Tuesday, 5 July 2016

A new Mac palette and a new beginning...

Hello my lovely readers,
Its been way to long since i have been talking to you. So much has been going on in my life. I will defend this Friday my PhD. It has been in total 4 years of blood, sweat and tears, more often than not literally.  And somewhere down the line i lost the view for anything else. I focused on that goal and there was no space for make up blogs and myself anymore. While it was an intense time, it was also a time i am proud of. Proud of fighting my inner self doubt and ultimately succeeding. However, now that i am finally done i find myself slowly returning to the things i love. I am much more then a scientist and i do not want to loose this part of myself. 
I wanted to restart earlier but then while on travel, a whole gigantic bag of my high end make up got stollen. Very little people in the world will understand what that ment to me. But i think you are some of these people. My make up was a collection of gifts from others and from myself to me. A collection accumulated during travel, during hard times in which i wanted to treat myself and during wonderful times when others wanted to give me treat. Loosing this make up was more than a financial loss but a loss of many happy memories. But well at the end of the day, there is only one way and that is forward. So i will dust myself off and get going again. 
One of the first orders i placed after the loss was a Mac order. I had purchased a small palette before but that was in that bag which is now gone. So i decided to go this time for a bigger one. My inspiration for this oder was the Sweet peach palette by Too faced. I loved the concept, i loved the colours, but i could just not justify to buy another palette for what was in the end just a small subset of true unique colours. So i chose to go instead for some peachy pink colours by Mac. And obviously i wouldn't be me, when not also a few other colours sneaked into the basket. The result you can see below. 
Yes i could not resist and i also replaced the Mac 217 (aka the best eyeshadow brush under the sun). I actually tried a few others before repurchasing that one to see if i could replace it for cheaper, but i will go into that in another post.  Also in the basket went the Mac paint pot in painterly (aka the best primer ever for oily lids). 
But lets focus on the star of the show. The palette. 

The first colour i went for is actually a less exiting one but none the less very needed. A very good matte base colour. It might not come out very well in the photo but that is actually a true matte in a slight off pink. The colour is called "Orb" and is for the perfect base for matte looks but as well shimmer looks. 
The second colour is the famous "Nylon". This is the most beautiful inner corner highlight. Its shine is unrivalled by anything i own (and i own way more eyeshadow palettes than i care to admit). 
On the second row you will find "All that glitters" another classic Mac shadow. I have to go there and admit that i have not played a lot with it but i wore it so far for a more understated and also a dramatic evening look and it worked for both. I use it either on top of my lid or as under brow highlight. 
The second colour in the second row is "Mulch". Another famous one. I love that brown shimmery look. I feel this colour has a certain depth and i love to combine it with Orb or with all that glitters.
The third colour is a little less know and is called expensive pink. This is a beautiful iridescent pink/ peachy/brownish shade (yes i am not that good in describing colours). I purchased this one with the view on a more peachy summery look and i love it for that. 
In the bottom row i placed some more intense colours. This is where you find "Cranberry" (another rather known one) and "Sushi flower". I love wearing them together for a more dramatic summery look. Sushi flower is not as pigmented but i actually love that since it is very build able and prevents pink eye (pun intended). I wear orb combined with Sushi flower for a nice summer day time look and then i amp it up with cranberry at the outer corner, slightly blended into the crease for a more evening or more intense look. I think what drew me in the most with cranberry is that it changes colour depending on how the light hits it. I love that in an eyeshadow.  I hope this become apparent by the swatch. 
All swatches here are one stroke only with the exception of sushi flower. Orb did not really show up on my arm but i actually really do not mind this since its main job is to hide any darkness on my eyes and present a good base for other eye shadows to shine. Rest assured, its pigmented enough. It just happens to be very close to my skin colour. I think Mac eyeshadows are in general not as pigmented as e.g. Too Faced, though pigmentation can vary. However, may be against common beliefs. I do not think that pigmentation is everything. I think a bit more moderate pigmentation but good staying power and blend ability  allows for the creation of beautiful eye looks.

