August 31, 2015

Applying mineral make up products - the clean way

This is precisely about the technique of how and where to sprinkle the loose powder products we dolls apply with make up brushes on our faces.

The notorious technique of ~tap, swirl and buff~ isn't bad, but it makes me shudder seeing people doing that IN THE LID of the product.

That's a horrible habit.

First of all, it's nasty. Over a short time the lid gets sticky from the brushes that pick up oils off your face. The jars get messier after each use within the lid and on the outside because the residues clinging to the screw parts escape. Powders are a wild thing to keep tight in a jar.

Then most jars and their lids are not wide enough to fit fluffy face brushes for them to swirl around, so besides making more mess around your table once again, you get the product in random uneven chunks on your brush and then you either "tap the excess off" - another mess-and-waste nonsense, or apply the chunks straight to your face and wonder how difficult it is to blend minerals out.

What's the solution? Sprinkling your minerals into a separate dish. A shallow little porcelain bowl or any round dish with smooth glazed and non porous surface. Don't use plastic, it is porous in this case and hard to wash hygienically clean. Or if you fancy the fancy, and enjoy having yet another spacious stuff, that needs regular cleaning, hanging around your vanity table, you can get something like this mixing tray:

My personal favorite is a simple shallow white porcelain bowl and it looks like this:

It is of a very thin porcelain, so it's not heavy. About 3" (8 cm) wide and 1" high. The large brushes fit and swirl nice in it and pick up the product evenly. And wiping the bowl clean with a paper tissue does the trick.

I bought this in "A loja do gato preto" shop among its cool kitchenware. Once I saw it I had to have it, it was just perfect for this purpose. So I got two, in case I break one and won't get a replacement anymore. Few years later I indeed broke one, so I'm careful with the remaining one. And no, I have not seen these in that shop again. But if I did, I would get a back up again, though.
You may be lucky and find similar bowls among any kitchenwares looking like a sauce dip dish, asian specialty dishware and such. Just make sure the inside has a smooth and rounded bottom, no inset circles.

Similar to this, some people use special little glass plates or pallettes to squeeze their liquid foundation onto, and pick it up with a brush from there, although those are usually way too flat and open for powders, thumbs up for another clean way of doing makeup. It always reminds me of painting artworks :) Well honey, doing makeup right is an art itself!

So my bottom line is, be conscious about how you handle your make up stash. There is enough dust around when you handle it nice and clean, no need to worsen it. Also storing the minerals laden jars bottom-down and not upside down (to read labels off the bottom) helps the mess at bay.

Happy and neat applications!

August 29, 2015

Makeup brushes collection (part 1)

My favorites to date:
RealTechniques brushes. Just not a fan of their huge self-standing handles. And also love elf's bamboo brushes, for they are really soft and not dense. Well you may call it "flimsy" but I fell in love with them once I started using them. These aren't your cheap flimsy but scratchy goat and pony hair brushes. These feel like a veil.

Unlike the Ecotools and Ultimate range, which do have fine soft bristles BUT they are packed so very densely that makes me dislike them (read: I only use those when the softer brushes are dirty in need of a wash).

The only one of these bamboo elfs I've never liked is the flat eyeliner brush which is not very flat after all, therefore horrible for fine lines.

Plus the elf studio powder brush (the black flat top) is my "go to" mineral foundation brush. I actually have two of them. Good advice: getting a back up for your favorite big, dense or thick brush will be a joy to you everytime you wash one and it takes him an eternity to dry.

L to R:
RT blush brush - I use this for contouring (cheekbones, jawline) 
elf blush brush - for blushes 
elf powder brush - for all over setting powder 
RT powder brush - I use this for mineral (powder) foundation, sometimes for a setting powder

elf bamboo blondies 
(sadly a gone limited edition, but I'm still hopeful  
e.l.f. will bring something like this back)

June 9, 2015

Test watercolor painting

I got some new school watercolor set for my 6 y/o daughter with a whopping 24 colors in it, but finally it's me fascinated with it.
It's JOVI brand and made in Spain and rather decent looking even with a few empty pans for mixing, and of course with an unusable shitty brush.

So here are my test paintings on a testing paper as well, which proved not so watercolor-friendly as claimed, but I totally expected that. It was mainly a play time.

A very quick 5 minute test piece, done on about A5 size paper:

And a large A3 piece that took over an hour:

Some crazy warping happened in the process...

