Tuesday, 30 June 2015


If you are not into beauty boxes, click out! This is going to be a beauty box post. I present you the Lookfantastic's June beauty box!

In my defense, I skipped some of the boxes :)...but June got me!

You already know the drill... Lookfantastic is a beauty web shop which offers their selection of beauty product on monthly bases. A box like this will cost you 15 GBP (shipping included). The products come wrapped in tissue paper and sealed with the LF sticker, and you also get a leaflet with some information about the products in it.

As always, the box contains 6 products, this time only in travel sizes.

June box doesn't contain any makeup items but there are products from Ren, Caudalie, Murad.... Me like!

1. REN Glycolactic Radince Renewal face mask had me! This travel 15 ml/0.5 fl.oz. tube is a great way for me to decide if I like it or not?! It is currently available in a LE 75 ml version- link, which costs 36.69 Euros (their usual full size tube has 50 ml and costs 45.76 Euros, so this LE thing is a great deal!).

2. MURAD Rapid Collagen Infusion comes in a mini  5 ml/0.07 fl. oz. version, and is apparently a great and quick solution to perk up more mature skin. Having said that, this little bottle will go to my Mom. Its full size version contains 30 ml of product and costs 92.95 Euros (link)

3. CAUDALIE Vinoperfect Radiant Serum helps to lighten age spots so I'll try it after summer to see how it will deal with my (after sun exposure) freckles and possible discoloration. In this box you get a 10 ml/0.33 fl.oz. tube and a full size 30 ml version will cost you 64.35 Euros (link).

4. Last face skincare product in this box is NUXE Creme Prodigieuse Anti Fatigue for normal/combination skin. Its full size 40 ml version will cost you 30.03 Euros (link) and in this box you get a smaller 15 ml tube.

5. Some of the products will be a surprise. For instance, you will get something from kms, L'ANZA' or label.m, and I received label.m's 50 ml Blow Out Spray which is supposed to add volume and protect your hair from heat and UV beams. A 200 ml bottle of it is currently reduced from 17.88 to 15.15 Euros (link).

6. And the last product that you'll get is also a kind of lottery, and will come from a luxury beauty brand like TIGI, ALTERNA HAIRCARE, REDKEN, balance me or KORRES. I got a 100 ml tube of balance me Revitalising Hand and Body Wash. A full size 300 ml tube will cost you 17.87 Euros (link).

That is it. I am aware that today is the 30th of June but I wanted to tell you about this box since you can buy it in July too, while stocks last.

You can also choose a monthly subscription and use the above code for some extra discount.

So, are there any items inside that will make you click the "add to bag" button?

Tell me...

Love, beautyandbrains007HR

For Croatian version of this post click here

Sunday, 21 June 2015

I've been busy... My Empties from May 2015.

In my opinion, I really was busy last month. Besides skincare and bodycare which are always in my Empties posts, in May I also went through some make-up items. You'll see below just how good/bad I did. All of the Empties are marked pink and if some of them have their review, it is marked blue.

I divided them into categories and we are starting with skincare.

It seems that some skincare products are regular among my empties, which means that I consistently use and love them. Olival's toner with immortelle and DM cotton pads certainly are from that category. I love them, always have them in my stash and would recommend them! They show you how quality products don't always have to come with a high price tag. If you get an opportunity, you should definitely try them. Another great product from the drugstores is most definitely Garnier micellar cleansing water. One of the best of its kind at the drugstores and certainly a good contestant among similar products from high-end brands. If you would like to know more about it, I wrote a review which you can read here.
The only new product that I tried and went through in May was a tester of La Roche Posay Toleriane Fluid. I have another tube like this but don't think that they will be enough for me to form an opinion about it. Did I hate it? No. Did I like it enough to go out and buy it? Again- no.

We are changing categories now and moving on to haircare.
I finished Head&Shoulders shampoo which is a staple in my bathroom. I haven't had dandruff in years and in my opinion I have Head & Shoulders to thank for that. I wash my hair once a week with it and that seems to keep my scalp clear. Although I don't have a favourite kind or scent among them, it turns out that I most often buy this Citrus Fresh version. One thing is sure. You will see more of those in my future empties.
The other product from this category is Organix Biotin&Collagen conditioner. This wasn't my first bottle of it, in fact I am currently also using it. It smells very soft, leaves my skin shiny, soft and nourished, helps with combing out my hair while washing it and I really like it. I have a shampoo from the same line which is good but the conditioner is much better!

For my bodycare, it looks like I have been faithfull to products that I mentioned a lot of times before as my favourites.

