Josefinas {Ballet Flats}

josefinas

Back in September 2013, my sister introduced me to Josefinas. Since then, these cute handmade ballet flats have been on my wish-list and an endless source of inspiration for my Polyvore style sets.

I wasn’t planning to get a pair until my other ballet flats were on their way out but fast-forward a little bit over a year and a pretty black and blush shoebox arrived – a birthday present from my husband.

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I wanted to wear them for a while before making any comments. Now that I’ve done so, here’s what I’ve found.

  1. The leather is extremely soft and comfortable – I thought it would be harder and take some time to adapt to my feet but no, the expression fits like a glove comes to mind.
  2. They are surprisingly warm. Part of collection nº7, Goa is a shoe designed for cooler days, with reinforced inner leather. I could really tell the difference, these last few weeks, between the times when it was hotter and when it was cooler.
  3. They move well from casual weekend to work days (see gallery below for examples).
  4. I am generally a size 37.5 in Europe but they only make full sizes so these are a 38. I have found that to be no problem  but if I was to buy some from collection nº1, I’d probably buy size 37 as they only have one layer of leather.
  5. Beware of pointy metal edges (e.g., chair or table legs). I can’t keep still even when I’m sitting so I have learned that it is best not to push/brush/kick my Josefinas against legs of tables or chairs, especially metal ones. The softness of the leather does mean it is more delicate than other leather or synthetic materials.

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I walk a lot – to work, to the supermarket, everywhere I can, really. A good walking shoe is essential to my lifestyle. You will never catch me walking to work in running shoes, but all my shoes must have that good-for-walking quality. These haven’t disappointed. They are surprisingly sturdy.

I do have to look into ways to preserve them well, as I walk so much. I am thinking about paying a visit to my favourite cobbler one of these days to see what advice he has.

I do also wonder how they’ll perform on a rainy day and what extra care I can give them to keep them looking great for long. What do you do to preserve and extend the life of your leather shoes?


 


 

Paris Day 3 OOTD: Le Breton à le Musée d’Orsay

While the Louvre is definitely a museum not to be missed, le musée d’Orsay is my personal favourite. I love the history of the building, its architectural style, and, above all, it contains some of my most adored pieces of art.

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I put some thought into planning this outfit before I left. Initially, I thought about wearing my Popbasic’s Le Breton with navy trousers. That works well too. But I wanted something a bit more special for this museum and for my first outfit with Le Breton.

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I’ve had this Mango skirt since early 2010 and it’s a constant in my Summer travel suitcase. It’s very light, doesn’t wrinkle easily and works well both day or night. It’s a very special skirt as my aunt gave it to me for my birthday and first visit to New Zealand. So, it was only fitting that I’d wear my special skirt to see my favourite paintings.

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I have to say it was a bit of an emotional encounter. Honestly, I’d never experienced such a reaction at the sight of a painting. Maybe it was all those years admiring Monet’s work. Maybe it was the waiting – it’s been about 14 years since I’d last been to Paris and Orsay was closed at the time so I couldn’t visit!

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Whatever it was, it resulted in an unforgettable museum experience. I’d go back in a heartbeat!

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The outfit: Popbasic’s Le Breton, Mango polka dot foulard, Mango skirt, ShoeDazzle leopard print flats, Cuyana Tote (stone). The makeup: Chanel Vitalumière Aqua foundation (30 Beije), Bourjois little round pot blush (Rose Coup De Foudre, 16), Antipodes Hit Me With Your Best Shot lipstick.

New Year Giveaway {Antipodes’ Lipsticks}

::Congratulations to the winners Lizzy (MyFoxyCorner) and Julia who got the lucky no.7 and no.28 respectively! The winners have now been contacted to arrange delivery. Thank you all!:: 
::This Giveaway is now closed. Winners will be announced shortly. Thank you all who participated and good luck!::

If you’re a regular reader, you’ll know (because I wouldn’t shut up about it here, here and here) I have recently been obsessing over Antipodes’ lipstick collections – Aroha Natural lipsticks (Remarkably Red, Dusky Sounds Pink and  Boom Rock Bronze) and Rock Your World lipsticks (Hit Me With Your Best Shot, April Sun in Cuba and Hungry Like the Wolf).

I’m not quite sure how this happened in such a short period of time but, in the space of a week I had three!

Continue reading

The Foundation Series {Wrap Up}

Hello everyone!

I hope you found this series useful.

There has definitely been a learning curve in my experience with foundations.

The four I spoke to you about in this series are only my most recent attempts at finding the right products. They were also the ones I bought with a clear idea in mind of what I was looking for. Perhaps for that, only one isn’t working so well for me at the moment.

