Wednesday, 23 November 2011

New Favourite for Stronger Nails: Seche Rebuild

Apart from Seche Vite, I haven't explored anything else in the Seche range but a while back I read a post on KarlaSugar (here) where she mentioned Seche Rebuild as a great basecoat. Intrigued, I kept a note of it to purchase once I used up a few other base coats.

I change my polish about 2-3 times a week and this takes it's toll on my nails and I find that the tips are prone to peeling and I cannot grow them very long before they break. It is a bit of my own fault as if I see my polish starting to peel away, I cannot resist taking it off (terrible, I know!)

In the past I've had gels applied which I found made my nails feel thinner but I've long since stopped this and my nails are getting back to a more stronger state, although it wasn't until I started using the Seche Rebuild that I really felt a difference.
This has helped to make my nails feel much thicker, stronger and I can grow them longer then I've been able to in a while.

This has definitely opened my eyes up to the rest of Seche, and I would be interested to try the other products in the range.

I bought this from

Monday, 21 November 2011

Pukka Ayurveda Gentle Cleanser Review

Pukka Ayurveda skincare launched recently and as I have used a few other Pukka Herb products and have a lot of respect for the brand, I hastily bought a couple of bits (this was before I started my no-buy!)

The range uses Ayurveda as a inspiration and contains a varied range of natural ingredients such as rose water, green tea, amla and neem to help refresh, replenish and balance the skin.

Being a cleanser nut, the first product I bought was the Gentle Cleanser. This is a light density cream and has a herbal, slight clay sort of scent, definitely reflective of the 92.9% organic ingredients. Even though I have used many natural ranges and don't mind at all earthy, herbal fragranced products, there was something about this scent I wasn't really keen on to begin with but I got used to it after a while. Looking at the box it says it is lightly fragranced with rosewater but my nose doesn't seem to pick this up!

In terms of performance it is great for massaging in and requires little effort to rinse clean with water. The cream texture makes for a very gentle feeling cleanser and doesn't dry the skin either. Several uses later I did notice a slight clarifying effect although I feel like I need a little bit extra to help with my acne-prone skin.
This is a 50ml size which is a bit smaller then other cleansers on the market, but I think it's quite reasonably priced at £11.

Aqua, Cannabis sativa (Hemp) Seed Oil*, Rosa damascena (Rose) Flower Water*, Butyrospermum parkii (Shea Butter)*, Theobroma cacao (Cocoa) Seed Butter*, Glycerin*, Glyceryl Stearate‡, Sucrose Stearate‡, Coco-Glucoside‡, Ricinis communis (Castor) Seed Oil*, Olea europaea (Olive) Fruit Oil*, Camellia sinensis (Green Tea) Leaf Extract*, Helianthus annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil*, Aloe barbadensis (Aloe vera) Leaf Juice Powder*, Quillaja saponaria (Soap Tree Bark)*, Emblica officinalis (Amla) Fruit 100:1 Extract*, Hydrocotyle asiatica (Gotu Kola) Leaf 120:1 Extract*, Curcuma longa (Turmeric) Root 20:1 Extract*, Rubia cordifolia (Manjishtha) Root 70:1 Extract*, Azadirachta indica (Neem) Leaf 50:1 Extract*, Coconut Alcohol‡, Tocopherol‡, Xanthan Gum‡, Lactic Acid‡, Dehydroacetic Acid() , Benzyl Alcohol() , Citric Acid‡
* Organic (Organic content: 92.9%)
† Naturally occurs in essential oils
‡ Derived from plants
() Nature identical preservative system approved by Organic Standards

The other item I purchased was the Nourishing Brightener which I haven't put through it's paces yet but looks to be an interesting product as it has ground powders such as almond and bilberry to exfoliate.   

I bought these online at although I've spotted the range at Wholefoods and the Nutricentre.

