Friday, February 27, 2015

Skin Care: Gigi Post Epilation Lotion

Last year I was looking for something I could treat my legs with (after doing my home epilation routine).  It is important to soothe the irritated skin right afterwards, with a special balm or cream, to avoid possible hair follicles infection and its result - red, ugly looking spots on the legs.
Anyway, I came across Gigi Post Epilation Lotion. Having used it for some time, I am really glad I bought it. It does calm the skin and makes it look good (no redness) after hair removal. Besides that, the Lotion has also skin moisturizing and softening properties. It contains allantoin (anti irritant) and wheat germ oil (a skin conditioning agent).
The moisturizer is absorbed by the skin quite quickly but to make it work properly, it is better not to cover the treated areas with clothing for a few minutes. The lotion has a soft but rather nice scent. The big bottle (473ml/16 oz) of the product will last long (I have been using it for a few months already). When I run out of it, it is very likely that I will buy this post epilation lotion again.


Wednesday, February 25, 2015

About Our Fav. Music & Generalization

We like music. Music in general. Many various styles: from classical music to some heavy metal (with many other kinds in between). You can meet us at a symphony hall, a ballet performance or a rock concert. How is it possible? We simply enjoy it all: music in its different forms.
Many people tend to listen to one particular kind of music only. Some, who like classical, would never listen to Iron Maiden. A lot of others, who like more modern styles, find classical pieces uninteresting. According to some, if you like classical music, you must also be a boring and stiff person. How untrue it is! We do not look like typical heavy metal fans, we never did. But it does not mean we dislike that sort of music. One can be of many things not just one!

From Classical Music...


There are 
many 
music genres, 
bands 
and songs
in between.
They are
totally
different
from
each other
but
interesting
and
enjoyable
in
their own ways.
Not
worse
or
better.
Just different.

... to Metal


The song by Sabaton (a Swedish band) is dedicated to Audie Murphy - soldier and hero.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Hair Care: Silkience Silky-Smooth Conditioner

I bought this conditioner hoping it would be good but, since I had not used any Silkience Hair Care products before, I was not sure what I was buying.
I have been using it for some time and I am really pleased with the quality of the conditioner. Its creamy texture makes my hair smooth and easy to comb/style. On the other hand, it does not make the bands look greasy or flat. The conditioner (made in Canada) has a nice but not an overwhelming scent. The Silky-Smooth conditioner contains aloe vera (beneficial for the skin), panthenol and hydrolyzed soy proteins which improve the texture of hair.*
You couldn't get more, meaning both quality and quantity, for $1 (the price of the conditioner at a Dollar Tree store).   

From the label:
'Silkience is a registered trademark of Silkience Holdings, Inc. and Evergreen Consumer Brands, ULC.'
 

How I use it: After washing my hair with a shampoo, I apply the conditioner to the wet hair and then (I do not wait the advised 2-3 minutes) rinse it with water.

Silky-Smooth Conditioner - Ingredients

Aloe-derived ingredients enhance the appearance of dry or damaged skin by reducing flaking and restoring suppleness - See more at: http://cosmeticsinfo.org/ingredient/aloe-ingredient-family#sthash.muylHLYd.dpuf
Aloe-derived ingredients enhance the appearance of dry or damaged skin by reducing flaking and restoring suppleness - See more at: http://cosmeticsinfo.org/ingredient/aloe-ingredient-family#sthash.muylHLYd.dpuf
Aloe-derived ingredients enhance the appearance of dry or damaged skin by reducing flaking and restoring suppleness - See more at: http://cosmeticsinfo.org/ingredient/aloe-ingredient-family#sthash.muylHLYd.dpuf
Aloe-derived ingredients enhance the appearance of dry or damaged skin by reducing flaking and restoring suppleness - See more at: http://cosmeticsinfo.org/ingredient/aloe-ingredient-family#sthash.muylHLYd.dpuf
Aloe-derived ingredients enhance the appearance of dry or damaged skin by reducing flaking and restoring suppleness - See more at: http://cosmeticsinfo.org/ingredient/aloe-ingredient-family#sthash.muylHLYd.dpufand hydrolyzed soy proteins which improve the body and texture of hair

* Find out more on these ingredients here.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Spring Makeup in Winter

 I enjoy playing with various tones of eye shadows and eye pencils. Whatever combination of colors I come up with, it is neither dramatic nor too unusual. It is always something simple which I can wear every day without looking (too) awkward.

