Dzintars Future Formula Black Caviar Face Serum

September

It’s time for the second review of my local brands mini-series.

So this is a very interesting product not least because it’s something completely different and new for the brand but also because the Future Formula is the last lifeline for the Dzintars brand facing a very real bankruptcy threat.

Future Formula skincare products are split in three different lines based on the main ingredients – apple stem cells, snail extract and black caviar. Apple Stem Cell line is designed to combat more advanced signs of ageing, Black Caviar line is for less visible wrinkles and dryer skin types, whereas the Snail Extract line will take care of the very first signs of ageing. All lines include a complete skincare routine and consist of a day cream, a night cream, a serum and an eye concentrate with prices ranging from €40.00 – €75.00.

I went for the serum from the Black Caviar line (€50.00/30ml) because even though I wouldn’t say that ageing is a particular skin concern of mine my skin does tend to get a bit dry. I’m also still on the hunt for that perfect facial serum so it was a good product for me to try. The texture of this is very different as far as serums go – it’s more like a moisturiser rather than the watery and wet serums I am used to. Not saying it’s a bad thing though. It absorbs well and it’s definitely not heavy on the skin so you will still need to apply a moisturiser. It smells fresh and a tad floral, very pleasant actually. Packaging is beautiful, definitely a massive upgrade from what we’re used to seeing from Dzintars in the past. As far as the claims go I can never really tell with serums, it seems to be the same catch as with the eye creams – you only notice a difference once you stop using the product. So far, though, I’m happy with the serum and I’ll definitely keep using it.

Availability of Future Formula products seems to be much better than I was expecting – apparently Dzintars delivers to quite a few countries, but I have never used their online services so I can’t comment on delivery times/charges/restrictions etc.

Are the products good enough to save the brand? They might as well be but for products that retail for up to €75.00 a pop the marketing is a massive let-down. These products are claiming to be equal with some very established global players who have very solid superstar endorsed campaigns. Dzintars’ marketing team has a lot of work to do to catch up with it’s competitors.

Have you tried any of the new Future Formula products?

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Mossa Matt Coverage Tinted BB Cream

2017, August

I’m back visiting my hometown Riga this month and one of my favourite things to do when I’m here is to raid the local shops and pick up some products that can’t be bought anywhere else. So far I’ve picked up four so there will be four mini-reviews popping up on the blog over the next few days.

First up – Mossa Matt Coverage Tinted BB Cream (€14.99/50 ml). It’s only available in one universal “soft beige” shade that will suit most fair to light medium skin tones. The product is very sheer, though, so you can definitely get away with this not being a perfect shade match as it really blends out to not much coverage at all. It claims the added benefits of antioxidants and hyaluronic acid so it doubles as a bit of a skincare too. On the skin it feels extremely light, a perfect holiday base product for me. The finish is quite natural so you can definitely apply some powder on top for a slightly heavier and/or matte coverage. It also won’t cover any redness or blemishes so you might want to use something to spot-conceal if you need more coverage. I really like this BB cream because it seems to be one of the very few base products that doesn’t cling to dry patches on my skin and it’s so easy and quick to blend.The packaging is very light and clean, it won’t weight down your make-up bag if you wanted to carry it with you.

The availability is Ok-ish – it’s available online from a few lesser known websites depending where you’re located. They’re also available to purchase in stores but only in selected European countries. It’s a shame really because they’ve got some great and very affordable products. They’ve got a very decent selection of skincare and some amazing body-care products so if you happen to be traveling or live in one of the countries where Mossa is available definitely have a look, I’m sure you will find something that interests you.

What are your favourite local brands?

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L’Oreal Paris Paradise Mascara

2017, August

I was so excited for the Paradise Mascara (£9.99/6.4ml) to finally make it across the pond. I’ve heard nothing but rave reviews from the US ladies. I snapped the Paradise mascara up as soon as it launched online and I’ve now had a few good weeks to test it. The brush is medium size with traditional type of bristles (as opposed to plastic or rubber bristles) which is my preferred type of mascara wand.