Friday, 4 November 2011

Dolce & Gabbana Passion Duo Gloss Fusion Lipstick in Impact

Dolce & Gabbana Passion Duo Gloss Fusion lipstick in Impact (70)

A few weeks ago I was having a browse at the Dolce and Gabbana counter in Harrods and came across these incredible lipsticks. The Passion Duo Gloss Fusion lipsticks are like a lipstick/gloss hybrid as they have an intense hit of smooth and creamy colour with a glossy sheen.

I bought the colour Impact (70) which is a deep, slightly pink toned burgundy type shade.

Dolce & Gabbana Passion Duo Gloss Fusion lipstick in Impact (70)

Dolce & Gabbana Passion Duo Gloss Fusion lipstick in Impact (70)

This is the lipstick I'm wearing in my first smiley pic in my recent braces post (here) although it looks a little brighter in this pic as in reality it's a bit deeper like the tube and swatch pics.

I am really impressed with this formula and it matches the luxurious quality of the packaging. It's not particularly the most long-lasting because of the slight glossy quality, but the depth of colour achievable quickly is very good.

Thursday, 3 November 2011

2 years later...

As a 'congratulations on your new smile' I was given a little gift of a box of cupcakes from the orthodontist.

...and my braces are off!

I felt a bit like Chandler in Friends attempting a decent smiley pic!

I was meant to have braces as a kid, and even went for an initial appointment but as I wasn't keen on the dentist and I sort of envisioned it being painful, I never followed it up. 

Now I am no longer nervous about the dentist after having a couple of wisdom teeth out, so I very much wanted to get my teeth sorted. It was a long (and expensive) journey, but very much worth it.

Before (this is about 5 yrs ago), didn't have anything more recent and my ortho pic is horrid! Boy, my eyebrows are thin here!

During - At an Edward Bess Zuneta event last year. Total hair envy here - EB is gorgeous!
I had the visible train track style Damon braces because the adjustments I needed couldn't be achieved with a system like Invisalign. There is an invisible option called Incognito that I could have chosen but that costs a lot more. Within the first month I saw a huge difference and the teeth straightened out fairly quickly. I have had a tooth on each side from the top taken out as I had an overbite of around 8 mm and this is the part which prolonged treatment as it took a long time to close the gap.

I was surprised with the whiteness of my teeth when the braces came off because I was thinking of getting a whitening treatment after, but I think I'll see what I can achieve at home with a whitening toothpaste and the polishing brush head on my Oral B Triumph 5000 toothbrush that I purchased earlier this year. I am looking forward to giving this a proper use as I've been using the orthocare brush heads.

Boy, does it feel good to have these off!

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

Smoky MAC Hyperviolet FOTD

Today I've gone for quite a simple eye look with MAC's Hyperviolet Paint Pot which is a gorgeous bruised plum type shade. I'm really enjoying these deep red-purple shades for autumn and this eye combination is one I rather liked and thought I'd share.

I've started off with a base of Bloom's Eye Paint in Chocolate which is a staple (review here) that I reach for almost everyday. These past few months I've noticed my eyelids are not as oily as before so I don't use my ELF eyeshadow primer so much underneath the Bloom eye paint.
On 3/4 of the lid and slightly on lower lash line I've applied MAC Paint Pot in Hyperviolet with a concealer brush then blended out the edges with a MAC 217. On the inner corner I've used Illamasqua's Fat Pencil in Fickle which is another favourite as the gold is on a slightly darker, duller side which seems to blend into my skintone and texture more nicely for a more softer golden look.

I've used MAC Feline pencil on the upper lash line and a little on the outer lower lash line then used a eye smudge brush to soften the line. The mascara is a sample of Chanel's Inimitable Intense which I got with a purchase a while back. I wasn't overly keen on the original Inimitable but I really like this Intense version as the formula is light and slightly creamy but not wet and really gives a dark lash look with good volume and separation.

