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Christmas beauty buys

Dear Roses and Lilies,

Beside of  the little makeup treasures I bought just before Christmas, my darling bf also bought me some highly coveted glamorous makeup pieces: the new and enhanced Rouge Dior lipstick in # 365 Rose Songe and the Diorshow Fusion Mono eyeshadow in Cosmos.

I bought my first Dior lipstick two years ago, after extensive online "research".  I was shopping for the perfect lipstick for my mom. It had to be super moisturizing even after removing it, the perfect neutral shade and easy to apply ( preferably on the go, no lipliner required ).

After much careful consideration, the winner was Dior. And it did not disappoint!

The formula is moisturizing, the lipstick glides on like a dream and stays put for hours. As a bonus, it smells really pleasant and inviting, like any glam lipstick should really. It doesn't have a vintage rose scent or a candy-like one; it's a light floral scent that fades away once you apply the lipstick.

This year, for their 60th anniversary, Dior relaunched their couture lipsticks in an enhanced formula, slightly different packaging and new shades.

Formula-wise, I can only say it's still super moisturizing, so I don't really think it needed improvement to begin with. The finish, however, is glossier and more luminous ( the light reflecting particles help with that ). As a result, your lips will look fuller and fresher.

The scent stays the same, which is awesome, because I really fell in love with it.

As for the eyeshadow, it also launched earlier this year and I've been really obsessed with it. Cream eyeshadows are so easy to play with it and last a lot more on me than powders. The Dior cream eyeshadows have a shimmery finish, perfect for party looks and a texture to die for. The shade range available in RO is limited, but who needs white eyeshadow anyway? ;-)

So far, I only got # 881 Hypnotique and # 281 Cosmos - two different shades close to my heart. Hypnothic is smoky, plummy brown with multicolored micro-shimmer and Cosmos is a shimmery blackened navy blue, like the night sky in summer.

Now that I can put the stars on and glossy lips, I am party ready! ;-)

What's your New Year's Eve party look going to be like?



Beauty essentials - lip balm

Dear Roses and Lilies,

When it comes to beautiful skin and, especially, perfect lips, the first thing you need is hydration.

To help you achieve a youthful, fresh pout, what do you reach for?

Lip balm is such a generic product; it is very accessible, available in so many flavors and various types of packaging.

But, when it comes to versatility and benefits, there's nothing like it.

I love lip balm, as there is so much you can use it for. Primarily designed to rehydrate chapped lips, a good lip balm can easily be used to soften the skin on your elbows or, in combination with sugar, it'll help you exfoliate your lips.

It can also replace your lipstick. All you need to do is apply lip pencil on top. Any lip pencil color goes and you'll get a creamy finish plus hydration!

What's your favorite brand of lip balm and why?

Stay beautiful!



Little makeup treasures

Dear Roses and Lilies,

Here are some little makeup treasures I bought recently, after stumbling upon them by chance. The price on each was so good that I jumped. :-)

I got a Givenchy lipgloss, in #451 Fizz Peach - a really sheer nude with a hint of sparkle.I gave this away as a Christmas present, so I didn't get a chance to test it.

The Chanel lipgloss in #52 Genie ( Rouge Allure Extrait de Gloss ) looks really orange, almost neon on the applicator. On your lips, and worn on its own, the color is sheer so you just get shine and a hint of orange.

The Laura Mercier eyeshadow stick in Twilight is similar shade-wise to the Dior cream eyeshadow in #881 Hypnotique. Otherwise, it's not as glittery as the Dior and it lasts longer on me without smudging or fading. The texture is on the dry side so no primer needed with this one.

I am planning to use these ( except for the Givenchy gloss) a lot this season.

What are your little makeup treasures?


P.S.: Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to everyone!


My month without Bioderma

Dear Roses and Lilies,

Re-reading my skincare faves post, I feel I absolutely have to share some more "intel" on the Bioderma Sensibio H2O micelle solution.

After getting hooked on it months ago, I decided to spend a month without using it - a little experiment.

What this special water does:

1. removes makeup in a flash

2. soothes irritated skin

4. treats skin sensitivity

What's on the ingredients list:
Water (Aqua), PEG-6 Caprylic/Capric Glycerides, Propylene Glycol, Cucumis Sativus (Cucumber) Fruit Extract, Mannitol, Xylitol, Rhamnose, Fructooligosaccharides, Disodium EDTA, Cetrimonium Bromide.

This is probably the best makeup remover on Earth! Yes, it does remove waterproof makeup as well, although not as easily as non-waterproof ( is this a word? ).

So now you know what I missed most... and oh! the non-greasy/oily feel to the skin.

What I used to remove makeup this past month: makeup removing lotion ( Aslavital ) or soap and water ( really, just cheap soap and tap water! ). You can imagine, there hasn't been too much makeup on my face, as I also decided to sport no makeup makeup looks a lot.

