Lilla’s Box of Treasures (LBT): May 2012

As the month of May draws to a close I would like to draw your attention to a couple of products that I have really reached for this month.

MAC Eyeshadow in Quarry















I have really been neglecting my eye makeup recently (the result of warmer weather, extreme laziness, and the sudden fascination for bright lipsticks, which I unfortunately am not brave enough to wear to school), but when I have done something with my eyes, it often involves this color. One of my biggest pet peeves in the world of beauty (or anywhere, really) is an overly dark crease color. I don’t think having a brown line in your eye socket is attractive, and it sure as hell isn’t fooling anyone when it comes to eye depth. To me, Quarry is the perfect color. A beautiful soft purple-y brown (I don’t think the camera is quite picking up on that), it is subtle enough that it can actually look like a naturally shadowy socket, but does still provide a unique color. I also sometimes use it as an all-over lid color for a subtle and polished eye look (a nice partner for bright lips, for instance), or to blend out the edge of Urban Decay’s Sidecar eyeshadow. As for quality it is a very nice, smooth texture, and provides the perfect amount of pigmentation for a crease/blending color. I really do recommend this shade; it is a very versatile and unique eyeshadow that you can always depend on.

Catrice Ultimate Nail Lacquer in Genius in the Bottle







I have only recently acquired this color, and I have been really enjoying it! It is a beautiful color, one of the many dupes of Chanel Peridot. I have gotten a ton of compliments on this nail polish, and actually a couple of friends bought this shade after borrowing mine, so expect some drooling if you choose to wear it ;).

Wet n’ Wild Megashine Nail Color in 437F Emblazed 









To me this is the perfect summer color: a gorgeous true coral, even if it doesn’t show up on camera as such (it is actually less orange in real life). I currently have this on my toes, and it looks amazing! Another amazing thing: the price (somewhere under $2, I believe…)!

Labello Soft Rose Chapstick







Let’s just talk about lifesavers for a minute. Along with my face, my lips have been so dry recently. And then, of course, I went and lost my Carmex. I was not amused. So of course I had to trek down to my local drugstore and pick up another chapstick, and I picked up another one of these guys. Well, two of these guys, as they came in a two-pack for a grand total of €1.99 (!). The color provided is really sheer, NOTHING like the Revlon lip butters, but when applied they just give you the prettiest your-lips-but-better lip color imaginable.

Body Shop Vitamin E Moisture Lotion SPF 15










It has been getting pretty sunny this month, especially now towards the end, so sun protection is getting to be really important (click here to see more about sun protection). This has made it really easy for me to just throw on some protection without needing a separate facial sunscreen. In addition, my skin has been especially dry recently (normally it’s combination, but it has been just flat-out dry), and this also has really helped that.

Clarins Moisture-Rich Body Lotion









As you can see, I have been into skincare this month, more so than usual (skincare normally comes as an afterthought to makeup for me). I have been really into this moisturizer this month, because it is fabulous. It is so super nourishing; my dry scaly legs just love to soak it up. Good thing too, considering I have to expose them now that it is warm…

John Frieda Frizz-Ease Daily Nourishment Leave-In Conditioning Spray









I have been looking for a good detangling spray to use on my rat’s nest after coming out of the shower. Apparently your hair is super-vulnerable when it is wet, so you’re not supposed to yank a hairbrush through it at that point. Oops. Anyway, that’s where this spray comes in: you spray it in your hair, and voila, your brush just slides right on through with no problems whatsoever. I was also very excited to see that it comes with heat protection, so I can blast my hair with a hairdryer and not feel bad. Is it bad that this makes me so excited…?

NOTD: butter LONDON British Racing Green

This is by far my favorite color of all time, I love it so much!!!! I don’t know if it truly picks up on camera, but this polish is absolutely gorgeous, it is a british racing green (go figure) with the most subtle green-y shimmer going through it. It is completely opaque with 2 coats. I must say though, the polish does chip horrendously, but considering just how gorgeous the color is, I can just grab a good top and base coat and deal!!

What is your all-time favorite color? Comment below!

Lilla xx

What You Need to Know About Sunscreen (as told by a common skin paranoiac)

OK, let me tell you something. Sunscreen? I hate the stuff. I hate the texture. I hate the smell. I hate how it separates in heat and then suddenly you are standing there like an idiot with a handful of disgusting yellow oil with the occasional blob of white. But I am also terrified of skin cancer and aging. And sunscreen? It helps with both of those things.

For most of you, this probably isn’t news to you. Yes, sun exposure causes wrinkles and melanoma and blah blah blah. So you wear sunscreen. Big deal. But there is more to the story.

