3 random things: meeting Alex Kavvadias, the BEST Christmas tea, and some 90's memorabilia!

My darlings! How you've been?
I hope you're all having a great time anticipating Christmas!

The reason for this impromptu post is quite obvious: I had a couple of things I wanted to share with you in mind, which didn't fit with this blog's usual topics. So here they are, all gathered in a totally random post...

Hopefully there's something useful for you in the following lines. Or not ;)
Personally, I find it refreshing to stray from beauty-related stuff once in a while!

1: Meeting Alex Kavvadias!
Oh-My-God. I'm so glad I looked composed and didn't scream like a 15-year old at the sight of Alex! I met him a couple of weeks ago at the Kiehl's Mr Bones auction that took place in an art gallery at Metaxourgeio (for more info, have a look at my FB wall). Now, I'm not one to take pride in photos with my mug+celebs; it's only meant to accompany the fact that Alex is a really, really nice guy and so approachable. And hot, obviously... :)))


Requested review: SYOSS dry shampoo

As so many of you asked me about the dry shampoo I featured on my latest haul,
I thought of uploading a little review for you ;)

Using dry shampoo as a quick fix instead of washing your hair is no news, though it's new to me. Judging from the poor variety of dry shampoos in our stores, you can tell it's a type of product that hasn't fully bloomed as it has in the UK; seeing no better alternatives (i.e. Batiste or Tresemme), I settled to Syoss.

I must confess that I was sooo excited to start using a dry shampoo on my hair, since everyone on Youtube and blogs kept raving about it. However, after 2 months of use, my feelings are mixed.

You see, I initially thought that I could finally! be able to slacken up on the frequency
I wash my hair (it's so time-consuming and I hate it), but no. I imagined it would give me some colossal volume at the roots- again, not the case. Don't get me wrong, I think it's a nice little helper when you have to rush out the door but don't have time to do the whole shampooing-detangling-drying-styling shebang. It does freshen up the hair and gives the roots a bit of lift, but nothing too spectacular as I expected.
It sure can't beat freshly washed hair!


Dior Grand Bal nail polish in MARILYN!

I told you I felt compelled to do a little haulin' at the sight of the Grand Bal collection!
Here is evidence #1:

I proudly present you my early Christmas gift, the magnificent Diorific Vernis in Marilyn. Seriously guys, these nail polishes are THE BOMB! If you're a nail polish collector, then I'm sure you already own at least two shades by now. If not, consider these for your holiday treats- they're worth it!

Now, you do understand I had to get Marilyn, if only for its name.
Look at it, my precious!

Initially, my mind set was in favour of Diva (black with gold shimmer), but after testing it on my nails at the Dior counter I found the gold glitter to be too discreet. Diorling (pure gold shimmer) embodies the brand's extravagant luxury factor, however it goes pretty sheer on the nails. Lady (white pearl) on the other hand, is a beautiful nail colour to own: it looks expensive and elongates the nails like no other! I'm so, so gutted I didn't pink Lady after all, but I guess Marilyn is a timeless shade and I'm going to make a lot of use of it, so all is good ;)

Here's the nail swatch:


Clinique 3-Step: my experience

Alright, time came for me to share my thoughts on a subject that is controversial among customers, aestheticians and beauty bloggers alike...

Clinique 3-Step has a long history, with its launch dating back during the '60s. It was conceived as a personalised skincare regimen to cater the needs of the new working force that could afford a bit of spending on themselves. 

But, here's the big question: is it really drying on the skin?
Some say the alcohol in the Clarifying Lotion shouldn't be there in the first place.
Also, many reviewers have mentioned their skin got worse after using it, so is there any truth in all that?

My experience: I used Clinique 3-Step Type III in tubes of 30ml each, which lasted me for approximately 4 weeks. There's some particular science involved behind each product, though I feel the main focus right from the start has been the Clarifying Lotion; the soap+moisturiser seem to have been developed around it, if it makes sense.

To be frank, there's not much character in the Liquid Facial Soap (too mild, indifferent list of ingredients) or the -moutful- Dramatically Different Moisturising Gel (not adequate moisture, needs layering of another cream on top). However, there's a lot to talk about the toner. Which isn't really a toner, more like a brilliant exfoliating little helper!

Let me get started:


Foundation series: Maybelline FIT ME

This is part 1 of a new blog series about the foundations I've been testing out,
I hope you enjoy it!

I'm sure you've fully grasped by now the ever-growing demand for "dewy" foundations; it was only a matter of time until the drugstore makeup brands joined the bandwagon. FIT ME is Maybelline's newest foundation that caters for that natural, but flawless look. And I love it to bits.

Packaging aside (a pleasant surprise by Maybelline!), there's so much to love about this foundation. It all comes down to its sophisticated formula:

An average foundation usually contains oils, waxes, fillers and powder pigment particles. Fit Me is free from all such ingredients; instead, they're replaced with a transluscent base and lightweight pigments that let the skin breathe, while providing a natural coverage. The result is a glowing, flawless face that looks like skin- and most importantly, there's zero cakiness guaranteed.

