NOTD: OPI Uh-Oh, Roll Down the Window

So I know this color may not be to everyone’s taste, but I personally adore it. i have wanted this color for a really long time, and I finally got it this month for my birthday! It is a dark olive-y green, an army green maybe? I don’t know. The name is cute, and a little bit apt, I must admit. This came out in the Touring America collection, I believe.

Are there any colors that you personally love but other people can’t stand? Are there any that seem to be really on trend but make you hurl? Share in the comments below!

Hope you have a nice weekend!

Lilla xx

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What To Do About China

**UPDATE** Urban Decay has decided to pull out of the Chinese market, see post here.

So as you may know, the cruelty-free world has had some controversial news: some highly respected cruelty-free companies such as Estee Lauder (owners of many brands, including MAC and Bobbi Brown) and Urban Decay are expanding into China. “So what?” you ask. Chinese law allows the government to test products going onto the market without the knowledge of the companies, according to Urban Decay’s press statement. And yeah, those would be animals they would be testing on. This has pretty much pissed off a bunch of people that supported the brands because they were cruelty-free. I don’t really like the fact that these products in China may have been tested on animals at some point (Urban Decay still does not test on animals themselves, but by expanding into the Chinese market they open themselves up to the risk), but I also see this as a good opportunity, as does Urban Decay. As I have said before, I do not want my money being used to test on animals. However, I do want my money to go for making a change in the way things are run. Apparently the Chinese market is a very closed market, so the only way to change the policies regarding animal testing would be from within. From what I have heard, it seems like Chinese consumers really don’t think about it at all, there is very little awareness of the horrible things that are done in the name of beauty. I am willing to support these companies expanding into China if they will try to promote cruelty-free testing methods to the Chinese government. And according to their press statement, that is exactly what they plan to do. OK, so Urban Decay is going to try to work some changes, but is Estee Lauder? I have not found a statement regarding promoting change in China in particular (it may exist, though, I just haven’t come across it), but in the FAQ section of their website where they state their policy regarding animal testing, they do stress the point that they work hard to promote alternative testing methods. There really cannot be enough promotion out there, so if a company is doing their fair share, I am not going to boycott them and endanger their campaigns.

And China is already starting to change. PETA sent out a press release that stated that the Chinese government is in the last stages of approving their first-ever non-animal test for cosmetic ingredients, and are working with scientists from the Institute of In-Vitro Sciences, a program which PETA supports. Whether this step has anything to do with Urban Decay or Estee Lauder is hard to say, but nevertheless it is still great. If nothing else, this is a brilliant stepping stone for the companies to use to jump-start their campaigns.

I, for one, am willing to continue to support these companies, but you may not. It is your decision to make, and I am not going to push anything on you, I merely ask for you to do your research before you condemn anyone. For those that have decided to revoke support of these companies, in my list of non-animal-testing companies, I have specially marked out all the brands who have expanded into China, or are owned by a company expanding into China. Where possible, I will suggest alternatives from brands who have not expanded into China, so no matter what your beliefs on the subject, you can still look and feel fabulous.

PETA Press Release:

http://www.peta.org/mediacenter/news-releases/China-Poised-to-Accept-First-Ever-Non-Animal-Test-Method-for-Cosmetics.aspx

Urban Decay Press Statement (found on Temptalia.com)

http://www.temptalia.com/urban-decay-press-statement-animal-testing-and-china

Urban Decay Chinese Expansion Q&A (also on Temptalia)

http://www.temptalia.com/qa-with-urban-decay-a-follow-up-on-animal-testing-and-entry-into-china

Estee Lauder Animal Testing Policy

http://www.esteelauder.co.uk/cms/customer_service/faqs.tmpl#companytest

Review: ELF Studio Lip Stain (Fashionista)

Eyeslipsface.com: $3

Eyeslipsface.co.uk: £3.75/€4.50

Can also be found at Target

www.eyeslipsface.com

www.eyeslipsface.co.uk

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

L: Built up R: Sheered out

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ELF describes this product as a long-lasting, “full-coverage” lip color. It is formulated with vitamins A and E that apparently keep your lips soft all day. It is double ended, with the stain on one end and the gloss on the other. The idea is that if you want a matte look, you apply the stain alone, but if you want a glossy look, you wait for the stain to dry and then apply the gloss.

