30 January 2016

January Yays & Nays

Dear readers,

It's a beautiful day outside so I'm going to keep this short and sweet, although I always have so many things I want to share with y'all...

As usual I'll start with this months Nays, you know I like to end my posts on a positive note.
January Nays
Yves Rocher Comme une Evidence Body Lotion.
This was one of my favourite scents back in the day. I repurchased the shower gel, deodorant and body lotion but they must have reformulated it as they doesn't smell near as good as they did before.

Ultrabland Facial Cleanser by LUSH cosmetics.
So many people raved about this product that I had to try it out. It's not for me, though. My skins pretty oily even during the winter and this oily cream leaves an unwelcome greasy residue that is hard to remove even when using a foam up cleanser afterwards.

MAC Paint Pot in Soft Ochre. 
It actually sort of worked as an eye primer for a little while but for some reason it soon changed consistency and made my lids appear more crinkled and my fine lines and pores more visible. I'll be taking this Back to MAC with some other empties.

Cargo glitter eye pencil set.
I got these at Sephora a long time ago for only 10€ and I've been using them from time to time but I'm over glittery eye looks and these are quite old so I'm getting rid of them. I like the formula so I'm not saying I wouldn't purchase some regular eyeliners by Cargo cosmetics.

Lise Watier Base Miracle Pore Minimizing Primer.
This wasn't pore minimizing by any means and I didn't notice any improvement in the way my foundation looked throughout the day.

Posie Tint by Benefit.
This sample size lip and cheek stain came as a freebie with a magazine I got in London during my last visit in December 2014. It's bubblegum pink, a shade that doesn't suit me at all. I also found out that cream products don't work out so well on my oily skin.
January Yays
Odacité Pure Elements Wild Carrot Serum Concentrate.
I prefered using this nourishing oil mixed in with my night cream. I especially liked it's herbal scent, it helped me relax at the end of the day.

Maple Holistics Vitamin C Anti Aging Serum.
It's such good value that I'll definitely repurchase this again in the near future. At first it feels a bit sticky but give it a few seconds to absorb and it'll leave your skin silky smooth.

Anti Cellulite Micro Actif by Roc.
I already have a second tube waiting as I got a good deal on them. I use this every night on my problem area: my thighs. Not that I've noticed a huge difference with the other brands that I've tried but I don't have any complaints either.

Mary Kay Timewise moisture renewing gel mask.
This is one of the best hydrating masks I've tried. You can choose to rinse it off after 10 minutes or use it as a deep treatment and leave it on for a whole night. Your skin will feel replenished and plump the following morning.

Hair Skin Nails Plus by Simply Supplements.
I've always been interested in having healthy hair, skin and nails so I usually take some dietary supplements twice a year for about a month, month and a half. I honestly don't know if it makes a difference but I'll continue taking them just in case.

And now it's time to enjoy the weekend!

27 January 2016

Unexpected Lip Saviours: part 3

Dear readers,

I haven't been very fortunate with MAC products. I've only tried a few but I need to say that I'm not impressed. They appear to work for the majority of people out there but for some reason I haven't been able to enjoy them as much.
Unexpected Lip Saviours
The eye shadows don't last on my oily and hooded eyes, even using the prep+prime eye base or a paint pot underneath, they just crease and wear off during the first hour of wear.

I don't see any difference in using the Fix + mist although I enjoy it to freshen up my make up when I have to make it last through a whole day and night.

The only lipstick from MAC I've tried is the Berry Black Friday they were selling online that day and I already commented who awful I thought the formula was.

Even though these products have disappointed me in the past, I still think that MAC is a great brand with a huge variety of shades and products that work out for most people. And I don't really mind trying out different products and being unable to make them work, it's part of the process of finding the right product for you.

So the next product that I'm going to mention may come as a surprise as it's MAC Lustreglass.
MAC Lustreglass
I got this palette at the weirdest place: a town market. When I first started to wear and learn about make up (not that long ago), MAC was on every wish list I made. All the YouTube make up gurus where using MAC products for their tutorials and I wanted to be as professional as them and use what I considered one of the best brands out there.

My first purchase at MAC were some special edition brushes (yuk, I know, I know, I hadn't done any research) and my beloved Studio Fix powder. As I don't have a MAC store nearby I nearly screamed like a child when I saw this at a stall for only 10€. In fact, there where two of them and I almost got both, but I got hold of myself and left with just the one.

