Monday, December 29, 2014

Bath Time: Epsom Salt + Something Else

From to time, we enjoy taking a nice, warm bath. Epsom Salt, called also ' bitter salt', is not just a mineral bath salt - it is much more. Magnesium sulfate MgSO4 (of PH neutral to the skin) is a great bath addition because of its properties beneficial to the body. Epsom Salt contains magnesium and sulfur which make the bath time not only relaxing but also improve the condition of the skin - soften and smooth it (we usually use one cup of Epsom Salt for a bath). After a long day, the Salt helps us also treat the tired and aching feet - soaking them in warm water + some Epsom Salt soothes minor skin cuts/grazes and sprains too.
To get more info on the Epsom Salt properties and how to use it, we advise you to read the instructions provided on your Epsom Salt package.

Another product which we enjoy using to improve the quality of the soaking bath is 100 % Pure Menthol Eucalyptus Oil by Power Industries Inc. Just a few drops of the oil makes the bath time a fragrant experience
Menthol - obtained from peppermint oil/other mint oils - gives a cooling and refreshing feel on the skin.
Eucalyptus Oil - has antiseptic, stimulating and energizing properties - kills germs and bacteria, improves blood circulation, helps to decongest upper respiratory tract and soothe minor muscle pains.

Luckily, we are not allergic to these oils as we really like having the aromatic bath every now and then.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Makeup - Natural Look Option

Although a black eyeliner was my very first eye makeup item, I have always enjoyed various, rather bright, colors in eye makeup. Here is one of my options (usually, the colors of my clothing influence the colors of the makeup) for a natural look - it involves more shades than a typical natural image but it is still quite soft, and I enjoy wearing it.

1. Eyes
  • eye pencil - white by Lumene

to apply to the inner eye corner and below the eyebrow arch;

  • eye shadows: a) sparkling champagne, b) beige + light brown, c) 2 shades of green, d) gold
Wet & Dry Double Effect Eyeshadow by Collistar
to apply to the white eye pencil spots;

b) light beige - apply to the upper lid, crease with the light brown shade;
Eye shadows of Yria collection by Yves Rocher

c) mix the two green shades and color the outer eye corner area, including drawing a line along the 1/3 of the lower eyelashes line;
 The pearl green shades come from 77 Color Eyeshadow Pallette by Profusion

d) gold - to apply to the center of the upper eyelid - for a less pale look;

This eyeshadow by Yves Rocher contains soothing virgin organic sweet almond (rich in vitamin E). It enhaces hte eye and adds a luminous and sparkling touch to a rather pale look.
  • waterproof eye pencil by Bourjois - to define the upper eye lashes line

More or less it all looks like this (scary? Well, hadn't drawn since the end of the 80s :) ).

2. Lips
a) lip liner - orange or natural
I wrote more on this lip liner here.
b) lipstick

This moisturizing cream lipstick by Yves Rocher contains sesame oil. It stays on the lips long, hydrates them and gives rather sheer, satiny and delicately luminous coverage.

Have a wonderful holidaytime!

Monday, December 22, 2014

Hair Care by Suave

Trying cosmetics by local brands (besides the ones which have been available in Europe) is like discovering new worlds. The names of the manufacturers most often say nothing to me, so I need to try a product to know what it is like and what to think about it.

The Refreshing Waterfall Mist Shampoo by Suave (Naturals) contains vitamin E - an antioxidant - but actually I chose it because of the 'Hypo-Allergenic' on the bottle. The product is really quite mild, considering the scalp, and it foams and cleans the hair quite well (which makes the shampoo efficient). Another positive side of the shampoo (in my opinion) is its rather light fragrance. Besides, the form and shape of the plastic bottle is convenient - easy to open and hold - using the product involves no effort, considering the container.
However, after applying the Waterfall Mist Shampoo, the hair is crying for a conditioner as it becomes dull and difficult to be combed.
Luckily The Refreshing Waterfall Mist Conditioner helps a lot and solves the problem. It does make the hair soft and moisturized although I never leave it on my hair for two minutes. I simply put the conditioner on my hair and wash it off. And the hair is ready to be styled and looks nice also after using the hair dryer - the conditioner does not make the hair strands heavy or greasy in anyway.

