LUSH Popcorn lip scrub review

ottobre 29, 2012

LUSH Popcorn lip scrub €7.35/£5.25
 As I previously said in my LUSH wishlist, I can be pretty lazy when it comes to lip scrubs and even if they’re super easy to make at home, I need to see the jar sitting in my lipstick drawer to be reminded I should include this step in my beauty routine as well.
Last week I was checking out after a little Halloween/Christmas shopping at LUSH thinking ‘I should probably grab a Bubblegum scrub as well’ when I saw Popcorn, the new limited edition for the Holidays and being a huge popcorn fan I couldn’t resist.

If you don’t feel like splurging and you’d rather DIY, the ingredients are pretty basic: caster sugar, jojoba oil, sea salt, Polenta, coconut oil and popping candy; just watch the salt balance or you’ll end up with a drying mix instead of something good for your lips. I’m not sure about the popping candies thing, can’t really tell if they’re there or not, but the popcorn flavor is lovely: it tastes like those warm, sweet and buttery popcorns with random salty bursts you can buy at the movies.
I like to prep my mouth with a muslin cloth soaked in warm water before dipping my finger in the scrub and then rub it gently over my lips in circular motion. The caster sugar lifts and gets rid of dead skin cells while the oils calm and moisturize the lips, getting them ready for your favorite lipstick. The best thing about LUSH lip scrubs is they’re 100% naturals and completely safe to lick off, just find your favorite flavor and try not to eat the whole thing with a spoon!
Lip scrubs are such an underrated product but they can make a huge difference, especially during the colder months.

Do you have a secret lip scrub recipe or are you a member of the ‘let’s be lazy’ club like me?

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My top 3 mascaras

ottobre 25, 2012

NARS Larger than life volumizing 25€ // MUFE Aqua smoky 23.50€ // Clinique Bottom lash mascara 13.5€
When you have super straight lashes that stubbornly point toward the floor no matter how many times you curl them, the search for the perfect mascara can get extremely frustrating. Obviously once you understand that waterproof is the way things get easier but unfortunately not every WP mascara does the trick: for instance the Estée Lauder Sumptuos waterproof mascara I use on my brides doesn't hold the curl all day on me. 
After years of mascara hoarding I finally managed to find my holy grails and I thought I'd share them with you.
The MUFE Aqua smoky mascara was a total life saver back in the days and literally the first mascara to get me through a whole day with luscious, curly lashes. I like it because is extra black and doesn't clump easily; the brush coats and thickens every lash for a dramatic look, but also defines. The downside is the formula dries very quickly: in about a month the mascara gets drier and drier. The final result doesn't change but the application gets a little trickier. Overall is a lovely mascara but I don't think I'll buy it again, simply because I found something even better. NARS Larger than life is the newest addiction to my collection. The wand is huge and may look a little scary but is super easy to use and the honeycomb bristles grasp every single lash for both volume and beautiful definition. What I like the most about the Larger than life is the natural look: one coat is perfect for everyday but you can also build up for a more dramatic effect. It's a real winner and I wish it came in brown as well for those no-makeup makeup days. Last but not least the blogger sensation, the Bottom lash mascara by Clinique. It took me a little while to go over the whole 'that's a gimmick' first impression and give it a chance, and I'm so glad I did. My bottom lashes are quite long so normal mascaras with basic lengthening and volumizing effects make me look like a crazy person. This guy helps me make my fair lashes visible, without adding any rama. The tiny brush is also very good to apply mascara on those hard-to-reach inner corner lashes without pocking your eyes out; and even if it's smudge proof it removes with ease. It's a life changer, ladies, trust me on this one.

Do you have a holy grail mascara?
And speaking of lashes: do you know any lash growth serum that actually works? I'm always afraid all these hard to remove products will end up damaging my lashes or stress them out.

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Notd: OPI I don't give a Rotterdam!

ottobre 23, 2012

OPI I don't give a Rotterdam! 3 coats €13.90
I don't give a Rotterdam! - which by the way is one of the best names for a nail polish I've ever heard - is a dirty, dusty blue with gold, copper and silver glitters. I like how the creamy base isn't completely opaque but sheer enough to let the glitter particles peek through, giving the polish a nice multi-dimensional effect. I had to apply 3 coats to hide a couple of flaws on the nails - gosh, I hate those random white spots! - but I could have gotten away with two. Texture and dry time were great. It dries to a softly faded finish that I really like, but the misted effect can be easily fixed with a shiny top coat.
It's one of those chip-resistant varnishes that last forever on the nails with only minor tip wear: 6 days so far and still kicking.