So it was a test, I don't aim to do watercolors at all, I prefer the control over the strokes and the paint. Oh and the joy of adding highlights at the end! That's why I stick to acrylics and pastels.

June 6, 2015

If spam emails were true

Have you ever imagined how your life would be different if all the weird messages were genuine?

Because I do. Feels kinda painful ignoring all the money they want to give me. All the bank transfers, all the millions of inheritance, green cards, all the lotteries I win all the time. Even won a BMW 7 series. Damn I really am lucky.
Besides, all the lonely sexy wives in my area want me, and horny singles too. I have already enlarged my penis to perfection, and if that's not enough, I am supplied with a full-to-the-brim cabinet of the best drugs to solve anything. I've got a fine car. I've got the best Rolex on my hand and finest designer handbags. I'm getting the best job opportunities. Getting paid and getting laid. What more could I want?

But recently this one made my jaw drop - I should adopt a child. Whooaaa WHAT! Adopt ??? Have you ever been offered such a thing? I mean, this was unexpected. Is this the latest catchy thing what people dream about that it got it's way to spam folders of innocent people?
Maybe all these things just want us to click there out of curiosity ('there' meaning nobody knows where it gets you, just DON'T do that) and get you redirected to a completely diffent type of site you were expecting. And if you're stupid enough you'll find a place where to input your personal details (again, don't do that).
But seriously, the adoption thing got me. I thought I've seen it all, but obviously not LOL.

This was to share my experience after having used one email account for most of my things for more than a decade. Sometimes you just have to check that folder out since from time to time a proper email wrongly gets lost in there.

And if you haven't laughed yet, please understand this is sarcastic rant.
Also, I do not have a penis.

Have a great day everybody!

May 1, 2015

Recent artworks: cat paintings

My recent artworks. Yay for cats !!!

 Sleeping beauty
Acrylic on canvas, 8"x 8" (20 x 20 cm)

In the eye of the beholder
 Acrylic on canvas, 8"x 8" (20 x 20 cm)

April 23, 2015

Looking for "The Little Prince"

I was like 10 or 12 years old (that was in the 90's) when I read the book. I had it from a library and it looked like this

a square hardcover and was in my own mother-tongue. Which is Slovak and that's one articulate language with a complicated grammar. And that's the thing - the particular translations of this book make a difference.

Upon searching for one to buy online for my daughter (OK she's not old enough to comprehend and enjoy it, but I know I will, in the meantime... ) I came to a finding that I want the original English translation by Katherine Woods or at least based by her translation which is more poetic and true to the original French than more recent translation that the readers now complain about.
I can agree on that by the comparing the samples of text I saw on fellow blogs. The wording is quite important and it's what makes the story so magical and beautiful.

Therefore I came to a conclusion I want such English translation (besides possibly Spanish one) but not some vintage original (meaning old and ugly) book, rather a new pretty one with the wording of Woods. Ideally with a hardback, colored illustrations, sounding like Woods but with the famous "sheep" control text saying the boy was looking for a FRIEND not a SHEEP, perhaps. Hopefully such edition comes around now that they just come up with an anime movie of The little prince to be seen in cinemas in late 2015 I believe. That should make it more popular once again right... Trailer here or here and the beautiful soundtrack here. Can't wait to see it!

So if you're reading this and can help me where to get such or which editorial does print such, please let me know and drop a comment below. Very appreciated!
Sending love to my fellow lovers of this book! 

April 18, 2015

REVIEW: Florame perfumes

Florame Vanille Gourmande 
(Delicious Vanilla)
My take:
There sure is sweet caramel-like vanilla and a bit of clove. I'm a vanilla fan but this is just too spicy and earthy for me. And I dislike the fact it has a bit of lavender in it, which unfortunately all of my Florame perfumes have. This (very nice) bottle comes in a smaller 50ml (1.7 fl.oz) size but costs about the same with the rest that are 100ml (3.4 fl.oz.). Good to notice this one is actually an Eau de parfum and the rest mentioned are Eau(x) de toilette.
Certified organic product.
Product quality 5/5. Fragrance appeal 3/5.

Florame Agrumes Irrésistibles 
(Irresistible Citrus)
My take:
I'm a big citrus fan too but again there's the lavender note, so all over it's a fresh citrus, almost cologne like fragrance. By the 'fruity' they mention on the box I'd expect something sweeter. Comes in a 100ml bottle.
Certified organic product.
Product quality 5/5. Fragrance appeal 3/5.

