Issey Miyake L’Eau d’Issey Pure

Issey Miyake L’Eau d’Issey Pure

L’Eau d’Issey Pure EdT is one of the many flankers of the Issey Miyake bestseller L’Eau d’Issey. The EdT, which is what I have here, was released this year, the EdP last year. It’s called a musky, aquatic, floral which means it has everything to make me dislike it. But let’s see.

It starts off fresh for only a few seconds, then the flowery stage sets in already. The flowers are mostly Lily of the Valley, but those are quite gentle as well. The real headliner here is the base which has got very scrubbed clean soft musk with maybe some ambroxan. It’s one of those fabric softener scents and as such I think it would be quite nice. As a perfume it is much too boring for my personal taste. However at least it is not one of these annyoing screechy shower gel aquatics.

It lasts for only two hours, as the scent already starts out weak. You surely will not offend anybody’s nose with this.

I also have the body lotion. That one has a stronger flowery stage, so wearing them layered gets the Lily of the Valley to be stronger. Layering the perfume atop the lotion does not make the scent last longer though, as the body lotion also lasts only a short while and it’s also not very hydrating.

Verdict: nice if you like this sort of very gentle scent. Otherwise, you’re not missing anything.

Urban Decay Vice Lipstick Mrs. Mia Wallace

Urban Decay Vice Lipstick Mrs. Mia Wallace

So this beauty here is the Vice Lipstick in Mrs. Mia Wallace (cream) by Urban Decay. So far all the Vice Lipsticks I had were in the comfort matte finish. Finally I have a cream one. Mrs. Mia Wallace seems to be a popular color. Despite being not a limited edition it is frequently out of stock.

Swatch. Is there anything a good as red lipstick??? This is a darker medium neutral red with slightly blue undertone and creamy finish.

The color was of course named after the character in Pulp Fiction although the color the character wears looks browner to me. Might be the film’s lighting (of course this lipstick didn’t exist back then either so I don’t know what she was wearing. We do know the nail polish was an earlier version of Chanel’s Rouge Noir.) Anyway so honestly this color reminds me more of Cheryl Blossom in the TV Show Riverdale. I love watching that show for Cheryl’s makeup alone, her ridiculously overdrawn red lips that she wears like armour. You know something’s off when you see her in a nude color instead of her trademark red.

Back to makeup, here’s the color comparison:

When I shot this pic I was like oh these colors are all so DIFFERENT. And when I opened the pic on the computer I was like, damn I have WAYYYY to much red lipstick. 😄

First swipe is Mrs Mia Wallace, underneath is Viva Glam I, which is darker and matte. Next one is Maybelline Rich Ruby, wich is also matte but otherwise closest in color to Mia. Last is Estee Lauder Vengeful Red, which has a cream finish, but the color is lighter and pinker.

The cream finish glides on the lips easily. If you’re not careful it might end up all over the place (I’m just so used to applying very matte colors!). I recommend using a lip brush for the prettiest results.

Lasting time: well, it is not a matte lipstick so the wear time doesn’t compare to the comfort mattes. Most of my MAC lipsticks regardless of finish last a lot longer than Mia. Eating and drinking killed it off completely, drinking alone reduces it a lot as well. It lasted better applied with a brush than straight from the bullet; I think it was worked in better that way. But overall it lasted three hours, not much longer. I tried using a lip liner (the closest color I own is He Said, She Said) but the lipstick wore off the same and left me with the lip liner alone.

On the upside this lipstick is hydrating and feels lovely. I love the color but I wish it lasted better.

Worth the hype? Physicians Formula Butter Bronzer

Worth the hype? Physicians Formula Butter Bronzer

Today in: the internet made me buy it

The Physicians Formula Butter Bronzer in the color Light Bronzer.

So as I’ve mentioned before, this year we had a long winter/snowy spring. And you’re always the palest in spring. This year I got so pale that my lightest bronzer, the Body Shop bronzing powder in 01 started to look too dark but I really wanted a softly tanned look. Reading other people’s blogs I found two possible solutions: Hoola Lite and this one here. I decided to try Physicians Formula as I’ve never had one of their products before.

