Jul 5, 2013

A Quest for the Perfect Foundation

Hello. My name is Victoria and I'm a drugstore addict. 

See that? I'm not even trying to deny it - I love cosmetics, I really enjoy trying out new products and simply adore make-up just as a fun part of girls life. So when earlier this year I've run short of my old foundation I gladly accepted a challenge to find myself a new - better - one. 

Just that everything would be clear: I have a nasty skin, which is combination on it's best days (normal + oily T-zone) and super oily on it's worst. In addition, it's acne prone, tends to suffer from redness, dullness and is kind of sensitive. I know that haters gonna hate, but I still like to explain why I search for perfect foundations rather than visiting dermatologist / using medicine / stop eating junk food and all the other mythical helpers. In fact, I know what's wrong with my skin (it's hormonal problems) and I do my best dealing with that. Seriously. And foundation is something that can help me feel just a bit human-like... Okay, just a bit prettier :)

So, without any further ado, here are my little winners:
perfect foundation oily skin revlon colorstay bourjois 123 healthy mix

3rd place: Bourjois Healthy Mix foundation. I was eager to try it ever since it hit the shelves other bloggers cosmetic bags. Seriously, I've read so much amazing reviews about it that I just couldn't walk by. What can I say? It is simply amazing. It smells heavenly (a bit fruity but not too much), it blends amazingly, it doesn't make me break out. What more can a girl wish for? I know! A better staying power. Since it's better suited for dry to normal skin, it just disappears from mine, leaving me shiny and bit disappointed. Still, I love it.

2nd place: Revlon ColorStay foundation, a version for combination / oily skin. I know that Revlon is super popular in many countries, however, it's not available in Lithuania. Still, I've wanted to try it out so much, mainly because it's said to be Estee Lauder's Double Wear dupe and I heard so many good things about the latter that I bravely ordered Revlon's online. I mean, without any sampling. I was lucky to draw out a good matching shade for myself and overall left happy about this buying decision. Firstly, it stays. In fact, it smells like glue (yuck), sticks like glue, ruins my brushes like glue (seriously!) but it stays put like... yup, like glue. It survives anything - heat, long hours, dancing, anything. And does not even transfer to clothes. Secondly, it keeps my skin matte. However, due it's glue-iness I would not be comfortable to wear it every day. In addition, it has medium to high coverage, something that also is a bit too much for my daily looks. That's why I say love and save it for parties / special occasions / super nasty skin days.

1st place: (drumrolls...) Bourjois 1.2.3. Perfect foundation. Oh, that was a love from the first sight use. It blends amazingly, it stays pretty well (especially with setting powder, to 8 hours on me - aaamaaazing!), it does not clog my pores or make me break out. It has sheer - medium coverage which makes it workhorse for daily wear. Oh, and it never looks cakey. I'd say it's a must to try for every girl with a combination or oily skin! I've read that it might be too drying for dry-skin ladies, sorry. You still have your Healthy Mix, though.

I'm pretty sure that I do not need to search for a better one as my Bourjois 123 does everything that I've except a foundation to do. I'm gonna repeat on using it as long as my skin remains in the same condition or it will be discontinued... 

P.S. I've mentioned only my favorite ones. You can't even imagine how many I've tried during my search! I've digged up all L'Oreal, Rimmel, Clinique, etc. samples. And most of them did not stand up to my expectations, sorry guys.

P.P.S. I think I might have just lied. I will keep on sampling, it's something that I really enjoy to do. And I might even buy some other foundation. Let's say this post is just a reminder where I can always come back to.

Diclaimer: all photos are from cosmetics brands official pages and is for illustration purposes only. I did not receive any payment for this post and it's my honest opinion. All of the samples were bought with my own money or received at drugstores / cosmetics shops without any obligations to write smth about it.

Jul 4, 2013

Taming A Beast (Juki Serger)

I hardly can keep my hands away from my new toy as it makes me soooo happy and... a bit overwhelmed. In fact, when I was totally tangled up between all threads and loopers earlier today, a thought passed my mind telling me that it might have not been the best idea to start learning serging all by myself. 
Juki MO 735
Juki MO 735 a.k.a. the Beast

I am an absolute beginner, you know. I've never used a serger before. I've never even saw someone use it in real life (except videos). Admittedly, I did not even have a class or smth when I bought it. It was me who dragged my new Juki out of a box and is now trying to figure it all out. I mean, how hard can it be? If my beloved Juki (no.1) has a thread and a needle, what's the big difference if that one has up to 5 threads?.. 
Juki MO 735 threading diagram
A threading chart - it makes sense only after some time

The one advice I can give to a person who is in the same situation as me (taming a serger with a zero knowledge of things) is to read a manual. I'm not joking - read the manual! I've read it from cover to cover, googled around some harder things, watched Youtube videos and only then started putting my fingers to Juki's insides. It worked pretty well as I managed to get some real stitching and my machine purrrrs. I still hope that I'll be able to figure everything out. 

