Wednesday, 2 September 2015

Sephora + NARS Birthday Gift: Cruella Velvet Matte Lip Pencil & Rikugien Satin Lip Pencil


Ah, Sephora, why haven't you come back to our shores?!  A recent (okay, not so recent, but hey) trip to the States saw me being presented with this adorable little set - two mini versions of Nars' popular lip pencils, in popular shades Cruella (Velvet Matte) and Rikugien (Satin).  I love that the box says 'One Year Bolder'.  So uncompromising.

Anyway - I've long lusted after Cruella from afar, and it is indeed exactly My Kinda Thing, being blood red, matte as anything, and very long wearing.  I was more surprised by how much I like Rikugien - it's a lovely beigey pink with the slightest shimmer to the finish, and it's a lovely neutral for people who hate beige lips.  Texture wise, Rikugien is much silkier than Cruella, and unsurprisingly doesn't last quite as long either.

Once I hit the end of Rikugien, I may well purchase a full size - now, if only there were a Sephora I could purchase from in London....

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

Monday, 31 August 2015

Clarins 5-Colour Eye Palette in Pretty Day

This Pretty Day palette is a bit of a departure from Clarin's usual golden compacts - instead of the heavy, metallic plastic casing, it sports a cardboard casing which is lightweight in the hand and at once a little more flimsy than I'd like.  The addition of an elastic closure makes it a little more travel suitable, but given a choice, I'd far rather the sturdy packaging of old than this newer version.

Packaging aside, the five shadows within are lovely, just as you'd expect from Clarins.  Pigmentation is medium, giving you the ability to wear the shades as a sheer wash of colour or to build them up, and the finish on all five is lovely - the two matte shades aren't chalky at all, and the shimmer shades have a lovely almost metallic finish to them.

My favourite of the five, unsurprisingly, is the middle shade - a cool beige taupe which goes well with the darkest brown for a shimmering gradient eye (as I'm wearing above).  Although this palette is the day version (there's a Pretty Night available too), the two darker browns can easily smoke a more neutral day look up for the evening.

At £33, Pretty Day is Pretty Expensive - just a fiver more will buy you sturdier packaging, a better brush, and seven more eyeshadows in one of Urban Decay's Naked palettes.  The major difference is in the pigmentation - UD shadows are full on, and these Clarins shadows are more forgiving.  I'm not sure that quite closes the gap, but if it does for you, you'll find these online now.

Disclosure:  PR sample

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

Friday, 28 August 2015

BUY THIS NOW: KIKO Power Pro Nail Lacquer in 13, 02, 12

Kiko's new nail varnishes are simply stunning!  Power Pro Nail Lacquer is designed to give ultra shiny colour with a long wearing finish - Kiko are claiming up to seven days chip-free wear.  As well as that impressive wear time, they also boast a specially shaped brush and a smooth, easy to apply texture.

Unusually, much of the PR claims are true - the colours are beautifully shiny even without topcoat, the polish glides onto the nail smoothly, helped out by the fan shaped, densely bristled brush, and the wear time is excellent - with topcoat I get about six days before my nails start to chip, impressive given how hard working my hands are.

Alongside all this gloriousness, Power Pro lacquers also have an impressively dense amount of pigment in them - the swatches above are one coat on the red and the bright pink, and two on the pale pink.  The coverage is just brilliant - I can't remember the last time I was so impressed by a nail polish.

All this, and they only cost £4.90, and come in a wide range of 45 shades from brights to pretty neutrals.  I'll definitely be investing in a few more!  Find them at the Kiko website now.

Disclosure:  PR samples

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

Wednesday, 26 August 2015

Makeup Forever Aqua Liner in Diamond Turquoise Blue

Makeup Forever are known for their waterproof products - so I was a bit surprised to find that one of their Aqua products is a little lackluster.  Aqua Liner, £16, is a liquid liner with waterproof properties - it has a firm, pointed flocked applicator which allows you to follow the lashline closely to apply a smooth line of colour.

But the line of colour, at least with the Diamond Turquoise Blue variety, is disappointingly sheer.  It's not patchy - a problem often found in this format - but rather just a bit wishy washy.  Layering it up gives it more opacity and a bolder look, but for a brand so known for the quality of their waterproof products, I can't help but be a little disappointed.

