Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Laura Mercier Creme Smooth Lipstick

Laura Mercier Creme-Smooth lipstick is one of the nicest formulas of lipstick I have ever tried - and I've tried a lot of lipsticks! It feels like a Mac creme sheen, but lighter and less thick on application. It's really nourishing and moisturising on the lips and although it isn't matte, it isn't shimmery or too shiny either. It gives a lovely creamy look to the lips which I really like. The colour lasts a good five hours or so and I don't seem to get any colour-bleeding.

Shade wise I wanted to come home with so many of these! I ended up with Pink Pout which after speaking to the MUA we agreed it would be a nice everyday colour for me. Pink Pout is a warm medium pink shade, it isn't too bright which is why it's a lovely everyday colour. My lips are really pigmented and quite dark naturally so I find it hard to choose an everyday lipstick that doesn't wash me out as anything that's lighter than my natural lip colour can look weird! I'm so fussy with lipstick but I really love this one and I'll definitely be going back for a couple more shades soon. What do you think? Have you ever tried a Laura Mercier Lipstick?

-Emma xx

Origins Exfoliators: The Lo-down

Never a Dull Moment Face Polisher - £24
I started using this in February and I originally bought it as I thought it was a good alternative for a heavy duty exfoliator with large beads in (I was trying to be more gentle to my skin) The exfoliating particles are quite sharp but are a lot smaller than something you would see in a traditional exfoliator. The product has a gel like texture which is quite hard and needs to be loosened with water considerably. It aims to brighten the skin as the broken down papaya element of the product is like an enzyme peel. I do think my skin is smoother and somewhat brighter after using this product but I wouldn't repurchase this due to the fact that my dry skin which often is congested on my chin needs a better physical exfoliator. I have since switched to the Modern Friction exfoliator and this is working a lot better for me in terms of exfoliation and buffing dry and uneven skin away! Before this I used Liz Earles Jojoba Bead Exfoliator which also worked wonders for me, Never a Dull Moment didn't quite live up to it unfortunately hence why I decided to switch to Modern Friction.

Modern Friction Exfoliator - £31
I have only had this exfoliator for a couple of weeks, but it was love at first scrub when I was suffering from a bad case of dry scaly skin. It literally changed the texture and appearance of my skin and it has since become a staple in my routine! The Origins Modern Friction Exfoliator successfully smooths the skin and sloughs away every dead skin cell and every uneven bump on the skin. The particles of rice starch are cushioned in a cream that lathers up a little and soothes the skin. Lemon Oil is included to help add brightness and Vitamin C is also on the ingredients list. After using this my skin feels so much softer and looks so much clearer instantly. Over a long period of time it will help to even out the texture of my skin, buff away those nasty under the skin lumps and bumps and really improved my complexion. You only need to put a minimal amount of effort in when massaging it into the skin, not a lot of pressure is needed to get the best results so you really don't have to be too harsh. I find this to be a much more effective exfoliator than Never a Dull Moment, I think my skin is one that likes the tough love and the rougher the exfoliator is the better it seems! By revealing a newer layer of skin and taking dull, dead skin cells away it helps to make my face look brighter and helps keep my skin less congested, the result in terms of brightness is equal to Never a Dull Moment. Another exfoliator that does this well is Liz Earle's, I could happily alternate between these two and my skin wouldn't complain! The only downside is the price, when I bought it my skin was in desperate need of rescuing so I didn't even look at the expense but looking back it is a little steep!

Although I do like the Never a Dull Moment Exfoliator I feel as though a lot more effort needs to be put in to achieve the same result that Modern Friction gives with minimal effort and a smaller amount. I don't like the smell of it or the colour of NDM, and I think the colour is one of the reasons people think it brightens the skin! I am one for exfoliating often because I think a smooth base is best for makeup application. My skin does have small bumps under it, pesky congested pores on my chin and in the long run exfoliating helps to get rid of those. I tried to cut out manual exfoliators because I was worried they were too rough for my skin, but without them my skin was a mare and not even Never a Dull Moment could sort it out! This is why I love Modern Friction and why I switched, I use this for a physical exfoliator most mornings and I also use the Clarins Exfoliating Toner too for a less abrasive none-beaded exfoliator. This is what works for my dry skin, if you're looking for something more gentle than a traditional exfoliator then opt for Never a Dull Moment, if your skin gets dry and uneven in texture quickly like mine then go for Modern Friction!

