Tuesday, 24 May 2016

Gah: Next Beauty Make Me Beautiful Cosmetics

Next Beauty have brought out a new range of makeup, handily accessible via their plethora of High Street stores, or via their very convenient home delivery service.  The range is pretty wide, including brushes, eyeshadows, foundations, nail polishes, lipsticks, and gift sets - everything you'd expect from a high street makeup brand.

I've tried a few products out, and the results were, well, mixed.  The Sheer Chubby Stick, £8 (not sure how that's not trademark violating) isn't actually that sheer, rather bringing a good punch of comfortable cherry red colour.  The peachy toned Matte Lipstick,  also £8, is a little on the dry side, but wears comfortably and packs a good level of pigment.  The eye pencil, £6.50, is creamy and blendable.

On the other side, the eyeshadow palette, £7.50, is terrible - it's incredibly sheer, and I struggled to build the colour up to anything noticeable on the lid.  The texture is also overly waxy, making getting the shadow off the mounds in the palette difficult.  The nail polishes, which come in sets of 4 for £10, are lacking in pigment too - they can be layered up to get an opaque finish, but these days, I see no reason why I should use a four coat nail polish when there are so many well priced two coat nail polishes on the market.

Mixed product quality aside, the thing I really dislike about this range is the name. Make Me Beautiful?  It implies that women need makeup to be made beautiful, and that without the makeup, a woman isn't beautiful on her own.  Which is bollocks.  Not good enough, Next Beauty.

Disclosure:  PR samples

This post originated at www.londonbeautyreview.com. If you're reading it elsewhere, it's been stolen, violating my copyright.

Sunday, 22 May 2016

China Glaze Everglaze Polish in I Wanna Be Your Lava, French Press & Royal Satin

Gel-that-isn't-a-gel is a continuing nail trend, blending longer lasting formulas with super-glossy finishes for those who like the gel look but don't like the wear and tear that comes from bonding plastic onto your nails.  China Glaze's new Everglaze polishes are one of these faux-gels - they promise a week of solid wear, and a glossy finish.  I rarely have time to change my polish in the week nowadays, so something that'll last Sunday evening to Sunday evening sounds perfect for my regime.

First off, these three shades are gorgeously multi-tonal.  I Wanna Be Your Lava (pun-tastic) is a bright coral with a flash of fuchsia; French Press is a deep brownish grey with a flash of bronze; Royal Satin (my favourite!) is a rich, metallic berry which glows in the light.  Top marks for prettiness.  The range does come in some more subtle colours with cream finishes, too, but I'm really glad I received three of the more striking ones to try out.

And now, the wear time - does it really last a week?  Well, yes.  I get six days of solid wear with no chipping and barely noticeable tipwear, and on day seven I get a few tiny chips.  Impressive stuff.  Bear in mind that unlike a proper gel, this stuff isn't hardwearing if you're a bit clumsy with your hands - bang your nails into a surface, and it will chip.  Still, six days of wear with no chips suits my working week just fine - this polish is up there with Kiko's Power Pro for long wear.

At £9.95, they're not cheap, but they do perform exactly as promised.  Well worth a look if you like your nails to stay flawless during the working week with no maintenance.  You can find them at a couple of online retailers, including Nail Polish Direct, who are selling them below the RRP at £6.95.

Disclosure:  PR samples

This post originated at www.londonbeautyreview.com. If you're reading it elsewhere, it's been stolen, violating my copyright.

Friday, 20 May 2016

A Revelation: NYX Jumbo Pencil in Milk

Urban Decay Dust, Makeup Geek Homecoming, Stila Kitten

Ever been perfectly aware of a cult beauty product and yet never tried it?  That's how I was with NYX Jumbo Pencil in Milk until recently - I spotted it in a NYX stand in a store, a lightbulb went on in my head (it spelled out brighter eyeshadow) and I bought it, expecting not very much despite having heard many, many times that it's creamy whiteness was the perfect way to brighten eyeshadows.

And indeed, it's bloody brilliant, I'm an idiot for not trying it earlier, etc etc.  The pencil is surprisingly smooth and creamy for something which costs a tiny £5 - it's easy to blend, doesn't crease as long as it's applied on top of primer, and brightens the hell out of pale shadows.  As you can see above, it doesn't work quite as well for deeper colours like Makeup Geek Homecoming, but for lighter shades like UD's Dust and Stila's iconic Kitten, it gives them a boost.  If you like that ultra bright neutral eye look, a dab of Milk blended in the centre of the lid before applying your sparkly pale shadow will add dimension and brighten the shadow.

Glorious.  Why didn't I try this before?  I forsee many bright-eyed looks in my future.

Disclosure:  Bought by me.

This post originated at www.londonbeautyreview.com. If you're reading it elsewhere, it's been stolen, violating my copyright.

Wednesday, 18 May 2016

So, my hair is blue now....