This product comes in two shades: Bronzer and Light Bronzer. Some of the pics of Light Bronzer – just like my pic here in fact – make it look so light I was afraid it wouldn’t even show on my skin (NC 15). Well, fear not, it is a proper bronzer and not a face powder.

First thing I noticed was the smell. It was wafting even through the outer packaging. It has a strong smell of coconut. On the face the smell wears off in a few minutes but it’s still quite strong.

The packaging is bright and quite big. The compact includes a mirror and a sponge applicator. If you ask me, that could have been skipped for a slimmer compact. I don’t use sponges to apply bronzer I use brushes. So I can’t tell you if the sponge is any good. At the same time the packaging could have better quality. If you look closely at the pic above you should see that while the powder lines up with the yellow plastic on the left side of the pic, it does not line up on the right side. Lots and lots of powder and possibly other dirt has fallen into that gap by now. Not good. Also it means that opening the lower part to get to the mirror means that all that powder/dirt will fall right over you/your sink etc. They should have skipped the mirror and sponge and made a compact with the right circumfence instead!

Comparison: the Body Shop Bronzing Powder 01; Physicians Formula Butter Bronzer Light Bronzer.

Swatches: First is Physicians Formula, underneath is the Body Shop. You can see that while light in color, the Light Bronzer does totally show up on my skin. It is lighter than the Body Shop one. It also looks less flat, as there is some golden shimmer to it. The shimmer isn’t really visible on the face but it helps liven up your face. I wouldn’t use it as a contour though.

So is it worth the hype? The powder itself totally, yes. I’m usually a blush sort of person I only wear bronzer from time to time. But ever since I got this one here two months ago I haven’t used anything else on my face. It applies and blends so well, stays on for nine hours and it makes me look healthy as opposed to undead. It’s not too dark and not too orange and not too pale either. The bronzer is also so soft it never looks powdery.

I recommend this to the skin tone range NC/W 10 – 15. I think it wouldn’t show up properly on NC 20 and darker, however there’s a lot of bronzers for darker skin anyway so you’re not missing out.

Bronzer itself: great

Packaging: annoying and messy

L’Artisan Parfumeur L’Eau d’Ambre Extreme

L’Artisan Parfumeur L’Eau d’Ambre Extreme

Oh boy, I thought to myself. L’Eau d’Ambre Extreme, that’s going to be too much for me, right?

Then found out that adding on ‘Extreme’ is simply L’Artisan Parfumeur‘s way of denoting a flanker (see: La Chasse Aux Papillons Extreme, Mure et Musk Extreme). 😄 The perfumes themselves aren’t necessarily more extreme than the original. So, don’t expect this one to be like the original L’Eau d’Ambre (1978), because it’s not as far as I can tell. L’Eau d’Ambre Extreme was released in 2001, perfumer is Jean-Claude Ellena. I have the old packaging here, the newer bottles are all in that black packaging.

So, how does it smell like, other than yummy? Because I can tell you it is very yummy. It’s spicy and sweet and cozy and just very ambery. Lately I was lucky enough to be able to smell a mixture with only benzoin as a scent component in and I realized that’s the stuff I like so much. And LdAE has lots of that benzoin.* I think I also detect patchouli and vanilla, a light base of musk, possibly a touch of sandalwood. There’s more to the top note. The top is a bit harsh with it’s spices, but the perfume calms down quickly and then just wafts all those lovely base stuff. At times it also turns smoky, but not like incense. More like a really good cigar.

The official notes as listed on my packaging are: Spices, patchouli, damascena rose, benzoin, vanilla.

As a base heavy perfume this stuff lasts almost forever. I get ten or more hours on skin, longer on clothes of course. Sometimes you forget it’s here and then it starts wafting again. It smells so warm and sometimes intense, a work colleague started to look for the ‘scent lamp someone must have lighted’ until I admitted that was probably me. Luckily he didn’t complain or something.

All in all I find LdAE extremely wonderful. The only ‘downside’ is that it stopped me from buying any more amber perfumes. Everytime I sample one I ask myself ‘is this in any way better or very different to LdAE of which I own 100ml after all?’ And the answer is usually no. This shows that while I like amber I’m not crazy about it, because when it comes to orange blossom, already owning a 100ml bottle has never stopped me from acquiring more. 😄

 

*I just realized I’ve been typing that as ‘benzoe’ in my other entries so far. Turns out that’s the German word, English is benzoin (resin). While I’m footnoting I’d like to point you to this entry in kafkaesqueblog, which is the be all end all explanation of amber notes as far as I am concerned: clicky.

