All Used Up April & May 2018

All Used Up April & May 2018

Since I didn’t get around to do April’s empties I’m combining the last two months in one post:

I used up my beloved Givenchy lipstick in LIVely Pink. This was LE, but I have similar things from Givenchy, so I would not repurchase. I liked it a lot though. It’s one of those almost colorless balms that turn pink when in contact with your skin. The metal case was absolutely beautiful but got me into trouble with a metal detector once. This must have happened to several people because upon redesign they replaced the metal parts with plastic in the newer, slimmer cases.

Piz Buin Allergy SPF 30. Again. And I have one more to use up. See, I honestly like the cream, it doesn’t irritate my skin (which sadly often happens with sun care), it smells great and applies well with minmal white cast. But I seriously hate the bottle. It’s so hard to get anything out. Will not repurchase until they change bottle design, but alas, one more to finish up (I bought back ups before I got my first bottle halfway down, which is when the trouble starts).

More Balea winter stuff: Magic Winter Shampoo: I loved this. Balea shampoos are 50% hit and 50% miss, and this one was a hit, worked well and had a nice milky smell. Would repurchase if full size existed, which as this was LE, it does not.

Then the Hand & Nagelbalsam: This was just a regular hand cream.

And the shower gel with Cinnamon & Orange scent: First I thought I was smelling cinnamon & apples. Quite lovely, but I think a full size would get boring after a while. So I liked that I had a mini that I could use up reasonably fast. Right now I am using up the last of the magic winter showergels. Still have a ban on buying more shower gels as these things just multiply on their own.

Look by Bipa nail polish remover: this was my fav remover, for it was very cheap and worked quickly. The smell was absolutely awful, but the pros outweighed that. Would have repurchased in a heartbeat – but it is discontinued. 😦

essence I love Extreme volume mascara: will not repurchase. The mascara itself was quite good. It gave volume and length with only minimal smudging. But the brush drove me nuts. It was so big and the bristles were so long that I always poked my lid, had to remove the spots on my lids and then redo my eye makeup. Naturally, this one still exists while the best essence masacara on earth (forbidden volume) was discontinued.

essence express eye makeup remover: a two phase remover that worked very quickly. It left some oily residue but that didn’t bother me. It leaked a bit which made the sticker go off, as you can see in the pic, but okay. The one thing I found slightly annoying is that this is scented. Why do I need a scented eye makeup remover? My eyes do not need to smell fresh while being cleaned of makeup. Worst case scenario, you get irritation, which luckily I didn’t get. But since it removed makeup very well I miiiight repurchase in the future. Maybe. Right now I have something else.

And this concludes my list of empties for now. 🙂

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Woman Day Haul Spring 2018

Woman Day Haul Spring 2018

It is April, which here in Austria means Woman Day craziness. Woman Day is a twice yearly shopping extravaganza, where most stores will give you discount. It even extends to stuff like phone contracts by now. (Some stores also call it Gentleman Day or both.) I only did a little shopping:

So the majority of that is samples. I got two samples of Kenzo World (I call it Augenkenzo – the Eye Kenzo) and one of Kenzo Flower Eau de Lumiere. Then a few Lancome samples: two Genifique, one Visionnaire and one Energie de Vie.

The purchased items: The brush is a MAC 239S. MAC has replaced all of their natural bristles with synthetic, which is what the S at the end means. So you can easily tell apart old and new brushes by wether there’s an ‘S’ or not.

At the bottom of the pic there is a Catrice eyeshadow palette from the Lala Berlin Collection. It’s called Prismatic Palette C01 Prismatic Persian.

At the top I’ve got one of the new MAC Mineralize Items: Mineralize Skinfinish in Warm Aura.

The rest is Maybelline: Colorsensational matte metallic in 50 Gunmetal and Colorsensational metallic foil in 85 Zen and 105 Scorpion. Those two are my favorite Maybelline finishes, especially the metallic liquid lipsticks are out of this world. Now I own most of the colors, except for one I think, that was imo too close to another color.

Here are the color items: The Lala Berlin palette claims to be an eyeshadow palette but the pans are big enough for a highlighter brush. The colors are light bases with iredescent shimmer – the didn’t use the word ‘holo’ but tbh ‘prism’ means basically the same thing, doesn’t it?

MAC Warm Aura is a pink highlighter with four quadrants, from light to dark.

Metallic Foil Zen is a light bronze, Scorpion is red. The metallic matte Gunmetal may look black in the tube, but it’s really grey. I can’t wait to wear all these.

I just realized I forogt to put it in the picture but I also stocked up on my favorite foundation, the essence camouflage.

That was my haul and considering every store threw their ads at me I think I was being pretty good.

Reviews of the items will come later when I had time to test them. If there’s one you want sooner rather than later, please tell me, as my backlog is quite big.

