Category Archives: Beauty

REVIEW:: Essence Nail Art Special Effect Topper – 10 Glorious Aquarius

So, as I told you guys yesterday, I went on a little shopping spree. One of the things I bought was the Essence Nail Art Special Effect Topper (who invents these names anyway?) in number 10, Glorious Aquarius. There was a 1+1 sale action, so for the same price I also picked up the Essence Colour & Go in number 147, Miss Universe, because I figured it would look amazing beneath the Glorious Aquarius topper. I’ve combined them on my nails (I’m still admiring my fingers while typing this, haha) so it’s about time to start my review!

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When Essence updated their products, they came up with 6 Nail Art Special Effect Toppers, which is a response to the increasing popularity of nail art worldwide. If you wanted flakies, holographic or magnetic effects, fuzzy nails, caviar nails, newspaper print nails, nail art stickers or something else, you often either had to look between more expensive, specialized brands, or try a DIY tutorial (like the one I’ve got on newspaper print nails!). But search no further, because Essence can help you out with ALL of those.

The nail polish line I’m discussing is their Special Effect Toppers, which, as I mentioned previously, consists of 6 different types of effects. The line includes 02 Circus Confetti, which is a transparant polish with multi-coloured glitters (a lot of purple, with specks of orange, red, green and blue), 10 Glorious Aquarius, which I will discuss in a minute, 15 Glitter on Me, which takes me back to the nineties, when my mum owned a transparant polish with slender bars and rectangles in mostly silver.
Next up is 16 Cool Breeze, which according to Essence is a jewel effect. It is a bit foggy sky blue and contains ditto flakies. I’ve tried these in the store on my nail (don’t tell the store owner, haha) because I was doubting between Glorious Aquarius and this one, but I felt like it didn’t transfer a lot of flakies to my nail, so I didn’t buy it.
And last but not least, the two newest ones in line are 17 Only Purple Matters, which is again a glitter topper with a lot of purple and some hot pink glitter, and 18 Fly Firefly Fly, which is a glow in the dark top coat.
The Essence Nail Art Special Effect Toppers cost about €1,89.

So, how about 10 Glorious Aquarius?

I started with two thin layers of Essence Colour & Go 147 Miss Universe, and actually it took surprisingly long for my nails to dry. They’re also impossible to wear with just one layer, because the polish turned out to be quite transparent for such a dark colour. Miss Universe is a very dark blue colour with blue and green shimmers. It looks amazing in the bottle, but needs a couple of layers on your nails before they match the colour and beautiful shimmer in the bottle.

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I unfortunately forgot to take a picture of only Miss Universe on my nails, but I will update this post as soon as possible. So, next I added one layer of 10 Glorious Aquarius, and wow, it makes my nails look like some underwater version of galaxy nails! Glorious Aquarius consists of a transparant polish, filled with different sized (hexagon) glitters in silver, dark green, dark blue, sky blue and … orange. Yes, orange. For some reason the orange matches reaaaaalllly well with the cold colours without demanding all your attention. I simply love it!

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(I’m sorry for the picture being a bit blurry, but it’s already getting dark and it was really difficult to try and get a clear image)

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Dip dye, balayage, ombré,… Say what?

Today, I went to the hair salon, and right now I’m rocking a half blonde, half brunette haircut. I showed the hairdresser a few pictures I found on Pinterest, mostly pictures of Victoria’s Secret angel Lily Aldridge (I would KILL for her locks), and she managed to recreate it in a beachy, laidback manner. But if it wasn’t for the picture, I would’ve had an almost impossible time trying to explain how I wanted my hair. Kind of ombré, a bit of a subtle dip dye, mixed with balayage… -ish?

It made me realize even more how similar these styles can get. If defined individually, the difference is quite clear, yet I noticed how these terms are still not very common. A lot of people in my close environment had never heard of any of them, until I excitedly explained them. I suppose it’s a Pinterest-thing. Anyway, I assume there will still be a few among you who have absolutely no clue what I’m talking about, so I’m going to explain the different styles and dyes.

If you google any of these terms, all three searches will have a lot of pictures in common. Apparently, the line between them is very vague. In theory the distinctions are very clear, but in reality this obviously is a lot less easy.

Ombré: At this very moment, ombré is quite a hype. It’s actually a French word (of course, those fashionable French) that means  shadow. Basically, ombré in the fashion industry just means everything that fades from one into another colour, and this is not only restricted to hair: there are thousands of objects -jewellery, clothing, curtains, nail art- in ombré shades. Basically, ombré hair is supposed to be fading in a straight line -unlike with balayage, which looks rather naturally sunkissed.

