Sunday, 29 July 2018

Indie creations: Julie Nicaisse Jewellery, jewels with galactic powers and green souls

Julie Nicaisse - with her powerful jewelry - recalls the myth of Ephestus, the god hurled down from the Olympus who, under the ground, works the metals with brutal force and mastery, fire and flames. 
But Julie’s art isn’t heartless: the shapes of her earrings and necklaces can be sharp as flints, cold like meteors crashed on earth, but her love for Mother Nature has no equal and gentles her pieces.

Julie Nicaisse Jewellery

Julie Nicaisse’s work is inspired by Nature and Cosmo, her creations are completely sustainable and ethically sourced with a preference for fair-trade gold and stones, recycled and refused precious metals.
More lust but less waste is possible and green for Julie Nicaisse: her production is as kind as possible with the planet, as she tries to cut all the unwanted chemicals from the jewelry production. 

How she came up with her cosmic accessories is a story of dedication and it's about a jump facing the unknown. She is going to unveil something about her life and her work…

Julie Nicaisse Jewellery recycled metal jewellery

How and when was your shop born?
I have been making jewellery since 2006, but last year I decided to make the big jump, I quit my day job and went full time into making my own jewellery. 
I have been working in the shade on my brand for the last 10 years.

Could you tell us something about your background? Where are you from?
I am originally from Belgium where I studied Fine Arts before moving to the U.K in 2000. In London, I learned the Art of jewellery making through studies, research and practice. I acquired my high level of craftsmanship in working for numerous renowned jewellers before launching my own brand.

When have you met your passion for creations?
Since a very young age, I have always had a passion for creation, coming from an artist family. But I discover my passion for jewellery making when I signed up for my first ever jewellery class, I knew right away that this is what I wanted to do for the rest of my life!

What's your goal?
I would love to design jewellery for movies.

Julie Nicaisse Jewellery
Julie Nicaisse Jewellery: the making of green jewellery.
 Fusing old jewels for a custom order
Julie Nicaisse Jewellery
Julie Nicaisse Jewellery: sneak peek on Facebook. The choice for the perfect finish...

How do you imagine your typical customer?
My typical customer is a strong and confident woman, she loves art & culture and has her own unique sense of style.
She is very elegant and likes to look different from everybody else. She loves dressing up to go out and look beautiful.

What inspires you the most?
Nature! Nature and Nature. I love translating the unusual shapes I find in nature into wearable treasures.

Do you have an inspiring place, where do you create or sketch the product?
Everything is made in my south London studio in Stockwell, but I get my inspiration from different places, I usually carry a sketchbook with me everywhere I go.
It often begins with a rough sketch but I am more of a 3D person and the piece is really coming to life as I am working. I will use a different approach depending on how I want the final piece to look like. Sometimes I carve a wax model of the piece then cast it into metal and other times I go straight into working the metal itself.

Do you have a project for the near future?
I have many projects for the near future, but for now, I will keep them secret ;-)

Julie Nicaisse Jewellery recycled metal jewellery
Julie Nicaisse Jewellery

She left us with a halo of mystery that makes her future creations a magnetic attraction but something is sure...
From her small corner studio, Julie’s works have travelled the net and impress on Facebook and Instagram where our curious eyes can have a peek into her intimate practice.
The incandescent warmth of Mother Earth and the deadly cold of the Milky Way are frozen in time in smooth and sleek jewels carefully created by Julie Nicaisse.
With such a great attention to the environment and an almost total green approach to the metal artistry, it’s really hard not to fall in love with her pieces and feel the connection with powerful forces.

Valentina Chirico aka Valens

Friday, 6 July 2018

Hema Natural Skin Foundation #02, natural effect foundation - review and swatch

Finding the right liquid foundation is really hard and it’s even harder when it comes to “daily” use and product for dry or combination skin.
As promised, here’s my first review of some new liquid foundations I’ve tried and been using since my arrival in the UK. 

Hema Natural Skin Foundation is part of Hema’s beauty range and - for those of you who aren’t familiar with this retailer - you’ll be amazed by this brand’s huge catalogue covering a bit of everything. From home accessories to stationery, from food and kitchen tools to bath and beauty item. It’s reminiscent of Flying Tiger but less childish yet still colourful. 
Hema Natural Skin Foundation is a foundation that mixes effortlessly on the skin for a natural effect” and with a description like this and a ridiculous price, I had to give it a go. 

Hema Natural Skin Foundation: product & packaging

Hema Natural Skin Foundation #02 is a liquid foundation with an adjustable coverage and natural finish. Its packaging is really basic: a 30ml plastic tube with minimal design and a transparent panel allowing to understand how much product is left. 

Formula & texture

Its formulation is liquid and hydrating described as “ultra-lightweight” in texture and able to “blend effortlessly”.
It doesn’t contain perfume and it’s dermatologically tested. It sounds no-irritating and so it is.
Hema Natural Skin Foundation is extremely fresh when applied and I’ve found its texture quite runny and tacky. It tends to dry fast but not uniformly and it keeps “moving” while one tries to spread it, thus its coverage isn’t even.
Despite the fresh sensation, it results tacky and its scent is fresh but weird and artificial. The formula seems to have no natural key ingredients and it clogs the pores with a frequent usage.

