Sunday, 3 December 2017

Wide Open Eyes with Estée Lauder

Wide open eyes is exactly what I need right now - something that makes everyone belief that I'm wide awake even if I'm not. I love December, it's the coziest month of the year with all the Christmas lights, candles, fluffy blankets and good food but sadly, it's the busiest month of my year because I have my exams, papers and other stuff to hand in in order to finish my masters degree at university (still have to write my master's thesis after this semester though...). Anyway, I've had the chance to test some lovely Estée Lauder products lately*, all under the motto of "wide open eyes". So let me show you a bunch of products all dedicated to make your eye area look awake and great.

At the Estée Lauder press event I learnt that the under eye area makes around 10'000 small movements during one day, which is quite stressful for this delicate part of our skin. The Advanced Night Repair Eye Concentrate Matrix is like a serum for your under eye area that addresses this issue. The new 360° matrix technology acts as sort of a cushion to make all those movements less stressful and to prevent irritation. The product comes with a glass applicator, which feels cool on the skin. I personally just dab the product into my skin using my ring finger. The Eye Concentrate Matrix hydrates the skin and prevents aging. I've used it everyday for over a month now and I'm very pleased with it. I usually get fine lines from dry skin in winter but so far, my under eye area is looking great. Luckily, I can't tell you a lot about the anti-aging effect, because I don't have any wrinkles around my eyes yet. And I intend to keep it that way as long as possible. This product seems like a keeper for me, my under eye area is hydrated, smooth and soft. At CHF 88.- for 15ml, it's not inexpensive but  the quality and effects are great.

If the Eye Concentrate Matrix isn't enough to make your eyes look awake, there's always other options. One of them is the Double Wear Brush-On Glow BB Highlighter. This is a liquid brightening, highlighting and concealing product. I'm not an expert when it comes to highlighter but this is such an easy product to use, it's not too obvious but it lightens up the area where you apply it. Just draw a little C in the inner corner of your eyes and one around the outer corner of your eyes and lightly dab the product into the skin. This simply adds some light to your face and instantly makes you look more awake. I tried to use it as an under eye concealer as well but the shade doesn't really look right, I rather use it as a highlighter. 

And what else can we do to look more awake? Yes, Estée Lauder thought of our lashes too. I'm quite excited for this part because they launched some pretty awesome products: the Pure Color Envy Lash Collection. 

There's a black mascara (such a surprise!), the Pure Color Envy Lash Multi Effects Mascara which has special bristles to create volume and length. One side of the bristles are nylon, the other silicone. I don't have the waterproof version and this mascara smudges on me after a few hours without a primer so I used the Estée Lauder Lash Primer Plus underneath which gives even more volume. If you like a dramatic eye look, this mascara might be a winner for you. 

There's a limited edition in this collection too: You can get the mascara in blue, purple and green too. And guess what, I've got the green one! I never would have thought I might like this but I got my makeup done at the event, you might have seen the picture in my instastory. This mascara was used in the look and it made the colour of my eyes pop. There's one little issue: It's really difficult to remove. I don't know whether this has something to do with my lashes or if this is a general problem but I honestly tried four makeup removers till I managed to get it off my lashes. If you've tried it, please leave a comment with your experience below, I'm very interested in your opinion. All the mascaras cost CHF 39 each. 

Lastly, there's the perfect product for the festive season: The Crystal Lash Top Coat! Yes, it's as good as it sounds. It's glitter for your lashes. Thanks, Estée Lauder, you just made New Year's Eve so much better! Personally, this is not a product I would use on a normal day. This is definitely party make up for me. The top coat looks like a felt tip pen to apply over your mascara, it's a little strange at first but works just fine and it looks mesmerizing and glam! The Crystal Lash Top Coat is available for CHF 35. 

I hope you liked this little introduction of Estée Lauder products to make your eyes look awake. Have you tried any of the products? And do you already have a makeup look planned for Christmas?

Have a great day!

XX Cheryl

*press samples, all opinions are honest and my own

Sunday, 12 November 2017

Mon Premier Cristal - Lalique's Dreamy Perfume Collection

"It's a time you take for yourself. For connecting with yourself. For experiencing beauty in everyday life... Perfume is the most intimate form of luxury. It is to make this experience of luxury even more unique, more special, that Lalique has created a new object of desire: Mon Premier Cristal Collection."

Yes, they had me at the simple description of the new Mon Premier Cristal Collection*. And oh my, this collection is b-e-a-u-t-i-f-u-l! Trying to be objective here, but look at the three flacons! 

