August Favourites

I didn't expect this to be one of my favourites as it is quite a subtle product, but I was quite amazed at what a noticeable difference it makes when I was doing the before and after pictures for the review. Even though the formula is super light and doesn't offer much of actual coverage, it illuminates the skin and by that reduces the appearance of dark circles. It's not a stand alone product to use and it needs at least a concealer underneath, but it just gives that final touch to the look.

My hero product as of late. I've fully embraced the liner look and I wear it on most days, even without mascara if I'm having a super lazy day as I think it's the product that does the most to make my eyes look less blah and makes them stand out more. I'm a huge fan of felt tip liners in general because they take so little time to apply and are super precise, but L'Oreal's liner is my favourite due to its great lasting power and the fact that it doesn't dry out as fast as the others. 

The name completely fits this coral-pink shade - it really is cute. I love Essie nail polishes and time and time again they surprise me with their quality, but the formula of this shade in particular is unbeatable as the application is so smooth and even, as well as it has superb lasting power.

I call these two my super spot fighting duo. Whenever my skin starts behaving badly, I include them in my night time routine and by the morning everything calms down considerably. Queen Helene is actually very drying for my skin if I'm not careful, so I only use it on my T-zone and individual spots, while REN is a great product with AHA acids that really helps when my skin feels congested.

This is the ultimate lazy girl moisturiser - just spray it, there isn't even much of a need to rub it in due to the fine mist it sprays and you're done. It's not too greasy because it's a dry oil and it smells lovely. Fab product.

I had a quick holiday in Croatia this month, luckily at the time when the weather was really behaving and this sunscreen was just one of the things that went with me (post with all my favourite things at the moment that I took with me is here, it's like an extended favourites post). I know I've raved about this sunscreen a lot already, but my admiration for this product just deepened. It's a fantastic sunscreen that is tinted (so no white marks), it's not sticky and it's super light. I hadn't had a single sunburn in sight, though I rarely get burned, but it works great especially for the price.

I doubt there is a cheaper micellar water per litre anywhere, but despite being dirt cheap, it performs just the same as other drugstore versions - from Garnier and Green Line to L'Oreal. It's a great super light makeup remover that just does it's job. The only problem is that it's only available in E.Leclerc.

I've finally found the perfect morning cleaner and for a ridiculously cheap price. The dense, fluffy mousse feels so lovely on the skin and I find it not at all drying, which is a rarity since most mousses cause dry patches on my skin. I also adore the scent of it, which is a big plus for me.

For me the most important feature of a dry shampoo is the scent, since due to the dryness of my hair, I only use them to occasionally refresh the hair in the morning. This may well be my favourite scent of a dry shampoo to date - it's so warm and sexy with notes of vanilla, chocolate and musk - it's very perfume like. The scent is actually quite strong and lingers for a long time, which appeals to me greatly. 

I've been spraying this on the beach not just to smell like a tropical cocktail, but also to cool me down a bit. It smells amazing to me, however, the staying power of the scent is unfortunately very poor.

Have a great day!

Forever Repurchased #3

I'm fickle with my conditioner choices, I admit, but it's because my hair is so dry and thick, also pretty much never soft because of the coarse texture that rare conditioners, especially from the drugstore, get my seal of approval and Aussie's 3 Minute Miracle is at the very top of the "best of drugstore" list. It has a similar effect as much more expensive products, it nourishes my hair well and even manages to make it somewhat silky. The bubble gum scent it has is addictive and I've purchased several other product from their line just for the smell, though those, unlike this one, fell short of leaving me with a lasting impression.

I can be very loyal to a product I like, but rare gained my loyalty so long ago. I've been repurchasing this shower oil since before iPhone and Windows Vista made their first appearance and during this time I think I've never been without a bottle of it. This is my luxurious, pampering product that I use on special occasions. As the name suggests, it's an oil, which then transforms into this thick, rich foam with an almost a lotion texture that is intensely moisturising. I never need to use a moisturiser afterwards, though the accompanying oil as well as the cream from the same line prolong the staying power of the gorgeous scent. It is the scent that is exquisite as well, I can't really describe it otherwise as luxuriously sweet, but I haven't met a person that would dislike it yet. By the way, I buy eco-refills.

Another product that I've been loyal to since my teens and I've repurchased numerous times. When I first started properly researching what I'm putting on my face, Neutrogena's mask was all the rage and came heavily recommended by average consumers. I remember when I first used it, I was astonished at how healthy a 10-minute session made my skin look. It's just a simple clay mask with salicylic acid, but one that is not drying and comes in a huge tube for a pretty decent price. It can also be used as a cleanser, but I'm not too fond of using it that way.
How long have I been raving about this foundation? Sometime since I started blogging I believe. It's a wonderful foundation that genuinely looks like skin, feels weightless and is immediately dry to the touch (meaning it sets fast). The finish is has is a dewy, healthy one and the foundation offers light to medium coverage, which is just the right amount for my taste. The only problem is the shade range with prevailing strong yellow undertones (I'm neutral, so I mix it with a pink toned foundation), but all in all the formula is pretty fab. 

Have a great day!

Coconut Oil Is Useful for Health and Beauty

In our country the wholesome properties of coconut oil are discussed a lot and it is not in vain, as it can be used for different purposes. This oil is effective in spite of using internally or externally.