Bottom line, I don't think I'll give up on Bioderma very soon. It is the only skincare product I am 100% satisfied with, although it is pricey. But, because it's so good, it's worth every penny.

Have you ever tried it or something similar to it? How was it?

Eagerly awaiting your comments.



Beauty essentials - mascara

Dear Roses and Lilies,

If you were to move to a deserted island ( are there any more of those left? ) what makeup item would you take with you? Only one choice allowed!

I would have a hard time deciding, but I lean towards mascara.

I currently own three full size mascaras and four sample sizes. They behave differently and no, I don't really need them all... but they're so pretty! :-))

Since we're supposed to ditch old mascara every three months ( for medical reasons, that is ), I like to stock up on them. How do you know when your mascara is old and you don't remember when you bought it? Well, it looks dry and it smells rancid ( or sour anyway ). If you detect any funny smell, do trow it away immediately.

Moving on, here's a short review of the ones I have or tried ( but no longer own ).

Top of the list: Clinique Lash Power Mascara - long wear, tubing technology, warm water removal

It's supposed to stay put for 24 hours - but I never sleep with mascara on my lashes. It wears beautifully for 12 hours though. The brush is skinny so the mascara lengthens rather than volumizes.
But that's fine with me, because it does not clump, it does not smudge and, best of all, it does not irritate my eyes.

Downside - it is expensive, maybe too expensive for a mascara.

Second best: Miss Sporty Pump Up Booster - volumizing, collagen enriched formula

This one has a big fat brush and lots of plant extracts ( all of which are good for adding more fiber to your lashes ). On me, it lasts around 6 hours without smudging. The formula is on the dry side, so you're getting a matte finish. And it is budget friendly.

Downside - it clumps if you apply it like crazy ( 3 or 4 coats ).

Lucky number three: Sephora Full Action Extreme Effect Mascara - volumizing, lengthening

I got the blue version simply because colored mascara was one of this summer's trends. I like it because it doesn't smudge on me ( although I am yet to test it in cold weather + indoor heating ).

Downside - again, maybe too expensive for a mascara

And now for the sample size mascaras:

1. Benefit they're Real! - defining, lengthening. Smudges like crazy on me - probably because it's more on the glossy/wet side. It doesn't irritate my eyes and the wand is awesome.

2. Lancome Hypnose - volumizing, slightly curling. The brush is not as big as the Miss Sporty one, but it still does a pretty good job. What I don't like is that it dries rapidly and I end up with bits of dried mascara after 5 hours of wear. It also smudges a little. I don't think I will buy a full size one, simply because it is expensive.

3. Chanel Le Volume de Chanel - volumizing. This is one that I don't have anymore. It volumizes and defines your lashes beautifully. But it irritated my eyes and smudged after 3 hours of wear. So, whilst I love Chanel, I won't buy any of their mascaras.

The other samples I have are duplicates ( one Clinique and one Lancome ).

I hope you enjoyed this post and I eagerly await your responses!



On how to buy makeup

Dear Roses and Lilies,

It may happen to the best of us to find ourselves blocked in front of a store shelf, unable to decide what to buy and sometimes scared to touch the beautifully packaged products.

When it comes to makeup, you may find that it isn't an easy job. It's not like walking into a grocery store and getting whatever is on your list... or is it?

And, to further complicate things, you may run into an irritating sales rep who looks bored, tired or even suspicious... like they hardly can wait to get rid of you.

Working with people is difficult, I get it. Young people even tend to lose their patience more easily. But customer service should always be more about the customer than about selling.

To make the whole buying process easier, here's some tips:

 1. try to make up your mind on what you want to buy before leaving home - this way you will reduce the chances of getting confused and finally buying something completely different

2. DO NOT go shopping while you're PMSing - PMS makes you feel everything but fine and you may end up getting something useless or ugly. You always need a clear mind for decision-making.

3. before buying products online, make sure you already know what you're getting ( i.e. the foundation shade is right, you already know which lipstick suits you etc. )

4. set up a budget before going shopping - sales assistants will always encourage you to buy more, or buy only the most expensive products

5. spend some time researching the things you want to get - it's no use buying something that 90% of the people who bought that product think it sucks

Keeping all these simple things in mind:

1. if you are unsure about a product, ask a SA for help - they are supposed to be more knowledgeable than you anyway

2. don't get discouraged when the SA gives you the "evil eye" - looking back harshly at someone or bowing your head never helps. Instead, try to be the better person and ask for assistance. The more you keep them busy, the sooner their facial expression will change - and it'll help you focus on your own goal

3. if you want to test a product, but you are unsure of what to grab, ask the SA. Why not have them do their job instead of hovering around customers with a watchful eye? <-- That's the security guy's task.

4. if none of the above work, don't fret. Just leave that store and get the product or something similar from another store, or online. The competition's there to make sure customers get good service at all times.

