Maison Margiela: Christmas Gift Set

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What better way to embrace the festive cheer than with a fresh batch of Christmas gift sets? Now, I know gift sets are a year-round affair, but there's something magical about those Merry bundles that just scream "extra special." Today, I'm diving into a gift set that not only brings the holiday cheer but also packs a punch in the value department, especially given the swanky reputation of the brand.

Let's talk about Maison Margiela's Replica perfumes – a collection that's as unique as it gets. Housed in unassuming bottles that could easily pass for your everyday drugstore find, the Replica fragrances defy expectations. Despite the nondescript name, these babies are the crème de la crème of high-end scents. The Replica collection is like a silent whisper of luxury in the beauty world.

Now, the gift set I've got my hands on features two 30ml fragrances sitting in a charming white gift box. First up, we've got "Beach Walk," reminding of sun-kissed salty skin. Then there's "By the Fireplace," inspired by the cozy embrace of burning wood and chestnuts.

Beach Walk holds a special place in my heart, evoking memories of sun-soaked days on the beach, inhaling that intoxicating blend of sea, salt, and sunscreen. It's a light, breezy scent that I'm saving for the warmer months – the quintessential fragrance for those perfect summer days.

Top Notes: Bergamot, Pink Pepper and Lemon
Middle Notes: Ylang Ylang, Coconut milk, Heliotrope and Transluzone
Base Notes: Musk, Cedarwood and Benzion

Now, let's talk about "By the Fireplace." Close your eyes and imagine stepping into a cottage on a chilly evening, the fireplace ablaze, enveloping you in a warm, comforting cocoon. That's exactly what this fragrance delivers. As time goes on, it transforms into a woody oriental symphony with the most subtle hint of orange blossom.

Top Notes: Clove oil, Pink Pepper and Orange Flower Petals
Middle Notes: Chestnut Accord, Gaiic Wood Oil
Base Notes: Vanilla Accord, Cashmeran

Unlike its beachy counterpart, "By the Fireplace" is all about the colder seasons. It's a heavyweight fragrance, exuding warmth in every note. And that's precisely why this set has stolen my heart. Not only does it offer incredible value, but it also gives me two distinct scents – one for the sun-soaked days and the other for cozying up by the fire. It's a year-round olfactory adventure that has me covered from season to season. Cheers to Maison Margiela fragrances and the magic they bring!

Estée Lauder: Futurist SkinTint Serum - Review

Estee Lauder's foundations have never let me down. I've experimented with several of them, tailoring my choice to the latest makeup trends, and they consistently land in my top 3, if not snagging the coveted title of my all-time favorite.

With tinted serums gaining popularity, it was no surprise when Estée Lauder hopped on the trend wagon. The moment I laid eyes on the new Futurist SkinTint Serum Foundation, I knew my next review had to shine a spotlight on this beauty.

This tinted serum arrives in a sleek glass bottle, generously housing 30ml of the magic potion. The added touch of a glass pipette applicator oozes sophistication, and with a whopping 29 shades to choose from, it's a guarantee that everyone will find their perfect match.

Initially, I thought this might be just another foundation masquerading as a skin tint, but my skepticism was swiftly proven wrong. The finish didn't scream natural initially, thanks to its impressive pigmentation. A few drops are all you need to cover your entire face — though I may have used a tad more initially, assuming the runny texture would demand it. My bad.

Turns out, the serum is delightfully buildable. Apply a small amount, and voila! You've got a fresh, healthy-looking canvas that gives the illusion of makeup-free perfection. Feeling a bit more glam? Amp up the application, and suddenly, it's like you've donned a medium-coverage foundation. I use either brush or my fingers to apply this serum, I feel like the sponge absorbs and wastes too much of the product.

Unlike its infamous sibling, the Double Wear foundation, this serum doesn't dry out my skin. It's like a breath of fresh air for your face — light, breathable, and quick to absorb. The best part? It sticks around for the whole day. After a solid 8-9 hours, a touch-up might be in order, just to keep things flawless.

In summary, this serum gets a big thumbs up from me, just as I expected from Estée Lauder, one of my go-to high-end makeup brands. Yes, it might be a tad pricier, but with Black Friday just around the corner, I'm keeping my eyes peeled for some irresistible deals to snag this serum at a steal.