To manufacture this oil, it is necessary to squeeze coconut milk, and then use it to extract oil.

This oil can be used in hair and skin hair as well as dental care. It is applied to ease stress, to regulate immunity, blood pressure and the recommended level of cholesterol, to lose weight, to improve digestion and metabolism, to strengthen the bones. You can make use of such an oil in order to soothe kidney problems, heart diseases, diabetes, HIV and even cancer.

This oil is rich in different types of acids: lauric, carpic and caprylic. Owing to its formula, the list of benefits of this oil is incredibly large. It is hard to believe but lauric acid is also found in breast milk, that is why coconut oil is the same for grown-ups as breast milk is for infants.

Advantages of coconut oil

1. The usage of this oil for skin care. This oil is considered to be a perfect moisturizer for face and body skin. The application of coconut oil excludes the possibility of dryness and exfoliation of skin. You can make use of it to peel the layer of gangrenous skin cells, and to improve the state of your skin. Coconut oil is one of the products that can fight against the early evidences of aging, such as fine lines, skin sagging and crow's feet.

2. The use of this oil for hair care. This oil is recommended to use for hair beauty as it is an excellent nutrition and it contributes to the growth of healthy and brilliant hair. It is better to use it before washing a head with shampoo, but to make hair shiny, it is used after shampooing. This oil is supposed to be an effective conditioner that helps to reactivate damaged hair.

3. The uptake of coconut oil to relieve stress. This oil is considered to be a depressant that aids to lessen stress. A delicate massage of a head with application of this oil helps to subdue mental and physical weariness. If you want to wind down, you should massage muscles and joints with heating oil.

4. The application of this oil to lose weight. There is a suggestion that virgin coconut oil is able to promote metabolism. Virgin oil is estimable as it doesn't contain cholesterol; it is not hydrogenated and is low-calorie if compared with other oils. Therefore this oil can be applied by sportsmen and those who keep to a rigorous diet. This oil does not cause the replenishment of fat in the vessels and heart.

5. The use of coconut oil as a remedy for heart diseases. The fact that this oil contains a great quantity of saturated fats creates the split-up of opinions about the good of coconut oil for the heart. One of its ingredients (lauric acid) aids to exclude problems with heart. Moreover, saturated fats of this oil are harmless and vice versa this oil reduces the level of cholesterol and does not change the Low-density lipoprotein level.

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Health And Beauty Benefits Of Honey

Honey is best known for great healing. Its natural sugar content and the rich sources of nutrients makes it a great sweetener for coffee and sugar. Let's study closely how it started gaining popularity for the variety of uses ancient people started centuries ago.


Honey's rich nutrients, enzyme and antioxidant content combined with its ability to thwart infections makes it a potent healer. From ancient time, honey has been known for its high nutritional and medicinal value. It is believed to be very beneficial for eyesight, reducing effects of poisoning, stopping hiccups, treating urinary tract disorders, worm infestations, nausea, vomiting, cleansing, healing wounds and many more healing properties.

Honey contain mainly carbohydrates, water, vitamins and minerals, including niacin, riboflavin, pantothenic acid, calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium and zinc.

Honey is also rich in enzymes, antioxidants and other phytonutrients. It also contains flavonoids and phenolic acids which act as antioxidants, scavenging and eliminating free radicals. These antioxidants substances found in honey have been responsible for the wound-healing properties of honey. Due to its wound-healing properties, honey has been used widely as an antiseptic therapeutic agent for treatment of ulcers, burns and wounds for centuries.


Due to its contents of glucose and fructose, which attract water, honey absorbs water from wound, drying it out so that the growth of bacteria and fungi are inhibited. Secondly, an enzyme called glucose oxidase found in raw honey, which if combined with water, produces hydrogen peroxide, a mild antiseptic for medication benefits.


The vitamins, minerals and amino acids found in honey make it a wonderful beauty aid. It provides great nutritional value to the skin and hair and the effects will be seen if taken over a period of time. In fact if taken for longer period of time, it helps our skin to glow more radiantly, helps to reduce wrinkles, thus making us look younger.

Honey is also an excellent moisturizing agent and natural cleanser and therefore, popularly used in wide skin-cleansing formulations. It increases exfoliation or renewal of the skin cells that makes the skin softer and younger.

Other supplementary products of honey which are royal jelly, propolis have been used in beauty saloon as facial mask that command great prices due to its effective results for a more glowing skin.


Due to its ready availability of carbohydrates, honey provides instant energy sources if taken prior to exercises which improves performances. It helps in muscles recovery faster if taken after an exercises program.

Honey also increases the growth and activity of good bacteria in the gut. Results from recent studies show that taking honey with dairy products such as yogurt can enhance growth and viability of bifidobacteria.

Other benefits of honey are its anti-inflammatory actions which help in treating a sore throat.


Honey can be taken as it is in one tea spoon without mixing with water first thing in the morning or anytime in the day as you wish. For me I prefer to take honey as it is with royal jelly and propolis in the morning before breakfast and drink. It provides me with energy for the whole day with royal jelly as a good beauty aid and propolis a great antioxidant too. After a short period of time, my complexion improved tremendously with intake of honey and this motivated me to continue taking it knowing that it has high antioxidant and healing power too.

