February 27, 2015

Review: Catrice Prime and Fine Pore Refining Anti-Shine Base

Catrice Primer and Fine Pore Refining Anti-Shine Base
Catrice Primer and Fine Pore Refining Anti-Shine Base Review
Catrice Face Primer Review
Catrice Primer and Fine Pore Refining Anti-Shine Base Swatch

I find that primers are quite important in a routine when the right one is used. I am in search of a drugstore primer which works well for my skin, so I am constantly trying new ones out. A while ago I tried the Catrice Prime and Fine Anti-Red Base and ended up not really liking it, so when I received another primer by Catrice from my friend Luchessa I was really happy to give it a go. I've been using the Catrice Prime and Fine Pore Refining Anti-Shine Base on and off for a while now and am ready to share my thoughts.

The product comes in a tube of 30ml which looks very similar to the NYX Pore Filler or the Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer. But the product itself is a white cream formula. It applies really smoothly, absorbs well and doesn't contain any silicones from what I understood in the ingredients. Which I personally quite liked about it. The packaging of the product says it is a pore refining anti-shine base which is mattifying, longlasting and oil-free. It is also supposed to reduce optically the size of pores.

Now even though the oil-free aspect may be true, I find that the rest of the product's goals do not apply for oily skin. Firstly, when I use this primer, it doesn't feel mattifying at any point nor does it minimize my pores. Secondly, it lasts for about 1-2 hours after which my face is oily and I have to blot/ powder etc to keep the shine away. Personally, this is roughly the amount of time it takes for my face to get oily without any primer whatsoever. So why do I need this product? Honestly, I really don't. I feel like it works more as a moisturizer than a primer for oily skin. If you have normal or dry skin on the other hand, this product may do the job.

Overall Summary
Price - approx. 4.50.
Likes - applies smoothly, absorbs well & doesn't contain silicones.
Dislikes - does not mattify and is not long lasting
Verdict - Not repurchasing.
Available - Drugstore.

Have you tried the Catrice Prime and Fine Pore Refining Anti-Shine Base? What is your favourite drugstore primer?
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February 25, 2015

Printed Sunshine

Printed Sunshine
Jumper - Punt Market Factory   |   Jeans - Oxygene   |   Boots - S'carpa   |   Necklace - Ebay   |   Sunglasses - H&M
Yellow Oversized jumper with bows
How to style an oversized jumper to look amazing
Spring ootd with a yellow jumper
Yellow jumper and Aztec jeans outfit
How to style a yellow jumper, how to style aztec jeans

Last weekend was my birthday weekend and after a lot of drinking and dancing Saturday night to Sunday morning, I was pretty beat and didn't know what to wear on Sunday. But then I remembered about this amazing yellow jumper I bought in December and knew right away that my outfit was sorted. There's nothing I like better than jea and an oversized jumper for lazy days out or if I've got a hangover.

I honestly used to hate the colour yellow being part of my outfit when I was a teenager. I am not too sure why, but I just thought it looked bad with my skin tone. But as I got older, I actually began to love the colour. It is so bright and summery, it just brings a smile to your face. I got this jumper at a store called Punt Market Factory here in Barcelona. I love oversized jumpers, especially ones with cute bow details at the back, so I knew right away I had to have it, more so because it was on sale for just 7. 

I paired it with some printed pants and a statement necklace so it looks like I put a bit more effort, then finished off my makeup with the MAC Russian Red lipstick. I love the yellow and red combination when it is done in the right proportion.

What do you think of my outfit? Should I wear more yellow?
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February 23, 2015

Review: Dr.Jart+ Pore Medic Pore Purifying Mask

Dr.Jart+ Pore Medic Pore Purifying Mask Review on Oily Acne prone skin
Dr.Jart Pore Medic Face Mask

The way your skin looks and feels depends on a lot of different factors. Some we can control, others not so much. I'm still trying to put together the best skincare routine for my skin {oily & acne-prone}, so I've been trying out another skincare product from Dr. Jart. Last time, I posted about the Dr. Jart Pore Medic Pore Minish Cleansing Bubble and now I have a facemask from the same line; it's the Dr. Jart Pore Medic Pore Purifying Mask*.

