Notd: Illamasqua Fragile

marzo 31, 2013

Illamasqua Fragile nail varnish £14.50/€17.30
This nail polish is so pretty! I can't believe I thought I didn't need it in my life when it first came out.
Fragile is a pale dusty blue base packed with matte black glitters in different sizes and shapes. Illamasqua really outdid itself this time; this polish is a pure work of art: the base is on the right side of sheer and the glitters gradually float and sink between the different layers for an amazing depth. The density of the glitters is absolutely perfect, not too sparse and not too crowded. Pastel formulas can be hard to work with and streaky but Fragile applies heavenly and it's opaque in two coats.
Illamasqua varnishes are some of the longest lasting polishes out there: I can easily get up to 10 days of wear without chipping and this shade is no exception. They're not cheap polishes but both quality and uniqueness of the shade range are definitely worth the splurge.
Fragile is one of the five speckled polishes part of the I'mperfection Spring 2013 collection. I do believe it's a permanent shade but I wouldn't want to miss out on this one if I were you.
I can't stop staring at my nails! I really love Fragile and now I'm so tempted to purchase the other speckled shades. Send help!

I love the Robin's egg look; it's so unique and spring-ish. The perfect Easter bunny polish, don't you think?
Happy Easter everyone!


Budget buy: L'Oreal Nude magique CC cream anti-redness

marzo 27, 2013

L'Oréal Nude magique CC cream anti-redness SPF12* £9.99/€13.99
L’Oreal Color Correcting creams offer the same skincare benefits of a bb cream in addition to extra tone correcting powers to even out the skin tone and counteract complexion issues. They come in 3 shades: green to neutralize redness, peach for an anti-fatigue effect and lilac to correct dull skin tones.
I tried the anti-redness* one, because even if I don't have huge skin issues such as rosacea or iper-pigmentation, I'm very pale and pinkness and fair skin tones tend to go arm in arm. The mint green cream looks quite scary at first but it blends seamlessly into the skin with a demi-matte finish and a strong yellow undertone. The coverage is very light. It reminds me of a matte version of the Estee Lauder Day wear sheer tint because it adds color without hiding much. A couple of layers are enough coverage for my chilling-at-home days and quick errands but the coverage is lighter than what I’m comfortable with. Although I do recon it works well underneath foundations as a primer because it feels nice and smooth, it doesn't have enough lasting power on its own to make the foundation last all day.
It might be because I don’t have much redness to neutralize, but I can't say this is a groundbreaking product. It covers redness just like any other yellow-based tinted moisturizer I own but with less coverage and an opaque finish.
There’s still a lot of room for improvement. For instance spf12 is too low, especially for a product that should be worn alone. The one-shade-fits-all policy is one of the things that never convinced me about bb creams and my experience with this product confirmed my suspicions: it’s too dark for my fair skin and it’s probably going to be too light for deeper skin tones but it should work well for light to medium complexions.

I wasn't sold on the whole bb cream thing before and if possible I'm even more dubious now. I was hoping this could be a drugstore dupe for the far more expensive MUFE green HD primer, but the search is still open.
What do you think? Are you going to give this product a go?


Review: LUSH Sikkim girls gorilla perfume

marzo 18, 2013

LUSH Sikkim girls gorilla perfume from £14/€17.95
This fragrance is a charming, sexy scent with notes of white flowers and leather, mixed with frangipani, a touch of vanilla, and tuberose and jasmine absolutes. The general feel of the scent is sensual and warming, something I don't usually look for in a fragrance, especially in the warmer months when I gravitate toward fresher and lighter scents. Anyways I find Sikkim girls works very well with my own scent. It smells clean and cozy and if applied with care it's not too overpowering. A light hand is the key here because Gorilla perfumes are made mainly with pure essentials oils and the line between lovely and overwhelming is very thin. I do find the wear is decent and at the end of the day I can still detect a hint of it on myself even if is mostly faded.
My only complaint is really just about the packaging. It's small and convenient to travel with, yes, but it's not very user-friendly when it comes down to application. As I said above the perfume is really concentrated and a small drop goes a long way so a dropper would have been a better choice than the simple bottle with no pump. I've been using a cotton bud to pick up the fragrance and then dab it on my skin, which is fine but still a little too unwieldy for my liking.
There are 9 different scents available at the moment and they all come in 6 different sizes and I'm sure you can find one that suits you.

Have you tried LUSH fragrances yet?


