Tuesday, 31 August 2010

Product Praise: NARS Deep Throat blush

Today I'm going to talk about my favourite blush product! I love subtle blushes, I don't like those heavy-in-your-face-colours which make me look like a clown on my fair skin. I first heard about NARS like a year ago through some beauty blogs. It's not available in my country, sadly enough so I decided not to pay too much attention to it as I couldn't see it in real life. But it kept on popping up everywhere I looked and after a few months I decided I couldn't live without owing at least a NARS blush, I had to have one. After seeing countless swatches I went for the Deep Throat - not the popular Orgasm - because this one would suit my fair skin better. My bf had a blast on the names :). I ordered it online through kissandmakeup, highly recommended store for NARS/Laura Mercier supplies!

I was thrilled when the parcel was delivered a week later, I opened it and immediately loved it! Packaging is simple but I love the soft black from the case. Here's a close-up of the colour, a pinkpeach supporting some shimmer:

Swatches of the product (this wasn't easy - I applied more than a healthy dose and the camera doesn't pick it up!), the light shimmers are visible and a hint of the colour:

And here it is on my cheeks in different lighting - in real life it looks even better (first one on the left represents it best):

Oh how I love it... I've had it for several months now and I use it a lot, I always seem to reach for it. NARS blushes aren't cheap but you get almost 5g for the price, so it will last quite long - depending on how much you apply. My pan isn't close to being visible and I've used it for a few months now. After applying I also use a setting powder, to make it last longer. I recommend this product to everyone with fair-medium skin, it's a must-have in your stash!
Monday, 30 August 2010

Review Avon Mega Impact Rich lipstick

In my latest haul you came across a new AVON lipstick, called the Ultra Colour Rich Mega Impact lipstick - wow what a mouthfull! I got it in the colour -never so nude-, as you know I love nude stuff!

Colour magnifiers boost the colour by highlighting and reflecting the true colour, so what you see is richer and more impactful. Rich, creamy formula, wears for hours. SPF15. The product has an odd shape, which adds a little something to it -sophisticated. It's a brown-beige colour with shimmer in it. There's no scent to it, which is better than those chemical ones you get sometimes.

Here's the product, swatched where the shimmer becomes really visible:
And here it is on my lips:
It is a creamy formula, though not as creamy as MAC's one. I think it looks lovely on my lips, very subtle color and shimmer - just my kind of thing. Only downside is that it doesn't last for hours - more like an hour or so, reapplication is often needed. I paid 6euros for the lipstick and for this price I consider it to be an OK lipstick.

Friday, 27 August 2010

Haul of random

Today a haul of things I got the last week/2 weeks... First up my stuff from Avon:
Left to right: Vintage blue nail polish (already featured in my last NOTD), Volume Riche never so nude lipstick (in a special form - looks sexy), blush Russet, Color Trend cream eyeshadow, eyeliner blackest black.
And then another order from allcosmeticswholesale, yes, I gave in - again. Left to right: Michael Todd small lipstick in Lace, Sigma eyebrow brush, Sigma tapered brush, L'Oreal Carbon black mascara - which leaves the Stila lipgloss as a free gift!

Anything catches your eye in particular?

Thursday, 26 August 2010

Tag: 10 things

I got this tag from maryya who has a great nail blog, thanks!

The Rules:
1. Post who gave you this award
2. State 10 things you like
3. Give this award to 10 other bloggers and notify them with a comment

10 things I like:
- my beautiful dog
- sleeping in
- white flowers
- shopping
- scented candles
- pharmaceutical skincare brands
- pasta
- coffee
- series of desperate housewives
- jewelry (especially earrings)

I give this award to:
-mysterious brunette
-floor en marjolein
-kat o-hara


Winner goodiebag giveaway!

Last week I posted my giveaway(thanks for entering everyone) and it is time to announce the winner...
There were 38 contestants who lived up to the requirements and I've ranked them from 1 being the first comment, and 38 being the last comment. The winner is the 26th comment and that one was made by LOEDER. Congrats. Leave a comment here containing your e-mail so I can contact you to arrange shipping.

Everyone thanks for entering and don't worry - there'll be another giveaway soon. I plan on doing one when I reach 100followers but I'm not sure which one yet. I'm debating between a polish giveaway or an AVON giveaway... Preferences??

