Unexpected News: I’ve been nominated for the Liebster Award!

liebster-award

I was recently nominated by Dianna from Cruelty Free Confidence for the Liebster award, an award for blogs with 200 followers or less. Dianna has just started her cruelty-free blog which is awesome, and it’s looking pretty good so far! She also seems so so sweet. So anyway, the rules are:

- You have to link back to the person that nominated you.
- You must answer all 11 questions given to you by the person who nominated you.
- You must give 11 random facts about yourself.
- After completing these questions you must nominate 11 bloggers with under 200 followers and give them 11 questions of your choice.
- You must not nominate the person who nominated you.
- You must let your nominees know that they have been nominated and provide a link for them to your post so that they can learn about it.

Let’s see what Dianna asked! My answers are in italics.

1. If you were stranded on a desert island, what three things would you want to bring? (Don’t worry you have water, food, and shelter. Its a nice desert island… lets just pretend…)- I would want to bring my phone, so I can talk to people and relieve boredom (I’m assuming I get unlimited 4G…), a box set of Harry Potter, and probably some mascara just in case there’s a cute merman.
2. What is your favorite season of the year? Fall, hands down! I really miss it now that I live in Houston and don’t really get it. That’s one thing that I really loved about Europe. 
3. Oh no, someone stole your makeup stash! What is one thing you would be devastated was missing? Ummm I have a limited edition Chanel lipstick (I know it probably isn’t cruelty-free, but this was before I determined this). It’s a Rouge Allure Velvet in a very dark mulberry shade and it is so gorgeous- both the color and formulation. I’m working hard to find a cruelty-free dupe for the fomula! For the most part everything else is replaceable, though. 
4. You find out that your blog has become famous overnight and a movie producer contacts you to create a film about your life. What famous actor/actress would you love to play YOU in this movie? This is a really difficult one! Lily Collins is probably the one that looks most like me, although she is so much prettier. I think she’s a great actress though and would do a good job. I also love Holland Roden who plays Lydia on Teen Wolf, although she looks nothing like me.
5. What is one beauty tip you would give your 14-year-old self? Probably steer clear of pink eyeshadow- it doesn’t look good on me!
6. We all have bad habits! Which bad habit of yours do you wish you could stop right now? Biting my nails! 
7. It is saturday night, you have nothing to do in the morning and you could do anything you wanted tonight… Where would we find you four hours into the night? I would love to say I would be partying hard, but in all honesty you would probably find me with a friend, eating ice cream straight out of the tub watching a chick flick. Most likely containing Channing Tatum. 
8. If you were just given a large bag of money what would you do with it? Honestly, college is coming really soon so depending on how much it was, I would probably save the bulk of it for that. But you best believe I would also do some hardcore shopping.
9. What is your favorite type of animal? Dogs! I love them- best of all my little baby Viszla. 

10. Do you keep your home/room sparkling clean or a cluttered disaster? Is it somewhere in between? Hmm somewhere in between… but closer to cluttered disaster!
11. Ahhhh, the last one! When you look back in 10 years what would you have liked to accomplish? In 10 years I will be 27, so I would like to have my bachelors and maybe even my masters, and be working as a counterterrorism analyst somewhere. Maybe also have a guy, who knows!

 

…And now for my 11 random facts:

1. I have an accidental ombre. I had a slight dying fiasco, and ended up a light blond/brown, a couple shades lighter than my natural color. That grew out without me really noticing, and one day my friend goes, “omg did you get your hair ombre’d, it looks really good!”. I was rather surprised. Thankfully it was really subtle and didn’t actually look all that bad, and ombre was kinda just becoming really popular.

2. I had appendicitis and got my appendix removed. Before we realized it was actually appendicitis, we thought it was a nasty stomach bug. I am now adversely conditioned to gin, and cannot stand the taste.

3. I am really really bad at chemistry. I don’t know why- I’m not terrible at other sciences or math, but for some reason chemistry makes my head hurt.

4. I love stories about crime: real stories, movies, TV shows, books… You name a crime TV show on air, and I’ve probably at least watched an episode.

