review

M.A.C Haul for Autumn/Winter

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Spending time in Canada means M.A.C hauling for me because in the U.S. the closest store is 3 hours and $30 away that I just won’t sacrifice. Sure, I could use the online store but it’s just not the same as spending an hour going crazy with swatches and feeling like a kid in a candy store. So my first trip to Toronto led to the M.A.C store too and that means Eszter cannot say no to lipsticks and other make-up items. This time I really went out and spent a lot of money. Mainly I was thinking ahead to autumn and winter and purchased products on that color scheme.

The only exception is a bold lipstick that I’ve been eyeing for months now, M.A.C Retro Matte Lipstick in All Fired Up. It’s part of their Retro Matte line so it is really drying but the COLOR!!! A beautiful, deep, fuchsia pink! Deeper and with a warmer touch than NARS Carthage (post about my pink and fuchsia lipsticks here). It looks gorgeous with a tan or darker skin tones. It is not advisable for chapped lips. Use with caution and a lot of lip balm!

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My other two lip product purchases are definitely for the colder weather: M.A.C Cremesheen Lipstick in Cream In Your Coffee and Matte Lipstick in Chili. Creme in my coffee is a mauve brown, a darker neuter color for everyday make-up. Cremesheens have a hydrating, opaque formula though if I have to choose I’m more of a Lustre fan, because they glide better during application. It’s a good addition to my collection, while Chili is a deep brick-red, perfect for my darker bold cravings for autumn/winter. It is a matte but really not as drying as the retro matte formula. It has a subtle sheen to it that makes it into a semi-matte in my book.

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This time around my other indulgence was in eyeshadows. It was long overdue really. I have two 4-pan palettes that I liked to transfer into one place since I bought them, so I purchased their 15-eyeshadow palette and truthfully it never stops there… I also purchased four new shadows: Shroom – a stronger highlight color, Patina – a subtle old gold, Coppering – a brick-red with subtle shimmer and Smut – a dark grey, said to be created for Kate Moss’ preferred smokey eye-look. More on my palette when I can join them with the rest of my shadows.

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See you soon!

♥Eszter

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The Summer Lip #4 – Reds

The Summer Lip_Reds

Reds are eye-catching and go perfect with a tan. Also, I just feel more bold and in the mood to stand out, so let’s bring them on… As you will see my reds are more on the warm side because they go best with my skin tone and I feel they represent more the warmest season. If they are not your cup of tea check out for example NARS Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Dragon Girl, Hourglass Opaque Rouge Liquid Lipstick in Icon or from the drugstore Rimmel Kate Moss Lasting Finish Matte Lipstick in 111 Kiss of Life and Kate Moss Lipstick Collection for Rimmel London 01, just to mention a few but there are many others to choose from.

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Revlon Colorburst Lip Butter in Candy Apple, 035
This is THE perfect beginner red. Even though this product is advertised as sheer, Candy Apple is one of the most pigmented from all the lip butters I own. It feels fuss free and easy on the lips. If you are just easing into this color, pick up this one in your nearest drugstore, it’s literally everywhere.

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Clinique Chubby Stick Intense in Hibiscus
You can see how much I love this baby… it’s in a sad-sad state and on my soon-to-be-repurchased list. Well, for next summer because I don’t really wear this in any other season but as soon as the sun is out and it everything is melting around me I sip it out and wear it for weeks until I remember I have others I shouldn’t neglect. It’s extremely vibrant, cheerful, I never tried the original Chubby sticks, but I heard they are pretty sheer but the Intense sister & brothers definitely pack a punch in color. I love to bits everything in it: from the formula to the way it slowly wears off my lips, the twisty mechanism and even the fetching name, Hibiscus… it is my favorite tea flavor and really fitting for this lip product.

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NARS Heat Wave and Jungle Red
It shouldn’t be a surprise that two matte/semi-matte reds found their way into the red company… These are really different reds though. Heat Wave is on the orange end and a stunning semi-matte lipstick that is okay to wear (I would carefully call it comfortable even on a good lip day), while Jungle Reds is really a one of a kind color… I would say watermelon with hints of pink in it but it is really hard to categorize but easy to love. Truly unique! On the hand Jungle Red feels a little bit dryer on the lips from the way it slightly dregs on the lips so I tend to reach for a balm before application.

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And the two next to each other… I hope the tone difference is visible on the photos but it is much more pronounced on the lips.