Wednesday, 25 August 2010

NOTD Avon Vintage Blue

Today no Essie or OPI, but an Avon polish from my latest AVON haul (that I haven't posted yet - will get to it soon). Avon released a few summer colors and this is one of them. It's called Vintage Blue and is a very pale blue. It's 5euro/12ml and I'm considering buying more of their colors.

Application goes ok -carefull you don't have too much product-, the brush is quite big and it covers nicely with 1 thick or 2 lighter layers. I am wearing 2 layers here.
I'm such a sucker for pastel colors...
Tuesday, 24 August 2010

Review Maybelline Colossal Mascara

Warm welcome to all my new followers... Now, onto business!

I'm the kind of person that doesn't owe a lot of mascaras. I wear contacts so it's really important to be very hygienic with everything around my eyes. Therefore I don't use a mascara after its expiry date (6months from opening) and if you have 5 or 6 mascaras they will not be empty in that period of time - unless you like spider mascara. I usually have 2 mascaras that I'm loving at the moment in my stash, just to be sure that after 6 months they will be empty.

One of my current mascaras that I'm loving is the Maybelline Colossal, available in most drugstores for 10-15euros.

The yellow packaging really catches your eye. The brush itself is thicker than most brushes and contains lots of 'long' bristles. Curious to its effect (well, maybe not too much as this mascara has been reviewed a lot already)?

From left to right/top to bottom: normal lashes, curled lashes, one layer of mascara, two layers of mascara. And here's the full face effect:
This mascara offers you more length and some volume, I love its effect on my lashes and yet it is very natural, just the way I want it. It's very easy in application, just be careful not to apply too much on your lower lashes. I will definitely repurchase this one and recommend it to everyone.

Which are your favourite mascaras?

Monday, 23 August 2010

Review Avon Radiant Brunette range

Hair products... I buy too many of them and use too little of them!, familiar with this?

For reference: I have long weird curling (never the way I want it) normal to dry hair that frizzes easy, I usually wash it once a week. My hair needs conditioning and/or masks, if I don't use them it won't be soft. If there's something else you'd like to know, feel free to ask.

When browsing through an AVON catalog I came across their Radiant Brunette line claiming to be illuminating - do I want my hair to illuminate - yes please! Products prices range between 3 and 5euros/each, no harm in trying for such a price... They also have a Blonde line in case you were wondering.

The line has a shampoo, mask and leave-in balm:

Introducing ADVANCE TECHNIQUES Radiant Brunette Collection. Fortified with a moisturizing blend of shine boosters to reveal the rich spectrum of brunette tones for gleaming, glistening locks – so you’re always the mane attraction! For natural or color-treated brunettes.
  • Shampoo: gently cleanses to illuminate the rich spectrum of brunette tones. Brown formula enhances radiance.
  • Mask: for natural or color-treated brunettes. Delivers soft, smooth texture, rich moisture and multi-dimensional shine.
  • Balm: for natural or color-treated brunettes. Lightweight formula reveals the rich tones of brown hair, for soft shiny vibrancy.
All 3 products have the same nice fresh scent. The shampoo (left) is darkbrown en very runny, the mask is light brown and quite thick, the balm (right) is clear and like a gel.

Now, my thoughts:
  • the shampoo is very basic, it cleans my hair easily, rinses out easily.
  • the mask is thicker, applies easily. You should leave it in for 3 minutes but I leave it in longer to optimize its effect (10minutes or so). This makes my hair a bit softer but it's not as soft as with other products I've used before.
  • the balm also applies easily but when applied and after drying my hair it causes it to tangle. So I've only used it on my ends from then on. I don't find it doing anything special.

This line makes the dark undertones in my hair pop out. But sadly enough I don't see any radiance or shine coming through. I've used the products for several weeks in a row but still no illuminating hair for me.

These products are really basic, if you don't like spending much on hair care I would suggest the shampoo and mask. Both of them are OK products for their price. I wouldn't recommend buying the balm.

Friday, 20 August 2010

Review Mario Badescu Aloe Vera Toner

As you've all may figured out, I value my skin care routine highly. The best make-up look begins with good skin -for me-... That's why I've mainly talked about skin care, but no worries, the make-up is on its way!

