Friday, 27 November 2015

Review: Charlotte Tilbury K.I.S.S.I.N.G Lipstick Penelope Pink

If there’s one thing Charlotte Tilbury has nailed, it’s the packaging! Her lipsticks are exquisite. The rose-gold metal-ribbed casing is elegant, timeless and expensive. They remind me of the Estee Lauder lipsticks my Mum had when I was a kid. Please lord if I ever drop my handbag, let this roll out and not a tampon!

Packaging nailed, what about what’s on the inside? 

Don’t be fooled by the name ‘Penelope Pink’ actually isn’t very pink. It’s more nude with a slight dusky/browned pink. It’s very neutral – neither warm or cool and for that reason it should be universally flattering. It is of course the lipstick to complete the Dolce Vita look and it perfectly balances the intense warm copper/red brick toned eyes. It’s perfect for an everyday or paired back lip.

It’s a moisturising formula, very emollient and glides on with ease. Creamy and buttery yet lightweight, you can definitely forget you’re wearing it! My lips are pretty chapped right now and it doesn’t cling to the dry skin, instead it smoothes over and provides a perfect surface. I feel like I have to be quite generous with application, it needs a good couple of coats. It’s fairly sheer on first swatch, but builds up to a fuller coverage.

The finish is quite shiny, almost glossy. There’s no denying that it makes my lips look fuller – juicy and glossy and plumped up, even without the liner. Stick the liner on (Pillow Talk) and BAM, Pam Am pout! The staying power is pretty good, especially for a nude, a moisturising nude no less!

When I it comes to lipstick I tend to be all or nothing. I cane new lippy. Put it in my bag, wear only that and only that for a few weeks, before the urge for a change creeps in and I swap it out for another. Penelope (not so) Pink and I have been going steady for 8 weeks now, no subs bench yet!

I’m really pleased I picked Penelope Pink. It’s unlike any other in my collection and I’ve already had decent wear out of it. It’s a good all rounder and when I do eventually take it out of my handbag, man will it look good on my dresser! I’m not planning to rush out and buy any more of the K.I.S.S.I.N.G lipsticks. I don’t think they surpass MAC, except in price, but I could be tempted with CT’s Matte Revolution range.

Charlotte Tilbury K.I.S.S.I.N.G Lipstick £23 Charlotte Tilbury | John Lewis 

Have you tried Charlotte Tilbury lipstick? Please share your links and comments.


Saturday, 21 November 2015

Photo Ready Foundation, Just In Time For The Party Season

Despite being a real blogger fave, I’ve never used a Laura Mercier base (shock horror). I worship at the altar of her pimers, but the foundations have passed me by. That was until I was training at The London Make up School earlier in the year and had access to the whole range. There are two versions of the Silk Creme Photo Edition Foundation – moisturising and oil free. I’m reviewing the former, but I used both at LMS and was blown away by their versatility. They suited everyone’s skin type, looked incredibly flawless and, true to its name, photographed beautifully.

Headline deats…  

A long-wearing formula with a high pigment load that provides up to 12 hours of full coverage wear while feeling comfortable on skin and hiding even hard-to-cover imperfections. The photo-ready, natural luminous finish is ideal for video, photography and special events.

My thoughts…

It’s full coverage for sure, about as full coverage as I’d go. If you’re used to sheerer foundation like moi, it might seem a bit thick, but it doesn’t feel heavy or look cakey. It covers most redness, decolouration, pimples etc so you can probably forgo concealer – bonus! It’s not a swipe-with-fingers-and-go foundation, you’ve got to take the time and effort to b-lend. I apply it with a regular No7 foundation brush then smooth with my fingers to check it’s pressed in. For an even more flawless application use a sponge or beauty blender – I’m just too lazy to do this on a daily basis. The finish is absolutely flawless! I wouldn’t call it dewy, more luminous and slightly glowing. It’s moisturising, but not greasy and lasts all day. Despite being full coverage it manages not to look too flat or mask like and yes it photographs wonderfully – no insta filter needed. It’s a real gem for bridal make up.

I’m going to have to shave off some points for the poor shade range. Colour match was tricky. At the school I had the full range to mix/customise to meet the model. In store I was matched to Medium Ivory (I’m MAC NC 30, Chanel Vitalumiere 30). At first this seemed way too light for me, but as the winter draws in and my summer glow disappears, it’s becoming a better match. I'm wearing it with Giorgio Maestro Bronzer in the photo - review here.

For me, this isn’t an everyday foundation – I’m still a bareMinerals Complexion rescue nut! But there are the days when I need a bit more coverage and certainly for nights outs, events and anything involving photography – this is where I turn!

Laura Mercier Silk Creme Moisturising Photo Edition Foundation £35 SpaceNK | House of Fraser | John Lewis 

Who's a fan?


Thursday, 12 November 2015

2015’s Best Beauty Gifts – to Give and RECIEVE!

There’s a small breed of women folk (I’m not being sexist, I’ve just never found a man that does this) that have Christmas all wrapped up by September. If you’re one of those women – I salute you! For everyone else, this one’s for you! I’ve scoured the shops and brochures so you don’t have to. From small, stocking-sized packages to luxe lust-haves, this gorgeous gift guide has got it covered... And ladies, if you’d like to be on the receiving end, start dropping some hints, and fast!

