Sunday, 30 September 2012

Feeling Blue... Lapiz of Luxury

Blue nails may not be everyone's cup of tea, but I don't let that disapproving squint from my Mum put me off because I'm really feeling the love for Blue right now and Lapiz of Luxury is at the top of my lust list. Bikini so Teeny may have failed to hit the mark (read my review here) but Essie have redeemed themselves in my eyes with this beauty. 

Described as a dreamy ocean blue, Lapiz of Luxury is a beautiful cornflower blue. It looks very similar to Bikini so Teeny in the bottle, but the two are actually very different, promise! Lapiz of Luxury is a dark blue without any shimmer and more importantly, the formula is much better. No streaks here!

Bikini so Teeny & Lapiz of Luxury
Okay, not quite chalk and cheese but different enough! Lapiz of Luxury applies fairly sheer so you do need two to three coats for a nice opaque coverage, but it's not at all streaky. It has what they call a jel-creme finish and lasts 2-3 days before fading. I think it's really pretty and feminine, it may be a perfect Spring shade but I'm happy rocking it into Winter and it will look fab with a glitter top coat!

Check out Essie polishes at Boots £7.99

Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Collection Blush & Highlight Cream Duo

Finally a cutting edge cream blush from an affordable high street beauty brand. When I heard the collection were launching a cream blusher I was thrilled! For some reason high street brands have been slow on the uptake when it comes to my much coveted cream blushers. There are very few brands that feature them in their permanent line, and even fewer that pack a punch.

This nifty blush duo from Collection is out now and available in two shades Peaches & Cream and Strawberries & Cream, cute huh! I swatched both on my hands and face and opted for Peaches & Cream. The "Strawberry" one is gorgeous but I have plenty of pink blushers and it reminded me a lot of MAC Casual Colour in Weekend Getaway. In the pan Peaches looks quite apricot/orangey. Yet on the skin it's a gorgeous peach with a hint of pink. 

What struck me most was how pigmented they both were. There's a brilliant colour payoff that's often missing from "cheaper" blushers. The highlighter is lovely too and gives a frosty, creamy sheen with a hint of glitter. The only down side is the size. The pot is very small and I struggled to fit a brush in just one half. I've found it's easy to use a finger to apply to the blush to the cheeks, then use a brush to blend out. As for the highlighter, I use my fingers to pat it on the cheek bones, brow line, cupids bow or anywhere you wanna glow!

As for the texture, it's creamy and very easy to apply. Not too thick or too thin, it's just right. It applies quite sheer but is very buildible and dries with a beautiful dewy, glow. It lasts around 6-8 hours, but its pocket friendly size makes it handy for touch ups.

Collection Blush & Highlight Cream Duo 2 in 1 £4.19 available in Boots and Superdrug

Saturday, 22 September 2012

Contouring made easy with MAC Pro Sculpting Cream

When I heard about MAC pro sculpting creams I knew I had to try them, so much so I ordered online without "playing" with it first... something I rarely do and don't advocate! I do a bit of powder contouring, but cream contouring has always scared me... until now.

MAC Pro Sculpting Creams are described as a “cream-to-powder formula for sculpting and shaping key features, apply where extra dimension is needed" There are 6 shades in the range, here's how MAC describe them...

Accentuate - peachy beige
Naturally Defined - warm beige
Pure Sculpture - natural pink beige
Coffee Walnut - deep, dirty cool brown
Copper Beach - warm golden brown
Richly Honed - warm deep brown

Relying on internet pics, I went for Pure Sculpture. Natural pink beige doesn't describe it well, it's more of a softened tan brown. Some have said it's too warm for contouring and it certainly has a subtle tan element to it, but there's no shimmer and it seems to work on me (I'm NC30 if that helps).

If you're not familiar with contouring, it's all about using shadows and light to emphasize or minimise features. It can be used to define jawlines, make cheekbones appear more prominent, lift eyes, even shrink your nose. Did you see this picture of Kim Kardashian? It kinda demonstrate the principle.

It can be a bit tricky, but emphasising cheekbones with MAC Pro sculpting cream is seriously simple!

The texture is unique - light and creamy, not heavy but thick enough to pack a punch. Almost like a concealer but not as heavy. It's very builable and layers like a dream, which is very important because you can start with a very light hand and build it as you become more comfortable.

