Tuesday, August 31, 2010

New Products from e.l.f. UK

Hello my lovelies hope you're all well :)

Today I will share with you some new products e.l.f. UK has introduced to their site!

First up, two new gorgeous shades of nail polishes... Mango Madness and Passion Pink.

Can't wait to get my hands on all of these beauties!!! and all of the new stock for that matter! (they are expecting a huge delivery for the 3rd week of September).

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Review: Nail Art Brushes

As most of you know, I am a tad (read overly) obsessed with everything that has to do with nails and nail art so last year, around Christmas time, I decided to buy myself a gift. I bought a 16 piece set of nail art brushes off ebay for around €5! I took my time to search the site for the perfect set and this was the one that caught my eye:

16 very professional-looking brushes for a mere €5. Before, I start the short review, let me tell you a little story about these brushes...

As I said earlier, I purchased these brushes around Christmas time and since they had to come from Hong Kong, I expected they would take long. However, after a month and a half waiting for them, they still didn't show up so I emailed the seller with the problem. They immediately sent out a replacement set but after two days from me sending them the email, I received my first set. Again, I emailed the seller and told him that I received the first set and asked him how I could send the replacement back. He replied shortly afterwards with a very nice response indeed. he told me to keep the replacement setas a gift at no extra cost! And I ended up with two brush sets:

Now, let me start with the review.

As you can see, the brushes come in a handy plastic pocket and each one of them has its protective sleeve (hard plastic) except for the marbelling brush (fan-shaped). I like the white handles of the brushes as the colour gives off an air of cleanliness.

These are all the brushes that the set is composed of:

I really like using these brushes when I am doing free-hand nail art as they are very ergonomic and give me total control over the design. They don't need a lot of time to clean as well... just a wipe with some nail polish remover and I'm done.

The bristles are not that soft for most of the brushes, especially the stripers. Their bristles seem to be like glued together but I guess that's to help achieve a perfect line without any bristles straying.

Overall, I'm really pleased with my purchase and at such a price, it is proof that you don't necessarily need to spend a lot of money for a product to be of good quality!

Monthly Favourites: August 2010

As usual, at the end of the month, a very tough task to choose my favourite products has to be accomplished! I don't necessarily base my decision on which are the products that I have mostly used during that particular month. I sometimes come across products that I have forgotten I own and rediscover them all over again and I include them. Other times, it is new purchases and also sometimes, products that I have been using for a long time. Anyway, enough blabbing. Here are this month's faves :) enjoy!

~ Those two boxes come from The Body Shop. You know how they do those gift-sets with travel-sized products... I used get like 2 or 3 different ones each Christmas and then, after I've used the products, the metal boxes end up as ornaments. Recently I came up with the idea of using them to store my make up and got my bro to spray paint them in black and silver (he has more coming soon haha) to match my room and here they are!! The black one holds my lip stuff while the silver one houses my eye stuff such as mascaras, eyeliners and the likes. Here's a close up before going on to the rest of the products:

~ Impulse Temptation Deodorant Spray; I really like the 'blend of musky vanilla scents with amber notes' of this deodorant and besides smelling divine and tempting hehe it doesn't leave any stains on clothes and lasts me the whole day!

~ Fraulein 38 Powder Brush (part of a 20 piece set)

~ Kate Moss Velvet Hour

~ Guerlain Insolence

P.S. Clicking on the products' names will take you to my reviews on that particular product :)

Monday, August 30, 2010

Eyebrow Shaping ~ The Basics Everyone Needs to Know

Hello my lovelies :) I was inspired to write a post about eyebrows from a question I saw on e.l.f. cosmetics' facebook page a few days ago, where a lady asked how to use their eyebrow stencil. In this post, I will give an insight on brows, the different shapes as well as how to shape yours.

Everyone is born with an eyebrow shape to suit their face, however, as you get older you might want to re-think those hairs on your nose bridge or those strays below the brow bone. Very often, our eyebrows are the cinderella of the ball... we forget to give them the attention they need! Caring for your brows is a must if you want that perfect make up look as they help frame the face and define your features. Well cared-for brows also give the person a polished look even she is not wearing any make-up.

Eyebrow Shapes

Eyebrows are usually shaped in either of these three shapes:

Angular ~ an angular shape can be used to give flat planes to a round face. The angle of the brow can be reflected in the make up shading and contouring to give an elegant appearance. The angular eyebrow can be used to create many looks and can reflect an appearance of harshness, elegance and sophistication.