I hope this was helpful in some way, I do think everyone needs a good exfoliate from time to time (or everyday if you're me) and Origins as a brand are one I really like for skincare.

Emma xx

Friday, 26 April 2013


Yesterday I shopped. And when I say shopped I mean 'spent a silly amount on makeup and also bought the entirety of Topshop' Lets just say it was productive. I had a really lovely time as my Grandad took me out for the day and overall, even without spending a ridiculous amount of pennies, I had a really nice day spending time with him. I wanted to show a few of the clothing bits I bought, but they are so hard to photograph I can never do them justice. However I managed to snap my makeup bits and I'll review everything properly very soon!

Bobbi Brown Shimmer Brick in Nectar, Bobbie Brown Sheer Colour Lipstick in Peachy, Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage Concealer in SC2, Laura Mercier Eyeshadow in Fire Glow, Laura Mercier Creme Smooth Lipstick in Pink Pout.

On my impressions I would say that the Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage Concealer takes a bit of getting used to in terms of application but is a great concealer non-the-less. The lipsticks are both lovely and I'm so happy I bought a shimmer brick. The eyeshadow was an impulse buy, but I'm so happy I did as it's exquisite - so warm and it really makes blue eyes pop!

A lot of these things have been on previous wishlist posts and means I can tick them off my 'most wanted' list! I also bought the shoes that were featured in one of the posts a couple of weeks ago, it must have been fate. I walked in to Topshop and they were there on the shelf in all their glory - half price in the sale at £40 - I actually got them for £36 though. Of course I acted on impulse and got the nearest staff member to find the other shoe in a 4 and soon enough I was pressing my digits in on the card machine. I must say I love them and they are so comfortable! High enough to be sported on many a night out but comfortable enough to wear for a long period of time. The go well with jeans to spruce up a smart-casual look when out for a meal and more casual things too.

Any thoughts on my haul? Shopping gives me such a buzz I'm soon when payday comes I'll be at it again! 

-Emma xx

Wednesday, 17 April 2013

Wednesday Wishlist

Another week another wish list! I can't wait for payday now so I can stock up on more beauty bits, now that the cold weather is starting to go I'm looking for lighter bases, bronzing powders and products that'll give me a really lovely glow for the warmer months. Whilst I'd love all these things, my skin is really groggy and dry but congested (yet not spotty) I think my pores are clogged and it's really not good - I need to be looking at more skincare (I need some saviours in the skin department) Anyway, these things are pretty and definitely on the 'wanted' list!

1. By Terry Touche Veloutee Illuminating Concealer - £35. The price of this saddens me, yet I can't help but think this amazing concealer, favourited by Millie Mackintosh, is worth every little penny. Lisa Eldridge has also said she likes this and if it's good enough for them it's definitely good enough for me! It's nice to have a concealer with good coverage for blemishes and things but it's also good to have a brightening one for under the eyes, not only would this conceal and dark circles but illuminates the area giving a brightened 'awake' look. My problem with concealers is creasing and I've heard that this doesn't happen with this. I don't know how inclined I am to buy this, it's more expensive than most foundations I buy! But I definitely would love to try it.

2. Origins Modern Friction Exfoliator - £31. I have tried going a while without an exfoliator that is 'bead' based that physically buffs away dead skin and dirt because of the Rice Starch - it won't be as harsh as coarser exfoliators our there. It also contains lemon oil to help brighten the skin and Vitamin  C. I love Origins as a brand they have really impressed me and you do get your money's worth in the quality of the products. Their face masks are also fantastic.

3. Bobbi Brown Shimmer Brick in Nectar. Why do I not own a Shimmer Brick yet?! These gorgeous compacts contain 5 shimmer laced powders perfect for adding the much needed glow my skin often needs. There are quite a few different Shimmer Bricks in the collection, the bronze one looks beautiful too!

4. Mac Lipstick in Coral Bliss - £14. I won't pretend I own a lot of Mac lipsticks; I don't. But I would like to buy more and when it comes to lipstick that isn't red I opt for warm peach-pinks. Coral Bliss, Pure Zen, Shy Girl and Shanghai Spice you will all one day be mine!

