Thursday, 31 October 2013

Happy Hallowe'en!!

Don't you just love Hallowe'en? I find it's the height of Autumn! Everybody feels festive and nature is at its most glorious!

I am not very experienced with using foils and they are a bit of a headache to be honest, but they are also the best way to achieve an iridescent result.

1 coat of A-England - Camelot 
Foil in Iridescent Swirl
Bundle Monster stamp- white Κοnad polish
Drk stamp- Borghese - B475 Castello Blue. I really liked this one cause while it is visible in sunlightt, it's undetectable anywhere else, much like real spiderwebs.

Enjoy yourselves!

Tuesday, 17 September 2013

Flowers from Korea

A few months ago a dear friend of mine went to Korea. She’s one of those people that wherever she goes pleasant surprises happen and they are the stuff we talk and laugh about for years. I wonder what stories she’ll have to share when she comes back from her travels later this week. Along with her amusing stories she also brought back a ton of presents, some of which you will be seeing eventually. Not the chocolates, though. Those are already gone.

One of those presents was a colourful cosmetics bag. I love unusual combinations of colours, and this is definitely a winner combination. It’s one of those combinations that when you hear about it, it sounds like it wouldn’t work, but then you see it and it’s beautiful, vibrant, it makes your day just looking at it! I aim to become brave enough to combine colours that way. 

Something that beautiful of course had to be translated to a mani and here is my attempt, along with the colours I used to achieve it. I chose the plum tree pattern from the Konad plate m66 as the fabric has a similar embossed floral pattern, though you can’t see it in the pictures. The colours I used were (thumb to pinky):

Essie – 563 Bachelorette Bash
Butter London – Dosh
Orly – Everything’s Rosy
OPI – Kyoto Pearl 
Bourjois – 39 Jaune Trendy
Nails Inc – 050 Tower Bridge (for stamping)

Saturday, 31 August 2013

How to Survive the Summer Heat

Summer is nearly over, but I can’t possibly wait till next year to share this since it proved to be such a life-saver for me. So, how do you keep cool when it’s over 40C where you are? I managed it with the help of floral waters!

I use floral waters all the time in my beauty routine; as a toner, as a mixing medium when I want to use an eye shadow wet, I spray my face with them when my make-up looks cakey, etc. I loved using orange blossom water in the summer because it smells so refreshing that I thought, why limit its use to when I am at home. Why not put some in a spray bottle and spray myself when I am out and it’s too hot. Frankly, it changed the way I feel about the hot summer days in Greece. Even on days when the temperature climbed up to 44oC, I felt a lot better every time I used it.

As I mentioned, I prefer orange blossom water because I find the smell more uplifting and cool, but you can also use rosewater, kevda water, lavender water or whatever else pleases your nostrils. It’s worth trying to find a spraying bottle that provides a good and even distribution of liquid; you want a refreshing mist that won’t interfere with your make-up, not the water hose effect. Nobody wants the water hose effect on top of all the sweating unless they are desperate.

Additionally, you can use essential oils with your floral water. Some lavender adds to the uplifting effect and a little bit of jasmine can calm any storm that might be going on in your head. If you’re really into essential oils, you can even dupe Caudalie’s famous Beauty Elixir since it is essentially a mix of orange blossom water with essential and synthetic oils. I hadn't thought of mixing peppermint oil prior to smelling the Beauty Elixir as I don’t really like peppermint oil-I overused it to help me concentrate as a student-, but I tried it and it works fine.

If you do use essential oils, remember to shake the mixture vigorously before every use. Oils don’t mix with water so you need to shake it every time to get an even distribution. I find that when they mix well, especially if I’ve added sambac jasmine, the mix looks a bit milky and pretty.

A final word of caution: do not use any citrus essential oils, ie no lemon, orange, mandarin, neroli, grapefruit or petitgrain. They are notoriously photosensitive (sensitive to natural light) and you could end up harming your skin. Always check whether the essential oil you are planning to use is photosensitive.

I hope you give it a try and let me know how it went. It was a life-saver for me as it made the heat more bearable and my skin felt so much better at the end of a hot day than it did before I started using it. 

Friday, 12 April 2013

King Tutankhamun and the 20s Egyptian Revival

The discovery of King Tutankhamun's tomb in 1922 had a huge impact all over the world. The tomb was almost intact and the findings were so rich and beautiful that the newspapers were full of news on the subject.  Even now when we think of Egypt one of the first images that comes up is the golden mask of Tutankhamun. Add to that the 'curse of the Pharaos' and the audience was captivated! 
Such an event influenced the fashions of the day as one would expect. With that in mind I was examining the pictures of the artefacts from the tomb to find patterns on them that one can find in 20s clothes, jewellery and    decorative items. Ancient Egyptian style without the hieroglyphics if you like. Can you spot them on the items? 

