Friday, 17 December 2010

Pretty in Pink - FAMOUS By Sue Moxley Blusher with Highlighter: Country Rose

I have often walked by this stand in Superdrug with a sort of half interest but that was until a few weeks back when I came across a few new products on display - one of which is a blusher/highlighter duo in Country Rose.

If you lift up blush part underneath is a section that holds a little brush
Country Rose (shade 3) is a pretty mid pink that leans warm and has very faint flecks of fine shimmer that are not really noticeable when applied. The highlighter part is a pale pink with a lovely sheen to it. I haven't really used the highlighter part so much as I usually go for slightly more warmer tones (I think this would work quite nicely as an eyeshadow too), but I love the blusher part as it has good pigmentation and it's one of those shades I would imagine suits a variety of skintones.

I think the pic washes it out very slightly as it looks a bit brighter in reality. I have swatched the highlighter a bit heavier as this applies a bit lighter then the blush. The powder itself is quite smooth, and doesn't feel chalky or frosty. The half moon brush that comes with this is a bit firm and not very soft so that's one for dusting the old keyboard, but at least the compartment underneath can house something else so good for the makeup bag.
Lasting power is fairly decent, it fades a bit halfway throughout the day so a touch-up is required.
Edit: forgot to add that there is a mirror underneath when you lift up the blusher pan section.

This is a brand that I have not really taken much notice of before but I am very impressed by this and at £5, it is a bit of a bargain. There are also some lovely looking eye shadow palettes that I have my eye on but with being on something of a no-buy at the moment (2 weeks and so far so good), it will have to wait.

Disclaimer: Purchased by me

Sunday, 12 December 2010

OSKIA Micro Exfoliating Balm Review

When I last made an order from Zuneta I was really happy to be given some sample sachets of various Oskia skincare products as I had heard Lisa Eldridge mention this new brand in one of her Youtube videos and it kind of sparked my interest as it is a natural, nutritional based skincare range that uses a lot of active ingredients. To be honest not really having a clue about what the brand was about to begin with, I was just going on the basis of 'I quite like the sound of the name' (the name is actually Greek for 'delivering nutrients' and 'beauty') and the whole clean, white aesthetic.

But having looked into them more, I really like the whole story of how this brand came into being. One of the key ingredients in the range is MSM which is more commonly used as a supplement for joint health but it is this ingredient that the founder of Oskia, Georgie Cleeve saw the potential after having taken MSM for her damaged cartilage and seeing the incredible benefits of such an ingredient not only to her knee, but also on the skin as well. Another ingredient that got me more interested in the range is the fact they use prebiotics which have been shown to be beneficial to problem skin (like mine).
There is a good amount of information on Oskia's website and also on Zuneta's product videos (which have Georgie Cleeve and her partner explaining the products).

One of the products in the range I was very keen to try was the Micro Exfoliating Balm as I had not really come across an exfoliator in a balm so it sounded like the one I wanted to give a go but it wasn't until Oskia had a promotion on their website that I finally took the plunge and bought it.

Housed in a glass jar, the texture of this balm is lovely and soft, with very fine micro particles of MSM and silica (when you look at it in the jar you can't see any granules in it).The distribution of the granules is very consistent as I thing I hate with exfoliators is when the particles are not evenly distributed but this is not the case with this. Another thing I love is that when you add water the balm transforms into a light milk which can be rinsed clean - I am a sucker for anything that emulsifies with water and it's even better if I don't need a cloth! You only need a small amount of this as it spreads very well so even after a month, I don't think I've even got through a 1/4 of the jar.

The granules are barely visible
This leaves my skin feeling soft and very clean but not stripped, and the main thing I noticed was how super-smooth my skin felt, probably the smoothest of any exfoliator I've tried. I have been using this twice a week for just over a month and I think it does help to perk the skin up a bit but so far I haven't noticed it make much difference to my acne scarring.

Also the scent of this is a-m-a-z-i-n-g. Oskia has a signature scent of Rose-Lychee in almost all their products (the Eye Wonder has no scent) which smells subtly sweet with hints of floral and fruity notes. At the moment Oskia doesn't do body products, but I would love if they could somehow bottle this fragrance into a bath oil or candle as it's quite distinct compared to scents of other skincare ranges.

