Sunday, 18 August 2013

My Hungarian shopping spree (picks from Catrice Candy Shock collection, Maybelline color tattos in Eternal Gold and Mauve Crush, and Artdeco Bronzing Glow Blush)

In my last post I told you that I was travelling a lot. One of the trips was to Hungary. This time I didn't visit Budapest but as soon as I crossed the border, it was clear that Hungarians love beauty products. You are probably wondering why? Well, there were Müller stores everywhere... And I must add that although I love Müller stores in Croatia, I was a bit jelaous when I saw a Hungarian store, because their choices are much wider and they also carry NYX and NYC products (I had so little time that I didn't get anything from them) which aren't easy to find in Croatia. Our Müllers don't carry them. Maybe something to think about?! Unfortunately, my trip was semi-professional so I didn't get to shop and look around as much as I wanted but I did buy some things.

I was mostly attracted to Catrice Candy Shock collection which I haven't seen in Croatia but the reason for that could be my busy working schedule which saved me some money since I had no time or energy to go and buy anything after a long day at work.

I finally found an Artdeco Bronzing Glow Blush that I wanted since it came out but it was always sold out, and some new shades of Maybelline Color Tatoos.

Here are my choices from Catrice Candy shock LE collection.

Unfortunately, there weren't many eyeshadow shades left from this collection. The testers and their swatches were beautiful.... This is the only one that I got- C01 I Scream: Ice Cream. How appropriate?! ;)

I also bought the C01- Vanilla Love highlighter. It seemed so nice and natural.

And two nail products. Nail polish in a beautiful pastel yellow shade- C04 Vanilla Love (yes, I know, they were very creative while choosing names), and small, as they call them, sugar pearls- C01 Cotton Candy.

As I already said, my love, Artdeco Bronzing Glow Blush which I wanted soooo much. And when you look at it, can you blame me?

Followed by my two new Maybelline recruits- Eternal Gold color tatoo (I knew that I'll eventually get it), I think that it is an European version of Bold Gold, and Mauve Crush, which didn't get lots of good reviews but it was such a beautiful mermaid color for me that I just coudn't resist.

My reviews for these newbies are coming.

Do you like something from my "small" haul? Have you tried any of these products? Your thoughts?

Tell me...

Love, beautyandbrains007

Friday, 9 August 2013

My big comeback in style with Chanel Illusoire cream/powder eyeshadow

Although I am very well known for my long introductions, I am going to skip them in this post. I know, it has been a while since you last heard from me (three months to be exact), but I can just say L I F E. So many things happened (good and bad) that it seems to me that it has been like a year since I last wrote to you. But now I am back with a brand new Chanel post!

I bought this product last winter, somewhere around New Year, tried it, it was OK but I didn't really use it, I immediately thought it was a stunning color, but forgot about it in my drawer, then the summer came and I rediscovered it, so it became a part of my everyday routine. What can I say? The heat and humidity in Croatia are at their maximum, I started to be lazy in the morning, but was also looking tired so I needed a quick but efficient fix, and Illusoire was just that. Quick but beautiful!

It says on the box that this is a cream/powder eyeshadow but in my opinion, this is a creamy, almost moussy eyeshadow but with a good consistency. I never tried Maybeline bouncy blushes but this is how I imagine that they are. I also tried MAC paint pots which are in my opinion much harder  and Maybelline Color Tatoos which are creamier, but both of them are less forgiving, meaning that Chanel allows you to build color in more layers without becoming splotchy... It also says that this is a powder eyeshadow, but only a bit in its finish. And even then, only if you would use a wet technique to apply it.

here it looks more like a powdery product but when you start using it, it definitely is a creamy shadow

All in all, this eyeshadow is absolutely beautiful!!! If you like this color, chances are that it will be almost impossible to resist the tempation of buying it. It is a beautful purple/plumy shade, with a shiny finish and almost glittery but subtle effect, ugh, like the most perfect fairy dust...

artificial light/no flash
with flash

As I said, it is very easy to work with it because it doesn't dry immediately and is very buildable. Because of that you can aplly a thin layer just as a base and it will be wonderful, but you can also wear it on its own, as I do, and it will look like milion dollars! To achieve almost a smoky eye I apply it generously on my whole lid and then make it darkest in my outer V, put some bronzer in my crease, hightlight in the inner corner and on my brow bone, some mascara and voila. I am ready to face the world looking polished in 5 minutes. Oh, I almost forgot, I apply it with my fingers.

