Essence Big Bright Eyes: the brow lifters!

Good morning beauties!
This morning I wanted to show you this little find from the drugstore that really made my day!!! Ever since my workshop at Benefit (read more here), where I had the chance to try their High Brow pencil, I wanted to find an affordable option that would highlight and help lift the brow bone. Especially on those days in which I don’t have time to take out my eyeshadows, it is so convenient to use a pencil to highlight the brow bone and help the eyes look more awake! 
Strolling absentmindedly in Kruidvat recently and noticed some new bits in the Essence booth, among which these three beauties. They are called Big Bright Eyes and come in 3 colors: Highlight it… Nude,… Pearly and … Funky. Nude is a light matte pink that is perfect for everyday wear both as a brow highlight and in the waterline for bigger and brighter eyes (lol). Pearly is a pearlescent pink which is beautiful to highlight during the evenings and give your look a new dimension. Finally Funky is a golden toned shade with purple opalescence. I find this shade a bit more difficult to use on a day to day basis but it does make a nice funky touch to those more colorful and acid looks.
The pencils are buttery and easy to blend. Only down side is that they seem to go on a bit patchy in the waterline but I have no complaints actually. Oh have i forgotten to mention that these are only 1.99€ against the 21€ you need to spend in Benefit’s High Brow??!
Overall I am very pleased with this little find and would definitely recommend it!
Have you tried Essence products? What is your favorite?
xo
A
Continue Reading

Summer on your eyes Part 4: sunset hues

 Ah finally summer is here!!! We had 30 degrees, sunny weather, summer storms and all the great barbecues and parties that come with it! The other evening I went out for a birthday/housewarming party and felt the need to splash out in colors even more than usual (as if that was unusual, hihi). I was wearing a blue dress from H&M and decided to go complementary with makeup in the tones of orange, recreating a sunset effect. 
Here are the products I used:
Eyes

  • Maybelline Color Tattoo in Eternal Gold (here) as eyeshadow base to make sure the colors would pop and not crease;
  • Sleek I-Divine palette Curacao for the eyeshadows, the yellow in the inner third of the lid, the orange in the middle and the coral on the outer third;
  • Lorac Pro palette,  I used Garnet (rusty red shimmer) to deepen the outer V and Nude as an inner corner highlight;
  • Catrice Liquid Liner Waterproof for the flick;
  • RImmel Scandaleyes Waterproof Kohl Eyeliner in Bronze in the waterline;
  • Maybelline The Falsies Flared and L’Oréal Telescopic waterproof  mascaras layered.
Face and Lips
  • L’Oréal Nude Magique Eau de Teint foundation for light coverage;
  • Maybelline Fit Me concealer under the eyes;
  • Rimmel Stay Matter Powder in translucent to set the concealer and mattify the t-zone;
  • The Body Shop Bronzing Pearls for an all over bronzed look;
  • Catrice Definition Blush in Love and Peach (here);
  • MAC Extra Dimension Skinfinish in Fairy Precious as a highlight on top of the cheekbones, on the brow bone and on the cupid’s bow;
  • Catrice Eyebrow Stylist in 030 Brow-n-eyed peas;
  • L’Oreal Collection Privee Eva’s Nude, beautiful peachy nude to balance the eyes and let them steal the show.

And to pull it all together I wore my beautiful coral earrings from Ibiza which I am madly in love with! 
Do you like the look? Would you wear a look this colorful or would you change something? Let me know in the comments, I am always looking to improve! 🙂
xo
A
Continue Reading

Makeup Confidential Tag

My vanity before the Madness began!

Time for another tag! This time something more on the makeup collection! I found this tag on Serena’s blog beautylab.nl and thought it was a great tag to do, so here are my answers to the questions!