Monochrome Magic: Rediscovering the Joy of Mono Eyeshadows!

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Mono eyeshadows, the OG makeup saviors of our teenage years! Back when palettes were but a distant dream in drugstore aisles, Essence mono eyeshadows were our go-to. One color, one lid! It's funny how we've circled back to those simple joys. Nowadays, amidst a wide range of options, two mono eyeshadows have stolen my heart - one from my beloved YSL, and the other from the edgy Urban Decay.

Urban Decay - Moondust Eyeshadow:

I'll admit, I'd written Urban Decay off for a bit, thinking they were stuck in a time capsule circa 2014. But surprisingly they're making a comeback! The Moondust in 'Space Cowboy' took over social media like a glittery storm. Surprisingly, these celestial eyeshadows have been around since 2013, yet the hype only recently caught fire. Personally, it didn't register on my radar until I received it in a PR package, and now? Well, it's my daily go-to.

Packaged in a clear plastic pan, this baby lets its glimmer do all the talking. At 1.5g, it may not sound like much, but let's face it, when was the last time we hit pan on a behemoth eyeshadow palette? Once it's on, it's on. This glitter holds its ground until an oil-based makeup remover steps in.

With its nude, rose gold undertones, it's like this sparkle was born to grace my skin. Whether solo, as a topper to matte shades, or a highlighter - it's a chameleon! The pigmentation is on point, and it's easy to apply with my finger or a brush. The hype? Totally justified.

YSL - Sequin Crush

As autumn approaches with its Pumpkin Spice latte scents and heavy rains, my go-to? Orange eyeshadow that makes my blue eyes pop. This time, I'm using just one color for my look. Enter Yves Saint Laurent's Sequin Crush in 'Confident Nude'.

This eyeshadow is a glamorous mix of glitter and silk, packing loads of pigment. Its golden sibling, 'Legendary Gold', is a showstopper for the Christmas season, thanks to its unrivaled sparkle. Blending like a dream with a brush, the glitter truly comes alive with a finger's touch. Trust me, it's worth it for that pumpkin spice disco ball vibe!

Packaged like a luxurious secret, with the Yves Saint Laurent emblem on top and a dainty mirror within, it's pure decadence. With 1g of product, you might wonder if it's enough and I asked myself the very same question. Luckily, it is due to the heavy pigment that will make the eyeshadow last a long while.

From dawn till dusk, it stays true. Around hour eight, the eyeshadow may throw in the towel, but the glitter? It's a trooper.

In a nutshell, I'm head over heels for this shade. With that irresistible sparkle, Legendary Gold might just be joining my collection for the holiday season!

Jean Paul Gaultier - La Belle

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Consider me a fragrance explorer, always on the lookout for new olfactory adventures. Despite my self-proclaimed status as a fragrance enthusiast, there's still a world of scents I've yet to uncover. Jean Paul Gaultier's perfumes have been on the scene for ages, but I must confess, I've never taken a whiff—until now!

One of the reasons I hesitated with JPG's perfumes might just be the bottles. They're inspired by the human form, both masculine and feminine, and let's be honest, they lean a tad towards the flashy side. However, fate intervened, and I got my hands on Jean Paul Gaultier La Belle—the poster child of this fragrance house.

Let's talk packaging, shall we? The box is a metallic can and the glass bottle perches on its own pedestal, evoking visions of plush red cushions beneath a royal crown. It's bold, it's bombastic, and dare I say, a bit cheeky. Still, against all odds, I don't entirely despise the bottle. Sure, it's a glass rendition of a woman's figure, but it's a practical size, easy to stow away, and fits snugly in a handbag. They come in three sizes—30mL, 50mL, and 100mL. Me? I went with the petite 30mL.

Now, the scent itself? It's like autumn in a bottle—rich and robust without inducing a single headache. The initial burst is fresh and crisp, with a tantalizing hint of pear, but the real star of the show is a powerful combo of vanilla and zesty bergamot.

Top notes: Pear
Middle notes: Bergamot
Base notes: Vanilla

This autumn fragrance doesn't hold back; I typically go for just two spritzes, and that's enough to carry me through the entire day (and more on my clothes).

I've got a soft spot for it, especially during this cozy season, but it won't be my everyday go-to. Variety, after all, is the spice of scent life!