Complete look:

Products used:

W3LL People Narcissist foundation stick No.5 (review here) all over face set with a little MUFE HD powder.
MAC Sculpt & Shape Powder in Accentuate/Sculpt - I've used the highlighter side on the tops of my cheeks.
Nouba Earth Powder 51 - As blush/bronzer. This deserves it's own post as it's another firm favourite of mine.
Chanel Glossimer in Giggle on lips
Chanel Crayon Sourcil in 60 Noir Cendre to fill in brows

L-R: Chanel Giggle Glossimer, Illamasqua Fat Pencil Fickle, Chanel Crayon Sourcil 60 Noir Cendre, MAC Feline pencil, MAC Hyperviolet Paint Pot

Friday, 28 October 2011

Pai Organic Facial at Content Beauty Review

The Pai Organic facials recently launched at Content Beauty and a couple of weeks ago I booked in for the Detox and Decongest facial which is ideal for hyper-sensitivity, eczema, psoriasis, congested or acne skin.  I have liked the Pai products I have tried so far so was looking forward to seeing how I got on with this facial.

I have had a treatment at Content before and like their cosy, warm rooms with ambient lighting so in terms of environment, I felt relaxed. Also they do play some music but it's faint so blends into the background and is not trying too hard to make you feel relaxed which I appreciate.
Onto the facial and it starts off with a thorough cleanse, then followed by exfoliation. Pai haven't yet released an exfoliator (as far as I'm aware) so I was excited to get a taste of these new products used in the treatment, I'm hoping they will become available to purchase.

The skin was then massaged with what I think was with the Rosehip BioRegenerate Oil. Then a manuka honey mask was applied which was interesting as the natural sticky quality of the mask allowed the skin to be stimulated when the hands are pressed over the face in quite swift movements - this is supposed to help stimulate the collagen in the skin and also I think the natural suction helps to draw out impurities as well as the manuka honey being antibacterial. This is something I am definitely trying out at home!

There are extractions which I found ok and not too uncomfortable although I only had a few so that part didn't last very long. Now after this even though I didn't fall alseep, I kind of zoned out and paid a little less attention to the different steps but just let the lovely therapist do her thing. Another mask was applied and while that was left on the skin, my hands were massaged as well as the shoulders and neck area.
The treatment is finished off with the Echium Rejuvenating Eye Cream, and for my combination skin, the Geranium and Thistle moisturiser.

Afterwards my skin felt very clean, soft and well hydrated but it wasn't until the next day that I noticed that I did have more clarity in my face, my skin looked a little more even and felt really deeply cleansed and decongested - no cloggy feeling pores and it felt that way for several days after.
I've had very few truly natural facial treatments, sometimes not believing them to be as effective as their chemical counterparts (which is odd for me as I adore natural skincare), but the Pai Organic facial I rate highly and I would definitely go back.

The Pai facials are £35 for 30mins / £65 for 60mins at Content Beauty, London but I took advantage of an October offer on the Content website to save £20 (off the 60mins facial) when you quote 'Pai offer' at booking.

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

The Water Secret by Dr Murad

If you follow my blog then you might know that I have quite acne-prone skin and while I think it has gotten better now I am in my late 20's there are times when I feel at a loss at what to do with my skin. It feels like when I make some progress I can just as easily undo it in a few days. It's not so much the spots themselves but the scars and bad skin texture they leave behind. I have long since learnt that I cannot rely on products alone to overcome this but it is something I find tough, even though I am greatly interested in healthy things I am not naturally one who follows these things. For one I have a very sweet tooth which doesn't help matters!

I haven't rushed to do a whole bunch of changes at once as I know I'd be less likely to stick to them but I have been slowly (v-e-r-y slowly) trying to incorporate more healthy foods and exercise into my lifestyle to aid my skin and general wellbeing.

Earlier this year when I was introduced to the new Anti-Aging Acne range by Murad, there was one item that I was given that I have found rather valuable and that is Dr. Murad's book, The Water Secret. The Water Secret is not about drinking lots of water (which I am rubbish at) but rather to do with how well the body's cells hold water, so that if they are well hydrated (and this is more through 'eating' water as opposed to just drinking it), they can perform all their important functions in the body.