All Used Up March 2018

All Used Up March 2018

Last month I had quite a few empties, I don’t think I can top that this month. But let’s see what I used up in march:

The Balea empties: middle of the pic is the Buttermilk & Lemon handcream, a sight often seen in my empties. For now I have another handcream but repurchase is not unlikely.

The two Magic Winter designs are from the advent calendar and not avalable as stand alones. The Bodylotion has a “vanilla ice cream” scent. Well, it did smell of vanilla dessert. I liked this body lotion, it was easy to work in (unlike the previous body lotion from the same line).

The shower gel comes with a gingerbread scent, and wow it did really smell like that. I liked it a lot and would have gotten a full size for the winter if it were available. Maybe they will recycle the scent. The calendar included three shower gels and two body lotions. I’m currently on the last shower gel, but now have to pair it with a normal body lotion.

A random assortment of items:

Dermasence Cream Soft, my new favoritest skin cream. When my pharmacy stopped carrying Bioderma I switched to Dermasence. Like Bioderma it is a pharmacy brand, but a German one, not French. They have this easy color system. Cream Soft is marked with blue and green, meaning it’s for normal skin and for oily skin. The cream contains mostly avocado oil and glycerin, making it light but moisturizing. There is a good amount of vitamin e and pro-vitamin b5, which has a soothing and repairing effect. There are smaller amounts of salicylic acid, lactic acid and benzoic acid. So it’s got both AHA and BHA, but I’m not sure how much exfoliation it achieves. I have used a stronger serum underneath and this cream as a topper. I felt moisturized, yet the cream is still lightweight which I loved.

I’d recommend this for everyone who needs a light and soohting cream. If you have no major skin problems this one alone should be enough. I have acne so I need stronger acids, but I like this as a topper. Reepurchase is possible, but atm I have too many creams lying about.

Batiste Heavenly Volume Dry Shampoo: They are not kidding when they say Heavenly Volume. This is a cross between dry shampoo and hair spray. So like hair spray it leaves a sticky residue, but on the upside it does not leave the white powdery residue you get from normal dry shampoo. So it really depends on which residue you prefer. It got my hair fluffy and fresh like regular dry shampoo, the result lasted even longer than with normal Batiste. The volume was pretty good as well. But personally, I couldn’t live with the stickiness. No repurchase.

Essence Forbidden Volume Mascara TopCoat: Forbidden Volume was my favorite mascara line from essence, so naturally – they discontinued it. 😦 I grabbed two back ups of this item here: the mascara top coat. You apply it on top of your mascara, it goes on black. On the packaging it gives you only one promise: to lengthen your lashes. So it contains these fibers, you know the ones. And it really does make lashes longer, but also adds a bit of volume without clumping the lashes or making them too thick. It also made normal mascara water resistant, which is why I love it so much. Nothing beats the combo of regular mascara (any mascara will do) and this topper. Who needs a mascara base when you can have a good top coat? Would repurchase, but alas. Currently on tube nr. 2.

Bobbi Brown Conditioning Brush Cleanser: so this is probably among the most expensive brush cleaners out there? But it is really good and lasted me for many years. It has a thick consistency like shampoo and you need only a drop per brush (or one drop for several eye brushes). Have a cheaper one for now, but who knows? If I end up missing it I might pick it up again.

And lastly a used up sample. The is Estee Lauder Double Wear Makeup in the color 2C2 Pale Almond. Now I suspected it would be too dark for me – pre-packaged foundation never comes in light shades – but I wanted to try it as I’ve heard many good things so I went Oompa Loompa for a few days.

On top is a swipe of Pale Almond. Underneath my ususal colors: MAC Studio Finish Concealer NC15, Chanel Les Beiges 10 and Dior BB Creme in 010. So yes, 2C2 Pale Almond is way too dark for me, but I think Double Wear has a good range so I might find one that works for me.

The foundation had good coverage, stronger than Chanel Les Beiges (and much easier to blend), and a bit less than MAC Studio Fix Fluid. I didn’t smell anything, which I liked. Since this was a sample I applied with my fingers. A beauty blender will surely get more coverage out of it.

The finish was satiny, not comepletely matte, but also not luminous/shiny. It lasted very well, my nose got shiny around four to five hours, which is normal for me. It did not settle into fine lines and did not emphasize dry parts.

So I understand why everybody likes this foundation. I might someday look for a color match, but first I’ll have to use up some of my stash.

 

This was my list of empties for march. There may not be a post for April as I’ve only used up two items so far. We’ll see.

