Friday, December 24, 2010

Self-Made X-Mas Gifts

Hello lovelies,

this year I made a lot of Christmas gifts myself and matched them with various presents that I bought for my family and friends.
I'd like to share 2 ideas with you.

1. Lip Balm:


I created my own lip balm and put them into little containers that I picked for each person individually. I found an Asian box, some retro boxes from the 50's & 60's, and an oriental container.
The ingredients for the lip balm:
- 40 ml beeswax
- 60 ml Almoond oil
- some splashes of rose water
- 4 drops eucalyptus oil
you heat it up in a stove until it's fully blended and then spill it into the little balm boxes. Let the substance cool off before you use it. Done!

2. Chocolate Plate:


I melted white chocoloate in a bowl that was placed in stove filled with water. I added poppy seeds to the melted white chocolate and spreaded the mix evenly on a tall plate. Next I prepared the same mix with dark chocolate and added cinnamon, clove, and pepper to the liquid chocolate. Then I created some stars and a semi circle with the dark mixture. I let it cool off and it is ready for transport in a cardboard box.

Did you create some self-made goodies for your folks? Do you like this better or do you prefer presents bought in a store?

I wish you'all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year 2011!! I am so happy I created this blog because it is just so delightful to meet you here! Thank you for bringing so much happiness into my life!!

Love, Sam xx

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Snowberry - Instant Deep Cleanser


Little Snowferries*
It is definitely winter where I live and the Christmas markets are the place to be :) The best past-time activity for dark and freezing evenings in December!





When I come home at night my skin's usually dry from the cold outside and the heaters indoors. Washing my face could make this condition worse. Not so since I am using my Snowberry Instant Deep Cleanser. My skin feels really smooth and silky even before I apply my night cream! In my opinion this product is the perfect winter treat and makes a perfect gift.
The packaging is very cute and the formula contains an advanced combination of natural ingredients and the latest findings in skin care science. The company is based in New Zealand and many of the ingredients are harvested from the local rainforests.
I spent 3 weeks on this amazing island and I can safely say that I am still day-dreaming of seeing these strong and pristine landscapes again! (If you like I put up some pictures of my travels)

Sorry the pic above looks so useless... the cleanser in my hand is lightly red and with one pulp you can cover your entire face. The product comes in two sizes, 15ml and 50ml. I got and recommend the big-sized version as it's better value for money)

The Instant Deep Cleanser is made using the following substances:

Melia azadirachta linn (Neem) seed oil An exotic natural emollient from Neem seeds with moisturising, hydrating, and skin softening properties. This oil stimulates cell regeneration, a mild antiseptic and gives skin a smooth and healthy appearance.

Plantservative WM A naturally derived ingredient from the Japanese Honeysuckle with strong anti-microbial and preserving properties.

Inca Inchi Oil
An exotic natural plant ingredient with moisturising, hydrating, skin softening and sun protection properties.

Passion Fruit Oil (WS) A natural active emollient from Passion flower with a high level of linoleic acid, providing deep nourishment and moisturization for the skin.

Dracorin GOC
A naturally derived plant/synthetic ingredient with emulsifying properties and provides a rich texture and feel to the skin.

Dermofeel G6CY (Polyglyceryl-6 Caprylate)
A naturally derived plant ingredient with skin conditioning agent, emollient, solubiliser and secondary emulsifier.

Orchard Complex OS
A natural plant ingredient with emmoliency and anti-aging properties. It also enhances product spreadability delivering a smooth feel to the skin.

Sopholiance
An active, naturally derived anti-bacterial & anti-lipase agent, which prevents growth of certain noxious gram positive bacteria yet respects the natural flora of the skin.

Sun Essence (Cloudberry Seed Oil) An exotic natural plant ingredient with moisturising, hydrating, and skin softening properties.

Pufabe Echium Oil
A natural ingredient from an Arctic plant with moisturising and hydrating properties.

Wheat Soramides
An ingredient of essential lipids for the skin with moisturising, revitalising and restructuring properties. Rich in Phospholipids, Ceramides, Phytoserols, fatty acids and retinol with functions including skin-identical lipid composition and reconstruction effects.

Lyconat CI 75125 (Lycopene)
A natural biotech ingredient derived from a natural fermentative process which involves a fungus, the Blakeslea Trispora, which has active anti-aging properties.

Nikkol VC-IP
A naturally derived ingredient from Vitamin C with anti-aging properties. Primary function is to promote collagen synthesis and inhibit lipid peroxidation.

Macpaste
A naturally derived gelling agent from nuts of the macadamia tree with moisturising and emolliency properties.

Coleus Oil
A natural extract from the roots of Coleus forskohlii with excellent cleansing and moisturising properties while giving a pleasant aroma.

It contains NO:
Lauryl Sulfates
Petrochemicals
Propylene or Butylene Glycols
Volatile Alcohols
Artificial Colours
Silicones
DEA or MEA
not tested on Animals

...And this is only the cleanser! Check out the other products at the well-designed webside http://www.snowberrybeauty.com/

I am very confident that is the kind of brand that'll eventually knock out L'Oreal and all those other companies that only look at their own profits rather than the sustainability of our planet and the health of their costumers. My skin never felt this good during the winter months and it makes me a bit angry realizing that I wasted many years wondering how to 'cure' my skin. Since I've changed my cleansing routine my skin has improved tremendously! Snowberry even claims to be certified 'carbon neutral', meaning that "the carbon the company produces at any given time is neutralised by mechanisms such as registered forest regeneration, which extracts the same quantity of carbon dioxide from the air." Taken together, I can safely say that all these great properties make up for the steep price of 38 Euros.

What do you think of this brand? Do you know Christmas markets and hot wine punch?!