5. I have lived in three countries: the US, England, and Germany.

6. I speak German with passable fluency. I also kinda speak Hungarian (my mom is Hungarian), but I pretty much suck.

7. I learned Spanish in school for 9 years straight, and I still can barely speak the language.

8. My favorite strange food combination is french fries in milkshake.

9. I’m a visual learner: currently, I am writing a longer research paper, and I have a board with a timeline on it, using like 3 different color schemes.

10. I have a really eclectic music taste: my Spotify playlist is a mess of so many different genres. I am always going through different phases- right now its more dancy stuff- I’m getting back into techno again a bit.

11. I love traveling- if someone handed me an airline voucher right now, I would fly to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. But not on Malaysian Airlines.

 

So now my nominees:

La Femme Eclectique

The Conscious Eye

Brushes and Belle

I’m afraid I don’t know that many small bloggers, also apologies if y’all don’t have exactly less than 200 followers, sometimes stats are not displayed.

My questions are:

1. What’s your favorite makeup brand?

2. Chocolate or vanilla?

3. If you could travel anywhere right now, where would you go?

4. Favorite TV series?

5. Current favorite song?

6. Cities or countryside?

7. What are your top three favorite blogs?

8. Do you have any weird food combinations that actually taste good?

9. What’s your favorite location to blog from?

10. Do you have any secret talents?

11. Favorite designer?

 

Once again thank you Dianna! It was really sweet to nominate me.

Have a great Monday y’all!

Lilla xx

 

 

Brand Overview: IKOVE

http://www.ikove.ca

A while back I was given some samples from a brand I had never heard of before, IKOVE. They are an all-natural Canadian-based company focused on using organic and fair-trade ingredients from the Amazon rainforest. All their products are certified by ECOCERT, IBD/IFOAM, and USDA Organic, and are made in Brazil. Many, if not all, the products are vegan. Currently they sell only to Canada and the US, and in health food stores. If you are in the Houston area, Central Market carries them. If they do not sell in a brick-and-mortar establishment near you, you can also purchase their products through their online store. I would also like to say the sample sizes were very very generous, which I greatly enjoyed.

I was given three products to try: Acai and Chocolate Shampoo, Copaiba Bath and Shower Gel, and Acai and Chocolate Radiance Moisturizing Cream

Acai and Chocolate Shampoo

250 mL/8.45 fl oz

$19.95

http://www.ikove.ca/index.cfm?DSP=ProductDetail&ProductID=6452&SubCatID=0&CategoryID=1345&pagepath=Shop_online/Hair_Care&id=42451

Ingredients: Aqua (Water), Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract, Decyl Glucoside, Acerola Fruit Extract, Mate Leaf Extract, AçaiFruit Extract, cocoa Extract, Rosemary Leaf Extract, Lavender extract, Viola Odorata Extract, Orange Oil, Potassium Sorbate, Xanthan Gum, manderin oil.

This shampoo claims to “nourish, protect, and hydrate your hair” and “help reverse damage to color treated or sun damaged hair, without stripping hair nutrients”.

I was a little bit split in my opinion on this shampoo. On the one hand, I loved the effect. This is probably one of the most effective sulfate-free shampoos that I have ever used, and that tops my beloved Body Shop Rainforest Balance Shampoo (review here) and my Acure Clarifying Shampoo (review coming soon). But while this was the case, it was so difficult to work with- it didn’t lather at all. This is even less than my Body Shop one. Ultimately this means more product being used, which considering the price point I’m not keen on. Once you get into the habit of using it is somewhat doable. On the bright side you get really strong hands and arms! It is a bit of a trade-off, really. If you are accustomed to working with sulfate-free shampoos and don’t mind the extra work, this shampoo leaves your hair so so clean. If not, I would go with something like the Body Shop one or the Acure one.

