Friday, 29 August 2014

Nuxe Reve de Miel Cleansing Gel Review

nuxe reve de miel cleansing gel review
Before I start with the review, I'd like to say that I'm a huge fan of Nuxe products and I tried SO hard to make this product work, but it's simply not for me. This will not, however, be a negative review, as I like to keep it positive here on the blog, and besides there are things I abslutely love about this product, it's just that it does not get along well with my personal skin.

nuxe reve de miel cleansing gel
Why I bought it: I was on the hunt for a new cleanser and as I'd heard good things about it and, of course about the brand itself (and have used the Reve de Miel Lipbalm and Hand cream and they are certainly holy-grail material) I decided to give the Reve de Miel Cleansing Gel a go. I like to do my research before I buy products, especially ones on the pricier side of things. So naturally I read a few reviews and found nothing suspicious, not a bad word about it, in fact.

What I like about it: I'm a sucker for pretty packaging and admittedly Nuxe's packaging is always the bomb. It's amber-coloured and comes with the most gorgeous pump you'll ever find. Super travel-friendly as the pump is secured well and is tightly screwed on, so you won't have to worry about spilling half of it out. Besides, the pump destributes the perfect amount of gel without wasting any product whatsoever.
Now about the gel itself. Its consistency is great, not too thick or too runny. It's amber-coloured, same as the ackaging, which again looks really appealing and reminds me of honey. The smell is simply divine - it smells of honey, but there are definitely flowery notes in there too. It's quite the stron, overpoering scent, so of you're not a fan of strong scents, steer clear from it. Nuxe Reve de Miel Cleansing Gel is enriched with honey, sunflower extraxts and the formula is completely soap-free. It's supposed to be suitable for dry and sensitive skin, but here's where I disagree.

Why I don't get along with this product: I have combination skin, but it has been more to the dry side recently, some dry patches have appeared around my cheeks an forehead, and that's why I though a product aimed for sensitive, dry skin would fix that. Little did I know. It dried my skin out a lot more than expected (I am aware that gels are usually harsher to the skin, but still, it was an exceptionally uncomfortable sensation!) and my skin felt dry and tight well after I washed my face with it. I tried to make it work, I moisturised heavily after cleansing my face, but it still felt too harsh. Overall it's definitely not my cup of tea, unfortunately. It's too drying and I'll proably break out if I continue using it, so I've decided to give up.

Have you tried it and what are your thoughts on it? What cleansing gel would you recommend for sensitive skin?

Tuesday, 26 August 2014

UK Beauty Wishlist

uk beauty wishlist
Anyone who follows me on Twitter or reads this blog probably knows I'll be moving to the UK this September. Moving country to go to university is a big deal, it's quite the nerve-wrecking experience and honeslty, browsing through the Boots and Superdrug websites has been somewhat of a distraction for me. It's definitely something that cheers me up - to be able to finally use the products I've heard so much about but could never get my hands on! That's why I decided to put everything or nearly everything (I couldn't possibly fit all the things I want in one wishlist post!) in this wishlist. 

1. Batiste dry shampoo: "Good old Batiste", as most UK bloggers call it, haha. The selection of dry shampoos in Bulgarian drugstores is pretty limited and that's why I'd love to try this cult classic dry shampoo. Either the classic version or che cherry blossom one. Another one I've been eyeing is the Dove dry shampoo, which gets an honorable mention as it simpy coulnd't fit in the limited space of this wishlist.
2. Revlon Colorstay Moisture Stain: I've seen some rave reviews of this product and defnitely want to see what the fuss is all about. The packaging definitely tickles my fancy, I'm such a sucker for minimalistic packaging! Besides, the color range is fantastic, especially the berry color I've shown above.
3. Una Brennan Tea Flower Moisturiser & Mask: Basically, the whole Tea Folwer range looks fantastic. I have combination-ish skin and I'm definitely lusting after these, as I do tend to get a bit shiny throughout the day and I could use a good mattifying moisturiser to minimise that shine. 
4. Soap & Glory Sugarcrush Body wash and Buttercream: Every time I asked for British brand recommendations on Twitter, at leat 1 of the answers was "You need some Soap & Glory in your life". Yes, yes I do need it. Everything, from make up to skincare looks like a must-have. The quirky packaging, the reasonable prices and the positive reviews are more than enough to make me lust afer each and every one of their products, especially the Sugarcrush Body wash and Buttercream. 
5. Barry M nailpolish: Not much to say here, their color range is out of this world, I've heard the formulas are amazing. I want them all.
6. Sleek i-Divine Palettes: I'm not a massive eyeshadow person. I don't wear eyeshadow on a daily basis, but these palettes look like such agood investment. The neutral shades look great, they have a wide variety of both shimmers and matts and it's such a bargain, as you get twelve eyeshadows for such a reasonable price. What's not to like?!

