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L’Interdit by Givenchy

November 29th, 2018|


The perfume L’Interdit by Givenchy was first launched in 1957. A few years before, the fashion designer, Huber de Givenchy, had created this perfume exclusively for his muse, the actress Audrey Hepburn. Like Audrey, this fragrance was very feminine, imagined for a woman of charm, spirit and style. The legend says that when Huber de Givenchy decided to start selling the perfume, Audrey Hepburn, who had already been wearing it for a few years responded: “But I forbid you!” Hence the name of the perfume L’Interdit which means forbidden in French. Hepburn became the face of the perfume in the campaign that followed and it was the first time an actress was engaged to promote the perfume, thus pioneering modern beauty campaigns.

More than 60 years after the original creation, L’Interdit was reinvented and relaunched in October.

I happened to be in Milan in October and as I was just entering the Sephora shop, a girl approached me and asked me if I would like to try L’Interdit, the new fragrance by Givenchy. As I am always eager to try the new products, I nodded my head in agreement. She spritzed the perfume on my wrist and I loved it from the first moment. Then I continued with my shopping at Sephora and completely forgot about the perfume. It was not until several hours later, when I came back to my hotel room, that I actually realized how gorgeous and irresistible this perfume was. The scent was lingering on in the room and I could feel it myself. Yes, this is one of the rare perfumes which you will feel yourself while wearing it (it is not overwhelming though). I could not help, but sniffed my wrists every now and then as I could not get enough of it. I was enchanted by this perfume and I knew I had to buy it.

Back in Cyprus, several days later, I was passing by the Beautyline, my favourite shop here. They had a 20% discount on selected fragrances. L’Interdit came to my mind immediately. I entered the shop and asked the shop assistant for it. She kindly showed me the gift set which included a 50ml Eau de Parfume, a mini lipstick Rouge Interdit No.13 and a mini mascara Noir Couture No.1 Black Satin. All of these for the price which you would pay only for the perfume and a 20% discount on the top of it. I couldn’t be happier and I bought it (the regular price was 95,00EUR and I got it for 76,00EUR).

The modern version of the perfume does not smell the same as the original one, but it is also based on the contrast of white florals of orange blossom, jasmine and tuberose and mysterious earthy and woody notes of vetiver and patchouli. White flowers embraced with black notes. It was created by the perfumers Dominique Ropion, Anne Flipo and Fanny Bal. L’interdit is a tribute to bold femininity and the slogan of the campaign is: “Forbid yourself nothing. Allow no rules. Experience the forbidden.” The perfume is moderate in intensity and it is long-lasting. It can be worn on any occasion day and night, but definitely in cooler temperatures.

The bottle of thick glass pays homage to the original flacon with the more modern outline. A 4 G logo is added to the black ribbon that encircles the neck of the bottle.

The face of the new perfume is the American actress, Rooney Mara who had been chosen, in the words of the artistic director of Givenchy, Claire Waight Keller, “as she exudes pure confidence, absolute grace and eternal elegance, but with a dark, passionate beauty”. The advertising film was directed by Todd Haynes, the director of the film “Carol” for which Rooney Mara was named the Best Actress at the 2015 Cannes Film Festival.

The fragrance is available as a 35ml, 50ml and 100ml Eau de Parfume.

Urban Decay Naked Cherry Palette

November 7th, 2018|


Nowadays, when brands are launching new products and campaigns every single day, it seems that all the excitement has disappeared. This was not the case with me when I first heard about Urban Decay launching their Cherry Collection and when I saw the first photographs of the Naked Cherry Palette. I could hardly wait to get hold of it firstly, because burgundy hues are my favourite for autumn/winter time and secondly, because you could say that I am the collector of naked palettes as I have all of them.

At the time of the launching of the Naked Cherry Palette in Europe I happened to be in Milan and a visit to Sephora was a must. The palette was in the highest demand from day one and to tell you the truth, I did not expect that I would manage to get my hands on it. I was so happy when I saw it on the shelves of Sephora that I wanted to scream at the top of my voice! I couldn’t believe that I was holding it in my hands.

