Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Holiday wishlist



Yes, I know, December and Christmas are stil far, far away, but somehow the Christmas spirit always catches me unprepared way before it is supposed to – and once I get overall excited about something, it's hard for me to stop obsessing. 

In the past weeks, I have seen some Youtube videos and read some blogs about the Christmas or »Holiday« editions from several high-end companies like Urban Decay, Benefit, Stila and so forth. These are normally value sets tricking you into buying them by saying you're only going to pay something like $45 for $200 value. Now i KNOW it's not true, but that reasonable part of my brain somehow goes on vacation in December. I did not care last year, but I definitely do care this year. And since I've just booked some plane tickets to visit a country that has Sephora stores in December, I know that I'm not going to be able to resist picking up at least a few products. Hence the wishlist. But this wishlist also includes some items that can be bought over here or in EU stores (hinting heavily to my most loyal reader of all). :)

Number one on my list is definitely the Sephora Favorites – Superstars. It contains many of the items I have been wanting to try for sooo long and some that I have tried and absolutely love. 

 
It is priced at $75 and apparently worth $225. I did my own calculations based on the number of full-size products and deluxe samples and came to $222 so yes, the calculation is legit. It contains the Anastasia Brow Wiz (full size – 21 $), Benefit POREfessional (deluxe sample – about 10 $), Benefit They're real mascara (deluxe sample – about $5), Bumble & Bumble Surf Spray (travel size, about $15), Chloe Rollerball (full size - $25), Formula X Nail color in Ignite (full size – about $11), Fresh Sugar Rose Tinted lip treatment (deluxe sample – about $12), Josie Maran 100 % Pure Argan oil (travel size, about $16), Nars blush in Orgasm (full size - $30), Smashbox Camera ready BB Cream (full size - $40), Stila Stay All Day liquid eye liner (full size - $20) and Urban Decay eyeshadow in Sin (full size - $18). I am excited about just about everything in this package, I think the colors would all work for me and I am getting my hands on this one! There are so many brands in this set that I haven't even tried yet that I'm sure it is well worth the money. 

Another set I really, I really want is the Josie Maran Winter Dream Argan Skincare Collection. This is not a steal as the Superstars, it's priced at $39 with $68 value so I'm not even going to calculate this one to extensively. 


It contains everything you could possibly need for your skincare routine – cleansing oil, hydrating treatment, pure argan oil (which I use and is absolutely fabulous), intensive creamy oil, daily moisturizer with SPF of 47 and as a special bonus, a hand creams. This brand is all natural and I would love to try the products. 

The third set that I will most likely be tempted to snatch in Sephora is the First Aid Beauty – Cheers to fab skin set, priced at $48 for $100 value. I did my calculations on this one and again came to a very similar number, so I am satisfied :)  I have purhcased a few items from this brand on my last USA trip for my mother and she absolutely loves them so I really want to give them a go as well. 



This set contains a face cleanser, facial radiance pads (which are basically used to tone your skin and also have a brightening effect), repair cream, repair lip therapy and eye duty triple remedy (which is one of the products that my mother now swears by and even says it is better than the La Prarie eye cream). On a sidenote, my skin has been acting really weird lately so I think it's about time I treat it to something nice. 

Moving on to the products I would like to try and are as previously mentioned available to us all. First up, the Revlon ColorStay Moisture Stain. 


 What color, you ask? ALL OF THEM. They all seem absolutely fabulous. Having read so much about these puppies, they would be a welcome additon to my collection.

Next up, the Bourjois Healthy Mix serum Foundation. All the bloggers are raving about this and there must be something magical about this. 


 If you're thinking about sending it to me for Christmas, the best shade for me would probably be Vanille ;)

Last up is something that I really need and will probably get for myself this holiday season. I recently dyed my hair from blonde to brown with some sombre highlights and although it is looking fab, my new hairstylist was completely upset with me regarding the condition of my hair. Apparently, the blonde highlights did not exactly help my hair to be healthier. So they need help and they need it now. 


She suggested Paul Mitchell which made my heart stop since I am aware of the prices. But suffering is probably necessary for beauty, even if the only thing suffering is my wallet :)

I am DYING to know what is on your beauty wishlist for this holiday season. Let me know (and give me some more ideas). 

Until next time, stay beautiful, stay awesome!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Your ideas and suggestions – a recap

First of all, thanks to each and everyone of you for entering my giveaway and for all the lovely messages and ideas. I love giving gifts even more than receiving them, so hopefully we'll be able to do many more giveaways in the future.

