the mischa diaries | beauty & lifestyle blog based in the uk/netherlands

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Wednesday, 17 May 2017

The Beauty Report | LA Girl Flat Finish Pigment Gloss

Cruelty Free and Affordable Makeup is music to my ears, and after coming across LA Girl's concealer and enjoying it, I thought I'd take the jump , buy these affordable matte liquid gloss (Its not a lip gloss!) and give an honest review and see if its worth the £5 I spent.

PACKAGING
The LA Girl Matte Flat Finish Pigment Glosses are unscented products, and are packaged in  short stubby tubes. They have a doe foot applicator which is easy to apply with. I like the packaging as it is simple and to the point, and I've found application quite easy as well.

PIGMENTATION & longevity
These are highly pigmented and dries opaque, and can withstand drinks and snacks. However they do crumble if you're having oily food. It does not transfer or bleed and you get a large selection of colours to pick from. 
Now since it can withstand drinks and snacks, I tested this by having very greasy food and while it did crumble a lot, I had a bit of a go on my lips trying to take it off at night. Micellar Water didn't work, but  coconut oil did with a proper scrub.
TEXTURE AND APPLICATION
The liquid is comfortable on the lips, but dries very quick so you have to be quick with applying two layers or more if you want stronger pigmentation. 

SWATCHES

review
 I didn't expect too much from these products for their price, but after loving the concealers, I did have some hope that it'd be good. I loved the shades that I picked on the website, but they're completely different from what it looks like on the website. Instinct and Timeless weren't meant to swatch like this, and I should have read reviews before I got them, but I got a little too spontaneous and got them since they weren't that expensive anyway. 
Upon opening they have a chemically smell,  has a matte finish, but is extremely streaky and patchy.  I really liked the applicator as it could be both flat or tapered, and the shades are extremely beautiful. It doesn't transfer much, which can be a good thing, but its one determined cookie and its extremely hard to take off. I had to use a face cleansing brush to take it off, so maybe use this for a long night out. The lipstick does accentuate all of your lip lines (or cracks?) so it may be good If you have smooth lips (I don't).

I'll be passing these on to someone else, as it didn't work well for my lips and I may stick to Huda Beauty for liquid lipsticks from now on.

I hope you've enjoyed this post, and please let me know if your experience was different to mine. 

Mischa xxx






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Monday, 15 May 2017

The Travel Diaries | Barcelona On A Budget




I booked my tickets to Barcelona on a whim with no preparation, hoping that forcing myself to be in a strange city with no friends or support will reignite the spark I had before back into my life. I quit my job that left me extremely unhappy and contemplating life everyday. I knew I had to do something to force myself to get out of my shell and be like the person I was three years ago. 
I set a £200 budget for two and a half days including my travel, accommodation and spendings. I know £200 is a lot of money, but including travel and accommodation, its on the lower end for a holiday in Barcelona. Setting this cash aside help me to stick to a schedule and budget, be independent, which helped to bring some confidence back into my life.
I researched heavily for a few hours before I left with budgets set aside for different activities and my hotel and accommodation. I was able to witness most of Anthony Gaudi's Key Architecture pieces in person which left me in awe. 


