Thursday, 31 July 2014

I ♥ Makeup #SELFIE palette

♥ Makeup is a new diffusion line from the folks at Makeup Revolution - interesting that a brand so new is already branching out!  This #SELFIE palette has caught the imagination of a fair few people since it was released - between it and it's slightly less topically named sister, No Photos, are just right for the Instagram generation.  

Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Introducing Essence Cosmetics

Essence Cosmetics is a European brand now available via Wilko, nationwide repository of domestic goodness, and via some pop up stands at London's Westfield shopping centre.  It's major selling point is that it's a) cheap and b) has a staggeringly large range of products.  Both of these things are unequivocally true - prices are often around the £2-£5 mark, and the brand's page on the Wilko website shows an amazing 459 products.

I tried a few of the products in the range (as shown on my face above) and found myself pleasantly surprised.  Granted, the Long Lasting Lipstick doesn't have the most opaque colours, but it glides on smoothly and lasts well, fading down to an even, soft stain.  Not bad for £2.30.  The No Matter Eye Pencil has a creamy texture and a super sparkly metallic finish which looks much more expensive than the £2.50 pricetag - it did need a little primer to stick to my oily lids, and then lasted the whole day with ease.

My favourite product is the Liquid Eyeliner, though.  For just £2.30, it's incredible - the tapered flocked applicator helps you to draw a thin or thick line easily, and unlike most cheap liquid eyeliners, the liquid itself goes on with a solid, deep black line - no need to go over the line twice for an intense application.

All in all, I've been pretty impressed by the Essence products I've tried out, and next time I walk past the stand at Westfield I'll be investigating their nail polishes and eyeliners more deeply.

Disclosure: PR samples

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

Monday, 28 July 2014

NOTD: Models Own Pear Drops

Models Own are releasing a mini-collection of scented polishes themed around sweets - particularly, retro sweets like pear drops, cola bottles, and rhubarb and custard.  Yum.  The rather gloriously summer appropriate coral shade above is Pear Drops - and even without the scent, it's gorgeous - full of glass flecks which catch the light prettily but aren't quite obvious shimmer or glitter.  You'll need three coats for a completely opaque application, although I suspect I could have gotten away with two.

As for the scent, I found it a bit on the faint side. I sniffed my nails fairly constantly after application, and as the nose-burningly nail polish smell disappeared, I got a gentle whiff of pear drops - just like the sweets, yes, but pretty a pretty subtle version which disappeared completely after a few hours.

You'll find Pear Drops, along with it's sparkly cousins Rhubarb and Custard and Fizzy Cola Bottles, and it's cream cousins Liquorice and Gumballs, at the Models Own website now.  Each polish will cost you a very reasonable £4.99.

Disclosure: PR sample

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

Friday, 25 July 2014

Bourjois Summer Bronzing: Delice de Poudre Highlighter + Universal Tan & Gold Bronzing Powder

Bourjois have two new versions of their chocolate-shaped bronzers for summer this year - one subtle, and one, err, extremely sparkly.  Packaged in study cardboard sleeves with good magnetic closures, the pressed chocolate shape is very pretty, and comes paired with a delicate, sweet scent.

Delice de Poudre Duo combines two blocks of 'universal tan' bronzer with two blocks of a shimmering champagne highlighter.  The bronzer is pretty much matte with the most sparse sprinkling of golden glitter particles - they don't really translate to the face though, and the effect is a subtle, matte bronze.  The highlighter is also pretty subtle, with a pearly glow rather than a metallic shimmer or glitter effect.  If you're pale or medium of skintone, this duo would work well for you - there are no orange undertones in the bronzer, and it's perfect for a bit of subtle sculpting.

The Gold Bronzing Powder is the other end of the spectrum - subtle it isn't.  The box says it's 'sprinkled with rich clusters of sunshine' and what that actually means is that it's sparkly as hell.  The kind of golden sparkly that I'd love in an eyeshadow, but not the kind of sparkly I'd want as a bronzer.  If your skin is a deeper tone, or you're tanned, and you're looking for a hefty dose of shimmer, this'd probably work for you.  Pale people, please avoid.

Left to right:  Delice de Poudre Duo Bronzer + Highlighter; Gold Bronzing Powder
And finally, some swatches.  I had to swatch the Duo bronzer pretty heavily - in reality it's pretty sheer but very buildable.  The swatch of the highlighter gives you some idea of how subtle it is - even in direct sunlight it gives more of a gleam than a sparkle.  Finally, the Gold Bronzing Powder - ordinarily I'd be squeeing over the metallic finish, which is most desirable in an eyeshadow... but I'm not sure how many skintones will find this wearable in a bronzer.

