Empties! – vol. 1

1) Biopoint Speedy Hair Shampoo

Lovely shampoo. Leaves the hair feeling a bit too squeaky clean, but the mask compensates nicely. I’m not over the moon about the (fruity, fairly strong) smell, but I can’t smell it in my hair once it’s dry. The cap broke after the first use and I had to store it upside down, which was a pain. Apart from these notes, I really love and I already own two backups. I don’t know if it makes my hair grew faster, but it’s officialy my “fancy” shampoo.

2) Biopoint Speedy Hair Maschera (mask) 

This is seriously good stuff. It leaves my (average density, but extremely fine) hair feeling lovely, manageable, shiny and thick. I love love love it. It even has a different, better smell than the shampoo from the same line. Love it.

3) Australia’s Original 100% Tea Tree Oil

It’s tea tree oil. This is the brand I’ve been buying from for years, but recently the store I get it from has started stocking a different brand and it’s the exact same thing.

4) Elf Flawless Finish Foundation in Porcelain

I’m getting rid of it because the undertones are wrong for me (way too pink), and I strongly dislike the finish, which is very dry and uncomfortable. If the color range suits you better (this is the fairest shade, I think) and you have extremely oily skin you might not hate it. It’s not expensive at all. Pay attention to the glass container: mine chipped and became very sharp and dangerous.

5) Revlon Ultra Mat Foundation (sample)

This foundation is 3-4 shades too dark for me. I got the sample as part of a gift from a nice relative of my aunt who had never met me, but knew I was into makeup. The formula is really lovely and the smell so nice that I hold onto it anyway. I’m tossing it because it’s too old to be sanitary, but its little spatula will forever hold a place in my heart.

6) L’Oréal Paris Nude Magique Eau De Tint in 001 Porcelain

I’m sorry this doesn’t work for me (too pink, once again), because the liquid formula is very cool. Sigh.

4), 5), 6) Kiko Milano Precision Eyeliner

Lovely eyeliner, lovely price, lovely felt tip. I’m not sure how old any of these is, so I’m tossing them all (it will serve as a reminder to be more mindful when I shop for essentials, I guess). I’d repurchase, as I am sure you could all guess.

7) MUA Extreme Felt Eyeliner

I got this a gift with an order I placed, or maybe I bought it because it was only £1 and I needed to cross a minimum order threshold, I really can’t remember. It has a nice felt tip and does a fine job when it comes to tightlining. I don’t like it much for actually lining the lid. I’m tossing it because it has dried out (the cap clicks, but I think it’s easy to leave it slightly off and not notice), but I used it for a reasonable amount of time. I will not repurchase because I don’t intend to place any other order with MUA, as their products are ok for their price but nothing to write home about (except for the Mosaic Blusher English Rose, that one is lovely), and the shipping fees are steep. It’s been replaced by Maybelline’s Master Graphic eyeliner marker, which will also have to do the Kiko liquid liner’s job.

Week# – Look4

My eyes are very deeply set and slightly hooded (it will get more pronounced as I age). Generally I like it, because it means that I have a natural demarcation line above my mobile lid that makes bold eyeshadow looks crispy and overall more wearable, I think. However, this means that I can’t wear a traditional winged eyeliner, because my crease gets in the way.

There are two ways to work around this: I can do a “full lid” wing (I’ll show you next week, I can’t really do it with the products I have chosen this time around), or I can take a page from the Korean book and go with something less feline.

The puppy eye is a style of eyeliner application in which the liner, instead of winging upwards, extends downwards following the natural slope of the eye. The orthodox version also includes appropriate shading of the lower lid, which I skipped.

First of all, I applied a bit of base and some eyeshadow primer (all around the eye).

Then I curled my lashes using this technique, but got carried away and gave them too much of a curl/lift. They touched my brow bone and looked really stupid, so I had to later bring them down with my mascara. This is not a problem I have often.

Using my eye pencil, I tightlined, lined and drew the downward sloping “wing”. I then used an eyeliner brush to set and soften the lines using the dark brown shade. Then there was a sorry attempt at an aegyo-sal, which involves shading and highlighting the under-eye area to simulate youthful plumpness. I tried, but you can’t really do it without a creamy highlighting product, and the eyebrow pencil I used for the fake crease is not the right shade for the job. After blending, it all pretty much disappeared, and it was probably for the best.