Hope these tips will help you on your next shopping spree!



Serums serums... Clarins HydraQuench

Dear Roses and Lilies,

So far, I reviewed two serums - one for treating sensitive skin, one for gentle exfoliation and brightening.

This time, I'll talk about one good for moisturizing dehydrated skin: Clarins HydraQuench Intensive Serum Bi-Phase.

Long name, kind of hard to remember, but once you see the blue bottle, you'll know this is the one.

What I have at the moment is the sample size.

A dinky 3 ml bottle I am happy with. :-)

What's in my serum:

Aqua, Glycerine, Isohexadecane, Isononyl Isononanoates, Hydrogenated Polyisobutene, Sodium PCA, Trehalose, Plukenetia Volubilis Seed Oil, Benzophenone-4, Sodium Chloride, Parfum, Phenoxyethanol, Tocopherylacetate, Ethylhexylglycerin, Tromethamine, Xanthan Gum, Sodium Hyaluronate, Disodium EDTA, Alcohol, Caprylyl/Capryl Glucoside, Carrageenan Extract, Butyl Methoxydibenzoylmethane, Alfalfa Extract, Cedrelopsis Grevei Bark Extract, Pyrus Sorbus Bud Extract, Sorbic Acid, Tocopherol, CI 42090 (Blue 1), CI 60730 (Violet 2).

It is a water based serum, so no greasy or sticky feel. It does contain alcohol and fragrance so I wouldn't recommend it on a very sensitive skin.

It also has hyaluronic acid and some cool plant extracts that help seal in moisture. Of course, you're also supposed to wear your regular moisturizer on top, especially if your skin feels shriveled with thirst.

This tiny sample has seen two trips abroad and chilly German weather and it did a very good job. I could take it with me on the airplane ( d'oh! ) and I only needed one drop to take care of my dry patches. No moisturizer on top, I swear! :-))

From what I read on the net, this one does a good job for combo, oily or normal skin. It does not, on its own, moisturize dry or very dry skin. Not intensive enough, some say.

I considered buying a full size bottle but, at the price, I can get a moisturizing serum that doesn't have fragrance and/or alcohol in it. Again, my problem with allergens...

Have you tried this one? Did you like it?



Serums serums... Artistry essentials

Dear Roses and Lilies,

Continuing my serums series, I present to you ARTISTRY® essentials Alpha Hydroxy Serum Plus, from Amway.

This one is a more recent acquisition of mine. After testing it once and seeing some results the same day, I decided to get it ( ok, not instantly, but I bought it, eventually ).

What's in my serum:

Water, PEG-20, Lactic Acid, Glycerin, Butylene Glycol, Lactobacillus/Acerola Cherry Ferment, Oat Extract, Panthenol, Citric Acid, Malic Acid, Sodium PCA, PCA, Green Tea Extract, Kola Nut Extract, Guarana Extract, Mate Extract, Algae Extract, Phospholipids, Sphingolipids, Cholesterol, Proline, Sodium Hyaluronate, Saccharide Isomerate, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Xanthan Gum, Sodium Hydroxide, Phenoxyethanol, Methylparaben, Ethylparaben, Propylparaben and Butylparaben.

Claims to:

- moisturize

- gently exfoliate

- reduce skin flakiness

The lactic acid it contains ( 5% ) is the one that helps exfoliate your skin and give back that youthful glow we all love. It is a derivative of sour milk, which means you can easily exfoliate your skin with some yogurt ( DYI posts coming up later ;-) ) if you enjoy "cooking" up your skincare at home.

Everything else in it is pretty much a moisturizer, antioxidant and preservative.

I'm thinking the oat extract is in there to cancel out some of the effects of the sodium hydroxide ( SH, a PH adjuster, being the only one on the list likely to cause irritation ). Otherwise, I know oat helps reduce cholesterol...

What's the serum done for me so far:

- youthful glow ( pretty pink undertone back! ) - check

- reduce flakiness ( not so much as induce ) - semi-check

- moisturize ( no additional moisturizer needed on top of it ) - check

What I liked about it:

- only needed to use it once a day to get results in two weeks

- smells delicious, although it doesn't contain fragrance ( or so they say )

- it's travel friendly because of the size and shape of the plastic (?) container

What I disliked:

- my face turns sticky after applying the product and the stickiness lasts for hours, even with foundation on top

- for the first few minutes upon application, my face gets a little itchy

- slightly induces flakiness and clogs my pores (why - oh - why? )

All in all, it's a good serum and, if you can get past the stickiness - and you keep using it - the way your skin looks will improve over time.

For me, even though I love 90% of what's in it, the serum is not good enough. After using it for a while ( sometimes these skincare products need time to work ), I find that it is not suitable for oily and/or very sensitive skin.

Those of you who have normal to dry or very dry skin would love this serum.

Have you already tried this serum? How did it work for you?

Till next time!