While my old palette was a 9 pan palette, i chose to go for the 15 pan palette this time. This way i  have the chance to expand. I love the opportunity to create a palette completely by myself with a colour selection which suits me and my wishes. I on purpose left quite some pans free so i can purchase in the future whatever colour tickles my fancy. I do not think i have another palette where i can say that every single colour has gotten the same love as in this one. What are your favourite eye shadows?

Monday, 27 July 2015

What i take on a hand luggage only trip!

Hello my lovely readers,
Yes i have been away again. No it was not for fun this time (though i enjoyed it) but for work. I had to fly the third time this year and for me as an anxious flyer it was difficult. However, i noticed that i have gotten considerably better in packing.  One of the difficulties i usually face when travelling for work is that i have to travel with hand luggage only. This means, the liquid allowance is very very low and it also means just one bag next to the handbag. So while i like to throw all my favourite products into the cosmetic bag when i travel to London (by train), i had to severely limit myself on my airplane trips.
The next thing limiting me is that i usually travel alone when i travel for work. I never know what is expecting me at my destination. Lots of stairs? Long way on foot? For that reason i do not pack to heavy either.
So over the last few trips i noticed that i have gotten quite good in optimising my make up and skin care to fit my travel needs and since i am not the only one facing this issue i thought i share it with you.
So what did i take to Lisbon? Let me start with the liquids. Yes all of this fits into the allowed size zip lock bag. Yes all of these things are allowed on an airplane (i tested 3 different countries and 4 different airports, so i am confident :)).

Oh lovely travel sizes. I have to say i always have a box of travel sizes for just this occasion and while they look so tiny, you would wonder how long those last. So the first things i packed was a shampoo (Hip) and a Conditioner. I know that this is usually available at the hotel but since i have problematic hair and a conference is really not the place to look like you just escaped from the jungle, i always pack my own. I actually was not a huge fan of those two but i have been really loving the mini sized John Frieda Frizz ease shampoo and conditioner which i really have to repurchase in travel size. 
The next item important for the unruly hair was the beauty protector hair oil. This photo was taken after i returned and i used it every day. Yet the bottle looks nearly untouched. This goes such a long way. A hair oil is really perfect to hydrate your hair after to much sun or to much airco air in conference venues and airplanes.
The next thing i need for my hair is the L'oreal elnett hair spray. This is my absolute favourite and a classic. I purchased this travel size in kruidvat but i have seen it also in boots and in dm.
Obviously since i headed to Lisbon, a good SPF was absolutly necessary. This one by La Roche Posay Anthelios is oil free and goes perfect under make up. In this case i also used it for the rest of my body to save space.
For foundation i took the L'oreal infallible 24h-Matte foundation. On foundation i do not compromise and this full size package fit very well into the zip lock bag. This foundation lasts on me all day even with sweating. To be sure i packed a mini size benefit porefessional. I honestly got 5 of these tiny tubes and they are perfect for travel.
If you have limited space, you go for combination products and therefore i packed the Manhattan wake up concealer (comparable with the Rimmel wake me up concealer). Normally i use a different concealer for eyes and blemishes but i chose here to pack one which works good for both (fyi: a cream concealer you can take outside of the liquid allowance but i do not really have one i really like). This one really brightens up my eye area and covers my blemishes and lasted all day long.
For my eyes i packed the Soap and Glory Supercat eye liner. This liner is amazing. I do not understand why there is not more buzz around it. It applies very evenly and easily, is super black and lasts on me all day even when i was bathing in sweat (ye i know to graphic).
Obviously i had to take Mascara and here i also went for a full size. I own a few travel size mascara but this L'oreal million lashes mascara is the one i trust to stay put all day long and when i am traveling i do not like to take risks, so space issues out of the window, the full size had to come.
If i am travelling with hand luggage only i remove my make up with face wipes (yes shame on me) since they do not count as liquids, however, since i double cleanse, i took a cleansing oil. With sun an all, i try to avoid to drying products during the summer, so i filled a bit of my superfacialist cleansing oil into this tiny container. This cleansing oil is amazing and leaves my skin clean, non greasy but hydrated.
For day and night creme i took this wonderful little samples of clairins day and night creme. You would thing those would not even last a day, yet, even though i applied them morning and evening for 4 days, they were not empty yet. Miracle tubes? Those did a great job at keeping my skin hydrated and plump during the trip. I just wish i could refill those.
Left only is the little perfume. This tiny samples are perfect for travel. I opted for Chloe love story.
I always pack also a hand lotion since i have chronically dry hands, and i love love love the almond scented one by L'occitane. I have to say i find this smell so calming that i find myself applying it on the plane just to take a whiff at it.
I also took the mango body butter from the bodyshop to counteract all the sun exposure.