My eyebrows have a pretty angular upper cusp naturally and there’s little I could have done about it with the products I have, but I tried to make them look straighter by filling in the (not very pronounced to begin with) arch underneath. If I use my finger to cover the little angular part at the top, they look quite on trend by Korean standards! It’s something.

Lips: I applied the color to the center of my lips only, using my fingertip. It’s perfectly undetectable in the main picture, so I attached a dedicated photo. I inclued a hint of nostril, mostly because I thought it looked slightly less creepy than the cropped version, but I am not so sure anymore. I’d like to hear your thoughts on this. Also yes, I think that’s a mustache.

Finally, I stippled some of the lip tint onto the very apples of my cheek. It didn’t really show, but I know it’s there.

Products used (see this week’s Products post for my reviews):

Sephora Colorguard Eyeshadow Primer 12 HR

Venus Magia di Venus BB Compact Cream Idratante

Chanel Paris Le Crayon Kohl 61 Noir

Rimmel London Colour Rush Trio Eye Shadow in 624 Lynx

Maybelline New York The Colossal Volum’Express Smoky Eyes

Rimmel Professional Eyebrow Pencil in 002 Hazel

Lip Pen by H&M in Cherry Lips

Week#1 – Look3

This morning I had watery eyes and zero intention of wearing mascara, so I didn’t.

No base, either, because my skin is still acting up and I don’t want to risk smothering it.

A touch of brow pencil to try and define the tails a bit more (I swear the shade didn’t look so wrong in real life, thank God nobody else took pictures of my brows today – I think. I hope!)

To compensate the, er, soft eyes (primer, then the darkest shade applied with an eyeliner brush to the lashline and with a buffing brush into the crease, then a wash of the white shade on the inner two thirds of the mobile lid – no mascara, no liner) I did stronger lips than usual and I applied enough blush to get it to actually show up.

I didn’t complete the look with a frilly lacy dress, but I feel like I probably should have.

Here’s a close up of the eye to prove that eyeshadow was, indeed, involved:

Products used (see this week’s Products post for my reviews):

Sephora Colorguard Eyeshadow Primer 12 HR

Rimmel London Colour Rush Trio Eye Shadow in 624 Lynx

Christian Dior DiorBlush in 939 Glowing Rose

Lip Pen by H&M in Cherry Lips

Rimmel Professional Eyebrow Pencil in 002 Hazel

Week#1 – Look 2

Turns out that not including a concealer in your products of the week means you’re powerless against sudden breakouts, unless you want to cake your not-really-opaque base on. Today I went with the breakouts.

This look is all about the eyes, which is usual for me. I skipped the primer, because the cream shadow which I used on the mobile lid does very well on its own. I applied straight from the stick and blended a little with a blending brush before it set. I then scribbled a little of the shimmery eye pencil in the middle of the eyelid, and patted with my finger to blend.

The focal point of this look is the lower lashline. I started by tightlining (?) the lower lashes, a task that I find weirdly difficult. I can tightline my upper lashes perfectly, but product just doesn’t seem to want to adhere to the roots of my lower lashes. Maybe it applies just as badly to the upper row, but I just don’t notice. I don’t know. It haunts me.

Anyhow, I tightlined and the I applied the pencil to the waterline itself, for a true  taste of early adolescence. I went as near to the inner corner as I could (even if I felt like sneezing) and I extended it a bit out of the outer corners.

Finally, I used an eyeliner brush to apply the darkest shade from the Rimmel trio to the lower lashline, attempting a slight reverse cat eye shape that I find very flattering. I tightlined properly, applied mascara to the upper lashes, and that was it.

On the face I did a light dusting (?) of the cream (?) base. In real life uneven skin doesn’t really bother me, but it feels very strange to put a picture of your zitty skin on beauty blog. I hope my skin gets better soon. I also highlighted, tried and failed to comb my brows without any kind of holding products, and decided against lip product and blush. As I said, this is the kind of look that I do the most.