Please, please leave me some more recommendations in the comments and tell me what you think of the products I've chosen. And most importantly, should I get them?

Saturday, 23 August 2014

Nivea Raspberry Rose Lip Butter

nivea raspberry rose kiss lip butter review

Just a quick post from me today, as I've been a busy bee these days with packing, making lists and all. I did, however, have time to stop by the drugstore and make a cheeky little purchase. As we're slowly but surely going into autumn, I decided it was time to get a new lipbalm for my handbag (I wouldn't carry my Nuxe Reve de Miel around, it's in a glass jar after all!). I did a bit of research and all the rave reviews convinced me to get the Nivea Raspberry Rose (or Raspberry Rose Kiss) Lip Butter. I must admit I thought Reve de Miel had ruined all other lipbalms for me until I found this little gem.

Price and packaging: I got mine for £2.10 which is a reasonable price for a drugstore lipbalm. You get 19g. of product in a compact, pink tin pot. Nothing special about the packaging, really. Just a standard tin, not too bulky and easy to carry around in your make up bag. The one thing I love about the packaging (except that it's pink) is that you can take the lid of SO easily, which means it's great to use on the go.
Smell, texture and application: The smell is absolutely divine. Have any of you tried MOAM sweets? If you have, that's what it smells like! The smell is not too overpowering, but you can still smell it on your lips after 30-40 minutes. The texture is really buttery, it's not sticky or waxy at all and it doesn't leave an unpleasant residue on your lips. Colorwise, even though it looks baby pink in the tin, it's completely sheer on the lips, which is a bit disappointing but since it's a lipbutter I can't complain. It doesn't feel heavy on the lips on application, it's lightweight but you can feel it's working its magic right away.
Overall verdict: Nivea are the bomb when it comes to lipbalms and treatments, and the Raspberry Rose Lip Butter  makes no exception. The formula is great, enriched with shea butter almond oil. It's a no-fuss product, you can just stick it in your handbag and you're good to go. It keeps your lips moisturised for a good few hours and you can reapply it without a mirror, super quick and easy. you need the smallest amount to keep your lips hydrated and soft throughout the day. The only downside it, though, that you have to stick your finger in it. I use wet wipes or antibacterial gel a few minutes before reapplying.

Have your tired Nivea Raspberry Rose Lip Butter or any of the other flavours of the Nivea Lip Butters?

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

How I edit my blog photos

how i edit my blog photos

Unfortunately, I don't own a DSLR or any other decent camera for that matter (except for an old Canon that barely works anymore). I take the pictures for this blog with my Samsung Galaxy S2. Yeah, I know, shocker - a blogger who takes pictures with their phone?! But honestly, it works for me and I don't see the point in spending a fortune on a DSLR at this point, when after editing, the pictures I take with my phone look half decent. In this post I'm going to show you exactly how I edit my blog photos in Photoshop CS3, but I bet you can do the same with any other editing program.

Basically what I do is play around with the brightness and contrast and the curves and put some finishing touches with the Spot cleaning brush to correct any mistakes. I prefer adding new adjustment layers as this way I can control their opacity and fill and mix it up a little bit. I would advice against making the adjustments to the background layer directly because you can't make changes to it later if you feel like you need to.

