Monday, September 30, 2013

Hair | Easy volume and texture

Backcombing is a thing of the past. Nowadays you can get a myriad of products to achieve big hair with a lot of texture.

TIGI Rockaholic Dirty Secret Dry Shampoo
Schwarzkopf Professional OSiS+ Dust It Mattifying Powder
Batiste Dry Shampoo Medium and Brunette Hair

Dry shampoos are the number one go-to, since the oil absorbing powders provide a matte texture.
For brunettes, there are new formulas out there with almost invisible powders or, on the opposite side of offerings, a few coloured powders and sprays.

Matte powders that allow you to dust directly onto the roots are more effective when the main goal is instant volume. Simply massage them in and you'll get a massive head of hair!

The key is to work mostly on the root area, not only for volume purposes, but also to prevent even more damage to the lengths and ends.
On the plus side, you'll get one more day without washing and styling!

Thursday, September 26, 2013

CHANEL Beauté Initiale Eye

It's always hard to review eye creams, especially if that is your problem area, because most of them don't live up to their claims. Luckily, there are good ones.

Around last year, I went to Sephora to purchase a new eye cream, because the one I was using dispensed its last dose that morning. Since it didn't perform too well, in my opinion, I wanted to try something new. I can't remember the true reason behind my decision to purchase CHANEL Beauté Initiale Eye, but that's what I took home in my black and white bag. I hope it didn't have anything to do with the beautiful packaging...

It's supposed to banish puffiness and dark circles, while smoothing the first fine lines. Since there's no product that can diminish my circles, lets analyze the other actions:

PUFFINESS | The pale pink cream/gel hybrid provides a cooling sensation that calms down puffiness and brightens the eye area.

FINE LINES | This line is meant for young skins, so don't expect major results from it. Nowadays, I would choose a product from the Sublimage range, for example. I think it does a good job on young skins, especially if the eyes aren't your problem area.

Bottom line: I really do believe in eye creams. Even if you're young, you should prevent against the first signs of aging. This is a good eye cream to do that job. I like the fact that it has a pump — way more hygienic — and dispenses the right amount of product each time. Makes the eye area look more awake, radiant and energized.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Review | Make Up For Ever HD Microperfecting Primer

Fan of primers? Do you use them on a regular basis, or do you skip them due to lack of time?

My combination skin fits more on the dry category, so my primer of choice is usually moisturizer. Not an overly thick texture, like you'd apply at nighttime, but something than provides deep hydration while absorbing quickly, making your base glide over. This is essential for me, because foundation and dry patches don't look good together...

I haven't tried many complexion primers, but whilst going through my make-up drawers, I found these HD Primers from Make Up For Ever, in Neutral and Caramel. The first is great for all skin tones and Caramel is ideal to warm up darker ones, or, mixed with the Neutral, to provide a slight bronze glow.

Other colour correcting shades in the range include: Green, to neutralize redness; Blue, adds radiance to fair skin; Yellow, lightens dark complexions; Pink, brightens the complexion; and Mauve to counteract sallow undertones.

Being oil free, this gel formula can be used on every skin type, from dry to oily, providing lightweight hydration and making the base last longer. But, for me, its most important task is helping the base just glide over it. Perfect finish!

The application is quite easy and quick: simply apply a couple of pumps with fingers or a brush of choice, before your foundation. The alternative method is mixing it with the foundation, achieving a sheer coverage. Oily skins just need a fine dust of powder on top.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Top picks | Net-A-Porter autumn 2013

As promised, here's part two of my top picks from the autumn 2013 collections, this time from Net-A-Porter. You know, that dangerous site that sells amazing designer clothing and accessories.
By the way, if you don't live in the UK, you can get the new Charlotte Tilbury make-up collection here.
So, without further ado, meet my selection:


Let's start with a bright hue, shall we? This season is all about making a statement with outerwear, and let me tell you, you won't go unnoticed wearing this beauty.  |  Next, a khaki and black textured-leather biker jacket, an essential piece that goes with any outfit.  |  Addicted to skinny pants? Well, they go nicely with this leather and wool-blend felt cape (that has a little hint of cashmere). How cool does it look?


Would I prefer spiked studs? Sure. But this is a very close second to that dress worn by Cara at the Met Gala. Plus, I'd feel more comfortable with this neckline.  |  Ooh! This burgundy dress is a beaut! Just click on the link (in the caption above) to take a closer look at the amazing detail.  |  A twill dress with many, many herons would typically scream "girly" or "cute", but the clever choice of dark and sophisticated colours balances the look.


