Makeup DIY: pressing loose pigments

pressing pigments makeup diy eyeshadows
While I was re-organizing my makeup a few weeks ago I came across a box full of loose pigments that have been abandoned there for months if not years and the reason is simple laziness on my part. Because pigments are messy, they take more time and effort to apply than regular eyeshadows and I just cannot bring myself to use them. So when I had a sudden instinct to buy more eyeshadows the other day, I remembered of my pigments instead and decided to make myself new eyeshadows by pressing the pigments in pans and adding them to my Z-Palettes. The process is quite simple and with a bit of online research and key props anyone can press their pigments to eyeshadow pans in no time. Let me guide you through it.
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Italian Beauty Christmas Wishlist and Gift Guide 2015 Part 1: Makeup

You always yearn for what you cannot have. 
Getting to know the italian beauty blogger community better thanks to Fran of Being Cute is not a Crime brought new wishes from brands that are only available in Italy (or have ridiculous shipping costs to NL). Luckily for me, I travel to Italy to visit my family at least once a year, and that time has now come thanks to the Christmas holidays! I wrote this whole blog post just before Black Friday and the launch of new collections right after that, so a few of these bits are already on their way to me or already arrived..oops! 

Starting from one of my favorite makeup brands, my Nabla Cosmetics wishlist is always open and includes new launches and a few older products. Let’s start from the elefant in the room, the new Artika collection. I want it all, i want it all, I want it all, and I want it now! I placed an order for a few bits of it and can’t wait to play! The newly released cream shadows have received raving reviews from multiple sources, and of the six available colors, the yellow-base nude Underpainting and the cranberry red Supreme have caught my eye. From their eyeshadow refills I would like to grow my collection (we’re at 21 now) with Liliac Wonder and Extravirgin. Finally I’d like to try their Diva Crime lipsticks in the shades Balkis (a hazelnut color) and Domina (the most gorgeous dark red ever!).
Other makeup desires are from different brands. I have been into duochrome shadows of late (you can see my first attempt here), and the Neve Cosmetics Duochrome Palette called me incessantly. The shadows in the palette are gorgeous (courtesy of Fede Makeup & Beauty on Youtube) and the palette is decently priced for 10 huge pans. Neve Cosmetics is also knows for their incredible mineral makeup and the new ArtCircus collection features a gorgeous golden shimmer called Ticket that I’d really love to try. Great news is that in occasion of the release of their new brushes, Neve is having a 15% off sale valid until 22/12/15 and I have picked up these little bits with affordable shipping to The Netherlands as well. The next makeup wish is 100% enabled by the glorious reviews of many italian bloggers (here, here, here, and here). I am talking about the PuroBio Cipria Indissolubile, a mattifying powder that seems to resist even the hottest Italian summers. 
Finally for makeup, I am definitely going to step into the Wycon Cosmetics shop in my hometown to check out their Longlasting Liquid Lipsticks which I have heard such great things about (here and here). The swatches by Sabina of 10 ways to wear makeup are absolutely stunning and make me want them all. I have already placed a small order for Mandorla, Mattone and Sangria since they were extremely popular when released and they ended up being sold out in just a few days. I can’t wait to pick them up at my parent’s house!
So here are my makeup wishes for my visit to Italy over the holidays. I will see whether I’ll actually pick up all of these goodies, but a few for sure!
Do you see anything you like?
xo
A

PS. Part 2 on my skincare wishlist is coming next week! Keep an eye for some natural skincare product recommendations!

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American Makeup: L.A. Girl, Milani, Morphe Brushes and Wet n Wild and discount codes

More sales, more shopping enabling. This time of the year we’re all feeling spendy, with Black Friday  and Cyber Monday deals, the holidays closing in and presents stress building up. I am here to help you guys save some money while you’re spending it..does it make sense?
We are all attracted to what we cannot have. American brands of makeup have a certain allure to them and the raving reviews of beauty bloggers on the web always make our wishlists longer and longer. The only way to get these products here in the old continent is to rely to local webshops that stock brands like Milani, L.A. Girl, Morphe brushes. I have my own two favorites and these are The Makeup Spot and Boozyshop.

The advantage to using local webshops is that there will be no custom tax surprise at the door, with charges up to 40% of your order added. And those surprises make your heart skip, I tell you from experience. Furthermore, shipping is cheaper and faster and ultimately you have access to a lot of products that cannot be shipped overseas to individuals for custom restrictions.

