31 October 2014

October empties


Dear readers,

Another month has flown by and has left me with some empty products to share with y'all:


I'll start with a product I haven't liked, not so much the product itself but the way to apply it. The body tonic anti cellulite stick by Garnier. The roll-on applicator wasn't very helpful and instead of spreading the product evenly it had a patchy and painful effect so I ended up squeezing out some product on the palm of my hand and working it on my thighs with my bare hands. This came with an anti-cellulite gel for 19€ the duo pack and with a 50% discount on the second at Perfumerias IF.


Black liquid liner by BeYu, for only 1€ at Douglas. Good value for money but not amazing so I don't think I'll be repurchasing it. Bear in mind I'm not much of a black-eyeliner wearer.


Ole Henriksen oil free pore refining wipes, they were featured in my last giveaway (only on Twitter) and I was so envious of the winner that I ordered a pack for myself from Look Fantastic. I didn't like the fact that they are minty like so many other products beauty lovers are so keen on lately. I liked that they were smooth on one side and sort of padded with little bumps on the other to give a deep cleaning or a peeling effect. I'm using the regular (orange packaging) now and I think I'm liking them better although I've only used them a few times.


Tarte lights, camera, lashes! mascara, in sample size. This came with my The Tarte of Giving collector set and travel bag that was sold as a holiday special for Christmas 2013. I loved this mascara so much I had a colleague from work get me a full size tube when he was visiting New York last month, it is sold at Sephora for 20$ but it's so worth it.


Laneige Snow BB cream SPF41 PA++ in No. 2 Natural BB. This was a tad too light for me especially when I wanted to used it the most: during the summer. Otherwise a good alternative to using a moisturizer, SPF lotion and foundation. I purchased this so long ago so I don't remember what I paid for it but I think it was reduced to around 20€ at Strawberrynet.


Deborah Milano smoothing base. I got this at Perfumes Club and it was sold somewhere around 9€ if I remember correctly. It's been a long time and I can't find the receipt. Bad blogger, go to your room! Not something I will be repurchasing though so no biggie...


My first ever MAC product. It's almost 4 years old (I know, I know: shame on me!) and I finally went through the last outer ring of left over product. I didn't feel it was a good match for me though. I already have a back up in NC41 (hope it fits me better) and a darker NW35 for summer. I love this powder, it gives me a flawless finish without making my skin look cake-y and I swear it minimizes my humongous pores.

So that's it for this month, I hope you had an amazing October and that you're ready for Movember. Have an amazing Halloween y'all and come back tomorrow to see if you've won my Secret Santa Giveaway.

29 October 2014

Haul part 2: Batiste & Aromatherapy associates


Dear readers,

After receiving my The Body Shop, Forever 21 and Benefit goodies first, the rest of my recent shopping spree has safely arrived.


They were offering free shipping at Maquillalia and I was running low on my old trusted Batiste dry shampoo (only 2 cans left) so I ordered a few more. The cherry scented one is my favourite for now, I still need to try the fresh and the wild scents. The original blush I got because it's smaller in size, perfect for travel. They were sold at 3.75€ each, so not a bad deal as they usually cost 4.75€.


As per usual a few sachet samples were included in my package as well as a small bag of candy that quickly, and almost magically, disappeared. I'll have to remember taking a picture before disposing of it next time...


At Feel Unique I used a 10£ discount for any purchase of 20£ or higher and got this Aromatherapy Associates bath & shower oil in Revive Morning for 30£ instead of 40£. Last year I got a small 1.5ml bottle and I loved the scent, it smells of pink grapefruit, rosemary, juniper berry and pine and is supposed to invigorate and wake up the mind and body but it has the opposite effect on me and leaves me very sleepy and thoroughly relaxed so I could call it Sleep Tight instead.


They also threw in two sachets: the overnight detox oil by Caudalie and a skin tone brightening moisturizer that I'd wanted to try: the Melaperfect by Darphin, a pity it's only SPF 20.

I'm only waiting for another item to arrive: a candle-wick trimmer. I can't wait to start burning my Christmas scented Yankee Candles that came in last year's Advent calendar. I got it hugely reduced in price in January.

I'll try to put my credit card to rest for a few weeks but I can't promise you anything: #feelingspendy @AmeliaLiana.

