1. makeuptips-:

    OVER HYPED: OCC Lip Tar

    OCC were one of the first brands to start the lip lacquer not a gloss/not a lipstick/not a stain phase in lip products and now just about every brand you can think of is doing their own variations. If you’ve ever read anything about makeup you’d know the OCC Lip Tars get a lot of a hype and quite frankly I can’t quite understand why. No matter how little or much product I use and no matter what technique or tool I use to apply them they bleed, feather, smudge,  smear, don’t last long, dry out and irritate my lips, accentuate flakiness, apply unevenly, fade unevenly, have an overpowering smell and the packaging has a tendency to leak everywhere. I have tried many shades from dark to light and bright thinking certain shades just may work better than others but the result is always the same and I always remember why I don’t like them. I think these are a major disappointment and I’m annoyed I wasted so much money on them. I much prefer products like YSL Glossy Stains, Maybelline Color Elixirs and Klara Cosmetics Kiss Proof Lips.

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    I thought I was the only one! Also disliking OCC LT :(

     

  2. Sleek Makeup: Blush By 3 in Pumpkin & Blush in Rose Gold

    Sleek Makeup is one of my favorite budget makeup brands. It’s a shame they are not sold here because I’d probably own all of their products (except their lipsticks, I wasn’t too crazy about those before…). So today, I’ll be doing a review on their blushes which are true jewels, esp when it comes to their pigmentation and longevity.

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    Rose Gold is probably their most famous single blush. It has a pink base with golden shimmer. Although the shade is absolutely beautiful and would suit all skin tones, I’m not crazy about it’s texture. It’s probably because of the gold particles in the blush - it often gets grainy and applies unevenly. Or this could probably be because I purchased my RG as a second hand blush. Does anyone have these problems with their Rose Gold? It’s packaged in a matte black plastic box which is sometimes a pain in the butt to open but it’s not impossible. It’s a good blush all in all - but definitely not one of my favorites because of the texture and packaging.

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    The Blush By 3 palette in Pumpkin is a whole different story. The packaging is almost identical to the small one, but opens with ease; plus - also has a mirror like the little one, except this one is far larger and more usable. This palette is amazing for travelling because you get 3 totally different blush shades. There’s Lantern - a neutral toned red/berry shimmer shade, Squash - a cool toned bubblegum pink shimmer shade and P Pie - a pure orange matte shade. I have only one complaint for this palette - the chalkiness of the orange shade. Although it’s super pigmented like the rest of them it’s quite dry and sometimes applies unevenly. The other shades apply like a dream and a little definitely goes a long way with these. They last through the entire day on my skin and I’d recommend this palette to everyone diggin’ these shades. You can also combine them to achieve different unique shades and effects (I like mixing Lantern with P Pie because they suit me best since my skin has a lot of yellow pigment).

    Swatches:

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    Heavy hand swatches of the Pumpkin palette. L-R: Lantern, Squash, P Pie.

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    Hand swatch of Rose Gold. (I used different cameras for this post, so some shades are looking lighter or less intense like RG here.)

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    Left: Rose Gold, right: Squash.

    The price for these babies are: 6.99 US$ + shipping for Rose Gold and 14.99 US$ + shipping for the Blush By 3 palette. The smaller blusher contain 8 grams, and the blush palette contains 20 grams of product.

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    The ingredient list for Rose Gold: Mica, Talc, Bis-Diglyceryl Polyacyladipate-2, Pentaerythrityl Teraisostearate, Nylon-12, Magnesium Stearate, Jojoba Esters, Dimethicone, Polyethylene, Phenoxyethanol, Chloroxylenol May Contain [+/- CI. 77891, CI. 15850, C1 45410, CI. 77360, CI. 19140, CI. 15985, CI. 77492, CI. 77491, CI. 77499 CI 77742].

    The ingredient list for the Pumpkin palette: Mica, Talc, Bis-Diglyceryl Polyacyladipate-2, Pentaerythrityl Tetraisosterate, Nylon-12, Magnesium Stearate, Jojoba Esters, Dimethicone, Polyethylene, Phenoxyethanol MAY CONTAIN: TITANIUM DIOXIDE(CI 77891), D&C RED NO.7(CI 15850:1), D&C RED NO.30(73360), YELLOW IRON OXIDE(CI 77492), RED IRON OXIDE(CI 77491), BLACK IRON OXIDE(CI 77499), MANGANESE VIOLET(CI 77742).

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    Sleek is cruelty-free (not sold in China!) but they are not an entirely vegan brand. I did some quick research online and found this link. So, about half on Sleek’s product is vegan and yes - these blushes above are all vegan. :)

     

  3. Lush Let The Good Times Roll

    Lately I started using “traditional” face and body scrubs because chemical peels weren’t so super effective for my skin. While I was shopping in Lush for their bath bombs a few months back, I noticed the awesome scent of Let The Good Times Roll scrub (which reminded me of butter cookies) so I decided to grab a small piece of it to try out.

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    It’s actually far from a “traditional” face scrub - it’s completely solid and looks like a cake at first (it even smells like one too!). But when you apply it on a wet face, it becomes creamy and exfoliates like a boss. I wouldn’t recommend this to sensitive skin because there are far more gentle srubs out there (feel free to check out my "Favorite cruelty free & vegan exfoliating products" post). The scent last quite long on my skin (for almost an hour after), so if you are sensitive to scented products, even natural ones, I’d suggest skipping this one. But the result is awesome: it leaves a completely smooth and clean skin and is also quite suitable for my combination skin (with oily T-zone).

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    The ingredients are: Maize flour (Zea mays), Glycerine, Talc, Water, Corn Oil (Zea mays), Corn Meal (Zea mays), Cinnamon Powder (Cinnamomum cassia), Fragrance, Gardenia Extract (Gardenia jasminoides) and popocorn. I have no ide why it smells like Petit Beurre cookies if it’s made almost completely out of corn plus some gardenia extract…

    The price for 100 g of Let The Good Times Roll is 12.50-12.95 US$ but I always get 50 g for a little over 6 US$ which is quite affordable and last for almost 2 months. A bonus info: this scrub is cruelty-free and vegan. ;)

     
  4. Since I won’t be doing a “Current beauty favorites” post these days, I decided to do a short summer beauty favorites post for you guys. Here are some of my old and new favorite products: 

    SPF creams: Alba Botanica SPF 30 Hawaiian Sunscreen and Kiss My Face Face & Neck SPF30 Face Factor - full review here

    Self tanning lotion: Alverde Selbstbräunungslotion - a lightweight and effective lotion to make your skin tanned without burns or bikini marks

    Deodorant: Alverde Minze Bergamotte Deo Roll-On - an aluminum-free formula, delivers 8 hours of protection with nice minty herbal scent

    Makeup: e.l.f. Waterproof Eyeliner Pen - precise, pigmented and easy to apply, Wet n Wild Megalast Lip Color in 24 Carrot Gold - opaque, longlasting orange lipstick which goes amazing with tanned skin and Meow Cosmetics Firefly Bronzer in Teenie Weenie Bikini - one of my all time favorite bronzers which has tons of rose gold and bronze shimmer particles and looks amazing on both fair and tanned skin (also a dupe for Illamasqua Powder Metal in Thalia - discontinued)

    All product are cruelty-free AND vegan. ;) 

     

  5. Delicious breakfast: Mango, banana and orange smoothie

    Making breakfast isn’t always easy because I try to make a different recipe each morning. But lately I’ve been hooked on smoothies because they are super easy to make and I can combine different ingredients or simply stick to one if I find it perfect. Mango, banana and orange is a perfect combination for me, it’s very nourishing and b far the most delicious combination I’ve tried. 

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    For a complete meal I combine 2 bananas, 1 orange and 1 large mango. No milk required (I usually put soy or coconut milk in these) but a bit water could be added if the mixture is too thick. I also like to add ice cubes inside, esp now when it’s hot outside… Cheers!

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  6. sundressessongbirds said: Hi! I just wanted to tell you about a vegan makeup product called Jamberry Nails. They are beautiful wraps that are latex free, non toxic, and they don't chip, fade, or dry out. If you're interested in knowing more information, please message me. Have a great day :)

    Hi and thanks for the info! I’ve looked them up now and they are really nice. I’ll be adding them to my CF list. ;) Cheers!

     

  7. DIY Makeup Removing Emulsion

    Sick of wasting too much money on makeup removers that contain nasty ingredients? Searching for a 100% natural and vegan way to remove your makeup? Maybe I have just a thing for you - an oil-based makeup removing emulsion that’s cheap, effective and kind for your skin.

    All you need is only 3 ingredients and a container (I prefer using glass bottles with pumps because it’s easier to use and refill). The ingredients are: polysorbate 60 or 80 (these are emulsifiers used in cosmetics and there is no major difference between these, they work the same) and 2 types of oils. You can use 3 types of oils if you prefer, but I keep things simple with just 2 and they should be cold pressed oils. I use: jojoba oil, sunflower seed oil, apricot kernel oil, wheat germ oil (only in small amounts because it can cause acne and it smells funky) and linseed oil. Last 2 months I’ve been combining apricot kernel oil with wheat germ oil and sunflower seed oil with linseed oil (one lightweight and one more nourishing).  

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    The amount of polysorbate should be 10-20 ml for a 100 ml glass container (the rest 80-90 ml are oils). If you want your emulsion to be “lighter” you can put more polysorbate, but I wouldn’t recommend more than 30 ml of it (for a 100 ml container). If you are using a larger container, like a 200 ml one, just double up everything. 

    Usage: apply a small amount of the mixture on dry face with makeup using your hands and rub in gently. Rinse with warm water and dry face with washcloth. This process doesn’t dry up your skin so a moisturizer isn’t needed after (only if you have super dry or sensitive skin). 

    I have been using this method for the last couple of months and I am addicted to this. It costs almost nothing because I always have some of these oils in my kitchen and polysorbate is cheap - around 4 US$ for 100 ml which lasts for 4-5 months, depending on how much you use. I always use the same recycled bottle so everything cost less than 2 US$ (!). I call that a winner my friends. 

     

  8. How I brighten up my everyday eye (makeup)

    I have a confession to make: I’m not a fan of neutral looks. My version of neutral would be a classic black 50’s eyeliner with mascara and a red lip. :/ I use makeup to express how I feel and I rarely feel “neutral”. But this summer I decided to go easy on my skin, so I’m currently wearing only concealer for my undereye circles and hyper pigmentation spots or a light BB cream, a bit of blush or bronzer, a subtle eye shadow and some mascara. 

    One of those subtle eye shadows is one of my favorite vegan baked eyeshadow: Alverde Baked Eyeshadow (Alverde Gebackener Lidschatten) in the shade 09 Nude Rose. I had this since December 2012. Although it’s a baked eyeshadow, it is really soft and the pigmentation is great! I think this shade is no longer available but I’m not 100% sure… It was quite cheap back then - around 2 US$ on sale (usually these cost around 4 bucks).

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    I use it mostly to highlight my eyes; applying it in the inner corner of my eyes, below my eyebrows and in the middle of my upper eyelids. That way I can achieve a bright look which looks almost wet or glossy. You can do this it with any shimmery white, rosy or beige eyeshadow. I do prefer this one since it last a long time, it’s super soft, the pigmentation is awesome and it’s vegan.

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    What are your favorite eye highlighters?

     
  9. Colors of the summer 2014!

    Today I’m wearing a soft but colorful eye makeup, featuring Concrete Minerals Electric Eye Primer, Just Pure Minerals Swimming Pool and Snow shades, Geek Chic Cosmetics Continuum, Detrivore Cosmetics Diabolical and Essence I Love Extreme Crazy Volume Mascara. New vinyl makeup bag from Catrice Carnival Of Colours LE. <3

     

  10. Makeup sponges: Real Techniques vs. Hello Beauty

    I wasn’t into makeup sponges until a few months ago when a friend gave me one to try out and see if I like the idea. I’ve been applying liquid and cream foundation with makeup brushes for years, so I was quite skeptical about sponges. Soon, I was hooked and gathered many sponges from various brands, available offline and online. Two of these brands were Real Rechniques by Samantha Chapman and Hello Beauty (available at BIPA drugstores in Europe).

