Friday, 5 February 2016

Tiny But Mighty: Revlon Ultimate All-In-One Mascara




I bought a tube of Revlon's new All-in-One mascara as part of a CVS grab-and-run during a recent trip to the US (and by recent, I mean in November).  This particular trip was a bit unusual in that instead of staying in hotel on my own, as I usually do, I stayed in an Airbnb with some colleagues.  We had a blast - out for dinner every night apart from the nights when we were BBQing in our garden, and believe me - a LOT of wine was consumed.  An unfortunate side effect of this arrangement, though, was near catastrophic.

I didn't get time to go to Sephora.

I made do with a quick run through CVS, whereupon I bought a number of new products from high street brands which hadn't launched in the UK yet.  Including this one which, err, has now launched.  So yeah.

Anyway.  Revlon's Ultimate All-in-One Mascara is really weird, in that it has the tiniest brush in the entire world - it's the size of a raisin.  My immediate thought when I opened it was that it would take an absolute age to get the level of volume I demand from such a tiny brush.  And yeah, it does take a little while longer than a mascara with a monster brush, but it's actually pretty impressive for such a tiny brush.  It helps that the bristles are deep and pointy, and that the mascara formula itself is thick and sticky, so a couple of swipes through the lashes is enough to coat them fully with mascara.

I'm wearing one-and-a-half coats in the photo above - one and a half because I spent a bit of time combing the mascara through and it started drying as I did - and I'm pleased with the level of volume and length, and the relatively unclumpy effect.  For a mere £6.99, this is an impressive little mascara - don't be fooled by it's raisin-tiny brush, it's more than capable of delivering big volume.

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, 3 February 2016

Clarins Ombre Iridescente in Silver Ivory






My love of Clarins bouncy cream to powder eyeshadows is a little bit hot and cold - the original Ombre Iridescente shades I tried creased more than I wanted, but the latest Ombre Matte shades I tried blended beautifully and lasted well.  So when I received Silver Ivory, one of the new Ombre Iridescente shades for spring, I was wondering which way I'd go.

I'm pleased to report that Silver Ivory has the same beautiful shimmering effect, and the same blendability, combined with great wear over primer.  It didn't crease like the other shades I've tried; perhaps Clarins have improved the formula since the last range.

I'm particularly fond of this new shade - the spring shades are all silvery, including Silver Ivory, Silver Plum, Silver Pink and Silver Green.  None of them are strong shades, more like subtle silvery taupes with a coloured undertone.  Silver Ivory is a champagne taupe, just the kind of shade I like to pair with a red lip and plenty of black mascara.

At £19, Ombre Iridescente is a pretty spendy shadow, but given that the shades are the sort that are easily wearable every day, they're worth it if one or two catch your eye.

Disclosure:  PR sample

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

Monday, 1 February 2016

Demeter Fragrance Library: Oud, Wet Garden, Ocean & Paperback


I was in New York at Christmas, and I stumbled across a giant display of Demeter fragrances when I popped into a Duane Reade store near Times Square.  Squeeing with delight, I misted a million fragrances into the air before picking four to bring home with me:  Oud, Wet Garden, Ocean and Paperback.  For those not in the know, Demeter make a range of simple fragrances which smell exactly like real life scents - the range goes from Play-Doh to Cake Batter to Clean Skin.


Oud is as woody and rich as you probably imagine.  I've never actually smelled a proper Arabian Oud perfume, but given my love of spicy, woody fragrances I was curious to try it out.  It's rich, strong, evocative, but surprisingly simple - there's no vanilla nudging in, no smokiness or floral edge, just aromatic, woody richness.  I love it.


Wet Garden is, unsurprisingly, a very green scent - it has a freshness, a wetness, which really does evoke a wet garden.  It's a soaked, sopping wet garden, though, not a slightly damp one - imagine rain dripping from the leaves of trees, then the sun coming out after the rain.


It turns out my idea of Ocean is very much influenced by the Body Shop's Ocean perfume from when I was a teenager:  sharp, slightly salty, green.  Demeter's Ocean is very different.  It's almost all salt, with a slightly crisp edge to it.


Paperback is incredibly evocative of a bookshop - it smells of well thumbed books, with a powdery edge.  There's a slight tone of freshness in there, too, which stops it from being old-neglected-library and keeps it well-loved-bookshelf.

I'm so pleased with the fragrances I bought.  I've been generally wearing them alone, but they do layer up well - Paperback and Ocean make a masculine, rich scent which makes me feel powerful.  My only gripe is that I wish they lasted longer on the skin - you get a couple of hours tops, which is a real shame.

