Friday, 30 October 2015

Kiehl's Daily Reviving Concentrate

Kiehl's have brought out a new facial oil... for daytime use.  It's being marketed as a perfect pair for their well known and well loved Midnight Recovery Concentrate, which is a heavy, nourishing night time oil, and as you'd expect, the day version is a much lighter affair.

Daily Reviving Concentrate contains a mixture of oils including grapefruit peel oil, ginger root oil, and a whole heap of seed oils.  I've never personally used a facial oil during the day - my skin is dry/combination, and my nose and chin in particular can become quite oily during the day if over moisturised.  I've always kept the use of oils to the night, to give them the best chance of soaking into my skin, and to avoid them disturbing my makeup.  So it was with some trepidation that I tried out Daily Reviving Concentrate one morning a few weeks ago - and since then I've not really looked back.

A few drops smoothed over freshly cleansed skin absorbs almost immediately - there's no residue, no massaging required, and no fuss.  I've been layering the oil up with a very light moisturiser, but if you're oily you could probably skip it, and if you're dry you may want something a little heavier.  It definitely helps that I've been trying this product out during colder weather - light as it is, I suspect that Daily Reviving Concentrate would be too much for my skin in the sweaty summer months. During the winter, it's perfect, adding a shot more moisure without playing havoc with makeup.  The refreshing, citrus-y scent is also rather invigorating in the morning, too.

All in all, then, I'm a bit of a convert, aside from some minor gripes around the pipette packaging, which looks all cool and science-y, but provides too many opportunities to knock a full bottle of oil over onto the floor for clumsy old me.  Find it at the Kiehl's website, where it costs a reasonably spendy but not exorbitant £36.

Disclosure:  PR sample

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

Wednesday, 28 October 2015

Becca x Jaclyn Hill Shimmering Skin Perfector Pressed in Champagne Pop

Cats like highlighter too!

Becca's Champagne Pop is a great example of a product which has sold out time and time again largely because of the internet.  Created by YouTube makeup artist Jaclyn Hill, it's a lovely pale gold highlighter with pink/peach undertones which look naturally beautiful on most skin tones.  And because of the love it's been getting online, it's sold out multiple times at Sephora - to the extent that people have been using a set of hashtags - #findingchampagnepop - to help each other locate Sephora stores which have it in stock.

Naturally, when I was in the States recently, I put Champagne Pop on my must-buy list - mostly because of the internet frenzy - and I was lucky enough to find it at the Seattle Sephora store.  And gorgeous it is - it's not too gold, not too white, and just warm enough to be pretty without looking odd on my cool toned skin.  It's a subtle highlighter, but one which definitely helps the cheekbones to look more sculpted.  It also looks bloody good dabbed onto the cupid's bow (the dent in the top lip) and on the browbone.

Texture wise, it's a very creamy powder, blending with ease thanks to it's buttery texture.  I discovered the impressive pigmentation levels the hard way - robot face was the result - and now I use only the lightest dip onto the product with a fluffy brush.  The powder is very, very soft and thus very delicate - I dropped mine on the floor a little while ago and now have a compact full of crumbled bits and chunks, so be careful!

At $38, it's expensive, but a little goes a long way, and if you've struggled to find a highlighter that isn't too white, too warm, too gold, or too flat, you may well find this one to strike the perfect balance for you, as it does for me.  I'm very pleased with it, and would happily repurchase if I ever ran out.  Find it at Sephora.

Disclosure:  Bought by me.

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

Monday, 26 October 2015

Makeup Forever HD Blush in 330 Rosy Plum

When a Makeup Forever makeup artist showed me this product at an event recently, I told him I had the fluid version.  He looked at me strangely and told me it had been discontinued for a number of years because it dried up so quickly.  So, err, I threw it away when I got home.  Clear out your stash regularly, ladies!

Anyway, this compact blush bears no relation to the previous fluid blush apart from the name and the texture - both are creamy and well pigmented, but that's where the similarity ends.  This version has a pretty matte finish which blends with the oils in the skin to create a very, very natural finish on the skin.  It doesn't leave a glow (you'll need to add that yourself with highlighter) nor an overly matte finish, just a super natural, real skin finish.

