Tuesday, 31 August 2010

myface.cosmetics - R&B Blusher - Med/Dark - Night Fever

iPod-esque packaging (please excuse the smear)

myface.cosmetics - R&B Blusher - Med/Dark - Night Fever; this is something I bought from Boots a while ago and have recently rediscovered in my collection so thought I'd review.

Comes in quite a distinct, long case in quite a techy sort of style. I like it generally as it has the slight mirrored finish and looks rather sleek but I am not keen on it opening on the short edge as it seems more cumbersome. The brush is ok for on the go but I don't use it as it's not the softest brush out there.

Onto the powder itself - this is beautiful, the quality feels much more then the 10 odd pound I paid for it as it's smooth, quite buttery and incredibly well pigmented so only a light touch is needed. The colour is a gorgeous coral/pink shot through with gold.

with flash
natural light



myface is priced at the higher end of the drugstore, but from the few products I've tried, the price is justified in the quality of the products.
myface cosmetics is available in larger Boots stores and definitely worth checking out.

Disclaimer: purchased by me

Sunday, 29 August 2010

Saponaqua Mineral Therapy Body Butter and Balm

I had never heard of Saponaqua before, that was until I came across the brand at the Vitality Show earlier this year. Saponaqua is a natural, hand-made range that contains the key ingredient Zander - a nutrient-rich mineral extracted from freshwater lakes in Northern Europe, and the products of which have shown to be beneficial to dry and problem skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis. The range contains 3 products - the Mineral Therapy Body Butter, the Mineral Therapy Balm, and the Natural Therapy Bar

Mineral Therapy Body Butter:
Mineral Therapy Body Butter
This is a thick, creamy butter that melts with the warmth of the skin into a slightly oily texture. It is rubbed in fairly easily and sinks in well without feeling particularly greasy. 

Melting very nicely into skin

I have drier skin on the body and this immediately feels very softening and moisturising on the skin. This is a 250ml size pot which I think should last a while as not much is needed.
All the products have the same slightly refreshing, herbal, tea-tree scent which I rather like, as it feels quite therapeutic and soothing.
Ingredients: shea butter, watermelon oil, tea tree essential oil, Zander (butyrospermum parkii, citrullus vulgaris, melaleuca alternifolia Zander-FAMM, methyl 2-octynoate.

Mineral Therapy Balm
Mineral Therapy Balm
This has a slightly more thinner, waxy balm texture then the body butter, but it similarly melts into the skin. Both the butter and balm can be used to soothe and moisturise dry, cracked and chapped skin but I think the balm is a bit more concentrated so you only need a very small amount. I particularly like this on my hands before bed as I have very dry hands and this really helps to soothe the dryness. It think this will fare well in the winter when my hands get so dry that the skin is prone to cracking. This is a 50ml size.
Ingredients: shea butter, watermelon oil, tea tree essential oil, Zander (butyrospermum parkii, citrullus vulgaris, melaleuca alternifolia Zander-FAMM, methyl 2-octynoate. 

I also bought the bar as well but want to put that through its paces a bit more before reviewing.
The body butter is £16.99 and the balm is £9.99 and are available from www.saponaqua.com (not an affiliate link).

Disclaimer: Purchased by me

Tuesday, 24 August 2010

Butter London Autumn 2010: Bumster Nail Polish

Butter London Bumster - it toes a fine line between looking rather retro or a bit like poop and I was very intrigued as to what this colour would look like in real life, as I haven't come across very many of these sort of shades before.

2 coats of Bumster with Sally Hansen's Insta-Dri topcoat

This is after a day of wear so there is very slight tip wear, nothing major.
I have to say this is my favourite of the collection. I did get Victoriana which is also gorgeous and was tempted very much by All Hail McQueen, but after testing it out in Wholefoods I sadly realised it doesn't do much for me despite being a beautiful shade.
This however I think is complimentary to my skintone as it doesn't have any hint of grey (or green either) in the shade, instead it has a slight warmth that stops it looking dull. I happily wore this to work as it feels quite neutral and not 'check out my mustard nails'.
Quite a unique shade and much more wearable then I had imagined.