Some of the ingredients of the shampoo and conditioner by Suave Naturals are:
  • Spirulina Maxima Extract: spirulina maxima is a microalga rich in proteins and known for its antioxidant properties;
  • Mentha Aquatica Leaf Extract - conditioning agent;
  • Nymphaea Alba (White Water-lily) Flower Extract.
Ingredients of Refreshing Waterfall Mist Conditioner
Ingredients of Refreshing Waterfall Mist Shampoo

All in all, quite a good quality for a very friendly price. Maybe in some time I will try some other hair care products by Suave too.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Makeup For Cooler Weather 1

When the weather gets cooler, it is time to adjust the makeup to the changing temperatures and atmospheric conditions, different from the ones we used to have in the hot and steamy summer. Especially that makeup is not only supposed to enhance our beauty but also protect the skin.
Among many products by various brands there is quite a lot to choose from. Sometimes it is difficult to decide which cosmetic is best for myself unless I try it a few times. What's more, every so often it means trying again and again before I really find what my skin/face likes best or dislikes. Here are some examples of my favorite discoveries.

1. Foundation 

Skin Illusion Natural Radiance Light Reflecting Foundation SPF 10 by Clarins (in the above picture).
The foundation contains both plant and mineral ingredients including pink algae extract and opal powder. The first one has antiseptic properties and is rich in biologically active silicon (the plant grows in France). The other one comes from Brazil. It contains silica beads which fill in fine lines and give luminous, light-reflecting effect. What I also like about the foundation is that it hydrates the face skin and is quite light - gives medium coverage.

2. Compact Powder

The Ultralucent compact powder by Estee Lauder is great: non-comedogenic, good for sensitive and dry skin. It does give smooth and mat, flawless finish. Besides, this pressed powder sets makeup really well, without any kind of cakey effect on the face.The compact is quite handy to use both at home and when on-the-go.

3. Eye Shadows

High pigmentation and intense tones. I especially like the rusty bronze but all of them remind me colors of the autumn leaves.

My recipe for the Forest Quartet look:
  • Use the rusty shadow in the inner corner of the eye + to highlight the outer under eyebrow area.
  • Apply the dark brown shade to the upper eyelid, avoiding coloring the above.
  • Sculpt the outer corner of your eye and Crease with the green eye shadow. Blend all the shades with a brush.
  • Draw a thin line along the upper lash line + along 1/3 (from the outer eye corner) lower lash line with color no. 4
  • Emphasize the dark line on the upper eyelid (color 4) with the green eye liner.
4. Eye Liner

I hardly ever use black eye liners as I simply do not like the typical smokey eye look. That is why I have chosen the green, waterproof and self-sharpening eye liner by Avon. However, I would use it to draw lines on the upper eyelids  only. The tip of the liner is soft and its shade nicely defines the eye and the eyelashes line.

5. LipGloss

Simply glamorous! Shiny gloss which rather reminds a lipstick, considering nice coverage and creamy texture. The intense color lasts long on the lips and, in my opinion, is gorgeous. One of the best gloss lipsticks (two-in-1s) I have ever tried.

6. Black Mascara

Le Waterproof Mascara by Sephora which I have got happens to be a bit clumpy, but it is easy to clear the lashes, and separate them also, with the little comb (by Sephora too). The other side of this handy tool, the brush, helps me tame my eyebrows. The mascara is quite good, meaning its waterproof properties (I have not tried it in the pool though), and it is easy to wash it off with eye makeup remover.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Marsala: Fashion vs Style

Somebody has decided that Marsala shades are in this season. To those of you who do not know - Marsala is a kind of (also fortified) wine made in the area of Marsala, a city in Sicily/Italy. The dark color looks interesting on nails, including toe nails. However, such tones may not be beneficial for each and every face.
A few years ago I used to know a lady who wore Marsala lipsticks and nail polish most of the time (although they were rather called Burgundy not Marsala then). It was her style, her image, which really suited her well (meaning hair color, complexion type etc.) and enhanced her beauty.
The point is, fashion trends come and go, following them uncritically might be disastrous. The personal style stays and makes a person. Or maybe it is a person who makes their style, despite what others regard as being in or out.