Notd: Essie Navigate her

marzo 17, 2013

Essie Navigate her (2 coats) £8.99/€12
I'm going through an Essie phase, can you tell?
Yesterday I realized that S. Patrick's day was approaching and I thought it was the perfect occasion to wear green nail polish, just to be safe from pinches and Leprechauns, you know.
Navigate her is one of my favorite greens for spring/summer and it's also one of the most unique Essie polishes. Along with A crewed interest, it was part of the namesake collection for Spring 2012 but it can still be found online (Cultbeauty doesn't have it in stock right know but it's on sale for half the price just to name one). It's definitely different from your usual greens. This guacamole shade is fresh but not too bright and in your face and the delicate yellow undertone makes it quite original. The formula is creamy and very pigmented. First coat can be a little streaky but the second coat evens everything out, thanks to the new brush - I love this brush! I could write poems and songs about it - that applies smoothly and flawlessly.
To spice it up a bit I added a little clover for good luck. Nothing especially complex or groundbreaking, but I think it adds a nice touch. I used MAC Vestral white which is awful as full-on nail polish but it's perfect for nail arts, since it's a super opaque chalk shade.

That's all for today. Did you do something special for S.Patrick's day?
What's your favorite green polish?


Review: Clarins Ever matte shine control mineral powder

marzo 15, 2013

Clarins Ever matte shine control mineral powder compact #00 Transparent opale £26/€27.50
If you've read this blog for more than 5 minutes you'll know I love glowy skin to pieces, hence why I tend to avoid like the plague anything with the word 'matte' in the name. However Clarins Ever matte powder caught my eye right away thanks to the great reviews at first but mostly because lately I've become slightly obsessed with the brand in a 'I want to try everything' sort of way.

The powder smells heavenly - I can't tell exactly what it is but the scent is gorgeous - and it's so soft and finely milled it feels like nothing on the skin. A light dusting of it sets foundation and concealer and lasts all day keeping the shine at bay while giving a subtle glow to the skin. It's mattifying because it stops shine and oiliness but it isn't opaque or dull by any means: it looks extremely natural and fresh, and reflects the light in all the right places.
I believe it comes in 5 shades, from fair to dark, including a translucent shade which is the one I picked up. Transparent opal #00 is completely invisible on the skin but if you prefer your setting powder to add extra coverage to your foundation I'm sure you'll like Ever matte even more than I do. I played a little with the tinted powders in store and they provide a nice coverage with just a hint of yellow undertone to counteract any redness.
Another thing worth mentioning is the packaging. My, I absolutely adore Clarins packaging! The signature pale gold compact is elegant and looks expensive, but it's super lightweight and travel friendly.
No matter how hard I try I can't find any fault in this powder; even the price tag doesn't seem too bad for 10g of product.

This powder paired with Laura Mercier Silk crème foundation got me a lot of compliments on how my skin looks and questions about the foundation I'm wearing. Guess what I've been wearing non-stop everyday for the past few weeks?


Notd: Essie Not just a pretty face ft NYX Sparkles

marzo 12, 2013

Essie Not just a pretty face (3 coats) £8.99/€12 // NYX Girls nail polish Sparkles* £2.50/€2.90
I know, I know. Another gradient nail look. Uh, sorry?
The thing is I really wanted to try this pretty glitter mix but I didn't feel like doing a full-on glitter nail thing, since I'm not usually much of a silver girl.
And I'm slightly obsessed with gradients, okay. They're such a nice, easy way to spice up a plain nail varnish and look effortlessly elegant, I think.

NYX Sparkles* is a nice mix of small light silver glitters. It's thin enough that can be used both as a top coat and a solid glitter polish and could easily reach full opacity in 3 coats. The glitters spread nicely and the texture doesn't feel gritty.
For the base I picked one of the 'nail-growth' shades in my collection. I call those like that because if one of my nails breaks and I have to shorten them all - aw, shucks! -, with this kind of shades I can still look polished and tidy without attracting to much attention to my short nails, since I'm not a fan of brights and dark shades on too short finger-nails.
Essie Not just a pretty face is a light neutral pink with jelly finish. It's quite sheer and the tiny brush doesn't help much with the coverage: I had to apply 3 thin layers to cover the half-moons but I like the result nonetheless. It's the kind of office-safe nail polish that we all have in our collections; you might call it boring, but you know I like my nudes.

Against all expectations, because I tend to reach for golds and warmer shades instead of silver, I really like the final result. The pink and silver mix feels sweet and dreamy without being boring.
How do you feel about glitter gradients? Yay or nay?


Quick reviews: Foundation remix #3

marzo 10, 2013

The foundation freak strikes again...
foundation reviews2
Maybelline Fit me foundation // Giorgio Armani Maestro fusion makeup // Dior Capture totale serum de teint // Urban Decay Naked skin liquid makeup

001 I have to admit this foundation surprised me a lot. I'm not usually a fan of drugstore bases but Maybelline Fit me is very nice. It's tin, easy to blend and looks so natural, despite the medium coverage. The wear is not amazing tho: after 4-5 hours it looked a little worn out on the nose, which is the only area where I may get slightly oily during the day, but it faded evenly without blotchiness. The rest of the face anyways looked good at the end of the day and a primer or a tin veil of setting powder will do the job. The color range is also pretty good for a high street foundation. Worth a look.

