Thursday, 31 October 2013

Early Mornings

I've been very busy making decorations and handling last minute details for the Bella Morte + Underworld Samhain party, but now I think I've finally gotten everything done! Here's a few snaps from early this morning, I took the time to brush my hair instead of just putting it up in a bun for work. It's been hectic at the office too, but now things look calmer. That means I can study some more, not that I can relax ;P

I'm wearing a Lip Service tunic that I paired with fake leather leggings. Not a good idea, I was freezing! Luckily my sister hinted that Cubus sells super warm pantyhose, so now I'm the proud owner of three of those :)

Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Turquoise Braid

It's been so dark that it's hard to get decent pictures! When I leave for work, it's dark-ish, and the sun sets at five, and I'm usually home at five earliest. Damn Finnish seasons! But here's a few shots with my look from today.

I'm wearing Concrete Minerals Lolita, a lovely light taupe, and just black mascara and
a my-lips-but-better shade of lip stain. A little blush too.

The turquoise braid! And my cool skeleton cardigan.

Saturday, 26 October 2013

And New Hair!

I did it! After two years of purple, I yearned for a new shade, and teal is my thing! The Elumen was a pain in the behind to get out of the hair and it still needs another coat of Directions Turquoise and little touch ups, like getting rid of the ugly brown stripe in the front. I'm still very happy with it!


I reader asked if I had done a post on how I take care and dye my hair, and I suddenly realised that, no, I hadn't! So here it finally is :)

Currently my hair is purple, but I'm changing the shade soon (or at least trying to!). Before the purple, I had cotton candy pink hair, which was very light and easy to dye over. Naturally I'm a cool toned blonde.

I've preferred Directions semi-permanent dyes before, but once I tried Elumen, there was no going back. Semi-permanent dyes stain badly and seem to stick everywhere else better than hair. I've scrubbed the bathroom floor so many times! Elumen is also semi-permanent, but acts like a permanent colour. Elumen does stick to skin and cloth, but it does not stain hard surfaces. On my hair Elumen bleeds really light pink for about two washes, then it just sticks. This means no more purple pillow covers, shower hoses or towels ;D

Elumen VV@all. On the right side you can see a faded black section.

Elumen purple, VV@all, is very red based and when used alone it dyes hair plum coloured with only very little blue tones. I prefer bluer purple, so I use two thirds of VV@all and one third of BB@all, a dark blue. Elumen does still fade, but very slowly, and I've usually just treated my hair ends and lengths with a regular semi-permanent colour to deepen the shade.

The neat thing about Elumen is that it actually sticks to my natural colour. I had bleached my roots for each touch-up for years (before the cotton candy I had platinum blonde and before that pink hair, for example)  and was very delighted to be able to skip that step. Now I have about 1/4 of my hair length done with only Elumen on my natural colour. Without bleaching the shade is a bit more dull, but it's not very noticeable. For some reason Elumen doesn't want to stick to a small part right next to the scalp, apparently the hair is just in too good condition and the dye cannot penetrate it. With my haircut the bangs hide the little bits around my face where the dye doesn't stick, but bleaching first would most likely help with the problem.

The ends that have gone through many a bleach before the purple aren't in the best condition, but my hair is quite strong and can take a little rough love ;)

With clip-in extensions dyed with Directions purple and Directions Turquoise.

I've had a few black highlights (or lowlights, I guess) done, but they are so grown out that they are very hard to touch up, since it's hard to see where the sections start at the root. For some reason the faded black doesn't take the purple as well as other parts of the hair and the black sections want to fade into brown.

I've only tried Elumen's purple, but I'd be happy to recommend trying it out for other unnatural colours as well! I order mine from Germany, because in Finland you can't buy the stuff without a hairdresser's degree. I don't use Lock (supposedly for sealing the colour) and the dye lasts fine and sticks well. A bottle of Elumen costs around 20 euros (without shipping) but you get 250 ml of dye so the bottles are quite big. I'd say I need 1/3 a bottle of purple and a 1/6 of blue to touch my roots up properly. Since the dye has no developer, you can always save the leftovers and use then again when needed.

