OFRA Liquid Lipsticks.

During my Lip Monthly subscription (I have unsubscribed a little over half a year ago) I received three OFRA liquid lipsticks. Ever since receiving Laguna Beach, I’d squeal a bit if I saw one in the bag. Here’s a little overview of the three shades I own.

Laguna Beach

My most worn out of the bunch, and probably one of the absolute favourites in my lipstick collection. It’s a nude that’s neither too brown, nor too pink. Sits well on the lips, doesn’t highlight any dry areas, applies like a dream, and wears off nicely. I would wear it day in, day out, but I like sprucing things up a bit with different colours – plus yeah, I’m ‘saving’ it. You can see me wearing it in the photo below (also my current profile pic, heh).

IMG_20160206_171817

Mina

This is a really intense dark wine colour. It’s pigmented and applies evenly, but does require a bit more work than the Laguna Beach above (duh). The thing I like about OFRA liquid lipsticks is that you can easily work with the transparency of these. I’ve worn it both as an intense dark plum, and as a bit of an evenly looking wine stain. Add gloss over, and it almost looks like natural but really intense lip pigment.

New Orleans

Simultaneously my favourite and least favourite out of the bunch. The colour is amazing, and as with the Mina above, you can either wear it as an intense purple, or tone it down a notch and use it as a stain under a gloss (and I’ve a matching gloss too – Medusa’s Make-up Shout, unavailable on their website it seems). However, the formula in my product seems faulty. It’s patchy and dry – not drying, but dry. Working with it is a bit like trying to apply poster paint evenly on your lips. Since the other two I’ve got don’t have such problems, I think that my tube of New Orleans OFRA liquid lipstick is just really old.

ofra liquid lipsticks

Top to bottom: Mina, New Orleans, Laguna Beach. As you can see in the picture, the New Orleans tube has its sticker applied the other way round, compared to Mina and Laguna Beach.

ofra liquid lipsticks swatches

Swatched: Laguna Beach, New Orleans, Mina.

ofra liquid lipsticks applicator

Doe-foot applicators of OFRA Liquid Lipsticks.

I wholeheartedly recommend this lipstick range. If you haven’t yet tried OFRA, you really should.

Kayla Hagey has done a great swatch video of 32 shades of OFRA Liquid Lipsticks. Damn, I want a couple more.

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#100empties: Some Hair Products.

One of the reasons I don’t post the empties posts monthly is because I just have so many empty jars and bottles each time, one would probably think I eat conditioners and deodorants for breakfast. It isn’t so, but I figure my empties box is a good picture of how we women are conditioned to believe that we ought to use 16 different products daily to look more or less presentable.

And that’s without make-up.

hair empties

Oriflame HairX Volume Boost Leave-In Conditioner

I have reviewed the set of Volume Boost Shampoo and Conditioner in full in a separate post. You can read it here.

Oriflame Nature Secrets Hair Mask for coloured hair

I have a feeling that I’ve been using this mask all wrong. That is, on hair that wasn’t dyed. Therefore, I cannot comment on whether it would prolong the vividness of your hair colour. However, I will say this – it’s got a certain scent to it that is akin to hair dye, but much gentler.

Unfortunately, I cannot recommend this mask for any of its other properties. I didn’t find that it conditioned my hair well (leaving a simple conditioner on my hair for 2-3 minutes worked better than this mask) or left my hair silky smooth at the end, or made it easier to brush. I did notice a bit more shine, though.

Planter’s Balancing Shampoo with Aloe Vera

How much do I love this shampoo? Let me count the ways. This product honestly deserves a detailed review, but for now have a short run-down:

  • the formula is a bit on the thin side, but not runny or watery;
  • the scent is strong but very fresh and very pleasant;
  • Planter’s does not test on animals;
  • the volume of the product is small, but you don’t need a lot;
  • it lathers well, but is very soft – I barely needed to condition my hair after it;
  • it’s one of the rare products that did not irritate my scalp.

My only two gripes? Price and packaging. I’ll tell you more about these (and the points above) in a full review. Perhaps I’ll buy a mask to go with the shampoo as well, to review the whole set.

Battle of Micellar Waters

micellar waters

A short while ago micellar waters have been touted as some sort of panacea for any skin care problem or need one could possibly have. That isn’t so, obviously. But claims for miracle-working aside, I found micellar waters a welcome addition to my beauty regimen and, indeed, at times a multitasking one.

If I haven’t worn much make-up on that day – like only some powder and brow pencil – I might skip the full cleanse and clean my face with micellar water.

If I’m not planning on doing much, make-up wise, or if I’m running abominably late, micellar water becomes the only morning cleansing step.

I’ve also been using this as a toner quite often (don’t particularly recommend this step, but in the absence of a good toner it’s best to use a micellar water), and to remove traces of mascara and eyeliner after I’ve done a full cleanse, but the suckers are still there.