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More Inell Skincare bits: Mousse Nettoyante Hydratante and Démaquillant Yeux Spécial

I already spoke about the incredibly affordable micelar water by Inell (the house brand of Leclerc), but I have more skincare bits to talk about.

Mousse Nettoyante Hydratante
Hydrating Cleansing Foam
1.51 € in E.Leclerc.

This product was one of those unintended, spur of the moment purchases that turned out pretty bloody brilliant. I have been searching for a nice, quick and gentle cleanser to use in the morning, but I wanted to avoid gels because they tend to dry out my skin. I have mentioned before that I used L'Oreal's Happy Derm mousse in my teens and it was one of my favourite ever cleansers until it disappeared from the shelves. After years I have finally found a dupe for it and this is it.  

I am not impressed by those "mousse" cleansers that produce some pathetic watery foam, but this is a whole other thing. The texture of this cleanser resembles a super light whipped cream, but in a foam way. It cleans well, feels super comfortable, doesn't dry out the skin and is in general a very fun product to use. The packaging is just as one of those whipped creams in a can and it has the same dispenser. It smells amazing to me, pretty much identical to L'Oreal's 15 Second Miracle Cleansing Oil which is one of my favourite scents ever. It's so difficult to describe it, maybe as powdery-floral, but to me it smells like the beach for some reason.

For me this is the perfect morning cleanser and it's so affordable. If you stumble upon it in E. Leclerc, I highly recommend it.

Démaquillant Yeux Spécial Waterproof
Special Eye Makeup Remover Waterproof
2.03 € in E.Leclerc.

I wear a waterproof mascara on a daily basis so my lashes stay curled and I need a good oily remover to get every last scrape of it off at the end of the day. My favourite such remover is from Maybelline, but recently I have been trying some removers from other brands. One was from Nivea, which I don't like, and the other is this one, which didn't quite impress me either.

It looks and it is a regular two phase remover that feels a bit oily on the skin, but it's not as greasy as using an actual oil. Texture-wise it's somewhere between Maybelline's and Nivea's meaning it's not as oily as the first one, but not so light as the second. It removes mascara and other makeup quite well, though it does require a bit of rubbing to get all the mascara off, but what bothers me at this remover is that it leaves me with a strange sensation in the eyes. Not irritated in a sense that my eyes would water or become red, but it's like a strange cooling sensation. I consider myself a very hardy person when it comes to beauty products and none so far (*knocks on wood*) has ever irritated my skin, but this is the product I would not recommend to someone with sensitive eyes. Similarly to Nivea's, it doesn't leave my eyesight foggy, while Maybelline's does.

Despite it's shortcomings, I must praise the packaging. It has the most practical lid I've encountered at these dual phase removers and it's the only one where the product doesn't run everywhere, so I am keeping it to put in other removers.

It is a very affordable remover, but I can't get pass the strange feeling it leaves my in eyes. I'm sticking to Maybelline's for now or I might try L'Oreal's next.

Have a great day!

New In #20

URBAN DECAY All Nighter Makeup Setting Spray
I finally managed to get a hold of the travel size of the famous setting spray. Hailed as the best setting spray that truly keeps your make up in place, I desperately wanted to try it, however, since I've never tried any setting sprays before, I didn't really want to splurge for the full size without testing it. It certainly works, however, although supposedly 88% of women claim it's the best thing to prolong makeup, actually I find that Max Factor All Day Primer perhaps works a bit better. The combo of the two is of course unbeatable. There will be a full review.
Feel Unique, 11.70 €.

BOURJOIS Cream Blush 
03 Rose Tender
I bought another one of these, since I absolutely adore 01 Nude Velvet. These are without a doubt my favourite cream blushes because they apply so easily and have a lovely velvet-matte finish. 03 is a classic pink blush - the kind that gives that adorable i-just-came-from-the-cold flush. There will be a review with swatches.
Feel Unique, 10.39 €.

BEAUTYUK Posh Palette 
Oh, how I wanted to love it. My heart skipped a beat when I saw it the first time and it has precisely the combination of colours I love, featuring matte and satin shades. But damn the pigmentation! It's so poor, especially the mattes, actually almost all the shades I really like are of poor quality. I'm so tired of these cheap palettes, I'd rather buy UD's Naked than faff around with these wannabe dupes, but that's just my humble opinion. I'll do a review with all the swatches.
Kozmo (Croatia),  49.99 kn (6.5 €).

CATRICE Beautifying Lip Smoother 
020 Apricot Cream
I didn't really plan to get this as I already owned Clarins Instant Light Natural Lip Perfector in the past until someone nicked it (may your foundation always look cakey, whoever you are!) and I never thought of it as being anything particularly special, but when I saw these in DM, I just instinctively grabbed one. I actually really like it. It's such a wonderful, creamy and balmy lip gloss, it feels quite luxurious on the lips. My only issue with it is that it gets a bit odd when it's wearing off, like it's peeling, but I just wipe it off and apply it again. The colour is very nude for my liking, but pretty nonetheless. I'll do a review.  
DM, 3.79 €.

