Saturday, March 30, 2013

Yves Rocher Moisturizing Cream Lipstick in Rose Galica: The Everyday Pink Lip

Shocking reds and glowing corals are fun to sport when I'm feeling daring but a my-lips-but-better pink will always have a spot in my makeup bag. Yves Rocher's Moisturizing Cream Lipstick in Rose Galica caught my eye in the store because it seemed like a color I could wear for any casual look.

The moisturizing cream lipsticks retail for $14 on the US webshop but Yves Rocher does frequent sales and promotions so you're bound to get a better price. Each lipstick is housed in a silver bullet with a plastic eggplant colored cover. The design is minimalistic and sleek yet somewhat different than the average lipstick. There is a noticeable floral fragrance to the lipstick which may or may not suit your taste. Personally I do no mind the scent but it reminds me of a lipstick an older woman would wear.

About three swipes along the lips yields opaque color which means you can build up the intensity to your liking. The lipstick does not glide on as smoothly as I would have hoped considering it boasts a "moisturizing cream" formula. There are a lot of shimmers embedded into Rose Galica which I can feel upon application. The first five minutes of wear are not uncomfortable but not not comfortable either. I just feel meh about the first few minutes after application because I can definitely feel the product on my lips. However, after the lipstick warms up a bit, it feels much more comfortable and the shimmers are hardly noticeable. After warming up a bit, the lipstick melds into the lips better and looks less drying as well. This the kind of lipstick that would feel and look better paired with a gloss.

For the price and claims, I expected more out of this lipstick. While it is an incredibly easy shade to wear and the formula eventually feels decent on the lips, it was not love at first swatch and there are better moisturizing lipsticks on the market. What are your favorite MLBB lipsticks?

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Becca Beach Tints: Watermelon and Fig

Cream blushes are wonderful for creating that effortless, natural makeup look and Becca's Beach Tints do just that. Sephora was doing an offer awhile back for two mini beach tints in Fig and Watermelon for $20. Considering the usual price for a full sized tube is $25 and I almost never finish any makeup products, this was a great way to try two shades for less than the price of one!

A full size tube contains .24 oz while the minis are .14 oz each. In the end, you're getting more product for less money. The regular sized tubes are a tiny bit larger but both sizes are great for tucking into your purse or travel makeup bag. These tints are scented and you can definitely smell the fruity, floraly notes. Once applied to the cheeks you can't really tell though.

Watermelon is a bright pinkish red while Fig is a muted brown with hints of pink. You only need a tiny bit for Watermelon to show up on the skin while Fig needs a bit more work since the color is so natural. These are buildable creams so I would suggest applying a little and blending then applying more if needed.

Once sheered out, you can still see how strong Watermelon can be while Fig virtually disappears on my skin. At my lightest, Fig is a very natural looking blush shade and you can barely tell I'm wearing anything at all. When I have more dramatic eyes or lips, Fig is a nice blush option to add some contour to my face without looking obvious. Watermelon is the more "fun" shade that would steal the show if I'm sporting little to nothing on my eyes and lips.

This limited edition set is still available on Sephora's website for purchase and I would highly recommend it if you are interested in trying out Becca or if you love a nice cream blush. What are your favorite products from Becca? Do you have a favorite cream blush formula?

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Yves Rocher Micellar Cleansing Water: The Affordable French Option

Despite not being head over heels in love with cleansing waters I have tried in the past, I can't seem to stop purchasing and testing out new ones. A simple, refreshing green bottle caught my eye upon my first visit to Yves Rocher and I went home with their 3 Detoxifying Teas Micellar Cleansing Water, eager to find a cleansing water to remove light makeup when cleansing oils are a bit too heavy.

Compared to other French micellar waters, Yves Rocher is competitively priced at €11.90 considering there are frequent 50% sales. I bought my 200 ml bottle for only €5.95 which is under $8. The prices on the US site are pretty much the same after converting currencies. A 250 ml bottle of Bioderma is about $25 on Amazon and a 200 ml bottle of Caudalie's Cleansing Water is $28. All in all, the price is is reasonable and a more budget friendly option if you're looking for a cleansing water.