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When it comes to mascaras I have worked out a very strict three stage testing process. First of all I it has to be easy and quick to apply. I’ve got no time for mascaras that require several coats to look half decent. I like mascaras that can give me an instant impact – pigment, volume and length, please. In this category the Paradise mascara scores quite well. It won’t give you super dramatic look but for something stronger than natural look it works just fine. The formula sits somewhere in the middle, not too dry, not too wet. It coats lashes well, gives some volume and length but not much curl so more of an everyday mascara for me.

Next I watch how the mascara performs throughout the day – is there any flaking or smudging. I noticed a very minimal flaking with the Paradise mascara. I suspect, however, that it might be due to the fact that I spend the majority of my days with my baby daughter who I am convinced is the most adorable baby in the world so I smile a lot. If you don’t spend your days squinting the flaking shouldn’t be an issue.

Finally – I like mascaras that are easy to remove. The Paradise mascara performed well with all different types of cleansers and make-up removers (I tried micellar water, cream and oil cleansers). Nothing to complain here.

So to sum up – it’s a solid everyday option but then there are so many mascaras that can do the exact same thing. I’d say walk don’t run. It’s a good one to try if you’re up for something new, but I don’t see it as a game-changer.

Have you tried the Paradise mascara?

Real Techniques PowderBleu Brushes

2017, July

When the original Real Techniques brushes hit the shelves it was a bit of a makeup revolution. Great quality, affordable brushes became accessible to everyone. The range has seen some very useful additions and limited addition sets over the years. I own a fair few of the Real Techniques brushes and use them regularly. I know that for me they completely changed the makeup application game.

The new PowderBleu line caught my eye almost instantly. I much prefer powder products to creams so brushes that have been created specifically for application of powders sounded right up my street. I also can’t deny that it was a visual thing for me – I think the combination of the black and the dark blue just looks so luxe.

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But do they work? Yes, yes and yes!!! I picked up the Soft Complexion Brush (£22.00) to use for blush and the Soft Finishing Brush (£22.00) to apply highlighter. Both brushes are absolutely fantastic – they pick up powder products so well and they distribute the product on the face very seamlessly. Bristles of the Complexion brush are more densely packed so it’s also great for buffing and blending. I don’t really wear mineral foundation but if I did this would be the brush I would want to use to apply it.

The Finishing brush is the perfect size – not too big and not too small so it applies just the right amount of highlighter. It’s also great for applying powder on-to the under-eye area. I really don’t have anything bad to say about these. I’ve been so impressed that I’m planning on picking up the Soft Powder Brush (£22.00) and the Plush Powder Puff (£12.00) as well.

The line also includes the Soft Shadow Brush (£15.00) and the Soft Kabuki Brush (£25.00) and if they’re anything like the other two brushes that I’ve tried they’ll be amazing.

Have you tried any of the PowderBleu Brushes? What did you think?

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Rodin Billie on the Bike Lipstick and Lipliner

2017, July

Even I’m interested to see how I’ll manage to justify this one. It’s by far my priciest lip-colour purchase. The only other extortionately expensive lipstick I own is Tom Ford’s Lip Colour in Pink Dusk (£40.00) which I bought for my wedding day and it’s a beautiful neutral colour so I can wear it anytime anywhere. Rodin’s offering, however, is a very out there shade. And I’m not even a massive bright lipstick wearer. I totally blame Eva in the City for this purchase. She pretty much has mentioned Linda Rodin and her beauty line in every single video for the last three months.