BOURJOIS  Volume 1 Seconde Mascara Waterproof
Wow it took me forever to buy this. I set upon finding a more affordable waterproof mascara that would hold the curl well. Based on my first use, it's a mascara that gives a lot of definition and some volume, however, not so much length. It's still pretty wet and prefer mascaras when they are a bit drier, so when that happens I'll give you a full report, but so far its curl holding abilities didn't not impress me.
Müller, 14.25 €.

CATRICE Nude Illusion Foundation
010 Nude Ivory
This is a brand new foundation by Catrice and I've already mentioned it in my recent wishlist post. It feels like a typical old school foundation with that thick texture and a lack of silicones that would provide slip, however, it still applies nicely and gives a matte finish. Actually the bottle says luminous matte finish - that's exactly right. None of that heavy, my-skin-can't-breathe mask finish, but light, healthy matte skin-like finish. What most impressed me about this foundation based my short time of owning it, is how fantastic it holds on the skin. Even after seven hours my skin looked matte (without any powder on top!), but in a healthy way and it just looked like my skin is flawless because the pores weren't so visible. I need more time using it, but there will be a full review. 
By the way, the lightest shade is similar to Healthy Mix 51, maybe a hint darker, but neutral.
DM, 7.69 €.

L'OREAL Color Riche L'Ombre Pure 
106 Breaking Nude (matte)
No one in the drugstore can make an eyeshadow quite like L'Oreal. After the Infallibles, they've scored again with L'Ombre Pures. This particular shade is soft, super pigmented, blends well and has good staying power - a dream texture. The colour is just stunning and perfect to apply in the crease. I completely adore it! I think I might pick up some more matte shades. I'll do a review with swatches.
Műller, 8.99 €.

CATRICE Ultimate Nail Lacquer
59 First Class Up-Grape
It is very rare that a nail polish catches my attention in the shop, but this one certainly did. The colour is stunning, a dark purple with red tiny shimmer giving it a very warm undertone, however, I finally get why everyone dislikes Catrice nail polishes - the formula and the brush are awful. I'll post swatches. 
DM, 2.59 €.

I <3 MAKEUP I Love Sin Palette
Hmmm… When I got this, I was immediately put off by all the bright colours. I'm very much a neutral girl at heart and one that just barely got into eyeshadows, so a neon pink is not something I'd wear (actually, I though this is such a Taya palette). I <3 Makeup is a subsidiary brand of Makeup Revolution and why exactly did they feel the need to create another brand is beyond me, as they have very similar products in their standard line. I Love Sin palette has 18 eyeshadows ranging from matte to shimmery, most are bright colours and there is a handful of neutrals. The quality differs from shade to shade - the neon yellow-green is absolutely rubbish, while the bronze shade is just lovely. I'll post swatches.
I was sent this by Lič Cena: 10.95 € (trenutno 7.45€).
Makeup Revolution, £7.99.

AUSSIE Miracle Hair Insurance Lightweight Conditioning Spray
I'll openly admit, I bought it purely for the scent. It has the same bubble gum scent as the Miracle Moist shampoo and the 3 Minute Miracle - divine! Based on one use I can say this has no frizz control whatsoever, but hydrates the hair well enough. Still, Sexy Heathy Hair leave-in is miles better. I need more time using it, but I'll report in time with a full review.
DM (Croatia), about 5-6€.

This is a very popular pre-wash treatment for damaged hair that helps reduce breakage. It is ridiculously expensive, but so many people rave about it, so I ordered a small size to try it out first. You're supposed to apply it on damp hair before washing your hair and conditioning. I've only used it once and so far I can say it's a good treatment, though, I'll have to use it longer before writing a review (here is a picture of my hair the first day after using it). By the way, this has no scent whatsoever.
Feel Unique, 19.50 €.

REDKEN All Soft Heavy Cream
I got this based on a recommendation from Petra from Adjusting Beauty and it's been on my wishlist forever. Haven't used it much yet, but so far I can report that it suits my super dry hair. It's not as good as Joico Intense Hydrator, but it's definitely one of the better treatments available. There will be a review in time.
Feel Unique, €20.67.

Lavender Hydrolate
I wanted this because I expected an intoxicating lavender scent (I love lavender), but much to my disappointment it smells like something's gone off. Lavender hydrolate  is supposed to be good for problematic skin as it is antibacterial, but it can be used on all skin types and it's said it's good for itchy scalp as well. I've been using it on my face for the past two weeks and my skin looks pretty good at the moment. I just wish it smelled better.
Random souvenir shop in Zadar (Croatia), 50 kn (about 6.5 €).

GATINEAU Melatogenine AOX Probiotics Youth Activating Beauty Serum 
I quite liked this serum. It's a light, milky white serum that absorbs quickly and I definitely needed something on top as my skin felt a bit tight after it absorbed, however, during the short trial my skin looked quite good. It smells very inoffensive and nice. Ingredients here.

CAUDALIE Vinosource S.O.S. Morning Eye Rescue 
Another thing that I liked and I don't even use eye creams. It moisturises well, yet it is light enough that I would apply makeup over it.