All Used Up February 2018

All Used Up February 2018

Another month is over and actually… it took me more than half a month to post the results… again. Anyway, here we are, my empties of the month february:

Balea Handcreme zur Oktoberfestzeit. It’s me, dandygal. Of course there is empty handcream. This one smelled of orange blossom and vanilla so it was quite a winner for me. The texture was on the dry side but not too dry. Obviously this was LE so no repurchase possible.

essence camouflage make-up & concealer: this little thing is the best foundation I have come across so far and it costs like 3 €. Already repurchased because with essence you never know when they’ll discontinue your fav item. Downside of this foundation: it comes in exactly three shades, all of which are light. Boo. Review is here. I liked it even better the more I used it, the issues with it separating from my skin in heat did not happen again last summer.

Yves Rocher Monoi de Tahiti hair & body wash: Yves Rocher only sells this during summer months. Last time I ran out of this I missed it so badly that this time I stocked up on like four bottles to last me the year. It’s one of my favorite shampoos. Repurchase likely but first I must use up the stash, haha.

Dior J’Adore L’Or: Yeah this was just a tiny sample but I liked it a lot. Not enough to shell out for a full bottle though. Review is here.

Olaz dark circle correcting swirl eye: that’s a mouthful. I liked it a lot. It promises instant effects and like always, when a product says that you know there’s going to be fine shimmer in it and there was. It was not too strong though, you could wear this and not put makeup on top and it looked fine. I might repurchase this in the future, but for now I have something else. In part because when I went to the drugstore they didn’t have this anymore. This happens to me with Olaz products all the time, they pop in and out of existence. Then I think they’re discontinued but months later it’ll be there again. Idk.

And last, more Balea stuff. You’re going to see this turqouise design a lot. This was from their advent calendar, which was full of skin care. Therefore, all products in this design were LE.

Let’s start with the body lotion: it claimed to have Chai Latte scent and it did smell like that. The texture was sticky and too liquid so while I liked the scent I wouldn’t repurchase the lotion (if it weren’t LE). It was nicely moisturizing, though.

Then there were two face masks. Both are the kind you put on and later on wipe off with a cloth. I washed them off because tbh it feels gross when you don’t. These made me realized again why sheet masks are just that much better. The After Sport mask was okay (although – does anyone ever use a mask after sport? Really? When I’m done in the gym a shower is the most I can manage. I don’t even use body lotion afterwards, much less something as fancy as a mask). However three days after use I got small pimples. I used it again and the same thing happened so I dumped the rest. I think it’s because there was a lot of alcohol in it (which on the other hand helped a lot with the texture).

The Verwöhnmaske on the other hand was just plain awful. It burned and we’re not talking the kind of tingling you get when using AHA. I washed it off after three minutes and did not try again. DO NOT RECOMMEND. It claims to have jasmin and chai tea axtract which is the sort of thing you’d put into a perfume, not put it on your face undilluted!

Those were my empties of last month. Thanks for reading. Expect more handcream next month. XD

Essence Holo Rainbow in Hello Holo

Essence Holo Rainbow in Hello Holo

This is the Essence nailpolish in 01 Hello Holo from their Holo Rainbow set. I am wearing two coats plus top coat. The top sunk into the gritty polish though, as usual with heavy glitter polishes. The polish is just straight up holo as promised. I know lately it’s been a trend to complain “that’s not holo” on fake holo makeup and I’ve seen people comment that about nail polish as well, but it is holo. The colors in each particle shift through the whole rainbow = holo.

I like that the polish was thick enough that you could easily get this opaque. I also didn’t have to move the glitter around much to get an even distribution. I’ve had much worse glitter polishes from essence before. But this one gets a total approval from me. It also lasted very well, apart from the fact that there was some shrinkage. I don’t know, this often happens to me when I wear heavy glitter polish, that the polish shrinks after a few hours and leaves some of my nail free. Other than that, there was some chipping on day four.

You better have some peel off base coat, because getting that stuff off otherwise is hell. I know because atm I don’t have any peel off base and ugh. There won’t be more glitter reviews anytime soon. The sparkles are so pretty, though!

The whole Holo Rainbow stuff was introduced into the permanent range half a year ago. So, these are not LE – although with essence you never know when they discontinue stuff again so if you want them, get them soon.

essence my love diary

essence my love diary

I’m still catching up on my nail polish posts, so here you have a mani monday:

This is essence the gel nail polish in the color 48 my love diary. This was included in last year’s advent calendar, which is why there’s a gingerbread man on it. Minus that sticker this nail polish should be available in their normal range.

The nail polish is a lovely dusty pink, not quite red, not quite mauve. It’s hard to describe but looks very lovely when worn. The pic was taken in direct sunlight and as such pulls a little yellow. Shown in the pic are as per usual two coats and no top coat. The polish applied easily and lasted for three days with minor tip wear.