Purple is a pretty easy colour. In low light conditions it looks like brown, and when it fades, it just goes more brown as the blue tint washes off. Unlike green on blue based colours, the purple is very wearable even when faded. My biggest problem has been that the shade is so much darker than my own hair, that when I have 1 cm on undyed roots on a certer part, I look like I'm going bald ;D

See? Not bald, just growing hair ;P

Some people say Elumen is hard to apply because of how gel-like the dye is. I myself find it actually easier, since the gel does not run or drip. I always use a tint brush (I think mine will soon have it's eight birthday, so those things last forever!) and a cup to mix the colour in. For mixing I use an old spoon. Elumen stains skin, so I always wear gloves. I've bought a pack of nitrile gloves from the supermarket, they are stretchy and thin so you feel what you are doing, unlike with the plastic bag material gloves that come with most hair dye boxes. Latex gloves work just as well, I'm allergic to latex so I went for the nitrile ones. 

If you get Elumen on your skin, the best way to remove it is with alcohol. I usually use a disinfectant, since it's easy to get and quite cheap. When I dye my roots, I always get the dye on my scalp too. It does stain the scalp but comes off in a few days. It does feel a but drying, so if your scalp is very dry, be careful!

My top tips
-Elumen doesn't fade or stain badly
-Semi-permanent dye of the same shade can be used on top of Elumen to brighten the colour
-If your hair is very light, Elumen can be used without bleaching. Bleaching the base always makes the colour brighter.
-When using semi-permanent colours, scrub you bathroom BEFORE dyeing and rinsing. The dye mostly sticks to dirt or surfaces, if there's none, there's less mess after you are done!
-Remove Elumen stains with alcohol (from skin and other surfaces)

Friday, 25 October 2013

Riddles in the Dark and Finkelstein Look

Here's again a few more of my new Shiro eyeshadows! This look was done with Finkelstein from the Halloween collection on the lid and Riddles in the Dark in the crease. Finkelstein is a sheer greenish grey, it looks hard to use in the jar, but on skin it goes on quite sheer and leaves a wonderful blue shift. Riddles in the Dark is from the Hobbit collection. It's a dark grey with multicoloured glitter, a very nice dark crease colour that looks like it will go with many lighter shades easily!

Tuesday, 22 October 2013

IsaDora Highlands Palette Review and Swatches

IsaDora's autumn collection this year has been seen in many blogs, and in the end I just couldn't resist their palette! The palette was sold out in many places but I found mine at Sokos in Tampere. It's called Highlands and boasts five pressed eyeshadows. Two are matte, two glittery and one has a shimmery finish.

The palette has a wide mirror and an applicator with a small brush and a foam applicator end.
The light shimmery champagne shade.
Golden brown glitter shadow.
This matte shadow is actually more like an olive green than brown.
Dark brown glittery shadow.
Matte brownish-plum shadow, looks too brown in my picture.
The pictures were taken before I tried the palette. I mainly own loose shadows and one reason for that is that palettes start to look dirty and worn quite fast. This doesn't affect their performance, but I'm a visual person and like my items looking pristine. Cleaning up palettes takes a lot of time if done properly.

A look done with the palette only. I used the shimmery champagne on the whole lid and brow bone, then added the dark brown glitter shadow in the crease and put a little bit of the matte plum on top of it to darken the crease further.
Matte brownish-plum (swatched on top of Urban Decay Primer Potion).
Matte olive green (swatched on top of Urban Decay Primer Potion).
Glitter gold (swatched on top of Pixie Epoxy).
Dark brown glitter (swatched on top of Pixie Epoxy).
Shimmery champagne (swatched on top of Urban Decay Primer Potion).

I decided to take close ups on the shadows again after using the palette a few times to show what I mean with palettes becoming worn fast!