27 October 2014

Haul: The Body Shop, Forever 21 & Benefit


Dear readers,

I'm in a bit of a hurry so I'll hope you'll excuse me for keeping this short. It's been a while since I've been to the cinema (3 years) so me and the hubby are going to see a film tonight.

I ordered a few things over the past week and these items were the first to arrive. I'll update this post as soon as the rest of the goodies are safely home with me :)


First to arrive were my beloved shower gels by The Body Shop, I got two in the Satsuma scent, which you know is my fave and one in Pink Grapefruit which is also nicely scented. I got them at a discount (7€ each) that's why I ordered so many, I think they'll last me a whole year if not longer. I also picked up the Satsuma home fragrance oil at 4€ as I needed to spend at least 25€ for the shipping to be free of cost.


Next I got some bracelets from Forever 21 as they had a free shipping offer over at their website for purchases over 30€ instead of the usual 75€ and I was in need, really, of some new bracelets.


I think these 3 would wear beautifully together, don't you think?
Prices from left to right: 4.95€, 5.45€ and 5.90€.



These will add a pop of colour. They were sold as a pair (7.45€) but you can wear them separately. 


And I wanted something more edgy (6.45€) to wear with my new leather jacket. I don't usually dress in black but once in a while I like pulling off a rock-chic look.


My first purchase at Boots. They started shipping to Spain not so long ago but I hadn't purchased anything yet as the shipping costs were a pretty high at 10£ but this was worth it, I hope.

It's a gorgeous tin box shaped in the form of a candy house, inside there's a booklet with some tips on how to apply the different products featured inside the box.



Drumroll please... Benefit Cheeky Sweet Spot palette that features all of their best selling blushes: Dandelion, Bellabamba, Coralista, Sugarbomb and Rockateur; the Hoola bronzer and a highlighter.


This is a limited edition holiday palette that was already sold out on Benefit's web site so I quickly made up my mind about getting it or not. I first tried ordering it from Feel Unique but for some reason they are not allowed to ship Benefit products to Spain so I ended up paying the 10 £ shipping fee and ordering through Boots' website... stupid Spanish customs regulations!!!

The total cost was 50€ not bad at all if you think you're getting so many products even if they are somewhat (not much) smaller in size. I'm not a blush user and I don't own any of the products featured in this palette so I thought it would be the perfect chance to start using a blusher on a daily basis and have a wide selection where I could choose from.

I'm running late as it is y'all, see u soon !


23 October 2014

Healthy sales people?


Dear readers,

Many of you may prefer purchasing their make up and skin care products in a shop as you can feel the texture of the product, smell its scent and have instant gratification by taking it home with you.

I much rather purchase my products online, I like waiting for special offers and I don't mind trying out new things or waiting up to 2 weeks for the products to arrive. I like doing some research when I'm thinking of buying a certain product I haven't tried before and this gives me time to think if I really need that particular item or if it's just an impulse buy.

What I particularly don't like about make up counters are the pushy sales people, therefore I try to avoid them at all costs.

image taken from www.professionalacademy.com

A few weeks ago I met a friend of mine at an eco fair held in my hometown, she was accompanied by a girlfriend that immediately mentioned an organic beauty brand she was using. As I told her I was interested in all kind of beauty related products and how much I enjoyed trying out new things she asked me for my phone number so she could call me and give me more information.

I'm not giving you the name of the brand she's representing as I haven't tried any of their products and I don't want this to reflect badly on the company itself but I had to share this story with you: OMG how rude can a person be?

This is the text message I received from her after I'd told her I didn't want to purchase anything for the moment being (she hadn't even given me 24 hours to decide):

"Following to our conversation held yesterday I can see that you are not interested in natural products without petroleum, aluminum...etc. When people get sick sometimes it's too late and they never think it's going to happen to them. I've been lucky but two of my best friends, weren't. If you ever change your mind you can place your order through our web site. Regards,"

You have to know that this person has gone through cancer, I don't know what kind but she has been cancer free for 5 years and this has altered her way of life, always looking for healthier alternatives. But this gives her no right to threaten me with getting cancer if I don't purchase the products.

Even when I had told her I wouldn't purchase a moisturizer that was reduced in price because it was meant for dry skin and mine's extremely oily she wouldn't relent. I said I was happy to try out some of their other products when I had used up the ones I had at home. I also told her I had a friend who was very interested in finding a good organic skin care range. But even that didn't seem to appease her, she only seemed interested in converting me to her newly found vision of life. The text message from above came right after we had this conversation.

I haven't texted her back as I think her message doesn't merit any reply at all and, as you may have guessed, I won't be trying out those products. Way to go sales person! You've successfully lost a sale.

What are your thoughts on pushy sales people?

20 October 2014

The 10 Million pound TAG


Dear readers,

I was secretly tagged by the lovely Katie but I was lucky to stumble upon her blog post and decided this was a fun tag to write, so here goes the question:

If you had a million pound, which you won on the lottery, what would you spend it on?

picture of half the pounds I've left from my last visit to the UK

It seems a pretty easy and straightforward tag but when you sit down and start thinking about what you would do with such a huge amount of money let me tell you, it isn't that simple.

I think I'd need to start with paying taxes, in Spain you need to pay 20% of any lottery you've won that excedes 2.500€. So my first 2M would go to the Spanish Central Government, I hope they put it to good use (Oh stop it ! You're just killing me, lmao).

I've always wanted to live in London for a while so I suppose I would buy an expensive apartment in Chelsea and see how I like it. I could always sell it at a later date and move some place else.

Before moving to London I would spend one year traveling and get all my dream travels out of the way at once:

- A trip on the Orient Express
- A cruise to the Hawaiian islands
- Maybe a whole month in Bora-Bora
- A cruise to Antarctica to see the Emperor penguins
- Go back to Japan and visit other cities and small villages, not only Tokyo

Wedding

We had a very small wedding as we couldn't afford a bigger one so it would be the perfect opportunity to celebrate it and renew our vows at the same time. I'd finally get the chance to dress in white and have a huge banquet with a champagne fountain and lots and lots of floral arrangements. Not that my wedding wasn't beautifully rustic and summery and relaxed and perfect, but this time I want to plan it big and tacky, lol.

I'd love to get me a diamond ring and earrings, some Jimmy Choo's and several designer bags to match the shoes, of course. A few outfits to top it off would also be nice to have.                                  

Accesories

After all the travel, celebration and shopping was done I'd work on creating a make up brand that specialized in high quality products in mini sizes. I enjoy trying out new products therefore I have a large make up collection but not being a make up artist means I could never in my life use it all up.

As I hate wasting products I think that the holiday make up sets that are sold around this time of year are the most perfect idea ever because they feature a large variety of products in reduced sizes at a very affordable price. I wish it was Christmas all year around and that's what I'd try to achieve.


What would you do with all that money? Consider yourself tagged! Have fun spending all your imaginary money.

16 October 2014

#2014BloggerChallenge: I don't like Autumn


Dear readers,

I've never liked the cold but I can't wait for those colder months to come so I can cuddle up in my new bed with a cuppa and a chocolate bar/muffin/biscuit/fill in your own preference...

I recently purchased an electric adjustable bed, that's to show you just how committed I am to staying in bed for the longest possible time.

Since I was a child I like doing everything in bed: read, homework, watch tv, listen to music, daydream, eat and of course, sleep.

What I especially don't like about autumn is this:

        7:30 AM before going to work - 16:00 PM arriving home after work

Like, really? Are you kidding me? What should I put on these days? A swimsuit with a winter coat on top?

So this is the reason I'm running late lately, I'm showing up at work like 5-10 minutes late as I keep looking at my wardrobe waiting to have an epiphany that tells me how to dress for the day.

All right, lets end on a more positive note and show you this morning's sunrise:


I'm afraid I only had my iPhone with me so it doesn't show the true burning red colour peaking above the sea line. 

How about you, are you an Autumn lover yourself?

13 October 2014

My first beauty swap


Dear readers,

Blogging has turned out to be one of the best ideas I've had in my life. It's been great having something to look forward to when I'm at the office and time keeps dragging.

A great side effect from being a blogger is getting to know other bloggers, usually by leaving comments on their blog posts or by chatting on Social Media such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and such.

I'll never forget how happy I was when reading my first ever comment on my blog. I had started writing it as a diary to myself and didn't intend on anyone following me but I got hooked on getting feedback so I started interacting more with other bloggers and making some friends along the way, at least I like to consider them as such.

Some time ago the lovely Ashley from Dream.Live.Repeat contacted me. She'd read that I craved some U.S. brands that you can't get here nor shipped over so she offered to get me any product I wanted and send it my way. After a few emails going back and forth she came up with some awesome news: she was planning on coming to Spain in the Autumn. We kept writing each other over the summer and I asked her to get me the IT cosmetics Naturally Pretty Palette.



