Friday, July 31, 2009

July favorites

Just a quick rundown of some things I'm enjoying this month.

I love my yellow lamp shades but they're rubbish for photographing colors!
1. Softlips lipbalm SPF 2o in Honeydew Melon
I soo love this! I apply it every night before I go to bed to moisturize my lips and then in the morning before I apply a lipstick. It's a great base under make-up, SPF is always a bonus and keeps moisturize locked in for a good couple of hours... maybe that's why I haven't actually observed my only MAC lipstick to be particularly drying? I've noticed a slight tingling sensation every time I put this on, which I like. The smell is to die for, and I'm lusting after the French vanilla version, I'll have to ask fiance to bring it for me from Canada...

2. Ziaja Cocoa Butter body wash and body lotion
Produced by a trusty and cheap Polish cosmetics brand Ziaja, this has been my favorite body combo lately. Their body products come in different ranges like Olive Oil, Goat Milk and Coconut. The smell of this reminds me of chocolate icecream (yum!) and the trace of it lingers nicely on the skin. The body lotion is super moisturizing and leaves a bit of a film on your skin, giving you a lovely glow. It also contains vitamin E and D-panthenol and claims to improve the texture and color of your skin.

3. Inglot Face blush in 84 (coral)
I guess this might be a scarry orange for some, but somehow it looks nice on my skin and compliments my hair and eye color. It looks a lot more summery than pinks and adds a nice warmth to the face. It has a good color pay-off for the price (at Inglot counters in Poland it retails for 3,5 pounds) and handy packaging. Supposedly it contains some special ingredient to keep your skin moisturized and glowy in spite of the fact that it's in powder form.

4. Wet'n'Wild MegaGlo Face Illuminator in 341 Blushing
It's basically a light pink highlighter in a cream form. I need a tiny dab for both cheeks and it gives me a very natural glow, which I think is thank to the color that matches perfectly my skin's undertones. At first it seems a bit sticky, but sinks in right away.

5. MAC Lustre lipstick in Jest
Lovely reddish pink with golden shimmer. I think the color really suits me and I don't think it's particularly drying. I always keep it in my on-the-go make-up bag and... mmm, the smell! It has no taste which is a huge plus for me... I've been trying to use up my old The Body Shop Satsuma shimmery lipbalm/ gloss and despite the lovely scent, the taste is terrible! Every time I have it on my lips and eat something, it ruins the taste of the dish completely! Big thumbs up for producing a non-flavored but scented lippie to MAC.

Hope you liked my mini reviews and let me know in the comments what are your favorites for this month! xxx

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

20 Questions Tag

Thanks to the always stunning Suka & Spice for tagging me! This has been a lot of fun, especially that... it's my 100th post! Hurray!

1. What is your favorite item of clothing?

It has to be this Benetton dress from a couple of years ago. I love the colourful silk and the cut... I remember it being quite expensive so I hesitated about getting it, but my daddy bought it for me :) I have only worn it twice since, once for a night out and then for a photo shoot, but I'm planning to sport it for the family wedding in August.

2. What are your biggest obsessions?
Right now? Berries, essential oils, cocoa butter and, of course, my wedding.

3. Who inspires you?
Kind, sensitive, strong people like my mum or my grandpa. If you asked what inspires me, I would answer beauty: both in terms of morality and aesthetics.

4. Who is your favorite designer and why?
As embarassed as I am to admit it, I don't have a favorite because I don't really follow catwalk that much. I really like Oscar de la Renta dresses though.

5. What is your favorite song ever?

Super difficult to say, but two of my favorites are Roisin Murphy's 'Let Me Know' and 'Somewhere Over The Rainbow' performed by Ella Fitzgerald.

6. What is your favorite song right now?
'Black & Gold' by Sam Sparro.

7. If you were a sweetie, what would you be?
A Sprungli (swiss chocolate) praline.

8. Red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, violet - what words would you use to descrive your rainbow?
Scarlett, copper, canary yellow, emerald, azure and ultramarine.

9. What's your favorite film?
There are so many of them! Maybe 'Pan's Labyrinth'?

10. Who's your favorite actor?
Jude Law.

11. If you could be anywhere in the world right now, where would you be?
Vancouver, British Columbia.

12. What are your 3 favorite smells?
Givenchy 'Fleur d'interdit', cocoa, my fiance.

13. What are your 3 favorite tastes?
Mexican mango drink, cappuccino, raspberry sorbet.

14. What is your most treasured possession?

My engagement ring (not pictured, as I always keep it on my finger), this embroidered coin purse that used to belong to my grandma, and these Carribean black pearl earrings I got last Christmas from my fiance. Simply perfect.

