April 29, 2015

Review: Maybelline Brow Satin

Maybelline Brow Satin
Maybelline Brow Satin in Dark Brown
Maybelline Brow Satin Eyebrow Pencil
Maybelline Brow Satin Review
Maybelline Brow Satin in Dark Brown Swatches

I've been using the NYX Auto Eyebrow Pencil for a long time and raved quite a bit about it because I honestly feel it is the best one I've used. But, after moving to Barcelona I realised it is quite hard to get a hold of since I am yet to find a NYX store if one exists in Barcelona, and the one beauty shop which sold it (but unfortunately not in my shade) will no longer be stocking NYX products.

Hence my search began... I checked out loads of brands and finally came across the Maybelline Brow Satin. I grabbed it immediately and ran home to test it out with the hope that this will be my new holygrail eyebrow pencil.

The Maybelline Brow Satin is an automatic eyebrow pencil but what makes it different than the one I'd used before is that it has the screw out pencil on one end and powder on the other. I have got the eyebrow pencil in Dark Brown and the colour matches me well. The pencil is a gel formula and applies quite smoothly. I use it to shape my brows, and it does require a bit of pressure or a lot of strokes to get the colour to dark brown. On the other end of the pencil, there is a pointed sponge and powder either inside the cap or in the sponge. This for me makes it a winner because you can not only shape your brows but also blend it all perfectly using just one product.

I've been loving using this product for my eyebrows everyday. The only problem I have is that it is quite thin so it keeps breaking. Not like I apply too much pressure, but I think the angle is wrong or something when I'm doing my right brow because that's the only time it breaks. Overall, I am happy with my purchase and would recommend you give it a go.

Overall Summary
Price -  approx. €7
Likes - Automatic, great colour, applies well.
Dislikes - Breaks when pressure is applied.
Verdict - Undecided.
Available - Boots, Superdrug, Druni.

Have you tried the Maybelline Brow Satin? What automatic brow pencils would you recommend?

April 25, 2015

Been Reading: Spying in High Heels by Gemma Halliday

Book review: Spying in High Heels by Gemma Halliday

I spend quite a bit of time on my tablet, mostly reading books. I've been enjoying it so much and thought I'd share them with you as well. One of the books I read recently is Spying in High Heels by Gemma Halliday.

Summary on the back of the book
L.A. shoe designer, Maddie Springer, lives her life by three rules: Fashion. Fashion. Fashion. But when she stumbles upon the work of a brutal killer, her life takes an unexpected turn from Manolos to murder. And things only get worse when her boyfriend disappears - along with $20 million in embezzled funds - and her every move is suddenly under scrutiny by the LAPD's sexiest cop. With the help of her post-menopausal bridezilla of a mother, a 300 pound psychic and one seriously oversexed best friend, Maddie finds herself stepping out of her stilettos and onto the trail of a murderer. But can she catch a killer before the killer catches up to her...

My thoughts
You might already have been able to guess this, but I was basically drawn into reading this book by the title. I love mystery books, and what's better than mystery plus fashion or beauty? There are books you get hooked on after the first few pages and others which only get interesting as you read. This was the later. At first I felt it wasn't as interesting and was actually able to put the book down for a while. But then I picked it up again and thought I'd read it and see what happens next. 

Once Maddie started playing the spy, I immediately got immersed and couldn't wait to find out who the murderer was. Like Maddie, my spy senses kicked in and I started analyzing the characters trying to figure out who the criminal is {I wasn't able to figure it out before the end of the book}. 

I really liked the main character Maddie and the way she had such a big heart, always giving people the benefit of the doubt. Her best friend Dana was there to help when Maddie needed. One of my favourite parts was when they went undercover and wore spandex and wigs, and the sexy cop Ramirez saw her in it. I bet she wished she could magically change into another outfit at that moment {I know I would}. 