Now, all this babble means nothing if the product doesn't deliver what it claims, right? Well, I'm here to tell you that I can feel a massive difference on my face when I wear this foundation.


An early Christmas whiff by the Body Shop!

Is there anyone who wouldn't love a bit of festive spirit ahead of December?
Personally, I'm all for it; if only we could celebrate Christmas for 3 months straight!

Like every year, the Body Shop launched their Christmas collection early in November. It's not only that the bodycare products have captured the holiday spirit spot-on, the new makeup range displays a definite improvement as well. You must step into a store to see, smell and touch all the uplifting Christmasy goodness!

This is a picture-heavy post. All full of indulgent bodycare, makeup and nifty little treats.
Don't blame me if you grow any new lemmings after reading it!

The kind people at the Body Shop organised a fun bloggers' event where we were introduced to the new seasonal ranges, along with a glass of cranberry coctail and some yummy gingerbread bisquits. Goes without saying, I went nuts over the new makeup and body products- but the thing I enjoyed the most was the fun and optimistic atmosphere in the store, which is something that is missing a lot these days. Down with misery, I say!

So, what's to expect this time of year at the Body Shop?


MAC Patisserie lipstick: a love/hate thing

I didn't know how to call this little review-
it's not a rave, and then it's not quite a rant. So let's call it a hot and cold testimony!

I've been using Patisserie lipstick by Mac for more than six months; I'm still not getting it. Tanya Burr made me want it so bad, that's mainly the only reason I bought it. It's got some lovable qualities for sure, and yet it doesn't feel "right" when I wear it...

Do you ever get that feeling with a makeup product?

Anyhoo, this is my first Mac lustre lipstick and I can't say I'm impressed with the lustre formula at all. I know it's everyone's favourite, but in my opinion there are so many brands that do sheer and glossy lipsticks so much better than Mac! Unless, of course, Patisserie was a bad example of a lustre. In which case, I'd like your suggestions on the nicest, prettiest Mac lustre ever ;)

On to the swatches...


October '12 favourites.

There goes October. One month closer to Christmas. Eeeek!

Judging from last month's favourites, my love for makeup has been officially revived; I've reached the point where BB cream+blush was simply not enough! Hence, the following good lot of makeup products. There's also a couple of hair treatments thrown in the mix, to go with my new ombre hair!

*** Don't ask: it was a fine experience overall-
still, the final outcome came out so natural that it barely looks any different =( ***

Alright, let's start with the makeup!

My lipstick of choice was the Chanel Rouge Coco Shine lipstick in Boy (click for review), its rosy colour is so appropriate for autumn days! But the ultimate stand-out was the new Maybelline Fit Me concealer*. Good coverage without being cakey, blends easily under the eyes and covers dark circles thanks to its slight orange undertones. I'm filing this under "products I would repurchase"!

I've also had a good use of the Mac Lingering brow pencil and I'm loving it to bits; brilliant waxy texture that helps to hold brow hairs into place! For my eyeshadows, I mostly used these few matte shades from the Body Shop in Vanilla Cream, Pink and Granite (click for review). Shimmer on the lids during dark and cloudy days can sometimes look a bit "off"! I'd much rather give some life to my face with a bright lip instead.

Which brings me to my quick fix...


Dior GRAND BAL makeup collection for Christmas 2012- photos and swatches!

"Now that Cinderella's fairy godmother no longer exists,
the couturier must be the magician". Christian Dior

Without a doubt, the Dior Grand Bal collection is by far the prettiest and most glamorous out of all the makeup collections that have been launched for the holidays. Every single piece is simply irresistible; from the inspiration behind it down to its sophisticated packaging and colour, they all evoke magic!

Oh, how I've been longing for the products to make their way over to our stores! I got a call last Friday from the Dior girls at Hondos that they're finally here- Saturday morning and there I was, swatching everything and feeling like a little girl in the candy shop!

"From Monsieur Dior's extravagant parties in Granville, his childhood home, to the Parisian balls of the Roaring Twenties, the couturier was profoundly fascinated by the transformative qualities of the ball gown and the fantasy of a fabulous fete. Now, Dior debuts a makeup collection inspired by Dior's love for entertaining; the limited edition Palette Grand Bal, four new shades of Diorific, Dior's most haute couture lipstick, two shades of Ultra-Gloss, and four new shades of Dior Vernis". 

Wait until you see the products, especially the new Diorific nail polishes which are lush!


DIY project: My own homemade soaps!

You read that right:
I got real crafty last summer!

If you're like me -obsessed with beauty and cosmetics, that is-, read on because there's a whole 'nother world you can let loose your passion: making your own beauty products! I proudly present you my first batch of homemade olive oil soaps- which, contrary to what you might think, they're dead easy to make.

