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

Thursday, 25 April 2013

Schauma Cotton Fresh Dry Shampoo

Thanks to a reader of mine I found this shampoo and continued my long quest to find the best on out there, preferably, from a drugstore range. If she didn't tell me about it, I would have never seen it. I am not sure when Schwarzkopf launched them on the market but I didn't notice them at all. Now, I see them in DM and Müller here in Croatia. I am talking about this little guy.

Schauma cotton fresh dry shampoo
It comes in a 150 ml spray bottle and costs 24.90 kunas (about 2.76 GBP/$4.26/3.25 Euros). It wasn't easy to find at first but now I see it all the time at DM.
It promises an extra day of freshness and volume and is ment for normal and greasy hair.
Application is the same as for all the other dry shampoos. Comb out your hair than apply dry shampoo on smaller sections from a 20 cm distance, leave for a second and then comb out again. It is recommendable to put a towel on your shoulders while doing that to prevent staining your clothes but I didn't have any problems like that with this one.

Isobutane, Oryza Sativa Starch, Alcohol Denat, Butane, Propane, Parfum, Limonene, Hexyl Cinnamal, Linalool, Citronellol, Citral, Geraniol.

And now me:
- this is definitely a good quality product which adds freshness and volume; that one extra promised day will come true; but there was a difference when my hair got rained on, then it only helped so much to put my hair in a ponytail, and when I had a tipical second day hair as a person with hair which tends to get greasy quickly, then it allowed me to have my hair down looking fabulous!
- it does have a light white cast but nothing major, especially becuase it is easy to get rid of it by combing it out; and as I said, it won't stain your clothes
- I am not crazy about this smaller packaging (they usually come in a 200 ml bottle) because it gets empty really quickly, at least for me; I get five wears out of it and that is if I am saving it, it really gets empty in a blink of an eye but that makes it great for travelling
- the price is as others from a drugstore; it is cheaper than Batiste blush dry shampoo but you also get less product from Schauma so it evens out (the brown version for dark hair is more expensive)
- it has a smell of dry shampoos which I don't like but it is not as strong and long lasting as in Batiste one

Would I buy it again?
Yes, for travelling.

When I first tried it I was in love but when I went to get a new bottle, I couldn't find it so I tried another one and loved it! So, this one goes in a Batiste range which is not bad at all.

Which is your HG dry shampoo?

Tell me...

Love beautyandbrains007

My own list of best dry shampoos, so here it is (I've already reviewed them):
1. Batiste blush dry shampoo and Schauma Cotton Fresh dry shampoo- two best ones from my list, Schauma is even better but I don't like the size of the bottle and the fact that it gets used up quickly so I am putting these two to share their first place
2.Balea Trend it up dry shampoo- it is OK but not good enough to tell you that you just have to try it out; you get an extra day with it but just for a "clean" ponytail and its smell is less irritating than Balea blue dry shampoo and Syoss anti-grease one
3. Syoss anti-grease dry shampoo- hated that one; so so freshness, no volume and a horrible scent; I am putting Balea dry shampoo- the blue one in the same category because it will also fail its task if you don't put your hair in a ponytail but it doesn't stink as much

Saturday, 13 April 2013

Dior Diorshow waterproof mascara

Today I am back again with a new post, this time makeup related. Let me present you the Dior Diorshow waterproof mascara in the shade 090- noir/black.

I heard and read many raves about this mascara so when I was in the market for a new one before my wedding, I chose this one.

It has an old school brush which I love, and it seemed to me that it will be very volume friendly. Since I was getting married I decided to buy a waterproof version in case of any tears. After all this was my first time getting married ;)! I can't really say that I ever had problems with mascaras smearing on me but safe is safe.

The only thing I wasn't impressed with at first, was its price. It costed 229 kunas (about $39, 30 Euros, 25 GBP) for a 11,5 ml/0.38 fl.oz. tube which in Croatia you can buy in Douglas, Martimex, Iris, Limoni...everywhere where high end makeup is sold.  But, because I am used to drugstore mascaras (my favorite mascaras are Maybelline One by One and Essence I Love Extreme) this was a new, expensive moment for me.