402 Urban Purple Professional Finish by Rimmel London. The shade is more 'Marsala' in real than it seems in the picture. Good quality and quite long lasting.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Body Care: Skin Nourishment by Salts of The Seas

We have discovered the creams and other products by Salts of The Seas by accident, but we are really glad we came across their stall. Encouraged by the presentation of the body scrub, we bought a little sack of their goodies: just a little bit of the scrub applied on our hands (and washed with water after a little while) made them silky and soft. It was quite an amazing and instant result!
The products by Salts of The Seas (a Texas based company) are supposed to contain Dead Sea Salts, Organic French Sea Salts. Natural Oils and Extracts. They are aimed at dry, very dry and cracked skin.

The little bag we bought: Body Scrub, Goat's Milk & Honey Creme, Heeling Foot Creme, Nourishing Lip Balm Sealer, Cuticream Nail & Cuticle Moisturizer, a small pumice stone and a plastic spoon to be used with the creams. 
Pumice stone and the spoon - Quite a nice addition to all the goodies

The Body Scrub (no picture) was really great - was - as we used it quite quickly as a pampering addition to the bath time  - to treat our feet and heels, with really great results. The consistency of the scrub, enriched with the Sea Salts, noticeably improved the condition of the skin and made the feet smooth and soft. Great product!

Heeling Foot Creme complements the Body Scrub but can be used on its own too. Besides the feet, it can also be applied to elbows and hands. The cream is absorbed by the skin quite quickly, moistens it and  does not leave any greasy film.

Some of the ingredients:
Natural Oils & Extracts:
  • Beeswax;
  • Sunflower oil - smoothing properties;
  • Soybean oil - contains a lot of  linoleic acid which restores the skin moisture level;
  • Shea butter - good water-binding properties;
  • Aloe barbadensis - known for its skin healing properties (among others);
  • Hydrolyzed silk - moisturizing and protective properties. 

Nourishing Lip Balm Sealer - good to treat chapped lips. It smooths the cracked skin and makes the lips look much better.
The balm contains only natural ingredients:
Castor oil, Palm kernel Oil, avocado oil, coconut oil, aloe extract,
Carnauba wax (called also 'Brazil wax' as it is derived from the leaves of the plant which grows only in some parts of Brazil) - hypoallergenic and emollient properties
Candelilla wax - made of the Candelilla shrub leaves - a plant native to Northern Mexico.

Goat's Milk & Honey Creme - quite a beneficial body moisturizer. I tried to use it as a face cream too but some parts of my face did not like it. The allergy was not caused by the Creme fragrance which is quite neutral. Most likely it was some of the other ingredients - my face is quite picky :).
The Creme contains of (among thers - see the label below): Shea butter,  soybean oil, sunflower oil, hydrolyzed silk, Aloe barbadensis and goat milk extract.

Cuticream Nail & Cuticle Moisturiser - I am trying to put it on my nails (when they are not polished of course) and cuticles every day. Hopefully the treatment will strengthen the nails - the cream seems to be working fine but I have not been using it long enough to see any remarkable results. However, right now I can tell  the cuticles are in a better shape already.

If you happen to be at The North Texas Irish Festival next year, look around, maybe you will find the stall by Salts of The Seas there. It is worth stopping by and trying their products.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Eye makeup: 3 in 1 Eye Pencil by Yves Rocher

08 Blanc

They eye pencil is part of the Couleurs Nature collection by Yves Rocher. It is quite handy: you can use it as kohl - to draw lines on the inner eyelids, a regular eyeliner or eyeshadow. The pencil is nicely soft - it contains Castor oil. When applied, the liner creates creamy and smooth texture which can be easily blurred with a finger.
According to the information given by the manufacturer, the eye pencil was 'tested under ophthalmological supervision'. It is 'eye-friendly' indeed. There are 11 various shades on offer. Mine is called 'White' though actually, the color is more light beige-and-pink or white-and-pink than Blanc. Yet, it is a good option to a traditional, snow white eye pencil.
The regular price of the 3-in -1 Pencil by Yves Rocher is $10. However, quite often, it is included in different special offers (check out the Yves Rocher website) and the price is much lower then.