Serums serums... Dr. Scheller

Dear Roses and Lilies,

I want to talk to you some more about the Dr. Scheller Jojoba & Shisandra, Irritationsmilderndes Intensiv-Serum, featured in my skincare faves post.

I posted the German name here because... they already revamped the serum and are selling it in the US under a slightly easier to pronounce and remember name and I have the old version, bought at a much more affordable price, but doing the same thing as the new version. :-D

Moving on... what's in my serum:

Aqua, Glycerin, Betaine, Dipotassium Glycyrrhizate, Schizandra Fruit Extract, Gossypium Herbaceum Extract, Simmondsia Chinensis Seed Oil, Sodium Hyaluronate, Caprylyl/Capryl Glucoside, Xanthan Gum, Chondrus Crispus, Lecithin, Tocopherol, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Ascorbyl Palmitate, Ascorbic Acid, Citric Acid, Alcohol, Benzyl Alcohol, Sodium Benzoate, Potassium Sorbate

According to the ingredient analysis done via, the Simmondsia Chinensis Seed Oil, also known as Jojoba seed oil, can cause breakouts and/or irritate your skin if you are super sensitive (which it shouldn't, since the product is aimed at sensitive skin!!!).

Chondrus Crispus (Irish moss) poses the same problem with sensitive skin. But it's in your ice cream as well, so who cares?! :-))

Lecithin, tocopherol and ascorbyl palmitate are three of the antioxidants that can make your life worse if you have acne problems. No acne for me, so I'm safe.

As you can see, there are no parabens, silicon, mineral oils or synthetic colorants in this product. Which is excellent, given that many name brands still try to cut corners by using only the cheapest and most toxic (on the long term) ingredients...

Now, alcohol makes Mojito taste good, but I don't fancy it when applied to my skin.  

This serum does have alcohol in it, used as a solvent - which prevents the juice from becoming thick. It's positioned lower on the ingredients list, so there's not much of it in the product (compared to some of the foundations I tested, where the alcohol is placed right after the water - a lucky number 2 on the list - makes me think about cocktails again).

Schizandra - for those who didn't know, is a plant indigenous to East Asia. Its berries are used in traditional Chinese medicine, where it is considered one of the 50 fundamental herbs. (thank you,!)

Apparently, it's also good for your skin and this one is unlikely to cause any breakouts.

All in all, I am happy I bought this serum... although, at first, I kinda' laughed when I read the print on the packaging (yes, in German). I thought this would be one more inefficient product some obscure company launched - to fool us, cheap babes.

It's not the case, however. The serum works - no high expectations please! - it moisturizes my skin after I wash it and calms down redness.

Little to no breakouts and no itchy or greasy feel to my skin!

And what I really love about this serum is that it has a dropper instead of a pump, which makes it fun to use and it is more hygienic too.

Have you tried other products from Dr. Scheller? Can you recommend any?



On how to look fabulous in a dark lippie

Dear Roses and Lilies,

If you recall my Winter memories post, I featured a Dior lipstick that looks pretty dark in the tube.

It was called Rouge Hypnotic #862 in the old Rouge Dior range. The new range has the same shade in 5th Avenue #813.

As with all dark lipsticks, this one can be very versatile. You can wear it in many ways: a light stain, applied with your finger; one coat applied with a brush; combined with a similar lip pencil shade; applied on your lips straight from the tube, without a lip pencil - for an intense look; applied with your lip brush + gloss on top; applied on your cheeks and blended out with your fingers for a healthy flush etc.

It's all fun and the lipstick doesn't have to stay hidden in your drawer because you're afraid to wear it. :-D

For more insight on how to look great in dark lipsticks, check out Lisa Eldridge's tutorials on her website,

She is a fantastic makeup artist with years and years of experience. PLUS, she has a round-up of amazing what-to-get-your-loved-ones-for-the-holidays videos, with giveaways open GLOBALLY!

You still have time to watch her holiday gift ideas and giveaway videos on youtube and post comments. She will announce the winners on Dec.10.

So have loads of fun and don't forget to shine!



Le Vernis fail

Dear Roses and Lilies,

A few years ago, my mother received a bottle of Chanel nail color. It was shade #105 Triomphe, a beautiful milky yet sheer white, somewhat similar to their Pearl Drop.

She gave me the bottle, saying that the shade made her nails resemble - pardon her comparison - a dead man's nails.

I loved Triomphe. On me it was just a sheer "my nails but better" kind of color, that lasted over a week without chipping and dried fast. Of course, I used it all up and discovered the shade had been discontinued. Bummer.

Then I "forgot" about Chanel nail polish for a while... until Fall 2011 introducing Peridot #531. A metallic unlike any other, a bold shade that good gals would never like wearing, making this one so much more... special!

Love at first sight it was and I waited over a month for the shade to hit the shelves.

