Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Goodbye Vancouver!

Tomorrow I'm flying back to Warsaw to organize things before the wedding, go back to work and most importantly, continue my studies at Warsaw Univeristy after a year's break spent in Canada.

I'm sure I'll terribly miss Vancouver and everything that goes with living here. First off, I have to part with Mateusz (fiance) and what's more, Vancouver is the most perfect place to live! I've travelled quite a lot in Europe and none of the cities I've seen appealed to me as much as Vancouver. Downtown area, parks, walks on the Seawall, the ocean, the mountains, the people... I will miss thee!

Of course, when I first arrived in Vancouver in October last year everything seemed so different and overwhelming... We virtually moved to the other end of the world and every little thing reminded us that we were in 'The New World'. It's so funny how the smallest thingies are different here than in Poland: the plugs of course, the taps, DVDs, getting off a bus, washing machines and dryers, bed sizes, painkillers, buying contact lenses and alcohol, gas stations... I could go on and on.

Overall, these couple of months have both been challenging and wonderful. I left my parents' house for the first time to move in with my fiance, furnished my first apartment, learnt to climb, snowboard and rollerskate, met new friends, experienced being a foreigner, switched to the Canadian/American accent, became more tolerant and aware of who I am and where I come from, saw unforgettable sights and started to truly admire Mother Nature, spent my days thinking and doing nothing, laughed, cried and loved to the bottom of my heart. Now I have to go back to the daily grind of work/uni, just as I left it almost a year ago.

I will continue blogging from Warsaw, only not that often as I'll have less free time to spend on that. Sorry if this post seems a bit off or too sentimental, but it's just my way of saying goodbye. Thanks for stopping by and have a great one! xxx

Monday, June 29, 2009

June favorites and blog award

I don't have that many favorites this month, but still wanted to share some great stuff I'm enjoying right now!

1. Illamasqua powder eyeshadow in Forgiveness. It's a matte, purpley brown shadow with great pigmentation and butter smooth texture. I use it almost every day as a crease color, it's very subtle but still something a bit different than your usual brown because of the warm, purple undertone.

2. NYX round lipstick in Thalia. You know all these 'my lips but better' posts featuring a nude lipstick of some sort? Well, no MLBB nude lippie for me. My lips are quite pigmented and Thalia is exactly the same shade, maybe a tad darker. The color payoff is good and the consistency nice and creamy.

3. Burt's Bees Lemon Butter Cuticle Creme. Can't help it, you're probably bored to death by me mentioning it, but I still love it.

4. Yogurt pack method. I discovered this on Brilliant Farmgirl's Beauty Secrets blog (check her out if you haven't already, she's the loveliest and most ingenious person ever!) and have used it for 3 days now as a mask before I go to bed. It leaves my skin feeling baby soft! I'll update you in a week's time on how I'm doing with it.

5. My scarves. I use them to give the simplest outfits a bit of texture and color. I have to get some more soon!

Today I also received an Uber Amazing Blog Award from Michelle at Lipstick Rules, thank you so much sweetheart! The rules are as follows:

1. Write five (5) interesting facts about the person who gave you this award. 2. Jot down ten (10) interesting facts about yourself or your hobbies. 3. Pick your ten (10) most deserving recipients and describe them. 4. Leave a comment on the recipients' blog to tell them they've been tagged. 5. Paste the award badge in your side bar.

About Michelle:
- She comes up with the most interesting ideas for blog posts that always spark off a vivid discussion
- She lives in Toronto where MAC started!
- She's a lovely person inside and out, I love her comments :)
- She has an amazing family who understands her passion for make-up, even her 2 years old son knows about it!
- She likes to excercise her will power by joining different variations of spending diet challenges

About myself:
- I'm Polish both by birth and citizenship
- I speak 3 languages fluently, Polish (of course), English and French
- I'm still a student at the Institute of Applied Linguistics, Warsaw University, Poland
- I'm short-sighted and wear contact lenses
- I'm getting married in September
- I don't like pop drinks, Coke is a big no no for me
- I like dogs and used to have a Welsh terrier, but I'm allergic to cats
- I inherited my eye color (warm dark brown) from my maternal great grandmother (or so I'm told, she'd died before I was born)
- My friends in high school called me a 'squirrel' in different variations of the word in Polish, like 'Wiewiórcia' or 'Wiórka', because of my reddish hair
- I hate war movies, they make me feel utterly depressed. In my opinion WWII is probably the worst thing that has ever happened to the humankind.

I'm going to cheat here and nominate less than 10 lovely bloggettes:
1. Brilliant Farmgirl's Beauty Secrets. She's so passionate and honest about her recommendations on skincare. She's helping me a lot with improving my skincare routine, and her tips are simply genius!
2. Loveaudrey. She's just had her baby boy and is probably one of the most glam mummies in the blogland. I feel a kindred soul in her!
3. Jen at Mizz Worthy's Stuff. She's the sweetest person ever, hosts amazing contests (check out her latest "Myths & Legends" contest with fab Illamasqua prizes!) and posts the best, most honest reviews. Go Jen!