Obviously this post would not be complete without the non liquid items i packed. As i said, i tried to optimise. So i took the Maybelline master sculpt which i have been loving recently. It is really worth the hype and a great little space saver sine it contains bronzer and highlighter. 
For blush i packed my NARS amour. I purchased this in rome and have been in love since. This is the perfect in between pink and peach colour and perfect for the summer. 
For eyes i packed the Yves Rocher eye shadow palette. I did not expect to fall in love with this as much as i did. It is perfect to create an over day look but can also be vamped up for the night. This shades are very buttery and very bendable. Honestly i even can apply those with my finger only. I packed brushes for the trip though. 
I packed the Bourjois healthy balance powder to set my make up. To be honest i do not think this needs introduction. Its a wonderful powder which controls shine without making my face look cakey.
For brows i packed the bourjois Sourcil brow pencil. This matches my brow color perfectly and takes no space.
Finally, lips: Lip sticks do not count as liquids so i could pack it outside of the zip lock. I love this Charlotte Tilbury lipstick in "bitch perfect" since it is just awesome for an over day business look. I always feel a tad bit more sophisticated wearing this. 
Under it i wear the Rimmel lip liner in "Eastend Snob". I also own the charlotte tilbury one in pillow talk but funnily enough i find myself loving the dupe more then the original. This is seriously long lasting and the colour is just perfect.
So all of this together for me makes the perfect set of beauty products to last for a week away. What do you like to pack when you travel with hand luggage only?

Wednesday, 8 July 2015

Little Rome Sephora Haul

Hello my lovely readers,
For our third wedding anniversary my hubby whisked me away for a little weekend away in Rome. We had the most romantic little hotel and had a wonderful time with good food, great weather and sightseeing. Now i would not be me if i would not have spotted the Sephora directly next to the Spanish steps. 
Now the Sephora in Italy does not carry as much as the american one but for a Belgian, there is still quite some goodies to look at we cannot get. And there is of cause the sephora house brand. We were there by airplane and mainly there for a romantic weekend but the hubby understood a tiny bit of sephora shopping had to be done. 
So i thought i quickly share with you a mini haul.

We cannot buy NARS in Belgium and i had been lusting for a NARS blush for the longest time. After swooning over the orgasm and the deep throat blushes i went in the end surprisingly for the "Amour" one. A beautiful middle between pinkish and peachy blush. I have been absolutly adoring this. I will for sure review this further.
The next item i wanted to give a whirl was the Sephora cream lip stain. I went for a matte pink called pink souffle. The internet did not promise too much. This stain is seriously long lasting while not being drying. I am sad i did not pick up more colours.
I really wanted to try a few more sephora house brand things since i heard great stuff about them. So i packed the micellar water which is a recommendation by Fleur de Force. I just used it a few times so far but it seems to be a really decent one.
Since summer hit i have been in love with the scent of mango. So i could not resist this cute little hand balm by Sephora in a mango scent and this mango shower gel and bubble bath also by sephora. I love the packaging on both products by the way. 
Then at the cash register i could not resist a good face mask. I have not tried this yet so i will keep you updated on this. 
I really love my little purchases.
My favourites have to be the Nars blush and the mango hand lotion. 
Have you done any holiday shopping?