15. What did you always want to do/be when you grew up?
When I was maybe 2 or 3 years old I loved trying on different outfits, so first maybe a fashionista :) Then I wanted to be an actress (my father was educated as an actor) and then a journalist.

16. If you were an ice-cream, what flavor would you be?

17. If someone made a short film of your life, who would play you?
I'd prefer a poem to a film, to be honest.

18. What would your perfect afternoon consist of?
Delicious dinner and a walk in some gorgeous place with my fiance.

19. If you were a flower, what would you be?


20. Tell me a random thing - a quote, a line from a song, book, movie...
"Run mad as often as you choose but do not faint." - Fanny Price in Mansfield Park

I tag Ondine (as always!), Jen aka Mizz Worthy and Michelle at Lipstick Rules. Thanks for stopping by! xxx

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Wedding bands and shoes

After months and months of browsing through catalogues and fussing I finally bought our wedding bands!

If you remember my last post, it's traditional in Poland for the wedding bands to have a matching design, and, as Suka and Spice pointed out, the rings are worn on the right hand. Generally, the main difficulty was that having initially consulted some designs with my fiance, I was given free reign to choose the bands, and, with Mateusz still in Vancouver, I had to shoot what size to get him. I had a model band made by myself of aluminium foil just before I flew back to Warsaw, and that had to suffice. We'll see if it fits...

The purple 'dots' you can see inside are in fact rubies!
I chose a very simple design of matte white gold with a shiny stripe. My band is 4 mm wide, Mateusz's band is 5 mm wide as he's got way bigger fingers that mine. I bought them from a Polish jeweller Red Rubin ('rubin' is Polish for 'ruby') and their signature feature is to put a tiny ruby inside each band as a symbol of good luck and prosperity. Also, I've had our names (mine bears the name of my fiance, and fiance's ring bears my name) and the date of our wedding engraved on the inner side. All in all, I'm really happy with them!

I'm usually not a fan of this heel shape, but somehow it goes well with the shoe. I also like the white soles and how soft they feel inside...
Also, I had to get myself a pair of wedding shoes because as you know, the dress fitting is impossible without the shoes. I visited dozens of stores, establishing that a) shoes designed specificaly for the wedding are twice or 3 times more expensive than usual shoes for lower quality and cheaper materials, b) the designs were fashionable 10 years ago, c) most of the pairs I tried on were terribly uncomfortable, d) the heels are mostly too high for me to even walk in. Finally, I came round the fact that I won't be able to find my perfect wedding shoes or even if I could find them, I refuse to pay ridiculous prices for something I'll wear once in my life. I decided to get this simple design; it's not the most beautiful shoe in the world, but the color matches with my dress, the heel is right height for me, they're comfortable, and they were very reasonably priced. Actually, they look really nice on my feet as well.

Have you had similar problems finding your wedding shoes or am I just too choosy?

Monday, July 27, 2009

Project beautiful skin: favorite new skincare

With all my heart I'm joining Vicky's (Peachykeen Cheeks) 'Project beautiful skin', which main idea is to look after your skin from both outside and inside. Today's post is going to focus on new favorite skincare products that I'm hoping will help me to achieve the ultimate goal: flawless, glowing skin.

I must confess that my skin probably has every possible flaw that exists in nature; I suffer from blemishes, scarring, redness, blackheads, freckles and bluish veining in the eye area. It used to be much worse some 2 years ago and since then has been improving gradually, but it's still far from perfect!

The most important part of the project would probably be... consistency. My biggest skin sins include drying out the skin and touching my face too much and trying to pick the spots or bumps. But, starting today, this shall be no more!

Here are the steps I'll religiously follow and products I summoned from drugstores' shelves to help me:

1. Cleansing and toning: Vichy Calming Cleansing Solution and Vichy Thermal Water
The Cleansing Solution gently removes make-up while soothing the skin. It contains a rose extract called Phytophenol, but the best thing is that it has a very delicate rose scent to it! I use it after washing my face with J&J baby wash. After removing every last speck of dirt I spray my face with some thermal water to refresh it. It contains 15 mineral salts and trace elements and claims to reinforce the skin's protective functions. You can also use it during the day to calm the skin.

