Friday, January 16, 2015

TONY MOLY Panda's Dream White Magic Cream review

Hi there, I'm back with another review!

I discovered this product via free samples. I usually don't have time to try all of them out so I hand them over to my sister and the moment she tried this one, she loved it, so I decided to buy her a whole panda for Christmas. And because she was so thrilled about it and I read some really positive reviews about it, I had to try it on myself, too.

Panda's Dream White Magic Cream is a makeup/BB base which is supposed to whiten and brighten your skin, neutralize redness and unify your skin tone.


First, I have to say that the whole Panda concept is incredibly cute. I know Tony Moly is known for their cutesy packaging, but this is really good even for their standards. The only thing I don't like about it is the comicsans-like font, but I guess I can overlook that. 


Next thing about the packaging that comes to mind right after opening it is that it maybe is unnecessarily tall, seeing that only the lower half of the panda actually contains the cream and the rest is just a huge (yet cute) lid. But again, the amount of cream itself is 50g, which is enough, given you only need a little to cover your whole face, and if you were a strictly practical person, you would probably never buy this product in the first place.

After opening, the cream is protected with another lid to avoid mess, but it doesn't contain any kind of applicator so you have to use your fingers to apply it on, which is not the most hygienic option.


The cream itself is pure white, light and easily spreadable. Only a little dib is enough for your whole face. The smell of it is not very strong and is quite pleasant, nothing amazing though, it just smells like many other cosmetic products do. 


This is how the cream looks spred and half soaked in, it looks very white and quite glowy...


... but when soaked in completely, I couldn't really see much of a difference.

When I applied it on my face, it didn't look whiter, brighter or unified. My skin is dry and sensitive and instead of neutralizing the redness, I felt like I'm getting red instead. Even with BB cream applied over it, it didn't really do anything magical for me. 

All this is probably because I'm just the wrong skin type for this cream. I already am very pale and don't usually have problems with red spots, plus my skin is rather dry. My sister is a bit darker than me, she has the teenage combination skin and it works for her perfectly (at least so she claims). 

Actually, this product reminds me of the old Holika Holika butterfly cream a lot. Even though this is much cheaper and smells better, I'd say the butterfly cream worked much better for me. 

+ cute
+ easy application
+ will last long
+ smell 

- only works for certain skintypes
- unnecessarily big packaging
- hygiene

Overall, I wouldn't say this product is bad or overrated, it just isn't for people who are already pale and bright (omg this looks like I am a vampire haha) and their skin is dry and/or sensitive. I couldn't find the information for which skintypes it's suitable anywhere, so purchasing it is quite a lottery bet. I really wish I could use it though :C

I got the cream from HERE

Friday, January 2, 2015

Highlights of 2014

The year 2014 wasn't the best year for me. It was a year of huge changes that weren't always good.
But this post is not about the bad stuff. Let's talk about the highlights!

Our prom in February was amazing as well as other proms I've been to that year. I got my CAE certificate and graduated from high school with fairly good grades. I had a really long summer that I didn't really spend according to my plans (for example, I was injured for about 3 weeks in August and it sucked -.-) but there were many good moments as well.

In September, I moved out, and started living my university life in Prague. I study chemistry, don't like my school very much and I hope it gets better eventually but even though it's not easy, I still managed to handle the first semester pretty well so far.

I wanted to travel more but I guess it just wasn't in the cards for me. In June, me and my friends went on a short trip to Berlin which I greatly enjoyed. In July, we went on another trip with other friends, this time to the mountains in Switzerland. Although it was fun and everything, I did not enjoy that one that much. Hiking just isn't my thing, I should have known better. I also went to visit my friend in Bratislava, Slovakia but I'm not sure if it counts as traveling (probably not).

I only made two cosplays this year but I love wearing them I'm proud of them. They both have big weapons and I tried many techniques that were new to me on them. (I still cannot sew tho :C) First is Hextech Janna from LoL and second is Kouha Ren from Magi (oh yeah I really got into Magi this year, who would have guessed that old Stella would start to read manga). I also had a lot of fun at conventions, be it in cosplay or without it.

I also got my first blog sponsorships, did some kickass photoshoots and overall, at least on the internets I'm doing pretty well right now. On the other hand, I currently have no camera and my blogging game was really weak last year. That's one of the things I wish to fix in 2015 ;)





/I was inspired by Haily to do this post/

How was your last year?