The backstory aside I’m sure you’re more interested to find out what I think about the actual products. I’ll start with the Luxury Lip Pencil (£25.00) – it’s fairly dry and hard so it takes some effort to draw in the lips. It has a matte finish and despite being such a vibrant colour on it’s own it looks a bit flat. Lip Wardrobe Lipstick (£28.00) on the other hand is a whole different story – the texture is very buttery and creamy. It’s super pigmented and although it doesn’t come up as dark as it looks in the bullet there is still quite a lot of very noticeable blue and violet undertones. Together with the lip-liner it creates incredible depth and dimension. Safe to say I don’t own any lip-colours in this shade (could that serve as a justification?). It makes the lips look shiny, juicy and plump. There is no bleeding outside the lip-line, it’s seriously long lasting and there is a hint of a jasmine like scent to it. I really like the combo. Am I a bright lip convert? – that might take a bit longer but it’s certainly been a very encouraging start.

I feel like I also need to mention the packaging. It’s very simple and clean. This is what I imagine the packaging would look like if Celine had a beauty line. With the lid on the lipstick looks beautiful – like it’s been encased in an intricate piece of crystal. Once you take the lid of, however, it looses some of it’s magic – it’s a bit square and plasticky.

Would I recommend the products? If you love bright lips and have the budget for it you should definitely get these, you won’t be disappointed. They come if five different coulor-ways.

What is your bravest lipstick?

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Summer Lip Favourites

2017, June

Summer has well and truly landed here in the UK which means it’s time for a little make-up reggig. I’m switching up some colour options to make my looks more season appropriate and these are my current lip product favourites:

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Sleek True Colour Lipstick in #Amped (£4.99) – a bright light cool toned pink shade that’s perfect for the warmer months. I wouldn’t really brave this colour any other time of the year but with a bit of tan in summer it looks great. It’s a matte formula but it applies very creamy and it isn’t overly drying. It lasts longer than you would expect but I would recommend checking whether it needs a touch-up every now and then especially if you’re having food. It’s a very pigmented and noticeable colour so you really want it to look perfect. And I can’t not mention the packaging – it’s such a cute little thing that will fit the smallest of handbags.

Bourjois Rouge Edition Velvet Lipstick in #Frambourjoise (£8.99) – I love, love, love this shade. It’s a cool toned red with a slight hint of berry. The finish is velvety (as the name would suggest) so it’s a soft look. You only need a thin layer and it wears very comfortably. Unlike the Sleek’s offering this is something I would also wear to work/in an office setting. Yes, it’s a bold look but it’s also very classic and chic. Another reason why this is a great everyday option is the lasting power – this lasts and lasts, I had to rub a cotton pad soaked in micellar water over my lips quite vigorously to get this stuff off at the end of a long day. It’s great if you’ve got a busy day ahead of you and no time for touch-ups.

YSL Rouge Volupte Shine in #08 Pink in Confidence (£26.00) – very different from the bright colours I’ve mentioned above, this is a very light traditional pink. It doesn’t sound like much but it really looks so nice on the lips. It’s not super pigmented so it looks very natural and it gives lips beautiful shine and brightness. And, of course, it’s one of the most beautiful lipstick packagings out there. A real treat that always gives me so much joy to pull it out of my make-up bag.

What are your favourite lip products this summer?

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Top 3 Bronzers

2017, June

I’m not much of a tanner but I do like adding some colour to my cheeks and décolletage especially in the summer months when my chest and shoulders are more exposed. I’m one for a subtle tan look and these are my favourite bronzers for achieving just that.

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Chanel Soleil Tan de Chanel Bronzing Makeup Base (£32.00/30g) – a bit of a Marmite product, I am strongly in the “love” camp. It’s a very firm cream bronzer so it’s fairly difficult to pick up too much product. It blends out effortlessly and adds beautiful colour to the face. The shade is kind of golden but without any annoying shimmer. Beautiful, beautiful product. So worth the high price tag.

+ I use the Real Techniques Expert Face Brush (£9.99) which has densely packed medium length bristles to apply and blend this bronzer.

