giovedì 18 settembre 2014

Makeup clear out, downsizing project and blog sale

My vanity

I've been meaning to write this post for a while now, but I never felt confident enough to share it with you all.

Since I was 8 or 9, I got my mum's magazines and go straight to beauty and fashion pages and in the years of course I started buying my own copies and cherish the beauty section in each of them.
So clearly I've always been drawn to that "perfect" world and I fell even more deeply in love around the time I started uni, when I met a girl that was interested in beauty like me.
We talked about makeup launches, interesting youtubers, fantastic blogs, nail polish colours so it was at that time that I discovered the giant virtual beauty community.
And through the years I've become more involved with that community, not much as a writer or a contributor, but mostly as an avid reader / watcher.
I've scrolled pages and pages of beauty blogs, seen so many pics and watched so many videos, I've become sort of addicted.
And as a natural and obvious consequence, I started craving for the same products I saw on all those platforms and got on a buying frenzy, which at one point became just a frustrating and draining rush for the latest nail polish or that unmissable item from a limited edition collection.

Yeah, I think I can finally admit that I've been addicted for shopping in the last 4 years or so. Especially beauty shopping.
Now, I'm not trying to defend myself, but I think that, apart from the influence of youtubers, bloggers, magazines, etc, and me not being so mature and critical, there are also some unconscious reasons behind my (mis)behaviour. But that is a whole different story.

Inspiration
I've been feeling quite guilty about this unhealthy habit, therefore I used to (and still do) hide my new purchases from anyone and prefer to do shopping on my own.
So I think it's finally time to change things a little bit, even though I know it's going to be a long, humungous work.
Of course, I didn't wake up one day and had all the determination to do it but I was inspired by a few lovely ladies (a bit of "blog-watching" in here too):

On Youtube: Christine of Pinksofoxy and Tati
Blog posts: ViviannaDoesMakeup's tips on clear out organisation and downsizing
Jennypurr
The everyday beauty
What she does now  
And for some nail polish purging inspiration:
Spaz and Squee 

The clear out
Of course the first thing to do was to go through my entire makeup collection and "analyse" every single product and just be honest with myself: Do I like it? Does it suit me/match me? and most importantly Do I use it?
This wasn't as tough as I thought it would be: other people can get a better use of these products and I definitely feel much much better and less overpowered. I think I will do it twice a year, along with the rest of the spring (and autumn) cleaning.
But what have I done the products that went to the "purge" pile?

- I've tossed finished or expired products (the latter were very few fortunately), apart from MAC stuff that I'm saving MAC for the Back 2 MAC!)
- Gave to my friends the products they liked but I think they're gonna get more! =)
- I've got an internationally open blog sale going on! There are still some things I need to photograph (nail polish!), but there's a lot of makeup, skincare, bodycare items from drugstore to high end brands, if you would take two minutes to visit this page you would make my day! Thank you.
- In the near future I will host some Beauty adoptions (open to Italy only, sorry!)


The great thing is that I had a sort of declutter kick and cleared out the rest of my stuff: nail polishes, cosmetics, clothes, accessories. And now everything is just a lot more organized. Awesome!

The plan

Now, to avoid getting right back to bad habits I have a series of little projects that are all connected to one another:
 
  • Shop my stash: use and enjoy what I have (and get to do my friends' makeup more). This is my main goal.
  • Project "n" pan: with the using comes the using up! This autumn and winter I'd like to finish a few lip products that have been going around for a lot now, some liquids (a tinted moisturizer, a concealer, a couple of foundations, etc...) and a couple of mascaras as well.
  • Low-buy: this is going to be the hardest one, I know, that's why I'm not doing a no-buy 'cause I would miserably fail.
    But at least I can try to control my shopping frenzy:
    • creating a wishlist for EVERYTHING, from stuff that I actually need to the things I'd like to buy, so that I can control myself and prioritize. 
    • unsubscribing from all the tempting beauty newsletters. Brutal, but necessary. I will still receive the ones from three organic e-tailers, from Pupa and the Sephora promos will be delivered in the mail (still a huge temptation to deal with...)
    • keeping track of my financial resources and things I need to pay for (bills, gasoline, groceries...) on a regular basis and eventually set a budget for shopping extras.
 
