Sunday, 31 March 2013

Clinique 'Bonus Time' Haul ft Chubby Stick Eyeshadow

I had been eyeing up this free gift for a while and had been wanting to try the Chubby Stick for eyes ever since I'd heard about their launch. I have every single Chubby Stick lip balm out there so naturally wanted to complete the set with the eyeshadows! When I wandered over to the counter the lovely Adeeba served me (if you're in Derby see her as she's such a sweetie!) The shades I enquired about Ample Amber and Bountiful Beige were out of stock but I didn't want to leave empty handed so I opted for Lots o' Latte and Fuller Fudge. I also wanted to restock on my favourite mascara in the whole entire world. It's just so damn good that it probably deserves a post all of it's own so I won't go in to detail on what I will label HG of the mascaras (big claim to make - I know)

I think the free gift is now over in most stores but do make sure you ask the MUA's as they no doubt will have a secret stash still lurking about behind the counter. As you can see you get a hefty amount of goodies - A Foaming Cleanser, Chuby Stick for lips in 06, High Impact Mascara Sample, Moisture Surge Moisturiser sample, All About Eyes eye cream, and a full size eyeliner.

These were my purchases of the day. Two Chubby Stick Shadow Tints for Eyes (£16 each) and a High Impact Extreme Volume Mascara in Extreme Black (£17) Whilst Clinique is a high end beauty brand, they're not as pricey as your Chanel, Lancome and YSL. I think this is one of the reasons they're so popular - plus the whole image of the brand is very clean and fresh which is something that undoubtedly attracts hundreds of people every day. Clinique never used to be a brand I'd initially head for when walking into a beauty hall, but their new releases are so innovative - I love me a good chubby stick (thats what she said) - sorry - couldn't resist! I've also been impressed with their lip glosses and mascaras (however foundations are a whole different story - they just don't sit well on me)

As you could probably guess I love these baby's. They're so pigmented as you can see from my swatch and the formula is so nice - they feel light and they're not sticky or lumpy or flakey at all. They don't turn that way either over a long period of wearing them and they do literally stay all day. I've been pairing these with my Stila Smudge Pot in Kitten for a subtle day time smokey eye. A lot of people were worried about how easily they'd apply - admittedly you can't do intricate work with the large rounded nibs but you can always pack some of the colour on to a brush and work that way (that's what I do when wanting to add a little below my bottom lash line) For the rest of the eyelid just swipe across - like a crayon - and then blend it out using either your finger or a clean blending brush. I don't have oily eyelids so I don't find that these crease on me but I'd always use my Nars eye primer (best one out there) to be on the safe side.

Shade-wise I was probably predictable choosing my beloved neutrals but I will get the most wear out of shades like this. Lots O' Latte is a brilliant taupe/mocha shade. In some lights it can look warm and in others it can look quite cool. It's one of those shades that will suit a lot of people because it's easily paired with other colours. Fuller Fudge is surprisingly my favourite of the two. It's darker and a lovely warm - bronzy brown. As it's such a warm colour it really brings out blue eyes which I like. This was the colour I'd hoped my Maybelline Colour Tattoo would be and in comparison to the famed drugstore Colour Tattoos, well, it goes without saying that these win for me hands down. Both shades have a lovely sheen to them - not glittery but a nice satin-like finish. You don't get disco-ball effect at all, but it's not a dull finish like some matte shades can have. 

All in all these are winners for me and I can see myself wearing these everyday of my life. Well until my new Nars palette gets delivered next week (eek!) They are now staples in my eyeshadow wardrobe and I cannot wait to buy more - next on my list are the shades that were out of stock - Bountiful Beige and Ample Amber. But I've seen swatches of Whopping Willow and there's a gorgeous navy colour too which is so pretty. What can I say, I want them all! (Get me to makeup rehab NOW) I'd encourage everyone to buy one of these as they're a dream to use and just all round fab. Well done Clinique!

-Emma xx

Sunday, 24 March 2013

Laura Mercier Silk Creme Foundation

I've had this foundation for a while now and was quite surpise I hadn't really mentioned it on here before. It is the first thing I have ever tried from Laura Mercier although my wishlist for her line is an impressively long one! Some people collect stamps or coins, I collect makeup - comprende? Of course, I'm sure if anyone reads this you're of the same mind set so if I mention I added yet another foundation to the collection you won't be offended? Didn't think so.

