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The Best of 2017 (Face products) Part 1

January 29, 2018

The past year was filled with exciting beauty releases and I had a chance to try a wide variety of these products. And even though I was constantly trying some new products there were products I constantly went back to and knew they would create a desirable look. In this first blog post, I wanted to talk about some of my top favorite base products. There will be the second part of favorite face products as there are too many to feature in one blog post.

The key to flawless complexion and longevity is the primer. Having combo to dry skin can make the task of choosing a primer complicated. Till this day  I haven’t tried anything like Guerlain L’Or Radiance primer. A product that miraculously transforms dry skin and dull skin while feeling light on the skin. It’s a product that comes with a hefty price tag which stopped me from running out and repurchasing a new bottle. The Guerlain primer is on my list to repurchase in the future, but in the meantime, I found few products that perform similarly but cost less.

Bobbi Brown Vitamin C base revives dull skin while nourishing and prolongs makeup wear.The rich cream textured product also acts as a skin care product besides being makeup product.

To moisturize and smooth out any lines on the face I like to use Clarins Beauty Flash Balm.  And on the occasions when I have enlarged pores I use Smashbox Photo Finish Minimizing primer. Since it is a drying product I only use it on the t-zone.

As a beauty blogger and a makeup artist, I get to try out a wide variety of makeup products, but there is one category which I don’t venture out in and that is the foundations. In 2017 I wanted to be a little more adventurous and ended up trying large quantity of the foundations. The are four foundations that stood out of the crowd and they were the most used products.

The award of the years best foundations of the year goes to my trusty L’Oreal Infallible Pro-Matte Foundation. Whenever anyone asks me for a foundation recommendation I always recommend Pro-Matte. This is the foundation that suits any skin type, feels lightweight, evens out the skin tone, and unlike many other matte foundations it doesn’t dry out the skin.

Whenever I want a heavier coverage I reach for Milani Conseal and Perfect foundation. The foundation was released about two years ago and during that time the collection had limited shade range. At that time I was just getting into using self-tanning products so the majority of the time my skin was very pale and the lightest foundation in the collection was a few shades darker than my skin tone.  After I wrote a review on the product it disappeared in the back of the foundation drawer and eventually, I gave it away. About a year later I wanted to give the foundation another try and the past year I was getting more use out of the product than I expected.

In the warmer months, I prefer to use lighter foundations with a dewy finish. Bobbi Brown Skin Foundation and YSL Touche Eclat Foundation even out the skin tone and gives the skin a healthy look. And on the days that I want a little more coverage and a little less dewy look I mix in a drop of Loreal Infallible Pro-Matte foundation.

Loreal Paris has been on the roll with their releases and in 2017 they released Infallible Total Coverage concealer palette. As you can see by the photo I’ve been getting a good use out of these concealers. I use the lightest shade to highlight under the brow bone, two darker tones I use to cover my dark circles, and the darkest shade is wonderful for contouring. I do wish that in the future they would release more concealer palettes that would suit any skin tone.

An oldie but goodie is Garnier Clearly Brighter Dark Circles Eye Roller. This is one of the first products that I used as a teenager and till this day I believe its one of the best products at the drugstore. A lightweight concealer that covers dark circles wonderfully.  The product contains Vitamin C and caffeine, which are known ingredients for brightening and revitalizing the skin.

Whenever I want a little more brightening under my eyes or high points of the face I use Loreal Lumi Magic Highlighter. The product is identical to YSL Touche Éclat but more affordable.

When it comes to powders I tend to be a very harsh critic. The purpose of the powder is to secure makeup from creasing and from the skin getting oily and at the same time, it should be undetected. Many powders make look heavy and chalky. The only powder that I found that actually delivers what they promise is Maybelline Dream Wonder powder. I went through two of the compacts the past year and I am not planning on switching to a different product. Something that I would like to warn you about is that the powder is very soft and because of that it breaks very easily.

 

Love,

Kristina.