The beauty 
Along with the topic of the (subjective) ideal size and quality of a makeup collection goes the likewise subjective ideal beauty set up.
At the beginning, what I admired of makeup/nail polish collections people were showing on Youtube was the quantity: the larger a collection, the most impressed I was.
Lately, this conception has been totally turned around for me and I'm much more fascinated by a neat, organized and lovely displayed collection on an elegant vanity table.
As a bonus if you read through all of this rambling, here are my favourite makeup tables/vanities of some amazing bloggers:


Le beauty girl's dressing table


Belles Boutique's dressing table



Beauty & Le Chic's makeup storage



Erica Fae's vanity




Amy Antoinette's shabby chic vanity



Bikinis and passports's bathroom organization

How's your collection? Are you happy with it, would you like to be smaller, bigger?
What do you do with the products you don't love anymore?
Any tips?
Hope you didn't fall asleep but that otherwise this was some kind of interesting.
Until next time, take care!
Gra
 
 

sabato 13 settembre 2014

Kiko lipsticks: dupes of MAC, Urban Decay, Bobbi Brown

Hello beauties!
Here is a different kind of post than the usual ones: it's a comparison post between high end and drugstore (Kiko) lipsticks!
If you're not familiar with the Kiko lipstick lines... well you should! The brand recently became available in the US as well, both with online and physical stores (and I will soon do a "must haves" post with swatches and recommendations).
By the way, off with the rambling, on with the pictures that are pretty self-explanatory. 

Ciao bellezze!
Questo post è un po' diverso dal solito: vi mostro le comparison tra i rossetti di un paio di brand e quelli di Kiko.
Se non conoscete la linea di rossetti di Kiko... beh, dovreste! Da poco Kiko è disponibile anche in molti paesi extra-europei e vedere un'azienda italiana avere tanto successo anche all'estero è sicuramente qualcosa che fa molto, molto piacere.
Ma ora basta con le chiacchere, eccovi le foto!

Kiko 514 vs Urban Decay Catfight

From top to bottom - Dall'alto verso il basso: Kiko Luscious Cream Lipstick 514, Urband Decay Revolution Lipstick Catfight
Note: I actually like the Kiko one better, both because it's warmer and does not move around.

Nota: Sinceramente preferisco la versione di Kiko perchè il colore è più caldo e la formula meno cremosa, ergo migra meno.

Kiko 914 vs MAC Rebel

From top to bottom - Dall'alto verso il basso: Kiko Smart Lipstick 914, MAC Rebel
Note: Of course MAC is my choice, but if you're on a budget the Kiko is pretty darn close in colour.

Nota: Ovviamente preferisco il MAC, ma se non volete spendere tanto ed ottenere bene o male lo stesso effetto come colore il Kiko è ottimo.

Kiko 814 vs MAC Dish It Up (LE) vs Kiko 515

From top to bottom - Dall'alto verso il basso: Kiko Ultra Glossy Stylo 814, MAC Dish it Up (LE), Kiko Luscious Cream Lipstick 515
Note: Dish it Up is one of my favourite bright lipsticks and that's a total shame it was a limited edition and I didn't get like ten at least one back-up (haul and swatches post here). A mix between the two Kikos might be somewhat closer to that colour.

Nota: Dish it Up è uno dei miei rossetti preferiti ed è veramente un peccato che fosse un'edizione limitata (post haul con swatch qua) e che non ne abbia preso altri dieci almeno un altro tubetto. Un mix tra i due Kiko comunque si avvicina parecchio all'originale.

Kiko 923 vs MAC Feel My Pulse vs MAC Heroine

From top to bottom - Dall'alto verso il basso: MAC Heroine, MAC Feel My Pulse (LE), Kiko Smart Lipstick 923
Note: I don't wear it often but love purple lipstick, and these are all perfect in their own ways.

Nota: Non lo indosso spesso ma mi piace molto il viola sulle labbra, e questi sono tutti bellissimi ognuno a suo modo.

Kiko 609 vs MAC Sin (Pro) vs Bobbi Brown Crimson

From top to bottom - Dall'alto verso il basso: MAC Sin, Bobbi Brown  Crimson, Kiko Velvet Mat Satin Lipstick 609
 Note: I have to favour Sin and Crimson... their quality is just spot on.

