Monday, January 11, 2016

Painting - Part 9. Portrait. Oil

Bria Blessing. Portrait
I have never tried to paint or even just draw a portrait neither with a pencil, nor with any paints. Never in my life in any shape or form. Also, usually oil portraits take a lot of time to be painted: a few days to a few weeks, plus you need to practice drawing portraits with a pencil for at least a few months before even trying to do it with oil. Well, I ain't got so much time :). I only had 4 hours of the workshop. So I thought I'd just go ahead and try it with oil. Considering all that the result is not so stunning as maybe it should have been. After all it was the very first time in my life ever that I've tried to create a portrait, but I think it is decent enough not to be ashamed of it.

By the way, the portrait is of my very very dear friend, who is an extremely talented musicial, song-writer and singer, and just a totally amazing girl I've known for almost 18 years, Bria Blessing. This portrait was a gift to her for Christmas. She loved it and even recognized herself :)! So hopefully it wasn't so bad for a first try. It's not an exact copy or picture of her, which it shouldn't really be anyway, but I enjoyed painting it nevertheless. Hope you'll enjoy it too.

Portrait of Bria Blessing

Portrait of Bria Blessing

Late Christmas And New Year Congratulations

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
Hey friends! I'm sorry it has been so quiet lately on the blog, and that I never managed to say Merry Christmas and Happy New 2016 Year on time. Well, I'm back and want to say MERRY CHRISTMAS and HAPPY NEW 2016!!! Yay!

I wish God would bless all of you with His loving grace in every sphere of your life, may you and your loved ones have the best year ever. I am very thankful for each and every reader that ever came across my blog, because without you it would not make sense and would be useless :). I wish you all the best of luck, great health and happiness. Love you. Make the best of your 2016!

Friday, December 4, 2015

Painting - Part 8. Watercolor: Mountains at Night

Hello, guys. Here are some of my latest works in watercolor. I hardly ever paint with watercolor, since it requires great technique and I'm not at all that great at it :), but it fascinates me so much, that I do make some efforts to master it from time to time. So, here we go. Hope you enjoy this post or it inspires you at the very least.

Mountains at Night (Watercolor)
The below picture is not really a painting but a draft on which I tried how the watercolor paints will look and behave, but it turned out quite interestingly looking, so I though I'd share.

I hope you are enjoying the beginning of winter and are excited about the coming holidays just as much as I am, because I am super-duper excited :). Have a great day and thank you for stopping by.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

The Joy of Customized Z Palettes

My Z Palettes

If you've ever dreamt of and searched for a perfect palette and know all the sorrows and disappointments of buying yet another palette, which is not quite what you expected, and know the pain of owning a lot of great palettes that you like but just are not in love with, then you'll understand why I'm about to rave about these beautiful customized Z palettes.

Yes, Z palettes are a way to go for you. There are tons of places where you can buy them nowadays. You buy them empty and fill them in with whatever single shadows (or blushes, or powders, or anything really) you want, whether it be by purchasing individual eyeshadows or by depotting the shadows that you already have into one palette getting rid of all the needless extra packaging. The best thing about these palettes is that you get to HAND PICK each product you put in there and arrange all of them in the way that is suitable for you. Can there be anything better? Plus, you can always change the contents or re-arrange the shadows as you wish.

Now, I do have to say that I have seen in many videos and have read in many blog posts that there are people out there (and, surprisingly, there are a lot of them) that have those Z palettes filled and they don't use them, or don't love them, or the colors in them are just not their favorite, and these palettes end up just sitting somewhere in the back of the makeup drawer collecting dust. Honestly, this really surprises me. How can you not take advantage of these palettes and not make them your favorite? If you don't love the colors in them or don't use them, get rid of them or re-arrange them, or depot the shadows you love and use in them. It is so fantastic that you get to create your own palette picking out every favorite color you want that it is foolish not to exploit this opportunity.

That being said if you don't put just random colors that you don't care about in there, but actually fill your palettes with what sparks joy in you, you WILL LOVE them with your whole heart.

Below are 2 of my Z palettes: one is, obviously, neutral with a mixture of mattes (9 mattes) and shimmers, duochromes and pearls (13 non-mattes), and the other one is colorful with mostly shimmers, duochromes, foiled shadows (12 non-mattes) and just a few mattes (3 mattes). I arranged the colors in the way that works for me, so that when I look at them I'd feel the creative juices flowing and get inspired to create many harmonious looks. The shadows are from Inglot and Makeup Geek and both of the blushes are from Makeup Geek as well.