One if four, that isn’t too bad!

This whole experience has taught me that it pays to know your skin, accept it is constantly changing and always do your research before buying.

Even though some of the products I bought are expensive by any standards, I’ve found that a more mindful consumer approach saves me money in the end!

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Thanks for reading!

xo Rita

Chanel {Vitalumière Aqua}

::The Foundation series IV::

{What}

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For the last post of the Foundation Series, I will be sharing with you my views on the liquid version of this Chanel foundation.

If you have been following this series from the start, you know I have been looking for a foundation that I could use as a complement to my skincare routine. Something light that would highlight the best about my skin instead of merely hiding the worst.

Chanel refers to this SPF15 foundation as an Ultra-Light skin perfecting make-up, soft and ultra-thin for a second-skin effect. Naturally, this type of definition attracted my attention!

{Colour}

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I had a couple of options tested at the Chanel counter at Heathrow Airport and 30 Beige ended up being a perfect match for my Winter complexion.

{Application}

Given its light and liquid texture, I have found that the best way to apply this foundation is with my fingertips, just as if I was applying moisturiser. Funnily enough, I just read the following application tips in the little booklet that comes with the product:

Use Vitalumière Aqua after your daily skincare, without a sponge or brush. After shaking, dab onto the face with fingertips and blend outwards with smoothing movements.

Well, I’m happy that was my default action!

I have used this foundation on its own, following my moisturiser and without applying any finishing powder.

{Finish}

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I tend to be sceptical but for a brand such as this I do expect products to do exactly what they promise in the description. Still, I must confess I was surprised/amazed with the result.

The product blends easily into the skin like a moisturiser. It feels so light that it was a bit disconcerting at first, as it quickly felt like I had nothing on. But between looking puzzled at the bottle and my reflection in the mirror, I could see it evened my complexion.

It is a bit difficult to explain the coverage of this product. It feels extremely light (and I can’t stress this enough) but it conceals imperfections very well even with one application. At the same time, it has a buildable quality to it.

Every time I wear this foundation I am surprised with its staying power. Throughout a normal working day, I had to check several times to see how it was looking because the only indication that it was there was its scent (which I think is lovely). The only area I felt I had to reapply was where my glasses sit but it would be strange if it wasn’t so!

Finally, I need to note that this foundation has a dewy finish without being oily. I personally love that but I know people with oily skin tend to prefer a matte finish. This foundation won’t lead you to it unless you finish off with some powder.

{Would I buy again?}

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Yes. In my teens and early twenties I was into trying new, inexpensive makeup. At 30, however, I am more inclined to put effort into finding the products that best fit my needs and invest on those.

I spent several months reading about this foundation before I decided it was worth to give it a go. For expensive products such as this, buying is not a decision I can make lightly. Nor is it deciding to re-purchase.

This is an easy-to-apply, no-fuss foundation that evens my complexion without breaking me out or making me feel like I have something on. It lasts all day and conceals any imperfections while not hiding what’s best about my skin. It’s all I was looking for.

To be honest, this foundation has reinforced my belief that if you want the best results you have to do your research and invest in the best products for you.

However, I will try to repurchase where I can get it cheaper. I noticed a variation in Chanel prices between Europe and New Zealand so I will have to wait for my next trip to Europe to buy it again (mine cost NZD$52 at Heathrow airport duty-free area, while it costs around NZD$70 at Auckland airport duty-free).

{Would I recommend?}

Even though this is quite expensive, I would definitely recommend it to those looking for the type of finish it gives.

My financial reasoning is something like this: what’s best? To buy a lot of cheaper products that don’t work or buy one expensive that does?

However, I would recommend trying it at the counter first to see if you like the scent as it is not an understated characteristic of this product. I suspect it may be something that won’t please all.

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Thanks for reading!

Check out the previous posts in the series:

Lush {Colour Supplement}

Bellapiérre {Compact Mineral Foundation}

Kiko Cosmetics {BB Glow Compact Foundation}

Kiko Cosmetics {BB Glow Compact Foundation}

::The Foundation series III::

{What}

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Yes, you would have seen this photo before

A beauty balm in a compact formula by Kiko Make Up Milano.

It’s basically a foundation-moisturiser hybrid with medium sun protection (SPF20), a hypoallergenic formula, no parabens and non-comedogenic (i.e., doesn’t block pores).

{Colour}

BB Glow Compact

BB Glow Compact in 04 Light Beige

Kiko has 12 shades available for this product and I picked number 4, light beige. The girl at the store tested it on my jaw bone and we just couldn’t see a difference with my skin colour.

It’s always great when you can test these things, not only for the colour match but also for first impressions on how it feels. I was in awe at how smooth and light it felt. Plus, I loved the smell!

