Sunday, 29 July 2012

My Summer Colour: Essie Meet Me at Sunset NOTD

Nothing much to say about this polish, it's pretty self explanatory - I really like this bright reddish orange shade and the formula is easy to apply and lasts nicely.

What sorts of shades are you drawn to in the Summer?


Thursday, 26 July 2012

Lip Pencils/Liners!

I've never been that girl who had a bunch of lip pencils and up until 4 months ago I never really saw the point unless I was sporting a red lip. But, when girls around me got increasingly poutier, I became eager to step it up a notch and off I went splashing cash on lip pencils. I had one, bought three and got given one - and there ends my quest. First things first, I never overdraw my lips, some people can carry it off - not me. What's more, I tend to use the pencil all over my lip lightly if I'm going to pair it with a lipstick. Lastly - I blend profusely in order not to look like a barbie - not saying that people who use lip pencils look like barbies, in fact most look great, but for some reason using a lip pencil just on the outer edge of my lip makes me look over done and fake. So, what do lip pencils do for me then? Well they certainly prolong my lipstick wear and softly define my lips.
From Left to Right:
 MAC Stripdown, MAC Nice 'N' Spicy, Illamasqua Titivate, MAC What A Blast!, Pupa True Lips #07

MAC Stripdown Lip Pencil
Stripdown is a great nude lip liner for medium skin tones. Unfortunately, out of all the lip pencils I have this one has the driest texture and lasts the least amount of time and it takes a little building to achieve an opaque intensity. Having said that, it's easy to use lightly and once on the lips doesn't feel too dry.
MAC Nice 'N' Spicy Pro Long Wear Lip Pencil:
Is a little rosier than Stripdown but can definitely be used in the same way. The texture of these liners are really soft and creamy & they last FOREVER! In fact, I have a tough time taking them off. Due to it's longevity comes the extremely dry finish - If I had to wear this alone, I'd use Nuxe Reve De Miel Lip Balm to condition my lips - the effect would still be matte but conditioned at the same time. I don't recommend wearing this alone, the finish is a no no.
Illamasqua Titivate Medium Pencil:
A crazy pigmented fuchsia that can be used anywhere - eyes, lips & face. I really like how soft and creamy this pencil is, the finish is great too: non drying and once set wear very well but not as long as MAC's Pro Long Wear pencils. Most of the time I wear this without anything else on the lips.
MAC What A Blast Pro Long Wear Lip Pencil!:
As I love orange lips, I thought it'd be a could idea to invest in an orange lip liner. What A Blast! is a bright neon shade, very pigmented, long lasting and creamy but again very drying. I find I can't wear it alone due to the finish and neon tone.
Pupa True Lips #07:
I bought this a couple of years ago and it's the only red pencil I ever needed. I love the creamy texture and it lasts long without being too drying. The shade of red is blue based, nice and bright and so easy to wear on it's own.

All of these pencils are pigmented enough that they translate on the lips just as they swatch.

Thanks as usual for reading this post!

What kind of relationship do you have with lip pencils? Any favourites worth mentioning?


Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Wish List #1

Recently, I've had my beady little eye on a few things. Nonetheless these are only material products and  if you asked me right this minute what I wanted - my answer would contain things that are a lot less frivolous but since those aren't within my grasp at the moment I'll settle on these items!

1.  Tarte 12 Hour Amazonian Clay Blush: Exposed & Tipsy: I think just about everybody wants one of these blushes! Exposed is supposed to be the perfect nude blush and Tipsy is a hot coral. Unfortunately Tarte isn't sold in the UK so until I hop across the pond these are going to make themselves comfortable on my wish list.

2. NARS Galapagos Eyeshadow: Seriously, I don't know why I don't have this dreamy golden brown shade yet considering I live opposite Space NK.

