Sunday, April 22, 2012

Perfume Review: Truth or Dare by Madonna

Yesterday I went in to my local Perfumes&Companhia store to pick up some more of my beloved Estee Lauder cleanser (more on that in a forthcoming post) and upon checking out I was given a sample of Madonna's new perfume Truth or Dare.

I have soft spot for Madonna. My parents had the record (actual vinyl!) of Like a Virgin and when I was a kid I loved it. I also played plenty of Madonna when I used to DJ at a gay club. Unfortunately Madge's album sales are not doing that great. In fact, her lastest album MDNA is expected to drop 88 percent in sales from her debut week - apparently the biggest second week drop in music charts history (source: Forbes). Truth be told, I kinda like the album! I'm sure she's hoping to pick up sales from her new perfume.

And an interesting perfume it is!

At first I was taken a back by the heady tuberose/gardenia in it. I really am not a fan of tuberose and gardenia fragrances because now they remind me of Kim Kardashian's awful first scent. Yuck! I stuffed my Truth or Dare sample away and thought I'd smell it later after it dries down.

The evening progressed and I then caught a wiff of it on my wrist. Wow. It softened up quite a bit to an almost musky gourmand floral on me - warm vanilla, gardenia and amber. The tuberose is still there and it smells very "fleshy". If you want to smell expensive, this is a good option! Its a very ballsy fragrance. Madonna was right when she said it takes a daring woman to wear this.

I think a lot of younger people may immediately think "old lady" but I think there is something very different about this perfume for me. Under the strong heady tuberose and gardenia there's that deep dark amber and smokey benzoin pull. Its incredibly mysterious and, dare I say, slightly lecherous. In a good way!

My prediction: this is either going to put Madonna in the "jumped the shark" category or seriously going to boost her image. Either way, I still lover her.

(As of posting this, the fragrance is available at Macy's stores and Macy's website within the US and at Perfumes&Companhia stores and online within Portugal.)

When life hands you lemons...

I know. I hear you. Its been a while. Life got busy. What can I say. I have a couple posts coming up but in the meantime - make these lemon bars! They're so amazing with fresh squeezed lemon juice. (And they're so easy that my non-baker husband can make them!)

Recipe here:

Photo and recipe from (photo taken by mominml)

Friday, March 30, 2012

Ebay Fake Lashes: A Mini-Review!

I successfully applied fake lashes today! Yay!

Now, I understand buying fake lashes off ebay seems rather questionable. But after much consideration and feedback, I figured this was the best option since I have never tried false ones before. These came from the seller beauty_space88 on ebay and appear to be from a brand called Cool Flower. 

I envisioned having to mash them onto my eyeball haphazardly until they were mangled beyond all use but it was so much easier than expected. It only took my two tries! I have weird real lashes. They're pretty decent, they're long and the volume is great. Unfortunately a number of them grow straight down, making my natural lashes look like they have a gap in some areas. No lash curlers or curling mascaras have been useful so these puppies help to fill in those gaps.

Apologies for the crappy picture. It was the end of the day and I had terrible lighting!

I have to hand it to makeup artist Lisa Eldridge's fantastic video on how to apply them. She makes it look really easy!

I bought them here from seller name beauty_space88 and they're style number 63. They only cost $2.86 once the auction was over! And that's for a set of ten! So far I'm really happy with them. For those of you wondering: the band on these is not clear but it is very flexible!

I've also heard really good things about the lashes that KKCenterhk carries so hopefully I'll be trying theirs soon as well!

Do you have any feedback or tips on applying fake lashes or is there a certain style you prefer?? Feedback!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Black Rose Minerals Review + Color Images!

(Image heavy post.)

A few months back, I read some glowing reviews about Black Rose Minerals. I used my google-fu to find some swatches and blog posts. All of the images were gorgeous so I had to check them out. Much to my delight they had a sample 10 pack where I could pick out the colors I wanted to try AND they ship to Portugal. Not only that it was all very affordable. Yep, I ordered. And plan on ordering more.

