Incoming! November 2016

Strangely enough, one of the most popular posts on my blog, according to Google Analytics, is the Incoming! one. Yes, I said ‘the incoming one‘, because indeed I only put up one post of such nature and then dropped the idea. But to satisfy the masses, I am bringing these posts back.

I buy a lot of beauty products for the average person. Soz. I also buy books and stationery, random home ware, clothes and jewellery, and stuff for cats, so I suppose that would be the extent of the subjects of these Incoming! posts.

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Golden Rose Matte Lip Crayon

Pretty much love at first sight. I’ve been looking at these lipsticks on blogs for weeks now, and finally went and bought one. I chose an easy to wear every day shade, because I wanted to see how it performs throughout the day before getting a deeper colour. Let me tell ye – it performs extremely well. Soft, non-drying, very creamy for a matte lipstick formula – any lipstick formula, for that matter. Doesn’t bleed, doesn’t feather. Does wear off when eating, but stays put through tea, water, and light snacks. Very lightly scented (thank you, Golden Rose, for updating the scent of your lip products!!).

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I love, love, love this crayon, and already have my eye on two other shades. My only gripe is that these are not automatic and you would have to sharpen them. It’s not that big of a deal, and sharpening pencils and crayons is something of a calming weekend ritual for me. However, it wastes much more product than the automatic ones do.

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Two Serums

I continue exploring Delia products with these two serums. These are very decently priced. It’s hard for me to grade them for performance against their high-end counterparts – simply because I never had any. Matter of fact, I really only had one face serum ever in my life – the Shu Uemura one from the Depsea Hydrability kit. However, I’ve been pleased with results. My skin feels much more even and very soft to the touch.

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Two Face Creams

Two cheap moisturises this month because I had an unexpected salary cut – one for oily skin, one for all skin types. I’ve been using these at night. Their price is ridiculously low – just over $1 each. In combination with the above serums, they’ve been doing a very decent job at keeping my skin hydrated. No breakouts. Pleasant scent. I might actually buy them again, we’ll see.

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Garnier Ultra Deux Softening Conditioner with Aloe Vera and Vegetable Milk

There’s not much to say about this line, is there? It does leave my hair softer and shinier. The scent is non-offensive and even enjoyable.

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Nivea In-Shower Body Milk Cocoa Indulging with Cocoa Butter

Been meaning to pick this one up for quite a while. I went for an option with Cocoa Butter for normal to dry skin. Although I still need additional hydration when using this in-shower body lotion, it performs much better than the AVON one I’ve tried some time ago. I’ll be buying more from this series.

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Oriflame Nail Polishes

And my quest to collect all the Oriflame nail polishes continues. A tiny addition this month – another duochrome shade much like the Golden Rose one I already own (would you like a deeper comparison post?), a gorgeous deep purple with golden glitter – the one from their winter collection of yesteryear that I had thought I’d lost a chance to buy forever, and a green with golden glitter one – missing from the picture, because I have yet to pick up my order.

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Oriflame Tender Care

I am not going to wax poetic about these balms. Okay, maybe I am – in a later post. Technically, though, they are just glorified petroleum jelly. But they’re so well made, and the formula has a really lovely almost-whipped texture, and the scents are so well selected, and the packaging so cute – I just buy every single scent they come out with.

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This one is Gingerbread and it’s fricken amazing. I want to slather it all over my body and eat whatever is left, it just smells so good.

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Bell Trio Eyeshadow

I have had the fondest memories of Bell Cosmetics. It’s one of the first brands I’ve ever used, and their products were one of the first I’d bought on my own. They are marketed as ‘hypoallergenic’. On that I cannot comment, because I have, thankfully, never been allergic to any makeup item to date.