{Application}

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For this compact, creamy foundation I use a foundation brush from my mini bamboo set from Furless (I luckily got this in one of their twitter giveaways a while ago).

I have also tried applying it with my fingers and the sponge that came with the foundation. Both worked well but I washed the sponge the other day, left it by the window to dry and the hubby thought it was garbage so threw it out! Fingers and brush will have to be from now on!

{Finish}

I have found this foundation to have an even, smooth finish with a medium, yet buildable, coverage. Even though it feels like it goes from a cream to powder as it is applied, it does not leave a powdery look.

As the day progresses, it feels very light and moisturising but not in an oily way. On a normal work day, I only had to touch up a couple of times where my glasses sit. That’s bound to happen with any foundation, really. Also, let me note I don’t use any kind of finishing powder.

When my skin is driest, I found that it works well if I prime it first.

{Would I buy again?}

Yes. Most definitely. It’s inexpensive, practical, no fuss, a good colour match, doesn’t break me out, smells great and does the job I want it to do: give me light coverage!

{Would I recommend?}

I would say yes because it really is a good product and it’s so inexpensive it’s worth the try (£11.90; €11.90 -> pays to buy in Euros!!).

I also like the little I know about Kiko as a company.

They are made in Italy, which is great because it means they don’t do animal testing as it is not permitted in the EU. They have a diverse range of products that all seem to be really great quality, and the variety of colours is amazing!

Don’t get me started on their fantastic nail polishes! I will just say that I personally find they perform better than my OPI and Chanel…Just saying…

The only sad thing? There’s no Kiko in NZ!

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Do you know Kiko? What has been your experience with it?

Bellápierre {Compact Mineral Foundation}

::The Foundation series II::

{What}

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 A compact, 5 in 1, mineral foundation. The description on their site says it can be used as a concealer, foundation, setting powder and SPF 15 protection all in one. I had to dig deeper for the 5th element and it appears it is finishing powder.

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In any case, I like the idea of all-in-one products: less space taken in my make-up bag!

This is what caught my attention and, together with many good reviews, the reason why I bought it in the first place (even though I’d never heard of the brand).

{Colour}

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I bought this foundation through NZSale and couldn’t find many reviews online that would have a comparison with MAC shades. So, I had to pick one of the colours available by researching their website. The one that I thought was closest to my shade was Cinnamon (tan).

{Application}

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At first, I used the little pad that comes with the foundation. However, and I don’t really know why, this made the foundation look orange on my skin.

I was really shocked. Not only because I was so excited about this product and suddenly realized the colour was totally off, but also because when I put the foundation pot next to my face, the colour seemed a perfect match!

This first try really put me off. Last thing I wanted was an orange look!

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Recently, I decided to test it on my cheeks as a blush, just for kicks. I used my Furless bamboo powder brush.

To my surprise, the colour on my cheeks was not as orange as I remembered. I proceeded to apply it all over my face with the brush and, this time, it looked like a good match.

It turns out this foundation tends to oxidise. It is also possible that this colour just works better with my Winter than Summer skin.

What is certain is that it applies better with the brush.

{Finish}

If we put the colour issue aside, I found this foundation to have a very smooth, perfect/flawless finish. It feels light but gives good, buildable coverage.

At the same time, you can hardly tell you have a powder foundation on, or any foundation at all! Definitely does not leave a powdery look.

Particularly important to me is the fact it doesn’t break me out.

{Would I buy again?}

This is a very expensive foundation in my opinion (AUS$79.95, €39.99, £39.99, US$64.99) but it’s also very good. While the package looks a bit cheap, the product inside does seem to stand up to its growing reputation.

If I had the opportunity to try other shades and then catch another sale on NZSale, I would definitely buy it again. I feel this could be a product for life.

{Would I recommend?}

If you like compact, mineral foundations, and have an oily or combination skin, yes. I’m not entirely sure how it performs with dry skin, although it works well with my driest areas.

In any case, it’s completely no fuss. Perfect for make-up on the go.

My sensitive, breakout-prone skin was also happy about it and if that doesn’t mean something, I don’t know what does!

However, I would suggest you test the shade before buying. If you’re lucky to have access to a shop that sells this, go in there and try it on but walk out and see how it looks throughout the day. Go back when you’re happy with how it wears.

If you can’t try it on before buying, ask them on Twitter. After my initial fiasco, I twitted my colour conundrum and they were very quick to get back to me with a possible better shade  (Latte).

Another point I would recommend would be to try to get it on a deal. Just because it’s expensive, and who doesn’t love a deal?!

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Have you heard about this brand? If you’ve tried this product, let me know what you thought!

xo

Rita