After cleansing I like to use a toner. If you use a face wash or a gel, it's not necessary. I like to use a milk cleanser -for my dry skin- and this is best followed by a toner. I don't like harsh toners with alcohol in it, they just damage your skin, I'm always on the lookout for a gentle toner but haven't come across the perfect one yet...

On a beauty/fashion forum I heard a lot of positive things on Mario Badescu's Aloe Vera Toner: contains Aloe Vera (yes - I like), alcohol free, great for sensitive/dry skin. Ok, I'm sold! I ordered it online through beautybay, at 15euro/236ml but you can order it from other websites as well. I like these midranged priced products, I don't want to spend 50euros on a toner (it's a T O N E R).

Our mildest toner for the most sensitive and dry skin. Aloe Vera formula soothes irritation and removes pore clogging debris from skin’s surface. Alcohol free. How to Use: Twice daily after cleansing, pat skin dry and apply lotion-dampened cotton to skin, wiping in an outward direction until cotton comes up clean. Avoid eye area. Follow with moisturizer or night cream.

As you can see the packaging is really simple and the toner is greenish (when applied on cotton pad it's no longer noticeable). To open it, you have to pull the center part of the lid above. I'm a fan of these openings as you can control the amount of product you get on your cotton pad. I don't like those big gaps, they only make you spill or apply too much product. Here's what I mean 'cause my description may be a bit too cryptic.

I've been using this toner for 3 months now (I only use it in the evenings after my milk cleanser) and I still have 1/3 product left, it lasts some time.

This toner is definitely a mild toner, I have sensitive skin myself and it doesn't irritate me or makes my skin red. I don't think anyone with sensitive skin will have a problem with this one. As far as scent goes, I can say it's non-existent, maybe if you try really hard you smell some herbal scent in it but that could also be my imagination.

This toner removes the last bits of my cleanser and soothes my skin, that's basically it. It doesn't work hydrating and it doesn't do anything against my pore-clogging (which it states it should). On a positive note as well : it doesn't feel greasy and sinks in your skin really fast.

I would recommend this toner if you have really sensitive skin and want to use one. For me, I want my toner to be more hydrating and do something against pore clogging. I like using this product but it's not perfect for me...

Thursday, 19 August 2010

Goodiebag giveaway *ended*

It has arrived, my goodiebag giveaway for 20 followers containing many brands and a variety of things... Products are new or have been swatched. Let's have a look at what's in it:

  • Avon Naturals shampoo + conditioner for dry/damaged hair
  • Nuxe Mousse Micellaire 3 Roses
  • Dermalogica Special Cleansing Gel
  • Biologique Recherche Lotion PW50
  • Bio Beaute By Nuxe Hand Cream
  • Clarins Tonic Demaquillante
  • Essence Sun Club Lipgloss
  • Avon Lip Color Trend Strawberry
  • Catrice Lost in Mud (close to Chanel's Particuliere)
  • Catrice Sold out Forever (dupe for Chanel's Jade)
  • Avon Extralasting Eye Powder Pearl
  • Mineralissima Eye Shadow Fox
  • L'Oreal Kohl Eye Liner Teal

Now, how can you win this goodiebag?

1. You have to be a follower of my blog.
2. Put a picture/link of this giveaway on your blog. If you don't have a blog, you can retweet this giveaway (I've added my twitter in the left column).
3. Leave a comment here saying why you want this goodiebag and if you're retweeting this or putting it on your blog.

Contest will close next week Thursday, winner will be chosen by one of those random website things, the giveaway is open to everyone all over the world.

Wednesday, 18 August 2010

Anastasia Treatment

A couple of days ago I got an Anastasia Brow Treatment. Now, I've been wanting this for some time (my brows are hard to manage) but it isn't available where I live. Since I have vacation I decided it was time to finally go and get it...
This is how they look when I hardly do anything about them. Normally I tweeze a bit more on the lower part, but for the treatment I let them grow a bit.
The treatment went fast (about 10-15minutes) and didn't hurt that much. She first waxed a bit, followed by tweezing and cutting. Before on the left and after the work on the right. It already looks a lot neater.
Then she filled my brows up with the brow powder and the brow gel to manage the hairs. On the left with powder and gel, on the right nothing.
I bought the brow powder in the color medium ash (price around 22euro). The colors appear lighter on the picture then they are. I'm really happy with this purchase, I've also used it myself and love the effect it creates, it gives a natural finish.