Hema Natural Skin Foundation in action
No filter, no other makeup or primer on: dewy finish but enlarged clogged pores (forehead), dark circles still evident

Shade & finish
Hema Natural Skin Foundation comes in 4 shades in total. In the e-shop, these colour options are grouped in two shades roses and two of beige, despite every and each foundation is described as “brown” on the same website.
The package has no description or indication of the shade except for the given number. 
Unfortunately, the shop lightening was of no help and Hema Natural Skin Foundation #02 turned up to be a salmon pink with a pink undertone.
The undertone isn’t warmer as expected from a salmon hue, thus it isn’t warm enough to correct dark circles which become grey.
The finish is very natural and surprisingly luminous: this Hema foundation doesn’t contain any reflecting particles but it creates a dewy look, a supple and radiant appearance.

Time to simplify it...

low price,
natural look,
dewy finish,
fresh sensation 

tacky texture,
uneven coverage and drying time,
poor colour selection 

I was looking for an inexpensive foundation to use frequently for an easy and natural makeup look for work, so I used it extremely often with some breaks (no-makeup days) in between to avoid extra stress. 
During the first few weeks, I was quite happy with Hema Natural Skin Foundation’s freshness and hydrating feeling, as well as for the convenient price of my brand new foundation.
The price let me forget about the time I needed to apply it...
I was so happy and positive with the purchase, that I showed A. my new purchase with great enthusiasm while Skype-ing with her.
We were talking about new beauty buys and discoveries, you could imagine my mom’s (no) interest in this part of the conversation...
Back to Hema Natural Skin Foundation: the more I used it, the more tricky it became and my pores started to clog, even in those dry areas where my skin is more sensitive and lacks in hydration.
No matter my conscious and savvy attitude, I had to throw away this foundation with still some product left. Why risking my skin health for a cheap product? I’ve taken the right choice at the end... 
As you can bet, my experience wasn’t positive and, despite I loved the fresh look I had with little sleep.
If you’re curious about it, you can find Hema Natural Skin Foundation in any Hema store or online at 4.25£. Not a good bargain thou...

Valentina Chirico aka Valens

Friday, 22 June 2018

The Body Shop Matte Lip Liquid in Tahiti Hibiscus 016 - review

The Body Shop Matte Lip Liquid in Tahiti Hibiscus 016 has been a purchase drawn simply by an impulse while wandering in Birmingham’s Bullring. 
Let’s admit it: with names like luscious flowers and far islands, I couldn’t stop swatching these matte lip colours and dream of impossible travels...

The Body Shop Matte Lip Liquid in Tahiti Hibiscus 016

The Body Shop Matte Lip Liquid is a range of 17 highly pigmented and cruelty-free lip coloursspecially formulated to glide on effortlessly like a gloss and set with the rich creamy colour and velvety touch of matte lipstick”.
By the given description, these lip colours seem a good compromise but matte lip products are also known to be tricky to use if not disappointing, what about these ones?

The Body Shop Matte Lip Liquid in Tahiti Hibiscus 016

The Body Shop Matte Lip Liquid: product & packaging 

The Body Shop Matte Lip Liquid in Tahiti Hibiscus is a lip colour contained in an 8-ml tube with a sponge applicator that’s slim and thin enough to allow a nice application.

The Body Shop Matte Lip Liquid in Tahiti Hibiscus 016
The Body Shop Matte Lip Liquid in Tahiti Hibiscus 016

Formula & texture:
It’s stated that this liquid lip colour by The Body Shop is creamy and velvety, to be more precise Tahiti Hibiscus has a mousse texture that is very light on the skin and applies effortlessly. It doesn’t smudge nor crackle while wearing it.
The formula is really gentle and no-drying with a pleasant and deliciously fruity scent, it’s enriched with fair-trade beeswax and marula oil.
Indeed, this lip colour doesn’t create dry patches nor set into fine lines, but it takes up to 5 minutes to dry completely to the desired finish.
Its formula holds on quite well if you simply drink and it can last 4 or 5 hours with the same comfortable sensation, however it easily fades if you eat as well as transfers.

The Body Shop Matte Lip Liquid in Tahiti Hibiscus 016

Shade & finish:

The Body Shop Matte Lip Liquid in Tahiti Hibiscus 016 has a vivid raspberry red shade despite the tube is quite misleading: it’s maroon and one would expect a colour like that. 
I disagree with bloggers defining Tahiti Hibiscus a dark or an intense red because it has a strong blue/cold undertone and in certain light conditions or camera settings you can see it as a magenta.
Compare the two pictures below, no filters have been applied. 
The finish is matte but bright, never flat!

The Body Shop Matte Lip Liquid in Tahiti Hibiscus 016
The Body Shop Matte Lip Liquid in Tahiti Hibiscus 016

airy texture
easy application
no-drying formula
fair-trade ingredients
high impact colours
vibrant finish

long drying time
transfers and fades with ease

The Tahiti Hibiscus Matte Lip Liquid by The Body Shop has several positive points but the slow drying time can be both a pro and a con: waiting is bothering and, in the meantime, one is tempted to adjust the colour by messing around at the end. 
If only it could last longer while eating The Body Shop Matte Lip Liquid would be the perfect matte liquid lipstick on the market! I would buy a new one...

The Body Shop Matte Lip Liquid

The Body Shop Matte Lip Liquid in Tahiti Hibiscus 016 costs 7£ and it’s also completely vegetarian and gluten-free, it’s available online and in store.
All in all, it’s worth to be tried on offer for its high impact colour palette, its hydrating effect, comfortable wear and the green consciousness that’s one of The Body Shop’s trademarks.

Valentina Chirico aka Valens