It is marketed as a long lasting eyeshadow. When I first applied it, I was very cautious because it seemed like a dark color, so I applied a thin layer, and after about six hours it did crease on my oily lids, but then I started to wear it on its own, the way I described it, applied generaously, and it acted perfectly... It stays on my lids the whole day until I remove it in the evening before going to bed. I remove it with my Bioderma with no problem.

natural light/no flash
natural light with flash
artificial light with flash

These swatches don't even begin to describe the beauty of this shade but different pictures, lighting and angles just show you how versatile and beautiful this color is... A plumy shade with so many different undertones, silver, gold... Absolutely stunning!

the brush is small and very travel friendly
this is how the actual brush looks like
and finally....
Chanel's advice

Since this is Chanel and I haven't tried any other shades, although I LOVE this particular color, I am not going to tell you to go and buy it. If this shade is as beautiful to you as it was to me, I don't think that you'll be disappointed if you decide to buy it. But I don't know if all the shadows from this line are the same quality? So, I can vouch only for this one. You get a 4g/0.14 OZ of product and a small brush (which looks to me like an eyeliner brush-pictures of it above) for 223 kunas in Croatia (about 20GBP/$40/30 Euros). Yeah, a lot but worth every penny....

So, my verdict is- L O V E this one!!!

Love you all, too...;) 


Friday, 3 May 2013

Aussie, Aussome Volume shampoo and conditioner

I don't know if Aussie products are available in your country, but in Croatia they just arrived in DM stores. I've been reading and hearing a lot about them before, so when they finally came to our market, the verdict was clear- BUY! There are few lines available but I chose the one for adding volume since my hair is long and straight, prone to greasiness.

Aussome Volume shampoo and conditioner were both made with unique formula consisting Australian hops Extract, which leaves your hair with body and fullness from roots to tips. BRING ON THE BIG HAIR!!! Uplift your hair and your spirit!

I haven't trried other lines, but from what I have read, all the products have a strong and longlasting bubble gum scent. These two aren't an exception, either. Since the scent is pretty strong and stays on your hair long after washing it, I suggest to try it out before purchasing. If you don't like the scent, you will hate these products. For me, the scent was too chemical (especially the scent of shampoo, the scent of conditioner is lighter) in the beggining, then I got used to it and liked it more, but now I am done with it. I wash my hair often and it seems that I am smelling it every day which can be too much.

Aussome Volume shampoo has a pinkish-orangy colour and you don't need a lot of it to foam up and wash your hair nicely. It makes your hair squeaky clean but by doing so, it tangles it a lot also. The good side of really clean hair is that your roots will be clean and more lifted. Will you get a Diana Ross volume? NO.

internet source (click on the picture for  the link)

Aussome Volume conditioner has a light, white texture.You don't need to use a whole lot of it, but the more you use, the easier the combing out will be. Since your hair will be tangled after shampoopng, the small amount of this one could be too little to make your combing out painless, unless you have a detangling brush. I use my Macadamia no tangle brush which helps me with the pain (there isn't any) but my combing out still lasts longer than usual. If you put more conditioner, combing out your hair will be easier, but if your hair tends to be greasy, second day hair will be in an urgent need for a good dry shampoo.

So... Is there enough volume to uplift your hair and spirit??? I am not sure how to answer that?! Yes, your hair will be a bit more uplifted but aussome volume? I don't think so.

shampoo ingredients

Shampoo comes in a 300 ml bottle and conditioner in a slightly smaller sized 250 ml plastic, travel friendly bottle. Good sizes, I must admit. As I said, in Croatia you can buy them in DM for 49.90 kunas each (8.63 USD/6.58 Euros/5.55 GBP).

conditioner ingredients

These products are well loved on the internet but I personally have a love and hate relationship with them. There are days when I like them and those other days when I can't stand them! In any case, I was disappointed with the ingredients and wouldn't buy these two particular products again.

What do you say? Have you tried these or some other products from them?

Tell me...

Love, beautyandbrains007

Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Smart Girls Get More nail polish in the shade #124

Although their polishes from the last year's spring/summer collection weren't favorite of mine (the colours I chose and my impressions on them you can read herehere, here and here), I decided to give them another try. I couldn't help myself when I saw all of those wonderful, almost neon, bright colors which are btw trendy again! And a lower price also helped a bit ;). Hey! I am a smart girl ;)?!
I am laughing now, because after Sunday lunch at my Grandmother's place I took a bunch of pictures in her garden and members of my family were looking at me like "???", and the best part was when a neighbour was watering her flowers at the balcony and didn't realize that water is pouring from the pots because she was so busy figuring out why that bush is so interesting to me, that I am taking photos of it for the last fifteen minutes from every possible angle? And these picture are the results of my weekend effort...

Isn't the bush beautiful? ;) Shade #124 is red one at the top

I bought three shades and today I am presenting you the shade number 124 (I wish they had names...this way it is so unpersonal; we are Borg, you will be assimilated! Or maybe that is what they are going for? You know... Resistance is futile.)