Season's Greetings,
Sam xx

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Miranda Kerr - Treasure Yourself

Hello dear bloggers,

I hope you had a great week-end! I just came back from a great sushi dinner with my lovely friend who moved house recently to another city. We used to meet up pretty much each day and now that she's in town only on certain occasions I treasure each moment we get to see each other even more!
So, to me it's time to write about the book "Treasure Yourself" written by the Victoria's Secret model Miranda Kerr. I certainly feel intimated by all the VS models, knowing in the back of my mind that each guy on this planet would immediately go for any of the girls if they could only get their hands on them! However, Miranda seems to be a kind-hearted and healthily living person and for that I really appreciate her. She studied nutrition and psychology when she wasn't sure if modeling was her thing. I did not know about her at all but, by chance, I found out about her skin care line Kora Organics. Her products can be purchased online by visiting her side http://www.koraorganics.com/ and by doing so I got hooked on her blog that is presented alongside the product page. I started reading it when it just came out and it was very spare at first but by now there are many nutritionists, family members, and Miranda's personal trainer etc. blogging about health care and well-being. I highly recommend checking out her blog!!
I couldn't resist buying her book and I must admit I did not regret the purchase at all. At first I thought it might be a bit cheesy reading "happy notes" by a super model who's "got it all" but it is really very interesting to read what she thinks. It is surely made for teenagers, though, as the chapters are very compact and I got the impression I'm reading one introduction after another when these few pages are actually the whole chapters (approximately 10 pages per chapter!). Only half the book is about Miranda's life and experiences, the other part contains short affirmations to help aquiring a more positive outlook.
Nevertheless, her words reminded me of my state of mind when I am on travels. I seem to have this 'broader perspective' on things and see my possibilities and the goodness of my future very clearly. Once I have settled back down, though, I seem to lose track of this inner sense and I feel taken in by every-day hassles and inconveniences. Reading her book really established a connection to that self-awareness I seem to have merely on my journeys - even though I'm still in my living room right this moment.
(Miranda has a great poem in her book that Audrey Hepburn used to love / I arranged that my garden fairy can watch the flowers on the book, lol. In the background you see the snow on the grass!)

I must admit that I like the fact that the shape of Miranda's face is a tiny bit round - this is a big issue I have with myself! It calms me down, somehow, knowing that this beautiful woman has a heart-shaped face, too... I feel very conscious of my looks at times, especially since I am 'tied to the chair' cause I literally have to study for my exams for months and months and months... it is very draining and it shows in my appearance, posture, and strength. I really can't wait to get out into this world again - but as Miranda says in her book - you can't push through tough times too hard otherwise your abilities won't develop fully leaving you poorly prepared for what's still to come. My biggest weakness is my impatience!

I would like to contribute a pic on her page but I can't decide which one of the three I should pick?! Help me, please :)

Have a great night, I hope that I didn't bug you with my spiritual talk - but once in a while it's time to do so, what do you think?!

Lots of love,
your Sam xxx

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Alima Pure - Mineral Foundation & Brush


hello my pretty darls,

I am very eager to write about the Satin Matte Foundation by Alima Pure and the matching Foundation Brush. I've been using the foundation combo for well over two months now almost every day and I must say I am delighted about the way my skin improved! The brand is certified organic and there are no ingredients other than minerals. Normally, when I use foundation my skin gets itchy or greasy after a couple of hours and that would make me go insane. Since I got to know the Rouge Bunny Rouge line these incidents have decreased but RBR is too expensive to wear each day exclusively. So, the compromise I came up with is that I use Alima Pure to university & work and RBR for getting ready to going out :) The Alima Pure powder foundation blends in seamlessly and I forget I'm wearing it 10 minutes after application. My shade is neutral 3 - there is a wide variety of colours to choose from, which I love cause my skin tone keeps changing depending on the season and the country I am living in that year. As the Satin Matte Foundation contains minerals only it doesn't go off for years unless nothing touches the inside of the dose. So it's advisable to dust some powder onto the inside of the lid or onto a tissue and dip'n swirl the contents on the brush from there.
I strongly recommend getting the Foundation Brush, too, because it is an exceptionally high quality beauty tool. The hair is really dense and soft - it feels great and is very pretty looking! I washed it several times and it's still in its fine condition. The web-page gives information on how to take care of the brushes properly here.
The only downside that comes to my mind is that the lid of the powder broke after the first couple of times I've opened it. Since then the lid is gradually cracking further, which means that I can't take it with me on travels :(    


I'm so glad I found out about this brand! Do you know Alima Pure?! I would like to know how the other products are working. 

All the best you guys!
Talk to you soon - ur Sam xx

                                                                                     -  +  - 
I just read on allure.com that Alicia Silverstone is recommending Alima Pure, too! She is a gorgeous woman who took the time to explain to my uncle's godchild (11yrs old) at a charity event that, even though being vegetarian is important and animal-friendly, eating fish is substantial for maintaining a healthy body, especially for a person growing up. Since then my uncle's godchild eats fish cause "Alicia said so"!! I think that is great, thank you Alicia :)
 


Sunday, November 7, 2010

New Guest Post on Zuneta

Hello my dears,

how are you doing?! I have written a guest post talking about three beautiful products on Zuneta.

Please follow the link above to read the full review on:
  • Specialist Fly-Away Control Stick by Cutler
  • Blitz Gold Leaf eye shadow by Belmacz
  • Hues of Enchantment- Colour Burst Lipstick by Rouge Bunny Rouge











Hope to hear/read/see from you soon! You're great :)
Best, Sam xx

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Guest Post on Zuneta

Hey guys,

how has your week-end been?! I hope great!

I have submitted a guest post on Zuneta. Please follow this link and a have a look :)

Kisses, ur gypsy xx



Monday, October 18, 2010

Rouge Bunny Rouge Eye Pencils - Devotion Ink Quartz Eyeliner & Feline Gaze Eye Kohl

Hello lovelies,

how has your week been so far?! I'm having a pretty rough time as I need to take exams until April (!!) and I am already ready for making off to the Bahamas!!
My week-end got a lot brighter, though, when I found the Rouge Bunny Rouge Devotion Ink Quartz Eyeliner - tiger eye essence and the new blue shade vera from the Feline Gaze Eye Kohl pencils in my mail for review! Thank you, Nadin from RBR :-)

To be honest with you, I am extremely clueless on how to achieve a Brigitte Bardot cat eye using a liquid eye liner... I am desperate to try, though! I am used to kohl pencils (well, my so-called method of choice is to smudge them until they look 'sassy' on groomed days and 'grunge' on most other days...)