Hope you all have a lovely Monday and thanks for stopping by! xxx

Sunday, June 28, 2009

My first MAC palette

Yay! We finally made it to MAC Pro store today! It was super quick though, just 1o minutes before they closed... So I got my first 15 pan eyeshadow palette and 2 eyeshadows, and they're absolutely gorgeous!

In preparation for the new palette, I followed Michelle's (Lipstick Rules) tip and bought two Annabelle Studio Mono Eyeshadows which perfectly fit MAC palettes, and depotted one very old Inglot pearl eyeshadow, also accidentally the same size! I know that The Body Shop eyeshadows would also fit, so if you ladies are interested in cheaper alternative to MAC eyeshadows they might be worth a look.

Without further ado, I hereby present you my very first MAC eyeshadow palette:

(CCW) Annabelle Vanilla Chilla, Inglot no.68, Annabelle So Foxy, MAC All That Glitters, MAC Satin Taupe
Neither Annabelle nor Inglot have the same pigmentation or texture as MAC, but they're about 1/3 of the prize. Probably the one I like the least from this lot is Vanilla Chilla, it almost doesn't show up on my skin at all. Both Annabelle eyeshadows are matte, because I wanted them to counteract the shimmers in MAC shadows. Here are the swatches:

Not the best swatch out there, all the colors look matte here... But they're not! (L-R): Vanilla Chilla, Inglot no. 68, So Foxy, All That Glitters, Satin Taupe

Even though Vanilla Chilla doesn't impress me at all, I really like So Foxy, a rather cool toned, velvety brown, great for accentuating the crease in daytime, subtler looks. I used it together with Vanilla Chilla and a bit of NYX White Pearl yesterday and really liked the result:

Excuse the hair, I just let it air dry and haven't had a cut in almost a year...

On my lips I'm wearing Illamasqua Medium Pencil in Ascend and Bourjois Dr Glamour lipstick in Brun o p'tits soins.

I can't wait to try my new eyeshadows tomorrow! What is your favorite eyeshadow combo right now?

Friday, June 26, 2009

Ins & Outs

1. Sunshine! The last week was pretty depressing with all those heavy, grey clouds, but today it's sunshine again :)
2. Depotting my first eyeshadow. It wasn't MAC so didn't have that nice little hole you can use to push it from the plastic thingy, and I didn't have a hair straightener (used a frying pan instead), so I'm pretty proud of myself!
3. Using darker shades on the lid. I actually thought this would make my eyes look too small, but with some highlighter in the inner corner it looks nice and smokey.
4. Promised trip to MAC, I soo can't wait!
5. Getting things organized for the wedding. We bought fiance's wedding suit this week, almost completed the guests' list, booked a honeymoon trip, wrote a text for the invites and chose a first waltz song. Not bad, huh?
6. Having such wonderful followers!

1. My mineral foundation being too light (and powdery?) for the new season. I mix it with a much darker mineral concealer I got in the kit and it seems to work. Also, might need a nice face spray to get rid of the matte effect.
2. Flouting the challenge :(
3. Last days in Vancouver... I will miss this city!

Oh, and just as an extra... I bought a Soap&Glory shower gel sometime ago and yesterday put it near the bath tub since I'd run out of the other one. Me and fiance have separate shower gels, but Mateusz (fiance), who showered after me, immediately spotted the Soap&Glory one, used it and happily announced that I bought a very nice gel, he especially liked the smell and urged me not to take it with me to Poland, because the bottle is just too heavy and will spill all over my clothes in the luggage. Men!

Have an amazing weekend, everyone! xxx

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Make-up station

Before I leave, I wanted to show you my current make-up station. My collection has grown a lot since I came to Vancouver, so once I take all my stuff with me back to my parents' house, I'll have to think of a new storage solution!

I just keep all my make-up, mirror, nail stuff and jewellery on a shelf, close to a table, so I can reach easily for everything I need. In the picture (left to right) we have a binder I'm planning to use as a 'look book', earrings rack my friend made for me (I have more pairs than shown, some of my earring were left in Poland, some of them are dispersed around the apartment), one pot with eye/lip pencils and such, another pot with face brushes, and some brush cleanser and nail polish remover in the background. Then we have a little chest of drawers from Ikea, on top of which I put my palettes and a brush case with eye and lip brushes.

In the top first drawer from the left I keep my face make-up, including a mineral foundation, a concealer, a primer, blushers and bronzers and a nearly empty eyeshadow trio I use for highlighting. In the second drawer I keep lipsticks and lipglosses along with some rarely used loose powder in the back. In the third drawer, we have random things like false eyelashes and samples.

The middle big drawer is packed full with miscellaneous wonders. The big purple bag contains an unused make-up bag, there's also a lot of nail polishes/ topcoats lying around, some single eyeshadows, some eyeshadow palettes, a glitter eyeliner... All in all, this one looks a bit like a Pandora box :)

The bottom drawer contains my accessories and hair stuff. I have some wooden/ semi-precious stone/ glass necklaces, a pile of bangles/ bracelets, and two boxes with mostly silver jewellery.

So here you have my little stash... I know it's nothing amazing, but I thought it might help some you who don't have a proper vanity table to keep all your things at. We live in a studio with a tiny bathroom, and it was difficult for me to find a nice place to play with my make-up. If you'd like me to show/explain something in more detail or something from my collection grabbed your attention, just ask me a question in the comments.