Beauty

Fall Beauty Products

October 28, 2017

Growing up I always loved summer, it was a time of freedom when we could run around and play to no end. With years I learned that every season is special in its own way. And with years fall has been growing more and more on me. Fall is all about rich colors, cozy sweaters, and pumpkin spice.

With a change in seasons comes a change in the makeup bag.  It is time to ditch those light summer tones for rich browns, burgundy and green tones. If you need a little inspiration or just love makeup, then this post is for you.

One of the new releases at the drugstore is the Maybelline City Mini palette in collaboration with beauty blogger Makeup by Shayla. The eyeshadow palette contains gold, browns, and burgundy tones which can suit any season and especially fall. You can create any desirable eye look, from simple daytime look to the smokey eye.

Chanel Ombre Premiere 18 Verde

Chanel Ombre Premiere 40 Gris Anthracite

What better season to wear emerald green than in fall and Chanel Ombre Premiere 18 Verde captivated me when I first set my eyes on it. Another Chanel Ombre Premiere eyeshadow that I wanted to mention is 40 Gris Anthracite. The eyeshadow is green-gray toned which is unlike anything I’ve ever seen. Chanel single eyeshadows apply shear and to achieve bold eye look the product should be build up.

One of my recent splurges has been MAC loose pigment in the shade Copper. Although there are more than enough copper toned eyeshadows in my collection, none of them come close to this shade. Mixing pigment with a drop of Fix Plus or any other spray you can create a copper wet look effect.

Fall makeup looks associated with bold lip colors, but we often forget that a perfect shade of nude can make a perfect fall look complete. The lipstick I chose for fall is Revlon Super Lustrous in the shade 671 Mink. Revlon lipsticks have been around for generations and they are known to be used on some most iconic celebrities such as Audrey Hepburn. A classic cream formula feels comfortable and moisturizing on the lips.

For those who crave something bold, you should stop by MAC counter and take a look at a Viva Glam Taraji P. Henson 2 lipstick.  It is unlike any other bold trendy lip color. A coppery brown shade is a guarantee to catch peoples eyes.  The shade looks more natural on darker skin tones.

And for those who are not ready for a bold color as MAC Tajan P Henson 2 lipstick, but want something brighter than Revlon lipstick, then there is Bobbi Brown lipstick in the shade 26 Roseberry. A berry toned lip product that is easy to wear and looks wonderful for the fall season.

To finish off the blog post I wanted to throw in few autumnal nail polishes. My new discovery is Salon Perfect nail polishes. An inexpensive drugstore brand that contains Keratin which helps to strengthen nails. The two nude autumnal shades are 155 Brownie Scouts Honor and 153 Birthmark Beauty. For festive mood, there is Julie nail polish in the shade Brady Bear. It’s an eye-catching shimmery emerald green with hints of blue. And fall couldn’t be without red nail polish .  This season I chose Revlon Nail Enamel in the shade 660 Divine which is a burgundy shade with the specs of gold.

Love,

Kristina.

Beauty

Russian Skin Care Haul

September 12, 2017

To start off the week I wanted to write a quick beauty haul which has been a long time coming. Throughout the summer I’ve been doing a lot of beauty shopping but neglected to share those purchases and my thoughts on them. Over the weekend I went to the pharmacy where I picked up few Russian skin care products. Even though there are quite a few Slavic shops in the area where I live it took a long time for beauty products to make it to the shelves.

The pharmacy near me has a wide variety of beauty products which made it difficult not to purchase all of them.

Using makeup on a daily basis affects the skin around the eyes and if not taken care of can cause serious damage.  There are a couple of eye creams in my collection that I rotated. One of the skin care lines that is sold at the pharmacy is Natura Siberica. Natura Siberica is an organic brand which won numerous award around Europe for their products. I am not the biggest fan of organic skin care products because they often contain ingredients that the skin doesn’t react well to, but after reading great reviews about the Natura Siberica products I was sure that this product would work well. The eye cream-gel contains vitamins and oils, which results in the bright and moisturized skin.