Another fashion crush trigger was June #539. A soft apricot perfectly suitable for every day wear.

Alas, the quality of these two is far from being worth the price tag.

For the first quarter of the bottle, they were fantastic - like my very first Chanel nail polish. Then I think I should have thrown them out and bought the next fashionable shade... right? Wrong! I like to finish my bottles, even if I have many.

These two turned out to be quite a disappointment... They don't dry as fast, they are streaky and, worst of all, I get tiny bubbles on each application. :-(

So, dear Roses and Lilies, in hopes of finishing my bottles, I call out to you - please tell me what you do to keep lacquers from bubbling up and being streaky.



Nail color

Dear Roses and Lilies,

As of late, I have been developing an addiction to nail lacquers and my favorite brand is OPI.

OPI is an American company. It started out as a dental supply business ( Odontorium Products Inc. = OPI ), which was bought by a visionary man, who moved from Hungary to the USA to pursue the American dream.

He took his knowledge of dental technology and used it to create something that makes us smile and feel better on rainy days (more on

I now have a small collection of carefully hand picked lacquers that are, in my opinion, amazing :-D

As all OPI fans already noticed, there is not one shade in their collections that is exactly matching an older shade. They have a lot of shades of pink that differ - some have glitter, some are milky, some are creamy etc. Don't know how they manage it, but there is a ton of creativity involved.

Something else that is alluring about these lacquers is the size of the bottles. Your get 0.5 fl. oz. ( = 15 ml. ) of awesomeness. When you open the bottle, what you discover is not the skinny brush you may be used to with nail polishes, but a big brush that makes application soooo much easier.

And, saving the best for the last, the names! They come up with the cutest names for each shade. If you look at some of the videos they have on youtube, you get an insight of how fun the creative process can be. Especially over lunch, with a lot of people and ideas to work with.

The first shade my bf got me is a silvery grey from their Swiss collection, named "Lucerne-tainly Look Marvelous!". The collection was launched in 2010, but the nail lacquer is still fresh-ish. It still applies evenly, but dries slowly and isn't quite as runny as the more recent ones I have. Still, the shade is fantastic and lasts at least a week on my nails.

The second shade I bought ( note: for my brother who wanted to give someone dear a cool gift ) was a sheer, glittery pink called "Princesses Rule!". Goes on very sheer in one coat and more opaque in three. Perfect for a very casual nail.

The other shades I have are equally as beautiful and have movie inspired names ( "Skyfall", "Goldeneye", "Honey Ryder" - James Bond movies inspiration; "Just Spotted The Lizard" and "Into The Night" - metallic shades from their Spider Man collection; "Ogre-The-Top Blue" - from their Shrek Forever After collection ), funny names ( "Yodel Me On My Cell" - from their Swiss collection; "Gouda Gouda Two Shoes" - from their Holland collection; "Every Month Is Oktoberfest" - from their Germany collection and "Oh-oh Roll Down the Window!" from their Touring America collection ).

I can tell you, the quality of most of them is amazing. You still need a base coat and a top coat to prevent chipping and staining with most bold shades. But we ought to apply base and top coats anyway, right? ( most of the time, I don't bother = laziness )

The price for these can be pretty hefty compared to more affordable nail polishes/lacquers, but for me and other OPI fans, these fabulous little things are worth every penny.

What is your favorite brand and shade of nail lacquers?



Color and care

Dear Roses and Lilies,

Beauty - for women - has always been a concern, although, with most animals I know of, the male always fights to impress the female...

Yeah - it's a jungle out there. ;-)

And... there has been a silent war going on between women and their white hairs for aeons.

Our great-grandmothers used all sorts of DIY's to keep their hair lustrous and healthy. Nowadays, we have ready made products we can get off the shelves of the stores or online.

Whether they are worth buying or not - it's up to all of us to find out by "experimenting" a bit.

What I've learned so far is that not everything cheap is bad and not everything expensive is good. Trying to reach a "middle ground" that wouldn't make my wallet scream in pain, this is what I've come up with

Over the years, I went from my natural dark brown coloring to black, red, caramel and now - some kind of auburn. Nothing fancy, just the kind that doesn't necessarily require going to a salon. OK, the caramel phase was high priced and high maintenance. :P

Note to all hair coloring lovers:

Blond is a tricky color - if not done right, you may end up with split ends real fast or more hair on your brush than normal. Not to mention the dark roots or the hair turning orange at some point.

Black is really difficult to remove if you decide to go lighter (been there, took over 4 hours).

Red may make your roots look darker if you have dark hair.

Browns are low maintenance and in synergy with all complexions. 

Keeping all this in mind, don't forget that, in order for you to look awesome in any haircolor, you should only go two shades lighter or two shades darker than your natural hair coloring. Only a few can cross that border and still look fabulous. :-}

After finding your ideal color (which I am still looking for),  take good care of your locks. Use a shampoo that will both keep your hair hydrated (yeah - dye dries your hair out) and shiny. What I currently use is a very affordable one that does help keep my color fresh for quite a while. I don't bother buying expensive shampoo... unless I return to my precious caramel.