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I picked up this eye shadow trio because the colour selection is lightly (very lightly) reminiscent of the Mary Kay Autumn Leaves set. It’s nowhere near being a dupe, but the idea is there – a green, a purple, and a gold/ neutral. So far I’ve only really used the neutral shade. The others have only been swatched. I might report with a full review later, but for now: Rather pigmented for the product of its caliber; powdery; the two brighter colours seem to stain; use a primer; wear period is medium, but not atrocious; packaging very hard to open.

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Oriflame Lip Sensation Matte Mousse

I picked up one of Oriflame’s recent releases – their matte liquid lipstick. I had thought it would be a good every day pink for me, but… meh.

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I’m currently working on an overview post of all the Oriflame lipsticks I own from different lines, and will have an indepth review there, but in short: Unfortunately, unimpressed.

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Chernii Zhemchug Mousse-Foam Face Washer with Precious Oils

I needed a new face washer because the Bourjois one has failed me. Read a lot of good things about this Precious Oils series from Chernii Zhemchug, so decided to give it a go. It’s not as harsh as the Bourjois one and the scent is much more… I guess you can even call it comforting. One pump is plenty, which is always a huge plus in my book. However, I do think this is more of a quick morning face washer rather than a step in a night time skin routine. But it’ll do for now. Next time I’m going to try an Eveline gel wash with hyaluronic acid that’s been on my list for a couple of months now.

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Some Tools

I picked up a brush for the purposes of dry brushing and an angled eyeliner brush that’s been long overdue in my collection.

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The angled eyeliner brush is very good, especially for its price. There are, perhaps, better brushes out there, but for the purpose of every-day non-precision gel eyeliner and for the price tag of $1 it does a great job.

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The body brush is by Oriflame. When I ordered it from the catalogue, I had thought it would be bigger. In reality it is rather small, but still a good size. Aside from brushing bristles, it comes with massage uhh… thingies built in.

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It’s hard to tell you about results just yet as I’ve only started my dry brushing routine, but so far, so good.

Some Books

My friend is a huge King fan, so I bought two books of his that aren’t horror to finally give the guy a go. Horror genre and I do not agree (I’m as surprised as you are, but that’s true – I am a complete chickenshit and find the Scary Movie franchise scary), so by Oxana’s recs I picked up Dolores Claiborne and by my own interest I picked up On Writing. On Writing I’ve skimmed through before in English, so it’s interesting to read the translated version. The photographs are missing, because the shelf with the new books has been obscured with the Wall of Boxes.

On Kindle I bought Fingersmith. I’ve been looking into Sarah Waters works for a couple of months now, and finally decided to go for Fingersmith first.

Not so much bought as exchanged – Night Call is a selection of stories about law enforcement agencies, and one of the stories in the volume is set in Kishinev. Now, let me tell ye – not many books are set in Kishinev, so I had to get this. The book itself is a typical detective story of the Soviet Era, but reading it was exciting because I really enjoyed recognising the city I live in on the pages. You big city dwellers are lucky bastards, you get to recognise your Londons and Moscows and New Yorks in nearly every other work. Finding a book set in my country – my city! – is refreshing, to say the least.

If you’re keen, take a look at the Kishinev category on my other project, Inner Moldova.

Also bought the first volume of Murakami Haruki’s 1Q84, which I have lovingly nicknamed “IQ84”. I mean no harm; I love Mr Murakami’s works. The photo, too, is missing, because the book is behind the Great Wall of Boxes.

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And finally, a couple of Spanish readers. One is a shameful Beauty and the Beast with literally like 10 paragraphs of text in it, but since it’s Disney and all colour, it actually cost more than the others. The other four are readers with exercises. Three of them are still too high of a level for me (I’m currently somewhere between 1 and 2), but I bought them to ensure that I would have them. I had thought that Spanish study material would be easier to come by here, but boy was I wrong.

Sidenote: Would you like me to write about books more? I’ll never be able to write deep thoughtful reviews of what I read – I am not a deep and thoughtful reader – but if you’d like a few notes here and there, I’m sure it can be done. 😉

That’s it for November! Man, it adds up. I was sure I didn’t buy anything this month, ahahah.