5. Chanel Vita Lumiere Aqua - £32. I'm 99% sure I need to try this. As the weather is (hopefully) getting warmer I'm looking for a lighter base and this definitely isn't heavy. I think every one should invest when it comes to what they're putting on their skin so the price doesn't phase me at all.

6. Nars The Multiple in Orgasm - £30. Can you tell I'm wanting to find a product that'll give me a really nice glow? This is probably the cream version of the Shimmer Brick previously mentioned. All the swatches online of it look absolutely gorgeous and the great thing about this being a 'multiple' is it has lots of different uses - I'm not sure where else I would use it but none-the-less it's a beauty.

Tuesday, 16 April 2013

Real Techniques Face Brushes

I love Real Techniques. I will opt for a RT brush over Mac or Sigma most days (not that I own much of either) and Samantha Chapman has produced some amazing brushes of excellent quality over the past couple of years. I wanted to do a post about the ones that I think are really worth the money, for anyone just starting out with makeup choosing the right brushes can be confusing! There are no set ways to use a brush, there are no rules to break and a lot of people feel like that's the way it is. Use your brushes in a way that suits you best - if you do cut creases best with a small angled brush the go for it, if you like to use a blending brush to buff your concealer in then go for it! These brushes are so fantastic that each one can be used for a variety of things. The names and suggested uses for brushes are just suggestions - everyone has different preferences and more importantly everybody's face is different!

Real Techniques brushes wash so easily - they always retain their softness, their fibres and retain their original shape too. I have owned my first for probably around a year now and I have never experienced any shedding, they don't decrease in quality and I'd definitely say that if looked after then the brushes will be as good in quality as they were when you first purchased them. I have recommended these to friends and bought them for people as presents too - a testament to how great they are! There are some guidelines given on the packaging and generally yellow handles for base, pink for colour and purple for eyes but again use to what suits you best. 

Here are my brushes in order that they are pictured (minus the contour brush - oops)

Powder Brush: I dislike short little kabuki style brushes for powder and love love love this giant, very oversized brush. It picks up just the right amount of product and distributes it evenly so it doesn't leave you looking too chalky. It's so soft too, like my boyfriend stroked his face with this for an hour straight soft!

Blush Brush: Although I initially was using this for blush, which it does do a lovely job of applying, I have also been reaching this to contour or add bronzer just because it's so big yet very tapered it does a good job of applying colour to the hollows of the cheeks as it's a lot thinner and pointier towards the end. You can use a bigger area of the brush like the sides to apply bronzer to the high points of the face for an all over bronzed look. It is nice for blush and the use it's intended for but I've recently been finding it a little big and am looking for something a little smaller for my rather small face!

Stippling Brush:  I've never found a consistent use for this product. I don't like it for applying my base and when dipped in some blushes it can be harsh and pick up too much product and make the blush go a little powdery. I've tried using this for contour though and it is lovely for that, it's great for creamy products too like cream blush or highlighter. It's another multi-functional brush.

Buffing Brush: This comes in multi pack with three other brushes for £21.99 however I love this brush so much I have been known to repurchase the whole pack just for the Buffing Brush. It's amazing for creating the perfect base and works so well at buffing in your foundation for a flawless finish. The brush is densely packed with synthetic fibre and is so so soft that it's nice to use and because  of the generous sizing of it applying foundation couldn't be any quicker/easier. I only use this or my Expert Face Brush for foundation - that's how good it is.

Expert Face Brush: This brush is sold individually and I believe it is about £9.99. As I said, this is the only other brush I use for foundation. It's slightly smaller and more tapered and oval shaped so is perfect for getting into smaller areas. This also gives a really flawless finish as the fibres are so densely packed, I really love this brush. 

Contour Brush (not pictured): At the time of me writing this my little contour brush was on holiday in my friends makeup bag, she picked it up by accident after a getting ready session! This brush has so many uses it's such a good one to have. I really like this brush for buffing in concealer, it's the perfect size for blending concealer under the eyes and works well at buffing in product around the nose as it's slightly tapered which helps it get into all the different parts of your skin. You can also use this for actual contouring, I have another that is used with a contour shade in the hollows of the cheeks to add structure, on my temples and down the sides of my nose to help it appear a touch thinner. I also (yes three uses!) have used this to apply a powder highlighter to the tops of my cheekbones, brow bone and anywhere else that needs highlighting. This brush is so multi-functional which is why I like it so much.

