Wednesday, 30 April 2014

Kiko Cosmetics Life in Rio: Essential Bronzer in Warm Melange and Sun Lovers Blush in Copacabana Coral

Kiko's new Life in Rio collection is full of bright, juicy colours for summer.  I've got a few pieces from the collection to show you, and today we're starting off with the face products - namely the Essential Bronzer and Sun Lovers Blush.  Both are large, oversized discs of baked goodness, with good colour payoff, and decent sized mirrors in the compact.  And the compacts are adorned with a very pretty colourful design, too.

Left: Essential Bronzer in Warm Melange; right: Sun Lovers Blush in Copacabana Coral

Essential Bronzer in Warm Melange

Sun Lovers Blush in Copacabana Coral

Left: Essential Bronzer in Warm Melange; right: Sun Lovers Blush in Copacabana Coral
Although I still feel that Kiko's bronzers are too warm and orange toned to suit all skintones, this Warm Melange bronzer is only a little bit too warm for my cool toned skin.  The Copacabana Coral blush, though, is all sorts of right - it's a soft, pinky-peachy-coral colour, with a fine smattering of shimmer, and it's gorgeous for a pop of sunkissed colour.

Both powders are extremely soft, and if you try to swirl them with a firm bristled brush, you'll get all sorts of fall out.  Swirl gently, and you'll pick up plenty of colour.

And here I am wearing Warm Melange as a contour (just a little), and a soft layer of Copacabana Coral, concentrated on the apples of my cheeks.  While there is a bit of shimmer in Copacabana Coral, it doesn't really translate to the face strongly.

Personally, I would stay away from the Essential Bronzers, £16.90, unless your skin is warm or at least not super-pale.  If your skintone works with the shades, they're well worth investigating, particularly as a completely matte bronzer is often hard to find on the high street.  All skintones will find something to love in the shade range of the Sun Lovers Blush, £14.90, and the giant pan means it'll last an age.

More to come from this collection soon - including some MAC-a-like eyeliners!

Disclosure: PR samples

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

Tuesday, 29 April 2014

Stila Magnificent Metals Foil Finish Eyeshadow in Metallic Dusty Rose

My recent mini-Sephora spree had to include one of these Stila Magnificent Metals Foil Finish eyeshadows - I've been keeping half an eye on them since they launched, wondering if there was a space in my life for a super metallic eyeshadow, given that I rarely venture anywhere flashier than the pub of an evening.  My first choice colour, a lovely taupey lilac, wasn't available, so I snapped up Metallic Dusty Rose, which is a very silvery pink.

The little cardboard box contains three items - the eyeshadow itself, a tiny vial of liquid, and a mixing tray.  The liquid and the tray help you to mix the eyeshadow into a super-metallic liquid, which you then paint upon your lids.  You can also use the shadow dry, which gives a more sparkly, less metallic effect.

The texture of the eyeshadow itself is weird.  It's not really a solid, nor is it a powder, nor is it a cream.  It's almost like a ton of metallic flakes held together by a teeny tiny amount of jelly.  Pressing your finger onto the surface does cause it to give a little, and a swipe will get you a fingertip covered with little sparkly flakes of shadow.

Left - dry swatch; right - wet swatch
Natural ambient light

Left - dry swatch; right - wet swatch
Direct sunlight
The effects are stunning, provided you're up for a statement eye, and it's hard to describe just how beautifully this product catches the light - I've put a moving swatch on Instagram to help show how it looks in real life.  I've been really enjoying applying a bit of this colour dry on top of taupe eyeshadow for a neutral but sparkling look - I've yet to wear the full on metallic look in anything stronger than a flick of liner.  For applying dry, I'd recommend using a finger, and dabbing very carefully across the lid - it can be hard to get even application otherwise.  Applying wet is best left to a synthetic brush for ultimate smoothness.

I paid $32 for mine at Sephora - whereas over here, the Stila website is selling them for a staggering £33.50.  That's a pretty insane price differential - even adding tax to the US price doesn't bring it anywhere near the UK price.  If you fancy one of these, ask someone to bring you one home from the US rather than indulging here.

Disclosure: Purchased by me in a surprisingly restrained Sephora haul whilst in Seattle.