On a different note, I'd like to say a HUGE THANK YOU to all of my followers! I'm so happy to reach (over) 5o followers, I can't say enough good things about you guys! When I first started blogging, I'd never imagined that having someone read and comment my ramblings could give me such a thrill! Thanks to the beauty community on Blogger, I found some amazing, sweetest people, you're simply the best! As a more tangible thank you I'm planning a little contest featuring Polish beauty products, so watch out for that!

Thanks for stopping by and have a wonderful day :) xxx

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Week 3 of the challenge

I've been a bit of a naughty girl this week, I admit. I caved in and bought Sally Hansen's Mega Shine topcoat, not only because it was recommended as an even better alternative to Seche Vite and I want my nails to be perfect, but also because I'm not so sure this is available in Poland... Same for the mini Burt's Bees hand salve I got to keep in my handbag (it's actually so tiny that I could keep it in my wallet!). I'm not too proud of myself, but hey, none's perfect. Still, to exercise my willpower even a tiny bit, I decided not to use these two things until I fly back.

By trying to use up as many products as I can before the travel, I discovered what most probably had been breaking me out. I threw out my face wash even though there was still some left in the bottle and stopped using an enzymatic exfoliator I had, and my skin is much clearer now. I've been also adding a couple of drops of tea tree oil onto a cotton pad dampened with a toner to wipe my face after washing it, maybe this also helped?

On the positive side of things, I received this super cute award from Ondine and Tali; thank you so much girlies, you've made my day!
The rule is to name 6 things that made you happy today, but the same as Tali, I have to cheat and include last 24 hours because it's only 12 pm :)
1. I had a lovely lunch with my fiance at our favorite sushi place
2. We booked our honeymoon trip to Cyprus
3. I climbed another 5.9 route and it was a bit overhung
4. Fiance's wedding suit arrived from Toronto and we're having a fitting today
5. I rearranged some things at home and it looks better that way
6. I've just indulged in my favorite cappuccino and read new posts from blogs I'm following

I tag:
Michelle at Lipstick Rules

Thanks for stopping by, mes cheries! xxx

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Canada beauty discoveries

First of my 'Farewell Canada' posts, here you have a list of the best make-up and beauty products I discovered during my stay in Canada from September 2008. Most of these buys were hugely influenced by the beauty community on YouTube and here on Blogger, so they probably don't sound all that innovative to you, but they were very new to me. Some of the brands mentioned are practically unheard of in Poland!

Enough rambling, on to the good stuff :)

1. MAC

Of course, the most known Canadian brand out there... So far, I only own 2 MAC products, a concealer and a brush cleanser, but I love them both. Can't wait to get my grubby mits on the eyeshadows, and fiance promised a wee trip to the MAC Pro Store before I fly back... heheh [devilish laugh]. Raising your eyebrows in surprise? There are at most 2 MAC stores in Poland, both opened last year, and for an average student's pocket MAC products are as reasonably-priced as, let's say, YSL lipsticks.

2. Marcelle skincare
Another Canadian make-up and skincare brand. I got Marcelle's Oil-free Multi-defense Lotion after my La Roche Posay moisturizer turned my face into a mirror each time I used it. It has SPF 15, which is a great bonus, very faint smell, absorbs well into the skin and doesn't clog my pores! Plus, it's great value: about $17 CAD for 120 ml.

3. GOSH Extreme Art eyeliners
Amazing, vibrant colors and unbeatable staying power. Funny that GOSH is unavailable in the US but sold in every Shopper's Drugmart drugstore here in Canada :) The brush applicator takes a bit of practice not to get them smeared all over your lashes, and that's probably the only downfall. These eyeliners last through kayaking, rollerskating and climbing! See swatches of the ones I have here.

4. Covergirl Lash Blast mascara
Great drugstore find, separates the lashes really well and gives them a bit of a definition. Nothing revolutionary, so don't you distress lovely UK ladies, but still a good buy overall.

5. TreSemme Heat Protective Spray
Love the smell of this stuff, I just spray it on the wet hair and style. Sometimes I use it even if I let my hair air-dry... Can't go wrong with vitamin-infused spritz in your locks!

6. Burt's Bees hand moisturizers
I love the whole idea of the brand using all natural ingredients and their cute vintage packaging, especially the little tins with cuticle creme or hand salve that you can just throw in your purse. The scent makes using their products another simple life pleasure!

7. LUSH massage bars

Mange Tout ('Eat all') massage bar, current favorite

Again, I like LUSH as a natural skincare brand, and the smells... I find them especially appealing in the winter/spring, when I am more keen on sweet, honey scents. Their massage bars melt onto your skin, leaving it soft, moisturized and smelling delicious :) On the other hand, their bath products seem too pricey considering what they are.

So that's my shortlist, hope you liked it :)
Have you ever discovered a brand abroad and wished it was available where you live?

Monday, June 22, 2009

Dressy haul

So that's the last haul I promised; again, I got these clothes more than a month ago, plus they're all gifts :) My mum brought them for me from Poland when they visited, and I adore them!