The packaging is beautiful. It is embellished with a row of cherries and it includes a mirror and double-sided brush – a smudger brush on one end and a tapered crease brush on the other and they are both pretty good. The palette itself is the perfect balance of matte colours and shimmers. There are 12 new shades (12 x 1,1g), ranging from the light colours of ivory, beige, peachy coral, rose gold to the darker colours of burgundy and black cherry. You can wear them all day and night. There are base colours, transition and crease shades as well as the deep burgundy and brownish shades, perfect for adding some depth or a smokey eye look. The texture of the shadows is soft, they are highly pigmented and easily blended. The application is even and non-patchy. As it is the case with all other eyeshadows of the naked palettes, there is some fallout, but I don’t mind as it can be removed easily with a fan brush. The mattes are buttery and they blend easily. The shimmers have a beautiful sheen and you can enhance them by using the wet brush. The eyeshadows do not crease even ten hours into wear if you apply the eye primer first (I always do as it helps not only with lastingness, but also with the colours to stand out.

The shades included in this 12-pan palette:

  1. Hot Spot – ivory matte colour
  2. Caution – neutral beige matte
  3. Bang Bang – shimmering pink with gold shift and iridescent micro-sparkle
  4. Feelz – dusty rose matte
  5. Juicy – soft warm peach
  6. Turn On – pale metallic rose shimmer
  7. Ambitious – metallic rose copper
  8. Bing – deep mauve matte
  9. Devilish – reddish plum matte
  10. Young Love – a metallic cranberry
  11. Drunk Dial – deep metallic burgundy
  12. Privacy – deep brownish-plum matte

Overall, Naked Cherry is a good eyeshadow palette. If you love berry/burgundy tones, then definitely check it out. The hues will suit any eye color – brown, hazel, green and blue. It is also a good value for money as you will get twelve brand new shades. The palette sells for 53,00EUR at Sephora.

OPI Peru Collection

October 10th, 2018|

OPI is my favourite nail polish brand and I eagerly wait for each new collection to come out. The Peru Collection is the latest one for Autum/Winter 2018. It was inspired by Peru and its colours and names celebrate its vibrant culture, scenery and the Incan history.

This is a limited edition of twelve new shades in Nail Lacquer, Infinite Shine and Gel Colour formula. Some of them may not look like typical autumnal/winter shades as there are many colourful hues. They are all cremes, some more sheer than the others, but all of them become opaque in two thin coats.

I bought five nail polishes from this collection in the Infinite Shine formula which is a three-step system (infinite shine primer + nail polish + glass top coat) that would last up to 11 days of wear with a gel-like shine. From my experience, I can say that the nail polish does not last this long without chipping, but it certainly lasts longer than usual depending on how much housework you do. The formula is really good and the application is easy. The shades and the explanation for their names by OPI are the following:

Yes My Condor Can-do

These majestic birds, found in the Andes, are some of the largest birds in the world.

This is a dark purple shade that is fully opaque in two coats. Spread your wings and fly with this nail polish as wild as the bird itself, to paraphrase the OPI words!

Como Se Llama

The llama is the national animal of Peru. This is the oldest domesticated animal in the world. It was used both as food and as a pack animal by the Incas, aiding this civilization throughout history.

This hue is described as a rich, boastful burgundy which transitions from day to night and back again.

I Love You Just Be-Cusco

As travellers from all over the world continue to be charmed by the imperial city of Cusco, just feel the warmth of this beautiful place filled with amazing temples, ancient cities and the Inca ruins. A visit to Cusco transports you back into the center of the ancient Andean culture.

It is described as a classic, romantic red which is modern and chic.

My Solar Clock is Ticking

Intihuatana, Urubamba is a wonder of the ancient technology, a clock which measured when it was time to celebrate the winter solstice—one of the most important celebrations and rituals of the entire empire.

This hue is described as a burnt red which can be worn round the clock.

Somewhere Over The Rainbow Mountains

Ausangate mountain of the Peruvian Andes is one of the most magnificent geological features in the world. The mountain is striped with an array of dazzling colors where you will witness millions of years of geological and Peruvian history.

This rose pink will take you to new heights, over the rainbow, the mountains and from day to night.

I like the Peru collection very much. All the hues are beautiful, each one in its own way and the formula is excellent. The gorgeous Peruvian model, Juana Burga, is the face of the campaign which included some stunning photos and video clips of this land of natural beauty.

The nail polishes are available at Debenhams, Cyprus and the price for those in the Infinite Shine formula is 14,90EUR.

Versace Eros Pour Femme

September 25th, 2018|


This blog post was supposed to be the review of Dylan Blue, the latest fragrance by Versace. I had tried it a few months before and liked it very much. As I was travelling on holidays from the Larnaca Airport last month, I remembered it and decided to buy it at the duty-free shop.

Once I was in front of the Versace stand, my attention was drawn to the beautiful, luxurious bottle of Eros Pour Femme. It was a round bottle with the gold Medusa symbol in the central part and on the lid edged with the gold Greek fret pattern. I could not remember if I had tried it before, so I sprayed it a little on my wrist. It was love at first sniff! The scent was a mixture of fresh, citrusy notes and musky notes and this was perfectly balanced. Before I knew it, it had already been in my basket. I completely forgot about Dylan Blue.