As you can see, my little garden fairy loves them as much as I do ~

(I know that my little cutie has quite an issue with her wings. She keeps abandoning them each time I try to glue'em back on her. So, I decided to just leave her be...)



Vera is a beautiful shade, perfect for Autumn and Winter months! This looks like Arabian nights to me! The describtion states: "A creamy frosted blue-violet iris with a coal-dust colour base", which I would absolutely agree with. The kohl pencil is actually longer lasting than the liquid eye liner but both are not fading throughout the day (I tested it without using a base).

The colour of the tiger eye essence is just like it is described on the web-page: "Dilute black ink base, lavished with 24 carat gold and polished copper, for an overall bursting with glitter, black-bronze holographic effect." Perfect!! It gives your outfit an oriental glam touch, too, I would say. The tip is pretty solid and doesn't slip off the lash line, so even a beginner like me can work with that, lol! Because it was still morning, I only did a very fine line but you see - it's possible to do so - you can always build up on that for night time.
On another note:


This is what I was cooking myself last night - veggies with salmon, spices, lemon juice, and lemon balm. It takes about 15 mins to make but it is really yummy and healthy! What foods do you like to prepare for yourselves? I really ignored cooking for the longest time and can't wait to finally get started! Do you have any suggestions?!
Are you guys tuning up for the changing of the seasons, too?!
Much love always, Sam xx

Please visit the RBR web-side to check my quotes: http://www.rougebunnyrouge.com


Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Autumn Shades - Alverde: Haul & Review (+ Laser Hair Removal Update)

Hey lovelies,

I apologize for not blogging much the last couple of weeks. I have so much to do that I hardly have any free time. I am very happy to get to write this post, though!!

The Autumn is at its peak and I walked a bit through the near-by forest to look at the colorful leaves. Such a relaxing sight...



I picked up the vast majority of an Autumn make-up feature by the organic drugstore brand Alverde. My favorites are the 2 lip glosses that look great on lips and taste like mint! The eye-shadows magic brown, sage, sand, and spirit are beautifully pigmented and are made of recyclable packaging. The magic rose blush is too pigmented for my fair skin color. I need to use the smallest amount to make it work for me. The matching eye-pencils magic wood and earth and the brown mascara (containing minerals and silk) have great effects but, unfortunately, they smudge throughout the day... As Alverde is a drugstore brand you get great value for money!! The earthy colors give my face a natural touch-up and I personally don't need to look 'well groomed' at all times. So, if my eye make-up doesn't last long - well, on some days I can live with it knowing that I can give my skin a rest by using this brand which abandons synthetic ingredients from all formulations.


Below you find the ingredients list for the entire special edition (too bad it's not a permanent set!) :

Lip Gloss with boost effect shade original:
Ricinus Communis Seed Oil*, Lanolin, Brassica Campestris, Aleurites/ Fordi Oil Copolymer, Rhus Verniciflua Cera, Cera Carnauba*, Candelilla Cera, CI 77019, Hydrogenated Castor Oil, CI 77891, Olea Europaea Oil*, Dipalmitoyl Hydroxyproline, Glycine Soja Oil*, Mentha Piperita Oil*, Helianthus Annuus Seed Oil, Menthol, Silica, Aloe Barbadensis Extract, Capsicum Frutescens Fruit Extract*, Ascophyllum Nodosum Extract, Tocopheryl Acetate, Tocopherol, CI 77163, CI 75470, Brassica Campestris Seed Oil*, Parfum**, Limonene**, Linalool**, Benzyl Benzoate**
* ingredients from certified organic agriculture
** natural essential oils

Lip Gloss with boost effect shade 002:
Ricinus Communis Seed Oil*, Lanolin, Brassica Campestris, Aleurites/ Fordi Oil Copolymer, Mica, Rhus Verniciflua Cera, Cera Carnauba*, Candelilla Cera, CI 77891, Glycine Soja Oil*, Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Olea Europaea Oil*, Dipalmitoyl Hydroxyproline, Mentha Piperita Oil*, Hamamelis Virginiana Extract*, CI 77491, CI 77499, Helianthus Annuus Seed Oil, Menthol, CI 75470, Silica, Aloe Barbadensis Extract, CI 77163, Capsicum Frutescens Fruit Extract*, Ascophyllum Nodosum Extract, Tocopherol, Brassica Campestris Seed Oil*, Aroma**, Limonene**, Linalool**, Benzyl Benzoate**
* ingredients from certified organic agriculture
** natural essential oils

Lip Colour shade 223 Magic Rosewood, 224 Magic Strawberry, 225 Magic Chesnut:
Ricinus Communis Seed Oil*, Mica, Cera Carnauba*, CI 77891, Candelilla Cera, Cera Alba*, Glycine Soja Oil*, Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Oenothera Biennis Oil*, Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis Oil*, Shorea Stenoptera Butter, Hamamelis Virginiana Extract*, Tocopherol, Ascorbyl Palmitate, Helianthus Annuus Seed Oil, Alcohol*, Aroma**, Linalool**, Benzyl Benzoate**, Coumarin**, Limonene**, Geraniol**,m [+/- Talc, CI 77163, CI 77491, CI 77492, CI 77499, CI 75470]
* ingredients from certified organic agriculture
** from natural essential oils

Lipstick shade 118 Magic Nude, 119 Magic Tree, 120 Magic Berry:
Hydrogenated Coco-Glycerides, Mica, Kaolin, Butyrospermum Parkii*, Rhus Verniciflua Peel Cera, Simmondsia Chinensis Seed Oil*, Rhus Succedanea Fruit Cera, Cera Alba*, Copernicia Cerifera Cera*, Tocopheryl Acetate, Ascorbyl Palmitate; [+/- CI 77491, CI 77891, CI 77492, CI 77499, CI 75470]
* ingredients from certified organic agriculture