For anyone wondering whether to invest in Real Techniques I say yes! They're purse friendly and of excellent quality - so good that I've just ordered myself the Setting brush and the Travel Essentials pack (I'm hoping that the multi-task brush in that pack will become my go-to brush for blusher) Real Techniques are also launching a new range available in May - these are duo fibre brushes and I can't wait to get my hands on these either. I'm going to pop up a post of the eye brushes soon and will more than likely do a post on the ones I have just bought! You can buy Real Techniques from Boots and Amazon in the UK.

-Emma xx

Sunday, 14 April 2013

Benefit's Hello Flawless Oxygen Wow Foundation Review

For anyone that knows me personally, you'll be glad to know that no I have not bought 'yet another' foundation! This is in fact a sample. I have been trialling this foundation for the majority of the past two weeks and feel that I've worn it enough to really understand the product and how it wears, usually I can tell on the first application and day of wear if I'm going to love something or not, but as with everything I like to see if things hold up and make sure it wasn't just a 'good or bad skin day' Here I have Benefit's Hello Flawless Oxygen Wow foundation in shade Ivory. Be warned - this is a long one!

Firstly can we talk about the packaging? Most of the time when you ask for a sample the MUA has to decant some from a huge bottle (like on my Lancome counter or on Estee Lauder) which means you'll end up with a little glass bottle full of product - perfectly fine. From an MUA's point of view the way Benefit do this? It's perfect! They have pre-made sample size pots they just hand out upon request and these are fantastic, much less time consuming as you no longer need to pour product or write the shade (not that this takes up a lot of time but it is difficult when dealing with multiple customers at one time) Despite the fact you get less time chatting to the customer as you're able to just hand them a sample, it is less time consuming and ultimately less messy for all those involved (I have been guilty of over-pouring) Plus you actually get some packaging that tells you the shade and ingredients, and it also comes with a pump which is impressive and the bottle is cleverly designed as you can see how much product you have left. A sample size of this foundation follows suit to the actual product you will buy where packaging is concerned as everything is exactly the same, just smaller. I think thats how every company should do it.

When it came to actually trying this foundation I was, at first, very sceptical. I had tried this foundation before when it was first released and wasn't too impressed. It's quite runny when you initially pump it out, which made me think I wouldn't like it second time round. It's intended for a light to medium coverage which this certainly gives. You can't build it up to any more than medium without it looking too packed on or cake-y. On application it blends well yet sometimes you can see the print of my brush on my skin - I never normally get this so I'm putting it down to the runny consistency of the product. 

I actually love the finish of this when it's freshly applied, it does give an almost flawless look to the face and they aren't lying about being brightening. Coverage-wise it doesn't cover everything (I never expect any foundation to - as that's a concealers job) but it is a really nice light to medium coverage for correcting the skin tone and tying everything altogether. The luminosity is achieved without any glitter or sparkle which is lovely and makes me want to compare it to Rimmel's Wake Me Up foundation but a more grown up/glitter-free/more expensive nicer version. I have had a few compliments whilst wearing this foundation which is always a good sign! The problems with this lie with how it wears, it doesn't last a full day but touching up just seems to make me look cakey. It starts to become patchy and settle in my pores from the 5/6 hour mark. Though when worn with Porefessional this is less noticeable. It sits in fine lines like I have pointed out in one of my swatch photographs which isn't great and using a powder on top doesn't help. I like the luminous almost dewy finish but only on certain parts of my face (fussy customer here) so on areas like my forehead the shine just increases with wear - this is one of those areas I like to keep as non-shiny as possible so this can be a slight problem. Down my nose and on my cheeks it looks really radiant and glow-y though as you can see in the photographs.

