Saturday, February 19, 2011

Makeup for blue eyes

Probably you have noticed by now that certain eyeshadow colours make your natural eye colour pop, while other don't. NYC Cosmetics palette offers four eyeshadows in their Bryant Park Palette for blue eyes, all cold colours: light lilac, silver gray, violet and dark grey. The palette also contains a skin-colour primer (actually a really good one)and a highlighter and behold, it cost 5! This should serve as an inspiration to all that L'Oreal and Maybelline...

NYC Cosmetics also offers a palette for green (beige and brown) and brown eyes (violet and mocca), check here for your colour inspiration.

N°7 Shine free primer review

Given that the nearest place for you to buy N°7 cosmetics is the UK, you will not be brokenhearted to read this review. It seems to me that this product concentrates too much on shine prevention than the actual skin priming for the foundation (it cost 10 $, 40 ml, it costs 11 £ in the UK).

First of all, the consistency is thick, white in colour and it dries super fast on your skin, leaving white streaks all over the face unless you apply it really thinly and in small amount. You definitely need to moisturize your skin in advance.

When I applied the primer, I started to feel an unpleasant tingling sensation, which I put down to the fact that it is going to be blocking the excess oil. Moreover, my skin looked pale, patchy and felt dry and grainy. Undeterred, I still finished my makeup and went to work.

The itching did not stop and naturally, the oil in the skin started to fight its way through the cakey layer I put on in the morning. Horrified, I removed all the foundation.

I've done a research, and usually they recommend moisturizing the skin, applying thin layers only to the T-zone and blend well. However, this did no work for me so I would not repurchase this product.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Britney Spears - Hold it against me tutorial

Nothing comes in between me and my Britney :-) Hit me baby one more time and MTV - aaaa, sweet old times :-) Having just watched her latest on YouTube - Hold it against me - I'm in awe! Obviously, product placement has reached a new level in this video, just wait for the full second of MAKEUP FOREVER eyeshadow frame freeze, but I still love it!

Here's a tutorial that I found on her look by Fleur De Force:

Speaking of MAKEUP FOREVER, their store is located at Rue du Midi 62, 1000 Bruxelles (actually, I found it by accident, when I was trying to get to Manneken Pis), but you can also order online via their website, how fabulous! Now, would it hold it against me if I went there :-)


Living in a city of Brussels also means the occasional smog alert so you need to clean your skin every night really thoroughly. If you have big open pores, they will clog twice as fast as anywhere else, leaving you with nasty blackheads (I just love the Dutch word for it, Een mee-eter). Here's my favourite T-zone product to the rescue (it costs under 6 EUR in Delhaize):

It contains two different sets of purifying strips (4 x nose strip, 2 x 2 chin and forehead strips), one is for the forhead and chin, the other for the nose. The strips are applied on clean, thoroughly wet face, then you wait for 10-15 minutes until the strip is entirely dry and you are ready to GENTLY peel it off. What happens next is fascinating, or at least to me it is, some people think it is disgusting :-}. Ideally, the contents of your pores will have stuck to the strip - let's just leave it there, the skin will be purified!

It is a good idea to wash your face again and apply a light moisturizing cream to calm the skin down, because the chances are that it will be red and irritated. The active ingredient is citric acid, so I would not recommend this product to anyone with a really sensitive or dry complexion. It works wonders on my oily skin, though.

Makeup organizing tip

Time is always a factor, especially in the morning when you hurry to catch your bus or train. So finding something quickly in the heap of makeup is very important to achieve a polished look and being on time to work. Let's have a look at how to tackle this:

You need:
1) plenty of makeup
2) some space

Next is the trip to either Brico, Cora, Hubo or such. They sell these amazing office organizers, but they are perfectly suited for your makeup (cca 10 EUR). I store my foundations, concealers, blush in the bottom drawer, next are eyeshadows, then eye pencils and the top belongs to gel eyeliners.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Expiration dates for makeup

Spring is in the air, or at least I think that is what I smelt on the way to work :-). Cleaning up the makeu-up stock should be a regular thing, but when should you get rid of what?
So, to spell it out:

Liquid foundation: 6-12 months
Compact foundation: 24 months
Concealer: 6 months
Pressed powders: 12-24 months, natural 6 months
Nail polish: 1 year
Lipstick and lipgloss: 12 months
Perfume: 12-24 months
Mascara: 3-6 months
Eye/lip pencils: 1 year
Sponges: max 1 month

