perfecto* you instantly realise it is La Petite Robe Noire but the Cherry notes are blended with fresh and juicy Rose. This fragrance is beautiful and radiant but still wild and a bit darker, thanks to the crunchy Almond base.

The dry down really shows what the brand wanted to achieve wih this fragrance. To the little black dress they added a black leather jacket, it is less sweet and more rich and intense while Black Tea makes it even more rebellious and cool.

I have to say Rose here is a bit more prominent that in the other ones from the range but it’s so delicate and gorgeous that even if you’re not a fan of such types of fragrances, you might like this one.

Honestly, I’m torn between the Intense version and this one for my favourite La Petite Robe Noire scent. Black Perfecto* is drier and darker than I would have expected but it’s still sheer and appropriate to wear at work, for example.

If you like rose scents and you are a fan of La Petite Robe Noire line, give this one a sniff. It might become your new favourite scent for fall.

*PR Sample

 

 

Two Organic Body Scrubs I’ve Been Loving



Sugar body scrubs can be lovely, they usually smell amazing and peel away dead skin cells to leave skin feeling soft and smooth. But often they have a couple of disadvantages, they either feel too harsh or sugar dissolves in water too quickly and you can’t really exfoliate the skin.

But I’ve been using two brands for about a year now and they have brilliant body scrubs that are also certified organic.

I’ve had bad experience with KICKS body exfoliants from their previous line but since then, they’ve revamped the existing ranges and also released an organic one. When this happened a bit more than a year ago, the brand contacted me asking if I wanted to try some of their organic body range. I still like most of the products I tried but the one I keep repurchasing is this Lemongrass Sugar Scrub with Argan Oil. The tub is simple and pretty, the actual exfoliant has a subtle cirtusy scent and the texture is quite unique. In fact, that makes it hard for me to explain what it really looks like. The grains are not too rough but they remain on your body until you wash the product off, they don’t dissolve immediately and leave time to exfoliate while the Argan Oil hydrates the skin.  It’s easy to get the amount of the scrub you need without seeing half of it running through your fingers, it’s a bit like thick glue that somehow keeps the sugar grains where they should be. It’s a beautiful body scrub and it’s quite affordable, as well.
Sadly, this is a product you can get only in the Nordics (mum always asks me to bring her some when I come from Norway), so I have another body scrub that is just as lovely.

This Organic Shop Raspberry Cream Body Scrub is very similar to the KICKS one, actually, but the texture of it is a bit more fluid. You shouldn’t worry about that because it is still easy to use and you don’t end up wasting the product.
I’ve used several of the brand’s exfoliants, I purchased this one a few weeks ago and it might be my favourite from them. It’s very gentle and effective at the same time, thanks to the Shea Butter and Raspberry Fruit Extract in it. It smells divine and feels nourishing but the downside for me is the packaging. It doesn’t seem stable and it’s quite difficult to open and close the lid. Apart from this, they’ve created a beautiful body exfoliant that I really love.

Hope you can find the time to pamper yourself this Sunday!