Browsing my makeup bag, I came across a Kohl Duo eye pencil by Yves Rocher.
Duo Crayon Kohl: Rose irise/Bronze dore by Yves Rocher - both colors match also nude makeup nicely

The pink (rose irise) tip of the pencil made me think of the spring and spring flowers, which resulted in creating my spring makeup version:

  1. Pearl beige eye shadow - inner eye corner + eyebrow arch.
  2. Eyelids: Orange and green eye shadows (from Pearl Profusion Cosmetics Eyeshadow Palette.
  3. Lower lash line: pearl beige (close to the inner eye corner) + green eye shadow line.
  4. Upper eye lash line: pink eye pencil by Yves Rocher.
Well, it all looks a bit different than in the pictures...

Professional lip pencil No. 12 by Collistar and lipstick Caresse 03 Lovely Rose by L'Oreal complement the spring eye makeup.
The shade of the lipstick is much lighter in real - matches the eye pink pencil

I cannot wait till the spring comes!

Dutch tulips in Ania's garden - picture by Ania L.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Pu-Erh Tea Again

Some time ago I wrote about the Pu-Erh tea which I had got from Poland. I am very glad I managed to find this kind of tea here. As you can see in the picture below, the tea is actually called 'Cholesterid' which emphasizes one of its properties. This is a different type of Pu-Erh tea which I had previously but still tastes good and I like it. It is manufactured by Triple Leaf Tea, Inc. - a San Fransisco based company (they also make other kinds of Chinese teas). I am not sure why this one called: 'herbal dietary supplement' (maybe because of its beneficial qualities again) since it is just a different kind of an everyday tea.


From the manufacturer:
'Green, black and oolong teas, 'cha', all are made from hte plant Camellia sinensis. Yunnan toucha tea, however, is one of a few teas known as 'pu-erh cha', made from  an ancient subspieces of the tea plant, Camellia sinensis assamica.'

Read more about Cholesterid Tea here.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Nude Makeup And A Bit More

I have got this eyeshadow palette because of two reasons. First of all I wanted a set of bronzes for a nude makeup look. Since the tones of this Trio are quite nice, and I had never had any eye shadows by Maybelline, I decided to purchase them. They (and the nude eye makeup) were actually my choice for the Valentine's Day + weekend. The bronze shades are neutral so they match any outfit/lipstick color.
The pigmentation of the  eye shadows is OK (could be a bit better) but when I apply them after putting some eye shadow base on the lid, they last all day. The 'prompts', provided both on the box and eye shadows (1. Base, 2. Lid, 3. Crease - see below), help if someone does not know how the shades should be applied. I really like the colors. They create an effortless and elegant look. It is also easy to transform the nude day makeup into its evening/date version.
ExpertWear Eyehadow Trio - Chocolate Mousse (delicately shimmery) - by Maybelline
Day makeup:
a) to open the eye - I put some shimmery champagne eye shadow in the inner eye corner;

b) Chocolate Mousse Trio by Maybelline applied to the eyelids + a thin line along 1/3 lower eyelid line with shade No.3;
c) brown eye pencil - a thin line along the upper eyelashes line.

Luminelle Duo Crayon Kohl: Vert d'eau pailette and Brun nacre by Yves Rocher - soft, creamy tips and interesting shades

Every now and then, Yves Rocher offer a different version of the Kohl Duo eye pencil, meaning different colors matched together. Currently it has been Smokey Grey and Mandarine (regular price $5) - love the latter shade. Anyway, the two colors presented in the above picture go nicely with the nude bronzes of the eye shadows. The brown pencil can be used to enhance the upper eyelashes line  with the frosty green on the lower eyelid line or the opposite. The Vert d'eau pailette (I call it 'frosty green') line looks really interesting on the upper eyelid too. Anyway, on Valentine's Day, I used the brown eye pencil only.

Lips - what I used (as it matched the color of my outfit):
I received the lipstick as a free gift, when I ordered something else from Yves Rocher. The lipstick smells nice, like a raspberry cake . It provides adaptable coverage and looks good on the lips. The shade reminds me fuchsia but it is a bit less intense.

Evening makeup version:
a) and b) the same as in the Day Look;
c) if you have no time to wash off the Day Look, it is enough to draw a line with a black eyeliner (on the brown eye pencil line - upper eyelid) - it changes the look dramatically.

Lips
I changed my outfit so I colored the lips red.

