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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

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Empties #15


It feels quite strange to do a post with empty products for a second time this month. But here’s a tiny portion…most of them pretty useful if you’re travelling.

Origins Flower Fusion Sheet Masks – I have an entire blog post dedicated to these face masks, so here’s a link to it in case you’d want a bit more information on each of them but I love them all and I’ve already repurchased a few;
Sally’s Box Loverecipe Paprika Sheet Mask & Peach Sheet Mask – The paprika one is for smoother skin texture and the serum was more like a gel, while the peach mask is firming and looked quite creamy. I enjoyed using both of them because my skin felt refreshed and soft after using the masks. It was also a bit cooling which is great for the summer months;
Balea Vital Sheet Mask – This sheet mask is usually supposed to be good for mature skin but I was curious to try it because of the Hyaluronic Acid and Argan Oil in it. Balea have some lovely budget sheet masks and this was no exception;
Balea Soft & Clear Nose Strips – I know these are not so good to use but I just can’t stop trying different ones. They are formulated with Salicylic Acid and Tea Tree Oil and were recommended to me by a friend. So far, these are the best drugstore ones I’ve tried, sadly there are only 3 inside the packet but they’re very good;
Balea Clear-Up Strips – Love the Lotus Flower Extract range but these strips are not as good as the ones mentioned above;
Kiehl’s Calendula Herbal-Extract Toner – This is an alcohol-free, soothing and hydrating toner. I really like it and I’m thinking about purchasing a full size, it’s good for any skin type but especially for those with combination and blemish-prone skin;
L’Occitane Essential Water – I’ve heard many good things about this floral water and I love the brand but this product stings my eyes and broke me out. The scent is very strong and I don’t have particularly sensitive skin but it just doesn’t agree with this toner, sadly;
Balea Eye Cream with Lotus Extract – There was another empty tube of my favourite drugstore eye cream about 3 weeks ago but this is the one I had in my travel bag and there was just a tiny bit left. I’ve talked about it so many times, it’s fragrance-free, feels soothing and hydrating and I will keep repurchasing it;
La Roche-Posay SPF 50+ Anthelios XL – This mini was so good for travelling. It’s a relatively lightweight cream although all sunscreens are a bit heavy on me but it was quite nice underneath makeup. The formula is paraben-free and water-resistant;
Clarins Instant Light Lip Comfort Oil in 02 Raspberry – One of my favourite lip products! Can’t believe I’ve used it up and need to get a new one. When I first got it, I didn’t expect it to be so nice on the lips but also, so moisturising. I’ve even used it as an overnight treatment during travels and it just leaves my lips incredibly soft and nourished;
Max Factor Creme Puff Blush in 10 Nude Mauve – I still don’t understand how people never talk about these blushers and especially this particular shade. The powder is finely-milled, it has a beautiful sheen, applies like a dream and this one is something between a bronzer and a blusher. Simply gorgeous;
Rimmel Wake Me Up Concealer – A lovely brightening concealer with decent amount of coverage. I don’t talk about it a lot which is a shame because it’s a really nice product and I actually already have another tube of it;
Lancôme Hypnôse Volume-à-porter Mascara – This mini was great for my travel makeup bag. It doesn’t irritate my eyes and gives volume to the lashes, makes them look fluttery and the only downside is that it’s pretty tough to remove at the end of the day;
Lavera Deo Roll-On with Bio Aloe Vera & Bio Calendula – This is a vegan deodorant with subtle scent and lovely ingredients list. Most deodorants don’t really keep me sweat-free anyway, so I prefer to use such that are more “clean” and Lavera do really nice ones;
Soap & Glory Sugar Crush Body Scrub – I love the brand’s body scrubs but this mini wasn’t that exfolaiting and I’m not sure if it was a problem with the one I had. However, I really like the scent;
Alverde Leave-In Conditioner Spray Aloe Vera Hibiscus – I believe it now has a new packaging and they often reformulate it but it’s always a nice budget-friendly product. It makes my hair shiny and smooth.

As it seems, I’ve used up quite a few products in the past couple of weeks and I’m already thinking about project pan. I have a lot of products that are half-used and I’m not the biggest fan of throwing something in the bin because I forgot about it and it has expired.

June Favourites

Waking up in Rome on a special date for me and my family, feeling incredibly tired and excited at the same time, makes me wonder if some days are indeed real.
But when it comes to beauty, I can’t wait for Sephora, KIKO and all the charming little shops they have around here. I’m looking forward to trying new products in July, especially skincare because summer is the time to find items that keep the shine away from my T-zone but without drying out my skin.

