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Monday, 5 December 2016

Shopping online experiences: Sephora. Opinions about site, ordering, products and customer care

Shopping experiences must be shared: this is why I’ve written down my opinion about purchasing online at Sephora, a beauty colossus which doesn’t need further presentation.

Shopping online experiences: Sephora

If you don’t live in a big city, served by the main beauty and fashion retailers, shopping online is a great possibility to buy at great prices and specific brands.
So it happens that, after receiving a newsletter from Sephora with an interesting offer, my sister decided to buy her signature scent online: Alien by Thierry Mugler.

Shopping online experiences: Sephora opinions about order, packaging, customer servise

The tempting offer consisted of a box with four Benefit mini size products for all orders over 30€. The promotion was such a success, the available stock of those promotional kits ended soon, what to do? My sister placed her order and Sephora had a replacement with the same if not higher value.
The shopping session was fast as she knew what she exactly wanted and already had an account.

The login in is very quick, Sephora site is easy to browse as well as putting everything in your chart and doing the checkout. A feature that surprises us at is the box options: you can choose in which case your order will arrive and your own samples!
In Italy, it’s up to 5, exactly 3 for orders less than 80€. This is an example: under my chart content, before paying it, I can choose and select the desired samples...

Shopping online experiences: Sephora opinions about order, packaging, customer servise
Shopping online experiences: Sephora. Sample selection opitions

However, since the site loads fast, you have to pay attention if you want to go back, change something and/or refresh the page, so my sister purchased the wrong perfume size.
When she realised that, she immediately called the customer care and was able to talk with an assistant but, here again, the Sephora system is immediate: the order had been already put in preparation. It’s a matter of minutes, almost seconds, once you confirm your purchase. My sister could just change her Alien with another bottle size in the shop if wanted.

After one week, the order arrived: the average but solid brown cardboard box contained an explosion of black and white graphics and an elegant red box with magnetic closure.
Inside her “matrioska box” with some tissue papers, there were both the scent, her samples (Narciso Rodriguez for her, Elie Saab Le Parfum and Guerlin L’Homme Ideal) and the promotional box.

Shopping online experiences: Sephora. Sample selection opitions

The promo has amazed my sister: the magnetic black and white box contained two Marc Jacobs mini size make-up items and a card with 3 samples of Re(marc)able Full Cover Foundation Concentrate.
The Highliner #42 Blacquer is a gel eyeliner in pencil and has a twistable end: twist the bottom to use the pencil.
A. couldn’t resist and she tried it immediately: it glides effortlessly onto the skin and is smudge proof, intense, pitch black... she liked it and now she loves it!

- great offers
- a good selection of brands and exclusive products
- easy and quick account creation and shopping
- fast customer care
- attention to products and packagings
- customizable box
- sample selection

- instant purchase process (not allowing further modifications)
- toll phone number for customer care

Shopping online experiences: Sephora. Marc Jacobs travel sizes
Shopping online experiences: Sephora. Opinions about site, ordering, products and customer care
Marc Jacobs Beauty, Velvet Noir Major Volume Mascara and Highliner gel eye crayon eyeliner in #42 Blacquer, travel sizes
Marc Jacobs Beauty, Highliner gel eye crayon eyeliner in #42 Blacquer

The final vote: B+. Sephora can easily get a higher score but, you know, too fast isn’t good in life, right?

Yes, my sister did a mistake but she fell in love with what she purchased and the overall presentation. Indeed, we opened the box right away and showed it on Instagram for an “unboxing experience on air".
Do I recommend shopping online at Sephora? Yes, if you aren’t lucky and can’t physically visit and shop at a Sephora store, you can do it online but only by paying attention and taking your time!

Valentina Chirico aka Valens

Thursday, 1 December 2016

"Archaeo" nails: archaeologists with moustaches manicure

Manicure attack ahead, because I had a case of archaeological fever while browsing a great University handbook (Archaeology: Theories, Methods, and Practice, College Edition by C.Renfrew and P.Bahn) resulting in “archaeo nails, a nail art with exceptional protagonists: archaeologists with moustaches.