My neutral Z palette

My colorful Z palette

My neutral Z palette

Here is a list of colors in this palette from top left to bottom right:
1. Inglot eyeshadow in Matte 351
2. Inglot eyeshadow in Matte 352
3. MUG eyeshadow in Beaches and Cream
4. Inglot eyeshadow in Pearl 395
5. MUG duochrome eyeshadow in Rockstar
6. Inglot eyeshadow in Pearl 397
7. Inglot eyeshadow in Pearl 393
8. MUG eyeshadow in Barcelona Beach
9. Inglot eyeshadow in Matte 360
10. Inglot eyeshadow in Matte 363
11. Inglot eyeshadow in D.S. 461
12. MUG eyeshadow in Moondust
13. Inglot eyeshadow in Pearl 402
14. MUG eyeshadow in Taupe Notch
15. MUG eyeshadow in Unexpected
16. Inglot eyeshadow in Matte 378
17. Inglot eyeshadow in AMC 63
18. MUG eyeshadow in Twilight
19. MUG eyeshadow in Prom Night
20. Inglot eyeshadow in AMC 53
21. Inglot eyeshadow in Pearl 434
22. Inglot eyeshadow in Pearl 420
23. MUG blush in Honeymoon

My colorful Z palette

And here are the colors from this palette:
1. MUG foiled eyeshadow in Whimsical
2. MUG foiled eyeshadow in Highwire
3. MUG foiled eyeshadow in Daydreamer
4. MUG duochrome eyeshadow in Blacklight
5. Inglot eyeshadow in Pearl 445
6. MUG foiled eyeshadow in Caitlin Rose
7. MUG eyeshadow in Duchess
8. MUG duochrome eyeshadow in Mai Tai
9. MUG eyeshadow in Cupcake
10. MUG foiled eyeshadow in Showtime
11. MUG foiled eyeshadow in Mesmerised
12. MUG foiled eyeshadow in Charmed
13. MUG duochrome eyeshadow in Typhoon
14. MUG foiled eyeshadow in Houdini
15. MUG eyeshadow in Corrupt
16. MUG blush in Head Over Heals

And at the end of this post just to summarize everything I'd like to point out 10 benefits of a Z palette. If you are still hesitating to get it keep on reading :) :

  • opportunity to select any size of a Z palette (they come in many sizes)
  • ease of travelling with them
  • ability to hand pick each color and finish for the palette and create your own palette
  • ability to re-arrange colors as you like and when you like
  • ability to change the contents of your palette as you wish
  • chance to depot eyeshadows from other palettes or singles into one place
  • choice to put not just the eyeshadows but any other products or even a mixture of them into the Z palettes
  • way to become more organized and get rid of unnecessary packaging when depotting from other palettes or single eyeshadows
  • chance to create as many palettes with different color schemes and finishes as you want
  • the joy of having a personalized palette created by you and for you :)

I hope this post was helpful and inspiring to someone. Please, share your thoughts in the comments below and have a great day.

Monday, October 19, 2015

A Universal Black Bag (My New Fellini Leather Bag)

Fellini Leather Bag

I rarely do style or fashion posts, but this one I just had to share. Yesterday I bought a new bag. Yay! I can't say I needed another black bag, since I already have 2 black leather bags: one casual hybryd of bagpack and bucket bag, and another one, which is classic structured office-like bag. But, I just could not resist this one, plus it falls somewhere in-between those 2 categories in style, which is perfect. And I don't know who could NOT like it and resist buying it. It is all things you could wish for in a handbag.

So, I guess I'll just add all the pictures and then comment on some of the details and style, and why I love it so much.

Fellini Leather Bag

Fellini Leather Bag

Fellini Leather Bag

Fellini Leather Bag

Fellini Leather Bag

Fellini Leather Bag

So as you can see it is a structured bag with an opening on 2 cool-looking zippers (it also has an invisible magnet between the zippers to hold the flap close to the side of the bag when zipped, how smart, isn't it?), which can be worn holding a small handle on top or the longer strap that is detachable, which I find extremely handy. I love the proportions of this bag: it is a medium size, but looks quite compact. Yet it fits a lot of stuff inside. The style of it is just superb with a mixture of leather with different textures and silver hardware, which I personally prefer over the gold one. It is a bit classic but also a bit edgy, it is simple but definitely not boring. I love that it will look great with jeans and pants, but also can look very nice with skirts and dresses. I find it to be very versatile for many more reasons. It will look appropriate in the office at work, on any casual occasion or on a relaxed night out with friends. Even though it is not technically an evening bag, it can definitely work nice if you are going out somewhere after work because it is this perfect size and shape and a mix of classics and casual, simple, yet with a twist, it'll definitely work for many styles, so it is a great investment piece.