3. MAC Eyeshadow: I don't know who I was kidding, I can't have my MAC palette the way it is now - I NEED MORE NEUTRALS! Currently I need to have a closer look at and decide between: Nylon, Ricepaper, Era, Soba (even though I was told Cork is similar but the junkie inside me needs to consider), Arena, All That Glitters, Patina, Handwritten and Typographic. I still want to fit everything in my original palette so I'll probably take out the divider - if anybody else has done so could you please tell me if you've had any problems travelling with it.

4. Louise Young Super Foundation Brush: You see this is where it gets stupid.. I apply foundation which a brush that I love and truth be told I don't need another, but this one has always intrigued me!

5. Estee Lauder Double Wear Stay In Place Makeup: Every blogger that I love, loves this
foundation so I'm thinking I would do - I'm really attracted to it's longevity. Let me know if you've tried it.

6. Monica Vinader 17/18" Marie Pendant: I'm really drawn to the aztecy nature and the size of this pendant - I only wish it was available in solid gold and not just plated.

7. Urban Decay 24/7 Glide On Eye Pencils: I have one, 'Lucky' a gorgeous copper and can't get enough of the texture/colours of these pencils. I want all - but I'll probably pick up a few neutral shades.

Tell me what you're lusting over these days - maybe I can too!


Sunday, 22 July 2012

Firefly Tonics Natural Drinks: Peach & Green Tea!!

It's not to do with beauty but I just had to tell you all to go out and try this drink if you can! Firefly makes natural drinks in a variety of flavours (Check out their site here!) and they come in different coloured old style retro milk bottles. I might just make a chandelier out of them soon (you can easily peel of the label if you want)!
My personal favourite is Peach & Green Tea (oh you have to have them cold), which sort of tastes like peach ice tea but not nearly as sweet and 10 times more refreshing! It contains Grape, Peach and Lemon and still green tea. I personally love green tea but even if you don't the taste doesn't take away from the drink's fruitiness.
I really like to drink this is the morning as it gives a me a boost of energy..! It's available in Waitrose and Holland & Barrett in the UK as well as online (around £1.52/330ml). Their site has full details of where it is available around the world. Here's the link!
Anyway, it's my favourite drink at the moment so if it sounds like something you'd like - try it out next time you're out and about!


Saturday, 21 July 2012

Dolce & Gabbana Beauty: The Bronzer Review & Swatches: #40 Bronze

For some reason bronzer is the one face product that I carry around. It adds colour, warmth, shapes the face (not to be confused with a contouring product which is usually cool toned to mimic a shadow) - a must have in anyone's collection. The tone of bronzer for you depends on your complexion and undertone as well as what you like, or what look you're going for. After my first delve into Dolce & Gabbana it was hard to stay away and whenever I'd be around Harrods I'd have to swatch and try and get a feel for the products. Upon testing out the bronzers I realised that they were quite unique, and so were the shades, so let me talk you through them.
Dolce & Gabbana has 5 shades of bronzers, suitable for very pale complexions to the darkest shade which I have: Bronze. In my opinion if you're above NC45 they won't bronze you up, instead you could use them as a highlight or blush. I know light complexions some times have a hard time using a bronzer without looking too orange, so these would be an option if you happen to have such an obstacle. The idea behind it's formulation and colours is to create most natural looking of tans believing that lighter bronzers will achieve this.
- All the shades are buildable, regardless of tone it still packs in plenty of pigment yet there is a lovely translucent quality that envelopes these powders - meaning you can't go overboard with the bronzing.
- Next, these bronzers aren't matte, they do have a very subtle golden sheen much like NARS' Laguna bronzer that adds a soft effect - not at all glittery.
- The bronzer is incredibly soft making it very easy to blend and pick up product, requiring almost no effort.
- Lasts all day so much so I don't need to carry it around - but I like the puuurrrrrddddyyy compact!
- The brush (flat & thin shaped and good for on the go sculpting) that comes with is isn't the softest but if washed with conditioner does get softer.
- Retails for £33 for 15g of product, to give you an idea NARS Laguna retails for £25 and contains only 8g - so that's £8 extra for 7g more. Good value in my opinion.
- I love the gold packaging and it's retro feel. The pouch it comes with is also clever in that it stores the brush as well.
This swatch is one swipe of the bronzer
The colour I chose, #40 Bronze, the darkest of the range has a lovely caramel hue without looking orange on the skin. When I tested it at the counter I loved the effect - especially the colour it gave me on my cheeks. Nonetheless, this colour would look great on a medium to tan complexion due to its warm nature (e.g Hoola is a great bronzer but the undertone is a bit greyish for really warm toned people, possibly making it a better contour) - otherwise I have a feeling it'd be much like Chanel's Bronze Universal Cream Bronzer and look orange on lighter skin tones but like I mentioned above there are shades in the line that are perfect for lighter complexions. I've been using this product for around 2 months now and it hasn't left my makeup bag yet!