EBELINE Pinzette 
I have the most rubbish tweezers on the planet that I bough a million years ago and I've been avoiding buying a super expensive pair, though I'm aware it pays to invest. Taya recommended Essence tweezers and for the life of me I cannot find them (looked in three countries no less), so I settled on Ebeline's. These look similar to Tweezerman's with the sharp slanted edge and I've seen three different colours (aside from the hot pink also a baby pink and I think a navy or black). I have to report that I find them clumsy, too big, not particularly precise and they rip the hair. I need something smaller, perhaps the mini Tweezerman's version.
DM, 1.99 €

Molecule 01 Iso E Super
Me: (shoving my wrist under their nose ): Hey, do you smell anything?
Every-person-I-asked: "What? Erm..No. Well, maybe. A bit. Why?
Me: But would you say it smells nice?
 Every-person-I-asked: (shrugs shoulders): Meh.
Remember that fragrance by Escentric Molecules called Molecule One? The one that every British blogger was raving about forever and then some more because it supposedly attracts compliments? Well that famous molecule is called Iso E Super and it's not spectacularly rare or so exceptional that it might justify a 80 € price tag for 100 ml. There are a lot of these Molecule 01 dupes on eBay, which are just a dilution of Iso E Super in perfumer's alcohol. I didn't quite know what to expect as it's a fragrance that's supposed to smell different on each individual and you yourself can't smell it, but you smell nice to other people. I ordered a small bottle, so I wouldn't be too disappointed and so far I am a bit disappointed - it smells like, I don't know, almost like nothing. It's such a weak scent that smells like water, earth and wood, like walking in a forest or similar to the oris root note in Britney Spears' The Naughty Remix, but super gentle and it lasts just a few seconds. It's a bit too masculine for me and I guess my chemistry does not comply with this scent because I read tons of favourable reviews, but no one can smell anything on me. I'll try mixing it with other scents and if my opinion changes, I'll give you an update.
 I bought it from a Slovene seller on eBay for 13 € (50 ml, seller's name is Tributes 8 and he offers free shipping worldwide)

Invisibobbles dupes
These look so silly to me. I just don't get why anyone would want to wear telephone cable in their hair, but curiosity got the best of me and I picked up a pack of 5 in a Chinese shop. They hold well, but look odd on the hair. They supposedly leave no trace in the hair, but that never really posed a problem to me. Personally I prefer the soft elastic ties, the ones I make myself and the ones from O'Twist (they started selling these hair ties everywhere, even Eveline has their own version).
Chinese shop, 1.5 €.

Have a great day!

Maybelline Fit Me Concealer 15 Fair

There is so much talk about this concealer. Some refer to it just as a great drugstore buy, some find it HG and some even compare it to the much more expensive NARS' Radiant Creamy Concealer. I wasn't particularly impressed by it from the start (mainly due to the shade), but my impressions did improve with further use and though it is not one of my favourites, it's a decent concealer.

Texture: It's quite a light concealer, especially from what I'm used to when it comes to the texture of these doe foot versions. It is definitely much thinner than Collection Lasting Perfection or NARS Radiant Creamy concealer, in fact, I find it closest to Maybelline's The Eraser. This means it's easy to blend and you have more time to work with it. It's one of those concealers that isn't too drying, but at the same time not too liquid/creamy, so it works under the eyes as well as on spots and I like that a lot. 

Colour: Oh, the disappointment. I fear Maybelline has difficulties grasping the meaning of the word Fair. FYI Maybelline: it's a really pale shade with no orange, so the opposite of what you did (yes, I'm being evil now and no, I'm not sorry). 15 Fair is the darkest concealer I currently have in my collection. I think the swatches speak volumes and confirm my claim about it not being particularly light. In general it would fit someone with a NC/W 20-25 skin tone and just FYI, though there is a shade called 10 Light, it is in fact darker (swatches here).

Coverage: It has a medium to full coverage, but it's not like Collection's or NARS' concealer that's for sure. It's nice for covering circles, but needs to be layered to completely cover spots and the accompanying redness.

Staying power: It lasts decently, not all day like NARS or Collection, but it fades ok and doesn't look patchy.

Packaging: A simple tube with a doe foot applicator. It doesn't leak and works fine. Nothing more to add.

Some say that Fit Me is essentially a dupe for NARS' concealer - it's not in any way a dupe. Maybelline's is simply too light and doesn't cover as well. What I find being a very close approximate to NARS is Collection Lasting Perfection concealer of which I already spoke in a review

Price and availability: Mine is from Feel Unique for 7€, but it's widely sold in drugstores (including in Croatia, Austria and the rest neighbouring countries. Yet again we are the only exception in Slovenia. I want to take this opportunity and thank Slovene importers for continuously pissing me off. That's why I take my money elsewhere). It's sold on Salma for Slovene readers if you want to take a risk and guess your shade.

If the shade fit me (see what I did there?) I'd really like this concealer. The texture is nice and the coverage is fine for me to use under the eyes. However, I have to use quite a dark foundation and self tan to be able to use the bloody lightest shade in the range. Lovely. But if you can find a matching shade, it's a nice concealer to have. I am staying a firm fan of The Eraser.

Have a great day!