how to get around and tips

  • Hello Barcelona has a great offer on for bus and metro travel with unlimited travel for approx 7-8 EUR a day ( 72 Hours for 21.2 EUR). This is extremely helpful because nearly ALL tourist spots are accessible by the Metro (Park Guell requires the bus, but again its included in the Hello BCN Travel Ticket), and it also includes travel from and to the airport. Its possibly the best option if you plan on visiting a lot of spots in your short visit. Buy them here. As soon as you get to Barcelona Airport, there's a bus at Terminal T2-C which stops off at the city centre for approx 5.9 EUR, but if you're willing to walk for 10 minutes you can always get to the metro, validate your Hello BCN saver ticket you've bought online and get to your destination. 
  • People are either friendly or rude, and while they will try their best to help you, they'll do it in Spanish which doesn't help if you're not fluent in it. The best thing you can do is to be well prepared and also have google translate on at all times as it'll help you get around.
  • Get EU Subscription for unlimited internet access. Barcelona city has free wifi but the connectivity isn't the best. Most cafes have free internet - all you have to do is ask a waitress since it requires a password. 
  • Download the Barcelona map on Google Maps and save it on your phone. This helped me a lot to get around.
  • Pick Pocketing can be an issue in certain streets and on the Metro, and I remained vigilant throughout my trip, so make sure to avoid keeping your wallet and valuables in the outer pockets of your backpack.
  • UBER is not a thing in Barcelona. However you can get similar apps such as Hello Taxi! which is available both on Google Play and Apple Store. Get It Here
  • Avoid gift shops if you want to get souvenirs. Go to La Rambla on your way to the Cathredal. Street vendors sell stuff for half the price right outside Sagrada Familia as well (really pretty magnets for 1 EUR!).
  • Free Walking Tours are extremely good if you want to learn more about the city and its history and culture. It doesn't cost you anything and is extremely informative, and most guides are quite funny and informative. Book them here
  • Hop On and Off Tours helps you get to the main sights around Barcelona, hop off when you want to visit a site you fancy, and hop on the bus again when you're on to the next site. Costs | 29 EUR - Book here.

WHERE TO SHOP

MID RANGE TO HIGH END | PASSEIG DE GARCIA

This is your go-to stop to shop till you drop. There are two Sephoras, an amazing beauty department store called 'El Cortes Ingles' which even had the latest Chrissy Teigen BECCA Collection on display and every brand under the sun, and they also had amazing deals on where a tax refund of 20% is given as store credit when you spend 90 EUR or more. They have the most beautiful displays at H&M, Zara (probably two of them in the same area!), and Other Stories and a few Italian handbag brands. This is the best place to go to if you intend on shopping for clothing and makeup, but it can add up and take a large chunk of money out of your budget. Its a beautiful street in itself, although very touristy, and Casa Batllo is walking distance from the Passeig De Garcia Metro,and has a lot of good but slightly expensive Tapas places.

 cheap deals | la rambla

La Rambla was something I wasn't extremely keen on at first, but quickly grew to love it. Again its filled with a mix of both tourists and locals, and a lot of vendors with small shops which sell souvenirs you get at  gift shops for half the price, and you can bargain as well! The Gothic Quarter is quite close to La Rambla and again is a favourite spot of mine for the beautiful architecture. La Rambla is the best spot if you're looking for good bargains, and I was able to pick up Frida Kahlo prints for myself  (I don't want to sound pretentious but I actually loved them), and something more contemporary for my boyfriend which came up to 8 EUR.  I stumbled across the shop - Pósters Verkerke | C/ Cardenal Casañas 10 - 12, 08002 Barcelona, and wanted to buy everything but decided against it and got two pieces.

LA BOQUERIA

I couldn't take any photos here as my battery died, but if you love markets, you need to stop by La Boqueria. Its primarily a fruit/meat market with a lot of interesting cheeses on sale. As much as I loved it, if you're not that fond of being surrounded by a lot of people (which I'm not), avoid this place. If you're visiting Barcelona on a weekend, a lot of parks have quieter and equally good food markets where you'd be able to snap a good deal.

casa battlo



Casa Batllo is a UNESCO Heritage Site located in the heart of Barcelona (just a few minutes by foot from Passeig De Garcia Metro).  Its a beautiful building, which despite being owned by a family at the moment, is rented out for events and being a heritage site can be entered by visitors for a fee (which helps maintain the building). 
You're given a mobile device with headphones upon entering for an audio tour and an AR experience. Gaudi's architecture being quite distinctive in style can be spotted from far away, and my trip to Barcelona has made me appreciate architecture a lot more . I think the entry is overpriced for what it is, as Sagrada Familia and Park Guell's a lot cheaper, and in my opinion a lot beautiful, however a few people I know preferred Casa Battlo the most, so its good to check it out.


Location | Passeig de Gràcia, 43 08007 Barcelona
Website | https://www.casabatllo.es/en/
Entry Fee | 23.5 EUR (28 EUR on the door)


sagrada familia
Possibly the most famous piece by Gaudi, The Sagradia Familia needs to be in your iternary if you plan on visiting Barcelona. The entry fee is a lot lower than Casa Battlo (and if you're on a budget, I'd recommend visiting this over Casa Battlo, since its a lot more beautiful). The building is still in construction, and while it looks stunning from far, its even more beautiful inside and probably the most beautiful building I've ever entered in my life.