Powder Rouge shade 504 Magic Rose, 505 Magic Terra:
Mica, Talc, Tricaprylin, Magnesium Stearate, Bisabolol, Hamamelis Virginiana Extract*, Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis Oil*, Simmondsia Chinensis Oil*, Glycine Soja Oil*, Olea Europaea Oil*, Tocopherol, Ascorbyl Palmitate, Helianthus Annuus Seed Oil, Parfum**, Linalool**, Coumarin**, Benzyl Benzoate**, Limonene**, Geraniol**, [+/- CI 77163, CI 77491, CI 77492, CI 77499, CI 77891, CI 75470, Silver Oxide]
* ingredients from certified organic agriculture
** from natural essential oils

Eye-Shadow shade 310 Magic Sand, 311 Magic Sage, 312 Magic Brown, 313 Magic Spirit:
Mica, Talc, Tricaprylin, Magnesium Stearate, Bisabolol, Hamamelis Virginiana Extract*, Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis Oil*, Simmondsia Chinensis Oil*, Glycine Soja Oil*, Olea Europaea Oil*, Tocopherol, Ascorbyl Palmitate, Helianthus Annuus Seed Oil, Parfum**, Linalool**, Coumarin**, Benzyl Benzoate**, Limonene**, Geraniol**, [+/- CI 77163, CI 77491, CI 77492, CI 77499, CI 77891, CI 77289, Tin Oxide, Silica, Silver Oxide]
* ingredients from certified organic agriculture
** from natural essential oils

Mascara shade 070 Magic Earth:
Aqua, Alcohol*, CI 77499, Stearic Acid, Cera Alba*, CI 77491, Algin, Hydrolyzed Jojoba Esters, Jojoba Esters, Oenothera Biennis Oil*, Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis Oil*, Hamamelis Virginiana Leaf Extract*, Serica, Glyceryl Stearate SE, Shellac, Silica, Parfum**, Limonene**, Linalool**, Citral**, Citronellol**
* ingredients from certified organic agriculture
** natural essential oils

Eyeliner Kohl shade 041 Magic Earth, 042 Magic Wood, 043 Magic Forest:
Rhus Verniciflua Peel Cera, Mica, Butyrospermum Parkii*, Simmondsia Chinensis Seed Oil*, Copernicia Cerifera Cera*, Tocopheryl Acetate, Ascorbyl Palmitate; [+/- CI 77499, CI 77891, CI 77491, CI 77492]
* ingredients from certified organic agriculture

Do you like/use organic make-up?

Have a great week,
ur gypsy girl xx

P.S.: Laser Hair Removal Update:

It is going great!! Even after the first treatment I noticed that fewer hair are growing back and the second appointment was even more manageable in terms of the slight discomfort you get from the heat of the laser... you notice less and less of it with every new treatment! All thumbs up so far :-)

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Miranda Kerr inspired ~ Noni Juice

Hello darlings,

I don't have time to surf the internet a lot lately but I am all over the Kora Organics blog by the lovely Victoria's Secret model Miranda Kerr. The beautiful lady herself and many other fantastic guest bloggers contribute to spread her passion for a healthy and mindful life style. I noticed that when I first started my little blog I had something very similar in mind: getting together with all those wonderful people I know to share their insights on the beauty and fashion industry on this blog. Until I finally get going with that I am following her blog instead!! There, Miranda states that she drinks Noni juice ever since she was twelve years old and that it is a key ingredient to her Kora Organics skin care line (that I desperately wanna try btw!!).


In my local organic supermarket I found 100% Cook Islands Noni Juice for about 12 Euros. I deliberately chose a gross color to highlight this juice because it taste unlike anything I would normally drink!! Despite the awful taste I managed to drink two sips each morning for two weeks now.

This is what the GSE - Cook Islands web side writes about Noni:

"We are the first company in Europe to be able to offer a certified organic juice from the Noni fruit in accordance with the European Law, the Council Regulation. The product is
sold by the name Cook Islands Noni® and is certified organic. The Cook Islands claim to be „the only fully organic farming region in the world“. The use of pesticides and herbicides is not allowed on any of the islands. Cook Islands Noni® is a product of the intact environment of this small group of islands."

What I found on Wikipedia did not sound that positive. Repeated studies did not find any positive effect on the well-being of people volunteering to take part in validating examinations. That's why all manufacturers are prohibited to label the juice as "health-promoting". Nonetheless, I am drinking the juice for a fortnight and I have to say that I feel like my body craves the juice despite the taste!! It's really hard to describe but I haven't skipped a single intake since I started!! Anyone help me explain that, please?! Did you ever had a similar experience?

My personal theory to make sense of that oddity is that the Noni juice does contain some minerals that other fancy juices and foods in every day life may not have to that extend. Even though it might not "heal" anything, it does contribute to get all the various nutritions a healthy body needs. What do you think on that matter?! Am I just superstitious??

Much love,
Sam xx

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Chasing the Last Sunrays - Natural (Elemental Herbology) vs. Drug Store (Garnier) Self-Tan Lotions

Hello my dear bloggers & blog readers,

I've sadly come to the realization that Autumn isn't around the corner anymore - it most definitely has begun! Although this is a lovely season I can't quite give up on cozy summer dreams just yet... at least my hard-earned tan should remind me as long as possible of sandy beaches and hours-long outdoor barbecues :)



I usually get the Garnier Summer Body (for fair/normal skin- yes, thanks to the vampire hype my unintended pale look's finally become appropriate all year round). A big 400ml bottle costs only a couple of Euros and does its job quite well (the bottle in the picture shows German writing as I bought it in a German supermarket but the design looks the same everywhere). It has a fruity scent and sinks into the skin right away, leaving a soft feel for hours. It takes about 3 days until I notice the tanning effect. If I apply it daily, though, some areas can get yellow such as the shin bones. Luckily, I'm a lazy bum and do almost everything on an irregular basis, so I didn't have to care that much about any yellow streaks, lol ;-) For a list of ingredients please see codecheck.info. It contains silicons and parabens, which made me wanna try a new natural alternative... 