The product comes in a box with 5 single-use masks available. It contains chestnut shell and plum extract which stimulates pore contraction and controls excess oil production, Orange extract which brightens the skin, as well as hyaluronic acid, green tea extract etc. Based on the ingredients, it is supposed to tighten your pores and prevent excess oil without drying your face. Once you open up the satchet, there is a cotton mask {which has got holes for the nose, eyes and mouth} immersed in a lot of serum. The cloth mask is said to be 100% cotton which means it shouldn't irritate those with sensitive skin. The instructions say to take out the cotton mask, unfold it and apply it to your face {this is pretty easy}. After about 15-30 mins, take off the cotton mask and massage the rest of the serum into your face. 

For me, the mask fit perfectly with the holes being in the right places and felt really good when I applied it to my face. I used it on a day when I felt my skin was dehydrated and left it on for the full 30 mins. When I first removed the mask and massaged the serum, my face felt quite tight and sticky but once it absorbed, my skin felt very soft and moisturized. But in regards to excess oil, I feel like it did only a little in controlling my oiliness. Overall I feel it is a great mask to use when your face feels very dry and dehydrated, but it is quite pricey at $29 for a pack of 5 masks, so you might want to save them for special days and use cheaper masks weekly.

Overall Summary
Price - $29 {pack of 5}.
Likes - hydrates the skin.
Dislikes - quite pricey.
Verdict - Not purchasing.
Available - Sephora.

Have you tried any Dr. Jart products? What is your favourite face mask?
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February 18, 2015

Transitioning from Relaxed to Natural Hair

transitioning from relaxed to natural hair

In my 1 year update of my hairgrowth journey, I let you know that I am considering transitioning to my natural hair. I hadn't made a final decision and was originally going to finish up the last jar of relaxer which I have just so there is less temptation to straighten my hair if I decide to transition. I know it is not going to be easy and somedays my entire head will be in knots, and somedays I might feel like giving up and just straightening it; hence my original train of thought. But recently, I woke up one morning and just thought "I want to do it!". I'm already about 2 months post relaxer, so why go back?! 

I've been straightening my hair since I was about 13. And the main reason was because my natural hair is quite kinky and I found it really hard to manage. I went to highschool in Nigeria, and we were required to put our hair in braids so we looked presentable. That meant I needed to go to the hair salon every week to get my hair done, and the ladies just kept pulling and ripping out all my hair. It was honestly extremely painful. I got tired of this and asked my mum to relax it. And I've been keeping up the treatment since. 

I've been asked by my family or close friends a couple of times why I relax my hair and if I've considered switching back. And honestly, I've considered multiple times but I've always used the excuse that styling my hair in the mornings when it's relaxed is way easier {and that excuse works like a charm} so I've never actually gone through with it. Lately, I've been spending my life on youtube & pinterest looking at hairstyles, watching videos about everyone's routine and what products they use etc. And I finally decided that now that I have the possibility to get products catered for african hair, I am going to transition.

Loads of people choose to do the big chop as opposed to the transition because then you have just one texture of hair and don't need to worry about caring for two different textures. Both of these methods have their pros and cons, so I feel it all goes down to personal preference. I really cannot imagine myself with short hair & after being on a hairgrowth journey for the last year, I honestly do not want to just cut it all off. So I'm going to be growing out my natural hair and trimming the relaxed ends off from time to time. 

If you have any suggestions of what hairstyles I could possibly do or what products I should try, please leave them in the comments. Because if not, I'd probably be living in buns and twist outs.

Did you make the decision to go natural? Tell me about your journey.
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February 16, 2015

Barcelona Treasures: El Dragonfly

Barcelona TreasuresL El Dragonfly
El Dragonfly Barcelona
Beige Leather Bag and Scarf for Spring from El Dragonfly Barcelona

Earlier this winter, my mum visited and we did a lot of exploring {as always}. This is something I really love about my mum's visits and I look forward to it each time. This time, in our adventures, we came across a small shop which is located on a narrow street in the center of Barcelona. I love it so much I want to share it with you all.

The name of the store is El Dragonfly. It sells beautiful accessories ranging from totes, clutches, scarves, jewellery, sunglasses and more. Most of the bags, clutches and wallets are made of leather and are designed in Barcelona. All the items are of great quality and reasonably priced {while I was there they had a sale and cross body bags were 20 while large totes were 90}. The store can be found at Carrer dels Sombrerers 9, Barcelona.

What I really liked about the store other than the items themselves was the sales representative. I think this is the first time I've actually gone into a store and received such great service. The young man at the store knew all about the history of bags and what handle represented what year. It was pretty impressive hearing him talk about it. 

My mum and I looked at all the items available and settled on a beige bag which she got me as an early birthday present for my birthday. She ended up not getting herself anything as she has a lot {and I mean "a lot"} of bags at home. The guy at the store was also kind enough to let me pick my favourite scarf as a gift. And being the colour fanatic I am, I went for the pink multicoloured one which I thought would be perfect for spring.

