Sunday, 24 November 2013

Bratislava: Chapter 5 ~ Vinobranie v Pezinku (Wine Festival in Pezinok)

Hey everyone! How are you doing? So yeah, let's see how my student exchange is going here in Bratislava. The days are getting colder and greyer. But yesterday the Christmas market was officially opened and it was a wonderful evening. And it also reminded me that I still haven't written about wine festival that I am planing to for, oh, last two months. :) I am feeling at home here, for real now. Not holidays, not some sort of limited time studying here, just home. And it is nice but it also makes me a bit sick, thinking about February when I will need to leave for sure. That's why I don't think about it much. :) I have some really nice experiences with people and I got some weirdo experiences, that occur surprisingly often randomly on the street. No idea what's up with that, I am not used to it. But all in all Blava is still wonderful. I was hoping I will travel around a bit more, but the planed road trips fell apart due to the fact that it is getting late for most castles and a lot of them are under construction. Shucks. 

But to the wine festival. In September, the western Slovakia has the wine festivals, the annual ones occurring in Pezinok and Modra, they call it burčiak festival. Burčiak is a very young wine, the tour guide calls it grape cider. Burčiak tastes amazing, like a very good grape juice with tiny, soft bubbles, but it does consist of alcohol, according to Mr. Google, from 4 to 6% of it. So it can bite you in the ass, I mean, you drink it like water. It helps that 2 dcl cost, ladies and gentlemen, 60 cents. Oh yeah. So on 21st September we went to the lovely city of Pezinok. The bus connections Bratislava - Pezinok are really great. The lady at the counter gave as an absurd price for the ticket, but when we got on the bus, we payed only 1.20 for the ride, so maybe she was just messing with us. When you get to Pezinok, you can already see small stands locals put out, in front of their houses, offering their own burčiak. They just bring a table and a couple of chairs on the sidewalk and wait for customers, it looks amusing. :) The road gets completely packed as you approach the city center, so get off the bus as soon as you see the traffic jam.

The crowd on the festival is unbelievable. I usually don't freak out in that kind of crowd only on concerts, I am not a person to be in a large, slowly moving crowd for a very long time. But the food was excellent and burčiak yummy and we managed. I tried a Slovak sweet for the very first time, called trdelník. It originated from Hungary, but is part of Slovak and Czech culinary culture as well. It is essentially a dough, wrapped around a thick stick, then fried and rolled around in whatever flavour you want - cinnamon, sugar, vanilla, cocoa, walnut ... it does not sound much in theory, but it is crazy good. I of course am a cinnamon addict, so I took cinnamon one and it was heavenly. I also tried lokše, they are some sort of potato pancakes, but they were not good, also my flatmate said this is not how lokše are supposed to taste. So I need to try them somewhere else, right now they are not on my good food list.

Oh yes, the festival itself is actually quite big. I expected a very small town (really not that small), with a very small square (again, not that small) and a couple of stands, offering wine and some food (in fact three long streets of stands on both sides, offering everything from wine, burčiak, cheese, fried food, sweets, spirits, honey, to jewelry, small tourist gifts, and all kinds of toys for children). There was a stage with live music (I was unlucky enough to stumble upon Abba tribute band right as we went there) and on the other side even a small fair, that we did not visit, so I can't tell you much of it. The prices were very decent, they did not overprice their product on the stands (like they are doing now on Christmas market), so you should get your stuff there without feeling guilty about it. :)

It was a lovely event, just be prepared for the crowd. The public transportation from Bratislava is excellent and very cheap, you can get there and back without a problem. And enjoy the burčiak! Lots of it! If you plan on buying it for home, don't forget that it is still fermenting when served and after a week it will change into different kind of beverage.

 The gingerbread cookies and earrings I bought. Gingerbread was amazing.

The church in the middle of the festival, all around it were the stands. No other decent photos of the festival itself, I am afraid, too many people on the photos or they turned out shaky. Ever mentioned I need a new camera?

Trdelník. Yum!!

So if you have a chance and are around Bratislava in the end of September, I do recommend a visit of one of their wine festivals (Rača, Pezinok, Modra, those I know, there is probably many more). :)

 Slovak word of the chapter: burčiak [means young wine, or grape cider. A professor of Slovak in Slovenia told me we call it mlado vino].