You can find Demeter fragrances in the UK at Boots, and although their shops don't really have a big selection, you can find the full range online.

Disclosure:  Bought by me.

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

Saturday, 30 January 2016

Mixed Bag: Avon True Colour Eyeshadow Palette in Stone Taupes & Avon Ideal Luminous Blush in Russet



True Colour Eyeshadow Palette in Stone Taupes

True Colour Eyeshadow Palette in Stone Taupes

Avon Ideal Luminous Blush in Russet

Avon Ideal Luminous Blush in Russet

I received these two products at an event a while back, and they're really chalk and cheese.  Ideal Luminous Blush in Russet, £6.50, is bold, high pigment, mostly matte with the tiniest glow (not sparkle!), and needs to be applied with a light hand to avoid looking clown like.  True Colour Eyeshadow Palette in Stone Taupes, £9, on the other hand, is disappointingly sheer - I had to layer my swatches to get the opacity you can see above, which is far from impressive.

This, for me, is the problem with Avon - some of their products (like the Russet blush) are absolute bargains, whilst some (like Stone Taupes) are a bit disappointing.  Still, at least the cost of sorting the duds from the hidden gems is reasonably low.

Disclosure:  PR samples

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

Thursday, 28 January 2016

Clarins Instant Radiance Spring 2016: Instant Light Natural Lip Perfector in Plum Shimmer & Rouge Eclat Lipstick in Pink Cherry



Instant Light Natural Lip Perfector in Plum Shimmer 
Rouge Eclat Lipstick in Pink Cherry

I love a new collection from Clarins, usually because there are guaranteed to be a couple of really cracking lip products.  Spring 2016 is no disappointment:  no completely new products, but new shades in two of my favourite Clarins lip products - Rouge Eclat lipstick, and Instant Light Natural Lip Perfector.

Rouge Eclat lipstick in Pink Cherry, £19.50, is a gloriously buttery hit of colour - Clarins claim that it's an age-defying lipstick, which I don't really get.  I do get the plush, hydrating texture, the medium pigmentation, and the pretty-good-for-a-buttery-lipstick 3 hour wear time.

Instant Light Natural Lip Perfector in Plum Shimmer, £18, is a sheer, berry tint which looks like a gloss, but is actually a very hydrating balm.  I absolutely love these things:  I've managed even to finish one or two, an amazing feat when your lip product collection is the size of mine.  Plum Shimmer, like its predecessors, is easy to wear, easy to apply, and keeps lips soft and plump.

So there you have it.  Two new shades of two lovely existing products for spring.  Find the collection now at Clarins counters nationwide, and stay tuned for a a few more pieces from the collection soon!

Disclosure:  PR samples

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

Tuesday, 26 January 2016

BUY THIS NOW: No 7 Moisture Drench Lipstick in Pillarbox



If you're looking for an amazingly pigmented, punchy red lipstick with a comfortable matte finish which won't break the bank, go straight out and buy one of these limited edition Moisture Drench lipsticks in Pillarbox.

At £9.95, it's very reasonably priced, and I was expecting a reasonably average lipstick.  But wow, it's so pigmented, so glowingly, richly red that I can't quite believe it's so cheap.  Texture wise, it's thick and creamy, gliding onto the lips and leaving them feeling comfortable but not overly slippy moist.

I could keep waffling on, but seriously, if you love a red lip, you should go buy one of these immediately.  You'll be very, very impressed.

Disclosure:  PR sample

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

Sunday, 24 January 2016

Delightful: Lush Popcorn Lip Scrub



I remember the days when Sara Happ brought out the first commercial lip scrub, a bargain at around £20 per tiny pot.  Since then, everyone's had a go, and my absolute favourite lip scrubs are made by Lush.  This Popcorn scrub uses a combination of sugar, oil and salt to exfoliate and moisturise the lips.

And damn, it's a good exfoliator - my lips are incredibly smooth after use, in perfect condition for the most matte of lipsticks.  Let's be honest, most of the feeling of moisturisation comes as a side effect from scrubbing off the dead skin, and a little bit from the included oils - super dry lips will still need a good slick of balm afterwards.

The buttery, caramel-y taste is glorious, and if you're a bit greedy like me, you might let a little more scrub pass through your lips than is strictly necessary.  No harm, though, as the ingredients are all edible - there's even a bit of popping candy in there.  And at £5.50, it's a fair bit cheaper than the still iconic Sara Happ.

Disclosure:  Bought by me.

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