So Silk Creme has been hyped up so much recently - in the past 6 months or so it seems to be -the- thing to try and so naturally that meant I had to save up and click check out! I would have bought this a lot earlier if it wasn't for a disastrous experience in a John Lewis beauty hall with a member of staff that was definitely not a makeup expert. She colour matched me to a shade way too dark and yellow for me and I was scared off for a while admittedly! When I decided to eventually buy it I matched myself and from swatches and blogs I guessed that Cream Ivory would be a safe bet to go by. I am fair skinned but definitely with a warm undertone so I like my foundation to have a yellow base. When delivered and tried for the first time I discovered it was a perfect match which was great news as who wants to waste £33 - definitely not me.

Like I said, it retails at £33 which isn't cheap but for a high end brand that's what you should expect. I think for the perfect base money shouldn't be an object - whether it costs you £6 or £60 what works for you and your skin is the most important thing! 

I find Silk Creme really comfortable to wear on an all day basis. I find it long lasting with a good 8 hours wear and it gives a really beautiful natural looking finish. Like all the other blogs surely say; you only need the tiniest bit to use on your whole face because it's so pigmented. It means you can have a really thin, light layer but still get all the coverage you need - which means no cakiness which is my biggest foundation fear!  The consistency is quite creamy and I wouldn't call this a 'runny' foundation. The finish of it is really nice and very natural and skin-like. I wouldn't say it was matte or dewy - just a nice inbetween satin finish. 

The longeviy of Silk Creme I find to be pretty good - I wore it from around 2pm on Saturday till about 1 in the morning and found that when I came home my base was still looking great! To get the more flawless but natural finish I like to use ether my Real Techniques Buffing or Expert Face brush - both are soft and dense and quite a good size so you can cover a good amount of your face quickly! I apply a bit of concealer first as this stops me wasting so much foundation - once blemishes/dark spots are concealed I use Silk Creme just to even out my skin tone all over and make my skin look really healthy and flaw-free. This definitely isn't a foundation that I have to worry about in terms of orangeness (none) or oxidising as the shade I have is a fantastic match for my skin. Although I do like to pay attention when applying it I feel like if I was in a rush I could just chuck a bit of Silk Creme on and it would look nice for the rest of the day. I particularly like using this on nights out - or on days where any photo opportunities may crop up as it has no spf which means no flashback white face (yes!) 

Because of the hype surrounding this foundation I wasn't initially wowed. I didn't get 'it' if you like - it didn't magically transform my skin or make me go 'oh my god this is amazing' but since I've used it in a variety of situations and in different makeup looks I've grown to love it and it's become my go-to base in partnership with another foundation as I alternate between the two (will post about that one soon!)

Overall don't listen to the exaggerated hype. This foundation isn't God's gift to women BUT it is pretty fantastic coverage-wise/shade-wise and/finish-wise. I couldn't be without it now! It's a real reliable foundation and I think it would be suitable for pretty much all skin types. It works really well with Laura Merciers primers - if you think this foundation lacks that bit of radiance then try it with the radiance primer and see what you think - I love that combo! Overall it's definitely worth the price tag and is a really lovely easy to wear product, once you know how it works best for you it can do wonders!

Emma xx

Revlon Cream Blush in Pinched

I love cream eyeshadows and by now I probably own quite a few. But I had never delved in to the world of cream blushes before so on a break at work I was perusing the drugstore items and came across the Revlon ones. I like Revlon as a high street brand. Great nail varnishes, lipsticks are pleasant and their colourstay foundation is firmly in the good books so I thought I could rely on them not to disappoint!

There are only 3 shades available in the cream blush range from Revlon from what I could see, which is quite sad. The other two looked a bit scary in the pan as well (bright red or a hot fuchsia pink) My pick was the least inoffensive, adventurous one but a shade that did grab my attention as being a lovely baby peachy-pinky-coral tone. It's quite warm toned with the tiniest bit of golden shimmer running through it. It would show up best on paler girls but would also add a subtle bit of colour on tanned skin.

Unfortunately, looking at the product is where any enjoyment gained from it will end! The formula is creamy and feels really soft but this is only because it's packed with silicones. It applies patchy and almost disappears when you attempt to blend it into the skin. On top of that it sits in my pores, exaggerating them and building up gunk in them - this not only looked gross but can also cause break outs! The colour is really sheer so you have to build up a lot to get any pay off and longevity - well there's none. You could wipe your cheek and the product would come off, and even without that you would notice after an hour to two hours that it had disappeared/become extremely patchy. 

