24.12.14

Beauty review: Dior's Golden Shock holiday collection

I'm not a "real" beauty blogger who knows everything about all the trends and new collections, but I am a big fan of make up and beauty in general. In a way, that makes my approach to beauty very similar to my approach to fashion: I don't pay attention to trends or innovation really, but I keep my eyes open and I pick up inspiration here and there, honing my taste palate, developing my knowlege and skills and keeping my approach playful and close to my daily life.

Recently, I've started branching out to more expensive products, both in fashion as well as in make up. Now, that doesn't mean I've gone from H&M to Herm├Ęs, but with more disposable income comes a broader range of options to choose from, which makes every choice more thought out. Is investing in a higher end product always worth it, if you have the cash to burn? The answer varies, obviously, which makes reviewing beauty so interesting!

As someone who is relatively new to upscale beauty, I was absolutely delighted when I received part of the Dior Golden Shock to review for you. Not just because this was the first real recognition I've received as a budding beauty blogger on-the-side, but also because, well, look. JUST LOOK and imagine the weight and the gloss of these beautiful, stunning containers.

dior golden shock review

*swoon*

Dior's Golden Shock collection is a holiday collection, designed specifically to create a beautiful party look and to be gifted. Just imagine finding a box with one or more of these products under your Christmas tree! I received the 5 Couleurs eyeshadow palette in 756 Golden Shock, the Diorific nail polishes in 241 Gold Equinoxe (the gold) and 990 Smoky (the dark), the Diorshow Fusion Mono in 621 Mirror, and the Diorific Golden shock illuminating pressed powder in 002 Pink Shock.

As you can see, the containers exude luxury, especially the gold highlighter compact and the nail polish bottles. Too pretty to hide in your make up drawers for sure!

dior golden shock review diorific vernis

Ugh, so gorgeous. I chose to show these bottles lying on their side because it shows that the dark nail polish isn't black, but a beautiful shade of eggplant. Incidentally, dark eggplant/burgundy and glimmering gold are two of my favourite nail polish colours: the gold because it's like a more festive nude, wearing off beautifully rather than showing ugly chipping, and the eggplant because I think dark, off-black nails are just about the sexiest manicure in the world.

dior golden shock review diorific vernis gold equinoxe smoky

The brush is thin but it does its job just fine, I had no issues using the brush to do my nails.

dior golden shock equinoxe smoky review

Gold Equinoxe is an almost pearly, soft, warm gold that leans bronze. The consistency of the polish is rather thin, and the formula is opaque after two layers. Smoky has a high shine, gel-like consistency and is much thicker, but surprisingly easy to work with for a thick, dark nail polish. Both polishes dry quickly and neatly, which is especially important with regards to the Smoky shade because dark nail polish shows every mistake you make while the polish is drying. Smoky can be opaque after one thick layer, but I did two thin ones here. In short: beautiful nail polishes, great quality, but maybe not innovative enough to warrant the 27.25€ price tag. HOWEVER, those bottles! Unf. These would make wonderful gifts to someone you know who loves nail polish, as the bottles are basically collector's items.

Next up: the Diorshow Fusion Mono in 621 Mirror, which is a creamy eyeshadow that is packed with champagne glitter and has a beautifully smooth consistency.

review dior golden shock diorshow fusion mono mirror

The product comes with a small sponge applicator which works great when used in the inner corners of your eyes, or to add some sparkle to your cupid's bow (my current favourite beauty trick). This eyeshadow does not give an opaque result, but is a lovely way to add a wash of shimmer to your eyelids or even cheekbones. The container is also pretty huge and will likely last you forever, so I'd say this is good value for money.

