Thursday, December 30, 2010

Life is too short to wear "safe" makeup

Hello everyone!

Some time ago I decided that life is too short to wear "safe" makeup all the time. After all, I buy all these fun stuff and then they just sit there... not used... not loved. Thankfully my temporary job right now really doesn't care what we wear, so I can do fun makeup every day and not care about looking professional. Most of the days I wake up too late to do it, but today I was up bright and early and had time to play with fun makeup. 

Today I decided to play with my Sleek SUNSET palette. I had it for few weeks now, but never got around to doing anything with it. Shame on me! 

I absolutely love this palette, I could even say that it's my favorite out of all Sleek ones I own. I'm actually surprised that I bought STORM one first instead of SUNSET, guess I was trying to be "safe". 

Sadly my closeups didn't turn out because my camera was acting all weird and didn't want to take pictures in Auto mode. I hope you can still see the colors I used. In total I used 5 shades, but since they are not named I will not bother trying to describe them. 

My lips turned out a little crooked haha, but I didn't notice until after I took photos. And I promise I did not go out of the house with them looking like that! 

So what do you think? Have you tried the SUNSET palette? 

~ Lyuba

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Christmas look

Merry Christmas everyone!

Even if Christmas was yesterday. But I'm still in the festive spirit, so I can still say it right? Not only that, but Christmas in Ukraine is not till January 7th, so technically it hadn't happened yet.

Sadly Christmas (and all the holidays) are not very festive for me this year. My husband is away and this really puts a damper on things, even with friends readily available to keep me company. So in order to cheer myself up, I decided to do some fun festive makeup. (Lets see how many times I can say word "festive" in one blog post)

I used Sleek SPARKLE palette for the eyes, and I have a mixed feelings about it. I did not expect it to be so matte! So for my look I mixed in lighter pink from STORM palette to add shimmer to the eyeshadows.

I also was feeling rather adventurous and used glitter eyeliner instead of my usual ones (Eyeko Glitter eyeliner). That successfully helped me figure out that I'm not a glitter eye liner kind of girl. Although the quality of the product is amazing.

At first I did very dramatic lips, but then I decided the look was too dramatic for an at-home get together, so instead I put one of Eyeko London glosses on.

On cheeks I used e.l.f. All Over Stick in Persimmon, but since I didn't show up enough for me I lightly dusted it with Rimmel Autumn Catwalk. Much better :) And I love All Over Sticks... but the smell, the smell is TERRIBLE!! It lingered much longer than I would have wanted, and the smell alone put me off enough to never buy them again (although it didn't put me off e.l.f. cosmetics altogether, I have 2 orders coming from them and I'm very excited).

So what do you think?

~ Lyuba

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

e.l.f. Makeup 50% off sale on Studio and Mineral makeup

Hello everyone,

e.l.f makeup is having one of their sales once again. This time everything in Studio and Mineral range is half off when you spend $25 or more, which is a great excuse to treat yourself to some E.L.F. greatness at half price. Just use the code SAVEBIG at the checkout.

I'm using it to try some stuff that I missed out on during their 55% off sitewide sale couple of weeks ago, as well as get more much needed brushes. Sadly, this sale is on US website, I honestly don't know if British one also has a sale. But for all my US readers, go stock up on e.l.f cosmetic! :)

The only downside, the orders take forever to get to me! I don't know if it's an e.l.f thing, or just an APO shipping thing. But I'm a patient person, so I don't mind. I wish they would do an order tracking though, because when I have to wait for over a month to get my stuff (I still haven't gotten my order that was shipped on November 12!!!!!), I would like to know that it wasn't lost. Oh, and pay attention to the sneaky magazine subscription on the bottom left. I accidentally subscribed to Women's Health because I forgot to check the box (checking the box means you do NOT want a magazine). Supposedly there is no contract, and it will not renew automatically though my credit card, but I still would like to be on the safe side and not subscribe to anything.  

But hurry, the sale is for limited time only of course. Those sneaky marketing experts!