Eros Pour Femme was launched in December 2014. The perfumers who had created it are Alberto Morillas, Olivier Cresp and Nathalie Lorson. The fragrance opens with citrusy notes of Sicilian lemon, Calabrian Bergamot and pomegranate. Lemon , sambac jasmine and peony are at the heart of this perfume while sandalwood, ambrox, musk and various woody notes make the base. It is similar to the Light Blue Italian Zest by Dolce & Gabbana, but Eros is deeper and sweeter. It is very refreshing and uplifting and at the same time it is very mysterious, sensual and seductive because of its woody and musk notes. The scent is long lasting in a way that it can still be smelled subtly on your wrists after several hours into wear, but it should be reapplied a few times during the day if you really want to feel it. It is perfect for spring/summer time and it is suitable both for day and evening wear.

The fragrance is available as 30ml, 50ml and 100ml Eau de Toilette and Eau de Parfum. The price for a 50ml bottle EDT at the Larnaca Airport duty-free shop is 66,00EUR.

Milk_Shake Sun & More Haircare Products

August 1st, 2018|

During summer our hair needs some extra nourishement and protection. The sun, salt, chlorine, wind, hairdryers and brushing can damage our hair. Due to all these factors, hair can become dry, coarse, frizzy, fragile with split ends and a fading colour. Therefore, I always tend to buy a special range of hair products in summertime.

This summer, my choice is Milk_Shake Sun & More line of professional haircare products which includes all over shampoo, beauty mask and incredible milk (a leave-in treatment).

The all over shampoo has a two-in-one cleansing and soothing formula for hair and body. It contains muru muru seed butter, quinoa proteins, hibiscus seed oil, organic argan oil, vitamin E and UV filters. I must admit that I have been using it only as a hair shampoo. It leathers nicely and rinces easily, but it leaves my hair rather stiff to the touch and somehow tangled. I wouldn’t be able to comb it easily if it weren’t for the hair mask which is used after shampooing.

The intensive nourishing hair mask combines conditioning ingredients with natural extracts, vitamin E and UV filters to soothe all the damaging effects. It is applied on clean dump hair and left on for 2-3 minutes after which it should be rinced well. The mask leaves hair soft and manageable, fighting the dehydration.

The hero product from the range, in my opinion, is the incredible milk, a leave-in treatment for all hair types. It claims to have 12 incredible effects: it repairs, tames frizz, prevents split ends, protects from heat, gives manageability, detangles, gives incredible shine, gives body and volume, makes styling easier, protects and maintains colour, protects from UV rays and smoothens the cuticle. The treatment is applied on dump hair after you have rinced the shampoo and mask. The milk makes a huge difference (I have also used it with a different shampoo and conditioner and it has had the same effects). It made my hair look healthier immediately after the first use, giving it incredible shine, smoothness and elasticity.

All three products smell great, having some milky scent which reminds you of something edible.

Milk_Shake Sun & More products are available only in professional salons. I have bought mine at the Beverly Hills Beauty Salon in Limassol. A 250ml shampoo costs 15,00 EUR, a 200ml mask sells for 16,00 EUR and a 140ml incredible milk costs 18,00.

Sunscreen

July 23rd, 2018|

Ensuring your skin is protected from the sun exposure is a must all year round. We all know this fact, but some people think about sun protection only at this time of year. Having this in mind, it is good to remind ourselves that UV rays reach the ground all year round, even on cloudy or hazy days (up to 40% of the sun’s ultraviolet radiation reaches the Earth on a completely cloudy day).

Two types of ultraviolet radiation, UVA and UVB, damage the skin, age it prematurely and increase the risk of skin cancer. UVB rays damage the skin’s upper surface and are the main cause of sunburn. UVA rays penetrate the skin more deeply causing wrinkling, sagging and other signs of aging. Both UVA and UVB rays can cause skin cancer.

Sunscreen is a product combining several ingredients which we put on our skin to protect it from UV rays. It is just a filter, it does not block UV rays. Every sunscreen should have broad-spectrum protection which means that it is against both UVA and UVB rays.

Depending on the active ingredients, sunscreens can be chemical or physical and there are also combinations of these two.

Chemical sunscreens are those that contain chemicals such as avobenzone and benzophenone. They are absorbers as they work by absorbing UV rays, reducing their penetration into the skin. These formulations are easier to rub into the skin, but chemical sunscreens tend to be more irritating. They should be applied at least 20 minutes before sun exposure to allow the ingredients to bond to the skin.