And a bit more

COVERGIRL Queen Collection - Peacock
It has also been my first ever eye shadow by COVERGIRL. I purchased it because I found the Peacock shadow interesting. Besides, I also wanted to try a product by this brand. I am neither disappointed nor surprised with the quality of the eyshadow (it tends to fade on the eyelid)
but I still like the green tone. It matches the Chocolate Mousse Palette and when used to crease (with no.1 and 2. from the Maybelline Trio), it gives a new dimension to the nude makeup look.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Face Care: Velvety Facial Moisturizer by Yves Rocher

My face care is a bit complex as my face does not like most face creams: so many, even expensive ones, cause allergic reactions to their ingredients. Unfortunately, it includes anti wrinkles and serums too. Although I do not know which exactly ingredients bring that terrible discomfort to some part of my face, I have noticed one regularity: the more natural (considering the ingredients) a cream is, the better my face skin tolerates it.
Within years, I have found a few face creams which work well for me. One of them is Velvety Moisturizer with Organic Aloe Vera by Yves Rocher. It is a truly great product. It not only hydrates the skin well but it is also gentle enough to be used as an under eye area hydrating treatment, without any eye irritation. The creamy texture of the moisturizer is absorbed by the skin quite quickly, without leaving a greasy film, which makes it a good makeup base too.
The cream contains organic aloe vera  'which is known in traditional medicine as a multipurpose skin treatment'*. Some of the Moisturizer's ingredients also are:
  • sesame seed oil,
  • shea butter,
  • vegetable oil,
  • jojoba seed oil,
  • cacao seed butter,
  • corn starch,
  • candelilla wax.

From the manufacturer:
  • 99% of the total ingredients are from natural origin,
  • the moisturizer is paraben, mineral oil and colorant free,
  • for normal to combination skin.

The cream does comfort and revitalize my face skin (which is rather on a dry side) with a long lasting moisturizing effect. It has a delicate and pleasant scent. The price of the product is an advantage too (especially that it is often available with 50% discount).
All in all, I find the Velvet Moisturizer really good.
Thank you Yves Rocher!

*http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aloe_vera#Traditional_medicine

Monday, February 16, 2015

DIY: Joy of Sewing And Clothes Making

My mum used to make clothes for us. She was not a tailor and she had not taken any tailoring courses. She just learned everything on her own. She had an old Singer's sewing machine which she had received from her mother. Grandma was not a tailor either but she was also a very creative and resourceful lady: during WWII, when shoes were not available in stores, she learned how to make shoes and made them for her children. She could make clothes too.

Mum with her mum
 Anyway, the machine was very good - you could sew anything and everything with it - from a leather school bag and shoes to a thin silky blouse. And mum made us wonderful clothes - all kinds: trousers and jackets, dresses and vests. In the evenings and late in the night she sewed, no matter how tired she was after a work day in the office and doing all the home chores after work. I loved the pieces of clothing she created for me!

When sewing and tailoring magazines appeared in the newspaper kiosks, she also used some of the patterns included in those magazines, to make all kind of fashionable pieces of clothing for us and herself. I especially liked Burda magazine trends, and later, I was also buying it myself.
At some point, I thought that making my own clothes could be fun. After all the years of watching mum while she was sewing, I decided I was ready - bought myself a sewing machine and started my home sewing 'career'. Mum helped me of course, especially at the beginning: I always had problems with fitting the sleeves in a blouse or a jacket, so she sometimes did that for me. Dealing with a lining was not my favorite part either. I simply found finishing the inner, lining part boring. Maybe because the lining is something which is usually not really seen when you wear eg. a jacket.

My sewing was not that kind of masterpiece work which mum did but I enjoyed it although it was a very time-consuming activity. Yes, making a piece of clothing takes rather a lot of time. But I did manage to create quite a few things including shirts, jackets, hats, skirts and dresses. I also learned that little details, for example, buttons, make a difference. It is enough to sew on new, colorful or nicely shaped buttons or a more interesting zipper to change the look of a boring dress or shirt.

The hat made by myself
These days I do not make my own clothes anymore but, thanks to my past sewing experiences, I know what to do with a needle and threads when something needs fixing. From time to time I improve a dress or some other items: shorten or narrow something. However, with no sewing machine and doing everything by hand (when I was moving I had to leave the machine at mum's), completing a simple project lasts ages. That is why I hardly ever sew nowadays.

Some of the clothes I have made.


Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Perfumes And Travels: Casmir by Chopard

I got this bottle of perfume when I was traveling with Ania - a friend of mine. Together we visited quite a few countries, and even more airport duty free stores. In one of them Ania bought herself some nice scent - perfume or eau de toilette (cannot recall what it was), I chose Casmir. When I smelled its sample at the store, I knew at once I loved the beautiful and elegant fragrance.


