Monday, 24 June 2013

Laura Geller Blush - N - Brighten in Roseberry review and pictures

Laura Geller's Blush - N - Brighten blushes are so tempting with their baked formula and marbled pattern. Here are my impressions on Roseberry.

Laura Geller Blush - N - Brighten in Roseberry

Shade Roseberry is a melange of satin light berry and shimmery golden rose which translates into a natural luminous (not sparkly) rosy flush on my cheeks and which works well with both cool and warm makeup looks.
The texture is dry but smooth. I find it easy to apply without overdoing it, even though it is quite pigmented and buildable. On my cheeks it last for about 8 hours.
Overall I am quite impressed with the shade, finish and performance of this blush. 

Laura Geller Blush - N - Brighten in Roseberry

For the ingredients list check out Laura Geller website
Laura Geller is sold in the UK by QVC or Umera Cosmetics

Monday, 17 June 2013


Homemade Volcanic Bath Fizzers


Volcanic bath fizzers

Coconut Cleansing Milk
Two Phase Eye Makeup Remover 

Camomile Toner


Lip Balm

Laura Geller Balance - N - Brighten in Fair review and pictures

I have never been a great fan of powder foundation, which I tend to find a bit cakey, but let us see if Laura Geller Balance - N- Brighten has changed my mind...

Laura Geller Balance - N - Brighten in fair and Blush - N - Brighten in roseberry

I had wanted to try Laura Geller baked products for a while both because of the raves about them and because of their beautiful marbled patterns, so that I ended up getting a couple of products: Balance - N - Brighten powder foundation in Fair and  Blush - N - Brighten blush in Roseberry (review here).

Laura Geller Balance - N - Brighten in Fair

The Balance - N - Brighten I bought  from QVC UK includes a retractable brush made of synthetic bristles, which is very useful to carry in your bag for touch-ups or to apply powder in small areas and for putting on blusher, but which is a bit too small to cover your whole face quickly and effectively.

Shade Fair consists of a marbled pattern of beige, yellow and tan which once applied to my face results in a translucent beige, which looks ever so slightly darker than my skin tone. The powder has a smooth but dry texture that applies sheer but builds well to cover critical areas, even though it takes a few layers to achieve such effect and the more I build it up the more made-up and less natural I look. Even though it feels matte and a bit dry, it leaves a soft glow on skin.
If I apply it without primer it tends to pool into my pores and enhance my few wrinkles just like any powder foundation can do, but if I apply it with a primer it seems to glide over my skin rather then sink into my pores and it looks more natural.
After using it for a week I have also experienced few extra breakouts. 

Overall I think that this is a good powder foundation, even though it does not wow me or make me change my mind on powder foundations and I still prefer using a tinted moisturizer or a liquid foundation for a more flattering and natural look, at least on my ageing skin.  In my opinion this powder may work well on younger combination to oily skin, not prone to breakouts.

For the ingredients list check out Laura Geller website
Laura Geller is sold in the UK by QVC or Umera Cosmetics.
Have you ever tried this product? What do you think?

Make your own Two Phase Eye Makeup Remover

What about making your own gentle, effective and economic eye makeup remover? Follow this recipe...

Homemade Two Phase Eye Makeup Remover Ingredients

150 ml Deionised Water (or tab water) to make 70 ml camomile tea
1 Camomile tea bag
25 g Rice Bran Oil or Sweet Almond Oil 
5 g or 1 tsp gentle and tear free baby shampoo
5 g or 1 tsp Glycerin
0.5 g Phenonip preservative (optional) 
small bottle

After shaking your home made Two Phase Eye Makeup RemoverBefore shaking your home made Two Phase Eye Makeup Remover

How to make it:
First of all wash the bottle that you are going to use as your container with some hot soapy water, boil it for a few minutes so that it will be clean and disinfected and let it cool down .  
Boil 150 ml deionised or tab water and infuse one Camomile tea bag in it for a few minutes.
Once your Camomile tea has cooled down pour 70 ml (or 65 g) of it in your bottle, put it on an electronic scale (if you have got one) and add 25 g Rice Bran Oil (£1.50 from Saynsbury) or another oil like Sweet Almond Oil which should not sting your eyes (I also tried Jojoba Oil and Fractionated Coconut Oil but I found that they stung my eyes).
Then add 5 g of a gentle, fragrance and tear-free baby Shampoo such as Nature Babycare ECO Shampoo By Naty (£2.50 from Waitrose)  and 5 g of Glycerin. 
Ideally you may want to add a preservative like Phenonip (0.5 g) that you can buy on line in the UK from e.g.  The Soap Kitchen but if you do not have it, make it sure to store your makeup remover in the fridge for  max a week. 
How to use:
Shake bottle well, pour liquid on a cotton pad/ball and gently swipe on your eyes to remove all your eye makeup in a whim. Rinse with water.