  1. Start by sucking in your cheekbones to create a lovely duck face
  2. Take a small brush, I prefer synthetic for creams (I'm use MAC 130 although something more dense would be better), and starting from the bottom of the ear, using small, circular movements, sketch a line heading towards, but not all the way to, the corner of your mouth. This should sit just under your cheek bones. You can do it in the other direction, but starting at the top means most of the product is placed there and gets less as you move down - it looks more natural. Basically you're shading the hollows of your cheeks to accentuate your cheekbones.
  3. Buff/blend the line out so it looks more natural. You don't want to look like you've drawn on those shadows do you! I use the brilliant MAC 109 small contour brush but any small blush brush will do.
  4. Repeat steps 2-3 if you need to create more dimension. Then you're done, SIMPLES

The cream dries and has a very natural finish. It doesn't "set" and it's not powdery, it's just very natural and lasts a good eight hours. I'm VERY impressed with this product, I kept checking the mirror, stunned at my "new" cheekbones.

If you're into contouring or just fancy giving it a go, I'd definitely recommend trying these. PRO Sculpting Cream £17.50 There's also a sexy little flat contour brush 163 to accompany the range... I'm trying so hard to refrain.


Wednesday, 19 September 2012

Glossybox September 2012

This month's theme is Rising Stars... I think Style Over Substance would have been more appropriate!

September's limited edition box designed exclusively by London based "up-and-coming" illustrator Maggie Li is super cute. Mint green with beautiful pink illustrations is right up my street, but the positives end there!

The less said about last months box the better, but after a less than disappointing month I really thought Glossy would pull it out of the bag. With my high hopes, I lifted the lid on this months box, and was again DISAPPOINTED!

Lady Gaga Fame Fragrance
I wasn't disappointed to see GaGa's debut fragrance in my box, I sampled it the other week and quite liked it BUT the 1.2ml sample is worth just £1 and they give them out at beauty counters all the time! It would have been great as a 6th bonus gift, but to class it as one of my five luxury sampled is a cheek!
Rodial Glamoxy Snake Serum and 5 Minute Facial
Rodial is a brand I haven't tried before and I'm excited to sample both the serum and the facial. But again, 4 X 1ml sachets is pretty pitiful.
Balance Me Wonder Eye Cream
A triple-action cream designed to sooth tired eyes, smooth away dark shadows and reduce the appearance of fine lines. This is a nice product and if hadn't already received it FREE with Glamour a couple of months ago I'd probably be happier. 7ml worth £5.25
Vichy Idealia Day Cream
This is the product I was the most excited to see. A soothing and illuminating day cream that smooths skin's texture and improves complexion radiance. Vichy's a brand I like and the cream's a decent size - 15ml worth around £7.50
Marhrabian Hair Oil
Please, oh please STOP sending me hair oil. I love Oils, but not on my flat, greasy hair! Hopefully I can use this elsewhere because it smells lovely. 10mls worth around £2.60.

Looks like another FAIL from Glossybox this month. Thanks to GlossyDots (feedback loyalty point) next month's box will be free, after that I think I need to cancel my subscription. I'd rather buy one full size product that I actually want. Would you pay £12.95 for this?

What do you think? Did anyone do better? 


Monday, 17 September 2012

Love it Share it... New Look Military Jacket

I’m in love with my new jacket from New Look, and since I’m not the only one, I thought I should share the love.

Fusing some of this season’s key trends – leather, military and studs, this jacket is a winner. I was torn between this and another military style jacket in New Look with gold studs, but the leather look arms give this one the edge. There are similar versions all over the high street, what sets this one apart are the fitted arms. I tried on versions at Topshop and Primark, but they both had “baggy” arms. The elasticated panels in this one give it a great fit. I love the cute black stud detail too.

Here it is in "action" at the Great North Run yesterday...

New Look Military jacket £44.99 features studded pocket flaps, drawstring waist, concealed zip fasten placket, standing collar and epaulettes. Find out more here.

Thursday, 13 September 2012

Bikini So Teeny (and a little streaky)

Is this the cutest nail polish ever? Cute by name, cute by nature!

Bloggers have been calling Essie Bikini So Teeny the shade of the summer... so that’s why I couldn’t get my hands on it! Out of stock at Boots and Superdrug, I finally tracked it down in Liberty’s.
I want to call it a baby blue, but it’s more of a pale blue fused with a hint of lilac. I didn’t realise until it was in my hands that it contains a very fine amount of silver and pink shimmers, don’t worry, it’s not sparkly! It has a gorgeous cream finish, with a subtle hint of shimmer – crème-sheen if you will.

So we’ve established that I love the shade, but there’s one big problem with this polish, it’s super STREAKY! I’ve tried with and without a basecoat and both thin and thick coats. The first time I wore it, it took three thin coats to get a semi decent coverage, but it wasn’t even. The next time I slapped on a really thick coat and hoped for the best, but still, this happened...  

