Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Till The Last Drop: Pu-Erh Tea

The Pu-Erh tea originally comes from China (Yunnan Province) but my box of 40 tea bags by Big Active came from Poland. I always thought that Pu-Erh is a kind of red tea, but later I found out that in some parts of the world it is classified as black tea. However, the tea itself, as well as its properties, is quite different from other black teas. And it tastes totally different. It is not that bitter.
Actually there are quite a few types of Pu-Erh but all of them are produced in a similar way. Their 'leaves undergo microbial fermentation and oxidation after they are dried and rolled. of microbial fermentation and oxidation. '*
According to what I have read in several articles, Pu-Erh teas have quite distinct chemical composition, comparing to black and green teas. It is also called 'fat killer' as it is supposed to stimulate digestion, help to keep the right body weight and also lower cholesterol levels.
I like the flavor of Pu-Erh and wish it was easier too find this kind of  tea in local stores.

* Wikipedia

Monday, November 24, 2014

Colors of Autumn: Orange - Nails

The orange nail polish looks fabulous on the nails.

The two shades chosen by myself look quite similar  however, the one by Sally Hansen is less pricey. On the other hand, La Laque No.142 by Yves Saint Laurent (I discovered it much earlier than No. 170 by S.H.) looked good on the nails even for two weeks - did not chip. I loved it - I found its quality really worth the price. The consistency of the nail polish doesn't change - it did not thicken even after moths of using it. The practical brush almost reaches the bottom of the bottle which helped to use the nail polish entirely, nearly till the last drop.

Right now I am enjoying The Hot Tamale shade (Hard AS Nails Xtreme Wear) by Sally Hansen  . I like the shiny color. So far I have been quite content with the quality of the nail polish. It is quite durable considering all the dish-washing and regular housework I do. The shape of the brush allows to apply the layers of the color quite evenly and flawlessly. All in all, in my opinion - a good buy.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Hand-Washing Time: Extra Moisturizing Hand Wash by Jergens

The hand wash by Jergens reminded me the tap water in Cyprus. It was amazing (both the tap water and Cyprus itself). At the beginning of our stay there, I thought it was the hotel soap that was making the water so soft and silky, so I was wondering where I could get such nice hand soap. Later I realized it was the water itself - perhaps something was added to it that changed its properties and made it so soft. I do not know for sure what it was but the softness of the water made the skin soft and moist too.

The hand wash by Jergens gives a similar, pleasant, silky feel during washing the hands. The liquid soap does not foam much but it cleans well. After using it my hands do not cry for hand balm so much as they usually do when I wash them with water only. Also, the light cherry-almond scent of the wash is noticeable during using it.
Quite a good thing especially considering its price - which was $1.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Big (and hot) Summer Day Makeup

It is this time of the year when some of us start missing the warmth of the summer. The colder it is getting outside, the nicer it is to think about the sunny summer or spring days when the weather was a bit more comfortable. However, it all depends where you are - in certain places in the world, the heat of the summer months makes you dream of the winter.
Not long ago I was looking for makeup items which would not fail on a hottest day, meaning the temperatures and the climate of course.
This is what I found (see the picture below).
Each piece is a kind of art achievement in the field of cosmetics. They worked well for me, despite of the high summer temperatures and high levels of air humidity.  Their prices are on a more expensive side though, which is a kind of disadvantage. I find them great anyway.

1. SENSAI Smoothing Water Make-Up Base by Kanebo
From the manufacturer's website: "SENSAI combines advanced skincare technology with the supreme power of its precious signature ingredient, Koishimaru Silk. This extraordinary fusion of science and nature works in harmony with the body, creating flawlessly silky skin that enhances every woman’s unique beauty." Japan's Koishimaru Silk hydrates skin and stimulates the production of hyaluronic acid within the skin. You can read more about this magical silk here.
The base is absolutely wonderful. It 'creates a taut, invisible veil that leaves the skin firmer, smoother and primed for make-up' - all true. It not only keeps the face skin moist and relaxed all day long, but also gives it a kind of natural, radiant look. Three little drops of the base are enough to cover the entire face, which makes the product last quite long.