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

Monday, 28 April 2014

This Works In Transit Spray-On Moisture

As you might have guessed from the flurry of posts about US-only products, I've been doing a fair bit of work related travel to the States recently.  And whilst I love the opportunity to hang out with my American colleagues and maybe visit some of the local shops a tiny bit (ahem), I don't particularly like the flying part - partially because a snowboarding accident last year left my coccyx in a state where I still can't sit for longer than two hours without pain, partially because it's just bloody boring, and partially because my skin hates it.

Flying sucks moisture from the skin, and halfway through an eleven hour flight to the West coast, my skin starts to have visible flaky, dry patches and generally looks a bit crap.  Since I usually travel with colleagues there's no way I'll go barefaced and moisturise all the way there.  And that's where this lovely product from This Works comes in - it's a cabin-approved 100ml spray with plant oils, designed to keep the skin hydrated during travel.  I spritzed myself thoroughly with it throughout my recent flights, and found that my skin survived the trip far better - no dry patches at all.

It works best if you spritz it directly over the face, but if you're worried about accidentally squirting your neighbour (yep, did that), you can spray it into your hands and press it onto the face.  It's also lovely day-to-day for adding a moisture boost, or to soften your makeup if you've accidentally overdone it with the powder.  Find it at Boots or the This Works website from 5th May, where it'll cost you £18 - spendy, yes, but worthwhile if you're a regular traveller or need a bit of moisture during the day.

Disclosure: PR sample

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

Sunday, 27 April 2014

Swatches: Too Faced Natural Eyes Palette

Some of you may remember an earlier incarnation of the Too Faced Natural Eyes kit - Sarah wrote about it in 2010 and judged it almost a Naked-killer.  Well, it's been rethought, had a few colours changed around, and will be re-released as part of the Too Faced Spring collection.  I've got the new palette to show you today.

The palette contains twelve shades of eyeshadow, forming three colour combinations - Day, which is a subtle combination of matte shades; Classic, which is made up of shimmering tones of pinky beige and brown; and Fashion, which mixes matte, metal, and shimmer finishes in tones of brown and gold.

Day:  Heaven, Cashmere Bunny, Sexpresso
Classic:  Silk Teddy, Push Up, Erotica

Fashion: Nudie, Honey Pot, Chocolate Martini
As with all Too Faced palettes, you get a little look-book showing you how to use the shadows to create daytime, classic and fashion looks. But really, you don't need to be shown how to use these shades - they're all universally flattering, easy to apply, and very, very blendable.  I recently travelled to the US for a week for work, and this was the only eyeshadow palette I took with me - I got five days worth of looks from super natural to very smoky indeed from it.

I particularly like that the base shades have larger pans than the lid/liner shades.  Silk Teddy and Nudie are both perfect all-over-the-lid shades, and Heaven works well as a highlight as well as a base shade - having more of these shades makes perfect sense.

At £32, this isn't a particularly cheap palette - the Naked range have 3 more eyeshadows for £7 more - but it's very versatile, and the tin packaging is durable enough to be lugged around with you safely.  If you're looking for a more portable, just-as-adaptable alternative to Naked, Too Faced's Natural Eyes palette is well worth a look.  Find it soon at Debenhams.

Disclosure: PR sample

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

Friday, 25 April 2014

NOTD: KIKO Cosmetics Sun Show Nail Polish in 472 Tasty Grapes

Bright sunlight
Natural indirect light
KIKO's latest Life in Rio collection is bright with colour - and it includes a range of nail polishes designed to have a multi-dimensional effect in and out of the sun.  This one is called Tasty Grapes* and it's a real chameleon - in bright sunlight, it's a rich purple with tons of shimmer, but in lower light it's a golden grape glass fleck with a golden shift.

For a mere £5.90, it's one of the most interesting polishes I've seen in a while.  Wear time isn't great - I had chips within three days - but for something this pretty, I'll grin and bear it.  Find it now at the KIKO website.

Disclosure: PR sample

* Does Tasty Grapes sound a bit filthy to you?  No?  Just me then?

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

Thursday, 24 April 2014

Clinique Lash Power Feathering Mascara in Black Onyx

Clinique have a new mascara out, and it's called Lash Power Feathering Mascara.  I'm not quite sure what a Feathering Mascara is supposed to do - obviously it's not going to transform your lashes into peacock feathers (although that would be very, very cool).  I think Clinique have invented a new term to bring to mind lightness, flutteriness, and softness.