Zoeva Winter Strobe Spectrum & Spring Strobe Spectrum

Zoeva Winter Strobe Spectrum & Spring Strobe Spectrum

This spring Zoeva released new items in their Spectrum line, which consists of specific palettes, like warm eyeshadows, pink blushes etc. Part of the newly released were highlighter palettes: Winter Strobe, Spring Strobe, Summer Strobe. The end. Yes, they released three of four seasons. Why? To mess with my OCD, probably. Of those three I bought two. I skipped the Summer Strobe, because while it looked very pretty I think those colors are too dark for me, more like shimmery blushes and bronzers. Summer Strobe is really good for darker skin tones.

The packaging looks like this. It gave me a total retro feel, because the size and weight is exactly like a CD case. Anyone remember when we bought music like that? 😮

The Spring Strobe has rose golden writing, Winter Strobe is the same but in blue silver. The casing is that velvety matte stuff that looks good at first but gets messed up quickly and you can never wipe the dirt off again either.

This is the Spring Strobe palette inside. I had to change the angle so you could see that there are four different colors. Any other angle they all look the same off white. All four highlighters, simply called SP010 to SP040 have an off white base color and colored shimmer. The colors are: green (SP010, top left), blue (SP020, top right), pink (SP030, bottom left) and yellow (SP040, bottom right).

These are my swatch fingers. The order is backwards here (yellow, pink, blue, green) The pink may look like the weakest color here but that’s just because my finger is so red.

Swatches on my arm. Green, Blue, Pink and Yellow. The base color does not really apply, this is just the pure shimmer. These are just the most ethereal, faerie highlights. I love them. On my face the pink and blue pop a lot more than the green and yellow. That’s because my skin is more yellow toned, I expect this to look different on a pink toned skin. As it is, sadly the green is the weakest color on me. You can’t really tell it’s green, while the blue is visible. However, since these are purely shimmer, they are totally wearable. Firstly, these are wearable for every skin, no matter how light or dark, because there is no base color that could end up looking chalky or weird. Secondly, despite the fact that SP020 is blue I have worn it many times and it doesn’t look like a weird blue stripe or something. It just looks really cool. I highly recommend the Spring Strobe palette.

Now, here’s the Winter Strobe palette. You can see that in the pan the colors look much stronger than in the Spring palette. And yes, it also has a pink and a blue highlighter. The colors are: WI010 (silver, top left), WI020 (peach, top right), WI030 (pink, bottom left) and WI040 (blue, bottom right).

The colors on my fingers. Comparing this pic and the finger pic above you can already tell the difference in the palettes. While Spring has no base color and colored shimmer, this one here has different base colors, but the shimmer is the same white silver on all of them.

Le arm swatch. WI010 is just pure silver. Funny enough, I have lots of gold highlighters but this is in fact my first silver one. W020, aka the peach one, is peachy next to the first one, but also very light in color. On my face, this one blended in best. It makes a good blush topper. The pink one, WI030 applies a lot lighter than it looks in the pan. In the pan it looked like a really dark pink, like a dark blush or eyeshadow. The pink base color does apply, but it is truly a highlighter and not a blush. It works very well as blush topper, also. The last one is clearly an icy blue color. However, on the face that blends out, so yes, you can actually wear it as a highlighter. It looks mostly like a cool silver. So in fact, the blue from the Spring palette is more visibly blue, while this one appears mostly silver and blue only in certain angles.

I wore the Winter Strobe a lot the past weeks, since we had a lot of cold days and snow. I can see the idea behind both palettes, Winter Strobe is iced over while Spring Strobe has the colors waking up again. Personally I like and wear both palettes and in fact on both palettes the blue colors show the most use by now. Unlike Summer Strobe I don’t think Winter Strobe will work for everyone. The base colors do show up on the skin and the highlight itself is very frosty. I don’t think it’ll blend in as well on medium to dark skin as on fair skin (but that’s okay, you guys get the lovely Summer Strobe). Also the shimmer isn’t as smooth and not everybody wants that.