Inell Eau Micellaire (Micellar Water)

Inell, the house brand of E.Leclerc, offers a remarkably similar bottle of micellar water as the much more renowned Bioderma and the beloved Garnier's drugstore version, but it holds an impressive 500 ml of product for a mere 2€. Obviously, I could not pass up the bargain and I immediately began to wonder how it compares to the, lets face it, quite excellent competition. For those who might not be familiar with micellar waters, they are makeup removers that have a super light texture which resembles water. I currently have Garnier's and Green Line's micellar waters to compare, so it's a battle of the drugstore versions today, but I have already compared L'Oreal's versus Bioderma a while back.

The first thing that caught my attention was that just like Garnier's and L'Oreal's micellar waters, Inell's one also contains Poloxamer 184, which is the ingredient responsible for dissolving makeup. However, that also means that if you found either of those two versions irritating, it might be the same case with this one as well (Bioderma's and Green Line's micellar waters don't have this ingredient). I personally had zero problems with it, but I was informed by one of my readers that it is not the best choice for skin with problems (in that case it was atopic dermatitis. Thank you Irina for sharing that).

Inell's has identical light, almost water-like texture as all the rest and leaves a clean, yet not stripped feeling on the skin. Much like all the others it quickly and effectively removes makeup, the base is pretty much gone with one cotton pad, but eyeliner will require more, so a grand total of three pads is usually sufficient for removing an every day amount of makeup. It's is the same with Garnier's, L'Oreal's and Green Lines, only Bioderma is quicker and more effective. Of course, it won't remove waterproof mascara as an oil-based remover is needed for that task.

As opposed to the rest with exception of Green Line, Inell's one has a slightly stronger chemical scent, but it's not offensive.

In all honestly, I notice no significant difference between the three and I use them interchangeably. All, including Innel's, are a brilliant drugstore buy. If you're lucky enough to live in a country with E.Leclerc (France, Andorra, Italy, Poland, Portugal, Spain and Slovenia), then I wholeheartedly recommend you to pick Innel's one up based on the price alone (2.29 € for 500 ml).

Have a great day!

Wishlist #13

1. CATRICE Defining Blush 
015 Pink Charming, 025 Pink feat. Coral and  090 Mandy-rine
It finally happened - Catrice released more shades of their fabulous Defining Blushes *angels singing*. These are at the very top of my favourite formulas, but their range was so limited that only two colours truly appealed to me. But now, there are four new shades available and I'm interested in these three. I'm so excited that they released a peachy-pink shade and a swatch of Mandy-rine on Beauty Palmira, promises it is a winner as well.
Müller, DM 3.79 €.

2. CATRICE Nude Illusion Foundation
I've heard some great things about how wonderful this foundation looks on the skin and it was even compared to the Giorgio Armani Liquid Silk foundation. Since I just used up one of my foundations (quite unexpectedly, actually), I might try this one next. From online swatches I saw that the lightest shade looks neutral, which suits me very well, I just hope it's light enough. If you're interested here are two reviews: by Lovely Girlie Bits  and by Total Makeup Addict.
Müller, DM 7.69 €.
3. TANGLE TEEZER Compact Styler Shaun The Sheep
I've owned the original black Tangle Teezer for six years and I must admit the launch of the new compact stylers a couple of years ago left me cold as I didn't really "get" them, until I saw my cousin pull out one out from her handbag. I honestly think that these are better than the originals. They are smaller, look a billion times better made and have a handy cover, so very travel friendly. Not to mention how adorable the Shaun the Sheep back is.
All Beauty 11.9 €, Salma 13.27 €.

4. Boss Ma Vie Pour Femme by HUGO BOSS
Is it just me or does Boss just own the simple, office appropriate shampoo-type of scents market? I'm already a massive fan of the original Boss Nuit Pour Femme and this one is a recently released version. It reminds me of a shampoo with a slightly tropical scent and to me it smells very soft, modern and feminine. Notes on Fragnantica.
Műller, 49.79 - 69.99 €
5. CATRICE Ultimate Colour 360 MATTraction
No, I'm not quite finished with Catrice, actually I think their latest new products are a very good bunch, even though I'm getting really tired of Catrice and Essence switching everything up all the time and discontinuing everything in their path. I saw a swatch of the new matte lipsticks on Beauty Palmira and the pinky-red MATTraction really caught my eye because it looks just like my type of shade.
Müller, DM 4.19 €

6. CATRICE Illuminating Blush 020 Coral Me Maybe
This blush looks so pretty and though I'm a bit afraid that illumination means it has chunks of shimmer in it, I remain hopeful that I'm wrong as the colour looks so beautiful. I hope the formula is as good as that of Defining blushes. There are three shades of these blushes available.
Müller, DM, 3.99€.

7. URBAN DECAY Naked2 Basics
As overblown as the Naked series is to the point that it bores me every time a new item is released, I must admit that the launch Naked2 Basic palette appeals to me greatly. The original Basic is a true treasure and my most used palette, in fact, it has converted me from a non-eyeshadow girl to someone who wears eye makeup regularly. The new one again looks like it has some brilliant matte taupe shades, which are right up my alley.
8. TRESEMMÉ Keratin Smooth 7 Day Smooth Shampoo
When someone raves about a hair product it just gets stuck in my head and I need to try it. I've heard praises about this shampoo, particularly about how it makes the hair look smoother and less frizzy. I really can't resist that, can I?
Boots, £5.99.