Chistaya Liniya: Recent Hits and Misses

For those who don’t know, Chistaya Liniya (Чистая Линия, translates as Clean Line) is a very affordable skincare and hair care line from Russia. As with any brands of its caliber, some of the products are outstanding, others atrocious, and many are nothing to write home about. Today, let’s take a look at a couple of products from my empties box.

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First up are two hair conditioners: Chistaya Liniya Phytotherapy Phytobalm-Elixir Impulse of Youth 25+ with Chicory and Chistaya Liniya Phytotherapy Smart Balm #1 Strength and Freshness for Greasy Hair and Scalp with Buckwheat.

Them brands really need to tone it down with their names.

The hair conditioner with chicory is a newer line. I really liked its scent. The effect on my hair wasn’t anything extraordinary, but it did its job just fine. The packaging is OK. My only gripe was its top – I love using every last bit of the product, and it’s hard to keep a bottle balanced whilst upside down with a top like that.

The hair conditioner with buckwheat (the one in the white bottle) is not as sleek-looking. It also doesn’t smell as nice as the revamped line, but it performed better. Moisturising without weighing the hair down. I used it up fast, but for its price, I’m OK with that. The only reason I don’t buy it all the time is its scent. It’s not offensive, but it just doesn’t agree with me.

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Chistaya Liniya Phytotherapy Foot Cream with Lavender

One of those products that you don’t quite know what to say about, but that did its job quite well. I loved using it before bed. Whether I’d put on socks or not, it would leave my feet very soft the next morning. This cream had a rather thin consistency and absorbed quickly, which is also good. I would probably buy it again – once I run out of the army of foot creams I’d bought in the interim.

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Chistaya Liniya Phytotherapy Soft Scrub with Raspberry and Lingonberry

I came into the shop and asked for a lip scrub. This is what the saleslady recommended I buy. I bought it because it was cheap and I could use a scrub. I knew from the start I wouldn’t be able to use it for the purpose I bought it for – even though it’s marketed as a ‘soft’ scrub, it’s not soft enough for the gentle skin on the lips. I tried using it on my face, but unfortunately it broke me out like a mother. So this ended up as a body scrub. It was soft enough to use on the decolletage. Will I buy it again? Probably not.

AVON Body Lotions and Oils

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AVON Care Rich Moisture Body Lotion

The best part about this product is completely auxiliary – it left my room smelling amazing after I would apply it, and it would leave it that way for a long time. I swear it does not last on the body as long as it lasts in the room. I would apply it, I would sleep, I would go to work, and I would come back home to a deliciously scented boudoir, for fuck’s sake. For that point: Bravo, Avon.

Everything else: a rather thin lotion (I like them that way), applies easily, absorbs quickly – but unfortunately does not moisturise enough. I would need to apply it every 12-16 hours to feel fully comfortable.

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AVON Skin So Soft Mineral Gems Glamorous Gold

A typical Skin So Soft scent. Kind of a whipped texture, with shimmering particles in it. Not a lot in terms of skincare properties – left a filmy residue on the skin, but wasn’t sticky and felt okay. I got this as a gift, and unfortunately the tube was rather old, and started separating and smelling rancid after about 3 uses. As you can see in the photo, it is almost full.

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AVON Skin So Soft Firming and Restoring Satin Sheer Dual Oil Spray

For a product that calls itself an oil, this has no nurturing properties at all. It goes on easily and absorbs relatively quickly, and my legs would look almost plastic after using it (which I absolutely do not mind), but it is all on the surface, and it did nothing to the quality of the skin in the long run.

… Plus the run itself wasn’t that long – the product lasted me maybe two weeks. Maybe.

An Overview of Oriflame Activelle Deodorants

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The main line of Oriflame antiperspirants, called Activelle, comes in six versions – four roll-on deodorants and one cream deodorant. I tried them all, and although the line itself is pretty homogeneous, I’ve got my own preferences.

