Thursday, 23 July 2015

Urban Decay Afterglow 8 Hour Blushes in Indecent and Score

Urban Decay have a new blush out - meet Afterglow 8 Hour Blush.  It's a simple powder blush which claims to give a 'sexy, lit-from-within glow' and lasts 8 hours on the cheeks.

Left to right:  Indecent, Score
The packaging is, as usual for UD, a little bit unusual - the pewter plastic cases are very striking, and the mesh underlayer and cutout top are very, very sexy indeed.  This sexiness comes at a cost, though - there's no space for a mirror in the compact.

Indecent, Score

The blushes themselves are lovely - the powder is finely milled and soft, and blends very easily across the skin.  I found that the pigmentation levels are distinctly medium - a light swirl gives enough pigment for my skin without any risk of clownface.  Indecent is a matte, coral pink, and Score is a pink with a touch of shimmer - both flatter my skin and do indeed last the full 8 hours they claim.

Indecent (the blusher, not me)

I personally prefer Score for the flushed effect, but Indecent is also lovely for a slightly more contoured look.  Overall, I'm pretty impressed with these blushers - although I do wish the compacts had a mirror for ease of use on the go and on my cluttered dressing table.  They're £19.

Disclosure: PR sample

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

Tuesday, 21 July 2015

Superspendy superflutter: Santhilea Magnetic Lash Mascara

Ever heard of Santhilea?  No, me neither.  Whoever they are, they have managed to create a mascara that gives incredibly fluttery long lashes, using a two step system of black mascara and black fibres.

To use it, you're best off applying one eye at a time - otherwise the mascara starts to become too dry to properly adhere the fibres.  Simply apply one coat of black mascara (which does little but darken your lashes), then stroke the fibre-laden-brush upwards from root to tip.  This'll catch lots of fine fibres onto the lashes, which you then smooth and comb into place with a second and final coat of mascara.

The result is pretty enough - fluttery, long, well separated and full - but it is a bit of a faff.  This is not a mascara for speedy application in the morning if you're running late for work.  If you're taking your time with your makeup, and looking for lashes which appear naturally beautiful, it's great - and you can even continue layering to get an even more dramatic effect.  I'm too lazy to go beyond three motions, but even the one coat looks great - and removes the need for falsies.

My only major problem with this product?  The price.  At £24.99, I expect miracles - I expect, basically, full lashes which look like false lashes from the first application, full of drama and so fluttery that they cause a discernible breeze.  The first application is much more daytime appropriate, though, and I don't need to spend six minutes and £25 for daytime appropriate lashes.  If you're curious to try the system yourself, you'll find it at Cult Beauty - but I'll be sticking to my Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara, which gives a similar look more quickly and for less cash.

Disclosure:  PR sample

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

Sunday, 19 July 2015

Like covering yourself in edible holiday: Palmer's Cocoa Butter Formula Coconut Rapid Moisture Spray Lotion

This particular sample has been languishing in my cupboard for a few weeks, and I'm pretty glad I've finally brought it out into the sunshine.  Spray moisturisers are nothing new; this one, from Palmer's, is the first attempt at a spray moisturiser from a brand known for it's heavy duty skin softening concoctions.

Being a lazy, lazy person, my wish is for a moisturiser I can spritz on and then forget about - I'm too lazy really even to rub it in.  And this one, it fits my wishes - but at a price.  The nozzle disperses a superfine mist of lotion which is definitely light enough to spritz on and go.... if you want to spend ten minutes cleaning up your bathroom afterwards.  So fine is the mist that it gets bloody everywhere, leading to a hasty clean, as I've caused my husband to slip in the shower more than once through lazy moisturising efforts.  Spray a little closer and you get a little pooling on the skin, which definitely requires to you rub, but not to scrub (boom boom!).

Moisture wise, this stuff is, like, seriously hydrating - my skin felt soft and silky after use, and remained so throughout the day.  The real draw for me, though, is the scent - it's cocoa buttery, coconutty, slightly chocolatey and smells like holidays and sunshine and yummy things.  I smelled like a yummy thing afterwards too.  And my clothes did too, because I put them on too fast.  Oops, but not a bad oops.

At £4.99, this spray lotion is definitely worth a try - particularly if you like smelling like holidays, and either enjoy cleaning or don't mind a bit of rubbing in.  Find it at Boots.

Disclosure:  PR sample

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

Thursday, 16 July 2015

L'Oreal Infallible Nail Polish in Scarlet Century and Rebel Blues

I usually hate double-ended nail polishes, finding them nearly impossible to apply smoothly because of the bulk and weight of the other end.  These L'Oreal Infallible Nail Polishes though, they're clever - they may appear double ended, but they're actually two normal sized L'Oreal nail polishes held together by a plastic middle.

The concept here is that you have one full colour shade and one tinted jelly shade - they can be used separately, or layered for maximum effect.  Alone, both full colour shades are gorgeous - Scarlet Century has that glowing from within thing going on, and Rebel Blues has a deep inkiness to it which isn't very summer, but is very pretty.