It is packed full of information, guidance and recipes and is easy to read as well as being very positive in tone. I wouldn't say it's a diet book, it goes much further and looks at all aspects of lifestyle that contribute to a person's overall wellbeing and looks at ways in which you can improve these areas.  

This leads me on to one of the things I have recently started doing, and that is making a smoothie every morning for breakfast. I am definitely a breakfast eater but not a tea/coffee (apart from herbal tea) drinker so having an alternative breakfast beverage is a must.

This is from a recipe we were given for the Water Secret Smoothie which is loaded with ingredients that contain 'key nutrients and phytochemicals to optimize water content in the cells while also building and strengthening connective tissue'. Packed full of antioxidants to help the skin but also (although it's hard to tell with these sorts of things) I think this is helping me with this very changeable weather and *touch wood* I haven't caught any coughs/colds which a few members of my family have at the moment.

1/2 cup blueberry juice (unsweetened). I was planning to buy fresh blueberries but found this Biona organic blueberry juice at the Nutricentre. It's also available in Wholefoods (where it's cheaper) and some health food shops.
1/2 cup almond milk
1/2 cup raspberries. I have recently switched to frozen ones as they're cheaper and can keep for longer.
1 tablespoon lecithin granules - available in health food shops (this 250g has lasted me a month so far and I have a little left).
1 small banana

Ice cubes/crushed ice
Agave nectar/stevia extract (stevia is not available in the UK - it is now)

This recipe makes quite a lot (enough for about 2 glasses) so I use a bit less of the ingredients.

It's a small step but one I hope will get me on track with achieving a more healthy me and better skin!

Sunday, 16 October 2011

Cleanser Empties - Alpha-H & Snowberry

I am on a serious skincare no-buy at the moment, I cannot buy an item unless I have used up all the ones I have, so until I finish all my cleansers, I'm not buying another one (as I am writing this a MuLondon newsletter has arrived in my inbox to inform me of the launch of their new foaming facials cleansers, and I have to resist the urge to not put in an order, but boy do they sound lovely).

Just for reference I have combination/dehydrated/acne-prone skin with acne-scarring and am 28 (so use more preventative/fixing acne devastation skincare).

I have used up 2 cleansers so far - Alpha-H Balancing Cleanser and Snowberry Instant Deep Cleanser.

Alpha-H Balancing Cleanser
I have always been curious about Alpha-H products and bought a set from QVC a while back which this cleanser was a part of. While I haven't really been taken so much with the other products (I don't quite understand the fuss with Liquid Gold), the Balancing Cleanser is not bad.

This is a slightly runny white cream that is easily rinsed off with water. It does a good job of removing makeup and leaves the skin feeling clean but not stripped. I think this helped a tiny bit with skin clarity but unfortunately I found it slightly irritating around my eye area. Overall it is a solid cleanser but I am not likely to repurchase.

Aqua, Ethylhexyl Palmitate, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Sorbitan Stearate, Glyceryl Stearate, C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate, Cetyl Alcohol, Lauryl Glucoside, Phenoxyethanol, Glycerin, Methylparaben, Sodium Hydroxymethyl Glycinate, Tocopheryl Acetate, Citric Acid, Parfum.

Snowberry Instant Deep Cleanser
This is quite an unusual looking cleanser as it's a bright orange colour with an slightly oily-serum thin cream like texture. This does allow for the product to be massaged well into the skin and it rinses off very cleanly with water so with all these elements it offers quite a unique cleansing experience. Packed full of natural oils and extracts (some more unusual then others - I didn't know a Cloudberry even existed).

It does a very thorough job of cleansing, leaving the skin clear and pores feeling less 'cloggy'. I hadn't noticed how much this was the case until I finished it up. The saying 'you don't know what you have until it's gone' rings true for this cleanser.
Having said that it's not a repurchase as it is the most expensive cleanser I've ever bought at £46 for 50ml. While it lasted much longer then I thought it would (about 3 months, mostly using in the morning as you only need 1-2 pumps for the face), it doesn't quite beat the Ren ClearCalm cleanser for me.