But why soaps, you might ask?
It was only because I didn't want to waste a huge 5lt can of olive oil that didn't taste quite right. Throwing it away was not an option, so I had to find a means to make it useful ;)

First and foremost, there's two things you need to keep in mind before experimenting with soap-making recipes:

a. Do your homework. Even the tiniest little search online will be enough to baffle you with contradicting recipes. So before settling on a particular recipe, learn about the characteristics of each ingredient, what quality of soap they produce, and the importance of accuracy in weighing each quantity.

b. Take all precautions necessary! It's very, very important not to let the lye get in contact with your skin. Or your eyes and nose. Get youselves some gloves, an old blouse with long sleeves, a face mask, and some vinegar in case you spill yourself with some soap mixture by accident (vinegar counteracts the lye in the soap).

Collective haul: La Roche-Posay, Mac, Erre Due, etc.

Well well well, it's been four months since my last haul post;
that's quite an achievement!

If you know me, you'll be surprised by how little I've been shopping lately, cosmetics-wise. To be honest, I kinda enjoy it: it feels as if I've tamed my addiction and turned into a "normal" consumer. Seriously, this is EVERYTHING I bought during the last couple of months!

It's a mixture of some essentials, a couple of toiletries-
and a little makeup to sweeten the pot ;)

La Roche-Posay Hydraphase Intense Eyes: to everyone that commented on my eye cream post, thank you for making me come to my senses! I admit I was inclined towards Retinoids and eye roll-ons at first, though after reading your comments I realised that a good-quality moisturising eye cream was the best bet. I chose this one purely because of its ingredients: Caffeine and Hyaluronic Acid fractions? Swell, count me in! Paid: €18,10

Syoss Anti-Grease Dry Shampoo: isn't it a shame there's only three or four dry shampoos available in our stores? Booo... Rather than saving my hair from washing, I bought it in order to infuse some volume at the roots of the hair. By the way, if you happen to know any tips&tricks on the application of dry shampoo, do share! Paid: €4,80


Winner of Korres Lip Butters giveaway

Here's a short post-update on the Korres giveaway...

Before announcing the winner, I'd like to thank each and every one of you who participated in this little giveaway by following Lipstick Wardrobe, it means the world to me! To my dear new readers: please introduce yourselves and comment away!

Alrightie, back to the prizes:

The lucky winner who will be getting all four Korres lip butters pictured above is...


10 Runway makeup trends for Autumn/Winter 2012-2013

Prepare yourselves a nice cup of coffee, or tea: this is a seriously lengthy read!

In this post, I've gathered my 10 favourite makeup looks from this season's runways. Feel free to take notes in order to replicate them: I can assure you, they're all wearable and stunning! Mind you, 6 out of 10 were created by Pat McGrath... The woman is a genius!

Ok, that was a lie: the last couple of makeup looks are probably runway-only material, though they can be easily adapted to something less scary/clownish.

Let's start, shall we?

     image source 1, image source 2

I love this kind of makeup. It's effortless, so easy to put together, while the cool-toned lipstick&blush combo brighten up the skin to make it glow!!! According to Marie Claire, the makeup artists at Shiseido said the rosy cheeks were meant to look like a "bloody, wonky flush, like after a morning of skiing, an hour in a hot tub or some good sex". At the risk of sounding too prudish, I find this makeup to look more like you've spent an hour out in the cold rather than having had good sex- but, I digress ;)

Point of story:
Dig out your cheek stains + cherry red lipsticks, and put them into good use!


Skincare review: La Roche-Posay Hydraphase Serum

I'm sure you've seen reviews of this product already-
in case you're interested in my point of view, here's my two cents ;)

I've been using this serum on and off for the past two months, so as to allow it a good testing period before writing about it. Personally, I don't consider serum to be essential per se, more like an investment into a good quality beauty regime- if you're willing to spend some extra cash, that is.

In other words: while moisturiser is an integral part of a skincare routine, serum is not.
That being said, if you DO use a serum, your skin will thank you later. Here's why:

Serums consist of smaller molecules than those of moisturisers, thus enabling them to penetrate the skin deeper than regular day creams; they're mainly designed to deliver nutrients to the skin, rather than regulating its moisture level. That's why there's so many different serum formulations targeted to specific skin concerns like skin brightening,
anti-ageing, exfoliating, etc. Moisturisers on the other hand are meant to "lock" the moisture into the skin after cleansing.

Now that the difference between serums and moisturisers is clear, here's what I think of the La Roche-Posay Hydraphase Serum:


Go get it now: Zara leather jacket

I had actually planned to upload a nice DIY project I did during summer-
but because of today's shopping loot, I felt it was fitting to spread the good news a.s.a.p.!

If you're in the hunt for a good quality biker jacket, then look no further: Zara currently stocks THE most perfect jacket ever! It's made from real leather, miles away from the obnoxious faux leather jackets that have flooded the shops lately :/

See for yourselves: doesn't it look fab?

Lipstick Wardrobe blog Zara leather jacket go get it now!

It's part of the TRF line that is targeted to a younger clientele, which to be honest, it leaves me indifferent the majority of times. However, I've found the TRF coats and jackets to be way prettier than those from the Basic line; most of my winter coats are from Trafaluc! Thus when I spotted that leather jacket on the website (link!), I searched every Zara store downtown to locate it- and I finally found it in the shop at Stadiou str.
I'm so relieved!!!

