Friday, 30 May 2014

Brasil 2014 / Neve Cosmetics Quetzalcoatl Collection

Many brands are jumping on the bandwagon of Brasil 2014 with their Summer collections.
Neve Cosmetics took inspiration widely from Ancient South American civilisations in general and Pre-Columbian Mexico in particular. The actual name of the collection - Quetzalcoatl - is a Mesoamerican deity which means feathered serpent.
This influence transpires in the names of the products, as well as in the vivid and powerful hues that recall the colourful feathers of this mysterious and supernatural creature.  
The collection includes 2 mineral blushes, 4 mineral eyeshadows and 2 eye pencils; all Neve Cosmetics products are suitable for vegetarians and vegans.

Neve Cosmetics Blush in Maya* is a pale pink with pink shimmer; thanks to the subtle shimmer, it also doubles as an highlighter and gives a true healthy glow to the cheeks. It's really beautiful and perfect for me, since cool toned blushes suit me best.  
If you prefer a bit more warm on the cheeks, the other blush of the collection - Flame Tree - is a pinky coral with fuchsia particles (sounds pretty awesome too!)

Neve Cosmetics Eyeshadow in Quetzal* is the personification of this mythological bird with its duo-chorme turquoise and green pigments; Desert*, instead, is a more wearable warm brown with golden glitter, that reminds me of the sun-kissed, dry soil of this rich continent.
You can play it safe or be more daring and they work particularly well when applied wet; these two together are made for each other and complement beautifully!

Finally, Neve Cosmetics offers 2 eye pencils to define the look: the luminous Cielo/Turquoise* and warm Terra/Brown - the names are pretty self-explanatory really!
The quality of these pencils is very high, as always - they are soft to work with, long lasting and have high pigmentation.

I have to say that this is my favourite collection from Neve Cosmetics so far. The histrionic reflections make these hues tridimensional... and have I forgotten about the packaging?! I think the turquoise & bronze combo is simply beautiful.
What do you think of this collection? :)

Tuesday, 27 May 2014

What's In My Travel Bag / Spring Break

I recently visited my family in Italy and I always like to travel light when I go back home (more room for shopping!). 
We had a great time but the weather was not the best – we had some rainy days too – nevertheless I made sure not to skip sun protection. I used Clinique City Block Sheer Spf25 everyday.
As an eye cream, I went for Liz Earle Daily Eye Repair Spf10 which - shamefully - it’s the only eye cream with spf that I own.

On ‘no make-up days’, I layered over Caudalie Vinosource Quenching Sorbet-Creme which is very hydrating but very light in texture, too; otherwise, if looking for some coverage, I used Origins VitaZing Spf15 with a dust of Neve Cosmetics Flat Perfection Mineral foundation, on top.
For even more coverage and date nights, I opted for Nars Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturizer Spf30 and (a lot) of concealing with Collection 2000 Lasting Perfection Concealer and Giorgio Armani Master Corrector in pink, for dark circles.

To cleanse, I used the Jurlique Purely Bright Cleanser with a refreshing spritz of Vichy Eau Thermale; the Jurlique is not drying and does a great job at removing make up, so I could use it both mornings and evenings.
Finally, I took a wee sample of Liz Earle Brightening Treatment Mask and Origins Super Spot Remover for 'emergencies'.

Make up was down to basics - natural look is always my favourite with good weather. 
During the day, I kept the eyes neutral with Pur Minerals Eyeshadow Stick in unveiled and plenty of Chanel Inimitable mascara; some Kiko Make Up Milano Glow Touch Lips & Cheeks in bitter margarita dotted on the cheeks and a quick swipe of Collistar Twist Ultra-Shiny Gloss in arancio on the lips.
 In the evenings, I dialed up the lips with the Kiko Vinyl Lips Liquid Lipstick in rich crimson which is a stunning saturated shade, but still very glossy and low maintenance.
 I relied on creamy textures on the eyes too, for a dewy/summery look: Maybelline Colour tattoos are a must, but Kiko Long Lasting Stick Eyeshadow in intensive coral is also a good alternative. This shimmery orangy shade can seem quite unusual but it’s really beautiful, fun and brightens the eyes; the product itself also never creases on me (but you need to make sure to spend time and work it in thin layers).
I also brought with me the new Rimmel London Glam'Eyes HD 5 Colour Eyeshadow Palette in brixton brown - which is perfection!!! - and could always come in handy!
Finally, Benefit Sun Beam to highlight and YSL Eyeliner Effect Faux Cils for a more sophisticated eye look.

Which are your holiday essentials??!