And now I must warn you! If you love this mascara and get mad or offended by other opinions, stop reading right here. Because I didn't like it at all!

First, let me start with the price. It is really expensive for mascara and the quality is non existant. Fortunately, I tried it out before my wedding day.

Application wasn't easy at all because of the big brush so I got some mascara on my lid. But that wasn't my biggest problem with it. Although it is waterproof, it smeared on my like crazy within one hour from application and that isn't my problem with any mascara. What was left on my lashes was horrible to remove. And that wasn't the end with it, either. My lashes were falling off. That freaked me out! I must say that I am never harsh when removing mascara. I remove my eye makeup using Lisa Eldrige method, holding pads on the eyes and then lightly removing any makeup residue.

I tried it a couple more times after that but the results were always the same. The effect of it wasn't anything special at all, although it promises to lenghten and curl your lashes with buildable volume. So, I pushed it in the back of my makeup collection and ended up using my drugstore mascara for the wedding.

I don't have any pictures of it on my lashes because I hated it, haven't used it that much and now, when it got old, it wouldn't be fair from me to post pictures.

It had a bit dry consisteny at first but now it is creamy and sticks my lashes together.

I didn't like it at all and wouldn't buy it again!

Have you tried it? Liked it? Hated it?

Tell me...

Love, beautyandbrains007

Saturday, 6 April 2013

John Frieda Luxurious Volume shampoo and conditioner

" Is it alive?
Check its pulse.
Is it moving?

Yes, my blog is still alive and so am I.
I am not going to say I am sorry for being absent that long (although I missed my little blog) but I really had so much work that I just couldn't find the time or strength to write something with sense. And now I am back with hair products.

John Frieda Luxurious Volume shampoo and conditioner.

As always I was seduced by the packaging. This beautiful blue colour with golden cap...Ugh... I loved it. They were calling me from the DM shelves in Brežice. Could it be possible that something so pretty can be bad? I certainly didn't think so.

Both of these products should add volume (hense the name) and my long, straight, dense but greasy hair coluld use some volume.  They both come in a 250 ml tubes and each tube costed me 6.50 Euros (about $9). They were marked down a little but in Croatia John Frieda products can be found anywhere (in drugstores and in highend stores).

I'll start with shampoo. "It will start adding volume to your hair even during your shower. Of course it will be even more efficient if you use it continuously and combine it with luxurious volume conditioner."
Those are the words of the manufacturer.

shampoo ingredients

And now me...
Yeah. I don't think so. This shampoo isn't the worst shampoo that I came across but it is not by any means special.  It will not get your hair squeaky clean and for this one, that would be a better option. I have a feeling that it leaves a film on your hair which makes it heavier and more prone to greasiness. Which in translation means that you can forget added volume, at least from my experience.

And now....conditioner. Or as they say at John Frieda...especially light conditioner which starts the process of adding volume at the????????? You guessed it! At the bathroom while you are showering, leaving your hair volumized and shiny.
Sounds amazing. Right?

And my answer to that is. YOU WISH!!!

This conditioner will not do anything for your hair if you are looking for added volume. Your hair will be clean the next day (well you freshly washed it) but not volumized. But your second day hair will be in need for a wash up or  favorite dry shampoo. I must say that I have greasy hair to begin with but these products weigh it down even more and I don't experience that with my Macadamia mask which is more like a deep conditioner. For combing out your hair it is so so. I've had better ;).

conditioner ingredients

The smell of both products is irritating non existent with a hint of something chemical. I don't like it!!!
But did I use it up? Of course ;). It lasted me for 5 months but I finally used it up.

Would I buy any of these products again? Not in a million years!

I am sorry for all the negativity in this post, but since this is not a really affordable product I thought you should know my experience with it.
I also tried John Frieda Go Blonder shampoo and conditioner and, although they didn't lighten my roots, they were better products, as plain shampoo and conditioner, than these two.

What is your experience with John Frieda products?

Tell me...

Love, beautyandbrains007