So if you're visiting Barcelona and would like some affordable leather items, I would highly recommend you check out this store.

Any gems in Barcelona you think I should check out?
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February 13, 2015

Collective Beauty Haul {February 2015}

Collective Beauty Haul (February 2015)
Shopping is addictive, but hey I'm helping the economy right? Over the last few weeks I've been doing a bit of shopping at the drugstore, local afro shop etc, and I thought I'd share my purchases with you. For makeup & skincare, I watched quite a few youtube videos and put together a list of some products I wanted to try. First I went to 'Druni' and they didn't have the products I was looking for but then I found them at 'Perfumerias if' a few days later, so I ended up with a few more products than I planned. But well, I'm still happy to try them out.


Haircare

Beauty Haul - Haircare (Murray's, ORS, Dark & Lovely)
I've been getting most of my haircare products from the local afro shop here in Barcelona called Comercial Peluqueria, and recently I got a few more products to try out. I got the ORS Olive Oil Mosturizing Hair Lotion because I've been using the Dark & Lovely Corrective Leave-in for ages and just wanted to try something else. I also picked up the Dark & Lovely Au Naturale Super Softening Hair Butter which I saw and thought would work well for my hair. Its first ingredient is water so it hydrates your hair and leaves my hair feeling very soft. But it's quite pricey at 11, so I'll probably try out a hair butter from a cheaper brand next time. Lastly I got the Murray's Hair Energizer with Carrot oil. I actually got this product on a whim because I heard carrot oil is good for the hair, and I don't really like it. It says to apply the product to the scalp but it is very sticky and just makes my fingers stick to my hair. So I'll see how this works if I melt it and use it as a deep conditioner instead.


Skincare

Beauty Haul - Skincare (Garnier, Clean & Clear)
The first time I went to the drugstore, the moisturizer I wanted wasn't available so I decided to still get one anyway and since my skin is crazy oily, I'm always up for trying out mattyfing products. So I picked up the Garnier Hydrant 24h moisturizer for combination & oily skin. I was put off by the fact that the product comes in a jar because I'm not a fan of products which require me putting my finger in it everyday as this just increases the chances of transferring bacteria to my face, but I got it anyways and will transfer it to a pump bottle.
A few days later, I went to a different store and found the product I was actually looking for which is the Clean & Clear Dual Action Moisturizer. I guess I watched too many youtube videos from people in America because I was seriously looking for this product by the bottle and almost missed it as it comes in the tube here in Spain.


Makeup

Beauty Haul - Makeup (Rimmerl, Inglot, Catrice, Essence)
Same day I went to the drugstore and got the Garnier moisturizer, I also got the Rimmel Fix & Perfect Pro Primer which is supposed to smooth, resurface, brigthen, mattify and protect. Then I went to a different store and found the Rimmer Stay Matte Primer which I had seen great reviews about so I got that to see how it would work on keeping my oily skin matte. I also got the Essence Get Big Lashes Triple Black mascara which I'd tried once already while living in Latvia and I liked it as an everyday mascara so I decided to repurchase it. The Catrice Prime and Fine Mattifying Waterproof Powder is one I had seen a couple of times at the drugstore but somehow never bought, so I finally decided to pick it up. Lastly, I got a foundation. Now I have this problem with drugstore primers because I've got a very yellow undertone so nomatter which one I pick, it ends up a bit too pink for me. I found an Inglot counter at the mall and asked the sales representative to colour match me. She was able to find a foundation which was yellow enough and fits almost perfectly with my skintone {yay for a matching head and neck} and it is the Inglot YSM Cream Foundation in Shade 51. It comes in a 30ml tube and costs 18 euros which I think is pretty decent so I'm going to stick to this one till I have a tan.

So that's pretty much it. I'm looking forward to trying out all these products and will probably have reviews coming up on the blog soon.

Have you tried any of these products? How did they work for you? What other drugstore products do you think I should try out?
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February 11, 2015

Review: Makeup Revolution Cover & Conceal Palette


Makeup Revolution Cover & Conceal Palette
Makeup Revolution Ultra Professional Cover & Concealer Palette
Makeup Revolution Cover & Conceal Palette in Light-Medium
Makeup Revolution Cover and Conceal Palette Review
Makeup Revolution Cover & Conceal Palette in Light-Medium Swatches

Ever since I tried out their Hard Day Palette, I've wanted to get my hands on a few more products. So when I found a store here in Barcelona which sells Makeup Revolution products, I was very excited. Right away I went and picked up the Cover & Conceal palette in Light-Medium. It is usually available in Light, Light-Medium and Medium-Dark, but at this store, it was available only in Light-Medium and I was worried this would be too light but decided it was well worth the risk for €8  I would honestly really like if they had a wider range of Makeup Revolution products at Primor and maybe a few testers so you know what exactly you are buying.