At just £7.99, these bronzing palettes are well priced, with good sturdy packaging and light, soft powders making them a bit of a bargain.  They launch August 6th in the usual Bourjois stockists.

Disclosure: PR samples.

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

Thursday, 24 July 2014

Nostalgia Alert: Eden EDP

As I waited for a prescription to be filled, I noticed a distinctively green cardboard box in the fragrance cabinet.  I wore Eden in my mid-to-late teens, and I thought I was the epitome of sophistication - whilst my friends were wearing So...? and Impulse body sprays, I was wearing a proper perfume.  A very strong smelling perfume at that.

Needless to say, I had to buy the little bottle of Eden, and I've been pleased to find it almost the same as I remembered it.  It's definitely not subtle - expect to be smacked around the face with sweet, floral notes once you spritz, which quickly settles down into a sweet, freshly green scent.  On my skin, it grows deeper and more oriental, still retaining plenty of green-ness, but giving much more of the sandalwood notes.

It's almost cloying, very intense, and very much a love it or hate it scent.  I still love it - my nose may have become more sophisticated since I was a teenager, but I still like the juxtaposition of oriental greenness with a bit of corrupted sweetness.

What fragrances take you back to past times?  Do you still wear scents you wore as a teenager?

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

Monday, 21 July 2014

Bourjois Contour Clubbing Waterproof Eyeliner

Top to bottom:  Dynamint, Ultra Black, Up and Brown, Blue Remix

I'd not tried Bourjois' Contour Clubbing Waterproof Eyeliner before - but it's actually a pretty good low-cost dupe for Urban Decay's ubiquitous 24/7 Eyeliners.  There are a few new shades available for summer, including three of the above shades.  

Saturday, 19 July 2014

NOTD: Essence Colour & Go Nail Polish in Galactic Glam

Essence is big in Europe, and is now available in the UK for the first time.  I've been very, very pleasantly surprised by this Colour & Go Nail Polish - the brush is super wide, allowing you to paint the entire nail in one stroke, and the pigmentation is good enough that two coats were all I needed for perfect opacity - and if I'd been in a rush, I could have gotten away with a single coat.

Galactic Glam is a lovely, shimmering, multi-dimensional blue/green with lashings of turquoise shimmer.  It catches the light beautifully, and performs like a much more expensive polish.

Disclosure: PR sample

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

Thursday, 17 July 2014

The Perfect Taupe: Makeup Revolution Eye Dust in Etiquette

I'm really loving Makeup Revolution for eye colour at the moment.  I've found their lip products to be pretty hit and miss, but the eye stuff is consistently good - and this Eye Dust is no exception.  Much like MAC's iconic Pigments, it's a loose eyeshadow which can be applied wet or dry, and packs a real pigmented punch.  I bought it in the Etiquette shade, a lovely golden taupe.

Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Urban Decay Illuminating Beauty Balm

Urban Decay have release two new BB creams this summer - a bronzing one (which thankfully I haven't got to try out) and this illuminating one.  Bit strange, UD releasing BB creams when everyone's already moved on from the BB / CC trend - aren't they a bit 2012 now?

Sunday, 13 July 2014

New Bourjois Cream Blush shades for summer - 05 Pink Sunwear & 06 Tropical Coral

Bourjois Cream Blush, launched last year, caused a bit of a stir with it's lovely blendable cream to powder texture and array of soft shades.  This year Bourjois are adding two new shades with a bronze cast, perfect for a bit of summer sculpting.

Friday, 11 July 2014

Benefit They're Real! Push Up Liner and They're Real! Remover

Benefit have made their iconic They're Real mascara the centre of a new mini-brand - meet the new additions, They're Real Push Up Liner, and They're Real Remover.  Granted, neither are really directly related to the They're Real phrase - false lashes, yes, false liner, no - but they do form a bit of an eye powerhouse alongside the original mascara.

Thursday, 10 July 2014

Illamasqua Glamore Nude Collection - Naked, Buff and Rosepout

Following on from the launch of their new Glamore formula with the Glamore collection earlier this year, Illamasqua have done the unthinkable and released a collection of nude lipsticks.  It's somewhat of a departure for the brand who previously brought us teal lipstick, dark red eyeliner and glow-under-black-light nail polish.   I'd like to revisit the days of the dark, smoky, theatrical collections from the brand's early days.

Tuesday, 8 July 2014

Rituals Indian Summer Collection

Last week, I wrote about the Rituals Lotus Secret candle, which is part of Rituals' limited edition Indian Summer collection.  In addition to the candle, the range also contains three bodycare products - Flower Shower foam, £8.50; Lotus Shimmer body cream, £18, and Summer Bliss shower oil, £8.50.