I think this is the last item from last year’s calendar that I’ll review. Overall I was very pleased with it, some duds but mostly good stuff. Sadly this year had several repeat products so I didn’t buy it. This year I bought the Essie calendar instead which means there’ll be a lot of Essie swatches coming up in 2018. (I also got a Balea skin care calendar. Those items will only show up in used up posts.)

essence Fresh & Fit Awake Primer

essence Fresh & Fit Awake Primer

When essence released their new foundation I was so busy getting it that I didn’t even notice they had also released a primer to go with it. Weeks later I’m at the drugstore and I go, hey, what’s that thing with the “new” sticker on? Why, it is the Fresh & Fit Awake Primer that promises you a healthy glow and a pore minimizing effect.

Like the foundation, it actually does contain all those promised vitamins and in fact, more than that. Like the foundation, the back of the packaging (not pictured) promised you “vitamin b3, vitamin e, provitamin b5 & cranberry water”. Looking at the ingredients there is also retinol in and vitamin c, but vitamin c is the lowest on the list, so there’s probably not all that much. Neither the foundation nor the primer promise SPF, but both contain some iron oxides and titanium oxide, so it might give a little bit of SPF. Still, personally I also put on my normal sun protection when using this, especially since retinol makes you sensitive to light.

Unlike the foundation the primer does not contain alcohol, so if that was a no-go for you for the foundation or the foundation color didn’t work for you, you might get happy with the primer. So, seriously, even though this is sold only as a makeup item, it packs more skin care punch than most of the regular skin care in the drugstore! If you have trouble finding a good cream you might as well just use this.

But for now, on to the makeup part:

The product comes out like this, a little peachy and shimmery.

But when you blend it out, it is colorless so it will work for every skintone. In this pic, the top half is covered in primer and the bottom half isn’t. So one half is all glowy and the other is just dry skin. So yes, it delivery on the promised glow, but keep in mind this isn’t a liquid highlighter. Five years ago you might have called it a highlighter, but today it really isn’t. And to be quite honest when you put foundation on top you won’t see much of the glow anymore. Combining it with the Fresh & Fit foundation will give you a “glowy” face but that’s because the foundation has such a “glowy” finish. I put that word in scare quotes because one person’s glow is another one’s oil slick.

Anyway you can use this primer with whatever foundation you want but with a full coverage you won’t see much of the shine anymore. Which personally I prefer (see oil slick).

I super love the texture of this it feels like you’re putting on a much more expensive thing! It just glides on. This is a silicone primer, but feels less siliconey than my other silicone primers. Being silicone based helps it minimize the appearance of pores, as promised on the packaging. However, this will only work if you then put foundation on top. Because the primer makes your face smoother physically, but it will not cover your pores optically, especially with that glow going on. So keep that in mind if you want to use it alone.

As a primer it worked well for me aka it was easy to apply makeup on top and it made makeup last longer (compared to using no primer). It did not last any better than my usual primers and it did not keep me shine free on my T-zone at all (well, it IS called a glow primer).

Let’s go back to the skin care properties. This isn’t sold as such and isn’t making any promises, but I think that using this for a while did help my skin. In the long run it was a bit annyoing to use as a primer because I always had to put on extra sun protection as well. So sometimes I’d just use it on normal, no makeup days as well.

Note that this product includes both niacinamide and vitamin c, which many blogs will tell you not to mix. There’s an interesting thread on reddit about it here, if you want to read up more on that. You will also find advice not to mix retinol with vitamin c. This cream obviously does not care, it just throws all of it together.  Here‘s a link to Paula’s Choice talking about retinol myths. I just wanna mention it in case that’s something you personally don’t wanna combine on your face.

Me, I’ve been using a vitamin c toner with a niacinamide serum for six months now and I had no problems with that. They don’t seem to cancel each other out. Worst thing that happens is that my face flushes for a few minutes (less than five) but that happens whenever I apply niacinamide and is normal.

Word of caution if your skin is not used to niacinamide or retinol you might get some redness or small pimples at first, but this is normal and should stop soon. If you have any worse reactions or if it doesn’t stop after two weeks, stop using product.

Whoa this post eneded up longer than I thought. So long in fact, that this is posting on a thursday instead of wednesday. I guess I was very happy to find a good quality primer in the drugstore. I hope you enjoyed this post. Tomorrow there’ll be another perfume review up. Next week there might be some more lipsticks (highly probable).

 

Essence Fresh & Fit Awake Make Up

Essence Fresh & Fit Awake Make Up

Last year essence released the wonderful Camouflage foundation, which has become my absolute favorite foundation ever, surpassing all the more expensive ones. So when essence released another foundation in their current fall product range change (pro tip: if there’s an essence product you love always check bi-yearly if it’s going on sale because then it will be GONE not even best sellers are safe) I bought it just in case it was another hit.