In terms of quality, it is all-leather, very good leather, made in Italy, with high quality hardware and all other materials including lining. The construction of it is also very well thought out. It is very comfortable to hold in one's hands and wear on the shoulder (because the detachable strap is the perfect length, not too long and not too short, falling a little beneath the waistline in a very comfortable spot), it is not heavy, it is reasonably lightweight yet not too light, just enough to feel that you are holding something substantial in your hands. It looks and feels amazing. I am very very happy I got this bag.

If you have a Fellini store in your area and looking to buy a new handbag definitely check this one out, you won't regret it. It is quite expensive (for me at least). Its initial price in the store where I bought it was around $290, but I got a discount and purchased it for around $202. However, I can already predict I'm going to have a lot of wear out of it :).

Tell me what you think about this bag, do you like it? What style do you prefer for yourself? Please, share in the comments. I would love to read your thoughts.

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Chanel Rouge Coco Lipsticks: Review And Swatches

Chanel Rouge Coco Lipsticks

I'm sure you've all heard about the new reformulated Chanel lipsticks that were launched in March 2015, the Chanel Rouge Coco lipsticks. If you haven't heard of it yet where have you been?

Anyway, after all the hype around this launch has already come down over these months I decided to finally bring you the review of these new beauties.

Now the formula claims to be very hydrating, plumping, nourishing and super comfortable on the lips with buildable coverageThe collection features 29 new shades in 6 color palettes (Nudes, Oranges, Pinks, Rosewoods, Reds and Plums), each named after the friends, loves and muses of Mademoiselle Chanel.

Chanel Rouge Coco Lipsticks

Now, I have to make a little disclaimer here. I am not easily impressed by a lipstick formula for a couple of reasons:
- there are tons of great lipsticks available both among the drugstore brands and high-end ones with already a fantastic formula
- on the other hand, my lips are very picky, sensitive and dry. A lot of lipsticks, especially cheaper ones, but not only, cause terrible allergic reaction on my lips, so I can't use them (i.e. Maybelline lipsticks, Too Faced Lip Injection Color Bombs etc.), others - simply dry out my lips after they wear off, even a lot of the seemingly hydrating ones and the ones that everybody raves about, that includes a lot of lipbalms as well

With that in mind, the formula has to be pretty outstanding in order to impress me and make me eager to pay $36 for a lipstick.

That being said, Chanel new lipsticks are FANTASTIC. In fact, now it is my favorite creamy lipstick formula along with the Clarins Rouge Eclat lipsticks. They are my 2 favorites. The Chanel formula is everything it claims to be: smooth, comfortable, hydrating, plumping, nicely pigmented and buildable and glides on like a dream smoothing out the fine lines on your lips, which is a great bonus. It is just gorgeous. And that beautiful shine! Also, I find that it wears for quite a decent amount of time for such a creamy hydrating formula (about 3-4 hours depending on the color).

Below are the lipsticks and their shade names in the same order.

Chanel Rouge Coco Lipsticks

Chanel Rouge Coco Lipsticks: shade names in the same order as the lipsticks in the picture above

Below you can see the swatches of all those 7 shades.

Chanel Rouge Coco Lipsticks (swatches) from top left to bottom right: 420 Vera, 432 Cecile, 428 Legende, 424 Edith, 426 Roussy, 448 Elise, 442 Dimitri

Below I've included lip swatches as well. Sorry, not all the lipsticks are swatched and the lighting is different in every picture. They were taken at different times, but I thought that it would still be better to include at least such photos than none at all. Even with different lighting it'll still give you some idea about how the colors might look in person. Again, I am totally fascinated by this formula and love the shades I've selected.

Chanel Rouge Coco Lipsticks (lip swatches) from left to right: 420 Vera, 432 Cecile, 424 Edith, 426 Roussy

And here is a closer look at them.

Chanel Rouge Coco Lipstick in 420 Vera

Vera is a very light shade, so it is perfect for fair skin tones or very pigmented lips for that healthy barely there tint with a shine. It is a lovely pinky-nude shade with beautiful finest golden sheen, very-very beautiful.

Chanel Rouge Coco Lipstick in 432 Cecile

This to me is a perfect nude, not too warm-toned, not too cool-toned but a perfect in-between nude-beige-pink tone that is not too light. Gorgeousness in a tube! I actually bought 2 of those, because I don't ever want to be without Cecile :).