I want to get to the swatches right away! (Note: I took these in natural light and tried to make sure the colors are as true as possible!)

You might notice there are more than 10 colors here. Rosa from BRM sent me two bonus samples (Lunar Shower and Lost) along with this super sweet note!

Everything was packed well (shrink wrapped even!) and nothing broke open or spilled in transit on its way across the ocean.

Another great thing about BRM is that all of the shades are clearly marked whether or not they are vegan or lip safe (I plan on using Black Math in a lipstick!) and the ingredients are listed.

It goes without saying that these shades are stunning. Each is hand mixed and individually formulated - no premade, repackaged stuff here! My current favorites are Vertigo and Mechanize. Keep in mind if you don't use a primer the shades will be more sheer and not stick as well - I use Too Faced Shadow Insurance. You can also use these wet by spraying a bit of water onto your brush first.

Check them out and browse their vast shade collection here :

Are you a fan of mineral or pigment eyeshadows? Have you ever used the minerals to make your own lipstick/gloss or nail polish shade? If so, give me some pointers!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Update + Apologies!

Nica approves of this update!

Hello all!

Thank you for stopping by!

I haven't updated recently because things got really busy here and there's a lot of activity going on here since my birthday is tomorrow (yay me!).

I have a few posts in the works including a couple of great reviews (perfumes and Travalo perfume atomizer, Too Faced Naked Eye palette, Fresh Sugar lip treatment, and Black Rose Mineral shadows/pigments), as well as other random stuff (cooking, baking, DIY) and general expat life.

Check back soon!

I'm off to bake my birthday cake!

Friday, March 9, 2012

Too Faced Pink Leopard Bronzer! A review!

I never was bronzer girl. I'm still not really a bronzer girl but living in southern Europe where there's plenty of stunning olive skinned girls, I tend to stand out and blind every body with my paleness. Not that I really mind that much but some days I feel like I need a little glow.

Enter the Pink Leopard!

I've absolutely loved Too Faced products for a while now. This is the first thing I've tried. Ever since then I have been hooked. Everything I've tried has been fantastic quality. Of course, it doesn't hurt that their packaging is adorable. Its sturdy packaging too - this stuff has been with me overseas several times and has seen its share of time in my purse!

Why, thank you!

Too Faced says this on their website:

What It Is: 
Our lovely little leopard bronzer combines gorgeous shades of golden bronzes, gilded pinks and neutral fawns to brighten skin and create a glorious all over glow that will have you looking sun-kissed, any time of the year. 

More To Love: 
  • All Skin Tones: Fair to medium skin tones are enriched with warmth while deeper skins are infused with a healthy radiance. 
  • Natural Finish: Beautifying combination looks natural when applied creates a look that lasts for hours.

Yep, that pretty much nails it. I'm on my second pan of it, its that great. Also great: Too Faced doesn't test on animals. Whoo hoo!

Oooo, pretties!
I really consider this more of a glow enhancer than a straight up bronzer. This ain't no Nars Laguna bronzer. Its not a matte bronzer. The shimmer is gorgeous without making me look like a disco ball and has enough depth to warm me up. No huge chunks of glitter in this product, thank goodness!

Swatchy goodness.

You can buy it straight from the Too Faced website (shipping to the US, Canada, and the UK) or you can get it at a local Sephora store or the French Sephora site (they ship to most EU countries! Yay!).

There will be more Too Faced reviews! I'm working on one for the Naked Eye shadow collection right now!

Special thanks to Too Faced for letting me use their logo and product images!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Makeup swap! NYX, Milani, WnW, NYC!

I did a makeup swap with Tammy (aka MissRedneck24 on YouTube) from! Image heavy post ahead!

For those of you who don't know how a makeup swap works, it's pretty self explanatory. Swaps are fun way to exchange beauty products (in our case, internationally - even more fun!).
She sent me some American items and I sent her some European brands. I've really been missing some US cosmetics and she really picked out great products!

