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Sunday, 3 September 2017

Essence Cosmetics - Liquid Lipstick in 03 Almost Real, review, swatches & look

When I wear essence liquid lipstick in the shade 03 Almost Real, a frequent thing for real, it’s like jumping back to the glossy early 2000's but with less mess!

What’s hot in this product? Essence Cosmetics states that: “the innovative formula of the liquid lipstick unites the best of two lip pros by combining the coverage of a lipstick with the shine of a gloss. The packaging also underlines its duo-characteristics...”.
That’s right, the packaging explains the product, now it’s my turn...

The product: packaging

Essence liquid lipstick in 03 Almost Real comes in a particular packaging that’s really captivating: a crystal tube where, for an optical trick, the product inside looks like a lipstick from the outside. 
The tube contains 4 ml of lip colour and the cap details recall the shade itself.
The applicator is a tiny sponge with a spear like silhouette and reaches every corner of the mouth. The pack concept reminds me of ice cubes...

Essence Cosmetics - Liquid Lipstick in 03 Almost Real, review and swatches
Essence Cosmetics - Liquid Lipstick in 03 Almost Real

Formula & texture
What makes this essence liquid lipstick a sort of hybrid is its texture: thick and sticky like a lip gloss, that’s intense and long-lasting as a lipstick.
Its formula is dense but spreads effortlessly.

Shade & finish
Essence liquid lipstick in 03 Almost Real is a nude shade, a caramel nuance with a delicate touch of pink and a predominant peachy warm tone.
The overall pigmentation is very rich, to be a nude shade, with a final effect that can be build up.
Its finish is creamy and shiny and it’s similar to 2000’s vinyl lip gloss.
This watery shine makes lips instantly looking plumped and when the hours pass by, it becomes more natural enhancing lips’ volume!

Essence Cosmetics - Liquid Lipstick in 03 Almost Real

This essence liquid lipstick has a delicious vanilla aroma that lasts for a while and tempts you to apply it over and over again... you could but it’s easy to overdo and mess everything as this liquid lipstick could tend to go directly outlining your lips.
Thanks to its thick formula, this essence liquid lipstick lasts for almost 4 hours even if you drink.
It doesn’t dry my lips and leaves them well hydrated throughout the day and after its removal.
This nude shade leaves a subtle tint while fading.

compact packaging
handy applicator
wearable shade
hydrating formula
pleasant scent
optical plumping effect

easily runs toward the outlines

For most of you, essence liquid lipsticks’ dense consistency could represent a con but it allows this liquid lipstick to last for hours and hours, coffees after coffees.
The shade 03 Almost Real is very natural and can be used day and night, it’s natural option in the case of stronger makeup looks; its flavour lets people fall in love.

Essence Cosmetics - Liquid Lipstick in 03 Almost Real. Long-lasting, budget lipstick. Swatch
Essence Cosmetics - Liquid Lipstick in 03 Almost Real.
Valentina Chirico wearing essence cosmetics liquid lipstick in 03 Almost Real
Makeup details
Face base: Pupa Professional Primer 02 Green + essence cosmetics concealer pen #2 Sand + Pupa Like a Doll compact powder 003  Natural Beige + Marc Jacobs Beauty Air Blush Soft Glow Duo in #508 Night Fever & Hot Stuff
Eyes: essence cosmetics eyebrows stylist set in #01 natural brunette style + Viva La Diva Move Me Jungle eyeshadow kit (Tahiti, Fiji, Tobago) + Marc Jacobs Beauty Highliner Matte Gel Eye Crayon in #41 Earth(quake) #43 Brown(ie) + Avril Le Mascara Bio
Lips: essence cosmetics liquid lipstick 03 Almost Real

Do I recommend it? What a silly question: yes, absolutely!
Essence liquid lipstick in 03 Almost Real is definitely worth my hype and worth a try for its price: 2.45€ for a long-lasting lip colour that unintentionally, or without the help of harsh chemicals, plumps up your lips is a dream.
One side note: do not listen to the little devil: don’t apply too much, despite it’s a real delight.
Go for it, go nude ... it’s (almost) real!