This colour, 330 Rosy Plum, is lovely, although I'm not sure it's particularly plummy - rather, it's a mauve toned mid-pink which cool toned ladies will love for a neutral pink flush.  It's well pigmented, too, meaning you only need to swirl your finger atop the product once to get a reasonably noticeable flush.

The major downside, unfortunately, is the price - this little compact, which contains just 2.8g of product, costs £29.  I can only imagine the amazing profit margin, and the MUFE people rubbing their hands together with glee when they priced it.  If money's no object, then this is a brilliant natural finish blush - if it is, you'll find cheaper cream blushes on the high street which come close for less.

Disclosure: PR sample

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

Friday, 23 October 2015

BUY THIS NOW: Alpha H Liquid Gold

I've heard a great deal about Alpha H's cult classic Liquid Gold over the years, but I'd never quite gotten round to trying it myself.  Well, my friends, now I have tried it, and I have joined the Cult of Alpha H.  This stuff is AMAZING.

Liquid Gold is an overnight treatment which contains Glycolic Acid.  It's a thin liquid which you apply to the face in a thin layer via a cotton pad, and left on overnight, it essentially resurfaces the skin with a chemical exfoliation effect.  It does tingle when you apply it, and it's definitely not recommended for delicate or sensitive skin - even my relatively un-sensitive skin finds it a bit irritating if I use it every other night, which is the maximum frequency recommended.

Anyway - after sweeping a Liquid Gold laden cotton pad across my face, I wait for it to dry and then apply a moisturiser on top, then go to sleep assured that I'll wake up with bright, fresh skin.  If you want an extra high powered treatment, you can skip the moisturiser - when I do, I'm surprised to find that my skin still feels soft in the morning, not at all tight or dry.

Whilst the overnight effect is definitely noticeable, it's the long term effect that's truly impressive.  After a few months use, my skin is incredibly clear, very smooth, and my frown lines are definitely softer.  I'm using less foundation, as my skin looks pretty good on its own nowadays, and it needs less evening out than it did before.  Bloody impressive stuff, eh?

If you're looking for brighter, clearer, more even skin, Liquid Gold is definitely worth a try - just be careful to introduce it slowly, perhaps twice a week, to let your skin acclimatise and avoid any flare ups.  And make sure you wear facial sunscreen every day, as acid based products make your skin much more sensitive to the sun.  At £33.50 for 100ml, it's expensive, but I've used less than half my 100ml bottle in the past three months, and quite frankly I'm impressed enough with the effects that I'd happily pay more!

Disclosure:  Bought by me.

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

Wednesday, 21 October 2015

Deborah Lippmann Autumn 2015 - Miss Independence & She Wolf

Deborah Lippmann makes really lovely, albeit really expensive, nail polishes.  She makes some of the most unique glitters you can find outside indie brands, and until recently, I wouldn't really consider buying non-glitter shades because they were all a bit, you know, normal.  The fall (or autumn, because darn it, we're British) shades she's launched, though...

I have two of them here - Miss Independence, a deep, vampy cool violet, and She Wolf, the only shade of greige/putty/taupe I've tried which doesn't immediately make my hands look zombie like.  Both are cool toned, slightly greyish in that way which looks a bit edgy without making them unflattering.  They wear like iron, too - six days a piece with no chips, and only the tiniest bit of tipwear creeping in at the end.

I'll enjoy wearing them all autumn long (and probably all winter long too).  At £16 each, they are undoubtedly expensive, but hey... if you love the colours as much as I do, treat yourself!

Disclosure:  PR samples

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

Monday, 19 October 2015

Illamasqua Earth Collection - Nomadic Eyeshadow Palette, Ara Pure Pigment & Element Nail Varnish

Nomadic Eyeshadow Palette

Ara Pigment

Top: Ara Pigment; bottom: Nomadic Eyeshadow Palette

Element Nail Varnish
So, in the time it's taken me to write about Illamasqua's Earth collection for autumn 2015, they've gone and released a new one, Equinox.  And Alex Box has announced her departure from the brand. Oh well.

Earth is themed around, obviously, earth - the imagery is of mysterious eyed, veiled and turbaned ladies in a distinctly desert-like environment.  Since I've been reading the Martian recently, I've been imagining them on Mars, which is a little off piste, but fits in with the colour theme - warm, rich brick reds and oranges tempered with cool rock greys and beiges.