At first I didn't reach for this very often as it's not that convenient to apply, having to keep a lip brush on hand. After I run out of my beach lip gloss (yes, you read that right, I use a specific lip gloss when I go to the beach) I tried this instead and I was sold. The texture is very thick and long lasting but not overly sticky. It's the best hydrating lip gloss I've tried up to date, my lips feel super soft after using this.

I hope you've enjoyed reading about my lip problems. Let me know if you have a favourite lip product to share, below in the comments.

Check out my other two posts:
- Unexpected Lip Saviours part 1
- Unexpected Lip Saviours part 2

23 January 2016

Unexpected Lip Saviours: part 2

Dear readers,

In my last post I started talking about how dry my lips always are and how other blogger's must have products haven't really worked out that well for me, such as the Nuxe Rêve de Miel, for example.
When I finally dived into the interesting world of make up in my late 30´s I started out only using one or two products. Once I reached a certain level of confidence and being curious about those other products I gradually introduced them in my make up routine. Over the years I've now reached my final step: lip products.

Having such dry lips, in the beginning I only bothered applying some kind of lip balm or creamy lip gloss that wouldn't dry out my lips further. But the time came when I wanted to start wearing bolder lip colours so I slowly built up a lip collection. Over this past year, year and a half, I've learned which are my favourite formulas and what to look for in a lip product. I have some lipsticks that I reach more for than others and I've had quite a few misses. But that's part of the process and it doesn't mean that they're bad products only that they are not what I'm particularly interested in. 

I'm all for matte lipsticks at the moment. My lips are very pigmented so I tend to go for more opaque formulas plus I like my lip colour to last. My favourite two shades are by NYX: Whipped Caviar and Sierra. Curiously, being the same formula, Sierra is much creamier than Whipped Caviar, which is very dry and hard to apply.
Lush Full of Grace serum

Luckily, I remembered I still had a dice of Lush Full of Grace stored away somewhere. I had started using it as an overnight lip balm but I stopped using it as soon as I found out that Laura Mercier Eyedration moisture eye cream was doing an even better job at nourishing my lips.

I'd seen many YouTubers use some kind of lip balm at the beginning of their make up tutorials. So I copied this step by adding one or two swipes of the serum to my lower lip and pressing into my upper lip to distribute the product. I don't need to wipe off any excess product as it pretty much absorbs into the skin by the time I get to my lips. It has made applying drier lip formulas so much easier and it keeps my lips moisturized all day long.

The only think I don't like about the Too Faced Melted lipsticks is how drying they are on my lips. The formula is very opaque using the tiniest bit and it wears off leaving a nice stain behind, the applicator is a nobel prize invention but, when they entirely wear off I end up with the flakiest lips know to mankind. Using this serum as a lip primer has prevented this from happening.

Have you ever used a lip primer?

20 January 2016

Unexpected Lip Saviours: part 1

Dear readers,

Sometimes when a certain product doesn't work out in the way it's initially intended for I find that I can make it work for a different purpose. That's the case of 3 products that I've been enjoying using during the colder months. Let me tell you about the first one and don't forget to come back to read all about the other two.

In my case, I have very dehydrated lips, well, lower lip to be precise. I drink tons of water every day, I stay clear from soft drinks, I only take alcohol and coffee once in a while and I maybe have one or two cups of tea per day. But even by sticking to this regime I find myself having cracked lips all year round, not only during the winter time. The thing is, I have very oily skin on my face and normal on my body. I always properly moisturize my entire body but my legs don't feel any drier during the colder months. Why is it that my lips continue being so dry? Beats me!
Unexpected Lip Saviours
Last year I was in need of a new eye cream. I've always used Estée Lauder but I wanted to try a different brand. I read that Origins made a good one so I went online and ordered it from Strawberrynet. The Laura Mercier Eyedration Moisture Eye Cream was half price (23.50€) and I got and extra 15% off so I thought I might as well try two new eye creams. 

On their website it reads: This luxurious buttery crème formula hydrates, nourishes and soothes the delicate eye area. Mango Butter & Beet Root Extract help to prevent signs of aging by increasing moisture retention, while vitamins E & C protect against environmental stresses. Immediately eyes look refreshed, renewed, awakened, and less lined.
Laura Mercier Flawless Skin Eyedration Moisture Eye Cream
I can't even begin to describe the consistency of this product, it's not buttery at all. The only thing that comes to mind that could resemble this is shoe polish but even that is less thick than this eye paste. It won't even melt a tiny bit between your fingertips, I need to use a spatula to scrape the tiniest bit of product out.