I wouldn't recommend picking this up if you're of a medium-deep skin tone as the sheer layers it applies in may mean it would show up even less! I also wouldn't recommend this if you are sensitive to silicone  either, as demithecone is a prime ingredient. Although saying these I wouldn't recommend picking this up at all, a waste of money!

Overall not an amazing product, my first try at cream blushes was not successful. Now I've dipped my toe into the drugstore end of the cream blush world I might have a wander to premium beauty - more specifically the Bobbi Brown Pot Rouges. I've heard great reviews and think if you were like me and disappointed by Revlons offerings then a trip to Bobbi Brown will definitely right the cream-blush wrongs!

Emma xx

Friday, 22 March 2013

Nars Velvet Matte Lip Pencil

I'm not going to pretend - these photos are hideous quality and terribly grainy. Well, just terrible in general. I'm sorry - bad camera day + plus no patience from me = this. Don't hate me!

Two lip product posts in a row, is that bad? After the other days slightly negative ramblings about Rimmels apocalips I thought I would cheer my blog up a bit by posting about a product that I really do love, and something that's different from everything else I own in my lip-product wardrobe!

The Nars lip pencils have been around for quite a while but it was only the other month that I picked one up. I have the shade Sex Machine, ironically all of the Nars items I own have slightly risqué names!  (Don't read in to it - ha)

Sex Machine is a gorgeous everyday pink colour, that has a slightly muted mauve tone to it. It's a great girly shade that could be worn everyday as it's super pigmented - opaque in one swipe - yet not too bright and in your face! It's a perfect colour if you wanted to wear a fuss-free lip as the fact it's a pencil means the ease of application is there - you barely have to look as it's just so simple to use. .

I expected a 'Matte Lip Pencil' to be hard in texture and very drying but that couldn't be any further from reality here. The product applies so smoothly and softly that you can really see why they were named 'Velvet Matte' pencils. Velvetty and soft describes the finish and texture down to a T. The formula is creamy and soft but not thick and I find when wearing it that it feels as though it's barely there - which is nice for everyday use as it's light in weight and doesn't look too much. So, a thin layer of product that lasts hours, not drying yet nice and creamy? I think we're on to a winner here.

The only thing I will say about the Nars Lip Pencils is that they require sharpening - if you're lazy this could become a negative! I must admit when I sharpen mine I pull a bit of a sulky face at all the excess wasted shavings of the product that end up in the bin - but that's me for you! It's nice to finally own a bit of Nars anyway - and don't worry this isn't where my stash ends (other reviews will be up soon) but despite my current not so small stash I can't wait to expand because I am in love with the entirety of the Nars line. I'd definitely recommend trying one of these out - Nars do quite a few variations of their pencil products so whatever finish you like there's something to suit everyone - brilliant.

Have you ever tried these pencils? 

Emma xx

Tuesday, 19 March 2013

Rimmel Apocalips - An Honest Review

There's been a buzz about these for ages now, even before they were released and although I'm more partial to a high end lip product, I just had to pick up an Apocalips to see what all the fuss was about. My love for cosmetics is never ending and even though now I'm more likely to purchase from Nars, Chanel and YSL as I have broadened my beauty horizon I will never discard the 'drugstore' end of the spectrum because there are more than a few gems hidden amongst the self selection aisles. I was curious to see whether the Apocalips range would be included on the 'hit' list rather than the misses.

So for anyone who isn't aware, the Apocalips (£5.99) are a lipstick/lipgloss hybrid that fall into the 'lip laquer' family. They apply like a gloss except with the opaque pigmentation of a lipstick and without the stickiness and gloopiness of a gloss. Sounds perfect right?

I gave in to the hype and bought one of these in the shade Luna. My first thumbs up to Rimmel is awarded because of the shade range, there are 8 shades to choose from which I think is quite good - from nudes, to pinks to berry tones to a bold red lip there is something that most people will like here which is worthy of some kind of praise. I chose Luna because I'm a sucker for peachy-pinks at the minute. It looked like a great everyday shade and very pretty on the eyes.