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Hourglass Opaque Rouge Liquid Lipstick in Raven
Hourglass came out with a pretty controversial product, at least in my eyes… All the beauty world was aching and uhhing over it but  I couldn’t make up my mind for at least a year after purchase. My first reaction was disappointment and it it got dropped in the deepest bottom of my make-up bag, then when summer was back it creeped forward and I seem to get the hang of it now. Perhaps I grew in my make-up application skills and finally gave it a chance to experiment… Anyway here are my findings. The pros are a long-lasting formula (survives drinks, lighter snacks and even lunch if it is not too greasy and you are careful), a nice applicator, a really unique color that is in between red, coral and pink. Really the color is its most redeeming feature! And it dries matte. This is actually a blessing and a curse as well, blessing cause I love matte and curse, well it can be really drying on the lips. Sure what I say in this case is use your trusty lip balm but it is not very nice to lip balms either: or it messes up the application, or it leaves COLOR on your nice, perhaps even white balm, so chapped lips is a definite no-no with this one. Another huge disadvantage is the fussy application process. You can use only one coat and have to be relatively quick about it, because after some time it starts drying and you can mess up the whole thing. It takes at least 2-3 minutes to completely dry so you are walking around the house with your mouth agape like a fish. Also there’s no way to re-apply without getting annoying little gobs all over your lips, so don’t use this if you are craving a nice, juicy burger…The verdict? I can pull it off on a good lip day with steady hands and expecting to eat light. When it’s actually on I get compliments left and right, BUT! Fussy, fussy, fussy! If you get over these cons, like I can on certain days, you won’t be disappointed but be forewarned… it’s not perfect!

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M.A.C Hey, Sailor! Pro Longwear Lip Pencil in Throw Me a Line (Limited Edition)
This one found it’s way into the collection because reds are best worn with a lip pencil under… I am not a fan of thin pencils but It really helped that I bought it in an outlet for half the price and that it has a really stunning color. I occasionally love to wear it by itself too with lots of lip balm to help with the dryness. I heard that MAC Pro Longwear Lip Pencil in Kiss Me Quick from their permanent line is very similar and an easy-to-find alternative.

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Swatch time:

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Revlon Colorburst Lip Butter in Candy Apple, Clinique Chubby Stick Intense in Hibiscus, NARS Heat Wave and Jungle Red, Hourglass Opaque Rouge Liquid Lipstick in Raven, M.A.C Hey, Sailor! Pro Longwear Lip Pencil in Throw Me a Line

This is the last installment of bold lip colors this summer. I hope you liked it and it inspired some of you to try out these fabulous lip products. BOLD is fun and on the right occasion with the right make-up and dress everybody should be able to pull it off with style. I like to be a BOLD lipstick girl myself and I am proud of it! Let’s be eternally BOLD in our choices!

See you soon!

♥Eszter

My Battle Against Cellulite – Weight Loss Edition

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Nivea Q10 Cellulite Gel, Champion trainers from Payless ShoeSource, Old Navy knee-length black sports pants, Bazinga! T-shirt from Walmart, Indianapolis Colts cap (inherited from my dear Sister)

I’ve already mentioned on the blog that I started dieting (post here and here) and feel quite accomplished with Weight Watchers. Since then I stayed silent on the topic, but kept working hard and tried to follow the instructions to a T. It paid off splendidly but halfway through I realized it’s not enough to change my eating habits. Since my teenage years, like most women I was cursed with cellulite in my thigh to waist area. This is where I start gaining first and losing last. So when I moved back to my Sister’s, for one I changed my eating habits again (they keep to a more Eastern European meal plan, explanation’s coming in a not-too-far future post) and decided to start the most readily available and inexpensive workout, running coupled with Nivea Q10 Cellulite Gel.

Every day I wake up and go for a 25-30 min. tops running routine in our neighborhood. This consists of a quick (less than 5 minutes) warm-up for my muscles and joints, a minimum of 15 minutes of uninterrupted jogging that I do in a nearby longish crescent road that leads back home (generally I go for three laps), a 2-minutes wind-down walk and a 3-minutes stretch at the end. This works for me quite well, though I try to keep my days pretty active too (with a 3 and a half year-old around the house I have a lot of opportunities for extra walks, playground visits and so on.

Step two of this process is Nivea’s Q10 Cellulite Gel from their Q10 range that I’ve been applying religiously every night, before bed in the last 2,5 weeks. This is a light gel that has quite a runny consistency and a fresh smell (reminds me of a cross between unscented soap and lightly smelling men deodorant). After bath I gently rub a dollop into my problem areas where it absorbs quickly and leaves a nice cooling effect on the skin. Fancy! It actually feels like it’s doing something. There are other Nivea Q10 products (moisturizers and lotions) targeting cellulite that you are supposed to use in conjuncture with the Gel. Since I’ve never tried those I cannot form a clear opinion on them but they are something I should look into based on my success with the Gel.

All in all this combination seems to be a good one because I started dropping cellulite left and right after the first 3-5 days. My skin in general appears more smooth and tight and my legs and abs started to finally show some muscle tone too… Now, with the diet on top that I adjusted slightly to compensate the more active life style, I weight 154.0 lbs (working myself down from a whopping 169.8 lbs that is quite more compared to my regular, pre-USA measuring) and dropped at least 1-2 sizes in pants depending on their cut… A miracle! I also feel more energetic and less winded after activity, and more alive in general. An all around win… now I just have to keep up with it!

See you soon!