I mainly use cleansing waters when I am having a "light" makeup day and I only need to remove a BB cream, tinted moisturizer or minimal coverage foundation. I use a separate eye makeup remover first because I have never had luck with removing mascara with cleansing water. The Yves Rocher cleansing water is no different as it merely smudges around my mascara, leaving me with raccoon eyes. But as a base makeup remover, it does just fine. One cotton pad is pretty much enough to remove all my makeup and I usually do a second just to get off the remaining residue before double cleansing with a foaming cleanser.

My skin feels refreshed and clean after using this cleansing water. There is no stickiness nor is my skin drier after use. The water has a light, soothing scent that I personally enjoy but others might prefer an unscented cleanser. Above is a look at the ingredients list in case anyone is interested.

In summation, Yves Rocher makes an effective cleansing water with a reasonable price tag. While I can't rely solely on cleansing waters to take off my makeup, I'm warming up to them more and more. If you're a fan of micellar waters, this will probably suit you very well!

Friday, March 22, 2013

Influenster SweetHeart VoxBox 2013

Weeks ago I qualified to receive the Influenster SweetHeart VoxBox as part of the Influenster program and was ecstatic to see what new products I would have the chance to test out. Since I'm studying abroad I had to get my lovely boyfriend to be a packmule for me and bring this box of goodies in his luggage when he visited me in Amsterdam this past week.

In all honesty, all four items are equally exciting to me this time around. The Skinnygirl Greek Yogurt Blueberry Crisp Bar was a delicious treat that I can already give two thumbs up to. The rest of the products will take a bit more time and consideration before I can give a comprehensive review. The Olay Fresh Effects Cleansing System is definitely a wanna-be Clarisonic and as someone who is currently not in a position to shell out the money for the real deal, I hope this might be a dupe. The Secret Clinical Strength Deodorant is exciting to me simply because of a somewhat odd reason. I feel like this might be somewhat embarrassing or gross to disclose but in all honesty, I have never used a deodorant in my life. I have never felt the need to but having this in the box will give me an excuse to try something new! Last, but not least, is the Not Your Mother's Beach Babe Texturizing Sea Salt Spray which has me wishing for summer already. I've been eyeing the Not Your Mother's brand for awhile but never took the plunge. I can't wait to see if this product will give me those effortless waves that I've never had the patience to properly achieve on my own.

Have you tried any of these products? To all the other Influensters out there, what did you get in your most recent VoxBox?

*The products mentioned in this post were provided for free by Influenster. All opinions are my own.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

A Saturday at Noordermarkt

One of the things I miss the most about New York City is the variety of fresh, inexpensive produce that can be found in almost every neighborhood. Luckily, Amsterdam has quite a few farmer's markets which are not only great for shopping but people watching and having some traditional Dutch snacks.

Barely any of the local supermarkets sell fresh fish so my mouth was watering when I spotted these fresh slabs of salmon....

Fresh baked loaves of bread, anyone?

The Dutch love cheese and specialty cheese shops are common. So far I haven't bought an authentic chunk of Dutch cheese and have stuck with the pre-sliced versions. That will change soon though. 

Meat broodjes (sandwiches) and traditional Dutch pea soup are must eats when you're in Amsterdam.

There's really nothing like a hot bowl of soup on a blistery cold day. Though the temperature here is similar to New York, the wind and constant gloominess make it seem much colder in the Netherlands.

Poffertjes are probably one of my favorite Dutch snacks. I usually keep some pre-made ones in my fridge to have for breakfast or dessert but these fresh made ones were so tempting!

The reason I passed on the poffertjes was because I was simply too full from the soup and a giant homemade stroopwafel! The fresh stroopwafel was definitely tastier than the usual prepackaged ones. 

Lastly, here's a look at some pretty charms also on display on Noordermarkt since half of the market is dedicated to food and the other to clothing, trinkets and such.

Next on my list of markets is to visit is the Albert Cuyp Market. Until next time, tot ziens!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

My Top 5: Bright Lip Colors

It took me years after my love affair with beauty products started to delve into the wondrous world of bold lip colors. After you find that initial confidence to rock a red lip outdoors, there's no turning back. I rounded up a selection of my top five favorite bright lipsticks and lipglosses to inspire more people to wander a bit from the my-lips-but-better path.  