Here's a couple of pics I took in the fitting room wearing this jacket:


September '12 favourites.

Oh man, I can't believe it's October already;
that means we're only 2 months away from Christmas time- the "C" word, damn!!!

September wasn't as exciting in regards to the "beauty front", hence the lack of cool and fancy products featuring on this post. Still, it all reflects my recent tendency to concentrate more on my skincare, along with opting for the "no makeup" makeup.

Starting with Clinique 3-Step, the past month's skincare entry:

These mini 30ml tubes lasted me for 4 weeks, used twice per day. Contrary to what I expected from the reviews I had read online, my personal experience with the 3-Step was positive overall: there's noticeably less acne and my pores have become smaller in size.
Now, I can understand why there's a lot of confusion/misconception about this trio, but the main thing to remember is to take it as a cleansing regime- not as a complete skincare routine. More about that on a separate review ;)

As for the makeup products I loved during September...


Giveaway: Win 4 KORRES Lip Butters!!!

It's giveaway time on Lipstick Wardrobe ;)

I've recently hit 600 followers on my little blog, so I'd like to thank you all with a small gift to one lucky reader! As always, I've chosen products that I actually use and love, so this time I picked out my favourite Korres lip butters!

The giveaway winner will be sent the following four lip balms-
including the oh-so-famous Jasmine lip butter!

* You might notice that there's a slight difference with the ones I showcased on my previous post; the Purple Lip Butter stick has been replaced with the Wild Rose version. Apologies for that, I was in a rush and bought the wrong colour! *

But enough with that, here's the obligatory "rules":


My TOP favourite Korres Lip Butters!

I hope you're in the mood for some lip balm talk, because I sure am ;)
All lip balm fanatics out there- this post is dedicated to you!

Korres lip butters will always have a special place in my heart. Having tried all thirteen options available, the following are the only ones I go back to, and have repurchased many times over the years.

Since I'm planning to use up every single lip balm in my collection (there's really no point in keeping 20 different lip balms on hand, is it?), I thought of making a post on why I favour these particular lip butters over the rest by Korres.

I prefer the lip butter sticks over those in the pot form for a bunch of reasons:
first and foremost, I'm able to use them while I'm out and about- which is almost impossible with the likes of Jasmine lip butter, I could never dip my fingers in the pot after I've been on public transport! Other than that, I love the embellished packaging of the stick lip butters, and the fact they have spf15 in them.

Let's see each shade one-by-one, lip swatches included:


Products I regret buying!

Giving negative reviews is not my thing, though sometimes it's just inevitable!

As much as I love discovering new products, I hate it when something doesn't perform as it should! I've become quite prudent with my "beauty budget", so anything that falls short of expectations turns me off :(

Today's "suspects":

Needless to say, all three are going straight to the bin. Wasting money sucks!
Having said that, I hope this post will be helpful to those of you who are curious about those products: read on to see why I wouldn't recommend not one of 'em!


What's new at The Body Shop?

It seems that the Body Shop is evolving into a considerable opponent among the brands of the beauty industry, competing with the very best on the market!

A couple of weeks ago, me and some fellow bloggers had the chance of getting familiarised with the new Fall product releases from the Body Shop. Taking into account the brand's revamp during past summer, it's safe to say that there's a whole lotta cool products we should be anticipating in winter ;)

Here's everything we witnessed that day:

First of all, the Body Shop is releasing the Vineyard Peach body range, a Limited-Edition collection of bodycare products with the best-ever, most yummy scent I've come across- no joke! Then, there's the new Scents of the World collection, that marks the re-entrance of probably the most longed for product from the old days, the perfume oils! There's also a couple of new skincare products that sound promising: the Tea Tree Pore Minimiser and the Nutriganics Drops of Youth serum.

But, wait: there's more!


Choosing an eye cream: I need your help!

Time for some serious talk on Lipstick Wardrobe.
No, really.

After what seemed like forever, I finally used up my Elderflower eye gel. So this time, instead of settling for yet another eye cream from the Body Shop, I spent the last couple of days browsing online for a nicer alternative. And whad'ya know, there's so many good ones to choose from!

That's why I need your help:
I've narrowed below a few eye creams that sound promising- and because I value your feedback, I'd love us to have a little chat on what to look for in an eye treatment.

To make things easier, I've divided them in 4 groups:

1. The first ones that came to mind were the usual suspects: Kiehl's Avocado eye treatment, Clinique All About Eyes and Origins GinZing. With the exception of the latter which promises to brighten and depuff eyes, the rest couple of eye creams are pretty humble in their claims, talking only about providing enough moisture for the under-eye area. Which I don't count as a con; in fact, the less the claims, the more likely it is for the product to do what it's supposed to!


A (much needed) Project-10-Pan

I can feel it, this is going to be a year full of changes ;)
Following my decision to turn to pharmaceutical brands for my skincare,
here's a second commitment:

As the title of this post suggests, I'm starting a Project-10-Pan. I'm sick of my ever-growing makeup collection, it's ridiculous and it has to stop! So, along with a few tossing of some old and forgotten makeup products, I've put aside 10 that I must go through asap.