 

Dip dye: The word already explains the meaning: dip dye is the process of making it seem like your hair tips were dipped in hair dye. It’s similar to ombré, but the line between the natural hair colour and the dip dye part is even straighter and harsher. The second difference between ombré and dip dye is that the latter usually uses brighter, bolder, less natural colours. Hot pink, sea green, bright orange,… Go wild!

    

Balayage: I found this one the hardest to define in words (a picture says more than a thousand words, remember?) so I went all weak pussy on this one and copied a clear definition I found on this website:

Balayage is a hair coloring technique which is designed to create very natural-looking highlights which grow out without developing a noticeable and obvious root. This coloring technique emerged in Paris in the 1970s; the word “balayage” is French for “to sweep,” a reference to the way in which the color is applied. After crossing the pond to the United States, balayage became extremely popular in the late 1990s. In the United States, you may see balayage spelled “balliage.”

When hair is colored with the balayage process, the highlights are painted on by hand in a sweeping motion which moves from the base to the tip of the hair. At the base, the color is applied very lightly, while at the tip, the color is very heavy. The result is a chunky highlight which looks naturally sunbleached, and as the hair grows out, the root will be concealed for the first few months by the thinner color applied to the base of the hair.

So, basically this means that balayage is a more natural looking ombré: highlights getting brighter near the ends of the hair.

   

But if you ever browsed these terms on Google, Pinterest, Tumblr, Weheartit or somewhere else, you will have noticed that a lot of pictures in your ‘ombré’ search look suspiciously like those in a ‘balayage’ search. And even the line between dip dye and ombré is actually very vague. One could say that all natural colours (blonde, brown, black) are ombré and all bright colours are dip dye, but what about red? Or black hair ends on a blonde girl?

But thankfully, rules are meant to be broken! The only condition to breaking rules is that you know them first. I’d say you do now, so it’s okay to mix and match whichever styles you like. Rock a balayage in bright dip dye colours? Go for it. Because to be honest, I still haven’t figured out what my hair style is called exactly.

If you have any suggestions (my picture is the first one in this article), leave ’em in the comments below!

(As usual, all pictures were retrieved from Pinterest. I’m waaaaaaaay too addicted.)

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Essence and Catrice nail polishes haul

I must admit: nail polishes are one of my biggest weaknesses. As I am someone who like looking a bit over the top, I own the most ridiculous colours of nail polish. Yesterday, I was admiring my collection, when I noticed that none of the trending colours at the moment were present in it! I didn’t have any decent nudes, pastels or a nice coral colour!
So today, being the nail polish lover that I am,  I headed directly to the nearest shop (Kruidvat, for my Dutch and Belgian readers), and took a look at their collection.

I’ve always loved the Essence collections -they’re cheap, the bottles are tiny (I have so many polishes I hardly ever finish one) and their quality is great for such a low price.

The first polish I picked was from their brand-new Ready For Boarding collection. The collection consists of an eyeshadow palette with 6 colours and a little guideline, two lip-cheek creams in pink and coral, a blue luggage label, a little make-up bag,  hand&body wipes, double end eye pencils and obviously nail polishes!

They have a base coat, which should peel off rather than chip off, which could be really easy when you’re on vacation -no need for nail polish remover! Furthermore, the collection consists of 5 colours, all for €1,49: 01 Sending You Kisses, 02 Beauty On Tour, 03 Exits On Your Right, 04 Via Airmail! and 05 Destination Sunshine. I bought 05 Destination Sunshine, which is a pastel, sweet tint of yellow.

 

The second polish I chose is also from Essence, this time from their Nude Glam collection. I picked 01 Cotton Candy, which is, as the name already indicates, a pale pink, a lovely nude colour. This one was €1,29.

 

I was continuing my journey through the make-up corner, on my way to the Catrice booth (another one of my all time favourite brands) when a box with bargains demanded my full attention. Most of it was not really interesting, but I managed to find this 05 Nude Or What? colour from a previous Essence Season Of Extremes collection for only €0,50! It’s a cute mix between lilac and grey, but still a nude. I think it’ll be perfect for winter.

 

Last but not least, I eventually reached the Catrice booth, where I picked up 820 Pimp My Shrimp, an orangey coral, for €2,49 -I’ve wanted a coral for soooo long now, yay!

 

So far I’ve already tried Pimp My Shrimp, Destination Sunshine and Cotton Candy. They all need at least three (thin) layers, Cotton Candy even needed four, and it’s still not opaque. Unfortunately, I only have a picture of Cotton Candy on my nails. I tried Destination Sunshine on my toes, which made me feel very summerish, but apparently the world isn’t ready for pastel yellow painted toe nails yet, so I removed it before I took a picture. And I had Pimp My Shrimp on my finger nails a few days ago, but they got covered with face paint (I volunteer working with children) after only one day so that one had to go too. If I apply them again, I’ll take pictures and update this post.