  • What is the oldest item in your collection? I think that the BH Cosmetics 120 eyeshadow paletted (1st edition) is the oldest products I still have it in my collection. I bought it back in 2009 and still love to use it for colorful looks.
  • What is the newest item? I just bought the other day the Essence All About Matte powder and the Essence Big Bright Eyes pencil (Benefit Highbrow dupe?). Inexpensive and working good for now!!!
  • What is the most expensive item?  I am definitely a big spender in makeup, but I prefer to research and buy cheaper but more products. All this to say that I don’t own very expensive items, and the most expensive of them all has to be my Naked 2 palette.
  • What is the cheapest/most affordable item (that you use a lot)? Definitely the ELF Eyelid primer. For 1€ it is unbeatable! 
  • What is the biggest bargain? I think my best bargain was buying the Lorac Pro palette from Amazon.com. Buying in dollars with minimum shipping fees made it a moderate expense compared to, for example, the Naked 2 palette. I use it every day I wear eyeshadow and absolutely adore it!
  • What was the biggest waste of money? MAC Face and Body, I never use it because it has too much of a dewy finish. Sad. I even got the large bottle (for some unknown reason). I’ll give it another try this summer.
  • What product have you bought but forgotten about? MAC Pro Longwear Concealer for sure! I remember being super excited when I started using it but then I was super annoyed by the fact that a minimal pump of product is WAAAAY too much for my needs. I hate wasting such a good and expensive product. So I forgot about it (as if that is less of a waste……..)
  • What product is good quality for money? I find the Catrice blushes and eyebrow pencils are great  quality and for the price they are really unbeatable.
  • Three products you’ve been loving at the moment? The Body Shop bronzing pearls and the KIKo Long Lasting Eyeshadow Stick (sooo waterproof!!!!).
So here are my answers! What are yours? If you feel like it, consider yourself tagged to do the Makeup Confidential Tag and leave me a comment with your link!
xo
A
Continue Reading

Summer on your eyes Part 3: daytime peach

Good morning beauties!
Let’s be honest, spring is being quite moody here in The Netherlands and weather hasn’t been the best, but I try to keep the mood up with some summery makeup. While going through my eyeshadows to decide what to wear, I came by the beautiful Kiko Water Eyeshadow in 218 Grapefruit Pink. I talked about these eyeshadows here and I highly recommend them for the beautiful colors and the fact that you can use them dry and wet for a more intense color. That’s how I used it for this look, dabbing it with a flat brush all over the lid. In the crease I used my beloved Lorac Pro palette and the Makeup Geek eyeshadow Cocoa Bear, a gorgeous warm brown. On my cheeks the Catrice defining Blush in Love & Peach and The Body Shop Bronzing Pearls and on my lips is L’Oréal Eva’s Nude.
Kiko Water Eyeshadow 218 Grapefruit Pink (on the right)
Quite happy about myself aren’t I? 
And a final shout out to those gorgeous earrings I got from my friend as she was back from Ibiza. I’m obsessed with them!!!
I hope you like this look!
xo
A
Continue Reading

