Wednesday, 15 June 2016

Friday, 22 April 2016

A-england - Avalon: a purple homage

When I woke up today I really wanted to paint my nails purple. No designs, no stamping, just pure purple. A-England's Avalon is the prettiest of my purples, therefore a suitable homage for the man who made purple his signature colour.

 

 

"But life is just a party and parties weren't meant to last"
RIP Prince


Saturday, 16 April 2016

Beautiful lavender greys: Sixteen 648 & Stargazer 235

This has got to be one of my favourite combos ever. The base is pale lavender grey and the stamping polish is chrome purple. The way these two colours interact with each other is amazing and ever-changing. The lavender brings out the grey hues in the chrome polish and they both look very different depending on the light conditions. One minute the base looks lighter and the stamp darker, then I’ll walk into a different room and the effect will be reversed and both will look greyer. I step outside and they’ll look purple, sit under the shade and they’ll be grey. They are a colour lover’s dream! 

Base: Sixteen - 648
Stamp: Stargazer - -Chrome 235

 

 

Thursday, 14 April 2016

Dr. Bronner's Liquid Castile soap as shampoo


Dr Bronner’s soaps are famous the world over for how ethically produced they are as well as for their excellent quality. They have not been tested on animals,, they are made with fair trade ingredients, plus they are completely vegan and biodegradable. The label mentions at least 18 different uses for them, but I am going to focus on one today: using them as shampoo.

I have Seborrhoeic dermatitis, the dermatitis that gives you dandruff, flaky red skin and annoyance. For years I was using the recommended medicinal shampoos, but at some point I decided to stop and start using the mildest shampoos I could find. In fact, when not using Dr.Bronner’s I use the shampoo I make myself, that’s how determined I was to find a way to control my dermatitis. Suffice to say that using soap instead of shampoo and therefore not allowing any of the harsh surfactants that most shampoos contain to go on my skin has done me a world of good. My skin is in such a good condition now that I never would have believed it five years ago.

In order to use the Dr. Bronner's Liquid Castile soap as shampoo all I do is dilute it a bit and then proceed to apply it. I add approx.3 tablespoons of water for 1 tablespoon of liquid soap (1:3 dilution). I have used most, if not all, of the scents of soap it comes in and find them all equally great. I love the way my hair feels and the beautiful smell they have afterwards. I even like combining them to create different scents like rose&lavender, rose&almond, almond&citrus. I wish they would bring out a Geranium one, too since I love it.

As with most soap based shampoos, the hair feels a bit rough afterwards and can be a bit harder to brush them. I have found an easy solution for that, but I will have to come back to that on a different post.

Dr. Bronner's Liquid Castile soap has become a staple for me, particularly when I travel. With one little bottle I can wash my hair, my body, brush my teeth and even hand wash things. They are amazing and if you haven’t tried them yet, I definitely suggest you do.

Bellow you will find a list all the ingredients.

They do not contain
Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS)/Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES), Ammonium Laurel Sulfate (ALS), parabens, synthetic fragrances, petrochemicals, artificial dyes, preservatives or any other harsh chemicals .

Ingredients list
Almond Liquid Soap

Water, Organic Coconut Oil*, Potassium Hydroxide**, Organic Olive Oil*, Organic Hemp Oil, Organic Jojoba Oil, Natural Almond Fragrance, Citric Acid, Vitamin E

Baby Mild Liquid Soap
Water, Organic Coconut Oil*, Potassium Hydroxide**, Organic Olive Oil*, Organic Hemp Oil, Organic Jojoba Oil, Citric Acid, Vitamin E

Citrus Liquid Soap
Water, Organic Coconut Oil*, Potassium Hydroxide**, Organic Orange Oil, Organic Olive Oil*, Organic Hemp Oil, Organic Jojoba Oil, Organic Lemon Oil, Organic Lime Oil, Citric Acid, Tocopherol.

Eucalyptus Liquid Soap
Water, Organic Coconut Oil*, Potassium Hydroxide**, Organic Eucalyptus Oil, Organic Olive Oil*, Organic Hemp Oil, Organic Jojoba Oil, Citric Acid, Vitamin E

Hemp Green Tea Liquid Soap
Water, Saponified Organic Coconut*, Organic Palm* and Organic Olive* Oils (w/Retained Glycerin), Organic Hemp Oil, Organic Jojoba Oil, Essential Oils**, Citric Acid, Vitamin E.