It’s called Fresh & Fit Awake Make Up and it boasts to give you a healthy glow. Now, healthy glow foundations were all the rage a couple years ago when brands simply added light shimmer to their foundations. This is not one of those, no shimmer (not needed anymore since nowadays everyone has a ton of highlighters at home). Howeverrrrr, this is so not for the kids with oily faces. The glow is very, ah, wet looking. This is the un-mattest finish I ever owned.

The color I bought was the lightest of four available ones, it’s 10 fresh ivory.

For my swatch I hit the pump with gusto – and got out wayy too much product. This affected the swatch a little, sorry.

Had to cover half my arm with the swatch. The coverage is light to medium – you can still see my blue veins here. The coverage is not builadable, no matter how much you put on.

Comparison swatches. The other pics were made in the shade, this one in direct sunlight. The first line is the Fresh & Fit, again I got out too much product so the swatch is still super wet here. However, it will not dry down as much as the other two anyway. Good news is, it does not oxidize and get darker.

The second swatch is MAC NC 15, which is much lighter than ‘fresh ivory’. Last swatch is essence Camouflage in 10 ivory beige, also the lightest available of that foundation.

Now, the fresh & fit is clearly darker than those two, closer to MAC NC 20. However, the lighter products swatched here have a lot more coverage, so blended out on my face I can wear this foundation. But still, the 10 in this foundation is a different color than 10 in the other foundation of the same brand and that’s pretty annoying.

I already mentioned that this foundation is not kidding when it says glow. I need a good primer and a lot of powder to keep the shine at bay. It ends up shinier than my favorite glowy foundation (Dior BB Creme). Longevity was not affected, though, it lasted a whole work day just fine. So from the finish, this is not a foundation for oily types, it’s okay for combination skin IF you can live with the shine, and will probably look best on very dry skin.

So far so good, but please note that this foundation contains alcohol on the fourth spot of the ingredients list, meaning it could potentally irritate your skin in the long run. (My beloved Camouflage foundation also includes alcohol, but much lower down the list.) The alcohol is especially annyoing because apart from that the fresh & fit actually includes a lot of good stuff, like Vitamin E, Vitamin C, Vitamin B3, and Vitamin A! This means that this stuff is basically skin care and would make your skin look better in the long run – provided you also used sun protection because retinol makes you sun sensitive. The retinol is not advertised on the product, it only says ‘vitamin complex and cranberry water’, which is technically correct I guess. The foundation also includes titanium dioxide and iron oxide, but I would stil use a sun screen with it.

The foundation is lightly perfumed, but the smell vansihes quickly and there are no declarable materials (aka known irritants).

My verdict: best for aging skin if you can live with the alcohol content and shine. For more coverage and a matte finish I greatly recommend the Camouflage instead.

All Used Up May & June 2017

All Used Up May & June 2017

I had empties in may but I kept forgetting to post them long enough that it’s now a combined post.

essence all about matt! oil control paper: These paper things are a must @ work when the weather is hot. I liked the paper but the packaging was a bit annoying so I repurchased the Catrice ones instead.

Batiste dry shampoo sweetie: The packaging is so cute with the little russian dolls. The smell confused me a bit because it smelled like pineapple to me and that didn’t really go with the look. Apparently it’s supposed to be raspberry, not pineapple. Okay. The scent lasted only ten minutes which is good because it would be annyoing to smell all day. The spray itself works well and fluffs my hair up nicely. Will repurchase but probably in a different scent.

Garnier Micellar Water: still a fav cleanser of mine, not too expensive and just works. I thought about getting the Bioderma one instead but it’s more expensive so I got another bottle of Garnier by now.

Issey Miyake L’Eau d’Issey Pure Body Lotion: I’ve already reviewed the perfume here. The body lotion smells nice, but is not a very good lotion overall. Does not give enough moisture and leaves me sticky at the same time. Would not buy in full size.

Jo Malone Pomegranate Noir body lotion: Oh yes I can see why this scent is popular. It’s fruity but also deep and resinous and the scent lingers for SO LONG on skin! This was also a much better lotion than the Issey one. Would still not purchase a full size of the body lotion but would certainly not say no to the perfume! Was that too many negatives in one sentence?

Dior Lip Glow: This was a LE coral version. I’m not sure if it’s still sold. Colorwise it ends up pink anyway so if I repurchased one it’d be the regular pink one. However, I like the Givenchy ones a tad better even if this was a good balm and pretty color.

Bioderma Sebium Global: This is a serum with a high amount of citric acid and some salicylic acid and zinc, so basically an all around product for when you’ve got acne. So far I always concentrated on BHA alone but I found it’s the combination of both AHA and BHA (plus niacinamide, more on that later) that really works. I guess the pores aren’t just clogged from sebum (BHA helps) but also dead skin cells (AHA helps) so from now on I’ll always use both.