Sunday, 6 July 2014

BUY THIS NOW: Makeup Revolution Baked Eyeshadow in Chocolate Deluxe

This has got to be one of the most crazily-named eyeshadow palettes ever.  I mean... it's called Chocolate Deluxe.  But seriously, those shadows are shades of pink, russet brown and red.  NOTHING like chocolate.

Friday, 4 July 2014

Urban Decay Naked Flushed Palette in Streak

Last year's Naked Flushed palette was so successful, Urban Decay have brought them back in three new shades to suit all skintones.  I have Streak here to show you - it's the palest of the three (quelle surprise)

Streak gives you a light bronzer, champagne shimmer highlighter, and coral toned pink blush.  Like last year's offering, the texture is very soft, almost crumbly, and if you use a firm brush on the palette you'll get quite a bit of fallout.  The key is a very, very soft hand and a soft, fluffy brush.

Applied separately, the three products give a nicely defined look which emphasises the cheekbones.  In the photos above I've blended the bronzer under my cheekbones, then applied a bit of coral blush onto the apple of my cheek before blending it outwards, and then finished off with a dusting of highlighter on top of my cheekbone.  I've also tried applying all three products swirled together - swirling is difficult due to the softness of the powders, and if you try to swirl you'll end up wasting a fair bit.  Dipping the brush quickly and gently across the surface of the palette is the way to go, and then swirl on the cheeks.

The highlighter and blush are perfect for all you pale faces out there - they're pigmented enough but still on the right side of subtle.  The bronzer is a little too warm toned for me, but it's still wearable - if your skin is warm, it'll be a damn good match.

At £22, this isn't a cheap cheek palette, but for three products in a sturdy compact, it's a reasonable price to pay, particularly given the quality.  Find it now at BeautyBay, with it's three sisters, Naked, Native and Strip.

Disclosure: PR sample

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

Wednesday, 2 July 2014

Clinique Smart Custom Serum

I've been trialling Clinique's newest serum, Smart Custom Serum, for a couple of weeks now and so far, so impressed.  The product blurb claims that five years of research and multiple patents has allowed Clinique to create a product which reacts to your individual skincare needs, and whilst I'm interested in the science, I'm more interested in the results.  The past two weeks have seen my dryish forehead become smoother and more hydrated, the pores around my nose become less of a foundation trap and the frown lines between my brows soften.  Whether that's the mark of a serum analysing my skin's needs, or the mark of a serum that's just a great all rounder, I'm sold - I've definitely noticed an improvement in my skin since I started using it.

At £48 for 30ml and £68 for 50ml, it's undoubtedly an expensive product, but given the broad range of benefits I've observed since I started using it, I reckon it's worth the price.  Particularly given the added bonus that it has a mattifying, velvety finish which makes it a perfect base for makeup.  Find it now at the Clinique website.

Disclosure: PR sample

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

Tuesday, 1 July 2014

6 Summer Makeup Essentials

In the summertime, when the weather is high / You can make right up, get mascara under your eyes / Now when the weather is fine / You've got long wear, you've got long wear on your mind
I generally hate summer.  I burn, I sweat, I melt, and I grumble a lot.  Here are the six things which form the core of my summer makeup bag, helping me survive without looking like a sweaty mess.

MAC 275 Angled Blending Brush - I rarely wear more than one eyeshadow at a time in summer.  I love my MAC 275 brush for quickly applying shadow to the eyelid and blending it in - I have the short handled version, which came in a Christmas set many years ago.  The full size version is £25.

Urban Decay Ink For Eyes* - Waterproof, felt tip eyeliner is a good way of opening up the eye without risking smudging from using kohl.  I've used this new UD Ink For Eyes several times a week since it arrived, and I'm sold.

& Other Stories Shetland Brown Eyeshadow - This has been a staple since I bought it - a sparkling coppery brown, it's wonderfully flattering on my hazel eyes, lasts well with no fallout, and catches the light prettily in the summer sun.

Clinique Cheek Pop Blush in Ginger Pop* - The perfect neutral/tawny blush, Ginger Pop warms my face up a treat, sits well on the skin even when it's a bit sweaty, and lasts a surprisingly long time.

Estee Lauder Double Wear Foundation - This stuff lasts and lasts and lasts.  In summer, it's a bit heavy on its own, so I often turn it into a lighter (but just as long lasting) tinted moisturiser by mixing it with moisturiser or SPF.

Clarins Truly Waterproof Mascara* - Waterproof mascara is essential during the summer, and this one is bloody brilliant.  It doesn't flake, smudge or budge, and you'll need to put serious effort in to remove it, too.

What are your summer makeup bag essentials?

Disclosure:  Items marked * were originally received as PR samples

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