Saturday, November 15, 2014

Brand Obsession: Kiko

Some people know this already, but I might as well make it public: I'm kinda obsessed with Kiko.

kiko smart lip pencil swatch lipstick 900 902 swatch mascara volumeyes full coverage concealer kiko

Over the past couple of weeks I've more or less purposely stumbled into the Kiko store on Regent St. quite a few times.
In all honesty, there wasn't something I desperately needed, make-up wise, because as us beauty bloggers know, you don't really need half of what's in your collection, but you buy more anyway. 

Well, Kiko is kind of the ultimate encouragement to buy more stuff you don't absolutely need because they have SO many things to pick from, the prices are almost too good to be true and the quality is borderline unbelievable. 
I will tell you now, I like their lipsticks more than I like the MAC ones. (You may select to throw things at me at this point).

Not being a red lipstick person, I found that their Smart Lip Pencils are perfect for trying out colours without actually having to buy a lipstick. Not to mention that for clumsy people like me, a lip pencil used as lipstick has the perfect staying power. It's great as a first try because it stays in place, doesn't smudge and doesn't make you panic each time something comes close to your lips. 
After being totally convinced by its red greatness I went ahead and purchased a deep berry one today (shade 710). The red I love is shade 705 and I will do a post with swatches for them if you want.
Also, did I mention that these pencils currently cost 1.90£ ? Let that sink in.

Speaking of lip stuff, they have such a perfect array of shades that I always seem to find a shade that looks good on me. Like the very natural looking nude in 900 and the pinky coral in 902 , above. Corals look so awkward on me 90% of the time, but when I tried that on, it was instant love.

I'm probably the most fussy mascara picker and the fact that I have found a mascara that is non-fiber and that looks like it would be, makes me immensely jolly. Cue Kiko Volumeyes+ Mascara. One word: fantastic!

And lastly, the bane of my existence: concealers.
I am now pretty confident that my concealer problem is solved. I will keep you updated since I've only tried their Full Coverage Concealer once, but already am pretty positive that we will be friends. Good ones.
Usually it's either too creamy, too dry, too agitated (aka moves like it's nobody's business), too flaky or simply has not enough coverage. I'm looking at you Erase Paste!
This one, on the other hand is the perfect mix and the perfect coverage. Rarely do I get excited about something as I do about a good concealer.

Basically, what I am trying to say is: I love Kiko!  There is not one product that I have tried that I have not been impressed with. I'm not even sure how that's possible but good heavens, it seems to be!

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Sunday, November 2, 2014

The Battle Of The Cleansers

It's been a while, hasn't it? What I can tell you is that since last time, a lot of cleansing has been perfected so I thought it was only fitting to offer a lineup of my favourites.

I am still on the lookout for the ultimate cleanser but I think we're getting a bit closer. Each of these has one quality that stands out and if someone would make one big product out of these, I'd be forever happy:

The Smooth Operator: Ekia Cleansing Oil

This one took some getting used to. In the beginning it kinda never really foamed and I felt like it was somewhat useless. Then I figured out that "damp" skin, literally means skin with just VERY VERY little water on it. Basically, you'd better go rub it on your dry skin, as it works much better. After that just add some water and see it be magical. It becomes oil and makes your skin feel so beautifully soft! And of course, your skin doesn't even remember to feel dry. The ultimate test comes when eye makeup is involved and it passed it with flying colours!

The Organic Bliss: Antipodes Hallelujah Lime and Patchouli Cleanser

This one is the winner in the "so organic and natural and beautiful I could die!"category. Just for the Patchouli I would tell anyone to go for it! When I first got it, I used it on and off but it always leaves my skin feeling so healthy and glowing. It's obviously less hydrating than the oil, but ingredient-wise it is unbeatable. And you can basically shovel it in your eyes and will not get any bad reaction. I tell you this because I sometimes "misplace" cleanser in the inner corners of my eyes quite efficiently and feel like screaming if it burns. But none of these three have any burning effect, which is something I am extremely grateful for.
What I will say is that this cleanser is the one that is more for actual cleansing (aka cleaning your skin of impurities very well) and a bit less for removing makeup layers.

