What’s up… ?!

Since I came back from Japan many things happened in my life, some that I can share today, some a bit too personal to mention but I still wanted to say why I have been “away” for a while.

It’s not because of my passion gone, or because I didn’t want to write anymore, my passion is still going strong and I am dying to tell you all that happened in Japan, getting ready for it one post at a time.

Recently, everything started to get wild around me, my private life, my work, my health and my home (=house works still ongoing and a new furry member accidentally popped in -not a brush this time-). When you have to deal with issues all piling up uncontrollably it leaves you no time at all for your hobbies and not sleeping enough also brought me into exhaustion.

I won’t talk about my private life but all is great and going in the right direction, just some little changes going on. At work I gained additional responsibilities and since I love my work I have to invest more time on that too with also some exams approaching. My health was a real mess, they finally found out what was wrong with me -more or less- but there is no solution, no life threatening at all but I know that I may struggle from time to time.

Finally, “my home”… which brings me to the reason for this little post.  We bought our house 2 years ago, a very old Swiss Chalet, with a lot of work required. We still wanted to get it because of the history behind it,  but I warn you, it’s not a modern house or luxurious or anything like that. We love it because it’s peaceful, we can be outside and enjoy the view without neighbors too close,  it’s just 35mn from work by car and… it’s “our” house  and having a house in Switzerland is rare because of how expensive it is in general. Luxury for us is having space and peace around us and we do have that. So we have to restore it but it will be worth it.

The rooms are very small but I have one room just for me, for my brushes/office/vanity/studio… That is pretty amazing! Only approx 10 square meters but I am thrilled! Only issue: I have to remove the current walls, floor, roof, isolate everything and paint then decorate… and I will do all that by myself with a little big help from my BF when I am not strong enough for some of the tasks.

I took this upcoming week off work to start the big work:  the walls and roof, once this is done the rest will be a lot easier.

I decided to create a page dedicated to it where I share my “Brush-room” project, I think some of you wanted to see it and I am honestly dying to show you what is going to happen :) I will explain what I do, why and how. It’s not going to be finished in a week, but I really need to get started. At this moment, I cannot find anything when I need to, cannot write reviews because my stuff is part in boxes, part in drawers, part disappeared. It’s a huge mess.

I have quite a few ideas for efficient and gorgeous deco and it’s going to be a bit bold. In the page dedicated to the brush-room project I will share my ideas and post pics as I go. My budget is very small so I can’t go too wild but I have been browsing Houzz and watching Libby Langdon on Youtube and other related videos and I believe that despite a small budget we can have a lot of fun and my intention is to have a real blast :D

If you want to follow this project with me, it will be awesome to answer your questions or to get comments and ideas from you :)

You can jump to the dedicated space if you click on this pic (or the link is also on the blog MENU):

brproject

 

 

 

I tried… Lash Extensions!

If you are not familiar with lash extensions, extensions are synthetic lashes applied (glued) alongside your own lashes, they are placed near the root but not at the root as I understood they should not touch the skin. They last approx 2 to 3 weeks before needing a “refill” but this will vary on how long they last on you. Unlike false lashes that you can buy and apply yourself, the extensions are applied by a professional and are worn overnight. There are several types and materials but I only tried the most common and cheap ones. The finished style will depend on what you ask for and your eye shape. They should actually ask you what you want and eventually what your daily relation with make-up is, just for a better adoption.

Why ? 

Mascara is the most important yet frustrating step in my make-up routine, my lashes are short, sparse, when you can see them it’s because I have spent a while trying to make that happen. I occasionally use fake lashes but when I do, I prefer to use flares. Very rarely use full length because I don’t often go to events where these would be appropriate and because with my very round eyes I find them a pain to apply.

I went for synthetic lash extensions because :

  1. I wanted to try this technique for over a year but did not take the time to look for a place.
  2. I was going on holiday, best time!
  3. I found a fantastic offer.
  4. I wanted to report back to you, on behalf of all the 40+ community who have hooded lids :) I am convinced it’s much easier on younger eyes to walk around wearing extensions or false lashes but what about more mature eyes ?

Here I am today reporting back on this experience with all the pros and cons I encountered!

BEFORE the lash extensions

Since my lashes require a lot of effort, I was using either the RMK Extra Deep W mascara (with the fibers), or the RMK curl, or also the Chanel Le Volume.

In the past and for a very long time I used Chanel Inimitable Intense. I repurchased that mascara probably 6 times -every 4 months approx- until I got two in a row that were of inferior quality or maybe they were not performing as good on my lashes… our eyes and lashes may change as time goes by so maybe that’s what happen.

Part of my lash “bar”:lashes10

The RMK Extra Deep W adds volume and length and the RMK focuses on curl and length. Curl on my lashes is way more important than volume but I love and use both types, not at the same time. If I am wearing a very dramatic smokey eye, I will pick the RMK that adds volume (thickness) so that the lashes stand out and frame the eyes. If I go for a more elegant look that has a light shade on the mobile lid (or a graduation), I will pick the curling one, this will open the eyes as you will be able to actually see the shadow behind the curl of the lashes and bring light to the eyes.