Ingredients:

Isododecance, Disteardimonium Hectorite, Silica, Hydrogenated Polyisobutene, Triacontanyl PVP, Methylparaben, Propylparaben, Retinyl Palmitate, Tocopherol. 
Gloss: Hydrogenated Polyisobutene, Paraffinium Liquidum (Mineral Oil), Methylparaben, Propylparaben.
May Contain: Titanium Dioxide, Iron Oxides (CI 77491 , CI 77492 , CI 77499), Manganese Violet (CI 77742), Red No.7 Lake (CI 15850), Red No.27 Lake (CI 45410), Red No.6 Lake (CI 15850), Blue No.1 Lake (CI 42090), Yellow No.5 Lake (CI 19140), Yellow No.6 Lake (CI 15985).

Let me start with what this stain has going for it. It has a gorgeous color, for starters. It is an amazing bright pink-lemonade pink (I’m sorry, that is the only way I can describe the color), and the pigmentation is good, so you can make the color on your lips look like the color on the tube, but you can also wear this color really sheer and it looks great. By the way, the color on the ELF website is misleading, the color in person looks much more similar to the picture of First Date on the site. The packaging is quite good as well. They’ve managed to make everything pretty compact, which is not always a feature in the packaging of other ELF products. Exhibit A: the Studio Cream Blushes. The packaging is also very professional looking, which I like. Another bonus is that you can see what the actual product looks like, which is very good for choosing colors.

Now lets get into the not-so-great stuff. The first thing you notice about the stain is how it applies. The color does not distribute evenly, so you end up with patches of really thick color and then places with hardly anything. This is annoying as hell. Then, the texture. It has the weirdest consistency EVER. When you put it on at first it feels really slick, and then it dries to what I can only describe as a powder finish. It almost feels as if you put a cream-to-powder blush on your lips. Having put an ELF Studio Cream on my lips before (don’t ask me why, I have no clue), I can testify that the experience is very similar. And it really isn’t a feeling you really want on your lips… The product also tends to settle in any flaky skin you have on your lips, as well as drying them out. Not cute. When you put it on, I also experienced a slight tingling feeling. Not like a plumping gloss feeling, either. Like an I-think-I-am-having-an-allergic-reaction feeling. I didn’t seem to have any sort of reaction to it, but the feeling was unpleasant nonetheless. I don’t have much to say about the gloss, I hardly ever used it because I am not a gloss person. However, when I did try it, I formed the impression that it was terrible. I do not have a lot of experience with lip gloss because I personally do not enjoy them , but this one seemed to be more on the thin side and felt almost gritty after the initial glossiness wore off. So like 2 seconds after application.

And to sum this review up, I shall talk about the staying power. Despite having a weird texture and less than stellar application, did the product actually perform in terms of longetivity? The answer, ladies and gentlemen, is no. Not only did it wear off quite quickly, but it wore off in unevenly, contributing to that lovely patchy effect.

To sum up, despite its absolutely gorgeous color and good packaging, this product failed in pretty much every respect. In short, it sucked. Which really is a bummer because I really want a good stain!

Rating: C-

Why I Went Cruelty-Free

This is a video from the PETA that shows the conditions in a laboratory. I first saw this video at school, when a group presenting on animal testing showed it. Before I knew about animal testing, but I just didn’t think about it that much. After seeing this video, I just could not do that anymore. I have a dog, and I love him so much, and I realized that had he been born to a different mother, that easily could have been him. I must warn you though, this video is really horrible, and is hard to watch.

Here is the article that goes with it:

http://www.peta.org/features/professional-laboratory-and-research-services.aspx

NOTD: OPI Lucern-tainly Look Marvelous

Image

This is one of the polishes I got from my sister for my birthday, and I love it!! It is an amazing metallic gunmetal-gray color, the kind of polish the Black Widow might wear. Well, in my mind, anyway. Maybe I’m crazy but this polish makes me feel slightly badass…

Is there any polish that gives you confidence and/or makes you feel badass? Comment below!

Hope you have a great weekend!