There are times when the book made me roll my eyes and other times when I had a good laugh or could totally relate to some of the happenings. Overall, I found this an interesting book and would recommend it to those who like mystery books with a bit of girliness thrown into it.

Paperback - $10.79 {Amazon}
Kindle - $4.99

If you have any book suggestions you think I'd enjoy, please let me know.

April 22, 2015

Travel: Tossa de Mar, Spain

Tossa de Mar Spain
Tossa de Mar Old Town
Tossa de Mar view
Tossa de Mar, Costa Brava
View from Tossa de Mar, Costa Brava
Travel: Tossa de Mar Beach

Since getting the car, we've been doing quite a bit of exploring. In my post Blue boats and birds, I told you we visited Blanes and Pineda de Mar. This time, we decided to go a bit farther and went to Tossa de Mar. If I was impressed with how Pineda de Mar looked, Tossa totally blew me away.

We went to the beach and there was a huge hill with the Tossa de Mar Old Town. It looked quite small at first, but once we climbed up, we realised that it definitely isn't. The view is amazing and the water is very clean and clear. All I wanted to do was put on a swimsuit and go into the water, but unfortunately it was still quite cold for me. So I held off on that, but will definitely do it if we go there in the Summer.

It is such a beautiful place and one not visited by a lot of tourists as it is a bit far from Barcelona. But I'd definitely recommend it to anyone visiting if you have a bit more time. The most comfortable way to get there is by car but I believe there is a train which goes in that direction as well.

What other places in Spain should we visit?

April 20, 2015

Review: Rimmel Stay Matte Primer

Rimmel Stay Matte Primer

I've been using the Rimmel Stay Matte Primer quite a lot in the last two months. In my February Beauty Haul, I told you I got this primer and am really looking forward to trying it. I'd seen so many great reviews and I was just too excited. I am extremely glad to say I was not disappointed.

Rimmel Stay Matte Primer Review

The product comes in a 30ml tube which is comfortable to use at home and travel with as well. It is a cream product which is supposed to mattify your skin and help your makeup last longer. I have been using it under my Inglot YSM Cream Foundation or my MAC Studio Fix Fluid and really like the outcome. It helps my makeup stay put and keeps oiliness away for about 4 hours before I need to touch up which is just about during my lunch break so that's quite comfortable.

Rimmel Stay Matte Primer for oily skin

The Rimmel Stay Matte Primer applies just like a moisturizer would, absorbs into your skin and already gives a matte feel. I really like that it's a cream formula and not a silicon one as I tend to be able to feel the silicon ones when I wear them. I think it is great applied either on its own if you'd just like some oil control and don't need foundation, or applied under your foundation. The only minus of this primer I'd say is that it doesn't minimize pores. But of all the drugstore primers I have tried at the moment, this one is definitely my favourite one.

Overall Summary
Price - approx. €7.
Likes - helps control oiliness.
Dislikes - doesn't minimize pores.
Verdict - repurchasing.
Available - superdrug, boots, feel unique.

What is your favourite drugstore or high end mattifying primer?

April 17, 2015

Blue Flowers at Montserrat

How to style blue printed trousers
Pants - H&M   |   Jumper - H&M   |   Shoes - Primark   |   Bag - Michael Kors   |   Jewellery - Gift
blue printed trousers ootd
Blue printed trousers and Michael Kors bag

When we have guests over, we get to do a lot more exploring that usual as we want to show them around and make sure they have a good time. We had a guest over this month and so got to go to Montserrat. Even though this was my second time visiting, I couldn't get enough of the view. It was sunny but at the same time quite foggy on the day so the temperature kept making me feel cold and warm at the same time. This is definitely something I don't experience much of in the city.