Round ~ the more natural line of the rounded brow can give an innocent, fresh appearance and blends well if a general make up is worn. The line should follow the prominence of the frontal bone and be shaped into a tapered end, encompassing the round shape of the eye itself. This shape best suits people with large eyes or wide foreheads as it shows the eyes to the best advantage.

Sweeping ~ this shape is very flattering to most people as it gives width and expression to the eye area. A sweeping eyebrow shape frees a large expanse of upper lid skin for eye make-up and allows full artistry in this area. The sweeping line of the brow opens the eyes, gives interest to a narrow face and can help balance lareg mouths or noses.

Examining your brows

First things first! Make sure that the room where you are going to shape your brows has a good share of natural light reaching it. This is the best light for the job. If you don't have a good place where you can use natural light, it is best to use white light rather than yellow.

Next, stand in front of a mirror and examine your brows carefully. What is their shape? Are they the same length and width? To help determine this, here is a picture showing you how to measure your brows:

Take a brow wand or a narrow make up brush and hold it vertically at the side of one of your nostrils. Are there any hairs before it? Move the brush at a 45 degree angle, this signifies where the highest point of your brows should be. Finally, line the brush with where your brow bone ends. This is the ideal length of your brows. Any hairs that are out of place will have to go to get you the perfect eyebrow shape.

Shaping your brows

After determining which hairs have to be plucked, you need to get down to business and start shaping your brows. Here is what I use to do mine:

From left to right: Magnifying mirror, toner, hair minimizer, eyebrow & lash comb, eyebrow wand, cold wax strips, scissors, cotton discs, eyebrow pencil, tweezers.

If you get discomfort in your eye area whilst plucking/waxing hairs, you can use a cold compress to numb the area. Alternatively, a hot compress will open pores and hairs will slide out more easily.

First of all, brush your eyebrows in place with a brow wand or comb (I prefer the wand) and measure them as explained above.

Start by removing hairs from between the eyes and on the nose bridge. Take care not to end up with brows that are too wide apart as this causes the eyes to look surprised (consult the measuring diagram above).

Next, move on to stray hairs from underneath your brows but never remove hairs from the upper side as you will risk losing the shape of your brows. If you have to remove hairs from above your brows, have them removed by a beautician. When removing stray hairs from under your brows, it is best to alternate between the eyes and step away from the mirror after so many plucks to see how you're doing.

When you have removed all the strays and both eyebrows are the same shape, fill in any gaps with an eyebrow pencil (I use essence eyebrow designer in 02 Brown).

Since I use cold wax to remove most of the hairs, I find it is better if I keep a cotton disc with some toner to remove wax residues and hairs whilst plucking with tweezers. Also, I finish off with some hair minimizer which also soothes my skin post-depilation.


DO invest in a good pair of tweezers. There are a lot of shapes available on the market, just choose one that you find works best for you.

DON'T pluck more hairs than necessary. Very thin brows look very unnatural and affect the whole look of your face.

DO take good care of your brows. They are a part of your face and when well-groomed, they will give you a neater appearance. Thick and bushy eyebrows will only contribute to a stern and harsh expression.

DON'T ever shave your brows or have them tattooed.

I hope this post cleared some ideas about eyebrow shaping however, should you require more info, don't hesitate to let me know :)

Stay beautiful,

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Review: Montagne Jeunesse Face Masks & Tonics

As part of my skin cleansing routine, I like to use a face mask twice a week to draw out impurities and leave my skin soft and clean inside-out. For this job, I like to use Montagne Jeunesse face masks and tonics. I have quite a few favourites from their extensive range and I am going to share these with you along with my thoughts about them. You can browse their full range on their website.

Currently, I am using Montagne Jeunesse Chocolate masque. I really like the packaging of the whole Montagne Jeunesse range, it's colourful, fun and just by looking at it, you can already drift into relax mode. All of their masks and tonics (and I suppose their other products as well), smell good enough to eat!

They can be a bit thick especially the Chocolate mask and the Red Hot Earth Sauna Mask so you have to take a bit longer to remove all traces but the results are well worth as you are left with soft, smooth and clean skin. The Red Hot Earth Sauna heats up gently on contact with your skin to open up pores for a deeper clean. The same goes for Sauna Fudge. The latter is my absolute favourite (yeah I'm a sucker for everything with vanilla in) along with Strawberry Souffle. What I like about the Strawberry Souffle mask is (apart from the smell) the fact that the mask leaves my face with a subtle hint of shimmer particles.