Thank you for reading and commenting!

Tuesday, 19 November 2013

Rimmel 60 seconds ~ Chocolate Fountain

Hello my dear people! How are you doing? It is getting cold here! I found GOSH pigments in a shop and I am tempted to buy them! Also I am itching to buy another book. I find books here so cheap, I cannot resist. :) 

I have another Rimmel for ya today. It is my flatmates and it is a brown shimmer. I do not like brown shades, but I wanted to try this one, it looked very nice and quite similar to O.P.I. Romeo & Joliet, that I adore and I hoped I found a very cheap and decent dupe of it.

This is three coats, the second one was still patchy, but probably because I was multitasking while applying it (eating, Skyping, adjusting the lamps for my impro-lightbox ... I'm surprised my mani turned out well, actually). Chocolate Fountain is incredibly rich brown shimmer. I think it looks quite lovely, even if it is brown, it is a brown I can wear. Again, great brush, great drying time.

And a quick comparison of Chocolate Fountain and Romeo&Joliet in the bottles. As you can see, R&J is more red, so no dupes. The shimmer is just as rich though.

Do you like brown nail polish, wear it often? Which one is your favourite?

Thank you for reading and commenting!

Friday, 15 November 2013

Rimmel 60 seconds ~ Rapid Ruby

Hey people! How are you doing? It is insanely sleepy day here in Bratislava, I can barely keep my eyes open after a very large chunk of sleep and two coffees. I guess I'll be back to True Blood marathon that I'm having for the last couple of sleepy days. Do you watch True Blood? I loved the first two seasons and then it just turned to crap, the only reason why I'm sticking to it for so long is story about Eric and Pam. I love Pam, she's so fun, even though they are messing up her character now in the very end. Won't even go into Eric. Tall Viking, such an eye-candy. Oh, and I actually think Sookie is a good main character, which is a rare thing for me. But the quality of the story really went downhill, too bad.

Anyway! Most of you were looking forward to this Rimmel beauty, so I am showing it today. I applied it yesterday for the third time in two months, needless to say it is some kind of record for me. I heard a lot of good stuff about the Rimmel brush, so when I saw they had Rimmel stand here in Blava, I bought one. Rapid Ruby is one of those classic dark reds that you really can't get sick of. Well, actually you can,I sold my bottles of this shade about a year ago (was in serious anti-red polish phase then), just so I now repurchased the colour. It is a perfect shade for Fall as well, if you keep track on these things. It reminds me of a very good friend of mine, who by now probably finished her 7th or 8th bottle of this shade (not exaggerating), so I see it as her signature colour. :)

This is two coats. Rimmel has fantastic nail polish, really. The brush is really excellent, it hugs your nail, the application is very easy. It dries fast, sometimes almost too fast, if you want to correct something. Seriously fast drying, even without TC (I use it anyway). So if you are not a TC fan, I think you should give Rimmel a go, pigmentation is also very good. My flatmate does not use TC and she has other shades and it is the same story. Very nice surprise by Rimmel. 8 ml is just under 2 euros here, 1.89 or 1.99, something like that. Depends on where you buy it too. 

Anyway, I shall definitively buy more of Rimmel. Do you have any favourite shades by Rimmel you think I should look out for? :)

Thank you for reading and commenting!

Wednesday, 13 November 2013

H&M ~ Moonlight

Heya people! As promised, swatches of the nail polish I purchased here in Blava. First I shall post Moonlight, because I am wearing it ATM. I am not particularly happy with the way pictures turned out, because I couldn't capture the amazing shimmer it has, but I do not think my camera is capable of doing that anyway. 

 You can kind of see the blue and green particles of the shimmer on my ring finger here. :)

Natural light. 

So Moonlight has this amazing mixture of blue and green shimmer, I love it, it looks amazing on the nails. The blue prevails most of the time, but every once in a while the green pops out too, and looks amazing. The brush is good as well, but the colour is sheer. Most bloggers layer it, and after trying to wear it alone, I can see why. It needs 4 coats for complete coverage. Too much. Next time I will layer it as well. Anyway. Gorgeous colour. :) 

Do you have Moonlight? Any H&M colours you think are a must and I should get it? :)

Thank you for reading, have a nice day!

