Thursday, 31 October 2013

Review: Lily Lolo Shimmer Stripes in Honey Glow

Lily Lolo is a brand I remember from the start of the mineral makeup revolution.  The States had Bare Minerals, and the UK had Lily Lolo as an alternative - they started off with powder foundations which you could buy in sample sizes to get the right shade, and since then they've gone from strength to strength.  Recently, the brand has introduced pressed mineral products (much like Bare Minerals), including this pretty Shimmer Stripes palette.

Like many of the shimmer strips products channelling Bobbi Brown, it contains a selection of soft, shimmering shades which can be applied individually or swirled together.  I far prefer using this sort of product swirled together on the cheeks, as the shades aren't different enough individually to make for the kind of eyeshadow palette I like.

Honey Glow contains shades of shimmering champagne, pink, and golden beige.  The powder is finely milled, soft to the touch, and picks up easily with a brush from the pallette.

As you can see from the swatch above, the effect is subtly glowing rather than overly metallic.  There's a small amount of pigment, making the colour apply sheerly to the skin.

On the cheekbones, it's not strong enough to stand in for blush, but it is a perfectly good golden toned highlighter which adds radiance without adding glitter.  The shades work well as eyeshadow too, although you will get a more sheer, shimmering effect rather than an intensely pigmented, richly coloured eye look.

At £20, I'm somewhat torn over whether this palette is overpriced or not.  The compact is sleek in white, and contains a decent sized mirror, and the powder itself is nice enough, but it is pretty subtle, both on eyes and cheeks.  If you're more into a natural, pared back look, this would be a welcome addition to your makeup bag - but if, like me, you like a stronger look, you might find it a little underpowered.

Find it now at the Lily Lolo website, where Honey Glow Shimmer Stripes costs £19.99.

Disclosure: PR sample

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

Wednesday, 30 October 2013

OMGGLITTER: Urban Decay Naked Illuminated Shimmering Powder

The final piece of Urban Decay's Christmas puzzle, which contains two eyeliner sets, and two eyeshadow palettes, this shimmer powder is described as a "soft, glowing beige powder".

It comes in a very pretty compact with a sparkling beige top and tea-coloured flower motifs.  There's a mirror in the top, and underneath the powder, there's a mini fan brush to application.

The domed powder is quite big - it's clearly something designed to be used for body as well as face.  Looking at it, it's a soft, pale champagne coloured powder, with shimmer.  But... the shimmer you can see on the pan isn't the whole story.  When you apply it....


The sparkles in this powder are fairly big, and instead of a subtle highlighting sheen, you get a distinctly glittery effect.  I also found that the glitter particles are pretty fine, and seemed to migrate easily onto my clothes, into my hair.... even onto my cat*.

So, if you're looking for a subtle highlighter to give you that lovely sheen on your cheekbones, collarbone, etc - stay well away.  If you like looking more like a discoball, or if you have a party to go to, this might well float your boat.  Find it now at Debenhams where it will cost you £20.

Disclosure: PR sample

* Might be exaggerating a little here.

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

Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Daniel Sandler Watercolour Creme Rouge in Sunset

Daniel Sandler's cult cheek product is undoubtedly the rather lovely Watercolour liquid blush.  The little bottles of colour are fabulous for a soft, shimmering cheek look, but really require a brush to apply properly, making them a little less suitable for slinging in your handbag or for travel.  Watercolour Creme Rouge is the answer - the same beautiful blendability and soft effect, but in a cream compact.

The packaging is a little on the basic side - the colour sits in a sturdy rubber-effect plastic pan, which is nice.  Unfortunately it's protected from the top by a simple clear plastic domed lid, which looks like it might smash easily in a busy makeup bag.  It also means there's no mirror, which is always a shame, particularly for a product you might like to carry around with you.

This shade, Sunset, is described as a rich golden peach.  It looks a little ORANGE in the pan, albeit less so on the skin, but there's definitely something a bit orange toned about it.  It's definitely not subtle, in the pan or swatched.

Pigmentation, though, is clearly excellent.  This is a quick finger-swatch dabbed from pan to hand, and the colour opacity is really impressive.

Blendability is also excellent, with the product melting and smoothing over the skin with extreme ease.  I like blending it in with my fingers, but a brush would do an equally good job.  As there's a fair bit of brown in the base, I've applied it under and just over my cheekbones, for a flash of colour and a bit of contouring action.