Brightness and contrast:
how to edit your blog photos

Adjusting the brightness and contrast can improve your pictures immensely. However it's important not to go overboard with it because you want to show the product's true colour, noting too bright or too dark. What I do here is add a new Brightness and contrast adjustment layer (Layer > New Adjustment Layer > Brightness and contrast) and up the brightness to about +20 and up the contrast to about +5-10 if needed. A pretty self-explainatory step, but a very important one as well.

how to edit photos for your blog

You can skip this step if you're satisfied with the results you got, but for me it's good to add a little extra depth and to brighten up the image a bit more. What I do is create a new Curves adjustment layer (Layer > New Adjustment Layer > Curves). And here's where you can get extra creative and make your pictures stand out. I use the built-in curves such as Linear Contrast and Lighten, but you can also buy or download pre-made curves (to install them simply click on the button left of "OK", then click on Load preset, choose your target colder and load your curve). I like the ones from Digital Film Actions but you can search Deviantart for more curves or Photoshop actions to find the ones that suit your needs best. Once you've completed this step you should have an almost finished image.

Spot Healing Brush: If there's a pesky little speck of dust on your background, or of there's a stain on the packaging of your product that you've missed, that's when the Spot healing brush comes in handy! And oh, yeah. It's great for removing pimples as well! Score. So what I do is basically take the spot healing brush and click on the stain/spot/dust and it blends seamlessly with what's next to it.

Extra tips: You can crop your images if you haven't composed your shot well. It's a quick fix for that. Also, if you find that you stick to the same routine, you can compose a Photoshop Action to speed up the process. Or you can download some pre-made actions and see which ones tickle your fancy.

Saturday, 16 August 2014

Manicure 101: Four steps for better-looking nails

manicure 101 four steps for better looking nails

Painting my nails and keeping them nice and Pinterest-looking has never been my thing. I've tried and tried but my nail plates have been screwed up for years (partly because I used to bite them A LOT, partly because they have uneven surface to begin with). However, I recently established a nailcare/nail-painting regime that I'm satisfied with. It's pretty simple, nothing fancy, really, just basic steps to keep my nails looking as good as possible with just a few basic products.

Step one: Filing my nails with a paper nailfile. I find this step has really helped get my nails back in their proper shape. In my view paper files tend to be more gentle on the nails, they are super fine and they help you get a more precise shape without damaging your nails. And, of course, it is important to file your nails in the same direction to prevent them from being uneven and separating.
P.S.: Look at my cute British-themed nailfile!

Step two: Using a nail-stengthener on my nails and an oil on my cuticles and pushing my cuticles back. I'm using a Rimmel Double Duty strengthener that also serves as a base coat. I find this pretty handy, it's a great two in one product and I'm definitely pleased with it. On my cuticles, I'm using coconut oil at the moment but I've been eyeing the Essie Apricot Cuticle oil, too. This helps soften your cuticles and makes them easier to push back. I never used to push my cuticles back before, but it really makes your nails look super shapely and your manicure - neater. I'm using an AVON manicure kit to take care of my cuticles, and it's defintiely worth investing in one.

Step three: Painting my nails. Quite an obvious one, really. My favourite shades at the moment are Essie's Ballet Slippers and OPI's Oy-Another-Polish-Joke (quite the mouthful... you can check my review of it right here). I find larger brushes easier to use as I have small nails and I pretty much need one swipe and I'm good to go. Essie, OPI and Maybelline Superstay polishes all have amazing brushes that I find supr easy to use.

Step four: Removing my nailpolish. This step can make or break your nails (literally). It's very important to use acetone-free nailpolish remover enriched with oils to keep you nails healthy and chip-free. I like using the Bourjois nailpolish remover. I like both the bottled and the sponge form, as the formula is basically the same - free of acetone and enriched with oils. It also smells divine, which is quite unusual for a nailpolish remover!

These are my four super easy steps for better-looking nails. What are your favourite nailpolishes/ nailpolish removers at the moment?

Wednesday, 13 August 2014

5 Lessons Beauty-blogging Has Taught Me

5 lessons beauty blogging has taught me
Image credit: Pinterest
This month marks my blog's first birthday! Misty's stuff is turning one! I never thought I'd stick to blogging that long, but there you go - I'm celebrating my frst blogiversary. And that being said, I decided to write a more personal-ish post and share the lessons that beauty blogging has taught me throughout this year.

1. To always ask myself "Do I really NEED this". Because, yes, at the time, spending $40 for an Hourglass powder may have seemed like a smart move, but trust me, in the longterm, it's probably not. My drawers are full of things that I've bought just because they were hyped up or, well, because they looked pretty. I'm not saying it's a bad thing to treat yourself to something nice, but always think about it first, especially if you can spend these $40 on 5 different things onstead of on one.