Tuesday, 20 May 2014

New In / My Picks for Spring 2014 with Sanctuary Spa, Good Things and Orla Kiely

Sanctuary Spa 7 Day Moisture Miracle Oil Balm
I'm a big fan of beauty oils - face oils, body oils and even hair oils - and they have now been a staple in my routine for many years; it's no secret tho that they can be a bit messy. They work fine on wet skin, in the privacy of your bathroom, but they are not great for travelling or for your handbag.
Sanctuary Spa 7 Day Moisture Miracle Oil Balm* comes in a handy little tube that is purse-friendly and comes in a balm form. You will find that it's solid and you can squeeze the desired amount on the go, without any spillage disaster.

It contains 7 essential oils - Gold of Pleasure Oil, Corn Oil, Jojoba Seed Oil, Grape Seed Oil, Olive Oil, Rice Germ Oil and Camelia Seed Oil - that provide on the spot relief for problematic areas, like elbows, cuticles, heels; the skin is instantly softened and it also doubles up as an hand cream, leaving my skin gorgeous scented. 
It locks moisture into the skin for up to 7 days! It's not super greasy (for an oil) and absorbs easily – It’s the perfect compromise! 
Love the luxurious gold packaging and it would make a lovely and useful gift too!

Sanctuary Spa Relax Nourishing Shower Creme
Transitioning into Spring/Summer, I always struggle to fall asleep at night:  first the clock changes then there is too much light outside. Up here in Scotland, it could be light until  11ish pm and, at the same time, temperatures could be (fairly) hot and I usually not in the mood for warm baths.
If like me you also have trouble sleeping, Sanctuary Spa Relax Nourishing Shower Creme* is the perfect alternative to easy you into a restful night; I have been using it for a few months now and the comforting and delicate scent certainly helps me relax and unwind before bed time. 
 Essential oils of vetiver, cedarwood and labdanum help calm the mind and melt the tension of a busy life; the pampering cream is nourishing and hydrating for the skin, thanks to shea butter and lotus extract. 

The Relax line also includes Cocooning Body Butter, Warming Sugar Scrub, Unwind Candle so if you fall in love with the Shower Creme, there's no reason why you can't count on its benefits all year round and add them to your bedtime routine.

For Spring 2014, Orla Kiely came out with  a Bergamot Collection - the line includes hand wash, hand lotion, shower gel, body lotion and hand cream. 
The description of the scent sounds just amazing: "...warm cedarwood, patchouli and refreshing notes of grapefruit and bergamot... hint of fresh floral with petigrain, neroli and orange flower extract; spicy nuances of cardamon and coriander are combined with herbal hints of aniseed and peppermint to create a zesty twist..."

There’s also a useful new addition to the popular Geranium bath and body range that launched last year - Orla Kiely Geranium Hand Sanitiser*.
I’m not a fan of geranium, to be honest but this blend - with eucalyptus, lavender and clary sage - is refreshing and  I found it soothing on the mind too, thanks to these essential oils; some hand sanitisers can be overpowering alcoholic and sterile, instead this is very delicate and still kills 99.9% of germs. This product is also formulated with aloe vera to keep hands soft and moisturised and avoid dryness.

The recognizable Orla Kiely pattern on the bottle makes it stylish enough for your handbag and I like to keep a tube of this in my gym bag at all time, as well.

Good Things Manuka Honey Refining Scrub
Good Things is another affordable and reliable brand that I have come to appreciate in recent years; they do fantastic body care and you can pick their products from the drugstore. The skincare line includes a Manuka Honey range, which is appropriate for the approaching National Honey Bee Day on the 16th August.
Key ingredient in the Good Things Manuka Honey Refining Scrub* is the Superfood Manuka Honey, of course; together with other bee derivatives - like royal jelly and propolis - sustains the growth of new cells and collagen to prevent the signs of ageing; it's also fantastic to restore Ph balance and promote healthy skin.
It has a creamy consistency with oatmeal flakes that provide a gentle exfoliation and they are soothing for irritated skin; white kaolin helps draw out excess oil and purify the complexion, whilst sweet almond oil hydrates dry skin and it's rich in vitamins E and fatty acids.

The skin is left clean and nourished at the same time and - how you can guess - it has a delicious scent.
You get a very generous amount for a bargain £4.99 so I've been using it on delicate parts like decollete, shoulders and arms as well.
All Good Things products are free from parabens, mineral oils, sulphates and are suitable for vegetarians.

Have you tried any of these products yet??!