There's a reason why Lalique always manages to catch my interest. They don't only create a product, there's always a story to accompany it. This time Lalique asked three women perfumers to recreate the scent of crystal in a perfume. And that's what Mon Premier Cristal Collection is: An interpretation of the scent of crystal in three different stages. The perfumes are intended for everyday use and I'm rather sure you'd like at least one of the three scents. Let's take a closer look:

SENSUEL Le cristal en fusion (Molten Crystal) - Karine Dubreuil-Sereni
Karine Dubreuil-Sereni created the scent of crystal in its molten state. It's a warm oriental scent with the top notes mandarin and orange, the heart notes lily of the valley, peach and heliotrope and the base notes patchouli, vanilla, white musk, tonka bean and amber. The vanilla and tonka bean are the most obvious scents and make the perfume quite sweet. It doesn't contain almond but still smells of almonds. This is because of the heliotrope- Karine aimed to create the scent of toasted almonds to symbolize the molten crystal. I personally enjoy the warmth and sweetness of this scent but I wouldn't necessarily wear it as a perfume but rather have it as a scented candle for the cold winter time. 

LUMIERE Le cristal sculpté (Sculpted Crystal) - Alexandra Monet
Alexandra Monet got the challenge to recreate the sculpted crystal as a perfume. She focused on the light reflection of the Lalique crystal sculptures and created a floral chypre scent. Until a few months ago I didn't even know that something called "chypre" existed but now I know that I seem to enjoy chypre scents because this isn't the first one I love. 

You might have guessed, this is my favourite perfume from the Mon Premier Cristal Collection. With top notes of mandarin, black saffron and bitter almond, heart notes of sambac jasmine, tuberose and licorice as well as base notes of patchouli, cashmere wood and musks Alexandra Monet created a warm and wintery scent with just the right touch of sexiness. I love wooden notes because they add so much character to a scent. Even though the heart notes are floral and I'm usually not a fan of floral scents, the combination of jasmine and tuberose totally works for me. Licorice, bitter almond and black saffron contrast the lightness of the  floral notes and symbolize the "dark side of the light". 

TENDRE Le cristal satiné (Satined Crystal) - Sidonie Lancesseur
Now we're talking powdery, soft floral oriental scent. Sidonie Lancesseur created the perfume version of satined crystal and she did a great job. The composition of scents she used is very convincing as the scent of something satined. I guess without knowing about the satined crystal my association would have been a powder puff. This looks so much less romantic written down than it sounded in my head... anyway, let's just go with it. The top notes are pear and lily of the valley. The heart notes and the most obvious ones are powdery rose, rose petals and rose essence. The base notes (or dry-down notes) are white musk and vanilla. This is an extremely soft and feminine scent and I instantly have a picture of the type of woman in my mind who could identify with this scent. I like this sophisticated scent but it doesn't match my personality, I hope you know what I mean. 

Mon Premier Cristal Collection comes in a beautifully designed bottle. The design is inspired by the symbol of the house of Lalique: the Swallow. The three bottles I have are the 100ml refill bottles and even them look stunning! 

Brace yourselves, this gem costs over CHF 700. The 100ml refills are around CHF 170 each. So if you're feeling very generous, this might be the perfect Christmas present for a loved one. I felt immensely grateful to get the chance to test these three amazing perfumes. I can already tell Lumière will be one of my go to winter scents. 

How do you choose a new perfume? Do you also feel like it has to match your personality? 

Have a wonderful day!
XX Cheryl

*I got the three refill bottles as press samples, which is extremely generous. As always, all opinions are honest and my own. 

Monday, 16 October 2017

Alessandro International Majestic Me Autumn Collection

Alessandro International launched their autumn/winter nail polish collection "Majestic Me"* and I'm sharing some impressions on it today. The collection contains five new shades and a top coat and there was one particular shade which caught my eye when I first saw the collection - Monarchy Green. It's a rich and deep green which looks so chic and different. But let me show you the whole collection first:

I also received the Gelactic Top Coat and the Gelactic Nail Polish Speed Dry. I had the chance to test a Gelatic Top Coat before and for some reason, it doesn't make my nail polish last longer, but it has a glossy, gel like finish. Generally, the nail polish lasted for 2 days with the top coat, which isn't great in my opinion. 