Now, some of you may cringe on the type of products I've chosen for this makeup ban-
but mind you, I've deliberately switched the "rules", in order to make it a pleasant experience overall and help me be 100% committed to it!

     Someone's cheating BIG TIME!

I know, I know- lip balms and tiny foundation samples shouldn't be part of a proper P10Pan... Believe it or not, I tend to wear less makeup nowadays, so much so that finishing all these products will actually take me quite a while! Here's another "twist" I've imposed on this project:


L'Oreal NEW Color Riche nail polishes!

Bear with me, peeps-
I need to get this review uploaded now that it's still hot outside; it wouldn't be appropriate to showcase such summery nail colours during cold weather, would it?

As soon as I got my hands on one of the new mini nail polishes by L'Oreal, I knew I would shortly be marching over at Hondos to get me some more! So here it is, my small Color Riche
haul-slash-review. I hope you enjoy it!

These are the two colours I picked out the last couple of months...

A few words about the Color Riche range:

Admittedly, one has to give credit to L'Oreal for FINALLY having grasped the demand for affordable nail polishes in up-to-date shades, with new ones brought out every season. One look at the full range and you'll be convinced: every sought-after nail trend is there! I've spotted a greige, a mushroomy Particulière dupe, some fun pastels, you name it. The only colour family that the Color Riche range is lacking is the metallics, let us hope this will be fixed in the future ;)


August '12 favourites.

Wowza! That's the 250th blog post on Lipstick Wardrobe, woohoo!!!
Allow me to do a happy dance in the style of Chandler Bing :D

Right, onto the subject: as I'm currently sick of my HUGE makeup collection that has gotten out of hand (post to follow), last month I switched my focus to skincare products- and jewelry. 'Twas about time I started wearing the bargains I got during the sales!

So, grab yourselves a cuppa tea (or an ice-cold frappe, if you like) and enjoy!

To be frank, I'm not entirely satisfied with each and every product in my skincare routine. Habit won over prudent and considerate buying, so I've ended up with some bits that although nice, they didn't quite cut it for my current skin concerns. But, enough with the nagging; let me give praise to a few products that have stood out from the rest:


Lipstick Wardrobe's FALL makeup wishlist!

Happy September 1st everyone!

Oh, I'm so glad summer is officially over- even if the weather is still hot! Fall is probably my favourite season of the year: chilly evenings with a light coat and a scarf, hot coffee on hand and strolling around the city taking photos, that's all I long for!

Naturally, I felt inspired and made a mental wishlist of what I'd like to buy during Fall.
Below I've made a little collage of everything makeup-related in my wishlist...


Brand rave: Avène

Hello my lovelies!!! How you've all been?
After a short hiatus, I'm back with a pretty lengthy post ;)

These Avene products have been sitting on my bathroom shelf for a couple of months; however, I kept prostoping to write a post about them, as I wanted my initial excitement to die down and feel 100% confident that I'll share with you my true and honest thoughts about them.

So here it is, after three days of scribbling and re-writing;
a chit-chat on Avene, pharmaceutical companies and their products.

Up until now, my experience with Avene was minimal, if not non-existent. I've only tried a couple of products on a whim, and regardless of my satisfaction, I never really cared to give in to the brand as my trust in The Body Shop, Korres and Apivita stood strong. Same story with the rest of the so-called "pharmaceutical" skincare brands: in my eyes, they were boring, lacking in natural ingredients and odd-smelling, which was enough to put me off and stay clear of such products.

Well, after using all these samples, I have reevaluated my views on skincare brands.
But first, here are the separate mini reviews:

Avene Eau Thermale: when it comes to thermal water sprays, I'm not the one to share the rather demeaning "water in a can" claims, but I guess it's something that is up to personal preference. I've had an on-and-off relationship with thermal sprays in the past, including this one; now that I was reminded again of their beneficial properties on the skin, I'm commited to use them as a permanent fixture in my skincare routine.

Now, I know for a fact that Avene was the first at promoting thermal water for healing and soothing sensitive skin, with the rest of companies following Avene's footsteps purely for profit/competitive reasons. However, I still want to try out the Vichy and La Roche-Posay thermal water sprays, just in case there's any detectable differences between them. We shall see!

Avene Micellar lotion: so far, the only experience I've had with micellar lotions has been with the one by Korres. Same as the latter, the Avene Micellar lotion did an amazing job at taking away all face and eye makeup, but it fell short at leaving my lashes 100% clean from mascara- which is no biggie, I wouldn't trade my Avene eye makeup remover for the world. Micellar lotions are fantastic at removing makeup without causing irritation or redness to sensitive skin. Their only flaw? You tend to go through them faster than regular makeup removers :(

Avene Cleanance gel: this cleanser is targeted to oily/blemish-prone skin, and despite my skintype falling under this category, it currently goes through a dehydrated phase that makes choosing skincare products a lot more complicating... That's why I was so happy (and relieved!) that this cleanser didn't strip moisture from my skin, which probably has to do with the fact it's SLS-free. It also left my face smooth to the touch, which made me reconsider my false notion that "only cleansers containing exfoliating beads result into smooth skin". Conclusion: I'm most definitely going to purchase the full size of this one!

