Wednesday, 29 October 2014

OMG90s: Clarins Rouge Eclat Lipstick in 16 Candy Rose

I had high hopes for this Rouge Eclat lipstick in Candy Rose when I popped open the tube and twisted up the colour.  It looked like a gorgeous cool toned mid pink, one of my favourite shades, and given how much I love the Rouge Eclat formula, I was anticipating a new makeup bag favourite.

Unfortunately though, when I applied it to my lips, all I could see was the silver-white frost.  The combination of mid-pink with frost makes this a very, very 90s look, and having been there and done that as a teenager the first time, I certainly won't be doing it again.  Shame, as the Rouge Eclat formula is comfortable, highly pigmented, and lasts well.  I guess I'll be sticking to Pink Berry this winter!

Disclosure:  PR sample

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

Monday, 27 October 2014

Urban Decay Limited Edition Pulp Fiction Collection

Urban Decay have released a limited edition collection inspired by Pulp Fiction - to mark the 20th anniversary of the film's release.  I can't believe it's been 20 years - although I do remember quite clearly being around 13, bringing the video home, and my Mum immediately switching it off when we got to the shooting up scene.

Anyway - the collection may be emblazoned with Pulp Fiction, but it's really about Mrs Mia Wallace, the film's feisty front woman.

Saturday, 25 October 2014

Quick Pick: BeautyBay The Collection Large Detangling Brush

I realised the other day that this purple Beauty Bay detangling brush has become my go-to item for detangling my hair after washing.  It's pretty much the same concept as a Tangle Teezer - flexible plastic bristles help detangle the hair without pulling.  The difference is the handle and the price - for a mere £5, compared to £10 for the Tangle Teezer, you get the same hair-smoothing effects with a handle that makes the process more like brushing with a normal brush.

Disclosure:  PR sample

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

Friday, 24 October 2014

Kiko Cosmetics Color-Up Eyeshadow Pencil in 24 Majestic Dove Grey and 10 Bold Rosy Taupe

Ah, Kiko.  Their inexpensive products often perform way beyond their price points, and these new Color-Up Eyeshadow Pencils definitely, definitely impress.  The ten shades are all deep, moody, slightly colour-nuanced versions of greys and taupes, making for a wonderful autumn eye look which isn't too dark, but still perfectly suits the season/

I've been using 24 Majestic Dove Grey and 10 Bold Rosy Taupe for the past few weeks and I'm thoroughly impressed - they go on creamy, blend easily, and set down to a finish which doesn't budge when applied over primer.  The pointy shape means you can easily use them around the whole eye, too, and I've been impressed to see them last a whole day (and an evening of sweaty laser tag) without fading.

I don't think they're actually all that different from Kiko's Long Lasting Eyeshadow stick texture-wise - it's just the packaging and shade range which is different.  Either way, if you're looking for a quick and easy, highly portable autumn eye product, this is it - no brushes required, just the stick and your fingers.  And at just £7.90 each, you can treat yourself to a couple of shades.  Find them now at the Kiko website, or one of the many stores in London.

Disclosure:  PR samples

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

Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Illamasqua Multi Facet Palette in Aura

Illamasqua's latest release is a neutral palette.  Bit weird, again, for a brand which has traded so much on unusual shades and textures, but I guess their recent, more wearable collections speak to the fact that brands cannot trade on the unusual alone - most of us love more wearable shades, and thus, Illamasqua are making more of them.

Anyway, the palette itself is a bit of a departure from Illamasqua's previous rounded-edge, squareish shape - this one is a simple black square, embossed subtly with the brand's name on the lid.  Whilst I definitely liked the original shape (and it certainly stood out in my makeup collection), this new shape makes the palette much more compact.

Inside, we get a variety of Illamasqua favourites - on the left, Aurora cream highlighter and Tremble powder blush, and on the right Hollow Cream Pigment (included for contouring), Thunder brow cake, and four powder eyeshadows in Vision (shimmering white), Servant (peachy matte), Feint (reddish pink matte), and Machine (black matte with silver shimmer).  As someone who'd look quite frankly stupid with brown eyebrows, I've been using the Thunder brow cake as an eyeshadow / eyeliner instead.

