Friday, October 25, 2013

Dupe: Chanel Vendetta vs. Barry M Plum



Why, hello my fellow beauties!

As you might have guessed by the title, I have something a little bit different for you today. I was painting my nails the other day and when I admired my work absentmindedly, for a moment, I wasn't quite so sure which nail polish I had actually used, Chanel or Barry M.
And that basically screams a comparison of the two, doesn't it?




Colour: 
First things first. The most important thing about a proper dupe is, does it look like the original. Well, there's a bit to be said for those two fellows.
Vendetta is in fact one of my favourites nail polishes ever. It holds a very special place in my heart because it was the first high end product I ever purchased and I think its shade is pretty hard to match. It is a very dark purple, almost black, but with very fine milled red shimmer particles. It's not a mother-of-pearl like shimmer but just small particles you can see in the light.
The colour of plum is pretty similar but lighter and without any shimmer. If I had to describe the two colours as waters, I would say Vendetta is very dark but clear whereas Plum is a bit muddy. Do you know what I mean? It still has a glossy finish but the colour isn't as clear which is perhaps why it looks lighter than Vendetta. 
I'll be totally honest with you, if you hold your hands into the light and examine them you will see the difference. But if you're just going about and acting normal or even are inside where there isn't as much light, they do look the quite the same. No one will be able to tell from afar, even I need to concentrate to remember which nails are painted with which colour. And what I always forget to tell myself, I won't wear them both at the same time ever again, so there's no direct comparison anyway.




Quality: 
If you're not new into the beauty business you will know what you get when you buy a Chanel nail polish. If you're not, don't be fooled by the big brand name and the general hype about their products. You don't buy Chanel nail polishes for quality but for colour.
In general, the quality is terrible, at least for the price you pay. I do take care of my nails and manicure and I don't manage to make Chanel last longer than three days at the most before it starts chipping. The handling can be a little bit tricky as well; I know no colour that you can wear with a single layer but as it takes relatively long to dry, people tend to put the second one on too fast which can lead to a somehow strange finish and little bubbles suddenly appearing on the nails and all kinds of not so nice stuff. I wouldn't say Chanel is for pros, but I wouldn't recommend the brand to an absolute beginner, either.
Barry M is quite contrary to that. Although I don't like the Barry M brushes, because they are very thing and never seem to have quite the right amount of product on them, putting the nail polish on is quite hassle-free. If you only take one layer this particular colour can look a bit streaky, but as soon as you put on another, it will be completely opaque. It dries really fast as well, the Plum being part of the Gelly Hi-Shine range, the finish still feels like it's not dry for some time and looks the same. Do you know what I mean? That state of drying nail polish where you can walk around with it but you better not bump your nail on something? That's what it looked and felt like for a few hours after I put it on although it was already dried. Another plus on the Barry M side is that it almost took me a whole week to chip my nails and I was working in the lab again, handling disinfectants and alcohol and everything you wouldn't want near your nails.




Price: 
A point almost as important as the colour is the price. Wonderful if you have a totally matching product, if it's even more expensive than the original one there's not much dupe going on.
This is definitely not the case with these two beauties. 
Chanel nail polished lie around 18 £ or 24 € which is an awful lot considering that you only pay for a beautiful colour. You can get Barry M nail polishes for 2,99 £, however, and they often do special offers like 3 for 2 which makes them even cheaper.



Alright, considering that you won't see a difference in the colour unless you look for it and examine your nails thoroughly, Barry M has a better quality and costs only a fraction, I would definitely classify Plum as a dupe for Vendetta. It's not a 100 % but I'd say it's good enough.
Would I buy Vendetta again? Haha, certainly! That's the point with Chanel, once you fallen in love with the colour there's nothing to be done, this is no rational decision.



What do you think? Dupe or not? Any other dupes you know? Tell me, I'd love love love to know!


Have a most wonderful day and a lovely weekend! 
xx

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Review: Lush Lemony Flutter


Hi, fellow beauties!

Reading one of my favourite blogs the other day, which is But First, Coffee by the lovely Kallie, I came across a review of one of my favourite Lush products that I hadn't used in ages.
Her lovely post inspired me to dig my own one out again and I've fallen back in love with it in one instant.