My latest purchases include these Morphe Brushes single eyeshadows, The Balm Mary Lou Manizer, L.A. Girl Matte Lip stain and Wet n Wild Megalast lipsticks from Boozyshop and Barry M nail polishes and my now holy grail Zoeva Opulence eyeliner from The Makeup Spot. I have been incredibly impressed by the fast dispatching and the incredibly kind Customer Service. I had a bad experience with my postman delivering the package in a different street and the girls at The Makeup Spot interfaced with the post office very fast and it was a fuss-free affair for me.

I have a discount code for you guys to shop at The Makeup Spot with 15% discount of your whole order with the code sint2015.

Have you tried these shops of have found your own beauty webshop?
xo
A

*this post contains affiliate links. This means that if you purchase from these links I will receive a small commission that will not cost you anything but help support the blog. In any case all opinions are my own and the products in this post have been purchased by me. 

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Black Friday 2015 Beauty and Makeup Deals

Black Friday is from tradition the day after the American holiday Thanksgiving and the kickstart of Christmas shopping. Therefore most American shops offer on Black Friday (27.11, day after Thanksgiving) and Cyber Monday (30.11, Monday after Thanksgiving) great deals and discounts. In this globalized world, these days have been adopted by European brands as well to push consumers to start holiday shopping.
In this post (totally inspired by last year’s post on 10 Ways to Wear Makeup) I will try to bring you discounts and codes valid for this occasion in the most used beauty-related webshops. For my European readers, I will signal the American website for which you might be charged customs costs. I would personally not suggest you make big purchases unless you’re prepared to pay around 40% of your purchase extra.
I will keep updating this list as much as I can leading up to Black Friday and Cyber Monday so keep an eye out for new brands and websites!

Anastasia Beverly Hills (USA)
Black Friday: Two new Liquid Lipsticks (Catnip, soft plum, and Soft Lilac, pinky mauve). 25% off all brow products.
Cyber Monday: All individual lipglosses for $9.99 (regularly $16), 30/11 only. Free #23 brush with purchase of Illuminator, 30/11 only.  25% off all brow products.

Asos (International)
Warm up deals with 60% off winter clothing leading up to Black Friday
30% off Maybelline and Babyliss products
20% off everything with code CYBER, ends 01/12.

BB Cream Italia (IT)
60% to 70% off selected products, here

Many brands on discount including Stila, Gerard Cosmetics and more.
PS. MakeupGeek products will be restocked only next week unfortunately

BH Cosmetics (USA)
Black Friday page here, more info will come when available.

Boozyshop (NL)
Free shipping in NL, minimum purchase of 15€

Cloud 10 Beauty (IRL)
20% off the entire site

Coastal Scents (USA)
55% off the whole site while stock lasts, 25/11 to 30/11

ColourPop (USA)
$5 off $40, $10 off $60, $15 off $80, $20 off $100 from 25/11 to 29/11

CultBeauty (UK)
Best of Beauty 2015 goodie bag worth over 180£ when you spend over 125£

Dose of Colors (USA)
Black Friday: 20% off your entire order, excludes Dare to dazzle trio
Cyber Monday: Free US shipping and $5.50 off international shipping

Ecco-Verde (EU)
10% off the whole site plus special deals on selected brands

Feelunique (UK)
20% off everything with code BLACKFRIDAY20 and special deals available in limited quantities, find them here

Gerard Cosmetics (USA)
48% off sitewide with code BLACKFRIDAY, valid until 30/11

Illamasqua (International)
Black Friday sale on selected products, here

Inglot Cosmetics
NL: until 5/12 10% discount + free gift with code SINTLOT

Jeffree Star Cosmetics (USA)
Black Friday: Free shipping and 30% off selected shades
Cyber Monday: 30% off selected shades

Kiko Cosmetics (International)
30% off your order online and buy 3 get 3 for free in the shops from 26/11 to 30/11
My wishlish for Kiko is huge! You can find my favorite products here

LA Splash (USA)
all lipsticks and lashes 10$ from 25/11 to 30/11

15% off your order with the code BLACKFRIDAY

Love Makeup (UK)
spend £30 get 10% off with code treat10
spend £70 get 15% off with code treat15
spend £125 get 20% of with code treat20