The Best of Both Worlds: Burt's Bees Intense Hydration Cleanser

Out of all of them, nothing can really beat Burt in terms of price/quality ratio. While all 3 have really great natural ingredients and do a great cleansing job, the two I mentioned above are somewhere between 18 and 25£ while Burt's Bees gorgeous cleanser will rob you of exactly 9.98£.
It also has the creamiest consistency and in all fairness, it might actually be the most hydrating. (In case the name didn't give it away).
Since I am a big fan of creamy cleansers, this one is right up my alley. It's a super thick soufflé that just makes any makeup melt away.

I used to also add a micellar water to my cleansing routine, but Burt's Bees has made sure that there is absolutely no need for that anymore. 

How about you? What's your cleansing preference?

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Saturday, September 13, 2014

The Perfect Blush

One reason I love going to TK Maxx is that sometimes, you find fantastic things in their make-up section. This was exactly what happened when I strolled by and started almost hyperventilating when I saw they had Fusion Beauty products. I had been craving them for a while but even in the UK, they aren't easy to get hold of.

That's when I saw it, my soon to be favourite blush ever to have existed: The SculptDiva Blush in the shade Crave!

fusion beauty sculpt diva blush in crave review swatch

It comes in a pot and it looks all creamy but actually, it's more powdery than I had ever expected. You can probably use a brush to apply it also, but I like to go all neanderthal and use my fingers. When you dig into it, you can feel its creaminess but by the time it touches your cheeks it becomes perfect powder. And the best thing about it is that it somehow stays in place the entire day.

With powders, you tend to lose most of the effect during the day but I have never seen anything like this. It's pretty much a creamy version of a cheek stain. That is the only thing I can compare it to, in terms of durability.
The colour itself is this delicious pink peachy thing with just the right amount of shimmer. On my skin tone it looks incredibly natural.

fusion beauty sculpt diva blush in crave review swatch

It really just looks like I've had an afternoon in the sun and was left with a little tan.
I absolutely love this thing! As far as blushes go, there is nothing that I've tried that comes even close to it. I used to be a fan of the Benefit tints, but this is miles beyond that as it really doesn't "stain" your skin. Plus, the box says that the formula gives you more youthful looking cheeks? Apparently you can see that within a couple of weeks of using it. Now, I like to think my cheeks didn't look old before either...

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Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Whipping my hair into shiny shape with Old Wives Tail

You know when sometimes things are so well timed that you secretly ask yourself if someone has been reading thoughts?
Well this was the case a couple weeks ago when I started noticing that my hair might be in need of some extra love and moisture. It had become slightly rough to the touch and the ends weren't their perky little selves anymore either. I am quite sure it had a lot to do with the heat and the wind that had been going on. Not to mention the dustfest it had been getting on every run along the South Bank.
As I was preparing to look for the perfect hair mask or treatment or oil, or whatever was going to save it, I got a lovely email from Lily over at Old Wives Tail asking if I would want to try out one of their hair treatments.
I knew about the brand and I knew it was all natural and organic, which, if you know me, you know is something that instantly gets my attention.
There was no way I was going to say no!

old wives tail argan rosemary organic oil treatment review
Fast forward to this little beauty: the Rosemary and Argan Oil Treatment.
It's one of those deliciously whipped shea butter based concoctions I go completely crazy about!

old wives tail argan rosemary organic oil treatment review

All you need to do is use it on damp hair and massage it into your scalp. You can leave it in up to an hour or even overnight if you feel like your hair needs it. Then, just shampoo as usual and voilà!

The Result:  I mean....I have never seen my hair this shiny! I will admit to touching it like a maniac for the days that followed because it was so smooth and delicious! Not to mention that my light frizz was all gone and the mane was as tame as a bunny. I also had been having some dry scalp issues but you can be sure that those are long gone by now.