Valentina Chirico aka Valens

Thursday, 31 August 2017

It's coco beauty: refreshing and moisturising coconut-based products for bath and body (Perlier, Hawaiian Tropic and Douglas)

Nothing refreshes and delights as coconut water does! Not by chance, summer 2017 has seen a real shower of coconut-based bath and beauty products
Flying from the Caribbean to Tahiti, jumping back to the Hawaii, these are those “exotic” personal picks you could spot in the intimacy of my room...

Why this "coco beauty"? Coconut is the key ingredient in many summer products thanks to its moisturizing and anti-aging properties.
The high percentage of good saturated fats and Vitamin E contained in coconut sub products allows it to hydrate, soothe and fight aging; this is why coconut oils and butter are everywhere, giving shine to our hair and extra moist to our thirsty skin.
Tahitian people think coconut can even block sun rays! 

My go-to summer scent is a body spritz: Thai Coco - Coconut Water by Perlier (150ml). 

An “anti-stress” body spray with glycerine and 100% bio coconut extracts inspired by Thai massages.It has a sweet but fresh coconut scent that’s long-lasting but delicate.
It can be sprayed all over the body and hair, after sporting and even before going under the sun!
It claims to refresh, moisturize, tone and relax. What does it tone, our skin or spirit?
Mainly our souls but it really leaves the skin hydrated despite the alcohol which I dislike in this scent.

The scent puts instantly in an ecstatic, good mood. I recommend not to spray it directly onto the skin but to mist it generously within your room, then walk through this “scented cloud" so that the alcohol won’t be perceptible.
Recommended! (Less than 10€)

Hawaiian Tropics means delicious coconut and vanilla sunbaths to me, this is why I ended up with this “giant” Hawaiian Tropicexotic coconut after sun body butter” jar without further doubts.
It’s a rich and yellowing, quite oily, melting butter, a tropical bomb with plenty of butter, oils and exotic fruit extracts.
It contains mango, papaya and guava extracts; cocoa, shea and mango butter, coconut and avocado oils and aloe extract for a deep hydration and soothing effect. 

It’s recommended after sun exposure and all year around. Unfortunately, it isn’t fresh to the touch and to the nose, so that I apply it only after a cool shower at night.

This Hawaiian Tropic body butter has an extremely strange scent: far from being delicious, fruity or juicy, it’s plastic-ky and unrealistic and the coconut note comes only after a couple hours.
Actually, this product works as it makes my skin glowy and elastic, my tan long-lasting (no skin peeling off at the moment - what a record!)  but it’s totally unpleasant and I wouldn’t buy it again!
Sorry, Hawaiian Tropics: I consider your latest body product close to a miss and I want that mouth-watering perfume back again! (9€ ca)

After a torrid day, nothing beats a cool shower and tons of sweet bubbles.
Coco Vanilla is one of the four shower gels created in a limited edition exclusively by Douglas Perfumeries. Mine has a fresh coconut note made enticing by vanilla, a long-lasting scent that evolves into an aquatic perfume.
It contains coconut extract (acid), glycerine and aloe vera extract, its formula is dermatological tested and its ingredients are the secret for a shower gel that delicately cleanses while leaving the skin smooth for hours and hour.
When I wake up my body is still soft and pleasantly scented.
Recommended (6.95€)

Just in case you need some extra exoticisms, you’ve probably seen an intruder here: Viva la Diva Move Me Jungle eyeshadow kit has nothing to do with coconut but it’s a "postcard for a mental vacation overseas" with its floral packaging and bright colours.

Coconut oil and butter are our skin’s best friends and coconut scent is a perfect companion, a mood transforming magic trick! A drink I'd love to order over and over again... 24/7!
I go bananas for coconut and you?

Valentina Chirico aka Valens

Wednesday, 23 August 2017

Marc Jacobs Beauty - Highliner Matte Gel Eye Crayon review, swatches and make-up looks

Marc Jacobs Beauty has extended its “highway to pure colours” with the launch of its newest "eye experience": the Highliner Matte Gel Eye Crayons, 12 new bright miles or... eye pencils. 

The Highliner Matte Gel Eye Crayons are the new entries in top fashion designer Marc Jacobs’ eye makeup line: the same chic and researched stylus and smart design, taste for puns and colour selection now switched to the purest and total matte finish.
Sisters or alter egos of the famous MJB Highliner Gel Eye Crayons?