Anyway, when reading your comments, I realized I had to somehow organize everything by category, otherwise I will randomly forget what it is you want to read about. So without further ado, here are your ideas and my thoughts about them. 

Review of high-end make-up (Marc Jacobs, Bobby Brown, Clinique, Benefit, …)
Many of you suggested these brands or specific products from these brands as something you'd like to read about. The thing is, I'm not too sure about most of these. I would never go and make an online purchase of, for example, Marc Jacobs Genius Gel Super-Charged Foundation ($48) without being able to test it out first. Since most of these brands are not available in Slovenia, these kind of reviews are less likely to happen and they would really not be that beneficial to most of you. I will most likely stick to reviews of products that are either available on Slovenian market or that are easily enough shipped over here from EU stores and are not crazily expensive. Jamberry nails for instance sound like fun, but I can't find any EU shipping so again, unlikely to happen. 

Source: http://www.simonelovesmakeup.com

Drugstore make-up brands (Essence, Catrice, Barry M, …)
I feel there are so many reviews of these brands out there already. I think that Essence and Catrice just held a blogging event in Slovenia and stocked-up the invited bloggers with their products. So I'm not really sure I'll be going out and buying the same collections just to do reviews on. But if I buy a product and have a strong (positive or negative) opinion on it, you will be the first to know :) I do think that this category is good for finding inexpensive dupes for high-end products, which was also one of the requests – this I think I will try to do as often as possible. A penny saved is a penny earned, or however that saying goes. 

Foundations, BB creams and CC creams
This is a topic I'm excited to tackle – I'm still on the hunt for some really good foundations and I've only had bad experience with BB and CC creams, so it's definitely something to look into. I think that the Winter time will be more about foundations and we can start trying BB and CC creams once the sun comes out in the spring :)

Nail polish and manicures
Nail polish, definitely. I love everything to do with nails. I can this category can easily extend to polish removers, different tools for manicure as well as some nail-strenghtening products. I have a lot of problems with my my nails being brittle as well so I'll be happy to go through some treatments for you. As for photos of manicures, I will try, but I'm generally not really very innovative – I work in a professional environment with a moderate dress code  - somehow, I don't really think that nails with Halloween pumpkins in this season or snowflakes in the winter would excite my colleagues much.

I love  these, for instance :) Source: http://allforfashiondesign.com
 
Hair products
This is definitely something I'm happy to write about. I'm constantly switching brands and I've got a pretty good idea about what works and what doesn't. So be prepared for several reviews of drugstore and more high-end products coming up soon. 

Body products
Again a group of products that makes my bathroom look like a crazy scientist's laboratory. I have so many that I love and some I absolutely cannot stand. I think I will do a review of my recent purchases and then we can start focusing more in detail on the new products on the market. 

Moisturizers, creams and other face products
This is a topic I am not too excited about, to be honest with you. I have a hard time separating between really good and only mediocre products when it comes to my face. I have some personal favorites I can write about but quite frankly, I'm not loving the idea of buying and swithching between moisturizers or night creams on a regular basis since I dread what it would do to my already sensitive face skin. I will give this some more thought, but I doubt that I will change my position on this. I will do a post about my skincare routine quite soon though so I expect that would be something you'd be interested in. 

Nail polish and manicures
Nail polish, definitely. I love everything to do with nails. I can this category can easily extend to polish removers, different tools for manicure as well as some nail-strenghtening products. I have a lot of problems with my my nails being brittle as well so I'll be happy to go through some treatments for you. As for photos of manicures, I will try, but I'm generally not really very innovative – I work in a professional environment with a moderate dress code  - somehow, I don't really think that nails with Halloween pumpkins in this season or snowflakes in the winter would excite my colleagues much.

Falling outside of the categories above were some great ideas about natural products or home-made products that can improve your beauty routines, favorite products by seasons and many more. Your wish is my command, so hopefully I'll be able to provide you with some interesting reads. I become a real couch potato when the weather gets cold so I'll probably be doing more posts than usual.

What's your favorite thing about the Autumn and winter time? Let me know!

Until next time, stay beautiful, stay awesome!

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Too many opened mascaras…

Fact #1 – I love mascaras. Fact #2 – when I buy a mascara, I really, really want to open and try it straight away. And fact #3 – this means that I always have at least 3 mascaras opened at the same time, consequently waisting them. Oh well, I'll do better in the future. 