Disclaimer: Purchased by me

Sunday, 22 August 2010

Pretty in Pink: NARS Arabesque Nail Polish

My first forray into NARS nail polish and I am very much liking this glitter polish:

Please excuse the tip on the forefinger (I nicked it before it completely dried). The pic is with 3 coats.
Arabesque has an antique rose pink sheer base with the same tone of pink glitter. The glitter particles are bigger in this, but because they are suspended in the pink base, the overall effect is rather pretty and for me not too disco-ballesque. As you can see there is visible nail line although I think this was more to do with my application skills as I applied this in semi-darkness). Overall the coverage is quite good, not completely opaque, but not too sheer either.
I was in Selfridges yesterday and a sales advisor asked me what the colour was on my nails and grabbed a colleague to show her as well as she thought it was a more 'classy' pink glitter. Maybe, but all I know is that I love the shade. I had been looking for a pink glitter polish like this and just came across it one time while browsing at the counter.
This was £13 for 15ml.

Disclaimer: Purchased by me

Thursday, 19 August 2010

Eeek! Ren Skincare: A New Range - ClearCalm 3 launching 1st September

If there was only one skincare brand I was allowed to buy it would be Ren. When I started using Ren it really was a turning point for my skin and it is one of the few brands where I have probably tried the majority of their products. I do stray (it's in my beauty addict nature), but I always go back to my tried and trusted Ren. So naturally I was incredibly excited to find out through today's Metro that they will be launching a new range of products designed especially for blemish-prone skin (like mine) called ClearCalm 3.

The range consists of:

Anti-blemish clay cleanser
Anti-blemish day fluid
Replenishing night serum
Anti-blemish treatment mask

Looks like a very comprehensive range that I have high hopes for. I cannot wait to try them out!
Disclaimer: I am not affiliated with Ren, just a huge fan of their products.

Review: Ruby & Millie Lip Colour - Pink 415 Matte

I had quite a few of those £5 off No7/Ruby & Millie vouchers to spend in Boots so I had a good look at the Ruby & Millie stand and came across these lipsticks. I like Ruby & Millie, price wise they are similar to MAC but I think that it is justified as the quality on most products is good and I like the distinct packaging with the good size. However this is not reflected by the condition of the stand in my local Boots as it is almost always in a bit of a sorry state. I think that these lipsticks are fairly new but I was only able to test a few colours as some of the testers had fallen in the holes or were missing or had been abused so they didn't look nice to test - you get the idea. Despite this I was not deterred and continued to explore the offering.

I chose this shade - Pink 415 matte:

Ruby & Millie Lip Colour - Pink 415 Matte

Natural light. Nail polish is Model's Own Top Turquiose
The name says this is a pink but on the face of it, it doesn't look that pink. It is more of a brick type brown with a pink tone that has a subtle brightness which lifts the complexion a little. Not in the same way a red would but it's one of those shades that is great if you are a bright-lippie-shy but want a bit of colour. This is not a shade I previously have had in my collection.
The texture on this is lovely - even though it is a matte, it is a creamy matte shade with good pigmentation to cover the lips but without making them look dry. Slightly moisturising but not overly so and though not long-lasting, wears fairly well and fades evenly.

My only gripe with this is the packaging. While I love the simple and sleek gunmetal finish with the lovely engraving (no cheap sticker here), the lid on this is tight so sometimes I have to pull a little to get it off and one time found I had pulled the bottom part off (although this was easily put back and did not effect the working). The lid does click very firmly into place with a noticeable click sound so I don't think it would come off in your bag. Maybe the lid will loosen with more use? Would this stop me from buying it again? No, I very much like the actual lipstick, it has a quality feel and I would be happy to purchase other colours. The packaging could do with that little bit of refinement just to compliment the quality of the lipstick, but overall I am happy with this purchase.

These are £11.50 which is a pound cheaper then MAC, definitely the higher end of the drugstore but I think it is worth it.

Disclaimer: Purchased by me with £5 off using a Boots voucher. I love Boots.

Sunday, 15 August 2010

NARS Fall 2010 - Tzarine Eyeshadow Duo & Douceur Blush

The latest NARS collection has some wonderful items and after checking these out at Space NK last week I picked up the Tzarine eyeshadow Duo and Douceur blush.