Recently I fulfilled a life-long ambition and coloured my hair blue.  Well, the lovely Charley at Rockalily did it, but still, it's BLUE.  This shade is Directions Midnight Blue - it was originally a mix of Midnight Blue and Atlantic Blue, but I decided to refresh it with just Midnight Blue, as I love the depth of the colour.

Changing my hair colour has an affect on my wardrobe and on my makeup, and going from pink to blue is no different.  I can now wear any shade of red or pink lipstick, without worrying that it'll clash with my hair.  I look weird without strong brows and lots of black mascara, as the strength and depth of the blue can make my face look a bit washed out.  And I can wear red and pink clothes without fear of a clash too - I've already bought a few new red tops as a result!

This kind of colour change is pretty intense on your hair, and I'd never attempt such a big change without the help of a professional.  Charley bleached my pink hair to blonde-with-peachy-bits, then took it to blue - she was really, really thorough and as a result my colour isn't patchy at all.  She used Olaplex to stop my hair from being quite so frazzled, although it's still a bit dry - I'm using plenty of hydrating conditioner and applying a few drops of sweet almond oil every day.  If you're considering a big change, please go to a professional - I'll always recommend Rockalily if you're near London - your hair will thank you for it.

Disclosure:  New hair colour bought by me.  As well as multiple pots of Directions Midnight Blue, and some new colour depositing conditioners, which I'll write about sometime soon...

This post originated at www.londonbeautyreview.com. If you're reading it elsewhere, it's been stolen, violating my copyright.

Monday, 16 May 2016

Bargain Brightening: SEVENTEEN Skin Wow Concealer

The past few weeks have been a bit of a clicky-pen-concealer-testing flurry in my house.  This Paul & Joe colour correcting one has been a bit of a hit for particularly blue-circled mornings, and this Seventeen* one has become a hit for a number of reasons, mostly because it's actually a concealer, where the Paul & Joe one isn't.

At just £4.99, it's a bit of a bargain too, particularly for something which can be used to brighten the undereye area, to add subtle highlights on the cheekbones, browbones and cupid's bow (not that I know anyone who does that for a normal day's makeup), and basically anything you'd use Touche Eclat for.  The similarities between it and Touch Eclat are obvious, from the golden clicky pen format, to the well-pigmented-but-not-heavy texture, to the brightening that doesn't come from glitter or shimmer.  Skin Wow blends well, and remains in place throughout the day - on dry skin days I find it does settle a little into my fine lines, but only after six hours or so, and it's only noticeable if I scrutinise my undereye area.  A little more eye cream than usual helps prevent any settling.

Given that Skin Wow is £4.99, and Touche Eclat is upwards of £20, and they're both just as great at brightening my undereye area, I know which I'll choose to repurchase.  Hint:  it's not Touche Eclat.

Disclosure:  PR sample

* I know they want me to use ALL CAPS now but I can't bring myself to do it in a chunk of text.  A title, sure, but throwing some ALL CAPS into a review feels a bit too shouty.  Apart from when I'm making a point, of course, such as right now.

This post originated at www.londonbeautyreview.com. If you're reading it elsewhere, it's been stolen, violating my copyright.

Saturday, 14 May 2016


Many of my posts start with a vague reason for buying cosmetics whilst on work trips to the US.  This one, though, this one actually has a solid reason (other than addiction) behind the purchase - I realised I'd forgotten to pack cleansing oil, and of course, I had to go buy some.  I found this lovely Burts Bees Cleansing Oil in Walgreens, where it was about $15.  Unlike some cleansing oils I've used, it's mineral oil free, and surprisingly thick and rich in texture.  It dissolves makeup brilliantly, and leaves my skin feeling not only super clean, but also really, really soft.  Gorgeous.

Now, if only it was available in the UK - I can't seem to find it anywhere online, and my bottle is now empty.  So I guess I'll be buying another bottle or two when I next head to the US....

Disclosure:  Bought by me.

This post originated at www.londonbeautyreview.com. If you're reading it elsewhere, it's been stolen, violating my copyright.

Thursday, 12 May 2016

Paul & Joe Concealer Pen in Peach Yellow

This Paul & Joe concealer pen, £18, is new for spring 2016, and rather than being a traditional flesh toned concealer, it's more of a colour corrector, making it part of this year's biggest trend.  Peach Yellow is a yellow/peach toned shade, which works wonders on dark circles which are blue toned.  As you can see above, my undereye area is particularly blue toned, but with the concealer blended in, it's much less blue, and much brighter to boot.

Texture wise, the concealer is creamy but relatively thick, so you'll need some gentle pat-and-blend action with your ring finger to blend it in flawlessly.  Luckily, despite the creaminess, I've found that this stuff wears well all day, with minimal creasing.

So there you have it - if you need your dark circles toned down and they're a bit on the blue toned side, this concealer will neutralise them brilliantly.  Just take care not to apply too much, as otherwise you'll find your undereyes look a touch orangey - never a good look.

Disclosure:  PR sample

This post originated at www.londonbeautyreview.com. If you're reading it elsewhere, it's been stolen, violating my copyright.
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