It is no wonder then that there are two bottles of Balea In Shower body milks, dry skin version (apricot bottle) and normal skin version (blue bottle- review). They are both great but I like the dry skin version a little better.

Another dear product to me was Avon's Senses Spicy Moroccan Delights shower gel .... Since I visited Morocco, I love everything that reminds me of it and its mystic and magic... This shower gel has its own review, so if you want to know more about it, click here. But, if you like soft, a bit sweet and spicy smells, I think you will love this.

I also finished Biobaza Silk Cream hand concentrate. Biobaza has some great and often natural products. I love their cream that comes in a huge 700 ml pot, but this hand concentrate just isn't as good. In my opinion this should be something similar to Neutrogena concentrate, but the problem is that except for the silicone feeling that I have on my hands after applying it, I didn't notice that my hands were nourished. I finished it but wouldn't buy it again.

The last from this category is Lactacyd intimate washing lotion for women. I mentioned it before in my favourites so my opinion is clear. A great product!

Probably everyone's favourites to see... Make-up empties!

Ok. I admit. Some of them had to be here because they expired, like MAC paint pot in the shade Let's Skate which was a part of their Christmas limited edition one year (if I remember it right) and Maybelline Color Tatoo eyeshadow in the shade Pink Gold. I didn't use them up completely, but they were much loved. I think that you all tried a version of them and know just how good they are!

You can also see a very much used up eyeliner pencil, Charlotte Tilbury Classic Powder Eyeliner Pencil in the shade Audrey. I think that the picture says it all. I used it up. Completely. It was good but I wouldn't buy it again, for reasons that I stated in my review here.

And to finish with, we have a whole face perfecting trio: primer, liquid foundation and makeup finishing spray.

Garnier's 5sec Perfect Blur base/ primer has its review so I won't go into details about it, but if you are on the market for a good pore erasing primer from the drugstores, you should definitely check this one out.
I went through a whole bottle of Max Factor Facefinity All Day Flawless 3in1 liquid foundation but I didn't write a word about it. I thought about doing that but honestly I didn't know how I feel about it. It should be a miracle worker, with this 3in1 idea, but I didn't see any miracles as far as my face was concerned. With all the options on the market today, I don't see myself buying another bottle of this one.
We are finally at the end of my empties post and I will finish it with Skindinavia Bridal Makeup Finishing spray. How appropriate. I went through countless bottles of Skindinavia's finishing sprays and the Bridal kind is my favourite. It is a great option for days when you get a little bit carried away with powder. A few sprays of this one will stop you from having a cake effect face. You can reapply it during the day or night for freshening up yourself or your make-up, it helps with longevity of make-up and is in general a great product which I recommend. I will most definitely buy it again.

Those were my empties? What do you think? How busy was I? What were yours?

Tell me...

Love, beautyandbrains007

For Croatian version of this post click here

Saturday, 20 June 2015

My May 2015. Favourites!!!

I am well aware of the fact that it is almost the end of June, but I wanted to tell you about my May favourites and also wanted to write a few reviews before my monthly favourites post. That is why my May favourites are on todays menu. I don't have many of them but I really, really LOVED THEM ALL!!!

I'll start with make-up....

Probably my number one favourite was Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Lip Balm in the shade Crush... 

Beautiful red/plum shade that I am completely obsessed with! I love this shade, the way it looks on my fair skin and with my blonde hair, the vibrancy and freshness it gives me, the fact that you can wear it quite dark or just as a flush... Ugh, I LOVE IT!!! 

I got countless compliments while wearing it, partly because it is beautiful and partly because I feel so beautiful with it. It is a perfect choice for all of you who don't wear lipsticks because you hate to reapply them all the time. This one will fade with drinking and eating, but will still give a beutiful flush/tint to your lips! It made me go out of my comfort "nude" zone and I am so glad it did... If you get a chance to try it, please do...

When I wanted my lips to look more toned down, I used my Chanel Rouge Allure Extrait de Gloss in the shade Imaginaire.... 

This is not my first tube of it and I think that this is an amazing choice if you just want to slightly emphasize your lips, and to do so, wear it on its own. Or, you can play with it and pair it with other light or dark lipstick. If you apply it just on the center of your lips it will look amazing and will give them more dimension. I wore it on its own and in combination with Crush, loved it and would recommend it! It is a high end choice, but a very good one.