Sunday, 10 November 2013

After a long time ... A Haul Post

Hey everybody! So here's the thing. I am a huge fan of Mateja's Beauty Blog and one of her threads called New In. Which is essentially a thread of haul posts she does and I find them dead useful for new products. And when I started buying new brands here in Blava I started thinking about sharing my experiences with it, and also to show that I am in fact a very good girl about shopping here. ;) Seriously though ... I find the make up situation here a tad bit disappointing. They have some brands we don't have in Slovenia and I think that is cool and I love trying them ... but the prices are high and thus I cannot go wild about trying everything. All in all, I have hoped they make up market will be a bit more accessible and diverse. But it can be just me expecting too much. :) This is what I have gotten since being here, so in last two months. I have also bought BellaPierre pigments, but they are still in Slovenia (my mom bought them for me on sale, I haven't even seen them IRL yet).

I will make these posts also about non make up, because I am trying new brands in that department as well. I needed a new shampoo and they have Aussie here, plus new cleanser for my face, and Korres has been on my WL ever since Eugenia made a very nice review on it.

Dermacol is a Czech brand that we do not have in Slovenia and they sell make up and other cosmetic stuff, but their shower gels are what really convinced me to try them. Belgian Chocolate smells exactly like Lindt dark chocolate with orange, did you ever tried that one? Well, that's the smell! It is absolutely DIVINE! And it smells like that from the tube AND when you shower. I need to try the rest of them too. 

Aussie is a well known brand, that we again do not have in Slovenia. I decided to try Miracle Moist Shampoo and I have on my WL the 3 minutes conditioner (thanks to Mateja :)). The thing is ... I have a horrible problem with dandruff. It can get seriously avalanche-y and I have tried just about everything to make it go away, from cheap to 25€ shampoos, going to the doctor, having prescription cremes for my scalp ... in the end nothing helps. Or, it helps for like two, three months and then I am back to square one. So the only thing I get from expensive anti dandruff shampoos is bad hair. Because it does NOTHING for the hair, it gets very dry and looks unhealthy. Last time I spent 20€ on 150 ml shampoo, just so I'd have major dandruff problem in the past two weeks and I said: Fuck it. I'm gonna buy something that I acutally want and think would be good for my hair. So I bought the Aussie one. It smells amazing, my hair looks AWESOME and they didn't get greasy in 5 days (before I needed to wash them every other day). Plus my dandruff problem is in normal range, it isn't visible, so I'm happy about that. I will need to change the shampoo in three months though, I suspect.

Korres is a Greek brand and it is known for their eco/bio/whatever products. I needed something good for my skin and when I saw they have Korres in Bratislava, I finally got the opportunity to get their Fluid Gel Cleanser from White Tea range off my WL. So far I am really happy with it, even though it is expensive as hell, it does its job and it does it really well.

Sally Hansen nail polish remover. Because they do not have Afrodita in Slovakia, I needed to buy something else, that is not Ebelin (because Ebelin nail polish remover is death to my nails). So far it is awesome and, believe it or not, it really smells nice. Not remover-y at all.

I am being very diligent nail polish addict with buying very little nail polish. This just might change, as I discovered they have full range of H&M cosmetics. I bought Moonlight because it looked amazing in the bottle and I bought Rimmel's Rapid Ruby because I heard a lot about the brush and I felt like wearing a nice dark red. Swatches will follow soon! :)

Maybelline Color Tattoo eyeshadows are my most used make up product ever. I have 6 of them and love them all. They are dead useful as secondary eyeshadow base or just as an eyeshadow. Love them. When I saw they have a shade that we do not have in Ljubljana, I needed to buy it, naturally. Mauve Crush, it is amazing and slightly duochromy. On the eyelid it is ice blue and has tons of colourful shimmer. 

Art Deco Soft Eyeliner in shade number 19 I bought on sale, it was only 2 euros. Major bargain, since I know how good these pencils are. And the colour is really nice green. 

If you want a more detailed review on any of these products, just let me know in the comments. :) 

What was your latest purchase?

Have a nice Sunday and start of the week!