Like all of Lush's products, Lemony Flutter contains only natural ingredients and you can be sure everything is fair trade and cruelty free. That's one thing I immensely enjoy about Lush, you can buy their products without any remorse because of their philosophy. And although everything is of such good quality, it's not an expensive brand. It's not the cheapest either but the products last very long and considering everything it's money very well spent.
Lemony Flutter itself lies at 6,50 £ or 10,45 €.

Now Lemony Flutter is hyped by almost all beauty gurus as a wonderful thing for the cuticles but I in fact purchased it for my feet. I tend to neglect them because I just don't see them as often as my hands for example, and get rough over time, so the lovely lady in the shop told me to try this cream as it works  miracles on every dry patch on your body, from cuticles over elbows down to your feet.




And it's true! I've only used it for a week now and my feet are so much nicer and softer. One of the main ingredients next to lemons is butter, this cream is very very rich and it takes quite a long time to fully absorb, so I usually put it on my feet just before I go to bed. 
The box is in fact standing on my bedside so I don't need to get up again. I really wouldn't recommend walking barefoot on anything but carpet when you used it, it's very easy to slip and fall. Don't hurt yourself!




Because mine sat unused in my closet for some time, the first few uses were a bit difficult as the top layer had gotten a bit dry. But after I had used up that one, it got really creamy and soft again. Blending it is really easy, it literally melts on your skin to give you an incredible level of moisture.




All in all, I can really and honestly recommend Lemony Flutter to you! If you're looking for something to treat the dry patches on your skin and also if you're just starting getting to know the brand and are a little bit overwhelmed with the vast amount of products they offer.
I quite remember the first time I crossed paths with Lush, I would have been happy if someone had given me a little 'best of'.


Speaking of it, would you be interested in something like that? My personal 'Best of Lush'? And have you tried Lemony Flutter yourself?


Have a splendid evening (or day, wherever you are and whenever you're reading this!)
xx

Friday, October 18, 2013

Review: Essence Nail Care Balm


Hi, my fellow beauties!


With autumn in full swing and winter on its way, the whole of nature is changing its colour and just looks glorious. For me as a beauty addict, it is only natural I want to join in and what better way is there than all the beautiful nail polishes that spice up even the dreariest and greyest of days?
But changing the colour of our nails every other day is taking its toll and it is super important to give your nails some extra care to make up for all the stress they have due to nail polish removers.
One little thing that I certainly cannot recommend for that purpose will be today's topic.

I'm talking about the Essence Nail Care Balm:




This is basically a nail balm, who would've thought, that promises to moisturise extremely damaged nails and do so really fast. With essence being a really cheap brand that brings forth the occasional gem, I thought I would give this a go some while back.
First things first, and this is something that is not the product's fault, always check the product before buying it. When I first opened the pot at home there was a huge dent in the product because someone had already used it. Really, who does that? That is why we have testers lying around everywhere! When I open a sealed product and use it, I freaking buy it, right? 

Anyways, as it turned out, it wasn't that bad (although the attitude is awful!) because I absolutely hate this nail balm. And I mean I hate it with a passion that I have seldom felt for another product in my life.
Its formula is very very hard which means it it totally hard to get something out of the pot without scratching it out with your finger nails and due to that, blending it on your nails is impossible.

This is, what the balm looks like out of the pot:




Really flaky, isn't it? I guess you can already imagine what it looks like when blended. 
Right, like this:



Not too good, I would say. Those big chunks of product won't go away, no matter how hard you try, they will just move around or stick under your finger nails.
And that is the next problem, once the balm is on your nails, instead of moisturising it, they will just cling to the cuticles or any dry patch or unevenness that might be there and stick to it which makes the nails look downright horrible. And you can't even rub it off with a tissue or a bit of water, oh no, once on it, it's there and stays there.
You may perhaps be able to scratch it off but that's already it. 

After all these horrible things, there must be something positive about this product. Perhaps its promised effect? Now, that's one good joke.
Personally, I don't think this nail balm has any effect at all. My nails feel completely the same before and after. The only thing different is that my cuticles are totally irritated because you have to work hard on them to get the excess product off them.

All in all, this is probably THE WORST nail product I have ever tried in my whole life. If you get across it, give it an extra wide berth and try something else. Even if it is cheap, it's just not working. Like I said, essence has their occasional gemstones, but this is certainly not one of them.