9. CLINIQUE Chubby Stick Cheek Colour Balm
I wasn't such a fan of the chubby sticks for the lips fad, but the blushes I can get along with. Any blush that sounds simple to apply gets my attention and I think the concept is kind of cool, even though I actually already have a similar product that I rarely use. The coral shade Robust Rhubarb in particular caught my attention and I'm pleased to hear they have more of a matte finish.

10. BUMBLE AND BUMBLE Hairdresser's Invisible Oil Heat/Uv Protective Primer
I suspect this is very, very similar to Orofluido Sahara (a spray hair oil with UV) and though I already love that one that doesn't discourage me from wanting to try Bumble & Bumble's version. Honestly, I'd just like to try more of Bumble & Bumble products and this one sounds like it fits my needs and preferences when it comes to hair care.
Look Fantastic, 24.13 €.
11. L'OREAL PROFESSIONAL Mythic Oil Séve Protectrice
I never tried anything from the Mythic Oil range. For some unknown reason I just think that L'Oreal Professional brand is not as good as the rest more expensive hair brands, I'm sure I am wrong. But this intrigued me, even though it's basically just a silicone cream infused with that provides heat protection. I've read a couple of good reviews and obviously, now I want to try it. Actually, what I'm still hoping to find is better version of Phyto 9, so one that has silicones. 
All Beauty, 16.04 €
Have a great day!

Blog Photography on a Budget - Part 3: Editing

I love every part of beauty blog photography and that includes editing. It is this step that can transform the picture from being drab to being fab (that sounded better in my mind). If you have a good camera and you had perfect conditions when taking the photo, then this part will most likely be redundant, however, not everyone can afford a several hundred euros worth DSLR camera and professional lighting, can we? So this is a kind of guide for those who have either cheap or old cameras, or they simply take pictures with their phones (like me), since those cameras usually can't pick up light well. Lets have a scenario where the pictures are grey and lack vibrancy as is mostly the case with cheap cameras. With the right technique, you can fix almost everything. Prepare yourself, this will be a long and picture heavy post.
Part 1: Setting up an Improvised Studio,  Part 2: Taking Pictures (with a Smartphone) .

Editing Software
Yes, Photoshop is the obvious choice here and it is worth having it as well as learning its functions if you're into photography. However, there are several other image editing programmes that are free as well as less complicated, such as Gimp,, Picasa, Photofiltre, etc. You can download them free here. More information about photo editing software here and here.

I'll show you very basic editing using four free programmes and a more elaborate editing in Photoshop. They all have a lot of functions, I do a much more complicated and long way of editing, but I'm trying to keep it simple for you. Most pictures can be fixed only by adding a bit more brightness or adjusting levels/curves and it's done. Any photo editing software can do that. One thing I never do is use auto-fixes. I just find it doesn't give me the desired results, so I do stuff gradually and manually, however, I am in no way discouraging you from using them. 
Lesson number 1: Keep a back-up copy of the picture you're editing.

Lets use these two images:

Gimp is probably the best free image editing software. Of course, it's no Photoshop, but it will suffice for an average user and the levels adjustments are very similar as in Photoshop, however, I dislike its brightening function.
Most of the things can be done with Curves, but because it's a more challenging process to teach, I'll first show you a different, quicker way by using Levels. You can find the levels tools in Colours > Levels. It's just a matter of moving the sliders, the ones in the input histogram do most of the job. Moving the right slider to the left will lighten the light tones, the middle slider darkens or lightens middle tones, and the left slider intensifies dark tones. It's the same thing in and Photoshop.

Here is one fixed by using Curves. The principle is the same as at levels, on the top of the curve you have light tones, so creating a point there and moving the line to the left will lighten them. Moving towards the bottom the darker the tones are that you're fixing and the same thing applies - moving to the left makes them lighter and moving to the right darker. Anyone who wants to master curves, I suggest watching this video.  
Some other functions you may find useful: For fixing colour, it has a colour balancing tool, but it's very odd and I find the Hue-saturation tool a bit more useful. For sharpening it has Unsharp mask tool in Filters>Enhance> Unsharp mask. looks a bit less intimidating than Gimp and has the same basic features, actually I like it more than Gimp so far. The Levels tool does look different, but it's the same thing, so again the input histogram does the work (top slider is for light tones and bottom for dark). As at Gimp, I dislike it's brightening function and it only has a basic sharpen function, but it does have the option of reducing noise and blurring. For fixing colour it only has a hue/saturation function.

Very basic and simple editing in Picasa that will appeal to non-tech savvy users - I suggest fixing Highlights and if it's too saturated, add a bit of brightness by Fill light, however, if it's not saturated enough move the Shadows slider. Colour temperature should fix a blue or yellow hue in the picture. Picasa is nice because it saves the original photo, but you need to have hidden folders enabled to find it. It also has a nifty retouching tool.

Photofiltre is very basic and I'm only including it here because I had official training in it, but it's not the easiest to get along with when it comes to editing pictures and it's better for quick cropping, resizing, adding frames, that kind of thing. Again we deal with Levels (Adjust > Levels…), but here it's a lot more complicated and harder to use. First fix the highlight to lighten the image and then fix shadows to add intensity. What I dislike at this programme is how hard it is to do changes gradually.