Monday, 22 June 2015

London picture post

Hello my lovely readers,
I know it has been quiet around here. Work has gotten crazy and i get barely time to breathe. However, whenever i feel like its getting all too much i love to escape to my favourite city: London. As contradictory as that may sounds, the buisiness of this city revives me. In London, it is never boring. Around the next corner, there is the next performance or wonder waiting for you to sweep you off your feet. 
I have been living for quite a while in another country by now and while i love Belgium, i never quite can shake the feeling of just not really being a part of it. The weird part is that i start to feel similar in Germany. I have been away to long. I do not quite fit in anymore. When i am in London, i feel like i fit right in. London is such a multicultural city. If you sit in the tube, you will have a hard time to find two people looking or dressing alike. I love it.
You will also have a hard time to ever get bored in London. No matter how often you have been there, there is always way to much going on to even see it all.
But well i am rambling. When work stress gets the better of me i just love to check my phone for the last London pics. Today it struck me that maybe there is some more people which love to look at pictures of London. So here you go. For the beauty purists under you. You will recognise some beauty temples and shopping pilgrim pathes and also a true beauty blogger celebrity. So i think that justifies this post on a beauty blog ;). Now lean back and prepare for loads of photos.

Regent street. Second only to oxford street when it comes to shopping for me.

My temple. Selfridges. I could spend days in their beauty hall.
Look who i met. Yes this is Anna from Vivianna does make up. She was doing a live tutorial in the beauty hall at Selfridges. She is such a lovely person and after approving of my beauty shopping bag contents and letting me swatch her charlotte tilbury collection she promised she will come to Belgium some time. Please do Anna :)!.

The new Lush flagship store. If you ever thought you have seen all there is to see from Lush, think again. There is a huge amount of products not available anywhere else and the displays are gorgeous. I left with two big bags, feeling a little guilty continuously smelling my bag again. A behaviour i call "the Lush effect". I tell you they put something in this stuff which numbs your brain. I have about 15 bath bombs at home but i definitely needed 10 more since i take so many bath during the summer. Ah well: Je ne regret rien.

 Need a good lunch while shopping? Go try ping pong. Dim Sum to die for. It is close to Oxford street and perfect for quick lunch. You get to order a variety of different dim sum in their cosy corner shop. While everybody seems to be talking about it (it was even mentioned in the on board magazine of the Eurostar) its still all comfy cozy and surprisingly calm.
Hamleys. For the kid in you. A wonderful store for any toy you can possibly imagine.

I went to OXO tower on this visit. I can really recommend it. Situated close to Tate Modern at the river of the Thames, it offers a wonderful view of London and amazing food.  I tried the Alice in Wonderland experience which was amazing. Careful though, if you do not want to get drunk in the middle of the day, ask them for the alcohol free version of at least some of the drinks (i didn't know this and it took me all i had to keep it together and walk elegantly out of the restaurant without bumping into someone)

 London museum. Wonderful to escape the craziness of the british museum ( do not miss out on that one either though). The history of London in a wonderful exhibition starting from the stone age and ending up in the year 2000. I loved this dresses from the begin of the previous century.

This elevator used to be in Selfridges. What an experience it must have been. Its now exhibited in the London museum.

Picadilly circus of cause.

The food halls of Harrods. Oooh god. Perfect for picking up some treats after dinner. But i promise you, you will have a hard time to choose.

Sushi! 'Nough said!

London is pretty even during crappy weather.

Good weather is not to bad either though. These are the gates to Buckingham palace by the way.

The Tate modern. A beautiful museum but you have to bring some time.

So these are my photos. I hope you enjoyed a bit with me. I will be back to London in October and already my list of things to do is full :)

Wednesday, 3 June 2015

A long overdue London Haul post

Dear Lovely readers,
I know its been quiet around here but workload has gotten crazy. However, this London haul pictures have been rotting away way to long so i thought i share them with you.