So this is Cotton Candy. Four layers of it. It’s still a bit transparant, which I love actually. It gives a slight hint of a french manicure. If you want an almost transparant polish, I can recommend this one as well, but I really wanted to see the pastel pink so I patiently applied layer after layer. Right now, it’s day two and they haven’t chipped at all, except for a tiny little chip on my left thumb.

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8 Beauty Uses for Baking Soda

First of all, I would like to thank you guys, my lovely visitors! You might be wondering why? Well, today I passed the impressive milestone of 30.000 visitors! And my blog is only a little over 4 months old, so I can say that I am very proud of that number. The amount of followers keeps on growing by the second as well. Therefore I would like to thank you. Yes, you. I know I haven’t been very active lately, but tomorrow is my last exam (Linguistical Varieties oral exam, very sarcastic “yay”!) and I promise I will write a lot more posts this summer. I actually have a post-it on my desk with over 20 ideas for new posts!

I was browsing a bit on Pinterest, when I stumbled upon a picture of a healthy, glowing Lauren Conrad. She looks so incredibly radiant! Obviously, there’s probably a lot of make-up involved, but the Pinterest post informed me that this was the effect of something called Microdermabrasion, and that it can be done at home with this simple DIY.

I’m very curious to see if it works, so I’m going to try it right after writing this post. I’ll update with the results, as I have quite a sensitive, impure skin (please don’t let it sting).

(Edit: Ok, I tried the DIY Microdermabrasion. I mixed some baking soda in a cup, adding a bit of water at a time, until I got a bit of a half solid mixture. It was bubbling! I so felt like a chemist. I massaged it onto my cleaned skin, and it felt like a scrub. The baking soda contain little particles that don’t absolve in water, so it scrubs your skin, and kinda harsh. After a few seconds it actually did start stinging my skin a bit, so I rinsed it off with warm water. I cannot tell that my skin would look anything like Lauren Conrad’s -it’s actually kind of red right now-, but it feels reaaaaally clean, so I actually might try it again sometime. I’ll keep you guys updated!)

Well, I can hear you thinking: “That is just one use for baking soda, and the title of your post is 8 beauty uses for baking soda?” A little bit of patience, my darlings! I’ve been googling around a bit, and here’s my list of beauty uses with baking soda.

  1. This one already came forward in my Five uses for strawberries post. Baking soda has a whitening effect on your teeth. All you have to do is wet your toothbrush, dip it in baking soda and brush your teeth with it. As it tastes quite salty, I recommend brushing your teeth with normal toothpaste afterwards. I’ve been trying this method for a few weeks now, and I’m actually starting to see results. It’s not much, but it’s certainly something! I do have to mention that the first time I tried brushing my teeth with it, my gums felt kind of tingly afterwards, but after the second and third try I didn’t have any side effects.
  2. Use it as a deodorant. Sounds weird, I admit that, but perhaps you’re allergic to the chemicals in deodorant (I personally don’t always respond that well to the extremely perfumed Fa deodorants) and you need something less chemical and more natural? You can either apply baking soda directly to your skin using a big powder brush, or you mix four tablespoons of baking soda with about ten drops of your favourite essential oil, and apply this mixture to the skin
  3.  Take a bath with it! I am allergic to a loooot of bath products. They make my skin very itchy and dry. The white crystals in baking soda are often used in commercial bath salts, so using them in their pure form will let you benefit even more from them. Baking soda cleanses your skin naturally, while leaving you feeling silky smooth all over.
  4. Hairspray, hairgels, hairwax, dust, dirt, etc. It can all build up on your hair, and using an aggressive shampoo too often can be bad for your locks, because it strips your hair from its natural oils. Just add one tablespoon of baking soda to a cup of lukewarm water and massage it into your wet hair. Rinse very well -perfectly clean and smooth!
  5. And if you don’t have the time to wash and dry your hair, you can even use baking soda as a dry shampoo! Sprinkle some of it on your hair, comb through and sprinkle a little bit on top again. Wait for five minutes to let the baking soda absorb most of the excess oils and comb your hair thoroughly to remove the baking soda.
  6. You can even relieve sunburnt skin with it! Mix 3/4 of baking soda with 1/4 of water to a thick paste, and apply it to your damaged skin. This should soothen the pain and get the heat out of your skin in no time.
  7. Use baking soda to relieve bee stings,  insect bites, etc. Just use the same paste as you would for sunburnt skin, it will immediately relieve any itching or stinging.

Their are hundreds of other uses for baking soda, but I just listed a few very helpful and beauty related ones in this post. For instance, did you know you could keep flowers fresh longer if you add a tablespoon of baking soda to the water in the vase?

Quite awesome, innit? Anyway, I got the idea from this, this and this website, so be sure to visit them if you’d like to find out more!