So, that's was easy, basic editing using free software and now the non-budget option - how I do it in Photoshop.

Good old PS gives best results, however, it's not free. Honestly, I could talk about editing in Photoshop for hours and I'm only familiar with the basics (I learned all I know myself by watching tutorials), but I'll keep it simple. Most of the functions are the same as in programmes I discussed before (and vice versa), they are just more effective.
Lesson number 1: Always work in layers
Lesson number 2: In Photoshop on adjustment layers using a black brush removes that part of the adjustment layer, while using white paints it back.

Again most of the things can be done with Curves (same video as above), but lets do it the other way, so how I prefer it. Not all of these steps are necessary.

Step 1 Adjust brightness and contrast

(Should be on the right of the workspace under Adjustments, alternately it's under Images > Adjustments > Brightness and contrast. This applies also to Levels, Vibrancy and Saturation, Colour Balance,...)
I really like this function in Photoshop as it lightens the picture, but still leaves midtones and dark tones at an appropriate level. Supposing I lightened the picture to remove the grey cast as much as possible, but now the products are too light,  in that case in Photoshop you can simply use a black brush, but decrease the opacity and paint over the product. This will remove the adjustment layer from that part of the image, however, doing that might result in the product looking too grey, so in that case rather use Levels or Curves.

Step 2 Levels

It's the same thing as I described at other programmes, so you just move sliders in the Levels histogram. Midtones (middle slider) bring the colour back (to the products). It is not uncommon that I apply several Levels layers to brighten certain areas more than the rest and with a black brush paint over the areas that don't need to be as bright.
You might wonder why I do the combination of brightness and levels, since I could only do levels. I find that sometimes when using just levels because the background might be unevenly grey, certain grey patches might stay, but when brightening the area before that doesn't happen. Of course, that is how I do it, I'm sure some people do it differently.

Remember if you work with layers in Photoshop, you can remove parts of adjusting layers by using a black brush.

Step 3 Vibrance and Saturation

If the colours aren't vivid enough, I use Vibrance and saturation. Saturation intensifies colours, but it can make it too bright and almost neon, so what I prefer to use is Vibrance because it enhances the natural tones without looking too harsh. More details about the difference between the two here. This is also useful when you feel the colours are too vivid, you just move the slider to the left.

Step 4 Colour Balance

Whenever I feel that the colours aren't accurate enough, I use colour balance. I must admit that this is the most difficult adjustment layer to master and it takes a lot of time to figure it out if you're not familiar with colour theory. But a very quick guide: if it's too green then add magenta and blue, if it's red or yellow use blue. This tools comes particularly handy when trying to get swatches as accurate as possible. This adjustment layer is also useful when the background has a certain hue. If your white background has a certain hue and you want it either white or grey, I use a black/white adjustment layer over the image and then erase the parts with products.

Step 5 Retouching or painting over imperfections
I mean imperfections of the product picture not when doing fixing a face shot. If there is any spot or dust on the picture/products, use retouching tool (spot healing brush tool and others). If the background has some weird spots of greyness, I just paint over it. Crude, I know, but effective.

Step 6 Sharpen and reduce noise
Sharpen the image or reduce noise if you need to. I use the function Unsharp mask (Filter>Sharpen>Unsharp mask) for a more precise, easy to adjust sharpening, however, I've never been much of a fan of sharpening. If your image is too grainy a.k.a. too noisy use the function Reduce noise (Filter>Noise>Reduce Noise).

Step 8 The famous out-of-focus a.k.a blurry background
Bloggers with more expensive cameras that have more settings (aperture, shutter speed) and can be fitted with different lenses, will usually have almost professional pictures with the blurry background. My camera phone obviously can't do that, unless I take an extreme close-up. You can blur the background using Gaussian blur or Field blur (Filter>Blur). There are two ways, one is selecting the background (shortcut W for Quick selection tool) and applying blur, but the edges give it away. I do the duplication of the image, apply Gaussian blur or Field blur and then erase the part with the product in focus so the clear image under it is visible. However, only a limited amount of blurring can be applied here as it can look very fake because it's a uniform blurring and the sense of depth that the camera creates is lost. 
Step 8 Crop and resize

Crop the image so it fits your needs (if needed of course), Crop function (C) also allows fixing alignment of the image. Lastly set the image size (alt+ctl+I or Image > Image size). I post large sizes, usually to fit the screen and I firmly believe that a blog looks so much better with large images (all the images in this post are big and in case you can't see everything, click on them).

So, this is it. I could go into more details, but I kept it simple for you. Honestly, most pictures only require some quick work with Levels/Curves (Picasa is quick and easy), but of course there are some that need a lot of time to fix. One last thing I wanted to show you, just so you can see what Photoshop is capable of - I create such images from scratch, it is ridiculously fun:

That concludes my post series about budget beauty blog photography. If you have any tips drop them below. I hope I didn't forget anything important, maybe just one more tip - when you use the Quick selection tool, always use Refine edge and fix it. I hope this was helpful and I'm sorry if it was too complicated or all over the place, I know those who are better at editing pictures might have this thought in their mind, but that's just how I do it. Have a great day!

Additional reading about blog photography in general: