30 January 2015

January empties

Dear readers,

The first month of the year has flown by and I have a bunch of empties to share with y'all:

Not exactly an empty product but I haven't enjoyed this eye brush by Frontcover so I'm getting rid of it. I hate trowing out stuff so I first tried using this for different purposes but it just isn't any good so why keep suffering?

Clarins Cleansing milk for combination or oily skin. It's not just this brand, I don't particularly like using cleansing milks at all but this one I got from my mum so I had to use it up.

Garnier bodytonic anti-cellulite gel. It's cheap, it works and I'll probably repurchase it in the future. I'll have to finish first the other two that I've got.

Macadamia Healing Oil Treatment. Amazing stuff, been using it for two years now and I'm not trying out anything else, I love it. This one came in a Best of Macadamia luxe trial pack that I ordered off Look Fantastic.

Black nail polish by Deborah Milano. Great pigmentation, opaque in only 1 coat and doesn't chip for ages. I've had it for over 8 years and it hadn't dried out, nothing left in the bottle, though... I'd repurchase this again if they are still selling it.

Some random samples. The one I didn't like at all was the Korres white tea fluid gel cleanser, I found that I had to use a lot of product and it wouldn't foam up. The Bioré cleansing wipes are very convenient to carry in your purse as they don't take up much space. I bought them in Tokyo so I don't know were to get them know. The Le Premium Skin moisturizer by Biotech had a manly scent to it that I particularly enjoyed and I felt it helped keep my skin matte throughout the day.

Another not empty but disposable item: the Written in the Stars eye shadow palette by Stila. I was lucky to not have paid full price for this palette as it sucks, sorry for the harsh words but that's how I really feel about it.

Serum Vegetal by Yves Rocher: I like using this on special occasions and I can get two uses out of one ampoule. It's supposed to tighten your skin and reduce the appearance of lines and wrinkles while adding some brightness.

I finally used up a deluxe sample size Boi-ing concealer by Benefit in 01 light that came in the Confessions of a Concealaholic palette that was my first ever Benefit purchase. I didn't care for the eye bright or the lemon aid so I threw them away. I have no pictures of these as I depotted them into a Z-Palette.

See u next month, lovelies.


28 January 2015

Perfect pairs #1: Rimmel Stay Matte + Real Techniques sponge

Dear readers,

I wasn't much a fan of the Stay Matte long lasting pressed powder by Rimmel until I started applying it with my Real Techniques Miracle Complexion sponge.

Usually I like applying my setting powder with a big, fluffy powder brush but my favourite one was still damp from cleansing it the previous night so I reached for my RT sponge instead.

I can't say this idea was entirely mine as I've watched Kandee Johnson using the Beauty Blender for applying powder products time and again.

I was pleasantly surprised to see an improvement right from the start. When applying this powder with a brush my skin looks cakey and the powder sets into my fine lines and wrinkles but with the damp sponge it just sets my make up leaving my skin looking flawless and matte for quite a while considering I have very oily skin and huge pores.

About the RT sponge I prefer it over the BB, you can read more about it here.

What's your perfect pair that you can't live without?

26 January 2015

My weekend in wines #2

Dear readers,

We've had a very lovely weekend with clear skies and warm temperatures, perfect for having a barbecue at our friends' house.

Not warm enough to be using the swimming pool but hey, the summer is just around the corner.

The wines were a very special gift from some other friends who couldn't be with us for the tasting. They are all wines from the Spanish Rioja region and are limited edition.  The labels were designed by famous Spanish fashion designers. Elio Berhanyer, Devota & Lomba, Agatha Ruiz de la Prada and Antonio Pernas.

Luis Cañas Reserva 1997. Reserva means that the wine has been left in the barrel for at least 12 months and in the bottle for at least 2 years. They are usually in good drinking condition within the next 10 years or at least that's what I've been told. For the record: I'm not an expert in wines, I've just began learning and tasting a few years ago so I apologize if what I'm saying doesn't make any sense.

Solagüen Reserva 1996. This one was our favourite of the lot. The colour of the wine was more orange and there was some serious sediment so I thought it had totally peaked but I was wrong. It even got better after a while and was very round in the mouth, it still had a full-on flavour.