Avene Soothing hydrating serum: this little gem is by far the most amazing product of the bunch! No other skincare product I've used before has made me want to touch my face non-stop after applying it, so that says a lot. The label should have read something like "miracle smoothing potion" in the front, because that's exactly what it does! Most importantly, it didn't aggravate my acne- which happens 9 times out of 10 I try out a new skincare product.

Of course, it hydrates the skin and can be worn on its own during hot summer days, but I think it performs its best under makeup as a lightweight primer that hydrates and smooths the skin before applying foundation. Big thumbs up for this serum!

Avene Reflexe Solaire SPF50+: this face sunscreen was launched this summer as an all-round sunblock that offers high protection from both UVB and UVA rays. Because of the packaging's shape, it can be easily slipped inside your handbag, beach bag or in the back pocket of your trousers, if you wish. In terms of texture, it's not fluid like the Clarins sunscreen that I love, however it spreads nicely on the skin without leaving white marks on the face.

_ . _ . _ . _ . _ . _ . _ . _ . _ . _

Overall, this experience with Avene has taught me a couple of things, which you may already know by now; to me, it was a case of "seeing is believing".

First of all, I realised I've been missing out on some amazing products from pharmaceutical brands, purely because of my fixation to lotions and potions with a more "natural" approach- you know the ones I'm talking about... If I can get skincare products from the pharmacy that are affordable and do a better job than their "natural" counterparts, well, I've been a fool to pretend they don't even exist. And they're actually all smelling nice!

Also, the consistent quality that runs through each Avene product I've tried, in relation to their small-ish but consistent range of products, can only be described as quality over quantity. Up until now, I had lower expectations with all the new skincare products I've tried, and took for granted that they wouldn't perform as stellar as the label reads. But that's not a way to build a trusty skincare routine for that flawless skin; if a product claims it does wonders, it better do so! Am I right?

So, from now on, expect to see more pharmaceutical brands featured in this blog. I'm determined to expand my knowledge in Avene and the likes, and already preparing my first wishlist!

Phew, that's it! I hope you made it this far, kudos to you mighty reader!
What's your experience with Avene? Do share ;)

* The Avene samples were given to me for free. I'm only featuring them on this blog because they're worth it. Sharing my honest opinions, as always; my loyalty is to my lovely readers.

Evi   xx


Dior Amber Diamond shimmering powder, a review

I know, I know, this baby has already been reviewed to death-
but in case you're not bored yet, here's my version ;)

As many others before me, I succumbed to the hype of the Dior Amber Diamond powder. Does it live up to the claims everyone talks about? I certainly think so! It took me a while to get used to it though, since it stands apart from most powder highlighters on the market.

Look at it, my precious!!!

Amber Diamond is listed under "powders" in the Dior website, along with its sister Rose Diamond. It holds 10 gr of product in a sleek compact with a handy mirror, and has its own little velvet pouch (as all respectable high-end makeup products do!). All 5 shades could work as a sheer wash on the lids- if you like shimmery gold eyeshadow, that is.

[I've actually managed to drop it to the floor twice, thank goodness it has only cracked where the colours meet!]

As you can see, you get five complimentary golden-to-amber shades that you can even use individually to perfectly match your blush/lipstick combo you're wearing.

Now, here's the tricky part: you know how most powder highlighters provide only shine? Well, Amber Diamond has a certain colour to it. And the finest shimmer you could possibly find in a highlighting product. Combine those two facts together and you'll soon be
over-applying it in order to see some shine, while your cheeks get darker! For me, the best way to wear Amber Diamond is right after contouring, and definitely before blush application. Which is optional, anyway.

I tried to do a comparison swatch with a couple of other brozing/highlighting products in my makeup bag, but I think we can safely call it a fail: see any similarities?
Neither can I!

    Left to right: Dior Amber Diamond, TBS Bronzing Beads, TBS Bronze Shimmer Waves

Hopefully, you can see Amber Diamond's fine shimmer compared to the harshness of Shimmer Waves on the far right. That means it's ideal for skin with visible pores, oily skin, mature ladies, plus it looks pretty neat during daytime!

Personally, and contrary to what I've documented above, I wouldn't call the Dior Amber Diamond powder a "must buy": in retrospect, I'd much rather have spent my money to a high-end blush or bronzer than a highlighter! But if your collection lacks of a nice highlighting product and you have the money to spare, go for it. You'll love it.

Now tell me, are you tempted by all the raving reviews on Dior Amber Diamond?
Which is your favourite highlighter, ever?

Evi   xx


July '12 favourites.

It's funny writing about summery beauty products, when it's sooo gloomy outside!
Want proof? Scroll down to the last pic...

Much like June, July was a pretty boring month of no-makeup days. Same story every summer; I seem to lose interest in makeup when the days get hotter! Hence, July's favourites consist of only a few bodycare products.