And here's the rub:  neither jelly polish really brings anything to the party.  At best, they're softly tinted clear polishes which can add a hint of colour to your nails if you're looking for a very soft jelly effect on your nails, and at worst they're a slightly tinted topcoat which adds nothing to the full colour shade.

Still, both the full colour and the jelly shades are beautifully smooth and easy to apply, and dry quickly.  And they're cheap at £7.99 for two shades.  But, y'know, unless you're expecting very little from the jelly shades, you may well be disappointed.

Disclosure:  PR sample

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

Tuesday, 14 July 2015

Seriously Good Value: Models Own Colour Chrome Cream Eye Palette

This Models Own Colour Chrome Cream eyeshadow palette was a bit of a surprise - most budget cream metallic eyeshadows are oily, slick, a bit sheer.  This one, however, isn't.  The cream shadows are, well, creamy - easy to blend, they set down into a slightly tactile powder finish which glows with metallic pigment.  And glitter, if you're looking at the silver shades.

Best of all, a thin layer doesn't crease immediately when applied over primer on my oily lids.  If I try to build them up to full intensity, they crease after a few minutes, but applied lightly, you still get a soft metallic finish (which, incidentally, is a great base for powder shadow) and a slightly sheerer colour.  On those with drier lids, these should work brilliantly.  I also love the second-from-the-left silvery white for highlighting brow bones and cheekbones, used very sparingly (you don't want robot face, after all).

At a mere £5.99 from Superdrug, this little sturdy palette of metallic goodness is definitely worth investigating.  Just bin the sponge applicator and use your ring finger, or a stiff bristled synthetic brush, for best effect.

Disclosure:  PR sample

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

Monday, 13 July 2015

OMG, I finished an eyeliner

Dearly beloved, we are gathered today to mourn the passing of this Urban Decay All Nighter eyeliner.  For one short year, it held my heart, being the darkest, inkiest, smudgiest liner in a pretty large collection.  And now it's time is done.  It has smoked out my lashline for the last time.  Never again will it darken my ring finger from smudging, remaining true and black on my eyes regardless.

Shortly it will be replaced with a clone of itself, and never will be forgotten as the longest lasting, blackest, smudgiest liner in history.  No flowers.

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

Sunday, 12 July 2015

Kiehl's Clearly Corrective Dark Circle Perfector

I was expecting this little tube to contain an anti-dark-circle eye cream, and I got a hell of a surprise when I squidged out a bit and found that it's actually a tinted brightening eye cream.  I also discovered that the pigmentation is quite strong, so you need the tiniest blob of product, rather than the good squidge I normally use for eye cream.

Brightening wise, it definitely does it's job - my undereyes typically have a blue tinge to them, which is thoroughly brightened and evened out with this stuff on.  I also love the fact that it has SPF30 - we're all aware of the need for SPF on the face, but the eye area is often left unprotected.

Now, the downsides - so powerful is the brightening effect that if you apply too much, as I did the first time I used it, you will end up with reverse panda eyes.  Another downside is that it only comes in a single shade - perfect for my porcelain complexion, but likely to result in super reverse panda eyes for those with darker or warmer skintones.

If you're looking for a daytime eye cream which does double duty on long term skincare effects and instant coverage and brightness, and you have pale skin, this is a great product, if rather spendy at £29 for 15ml.  Given that you need so little, it'll last a fair while, but if you're the slightest bit concerned about it being a match for your skin, go try it in-store before purchasing to avoid an expensive reverse panda eyes mistake.

Disclosure:  PR sample

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

Thursday, 9 July 2015

Burberry Lip & Cheek Bloom in Peony, Orange Blossom

Peony, Orange Blossom

Orange Blossom
Burberry's latest colour product is Lip & Cheek Bloom, a soft, mousse-y colour with a sheer-to-medium finish and powdered, soft focus finish.  It's a dual use product, designed to be used on both lips and cheeks alike, and I've been trying Orange Blossom, a soft coral shade, and Peony, a soft rosy pink.

I can't help but use the word soft a lot in this review, and if I had to choose one word to summarise the product, it'd definitely be soft.  The texture in the pot is soft, velvety and slightly bouncy, and it blends beautifully into the skin.  The finish is very soft focus, and the velvety texture ensures you get well blended, subtle results every time.  You can layer it up for more colour, but it's designed to be (you guessed it) a soft effect - the slightly powdery matte finish starts looking a little over-powdered-grandma if you layer it too much - particularly unsexy on the lip.

Anyway - for me, the standout shade of the two is Peony, which gives a very pretty pink flush, and looks soft (!) and pretty on the lip.  Orange Blossom doesn't suit my skintone quite as well - I suspect those leaning more towards warn tones will like it better.

Having used Peony for a few weeks, I'm definitely classing Lip & Cheek Bloom as soft (!!!) velvety blushers rather than true dual-purpose lip products, simply because they don't actually work very well on the lips.  The texture feels absolutely lovely, and the effect is pretty and very English Rose, but the silkiness of the formula means that it doesn't adhere particularly well for the lips, and slips off pretty quickly.