Lip Product Addict Tag

 Hi beauties!
Another tag today: I have been tagged by the gorgeous Laura from Pink Frenzy to do the Lip Product Addict Tag. This was started by Amelia Liana and Essie Button on Youtube (here) and has gone viral ever since, because honestly, who of us isn’t a lip product addict?!?!
So let’s get on with it!
Favorite balm/treatment?
During the day I use The Body Shop Aloe Lip Treatment, which is a thick gloss-like texture that stays put for a long time and is a real miracle worker when it comes to dry lips, and boy do I have dry lips (sigh). That’s why in the evening I then resort to the Labello Repair & Beauty lip balm before I go to sleep.
Best eye-catching red? 
I love the brightness of my Maybelline Superstay 24h Color lip stain in 510 Red Passion. It is a true red that just screams pin up! Apparently I couldn’t get a proper picture since the light was a bit weird, so it looks orangy, but it definitely isn’t in person! I swear! 
Swatches of the Maybelline Superstay 24h Color in 510 Red Passion
and MAC Diva
Best luxury & best drugstore?
As much as an addict I can be, I don’t feel like spending too much money for a lipstick that I will wear once or twice a week, so I mainly stick to drugstore lipsticks. One exception is MAC lipsticks of which I own only one but I’d love to own them all!
My favorite drugstore has to be the Maybelline lipsticks (Vivids) and 24h lipstains.
Best MAC lipstick?
As I said, I own only one, Diva, a dark red that I adore in autumn and winter. It is seriously stunning!
Most disappointing?
Maybelline Superstay 14h Lipsticks are supposed to give a matte color that lasts (guess what?!) 14 hours. BS I say! These go in the creases of my lips like crazy and crumble rather than fade leaving the lips dry and unhappy.
Lip liner yes or no?
I am definitely one for lip liner when wearing a bold lip, especially red. However, at some point a couple of months ago, I got annoyed at having to have a different liner for almost every different lip color I own, so I went out and bought the KIKO Invisible Lip Liner and solved the problem. This goes on the outer perimeter of the lips and prevents the color from feathering in the fine lines. 
Best lip gloss?
Hmm, difficult question. I’m not really one for lip glosses, probably because all of the ones I tried were sticky and the feeling just annoys me so much! So no favorite lip gloss for me, no lip gloss at all actually.
All my liquid lipsticks
Something extra: my liquid lipstick obsession.
This question is open for everyone to personalize and I want to dedicate it to my obsession for liquid lipsticks and stains. I’d say 50% of my lip collection is liquid lipsticks, 30% traditional lipsticks and 20% the jumbo crayon type of product. I just love long lasting products that I don’t need to touch up after 2 or 3 hours and liquid lipsticks and stain are the way to go for me! My favorite ones are the Maybelline Superstay 24h Colors, the Bourjois Rouge Edition Velvets and the Rimmel Apocalips.
So here’s my tag! 
I tag all of you reading to do it if you’re a lip product addict and leave the link below in the comments! I am always curious to read your favorites!
xo
A
Continue Reading

Newbies from KIKO: mini reviews, swatches and look

Hello lovely ladies!
For those of you who follow me for a while, it is no secret that I love the brand KIKO Makeup Milano. Their products range from makeup to skincare and are great quality for an affordable price! A bargain! I hauled and reviewed some other of their products here and here. As many other makeup brands do, they often come out with new limited edition products, the ones out at the moment are two: Boulevard Rock and Life in Rio.
If you have seen my latest posts, you might have the suspicion that I got a little crazy for green, and it might be is true. This slight obsession translates in clothing, eye makeup and of course nail polish. In their latest limited editions KIKO made a great job in fueling my crazy and starting from the eyes here are the products that make the cut.

Swatches: 1: KIKO Skinny Fit Kajal 02, 2. Skinny Fit Kajal 03,
3. Tropical Waterproof eyeliner in 03, 4.Colour Shock Long Lasting Cream Eye Shadow in 107,
5. Long lasting Stick Eyeshadow in 04.

First are the super long KIKO Skinny Fit Kajal in 02 Glam Sea Green and 03 Progressive Turquoise (4.80€ here). These pencils are supposed to be used in the waterline, but since nothing stays put there with me and it just makes me cry (true story), I just use them as eyeliners on my upper and lower lash line. They are both super pigmented and buttery, so they don’t tug on the eye when applying it so all in all love them!

For the next product I had a bit of a mishap with the choice of colour. I got the Colour Shock Long Lasting Cream Eyeshadow in 107 Inspiration Emerald (5.50€ here). Honestly I thought it was a lighter shade from the website but anyways, this is a gorgeous dark teal cream eyeshadow that feels like a mousse to the touch but once it’s on it sets super fast and stays put, seriously forever! It is beautiful alone and as a base for the powder eye shadows.

One of my longest lasting quests is the one for the perfect waterproof eyeliner thanks to my crying eyes (see above) so when I saw the new Tropical Waterproof Eyeyliner (7.90€ here) from the Life in Rio collection, I couldn’t help myself but picking up the shade 03 River Turquoise. This is truly a beautiful color and when I swatched it on my hand and then tried to wipe it off with a wet tissue, it didn’t budge. So my hopes were high. However (dreaded word), when applied on my eyelid it took ages to dry during which I had to make sure it didn’t touch my upper lid. When it was finally dry, it felt constantly tacky and not completely comfortable. Still, it didn’t budge all day and I keep using it despite the “however”s.