These past 2 months have been particularly bad in this sense – I have no less than 5 mascaras that I have been using and most of them I need to get rid of because they've gone dry. But before throwing them away I can do a quick post about them. I will go from the worst to the best one by my personal opinion. The fact is that the likeability of mascara depends on what you want from it. I personally have quite long lashes to start with and am consequently looking for mascara that will add volume. So it really is a personal preference all around, as it is with most mascaras. There are two photos for you  - one with the product closed and one with them opened so you can see each of the wands.


#5 : GREAT LASH by MAYBELLINE

You know, how drier mascaras have the tendency to flake? Well this mascara is so wet that I can feel this wetness for several minutes after applying it, but it still somehow manages to  leave my undereye area looking like the Halloween came early It clumps the lashes into long, spider like legs. I'm not a fan of either the wand shape or the packaging itself – it really looks quite juvenile. Even though it's drugstore, it could still be a bit classier.  

If you're looking for length,  are willing to comb through your lashes and you don't mind the panda look, go for it. Otherwise, run away as fast as you can. Would I repurhcase: no way!

#4 : BETTER THAN SEX by TOO FACED

I'm usually a fan of Too Faced products, but this one left me cold. Thankfully I didn't purchase the whole size but got a deluxe sample in one of their trial kits. Also, what's with the name? I know that Too Faced isn't exactly a PG rated brand, but let me just say that this statement is not true ;)

Anyhow, when I opened this mascara I was expecting a hell of a lot from it. The wand has super dense fibers of different lenghts which looked like they will hug every single lash and give it length and volume. Well, the mascara is not bad, but it's not great either. Completely opposite of the Great Lash it has a very dense formula which tends to flake a lot. So while it does give you long and bold lashes, especially if you apply more than one coat of it, you will have to check under your eyes every hour or so.  Would I repurchase: no - it costs more than $20 and I think there are better mascaras out there for that price. 


#3 –Voluminous Waterproof mascara by L'OREAL

This again is a mascara with quite wet formula but it dries much faster than the Great Lash so it's not too much of a problem. It has a very standard wand which many of us have probably used with this or that mascara so that's not really what's appealing. But trust me – go out and buy it, if you can. It leaves you with long and dense lashes, it doesn't clump, smudge or flake and it holds to its promises. I'm putting it in 3rd place only because I bought the Waterproof version which is such a pain to remove that I have to brace myself before starting the process every evening. Would I repurchase: yes, but the regular one, not the waterproof.

#2 – Volum' Express Colossal Cat Eyes – MAYBELLINE

Probably the mascara with the longest name out there :) It wasn't an instant love affair with me and this mascara – I had a hard time getting used to the curved wand and I didn't find it that impressive. But when I took my time and really tried out what different parts of the wand to to the eyelashes, I fell inlove. When using this mascara I don't even curl my eyelashes before – the wand does the trick by itself. So it curls, lengthens (to the point when I need to stop applying it because my lashes are touching my browbone and leaving tiny black dots) and adds volume when adding one or two layers to the primary one. Would I repurchase: absolutely, especially for this price. 

#1 Lash Sensation x-treme volume – ETRE-BELLE

This mascara I probably never would have purhcased for myself – I don't even know where you can buy it, to be honest, but it must be available in Slovenia since I got it from a friend who has problems with her sensitive eyes and this mascara didn't work for her either. Although I would usually not accept an used eye product from someone else I was really excited to use this mascara since I've never tried anything of the brand before. At the cost of whooping 20 € I would probably go for a known brand like Dior or Lancome for the same amount of money, but I would have missed out on this great product. 

The wand is very dense and doesn't have any long fibers that would be sticking out, but rather these small fibers/bumps coming out of the wand. I really have no idea how that happens, but this mascara grabs each lash and literally pulls it up toward the brows while simoultaneously curling them beautifully. With 3 layers my eyes look larger than life and I can get away with not wearing false lashes (my first experiences with those are a whole different story). But, alas, I will have to throw this one out since it's completely dried out. Would I repurchase: I will try another premium mascara to be sure about the comparison, but I will probably repurchase this or another Etre-belle mascara.

I must say that the L'Oreal Voluminous Waterproof mascara, Volum' Express Colossal Cat Eyes and Lash Sensation x-treme volume are pretty much neck-to-neck. Looking at the price-quality ratio, I would purchase the Volum' Express, but if I wanted to treat myself, I would go for the Lash X-treme.