Conditioners and hair masks are a must, especially if you have dry hair to begin with. The conditioners that come together with some hair dyes are good. I like the ones from L'Oreal because they do a good job in making my hair smooth.

A very nice mask is the one with olive oil from Avon. I have been using it for years and it has become a staple in my bathroom. You only need to keep it on your hair for 3 minutes (or 10 if you're not in a hurry) and it will work wonders.

What are your secret weapons for keeping your hair fabulous?



On how to stress people at work

Dear Roses and Lilies,

I am going to venture outside my comfort zone on this one, but I still hope you will like it. And, of course, I mean to teach you something as well.

When getting a new job and for the first few weeks - or months in some cases - everything is either a blur or rosy and cozy. It depends on how everyone responds to new challenges.

But, after the blur or the rosy clouds, come all sorts of revelations. It's when the truth bites you in the 'arse'.

As you may well know, there are several differences between being 'just' an employee and being a boss. What we all have in common is stress at work.

And stress is the one pesky thing that pops up no matter what one does to avoid it. Keep reading on if you aren't bored yet......... ;-)

The most important things to do when you want to stress someone out are the following:

A. Give them as many tasks as you can get your hands on - the more, the better
B. Set really tight deadlines on all tasks - say things like "I need this done within an hour" - especially on assignments that need thoroughness and time
C. Start off being ambitious and competitive, then dramatically decrease your productivity just to sabotage your team's or your own performance
D. Be gloomy or irritated and spoil everyone's mood for at least a week every month
E. Congratulate one employee in front of everyone else, then start pointing fingers at those who accomplished less
F. Brag about your special relationship with your boss and make everyone else feel like they're worth nothing
G. If anyone comes to you with an idea, give that person the impression that it's the worst ever, then bring it up in the next staff meeting and take credit for it
H. If, at any point, you are informed that your employees are not happy about something, find the one who complains most, then make an example out of that person and fire him/her... or fire 2 or 3 at the same time - that way everyone else will keep quiet
I. Undermine your boss's authority every time you get a chance to - you'll get noticed sooner
J. Give out orders, then change them - it's how you can create more confusion or even despair
K. Always go to work late and leave early
L. Threaten everybody with firing every once in a while - you'll surely "trim the fat" that way
M. Answer all important questions as evasively as possible or confuse everyone by changing your answers frequently
N. If none of the above seem to work, be creative and come up with something new. But, most importantly, let all problems fly by. Because you're perfect and nobody else matters. >:-)

Hope you enjoyed this post and haven't taken it too seriously. I purposefully pointed out extreme cases, that you may have or are facing or may never experience.



All things purple...ish

Dear Roses and Lilies,

It's been quite a while since my last post and I hope you did miss me. ;-) I know I missed dwelling around cyberspace.

So I gathered up some patience in hopes of posting something inspiring. Instead, I've come up with this...

 neat group of purple-ish things that I like.

I've had the powder eyeshadows for some time now and, even though purple is supposed to make green eyes pop ( and mine are dark brown ), I simply love them for the colors and their texture.

Do they look good on me? Don't know, will have to post a picture and have you guys decide. ;-)

The Maybelline cream eyeshadow is a more recent acquisition. Can't comment on it yet, need to use it more.

I included the mascara tube because I love the huge brush and the fact that this mascara does not clump, nor irritate my eyes. But it's not purple. Would be nice though.

Purple-y nail polish - looks good against any skintone, as long as you choose the right shade. But I'll talk some more about nail colors in a future post.

Hope you liked this one.

See ya' later!



Feeling special

Dear Roses and Lilies,

This post is dedicated to the people @work who made an effort and pleasantly surprised me today with these early b-day presents.

Two super cute cards with what else? - roses and lilies! The message inside is all about warmth and best wishes. :-)

Next up

feeding my fascination for all things oriental.

Thank you guys!



My skincare faves

Dear Roses and Lilies,

No matter if it's hot or cold outside, taking care of your skin is essential. But how many products does one really need?

Browsing through websites and forums, you will find more than enough reviews and info on virtually any cosmetic product. So it's up to each one of us what we choose and how much time and money we want to invest.

Keeping an eye on my budget and on the ingredients lists as well, these are the products I selected this far from the pool of skincare stuff on the market

In terms of cleansing, soap and water sometimes does the trick. But most of the times, my skin feels tight and dry.

So I've gotten used to the Bioderma Sensibio H2O micelle solution - for removing makeup or just refreshing when I'm at home.

The AslaVital Revitalizing Cleansing Milk is ideal for sensitive skin and it contains goji berry extracts and clay.

