Saturday, 20 February 2016

New in...

I love when beauty junkies with blogs buy new things. Then you can see beautiful photos of that little beauty tresures and imagine that one day you will have them lined up like that as well. But the reality in my case is a little bit different. This is how I put them together!

If you are wondering, there isn't a particular order but they were all bought or were given to me last year, hence the Birthday edition of Lookfantastic Beauty Box from September.

The last one that I ordered from them. This year I decided that I will only order them if most of the products are something I am really interested in. Sure, beautiful special edition boxes got me interested but the truth is that thier content, for the most part, wasn't for me.

You can find Balea products in probably every New in of mine. Their In Shower Body Milk with Vanilla is a must for me (can you tell?) and this nipple cream was a recommendation from a friend to tackle really dry areas of the skin that can appear on our faces during winter months. It is good but I am not thrilled.

I bought and used up some Byphasse products as well. They are OK, micellar water and face gel cleanser were quite nice but I hated this Eye make up remover. It wasn't efficient and has overpowering floral scent... Didn't like it one bit!

I make sure that my everyday products are always in stock, so here you can see a bottle of my favourite kind of Batiste Dry Shampoo (Strength & Shine) and a roll on (not my beloved Powder Touch, which is still my favourite).

I tried some new products and they wowed me... I LOVE this Afrodita Chamomile Sensitive Care eye cream. It is amazing and incredibly affordable!

I always buy a few new products when in drugstores as you can see. This L'Oreal True Match foundation is incredible and I can't believe that I forgot to mention it in my January Favourites?!

I also wanted to get some Essence stuff, so I did. Don't you hate it when people mess with products and don't buy them in the end? Well, I didn't realize that in the store, but someone left their dirty fingerprints on my palette, so, I will throw it away as soon as I swatch it. Can't imagine to put that on my face!

If you aren't in Croatia but will visit Croatia one day, you must try something from Olival. It is a Croatian brand and I love their immortelle line. Toner is amazing, micellar water as well, and now I discovered  their Immortelle Golden Face Oil. True love...

Do you guys do catalogue shopping? I usally browse through Avon's catalogues but my friend now sells Oriflame so I made some new purchases there as well.

There was a big sale at Douglas last year and I got myself some new Chanel products. I like Chanel, especially for a good deal.

I also recieved Chanel Fauve eyeshadow as a gift. Isn't it beautiful? Like a powdery version of my beloved Illusoire?!

At the end of the year there were free shipping moments at Net-a-Porter and Outnet, so, I made some purchases there, too.

My Significant other brought me some Body Shop goodies from his trip. Chamomile cleansing oil was what I wanted and other products are his choices. He did GOOD.

That is it for last year's choices. I didn't really do much beauty shopping in 2016. and you can see why?! I am very well equiped!

How do you like my new toys?

Tell me...

Love, beautyandbrains007

For Croatian version of this post click here

Sunday, 14 February 2016

My January 2016. Favourites!

Hello fellow beauty lovers!
I wish you a happy Valentine's Day! Recently I was talking to my colleagues at work and somehow I ended up telling them about my dogs. Then they all agreed that my face gets a certain glow when I talk about them. My response was that I do love them very much and that I am aware of the fact that many people can't understand my love towards animals. Then an older colleague of mine said that I am wrong, that love is love, beautiful and special no matter where it comes from. I have been blessed with a wonderful life full of special people but what I wanted to say is that we should all celebrate love all the time with our family members, friends, partners or pets. I hope that you all have love in your life, no matter of its origin.

And now to the Favourites. I didn't think that I will have this many of them because I had a cold last month and wasn't exactly my usual self, but when I gathered them it wasn't a bad bunch at all.

My skin deals with all kinds of different issues during the year and every season brings in something new. Well, this winter my usually combination skin with oily t-zone had problems with drier top layer. I really am careful about my skin care, and try to satisfy both oiliness and dryness, and since I did find some great products for that, I have to tell you about them.

I found a dynamic duo for winter care of my eye area. 

First Aid Beauty Eye Duty Triple Remedy eye cream was perfect for daytime. It is very light, salmon coloured and comes with a metal part on top which leaves your eye area nice and cool. It hydrates nicely and its colouring kind of evens out your skin but it isn't a substitute for concealer. Because of its light texture it sinks into the skin quickly and is a great base for make up since it is not greasy. Although it is a great product, in my opinion, especially if you suffer from dryness on your undereye area, you should combine it with something more thick and greasy for the night. I combined it with Afrodita Chamomile Sensitive Care eye cream

Also an amazing product for an amazing price (15 ml cream costs about 35 kunas/4.50 Euros). If you didn't try it, you really have to.