List of ingredients for Bioderma Sebium Global. I went back to repurchase it – only to be told “we are not carrying Bioderma anymore, sorry”. WHA! So I got some Dermasence poduct instead. I could’ve bought the Bioderma at another place – but the one I usually shop at gives the best discount so for now no more Bioderma for me.

Olaz Total Effects Serum: Gel cream with lots of niacinamide. You can always count on Olaz/Olay to bring the niacinamide and I have found that this ingredient (in combination with the acids mentioned above) gives the best results for my skin. I bought this one here at TK Maxx. When I went to check the item at the drugstore I found that the name was similar but packaging and ingredients differed. Later I bought another one at TK Maxx, but it was again different from the others. So either they keep reformulating them or idk.

List of ingredients for Olaz Total Effects Serum.

The cream comes out gel-like but feels a tad oily on the skin, but that doesn’t last. I liked the results very much – I hope the new one can compare. The version I found at the drugstore contained lots of alcohol so I would not purchase that one. The ones without alcohol I’ll take.

I used this one at night after the Bioderma one. My new bottle has SPF 15 so I’m not yet sure if I’ll use it as a day cream or keep using it at night…

And the very last item, used up on the last day of June and therefore barely squeezing into the post: Colab Dry Shampoo Paradise. This is my first ever Colab dry shampoo. And it really does leave no visible residue. unlike every other dry shampoo I had before! It does leave the hair feeling a bit sticky, though. Sadly it did not work quite as well as Batiste when it came to making my hair fluffy and keeping it there.

However, guys, the scent is godly! (And I do mean godly, it smells like Estee Lauder’s Bronze Goddess Eau Fraiche!) The scent is great but intense so it can battle with your perfume if you wear one. Also, the scent just lasts and lasts all day! Not sure if dry shampoo or hair perfume, really. You can tell Ruth Crilly loves a good scent, they did not skimp on the budget in this point. So on the one hand, Batiste works a bit better for me. On the other hand compared to Colab Batiste smells just so cheap. It’s a toss up, I’ll be repurchasing both brands.

Big recommendation for the smell!!!

And that was my empties for the last two months. I super miss the two face creams already in fact I am having a bad break out right now, boohoo.

Essence Hip Girls Wear Blue Jeans

Essence Hip Girls Wear Blue Jeans

Essence currently has the June/July Summer Collection out. It’s called “Hip Girls Wear Blue Jeans“, which… okay… it’s not the best collection name I’ve ever seen. But I gotta admit that this season I am crazy about blue jeans. I own no less than five jeans dresses alone, never mind pants and shirts. But back to essence. The collection is quite big, including several highlighters and blushes and other stuff. I was drawn to the cheek palette… and this funny thing called lip powder:

Shown: bronze & blush sunkissed palette 01 sunkissed, what else? and lip powder 01 I’m gold and I know it!

Honestly I bought the lip powder because I’m a blogger and I thought I’ll try it so you don’t have to. XD

Now, essence is a cheap brand the packaging shows it. I have to handle it very carefully, but at that price I can live with that. (The problem is that the packaging isn’t completely tight and so everytime I  move the item I end up releasing powder all over the place.)

The powders show a pretty embossing. The gold lip powder is already chipped because I dropped it. But apart from the small chip it survived just fine.

Swatch time! First the cheek palette, then the lip powder.

The cheek palette consists of a very light shimmery pink, a bronzer with intense shimmer and a pink blush color with fine golden shimmer. The packaging calls the light pink the “lighter rouge shade”. It’s obviously meant to be used as a highlighter but they’re not calling it such, probably because it’s not very shimmery. On the other hand it’s too light to use as a real blush. Honestly it’s the dud of palette; it barely shows up on my face, only giving a little bit of shimmer.

The bronzer on the other hand is very shimmery. So shimmery that you don’t really need to also use a highlighter. Now, the official essence video shows this powder used as a contour. DO NOT DO THAT! It’s warm toned and shimmery, it goes ON your cheekbones, not underneath. It looks very pretty on the cheeks, though. The swatch shows it at full opacity but it can be sheered out and so it works for lighter skin tones as well as darker ones.

The blush color is also very pretty and gives off a good flush while blending easily. It doesn’t look that shimmery next to the bronzer, but it does pack a good amount of golden shimmer. Very universal slightly coral pink, goes with everything.

Blush and bronzer last pretty much ten hours, longer when worn with a setting spray (best setting spray I know is actually also from essence).

So, two very good colors and one meh, for that price I’m okay with it.

