Thursday, 14 February 2013

Deborah Lippmann Glamorous Life

In true spirit of the day, this Valentine's day I opted for pink on the nails. And given that it is year 2013, of course had to be the rose gold variation of pink. The rose gold trend has been dominating the precious metal scene over the last few years, and shows no signs of stopping.

On the nails, rose gold looks very refined and, dare I say it, glamorous. Hence the name, I guess:  Glamorous Life by Deborah Lippmann.

This is one of my favourite nail polishes in my collection, and the only thing that is stopping me from saying "THE favourite polish" is just how difficult it is to apply! I don't know whether it is because I have extraordinarily streaky nails, or it is an inherent property of foil polishes. Probably both. But the glowing effect it gives your hands is worth the struggle.

Friday, 8 February 2013

Polemics of an underwhelmed blogger - It's a 10 Miracle Leave-in Product

Most of us put some amount of research before exchanging our hard-earned cash for cosmetics (the mere fact that you are reading this entry tells me so), and it is particularly true for products of the pricier kind. Extraordinarily successful representatives of their cosmetic categories tend to accumulate appraisals and promotions from beauty editors, beauty bloggers, and youtubers alike exponentially - the more people talk about it, the more people talk about it. This is, of course, known as hype. A product's fame is amplified significantly if it is hard to get. And the less available the hyped up product is, the better it seems to preform. To observe that phenomenon, one only has to look up some reviews on Makeup Alley ( of products that have been discontinued. I am confident to predict, that the majority of products that have the "discontinued" seal on it rate at least four or higher.

The product I want to mention today is not discontinued, but is infinitely difficult to get hold of if you are located anywhere else in the world other than a 'participating salon' in the United States. I am talking about the Miracle Leave-in Product by It's a 10. This has received extensive coverage in the various medias regarding it's miraculous properties (it's a hair leave-in conditioner by the way), so obviously I felt compelled to try it. Google returned few options in response to my attempts to purchase the damn thing, mostly including shipping from Australia for the price of a small jar of gilded caviar. So I abandoned hope and put my desire on standby until some willing participants agreed to go out of their way in their travels to America to purchase and deliver a desperate soul some hair spritz. And then one day, aimlessly exploring the dump that is our local TK Max for concealed treasures, I see it! Just standing there, bearing a price tag of £12, less then a half of what I was almost prepared to pay for him.

 Interpreting this as no less than a sign from the Gods of Hair Styling, I purchased him, rushed home and washed my hair immediately, disregarding rebelliously my previously constructed hair-washing schedule.

It's a 10 Miracle Leave in Product Review

And then came the meh. Perhaps my expectations were too high. Perhaps I didn't do it right. Or maybe the stars weren't aligned, but whatever the reason, the Miracle Leave-in Product appeared to leave no mark of improvement on my hair whatsoever. According to the reviews and the claims, it was to repair dry and damaged hair, add shine, smooth and de-frizz, protect from heat, detangle, prevent split ends, provide silkiness and enhance natural body. To be clear, had it succeeded in all of those tasks, it would be, without a doubt, a freakin' miracle. I wish I had at least several of these points to confirm, but I'm afraid I have nothing. It's as if I never applied anything to my hair at all, it's quite remarkable, really. Most rubbish products at lease leave your hair greasy or flat, as a hallmark of their failed mission to make you beautiful. Perhaps I was pointing the nozzle in the wrong direction? Perhaps my bathroom walls and cabinets can now withstand the scorching heat of a flat iron plate, should it ever be applied on them.

To summarise, I was underwhelmed. Disappointed, really. And also relieved that I didn't have to go through extensive financial and logistical troubles to obtain this conditioner. Now we all understand, that just because something doesn't work for some people doesn't mean that it will not for others, and this is simply another example. I envy the people that reap the benefits from the use of this product, and please don't let my experience discourage you from trying it - the people that like this stuff are still in the majority. But maybe don't set to swim the Atlantic ocean just to get it, there are plenty of impressively good hair products probably a walking distance away from you.

Sunday, 3 February 2013

An ode to Teal

I firmly believe, that before I got interested in makeup, I had no idea of the existence of teal. Of course there was that odd pine needle colour that was sort of green, but blue, and both but neither in particular, but never had I ever considered "teal" a real option when selecting colours for my computer desktop wallpaper. Same can be said about the mysterious colour taupe, by the way, but that's a whole different story.

Back to the point - teal is a wonderful and versatile colour (and this is coming from someone who doesn't like blue and is not particularly keep on green either) and I am glad I have discovered it. One makeup product is fuelling my love for teal more that ever, and it is the Make Up For Ever Aqua Shadow with a fetching name 8E.

MUFE Aqua Shadows are cream eyeshadows in jumbo pencil form, which also make excellent eyeliners, depending on the shade.  The product is soft, does not drag on the lid at all and is easily blended, although you have to be quick, as this will set as stone (I usually do one eye at a time).

It is not a twist up pencil, so you will need a specially-trained jumbo sharpener to do the job, my fine attempts at which are depicted below.

As the rest of MUFE's Aqua line, these are waterproof, and My God are they waterproof! I ran the swatch below under hot tap water for an experimental demonstration. In fact, these shadows are everything-proof, as it wouldn't come of even after vigorous rubbing. What's reassuring though is that is comes right off with your regular makeup remover (I use Bioderma, of course. Who does't?)

The colour of 8E is deep, rich, and vibrant. It's described by MUFE as Matte Green, but I beg to differ - as much as it is green, it is also blue, and both, but neither in particular. I pair it wish a dusty matte olive colour from the NARS High Society palette in the crease and MAC Blanc Type over the lid.

If you find that lining your eyes with anything but blacks gives a sort of wishy-washy look and does not define the eyes as well, try applying the coloured liner reasonably thickly, and then run a tiny fine line of black as close to the lashline as you can (I like using a liquid for this, as you can really trace it over the roots of the lashes themselves). That way it doesn't take away from the colour, but pulls everything together somehow.

And if you usually shy away from such colours on your face for the fear of looking 80's, check out the Aqua Shadow pencils nonetheless; there are other more conventional colours to consider. 

But as typical of any colour infatuation, it has crept into other areas of my collection, and anyway - I find teal a perfect colour for these mid-inbetween-season months like February. By now, everyone has had their fill of wintery darks and purples, but it's not quite appropriate to whip out the neons just yet. So he is called Electric Teal, and I have fallen in and out of love with this polish repeatedly throughout the years, but it is currently in my 'shortcut' pile of polishes, and it is wonderful. The formula is magical, as are so many of the Nails Inc polish formulas (formulae?). The shade was a colab with the InStyle magazine, but there are plenty of these hanging about on eBay, at friendly eBay prices.