Seeing Douceur online it looked very pretty but I wasn't sure if it would show up on my NC40/42 skin, but testing this instore I was pleased at the nice, natural colour it gives which would go great with more dramatic eyes or lips. The colour is a neutral rosy nude sort of shade, and is very smooth with good pigmentation leaving a natural matt finish.

Douceur blush

I was convinced that I would go for the Rajasthan duo (I may go back and get that) but it was Tzarine that really got me excited. It is quite deceptive in the pan looking quite warm but swatched it actually is slightly more cooler then I'd anticipated. The left side is a pale icy gold where as the right is a deep blue/green with a slight silver undertone. These go on quite smooth, they are not as densely pigmented as other NARS eyeshadows like Mekong, but still have very good pay-off and blend well. The shimmer is fine and doesn't make the colour look too frosty.

Tzarine Eyeshadow Duo

Swatched - Tzarine on left, Douceur on right:

with flash

natural light

Here is a pic in context with the rest of my face. I have used the blue/green side about 2/3 into the lid and also 2/3 along the lower lash line then the pale gold on the inner corner and a little along lower lash line. The colours look a bit washed out in the pic, but you can still make out the hint of colour from the blush.

What I have used on the rest of my face:
Primer - NARS Makeup Primer (white tube)
Foundation - NARS Sheer Glow in Barcelona
Undereye Concealer - Guerlain Terracotta Touch in 02
Powder - MUFE HD
Lips - Rouge Bunny Rouge Long-lasting Lip Pencil in Amerigo (all over)
Lashes curled with Shu Uemura Eyelash Curler
Mascara - L'Oreal Double Extension Renewal Serum Inside (just the black end, I'm not keen on the white base end)

Close up of eye:

Overall I am really happy with these, the colours are very flattering and easy to work with.  The Tzarine duo is my favourite as I don't have any shades quite like these in my collection.
NARS have come up trumps with a gorgeous collection well worth a look.

Disclaimer: Purchased by me

Neutral Lip Liners: Rouge Bunny Rouge, MAC & Prestige

As it's coming up to the autumn/winter season I thought I'd do an overview on my favourite lip liners as I tend to use these more round that time then in the summer.

From top to bottom: Rouge Bunny Rouge Long-Lasting Lip Pencil in Amerigo, Prestige Lipliner in 206 Silk, MAC Lip Pencil in Spice, MAC Lip Pencil in Boldly Bare (LE).

Up until about a year or so ago, I only had one pencil which was MAC Spice, I was content with just the one until Rouge Bunny Rouge came along and then I have added a few more to my collection since then.

A close up:
L-R: RBR Amerigo,  Prestige Silk, MAC Spice, MAC Boldly Bare

Swatched L-R: RBR Amerigo, Prestige Silk, MAC Spice, MAC Boldly Bare:

natural light
with flash

The Rouge Bunny Rouge is probably the almost spot-on to my natural lip colouring as it's a slightly cooler pink-toned nude brown. It's a bit similar to MAC Spice but the pic in natural light shows that Spice is more browner and warmer then Amerigo. Boldly Bare is like a lighter version of Spice where as the Prestige is most definitely a pink nude shade. In terms of texture all apply smoothly with the RBR being the most creamy but has a very slight tacky feel, MAC is also quite creamy and the Prestige being a bit lighter and ever so slightly harder then the rest.

The star in this bunch for me is definitely the Rouge Bunny Rouge - the name says long-lasting and it really is - when washing the swatches off my hand the others came off easily where as the RBR I had to really rub at it to get it off. I am very impressed with it's staying power.  Even though MAC and Prestige do not last as long, the tones are flattering and blend well into the lips making them versatile in application.
Price wise the RBR is £20 which initially I thought was rather steep, but the quality really shows so I probably would buy this again as the match is perfect for me.
MAC comes in at a reasonable £10, and they are the longer pencils of the bunch; the Prestige is a great bargain at £3.99.

Disclaimer: All purchased by me

Wednesday, 11 August 2010

NOTD: Mavala Paradise Blue (No.149)

This colour is just other-worldly stunning. It is blue without any hint of a green undertone which is difficult to sometimes find in this sort of colour. Application was lovely and smooth with the slightly wider, flatter brush and two coats gives a high pearl/metallic finish without that streaked look some pearl polishes can give. It looks almost a bit like a foil finish. This shade feels cosmic - I love it!