2. SENSAI Cellular Performance Total Finish Foundation (with SPF 15) by Kanebo.

 Another great product - a true gem. Although it is a powder foundation, it is good for dry skin as it gives it a pleasant and moist feel. The foundation is easy to apply flawlessly to the face with a sponge provided by the manufacturer. The Total Finish Foundation is so light like a delicate veil, even after wearing it for many hours I do not feel it on my face - the skin stays relaxed and radiant. The foundation covers skin imperfections quite well and does not clog pores.
I bought a refill  package of  this SENSAI item (which helped reduce the price of the product), which included the foundation in a convenient box + the sponge. The refill version works as well as the product  in its original package. The powder base stayed in place and looked good on my face even when the summer temperatures were reaching 100F. However, it seems that 'my' Bamby Beige shade is no longer on offer.

3. SENSAI Eyelid Base by Kanebo

Its formula reminds a very light cream - it moisturizes eyelids and enhances the colors of eye shadows/eyeliner. A small amount of the base applied to eyelids with a finger helps keep the eye make up in place. It does not irritate my eyes, simply adds a touch of comfort to the eyelids.

4. Blush Prodige Illuminating Cheek Colour by Clarins

What I like about Clarins products (besides their quality) is that some of them are provided in red, velvet etuis which, in my opinion, add  cuteness to every item (and purchase).  I use this blush when I do not apply the Meteorites (read below). There are two mat and two shimmering shades in the blush box. My complexion is rather pale so this delicate, satin and illuminating color gives my face a healthy glow. It covers the skin evenly, without any ugly darker spots or marks. According to the manufacturer, the blush contains plant and mineral extracts. The little brush included in the box is rather better for a retouch than a regular application, but still it is a convenient addition - quite handy when away from your big blush brush. However, I have never done the retouch thing as I simply never needed to do it.

5. Meteorites - Powder for the Face by Guerlain

The illuminating powder consists of  light-diffusing balls/pearls which five colors depend on their purpose. The white pearls illuminate the skin, green color helps to correct redness, yellow pearls highlight and catch natural light, mauve ones brighten the face and the red ones give it a nice glow. The pearls contain a spherical pigment which brightens the skin with a halo - radiant effect. The Meteorites can be applied in different ways (see the tutorial video included below). I like to sweep them with a brush over my temples only, just for an illuminating effect.

The handcrafted powder pearls are available in three different color sets. The powder is really efficient - even if used every day, lasts really long - which maybe rewarding - considering not only its great properties but also quality - and price.

6. Blended Face Powder And Brush by Clinique

 The powder is supposed to be good for all skin types. What I can say about it is that my, a bit dry, skin likes it. It does set makeup quite well, with a natural look/feel effect on the face even during a hot summer. It is also useful when I want to give my face some nice shade without using any foundation. The brush size is good enough to put the right amount of powder on the face - without unwanted excess.

7. Instant Light Brush-on Perfector - Concealer by Clarins 

It is one of the best concealers I have ever used. It covers and brightens dark shadows, moisturizes, and smooths the skin. This Perfector contains oat sugars and Clarins Light Optimzing Complex which make the under-eye area not only look but also feel great.

8. Eye Shadows from Eye Shadow Pallette by Yves Rocher

Yes, I really like them! The shadows are quite high pigmented, cover the eyelids evenly and stay on them all day long. They do not crease and do not fall on the face during applying them around the eye area. The pearl shadows look good also in the daylight and, what matters to me, they are 'eye-friendly' - do not sting/irritate the eyes.

9. Long-Lasting Eye Liner by Sephora

The eye liner defines the eyes nicely. Its consistency helps to draw flawless lines, it doesn't smear and gets dry on the eyelid quite fast. However, to avoid marks below the eyebrow area, I usually kept my eye closed for a moment after putting the eyeliner on the upper lid eyelashes line.

10. False Lash Effect Waterproof Mascara by Max Factor

I enjoyed using the mascara. It thickened and lengthened the eyelashes, giving them a nice but not artificial look. I have already run out of it and I did not take a picture of it. Well, it was really good.