Tremble Powder Blush, Aurora Gleam highlighter, Hollow Cream Pigment, Thunder Brow Cake

Vision, Servant, Feint, Machine Powder Eyeshadows

And here is most of the palette on my mug.  I'm wearing Tremble and Aurora on my cheeks, with all four eyeshadows on my eyes, and a bit of Aurora on my browbones too.

This is mostly Servant (peach) and Feint (reddish pink) blended across the lid and into the crease, with a touch of Vision (shimmering white) in the inner corner and Machine (black) along the lash line.  All the colours blended easily, although I did find that the matte colours needed a bit of layering to give a strong finish.

Tremble powder blush is a rather nice pink, but the thing I'm most impressed with is Gleam in Aurora - it's an incredible highlighter, as you can see above on my browbone and cheekbone.  It catches the light subtly, and doesn't rely on glitter or shimmer, just a very smooth sheen which manages to look perfectly natural and very polished indeed.  I'm definitely buying a full size once I've used up the pan in the Aura palette.

Overall, this is a lovely palette for workhorse every day looks and I'm particularly pleased to see it include so many cult favourites such as Aurora and Hollow.  Illamasqua fans will like this one for the sheer number of products crammed into one tiny package, and those new to the brand will find it a great introduction to a variety of Illamasqua products.  At £45, it's not cheap, but given the number of products included, I think it's worth the cash.  Find it now at the Illamasqua website, alongside it's sister palette Semblence, which is designed for deeper skintones.

Disclosure: PR sample

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

Monday, 20 October 2014

Sonia Kashuk Essential Eye Kit

Here's another thing-I-bought-in-the-US-recently, and sadly this one isn't available in the UK - although I really, really wish it was.  Those of you with long makeup-brush memories will remember that budget priced, high quality US brush brand Sonia Kashuk made it to Space NK a few years ago - with a staggering markup which saw brushes sold at twice the price they were in the US.  Unsurprisingly, they weren't popular, and Space NK retired the brand.

This rather gorgeous travel set contains five short-handled brushes with super soft bristles, in a tiny travel case, for a mere $11.49 plus tax at Target.   It was all I needed, brush wise, for my recent three-week work trip to San Francisco - for lining, smudging, blending, everything.  The quality is excellent, the portability fantastic, and I love the little case - the brushes are well protected, the case is held shut tightly, and it's so streamlined!  Wonderful.

I really hope Sonia Kashuk makes it back to the UK sometime - without the markup - but in the meantime, beg your US friends to post you one of these.  You won't regret it.

Disclosure:  Bought by me.  Probably the best thing I've bought recently.

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

Sunday, 19 October 2014

By Terry Baume De Rose Nutri-Couleur in Toffee Cream

By Terry's Baume De Rose is a bit of a cult favourite, and with good reason - it's waxy/smooth texture hugs the lips and injects serious moisture which doesn't disappear when the product wears off.  It is, however, absolutely extortionately priced at £35 a pot.  The latest version, Nutri-Couleur, has a soft tint to it - less multi-purpose, yes, but if you're a fan of the soft, tinted lip, perhaps even more of a daily staple.

I'm wearing Toffee Cream in the photo above - it's a very soft tint, giving a slightly polished nude look, and as usual for Baume De Rose, the texture is gorgeous.  My lips feel conditioned and moist, and the effects last long after the product has worn away.  Unusually for a balm, it sticks to the lips for a good hour before melting away, leaving the soft tint behind.

If you like a tinted lip balm, this one is easily one of the best I've tried - it has genuine lip moisturising effects.  At £35, though, it's easily one of the most expensive balms I've ever tried, and whilst it's excellent, I'm not sure I could bring myself to spend that much on a tinted lip balm.  Lanolips is a similar, much cheaper option at £7.99 a tube, but if you're into seriously luxe, lip loving products, Baume De Rose Nutri-Couleur is very, very good.  Available in six shades, you'll find it at Space NK.

Disclosure:  PR sample

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

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Quick Pick: Clarins Mineral Eye Quartet Palette in Skin Tones

Clarins' Autumn makeup collection is very, very ladylike indeed - and whilst it includes some new cream-to-powder eyeshadow pots, the highlight for me is this ultra neutral mineral eyeshadow quartet.  It's called Skin Tones, and it's gorgeous - four neutral toned, easily wearable shades from bone to deep brown.

The thing I like about it best is that it's timeless - in that the shades are all perfect for creating a subtle, elegant contoured eye, and also in that it works perfectly for all ages.  Older eyes take high sparkle neutrals less well than younger ones, and the soft sheen on these makes them pretty on eyelids of any age.

