Tag: The Makeup Timer Test.

giugno 30, 2014

Wait, is that my face in a blog post? Omg...
I'm pretty much the queen of multitasking and I hardly ever sit down and do one thing at a time without getting sidetracked by something else, and that includes my makeup as well. A few days ago while catching up with some of my favourite blogs, I stumbled upon Lily's tag and I figured it was finally time to find out how long does my daily makeup routine actually take once I manage to cut off any distraction. I came up with a respectable 15 minutes and 11 seconds, which is not bad if you consider the eyeliner and the sweet time I take to define my eyebrows. I'm just gonna talk you through what I've got on my face...

Brows: I begin with my brows, outlining them first with a flat liner brush and a touch of Illamasqua Skin Base Lift (£17.50) in the shade White that gives me sharp edges, a clean canvas to draw all the missing hair in and also acts as a subtle highlighter once I blend it in with my foundation. To fill in my brows I've been reaching for the Anastasia Brow Powder Duo (£17) in Ash Blonde/Taupe. I absolutely love Anastasia shadows for brows: they're buttery soft, highly pigmented but easy to blend for a softer look and they cling on the skin for dear life all day, especially if I set the whole thing with the Anastasia Clear Brow Gel (£16.50), which is one of the best I've tried. - 2.30 minutes.

Primer & Foundation: For primer I've been loving the MAC Prep+prime Natural Radiance (£29) in Radiant Yellow lately, as it gives me beautiful glowy skin, makes my base last longer and lightly corrects the redness around my nose and on my cheek area. For base I can't put down my favourite combo of the moment: when mixed together, MAC Face & Body Foundation (£21.50) and Studio Sculpt (£25) create a flawless, sweat-proof base that doesn't look like makeup and last effortlessly till supper. - 2.15 minutes.

Concealer:  Concealer is a girl's best friend and my current best buddy is the RMS Beauty 'Un' Cover-up (£28). I put it underneath my eyes and on any blemishes I have, blending it thoroughly with a synthetic fluffy brush. It has an amazing nourishing formula that's quite forgiving on dry patches and flakiness, but it's also really long wearing, highly pigmented and never looks cakey. - 1.59 minutes. 

Blush, Sculpting & Powder: My go-to product to add a bit of colour to my cheeks is the Daniel Sandler Watercolour Fluid Blusher (£14.50) in Cherub, which is the perfect blush for fair-skinned ladies looking for that lovely and oh so natural shy girl blush. If I'm just chilling around the house or running some errands I tend to skip contouring, but I can't resist to the beautiful glow that the Kevyn Aucoin The Creamy Glow Duo in Sculpting/Candlelight (£23) gives to my cheekbones. Finally, I powder any unwanted shine away with a thin layer of MAC Mineralize Foundation Loose (£25) applied mainly on the T zone, leaving the rest of my face looking fresh and glowy. This mineral powder sits nicely on the skin, adds a little bit of coverage and prevents any product migration for a long time without going patchy or loosing it's natural finish. - 1.33 minutes.

Eyes: To create my signature soft, blown out smokey eyes with just a hint of definition I've been reaching for a mix of shadows from the LORAC Unzipped and Pro-to-go palettes. Lorac eyeshadows are absolutely amazing: buttery soft, easy to blend and so pigmented I barely need to touch the pan with my brushes to get an excellent color pay-off. As of lately I've jumped back on the gel liner bandwagon and I'm reaching everyday for the MAC Dipdown Fluidline (£15) to define my lash line with a thin line and a tiny flick. MAC Teddy Eye Kohl (£14) on the upper waterline and the MAC Nc15-Nw20 Chromagraphic Pencil (£14) on the lower one are my secret weapons for ticker looking lashes and wide open eyes and to complete the look I pop on a few coats of my favourite mascara, the NARS Larger Than Life Volumizing (£19), as a finishing touch. - 5.49 minutes.