I’ve also tried wearing WI030 and WI040 as eyeshadow since that worked so well with the Rose Golden blush palette. But the colors need to be packed on a lot to show up as anything other than silver and they don’t last, not even with pimer and shadow underneath. They were gone after two hours.

On the cheeks both palettes last the same amount of time which is five to six hours. So while I love both palettes for their quirkyness, they cannot beat the Urban Decay highlighter, which lasted eight hours on me.

Sometimes I lay awake at night and wonder which colors you would put into an Autumn Strobe palette. Gold, red, dark green? What would you use?

In other Zoeva news, now I totally also want some Blush Spectrum palettes and also the Sweet Glamour Blush palette. 😐

YSL Dessin du Regard Waterproof Eye Pencil

YSL Dessin du Regard Waterproof Eye Pencil

This is the Dessin du Regard Waterproof Eye Pencil from YSL in the color 1 which I assume translates to ‘pitch black’. Sadly the tip was already chipped when the pencil got to me. It promptly broke off when I tried to apply the color. Luckily that’s nothing a pencil sharpener can’t fix. The mine is really soft, though.

Swatch. The pencil applies a creamy pitch black.

This is soft and waterproof and therefore absolutely perfect for the waterline. It lasts quite well, there are still traces of it on the waterline four hours later. On the skin it’s best for a messy look, as again, the mine is very soft and prone to go all over the place. Also it needs to be blended before it sets, because when it sets, that’s it. This stuff lasts so well, you’ll barely get it off with remover.

So, out of all my black pencils this is the darkest and the best lasting one. I’ve already used up quite a bit of it and for once I’m positive I’ll finish this pencil sooner or later.

Guerlain Shalimar Parfum Initial

Guerlain Shalimar Parfum Initial

I know it’s the middle of May and this is more of a cold weather perfume, but we’ve had a very snowy spring so far so I broke out the vanilla perfumes again.

Pictured: Guerlain Shalimar Parfum Initial (EdP).

Shalimar Parfum Intital (from now on: PI) is a flanker to Guerlain’s famous Shalimar. PI was released in 2011, perfumer is Thierry Wasser. There were two more PI flankers: Shalimar Parfum Intital L’Eau (same bottle, pink tassle) and Shalimar Parfum Inital Si Sensuelle (pink feathers instead of tassle). Now, the whole thing is a bit complicated, because Si Sensuelle is supposedly a LE bottle for L’Eau and juice should be the same. However, from the bottles I personally have smelled I could swear Si Sensuelle smells a lot more gentle and sweet. Yet at the same time I am not sure if I could tell apart PI and L’Eau in a blind test…

The whole PI line got discontinued a while ago, but as of now you can still find all three versions in some stores. It is still in the “freshly discontinued and being sold off” phase and not the “longer discontinued and highly sought after” phase. If you’re thinking of blind buying because you see a good price I would recommend getting Si Sensuelle. Well, unless you already know what PI smells like in which case it’s not a blind buy.

Now, what does it smell like? It is clearly related to Shalimar. I heard it was intended to be a beginner’s Shalimar. In that case it failed because I’m not sure if you could get into it if you didn’t already love Shalimar? The start is very tart bergamot and dark green notes. It almost punches you into the nose, going WELL HELLO HERE I AM! When that wears off you get unsweet vanilla, iris and a very indolic jasmine. Honestly I think it is quite stinky. The indole, you know. Si Sensuelle has a lot less indole which is why I recommend it for blind buyers. You don’t want to blind buy this one here and get hit by all the indole if you didn’t expect it.

The somewhat stinky flowers are the longest phase. After four hours you are left with softer notes, the typical Guerlain tonka bean, a hint of caramel and musk. All of those are fairly light. This is a cozy, cuddly phase. If you want only this phase better check out the new Mon Guerlain which smells like a Guerlain base without top or heart to me.

So, don’t get me wrong, I like PI. It’s just I have to be in the mood for the little stinker. But I’m also not super surprised the PI line wasn’t a mainstream hit, to be honest. For a softer, more easily likable Shalimar flanker, try Shalimar Cologne EdT.