Store in the fridge for a week if preservative free or for a bit longer if you have added preservative

Enjoy and let me know if you make it!

Recipe adapted from 'Lo struccante piu' efficace e naturale al mondo?'  by carlita dolce

Friday, 14 June 2013

How to make your own Camomile toner

The best complement to cleansing milk is toner and here you are a super easy recipe to make your own Camomile toner to use in combination with your homemade Coconut cleansing milk (see previous post here)!

150 ml Deionised water (or tap water) makes 50 ml toner
2 Camomile tea bags
3 drops or up to 1/2 tsp Cider Vinegar
1 drop Glycerin
small bottle  

Home made Camomile toner ingredients

How to make it:
Boil 150 ml of deionised water, which is limescale free and add 2 Camomile tea bags. Let the Camomile infuse for a few minutes or till the liquid has cooled down. Remove the Camomile tea bags and add 3 drops of Cider Vinegar if your skin is dry and sensitive or 1/2 tsp of Cider vinegar if your skin is combination.  Add 1 drop of Glycerin to make the toner moisturizing (if you add more then 1 drop you may end up with a sticky toner!).
Pour in a small bottle (I got mine from Boots) and it is ready!
Make a small amount at a time so that you will be able to finish it before it goes off!

You can also add 1/2 tsp of honey if your skin is dry or 1 drop Tea Tree if your skin is prone to breakouts.

Home made Camomile Toner

How to use it:
Pour a few drops on a cotton pad/ball and apply in outwards and upwards strokes over your face after cleansing, in order to remove the last traces of makeup and tone your skin.

How to store it:
Store in the fridge for about 3 days 

COMING SOON: How to make your own Two Phase Eye Makeup Remover (click here to see post)!

Recipe adapted from 'Ricetta tonico alla camomilla semplicissimo', by Carlitadolce

Make your own Coconut cleansing milk

Have you run out of your cleansing milk? Why do you not have fun making your own with this super easy, super fast and economic recipe?

Home made Coconut cleansing milk ingredients

10 tbsp Coconut milk or coconut cream
5 or 10 tsp Corn Flour 
70 ml or small bottle 

I used Coconut Cream because that was what I found in my cupboard! Coconut Cream (68% Coconut) is slightly thicker than Coconut Milk (60% Coconut). 

How to make it:
Open the Coconut Milk or Cream can and stir it well with a spoon in order to blend the coconut part and the water part back together if separated. Pour 10 tablespoons in a clean bowl, add 5 to 10 teaspoons of Corn Flour, depending whether you want it to be runnier or thicker and blend with an electric blender for a few seconds. Transfer the mixture in a small bottle (I got mine from Boots) and it is ready! 
Make a small quantity at a time so that you are able to use it all before it goes off.

Home made Coconut cleansing milk

How to use it:
Pour a few drops on a cotton pad/ball and massage into your skin, upwards and outwards in gentle circular motions. Splash your face with water and pat dry with a clean towel. You will be amazed on how well this homemade cleansing milk removes makeup. If you have oily skin you may wish to follow with a gel cleanser to remove any residue or follow with toner. 

How to store it:
Store in the fridge for about a week 
The Coconut Cream I used contains the antioxidant sodium metabisulphite to preserve the product. Bear in mind that if you use organic Coconut Milk or Cream it will not contain any preservative and it will probably go off more quickly.

Enjoy and let me know if you make it!

COMING SOON: How to make your own Camomile toner! (Click here to see post)

Recipe adapted from: 'Fare il Latte detergente al Cocco Viso vellutato e profumato! (ricetta semplicissima)' by carlitadolce 
P.S Carlita uses Rice Starch or Rice Flour instead of Corn Flour


Wednesday, 12 June 2013

Unsung hero: Sephora Classic Angled Blush Brush no. 40

I own a few expensive blush brushes by Bobbi Brown, Laura Mercier, Nars, etc. but my favourite one is  the cheeper Sephora angled blush brush.