Lilla xx

Review: NYX Jumbo Eye Pencils (Yogurt, Cottage Cheese)

Ulta: $4.49

Douglas: €4.95

http://www.nyxcosmetics.com/products/eyes/eye-shadow/jumbo-eye-pencil

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

NYX Jumbo Eye Pencil in Yogurt

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

NYX Jumbo Eye Pencil in Cottage Cheese

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is probably one of the most confusing products I have ever tried. Confusing for several reasons, but the main reason, the ‘parent’ reason, if you will, is the fact that people continually rave about, recommend, and repurchase these things.

One major point that people that people always talk about when they review these guys is the pigmentation. That, I will allow for. The pigmentation is pretty good. And yes, they do make shadows way more vibrant. Ok, on that point I agree with everyone else.

NYX Jumbo Eye Pencils Swatches
Left: Cottage Cheese
Right: Yogurt

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

From left to right: Urban Decay Sidecar over Cottage Cheese, Sidecar over UD Primer Potion, Sidecar on its own

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

But in every other respect? They suck.

People do normally talk about the creasing in their reviews, and I agree. My eyelids are pretty oily, and this creased like crazy without primer almost immediately. With primer, it lasted a tad bit longer, but nowhere near what it should. Setting it with a powder also helps, but it doesn’t completely solve the problem

Surprisingly enough, what I haven’t heard squat about (although maybe I didn’t look hard enough), is how unbelievably crappy the packaging is. The lids crack really easily, and so either continuously slip off or get jammed too far down.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

That’s bad, but honestly if this happened with another product that I liked it I could definitely deal with it. The cap never smushes the product, at least. But no, I have far worse gripes with the packaging. So when I got the product and was checking it out for the first time, I was pretty disappointed when I couldn’t find a way to twist the product up and down. It looked like what you could see through the lid was pretty much all the product you were going to get. OK, I know $4 isn’t going to break the bank, but for that much product? So not worth it. I’m not great with measurements, but I was pretty sure that what I was seeing was not 5 grams. I got curious and wanted to see how much product was actually in the stick. What did I do? I cracked that sucker open. By the way, I wouldn’t really recommend trying it, it makes a huge mess. And ladies and gentlemen, when I say huge, I mean huge. To my amazement, the product ran a fair ways down, about the where the color name was! All that product, and as far as I could tell, no way to access the product. Excluding breaking the packaging, or depotting it, of course. There was no way to twist it up, and the packaging is plastic so sharpening it down like a traditional wooden eyeliner pencil is out. I don’t know about you, but I for one do not call that good packaging. No one else seemed to be complaining about this though, so there may be some secret way that I don’t know about. If you know, please comment below. It bamboozles me. But even if there is a way, if I haven’t found it within like 5 minutes of looking at the product, it is too obscure and therefore doesn’t work.

Conclusion:

This product does make colors pop, but honestly if you need to depot it before you can actually use it (taking away the whole jumbo stick advantages) and even then it creases despite your best efforts, it is NOT a product that I would consider worth purchasing, even if it is under $5. When you consider how many cream eyeshadows there are, and even how many fatter stick cream eyeshadows there are, I really don’t think there is a justification for getting this product.

Rating: C-

 

 

NOTD: Wet n Wild Bijou Blue (443D)

I would just like to start off this post by saying, I don’t think this polish is aptly named. Instead of calling it ‘Bijou Blue’, I think it should be called ‘Superhero Blue’. That is what this polish really reminds me of, a superhero’s cape. Which just makes it awesome. It is an interesting color, not quite turquoise but not your classic blue either, with a not-quite-greeny-turquoisey shimmer running through. This polish is pretty, dirt cheap, and does not use animal testing… not bad, Wet n Wild! OK, truth be told it does tend to chip… well, a lot. But you can just wear a good base coat and you’ll be good to go! Another good thing about the polish? It really truly does give ‘Wild Shine’, it is glossy enough that if you are pressed for time, you can skip topcoat and still be fine.

What nail polish are you wearing right now?