Friday, December 5, 2014

Hair Styling Time: Volumizing Anti-Humidity Hairspray by Garnier

When I came here, while doing shopping. at first I was trying to find brands/products which I was familiar with,  and which I had known in Europe. The names meant also recognizable quality levels.  That was why I bought the hairspray with natural Bamboo Extract by Garnier. I had not used it before but I tried some other stuff by the manufacturer - so expected the hairspray could be good too.
I used #3 Extra Strong on dry hair to finish my hairstyle.Well, it did grip my hair really strong, glued it a bit and made the hair endings rather stiff. I did not mind it as my hair was still glossy, the hairspray did not cause a 'helmet' or flaky effect. Besides, which also mattered, the strong hold made my hairstyle humid and hot weather proof. Also, it did volumize the hair nicely.
Next day all the gluing, strong grip was always almost all gone, but the hair was still fluffy. On the other hand, sometimes the hairstyle needed little next morning corrections - some of the stiff strands of hair tended to jut in different directions. But it was easy to take care of them with my hot air brush.

Bamboo Extract is supposed to:
  • strengthen hair
  • absorb UV radiation
  • stimulate collagen production
  • stimulate skin metabolism 
  • make the hair look shiny
  • protect skin
It also contains some anti-oxidants.
In some time I will probably buy the hairspray by Garnier again. In the meantime, I will try some other kinds/by other (also more local) brands too.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Scented Little Cuties

I discovered them in two different duty free stores at two different airports. Two boxes of little fragrant bottles.

It would be difficult to say which scent/perfume is my favourite one as each of them is different and each of them is interesting in its own way. I tried to put them in order: from the most to the least  favorite fragrance which appeared to be rather difficult. I simply like them all (not equally though)! However, the scents within a brand seem to be equally attractive so it was easier to divide them in that way.
Here is my choice: if you click on a fragrance name, it will take you to a page with detailed info on  a particular scent and its creators (a really interesting - website!)

 #1 Lancome
  • Tresor - Eau de Parfum - from 1990, created by Sophia Grojsman
  • Poeme - Eau de Parfum - created in 1995 by Jacques Cavallier
#2  Christian Dior
  • Addict 2 - launched in 2005. This one is not in the pictures - I used it most often and it's gone already. :(
  • Miss Dior Cherie - Eau de Parfum - created in 2005 by Christine Nagel
  • Diorissimo - Eau de Toliette - created in 1956 by Edmond Roudnitska
  • Pure Poison - Eau de Parfum - made in 2004 by Carlos Benaim, Dominique Ropion and Olivier Polge
  • Dune - Eau de Toilette - first made in 1991 by Nelja Barbir and Jean-Louis Sieuzac

#3 Cacharel
  • Noa - Eau de Toilette - created by in 1998 by Olivier Cresp

#4 Ralph Lauren
  • Safari - Eau de Parfume - first made in 1990 by Dominique Ropion (well, I like it least).

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Colors of Autumn: Orange - Lips

My favourites: no. 1 & 2
1. Glazed Coral by Avon
2. Peach (Giordani Collection) by Oriflame
Sparkling pigment, covers the lips evenly with a nice creamy and bright glow. Both kinds of lipsticks soften the lips and stay on them quite long. All in all, they give quite an elegant look. The shade by Oriflame is a bit lighter though, less orange.

3. Pure Color No. 25 Melon SHIMMER by Estee Lauder

I got this sample lipstick at a Douglas cosmetics store in Poland. The color is quite fair, vibrant and juicy, shimmering indeed. However, the lipstick covers the lips with a very thin layer of pigment which does not look good on my lips - it accumulates in the lip vertical lines and highlights them a bit at the same time. I like the color but the texture and its appearance, unfortunately, do not work for me.

4. Pink Brandy No. 825 by Max Factor

The shade name is slightly confusing. Despite the word 'pink', the lipstick color is more similar to a dark orange pumpkin.  Quite interesting though. Rich and mat, creamy consistency feels and looks good even on drier lips. However, it is always good to use some lip balm as a lipstick base, no matter what kind of brand or shade you use.

5. Couleurs Nature Lip Pencil, 04 Orange by Yves Rocher

Simply a good lip pencil - contains Shea Butter. Easy to apply and define the lips with precise lines which stay in place and do not smear. No. 4 Orange goes well with all orange/coral lipstick shades.