Such a thick formula is very hard to blend and it takes ages to apply to the eye area so I started using it only at nighttime but, after a while even that was too much of a hassle.

But I'm not a quitter and I hate throwing away any products so, one night I came upon the idea to use it on my lips instead as I remembered some eye creams I'd used in the past where also labelled as lip creams. Best idea ever! My lips felt super soft, plump and nourished the following morning and I could still feel some left over cream on them, what's pretty amazing as even the raved about Nuxe Rêve de Miel doesn't work that well on me.

The pot is almost empty now but with the cream being so damn thick you only need the tiniest amount to use as a deep conditioning lip treatment.

Have you ever found a product working out for you in a way that it wasn't intended for?

16 January 2016

Out of Order #5: Time Riders

Dear readers,

Once in a while I find myself totally immersed in my reading and I can't bring myself to put my book down. In the case of Time Riders, the story line is so addictive that you need to keep reading.

Last year I read Last Light and Afterlight by Alex Scarrow and I enjoyed them so much that I wanted to read more books from this author.

Having read loads of dystopian novels during 2014 I found Mr. Scarrow's approach a bit more mature than let's say The Maze Runner or the Divergent series, although I would still say that his books are still more aimed at young adults. I still love reading the Harry Potter and Twilight saga but I understand that people my age are usually less interested in reading science fiction and fantasy books.
Time Riders by Alex Scarrow
In Time Riders, time travel will be invented some day in the distant future, although its inventor tries to avoid people from traveling through time for some unknown and scary reason he doesn't care to divulge. 

International Laws are set in place to ban all time travel and punish those who dare ignore the prohibition. A secret agency is put in charge of recruiting a bunch of teenagers who will function as some kind of time police. Their task will be looking out for "ripples" in the present time to confirm the existence of an alternate time line being born and find out when in time the change in history was made in order to go back and reverse that change and let history run its "normal" course.

Published books:

Time Riders
Day of the Predator
The Doomsday Code (currently reading)
The Neatly Girl (short story)
The Eternal War
Gates of Rome
City of Shadows
The Pirate Kings
The Mayan Prophecy
The Infinity Cage

Happy reading!

13 January 2016

Katari Soaps: Katari 90 Shower Gel

Dear readers,

Katari Soaps have been master soap makers since the 17th century. They include Spanish olive oil as a main ingredient in all their products. The number behind its name is the olive oil percentage that you can find in that product; so Katari 90 contains a 90% of olive oil, which is the highest concentration you'll be able to find out there.
Katari 90
The sturdy plastic 250ml bottle has a good grip to it. The label is not a sticker but is branded on to the plastic instead and doesn't wear off with time. The colour and scent of the thick gel are very similar to that of olive oil. You need to use a generous amount for it to foam up but you can immediately feel how moisturizing it feels on the skin. Personally I regret it not having a strong scent, floral or fruity is what I usually go for, but I think this would be great for those of you who have dry skin and don't like products having any kind of added perfume.
Katari Soaps
If you're looking for a skin care brand that only uses 100% natural ingredients you should definitely give Katari Soaps a try.

More on Katari Soaps:

Is your skin in need of any special treatment during the colder months?

9 January 2016

Fragrance Direct UK

Dear readers,

It seems like I have another haul for y'all. Hope you don't mind these boring posts but I love reading and watching hauls as they give me tips on how to save some money or finding a brand that is difficult to find in store, for example.

I hauled me some Essie nail polishes last Autumn and I wanted to get more shades but when I went back to the same web site they weren't on sale anymore.

Browsing through my Bloglovin feed I found a post in which a fellow blogger had found that Fragrance Direct sold Essie at a very affordable price: only 2.49£
Essie nail polishes from Fragrance Direct
So these are the shades that I ordered from them. It took a while for them to get delivered with all the holidays in between but they arrived safely at last.
Cream Formula Essie nail polishes
Cream formula in:
Fear and Desire 221A - bright orange
Dress to Kilt 1088 - cherry red
Sittin' Pretty 1063 - lavender
Armed and Ready 708 - dark taupe with a faint shimmery glow
Glitter top coat Essie
Glitter finish in:
Summit of Style 334 - antique gold
A Cut Above 954 - rose gold
Smoke of Brillance 953 - violet blue

My nails are still recovering from the nail treatment I put them through in December. It was supposed to make them stronger but they are so brittle that I've been unable to grow them back and I'm wearing them bare. I can't wait to use my new polishes, though.