~ Lyuba

Monday, December 13, 2010

Conquering Birmingham FOTD

Hello everyone,

This weekend I went to Birmingham for our THIRD Kimono Jack in UK event. Those who know me know well about how much I'm obsessed with kimono. Kimono Jack events are just another excuse to wear kimono, without having to look for a special event. You can read more about Kimono Jack events, as well as my kimono adventures at my other blog Strawberry Kimono .

I didn't bring much of makeup with me, but here is the look I created with what I had.  These photos were cropped from the ones that were taken during Kimono Jack because I forgot to take any close ups of my face.


  • GOSH  Velvet Touch primer
  • MAYBELLINE Dream Satin liquid Air-Whipped foundation in Ivory
  • COLLECTION 2000 Illuminating Touch Light diffusing concealer in 2 Natural
  • RIMMEL London Stay Matte pressed powder in Transparent  to set the foundation
  • RIMMEL London  Lasting Finish Powder Blush in Autumn Catwalk
  •  E.L.F. Mineral Eyeshadow Primer as a base
  • NYX Eyebrow Cake Powder in Auburn/Red
  • SLEEK Storm palette light pink 
  • COLLECTION 2000 Extreme 24 hour felt tip liner in Teal 
  • ALMAY One Coat DialUp mascara in Black Brown
  • BARRY M Lip Lacquer Crayon in No. 1
Overall I was pretty pleased with my look. Lip crayon is something that I've never tried before, so I was looking forward to checking it out and seeing how it will work for me. I also love my new blush, it stays on forever and gives me a nice just-from-the-cold look.

~ Lyuba

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Frustration of the APO shipping

Hello everyone,

To those who don't know what APO means, it's an American military PO box type of address, costs exactly the same as shipping in USA, and treated as domestic. It allows me to have 2 addressed, one American and one British and experience the best of both worlds I guess. I can shop for British brands in Boots and order American brands and get them delivered to me as if I still lived in USA.

But it comes with a big BUT. Some companies and/or sellers simply do not ship to APO, for whatever reasons. I am not sure as to what they are, and honestly I don't care. I want the products, and lots of places ship APO, so why can't those few? I believe they are all facing the same chances of lost or damaged packages, and many add disclaimers that it might take a lot longer for mail to arrive at APO. Whatever is what I say.

I can't shop Sephora and HauteLook because of that reason. Because of that, I missed out on getting some serious NYX bargains at HauterLook few days ago. I also can't order something from Sephora, something I can only get there at this time as it's sold out everywhere else I look! Normally I could order and get it shipped to my mom, but I can't even do that because the APO option is simply not included in the State option in billing. So I'm SOL however I look at it :(  It is extremely frustrating and even unfair, but sadly I can do nothing about it.

Some of you might ask why do I keep trying to shop on American websites, and that's because I still get paid in $$. Going shopping in British economy is not that much fun for me once the conversion comes into play. Instead of enjoying myself, I have to constantly think how much it will cost me in $$ and do I really want it for that much.

~ Lyuba

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Wishing for snow and OOTD

Hello everyone,

I'm still sick and miserable and as a result I don't want to do anything other than lay in bed and sleep. :( Even putting makeup on in the morning is a chore, and if I didn't promise myself to look pretty every day, I'm not so sure I would be even bothering with it. But being me, I have to use the brightest prettiest color everyday, hoping it will lighten up my mood and help me recover faster. What? You didn't know that good mood has healing properties? ;P

Another thing that I'm not-so-quietly wishing for is MORE snow. It seems like Suffolk always misses out on snow when just an hour up north (Norwich) they are covered in it. All we get is few flurries, maybe mini blizzard for a whole 2 minutes... if we're lucky an inch. Yes, snow is annoying to drive it and I will be the first one to say I can't drive in it, but I still want some SNOW! I haven't seen it in almost 10 years now, and I miss snow a lot (that time I went to Michigan for 2 days in winter doesn't count). My friend in Sheffield is making snow men on her balcony, I want to do it too! On the bright side, maybe we still will get some with the way things started out.

Last weekend I went to local Christmas Fair in Bury St. Edmunds and the  moment we got there it started snowing like crazy! I was in Lyuba heaven. :) Suddenly it felt so festive and Christmasy. I got myself some mulled wine (my favorite European thing) and walked around with the hugest grin ever. Sadly the greatness didn't last that long, after we got done with the fair it stopped snowing and the sun came out and all the snow melted lol.