The next product is undoubtedly the show stopper of the collection: Diorific Golden shock illuminating pressed powder in 002 Pink Shock.  

diorific golden shock pink shock highlighter review

diorific golden shock pink shock highlighter review

Again, what a gorgeous product. It comes in a little velvet pouch with an extra pocket holding a small, incredibly soft real hair brush, and the golden compact itself is heavy, shiny and completely stunning. The sort of make up product that looks like it will magically transform you into a glamorous dame. Well, that or a Sailor Senshi. The pressed powder is embossed and reminds me of a compass rose. It looks mega shiny, but the glitter is an overspray, which means that the compact underneath the initial layer isn't nearly as glittery.

diorific golden shock pink shock highlighter swatch

On the right, you see the powder including the glittery overspray, on the left, you see the powder after the overspray has gone. The effect is smooth and soft, but more satin than glittery. It's too bad the pretty glitter layer doesn't remain, and I actually don't mind a bit of glitter in my highlighter when used strategically (on the cheekbones and browbone), but most women I know are intimidated by glitter in make up that isn't eyeshadow or nail polish. Pink Shock is a subtle, natural highlighter, and as such a versatile product you can use on the forehead, the bridge of the nose and the chin as well as the cheekbones and the brow bone. In the picture below, I've used it on the nose bridge and the cheekbones. The effect: a healthy, pastel pink glow that works wonderfully well with my cool skintone. I used it with a matte blush so you can really see the effect.

diorific golden shock pink shock highlighter review

End verdict: not the most exciting highlighter I've tried, and the overspray disappearing is a bit of a disappointment, but the packaging is stunning and as a highlighter, it is versatile and not too intimidating to people who prefer a more natural look. Expensive, but definitely great Christmas gift material.

Next up, my personal favourite, the 5 Couleurs in 756 Golden Shock.

diorific golden shock 5 couleurs review

Again, eye candy to the max. This palette consists of  (clockwise) an eggplant purple with a satin finish, a purple leaning medium brown with a satin finish, a frosted beige-gold, a light pink with a matte finish interspersed with scatterings of glitter, and a warm, sparkling yellow gold that almost looks like pure glitter. The palette also comes with two applicators, but I wouldn't recommend using sponge applicators for powdery eyeshadow.

diorific golden shock 5 couleurs swatches

I like most of these shades well enough, as they are smooth, blendable and nicely pigmented. The colours could be more pigmented, but I don't think most people would wear bright purple on the regular, so the smooth but slightly sheer formula makes this palette very wearable for, well, regular people that aren't make up artists. However, I would have liked to see more pigmentation from the light pink and the glittery gold. The best part of the palette is how well these colours work together to create a beautiful make up look. It really is a nice combination of shades that flatters my hazel eyes immensely, and I would never have thought that purple and gold were such a match made in heaven! I created two different party make up looks to demonstrate the palette. I tried something new this time, illustrating where every colour goes with a neat paint-by-numbers esque photoshop diagram (is that the right word?). I used a primer underneath both of these looks.

First, a look where I use all of the colours.

diorific golden shock 5 couleurs review swatch

diorific golden shock 5 couleurs review swatch

Keeping in mind that this make up was more pigmented in real life than in these pictures, this is pretty impressive, no? I used the light pink in the inner eye corner and on the brow bone, both of the golds in the middle of the eyelid, the purple in the outer corner and under the eye, the brown as a blending colour in the crease and between the purple and the gold. I was pretty much in love with the end result.

And here is the second look I put together.

diorific golden shock 5 couleurs review swatch

diorific golden shock 5 couleurs review swatch

This time, I used the two gold shades all over the lid, the brown in the crease, the purple under the eye and the Diorshow Fusion Mono in the inner corners and in the cupid's bow. Love it!

To round up, I feel like this is a stunningly designed and packaged collection with good quality make up, that will probably make many people very happy this Christmas. I know it made me very happy. All of these products are available at the Dior beauty counter in, for example, Ici Paris XL, Galerina Inno or Planet Parfum.

Prices:
Diorshow Fusion Mono 621 Mirror // €35
Diorific Vernis // €27,25
Diorific Pink Shock Illuminating Pressed Powders // €74
5 Colours Golden Shock // €60
Hope you liked my review! Which of the products appeals to you the most?

