Monthly Archives: April 2014

Save, Spend or Splurge: Matte Brown Eyeshadow

30 April 2014

matte brown eyeshadows
How now friends? Today I’m talking about matte brown eyeshadows. WAIT! Before you click off in a fit of boredom and rage, let me fill you in on this seemingly dull product.

Personally, I love me a matte mid-brown eyeshadow and I have no shortage of them but there is also no shortage of uses! I use matte brown eyeshadow on my eyes (obviously), I use it to fill in my eyebrows and if I’m feeling especially bold, I use it to contour. I would be lost and ugly without it.

matte brown eyeshadowDepending on which way you’re inclined, there is a matte brown eyeshadow to suit every budget, here are my top picks.

SAVE: The unimaginatively named MUA Shade 19 is a mind boggling £1. ONE POUND. In all honesty, I was expecting this to be utter pants but it wasn’t. I’m not going to claim it’s the most pigmented eyeshadow on our sacred globe but it is one of my favourite things to use to fill in my eyebrows. It’s smooth, easy to work with, isn’t too heavy and the grey-ish tinge is the perfect hairy colour. Buy it, it’s ONE POUND.

SPEND: For mid-range budgets, I’d recommend Maybelline Eyestudio Mono Eyeshadow in Chocolate Chic. I swatched this in Boots and was taken aback by how smooth and buttery it was. At £4.09, it’s pretty pigmented and is the perfect shade for a brown smokey eye. I’ll definitely be picking up more colours.

SPLURGE: I never really hear many people talking about MAC Handwritten (probably because it’s the least exciting thing in the shop) BUT as you can see it’s by far the most pigmented, buttery and smooth of the bunch. It also hangs around on my eyelids longer which is a bonus but at £10 for the refill I would bloody expect so.

Left to right: MUA, Maybelline, MACmatte brown eyeshadow

FOTD: Friday Night Purple Smokey Eye

29 April 2014

fotd friday night fotd friday nightWhen I’m attempting any sort of heavy eye makeup, I get it out of the way first so I can clean up the inevitable mess I make before applying foundation. Plus, I lose patience towards the end so it’s best to get the trickiest part over and done with before you lose the will to live.

I prepped my eyes using MAC Paint Pot in Painterly, before using Naked 2 from the Naked Basics palette to create a base. I then used the dark purple shade from the Maybelline Big Eyes eyeshadow quad in Luminous Purple as the main colour on the lid, and darkened the outer corners with Crave from the Naked Basics palette to create a smokey eye. I used Maybelline Eye Studio gel liner in Black to line my upper lid, and Maybelline Master Drama khol liner in Black for my upper and lower waterlines. I used Maybelline Master Drama Chromatics in Purple Light along the lower lash line and used a pointy cotton bud to blend. My mascara of choice was Max Factor False Lash Effect in Black and I popped Ardell Demi Wispies on top. Yet again I reached for the Urban Decay Naked Basics palette and chucked a bit of Venus in the inner corners. Eyes done!fotd friday night Half my eyeshadow ended up on my nose and cheeks so I cleaned up with some makeup remover, and applied some moisturiser to ‘prepare the canvas’. I slapped Rimmel Stay Matte primer all over my face before applying two very thin layers of YSL Le Teint Touche Eclat foundation in BD60 (review here), avoiding my under eyes. At this point, I could no longer take my face seriously without sorting out my face caterpillars (eyebrows) so I filled those in with the Sleek Brow Kit in Dark and set with 2True Instant Colour mascara in Clear. Normality resumed, I corrected my highly offensive dark circles with Laura Mercier Under Eye Perfector in Orange/Yellow (review here) and applied Maybelline Fit Me concealer in Sand. I’m a sucker for OTT highlighting if I’m going out so I dabbed on MAC Prep + Prime highlighter in Light Boost in triangles under my eyes. I contoured, bronzed and highlighted with the Sleek Face Form contour kit in Medium. For blusher, I used Guipure (yes, I had to look that up too) from the Sleek Blush by 3 Lace palette. For a touch more glow, I used a tiny it of Topshop Glow highlighter in Gleam on my cheekbones. Lips were Revlon Super Lustrous lipstick in Pink Pout (review here).fotd friday night

And there we have it – crikey, that is a lot of products, no?! A purple smokey eye perfect for making brown eyes a bit more exciting!