Love,

Lilla xx

Review: The Body Shop Vitamin E Moisture Lotion (SPF 15)

50 ml

The Body Shop UK, £10

The Body Shop EU, €16

(This product did not seem to be available on the American site)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Body Shop describes this cream as a light, easily absorbed moisturizing cream with an “SPF 15 for UVA and UVB protection” that “leaves the skin soft and healthy looking”. It is formulated with Vitamin E, community fair-trade sesame seed oil, and wheatgerm oil. Suitable for all skin types.

 

Key Ingredient(s)

▪                 Vitamin E

▪                 Community Fair Trade sesame seed oil

▪                 Wheatgerm oil

Full Ingredients

Aqua (Solvent/Diluent), Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate (Sunscreen), C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate (Emulsifier), Cyclopentasiloxane (Skin-Conditioning Agent/Emollient), Octyl Salicylate (Sunscreen), Butyl Methoxydibenzoylmethane (Sunscreen), Glyceryl Stearate (Emulsifier), Butylene Glycol (Humectant), Phenyl Trimethicone (Emollient/Hair Conditioner), Potassium Cetyl Phosphate (Surfactant/Emulsifying Agent), Cetyl Dimethicone (Skin-Conditioning Agent), Phenoxyethanol (Preservative), Triethanolamine (pH Adjuster), Sesamum Indicum Oil (Emollient), Tocopheryl Acetate (Antioxidant), Parfum (Fragrance), Carbomer (Stabiliser/Viscosity Modifier), Behenyl Alcohol (Emollient), Cetyl Alcohol (Emulsifier), Methylparaben (Preservative), Triticum Vulgare Germ Oil (Emollient), Citronellol (Fragrance Ingredient), Tetrasodium EDTA (Chelating Agent), Butylparaben (Preservative), Ethylparaben (Preservative), Alpha-Isomethyl Ionone (Fragrance Ingredient), Isobutylparaben (Preservative), Propylparaben (Preservative), Linalool (Fragrance Ingredient), Geraniol (Fragrance Ingredient), Tocopherol (Antioxidant).

 

First of all let me say how nice it is to be able to get a hold of a day cream that has UVA protection. It is really great that I don’t have to go through all the hassle of hunting down a separate sunscreen, then after slathering it on, becoming super paranoid as to whether it will break me out or not. So kudos to you, Body Shop.

The formula is relatively light and feels very nice on the skin. It does sink in pretty quickly, but until it has done so completely, it leaves a slight greasy residue. The residue goes away pretty quickly, leaving the skin very smooth and hydrated, but that still is an iffy point for me. Despite the residue, the texture is still such that it allows for mixing with foundation to create a tinted moisturizer, which is definitely a plus.

Speaking of hydration, this cream is a very, VERY hydrating one. Before I started using it, I had a couple of dry patches on my cheeks. Afterwards? Nada. My face was nice and smooth. On the other hand, it didn’t make me break out on my forehead, where I typically get very oily. This leaves me to believe that the claim that it is suitable for all skin types is a relevant one, and that is something that my finicky combination skin greatly appreciates.

Although one of the things that makes this product good in my books is the fact that it can be substituted for sunscreen, one of the things that I do not like about it is that in some ways, it is too much like sunscreen in that it smells like it. Though sunscreen is very good and I am glad that it was invented, I am not terribly keen on the smell. And having that in a moisturizer is not really something that I enjoy. The smell wears off after a while, so it’s not so bad, but for me it is definitely a weak point in an otherwise good moisturizer.

The packaging is also pretty good in my books, as it is a squeezy tube rather than a tub. I prefer squeezy tubes because they are more hygienic as you do are not repeatedly dipping your fingers into the same product. In addition, it is better for creating DIY tinted moisturizers, as the product comes out it a specific place so the whole back of your hand isn’t covered with cream. Unfortunately, there is always the hassle of having to cut the top portion off to access the cream when the product starts to run out.

 

Overall, this is a pretty good product, especially due to its moisturizing properties and SPF (with UVA!). One of its greatest bonuses, though, is that it is so versatile in terms of skin type, so if you are someone whose skin is either really dry and really oily at the same time, or whose skin type varies drastically from one time to another, this cream should be able to keep up. The smell and slight residue do provide a slight irritation, but probably would not keep me from repurchasing the product. And hey, some people seemed to even like the smell!

