Kiko

February empties

imageHello beauties,

Are you ready for spring? Are you ready for a new stage in your existence? I propose to you a deal – try at least 5 minutes every day to practice gratitude for what you have, for the people around you and for what you are. Spring might help you do that, out with the old, in with the new.

Now, let’s see what we are leaving behind in February and what are we to keep for the future.

Body:

  • Bulgari Omnia Ametiste EDT – I wanted only to mention this fragrance as Omnia perfumes were one of my favorites (and still are) from Bulgari and I’m sorry to let this one go as I have enjoyed every scented drop. If you have not tried it maybe it’s time you should.
  • Dove Pomegranate & Lemon Verbena scent antiperspirant – when looking for a drugstore antiperspirant that will not cause you itches and irritations (see an example here) you might take this one into consideration.

Hair:

  • Artego Easy Care Magic Color shampoo – because I liked Artego’s Root Lifter, a couple of months ago I’ve decided to buy this shampoo for a smart maintenance of my blonde hair. It was a little bit disappointing as I felt my hair became a little dry after using this shampoo; actually not only the hair but also the scalp and so begun a period during which I started looking for solutions against a problem I have never faced before. So this is a product I would actually not recommend and will not repurchase.
  • MoroccanOil Restorative Hair Mask – this mask is a product that I absolutely love and has saved my hair from the first moemnt. When I have bought the full size product, the merchant also send me this smaller size tube that I have emptied first. You can read the full review of the product here.

Face:

  • Nivea 3 in 1 Micelar Cleaning Water – somehow I’m sorry I did not make a full review of this product as I believe it is a decent micelar water (alongside Bioderma and L’Oreal): it is apparently a well formulated product (fragrance free, it does not irritate the skin nor cause any outbreaks and it does nor dry the skin) that can do a decent cleaning job (but I would not recommend it as a sole method of cleaning the makeup and other things that remain on your skin but to combine it with a cleansing milk or a cleaning face wash or – better – both). Overall, thumbs up.
  • Clinique Repairwear Laser Focus wrinkle correcting eye cream – this was one of the big samples I was telling you about here and I got the chance of using it over a course of two weeks (during which I’ve applied it generously, otherwise it would have lasted longer). Both sample and full sized product come in jars (which is a con); it is a rich moisturizing cream that promises a lot – it does deliver a de-puffed eye area (if your problems are not congenital), a skin more firm and faded wrinkles. If this cream will be sold in a tube I would buy it in a blink. Otherwise it was a nice try.
  • Clinique Repairwear Uplifting Firming cream -another Clinique sample, another happy try (and just that). Another rich, moisturizing product from Clinique that does an incredible job, it’s fragrance free like all of their products but also comes packed in a jar that make this a total waste of money. Such a pity.

Makeup:

  • KIKO Skin Tone Corrector Primer – Definitely this will be a repurchase, first occasion comes, because it is a good product at a fair price. For a full review click here.

Until the next time, wear red lipstick and glitter all the way:-)

January empties

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Hello beauties,

You may have noticed that against all odds this January has been a busy month and for me it was at some point some extraordinary stress to accompany that. I believe this to be a warning signal for us to adapt to life’s new rhythm and take it easy especially when it seems impossible to do so.

Within this first month of 2015 there was a suspect number of products that came close to being part of this post so probably in February we’ll have a lot to talk about. But in this post I’e decided to include some products that were included as samples when purchased with other products from the same brand.

Nails:

  • Farmec Top Coat – not the first time to say it, but I like to say it anyway: this brand holds one or Romanian’s best products sold at a fair price. Their nail polishes found in stores and supermarkets are in a limited color gamma and their online store is only a bit better, nevertheless, with a few exceptions, I’m a mindless buyer when it comes to their products

Hair:

  • MorrocanOil Repair Conditioner – at the beginning of last year I started coloring my hair and, because I’m a natural blonde, going blonde all the way it seemed the right move for me to do. With blonde hair comes responsibility of constant caring for your locks, so this is how I started my love affair with Morrocanoil,  a brand that right now I would recommend without a flick. Conditioner it is a must in the beauty ritual and if you want to find out more, click here for the full review of this product.