Products used (see this week’s Products post for my reviews):

Kiko Milano Long Lasting Stick Eyeshadow in 05

Sephora Twinkle Light Eye Pencil in Twinkle Gold

Chanel Paris Le Crayon Kohl 61 Noir

Rimmel London Colour Rush Trio Eye Shadow in 624 Lynx

Maybelline New York The Colossal Volum’Express Smoky Eyes

Venus Magia di Venus BB Compact Cream Idratante

Elf Blush in Gotta Glow

Products of the Week – Week#1

This winter has been rough. I’ve been sick twice, the cold got into my bones, and I can’t seem to get rid of it. I’m longing for the summer (I’m also probably secretly 90).

The 12 products I’ve chosen this week reflect my desire for warmth, sunlight, slightly bronzed skin, random products that need to be finished because they’re almost there but not quite. They’re also, interestingly, mostly stuff I used to use when I was a) still in school b) a golden blonde. Let’s have a look at them.

1) Sephora Colorguard Eyeshadow Primer 12 HR

It’s an eyeshadow primer. I don’t hate it, but I prefer Urban Decay’s Primer Potion (which is way more expensive: €20,50 vs. €11,90). I don’t plan to repurchase once I run out.

2) Venus Magia di Venus BB Compact Cream Idratante 

This is a weird product. It says “idrating cream”, but sometimes I could swear it’s a powder. I tried scuffing it but the results were inconclusive. Anyway, it sits lovely on the skin and doesn’t look powdery at all. It’s slightly too dark for me, but not orange, and I chose it in accord with the “summery” feel of the week.

3) Sephora Bronzing Powder in 1 Light

I love this. It’s my favourite bronzer, so natural and buildable. This is one of the few makeup categories for which I don’t need to make an effort not to neglet things: I only own two, this and theBalm’s Bahama Mama (which I use in the summer), and I really like them. I get to feel smug!

4) Christian Dior DiorBlush in 939 Glowing Rose 

This is the very first blush I ever bought! It has a lovely texture, very silky and extremely finely milled, but I don’t know if the color really suits me once I build it up. I prefer to keep it on the sheerer side, and that is why it has taken me years to hit pan. I’d really like to finish it and be done with it.

5) Elf Blush in Gotta Glow 

This is an excellent product, colour-wise and shimmer-wise, if a bit easy to overdo. It has a very soft, powdery texture, and most brushes pick up too much for my taste. At €5, it apparently is a dupe for Nars Albatross. I’m on my third one, I think, I’m very into cheekbones.

6) Rimmel London Colour Rush Trio Eye Shadow in 624 Lynx

Another ancient product! I used to use the darkest shade to fill in my brows, which is why I hit pan. Back when this was the only eyeshadow compact I had, I didn’t own any nice brush, only sponge applicators, and I didn’t really know what to do with the medium and highlight shade. I think it’s a lovely colourway, which suits me very well and, with the reddish undertones in the medium shade, reads very modern. Pigmentation and texture are ok, with the darkest shade being the best by far. I want to use these as my everyday shadows until I finish them up, they’re perfect for day wear.

7) Kiko Milano Long Lasting Stick Eyeshadow in 05

This colour is beautiful, and compliments the Rimmel Eyeshadow trio perfectly. The stick format makes it very easy to apply it under the eyes, and it defines the lashline without being harsh. I think I’d repurchase, as I don’t own a similar product.

8) Chanel Paris Le Crayon Kohl 61 Noir

It’s a (lovely, creamy) black eye pencil (by Chanel). I have lots of similar ones, but this feels fancy. I used to be impressed by brands, what can I say. I use it to tightline.

9) Maybelline New York The Colossal Volum’Express Smoky Eyes 

This is the mascara I have used for years, as I really really like the wand. I’ve honestly never been able to tell the difference between black, blackest black, smoky black, etc., but I’ve always loved them, as long as they were not the waterproof formula (man, I hate that). Recently, following a torrid love affair with a sample, I purchased Guerlain’s Cils D’Enfer, and I like it way better, but I don’t know if I like it enough to make up for the €20 difference in the long run. We’ll see. This is perfectly fine.