 What bronzer do you use? Willing to check out Dolce's?


Wednesday, 18 July 2012

MAC Sheen Supreme Lipsticks! Review & Swatches

MAC Sheen Supreme Lipsticks (£14.50) are a lipstick/lipgloss/balm hybrid but unlike other versions, most of them have a lovely opaque coverage in a single swipe. Their formula is really moisturising/glossy and pretty long wearing for a lipstick with so much slip. Wear time depends on how rich the colour is, from 3 hours for Bare Again & around 4 for Blossom Culture and nearly 6 for Korean Candy. 

The packaging is sleek and shiny and what I love most is that the lid 'clicks' to be secure - no lipstick lids floating around in your handbag here! 

Bare Again: A pink based beige (reminiscent of Hug Me or Kinda Sexy). A great nude that is suitable for all skin tones as it isn't too light that'd wash you out & a classic pairing with a dark smokey eye.

Korean Candy: An amazing orange with reddish undertones, and it's no surprise that I love it! Because it has those reddy tones unlike more neon orangey lipsticks makes it really wearable, especially on warm complexions.

Blossom Culture: A coral pink colour that could actually be a dupe for MAC Flamingo lipstick. This shade has tiny little shimmer particles but it's not noticeable on the lips. Furthermore, of the shades that I have Blossom Culture is a little on the sheer side. Another colour you could pair with many looks - it's the kind of shade that brings a certain radiance to your face without being too much.

Edit: I took this picture in a different light so excuse the colour of my complexion - it's a little light! The lip colour is the right shade though.

In my opinion these are a great formulation and credit should be payed as it's a worthy section of MAC's lipstick line. Colours are universal and wearable and it seems like everyone would find a colour they would like. They are richly pigmented and still have a nice glossy moisturising feel as well as have a more than decent wear time sets them apart for all the copycats out there.

Have you indulged in these? If not, they deserve a look..


Tuesday, 17 July 2012

L'Occitane Almond Shower Oil Review!

I don't know about you but I like my skin to be soft and smooth and all times - but at the same time I don't appreciate the elbow grease that goes into applying body moisturiser again and again. So if I can cleanse and moisturise at the same time I'm all for it.  I'd heard about this shower oil from ViviannaDoesMakeup on Youtube, she was saying that it really helps with dry skin and is intensely moisturising. The product feels just like an oil but some how not greasy or sticky - on contact with water it thickens and foams up a little and therefore it's easy to cleanse your body with.  

Left to Right: L'Occitane Almond Shower Oil without water, with water                     

I've been using it for around a week now and I feel as though after every time my skin feels smoother and no more dry patches - meaning I can cut down on the tedious body moisturiser! I like that there is no oily residue and did I mention it smells DIVINE! The scent is pleasant, not over powering or food like and even though it contains almond oil it smells of a lot more than just almonds!

The lady at the store told me that it also works well as a sort of shaving base and I've read that people really love it for that, I wouldn't know as I tend to stick to wax when it comes to hair removal but I can say that it removes any stickiness that is left over from waxing.

The bottle (lovely packaging too!) contains 250ml for £16.50. Pricey yes and I go through shower gels so quickly that you'd think I drink them. Having said that I'm loving the way my skin feels at the moment and I'm just not willing to give this up.

