Clarins UV Plus HP Day Screen High Protection review

Dear readers, if you have oily skin and have always had difficulty finding a good quality daily sunscreen, this post is dedicated to you!

Staying true to my summer resolution about wearing a cream with high SPF daily, I searched around and opted for this city sunscreen by Clarins. I've been using it about a month now- and for what it's worth, I found it approaches HG quality!!!

[If only for one little detail that I'll explain at the end of this post...]

As you may have encountered yourselves, having oily skin makes it so hard to find a sunscreen lotion that doesn't feel greasy or clog the pores, with both factors leading to excessive oiliness and acne breakouts. I'm happy to report I've come across an excellent solution to this problem!

Before I get on with this review, here's what you firstly need to know:

This product is not water-resistant, which means it can only be worn in the city. Also, it has almost zero moisturising properties, which makes it suitable to all skin types as long as a proper moisturiser is applied underneath.

Not your typical sunscreen lotion, eh?
Moving on to its pros...

Sun protection: has a high SPF 40 that covers both UVA and UVB rays. In particular, the "PA+++" inscription means it offers the highest protection possible from UVA rays that cause premature ageing and skin cancer. Please note that it carries only physical filters of mineral nature, not chemical. It also contains a powerful antioxidant that comes from organic cantaloupe melon, making it even more effective as an anti-ager.

Texture: as mentioned before, it's suitable to all skin types- however, it performs its best on oily complexions, as it's oil-free and has a runny texture that gets spread on the skin like a dream! Now, I'll be honest with you: it does feel like sunscreen, which is unavoidable because of its physical filters. However, once it's fully absorbed after a couple of minutes, it feels as almost nothing! Makeup goes beautifully on top, this sunscreen won't rub off a bit.

   Its little flaws:
* It leaves a slight white film on the skin- but again, it's inevitable
* Packaging looks cheap; sister told me it looks like a shampoo sample!

But, my biggest let-down is its price!!! €40+ for 30ml of product is way too much, and considering I use it whenever I head out in the sun and always take it down my neck and decolette, this thing goes out really fast... It's only been a month and the bottle is already half-empty!

Overlooking its hefty price, this Clarins sunscreen lotion is to me like a wish came true! As much as I've looked around for affordable alternatives, I had no luck: the only comparable options I've come across were by Shiseido and Kiehl's... So, until I find a less costly city sunscreen, I'll stick to this one!

Now, tell me: what sunscreen lotion do you wear daily?
Would you consider paying more than €40 for a face sunscreen?

Evi   xx


The Body Shop summer makeup haul

In the midst of Greece's football team losing to Germany *sob sob*, I needed an outlet to disperse my extra energy...

So, blogging it is!

Time for yet another haulage by yours truly :P
These are a few of the Body Shop goodies I've accumulated over the past month. Enjoy the photos and let me know your thoughts on the products!

     A bronzer, a new Shimmer Cubes palette (just because), some eye pencils and an
     eyeshadow brush- probably my last TBS purchases... until September, that is ;)

     Honey Bronze Bronzing Powder in #03. This is much darker than my beloved
     #02 shade, just what I need for my summer holidays.

     Four eye pencils- Eye Definers, to be exact. Standard quality, a bit on the hard side
     I should say. On the other hand, this means they won't smudge or come off quickly.

     Left to right: Rich Brown, Taupe, White, French Navy
     Taupe is my fave: it's a cool-toned brown that works with my eye colour, score! 

     A new Smudger brush; this thing gets ruined so easily, though it works pretty darn
     good with shimmery eyeshadows.

     And of course, the green Shimmer Cubes #22 which deserve a post on their own!

I hope you enjoyed my little haul ;)
P.S.: I'd love to read your thoughts on tonight's game, comment away!!!

Evi   xx


Sunbathing with Garnier Ambre Solaire Golden Protect!

My darlings!!! How you've been?
After a short hiatus, I'm finally back to my everyday routine and internet service- for the life of me, I couldn't stand being offline for any longer!

But enough with the nagging:

As you may have guessed from the title, last weekend I went for my very first sunbath of the season! Guess who was my pal for making my pale skin look a little bit more presentable? The new and amazing Garnier Ambre Solaire Golden Protect sunscreen!

I'm gonna say it straight from the beginning: this was given to me for free, since Garnier values the bloggers' feedback on their products- however, I'm pretty positive once I run out of it, I'll purchase it myself!

So, what's the beauty behind this sunscreen?
I'll sum it up in five points:

1. The broad spectrum SPF: as you may already know, Garnier sometimes benefits from the L'Oreal laboratory patents; one of their latest innovations is the Meroxyl SX, the first and only sun filter that protects from short UVA rays. This is very important (and I only found out about it a couple of weeks ago in this article Tina wrote for Beautytalk.gr), because UVAs are the ones that cause wrinkles, skin aging and cancer- all that good stuff...

