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Essie Vs. Kiko: Base & Top Coat

Thursday, 30 April 2015

I apply base and top coat every time that I paint my nails no matter what. I never skip these extra steps. 
Essie base and top coats are some of the best I've used but Kiko has a pretty good nail care selection as well and they're a good alternative to the Essie products. 


Essie First Base has a thin consistency and goes on evenly and smooth. It leaves a good solid base for your lacquer. I really like it because it dries super fast! Kiko Smooth Base evens out the surface of the nail, correcting imperfections and leaving the nail ready for the nail lacquer. The consistency is thicker and it takes longer to dry. 



Essie Good To Go is a great top coat. It works fast and leave super high shine! I really like the brush of this, it's pretty wide and it glides on smoothly. Lately I've been enjoying using this. But the Kiko 3 in 1 Shine Top Coat was my favourite before I started using the Essie one. This can be also used as base coat but I haven’t tried it as a base so far.  It leaves a very glossy finish on the nails, but i find that the shine doens't last too long on the nails which is quite upsetting. The formula is also enriched with strengthening active ingredients and UV filters.

Do you always wear base and top coat? What's your favourite base/top coat?

Feel Bella

Paris & Life Update

Monday, 27 April 2015

After the Paris series posts, I thought I'd share some of the photos I took during my short trip to Paris.

I had such a lovely time in Paris celebrating my birthday. I had the best birthday surprise when my lovely boyfriend popped the question. He asked me to marry him in a super romantic proposal. I'm beyond thrilled and very exited to share this with all of you!

We begin the planning process!

Feel Bella

By Terry Ombre Blackstar in Frozen Quartz & Dupe

Friday, 24 April 2015

If you love the pinky eyeshadows from the Naked 3 Palette or Mac's All that Glitters, you'll absolutely love the By Terry Ombre BlackStar in Frozen Quartz. This shade is incredibly beautiful, it's a pearly pink almost like a rose gold colour.

I'm a big fan of stick eyeshadow and the ByTerry Blackstar are really good. But they're also pricey. Luckily there are many great options in the market for less money. Kiko eyeshadow sticks and the Nyx Jumbo Eye Pencils are fantastic too. 

In fact, the Nyx Jumbo in the shade Yogurt, which I adore and spoke so many times about it here, is almost identical to the ByTerry eyeshadow, as you can see in the picture above. They're both super creamy, they apply easily, smoothly and effortless. They're super long lasting as well.  However it's true that the By Terry have a fantastic staying power and it last longer than the Nyx eye pencil. 

They both have some shimmer, actually Frozen Quartz is more shimmery but doesn't have any large glittery particles. They give a beautiful warm, neutral glow on the eyelids.

Have you tried any of these? What do you think about this makeup dupe?

Feel Bella

Paris Beauty Haul

Wednesday, 22 April 2015

As I previously mentioned on my Paris Series, I went to Paris for a few days to celebrate my birthday. Paris is an amazing city to visit but it's also a great place to do shopping and find some great finds. 

This is what I bought on my recent holiday to Paris.

French skincare items were on the top of my list and that's why almost all of these purchases were made in City Pharma, the best and most famous pharmacie in Paris. Here I finally picked up the Embryollise Lait-Creme Concentre after reading about it for years. I also bought the Redermic eye from La Roche Posay, an anti-age eye cream and I did repurchase the Avene Thermal Water and the Caudalie Lip Conditioner

Next up a few things from Nuxe. I had to repurchase the Huile Prodigieuse multipurpose oil which smells divine. This was only 16 euro! In Italy this is much much more expensive. I also had to buy this super cute travel kit with six different Nuxe products. I really like Nuxe as a brand!

Makeup wise, I visited Sephora and finally picked up one of the By Terry Ombre Blackstar Cream Eyeshadows.  I got it in the shade Frozen Quartz, a gorgeous shimmery pearly pink. 

Have you tried any of these products?

Feel Bella

Spring Beauty Edit: Spring Essentials

Thursday, 16 April 2015

Spring has finally arrived and as the weather starts our makeup choices start to change too.

Lighter Base. I like to update my foundation choosing a lighter formula like the Chanel Aqua Vitalumiere, I love using this during Spring, it's has a light formula but still gives a good amount of coverage.

Bronzed skin and glowy cheeks. In Spring I'm starting wanting more a bronzed look. I recently discovered this Milani Illuminating Face Powder in Hermosa Rose that can be used as a bronzer or blush. I use this alone on my cheeks and it gives a healthy colour and a beautiful subtle glow. 
I also love the multitasking Mac Hush Cream Colour Base that I use to give a subtle and natural sheen to my cheeks. Sometimes I even use it as an eyeshadow.

Pinky Lips. I love wearing different shades of pink and textures. From the balmy texture of the YSL Volupte Sheer Candy Lipstick in Guava to the more glossy Nyx Butter Gloss in Merenge, to the bold lip with Mac lipstick in Chatterbox

Simple and neutral eyes. I like to pair the pinky lip with a clean and neutral eye. I used a brown shade for all over the lid for a wash of colour. I'm obsessed with the Mac Soba eyeshadow, a warm golden brown shade that it goes on beautifully. 