First, she bought me this poppy-print dress from Orsay (a popular, trendy store with reasonable prices, based in Germany). It's made of a fabric reminding me of silk, so it just glides on your skin and fits like a dream! In the photo, I styled it with a red cardi from H&M and red leather shoes from Ryłko, a Polish shoe producer. These shoes are actually one of my favorite pairs, they're so elegant!

Almost like Polyvore ;)

Then she also brought a present from my future mother-in-law. This two-layer top from Promod (another favorite store, this time French) can be worn with dark wash jeans or leggings and some bold earrings and bangles. It's perfect for summer!

Sorry for the messy background, the photo was a bit hurried...

I also got some other little gifts like an adorable tea pot, but I'm not sure if this would be of any interest to you :) What are your recent summer buys?

Friday, June 19, 2009

Beady Friday

Remember the post I wrote about my trip to Granville Island? I know it was months ago, but I finally made some progress in my beading projects and wanted to show you the results.

So I got some glass beads from the specialist shop (veeery expensive!) on the island and some simple, smallest bead mixes from my local dollar store. I chose two color themes, teal and lilac. I first worked on the teal necklace, it was actually featured in my Mucha inspired make-up photos. It's more or less 3 meters long and I just wrap it around my neck.

And this morning I made this lilac necklace. It's made of 5 strings of small pink, lilac and violet beads interlaced with bigger lilac glass beads.

I still have lots of beads left from these two projects and I am thinking of doing some more jewellery with these. I already have one idea for a bracelet using the lilac combo, but nothing for the teal. Any suggestions, my creative bloggettes?

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Summer wishlist

Since I'm on a spending diet, I have a ton of different lemmings right now; clothes, shoes, accessories, nail polish, lipstick... Maybe I'll somehow get over it once I share it with you, and if not, at least I'll remember what to look for in 2 weeks :)

I'm planning to post a little farewell series next week, just before I go back to Poland - thanks for a great suggestion, Ondine! You'll see my make-up station here in our Vancouver apartment, maybe best beauty products I discovered while in Canada, and some most memorable photos taken during the past couple of months. Hope you'll enjoy that...!

On to my lemmings:

Thanks to Hele, I have a massive nail polish obsession right now. I'll certainly look for bright summer shades, including hot pinks and lilacs, and some more neutral varnishes in cream finishes. I can't wait to check out Essence nail polish recently recommended by Miss Chievous, since it's such a cheapo treat! I'm also lemming a peach blusher or lipstick, or maybe both...

In terms of clothing, I have absolutely no decent sandals, so that's a must, along with another cardi, this time a blue one; unfortunately, the purple one got torn during the trip to Vancouver Island! This summer wouldn't be complete without some nice accessories like wooden bangles and these amazing peacock earrings, would it?

So what's on your summer wishlist?

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Review: Burt's Bees Lemon Butter Cuticle Creme

... in Canada also known as 'Crème pour cuticules au beurre de citron' :) As promised, I gave this cuticle treatment a week's try and I am ready to report back to you, my manicure lovers.

First, a bit of the marketing babble:
Give your needy nails a helping hand. Nourish and moisturise nails and cuticles with this intensive, natural treatment. A touch of lemon oil makes your nails smell incredibly clean, healthy and beautiful, naturally.

The product contains lemon oil, which is known for its astringent and anti-irritant qualities, and is 100% natural. The list of ingredients was pretty impressive to me, you can view it at Burt's Bees website here.

See the dent I made right in the middle? Somehow I always use cream products up like that...

The product retails for $7.99 CAD. It comes in a super cute little tin (perfect to throw in your purse) and the consistency reminds more of a wax than butter. It's quite solid at first and you really need to press your finger into it until the product melts. It's recommended to massage the butter into and around nails 'often' (sic!), but I only had enough time and patience for twice a day use. Probably the most pleasurable experience about this is the smell; this stuff smells of lemon tarte! I've always been very much into citrusy aromas, so I simply adore it :)

So how did it perform? Before I say anything, I need to give you some background. I've always had terrible cuticles and fingertips. My skin there is super dry and cracked, to the point where I get little wounds around my nails. Not too sexy, even if the polish is pure perfection. Previously, I tried some Avon cuticle treatment my mum gave me, but there was nothing nice about using it so I couldn't really bother. Anyhow, I decided to get my cuticles and nails into shape before the wedding, so I bought this Creme tempted by the vintage packaging and ingredients. I thought I could just keep it in my make-up bag to use on the go.

So after one week's use, I did notice an improvement. Maybe it's not a miracle, but almost all the little wounds and cracks are gone and my fingers look nice and moisturized. It didn't really do anything for the nails, but on the other hand I have naturally strong nails. I also applied it on the scabs on my thumbs I got from paddling, and it definitely helped to heal. I'm still in love with the smell and will certainly continue using it and check out other Burt's Bees products in the future.

Will I repurchase? Oh, yes!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Coffee culture

So I am sitting here in my armchair, sipping cappuccino and reading all my favorite blogs' updates, and I thought I'll share with you some thoughts on one of my passions - coffee.

I love everything about coffee. The taste of course, but also the smell, the color, the texture of ground coffee beans, the whole process it takes to prepare an exquisite cup of cappuccino, which is my favorite style of drinking coffee, cup and spoon designs, going out to cafes... Caffeine is also a common ingredient in anti-cellulite treatments :) In fact I'm so hooked on coffee that I even bought this quirky little agenda to carry with me in a handbag!