Overall I enjoy the feeling of using them, so micellar waters are to remain part of my ‘routine’ for quite a while.

Garnier Micellar Cleansing Water for Sensitive Skin is the winner here. It beats the quality/ price ratio of the La Roche Posay micellar water, it has minimal scent, and it’s also the strongest, yet the gentlest, cleanser. It’s on my ‘buy again’ list.

La Roche Posay Physiological Micellar Solution is good, but I probably wouldn’t have bought this micellar water if it wasn’t on buy one, get one free offer. The pricing of La Roche Posay is not outrageous, but either because of import tax or pricing policies of local sellers, it bites, and is not comparable to the prices I see when I look the brand up online. La Roche Posay micellar water gives the greatest feeling of freshness, I’d say, and it also has a very subtle, yet very pleasant aroma.

Oriflame Diamond Cellular Micellar Solution Cleanser (21339), unfortunately, loses in this comparison. It has the strongest scent, which is by all means not offensive, but a bit old-fashioned for my tastes. The packaging is a pump one, which I found unnecessary, simply because one pump wouldn’t give you enough product, and would also make the liquid foam a bit, which destroys the illusion of cleaning your face with water. I can’t be fully certain, but I suspect it gave me an occasional break-out. The price tag, for the amount, was also quite serious – I only bought it because it was on a special offer for distributors. It’s also the harshest cleanser – though, it has to be said, probably the strongest, too. So if your micellar water goal is make-up removal, you should give this one a go.

Next in line for me are: AVON, Eveline, L’Oreal, and the classic Bioderma – have you tried any of these? Which one should I go for first?

(Products purchased with my own money. Oriflame Diamond Cellular bought as a special consultant offer.)

Nail Polish: Oriflame The One in London Red 30530

oriflame the one nail polish in london red

A short post today! The formula of Oriflame The One in London Red nail polish is quite similar to the other nail polish from Oriflame The One series that I’ve written about previously. However, this didn’t stain my nails one bit. It didn’t chip on the nail edge, although the colour began rubbing off a bit on the second day. For some reason it started chipping close to the cuticle, though – look at my forefinger.

I’m in love with this shadeof red. So nice.

What’s your favourite red nail polish?

13 Things That Happen When You Stop Eating Sugar

retro sugar lulz
retro sugar lulz

Disclaimer: The title of the post is a bit clickbaity. I eat sugar. Yes, the big bad white stuff. I love my tea sweet (nope, no builders in the family), and I prefer at least a little bit of sugar in my coffee. An occasional sweet or a biscuit do make their way to my stomach. But these days I eat about 1/5 the amount I used to. I’d wager it’s even less.

Quitting sugar is hard. Sugar is addictive, and the cravings are very hard to beat. However, the benefits are numerous. Here are some I have felt on my own.

1. Your sense of smell intensifies. I am much better at detecting odours and distinguishing differences between scents these days. I can also smell a coffee shop from five blocks away.

2. … as well as your sense of taste. Again, the nuances. I pay attention to the differences in tastes I never paid attention to before.

3. You feel less fatigued. Your body adjusts to storing and processing energy more efficiently.

4. You get less cravings. Including cravings of sugary things, cravings of tobacco, cravings of caffeine (… OK, well maybe not that one), cravings of salty and crunchy snacks, cravings of pretty much anything.

a hot chocolate with a sugar cane and two cookies

5. Your energy levels become pretty uniform. No more sugar highs, no more sugar crashes.

6. You sleep better. See above.

7. Consequently, you wake up easier. Waking up after having had a banana and a piece of dark chocolate in the evening is way easier than waking up after having had a slice o cake with a huge mug of hot cocoa.

8. You lose weight. Sugar is empty calories. You’d be amazed at how much weight you lose even if the only change you make is cut out cookies, sweet sodas, and a slice of cake here and there.

9. Your skin clears up. There’s much less congestion, redness, and pimples. Sugar aids inflammation, and your skin responds to it with – yep – inflaming.

a slice of cake with latte

10. Your breath is fresher. Because your teeth and your stomach are cleaner.

11. You get less headaches. Sugar is one of the well-known migraine triggers.

12. Your digestion, absorption, and immune system get better. Sugar messes up the natural bacterial balance, which in turn messes up digestion, which in turn messes up absorption, which in turn… Yeah. Sugar is also highly acidic.

a slice of cake with prunes in chocolate and dried cranberries

13. You spend less money. I used to spend at least $30 a month on sugary snacks and on sugar itself. I still buy both, but these days I spend around $5 on them.

Have you quit sugar? Has it made you feel better?

(I am not a medical professional. This post is based on personal experience. Please consult a health care professional before making any dietary changes.)