Nota: Devo preferire Sin e Crimson... la qualità di entrambi è superlativa.

Kiko 522 vs MAC Cyber

From top to bottom - Dall'alto verso il basso: Kiko Luscious Cream Lipstick 522, MAC Cyber
Note: Not an everyday shade, at least for me, but I find that the 522 is slightly more wearable due to its brown undertone. Cyber is more purple and more artistic, definitely an original piece to keep in my collection.

Nota: Non è un colore da tutti i giorni, per lo meno per me, ma trovo che il 522 sia leggermente più portabile rispetto avendo un sottotono marrone. Cyber è più viola e più artistico, sicuramente un rossetto originale da tenere in collezione.


I hope you found this somewhat helpful, until next time take care beauties!

Spero che vi sia stato utile, alla prossima bellezze!

Gra

venerdì 12 settembre 2014

Essie Jazz and nail art fail...

Direct natural light - Luce naturale diretta

Hi everyone!
Today I finally show you one of the first "pro" polishes I ever got and also one of my all-time favourites: Essie Jazz.
I picked up this one now already four years ago in the beautiful, cozy, elegant MiniLuxe salon in Boston. I didn't even do any research, the only color I knew I wanted was OPI You Don't Know Jacques, which was rather hyped at that time: so I walked in, took a look at all the nicely displayed polishes, saw Jazz and it was love at first sight.
The formula is not perfect, it requires two coats only but you still have to be careful to avoid patches and streaks, but the colour is something so chic and classic.

Ciao a tutti!
Finalmente vi mostro uno dei primi smalti "seri" che ho comprato e che guarda caso è anche uno dei miei preferiti di sempre: Essie Jazz.
Ho comprato la mia boccetta ormai quattro anni fa nel carinissimo salone MiniLuxe a Boston. L'unico colore che su cui avevo già fatto qualche ricerca era l'allora celeberrimo OPI You Don't Know Jacques: quindi sono entrata, ho ammirato la pa-re-te di smalti tutti belli ordinati, ho visto Jazz ed è stato amore a prima vista.
La formula non è proprio perfetta, bastano sì due passate, facendo però attenzione a non creare imperfezioni con la seconda mano.

sabato 6 settembre 2014

5 Makeup lessons learned

Clockwise from bottom left - in senso orario: Neve Cosmetics Neve fissante, Revlon Colorburst Lip Butter in Lollipop, Kiko Exotic Shine Lipstick 05, Pupa I'm Lipstick 407, Sleek Face Contour Kit in Medium, Bobbi Brown Creamy Concealer Warm Honey + Sheer Finish Pressed Powder Pale Yellow, Real Techniques Setting Brush, MAC Brun eyeshadow, Sigma Small Angle E65.

The importance of brows - L'importanza delle sopracciglia
I didn't think I need to fill in my brows, but the time I did it I've noticed a big difference, especially when I have a full makeup on it just balances everything. My go-to product is MAC Brun eyeshadow and I apply it with an angled eyeliner brush.

Non pensavo di aver bisogno di riempire le sopracciglia, ma nel momento in cui l'ho fatto ho notato una bella differenza. Specialmente quando indosso un trucco occhi deciso riequilibra il viso. L'unico prodotto che uso è l'ombretto Brun di MAC applicato con un pennello angolato per eyeliner.


Set that under-eye concealer - Fissare il correttore
Certainly I was the only person on Earth that didn't do it ahah.
Setting the concealing you did on those dark circles and bags truly makes a huge difference on how natural and fresh the area appears. Plus it prevents creasing and prolongs concealer's wear.
The product that lead me to this discovery is Bobbi Brown's Creamy Concealer kit, that contains both a concealer and a matching pressed powder. Lovely.

Certamente ero l'unica persona rimasta sulla Terra a non farlo.
Fissare il lavoro di "cammuffaggio" fatto su occhiaie e borse può fare un'abissale differenza e rende il risultato finale più fresco e naturale. In più previene la formazione di fastidiosi accumuli di prodotto e aumenta la durata del correttore.
Il prodotto che mi ha portato a questa "scoperta" è stato il Creamy Concealer kit di Bobbi Brown, che contiene sia un correttore che una cipria colorata coordinata. Fantastico.