The packaging of the product is a black glossy case with gold letters. It is very sturdy and comes with a mirror which is definitely something I like with Makeup Revolution products. This Cover & Conceal Palette contains 8 different shades of concealer ranging from light to medium. The shade range gives you the possibility to use one as an under-eye concealer and another for covering up blemishes, or mix them together to get the perfect match. 

The concealers are creamy and easy to apply, but are at the same time quite greasy. For an oily skin girl like me, that doesn't work too well. Still, I've used this a few times and it didn't break me out. I would say this concealer palette provides medium coverage and lasts for a few hours when set with powder. Which I would honestly say isn't bad for a concealer. I do need to touch up with powder during the day just so my face doesn't look too greasy, but I am yet to see the day I do not need to. Overall, I believe this product would work a lot better for normal skin than for oily skin.

Overall Summary
Price - €8.
Likes - price, colour range, coverage.
Dislikes - greasy. 
Verdict - not repurchasing.
Available - Primor {Spain}, Makeup Revolution online.

Which are your favourite Makeup Revolution Palettes or products?
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February 9, 2015

Birthday Wishlist 2015

For me, february is the month each year I turn a little older. I love having friends over to celebrate and I love presents {well, who doesn't?!}. Sometimes, it gets tough trying to come up with a gift idea for a friend or loved one, which is why I like wish lists. So I've put together my own birthday wishlist which could help my family and friends if they are stuck.

Fashion
I've wanted a Michael Kors bag for ages but I just can never justify the purchase. There's always this or that, that's more important. Now I've got my eye on the Michael Kors Jet Set Top-Zip Tote in Black. It is a gorgeous bag and I absolutely love it. It is so versatile and amazing quality which means I'll wear it for a very long time. Plus it is in a classic style, so it'll never really go out of trend. 

Gadgets
I love tech gadgets! Whether it's phones, cameras, speakers, earphones or anything else, I'm always for it. I've been lusting after the iphone 6 in gold as I think the specifications are better than that of the 4S, I need more space on my phone and would love to take better pictures. Another tech item I've got on my list which will fuel my love for dance is the kinect. Hubs got the xbox one this year and ever since I've wanted to get Just Dance 2015 so I can dance battle with my friends. And since I recently got myself the Canon 70D, all camera accessories such as SD cards, filters, sun protectors would definitely be useful.

Storage
My office/ beauty room is getting quite overflown with products as well as other things here and there. And since we moved in, I've wanted to redo that room to make it a lot prettier and a bit more me. I think spring is the best time for this as I can paint and air the room then put in all the furniture I want. I need a lot more space so my table isn't crowded, and after taking measurements, 2 of the Gersby bookcases will fit perfectly. They are inexpensive and I'll have a lot more space to store all my stuff. I also need some acrylic storage and heard the MUJI 3 Drawer Unit is amazing as it is big enough for even foundation to fit it. Lastly, isn't this Bird Heart Shaped Jewellery Dish just the cutest for storing everyday jewellery?!

Makeup
There isn't any time of the year when I'll say no to makeup. I'm just like that. Since I'm always at the drugstore getting myself one thing or the other, I find it pretty cool when friends and family treat me to some high end makeup. Personally, I love anything from MAC or Sephora.

Is your birthday in February? What's on your wishlist?
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February 7, 2015

Hair Growth Journey: 1 Year Update

Hair Growth Journey: 1 Year Update, African hair growth in 1 year

Over a year has passed since I started my hair growth journey. I've been paying my hair lots of attention and doing what I can to help boost it's growth past the level it usually grows to. This might be a common problem for African haired beauties, but there are solutions. You just need to put in a bit more effort. If you'd like to follow my journey you can check out my Start length check, 3 month update and 7 month update

When we made the decision to move to Barcelona, I stopped buying any new products and just tried to use up as many as I could. I still use my holy grail Dark & Lovely Corrective Leave-in and the Dabur Amla Hair Oil, and I still take Biotin Pills. Here are some of the new products I've been using:

ORS Olive Oil Creamy Aloe Shampoo
Confume Argan Gold Treatment* (full review here)
Dark and Lovely Ultra Cholesterol Conditioning Mask
Vitale Olive Oil 4-in-1 Growth Serum
Confume Argan Treatment Oil (full review here)
Tigi Bed Head Foxy Curls Contour Cream* (full review is available here)
Tangle Teezer* (full review here)
NOW Cod Liver Oil

So from my 7 month update, my hair has grown another 1.5-2 inches which I think is pretty good. In the entire year I've been on my hair growth journey, my hair has grown about 3 inches in total. Making it that much closer to waist length.