What I like about Hello Flawless: 
- The packaging. Although it doesn't look classy or overly 'high-end' it's designed around how you use the product. I like the pump and the fact that the bottom moves upwards as you pump more out so you can see how much product you have left.
- The finish of this is lovely as it's definitely multi-dimensional because of the luminosity. It's radiant and does a good job of perfecting the skin tone to make it look even and healthy.
- It has an Spf of 25.
- It doesn't contain any parabens or oils which makes this foundation great for most skin types. Because of the dewy finish an oily skin may prefer something more mattifying though.
- It has a light to medium coverage that can be sheered out when applied with fingers.
- It also photographs really well in the day time, I'm pleased with how my skin looks in these photographs - I haven't tried it at night with flash though.

What I dislike about Hello Flawless:
- It can oxidise. I say 'can' because for some very peculiar reason this doesn't happen all the time. I don't always feel like it has changed but sometimes I see myself and I'm thinking 'woah - I wasn't that colour earlier' 
- The medium coverage is supposed to be build-able but I actually found if you go one pump too many it looked very cake-y and 'too much' and it can turn into a very obvious-that-I'm-wearing-foundation foundation if you know what I mean!
- This applied in quite a streaky way, I use very dense brushes that usually leave no lines on my face or prints of the brush but with this foundation I somehow get them each time! This is probably because it is quite a loose, runny consistency. 
-Spf of 25 may mean it isn't ideal for nights out and flash photography.
- After the six hour mark it does start to settle in to my pores a little bit and wear away in patches like around my nose and center of my forehead.
- I sometimes feel as though if I wipe my face with my hand some of the foundation would come off, it can give that 'sitting on top of' your skin feeling and still feel tacky rather than feeling blended in.

Despite the cons I've listed I quite like this foundation! It's a tricky one because it's gorgeous upon application but doesn't live up to it's potential in terms of wear time. It does give a flawless finish and photographs really nicely. I just wish it held up for a little longer, wasn't so tacky and didn't need so much touching up. I'm undecided whether I want to purchase the full size of this, I think there are nicer foundations out there that will wear better and give an equally good if not better finish when it is freshly applied. I prefer the foundations I own already - particularly Chanel Perfection Lumiere or my Nars Sheer Glow! I think next on my list to try are Bobbi Brown offerings and Vita Lumiere Aqua from Chanel. Overall though an impressive foundation from Benefit!

Have you tried this foundation before? What do you think of Benefit's products?

-Emma xx

Wednesday, 10 April 2013

Wednesday Wishlist

1. Nars New Satin Lip Pencils - £17.50: My favourite brand have released new lip pencils and I'd love to try one. I like the shade 'Lodhi' which sounds right up my street as it's described as a 'vibrant coral' Yum.

2. Topshop Stunning Heels - £80: I've been eyeing these shoes up for too long now. I think I might get them on my next lunch break at work! I'm SO picky with shoes considering i'm extremely petite they need to be high but not too much for my small feet and when I tried them on they were so comfy. I would wear these on a night out but because they aren't too OTT and because I'm a mere 5"2 I could probably get away wih wearing them to the pub and trips out where I can dress smart casual. It was love at first sight and I just know that I would hate myself if I didn't get them, it's not often I find shoes that I like this much!

3.Laura Mercier Camouflage Concealer Duo - £26: Omg, my friend had a Mercier makeover on a trip to Nottingham the other week and I could see just how fantastic this was, it made her skin look so flawless, almost airbrushed. Need it. 

4. Michael Kors Selma - £315: This would definitely be an investment! It sucks having expensive taste, then I could just be happy with my Topshop bags. I wonder if David would be kind enough to buy this as an anniversary present? I'm guessing probably not what with moving and needing to buy a car too, but a girl can dream. I might set aside some money each month and soon enough I can buy one - it'd be a good treat to myself for something. (maybe passing my driving test - fingers crossed that isn't too far away)

5. Nars American Dream Palette - £39: I shouldn't want another Nars palette, and hell I definitely do not need one! I love my And God Created the Woman palette so much though, and it was such good value for money that this one is kind of irresistable to me now. The shades again are of the neutral variety but with a twist as you have a silver and a pink tone thrown in there. We'll see, it's not a must buy but it certainly is pretty.

6. Topshop Crepe Notch Neck Jacket - £55: I want a new jacket to wear that will be nice for spring and summer. I love my leather jacket but I fancy something lighter and more summery. This looks perfect as it's somewhere between a blazer and a jacket, I love the bright red/orange colour too after seeing it on Lily Melrose but the cream is pretty too!