 

Copaiba Bath and Shower Gel

250 mL/8.45 fl oz

$19.95

http://www.ikove.ca/index.cfm?DSP=ProductDetail&ProductID=6434&SubCatID=0&CategoryID=1344&pagepath=Shop_online/Body_Clean&id=42450

Ingredients: cocoamidopropyl betaina, Aloe Barbadensis leaf juice, Decyl Glucoside, Aqua (Water), Copaifera Officinalis (Copaiba) extract, Symphytum Officinale (comfrey) Leaf Extract, Casearia Sylvestris (Guacadonga) Leaf Extract, Centella Asiatica Extract, xantham gum, Cupressus Sempervirens Oil, Cymbopogon Martini (Palmarosa) Oil, Geranium Maculatum Oil, Potassium Sorbate

This product is described as a gel that you can use in the shower or pour a bit under your tap for a bath. It is created for blemished, sensitive, or irritated skin, or for after sport for a “deep calming and relaxing effect”.

I loved this product so so much. The smell was so interesting and refreshing, it’s really hard to describe; the only thing I can think of is that it smells a bit like Rivella (a Swiss soda)- kinda herby. It’s really really beautiful. It is also really really relaxing. I can’t say much on the other skin care claims, because I don’t actually have any of those problems. According to Wikipedia though, Copaiba is a stimulant (which I think causes the muscle relaxing properties), and has anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties (which definitely should help with blemishes. Wikipedia also says it is “anti-tumor” too so hey, I guess that’s always a plus…

I only ever tried this in the shower because I never read the site until after I finished my sample, but I can imagine this being really really great in the bath. It is rather expensive, so if I was to buy it I would probably use it for baths if I needed some stress relief. Although, I guess Molton Brown body washes are more expensive, and might not have the same skincare benefits. I would probably be interested in purchasing it!

 

Chocolate Radiance Moisturizing Cream

50 mL/1.7 fl oz

$49.95

http://www.ikove.ca/index.cfm?DSP=ProductDetail&CategoryID=1346&SubCatID=0&ProductID=6463&pagepath=Shop_online/Facial_Care&id=42452

Ingredients: Aqua (Water), Aloe Vera Juice, Babaçu oil, brazil nut oil, lavender tintucture, chamomilla recutita tintcture, horsetail tintucture, açai tintucture, calendula tintucture ,cacao liquor extract, carnauba wax, rice extract, vegetable glycerin, Candeiaalfa-bisobolol, Xanthan gum, cocoa butter, manderin essential oil, sweet orange oil, Lavender essential oil, Murumuru kernel oil, cupuaçu butter

This product claims to “restore the skin’s natural radiance and balance, leaving the face soft and protected all day long”. The acai and chocolate also provide some pretty serious antioxidant powers. It is supposed to be used daily.

So this is the kind of product that I can imagine working really really well for some people. I would say this would be best for those with fairly dry skin. It is a rather thick cream, and pretty seriously moisturizing. While I was using it, I had some dry patches near my mouth and cheeks, and a sort of oily forehead. This cream did a really good job on the dry patches, but it was a bit heavy for my forehead and the skin there tended to get a bit shiny. To be fair though, for a cream that moisturizing, it wasn’t nearly as bad as I would have expected. On the parts of my face that weren’t greasy already though, the cream sat really nicely and made a smooth barrier on top of the skin. I think this would be really good under makeup. I don’t think I would be purchasing this; it’s not completely suitable for my skintone, and also I am pretty young so investing in more expensive face creams isn’t really practical. However, if you do have dry, dull skin and are willing to make the investment I think this is a really great product.

 

 

 

Review: Marc Anthony Oil of Morrocco Sulfate Free Conditioner

250 mL/8.4 fl oz

Ulta: $7.99

http://www.ulta.com/ulta/browse/productDetail.jsp?productId=xlsImpprod4180927

 

Found on MarcAnthony.com

This conditioner is formulated with Keratin, Grape Seed Oil and Argan Oil to “nourish, strengthen and infuse moisture into your hair” as well as “fortify, add high luster and improve manageability… [and] protect from damage and color fade”. It is a very thick consistency and has a strange, almost nutty smell. The smell does not stay in the hair after the conditioner is washed out.