Basically, I love this thing! And the best thing about it is that after one use you can already see the results. And the smell! Just let me talk about the smell for a moment, because it's like being in the middle of a herb garden in the Orient.

You can get your own little magic pot over here or see what else you might want from their range.

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Sunday, August 17, 2014

OOTD? Yes it's my First Outfit Post!

Well this is a first, isn't it?
But I am SO super excited about the hand painted shirt I am about to show you that I simply had to do an outfit post!
I had randomly discovered Wonder Park as I was looking around the Camden Market a while ago and the idea that they paint on whatever you want on whatever T-shirt was instantly appealing!

Fast forward to my friend whose brain is on constant creative overdrive and who comes up with or revives the most fantastic words. One fine evening we ended up with the word "frohlocken", which basically just means "rejoice" in German. But it sounds utterly magnificent when said in German!  
It's a very archaic word and I am sure 99% or the population has even forgotten it existed.
Well, this word sounded so great and fun and puts me instantly in a good mood, that I just had to put it on a shirt and have it with me. Especially on Mondays.

This is where we combined this crazy word, with the great customising skills of Wonder Park and...voilà:

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Saturday, July 26, 2014

Wake up in the morning feeling like P.Diddy

You know that feeling of opening your eyes in the morning and realising you can still sleep? Indefinitely! That's the beauty of a Saturday right there! 
And it gets even better when you give your skin something to be happy about! So, much like my Friday Night Pamper, this is the Saturday morning edition, where it's all about making the skin feel nice and clean, and ready for the day!

pixi glow tonic hydraluron mousture jelly l'occitane immortelle essential water good things manuka honey mask review swatch

Since my skin is on the dry side, it's hard to find a clay mask that doesn't leave my face feeling like it's about to tear at the sides. The Good Things Manuka Honey face mask though is doing quite a great job at cleaning without drying. 
I know the Pixi Glow Tonic  and the L'Occitane Immortelle Essential Face Water are both toners, but where the Pixi one lightly exfoliates, the L'Occitane essential water restores hydration and plumpness so they complete eachother very well.
I'm still in the trying out phase with the Hydraluron Moisture Jelly and was wondering if you had any experiences with it so far? I have not tried the actual serum yet so if you have and want to share how that worked for you, please do.
I'm definitely someone who prefers oily and thick moisturisers more, like Shea Butter based ones. But this jelly type of thing is definitely much better suited as a make-up base, since it doesn't have anything greasy about it and keeps all of my eye make-up in place nicely.
As soon as I try it out more, I will let you know my full opinion on it. So far, it's nice and cooling, seen as how it's boiling outside!

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Monday, July 21, 2014

The Easy Peasy Summer Face

You know how people say it always rains in London? They clearly have not been here too lately. I've been successfully dying of heat every single night for probably a week now. Not to mention the humidity.
The plus side of humidity means that I always feel like my skin is hydrated. The downside is that you have to be careful what you put on your face, because it might just melt away. 
This is why I truly keep it to a minimum lately, with nothing more than a moisturiser as a base. With this heat, I cannot deal with any other layer.

But you still gotta look and feel pretty, right? So here's what goes on my face as of late:

First rule is: keep it powdery. 
Especially in humidity, you're better off with powder rather than creamy products. So while I love my creamy illuminator, I've gone with the Soap and Glory Solar Powder instead.
And where I used to be the eternal liner gal, the current substitute is the Wet n' Wild Comfort Zone palette. I can either just use one of the dark colours for liner or create a nice tan summery eye.
A immensely surprising mascara favourite is the Origins GinZing mascara. Yes, they make mascara. I for one did not expect that. And least of all did I expect it to be so great! Your lashes feel and light, beautiful and defined. Exactly my kind of mascara!
And now, my favourite new discovery:  The KIKO Lip Gloss Pencil in 07 Baby Pink. I'm very likely to pick a pencil in favour of a lipstick nowadays. I'll make a separate post on these pencils because I just love them and for 3,90£ they have an almost surreal price-quality ratio!