Like I said above, I can’t tell much difference between this one and the L’Eau version. Si Sensuelle is lighter. And with that I have reviewed all of the Shalimar flankers I could get my hands on. I’m lacking the Ode a la Vanille ones. One day I’ll review the actual Shalimar as well. Maybe. 😄

And now for some Guerlain news: a couple of their scents are going to be repackaged. They will lose their regular, unique bottle and will from now on be sold in bee bottles. I’ll certainly be on the lookout for sales of old bottles. 😉

Urban Decay Afterglow Highlighter Aura

Urban Decay Afterglow Highlighter Aura

So, Urban Decay has these lovely powder highlighters. They’re called Afterglow 8-hour powder highlighters. I was looking for a pink one, because somehow I have half a dozen gold highlighters, but no pink.

Enter Aura, which is a very light pink base color with pink shimmer.

Swatch. Some highlighters are so hard to photograph, but in real life this is an amazing glow, perfect for strobing. My skin has yellow undertone, so pink based highlighter pops more than gold. This color works very well for the pale kids as it just merges with your skin. It applies mostly as shimmer and a little bit of the base color, meaning it should work for most skin tones, but on dark skin the light base color could maybe be visible as a chalky stripe.

Aura is very easy to apply it basically blends itself and it truly does wear for eight hours. This is smack-down the best powder highlighter I own. Now I sort of want the others too, not that I need them. *sigh*

The Afterglow Highlighters are available in the regular lineup, not limited. Yay.

MAC Make-up Art Cosmetics: Coral Bliss, Overnight Sensation, Cracked Emerald

MAC Make-up Art Cosmetics: Coral Bliss, Overnight Sensation, Cracked Emerald

Well. MAC‘s Make-up Art Cosmetics was a limited collection that came out several weeks ago already. Originally I didn’t intend to buy anything, but I broke down when Douglas had 20% off. So that’s why this review is super late. I apologize if these products are already sold out, but we can always hope MAC brings them back again.

I bought these three items: two paints from the Kabuki Magic part, Overnight Sensation and Cracked Emerald; and a lipstick from the James Kaliardos part, Coral Bliss (Cremesheen). Coral Bliss isn’t actually new, it was either part of LEs before or available in the regular lineup.

I really like the special packaging here and that it says “Spring/Summer 2017”. So in the future I’ll know exactly when I got it. 😄

Coral Bliss has a cremesheen finish, meaning it’s not opaque and has a glossy finish. The color is a pinky toned light coral, a very happy color. Due to the finish it does not last that long, maybe three hours and the color pulls into lip lines/emphasizes dry parts. I solve that by reapplying. I like the way it looks and it has been my most used lipstick lately. The color is such a no-brainer, I use it whenever I don’t know what to wear (as I have to get up in the morning way too early this happens a lot; I put my makeup on in zombie mode).

Overall: if you can live with the cremesheen finish it’s a great lipstick.

These are my first ever MAC paints. They used to be in the lineup several years ago but then got discontinued when they introduced the Paint Pots. GREAT INJUSTICE! These Paints are five thousand times better than the Paint Pots! I know the Pots have many fans but they never worked for me at all. They are hard to put on evenly and they crease two hours in. They are also too dry to be a good makeup base, imho. These paints, though. Look at the swatches:

Overnight Sensation is a purple with blue shimmer, Cracked Emerald is matte green. The green doesn’t fade out more than the purple, I just took less product out of the tube. The colors are perf, pigmented, easy to put on the lid (I used a flat synthetic brush for full coverage and to use as eyeliner, a fluffy synthetic for less coverage and I’ve also used my finger). And then they dry down and stay uncreased until the end of time. Yet, they can be removed with any regular makeup remover quickly. I am in love!

Since they come in these little tubes, it’s best to squeeze only a tiny bit and put the cream onto a surface (back of hand or some artist’s plates) and then pick up the product from there. Work quickly as it dries up fast. The purple one was a little eager, the tube kept releasing more cream even when I didn’t touch it. But overall I found them easy to work with and the fact that the cream is kept in tubes with a small opening surely keeps them from drying out too fast, unlike cream shadows in pots.

I seriously hope MAC plans on releasing more of these again. I would buy them in a heartbeat.