Apart from the masks, I sometimes use tonics, usually when I don't have that much time on my hands. The tonics come in the form of fabric sheet masks with precut spaces for the eyes, nose and mouth (detach the bits) and you just pop them on your face for 5 minutes and you're done!

And here are my favourites:

(All images used are from the Montagne Jeunesse site).

Have you ever tried Montagne Jeunesse masks?

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Nailene's Last Giveaway Prize arrived today!

This morning I woke up to a Pacific World Corporation white envelope which contained my prize for participating and being one of the winners in Nailene's last giveaway.

I got a packet of Bedazzle nail art stickers in Superstar. I had already received one like this as a prize from their first giveaway, which you can check out here.

Become a follower on Nailene's blog for your chance to win in upcoming giveaways.

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Sunday, August 29, 2010

NOTW: Does this rule?? Corset does!!

Corsets are very much in season so why not wear them on our nails as well? Here I will guide you to create a corset design that's not as hard as it looks. Of course you can use a different colour scheme than the one I'm wearing to make the design suit your tastes.

So, here's what I used:

~ e.l.f. Clear nail polish

~ e.l.f. Lilac nail polish

~ florelle Laque plus 36 nail polish (black)

~ Ideal Nail Design nail art polish (sparkly black)

~ Elegant Touch Diamond Protect & Shine Top Coat

~ Revlon Cuticle Moisture Oil

~ Violet tear-drop rhinestones

~ Rhinestone nipper

~ Dotting tool

~ Nail art brush


Start by applying a coat of clear polish on your bare nails. This serves as a base coat.

Next, paint 2 - 3 coats of the lilac nail varnish, allowing enough time for the polish to dry between coats. I applied 3 coats.

When this is completely dry, carefully thin out the colour on the black nail polish applicator against the bottle's neck and apply two stripes, one on each side of the tip of your finger-nail.

Take the nail art brush and dip it into some black nail polish and create a criss-cross design in between the two black stripes.

With the dotting tool, paint 2 - 3 dots on the black stipes.

Fix the tear-drop rhinestones opposite each other and just under the criss-crosses with some clear nail varnish. I use a rhinestone nipper to pick the rhinestones and place them on my nails (you can get one at a cheap price from ebay; alternatively use a toothpick or an ordinary pair of tweezers).

Taking the nail art brush once more and dipping it into the black nail polish, draw two bow ribbons underneath the rhinestones and with the sparkly black nail polish, go round the stripes and also put a drop in between the rhinestones to make it look more like a bow.

Ta da!!!! Sexy corseted nails in a few minutes!!!

So, what are your opinions on this one ladies?

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Gel Nail Extensions Course Update

Hello dolls :)

I have just returned home from my penultimate lesson and today I was very pleased with myself as I greatly improved my technique... I had to as next week I'll have my exam (pretty excited for that as well)! Today, I did a regular french manicure on roundly shaped nails (no pics sorry).

Until my next post,

Stay beautiful :)

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Friday, August 27, 2010

Review: e.l.f. Eyelid Primer

It's been quite some time since I gave my initial thoughts about e.l.f.'s Eyelid Primer so now I am in a position to give a full review about it.

What they say...

Preps your eyelid for smoother, longer-lasting and crease-proof eyeshadow. The ultra sheer nude color works to increase eye color longevity. The lightweight liquid formula quickly absorbs into the skin for comfortable wear.

What I say...

This is my first ever primer! I have never used one so I was intrigued to find out if these things actually work so I got it in one of my orders to see how if it measures up to my expectations.

The first thing I noticed when I took this out is that it looked like it had separated and dried up. I had read about this happening to other customers so I followed e.l.f.'s advice to open it and pump the wand up and down a couple of times. In no time, the Eyelid Primer looked how it was supposed to!

I really like the tube it comes in. The bottom part feels so smooth and velvety (I think it is silicon), in a few words, nice to the touch. It has a very creamy consistency which blends seamlessly into the eyelids. The colour is described as sheer; although it looks kind of peachy, it really blends to a sheer colour so I guess it will work for darker skin tones as well. The Eyelid Primer has no smell to it.