Réserve Naturelle palette review

One day I was killing time before my train arrived at the infamous Gare Central, so I popped into Réserve Naturelle (bling is so attractive :-)). As a relative newbie to Brussels, I was not familiar with the shop, nor its concept, hence I succumbed to the temptation of this palette.
It was very cheap, 7,90 EUR. It comprises 18 eyeshadows, 2 blushes and 2 powders. The start was so promising, however:

All eyeshadow colours are shimmery and the payoff is pretty strong. I did not really find any use for the powders, as they are both too dark on my skin (contouring remains a mystery to me). Due to a similar problem I only ended up trying one blush.

You will notice that the palette is dirty. That is because no matter how pretty the colours in the palette are, once you start using it, the fallout is plain crazy. I do not bother anymore with cleaning and using it. Worth mentioning is also a very particular odour, something not necessarily unpleasant, but definitely very noticeable and ever-present. You've guessed this by now - do not waste your time and money on this palette.

And here is my clumsy attempt for swatches:

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Maybelline EyeStudio in Coral Drama review

There are so many Maybelline products that I love - Volum' Express mascara, Derniere Touche pressed powder, Terre indienne bronzer, Lasting drama gel eyeliner, Non-stop fond de tein - but just not their eyeshadows...I bought this quad (coral drama, no 20) about a year ago and I have not warmed up to it at all.

The biggest cons are: extreme fallout, quick creasing (even with a primer on) and a very sheer colour payoff (no intensity build-up possible). Most shocking is then its hefty price tag of 15 EUR. Which is a shame, because these shimmery colours are lovely by themselves.
A single swipe swatch is unfortunately misleading...

Simple every day makeup look


Utterly beautiful, endlessly inspirational and extremely addictive - that is the blogspot of Nic and Sam Chapman - PIXIWOO! Search no more for a simple, sophisticated every-day look. Or even better. go and check out their blog and look them up on YouTube! I love watching them, as they explain and show what they are doing in such an engaging way, and what's more, you feel like you know them in person, such a joy! Have fun and don't forget to blend! :-)

Monday, February 14, 2011

L'Oreal renewal lash serum review

Who does not want full, thick and long lashes? If Mother Nature has been a step-mother to you in this respect, you might have looked for ways how to achieve that Bambi look. With my lashes being short, straight and blond, I immedially jumped for joy when I bought L'Oreal's renewal lash serum.

It costs 15 EUR. L'Oreal Paris describes the product in the following way:
Give lashes a nourishing boost every day with L’Oréal Paris’s 1st Renewal Lash Serum.
An intensive formula enriched with Arginine and Centella. Lashes feel fortified and look renewed. 
How to Use
1) Use rounded tip to treat the lash line
2) Sweep the curved brush from lash root to tip

By day, apply under your mascara.
By night, remove mascara and apply to bare lashes. 
I have been using it almost every night before I went to sleep, after I took off the makeup, for about a year now. I have not noticed any improvement in my lashes, to be honest. I would not go as far as saying it is a complete waste of money, but I will not be caught dead buying it again :-).

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Advantage cards

I think it is always a good idea to be collecting points on bonus cards, however small the advantage (currently 1 point for 1 EUR, and you get 5 EUR off at 500 points). Here are my cards that I use when I shop at Ici Paris (20 % off ) and at Di. PLUS card can also be used at Planet parfum, Delhaize, Q8, Brico...For more information about the cards, visit:

Carte de fidélité Ici Paris

Dark circles be gone!

Bobbi Brown told me I had undereye circles - in her book Makup Manual, that is. I never noticed them before, but once you see pictures of different women with one dark circle concealed and the other not, you will want the same magic trick.

We all know that undereye area is very sensitive due to the thin skin that allows for any darkness or redness to show through. It is therefore extremely important to conceal the dark circles even if it is the one thing you do about your makeup in the morning.

It is equally necessary to apply your concealer on moisturised skin, to prevent the concealer from sinking into your wrinkles. Your concealer should be at least 1 shade lighter than your foundation.

My favourite concealer is Estee Lauder Stay-in-place concealer, with SPF 10. The coverage is medium to full and it is indeed long-lasting.