Benefit Real Cheeky Party Makeup Gift Set £26.55 John Lewis | Debenhams 

Last year they brought us the Cheeky Sweet Spot, this year it’s the Cheeky Party. A genius idea from Benefit – all of their iconic box o’ blushes, the amazing Hoola bronzer and this year, a mini They’re Real and Push up Liner, all encased in a o’ so cute tin! With an individual value of over £70 it’s a blushin’ blockbuster! They sold out well before Christmas last year – you have been warned!

Estée Lauder The Ultimate Makeup Kit £49.50 Debenhams

For the eyeshadow lover in your life. With over 30 Pure Color shadows in 3 palettes to pop in and out of this customizable palette, the possibilities are endless.

Real Techniques Deluxe Holiday Set £20 Superdrug

If there’s anyone left in your life that hasn’t discovered Real Techniques yet, they  need this set!. The carefully edited collector’s edition includes Multi Task Brush, Exclusive Tapered Foundation Brush, Exclusive Angled Highlighter Brush, Base Shadow Brush and Finer Liner Brush.

Charlotte Tilbury Luxury Lipstick Wardrobe £220 Charlotte Tilbury

Come to mama! The Tilbury temptress has done it again. A collection of 10 Matte Revolution Lipsticks to keep you poutin’ all year round. The only downside, is the price!

St. Tropez Instant Party Kit Christmas £10 LookFantastic 

An ideal stocking filler for the northern lass in your life! Lashes and tan – nite oot sorted!

Lancôme Hypnôse Volume-à-Porter Mascara Makeup Gift Set £18 Debenhams 

The Queen of mascaras always delivers at Christmas time. This is the only Lancôme mascara I haven’t tried (hint, hint) plus the free mini Lip Lover and Crayon Khôl make it even sweeter.

MAC Enchanted Eve Lip Bag Red £34 MAC 

This screams Christmas (and New Year). This three-piece lip lovely will see you through the party season and beyond.

bareMinerals Fabled Favourites 7-Piece Bare Beauty Obsessions Gift Set £19.80 Debenhams

If you haven’t fallen for bareMinerals yet, this set could seal the deal. The eye, cheek and lip collection includes seven tried and-true customer favourites. Give the gift of beauty or keep it all for yourself.

Laura Mercier Flawless Contouring Palette £35 John Lewis 

The extraordinary cream formula is more blendable than typical contouring powders, allowing for a natural, flawless, fool-proof application every time.

Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish™ Limited Edition Sweet Orange & Mint £8.78 50ml John Lewis 

A cute stocking filler from Liz… This Christmas, enjoy a fresh and uplifting fragrance, combining zesty notes of sweet orange oil with the refreshing aroma of just-crushed peppermint, plus a limited edition gold trimmed cloth – that’s me sold.

Origins 'Let Us Glow' Skincare Gift Set £27 John Lewis 

Tired of looking tired? Prepare to become one of the perky people with a skincare saviour from Origins.

Diptyque classic set of three mini candles SpaceNK

I can’t defend them. They are ridiculously expensive and yes, you’re effectively setting fire to money, but money never smelt so good! Honestly they smell divine, plus they’re strong and very long lasting. The trio includes Bailes, Figuier and Roses.

Beautyblender Make-Up’s Best Friend kit £27.50 Selfridges

And because it's too damn cute - The Beautyblender,aka Make-Up’s Best Friend... in triplicate.

*Prices correct at time of publishing. Promotions come and go* 

Christmas lists full yet? 


Friday, 6 November 2015

The 'Conceal & Correct' EVERYTHING Palette

Guys and gals, I think I’ve discovered an unsung hero. 

HD Brows (who I think are in the process of rebranding themselves as just ‘HD’) Conceal & Correct Palette – It’s hands down the best concealer palette I’ve used. It’s everything I hoped Laura Mercier’s Secret Camouflage would be, but wasn’t. FYI I don't hate Secret Camourflage, it's just very stiff and difficult to work with.

The palette comes in three colour-ways – light/medium, medium, medium/dark. I went for light/medium with the intention of using this for bridal work, but it’s actually a very good colour match to my own skin. That’s the beauty of having a palette with three shades – it’s completely customisable and covers you all year round. They’re full coverage conealers but they’re not cakey or drying, which is where Laura Mercier’s fell down and they’re luxuriously creamy and easy to apply. They blend beautifully too so you don’t get that dry/crusty edge where the concealing ends.

I primarily use this for pin-point concealing (Lisa Eldridge styleee) on spots and pigmentation – I have an annoying red burst-blood-vessel on my nose and a bindi style spot on my forehead. This discreetly covers them all day. It’s also an under eye bag slayer! Although I prefer not wear anything too heavy under le eyes, if the bags are especially dark – this zaps them good.

If you’re into extreme highlighting and contouring this would work a treat, and if you like to do that conceal around the brows thang, this is perfect! It’s creamy and glides around the arches with ease, but blends in and doesn’t look too obvious.