As I am finally riding my natural and organic wave ~ that I've believed in for years but hesitated to take action for too long ~ I purchased the UK-based Elemental Herbology Sun Kiss body hydrator with self-tan for all skin tones. This 200 ml bottle, though, costs 29 Euros/22.50 British Pounds!! The eco-cert quality of the ingredients justify this steep price for me at least for this time: organic and fair-trade watermelon seed oil, macadamia oil, lavendar oil, water lilly, aloe vera, and pomegranate extract - just to name a few (see full ingredients list at codecheck.info)! I can tell that the smell derives from the actual essential oils as opposed to an artificial fragrance. I can imagine that some people might need to get used to it, though. To me this is great! The consitency of the Sun Kiss is not as fluid as the Summer Body but my skin absorbs the lotion very well. The tan is more immediate and results in more of a brown shade than the Garnier one.

In sum:

I was very hesitant at first to try a natural product for tanning but I was proven wrong:
I like the Elemental Herbology Sun Kiss better because my skin darkens more into a brown shade (not yellow) and the ingredients are very natural BUT the difference in price is huge!! In consequence, I will probably end up buying the Sun Kiss and Summer Body on a rotating basis to save money.

What do you think of Elemental Herbology? Do you think it's worth the price? Do you guys self-tan at all?!

Much love,
ur gypsy Sam xx

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Rouge Bunny Rouge - Glide Concealer vs. Luminous Skin Wand (& Outfit)

Hello my dears,

it took me a little longer to create this post because I tried to do another video but it turned out so badly that I figured for days whether to put it up or leave it! As I had taken no pictures to substitute the purpose of the video I decided to include it after all... you don't know what I'm talking about? How could you :)

So, I better start from the beginning:

I was kindly sent the newest release by Rouge Bunny Rouge, the 'Naked Disguise' Glide Concealer crayon (shade: thalia). As I already own the standard concealer, the 'Fine-Spun Light' Luminous Skin Wand (shade: orionis; see previous post), I decided to compare the two with each other.

Here's what they look like:


As you can read on the official RBR web-page, the Luminous Skin Wand has by far more active ingredients than the crayon and I must say that there is a lot of paraffin in the Glide Concealer (see ingredients' list on Zuneta). The Luminous Skin Wand is, of course, more creamy in texture than the stick but neither of them leave me with a dry feeling or settle into my wrinkles. I hate it how bad concealers make wrinkles even more visible! I think the crayon is a little faster to apply because you can just dot in onto the skin, whereas, when using the Luminous Skin Wand, you have to push out the concealer first and then apply it with the brush end (as you do with the Touche Eclat by Ives Saint Laurent).

Trial phase:


I put both concealers to a test and applied one under the right eye and the other one under the left eye in the morning and waited till late at night to compare the two. That being said, when I came home after a long day at university and having one glass of champagne with my friends (we celebrated the results of our theses in a café/bar/restaurant on a Monday night, lol), both concealers had faded almost entirely. I would've definitely needed a touch-up during the day!! The shadows under my eyes showed through like crazy: you can see that in the video, I look like I've been robbing a bank or some other draining activity like that... At least I could show that they came off without leaving any nasty residues. To me this is crucial: I don't wanna feel and look masked by any "beauty" products.

So, this video shows the dreadful late-night test result, beware:



Conclusion:
I would say that the Glide Concealer crayon is good for traveling and for actually doing those quick'n easy touch-ups I should've been doing (!!) and it's definitely more suitable for buildable coverage.
The Luminous Skin Wand is the better choice for every-day treatment and concealing as it has a lot of nourishing components and is very light-weight.


Last note on my outfit:

This is what I wore on Monday - it was sunny but windy and a little chilly outside. I'm definitely preparing for Autumn already :( Sorry for the weird pose, I couldn't quite squeeze into my photo booth!!


Jacket - Dunlop (one of my best friends gave this to me. The jacket has a lot of details, very nice! She got it from a model wear sale where they sell the runway clothes very cheaply. It was such a great surprise present!)
Shirt - Mustang (a Christmas gift from my dad - well done, daddy!)
Jeans - Killah (this pair has been "customized": I removed the big Killah logo because I loath looking like a moving advertisement and one fine day I decided that I have too many blue jeans (am I nuts?!), so I dyed 'em black. Now they're my blue/black no-logo "Killah" jeans...)
Shoes - Jumelles (no story, just bought them :) lol)

What do you think of the concealers, would you prefer one over the other? Do you have days when you tell yourself: "bad hair, bad brows, bad everything!" and is it intimidating to you when people watch you doing touch-ups in public? Have you ever felt like turning your outfits into something completely new?!

Great to hear from you,
Sam xx

P.S.: I included the option of answering questions via Formspring. Hope to see you there, too!!

Friday, August 27, 2010

BECCA - Tinted Moisturizer and Mascara

Hey gals,

I hope you are doing good! I started my blog 2 months ago, so I guess I am still a real newbie, lol. If you have any suggestions, please contact me anytime, I am looking forward to receiving your messages - either use the comment box below, or write me on facebook. Alternatively, you can tweet me or check out my youtube channel :) I am geared up for upgrade!


I purchased two cosmetic products by the Australian brand BECCA - the Luminous Skin Colour tinted moisturizer (shade: Camel) and the black Water Resistant Mascara. I spent one year down under and it's been one of the most amazing times in my entire life!! So, when I discovered BECCA, their style reminded me of the Australian summer beaches and the wonderful spirits that exist nowhere else in the world...

An ode to Australia:


Ok, back to make-up... The tinted moisturizer didn't quite meet up to my expectations.
Pro's: I love the fact that it contains SPF and the coverage is beautifully sheer. Also, the bottle holds 50 ml of product, which is more than the usual 30ml. Out of a wide variety of colour choice I'm a Camel, lol (a yellow tone, needless to say).
Con's: The downside is that it mysteriously sits on my skin! It's even worse, logically, when I apply it subsequent to a primer or day-time lotion. The effect is not as strong when I use my fingers to spread the product on my face - but it streaks when I use a foundation brush and all my enlarged pores show, argh! I have no idea why it's behaving that way on my skin :( I typed in the ingredients on codecheck.info but I couldn't find anything exceptional.



