23.12.16

My Top Ten Make-Up Brushes


Hey everyone!

I hope you are all doing well and that you are enjoying the festivities, this holiday season. I am currently getting over a pretty stubborn cold which has been annoying the heck out of me for 8 days now. However, I am looking forward to Christmas dinners and festivities with family and friends.

Today, I thought I would share my top picks for make-up brushes. Shopping for brushes can be overwhelming and expensive so I went through my collection and picked 5 face brushes and 5 eye brushes I feel are my most used and loved.

Over the years, I have accumulated over 40 make-up brushes(that includes some travel brushes) and I have disposed of only 4. That is because I try to invest in good quality brushes as much as I can. I buy 1 or 2 good quality brushes a year and I make sure I take very good care of them so I can have and enjoy them for many years to come.

I think that the average make-up wearer doesn't need more than 8 brushes if they choose wisely. For beginners, there are also great sets out there, to get you started and to help you get a feel for what works for you. Some brands that do good quality sets that do not cost an absolute fortune are Sigma ,
Zoeva  and Morphe (available in Europe through several e-shops such as Beauty Bay). Other affordable brands that I quite like are EcoTools and Real Techniques.

Now, let me show you my top 10 brushes and tell you a little bit about how I use each of them.

FACE


1. MAC 187 (46 €)

  • Here, I have my SE 187 brush from the RiRi Hearts MAC collection but I do own the original as well and I use both of them
  • I use this primarily for powder blush and occasionally for a light dusting of powder
2.Bobbi Brown Full Coverage Face Brush (£31)

  • This has completely changed my routine since it is the only brush I use for foundation and the application is flawless and super-easy.
3. Sephora Multitasker Brush #44 (18.10 €)

  • An amazing and affordable brush. I use it mostly for powder especially when I want my make-up to last all day.
4. NARS Yachiyo Kabuki Brush (55€)

  • I use this brush mostly for blush but I also use it to apply bronzer when I want to fake a contour without actually taking the time to contour. The tapered shape helps that process immensly.
5. Real Techniques Setting brush (8.95€)

  • A great brush to apply highlighter with.


EYES


6. Sigma Large Fluff Brush- E50 (17$)

  • I use this brush to apply a flesh-toned colour all over my lids. When it comes to my day-to-day eye look I want something quick and easy since I don't pay that much attention to detail.

7. MAC 219 (27 €)
  • This brush is ideal for applying shadow under the lower lashes. I also love to use it for smudging liner.

8. MAC 239 (27 €)
  • When I am looking to apply a powder eyeshadow precisely and somewhat heavily I choose this brush. It picks up the colour very well and the shape is ideal for my eyes. I sometimes turn in horizontally and use the tip to apply shadow on the lower lash line.

9. Sephora Crease brush -No 18 
  • (This Sephora brush has possibly been discontinued and/or replaced. The best alternative is the MAC 217)
  • One of the best crease and blending brushes I have ever used. It is soft and tapered which makes it ideal for crease-work. 
  • I own 5 different blending brushes and I can safely say that I use this and the MAC 217 the most.

10. Urban Decay Shadow brush
  • I use this brush for cream eye-shadows or for pigments when used with water or a mixing medium. It is brilliant for that use because it is synthetic and works well with cream and wet formulas. (This came with my UD Naked Palette, back in the day, and the closest I found was their Flat Eyeshadow Brush which can be purchased separately) 


So, there you have it!!!!My top ten make-up brushes. 

I am planning on doing ,at least, one more post before the New Year so if you have any requests or suggestions please do not hesitate to let me know. 

I hope you enjoyed this post and ,as always, I look forward to hearing from you in the comments. 

Athina

7.11.16

"30+ Skincare" My picks, tips and suggestions


Hey everyone, 

I have been wanting to write this post for a few months now and I just managed to gather both my thoughts on it as well as most of the products I wanted to include.
I have skipped make-up removing since, I feel, I have spoken about this multiple times in other posts. However, if you are interested in the oils and butters I use to remove my make-up then I would be more than happy to do a separate post on that(just leave me a comment on this post if you would like to see that).
So, I am now 31 (shhhh don't tell anyone) and I am trying to take even better care of my skin that before. That includes changing up some products as regularly as possible to see what works best and, of course, making sure I pick products and ingredients that suit my skin's ever changing needs.

Now I have done this in logical order starting with ...