Some of you may get the address lulz.

Behold the treasure trove of girly goodness!

She definitely knows what colors I like! Where to start??

This is one of my favorites! Wet n Wild Petal Pusher 8 pan palette! The colors are fantastic and will look great with my grey-green eyes!

In keeping with the eyeshadows, she also sent Sally Girl brand (from Sally Beauty Supply stores) Mini Baked Eye Shadow in color number 388127. Its a gorgeous dark shimmery purple shade that reminds me a lot of Lancome's Color Design shadow in "Drama" - my favorite purple shade.

Also...NYX's Jumbo Eye Pencil in Oyster and OPI's RapiDry Top Coat. I've been needing a new top coat!

NYC's Sunny bronzer. I've been wanting to try this for a LONG time!

Milani Baked Blush in Corallina. So gorgeous but my camera wouldn't photograph it well!

I finally get to try the much talked about NYX lipstick too! She got me the shade Thalia!

And last but not least, the recently released Maybelline Baby Lips lip balm. I'm glad I have a chance to try this! Maybelline says this help with a whole bunch of lip ailments so we'll see! It smells just like Welch's grape soda!

So! Reviews to come on (hopefully) all of the items! Huge thanks to Tammy! It was a fun swap!

This blog's question: What is your favorite makeup item to receive as a gift?


Para aqueles que falam Português, a post traduzido é aqui!

Eu não posso escrever em Português bem o suficiente para fazer um post de blog ainda! : (
Em breve!

Sabe quais marcas estão disponíveis em Portugal? Se assim for, me avise!

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Bloglovin + Pinterest + New Design!

Follow Parables from Portugal

I'm now on Bloglovin, an easy way to follow me and your other favorite blogs!

Follow Me on Pinterest

I'm also on Pinterest and have been for a while. Its fun and dangerously easy to waste time there! :D

I've changed things around here design-wise! Feedback is always appreciated!

Do you use Pinterest? If so, what are some of your favorite things to post (fashion, home decor, pictures of fluffy baby animals?? :P)

Saturday, March 3, 2012

DIY on my mind!

I have DIY on the brain lately. I don't have as many resources for craft supplies as I did back in the states. Michael's craft stores would have sucked my bank account dry if I was still back there so maybe its a good thing that I'm 5000 miles away.


Sweet Charli has some fantastic (and easy) crafty ideas. No, I am not being coerced into mentioning her blog. Its just so much fun that I have successfully wasted my entire Saturday morning browsing through old posts! Check out these made over flip flops. Certainly gets my thumbs up! Black (check!) and girly (check!).

Image stolen from - yes, I'm a horrible thief.

Happy Crafting!



Please pardon the dust while I revamp the design of my blog!


Upcoming posts include:

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Sephora House Brand + Lisbon Weekend

Anyone who knows me knows that I love bath products. Sugar scrubs, bubble bath, shower gel, etc - I'm all about it!

A few items from the cranberry lychee line. Images from

I hit up Sephora when I was in Lisbon (how could I not?!). I've tried the Pineapple Grenadine cream body wash before and absolutely loved the formula and scent. I was planning on getting some more of it until I saw they had a cranberry lychee scent. <3 cranberry! If I'm correct both of these scents aren't available in US based Sephora stores or website. They can be purchased on the French Sephora site for those within the EU.

I decided on the body scrub, bubble bath and a few of the effervescent bath cubes. I haven't had a chance to try the latter but the scrub is fantastic and the bubble bath is long lasting. These scents are true to name and while the scent isn't the most long lasting, it is perfect for any time of the year. The lychee is a really nice addition to the cranberry scent. (Let me just say that even my husband likes the scent and he has severe allergy issues!)

Disclaimer and notice: All products were purchased by me and all opinions are honest. I am not being paid by the company to review these products.


I'll be opening up my blog to more reviews. I haven't been baking or cooking much so why not blog about makeup and whatnot! We spent last week in Lisbon and I'll have a few more product reviews in the coming week as well as pictures.