Classic Angled Blush Brush 40

To start with this brush is the perfect size for my cheeks, whereas I often find professional blush brushes to be on the big size and to cover a larger area of my cheek than I want.
It has also got the right thickness and shape to apply colour to the apples of my cheeks or to contour them or apply highlighter with the angled side.
Its goat bristles are firm enough to pick up the right amount of product but also soft enough to feel comfortable on the skin.
Last but not least at €17,00 ($28) it is not expensive either.

I know that Sephora is not available in the UK (pity!) but should you travel to other European countries or to the USA do not miss the opportunity to get this magic brush!

Monday, 10 June 2013

My thoughts on Nars Orgasm

The only blusher I have hit the pan on in my entire life is Nars Orgasm and even if I do not think it is perfect and I have got tonnes of other blushers, here is the reason why I keep going back to it... 

Nars Orgasm

First of all I love how Nars Orgasm is peachy without being orange and pink without being 'dollyish'.

I also like the fact that it is sheer and therefore easy, almost foolproof to apply.

You can build it up to give your cheeks a more intense, but still natural flush, at least in term of colour intensity, even though you can go a bit overboard with the shimmery effect.

The shimmer in this blusher imparts a wonderful glow from within when applied in the right amout. If you go overboard with the shimmer just blend it with setting powder.

On darker skin tones it works like a face illuminator.

Tips on how to wear Nars Orgasm: in my opinion it works best applied on the high point of your cheekbone rather then on the apple of the cheek, because of the shimmer and it looks beautiful worn on top of bronzer.

If you fancy something more pigmented and less shimmery try Nars Deep Throat, which needs applying with a lighter hand though.

Nars Orgasm swatches

Nars Orgasm swatches

Click on the links below to see a couple makeup looks where I used Nars Orgasm:

Sunday, 9 June 2013

Review: New Estee Lauder Day Wear UV Protector SPF 50

When the sun comes out I feel the need to protect my skin with a higher level of SPF along with anti-oxidants, moisturizing ingredients and a pleasant texture, so that when I spotted the new Estee Lauder Day Wear Advanced Multi Protection Anti-Oxidant & UV Defense SPF 50 I had to try it and here is my thoughts.

Estee Lauder Day Wear Advanced Multi Protection Anti-Oxidant & UV Defense SPF 50

First of all I like that this product is housed in a practical, hygienic and ingredients 'preserving' tube packaging rather than in a jar.

The texture of this very pale green cream is a bit thicker than my usual Day Wear SPF 15 lotion but it is quite lightweight for a sunscreen and although it is not greasy it gives the skin a radiant look, typical of the synthetic sunscreens it contains (homosalate, ethylheyl salicylate or octisalate, butyl methoxydibenzoylmethane or avobenzone, oxibenzone, octocrilene) which I do not mind.
If it is true that synthetic sunscreens may not be as gentle to sensitive skin as mineral ones, my skin seems to tolerate this product very well and it does not seem to clog my pores as mineral sunscreens tend to do.
Moreover I love how it leaves my skin feeling soft, smooth and comfortable so that I do not need to wear any extra moisturizer or serum underneath. It contains a good array of anti-oxidants, cell-communicating ingredients and anti-irritants as you can see from the ingredients list below (for more information on the benefits of this ingredients check out my other post here).
It is slightly scented but the fragrance is at the bottom of the ingredient list. Last but not least it wears well under makeup too.
The only draw back is that it is quite expensive at £33 for 30 ml. A similar though cheaper alternative to this can be Clinique Super City Block SPF 40 (review here) which contains mostly mineral sunscreens (Zinc Oxide and Titanium Dioxide) plus a couple of synthetic actives (Octinoxate and Octisalate) and no fragrance or Clinique City Block SPF 25 which contains only mineral sunscreens and it is fragrance free for the most sensitive skin. 