I don't give a Rotterdam! was part of the Holland collection but hopefully you'll still be able to find it online. I really like dusty shades like this one; it's such an elegant and fall-ish way to wear colors.
Did you pick anything from this collection? Any must have OPI shades for fall?

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Looking sharp: my business cards

ottobre 20, 2012

MOO Rounded corners business cards
When I started attending blogger events and product presentations I thought it was finally time to take the next step further and order some business cards for the blog. I already own some cards for my MUA job that I designed on Vistaprint for a handful of euros but for the blog I wanted something different, less 'hey, I run a business' and more 'look, I'm a passionate beauty blogger'. 
After a little search I found MOO. The website is hilarious and super easy to use, and the cards are fully customisable and very good quality. When I received my order I was so impressed I almost ordered another full pack just in case.
What I like the most about the MOO cards is you can upload even 50 different images and transfer your whole portfolio on your business cards, letting your work speak for itself.
You can use your own picture like I did or use one of the many ready to use designs; you can also request 10 sample cards for free, to test the paper and up to 10 different designs. It took me forever to choose between the classic cards and the cheaper mini ones, but in the end I gave in to the rounded corners. Can't resist to those...
Yes, these cards run on the expensive side but they make my Vistaprint cards turn green with envy: they're bigger, with thicker paper and look so much more fun and artistic. My MUA cards feel more professional but these show a little more personality and hopefully my passion for beauty blogging. I was so proud to hand them out during the last exhibition I attended.

What do you think of bloggers with business cards?

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Skincare wishlist (please, send help!)

ottobre 17, 2012

After ages of slapping on my face any random moisturizer within arm's reach and a half-hearted interest for basic products to complement makeup during the last few years - as in once I found the right product I stuck to it with no interest in trying out something different -, in the last months I've been seriously obsessed with skincare products. Even with a huge french pharmacy haul on its way to me and a bunch of new products sitting on my desk and waiting to be tried, I still want to buy MORE. I thought a little online window shopping could help with the crave...
skin care wl
Emma Hardie Amazing face natural lift and sculpt Moringa cleansing balm // REN Glycolactic radiance renewal mask // Origins Clear improvement mask // Burt's bees Almond milk beeswax hand creme // Antipodes Kiwi seed oil eye cream // Aesop Parseley seed cleansing mask

Jack Black Intense therapy lip balm with Lemon spf25

ottobre 14, 2012

Jack Black intense therapy lip balm with Lemon 7.25£/9.43€ available at Feelunique
You probably know by now how much I like to try current blogger obsessions to see if they're really worth the hype and the Jack Black lip balm is really popular in the beauty community. Actually popular doesn't even cover it: this is Kristine from Temptalia - the closest thing to a beauty prophet of the Lord - favorite balm and given the amount of lip swatches she does everyday has to be her favorite for a reason, right? So when Ale aka Dotted around told me it was available on Feelunique I had it in my cart in matter of seconds.

I picked the Lemon and chamomile one, but there's a mint scented one as well.
The tube is ok, I guess. It's suppose to be a balm for men and I imagine any kind of frill would be pointless. Mine came in a sturdy box but I hear the tube is now only shrink-wrapped and doesn't come with the ingredient list any more. I took a picture of the list so you can draw your own conclusions.
The smell is quite nice and delicate - reminds me of lemon meringue - and it lingers for a while.
The balm itself feels like vaseline or the Elizabeth Arden Eight hour cream, although not so shiny. The texture is a little slippery and requires blotting if you want to use it under lipstick.
It softens the lips really quickly but I can't tell if they're also moisturized or if the balm just locked the moisture in, like vaseline does. It feels nice on the lips but I'm not sure it's being nice to them as well, if it does make any sense.

In short, I don't hate it but I didn't hear the angels sing either. No life-changing moment I'm afraid. It's a nice balm and I'll be keeping it in my bag for application on the go but I'm not crazy about it. Definitely it won't replace my beloved Nuxe Reve de miel balm.
Gosh, this is such an hyped up product I almost feel guilty saying I don't like it...
Have you tried it?