The Gelactic Nail Polish Speed Dry on the other hand is amazing! Just spray it onto your nails after applying your nail polish and it's dry instantly. But be careful, if you add pressure to your nails, it will still leave a mark. Even after using the Speed Dry you need to be a little patient before you try to stuff your keys into your handbag and head out of the house. Sounds familiar? Yes, I did that too. Anyway, if you are careful, the applying your nail polish and leaving the house one minute later actually works. Yay! This made my life so much easier ;-)

Majestic Blue
Even though Monarchy Green was the shade I liked best just by looking at the press pictures I now like Majestic Blue best. It has a beautiful dark blue base with silver glitter, sparkly but chic at the same time. Monarchy Green is a close second, it's such an elegant colour and I love the green for autumn. 

Monarchy Green
The shades I tried last are Red Paradise and Pearly Mauve. Red Paradise is a classic red and I feel like I already have this shade in some form, it doesn't have that new and exciting look to it but it sure is a perfect shade of red if you don't own one yet. Pearly Mauve isn't really my colour, the mauve-green mix just doesn't appeal to me. 

Red Paradise and Pearly Mauve

This is not the last shade I tested but the last picture I'm showing you today, Grey Harmony in action. This was the time I quickly applied the nail polish and ran out of my flat to catch the train to a press event. I honestly haven't got a clue what that drink was but you can see my nail polish. Grey Harmony is a very unique shade. It looks kind of "greige" to me and I can see the slightest hint of green in it. It's a shade I think is stylish and ok for the office as well. I haven't seen a shade like this one and I really like it. 

The 5ml nail polishes are available for CHF 7.50 or as a Striplac for CHF 15.95. It's a pity the shades don't last too long, I love Monarchy Green, Majestic Blue and Grey Harmony and I'll wear them this autumn anyway but I'll play around with different top coats and hopefully they'll last longer. 

Which of the shades would be your first choice?

Have a great day!

XX Cheryl

*press samples, all opinions are honest and my own.

Tuesday, 10 October 2017

Mugler - Aura

Oriental, botanical and carnal - A composition of three hearts in one fragrance, that's Mugler's new scent Aura*. I do know oriental and botanical fragrances but a carnal fragrance? Sounds new to me and that's what I'm writing about today. 

The quality of the following pictures isn't the best, I took them with my phone but I really wanted to show you some impressions of the Aura event in Zurich in case you haven't seen my Instastory. Entering the event location was like a visit to a different world. Everything was green to give the room a mystic and jungly vibe. 

The tasting area
Thierry Mugler's Aura was co-created by four perfumers, a consultant and Sandrine Groslier, president of the Clarins Fragrance Group. Mugler always wanted to create a scent called Aura, for him, Aura is instinct. That's why the whole event was based on little activities where you needed your instinct, or intuition. For example we had to drink three little glasses of an unknown liquid (it was syrup ;-)) and guess the flavour. Each of three glasses contained a syrup flavoured similar to the three notes of the perfume. 

As I mentioned, the scent has three hearts, each a composition of different essences. Tiger liana, a Chinese medical plant, is the oriental base note or the heart of instinct. The botanical heart is a composition of rhubarb leaf and orange blossom and the carnal or animal heart contains the pod of bourbon vanilla and wolfwood, which smells a bit like wood. Aura smells warm, slightly sweet, green and it has a rough wooden note which might be best described as "animalistic". It's not a light fragrance, whenever I wear it at least one person comments on it and so far, everyone asked about the name of the scent and loved it. I wouldn't wear it on a hot summer day but it smells honestly addictive and kind of sexy.  

Mugler has a source of their perfumes in some selected stores. The source is a large container of the fragrance where you can refill your flacon. The source doesn't only look cool, it's a sustainable way of repurchasing your everyday fragrance as well. Over the years around 50 million flacons have been refilled at the Mugler sources. That's 50 million perfume bottles less to produce and to recycle, which is great! 

The beautiful heart shaped 30 ml flacon is available for CHF 79.90.

Have you tried Aura yet? 

Have a great day!
XX Cheryl

*press sample, all opinions are honest and my own.

Monday, 2 October 2017

Introducing Dr. Bronner's

If you're from abroad you might have heard of Dr. Bronner's products already but I haven't seen them in Switzerland until a few months ago so I was excited to get the chance to put some products to the test*.

Dr. Bronner's is an all natural brand, their products are organic and don't contain chemicals.  I've tested their Organic Magic Balm, the 18-in-One Pure Castile Soap and the Organic Hand and Body Lotion. 