Valserrano Crianza 2000. Crianza wines are a tad younger than the Reserva ones, they need to be left to mature 12 months in the barrel and another 12 in the bottle. I was told that crianza wines are to be consumed within the following 5 years but I was told differently by the host, who is a winery owner BTW.  Just common sense tells me that if Reserva and Crianza wines are left to mature in the barrel for the same amount of time this will not give them a different peaking time. Or am I wrong? Leave me a comment with your thoughts on this.

And the last wine we tasted that day was the Viña Lur Crianza 1999:

Only 3 corks survived the uncorking, curiously enough we all loved the one wine which cork hadn't survived.

For my previous "weekend in wines" post click here.

How about you, are you a wine lover?

23 January 2015

New York wish list

Dear readers,

A friend of mine is on her way to New York right now. She had been dreaming for ages to someday be able to visit the city that never sleeps and finally she decided she didn't want to wait any longer and planned her travel just two days before leaving. Good for you, Julie!

After telling me she was going to NYC for her birthday she immediately asked if I had any beauty items I wanted her to get for me. My friends are the best :)

I only had a free afternoon to browse through the Sephora website and these are a few items that caught my eye:

As I already have an eyeshadow palette by Tarte from one of their 2013 holiday collection and I got the Benefit Cheeky Sweet Spot blusher palette a few months ago, I discarded the first two palettes. About the Hourglass set I decided against it as I don't use primers that often and I didn't particularly love the shade of the lip gloss.

I'm not much of an eyeliner user so I thought about getting the OCC lip tar set instead, but then I'm always in a rush applying my lip colour on the go: in the elevator or in the car... I know, not the most safest way to be driving but that's the way I roll. So I ended up thinking that having to apply a lip product with a brush and needing to pay attention while doing it would not be the best idea in my particular case.

I've been lusting over the Hourglass palette for over a year now but as I couldn't get my hands on it I ended up purchasing the Mary Lou Manizer by The Balm and Soft & Gentle by MAC instead. I surely have no need of more luminizers for a while, don't you think? The next two sets are just for drooling purposes as I don't see myself spending that kind of money for some lip products even if they are the greatest in the history of the world.

So I finally made my choice an the winner is... ta-ta-ra-ra the Kiss & Belle Lipsurgence lip set by Tarte for 34$.

As you may have read in my last mini haul post I'm going through a lippy-obsessed phase and this seemed like the most perfect bargain buy of the month. Let's wait and see.

BTW, Tarte is not sold in Spain yet so this is a very coveted brand for me.

What are your lust products at the moment? Share the love.

21 January 2015

Mini haul: L'Óreal, NYX & Olay

Dear readers,

I'm currently going through a lippie hoarding phase. Previously, I was happy with just putting on some lip balm or my one all-round lip gloss, not paying much attention to using brighter shades during the warmer months and berry or warmer red tones in the fall and winter.

I already purchased a few lip products when in London, you can read about it here. But I'm very much liking the matte trend that's going on for a while now and a trip to my local drugstore was long overdue.

I first got a black nail polish as my old one has dried out and this one was only 3€. I like the formula of the L'Óreal Color Riche nail polishes, this one is in 702 Black Swan. I also love the brush as it has a rounded tip that makes application extremely easy. The formula in this shade is a bit sheer so you'll need 3 coats or 2 thicker ones to achieve a complete dark black.

The L'Óreal Color Riche Extraordinaire lip glosses are so expensive for being drugstore that when I saw this one lying in a basket at the counter for only 3€ I couldn't help but get it. Although not matte at all 204 Tangerine Sonate is a gorgeous bright orange that will be much worn in the Spring.

I was also in the market for a new serum as the one I got in my summer Sephora haul is not going to last me much longer. Before heading to the drugstore I was watching Amelia Liana on YouTube and she was just mentioning how much she loved this Olay Regenerist Luminous serum so I grabbed it. It's sold at 30€ for a 40ml bottle.

And now for the matte part of the post. I went straight to the NYX display as I enjoy the texture of their lip products. I also love that they are so reasonably priced, they are usually sold at less than 7€.