NOTD: Barry M Gelly Nail Paint Pink Punch

28 April 2014

barry m gelly shine pink punch
In a desperate bid to stop my nails from forever snapping like an old granny’s hip joint after taking a tumble, I’ve been making an effort to treat them with a little respect and lavishing with plenty of amateur manicures. When my nails look nice, I won’t stick them in my mouth which makes them horribly soft and weak. I took myself down to Superdrug and bought myself a couple of Barry M Gelly nail paints, one of them being the inaccurately-named ‘Pink Punch’.

Pink Punch is an amazing colour for summer – it’s a proper full-on Barbie pink, bright and bold but not quite neon. I’m not even a massively pink person but this perks my hands right up, and I’ve been enjoying wearing it on long, pointed nails with lots of rings. I’m not going to claim it’s the longest lasting polish or that it only needs one coat but you cannot deny the splendour of that colour! Always a pleasure, Barry!

barry m gelly shine pink punch

Review: Soap & Glory Sexy Mother Pucker Lip Lacquer Riot

25 April 2014

sexy mother pucker riot
Soap & Glory is one of those brands that I love with a fiery passion. There’s something about literally everything they bring out that gets me all hot under the collar, a bit like a black labrador on a warm summer’s day. I must say I tend to dabble in their skin and body care more than their makeup but I was sent their Sexy Mother Pucker to review in the shade Riot*. My first ever S&G product many moons ago was actually one of these cheekily named lip glosses but I had no idea they’d brought them out in the lacquer editions – I must have slept through the memo.sexy mother pucker riot
Anyway, Riot is a proper, wham-bam-thank-you-mam kind of red. The kind of blue-toned red that makes teeth look a little whiter and makes you feel awfully glam even when you’re in a hoody covered in cat hair. Personally, unless the mood takes me, I’m usually not a gloss kind of gal. The finish of this is SUPER glossy, my lips looked like Britney Spears’ bum cheeks in her catsuit, which I can only assume is a good thing. Colour pay off is insane, it’s opaque and by far the most pigmented lipgloss I own. The texture is quite sticky but show me any opaque and glossy liquid lipstick that isn’t and I’ll eat my hat. Scent-wise, it’s classic S&G so if you like chocolate (never trust anyone who says they don’t like chocolate. Or potatoes) you’ll be all over this like a limpet on a rock.sexy mother pucker riot
Sexy Mother Pucker’s application method is with a standard doe foot applicator however, as you can probably see from the photo, it’s not tapered which some of you more cack-handed beauty lovers may find somewhat awkward to use. I found the best way to apply this was to use the applicator to cover the bulk of my lips and finish off the edges with a small brush, but this is what I tend to do with any bold lipstick. In my photos, I have applied merely ONE coat, and I think you’ll agree, friends, that is all you need. I’m always a bit wary of such colours as there’s nowhere to hide, plus my mouth is weirdly small for my already pea-sized head. I don’t know how much this lipgloss made my mouth look less deformed, and I didn’t even use any lip liner to cheat. sexy mother pucker riot
To really put Sexy Mother Pucker under crippling pressure, I guzzled down a bottle of water, and judging by the amount of transfer, I expected to have nothing left on my lips but lo and behold, it still looked as good as it did on application – I don’t know how they do it but I am impressed. A couple of hours later I ate dinner and the lipgloss and this is what did the most damage. It had definitely worn away by this point but it hadn’t disappeared completely. Instead it had left a nice sheer colour on my lips without any tacky outline. It looked and felt like a tinted lip balm and my lips felt moist and juicy well into the bedtime.
sexy mother pucker riot
To be honest I didn’t think this would be for me but I was pleasantly surprised, and I like what it did to my face. The colour seems to work nicely with my skin tone and the finish is undoubtedly glamorous – perfect for pulling your face together when you haven’t bothered with much other makeup. If you’re not into lipglosses you might find Sexy Mother Pucker lip lacquers a bit of a handful but otherwise these are amazing in terms of pigmentation, opacity and gloss factor.

Soap & Glory Sexy Mother Pucker Lip Lacquer in Riot is available for £7 at Boots.