Another thing to note with Oskia is the price, this range pushes the price I am used to paying for skincare - not counting the Pure MSM supplements, the products start at £38.50 (for the Perfect Cleanser) and the Micro Exfoliating Balm is £46 for 50ml. Although having tried the samples sachets (which surprisingly have lasted quite a while), I would consider purchasing the full-sizes as I quite like my experience so far. The next thing I am eager to try is the Renaissance Mask.

Disclaimer: Purchased by me

Tuesday, 7 December 2010

Babyliss Pro230 Elegance Straighteners Review

I have used ghds in the past and there is no denying that they are one of best brands out there for straighteners, but I was determined to find something as good for less the next time around and the ideal opportunity came at Boots with their recent offers on electrical beauty gadgets.
At full price these are around £100 but they seem to be on offer at several retailers for about £40-£50.

Apart from the fact they were on offer, the reason I bought these particular ones was because they were out of the box on display instore so I could get a good look as I wanted a shape that you could do waves with easily as well. They also come with a 5yr guarantee which is another factor that sort of pipped it for me.

They are a nice deep purple colour with a wavy, pearly satin cloth type pattern.
On the left there are the LED lights, then a sliding switch for 3 heat settings (180, 200, 230 degrees), and an on button and an off button. These heat up really quick - about 20 seconds.

It comes with a heat proof mat with a velcro strappy thing on the end. The cord is a nice long length and swivels at the the top so it is easy to maneouvre and doesn't get tangled.

It also comes with a clutch (which I find a bit cheap and hideous looking). It's okay for storing the straighteners, but they just manage to fit inside, ideally it should be a bit bigger and it would be better if they somehow combined the heatproof mat and bag so that they are not separate as the lining of the bag I don't think is heat proof.

As to the straighteners themselves - they are really rather good. I have quite fine hair so don't need them to be as hot and find that these get my hair very straight quickly even if I can't be bothered to properly section my hair. The plates also have a nice glide and don't drag in the hair, and the curved edges allow me to create waves as well. One thing to note is that the outside top part of the straightener where the plates are does get very hot which I don't find to be a problem as I hold them nearer the bottom but is something to be cautious of.

My sister has thick, long (sorta like Pocahantas) hair and she has been using these on the highest heat setting and found that she can get poker-straight hair with these as well which importantly lasts throughout the day and also the following day. As we have both used ghds in the past we can tell a very slight difference - more to do with the ghd plates and how they efficiently straighten the hair in one swipe but it is such a small difference and for me these Babyliss ones do just as good a job.

Overall I am very pleased with these and they make a much more affordable alternative (if bought on offer) to ghds.

Disclaimer: Purchased by me

Thursday, 2 December 2010

A Volcano of Sparkle! Accessorize Molten Copper Illusion Nail Polish

Acessorize Molten Copper (shade 43). Two coats

Maybe volcano is an exaggeration, but boy is this glitter gorgeous and it's copper! I've wanted a copper glitter for a while and have not come across one before so when I saw this I had to get it.

This one is part of Accessorize's Illusion range of nail polishes which are supposed to give more of a multi-dimensional/duochrome effect which is truer of some of the other shades like Aztec rather then this which is more a standard glitter.

I have some more 'in your face' coloured glitters, but sometimes I like the ones that are a little more subtle (if glitter could ever be called subtle) and even though there is no denying that this is a chunky particle polish, it is more nearer my skin tone so it feels a little less 'showy'.

Also this partners very well with YSL Pink Gold nail polish (No.140) which by the way being my first YSL polish I am very impressed with (great metallic finish, good coverage and quick drying).

YSL Pink Gold on it's own, 1 coat

This is one coat of the Molten Copper on top of the YSL:

I have tried to capture the sparkle but after several failed attempts it still appears flat in the pic but in real life it looks pretty and compliments the Rose Gold well.


The staying power of this is not great - even after using inm Out The Door topcoat over this it still chipped in about a day, with the worst wear at the tips.
Also being a chunky glitter it really is a pain to remove and this is where the drawbacks of Seche Vite become rather useful as I would rather peel off a glitter nail polish then attempt to remove it with nail polish remover so I think a repurchase of Seche Vite is in order.