Have you tried this and think differently about this? Did I just get a bad product? Any recommendations for good nail care balms? I'd love to hear your thoughts!


Have a most splendid day!
xx

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Book Review: The Daylight War



Hi, fellow beauties!



Today's review will be about Peter V. Brett's 'The Daylight War', the third instalment of the Demon Cycle, a fantasy series.
Enjoy!


Publisher: HarperCollins UK
Price: 12,95 €
Previous Books: 'The Painted/Warded Man', 'The Desert Spear'

Content:

Every thirty nights the darkness intensifies and the demons grow stronger. Humanity must prepare for the next attack, but one month is scarcely enough time to train a village, let alone a continent caught in the throes of civil war.

Arlen Bales understands the threat better than anyone. Born ordinary, the demon plague has shaped him into a weapon so powerful he has been given the unwanted title of saviour and attracted the attention of enemies above and below ground.
As Arlen prepares his people for war, another liberator leads a demon-killing army out of the southern deserts. Unlike Arlen, Ahmann Jardir embraces the title of Deliverer. His strength resides in the relics he carries, and the magic wielded by his first wife, Inevera, a powerful priestess whose allegiance even Jardir cannot be certain of.

Once Arlen and Jardir were like brothers. Now they are the bitterest of rivals.
As humanity's enemies prepare, the only men capable of defeating them are divided against each other by the most deadly demons of all: those that lurk in the human heart.

(This text is taken from the blurb of the book and not owned by me)




So after liking 'The Painted Man' and adoring 'The Desert Spear' I couldn't wait to get my hands on the third book the Demon Cycle. When it finally landed on my doorstep I was beyond excited but still busy with another book. At the time I had finished that one, unfortunately my exams had started and I completely forgot about it, shame on me, until my friend told me she was actually reading it at the moment and already had a very good head start. Being the competitive person that I am, I immediately took to the (nonexistent) challenge.

And oh boy, I didn't regret it!

One thing Brett did in 'The Desert Spear' was giving us the background of one of the main characters as a second story line to the actual plot. I really enjoyed it because it made that particular character just that more loveable. It was the same in this book and although the main plot took me ages to get hooked to, the second plot never failed to entertain me especially because I had liked the featured character from the beginning.


SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER

What I didn't like was the fact that Arlen and Jardir grew so similar in their powers. I found this wasn't logic at all that Arlen had to suck up months worth of magic to be able to perform like he did and that Jardir just had to carry a crown and spear to do ten times the things Arlen can do. This made me think 'What is the point of having Arlen if there is nothing he can do that Jardir can't do better?' besides Arlen being the main protagonist. In the second book, Arlen had his wards and Jardir had his fighting skills, I liked it much better when it was that way.
Also, the only female character that didn't annoy me really was Inevera. I hadn't liked Renna from her very first appearance, I just found her character really unpleasant and was a massive Arlen/Leesha shipper but she developed after the wedding, I think she improved so much!
Leesha was another matter, to me she wasn't the witty, smart and independent person she had been the books before but constantly wining and never taking action besides climbing into someone's bed.

SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER


All that sounds pretty negative now, but those were just things I rolled my eyes over, nothing to really make me stop reading. And when I drew near the end of the book I could not be moved to put it down. I could, in fact, but you get the drift.
I had been told that the ending was a massive cliffhanger, but that? Like, seriously? I couldn't believe it when I read the last words of the book, I've read a lot of books in my life but I don't think I have ever been more frustrated by the end of a book and the fact that I still have to wait months until I'll be able to know how the story continues.
I actually tweeted about it, I never do that!

All in all I enjoyed this book so much! Perhaps not so much as the second book of the series but still immensely. The constant change of perspective ensures every person grows dear to the reader and no matter what happens, someone is on the losing side, which at least put me into a real emotional conflict that was so interesting to explore.
Also, the Krasian dictionary at the end of the book really helped me a lot to get back into the story and the world, I really recommend reading it first if you don't happen to have read the second book right before you get cosy with the third one.


I hope you enjoyed this little book review!
Have you read the Demon Cycle series? What do you think about it? What are your favourite fantasy books?


Have a splendid day!
xx

Friday, October 11, 2013

Review: Catrice Defining Blush


Hi, my fellow beauties!