You can get priority access tickets here (best to skip the line!) and if you're below the age of 30, you get a cheaper deal for 13 EUR. Its easily accessible by the tram, as there's a dedicated tram stop just for Sagrada Familia.




park guell


You need to get your walking shoes for this, as its a 45 minute journey on the bus, and you then have to walk stairs continuously for six minutes upon which you'll come across this beautiful view of the city of Barcelona (on a top of a hill). You'll have to do another eight minutes of walking before you enter the Park Guell ticket office, where tickets are just 8 EUR.  If you're on a budget, you can get to the free areas of the park, but the monumental zone is stunning and lets you enter the beautiful parts of the Park which had been designed by Gaudi.  I cannot recommend this spot enough, and I do think its worth every penny you pay for entrance.



 






You can get tickets here for £6 . Its accessible by a bus you can catch from the city centre, and buses back to the city centre runs upto 12 AM.

barcelona cathredal


Again a favourite spot of mine, although I know a few people who got in for free at night. After Sagradia Familia, this has to be my second favourite piece of architecture. The queue for the tickets don't run long, and since its in the Gothic Quarter/ La Rambla, its surrounded by a lot of market stalls and you can always sit by the stairs with a snack and enjoy the view of the city.

Tickets cost approximately 7-8 EUROS

cheap eats

churreria laietana

Churros with Chocolate Sauce | 3.50 EUR (Can be split between two people)
Location  | Via Laietana, 46, 08003 Barcelona, Spain

I came across this on Trip Advisor, and also spoke to a few locals (and makeup artists in Passeig De Garcia), who recommended this place. I normally do not like Churros, and most churros I came across in the city were not freshly made, but this gem of a shop had the longest queue, and the best coffee and churros. It was really cheap as well, since freshly made orange juice costs approx 1.5 EUR. They served the best churros I've ever had in my life!

rosa negra

Location |  Via Laietana, 46, 08003 Barcelona, Spain


This place was conveniently placed right next to the churros place, had a bright ' Mojitos for 3.5 EUR' sign on, and I also fancied a cocktail so I stepped and despite it being just 5 PM in the evening it was packed with locals (Spanish locals tend to have dinner past 10 PM).  The chef is from Mexico City, they make their own Chipotle Sauce every morning, and the food there is what I'd consider to be the most authentic Mexican food I've ever had with a lot of guacamole and chipotle. The drinks were sweet and alcoholic, but cheap and I was very happy spending money here as I got my money's worth. I ordered a bit too much and only managed to finish my tacos and guacamole, and gave away the nachos with some guac to a homeless person. It closes at 11 PM so its perfect if you don't like eating late into the night (I prefer having dinner at 7 PM). 

Average Spend | 3.50 EUR (for Margeritas and Mojitos) to 6 EUR per Cocktail. Mains average around 9 EUR. Expect to Spend 15 EUR in total.

for tapas

LA TXAPELA Paseo de Gracia, 808007 BarcelonaSpain


If you eat meat (pork, beef, venison etc) , this place would be the closest thing to heaven, but avoid this place if you're a vegetarian or pescatarian unless you're happy with calamari, tuna, and brie. I did like it, but I eat chicken which was rarely found in the tapas they offered, and they did have really good potato dishes! This place was recommended to me by five locals,  so its a really good restaurant to try if you're on a budget, eat meat, and want to try a lot of different things.

 Average Spend : 1.90 -2.50 EUR per Piece, 10 EUR in Total pp

local tips

I didn't have the best tapas the first time around, and since I had tacos on the last day I realised that maybe I haven't had the best tapas in Barcelona so I chatted around with a few locals and asked them a lot of questions (this trip has helped me get out of my shell!). I'll be trying these spots around the next time ( I will give Churro Heaven a visit on my next visit to Barcelona),  as I had been recommended these restaurants to dine at by several local Spanish people ( I asked questions while I simultaneously petted their dogs). I have also included  places I managed to get through in my short stay in Barcelona (I managed on 2 hours of sleep on my last day, but thats because I couldn't get enough of the city and didn't really fancy sleeping in a place this beautiful).

