Friday, 12 December 2014

BUY THIS NOW: Bumble & Bumble Blow Dry in All-Style, Straight and Repair

My friends, I'm shit at blow drying my hair.  You see, I have rather a lot of it, and I get bored quite quickly, and so I usually end up just blasting it dry and ending up with a red/pink lion's mane.  Recently I bought a Babyliss Big Hair, which has helped quite a bit, but I still get bored, and sometimes it still turns out a bit fuzzy, thanks to my hair's natural inclination to be 80s big and fluffy.

When I received these new Blow Dry creams from Bumble & Bumble I wasn't really expecting a lot.  I've got a fair few blow dry creams already, and they don't really make a difference to my hair.  At £23, they're not cheap, but wow - these do make a difference to my hair.  All-Style is designed for thinner or more oily hair, and it's not quite heavy duty enough to deal with my colour-treated fuzz, but the original Straight version and the new, seriously hydrating Repair version are veritable blow dry genius.

A small squidge smoothed through the hair magically coats it, protecting it from heat, and encouraging it to dry faster and dry smoother.  With a hair dryer and a paddle brush, I can dry it absolutely straight - straight enough that my colleagues notice I've straightened it.  With my Big Hair, I can get a smooth, bouncy, curly-ended blow dry which actually looks as if someone skilled did it.

And I swear it takes less time to dry my hair with this stuff than without.
And my hair lasts so much longer than normal in it's shiny blow dried state, rather than returning quickly to curly fuzz.


These creams are going to remain a big part of my hair styling routine until they run out, and then I will buy a new tube of the Repair variety, which really quenches my dry ends.  If you struggle to blow dry your hair, these creams are absolutely, definitely, completely worth trying.

Disclosure: PR samples

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

Thursday, 11 December 2014

Bourjois 1 Seconde Nail Enamel in Grey To Meet You and Glitterizer

Meet two new polishes for the Christmas season from Bourjois - bucking the usual festive themed colours, they've gone monochrome instead of red and green.  Grey To Meet You is a gloriously deep rich grey shade, and Glitterizer is full of flaky silver glitter which works beautifully well on top of Grey To Meet You for an edgy yet still sparkly nail look.

Both are from the 1 Seconde range, which means you get an excellent brush which spreads colour quickly and evenly across the nail.  You'll need two coats of Grey To Meet You for an opaque finish, and unfortunately Glitterizer isn't particularly smooth in the application - there's a bit of selective poking requires to get the glitter evenly distributed across the nail.

Find them at the usual Bourjois stockists for £5.99 each.

Disclosure: PR samples

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

Wednesday, 10 December 2014

Things I Don't Need: Chanel Rouge Allure Lipstick in Pirate

I need more red lipstick like I need more full skirts.  Or more black tights.  Or more of anything I already have quite a lot of.  But, you know, when you find yourself in Debenhams in Oxford Street fifteen minutes early for an appointment, what's a girl to do?  Buy unnecessary red lipstick, of course.

I'll admit I bought this because my hair has newly returned to red from bright, neon pink, and the thing I missed most whilst having pink hair was the ability to wear red lipstick.  Particularly gloriously ruby reds like this.  So I bought a new one.  Mostly because it's ruby red, and it's called Pirate.

Fun fact:  the Chanel lady put me off buying a Rouge Coco because the entire range is being discontinued.

Anyway, Rouge Allure is a gorgeously creamy, well pigmented lipstick which glides onto the lip, stays moist throughout it's slightly better than average three hour wear time, and wears down to a lovely ruby stain on the lip.  It also comes in very interesting packaging - you click the golden bit on the black tube inwards, and out pops a golden tube containing the Chanel-embossed lipstick.  Clicking it in and out of the black casing is very, very satisfying indeed.

Granted, at £26, this is a very luxe lipstick - I'm sure I remember a time when high end lipsticks meant spending around £20, rather than the edging-close-to-£30 people are now charging.  Even so, I absolutely love it - for the richness of the colour, for the very enjoyably functional packaging, and for the lovely satiny feel on the lip./  Find it at Boots.

Disclosure:  Bought by me.

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

Tuesday, 9 December 2014

Collectif Lucy Hat

I know this isn't the usual post about some kind of beauty product, but LOOK AT MY NEW HAT!  My team held a Secret Santa event this week at work, and I was the very lucky recipient of this rather lovely vintage style hat, from my favourite shop, Collectif.  I absolutely love it, and I was so pleased that my Secret Santa chose such a fitting gift.  Best Secret Santa ever.