In small print it says 'I think I have enough time for a cup of coffee' :)

My absolute favorite coffee brand so far has to be Lavazza. This Italian company was founded by Luigi Lavazza in the early 1900's and has since established itself as one of the leaders on the European market. There are two main reasons why I love this brand so much: the quality and the imagery. Lavazza has one of the most daring and unique ads out there, you either love them or hate them; well, I happen to absolutely adore their style :) See for yourself:

Each year they publish a calendar to share their most amazing photographs. This year they collaborated with Annie Leibovitz (author of the second photo, other pics are from their 2008 Majestic Queens inspired calendar by Finlay MacKay), so if you'd like to see more of her fantastic shots, visit the calendar's website here.

Are you equally obsessed about coffee or are you a tea advocate? What is your favorite brand?

Monday, June 15, 2009

Week 2 of the challenge

Just wanted to update you very quickly on how I am doing with my challenge :) Today I tested my will power by going to a drugstore to pick up just one thing - a body wash. And, guess what, I left with that body wash only, but it wasn't an easy fight. I spotted Rimmel Airy Fairy lipstick on sale and I'd been eyeing it for a while, so it even landed in my basket for a moment, but I resisted the tempation... I'm pretty proud of myself. I convinced myself that I already own something similar.

I hope you're all doing well and that my updates aren't boring you to death. Nobody commented on a couple of my previous posts and I've started wondering if maybe my ramblings seem a bit... I don't know, mundane? I really appreciate all of you, lovely ladies, following and reading my blog, so I'd like to know if there's something you'd want to see more of here. Please let me know in the comments, I'd be very grateful for your advice :)

Have a gorgeous summer evening, mes cheries!

Working girl

In two weeks time I'm going back to Poland... and back to work. I'm an English teacher in a private language school in the centre of Warsaw. Basically, we only teach very small groups or even individuals, so the atmosphere at the school is quite relaxed and friendly; in terms of fashion, you can get away with practically anything you want, as long as you look polished and decent enough. Today I've been thinking of a work appropriate outfit which would be trendy, comfy and feature similar clothes to the ones I already have in my wardrobe. As a result, I came up with this set on Polyvore:

I'm a complete Polyvore beginner, so excuse me if this seems a bit naive :) My favorite color scheme for this summer is anything in the coraly/ peachy family, so I chose this V-neck top, ballet flats and bangles to match. I'd pair the top with straight leg, dark denim jeans (I look terrible in skinny jeans) and add a nice big handbag with flowery patterns. The bag adds a bit of a hippie feel to the whole, which is emphasized even further by the chunky wooden necklace. In terms of make-up, my latest lemming is MAC Costa Chic lippie.

On a different note, today was my and fiance's 6th anniversary of being together, so we went out to celebrate it by some lingerie shopping and eating out at our favorite Mexican place. I also talked the fiance into buying Yes! Yes! Yes! lip butter for me and I can't wait to try it; in terms of smell, it's already a summer favorite!

Hope you all had a wonderful Sunday and thanks for stopping by! xxx

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Style Warriors bangle

Seriously, I've had it for over a year and it just crossed my mind today.

My parents bought it for me in Egypt, so I guess native Egyptian artists have been trend-setters for quite a while now. I'd claim some copyrights there.

What do you guys think?

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Coastal Scents haul & review

Bonjour, mes cheries! I have another haul for you, this time from Coastal Scents :) Yes, I am still on a spending diet, I actually bought these things a month ago, so I managed to give them a good try before reviewing.

On to the stuff I got...

This time I didn't order a whole lot, I tried to rationalize my approach and ask myself if I really needed something or not. I decided I needed a good make-up brushes case, so I got this 10 slot leatherine one. You can actually pack way more that 10 brushes in there, as the case is very long and the slots pretty big. I think it's going to be great for travelling or storing brushes that I don't use on an everyday basis so they don't get all covered in dust.

I got three brushes, a pink kabuki (I'm such a sucker for pretty objects), a pointed dome blusher brush and a bent eyeliner brush. I meant to use the kabuki as a spare one to apply my mineral foundation, but in my opinion, it's way too soft for that (but maybe it's just me, I feel I need more control when I apply foundation so I prefer slightly stiffer kabukis). However, it's perfect for blending your blush or contour color, or if you accidentaly use too much bronzer. The blusher brush is my new favorite for applying color on the apples of my cheeks and for contouring although it does shed a bit. I also meant to try it with liquid foundation, but since I hardly ever use liquid, I can't get myself to check out how it performs.

The bent eyeliner brush makes applying gel eyeliner very easy. I use it with two gel eyeliners I got in shades True Black and Indigo Blue. They're both very creamy, so they spread on your upper lashline very easily, but they tend to smudge. I have to try using some eyeshadow on top to set them, otherwise they don't last all day on my super oily eyelids.

I also ordered the famous Brush Guard in a variety pack, where you get one of every size they carry. It's a very nifty yet simple idea. I used them both to protect the birstles while travelling and to reshape my brushes after washing. They're very flexible, so they fit even on a kabuki or skunk brush. I highly recommend them!