From left to right: soft matte lip cream in 09 Abu Dhabi for 6,49€, lipliner pencil in 804 Cabaret for 3,49€ and matte lipstick in 12 Sierra for 6,49€.

As for the swatches:

The L'Óreal Color Riche Extraordinaire in 204 Tangerine Sonate. Very glossy but opaque and hydrating, it feels comfortable on the lips, very balmy so not sticky at all, and it has a fresh fruity scent to it.

If you haven't tried the NYX soft matte lip cream you're up for a surprise. I can't even describe the feeling it leaves on the lips, it's nothing that I've ever come across. It doesn't feel hydrating nor drying, it just seems like you have bare lips. I'm definitely going back for more shades.

NYX lip liner pencil in Cabaret on its own.

NYX matte lipstick in 12 Sierra on its own.

And this one is when you combine both: the lip liner and lipstick on top to create the perfect Marsala shade that has been chosen the Pantone colour of 2015.

I'm sorry if it comes out more berry-toned in the picture but I asure you it's dead on Marsala in real life. 

You can click here to read my previous post featuring my Marsala painted living room.

And how are you liking this shade? Comment below on your favourite Marsala toned items.

19 January 2015

Pantone 2015: Marsala

Dear readers,

A few weeks before the Pantone for 2015 was chosen I had my apartment painted. For the living room I chose a wine red shade with purple undertones, you'll have to excuse my inability to properly describe any colour outside the basic ones.

When I read about the Marsala shade having been chosen the colour of the year I was surprised to see how similar it was to the one I'd gone for.

I tried taking several pictures in different lighting and filters but my camera isn't good enough for this and I'm not very much into editing tools so this is what I ended up with.

All the pictures below haven't been edited just to give you an idea of the real deal as the filter I applied to the picture above makes the colour look more orange than it actually is.

I like having some kind of contrast in colours so I had this room painted half in the Marsala shade and half in white. It's also a good way to delimit the use for a big open space when you're using it for different purposes. In my case the living area is painted in Marsala and the dining area, in white.

This wooden bench was a present from my mum and her boyfriend a few years ago but we had a huge corner couch before and it didn't fit so it was left in the balcony until recently.

The bench didn't come with the cushion so I asked an upholsterer to make one for me, I picked out the fabric and I'm quite happy with the result. I was looking for a contrast in both colour and theme.

This couch just came in this Tuesday and it folds open so that you could be in a lying position in front of the telly, yes I'm that lazy a person...

I still have to finish some details such as putting up my curtains, add a coffee table as the one we have now is an old plain white one from IKEA and I'm still not sure what I'd like to hang on the walls so I'll leave them bare for the moment being.

As for beauty products I found the perfect Marsala lip shade so come back on Wednesday to read all about that.

16 January 2015

The Versatile Blogger Award

Dear readers,

What a better way to start off this blogging year than being nominated for an award. A big shoutout to the lovely Kathryn from Nimble Note. Thank you girl, you've made my year :)

As for the rules, they're always quite simple:
  • Show the Award on your blog
  • Thank the blogger who nominated you
  • Share 7 facts about yourself
  • Nominate 15 blogs
  • Link to your nominees and notify them
About me:
  1. I'm no make up artist, in fact I started using make up very late in life.
  2. My nail polish collection has grown 1000% since I started blogging.
  3. I've redecorated my whole home just to take prettier pictures for my blog.
  4. Blogging has helped me be more focused and organized in my personal life.
  5. I own the IKEA Alex units like every other beauty blogger out there.
  6. I HAD to get a wifi camera and I still don't know how to use it.
  7. My New Year's resolution is to blog 3 times a week instead of 2.
My nominees are:
  1. Angela from Cuddles & Cartoons
  2. Carey from Little Free Closet
  3. Grace from Lovejunkii Boutique
  4. Jordan from Keep Dreaming
  5. Sarah from Sarah Smiles
  6. Laura from Cherry Soda
  7. Cat from Big Blonde Girl
  8. Victoria from Makeup Mayhem
  9. Aimee from Aimee Belle
  10. Kirsty from Geelong Fashionista
  11. Rosie from A Red Lip and a Nude Shoe
  12. Fleur from Wishes and Tea
  13. Phoebe from Geek Chic Notes
  14. Iman from Manigazer
  15. Robyn from Robyn Rants & Raves
Congratulations ladies,  I hope to hear from you soon as I'd love to get to know you better.