♥Eszter

The Summer Lip #2 – Corals

 

The Summer Lip_Corals

Corals are great for spring and summer too. In spring I tend to wear more that subtle shades and in summer I reach for the bolder ones but really there are days when I’m not in the mood for strong colors then I exclusively choose the lighter versions. I’m partial to mattes with this color, as you will see… I have only one shiny finish, a cremesheen. I picked two higher end (with one extremely expensive) and three drugstore offerings.

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The Summer Lip #1 – Pink and Fuchsia

The Summer Lip_Pink and Fuchsia

I’m addicted to lipsticks and especially love the summer season when you can get away with wearing any bold color you like. And I love ‘em! In this series I’ll show my favorite 3-5 lip products in every color family I own. This first post is about pink and fuchsia. I am not a big fan of bold pinks in general. Most of the blue toned pinks clash horrible with my coloring (I’m too yellow toned) but I have three exceptions that I do wear when the mood hits.

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Mascara Masquerade

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My old and trusty mascaras (Maybelline Colossal Volume Waterproof Mascara review here and Clinique High Impact Mascara) both dried out at the same time. I loved the two: the Maybelline was my everyday mascara and I wore the stronger Clinique for special occasions and with evening or eye-heavy make-up. This system worked out quite well so now I’m in search for two new mascaras.

Did I find the perfect matches? Not exactly, I now own one good and one okay in a pinch (such a shame!) and the search is still on.

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My Summer Skincare and Makeup Staples

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Skin care and makeup shifts for me when summer comes. Firstly because I leave to stay with family and friends in Canada and there’s no way of packing everything (still managed a considerable amount of lipstick!?) I wear a little bit less of the last and a little bit more of the first. Anyway there are three key products that see a lot of use and help me keep up with everything…

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Nikon AF-S DX 16-85mm f3.5 – 5.6G ED VR lens review

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I bought this lens approximately 3-3,5 years ago. It acted as my main and only lens for years until recently I started investing into photo gear once again and purchased a 35mm prime lens. To make an informed decision I managed to try out the kit lens, read countless reviews day and night and listened to several YouTube photography gurus. Especially Jared Polin made a big impression on me, he suggested buying better lenses than the standard kit lens. My choice in the end fell on the Nikkor AF-S DX 16-85mm f3.5 – 5.6G ED VR lens that was an ideal high-quality walk-around lens for my D90 with a moderate enough price tag.

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Happy Sephora Birthday to Me!

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28 YEARS OLD – That’s only two away from the feared 3x!!!

Yep, I turned older this weekend but let’s not talk about that…or wait! Why not?! I’m not at the age to start denying my years yet (but getting closer nonetheless) so this will be the one and only time you’ll see it written. I’m going on a ban from tomorrow…

I celebrated with friends this year. I have to thank them for a memorable day/days. Some people, the darlings, started 2 days early just so I can feel even more special. So, everyone! You know who you are! Thank you for cakes, birthday knick-nacks (there’s no life without those), dinner invitations, Cowboy Jamaican Margaritas, hair curlers and many others! You’re the best!!!

I should perhaps start on the topic of this post. Yesterday I could finally drop by Sephora and I picked up my Beauty Insider Birthday Present. It is given in collaboration with MAKE UP FOR EVER, a mini sample of Smokey Extravagant Mascara and a lipstick, Rouge Artist Natural N9.

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My first impressions? The whole box is awfully tiny! The mascara is the size I would expect but the lipstick is miniature and the real color doesn’t match the one on the box and internet. It looks/looked much rosy hued.

The mascara is the blackest black and I love the wand. I’m on the look-out for a working, fall-out less one. Perhaps, I found it? The lipstick is buttery with a low-key shine, not too long-lasting as expected from this kind of formula. The color, however is basically non-existent on my lips (a perfect color match), so much that I’m not even able to tell how opaque it is. I’ll get back to you with more details after some testing-testing…

All in all it’s a nice idea! Women and me especially are easy to make happy with free/gift make-up. Keep up the good job, Sephora! If it depends on me, I’ll be a VIB (Very Important Beauty Insider) before the year is out…

See you soon!

♥Eszter

Finals Hiatus

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Yes, it happened again. Finals came and I’m up to my ears with assignments neglecting everything else, my health included. I’ve been sick on and off for the last 2-3 weeks and that means I feel even more rushed and panicked to finish up everything in time for my classes. Even now I should be preparing for my last exam on Tuesday but I can’t postpone a short status update…

The most important thing: I’ll be back from Wednesday, May 14th!!!

I have posts waiting to be photographed and written. Just a few ideas:

  • Purchases from a Rummage Sale, mainly photography props
  • Review of my new Nikon 35mm f1.8G AF-S DX lens
  • Review of my Nikon 16-85mm f3.5 – 5.6G ED VR AF-S DX lens
  • Living on a student budget: conclusions after my first year
  • My New Lipstick Love: NARS Velvet Matte Lipstick in Carthage
  • New skin care staples for the coming summer
  • Photography: portraits and events for my friends (if they let me post their pictures, I didn’t have time to contact and ask them yet)

So… Just a little more and see you soon!

♥Eszter