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    The main difference between these sponges is not color or shape (although those ARE different - RT comes in only only color - orange and has a pointy end as well as a flat end; Hello Beauty comes in various colors - I always choose the pink one and is shaped like a teardrop) but texture - the RT one is super soft and flexible; the Hello Beauty one is super dense and less flexible.

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    Their sizes is almost the same but the RT one is a bit longer and has more options in terms of shape - you can blend the foundation with the pointy end or with the flat end which I prefer more than the options of the HB sponge shape. However, I did notice the RT sponge absorbs less product than the HB one. It is also easier the clean and rinse (I use anything from shampoo, hand soap - liquid or solid, shower gels, etc. although the shampoo option works best for me).

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    The HB sponge is more high maintenance than the RT one but I do preffer it over the RT sponge. It works great with any foundation I use (mostly Wet n Wild Coverall foundation) and my foundation looks more clean, lightweight and blended than my foundation applied with a brush. Also, the HB sponges is only 3,5 US $ here at local BIPA drugstores while RT is 6 US $ + shipping via iherb.com and obviously can’t be purchased locally at any time. And this is important to me because my cat thinks these sponges are her personal toys which she demonstrated shredding two of the HB sponges to pieces. :( Luckily, they are inexpensive so I’d buy them any time over the RT one. 

     

  11. Concrete Minerals Electric Eye Primer

    A good eyeshadow primer is a must have thing if you are an eyeshadow junkie like me. I got my first jar of CM Electric Eye Primer in spring 2013 and I’m addicted to it ever since. This thing is rich and creamy so a little goes a long way with it (the jar last almost an entire year!). It has been recently reformulated and is now 100% vegan, so props to Concrete Minerals for that. :)

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    It comes in a metal jar with a twist-off cap and the jar contains 9.9 grams. The price is 11 US$ + shipping on Concrete Minerals website. And yes, they do ship worldwide. :)

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    The texture is unlike any other eye primer I’ve ever tried. It’s not a classic matte cream which looks like foundation on my skin, like the Essence I Love Stage eyeshadow base (which is a good cheap drugstore product great for neutralizing the color of the eyelids, but the performance is not as good as CM’s primer). This one is kinda greasy and not completely matte - it has tiny gold particles which are invisible on the skin, as well as the entire product.

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    First and foremost the CM Electric Eye Primer does an amazing job on keeping all eyeshadow (mineral, baked, the “classic” ones in palettes etc.) sealed in place. Works awesome with eyeliners and eye pencils that tend to smudge an fade throughout the day as well. Since I tend to use turbo pigmented products, I rarely see some pigmentation boost, but I did demonstrated it with my least pigmented eyeshadow - Inglot’s AMC Shine 44 and you can clearly see the difference in the photo above.

    The ingredients are: Cyclopentasiloxane, Dimethicone/Vinyl Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Candelilla Wax, Dimethicone, Silicon Dioxide, Hydrogenated Polyisobutene MAY CONTAIN: Mica, Titanium Dioxide, Iron Oxide, Tin Oxide

    All in all - best eyeshadow primer I’ve ever tried and I’ve been faithful to it for more that a year now. I’ll definitely keep ordering it until it’s discontinued or something. Note (in case you’ve missed): it’s cruelty free AND vegan. ;)

     

  12. Crazy Rumors Au Natural 100% natural vegan lip balm

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    Searching for a good vegan lip balm was one of my biggest beauty “problems” until recently. I’ve tried different brands from local natural cosmetics manufactures to commercial names like Merry Hempsters. I finally found a great lip product and ended my search with Crazy Rumors Au Naturale balm.

    It has no flavor, making it ideal for usage in every situation and with every makeup product. It’s extremely nourishing but not greasy at all. The texture is amazing - stays waxy all the time, doesn’t dry easily, there are no clumps at the top and doesn’t melt easily on high temperatures like some more natural DIY balms. Also, the twisting mechanism seems to be working perfectly after a whole month of everyday usage.