2. Moisturizing and healing: Barwa 'Sulphur Power' (yes yes!) Antibacterial Mattifying Cream and Benzoyl Peroxide cream as topical treatment

The 'Sulphur Power' range produced by a Polish cosmetics brand Barwa is an absolute HG on 'Polish Make-up Alley', Tempted by the recommendations and really low price (about 3 pounds), I got it last week and so far I really like it. In case of my super oily skin, it mattifies for about 3 hours, which is already a success, but is also jam-packed with natural active ingredients, including sulphur, zinc oxyde, multifruit extract, olive oil derivates, alantoin and shea butter. It helps to get rid of acne without dehydrating the skin.

3. Exfoliating: St.Ives Anti-Acne Apricot Scrub and The Body Shop muslin clothes
I guess this is pretty much self-explanatory :) I'll be alternating between the scrub and muslin clothes, as the scrub itself is a bit too abrasive to use it more than twice a week, and I feel my skin needs some exfoliation at least 3 times a week.

4. Masks: Pink clay mask and honey mask
I've been using some random brand clay mask for more than a year now and I think it helps to improve oily skin's condition. Sometimes I also put it on the spots overnight to stimulate healing. As for honey mask, just check out Bubblegarm's post here for the details, she explained everything beautifully!

I'll soon blog about some 'inside' treatments I'll incorporate into my diet to help clear the skin, and then update you in a couple of weeks on how it worked. Fingers crossed!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

I'm on Twitter!

I'm probably the last to jump on the bandwagon, the reason being not that I didn't like some tweeting, but that my fiance said it's the most ridiculous idea on the web... And now he has a Twitter account of his own - men...!

Follow me here!

Friday, July 24, 2009

Outfit of the Day

I just couldn't help myself and when I saw this skirt at H&M I knew I had to have it!

I love everything about it: a midnight blue fabric with tiny silver sparkles, the high-waisted cut and the flowiness, the bow at the front and my favorite 60's feel! It's the only skirt I have which you have to wear with a top tucked in, and ironically, I really like that, even though I hated this when I was a little girl :)

As you can see, I paired it with a burnt orange top from Orsay I've had for ages, new black and white disc earrings, my favorite shell cuff and strappy sandals I bought some two weeks ago from C&A for only 55 zlotys or 11 pounds, if you like (these two former elements were added later). This outift proved perfect for the weather outside, as it's scorching hot at the moment!

What's your favorite summer outfit?

Thursday, July 23, 2009

What's in my bag?

I was tagged by the stunning Tali over at The Gloss Goss to do this tag; thank you, sweetie, and good luck to your new YT channel (check her out, girlies!).

It took me a while to post this due to technical problems with my camera, but here it goes :) This is my bag at the moment. It's dark cherry red faux leather with brown lining inside, I got it for last Christmas and I believe it's from Spring. It can hoard lots of stuff inside, and most of my bags are at least as big as this one, because as a student and a teacher, I need to fit an A4 paper format inside.

The things I carry with me are not overly exciting...

Moving clockwise, we have a red folder with handouts for my students, a deep red leather wallet from my mum, a silly coffee-lover agenda and some pens. Then there's a little umbrella, as we're experiencing very violent and unexpected rainstorms amost every day now, and a silver make-up bag I blogged about a couple of weeks ago. Next we have an iPod cosily carried in an armband, some cheapo sunglasses, travel size of Eucerin body lotion I use for my hands, contact lenses thingy, a small pot of lipgloss with a retractable lip brush, and lastly, a pendrive, because no lady can exist without her USB device ;)

I know the contents are quite practical, but there's no place for superfluous stuff in a bag that accompanies me for up to 12 hours when I'm out... Ok, so I carry a little glass fish n my wallet, completely useless, but it's my lucky token :)

I tag:

And everyone else who fancies doing it! Thanks for stopping by, lovelies xxx

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Wedding traditions

Even though we're currently being submerged by American culture, Poland still retains some interesting and unique wedding customs which I thought I could share with you; you never know when you're going to be invited to a big Polish wedding! ;)

Just a side note, not all of these are respected or even known in different regions of Poland. Moreover, this is by no means an exhaustive list.

