Thursday, April 30, 2009

Redhead series: 'The Divine Sarah'

My series doesn't exactly follow the chronological order, but well...

Sarah Bernhardt (1844-1923) was a French theatre and film actress and is often said to be the most famous actress of the 19th century. Her mother was Jewish and her father probably a Dutchman. Little is known about her early life, as she tended to exaggerate and distort, to the point of being called 'a notorious liar' by Alexandre Dumas (son).

She earned her living by being an actress and a courtesan, both professions considered scandalous at the time. She started her stage carieer in 1862 at Comedie Francaise, and became famous in the 1870s. She slept in a coffin in lieu of a bed, claiming that it helped her to understand the tragic roles she played. She was a performing arist as well as a model, a sculptor, a writer and a couch for several young women wanting to become actresses themselves. Her close friends included famous artists such as Gustave Dore, Victor Hugo and Louise Abbema. Alphonse Mucha based several of his prints on her image.

In 1905, she injured her knee on stage while performing in the play 'La Tosca' in Rio de Janeiro. The leg never healed properly and by 1915, when gangrene set in, her entire right leg had to be amputated. She continued performing even though she didn't like using a wooden limb. She is also said to refuse a $10,000 offer to display her amputated leg as a medical curiosity.

"You must have this charm to reach the pinnacle. It is made of everything and of nothing, the striving will, the look, the walk, the proportions of the body, the sound of the voice, the ease of the gestures. It is not at all necessary to be handsome or to be pretty; all that is needful is charm."

Tag - '8 Things'

Thanks to lovely Steph and Daisy for tagging me! So here it goes, a little sneak peak into my life :)

8 Things I Look Forward To:
1) My parents coming to visit me and Mateusz in Vancouver. We're going to spend one week in the city and one week RV'ing on Vancouver Island. I just wish it would be as warm and sunny when they come as it is in Poland now - 26 degrees Celsius!
2) Hauls from Cherry Culture and Coastal Scents being delivered in parents' luggage. I don't have any new things to play with right now...
3) My name day (May 4th). I actually don't think anyone will remember, but maybe that's an opportunity to treat myself just a tiny bit? If you don't know what a name day is, it's something that used to be celebrated in Poland instead of your birthday in my parents' generation. It is more subtle, since you don't have to tell what age you're turning every year ;)
4) Today's dinner at our favorite sushi place, Ki-Isu. Did I tell you that Japanese cuisine is my favorite?
5) Going shopping some time soon. I desperately need new t-shirts/ blouses and a new cardi.
6) Weekend and spending more time with my fiance. On his workdays, he usually comes home dead tired.
7) Having a haircut... I think I have serious issues with my hair right now. I even get these dreams where I can't brush them or put them in a ponytail and I end up having hair all over my face... It's not that bad in reality, but I just wish I could have long hair again...
8) In a longer perspective, my wedding. Actually, I am both thrilled and horrified.

8 Things I Did Yesterday:
1) Got up relatively early, jumped in a bikini, went to the pool and swam uninterruptedly for 20 minutes.
2) Went grocery shopping - twice!
3) Cooked an Italian brunch: Spaghetti Carbonara and Caprese Salad, and devoured it to the last crumb.
4) Watched a super stupid movie starring Madonna entitled 'The Next Best Thing'. I like Madonna as a singer, but she's a terrible actress.
5) Got a terrible headache, took a painkiller and went for a nap. It didn't help and I was really exhausted when I finally crawled to bed.
6) Read a couple pages more of "The Art of Seduction". Going through 'The Charmer' archetype at the moment.
7) Went to a climbing gym and attempted at climbing a 5.9 route. Unfortunately, I failed at 2/3 of it... Maybe it was a diffcult 5.9, who knows?
8) Served as a human heater for my fiance at night :)

8 Things I Wish I Could Do:
1) Make myself more useful somehow. I sometimes feel my days are all filled with this big emptiness, and this is really depressing. I'm looking forward to work too, Steph! Fortunately, there's a job waiting for me when I come back to Poland this July.
2) Take control of all this wedding craziness and organize a perfect reception party!
3) Be closer to my friends. I feel like an outcast. Some of it has to do with the fact that I am away, and some of it... It's just the way I am, I guess. Usually it doesn't bother me at all, but sometimes makes me feel a bit lonely.
4) Buy only useful things. Oh, if I could have a magic insight into what is going to suit me in the long term while shopping...
5) Continue studying in Poland and live with my husband in spe in Canada at the same time. I'm not terribly excited about parting with him in a couple of months time :(
6) Prepare my own sushi.
7) Get over a mental bloc about climbing.
8) Work as a freelance MUA in addition to being a teacher and a translator. Or maybe just have some girlfriends who would like to have a makeover done by moi...

8 Shows I Watch:
It's a tough one. I haven't watched TV in 4 months now... But I used to enjoy:
1) 'What not to wear' with Trinny and Susannah
2) Polish edition of 'You Can Dance'
3) 'My Family' on BBC Prime
4) 'How to look good naked' with Gok. Love how this guy talks, but the Polish voice-over simply doesn't keep up with him.
5) 'Keeping Up Apprearances' on BBC Prime
6) 'Project Runway'
7) Make-up makeovers in different shows on 'TVN Style', a Polish channel aimed at women.
8) Occasionally, 'Desperate Housewives'.