Monday, 8 April 2013

NARS And God Created The Woman Palette

When God created the woman, I have a feeling he may have also created Nars, and this palette. It's practically heavenly. I try not to be too OTT in the beginning of my posts if I really like something, but I feel like shouting from the roof 'I'm in love, I'm in love and I don't care who knows it!' Yeah I quoted Elf, and? I posted that I wanted this the other week and a couple of weeks ago I saw it was going out of stock everywhere. Cue panic-buying and and impulsive attack of my mouse pad on the checkout button. The fact that something is limited edition just makes you want something even more - girl logic. I waited patiently for 5 days and one morning last week it arrived - cue angels singing.

Whilst some people may squirm at having to pay £40.50 for the palette, if you just think about the eyeshadows alone it works out at £6.75 a shadow. But include the fact you get a travel size shader brush and a medium size Eye Primer then you're really paying a lot less for each thing! For any justification wanted, buying this palette, or any Nars duos works out cheaper than both Mac and Urban Decay, plus you get more grams for your money. Makeup Maths at it's best. 

And God Created The Woman is a tiny palette with six different shades in. It is so compact that it's barely bigger than my bank card, yet it fits 6 x 0.03oz eyeshadows and a mirror that is actually a nice size. The shades on the top row from L to R are: Alhambra - a lovely all over lid shade, Bellisima - a matte taupe, Kalahari a pale but warm gold. And on the bottom row we have Galapagos a warm yet rich bronze brown, Coconut Grove - a matte deep chocolate brown and Night Clubbing - a black shade laced with golden shimmer. Even if you already own a couple of the shades as part of their original duo, or the singles it is so handy to have them all together in one travel friendly palette. I love that there is a combination of matte and shimmer shades as I always use a combination of the two finishes to complete any look. As far as the shimmer goes - it's what I compare everything else too. It's not glitterball, it doesn't drop down and I think in general the shimmer finish just gives a really nice sheen. I find matte shades can be dull sometimes, hence why you partner them up but when they're as creamy and rich in colour as these you're going to love them. The variation in shades is lovely too, it's easy to create a daytime look and later transform it to a more 'happy hour' friendly look. What I love about buying palettes is that the stress of matching colours together is done for you, well it limits your selection which is of course very helpful for someone as indecisive as me.

I can't decide what my favourite shade is, but I really love Galapogos, it's just that perfect warm brown/bronze shade. Alhambra is beautiful too, with my colouring it looks very pretty all over the lid blended with Bellisima for a subtle bit of definition, or it's lovely as an inner corner highlight. I love them all really, as they all bring something to the palette!

In terms of quality of formula? You can't get better than the pigmentation and buttery soft texture of a Nars shadow. Each shade is absolutely gorgeous - without even the flaw of excessive fallout there to niggle at me up on application. They're a dream to apply and so easy to blend. They stay put all day, and night and this is increased even more when paired with the Eye Prime. 

The brush was also an exciting part of the set for me as I have never owned a Nars brush before. It's so good, grabs enough product to pack the shadow onto the eyes but doesn't make the shadows powdery and messy when you pick them up. It's great for blending too as the synthetic hairs are dense yet not too structured. I already own a Eyeshadow Primer from Nars but as far as products in this category go, it's the best I've used. I know people wit oilier eyelids than mine who swear by this too - so it's prefect for everyone.

I achieved this look by using my Nars Primer first. I then applied Alhambra all over the lid, next I drew in a cut crease using a Real Techniques angled brush with Coconut Grove, just extending the line upwards from where my eyes naturally come to a point and bringing it back in slightly above the crease of my eye. I filled in the outer 'v' with the same shade before blending like crazy. I then added Galapagos on top of the outer corner to give more depth and a little more shimmer - by blending this into the centre it bridges the inner and outer corner shades together and creates a gradient of tone. Again I blended like crazy - no harsh edges - and then tight lined under the lashes with Cliniques Soft Kohl and made my lashes multiply in volume (it literally felt like I had 1000 times more lashes) and grow in length with Lancome's Hypnose.