In terms of an engagement ring, a ring with a pearl is considered bad luck as pearls are a symbol of tears. It's also a bad sign if the precious stone falls off the ring and even worse gets lost (and I've heard of such cases!).
On the wedding day, the bride is supposed to have with her something new, something old and something borrowed (not blue!).

Wedding bands
Bride's and groom's wedding bands must have a matching design. There might some variation as to width or precious stones, but they have to form a 'set'. (More on our wedding bands coming soon...)

Before the wedding ceremony, a young couple asks for their parents' blessing. This usually takes place at home of the bride (in our case, probably the reception venue, as this is where all the guests will be lodged).

Church ceremony
Most Polish weddings take place in a Roman Catholic church. Before the ceremony, the young couple waits for their guests outside the church (near the porch), and once the time comes, they walk together to the altar with the guests following them. However, the custom of the father of the bride accompanying her to the altar becomes more and more popular, but I prefer the more traditional way of doing things.

After the church ceremony with exchanging rings, 'first' kisses, rice-throwing and all that, the newly-weds take wishes and greetings from the guests outside of the church. They're accompanied by the bridesmaid and the best man (who are both called 'witnesses' in Polish, as they testify to the wedding) who collect flowers and small gifts or envelopes with money.

Then the couple is transported to the venue. In my family, the driver is usally the father of the bride. And, just a purely family tradition, my great grandfather first took his daughter (grandma) and her husband (grandpa) to a dead end street, explaining that it symoblises a straight path of life together without losing the righteous way, and therefore started a new tradition. I know a dead end symbolizes something entirely different in Anglo-Saxon cultures, but this customs's been in my family for 2 generations and I think we should keep it :)

In towns or villages there's also a tradition of the guests forming the 'gate' (bramka) so that the young couple can't pass unless they buy themselves out by giving some vodka to the gate-keepers.

The young couple is greeted at the reception venue with bread, salt and vodka. The bride and groom have to drink each a shot of vodka and throw the glasses behind themselves so that the glasses brake, which is a sign of good luck in marriage. It has now become customary for the couple to have a first dance, a signal that the party can start.

At midnight, there's a special ceremony called 'oczepiny'. The bridesmaid helps the bride to take the veil off, which symbolizes she's now a wife and becomes a part of her husband's family. Then some games involving the bride's team and the groom's team follow, and the last element is throwing a veil or a bouquet in the air so one of the unmarried female guests can catch it.

The party lasts till dawn and is followed by a brunch on the next day. The remaining vodka from the wedding (and there must be some vodka left!) is kept safe until the couple's first child baptism day.

As you can see, many of these customs involve vodka, vodka and even more vodka :) It's actually true than in Polish tradition all big events are celebrated with some strong alcohol, but it's not uncontrollable drinking as some may think. Poles are very much capable of holding their liquor :)

Hope you liked my rundown on Polish wedding customs. Do you have any interesting ones in your family/ country of origin? I'd love to know about them! xxx

Sunday, July 19, 2009

FOTD: Copper and gold

Today I attempted a look using my new Inglot eyeshadows. This is what I came up with:

On my eyes, I'm wearing Inglot nr 405 Pearl eyeshadow, a shimmery copper shade as a lid color and Annabelle So Foxy, a matte darker brown blended in the crease with my new love, MAC 226 brush. I used Inglot nr 111 Shine, a pale gold shade, as an inner corner highlight, and Inglot nr 353 Matte, a pinkish highlighter, as a brow highlight. I lined my eyes with black gel eyeliner and applied Covergirl Lash Blast mascara on curled eyelashes.

I've contoured my face with CS G Bronzer/Blush and used a random pale, shimmery gold eyeshadow as a cheek highlight. Then I applied some Inglot nr 84 blusher (coraly color) on the apples of my cheeks, which is depicted below together with a MAC 226 brush.

Lastly, I patted some NYX Indian Pink on the lips.

Just a quick, summery look. What's your favorite metallic-colored product for this summer?

Friday, July 17, 2009

INGLOT Freedom System

Being on a budget, I decided to explore some different ways of filling up my MAC eyeshadow palette. As you know, many brands produce pans of exactly the same size as MAC ones, allowing for more choice in terms of colors, finishes and, most importantly, price.