Casmir was created in 1992 by Michel Almairac:
  • top notes: peach, apricot, blackcurrant, raspberry;
  • middle notes: mandarin, carnation, cinnamon;
  • base notes: vanilla, benzoin, tonka bean, opoponax ('sweet myrrh' - an oil plant native to the deserts of middle East).
It all makes quite a special composition, different to other perfumes which I have had. The fragrance - a rich and intense bouquet - is long lasting and certainly good to be worn during special evening/night outings.

Travelling with Ania - in Cyprus

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Makeup for Cooler Weather And Valentine's Day

This is my makeup suggestion for any bigger winter outing including Valentines' Day celebrations. The luminous elements: foundation, concealer and face powder make the complexion look fresh and radiant without unnecessary excess or mask effect.

1. Face
Teint Miracle by Lancome
I love this hydrating foundation which reflects light and makes the skin face look flawless and great. It is light like a delicate veil but covers red marks really well. The foundation contains Sun Protection Factor No.15 and is a long lasting Miracle too - no need to correct it even if worn for many hours.
I bought it in Europe where the shades of the Lancome foundations are marked in a totally different way than in the US (do not know why). If I wanted to repurchase it here, I would need to compare my item with the samples available at a store and then decide what my tone is called here. A bit complicated but the product is worth doing that research for sure.

Teint Miracle Concealer by Lancome
It moisturizes my dry under eye area, brightens the dark circles and smooths fine lines. On top of this, it is also very good for sensitive eyes. The concealer contains micro-fluorescent particles which give the radiant (and younger :) ) look. Its tone harmoniously matches the shade of the foundation. Long lasting. Who would want more?
Teint Miracle Concealer: Rose Lumiere by Lancome

Lucidity Translucent Loose Powder by Estee Lauder
This light and luminous powder is great - it very much adds to the radiant look and what is more important, it does not dry out my skin. Unfortunately, it has been discontinued but it is still available in some online stores.
Lucidity Translucent Loose Powder No. 01 Light

2. Eyes
Pure Color 14 Enchanted Berries by Estee Lauder - great pigmentation, long lasting, anti crease and very efficient. More and less shimmery shades create quite a few dimensional, non-flat makeup.
How I use them:
#1 inner eye corner + under eyebrow arch;
#2 eyelid;
#3 crease - at first I used #4 to crease but I decided the result was not very interesting so I changed it to #3;
#4 sculpt;
#5 a thin line along the upper eyelashes line + 1/2 of lower eyelashes line (I draw the lines using a moistened/wet brush).
1. Satin, 2. Shimmer, 3. Shimmer, 4. Metallic 5. Matte
The little sponge applicators are good and work well but I prefer using eye shadow brushes, especially to draw lines on the eyelids.
Brushes: Elite Professional & by Sephora - both are good and very useful

 Kohl Eye pencil Luminelle by Yves Rocher
I moisten the tip with water and use the pencil to enhance the purple line (#5) on the upper lid - simply draw another line on the purple eye shadow line. In real, the shade of the eye pencil is a bit darker than in the picture.
Kohl pencil Bleu pacifique by Yves Rocher

Black-Brown Waterproof Mascara by Max Factor


I have always liked this brand, maybe because the very first foundation (which I used for some time) was by Max Factor too and it was great in every way. Anyway, the mascara has quite an interesting shade - a mix of two colors but still more black than brown. The rubber brush is flexible and allows to apply the mascara evenly, without any problems. It is waterproof which helps to avoid any makeup mishaps.


3. Lips


#310 Rose Anemone lip pencil by Lancome
Yes, I have had it quite long and have been enjoying using it. Its color goes well with most pink lipstick tones.

Michael Kors True Hollywood Lipstick by Estee Lauder 
The lipstick was part of a limited edition - a vivid and long lasting color, covers the lips with an even and moisturizing layer. Love this fuchsia shade - it looks gorgeous when, after applying the lipstick, you also add some touch of a transparent lip gloss to the lips.

4. Nails
Extreme Wear Nail Color # 320 Fuchsia Power by Sally Hansen
This long lasting and shiny polish finishes the Valentine's Day makeup.


Have a great and enjoyable Valentine's Day!

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Anna Sui Cosmetics from Dave Lackie

In January I was the lucky winner of one of the Luxury Giveaways by Dave Lackie, beauty editor and Cityline expert. I came across his Beauty The Guide a few months ago and since then, I have been enjoying reading his articles on the news from the makeup and beauty world. I am really glad I found Dave's website, not only because I won, but also because I had missed that kind of good reading/magazine after moving to this part of the world.
I learnt about Anna Sui from Dave Lackie and his online posts. Having spent most of my life in Europe, I am more familiar with all the bigger and some smaller European brands/names. That is why - when I won this set - I thought I would look for Anna Sui cosmetics in local stores, to see what they looked like. Well, I did not succeed as they simply did not have any items by her.
Now, when I have already received my lucky set, I am glad I was not able to see the products before. It made the happiness of winning them even greater. When the package arrived, I was so amazed (and happy of course) how cute the little things are! And the shades are so pretty too! They are the cutest cosmetics I have ever had and each of them is special in its own way.
Thank you Dave! Thank you Beth!