Langé Opera in Paris

Langé Opera in Paris

Opera in Paris EdP is my second female fragrance by Langé and my third in total. The packaging is as usual nothing to get excited about, but the perfume is different and that’s what I like. The note list on the back of the packaging says:

Jasmine Heart, Black Rose, Warm Wood, Infused Vanilla

Reading this, you might be mistaken that this is a sweet perfume. It is not. It’s a rose perfume, that is the strongest note I get, and what a rose! It’s the driest rose I’ve ever smelled. It is absolutely not soapy (I dislike soap in rose perfumes) and unsweet. I barely get any jasmine. It’s all about the rose and the dry wood. There could be a touch incense in it. Much, much later I get vanilla, when all oher notes are gone but it is so quiet you might think it’s a whisper of a dream. Until then I don’t find it very sweet at all. Just the most intense dry rose. You could describe it as powdery but that’s a complicated word. Often powdery scents are sweeter than this, softer. Nothing about Opera in Paris is really soft. It’s more like… you know wearing it makes me feel like being in a spy movie or like Black Widow from the Avengers. 😄 This rose has hard edges.

The perfume lasts about five hours on my skin. The last stage is very close to the skin.

Overall I like it lots and that’s despite me still not being a fan of roses. Worth a try if you’re up for the ride.

Opera in Paris was released in 2015, the creative team are Eric Fustier and Julie Pauwels.

All Used Up March & April 2017

All Used Up March & April 2017

Alright, time for another trash post. I have many items almost used up, but only a few I managed to actually empty and throw away lately and those are:

Balea Handcreme Buttermilk & Lemon: My current fav hand cream. Already repurchased. Must be on my fourth bottle now (If I always repurchase the same thing I don’t always put it in those posts because boring).

Jean & Len Shampoo für seidiges Haar: I tried it on a whim and really liked it. It did actually make my hair silky and my scalp was not itchy and dry (something I often have a problem with). However when I went back to repurchase it I couldn’t find it anymore. The whole product line was repackaged and looked different. For now I have some other shampoos to use up but I do plan on going back and finding this one again.

List of ingredients for shampoo.

Rituals Sakura Body Lotion: I had more than one of these. I like the smell and the whipped cream texture is fun to touch. However it does not really do a whole lot for the skin. No moisture. Looking at the list of ingredients (too small to photograph, sorry) it is very back-heavy, meaning it’s mostly silicone and all the advertised stuff like rice etc is listed after Phenoxyethanol (meaning there’s less than one percent in it). So, nice sample, would not buy full size.

s.Oliver Outstanding. Review here. I have nothing to add. Used up as a room spray at work.

Last two items: The Body Shop Pink Grapefruit shower gel: one of my favorite Body Shop scents. Yum. Currently on a shower gel bying ban (which I broke to buy those cursed unicorn shower gels – see my instagram). Should I one day have used up all my backlog I might get this one again.

And a body lotion: Daisy Dream by Marc Jacobs. The lotion was actually not half bad, considering it’s mostly there to enhance the perfume. The scent is okay, nothing I would buy for myself, but a nice fresh floral.

And that concludes my empties post for the last two months. I have quite a few things almost used up I wonder how many more weeks they’ll last…

Gucci Bamboo

Gucci Bamboo

So today I’ll be talking about Gucci Bamboo EdP. I’d lke to say it’s brand new because to me it feels like it came out yesterday but apparently yesterday was 2015. Oh.

Bamboo comes in a really cute bottle with Gucci’s bamboo design. To clear things up, this perfume was named after an accessoire line by Gucci and matches the design. It does not include a bamboo note! Although, this is clearly dropping the ball here, why do you create a perfume named like this and then not bother to put in a bamboo note?

Anyways, this is also shows how close smell is connected with expectations – have someone smell it and tell them what it’s called and wait how they’ll describe the smell. Many will claim to smell bamboo and honestly it’s not that far off. This perfume is a watery citrus with light flower notes. For all you know it could be a rendering of Panda food.

At first I was prepared to hate it. Watery perfumes, brr. It smells synthetic and a bit like cleansing products. However for the sake of reviewing it I put it on again and again. And it grew on me. It’s not a screechy terrible as other fresh scents and it has a soft note of orange blossom, which totally redeems it to me. To smell it I had to drench myself in Bamboo, though. If you use too little all you get is a airy room cleaner smell. I get a feeling this is the sort of perfume you sell to people who don’t want to smell of perfume.