The Clarins Toning Lotion with Iris and the HydraQuench Cream-Gel are suitable for oily skin but, because they are both quite fragrant, I only use them as an aromatherapy "fix".

Otherwise, I am a fan of Clinique's Dramatically Different Moisturizing Gel, which doesn't contain any fragrance, so it is less likely to irritate my skin.

For calming down and moisturizing my skin during the night, I've discovered a really budget friendly product from Dr. SCHELLER - Soothing Intensive Serum. It has got a lineup of natural ingredients, including jojoba oil.

For my eyes, I use the Korres Evening Primrose eye cream and for particularly puffy mornings - Clarins Eye Revive Beauty Flash. They work wonders on tired eyes!

For dry lips, I generously apply the yummy mango lip balm from TheBodyShop. It moisturizes really well and it tastes sweet.

Last but not least, when I don't feel like using moisturizer and applying foundation, I use the Bioderma Sensibio AR BB Cream. It's aimed at sensitive skins prone to rosacea. Lucky for me, I don't have that problem. But I still like to use it because it calms down any redness. This will be particularly useful during the cold winter months.

For the rest of the skin on my body, I just use rich shower creams, exfoliate when I remember to and apply cream in the form of sunscreen if I'm sunbathing.

What's your skincare routine?



Winter memories

Dear Roses and Lilies,

Winter is a special season for me, and I associate it with fluffy scarves, hot chocolate, cinnamon and dark colors.

And these are some of the things I hold dear each Winter

Because I am always somewhat pale during the winter months and my skin bounces from being combination to sensitive to oily ( according to temperature changes and... well... hormones ) I either wear a hydrating foundation, like Guerlain's Parure de Lumiere in Beige Clair 02, or a long lasting one - like Clarins Everlasting Foundation in Ivory 103. And I often use a primer underneath because the more I sit in front of the computer, the more my foundation tends to slide off. Weird, right?

For my cheeks, I apply Clarins Blush Prodige in Miami Pink 03, which works both as a blusher and a highlighter - and I receive a lot of compliments every time I wear it.

For my eyes, I sometimes apply a bit of Clarins Instant Light Eye Perfecting Base ( shade 00, pale and slightly rosy ), which btw also works great as a concealer for dark spots. This is good for making your powder eyeshadow last longer. ;-) And with dark colors, you really don't want to experience fading halfway into the day or the night.

Lips need more care during winter, so I choose creamy, hydrating lipsticks. Dior lipsticks have a luxurious feel to them, in addition to being super hydrating. Sadly, I currently own one shade only, which I think got discontinued - Hypnotic Red 862. It looks really dark in the tube, but you can make it wearable. Either apply it with your finger for a red stain that looks chic on whatever occasion, with a brush for burgundy delight or straight from the bullet for a vamp-y allure.

Cool tip: apply a bit of lipstick on your cheeks, using your fingertips, and blend away

For a final touch, add a spritz of cranberry and tea dream - Givenchy's Ange our Demon Le Secret - or bask in the rich scent of green tea with the solid perfume from L'Occitane.

Also, don't forget to sip a cup of hot chocolate while reading this post. Add cinnamon for extra coziness.  :-D

See ya' soon!



Fall memories

Dear Roses and Lilies,

Here we are, just in time for Fall. And, since I was born in October, fall is my season. :-)

Between the colorful sunny days of Summer past and the white, frosty days of Winter to come, Fall sometimes takes us by surprise: a burst of colors and sunshine ( the very pleasant Indian summers ) or foggy, gray days, when you just wish you were someplace tropical instead.

And, since I cannot magically transport myself somewhere exotic and hot, I brought together a selection of items to brighten up my mood and, hopefully, yours too.

One of this fall's runway trends are metallic eyeshadows. I always had a soft spot for metallics ( heavy metal, black metal, viking metal etc. ) so it's perfect! :))

My latest beauty buy was the new Diorshow Fusion Mono cream shadow. I got the one called Hypnotique 881, partly because of the name, but mostly because it has a lot of purple in it and I am strangely attracted to all things purple.

And, since the eyeshadow is quite dark, I like to pair it with nude lips ( TheBalm "Mai Billsbepaid" - sooo cute ).

Red lipstick is a must for every woman ( don't mind that some men simply hate it ), so I chose a very meaningful shade from Chanel, Rouge Coco in Gabrielle 19. It's creamy enough to glide on easily and it doesn't bleed at all. This one I pair with a more natural eye look. I've got the Shimmer Cubes palette in 07 by The Body Shop, which has a great pinky shade in it.

Speaking about pink, I also have a thing for pink blushers, although I don't really wear any. But I absolutely love the limited edition Clarins Instant Light Blush in Vitamin Pink. It works both as a blusher and a highlighter, super easy to blend, even for my clumsy fingers.

With these little weapons and a pair of sexy shoes, I recon I could conquer the world!