I wish you all a happy 2015! Let that year be good to everyone <3



Saturday, December 6, 2014

Getting sponsored?

Hi everybody!

Today's post is about an unusual (for me) and a bit more serious topic. There is that breaking point in every blogger's "career" when they get their first collaboration offer. It's up to everyone if they want to decline and continue blogging about stuff they like without "selling out" or if they're gonna accept and start enjoying all the benefits of being a blogger.

Of course, not every offer you get is beneficial, many are not even legit and some are just outright spam. Some of the people you get into contact with offer you a fair deal, some just want you to work for them for free. It's important to know the difference to make the most from collabs and preserve your blogger dignity at the same time. Consider this post to be a little "guide" to blogger sponsorship and collaboration with stores.

Warning: lots of text T_T

First of all, this is an example of a sponsorship offer done right:

This e-mail looks serious business. Their English language is good and formal. They introduce themselves properly, provide a link to their website, describe what do they do and that they want to establish a collaboration with my blog. They also state that they have worked with many bloggers before, which is an information easily verifiable by Google and it adds some amount of credibility.

Now we get to the highlighted part, which has the most important information. They describe in detail what do they offer and what do they want me to do. In the end of the e-mail, they offer even more information if I'm interested. Fair deal. I indeed wear circle lenses so there was no reason not to accept this.

Some of the offers i get look very similar to this, but they're not quite the same. Let's see:

Now this one looks good at the first sight. Very similar to the one before, right? They're Lookbook Store, they want to collaborate with me, as seen in the first highlighted sentence. They're giving 2 free items for... who? Bloggers who would meet their requirements. What their requirements are? As listed. I'm supposed to send them my blog visits daily to check if I meet their standards...

...wait what?

First they write to me and state that they want to collaborate with me specifically. Later this changes into "we want you if you meet our standards". Note that they don't even say what their standards are. Plus, I'm supposed to send them my blog URL, which is something they should already know since they contacted me because they "stumbled upon" my blog, right? No. This "Stephanie" has probably never seen my blog, otherwise she would have known that I don't meet their standarts (2k followers btw, I had to look this up on their web myself) and she would definitely have had my URL.
So I decided to write back to them to see what they have to say.


So Stephanie is sure I'll meet their requirements soon enough and she wants to "help me" by writing guest posts on my blog and share it on her social media. That's sweet, except not. What would be there in it for me? That's right, I'd be left with nothing but "Girl's Fashion Guide to Increasing Confidence" BS by Stephanie on my blog. I highly doubt my blog traffic would increase, since they were originally the one who needed publicity, not me.

Well played Stephanie but no, thanks.

And some of the "offers" you get are just... ridiculous.
Now this Jason sure seems to like to give compliments a lot. "Bonobos loves style and class, two traits you seem to radiate" - just wow. It also looks serious, they're teaming up with a group of bloggers and they want me to join and they want me to "compliment their winter line on my blog". If I'm interested, they'll send me photos, I make a blog post about them and...? And nothing. One vital information is missing and that is what do they have to offer. Reason? They don't offer anything. They literally want me to work for them for free (or, in this case, for some juicy compliments about my style). I'd really like to see the team of bloggers they were talking about because nobody sane could accept this.

Of course, these have been only examples of what you can expect. I've experienced offers thet were legit, but from stores that were rather shady (milanoo, anyone?), which I sadly had to decline as well. Stores that were asking me to buy something from them first, which is, well, kinda rude thing to ask. And on the list goes.

TLDR: Do and don't when it comes to sponsorship and collabs:
Do
 carefully read every sponsorship offer. That way you cannot be unpleasantly surprised later.
Do take notice of following facts: Does the message seem professional to you? What is their language like? Did they provide all the necessary information?
Do your research before accepting a collab. Does the store sponsor lot of bloggers? Sweet, see how was their experience. Has the store shady past or lots of unsatisfied customers? Let's not promote shitty stuff.