  • I spent whole first day (okay, first half day, as it arrived in the afternoon) learning to thread this beast.
  • I spent whole second day learning to transform it to coverstitch (yup, it's serger and coverstitch all in one, like a Transformer) back and forth.
  • And I plan to spend all day tomorrow playing up with tensions and differential feeds and... Oh, I just won't stop playing. My Juki no.1 must feel lonely. 
I know it sounds a bit much but I'm totally into giving my machines names. My first one was just a dear Juki (my sewing machine, we kinda kept a name given by her birth parents). Now, when a second Juki (serger) is napping right by her, it seems confusing to have Juki and Juki. Or Juki no.1 and Juki no.2. Ah well, I'll figure smth out. 
Juki MO 735 threading
Juki MO 735 threading - scary but manageable if one follows instructions

I guess we'll see in the future what I'll be be able to achieve with it but for now I'm pretty sure it she and I will be best friends!

Diclaimer: all images are from Juki official site and used for demonstration purposes only. You know, a real deal is currently napping and I'll take her pictures other day. To tell the truth, I'm so much into using it that photography seems so not interesting, haha.

Jul 2, 2013

Stepping back home

Arrrgh, the longer I don't post the harder it gets to come back into blogging. It's like I'd need to have some super special post to publish that my disappearance would be forgiven. Duh.

I suppose I'll just have to throw away all this perfectionist attitude and just...write

And yeah, some stuff was happening during my absence:
  • I've finished the first part of my studies (duh and yay! at the same time: just a couple more months, internship/practice and master's thesis...and all done). 
  • I've... 
Nah, not so much to tell. It seems like studies soaked up all my time and good memories - I'm sure there were quite a bunch of them, it's only hard to remember anything after exam session. I guess now I could declare that my brain is on official vacay!

And psssst, do not tell anyone but just today my big dream came true. Yup, I flooded all my social networks with my boasting but I can't help myself from screaming one more time - a brand new Juki joined my family! Expect me to brag about it very soon ;)

Mar 24, 2013

Feeds Are Moving

Follow my blog with Bloglovin - a strange thing I'm told to do to claim my blog on Bloglovin.

It seems like everybody went a bit crazy during past week for news from Google (I'm talking of Google Reader to be shut down) and were running around looking for new options, Bloglovin and Feedly being most popular options to try out.

I must say I took these news pretty well. I've been annoyed by Google Reader bugs for quite some time now (it's Win8, Chrome, Google Reader and some kind of images (gifs?..) combo) and at least now I know they will totally not fix that now, haha. So, no more crashes for me, and new shiny apps to go! I moved to Feedly, it looks pretty decent at the moment, but knowing me, I'll try lots and lots of things until I find favorite one. That's why I'm claiming this strange Bloglovin  thing - I do not particularly like that site but I'm trying to keep an open mind.

And you know as Barney (from How I Met Your Mother) has a rule that "new is always better"? I saw people getting crazy for changing many oh-so-comfy things for them and then totally getting attached to new ones. Changes are good. It takes time to adapt, but after that your life can get even more amazing. I'm not talking hubbies and relationships, just these other things that can (and should) be totally changed from time to time.

Healthier Baby Me

...and then, after a week of being a prisoner in her own bed, she managed to escape it. 

No, don't even think that, it's less 50 shades of grey and more 50 kicks by virus.

Yup, this time my simple "cold" got really nasty and managed to keep me powerless and clueless. I mean, I never spend all time in bed, no matter how sick I might be. No, this time it wasn't a case, I was all tucked in like a baby, sleeping all the time (with rare crying in between my sleeps). I'd like to write now that I terribly hated it, but telling the truth, it was a bit hard even to orientate. If it weren't for my phone (which is all smart and nice and friendly) I'd spent all week doing totally nothing. Now I tried my best to catch up with at least of tiny bits of my life between all the sleeping and crying.

And now a miracle happened (okay, my medicine really kicked in) - I'm all sitting and breathing through my nose (nose!) and writing this, reclaiming my life. Yup, still with temperature and cough, but you know, these times when a person can use a computer - he/she has almost all his/hers life back. Hooray for that!

Ah, and until my life didn't get back all to it's normal flow, I totally need to officially announce a thought that flowed in my head during all these days - I totally need to take better care of my body. I'm not talking of a strange diet, strange next Monday promises and stuff. It's more of all healthy things I was doing until this disease and improving them just a little bit more. Eating even a bit healthier, exercising more regularly, paying more attention to the signals my body sends me (and less to these damn scales I'm so addicted to). 

I hope a spring will finally show up (it seems that internet is flooded with all 50 days of February jokes now) and I'll be all better by then. I wish nobody will get sick anymore! (and am totally sorry if someone got that from me - I know I've been walking around with sore throat for days, not knowing that a monster is already inside my body, so sorry...)