2. To take good care of my skin. This is perhaps the most valuable lesson of them all. I didn't really put much effort into skincare before, but I came to realize that in 10-20 years I would regret that. Putting sunscreen on, or using products with SPF in them, or spending $10 more on a great skincare product WILL pay off. Trust me, your skin will thank you. 
P.S.: Don't forget that "skin" doesn't just mean your face. Body scrubs and lotions are something that I usually neglect, but will try not to in the future.

3. To remember to never go overboard: With both make up and skincare. The more natural your make up looks, the better. If you're rocking a bold lip, try to keep it more natural on the eyes. Of course, I leave room for the unknown - different combinations may work for different people. The same goes for skincare - a minimal beauty regime that doesn't overwhelm the skin is way better. Less is almost always more.

4. To always do my research on what I'm about to buy. This is a very imposrant lesson, as it applies for not just beauty products, but generally any product you're considering purchasing. Really, I've had horrible experience with this - I spent $20 on a Deborah Millano eyeliner that I hadn't researched, and then BAM - smudgy liner, itchy eyes and an emptier bank account. Then I googled it and found the bad reviews. So try and learn from my mistake and always do your research.

5. Cheaper alternatives are sometimes better: Just because a product is expensive, doesn't mean it's better than a cheaper alternative. Sleek and Nars blushes, Bioderma and the L'Oreal Micellar Sollution (though I love the Bioderma) etc. If you're on a budget, there's always a cheaper alternative that might even turn out to be better than the expencive (and often extremely overpriced) version.

6. (ok, I cheated): DON'T neglect the brows.This is a step I always used to omit for some reason. Whether you have thinner or fuller brows, adding some definition and filling up the gaps is always a good thing to do. And whatever you do, don't overpluck them, you'll want them back and lord knows whether they'll grow back normal or not!

What has beauty-bloging taught you?

Friday, 8 August 2014

Budget Beauty: Eyeshadows

budget eyeshadow beauty uk

It seems to me that sometimes in the blogging world expensive and sometimes overpriced products get super hyped up, and you can see them on every, and I mean every single blog out there. And other equally as good, but not as expensive products get neglected. And I love an underdog, so that's why I decided to start a Budget Beauty series and talk about the underdogs of the beauty world, so to speak.

The first category is eyeshadow, and I know there are tons of great options out in the drugstore, but these are some that I use quite frequently and am quite happy with. They are amongst the cheapest options out these, so they're great if you're on a super tight budget, or you're just getting into make up!

beauty uk eyeshadow palette earth child
Beauty uk eyeshadow palette no. 4 - earth child
Beauty uk eyeshadow palette no. 4 - earth child: The first budget item is a palette. It's quite neutral, but it still has a wide variety of colors and tones - blacks, highlight colors, purply-beige-ish colors, and two greens. Most of the shadows are shimmery, some with a slight shimmer to them, others quite glittery. You can get this lovely palette in Superdrug for just £3.99, and if that's not a bargain, I don't know what is! The color pay off of some shades isn't that great, but the brighter colors have pretty decent pay off. You can see I've made quite the huge dent on the purply-browny color (middle one, top row). Most of the colors are pretty wearable, everyday shades, but can be elevated to a smoky, night-time look. Overall, you get quite a lot for your mony, as some signle shadows cost as much as this palette. You get 10 pretty decent shades and an almost endless variety of looks you can do. Well done, Beauty uk, you have captured my attention!

Essence Smokey eye set
Essence Smokey eye set
Essence Smokey Eye set: The essence smokey eye set consists of a glittery dark grey eyeshadow and a black cream eyeshadow that's supposed to serve the purpose of an eyeliner. It's quite the handy little set if you're in a hurry and can't be bothered to use a copule of different eyeshadows. The color pay off is not the most amazing with the cream shadow, but it works well enough to line the eyes. And it's such a bargain for just £2.50. It's so tiny and compact, perfect for carrying around in your handbag. Essence have come up with some pretty great products, so happy that they've finaly launched in the UK!