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

Monday, 8 December 2014

All Finished: Smashbox Photo Set Finishing Powder

It's rare for me to completely finish a makeup product, so when I do, it's generally a sign that a product is very, very good indeed.  Smashbox's Photo Set Finishing Powder is one of those super light, silicone/silica powders which sets makeup and absorbs oil without looking cakey at all.  It's a bit scary looking in the pot, being bright white and not unlike icing sugar, but once it's on your face, it gives you a soft focus, polished look which lasts and lasts.

At £19 for 4.8g, it's well worth the cash.  Well, until you realise that it's actually exactly the same as the Eyes Lips Face version, which costs a paltry £6.95 for 8g.  I know which one I'll be repurchasing!

Disclosure:  Originally a PR sample from a long, long time ago.

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

Thursday, 4 December 2014

BUY THIS NOW: Bourjois Ultra Black Volume 1 Seconde Mascara and Mega Liner

One last post about the latest from Bourjois, and then I'll stop, I promise.  After the mildly exciting new(ish) lip colours and the pretty exciting new cream eyeshadow colours comes the very exciting ultra-black editions of Bourjois' existing Volume 1 Second mascara and Mega Liner.  First off, a note on Ultra Black editions - I'm not entirely sure why so many brands release their mascara and eyeliner products in 'black' and then follow up a new months later with 'ultra black'.  Sure, there's a difference, but how many people are really going to choose black over ultra black?

Pondering aside, the reason I'm so excited by these two products is perhaps partially because this is the first time I've tried either, so I'm definitely excited by the ultra-dark colour, but also excited because they perform so damn well.

1 Seconde Mascara claims to build volume super-fast - and whilst it's definitely not possible to get voluminous lashes in a single stroke (a single second), a single coat of well applied, root-to-tip-wiggled mascara gives excellent volume with decent definition, all in a rich, smoky black shade.  If you want to really up the ante, you can try layering, although after the first coat you'll need to be careful of clumps.  For a mere £9.99, this is one of the best speedy-volume mascaras I've tried in quite some time.

The Mega Liner, £7.49, is a slightly more daunting prospect - it's chiseled, fat nib allows you to apply a fine line or a really thick graphic one.  I've been using it for a finer line - my eyes are too hooded to manage graphic eyeliner particularly well - and I've found that I need to be careful not to let the nib to rotate whilst stroking along the lashline - if it does, the result is a variably thick line which is then a bugger to replicate on the other eye.

With a steady hand, though, the result is a smooth, even, perfectly opaque line which stays on remarkably well.  It performs just as well as Urban Decay's Ink for Eyes, which is double the price at £15.  Paired with the Volume 1 Seconde mascara, you get a wide eyed, polished and defined look, perfect for early winter mornings and late Christmas party nights.  It's rare for samples to immediately become every day essentials, but since I received this perfect eye pairing, I've been using them more or less every day.

Disclosure:  PR sample

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

Bobbi Brown Scotch on the Rocks Lipstick in Bordeaux

Bobbi Brown's Christmas collection features deep red lips and sparkling golden eyes - nothing particularly new or exciting.  The Bobbi factor means that the reds are flattering on all skin types and have textures which blend the best of pigmentation and moisture for a luminous finish, and the golden eyes are lit with sparkling shades which are buildable from subtle to intense.

This lipstick is an absolute corker - named Bordeaux, it's probably the most full on of the Christmas lipstick shades (the others are a neutral pink and a classic red).  It's a gloriously deep, rich wine-red, with a semi-matte finish.  I absolutely love it, for being a flatteringly neutral toned deep red, and for being an alternative to the usual classic blue red most brands trot out at this time of year.

Most interestingly, it has a very curved, contoured tip to the bullet - the surface you use to apply it to the lip is concave, meaning that it (in theory) hugs the lip as you apply it.  I found it a little awkward for the top lip, and very ergonomic for the bottom lip, so somewhat mixed on results - I also suspect that those with lips less full than mine might struggling to avoid going over the lipline.  You can see in the photo above I've gone a little outside my top lipline anyway.

At £22, this isn't a cheap lipstick, but it's festive packaging, Bobbi quality, and neutral, suits-all shade makes it a Christmas hit for me.  Find it now at the Bobbi Brown 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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