My freshly washed brushes cosily wrapped in Brush Guard

So that's all I got, I hope you enjoyed the haul :) If you'd like me to do a swatch or a close-up of anything, just let me know in the comments. Thanks for stopping by! xxx

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

If I were to do my bridal make-up...

... It would probably look somewhere near this:

This look is massively inspired by Nicole Chapman's bridal tutorial for oily skin which you can watch here. I think it's absolutely beautiful, fresh make-up, and the not-so-obvious choice of the orangey lippie is a great idea to give it a bit of an edge. Of course I'm not wearing any falsies and my hair is crap in the photos, but you get the idea.

First I primed my skin with Sephora Zero Shine Base and concealed any imperfections with MAC Studio Finish. Then I buffed a minimal amount of mineral foundation into the skin and followed with CS G Bronzer/Blush under the cheekbones, on the temples and a bit on the chin and nose. I applied Dare blusher on the apples of my cheeks and Inglot pearlescent eyeshadow on cheekbones as highlight.

I primed my eyelids with Eye Poxy Primer, then added a matte cream-colored eyeshadow on the lid. In the crease, I used Illamasqua Forgiveness eyeshadow (matte again), followed by the same Inglot highlighter under the browbone and a lighter highlighting shade in the inner corners. I smudged some dark brown/ greyish eyeshadow on the lashline and applied loads of mascara. I defined my eyebrows following their natural shape with a bit of warm brown pencil loaded on the angled brush.

On my lips I am wearing NYX Indian Pink sheered down with a bit of golden lip gloss.

What is your favorite bridal look?


I really wanted to do this tag but nobody happened to tag me, until the absolutely lovely Ondine (go check her out, she's one of the most creative and inspirational bloggers out there, and I love her style!) asked me to do it; so thank you, Ondine!

Where I blog...

This is where all the magic happens ;) Basically the armchair was supposed to be mainly for the fiance, but now I acquired it through prescription (hmm, the pun here doesn't sound quite as right as in Polish). I usually have my cinnamon cappuccino on my left, sitting on a djembe drum in lieu of a coffee table. Through the window, you can see skyscrapers and the False Creek harbor with all the little boates and yachts, and Granville bridge.

What I'm wearing...
Denim shorts and a black and white polka dots top, one of my summer favorites.

Last thing I read...
Well, posts from all my favorite bloggers, of course! It's become my morning routine to read all new posts while sipping cappuccino and planning the day. Lush!

Do I nap a lot...
No, not really, only when I have a headache. I'm of those people who can only take in a limited amount of sleep; if I get too many hours of sleep one day, I have a nightmare falling asleep the next night.

Last person I hugged...
Fiance, just before he left for work this morning.

Current obsession/addiction...
True Blood series. Me and fiance are in the middle of watching the first season on DVD. We're so hooked up that we even watch commentaries. It's amazing, I love the feel of it, and oh, in terms of sexy male vampires, Bill here is so much better than the bland Edward in Twilight.

No idea. I'll have to cook something myself, so we'll see what I come up with. But a green salad on the side is a must today.

Last thing I bought...
Burt's Bees Lemon Butter Cuticle Creme. What a smell! Let's see if it works miracles on my super dry fingertips!

Listening to right now...
Hmm, not very fascinating, just traffic on Granville bridge.

A superpower...
That's a tough one! Maybe the power of persuasion, being able to mesmerize anyone into doing anything you want.

Favorite weather and why...
Sunny with little clouds, not too hot. Sunny all the way is too much UV exposure for my pale skin, hot hot is too sweltering for my lungs.

Time I usually get up...
I am a lucky girl now, it's 9 am.

Most challenging goal right now...
Organizing an almost perfect, beautiful wedding. Fingers crossed!

Something to the person who tagged me...
Your blog is so inspiring, I love how crafty you are, Ondine :) Your projects give me so many ideas for my own little creations!

Favorite item of clothing...
Benetton pink-brown-green silk empire-waist dress from 2 or 3 years ago. In terms of accessories, probably my white gold and diamond engagement ring.

Favorite pair of shoes I go back to over and over again...
Can I pick two? Brown leather ballet flats I featured in my first OOTD, and red leather open toe high heels I bought last spring in Poland (photo to come soon).

One thing I can't live without...
Is it too cheesy to say just love? Like in the old Beatles song...

Currently, 1 am.

Wake up anywhere it would be...
I guess just here, in our Vancouver apartment, with my fiance :)

I tag...
I'm pretty sure everyone has already done it... So I tag everyone who hasn't!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

The challenge

After reading Emma's (Magpie Sparkles) monthly challenges, I felt a bit inspired and thought about joining on a challenge that suits best my personal situation. As you guys know, my credit and debit cards have been stolen, and I will only have new ones issued when I come to Poland, which will be on July the 2nd.

Anyone guessed my challenge now? Yes, I'll be on a total spending diet from now on, which includes make-up, skincare or haircare, clothes and accessories. I'll only buy bare necessities, such as body wash or toothpaste (and food of course, duh!).

Some of the reasons for such a rigorous approach is that I feel like I already spend too much money which I don't own (I'm not getting myself into debt, it's just fiance's money) and this year is huge for us in terms of spending because of the wedding. Also, very practically, I want to use up most of the skincare I have now so I don't have to take it on the plane; that's basically my version of the famous "Project X Pan".