However, it’s still June and this is what I’ve been loving the most in the past few weeks.
Last month, I shared with you how much I love spritzing the La Roche-Posay thermal water before applying Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Concentrate. I’ve used up the mini of the water I had and went back to an old favourite, Avène Thermal Spring Water. I have several at home and one in my handbag, it’s a must-have in the summer for me. It’s very gentle and feels incredibly soothing, I love how cooling it is after sun exposure and how hydrated my skin feels afterwards. The mist is so fine and a true pleasure to use. The thermal water can be used on irritations, rashes, sunburn and it’s great to have a bottle of it. I don’t use it as a toner but just to freshen up and hydrate the skin throughout the day or before applying facial oils so that they spread evenly and work their magic even better.

The Eucerin DermoPURIFYER Active Concentrate is not a new product for me and I’ve featured it several times in favourites posts. I’ve gone through so many bottles of it and I will keep repurchasing. If there is one product that can keep my combination skin blemish-free in the summer, leaving it hydrated, soft and luminous, it must be this lightweight milky serum. It absorbs almost instantly and you don’t really feel it but you start seeing results a few days later. I don’t hear people talking about it but it’s worth having a look at it if you have similar skin type.

The last few weeks have been time for trying to find a good face or face and body sunscreen in a spray form. But they’re just too oily for my face. Bioderma MAX SPF 50+ aerosol spray is supposed to be completely transparent and without the need to be applied with hands and patted onto the skin. First of all, the spray has visible yellow tint and second, you can’t just spray it on the skin and leave it there, you need to spread it evenly using hands. I don’t really think these are negatives, just the promises aren’t true to what the product is.
The spray can be used on face and body, I’m not so brave to apply it on my face because the product is very oily but my mum likes to top up her SPF when she is in the garden and applies Bioderma MAX SPF 50+ on her face and arms and her skin looks amazing with it. I use it mostly on my arms because I don’t sunbathe anyway but need the protection when I’m at home where we have proper summer and the yellow tint I mentioned makes my skin look so glowy and kind of tanned. I’m adding this product to my favourites because it’s easy to use throughout the day when you have to reapply your sunscreen, it makes the skin look very pretty and I have to say, mum’s skin looks better and better each day after using it. I still don’t think I’d try it on my face but the results on her make me consider doing it.

One of the most popular products from the drugstore brand Catrice is their Camouflage Cream Concealer in a pot. I’ve been meaning to try their Liquid Camouflage for so long but whenever I’m near a Catrice counter, it’s sold out. I have very dark circles under my eyes and I’m always on the hunt for the best concealer that can hide them. The Liquid Camouflage has great coverage, in fact, much better than many of the highend concealers, it stays on for hours, it’s creamy and dries to a matte finish.
The downside is definitely the shade range, I often find myself mixing the shades. Also, the applicator picks up a lot of product and in my opinion, it’s better to apply thin layers of this concealer, as it can look heavy, cakey and even dry.
But I haven’t used another concealer since I got this one and I really like it, I’d recommend it to anyone, not only if you’re on a budget, it’s just a great concealer and the secret is to find the best way for yourself to apply it.

Recently, I dear friend of mine sent to me amazing goodies that I’ve been using ever since. Lumene is one of the most popular Finnish brands and their Nordic Chic range is meant to have all the staples you’d need to put in your makeup bag. I love the classic look of this Moisturising Lipstick and the shade 3 Spring Beauty is the perfect everyday colour but with a twist. I’m not sure what the finish of the rest of the lipsticks is but this one has a slight metallic sheen to it, it’s not too out there, it’s definitely visible but not too metallic and looks quite interesting but still wearable at the same time. I really like it, I don’t have anything like this in my collection and I’ve been using it almost every day since I got it. The formula contains Argan Oil, so the lipstick feels moisturising indeed and smells almost like a MAC lipstick.
Another great beauty item that came from my lovely friend is this Colourpop Super Shock Shadow in Sunset Blvd. This satin golden bronze beauty is fantastic for the summer months and as you probably already know, the texture is a dream to work with. Although I don’t wear eyeshadows on a daily basis, now I feel like I need all the Colourpop eyeshadows.

The fragrance I always seem to be repurchasing is definitely Lancôme La Vie Est Belle. It reminds me of a special trip with my better half and because of this memory, I keep getting the EDT version. But a few weeks ago, I decided to pick up the EDP and the scent took me back to wonderful days. This one is slightly more intense and longwearing on me and although I still prefer the EDT version a bit more, I’m simply in love with this sweet, feminine, powdery scent. It’s beautiful and lovely to use in the summer.

These are my favourite beauty bits for the month of June and I can’t wait for skincare and makeup shopping in July!

2016 Beauty Favourites

20161230_115800postHappy New Year! I really hope 2017 will be much much better, happier and healthier than 2016! Wish all of you and your families a wonderful year filled with joy and love!

It is now time to start talking about some annual beauty favourites. This year, I decided to form only two categories: skincare and makeup.