Disclaimer: Purchased by me

Monday, 9 August 2010

Zoya Wicked Collection for Fall 2010 - Edyta Nail Polish

Edyta is part of Zoya's Wicked collection for fall 2010 and the one I was immediately drawn to from seeing others swatches. I bought this with a recent order from nailcareclub.com (not an affiliate link) which I think is the only online stockist for Zoya in the UK.
It applies quite easily, slightly streaky on the first coat but coverage is perfect with 2 coats. This shade is simply stunning, a beautiful dark olive green with flashes of more golden olive tones and very fine shimmer.

Here it is with 2 coats:

I keep staring at my nails in wonder at the depth of the finish, I don't think I have anything quite like this in my collection. I really wish Zoya was more readily available here as they have some amazing shades that give OPI a run for it's money.
This costs £9.25 for 15ml.

Disclaimer: Purchased by me

Sunday, 8 August 2010

Lilac Sunday

Lilac seems to be a recurring theme in my product purchases these past few weeks so I thought I'd do an overview on my thoughts for each.

Evolve Skin Cocoon Moisture Wash and Radiance Boost Smoothing Cream
I have wanted to try some Evolve products since their launch but it wasn't until the recent ASOS sale that I actually bought anything. These have some great eco credentials as they are certified organic by Ecocert and the lovely distinct packaging is made from recycled milk bottles. They are also not tested on animals and contain organic food based ingredients with no nasties.

The Skin Cocoon Moisture Wash has moisturising almond peptides and organic aloe vera to soothe. It is a runny clear gel liquid that has a slight lather and feels very gentle on the skin. There is a mild aloe vera type scent to this which is inoffensive, but if you like a bit more of a fragrance to your bath products like me then this smells too mild for my tastes. It does make the skin feel quite soft and not dry but I found it a rather meh type product and would not repurchase this.

Now the Radiance Boost Smoothing Cream I really like as it smells gorgeous with a slightly sweet, nutty type scent. It is quite a light, cream texture that you only need a small amount as when I first used it, I took too much and it took a while for it to be absorbed, otherwise it usually doesn't require too much rubbing. It leaves the skin non-greasy, smooth and moisturised without feeling like you've applied any cream. I am not sure how this would fair in the winter when my skin is drier but using this during the summer has been pleasant as it feels virtually invisible.
The info on the back says it has Brazilian acerola fruit which is a high source of vitamin C that boosts radiance and moisturises, and this also contains argan oil, rich in omega 6 and vitamin E to help maintain cell elasticity and protect against free radicals. It also contains natural fruit acids to smooth and soften the skin. It does help with dullness in the skin but I haven't used it long enough to notice any benefits with elasticity.

Zoya Remove +
Usually I use Superdrug's Acetone free nail polish remover but that still feels drying on my nails so I decided to try this instead as I've heard good things about it. At £9.95 for 237ml it is expensive for a nail polish remover which is what put me off purchasing before, but now I think it's worth it. This is a mild acetone based formula and since I've been using this my nails don't feel dry when I remove polish, instead they feel smooth and moisturised. I like the packaging as it's a handy salon style push pump which you can twist to lock. It doesn't have the traditional strong smelly remover scent either, it actually smells quite nice with a soft linen/floral sort of scent.
As to it's removing capabilities they are good with most polishes coming off easily, the glitters/shimmers needing a little more work but still remove better then what I was using previously.

Models Own Lilac Fantasy
This is a lilac pearl with faint pink shimmer in a very sheer (almost clear) lilacy-grey base. It looks very pretty in the bottle but it took 4 coats to achieve that colour as it is so sheer. It is not the fastest drying either considering how sheer it is. If it is wasn't for the lovely colour and finish I would have been disappointed. I got this shade from River Island for £4.99 as I don't think they stock this particular colour in Boots.

Here with 4 coats:

Estee Lauder Surreal Violet Nail Polish

This shade is from the Blue Dahlia Colour Collection for autumn 2010 that has recently hit counters. It looks a bit more of an unusual shade then some other grey/lilac colours I've seen as it has fine copper shimmer in it which gives it a lovely warmth, very autumny.

