I have to say I’m quite weary of all the holy-grail products going around on blogs.

Being on “the other side”, the side of resellers that are looking for visibility and traffic, I’m quickly realising that about half the content out there isn’t necessarily created out of love for a product, but because of free products, goodwill or even financial compensation. This is no sneer to the bloggers out there, just a critical note on the lack of transparancy in this area.

Still, Bioderma is so hót, and there is nothing more annoying than battling the stage of make up removal in the evenings, that I decided to give it a go and see what all the fuss is about.

In short: THIS IS THA BOMB.

Removes eye make-up in one swipe, even the most pain-in-the-ass-to-remove-mascara (L’Oreal Telescopic Waterproof, I’m looking at you). It has quickly banned all my other eye make-up removers to the back of my bathroom cabinet. Even at my most tired, I can still muster up the effort to get my bottle of Bioderma goodiness in action.

In short: must-have, holy grail, da sh*iz, get it, you need this in your life.

bioderma

As I mentioned a few posts back, I’ve been running my own webshop since a few months: BeautyMelon. This is not meant to be a sales-talk, but more of an insight in the life of a small webshop owner. Because running your own make-up store sounds fabulous, is sometimes breathtakingly hard, but at the end is mostly one of the most incredible experiences of my life.

It sounds like a dream: doesn’t it? Receiving tons of make-up, swirling around in your own private stock filled with infinite nailcolours and blushes and eyeshadows and lipsticks and every other product you’ve always loved so much. Now they’re all there. Ready to touch. Screaming to be used. And most of all yours.

But not really. The gorgeous nailpolishes quickly become numbers. And the horror if a label is missing! Try sorting them by colour in dimming daylight when there are twenty hues of the same purple (which was so fabulous before, remember?) Even worse: realising you’ve sorted a colour wrong just when someone orders it. Having to painstakingly explain you made a mistake (I’m sooooo sorry), getting angry at yourself and resorting, recounting, relabeling to make sure it doesn’t happen again. But ofcourse it happens. Because the darkest of blues can sometimes look black. And ofcourse the label was missing.

Printers that don’t print, masking tape that doesn’t stick, papercuts, eyeshadows falling on the floor, misreading a label, forgetting the post doesn’t deliver on Sunday, being 100% sure you have one of the eyeshadows left and finding out you don’t. Gone is the glitz of the nailpolish topcoats, the glow of the golden highlighters and the satin finish of the lipsticks. All that’s left is hard work.

But at the end of the day, oh my. I sit down and look at my website. My. Website. Which is not the prettiest (yet), not perfectly optimised (yet). But it is mine. And I get an e-mail. Saying the package is well-received and the nailpolishes are gorgeous and the service is oh so great.

And I feel all happy and warm and fuzzy. And thankful for the opportunity. And I think of the rainbow of nailpolishes waiting for me to get to work. And I smile.

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I know I’ve raved about La Roche Posay before, but oh my, do their products save my skin time and time again.

Last winter I couldn’t live without their Hydraphase. The last few weeks their Toleriane Cream has been a lifesaver.

First of all, skin can actually húrt. Or so I discovered a few weeks ago. I never considered my skin to be sensitive, but now, no matter what, it felt inflamed all the time, even though there were no visible signs of mishap. No matter what I did, nothing helped: all-natural creams, another cleanser, not wearing make-up, etc. … Until I started using the glorious, unmatched, champion of moisturisers: Toleriane. It was like a breath of fresh air, or the calming shush of a loving mother when you’re feeling sick. My skin finally came back to normal, even after just 2 days of use. If my skin could talk (which would probably freak me out), I’m pretty sure it would whisper ‘thank you…’ 

toleriane

I suppose I have to start this post with a disclaimer: *sponsered product*. Because in theory it is, in practice I just bought this from myself. Aha, yes, from myself, since I am now (or since a few months) the proud owner of BeautyMelon. This is why the disclaimer should probably read: the following product has been provided by myself, is sold by myself and underneath swatched by myself. This review is therefor liable not to be objective. 

Another disclaimer (are you still reading actually?): I’m not swatching this to tell you to go buy it. Or to sell more of these. No, I’m neglecting my blog, and I thought it would be nice to swatch this for y’all. Let’s end ranting and explaining my schizophrenic online presence of lately, and get on to the product.

Behold the newest Sleek I-Divine Pallet in Celestial!

celestial

 

celestial swatches

 

Bad blogger behaviour: swatching before taking the product picture. Oh dear. On top of that, you can see from my second arm-picture that it’s quite cold. Another fail (and note to myself): never wear a white sweater when swatching eyeshadows on your arm. You live, you mess around with make-up, you learn.

I have to say it’s not my favourite palette. (Hm, not good for business here). Not because of the pigmentation (great, as always), but I find it damn hard to create a look with this that is work-appropriate. There are some gems of colours in here: the taupe in the right down corner is gorgeous! The silvery hues are réally silver, and the glittery aubergine is screaming to be used. But none of them are colours I would wear on a normal day without feeling ‘overdressed’ make-up wise.

Maybe I’m too conservative when it comes to my everyday make-up, or maybe this palette is just a bit too far out there for me. But hey, it’s called ‘Celestial’, right? So I guess that only means it does live up to its name.