22.12.14

Office holiday party outfit: sweater dress and glitter tights

office party outfit sweater dress gold glitter tights
gold glitter tights pointy toe mary jane pumps
gold star stud earrings
diamanti per tutti circle of life ring
office party outfit sweater dress gold glitter tights
office party outfit sweater dress gold glitter tights
gold star stud earrings
office party outfit sweater dress gold glitter tights

sweater dress: c/o OASAP - glitter tights: H&M - pointy toe mary jane pumps: ASOS - ring: Diamanti Per Tutti - earrings: Winston & Celeste

Today, I bring you another party outfit, inspired by my many friends who aren't so lucky as to have time off for the holidays. Hustle! This look is classy and subtle, great for after-hours office holiday parties, or even spending the holidays with more conservative in-laws. Gold and grey is an uncommon colour combination, but one that works well when you want to put together a more subdued festive palette with the grey toning down the gold. When your outfit for the day has to do double duty and be professional as well as festive, gold/glitter tights, and a chic sweater dress are the perfect solution. Not too revealing or too tight, but still kinda hot. Finish off with a low maintenance bun, subtle but festive accessories like these gold star studs, and make up that is just a bit heavier than what you would normally wear for a work day, et voila!

Check out my other party style suggestions here:

I still have one more coming up, which will be a bit of a show-stopper. Hope you like this subtly festive one as well!

21.12.14

Review and tutorial: & Other Stories face contour cream

If you know me, you know I'm a staunch defender of all things Kardashian. And yes, that includes Kontouring. Contouring existed before the Kardashians rose to fame, of course, but it goes without saying that Kim and her kin (lulz) are responsible for regular citizens even contemplating drawing shade and light onto their faces. Contouring is a serious make up artist technique that has bled into the mainstream, which is something I am very grateful for.

After discovering contouring with powder this summer, I wanted to take my make up game to the next level by moving on to contouring cream, which is supposed to give a more natural result as well as allow you to work more accurately. Last week, I picked up & Other Stories' Face Contour Cream, which is a cool toned brown cream that costs 12€. Let me show you how I use it and what it does.

contour cream tutorial & other stories

Ah, that elusive glow that comes only from afternoons in the sun, drinking wine while laughing with friends or, you guessed it, contouring. I get pretty pale during winter time, and contouring seems to give my winter skin summer radiance without taking away my natural colour. Pretty lovely result, isn't it? And actually very easy to achieve.

contour cream tutorial & other stories

First, you need a neutral or cool toned contouring cream. Cool toned because the natural shadows in our face aren't orange-brown, but grey-brown. The cooler the contouring product, the more natural the end result. And I'd advise a cream formula because yes, it is easier to work with in various ways: more accurate, easier to build depending on whether you want a starker or a more subtle effect, and less likely to look cakey when layered on liquid foundation.

This is the pattern in which I apply contouring cream: along the top of the forehead (for glow and to minimize the forehead), along the bridge of the nose (straightens my nose), on the bottom of the cheekbones (to emphasize them, and applying the product higher is better than lower because it lifts the face), along the jawline (also to emphasize), finishing with a dab under my lower lip (to make it look fuller).

contour cream tutorial & other stories

I basically just rub a finger or two in the contouring cream and swipe it where it needs to be, using only a small amount on the nose because otherwise the effect becomes too artificial. After putting the contouring cream where it needs to be, I use my fingers to blend it in. Always make an outward blending motion, away from the center of the face. The & Other Stories contouring cream is very easy to use, I love it.

contour cream tutorial & other stories

This is the end result, including blush and highlighting powder (along the top of my cheekbones). As always, we zoom out to get a better look at the effect.

contour cream tutorial & other stories

Voila! A big change, but I still think the effect is very wearable and natural. Of course, you can blend more for a lighter effect, but I'm a fan of the glam-made up look popularized by Kim K. My blush application was a bit whack this day (should have been higher), so ignore that.

Hope you like it, and let me know if you have any questions.
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