Bath and Body Works: Fall Season

*AD - Some products mentioned were gifted to me for a review

Autumn is here! (for us in Scotland it seems like it never really left this year). Autumn usually means Pumpkin spice lates and candles in my world. What can I say, I am little bit basic. This year I have decided to embrace my shallow personality obsessing with Pumpkin Spice Lattes and treated myself with a candle from Bath and Body Works that smells like my favourite Pumpkin Spice Lattes. The candle is called Hi Pumpkin and I start to believe this is my favourite candle of all times beating even the Eggnog candle I got a few years back. 

I got the three wick candle that weights 411g. From my experience, the large BBW candles usually burn over 40 hours. They tend to be on the heavier side so there is no need to burn for long. In smaller rooms, it is enough to even keep the candle out unlit without the lid and it will spread the scent across the room. 

The Hi Pumpkin candle smell exactly like PSL but creamier. White chocolate is not one of the notes mentioned by the merchant but I can definitely smell it. What I like the most is that it does not smell like burnt peppercorn like most of the PSL candles out there - that usually give me a headache but this is luckily not the case for Bath and Body Works. The other notes noted are coffee, whipped cream, cinnamon and spiced pumpkin. Heavenly combination.  

I went to New York earlier this year for a business trip and as much as I loved it, I was marginally disappointed that the Bath and Body Works shop sold mainly the summery and spring scents as we were just getting into the warmer seasons. Don't get me wrong, I still bought the way too many things which makes me think it is not such a bad thing the winter and autumn season wasn't on yet because I would probably be stopped at the airport questioned why am I taking 32kg worth of candles out of the country. Nevertheless, the Bath and Body Work's candles are superior. 

If you are not too keen on the festive vibes of candles and would prefer something more fresh reminding you of a summer, I would definitely recommend the Mango Mai Tai ( ) which is one of the candles I got on my trip. It's one of the most popular ones from this brand as it comes back every year. It's sweet and tropical and I will burn the rest of it when I am suffering through my upcoming January blues to remind myself of the lovely summer I had this year. Champagne Toast from their White Barn collection is also very nice, significantly lighter compared to both Hi Pumpkin and Mango Mai Tai. It smells like berries with a touch of sparkling wine. 

Bath and Body Works does not have any stores in the UK so I get my BBW candles from which is one of the few shops that sells their candles and room sprays (if I am not traveling). 

New Arrivals: L'oreal and Maybelline

* AD - Products mentioned in this post were gifted to me by

Before we start, I have exciting news. After six years of struggling with my old and not-so-functional laptop I have finally committed and bought a new device so this is the first post that is written on my new Mac. It will probably not be a big deal to you all but there is a chance that I will post more often because I no longer have to wait about 20 minutes for my laptop to turn on and another 20 for one page to load.

Today we will take a look at some new drugstore arrivals. Some of them are social media viral already, some of them are less known. I tested them all and I am really excited to share my thoughts. 

Maybelline SuperStay 24H Skin Tint

One of the viral products (at least on my IG feed) is the brand new SuperStay 24h Skin Tint from Maybelline. Initially I was not keen on trying this product - I was never too amazed with Maybelline’s foundations and I have skin tints I already like. But I changed my mind when I saw the flawless effect that some MUA’s achieved by using this product. Maybelline? Surely not.. I thought to myself. 

The skin tint comes in a 30ml glass bottle with a pipette. The shade selection could be better but I suppose tints can get away with limited shade range. I picked shade 03 and I think I could have gone one shade darker as I am, believe it or not, tanned a little.

The tint is thicker than most of the tints I have tried before. It doesn’t get absorbed by the skin, it sits on top the same way any foundation would. The coverage is medium to full which again, isn’t very common for skin tints that usually offer very sheer coverage. The tint creates a radiant flawless effect on the skin. It lasts a whole day without any issue, the longevity reminds me of high-end foundations. 

I don’t think this is a skin tint and If you are looking for something sheer and natural, you will be disappointed. On the other hand, if you are on a hunt for a decent foundation, do not get discouraged by the name of this product. This is one of the best drugstore foundations I have tried. The coverage is very good, it will survive the whole day and it does not feel heavy. Just take a look at how it looks on my skin and see for yourself. 