And finally something for the lips.

11. Double Wear Stay-in-Place Lip Pencil by Estee Lauder

One of the products that have never failed my expectations. The pencil is soft enough (but not too soft)  to define the lips and also cover them with the color quite easily. It really is a long lasting lip pencil and its slightly creamy texture does not dry my lips. The convenient brush helps with the lipstick application.

12. Perfect Rouge Lipstick by Shiseido 

Well, it is perfect for me - the illuminating color, the texture and how long it lasts on the lips. The lipstick softens and smooths my lips (it contains hyaluronic acid and Super Hydro-Wrap Vitalizing DE). It gives a nice vivid finish to the lips.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Till The Last Drop: Lip Gloss

In the 'Till The Last Drop' posts I am going to write about products I have run out of and I enjoyed using, and I simply wish a bottle or a box of this particular product was not empty.
Today something connected with the past season - glittery lip gloss.

Soft Coral and Soft Pink of Power Shine collection by Oriflame were definitely my summer favorites. It is really a pity that the cosmetics made by this Swedish company are not available in the US (at least I have found such info on the Internet). Anyway, the gloss was quite light, when spread on lips it softened and smoothed the lip skin. The color of the gloss was visible but almost transparent at the same time. Both Soft Coral and Soft Pink contained little shiny particles which created a twinkling effect, especially in the summer sunshine.
When I first bought these Power Shine items, I was a bit surprised not finding any sponge on the lip gloss applicator. I thought it might have fallen of and got sunk in the gloss, as it sometimes happened when I was using lip gloss by other manufacturers.

The non sponge solution is actually called 'ShineBoost' and it worked quite well. The gloss was applied evenly but its layer was really thin. On the other hand,  the application was very efficient as no amount of gloss was lost - usually some part of it sinks in the sponge. All in all, the bottles of the lip gloss could be a bit bigger than 5ml ..

Miami Pink of Ultra Shine Lip Gloss collection by Sephora  is another nicely sparkling lip gloss but its formula is a bit thicker than the consistency of the gloss by Oriflame, mentioned above. Miami Pink is also more pigmented, it hydrated and distinctly smoothed my lips. The 'hour-glass' shape of the applicator, compatible with the line of the lips, is quite convenient and practical. The gloss lasted on my lips rather longer than the one by Oriflame. Ultra Shine Lip Gloss by Sephora is available in various shades.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Caesar! Caesar!

 Having tried pizzas at different pizza restaurants and store bought ones too, we finally found some pizza which is not only very tasty, but also not too expensive.
Our pick is the pizza made at a local takeaway place run by Little Caesars. They offer hot and ready to go pizzas and lunch options but if you happen to have special wishes - just a few minutes and your custom made, nicely seasoned pizza, with toppings of your choice, is ready for you. The crust is soft and fluffy, not too thick. All in all, tasty and very enjoyable.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Summer Favourites