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Oriflame Activelle Pure Care comes in two types – roll-on and cream. The roll-on I find too weak for me. I’m not a sweaty lady, but with the pink Activelle I haven’t felt protected enough. However, it is soothing and goes on well right after shaving.

If you are especially sensitive, then I do recommend the cream version. At first I had thought I wouldn’t like it and that the application would be too messy and the entire thing too much of a fuss, but I was wrong. The top of the tube spreads the product evenly, and it really is moisturising. By softening properties it is quite comparable to my favourite ever Dove deodorant (Green Tea & Cucumber). If I am honest, it might even beat it.

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Activelle Extreme Protection 48 hours is the strongest of the six. It will not give you 48 hours of protection, but it certainly lasts longer than the others. I am not giving you any precise times here, because it depends on your system. For me it was a little over 24 hours.

Activelle Green Tea Fresh is the second strongest in the line.

These two also have the harshest scents, for me.

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Activelle Cotton Dry comes second after the Activelle Pure Care when it comes to the softness of the feel. I am currently using it. However, I have to say that it had started smelling differently, to me at least. It used to have a powdery scent, but now it’s much harsher. Could be just me, though.

Oriflame Activelle Invisible is not, in fact, invisible. A standard roll-on deodorant that will offer you adequate protection.

Regarding the formula of all of these deodorants, they take a while to fully dry. It is a product that should be applied the night before – however, I never feel secure enough not reapplying it in the morning.

I honestly cannot tell you how long the bottle will last you. My current Cotton Dry is – I believe – a month and a half old, and is still going strong. You can also store these upside down, as the cap has a flat top. This is always a plus for me, as I love using up every last bit of the product.

I know I will repurchase at least some of these deodorants when they are on offer. My preferences are Pure Care cream and Cotton Dry, followed by Pure Care roll-on and Invisible. Activelle Extreme Protection and Green Tea Fresh, although strong, have scents that do not fully agree with me.

Local Brand: Cosmeplant Makeup Remover Lotion

New month, new series? Let’s see how far I can stretch this one. Unfortunately, Moldova is not known for the extensive production of beauty and lifestyle items. But I’m going to give it a fair shot. I’ve always believed in supporting local businesses. And quite often they deliver – overdeliver, even, if you take the price tag into consideration.

Below is one such gem.

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The first thing I noticed about this product was its scent. I believe it is supposed to be chamomile, but to me it smells like custard. For that reason alone, I love using it.

The packaging of Viorica Cosmeplant Makeup Remover Lotion is a simple two-coloured plastic bottle with stickers on the front and back. The back sticker also serves as a bit of a decoration for the insides, which I find very cute. The consistency is that of a toner – it’s a liquid, not a lotion. Since it’s runny, there’s no problem getting every last drop out. The quality of stickers and their attachment varies from bottle to bottle. As you can probably see, the left one started peeling off at the bottom, while the right one remained completely intact. I haven’t had any problems with the lids breaking off and leaving the product exposed.

So how does it fare in makeup removal?

I’ve been through a couple of bottles of this stuff, and it delivered every time. It removes the most dastardly hard to remove products – not from the first swipe, but with minimal rubbing. It even works to remove Dior mascaras and Oriflame eyeliners – two things that I always have trouble with when it comes to parting for the day.

However, I must note that if you have sensitive eyes, then you should be careful when using this lotion around the eye area. Sometimes it would sting.

While this is not a revolutionary product by all means, it does exactly what it claims to do on the tin: hydrates, softens, and cleanses the skin. It never gave me any irritation (aside from that occasional eye sting – but seriously, that could be just me and using too much product around the eyes that had contacts in them for like 18 hours), dryness, redness, or breakouts. It is a pleasure to use and is dirt cheap. A bottle would set you back for ~$1.5, if that.

Will I be buying again? Hell yeah.