It's a shame to say though that I'm slightly disappointed with this latest offering from Rimmel. Although I like the pigmentation and the shade range there are too many things I dislike about this lipgloss. Firstly the way it applys is a little strange, you have to scrape off most of the product that comes out on the doe foot applicator when you pull it out because if you apply too much it tends to gather in the natural lines of your lips, sits on top of the lips without really sinking or blending in and it also builds up in the corners of your mouth - attractive. I find the doe foot applicator a little clumsy too, I actually found it easier to use the applicator backwards because again you end up with too much product on the lips. The product kind of imprints the texture of the applicator on to the lips and by this I mean it applies a little streaky and line-y despite being fully opaque - if it was less pigmented maybe that would be less noticeable but because it is such a block of solid colour you don't want streaky application!

Also the smell is just not something I can get over. Guys, it smells cheap. It's sad to say it but when I go from applying my Chanel foundation (which just smells heavenly like all their products) to pplying this it's just not a good experience. It smells plasticky and very reminiscent of the smell of play dough which as a child was something I never liked (and as an adult, something I don't want my cosmetics to remind me of)

In terms of longevity it isn't great either. It stays around for a couple of hours tops before you have to go through the chore-like process of applying again. While it's on the lips as well as highlighting dry patches you already have, I found the Rimmel Apocalips to be drying themselves so once the wet feeling of having product on your lips has gone, you're left with dry lips and flakes of whatever colour it was you were wearing floating around your lips - yum. It's not the worst product ever for drying out the lips but definitely not the best.

So for reference I will be sticking to my YSL Glossy Stains and Armani Lip Maestros - it was a good attempt from the high street to replicate the liquid lipstick trend but unfortunately in this case you do get what you pay for - a less impressive, drying knock-off version. I was disappointed to not like this product so much because a lot of people seem to like them but that does go to show everyone is different! I'll say I won't buy another one but knowing me I probably will - despite all the bad points the pigmentation is pretty good and maybe that's enough to win me over? Who knows. (I might have a look at the nude shade because perhaps thats more forgiving and less noticeably drying) In general though I just don't get the hype - Sorry Rimmel! 

Monday, 18 March 2013

Origins Checks and Balances Cleanser

I finished my Liz Earle Hot Cloth Cleanser a while ago and knew that whilst in the market for new skincare goodies, the brand I wanted to try out the most was Origins. In the blogasphere and land of youtube, bloggers and vloggers alike have praised many a Origin product and as I'm a trusting little lemming, who will buy if she is told she needs it, I took the plunge and ventured into world Origins Cleansers. I had only prevously tried one product from them before, that being the Out of Trouble Face Mask (dammit - review and thoughts on that need to be documented asap) so I was unsure as to whether my cleanser of choice would live up to the lush-skin-goodness that the face mask gave me.

Firstly what attracted me to Origins? They pride themselves on being powered by nature, and although 'natural' is a vague term in the beauty world the ingrediant gallery on the origins website shows us the main things that were putting on our face. They use natural ingreidants, plant extracts and essential oils all mixed together to create their world and if it's kind to the Earth, well I'm going to like it! All Origins products, including this cleanser are made without; paragons, phthalates, propylene alcohol, mineral oil, PABA, petroleum, paraffin, DEA and synthetic colour. Sounds pretty good to me!

I was so unsure on which cleanser to pick, I'm indecisive over the simplest of things but choosing what I'm going to be putting on my face twice a day, every day seemed quite a big decision and one that was going to cost around £20 so I did not take it lightly! The reason I chose Checks and Balances was because it's suitable for all skin types. My skin isn't oily at all, ever,  but it doesn't really seem to get dry either and it's definitely far from perfect but when identifying my skin 'type' I just have to go with 'normal to dehydrated' Some days I have a spot and the surrounding skin becomes dry, some rare days my skin might feel oilier depending on what I've been doing (extremely rare) and for general dehydration I thought this cleanser would be best as it's a bit of an all rounder. All skin can contain bad oils which this cleanser absorbs and all skin can become dry and because this cleanser tackles both it was a sensible choice. Origins says for an oilier skin it soaks up the bad oils whilst hydrating the skin and adding moisture boosting protection for dry areas. It does both without cancelling each other out (too much moisture/not enough) and also breaks down dirt to leave the skin clean and refreshed.