"Cleansing & Toning"

Right after removing my make-up (if I am wearing any), I use the Bioderma Sensibio H2O Micelaire Solution which is a star product I have been using for the past 5 years or so. I use this to remove any lingering make-up as well as to gently cleanse the skin in case I am having a no make-up day.
Right after that I wash my face using The Body Shop Tea Tree Skin Clearing Facial Wash (which I also use in the morning). However, this is not my favourite facial wash for my evening routine. That is actually the Nuxe Reve De Miel Face Cleansing and Make-up Removing Gel which is another Holy Grail product of mine I just happen not to have in my collection at the moment.
Lastly, I use the Shiseido Benefiance WrinkleResist24 Balancing Softener Enriched Lotion which is a beautiful toner with anti-ageing properties. 

The next step is ...

"Moisturising & Sun Protection"

I use two different moisturisers depending on whether it is the morning or the evening however, as you will be able to see, I don't use a night cream. The reason being I recently cornered my trusted dermatologist asking him whether I needed it yet and much to my surprise he said no. 
In the morning I use the Caudalie Vinosource Moisturizing Mattifying Fluid which gives me enough moisture but also helps my skin stay mat. This product provides a good base for make-up and is one of the best mattifying moisturisers I have tried. Over top this , or mixed in with it I also apply the Avene Emulsion 50+ Sunscreen regardless of what time of the year it is. 
At night, my moisturiser of choice is the Kiehl's Ultra Facial Cream, a staple favourite of mine which has really won me over with its simplicity, long life, and versatility. 



And of course...

"Eye Care" 

Yes, I am aware that three products is both extensive and ridiculous but bare with me. 
The product on the far left is the Nuxe Creme Prodigieuse Yeux which hasn't wowed me as such but it is a good, affordable eye cream which I am about to run out of. I am planning on replacing it with the La Roche-Posay Active C Eye Cream with active vitamin C (I have not made up my mind yet about this product but I will let you know as soon as I have). 
In the morning, I prefer a serum or a lightweight cream to put under make-up and my product of choice lately has been the Clinique All About Eyes Serum. This product has also got some light-reflecting properties which are a plus when you are trying to look less tired. 
Before I move on to the next category I would like to mention my all time favourite eye cream which I believe is one of the best on the market and it is the Kiehl's Creamy Eye Treatment with Avocado which I have just taken a break from in order to try some new products.


To get rid of that unwanted dead skin...

"Exfoliating"

Exfoliating is one of my favourite things to do when it comes to skincare but I do make sure not to overdo it. I exfoliate once or twice a week alternating between a physical exfoliator and a chemical one. 
On the left we have the fantastic Origins Modern Friction and on the right , the phenomenal Nip+Fab Glycolic Fix Night Pads Extreme.  The physical exfoliator is a product that I feel works incredibly well for my skin and the Nip+Fab Pads are definitely a great way to ease into using acids. Don't let the "Extreme" fool you. They are not abrasive nor have they given my relatively sensitive skin, any issues. 



To got the extra mile....

"Serums & Oils"

When I wish to really treat my skin I choose either an oil or a serum. I do gravitate more towards the latter though, hence why there are two featured in this category.
My favourite serum is by far the Apivita Natural Serum - Lifting which I heard was being discontinued (PLEASE APIVITA, SAY IT AIN'T SO!!!). This is lightweight and smells gorgeous and it contains all kinds of goodness for your skin, including Royal Jelly and Vitamin A!
Next, we have the beautiful Origins Plantscription Youth-Renewing Face Oil, a great oil which plumps and re-juvenates my skin. Last, but certainly not least, is a star product that I recommend to everyone and it is the Kiehl's Midnight Recovery Concentrate. Now my mom is in her early 60's and she loves this as much as I do.

p.s. I did get a chance to try the Sunday Riley Luna Sleeping Night Oil and it is indeed as gorgeous and phenomenal as they say. Now all I have to do to buy the full-size product is sell a kidney and pay the £85 price-tag.


And finally, for a little TLC...

"Masks"

I have to be in a real pampering mood to use a combination of masks but I do try to use one of these at least once a week, according to how my skin feels and looks.
The Peter Thomas Roth mini masks on the left are not all on the same level of awesomeness for me. The Peter Thomas Roth Pumpkin Enzyme Mask is absolutely spectacular in my humble opinion. It is a re-surfacer and I use it every time my skin feels stuffy or dull. The Peter Thomas Roth Rose Stem Cell Mask is a great re-plenishing mask for the skin which really helps your skin glow and the  Peter Thomas Roth Cucumber Mask is a good moisturising mask which becomes much nicer when placed in the fridge.
For a deep cleanse I love the Kiehl's Rare Earth Deep Pore Cleansing Masque which also helps shrink your pores and purify them. And ,of course, I could not discuss skincare without mentioning the fastest little moisture miracle which is the Origins Drink Up 10 Minute Mask. 