This palette hasn't left my sight since it arrived, it's a beauty and my new favourite thing I own, it's so versatile for daytime and night time and the quality is outstanding. If you were contemplating getting it - do it. You'll thank me later! I can't wait to order more Nars products, however much my boyfriend hates me for my excessive makeup buying I won't be happy until my makeup collection is predominantly Nars, I'm openly admitting I'm in love with this brand and I don't quite think that'll be changing anytime soon! 

So will you be hunting this down anytime soon? I personally don't think there's such thing as 'I own too many neutral palettes!' 

-Emma xx

Thursday, 4 April 2013

Clinique High Impact Extreme Volume Mascara

I couldn't wait any longer to write this post, does that make me sad? Probably. It took just one application of this for me to say to my boyfriend 'ohmygosh my lashes' the effect was that instant. Of course he didn't get what I meant, he thought they'd fallen off or something but no, I'd just had a revelation in terms of mascaras. Is it too much if I call it life changing? Possibly. Read on if you dare.

Clinique don't lie when it comes to naming their products. High Impact? Yes. Extreme Volume? Yes. Everything I want in a mascara? Yes. I can't fault it. The last mascara I reviewed was Benefits They're Real and as much as I still credit that mascara as a good'un and the results are fab I just can't be doing with how much effort it is to remove. Clinique have just blown them out of the water, I think this mascara is on par with Lancome, another favourite of mine for mascaras (namely Hypnose Star) and that is a bold statement to make.

The shiny silver packaging encases a gem of a product. What makes it so great? I can only guess. But one factor that makes it unique - like nothing I've ever tried - is the wand. It is large, yes. But it's not large enough to be scary or clumsy. The bristles are so fine, when you first look at them they seem to be plastic, a bit like Max Factor False Lash Effect but skinnier. The bristles are actually tiny, spikey little things that aren't plastic but aren't like your usual fibre brushes either. They bend easily and are quite soft, allowing them to move around the lashes to really coat each and every one. The finished result is a lash doubling effect like nothing else - without mascara it looks as though I have about ten stubby lashes - with this it looks like I have fifty, that are longer darker and thicker than usual without being clumpy. The wand combs through the lashes and separates them and adding volume. They look almost false, just not as plastic. As you wear the mascara it doesn't flake, smudge or fall off. It comes off easily with a nice eye makeup remover for fuss free removal.

Formula-wise HIEV is very wet. The way I use it is to apply one coat, move on to the next eye letting the first dry, before going back to add more (if more is needed) I usually like two coats of mascara to lengthen and add volume so I don't really know how it is for clumping - I haven't experienced any with the amount I apply. To really make the most of this mascara I recommend when you first take the wand to the base of the lashes give it a really good wiggle and work it right in to the roots so you get volume from the bottom and not just half way through/at the ends - it makes a hell of a difference! I try to do that with all mascaras anyway

My only gripe with this is the packaging on the inside. You can get product build up in the opening of where the wand comes out but it doesn't affect your results with the application so it doesn't really matter. On the outside though it looks fab, not something I would feel ashamed to be pulling out of my makeup bag at all.

This is one of the best mascaras I have ever tried, I need volume and lash a multiplying formula and wand and that's exactly what this does. I like this more than YSL Shocking, and that's saying something! I will be repurchasing this again and again until I find something better. 

-Emma xx

Wednesday, 3 April 2013

March Favourites

This is my first favourites post, I've been loving a variety of products this month but I've narrowed it down to a few for my first one!

Urban Decay Naked Palette 2: In particularly the shade snakebite paired with either Half Baked or Chopper is lovely. The matte black shade Blackout is something I've been reaching for as I ran out of eyeliner and have been loving the softer finish of using a matte eyeshadow. Foxy and Bootycall are also my go-to shades for an inner corner highlight. The brush is also something I use frequently as it's such great quality and the blending end of it is excellent. This is an old favourite of mine, the Naked palettes are great for neutral shadow lovers and mine certainly get a lot of love.

Lancome Hypnose Mascara: This was gifted to me because of my new role as a 'Consultant' on their counter. I have tried Hypnose before but I'm sure I like it better this time round! Amazing finish to the lashes - and this is only a sample size. I have naturally curled lashes, they're a good length but not exceptionally long however I do lack in how many I have and so I love this mascara for literally doubling the amount of lashes I have and giving great volume without clumping - I don't know how it works but it does and I like it! The price is steep but I do think it's worth it.

