The Body Shop Lip & Cheek Stain

A girl asked me recently on Facebook about the Body Shop Lip&Cheek stain. It made me realise that, as much as I rave on and on about this little thing, I've never actually documented why I love it, or why I recommend it to everyone I know.

So here it is- a review on probably my favourite blush, ever!

The Body Shop Lip&Cheek stain has been around for years; it was one of the first items that drew my attention back in my early teens, along with a few other TBS classics like White Musk perfume and the delicious Strawberry shower gel.

Now, as far as originality goes, Benefit must have been the pioneer in cheek stains- according to Wikipedia, what we know as Benetint was first produced during 1976 and marketed as "Rose Tint", a nipple stain for an exotic dancer (!).
Urban myths aside, here's how I compare the two stains:

The Body Shop Lip&Cheek Stain          Benetint
affordable (€11)                                 expensive (€30-ish)
sophisticated enriched formula              dated formula, very few ingredients
100% cruelty free                                CONTAINS CARMINE!!!

[In case you didn't know, Carmine is derived by a chemical procedure that involves boiling dried insects (source). Sorry Benefit, I'm not the biggest animal rights advocate in the world, but applying crushed beetles on my cheeks feels wrong.]

This is why I'd advice you to skip the Benefit version and head for the Body Shop one!

Back to the actual product:

The rosy-red liquid looks transparent in the tube -see the above pic?-, it's also quite watery and runny. It's best to be applied after foundation, before powder and concealer. However, I've tried it under foundation and looks just like a natural healthy flush. It sets fairly quickly, so make sure you do one cheek at a time! Once it dries though, it fully absorbs on the skin to an almost waterproof stain that is going to last until you take off your makeup. I say "almost" because it depends on the foundation you're wearing underneath!

What you'll be left with is a gorgeous cool-toned rosy pink flush that looks so beautiful on olive/mediterranean skin colouring! You can obviously build up a second layer for an intense look- provided that the first layer has fully dried, otherwise you'll end up with a patchy mess. Also, keep in mind that it sets on the skin; that's why it's best for oily to combination skintypes that don't do well with cream blushes. If you have really dry skin, this product will most likely suck the life out of your face to an unflattering matte finish.

    Swatch, straight from the applicator

    Blended into a heavy layer

* It's not the best product to use on your lips, as it tends to sit into fine lines.
  To be honest, all such stains do...
* Because of its watery consistency, it can dry out faster than you think!
  Make sure you close it tightly after each use and store it upside down.

As if you couldn't tell by now, I'm in love with the Body Shop Lip&Cheek stain! It's my pal, my "old faithful" during spring and summer season. The quality is fantastic, plus you can't beat its price! If cream blushes don't work with your skintype, go get it- no second thoughts!!! I vouch for it ;)

Disclaimer: I'm only raving about the Body Shop Lip&Cheek stain in the shade #01-Rose Pink. A second shade was launched 2-3 years ago (#02-Bronze Glimmer), but it's miles apart from the awesomeness!!! of the rosy stain.

I'd love to know your experiences with cheek stains- love them? hate them?
Have you tried the Body Shop Lip&Cheek Stain?

Evi   xx


10 Runway Makeup Trends for Spring/Summer 2012

I always find great inspiration in every season's runway makeup trends. It's so interesting to see how the big fashion houses utilize makeup and hairstyles to frame the "look" they want to achieve!

Sure, all these trends may as well serve to sell us more makeup- nevertheless, it's a convenient way to experiment with what you already have; and who wouldn't want a nice excuse to wear that hardly-ever-used lipstick that happens to be currently "on trend"?
I know I do ;)

Τhese are all the makeup trends from S/S 2012 runways that have caught my eye:

Probably the most easy-going and natural makeup of the bunch. The cheeks look as if they've been burnt by the sun, which looks especially pretty on girls with golden blonde hair and green/blue eyes! I envy you, lucky gals...

That, I'm so gonna pull off come summer! Despite the heavy liner and intense gold eyeshadow, this makeup looks surprisingly fresh and youthful; maybe it's the drawn-on freckles the ones to blame? It also looks amazing on brown eyes- score!!!