Honorable mention - Maybelline single eyeshadows: I'm sure everyone has owned one (or ten) of these in their lifetime. I mean they are a cult classic. You get quite the sizable single eyeshadow, highly pigmented and wearable, and a tiny-winy brush for £4.09 at Superdrug or any other drugstore, really. The range of colors is amazingly huge, but what I've showed you here is a purple with slight shimmer going through it. I wore this on new year's eve last year and I must say it lasted pretty well. I have about fove or six more of these Maybelline singles lying around and I'll definitely start using them again!

Hope you liked my bugget beauty picks. What are your favourite budget eyeshadows or palletes?

Wednesday, 6 August 2014

Garnier Micellar Cleansing Water Review

Another day, another micellar water. I had been eyeing the Garnier Micellar Water for quite some time now, and as I have seen the rave reviews (and I'm quite late on the bandwagon here) I decided to give it a go. Besides, I had just run out of my beloved L'Oreal micellar water (review here) so it was time to test out something new. Let's get started with the review!

Packaging and price: The packaging is quite appealing, the cute pink cap and the huge 400ml bottle (hmm doesn't that remind you of bioderma a bit...) caught my eye right away. One thing about the cap is quite annoying though - it screws off SO easily. If you're carrying this around for some reason, be very careful as it might spill in your bag. Sort yourselves out, Garnier - I don't want to spill half my micellar solution. Price-wise, you get a good amount for your money. I got it on offer for $6.5, but it normally costs about $12. For 400ml of product, I can't complain.
Cleansing power and how it feels on the skin: It's a bit better at removing eye make up than other micellar solutions, but it's a bit more drying to my skin. However, it doesn't sting my eyes the way some micellar sollutions do (I'm looking at you, L'Oreal), which is great. It does leave a bit of a residue but that's not really a problem for me. The bottle of the Garnier Micellar Water has a teeny-tiny opening and you don't end up wasting a lot of product, whereas with the huge opening on the L'Oreal Micellar Water you end up spilling way more than you need.
Overall verdict: I've used the Bioderma Sebium solution and the L'Oreal one and I must say Garnier beats them both! The quantity you get for your money is amazing, the quality is pretty decent, too. It's not too harsh, it removes eyeliner and mascara effortlessly and you don't end up wasting too much product. To sum up, the Garnier Micellar Water is such a bargain! By far the best, most reasonable drugstore alternative to the high-end brands!

I know most of you have probably tried this micellar water, so if you have - what are your thoughts on it? If not, what is your favourite micellar solution to use?

Tuesday, 5 August 2014

(Cute) Travel-sized Beauty

yves rocher minis

I haven't been fortunate enough to travel a lot this year, but as I am moving to England in about a month I thought it was time to stock up on some travel-sized beauty products for the first few days of my arrival.

I was lucky enough to get this travel-trio by Yves Rocher as a gift from a friend, and I must say I'm impressed. I got a Strawberry Eau de Toilette, a Yellow Peach Shower Gel and a nailpolish in the colour Rose. I mut admit they've got me hooked and I can't wait to get my hands on the large sizes.

Strawberry Eau de Toilette: It's a super fesh fruity scent as the name would suggest. I'm a fan of sweet, fruity scents this summer and this one is not too overpowering and you don't end up smelling like a walking strawberry. It's not a super complex scent, but I can definitely smell notes of vanilla and something else I can't really put my finger on. 
Yellow Peach Shower Gel: Oh. My. God. The smeel of this is simply addictive. It's peachy but not too sweet and it's quite a strong scent. I wouldn't recommend it to people with sensitive skin, as it might irritate or dry out the skin. However for my normal skin I think this would work well, I can't wait to use it in the morning as it smells so refreshing and awakening!
Nail polish in Rose: I've saved the best for last! I mean look how CUTE this is. It's so tiny-winy. And the colour is so beautiful. If essie's Mademoisselle and Ballet slippers had a nailpolish baby, that would be it. It's the perfect mixture of light baby pink and dusty rose. The brush is a bit smaller than the average but it works pretty well. Application-wise, it's a bit tricky to apply but it's almost a gel-like consistency and it lastst a really long time. Overall this is my favourite product of the three as the formula is to die for and the color is great on both pale and tanned skin.

Have you tried anything by Yves Rocher? Have you tried any of these three products?


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