This is a red, almost neon shade with orange undertones. In the bottle it looks absolutely stunning, at least to me, but when I applied the first layer, I was stunned, and not in a good way. The first coat looked disappointing. Uneven, not red but pink, watery, not pigmented, horrible! But because it was so watery, it dried quickly.

without flash; one layer seems almost pink
with flash

Because I don't judge polishes by only one coat, I applied the second one. The look of which was MUCH better! The colour was red (finally!), more similar to the color in the bottle,

but not opaque enough for my taste. I have quite white fingernail tips which were still very visible so I went for the third one. On the other hand, it was evident that this polish has a shiny finish, not like with Seche Vite on top but a decent one.

two coats without flash

The third layer was very pretty and shiny but I added Seche Vite because I like the look of a perfect manicure, almost like gel nails. I am not sure how much it would take for three layers to dry on their own, but with Seche Vite they were dry in a minute. Oh, how I like that top coat!

three coats with flash

Three layers are nice and opaque enough for most people but as I said, I like my nails to be completely covered when it comes to colors like this. Since this is a strong color, you can see every chip so when my polish got a bit messy the next day, I added a fourth layer and another coat od Seche Vite. That looked the prettiest! But I must admit that that is a bit too much for one manicure...

four coats plus seche Vite

Lasting power of this little guy is OK, not amazing but OK. It didn't chip immediately but on one of my fingers there were signs of wearing off. This is a strong and vibrant color which shows any imperfections and I don't like my nails to look messy so I added another coat, but your nails should look good for two days. Third day you will have to remove it if you want your nails to look flawless. Personally, I think that bare nails are prettier than polished nails with chips?!

The bottle is traditionally small Smart Girls Get More 5.5 ml bottle with equally small brush which doesn't present a problem for me but I've read different opinions.

In Croatia, you can buy these polishes in DM for 11.90 kunas (about 1.30 Euros/2.20 USD/1.10 GBP). And that is all, I think?!

Would I buy it again?
Yes, because I love this red shade of tomato juice!!! Yes, the formula could be better and the staying power isn't amazing but this is a very demanding shade to begin with, since it is so vibrant, but for the price, I am willing to overlook some flaws.

What do you say? Do you like it? Would you buy it? Have you bought some other shades from their collection?

Tell me...

Love, beautyandbrains007

Sunday, 28 April 2013

Elizabeth Arden Perpetual Moisture 24H eye cream

You know how when you are really young you can apply makeup whereever and however you want and you will look great? Well, a day comes when area around your eyes will show first signs of ageing when your foundation will settle in those fine lines. I am dealing with those first signs also, which results in me always looking for a good weapon to fight them off! Although this cream I am writing about today isn't promising miraculous disappearing of your wrinkles and fine lines, I thought I would try it because I always need more moisture in that area. And if the skin is well moisturized, it will look younger, right? At least in my mind.

During an Elizabeth Arden weekend on Cheapsmells I decided to get it. It comes in a small 15 ml/0.50 oz pot which I actually like but some people probably won't because these containers aren't completely hygienic since you are using your fingers every time you apply the cream. I don't mind that because I always wash my hands before it and it doesn't change the fact that this is a great product!

As I said, I found it an bought it at Cheapsmells for less than 20 Euros on a sale, but it is available right now for their regular price of 19.12 Euros/16.21 GBP/24.72 USD, which in my opinion is a good price (plus shipping around 2/2.50 Euros).

As you can see above, the manufacturer promises:
A rich emollient protective formula for a difference you can see and feel. Skin becomes softer, smoother, and more luminous. 

And from my experience, all of the claims are true! You really do get Perpetual moisture.

It has a very light texture but it is definitely a cream and not a gel. It sinks fast into the skin which makes applying makeup after it a dream. At least to me it didn't cause any problems with that. You need a very small amount of product to sooth and moist your eye area.

When I started using it, I was applying it mornings and evenings which worked great but then I bought Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair Eye Serum and started applying it in the evenings, so now I love this combination. My eye area looks great (but as I said, I don't have wrinkles, only fine lines for now). For all of you who have tried EL serum, the texture is similar to EA eye cream but the finish isn't. EL serum sinks more like a gel, and EA cream has a creamy but not greasy feeling.


And to answer your questions. Did I like it and would I buy it again? My answers are YES and definitely YES!

I haven't bought a new pot yet because I don't like to continue with a product immediately when I finish an old one, not because it is not a good product, but because I like to keep my skin guessing-what now? I also like to try new products but I would buy this one again. When I use this one up, I am going back to my EA Time Capsules which I already reviewed.

What is your favorite eye cream?

Tell me...

Love, beautyandbrains007