Summer days are gone, it is getting cooler, sudden snowfall has already appeared in some places. The days when we were missing cooler weather and lower temperatures were not so long ago, that is why we would like to tell you about some of our favorite, everyday summer treats. On hot and humid summer days I found them quite useful.
1.  Waterproof mascara - Luminelle - by Yves Rocher 
It worked well - applying it was quite nice and quick - no lashes glued together, no clods, a bit volumizing but still natural effect/look. It didn't smear even on very humid days and did not irritate my eyes. There was no problem with removing the mascara with eye makeup remover. It is a pity the product has been discontinued by the manufacturer.
2. Double Wear Light Stay-in-Place Makeup by Estee Lauder
It does stay in place and looked nice on my face even when the temperatures outside were reaching 100F. When I first applied it on my face, I thought it would be drying my skin but actually it didn't. It really lasted long and is quite light - I didn't feel it on my face even when I was wearing it all day long.
It is good for 'bigger' and 'smaller' summer outings and workdays too. It gives quite light coverage (which I enjoyed) and at the same time did not look like a mask on my face. However, it is important to shake the tube well before applying the makeup. At least, the better I shook it, the better it worked for me.
The manufacturer provides the Double Wear makeup in several shades and it is fragrance free (luckily). This is something I would definitely buy again.
3. Waterproof eye pencil - flashy silver 02 - by Sephora
The eye pencil is my summer eye color 'tool' no. 1.  During hot and sunny days, when it was not very comfortable to wear regular eye makeup, this touch of flashy white added a lightening touch to my look. Well, the color of the pencil is white - it has some little, sparkling silver particles - nothing too glamorous, just a really delicate accent. I put it on the middle parts of my upper eyelids and below the outer eyebrow corners. It lasted long, despite the heat, and it didn't crease or melt into my eyes. The pencil, including its inner part, is very soft which makes it not very efficient, it was worth its price though.
4. Solutions plus+ Total Radiance - visual perfection tint release moisturizer SPF 20 - by Avon
On hot summer days, when I did not want to wear any makeup, but also wanted to give my face something more than a bare, pale look, I treated it with this product. It worked like a hydrating cream but was a bit different than other tinted  moisturizers. It contained tiny balls of light brownish, sparkling pigment which  were mixing into the almost transparent, creamy base during the application. It gave my face a fresh and shiny look, no matter how hot and humid outside was. I also liked how light it felt on my face. However, it did not cover skin imperfections which was a small disadvantage. Anyway, it kept my skin relaxed and moisturized, and there was no need to reapply or correct it during the time.
5. COLORTREND pencil play - white - by Avon Cosmetics
This eye pencil is a bit harder than #3 but I have found it soft enough to put it gently on the inner corners of my eyes and draw lines on the inner lower eyelids (water line). The white is eye-friendly, 'opens' my eyes and gives a bright look.
6. Avon Naturals body renewing body spray - black cherry & nutmeg
Just a pleasantly scented alcohol free body spray. The fragrance is not too strong - sweet cherry with light nutmeg accent. Much better to wear on sunny days than any great perfume as no alcohol makes it skin friendly. Also, the light scent doesn't 'choke' or bother with too strong notes.
7. Blusher in Pearls

The pearls I have been using are actually a mix of two products: Sun Touch Blusher in Pearls by Wibo (some of the pink pearls) and blushing pearls by Oriflame. They give my face satin, natural but also a bit sparkling colours, shape it nicely, and do not dry my skin. Easy to apply evenly with a smaller brush.

8. Sheer & Shine Lipstick by Yves Rocher
It is quite a good alternative to a regular lipstick or lip gloss, especially meaning the summer days but not only. Gives a fresh and soft look, covers my lips with a light moisturizing layer of pastel, radiant color. The stick is a bit thinner and smaller than most lipsticks (2g) but quite long-lasting.
9. Nourishing lip balm  with Sweet Almond Oil by Yves Rocher
This balm stick is actually quite useful all year round. Hydrates my lips, softens and protects the delicate skin and makes my lips look nice. Sometimes I use it also before applying a lipstick. The stick is soft but quite solid at the same time - it doesn't melt or change its form during spreading it on lips.
10. Powdered blotting paper by Sephora
I found it very handy in the summertime. The blotting sheets are not big (the package doesn't take much space in a purse) but helped with keeping my face dry and mat without wiping of the makeup. Useful but it could be a bit cheaper.
11. Flawless Finish Concealer - Dark Circle Corrector Stick by Yves Rocher
I almost forgot to mention it. The concealer does what the manufactures says: 'Naturally hides dark circles and blemishes'. The texture of the stick is not too rich and not too thick - so it is quite good for a summer outing. Covers my darker under-eye spots  quite well and gives the look a nice finish. The concealer contains Musk Rose Oil softening and soothing the under-eye area. I like it although after a few hours of wearing it, the corrector dries my skin a bit, which makes little fine lines more visible (a good under-eye moisturizer applied before makeup time solves the problem). On the other hand, it doesn't irritate my eyes/skin and is quite light. More over, the stick makes the application of the concealer quite comfortable. Available in two shades. Photo friendly.