Off course I also had to buy some other goodies and I stopped at Etos to pick up these lovely ones (on sale at 40% discount):
Have you also gotten the Anastasia Treatment?
How do you manage your brows?

And a warm welcome to my new followers, I think you'll like tomorrows post!

Tuesday, 17 August 2010

NOTD Essie Van d'go

A little while ago I bought my first Essie polishes *joyful* and today I decided to give one of them a go, more specific the color "van d'go" a popular summer color this year. The color can best be described as a coral peach.

I instantely noticed the small brush it comes with, I have a lot of OPI and their brush is much wider. This makes Essie a bit more difficult for me to apply, but I'm sure it's just a matter of time to get it down. The polish itself goes on really smooth and gives great coverage. One coat is already covering your ends up, but I like 2 coats to have a deeper color. It is indeed a perfect summer color, I'm loving it and recommend it. I'm a neutral kind of girl and this one isn't too much for me.
Which are other Essie-must-haves in your opinion?
Monday, 16 August 2010

Product Praise: Sigma Brush F80

A while ago I ordered some Sigma brushes and by now I've used/washed them enough to write my thoughts on them. I'm the kind of person who likes to test a product a lot before writing an article on it, that's why it took me so long :). I wanted to do a seperate article on the F80 because I love it so much and why I do...

The brush itself is a flat synthetic kabuki with a mediumlong to short handle. I really like this, I'm not a fan of very long handles - don't find them practical, this one - perfect! The bristles are really soft and yet solid. I have sensitive skin and these bristles don't sting me - which has happened to me with other brushes before.

Sigma says: This exclusive flat top synthetic kabuki was designed to deliver a flawless makeup application. The Sigma Makeup F80 is a buffer brush that can be used to blend powder or liquid products. The short and dense bristles make it easy to buff your liquid foundation. The long handle adds comfort to your makeup application. The synthetic fibers are ideal to be used with liquid products and can be easily cleaned

I use this brush as my foundation applicator. I put some foundation on my hand, dab the brush into it, dab it onto my face and afterwards finish with circular motions (note: this will leave you with a streakless applied foundation no matter how messy you are). If you look at the top of the brush you'll notice that my application is visible: the centerpart shows my foundation a lot and the sides show it lightly - from the circular motions. Let's look at it a bit deeper into the top:

The problem with most foundation brushes is that they soak up your product in the entire brush. This is not the case with the F80. Looking into the bristles you see that only the top and centre part contains foundations. Deep bristles and sides are left clean. Because the bristles are so dense you get this effect and I love it, I hate wasting product. This also makes cleaning easier. I've washed this brush a couple of times and shedding is really minimal, an occasional bristle but not much. The bristles stay close together when drying (I use the Brush Guard). Only downside: it doesn't dry really fast because it's so thick, keep that in mind.

I recommend this brush to everyone, it's my favourite foundation brush, I don't use my other ones anymore (my sad Shu Uemura just lays there). Buy it online through Sigma for 16$.

Note: this product was purchased by me, I didn't get it send!

Friday, 13 August 2010

Haul of random & some good news

First oh -joyful dance- we've reached 20 followers (welcome newbies) and that means the goodiebag giveaway is coming! This afternoon I'm going to get my hair cut and will also be purchasing some goodies for the bag, it will appear next week so stay tuned :)! Today just a random haul of things I've purchased in the last week but hadn't placed yet.
From ebay I purchased some polishes, I needed a new top coat after my smashed seche vite. I decided to order the -out the door- one and of course I had to order some polishes along with it. Two Essies: Body Language and Van d'go (my first Essies by the way) and the OPI Over The Taupe. Products were bought from beautyzone, who carries a lot of Essie. Shipping extremely fast and well packed, costs are fair, recommended!!
Then the foundation brush from No7, won it in an auction for a couple of euros, really cheap. Review is coming up.
Yesterday I went to "Action", a discount store in Belgium. And by discount I mean really discount, lot of products are less than 1euro. I bought an Aloe Vera drink (like the plant/smell, was only 18cent), a candle lighter (I adore scented candles) and Rose bubble bath (I love rose scents, delicious)!
Lastly I purchased some Trind nail goodies, not cheap but it gets so much praise I just had to buy it. The reason I bought it: I used to be a nail biter. I've quit for some time now but my nailbeds are still really tiny. My nails look a bit orange and I don't have nailwhite ends, but nailyellow ends, I've used several base coats -including high end ones- but they aren't doing anything. I don't even wear dark colors, mostly nudes and pink ones. These products are supposed to get rid of all these things. From left to right you see: hand repair - nail balsem - cuticle balsem - nail repair -nailpolish remover and in front the nail buffer. I really wanted the polish remover as well as the 3tiny bottles, the other ones were just included in the set. You're better of buying the set than them seperately. We'll see how it turns out...