Use a spray mist with your foundation - Usare uno spray con il fondotinta
For days when I want more natural looking foundation and less coverage, I spritz my face with a setting mist (a natural one or even a floral water) and I apply my base when the skin is still pretty much damp. I think it even works as a sort of dewy primer for those with dry or dehydrated skin.


Quando voglio una copertura del fondotinta più leggera e naturale, spruzzo sul viso uno spray fissante (come Nebbia Fissante o anche con un'acqua floreale) e applico la base direttamente sulla pelle ancora umida. Penso che questa tecnica funzioni bene anche per chi ha la pelle molto secca o disidratata.

Fuchsia lips (that once scared me) suit me perfectly - Il rossetto fucsia (che mi intimidiva) mi dona molto
Thanks to a couple of Revlon lip products, I got out of my comfort zone and tried this colour on this Spring and I've discovered it looks very pretty on me and me likey.
Enough saying I bought several bullets of different hues of this hot pink that doesn't wash me out or make look like a Barbie like some pinks do.

Grazie ad alcuni prodotti che avevo preso di Revlon sono uscita dalla mia confort zone e ho provato questo colore questa primavera, scoprendo che mi dona molto.
Inutile dire che ho comprato altri rossetti di varie tonalità di questo rosa acceso che non mi slava e non mi fa sembrare una Barbie come molti rosa fanno.

Contouring makes every makeup look more polished - Il contouring rende ogni trucco più ricercato
It doesn't matter if it's a full-on contour or if it's just a swipe of bronzer below the cheekbones, this technique definitely makes the face more defined and balanced.

Non importa se si tratta di un contour marcato o una semplice passata di terra sotto gli zigomi, questa tecnica rende il viso più equilibrato e definito.


What makeup lessons have you learned lately?
Until next time, take care!

Cosa avete imparato ultimamente dal makeup?
Alla prossima bellezze!

Gra

giovedì 4 settembre 2014

OPI Every Month Is Oktoberfest

Flash
Hi everyone!
I'm super excited to show you this polish: I got it a little after it came out in 2012 but it got lost in my stash and I forgot to wear it.
"Mistake, big mistake!" as Vivian in Pretty Woman would say 'cause I mean... look at it! This polish is serious gorgeousness in a bottle.
The shade is a deep and complex purple, but it's somewhat vibrant and glowy at the same time thanks to the red shimmer it's enriched with.
I just wish I didn't take me two years to wear it...
I did two coats + Out of the Door top coat.


Ciao a tutti!
Non vedevo l'ora di mostrarvi questo smalto: l'avevo preso poco dopo che era uscito nel 2012, ma poi l'ho un po' perso tra tutti gli altri smalti e non l'ho mai messo.
"Grosso, grosso sbaglio!", come direbbe Vivian in Pretty Woman, perchè voglio dire... guardatelo! Questo smalto è pura bellezza in boccetta!
Il colore è un viola intenso e scuro, ma essendo arricchito di uno shimmer rosso è allo stesso tempo vibrante e luminoso.
Mi spiace solo che siano passati due anni prima che lo indossassi...
Ho dato due passate e il top coat Out of the Door.

martedì 2 settembre 2014

Kiko 385 Blu pastello (Pastel Blue)

Flash
Hello everyone!
Summer is coming to an end but I still like a bright and fun mani and Kiko 385 is a nice one to sport.
Perfect coverage in two coats, shiny and gorgeous looking. The only downside of all the Kiko polishes for me is that they chip like craaazy... but I can deal with that given their vast colour chioce and bargain prices.

Ciao a tutti!
L'estate (veramente... chi l'ha vista!?) sta finendo, ma ho ancora voglia di colori accesi e vivaci e il 385 di Kiko è un ottimo candidato.
Coprenza perfetta in due passate, lucido e bellissimo. L'unica grande pecca è che, come tutti gli smalti Kiko, su di me resiste il tempo di uno starnuto... ma dato il prezzo contentuto e l'ampia gamma di colori posso tranquillamente passarci sopra.

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