Marc Jacobs Beauty - Highliner Matte Gel Eye Crayon, review, swatches and make-up looks

Experience the intense colour payoff, amazing glide and 12-hour long-wear of Marc Jacobs Beauty’s original award-winning Highliner gel eye crayon eyeliner re-envisioned in a bold matte finish”.
What a high impact statement but are the achieving results bold enough?

THE PRODUCT: packaging

The Highliner Matte Gel Eye Crayons by Marc Jacobs Beauty are automatic eyeliner pencils, each one containing 0.5gr. 
The Highliner Matte Gel Eye Crayons have exactly the same sleek packaging of the award-winning line: an elongated silver pencil with a tiny sharpener hidden at the end of the stylus.
The pencil, in line with the product, has an elegant mattified metallic finish and it's very handy and light, perfect for travels.

Shade and finish
The Highliner Matte Gel Eye Crayons by Marc Jacobs Beauty enrich and complete the already wide Highliner collection with 12 new shades fully covering the chromatic spectrum, except for yellow: there are neutrals and dark tones, as well as pastels and vibrant shades.
Marc Jacobs’ newest eyeliners have, as the name suggests, a 100% matte finish.

Formula and texture
Marc Jacobs assures the same smooth formula and intense texture fans already appreciate in his Highliner Gel Eye Crayon collection.
Each and every Highliner Matte Gel Eye Crayon has a long-lasting but delicate formula that doesn’t irritate or dry the skin, and a very creamy texture that glides easily and smoothly; once dry, it becomes completely smudge-proof and waterproof!
These eyeliners dry and set in about 15 seconds and the “lines” last for hours and hours no matter the weather conditions, so much that one’s need a specific makeup remover or olive oil to remove every colourful bit!

Marc Jacobs Beauty new Highliner Matte Gel Eye Crayon range comes in 12 colours, from the most delicate baby blue to the darkest brown.
Here’s below a chart showing for each Highliner Matte Gel eye Crayon a short colour description and extras about each pencil’s texture and outcome.

Marc Jacobs Beauty HIGHLINER Matte Gel Eye Crayon
Name it!
#41 (Earth)quake
Cold Dark Brown
High colour payoff + smooth texture
#43 (Brown)ie
Warm Medium Brown
High colour payoff + extreme smooth texture
#45 (Iron)y
Cold Dark Gun-Metal Gray
High colour payoff + extreme smooth texture
#61 Over(night)
Prussian Blue-Dusty Midnight Blue
High colour payoff + smooth texture
#63 (Grape)vine
Eggplant Violet
Intense colour payoff + smooth texture
#47 (Fine)wine
Hot Brick Red
Intense colour payoff + smooth texture
#53 Out Of The Blue
Buildable colour payoff + smooth texture
#51 Whirl(pool)
Emerald Green
Buildable colour payoff + smooth texture
#49 (Pop)ular
Hot Medium Pink
Buildable colour payoff + smooth texture
#55 Mist Me?
Bright Lilac
High colour payoff + extreme smooth texture
#57 Deja Blue
Pantone Light Baby Blue
High colour payoff + extreme smooth texture
#59 Pink of Me
Powder Pink-Light Baby Pink
High colour payoff + extreme smooth texture

How to use:

Do you really need further instruction on how to use an eye pencil?
Yes, in the case of Marc Jacobs Beauty’s Highliner Matte Gel Eye Crayon...
Indeed it’s stated that Highliner Matte Gel Eye Crayon's formula dries in 15 seconds and after this short time span the colours are completely waterproof and resistant to smudges and scratches up to 12 hours.
It’s true but the creamy formula still allows us to play with the Highliner eyeliners.
The Highliner Matte Gel Eye Crayon can be used in three different ways: as a traditional eyeliner, even along the waterline, smudged as a creamy eyeshadow and quickly as an eyeshadow base.
If you do a mistake (things happen) or you’re not satisfied by how you’ve styled your own eyeliner, you can simply smudge it with your finger and transform a possible mess into a long-lasting smoky eye, for example!