Here with 2 coats:

Application was easy with full opacity in 2 coats. It's a beautiful shade, but the colour kind of blends in too much with my own skin colour so I think it would suit skin tones which contrast more with the shade. This was £12 for 9ml.

Disclaimer: All products purchased by me

Tuesday, 3 August 2010

A Pretty Fine Glitter: elysambre Nail Polish in No 19

Elysambre is a natural, mineral based make-up range that has products in the line which are able to be refilled (there is more comprehensive information available on Lovelula.com who also stock the range).

Some colours in natural ranges can be a bit uninspiring but that is not the case with elysambre as they offer a good colour selection with great pigmentation. 

I bought a nail polish from the range a while back from Wholefoods in London. The nail polishes are paraben-free, toluene-free, formaldehyde-free and rosin-free. It comes in quite a sweet little 5ml bottle with a copper metal lid casing that looks quite unique and different to other ranges I've seen. I think I paid about £8 for it.

Shade 19 is a very pretty sheer silvery white colour with very fine white sparkle. In my photo it looks slightly yellow but in real life it hasn't a trace of yellow at all.

Here it is with one coat:

Two coats:

Three coats:

Even though it isn't fully opaque, I quite like this on its own although I would probably like this better with my nails short. The shimmer is very fine so this is quite easy to remove and the staying power on me is about 3 days (which is good for my nails).
Overall I am pleased with this nail colour and would love to try out more products from the range - they have some very pretty eye shadows that I swatched when I got this nail polish that looked rather promising.

Disclaimer: Purchased by me

Rimmel Colour Show Off Lipsticks Review & Swatches

When I first tried the Rimmel Colour Show Off lipsticks I thought 'could they be a cheap version of YSL Rouge Voluptes?' as these are quite heavily scented lipsticks with a melon-type scent not dissimilar to a Rouge Volupte and also they feel a bit more silky in texture as well.

There is a good selection of shades but the ones that appealed to me were 050 Have Fun! and 250 Stare At Me

Left - Stare At Me,  Right - Have Fun!

I have swatched these with my one and only YSL Rouge Volupte in 03 Ultimate Beige to see how this compares with Rimmel's Have Fun!

L-R - Stare At Me, Have Fun!, YSL Rouge Volupte 03

As you can see they are similar shades but the Have Fun! is a bit more pinker and the YSL is more beige tone. Also it is clear that the YSL texture is much creamier then the Rimmel.

My bare lips:

Have Fun! applied (please excuse the dry looking lips):

Stare At Me applied (enlarging this shows the colour better):

Have Fun! is a lovely slightly pinky nude shade with a slight sheen to it but does accentuate dryness and the texture of this one is not as creamy. Stare At Me is a rather deep rose with a very slight plum tone, and this one is very well pigmented and has a more satin finish. The texture of this one feels more creamier then Have Fun! as well. I love this shade as it is quite rich and a bit more bolder then what I would usually go for but it still feels comfortable.
Both of these are not particularly moisturising but they don't dry out my lips either. I tend to use Burts Bees lipbalm underneath all lip products to give a smooth base and stop them drying them out.

Overall I like these (especially love Stare At Me), they feel light but are better pigmented and a bit creamier then previous Rimmel lipsticks I've tried.

Disclaimer: Purchased by me

Monday, 2 August 2010

NUXE Nutri-Protecting Lip Care SPF 15 Review

Nuxe is a French brand that I've seen in a few places but never really looked into more closely, I think it was more to do with the packaging rather then the products themselves as I previously had a slight aversion to packaging bombarded with type (and was gold). 

The Nutri-Protecting Lip Care is a cross between a tinted lip balm and a gloss, they have Mango butter, Sunflower, Shea Butter and Sweet Almond oil to nourish and botanical filling spheres to give a more plumped up look. I think I am attracted to anything with the words 'Mango Butter' as these do have a fruity mango scent but I also like that they have a SPF 15 to protect the lips. 

