Thursday, 26 February 2015

Models Own Academy Nude Palette

Apologies for the bloody awful light in these photos: what can I say, it's winter.  This cute little palette is from Models Own, whose makeup range actually extends further than I thought it did - although until now they've not really had a lot of eyeshadow.

The Nude palette is unsurprisingly filled with nude shades - although, they're more variations on brown than they are nude.  That sparkly copper, for example, definitely isn't nude, it's a gloriously sparkly copper, and that taupe brown on the end is actually pretty dramatic and not at all nude.  The first three shades are pretty nude though - the palette's only matte shade is a creamy bone good for use as a base or for highlighting, sitting next to a fairly standard white shimmer and a pretty beige-y champagne shimmer.

The textures are pretty good for a palette which costs a mere £5.99 - soft, verging on crumbly, easy to blend provided you have the right fluffy brush.  And it's small, tiny enough to fit in the palm of your hand, making it perfect for travel, or for carting about in your handbag if you do the day-to-night thing.  If you're looking for a small, cheap, perfectly usable no-frills nude palette, this one is great.  Find it now at ASOS.

Disclosure: PR sample

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

Tuesday, 24 February 2015

Nine Word Review: Kiko Wild Lashes Mascara

Interesting brush, but... smudge smudge smudge SMUDGE.  Disappointing.  Avoid.

Disclosure: PR sample

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

Sunday, 22 February 2015

Quick Pick: Pur Minerals Chateau Cheeks Cream Blush in Flirt

Pur Minerals is one of those brands I think is really underrated - they do some lovely mineral makeup which isn't a massive faff to use, and which doesn't compromise pigmentation.  This Chateau Cheeks cream blush is exactly that - an easy to use, creamy blush which blends beautifully and leaves a lovely soft sheen on the cheeks.  The sheen is great for an extra-easy highlighted effect, but does mean that the texture is quite emollient, making it a better option for dry skin types rather than those with oily skin.

Flirt is a lovely rosy pink which isn't too warm or too golden, meaning it goes well with my cool skin - it's neutral enough that I think it'd work well on those with warm or cool skintones.  A single swipe gives a soft flush, and it's easily buildable if you like a stronger pop of colour on the cheeks.

I suspect Pur Minerals would do a whole lot better if it were priced a little more competitively - this blush is £19.50, placing it firmly in the same price range as Bare Minerals, who splash a lot more on marketing and promotions than Pur do.  Still, performance wise it's just as natural and mineral based, and a whole lot more portable, particularly for those looking for a blush which gives a bit of a glow.  Find it now at Marks and Spencer.

Disclosure: PR sample

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

Friday, 20 February 2015

Utterly Weird: Murad Instant Radiance Eye Cream

This is probably the weirdest eye cream I've ever tried.  Mostly, because whilst it claims to be a cream, it's not actually a cream.  It's a bouncy spongy thing masquerading as a cream.  It has a similar texture to those eyeshadows which were so popular a couple of years ago - yielding, slightly bouncy, a bit like a cushion - and to those foundations which are about to become so popular this year.

Bounciness aside, it has that ultra-velvety-slick feeling which usually indicates a ton of silicone.  And yes, there is a lot of silicone in there - but somehow, it's proved itself compatible with every moisturiser, foundation, concealer and powder I've thrown at it, refusing to form those weird little strands and roll off my face, which is often an unfortunate side effect of silicone.

Once you put it on your undereye area, it smoothes across the skin beautifully - I find I only need a tiny amount - and somehow does magically make my eyes look less tired within half an hour of application.  I've not really observed any long term effects, so I'm tempted to think of this more as an undereye primer than an eye cream - it makes the area wonderfully smooth, perfect for dabbing concealer onto, and brightens undereye circles up wonderfully.

How it does it, I don't know.  But I like it anyway.

At £49.50, it's an incredibly expensive weird thing, and given the lack of observed longer term effects, it may be too much cash for a silky eye primer.  I'm going to use the entire tub up anyway, and enjoy every bouncy cushiony weird moment of it.