I tag 8 lovely bloggers:
4) Jennifer at 'Mizz Worthy's Stuff'
5) Lottie at 'Pretty Geeky'
6) Hele at 'Hele Says'
7) Lazula at Lazula80
8) Anyone else who'd like to jump on the bandwagon :)

Have a great day, everyone! xxx

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Smokey grey and bronze FOTD

Hello my sweeties, just a really quick post for you today... I got up early in the morning and went swimming, just to be rewarded with a terrible headache right now :( I'm trying to ignore the message my body is sending me here...

So today, instead of pairing my bronze with browns or my greys with blacks I did a little mix of the two. In fact I really like jewellery combining gold and black, and this is a little bit twisted version of that combo.

Well, the camera definitely washes it out. I just used my 78 e/s palette on my eyes, Bourjois Rouge Corail blusher on my cheeks and GOSH Darling lipstick. I know this is not terribly summery or anything, but I was in the mood for smokey eyes :)

What is your favorite smokey color combo?

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Toes of the day and a little experiment

So I've had this Sally Girl  nailpolish I brought from Seattle for quite a while now and never got to using it. Since it's really pointless to give myself a manicure (yes, I mean climbing), I decided to try it on my toes and make a little experiment out if it.

So the shade I purchased is called 'Not My Type' and it's my first dark nailpolish in years, I have to admit. I remember it looked brownish in the store, but it's actually a very deep berry color with a slight purple shimmer in the bottle, which unfortunately doesn't show up when applied. I love how tiny that bottle is (5.3 ml/ 0.18 fl oz), because first I wasn't sure how such a dark shade would look on my nails and second, I've never used up a whole regular bottle of nailpolish. And I think it costed me something like $1! This is what it looks like paired with Inglot Mega Shine topcoat:

I decided to make a little experiment for you and report in detail how I like it in terms of the quality, application and wearing (fading of color/shine and chipping).

As for the quality, I have to say I am not impressed at all. The consistency is quite thick and it sort of 'drags' on the nail, and the pigmentation is quite poor in my opinion. The little brush and short handle make the application a total pain in the ass: there's too little polish on the brush to cover the surface of the nail, so you have to dip it in the bottle several times, and being so short, it's difficult to maneuver. It goes on streaky so you definitely need 2 coats, and it doesn't fill any ridges, so the finished effect doesn't look that smooth and polished.

Now I'm going to test how it wears for a week or so, exposing it to the ultimate 'Climbing Shoe Test'. If you've ever tried climbing, you'll know what I mean. Climbing shoes are extremely tight and what I've noticed so far is that they caused lighter shades of nailpolish to darken, adding a greyish patina to the surface. I will report back in a week's time and tell you all about it :)

Have you had any experience with Sally Girl nailpolish?

It's been a little bit over a week now, and I have both good and bad news. Good news is that because the color is so dark, I haven't noticed any darkening even after wearing climbing shoes. The bad news is that it chipped at 3 nails, some of them in really random places. All in all, I have to say I'm not a big fan of this nailpolish, and for a comparable price, I would opt for Miss Sporty (plus, this one's available in Poland, unlike Sally Girl).

Spring beauty commitments

I feel I've been a tinsy bit lazy lately with my beauty routine, so as a means of self-discipline, here are my commitments for at least the following month:

1. Take one pill of Belissa skin, hair and nailcare treatment every day. Belissa is a multi-vitamin supplement produced by a Polish pharmaceutical company AFLOFARM. The main ingredient is horsetail, which has been used to improve skin condition for ages (well, at least in Poland). I also hope that other vitamins it contains will help strenghten my fragile blood vessels. Since Sunday, I suffer from a massive allergy attack, and blowing my nose more often results in bleeding. Very embarrassing, especially in public...

2. Drink more water. I am one of these people who could drink only one glass of whatever liquid every day and wouldn't even notice. I'm hardly ever thirsty. However, this is not a good idea if you're trying to keep your skin moisturized and toxin-free... There's not much scientific evidence that drinking water actually helps retain moisture in the skin, but I do feel my skin looks better when I drink more, and it's definitely a good practice for my kidneys.

3. Condition my hair. I'm trying to grow long, healty hair for my wedding (well, my hair won't be actually long by the time of my wedding, but I hope a smart hairdresser will be able to make an interesting updo out of it), so split ends are an absolute no no! Biosilk makes a big come-back from the bottom of the bathroom cabinet...

4. Try using Crest Whitestripes. I bought this combo of toothpaste and 4 top and bottom teeth stripes last week, and I am interested to see how it works on me. I wanted to try the regular pack, but I've heard a lot of bad things about it causing teeth hypersensitivity, so let's just start with this one.

5. Eat more leafy greens. Healthy green salad, anyone?

I shall report back in a month and tell you how far I managed to succeed :)

Monday, April 27, 2009

What I am reading right now: "The Art of Seduction" by Robert Greene

An excerpt from the back cover:

" And once again Robert Greene identifies the rules of a timeless, amoral game and explores how to cast a spell, break down resistance, and, ultimately, compel a target to surrender. The Art of Seduction takes us through the characters and qualities of the ten archetypal figures of seduction (including the Siren, the Ideal Lover, the Dandy, the Natural, the Charismatic, and the Star) and the twenty-four maneuvers by which anyone can overcome a victim's futile resistance to the practice of this devastating and timeless art form." 