Another thing which I really like about this Eyelid Primer is the handy wand applicator (pretty much the same as a lipgloss applicator). It is very ergonomic and you control how much primer you want on your lids (2-3 dabs are enough).

Before I got this product, I looked up some reviews on other blogs and on YouTube and there was one in particular that gave me second thoughts about this Eyelid Primer. The girl said that when she closed the tube, the primer came out from underneath the cap. I am glad mine isn't at all like that.

Now, on to the interesting part... how did it help in extending the life of my eyeshadows?

I really put this primer to the test!! I tried it with cream eyeshadows, powder eyeshadows, pigments, poorly pigmented eyeshadows... well you get the drift! However, in my opinion, the hardest test was to be able to maintain my eyeshadow like I have just applied it in the extremely hot & humid summer we have here in Malta.

At this point, it has become a tough challenge to really convince myself on the fact that I have managed to go through all this time without this product! It has proven to be an essential product in my make-up kit as apart from making the eyeshadows last all day and night without creasing (yes, even the cream ones!!!!), it also enhances the colour and makes them stand out more! Here is a picture to show you exactly what I mean:

I think it's worth investing in this Eyelid Primer and at £1.50 you won't break the bank either (yes you read the price right ;p)! e.l.f. also have an other eye primer which is the Mineral Eyeshadow Primer which retails for £3. I haven't tried this out yet but e.l.f. claim that this gentle and completely sheer Eyeshadow Primer has key vitamins A, C and E to help prevent aging and moisturizes the skin. The formula glides on easily and disappears instantly to create longer-lasting, crease-proof eyeshadow. The Mineral Eyeshadow Primer is designed to be used with your favorite mineral eyeshadow to provide ultimate staying power for beautiful and vibrant color that lasts. 100% mineral based with no parabens, no preservatives and no chemical dyes.

Overall, I give the Eyelid Primer a 5 star rating. Have you tried this out yet ladies? Do have opposing opinions or anything else you'd like to point out?

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Thursday, August 26, 2010

Thank You :D

Today I hit 25 followers! I know it's not much but hey it's pretty good considering I have only been blogging since late June this year! Also, it is half way to the big 50 :D!!! This is only possible thanks to you, my lovely followers so here goes a big THANK YOU to all of you.

I want to take the opportunity to ask you what do you want to see more of in blog, if you're happy with the posts, etc... so please don't hesitate to post your opinions in the comments box!

Looking forward to seeing what you want me to write for you :)

Stay beautiful,

Nail Polish Removers

Hey guys so today I wanted to share my views on some nail polish removers.
I currently have three nail polish removers:

~ Elegant Touch Acetone Free Nail Polish Remover
~ Classics Acetone Free Nail Polish Remover

I had reviewed the latter a while ago (click on its name above) but I will still give my views about it here so that you can easily compare it with the other two.

What ever you buy, make sure the formula is Acetone-free. Acetone tends to dry the nails and consequently weaken them and they start to split... not a good look! Acetone-free polish remover is also suitable to use on artificial nails as it won't dissolve them away like acetone formulas do (the exception are gel nails which do not dissolve on contact with acetone).

First up, Elegant Touch Acetone Free Nail Polish Remover. I don't really like this remover. It was double the cost of my usual Classics one but sadly the price didn't reflect in the results :(. I only bought this as my supermarket was out of stock of the Classics one. Anyway, I don't like it because it takes ages to remove the nail polish and you have to rub really hard on your nails... contrary to the claims that it is 'for quick, clean and effective removal of nail polish'.

On the label, it says Acetone Free. However, for the French customers, this may be a bit misleading as there is written 'Dissolvant avec acetone' which means acetone polish remover; then again, on the side label, there is written 'Dissolvant sans acetone' - Acetone free polish remover!! The same goes for Italian and Spanish customers... the fact that the nail polish is acetone free is only pointed out on the side label. Not everyone understands English you know!!

More label issues... on the front, there is written that the polish remover contains Panthenol but it is not listed in the ingredients list which is composed of: Ethyl Acetate, Isopropyl Alcohol, Aqua, Glycerin, Parfum, Benzophenone-1, C1 42053.

The only thing I like about this remover is the faint cucumber smell. I only use this to clean my nail art supplies such as brushes, stamping plates, stampers and scrapers.

This remover retails at around €3 for 200ml.