So yesterday I bought the last treat, a Burt's Bees Lemon Butter Cuticle Creme (review to come as soon as I give it at least a week's try) and that's it. If I run out of toner or face wash, I'm going to use some samples I got from Clinique a long time ago. I already have two products on their way out, a Neutrogena lip balm and an anti-acne cream. I'll keep you updated on how I am doing, and also don't be surprised to see some hauls soon, they're either gifts or things I bought last month.

What is your challenge right now?

Monday, June 8, 2009

Quick tips and tricks from Shape

Since you liked the last post, here are the tips and tricks I liked most in the recent Shape; bear in mind that you guys get exclusive information, this is from the Polish edition, I bet you don't get all that in the British/US versions ;)

1. Take care of your tired, puffy feet by putting them into an aromatic warm bath for 10 to 15 minutes. Try using essential oils such as mint or eucalyptus (I'm going to try tea tree oil, it should have similar effect). Then massage your feet to relax them some more, or you can even try reflexology; apply some pressure to the sole of your big toe, this can help you get rid of a headache!

2. Hate your bum? Try rollerskating: it forces your legs to move to the sides, making your thighs and buttocks nice and firm!

I know, I know, I do look super hot in this helmet and kneepads...

3. Always remember to warm up your body before you start exercising and never skip the cool down stage at the end. No warm up may equal sprained muscles, no cool down means sore muscles the next day.

4. Never skip your breakfast... and lunch! The meals you have in the first half of the day are crucial for your diet and further calorie intake. Obese persons ignore lunch 30% times more often than the slim ones!

5. You only need to stick to your diet 80% of the time in order for it to be effective! The results you get will be as good as if you followed it religiously. Practically it means that for 1,5 days in the week you can allow yourself to get some more calorific treats, or skip the gym :)

Hope this was useful, my beauties :) Thanks for stopping by! xxx

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Yummy Saturday breakfast

My mum bought for me the last month's issue of the Polish edition of Shape magazine, and I found this yummy little recipe for Blueberry Banana Pancakes; perfect for lazy summer mornings! The amounts shown serve 4 and you need approximately 25 minutes to prepare them.


Nonstick cooking spray or olive oil
1 cup whole-wheat flour
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 very ripe medium bananas
1 cup nonfat milk
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups frozen blueberries (do not defrost)
4 tablespoons maple syrup or honey to pour over the pancakes

In a medium bowl, combine both flours, sugar, baking powder and salt. Mix well with a fork and set aside.
In a large bowl or food processor, mash bananas until mushy. Add milk, egg and vanilla and mix or process until blended.
Add dry ingredients to banana mixture and mix or process until just blended (tiny lumps should still appear; do not overmix or pancakes will be tough). Ladle 3 tablespoons of batter onto hot griddle for each pancake. Top each with 1/2 tablespoons of blueberries.
When bubbles appear around the edges of pancakes, after about 2-3 minutes, flip and cook 1 minute. Transfer pancakes to a warm plate and keep warm in a 250°F oven while you cook remaining pancakes.

I served mine with fresh strawberries, honey and yoghurt. Delicious! If you're concerned about your diet, one serving (3 pancakes) contain 384 calories, 6% fat, 83% carbs (that's why they're better for breakfast than dinner!) and 11% protein. They have quite a lot of calcium and a bit of iron too :)

I am thinking of doing a little post about some interesting tips and tricks I found in the magazine, are you guys interested? Thanks for stopping by! xxx

Friday, June 5, 2009

NYX Haul and a FOTD

Hiya again sweet pies, here comes the first haul of the three I promised you! All of these were bought before my wallet and credit cards were stolen, so now I am on a compulsory spending diet... I should probably take advantage of the occasion and start my own "Project X Pan", but we'll see about that :)

Here are the NYX goodies I ordered from cherryculture.com together with a solitary Starry Avocado Oil lipbalm; I actually got two of these, another one was with Almond Oil, but I gave that one to my mum. Not too fond of it, but it might have costed something like 50 cents, I'm not sure.

I got (top to bottom, left to right):
False eyelashes no. 101 and no. 104 (there are actually two pairs of these in the box; you cut each of the lashes in the middle and you get beautiful corner falsies!)
4 round lippies (details below)
Silver glitter liner - great stuff!
Starry Avocado Oil high shine lip balm
Blusher in Taupe and Angel
Single eyeshadow in White Pearl
Long lipliner in Deep Purple and Plush Red
blotting paper

Close up and swatches of the lippies:

L-R: Strawberry Milk, Tea Rose, Thalia, Rea

L-R: Strawberry Milk, Thalia, Tea Rose, Rea, lipliners in Plush Red and Deep Purple

I tried to do swatches of the blushers and eyeshadow too, but in my lighting they simply don't show up at all :( However the top photo does them justice, I think.

I quite like everything I got apart from Rea, which is definitely not a shade for me. It looks kinda greyish on my lips and if I try to sheer it down, my natural (and quite vibrant) lip color peeks through and ruins it... It might suit cooler skin tones better. Swapsie, anyone?