The lip powder… It looks very light in the swatch, like a highlighter*. It is a cool gold color, which I like because a very yellow gold on the lips would look ridic on me. It says you could apply all over the lips or just in the center. I have only used it in the middle of my lips, not all over. The powder is very soft, softer than an eyeshadow (which answers the question “why not just use eyeshadow” – you’d have to apply with a lot more force to get the same amount of powder and coverage on). I have used my finger to pat it on. Since it’s powder I’d recommend putting a base on, either lipstick or at least lipbalm.

The packaging suggests that the finish is going to be metallic (“metallic foil lip powder”). Well, look at the swatch. It’s plain not shimmery enough for a metallic finish. However, it’s not a complete loss, either. It does give off a good muted shimmer/color, sort of like a brass tuba? I actually like the effect and it’s more appropriate for a jeans collection anway. When patted on top of lipstick it changes the color but the color underneath is not overwritten, it still influences the result.

Putting a powder on top of lipstick has a similar effect as putting powder on top of cream eyeshadow – the whole concoction lasts quite well and actually survives a meal with about 80% lipcolor left (might also depend on bases; I used only matte and semi matte lipsticks).

So to my great surprise, really, I can actually recommend the lip powder to those who want such a thing as well as the cheek palette (if only for the bronzer and the blush)! Huh.

*now I reviewed this lip powder as such, because that’s what they sell it for. but at the end of it, it’s a shimmery gold powder and can be used everywhere. It makes for a beautiful cheek highlighter and the pan is big enough to fit a highlighting brush in there comfortably. I also used it as an eyeshadow, funnily enough it looks less shimery when used that way, probably because you are used to eye colors with more shimmer than that. It looks like a golden beige on the lids. It works well enough, but is not completely opaque. When used as eyeshadow I strongly recommend using a primer or cream shadow underneath so it can stick – the powder is still loosely pressed and can be prone to fallout. The good news is that while there was some glitter wandering about I’ve had worse fallout with some ‘real’ eyeshadows. So really, this thing is a one in three product – if the color is something you can use. Could also be used to lightly dust the body for golden shimmer.

essence I ♥ Extreme volume mascara

essence I ♥ Extreme volume mascara

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

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.

essence All About Nudes eyeshadow

essence All About Nudes eyeshadow

Still reviewing the last few items of the 2016 advent calendar by essence. XD 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.

essence Kajal Pencil white and black

essence Kajal Pencil white and black

It’s the middle of April and I am slowly working through the rest of the items from my essence advent calendar. XD

It included two eye pencils:

this is the kajal pencil in 04 white.

And this is the same in 01 black. It’s got the same silver design as the other one, but I zoomed in further here.

Swatch of the white one.

Swatch of the black one.

As you can see, these aren’t super opaque. You can easily go over your lines a second time but you’ll never get the blackest black. Despite the sort of disappointing swatches they went on the eyes okay. I recommend warming the tip first, the helps the color glide on. They can be used on the lid and on the waterline. They went on the waterline without tugging, but they didn’t stay on there for super long, maybe three hours tops.

I compared the black pencil to another one I’m currently testing, the YSL Dessin du Regard in black. That one is much more pigmented (it’s of course also much more expensive). But pigment isn’t all. The essence pencil was more forgiving of mistakes, as you could just wipe them off and go again, while the YSL one was like “nope, I live here now”. In the end, applying the essence one was less hassle and the difference was not that big in the result. Only afterwards the essence one broke down much faster. This however is a slightly unfair comparison as the Dessin is waterproof and the essence kajal is not.

Overall, these are perfectly workable pencils. I use them more for a somewhat messy look, though, as that’s where they work best – when a little smudging is okay. 🙂 Admittedly I didn’t use the white one as much as the black (in the waterline the Nyx pencil in Milk holds much better).

Little Drugstore Haul

Little Drugstore Haul

You know this thing where you go to a store because you need a specific thing and then come home with a whole gaggle of stuff you didn’t really need? XD

So I decided to try out the makeup sponges by Real Techniques. I can’t even say why. I never felt the need to pick up the original beauty blender, yet this orange thing said “buy me!” when I walked past. There’s also a whole list of brushes of theirs I want (but not really need).

Then I bought two back ups from essence: the mascara topper Forbidden Volume and the Camouflage Make-up & Concealer. Note how the cap of the Forbidden Volume has a sticker on it saying ‘new’. The Forbidden Volume line came out last summer, featuring two different mascaras and one top coat. I bought them when they were brand new and had a 2 for 1 promo. The next week I went back and bought another set since they were pretty good for the price. And in February, (only six months or so later) essence discontinued them! Yes, a product with the ‘new’ sticker on it and already not available anymore. Boo! So I bought that one as a back up. The Camouflage makeup, luckily, is not discontinued but I thought better safe than sorry and bought a back up since it is my favorite foundation.