Well, I can honestly say that I am NOT planning to seduce anyone at the moment, but I started reading this book a few years ago and I remember that what interested me most in it were the 'archetypal figures of seduction'. Basically, the author analyzes lifes of great seducers from our history (Cleopatra, Marylin Monroe, Rudolph Valentino, Casanova but also Gabriele d'Annunzio and Lou Andreas-Salome, who happens to be the ultimate love of my favorite poet, Rainer Maria Rilke) and the key characteristics that made them so attractive to other people. Robert Greene shows different ways of being seductive, some of which quite surprising and not what immediately comes to mind when you think about the word. I am not so keen on the 'manipulative' side of the book, which tells you how to conquer and enslave others, but I'm looking forward to some tips on how to appear more appealing to my fiance... The other interesting mental game involved in reading this book is trying to analyze your own seductive potential and basically which archetype seems most like you. Am I like theatrical Cleopatra (the Siren) or like masculine Lou Salome (the Dandy)? A fascinating read for anyone interested in biographies of some famous people and in developing their sociotechnic skills.

April Favorites

Without further ado...

1. MAC Studio Finish concealer in NW20. The best concealer I have tried so far. Goes on very smooth, blendable and buildable coverage. I found it works best applied with a small brush and blended with fingers if needed.
2. Bourjois blusher Pastel Joues in Rouge Corail 51. I've actually took this blusher from my mum something like 2 years ago, because she claimed it's too bright for her. And yes, bright it is and should defo be used sparingly, but it wakens the whole face and gives a subtle glow. 

3. SONY Portable Reader System. A gift from my lovely fiance. This little red device allows me to devour e-books at a horrifying speed. Would you like to know what I am reading right now? Oh well, I'll tell you anyways, but this stuff deserves a separate post.
4. GOSH lipgloss in shade 0058. I blogged about it yesterday. I think I've been using it every single day since I got it!
5. My 2 new wallets. This is really ironic. I used to carry this 10 years old wallet with me for a couple of months, in spite of the fact that it was torn and spilt coins everywhere in my purse. So I asked my fiance and then told my mum that I would like a new wallet for Christmas, but I guess they had both better ideas for my presents and I didn't get any back then. So now I was really desperate to get a new wallet and went with Mateusz (fiance) to a store to actually pick one for myself (in the photo, it's the blue one), and next day a parcel from my parents arrives and what I find at the bottom of the box? Of course, a new, deep red wallet from my mum. But it's good to have two now, I figure, in case I get bored with one of them or something...

6. Inglot INTEGRA eyeshadow trio as cheek bone highlight. I have a love-hate relationship with this trio. When I first got it, I used it like a maniac everywhere on my face, and after some time I decided it was far too shimmery and chalky and I hated it. Then I started using it again on my eyes as I didn't have any better highlighter, and now I have actually come to a conclusion that the darkest shade looks great on the cheekbones. Funny how our opinion about some things can sway like that!
7. MGMT "Oracular Spectacular". Nothing new, I know, but still I like it a lot :)
8. Aspirin face mask. I decided to check it out after watching MissChievous' video on exfoliation tips. I don't have a good mechanical exfoliator for my face right now, so why not give it a go, I thought, it's such a cheapo solution... And yes, it works, and I even feel it might improve some of my acne. Anyone else has tried it?
9. Mighty Leaf Orange Dulce tea. Yummy. Just the right balance between the oriental spice and the fruity sweetness. But why does it have to be so damn expensive?!
10. Covergirl Lashblast mascara. If you apply one coat, it's a great, natural-looking mascara. If you pile it on, it gives more volume and more drama, which makes it great for an evening/ night out. Also, it separates my lashes really well!

What are your April favorites?

Sunday, April 26, 2009

GOSH haul, swatches and review

I am profiting of the occasion that my BF has gone climbing and I have a moment to myself... Here's a promised GOSH haul with swatches and a quick review.

First of all, I got these items at an incredible sale at Shoppers Drug Mart (Canadian drugstore). I think eyeliners were $5 CAD each (with the exception of the gold one, which I bought later for my Illamasqua contest look no. 2) and the lipgloss was $4. This is more or less 70% off the regular price.  You see, I just couldn't resist such a bargain!

Unfortunately, the color don't have any names, there's a key to them on the picture above. The swatch is pretty true to the actual colors. 

And here's how the eyeliners and the lipgloss look when used as a part of the make-up:

All these eyeliners are very vibrant and absolutely waterproof. They come in an amazing range of colors, both neutrals and brights. The consistency is quite thick compared to normal liquid eyeliners, and probably thanks to this there's absolutely no smudging or fading throughout the day. My favorite color is the deep green, I think it's great for everyday, neutral looks. However, it's very easy to get these liners on your eyelashes when applying, and being waterpoof, they take long to dry and are difficult to remove, but these are only downfalls I've noticed so far. All in all, I would recommend these if you're after some outstanding eyeliner shades.

The lipgloss is a lovely, summery raspberry pink with shimmer. It is also pretty thick, but not too  sticky, and well pigmented. It has no scent or flavor whatsoever. It looks very nice on the lips, it sort of lifts the whole face, as it is a rather warm shade. I wore it yesterday when dining out with friends and it stays on the lips for a reasonable amount of time. I guess it's nothing revolutionary, but still quite a good gloss and I'm glad I got it, especially considering the price!

I hope you all had a wonderful weekend with lots of sunshine! Thanks for stopping by :) xxx

Friday, April 24, 2009

1940's most beautiful redhead: Rita Hayworth

I thought it would be a fun idea to write about some of my idols and start a redhead series. Since my hair has a reddish undertone (to the point of being called a squirrel - European squirrels are red with pointed ears), I find myself drawn to famous redhead women. Silly, I know, but I hope you'll enjoy :)

Rita Hayworth was born in 1918 as Margarita Carmen Cansino. As the daughter of Spanish flamenco dancer, she performed in her father's dancing crew, and this is where, at the age of 16, she was  spotted by film producers. She said: "I never really thought of myself as a sex goddess; I felt I was more a comedian who could dance."