Have you ever shopped at Fragrance Direct?

6 January 2016

Lush Christmas Edition Sales Haul

Dear readers,

For the last 3 years I've been waiting to get my hands on some Lush bath bombs and such. This year the sales started right after Christmas which is kind of weird for me to grasp as Christmas in Spain isn't over until after 3 Kings/Wise Men, which is today. The sales usually start on January 7th as kids in Spain receive their presents the day before and it would be a bit daft to put everything on sale the previous day, the shops wouldn't make any profit otherwise.
Lush tin for shampoo bar
But well, I'm not complaining, I'm just happy I found out that the sales had already started and quickly grabbed some of the things that were left as I sadly found out that Butterbear and Peeping Santa were already sold out. I also grabbed a tin to store my shampoo bar which is the best product ever for deep cleaning make up brushes and Beauty Blender. If you haven't tried it out yet, give it a go, forget about baby shampoo or even the solid Beauty Blender cleanser, this is much, much better!
Lush bath bombs
From left to right, starting above:
- So white bath bomb was 4.95€ reduced to 2.48€
- Humbug bubble bar was 4.95€ reduced to 2.48€
- Cinders bath bomb was 3.95€ reduced to 1.98€
- Five Gold Rings bubble bar was 6.95€ reduced to 3.47€
- Yog Nog bath bomb was 4.95€ reduced to 2.48€
- Dashing Santa bath bomb was 4.95€ reduced to 2.48€
- Father Christmas bath bomb reduced 5.95€ to 2.98€
- Luxury Lush Pud bath bomb was 4.95€ reduced to 2.48€
- Star Dust bath bomb was 4.95€ reduced to 2.48€

I'm sorry that I can't link to all the different products as they just disappear from Lush's website as soon as they are sold out. 

As you can see from the picture, the products on the bottom row look pretty beat up. I wish Lush would wrap them up better in order to avoid breakage as the delivery guys seem to enjoy playing soccer with the parcels...
Lush freebie samples
My freebie samples: Miranda soap, Rub Rub Rub shower scrub and Happy Happy Joy Joy conditioning hair perfume.

This is what is left from my last purchase. I should make sure I use them up quickly as I'm keeping them in the bathroom and that makes for a nice decor but they get damp and soft if you leave them there for too long. That will be my excuse for taking long baths this winter, if it ever comes to that as we're having such mild weather lately.

Have you ever tried Lush products? 

3 January 2016

Elle Magazine Subscription + Freebie

Dear readers,

Happy New Year!

I've been having some lazy days, enjoying the long weekend and watching all Harry Potter movies but now it's time to move on and come back to normal life. We still have one holiday to go: Three Kings or Wise Men or whatever you want to call it but after that Christmas will truly be over with.

The last issue I received from my Elle magazine subscription was October. I always prefer not to renew it immediately and wait until I get a better offer. This is what I chose when they called in December:
Elle Magazine suscription + mesoestetic collagen 360º
A yearly subscription to the magazine +  the beauty and fashion books + 5 Elle Decor at a 20% discount and as a gift: Mesoestetic Collagen 360º intensive cream and eye cream (over 140€ value).
mesoestetic collagen 360º intensive cream +  eye contour
The intensive cream is developed from enriched marine collagen and is specially recommended to combat moderate signs of aging in face, neck and décolleté caused by the degradation of collagen fibres leading to the loss of firmness and tension in the skin. 

The eye contour is specially designed to smooth the eye area and reduce wrinkles by stimulating the production of collagen. It contains exclusive pigments that promise to banish dark circles and reduce puffiness.

For those of you interested in the complete list of ingredients:
The magazine is sold for 3.95€ in newsstands, I paid 37.92€ for 12 months and got me some great skin care products on the side. I'll keep you updated on how well they perform but I have high hopes as I've already tried marine collagen creams before and I really noticed a difference. BTW, I'm over 40 for those of you who don't know or are wondering. I wouldn't have chosen this gift if I were in my 20's or early 30's.