Are any of these products also present in your stash?

Thursday, 12 August 2010

Tested L'Oreal Lash Renewal Serum

A couple of weeks ago I told you here I would be testing the lash serum from L'Oreal. I also stated I didn't have high expectations. And now it's time for the results!

In the box it looks like a regular mascara by L'Oreal. Here's the products description: L’Oréal’s Renewal Lash Serum enriched with Arginine and Centella for a nourishing lash boost. Lashes feel fortified, look renewed. Clinically tested.

Opening it you see the weird applicator, formed like a lash curler. It is also soft and bendable, positive. They advise you to use it mornings as well as evenings and in 2ways: firstly with the tip go over the lash line and then sweep the brush along your lashes like a mascare.

I've mainly used it in the evening and sometimes in the morning if I could stay in. It takes a while for the product to dry on your lashes and makes them stick together a bit. So if you want to apply mascare after it, not a good idea. Using it is very easy, like their description, and the product doesn't irritate my eyes at all (I wear contacts so again a plus for L'Oreal).

Onto the most important fact, my lashes (click on the picture for a close-up, it's more visible then)!

before - after

Excuse my different lighting, no sun today! When comparing the pictures (bare lashes, no mascara, no curler) you clearly see I've grown more lashes in both corners of my eye. They've also gotten thicker, I'm not sure whether they're longer - maybe a bit. Not visible but telling anyway, they have developed some shine, which is very lovely. Effects are supposed to be optimal after 8 weeks of usage.

I've been using it for 5-6 weeks now, daily (sometimes twice a day) and this is how much I've used. The product doesn't get wasted and you don't need much, it will last a long time for sure.

Now, is this worth the purchase? To me: yes! Don't expect miracles, but it will improve your lashes. I like what it's done to mine, with curler and mascara on they almost look like fake ones. Pricetag is around 15euros but because it will last a long time this is neglectable to me. I say go off and buy it, you've got nothing to lose!

Wednesday, 11 August 2010

Never again: fragrancex

Sidenote: we're getting close to 20 girls, I've already ordered/bought some items for the goodiebag, I bet you're all curious ;) Now on to serious stuff... Todays menu is a bit heavier!

Another new catagory (yes, I'm on a roll) in which I'll be talking about products that I don't consider worthy of their price tag, online shopping that went horribly wrong and stuff like that - I think you get the picture. Off course these are my personal experiences and thoughts, yours may be different.

This first one comes with a little story... My boyfriends birthday is on 17th June and he wanted some perfume. I said "we'll order it online, fast delivery and it less". He went to the store quickly after his work, tried some and came home with the scent he wanted - initially I couldn't find the product because he didn't remember the correct name, only the brand (darling isn't home in the world of perfume where brands have multiple, often similar names) but ok - eventually we found it. Normally I order from fragrancedirect in the UK but they didn't offer the perfume he wanted. Nothing to worry, plenty of dealers so I went to fragrancex, which I've already heard a lot of. I ordered his perfume and one summer scent for me as well - what did you expect?- This was more than a week before his birthday, I didn't have much hope it would arrive on time.

After 3weeks of waiting I mailed fragrancex, impatient me, but they advised me to be patient. I waited another 2weeks, mailed again, same advice and check customs -nothing there-. After 7-8weeks I was tired of their advice and filled in a complaint with paypal. A week ago I received a mail from customs saying they had a package for me -really? I'd forgotten-. I had to scent the payment details and some personal stuff.