Why an archaeological manicure? As a cultural worker, I think there’s not better way to learn than by playing and having fun.
With this nail art, I wanted to introduce you to some real archaeologists who did the history of this amazing discipline. Forget Indie, please!

"Archaeo" nails: archaeologists with moustaches manicure made by Valentina Chirico
"Archaeo" nails: archaeologists with moustaches manicure made by Valentina Chirico

Each nail features a face, or better, moustaches and glasses if worn.
Everything has been painted by hand with regular nail polishes, nail polish remover to thin down some colours, and a double ended nail art tool (half dotting tool, half small detail brush). 

Here what I used in order:
Base: Avon Nail Experts Pearl Shine (1 coat)
Coloured base: Pupa Lasting Color Glossy Nail Color 223 (1 coat)DetailsMeauey Shake Me-Pump & Use nail art pen #2 black (via Born Pretty Store with V10K31 for a 10% off) + Yamamay beauty #24 black for moustaches, small details and glassesPupa Lasting Color Glossy Nail Color 916 (a grey for moustaches), Debby Colorplay Magnetic 10 Mars (metallic red for Binsford’s tortoiseshell glasses on the middle finger), Avon Nail Experts French Manicure Tip, Prestige Cosmetics NL17 Mocha and Avon Color Trend fashion nail enamel in Rare (teddy bear), Avon double ended nail art tool
Top coat: essence the gel nail polish in 01 absolute pure (1 coat)

Archaeology students are familiar with these names and relative faces, why are they and their studies so important? Starting from my index finger, we get to know...

Evans (1851-1941) was an English archaeologist interested in Aegean civilisations. He’s renowned for his excavation in Crete and his studies concerning Cretan identity. 
His field works started on 1900 and led him to unearth the Knossos palace and its clay tablet deposits. He's important because he properly outlined Minoans as a civilisation and analysed the three written systems used in the isle: an ancient "hieroglyphic" system, the so-called Linear A (an official writing scheme used in administration and religious contexts, partially ideographic and syllabic that hasn’t been decrypted yet) and the later Linear B (used by Mycenean, derived from the Linear A and consisting of syllabic and phonetic signs. It has been decoded by Ventris and Chadwick in the ‘50s, so that we know it’s an archaic Greek language written form).

Binford: (1931-2011) an American archaeologist and anthropologist who has shaken and revolutionised archaeology with his article “Archaeology as anthropology” (1962) and later with the essay “New Perspectives in Archaeology” (1968). His “school” is called “New Archaeology and it’s a totally different approach to the discipline: instead of basing a theory upon scholars’ authority, he and his colleagues tried to explain the past by analysing cultures rather than by simply describing them.

Childe (1892-1957) was an archaeologist born in Australia and academically active in the United Kingdom. His study sector was the Prehistory of Europe and his most important research work was conducted in the Orkeney Islands, at Skara Brae
He’s considered the father of palethnology and gave prehistory an importance, as a subject, never seen before. Childe’s approach is based on “cultures” and material cultures, “organisms” able to adapt and transforms themselves
His theory was deeply influenced by Marxism, indeed he introduced the key concept of revolution in early human societies: the “Neolithic revolution” and the “Urban revolution”.

Wheeler: (1890-1976) a British archaeologist who served as an official in the British Army during both World War I and Work War II. His name is linked to a great step forward in methodology known as the “Wheeler method”. He introduced military precision by using a square grid excavation technique and a more detailed and scientific context recording.
He operated in the UK, at the famous Iron age hillfort of Maiden Castle, and in several Indian sites.

"Archaeo" nails: archaeologists with moustaches manicure. Childe's teddy bear made by Valentina Chirico
"Archaeo" nails: archaeologists with moustaches manicure made by Valentina Chirico

I loved, in particular, this picture above with Childe, his beloved pipe, and a teddy bear.. It looked to be a gift made by students from the Brno University.
That little friend popped up on my thumb but, let’s get serious again, I have to study now...

