Pick & Mix Beauty Questions #3.. Smartologie

All this week we’ll be taking a look at some blogger beauty confessions in our Pick ‘n’ Mix Beauty Questions feature. The premise is simple: we give our featured bloggers a list of 20 random questions, they pick 10 of those to answer, and then we get a lovely insight into their beauty habits. Wonderful!

Here, we pass the mic over to the lovely Smaranda

My name is Smaranda and I run a website called Smartologie. I am a radio host, freelance writer and bona fide perfumista (currently living in Romania), with an eternal passion for beauty, fragrances, fashion, movies and music. Yes, these are my addictions and the things I write about on my blog. I like beautiful things, witty people, good books, yummy food. You might occasionally stumble upon posts about desserts on my blog, because I also seem to be addicted to chocolate and ice cream. All things witty, pretty and delicious!

1. What is the most envy-inducing product in your makeup bag?
Probably my Tom Ford lipsticks. I own three shades (my favourite are Blush Nude and Pink Dusk) and they are amazing: creamy texture, very smooth application and great colours. They are the most expensive lipsticks I have ever owned, but they are absolutely worth it, they feel very luxurious and, every once in a while, we deserve a treat, don’t we?

2. Which products do you keep coming back to?
My skin can get dry and sensitive, especially during winter and one face cream I keep coming back to is Clarins Gentle Day Cream and its ‘sister’, Gentle Night Cream. They give my skin instant comfort, moisturization and protect against pollution, which is a must for me, since I live in a big city. I also love Clarins Cleansing Milk and Toner.

I use both drugstore and high-end products and in terms of foundation, my staples are Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua, NARS Sheer Glow, Revlon Colorstay and Jemma Kid Light As Air. For concealers, I love YSL Touch Eclat and Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage.

For lip glosses, I always find myself going back to NARS, they are amazing, I love the colour range and the fact that they’re not sticky. I also use Bourjois Effet 3D and Revlon lip glosses. I have recently splurged on a Burberry lip gloss and lipstick from their Lip Glow and Lip Mist lines and I have been enjoying them quite a lot. As far as lip balms go, Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Swivel Stick does wonders for me and I also use Nuxe Baume Prodigieux for a bit of tint.

For haircare, I switch between Kerastase and Joico. They’re both high-end, so a bit pricey, but I make an effort to save for them as they’re really good and I’m very picky with haircare. I’d rather give up on other products and save for these.

Laura Mercier’s Tinted Moisturizer and the 8 hour cream from Elizabeth Arden are often in my makeup bag, as well as blushes from NARS (Deep Throat and Orgasm) and Mac (Well Dressed). For eyes, I have been using the Urban Decay Naked Palette and the Bobbi Brown Modern Classic Eye and Lip Palette quite a lot, they’re versatile and very wearable. I just throw them in my makeup bag and I can leave town for a week and not have to worry about what I’m going to use for my eye makeup.

My usual mascaras are YSL Faux Cils, Bourjois Volumizer and Rimmel London Lash Accelerator. For bronzing powders, I usually use NARS Laguna Bronzer, Dior Matte Sunshine Bronzer and Bourjois Delices de Poudre.

3. Are you a one brand gal/guy, or do you like to switch it up?
I definitely like to switch it up. I have my staples, but I am always interested in trying new products and brands. It is fun and there is so much nice stuff out there that is worth trying.

4. Are there any products you wish you could wear, but feel you can’t pull off?
Red lipstick. I can’t really pull that off. I am more of a smokey eyes/nude lips (or almost nude) kind of gal. Maybe I just haven’t found that perfect shade of red for me yet. Hope springs eternal.

5. Give us an indispensible beauty tip.
Sleep, drink plenty of water, eat well and keep your skin cleansed and moisturized. It’s really about the basics.

6. Do you consider yourself to be a fashion-led beauty lover, or a classic beauty lover?
I think I’m a bit of both. I don’t instantly follow trends, unless I’m sure they’re right for me. I like many ‘trendy’ looks and I wish I could recreate them on myself, but sometimes they just don’t suit me at all. That being said, I do like to switch it up and go for new, different looks.

7. What is the best beauty gift you’ve ever been given?
Tom Ford lipstick and perfume, from his Private Blend Collection. Also, a rare fragrance from Guerlain.

8. If you could create your perfect fragrance, what notes would it have?
I like sweet, warm, oriental and gourmand fragrances that usually include notes of amber, vanilla, woods, chocolate, tonka bean, a touch of spice, soft light florals. (I don’t go for very floral or very fruity fragrances, but I do like a touch of both, if they’re well-blended and smooth, no rough edges.) I sometimes like to go for more unusual notes, like leather/suede or pipe tobacco. I’m very all over the place, I like all sorts of things when it comes to fragrance, hence my large collection. I like variety.

9. What brand/product/person introduced you to the world of beauty?
As far as fragrance goes, it was Guerlain. Samsara was my very first proper fragrance and after having used it for a about 3 years, I wanted to branch out and try new things. Perfumes became one of my biggest passions and now I have a huge collection. For makeup, I had been experimenting with Revlon, Bourjois and Rimmel London products and then I wanted to try high-end stuff as well, so I started with Guerlain and YSL. The rest is history.

10. Do you multitask when applying your makeup, or do you need complete concentration?
I’m a perfectionist, therefore I usually like to take my time and make sure my makeup looks impeccable, so no to multitasking. If I’m in a real hurry, I just put on some mascara, a bit of blush and lip gloss and I’m good to go.