Just a little bit about the brand before I get into describing the three products in detail: Dr. Bronner's been founded in 1948 in the US by Emanuel Bronner. His vision was that everyone should live happily together, a message he wanted to spread with his products too: "We are all one or none" and there's no exception. The packaging of all his products are printed with different messages like this one. It looks cool and it's inspiring too but I had to ask the PR agency about the story behind this first because without knowing about his vision the info on the packaging was a bit too much. Some of the text on there has a link to religious content as well which is unusual for a beauty product and therefore made me wonder but the quotes are out of different religions and it's all about harmony which leads us back to the message and the vision he wants to spread: "We are all one or none". If you're interested in learning more about the principles of the brand, make sure to visit the Dr. Bronner's website, the communication of the brand seems very transparent to me.

I personally love a fresh and minty smelling body product and the Arnica-Menthol Organic Magic Balm smells simply amazing! I used the product after sport because it has a great warming effect on the skin and muscles. It's hard to tell whether my muscles are less sore after using this but I sure find it very relaxing and pleasant. Because of the scent and the warmth of the balm I guess it would be great to apply onto the chest when you're having a cold. 

CHF 15.90
Oh look, there's another mint-scented product! If you don't like mint, you should definitely chose a different scent here because this is rather strong. Not too strong for me because I enjoy smelling like mint candy before sleep but - I already said it here - I use the Peppermint Hand and Body Lotion before I go to bed. I love scented products but for daytime I rather smell of my perfume than of my body lotion. Anyway, this has a very light texture but still manages to hydrate the skin quite well. I wouldn't say it's the best choice if you have severely dry skin so for winter it might not be rich enough for me. 

CHF 18.00
Last but not least, the allrounder 18-in-One Pure Castile Soap with orange and citrus scent. Why 18 in one? Because you can literally use this product for 18 different purposes. Even though I've had this product for about three months now, I didn't manage to test every single way of using it. But here they are, the 18 ways to use the Pure Castile Soap:

1. Face wash                        10. Deodorant
2. Shower Gel                     11. Inhalation
3. Shampoo                         12. Animal wash
4. Bath additive                  13. Washing up liquid
5. Footbath                          14. Laundry detergent
6. Baby bath                        15. Floor cleaner
7. Shaving Gel                     16. to wash vegetables 
8. Toothpaste                      17. plant protection
9. Mouthwash                     18. Brush cleanser

Well, I've used it to wash my face, the rest of my body as well as my hair, used it as a bath additive, deodorant, plant protection and as a brush cleanser. I wasn't very happy with it when I used it as a shampoo (made my hair look like a tangly mess) and I much prefer my normal deodorant but it does a good job as a shower gel and an even better one as a brush cleanser. It manages to wash all the makeup out of my foundation brushes so they actually look and feel clean again. And they smell citrusy fresh which can't be a bad thing either. 

CHF 12.00
The Pure Castile Soap contains coconut and palm oil, olive and jojoba oil and hemp oil. All fair-trade and organic, as I mentioned in the introduction. Nevertheless, the soap doesn't make my skin feel more hydrated. Can't really complain about that, it's soap, removing oil is something a soap usually does so considering this, it's quite surprising I can use it as a shower gel. You just need to keep in mind that this is mainly a soap, you most certainly will feel squeaky clean after using it as a shower gel but it doesn't have any hydrating benefits that other shower gels sometimes have. 

So what's the verdict? I experienced Dr. Bronner's as a brand with a great concept producing solid basic products with lovely and relaxing scents. The products aren't a luxury treat but if you're on holiday, the 18-in-One Pure Castile Soap might come in handy. 

What do you think about Dr. Bronner's?

You might have noticed that I put the prices underneath each product in the picture. I'm not sure if I like that yet. Let me know in the comments below if you think this is a good way to communicate the prices or if you preferred the old way - mentioning them as the final thing in each blog post. 

Have a great day!

*press samples, all opinions are honest and my own. 

Sunday, 24 September 2017

Back to University

Last week, the semester at my university started again and it' going to be a busy one. If everything goes as planned, it's my last semester there. Hooray! Not that I don't like going to uni but I don't mind finishing my degree either. I've started to write my master's thesis now and this will take me a little  longer than till the end of the semester (that's the understatement of the month) but I'll get there eventually. However, writing my master's thesis, studying, working and blogging at the same time might be too much sometimes and I have to set priorities. As much as I love blogging, this is the first thing I have to put aside if I'm running short in time. So this is a little announcement in advance: if I don't post regularly, it's not because there's nothing to write about but because I have too much on my plate. To be honest, I've had too much to do for quite a while and whenever I felt like I was under too much pressure, I just didn't write any blogposts.