Disclosure: PR sample

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

Thursday, 19 February 2015

BUY THIS NOW: Kiko Cosmetics Mosaic Highlighter in 01 Future Light

This beautiful Kiko powder is part of their futuristic Generation Next collection, and it's a dead dupe for Guerlain's iconic Meteorites.  It contains gold, green, white and purple tones to even out and illuminate the skintone (like Meteorites) and gives an oh-so-subtle light reflecting glow - so much so that you'll need to enlarge the swatch above and squint to see it.  The effect on the face is subtle - not glittery, not shimmery, just pretty and glowing (like Meteorites).  Better yet, it costs a mere £14.90, compared to £37.50 for a tub of Meteorites pearls. Oh, and it's more portable.  Buy it now, immediately, from one of Kiko's stores or online at their website.  Seriously.  If you like glowing skin, you won't regret it.

Disclosure: PR sample

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

Tuesday, 17 February 2015

Benefit Rollerlash - gamechanger or meh?

When I was invited to the launch of Benefit's Rollerlash, I was all like "but they just released They're Real, why are they adding another mascara so soon?".  And then someone told me that They're Real was actually released in 2011, so it's actually almost 4 years old.  I was surprised.

Anyway, Rollerlash is to curling what They're Real was to length - it aims to give lashes a lift for a bright, wide-eyed look.  The brush is much smaller than the They're Real brush - a good thing because I keep poking myself in the eye with the They're Real brush - and the plastic bristles are arranged to push the lashes upwards from the root.

My major problem with this mascara is that the formula is surprisingly clumpy, and I have to work really hard to make sure I don't get five mega triangle lashes which are made of all my other lashes stuck together.  I've even had to make use of the clean spoolie I keep in my makeup bag for brushing out clumps a couple of times, which is really odd given that They're Real, and indeed this kind of brush, is meant to eliminate clumping.  The effects are definitely wide eyed and beautifully curled, but at 6.45am when I'm putting my mascara on, I can't be bothered with the care it requires to get a cleanly defined, non-clumpy look.  I'll be sticking with They're Real.

If you'd like to try Rollerlash, you'll find it at the usual stockists for £19.50 - the same as They're Real.  Or, you can run to your nearest newsagent (do those even exist any more?) and pick up a free sample with the March edition of Elle magazine.

Disclosure: PR sample

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

Sunday, 15 February 2015

Meh: Smashbox Be Legendary Long Wear Lip Lacquer in Orange Crush, Off Duty, Coral and Lilac

Orange Crush, Off Duty, Coral, Lilac
Smashbox recently added some new lip products to their lineup - Be Legendary Long Wear Lip Lacquer promises intense pigmentation, a glossy shine, and intensely comfortable wear.  Which lasts a long while.  A big promise, right?

The packaging is pretty simple, but the slightly hourglass shaped applicator is a nice touch - it manages to line and fill in the lips easily, with the indent in the middle hanging on to a glob of product so you can spread it over your lips.

Orange Crush

Off Duty


Orange Crush is an incredibly bright, juicy orange with a subtle shimmer to it.  Off Duty is a neutral colour which runs a bit too brown for my liking, and as for Lilac, well, I can't imagine who this would look good on.  Maybe darker skintones for the contrast?  It's got a nice milkiness to it, but it sits in the lines on the lips and is very, very 80s.  Nice if you like that kind of thing.  I definitely don't.  Coral is my favourite of the four - a polished, peachy toned neutral, it still brightens up the face whilst being very unshouty.

The formula is indeed very comfortable to wear - think silky lip-balm-gloss hybrid - and the pigmentation may be variable across the shades but it's definitely more high powered than your average gloss.  As for staying power, I'm on the fence.  They wear down over four hours or so to a soft stain, but it's a muted, not quite as intense stain, like a very washed out version of the colour you put on your lips.  The shine wears off after an hour or so, and they do remain comfortable, but not as squishy-lip-smushing comfortable as they feel just after application.  Certainly not as dry as some lacquers I've tried, though.

Nice enough, then, but there's nothing innovative or new about this product.  At £19, they're expensive - not quite as luxe as YSL's Glossy Stains, which cost £25, and not quite as affordably brilliant as Revlon's Colourstay Moisture Stains, which cost a mere £7.99 each.  If you own either of those two, you really don't need Be Legendary Long Wear Lip Lacquer.  If you don't, well.. I'd suggest you buy the cheaper Revlon product.  Be Legendary Long Wear Lip Lacquer is slightly more hydrating, but not £11 extra worth of hydrating.  Find them now at Smashbox counters or at the Smashbox website.

Disclosure: PR sample

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