Face:

  • KIKO Hydrating Mask – for the moment I’ve ended all KIKO masks that I had and until a new order from their online store or a visit to a country where their stores are like Starbucks I’m going to make a short break from their skincare products. The masks are very nice and have really sassy fragrances but currently my skin deserves more attention on the sensitive side. To make them justice click here for the full review.
  • Nivea Pure & Natural face cream – generally, I like Nivea’s products but this face cream was a total disappointment. In my defense, I was not the one to buy it, but my boyfriend bought it for me as an emergency measure for crashing at his place without any baggage. Lesson was learned, next time I will be more specific but I would not recommend this product further considering two major points: the fragrance was too much my skin could handle and the moisturizing effect was close to non-existent for the dry parts of my skin.
  • Clinique Repairwear Laser Focus -I spoke briefly about this serum here, but in the meantime I’ve started actually using it (for a couple of weeks, only in the evening) and really liked it as it felt an efficient addition to moisturizing process and I would want to try this product in full size.

Makeup:

  • Urban Decay Anti-aging Eyeshadow Primer Potion – this sample was part of my Naked 3 palette (see here the experience). I’ve used all this sample for the New Year’s Eve party makeup and if it wasn’t for such experience this sample would have been sufficient for two makeup looks. It didn’t make all the  wrinkles disappear but it lasted better than any of my other primers. Bottom line, when I came home in the morning my makeup was flawless and this product made it on my wishlist.
  • ELF Daily Brush Cleaner – another brand that I like, because you can find very good products at decent price. This product is a decent brush cleaner that will not ruin your wallet and is a good alternative for a quick sanitation of these utensils that we love so much. Click here for the full review.

Until the next time, wear red lipstick and glitter all the way:-)

My makeup brushes collection

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Hello beauties,

I do not consider myself to be a makeup expert but just a make-up aficionado and an average consumer and this experience I’m talking about in the blog. And because for 10 months now I’ve been writing about makeup at least half of the time, I considered to be a logic post a small talk about brushes, because I want this post to be a milestone for me in this evolution as I’m trying to stir my direction to a smart shopper aka buy only quality and essentials.

Like most of you I’ve learned a lot from YouTube and Pinterest as main sources of makeup education. I have never attended a specialty course although it would have been nice, it was never a priority for me. But after a year of dissipate learning, I consider my brushes collection to be almost sufficient for every day use and I will go through every brand and type of brush below:

  • Real Techniques – considering these brand’s brushes are make the top 10 must-haves due to Internet hype, I’ve decided to be a norm core and buy a sample ( wink:)).One of my friends (the makeup artist that I told you about) told me that at their makeup school they recommend these brushes for a starter’s kit. Overall, I have not been disappointed and the brushes live up to the expectation as they are very easy to use, do not lose bristles, you can achieve fine results with them. So, my brushes include:
    • Core Collection, meaning a detail brush, a foundation brush, a buffing brush and a contour brush; all of them are lovely but the foundation brush I’ve been using for applying powder on the under-eye area as for me it seemed too small for other tasks and the detail brush it’s mostly used for filling brows, if you are looking for a more diffused result.
    • Starter Collection which contains a base shadow brush, a crease brush, accent brush, pixel point eyeliner brush and brow brush; out of these, special mentions for: the shadow brush, which can be successfully used for blending and the angled brow brush, which unfortunately I’m not a fan (too large or long for that matter, and the bristles not so stiff for brows or for other purposes, like soft eyelining)
    • Stippling brush – this is an absolute love this one, with just the right size and soft bristles; after I’ve bought it, all I could do was stipple all the way and I could not get enough of it. I would have loved if they could make a smaller version of it for other cream products.
    • Lash Brow groomer brush – nothing special about this brush, it comes on the functional side.
  • Melkior – when I saw their brushes in the store I fell in love, but now after some time of using them I’m not that smitten up anymore – don’t get me wrong, they are not bad brushes but I could probably used the money for other purpose. I have from Melkior:
    • medium contoured angled brush – I’ve been using this brush for contouring or powder blush application; it is a nice brush but over the months it’s shape has started to blur
    • corrector brush – with it’s long bristles you can achieve miracles in covering all of those spots or dark circles but if you are not handy, you cannot achieve only using this brush that soft blended effect. Due to shape one can probably use it for foundation also.
  • No.7 – this is my first brush set (apart from some failures from Avon, that I don’t want to mention or the classic sponge applicators that we all first used for shadows) and I’ve been using it for over 5 years continuously;  it is one of those cheap synthetic sets that it is still there part of your memories (a first it’s always a first in terms of makeup) and because it’s still functional. The brushes are:
    • powder brush – currently using it for powder pearls for a diffused result
    • eyeshadow brush – it is one of the brushes most frequently used by me
    • brow groomer brush – this brush will soon depart my collection, as it has started losing it’s bristles
    • lip brush – I’ve used it a couple of times but it’s not a precision brush
  • E.L.F. – as one of the cheap brands that deliver result, ELF had to be present with makeup brushes and after using (some of them) for almost two years, I consider them (some) to be a good starting point or a decent acquisition if you don’t want to invest that much in makeup brushes:
    • Essential foundation brush – a synthetic brush for liquid or cream foundation; I have used it with all kind of brands and it is a decent brush. You can even use it for primers and concealers
    • eyeliner brush -can be used for a fine flick but also for obtaining a classic cat eye look; as I sayd, not bad for starting point.
    • Essential blending eye brush – it’s a fluffy synthetic brush that you can use for an easy blending of the colors; I would not use this brush for a pretentious composition or for very pigmented colors as it does not have stiffness for a professional result, but for a simple makeup it would do.
    • Essential defining eye brush – an angled brush that I’ve used it for eye crease but mainly for highlighting the area under the brow; I’ve noticed that over the time it started losing it’s shape
    • Essential Smudge brush – the producer says it can be used for smokey eyes shadow application but the bristles are a little too soft for smudging and can result in lose color on the under eye area so better to use it with simple eye shadows
    • eye contour brush – a little bit large for details but it can be used for blending soft lines
  • Eco Tools – I started buying these brushes after reading a lot of positive reviews and until now I am pleased with my acquisitions and am considering into buying more of their collection. Until now I have:
    • powder brush – a soft brush that mimics natural hair bristles, easy to use and like any other Eco Tools brush is easy to wash and does not lose it’s shape. I’ve had mine for more than 6 months and it looks like new
    • Face&Body contour brush – this is a controversial brush with soft bristles that helps you easily an effortless  contour; although I have used it only with bronzers, I understand it is also perfect for self tanning lotions
  • Kiko – a compact travel set brush that I totally love. I have used them both for weekend getaways and for longer holidays, they are easy to wash, compact for a minimum luggage, adaptable for any kind of usual makeup (day or evening). The set contains 5 brushes, 1 mono and 4 duo, as follows:
    • Face 500 – face brush for blush or bronzer
    • Face 501 duo – for concealers and other cream products
    • Eyes&Lips duo 502 – one tip for eyeliner and crayon blending and the other, a lip brush; the eyeliner tip is one of my favorite brushes so far
    • Eyes duo 503 – two eye brushed for powder shadow application and blending
    • Eyes duo 504 – a brush with synthetic-bristle tip and the other tip with a sponge, both for applying and blending loose, compact or cream eye-shadows
  • Sephora Collection – these brushes are veterans in my makeup set but they look almost new and considering our long history together were worth every penny. Currently I still have:
    • retractable powder brush – I’ve been having this brush for almost 10 years (true story!) and has been a faithful makeup partner: apart from losing some of it’s softness, it has lost almost none of it’s synthetic bristles and it’s in a very shape. Since I’ve increased my collection over the years, this brush is in my purse or in the travel set
    • concealer brush –  looks like new after all these years but apart from cream&liquid concealer I’ve used this brush also for eye shadow application (and it has been a better destination for it)
    • Duo ended brush – has a tip for eye shadow application and a tip with a smudge brush; the first one is a decent brush that has successfully seen all kinds of colors and application techniques and the smudge brush is not a revelation, it’s a little bit harsh on the skin and does not buff very well but I generally used it with strong colors and made the most of it.
  • Barbara Hofmann – I only found this brand in Douglas stores, it was an impulsive buy, but I never regretted it as I discovered (again) that the Germans do it better (cheaper and a good quality)
    • blending brush – it does not look like a classic blending brush but more like an angled crease brush; the handle is made of wood and the bristles are very soft and does a good job at blending shimmering colors; it’s easy to was and has not lost it’s shape (for almost a year now)
  • MAC – it is my cherry on top of the cake but this is the direction I intend to extend my collection
    • 239 Eye Shading Brush – as most of you know, this is among the top 5 or top 10 MAC brushes must have as it can be used every day for eye-shadow application and color building up; it has the perfect size for the lid, due to white bristles you can see how much product you picked up but this is the same reason it can be more pretentious at cleaning (you never pay to much attention at a brush with black bristles, right?).