    There is 4,2 g of product and the price is 2,77 US$ on www.iherb.com, where I purchased it (the price on their official website is 3,49 US$).

    The ingredients are: 100% Natural Ingredients (the good stuff): *Extra virgin olive oil, macadamia seed oil, *shea butter, candelilla wax, soy wax, jojoba oil, carnauba wax, vitamin E & rosemary leaf extract *Organic

    I’m very happy with this - it does what it’s suppose to; simple and clean. Love the packaging too! I plan to repurchase it again as soon as I finish my first tube. There are so many different flavors in the range but I don’t know if I’ll purchase them since I’m not a huge fan of flavored lip products (there are hard to combine with other scented products and tend to get too overpowering of boring over time).

     
  13. Beautiful roses from my mom’s rose garden and some fruits and home made stuff like watermelons, melons + carob, rose & lemon mixtures. Summer is so tasty and fragrant!

     
  14. Vegan goulash - cheap, simple, fast and delicious!

    My sweet sister made this dish for me last summer and I was really pleased with it. I wrote down the recipe so I decided to share it with you guys. It’s really cheap and simple since it’s made from ingredients we use almost daily in our kitchen, it takes 30 minutes max to make it and it’s really delicious (which also depends on your seasoning choise). :)

    You’ll need:

    - 1 small onion and garlic

    - 1 carrot

    - couple of potatoes

    - canned peas OR green lentils (I used the second choice for this photo)

    - tomato juice

    - cornstarch (optional - this it to make your goulash thicker if you want to)

    - seasoning: salt, pepper, red pepper, garlic powder (if you aren’t using fresh garlic), parsley, basil - these are all open choices, feel free to experiment and add the ones which you generally prefer or have in you kitchen.

    Instructions: Chop the onion and garlic into small pieces (if using fresh one) and put it in a pre-heated pan with some oil (I use organic coconut oil). The carrot and the potatoes need to be chopped as well and put into the pan, with some water (but don’t overdo with the water - it only needs to cover the bottom). Add the seasonings and cook on light fire for 10-15 minutes. You are almost done here, so put the tomato juice with the canned peas and cook it for another 10 minutes until the entire dish is entirely cooked (if you are using fresh un-canned peas you have to cook them longer, just like the green lentils which I used). Note: the goulash needs to be quite tick, like a cream soup (with vegetable chunks, of course). If you add too much water or tomato juice, add some cornstarch to thicken the dish. If you like, you could also add corn, chickpeas, beans, etc. Hope you enjoy. :) 

     
  15. Giovanni Frizz Be Gone Super Smothing Anti-frizz Hair Serum. 

    Well, that was a mouthful. So, I purchased this serum in October last year, after reading tons of great reviews on the net. I was addicted to my Paul Mitchell hair products, and I wasn’t really experimenting much, but I simply HAD to get this.

    The plastic transparent bottle holds 81 ml of product and the price is 5,75 US$ which is quite cheap considering the amount. The first thing I noticed was an unusually strong herbal scent - like the one natural herbal oils have. The product promises: frizz control, more shine, humidity control, conditioning, smoothing, detangling, breakage prevention, extreme heat protecting, more elasticity and color sealing. I haven’t notice ALL of these things at the time I used it, but my ends were smoother, there was less frizz and my hair was soft and shiny. 

    The ingredients list:

    As a noteworthy minus I would mention is the packaging quality. The cap of the pump kept detaching from the bottle, so I had to jam it in violently a few times. All in all, this product isn’t that bad esp for the price, the ingredients are good and it’s cruelty free with no animal derived ingredients. It’s not spectacular like the Paul Mitchell Super Skinny Serum (which is way more expensive but high quality although it’s cap kept detaching from the bottle too). If you are looking for a cheap but minimally effective hair serum, give this baby a try. I bought mine on www.iherb.com, but I think it could be purchased locally in USA shops and drugstores. You can use my code KPL205 to receive 5$ off your fist order. :)