The last make-up favourite of mine from the month of May is Nyx's blush in the shade Peach. Loved the simplicity and freshness that it gave to my face. This is a light coral and pink shade. On my fair skin it appears as my natural flush and a light accent. In my opinion, it would also look so fresh on darker skin tones. The blush is matte, which makes it a good choice for oily skin. Its longevity is OK, not as good as my Hourglass blush, but it is nice and compact so you can wear it around with you in your bag and reapply it when needed.

We are still staying on the face products, but moving on to skincare.

In May, the skin on my face was, like the weather, super moody. Although it's mostly combination with oily t-zone, parts of my face were really dry, even flaky, especially on my nose. That wasn't a pretty sight so I decided to find something to fight dryness with. And I did.  
It came in my January Lookfantastic Beauty Box and it was Nuxe Maque Creme Fraiche- 24HR Soothing and Rehydrating Fresh face mask for all skin types. It is amazing!!! It hydrates and nourishes, and immediately after applying it, you can see a difference in your skin. I think that this product definitely deserves a post of its own, so I will tell you more about it in the future.

And my last May favourite is a coconut milk body cream from Alba Botanica. Honestly, if there wasn't a 50% discount in DM that all the Croatian bloggers were talking and writing about, I would have never tried it, or anything else from this brand. This is an excellent bodycare product which leaves my skin nice, soft and nourished, but not greasy. I bought some other Alba Botanica products aswell so I am planning to write a post about them with short reviews about the ones I already tested.

That was it for my May favourites... How do you like them? Have you tried any of them? What were your May favourites?

Tell me...

Love, beautyandbrains007

For Croatian version of this post click here

Friday, 19 June 2015

GOODBYE PORES!!! Review and comparison of Garnier 5sec Pefect Blur and Dr. Brandt Pores No More Refiner for oily/combintion skin

I love skincare, and that is the reason why you can often read about it on my blog. But I also love my make-up to look its best, so products like these are pretty much essential for me.
I have combination skin with oily t-zone and larger pores in that area, which can become dry on its top layer or really oily in the summer. Since I love the feel and look of flawless skin, primers, especially ones that promise poreless appearance, have been in my routine for some time now.

I have tried and still am trying many of them... There is a huge variety to choose from, both from the drugstores or from high end brands, so, today I have decided to write about two similar but at the same time very different primers, starting from their price tags. One of them is probably the most talked about drugstore product of this kind in Croatia- GARNIER 5sec PERFECT BLUR and the other one was introduced to most of us through Lisa Eldridge- DR. BRANDT PORES NO MORE REFINER for oily/combination skin.

Garnier's version is a more affordable alternative which can be found everywhere. In Croatia you can buy it in DM, Kozmo, Müller...for 79,90 kunas (about 10.67 Euros/7.75 GBP/12 $), which often offer discounts so you can buy it even cheaper.

At first glance most girls and women will reach for it in the shop, since it comes in a very girly hot pink box. The product itself comes in a lighter pink 30 ml/1 fl.oz. tube with narrow top, that will help you to take the perfect amount of product for your needs and taste. You really don't need a lot for one usage so in my opinion and from my experience, this tube will last you at least three months with daily use.

Garnier claims that it is "a smoothing and perfecting primer with optical effect. 5sec Perfect Blur takes 5 seconds to apply and improves the look of your skin immediately. Its innovative formula diffuses light in all directions to reduce the appearance of wrinkles, fine lines, open pores and uneven skin tone. In addition, its velvety texture leaves skin feeling incredibly smooth, soft, matte and feels comfortable to wear all day long... Its ultra-smooth texture also works perfectly as a base for make-up. "

This primer is lightly scented but the scent doesn't linger so it is not really worth mentioning... The colour of it is light pink and the texture is a kind of whipped cream but lighter (it has a silicone base), although it has a bit of an oily finish on the skin. It doesn't look very oily, the skin looks velvety but the feel of it is a bit oily and tiny bit heavy.

In my experience, this is a really nice base that will help your skin look and feel velvety and flawless, and will most definitely disguise your pores, which is the main reason most women will reach for it. But, at the same time, that very light but present greasy feel will make some really oily skin women hate it, while for that same reason women with normal or drier skin with pronounced pores will love it!

I didn't have a problem with it, because I used it in colder months when I was experiencing drier patches on my face and it was perfect! When I felt it was too greasy I just added some powder and it was great again. As a primer it does makes a difference in overall appearance of your skin and is a good base for makeu-up, which will help it last longer.

list of ingredients

As I already said, I don't think that this is the best mattifying product  (the shine will be there in two hours for sure), but the pores, fine lines and wrinkles will appear much less prominent. The affect will last for about three hours, or longer if your skin isn't on the oilier side, but if you reapply powder you will again have a very nice finish.

