Tuesday, 26 February 2013


I recently got my hands on the Nars Yachiyo Kabuki Brush attracted to it by its elegant design and the excellent reviews. As soon as I took my Yachiyo out of its box though I felt a little bit disappointed because it looked quite thin and flat, with triangular shaped sides and a pointy head whereas I had expected a fluffier brush with a tapered dome. So my first impression was of a useful tool for contouring or applying colour with precision in small areas, as in fact illustrated in the product description, but not ideal for a more 'diffused' application of colour. In fact when I first tried to apply a bit of blush on top of my cheeks it ended up looking a bit patchy and streaky to start with. This was before I washed the brush! After washing and drying the brush with a hair drier, it transformed into the fluffy brush I had expected and it did not only apply colour with definition under my cheekbones but it allowed me to blend it and diffuse it effortlessly and seamlessly all over my cheeks as well. So my recommendation is to wash the brush before using it! Moreover the soft bristles pick up a lot of pigment but, after tapping any excess off, they retain just the right amount of product for a perfect application of colour.  


Thursday, 21 February 2013

In the mood for sun with a coral lipstick and a touch of bronzer blush

March is now knocking at the door and it does not matter how cold it can still be or whether the sun is struggling to break through an icy sky here in the Uk, I feel I am craving for warm, sunny and mood lifting colours to kiss my face like a coral lipstick and a touch of bronzy blush.

Coral make up look

For the coral lipstick I chose Estee Lauder Signature Hydra Lustre Lipstick in Honey Rose, a delicate shade of coral, which in my opinion looks good on both warm and cool skin tones and with most eye looks. 

Estee Lauder Signature Hydra Lustre Lipstick in Honey Rose

Estee Lauder Signature Hydra Lustre Lipstick in Honey Rose swatch

For the blush I picked up Estee Lauder Pure Color Blush in Lover's blush, a very subtle tan shade with a hint of shimmer and a great compromise between a proper bronzer and a blush.  

 Estee Lauder Pure Color Blush in Lover's blush

 Estee Lauder Pure Color Blush in Lover's blush swatch

And if you are on a budget have a look at the new Bourjois Rouge Edition Lipstick in 03 Peche cosy for the lips and Revlon bronzer in 02 Sunkissed Bronze for the cheeks!

Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Best inexpensive hand cream: Flexitol Hand Balm

Flexitol Hand Balm

As a mum who needs to wash her hands all the time I often suffer from very dry hands especially during the winter.
The only product which seems to provide my sore hands with effective and long-lasting moisturisation and relief is a £5 hand balm from the Australian brand Flexitol that my doctor sister got for me in Boots over a year ago and that I have kept buying since then.
The reason why my sister chose this product over a wide range of more or less expensive hand creams was that it contains a good 10% of Urea, a well known effective moisturising agent, among other skin friendly ingredients such as Lanolin, Shea Butter, Aloe, Allantoin, Vitamin E, etc... (see below).
The new improved non-greasy formula is easily absorbed into the skin and pleasant to use during the day, as well as night time and it contains less fragrance (last ingredient) than the previous one. 
So no fancy packaging here or ridiculous prices, only a well formulated product which really works.

Flexitol Hand Balm

Flexitol Hand Balm Ingredients:
Aqua, Urea, Lanolin, Cetearyl Alcohol, Glyceryl Stearate, PEG-20 Stearate, Glycerine, Decyl Oleate, Paraffinum Liquidum, Dimethicone, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter), Aloe Barbadensis leaf juice, Allantoin, Tocopheryl Acetate, Phenoxyethanol, Sodium PCA, Benzyl Alcohol, Panthenol, Arginine, Lactic Acid, Parfum.

Wednesday, 13 February 2013

Best Serum: Bobbi Brown Intensive Skin Supplement

 Bobbi Brown Intensive Skin Supplement

Here is one product I cannot live without when I want my skin to feel more hydrated, look clearer, firmer, smoother and more rested. I can definitely see the difference when I use this and I highly recommend it if you are looking for a lightweight, water-based serum which absorbs easily, does not clog pores (it actually seems to clarify and tighten them) and makes your skin look healthier.   I usually apply two to three drops of serum either in the morning as a base for my makeup or in the evening as a night treatment. 