While our guest was having a proper look around, we decided to take a few outfit photos. I wore a pair of floral printed pants which I snagged in the winter sale from H&M for about 10. I was lucky too as they were the last ones in my size. I paired it with a cream jumper which I'd gotten quite a while ago from H&M as well. Put on my new flats from primark which I think look so lovely for what they are worth. Even hubs said they look of great quality and was surprised when I told him they are from Primark. I grabbed some of my new jewellery which I received for my brithday from my lovely friend Luchessa. And lastly, I popped everything I needed into my Michael Kors JetSet Tote and we were ready to go.

I love the printed pants as they work well for casual days out, dinner or to the office. The colour and print of the pants make it quite easy to style them with light or dark blouses/ jumpers. So I think I'll be wearing them quite a lot this Spring and Summer.

How would you style these pants?

April 15, 2015

My So-Called Chaos 2015 Big Birthday Bash Giveaway

It's been a while since our last giveaway and you all know I like to treat you. I believe it's important to celebrate not just your birthdays or achievements, but also to celebrate that of your friends. So as My So-Called Chaos is turning 29, I've teamed up with her and some lovely bloggers & shops to celebrate the last year of her twenties. Go Big or go home right? So we are throwing a huge giveaway! Are you ready to party?  You had better be...

Big Birthday Bash Giveaway
$100 PayPal Cash & $50 Target Gift Card (Open Worldwide) Provided by:

$50 credit to HomeSpun Happiness on Style of Colours
1 Winner - $50 Credit to Homespun Happiness - Provided by Busy Being Jennifer - Worldwide

$25 Parlo Cosmetics Credit on Style of Colours
1 Winner - $25 Gift Card to Parlo Cosmetics - Provided by Parlo Cosmetics - Worldwide

$25 Polish Alcoholic credit at Style of Colours
1 Winner - $25 Credit to Polish Alcoholic - Provided by Beauty Expression by Luchessa - Worldwide

$20 Firecracker Lacquer credit on Style of Colours
1 Winner - $20 Credit to Firecracker Lacquer - Provided by Firecracker Lacquer - Worldwide

Jewellery from Wired Boutique on Style of Colours
1 Winner - Pink Beaded Domino Necklace - Provided by WiReD Boutique - USA Only

Win Vanilla Shimmer Jewellery at Style of Colours
1 Winner - Quartz Point Necklace, 4 midi rings (2 Chevron, 1 Hug, 1 Simple) - Provided by Vanilla Shimmer - Worldwide

Win Cheaha Soaps on Style of Colours
1 Winner - Any 3 Soaps (Winner's Choice) - Provided by Cheaha Soaps - USA & Canada

Prize locations vary eligibility based on location, and those are listed above with the prize.  Entering below agrees to all terms and conditions within the Rafflecopter.  Giveaway ends 5/1/15 at 12AM MST.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

April 13, 2015

Review: Inglot YSM Cream Foundation

Inglot YSM Cream Foundation
Inglot YSM Cream Foundation Review
Inglot YSM Cream Foundation in shade 51 review
Inglot YSM Cream Foundation in shade 51 swatch

Finding a drugstore foundation that matches me well is extremely difficult as I am medium skin toned with a very yellow undertone. So after a lot of searching, I decided to go to a high end brand and was glad to find out the Inglot YSM Cream Foundation retails at the same price as drugstore foundations like L'oreal True Match here in Spain. The sales representative was extremely nice and recommended this foundation for me, she colour matched me and I ended up being in shade 51.

The product comes in a small tube of 30ml which dispenses as much product as you need when you use it and gives you the possibility to use up all the product. The Inglot YSM Foundation feels very light on the skin but is medium coverage which I was able to build up to a fuller coverage. I usually apply one layer of this foundation all over my face and then add some more on areas where I need more coverage due to acne scarring, sort of like you'd use a concealer. And it has been working so well for me. It looks natural but at the same time covers my acne scars which honestly is all I can ask from a foundation.

The foundation dries slightly matte even if I don't use a matte primer underneath and holds well for about 3 hours for me without any primer underneath and without setting it. If I use this foundation with a matte primer and a matte foundation to set it, then it lasts me about 4-5 hours before I need to touch up. I noticed that at the 4-5 hour mark when I need to touch up, the foundation is still in place but got oily, so if I touch up at that time, the coverage still remains.