Polish make-up brand INGLOT is one of such budget options. Some time ago they launched the Freedom System line, which allows you to create your own customized make-up palettes of eyeshadows, brow powders, brow wax, concealer, lipstick, powder, blush and bronzer. The palettes are available in different shapes and sizes to suit your personal needs, and the pans also come in different shapes and sizes, as shown in the photo:

On top of that, they also carry more 'traditional' palettes for 3 or 5 eyeshadow pans. Now, the price range here is much more affordable than MAC, but also the quality is obviously not the same. Definitely, Inglot has improved its quality over the past couple of years (and also become more expensive), so I'd say it's a good value for your money.

(L-R) 353 Matte, 111 Shine, 405 Pearl.
I decided to get myself a 3 pan eyeshadow palette to test the 'system'. The total (case + 3 eyeshadow pans) came to 29 PLN, which is about 6 pounds. The refills are available upon presenting a purchased case or a receipt of such purchase and are 10 PLN each (2 pounds). I don't how much are other refills, like lipstick or concealer, but it's probably a similar price range. Of course, these prices may be different in the UK and I'd guess they'll charge you more for the same thing. The pans come with a label on the bottom indicating the number of product (Inglot eyeshadows don't have specific names) and the finish. The case is black and sleek and equipped with a nice mirror inside, perfect for touch-ups on the go. The difference compared to MAC is that the case itself is magnetized, not the pans.

(L-R) 353 Matte, 111 Shine, 405 Pearl.
The eyeshadows come in 320 shades and different finishes. I chose three different ones, a matte, a 'shine', which is packed with tiny glitter and I guess could be compared to MAC Lustre finishes, and a pearl, very similar in texture and pigmentation to MAC's Veluxe Pearl. This last finish has the best consistency and color pay-off in my opinion, with the matte finish being least pigmented, but still smooth and blendable. I wore the middle golden shade today as a lid color and the first highlighting shade as a brow and inner corner highlight and was very happy with the application and longevity.

All in all, I was very impressed with the idea and how it was put into practice. Surely, the whole idea of 'Freedom System' is hugely inspired by MAC products, but for us it's just another option on the market worth of considering. I'm definitely going to repurchase, especially the more 'adventurous' shades for me to wear which I can't afford to buy at MAC. I already emptied the small palette by putting the pans in my MAC palette, so I can use it next time I stop at Inglot store or counter (which will be very soon, me thinks). If you're interested in their shades, check out Specktra for swatches.

Hope this helped some of you and answered some questions about this product.
Have you ever tried this range? How do you like it?

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Lacquered Love: Joko nr 46

I've come up with this alliterative name for my Nails Of The Day posts, because honestly I'm not a huge fan of acronyms... Yes, linguists are quirky like that, we actually have our likes and dislikes for different means of expression :)

In my recent nail haul, I mentioned one particular Joko nail polish I was after in the shade nr 46, as it turned out, pretty difficult to get hold of. Now I know the reason for that... The bottle I grabbed was produced in 2000, which I only noticed a minute ago. Nevertheless, somehow it doesn't affect the quality (it's supposed to be good until 2010), I love the consistency and color it imparts on my nails!

As you can see in the photo, it's a deep beigy purple with a cream finish. It glides on easily, leaving no streaks or bubbles. One coat gives more of a pinkish purple, two coats transform the color into more of a grey tinted purple. It comes off slightly darker than in the bottle, so it's not really a neutral color, but still very wearable and a bit more unique.

The bottle is 10 ml and retails for about 2 pounds (7,50 Polish zlotys).

On a different note, I've been experiencing some issues with applying my Sally Hansen Mega Shine top coat. While the product itself works miracles, the brush gathers either too much or too little product, and you have to be very careful to cover the whole nail, otherwise there'll be some streaks left. Has anyone ever had similar problems with this product? Any tips?

Monday, July 13, 2009

Vitamin S

Remember all those magazine articles/ posts/ vlogs/ dermatologists' recommendations saying that under no circumstances are you allowed to be in the sun without sunscreen on? Well, turns out there's more to that than it seems...

Prof. Michael Holick, a world reknown dermatologist, claims in his book "The UV Advantage" that avoiding the sun altogether can be potentially harmful for our health. He proves that the advantages gained from a short exposure substantially outweight the risk of getting a skin cancer. His research has shown that sunbathing can prevent many types of cancer, including breast cancer, because vitamin D (calciferol) which is only produced when the UV rays hit the skin prevents uncontrollable cell divisions. Moreover, the research has revealed that for every cancer caused because of the excessive sun exposure fall 30 cases of illness caused by sun deficiency! His findings have led the American Cancer Society to withdraw the recommendations of no UV exposure.