Don't be afraid to ask for clarification or more information.
Don't accept offers that are not beneficial enough for you just for the feeling of collaborating with a store. People who value their self importance over reason are exactly why such ridiculous offers even exist.
Don't accept sponsorships that don't suit the theme of your blog. If you're a makeup blogger and you suddenly write a sponsored post about protein drinks, your readers will think you're selling out.
Don't lie about anything just because you were sponsored. Always write your honest opinion on the store and don't ever feel bad about not kissing their ass.

That't it! Do you agree or not? Do you have any bad experience with sponsorship or you just get a lot of WTF offers? Do you have anything to add on the list? Tell me in comments!


Love,
Stella

Sunday, November 16, 2014

MUA Velvet Lip Lacquer review

Today I bring you the review I was talking about in the last post. Please note that my camera is dead so I had to take the pics with my phone, so don't expect some great picture quality OTL.

I'd like to start this with a story of my cryving for a liquid to matte lipstick. I first saw those being sold by Lime Crime (which might even be the first brand to start producing them??? idk correct me if I'm wrong) but since my last purchase I have learned about the shady LC business (here is a whole tumblr blog dedicated to this topic) and decided not to support them, not mentioning how goddamn expensive their Velvetines are. 

So I learned that there were good dupes for LC Velvetines being sold by another indie brand, Pretty Zombie Cosmetics. I decided to give it a chance and ordered a lippie from them, but I never got it. I emailed them about the problem and they asked me if they should repost the item or refund me. I said refund and they never sent me the money, nor did they bother to reply anymore. 

Since then, even more mainstream brands started to sell more affordable liquid to matte lipsticks, but most of them didn't ship to my country, so I was really happy when I learned about MUA's Velvet Lip Lacquers.

ilustration image, source
Velvet Lip Lacquers by MUA are liquid-to-matte lipsticks. From what I understood, there are currently two series of those, the older one comes in bright, distinctive shades of pink, red and purple and the newer one contains lipsticks in more decent, light pink and brownish shades. There is also one brand new, dark rosy purple shade called Dare, which is in my opinion completely stunning and if it was around at the time I was placing my order, I would have gotten it as well.

I decided to grab one lipstick from each line and bought the shades Reckless (dark red) and Tranquility (nude-ish brown). 


Availability: The brand is based in the UK so if you're from there, you won't experience any trouble getting their products since the list of stores that carry MUA is really long. If you're not, you can use their e-shop, they ship internationally except the USA and Russia, but that should be only temporary. 


Price: Good news, their prices are reeeeaaaally low. The lip lacquers cost £3 ($4,7 or 100,-Kč) each and their other products are also pretty inexpensive. Shipping 

to the Czech Republic cost me £4,95, which is more than the lipstick but if you get two it already
pays off)


Packaging: The packaging isn't my favorite, I'm far too spoiled by all the cute and fancy Korean stuff I usually buy, but it doesn't look bad either. I say they could have tried more if they wanted to name it "Luxe".

Application: This lipstick, since it's liquid when you apply it, is used like a lipgloss or tint - with a wand. You have to apply it precisely and quickly because it's rather quick-drying and if you mess up, it can hardly be anything done with it.

Smell & taste: The smell is rather unpleasant, it is not perfumed and it just smells like a lipstick, which isn't awesome. When, however, applied on your lips, you don't smell or taste it at all. 



Consistency, durability and other info: As I said, the lacquer is liquid when applied, but it quickly dries into a matte finish. It's necessary to make sure you get the application right the first time because when it has dried, it forms kind of a film on your lips you cannot do anything with or it starts to crumble. It's fairly long lasting, it doesn't smudge or smear or stain, but it's not resistant to eating and drinking. Also make sure to keep your lips hydrated when using these because it kinda dries your lips out. Both of the shades I got are heavily pigmented so even one layer is enough, really. 


Colors: I absolutely love both of the shades I got. While Reckless looks like from a 50's movie and will be great for parties, Tranquility is tender, sophisticated and suitable for daily use. 

Overall:pros
  • cheapo
  • good availability 
  • good pigmentation
  • variety of really cool colors to choose from
  • nice matte finish
cons
  • crumbling
  • drying out
  • application requires some skill
  • shipping more expensive than products
Will I repurchase? Maybe, I might as well try similar products from other brands. But I'm definitely getting the new shade asap!