On the picture below you can see the sheer colour make-up on my hand. I rubbed it in on the left side and on the right side you can see how it comes out of the pump:


Luckily, I am totally in love with the mascara! It somehow curls your lashes with every stroke which gives it a beautiful finish!! I also typed in the contents on codeck.info (green substances are considered advisable). One thing I think is unique about the entire BECCA range is the soft feel of the packaging - there is a certain grip to it that makes it feel very sophisticated. I know, this is so subjective!


On my wish-list is a BECCA palette (can't decide for which one, though. They have several in stock on their official web page) and a beach tint (my favorite is the watermelon shade, as far as I can tell from pictures).



What do you think of the brand BECCA? Have you been to Australia or do you come from there even? What are your experiences?! Let me know, babes :)


Love,
Sam xxx

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Summer Skin Dreams - Laser Hair Removal (Part I)

Hello my dear readers,

I hope you're having a great Sunday afternoon! I am not writing as many blog posts as I was aiming at when I started out but I am on a very tight schedule with my studies and I am spending practically my entire spare time with family and friends. BUT I have a lot of ideas for future posts that I am very excited to publish in the next couple of weeks (some products are brand new and need to be tested further). So, please bear with me, I am so enjoying to stay in touch with you!!

Last week I had my first laser hair removal treatment using the Super Hair Removal (SHR) system. According to the doctor at the Laser Center (I went to a specialist- NO mocking around with semi-trained persons in tanning salons on this matter, no no no!!) said that this laser is superior to others because it uses the benefits of an improved frequency rate (energy is released up to 10 times per second), so it can go with only 25% of the heat exposure of regular lasers, making it the safest on the market! The laser responds not only to the melanin (pigment) of the hair but also to the stem cells. As a consequence, even dark-skinned people experience good results and light fair hair will come off, too.

So Far So Good!

I decided to get rid of the lot - legs, underarms, upper lip, and bikini area. I was not sure at all what to expect but I can honestly say that my first session was surprisingly pleasant!! I did not feel intimidated by the staff (in fact, everyone was really considerate) and the SHR applicator did not hurt. The heat went up gradually each time that it was run over the skin (about 8-10 times on a fairly large body section, e.g. the front and sides of one upper leg) - and just when I felt like it was getting hot, the body part was done! Only on the thick pubic hair in the bikini area (the more melanin a hair contains, the more heat is being absorbed) I was really counting the seconds until it was over, ouch! I spent about two hours there, including waiting time and payment.

I can describe my impression best that way: The heat resembles the sensation when walking on an asphalted side-walk on a hot summer day.

What's supposed to happen now: All the hair that was growing at the time of this first laser session will grow out and (hopefully) never come back. As only 25% of the entire body hair is in this "growing" phase at any given point in time I need at least 4-8 sessions until the procedure is finished. So, the new set of "growing" hair will be treated in another 8 weeks time, and so on, until I am satisfied with the results.

I have experienced no side-effects so far. In fact, my skin feels smooth and is not red at all. I am required, though, to wear high protection sun block on the areas that are exposed to direct sun light. Also, a couple of days before the next treatment I was recommended to quit using self-tan lotions and I need to shave a day prior to the next session.

I was so worried to try this method but now I feel confident that I am doing the right thing. I decided to take this step because I get irritated skin and ingrown hair from any conventional hair removal technique (such as shaving, waxing, using epilators, shaving creams, you name it...) and my skin just does not come to a rest. A friend of mine used a similar method a couple of years ago (the second generation of the Intense Pulsed Light, IPL-2) and is very satisfied with the results!

I will keep you up to date after every new treatment, so finger's crossed I'm gonna stay this positive :-)

Dreams, dreams, dreams ...

(picture taken at the enchanted Getty villa in Malibu, California)

I really wanna know: What do you think of laser hair removal?! Have you heard of SHR or even tried it yourself?

All the best,
your frivolous(?!) gypsy Sam xx




Saturday, August 14, 2010

The Balm - Off to Balm Springs!

Hello lovelys,

did everyone survive Friday, 13th all right?! I hope so! I had a pretty good day, actually, can't complain :)
Before summer hurries completely into autumn, I do my best to keep my warm spirits up! Last year I've been celebrating Thanksgiving with my wonderful friend and her amazing family in Palm Springs, California. We experienced an unforgettable couple of days. When I saw the cute retro-styled Balm Springs palette by The Balm I just got it as the name reminded me of that wonderful experience. I did not have a single look at what was in it at that point!!


When I unwrapped my palette and eye-shadow I collected from the store I was very amazed by the quality of the Overshadows- the sexpot series. Brilliant names (I've got the full sized If you're rich I'm single and the palette contained a mini version of no money, no honey) meet excellent quality!! The shadows are 100% mineral makeup that contain no other ingredients than Mica, Iron Oxides, and Titanium Dioxides - a dream come true! I use those all the time as my sensitive eyes (I wear contacts, too) get itchy and red sometimes by using too many conventional eye-products but not so with these! This is a definite 'yes' for the fab sex pots!! As for the other things in the palette - the Shady Lady shadow in shameless shana, the Pick-up Liner eyeliner in casanova, and the eye-shadow brush I must admit that I don't use them much. The shameless shana shadow works well, stays put and has a subtle sheen to it, so there's no reason to not use it regularly (memo to myself!). The pencil is good quality and the brush's small, both are fine for touch-ups on travels. At home I would use alternative kohls and brushes.

Below is my eye using only the products in the palette, sorry if the colors look too fair in the picture.
for color reference - no money, no honey is the same as Bare Escentuals' queen phillis!


What about you?! Did you buy make-up because of its packaging before? What do you think about the retro style?