So my first stop was obviously Boots and while i focused last time i was in London mainly on makeup i had been really looking forward to get my hands on some skin care. I had a list of a few brands i heard so many great things of on various British blogs which i was dieing to try. A detailed review of those is still going to follow so let me just get over them quickly. I picked up two night cremes: The No7 beautiful Skin Night cream for oily skin and the Superfacialist by Ùna Brennan rose  hydrate peaceful skin night cream. I have normal to combination skin and find night cremes often to rich, leaving my skin oily, so i was thrilled to pick those two up which promised to give my skin the hydration without the oily film. The Superfacialist rose cream was recommended by "A model recommends" and the No7 one i got because i heard great things about No7 making decent affordable skin care (also i had a coupon ;) ).
The next thing i picked up was several masks: The tea tree and witch hazel charcoal mask, The fab pore by Soap and Glory (because Soap and Glory!!!), The good things manuka honey radiance face mask (brand recommended by Caroline Hirons). I have to admit i am a bit addicted to masks at the moment. They are my favourite summer time pamper treat.
 Next i picked up the the Neutrogena blackhead eliminating daily scrub. I just love Neutrogena and was fighting a break out at the time of purchase. The break out has since then vanished completely. Not sure if this was the only product which did the trick but it made my skin feels very clean without irritating so i think it definitely played its part.
Next there had to be some beauty bits. I really wanted to get into contouring and i heard that the Barry M chisel cheeks contour kit is a good dupe for the Anastasia beverly hills contour kit. So i am exited to play with this. 
After hearing so many british beauty bloggers rave on about the Barry M nail polishes for being such a good quality at an affordable price i could not walk past them. I especially was interested in the Speedy Quick dry polishes (i have zero patience for nail drying) and the daylight curing summer collection which promises to be chip resistant like gel polish while being removable like a normal nail polish. Given that i work in a lab and put my nails under a lot of strain. That sounds amazing.

Further i still picked up  few bits and bobs. I bought a second Sleek palette. I really liked the selection of nude colours in the au natural palette and i am exited to play with it. 
I also picked up one of the eyes uncovered palettes everybody has been raving about. After Fleur de Force showed so many great looks with the nude grey version and for the price of 4,99 pounds i had to have it. 
I also bought a No7 lipstick and Revlon colour crush lip butter. The second one i already used a lot. Perfect marriage between moisturising and colour pay off for a everyday "my lips but better" look. I also picked up this BB cream by Rimmel. I love that this comes actually close to my skin tone and with SPF 20 its perfect for lunch breaks outside.

When i was in Selfridges i could not walk past the Charlotte Tilbury stand. I had been oogling the Lip cheat in pillow talk and the Lipstick in Bitch perfect for the longest time and now they are finally mine. I wore this combination for the rest of my London visit and i am in love with it. Since then i have been saving them a bit for special occasions but the love remains un-dimished.
In Harrods finally i picked up this travel size origins drink up intensive mask. This smells beautifully like mango. I took a travel size since at this price ticket i wanted to make sure that i have no adverse skin reactions to this. Rest assured i don't and i will go for the full size next time.
I also bought some clothing and some souvenirs and i came back with way to much bags but i did just want to make a post, not write a book over my haul ;).
So is there anything i missed out on? What is on your wish list for London. I am going back in november and you can never start the shopping list to early right? ;).
Rest assured i am super happy with all of my purchases and have been indulging in them since. 
If you would like a review of any of these items, do not hesitate to ask. 