Yesterday (more than 2 months after ordering it) I finally got a hold on the perfume, packaging was ok. But I had to pay almost 60euros on taxes and administration. For reference, I paid 80euros while ordering the perfume along with shipping. This is ridiciously high in comparison.

To sum it up: waited ages, very high fee, no helpfull service - I will never buy from them again. If you live in Europe, like me, don't do it!! I don't know how their shipping is in the USA, but as I stated above, I'm speaking from my experience.

Here's what I bought:

Kenzo Homme for my darling

Escada Marine Groove (100ml - the more the better)

Have you had a similar online experience, share!

Tuesday, 10 August 2010

London Haul

London to me is a shopping paradise, but I tried not to go berserk and kept it rational... And here are my humble purchases:

Off course I had to go into Boots, which is everywhere, and bought 2 items from Neutrogena. These are only intended to be used on my nose as that's the place where I get impurities/blackheads. I was lucky, on sale: 2 voor 5£!

I also popped into Lush as we suddenly ran into it -hooray- (my first visit to Lush) and bought the Bubblegum Lip Scrub, it smells divine... The whole store smelled cottoncandy, was getting a headache in there :)

Topshop: as said before I didn't have that much time to try on all I eyed at. I bought these lovely pink ballerinas (I liked them more in grey-silver but they were no longer in my size) and a blazer with beige undertones to it, very classy...

Then onto the make-up! I bought the Sleek Pout Polish in Pink Cadillac (I also wanted the peach one but it was sold out) and the Sleek Storm Palet in Superdrug, along with the Revlon lipgloss in peach. In Selfridges I bought the NARS sheer glow (off course I had to try this, everyone raves about it!!) and the Bobbi Brown Concealer Stick. Last on the list was in Fenwicks and I bought Becca Eye tint in Baroque.

I also tried the Benefit Coralista, as it was on my thingstogetlist, but it didn't suit me at all... :(

Now, these were my actual purchases but I tried much much more and already have my list of -things to buy soon- ready, take a peak, out of the top of my head:

-Becca Illuminator in pearl
-NARS multiple orgasm
-NARS cream blush penny lane
-NARS laguna bronzer
-Kiehls avocado creamy eye
-Aveda Rosemary Shampoo/Conditioner
-Burt's and Bees lip balm

What's your favourite among the things I purchased? Or is there another musthave I forgot, let me know!

Monday, 9 August 2010

Loving London!

And here it is, my report on London! Sorry it took so long!
We took the Eurostar early on Saturday and arrived at 9:30 Londen time. Took the underground to Regent Street for a shopping spree, a very very long shopping spree!! We were able to do Regent, Oxford, part of Bond Street including checking in at the hotel and lunch.
I was most looking forward to Selfridges, House of Fraser and Topshop. We don't have those huge warehouses in Belgium and I found it breathtaking, all those lovely brands and lovely salespersons that actually know what they're talking about and they let you try on anything you want without pressure or snobbing you! Topshop was bit underwhelming, but it was also very busy, I didn't have much time to try on stuff because there was so much we still wanted to do.

On Sunday we browsed Carnaby Street for a bit and then went on to be tourists, Buckingham Palace, Big Ben from distance, Green Park and Hyde Park. This last one was even more beautiful than I thought, we stayed there until it was time to go...
Grabbing a bite to eat and came to this remarkable napkin... -made me smile-

On a sad note: after arriving we went into a Starbucks 'cause I needed some coffee. I got this really big and way too full cup. There wasn't room to sit on ground floor but they also had an upper floor so taking the stairs, reached table and couch safely. And when I wanted to put my cup down my purse fell from my shoulder into my arm, causing my cup to spill a lot over my lovely purse with this result:

It has got stains like this all over... I'm really sad about it, especially since she was expensive, I ordered special leather cleanser so fingers crossed.

Tomorrow I'll post my haul and thoughts on them ;)! I love love Londen, thinking of going again round Christmas time...


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Belgian twenty-something year old blogger who adores all things beautywise and loves to share her knowledge... This blog reflects my thoughts on products I've personally used and random things that cross my mind. If you have a request for a review or want to ask me something etc..., you can contact me at beautyponder@hotmail.com.
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