Are you guys up for this one? If not - what's your shower favourite?


Sunday, 15 July 2012

Cinema Secrets Foundation Review & Swatches: Holy Grail

So I haven't yet spoken about one of my favourite foundation and I'm feeling bad now because I'm keeping it a secret! Nonetheless, without further ado.. here comes my full review on Cinema Secrets foundation!
I will list where I got these products down below - but I do know in the US you can order from and one also has the option of choosing to try samples for a small price in order to find your colour match. 

When I first heard about it - I couldn't find much online or where I could buy it in the UK. Furthermore, since I couldn't get hold of shades looking for colour swatches was really difficult. Luckily, Natalie (Miss Natty's Beauty Diary) has a great review that helped me out incredibly. EDIT: Check out Imani's (Nudelips on Youtube) here for her review too, her makeup is always flawless and I learned about theatrical foundation like Cinema Secrets whilst watching her videos!

I'm going to break this review down into sections…

Coverage: Full
Texture: Cream
Colour Range: Extremely extensive, I guarantee everyone's colour is available.
Finish: Natural (skin like), Dewy with a damp sponge
Longevity: 10hrs of flawless coverage when set with powder (this is on my skin, which even though is dry doesn't hold foundation well!) 
Sensitive Skin: YES!

I bought this foundation at the time of my brother's wedding because I needed something that would photograph well and heard Cinema Secrets did - so I went out scouting for it immediately. By the way it photographs amazingly! My favourite way to apply this is with the Beauty Blender/Cheaper Cosmopolitan Sponge - in my opinion this technique pushes it into the skin and sheers out the foundation just a tad giving a slightly dewy finish whilst a brush would give slightly heavier coverage - I use a steel spatula to take the foundation out in order to maintain hygiene. Since my skin is so dry I cannot use a powder (I have to to make my foundation last) unless my foundation is quite emollient and after testing several cream foundation this seems to be the most moisturising one. It is extremely pigmented so you don't need much at all (in fact the palette lasted me for a month in itself) and it spreads so easily providing excellent coverage and on top of that manages to be undetectable. I have also heard from people with oilier skins that it holds up very well. You might just need a little more powder, and a mattifying one if you want a matte finish.

Now on the shades…
Foundation Kit #3, Swatches from Left to Right: 301-63A, 302-65A, 303-66A, 201-67, 202-20
Since I didn't know which colour would be my match, and I couldn't get my hands on any samples, I decided to invest in a palette that incorporated most of the colours that would suit my medium olive complexion: Foundation Palette #3. For reference, the right hand side of my blog are my foundation shades in various brands. Turned out that #302-65A (NC30/35) was my perfect match and #303-66A (NC37ish) would be my colour when I'm very slightly tanned. Needless to say the palette lasted me quite a while and the other shades come in handy for concealing or contouring. I ended up ordering a small pot of #302-65A which I'm sure will last me a very long time! (0.25Oz/7.5g I didn't go for the bigger one simply because I didn't want it to go bad if I didn't finish it in time)

I was wearing this foundation in my previous FOTD post, click on the picture below to find out the rest of my makeup!

I realise that a little extra effort is required to find your correct match - but if you can, I would strongly suggest it. Let me know what foundations work best for you!

You can view all the shades available here

Another disadvantage on product availability - I had to figure out my shade, call and order it over the phone - which is not the most convenient. Lastly, below are the places where I know Cinema Secrets is available, depending on where you are you could enquire whether they ship to you.

Available at Oona Doherty Beauty Clinic (Ireland) €5 Postage
- Foundation Palette: 28.94
- Small (0.25Oz/7.5g) Pot of Foundation: 16.88
- Large (0.5Oz/15g)Pot of Foundation: 26.52
- Foundation Palette: 28.94

- Small (0.25Oz/7.5g) Pot of Foundation: 16.88
- Large (0.5Oz/15g)Pot of Foundation: 26.52

They sell the entire Cinema Secrets range as well as other brands and a whole host of professional cosmetics. 