White dress, black opaque tights, standard.  |  For the urban girls out there: get a leather dress. You'll be amazed by how often you'll end up wearing it. Just make sure it fits perfectly.  |  Can you guess my favourite colour? I believe this item wouldn't be here if it came in different shades, only.


Fan of black? And lace? This top combines both and features a nude lining at the front and the back, making it more practical. Combine with skinny trousers to balance the feminine look.  |  One of the major trends this season happens to be my fave: the tartan. This interesting version was created "by folding the original design into small overlapping pleats."  |  Another example of macramé lace by Christopher Kane. A more toned down and casual version for daytime.


Grunge style? Metallic painted effect? That's the recipe for the perfect pair of skinny jeans. I'm keeping an eye on this brand...  |   I have many pairs of skinny jeans with zips. Still, I'd like to ad this coated number to my collection. The shade is quite interesting, reminds me of those nail varnishes that are almost black, but not quite.  |  I know, I know, it's a controversial item. But this bold print will add some excitement to an otherwise plain outfit.


These leather shorts can go from summer to winter. The neutral shade is an ideal choice when pairing with pretty much anything in your closet.  |  Not a fan of bold prints or colours? These silk shorts are subtle, yet have an interesting detail up-close.  |  On the other hand, the more noticeable contrasting panel on this stretch skirt, allows neutral-lovers to make a statement.


If you found the mini office bag too mini, this textured-leather tote might be an option. The golden chain makes a nice contrast against the rich berry shade. Find more colour options on the Michael Kors website, including this khaki number.  |  A versatile bag that suits every occasion, from daytime to casual dinners.  |  Basically, an upgrade from the office bag, if it fits your budget...  |  There's always a Skull clutch that stands out, and this season, this is the one. Take a closer look at the Swarovski crystals and gold beads.  |  The happy collaboration between Zanotti and Rubik resulted in this black suede clutch, clearly inspired by 70s rock glam.  |  This brick leather clutch is the perfect addition to the urban girl's closet.


The square heels with small gold studs are just too cool.  |  This shoe style is one of my go tos for daytime. Love the lace over nude leather.  |  You don't have to read the caption to know they're Miu Miu...  |  This season's version of Tribute Two in a lovely burgundy shade. You won't see me wearing 6 inch heels very often, but I'd definitely wear these.  |  The contrast between the mute matte dark-grey and the industrial shiny silver cuff says it all.  |  The cone heels are glamourous and quirky at the same time. There's a good combo.


I regreted not getting a wide-brimmed hat last year. Getting one (or two) this year, for sure.  |  My favourite shape when it comes to sunglasses, paired with a gorgeous texture.  |  Because I love snakes and statement necklaces.  |  Who doesn't want to look like Karl? Ideal for autumn, but I'll be needing some finger protection during winter months...  |  Karl. Kat. Key. Ring. Need I say more?

Monday, September 09, 2013

Top picks | ZARA autumn 2013

With the new season fast approaching, it's time to start browsing through the new collections. I love shopping the new collections — less chance of my size, or preferred colour, being sold out. How irritating is that?
This post will feature my current favourites from ZARA and the next post will present my top picks from Net-A-Porter, so keep your eyes peeled for that one!
For the time being, here are the pieces that caught my eye:


Couldn't be more excited with the autumn/winter trends this year. Gothic style, deep jewel tones, graphic prints, different textures... The list goes on and on. The 3 garments above have some sort of detail in the lapels, which I appreciate, like a contrasting shade or texture and even a lack of one!


Three dresses, covered on the front, with a short hemline. Typical "me"...
The shape can vary from loose-fitting to curve-hugging, highlighting a special detail on the back, like a beautiful bow, or on the hem. Already sorting through my opaque tights collection...


Sheer, sheer and... sheer. I freakin' love the first sweatshirt. The sheer and opaque stripes on the sleeves are brilliant!  |  The lace panels on the sides and the back of the green top, along with the more opaque straight-cut panels, make the perfect union between delicate and tough.  |  The final option is just obvious, if you know me. Peter Pan collar? Check. Black and white contrast? Check.