False eye lashes

Since this topic is rarely discussed when it concerns more mature eyes, I’ll share my experience maybe this can help someone :)

The full length false lashes are not something I love to use because they are a pain to apply and if something goes wrong and they partially unglue you will have part of it sticking  out… yep been there… :D –  using half ones or flares is not only easier to apply but also more natural and less risky if any accident occurs.

There is a video on Youtube from Loriover40 that I love and follow, link here, she is very funny and she talks about the issues you may encounter if you are not used to apply them and she addresses some questions you may have if you are… over 40 and are considering false lashes :) If you are not used to it and if you start with full length ones, you may find that difficult at the beginning, you may also find that too fake looking.

I will just quickly show you an example with two different type of flares, the Ardell Duralash on the left, and my favs Shu Uemura on the right. You will see in the pics why I prefer the Shu.

shuflares

The left column is my lashes totally bare, no mascara at all. In the middle column just one layer of mascara, this is just to prep them for the flares, I usually wear 3 or 4 coats of mascara. On the right column the flares, on my right eye the Shu Uemura on my left eye (to your right…) the Ardell.

flares

If you have a closer look to the base of the Shu flares, you do not see the roots, they look gorgeous and natural. There are 10 in the Shu compact, I am wearing two of them side by side near the outer corner of the eye. I am not wearing any eyeliner at all so that you can see them on their own with nothing to hide their base. You can zoom on the pic if you click on it.

flaresshu2

I start from the outer corner but I do not go all the way to the outer corner, just stop a few lashes before the end so that it lifts the eye. These Shu pair nicely with my own lashes and you don’t see when they start and when they end. Unlike the half ones I have from Mac for example, they are too long, maybe I will just cut them one day and still use them :)

flaresshu I use the long Shu Uemura tool but only after I have placed them with a smaller one, I don’t mix the one I place them with and the one I  “marry” them, working this way makes it easy for me and it takes me 30 seconds per eye… tools

With the Ardell, I use 3 or 4 flares in the outer corner, they don’t look as natural, they are too long for me and it’s not easy to have them look in the same direction… I only placed 2 of them here (approx 8 lashes per flare)  to show you the roots because even though they look weird on me, you can see that the root is not obvious which is great. Ardell are on my left eye (to your right) :

flaresardellI think wearing flares still makes a statement without being over the top. It is a good comprise if you don’t want to try lash extensions to start with and if you don’t want to struggle with full length false ones, so just give these type of flares a go and let me know :)

I know it’s not something you would do everyday, you may not have the time and energy to apply them often but, occasionally, it’s super fun to do so. After 40 (or even before!) and if you are in a relationship, you may face obstacles during the application, I mean, you need to be left alone to do that and the husband quiz may also trouble you… (are you going on a date??? or…  do you think you are 20 again???)  Hmmmm not easy to do that while someone is staring at you and not always fun to have to explain that you are actually wearing false lashes just for fun… BUT as I said before it’s worth it, it’s not a surgery operation and yet it changes the whole face quite a lot!

That’s why I wanted to try the “semi-permanent” lash extension option because I love how so little can do so much :)

Continue Reading →

Wayne Goss – Updated thoughts and Giveaway

I have received several requests either in the comments or by email asking for a little update on my Wayne Goss brushes after having had them since their beginning: 9 months for The Collection set and 4 months for the Eye and Face sets. I’ll do that today but not only that, this update is paired with an exceptional Giveaway, kindly and generously sponsored by Beautylish.com. I was contacted by Beautylish very recently, we had a video chat and discussed brushes, Japan and other fun topics. Since they know how much we love exceptional brushes here, they decided to do something special for us :)

Beautylish.com

Beautylish.com started as a Beauty Community created to share information in many different ways, reviews, discussions, articles, etc. Later they also launched their online shop and that was just approx 2 years ago. I remember when I found their website for the very first time, I was desperately looking for the BUY button but couldn’t find it … normal: not all products they feature are available for purchase and some are for informative purpose only. It’s good to know that in the future we will actually see more and more products and brands available for sale on their website and you will be happy to know that they will also change their shipping policies so that they will be able to ship to additional countries (depending on the brand).

On their website you can shop for Chikuhodo, Ellis Faas, OCC, Billy B and many others -Charlotte Tilbury is arriving at their shop in September. They are the exclusive retailers for Wayne Goss’s brushes and these later are available worldwide now, if you are ordering from outside of the US & Canada, you should use their new link:  waynegossxbeautylish.com if you are in the USA or Canada their usual site beautylish.com will be the one to use. I did not buy my brushes on their website because mine were a present from Wayne but thanks to my friends I know that their wrapping and packaging is gorgeous and that they know how to pay attention to detail. Now that I know them better myself I can confirm that they are very special people who want to stand out from the online crowd but I believe you will witness that as you get to know them too. 