All in all, I'm impressed with the product, even if I'm not sure of the colour.  Sunset is a little strong and a little warm for my liking, but on deeper or warmer skintones, it'd be stunning.  The texture and finish are fabulous, though - creamy, blendable, but not sticky or overly slick once applied to the face.

At £15.50, it's not a cheap option - but thanks to that excellent pigmentation, I can see it lasting a long old while, so on a cost-per-wear basis it's very decent indeed.  Find it now at the Daniel Sandler website.

Disclosure: PR sample

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

Monday, 28 October 2013

Quick Pick: B Stunning Vibrant Eye Shimmer in Rockstar and Lizzie

Another day, another cream eyeshadow.  These are from Superdrug brand B, cost a mere £6.99, and promise a richly pigmented finish.  Unlike the Bourjois cream eyeshadows I tried recently, they have a very creamy texture which translates from the pot to the fingertip.  They spread easily, and set down within a minute or so after application.

Left to right:  Rockstar, Lizzie

Rockstar is described as a metallic mushroom, but I think it's more of a deep purplish grey, and Lizze is a neutral peachy pink.  Lizzie seems to be shimmer-free, which is a little odd given that this product is called B Stunning Vibrant Eye Shimmer.

Rockstar is the stand out colour for me - it's almost a dupe of Chanel Illusoire, although Illusoire has more bright silver shimmer in the finish, where Rockstar is more grungy.  Wear is reasonable - without primer, I get four hours before creasing, and with primer these last around 8 - 10 hours before they start looking a bit bedraggled.  Less oily lids may find them more long lasting.  Application is definitely easier with a synthetic brush than with a fingertip.

Find them now at Superdrug stores, and online (when Superdrug finally update their site to show the new shades).

Disclosure: PR samples

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

Sunday, 27 October 2013

Review: Massage and Facial at The Chelsea Day Spa Boutique, Hollywood Road

Last week, I took myself down to The Chelsea Day Spa's boutique branch on Hollywood Road, a fifteen minute walk (or five minute cab journey for the lazy) from Earl's Court.  I'd had a long, tiring week full of unfeasible deadlines, late night calls with Americans, and endless meetings.  I really, really needed some down time, and was very much looking forward to the half hour mini-facial and half-hour massage I had booked in.

The spa itself is pretty compact - despite occupying a space as small as your average high street beauty parlour, it still manages to feel upmarket.  The reception area was small, but contained a pretty sofa for waiting, complete with a basket of oranges (for the healthy) and a jar of biscuits (for me).  The ubiquitous nail bar was secluded but still flooded with light - whilst it was still in the same room as the reception, it was boxed in with massive windows, to give privacy without making you feel like you're in a tiny, lightless room.

I was questioned pretty comprehensively about my tastes and health before I was led into a compact treatment room.  The bed was heated, and a vapouriser sat in one corner, giving the room and delicious lemon scent which was at once refreshing and relaxing.

My treatment started with a half hour massage - I'd asked for firm, deep pressure, as I don't really feel a massage has worked unless my usually tense muscles are forcibly relaxed with a good pummelling.  My therapist, Noemi, told me that she could sort my muscles out without pain, and she was as good as her word.  Using just her fingertips and elbows, she dug deeply into my muscles without making me yelp or tense up further - I drifted off into a relaxed trance, enjoying every minute.  Half an hour flew by, and before I knew it, I was rolled over onto my back, with my shoulders given a final stretch.

My half hour facial was surprisingly effective for being quite short - it included a cleanse, exfoliation, massage and application of various creams. My eye makeup was left intact, which I really appreciated - I dislike travelling home on the tube with a completely bare face.  The facial massage was the stand out part of the experience - Noemi used her fingertips to gently but deeply manipulate my facial muscles, and I was left with skin which looked firmer and felt plumped up, and absolutely glowed.

Overall, I was very impressed with The Chelsea Day Spa's boutique on Hollywood Road - after just an hour I floated off home feeling super relaxed and with skin which looked like it'd had hours spent on it, rather than just thirty minutes.  I'll definitely be going back for more of Noemi's magical massage.

The thirty minute Chelsea Girl mini facial costs £45, and the thirty minute back, neck and shoulder massage also costs £45.  Find out more at The Chelsea Day Spa website.