Physical ingredients such as titanium dioxide and zink oxide are reflectors. They form a protective layer on the skin which deflects UV rays and they protect from the sun as soon as they are applied – no wait necessary. These sunscreens are more natural and skin-friendly, so they are better for people with sensitive skin and those who have any kind of dermatitis, eczema or rosacea. Compared to chemical sunscreens, they offer higher UVA protection, (thus protecting your skin from aging as well), but they tend to leave that thick, white cast on the skin that is unattractive. Nanotechnology is used to grind up zinc oxide and titanium dioxide into smaller nanomolecules to make physical sunscreens more esthetically pleasing to put on. Based on the best available evidence, it is assessed that these nanoparticles do not pose a risk to your health as they remain on the surface of the skin, in the outer layer of the skin that is composed of non-viable cells.

As for the sun protection factor, we should know that SPF number is a measure of a sunscreen’s ability to prevent UVB rays from damaging the skin. For example, if your skin starts to redden in 20 min. without sunscreen, an SPF30 will allow you to stay in the sun 30 times longer without getting burned. Many people don’t understand how the SPF scale works thinking that an SPF50 is almost twice as good as SPF30. This is incorrect as the SPF scale works as follows: SPF15 sunscreens filter out about 93% of UVB rays, SPF30 sunscreens filter out about 97%, SPF50 ones about 98% and SPF100 about 99%. As you can see, the amount of additional sun protection is negligible above SPF30. SPF15 will be sufficient to protect you against brief everyday sun exposures, while SPF30 and above should be used for extended exposures.

The amount of sunscreen you apply is very important. Sunscreens should be applied generously. 5ml (one teaspoon) should be enough for your face, ears, neck and decolletage. Most adults need about 30ml to fully cover their body.

Sunscreens lose effectiveness over time, so bear in mind to reapply at least every two hours and after swimming or heavy sweating. Water-resistant sunscreens should state for which period of time they protect the skin when swimming or sweating. They are good for hot days, when on the beach or while playing sports, but they may be not as good for everyday wear as they are thicker and don’t go well with make-up.

Some sunscreen products can irritate your skin. Many products claim to be hypoallergenic or dermatologist tested, but you can never be sure if a product will irritate your skin unless you try it. Apply a small amount to the soft skin inside your elbow every day for three days and if your skin does not have any reaction, the product is probably safe for you.

Every sunscreen product has the expiration date. Most of them are good for 2 to 3 years, but those that have been exposed to heat for long periods may be less effective.

Sunscreens are available in many forms – there are lotions, creams, gels, ointments, wax sticks…We should choose the one which is the most suitable for our skin type. Also, there has been a continual debate on which sunscreen is better to use-chemical or physical. Both chemical and physical sunscreens are good and safe for use and it is just about finding what best works for you. The kind of sunscreen you use is a matter of personal choice.

Dove Shower Mousse

July 9th, 2018|


Foams have become very trendy lately and there are loads of various foam products on the market currently. Following the latest trends, Dove has released their shower mousse a few months ago.

This is actually 2-in-1 shower and shave mousse which enables you to shower and shave at the same time. It is available in three variations: with rose oil, coconut oil and argan oil (all threee are great moisturizers). The fragrance varies according to the oil infused. My favourite one is the alluring rose, but they all smell divine. There is a scratch-and-sniff label on the lid, so you can decide which one is appealing to you before buying.


 

The mousse comes in a 200ml pressurized white can with the pink, green or ocher pump and decorations depending on the ingredient present. Before use, you need to shake the bottle and then press the pump which despenses the mousse well and in abundance. The foam is rich and very soft. It spreads efortlessly and it also rinses well. The mousse leaves your skin very soft and smooth with the subtle fragrance. It prevents dryness by deeply penetrating the skin leaving it moisturized for up to 24 hours.

The poduct is paraben-free and sulphate-free and it is suitable for all skin types.

The Dove shower mousse range is available at various supermarkets.

These amazig shower mousses will change the way you feel while showering. Their thick soft leather provides a unique and luxurious shower experience.

NARS PURE RADIANT TINTED MOISTURIZER

June 24th, 2018|

NARS Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturizer is my choice No.1 during summertime when you need something lightweight regarding both the texture and the coverage. It is two in one – a nourishing skincare product which at the same time provides you with a veil of colour.