 

I also picked up a face moisturizer from Акулья Сила (Shark Strength). I never heard anything about the brand, but the product was very affordable and I thought that even if it wouldn’t work I wouldn’t be as disappointed about it. There was a variety of moisturizers that target different skin issues and the one I chose to try is a sculpting cream, which contains shark retinol, chi oil, and fruit acids. I used this product once so I can’t say too many things about it, but I am a little skeptical about day moisturizer containing fruit acids. I know that some acids and retinol are not good for day time use but I will be doing some research to verify it.

When I was at the cash register I noticed that they added some new face masks and I quickly grabbed two masks.  I tried some other face masks from Eveline Cosmetics in the past and really enjoyed it.  Eveline Cosmetics is a brand which originated in Poland and it’s mainly popular in Europe. This time I grabbed a face mask that renews and sculps the face and neck. The second face mask is an anti aging mask from the brand Fito. I have never heard of this brand, but I was tempted to try this product because I never tried products that were made with caviar. The product also contains grains and almond oil. Upon the research, I found out that Fito is an organic Russian brand with good reputation.

That is all for my skin care haul and I hope you enjoyed reading it. Let me know if you tried any of these products and what you thought of them.

Love,

Kristina.

Beauty

July Beauty Favorites

August 3, 2017

Unlike previous monthly favorites blog posts that get broken down into two sections, this July favorites is very short. The reasons for it being is that I am currently trying out many new products, but there are few that I’ve been going back to that I wanted to share with you.


Summer is the time when I cringe from heavy feeling foundations. I want my skin to breathe yet I want the skin to look even and flawless. For those occasions, I choose to use Maybelline BB Cream. Unlike other BB creams, the Maybelline product does not make the skin appear oily or move around. The product melts into the skin giving “my skin is naturally perfect” appearance. I used this product ever since I was starting out with makeup and I still consider it as one of the best drugstore products.

For special events when I need higher coverage I go back to Milani Conceal & Perfect foundation. In the past, I mentioned that their shade range is suited more for darker skin and as much as I wanted to use it more often I wouldn’t be able to. But ever since I’ve been getting more into self-tanning and with the sun, my skin is very tanned and will soon need a darker shade.

Throughout the 3 years of my blog, I often talked about how I enjoy using very subtle highlighters that would look natural on the skin. In the past couple of months, I’ve been broadening my horizons and trying out highlighters that stand out more. The two products that I’ve been really enjoying are from Maybelline. The Master Strobing Liquid Illuminating Highlighter gives a sun-kissed look yet looks natural. It comes in 3 different shades and the one that I picked up is 200 Medium. To make the look a little extra I like to top off the illuminator with Master Chrome highlighter in the shade 100 Molten Gold. Often the highlighters at the drugstore are not as finely milled and overall poor quality and I was really impressed with the texture of the new Maybelline highlighter.

At this point in the post, you might have noticed that this summer I am enjoying warm tone in my makeup. The eyeshadow palette that I used every single day throughout July has been Colourpop Chic-y from IluvsarahiiXColourpop collection. Two shades that I am obsessed with are Freckles and Noche. The eyeshadows are highly pigmented yet they are so easy to blend in. I find the texture of Colourpop eyeshadow even better than MAC eyeshadows. And last but not least is the lip product that I’ve been using throughout July and it is a Colourpop Ultra Glossy lipstick in the shade Curvii. It is a pinky nude shade that suits most skin tones and lasts for hours.

Love,

Kristina.

Beauty

Maybelline Super Stay Matte Ink Lipstick Review

July 25, 2017

The past couple of years liquid lipsticks have been becoming more popular than ever. All the brands from drugstore to high end have been keeping busy in releasing their version of liquid lipsticks. Maybelline has recently released Super Stay Matte Ink lipsticks that come in ten shades. Highly pigmented lip products range from nude to bright shades.