Disclosure:  treatments provided free of charge for review purposes

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

Friday, 25 October 2013

Cheap and Cheerful: MUA Colour Blast Eyeshadow Tint in Diamonds and Bring It Back

MUA's new Colour Blast Eyeshadow Tints are *ahem* a little like a certain other eyeshadow stick we could mention, right down to the shades.  Diamonds, the pink shade above, is certainly very similar to Pink and Plenty from the Clinique Chubby Stick for Eyes range released earlier this year.  The format is very familiar - chunky stick, twist up bottom, creamy shadow formula designed to be applied to the eyes and blended with a finger.  For some reason MUA have chosen to put a sticker on the lid depicting an eye - perhaps to prevent us thinking it's the 90s and applying frosty brown and pink shades to our lips?  I don't know.

Left to right:  Bring It Back, Diamonds

The sticks have a different bullet shape to Chubby Sticks - and actually I prefer this shape.  The pointed end allows you to go right underneath the eye without covering your whole eye area in shadow, and makes the sticks more usable as a chunky, smoky liner, should you be so inclined.

Left to right:  Bring It Back, Diamonds
Swatched, they're pretty decently pigmented - although the pink, Diamonds, is a little bit patchy.  Easily solved with some layering, though.  The texture is a little on the waxy, draggy side - it's worth warming them up on the back of your hand before going to your eyelids.  Wear on me was only okay - my oily lids ate through the colour in four hours or so without primer, but with primer or on less oily lids I expect they'd perform much better.

At a mere £3 each, these chubby chunky sticks pencils are truly excellent value.  Find them at the MUA website or in Superdrug stores, where they're available in six shades.

Disclosure: PR sample

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

Thursday, 24 October 2013

Review: No 7 Stay Perfect Eyeshadow Duo in Seductive Charm

This eyeshadow duo is part of No 7's new autumn collection, which is made up of two nail polishes, two lip crayons, and this eyeshadow.  Part of me can't help thinking that the brand has lost its way a little since the departure of Lisa Eldridge - it's a pared down little collection with noticeably less cohesiveness than past collections.  Anyway - I had high hopes for this eyeshadow duo, as it is formed of delightfully cool toned purples, which are some of my favourite shades to wear.

The basic black compact contains two shades - a bright pale lilac with a subtle pink flash (which proved an absolute bugger to photograph) and a sludgy, grey toned plum with silver micro-glitter.  So far so good.

Unfortunately though, the texture lets Seductive Charm down.  The paler shade is verging on chalky, and really makes you work hard to get decent opacity - layering and pressing the shadow into the lid is the only way to get a good finish.  The darker shade, whilst perfectly lovely as a crease or liner colour, suffers from fallout of the silvery glitter.  The base grey/purple blends perfectly well, but the glitter ends up on my cheeks or patchily spread across my lid.

For £8, I don't expect miracles, but I do expect better textures from No 7.  Give this a miss unless you really, really love the colours and are convinced you can make the textures work for you.  Find it now at, and at Boots stores.

Disclosure: PR sample

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

Wednesday, 23 October 2013

New for Autumn: Bourjois Colour Boost Crayon in Plum Russian

Bourjois have added a new shade to their Colour Boost crayon lineup for autumn/winter - and it's a bit of a corker.  Plum Russian is a lovely, purple toned plum which adds plenty of colour and interest for autumn without being at all vampy.

I reviewed two of the summer shades way back when the sun was shining, and found that Bourjois' take on the crayon craze is the perfect blend of pigmentation, shine, and comfortable wear.  Plum Russian is no exception - it goes on smoothly and evenly, and wears comfortably down to a slight stain.

Paired with fresh skin, pink cheeks and plenty of mascara, it makes for a lovely transitional colour.  And at just £7.99, it's a very affordable treat which punches well above it's pricetag.  Find it now at Amazon, where it's £7.82, or at the usual highstreet stockists.

Disclosure: PR sample

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

Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Urban Decay Ocho Loco 2 24/7 Glide On Eye Pencil Set

We had a look at one of the Urban Decay 24/7 Glide On Eye Pencil sets being released for Christmas last week - and here's the other one.  Ocho Loco 2 is a followup to the original Ocho Loco set released last year, which was (according to the press release) very popular.  I seem to have missed last year's version, but I've got this year's version to show you.

There are a variety of shades in this collection - from the darkest black (Perversion, which I suspect is the blackest black liner ever) to the bright turquoise of Deep End, there's also a mix of finishes.  Some are matte, some satin, and some contain a ton of glitter.  They're all full size, too.

You also get a sharpener with the set, which is pretty handy.