She signed in 1937 with Columbia Pictures and became known as Rita Hayworth (her mother's maiden name). The peak of her career came in 1946 film Gilda, which cast her as an ultimate sex symbol of the time. During World War II, she was one of the most popular pinups among American servicemen. Rita was the producers' first choice for Casablanca, but they couldn't get her and were forced to settle for Ingrid Bergman. She also starred in many musicals and was said to be one of Hollywood's best dancers and, with the arrival of Technicolor, one of Hollywood's most beautiful redheads

She was married five times and was the first movie star to become a princess. Her hands were thought to be the most beautiful in Hollywood and she considered them to be her prettiest feature. She died of Alzheimer's disease. News of her illness and death brought an international awareness of the disease that resulted in a massive increase of funds for care and research. Her daughter, Princess Yasmin, became the president of Alzheimer's Disease International.

"All I wanted was just what everybody else wants, you know, to be loved."

Early Spring Ins and Outs

Looks like the time for my yays and nays has finally come! I got really inspired by how Ondine did hers, so I pilfered the idea (hope she doesn't mind!).

Silk bow-tie blouse:
1. The new coral earrings that came in a package from my mum! My BF says they look like strawberries. I didn't have any in red and it's one of my favorite colors, so good choice, Mum :)
2. Cinnamon cappuccino. I started sprinkling the froth of my homemade cappuccino with cinnamon, and it tastes and smells absolutely yummy. I like coffee that tastes like a dessert.

3. Using my Sephora no. 4 blush brush for bronzer and Quo Bronzing brush for blush. I tried this combo yesterday and despite being a bit irrational, it actually works better than the 'obvious' way. Anyhow, I feel new love for my Sephora brushes; they're much cheaper than MAC (maybe half the price?), they're available everywhere in Poland, they carry lots of types, much more than 2-3 years ago, and the quality is great - no shedding whatsoever! Me thinks, I might ramble about them in a separate post...
4. GOSH Extreme Art waterproof eyeliners. This stuff is seriously vibrant and waterproof, the only downfall being that it gets easily on my lashes.
5. Spring, sunny, warm weather in Vancouver!

Cotton wholesale tee made in China:
1. Elevation works in my building. Oh, isn't it lovely to wake up in the morning to the sound of drilling/scraping and a happy silhouette of a worker just outside the window pane? No!
2. Terrible nails. My cuticles are going crazy and my nails are cut the shortest possible, all thanks to our frequent trips to a climbing gym. I can't be bothered anymore to apply nail polish, since it would be gone after 5 minutes spent there. And I WANT summery, bright colors on my nails!
3. Rimmel Vinyl Gloss. Well, that was a disappointment. Moreover, I've noticed that I never use my Maybelline Shine Seduction gloss in Pink Whisper. 

It's a gorgeous shade, very light pink with pink, silver and purple shimmer, but it is sheer and sticky... Maybe I'm turning into a lipstick gal after all?
4. Having to wait over a month to have my Cherry Culture haul delivered. To cut a long story short, I decided to send it over to my brother in NYC to save on shipping and taxes, and my parents will get it to me when they come to visit in May. Patience!

On a different note, Coastal Scents are having a weekend sale ending on April 26 midnight EST, everything on the website is 15% off! I'm defo going to use this, I have been eyeing a couple of brushes and gel eyeliners for a while... Any recommendations?

Take care!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Mizz Worthy's Illamasqua contest: Venetian masks inspired

Remember my post about Venetian masks? I think I said then that I might do a look inspired by the photos of the masks that I posted. This is exactly it, and being so dramatic that it almost looks theatrical, it makes a perfect entry for Mizz Worthy's Illamasqua contest.

Here's the photo that inspired the look along with the 'face chart' I drew to make the application easier.

Nowadays, Venetian masks are worn almost solely during the Carnevale, but in the past they would be used on many occasions to hide the wearer's identity. They would allow their wearer to act more freely and to flout social boundaries, as in romantic encounters. Many designs are taken from Commedia dell'arte, like the one that I was inspired by. I decided to twist the mask represented in the photo and make sort of a Columbine mask out of it, which is an intricately decorated half mask. This type of mask is said to have been designed especially for one Commedia dell'arte actress who was beautiful and didn't want to have her face covered completely. I also wanted to somehow imitate this kind of aureole that decorates the mask itself and put my hair into one-sided locks.

Well, moving on to the look I created... My favorite photo of 260 taken and two sets of photos, artistic and realistic.

If you're interested in how I achieved the look step by step, I could do a short picture tutorial.