Apivita Face Sunscreen for oily-combination skin, SPF30: yet another Apivita product that exceeds in quality its equivalent by Korres. It spreads beautifully on my skin with less amount of shine, plus it leaves no white film on the face as it's slightly tinted! And smells lovely, too. Can't help but feel proud that Apivita products can be compared with the very best on the market!

Korres After Sun with Aloe Vera: you know me, I go gaga over anything containing aloe vera... This body milk is perfect to quench my skin after sunbathing. I could do without the strong floral scent (jasmine, perhaps?)- still, it's a nice product and I enjoy using it.

The Body Shop Coconut Beautifying Oil*: these new all-round oils from the Body Shop are THE BOMB. They're loaded with natural oils with no parabens and they work brilliantly for face, body and hair. Actually, a little birdie at the Body Shop told me they're planning to transition all of their products to paraben-free, so that's good news.

Thanks to a suggestion by Ria, I own my very first glitter nail polish! I tried wearing it on top of a nude shade, but I think it looks fantastic over pastel colours. I'm seriously tempted to paint all my nails with this stuff, it would probably looks so damn kitch but I don't care!

[The baby blue nail polish I'm wearing in this pic is part of the new Colour Riche range by L'Oreal, I couldn't help myself and bought a couple of these babies! Xcuse the sloppy application- apparently, painting thick layers of nail polish while the fan is blowing air on your nails is not a good idea- hello lil' air bubbles!]

Also, I thought I'd mention how I spent most of my days during past month: the mandatory Agatha Christie novel -no fuss, easy-going storyline that doesn't dissapoint- and my new video game, Tales of Monkey Island! I mean, Age of Empires is nice, Sims are even better, but sometimes nothing can compete with a dorky RPG aimed at teens ;)

And you thought Greece couldn't compete with England? The hell we can't! There's your evidence: rain and cloudy sky during August. Unheard of, but we did it. Can't say I'm not enjoying it, though; Bring on the autumn!

Now, be random: which are your favourite crime fiction novels?
Any RPG games worth looking into? Do share ;)

* The oil from TBS was given to me for free. I'm showing it some blog love because, well, I love it! Sharing my honest opinions, as always.

Evi   xx


Three must-watch Japanese films

Please excuse today's randomness-
apparently, I've lost my blogging mojo and I need to get my mind off beauty-related stuff!

Three utterly amazing japanese films are the reason behind this impromtu post. I recently saw them all and -if it's any worth- I now classify them among the few best films I've ever watched. Highly, HIGHLY recommend you to watch these, if you appreciate world cinema!

Each storyline is not that unique, though they're certainly captivating and will have you glued in the screen to see what happens next. All three films are real, in the sense that they deal with the profound meaning of life, so it's inevitable for them not to have a deep impact on how you view all aspects of living such as love, pain and death.
Moving factor of all 3: very high- be prepared!

1 .    S T I L L    W A L K I N G    ( 2 0 0 8 )
A family gets together once a year to commemorate the accidental death of their eldest son, who drowned when he tried to save a boy's life. This time, the younger son brings with him his new wife, who is a widow and has a boy from her previous marriage.

     image source

2 .    D E P A R T U R E S    ( 2 0 0 8 )
A cellist loses his job after the band he was taking part is fallen apart. He returns to his hometown to live with his wife in the house he grew up, and settles upon one of the most bizarre professions: preparing the dead before they're cremated. [Surprisignly, this film is not as heavy and gloomy as it sounds!]

     image source

3 .    C H E R R Y    B L O S S O M S    ( 2 0 0 8 )
A german-japanese film, actually... It's about a middle-aged couple who have a loving relationship and live in a small Bavarian village, after their children moved out to seek their own future. The wife (who is Japanese) has always wanted to visit Japan's sacred mountain Fuji, but something happens along the way that changes everything. [I'd advise you to skip the trailer below, as it actually reveals the film's turn of story]

     image source

If you're mostly accustomed with the Hollywood movies' fast pace, you don't need to worry: I can assure you there's no Angelopulian fixed plans that last half an hour in these films! If you happen to have watched any of them, let me know of your opinions and thoughs ;)

There, it feels good sharing your very best "discoveries" to the world!
Do leave me a comment if you know of other japanese films that are worth watching ;)

Evi   xx


The Body Shop NEW Shimmer Cubes! palette #23-Purple

Guess who got advantage of the 20% sales at the Body Shop?

This is the last Shimmer Cubes I had to get from TBS permanent makeup collection: I'm now a proud owner of all! Can't wait to find new colour combinations and make my own mix&match palettes, weee!!!

***Before I go on with the swatches, I feel the need to make a little protest:

see the white eyeshadow at the bottom left? 3 out of the 5 permanent Shimmer Cubes have the same shade of sparkly white, albeit with a different name. It's exactly the same eyeshadow running through every palette, not like three shades looking similar to each other. And, considering I own one more discontinued Shimmer Cubes containing that colour, that makes 4 little cubes= 1 whole palette of sparkly white eyeshadow that I don't even use much! Ugh... ***

But enough with the nagging; take a look at the Purple Shimmer Cubes!