As much as I love rolling around in high end make up, we all know that there are very few people who can afford to buy Chanel, Dior and YSL exclusively. But that's no problem because if you know your stuff, there are real gems to be found on the high street and you can get good quality and amazing products with a low budget.

So, let's talk blushers, shall we?

The blushers I want to tell you about are by Catrice. You may or may not know that Catrice is one of my favourite high street brands ever. They are really cheap but their products are usually of a great quality.
They do my favourite mascara, my favourite nail polishes and their lipsticks are pretty amazing, too. And their blushers aren't to be scoffed at as well!

The Defining Blush comes in six different shades, at least since the range has been renewed and of the new shades I own two, same as of the old range. They cost 3,50 € which is round about 3 £ or 5 $. The pigmentation isn't as strong as it is with Sleek blushes for example, but still pretty decent. Using my  Real Techniques Blush Brush, one light swipe through it is totally enough to put a bit of healthy colour onto my cheeks. The blending is really easy as well, as long as you don't take too much product.
If that is the case, I can only advise you to powder over it and all will be fine again.

I will be reviewing the old blushes as well because the product ranges of high street brands change so fast and I wouldn't be surprised if they came back again or are still available in other countries.





First up are the two blushes of the old range. They contain two different colours that can be mixed or not, just to your liking. Another difference to the current design of the Defining Blushes is that they are really shimmery and glittery whereas the new ones are matte. 
When wearing those I usually don't go for a highlighter as well or maybe just a teeny tiny bit of YSL Touche Éclat, but that's absolutely not necessary because the blushes are shimmering enough on their own.

010 Raspberry Ice Cream:
The colours of this duo are really similar, although the contrast is strong in the picture. Both colours are a dusky pink, one slightly darker than the other. Both have peachy undertones and I love to wear it in the winter time when my skin is light. I generally think these colour would look so nice on girls with fair skin.

 


030 Pink Grapefruit Shake: 
This blush includes one darker, pink colour with slight brown undertones that actually reminds me of the flesh of pink grapefruits and a lighter colour which is a really light and pretty peach colour. This isn't a colour I would wear if I had very light skin, I think it might look a bit harsh, but if you haven'y got a particularly fair complexion, this is a winner!




Now, on to the new blushes! They look really bright in the pictures but although they are vibrant they are not as bright as they seem.

030 Love & Peach:
Have I mentioned that I love the way Catrice names their products? Believe me, the names of the nail polishes are hilarious! 
Anyways, Love & Peach is pretty much self explaining. It's a matte peach, though it's actually more pink than orange, don't let the pictures fool you. Although the colour might look a bit intimidating at first, once blended it's just super beautiful and looks so nice on slightly darker skin.




040 Think Pink:
Now that looks wicked! It's also very dark in the pan but if you put it on the cheeks it gives you a beautiful flushed look that is very natural. Just make sure you don't take too much because it's very pigmented and no one wants to look like a clown, right?



To put it all together, these blushes are amazing! As almost everything by Catrice, they are great quality on a budget and if you want to try out matte blushes or vibrant colours and don't want to invest right away, you should really give these a go. The pigmentation isn't otherworldly but still fine enough, the blending is decent and I'm pretty positive there is a colour for every skin type.


Have you tried the blushes by Catrice? What did you think of them? And what are your favourite pharmacy blushes?


Have a most splendid day!
xx

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

My Hair Dye Story


Hi, my fellow beauties!


In light of recent events, that is me considering dyeing my hair, I thought I would make a pro-con list whether to do it or not. While I sat over it, all the different colours and styles that I coloured my hair in the past few years came to my mind and I decided I wanted to share my little hair dyeing story with you.


When I was a little kid, I loved my hair colour. It was a nice, golden honey-like blond and soft and everything you could want. But then, when I turned older, my hair started to get darker and darker until it was still a very dark blond but with a distinct muddy greyish hue.
To hide this, I started to highlight my hair with blond but it wasn't the best result:




When I got sick of my natural hair, I was about thirteen or fourteen, my teenage mind decided it wanted red hair. And not a nice natural ginger colour, no, it had to be a dark red, the colour of red wine really. Well, ahead I went and that was the result of the first colour change in my life:




I actually kept this for quite two years or so, sometimes going a shade darker or lighter, but pretty much the same. Then, with sixteen I think, I had the brilliant idea of doing something rock 'n' roll - as I thought at the time. I told my hairdresser to dye the top layer of my hair a really dark brown, almost black, and the rest a screaming red.
That actually looked pretty good just up until the first wash, then it turned pink. You need to know, at that point in my life pink was the worst you could do to me, I'm still not a huge fan in fact.
That is by the way the only picture that survived that time, sorry it's not so good.