For now, a list of products used (a really loooong one):

Sephora Zero Shine base
Inglot Cream Concealer in 34
Coastal Scents Honey Fair 1.2 Flawless Finish Foundation
Coastal Scents Light Veil Flawless Finish
MAC Studio Finish concealer in NW20
Coastal Scents G Bronzer/ Blush to contour

Coastal Scents Eye Poxy Primer all over the lid
Revlon Illuminating Creme Eyeshadows as a base for the blue eyeshadow
Avon lipstick in Caffe Latte as a base for the golden eyeshadow
Celia (Polish brand of make-up) lipstick in 61 (red) as a base for the red eyeshadow
Coastal Scents 78 palette
Margaret Astor black eyeliner pencil
Max Factor Mechanical Eyeliner in Ice Blue 60 for sketching the line
Beautique lip liner in Dusty Rose for sketching (I don't have any golden pencil)
GOSH Extreme Art Waterproof Eyeliner in 13 (gold)
Covergirl Lash Blast mascara in Very Black
some scrapbook gems

Inglot Cream Concealer in 34
NYX Long Lip Pencil in Natural (I don't have any red)
Celia (Polish brand of make-up) lipstick in 61 (red)
Avon Colortend Chocolate Drop lip gloss in Champagne

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

FOTD: Lipstick on my cheeks and Update

Hello hello beauties! I was so wrapped up yesterday in work and housework that I didn't manage to post anything for you... And somehow today I feel like so many things I want to blog about have accumulated and want to come out NOW! But I'd better restrain myself from rambling and distribute all that for a couple of days.

So, here's another (not very original) FOTD for you. Recently I am all about summery make-up with brighter eyeshadow colors, golden hues and lots of shimmery bronzer. Today I acted like a real professional (see Pixiwoo) and I used some lipstick on my cheeks (Avon & NYX) and some cream eyeshadow (Revlon) on my lips.

I have a bit of a problem with light lipstick shades, because they all accentuate any flakiness on my lips. And my lips are flaky almost all the time, despite being exfoliated and moisturized. How weird is that?

On to the update: there's one more Illamasqua contest look coming up this week, a GOSH haul which I'm SO excited about, another Ins & Outs as well as some product reviews. Since I didn't get any comment on my last 'informative' review, I assume you like the old format better. Also, let me know if you'd be interested in reading about my clothes/ jewellery or just anything else you might want to see (or see more) on my blog.

Cheers! xxx

Friday, April 17, 2009

Rimmel Vinyl Gloss in Eastend Snob review

As promised (this one's for you, Nadia! xxx), here's my review of Rimmel's Vinyl Gloss in Eastend Snob with photos of how it looks on my lips. I have decided to start using a sort of uniform and more quantifiable standard for my reviews and I hope you enjoy it more than just my rambling, it is certainly more informative. Please let me know what you think about it in the comments :)

Producer's claim: "Mirror shine lipgloss. The lightweight non-sticky, perfectly pampering formula glides onto your lips for a perfect mirror-finish pout. Ultimate glossy glamour."

Availability: 5/5
I think you can get Rimmel products in almost every drugstore, everywhere in the world.
Packaging: 4/5
Quite nice and practical, but nothing fancy.
Color range: 3/5
On the Rimmel UK webpage, there are 7 shades listed, and Eastend Snob is not one of them, so I guess shades vary between countries, just like with Rimmel's lipsticks.
Quality: 2/5
(see my opinion for details)
Price: 4/5
I paid about $4 CAD for 0.2 fl oz/ 6 ml, but it was on sale. Regular price is about $8 CAD.
Overall: 18/25 (72%)

My opinion:
Since the producer doesn't actually claim much, it's difficult to refute any of the promises he makes. To me, this is not exactly 'mirror' shine, but rather 'pearl' shine, and I am not so happy about this finish. The gloss is very sheer and certainly you don't get a good pay-off with one layer; you might think it would be better with 2 or 3 layers, but that's not a solution - if you put on too much, the gloss gets terribly sticky and, believe me, even a small amount of this product doesn't feel lightweight. It stays put just as long as any other gloss. It doesn't have a taste but smells of lemon icing when you apply it, and then the fragrance fades, so it's not much of a problem.

I can't actually tell much about the shade; it looks pretty in the tube, sort of beigy pink, but it goes on very sheer and just tones down my natural lip color by one or two shades.

All in all, I feel the quality is just average, to say the least, with a big minus for the stickiness. It is a bit disappointing and I won't repurchase this lip gloss in the future.

Help! I need somebody...

Good evening everyone, I am sorry to post this at such an hour... I was a really looong day for me. I spent all this nice, warm day enclosed in my apartment, editing and translating my company's webpage, and I've just finished an online English class. Uff!

I wanted to blog about my new dress I got for mere $19.99 yesterday at Stitches and show you a pic of it, but of course my BF took the camera with him in his backpack, and I can't take any pictures for you :( But I will try tomorrow. Anyhow, I am not in my best mood today, so I decided to cheer myself up with some online shopping...

Lately I've been eyeing some more NYX goodies, especially their lip stuff. I decided to order from again (even though they didn't send me one of the items I payed for last time), and I am quite hesitant about their Round Lipstick shades. Of course I know that their swatches combined with the swatches at NYX webpage are simply outrageous, so I've done some research, and I am pretty sure I want Thalia and Strawberry Milk. I am also thinking of Tea Rose, but haven't decided yet. You can see I am into pinks lately, and I prefer satin/matte finish to frosts or pearls, as I have also heard that their mattes have better color pay-off, and you can always pair that with a gloss. I might also order one Round Lipgloss and I am looking for a nice light/baby pink shade, but not too much on the cool side. 

So, what would be your favorite NYX Round Lipstick shade? Could you recommend something for a wearable pink lover like me?

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

My skincare routine

I've been working all day, but I had to find a while to post something for you... I am into review mode lately, but there will be some make-up looks coming soon (as soon as I get my skin back to normal)! So, this is my daily skincare routine; the night version differs slightly and I will blog about it in a separate post.