HD Brows Conceal & Correct Palette £25 HD Brows | Beauty Bay

Everyone needs a good concealer palette in their arsenal!  


Thursday, 22 October 2015

Charlotte Tilbury's Mini Miracle Eye Wand - not so miraculous?

Two things I do every morning without fail – 1. apply eye cream, 2. Apply concealer/highlighter in a vain attempt to cover up my pesky eye bags. A double ended wand that does both... music to my ears eyes but can it really provide 8-hours sleep in two clicks?

Charlotte Tilbury's Mini Miracle Eye Wand £29 is described as 'a miraculous two-step remedy for bags and dark circles, because the whole world is tired'. There’s an eye cream at one end to tighten and smooth and a highlighter at the other end to conceal and brighten.

I wanted to love this product. I wanted it to be a sent-from-god, mni-miracle, life-saving, holy-grail-in-the-making product. Sadly, it’s not. At least not in my (tired) eyes. I’m not saying it’s a major fail, but it’s hardly the magic wand it claims to be.

The eye cream is packed with all the right goodies - hyaluronic acid, Shea Butter Extract, Jojoba Seed Oil, Borage Seed Oil, Rice Bran Protein, Glycerin and all that jazz BUT i find it quite watery and on its own, it doesn’t do a whole lot for the cause. It definitely hydrates and smoothes out the area, but it’s not as effective in my opinion as Vichy x and Liz Earle Eye Repair, which both feel richer and have amazing light-reflecting properties.

The highlighter comes in 5 shades. I’ve got shade 2, a neutral beige shade for light skin tones with neutral undertones. It’s a decent colour match – light enough to highlight but not too light that it looks ghostly. It’s packed with micro-particles that brighten shadows, conceal discolouration and diffuse the appearance of under-eye hollows. It’s very lightweight and definitely has skills in the brightening department and it photographs beautifully! It is lacking however in the concealing department and since my eye bags are blue toned, they respond better to yellow toned highlighters like MAC Prep & Prime Highlighter in Light Boost and YSL Touche Eclat Shade 2. This one's a bit too neutral.

Now here’s the main problem, the two work in harmony. The eye cream does provide a nice, smooth base, but the concealer doesn’t blend well over it. It kinda sits on top of the eye cream looking patchy and settling into the creases. I have to work my ass off to get it to blend in. I’ve tried patting, I’ve tried rubbing and in the end I’ve resorted to using a soft bristle eye brush to create a more airbrushed effect.

A couple more quarms, the brush applicator is very small, I would have liked for it to be a bit fatter, and this could have helped with blending. Speaking of size, the product is a disappointing 3mls. Presumably 1.5ml at each end.  Compare this to MAC prep & Prime highlighter 3.6ml or bareMinerals stroke of light 5.5ml, this wand ain't gonna last long.

I’m not saying I don’t like this product, I do! It delivers results (you can definitely see the difference in the pictures) but after five years development and talk of "mini miracles", I am a little disappointed. I’ll enjoy using it for now, but I doubt I’ll repurchase, and that't the ultimate acid test.

Have you tried it yet? Thumbs up or thumbs down?


Saturday, 17 October 2015

Bad Sleepers Rejoice, Eight Hours in a Jar?

If you’re looking for a winter skin saviour this could be just the tonic...

I don’t know about you, but if I don’t catch enough zzzz’s, it written all over my face! No amount of makeup can conceal a bad night’s sleep. Skin repairs itself whilst we sleep, if you’re not getting enough, especially good quality deep sleep, it will inevitably lead to tired, dull-looking skin. Mothers, travellers, shift workers, insomniacs, even party animals – you know what I’m talking about. Vichy to the rescue?

Idealia Skin Sleep Recovery Night Gel-balm* is the first product clinically proven to stimulate all the skin’s deep sleep mechanisms – so no matter how many hours sleep you have, the skin’s nightly functions will remain at their optimum. Essentially, it cheats your face into thinking you’ve had the full eight hours, when you were really bingeing on Netflix.

The unique gel-blam texture is a treat to the senses. It’s thick and rich like a balm, but fresh like a gel. It smells divinely relaxing and it’s pink! I’ve been applying it at bedtime - it sits there looking pretty (in pink) on the bedside table so I don't forget to use it and there's a mirror on the lid so you can see what you're doing - pretty nifty idea Vichy. I can highly recommend working it in with a good old facial message -  a couple of minuted bliss before bed. For me, I think of it more like a bedtime mask. It sinks in well, so your skin won’t feel wet or claggy, buy it’s super rich so you know it’s there! It’s deeply hydrating and gives my skin an instant plumpness. When I wake up, my skin feels more hydrated and less lacklustre. And now that the winter is creeping in, I’m appreciating the TLC even more.

I’m not saying this cream will solve your sleep woes, but the relaxing blend of green tea and jasmine help to promote deep sleep. And once you are asleep the cocktail of goodies will make damn sure they repair and regenerate your dull, tired skin.

Idealia Skin Sleep Recovery Night Gel-balm Essentual | Boots | FeelUnique

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