Ingredients:

Water, Cetrimonium Chloride, Cetyl Alcohol, Cetyl Esters, Stearyl Alcohol, Amodimethicone, Trideceth-12, Dimethicone, Cyclopentasyloxane, Behentrimonium Chloride, Hydrolyzed Keratin, Argania Spinosa Kernel Oil, Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Seed Oil, Propylene Glycol, Parfum (Fragrance), Panthenol, Tocopheryl Acetate, Helianthus Anuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Keratin, Sodium PCA, Sodium Lactate, Arigine, Aspartic Acid, PCA, Glycine, Alanine, Serine, Valine, Proline, Threonine, Isoleucine, Histidine, Pheynlalanine, Methylchloroisothiazolinone, Disodium EDTA

This conditioner did make my hair soft and shiny while I was using it, but I think it wasn’t so much from the nourishing keratin and argan oil as the two silicones listed above the “key” ingredients in the ingredients list. After discontinuing the conditioner, my hair was not any less dry than it was than before using the conditioner. In essence, it had no long term reparative benefits.

If you’re ok with silicones I guess this is a good product for you, but honestly I’m looking for more than surface benefits: I did not find this conditioner to “nourish” or “strengthen” jack, and it most certainly didn’t “infuse” any kind of moisture into my hair.

Rating: C

Review: Catrice Defining Blush in 060 Rosewood Forest and 030 Love & Peach

Rossman: ca. €4

http://www.catrice.eu/products/face/blush/detail/product/defining-blush-080.html

Catrice Defining Blushes in Rosewood Forest and Love & Peaches

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Catrice Defining Blushes in Rosewood Forest and Love & Peaches

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

L: Rosewood Forest  R: Love & Peaches

L: Rosewood Forest
R: Love & Peaches

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

These blushes are “ultra-fine, highly-pigmented”, and are formulated with vitamins C and E. They should “spread easily, set fresh accents, emphasize your cheekbones and model the contours of your face”. Rosewood Forest is a dusty mauve shade, and Love & Peach is a true coral (equal amounts pink and orange). Both shades are completely matte.

 

Ingredients:

SHADES 020, 030, 040, 050 TALC, MICA, MAGNESIUM STEARATE, ISOCETYL STEAROYL STEARATE, OCTYLDODECYL STEARATE, SILICA, PEG-8, TOCOPHEROL, ASCORBYL PALMITATE, ASCORBIC ACID, CITRIC ACID, TIN OXIDE, METHYLPARAPEN, PROPYLPARABEN

SHADE 060 TALC, MICA, MAGNESIUM STEARATE, OCTYLDODECYL STEARATE, ISOCETYL STEAROYL STEARATE, PEG-8, TOCOPHEROL, ASCORBYL PALMITATE, ASCORBIC ACID, CITRIC ACID, METHYLPARAPEN, PROPYLPARABEN, CI 15850 (RED 6 LAKE/RED 7 LAKE), CI 45410 (RED 27 LAKE), CI 77499 (IRON OXIDES).

 

Europeans, be happy! A cheap blush that performs phenomenally. There is nothing really that I can find fault with. They are silky and blend really easily, they are pigmented but still easy to work with because of the blendability, and the colors are just gorgeous. Rosewood Forest, the mauve shade, is a great all-in-one blush for fairer skinned people. The pink in it gives a nice color to cheeks, but as it is matte and has the more subdued quality it can be used almost as contour as well. However, I’m not sure the shade would show up on darker skin tones at all. Love & Peach is a great bright coral for spring and summer, for many different skin tones. It can be kept sheer and pretty for fairer skin tones or those that are a bit scared of bright cheek colors, or can be built up to give quite a vibrant effect.

The packaging as well is really nice, especially for a drugstore brand. The clear plastic looks simple and chic, and shows off the pretty detailing in the powder as well. These would also be really easy to depot to put in a magnetic pallette, if you would want to do that. 

Overall, I love love love these blushes. I was so impressed by the texture and the pigmentation, especially as these retail for under €5. On a side note, powder products from Catrice seem to be top of the line: their eyeshadows are amazing as well (review of one shade here). When I visit Germany again I will have to pick up more of these! Highly recommend.