20161230_120420postSkincare Products

There are two cleansers I’ve been really loving, both were released in the second half of the year, one is my morning cleanser and then the one that I like using in the evening. Bioderma Sensibio Gel Moussant is a really gentle face wash suitable even for sensitive skin. It feels refreshing and soothing at the same time. You can read my full review on it here. This is a mini of my Estée Lauder Advanced Night Micro Cleansing Foam and you can see what the original size looks like here. I wouldn’t say it’s a foam, it’s more of a cleansing cream that has milky texture once it’s in contact with the skin. I love the calming scent and how delicate it feels on my skin, it’s just so moisturising but purifying at the same time.
My love for toners and face mists is no secret and it was really hard for me to choose which one to include here, so I decided to mention two of my favourite mists. I’ve already used up a few bottles of the REN Flash Defence Anti-Pollution Mist (review here) because it’s refreshing and can be used before or after putting makeup but also, it protects against environmental aggressors with Zinc and Manganese Amino Acids to track down free radicals and protect skin from oxidative stress. La Roche-Posay Serozinc is my choice when it comes to taking care of my combination skin. It mattifies it without being drying and heals blemishes quicker than usual. I always stock up on this mist whenever I’m in London.
The Origins Drink Up Intensive Overnight Mask is still my number 1 hydrating mask, it’s just the best!
L’Oréal Pure-Clay Masks* are my absolute favourites when it comes to purifying face masks. Not only they are easy to get because you can find them at the drugstore but they are incredibly good. You can read all about my experience here because I just can’t pick one to talk about.
Another great find from the drugstore is this Balea Aqua Hydrating Serum. It’s my second bottle of it, it comes with a pump, the formula contains hydrating and soothing ingredients like Hyaluronic Acid and Vitamin E and leaves my skin moisturised without feeling sticky or greasy.
My morning and evening moisturising duo must be from Clinique. I’m sure everybody knows about their Moisture Surge Extended Thirst Relief* but I don’t see many people talking about the Clinique Superdefense Night Recovery Moisturiser (review here). This is my second pot of the cream after I was sent one when it launched at the beginning of the year and I can’t recommend it enough. I remember how dry and irritated my skin was in the winter in Norway and this moisturiser completely transformed it.
I had to mention La Roche-Posay Effaclar Duo [+] Unifiant which I reviewed here because it has the same properties like Duo [+] but with a tint and provides pretty good coverage that evens out my complexion and makes me look a bit more healthy.
Last but not least in this skincare category is my favourite multi-purpose moisturiser. Weleda Skin Food is a gem and the whole family loves it. It’s soothing, it’s moisturising, the formula contains plant oils and extracts, it smells clean and it’s simply lovely.

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Makeup Products

This category has to start with my favourite foundation, Dior DIORSKIN Forever Perfect Skin-Perfecting Foundation SPF 35 (review here). It has great coverage but looks natural, it mattifies my skin but also makes it radiant, it lasts all day and I haven’t found a better foundation since I first tried it.
The best concealer I found in 2016 is a drugstore one. It’s from Aura and it’s called Correct Me! Concealer. I use it under the eyes and around the face because it’s pigmented and creamy, the shade range is really good for an affordable brand but the downside is, it can’t be found in many countries.
The new Tom Ford Fiber Brow Gel* is my favourite brow product for last year although I’ve been using for just about a month. It creates full and natural-looking brows, fills in the sparse areas and lasts all day.
Max Factor Creme Puff Blush in the shade 10 Nude Mauve is a lovely blush that can be used as a bronzer, as well or just to add this healthy pop of colour to the complexion that we always need. It’s luminous and finely-milled, it’s simply beautiful.
My favourite highlighter for 2016 is without a doubt the Urban Decay Afterglow 8-hour Powder Highlighter in the shade Sin* from their summer collection. It’s a gorgeous champagne shade, you can see it swatched here and it’s quite a strong one but the texture is so creamy that you can control the intensity.
There are three palettes I’ve been loving in 2016: an eyeshadow palette, a face palette and a lip one. The We Care Icon I Love Tigers Nude Palette is from a Finnish brand and it’s my most-used one maybe because I don’t wear that much eye makeup in my everyday life but these eyeshadows just add a little something to the whole look. You can read my post on the palette here.
I know that this Estée Lauder Summer Glow Multi-Palette* (review and swatches here) was a limited edition for the summer season but it’s still available on some places, so it’s not impossible to find it. The texture of all three products is soft and fine, the shades look natural on the skin and I loved using the palette in the summer on my face but also, on my eyes.
Travel-friendly products are something I always appreciate and that’s one of the reasons why I love L’Oréal Paris Colour Riche La Palette Lips in Nudeso much. It’s elegant, it has a mirror, the shade selection is brilliant and I often end up mixing shades to create a custom one.
Speaking of lip products, I knew they would take the biggest part of my makeup favourites but I couldn’t help it. Dior Addict Lip Glow in 005 Lilac (review here) has been the one colour I really wanted and they finally launched it at the beginning of the year. Unfortunately, it was a limited edition but I see they will be soon releasing a Berry shade!
The Clarins Instant Light Natural Lip Perfector family welcomed two new members in the spring, 07 Toffee Pink Shimmer, a beautiful dusky rose colour and 08 Plum Shimmer, a muted berry shade. I’ve mentioned multiple times how much I love these balms and the new shades are just perfect to have in your handbag.
I remember how excited I was when I learned about the Lancôme Juicy Shakers. I love the brand’s products, I adore Lisa Eldridge and I wasn’t disappointed by these tinted lip oils. I have a whole post dedicated to them here.
NARS Audacious Lipstick in Anita (review here) is the most beautiful vintage rose shade I’ve ever seen. It’s flattering, it’s sophisticated, feels comfortable on the lips and will always remind me of the most wonderful holiday in Rome me and my boyfriend had.
There are some amazing shades in the Guerlain La Petite Robe Noire Lip Colour range. I love that the colour is buildable and you can control how intense you want it to be, the formula is lightweight and luminous and the scent is beautiful.
One of the latest and best lipstick releases in 2016 came from MAC and their Liptensity* range. The colours are bold, saturated and unique, the formula is creamy and long-lasting and I love how the packaging is colour-coded.
I also wanted to mention the cute L’Occitane Cherry Blossom Solid Perfume that I always have in my handbag even if it’s winter because it makes me think of sunny days, the scent is beautiful and it’s easy to top up your fragrance with it.