Additionally to that hairstyle being very expensive because the red had to be redone so often, the constant bleaching almost killed the lengths of my hair, they had the worst feeling to them. So the next step was to repair them and get rid of the red.
I dyed my hair the same colour as the top layer so everything was almost black, but again with a slight red hue and it stayed that way for about two years again.




The turning point came when went to my hairdresser one day to have my roots redone. Because of my natural undertones my roots looked really grey against the dark red and I hated it to no end. No idea what was wrong with my hairdresser that day but she just couldn't get the right colour for my roots, they always turned out a way brighter red than the rest so I looked seriously injured. I sat there for more than five hours until she came up with something that didn't make me look like someone who should be in hospital.
That was the day when I decided I didn't want this anymore and wanted my natural hair back. You can imagine it took me ages, many visits at the salon and highlight (and accidentally turning full blond!) until I looked somewhat like this:




When that was gone, too, and I could see my natural hair colour again after over six years, I was really surprised at how dark my hair had become. It was now more brown than blond, with a slight blondish shimmer I could totally live with. The same had happened to my brother and my dad who both started out blond and are now blessed with beautiful almost black hair. My hair isn't turning black, though, but I think my grandmother's redhead genes are beginning to show, haha. Oh, the irony.



To enhance these nice red highlights that sometimes show in the light (I can't capture them with my camera, I tried!) and regarding the last remnants of artificial blond that are vanishing, I was thinking about dyeing my lengths red again, a natural one this time, to give me a slight ombre look.


So, that is everything I did to my hair in the last eight years. I definitely wouldn't do it again, my hair started to regain its former strength only this year. If you do want to colour it, please, think about it twice and think about what you are using to do it as well.


What do you think? Red ombre, yay or nay? Please let me know, I can't really decide if I want it!
Also, tell me, what is your hair dye story and did you find these old pictures as hilarious as I do?


Have a most splendid day!
xx

Friday, October 4, 2013

TAG: Confessions of a Beauty Blogger


Hi, my fellow beauties!


Wow, the last weeks have been so busy! We had some late exams going on and my friend is celebrating her birthday which left me to organise everything and really, I didn't find the time to blog or read all your lovely blogs.
This is why this tag which I was tagged for by Jas a whole month ago is going up only now.
Jas, I'm sorry that it took me so long!

Enjoy!


1. How many hours a week do you spend writing / editing posts?
That depends on how busy I am really. When I'm relaxed and not totally stressed out, I don't know, maybe three to four hours? When Uni is mad (as always) maybe one or so.

2. Are you a spender or saver?
When it comes to things I want, I'm a massive spender. Massive. When it comes to things I need, I'm a freaking miser, haha.

3. When is it easier for you to blog?
I don't have a particular time to blog. I have to be comfy and not in a rush, I love blogging alone in my room listening to music as well as sitting in the sitting room with the TV on.

4. What makes writing behind a computer comfortable for you?
I've never been uncomfortable with writing, no matter if it was physical or digital. I wrote my first stories when I was about seven years old. If you mean, what does it take to make me feel cosy enough to write something on my laptop, well, I have to be able to sit cross-legged on a soft surface, that is the most comfy position ever!

5. What is your worst make up / hair habit?
I'm super lazy when it comes to cleaning my brushes. I always wait until all of them are so dirty that I don't want to use them anymore. Concerning my hair, probably that I'm not doing anything with it except the occasional pony tail. This is not out of laziness, however, but out of pure lack of skill and patience.

6. What is one quote you wish the world lived by?
'Do as you would be done by!' Really, if people thought about that, so much would be different here.

7. How long do you spend getting ready every day?
Depends as well. There are three scenarios. First, me staying at home all day, then it's about five minutes. Second, me going to Uni or something like that, then maybe around twenty minutes. Thirdly, me going somewhere fancy, like on a date or clubbing or something, then I do need about 45 min for a fancy make up.