*PR Sample

FOTD: Daytime Smokey Eye

23 April 2014

daytime smokey eye I’m not going to lie, most mornings I barely have enough time to have a shower and slap on a bit of concealer, never mind a full-blown smokey eye. However, I’ve bought the motherlode in beauty products recently and today I forewent the extra few minutes lying in my pit to make a bit of an effort for the office. I decided to do a quick and simple brown smokey eye to add a bit of definition to my haggered face. Is it just me but do you always feel a little awkward putting on a bit more makeup at work? I always get teased by the boys and my manager thinks I’ve got an interview elsewhere. There are so many bright lipsticks I want to wear during the week which are shunned until the weekend for fear of the comments.daytime smokey eyeAfter prepping my face, I popped NARS Sheer Glow in Barcelona to even out my skin tone. As I type this, I’ve just realised I forgot to put concealer on (well done, stupid!) but the foundation seemed to mostly cover up my offensive dark bags. This shade is slightly too light for me so I lightly contoured with the bronzer from my Sleek Face Form palette in Medium to add a little life back to my face. A little bit of Accessorize Baked Blusher in Scandal (review here) finished off my complexion. I lightly filled in my brows with Natural Collection Eyeshadow in Crushed Walnut which is a great multi-tasking colour. I used the same eyeshadow as the base for my smokey eye which is perfect for adding a little bit of definition without going overboard. I blended KIKO Eyeshadow in Pearly Cocoa (which I used for the first time, I was blown away by its quality, and it’s only £2.90!). I added a quick flick of liner using Maybelline Eye Studio Lasting Drama gel liner in Black and finished it all off with 17 Falsifeye mascara in Black. A quick slick of my beloved Carmex Moisture Plus Ultra Hydrating lip balm in Pink Sheer Tint (review here).

Review: Revlon Super Lustrous Lipstick Pink Pout

22 April 2014

revlon super lustrous pink pout 2Hello chummies! You might remember my date night FOTD from a few months ago, which is my usual failsafe look. I can’t say the other half and I have been on many dates since although the good news is I wore Revlon Super Lustrous lipstick in Pink Pout for the first time that night and have worn it relentlessly since – although I do have mixed feelings about it.revlon super lustrous pink pout 2revlon super lustrous pink pout 2Revlon Super Lustrous lipstick in Pink Pout is a very purple-based pink in their much loved matte formula which at first glance you’d assume it would only suit lighter skin tones. BUT after trying  MAC Mehr and falling in love with purple-based pinks I decided to plunge further into pink oblivion.

This lipstick applies quite smoothly but not as smoothly as a MAC matte lipstick if you know what I mean? Pre-moisturised lips are a MUST if you’re going to dabble with this little guy. I’d say the texture is quite velvety, although it does feel a little drying. My comfort threshold is quite low so this doesn’t bother me too much.

Wear time is average, I think I usually get 3 or 4 hours before I need to reapply, but you do get cracks showing if you look closely enough. Again, I’m not exactly a perfectionist so that isn’t going to keep me up at night. It doesn’t fade awkwardly which is probably the main thing?revlon super lustrous pink pout 2I really love the colour of Pink Pout, although the name is super naff. I’m absolutely willing to overlook the slight dryness for the way it brightens up my face. This colour would be adorable and dolly-like on pale skins but if you’ve got darker skin, it looks unexpectedly sexy in my humble opinion – well worth a try.

One last thing, the packaging seems to have changed slightly, I’m not sure if mine is the new or old version but the Boots and Superdrug websites show this lipstick with a brushed silver colour barrel. If you engage your eyeballs you’ll see mine is shiny gold which I prefer, but it’s the same product either way – I hope that’s cleared up any confusion!

Revlon Super Lustrous Lipstick in Pink Pout is available at Boots for £7.49.

Review: YSL Le Teint Touche Eclat Foundation

21 April 2014

touche eclat foundation review
I can’t believe I only started properly wearing foundation two years ago. And by properly I mean bothering to buy the right shade and not looking like a Madame Tussaud’s reject. I was curious about the YSL Touche Eclat foundation after all the rave reviews it has (it’s got a rather majestic 5 stars on the Boots website and 4.5 on Debenhams) and after resisting for a few weeks, I couldn’t take it anymore. I popped myself down to Debenhams and it was finally mine.touche eclat foundation review
Firstly I’d like to applaud YSL Le Teint Touche Eclat for being available in a pant-wettingly exciting 22 shades, split into pink (BR), neutral (B) and golden (BD) undertones which means there is literally something for everyone. I’m an NC42 in MAC terms and YSL BD60 matches me perfectly. Also, thumbs up for the pump – I hope other high-end brands take note (I’m looking at you, NARS and Estee Lauder – I love you and love giving you my money but why no pump?).

I used a buffing brush to apply this foundation but upon closer inspection, I could see some streaks hanging around, so I used my fingers to really blend it in, and finished off with the buffing brush. The consistency is a bit thinner than average which makes it much easier to work with. The coverage is pretty light, but can be built quite nicely to medium. Because of the built in highlighter and lack of opaque powder in the formula, the finish you get with this foundation is natural and dewy, which can be nigh on impossible to create with darker skin tones. I was concerned it might be too shiny but it looks beautiful and glowy, especially in sunlight. It does an amazing job at evening out skin tone and really does look like radiant, well looked-after skin. YSL Le Teint Touche Eclat contains SPF19 which is probably fine for your average British weather but not enough to ruin any flash photography should you opt for this for any soirées you might attend.
ysl touche eclat foundation review ysl touche eclat foundation review
As you probably know, I’m pants when it comes to wear time as I can never be arsed to check my face throughout the day but for the purposes of this review I kept a beady eye on proceedings. I managed about 8 hours before I noticed my ruddy cheeks peeking through which is quite impressive, no? Bear in mind I didn’t use any powder, although my skin is slightly on the drier side so things tend to to cling.ysl touche eclat foundation review
To conclude, I am loving this foundation. To be honest, it’s very nice in the flesh but looks even better in the photos (taken on a sunny day, no flash, after a few hours’ wear time) and I think it was after I looked at the pictures that I realised how much I love the effect. I know so many people love the Touche Eclat highlighter but I never really got the hype (I got mine years ago and have barely used it). The foundation was a pleasant surprise and since I bought it, I’ve completely abandoned my NARS Sheer Glow.

YSL Le Teint Touche Eclat is available at Boots for £29 which is annoyingly cheaper than the £30.50 I paid at Debenhams.

Beauty Bargain Hunting at TK Maxx

19 April 2014

tk maxx beauty haul

Regardless of the slagging-off that TK Maxx seems to get on BBC documentaries, there are genuine bargains to be had if you know what to look for. You never really know what you’re going to get so it’s a bit of a lucky dip but that just adds to the excitement! Over the last couple of months I’ve popped into a few branches of TK Maxx and have collected up some beauty treats, most of them at utterly crazy prices which I will now reveal!

First up, there’s the Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream twin pack (£12.99, RRP £29.99). These two little tubes are perfect for travelling plus I can give one away if I’m struggling to get through the first. I was really surprised to see Korres in TK Maxx and snapped up the Korres Wild Rose Brightening & Line Smoothing Serum (£9.99, RRP £30) when I discovered it lurking on the shelf. I must say I was feeling smug when I saw it in Elys in Wimbledon later that day for the full £30. On the same shopping trip, I picked up Murad AHA/BHA Exfoliating Cleanser (£12.99, RRP £34) as I’m currently obsessing over chemical exfoliants. I definitely wouldn’t have forked out £34 for a cleanser but I’ll probably use this as a mask to let the acids go to town on my face. A few weeks ago I saw the Too Faced Beauty Balm (£5, RRP £27.50) and I almost had a heart attack. I’ve given it a quick try and so far I quite like it – I’ll be doing a review at some point! I also picked up Too Faced Snow Bunny Caribbean in a Compact (£5.99, RRP £25) which is an amazing highlighter/bronzer, a bit like the Bobbi Brown shimmer brick – I use this every day and I love it! I keep getting told that I should be using some sort of facial oil so the This Works Active Oil for the Face (£12.99, RRP £35) rolled into my life at just the right time. The smell is pretty noxious but I’m excited to incorporate it into my skincare regime. Finally, I almost wet myself when I saw the Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer (£16.99, RRP £25). I didn’t even know TK Maxx even ever stocked Smashbox, and the discount wasn’t as barmy as some of the others but it was still enough for me to buy this tube of silicone goodness!

So there we have it, I heavily suggest you smash down to your local TK Maxx and snap up the bargains! Don’t be disheartened if your trip is fruitless, the Maxx is notoriously hit-or-miss but they do have deliveries several times a week – godspeed and good luck!