See ya' soon



Summer memories

Dear Roses and Lilies,

I am back with more beauty buys that remind me of Summers past... something old, something new, something almost-never-been-worn and something blue!

My biggest pride and joy is a pair of amazingly chic leather shoes my mom and I spotted at a pop up shoe store at the seaside. They go with virtually anything from skirts to dresses to pants. Too bad the rainy days prevented me from wearing them as much as I would've liked to. But they will surely resurface from their box next spring!

Next on my "love love love" list are the Guerlain fragrances. I got Pamplelune from an airport shop in Vienna and Flora Nymphea from our local Sephora.

Pamplelune is all about freshly squeezed grapefruit on an early summer morning while Flora Nymphea reminds me of milk and toast and honey ( and that awesome Roxette song ).

These fragrances just smell yummy!

And because color has become a must for me in summer, I got a crazy pink lipstick from TheBalm ( Anita Boytoy haha ), a vivid coral from Clarins' new lipstick line ( Rouge Eclat in coral pink 08 ) and a neutral from Chanel ( Gardenia 13 ). They're all lovely and moisturizing and smell nice.

The cute eyeshadow quartet ( lower left side ) was a gift from my cousin, all blue and turquoise and frosty ( Avon true color in arctic goddess ). And, because frosty colors are "trendy" this winter, I plan on using these eyeshadows a lot. :-D Did I mention it was a gift? :-))

Moving on...

Let me tell you about makeup sets and kits

Does it ever happen to you that you see a product that's just soooo catchy but the price tag is a tad too much for your wallet? Or you see more than one product and can't decide which one you really need? ( "Of course, there's no such thing as needing makeup, ever!" most men would say ) :P

Well, look for beauty kits and sets. Some of the products come in a smaller size - still larger than sample sizes though - others come in full size, but the point is - most of them are value sets. And who doesn't love a good bargain?

My "summer love" makeup kits are the Benefit World Famous Neutrals ( "Eyenessa's sexiest nudes ever" ) and the Benefit Primping with the Stars.

I love the eyeshadow kit because it has 2 of their loveliest cream shadows ( "bikini-tini" and "holy smokes!" ) and 4 longwear powder shadows ( "milk it!", "pause for applause", "blingo!" and "raincheck?" ). Benefit products always carry a funny name. :-)

The second kit has a cream-to-powder foundation, their famous eye primer "Stay Don't Stray" ( which can easily replace an under eye concealer if you're not particularly dark ), a liquid highlighter, their POREfessional primer, a liquid rose scented lip and cheek stain ( Benetint ) and a mascara.

They are all minis but, this way, I got a lot of products I wouldn't buy individually. Why not? Because for once I'll be able to use them all up before they expire or go bad.

SO - lovely Roses and Lilies - if you liked this post and want to read some more about my Summer memories - rate, comment and have fun!

See ya' soon!



Spring memories

Dear Roses and Lilies,

The weather outside inspired me to write a series of posts featuring my favorite things to remind me of the 4 seasons: Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter.

It's really about what made me smile on a certain day and what I return to and rely on to make me feel all warm and cozy.

Today's post features Spring beauty:

The cute little Guess handbag was a gift that still brightens my days, no matter the season (and it's big enough to carry beauty essentials, my phone and my wallet).

I got the YSL lipstick before I went abroad this year. Knowing that the weather in DE would be killer bleak, I just needed to go fuchsia-crazy (pics available on Facebook).

And, "when in Rome", why not get the limited edition Rouge Coco Shine lipstick in 79 Saga? It (almost) replaces my lip balm on cold days and, while it used to make me look pale in Spring, now that I do have a slight tan, it tunes in beautifully with my complexion.

Whenever I want to sport a "no make up" make up look, I rely on my Too Faced Natural Face palette. I must admit, I have a love-hate relationship with this one. While I hate the bronzer for making me look yellow (no, it's not good for contouring either), I absolutely love the cream blusher and the cream highlighter.

The Clinique mascara is my absolute favorite: doesn't smudge - not even in a sauna! - perfectly defines and coats each lash, the brush is cute and small - just what my tiny eyes need - and, last but not least - it's warm water removal.

The eyeshadow quad on the right is one of the affordable beauty products I'm really satisfied with: sparkly/metallic baked eyeshadow from Farmasi, good for evening looks or daytime looks with a twist. I like that it doesn't fade or crease on me like some high end eyeshadows do. Plus, molten metal was a trend for Spring and metallics are back for Fall as well (will talk about that later).

All these are just a few things to brighten up a dull day. Hope you'll get inspired to dig out your Spring favorites and share in the comments box below! :-D

See ya' later!


Day 1

Dear Roses and Lilies,

Today I decided to take advantage of my "vanity fit" and start a blog.

Have not decided yet what to make it about exactly, except that I plan on bragging a lot... about accomplishments, stuff bought by me, gifts, latest hopes and dreams.

See ya' soon! ;-)