I should probably start off by explaining a bit about sun exposure. The type of light that causes damage is called ultraviolet (UV) light. There are three types of UV rays: UVA, UVB, and UVC. UVC is fairly irrelevant when talking about sun damage, as the rays are filtered out by the ozone layer. That leaves UVA and UVB. UVB rays are much stronger than UVA rays, so for a long time only UVB rays were considered as a serious cause of skin cancer and other skin woes. The SPF rating that we see on sunscreen is an indicator of how much of these rays the particular sunscreen blocks. However, there is increasing evidence to show that UVA rays, the weaker but more prevalent rays, actually can do quite a bit of damage themselves. Unfortunately, the SPF factor does not take the UVA rays into account. What this means is that if you live in the States, you have to check the sunscreens that you buy to see if they offer any UVA protection. Sunscreen with UVA protection is available; you might just have to hunt around a bit. The ones that do normally say on the label. A list of sunscreens with UVA protection will be provided below. It’s also possible that the sunscreen does have some protection in it, but doesn’t say. In that case you can check the ingredients list for UVA blocking ingredients. Again, a list of ingredients will be provided below. If you live in Europe then you can relax, sunscreens contain these ingredients by default.

There is also the matter of sun protection in moisturizers, foundations, lip balms, etc. Using these products is great, don’t get me wrong. A little bit extra sun protection is certainly not going to hurt. But that should not be the only thing you use. These products are even less likely to have UVA protection than normal sunscreens. Also, you typically would not use enough of the product to enjoy its full benefit. Even if a foundation has SPF 10, if you use a thin coat of it then in reality you might only be getting an SPF of 5.

Another thing to worry about when choosing sunscreen is the other stuff in it. Oxybenzone, a chemical used to absorb UV rays, is FDA and American Academy of Dermatology approved. However, there may be a link between this chemical and hormone disruption and skin cancer. Retinyl palmate is also potentially toxic. I will include a link below for the 2012 Sunscreen Guide from the Environmental Working Group, which evaluates sunscreens on their potential harmfulness.

On the other side, there is Vitamin D to worry about. Vitamin D is a vitamin made by your body when it comes in contact to UVB. It is essential to the body, and cannot really be found in foods. A deficiency of Vitamin D can also cause many medical conditions, and getting enough Vitamin D can decrease the risk of  things like osteoporosis, heart attacks and heart attacks, and various cancers. Because sunscreen blocks UVB, Vitamin D cannot be produced whilst the person is wearing it. The Cancer Council of Australia recommends that people not wear sun protection in the winter, when the sun’s rays are not so intense (under UV Index 3), and a few minutes each day in the mid-morning or mid-afternoon are sufficient if the UV Index is over 3, like in the summer. Darker skin tones may need anywhere from 3-6 times this amount. In the summer around midday, nobody, regardless of their skin tone, should go out without sun protection.

Hope you all are well, and WEAR SUNSCREEN!


Here are the various lists, as promised.


Sunscreens with UVA Protection:

Burt’s Bees Sunscreen (SPF 15/30)

Nivea Sun Moisturizing Sun Lotion (SPF 15/20/30)

W.S. Badger All-Natural Unscented Face and Body Sunscreen (SPF 30)

Alba Botanica Very Emollient Sunblock (SPF 30)

(or any Alba Botanica sunscreen)

Clarins UV Plus Protective Day Screen (SPF 40)

(Or any Clarins sunscreen)


Moisturizers with UVA Protection:

The Body Shop Vitamin E Moisture Lotion (SPF15)

Laura Mercier Repair Day Cream (SPF 15)

Laura Mercier Mega-Moisture Cream (SPF 15)

Boots Vitamin E Moisture Lotion (SPF 15)

Yes To Blueberries Age Refresh Daily Facial Moisturizer (SPF 30)

Yes To Cucumbers Soothing Daily Calming Moisturizer (SPF 30)


UVA Blocking/Absorbing Ingredients:



Ecamsule (Mexoryl SX)

Meradimate (Menthyl Anthranilate)



Titanium Dioxide

Zinc Oxide



Review: Bourjois Volume Glamour Max Definition (Black)

Boots: £9.49   Bourjois describes this mascara as an extra-black volumizing mascara (surprise, surprise) that lasts up to 16 hours and is good for the eyes. It should be safe for contact-wearers and people with sensitive eyes, although I am neither so could not tell you.