In their own words, the advanced oil-free formula reduce the appearance of hyperpigmentation and dark spots in four weeks. The moisturizer is infused with lush, botanicals and ingredients to help thirsty skin feel hydrated immediately. Kopara from French Polynesia and mineral rich seawater help to revive and re-mineralize your skin. It has a generous broad-spectrum SPF 30. It is for normal to dry skin types. It is paraben-free, sulfate-free, phtalate-free and synthetic fragrance-free. It is dermatologist tested and non-comedogenic.

In my opinion, this moisturizer is more than a tinted moisturizer as it covers and lasts better than many medium coverage foundations. Although it has a light, sheer, translucent coverage, you can definitely build it up to a medium coverage. It does not set into pores or fine lines.

In the directions for use it is advised to apply it following your daily skincare routine. I have tried it both after my regular everyday moisturizer and on its own and for me (I have a combination skin), it works both ways. I definitely need to set it with powder as I have an oily T-zone. The lasting power is impressive as it stays on all day. It has a dewy finish which gives you a beautiful, healthy glow and your skin looks fresher.

The moisturizer comes in a tube of 50ml. It is available in 12 shades ranging from very fair to medium dark. Mine is in Groenland Light 3 which is described as light medium with a neutral undertone.

It is available from Lookfantastic (35,45EUR), Sephora Greece (40,95 EUR), ASOS (41,99EUR) and NARS Cosmetics EU (39,00EUR).

Les Monstres de Nina Ricci Luna

May 20th, 2018|

Last month I was travelling to Scandinavia and as I was killing my time in the duty-free shop at the Larnaca Airport, my attention was immediately drawn to the Nina Ricci stand. Among all the beautiful, elegant bottles of various fragrances, two of them were standing out. They were adorably monstruous. One was featuring a cat and the other an owl. Each one was with a fluffy brightly coloured pom-pom around the bottle neck. These are Les Monstres de Nina Ricci, limited edition fragrances released in January this year.

The famous Nina (from 2006) and Luna (from 2016) scents from Les Belles de Nina range have been repackaged. Brazilian artists Ana Strumpf and Guto Requena have transformed the iconic apple bottle into cute little monsters. The scents have had a bit of a remix as well. The perfumers, Marie Salamagne and Christophe Raynaud, are behind Luna and Nina was created by Olivier Cresp.

As I am obsessed with anything cat-themed, I bought Luna. The Luna bottle is blue, featuring a cat’s face with protruding pink eyes and a detachable fake fur blue pom-pom around the neck.

The fragrance itself is a combination of fresh, fruity aroma of pineapple juice and lime at the top notes, creating a bright and sharp opening which is followed by the floral heart notes of freesia and orange blossom. The base notes of caramel and blond woods are those that prevail, once the scent sets on your skin. The fragrance is not overwhelming and it can be worn day and night all year around, except in the summer in my opinion.

The longevity is below average and you will have to reapply it often.

We all have our little inner monster and Nina Ricci is urging us to liberate it! Therefore, the hashtag of the advertising campaign is #freethemonster.

The fragrance is available as a 50ml and 80ml Eau de Toilette. The price for a 50ml bottle is 57,00EUR at the Larnaca Airport.

The Body Shop Banana Shower Cream and Body Butter

April 30th, 2018|

The Body Shop reopened in Limassol several months ago and I couldn’t be happier because I love all their products.

A few weeks ago I paid a visit to their shop in Anexartisias Street and I was warmly welcomed by Maria, Yiannos and Marios. They kindly showed me around and explained everything in detail about both the old and new range of products.

New special additions to the banana range grabbed my attention immediately and I bought (among other things) the banana shower cream and got the banana body butter to try out. Both are special summer limited editions enriched with community trade organic banana puree from Ecuador. They are 100% vegan and cruelty free.

The banana shower cream is thicker in consistency than the regular shower gel, but it spreads effortlessly and leathers up in no time. It leaves your skin smooth and fresh with the irresistible creamy banana fragrance.

The shower cream comes in a packaging of 60ml and 250ml and it sells for 3,00EUR and 7,00EUR respectively.

The banana body butter melts into your skin providing up to 24 hours of moisture. Massage it into the skin and allow it to sink in. It absorbs quickly leaving your skin softer, smoother and nourished. Your body is instantly enveiled in the banana fragrance which lingers for quite a while and smells good enough to eat!

The butter comes in a packaging of 50ml which sells for 6,00EUR and 200ml which sells for 15,00EUR.

On my recent trip to Scandinavia, I have seen that the Body Shop also sells the banana body yogurt with the new lightweight formula. It comes in a 200ml packaging.

You will definitely go bananas over these products which are insanely good!

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