And just take a look at that brush - it's MASSIVE.  It's also pretty heavily bristled, but rather than the inflexible plastic spikes we've become used to, it uses much smaller bendy traditional bristles arranged in a fan-like manner.

Can you guess which eye has mascara on?
Clinique say that it provides 'out-to-there length and fine-tuned separation' and I think they've got it spot on.  For someone who likes a very, VERY volumising mascara for a heavily-mascara'ed look, it's a bit soft and pretty and light, but there's no denying that the lashes look great in this - excellent length, soft feeling, and a lash-multiplying, separating effect.  I've been wearing it with softer, more neutral eye looks and enjoying it very much.  Wear wise, it manages to stick to the lashes all day without smudging or flaking and removes easily enough with my regular oil cleanser.

If you like a soft and pretty lash look, Clinique's latest mascara is well worth a shot.  Find it now at Clinique counters and online at their website, where it'll cost you a relatively reasonable £18.

Disclosure: PR sample

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

Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Quick Pick: Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment in Cherry

I picked up Fresh's iconic Sugar Lip Treatment on a recent work trip to Seattle - I chose the tinted Cherry version, and I was very surprised to find that it's actually pretty pigmented for a tinted lip balm.  As you'd expect, it's tinted with a cherry red pigment, and it's akin to a sheer lipstick rather than to a tinted balm - I've been using it a lot when I want a soft red lip which isn't too shouty.

As a lip conditioning treatment, it's amazing - it goes on silky and buttery, but not in a thin layer which wears away quickly - there's a waxy element to it which sticks to the lips very well.  After a few hours, it wears away, leaving nothing but a whisper of colour, and lips which are soft and hydrated, and stay that way for the rest of the day.  Brilliant.

Fresh are stocked at Sephora, and you can now have one of these babies shipped from the Sephora website for $22.50.  Fresh do also have a shop in the UK, but no online presence at all, but you can call them up and place an order over the phone.  You'll find more details on the shop on the Fresh website.

Disclosure:  Purchased by me, in a very restrained trip to Sephora, in which I bought only four things, one of which was a replacement for something I'd finished.  Impressive, huh?

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

Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Too Faced Melted Liquidified Long Wear Lipstick in Melted Violet, Melted Peony, and Melted Ruby

Too Faced's Spring collection contains these lovely new lipstick formulas.  They're long wearing, high pigmented, and come with a soft sheen (at least for the first hour or so), and come in some surprisingly out there shades.

Melted Violet, Melted Peony, Melted Ruby
The lipstick is delivered via a sponge tip applicator, which gives you good control over the amount dispensed at a time, and lets you get a clean line around the lip line.  I find it easier to use than a sponge doe-foot as the colour saturates the applicator before it hits the lip, and once it does hit the lip it's easy to get an even, smooth application.

Melted Violet, Melted Peony, Melted Ruby

As you can see from the swatches, the pigmentation is intense.  Melted Peony and Melted Ruby are pretty standard lip colours - pink neutral, and pink red - but Melted Violet is a pretty crazy colour.  It's a blue toned purple, and it's seriously bright.  It looks crap on me, but I imagine it'd look stunning on darker skintones.

Melted Violet

See?  Looks crap.  Makes my teeth look yellow too.

Melted Peony

Surprisingly, Melted Peony is my favourite of the three shades I've tried - it's a perfect neutral pink.  It's pigmented enough to cover over the slight blue tinge around my lips, and it's flattering without being insipid.

Melted Ruby
Melted Ruby is a classic bright pink toned red, and it's glorious - bright, punchy, and with a lovely sheen to the finish which is a nice change to the more common matte finish you find in this shade.  Curiously, you can really see the fuschia base tone around the outline of the lips, making for a subtle ombre rather than a flat red.

Texture wise, these lipsticks are lovely - they're more akin to a lacquer, but apply more silkily, and don't feel tacky on the lips at all.  My lips feel hydrated and comfortable for around four hours before they start feeling a little dry - the colour clings to the lips for much longer, though, wearing down into more of a stained finish.