Lasting power is mediocre at best. I get maybe three hours. To really smell it you need to start out with seven spritzes and then keep reapplying.

So while my personal opinion changed from “terrible” to “actually quite nice” I can’t really recommend it either. It’s not a perfume for a perfumista, nor does it want to be. I think it’s mostly for people who like the design – I’m sure more money went into the design than into the juice. I’m usually the sort of person who keeps perfume dark and cool, stored away with their packaging still on. But this one here you can display on your dresser. If you use it, you’ll use it up before it goes bad anyway.

Rituals Haul

Rituals Haul

Rituals is brand from the Netherlands. Lately they’ve been expanding quite a bit, so my hometown is now blessed with a store. Naturally, I had to shop.

Two of those are freebies, though. 😄

I always like checking out the perfume sections of these mall shops (like The Body Shop, Lush, L’Occitane). You could find a gem for a good price. The skin care portions of those shops are often overpriced, though.

I picked up the SPF 50 sun protection cream, which includes Titanium Dioxide (mineral filter) as well as a chemical filter. There’s also antioxidants, sadly also a whole lot of perfume components. I know that everything by Rituals is heavily scented but I don’t understand why you have to do it with sun cream. I’ll give this a proper review when I used it up.

Then I got the hand cream in Dao, because I am a hand cream fiend and Dao was the scent I liked best. I got the matching room scent as well (freebie).

The little white tube was the other freebie, the Sensitive Skin Lotion. Again, review will follow when I used it up, but I noticed this one includes a whole lot less perfume compared to the sun cream, so it actually is possible!

The two small glass bottles are the perfumes Eau d’Orient and Nuit a Marrakesh, both EdP. I so love that they offer small 10 ml versions of all perfumes and they come with sprayers! Yes! Nuit d’Orient is a heavy vanilla amber thing, Nuit a Marrakesh smells more like towels in a spa. Many Rituals scents smell very spa like, it’s their thing.

Honestly the best thing about the store is that they always offer* you a free cup of tea when you enter. I do hope they keep that up but I am afraid it was only a store opening thing.

*actually, they’d follow you around with a cup of tea until you finally took it.

This post is not sponsored. I actually bought all of that, except the freebies.

essence I ♥ Extreme volume mascara

essence I ♥ Extreme volume mascara

On to the last makeup item from my essence calendar. Finally! 😄

This is the I (heart) extreme volume mascara. I have another essence mascara which I love dearly. I would have reviewed it but it is already discontinued, so you’ll hear about it in an empties post instead. This one here should still be available. Anyways since I have this other volumising essence mascara I couldn’t help but comparing them and honestly the discontinued one is so much better why keep this one and not the other what????

Ahem. Let’s take a look at the brush.

The brush is seriously big. I put my finger next to it to show how big (this is my pinky). The brush is long and the bristles are very long as well. This means that everytime I try to get the roots of my lashes, the bristles poke through my lashes and color my eyelid. Meh.

This was produced by making only a small swipe. It covered most of my wrist.

The formula itself is okay. If you gave this to me without the label and asked me what sort of mascara it was I’d have said: “This is nice and separating. Is it a lengthening formula?” What I would not have guessed is volumising because that’s the one thing it does not do. If you can be bothered to fight with the bristles you could add several coats which might give you volume, for it does not clump. But I can’t be bothered and so it colors my lashes black and that’s it.

The formula is not waterproof. It mostly does not smudge unless I sweat a lot. It crumbles a little bit, sometimes. It held the curl (in my experience really volumising formulas weigh the lashes down).

I’ve had worse mascaras but I’ve also had better ones at the same price point. I prefer the “forbidden volume” from the same brand, sadly discontinued. That one did deliver on the volume.

Guerlain Aqua Allegoria Bergamote Calabria

Guerlain Aqua Allegoria Bergamote Calabria

You know it’s spring when Guerlain releases its annual Aqua Allegoria. 🙂

This year’s offer is Bergamote Calabria and the writing on the bottle is light green. Be careful when testing it, many stores have put the tester for Herba Fresca in front of it. To make space in the lineup, Limon Verde was discontinued although as of now you can still find it in stores.