for tapas
Jaica | Carrer Ginebra 13, Barcelona | Average Spend : 4 EUR per Tapas
Can Eusebio | Vilà i Vilà, 84
La Bombeta | C/ Maquinista, 3 08003 Barcelona


I wanted to exclusively avoid expensive and non-spanish food while I was there, but I'd recommend looking at trip advisor if you're just after quality. You might struggle a bit if you're a vegetarian or pescatarian as tapas have a lot of chorizo and Iberian Ham, so please do your research! 

fun things to do

If you're active and like hiking 
Sant Jaroni  | Climbing this for three hours will give you a spectacular view of the Mediterranean Sea from Mt Pyranees
Park Montjuic  | Climb up Montjuic Mountain and get a spectacular view of the city.

If you like the nature 
Jardin Botanico de Barcelona | This is a beautiful botanical gardens which is worth stopping by 
before heading to the Olympic Area and you also get free entry on Sundays after 3 PM!

Parc de la Ciutadella | I unfortunately had to skip this as I could only visit a few spots over the two days,
but I hope to go here on my next visit, since its close to the city centre and is a  breathtakingly beautiul
park.


If you like architecture
The Basilica of Santa Maria del Mar | I'm not religious or Christian but this is a divine church that I fell
in love with, and I would probably be very inconsiderate and force my family and friends to let me
get married here. A lot of people get married here, and since you can't really get married at Sagrada
Familia, this is the best option if you want to feel like a princess on your wedding day in an exotic 
city.

If you like shopping 
Barri de Gracia  | Filled with a lot of pop up boutique stores, I managed to resist my urge to shop here,
but I'll definitely come back here when I have more money on a holiday to take some beautiful pieces
home.

Spots that are Free
Magic Fountain   | I managed to go here with a few people that I met at my hostel after dinner. The fountain 
changes color from 9 PM till 11 PM, and is the perfect way to end your night out (mine didn't end after that!).

Barcelonata Beach  | I had to skip this, as some locals told me its not as great as the other spots in the city,
but I hope to visit the beach on my next trip to Barcelona.


I hope this post was informative in some way and inspires you to visit this beautiful city as I fell in love with it, and I hope to visit in the near future. Please leave a comment below and let me know what your favourite spot was in the city and any good tapas recommendation?


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Sunday, 14 May 2017

The Testing Diaries | Becca x Chrissy Teigen Glow Face Palette




I've been trying to become more mindful with my makeup purchases, and I tend to have bad FOMO on new beauty launches that people seem to splurge on or get PR samples of. I do not have the luxury of either of them, and since I've been walking out of department stores with swatches of lipsticks and eyeshadows by testing them out, I thought by swatching them, and then applying them on my face and testing out the longevity, I'd still be able to review products and give an informed opinion. This is something I'll continue to do in the long term, even when I have money so that I do not simply hoard makeup, because as much as I love it, I can spend my money on travel and food instead (there's aboslutely nothing wrong with it, as makeup is a vice of mine, but I'm actively trying to become more mindful about my spending).

I really like Chrissy Teigen, so I was quite excited when I learnt that she was collaborating with Becca over a product. It'll be on sale in the UK on Space NK in the month of June and is available on Sephora at the moment for $46.

PACKAGING 
I loved the packaging - its got a plastic top and a metal base for the pans. The plastic top has a beautiful rose-gold marble/watercolour effect. There are four pans in the palette with two highlighters, one bronzer and one blush. The blush is extremely similar to the blush in the Jaclyn Hill collaboration but with some slight shimmer, and the bronzer is quite small for a face product. I'm aware that Becca is famous of their highlighters and that's probably why the pans are big, but bronzers are hard to apply when they are this tiny. The mirror is huge and perfect for an all in one palette.