The best thing about swatching eyeliner like this is that I no longer need to caption all my images with the names of what I'm swatching.  That means I can pretty much use the captions for something else.

Perversion is an incredible black - so inky and sooty.  Roach and Twice Baked both look sheer in comparison, and both contain a good dose of sparkle - a more metallic sheen on Roach, and golden glitter in Twice Baked.

For example, I could tell you that I currently have about 25 Urban Decay 24/7 Glide On Eye Pencils in my collection, and I'm fairly sure if I laid them all out, I'd find a new "exclusive" shades which are pretty much the same as some of the ones in the permanent collection.
Crave is one of the rare matte shades - it's a brown black which is a little on the sheer side, giving more subtle definition.  Deep End and Mars both have a metallic finish to them - and both are intensely pigmented, giving a bright, opaque finish.

Also, who came up with the name Urban Decay 24/7 Glide On Eye Pencil?  It's almost as if UD wanted to cause bloggers' fingers to almost fall off from having to capitalise about a million words in the product name.
Ultraviolet is a little on the patchy side, but it's absolutely stuffed with violet glitter, and is very attention grabbing and sparkly.  Tornado is a little more reserved - it's billed as being somewhat similar to the deep sparkling plum Rockstar shade, but it's a little more blue/black than Rockstar, which is very definitely purple.

The Ocho Loco 2 set will cost you £40 at House of Fraser - not bad for 8 eyeliners which retail for around £14 each - although the usual caveat applies - if you've been collection 24/7 Glide On Eye Pencils for a while, you might find you have some dupes for these shades.

Disclosure: PR samples

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

Monday, 21 October 2013

Urban Decay Shattered Face Case for Christmas 2013

Another day, another part of Urban Decay's Christmas 2013 offering.  Today it's the turn of the Shattered Face Case - and this one is sure to be a hit with Urban Decay collectors.  All the past Face Cases have been insanely popular.  This one sports a pretty, faceted design in the lid, and two layers of products for the whole face.

Sunday, 20 October 2013

COMPETITION: Carex Hand Cream in Aloe Vera and Vitamin E

I don't really get excited by hand cream.  When I was offered the chance to review two new hand creams from Carex and the opportunity to give away 6 tubes to readers of LBR, though, I was interested - because these aren't just hand creams.  Carex have formulated them to provide instant hydration, long lasting moisture, and an antibacterial action.  It's that last bit which is a little unusual - most hand creams are concerned with moisture and nothing else.  These hand creams are plenty moisturising but come with the additional benefit for antibacterial action - and they're much, much nicer than using antibacterial hand gel.  You know, the alcoholic stuff which leaves your hands feeling rather dry.  Not nice, but a necessity if you travel on the Tube regularly.

There's not a great deal of difference between the Vitamin E and the Aloe Vera varieties - the scent is slightly different, with the Aloe version smelling ever so slightly more medicinal.  Both sink in quickly into the hands, leaving them feeling velvety soft and not at all sticky.  Fingers back on the keyboard within a minute.

If you're the kind of person who carries hand sanitising gel as well as hand cream in your bag, you might find that this two-in-one product gives you the best of both worlds in one tube.  I'll be slipping one into my bag from now on.

I also mentioned I have 3 tubes of each variety to give away.  This'll be a Twitter competition - just follow me and retweet the competition tweet, and you're good to go.

Disclosure:  PR samples. Competition prizes provided by Carex PR, and will be posted to the winners by Carex PR.  

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

Superdrug Lash Stash - £10 bargain

This Studio London Lash Stash at Superdrug gives you four sets of ornate lashes - including some very pretty Paperself style graphic cut out lashes - for a mere £10.  Bargain.

Find the set at Superdrug now.

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

Saturday, 19 October 2013

Illamasqua Creators Collection

Illamasqua have teamed up with a few favourite bloggers to create a mini-collection called Creators - it pays homage to Illamasqua's online popularity, in celebration of their 5th birthday.  I can't quite believe they're been around for 5 years - feels like yesterday they were bursting onto the scene with their refreshing attitude towards makeup.

The collection is made up of two lip glosses - one Intense and one Sheer - and two nail polishes.

The lipglosses are Wanderlust, an Intense lipgloss with an interesting brown base with multi-coloured shimmer.  It's pretty striking.  Culminate is a sheer gloss, and has a peachy pink base with copper glitter.