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Notd: butter LONDON Dosh

ottobre 12, 2012

butter London Dosh $14/£12/€15 2 coats available at Zuneta
Soooo, another Notd. It looks like I can only do these kind of posts recently, sorry, but I've been a busy bee during the last weeks, and while I tested many products, I didn't really have the time to sit and write down a decent post. I'll go back to the usual variety in the next days, pinky promise. Now back to business.

Given the name you would expect a dollar green, instead butter LONDON Dosh is a bright yellow based apple green with gold and green shimmer. 
The texture is gorgeous: the shimmer is so finely milled it applies like a cream finish. It was opaque in two coats and lasted 7 days on my nails, with a coat of Sally Hansen nail growth miracle as a base and a tin layer of Seche top coat. To be honest I didn't want to apply a top coat at first, cause Dosh dries to a lovely satinized effect, not quite matte but definitely not glossy. It's quite a unique shade, unlike anything I own.

I went a little nail polish crazy recently, so I won't buy any for a while - if I had a penny for everytime I said it... let's be honest, I'd probably have a penny now cause I'm that bad at saving money - but in the future I plan to buy the well-known Yummy mummy and the most recent UK blogger obsession, Bossy boots, which isn't really a fall-appropriate shade but you know I can't resist to greens. Are there any other butter LONDON must have shades I should add to my wishlist?

So, yay or nay for green nail polishes?

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In October we wear pink

ottobre 09, 2012

breast cancer awareness
OPI You glitter be good to me & I think in pink nail polish duo // Glamglow Cure Sexy mud mask // Nails Inc. Pinkie Pink nail polish // Origins breast cancer duo // Clinique Breast cancer awareness Chubby stick set // Estee Lauder Dream collection lip set // Bobbi Brown Pink peony set
October is Breast cancer awareness month and once again the beauty industry got involved to raise awareness and funds for breast cancer research and support. Breast cancer afflicts millions of women worldwide but this year's Estee Lauder Pink ribbon features a touch of blue to represent the 1% of breast cancer cases diagnosed in men too. For each sold product the brands will donate part of the sale to the various foundations fighting for the cause around the world.
In the picture above you can see only a handful of the many limited edition products hitting stores right now: Ciaté, Crème de la Mer, Elemis, Tweezerman and many others joined the fight with luxury hand creams, skin care sets, nail polishes and makeup products, giving you the chance to 'Think pink' and give something back while staying beautiful.
You can also make a donation to your local Breast cancer reaserch foundations; even a dollar can make the difference. And remember to get checked, cause breast cancer can be fought if diagnosed in time.

Is there any special product that cought your eye? I'm already in love with the nail polishes, especially with the Ciaté Paint the town pink set, and the Origins Peace of mind & Make a difference set. Such a shame the brand isn't available here...

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Loving right now: Burberry Body eau de toilette

ottobre 04, 2012

Burberry Body eau de toilette 35ml $55/£39/€48
I'm absolutely the worst at describing scents but I'll try my best, because I loved this fragrance a lot lately and I wanted to share my thoughts about it with you.
Usually I wear light fruity/flowery scents, all year around, mostly because dense, heavy fragrances, like Angel by Thierry Mugler and YSL Opium, sicken me and give me headache in matter of minutes. When I received a sample of Body with my Sephora order I was a little sceptical: I was expecting something heavy and muskier, a grown up scent in line with the serious and elegant image of the brand. It's still a little heavier that the scents I'm used to, but it's perfect for the cold season. It's also quite an elegant fragrance but in a very modern way; it has a grown up vibe but somehow it remains fresh and young. It has notes of freesia, green absinthe and apple, peach, rose, iris, sandalwood, cashmeran, musk, amber and creamy vanilla. The scent is warm and cozy, but with a sensual twist which makes it interesting and different.
The packaging is absolutely stunning in its simplicity. The multi-faceted glass bottle would look beautiful on any vanity - nerd moment: doesn't it look like one of those crystals in Superman's Fortress of Solitute? -.
The eau de toilette blends nicely throughout the day and lasts for a decent time without need for touch ups. Overall I'm completely in love with Burberry Body and I recommend it to everyone that is looking for a very feminine scent that feels warm and fresh at the same time.