 I got this cape from Jane Norman maybe a week earlier. I was in Norwich with my husband, we walked in to Castle Mall and Jane Norman was having 25% sale on EVERYTHING in the store. I took a look and it was love from the first sight. Hat is from Debenhams, sweater/cardigan  and leggings are from TJMaxx (mom works there and she always sends me clothes and she has an AMAZING taste, 99% of what she sends not only fit me, but also become my favorite), sweater-dress is from shop in Lille, France and boots are from JCPenny I think. Gloves are also from TJMaxx, got them years ago in Florida but never worn them there. Gloves are sold all over the place in FL in 'winter', but do we really need them? I only bought these because they were so cute and I had to have them. Who knew I would be going to England shortly after?

Monday, November 29, 2010

All I want for Christmas...

Hello everyone, 

My Christmas wish list can go forever and ever, but there are still things that I want more than others. Right now I'm especially obsession over these items, and desperately hoping that someone will get them for me!

Image Source
Urban Decay Naked Palette
At first when I read all the reviews about it, I wasn't that impressed. But then I saw it in person, and swatched it on my hand, and it was love from the first sight! I would have bought it right there, but I've already bought Book of Shadows III and Benefit's Her Name Was Glowla and I really didn't need to spent more money :( As it stands right now, Naked Palette is sold out pretty much everywhere I looked (except Ebay for outrageous prices) so I don't even know if I will ever get it.

Image Source

BaByliss Root Boost
I really don't even know if this will do anything for my hair since it's so short, but I don't care, I WANT it. :) I'm a little reluctant however, because what if it's not dual voltage? I will eventually go back to US, and if it's not dual voltage then I will not be able to use it there without a transformer (a major pain in the behind in general, not including significantly cutting the life of appliance and more usage of electricity). 

Irregular Choice Shoes
Oh the greatness of Irregular Choice! This is another instance of love at first sight. I've been telling my husband that he is free to give me these shoes any time he wants to, with reason and without any reason :)  They are so funky and unusual and unique, and make me feel so pretty while I'm wearing their shoes. I wore GAGA boots in October to Hyper Japan and I had lots of people commenting on them.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Dare to Wear Challenge - Tribal Mermaid anyone?

Hello everyone,

Few days ago I saw that FunnyFace Beauty extended the deadline for her latest Dare to Wear Challenge, which is not only fun but also for a good cause. Seeing as I have only been following her for a short time, I had no idea she was doing those challenges so the extension benefited me a lot :) For this challenge, she is inviting you to create a look inspired by African tribal images/makeup. Me being myself, I took a look at inspiration pictures she provided, googled some more images, even saved them, but at the end I didn't even look at any of them before starting my look. And of course the colors are not exactly what I would associate with African tribal colors.... Figures.

 This morning I woke up nice and early, and because my husband is away and I don't have to cook the turkey, I had lots of time in the morning to play with makeup. Perfect time to do something crazy right?

I started out with my usual primer/foundation/concealer routine, nothing special about that. Then I picked out the colors I would use. A while back I bought some Aromaleigh eye shadows in their closing out sale (big tear here), but they just sat unused so I decided to give them some lovings.

These colors were talking to me... begging to be used.. and while applying my makeup I kept thinking that I look like some kind of tribal mermaid with her war paint on. Tribal Mermaid it is then!
 I wish I didn't drew the pink line on my forehead... I will know for the next time. This is my first ever time doing anything this crazy by the way.

 My pathetic attempt at a battle cry. :)

 Love this picture! I call it Tribal Mermaid zombie.
 Sorry about lipstick on my teeth :( I didn't notice it until editing photos, and I'm not that skilled with Photoshop to take care of it. But check out my pout! Considering my lips are not the fullest of the bunch, I loved how gloss made them look.