The toned down shades and the slight transparency combined, create the most stylish plaid ever.  |  Coated red trousers: just because.  |  The final piece is a bit of luxury found on the High Street: a pair of trousers composed by cotton on the outer edge and soft leather on the inside. They come with a higher price tag, of course...


Keeping up with the leather theme, this mini skirt with zips is the most versatile addition to any Autumn/Winter wardrobe. It can dress up a T-shirt or tough up a more feminine or dressy shirt.  |  The middle one, is a stretchy skirt — love the fact that it's navy, instead of black — with coated panels, making it more interesting, texture-wise.  |  The striped shorts are the cutest! I think they make the look more girly, without being too feminine.


Thinking if I should purchase this mini office city bag in burgundy. It's very clean and simple, but this shade adds something special to it.  |  Speaking of colour, the green and cream colour-block messenger bag, with a lovely golden chain, makes quite a statement.  |  (One of) the top trends in boots: the cutout. Either you love it or you don't...

Wednesday, September 04, 2013

Review | Clinique All About Eyes Serum

Being prone to allergies and sleepless nights, I'm definitely used to having puffy eyes in the morning.

A product like Clinique All About Eyes Serum is the ideal solution for this kind of issue, thanks to its cooling metal sphere that applies the oil-free serum directly on the under eye area. Provides an instant cooling and hydrating effect, which helps to reduce bags and puffiness quite quickly, brightening the overall appearance.

The formula with caffeine, antioxidants and botanicals soothes and relieves these less-than-glamorous concerns. I'm not sure if it helps to reduce "temporary" dark circles, since mine are here to stay, but I believe it might be beneficial over time, due to the caffeine content.

I have to say, there's no better feeling in the morning than applying this cooling serum with its metal sphere. You'll feel immediately awake and ready to face the day!

It's excellent for all skin types, non-irritating and ophthalmologically tested. Can be applied AM and PM, or whenever you feel like reapplying. I prefer to use it just in the mornings, under my eye cream.
Mine is clearly running out. I'm sure it'll manage to jump into my shopping bag quite soon...

Monday, September 02, 2013

Wishlist #4 | Charlotte Tilbury Make-up Revolution

Being obsessed make-up — enough to channel it into a career — I always admired Charlotte Tilbury's work. I especially love her rock chick look and the feline eyes.
So, needless to say, I was counting the days until her make-up collection launched on

The first item to jump into my wishlist was Charlotte's Magic Cream, obviously. The Treat and Transform Moisturizer SPF15 is Charlotte's best kept secret. Everyone, from models to regular clients, become obsessed with this magic potion. It's a mix of patented anti-age ingredients, a hyaluronic acid booster and floral extracts that lift and transform tired skin. Basically, it brightens and plumps the skin, providing a radiant look and a better canvas for make-up application.

Next up, Brow Lift in the shade Brooke S. I love making-up all the facial features, but I especially love brows. Full, strong brows can really frame a face. If I'm ever going for the no make-up make-up look, I always make sure the brows are sculpted. This 3-in-1 product features a brush on one end, as per usual, a highlighter to apply under the brow, for a lifting effect, and the actual cream-pencil product in a slanted tip — to fill in any gaps, recreating fine hairs. It looks similar to Tom Ford Brow Sculptor, with a friendlier price tag.

Continuing with the eye theme, the Luxury Palette in The Dolce Vita has amazing shades. It might be the first palette where all four shades are equally beautiful. Each palette's shades are divided in 4 categories: Prime, Enhance, Pop and Smoke. So, you'll actually end up using all four shades in the same look, which can be more subtle, for daytime, or more smokey.

For lips, my favourite from the whole collection was a typical "me" shade: K.I.S.S.I.N.G. in Night Crimson. The anti-oxidant formula protects from UV damage and external pollution, keeping the lips soft. By seeing it in action in her videos, these lipsticks are evidently creamy and highly pigmented.
I'll add more shades for sure...

And, finally, a mini selection of brushes. The Powder & Sculpt Brush is great to contour and highlight the face, due it's soft pointed tip. To get the perfect grungy look, use the Eye Smudger Brush, for a close smudging action. The Eye Blender Brush is ideal for a quick wash of colour or to blend any shade effortlessly.

By the way, don't forget to watch Charlotte Tilbury's videos on her YouTube channel, where she does her 10 iconic looks, with easy to follow, step by step instructions.
Now, excusez-moi, while I try not to purchase the entire line...