10) Lip Pen by H&M in Cherry Lips

Just a stain, because my lips are chapped and horrible. This is maybe too pink a red for my colouring, but it’s hard to mess up and easy to build up for a more dramatic look, should I run into a dramatic occasion during the week (hint: I won’t).

11) Sephora Twinkle Light Eye Pencil in Twinkle Gold.

This is what I use when I feel the sudden need to put a twinkly golden (it’s not golden at all) light in the inner corner of my eye. I bought it by mistake, but it’s ok. It’ll probably outlive me. Send help.

12) Rimmel Professional Eyebrow Pencil in 002 Hazel

This is not particularly suited for my eyebrow colour (which is straight up grey). I bought it because it made me think of Kate Moss (it still does). Since I don’t really need too much filling in, it blends in and I can keep using it, which makes me glad. I’ll eventually run out and I promise not to repurchase, even if I will want to.

This is a look I made using the products listed above:

Monday Mane: Dutch Braid

Yesterday I washed my hair (I wash it frequently and have very fine hair, and I must say I’m having good results with the CWC — condition, wash, condition — method, plus my usual white vinegar rinse), applied some aloe gel as a leave-in, and oiled the lenghts very slightly with coconut oil.

I then decided to Dutch braid it while damp, because Dutch braids (also known as inside-out French braids) are very effective in keeping hair out of the face even at my short lenght, and I think they are awesome to look at/touch. I tucked the ends under: they’re starting to get too long for me to easily hide them, but they’re not yet long enough to look good on their own. I hope I’ll grow out of this awkward stage soon.

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After dinner I had to change my shirt, and I messed up the braid, so I decided to take it down, and was pleased to discover Rita Hayword-esque waves (on the heavier side of my part, at least). They don’t exactly suit me or the kind of clothes I was wearing, but the waves themselves looked very nice so I decided to not re-braid my hair and just go with it.

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I’m very sorry about the lame selfies, this part of the post was not planned. If I’m stilly wavy in the morning, I’ll take nicer pictures and update.

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How to Dutch braid (video)

How to Dutch braid (step-by-step with gifs)

 

Nails of the Week: Blue Tips

Naked nail art is something I can very much get behind.

(I am talking about nail art done on naked nails, but I have to emphasize that I have nothing against nail art done while in the buff, esp. in the summer)

Naked nail art has two great advantages over regular nail art, in my book:

1) it is almost always more stylized and strikingly graphic than its regular, often cheesy/muddy/indecipherable from a distance counterpart.

2) I have never been able, for the life of me, to get tape to adhere to a base color without making a mess of everything.

Today I tried fun colored french tips, using a bright blue and some scotch tape.

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At first I used my regular Rimmel base coat, which is supposed to make nails stronger (mine are kept short and strong enough of their own, so I can’t really tell) and is a nice rosy prettifying color. Then I wrestled pieces of weakened scotch tape (I stuck it to my forearm first) to the tips of my nail and coated them liberally with the blue (Debby colorPLAY 60), then peeled the tape away after a few seconds, to prevent chipping.

They turned out nicely enough, so I let them dry and applied top coat (H&M Quick Dry). It didn’t go well.

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Apparently, the two polishes are not exactly compatible, and the blue started to melt and bleed into the clear part. I took it all off and tried again, without base coat (because I forgot it).

This time I used Rimmel’s Matte Top Coat, because I thought it’d be interesting from a textural point of view and also because it was the only other top coat I had around.

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This time, everything went ok.

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So, am I completely satisfied with this manicure? Not really.

– I am not completely sold on the effect on rounded tips, but that could depend on the fact that I’ve only very recently started filing them this way, after years of squared edges.

– My placement is VERY wonky, sometimes from sheer inability to get the tape straight, sometimes from a need to not make the tip too large that led to awkward positioning (especially on my thumb, which looks like it is missing a chunk).

I think, however, that the general effect is nice, especially at a glance or from a distance, which is how my nails are more likely to be experienced on a regular basis, as opposed to macro shots on a computer screen. I will try this again, probably in bright pink.

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I also think that photographing your own hand is very difficult

Any naked nail art suggestions? I’m very into a thin layer of (a certain kind of) glitter.