Vitamin D is essential for calcium absorbtion, healthy nervous system, strong muscles and heart. It also has anti-inflammatory properties and helps cure joint pain, allergies and diabetes. Plus, it stimulates the ovaries and our fertility, as well as lowers the level of stress hormones like hydrocortisone and adrenaline in the bloodstream, which affects our mood positively.

The key to safe sun bathing is the time spent outside, which should not exceed 10 to 15 minutes a day depending on your skin type. Also, remember that the effectiveness of sunscreens quickly decreases with a higher factor: SPF 5 neutralizes 70% of UV rays, SPF 10 85%, SPF 15 93%, while SPF 50 about 98%. This means the most common SPF 15 sunscreen is almost as good as the much more expensive SPF 50!

Info source: Polish edition of Shape, July 2009.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

New cocktail dress and cleavage

Sorry for the short break in blogging, but I was very busy with work this last week, then away in Łódź visiting my grandparents, plus my wireless Internet service has been playing awful tricks on me lately.

Last Friday I was supposed to have a wedding dress fitting, but it turned out I must have the shoes for it with me. Of course, a lovely lady from the shop hadn't even mentioned it in the telephone conversation before, and the last time I saw the dress was in February, so I didn't even have a clue what color should I look for. Nevermind, instead of the fitting, we went shopping with my mum and managed to buy a strapless bra for the dress and a cocktail dress for the day after the wedding. In Poland, it's traditional for the wedding reception to last until dawn, and then (after getting some sleep) the guests are invited to a late breakfast. This is what I needed the dress for :)

Looks a bit unimpressive on the rack...
The dress is from Simple, a Polish high-end clothing company that's often awarded for its unique designs. It's 100% silk, and it was 50% off! Otherwise, it would probably be way too expensive for my pocket... When I put it on I instantly loved it, it feels so me... It has a distinctive 60's feel, the bow at the top is super cute, and the black lace detailing at the bottom makes it one of the kind. It had to be mine!

It is strapless, so I was a bit worried about wearing it, but it fits like a glove!

You put it on... and voila, welcome sexy curves! (also thanks to the new bra)
I also needed a cream colored strapless bra for the wedding dress, but before I had never found one that would actually stay in place. As it turned out, the reason was... I was matched with a wrong size. So on Friday, my cleavage went from 70C to 65E (which is UK 30DD or US 30D), and the bra fits perfectly! I find Polish companies have very nice lingerie designs now and a wider range of sizes, unlike what I remember from 5 or 6 years ago, when the only '65' was cup A. The design of this one is very feminine... and I'm proud of going from cup C to E ;)

Has a similar 'bra size story' ever happened to you?

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Uber glamorous cleansing combo

Some sensitive skin types value Vichy, others La Roche Posay or Avene... And your humble Rocaille is in love with Johnson&Johnson baby line, and she even dares to claim it's damn better than any other cleansing solution she has ever tried.

A lesson in the Polish language: ' oliwka w żelu' - 'baby oil in gel' :)
Here they are, J&J baby oil in a gel form with camomile extracts, which claims to retain 10 times more moisture in the skin than an average body lotion, and J&J Top-to-toe baby wash, which can be used as a face and body wash, shampoo and a bath foam. BTW, the Head-to-toe baby wash sold in the UK and the US is not exactly the same product as some of the ingredients are different, but I heard it has the same properties. It comes in a 500ml bottle with a handy pump and best of all, costs about £3!

While some of you probably know how baby oil works miracles in removing particularly stubborn mascaras and waterproof eyeliners, probably not everyone heard about the benefits of using a baby wash. Brilliant Farmgirl explained everything perfectly on her blog here, and I'll just add that so far it's my HG face wash. It's dirt cheap, super delicate, leaves your skin soft and smelling sweet like a baby, and overall great for my acne-prone, extremely oily skin, as it doesn't dry it out which usually leads to even more breakouts. I also use it on my decollete because I've been experiencing some problems there as well, and I think the texture of my skin there has noticeably improved since I started using it. If you're on a lookout for a new cleansing routine, definitely give it a go.

Have you recently discovered any amazing products for just a couple of pounds/dollars?