Monday, 12 May 2014

Empties / April 2014

Skyn Iceland Glacial Cleansing Cloths: These are the Rolls Royce of wipes. I only use wipes to qiuickly remove my face before the gym, but I nearly felt guilty using these for that purpose… they are too good!
They have a lovely fresh scent, extremely soaked in product and foam up on the skin. They are loaded with product and don’t require rinse afterwards.
I got them on sale, but apparently they retail for £30  - ouch. High end performance AND price; I will keep an eye on them and hopefully I will find them reduced again – I’d love to use them again.
Repurchase: maybe, depending on the price.

 Etat Pur Apigenin [25mg]:  I’ve been using this eye serum for almost a year, it lasted ages; I really enjoyed using it and I think it's a fantastic, working product. My favourite eye serum has always been Elemis Absolute Eye Serum but I have to admit that I haven't been missing it. Apigenin has a thin consistency, non-oily and it doesn’t have any particular scent, either. I think it has helped with my dark circles and I do feel that they are lighter than in the past. The dropper is perfect to get  the required amount of drops, without any waste.
Repurchase: I have just bought a new bottle of the Elemis serum ( to see if I still like it so much) but I will definitely buy the Etat Pur again!

Sarah Chapman Overnight Exfoliant Booster: this is a night serum to resurface the skin and get rid of dead cells. I've been using it twice a week and it does a great job at clearing the skin and doesn't feel harsh or stripping. I like it but I feel it's very similar to the Etat Pur Citric Acid AHA [3000 mg], which I like better - this post has become kinda of Ode to Etat Pur, hehe ;)
Repurchase: probably not.

Palmer's Cocoa Butter Formula Bust Cream: High duty moisturizer for the chest area. It’s like a butter and pretty thick so I was concerned that it would break me out. Instead, it melts into the skin without leaving any oily residue and it has a delicious cocoa scent. It’s cheap to be a target product and you get a generous amount.
Repurchase: yes.

Taaj Ayurveda Hand Cream: I didn't really like the micellar water from this brand but I definitely agreed more with the hand cream; it feels fresh on the skin, leaves my hands really soft and I love the slightly peppery scent. Great to wake me up in the morning.
Repurchase: yes.

PitRok Crystal Roll-On Deodorant: this wasn't great, to be honest! I like the fragrance - kind of baby powder - and that's about it.
 I'm not a person that sweat a lot and never had any issue in the past of feeling 'moist' in the armpit area - sorry if I'm sharing too much details - but this product didn't keep me dry... and we are talking about winter months; not smelly but felt pretty uncomfortable.
Repurchase: nope.

Congratulations to the winner of my giveaway: Laura Wildman @ Ray of Glitter
Hope you enjoy your prize!!! :)

Wednesday, 7 May 2014

Review / L'Oreal Paris L'Extraordinaire Liquid Lipstick

The latest release in the lips department from L'Oreal Paris are the L'Extraordinaire Liquid Lipstick by Color Riche*.
The innovative formula contains luxurious micro-oils infused with colour pigments that allow a feather-like weightless wear on the lips.
The product glides on the lips, it's not sticky and the lips feels cushioned and; you can achieve an opaque colour in just 1 swipe with an high gloss finish.
I don't find they stain the skin, instead they are nourishing and not drying; longevity is a bit compromised but I don't mind re-apply during the day - especially with such a stylish packaging too.

The array of colours is gorgeous and you can choose from 9 extraordinary shades:
Rose Melody is a flattering pinky nude, or you can go for Molto Mauve - a purple neutral; if you prefer a bold lipstick instead, you should pick up Fuschia Drama - a cool toned, bright magenta - or Rose Symphony - a bang on trend coral with gold sparkles (also my favourite, btw!)

Are you a fan of the gloss/lipstick hybrid?

Friday, 2 May 2014

Anniversary Presents

In April, it was our 2nd Wedding Anniversary and we are currently away on a wee break.
We said no presents but I still got spoiled - I've been wanting the Nike Air Pegasus '83 in Grey for a while, so my husband surprised me. I love the colours - mint & purple are the sweetest combo and perfect to pair with candy hues that I love to wear in Spring and the retro vibe.

The Modalu Mini Pippa Grab Bag in Lipstic Red is from my mother-in-law. It's gorgeous, love the black details and that it has a shoulder strap. 
I also got the normal Pippa but, depending on the occasion, it can be too big; the mini is just the perfect size and still very roomy. 

My first Jo Malone candle!
You can't help but be impressed by the attention to the packaging and every detail - it also comes with matches and love the big black bow. I can't wait to burn it!

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