Next comes in Classics Acetone Free Nail Polish Remover. This is my absolute favourite out of all three. I use it every week to remove my nail varnish and it just gets rid of it all in one fell swoop!!! The best part is since it is acetone free it doesn't dry my nails at all. The ingredients are: Ethyl Acetate, Isopropanol, Aqua and Glycerine. This smells pretty much like other removers, nothing particular. I also like the price tag of this remover... around €1.50 for 150ml! I have to stock up actually cos I'm running low on it.

Finally, Orly Wrap & Tip. This isn't exactly a nail polish remover. It is mostly intended for removal of artificial nail tips but it can also be used to remove nail varnish from natural finger nails. When I got this, I couldn't wait to try it so on my first opportunity, I took my nail polish off with it. I was amazed to see that it only took a couple of seconds to remove it all without a trace and in around 1 minute (!!!!) I had taken all the nail polish off! I was a bit disappointed with this product as there are no ingredients listed on the bottle and thus I can't figure out if the formula is acetone free or not (my guess would be it is since this is a professional product). With regards, smell, this smells quite strong so it's a good thing that you can get on with the removal process quickly. The retail price for this is €4 for a 100ml. It is a specialized product so you won't find it in drugstores/supermarkets.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Tips & Tricks: False Eye Lashes

Recently I was sent 2 pairs of false eyelashes by Revlon for reviewing. To be honest, I have never worn false eyelashes and consequently I am very green in the area. There are so many questions I have regarding their application!! My prayers were answered yesterday by Shu Uemura on their facebook page!! Here's what they say:

~ Start by making sure your hands are clean. Your fingers are going near your eyes after all. - Pick out the set you like and carefully peel them off the packaging. Use tweezers as to not damage the shape.

~ Measure the lashes so you know they’re the right length for your eye shape. If they’re too long, trim them little by little from the inner corner.

~ Hold the lashes by both ends, carefully, and soften the band to give them a curve.

~ Next step is the adhesive. For first timers, dab a small glob of glue on a cotton swab and slide the edge of the false lashes along the glue. Not too much, just a thin strand of adhesive will be enough. The adhesive is usually white but don’t worry, it dries clear.

~ Wait at least 15 seconds so the glue gets a bit ‘tacky’ for a better hold.

~ Application time! Start from the outside corner of the eyelash line and work your way in. Once you’ve put them on a good spot on the outside of the eye you’ll have an easy time placing them the rest of the way. On top of the eyelashes of course, not on the lashes you already have!

~ Next is a little eyeliner to erase the starting edge of the lashes and you’re set.

Here are also some tips for beginners like me:

If it feels like a giant butterfly landed on your eyelashes, don’t panic, you’ll be amazed at how quickly you’ll adjust and forget they’re even there. Plus, you’ll love how you look. If you loved them, and we’re sure you did, and you want to maximize the life of your false lashes for future use, follow these quick easy steps:

~ Don’t apply mascara on them. Sometimes it’s necessary, but if you’re trying out fantasy lashes or this season’s new partial floral feather lashes (link to eyelashes) then absolutely not!

~ Carefully remove the lashes from your eye starting from the outside working your way in.

~ Remove any excess adhesive with a set of tweezers and place them back in the packaging. This way they’re ready for next time!

Finally, here's a picture of the eyelashes I was sent by Revlon:

From left: Natural Defining, Dramatic 3x Volume, Precision Lash Adhesive.

I will communicate my thoughts and findings to you as soon as I get the opportunity to try these out :)

Have you ever worn falsies ladies? Any more suggestions on their application?

Lara xoxo

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Current Lemmings...

*WARNING* Serious purse damage is going to take place in the coming months! As you might have guessed, a huge list will unfold in this post, so let's get started!

Cosmetics ~ I've been hooked on e.l.f. cosmetics ever since I got to know about them. I am currently waiting for their upcoming promotion when they hit 61,000 likes. I hope it will be free shipping as I hate to have to pay for shipping when with its cost I can other items. Anyways, here is what I *need* (if the bf were here he would say 'It's amazing how you always find a way to make unnecessary cosmetics purchases become needs' hehe):

Apart from these, I also want a whole array of nail polishes:

Burgundy, Dark Red, Coral, Light Pink, Nude, Pearl Pink, Moonlight, Gum Pink, Fluorescent Pink, Chocolate.

Also, some new stuff e.l.f. UK is expecting to arrive in September:

Zit Zapper, Mango Madness, Cranberry, Red Velvet nail polishes as well as a Matt Finisher Top Coat

More Nail Stuff ~ OK so, becoming a nail technician requires a lot of supplies to satisfy your clients' needs.