Lavender Liquid Soap
Water, Organic Coconut Oil*, Potassium Hydroxide**, Lavandin Extract, Organic Olive Oil*, Organic Hemp Oil, Organic Jojoba Oil, Lavender Extract, Citric Acid, Vitamin E

Peppermint Liquid Soap
Water, Organic Coconut Oil*, Potassium Hydroxide**, Organic Olive Oil*, Mentha Arvensis*, Organic Hemp Oil, Organic Jojoba Oil, Organic Peppermint Oil*, Citric Acid, Vitamin E 
Organic Rose Liquid Soap
Water, Organic Coconut Oil*, Potassium Hydroxide**, Organic Olive Oil*, Natural Rose Fragrance, Organic Hemp Oil, Organic Jojoba Oil, Citric Acid, Tocopherol.

Tea Tree Liquid Soap
Water, Organic Coconut Oil*, Potassium Hydroxide**, Organic Olive Oil*, Tea Tree Extract, Organic Hemp Oil, Organic Jojoba Oil, Citric Acid, Vitamin E 


*Certified fair trade ingredients
** None remains after saponifying oils into soap and glycerin

Sunday, 3 April 2016

Caroline Bingley's dress

An old manicure I had forgotten to post. I probably would have done it differently now, but I still like the idea behind it. It’s based on one of the costumes that Anna Chancellor wore as Caroline Bingley in the 1995 Pride and Prejudice series. The Bingley sisters wore the most amazing costumes in that series. I think I remember this costume best due to the conversation happening during that scene and Anne Chancellor’s grimace when she gets shot down by Mr.Darcy’s reply. It’s towards the end of the first episode, for anyone who wants to (re-)watch it.


The deep red is Ciate – Dangerous Affair and the black is A-England’s Camelot. For the stripes on the red I sheered it out a bit. I can’t remember which one of my golds I used for this, I think I mixed one. 

And as the French have it, au revoir!

Wednesday, 16 March 2016

Inglot HD Sculpting Powder #504


The Inglot HD Sculpting Powder in 504 is my new favourite sculpting powder! I am really not a fan of Kardashian levels of contouring as I find it looks really overwhelming, however, I do like giving my face a bit of definition. Most sculpting powders are too yellowish brown for my skin which make it look dirty, but this is a perfect pinky taupe shade. It suits my colouring so well that I sometimes don’t feel the need to add blusher. It’s a bit dry to the touch, but is easy to blend and stays put all day. 
I love the packaging. So hygienic.

 I've also compared it to MAC's Wedge eye shadow, my other sculpting powder of choice.
direct sunlight
shade

Friday, 11 March 2016

Elixir - All in One Face-book palette (picture heavy)


This palette was given to me this summer as a gift by a friend who knows my love for cosmetics. It’s called All in One Face-book palette because it has most of the things you will need for a full face of makeup. It’s a sturdy carton palette with thick carton separating the wells of product. The two sides are separated by two thick transparent sheets stuck to each side(you can remove and re-stick the sheets). None of the products have identifying names or numbers. I tried to use as many of the products in it as possible to form an opinion, but I’m sure I’ve failed in that cause there’s just so much of it! It contains:
  v  56 eye shadows - 28 high pearl(top 4 rows) and 28 mattes&satins(bottom 4 rows)
  v  2 eyebrow creams
  v  2eyebrow powders
  v  4 compact powders
  v  6 powder blushers
  v  28 lip glosses

 