Swatches after going over with a wet tissue. Let’s talk waterproof!!!! 

Last for the eyes another great waterproof product are their Long Lasting Stick Eyeshadows (6.90€ here). For this product I chose to pick the neutral 04 Golden Brown and stray from my green/blue obsession in favor of something I can wear everyday. In fact these sticks are perfect for a quick swipe of color on the lid, a bit of blending with your fingers and you’re good to go!

I wore this look the other day using the Colour Shock Long Lasting Cream Eyeshadow in Inspiration Emerald on the lid and the Skinny Fit Kajal in Glam Sea Green on the lower lashline. On my nail the Denim Nail Laquer in 463 Evasion lawn Green

Finally over to nails, my new obsessions are:

  • Denim Nail Laquer in 463 Evasion Green (2.50€ here), a beautiful green with a demi matte effect. The finish is matte and feels silky to the touch, but to keep it you cannot wear a top coat, which reduced the life of the polish to a mere 1 day (sigh);
  • Nail Laquer in Mint Milk (2.50€ here) this beautiful mint-green has become my favorite nail color and got me many compliments from (random) people at work and in shops. With the Sally Hansen Insta Dry top coat it lasts me up to 5 days.
KIKO Nail Laquer in Mint Milk

So that’s it for my obsession for green and blues and the new products from KIKO which fuel my craze and make me very happy!

What is your favorite product from KIKO? Something I should try?
xo
A

Continue Reading

Emerald smokey eye and OOTD

Good evening beauties!
Tonight a bit of a different post, I want to share with you an outfit I wore on Saturday for a dinner with friends. Saturday was finally a nice and warm day and I felt like I wanted to wear some bright color and white, so here I ended up with a pair of emerald shorts from Primark and a white shirt from New Yorker. Although it as warm during the day, it’s The Netherlands so I had to wear tights, and black was all I had home, sigh… overall, I added a pair of black studded boots and I was good to go!

For the makeup, I used my usual base as I described here, and for the smokey eyes I used the green shades from the Sleek Curacao palette which has made it again to the top of my palette stash thanks to its gorgeous colors ad good quality eyeshadows. I cannot praise it enough!
On my cheeks The Body Shop Bronzing Pearls and on the lips the L’Oréal Caresse in 200 Princess.
Do you wear colorful makeup? I cannot have enough these days!!!
xo
A
Continue Reading

A brown smokey eye with the new Real Techniques Modern Natural Palette

Happy Saturday everyone! Finally ready for the weekend, I wanted to share with you my thoughts on the new limited edition Real Techniques palette. Recently the Pixiwoo sisters Sam and Nic have lauched two palettes next to their line of exceptional makeup brushes (review and love here). I was super excited and couldn’t keep myself from getting one. To my excuse, in occasion of the launch of these palettes, realtechniques.com started shipping internationally which for us Europeans means that we get a good deal when buying in dollars! The palette retails for 25$ which is just over 18 euros making it a great bargain!
Swatches of the Real Techniques Modern Natural palette
Back to the palettes, there are two types: a smokey night time palette called Night Owl and a more neutral every-day palette called Modern Natural. I got the latter because I know I will get more use out of these shades. Each palette contains 4 eyeshadows (3 shimmers and 1 matte), a dark gel eyeliner, a powder blush, a cream highlighter and 2 mini glosses. In the Modern Natural Palette the shadows are from left to right:
  • Quicksand: a shimmer cream to use as a highlight,
  • Gold metal: a light shimmer bronze for all over the lid, 
  • Caramel Mocha: a matte medium brown to put in the crease, 
  • Nightshade: a dark pewter shade to emphasize the outer V.
All of the shadows are well pigmented and blend nicely, but I have to say that the matte shade was a bit of a challenge to work with and ended up blotching by the end of the day. The eyeliner is brown and can be applied with the new pointed liner brush that comes as a free treat with the palette. Unfortunately this is non very pigmented and doesn’t really show up much on the upper lid, but I used it to smudge the lower lash line to add smokiness. 