Florame Verveine Pétillante 
(Sparkling Verbena)
My take:
Well, verbena sounded nice to try. But finally it was a bit too crispy and bitter for my liking and not perfume-y enough. Something fitting for a body product such as lotion or shower gel but not an edt. Not too bad anyway, I used it up just like the rest. But I'll stay with verbena for teas only... Comes in a 100ml bottle. It has similar ingredients list to the others, forgot to take a photo of that.
Certified organic product.
Product quality 5/5. Fragrance appeal 2/5.

And this one is MEN'S...    
Florame Esprit Vétiver 
(Vetiver Spirit)
My take:
Very interesting but strange to me. Green notes, citrus, some mellow buttery creaminess to it, cedarwood, geranium and black pepper are noticeable. Has a bit of coriander and cardamom which appeal to me but I don't notice them much. Very relaxing and 'zen' like but not much attractive on a guy. It was definitely worth a try though as there aren't many real natural edt's for men. But as you can see in the photo, it gets used. Comes in a 100ml (3.4 fl.oz.) bottle.
Certified organic product.
Product quality 5/5. Fragrance appeal 3/5.

Final verdict: 
I will not repurchase any of these. I recommend you try them if you like notes of bitter citruses and lavender. And for the men's if you like vetiver, cedarwood and chypre type of fragrances. Their design though is first class.

April 17, 2015

Welcome to Madrid #5 : The Spanish attitude

If you know Spaniards a little bit, you know they have their "actitud", the strong attitude of confidence. Which is a good thing. The ugly side turns when the confidence turns into aggresivity. That's why we are fed news about homicides and abuse of all kinds, all the time.

And sadly I sometimes see (mostly) emotional abuse around me, which may not be noticed as such.
Why not?
Because the everage mindset sees a mother or father disciplining their child, not violence.
Because they see a young couple's conversation, not a boy distressing his girlfriend with his ideas of how he owns her and how stupid she is for not wearing and doing what he wants her to.
Because they see schoolmates fooling around, not a bully intimidating his fellows, just because the bully is mistreated by his parent who is mistreated by his/her spouse who is mistreated by his/her boss and so on.

I am reminded how authoritative Spanish men are everytime I see a guy (of all ages) holding his spouse around her shoulders or around her neck while walking on the street. A neck !? It's like he's leading his slave. What happened to the holding around a waist or a butt at worst? Luckily I don't see it that often and I'm impressed how old couples keep holding hands in public, it's very sweet.

It's a kind of a thing happening within families, within close friends and relatives. I have never experienced any assault or threat of any kind in public here no matter how little I wear, where I walk alone, or at what night hour. The south of Madrid is pretty much one of the safest Madrid areas. But the real problem happens within those who are close to each other. Which keeps issues hidden. Unless of course you hear what you didn't want to hear because they are so damn loud. Spanish people have no sense of how loud they are and are completely careless if heard or seen.

What inspired me to write this particular opinion, was a page in a local newspaper I recently read, which is basically a violence awareness campaign. I saw this ad and similar others in public places before, but this time I had a chance to actually take a photo of it.
Here it is:

It says At the first sign of abuse... RUN AWAY. And there is a very peaceful-mooslem looking guy (Hey I said peaceful. Because they are peaceful aren't they...) with an evil look on his face. In my not-so-humble opinion they used a good image for that. And you can see the tiny font with the phone number 012 which is the helpline to contact. Knowing how to defend yourself is better than running, but not all are able to do that and running is the last option. So you see how bad it is when the campaign has to take it that far. The campaign is of course good, the situation is bad.
When will people respect each other? I don't mind starting from myself but why nobody joins up?

January 6, 2015

Recent artworks: small landscapes

Two French countryside landscapes inspired by my own memories.

Spring time in Rhône-Alpes

 Acrylic on canvas, 4" x 6" (10 x 15 cm)


Summer time in Rhône-Alpes

Acrylic on canvas, 4" x 6" (10 x 15 cm)

Buy this on Etsy 


January 4, 2015

My favorite organic lip balms (Part 2)

Happy 2015 !
Here goes the latest portion of my favorite lipbalms:

Caudalie lip conditioner 
from the 'Moisture Essential set'

This lip conditioner, first of all, smells lovely. Just like another product of this brand that I've tried, so I guess it's their signature scent. The scent is very light and gentle but up close it's there - somehow fruity - I guess grapes with some citruses. The moisturizing power is about medium, it is one of the harder, waxy types, but good enough for me. Will not melt easily.