Chanel Rouge Coco Lipstick in 424 Edith

Now Edith has to be one of my favorite shades of the whole bunch if not the most favorite. It is a shade that will be flattering on everyone. Perfect mid-tone warm pink with beautiful shine, adds just the perfect amount of brightness to the face. Looks appropriate anytime and occasion and goes with everything, such a beautifying shade.

Chanel Rouge Coco Lipstick in 426 Roussy

And Roussy is a very vibrant bordering on neon, but in a more wearable version, bright coral pink. A very summery and happy shade, also will look great on many skin tones.

Bottom line, if you want to treat yourself with a luxurious comfortable lipstick in a gorgeous color, absolutely go for one of these Chanel Rouge Coco lipsticks. They are outstanding. And the shade range is gorgeous. You know how Chanel does the reds, don't you? They have the best red lipsticks, I think. And this line is no exception, the reds are beautiful there.

I hope this review was helpful. Please, share your thoughts in the comments below, I'd be happy to read them. Have a Roussy bright day :)!

Friday, October 16, 2015

TheBalm Voyage Vol. 2 Face Palette: Review, Swatches And Look

TheBalm Voyage Vol. 2 Face Palette

I already shared my first impressions about this palette in this post, but today I'll give you a more in-depth review about it and show some swatches. It is theBalm Voyage Vol. 2 Face Palette. I bought it from theBalm's site. It is still available there for $39.50.

TheBalm Voyage Vol. 2 Face Palette

This palette is the same size and layout as the Balm Jovi palette. The packaging is super cute, fun and adorable with typical vintage pin-up-y vibe of theBalm. It is super compact and slim and contains:
- 9 eyeshadows
- 2 blushes
- 1 bronzer
- 1 highlight
- 2 lip and cheek creams
The cream products on the bottom of the palette have their own flap that keeps them closed and protected from fallout from the powder products on top, which I always find very handy. Also, on the inner side on that flap there are a few suggestions on the looks you can create using this palette.

Here is a closer look at the palette.

TheBalm Voyage Vol. 2 Face Palette

As you can see the colors are primarily warm with a few fun colors and darker shades thrown in for good balance, which, in my opinion, makes it a great summer AND fall palette at the same time. Plus, you get a great variety not only in the eyeshadow department but also in the face products, which really makes this little beauty a great piece of makeup especially if you are going for this warm-toned, bronze goddess, sultry look.

Here are the swatches of all the products as they appear in the palette.

TheBalm Voyage Vol. 2 Face Palette: swatches of products as they appear in the palette

The lighting doesn't do the right justice to these shades. They swatch and show up on the skin exactly as they look in the palette, which is an amazing characteristic of theBalm's products. Below is a closer look at the swatches.

TheBalm Voyage Vol. 2 Face Palette: swatches of products as they appear in the palette

TheBalm Voyage Vol. 2 Face Palette: swatches of products as they appear in the palette

In terms of quality I won't take your time and ramble too long. I'll just say this: ALL the products, be it in a powder or cream form, are of very very good quality, with great smooth textures, all very pigmented, blendable and longwearing. There's not much else to say about this palette.

One thing to note on the formula of the shadows though. I feel like it has definitely changed. If you compare it to the Balm Jovi or the Nude 'Tude palette, they are not as buttery, they are definitely a little bit drier and kick up slightly less powder. I think it is because they have less emollients in them. Although it is not worse, an it has not become chalky by any means, it is still very smooth, blendable and great, just a bit different. It is definitely reformulated, and whether you like it or not really depends only on your personal preference, because in terms of performance nothing has changed. It is still that same great pigmentation, smoothness, blendability and longevity, just a bit less creamy feeling.

So, here is the look that I've created with this palette. Everything colorful that you see on my face is from it. I don't remember exactly what I used (sorry about that) since it was in the summer (yeah, old pictures), but you can still get the gist of what kind of looks you can expect to get from this palette.

Look using theBalm Voyage Vol. 2 Face Palette

Look using theBalm Voyage Vol. 2 Face Palette

So, overall, this is a neat little palette that has a lot to offer in terms of variety and functionality. It is extremely travel-friendly and fun with its own twist. Love it.

I hope you found this review helpful. Let me know if you have any questions about this palette in the comments, I'll be glad to answer them. Thanks for stopping by my blog.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Wayne Goss Brushes - The Face Set: Review

Wayne Goss. The Face Set

I am so excited to bring you this review! I recently purchased the new brush set from Wayne Goss, the Face Set, and I am in love with it. I've already raved about his first collection here, so it's no surprise I'd keep doing that with this brush set :). The price tag was $265, but I can already tell you it's worth every penny.