MAC Cosmetics (International)
Limited Berry Black Friday Patent Polish Lip Pencil exclusively online on 27/11
Black Friday: 27/11
– Pigment Variety Pack $30
– Black Friday Brush Bundle: $40
– Eyeshadow & blush variety pack: $50
– Foiled eyeshadow expansion pack: $70
– Super shimmer palette: $125

Makeup Revolution (UK)
From 24/11 through 1/12 a free gift worth 30£ when you spend 30£. Gift includes a blush palette, 2 eyeshadow palettes, 2 lip products and more. Save 1/3 on selected gift sets.

Maquillalia (IT, ES)
3×2 combinable among the following brands: Ardell, Balmi, Batiste, Bell, Beter, Carmex, Catrice, Essence, Hean, Joanna, Jordana, L.A. Girl, Makeup Revolution, Milani, Montagne Jeunesse, Mya, Nabla, Naturcos, Pierre Rene, Sleek, The Balm, Tiki Tahiti, Treets, Vanity Tools, Wet n Wild, Ziaja.

35% off the following brands: Essie, Garnier, Loreal Paris, Maybelline, NYX, The Brush Tools, Audrey, China Glaze, Kativa, MQBeauty Nexa, Wingman, 3M, Girlz Only
25% off the following brands: Baviphat, Babyliss Paris, Babyliss PRO, Aromya, Batman, Baylis & Harding, Betty Boop, CMD Naturkosmetik, ColourB4, ColourBomb, CrazyColor, Daen, Minnie Mouse, Disney Princess, Disney Violetta, Marvel comics, Marvel heroes, Superman, Umbro, Zpalette, UBU

Melt Cosmetics (USA)
30% off everything starting at 12 PST (8PM in Central Europe), no code needed

Michael Todd (USA)
Thanksgiving sale 40% off everything with the code TGMT40

Morphe Brushes (USA)
20% off all products with code 20BLACKFRIDAY plus selected products on sale

Mulac Cosmetics (IT)
% off the entire site on Black Friday only

Neve Cosmetics (IT)
15% off your order, free shopper, free limited edition pochette and 1€ express shipping to Italy, 5€ to Europe. Valid until 22/12.

NIP+FAB (UK)
30% off site wide with code BFWKD30 valid through 30/11

Black Friday:
Cyber Monday: original packaging liptar for $5
Free shipping on orders above $50

Ofra Cosmetics (USA)
50% off the whole site with code OFRA50 from 27/11 to 30/11

Ole Hendriksen (USA)
Free $100 Surprise Gift Bag with $50 purchase with code 100GIFT, 24/11 through 30/11.

Paula’s Choice (USA)
15% off everything + free shipping + free copy of Paula’s Latest book with any $65 purchase. code BOOK15

NL: 10% off the most loved products until 30/11, no code needed.

Sedona Lace (USA)
Black Friday: 50% off everything 

Sephora (USA, International)
Many bundles and sets for 10$. Find the whole list on Temptalia
Sigma Beauty (USA)
26/11 – 27/11 free shipping sitewide. 30/11, get 20% off with code CYBER2015

Tarte Cosmetics (USA)
25% off your order with code FRIDAY from 25/11 to 27/11

The Makeup Spot (NL)
20% off all hair products until 28/11 with code HAIR20
Urban Decay (USA, International)
Black Friday (27/11-28/11): 20% off the whole site with code CRUSHED 
Cyber Monday: the Naked Vault Vol.II is back for $165

Violet Voss (USA)
40% off everything with code blackfriday40 from 24/11 to 30/11.