On a side note, I am considering switching to my natural hair and would love any products, tips and hairstyle you can suggest for transitioners. I know transitioning is not going to be easy and I am not sure if I'm ready to commit to it but I'm going to use up the relaxer I already have so there is less temptation to just straighten my hair and then decide.

Here is a video with some more details. I would love for you to subscribe to my channel.



What products are you using for long healthy hair?
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February 4, 2015

Winter Florals and Fur

Steph Powder Blue Floral Swing Dress
Dress: 5fashion   |   Fur vest: H&M   |   Boots: S'carpa   |   Tights: Primark   |   Jewellery: Vanilla Shimmer
Furry Florals OOTD
Blue florals and fur details featuring Vanilla Shimmer
Winter florals and fur, Vanilla Shimmer Jewellery

It's been a while since I wrote a personal style post, and I was looking at pictures on pinterest last week and couldn't come up with a reason I took a break. So now I'm back and hopefully will have a style post each week or every other week.

On the weekend we had lunch with friends and while I was getting ready I decided why not take some outfit pictures on the way to the place. I wore my Steph Powder Blue Floral Swing Dress which I bought from 5fashion for just £5. The first time I wore this dress, I wasn't quite sure if I liked it because it gave off a bit of a pyjama look. But then I tried styling it with different items and I honestly love it. I think long sleeve swing dresses are great for the Autumn and Winter because you can wear them separately or add layers. Because it was quite chilly, I paired mine with my H&M fur vest, a pair of tights, my favourite boots and some jewellery from my store Vanilla Shimmer. 

We went to some restaurant/cafe close to Sagrada Familia where you can pay about 11 euros then eat and drink as much as you want. The idea is pretty good and the food reminded me of Lido in Latvia which is quite often a favourite place for people visiting Latvia. It was a lovely lunch date and I ended my day with a well deserved pamper session.

What do you think of the outfit? What are your fav fashion stores for affordable items?
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February 2, 2015

Review: Flormar Waterproof Lipliner in 224

Flormar Waterproof Lipliner in 224
Flormar Waterproof Lipliner Review
Flormar Waterproof Lipliner in 224 swatch
Flormar Waterproof lipliner, Where to buy flormar products in Barcelona

This winter, I have been trying out darker lip shades and I have been loving it. When I was over at the flormar store in Diagonal Mar to get myself some foundation {utter fail with that btw because the sales rep helped colour match me & then I went home and it was waaaay too dark in natural lighting for me}, I picked up a dark plum lip pencil which is the Flormar Waterproof Lipliner in 224.

It is your standard lip pencil which requires sharpening. Honestly, this sometimes puts me off when I'm getting ready in a rush. But well, that's how loads of lip liners are so I just live with it. That being said, I still prefer it when pencils which require sharpening come with their own sharpener in the cap as I just find this more comfortable. So packaging wise, I'm not a big fan.

Shade 224 of the Flormar Waterproof Lipliner is a very pigmented deep plum which I think looks lovely for the Autumn and Winter months {if you like the vampy look}. It is very easy to apply and goes on smoothly but feels quite drying on the lips if you are going to fill in your entire lip and not just outline. So what I always do is apply some lipbalm before applying the lip pencil and add a lipstick on top. 

The staying power of the lipliner is quite impressive but definitely not waterproof. To try it out I wore just the lipliner without any lipstick for an evening out and it lasted for about 3 hours with all my drinking and eating which I think is definitely not bad. I think this lipliner in a light everyday shade would be a great addition to anyone's collection. As for this specific shade, I really don't care for the staying power because I've got a long wearing lipstick which I apply over it, so either way it lasts me a long time.

Overall Summary
Price - €3.90.
Likes - price, staying power, pigmentation.
Dislikes - packaging.
Verdict - will be purchasing an everyday shade.
Available - Flormar store {Spain}.

Have you tried the Flormar Waterproof Lipliner or any other flormar product? Any recommendations?
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