PRODUCT WEIGHT AND COST

The Net Weights of All of the Products are as follows :
1)  Shimmering Skin Perfector™ Pressed in Rose Gold (subtle gold with rose) - 5.1 g | Full Size ( $38 and 0.28 oz)  ; Value of Pan = $24.5
2) Beach Nectar (juicy apricot with gold)  - 5.1 g | Full Size ( $38 - Limited Edition so cannot find link, but approximately 0.28 oz ) ; Value of Pan = $24.5 

3) Luminous Blush in Hibiscus Bloom (golden-pink coral)  - 2.4 g |  Full size £27 or $32 and 7.4 g ; Value of Pan = $10.3 (approximate value)

4) Sunlit Bronzer in Malibu Soleil (medium amber)  - 2.4 g | Full Size ( Limited Edition so cannot find link); Value of Pan = $10.3 (approximate value)


Total Value = $69
Cost  = $46
Savings = $23



PIGMENTATION AND SWATCHES



I do think that this palette is perfect for anyone that's tan or with complexion similar to Chrissy's to make the best use out of this. This palette would be perfect for someone on holiday as you get two highlighters - one being subtle and the other on the stronger end. I think the blush is extremely similar to the blush in the Jaclyn Hill collection, so maybe skip this if you've got the same palette. They are all extremely pigmented and suited my skin tone, although I do think that a peachy tone blush would have worked better on this palette. The bronzer is nice, and is buildable so it'd work for someone with my complexion or darker if you build it up. If you use this product consistently it will go to waste as the pan size of both the blush and the bronzer is small compared to the highlighters, so maybe save this for when you're away or on holiday.

I tested this over a period of two days, and had my makeup done at the counter in Barcelona (I was the first one to swatch this, as I was there for the first Becca pop up at the Sephora in Barcelona, so it was clean and hygienic). I had used the palette all over my face for the bronzer, blush and the highlighters. I opted for the Rose Gold highlight the first day, and the Beach Nectar Highlight on the second day. Beach Nectar is definitely more pigmented and strong compared to Rose Gold, but I preferred Rose Gold on my skin as I like a subtle highlight. They're both of smooth consistency and easy to work with. I loved Beach Nectar, but Rose Gold is more of an everyday highlight, and Beach Nectar is something I'd save for night time.

In terms of longetivity they both lasted me approximately 9 hours after walking under the Barcelona sun the whole time. Most of my makeup had melted off (except for my lips which stayed intact - I was wearing Icon from Huda Beauty and the Becca Highlighters),which I would normally be annoyed at, but it was 32+ centigrade and I walked in the strong sun for 10+ hours (I'm having to use my darker Nars tinted moisturiser now). They work like any Becca highlighter so they're long lasting, and I had no issues with application and there was no fallout. Its easy to blend, and everything on the palette is buildable.




WOULD I BUY THIS?
I wanted to, but I have a lot of bronzers and highlighters (including 2 Becca), and I prefer blushes from other brands. This is a great palette if you have tan skin or complexion similar or lighter to Chrissy's, love Becca products and you like everything in one place. You get more product for your money from the Jaclyn Hill collection, so if I come across that someday I'll probably buy it. I like the blush, but don't love it and have my eyes set on the new MAC blushes anyway. Don't get me wrong as its a wonderful product, and if you like shades like that its perfect. It looked beautiful on my skin and lasted for a long time, but I didn't get why it was so similar to the Jaclyn Hill collection. Infact a lot of the shades looked recycled (they're not the same, but the blushes were very similar, and Malibu Soleil is close to Amaretto). The bronzer is good, but I need to build it a few times and the pan's tiny, so its a fail right there for me. It would work perfectly for someone lighter skinned than me, and can be their go-to product, but for me unfortunately, the bronzer brings down the palette with the pan size. I like this palette, and while its perfect on paper, I don't love it. Its longlasting and easy to apply and blend, but I wish the bronzer were bigger, and the blush was slightly different to that of Jaclyn Hill's. This product has amazing reviews everywhere, and while I do think this is excellent,  I wish they had a blush different to the other Limited Edition collection, and a bigger bronzer. The bronzer doesn't turn up on dark skin at all, as a black woman tried it on after me, and it did not turn up at all.


Buy it here on Sephora for $46, and it'll be available on Cult Beauty and Space NK from the 1st of June.


Are you excited about the launch of this collection? Or will you be skipping this? 