I'd tried getting hold of the Lorac Pro Palette last year when a friend of mine went to Vegas but she couldn't find it anywhere. As I initially intended to fill in my eye shadow collection with some matte shadows I changed my mind and put this all-matte palette on my wish list instead of the Lorac one after I'd heard it mentioned by Emily aka Beauty Broadcast in this YouTube vid where she recommended it 100%.

Finally the day came when Ashley was already settled in her new Spanish home town and told me she was ready to swap. We agreed on a specific day to go to the post office and this is the result:


Although it wasn't a surprise for me as I already knew what was inside I very much enjoyed opening up the parcel as if it was an exciting and unexpected gift. Ashley threw in some samples for me to try out, who doesn't like to receive freebies? There's something about getting something for free that makes me immediately like the product even before trying it out. Yeah, I'm that kind of weird...


As for Ashley's goodies I'll comment on those in another post so as to not spoil her take on this beauty swap. I'll leave a link to her entry as soon as she has posted it.

For the love of sharing,


11 October 2014

600 Followers Giveaway - ended


Dear readers,

It's time again for celebration: my blog has reached 600 followers on bloglovin, yay !



I feel like it wasn't too long ago since my last giveaway but I love making other people happy.

Leave me a comment below telling me what you're wishing for this Christmas and I'll pick one of you as a winner to my Secret Santa giveaway. Yes, I'm aware it's two more months until the holidays but it's never too soon to start spreading out some lovin'.

The giveaway is international, as always. I'll choose a lucky winner on October 31st and announce it here on this post and on Facebook and Twitter.

For some inspiration I'm sharing my own wish list with you:

image taken from cosmopolitan.co.uk
Jo Malone Advent Calendar 250£

imagen taken from lush.co.uk

Lush Christmas bathtime favourites 35.95£

image taken from benefitcosmetics.com
Cheeky sweet spot by Benefit 36$

image taken from sephora.com
Glamglow Powermud 69$

image taken from sephora.com
Veil fluid makeup by Hourglass 60$

I'll try to stick to these items and not to add some more but I can't promise you anything, lol.

Updated November 1st: the winner of the giveaway is Stephanie Laura, congrats! Please email me your contact details.



8 October 2014

Unboxing: Real Techniques brushes


Dear readers,

This year I used the 5£ coupon they sent me for my birthday to get the following items from Feel Unique:




Blush brush 9.99£



This will be my first blush brush. I don't usually put on blush and when I do I tend to use a skunk brush that I don't like using for foundation.

Setting brush 6.99£


I don't have a particular setting brush either. I simply use the RT multi task brush to set my foundation and concealer at the same time but I was so curious about everyone using this kind of brush on YouTube tutorials that I had to get it.

Miracle complexion sponge 5.99£


I fell in love with the BeautyBlender since the first time I used it but I wanted to give this one a go and see if it's a good alternative to the expensive BB. I really didn't need to get this as I already have a brand new BB waiting to be used, but... #hoarders


The 3 items came into a sturdy small cardboard box where they fitted in nicely and the left over space was filled up with some white foam pieces.

I'm very happy with the other RT brushes I have so I thought this would be a good chance to increase my collection and start using a blusher on a daily basis.

I'll let you know what I think of these brushes in another post as I have enough RT brushes to write a full review. Not that I'm very knowleadgeable, I just can tell you what works for me and what doesn't.

For the love of make up tools,


6 October 2014

New subscription: Elle magazine


Dear readers,

With my new yearly subscription to Elle magazine I was sent the following freebies from a Spanish brand called Emina.



Oenotherapy daily moisturizing fluid with polyfenols & spf 50ml

It says it hydrates, delays cellular aging, restores firmness and contains sun protection (doesn't mention how high or low, though).

Main ingredients: Grape extract, Gatuline RC and grape seed oil


Oenotherapy anti wrinkle fluid with polyfenols 50ml

This night cream claims to be anti-aging and anti-oxidant.

Main ingredients: Olive and grape seed oil, Elastin, Stereocare and grape leaf extract


Oenotherapy cleansing milk with grape extract 250ml

Cleansing milk that removes impurities and conditions the skin.

Main ingredients: grape extract and grape seed oil


Oenotherapy gel scrub with polyfenols 100ml

Gel peeling that removes dead cells and leaves the skin feeling smooth and velvety soft.