I make plenty of use of the Highliners and this is how I often wear them: as a traditional eyeliner and kohl to define my upper lash line and brighten my waterline as in these two examples...
This “modern geisha look” plays with red and pink featuring the hot red (Fine)wine blended onto the lids and as a minimal eyeliner followed by Pink of Me running through my waterline...
A spring fling and extra hours of sleep in a snap with Mist Me? refreshing my waterline.

as eyeshadow base, creamy eye colour and... graphic eyeliner:
a 90’s casual look calls for matte brown and (Bown)ie, here’s blended in the outer V and used as a base for neutral eyeshadows...
a cold smoky eye where (Iron)y and Mist Me? have been simply smudged with my finger tips and let dry...
a dramatic eggplant eyeliner, (Grape)vine creating the awe of a strong “Arabic” eye look.

Too much talk, let’s these outdoor swatches show you how the Highliner Matte Gel Eye Crayon eyeliners are in real life and how intense they can be.


smooth texture,
long-lasting results,
multiuse and versatility,
waterproof and delicate formula,
varied colour selection,
cruelty free

unexpected inhomogeneous colour payoff (by considering the whole matte collection)


Marc Jacobs new icon is a youthful beauty, styled as a 70s' disco dancer for the global adv campaign: she’s Kaia Berger wearing some swirls of Whirl(pool) Highliner Matte Gel Eye Crayon.
I couldn’t not taking this pencil and play with it and other beauty weapons: I’ve designed my eyes with Whirl(pool), tightened my eyes with (Brown)ie, perfected my lids with Tahiti eyeshadow (Viva La Diva Move Me Jungle eyeshadow kit), highlighted some face key points (brow bone, cupid’s bow, bridge of the nose) with the paler shade from Marc Jacobs Beauty Air Blush Soft Glow Duo #502 Lines & Last Night blush, then pumped my lashes with Marc Jacobs Beauty Velvet Noir Major Volume mascara.
I’ve added some glow and volume to my cheeks with Marc Jacobs Beauty Air Blush Soft Glow Duo #504 Kink & Kisses swept with Marc Jacobs “The Blush” n°10 angled blush brush.
I’ve completed my lips with a great mix and match for a natural fuller effect: Bite BeautyThe Multisticks” in Blondie and Cashew (centre) and with the lightest shades contained in Marc Jacobs Beauty Air Blush Soft Glow Duo  #506 Flesh & Fantasy and #502 Lines & Last Night.

Before my conclusion, I show you how playful the eye pencils are: rainbow!

Rainbow freckles were a hype last year on Instagram, so I try themI dotted my nose with artificial freckles made with the pastels and brights from the Highliner Matte Gel Eye Crayon range: Pink of Me, Out Of The Blue, Whirl(pool), Mist Me?, Deja Blue and (Pop)ular to pair a “pink and blue”, Pantone Color Of The Year 2016 -inspired eye look.

I’ve found the Highliner Matte Gel Eye Crayon to be a real surprise by Marc Jacobs Beauty: they do what’s supposed they to do and they’re also very versatile as I often conclude a makeup with a lilac like Mist Me? and I pick (Brown)ie for a minimal look.
These eyeliner pencils adapt to any necessity and time available and, if applied quickly and if you master the trick, they allow endless opportunities.
The lonely bad note is about the colour payoff: despite all these matte Highliner eyeliners have the same texture and long-lasting formula, some of the most beautiful shades are less intense and homogeneous once applied, needing more coats. It’s the case of Out Of The Blue, (Pop)ular and Whirl(pool).

They are a total hit: the price may sound higher than an "everyday gel eyeliner "but the quality is excellent and repays what you’ve paid for! It's a great designer's creation!
Buying all the shades available would be impossible and choosing is hard, so I recommend #43 (Brown)ie and #55 Mist Me? thanks to their high versatility combined with their great impact.
Other favourite shades to keep in consideration are #57 Deja Blue for its buttery smoothness and extremely pigmented formula, #61 Over(night) and #47 (Fine)wine for their dramatic colours.

You can find Marc Jacobs Beauty Highliner Matte Gel Eye Crayon online at Marc Jacobs e-store
and exclusively at Sephora.
Shade selection and prices vary depending on your country: they are 25$ and approximately more than 20€ across the Europe (22,50€ in Italy at Sephora). Up along a rainbow or straight to the disco, be sweet or go wild because you can with Marc Jacobs Beauty Highliner Matte Gel Eye Crayon...
As pencils make kids express themselves and their fantasies, so do the Highliner crayons with older kids!

Valentina Chirico aka Valens
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