  • GOSH  Velvet Touch primer
  • GOSH Natural Touch foundation in 34 Vanilla
  • COLLECTION 2000 Illuminating Touch Light diffusing concealer in 2 Natural
  • RIMMEL London Stay Matte pressed powder in Transparent  to set the foundation
  • AROMALEIGH Gothic Lolita in Aqua Nightmare overall, blended in some places with Cobalt and Watermelon (not sure what collection)
  • AROMALEIGH Watermelon and Rocks! Sonic Eyes Hitormiss for the lines
  • BOURJOIS Shimmering Shine liquid eye shadow in 35 Gris Platine for the dots

  •  E.L.F. Mineral Eyeshadow Primer as a base
  • AROMALEIGH Gothic Lolita in Aqua Nightmare on the lid, with Watermelon on the brow bone 
  • COLLECTION 2000 Extreme 24 hour felt tip liner in Teal for the eyeliner and brows - told you I would use it again today. And let me also tell you how much fun I had trying to remove it! But to be fair, I knew exactly that it would stain, and I wasn't going to use it on my brows..... until it was the perfect color. 
  • NYX Jumbo Eye Pencil in Milk on waterline
  • EYELURE Naturalites Intense eyelashes
  • AROMALEIGH Watermelon mixed with  Clinique Superbalm Moisturizing Gloss
I think there are still couple days to get your entries in! So come on, it's fun and for a good cause!

~ Lyuba

November favorites

Although November is not over yet, these are the items I keep using over and over again. And I am pretty sure that I will keep using them until the end of this month.

  • Sleek STORM palette - my very first Sleek palette that I got after reading all the reviews of Sleek makeup. I love this palette, especially two pink shades. They are my favorite, and I find myself reaching for them almost on autopilot. 
  • NYX Eyebrow Cake Powder in Auburn/Red - I only received it a couple of days ago, but I don't know how I lived without it before! I was a little intimidated by the powder, but turned out that applying powder to eye brows in not as hard as I thought. 
  • No7 Exceptional Definition Mascara in brown - it's all about the brush I'm telling you! 
  • Ecotools blush brush - although I use it for powder. Can you believe that this poor little brush sat unused for almost 2 years? Shame on me!
  • COLLECTION 2000 Illuminating Touch Light diffusing concealer in 2 Natural - that stuff just rules! I brought it with me to US for vacation, and ended up using it on my friend for her cosplay. Look at her skin tone, now look at mine, works wonders for both!  And she normally suffers from serious case of black under her eyes, but do you see it in the picture? I ended up giving it to her and just buying myself another once I got back to UK. 
  • Clinique Superbalm Moisturizing Gloss in 09 Currant - I got it as a sample in one of the magazines, and I bought the magazine just for the sample lol. I don't haven any Clinique glosses but I really wanted to try one, so I figured why not? Been using it almost every day since. 
  • COLLECTION 2000 Extreme 24 hour felt tip liner in Teal - every since I swatched those in Boots, I wanted the Teal one. Now I have it and I've been wearing it 2 days straight and I think tomorrow will be another Teal day.
What are your favorites for November? 

Monday, November 22, 2010

Cheer me up mail haul

Hello :)

Today have not been a very good day for me. Nothing really happened that I didn't already know about, but still my mood was not the greatest in the morning. But then I went to check our mail, and there it was, my long awaited package from! That brought my spirits up. This is the first time I ordered with them and I am pretty impressed. Shipping took exactly 1 week, all items were nicely packages and nothing got damaged. I will be ordering again from them for sure!

 My cats decided to investigate new stuff. The one above is Echo (bengal), and one below is Mittens (moggy).

Here is a rundown of what I got:
  • Ecotools 5 Piece Bamboo Mineral Brush set 
  • Ecotools 5 Piece Bamboo Complexion Brush set
  • Rimmel London Stay Matte pressed powder in Transparent (for some reason I got 2.... I even double checked my order, and nope, I didn't order 2. Guess I'll have 2 now lol)
  • Rimmel London Lasting Finish Powder Blush in Autumn Catwalk
  • NYX Jumbo Eye Pencil in Milk
  • NYX Eyebrow Cake Powder in Auburn/Red
Notice how I have two items from every brand? All I can say I love sales! Buy 1, get another 50% off. Plus free shipping is also a nice added bonus.