Looking at the blush Coral Sunset I was worried it wouldn’t show up on me at all, it looks way to light and pinky. However, when applied, it gives a nice flush of color that looks extremely natural but still visible. I was pleasantly surprised! This is really a shade that is perfect for light to medium skin tones. Moving on, the cream highlighter in Champagne is just gorgeous! A pleasure to apply and blend out and it looks effortless and not obvious at all. 
Finally Copperhead and Nectar are a golden and a pink shimmery gloss respectively. I personally don’t like using glosses because I find all of the ones I tried (not many tbh) were way too sticky and didn’t last at all. So I was surprised on how comfortable and hydrating these glosses are without any of the stickiness I was expecting. In the look I am wearing the shade Nectar.
A daytime brown smokey eye using the Real Techniques Modern Natural Palette
With the palette I created a daytime brown smokey eye perfect to go to work. Overall I think this palette is very good quality and affordable price and all the products in there are great for every day use both for beginners and expert users. The only down side for me would be the bulkiness of the packaging that doesn’t make it very travel friendly and the fact that you need to carry a separate eyeliner because the one in there is not pigmented enough. I anyway recommend it if you’re in the market for a neutral palette with good value for money. Personally I am not sure how much use it will get because most of these colors are in my Lorac Pro palette which I use daily.
Have you tried these palettes? Would you purchase them?
Let me know in the comments below!
Have an amazing weekend!
xo
A
Continue Reading

Lippies for Spring Part 5: Reds

Here we are, the final chapter of my favorite lipsticks for the warmer seasons. It started out as a spring series, and technically we still are in spring, but here in the Netherlands we have been experiencing a somewhat summery heat wave with sunny days and up to 27 degrees! Amazing! Anyway, point is I will definitely be wearing these colors over in summer too, I wasn’t much into pastels anyway. I saved the classic for last, so this installment of the series is dedicated to red lips. Definitely a statement lip that can be brought to a day look by using these brighter and more orangy-toned reds. Let’s get started.

From top left to bottom right:  Sleek Pout Paint in Pin Up, Catrice Wet Shine Lip Stain 02 Thrilling, Maybelline Superstay 24h Color 510 Red Passion, Bourjois Rouge Edition Velvet Hot Pepper
From top left to bottom right:
  1. Sleek Pout Paint in Pin Up (here): this is a long lasting stain that stays on a long time. The color is the most classical blue-toned red and suits really any skin tone on the light side. The Pout Paints take from the OCC Lip Tars and come in a squeeze tube and you have to apply with a brush (which I find a bit annoying) and can be mixed to make your own colors (which I find brilliant!).
  2. Catrice Wet Shine Lip Stain in 02 Thilling (Kruidvat, review here): true red, goes on like a gloss but after the shine is gone it stays as a stain. It feathers a bit if you don’t use a lip pencil.
  3. Maybelline Superstay 24h Color in 510 Red Passion (drugstores and here): I’d say my favorite lip stain, lasts forever and cannot praise it enough! I reviewed it here.
  4. Bourjois Rouge Edition Velvet in Hot Pepper (drugstores): beautiful matte liquid lipsticks. has good staying power and feels super soft on the lips. Love it!
Here we go, these are not all the red lipsticks I own, but these are the ones I prefer for the warmer weather because they’re brighter and lighter shades and I can use them during the day, while my more dark and vampy reds I reserve for autumn and winter.
Do you have a favorite red lip? Leave it down below!
xo
A