Laura Mercier Silk Creme Foundation: An absolutely gorgeous foundation that my skin seems to love. It gives a lovely natural/satin finish and the coverage is medium but builable. You only need a pea size amount to cover your whole face because it's so well pigmented. It lasts all day and makes my skin look so healthy and as flawless as possible - especially when paired with the radiance primer.

Origins Out of Trouble Face Mask: I always reach for this when my skin needs a little pick me up. My new job means I have to look my best as people scrutinize my face to understand how good the products are that we sell - I've been using this to clear my skin, it helps to calm down any breakouts and clear blemishes. My skin feels so soft and 

Mac Blush in Springsheen: I love this blush! It's so long lasting and the colour is absolutely gorgeous. I love the sheen it gives to, it illuminates the skin whilst adding colour for a really lovely glow. It's a sheertone shimmer blush which means it adds a little colour and isn't overly intense, instead it aims to give a subtle flush which I personally really love. 

Nars Matte Velvet Lip Pencil in Sex Machine: I posted about this and since I got it I have been loving throwing this on for little colour on the lips. I tend to gravitate towards a less intense lip tone when I wear heavier eye makeup, like a smokey eye. This product is light on the lips and despite the fact it's matte it's not drying at all, the finish is really lovely and soft and something to just chuck on quickly. It's different from my usual light peach/pink picks as it's more a mauve/berry type of pink.

Tuesday, 2 April 2013

I Bought a Lip Butter - New Shade

This is big news. I have been deliberately not falling to the hands of Revlon for some time. The hype surrounding them was massive, it was ridiculous. It made me think 'I'll never buy one of those darned Lip Butters' purely because of how over excited everyone else seemed to be. I didn't think these products would be amazing - I like a bit more pigment and colour pay off for my money - y'know? And although the packaging isn't a car-crash as some drugstore items can be, they still look a little cheap to me. I did have a nosey on a few occasions and just decided that none of the shades were that great either, most are a bit 'bleh' and forgettable.

It's forgivable though because after all that 'I am not buying a Lip Butter' fuss, I was pleasantly surprised. My friend says the Watermelon one is nice? And maybe I'll come round to the sheeny red of Candy Apple one day soon as swatches of this and Peach Parfait may have just converted me even more. In real life neither of these shades looked nice to me, but you never know you may need to see them on the lips. I might be eating my words in a few days time. It's probable. 

I bought the shade Juicy Papaya after seeing a blog post about the new shade releases. Obviously I wasn't that intrigued to start with (another lip butter oh how boring) but it was the shade that really caught my eye - a gorgeous, a peachy coral shade. Sold. Like that. The formula is nice too - very moisturising. It's one of those lipsticks where you find yourself rubbing your lips together a lot because it feels that nice. They aren't sticky or too glossy - but you can definitely feel them there, especially if you build it up and wear a few coats. After a while mine seemed to be clinging to the drier patches on my lips but it wasn't a big deal as they weren't making my lips any drier, it actually felt like it was keeping my pout all nice and hydrated which is always good. If you haven't been living under a rock (lets hope most people) you will know the lo-down pigment wise as Lip Butters provide just a sheen of colour that is fairly buildable (well it must be considering some of the swatches I've seen - do these girls just enjoy wasting half their lipsticks?) Lip Butters are good for days where fuss free makeup is welcome as you can just whack it on and trust your lips have some colour plus a lot of shine and moisture - a very unsuspecting winner in my books. Wearing this shade doesn't look like I'm wearing a full-on high maintenance lipstick, it's easy going and doesn't make you feel as though you're wearing too much colour. They aren't the most long lasting lip products though, by a long shot. On me they last just a couple of hours and thats with no drinking/eating but a lot of talking!

So I'm a convert. And SO late to this bandwagon but consider it 'jumped.' I might be going back for the other shades mentioned, I might not. They are currently on 3 for 2 at Boots though and I have a coupon for £2 off Revlon products (hooray) I'm interested to try the newly launched Satin Lipstick thingies they've launched too. Oh what a world of adventure I live in.

-Emma xx