8. Who's your favourite blogger?
I love bloggers that I can really interact with, so at the moment it must be Andrea from RosyChicc. She is the loveliest girl and I was lucky enough to meet her when I was in London. She is so adorable you need to go and have a look at her blog!

9. Who is a blogger that you think deserves more subscribers than they have?
Chlo from Chlo O'Donnell. She is another girl I met through blogging and I love her to pieces. She also does some wonderful music she is uploading on youTube, you should seriously go check her out!

10. What is one thing you are excited about in the upcoming year?
Finally finishing my undergraduate degree and being able to apply for a postgrad in London. I caaaan't wait!

11. What is you most awkward blogging moment?
I'm not sure this classifies as an 'awkward moment' but I was really nervous and it felt so weird to tell my friends that I started blogging and making videos and they (naturally) wanted to have the links.

12. How long does it take you to prepare a post?
Depends (again) on what kind of post it is. Finishing reviews, especially for books, takes me ages, tags or FotD posts don't take too long, about one hour or so.

13. Are you wearing trousers right now or jogging pants / PJ bottoms?
Busted! It's jogging pants. But only because I got up really late and will be heading off to town for my friend's birthday party in a few hours so why bother with dressing if I will change soon anyway?

14. What are you most proud of in life?
That's a tough question. Without sounding overconfident, I think I'm kinda proud of what kind of person I turned out to be. My parents did well with me and my brother, I like to think. Does that sound stupid?


So, these are my fourteen confessions, I hope you liked them!
I now want to tag:
1. Andrea (RosyChicc)
2. Sinead (SineadDreamingAgain)
3. Chlo (Chlo O'Donnell)
4. Marie-Louise (MLHauken)
5. Rachael-Victoria 

And of course, if anyone else reading this wants to do this tag, feel tagged as well!
Please, leave me a comment telling me if you'll do this tag and what some of your beauty confessions are, I'd love to hear!


Have a most splendid day!
xx



Tuesday, October 1, 2013

My September Favourites



Hi, my fellow beauties!


Oh my goodness, I just can't believe it's October already! October is one of my favourite months because autumn is my favourite season and over here, we often are lucky enough to have a golden October, as we call it or basically an Indian Summer.

But let's not forget last month, which was a glorious one. We had our fair share of sunshine and autumnal rainy weather which always makes me want to curl up on the couch with a good book or my laptop and bloglovin. And best of all, although it resulted in a spending ban for last month, I had the chance to visit and fall in love with beautiful London, I can't wait to be back as soon as I can!

Without any further rambling, here are my very short but very on time September favourites!




Vichy Hyaluspot: I purchased this baby as a last minute saviour when I was in England because I had such a bad breakout. I've heard quite a bit of wonderful stories about it back at home and when I came across it and needed a knight in shining armour it was a must-buy. And it's so worth it! As soon as I see a blemish coming up, I put this on before I go to bed and even if it doesn't make it go away immediately sometimes, it opposes and weakens its development.

Soap&Glory Pulp Friction Body Peeling: After finishing my S&G Flake Away Peeling and not really enjoying it as much as I thought I would, I wasn't sure if I wanted to try another peeling of that brand. I'm glad I caved in! This peeling isn't too harsh but harsh enough for me to feel an effect and smells so fruity!

John Frieda First Aid Conditioner for curly hair: My hair has a wavy structure in its natural condition and tends to get straighter with the time until I'm washing it again. Because I don't like it being straight, I bought this and was not disappointed. If I use this and let my hair dry in a bun over night, my hair has beautiful curls that last quite a long time.

Thierry Mugler Alien: This is the perfume that I took with me to England and this is mainly why it's this months favourite. Its scent is now linked with London and it transports me back there immediately as soon as I smell it. It's not a scent I would normally wear because it's quite dark and heavy and rather mysterious with its sweet undertones. But I love it!



So, in a nutshell, these are the things I loved during September! Please, tell me in the comments, what you loved last month, if you have tried some of the above and if you want to know more about one thing specifically!

As always, if you've enjoyed the video it would be beyond great if you went over on youtube to give this video a thumbs up and / or a comment or even subscribed. I'm always happy to see some blog readers over there! :)


Have a most splendid day!
xx