Not exactly wearable outside the runway, obviously... It does look incredibly sexy though, don't you agree? I would interpret it as a lived in, smudged eyeliner combined with messy and creased eyeshadow for that naughty rock-chic look.

If the big fashion house that defines luxury managed to come up with a runway makeup dominated by false lashes AND make it look classy, that's all the motivation I need to get my first pair and start experimenting! Love the glowing skin and peachy nude lips, too.

Yay, I'm so thrilled I can shamelessly dig out my Vegas Volt lipstick and rock that trend!!! Lady Danger by Mac would actually be the perfect lipstick for this look, since it's bold matte lips what this trend is all about. It should look amazing on tanned skin!

Another interesting trend this Spring/Summer, the brown lipstick on a bare face. I remember last year's Mac Surf Baby collection had a similar brown lipstick shade; back then I thought eww, how odd! I now admit it looks so sophisticated on girls with blue eyes. Only wish I could pull it off just as nicely!

Dolce&Gabbana: CAT EYELINER
That's actually how I wear my eyeliner: only on the outer top lashline and tapered to a flick. That's an excellent little trick if you have round eyes like me! God bless Sam from Pixiwoo for that Angelina Jolie makeup tutorial...

Navy blue eyeshadow, yet again on trend. Want! James Kaliardos was inspired by the famous Van Gogh painting and used all Nars cosmetics. See the lavender-ish lip that matches perfectly the dark blue eyeshadow?

In my eyes, this is definitely a winter-appropriate makeup look. Either way, it's not for the faint-hearted: notice that the brows have been bleached to almost nothing, so as to intensify the darkness of the eyeshadow.

Thick and straight "power brows", black eyeshadow winged to a sultry cat-eye... I simply adore this look! This look is combined so beautifully with the high bun and black nail polish AND leather jacket.

I'd love to know which makeup trend was your favourite!
Who's going for false eyelashes in the style of Louis Vuitton?

Evi   xx


Elf review: Studio Blush

Another quick review on an Elf product, before I put it into my "gone and forgotten" makeup bag. Obviously, it's not one of my favourites!

Just to clear things out, I'm not ditching all the Elf Studio Blush shades:
I'm only referring to the Golden Glow highlighter, the alleged Nars Albatross dupe.

* the price/quantity of product ratio
* no complaints about the packaging
* looks great- on your legs. When seen at a distance...

* the colour is too chalky! See the unblended swatch below: it seems like there's too much
   white base in the formula than golden shimmer...
* it may be a golden highlighter, which would be a brilliant choice for medium to dark
   skintones, but somehow when worn on the skin, it manages to maintain an icy white
   base underneath all that shimmer... It ain't pretty, for sure!
* the shimmer particles are bigger than those of a good-quality undetectable highlighter,
   thus accentuating flaws on the skin
* it feels and looks powdery

    swatch of Gotta Glow highlighter, unblended

    swatch, blended

Now that I think of it, I may be biased against all powder highlighters; ever since I tried out the Dior Amber Diamond powder, all the rest seem to fall short of expectations... I still use the other highlighters in my little collection, despite knowing they won't look as gorgeous as the Dior one- but I would never, ever use the Elf Gotta Glow highlighter again on my face. No siree!!!

If you really want to try a highlighting product by Elf, I would recommend you the Shimmering Facial Whip: it may have flaws in its composition as well, though compared to this Gotta Glow highlighting powder, the €1,70 facial whip sits so much nicely on the skin!

I feel so bad for being MIA during last week, I've been terribly busy and I missed you all!
So come along, leave me a comment and say hi!

Evi   xx


Winner of Elf giveaway ;)

Just a quickie post to let you know the winner of my last giveaway!

The lucky lady who will receive these Elf items is...

Congrats, girl!!!

    There were 49 valid entries; I used randomizer.org to draw the winner.
    Ioanna's comment was the 13th valid entry, starting count from the top.

Thank you to everyone who participated in this giveaway!

I wish I was able to give a little something in return to each and every one of you,
your love and support mean the world to me ;)

Evi   xx


The ugly side of blogging: pr freebies

I've been thinking about addressing some issues about blogging, but always kept postponing it- partly because I wasn't sure how many of you would find it interesting, but mainly from fear I might get hate by fellow bloggers.