I mentioned this on Instagram and boy did I open the floodgates! It seems I’m not the only one that’s had this problem. Some suggested that the diffusion line, available from Boots and Superdrug, have thinner brushes and different formulas but I haven’t experienced this with any of my other Essie polishes and this one was purchased from Liberty’s.
The best results I found came from two very thick coats. It takes a long time to dry but yields better coverage. I’ve got to say, as much as it’s a pain in the ass, Bikini so Teeny is SO worth the effort. I love this shade, it’s cute, summery and chic and the crème finish is perfect!

Bikini So Teeny is part of Essie’s summer 2012 range, so it may not be around forever! Available form Boots and Superdrug £7.99, Liberty’s and other retailers charge around £9.95.

Monday, 10 September 2012

MAC Hue Lipstick

Hue’s been on my lust have list ever since it was recommended by Bubblegarm – she sure knows her lipsticks! I’m not sure why it took me so long to buy it, I think I worried it was too similar to crème cup.

Hue is a soft pinky nude. OK, it isn’t a million miles away from crème cup, however it’s less pink and more nudey – probably somewhere between crème cup and crème d’nude.

It glides on easily and yields a semi opaque coverage. It’s silky and lightweight, but the coverage isn’t that even. I do feel I need to use a heavy hand, back and forth to achieve an even coverage. Also, despite being quite moisturising and not at all drying, it seems to emphasise dry, chapped lips so make sure you exfoliate and moisturise first! The glaze finish gives a nice sheen without being overly shiny or glossy. The shade is so wearable and I love the trademark vanilla scent.

Hue is fast becoming one of my favourite day time shades. It really is one of those classic MAC shades; you'll love it or hate it, either way, you should try it!

Thursday, 6 September 2012

Cargo CheekActivator Plumping Blush

I’m a sucker for cream blushes, especially pink ones, so when I spotted this little beauty in Boots with a 75% off sticker I.COULD.NOT.RESIST!

Cargo’s CheekActivator™ is a revolutionary cream formula that sculpts, plumps and defines cheeks while providing a rosy glow.  When squeezed from the tube, the product resembles a face scrub – it’s white with fine particles. Magically the colour develops as you rub it into the skin, similar to L’Oreal’s Lumi Magique BB cream. The unique colour-release technology allows you to customize the blush's intensity. The more you rub, the more intense the color becomes. It also layers brilliantly too!
Rose Flush is a very wearable pale pink. As you can see from the pictures, it’s quite a subtle shade.

The cutting edge formula really does plump the skin and gives a youthful, dewy glow. It applies as a liquid but sets with a creamy, satin finish.

The bad news is, since it was 75% off, I’m guessing Boots is discontinuing Cargo cosmetics. If you fancy one, head to your nearest Boots, and quick! Otherwise check out Cargo’s website or BeautyBay £18.50 11ml, also available in Coral Flush

Monday, 3 September 2012

Mad for Revlon's Just Bitten kissable Balm Stains

There’s been a huge buzz surrounding these and I must be the last person on earth to jump on the bandwagon, but it’s official... I LOVE Revlon’s Just Bitten kissable Balm Stains.
You see, when Revlon launched these beauties, I was still enjoying their amazing lip butters and really didn’t need to add another lip product to my collection... BIG mistake, because I’ve been seriously missing out!

I’ve always associated fat pencil style lipsticks with being heavy, harsh and very drying. Revlon’s Just Bitten kissable Balm Stains are none of the above. First of all, it’s not a pencil, it’s a chubby crayon and there’s no sharpening required – the crayon simply twists from the bottom to reveal more product... kinda like a push pop! The packaging is more or less identical to Clinque’s chubby sticks, yet they’re half the price. The light, gel formula glides on easily and is incredibly moisturising. It feels like a balm with the coverage and pigmentation of a lipstick, even a stain. The pigmentation varies depending on the shade but they’re all buildable and yield a lustrous, glossy and long lasting finish. My lips definitely feel softer and smoother when I wear it, in fact I keep rubbing my lips together because I enjoy the feel so much.


Crush and Cherish
Crush beguin 05 is a rich berry. It looks like a very dark burgundy but when it applies, it’s more of a raspberry shade. This one was a big surprise for me. It’s not s shade I’d normally go for, but it really suits me and I’ve enjoyed wearing this one the most.

Cherish devotion 015 is a light cool pink with blue undertones. It reminds me of MAC’s Naughty Saute Lipstick. It gives a bright, but wearable pop of colour.

Pitifully there are only seven shades to choose from in the UK. We need more! RRP £7.99, currently £5.99 at Boots.
So, who else is hooked?
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