This palette consists of two flattering purples, along with a wearable pink and your ever-present shimmery white eyeshadow for the inner corner of the eyes. Normally I'm not that fond of purple/plum eyeshadows, but this ensemble looks too good to pass up!

Orchid purple: such a stunning shade, this should make a beautiful smokey eye!
Candy pink: a wearable shimmery pink. Doesn't make the eyes look sore...
Pearly white: already talked about it a lot, 'nough said!
Velvet plum: a gorgeous plummy shade with amazing pigmentation! I can imagine this to look perfect in the crease. This eyeshadow got me the most excited!

Phew! So that's my last post on the new Shimmer Cubes that the Body Shop brought out this year. If you'd like to see the previous posts I've done with the rest of the palettes, click to see the Blue, Pink, and Green Shimmer Cubes.

Are you tempted by the Body Shop Shimmer Cubes?
What's your favourite eyeshadow palette, ever?

Evi   xx


The Body Shop NEW Shimmer Cubes! palette #22-Green

You might remember I had purchased these Shimmer Cubes in a recent makeup haul;
Here are the swatches!

Before I continue, I'd like to remind you that the Body Shop is having 20% sales at the moment! Don't miss this chance if there's any products from TBS in your summer wishlist; the sales will last until Saturday 27/7.

Onto the green Shimmer Cubes:

Upon first glance, all colours look as if they were designed to be worn solely in summer; however, I can imagine the bottom two shades to look amazing during winter, as well. Needless to say, such turquoise-to-green-to-silver colours compliment brown eyes like no other! TBS recommends to use them with a wet brush for maximum colour intensity- personally, I get the same effect with a sticky dark base applied underneath: that way, the surface of the Shimmer Cubes won't harden and get ruined.

Below are the swatches;
keep in mind that I didn't use flash, that's why the shimmer is not that visible in this pic.
I can assure you though, they're called Shimmer Cubes for a reason!

Pure Turquoise: the stunner of this quad, it's extremely pigmented and has a satin finish
Mint Green: a great inner corner highlighter for green eyeshadow looks
Silver grey: a dirty silver, the most shimmery of all four shades
Forest green: this has the most beautiful green shimmer running through it, looks stunning over a black cream eyeshadow!

Don't forget that the current sales are a nice opportunity to get your hands on these, considering their full price of €20 seems pretty hefty. Coming up is the last Shimmer Cubes that completes my collection, the Violet palette ;)

Are you planning on hauling some bits from TBS sales?
Which one of the Shimmer Cubes do you like most?

Evi   xx


L'Oreal Miss Candy summer makeup collection: my thoughts

If you read my blog long enough, you'll know about my feelings on LE makeup collections:
simply put, I don't like them. I prefer the products I buy to be available for purchase if
(or when) I ever run out of them.

However, since I got my hands on the new LE collection by L'Oreal and got to play around with all the products, I felt I had to share with you my experience. These particular shades may be available for only a short period of time; still, you can read my thoughts on the Infallible eyeshadows, the Glam Shine lip glosses and the new mini nail varnishes.

Here are all the products I've tested:

The miss Candy collection is inspired by all kinds of candies: think of lollipops, jellies, turkish delight, etc.. Hence, the colours range from pink pastels to light aquatic shades. If I'm being honest, I feel that there has to be some kind of a bronzing product throwed in the mix for a makeup collection to be summer-appropriate, but I digress ;)

Color Infallible eyeshadows- Innocent Turquoise, Sassy Marshmallow: these were my first take on the infamous Infallibles. If you ask me, they deserve all the hype. I hope you can see by the swatches on the top right their multi-dimensional opalescent effect, they sure can't compare to your normal pressed eyeshadows- except the Armani Eyes to Kill Intense. I managed to take a decent pic of an eye makeup I did the other day: the light colour all over the lid and the aqua shade on the top and lower lashline. This is how far I'm willing to go with turquoise eyeshadow!

Glam Shine lipgloss- Strawberry Licorice, Cola Fizz: I've been familiar with the Glam Shines as soon as they were first released years ago, but hadn't repurchased any since then. I like them, but you know me: I'm a lipstick lover at heart. They give a fair amount of pigment and apply semi-sticky to the lips. The coral-red shade has a beautiful jelly-like transparency! I found the other one to be more winter-appropriate, as it's great for layering over nude lipsticks.

Color Riche Le Vernis nail colour varnish 213 Sassy Pink: this was by far the product I enjoyed the most from this collection! This may be LE but there is a whole new range of such mini L'Oreal nail polishes available in a wide array of colours. I won't fuss too much about it: I'm planning to get more of these and write a separate post explaining why they're so amazing!

As you can tell, this makeup collection by L'Oreal may not have much "summery vibes" going on; nevertheless, the Colour Infallible eyeshadows and especially the Color Riche nail polishes are worth looking into!

So, have you tried any of the Colour Infallibles or the new mini nail polishes?
Which one is your favourite makeup product by L'Oreal?

* Products were provided by L'Oreal. I wasn't asked to feature them on my blog and I certainly wasn't compensated for this review. My opinions are dead honest and will always be so! *

Evi   xx

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