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Friday, July 11, 2014

The Friday Evening Facial

It's the weekend! Thank God! 
So it means that after your skin and yourself have been hard at work, there needs to be some time to detox, cleanse and get some love. 
I've decided to give my face a breather and a polish to get it bright and glowy.

I'm so glad to finally grab the beauty that is the Pixi Glow Tonic ! It's not only a tonic but it also gently exfoliates. It's definitely a thing that is very handy to own. Especially living in London, you get a lot of dust and dirt and all sorts of unhappy things thrown at your face. I try to avoid the tube as much as I can, but sometimes it is the fastest route. This doesn't mean that when I emerge from the tunnel, my face is feeling healthy, happy and clean.
So I've definitely moved my routine towards detox and cleansing.
This is where the Dr Brandt Detoxygen Facial  comes in handy! It's a 2-step facial consisting of a mask that oxygenates and detoxes (much like what the name mentions), followed by a detoxifying concentrate cream.
I'll have a review on it up soon, but I can tell you it's the funniest feeling a facial has ever given me.

And of course, to finish off and moisturise, my favourite mask comes into play: The Origins Drink-Up Intensive Overnight.
Even now, after about a year of using it regularly, it still saves my dry skin so plump and hydrated.

What do you use to help your skin out?

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Tuesday, July 8, 2014

The Catch-Up Post in Photos

Know now, this will be one full with pictures.
I have finally settled in, after moving 3 times in a month and almost moving again last week. I've even managed to get into work routine and am slowly starting to find time for Saturday brunches in cute little cafes. Living in Shoreditch definitely has its perks!

Hipster Mac became even more hipster/ One of the favourite hangouts...before figuring out it was hay fever central! / Like I said, 'Before' hay fever /  Hills man, hills!

I've definitely been converted to Costa/ Hackney: the place they show dogs love on a hot day/ Columbia Rd Flower Market / Doing what needs to be done

The 'hood if you will / Being a complete and utter outlaw! /  Oh how happy I was for the existence of those slip-ons / One of the best brunches I have ever had and the cutest coffee

Sunny day happiness / I definitely developed an obsession with those shoes and had to get them! / The time I went wild with hummus / Ye morning joy

Pretty sunsets / Yes, it occasionally also rains in London / Pretty drinks being photobombed on the Selfridges roof bar / Carnaby Street just got plugged in it seems

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Friday, May 16, 2014

NEW FIND: Frankincense Perfume Oil

That sounds unusual doesn't it?
I thought the same when I entered the Frankincense Shop in Camden Stables Market and saw ancient looking bottles of amber liquid.

Reluctantly I started smelling them, and as expected, some just did not do anything for me, but this little guy, named "Adiva", which means something along the lines of "delicate" if I remember well, got my attention. It has that typical musky finish but is indeed much more delicate and once it hits the skin, it becomes even more delicate.

The thing with perfume oils is, because they are oils, they last just that extra bit longer.
I can tell you this: it is a VERY unique smell and everyone has asked me what it is because they were completely fascinated by it.

It comes in this little roll-on 10ml bottle and costs 8£, which is a pretty great deal since it last forever. 

I definitely recommend a trip to Camden for it, because I'm convinced everyone can find a scent they'll immediately click with. 
Not to mention how easy it is to apply! I basically carry it in my bag and just do a quick roll whenever I feel like it. I'm also very sure I will be re-purchasing it!
Have you ever tried something like this?

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Thursday, May 15, 2014

The Central London WiFi says Hello!

I feel like I should tell you the story of how I've been intimately getting to know the free WiFi places in Central London lately after I moved to a place with no internet. 
I seem to be super lucky in this regard, each time I move around London, the internet decides to not follow.
I'm typing this from the Costa on Regent St. which has pretty good WiFi, but is so in the basement that my phone has lost any and all signal. I'm probably 5 meters away from a tube tunnel and probably just as far away from natural light.