Best, Sam xx

Official web page: http://www.thebalm.com

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Rouge Bunny Rouge - Aqua Primer & Face Powder

Hi guys,

as y'all know, I am a huge Rouge Bunny Rouge addict! So much, indeed, that my blog caught the attention by the lovely Nadin who is RBR's PR manager. She sent me the Prelude In The Clouds - Aqua Primer and the Precious Velvet - Flawless Face Powder in piano forte (which I've already presented in my video). I tried these products for 2 weeks to give a proper opinion on them. To make known that I got these items officially for review purposes I'm gonna add some press pictures with permission further down.

This is my pic:



Aqua Primer:

The Aqua Primer is a sheer water-based primer that makes it possible for all skin types to make the best out of their face make-up. I have combination skin that is acne-prone and highly sensitive but after wearing the primer for two weeks straight my skin actually feels nourished and at ease. Two pumps are enough to cover the entire face. On days where I just wanna apply concealer on certain areas I even use only one pump. The liquid settles into skin in no time, my morning routine doesn't take any longer even though I am applying more with that extra step.

This is what the press kit says about the ingredients:
"Sea-Buckthorn Berry Extract serves as a superb-antioxidant and anti-ageing ingredient that promotes cell tissue regeneration. Iris Florentina Root Extract smoothes out fine lines and wrinkles to create a perfect canvas for other products to be applied to the skin. Saccharide Isomerate provides intensive hydration, firming and smoothing; Bisabolol is used for its anti-irritant and anti-inflammatory capabilities. Vitamin E Acetate and Retinol Palmitate improve skin texture."

I typed the Inci list into www.codecheck.info, where you can find every ingredient.
So, for me the Aqua Primer is a big hit cause it's hard for me to find a product that keeps the balance between sufficient care and oil prevention. Plus, all face products really stay put for longer even in summer time :)



Flawless Face Powder:

I don't need to stress that all RBR products are beautifully packaged - the powder line was even improved to make it look absolutely divine! The box is now flat which gives it that sophisticated look and the sponge is of better quality than it used to be (I've got a bronzer and a highlighting powder in the older version).
I adore the consistency of the powder, I need to check whether at all I applied anything on my face because it blends in very seamlessly at once and gives me a natural finish with medium coverage (my summer freckles still show but not my occasional redness). I don't break out on the powder at all, too. Please keep in mind that my skin tone is rather fair, for darker skin types I would recommend using a bronzer as face powder substitution.

Here is what the press kit says about the consistency and contents:
"An advanced micronisation process guarantees a combination of a velvety and creamy texture for ultimate comfort, perfect adherence, smoothness and an even finish. Innovative ingredients include Papaya Fruit Extract as a natural “face lift” and skin softener, plus Hyssop Extract with soothing properties. Rice Powder imparts a perfectly natural, non-shiny finish."

The full ingredients list can be viewed on codecheck.info. There are small amounts of substances in there that can cause allergic reaction, so please read before purchasing! I never experienced any problems with any of the RBR powders but it's always advisable to see for yourself.



What do you think of the fact that companies send products to bloggers? What's your opinion on this??

Love, Sam xxx

Monday, August 2, 2010

My Benefit Collection - Sneak In!

Hello fellow bloggers,

I am so glad to meet you here! I have been talking to some of you lately and I am super excited about getting to know you through comments and twitter!! I also created a facebook profile, if you prefer to add me there :)
I am just giving you a quick overview on my somewhat large Benefit collection. I have no idea where to start reviewing, so please let me know what your requests are!!
Please note that some of the items have been special editions (like the ever gorgeous Dallas Palette) or were discontinued (such as the excellent Fantasy Mint Wash), so I loaded up on these products before they disappeared from the market! I am happy to hear what catches your interest!

From left to right:
Bum Deal, Fantasy Mint Wash, Honey... Snap Out of It!, She Laq, Bathina-Body So Fine, EyeCon, Bathina powder perfume, Some Kinda Gorgeous, Lipsciption, Dr. Feelgood


From left to right:
Sharpener, Benetint lip balm, Benetint (regular & small-sized), Pocket Pal, Bad Gal Gear, Shimmer Powder (rooby-doo), Creaseless Cream Eye-Shadow/Liner (skinny jeans, strut, birthday suit, stiletto), Silky Finish Lip Stick (skinny dip, rocket pop), Lying Eyes, High Brow, Ooh La Lift, EyeBright, Bad Gal (brown, plum, lash), Bad Gal (kohl, waterproof), The Gloss (kiss me), Her Glossiness (life on the A list, who are you wearing?)


From left to right:
Make-Up Bag (fickle one, a misfit like me), The Weather Girl palette, Hopelessly Devoted to Pink palette, Dallas palette, Blush (dallas, georgia), Realness of Concealness, Big Beautiful Eyes, Ford Fusion (my meter's running, nice ride, curve hugger), Brushes (fantail brush, fluff brush, the talent brush, foundation brush, concealer brush, slant powder brush)

What are your favorite Benefit products and how do you use them?!

Love,
Sam
xxx

official web page: http://www.benefitcosmetics.com

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Quick Morning Make-Up

Hello dear readers,

I uploaded a video on my easy morning make-up whenever I'm in a hurry. I am so sorry for the bad quality of the recording (my photo booth's gone mad) and, for some reason, my face looks humongous in the video, argh!! Plus, I'm still acting like a retard, I need A LOT of practice - I adore you people for making such great videos!!


Products I used were:
Clinique - Cream shaper for eyes (16 mink)
Rouge Bunny Rouge - Luminous skin wand (orionis)
Rouge Bunny Rouge - Flawless face powder (piano forte) - sent to me by RBR for trial
Rouge Bunny Rouge - Original skin blush (36 orpheline)
MAC - Tinted lip conditioner SPF 15 (gentle coral)
Avène - Thermal water

How do you feel seeing yourself on the computer screen??! Do you experience strange bloated face days from time to time or is it just me?!