Physicians Formula Murumuru Butter Bronzer ($14.99/) – it’s notoriously hard to get your hands on this product the UK. But if you manage it it’s definitely worth picking up. I have the shade Light Bronzer and it’s a slightly muted cool toned shade. It’s not overly pigmented so agin – not a scary bronzer to use. The powder is so soft and buttery – it applies and blends like a dream. The powder is also quite strongly fragranced. It smells like the sweet coconut holiday scent and it does linger for a while. If you’re not a fan of that particular smell you might want to have sniff before you buy.

Guerlain Terracotta Bronzing Powder (£36.50/10g) – such an iconic product. It actually took me a while to warm up to this bronzer. It does look a bit orangey in the pan but it doesn’t look too warm on the skin. It’s definitely a dry powder but the pigmentation level is just right. I also didn’t notice any powder fall out with this so it definitely lives up to it’s high quality standard. Again – it’s fragranced. To me it smells like an old school perfume, but thankfully it goes as soon as you put it on your cheeks. There are nine shades available in different finishes. I’ve got shade #01 Clair Brunettes which is the lightest of the matt shades.

+ I use the Kiko’s Face Brush (£16.90) to apply powder bronzers. The brush is huge and super soft. It applies and blends product very evenly and quickly.

What is your favourite bronzing product? Hope you’re enjoying the sunshine xx

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Current Beauty Favourites – June 2017

2017, June

It’s time for the next round of my current beauty favourites. Being such a creature of habit I was very surprised to discover that some new players have actually entered the scene. There’s nothing ground-breaking here and it’s very likely that you have heard of all these products before.

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Origins Out of Trouble Mask (£24.00/100ml). I love the Peter Thomas Roth Pumpkin Enzyme Mask (£39.50/150ml) but it just stings so much! Origins offering leaves my skin just as smooth and radiant and there is no discomfort, it feels very soothing and refreshing. 10 minutes of this is all you need to sort out your skin for the rest of the week. I can’t recommend it highly enough.

John Frieda Beach Blonde Sea Waves Sea Salt Spray (£1.99/25ml). I got my hair chopped much shorter a couple of weeks ago and when my hairdresser recommended to a salt spray to style my new cut I was a bit apprehensive because my track record with salt sprays has not been that great. Most of them leave my hair feeling sticky and greasy. My hairdresser mentioned the John Frieda Salt Spray specifically and when I discovered that it also comes in a mini 25ml size bottle I decided to give it a try. I ended up really liking it – it’s very light so it’s hard to over do it, it gives hair some grit and texture yet it still feels fresh and clean. It also has that artificial sweet coconut smell which I actually don’t mind, it’s very holiday like.

Nars Pro Prime Smudge Proof Eyeshadow Base (£19.50) – this has been an absolute game changer for me. I used to use the Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion (£17.00/10ml) before the packaging was updated to include an applicator. I still think it’s a lovely product but I would always end up using way too much (I really should pick up one of the new tubes that come with a doe foot applicator). Nars’ version has always had an applicator and it really makes it so much easier. It delivers an exact amount you need and it helps even the most hopeless of eyeshadows last all day.

Charlotte Tilbury Matte Revolution Lipstick in Pillow Talk (£24.00) You might have read my post on MACxFleaur de Force collab and I am still absolutely obsessed with that lipstick. However, it was a limited edition item and it’s no longer available to purchase so I thought I’ll include the runner up instead. It’s just as stunning and it’s more permanent-ish. The shade is a no brainer – it’s a slightly pink muted mauve that gives your lips that little bit of pigment. The texture of this seems more creamier than other matte revolution lipsticks that I’ve tried, but the pigment is definitely still there. I have always thought that if you’re going to splurge on a lipstick it should be a shade you can wear every day and the Pillow Talk is just that.