That said, once it's on, it's not going anywhere - this swatch took rather a lot of cleansing oil to remove.  I also like that the texture is lighter and less plastic-y than other waterproof liners - it doesn't sit on the skin or peel off in one go.  I've heard that the Diamond shades, which have a slight sparkle to them, are a little less intense than the others, so perhaps this lack of oomph is only a problem for them - but either way, if you're looking for intense colour, go elsewhere.

Disclosure:  PR sample

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

Monday, 24 August 2015

BUY THIS NOW: Makeup Revolution Iconic Pro 1 Eyeshadow Palette

Ah, Makeup Revolution, creators of very cheap and surprisingly good makeup.  This is one of their latest eyeshadow palettes - I'm not sure what makes it 'iconic' or 'pro' compared to the others, but hey.

Inside the sturdy but lightweight casing, you get sixteen shades - eight matte, eight sparkly - a large and useful mirror, and (dun dun DUUUUUUN) a BRUSH.  An actual double ended brush instead of a foam applicator.  GASP.  It's described as a 'pro' brush, and that's grasping a bit, because it's a bit on the small and stiff side, and pretty much guarantees you have to re-dip the brush and bring it up to your lids multiple times.  But it's not a foam applicator, which makes it infinitely better.  It'll do.

This naming thing has become a bit of a Thing for Makeup Revolution.  I'm not too fond of the plastic sheet which actually names the shadows, because it obscures the lovely makeup within, makes the palette hard to photograph (blogger problem) and when you inevitably lose the insert, how will you name the shade you're raving about to your friends (makeup obsessive problem)?

ANYWAY.  Here are the actual shadows.  I'll label them with their names in the swatches underneath (which go left to right, first row then second row) so you don't have to worry if you lose your plastic insert.  You're welcome.

Ghost, Luna, Must, Enigma
Fade, Drama, Afflicted, Pitch
Need, Dawn, Getter, Breathe
Too Grey, Stage, Addicted, Player
What's surprised me the most is that the matte shades are actually pretty good for such a cheap palette.  I find most cheap matte shadows to be chalky, sheer, and impossible to get a really good result from, and whilst these are still a little sheer, they're not chalky at all - build them up a bit and you'll get a good matte finish and a nice blend.  As you can see in the photo below, where I have applied Luna to the browbone and innner corner, Fade to my lid, Afflicted to the crease, and Pitch to the outer v.

Nice, eh?  It's easy enough to make a good, cheap shimmer shadow, but a well priced and usable matte is a find indeed.

All this costs a mere £6.99, which is one hell of a bargain.  Run, don't walk, to your nearest Superdrug, or buy online from Superdrug or direct from Makeup Revolution.  You'll be impressed, I promise.

Disclosure:  PR sample

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

Saturday, 22 August 2015

Bourjois 1 Seconde Nail Polish in Blue Lagoon, Pink-tude & Palm Peach

These summer colours from Bourjois are perfect for warm weather - their soft, almost-pastel but slightly juicier shades are pretty and bright and probably look great with a tan.  Not that I can really prove that, being incapable of tanning myself.

Anyway, as usual, the 1 Seconde format means very quick application - the brush is wide and fans out to glide colour onto the nail perfectly smoothly in a single stroke.  They dry quickly, and are pretty shiny even without topcoat.  The nail wheel above is sporting two coats, and the colour is perfectly even and opaque.

Find them at Boots, for the usually bargain-tastic price of £5.99.

Disclosure:  PR samples

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

Thursday, 20 August 2015

Surprisingly Bad: REN Rose Centifolia 3-in-1 Micellar Cleansing Water

Since Bioderma reached our shores from France a few years back, everyone and their dog has been formulating micellar waters for us to cleanse our faces with.  REN is no exception, and since my bottle of Bioderma was running low, I thought I'd try their Rose Centifolia micellar water in its place- after all, REN's skincare is generally lovely, and it being from the Rose Centifolia range, it was bound to smell lovely and be a joy to use.

Bad move.  While Bioderma excels at removing stubborn waterproof makeup, the REN micellar struggles to remove it fully, requiring a fairly hard bit of scrubbing as well as multiple applications to fully remove my waterproof mascara, leaving my eyes looking a bit red and raw.  Which is a shame, as I wear waterproof mascara most days.

If you're looking at it as a second cleansing step after an oil cleanse, or a light morning cleanser, then perhaps it's good enough.  But as a lazy person's way of removing makeup, it doesn't have a chance against Bioderma.  It does smell absolutely lovely though.  Find it at FeelUnique, where it costs £13.

Disclosure:  Bought by me.  

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