Lips: My lip products change all the time but lately I've been completely obsessed with MAC Ravishing (£15) for my everyday makeup. It's an incredibly flattering orange-y nude shade with a fun '60s twist, that I can either dab lightly on the lips for a soft wash of colour on lazy days or wear full on to embrace the orange pout trend without going all out. - 1.05 minutes.

Have you tried any of these products? How long does your everyday routine take?
If you want to give this tag a go simply do your makeup routine as usual, without rush, and record your timing for each step using a stopwatch, then write down a blogpost with a list of what you used.


Loves & Leaves: Something New From Maybelline.

giugno 20, 2014

*Sponsored Post
Baby Skin Instant Pore Eraser Lightweight Primer* // Baby Skin Instant Radiance Primers* in Warm Apricot & Cool Rose // The Colossal Go Extreme! Volume Mascara* // Baby Lips Lip Balms* in Hydrate, Intense Care, Mint Fresh, Cherry Me, Pink Punch and Peach Kiss. //
Although my secret passion for luxury products is not really a secret anymore, back in my high school days, I used to spend my spare time and all of my pocket-money at the drugstore, looking for budget gems and new offerings to lust on. Lately, I had the chance to try out some of the most recent launces from Maybelline, which used to be one of my most reliable beauty-dealers at the time, and after a few tests and experiments, here's a run down of my loves and leaves...

Down with the Loves list first, the Baby Lips Lip Balm (£2.99)* in the shade Cherry Me was an instant love and has been living in my makeup bag for the past few weeks. As I said in one of my previous post, I'm having a serious moment with pinks and Cherry Me is the perfect sheer bubblegummy pink with a fun glossy finish. Comfortable to wear and infused with vitamins, honey and aloe to protect the lips, it's super easy to touch up on the go and fades into a light kool-aid-ish stain. When the warmer season comes nearer I tend to reach less and less for heavy lipsticks and turn to light as air textures such as stains and tinted lips balms, and with a soft pop of colour and cheerful popsicle scents you can't really go wrong. If you're partial to cool pinks, Pink Punch is the way to go, while nude lip lovers will find that Peach Kiss - a low-key caramel shot through with gold shimmer - is perfect to tone down their lip color a little without washing them out.

The Colossal Go Extreme Mascara (£6.99)* is another hit for me. I'm a huge fan of big mascara wands and the egg-shaped brush of the latest Maybelline offering grabs the lashes right at the roots and applies lashing of mascara in thin layers, allowing to pile it on without loosing on definition. The formula is seriously spot on: extra black and loaded with collagen, it doesn’t crumble or make my lashes hard and crispy, although it does hold the curl pretty well for a non-waterproof mascara.

A product I didn't expect to enjoy as much as I do is the Baby Skin Primer in the shade Warm Apricot*, a color correcting primer with a touch of pale orange to neutralize tiredness and ashy tones and quickly revive tired skin. With a special blurring formula, it mattifies and refines the texture, leaving the skin baby soft and looking polished and overall firmer. I also really like the Cool Rose* version but, due to my redness-prone skin, I tend to save it for extra dull days, as a hint of brightening pink in my base can instantly perk my skin up and provide a much needed pick-me-up. The formula is super light and doesn't feel greasy or too slippery, and I would recommend these for all skin types, especially during the summer months.

The Baby Skin Instant Pore Eraser Lightweight Primer (£7.99)* unfortunately does fall in the Not-for-me's group. With dry skin and rather small pores I don't find myself reaching for it very often. Also, silicone-heavy formulas tend to have catastrophic effects on my sensitive skin and actually make my makeup last less than usual. I do think that oilier skinned girls might enjoy this primer better than I do - it's a good and purse-friendly take on the blogger favourite Benefit Porefessional after all -, but for me there's no room for it in my routine.
Last on my Leaves lineup, the clear Baby Lips* balms didn't wow me at all. The SPF20 is great for on the go and the scents are really nice but I can't find a place for them in my regular lip care rotation. Suffering from chronically dry lips, to keep my lips flake-free I need to use something that is truly hydrating and moisturizing and not simply soothing or smoothing that will actually make my lips feel drier on the long run.

