Travel Hot Spot: New Caledonia

New Caledonia (Nouvelle Caledonie) is a hidden gem in the South Pacific. It is in French Territory and for many in the Southern Hemisphere a more affordable place to practice one’s French than in France.

Flying over New Caledonia

New Caledonia, is comprised of islands and is surrounded by barrier reef. The capital, Nouméa, merges French-influenced restaurants and luxury boutiques selling Parisian fashions with local island flavor.

Nouméa

If you are looking for a getaway that isn’t overrun with tourists and has both French and Caribbean type vibes. New Caledonia is the place for you. Relaxing on the palm lined beaches and exploring the marine life both in the ocean and the aquarium were the biggest highlights for me. But there is a great range of exploring and hiking, shopping, cuisine and cultural activities to keep you entertained.†

Aquarium des Lagons Nouvelle Caledonie

Gucci: Daring to be Dentally Diverse

Gucci’s new lipstick campaign has got tongues wagging. The Italian fashion brand, which is known for it’s luxury clothing, accessories and cosmetics; has challenged the fashion and beauty industry by celebrating imperfection. Their new campaign, which focuses on women with imperfect teeth, is a sharp contrast to most lipstick campaigns that show the ‘perfect’ white straight-teethed smile.

The campaign has been met with mixed results since its release on Gucci’s Instagram. Some have applauded the brand for showing real women with real teeth. Others have been disappointed that this was the direction chosen by Gucci’s Creative Director Alessandro Michele, to reinvent the image of Gucci’s cosmetic line.

Gucci, in their press release describes the campaign as “a manifesto of beauty written by the house’s creative director.”with the intention of demonstrating that “makeup should not mask, but rather exalt, flaws and make them part of the language of beauty.”

The campaign features Dani Miller, the lead singer of punk band Surfbort, as well as models Mae Lapres, Achok Majak and Ellia Sophia Coggins. It is photogrpahed by Martain Parr and filmed by Chris Simmonds.

The collection is currently exclusively available at the Saks Fifth Avenue’s New York Flagship store. It will be launched nationally and internationally after May 29.

Midnight Eye Shadow

Inspired by my last article on places to see at nighttime, I was also inspired to do a midnight eye shadow look.

I started with Stila’s Glitter and Glow in Diamond Dust as the base (twinkling stars), then used Chi Chi’s O.M.F.G and Naturals palettes in purple, blue and black shades, to create and ombre look. This is then paired with ZA’s liquid eyeliner and Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara. I kept the brows simple with the Billion Dollar Brows Universal Brow Pencil and a touch of pearl highlight underneath the brow arch.

Super simple and can be paired with a neutral or dynamic lip and highlighting. I paired it with the Tarte Pro Glow Highlighting Palette and Kat Von D’s Everlasting Glimmer Veil lipstick.

Krystal xx

5 Best Monuments and Cities To See At Night

Hearing the sad news about Notre Dame recently reminded me of when I was in Paris and some of the amazing sights I saw. You can read about some of my favorite attractions here. But what it also inspired was a train of thought about which attractions are really work braving the cold dark night to see (although they all look great during the day as well). And unsurprisingly at the top of the list is…

Monuments

  1. Eiffel Tower – Paris

The Eiffel Tower or Tour Eiffel is at its most beautiful at night. Twinkling against the Paris skyline it is both striking and majestic. Recommended vantage point: Place du Trocadéro.

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  • Times Square – New York

While still amazing during the day, these LED Billboards are most impressive at night. Recommended vantage point: in the middle of Times Square.

  • Bellagio Fountain – Las Vegas

When this is lit up it’s pretty spectacular. Recommended vantage point: in front of the fountain.

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Cities

  • Manhattan – New York

Manhattan transforms at night. The hustle, bustle and city grime are masked when this city lights up. Recommended vantage point: Empire State Building, 86th floor.

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  • Las Vegas Strip – Las Vegas

It’s called the strip for a reason, the city most famed for its use of neon is spectacular and lively at night. Recommended vantage point: there are too many places.

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Krystal xx

How Infallible Is L’Oreal’s Infallible Foundation Range?

Over the last year I’ve been given the chance to try every foundation in the Infallible range (currently available). Now I love L’Oreal and have tried many of their foundations. But how did this range stack up?

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Fresh Wear – This is what I refer to as a nice normal foundation. Light, smooth and lasts reasonably well. It’s exactly what you want and expect in a foundation.

1281_xlarge_3Matte – This one is my favorite in the range. The matte finish is great for those that don’t like a dewy look and it sits really well on the skin. It also lasts well and provides great coverage.

71EiyvGMWzL._SY355_Total Cover – This one is the full coverage option and is quite a bit thicker. I actually found the matte had better longevity on the face however.

imagesPro Glow – This was probably the most anticipated release and incidentally my least favorite. It’s a very thin watery foundation, but does have a dewy finish and looks great with highlighter.