Continue Reading

Benefit workshop and first impressions

Our makeup station
Pink drinks and pink fans!
Happy Sunday beauties! Brace yourselves: This is a long post! I wanted to tell you about my experience at the Benefit workshop I attended with my best friend yesterday. It took place at the Benefit counter in the new Douglas in Eindhoven and it was aimed get to know their product and some tricks from the make up artists there.
When we got there early in the morning (it was 10 am but sure felt early for a Saturday), we were greeted with a fruity drink, candy and an overall girly and pink atmosphere that really fit the event and the brand. 
At first the makeup artist introduced the brand, founded in 1976 in San Francicsco by twins Jean and Jane Ford with its philosophy of makeup for a natural look. Of course she started explaining where all good makeup looks start from: good skincare. The skincare range of Benefit ranges from cleansers, to toners, moisturizers, SPF, eye cream, all paraben free and made from natural extracts. The packaging of these is really gorgeous with glass and ceramic light blue containers with cork caps, we wanted to get them just to decorate our bathrooms! The one I got to try was the Ultra Radiance Facial Re-Hydrating Mist, which contains aloe vera and cucumber extracts that really leave your skin feeling fresh and hydrated, and it smells divine! 
To start off with the makeup, we primed out skin with a mix of Girl Meets Pearl, a radiance boosting primer, and the POREfessional primer, which instead blurs the appearance of pores and imperfections and mattifies the skin. The trick is mixing these two primers to have both effects without too much product buildup. 
Demonstration

Then we moved on to the eyes, using Stay Don’t Stray to prime our eyelids and applying our eyeshadow on top. Both my friend and I decided to go for a bronzy look and used the shadows from The Rich is Back set. The makeup artist demonstrated a few good tricks and gave personal advise, which for me was to bring the eyeshadow higher towards the brow bone to compensate for my hooded eyes. Good tip! 

I liked all the sets that were available which contained eyeshadow, a blush, a sample size of mascara and a lipgloss, but the eye product that most attracted me was the Highbrow pencil. This is a thick crayon which comes in a matte and a pearly cream shade and is perfect to outline your brows and give them a good highlight. Easy to apply and to blend out with the fingers, it was a really good finishing touch.
Benefit The Rich is Back
I finally got to try the famous They’re Real Mascara and I really like the wand with the spiky tip which allows you to reach even the tiniest corner lashes. To be honest though, it cannot beat the effect of layering a volumizing and a lengthening mascara, sorry. 
For brows we used the BrowZing, kit containing a powder and a wax, to fill in the brows and the best-selling Gimme Brow gel to set them in place. Good product, not sure if they’re worth the money though.
Moving on to the base, we got a crash course in highlighting with the Fake Up Hydrating Concealer, which however really didn’t work for me or my friend. I have combination-oily skin and this just clinged to non-existing “dry patches” and wouldn’t apply or blend seamlessly. Not for me. Then it was finally time to try the product I’ve been drooling after since it launched: the Big Easy BB Cream. This is a cream-to-powder lightweight base which gives light coverage and is supposed to stay on and keep you matte all day. Of course this appeals to me! I had it applied once already and had been really impressed with the mattifying effect, but this time, maybe due to the sub-optimal concealer, it didn’t blend very well and I wasn’t impressed. Sigh.
To get me back to my happy place, I just needed to get my hands on the Hoola Bronzer and do some contouring here and there. The shade is so universally flattering the it fit me and my blond tanned friend (she’s just back from holiday *jealous*). For the cheeks we tried the famous liquid tints for cheeks and lips and in particular SunBeam for a golden highlight and the ChaChaTint, which is a gorgeous coral shade. It goes on very smooth and you really need a small amount and quick blending to get a beautiful natural blush on the cheeks. We used it on our lips as well and we were both very impressed with how it sinks in the lips and gives a bright color that doesn’t move. 
The Benefit Ipad case
And that was a complete look using all Benefit products, with its hits and misses. Together with the workshop we had the possibility to get a goodie bag if we bought 3 products and a goodie bag plus the new Benefit Ipad cover if we purchased 4 or more products. But as good girls as we are, we didn’t pick up anything (sigh).
To summarize it shortly, I was the most impressed by the ChaChaTint, Hoola bronzer and HighBrow pencil, while the Fake Up concealer was a total miss for me. 
Overall we spent a wonderful morning surrounded by makeup and pretty things, what more could we ask! All the girls at the counter were great and friendly and helped me with my occasional hiccup of not understanding dutch by explaining again in English. 
What is your favorite Benefit product?
xo
A
Continue Reading