The Nomadic palette, £34, is the centre of the collection, and it's an interesting one - it boasts three matte shadows in shades of taupe grey (Solitude), green (Loam) and warm orange (Terra), and one shimmering pewter, Gravity.  As always, the eyeshadows are well pigmented and blend smoothly, with the mattes boasting not one jot of chalkiness.  Solitude, Loam and Gravity are much easier to wear, and I've had to take myself out of my comfort zone to find a good use for Terra - I suspect many others will feel the same.

My favourite part of the collection is the understated, shimmering taupe silver of the Pure Pigment in Ara, £17.  It's got such a beautiful rich shimmer, blends easily, and doesn't fall out too much if you pat rather than swipe it onto the lid.  It's also a perfect pairing for the more rich reds and pinks I wear on my lips during the autumn.  Element Nail Varnish (which has mysteriously disappeared from the Illamasqua website), £14.50, is also lovely, but I can't help but think I've seen this kind of low level metallic pewter polish somewhere before - it's not particularly unique.

All in all, there are some interesting elements in the Earth collection (see what I did there?) and my picks are the pigment and the palette in that order.  But there's something off here, and I can't quite put my finger on what it is - the quality of the products is high, as usual, but I think the overall tone is just a bit meh for a brand like Illamasqua.  Granted, it's less "safe" than some of their previous nude based collections, but it's not setting the world on fire.

And with Alex Box having now departed, I'm left wondering whether Illamasqua can survive as a mid-priced, game changing brand.  I guess we'll see what happens with the collections to come...

Disclosure:  PR samples

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

Saturday, 17 October 2015

Max Factor Lipfinity Long Lasting Lipstick in So Vivid, Always Elegant & Just Deluxe

So Vivid, Always Elegant, Just Deluxe

So Vivid

Always Elegant

Just Deluxe
These Max Factor Lipfinity Long Lasting Lipsticks confused me a bit - aren't Lipfinity products generally those incredibly long wearing base coat + balm combo things?  Turns out Max Factor has extended the range towards a more traditional lipstick, combining long wearing properties with a more comfortable formula, for those of us who want long wear without the dryness.

They're really rather good - the pigmentation is pretty opaque, with a couple of passes over the lips giving rich, saturated colour.  The finish has a soft sheen, and isn't too glossy or too matte.  The texture is soft, gliding onto the lips from the bullet, and feels comfortable and buttery on the lip.  Lasting power is pretty damn good too - I get around four to five hours, and at the end the colour fades down to a stain effect.  That's about half of what Max Factor claim this lipstick will do, wear wise, but given that this lipstick costs a mere £8.99, it's respectable enough.

The only criticism I have is that the plastic packaging is particularly cheap looking, which is a real shame.  Still, if you can look past the packaging, you're looking for a reasonably priced, high performing lipstick, and your colour choices don't stray too far from the basics, Lipfinity Long Lasting Lipstick is well worth a look.

Disclosure: PR samples

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

Thursday, 15 October 2015

Makeup Forever Artist Plexi Gloss in 206 Pop Pink and 302P Golden Coral

These Makeup Forever Artist Plexi Glosses are lovely if you like a traditional super shiny lipgloss with oodles of staying power.  The shade range is insane - 35 shades ranging from soft, sheer, juicy shades like Pop Pink and Golden Coral above, to more pigmented shades including more artistic colours like black and teal.

Pop Pink and Golden Coral both have a juicy, milky finish which is pretty rather than intense.  I'm told that other shades in the range are much more intense, taking the product from a gloss to more of a glossy liquid lipstick.  If you're looking for a particular finish, you're best off trundling down to your nearest Debenhams or searching for swatches online to avoid being surprised by the opacity of the shade you choose.

Texture wise, Plexi Gloss is a traditional gloss - by which I mean that it's a bit sticky.  That's not too surprising for something with this much shine in the finish, and the stickiness does make sure that shine lasts much longer than more balm-like glosses.  At £16, it's spendy, but worthwhile if you're after a long lasting gloss with plenty of choice in terms of shades.

Disclosure:  PR sample

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

Tuesday, 13 October 2015

Quick Pick: Kiko Cosmetics Liquid Intense Eyeliner in Brown

I try a lot of liquid eyeliners, and most of them are black.  Black, or turquoise for some reason.  So when this rather glorious brown liquid eyeliner popped through my door, I was curious to see how it looked, and I found that it's actually a pretty perfect companion to a neutral eye.