Do you have mascaras you absolutely love or cannot stand? Comment below!

Until next time, stay beautiful, stay awesome!

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Labello review + my first GIVEAWAY!

Last week was kind of special. It was the first time that a company contacted me and offered to send me some products. When I started writing this blog I promised myself I will never receive a free product in return for a good review, so I was happy when this company guaranteed me they don't even expect me to do a post about the products. But here I am, doing it, because I think that this brand is a staple in all of our lives and it deserves a review of its own. 

So the brand we are talking about is Labello which, as said, is a brand we all probably grew up with and I don't think that there are many ladies in this country that don't own at least one Labello. Now as you probably remember, there used to be only the one, blue Labello, that smelled kind of like Nivea which wasn't too tempting, but was great for your lips. Well, things sure have changed. Labello has come out with loads of new, exciting products and I have been more or less of a fan my whole adult life. The products that I received are the Lip butter in Coconut, the Fruity Shine in cherry flavor and the Repair & Beauty. 


I was most excited about the lip butter because I haven't been able to get my hands on it even though I have searched for it before. It's a great soft formula with an intense coconut flavor (on a side note - if you have cats, you will get a bunch of kisses from them wearing this - my cat was beyond excited and tried to steal it away from me several times in the past few days) and it really hydrates your lips a bit more intensely than I could claim for other Labello products. I like the tin packaging by itself, it looks fresh and summery, but with that being said, I am not a fan of applying products with my fingers. In the age of touch screens, I like my fingers to be clean or at least not have some sticky content stuck on them. So with that said, I would prefer this to sit in my bathroom to use in the morning, on my nightstand to use before bed or take it to the beach, but I wouldn't use it on a daily basis on the go. 


The Fruity Shine in Cherry is mmmm... delicious. It's like eating cherry candy or chewing on a cherry flavored gum. A special bonus as far as I am concerned is the fact that it doesn't have that Nivea under-flavor to it, which many of the Labello's still have. It leaves a very slight pink shine to your lips but you can easily get away with putting it on without a mirror at any time. If you miss a spot and go over your lips it hardly shows up at all and only leaves a very slight shine, almost like you're wearing illuminator. So no worries there - it's another great flavor by Labello which I'm sure we would all enjoy.

Last up, we have the Repair & Beauty which I was the least excited about, to be completely honest with you. I expected it to be a slightly vamped up version of the classic Labello, but boy oh boy, was I in for a surprise! Although it's pink in color it only adds a tiny bit of that to your lips - so it's kind of your lips, but better ;) And I was so curious to learn what the white center of the product did! It turns out that's where they hid the mint - so although the products might feel a bit heavy the moment you put it on you will be instantly rewarded with that freshness the mint brings along. I absolutely love this product and I expect it to be my staple during the winter months when my lips get particularly chapped. 

As I said, I received these products for free. And it hardly seemed fair for me to get free stuff and not share them with you, my lovely readers :) So I went to the drugstore and I got a lovely set of products which I will be giving away to one of you. 



It contains a brand new make-up bag, which I think is in the perfect shades for autumn and winter  - I actually bought one for myself as well :) Next up, you will get the chance to try not one, not two, but all three of the current Labello Lip Butter flavors – the Coconut, Raspberry Rose and Vanilla & Macadamia. I also picked up two of the Fruit Shines in Peach and Cherry, so as far as lip balms go, you’re about set for the entire year. And just because I feel that beautiful lips don’t help much if you don’t have a lovely smile to compliment them, I got you my absolute favorite chewing gum – Chicza, which is completely natural & organic – in 3 different flavors. 

Since I don’t expect a million of you to enter this giveaway (which also gives you a greater chance of winning), I am doing it the old fashion style. To get a chance to win, you have to:
1)      Like my page on Facebook (you can find the button on the right hand side at the top of the page)
2)      Share the post about Labello and this giveaway from my Facebook page to your newsfeed and
3)      in the comments section of the post on Facebook or here on the blog, write at least one beauty product (it can be absolutely anything you can think of) you would like me to do a review on.

The giveaway will end on Sunday, 19th of October and the winner will be contacted through Facebook private message. I really hope you are as excited about this as I am and that you enter this giveaway!

Until next time, stay beautiful, stay awesome!