Peace,
ur Sam xx

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Swimwear I've Been Loving This Summer

Hey everyone,

as long as the sun is shining I'd like to share which kinds of bikini's, bathing suits, and bathing accessories I went for this summer:


This year's favorite of mine was the French label Princess Tam Tam. The colorful bikini on the lower left corner comes with a little matching clutch and the green burlesque style bikini (I'm wearing it on pic below) is my absolute must-have for this season, even though I got it a while back - I just never got the chance to wear it properly! The strapless red bathing suit looks really sophisticated when worn with the pareo and sun glasses.
What I also liked to wear to the beach (on as tanned skin as possible!!) was the little white bikini by the Italian brand Verdissima. The embroidery is very delicate and feminine and I matched this style with some inexpensive sun-glasses (but they don't look it & I've got them on Waikiki!!) and the big white beach bag by the French label Chacok that comes with a cute purse.
One thing I have to say beside the fact that these little beach treats totally enhance my vacation fun: They come with a water-resistant bag and tons of plastic (= water-resistant) labels telling the new owner how to take care of them. Aside from the usual directions saying that you should wash them delicately after each use with mild soap, they also say that you should not get them in contact with chlorine water - which is basically present in every single swimming pool on this planet!! I confess, I am not an expert on textiles, but isn't it a little much to ask of the customer to not swim in a pool in order to keep the garments looking good?! The way they promote it, they're saying that I shouldn't get too close to the water front with their stuff apart from the labels and the wrapping :( I still did and I can't complain, the quality of the swimwear remains nice but, really, this warning should be eliminated!

Here's a pic of me wearing the shimmering green Princess Tam Tam bikini:


What have you been wearing this summer? Do your bikinis come with the same weird directions for use?

Much love and enjoy the sun to the fullest,
your Sam xx

Monday, July 12, 2010

Excursion to Forks... The Twilight Phenomenon Reviewed

So guys,

I know it's a bit early to do an off topic post but there is a dim light out there in the pop-culture spheres that I could not make any sense of for a very long time: I call it The Twilight Phenomenon.

When I was staying in Westwood, LA, I used to go down by foot to Ralph's, Whole Foods, and Trader Joe's to do my regular grocery shopping. I often passed premiers along the way - that was nothing special - but there was this one specific day when everything was different... I experienced an extraordianary premier. The main streets were packed with people, everyone was excited, taking pictures, limousines passing non-stop... there was just this very special atmosphere going on and I wondered what made this premier so different from all the others?! Why can't I just walk straight to my grocery stores?! I asked people on the streets and they said that it's the Twilight premier. The WHAT?! I felt like an alien not to know what Twilight was but I figured it must be similar to Harry Potter and I was content enough with that comparison. So, yes, in fact, I stood there for a little while and saw many of the cast being interviewed one after the other but I had no clue who they were. I just enjoyed the way everyone was having a good time :) (I remember seeing the Edward Cullen character Robert Pattinson on the red carpet and I was just thinking that he had a very unsymmetrical face, which I so not like, and I thought that the actress Kristen Stewart playing Bella Swan looked pretty grumpy and odd...)

Being introduced to the whole scene that way I asked my friends whether they knew Twilight. Of course, they did!! I heard from a couple of great people that they read the books and fell in love with Edward Cullen, which made me so curious and I got geared up with the books, the DVD of the first movie, and even the very own make-up palette of Victoria from Luna Twilight.


So, I was ready to sink into this magical world that everyone seem to love ... but then, oh well, I felt NOTHING! I made it to the second book and I just couldn't continue. I did not feel like being part of the story at all. I thought the characters were designed very badly and that nothing made sense to me. I did not get why this story was being told. Oh boy, I never actually read a book imagining myself reading the book instead of being drawn into the story - if that makes any sense to you. So, my immediate reaction was: I must be strange!! Why does everyone identify with the characters but me?!

Luckily, my friend who writes for the Rolling Stones magazine pointed out a very good article to me that was featured in the magazine. It's written by a professor for literature and explained very well why the story just couldn't work for me (I partly studied Theater, Movie, and TV Science at university, so maybe I'm prone to high expectations when it comes to media...). I was so glad to hear I might be sane after all!!

So here's what Dr. S. Keppler-Tasaki said:
From the psychologist point of view Twilight is a phenomenon mainly for young adolescent people because it deals with suicide (or mortality in general) and the fear of sexual intercourse (you remember the whole fuzz as to why they can't have sex...). Not particularly aiming at that age group, though, it is very typical for vampire literature to tell their story of a female protagonist who is just about to getting married because this is the period of time when desires are least secluded. The clergymen can't prevent that the creature marries the human... this has long been told by numerous vampire "legends". What makes Twilight different is that the horror element seems to be completely missing - and in fact, the vampires inherit the Christian thoughts of salvation and convention. They are altruistic folks, they play baseball, go to the prom, and so forth... Edward is portrayed as an immortal simply to be an über-husband: he is more perfect than any other man could ever be. He looks like a beautiful sculpture, he protects his love with his enormous strength, and he is exceedingly wealthy, too... So, the catch about Twilight is that there is no edge, no twilight zone, whatsoever. Everything's set to go the conventional way. The complex vampire figure seems to be degraded to a decent pop-culture brat.
Wow, I've actually arrived where I started - and I'm seeing a light so dim (a great song by The Black Heart Procession btw.) I know, maybe this is just the opinion of someone who cannot feel the love for this guy (nor the girl)...

But there's still the Luna Twilight make-up and I have to say that I quite like the palette! The slim matte packaging with black shiny trees embedded on the lid make the tiny box look quite elegant and the lip glosses, the eye-shadows, and the blusher have surprisingly good quality! I do find the colors are a bit of a mis-match, though! I would not wear them all at the same time, it could appear too much like some bad Halloween joke. Just leaving the blush and the darker gloss aside would do the trick already. I would save those for other looks.


you see above:
1 + 2 = lip gloss
3 + 4 = eye-shadow
5 = blush

Here's my question to you:
What do you think about Twilight - the books, the movies, the merchandising - the whole hipe?! I'm completely aware that I'm being very controversial here!!

Bless, ur gypsy

official make-up web-page: http://twilightbeauty.com/lunatwilight.aspx