As you can see, just a tad too much product…

All clean, with a normal amount of product

The wand is plastic, with tiny bristles and a spiky ball bit on the end, a la Benefit They’re Real. The brush does coat every lash, and even catches the little tiny lashes on the inner corners. I am pleased to say that not only is this mascara volumizing, it is lengthening as well. The problem is, that the mascara is very fickle. When applied properly, it makes my lashes look absolutely stunning. Applied badly… well, my lashes turn into Clump City. However, I have found that instead of using the traditional wiggling-the-wand-at-the-roots-and-pulling-up method, it is much more effective to slowly roll the wand away from my face while pulling up. It takes a little practice to master the technique, but I promise that you will be rewarded once you do. The only other thing that I don’t like about the wand and application is that the wand tends to come out of the tube with far more product than is necessary, and I normally have to spend like a minute wiping away the excess product.



The two things that you cannot possibly fault the mascara for are blackness and wear time. The mascara is really black, and seriously lasts forever. The mascara definitely reaches 16 hours looking perfect, and after that the lashes start to droop, but do look better than naked lashes. I have seriously slept in this mascara, and the next morning the mascara was still there, looking just as tired as me. It hadn’t smudged or flaked at all, though. This wear time does make it a little difficult to get off, but it’s honestly not that bad. The consistency is quite odd. It is a drier mascara, and is not really creamy. It almost separates into clumps in the tube. I make it sound really bad, but it isn’t really. I just don’t know how to describe it. It doesn’t cause flaking, the only real impacts that it has are on clumping (which can be avoided using the application technique I mentioned), and when the mascara is taken off , it doesn’t melt off the lashes like other mascaras do, it comes off in little clumpy bits. Not a huge problem.   The packaging for this, though, is pretty awesome. The curved handle fits nicely into my hand, allowing for more control over the wand. This is especially good considering that the special rolling technique is required to achieve optimal results. There is also the fact that the tube is a shocking, unapologetic hot pink.   I’m not entirely sure if it’s actually good for your eyes at all, but it does have beeswax in it that supposedly “fortifies you lashes”. Who knows? It might be true.

The bottom line: This really is a good mascara, but because of the difficulties with the application and the fact that the wand comes out of the tube with too much product, I’m still undecided as to whether I would repurchase this product. It is conceivable. Although I must say that for a drugstore mascara, it is pretty pricey. Hm.

Rating: B

Review: The Body Shop Pink Grapefruit Body Butter

50/200 ml

The Body Shop US, $6 (only in mini)

The Body Shop UK, £5/12.50

The Body Shop EU, €5/15



The Pink Grapefruit Body Butter is described as a creamy lotion for the body that sinks in quickly, making the skin feel hydrated and soft for up to 24 hours. According to the Body Shop, it is intended for normal skin



Water, Citrus Paradisi (Grapefruit) Seed Oil, Theobroma Cacao (Cocoa) Butter, Cyclomethicone, Glycerin, Glyceryl Stearate, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter), PEG-100 Stearate, Cetearyl Alcohol, Lanolin Alcohol, Phenoxyethanol, Fragrance, Limonene, Methylparaben, Propylparaben, Xanthan Gum, Linalool, Benzyl Alcohol, Disodium EDTA, Tocopherol, Hexyl Cinnamal, Citral, Sodium Hydroxide, Citronellol, Geraniol, Hydroxyisohexyl 3-Cyclohexene Carboxaldehyde, Yellow 6, Red 33.


The texture of the cream is reasonably thick, but honestly this does not seem to help. The body butter was not, unfortunately, as hydrating as it claimed. It did provide some moisture, but did not condition my normal-to-dry body as much as it should have. The effects certainly did not last for 24 hours, as the next day around the same time; my legs were back to how they were the day before. The cream also did not sink in as quickly as I would have liked, and left an ever-so-slight residue.


However, I must say that the Body Shop hit the nail right on the head in terms of scent. This lotion smells divine. It is a nice refreshing, zingy scent, exactly like pink grapefruit. It’s funny, because sometimes, like with the Mango Body Butter, the body butters do not really smell like the fruit that they are supposed to (although they do usually smell nice nonetheless).


There’s not very much to say about the packaging, it’s pretty standard: a round tub with a screw top. It does its job just fine. One thing I do like, though, is its color. It is a lovely shade of pink.


This body butter is a bit of a trade off: the lotion is fairly mediocre, but the smell is lovely. If my skin weren’t on the drier side, I would definitely consider getting it just for the smell. Consider it a body spray in lotion form, with a little bit of moisturizing properties. Actually, you could just apply it over an unscented moisturizer that actually hydrates the skin, and get a satisfactory outcome. Not ideal though, and perhaps not worth the effort.


Rating: B-