DR.  BRANDT PORES NO MORE REFINER is similar but also very different...

This is how Dr. Brandt describes it :
"A cult favorite, pores no more pore refiner primer is Dr. Brandt’s quick fix for flawless, photo-ready skin. It is the miracle base to create the perfect skin canvas for long-lasting makeup and well-preserved skin. This velvety formula absorbs excess oil, minimizes pores, blurs fine lines and is resistant to sweat and humidity. Prime, touch-up and treat while perfecting your makeup.

  • minimizes the appearance of pores by diffusing light
  • blurs imperfections & lines
  • erases shine & mattifies skin
  • absorbs oil, reduces shine and helps regulate sebum production
  • antibacterial action for a healthy skin
  • acts as a shield to prevent make-up from clogging pores"

It also comes in a grey plastic 30 ml/1 fl.oz. tube of product, with a pump on top. One pump is enough for the whole face.

But there's a big difference in these two, and that is the price! This little tube costs around 350-405 kunas (about 54 Euros/39 GBP/60$) and can be found in Müller and Farmacia. I bought it in a small apothecary store that was closing for 50% less, so I got a great deal on it!

list of ingredients

It is also silicone based therefore leaves your skin velvety smooth and soft, and it really minimizes all the imperfections, which means that you have a perfect canvas for the rest of your face make-up. The skin looks nicer the whole day and your foundation will look good much longer than without it.

I can only guess, what these "samples" remind you of?! ;) :D

Its texture is similar to Garnier but much lighter, without that greasy feeling in the end. The colour is tan, more natural and will slightly show up on people with fair skin, like me. Not in a way that it will leave a tint but it somehow evens out my complexion.

Although Garnier promises a matte finish, Dr. Brandt is the one that really delivers it! When applied, it dries quickly and really absorbs oils. For people with oily or combination skin this will be a revelation and I think they will find their new bestie. On the other hand, if you have dry skin or dry patches, I would say "stay away from this"! Since it really mattifies the face and absorbs the oils, for people with dry skin that could lead to the "desert effect". You know, when soil dries out so much that you can see cracks in it?! Maybe, not that obvious but close...

left side Garnier/right side Dr. Brandt

We cleared that out! Dr. Brandt refiner makes your skin look even, poreless and matte, but that initial flawless effect comes with an expiration date. It will last up to four hours and after that you will slightly start to see shine on your t-zone, if your skin is on the oilier side. If your skin is on the drier side, this refiner could last on you much longer.

But there's a good thing. Since this base is so light and airy, you can reapply it during the day on your face and on top of your make-up which will only make it look more fresh and better, without a feeling of caked face. In my opinion, because of its oily components, Garnier wouldn't work that well for the same purpose.

And in the end, I must say a thing or two about its scent. It has a stronger scent than Garnier, and to me it is a mixture of herbs and chemistry. Not the best thing ever but it doesn't linger on the skin, so even if you don't like it, but you love the effect of the refiner, you should be able to use it.

Personally, I didn't notice that any of these products had a bad effect on my pores, meaning, I don't think that they clogged them. To go even further, Dr. Brandt even claims that the refiner works as a shield on your skin and stops your pores from getting clogged.
Also, none of these products made my skin react badly. They didn't cause me any redness, inflammations or break outs.

The big question is... Would I buy these again???

Dr. Brandt refiner is an amazing find for people with oily/combination skin and large pores. It will be a great choice for any special occasions in your life, like wedding day. Eventhough it is not the most long lasting product, it has an amazing ability to perk up make-up when reapplied on top of it during the day. Its price is spicy, to say the least, but I would buy it again! You need something impeccable for not always perfect everyday! Especially because it lasts only six months after opening.

Garnier (lasts 18 months from opening) is great aswell but because of its slightly greasy finish will not be as perfect for oily skin. On the other hand, that makes it so much better for dry skin. If you have dry skin or dry patches, stay away from Dr. Brandt's Pore refiner for oily/combination skin!!!

And in the end, it is up to you to decide whether you will splurge or choose a much affordable but not a bad alternative. My advice to you would be to get a tester first for anything with such a high price tag. You just never know how your skin will react to a product?! Garnier's version isn't bad, it will not damage your wallet as much and there's a good chance that one your friends already have it, so you can ask them to try it out. :)

So.... What do you think? Have you tried any of these products? How did you like them? Would you try them?

Tell me....

Love, beautyandbrains007

For Croatian version of this post click here