After last year’s Pera Granita, which was a flowery fuity offering, Bergamote Calabria goes the citrus spicy way. As promised you get bergamote, both peel and juice. I find it really mouth watering, as in I really get thirsty smelling it. There’s also ginger, which I am not the biggest fan of, but this isn’t the really sharp kind. It’s more like a really good drink of water with lemon juice and a bit of ginger thrown in. Ginger Candy, maybe. This lovely yum stage lasts about two to three hours, after that there’s not much left. I mean, there’s is some light musk, so the scent itself isn’t quite gone yet, but I still wish to reapply to get the citrus goodness. Without reapplication the scent survives maybe five hours, but the last three are very quiet and skin tight.

I own a few citrus scents, and none smell exactly like Bergamot Calabria. If you want a zingy citrus that isn’t too harsh, this one is worth a sniff.

essence All About Nudes eyeshadow

essence All About Nudes eyeshadow

Still reviewing the last few items of the 2016 advent calendar by essence. 😄 This eyeshadow palette was in the last door. It’s the all about nudes palette in 02 nudes. Honestly, I was prepared to hate it. I like some essence items, but always stay away from powder shadows for fear of them being too powdery and not pigmented enough.

If you look at the lower row, you can see the colors are fairly close together. However, only the middle two colors are truly close, the outer two colors differ quite a bit upon application. Let’s take a look at the swatches:

Swatches in the shade. I did top, bottom, top bottom, moving left to right. So we start with the highlighting shades. The first one is a pale vanilla and matte. The second one is more a seashell color and shimmery. The next four colors are the middle browns, all of which are matte. The second to last color is the darkest of the palette and has a satin finish. The very last one is another mid brown, but with an intense sparkle. On the lid it applies as mostly shimmer and not much base color.

So, the first row is warmer toned and the second is cooler toned. I like having that variety, lots of nude palettes are warm only. I wish that one of the middle colors in the lower row were darker, though. They differ only slightly (the right one leans more taupe), but on the lid you can’t tell the difference. So you always have to reach for the upper row anyway unless you do a light only look.

The same swatches, but in direct sunlight. Here you can see the shimmer and the sparkle.

Like I said in the beginning I was prepared to hate this palette. Except now, four months later I can say this has been my most used palette this year. It’s not too powdery if you knock off the excess on the back of your hand, it applies well and it looks really good on. The biggest quality problem is the glitter shade, as the sparkles land all over your face. The others are good, though. Now, the colors don’t go fully opaque. They always stay a bit see-through, but that also means you can throw them on quickly, blend a bit and be done with it. You can’t do much wrong with these, which is why I’d recommend them to a makeup beginner. You can still get some different looks out of it, from almost invisible to dark. You can have some fun experimenting and it’ll still result in a look you can leave the house with.

Wear time was also surprisingly good: seven hours (with primer, though!).

For people with many nude palettes this will be boring. It’s got nothing you don’t have already. I don’t have all that many nude palettes and honestly, it’s probably the best neutral one I have. You know, really neutral in tones.

Caveat: since the colors are semi-sheer and mostly on the lighter end of the spectrum I can’t say how well it’ll work for darker skin tones. But I totally recommend this one to the paler kids who want a no fuss nude eyeshadow.

Maybelline Color Sensational Smoky Rose

Maybelline Color Sensational Smoky Rose

Happy Easter!

This is the lipstick from my last haul, Maybelline Smoky Rose 987. (If the number starts with a 9 it means it’s a matte finish.) This is from their current collection, Inti-Matte Nudes, which features matte nudes for every skin tone.

Well, for me Smoky Rose isn’t really nude, it’s a typical My Lips But Better shade and don’t we all love these? The color is opaque and goes on creamy, then dries down to a matte finish. The whole thing lasts about four hours, give or take. Sadly it is a bit drying over time, so good lip care is essential.

Color Comparison: first is Smoky Rose, underneath is essence long lasting lipstick in Natural Beauty. The essence lipstick is more semi-opaque, shinier and a bit lighter in color. I love both, depending on what kind of finish I want that day.

I seriouly recommend taking a look at Smoky Rose in the stores, as the color is so, so pretty and wearable.