At £19, these are average priced for a mid-range lipstick (isn't that scary?  I remember when mid-range lipsticks were more like £14).  They're well worth it if you like that intense pigmentation, saturated look - they remind me a little of OCC Lip Tars, just easier to apply and more portable.

Find them at Debenhams from the end of April, alongside the rest of the Spring collection.

Disclosure: PR sample

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

Monday, 21 April 2014

Paul & Joe Stormy Weather Eyeshadow Trio and Kitty Case

The internet was made for cats, so Paul & Joe must have known their kitty-adorned makeup cases would get plenty of blog coverage just because they feature felines.  And I'll admit, I decided to buy an eyeshadow trio mostly because I saw the case first and wanted something to put in it.

Anyway, the kitty case is made from sturdy cardboard, and comes empty.  You can choose to fill it with eyeshadow or blush - the pans snap straight in and are held in place with a magnet.  You can then replace the product once you've used it up (assuming you ever finish anything up - I certainly don't).

I chose the Stormy Weather eyeshadow trio - three shades of shimmering grey, which I chose mostly because of that lovely grey-taupe in the middle.  I'm a sucker for a grey taupe, really I am.

Swatched, you can see that they have a lovely sparkly finish, almost metallic but not quite as flashy.  Applied to the lid, they're a bit more subtle than this swatch would imply - unless you pack on the colour you're going to get a soft wash effect rather than full on shimmer.  That dark grey is particularly good for a bit of gentle smokiness atop the lash line, and the middle taupe-grey is absolutely stunning if you go in for taupe.  I just wish the sparkling bright white had been replaced with something a bit more interesting - I have a million bright sparkling white shades.

And a final gratuitous kitty-case shot.  I'm not sorry.

You'll find the case and the eyeshadow trio at ASOS, where the whole set will cost you £21 (because Stormy Weather is on sale).  The normal price for a trio and case is £7 + £23 = £30, which is quite a hefty price tag for three shades of eyeshadow in a cardboard case.  Granted, it's a really pretty cardboard case, but if you lug it about in your makeup bag, it will start to look a bit battered.

Disclosure:  Bought with my own hard earned pennies, alongside two skirts, because you can never have enough black full skirts right?

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

Monday, 14 April 2014

BUY THIS NOW: Macadamia Flawless 6 in 1 Cleansing Conditioner

Cleansing conditioners are starting to gain a bit of momentum in the mainstream beauty market.  I used to exclusively co-wash my hair, with any old conditioner free from silicone, and I'm pleased to see sulphate free cleansing conditioners coming onto the market.

One of the new breed of cleansing conditioners is this very prettily packaged Flawless 6 in 1 Cleansing Conditioner from Macadamia.  It claims to cleanse, condition, and detangle the hair, whilst also adding volume, reducing blow drying time, and eliminating frizz.

Does it deliver?  Surprisingly, yes.  On my colour treated, dryish hair, it leaves my hair feeling soft, hydrated and completely clean, and when I blow dry my hair after use, my hair does dry more quickly, has plenty of volume, and is pretty smooth.  When I leave my hair to dry naturally, it's not perfectly smooth, but it is smoother than usual without additional product.

In short, I'm seriously impressed by this cleansing conditioner.  It's not cheap, but it's not overpriced, either - the 90ml bottle, which is good for around 5 or 6 washes, costs around £7, not bad for something which fulfils so many functions.  I'll definitely be buying the larger 250ml can, which costs £22, and keeping my 90ml sample for travel.  You'll find Macadamia Flawless 6 in 1 Cleansing Conditioner at

Disclosure: PR sample

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

Thursday, 10 April 2014

Stila Ruby Grapefruit Lip Glaze

Stila's trademark Lip Glazes are a thing of legend - soft, plush on the lips, super shiny, and with that lovely milky quality.  This one, Ruby Grapefruit, has previously only been available in special edition sets, but is shortly going to be launching alone for a mere £15 - and in Marks and Spencer, no less!  The brand is coming to M&S' ever growing Your Beauty section, bringing with it some super cute exclusive palettes alongside the usual lineup of Convertible Colours and Smudge Pots.  Find Stila in store from April.