 Bobbi Brown Intensive Skin Supplement texture


Water, Butylene Glycol, PEG-8 Dimethicone, Methyl Gluceth-20, Glycerin, Polymethylsilsesquioxane, Sucrose, PEG-60 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Tocopheryl Acetate, Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Fruit Extract, Acetyl Glucosamine, Scutellaria Baicalensis Root Extract, Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate, Morus Bombycis (Mulberry) Root Extract, Camellia Sinensis (Green Tea) Leaf Extract, Caffeine, Sodium Hyaluronate, Acetyl Hexapeptide-3, Ceramide 2, Linoleic Acid, Retinyl Palmitate, Betula Alba (Birch) Extract, Cholesterol, Isopentyldiol, Caprylyl Glycol, Xanthan Gum, Oryzanol, Sodium Sulfite, Sodium Metabisulfite, EDTA, Disodium EDTA, BHT, Sodium Dehydroacetate, Phenoxyethanol, Methylparaben, Ethylparaben, Propylparaben, Butylparaben, Isobutylparaben

Saturday, 9 February 2013

Bare face vs made up face

Only a few years ago I would not have dared go out without wearing make up, let alone put a picture of my bare face on the internet, but here I am make-up free with all my flaws like puffy eyes, dark shadows, red patches and a couple of blemishes in the first picture down below. And so what? Whether I am wearing make up or not I am still the same person, even though, I must admit, make up helps as you can see in the second picture!

Face without make up
Face with make up

Here are the products that I used for this simple look and how I applied them. 

Bobbi Brown, Chanel, Nars, Make Up Forever, Sephora products

First I applied a few drops of Bobbi Brown Intensive Skin Supplement Serum to my face to prep my skin.
Then I dabbed a small amount of Chanel Perfection Lumiere (20 Beige) on the centre of my face (especially around my nose), forehead and chin and blended it with my fingers. After that I applied Bobbi Brown Corrector in Light Bisque under my eyes by pressing it with my fingers. A dusting of Nars Reflecting Setting Powder applied with a powder puff helped to set the base thus created.
To make my eyes look more vibrant I first swiped an off white eye shadow like Bobbi Brown in Bone on the entire eyelid. From here I lined my upper eye line with Bobbi Brown Long-wear Gel Eyeliner in Sepia Ink and I applied a coat of Make Up Forever  Smoky Lash mascara on my eyelashes.
To replicate a healthy glow I blended a soft natural pink blush like Bobbi Brown powder blush in Desert Pink on the apples of my cheeks with Sephora Professional angled blush brush. To finish up my look I swiped my lips with Bobbi Brown lip color in Rose Petal.

Tuesday, 5 February 2013

Review: Chanel Perfection Lumiere

Chanel Perfection Lumiere 20 Beige

It took me a while to decide whether or not to try this foundation because of the mixed reviews about it, but, since I have nearly ever been disappointed with a Chanel foundation before, I followed my instinct, went for it and I am glad I did.

Chanel Perfection Lumiere is a fluid foundation which starts with a creamy but lightweight texture and sets to a soft matte finish. Contrary to some reviewers who complain about it drying too quickly and not having enough slip for effortlessly blending I actually find it easy to apply with my fingers. Coverage is buildable from light to medium and it is enough for me to skip my under eye concealer whilst looking very natural. Another issue for some people is creasing and setting into pores but I have not experienced any of those either on my combination skin. If it can help I usually wear it on top of a light moisturizer and I make it sure I blend it well. Even if it is not as long lasting as e.g. Estee Lauder Double Wear, it still looks good enough on my face after 8 hrs.  The fragrance it contains is barely noticeable and does not linger. My only criticism is the "low" SPF10 instead of the recommended SPF15 but I can always put a sunscreen underneath. Shade 20 Beige is a great match for my completion. 

Chanel Perfection Lumiere swatches

Chanel Perfection Lumiere ingredients

Sunday, 3 February 2013

A modern classic look you cannot go wrong with

Chanel Spring 2013 Look

As much as I have recently had fun experimenting with different shades of blue and purple on my eyes I still love wearing a refined palette of warm and cool browns like Chanel Eyeshadow Quad in 39 Raffinement, which is both classic and modern at the same time with its hues of rich mauve (shimmery mauve brown), pearly pink beige, shimmery lilac (shimmery pale plum bronze) and deep eggplant  (dark reddened brown).

Chanel Raffinement Eyeshadow Quad

Other products used on my eyes: By Terry Crayon Khol Terrybly in 2-Brown Stellar  (upper eye line); Nars Larger Than Life Longwear Eyeliner in Campo de' Fiori (bottom eye line); Make Up Forever Smoky Lash black mascara (upper eye lashes).

Beforehand I created a polished base with Chanel Perfection Lumiere foundation in 20 Beige and a dusting of Nars Light Reflecting Loose Setting Powder.

Chanel Perfection Lumiere 20 Beige

To give my face a hint of a healthy glow I blended Nars blusher in Orgasm on my cheeks. As final touch I dressed my lips in a warm beige lipstick like L'Erbolario Makeup lipstick in Cammeo.