Then there’s a lipstick from Maybelline, 987 Smoky Rose. I think this was new, it was on a display among mostly nude colors (review upcoming).

Last there’s a nail polish by Sally Hansen, 120 Luna Pearl. I don’t expect this one to be opaque, but it has such a pretty purple shimmer!

And I also picked up this one here: Balea Regenbogen Dusche. This was probably the most hyped shower gel of the last few months; it sold out pretty much immediately thanks to the unicorn hype. I got lucky; there were a few bottles left in a more remote location so I grabbed one. At least this one wasn’t an expensive hype: as all Balea shower gels it cost only 89 cent for 300 ml. XD The smell is lovely. It’s a milky, coconutty sort of sweetness, but not too much coconut.

Now I am back on shower gel and body lotion no-buy. These things just accumulate so easily? And because the bottles are so big they just clog up the bathroom.

essence eyeliner pen

essence eyeliner pen

Another of my many essence items: the eyeliner pen. It’s a simple felt tip liner, black. They call it extra long lasting, but they do not call it water proof.

The line. It’s not super duper black, but on the eye I mostly apply like you can see at the end of the line here and it works out well enough. It applies easily. The very first time I had to coax the color out, but ever since it was flowing nicely. The finish is not comepletely matte, but not shiny either. Lasting power is good. I have used it as eyeliner and to draw animal faces on people for Mardi Gras and the color mostly survived. It got less black but didn’t wipe off.

Even though it does not claim to be water proof it’s best removed with oil.

I like this liner so far. Hopefully it does not dry up too fast. You will see it in an empties post if it does. XD

essence Glossy Kiss: Cherry Kiss and Berry Kiss

essence Glossy Kiss: Cherry Kiss and Berry Kiss

essence-gloss

More products from last year’s advent calendar: essence glossy kiss. On the front the tube says lip balm, but on the back it says lip gloss. I guess it’s sort of both. It’s a gloss, but also completely non-sticky. It feels more like a nourishing oil, really.

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It’s got the typical tube gloss opening.

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Swatch of Cherry Kiss. It comes out bright red, but as you can see, sheers out into pretty much nothing. There is no shimmer.

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Lip swatch of Cherry Kiss. The color mostly settles in lip lines.

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And this is Berry Kiss.

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Swatch of Berry Kiss shows it’s Barbie pink with lots of shimmer, and the color also sheers out mightily.

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Lip swatch of Berry Kiss. It has less color to begin with, so nothing settles in lip lines. The shimmer is somewhat visible.

Despite the fact that both are barely visible on lips, they stain like crazy on everything your lips come in contact with – glasses, your skin, other people’s skin etc. I suddenly had pink fingers and no clue why until I remembered I was wearing this gloss and must have touched my lips without even noticing.

Lasting power was close to zero: Maybe half an hour, if even.

I think the biggest selling point of these must be the scent & taste, which is exactly like you would expect from the names: fake cherry candy and fake berry candy. The target group is probably young teenagers who I think might like this sort of thing?

essence long lasting lipstick natural beauty

essence long lasting lipstick natural beauty

Hello and welcome back to my blog! Firstly, new layout yay! Secondly I finally realized you have turn on the switch for mobile layout, oh my god. Sorry I thought that would happen automatically. If anyone is reading my blog from a mobile device, do you like the new setting or would you prefer the old one (mobile site identical to computer view)?

General blog blather aside, let’s talk about this lipstick.

es-nat

Like many of the other essence products you have been seeing lately on here, this was in my advent calendar. 🙂 It’s the long lasting lipstick in the color 07 Natural Beauty. Since the calendar had to be one size fits all they probably had to put in one of the neutral colors but I love it because it really does look great.

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Swatch in direct sunlight. The color has no shimmer, but a creamy finish. It does not get matte and it doesn’t really dry down either, always staying a bit creamy.

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Swatch in the shade.

So, in my opinion this pinkish nude is a real winner colorwise because it goes with pretty much everything while not being too light in color. Many nude lipsticks are too pale for my personal taste (and let’s not forget how freaking pale I am. I don’t know how people with darker skin pull these off?). But the color of Natural Beauty is lovely and will work for a bigger range of skin tones, too. 🙂

On to the not so good stuff: They have the gall to call this long lasting? I really don’t want to see their non long lasting lipstick are, then, because this one here survives barely two hours without eating or drinking. Half an hour, if you have a cup of tea when wearing it. Like I mentioned, it is not matte and doesn’t really settle down. On the upside I did not notice it collecting in lip lines or migrating outside the lips – but that’s probably because it just doesn’t last long enough to do that!

The smell of it is also god awful. Cheap lipstick smell up the max.

If you can live with frequent reapplications and the smell it is a very nice color, though.