YSL Touche Éclat (£25.50/2.5ml) – if you red my post on the Tarte Shape Tape Contour Concealer you’ll know about my recent struggles with dark under eye circles. I know Touche Éclat is not technically a concealer but that’s what most people I know use it for. I had used it before but I was never that impressed. I picked up a new pen a couple of months ago and it’s been fantastic. I now have this on most days, it’s a great brightening product (I use shade #1). It’s very easy to apply, it lightweight and you can blend it out with fingers. It also never creases on me.

What are some of your current beauty favourites?

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Viseart Minx palette

2017, June

IMG_2044.jpgViseart palette has always been a bit of bucket list beauty item for me. I don’t really use eyeshadows that much to ever be able to justify spending £64 on a palette. The big palettes also look a bit intimidating – I’ve always felt that you have to be a make-up artist to get the full potential out of the 12 shades. A six-pann, on the other hand, seemed a lot more manageable. It wasn’t easy to narrow it down to only one palette since all the shades in the smaller size palettes are so beautifully selected (currently they are available in five colour-ways). In the end I went for the Minx Theory Palette (£36.00) because I’m still very much in-to that rusty eyeshadow trend – it just suits my green eyes so well!

The pigmentation of these is insane! The shades look just as pigmented on your eyelids as they do in the pan. They almost become alive when you dip the brush in the pans and you can see this extra layer of vibrancy. Three out of the six shades look matt but only one of them is a true matt (the top left). The other two are slightly satiny and have this almost duo chromatic sheen. The powders blend beautifully so you don’t have to be worried that the pigmentation will be too intense. The packaging is very light and small and all the pans are removable so you can mix and match your shades. I’m so, so happy that I finally picked this up – it’s absolutely perfect and I can’t recommend it enough. So worth the money!

What is your favourite eyeshadow palette?

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The Ordinary Foundations

2017, June

I finally got a chance to try out The Ordinary foundations and it’s been a bit of a hit and miss.

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The Coverage Foundation (£5.90/30ml) – having read some of the early reviews I knew I definitely wanted to try it. This foundation sounded right up my street – highly pigmented yet lightweight foundation that doesn’t crease and has the added benefits of SPF 15. This is available in 21 shades split in several categories so even if you’re placing an online order it will be very easy to find your shade.

First off – I was very impressed with the packaging – the bottles are supper light and dinky and they come with a lockable pump so they’re an absolute dream for traveling. The formula of this is quite liquid and once you’ve had the bottle still for a few hours you will see some pigment separation so you have to give it a good shake before each use.

Unfortunately as soon as I applied the foundation it was clear that it does not work for me. It applied a bit patchy and it made the dry areas on my face very noticeable. It’s definitely not the type of coverage I would expect from a foundation branded as “high coverage”. It’s medium at most. Surprisingly it was a bit dewy on me so I felt I had to set it with a powder (I use NYX High Definition Finishing Powder in Banana £9.00/8g). The foundation settles a bit throughout the day and it actually looks better few hours in than it does on first application. Still – it was a bit of an disappointment.

I wasn’t planning on purchasing The Serum Foundation (£5.70/30ml) but when I placed my order I noticed my shade (1.2N Light Neutral) was available in this so I decided to give it a go. I also thought it would be great to compare the two formulas. I went in not expecting much but I actually ended up liking it more than the Coverage Foundation. The texture of this is very liquid – it’s almost water-like. It applies less patchy and doesn’t cling to dry areas as much but I still felt like I had to blend it a fair bit. Again it’s a light medium finish in terms of coverage. On me it actually looked fairly matt so I didn’t sett it with a powder. In terms of staying power  – I was quite impressed – it held up very well even after eight hours of wear. It comes in the same handy bottle and the shade selection is identical to the Coverage foundation.

All in all they’re not bad products but they’re not that amazing either. The prices are great but are the end results so fantastic that it’s worth waiting four weeks to get your hands on them? Definitely no. If you’re intrigued by the brand (like I am), by all means, give the foundations a go but please don’t fall for the hype (like I did). They’re not the best thing since sliced bread.

Which is your favourite foundation?

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