Saturday, 6 July 2019

Why everyone should have a business card holder. A smart accessory and I tell you how...

Open your handbag, and I tell you who you are. Our handbags contain a world of things but not so many people own this accessory, which is timeless yet in disuse: the business card holder. Why have one, then?

Unless you are a white-collar or a stuff hoarder, you may think nowadays business cards are useless, especially when presentations happen while sipping a drink and go further with sharing your personal page. Business cards are a synthetic and professional 'handshake', your way to be remembered with a design piece of paper! These cards need a case to be in the right place and ready to be handed: nobody wants to dig in a bag and find a lipstick instead! 

FYY - handmade leather business card holder case

What I recommend - for a great first impression - is a handmade business card holder: while you open it, you convey the message you have an excellent taste for things, and you are a very tidy and precise person. Give your card and leave your mark, a two in one gesture! The perfect size for a business card case is that of a small mobile that stays in the palm of your hand. The natural texture of leather speaks of quality, a single small decoration of simplicity. Colours match your personality; if black and brown go with everything but are too formal, choose my recommended shades: maroon for a girl boss, and navy for the easy-going.

This Fyy classic is a smart accessory: loyalty cards have the same dimensions of business cards, so you can use your cardholder to keep them all in one place while shopping!

Like these apple pen holder and tablet case, these business card holders have been crafted by artisans with leather and canvas and are one the office staple you can find on the FYYstore Pinterest with more inspiration for your professional look.

Valentina Chirico aka Valens

Monday, 1 July 2019

True Lips, Colour Changing Lipstick - review and swatches

A funky yellow lipstick that makes your pout of a lovely pink, but it’s not big news nor a big hype anymore. I agree with that, but I couldn’t leave the shop without my first ever colour-changing lippie. True Lips Colour Changing Lipstick looks like a teen make-up or an 80's lipstick, but it’s a real lipstick, not a toy...
 JML, True Lips, Colour Changing Lipstick - packaging

Jml -True Lips Colour Changing Lipstick: product & packaging

True Lips is a super affordable lipstick by (unknown to me) JML. True Lips promises to “reveal your unique shades of pink”, hence the name. This lipstick looks precisely like common lip colours, but it’s yellow; it comes in a pretty standard lipstick case with 3.2 grams of product and has a clear cup thru which you can spot the shocking colour.

JML, True Lips, Colour Changing Lipstick - packaging

JML, True Lips, Colour Changing Lipstick - review by Valentina Chirico

Formula & texture
True Lips’ formula aims to hydrate and make your lip healthy plumped and nourished lips. Its recipe isn’t highly natural but contains Shea butter, vitamin E and sodium hyaluronate [1]; the latter being a component from well-known hyaluronic acid. Despite its creepy name, it’s safe to use in skin care and it’s able to capture and transport molecules through the epidermis so to maintain good hydration. This lipstick provides you with an SPF15 and contains synthetic beeswax. It looks like a formal lipstick - solid - but glides effortlessly like an oil.

JML, True Lips, Colour Changing Lipstick - review

Shade & finish
It’s banana yellow and applies like a clear balm which enhances your lipcolour in seconds into a bright and variable shade of pink. You can see from the collage below how it reacts with my lip colour; I could layer the colour as well, but I find it quite uneven: I can clearly see from the picture a stark like in the middle of my lips even after covering my lips fully with True Lips and there are area that will inevitably look hyperpigmented. Indeed, its colour-changing action is an adjustment to your Ph level, but it’s not by magic as it works on any other body part you accidentally apply it! Its finish is shiny but not totally glossy and tends to become natural-looking within an hour of wear or so. It has no scent nor flavour, that’s great if you can’t bother intense aromas.


it’s fun to use
it has SPF 15
long-lasting colour
shiny finish
it’s suitable for daily look and daily use
flavouring, scent-free

hydration isn’t long lasting
it enhances dry patches
lip colour is uneven (hyper-pigmentation is enhanced as well)

True Lips is available online for 5£ and was on offer at Boots at the time I decided to play with it. Its pink colour is very bright on my lips, and the shine effect is really attractive, but there’s a but: its claimed hydration. True Lips glides smoothly, but it may feel uncomfortable if your lips tend to be on the dry side. My lips weren’t visibly dehydrated (see the middle picture in the collage), but most of the time the dry sensation was uncomfortable and also noticeable with some dry areas visible even after scrubbing. Its hydration looks more like an external feature: a finish of the product itself. True Lips doesn’t give that hydration that a tinted balm may provide, so to say. It has the same effect a lip oils give me - and disappoint me all the times - superficial hydration that feels clogging.

Exactly, I played with True Lips, nothing more. I would rather spend a couple pounds more to maintain my lips supple. I don’t want that much, some comfort and a bit of colour: maybe a “toy-looking” chubby pencil but a real make-up thing! No, don’t wait for it, don’t get mad to find it.  I don’t recommend it, it’s clear.