Main ingredients: Propylenglycol, glicerine, collagen, Optivegetol VIN 150 Hidro and raisin extract


 

Oenotherapy anti cellulite and firming gel 250ml

Main ingredients: lyporeductyl, centella asiatica, mentol, grape leaf extract and Optivegetol VIN 150 Hidro

About the brand.

I tried finding more information as I'd never heard of this brand before but I couldn't find much.

Emina is a winery located in the Spanish Ribera del Duero area. As many other wineries (Caudalie being the most reknowned) they have started using grapes to make skincare products.

Not only do they use the actual grape juice/extract but many other parts such as the seeds, the leafs and even the vines themselves.

If you want to find out more about the different benefits of grapes you can click here. I very much enjoyed reading this post. I wish I could write more informative posts like this one but I just don't have the knowledge nor the patience to go through all the hard facts and put them into clear sentences.

As I haven't tried out these products yet I'm not able to review them for you but I can say the packaging is very cheap, some of the adhesive labels are already coming off...

About the magazine.

A yearly subscription to Elle magazine normally costs 42€, sometimes it's reduced to 33,60€ but I patiently waited for them to contact me instead. They'll usually give you a better deal if you don't renew your yearly subscription. It can take a few months for them to call you but eventually they will and let me tell you, you won't regret it.

I ended up paying only 25,20€ including all the goodies I mentioned above. That's 12 Elle magazines, 5 Elle Deco and 2 or more Beauty and Fashion books. And I'm talking about the big magazine, not the smaller pocket version.

If you are curious about my previous subscription click here. It's in Spanish but you can look at the pictures to see what goodies I got last year.

For the love of freebies and discounts,

3 October 2014

#2014BloggerChallenge: Consumer friendly packaging


Dear readers,

I was curious to try out the Caudalie Premier Cru The Cream that Tati from GlamLifeGuru kept recommending in her favorites youtube vids.

Having a more mature skin but still very oily I'm always looking for the perfect combination of moisturizer and anti-wrinkle/age/spot treatment in the market without it being/feeling overly heavy.


Packaging:

Aside from not being very travel friendly I give it a clear 10. It's a very luxurious golden glass bottle that's quite heavy (hence the not travel friendly comment). It has a pump, which I find very hygienic. One pump serves perfectly for an even all-face application although I usually squirt half a pump more to cover the neck area as well.


With tubes I like cutting them to pieces to get all the product out as you can get a whole week's worth of product on what remains inside the tube: on the sides and the bottom. But with pumps it gets a bit tricky: I like screwing the pump off and scooping up the remaining product with a small brush.

In this case I got difficulty getting the pump removed from the bottle. When it finally came off I immediately knew why it was so hard: it revealed the most perfect user friendly packaging ever.


It has a thick plastic wrapping inside the bottle that covers the entire pumping system. This seems to serve as a suction mechanism that helps you get all the product out and prevents it from getting stuck to the glass container. As you can see there's barely anything left but you could (as I'm going to) cut the plastic wrapping and get to what's left.

Formula:

It seems thick at first but after warming it up between your fingers it transforms into a mousse-like formula that is quickly absorbed into the skin. It didn't mess with my make up even though I also wear a sunscreen on top. Of course I get shiny throughout the day but that's inevitable.

Scent:

This is not for those of you who are looking for unscented products, but I don't find it to be over powerful. I personally liked it because in my head it smells like apple pie, could be because it contains grapes and my brain thinks of raisins...

On the packaging:

It contains 0%:
parabens
phenoxyethanol
phtalates
mineral oil
sodium laureth sulfate
animal ingredients

"Luxurious and effective in equal measure, this exceptional cream delivers ultimate anti-aging action for visibly younger skin. Its melt-away texture leaves the skin velvety smooth. Perfectly hydrated, the skin deeply regenerated and its density restored. Wrinkles are smoothed, facial contours are firmer and more defined, and the complexion is radiant and even".

"Inspired by the greets vintages of Bordeaux, Premier Cru is an exclusive blend of all the Caudalie patents. Resveratrol-Oleyl-Viniferine.Polyphenols, and the most high-performance active ingredients to correct all the signs of aging in a single step".

Non comedogenic. Dermatologist tested. Against animal testing.

Have you ever encountered a more perfect packaging? Please share your comments.

For the rest of the #2014BloggerChallenge reviews click here.