I am not disappointed I got it as I love the colour but I wish it lasted a little bit longer on me.

Disclaimer: All purchased by me

Sunday, 28 November 2010

Accessorize Storm Nail Polish

Storm (Shade 49)
A perfect name for this colour - this is a beautiful pewter grey with a purple tone. Good coverage with two coats and the finish is pearly with a slight metallic edge. Absolutely love it.

I am finding it hard to show restraint with this range as there are definitely some very tempting shades - next up will be a stunning sparkly number from the Illusion range of nail polish.

Disclaimer: Purchased by me

Friday, 26 November 2010

Accessorize Makeup - Nail Polish in Dove

Dove (shade 45) lies somewhere between grey and silver and has a slight pearl finish which gives it a nice dimensional quality. The pic is with three coats (the crappy finish on the pinky finger is a gloopy basecoat rather then the polish). It was still a little transparent with 2 coats so I've applied the extra to give it a better finish. Although I also bought another colour called Storm (which I'll post about later) that applied well in 2 coats so I think the formula varies a little between shades. Application was okay with a standard shape brush, but I think the brush could be a tiny bit more firmer, to me it seems a little bit soft.

It has lasted rather well with hardly any tip wear in 3 days but I have used inm Out The Door topcoat over it (which may knock off Seche Vite's crown). But even still, it holds up well against other brands with the same topcoat.

The bottle looks small but it's actually 10ml in size for £4 so it's not too bad. I think the saving grace in these are the colours as there is a good variety of some interesting looking shades that I don't think I've come across before but also colours that could well be dupes for other brands like there is a greige shade that is along the lines of Barry M Mushroom and also a very bright lilac purple that reminds me of Illamasqua's Jo'Mina.

Disclaimer: Purchased by me

Wednesday, 24 November 2010

Accessorize Makeup: The Eyeshadows and a Little EOTD

Accessorize makeup landed in my local Superdrug recently and as I wasn't sure when this was going to be available I was very excited to see it in real life as from glimpses from other blogs it looked like a promising range. On the face of it, it looks like how I would expect Accessorize makeup to look as it has quite pretty embellishment on product packaging which has the whole feel of the brand. I was pleasantly surprised at the price as I expected the items to cost a bit more but a lot of the products are around the £4/£5 mark.

The items that really grabbed my attention are the eyeshadows and the nail polishes as there are quite a good selection of interesting looking shades. The baked blushes/bronzes also looked lovely but on this occasion I didn't get any of those.

Illusion and Icon Eyeshadows
I am very impressed with these - they are a good size at 2.5g each and the quality is smooth (slightly buttery), well pigmented and there is a beautiful array of colours of available.
At £4 each I think these are very good value for money and I certainly would love to get some more of these.

Illusion Eyeshadow: 18 Olive
Icon Eyeshadow: 12 Rich Earth
Illusion Eyeshadow: 15 Vintage Rose
L-R: Rich Earth, Olive, Vintage Rose
L-R: Rich Earth, Olive, Vintage Rose

Merged Eyeshadows
These are similar to something like MAC's mineralize eyeshadows but personally I think these are nicer as there are no chunky bits of glitter. They are a bit deceptive in that when you feel them in the pan they don't feel as smooth or buttery, but when applied to the skin the pay-off is very good - one swipe gives a good level of colour.
These are £4.50 for 3g.
Shade 6 Cocoa
Shade 1 Gunmetal

Top: Cocoa, Bottom: Gunmetal
Top: Cocoa, Bottom: Gunmetal

I did a quick look with Rich Earth on outer half of lid, then Vintage Rose on inner part of lid (mascara is NARS Larger Than Life Lengthening):

The wear on these is good as even on my oily lids there was only a little creasing at the end of the day.

Overall I am very impressed with these, next on the list to review is the nail polish so hopefully the post for that will go up later in the week.

Disclaimer: Purchased by me

Thursday, 18 November 2010

Nails of Last Week: Andrea Fulerton Mischa Nail Polish

Yep, another Andrea Fulerton purchase (I tried to be good, I got just the one polish), this time it's the nail colour in Mischa.
Out of the shades I saw on the stand in Superdrug, this was the one that struck me as more unique, and with it being the time of year for all things glitzy (and rainy), this fits the mood perfectly.