~ Rhinestones
~ Electric Nail File
~ More stamping nail art image plates
~ Colour gels
~ Builder gels
~ Nail strengtheners and top coats


~ The Lost Symbol by Dan Brown
~ Lavender Essential Oil
~ Body Scrub

Monday, August 23, 2010

Review: Senscience Pliable Shine

Today, I will be reviewing Senscience Pliable Shine. I bought this from my hairdresser a while ago because she uses it on me after blow-drying my hair. She used to use an anti-frizz serum but they really made my hair lack-lustre, greasy and the style wouldn't hold on for long... often the morning after it would all be flat and straight again; so one day she decided to start using this product instead.

Basically, you get 50ml of wax/pomade in this small jar. The pomade has medium hold which is good for me as I tend to wash my hair every other day. The product is also very flexible and it's not sticky at all. I really love the smell of it... it's kind of fruity.

What I do is warm the wax for just a few seconds in the jar itself with the hair-dryer, then take a small amount, rub it between my hands and distribute it among the ends of my hair (after drying and styling); et voila... styling at its best without fearing it won't hold! I like to use this product mostly when I have my hair flicked. I do not recommend using this product when your hair is wet and you have yet to dry it as it tends to flake (pretty much like the dandruff you get when using a lot of gel and sleeping in it).

With regards pricing, this was a bit expensive as it is a salon-exclusive product but it's worth it as you only need a small amount of product and 50ml are quite a lot. For me, it doesn't make my hair greasy and the style holds for about 2 days so it's definitely a keeper!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

4 Things Tag :)

The ever so beautiful Hannah tagged me in her four things tag post *thank you Hannah xxx* and since this is the first time someone has tagged me I was a bit excited :) So, here are my responses!

4 Things in my Bag

1. My make-up purse
2. Red moc-croc Nine West wallet
3. House keys with a pink butterfly key-finder and Betty Boop key-ring
4. Pink ipod shuffle

4 Things in my Purse

1. Cash
2. VISA and other credit cards
3. Dorothy Perkins loyalty card
4. Some plain hair grips for emergencies :P

4 Things in my Bedroom

1. Laptop
2. Storage drawers for all my nail stuff
3. Wardrobe full of clothes in which I never find anything to wear
4. Comfy bed

4 Things I've always wanted to do

1. Succeed in my area of study
2. Travel around all of Italy, Greece, and oh well the whole world!
3. Become a gel nail technician
4. Raise a family with my loved one

4 Things I'm Currently Into

1. Gel nail extensions
2. Experimenting with make up looks
3. Nail Art
4. Two & A Half Men

4 Things I bet you didn't know about me

1. I was born with really long finger-nails
2. I'm quite short for my age
3. I collect postage stamps
4. I'm studing to become a Medical Laboratory Technician

4 Songs I can't get out of my head

1. OMG ~ Usher & Will.i.am
2. We Speak No Americano - Yolanda Be Cool feat. DCUP
3. Alejandro - Lady Gaga
4. Commander - David Guetta & Kelly Rowland

And finally, I tag...

1. One More Lipstick
2. Beauty Blog Roll
3. CosmeticEye
4. Pinkissimo-Pinkhair

Rules: Once tagged, you must link the person who tagged you and tag 4 other bloggers and let them know they have been tagged :) Give four answers to each question asked.

Let me know when you have done yours! Can't wait to read all your responses!

Lara xoxo

Review: Lycia Depilazione Soothing Milk with Pure Soothing Oils

Ever wonder what is it that when you have your unwanted body hair removed professionally, the results seem to last longer? No, it is not the fact that at home you use a razor whilst the beauty therapist uses warm wax! It is the cream/oil they apply to the area afterwards!! I only visit the beautician when I want to be pampered or have a special occasion or if I want to get rid of body hair from a hard to reach area so I thought I'd look for a hair minimizer to use at home. This is a supermarket find which I'm so happy about. Ladies, say hello to Lycia Depilazione Soothing Milk with Pure Soothing Oils.

Here's what's written on the back of the bottle:

'Lycia Post Depilazione milk is a soothing milk that guarantees an immediate sensation of well-being because its soothing oils prevent and soothe reddening, helping to restore the skin's natural softness and effectively removing any wax residue. The soothing milk makes your hair removal treatment las linger as the Larrea divaricata extract slows down hair re-growth.'