As usual for Clarins mineral eyeshadows, they're beautifully blendable and easily layerable.  This is true workhorse palette, and one which any neutral lover would love to have in their collection - it's well worth the £32 pricetag.

Disclosure: PR sample

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

Sunday, 12 October 2014

Bite Beauty Cashmere Lip Cream in Crianza

Another day, another pinky-red lip colour.  This is Bite Beauty's Cashmere Lip Cream in Crianza, and I bought it at Sephora in a hurry whilst in Florida this summer.  Bite Beauty doesn't seem to be available in the UK - which is a shame, as their range of lip products is pretty innovative (lip mask, lip wipes anyone?) and they only use edible ingredients in their products.  Which is obvious when you think about it - we can't help ingesting some of the product on our lips all day - but not actually something most brands aim for.

Anyway - Cashmere Lip Cream is a high pigment liquid lipstick with a cream to powder finish.  It promises a lightweight finish with bold colour payoff.  The applicator is interesting - it's less flexible than most, less fluffy, and has a simple cylindrical shape - the rigidity means you can line and fill the lips very precisely, but it is a little more time consuming than your standard doe foot applicator.

The colour intensity is fabulous, and it feels very, very light on the lip - not quite weighless, as there's a bit of squish when you press your lips together, but definitely lighter than most lipsticks.  My only criticism is that this stuff has a tendency to transfer everywhere - glasses, eating utensils, other people's faces - and that of course means it softens and fades relatively quickly (depending on the frequency of your eating/drinking/kissing of course).

At $28 / £18.50 a pop, it's pretty expensive, and overall I've decided it's nice but not life changing.  If you like intense, creamy, comfortable colour and don't mind a bit of transfer, it's worth trying.  Find it at Sephora, who will ship it to the UK and guarantee you won't get stung on customs fees.

Disclosure:  Bought by me, because I apparently don't own enough pinky-red lip products.

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

Thursday, 9 October 2014

Marc Jacobs Twinkle Pop Eye Stick in Leila

I made my first foray into Marc Jacobs cosmetics whilst on holiday with the kids in Florida over the summer.  I took my 9-year-old stepdaughter into Sephora, and bought this colour on her insistence - her name is Leilah, and this shade is called Leila.  Close enough!

The format is a pretty standard twist up stick, albeit with a blunt, flat end rather than the pointy pencil style we've seen a lot of recently.  That said, if you're missing the pencil element, the packaging brings it back for you - the cap has a distinctly pencil-y feeling, with a colour-matching nib to boot.

Leila is described as a rose copper shimmer, but I think I'd really describe it as a very twinkly pink.  It's a bit warm toned, but still works well enough on my cool toned skin. It's very shimmery straight off the stick, but blended down it's a bit more subtle - although that doesn't stop you from building it up into full on metallic glamour if you so choose.  You can also apply it as an eyeliner by using the edge of the stick - which hadn't occurred to me at all until I read the product blurb, as it's not really obviously a dual purpose product.

Texture wise, it's very cooling on application, blends easily, and lasts well provided you apply primer first.  There are a myriad of jewel toned shades in the range, and whilst there are a few neutrals, they're still pretty shimmery - this product isn't really for you if you favour the natural look.

At $28 / roughly £18.50, it's not cheap, and having become a convert to Kiko's excellent (and very inexpensive) eyeshadow sticks I'm not entirely sure the more expensive Marc Jacobs product wins out, aside from on packaging and brand name.

You'll find these pretty little sticks at Sephora, who will also ship them to the UK inclusive of tax so you don't get stung on import duty.

Disclosure:  Purchased by me, on the instructions of my stepdaughter.

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

Tuesday, 7 October 2014

Kiko Cosmetics Daring Game Face Brush & Golden Game Sculpting Bronzer in Radiant Honey

Kiko's latest limited edition collection is entitled Daring Game, and to me it's basically Bond-Girl-in-Casino-Royale in a box.  It's a fairly hefty collection, with 11 products in a wide variety of shades, from eyeshadow to blush to nail polish to eyeliner.  There's even a face serum in there - weird, but I guess even Bond Girls need a pick me up after a night on the cards.