2. It's tinted! See the following photo? Granted, it won't give your skin a bronzed tint like a self tan does, but it helps to balance out the natural sun protecting ingredients that leave a white cast on the skin, making it look paler than it is. One word of notice: because of its slight tint, this sunscreen might temporarily stain your towels.

3. It's glowing! Which means that the skin looks prettier and a bit more golden and overall healthier. Below I've taken a photo of my legs after a generous coat of Garnier Golden Protect, scroll down to see it ;)

      Left: Golden Protect sunscreen and a blob of (white) face cream, for comparison
      Right: heavy layer of the sunscreen. It glows, alright!

4. The smell: O-M-G. To me, the scent is its big selling point. Think of a floral monoi scent, mixed with a bit of exotic coconut and a dash of that sunscreen smell that gets you going, come summer? I don't have to wear a separate perfume when I'm wearing this on my body; I urge you to give it a sniff next time you're in front of the Garnier sunscreen racks!

5. Its price. Officially, the SPF30 version costs €14.49- although I've spotted it in my nearest super-market for only €10. Using an affordable body sunscreen means that you don't run the risk of sparing it and applying too little product, thus not offering your skin the adequate sun protection it needs.

     See? Ma legs glow under the sun!

To sum it up, the Garnier Golden Protect sunscreen has got to be one of the most pleasurable products I've come across lately. If you're looking for an affordable body sunscreen that offers reliable sun protection while making your skin look prettier, this is the one for you!

So, tell me: what's your experience over the years with the Ambre Solaire sunscreens?
Are you in favour of affordable or expensive body sunscreens?

* Product was provided by Garnier. That doesn't affect my opinions: I'm staying true to my lovely readers, as always!*

Evi   xx


Three things I learned last week...

This is a quick and random post on some things I'd like to address:
two cases of cosmetics samples, and a makeup fail.


1. Sephora samples!
Did you know that you can get samples of almost any high-end skincare product at Sephora? I say almost because the good ones are always tucked away inside the drawers, out of the customers' sight where they're supposed to be... Anyway, that didn't stop me when Argiro, Ria and I went on a little shopping trip last week, so here's my loot! Admittedly, I filled those little pots in the most generous manner ;)

In case you're wondering: the one on the top right is the Estee Lauder DayWear Sheer Tint Release moisturiser, the one at the bottom left is the Clarins Daily Energizer gel

2. Fresh Line samples!
Fresh Line has some amazing offers at the moment- last week, they were giving away a sample of a fruity face mask to any passer-by, so naturally I picked one up! Then, because I made a little purchase, they also gave me a sample of their best-seller Vanilla hand cream (and the free gifts get more awesome if you make a bigger order). Well done, Fresh Line!

As for the makeup fail of the week...

3. Elf Studio Cream Eyeliner, shade Coffee
If I could advice you only one thing on shopping at www.eyeslipsface.co.uk, it would be this: whatever you buy, use it while it's still new! I've had this particular product for 1,5 year and now it has dried out to the point where I can't use it anymore. In all fairness, it had an amazing staying power when it was still usable, though the colour wasn't as dark as I'd like it to be. Black would have been a better option!

I hope you found something interesting in those bits and bobs!
Now it's your turn: be random and comment about anything ;)

Evi   xx


Giorgio Armani Summer 2012 makeup collection +swatches!

Are you ready for some makeup eye candy?

During last month, I had a moment of courage: I pulled myself together, headed to high-end makeup counters, timidly took out my camera and started taking pics of makeup products and their swatches! In this case, it was the Giorgio Armani Summer 2012 makeup collection.

The things I do for this blog!
Thankfully, the GA sales assistant was ever so helpful and let me do all the swatching I needed- to be perfectly honest, the dropped-in "beauty blogger" identity helped as well! Anyway, I hope you'll find this post helpful, as I wouldn't want to think my embarrasment was in vain!

This summer's makeup collection by Giorgio Armani is inspired by the deep blue sea, where the warm hues of sunset like coral and orange disappear, and the only prevailing colours are cool-toned and aquatic. Now, turquoise/teal eyeshadow has been a massive summer makeup trend for the last couple of years; and I gotta admit, this is my favourite colour family for my eye makeup, as it makes brown eyes pop like no other combo!

Overall, I was wowed by the pigmentation of the new (and awesome!) Eyes to Kill eyeshadows. I've already promised to myself I'll be picking one up this summer! Hmmm, swatching this collection made me grow new lemmings- perhaps not a good idea after all...