When I looked up what Larrea divaricata extract (the image shows the L. divaricata flower) is, I was a bit worried as there were a lot of negative things being said about it. Most of the sites I looked up said it is not good for pregnant women and those suffering with kidney disease amongst other conditions. However, according to cosmeticsdatabase.com, this is only the case when exposed to the ingredient on its own, not products containing it. Larrea divaricata is an extract of the chaparral and it has been reported to be used in hair growth inhibitors, facial cleansers and lip balms to mention a few. I was still hesitant to use this product though so I tested it on a small patch of skin to see if I were allergic to it but nothing developed after 24 hours so I continued using it.

The white cream comes in a 150ml format tube, so you are guaranteed that this will last a long time as you only need a small amount. I've had mine for like two years.
I have noticed that hairs are growing out finer and also take more time to grow so I guess this cream is doing it's job. Also, it has no particular smell to it.

On a finishing note, I think I will buy this again, provided I keep seeing the results.

Have you ever encountered Larrea divaricata as an ingredient in some product or other? If you'e ever used a hair minimizer, what do you think about their action?

NOTW: Indian Summer Sunset

This week's design is a simple yet classy one (in my opinion). The colours are inspired from the summer sunsets, hence the name I decided to give to this manicure. The motif I stamped on each nail is an elegant abstract design which reminds me of those long Indian brides' dresses.

Here's what I used:

~ e.l.f. nail polish in Clear

~ e.l.f. nail polish in Blush

~ Rimmel 60 seconds nail polish in 610 Pompous

~ Elegant Touch Protect and Shine Top-Coat

~ Revlon Cuticle Moisture Oil

~ GCOCL Image Plate K06

First, I pushed back my cuticle and started the manicure with a coat of clear base coat followed by two coats of Blush nail polish on the tips. When dry, I stamped the motif with the purple polish and finished the look with a clear top-coat. I then applied cuticle oil to finish off my manicure. And here's the end result:

What do you think ladies?

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Gel Nail Extensions Course Update

I just got back from my sixth lesson and I took my aunt again for another refill. Sorry for not publishing updates the last two weeks but I missed a lesson and I didn't take any photos last week. Anyways, here's today's final result... a full colour Bordeaux Gold:

What do you think about it ladies?

The Colour Wheel

I often meet people who ask me how to coordinate the colour of their make up with the rest of the outfit. Sometimes, they even get confused which are the colours that suit them. To determine which side of the colour spectrum you should go for, I suggest you cleanse your face and hold up a pink and a peach towel against it. See which colour suits your complexion best.

Peach: you probably have tanned/dark skin so warm colours suit you best.

Pink: you are probably fair, so go for the cool colours.

Both: you probably have fair skin with brown/black hair. Both warm and cool colours suit your complexion so don't be afraid to expirment.

Now back to the colour coordination. Personally, I like to think of make-up as an accessory so if for example I'm sporting a bright red lip, I keep the outfit simple with just a pair of button earrings and a delicate bracelet.

To coordinate colours, it is a good idea to take a quick look at the Colour Wheel. The color wheel is a chart of colors of the visible spectrum that is used to show how colors relate to each other. It is made up of three primary colors, three secondary colors, and six tertiary colors or intermediate colors. Primary colors (red, blue, and yellow) are colors that can not be mixed by any other colors. Secondary colors (purple, green, and orange) are formed by mixing two primary colors together. Tertiary colors (red-violet, blue-violet, blue-green, yellow-green, yellow-orange, and red-orange) are formed by combining a primary color with an adjacent secondary color. Here is an example of a colour wheel. I chose this as it has a broad spectrum of shades so you get a better idea.

Keep in mind that opposing shades counteract each other. This is very important when for example, you want to conceal dark circles under your eyes. The circles are usually a bluish tinge, so go for an orange-based concealer depending on your skin tone. The same goes for concealing red pimples or acne. A green-tinged concealer works best since it counteracts red.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Getting to know what your skin type is

In my very first post, I blogged about what the skin is and its various functions. Today, I came across an article which I thought I'd share with you, my lovely followers. As you will find out, it is about learning what your skin type is whilst taking into account various factors that play a role it determining it. So, here goes...