However, I feel the time is right for me to come clean;
some things have to be said.

This time, I'm going to concentrate on the controversial subject of pr freebies.

Being a "beauty blogger" for the past 2 years (please allow me this self-imposed term for the sake of this post!), I've received a couple of emails from companies stating they'd like to send me a free product. Now I'm not going to lie, it's an extra little perk to be sent free products you're interested to try out. Us bloggers spend a lot of time on our blogs, so in such cases it feels like we get something in return for our hard work.

[You be the judge whether these reviews are objective or not. Granted, one would feel obliged to write only positive things about a product he/she's given for free- but personally speaking, I don't depend on pr freebies to satisfy my love for cosmetics. Also, I've already turned down an offer for a free product I wouldn't spend my money on it in the first place.]

    image from Google

However, nowadays there's an alarming growing "trend" among a few bloggers (both
well-established and new ones): they take the initiative to send emails to brands, requesting free products to feature in their blogs. Without touching the moral aspect of this issue (is the person greedy? not greedy?), it raises a lot of questions:

1. Can you really be objective over sth YOU have asked to be sent for free?

2. Can you really blame a pr company for expecting nothing but a positive review, since YOU are the one who pulled the strings for this transaction?

3. Are the new FTC guides adequate enough, so that each blogger is compelled to state whether he/she contacted the brand to receive freebies?

I'm not pointing fingers to anyone in particular- above all, blogging is a democratic medium, everyone is free to do his/her thing. But ultimately, it's the blogging world in its entity that is being affected by a minority of bloggers, who take advantage of their popularity (big or small) to expand their cosmetics collection on zero cost.

Beauty bloggers have started a good thing; there is now a growing community of women (and men) all around the world exchanging ideas on a subject they share a common interest, and to have a few people messing with the beauty bloggers' credit for the rest who play fair is, well... unfair.

I'd love to read what you think about bloggers asking for freebies, whether you're blogging yourself or you're just a reader of beauty blogs. Would you consider it a fair thing to do? Are you interested in blog reviews, no matter if the author has asked to receive for free the products featured?

Thank you so much for taking the time to read this out-of-the-ordinary post!

Evi   xx



Yep, that's right-
yet another Mac lipstick I've been longing for the longest time ever!

I cannot describe to you my excitement when Ι opened the little Mac goodie bag my sister got for my birthday, to find out a small Strobe Cream and a lipstick box that read "Amplified" on the front: I knew it, I knew it was Violetta!

Violetta has actually a strange consistency for an Amplified lipstick: there's a significant amount of violet shimmer running through it, which makes for a shinier 3-d swatch than say, Vegas Volt or Impassioned. Colour-wise, it's not that scary as it shows in the bullet; in my best description, Violetta swatches as a violet purple with some fucshia undertones:

Yet again, my camera picked out all the blueness in Violetta! @%#$&!!!
However, the true beauty of this lipstick lies in its versatility: when dabbed lightly on the lips, you get a fuchsia/violet stain- and then with a heavier application, there's your purple goodness! Also, due to the shimmer that flashes back on flash photography, applying some lipgloss on top makes everything more even:

FIY, one of the reasons I desperately wanted to get Violetta was to start wearing this dark purple lipgloss! It was a YSL gift around Christmas; I tried wearing it alone or on top of Creme d'Nude- nothing worked...

    Swatch of the YSL lipgloss on the left

So, what do you think of Violetta?
Would you wear a purple lipstick?

Evi   xx


My "Marni for H&M" shopping list

It's interesting that in late years, the minds behind H&M have decided to educate their customers about high-fashion houses; because to be honest, if it wasn't for this particular collaboration, I wouldn't have googled Marni to find out what the brand is all about...

Granted, the patterns in this collection are a bit crazy- but that's what Marni is all about, right? Personally, I don't do well with prints- especially on the upper part of my body. However, I managed to assort some items I'd love to see myself into- but the prices, ugh!!! I wish they were a little more affordable! I can't afford to risk €100 on a dress I might not want to wear the following year...