Now, on to...

"Tips & Suggestions"
  • Try not to skip toner. It might seem useless but the right toner will help enhance the skin's surface and overall look. 
  • Unless specifically recommended by a dermatologist I would advise you to stay away from toners containing alcohol because that can aggravate the skin. 
  • A good micelaire water can even replace your make-up remover especially if you do not wear a ton of make-up.
  • When you are trying a new product make sure you really put it under the microscope and see if it works for you. Skincare products can often be quite pricey and you do not want to be spending your money on things that might be working for others but are not quite working for you. (That is also why you shouldn't be afraid to ask for a sample) 
  • Do your research!!Sometimes, the products we are looking into can have ingredients that your skin might dislike or that haven't worked for you in the past. 
  • Things that work for other people might not work for you. Don't despair though, there are so many other products out there to try. 
  • Much like make-up do not use skincare products past their expiration date. Once a product changes texture, scent or colour , get ring of it ASAP. 
  • Sometimes, you need to switch it up...! We all get stuck in a rut with products but as your skin ages it changes and you have to cater to those changes if you want your skincare to be effective. 
  • When in doubt about an ingredient or your skin's reaction to a product, ask a dermatologist....!
So, I gravitate towards and trust several brands for my skincare and I would like to mention some of them if you guys are having trouble narrowing them down. (I provide no links since I am not affiliated with any of them, nor have I received any kind or remuneration for mentioning them)
Origins, Kiehl's , Nuxe,  Clinique, Clarins, Apivita, Avene , Caudalie, Neil's Yard Remedies, Shiseido, Estee Lauder, and Bioderma 

Now, before I conclude this post I would like to say that I am aware that I have featured a plethora of products here but please keep in mind the following:
1. I travel a lot and tend to pick up a lot of travel-sized products which can allow you to try products before splurging on them.
2. I did not buy these in one go. I have slowly built a "collection" of sorts.
3. I would rather save on other things and be able to purchase skincare that I trust will not aggravate my skin as well as work well for my skin. Not everyone feels the same and I appreciate and respect that hence why I expect others to do the same. 

I hope you enjoyed this post and you found it informative!!Let me know what you think!!

xoxo
A.

17.10.16

Autumn Lips

Long time no see my lovely readers!!!!!!!!!! 

Autumn is my favourite time of the year (I am an Autumn baby after all) so I thought I should share with you, my favourite lip products for this time of year. These are a mixture of reds, berries and nudes as well as a mixture of finishes. I like to transition into darker lips but I am not fussed about wearing season appropriate colours only. Sometimes, it is just about what you like and what suits your look and personality. 
I admit I am a sucker for berry-coloured make-up products, especially when it comes to lips. I think they are flattering for most complexions and there is enough out there to find the perfect one for you. 
So, without further ado, here are the lip products featured in today's post.

 

KIKO Creamy Colour Comfort Lip Liner in 316 
As the name suggests, it is creamy and comfortable and lasts a long time on the lips.
 The colour is a mixture of berry and brown. 
KIKO Velvet Matte Satin lipstick in 614
Beautiful packaging and overall product by KIKO. Matte but comfortable, easy to apply and not drying. 
REVLON Lip Butter in Raspberry Pie
A cult favourite of mine with a great colour payoff for a glossy lipstick.
MAC Velvet Teddy
I adore this product. I have been wearing it non-stop since I got it and it is quickly becoming my favourite nude.
MAC Deeply Adored(LE from the Marilyn Monroe collection)
Unfortunately this was LE but it is a basic dark red with a hint of berry.
MAC Rebel 
I expected this to be darker when I first purchased it however the colour is unique and the formula great.
RIMMEL Apocalips Lip Velvet in Meteoric Matte
This is not too matte hence quite comfortable and the colour is a berry red.
NYX Lip Lingerie in Embellishment 
Quite a unique colour. The formula is quite dry but I enjoy wearing it regardless of that. 
I really like the grey and purple tones of this. 

I also have some lip swatches for you...


I hope you enjoyed this post and thank you for baring with me all this time. I have a plan for loads more posts and they should be coming soon.Meanwhile, please leave any post recommendations and/or requests in the comments below.

xoxo
A.