Melia azadirachta linn (Neem) seed oil, Plukenetia volubilis (Inca Inchi) seed oil, Macadamia Ternifolia seed oil, Olive Oil Squalene, Glyceryl Oleate Citrate, Passiflora edulis (Passion flower) seed oil, Polyglyceryl-6 Caprylate, Candida Bombiola extract & Glucose & Methyl Rapeseed Ferment, Caprylic/Capric Triglycerides & Cymbium grandiforum flower extract, Asboryl Tetraisopalmitate, Rubis chamaemorus (Cloudberry) seed oil, Echium plantagineum oil, Lonicera Japonica (Honeysuckle) flower extract, Triticum Vulgare (Wheat) Gluten extract, Polydecene & Solanum Lycopersicum (Tomato) extract, Coleus Forskohili (Coleus) oil, Rosmarinus Officinalis leaf extract, Lycopene extract.

Sunday, 2 October 2011

Hydrodermabrasion Facial at Hydrohealing Review

I have walked past the Hydrohealing Day Spa in Notting Hill, London a few times and was curious about the Hydrodermabrasion facial they offer. Anything with the word 'hydro' or referencing water definitely gets my attention! I have never had microdermabrasion, but this is different as it's gentle and is supposed to be good for acne-prone skin like mine. I had this treatment a while back in August and being a bit slack this post has been sitting in my list since then.

The spa is located on Kensington Park Road, a short walk from Ladbroke Grove tube station. It's a clean and bright blue place and doesn't feel intimidating when you walk in. I was greeted by my therapist who gave me a form to fill out and I took a seat in the dimly lit relaxing waiting area.

I would say the treatment room itself even though clean, minimal and quite nice looking is not as lux as some other places - the bed itself is more a standard flat treatment bed and not some soft, cushy bed, but having said that it is not uncomfortable and is quite relaxing.

The facial starts off with a cleanse to remove any makeup on the skin. Ren products are used in the facial (and it is bespoke to your skin type) and on me she first cleansed with the Hydracalm cleansing gel.
Then onto to the interesting bit with the hydrodermabrasion. A saline solution is blasted onto the skin in what felt like a concentrated jet of liquid. This is supposed to help remove impurities and improve the texture of the skin, as well as being deeply moisturising and helping with fine lines and wrinkles. It feels quite strange, like an ice cold wind moving over your face. It was hot outside that day so it was quite a welcome feeling and it doesn't hurt at all, but on certain parts of the face like the temples where the skin is close to the bone you can feel the pressure a little more.

Then afterwards the face, neck and shoulders was massaged with the Omega 3 Night Repair Serum, this was done to a medium pressure and felt quite relaxing although I am not one of those people who can ever feel totally chilled with a facial and have yet to come across one that has sent me to sleep! Afterwards a mask was applied (the Clearcalm 3 one). The therapist said that my skin was rather dehydrated (don't I know it; I am terrible at boosting my hydration levels), so she applied the Max Moisture Concentrate, and then I think it was the ClearCalm 3 Night Serum as a moisturiser to finish off.

My skin did feel calm and much more softer and well hydrated then before so that it felt a little more plumper although I didn't see much difference to blemishes, but I think I would have to have a few more treatments to see a difference in this respect.

This facial is expensive at £85 for 60mins, but I filled out an online consultation form to get 20% off my first one.

Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Peachy Glowy Goodness: Hourglass Extreme Sheen Lipgloss - Lush

Hourglass Extreme Sheen Lipgloss - Lush

Today felt like the perfect day to get out this lovely as it's a gorgeous summery, glow-giving gloss.

Hourglass Extreme Sheen Lipgloss in Lush is a pretty peach shade with a fine warm shimmer. These are some of my favourite glosses as the formula is smooth, non-sticky and they impart a wonderfully shiny finish that wears well and doesn't dry out the lip.

Hourglass Extreme Sheen Lipgloss - Lush
I think these are tied in my affections with the Rouge Bunny Rouge lipglosses, and as with RBR, it is easy to become slightly obsessed:)
Hourglass is available in Liberty London or online at Zuneta.

Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Max Factor Colour Elixir Lipstick Looks & Swatches

Max Factor Colour Elixir Lipstick - Burnt Caramel

Earlier this month I attended an event to introduce the new Max Factor Colour Elixir lipsticks. The lovely makeup artist Caroline Barnes created two gorgeous looks with the new Elixir range and was at hand to impart her wise makeup knowledge!

The new Colour Elixir lipsticks bring together the elements expected from a great lipstick along with the 'Elixir' treatment that includes ingredients such as shea, avocado and aloe butters to improve the condition of the lips.
These definitely feel like a step up from what I am used to seeing from other drugstore lipsticks as the pigmentation is impressive and is rather consistent across the shades. The texture, while moisturising is a lighter, creamy silky texture that feels much higher-end. The packaging is also lovely and as others have noted very Estee Lauder-esque.
Now onto the fun part - Caroline Barnes set us the challenge of trying out the seven different shades we were given. Some of the colours were not naturally what I would gravitate towards, but I was interested to see how they would look, and I some of them I was pleasantly surprised with.

Bewitching Coral
Bewitching Coral is a bright coral shade. It is a natural matte finish that leans a bit more pinker on the lips. I wasn't sure about this one but I like it much better on the lips although it is a bit out of my natural comfort zone with it being so bright.
On eyes I have used MAC Blacktrack Fluidline and Max Factor False Lash Effect Fusion mascara.

Burnt Caramel
Burnt Caramel. Now this is more my type of colour! A lovely warm neutral shade that is easily one of my favourites. Again nicely pigmented, smooth and one I have been reaching for a lot since I received it.
Eyes: MAC Sable all over, MAC Sorcery on outer corner, and Max Factor False Lash Effect Fusion mascara. Blush is Beauty UK Baked Peach.

English Rose
English Rose. One of the frosty ones - it doesn't look so bad in my pic but out of all the colours this was my least favourite and I didn't feel comfortable wearing it so I hastily changed it to Burnt Caramel instead! This is a mid pink that looks a little deeper on the lips then in the tube. If this had been a matte shade I think I would have liked it much more.
Eyes: Buck from UD Naked palette, RBR Anthracite Essence Eyeliner, and Max Factor False Lash Effect Fusion mascara.

Angel Pink
Angel Pink. A pale, cooler toned pink shade with that frosty finish again. This type of shade does unfortunately emphasise dryness in my lips as it is much paler then my natural lip colour. I think maybe blended over a natural toned lipliner might take the edge off a little.
Eyes: Benefit Skinny Jeans all over lid, Chanel Illusion D'Ombre -Mirifique, MAC Feline liner, and lashings of Max Factor False Lash Effect Fusion mascara.

Mulberry. A beautiful, pink wine/berry shade that has more of sheen/tiny frost finish with a gorgeous depth that feels more wearable then I had imagined making it another one of my favourites.
Eyes: Bloom Eye Paint Chocolate all over lid, RBR Anthracite Essence Eyeliner, and Max Factor False Lash Effect Fusion mascara.

Pink Brandy
Pink Brandy. A warm pinky/peachy shade that feels very summery. I like this shade and I don't think I have anything quite like it as it's a bit more opaque then other colours in my collection.
Eyes: MAC Paint Pot - Perky all over lid, MAC Hot Hot Hot in outer corner, RBR Anthracite Essence Eyeliner, and Max Factor False Lash Effect Fusion mascara. Blush is MAC Ripe Peach.

Ruby Tuesday
Last but definitely not least is Ruby Tuesday, a beautiful classic red. I think this would be quite universally flattering as it's not warm or too cool. If you've read my previous posts I am a bit red lippie shy and it's not a colour I often wear but this I found to be quite a friendly colour. Because of the super-pigmentation yet light texture, I can apply it, then blot and still be left with a bright red lip that doesn't move. Often with bright colours I hate the thought of them migrating off my lips and the high-maintenance aspect but this makes it so much easier for me to wear.