The polishes are my favourites of this collection, mostly because I always wear polish and I rarely wear gloss.  Perseid is a deep purple black with multi-coloured glitter in multiple sizes - it's absolutely beautiful in the bottle.  Fusion is a cool bronze shade with silver and gold glitter.

On the nail, I find myself preferring Fusion - it has a low level sparkle which really catches the light, and it applies like a dream - smooth, virtually opaque in one coat, and easy to remove for a sparkly polish.  Perseid is the opposite.  The glitter makes it somewhat gloopy and chunky, and you really have to work to get it even on the nail.

You'll find Illamasqua's Creators collection online now, where each piece will cost you £14.50.

Disclosure: PR samples

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

Friday, 18 October 2013

Bourjois Colour Edition 24h Eyeshadow

Let me ask you a question.  When was the last time you wished your eyeshadow had lasted a full 24 hours, instead of the paltry 12 hours that usually encompasses a day at work, a commute, and an evening before you remove your makeup?  For me, the answer is never.  Bourjois, though, have recently released a new eyeshadow which claims to last 24 hours - so evidently there are some people who want their shadow to last a full day.

Encased in heavy glass pots, these little cream to powder shadows are similar to the slew of long wearing, cream to powder shadows we've seen recently, from the likes of Maybelline, Estee Lauder, Kiko....

In the pot, they look a little one dimensional.  But swatched...

Left to right:  Bleu Tenebreux, Prune Nocturne, Kaki Cheri

Swatched, they have good pigmentation, and a lovely semi-metallic sparkly finish.  The blue shade, Bleu Tenebreux, is a little patchy, but with a little layering that's easily solved.  I was somewhat surprised to find that they translate quite sheerly to the eyes - the colour can be built up to whatever intensity you like, but the first swipe is somewhat subtle.  This is somewhat different to Maybelline's Colour Tattoo shadows, which are intensely opaque the second you apply then.

Kaki Cheri
Kaki Cheri
Wear wise, I didn't even try to test these for 24 hours.  I was pleasantly surprised to find that Kaki Cheri lasted a good six hours on me without primer before creasing, which is impressive - most cream shadows crease within an hour or so on my oily lids.  With primer, the colour looked freshly applied for around 14 hours or so.

For a mere £6.99, Bourjois' new cream-to-powder shadow is a bargain.  There are six shades to choose from, and you'll find them all at Boots.

Disclosure: PR sample

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

Thursday, 17 October 2013

Benefit Luv It Up Palette for Christmas

Benefit are giving us a staggering 17 different gift sets for Christmas this year.  There are cute tins with a selection of Benefit's top sellers, and makeup kits - one of which I have to show you today.  This is Luv It Up, which is the "cutest nudist makeup kit".

Before I show you the actual product though, please allow me to indulge in a small rant about how annoying I find it when people deliberately mis-spell words because it's "cute".  It's not cute.  It's really annoying.  Okay, end of rant, let's move on.

Inside the prettily printed outer cardboard sleeve, you'll find another prettily printed metal tin.  It's a sturdy piece of kit - it's not massively heavy, nor is it too lightweight, but it does protect the makeup inside nicely, and once you've finished the makeup, you can remove the insert and use the tin for something else.  Which is handy, assuming you can bear the deliberately bad spelling.  Or that you ever finish makeup (I've never finished anything that wasn't a mascara or a brow product).

Anyway.  Inside the tin, you get three shades of eyeshadow, a dinky little cream eyeshadow, and a mini Dandelion lipgloss (this one's 6.5ml, with the full size being 10ml).

All the shades are of the subtle, neutral variety.  The three eyeshadows allow you to create a contoured, nude eye, and the cream shadow is just as good a highlighter as it is a cream shadow.

top row:  r.s.v.p. Creaseless Cream Eyeshow; middle row: Call My Bluff, Nude Swings, Thanks a Latte; bottom row: Dandelion lipgloss
When I swatched the products in the tin, I was a little surprised to find that the eyeshadows are all actually quite close in tone and shade.  In the pan, Thanks a Latte looks a fair bit darker than it looks on the skin.  That said, the four eye shades work together to make a polished contoured eye, and the gloss is pretty and wearable, even if it's not really setting the world alight.

Those of us with large makeup collections might find that there's nothing really stand out compared to the nude shades we already have, but this little tin would make a lovely gift for someone who's just getting into makeup, or someone who doesn't already wear neutrals.  It's a mere £19.50, which is a great deal for the amount of product you get in the tin.  Find it now at Benefit counters, and via their website, now.

Disclosure: PR sample

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