Step 1: Cleanse with AA Prestige Pure Skin Normalizing Face Wash Gel
Step 2: Tone with Bioderma Sensibio H2O Micelle Solution for Sensitive Skin
Step 3: Moisturize and protect with Marcelle Oil-free Multi-defense Lotion with SPF 15

The first product is by Polish company named Oceanic, and AA (sic!) is their line for more sensitive/ allergy-prone skin. My mum has always been a huge fan of the brand, but I have to admit that I am not so much impressed by this product. It claims to regulate sebacious glands activity, matiffy and purify the skin, as well as regenerate and moisturize. I can honestly say it does remove all the gunk from my face and I enjoy its citrusy smell, however I am not so sure about its other properties. A good thing about it, though, is that it doesn't irritate my oily and sensitive skin.

I think Bioderma Micelle Solution is my HG toner. If you don't know, micelles are spherical aggregates of molecules dispersed in liquid which absorb the dirt and cleanse without violating your skin's hydrolipid barrier. It's my second bottle and I am thinking of giving their oily skin version a try when I finish this one, but so far I love it. It claims to cleanse, remove make-up from your face and eyes and soothe your skin, and it's fragrance free. I does all these things, so even after using a face wash I can still see some dirt and residues coming off on a cotton pad. Thumbs up for Bioderma!

The last product is Marcelle Oil-free Multi-defense Lotion with SPF 15. I exchanged this moisturizer for my La Roche-Posay Effaclar H, which is far too heavy for daytime and leaves a terrible oily sheen on my face. This one is oil-free and really lightweight, which is essential for my skin. I have used the Marcelle product for 3 weeks now and despite what I've read on Make-up Alley, it didn't irritate my skin and didn't break me out. It absorbs right into the skin and doesn't leave a noticeable residue, but I can feel my skin is moisturized and prepared for the application of mineral make-up. It comes in a handy bottle and you get a lot (120 ml) for the price ($17 CAD). The only downfall is that you have to remember not to put on too much, because it can 'roll up' under your make-up.

I am quite happy with this routine, the only thing I would change is probably the cleanser; I am not entirely satisfied with AA Pure Skin. Do you have any recommendations?

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Aussie Aussome Volume hairspray review

I bought it a couple of days ago for $4.99 CAD at Rexall and wanted to share my opinion with you :)

It's Maximum Hold, which is the third level in their "hold scale". The product simply claims to give you a lot of volume which lasts all day (BTW, I love the Aussie marketing talk on the packaging... :). It contains Australian white ginger extract reknown for its fragrance, wild cherry bark extract which has soothing properties, hops extract and panthenol. My aim for purchasing this was to use it for hair styled with a curling iron, so the word "volume" caught my attention. Last Sunday, when I finished the curling process, I just flipped my head upside-down and sprayed this all over my hair. It smells of exotic fruit to me, which is also nice. When I lifted my head and took a look in the mirror, my hair was just everywhere! That was not the look I was going for, so I smoothed the hairstyle with my hands a bit and I was good to go. I feel that the hairspray lasted all day, and I might have actually used too much, because it wasn't that easy to brush my hair afterwards. Anyhow, I quite like it, and the bonus part for me is that my hair doesn't get greasy as fast as usually, as well as the fact that it contains no CFCs which deplete the ozone layer.

Changing the subject a little, I do feel that Rexall drugstores offer better prices than Shoppers Drugmart. I went to SDM today to pick up a few things and saw TreSemme Heat Protective spray on sale for 4.99, while I bought it at Rexall for exactly the same price, just that it wasn't any kind of sale. The regular price at SDM was almost twice as high! It's a pity I don't have Rexall anywhere near me...

Monday, April 13, 2009

My perfume collection

There's a bit of perfume blogging going on right now, so I thought I'd jump on the bandwagon :) 

Here's my collection, from left to right: Carolina Herrera 212, Givenchy Fleur d'Interdit and Eau de Franck Olivier

All of these were gifts from different people, and of course they somehow remind me of these persons. For everyday, I use Eau de Franck Olivier, which was a birthday gift from my fiance. The head of this perfume is composed of raspberry, peach, plum and grapefruit, its base features sandal wood, iris, Spanish honey and Burbon vanilla, and the heart follows with Bulgarian rose, jasmin and violet. As you can see, it's a very sweet fruity-flowery scent which reminds me of candy and summer. I also really like the bottle, my fiance describes it as a 'little shell'. Cute!

For more of a special occasion, like a night out, I wear Fleur d'Interdit

“Forbidden Flower” is the perfume by Givenchy House introduced in 1994 pictured as a flower in imaginative Heaven garden, eternally bloomed and protected. It is dedicated to all young women of the world who strive for romantic daydreaming, and made of floral aquatic notes of dreams. This perfume, designed by Daniel Moliere, who in top notes cozily put juicy peach, raspberries and melon. The heart notes seduce with its floral experience provided by cyclamen, rose, lilac, violet, jasmine, orchid and lily-of-the-valley along with the base notes consisting of heliotrope, sandal, vanilla and orris. The designer of the bottle is Pochet Courval. The bottle is incorporated with floral lace in the middle, translucent and made of glass. (

It certainly is quite an old perfume, but then, I think I got it in 1994, when I was 8 years old, from my parents' friend, just when it was released. He was a Polish count living in France, and he made his fortune as a Formule 1 driver. He liked me a lot back then and used to spoil with gifts like this one. Unfortunately, my parents are no longer in touch with him; I say 'unfortunately' not because of the presents, but because he was a fascintaing man with great stories to tell.