Lancome's Color Design Lipstick in All Done Up was a gift with purchase and I was surprised by how much I liked it. The color looks like a dark plummy shade in the bullet but once applied it lightens and turns into a very flattering bright fuschia. The formula is incredibly comfortable and non-drying but the color stains the lips and lasts about six hours before the color is completely gone.

Maybelline Colorsensational Shine Lipstick in Coral Lustre is the only orange lipstick I own and honestly, one is plenty enough. Although the lipstick seems to be loaded with shimmer particles, the formula is not drying or uncomfortable but rather moisturizing. The shimmer leaves the lips looking fuller and the orange color can be built up over a few passes. 

My most recent high end lipstick purchase is the Dior Addict Lipstick in Dior Kiss and I think the price is worth every cent. Firstly, the packaging is absolutely stunning and I feel luxe just staring at the shiny, opalescent casing. The color itself is a shockingly bright pink and I was actually a bit taken aback when I first twisted up the lipstick. However, the formula is sheer and one or two swipes will leave your lips a subtle pink rather than a garish magenta pout. This smooth, moisturizing lipstick can be built up to a brighter shade and feels very nice on the lips. 

What's a bright lip color post without an outstanding red? L'Oreal's Shine Caresse Lipgloss in Endless Red is the most amazing red lip color in that it fuses the pigmentation of a lipstick with the shine and comfort of a gloss. This shade is perfect whether you're having a picnic in the park or enjoying a romantic date night out. 

Jouer Lipgloss in Birchbox Pink adds the prettiest pop of fuchsia to your makeup pouch and on the lips it leaves a subtle hint of pink to liven up the complexion. The formula is non-sticky and non-drying which makes it exceptionally comfortable and a joy to wear. 

Funnily enough, I didn't bring any of these beloved lippies with me to Amsterdam as I rarely travel with my favorite makeup products for fear of losing or breaking anything! With spring almost upon us, I wish I had a few of these bright shades on hand but will have to wait until the summer to get my hands on them again! What are your favorite bright lip colors?

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Milani 3D: Multifaceted Gold Polish

Spring is almost here but today's post revolves around my Christmas mani from last year.... Somehow the gorgeousness of Milani's 3D, a holographic gold, was lost amongst the sea of drafted posts. Better late than never, right?

Simply put, 3D is a gorgeous glittery polish that sparkles and shines without looking gaudy. I do not think the shade comes across highly holographic but it definitely catches the light. The shimmers are finely milled so each coat is smooth and thin. I cannot remember exactly how many coats I did but I'd venture a guess and say three thin coats are optimal for opaque coverage.

Milani's 3D is a beautiful polish for the holidays or any type of special occasion. If you're looking for a holographic gold polish, this might not be up to par but if you want a stellar glimmery gold, be sure to check this one out!

Thursday, March 7, 2013

First Picks From Yves Rocher

Yves Rocher is a French brand that first crossed my radar while I was browsing Lipglossiping and Charlotte was showcasing a beautiful taupe eyeshadow from the brand. Yves Rocher is available to Americans through their online shop but I personally prefer making purchases in-store. Lucky for me there are several Yves Rocher stores in Amsterdam and I made a trip down to their Kalverstraat location as soon as I could.

The only thing I really needed was a body moisturizer as my skin is so dry and the winter weather is not helping at all. I chose the Noix De Coco De Malaisie which roughly translates to Malaysian Coconut I believe. My parents are from Malaysia so I was pretty much sold on that factor alone. I also grabbed their Jardin Du Monde Fleur De Coton Creme De Douche which is a shower gel. Although I have not had considerable success with cleansing waters, I am constantly trying new ones to make myself fall in love. I picked up the 3 Detoxifying Teas Micellar Water to try out. Surprisingly I did not bring any moisturizing masks to Amsterdam so I grabbed two of the 3 Minute Masks in the grape and pomegranate flavors meant for hydrating and radiance boosting, respectively. I couldn't leave without a makeup product so I opted for the Moisturizing Cream Lipstick in 61 Rose Galica.