And of course, the star product of this collection had me dreaming about it for a while! It's the LE eyeshadow palette I'm holding in the above pic: see the glowing mother-of-pearl detailing of the packaging? I'd die to get my hands on this stunner! It reminds me of those beautiful vintage Estee Lauder compacts you can now find on ebay, sigh... Only problem is, it's so damn expensive: I'm estimating it to be around €100- 'cause you know, mother-of-pearl ain't cheap...

Now, let's get on with the swatches:

This is what the LE mother-of-pearl eyeshadow palette looks like from the inside. No doubt, the colours seem gorgeous in the pan, but the swatches- dare I say a little less pigmented than one would expect? On the other hand, I'm guessing the well-off lady who would buy this palette would want nothing like a scary pigmented teal eyeshadow- but still...

Once again, these eyeshadows looks fairly sheer, though they come in a less expensive pricetag at around €50. I'm loving the colour combination in both palettes, plus it's always neat to have a 4 in 1 compact in your makeup bag, but, but... Dear Armani, I think something's missing on these!

Now, the Eyes to Kill eyeshadows, that's what I'm talking about! Look at that crazy pigmentation: bring-it-on, Giorgio!!! If you haven't yet tested these in store, please do! You'll be amazed by their texture, multi-dimensional colour and the amount of pigment that one single stripe carries. As for me, I've already made up my mind that I need one of these in my life.

Pretty, pigmented, non-sticky lipglosses of reliable GA quality. Nothing more to it. Admittedly, I'm biased against lipglosses: give me lipsticks any time!

I tried my best to take a good photo of this duo, but I failed! It does swatches sheer, though.

All in all, I think it's interesting that a summer makeup collection lacking of bronze tones can still look so appealing and promising! If you have brown eyes, embrace the turquoise trend and leave the copperish-bronze colours for blue-eyed girls.

I hope you took some valuable makeup inspiration from this post!
Which is your favourite product from this collection?

Evi   xx


Mac Strobe cream, a review

You asked for it, so here it is!

Without a doubt, Mac Strobe Cream has grown into a makeup favourite of mine. I can finally achieve that "dewy" skin that everyone speaks of, without having to change my normal foundation!

But this is definitely not the only virtue of Strobe Cream.
Let me explain:

First of all, Mac categorizes this product under skincare, since it offers some moisturising action while carrying lots of antioxidants. Now, its moisture is not adequate for Strobe Cream to be worn on its own with no other face cream underneath- however, it doesn't make the skin look drier than it is, which some highlighters do.

There are many ways to use Strobe Cream; I've tried wearing it under/over foundation, though my favourite way to use it is by mixing it with my foundation. The finish it gives to the skin is like an opalescent glow, nothing like a shiny/sweaty layer: it has a sheen rather than shimmer (let alone frost or glitter), and because its glowing particles are pink/purple based, Strobe Cream does wonders to dull complexions, making them look brighter and healthier.

Below I've taken photos of some swatches, so you can see how it translates on the skin:

You may fear that since Strobe Cream is fairly cool-toned, it won't be appropriate on warm-toned complexions. I don't think that's the case: once it's mixed with foundation, it ceases to look "pinky". I would also assume its fine glowing particles don't make the pores on the skin look larger, but as we're dealing with a moisturising highlighter, it probably isn't the best match for oily skin.

Other things to mention: it looks amazing when worn in photos, as it gives that needed dimension to the face without looking greasy or shiny. And a word of notice: mixing Strobe Cream with your foundation may slightly lighten its tone, so you may have to consider mixing in a tiny blob of a darker foundation to bring it back to normal.

I should finally stress out that if you want to give Strobe Cream a go, skip the full-size 50ml version: it's made of a hard plastic that makes it difficult for the product to come out of the nozzle! Instead, opt for the squeezable 30ml travel size, and save yourselves those extra €€€.

So, have you tried Strobe Cream?
Feel free to share your favourite liquid highlighters in the comments below!

Evi   xx


Winner of Clinique 3-Step giveaway

This is just a short notice to let you all know the winner of my recent giveaway!

The lucky lady who will receive this set is...

dora.dk !!!
Congratulations, girl!

    There were 278 valid entries, along with the Twitter and Facebook links.
    The winning 103th entry was Dora.dk's, counting from the top.

I was overwhelmed by the amount of your entries,
so I might host another giveaway in the near future ;)

Thank you all for taking the time to enter this giveaway,
and thank you so, so much for supporting this blog, it means a lot!

Evi   xx


May '12 favourites.

Surprise, surprise! Hear this:

There will be no makeup products featured in this monthly favourites post- purely because I don't want to bore you with how much I enjoy using Bronze Universel, the Shimmer Cubes or my Mac lipsticks.

For a change, this post contains only bodycare products with a bit of skincare.