It's a dark grey shade packed with very fine gold shimmer - but as it's so densely packed, I can't quite tell if it's all gold as in the light I can pick up hints of red and blue. It's rather deceptive and quite complex as in some artificial lights it can lean towards a tiny bit taupe or khaki but  it is grey with a very subtle (so subtle I may have imagined it) blue undertone. 

These pics are with 2 coats polish and inm Out The Door as the topcoat and also after almost 4 days wear, hence the tip wear (sorry no fresh pics). This applied well with no streaks but it does require 3 coats to be completely opaque.

With the topcoat over it, it does feel smooth on nails and not gritty and it removed ok at the end of the week.

Tuesday, 16 November 2010

Reaching for... Rouge Bunny Rouge Devotion Ink Quartz Eyeliner in Anthracite Essence

I don't usually go for liquid liner, much preferring gel liners as they are quite easy to use and last the whole day. Lately I have been reaching for Rouge Bunny Rouge Devotion Ink Quartz Eyeliner in Anthracite Essence (and breathe) and I thought I'd give it a mention.

This is standard looking dip eyeliner, and if you shake it you can hear that there are little balls in the well. This is a deep black with fine quartz particles that give it a pretty shimmering effect but in a subtle and less chunky glitzy way.

What I really like is the brush - it's thin and flexible and allows me to glide the liner on with ease and get a good thin line as well as a thicker line. As this flows nicely it makes it easier when trying to get a winged look on the outer corner. Also it's not scratchy which is something I find with other brushes when lining near the inner corner.

It has the long-wearing qualities of a gel liner but feels much more light and gentle on the eyes.
At £27 it's expensive, but after having used it and seeing the difference in quality I would definitely repurchase this.

Disclaimer: Purchased by me

Sunday, 14 November 2010

NARS Downtown Lipgloss Look

I am slowly getting more and more into NARS, and with their new collection I bought my first lipgloss from them In Downtown.
I was immediately drawn to this when I tested in out on counter - it's quite an unusual soft purple shade with lilacy pink fine shimmer, unlike anything I have at present.

The light picks up the pink tones in the gloss

This lipgloss is slightly sticky which I don't mind so much (I just slap on some Lanolips 101 underneath - love:) but it does hold well on lips and lasts quite well.

For me this shade sits well in my 'comfort zone' as it's not so bright and only a little bolder then my natural lip colour.

I've done a look which uses the lilac tones as inspiration for the eyes:

Products used:
MAC Studio Sculpt concealer NW35 slightly as base and a little under eyes
NARS Nepal eyeshadow all over lid
NARS Mekong eyeshadow as the thicker line along lid
NARS Pearl Beach cream eyeshadow pressed ontop of the Mekong and Nepal to give a lilac tone to the eye
Rouge Bunny Rouge Devotion Ink Quartz Eyeliner in Anthracite Essence to finely line lash line
No7 Exceptional Definition Mascara (used more on outer corner to give a more winged look) and only on upper lashes.

The complete look ( with the NARS Downtown lipgloss on lips)

What I've used on face:

NARS Sheer Glow foundation - Barcelona
MUFE HD powder
NARS Douceur Blush

Overall I am pleased with this purchase as it is a shade I would wear day-to-day as well as with more dramatic looks. It sort of reminds a little of a MAC 3D Glass I once had called Algorithm (although I think that was sheerer and didn't have shimmer).

Saturday, 13 November 2010

Topshop MakeUp Kohl Eyeliners: Saddle & Petrol

Top - Petrol, Bottom - Saddle

There are some lovely gems in Topshop's makeup line, and these eyeliners are a few of the items that grabbed me when I swatched them instore.

Left - Petrol, Right - Saddle

Saddle is a beautiful brown with faint bronze/copper tones that give a soft metallic shimmer to the shade. It stays well throughout the day without creeping into other areas but it is also great to smudge and create more smokey type looks.

Petrol is a deep teal sort of colour without any noticeable shimmer. I love coloured eyeliners and this one is beautiful.

Top - Saddle, Bottom - Petrol

Both the shades are soft to use, glide on quite well (although not as much as UD 24/7) and have great pigmentation.

I bought these both from Topshop Oxford Circus.