And for the rest of my face I am all into balms and face oils. Last year I bought Net a Porter's Holiday kit (but in early spring) where I received Earth tu Face face balm with immortelle and rose extract. It says that it both hydrates and repairs the skin and I agree. It is amazing... It has a very natural and mild scent of immortelle and has a very good list of ingredients.

 It doesnt contain any synthetic ingredients. Thicker in texture, almost like a salve but less greasy. I put it on a damp face, leave it for ten minutes and then follow with  a cream. You can use it on your whole face or on dry parts every day or when needed. I aplly it twice or three times a week, and other days I use Olival's face oils with immortelle.

I only have one body care Favourite - Oriflame Feminelle intimate cleansing gel with natural lactic acid and aloe vera. It has a natural pH and doesn't contain soap. Because of the nature of this product I will only say that I like it a lot!

And then there is make up, mostly eye make up.

Currently, brows are in and I follow that trend. My routine seems to be all about Anastasia Beverly Hills. My favourite brow product of the year 2015. was definitely their Brow Wiz in the shade Taupe. This is an incredible product which is so well thought of and made that you can't go wrong with it. Its formula prevents you to make harsh lines and the end result is great. The Wiz has two sides, one is the pencil part and the other side is a small brow comb, and they both perform perfect!

I paired it with Anastasia Beverly Hills Clear Brow gel, also an impeccable product which will tame your brows all day without making them look or feel crispy. So, if you are interested in any of these, go for it!

When you are a member of the oily lids club as me, you learn to appreciate a good eyeshadow base. I tried a few (including Urban Decay Primer Potion) and my favourite is Too Faced Shadow Insurance. It makes a HUGE difference in both vibrancy and longevity of your shadows, and even this small tube will last you a long time.

And talking about eyeshadows and bases, we came to the next Favourite of mine - Chanel Illusion d'Ombre creamy eyeshadow in the shade Diapason. My love to Illusoire has been mentioned lots of times before (here) and it lead to trying other shades from the range. Diapason is a wonderful shade which is both lilac/lavender and maroon, with tiny shiny but sophisticated particles. I love these shadows but I must admit that they aren't the most durable ones on oily lids and that without a base they tend to crease on me. With TF Shadow Insurance that problem is solved and I can enjoy their beauty the whole day.

After a long period of being faithful to eye pencils, now I am more into liquid eyeliners. In my Selfridges Summer Beauty Box (link) I received EYEKO Fat Liquid Eyeliner (black). Although it looks intimidating, this bad boy turned out to be very sweet and will actually allow you to make quite thin lines, if used properly. I love it! It is highly pigmented, longlasting, doesn't smudge and because of that I feel confident to recommend it. If you think that liquid liners aren't appropriate for daytime, I disagree. If you go over it with any darker shadow, the line will be more softer and I think you will love it, too.

My last make up favourite is a result of shopping my stash. I haven't used it for a while which made me forget just how good it was. I am talking about Lancome La Rose Deco blush in the shade- 01Rosy Glow.  I don't think it's available anymore but after using it the whole month I just had to mention it. In the photos it looks a bit coral but in real life it has a difused rosy colour which looks very nice and natural on my face, almost just like a flush. During the day it fades a bit but leaves a very nice tint.

And slowly but surely we came to an end of this post... How do you like my picks? What were your January Favourites?

Tell me...

Love, beautyandbrains007

For Croatian version of this post click here

Saturday, 13 February 2016

I've been busy... My January 2016. empties!

My dearest readers...
I am very happy to be with you again and thank you if you really are here - still. Due to my hectic schedule the only thing I can honestly promise you is that when ever I will find the time to hang out with you by posting mine or reading your posts, I will!

It may be a little selfish, but I really want to write about my January empties first. These posts make me happy, especially this time of year, when we all are in the mindset of less is more. Since October of 2015., when I last published my post, there were many empties. So many that it became overwhelming, so I decided to make a fresh start and write only about this year's ones, starting January. I am dividing them into three groups: body/hair care, face care and make up.

Looking at them like this, I realised that most of them are hair products. Some from my all time favourites category, like Head & Shoulders shampoo that I use once a week in order not to get dandruff (it works) and Batiste Strength and Shine dry shampoo which is my favourite product of this kind, from the ones that are easy accessible for us in Croatia.

Then, there are products which were new for me like Alba Botanica Natural Hawaiian shampoo - colorific plumeria. By the manufacturers claims it protects your hair colour (if your hair is colour treated), and it contains no sulfates or salts.

These products were available in DM, but aren't anymore. I bought them while they were on sale. Their sale prices where like their normal prices on iHerb. Although this wasn't a bad shampoo, it wasn't spectacular either, so I don't think I'll be buying it again or ordering it online. For your reference, my hair is long, greasy and colour treated. It did protect my hair colour but didn't fully get along with its greasiness.