So this is a quick update and a blogpost is scheduled for tomorrow, God willing it goes live as programmed.

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Saturday, April 19, 2014

How do you care for your hands and nails?

It's been a long time since my nails have been so strong and my hands so soft. I used to pride myself with being a heavy hand cream user and a nail care worshipper but I've only recently realised that I had not really found the right products to get results with.
That has long changed ever since I started using the Trind Balm and Base coat/strengthener. Those two have made all the difference in the world and I can now pretty much scratch walls and the wall will give in before my nails will. I don't advise anyone to do it though.

I cannot emphasise this enough: Moisturising is the key to everything!
A happy face, soft hands and all-round satisfied skin.
That's why I've stocked up on L'Occitane  hand creams.  My favourite is the Shea Butter one because it's so rich and creamy, but I'm a sucker for packaging, so the Black Cherry hand cream had to come along too. The latter is much more watery and not necessarily as effective as the Shea Butter one, but if you want your hands to shimmer, it has glitter in it. Seriously.
I've only discovered it after seeing light reflect much to nicely off my palms. If I'd have to pick, it will be Shea Butter anytime.

And let us not forget cuticles and how they can make or break the clean and cared for look of a hand. Nobody likes dry or fringy is to be expected. I like to keep them happy with the Burt's Bees Lemon Butter Cuticle Cream and it has not failed yet, in almost a year I've been using it.

So how do you keep your hands and nails happy?

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Thursday, April 10, 2014

Lush King of Skin - Moisturising Dreams Come True

I haven't ever been an avid Lush user to be quite honest, but I've always enjoyed that specific smell of Lush stores that you can sense from the other end of the road.
Such was the case one fine day on my stroll through Oxford Street that I caught a breeze of Lush and went in.
I was actually looking for a moisturiser and had failed in different stores before because I needed something paraben free. This was a desire I had also expressed to the very lovely lady selling there. 
So she enthusiastically recommended me this solid body butter that had all the right ingredients:

lush king of skin review solid body bar

The ingredients are as follows:
Fair Trade Cocoa Butter (Theobroma cacao) , Fresh Bananas (Musa paradisiaca) , Shea Butter (Butyrospermum parkii) , Fresh Avocado (Persea gratissima) , Oatmeal Infusion (Avena sativa) ,Coconut Butter (Cocos nucifera) , Perfume , Jojoba Oil (Simmondsia chinensis) , Almond Oil (Prunus dulcis) ,Tangerine Oil (Citrus Tangerina) , Lavender Oil (Lavandula hybrida) , Sandalwood Oil (Santalum album), Rose Absolute (Rosa centifolia) , Frankincense Resinoid (Boswelia carterii) , *Limonene , *Linalool

The one listed in black being the only synthetic part of it. Pretty sweet deal, especially for under 6£ if I recall well.

In any case, the first time I used it, it was as if all the beautiful things of the world had melted on my skin. It felt perfect and my skin has never ever been so hydrated.
The best part being that even long after applying, it still felt hydrated, supple and soft. Without being sticky either!

I'm quite the fan of solid body butters because they tend to have more good ingredients, like shea butter.

lush king of skin review solid body bar

It's quite the massive thing and with everyday use, it lasted more than 2 weeks.

Definitely the best moisturiser I have ever used and all the goodness of banana, oatmeal,avocado, delicious butters, jojoba and all those great essential oils.... I cannot even begin to describe how fantastic my skin felt. And this was in the middle of winter, when we all know how dry and itchy some parts of your body can become from the cold, rain, snow and wind. 

Another thing I've noticed was that after I had run out, and didn't apply it for a couple of days, my skin stayed hydrated, as opposed to when you use other lotions that make your skin quite addicted.

If you're looking for 100% goodness and efficiency for a price that I think is insanely low for the quality you get, I say you sprint over to your nearest Lush asap!

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Saturday, March 22, 2014

The Light & Bright Face

This is becoming a habit isn't it? Well, can't say that I mind, because I really like showing you what I wear, especially during sunny spring weekends!