Rethink What 'Skin Type' Means

When it comes to finding out your skin type, the first thing you need to do is forget everything you've heard before! What you've been taught by cosmetics salespeople, aestheticians, fashion magazines, and even some dermatologists, is likely incorrect, confusing, or designed to simply keep you buying more and more products—it all ends here!

While the typical categories of oily, dry, and combination skin are good basics, they don't address the wide variety of other problems or nuances that can affect skin type. If you have rosacea, acne, sun damage, or eczema, then these categories don't strictly apply. Plus, your skin type can change with everything from the weather to your stress levels (even your period).

Why is recognizing all these factors so important? Because different skin types require different product formulations. Even more important is to realize that you can have more than one skin type: sensitive and dry, oily and blemish-prone, sun damaged with acne. The more you know about everything that affects skin type, the more you'll be able to help your skin finally look and feel as normal as possible!

What Influences Your Skin Type?

Almost everything can influence skin type—both external and internal elements can and do impact the way your skin looks and feels. To effectively evaluate your skin type here are some of the factors that need to be considered, because it's possible that your skin is simply reacting to influences that are easily isolated or are within your control.

~ Hormones
~ Skin Disorders
~ Genetic Predisposition
~ Smoking & Secondhand Smoke
~ Medications
~ Diet
~ Your Skin-Care Routine
~ Stress
~ Unprotected/Prolonged Sun Exposure
~ Pollution
~ Climate

Problem Ingredients Can Make Skin Worse

What many people don't realize is that the products they use can be worsening or even creating the very skin issue they are trying to resolve. For example, many products for treating acne contain high amounts of alcohol or other irritating ingredients (peppermint, menthol, citrus) which dry and irritate your skin, triggering more oil production!

You can never know your real skin type if you are using products containing ingredients that create problems. For example, if you are using products that contain irritants you can create dry skin and still make your oily skin worse (think dry skin on top, oily underneath). If you use overly-emollient or thick-textured products you can clog pores, potentially cause or worsen milia, and prevent skin cells from exfoliating, which makes your skin look dull. If you over-scrub your skin you can damage its barrier causing more wrinkles and dry skin...and on and on. In order to know for sure how your skin really behaves, you have to figure out if your products are to blame. Here are some problem ingredients frequently found in all types of skin-care products:

~ Alcohol
~ Menthol
~ Thick emollients
~ Pore-clogging waxes
~ Fragrance (even those derived from essential oils)
~ Abrasive scrub ingredients (pumice, aluminum oxide)
~ Harsh/drying cleansing agents
~ Irritants (natural & synthetic)

How to Identify Your Real Skin Type

Once you've ruled out controllable factors and rid your routine of problematic ingredients, you're getting closer to being able to determine your actual skin type. A good thing to keep in mind is that almost everyone at some time or another has combination skin. That's because the center area of your face naturally has more oil glands, so you are more likely to be oily or have clogged pores in the "T-Zone." Likewise, it is typical for some areas of your face (the eye area, around the nose) to be more sensitive.

Before you get out your mirror and have a close look, it's best to wash your face with a gentle cleanser, apply a state-of-the-art toner (loaded with antioxidants and skin-repairing ingredients), then wait two hours to see what your skin does without additional products or makeup. The chart below is a general guide to how skin behaves for that skin type—you may see any combination of the descriptions below happening on your face. It bears repeating that anyone's skin can have multiple "types," and that these types can change due to your hormonal cycle, the season, stress levels, etc. (click on the images for a larger view)

How to Choose the Right Formula

When you finally discover what your skin type(s) really is/are, you can make better decisions about the products in your skin-care routine. While all skin types can benefit from ingredients such as broad-spectrum sunscreens and antioxidants, there are skin type-specific ingredients, such as benzoyl peroxide for acne, or medications for rosacea that also come in a range of textures. The base that these (or any) products are formulated in (lotion, cream, gel, serum, or liquid) should match the needs of your skin type in the area that has that concern.

As a general rule, traditional lotions or creams are best for normal to dry skin, gels and liquids for oily or blemish-prone skin, and lighter lotions and serums are best for normal to slightly dry or slightly oily (combination) skin. You may need separate products to deal with the different skin types on your face because you can't treat all skin types with the same products. Here's a general guide to follow while selecting your products.

Learn More about What Works

Remember, no matter your skin type or what kind of products you use, if they lack broad-spectrum sun protection, are inappropriately-packaged or are just poorly-formulated, all the work you've put into making sure your routine suits your skin type will be for nothing.