Another product that I haven't seen on the shelves of our stores is the Wash & Go 10 Seconds Volume Boost spray for greasy hair with herb extract. I bought this product in Bosnia along with a shampoo from the same line. Shampoo was OK and I used it up completely, but this spray did absolutely nothing for my hair. It didn't prolong the time between two washes or made my hair more voluminous, so I am getting rid of it. It should be used on the roots of your hair while it is still wet/damp and then you should dry your hair using hair dryer. Been there, done that, no results, so my verdict is to skip this one!

And the last product from this hair/body care category is a sample of a shower/shampoo from Susanne Kaufmann range that I received in my last year's Net-a-Porter Holiday Kit. I mainly used it as a shower gel, only twice on my hair although it wasn't bad for it either, and I love its very unisex, mild scent. But, there is a downside. Because of its high price I don't know if or when will I buy it again?

In my face care category there are a lot of Avon's products. Partly because I have been using them for years and partly because I wanted to use these up. In any case, I tried many varieties of their face masks, so it is no wonder that there are two here.

Their Luxuriously Refining Peel off face mask with black caviar extract is suprinsingly yellow, almost gold, and it was better for me than the other one - Revitalising Retreat with Chinese Ginseng. As I said, they are both peel off masks which will improve the state of your skin and tone it a little bit, but they are not super effective, and the results they do provide aren't long lasting. Well, I admit that they were excellent for my skin when I was younger, but now when I am dangerously close to turning 35, they just don't have the same effect. Therefore, after trying so many face masks from other brands, I must say that these won't make me open my wallet again.

Oh, and I think that you all know the story behind peel off face masks but just to be safe... At first they have gel consistency which forms a layer, like a second skin when it dries on your face, and then you just peel it off. Don't be too persistant on your brow area or any other hairy parts, wash it off there.

Another product from Avon with similar peel off concept is their Clearskin Professional Liquid Extraction Strip. If you have enlarged pores on your nose, chances are that you have tried strips for removing blackheads from that area. Well, the concept is the same with this one, but it is a liquid - gel which you apply on your nose and when it dries and hardens, you remove it like you would remove an ordinary strip. Well... I can tell you that this stuff is serious. My number one advice for you is NOT TO PUT IT anywhere near your nostrils. It will hurt!!! And I didn't intentionally put it somewhere around that area, and the amount was nearly nonexistent... Anyway, it hurts and this shouldn't get on any sensitive areas on your face. Even more, if your skin is sensitive in any way, STAY AWAY FROM THIS ONE! One would think that since it is so strong, that it cleans those blackheads like a dream. WRONG! So, by now you are probably aware of the fact that I don't like this product and wouldn't recommend it. My tube is almost full but it is going straight to the garbage.

Last year there was a real buzz about Byphasse product that became available in Croatia. Since all the bloggers raved about them, I was convinced that I need them in my life, too. So, after a quick stop to DM, an eye make up remover, cleansing gel and micellar water were in my possession. Eye make up remover is long gone and I hated it, micellar water was not bad, and here you can see their make up removing cleansing gel which was also OK. It has a thicker consistency than most of gel cleansers and because of that it really made a difference when I used it with my Foreo which glided smoothly over it. I liked it, it didn't dry out my skin at all and I would buy it again.

I have also used up a pair of Clinique Moisture Surge eye pads. I love stuff like this because they bring moisture back to my sensitive eye area. These aren't bad, they hydrate and refresh your eye area, I have a few left and I would buy them again!

The last face care product that I finished is a bottle of Ole Henriksen Pure Truth Youth Activating oil with vitamines C and A and omega 3-6-9. I received it in one of the beauty boxes from Lookfantastic (here). This oil is great!!! BUT... It stinks!!! On my skin it smells like a stew with onions and it only gets worse with time. Further more, its scent lingers so sometimes I felt that I can't get away from it. In the end I finished it but it wasn't easy. And no, I will not buy it again!

And lastly make up. Probably what you are most interested in.

There are only two finished products in this category. The Jordana Liquid Fabuliner (brown) which was amazing, just pigmented enough for the day and longlasting on my eyes. We don't have Jordana products in Croatia, I ordered mine online and this one was really nice. The other finished product is Laura Mercier Caviar Stick in the shade Rosegold. I tried only two shades - rosegold and amethyst, but they both wowed me. I prefer amethyst but just as a personal preference because I like this shade on my eyes a bit more. Saying that, both of these are amazing, pigmented, longlasting and I can really say that you need to try them if you get a chance.

That is it from me for now. I am planning to write about my Favourites as well and also want to publish a New in post. All the new in products were bought during 2015., some of them are gone already but just to keep you posted. 

What do you say? Have you tried any of these? Do we share experiences or you loved the ones I didn't and vice versa?

Tell me...

Love, beautyandbrains007

For Croatian version of this post click here