Disclosure: PR sample

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

Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Pur Minerals Spring/Summer 2014 Chateau Collection - Powder Blush in Sassy & Lipsticks in Starlet and Jezebel

Pur Minerals' latest collection for Spring/Summer 2014 draws inspiration from wine and vineyards, and uses 'wine extract' for an anti aging effect.  There's little detail on what this 'wine extract' actually is, but unfortunately, the blushes, lipsticks and glosses from the range won't get you tipsy.

Monday, 7 April 2014

Decleor Aromessence Mandarine

Decleor have celebrated their 40th birthday by releasing a new range of skincare - the Aroma Lisse range utilises Mandarin Oil to fight the signs of aging.  One of the four products is this Aromessence Mandarine, a rich night balm designed to smooth and hydrate the skin.

The packaging works against it a little - because it's a solid balm, you need to scoop out a little bit using your fingertips, and the jar neck is quite narrow - I've solved the problem by scraping some off with my fingernail, but it's still a little awkward.

As you might expect, it smells delightfully citrusy.  It's also incredibly thick and rich - the texture is more akin to a balm cleanser like Elemis' Pro Collagen Cleansing Balm, and like a balm cleanser it melts and softens on the fingertips so you can massage it into the skin.

Dry, parched skin will feel dreamily soft and hydrated in the morning, and visibly plumped up for good measure.  If your skin is normal or oily, I wouldn't recommend trying this - it's so rich it's quite likely to overload delicate or oily skins.

At £33 for 15ml, this is one expensive balm - although it is made of 100% natural ingredients including shea butter, mandarin oil, and evening primrose oil.  If you like a facial oil but find a liquid texture too much hard work, you'll love this - the solid texture is much more travel friendly, whilst still packing a potent hydrating punch and actively encouraging a bit of facial massage.  Find it at the Decleor website now.

Disclosure: PR sample

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

Sunday, 6 April 2014

Quick Pick: Marks & Spencer Tuscan Escape Lemon Verbena Olive Stone Body Scrub

This body scrub was a bit of a chance find at a recent M&S event - and I'm very, very glad I brought it home with me.  It's a scrubby, bits-in-gel type format, with the bits made of olive stone.  The scent is heavenly - zesty, lemony, and very, very fresh without any of that sickly, artificial sweetness lemon scents can sometimes bring.  It smells like the zest of a lemon - sharp, fruity, and only slightly sweet.

The olive stone scrubby pieces do make this a manual exfoliant which is very effective, and could be too harsh if you have very sensitive skin, so do be careful with it.  Luckily there aren't too many scrubby bits, so my normal skin found it just fine.  I can't find it on the Marks and Spencer website right now, but you'll find it in store for a very reasonable £6.

Disclosure: PR sample

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

Friday, 4 April 2014

YSL Forever Light Creator CC Creme

Finally!  Someone has released a CC cream which isn't just a BB cream with new packaging!

YSL's latest skin offering is this new CC cream, which really is a colour corrector, and comes under the Forever Light Creator brand.

Lavender, Apricot, Rose
There are three shades - Lavender for neutralising yellow tones and sallowness; Rose for counteracting dullness; and Apricot for adding a warming glow.  Each boast SPF 35 and PA+++ protection, meaning that your skin is protected from both UVA and UVB rays whilst wearing it.

The texture is extremely light and fluid -  they spread easily across the skin and sink in quickly.  I found I needed less than I expected - a small blob applied atop moisturised skin is plenty.  Going overboard will leave you looking a bit odd thanks to the white-ish base.  I wonder whether they'd work on those with deeper skin tones - the white-ish cast to the Lavender and Rose shades might look a bit ashy, and not as natural as intended.

And here I am wearing the Rose shade underneath my normal foundation.  Granted, the light was pretty good when I took this photo, but my skin certainly is bright when I wear it.  For me, it's a toss up between Rose and Lavender for my favourite shade - both make my skin look bright and even, help my foundation apply more smoothly, with the Lavender really helping out when I've not had enough sleep.

The verdict, then?  Lovely, albeit not entirely necessary - if you seek perfect skin, this'll definitely help, but if you're not that fussed for brightness you probably don't need it, particularly given that these babies cost £30 a tube.  Find them now at the YSL Beauty website.

Disclosure: PR sample

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