002 This foundation is worth trying at least once just because of its unique texture: it’s so weird, it feels like applying dry oil on your face. I’d say the coverage is close to medium: it evens out the skin tone perfectly but blemishes will still need extra concealing. The finish is velvety and opaque; it’s actually very wintery, I would never wear something like this in spring or summer: even if the skin looks really perfected, it doesn’t look natural or fresh. It's also one of the longest lasting foundations I came across: at the end of the day it looked exactly like it looked in the morning, without setting powder or a primer underneath. I’m glad I tried it but I won’t purchase the full size: mad price aside, I prefer my foundations to have dewy, glowy finishes but it's definitely an interesting product and I understand the hype.

003 Capture totale is recommended for dull, dry or mature skin. It's a unique blend of anti-aging ingredients to treat and plump the skin and multi-toned pigments to create a more natural skin-like effect. Looking at the claims I was expecting a glowy finish; instead it's quite opaque, satin at the most. The coverage is medium but buildable. Pores and imperfection are blurred for a HD effect, but honestly I'd choose something lighter and more radiant both for mature or simply dry skin. I can't really say anything about the skincare benefits but the base itself gets thumbs down cause it's way too heavy.

004 Another decent option for satin finish lovers. Unfortunately, perfect match for my skin tone aside, I couldn't find anything special about this foundation, nothing exciting to write home about. It does the job quite well, but no wow effect for me. Light to medium coverage, very light weight formula, nice color range. Not so keen on the alcohol smell but it doesn't linger on the skin, so it's not a big deal. Without praise or blame.

Have you tried any new foundation recently?


On my wishlist this week #10

marzo 08, 2013

Tom Ford Cheek brush & Beauty cheek color in Flush // Bobbi Brown Tinted eye brightener // NARS Radiant creamy concealer // Kevyn Aucoin Sensual skin enhancer // Diptyque Philosikos EDT
001 The other day the lovely sale assistant at the Tom Ford counter gave me a thorough tour showing me the whole line and answering all my questions about it. I have to admit at first I simply wrote off the line as too expensive for what it was but after experiencing the range first hand I have to take everything back. The brushes are incredibly soft and apply both powders and creams beautifully and the texture of the blushes totally blew me out of the water. Ah.may.zing. Need to start saving ASAP!

002 I'm a huge fan of the creamy correctors but sometimes the formula can be a little too heavy and hard to blend. For this reason I'm looking forward to trying the brightening liquid formula which among other things also promises not to set into fine lines. If only Bobbi Brown wasn't so hard to get a hold of here...

003 I was quite surprised to read so many good reviews about the Radiant concealers especially if you consider how drying and below average are other similar products by NARS. I'm on the market for an illuminating concealer with good coverage for my under eye area and I was going to repurchase the Clinique Airbrush one but now I'm curious to test this one instead.

004 I had my eyes on this product for a while now and I think I'm finally ready for the splurge. It's basically a multi-tasking formula, a concentrate of pigment that can be used as foundation, concealer, added to a tinted moisturizer too improve the coverage while keeping the skin radiant and so on and so forth. I have a soft spot for multi-tasking products and I'm curious to see if the Sensual skin enhancer is really as wonderful as it sounds.

005 During my last visit at the mall I stopped and the Diptyque counter as well to smell their lovely candles, and instead I fell for the amazing scents on display. The selection process was a little dramatic since all the scents were so different but so gorgeous at the same time. Finally I narrowed the choice to 6 scents - oh my - and after dipping my nose in the paper samples for a couple of days I think I finally made my pick. Philosykos smells like figs and fig leaves with a lovely summer hue in the background and it's the best selling fragrance of the French brand. No wonder about that, it's incredible!

What's on your wishlist this week?


Notd: Estee Lauder Dilettante

marzo 06, 2013

Estee Lauder Pure color nail laquer in Dilettante £14.50/€20.50
I have to admit Estee Lauder is not the first brand I think about when I want to buy a makeup product for myself. For long time this brand has been a byword for 'middle-aged lady' for me, with its classy packaging and mild, sophisticated shades. Lately tho I observed an effort to reach a younger public, through brighter shades and modern textures. And the latest Spring release is one of their most successful attempts in this direction.
Heavy petals is a nail polish collection inspired by Paris in full bloom, with 5 lovely pastel shades that remind me of decadent macaroons and hard candies. All 5 polishes are very pretty but one shade really stood out to me from the start.
Dilettante is a gorgeous turquoise blue creme; it's the perfect mix of blue and green, so different from anything I own. It makes me want to pull out coral jewelry and big sunglasses. Such a perfect shade for spring and summer! The first layer was a bit streaky but the second coat evened everything out. The consistency is quite tick and creamy, smooth and highly pigmented. It's definitely on the pricey side but from time to time is nice to indulge in something more unique and luxurious. Look how pretty the squared glass packaging is!
Overall a very nice nail polish and I can see myself reaching for it a lot in the next months.

Have you found your iconic shade for spring yet?