The base colour is the most royal of golds, A-England - Holy Grail (the original formulation) and the blue on the middle finger is LeChat CM - Navy. The rest were done with acrylic colours and all topped with Seche Vite which unfortunately cause some major shrinkage at the tips. 
Shade (unusually sunny for England)
Shade (overcast)

Monday, 8 April 2013

Retropolish: Seventeen Super Shine #471

I thought I'd create a special tag for my older polishes that may or may not be discontinued. I'll kick off this journey through my collection with a Greek polish by the company Seventeen (nothing to do with the UK 17 brand). These polishes unfortunately don't have names, only numbers, but they have an near infinite variety of colours. No 471 is a bit tricky to describe as depending on the light it looks from purplish to steel. It doesn't shift like a duochrome, the change in colour is much more solid with this one as you can see in the pictures. So pretty!
natural light (shade)
incandescent light

Saturday, 6 April 2013

My Inner Monologue, Stargazer - 234, Sparitual - Body & BM201

Inner monologue
Thought no1: I really feel like doing something pink. How odd...
Thought no2: Why haven't I used my Stargazer Chromes as a base colour yet?
Thought no3: I really like this design, but the lines always come out too thick. Maybe if I tried stamping with a matte polish?

And here's the results! I did the swap in colours on the middle finger to show you how thick the lines on the design come out with a normal polish. I didn't use top coat over the matte stamping and the whole thing lasted flawlessly for the better part of the week. I think this is one of my favourite manis so far. I was looking at my nails so much when I had it on!
Stargazer - 234
Sparitual - Body
BM201 plate

Thursday, 4 April 2013

Tony Moly Petite Bunny Gloss: A Merry Bunny Return!

Dear readers,
I am so glad to be back from my long hiatus. I'm not going to blab about it , suffice to say life is a bit smoother now and I can resume posting regularly. Thank you to those of you who remained here and to those who sent me messages enquiring about my health. You are all such lovely people and I have been so excited all day today with the thought of writing and being part of the community again. I  have so many products, beauty secrets and ideas to share with you! Here it goes then... 

I thought I'd make a fun start with these little guys cause they crack me up every time I look at their faces. It's not often that you find cosmetics in the shape of anthropomorphic bunnies, therefore, it was almost obligatory to take the above picture with them looking like a gang of bandits. It's not the only reason I love the Tony Moly Petite Bunny Glosses though. They are actually really nice!
The ones I have at the minute are #3 Juicy Apple, #4 Juicy Cherry, #6 Juicy Orange, #7 Neon Orange and #8 Neon Yellow

According to thecompany's description they:
  • soften dead skin cells with strawberry essence. It is actually mentioned as 'saving you from the embarrassment of lines on the lips' (I am assuming they mean dry lips), there's nothing quite like shaming you into buying a product, right?
  • moisturise, smooth and soften your lips as they contain berry and grape essence,
  • give you shiny lips with a smooth colour ,
  • are rich in proteins that form a barrier to prevent moisture from escaping.
  • give a strong colour to your lips that doesn't fade easily.

This is how they arrive, with the little sticker where you can see their number;
they are full to the brim;
and this is what 2 grammes of this product look like.
And here's my thoughts on these little cuties:
  • They are wonderful little balms and they do soften the lips.
  • As with all balmy products they do tend to disappear after a few hours so you will need to re-apply during the day. Their cute shape makes reapplication a more fun experience.
  • They all have a slight fruity smell and taste, but not all have the same. None of them are too strong though.
  • The colours are not too strong, they are perfect for day wear or when you want something almost natural.My lips are quite pigmented so I am very happy with them.
  •  #3,#4 and #6 have a balmier texture, while #7 and #8 are glossier.
  • #8 is one of those colour changing lip balms that are all the rage in Korea. In the tube it looks yellow, but when it's on, it turns to a lovely soft peach. It's also the glossiest of the lot.
  • #4 is the least pigmented. You need to apply it a few times to show
  • #6 is the most pigmented and least glossy one. 
I've also swatched them for you. On the left I've swiped them once and on the right I've swiped them enough for the colour to become apparent. 
Shade (sunny)
Direct sunlight
And here is a picture of all of them. I got all of them on ebay and I am contemplating getting #5 and #9 just so I can have a couple of happy looking ones!

All in all, I think I am going to enjoy using them all spring and summer long!
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