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DIY: Temporary dip dye hair (this time with eyeshadow!)

Ok, so I know I already wrote a post on how to temporary dip dye your hair (riiiiiiight here), but I just found yet another way to do it! I was reading some things on the Dutch ELLE website, watching a few videos, when I found a video about a hair guru, Jeffrey, who  shows how you can dip dye your hair with eyeshadow!

Obviously, you will need a lot of eyeshadow, so I recommend using one that you don’t really like or use anymore.

I will give the link to the video below, but it is in Dutch, so for my foreign readers, I will type out how you can achieve this look.

The first part of the video just shows how the model’s hair is cut. The look was inspired by current Forever 21 model Charlotte Free. When the model’s hair is cut, dried and styled, they explain how you can add pink tips.

You start off with mixing hair gel and eyeshadow in a bowl. Don’t worry if it looks like a verrrrry dark mixture -check the video, the mixture they use is very dark red as well and it still turns out to be a soft pink. Next, apply the coloured gel to your hair like you would with normal hair dye. In the video they use a special brush for it, but I think using a tooth brush will work fine as well. Start on the frontside of your hair, and go around your head painting the bottom half of your hair.

Don’t worry if it looks quite dark and hard, we’re still going to change that. Once you’re finished applying the gel, use a comb to even out the gel a bit. Last but not least, blow dry your hair. All done!

Alright, so I just found out that I cannot include the video in this post, so I’m just going to give you the link.
Click me!

Looks and sounds easy enough, doesn’t it? I personally  don’t think you can use your straightener or curler afterwards on the coloured hair btw, but hey, yolo right? (Note: I actually never say yolo. I’m just pretending to be cool, haha)

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Quick update – E.L.F. Cosmetics order

I guess you guys may have noticed by my long absence, that I’m currently right in the middle of my exams. But there’s more: Today, June 10th, is my twentieth birthday! I’m finally officially no longer a teenager, though I still feel very childlike.

Anyway, upon checking my inbox, I found an e-mail from E.L.F. Cosmetics, giving me free shipping with a purchase of at least €10, as a birthday gift! I never really ordered something from them, but I read a lot of great reviews on how their products are very cheap and yet of great quality.

So you might be curious to find out what I ordered?

The first thing I really wanted to try was their eyeshadow palette. I went for the Limited Edition 32 Colours Palette in Everyday Brights, because all other palettes just had a bunch of brown shades, and I know I won’t use more than 5 of them. The Everyday Brights palette has a few green and blue colours that look really great for summer, they remind me of the sea.

 

Next on my wish list was a coral lipstick. I watched a lot of Youtube reviews on the E.L.F. lipsticks, and I really loved two of their colours: Captivating (left) and Nostalgic (right). Captivating is a bright coral, whereas Nostalgic is rather old, dusty pink.

 

Last but not least, I also really wanted to try their highlighters. Again, I picked two colours: Golden Peach (left), which I think gives more of a warm, summerlook, and Lilac Petal (right), a very light pink. I’ve never tried a highlighter before, so I just picked two colours which seemed best for me after reading some reviews.

 

In the beginning of July, when I’ve finished my exams and my package has arrived, I will write a big review on these products. I also have a few other products I would like to review for you once I have enough time, so stay tuned!

All pictures by E.L.F. Cosmetics.

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DIY: Tattoo nail art

First of all I would like to apologize for not posting for about -thinks- two weeks. I’ve been extremely busy writing a research paper for school and of course exams are coming up, so I’ll probably be quite busy in the near future as well.

Anyway, I’ll try to keep you guys entertained with frequent posts. This particular one will explain yet another nail art DIY (is it a bit too much lately? I just love nail art) that is very easy and quick!

All you need is:

  • Base/top coat nail polish
  • A white or light grey nail polish
  • A wet sponge
  • Fake tattoos!

Do you remember as a kid, when you would stick fake tattoos on your arms, and pretend to people they were real? I did for sure. I guess my fascination with tattoos started very young. Nowadays, you can still find classy and of very good quality fake tattoos for your body, but have you ever thought about decorating your nails with them?

It works exactly the same as when you stick them to your skin.
First, apply a clear base coat to protect your nails. Follow with one or more layers of a light nail polish, white or grey look best. Let this dry thoroughly. Take your fake tattoo and a pair of scissors, and cut out pieces that fit your nails. You can choose to make all your nails have a similar look, or vary, it’s up to you! Then, take your fake tattoo pieces and remove the transparant piece of plastic that’s protecting the tattoo itself. Put them on the desired place on your nail and take a wet sponge to soak the tattoo. After about 30 seconds, you can remove the piece of paper and the tattoo itself should stick to your nails. Carefully dry your nails and apply a clear top coat. All done!

(Design by cutepolish)

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