This summer is definitly thé season for cream blushes. It seems like suddenly all brands are jumping on the cream-wagon, which is a good thing, since I’ve been looking to get my hands on some budget creamies for a while. 

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My favourites at the moment, from left to right: 

1. Essence Ice Bomb: 

Normally, I’m not a huge fan of the Essence brand, it feels a bit too teenagy for my taste. This blush however, quickly made me into a fan. For the price (I think about 3€), this is a gorgeous little gem. A light pink hue, with a subtle glow (not glitter!). Unfortunately, it was part of a limited edition, but if you can still get your hands on this, I’d highly suggest it.

2. Gosh Lusty Pink Natural Touch Cream Blusher

I’d normally be scared shitless of this colour, but since I found this in sale (for just 2.50€), I couldn’t resist trying it out. And oh, I so do not regret this buy. The vibrant colour takes a bit more time to work and blend, but the result is lovely and quite close to a natural, I-just-came-in-from-a-healthy-walk-in-a-field kind of glow. Not sure these are still part of Gosh’s collection, though. 

3. Bourjois Healthy Glow Cream Blush

If you’re picking up cream blushes this summer, it’s hard to pass by Bourjois’ range, since they’ve been all the rage. And righly so, they turn from cream to powder on the skin, with a gorgeous, glowy finish. This one looks similar to the Essence blush, but is a bit more peachy, less true-pink. 

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I was rummaging through my bag today and shamefully realised that I had no less than 8 lipbalms in there. Why? I suppose I haven’t found the right one yet, and the ones I do really like I find a bit too precious to use everyday. There are even some in there that I don’t like at all, but keep using as if hoping one day they would do the trick.

lipbalms

 

1. Korres Pomegranate Lip Butter - This certainly classifies as one of my more precious balms. It’s incredibly soft and gives a subtle rosy tint to the lips. No complaints at all, except maybe for the price (€8,95). A bit too special to use it just everyday, while sitting behind my desk.

2. Le Couvent des Minimes Smile Lip Balm - To start of positive, this one has gorgeous packaging. I was immediately drawn to it because of the ingredients: honey and plenty of caring oils. But oh, what a disappointment. It feels grubby when applied to the lips and once it dries, it feels like it’s left a thin layer of sugar behind. Which is also exactly what it tastes like. Not moisturizing at all, it possible leaves my lips feeling drier.

3. Nivea Gloss Wonder Balm - No complaints about this one. It’s not really a gloss, but not 100% a balm either. It’s a pretty and moisturizing finish to the lips, but not the intensive treatment I’m looking for. Like the Korres balm, I want to keep this for the ‘special’ occasions, not just while hanging in my couch at home.

4. Carmex Moisturizing Lip Balm - I wrote about this when I just got it. I wasn’t truly happy with it then and my disappointment has only increased. It feels like I’m rubbing a hospital-smell into my lips. I’m no longer a fan of the stingy sensation and above all, it leaves my lips even more chapped. I feel like a need a balm to save my lips after using this one. It will probably end up in a garbage bag soon.

5. Vaseline Lip Therapy Rosy Lips - Not moisturizing at all, but that does not mean I don’t like it. I just use it for what it does best: protecting my lips in bad weather.

6. Burt’s Bees Replenishing Lip Balm with Pomegranate - So many people seem to love this! Sadly, no one ever warned me about the small, which for some reason, I can’t stand at all. There are some positives though: I love the mainly natural ingredients and it’s not too bad (but not as good as I expected either).

7. Revlon Colorburst Lip Butter in Macaroon - To be clear: I love love love this one! But not as a lip balm. I know it’s called a lip butter and many rave about it’s moisturizing capacities, but it is essentially a lipstick. Yes, it’s probably nicer and smoother to wear than others, but to me it’s nothing more than a pretty colour on the lips.

8. Chapstick - This keeps my lips in reasonably good shape, especially compared to the ones above. I suppose this is the best standard one I’ve tried, and probably the only one I should carry around, because it’s become my go-to. Not because of awesome results, but because it doesn’t have the cons the other balms have.

So there you go. To be clear: I even own more than these, this is just a snapshot of what I’ve collected in my handbag over the last months. The other ones I don’t even pick up to put in there anymore. I probably should be getting rid of some, but I find it hard to throw out products that haven’t been used up. So I occassionally try them again, to realise why I didn’t like them in the first place.

So am I picky, or is it really that hard to come accross a good lip balm? Any suggestions?

A good bargain can really make my day. So I was more than happy when I ran into this Nivea lipbalm for €1,49 at a local bargain store (called Action for fellow Belgians/Dutchies). They normally just sell “random” usefull stuff (cheapest toilet paper ever!) , but if you’re lucky, you can pick up some gems. Such as this one.

nivea balsem

 

This ‘Gloss wonder balm” by Nivea is essentially more a balm than a gloss. It leaves a shiny finish on the lips, but what I like most about it is the soft feel. The ingredients also indicate some softening going on there, with Argan Oil, Mango & Cacao butter. It has no colour-pay off, but I don’t really mind, since it feels heavenly on my lips. Add to that the SPF 15 and it’s an absolutely amazing find for the money. I’m almost sorry I didn’t pick up a whole bunch of these…

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