Have you tried any of these products? What Maybelline product do you recommend I should try next?


May Favourites.

giugno 14, 2014

Sephora Formula X Nail Color in Unmistakable //Daniel Sandler Watercolour Fluid Blusher in Cherub // Kevyn Aucoin Eyelesh Curler // Real Techniques Setting Brush // Jo Malone White Jasmine & Mint Cologne // Sarah Chapman Skinesis Overnigh Facial // Filorga Time-Filler Eyes*. //
I'm forever in search of amazing products to love and new ways to use my old favourites and love them even more. This month I'm particularly happy with my picks: I've got a little bit of everything, some exciting new entries and even quite a few runners for the holy grail status, along with an old fave of mine. Also, I seem to have almost sorted out my timing with the monthly favourites post, and that deserves a celebration of its own...

For skin, I've had my eye on the Sarah Chapman Skinesis Overnight Facial (£45) for a while and you all know by now I can only resist for so long to swoon-inducing skincare offerings. It's one of those instant-wow products that completely change your skin overnight but also give amazing results on the long run. A good helping of this luxurious oil blend twice a week is enough to keep my skin radiant, well balanced and in great condition, especially in combination with a good face massage. Another product I fell head over heels for is the Filorga Time-Filler Eyes (£44)*, a super light moisturizer with a bouncy gel-like texture and an amazing quenching formula, that quickly sinks into the skin, leaving it deeply nourished and hydrated but not greasy. I've been noticing a huge difference in the way my concealer sits on my under-eye area, which is now softer and appears much plumper and overall brighter.

There's only one makeup favourite this month that seems to have put the rest of my cosmetic buys in the shadows. The Daniel Sandler Watercolour Fluid Blusher (£14.50) in the shade Cherub is something special for sure. A gorgeous pale pink, perfect for fair and light skin tones, it gives a healthy flush of colour that looks completely natural and oh so flattering on the cheeks. The formula is one of the best I've tried: easy to blend and build up, it's breathable and lets the skin shine through, and it does stick around all day no matter what.

For tools, I've been giving some love to the Real Techniques Setting Brush (£6.99) which is my current brush of choice to blend in foundation and concealer - yup, you read correctly -. If I'm in a hurry I tend to reach for something bigger and denser but this one is absolutely fabulous if I have the chance to really work on my base. Its super soft, long bristles are extremely gentle on the skin and move the product around without bothering the skin underneath it and I love the sheer airbrushed finish it gives, especially when paired with very runny formulas, such as F&B or cc creams. Lately, I've been relying on the Kevyn Aucoin Eye Lash Curler (£17) to curve my lashes and I've been reaching for it over any other curler I own. It opens twice as much as the Shu Uemura one, allowing me to grab every single lash and give a good squeeze right at the base for long-lasting, perfect curls. The metal band cradles my round eyes so nicely and doesn't disturb my makeup underneath. I've already named it my Holy Grail lash curler *gasp* and that really does speak volumes.

Nail wise, I've been completely obsessed with the Formula X for Sephora Nail Polish in Unmistakable. Ever since I bought it I wore it religiously both on my paws and toes, sometimes pairing it with a glitter top coat - Demolition also by Formula X is a thing of beauty as well - to perk it up. It's a one coater, it lasts up to eight days with minor tip wear and although I didn't really need another mint polish in my collection, I just couldn't help it. A girl needs her options, right?

Lastly for fragrance, I may have found the most perfect summer scent during my latest quick run at the Jo Malone counter. The Jo Malone White Jasmine & Mint Cologne (£39) is unlike anything I've smelled before. With gorgeous floral notes and a hint of jasmine topped by the soft scent of grass and herbs, it smells just like a gentle drizzle in a garden. It's feminine and romantic but also fresh and, thanks to a sprinkle of mint, completely unexpected.