As you can see, I've included a clear nail polish to this, simply because clear polish looks quite fabulous. It gives you the right amount of chic and will always have your nails looking cared for. Now as I was looking for a transparent polish, I came to the stunned conclusion that I only own a Deborah Lippmann one in this particular "shade". Don't ask why I chose to purchase a DL clear polish for I know not, but I feel less guilty now that I actually use it.
A HUGE favourite for the lips is the Yves Rocher Sexy Pulp LipGloss . It keeps your lips looking fabulously sheer but also plumps them. It really does. I love the stuff! 
On the eyes, I'm very seldom to be seen without some sort of black contour and the choice of the day is a Models Own Kohl Pencil which, I actually got a as a gift but am using ever so often. I'm more of a liner kind of gal, but this is a soft alternative.
My favourite corner-of-the-eye/browbone highlighter is from the Natural Collection in the shade White Opal. I have yet to find a more beautiful shimmer. And it costs less than 2£!
And then of course, the unmissable Maybelline Color Tattoo in On and on Bronze, which is quite the stunner!

What's on your face this  weekend?

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Tuesday, March 18, 2014

The Spring Lips Selection

I seldom get the urge to use proper lip colour like I do when spring starts. It probably has something to do with wanting to be as bright as the sunshine and the blossoming flowers.
That is why I figured I'd show you some of my "most used" at this point.

Golden Rose - Topshop Lip Bullet - Topshop Lip Crayon swatches spring lips

Let's start with the more surprising addition to the collection, Golden Rose in Shade 40. It's an interesting sandy nude that, to my surprise looks quite nice on me. My lips are that colour that alter any lipstick shade to their liking, distorting it just enough for the lipstick to not look like in "the bottle"anymore, so when I find something that works ok with said distortion, I'm very very glad.

Then of course, my long time favourite, the Topshop Lip Bullet in There She Goes. You'll see in the swatches below that it's quite sheer, but it gives a lovely pinkish coral tint that makes me look quite healthy.
Still from Topshop, another old favourite, is the matte Lip Crayon in Coy. I just LOVE this shade and surprisingly, it looks nice even on my still pale skin. Not to mention the fact that it lasts until forever and beyond. 
I'm just sad that Topshop didn't come out with a wider range of colours for these Lip Crayons, as the deep fuchsia and the Morticia red they have to offer, among others, are not really my thing. But keeping my fingers crossed that more shades are on their way!

And as promised, here's some swatches for you.

Golden Rose - Topshop Lip Bullet - Topshop Lip Crayon swatches

Left to right: Golden Rose - Topshop Lip Bullet - Topshop Lip Crayon

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Saturday, March 15, 2014

The Weekend Face

I saw that you really liked my post last week of The Sunday Face so I figured I'd do this again. This time, it's a Saturday face, or really a general weekend face. Since I'm looking mildly healthier from repeated sun exposure over the past week, I'm going to be using even less make-up, but we still need to look presentable.

As you can see, I'm still not giving up the cheek tint, since it really gives you a lovely little pop of colour while looking very natural, but have switched to the Benefit Cha Cha Tint, because I'm less pale and more warm toned now.
Another thing I can't give up yet is concealer, this time, the pick is the Soap & Glory Kick Ass Concealer, about which I still have mixed feeling but am giving a couple more tries to be sure. Have you tried it? What do you think? I'll be reviewing it soon as well but I'm curious of your experiences.
What I always grab if I want a fast and pretty fix is my Inglot palette that you can see up close and personal Here. It has everything and it is immensely effective!
While I love the Rimmel Lycra Flex Mascara, on the more relaxed days, I will always grab my Eyeko Fat Mascara because well....I'll always love fiber mascara above all else.

Last but not least, what days SPRING IS HEREEEE! more than Barry M's Greenberry  polish? It has been a favourite since summer and you can see what it looks like on my nails in This post.

How's your face looking this weekend? And ladies, if there is sun where you are, enjoy it to the max!

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