I bought the shades: 02 Rose Legendaire/Legendaire Pink and 03 Chocolate Irise/Shimmering Chocolate. Legendaire Pink is quite a pretty sheer pink shade with very fine shimmer. This one does look quite glossy so it gives a more dimensional quality to the lips to make them look more fuller but I don't think it's anything special compared to other lipglosses. Shimmering Chocolate is more pigmented and also has the fine shimmer but it's not as noticeable when applied. They feel very smooth and light and are completely non-sticky. The down side to this is that they don't last that long on the lips. 

Top - Legendaire Pink, Bottom - Shimmering Chocolate

I paid £6.25 each for these in the sale, but full price they are £12.50. I like them as quite pretty, natural looking glosses but they are average and do not blow me away. I prefer something like the Korres Full Colour Lipglosses which is what I would compare these to.

Disclaimer: Purchased by me

Sunday, 1 August 2010

July 2010 Stand-Out Products

Here are my favourite items from July:

Chanel Hydramax + Active Teinte 10 Sable - Sand
I was given a sample of this with a purchase and only just recently tried it out. It's a lovely light and quite fresh feeling tinted moisturiser that gives a little coverage and just helps to even things out. I still need concealer to cover my acne scars but with this I don't feel like I'm wearing any base.

Ellis Faas Concealer - S205
This brush on wand concealer blends really well into the skin and doesn't look cakey but sets to a natural matt finish. I use this on my under-eye area and the colour is great because it doesn't have any ashy qualities to it. The twist-up mechanism does have its flaws as if this is not used regularly, the liquid can dry and clog up the applicator.

Make Up Forever HD Powder
With the weather being hot here in the UK this has been great for helping to set foundation and concealer under the eye as well. I also dust this over lids before eyeshadow as I have very oily eyelids so this is great for making eyeshadow last longer.

Prestige Baked Mineral Blush - 04 Terra Rosa
A go-to slightly rosy terracotta shade that suits many makeup looks (I have a separate review of this up). Looks natural and blends well into skin.

Becca Glossy Lip Tint in Amaretto
A non-sticky 'my lips but better' lipgloss which is a complete no-brainer for summer makeup. It lasts well on lips and doesn't dry them out too. One of the few lipglosses I have without shimmer.

iS Clinical SPF 25 Treatment Sunscreen
My favourite sunscreen ever, I use this instead of a moisturiser as it has a lovely creamy texture that absorbs well without greasiness and no white cast. Perfect for my NC40/42 skin tone. 

Antonia Burrell Creme Supreme Moisturiser
Antonia Burrell is new natural line of skincare that I came across at the Vitality show earlier this year. (I will have to do a separate review of the range). I have been using this as a night-cream and it's wonderful. The scent is divine - a soft, slightly sweet, nutty marshmallow type of scent; the cream is a light, fluffy texture that absorbs easily into the skin and leaves it soft and well-rested.

Jergens Naturals Extra Softening Body Moisturiser
I am not a huge fan of body lotions but I love the slightly sweet peachy type scent of this and it is quite a light lotion for the summer and does make the skin soft. 

Aussie Mega Shampoo and Conditioner
Leaves my hair clean without weighing it down. Simple and fuss-free.

Dolce & Gabbana Intense Nail Lacquer - Rose 120

Dolce & Gabbana Make Up - when this launched last year I was excited about trying out this brand and absolutely adored the stunning visuals with Scarlett Johansson and gold packaging that I actually liked (usually I'm not a fan of the gold), but to be honest, when I went down to the counter I wasn't immediately blown away.

I came away with one product, and that was this nail polish lacquer in Rose (120). In the bottle it looks stunning, quite a unique rose pink shade with copper/gold shimmer running through it. This polish is excellent quality, probably one of the best formulas I've come across as it applies easily with a brush that is slightly wide. The consistency is slightly thick, but not in a horrible gloopy way so it is still fluid and applies without streaking. It is virtually opaque in one coat, dries pretty quick and lasts longer on me (about 3-4 days) with only slight tip wear. On top of that the packaging is gorgeous with an elegant, slighter taller-then-the-average-bottle size (which annoyingly is too tall to stand up in my polish drawer) and lovely engraved lettering. 

At about £16 for 11ml it is expensive, but for me it is worth it as I prefer this formula. It's good to find something that lives up to it's luxe looks. 

One coat, no topcoat

Disclaimer: Purchased by me