As wonderful as the idea of long lasting matte lipstick is, if you have dry lips the lip products can dry out the lips even more and look unpleasant. Unlike many other matte liquid lip products, Maybelline Super Stay Matte Ink doesn’t take moisture out of the lips. The texture feels so comfortable and light weight on the lips that you could forget that you are wearing it. The shape of the applicator makes applying the product quick and easy.

The color that drew me in was 25 Heroine. A bold coral shade that can transform makeup look into something spectacular. The lipstick went through different stages of testing, the longevity, the durability. After several meals, the lip product stayed on.

Hope you enjoyed this quick review.

Love,

Kristina.

 

Beauty

Whats in my Travel Makeup Bag: LA Edition

July 13, 2017

If you follow me on Instagram you would have seen that I was in Los Angeles a week ago. It was a trip that I wanted to do as an early birthday celebration and it was one of the most memorable vacations. I will be doing a whole blog post dedicated to my trip. The past two months have the busiest of months and so there wasn’t as much to pack and I ended up getting everything together last minute. Initially, I had a crazy idea of packing all in my carry on but then realized that it won’t be enough and I will be stressing out over the fact that I don’t have certain items. For my makeup products, I chose to take my D&G makeup bag which I received many years ago with a purchase of perfume. I chose this makeup bag because it is a hard case which would keep the products from braking, but since it’s a small case I had to think through what I really need. I managed to fit all the products and there was even space left to add more products.

For a natural glow, I brought with me L’Oreal Magic Lumi Light Infusing Primer which I don’t go anywhere without. I like to mix a drop of the product with my moisturizer. I find that using this product on its own makes the skin appear oily, but mixing it with a moisturizer just gives the skin enough glow.

To keep skin hydrated and makeup last through the day I used Too Faced Hangover primer which sinks into the skin leaving it feeling smooth.

The foundation that made the cut was Yves Saint Lauren Touche Eclat, which lasted very well in high temperatures. The shade that I have is Warm Beige and I do wish I would also bring darker foundation with me because my skin got tan very quickly. The one thing that I forgot to bring with me was the powder to set the foundation but it lasted very well without it.

The concealer that I used on my vacation is Urban Decay Naked Skin concealer. To ensure that the concealer doesn’t crease under the eyes I used Besame Brightening Vanilla Powder.

When it comes to contouring I’ve been really enjoying using cream products, they look natural on the skin and last all day. The product that I brought with me was Tarte The Sculptor Contouring stick. To give the skin sun kissed look I used my trusty Bourjois Bronzing Powder.

The hardest decision on which product to take was the highlighter. At the end, I chose Becca liquid highlighter in the shade Opal. It gives the skin that “JLo glow” and there is no worry of the product breaking as it is with powder version.

For the eyebrows I use two products, Marc Jacobs Brow Wow Defining pencil to fill in any gaps and Anastasia Beverly Hills Dipbrow Pomade to carve out the shape and ensure they stay in place through any condition.

One of the things that I often overpack is eyeshadows. I thought long and hard about what product I would like to use and that would be travel-friendly. I end up going with Burberry Earthy Blush in No. 07 Light Glow that also served as a blush, MAC matte shadow in the shade Malt which is often used as a base shade, Lancome Color Design palette 100 Taupe Craze which contains a mixture of mattes and shimmer shadows. And of course, I couldn’t go anywhere without my new favorite Elf Molten Liquid eyeshadow in the shade Rose Gold. To ensure that the eyeshadow would last all day, Milani eyeshadow primer was an essential. If at any time I would desire winged eyeliner look I brought Kat Von D Ink Liner.

And last but not least the lip products, I brought only two lip products with me which is unlike me. I brought The Estee Edit The Barest in the shade 02 In The Flesh which is a nude shade that keeps lips moisturized and I used it throughout most of my trip. And when I wanted to spice things up with a bright lip color I used Revlon Super Lustrous lipstick in the shade Fire & Ice.

Love,
Kristina.