………………………………………………………… (Worldwide Shipping)
- Foundation Palette: $23.99
- Small (0.25Oz/7.5g) Pot of Foundation: $13.99
- Large (0.5Oz/15g)Pot of Foundation: $21.99
-Samples: $3.99


Wednesday, 11 July 2012

Laura Mercier Metallic Creme Eye Colour 'Platinum' Review & Swatches

I've seen this product around Youtube and really loved the metallic finish of all the colours so I decided to take a bite! Laura Mercier (£16.50) claims this eye colour to be 'non greasy and waterproof' and I would have to agree. From the numerous colours available I chose 'Platinum' - normally I'm drawn more towards warmer colours but since I have to many of them I wanted something different. I like the packaging too - having it in a tube means more hygienic and it has a retro feel to it as well.  

Platinum is a buildable highly metallic frosted peachy/silvery champagne colour - if used as a base it adds a reflective quality to shadows placed on top - otherwise alone it's the perfect tone to open up the eye area whilst adding an enticing summery essence and it doesn't hurt that you get a good amount of product too..

I would suggest blending it carefully though as you could end up with shimmer all over your face and if you want to reduce the shine just dust a little powder on top. Like I said, it's buildable so it's starts off sheer and then you can build its intensity using layers - don't apply a whole bunch at first because it won't be as precise.

So everyone..did I tempt you?


Thursday, 5 July 2012

Benefit Cha Cha Tint Review & Swatches

Welcome to the newest addition of my orange/coral craze! I had been putting off buying this for a while but since it's summer - and I'm really loving stains lately I decided to bite the bullet! Benefit's Cha Cha Tint is the coral version of their regular tints and is designed to be used on lips and cheeks. It's so appealing due to it's thin non sticky texture and the fact that it's so easy to use and carry around! The bottle mimics a nail polish and the packaging couldn't be cuter! 

The mangoish stain wears extremely well - on the cheeks: from morning to night, on the lips: around 6 - 7 hours! Note: If you are tan this is your new best friend.

On the cheeks, it adds a great tropical/radiant glow (there's no shimmer & dries down to a semi-matte finish) and as it looks different on lips and cheeks you won't look too matchy matchy if you get what I mean! Directions: Dot 3 times on cheeks and blend. Hands down - Top product for summer! You could use a lipstick and or cream blush in a similar way but I don't think it will be as long lasting - but by all means you can skip this if you are not worried about wear time.

Benefit sells this for £24.50 for 12.5ml which no doubt is quite a bit - but the way I see it you're getting 2 products in 1 and I doubt you would finish this as one gets a lot product so the value seems fair. If you just want to try it I suggest going over to ASOS (click here) and trying out this package where you get a full size Hoola Bronzer and mini Watts Up Highlighter along with a small bottle of Cha Cha Tint for £23.50.

I couldn't get the lighting right for lip swatches so check out what a light application looks like by clicking here and heading over to Temptalia and for a full on built up coral click here to go to one of my favourite blogs: The Burgundy Book 

The only thing I would criticise is its application on the lips - after it's wear time - 6 - 7 hours it doesn't wear down evenly so just make sure you reapply after a while.


Tuesday, 3 July 2012

BRUSHES Review! The ones I use the most...

So instead of showing you each and every brush I have - this post will let you in on which ones I rely on the most. I know that when I started getting into makeup - getting the actual products was easy but choosing which tools to use was the challenge. After lots of trial and error I now can say I don't need anymore brushes and am more than happy with the ones that I possess.


Left to Right: RT Buffing Brush, RT Contour Brush, MAC 109, NARS Yachiyo, RT Setting Brush, RT Blush Brush

Real Techniques Buffing Brush (Synthetic): Absolutely great for foundation for the sole reason it blends effortlessly - quick, easy and flawless each time. I'm so happy Sam Chapman made these brushes - they are so reasonable and perform amazingly - I have never even thought about looking for another foundation brush. I use these for pretty much all foundation except cream based ones like my beloved Cinema Secrets where I prefer a damp sponge. 