Thursday, 7 November 2013

Incoco Nail Polish Applique in Venetian Lace and Maxed Out

Hey guys! Today I have something awesome for you. I'm sure that you already know about Incoco and their nail polish strips made from real nail polish. And if not, some fact about them: Incoco is a, well, I'd call it a nail polish brand that sells nail polish strips/appliques made from actual nail polish, that means including base and top coat in every strip. The strips do not need any drying time, are B3F - without DPB, toluene or formaldehyde and are supposed to last up to 14 days. They come in vast number of different colours and patterns, their great site allows you to filter the patterns and colours. They also offer colourful french tip manis and strips for pedicures. They are located in USA, but ship internationally. They are in a few shops in Europe as well, but I have not seen them anywhere in my neck of the Europe. They are supposed to sell them in Austria, but I haven't noticed them in their shops. 

Anyway, when I was asked to do a review, I was mostly curious about their stripes, as I did not have any good experiences with them before from other brands, plus I really like the Incoco designs. The package surprised me, being larger than I thought it would be.

I got two sets of full mani strips and another of french tips, plus three files (which are very important for the mani) and also the cuticle sticks. In the package there is also a few pamphlets with tricks, advices and instructions on how to get your strips on the nail perfectly. 

Essentially, each strip has 16 nail polish strips. The full mani ones are double ended, do not forget that, as it is very useful! It helps a lot when searching the perfect fit for your nails. I find the shapes of the strips very nice, I could find the right shape for every nail, which is really rare for me. I forgot to take pictures of the full mani ones, but I took a shot of french tip set, and the full mani ones look like the clear ones here:

Be careful about using them immediately after opening, as the nail sticker is not 100% dry at the point of opening (that is why it is flexible) and it will dry pretty quickly after taking the protective foil off. You can't really tell that, nor do I know if then the sticker is completely destroyed, but they do warn you about it. 

I did manis with the full manicure strips, the purple one called Venetian Lace and the yellow one Maxed Out. I skipped the french tips, because I dislike french tip mani and I hate animal patterns, but I do like the name: Cat's Meow. :) More about the application and my observations after the pictures.

Venetian lace is in fact a gorgeous warm purple (my camera makes it way too blue, you know ... one of those purples that never really photograph right) with black lace. They were the first I tried and I feel like they were my learning curve a bit, because I applied Maxed Out much better. Still, they look absolutely gorgeous (I wish I had the actual colour of purple on the photo). They lasted 4 days, then the edges of the strips started to chip. 

I LOVE Maxed Out!! I liked it so much more than Venetian Lace (and if you'd know me, you'd know how surprising that actually is). I had them on for five days, then took a picture of the mani again, because I think I could easily stretch it for another day or two, but I went to a concert and wanted a fresh mani.

AFTER 5 days of wearing (including washing the dishes, washing my hair twice and all other ordinary stuff):

As you can see, after full five days of wearing there is only minimal tip wear and the strip on my left index finger started to chip. Saying that, this, for me, is already enough nail growth that it bothers me. And this is what I wanted to mention about the "lasts up to 14 days" deal. I find it so terribly unnecessary. Come on, you all know the overgrowth of the nail in 14 days. How on earth would that look like? OK, unless your nails grow REALLY slowly. Plus, I am usually fed up with a mani after 5 days tops anyway (usually sooner). These babies lasted on me 4 and 5 days, with Maxed Out still having a day or two extra time, that is IMHO more than great, it is excellent, more than any other strips I have ever tried (that usually started chipping too much on the very first day) and it gets an A+ on my demands for 4 days for each manicure. You could probably wear it even longer, especially if you are not so sensitive about nail growth showing on your mani. So it matters not, but I would consider it to be pretty darn awesome, if they just told that it lasts for about 5 to 7 days, and that would sound more reasonable and it would be true. 

My observations, pros and cons and all that:

° There is a learning curve, I feel, so maybe try to apply a few strips before doing a full mani. As there are 16 strips in each set, that should not be a problem. 
° The stripes should be of a room temperature, so if you are doing it on a cold day, rub them a bit between your hands (still in the plastic bag though!) to warm them up a bit, so they keep their flexibility.