Maybelline The Falsies Surreal Mascara

Maybelline can do mascaras. Sky High is one of the finest creations of all time when it comes to makeup. If you are looking for a great drugstore mascara, Sky High from Maybelline is the way to go. 

Since the release of Sky High, Maybelline has tried to replicate the success with another mascara - The Falsies Surreal. I would be lying if I said I wasn’t sceptical. Sky High is a job well done and it’s difficult to imagine that Maybelline would come up with something even better so shortly after.

My gut instinct was right. The mascara is not bad but it’s not as good either. It comes in 10ml tube with a bristle wand.I find the bristles too sharp for my sensitive eyes and the effect is just not ‘wow’. As you can see in the video, it’s not too obvious which side has mascara on and which doesn’t. 


On the bright side, it does not smudge but it isn’t waterproof. Although there is a waterproof version of this mascara. If you are looking for a drugstore mascara, I would definitely recommend Sky High over The Falsies Surreal.

L’oreal Infallible Matte Resistance Lipstick

Last but not least, I tried the hyped liquid lipsticks from L’oreal.  It’s quite surprising, that L’oreal decided to invest into liquid lipsticks in the middle of the cream lipstick and lip gloss renaissance. The lipstick comes in 12 shades. I picked two - 230 Shopping Spree and 500 Wine not. I would usually get something more nude and natural but most shades were sold out. 

Shopping Spree is toned down brick red with a touch of pink. I think it looks more nude as a swatch but my skin tone makes the colour look very red, I quite like it though. The Wine Not shade is gorgeous. I used to love these burgundy shades when I was back in my first and second year at the university (I am woman of extremes - from concealer lips straight to vampire lips lol).

The lipsticks are well pigmented and they feel light on the lips. They stay on surviving food, drinks and kissing as expected. Unfortunately, the coat does dry my lips out and I don’t know where the hydrating feature promised by L’oreal came from but it was not delivered. It seems the lipstick goes into the wrinkles and fine lines a little. 

I am torn. I do think these are good liquid lipsticks but as with every liquid lipstick, there are trade offs we need to account for in order to get the longevity and at the moment, I prefer creamy lipsticks despite them not lasting as long as liquid lipsticks. If these came out three years ago, I would absolutely own every single shade. 

Haircare: My return to Kerastase

* AD - Please note the products mentioned in this post were gifted to me for a review

I do not switch my hair care too often. I usually pick concentrated products so one conditioner lasts me for more than 6 months so I usually run through two bottles in a year or so and that’s about the time to make the change, at least temporarily. I have approached this time recently and I decided to re-visit haircare from Kerastase

I have already tried the heat protection serum spray from the Genesis collection that is designed to strengthen thinning hair and I really loved it. Two spray bottles later I made the mistake of going to a different heat protectant and I am stuck with it for about a year now because I know if I buy the Kerastase one again, the current one will go to waste as I will never use it again. So I have made a pact with myself to finish the current one and then return to Kerastase. I am yet to see the day of this bottomless spray finally approaches its final line. Anyways, back to Kerastase. 

Since I had such a good experience with the Genesis heat protection serum, I have decided to try the Genesis Fondant Renforcateur conditioner too. 

The conditioner comes in a 200ml tube. The conditioner is fairly concentrated but feels light on the hair. I use about two hazelnuts worth of product for my long hair so I will probably run through the bottle quicker than six months but I still expect to get at least 3 months out of the bottle. The smell is really nice, a little fruity but not chemical. The same scent is used across the whole Genesis collection. 

The creamy formula detangles my hair in 2-3 minutes and leaves it feeling thick and strong once washed out. After about 5 uses, my hair started to feel very silky to the touch and I am loving it. The conditioner does not leave my hair greasy and heavy. I think this conditioner is great for hair that is not too damaged. My hair is thin but otherwise healthy and I think it works well. 

I believe I switched my haircare routine at the right moment. I will eventually go back to my previous one but for now, Kerastase provided the refreshment my hair needed. 

Now that I tried conditioner and heat protection spray from this collection, I am keen to try out shampoo as well. For now, I am starting to test the Specifique Bain Divalent shampoo which is designed to deep cleanse and clarify the scalp. I am excited to see the results. And since I got two travel-sized shampoos from Kerastase, I get to try the purple Blond Absolu shampoo designed for blonde hair too. I shall report to you soon.