These are most of my favourite products for last year but before I leave, I would like to wish you to be safe, happy, loved and may the new year bring us all amazing days!

*PR Samples

My Simple Festive Makeup Menu

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Christmas is only a week away, we’re getting closer and closer to New Year’s Eve, as well and I thought I’d share with you my very simple but elegant holiday makeup. Plus, it’s my birthday today, so I have one more occasion and reason to wear it.

I always start with cleansing and moisturising my face and then continue with my trustworthy Dior Forever Foundation. It’s long-lasting, it mattifies my skin without making it look flat, it’s radiant but not shiny and has medium to full coverage. For concealer, I’m going to be using this mini of the Lancôme Long-Lasting Softening Concealer SPF 30 because it’s creamy and pigmented, it’s easy to blend and can be used on blemishes around the face or under the eyes.

I love the combination between my old favourite Soap & Glory Archery Brow Pencil and the new Tom Ford Fiber Brow Gel*. The pencil is really precise and the gel sets in place every tiny little hair without making it crispy, the formula is also really long-lasting.
On my eyes, I’m going to use this Dior Palette which I got as a gift with a purchase and sadly, isn’t sold separately but I just adore it. It’s really sophisticated and there are plenty of Dior shadows with the same quality and many shades to choose from. I’m going to be also using this Lancôme Khôl Hypnôse Waterproof Eye Pencil in the shade 04 Prune because it looks great with the shadows and the Lancôme Le Crayon Khôl in 01 Noir to smudge it around the upper and lower lash line. Of course, it would be great with liquid eyeliner and some false lashes but I’ll just pop a bit of the Maybelline Lash Sensational Mascara. I think I’ll be going for volumised and separated lashes but still natural-looking.

This Max Factor Creme Puff Blush in 10 Nude Mauve can be also used as a bronzer, so it will warm up my complexion a bit and it has a beautiful sheen to it. I love this new MAC x Mariah Carey Powder Blush in Sweet Sweet Fantasy*. It looks a bit coral in the pan but on me, it’s more peachy and I could wear it with almost any lip colour because it just gives me a healthy and fresh appearance. It wouldn’t be festive makeup without some glow. I really like this MUA Luxe Glow Beam Liquid Highlight Cushion, it’s on the golden side but it’s not too yellow and I think it’s perfect for the holiday season.
Then, I’ll just powder my T-zone with the Soap & Glory One Heck of a Blot Powder and will finish off with my lipstick of choice.

It’s not really typical for me to go for a bright lip but I love this MAC Nutcracker Sweet Lipstick in So Good For You*. It’s bright, it’s red, it’s matte, it’s rich, it’s bold! I prefer applying it with a lip brush and it lasts for more than 4 hours on me which is a lot considering almost no lipstick stays on my lips for more than a couple of hours.

For nails, I’m really enjoying the No7 Winter Nudes Nail Collection at the moment. They are not super long-lasting but they can be removed really easily and we all know how difficult it can be to take off dark or glitter nail varnishes. The colours are beautiful and glossy, they go from beige to berry and there’s also a shimmering gold top coat that is stunning.

That’s my festive makeup menu this year and I sincerely wish you cosy and wonderful holidays!

*PR Samples