What have you been loving in May?
*Press sample

Fresh Faced Lineup.

giugno 01, 2014

Laura Mercier Foundation Primer Radiance Bronze* // MAC Face & Body Foundation in C1 // RMS Beauty 'Un' Cover-up Concealer 00 // Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion Anti-Aging // Laura Mercier Caviar Stick in Amethist // N7 Pop & Glow Cream Blush Stick in Rose Blossom // Kevyn Aucoin Creamy Glow Duo in Sculpting/Candlelight // NARS Larger Than Life Volumizing Mascara // MAC Patentpolish Lip Pencil in Fearless. //
I don't know about you but as soon as I see the first hint of sunshine I put all my powder products and heavy textures to one side and reach for everything creamy and sheer and glowy. I do love a sultry, sexy winter look as much as the next person but there something about fresh, dewy skin and minimal makeup that makes me incredibly happy. Creamy textures can have a downside though; they can slip and move around your face and go from gloriously radiant to sweaty disaster in no time but I've got you covered. All these products have something in common: they last, and last, and last...

Starting with base, there's a new primer in town and I absolutely love it. The Laura Mercier Foundation Primer Radiance Bronze (£29)* is like a foretaste of summer in a tube: light as air, extra luminous and gives a beautiful bronzy hue to the skin, whilst helping the rest of my makeup stay in place all day. It's quite pigmented and it's easy to go overboard with it, but a little goes a long way and it's excellent to cheat a been-out-in-the-sun-for-days glow in no time. For foundation, the MAC Face & Body (£21.50) is without doubt the star of my spring-summer makeup selection. It's sheer but easily buildable, sweat-proof and unrivaled when it comes down to perking things up and letting your perfected skin shine through. The RMS Beauty 'Un' Cover-up Concealer (£28) is another fantastic product to achieve flawless yet natural-looking skin. With a fully organic formula and a mix of cocoa butter and coconut oil, it's moisturizing and nourishing and does a great job of brightening the eye area and concealing darkness and redness, giving the impression of naturally unblemished skin.

To fake the most perfect pinched-cheeks flush my go-to product is the N7 Pop & Glow Cream Blush (£9.95) in Classic Rose. Hard to go wrong with a long-lasting, easy to blend cream-to-powder formula that leaves a gorgeous pop of bright pink on the cheeks and lifts and brightens my complexion in just a few dabs. To finish off my base I reach for the Kevyn Aucoin Creamy Glow Duo (£23) in Sculpting/Candlelight to add dimension and give shape to the face in the most subtle way. It's crazy how much of a difference a faint definition can make and this duo is absolutely perfect for the job.

On to eyes, whenever I need a cream offering that won't budge all day, I have a firm favourite: the Laura Mercier Caviar Stick Eye Colour (£20.50) range. The formula is spot on, there's a shade for everyone and, although they're infused with shimmer, I don't find them excessive or tacky at all. My top pick is Amethyst - a soft bronze-ish mauve that makes my brown eyes pop in a very sophisticated way - but there are at least other three shades in my wishlist at the moment. The Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion Anti-aging (£10.30) is super handy when I want to rock the naked-lid look as it evens out my skin and conceals those annoying tiny veins, but it's also great to keep my brows in place and seal any powder product in.
For lashes, I've already shared my love for the NARS Larger Than Life Volumizing Mascara (£18.50). Extra black and water-proof, it's an absolute nightmare to take off but whenever I wear it I know it will hold the curl and stay in place till cleansing time no matter what.

Lastly for lips, the MAC Patentpolish Lip Pencils (£14.50) have completely stolen my heart. I have enough chubby-style lip pencils and the like coming out of my eyeballs but the colour selection is gorgeous and I'm really enjoying the long wearing, super glossy, borderline stain-ish formula. If you couldn't tell by now, I'm having a serious moment with bubblegum pinks and the shade Fearless is right down my alley.

What are your go-to products to look polished but fresh faced?

*Press sample