Fruity Scents. I love the Jo Malone English Pear & Freesia cologne for Spring but I use it all year around actually. The scent is fruity and floral, fresh and uplifting. 

Pastel Nails. I love pastel shades for Spring Time specially pink and baby blue colours. I've been wearing a lot lately the shades Essie Need a Vacation and Essie Tuck it in my Tux.

What are your spring beauty essentials?

Feel Bella

Paris Series: Packing Beauty Essentials

Monday, 13 April 2015

How much do you really need to pack? You want to beauty pack light, you don't want to pack too much makeup and you want to choose the perfect look and the perfect beauty products. If you are in need of a little guidance here I'm showing you what I'm packing for a little trip to Paris.  

A natural, minimal makeup look and long lasting. 

The all in one foundation. A BB Cream is a great option, it gives good coverage, brighten up the complexion, even out the tone, protect your skin with SPF and you don't even need a makeup brush to apply it. I'm bringing the Dior Skin BB Creme, I like to carry foundations that are in plastic packaging, it's easier and less messy to carry.

Pressed Powder. compact powder with a big mirror for touch ups throughout the day and to mattify the shiny areas. I always keep the Chanel Les Beiges compact powder in my bag.

The eyeshadow. Sometimes I like to bring just one eyeshadow that works perfect with different make looks, a brown shade that looks great all over the lid and that it will last all the day. Lately I've been obsessed with Mac Soba eyeshadow, a warm golden brown. Other alternative would be a small palette or an eyeshadow stick that is comfortable and quick to use. 

The Eyebrow product. My beloved Anastasia Brow Wiz in Caramel.  It's goes on with such precision and the spooly brush at the end is so nice and firm.

Mini MascaraA travel sized and long lasting mascara is the perfect option,  I like using this mini They're Real from Benefit when I'm traveling because it really last all day!

The Lip Products. A nude, a lip balm and a bold lip option. Ready for any occasion. Nars Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Dragon Girl, Dior Lip Glow and Chanel Coco Shine in Boy

The Concealer. Fit Me concealer by Maybelline has a creamy consistency, a good coverage and it works great for covering blemishes and dark circles as well.

The Cheek Products. A bronzer and a natural blush is everything you need. I'm bringing the Nars Laguna Bronzer and Nars Douceur Blush which is a lovely natural cheek colour that it goes with every makeup look.

For skincare, choose all your skincare minis, samples or pick up empty travel bottles and fill them with the favourite products you already have at home. 

These are the skincare essentials:

Facial cleanser/ Makeup remover. Clarins One Step Cleanser and Bioderma Micellar Water.
Face Moisturiser/ Mini Serum. Clinique Superdefense with SPF moisturiser. Estee Lauder Advace Night Repair and Oskia Get Up & Glow. 
Face Mist/Toner. Caudalie Beauty Elixir.

What are your must-have beauty products when you are travelling?

Feel Bella

Paris Series: Choosing a red nail polish

Friday, 10 April 2015

When I think about the perfect manicure to wear in Paris I instantly think on gorgeous glossy red nails (also a nude manicure wold be lovely). Getting your nails done is important like choosing the accessorizes. That's why I want to find the perfect red nail polish that goes perfect with all those Parisian outfits including striped tops and the trench. 

I love wearing red nail polish. It's such a classic. These five nail polishes are my favourite reds of all time.

The bright and chic red
Chanel Fire shows up slightly berry toned with one coat but it's a neutral true red, not too blue or orangy.
The texture is nice and creamy and the application is ok. The huge downside is the durability. Chanel nail polishes last around one day on my nails, definitely not a great option for a trip, when you want your manicure to last longer.

Dior Rouge nail polish is quite similar to Fire by Chanel but Dior is slightly more rosy tone. I love everything about this nail polish, from the lovely bottle, to the wide brush to the high gloss finish. 

The true red "Hollywood" red
Lancome Miss Coquelicot
The formula of these nail lacquers are perfection. The brush is wide and precise which give smooth and streak free application. It's also opaque with only one coat, and the result is so glossy! It is a very sophisticated red. 

The orange-red
Essie Fifth Avenue
I find this colour really flattering on everyone and I love it specially during Summer. The colour is opaque and the formula rich. It goes on really well and looks great just with one coat.

The dark red
Chanel Rouge Noir is a classic. It's a super beautiful dark burgundy red. I love the idea of wearing this in Paris, I think it looks chic and it goes well with everything. But Chanel nail lacquers aren't the greatest, they chip really easily! Definitely not what you'd expect from such a quality brand.

Which one is your favourite? I think Dior Rouge is the one...

Feel Bella

Paris Series: Shopping in Paris & Wishlist

Tuesday, 7 April 2015
1. /2. /3. /4. /5. /6. /7. /8. /9. /10. /11. /12.

I'm heading to Paris in a few days for a little break and to celebrate my birthday! So I thought I would post this Paris Wishlist. 