~ Lyuba

Sunday, November 21, 2010

FOTD loving me some shiny

Today is a little emotional day for me. A lot actually. Sometimes being a military wife sucks, and today is one of those days. Unfortunately I'm facing 3+ month of those days, and although it's not as bad as for some (15 month deployments anyone?), it still SUCKS! Especially when I'm in a country with no friends and family.

So in order to cheer myself up a little I decided to do some pretty and shiny makeup. My husband approved too, so double points for that!
 I'm in need of serious hair trim, but I'm avoiding the hairdressers for now as I want my temporary color to wash out as much as possible before I color my hair again. THEN I will hit the hairdresser :)

 Closeup of my eyes. I was going for a 'light' smokey look here. Not sure what I got, since I'm still trying to master the smokey eyes, but it was fun trying.

  • GOSH  Velvet Touch primer
  • GOSH Natural Touch foundation in 34 Vanilla
  • COLLECTION 2000 Illuminating Touch Light diffusing concealer in 2 Natural
  • COVERGIRL Trueblend Minerals loose mineral powder in 405 Translucent Fair
  • REVLON ColorStay Mineral Blush in 030 Roseberry
  •  E.L.F. Mineral Eyeshadow Primer as a base
  • Urban Decay Suspect all over the lid
  • UD Smog on the crease
  • UD Money on the inner half of the lid
  • Lightest gold from Sleek STORM palette used as a brow highlight and on inner corner of the eye
  • Dark green from Sleek STORM palette on the outer corner/crease (just a tiny bit)
  • Eyeko Graffity Eyeliner Pen in blue on the lash line
  • COVERGIRL Browshaper&Eyeliner in Henna Brown for eye brows
  • No7 Exceptional Definition Mascara in brown
  • MAYBELLINE lipstick in 670 Natural Rosewood
  • MAYBELLINE Super Stay lip liner in 41 Rosewood

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Pure Makeup GEEKINESS!

I am a huge geek and proud of it, so imagine my excitement when I read in one of the makeup blogs that I follow about Shiro Cosmetics and their Pokemon collection! I am a big Pokemon games fan, that and Dynasty Warriors are the only games that I would ever play religiously (and in general as a matter of fact) and I am glad that there is someone out there that thinks that makeup addicts can also be geeks. You heard it right! Redefining stereotypes all the way! I don't know about any of you, but I always get "the look" any time I go to the comic shop/game shop/etc... probably because I don't look like their typical customer. I don't want to start a discussion on stereotyping, but we all been there, we all know how their "usual" crowd looks like. And I don't look anything like it.... unless I'm dressed in my Red Sonja costume of course ;P

But after reading about Shiro Cosmetics I decided that I need to try all of their Pokemon samples.  They also have Legends collection, which is Legend of Zelda, but it doesn't appeal to me as I never played Zelda.

Also check out interview with the creator. If I was in doubt about trying her eye shadows, I definitely decided to try them after reading it. Now I'm just hoping she will release something Sailor Moon related..... a girl can hope right?

Friday, November 19, 2010

GOSH Natural Touch foundation & Velvet Touch primer

From the very first time I stepped into my local Superdrug and saw GOSH cosmetics display, I was drawn to it. Aside from me being super excited that I could actually TRY the drugstore brand (unlike where I lived in US, where you can only try expensive brands from the department stores), the whole range was just screaming "ME" to me. But I didn't pick anything up then... or any other time I went in. I did play around with makeup every time I came in, of course, especially with their primers. I just loved the silky skin feeling I got after testing it. Fast forward almost 1.5 years. Yes, this is how long it took me to FINALLY pick up the much coveted primer, as well as one of their foundations.

About a month ago I picked up their Natural Touch foundation in Vanilla and Velvet Touch foundation primer. After using both of them for couple of weeks I decided that Vanilla might not be the right shade for me, so I went back and got Pearl. I've been using Pearl for a week, but at the end I went back to Vanilla.

Velvet Touch Foundation Primer
 I actually don't have anything to compare it to, since it's my first and only primer.  However, overall I'm very pleased with it. It does leaves my skin feeling silky and smooth, and I believe helps the foundation last longer.