I used only a little bit of it, firstly because I use it only occasionally, and secondly because it is very strong and long-wearing, so I virtually spritz my neck once and I can still feel it on my skin after 24 hours. My mum also loves this one and steals some of it from time to time :)

I don't have any specific use for Carolina Herrera 212, but I think it is more of a summery perfume. I got it from my thankful student before setting off to Canada, so that was really nice of her. 

With its sweet persona, 212 comes on soft with gardenia and camellias, then surprises you with an off-beat kick of musky undertones. It's a delightful homage to the playfully hip, modern woman who never forgets her femininity. (

I am not too fond of the bottle, though, because it's too fancy, heavy and quite unhandy. It's supposed to look like a tennis ball tube, but what is good for tennis balls is not that good for perfume, in my humble opinion. Anyhow, I might switch to this one in a month or so, just to have something different :)

What are your favorite perfumes right now?

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Happy Easter!

I meant to post this yesterday, but I had an unexpected (in a nice way) visit from our friends...

Nevertheless, I'd like to wish you all a very happy Easter with lots of chocolate eggs, cake, and good time spent with family or friends. Also, I don't really know if it's a tradition where you live, but maybe a little bunny will bring something cute for you?

I spent almost the whole day yesterday in the kitchen, preparing a traditional Polish Easter cake called 'mazurek'. It's basically crispy dough similar to tarte, covered with some sort of topping, usually chocolate, orange or caramel, and then decorated with nuts and dried fruit. Here's the final result:

I don't know how they taste yet, because they're supposed to be eaten on Easter Sunday breakfast. We're invited to our friends house for a big Polish reunion :) Take care, my lovelies!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

April collective haul

Finally, I was able to put it together :) I went Easter shopping today and bought some more items, so here it goes!

 Hair products (from left to right):
Aussie Aussome Volume Hair Spray - Maximum Hold
TRESemmé vitamin-enriched Heat Tamer Spray
CONAIR Instant Heat 1'' ceramic curling iron

Make-up related products (from left to right and top to bottom):
MAC Brush Cleanser
Revlon Illuminance Creme Shadow in Seashells 11
Rimmel Vinyl Lipgloss in East End Snob
Softlips lipbalm in Honeydew Melon
MAC Studio Finish concealer in NW20

I can't say much about these products yet, because they're brand new (except for the curling iron, which I have used once). I am not much of a hair person, especially now that my hair are sort of 'no-particular-hairstyle-waiting-for-the-wedding' and I usually just put them back in a ponytail. However, I have been recently pulled into hair styling using a curling iron, so I bought that and some hair stuff to help me achieve the desired look. I decided to buy TRESemmé because it's supposed to be 'professional' quality, and then Aussie hairspray because I've heard it has a very nice scent - we'll see about that tomorrow.

As for the make-up related stuff... Today I went to MAC store for the first time in my life and bought my first MAC products. I know it may sound shocking for you, but until very recently MAC was altogether unavailable in Poland, and then it is quite pricey, especially if you're not working... So I really had to convince myself that I deserve this little treat. It's quite funny, I went there in the middle of the day and thought I would have a lot of time to play around and discuss stuff with a make-up artist, but they were incredibly busy and I had to stick with a quick decision. I was eyeing Studio Finish concealer for a while, so I got that, but I was really surprised when the artist color-matched me with NW20 shade, because I was rather debating between NC15 and NW15. I'm hoping it's the right shade!

After that I went to Rexall wanting to buy some NYX lippies. It was a huge disappointment when I realised they carry NYX products EXCEPT for lip products :( So I got Rimmel Vinyl Lipgloss in East End Snob instead.

I think I'm going to post reviews of some of these products. If you'd like to know my opinion about any of them in particular, just let me know. Have a nice evening!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Mizz Worthy's Illamasqua contest: Alphonse Mucha inspired look

As promised, this is my entry for Mizz Worthy's contest - hope you like it!

My inspiration for the look came from Alphonse Mucha's art and Art Nouveau movement. Alphonse Maria Mucha (1860-1939) was a a Czech painter and decorative artist, who is most famous for his lithographed posters. His works feature beautiful young women in flowing Neoclassical robes , often surrounded by lush flowers forming characteristic haloes. He used paler pastel colors than contemporary poster artists. The 1900 Universal Exhibition in Paris diffused his style internationally and his art was often imitated. Towards the end of his life, Mucha rejected most of his commercial works and concentrated on the themes of his nationality as well as Czech art and Slavic peoples in general. He died of lung disease after being arrested by Nazis at the beginning of the World War II. 



I was mostly inspired by the colors and curved, fern-like lines of depicted women's hair and dresses. I've created something like a halo framing the left part of my face and then completed the look with pastel lids + distinct lashline and doll-like, full lips. If you browse through Mucha's posters, you can see how schematic his depiction of women is: porcelain skin, big pronounced eyes and sort of baby pout. This is my rendition:

And two collages:

The process of creation took a lot of time, effort and Q-tips soaked in make-up remover :) Just FYI, to achieve this look I curled my hair with a curling iron for the first time in my life and I put on fake lashes, also for the first time ever (is it embarassing to admit that?) . I took all the photos (170 of them, to be precise) myself, using self-timer function in my Canon PowerShot SD870 IS camera; just don't ask me how I made some of the photos look so full of light, I have no idea why some of them turned out like that.