I also wanted to share this small list of places when I'm planning to go and do some shopping. Paris is such an amazing city for shopping, so many cool places to shop and so many pharmacies where to check for French skincare must haves

La Pharmacie
This will be my first stop in Paris, obviously. The best pharmacy in Paris, the one everyone talk about, is City Pharma in the heart of Paris. It has always the best deals. There you will find absolutely everything. It's also cheaper that other other pharmacies around Paris so definitely somewhere to go to stock up on your favourite french skincare items such Bioderma Micellar Water.  There are a few products I'm hoping to pick up at good price like Nuxe Prodigieux Perfume or some La Roche Posay skincare products. 
This is the place every French skincare lover have on their must visit list in Paris! 

Sephora on the Champ Elysées is another impressive place to visit. I will definitely be searching for Nars products or other makeup brands difficult to find on Italian Sephora.

Local Monoprix stores and Beauty Monop'
The local Monoprix are also great for finding some drugstore makeup products at good price. I really want to get some things from Bourjois!

Department Stores
In places like Galeries Lafayette, Printemps or Le Bon Marchè you can find all the beautiful high end makeup brands. I'll be checking for Tom Ford Cosmetics and By Terry specially. I'm dying to try the By Terry Ombre Blackstar Eyeshadows. 

I'm planning to do a little Paris series this week, so expect a couple of posts dedicated to Paris!
Bisous :)

Feel Bella

Essie Nail Collection

Saturday, 4 April 2015

I have other nail polishes but Essie nail lacquers are my absolutely favourite. I don't have the largest collection but it is slowly growing. And the ones that I have I do really enjoy wearing them.
This is my collection so far:
  • Fiji, a pale milky pink.
  • Bikini so teeny, a baby blue colour with a subtle shimmer.
  • Chinchilly, a light grey with lavender undertone.
  • Buy me a cameo, a shimmery rose-gold.
  • Eternal Optimist, a dusty pink.
  • Need a vacation, a baby pink.
  • Tart Deco, a pastel peachy-coral.
  • Fifth Avenue, a bright orange-red.
  • Cute as a button, a warm coral pink.
  • Exotic Liras, a raspberry pink.
  • A-List, an elegant apple red with blue-undertone.

I have a few colours that I wear all the time like the reds A- List or Fifth Avenue or my favourite nude, Eternal Optimist which is probably my favourite Essie nail polish. These are staples in my nail polish collection and they also have amazing formula.
There are other colours that scream summer for me like Fiji, Tart Deco or Bikini So Teeny, I love using these colours during summer time. These colours also make you look tanner!

Overall I like the formula of these nail polishes. They're opaque, long lasting and leave a lovely shiny finish. The brush and application are great as well. However there are some shades with a much worse formula and application. Some colours like Fiji or Need a Vacation are really streaky and they are much more runny than most of Essie nail polishes. Also you need 2-3 coats to get a good colour payoff.

Essie base and top coats are some of the best I've used.  I apply base coat every time that I paint my nails and lately I've been enjoying the Essie First Base. This has a thin consistency and is so fast drying. It goes on evenly and smooth and leaves a good solid base for your lacquer.

Essie Good To Go is a great top coat. It works fast and leave super high shine! I really like the brush of this, it's pretty wide and it glides on smoothly.

So that is all, like I said, it's not a lot but I pretty much wear all of these.

What colour should I get next?

  Feel Bella

Beauty Essentials for a day trip

Wednesday, 1 April 2015

No matter how short the trip is, you have always to think how to pack everything properly. You don't want to overpack and bring too much staff with you; specially if is only a one day trip and you usually use your hand bag to carry everything.

When I'm going to another city only for a day I want to pack as light as possible. These are the beauty essentials I like to carry with me.
  • Lip Balm. An essential to keep your lips moisturised throughout the day. I seriously love this Balm Balm Rose Geranium multipurpose organic balm, it's super moisturising  and last for long on the lips.
  • Face mist. I like to bring the Caudalie Beauty Elixir  for a mid-day spritz and refresh the skin.
  • One of your favourite lipsticks. Pack your favourite lip product for touch ups after meals. At the moment I'm keeping the YSL Volupte Sheer Candy Cool Guava lipstick. 
  • Travel sized mascara, I love using this tiny Benefit They're Real mascara, it's waterproof and so long lasting.
  • Concealer. A spare concealer in your hand bag can be very handy for skin emergencies. I can't live without the Maybelline Fit Me, it's the best drugstore concealer!
  • Pressed Powder, I always keep this Chanel Les Beiges compact powder for touch ups throughout the day.
  • Multitasking Makeup Product. The Mac Cream Color Base are great and versatile because your can use them as a blush, highlighter, eyeshadow or even as a lipstick. I love this shade called Hush, a lovely champagne, rose gold colour that looks super natural on the skin.
  • Other Essentials. Hand sanitizer,small perfume, tissues, mints, agenda, magazine, small wallet and sunglasses.

Are you a light packer or you tent to overdo?

Feel Bella