Anyway - here we have the Daring Game Face Brush, and the Golden Game Sculpting Bronzer.  The premise is that the heart shaped, dual-fibre brush helps you to apply the multi-toned bronzer and highlighter easily, for a sculpted look in a jiffy.

The bronzer/highlighter palette is encased in white plastic embossed with a Rorschach-inkblot like design.  I have no idea what it is.  If you do, let me know.  Despite the embossing, the palette feels very light and a bit flimsy in the hand. 

The product itself is also embossed, and contains two distinct pans - one for the highlighter, which is a pale champagne colour in the Radiant Honey colourway, and one for the bronzer, which is a two tone warm beige.

What, don't you apply foundation, lipstick and bronzer on a Sunday, leaving your eyes and brows completely bare?  No? 
I found the bronzer and highlighter duo really, really easy to apply with the brush.  I lined the black side of the brush up against the bronzer, and the white side against the highlighter, and then applied it to my face with the curve of the brush hugging my cheekbone.  Instant sculpting.

I'd be very, very much in love with this product if it wasn't too warm for my skintone - I find that Kiko bronzers tend to be a warmer, more golden tone than my skin can take.  If you're warmer toned, though, this is a very easy, affordable way to master the contour trend with minimal effort - both products are £15.90, which is reasonable for the quality and ease of application.  Find the brush and the palette at Kiko stores or online at their website.

Disclosure: PR samples

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

Sunday, 5 October 2014

Illamasqua Vintage Metallix in Courtier, Bibelot, Embellish

Illamasqua's latest collection, Once, is full of whimsical antique/vintage tones, and the star of that particular show is the new Vintage Metallix eyeshadow.  It's a cream eyeshadow with a distinctly twinkly finish, albeit a twinkle that's a bit burnished, in keeping with the vintage theme.

There are three shades - Courtier, a soft pink; Bibelot, an antiqued green; and Embellish, a glowing brown.  Packaging wise, they're pretty standard - screw top lids stop them from drying out quickly, with the cream easily accessible with a fingertip or brush.

Embellish, Bibelot, Courtier
Swatched, the colours are intense and very twinkly indeed, although you'll find that by the time you've applied them to your eyelids and blended, they're a little more subtle unless you layer them up.  I was impressed by the texture of these cream eyeshadows - my oily lids usually mean that cream eyeshadows crease despite my fanatical use of primer, but these hold fast to my eyelids all day atop Urban Decay's cult Primer Potion.  You get about a minute to blend down before they set, and I think I get better evenness of colour using a synthetic brush compared to my fingers.

At £16.50, they're reasonably priced for a premium brand.  If I had to choose a single colour, I'd go for Bibelot - creamy pink and brown eyeshadows are ten a penny, but Bibelot's vintagey green is a very unusual shade.  Find them now at the Illamasqua website.

Disclosure: PR samples

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

Thursday, 2 October 2014

Quick Pick: Max Factor Skin Luminizer Foundation in 40 Light Ivory

Max Factor, inventor of foundation and purveyor of high street foundation goodness, has a new foundation out.  Obviously not the man himself, he's been dead for too long to be able to produce new foundations.  Like many other foundations which contain the word luminous in one form or another, this one promises a healthy looking glow and radiance 'that'll ensure your skin lights up the room'.

Left: no foundation, right: foundation

Often, such claims pretty much equate to SPARKLEZ, lots of them, and a face a bit like a glitterball, which isn't a good look if you're over the age of thirteen (or in a sci-fi movie).  Luckily, though, Skin Luminizer comes without glitterballs - and whilst it definitely does add radiance and brightness, it does it through some kind of alchemical magic which doesn't rely on shimmer.

Coverage wise, it's a happy medium - it evens the skin out pretty well, and manages to tone down the redness on my cheeks, without covering my freckles up too much.  The texture is somewhat on the dry side - it needs to be applied atop primed or at least moisturised skin to make sure it blends smoothly and evenly.   The upside here is that it doesn't need powdering down to set it - and it survives the day remarkably well, even on my oily t-zone.

At £11.99, it's also pretty reasonably priced, so if you're looking for a glow-giving base without the glitter, it's definitely worth a try.  The only downside is that the shade range is rather limited - there are only six shades available, so you may not find an exact match, particularly if your skin is on the deeper end of the spectrum (boo, Max Factor, booo!).  Find it at Boots, and the usual high street stockists.

Disclosure: PR sample

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