This must be the longest post I’ve ever done but I hope it turned pleasant for you. Let me know if you liked this kind of discussion or if you have any suggestions for me with a small comment below.

Until the next time, wear red lipstick and glitter all the way:-)

May empties

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I can’t believe we are almost done with May and summer will be officially here.

If you ask me some of the products from this month’s empties list  I’m really glad that I’m done with. So:

Makeup – it’s a short list as I have been quite lazy in this aspect, buying more than using:
Peggy Sage concealer – I never got to review this concealer and maybe it’s better I did not. The color was not a perfect match and the consistency was a little bit watery. It didn’t really conceal anything, it only gave a funky coloration to the skin. I don’t want to repeat this experience again.
Bourjois Volume Glamor Max Definition mascara – at first I liked this mascara. But then it got flacky after a couple of hours of wearing it. And after three months it got a funky smell and I refused to wear it any longer. And this mascara is also surprisingly difficult to remove. For me, it was a fail.

Face products – the list is a mix of the good, the bad and the ugly:
Galenic micellar water (review: here) – I am determined to try some more Galenic products an their micellar water remains for me one of the most effective currently on the market.
Avene Antirougeurs Jour – I’ve used this product in seeking complementary products for my rosaceea. Also was approved by my dermathologist. I’m sorry to say that it didn’t have a visible effect on my condition and as a moisturizer, this is a poor product. After finishing this, I tried Rosaliac ( not the whole product but one week sample received at the local pharmacy) but also I was not convinced by the texture and efficiency.
KIKO Purifying Mask (review: here) – if you haven’t already tried their products just go get some as they are amazingly well formulated.
Farmec Aslavital Instant Lift intense repair serum – I’m a big fan of this local cosmetics brand as they are up to their promises and this product it is no different nonetheless. Applied each evening before the night cream, it makes your fine lines go away or diminish. The effects are quite long-lasting and I would buy this again when I will get the chance.

Hair&body:
Klorane dry shampoo (review: here) – it is without any doubt one of the best and currently my favorite.
Dove purely pampering (review: here) – I’m so glad this product is over as it was the first time in my life when I was trying to take a shower holding my breath. Literally. Instead I’ve bought a soap bar also from Dove that has been quite pleasant.
Eucerin PH5 Hand Cream – here, the travel-size version: nice hand-cream, very effective, pleasant smell. I think you should give it a try.
La Roche Posay Cicaplast (review: here) – very good cream; doe make a small difference in the scars appearance. And no, it’s not a substitute for laser.
Natura Ekos Pitanga perfume – if you travel to South America you might want to try Natura’s products, which is one of the local leading cosmetics companies. This perfume smells very exotic, very fresh and sexy and impressively long lasting.
– Other products: Tania shampoo (this is a cheap shampoo that I’ve been using in the last couple of weeks for thorough makeup brushes cleaning), polish remover (bought from Auchan, quite ok), Herbosophy intimate washing lotion,

What were your May empties?

Until the next time, wear red lipstick and glitter all the way:-)

Eyebrows make-up – the ugly, the good, the bad

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Hello, ladies!