Wycon Cosmetics (IT)
Free shipping on all orders through 27/11

Do you have a Black Friday wishlist? What brands are you stalking for discounts?
If you have any other news to signal please don’t hesitate to comment below or let me know on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter and I’ll update the list!!

xo
A

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Brush Cleansing Tips and Essentials

makeup brush cleansing cleanser tree drying
A weekend of parties and dinners comes with a whole lot of makeup brushes to clean so while I was busy scrubbing I thought I would share my brush cleansing tips and essentials. To be honest with you, cleaning brushes is an activity I despise and do not look forward to, as I think most lazy people with an extensive brush collection, as I am. However, it is of the utmost importance to take care of your brushes and clean them regularly. They are in contact with your face and can be breeding ground for bacteria that eventually can cause clogging of pores or even pink eye. Not pretty. So clean our brushes we must.
A photo posted by Alice’s Madness (@alicemadness87) on

Now there are two ways I like to clean my brushes: spot and deep cleansing. Spot cleansing is a quicker way to disinfect and clean the brushes using an alcohol based cleanser. My cleanser of choice is the HEMA Brush Cleanser, which I decant in a little spray bottle for convenience. This is the only affordable brush cleanser I found that does its job and has a pleasant smell. Whatever cleanser you choose to use, you should spot clean your brushes at least every week, even though I do it additionally every time I do a more dramatic smokey look, to have my eye brushed clean for the next day’s makeup. This type of cleanse however doesn’t get all the cream products out of the brushes and  for that once a month I give them a deeper cleanse, sort of a shampoo. This involves getting under the tap with warm water and a specific product (I use the E.l.f. Brush Shampoo) or baby shampoo, and swirl the brushes on a brush egg or on your hand until the water runs clean. This takes a good chunk of time and a Sunday evening job for me, but this really gets the brushes clean and taken care of.
brush cleansing tips tricks essentials tree drying washing

Independently of how you wash your brushes, it is extremely important to keep moisture and liquids away from the attachment of the bristles to avoid shedding. This is also true while the brushes are drying, and for this the best method I found is using a Brush Tree. I have recently purchased mine from Aliexpress and loved it so much that I am now waiting for my second one to come in the mail. They are small, easy to store and fit brushes of all shapes and sizes, including the thick handle Real Techniques ones. You just set the brushes to dry upside down and the shafts will be safe, the bristles will keep their shape and they will dry faster than when they’re lying on a towel. You can find them for any price from 5 to 20 euros depending on the seller. I highly recommend these.

So here are my tips and essentials to clean and bacteria free makeup brushes.
Do you have your own secret to taking care of your brushes? If so, leave a comment down below, I’d love to learn more!

xo
A

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DIY Marble Table Top and Blog Photo Background

When I moved into the new house in February, I was all for that Pinterest look, white and pastel colors are all over my office/makeup room to make it look like my inspirations I had posted here. However, there’s only so much white on white I can handle and I felt that now was time for a change. Inspired by Vivianna Does Makeup’s post on her obsession with marble and an older post on Veracamilla.nl, I decided to spice up my Ikea Expedit by turing it from off-white to marble. 

This little space has been the background for most of my blog photos, since it is straight across from the window and against the wall. I though that the ideal background would be a white one, but instead it just makes for over-exposure if the light is not right in the room and overall I just got bored of it, so it was time for a change. I went to my local DIY shop and picked up a roll of adhesive plastic foil with a marble print that looked reasonably realistic and was incredibly cheap (only 6€ here). The adhesive foil was incredibly easy to stick to the piece of furniture and is also intended to be easily removable, so there is no damage if I decide to change it in the future. All I had to do was measure and cut a stripe from the roll and gradually let it stick to the Expedit piece. Appeltje eitje, as they say here in The Netherlands.
I find that marble makes for a more interesting background for pictures and goes well with my new black marble dish from H&M. Maybe I got obsessed as well, I blame Vivianna Does Makeup. 
What do you think of the change? Do you like to DIY your spaces?
xo
A
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Natural Haircare for healthy hair after summer + giveaway

After a summer of sunshine, swimming in the sea or pool, and in general spending a lot of time outdoors, my hair has definitely had the worst of it and was left dry and with my signature red color turned orange. A bit of a tragedy if I must say. As soon as I came back from my greek holiday I decide to change up my hair care routine to include natural products free of sulfates in the hope to bring some life and shine back to my mane.

Sulfates are soaps commonly used in shampoos and have been in a negative spotlight for a few years now, appointed as responsible for many problems such as hair dryness and damage, itchy and flaky scalps and especially fading in color treated hair. From what I read every signal told me to stay away from them as much as possible with my dry sun and color damaged hair.

The first product I gravitated towards was my trusted coconut oil, of which I praised the qualities here already, so I won’t go to much in detail about it. I leave it on overnight or while I sport and when I wash it out my hair feels so lush and healthy. This is honestly the best and at the same time cheapest hair mask I’ve tried, if you haven’t you definitely should!