Here's how the set looked when it came to me and I removed all the extra packaging.

Wayne Goss. The Face Set

It came in a black Beautylish canvas pouch with a tube of brushes inside. Inside the tube the brushes were wrapped in a pretty polka-dotted paper (super cute). The tube had a red label on it saying 'Wayne Goss. The Face Set. Handcrafted in Japan and some other details blah-blah...'. I removed that sticker, because I know what's inside. Oh, it also had a piece of paper with instructions on how to clean and care for your brushes inside the tude, which is always nice to have.

Anyway, I thought that the tube would be some flimsy cardboard thing that was only good for throwing away, but NOOOOO. It is actually really sturdy and can totally be used for storing your brushes or for travelling, which was a very nice surprise for me. I really like it. It fits all the brushes nicely and has room for a few more smaller brushes. Perfect for travelling.

Wayne Goss. The Face Set

Wayne Goss. The Face Set

The set itself contains 6 multi-purpose face brushes that are made of natural hair but are cruelty free. Here is how the brushes look like. They are numbered 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15 from left to right in the picture below.

Wayne Goss. The Face Set

Wayne Goss. The Face Set

Now, like I already said these brushes are so universal and smartly shaped that you can use each and every one of them to do more than 1 thing. They are all multi-purpose. So, there are no rules in how to use them, you can use them however you want. For this reason, I won't ramble too long about it but just mention a few key features of the brushes and how I personally prefer to use them.

Key characteristics of the WG brushes:

  1. fantasticaly soft, the softest ones I have ever tried in my life
  2. perfectly shaped and very well thought out
  3. multi-functional
  4. made of natural bristles
  5. cruelty free
  6. handcrafted by Japanese artisans
  7. wash nicely, but take slightly longer to dry because of the natural hair
  8. almost no shedding and no bleeding (I'll comment more on that further down)
  9. hold the pigment incredibly
  10. distribute the products on the face perfectly for a flawless finish
  11. very well-made, sturdy and highest quality
  12. beautifully designed visually and functionally and a joy to use
  13. reletively short handles and easy to hold in your hand
  14. mostly suited for, but not limited to, using with powder products

A few things to note on shedding. I've seen in many reviews that people are complaining about horrible shedding of some of these brushes, especially the white one for foundation, so I want to share my experience in that. When I first used the white brush it did shed like crazy, leaving a few hairs with foundation on my face, which is kind of gross, I almost got depressed. In addition, one or two other brushes left a few hairs on my face too, but it was nothing compared to the white brush. However, after I washed all the brushes throroughly and dried them, I didn't experience this shedding issue anymore, maybe just 1 or 2 small random hairs from the white brush the next 1 or 2 times. Now, nothing sheds for me anymore, and I am using those brushes every single day, so shedding is not an issue for me right now.

Now let me share with you the main uses for each of these brushes. Again, this is based strictly on my personal experience and preferences. You can use them for more than this.

Main uses:

Brush #10:
- foundation, especially liquid one, it distributes and blends it in seconds, however, for other types of foundation, like wax-based cream ones or powder ones that require more of a buffing in motion, something like a buffing brush would be better suited. This does not mean you can't use it for those foundations, I just find it works better for liquid foundations or BB creams rather than something more thick or solid.

Brush #11:
- powder (it's the biggest brush with perfect density for it)
- all-over light bronzer
- blush

Brush #12:
- any product that has poor pigmentation or just when I want to build up the coverage or pigment as this brush is the densest one
- setting powder or powder foundation
- blush

Brush #13:
- powder or mineral foundation
- setting powder
- contour
- blush
- bronzer

Brush #14:
- any highly pigmented product because it is the most wispy brush of all
- highlighter, it is PERFECT for that
- blush
- bronzer
- removing fallout from the eye shadows

Brush # 15:
- removing fallout from the eye shadows
- highlighter

I think that the real star of this set for me is, surprisingly, not the #13 brush, that everyone would suggest, but the #14. It is indeed unique and I haven't seen anything like that, nor do I have anything like it. It just does not move any makeup underneath. I did not expect to be using it so often. Now I cannot imagine my life without it.

My 2 favourite brushes from this set are #11 and #14, but all brushes are fantastic. Overall, I just want to say that Wayne Goss brushes are my dream brushes. I've already said that before, but they really are.

If you have this set, please, share your thoughts on it in the comments. I hope this review was helpful and thank you for your time :).