I know this is not a new subject for some of you but I’ve noticed that this step in any kind of makeup is usually forgot or left behind although eyebrows can dramatically change the way you look. If you have naturally light or sparse eyebrows or you did too much tweezing,this would be a solution for a better eyebrow appearance.

First, I would recommend shaping your eyebrows. If you are not sure at what you are doing with the tweezers, better call for professional help.

Then, as far as the filling and drawing goes, there are many ways, but I will underline only the easiest and the ones that you can apply at home:

  • eyebrows powders – use shades close to your brow color and apply them using a brush (angled brush or you can even use a detailer brush). If you are a beginner you can use the Eyebrow Kit from ELF, which is a duo combination of eyebrow gel and powder.  The pigmented gel can be used to define the eyebrow and the powder will be used to set the color and fill the gaps.
  • eyebrows pencils – if the gel and the powder seems too complicated, or you are running out of time, you can always use the pencils. Look for pencils with smooth and soft texture and bear in mind that the pencils’ colors are always more powerful than the ones from eyebrow powders. As a starter, I’m currently using this pencil from Flormar as it does a decent job.
  • eyebrow gels – for a more nude / natural look you can apply this gels, that look like mascara. They  come in different shades and also can be clear. My favorite is this gel mascara from KIKO Cosmetics.

Tell me if you liked this kind of post by leaving your comment bellow.

Until next time, wear red lipstick and glitter all the way:-)

KIKO face masks

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It is not the first time that I’m reviewing KIKO products. Apart from their nice makeup, they also have great ones for skincare and this is why I’ve decided to talk to you about two of their  facial masks: hydrating and purifying.

I chose these two masks specifically because I always like my face to be hydrated, clean and soft and I’ve figured that I can use these masks on a weekly basis alternating them.

The packaging is really nice colored, the 55 ml pot is made from plastic, very similar with toothpaste, which makes the application very easy.

KIKO Hydrating Mask has a very smooth texture, close to the cold cream with a very delicate smell. I’ve noticed that after using this mask my skin feels very silky and fresh in the same time.

KIKO Purifying Mask seems quite muddy as texture but for oily skin that looks tired and congested it does wonders. Also it has a slight matifying effect.

Overall, these two products do not perform wonders but are good nevertheless and I will acquire them whenever I will have the chance.

Have you tried any of the KIKO’s face masks?

Until the next time, wear red lipstick and glitter all the way:-)

KIKO Skin Tone Corrector Primer

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I am a big fan of KIKO Cosmetics. I’ve discovered this brand a couple of years ago while working in Milan,  as it is very popular among young Italian beauties. And as a self declared makeup freak that I am I started trying their products and until now I’ve been very pleased with what I’ve  bought from their stores.

By now you already know that I use makeup every working day of the week and if I’m using a liquid foundation I always use primers. And because today I’m going to talk about KIKO, I’ve chose their glorious Peach Skin Tone Corrector Primer.

This is my second Skin Tone Corrector Primer from KIKO. The first one was the Green one, an experience that excited me and made me want to try more. This primer is mainly a hypoallergenic skin tone concealer, the color addressing a particular need. The Peach shade is ideal for all skin tones that would like to find the “healthy skin” effect. In terms of price it is reasonable (about 12 EUR) and in terms of quality it’s quite competitive.

Pros:

  • your skin really takes that youthful glow – sometimes I’m tempted to use it as a standalone product or as a highlighter.
  • it’s a light primer but it does hold the makeup really well in the course of a working day
  • it comes with a tight air pump that will give you a right product dosage
  • it corrects the appearance of your pores, not so much as the silicone enriched products but enough for a skin that will be covered with foundation or at least a BB cream
  • it is absorbed quickly into the skin
  • at this price , what are you talking about?

Cons:

  • not very resistant if the weather is not skin-happy or you intend to use it for a long sweaty clubbing night.
  • if your skin is irritated, do not use it as it has a pleasant perfume that might increase the redness.

My rating: 8/10 as it is a good product that checks a lot of categories. Would I repurchase this product? The Peach shade maybe. The Green shade – anytime.

Until next time, wear red lipstick and glitter all the way:-)