For the love of making blogger friends,

14 January 2015

Lush sales haul

Dear readers,

Practice makes perfect, at least that's what they say... This is my second sales purchase at LUSH cosmetics. You can read about my first experience here.

So last year I was lured into getting the hugest box they had that was sold at 100€ (reduced from 200€): the WOW box. It was filled with 30 different items, most of them bath and shower related and limited edition.

This year I was better prepared. I didn't care much for the solid soaps, it's not just this brand, I don't particularly enjoy any kind of soap bar. So I thought I had to concentrate my efforts into getting the perfect bath related box, as those items I enjoy the most. I first fell in love with their bath bombs and, after trying out their bath ballistics and bath melts I'm sold. 

As I was browsing their web site I couldn't decide which box to order and I asked the hubby for advice and he came with the most fantastic idea: why settling for one when I could get 2, yay !

So I ordered this one called Jingle Bells that contains 6 bath products for 20,97€.

And the Santa Claus is coming to Town box that contains 5 bath products, a soap bar and 2 shower gels for 24,98€.

Of course they also threw in some samples: one of their face masks: Oatifix; two shampoos and a cleanser.

Their shipping fee is pretty reasonable at 4,63€ so I ended up paying 51,55€ for a tonne of bath enjoyment that I'm sure is going to last me for a very long time. I'd love to take baths more often if it were not for those annoying envelopes that keep coming uninvited through the post containing invoices :(

What are your LUSH favorites? If you haven't tried anything by LUSH, what are you waiting for?

12 January 2015

Favourite blogs of 2014

Dear readers,

This past year I've been enjoying reading and following certain blogs from my Bloglovin feed.

As soon as I noticed that I was drawn towards the same blogs over and over again I made a list so I wouldn't forget to share them with you.

Being a beauty blogger myself I usually gravitate towards beauty related posts but I also like to get inspiration from all kinds of blogs. I have to say that I enjoy posts about blogging tips the most. I'm still a novice blogger so those posts are extremely helpful for improving both my blog and my blogging skills.

This post is a way to thank the blogger behind the scenes for sharing their knowledge with the rest of us. I've learned a lot of new things in 2014 and I can't wait to learn some more and grow as a person and as a blogger so that my readers will find my posts as interesting and inspiring as I find yours.

image take from weheartit

So here's a short list of my most visited blogs during 2014:

Which are your favourite blogs to read? Please share the   

9 January 2015

Renunail nail strenghthener

Dear readers,

In November I wrote about the first freebie I had received from the Look Fantastic team and I promised you a review; not that I was required or asked to do so.
The set came with this nail strengthener, a hand cream and a glass file.

I've only tried the strengthener as I'm pretty covered in the hand cream department at the moment and I don't ever file my nails, instead I cut them.

It was great being able to try this out as I have very soft, brittle nails and they have been breaking and splitting a lot lately, that's why I'm always wearing them this short. I hated that I wouldn't be able to have them longer and prettier for Christmas, but you have to work with what you've got.

Way of use:

On the first day you have to apply two coats. During the next 5 days you only need to put one coat on top. On the 7th day you repeat the process: you take it all off and start with 2 coats and then add 1 coat per day. You repeat the process once more; so 3 weeks in total and then you're supposed to be left with stronger nails.

My thoughts:
  • The scent is awful, much worse than regular nail polish.
  • It's a bit of a thick consistency and takes ages to dry, especially when you apply two coats.
  • I haven't noticed any improvement in my nail texture, what is more one nail broke off right after finishing the treatment.
  • It's too big a commitment not being able to use colored nail polishes for 3 weeks in a row.
  • Maybe I'll give it another try and see if a second chance works better but I have no high hopes.

One product I have been enjoying very much is this China Glaze Orange Cuticle Oil. It adds an extra boost of hydration to the cuticle area especially around this time of year when my hands feel very dry.

For the love of healthy nails,