1. Nail Polish No.305 - shimmery and lovely - and the little bottle! Of course I am going to use it soon.

2. Rose Cheek Color No. 602 - more and less shimmery (which I love) and wonderful shades. And the box - so girly...

3. Lipstick V 303 - the shape of the little container and the lipstick itself are truly original.  Shall I start using it and destroy the cute star or keep it as it is, to look at it and enjoy the art? :)

4. Glittery Lip Gloss No. 601 - I love glittery shades/cosmetics. The lip gloss looks great on the lips and smooths them nicely.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Hats Are Fun!

I mean real hats. And we do like wearing hats because of various reasons. Besides being useful - when we want to protect ourselves/our heads from the weather conditions (both in the summer and the winter), a hat is also an important component of the outfit, as it gives the image the finishing and closing touch. It may add to the cuteness of the look or totally spoil it and make us look ridiculous.
That is why, it is important to find a hat which matches you and your face, and enhances your style in a flattering way.
Hats also makes the summer heat more bearable. Outfit: shirt and shorts made by myself.

While walking around a shopping center, we were also looking for some nice hats - trying hats on is fun too! To my disappointment, what we could see in most stores was totally not of my taste - not my 'kind of fairy tale' at all. All hats had too much of this and that, there was nothing I could call nice or at least entertaining. Surprisingly, we found many more interesting head covers (meaning both quality and design) in men's departments.
Since I am not very much familiar with American fashion stores, visiting a shopping mall is always  in a way similar  to doing sightseeing - we watch and learn new things too. Passing by a store, I saw two letters 'CC' above the door leading into the place. I wondered what the acronym stood for so we entered the 'CC'. Almost at the same moment we heard: 'Welcome to Charming Charlie'. So we knew/learned. And surprise! We discovered many cute bags, accessories there .... and my kind of hats too :).
We came back to Charming Charlie a few days later and I chose something for myself. Guess what it is!

I was glad to find out that CC has also got an online store - now I can browse their collections on the net and see it all live in the mall too.

Monday, February 2, 2015

Eye Pencils: In Blue

I am so glad that the Big Makeup World has finally appreciated colorful eye pencils and eye liners. In my opinion, lighter shades 'open' the eye and add the light to the look. My favorites have always been various tones of blue and green (my eyes are brown), and I have worn them no matter what a current makeup trend says.

My choice of blue eye pencils:
all of them (besides no.3) are creamy and soft which makes the application quite comfortable. The colors stays on the eyelid long and do not fade/smudge.

1. Dessin Du Regard Crayon Yeux Haute Tenue - No. 9 Turquoise by YSL
The eye pencil contains jojoba oil. The blending tip is quite handy considering creating a 'smokey eye' look option.

2. Waterproof Eye Pencil - Turquoise by Yves Rocher is enriched with Chamomile extract. I really like its radiant shade. The built-in sharpener is quite and useful. The winner in my 'waterproof  qualities' test.*
  
4.  Flashy Liner Waterproof - No. 08 Flashy Blue - by Sephora
It is really great - a lovely vivid, metallic/shiny blue shade. The tip is soft and silky. I could not find more info on the pencil as it seems to be discontinued but it is long-lasting indeed. No.2 in my 'waterproof qualities' test*.

3. Sky Teal by Apple - this eye pencil (I do not know anything about its manufacturer) is actually the weakest (meaning quality) so it should be marked as no. 4. On the other hand, even though its tip is a bit harder, comparing to the other pencils, there are no problems with drawing a thin, precise line and defining the eye with the Sky Teal. I like the color. Also, the eye pencil was inexpensive, which makes it quite a good option to all the more pricey stuff.
* I tested all four eye pencils in the shower.

Below: an example of my everyday makeup with a blue eye pencil. I keep the makeup light as at my age more intense tones would not look good. On the other hand, it does not mean the older you get, the more boring your makeup must be - a blue/turquoise (or other color) eyeliner adds some freshness and lightness to the look.



What I used:
  • eye shadows  (all blended together)  - beige, light orange-gold, light blue and lavender by Yves Rocher 
  • Flashy Blue eye pencil - by Sephora 
  • black waterproof mascara by Sephora