 New Estee Lauder Day Wear UV Protector SPF 50

New Estee Lauder Day Wear UV Protector SPF 50 swatch

Estee Lauder Day Wear Advanced Multi Protection Anti-Oxidant & UV Defense SPF 50 is available from

Wednesday, 5 June 2013

Clinique Supermoisture Makeup review and swatch

While browsing some Clinique foundations for my springtime sensitive skin I was offered a generous sample of the Supermoisture Makeup foundation in shade Ivory and after trying it for few days here is what I think.  

Clinique Supermoisture Makeup

The reason why I set my eyes on Clinique Supermoisture in particular is because I was looking for a makeup for sensitive skin with dry patches.
In fact this foundation has got a lightweight creamy texture which blends very easily and sets to a dewy finish with a very soft shimmer glow (not sparkly). It is definitely hydrating and does not seem to set into lines or pores.  The coverage is light but buildable to medium and looks natural.  Since it is quite dewy   I prefer setting it with a dusting of loose powder for a soft mat but still luminous finish.  It is also quite longlasting for a moisture rich foundation. Shade 04 Ivory is a neutral fair shade which blends well with my skin tone.

Clinique Supermoisture Makeup in 04 Ivory

Clinique Supermoisture Makeup in 04 Ivory swatch

Overall I am quite pleased with the performance of this foundation and may consider buying a full size especially when my usually combination skin feels sensitive and dry or in winter time. 

Ingredients list

How I deal with Blepharitis and Eyelid Dermatitis

Since January I have been struggling with an eyelid inflammation (red, itchy, flaky and swollen skin around the eyes) which comes and goes depending on which products I use and also on the weather. Last week for example it flared up again because of a lot of pollen in the air. Here is how it started and how I have kept it at bay.

First of all I would like to say that the following advice is based on my personal case and experience and that some products were prescribed or recommended to me by doctors, while others were chosen by myself. So my best recommendation is that you consult a doctor if you experience a problem with your eyelids before you try anything out.  
And here is how it all started: a few months ago I applied an old eye shadow and developed a red, itchy and flaky patch in the crease area, near the internal corner of both my eyes. Since my doctor suspected an eyelid infection or Blepharitis she prescribed a 1% w/w Chloramphenycol ointment, which is available over the counter.

1% Chloramphenycol ointment

The antibiotic did the trick, even though after that episode my eyelids became very sensitive to almost anything I put on them, whether it was an eye shadow or an eye serum. More over as soon as sun and pollens came out in May the whole area around my eyes started getting more or less red, itchy and swollen depending on the weather and the pollen count. This time another doctor  referred to the problem as eyelid dermatitis and prescribed a 0.5% m/m Hydrocortisone ointment and antihistamine tablets. The hydro cortisone reduced the inflammation in my eyelids but left them very very dry.

Hydrocortisone 0.5% m/m ointment

In order to counter act this side effect and try to get my eyelid skin to behave better I decided to look for a very moisturizing, but also very gentle eye cream and after trying different moisturizers I settled on Clinique All About Eyes Rich. In fact I found this eye cream to be very emollient, but not greasy, thanks to shea butter it contains as second ingredient and very soothing thanks to the  antioxidants and anti-irritants it includes. The only draw back is that it is housed in a jar, which it is not very hygienic, but I use a small spatula to pick it up. 

In order to protect my skin from the sun I wanted a fragrance free  sunscreen suitable for the eye area and I chose Clinique Super City Block Oil-free Daily Face Protector Broad Spectrum 40 SPF. This moisturizer contains  mineral  sunscreen actives such as Zinc Oxide and Titanium Dioxide and a couple of synthetic actives like Octinoxate and Octisalate.  It also includes a fair amount of anti oxidants and anti irritants and my skin seems to tolerate it well. It has got a sheer flesh toned tint which does not leave any colour on the skin, it is absorbed easily and leaves a radiant finish which I do not mind but which may not appeal to people with oily skin. 
Last but not least it wears well under make up and it actually seems to make it last longer. 

Clinique All About Eyes Rich and Super City Block 40SPF

Super City Block

In order to clean my eyes I simply used a fragrance free mild facial cleanser that I rinse with water.
The combination of all these products has worked well for me to keep my eyelid dermatitis under control, even though I still have to be very careful about applying make up around my eyes and next time I will think twice before using an old eyeshadow!
I hope this post may be useful to other people experiencing the same problem.

Clinique products are available from
Ingredients lists