Sorry for a shitty selfie! Wearing Tranquility in this pic ;3


Hope you liked this review! Tell me in comments below!
Love,
Stella

Friday, November 14, 2014

Cute online finds

Hello lil' mammoths! Today's post should have been a review for MUA's Velvet Lip Lacquers I started using recently but my camera is broken and I don't have the nerve for trying to take smartphone selfies in some acceptable quality. Bot worry not, the review is coming soon!

Instead, when picking Christmas gifts for myself because my mom starts to be impatient (she never knows what to get me so I have to choose myself, send her links and even help her buy it sometimes for she's not so comfortable with online shopping), I found some really cute and mostly affordable stuff on the internets. It's pretty much also my wishlist but why keep it for myself? I hope youl'll like it as much as I do~~

I actually already own this, I was looking for something in the navy/fuku style that wouldn't look so weeb-ish and wouldn't cost me that much. The link is for the seller I got it from, definitely recommended!


For hot people who spend their life on the internets, in other words, me and I'm pretty sure it applies to most of you guys as well. 


Best milk ever! A really cute mini bag in the shape of a milk box. 


I love this deer hoodie so much it just has to be mine. I first saw it on Syndromestore but I found it a bit pricey for a hoodie so I searched pretty much everywhere to find a cheaper seller. The Aliexpress link is the best I could find unless you buy it directly from Taobao, mostly because of the free shipping.



It's so hard to find something nice that comes in green! Btw, Brandedkitty seems like a cute shop, make sure to check what else they have.


I try to avoid Storenvy now because they're usually heavily overpriced and the quality is rubbish, but I might give these a chance. If they're able to handle the Prague terrain, that is. 


No words needed. Who doesn't love Nutella?


One rather bizzare thing to end with. Ladies and gentlemen, a crocodile hoodie. Doesn't look like a croc at all, but it's just too damn funny. Ideal for crocodile lovers, krokodil users, people with no sense of fashion but strong sense of humor and, of course, alligator loving Czech president. Enjoy.

                           FACEBOOK PAGE / BLOGLOVIN / INSTAGRAM / ASK.FM

'till next time
love
Stella <3

Sunday, October 5, 2014

my makeup essentials

Greetings everyone~

 I'm here with yet another cosmetics-centric post. Don't worry, it's not like I want to turn Ice Age into a full-time beauty blog, however, beauty posts are the easiest to make.
 I'd love to start posting outfits again but I have hard time finding someone to snap a couple of pictures of me and in my new flat (yup, I moved, did I tell you?) I don't even have a mirror big enough to take at least mirror shots T_T

 Speaking of makeup posts, someone nominated me for the Blogger of the Year award in 'beauty' category. It would be really awesome if you guys could vote for me~ <3


And one more thing. I would like to apologize for not following everyone back. I've been having issues with my followers widget, I can only see the number of my followers but I cannot see their icons and anything, therefore I can't follow you guys back.  If anyone knows how to fix it, please, let me know.

_________________________________________________________________________


Today I'd like to show you cosmetic products that are an essential part of my daily makeup routine. They can also be considered some kind of 'first makeup aid' or a 'travel kit' - If I travel somewhere, these are the products I'd most likely take with me. I never bother taking my whole cosmetic bag, I have too much stuff for that. 

This post does not contain any skincare products. I'm also planning on doing a sequel to this post with my evening makeup routine, so things such as mascara are missing in this one, since both my skin and my eyes are very sensitive ad there are some products I don't use unless I have to.

 from the left:

Etude House BB Magic Pact
Its weird to start the post with the thing you usually finish your makeup with but whatever. Powder is an essential thing for me since it unifies my skin color, makes my complexion look better, smoother and paler. I often have dry skin so I have to be careful with it, but this compact does its job fairly well. Although it's not the best one I've ever had and I'm not repurchasing it, I can recommend it to anyone.