I decided to take a step further and try to substitute my drugstore shampoo and conditioner for natural and sulfate free products. I had tried to do this before trying the EverPure line from L’Oréal but didn’t feel like it wasn’t cleaning my hair properly so I abandoned the idea for a while. This time I was lucky enough to be contacted by Maple Holistics to try a few of their products and I was blown away! I was sent the Argan Shampoo and the Silk 18 Conditioner and after the first time I tried them, I loved them and never went back. The final result was clean, shiny, silky hair as I hadn’t had in a while and I honestly couldn’t stop touching it all day. But let’s take a closer look at them.

The Argan shampoo is a “special formula shampoo” which is based on a gentle foaming base to which nourishing and therapeutic ingredients are added to give you and your hair the best shampooing experience. And it really is the case in my opinion. It contains argan, jojoba, almond, camelia seed and avocado oil to provide the hair of nutrients, vitamin E and moisture that give it shine and a healthy look, together with botanical keratin and natural vanilla and honey fragrance. The directions for use suggest you to shampoo twice, leaving the product to rest in your hair for a few minutes to allow the ingredients to penetrate the hair before rinsing. Now I was a bit skeptical about this at first and followed the directions exactly, but have later found that the shampoo works perfectly even when washing (and letting rest) only once, which makes it much easier when I’m at the gym and don’t have much time. Just be warned that in the shower you will have the feeling that your hair is still greasy, but that is just a feeling and this shampoo does a great job at cleaning the scalp.

Immediately afterwards I apply the Silk18 Conditioner on all my hair, not only the lengths. This is advised by Maple Holistics to make sure all your hair, including the roots take advantage of the eighteen silk amino acids present in the formula together with the botanical keratin. In this product we see again the presence of argan and jojoba oils together with other conditioning ingredients and the final result is incredibly soft and silky hair that is not weighed down and smells amazingly of vanilla. I adore it!

I am therefore enthusiastic that Maple Holistics, in collaboration with Edumuch, is putting forward one of each shampoo and conditioner to give away to one of you lovely readers as part of their #summerofgiveaways campaign, All you have to do is enter the giveaway via the widget below and follow this blog and the brand on social media.

Left: after the first time, right: after 2 weeks of using the Maple Holistics Argan shampoo and Silk18 conditioner

I genuinely recommend going sulfate-free and natural with your haircare if you have trouble keeping your hair healthy and shiny, these three marvelous products did wonders for my hair!
What are your tricks to keep your hair healthy?
xo
A

Maple Holistics Haircare Duo Giveaway #summerofgiveaways

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My Top 5 Brow Products

top 5 brow products
Good morning beauties and happy Monday! Today we’re talking about a topic that is really close to my heart: brows. They have been all the rage these past year and still going strong all over instagram and the blogosphere. From ombre brows, to sculpted brows to natural brows, there’s something for every style, and here are my top 5 brow products to achieve your perfect brow.
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Top 5 Makeup Tips for Hooded Eyes

natural makeup tips for hooded eyes
I always hear people ask me why I wear makeup, why wouldn’t I just go about my day and save myself half an hour in the morning. My answer is and has always been because I makes me feel good. It makes me feel more beautiful and confident, doesn’t matter what I’m wearing. I always struggled with my image and never thought I was pretty until I started taking my time to correct features that i don’t find to my liking. Now I don’t want to get into big discussions about it, I’m just saying that I do it for myself, because it makes me happier. But I digress, one of the features I like to correct with makeup is my eye shape. I have hooded eyes that point downward and this can make me look sleepy or sad sometimes, so here is a small guide on how I create an every day neutral look to lift and brighten the eyes.
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L’Oreal Collection Exclusive Pure Reds: the drugstore answer to MAC matte lipsticks

l'oreal collection exclusive pure reds review swatches mac dupes red lipstick
Bold matte lips are all I wear these days and as every good makeup addict I have been drooling on the new MAC Matte LE lipsticks. However, I’m not ready to spend 19€ per lipstick, I guess it’s a psychological thing, dunno. You can imagine then my reaction to a new release from the drugstore: the L’Oreal Collection Exclusive Pure Reds, a full line of red matte lipsticks with different undertones to suit all different skin tones.
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