Tuesday, 5 May 2015

Pixi beauty in London

Hello my lovely readers,
It has been crazy busy times. I just returned from London and i thought i share this little experience and products with you. While in London i could not skip on visiting the Pixi beauty store. This products are available online in Belgium but i always loved to first test a product before i buy. So close to liberty in a side street of regent street i found the little shop. I appologize for the bad picture quality since i took them with my phone but what a lovely little store it is. All the products are beautyfully presented. I tested a few products and also swatched some make up products and i can tell you that they were all amazing. I would have loved to take home everything but seeing my rather extensive shopping list, i limited myself to two beautieful skin care products i heard so much about.
The first one is the much spoken about pixi glow tonic. It is a wonderful astringent toner with 5% salicylic acid, aloe vera and ginseng. I was worried about my sensitive skin but i had no problems whatsover to use this. I put it on a cotton pad and wipe it all over my face. The lady in the shop advised that when you have very sensitive skin, you could aslo choose to start of with using it every second day and then slowly increase the treatments. However, since i did not notice any problems, i use this twice daily. It leaves a delightful litte sting on my skin which really does not feel uncomfortable. Not only does it leave my skin feeling refreshed, cleaner and radiant i also adore the scent.
When i tried the glow tonic in store, the sales assistant applied some of their glow mist above it and i could not pass on this one. It makes the skin very very soft and is good for any skin type. According to the sales lady, it can even be applied over make up, i did not try that though yet, though i will be sure to try this out. 
Both products smell amazing and i feel a real effect on my skin. The shopping experience was wonderful. The sale staff was very friendly and helpful without beeing pushy (something i love when shopping). I left with a little bag with my two products and quite some samples and a smile. I will for sure order some things online but i will make sure to return to this little gem of a shop.

Sunday, 19 April 2015

Little cologne haul

 Hello my lovely readers,
I know its been quiet arround here for a while but it has been crazy busy. I have a fair amount of travelling to do for work and am spending crazy hours at work. On the plus side, there is a little Berlin trip report coming up. But well i promised a little Cologne haul first so here we go. I focused mainly on purchasing items which are not as readily available in Belgium. I usually try to buy nearly all my drugstore make up at Germany because it is so much cheaper but since i had went recently, i was fine on the basic products and could just focus on some little extras. So first stop was obviously DM (see cologne shopping guide) where i bought this cute little tweezers for the handbag. Aren't they adorable? I also bought a mascara by Manhattan. As i told before, Manhattan is owned by the same company as Rimmel and a lot of their products are fairly similar while Manhanttan is a lot cheaper. I tried it by now and its good but not as great as my L'oreal million lashes mascara. It is however last very long and gives me a fair amount of volume. I also got my hands on a Maxfactor Creme puff blush. Those have been just in Germany since the end of March, so i was exited to get my hands on it. They had a selection of 4 colours and i chose "seductive pink" This one applies a wonderful natural peachy colour to my cheeks and i have used it a lot since the purchase. It is also supposedly a dupe to the hourglass baked blushes which i cannot comment on since i do not own those. But i can tell you that these are pretty amazing. I since then purchased another colour in Belgium (they have different ones there) and there will come a full blog review with swatches soon.
Next stop was the Kiko store. I love this affordable, yet high quality brand. I in the end purchased the eye base primer and the single eye shadow. I always need a primer for my eyeshadows and this one does the job. I yet have to find my holy grail one though. The single eye shadow is quite nice too but not to highly pigmented. You can see the swatch below next to the reddish NYX eyeshadow stick.
Which brings me to Douglas. I did not know that Douglas carrys NYX which i have so far not seen in Belgium. So i had to give it a shot and bought a creme eyeshadow stick and a mini nude palette. I have to say for the price those work very well. The little palette is again not super pigmented but work great for doing a rather neutral eye.

Which brings me to Douglas. I did not know that Douglas carrys NYX which i have so far not seen in Belgium. So i had to give it a shot and bought a creme eyeshadow stick and a mini nude palette. I have to say for the price those work very well. The little palette is again not super pigmented but work great for doing a rather neutral eye.

Since this little haul i have been holding back with make up purchases since the hubby has to attend a conference in London end of this month (and guess who gets to join).  I hope you enjoyed this little haul.
And ups i nearly forgot this Kiehls daytime moisturiser for combination skin. You can find Kiehls in the Galeria Kaufhof department store. This moisturiser is perfect for this days of oily skin since it is incredibly lightweight. I have to say though that i mix it up with a heavier moisturiser for days where my skin feels a bit more dry.