This blog is something I'm really passionate about and I try to make every post something worth reading. The only way I'm able to fill this blog with interesting, nicely looking content is when I feel like producing said content and when I have the time to do so. I love to invest time to do research about a product, about its history and the reason it's been created but it takes time to do this right. I was looking through the content of the last year and I feel like it isn't as creative and personal as it used to be. Luckily not all the time, it's mostly during the semester. That's why I don't write anymore when I'm not in the right mood or feel pressured to write something.

A random picture of my relaxing summer vacation in Spain after handing in all the examination papers last semester.
I'm looking forward to the day I hand in my master's thesis because that's when I will have more time to invest into this blog and when I have the opportunity to create more creative content for me and for you. Until then, I stick with writing whenever I can spare the time. 

Thank you for still visiting my blog and for your support! 

Have a great week and until next time
xx Cheryl

Monday, 11 September 2017

My Summer Beauty Favourites - Skincare, Makeup and Fragrance

I don't know where summer went but it went quickly. Over the last couple of days I've planned some hiking trips but I couldn't go on any of them because it was raining pretty much every day. So I think it's time for some summer vibes on the blog. I've tried and tested lots of products over the summer months and I'd like to give you a quick overview of the products I enjoyed most.

The Body Shop Skin Defence Multi-Protection Essence SPF 50
Sun protection is important all year round but it's especially important in summer when I'm outside as much as I can. This sun screen for face is the lightest I've ever had and it still has an SPF 50. I hardly notice it on my skin and it's not greasy at all which makes it perfect to wear under my foundation. I started using this around June, kept using it during the whole summer and I will definitely repurchase it.

M.A.C. Huggable Lipcolour in Out for Passion
This is my perfect effortless summer lipstick. It's sheer but not to sheer, has a beautiful coral tint and a balmy texture. I don't know what it is with the coral shades but they instantly get me in a summer mood. The shade is really flattering when my skin is slightly tanned. I purchased this in April and loved to wear it on sunny and fun days. This is the lipstick I'm always looking for because I just throw it into a handbag and forget where I put it. Does this happen to you as well? 

Caudalie Eau de Beauté*
Have you seen my blogpost about the Eau de Beauté? If so, you know I absolutely adore this product. It's a fine mist to refresh and fix makeup and to destress. I use it whenever I need a little pick me up or just to make my makeup look more radiant again. The scent manages to relax me every time I use it and I definitely use this during winter as well but I enjoyed it during summer especially because of its refreshing effect on my skin. 

Louis Widmer L'Eau de Peau Eau Fraîche*
This is my perfect summer scent. When I first got it and wrote this review I thought I'd use it on casual, sporty days but it soon turned out to be my go to summer scent. It has a fresh, lemony scent (even though it's peach and green tea) which makes me feel awake and energized. I like that this is a very light scent, it doesn't linger on for more than eight hours but it's just right for the office and I can wear something heavier in the evening if I like. 

Avène Tolérance Extrême Mask*

For some reason, it took me quite a while till I tried this face mask. It has a sterile tube packaging to keep it extra hygienic which I think is a big plus. When I've been out in the sun a lot or swimming, my skin can get dry so I like to treat it with a hydrating face mask at least once a week. That's where this mask came in handy. It's actually quite basic. It hydrates and soothes my skin and that's it. But most of the time, my skin doesn't need more and this mask manages to get that moisture back into my skin in no more than five minutes.

Smashbox Liquid Halo HD Foundation SPF 15

Welcome back, beloved Liquid Halo HD Foundation! If you've read my blog for over a year you might remember that this was my favourite summer foundation the previous year and this didn't change. It's such a lightweight formula with a natural, dewy finish and it stays on quite well. It's easy to blend and matches my skin tone perfectly, that's why I used it pretty much every day during summer. Now it's empty, which is really sad but it's on my shopping list for next year.

Of course I used many other products that I enjoyed as well but the six I mentioned above are the ones I thought were perfect for summer and that I'd like to use again next summer. I hope you liked this little impression of my favourite summer products. What were the products you enjoyed most? Please share them in the comments below, I'd love to read about your top picks. 

Have a lovely day!
xx Cheryl

*Press samples, opinions are honest and my own.