Cos85a_10-ClosedLongwear – This one is a foundation stick and has a smooth buttery application. I do really like it but I go through it incredibly fast. Great for travelling though as it can act as a concealer as well.

Krystal xx

The World’s Best Lip Balms – Part 1

E4F933A0-10E2-4F92-8D27-3C8C885C6895.JPEGI am quite the lip balm connoisseur, and recently when purchasing a new haul of lip balms from iherb, I had the revelation that I have probably tried most of the best lip balms accessible from around the world. I’ve still got a few more to try, so I’ve divided this into two articles – this being the first one. If you have a world’s best lip balm that you think I need to try, comment below and let me know.

12. Blistex

Blistex is a fairly standard run of the mill drugstore lip balm. Overall it does the job and has a pleasant taste and fragrance.

11. Nivea

Much the same as Blistex but with more variety (including shimmer and tinted).

10. Vaseline

Petroleum Jelly, not that good for you but oh so effective.

9. Maybelline Baby Lips

This really does help with soft lips and offers some cute coloured options.

8. Burt’s Bees

This one only makes the list because it does have natural ingredients and offer SPF options. The formula however is not one I thought much of.

7. Bon Bon

This brand offers tasty natural and cruelty free lip balms. The only drawback is they’re in a tin.

6. Living Nature

Their lip hydrator is shimmery and looks lovely in the packaging and is reasonably hydrating.

5. Ecostore

These natural minty lip balms are a basic essential. No frills but good performance.

4. Crazy Rumors

So many delicious flavors, cruelty free, natural and vegan. There are a tasty option but dry out a bit over time.

3. Lucas Pawpaw

Pawpaw ointment is pretty darn good and can be used on more than just the lips. The drawback, it still has petroleum jelly in it.

2. Nature’s Own

Another pawpaw brand but cheaper, comes in cute mini lip balms and has no petroleum jelly in it.

1. Hurraw

Hurraw has a different shaped lip balm tube, but it works and the seed oil is smooth and hydrating. My favorite is the licorice lip balm but they are all tasty. The tinted ones don’t have much color though.

 

Next time:

EOS, Badger, Carmex and more.

 

Krystal xx

 

 

L’Oreal Lash Serum Review

download (3)A little while ago I got sent the new L’Oreal Clinically Proven Lash Serum to trial and review.

Let’s start with first impressions. The pen-like applicator didn’t easily let the product out initially and then would let out too much product (all from one click worth of product). I much prefer a controlled brushed you dip into the serum.

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Top: with no lash serum Bottom: after 2 months of lash serum

This serum also needs to be used twice a day, whereas most serums are once a day. Which could possibly change its effectiveness and also makes it more tedious to use. I sometimes forgot and only did one application, but I still saw results to my lashes.

Which brings to me the point everyone really cares about, did it work? I would say it did. My lashes have seemed a bit more present since using the serum and I reckon fallout has decreased. The only time length difference is noticeable is with mascara on.

What is great about this lash serum is being a drugstore brand it will more accessible and affordable than a lot of lash serums are.

Krystal xx

Get Festival Ready

I love a fun festival (or festive for that matter) look. Recently, I purchased Stila’s Glitter and Glow liquid eye shadow in the shade diamond dust, and I was inspired to create a glittery look that was just a little over the top.

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To create this look I started at the base; moisturize, prime, conceal, cover, set. For a festival I would use a foundation like Max Factor’s Miracle Touch. This foundation can be a bit mask like, but it covers and stays in place even after partying, if set well.

My eyes are covered in the Stila eye shadow with a liquid eyeliner (you’ll need a good inky one to go over the glitter), I used pencil for the waterline. For my lashes, I used Too Faced Better Than Sex mascara and fluffed out with some false lashes for extra impact. I used some some stars and glitter by my eyes, but you could do whatever shapes you want. To add to the overall luminescence I lightly applied some highlighter then did a bit of light contouring and chose a lip color that suited. Then I set it all and was good to go.

Now it’s time to get partying!

Krystal xx

Making New Lipstick Out Of Old Lipstick

This weekend I was going through my old lipsticks and struggling to throw them out when they were still half full. But the finish was tacky, or they had that old taste. So, in the spirit of looking after the environment and being a little thrifty, I decided to try and revive the lipsticks and make some new shades out of some old shades.

The trick I find, is to melt the lipstick down. I did this by sitting the lipstick (encased) in boiling hot water. I contemplated using a saucepan but didn’t really want to have to clean lipstick out of it so I could use it for food.

I then poured the melted shades into a clean tin that had previously been home to a lip balm. As both lipsticks were quite dry, I added some pawpaw ointment to make the new shade creamier. Where I went wrong, was I added some vanilla essence to give the lipstick a nicer flavor. But that did not mix into the lipstick well.

Then after all this effort, I got a shade than was creamier bit still a bit tacky and didn’t look that different from one of the original shades.

So was it worth all that melting and mixing – not really. But it is an option if you want to save money and put less in the trash. But you’ll need to have the time and patience to experiment.

Krystal xx