So, boring haul it is :(
This T-shirt lies on top of my shopping list:

Cotton T-shirt, €29,95: love-love-love its print! This would make an excellent addition for my short -but slowly growing!- collection of well-made, all-cotton T-shirts. The only thing I'm worried about is the black lining on the neck and sleeves, let's hope they won't leak black dye onto the white!

Now for the rest of the items I have my eye on, I'm still unsure whether I'll be buying any- nevertheless, here they are! As you can see, they don't look THAT much Marni-esque...
My point exactly!

1. Ankle-length trousers, €79,95
2. Leather/plastic necklace, €39,95
3. Silk shorts, €49,95
4. Leather bag, €79,95
5. 2-pack plastic bracelet, €29,95

Also, have you seen the men's collection? Every single piece looks so much more toned-down and just... wearable! Heck, they even come in friendlier prices!
Why, dear H&M, why do you favour the boys once again...

These items are what I'd love to see on a man:

1. Silk scarf, €19,95
2. Cotton shorts, €19,95
3. Striped blazer, €99
4. Shirt, €49,95
5. Drawstring bag, €39,95

So, what will you getting from this H&M launch?
Do you find the prints interesting or too "in-your-face"?

Evi   xx


YSL Spring Look 2012: my thoughts

As some of you may remember, I was introduced to YSL makeup during December, on the launch of the YSL "Noel 2011" collection.

Since then, I've grown a considerable interest in the brand's seasonal makeup collections; like I've mentioned before, such high-end brands not only bring out intriguing (and sometimes revolutionary) products, but they also offer inspiring scenarios for season-appropriate makeup looks, from which you can draw inspiration and update your everyday makeup.

This spring, Lloyd Simmonds (the head behind YSL makeup since 2010) was inspired by all sorts of colourful candies: fruit jellies, juicy sorbets and cotton candy. The three key elements that translate his inspiration into makeup formulas are:
fresh colours, transparencymelting textures.

YSL names this collection's signature look as "Nude in Colour"-
I'm guessing from the picture above that what they mean by that term is
natural, glowing skin combined with diffused, soft colour on the eyes and lips.

So, the "Nude in Colour" YSL candy look is achieved with the new LE Ombres 5 Lumieres palette with pretty pastel eyeshadows, followed by 2 coats of Mascara Singuliere in blue. Lips are coated with a wash of Volupte Sheer Candy in a baby pink shade, while on the nails the iconic YSL french manicure is updated with hues of peach and baby pink.

Additional products to the YSL Spring Look: the LE Vinyl Candy Palette with 2 light frosty shades and 2 darker satin colours, four new Rouge Volupte Perle lipsticks, three more Volupte Sheer Candy lipsticks, two Golden Glosses (looove the looks of them both!), and the second version of Manucure Couture duo.

*** If I'm correct, there is also a range of water-based liquid blushes- though I don't think they will be marketed in Greece! What a shame!***

In most cases, Spring makeup collections from high-end makeup brands have an optimistic and youthful vibe to them; their fun bright colours are a step away from the dark vampy hues of winter, let alone the exception of any sexy bronze shades contribute to a girlier overall feel. In my experience, Spring collections aren't the most popular throughout the year- we always tend to buy more makeup during Christmas or summer!-, nevertheless they're a refreshing interval between winter smokeys and summery bronzes.

Personally, pastel eyeshadows are not my favourite. I could only make them work on my lower lashline, though I rarely do so. To be fair, I don't think the eyeshadows in the Ombres 5 Lumieres palette are meant to be worn together, and I can see from the promo pic that they're actually sheer. In this case, that's a good thing- as it makes for a more transparent and modern look.

The two main things I loved from this range is the absense of black pencil/mascara (brings more brightness to the eyes), and the transparent juicy lips.

Needless to say, you can always recreate this makeup look with what you already have!

Here's a close-up: you can see there's a light blue eyeshadow close to the lashline (almost indetectable), followed by a brightening lilac haze around the perimeter of the eyes and blended into the crease with a pink shade.

Now that I see the eye makeup zoomed in, I kinda like it!
What are your thoughts on the YSL Spring Look 2012 collection?

Evi   xx
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