Valentina Chirico aka Valens

[1] Barel A.O, Paye M., Maibach H.I (eds.), 2001 Handbook of Cosmetic Science and Technology,351

Tuesday, 25 June 2019

Natural cosmetics: the boom of powerful plant extracts in your skincare

Natural skincare is a slice of the beauty industry in constant growth. It’s not a pure matter of trends: people are more and more concerned about what they’re spreading onto their skin, and they’re swapping for natural solutions. While studying the drugstores' aisles, I became familiar with a huge array of botanicals and I discovered new extracts I wasn’t aware of! Today, I’ll briefly list some powerful natural extracts and what they are specific for.

Natural cosmetics and new industry trend@monfocus

Maybe your grandma was used to use infuses (pun galore!) to sort minor issues like redness or itchiness. Natural cosmetics save this traditional knowledge and employ plant, root, fruit and seed extracts and oils in combination with other base ingredients for gentle and eco-friendly products. I remember slicing leaves of a pretty common succulent plant, scooping out its fresh gel, and applying it to an annoying sunburn to get instant relief. I know you know that: it’s the aloe vera magic! Aloe Barbadensis - its Latin name - is evergreen in common soothing and after sun beauty products but it’s not the only one, let’s see how many do we know...

Natural cosmetics: the boom of powerful plant extracts in your skincare                                                    @casellesingold - Franziska Ingold

An oat bath is a childhood memory for most of us, the Avena Sativa extract is known to give relief to dryness, inflammation and itchiness due to dehydration and skin diseases; Camomille - Matricaria Chamomilla - has calming properties and it’s used to reduce redness and to depuff tired, swelled eyes.

Natural cosmetics: the boom of powerful plant extracts in your skincare @silviarita

Some botanical extracts are used as booster and anti-ageing agents: it’s the case of caffeine from coffee beans - Coffea Arabica - a stimulating chemical used in many anticellulite and reviving eye care products; green tea - Camellia Sinensis - is rich in antioxidants to fight free radicals, inflammation, and bacteria causing acne; grape seeds oil - Vitis Viniferais another extract full of antioxidant used in anti-age skincare.

Treatments for dehydrated and flaky skin often contain evening prime rose oil – Oenothera Biennisemollient and inflammatory; rosehip oil (Rosa Canina), jojoba oil (Simmondsia Chinensis) and sea buckthorn oil - Hippophae Rhanoides.

Natural cosmetics: the boom of powerful plant extracts in your skincare                                                                   @monicore

If your primary concern is keeping your daily hydration, your body and skincare will also contain good sources of antioxidant Vitamin E and fatty acids to protect and moist your skin. These are the aims of these super oils and butters: almond oil (Prunus Dulcis), argan oil (Argania Spinosa), olive oil (Olea Europea), coconut oil and butter (Cocos Nucifera), sunflower oil (Helianthus Annuus), cocoa butter (Theobroma Cacao) and avocado oil (Persea Americana).

Natural cosmetics: the boom of powerful plant extracts in your skincare                                                         @ceanverde - Alex Dutemp

I guess most of you - at some point during your life - struggled with blemishes, imperfections or acne. Skincare for problematic or young skin often uses green tea to fight bacterial infections and camomille to sooth; but also echinacea (Echinacea Angustifolia) which reduces inflammation and helps cellular regeneration; witch hazel – Hamamelis Virginiana – with its purifying and astringent properties; tea tree oil – Melaleuca Alternifoliaa powerful antibacterial.

Natural cosmetics: the boom of powerful plant extracts in your skincare - witch hazel
                                                              @ilyessuti - Ilona Ily√©s

The beauty industry is expanding, and if you're accustomed to squishy seaweed in your face mask by now, you may need a bit of time to adjust to new trends... Recently, I have been intrigued by the quick spread of many cannabis or CBD skincare. Shocked? You shouldn’t be, it’s totally legal and safe in your cosmetic preparations... no one will put you in jail! 
The “beauty archaeologist” had to give this green leaf a go and went deep into her investigations: I tried my first cannabis moisturiser and read more about the cannabis family which is very interesting, yet complicated! Hempseed oil and CBD (cannabidiol) comes from two plants of the same species of Cannabis.

Natural cosmetics: the boom of powerful plant extracts in your skincare                                                      @demip101 - Demi Pradolin

Hempseed oil is a good source of essential fatty acids (omega-3 and omega-6) and vitamin A, D and E; and studies proved it’s an excellent anti-inflammatory and a no-clogging moisturizer. CBD oil arrived on the market quite recently and spread as fast as the light in the US after California legalized marijuana in 2016. CBD oil is the no-psychotropic component of marijuana: it has no “high effects”. When compared to its cousin, it shows some similarities, but it has a higher concentration of cannabidiol, and it’s more expensive! It has both antioxidant - read anti-age - soothing and anti-inflammatory properties, and it’s used topically on acne-prone, dry and sensitive skin, as well as in the case of eczema and psoriasis

The buzz is huge, and this new oil became the Holy Grail for smooth, dewy and young skin! The natural skincare family is bigger than I could ever imagine, and it looks like CBD oil is actually the big next thing in this industry. My crystal ball tells the beauty future is going to be more than more natural, it's going to be very, very green!

Valentina Chirico aka Valens