Yves Rocher has an interesting pricing strategy in which they constantly have promotions and discounts. The brand has a somewhat elevated feel due to the packaging and presentation of the products however the retail prices are reasonable. In general the skincare and body care is less expensive compared to the cosmetics. I joined their rewards program in which you can earn bloesempunten, which I assume translates to blossom points, and trade in points for free products. When you register as a member you get a little welcome pack of samples and various coupon books. Perhaps it's a good thing I'll only been in Europe for a few months as I can see this points program as being too enticing for me to resist taking advantage of!

Individual reviews on each of these products will be appearing on the blog after I have thoroughly tested them. So far, my impressions of Yves Rocher are positive and I've actually already been back to haul a few more goodies. The second haul will be up after I get a few reviews out of the way first. Have you heard of Yves Rocher and tried any of their products? What product would you like me to review first?

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

L'Oreal Shine Caresse Lipgloss in Coral Tattoo

This post has been in the drafting stage for over two months and I'm finally sitting down to write the copy for this lovely lipgloss. I picked up the L'Oreal Shine Caresse Lipgloss in Coral Tattoo back in December along with Endless Red and I subsequently fell in love with the formula of these glosses. For those of you who may not have heard, this is L'Oreal's answer to the YSL Glossy Stains and I assume the formulas are not that far off considering L'Oreal owns YSL's beauty line.

Above is one coat of Coral Tattoo and this would be pretty for a day time pop of orange. The formula is extremely lightweight and a joy to wear on the lips. The texture is very wet but it does not slide around and there is no stickiness.

With two coats of Coral Tattoo, my lips look tangerine red which I think is perfect for summer. The lip color is opaque but still lightweight and comfortable. If you love full coverage lipglosses, this is definitely for you!

Honestly I cannot remember how long elapsed when I took this photo but if I had to guess it would be two or three hours. The photo shows the gloss settling into my lip lines and a bit of fading but in real life it is much less noticeable. The gloss definitely leaves a stain behind on the lips without ever making my lips feel chapped.

I am loving this lipgloss innovation and hope that more brands catch on because I would love to pick up more shades at various price points. L'Oreal is coming out with a lot of impressive new products that resemble luxury brand products like the Infallible Eyeshadows which are comparable to the Giorgio Armani Eyes to Kill. I can't wait to see what new products L'Oreal launches next! Have you tried the Shine Caresse Lipglosses?

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Catrice Made To Stay Longlasting Eyeshadows in Metall of Honor and Romans Gone Bad

When I found out Catrice was readily available in the Netherlands, I was ecstatic. I've read and watched multiple rave reviews for their products and have been lemming over their blushes and eyeshadows for a number of months. However, so far I've only picked up two of their Made To Stay Longlasting Eyeshadows to play with. I found both of these for €1 each and could not pass them up! These regularly retail for less than €4 so they are definitely a beauty bargain.

Each shadow is housed in a sturdy glass container with a secure plastic screw top lid. The design is functional and good quality. There is a nice amount of 5 grams in each pot which is the same amount in a Mac paint pot, for reference.

These cream shadows have somewhat unique names and were part of a limited edition collection as they do not seem to be on the website under the permanent items. Metall of Honor is a bronze brown and Romans Gone Bad is a gray taupe.

Metall of Honor is a shade that would look especially stunning on warmer skin tones. The shadows are easily sheered out and can be built up for an opaque look. This shade all over the eyelid with black pencil liner smudged around the eye would make a super easy and sultry smokey eye.

Romans Gone Bad is a must for any cool toned taupe lover. As much as I love taupes, the silver toned ones don't seem to work as well on my skin tone but I'm still glad I have this in my collection. There is a hint of brown in this taupe and the lighting changes how the shade comes across. This would also be a great one shadow eye look as it looks darker in the crease and shaded areas of the eye.

The Catrice Made To Stay Longlasting Eyeshadows are a winner in my book due to the easy to wear yet interesting shades and pretty price point. The formula is akin to other cream shadows I have tried such as Benefit's creaseless cream shadows and Maybelline's color tattoo. If you can locate a Catrice retailer, definitely pick up one or two of these shadows!