Real Techniques Contour Brush (Synthetic): I use a lot of cream product (bronzer, blush & highlight) and I hate shedding and having hair in my products so this a godsend. I like that its small and precise but still so soft and easy to blend with. Plus all RT brushes are easy to clean and dry quickly making them much more convenient.

MAC 109 (Natural): I love this brush for powder contouring - it's a really good shape and fits directly in the hollows of your face. On the downside - the 109 SHEDS like crazy! Because of this I use it only for powder products. Another thing to look out for is because this brush is so dense is that deposits colour pretty heavily so use with a light hand.

NARS Yachiyo (Natural): My holy grail blush brush - I also occasionally use this for bronzing too - read my full review here!

Real Techniques Setting Brush (Synthetic): This is great as it differentiates itself from other powder brushes by being small and manageable - by being so it's easy to set one's concealer under the eyes and powder around the nose. Personally, I prefer using a puff to set my foundation but for hard to reach areas this brush really does come in handy. Furthermore, I like it's tapered tip which lets it be useful for precision highlighting as well. 

Real Techniques Blush Brush (Synthetic): First things first I don't use this for blush - instead I prefer this for bronzing all over the face and neck due to it's fluffy and large head. This brush is incredible soft and I know many who use it for powder too. Another use for it is to blend any harsh edges of your makeup once you are finishing your look.


Left to Right: MAC 217, Sigma P84, RT Deluxe Crease Brush

MAC 217 (Natural): When I learned about this brush, I learned of the hype that went along with it. For many this is the perfect brush for eyeshadow blending (I prefer the MAC 224 for eyeshadow) and while it may work - I feel as though this brush excels when blending out concealer.

Sigma Precision Angled P84 (Synthetic): My first and only Sigma brush and I like the quality and its performance. I use this small dense angled brush for a concealer (particularly on my cheeks) and for contouring my nose. Its synthetic bristles are soft and easy to clean.

Real Techniques Deluxe Crease Brush (Synthetic): Another star at buffing in concealer and in my opinion the only brush worth something in its set. My only gripe with brush is that it stores a lot of product in its bristles so it seems like a better idea to apply the product on your face first and then buff it in with the edge of this brush

Left to Right: MAC 224, MAC 239, MAC 219, Louise Young LY13, Random Shadow Brush, Louise Young Fine Liner LY24

MAC 224: First I used this for concealer but once I realised that it sheds all over my face I switched to eyeshadow and have never looked back! I feel because of it longer bristles and looser quality - blending out eyeshadow barely takes any time. I'll use this to contour my nose from time to time as well.

MAC 239: The BEST at applying eyeshadow - delivers rich pigmentation with a soft patting motion and the tip is excellent for placing eyeshadow underneath eye to complete a smoky look.

MAC 219: A classic pencil brush - and extremely useful when creating eye looks as it allows you to place and blend shadow in precise places such as the inner corner, crease and along the lash line. Since I don't do anything to my eyebrows but thread them, if I felt like giving them more definition I'll run a little bit of shadow through them with this brush - it's fast and gives an alluringly soft focus effect!

Louise Young LY13: I love the short stubby head of the pencil brush so I did have to include two. This brush is much smaller and denser too that makes it a dream to take shadow underneath the eye and smudge out eyeliner. 

Random Shadow Brush (LY 09): I don't have any idea who made this brush or where I got it from. I realise that this might be quite unhelpful but I wanted to show you the shape and suggest an alternative. I like the shape because it's slightly flimsy and therefore very easy to use. The flat part can be used to pat shadow and the tapered tip is helpful for shadow placement around the eye's lash lines. This brush also comes in handy if I need a lip brush but I hardly ever use one.

Louise Young LY24 Fine Liner Brush: First I thought that a brush like this would make eyelining difficult and tedious but I was incredibly wrong. The fine tip glides easily along the eye and difficulty doesn't waver whether you are creating a thick or thin line.

What are your essentials?
Thanks for stopping by!

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