Rating: A+

NOTD: Sally Hansen Insta-Dry in 170 Expresso

NYC Grand Central Topcoat over

NYC Grand Central Topcoat over

This color is a gorgeous dusty rose color in a cream finish. This is kind of surprising considering the name, but I’ll go for it. I was so impressed by this polish: its pigmentation is incredible (this is literally only one coat!) and it did dry extremely fast. Thanks to the wide, stiff brush, application was also a breeze. It isn’t the shiniest polish out there, but this doesn’t  bother me because I always use my fabulous NYC topcoat (review here) anyway. I am looking forward to trying more from this line, if they are all like this my wallet may be in trouble!

 

Review: Essence Kajal Pencil in 08 Teddy

Ulta: $0.99

Rossman: ca. 0.99 EUR

http://www.essence.eu/us/products/eyes/eyeliner-kajal/e/product/kajal-pencil-08/

http://www.ulta.com/ulta/browse/productDetail.jsp?productId=xlsImpprod1910063&_requestid=254838

 

 

Essence Kajal in Teddy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Natural Light R: Opaque, L: Blended

Natural Light
R: Opaque, L: Blended

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Flash

Flash

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This pencil honestly doesn’t claim much on the Essence site: just that it provides “cool and trendy colors” which doesn’t really tell you much. Teddy is a mid-tone brown with gold and bronze shimmer in it. Judging from swatches online, the color looks like an almost exact dupe to MAC’s Teddy eyeliner, whose formula I’m willing to bet is not much better despite the, what, $16 price tag.

 

Ingredients

Hydrogenated Coconut Oil, Mica, Hydrogenated Palm Kernel Glycerides, Talc, Cera Microcristallina (Microcrystalline Wax), Hydrogenated Palm Glycerides, Calcium Aluminum Borosilicate, Myristyl Myristate, Rhus Succedanea Fruit Wax, Behenyl Alcohol, Hydrogenated Coco-Glycerides, Cetyl Palmitate, Carnauba (Copernicia Cerifera) Wax, Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Sorbitan Palmitate, Stearalkonium Hectorite, Silica, Propylene Carbonate, Tocopherol, Lecithin, Ascorbyl Palmitate, Glyceryl Stearate, Glyceryl Oleate, Citric Acid, Tin Oxide. May Contain: CI 19140 (Yellow 5 Lake), CI 42090 (Blue 1lake), CI 75470 (Carmine), CI 77007 (Ultramarines), CI 77491, CI 77492, CI 77499 (Iron Oxides), CI 77510 (Ferric Ferrocyanide), CI 77742 (Manganese Violet), CI 77891 (Titanium Dioxide).

 

I think the color would look good on most skin tones, although on middle to dark skin it will probably only show up as a sheen (which might also be gorgeous, but in a slightly different way).

They are honestly selling themselves short on this- this product is such a staple for me. The color is just gorgeous, and works really well on its own, making it a really easy look. I can have my eye makeup done in 2 minutes- I just smudge the pencil along the upper and lower lashline and blend with my finger, then add mascara. For a more intense brown smokey eye, i might use this as a base for Urban Decay’s Smog eyeshadow. Smog is a lighter tone and more golden, but they really do look nice together- the pencil adds a depth to the shadow.

Beyond the color, the quality of the product is great as well. The pencil is creamy and blends easily, but doesn’t run all over the place when its on your eyes. It also lasts pretty decently as well- on my oily eyes the pencil will fade a bit if I don’t use primer, but this isn’t exactly horrendous, as it doesn’t crease or migrate. On less oily eyelids this would stay put for quite some time unless you rub your eyes constantly. For oily eyelids, the problem is fixed with even a less fabulous primer. Also bear in mind that this product costs LESS THAN A DOLLAR. You can’t even get a cheeseburger for less than a dollar.

Because it’s so close to Urban Decay’s Smog, I sometimes use it as a base for the shadow when I’m creating a more smokey look, and it really amps up the vibrancy and staying power of the shadow.

Overall, this is a no-brainer- it is a phenomenal eyeliner in a really gorgeous color that can make entire eye looks in two minutes. It is also one of the cheapest items in my makeup collection

Rating: A+