Valentina Chirico aka Valens

C.Renfrew, P.Bahn, "Archaeology: Theories, Methods, and Practice",  Thames & Hudson
E.Giannichedda, "Archeologia teorica", Carocci editore

Monday, 28 November 2016

Your birthday girl: OOTD + FOTD, what I wore for my birthday

Let's face it: I'm getting older. This means a few days ago I was a birthday girl (again, I mean it was my birthday)! Nothing special, but, in my opinion, every single gathering is a good occasion to look at one's best.
What I wore for my birthday? Here you have some outfit and make-up pictures...

Your birthday girl: OOTD +FOTD, what I wore for my birthday

Sorry, but I'm not a very romantic girl despite I like heels and dresses.
I wore a thrifted satin violet dress with a sapphire blue Promod asymmetric cardigan, a pair of Pompea grey decorated tights, a Pimkie satchel and a pair of grey ankle boots made in Italy.
These shoes are very comfortable... bought for my dissertation, strutted every time I can!

Then a faux leather Terranova jacket and an adorable blue and white kanzashi flower ring by Kimono Design. I've kicked off the sweetness with that jacket and my make-up...

Valentina Chirico's birthday OOTD + FOTD, outfit of the day

Gifts for the special day: no make-up but a suggestion for the coming cold evenings and nights.
A very warm and fluffy pyjama by noidinotte, an Italian brand that allowed me and who bought it for me to donate for a good cause: the Pink is Good Campaign held by the Veronesi Foundation to support breast cancer studies.

What a better companion for this pyjama than a good book?
Here's the newest work by Alberto Angela, the most famous Italian TV science communicator, about Leonardo da Vinci: "Gli occhi della Gioconda. Il genio di Leonardo raccontato da Monna Lisa".
As all his essays, it's an enjoyable reading, thanks to his quick and simple style, informative and informal. I usually read more academic essays but...

If you follow me via Instagram, you've already had a peek into my birthday...
For my make-up I wore on my...

FACE: Pupa Professional Primer Corrective 02 GreenMaybelline Dream Satin Liquid Foundation in 30 (Sand) and 21 (Nude), Pupa Cover cream concealer pen 004, Avon True Ideal Flawless concealer in Medium, Pupa Like a Doll Nude Skin compact powder in 003; Pupa Extreme Bronze compact bronzing powder 001, Pupa Like a Doll Golden Infusion 001 Gold highlighter, Pupa Like a Doll Cream Blush 101 Doll Pink.
EYES: essence I love Stage primer, Pupa Like a Doll Nude Skin compact powder in 003 (as a nude shade), Lumière Cosmetics Honey Brown mineral pigment, Avon True eyeshadow Blackest Black + a pearly gun metal grey eyeshadow from an old Avon Cosmetics palette (Aquadelic); Marc Jacobs Velvet Noir Major Volume mascara,  essence eyebrow fixing pencil, essence eyebrow stylist set in 01 natural brunette style.
OTHER - NAILS Avon Nail Experts Pearl Shine nail treatment with pearly finish
SCENT OF THE DAY Luisa by Luisa Spagnoli eau de Parfum
HAIR: ApHogee Green Tea and Keratin Restructurizer spray (for volume and protection) and Avon Advance Techniques 360 Nourishment Moroccan Argan Oil Nourishing Hair Serum (for extra hydration and lights).

Valentina Chirico's birthday make-up
Valentina Chirico's birthday make-up FOTD
Valentina Chirico's birthday make-up FOTD

Most of all, I enjoyed staying with my family, especially with that special person who gave me this little dome cake.
A strawberry cake with glittery jelly and an inspiring card with the most precious words I've ever read and received in all my short life.

Birthday cake, glitter strawberry cake

By the way, this cake was a sugar bomb and a pleasure for my eyes.
Thank you for stopping by, thanks again and again.

Valentina Chirico aka Valens
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