+ They fulfil my expectation on longevity of manis I wear (4 days or more).
+ They really do not need ANY drying time. I applied Venetian Lace and was really late to my class, so I just put some jeans on and ran out of the flat. The strips were not damaged or dented by the buttons, zippers or keys, nor did it matter that I plunged into the abyss I call my purse about 10 minutes after I applied them.
+ The application is fast and really easy, I was surprised. The only thing that takes some time is trying to figure out the perfect shape of the sticker and even that is a matter of seconds, really. 
+ With 8 different shapes of stickers I really think you can find the right shape for your nail. My nails are fairly wide and that was not a problem. 
+ They sent me the files for mani, which was really nice. Any file will do, though, so that's great as well.
+ If you make a mistake when applying the strip,you really can take it off and reapply it, I had to do that twice and did not hurt the sticker. Just remember to do it slowly, in order not to tear it.
+ The Incoco internet page is great. It looks lovely, it is well organised and they have tons of helpful tips and instructions AND a video on how to work with the strips. Very nice page, really.
+ They are B3F.

- The removal is a bit messy. They almost feel like glue, they kind of stick to your nails, so it is not just "wipe off" method, I recommend soaking the pad and leaving it on the nail for a minute.
-  The only big minus I can find is the price of the strips. The nail colors are $7.99 per set and the nail designs $8.99, while french designs and colours for tips are $9.99. I think the nail colors are seriously overpriced. I cannot speak for french tips, for I do not like them, but you do get in fact two sets of strips with tips, so I can understand the higher price. I think only the nail designs are worth the price, because their designs are great and you can see the long list of positive things I found about the strips. They are great and when I think how many polishes I have in my stash that I only wore once ... the 9 dollars does not seem that steep anymore. You get a product of good quality for that money, so it is like buying an expensive(r) nail polish that does not disappoint. Saying all that, taking a leap of faith with first order without knowing how good they are, with that price, I would not do it.
- This minus is more for me and my European gals. I do wish they would more accessible to the rest of the world. I mean, I am quite used to that, but still, when I add up the price of ordering just two sets, with the shipping costs I basically already reach the upper line for our customs, which means I need to pay taxes as well. And all of the sudden the pricey strips get too expensive for my student pocket. But their page is really good and user friendly, so if you do not have such problems, ordering online should not be a problem one bit. 

In short, Incoco strips were such a great surprise, I will probably order them for myself, because I have an immense crush on some of the designs. I do find them expensive, but after trying them, I think the nail designs are worth the money. 

Have you ever tried the Incoco Nail Polish Appliques? Have a favourite shade/design?

Thank you for reading and commenting, have a lovely end of the week!

*Product sent for reviewing purposes, you can read my disclosure here.

Monday, 4 November 2013

Random Sunday post with space nails

Hey people. I read a lot of these random posts on my favourite blogs, and I always love them. And I feel like writing one, because why not. :) It has been a lovely weekend, that started on Thursday already, we went to Central Slovakia to a small city named Brezno. We watched a lot of movies (Incendies I must mention, I recommend it, it is brilliant and shocking), baked marshmallows on the fire in the fireplace, ate A LOT and had tons of fun. It was a slow weekend, we planned a lot of sightseeing of lots of castles, but thanks to weather and the fact that a lot of them were under renovation (my castle lemming, Čachtice, are closed until May 2014), we just kinda stayed put, went for long walks around Brezno and around the town (in the constant light rain, but nevertheless).

I changed my nail polish today after a couple of days, I chose an oldie but goodie, Eyeko Cosmic polish, black with holo glitter. Gorgeous polish.

Three coats plus TC. Middle photo for sparkle check.

During these last few days I read John Green's The Fault In Our Stars, and I still cannot stop thinking about it. This is such a perfection of a book. And I feel exactly like the quote from this very book:

"Sometimes, you read a book and it fills you with this weird evangelical zeal, and you become convinced that the shattered world will never be put back together unless and until all living humans read the book." (John Green, The Fault In Our Stars)

This is how I feel, I can't stop talking about this book, I already told most of my friends about it and talked endlessly about it to my poor mother ... seriously, just read it. I cried my effing eyes out in the end, but laughed out loud often during the reading. My BF found me crying when finishing the book, and was shocked, asking why the hell am I crying, and I told him it is about the book and he looked at me puzzled, saying: "But haven't you been laughing all the time while reading it earlier?" Yes. That's The Fault in Our Stars. And I love it, John Green is already first on my "read everything they wrote" list. 

And to finish the randomness, the song of this Sunday. I have it on repeat since we drove back to Blava. Amorphis - Drowned Maid

How is your Autumn going so far?

Have a great week!