Holika Holika blush 03
Blush is another thing I simply have to use. If I don't, I get frequently asked whether I am ill because I look pale. I actually got this one for free when shopping for BBcream in the Holika Holika store in PMall, but it's my absolute favorite. The color is somewhat dark old pink and it looks really nice, cute yet mature. It also blends well with the rest of my makeup. Unfortunately, I'm not sure if you can buy it separately :C

Skinfood Salmon Dark Circle concealer
I use a lot of concealer because I do have some huge dark circles under my eyes, so I was happy when I learned there is a concealer made especially to cover them. Unfortunately it doesn't work that great for me, the color is too dark and orange and the formula is not exactly what I look for in a concealer. Plus it apparently contains salmon, which is something don't support anymore. I only use it because I don't have the heart to toss it. However, for covering things on your face, I recommend cover stick from Essence, it's cheapo and it works just fine ^^

Essence eyeliner pen&eye pencil
As you can see, most of the cosmetics I use are from Korean brands, but there's no point in ordering things I run out of so quickly from Korea. An example of such product would be an eyeliner. I use it every day, the pen for more exact lines and the pencil for more smudgy ones. I have to buy them often so I want the to be cheap and effective. Again, Essence is great in producing makeup that has these qualities.


Bath & Body Works Pink Chiffon fragrance mist
I already made a post about B&BW fragrances about a year and half ago (you can read the review here)and since then, Pink Chiffon has been by fave. The mists are always my choice for the day, for the night I use regular perfumes, of course. 

It's Skin Babyface BB cream
It's been a while since I last used a regular make-up instead of a BB. Apart from its dryness and occasional redness, my complexion is good so I don't need much coverage and Korean BB creams work much better than regular makeup or even drugstore BB's for me. This one was a huge surprise - I bought it because it was cute and cheap and did not expect much from it, but it's probably the best BB I've had so far. Smells nice, applies and blends well and lasts long, all with a decent coverage of blemishes. Definitely gonna repurchase and I recommend it to everybody!

Peripera Peri's Tint Crayon
I am currently widening my lip product collection since I didn't use them much in the past, so I'm kinda obsessed with all kinds of lipsticks, glosses and tints. For the day, I usually go with a tint and this one is really cool, I've always wanted to try orange lips and now I fell in love with it. It's not top quality, but it's funky and that's enough for me.

Etude House Dear Darling Tint
I like to use this one for more elegant kind of look. but it's actually very versatile and goes well with pretty much anything.  It's really tint-y, not so bright in color and it makes a nice gradient lips effect. Definitely one of my fave products.

That's all! What is your daily routine? Do you have some all-time favorites or like to experiment and try new things each time you're out of someting? Do you want me to make a sequel to this with my evening makeup essentials? Let me know in comments~ 

Love,
Stella <3

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Etude House Big Eyes Maker review

Hey everyone! Long time no beauty review, right?

Today I'm gonna review Dear Girls Big Eyes Maker by Etude House. I got it recently in my last order from http://beautynetkorea.com , which is my favorite Korean makeup reseller right now. If you want me to review some particular item from this order, let me know!


The Big Eyes Maker was one big mystery for me. When I was ordering it, I didn't even know how does it look like and what it does, I simply liked it because of the name - who doesn't want to have big eyes? It was in my cart immediately.


This is how it looks like. It's a two sided eye shadow applicator with shimmery creamy white color on one end and quite dark chocolate brown on the other end.



The eyeshadow source is in the lids so it's extremely important not to mess them up so the sponges won't get dirty from the other color.


This is how the colors look like

When it arrived, I started my research on how does it work. And I found out that many people don't really know as well. Some tend to confuse it with Cute Eyes Maker from Etude House, which is for creating the "aegyo sal" or "puffy eyes" effect, but this one apparently does not work like that.

So the correct way to achieve 2 times bigger eyes with this product according to Etude House is...

Ta-dah! The eye in the picture doesn't look twice bigger (well it kinda does, because of the format of the picture, but I hope they didn't really believe this to be convincing) but it still looks pretty.


When worn, it's not even quite that impressive. Although the shadows should be really easy to use, I just can't seem to get them right. The sponges are very thick and not really maneuvering friendly so it's hard to achieve she shape that is shown in the instructive picture. Believe me, it's not because I'm clumsy. And it does not, i repeat DOES NOT make your eyes look any bigger.

OVERALL OPINION: This product is a huge disappointment for me. It does not work how it should work at all and it's not user friendly. I still like the eyeshadows and I'm going to use the white one under my eyes (the brown one is a bit too dark for my liking), but would I repurchase this? Definitely not.

Have any of you tried this? Do you like the product or do you agree with me? Did you buy a cosmetic product that disappointed you recently? Tell me in comments!

Love,
Stella~