Monday, July 6, 2009

Nailcare hauling

I just got home from work before the deluge started outside, I'm lucky not to be soaked wet!

Today I had my first day at work after a couple of months break, and I am glad to be busy again; not having any job/school related things to do is too idle for me... It was a bit crazy, I had to rush out the door in the morning because I calculated the time incorrectly, and I forgot my phone, but I survived the day without it :) So after my first class in the morning I went into a couple of drugstores, trying to find some good nailcare stuff and lemming a bright, peachy nailpolish... My budget is pretty limited right now, so most of these were dirt cheap.

I got myself Rimmel's Stronger base coat, because it promises to protect the nail from staining, as well as Joko Cosmetics Cuticle Removing Gel containing almond oil and maracuja (sic!). Joko is a Polish brand with really reasonable prices (the gel costed around 2 pounds) and some gorgeous nailpolish shades, I spotted an amazing lilac polish on their nail chart, but unfortunately the shop was sold out. But I'm going to come back for this one! So, together with Sally Hansen's Mega Shine topcoat and Burt's Bees Cuticle Creme I got in Canada my basic nailcare kit is complete now and I can start perfectioning my manicures.

The colors in the photo are very yellowed because of my lamp...
Recently I also bought these two nail polishes. The baby pink one is from Miss Sporty French manicure line, another cheap find, I think it'll be great for work appropriate, subtle nails. The other bottle is Essence Multi Dimension 3 in 1 nailpolish in 44 Object of Desire that Miss Chievous blogged about some time ago. Supposedly Essence nailpolishes are great quality, and again, it was less than 2 pounds. Object of Desire is probably the brightest color I own right now, it's a gorgeous peachy pink with very subtle shimmers, can't wait to wear it on my nails. I have to check out their other shades, but in the drugstore I went to at least half of Essence products were gone, so I guess they're pretty popular.

So that's it for my haul, it was pretty interesting for me to have a look in many different drugstores here and seeing what they carry. We really have a lot of brands on our market, both Polish and foreign, so there's a lot of diversity in terms of shades and price ranges as well. The highlight of my day was when I went into a tiny chemist's near the university campus and asked about a cuticle oil, and there was this sweet old lady at the counter who recommended the Joko one and conspirationally informed me that 'these... Henzyn [Sally Hansen, at least 3 times more expensive - editor's note] are completely useless' :)

Hope you all had a wonderful beginning of the week and thanks for stopping by! xxx

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Back home and wedding invites

I'm back in Poland, still a bit jet-lagged and a busy bee; there's just so many things I have to take care of before the wedding!

I have to admit I did a bit of duty-free shopping in Vancouver at the MAC counter, and I was silly enough to buy my third MAC eyeshadow in Charcoal Brown just to realize at home that Annabelle's So Foxy is an exact dupe. So I gave the MAC to my mum, I don't think she was very grateful for the gift, and commented it by criticizing my make-up for the day. Ouch! On a positive side, I also got a lippie in Jest, and I really like it. I'm also after nailcare stuff and polishes lately, so expect some haulage :)

Today I went with my to-be-mother-in-law to a printing house to choose and order my wedding invitations. I had to choose from what they had because there's no time left for being overly picky. However, I really liked their catalogues and finally settled on a very classic, simple design:

The set doesn't include the organza and pearls :)
The paper is in a cream color with an opalescent gold effect, and the invitation folds in three parts. Because of that, we decided to include a quotation on the top part, and we went for Antoine de Saint Exupery: "Love does not consist in gazing at each other, but in looking outward together in the same direction.". We will handwrite the guests' names on our own, because it was substantially more expensive to have them printed, and I think it adds a bit of a personal touch. The print itself is warm brown and quite ornamental.

I really like the gold ornament, it's so elegant and timeless...
I think we did a pretty good job :) Next on the list are the flowers, sorting things out in the church and at the venue, and many more... Hope you're all doing well and thanks for stopping by! xxx

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

NOTD: Rimmel Vintage

A quick manicure before the flight... Rimmel London Wear Maxx nail polish in 303 Vintage.

Always wanted to do one of these shots...
I love this color, but hate the formula: it's streaky, patchy and badly pigmented. The photo below is 3 coats plus a topcoat and the tips of my nails are still showing. After an hour from the application I already observed some fading at the ends of my nails. Hate it! I definitely don't recommend this varnish.

What's on your nails right now?