Many of the shades, including this one leave a bit of a stain on the lips so that the colour doesn't seem to fade completely and therefore I found them to be more long lasting then even many of my higher end lipsticks. Also with the unique texture, I didn't find them to be drying on my lips either.

Here I have swatched 8 of the colours:
L-R: Burnt Caramel, Angel Pink, English Rose, Pink Brandy, Bewitching Coral, Ruby Tuesday, Mulberry, Sunbronze

Natural Light L-R: Sunbronze, Mulberry, Ruby Tuesday, Bewitching Coral, Pink Brandy, English Rose, Angel Pink, Burnt Caramel
Flash L-R: Sunbronze, Mulberry, Ruby Tuesday, Bewitching Coral, Pink Brandy, English Rose, Angel Pink, Burnt Caramel
Overall I am impressed with these and there are a few more 'me' colours like Firefly and Rosewood that I have my eye on next.

All the Colour Elixir lipsticks apart from Sunbronze (which I bought myself) were provided without charge at the event. The Max Factor False Lash Effect Fusion mascara is also a PR sample.

Monday, 19 September 2011

NOTD: YSL Black Bronze (126)

YSL Black Bronze is one of the three limited edition nail colours from the new Noir Couleurs collection for autumn/winter.
I was eagerly anticipating this release, all the promo imagery I've seen online is gorgeous and in real life it doesn't disappoint. I did get all three nail polish shades but today I've worn Black Bronze, a gorgeous, deep dark slightly olive-toned bronze.

The formula is on the slightly thicker side but it applies well, no dragging and is fully opaque in just one coat which I am very impressed with. This appears darker on the nails then it does in the bottle which is the same for all three shades but I love it as it's not too dark that it looks almost black.

This is smaller then their regular polishes at 6ml for £15 (their regular size is 10ml for £16.50) which is expensive and not much of a reduction in price considering you get 40% less. 
I don't know if it's just me and my slight packaging OCD but I don't like it when they change up the sizes of their product so that it doesn't sit as nicely aesthetically with the larger size bottle - not sure why they do this.

Despite my little rant I can't really fault the quality in the YSL polishes I have so far and I do adore this shade -  I have been frequently glancing at my nails all day:)

Monday, 12 September 2011

Chanel Coco Blue Le Vernis

Chanel Le Vernis - Coco Blue

Coco Blue is from Chanel's Les Jeans de Chanel collection that launched to celebrate Fashion's Night Out. It is a light denim blue that has a soft barely-near shimmer that gives it a slight dimensional quality rather then looking like a complete cream. This needs 3 coats to get complete coverage and applies fairly well but personally I like some of their other shade formulas like Black Pearl and Graphite as this can be a tiny bit streaky.

I don't think it's really a must have, but I was quite drawn to this shade of blue as it doesn't lean aqua and looks more like a true light blue.

I bought this from Selfridges

Green Gloss: Illamasqua Violate from Theatre of the Nameless

The thought of a green lipgloss intrigued me so when I saw Violate from the new Illamasqua Theatre of the Nameless collection on counter, I had to give it a go and actually, I rather like it.

Illamasqua Violate: Top - sheered out, bottom - built up
Violate is a warm forest green with a pretty shimmer and can be worn sheerer or built up to give a more intense look. What I like about this is that the colour plays with the natural pinky mauve colour in my lips to create a strange green that still allows my lip colour to show through. It is a bit of a sticky lipgloss which doesn't bother me too much but I would apply a balm underneath.   

Illamasqua Violate, sheer application
Illamasqua Violate, heavier application

Here it is applied heavier in context with the rest of my face, please excuse the glum expression and untidy brows (I am growing them at the moment).

I think this would be a good alternative to a more deep berry/purple shade for autumn/winter as I think it is an oddly wearable colour.

Wednesday, 7 September 2011

Dangerous Territory...

...the Tom Ford counter at Selfridges that is. I was there on Saturday and had a good play with the newly released full line-up of Tom Ford makeup.