Thursday, 11 November 2010

Ren ClearCalm 3 Update


It's been about 2 and a half months now since I started using Ren's ClearCalm 3 range (4 week review here), so thought I'd do an update.

Since my last review I have finished up my bottle of the Anti-Blemish Clay Cleanser, I used it every morning and most evenings so it lasted about 2 months. This has been pleasant to use and I like that it can be rinsed off clean with water rather then using a cloth (this is one thing I like in particular with Ren's cleansers).
I wasn't blown away initially with this, but after getting through my bottle of this I have come to rather like it as when washed off it helps a bit to make skin calmer and softer.

This *almost* equals one of my favourite cleansers which is Ren's Hydra-Calm one but the only thing that holds it back is the scent, while not at all unpleasant in anyway, I really love the scent of Hydra-Calm as I find it very comforting where as this doesn't grab me. To me scent is just as important as the performance, often I am drawn back to repurchasing products because not only were they effective, but I remember the smells and think how much I loved using them. I would still repurchase this at some point (I have some other cleansers on my 'to try' list though:).

The Anti-Blemish Day Fluid I continued to use up until 3 weeks ago when I wanted to see how I would fare without it so I tried using something else but unfortunately that didn't seem to agree with me so I am back to using this.
It works well under makeup and now that the weather is colder, this seems to be holding up well in the hydration stakes and I still have a lot left - about 3/4 in the bottle.

The Anti-Blemish Treatment Mask I use now once a week rather then twice as I have about 1/4 left and don't want to run out so quickly. My opinion of this hasn't changed from before - it's still a fab purifying mask and I would repurchase.

About 2 weeks ago I got a couple of large spots from what I think was experimenting with other primers/foundations/sunscreens (this was when I was not using the day fluid), so I went back to using my prescribed topical Duac gel for acne at night and I couldn't use the Replenishing Night Serum when using the Duac. In the few extra weeks I did use it I didn't see anything different to my last review.

What I have noticed is that before when I used my Duac gel to control my acne, it could be a little drying, especially around the mouth area so I could on occasion get slight flakiness. But when I use the ClearCalm 3 range I no longer get the dryness from the Duac gel and that is probably where this range helps me the most is with the texture and balancing of my skin as to be honest the visible differences are not huge, but when I feel my skin it does feel smoother and softer like it seems to help get rid of the flakiness and dead skin.
This doesn't make me want to throw out my exfoliator though as I love a good scrub, but I like the general feel of my skin and it makes applying makeup much nicer as I have a better canvas to work with.

Overall this range doesn't prevent me from getting spots, but I like what it does for the condition of my skin so I would add it to my favourites (the jury is out on the night serum for now:).

All products purchased by me and this is my own experience with the range. 
Everyone is different.

Wednesday, 10 November 2010

Une MakeUp Review: Mineral Foundation, Skin Glow Pencil & Lip-Toned Colour

I like the concept of Une makeup, it is clean and fuss-free as well using more natural ingredients in the products. I bought a few products a while back from Superdrug to try so here are my thoughts.

100% Mineral Foundation

I am a fan of mineral makeup, being acne-prone I feel I don't need to worry if mineral foundations are clogging my pores and making me breakout. They seem to help keep my skin in check so I was interested to see how this fares.

I've got the shade M08, which is quite yellow based and blends well into the skin. I would say this shade for me is just a tiny bit dark if I use it heavily, otherwise it's not a bad shade match (my neck area is slightly lighter then my face).  The coverage is light-medium so it's not good for covering up any blemishes but it does even out the skintone and looks natural. It's finely milled and has no noticeable shimmer/glowy particles as it's more of a natural finish. I usually use my Ecotools retractable kabuki to apply this or my ELF powder brush if I want more coverage. It lasts well throughout the day but I do touch up my t-zone as it gets oily (this happens to me with most foundations). Overall it's a good natural and lightweight foundation but personally I like more coverage so I probably wouldn't repurchase it.

Lip-Toned Colour L05

L05 is a soft warm pink shade that brightens my lips up a little and I would imagine could suit a variety of skintones.
I really like this lipstick, it's quite creamy and the shade is flattering and just adds a good wash of colour that isn't too sheer or too full-on. They are also a bit moisturising so don't dry out my lips either.
Being a bit of a neutral lippie-lover the Lip-Toned Colours are the items that appeal to me most in the range so I would buy more shades.