Spring Nail Picks

14 April 2014

spring nail picksI’ve tentatively put away my big ol’ coat and battered winter boots for another year to make way for spring. To ring in the changes, I’ve had a rummage through my nail polish collection and re-discovered some long-forgotten colours that are perfect for this time of year. Let’s hope the sun is actually here to stay, although the cat is currently curled up extremely tightly with a paw covering her eyes – something usually reserved for winter nights!spring nail picks
China Glaze Nail Lacquer Lemon Fizz is an opaque, pastel yellow with a nice glossy finish which can be a bit elusive with China Glaze nail polishes. I love using this on its on or as a background to floral nail art. OPI Nail Lacquer Japanese Rose Garden is one of my favourite nail polishes to wear any time of the year. Opaque, pastel pink with a very slight purple-based sheen in the sunlight, it’s pink at its best. I wasn’t expecting to like Rimmel Pro Aqua Cool but once I put it on I loved it. It’s an understated blue with a grey-purple undertone, and perfectly sophisticated. You’re probably sick of the sight of Barry M Nail Paint Greenberry but there must be a reason it’s so popular! If you’re after something summery and eye-catching that isn’t overly girly, this is the one. As far as makeup brands go, KIKO is so under rated – the nail polishes are amazing and for the price, are some of the best you can get. KIKO Nail Lacquer 220 Satin Beige is stunning – a beautiful nude with a little bit of gold shimmer. The perfect choice for a classy manicure and even prettier in the sunlight!

March 2014 Favourites

7 April 2014

march 2014 favouritesSally Hansen Nailgrowth Miracle (£9.99, Boots)

I was dreading moving flat a couple of weeks ago, not because of all the packing and general strenuous activity but because I was fearing my nails would break. They were already peeling so I smashed down to Boots to get my hands on some strengthener. Not sure if the bold growth claims are true but it has definitely stopped any inevitable breakage. Fast drying and glossy too, it looks great on its own or under nail varnish.

Dr Lipp Original Nipple Balm For Lips (£11.50, Space NK)

I’ve lost count of the amount of times I’ve proffered this to my manager and him politely declining while looking quite frankly, disgusted. Thick and luxurious, this sorted out my chapped lips in no time. I just try not to think too much about what lanolin actually is because it makes me feel a bit ill.

Garnier Micellar Cleansing Water (4.99, Superdrug)

A superb happy medium between the elusive and expensive Bioderma and rather average L’Oreal. It takes off the bulk of my makeup, prepping it for the second stage of cleansing. It won’t take off every scrap of eye makeup but it’ll give it a jolly good go. Jumbo bottle at a not-so-jumbo price, this is a winner in my eyes. The packaging doesn’t leak all over the shop either (I’m looking at you, L’Oreal) meaning the bottle will last ages.

Revlon Colorburst Matte Balm Standout (7.99, Boots)

Yes, I know these are old news but I have just got round to using these. I bought a bunch of these in a bit of a pay-day frenzy and didn’t use them for weeks. I’ve been using Standout the most for night time looks. Creamy and easy to apply, this highly pigmented blue-toned red is a true joy to wear, and I always get compliments when I have it on. As long as you avoid eating slippery Japanese food, you won’t get too much awkward fading but I’d keep an eye out just in case.

Soap & Glory Bright Here Bright Now (£12, Boots)

Again, I bought this months ago and didn’t start using it properly until recently. If your skin is on the drier side, this, mixed with foundation will give you a beautiful, nay, ethereal glow. I cannot get enough. I’m quite heavy handed with it as my dry skin can take it, I use a little in the day and a lot for night to give my skin a Victoria’s Secret angel effect. I just wish I had the body to match!

Accessorize Baked Blush (£5, Superdrug)

I reviewed this a while back (here) but it kind of got relegated to the back of the drawer. Anyway, it was rediscovered and I’m liking it even more this time round. It’s pink with a gold sheen to it, making it perfect for summer. It’s so subtle and easy to wear, I’ve barely used any other blusher this month.

Smashbox Full Exposure Mascara (£18 for the full size, Boots)

I received a sample of Smashbox Full Exposure mascara when I bought a couple of products and, being the hoarder that I am, kept this for ages without using it. Oh my, what a mascara. In terms of volume and length, this is one of the best I’ve ever used. The wand is HUGE and really grips the lashes. I LOVE this and will be buying the full size version.

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