Now I thought I would have much more resolve, I liked looking at other bloggers swatches of the lipsticks, I had even tested some out but I knew (well I thought I knew) that for me personally it was unlikely I would spend that much (on a single colour) and so the previous lipsticks have passed me by and that was fine. I knew my limit, and that was way over it.

So I'm wondering where those thoughts were when browsing led to buying. The blushes and eyeshadows were the items I was most eager to see and indeed I did end up buying one of the Cheek Colours.

Before I get onto swatches let's get the price out of the way first. This is £45. £45!!! I cannot believe I spent this on blush but it seems rational thought goes out the window with Tom Ford's makeup.

Here is the beauty:

The packaging is beautiful, with a magnetic closure that snaps in place nicely so no fiddling with closures and chipping nail polish. The hinge does allow the lid to lie completely flat as well so less chance of accidentally braking the closure.  

Tom Ford Cheek Colour - Ravish (05)

Ravish (05) Cheek Colour is a beautiful tan toned pink. The finish has a silky, micro fine shimmer sheen that imparts a subtle pink luminescence. The shimmer is faint and not very noticeable when applied.

Tom Ford Cheek Colour - Ravish (05)

As you would expect from a blush this crazily priced, it is smooth and very pigmented, so only a light touch is required. These remind me a little of Rock & Republic's blushes that were also very nicely pigmented and smooth (I miss this brand).
I find using a natural bristle brush better (I'm using a Shu 20H), as I can lightly pick up the colour.

Tom Ford Cheek Colour - Ravish (05)

Tom Ford Cheek Colour - Ravish (05)


Ravish is a colour I see myself getting much use from, so although it's at the highest end of the scale, I do love this addition.

I did try the Sahara Pink lipgloss which I really liked as well and as a neutral lippie-lover, there is much more choice in this category in the lipsticks so maybe I will try a lip product next, although maybe not straight away, my credit card needs some rest;)

Saturday, 3 September 2011

MAC Me Over Purchases & FOTD

It's been a while since I've purchased anything new from MAC as not really anything from recent collections has grabbed me but I did check out the new collections on Thursday and bought a few bits.

My favourite thing is probably the Fluidlines from the MAC Me Over collection as the colours are so deep and gorgeous. I also purchased an eyeshadow and a Pro Longwear lip pencil from the Style Driven collection which I am also very impressed with.

L-R: Pro Long Wear Lip Pencil -Absolutely It, Dark Diversion Fluidline, Midnight Blues Fluidline, Carbonized eyeshadow

Pro Long Wear Lip Pencil -Absolutely It
This is a very pretty medium pink with a slight warmth of brown to it that makes a great 'my lips but better' shade. It has a subtle silky metallic sheen that adds a little dimension and brightness to the shade. I think that these do have a good pigmentation and hold on the lips so they last longer then their standard lip pencils. I do use a lipbalm underneath as they feel a little drying. Despite this I would like some of the other colours as I like using their lip pencils instead of matte lipstick.

Dark Diversion Fluidline
A deep, dark burgundy shade that is not overly warm or cool. A really great shade for autumn/winter and feels very rich.

Midnight Blues Fluidline
This looks a little brighter in my pic but this is a deep blue with a bit of a green tone.

Carbonized eyeshadow
A deep brown with a slight golden sheen - a great neutral shade that I know I will get lots of use from. 

I used the Dark Diversion Fluidline today and I really love this look as it makes a lovely change from standard black liner.

Rest of products on eyes:
Hourglass Visionaire Eyeshadow Duo in Suede (lighter shade inner corner, darker shade all over lid), MAC Chromagraphic Pencil NW25/NC30 on waterline, Maxfactor False Lash Effect Fusion Mascara*, Korres Brow Pencil 01.

Full Face:

Rest of products used:

Lily Lolo Foundation - Warm Honey
Guerlain Terracotta Touch 02 - under eyes
MAC Blush - Breath of Plum
MAC Pro Longwear Lip Pencil - Absolutely It - all over lips

*PR Sample