Before I go into a list of pros and cons, I need to write a separate paragraph about the eye shadows. What surprised me was that while they are powdery, they are not too dry and crumbly. Eye shadows of that price point are usually very crumbly (e.g. Sleek) which is why I avoid them, but these are better with the metallics being the best of the lot. You definitely need a good base for them to stay on if you plan on wearing them all day, but I don’t think that comes as a surprise these days. Pigment-wise it’s a mixed lot. Colourful eye shadow palettes tend to have colours that are too pigmented, but sheerer colours are needed in order to create a nicer look especially if you’re not a make-up expert. I see too many bloggers bashing eye shadows for being too sheer or for having a poorer colour pay-off, but we have to keep in mind that these products are for the mass market. The vast majority of people either lack the ability or the time to devote to blending and that is perfectly fine. The people at Elixir seem to know their audience, hence this palette has eye shadows for all levels of expertise.
the eye shadows and eyebrow products
So, here is a list of pros and cons about this palette:
Pros
  • You really get a lot of products for your money and a very decent selection of colours. The colours would suit most people.
  • The eyebrow creams. People might overlook them when faced with so many colours, but for me they are the star product of the palette! I love them and wish there were more of them. They are nice and waxy and can also be used as an eye shadow base. They are fantastic for all kinds of weather, even the 40C Greek summer that makes all my other cream eye shadows melt. They may seem a bit dark, but both can be sheered into almost nothing. So much love I tell you!
  • The blushers have really nice textures. I may not have found a colour to suit me (check the cons), but the textures are smooth, no shimmerbombs or glitter in sight! The peach has a satin texture and the rest are mattes. One of them could definitely be used as a bronzer.
  • Nice powders. Very finely milled powder, suitable for lighter and darker skin colours, both pink-based and yellow-based. Really happy with these.
  • The lip creams. On the back they are called ‘lip glosses’, but they feel more like lip creams. A huge variety of colours, suitable for all seasons and all current fashion trends. From nudes, to pinks, to browns, to burgundies you will find one to suit your style. And that is coming from someone who doesn't like lip products in pans!
  • I got to try colours I wouldn't have bought otherwise (I am a neutral browns&pinks girl mostly). The matte dark forest green and hunter’s green are a pure treat and the metallic periwinkle is a sheer spring delight(pun intended)!
  • No glitter. I find glitter can make things look cheap. The lack of it is a good thing.
  • All the non-eye shadow powder products (eyebrow, compact and blushers) can nicely double as eye shadows, supplementing the lack of neutral shades. The same goes for some of the eye shadows that can be used as a highlighter.
  • No applicators! I hate it when palettes devote space for applicators that I’m not going to use. 



Cons:
  • There’s a few colours that are too similar to each other. It would have been better to have a few neutral brown shades instead. There’s so many colours in the palette that you need a few neutral shades to blend them out.
  • The selection of blues could have been better. With 8 blue shades included, I was expecting at least one dark matte navy or ink blue, but sadly there is none. The selection of greens was better as it had light, medium and dark shades.
  • The blushers are too dark for me (MAC NW20, Georgio Armani 3, Shu Uemura 365). Given how much I liked their texture, that just made me sad.
  • The packaging isn’t very easy to operate. A way for it to stay securely closed would be more practical.
the blushers
Conclusion

All in all, this is a very decent product that you can use in so many ways. I've enjoyed using it and the whole time I was trying colours I kept thinking that this is made for somebody who is a beginner and less set in their makeup ways than I am. I will use a few of the colours, but too many will probably be left untouched, which is a pitty. If you know someone who has yet to experiment with colours and textures and for whom playing around with makeup that isn’t too expensive would be a good start, this is definitely for them! A teenager would be over the moon with it, as would anyone who enjoys colourful eye-make up. With such a huge number of eye shadows and lipsticks the possibilities are endless. 
the lip products

ingredients lists

Thursday, 25 February 2016

Rustic floral with a slate blue Annie Paris polish

Continuing the journey through discovering nail polish companies available in Greece I came across Annie Paris. This is the first polish from this brand that I got and, again, I am amazed. This amazing slate blue was perfect in one coat and it stayed perfect the whole four days I wore it. It's so pigmented I might try stamping with it. 
Anyway, here is what I used for the mani in detail:
base: Elixir - Calcium Milk Gel
base colour: Annie Paris - 486
stamping plate DRK-C
stamping colour Konad white
top coats Elixir - Diamond Top Coat Fast Dry & Seche Vite
I'll leave you with a beautiful song that has a suitable title for this mani. Colours and music should go together even if it's unusual to match your music to your mani ;)

xxx
Elysse

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