At £24, Lip & Cheek Bloom is expensive - not too wildly expensive if it were truly a multi-purpose product, but pretty expensive for a blush.  The blendable texture, matte finish and very spring-like shades make it perfectly lovely, though, if you're a fan of Burberry, or are looking for an indulgent cheeky (see what I did there?) treat.  Word of caution, though - make sure you have a brush for application (preferably dual-fibre, preferably small headed).  The neck of the pot may be a little small for fingers if you have long nails.

Disclosure: PR sample

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

Tuesday, 7 July 2015

BUY THIS NOW: Maybelline Lash Sensational Mascara

A recent trip to the States saw me bring back quite a few drugstore goodies, including Maybelline's Lash Sensational Mascara, mostly because my own mascara ran out partway through my trip.  But oh, such a fortuitous discovery - this stuff is amazing if you like big, thick lashes - lots of them - with a fanned out, fluttery shape.

Sporting a very knobbly bendy-plastic bristled brush, it has a thick, inky black formula which adds plenty of volume.  The brush is what makes it special, though - the bristles vary in length, meaning that they catch, comb and coat every single lash, making the absolute most of the lashes you have.  For bonus points, the formula doesn't clump or smudge, wearing the whole day with no migration at all.

For bonus bonus points, it only costs £7.99.  Go!  Run!  Buy it now!

Disclosure:  Bought by me.

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

Sunday, 5 July 2015

A Tale of Two Masks: Clinique Even Better Brightening Moisture Mask & Pore Refining Solutions Charcoal Mask

Clinique recently introduced two new masks to their already extensive range, and I've been giving them both a good test recently.  Pore Refining Solutions Charcoal Mask, £23, targets oily, congested skin, drawing inpurities out and mattifying, and Even Better Brightening Moisture Mask, £35, is more of an all-rounder, intensely hydrating most skintypes.

I'm completely sold on the Charcoal Mask - my skin is generally pretty clear, but every so often it has a hissy fit and gets congested, full of blackheads and breaks out with cystic spots.  Lovely.  The charcoal mask has become an essential part of my anti-hissy-fit defense, as it gives me a good deep clean and seems to calm down the spots a bit without drying my skin to hell.  Which is nice, and somewhat unusual for a charcoal mask.  At £23, it's reasonably mid-range, and you don't need a ton for a good deep cleansing mask.

The Brightening Moisture Mask is a completely different beast - at £35, it's quite a bit more expensive than the Charcoal Mask, and for me at least it's less effective.  Yes, it's a lovely cream mask which squishes a good deal of moisturising power into my face.  But I can't see a great difference brightness wise, and I've tried other moisturising masks which have the same hydrating clout at a lower price.  In fact, Clinique's own ranges have much better options available for the same pricetag - the Turnaround mask combines exfoliant and brightening mask and has a much more obvious effect for the same price.

So there you have it.  If you suffer from any kind of congestion or oiliness, I definitely recommend the Charcoal Mask.  If you have cash to burn, the Brightening Moisture Mask is good, but ultimately nothing special in a sea of moisturising masks.

Disclosure:  PR samples

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

Friday, 3 July 2015

Quick Pick: No 7 Shimmer Palette in Rose

Aha, a Bobbi Brown Shimmer Brick dupe!  I've seen many a brand bring out a Shimmer Brick style thing, but this one brings a whole new dimension to the party.  And that dimension is....shimmer.  Lots of it.  A light dusting over the cheeks gives a luminous, pinkish glow - I've applied it over the matte blush I was already wearing in the photo above, and you can see the level of soft, radiant shimmer it gives.  That said, a light touch is needed, as otherwise you end up with sparkly robot face, and no-one wants that, right?

The packaging, as is typical for No 7, isn't setting the world on fire, nor is it as simple/luxe as Bobbi Brown's cult Shimmer Brick.  But the product inside is a damn good rosy highlighter, that that's what counts.  Find it at Boots, where it costs £13.50.

Disclosure:  PR sample

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

Thursday, 2 July 2015

Red Carpet Manicure Bourgeois Babe

One press sample I've used time and time and time again since I first received it (way back in 2012) is my Red Carpet Manicure home gel system.  It's easy enough if you can paint your own nails with a reasonable amount of precision, and the colour lasts two weeks in absolutely perfect condition.  I've amassed a small library of colours to choose from, and my latest is this gorgeous Rouge Noire style blackened red - Bourgeois Babe.

I know it's summer, but I wear my nails pointy and either red or dark pretty much all the time now anyway.  Bourgeois Babe is gloriously glossy, very vampy, and... err... seriously shiny?  Enough alliteration.  Application was reasonably easy as usual, but I found this particular shade required four coats for the ultimate dark glossy finish, and the polish is slightly thicker than usual, requiring a little more care and attention than usual.  Still, well worth it for two weeks of perfect wear, eh?

Disclosure:  Bought by me.

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