Brownish-plum matte.
Dark brown glitter, barely used.
Dark olive green.
Gold glitter shadow. This one seemed to have a little problem with starting to crumble on the top edge after a few uses.
Shimmery satin.
I tried the applicator that came with the palette, and as usual, it's not great. The foam end was more useful for me since I don't own any of those. It was excellent for applying the glittery shadows with minimal fall off.

The matte shadows are great, they have a lot of pigment and are easy to blend. I still had some problems with the glittery ones, they go on very sheer and tend to give a lot of fall off, but work ok with a sticky primer like Fyrinnae's Pixie Epoxy. I have plenty of glittery loose shadows that are easier to work with, so I suspect I'm not going to go for these two any time soon. Their shades are very nice and work well with the rest of the palette, but I'm too lazy to fiddle with tricky shadows! The shimmery one is almost as nice as the mattes, to me it seems like it could use a little bit more pigment.

The colours go really well together and the palette is great for quick, dramatic looks. A smoky eye with either of the mattes works on my skin tone, and using the champagne as a base you can easily do a contrasting shadow on the crease to bring out your eyes. The colours contrast so much that for light, daily looks you might need a middle brown to smoothen the transitions. This palette is better for evening looks or if you just like dramatic make-up, like I happen to do :)

+ A nice selection of colours that go well together
+ Excellent mattes with good pigment and great consistency
+ A great shimmery light shade that works on many skin tones
+ Big mirror
+ Sturdy palette
+ Window on the lid to easily peek at the colours

- Glittery shades may be a bit tricky to work with and require a sticky primer
- The dark plastic shows all fall off and looks dirty fast
- The applicator isn't very useful
- Colour contrast too stark for soft daily looks

Sunday, 20 October 2013

Plenty of Ghosts!

We had a meeting with our little craft club and aside from mending some clothes and rolling yarn in a ball, I mostly made ghosts. I wanted to create something like these cute little guys on Sandy's blog but make a bunch so they can be used for decoration in the upcoming Samhain party. The craft club ladies brought fabric scraps and I bought two meters of white tulle and a few bags of foam balls for the project.

Their eyes are still wet in this one ;D

The glittery ones were duped the party nazguls!

I made black and white ones, mainly because I had so much black fabric and so little of white, but I think they came out really nice. I used tulle, lace, glitter tulle, organza and even a few pieces of left over fabric from a shirt I cut shorter. The eyes are done with glitter glue so they might react to lights at the club. My absolute favourites are the black ones with glittery tulle, they look totally fabulous ;)

Saturday, 19 October 2013

The Pumpkin King Look

I'm supposed to read for an upcoming exam, but instead I'm writing this post. This is yet another one of the Shiro Cosmetics eyeshadows, and definitely a favourite! The Pumpkin King is part of Shiro's Halloween collection. It's a warm dark brown with gold and orange glitter. The shade really brings out the pale green in my eyes!

And a full face! I'm wearing an IsaDora glossy lip stain on my lips.

Thursday, 17 October 2013

King Under the Mountain and Housewife Look

My Shiro cosmetics order came in today and I had to try a few shadows right away! This is housewife on the lid and King Under the Mountain in the crease.

You can also admire what's left of my eyebrows after I was fed up with hairs pointing every which way.

And this is what I wore on my face in the morning, just some BB cream, powder,
eyeshadow on brows, mascara, a little blush and a bright lip stain!

Monday, 14 October 2013

Just Me and My Pole

I got a dancing pole! It came on Saturday and I've already worked my arms sore ;D It's still a bit awkwardly placed, but I have an extension piece coming soon that allows me to choose the spot more freely. Now it's in the only spot with a normal height ceiling, the apartment is higher in other places. I'm so excited to get to try out all the moves I do at the lessons at home, too, because it always feels like there's too little time. I also get so tired during the one hour lesson that my grip begins to loosen, but I'm guessing I'll be able to exercise longer once my muscles grow a bit.

I tried the Foxy Curls curling spray with my wand, it's great! These curled ends are four days old.