List of products used
Sephora Zero-Shine Base
Inglot Cream Foundation in 21
Inglot Cream Concealer in 34
Coastal Scents Honey Fair 1.2 Flawless Finish Foundation
Coastal Scents Light Veil Flawless Finish
Wet n Wild MegaGlo Face Illuminator in 341 Blushing
baby pink blusher from my 78 palette

white, light cream, light beige and brown e/s from Coastal Scents 78 palette
shimmery navy blue e/s from CS palette
Max Factor Mechanical Eyeliner in Ice Blue 60
GOSH Eyeliner pen in Black
Covergirl Lash Blast mascara in Very Black
Ardell 110 lashes + Ardell lash glue

Beautique Lipliner in Dusty Rose
Avon Lipstick in Christmas Spice
Inglot Blackberry Duo Lipgloss (baby pink)

What's in my make-up bag

I am such a noisy person myself, I decided that this might interest you as well :)

I decided to carry with me a really small make-up bag, so it's not possible to pull out a full look from scratch with this set; it's good only for touch-ups. The contents consist of two face products: Oil Control Sheets from Essence and Lumene Skin Couture Powder in (1) Dreaming, applied with Coastal Scents Flawless Face brush, two lip products: Avon Plump Pout in Nude or some other lipgloss/ lipstick and Cherry Culture free-with-every-purchase Lipgloss in Cherry, and two 'medicinal' products: eyedrops for my contact lenses and painkiller in a handy plastic tube. I also carry hand sanitizer and body lotion in my purse; that doesn't count for make-up, but is still essential :)

So, this is my little survival kit. What do you carry in your make-up bag?

Monday, April 6, 2009

Quick update

I am so sorry, my lovely bloggers, to abandon you for what, like 3 days...? My only excuse is the lovely spring weather now in Vancouver and the urge to go out and socialize :) 

So, for a couple of days now, I've been meeting my new girlfriend and after going together to Granville Island last Friday, we decided to throw ourselves into the beading art :) I used to do it when I was a teenager, but then gave up on it, but since I have loads of time lately I thought it would be something nice and creative to do, especially in company. We bought some pieces in a craft store on Granville Island and then supplemented our collection with cheaper beads from dollar stores spreading all the way from downtown Vancouver to North Vancouver (today's trip).

So, FYI, these days you can expect some posts pertaining to my hand-crafted jewellery (just don't laugh at me, I am only a beginner, okay?). And, on a different note, I am putting together a nice haul for you guys, and an entry for Mizz Worthy's Illamasqua contest - or maybe two entries? Stay tuned for that! Cheers :)

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Cherbourg inspired look

Ehn, to brighten up the day...

Well, it doesn't really show up in the photo, but the colors were supposed to be bright yellow and orange on the lid with soft brown in the crease. I used a matte baby pink blusher from my 78 palette and GOSH lipstick in Darling to tone down the natural pigmentation of my lips. I don't think a list of actual products is actually that necessary for this look...

Oh, and the weather got a bit better towards the evening, I bet it's because of my make-up :)

The Umbrellas of Cherbourg / Les Parapluies de Cherbourg

The Umbrellas of Cherbourg is a French-German musical film from 1964, directed by Jacques Demy and starring young Catherine Deneuve. The film dialogue is all sung as recitative, which makes it very different from all other musical films. This can be quite annoying, especially at first. However, two songs from the film, I Will Wait For You and Watch What Happens, given new English lyrics, became quite a success.

Anyhow, it's not the music than I wanted to blog about. This film is absolutely visually stunning. The decors (Bernard Evein) and costumes (Jacqueline Moreau), all in bright, pastel colors, are set against drizzly, gray streets of the Norman town of Cherbourg. The colors themselves convey a message, emphasize the personalities of each character. Genevieve, a character played by Catherine Deneuve, has a bedroom decorated in blue and pink floral patterns, which shows her innocence and girliness, whereas the apartment of her lover's old aunt is painted in sickly green, symbolizing her age and lack of taste (middle row stills).

The style of the costumes, make-up and hair designs are very much in the spirit of 1960's. Some of the looks have become almost classic, replicated in modern fashion and style. The choice of colors and silhouettes makes me think about the spring and that's probably why I chose to write about it today, with this dreadful weather outside. The film is a great experience for anyone interested in history of fashion or make-up, or just anyone in the mood for a little romance :)

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Lipstick factor

I was recently wondering why so many of us started their beauty blog during just a few last months. For one thing, the community on YouTube and here on Blogger is constantly growing and attracting more and more people who discover their 'beauty-addict' side, but why has it intensified that much lately?

One possible answer could be a 'lipstick factor'. If you haven't heard about it yet, it's an economic term denoting a situation when in times of a global economic crisis consumers tend to increase their spending on cosmetics while saving on everything else. Basically, it's 'substituting large extravagances for small luxuries', as one of the experts put it. The term originates from 1930's Great Depression when the phenomenon was first observed, with the same pattern repeating in early 1980s, early 1990s and early 2000s when recessions occured.

1930's Guerlain ad

Do you try to cheer yourself up with more affordable treats when your budget doesn't allow for more expensive buys? And then aren't you trying to squeeze as much joy and fun from the little thing as possible, researching it, photographing it, discussing it, blogging about it...? Sometimes the fun of it is not in having it, but just wanting, waiting, deciding which shade/ brand to pick (see our beloved wishlists). Does this ring a bell?

So, what would be your personal name for this effect? Lipstick, earrings, chocolate factor? I'll probably go for 'eyeliner factor' myself :)

For more info on the 'lipstick factor', check out this Sydney Morning Herald article.