 

Rating: A-

 

 

 

 

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

236 ml

Ulta- $5.99

Boots- £5.59 (called Daily Miracle Treatment)

Douglas- €9.95 (billiger bei Rossman oder dm, ca. €7.99?)

John Frieda describes this product as a leave-in treatment that “strengthens and helps repair hair” by using “high-potency infusions of vitamins, proteins, and supplemental moisture…”. It should “instantly detangle for smooth, silky, vibrantly healthy-looking results” and claims that “hair detangles easily for increased manageability and reduced risk of breakage and split ends”. It contains wheat proteins, glycerine, and vitamins A, E, and C, which should protect and hydrate “dry, damaged, frizz-prone hair”. It contains heat protection.

INGREDIENTS:

WATER, GLYCERIN, AMODIMETHICONE, PANTHENOL, BISAMINO PEG/PPG-41/3 AMINOETHYL PG-PROPYL DIMETHICONE, VP/DIMETHYLAMINOETHYLMETHACRYLATE COPOLYMER, TRIDECETH-12, DIMETHICONE PEG-8 MEADOWFOAMATE, DIAZOLIDINYL UREA, FRAGRANCE, POLYQUATERNIUM-59, COCODIMONIUM HYDROXYPROPYL HYDROLYZED WHEAT PROTEIN, CITRIC ACID, BUTYLENE GLYCOL, HYDROLYZED VEGETABLE PROTEIN PG-PROPYL SILANETRIOL, SODIUM CHLORIDE, CETRIMONIUM CHLORIDE, PROPYLENE GLYCOL, WHEAT AMINO ACIDS, TOCOPHERYL ACETATE, CAMELLIA SINENSIS LEAF EXTRACT, CHELIDONIUM MAJUS EXTRACT, ROSA CANINA FRUIT EXTRACT, OLIVE OIL PEG-7 ESTERS, ASCORBIC ACID, RETINYL PALMITATE, METHYLPARABEN, PROPYLPARABEN, ALOE BARBADENSIS LEAF EXTRACT

I have heard that it is really important to use a detangler or something similar on wet hair before brushing it through, as apparently hair is really vulnerable when wet and attacking it with a hairbrush when it is vulnerable is not a good thing to do. Judging from the description of the product, brushing hair without a detangler may cause breakage and split ends. As I don’t particularly want either and this detangler was on offer for €3.99 I decided to pick it up.

I have been using this product nearly every day for maybe two weeks now, and I can see a definite improvement in the health of my hair. I found this product to be very good in terms of detangling; it really does make brushing through it easier, and makes my hair really soft and shiny. It says it is for dry hair, although I have sort of oily hair and it worked nicely for me. This isn’t a product that people with oily hair should shy away from, it doesn’t make me greasy faster or anything. As for people with dry hair, this probably won’t completely solve your problems on its own but will definitely help to add a bit of moisture to your hair and keep it healthy-looking and nourished.

I especially love that it has a heat protectant in it, though I don’t normally use anything for blow-drying my hair, it is a very useful thing to have in the product and eliminates any worries regarding heat damage. I actually blow-dry my hair a lot because I think it generally looks nicer, so this will really help keep my hair safe so I don’t have to feel guilty.

As for the smell, I quite like it. Unfortunately it doesn’t smell as nice as the Body Shop detangler (another detangler that I have tried and will review soon), but it’s ok because it works better, and still smells fine, actually fairly similar. But still, this does make me a little sad and is pretty much the only downside to the product, even if it is just me bemoaning the fact that the Body Shop one smelled so heavenly but didn’t work so well on the detangling.

Overall, I really like this product and would definitely recommend it to anyone and everyone who has hair long enough to get tangled after showers. It has really made my hair look great and protects my hair very well in terms of preventing breakage and split ends caused by attacking my poor, vulnerable hair with a hairbrush when its wet, and in terms of heat protection for when I blast it with my hairdryer. One thing I have just found out that I am not terribly happy with is that the bottle runs out quite fast. Even after having used conditioner, you still need quite a bit of it to really get the tangles out. If you are paying close to 10 euros on it (well, I got it on sale, but still…) I should hope it would last a decent amount of time.

Rating: B+