The Vaseline Aloe Fresh body lotion was my favourite rediscovery during May: this has got be my most "bought over again" body lotion! I love everything about it: its fresh scent, the light-feeling hydration it offers, plus its price-to-quality ratio is unbeatable. I'll probably do a post on summer body lotions and show you some of my favourites ;)

I also tried the Bioten Cellufight Drainage gel* and lemme tell you this: it works! Sure, it won't help if you don't exfoliate the areas with cellulite, or you don't eat healthily/ drink enough water, but it does help that little extra. Everything counts at taming the cellulite beast! If you're interested in the Bioten Cellufight range, I've done a full review on this article at Beautytalk.gr.

If you're Greek, you'll recognise the last item in the above pic: that's right, one of past month's favourites was the cult Myrto Lemon cologne! I wasn't planning on featuring this product at all, until ladyd made a post about it so I thought "screw pretences, I like it and I'm gonna give it some blog love"! Now, don't get me wrong- as much as I love citrus colognes, I don't go out and about wearing this thing; I only put it on after shower and the scent quickly evaporates.

You might remember that I desperately wanted a nice city sunscreen; that's why I picked out this Clarins Day Screen. I must write a full review on this; it definitely made me feel safer to step out in the sunlight with this potion on my face! Mac Strobe cream was a permanent fixture in my makeup routine during May, I think it deserves its own post as well! Let me know which review would you like to see tomorrow- the Clarins sunscreen or the Strobe cream?

On another note...

...I decided to sell my Mac 130 brush.
As much as I tried to love it, I simply can't. It would be a shame to keep it in my collection and let it collect dust, when someone else might find it usable. So, before this baby finds its way to ebay, I'm presenting it here: if anyone is interested in buying this, please contact me at lipstickwardrobe@gmail.com ;)

So, which review should be up next? Clarins or Mac?
Are there any Myrto cologne fans out there?

* The Bioten Cellufight gel was provided by the company for free. I'm not affiliated with Bioten and I wasn't compensated for mentioning it on this blog. The only reason I'm showing it is because I like it! Sharing my honest opinions, as always. My loyalty is to my readers ;)

Evi   xx


Yiannis Marketakis & Max Factor at Makeup Lab!

Last week, I was lucky enough to be invited at Makeup Lab where Yiannis Marketakis, the exclusive ambassador of Max Factor Greece, presented to us a summer makeup trend using the newest Max Factor makeup products!

Needless to say, I was so freakin' excited through the whole time that I could barely keep a straight face and not burst into that awkward laughter that happens so effortlessly when you meet someone famous. Which I did anyway, the moment I met the man.
Yiannis, if you're reading this, I'm way cooler than that!!!

Awkwardness aside, here's everything that happened that day!

Makeup Lab is a modern art studio where Yiannis Marketakis holds makeup courses to professionals that wish to expand their techniques, as well as begginers that want to perfect their everyday makeup routine. It is situated in a neoclassical house in Psyrri, decorated in the most beautiful eclectic style.

Yiannis Marketakis presented to us a fun and colourful summer makeup look that pairs nicely with the neon fashion trend that's going on strong at the moment! It consists of iconic '80s elements such as bright eyeshadows, defined cheekbones, and blush worn high up to the temples (tip: it makes the eyes look more elongated!). Yiannis modernised the look with a clashing fucshia lipstick, dewy skin and smudged eyeliner only on the lower lashline.

Below I've made a photo guide with step-by-step instructions on how to recreate this look.
Take notes and feast your eyes!

    Aaand here's the final look on gorgeous model Konstantina!

Close-up of the makeup look: you can see the drama that brings to the eyes the attention on the lower lashline. The fucshia lips clash with the warm-toned eyeshadows and make the look a bit unexpected and more interesting. The cream blush has been brought up to the temples, so close to the eyes that it covers the outer corners: a fine little trick that elongates the eyes with minimum effort ;)

One thing I have to say about Yiannis Marketakis, is that he is truly an artist. I was amazed by how easy and obtainable were his intructions for this makeup look, so much so that I can't wait to give it a go myself! He was happy to answer all our questions and held absolytely no secrets. In a nutshell: he genuinely enjoys teaching.

    Hand-crafted by Yiannis Marketakis! I bow to that...

But what I didn't know (and certainly wasn't prepared for it) is that Yiannis is a keen admirer and knowledgeable of arts; evidence of that fact are the beautiful head pieces and crowns that he's made himself, some of which are displayed in the studio. You must check out his artwork portfolio - prepare yourselves to see a fairytale of celebrities and models turned into dark gothic queens, sexy vixens, Gaga-esque figures and fallen emperors...

All in all, coming to Makeup Lab was such an amazing experience; I'm so glad I came to meet a man whose work I truly admire! I hope with this post you've gained some invaluable inspiration, like I did.

I was kindly given a makeup bag full of Max Factor goodies that Yiannis Marketakis personalised for each of us. I'll keep you posted on how I get along with each product!

Evi   xx

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