Mischa xxxx
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Monday, 8 May 2017

The Beauty Report | Colourpop Pressed Powder Eye Shadows

I love Colourpop, and after resisting every Free International Shipping and new launches, I placed a Colourpop order impulsively at 4 AM . I've been waiting to get my hands on the  pressed shadow pigments since they were $5 and very versatile (I did pick the same kinds of shades - i.e cranberry/Burgundy/gold, so sorry for not testing out different shades).
If you live in the UK, customs comes upto 20% of the invoice value (VAT) and an additional £8 handling charge. I got Hi-Maintenance,4 different shades with a free palette, a brow tint and 2 makeup brushes. I'll only be covering the shadows for now as I've been testing it for some time.
PACKAGING
The packaging of the palette is cute however its too bulky for four shades. The individual pressed powder shades come in separate packaging - its double wrapped, the first layer with plastic and the second in cardboard. None of the shades were damaged in the process which was a relief, and proves that the single pressed pigments are carefully packaged. Its best to just store these in a Z Palette as it takes up too much space.


pigmentation
These are extremely pigmented, and without an eyelid primer it lasted for more than 12 hours. I've been unadventurous with my shade selection as I picked similar kinds of shades, and have been using darker shades from my other palettes (The quad in Hi-Maintenance palette work very well together, my selection however was quite crap). 

texture and application
These shades are difficult to work with - it has ridiculous fall out, and application with brush is extremely streaky. It's chalky with a lot of fall out, but if you somehow like using fingers for eyeshadow application - this is your product.I don't fancy dirty fingers but I was able to create a beautiful eyeshadow look by using my fingers (Just in Time looked beautiful in the inner corners of my eyes). You do not need to use fingers for all of the shades, but most of the shimmer ones (similar to Huda Beauty shadows) require finger application .


the shades & swatches

01.HI-MAINTENANCE PALETTE
01. Just in Time | $5 - Buy it Here |  Its a beautiful light gold shade with yellow undertones and a metallic finish. Its buildable, but application with a brush was a no-no for me. It was patchy and didn't work, but application with fingers worked perfectly. It lasted for approximately 5 hours without an eyelid primer, and 7 with an eyelid primer.
02. High Strung | $5 - Buy it Here |  This is a copper-brown eyeshadow with warm undertones and a slight metallic finish. This is possibly my favourite shade out of Hi-Maintenance however it didn't fare as well as Zoeva or MAC. Application for this is similar to Just in Time and it lasted for seven hours on my eyes without an eyelid primer.
03. Get Out | $5 - Buy it Here | This is a pinky-red matte shade, with warm undertones.  While High Strung is my favourite shadow, Get Out blends well and applies well with an eyeshadow brush.  The fall out is ridiculous so please make sure to tap off excess powder.
04. Cute Alert | $5 - Buy it Here | This is a light Burgundy matte shade with warm undertones. It blended well ,and like Get Out it has a lot of fall out and you need to tap off excess powder        
                                 02.INDIVIDUAL PRESSED SHADOWS
01.Time Out | $5 - Buy it Here | This is a coral shade with a golden undertone. Yes its pretty to look at, but has bad fallout, doesn't apply well with an eyeshadow brush, isn't pigmented enough (even with an eyeshadow primer). Even after applying primer, I had fallout on my face a few hours later (which was noticed mid meal by my boyfriend in a restaurant!). 
02.Pinky Promise | $5 - Buy it Here | I had major heart eyes for this shade, and it did not disappoint me at all!  Its a shimmery cranberry shade with excellent pigmentation and it looks exactly like it does in the pan. This lasted for nine hours.
03. Stay Golden | $5 - Buy it Here | I'm not sure why its called 'Stay Golden' when its a deep red matte shade. This is pigmented and blends perfectly. It does fall out and in terms of longevity, it lasted for eight hours
04. Going Steady | $5 - Buy it Here |  Going Steady is a beautiful berry satin shadow with extremely good pigmentation however its difficult to work with. It took me longer than most shades to blend, and lasted for seven and a half hours 

This product is not a complete fail. I hate fallout, but I have managed to create beautiful eye looks using these pressed shadows,which requires me to be slightly more careful to avoid damaging carpets and surrounding areas.

Have you tried the Colourpop Pressed Powder Shadows and was your experience different to mine?

Follow me on InstagramBloglovin and Twitter here! 
Mischa xxx














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