The Inglot YSM Cream Foundation retails for 18 which is a great price for a high end brand. Overall I am extremely happy with this foundation and would recommend it to anyone who is NC42 in MAC.

Overall Summary
Price - €18.
Likes - dries matte, good coverage, colour match.
Dislikes - none.
Verdict - repurchasing.
Available - Inglot stores & counters, inglot website.

What is your favourite drugstore foundation? If you're an NC42, let me know what drugstore shades fit.

April 10, 2015

Barcelona Treasures: La Bella Cosmetics

Barcelona Treasures - La Bella Cosmetics
Hair Wigs from La Bella Cosmetics
Professional hair products from La Bella Cosmetics Barcelona
Afro Hair products in Barcelona
Afro hair tools in Barcelona
Afro hair salon for extensions, braids and dreads in Barcelona

In my Curly Hair Haul, I told you about a new store which I've been going to for my afro haircare needs. Well, after my purchase with them, we got talking and it turned out they have a few more products in store than on the website so they invited me to come take a look. As I've only been in one afro store here in Barcelona, I was excited to check it out and compare.

La Bella Cosmetics is an afro cosmetics store located in Barcelona which stocks african body care, haircare and makeup products as well as beauty tools. They have quite a wide selection of products for afro hair as well as loads of wigs and hair extensions. So whether you are looking for a full wig or just a clip-in ponytail which you can change up everyday, you'll be able to find it there. They also have a salon section where they put in the hair extensions, african braids or dreads. Now even though the last time I said "never again" after taking out my braids because it was painful and knotted my hair like crazy, I am very tempted to go put in some box braids because I have been looking at London curls way too much on instagram.

I was honestly quite impressed with their selection of afro haircare products. Even though they don't have all the products possible, the store was sort of afro heaven for me. I looked at about 10 different conditioners I'd like to try out, a variety of curling creams or puddings and lots of natural oils like avocado oil and argan oil which are great for your hair. They also stock hair tools like flexi rods, hair dryers, bonnets etc

La Bella Cosmetics is located at Carrer de Bassegoda, 6 Barcelona, Spain but they also have an online store so they accept different forms of payments including paypal, and ship internationally which I think is a definite plus. If I knew about them while I lived in Latvia, I would have ordered some products for myself. 

Let me know what products should I try out on my next trip to La Bella Cosmetics?

April 6, 2015

Review: Redken Real Control Intense Renewal

Redken Real Control Intense Renewal
Redken Real Control Intense Renewal Review
Redken Real Control Intense Renewal hair mask

I have been loving hair conditioners, masks and deep treatments lately a lot more. Mainly because I cowash my hair a lot and use a deep conditioner or mask at least once a week to add moisture to my hair. Recently, I got to try out the Redken Real Control Intense Renewal* hair mask which I was sent from Hairtrade. I was excited to try this as all the products I have tried from Hairtrade have worked really well for me.

The Redken Intense Renewal hair mask is a thick white cream which comes in a jar of  250ml. Packaging wise, it looks like most deep conditioners or hair masks I've tried. It is said to be a super moisturizing mask for dense/ dry/ sensitized hair. I've used this mask a few times and really love the way my hair feels. The instructions say to apply it to your hair and leave it on for 5-15 minutes, and then rinse it out.

Whether I use it as a quick conditioner or as a deep conditioner, it makes my hair very soft afterwards. One thing I usually look for in a conditioner is slip, because I always comb out my hair in the shower while my conditioner is on as I think I pull my hair less and my hair tangles less when I do it this way. I was extremely happy when I tried this mask and it gave me the slip I needed in order to comb out my hair. 

All in all, I look forward to using this mask more and I'd say it is a great mask if you have very dry hair because it does feel like it adds moisture to your hair and makes your hair softer and more manageable.