After using Checks and Balances for about two months now I can now write my thoughts about it and I've given it enough time to really test it out and get to grips with the product! Obviously everyone's skin is different so the fact that this works well for me may not be the same for someone else and similarly it may work even better on a third face - that's just individuality for you and different skin types. But I can gladly report that the transition in to using this cleanser was really smooth, I had no breakout issues and since I've been using it I've actually noticed that I've barely had any spots at all. (This must be kicking any bad oils lurking around my skin in the butt) I get the odd spot, if that, and it's usually down to hormonal time of the month sorta thing (thanks mumma nature!) Despite going against everything Caroline Hirons says, I actually love the fact that this cleanser foams up. It doubles in size when you start working it into the skin and then by adding water too you can really cleanse your whole face with the tiniest pea-size blob. The cleanser is quite thick and what I personally do (another Hirons top tip) is massage it into dry skin first and then add water as needed to loosen up the clanser and make it easier to move it around my face, lift off all the dirt and do a bit of a facial massage! I leave it on for a good few minutes before I wash off just to give it a real good period of time to break down makeup, lift of dirt and absorb all the nasty oils that have developed throughout the day. Although I do an initial cleanse with either a micellar water or face wipe I think Checks and Balances is really great at removing face makeup and my skin always feels wonderfully clean afterwards without a fleck of foundation in sight. 

My warning I'll give is to remove your eye makeup first! With my Liz Earle Hot Cloth Cleanser I could practically rub it into my eyes and it wouldn't sting - and I have really sensitive eyes that water and puff up at anything - but Checks and Balances stings like a mother I can confirm. It's not an eye makeup remover though and it doesn't claim to be. I'm not a person that particularly thinks your cleanser should be a makeup remover - hence why we can buy two separate products for the two separate jobs and when you buy one that does it all it may not do everything as well as youd like it to. I think as long as a cleanser  keeps your skin clean and healthy and hydrated then that ticks all the boxes for me and for it's face makeup removing skills -that's a great bonus. But if you want an all in one bish bash bosh done cleanser - waterproof mascara and all - then this isn't for you.

Overall my skin has been looking really healthy, brighter, clearer and more plump and hydrated since using this. If I do have a breakout it takes out all the bad oils and if my skin is dehydrated it pumps the moisture back in and leaves it feeling lovely and soft and best of all clean once I'm finished using it! It's a joy to massage in every night because I love the consistency of it and works really well with the rest of my skincare. It's made foaming cleansers my favourite type and my skin so far has never been nicer! 

I still have more than 3/4 of the tube left after about two months of use which is pretty great and shows just how long this product is going to last. You do get a hefty 150ml in the tube which I think is pretty good for the price of £17. Now I know how much I enjoy using this and how nice it has been to my skin, it's definitely a contender for the repurchase list. I'm loving Origins even more with the more products I try and I'm definitely excited to try more things from them. If you have any recommendations please do let me know, I will be back with more Origins reviews as my little stash is growing!

Emma xx

Daily Want

So I just got the blog spot app, and I am currently so happy that I can now blog 'on-the-go' (let's face it I'm never on the go anywhere) but for a quickie post it's so simple and easy! I thought I'd try a 'Daily Want' as this is the easiest sort of post to upload.

I've been coveting this little offering from Nars for a while. I have not dabbled in the world of Nars eyeshadows yet and I am desperate to do so - this could possibly be a good first step because you get six shades, a brush and the eyeshadow primer which is supposed to be brilliant.

All the shades available look right up my street (hello pretty world of neutrals) and I could see myself getting a lot of wear from each one. For £40.50 I think this is great value for money considering a duo of shadows from Nars retails at around £25. If this palette is still about come payday, you know which counter ill be heading to!

What are you coveting for that payday treat?

Emma xx

Sunday, 17 March 2013

Collective Haul

It's been a while since I last posted and that, my chums, is because I got a job. Not just any job, a job within the beauty industry (hooray!) I have been a busy bee doing lots of overtime but alas even though it took a few weeks, I did eventually come to realise I missed blogging, and writing. 

So in celebration of my new role as a 'Beauty Consultant' I may have treated myself, and in the weeks surrounding may have picked up a few items that I have been eyeing up for a while. Expect individual reviews in the near future. Here's the damage:

So in order we have Origins goodies 1 x Checks and Balances Cleanser, 1 x Never a Dull Moment Exfoliator and an array of samples to try. 4 x Mac Blushes in Style, Peaches, Tenderling and Springsheen. 2 x Nars Blushes in Orgasm and super orgasm, 1 x Nars lipstick 1 x Nars matte lip pencil, 1 x Nars Sheer Glow Foundation, 1 x Laura Mercier Silk Creme Foundation and finally 3 x topshop eye crayons