This probably sells only as a part of a set. I got mine gifted to me, but as far as I know, you can get it from Caudalie website or specialty spas.
UPDATE 02/2015: This lipbalm is available at UK-based store with free intl' shipping.

My rating: 4/5

Hurraw Balm

Yeah! Finally I got my hands on these and I'm in love. Pictured are mint (green) and coconut (brown), but I've had a vanilla too. Well, these must be the best lipbalms I have ever tried. I just love the oily-buttery softness, how it instantly melts on my lips, how divinely they all smell and are made of raw, organic or wildcrafted goodness. And they are vegan! Go get some !

My rating: 5/5

To see all my lipbalm posts, go to


May 3, 2014

April 26, 2014

SWATCHES: Silk Naturals (under eye) concealers

Silk Naturals 'Sleep In A Jar' - powdered concealer in Light Peach and Medium Peach, HD cream peach concealer in shade 30.
Compared to Silk Naturals HD cream foundations in G30 and G40.

Pictured are all sample jars except for the first one which is a full size jar.

Shade G40 is my face match (the last dab in the picture). And I pair it with the cream concealer in shade 30 (top right in the picture).

March 24, 2014

SWATCHES: Silk Naturals HD Cream Foundation

Silk Naturals came up with HD cream foundations in stick tubes. They are mineral based and in my opinion really good, meaning smooth and with a pretty good coverage. Here are my swatches from the samples. Swatched on the underside of my forearm.

G40 is my year round match (comparable to Lucy Minerals' Creamy Olive or Creamy Bisque), although I'd be G50 when well tanned in the summer. The G's go for GOLDEN meaning yellow undertone. Otherwise they make neutral and cool tones too:

Here's the full size. So portable and travel friendly!

It is recommended to apply on skin straight off the tube and blend with a damp sponge (the cosmetic expandable drop shaped type) or a brush. I just use a finger to blend so far, but I'd try it with the sponge once I get my hands on one.

December 26, 2013

Recommendation: Handmade earrings

I present you this unique jewelry handmade in France by my friend Sophie who runs her shop: Les Jumelles .
New creations added regularly. If you share the taste or have that unique friend to treat with a gift, here's an idea!

Check out 'Les Jumelles' at

November 4, 2013

My favorite mint balms

If you're a fan of chest rubs, minty ointments, cooling lipbalms or suffer from painful dry nose when having a cold, read on.

These are my two favorite all natural balms, which I mostly use on my nose when feeling dry. Well, eucalyptus does a nose good, sick or not.

Baume respiration (Respiration balm) by Biofloral
35ml in a screw-lid tin

It's shea butter based, vegan, 100% organic (certified), besides eucalyptus and peppermint contains plenty of other essential oils (lemon, cinnamon, lavender, rosemary, clove, thyme, silver fir etc) and feels quite strong, which I love.

Aromatic chest rub by Badger
21g / 0.75oz in a (nail breaking) press-on lid tin

This one is olive oil and beeswax based, feels less concentrated in essential oils and therefore more gentle. USDA certified organic. Besides eucalyptus and peppermint contains essential oils of ravintsara, tangerine, ginger, tea tree etc.

Both of them are quite hard to scoop out with a finger, that's why I use back of a nail if I want more than just a tiny bit. Once on skin, they melt instantly. They stand up to extreme heat without going any bad or changed. I don't believe they would do much as a chest rub but both are very usable as a lipbalm or wrist rub for aromatherapy.

November 3, 2013

Truly natural alternative to vaseline

Its called Care Jelly made by Handmade Naturals (UK).

Ingredients: Virgin Organic Olive Oil, Virgin Organic Shea Butter, Organic Calendula Infused in Organic Sunflower Oil, Essential Oils of Lavender, Geranium & Manuka.
(But note there is no apparent organic certification)

Comes in a glass jar of 60ml (2oz)

What can I say, it's just like petroleum jelly. Looks like it, feels like it, but! this is made from plant ingredients and has healing properties, contains shea butter, packed with vitamins A, E and F and it's vegan too.
I've never been a fan of petroleum jelly, but hubby is, so I got this for him to use instead of vaseline. And guess what, he loves it, and he likes how it smells too.
My rating: 5/5

More reviews from Handmade Naturals coming, they make some wonderful stuff!

July 14, 2013

Random cool stuff: Hunky billboard

A billboard in my city, with Channing Tatum and Jamie Foxx in one place ! 

 Makes my day everytime.