Overall Summary
Price - £16.95.
Likes - moisturizes hair leaving it soft.
Dislikes - none.
Verdict - undecided.
Available - Hairtrade.

Have you tried this hair mask or another one from Redken? What's you favourite hair mask?

April 3, 2015

Work Wear Wishlist: Printed

work wear wishlist - printed items
Black and White Abstract Print Dip Hem Blouse   |   Flower Waterfall Jacket   |   Flamingo Print Pants   |   Flower and leaves headband   |   Finham Shoulder Bag in Red & Cream   |   Birds Long Sleeved Blouse   |   Chevron Skirt   |   Waterfall Check Blouse
In my last work wear wishlist post, I told you all about my scouring the internet for business/ business casual clothing items and a selection I put together of plain items. Now, I'm back with the same idea but with prints. I love me a good print, be it on a casual day, evening out or to the office. So I've tried to put together a few prints I think are acceptable in a business casual environment {although it depends on the company and on your line of work}. 

Collared blouses aren't the only types you can wear to an office even though I love anything with a collar, I think it's important to add a round neck or v-neck here and there to diversify your style a bit. I've included prints like floral print because floral always looks good and if your office is business casual, you can always pair it to still look professional. I added the headband because this can play a huge part in changing up your hairstyles, especially when you are transitioning to natural hair.

I've also included checks, chevron and birds. I find that when prints are small or simple and a calm colour like black, blue etc, they tend to be less bold and don't yell as much for attention {if that makes any sense at all}. I will definitely be including such prints in my office wardrobe. Let me know what prints you would incorporate for a business casual look in the comments below.

Be sure to let me know what other stores to check out.

April 1, 2015

Review: Catrice Prime and Fine Mattifying Powder Waterproof

Catrice Prime and Fine Mattifying Powder Waterproof
Catrice Primer and Fine Mattifying Powder Waterproof Translucent
Catrice Prime and Fine Mattifying Powder Waterproof Review
Catrice Mattifying Powder, Drugstore Mattifying powder

Due to my skin being extremely oily, I tend to reach a lot for mattifying products. One of my latest additions to my mattifying products is the Catrice Prime and Fine Mattifying Powder Waterproof. I've been using this whenever I do my makeup and I am happy with the results.

The product is a pressed translucent powder in a black sturdy compact case with a mirror. The first thing I liked about this product was basically the fact that it comes with a mirror as my previous one didn't and it was quite uncomfortable to use as it meant I needed to take 2 items in my clutch/ bag. And I honestly always kept forgetting my mirror and using my phone when I needed to touch up. The product looks sort of yellow in the packaging and when initially applied to your face, but when it sits on your face for a bit it just blends into the foundation and mattifies your skin. 

Regarding the waterproof properties, I am not too sure how strong this is. I did place a few drops of water on the product itself, as well as applied quite a bit of powder on my arm with a kabuki brush and then places some water on that. In both cases the drops of water slid off which means it'll probably withstand quite a bit of humidity. 

Depending on what I am doing, I apply this product anywhere from 1 to 4 times a day and it does not get cakey or anything like that. When I have days spent mostly indoors, it keeps my skin matte for about 3 hours without a primer and about 5 hours with a primer. On days spent outside under the sun, my skin gets oily a lot faster and I need to touch up about 4 times.

The only aspect of this product that worries me a bit is that talc is the very first ingredient, and it is said to clog pores and what not. I haven't noticed any breakouts after using this product so overall, I think this is a great mattifying powder for the price. I am very happy with it and will most likely repurchase it when I run out.

Overall Summary
Price - approx. €5.
Likes - translucent, mattifying.
Dislikes - contains talc.
Verdict - repurchasing.
Available - Drugstores e.g DRUNI {Spain}, Drogas {Latvia}.

Have you tried this Mattifying Primer from Catrice? What is your favourite setting powder?
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