"Gosh Velvet Touch Foundation Primer is a perfect base for all makeup. It fills in fine lines and deep pores in the skin, creating a uniform, matt and silky soft surface, enabling the easy and smooth application of foundation.
The primer can be used after daily moisturiser or on clean skin. The formula is perfume and preservative free and contains Aloe Vera."

It is clear in color, and you can't see it once it is blended in. It dries very fast too, although I would have no idea how fast other primers dry since I never tried any other ones.

It is hard for me to judge the price, since although I live in UK, I still get paid in $US and so I am very much affected by the exchange rate. However, I think that £13.00 is pretty reasonable (for UK) for 30ml/1oz of product. I've been using it nearly every day for the past month and barely put a dent in it. I would eventually repurchase it, but only because I want to try other brands that UK has to offer first. 

I actually bought this primer in the GOSH Primer gift set currently available from Superdrug for £14.99. Pretty good deal considering that primer alone costs just £2.00 less, and you also get a lip gloss, eye shadow quad and an eyeliner. 

GOSH Natural Touch foundation 34 Vanilla and 32 Pearl

"An amazing light foundation that gives the skin an even and perfect look. So soft and effective with its lightweight texture, it is almost invisible on the skin but still gives a natural and flawless look. Light formula, contains Sweet Almond, SPF 8 and colored with mineral pigments."
As I mentioned earlier, I picked up Vanilla first but later went back and got the lightest shade from the range, Pearl. Just to give you an idea of how pale I am, here is a picture of me without any makeup, looking quite angry at the world for some reason.
At the first glance  it looks like Vanilla is too dark for me, but Pearl is a perfect match. 

 But after some blending, I am not so sure. In fact, according to these swatches Pearl is too light and Vanilla is too dark! 
I find that on my face they look much better. I used Vanilla on the left side of my face, and Pearl on the right since I wanted to see how they look side by side. Can you see the line on my forehead? :)

So what do I think? Well.... Pearl is definitely a much better match, maybe even perfect. Vanilla makes me look more tanned, but still pretty natural. Even so, it doesn't make me look like I have a mask on. 

 I didn't realize that I had those red spots until I saw the pictures :(

My thoughts: I absolutely love this foundation! It blends very well and disappears into the skin that I'm mostly not able to tell I'm wearing foundation.  The formula is very liquidy, and blends very well. It also doesn't dry instantly, so I have plenty of time to blend, blend, blend. Once it's dry though, it stays on for a long time. 

It gives me a little bit of glow without looking over the top. It is also light enough coverage that I'm still able to see my freckles (and I love me some freckles). I will recommend it to friends, and will repurchase after I tried other foundations that UK has to offer.

I have a love/hate relationship with Pearl. On one side, I LOVE the shade! I think it's almost perfect, if not THE perfect shade for me. On the other side, I HATE the way it applies and the way it looks on my skin! Can you say ashy? That's the only description I can think of.

Once applied, it just sits on top of my skin without being absorbed.... not pretty. You can't see it very well in these pictures, but here is a close up of my nose where you can see the foundation. EWWWWW! 

At first I thought it was me and my lack of knowledge/experience on how to apply foundation. I changed brushes. I tried using my fingers. The result is still the same. I do not know how it is possible for two shades from the same range to have a completely different final look? Shouldn't they be the same (glowing, smooth, blendable) just in different shades? Not only does it not sink into my skin, it is also easily rubs off any time I touch my face. Seeing your foundation on your fingertips is not the prettiest sign.(For some reason Vanilla doesn't have that problem, it does not rub off not matter what I do and I've tried).

I wish it would apply the same way as Vanilla. I would love it so much then! But as of right now, I don't even know if I can recommend it to anyone. What if I just got unlucky with that particular bottle? Did anyone try this foundation? If yes, what are your thoughts?

Overall both of these foundations stay on pretty well on me, and I usually wear makeup for 10+ hours a day. I do not get too shiny, so I can't comment on how well they control shine.  I'm back to using Vanilla because I like how it gives me that healthy glowing look without being over the top. The price is reasonable too, £8.99 for 30ml/1oz and SPF8 is a welcome bonus. Nothing too great, but I think pretty good for British winters.

*** I bought these items with my own money ***