For those of you interested by Chikuhodo, they are shipping Chikuhodo only to the US & Canada for now but will be expanding in early August to include UK and Australia, then full intl shipping will be close behind!  To know more and be informed as things happen, I strongly suggest you follow them on Instagram or Twitter, their pics or tweets will give you a clue on what they are up to :)

Giveaway info

Shipping

Beautylish will take care of the costs for the 3 sets and the shipping to the winners to wherever you live, I will provide the details of the winners to them and they will contact you directly for shipping details, if you are abroad (they are in the USA) please just take note that you will be responsible for any duties or VAT on the brushes, although they will do their best to avoid them but there is always a risk.

The prizes

The 3 Wayne Goss sets

 

waynesets

a different one for each winner. The first winner will get one Face set (265$), the second winner one of the Collection sets (210$), the third winner the Eye set (148$)

In addition to that, I will offer a private Google Hangout video call to the 3 winners, either to answer any question you may have about these brushes or just to chat about brushes in general or anything you want, it is not mandatory but I will contact you and ask you if you would like that video call with me and we will organize that.

Continue Reading →

SONIA RYKIEL BEAUTE- Swatches and First impressions

The first time I heard about Sonia Rykiel was a long time ago in Spain but I did not know the woman behind the brand, she is a French fashion designer and a writer born from a Russian mother and Rumanian father. Her clothes are something I like but that I can’t afford. When I saw her cosmetics in Japan, I was so intrigued, did I miss something ? Why is her line not available to us outside of some Asian countries ? I sent “her” -or whoever is behind their website- an email, hopefully somebody will answer and shed some light on this mystery. Sonia Rykiel is now 84 years old, I have been watching some Youtube videos to learn a bit more about her and about her cosmetics but her range is pretty new so for now it’s hard to find reviews or any information. Just for fun, guess who I spotted in one video ? Check it out here and jump to 3:08 :)

Her striped  signature look reflects on all her packaging and even in the blushers. Since I discovered her face make-up products this summer, my compacts suddenly gremlined themselves at a scary speed. Some more *pops* to come in the upcoming days or weeks depending on how fast they will arrive but since I already have quite a few, I’ll start with those. I’ll share some swatches with you and tell you why I am loving them so very much, I have failed to resist their quality and prettiness and I am sure many of you will follow!

sr

Continue Reading →

Japan Make-Up Haul 2014

When I left to Japan, I had a wishlist that I tried to keep to the minimum :

  • Shu Uemura brushes 11 and 15 – found the 11 but the 15 is nowhere to be seen.
  • Shu Uemura Hair care, Essence Absolue – could not find any hair care from this line in Japan, not even at their boutique so since it was budgeted I bought it upon my return here in Switzerland where I had discovered in the first place.
  • Ipsa face palettes – yep, mission accomplished, big haul!
  • Hakuhodo S171 brush –at the very last moment but managed to pick it up.

On my wishlist was also The Process of Hardcore Swatching (sounds like the title for a future book :D ) You guessed right, this process eventually allows us to discover what brands we could continue hauling while in Switzerland… *whistles*

You already saw what brushes came with me, some were part of gifts, some were purchases but all of them were brushes that I wanted in the first place! I am just lucky and very happy that this blog allows me sometimes to get some return on investment if I may call it like that… not something I expect, but something I warmly welcome when it happens :D

Today I will only show you what items I bought and tell you why I liked them but I won’t review them, I’ll need some time to try them and get a better opinion on each one. I may not have the time to review all of them but if something is truly amazing, it will get its glory post.

There is something you need to know though: I am not that young and my background and references are already based on super high end products, this is why I am very difficult in terms of texture, pigmentation and quality. Some of the drugstore items in Japan are really nice but most of them are too shimmery, sparkly or powdery when you compare them to what I own today, I don’t want to sound rude at all, it’s just that I cannot afford to wear most of them anyway in terms of finish or texture, sometimes you can find mattes or textures that work really well but there are so so so many brands at the drugstores that there is no easy way to spot something that targets my age and preferences and despite truly hardcore swatching, believe me, I have been swatching hard, I would need your task force to manage to swatch all of them in 15 days :D

The items that I show here are somehow linked to last year’s haul, because what I loved last year, I got last year. This time it was about what I wanted to add to last year’s haul. In the upcoming weeks I will be reviewing some of this year and last year’s purchases. For example for SK-II I did not buy more items because I am not such a fan of their eyeshadows (bought 1 last year and that’s enough) but I am a huge fan of their blushes and I already have nearly all of them… Same for Chicca, loving their blushes but not a fan of the eyeshadows but I already own most of what I like from them. This is why some Japan brands are not shown here, it’s because I already own them, just need to tell you about :)

I could not afford to purchase everything that I loved, but most of the items you’ll see here have truly captured my heart, since I haven’t tried them all, there is a possibility I’ll be disappointed with some of them.

I want to point out that my BF was with me the whole time and he dislikes shopping, more than disliking, it’s a nightmare for him to endure browsing for make-up BUT, I want to point out to all your husbands/partners that the sales assistants are so so so so so sweet, respectful, helpful, fun, that he was actually happy to be shopping with me! Unbelievable!

Let’s start with showing how compacts can look over there, really gorgeous right ? and you haven’t seen the best ones but as I said, I could not get everything! Most of the times with higher end brands you can just purchase the refills but sometimes I just love the compacts and like to have at least one…

compacts

Continue Reading →