Swatched along with the Skin Glow pencil:

Skin Glow Pencil in G04

I am not sure what the purpose of this pencil is as the name isn't exactly clear but I've been using this as a concealer as I quite like the precision of a pencil to dot onto small spots.
It's a bit creamy and blends well but it doesn't really last on me and even though smooth, the texture isn't quite creamy or dense enough for serious spot concealment. I think this would be better as a brightening eye pencil to line the lower lash line with. Overall it's not bad but it's not for me.

In general I think it's a bit of a hit and miss with this range but there are definitely some items worth checking out.

Monday, 8 November 2010

Nail Art with Andrea Fulerton Stripe & Sparkle in Patti

This is the look I've created with Andrea Fulerton's Stripe & Sparkle in Patti that I posted about previously here (please excuse the red around the cuticles - the previous polish I had on stained a bit). With me not being particularly ambidextrous, I've done a simpleish wavy line design which I could replicate as well on my right hand. That's the thing I tend to forget when attempting nail art - I can do something good on my left hand but it can look a bit pants on my right hand.

I have used OPI's You Don't Know Jacques as a base colour which in real life looks a bit darker then the pic so the contrast between the YDKJ and the black is not as strong.
This is quite a fun product to use as I quite like sprinkling the glitter over the polish as it's a cute pepper-style sprinkler.

The holographic glitter reflects red, green & blue in the light
Overall this is a great product and I am very tempted to buy more colours but I am on a bit of a nail polish low/no-buy at the moment. I think I may break it with this range;)

Sunday, 7 November 2010

Anti-Crease Combo for Oily Eyelids

I have very oily eyelids and find it hard to make my eyeshadow last all day. Usually by lunchtime it has creased or faded - this doesn't bother me so much when I've used a single colour on my eye, I just use my finger and blend again but when I've made an effort with different colours and blending, it can be a bit frustrating when the look doesn't last the whole day.

In the past I have used Urban Decay's Eyeshadow Primer Potion but even though it works ok (sometimes even UDPP is no match for my eyelids), it's not something I find pleasant to use as it makes my eyelids feel dry and I can't blend eyeshadow as well. Personally I don't like how eyeshadow can sometimes look over this - slightly drier as well.

Through a bit of trial and error, I've found some products that work well for me which are:

E.L.F Mineral Eyeshadow Primer
Bloom Eye Paint in Chocolate

E.L.F Mineral Eyeshadow Primer
A standard lipgloss style package with a sponge tip applicator - so nothing fancy here but I like the basic style with the matt plastic lid. The texture of E.L.F Mineral Eyeshadow Primer feels smooth, blends well (I just use my finger) and even though dries to a matt finish, it doesn't make my eyelids feel dry.


The colour is a pale flesh sort of colour with a slight peach tone. My face has quite strong yellow-tones, but my eye area is darker then my face, and I find that peach/apricot tones are much better suited to my eye area as they don't look ashy like yellow tones do.
I guess this doesn't matter too much as eyeshadow is going on top, but it's something that I prefer over UDPP.

Bloom Eye Paint in Chocolate
On the face of it, it seems to be a dupe for a MAC Paint, but comparing it to MAC, the packaging is the only similar thing about it.
This is a lovely creamy texture that allows enough time to blend well and dries to a matt finish that doesn't look dry or chalky. Chocolate is a mid-brown/beige with a slight golden tone that stops it from looking completely flat. This colour is very close to the natural colour of my lids so I like using this to even out the lids and give a subtle hint of beige/golden tone.

Both products are long-lasting, and if your eye area wasn't particularly oily I think it would be fine to use one or the other but I like using the E.L.F primer first, then putting the Bloom eye paint on top, then using whatever eyeshadow over that.

Top - Bloom Eye Paint Chocolate, Bottom E.L.F Mineral Eyeshadow Primer

It does seem like a bit of a faff using two base products rather then one, but as the products are quite quick and pleasant to use, and make my eyeshadow last all day I don't care.

The E.L.F. primer is a bargain at £3.50, and the Bloom Eye Paint I bought from Superdrug for £5 (I bought this on offer as the full price I think is £10).