I also wanted to show you the blushers and eyeshadow in action. I actually copied this combo from MakeupGeekTV on YT, and I heart it! I use Taupe for contour (perfect shade for me), Angel on the apples of the cheeks and White Pearl as a highlight on the cheekbone and browbone. For my eyes, I used Prestige eyeliner in Powerful Purple (love, Jen!!!) and Illamasqua eyeshadow in Forgiveness in the crease, plus lashings of mascara. On the lips we have Illamasqua Medium pencil in Ascend paired with Avon plumping lipgloss in Nude.

How do you like it? :) Anyone noticed new blog background?

Neno's Award from Sarah

Sarah at If the shoe fits... (well, probably you ALL know how marvellous she is, but if not... clickety click!) gave me this cute little award some time ago, but I've been so late on everything recently :( Anyhoo, here it goes:

Thank you so much Sarah for rewarding me, all your sweet comments and constant support! You're the best, hun :) Good luck with choosing the winner in your contest, it must be super difficult!

Terms & Conditions for the award recipient:
1. Paste the Award Logo in your blog
2. Give out the award to 10 blogs that you feels the most inspired and most friendly.
3. Make sure you back linked the recipients' blogs to your blog.
4. Inform the recipients about the award by leaving them comments on their blog
5. Give some love to the person who give you this award.

I TAG (in no particular order):
1. Daisy from Cupcakes and Cherries
6. Rebecca from Panda Does Makeup
7. Steph from STEPH STUPH
8. Hele from Hele Says...
9. Miranda from So Freaking Hyphy
10. Lazula from Lazula80

Thanks for stopping by, girlies! xxx

Mizz Worthy's prize package!

Good evening my beauties :) I have some exciting new make-up to share that arrived in the post just today; it's the prize I received from Jen aka Mizz Worthy for the Illamasqua contest look I did some time ago!

First of all, go check Mizz Worthy's blog if you haven't already, she's the most amazing, kind and lovely person you can imagine, and I always enjoy reading her posts! Now, on to the package - here it is in all its glory, perfect and intact...

Here are the contents after I ripped it open a couple of minutes ago!

In the photo you can see my two prizes, Illamasqua pencil and eyeshadow; however, Jen very generously added a Prestige eyepencil and a Barry M dazzle dust, as she explained, to compensate for the delay in sending the package - well, in my humble opinion, it really arrived very promptly! She also sent some beautiful Illamasqua promo cards with a lovely personal note and her own blog cards; so ingenious and pretty, I am going to use them as bookmarks!

The make-up I got from Jen is just gorgeous! I am so happy for the Illamasqua prizes: after a lot of debating and advice from Jen I went for the eyeshadow in the shade Forgiveness, which is quite a neutral brown with a purpley undertone and I plan to use it to accentuate the crease. When I swatched it for the picture, I was just amazed by the texture, it really feels buttery smooth against the skin. The Medium Pencil in Ascend will be great for neutral lips, I am thinking it would look great paired with just a bit of a lipgloss.

L to R: Illamasqua Medium Pencil in Ascend (matte), Illamasqua eyeshadow in Forgiveness (matte), Prestige eyeliner in Powerful Purple (shimmer), Barry M Dazzle Dust in 98 (fine glitter)

The drugstore items Jen threw in are sooo me! I am loving purples at the moment, so the Prestige eyeliner will definitely come in handy, it's such a gorgeous, shimmery color :) Well, for all you Brits this isn't anything new, but this Dazzle Dust shade is so unique, I think I have never seen anything like it, something like a dark grey/ brown with fine glitter that under certain lights can range from green to blue to purple. Simply beautiful!

I can't say anything more about these items for now, as I haven't tried them, but I just can't wait to play with them all very soon :) Huge thanks again to Jen for hosting the contest and sending the package; I'm properly chuffed!

Hope you all have a wonderful evening xxx

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

I'm back!

Hello my lovelies, I am genuinely sorry to abandon you for such a long time; it's been about 2 weeks since I did some proper make-up/ beauty/ fashion blogging. Yesterday I came back from Vancouver Island where I spent a couple of days with my parents camping and hiking, and I have to say I AM tired (probably more emotionally than physically). And yes, I'm sooo happy to be back and to have access both to the Internet AND to my bathroom, which means normal conditions for skincare and make-up obsessing... I actually burned my decollete again, and my skin is peeling off right now :( So, my parents are leaving tomorrow night, and from then on you can expect a regular blogging service to resume :) I still have about 3 hauls to share with you guys!

But for now, I just wanted to share with you some of the photos taken on the trip!

Waiting for the dinner in a pub in Port Renfrew

Hiking in the Cowichan River Provincial Park

A young deer on our campsite in Goldstream Provincial Park

Me and my dad next to a 600 year old Douglas-fir in the Goldstream Provincial Park

We saw amazing forests and wildlife on the trip (even a black bear!), but were not so impressed by Victoria, the capital city of British Columbia... I suppose that in terms of the cities, Europe is more spectacular after all. Also, the ferry ride from Tsawassen near Vancouver on the mainland to Swartz Bay on Vancouver Island was one of the highlights of the trip, such beautiful views! Well, now I understand why they write "Beautiful British Columbia" or "The Best Place on Earth" on the licence plates here :)

Hope you enjoyed the photos and till next time!