Sunday, 13 October 2013

Outfit of the Day

I wore this outfit to a local games company's ten year anniversary. I didn't put on anything fancy or lots of make-up, since the event featured not one but two different saunas which I was very eager to try out! Both were fantastic, I hadn't been able to bathe in a sauna all summer (I'm supposedly too busy to visit the summer cottage, or just too lazy!) and really needed it.

Jacket - Juunappa
Cardigan - Nanso
Tunic - Lip Service
Leggings - Seppälä
Boots - Spirit Store

Saturday, 12 October 2013

Deep Sea Nails

I wanted an easy, fast manicure to make my nails look a bit better for a party. I chose Essence Miss Universe (that you can see on its own here) and topped it with some glitter by adding Wet n Wild Mermaid Curves from the Fergie collection. The glitter and shimmer made the polish have a wonderful deep sea feeling to it, I really like the result!

Friday, 11 October 2013

Blog Meets are Surprisingly Fun!

Last Sunday I travelled to Hämeenlinna, a little over a hundred kilometers to the south, to go to a meet organized for Finnish beauty bloggers by Sonia from Tyttö ilman helmikorvakorua. I'd never met any of the other ladies there and was feeling a bit anxious, but everyone was so nice!

The ladies participating were from these blogs: Shiny nail artViilankantolupa, Adventures in SinilandiaMustaa Kajalia, Meikki monsterin maailmaSensaisti, One of Beauty's Daughters, Pieni nutturapääSinistä pintaa and Pakolliset - tai ainakin melkein.

We had tasty snacks, some sparkling wine and a make-up brush manufacturer and a hairdresser showing off products and teaching us how to use them.

A snap from the castle park.

We went for a walk to see the Hämeen linna castle. I've been there years ago, but it always looks impressive.
Note to self: don't wear flatforms when walking on cobblestones, it was tricky! ;D The lady from Duroy showed us her favourite products: four different brushes, lash comb and tweezers. The tweezers were killer for applying lash clusters! I liked one of the brushes, the flat top one, and we were lucky to get just that as a gift. I've been trying it out a few times and really like how smoothly it applies my BB-cream. The brush is called Unelma, a dream, and that's what it feels like on skin, so soft!

I think I need those tweezers, too.
I really liked spending time with other bloggers, I felt we had a lot in common and there's was this interesting effect that I felt like I kinda knew the people, because I read their blogs. I'm hoping to be able to come to future meets, too, to just sit down and spend the night talking :)

I had purchased my return ticket in advance, so just when I was about to leave, the hairdresser arrived. He quickly chose a few products for me and the other ladies who were leaving at the same time, and so far I think he got it just right. I got a shampoo and a conditioner by Fudge that have smoothing properties,  Tigi Glaze Haze that cuts down drying time and protects hair from moisture, and Foxy Curls by Tigi that should be good for curling my hair with a curling wand. I can't remember the last time I've been so excited to try a new shampoo ;D But these two leave my hair very soft and easy to manage, and the Glaze Haze seemed to make it smoother and dry it little bit faster. I haven't tried Foxy Curls yet.

And then there were the goodie bags with lots of nice products!

(I did forget the Duroy brush and a Leighton Denny hand cream from the picture)

A Denny Leighton nail polish, another on is a Fuzzy Coat by Sally Hansen. The Tweezerman nail file with a case looks like just what I need, since now I have a nail file both at home and at the office, but not one that I could carry with me. There's also a cream eyeshadow duo by elf and a sample Clarins mascara.

Clarins day cream and a gel face wash, elf lip gloss and a few Youngblood mineral make-up samples.
Fudge Smooth Shot shampoo and conditioner, and the tiny cardboard box hosts a Crazystick solid perfume.

The Foxy Curls bottle is so pretty, just my shade of purple!
This one shows the Clean Scene -facial scrub! I tried it, it had funny looking large particles that are the same colour as the bubbles on the tube. It's meant for ages 12-17, so it must make me look younger, right? ;P
So once again a big thanks to Sonia for organizing the meet, I had fun and I'd do it again any day! I hope everyone enjoyed it as much as I did. I look forward to reviewing the products in details, but there's so much that it's going to take some time!
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