This particular eyeliner is Kiko's Liquid Intense Eyeliner - part of a recent limited edition collection, it comes in prettily sparkly packaging with some fetching art deco style lettering.  Score one for style.  It also has a very interesting nib - it's not a brush, it's not a felt tip, it's not foam - it's a soft, flexible plastic which makes drawing smooth lines as easy as stroking it along the lashline.  It does have a downside - because the shape is solid, you'll struggle to vary the thickness of the line without going over certain parts of it twice.

Not only is this eyeliner brown, but it also has a rather lovely depth and sheen to it - it's not sparkly, but it's definitely not flat.  It's more like a soft leather effect, and it's rather unusual, adding a bit of depth to the eye without looking odd from afar.

Of course, this being a Kiko product, it's also a mere £6.90.  If you're after a non-matte, easy to apply eyeliner, Kiko are selling Liquid Intense Eyeliner in brown, purple, a rather pretty sapphire blue, and if you absolutely insist, black.

Disclosure:  PR sample

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

Monday, 12 October 2015

Kinda Meh: Gel Touch Gel Topcoat

I have a bit of a problem with Gel Touch's Top Coat, which claims to transform any polish into a gel.  Not because it doesn't work, oh no - it definitely does, and if you apply it atop any polish, and then seal it with a LED light, it does give your manicure a lot of extra oomph - more shine, and lasting power which easily goes for a week, regardless of how low commitment the polish underneath actually was.

The problem is that it's basically a gel topcoat, and it's sold as a stand alone product.  You'll need a LED light to cure it, and if you own an LED light, there's a fair chance you have a full home gel polish system - and the topcoat from that will most likely do just as good a job over regular polish as Gel Touch will.  If you don't own a LED light, well, you'll have to buy one - and you'll get more for your money if you get one alongside a home gel polish system, rather than on it's own, which means you'll end up with a gel top coat anyway.  Sigh.

For price comparison's sake, the Gel Touch kit, which includes a top coat and a light, costs £50.  For £15 more, you can have a Red Carpet Manicure starter kit, which has a slightly lower powered light, but everything else you need for a complete manicure.  For £40 more, you can have the full kit and kaboodle with the pro light.  This'd be a bit of a no brainer if the top coat alone was comparable to a full gel manicure, but it isn't - because it doesn't bond through all the layers of polish, it adds armour but doesn't last as well as a full gel manicure does.  I get two to three weeks out of my Red Carpet Manicure gel manicures, whereas I found that Gel Touch only gave me just over a week of wear.

So, all in all, a nice enough product - but the economics don't quite work out for it to be a winner if you're looking to maximise wear time.

Disclosure:  PR sample

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

Sunday, 11 October 2015

Six Years of LBR

Sarah and I started the London Beauty Review a whole six years ago this week, and my, what a journey it's been.  We saw US brands like Sonia Kashuk and Le Metier de Beaute arrive in the UK and then leave again, and some British classics like Ruby & Milly and Naked Skincare disappear.  The savvy consumer now has more variety than ever to play with, from insanely good high street brands like Bourjois and Makeup Revolution, to the extreme of high end luxury that is Christian Louboutin's new £60 lipsticks.

Blogging's changed a lot, too.  Barely six months after we started LBR, our IMATS press passes ignited a tirade from one person on how blogging wasn't a valid form of media - six years later, it's hard to imagine anyone bashing bloggers, given how big a part of the beauty industry they've become.

From bedroom consumer passionistas to full-time journologger hybrids, you don't have to work for a glossy magazine to be an influencer any more- and indeed, influencers are now counted by their Instagram, Snapchat or YouTube following, rather than a boringly flat circulation figure.  There's a lot written about the movement from hobbyist to professional and the difference in perspective that may come from relying on your blog for a living, but remember - we all started out of a love of the feeling that comes from a new lipstick, the excitement of trying a new styling product, and the glow that comes from discovering a fragrance so you that you know it's a keeper.

Long may it continue, and whether you're a pro-blogger, a weekend blogger or a lipstick hungry consumer, keep doing what you do and enjoy every moment.

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

Thursday, 8 October 2015

BUY THIS NOW: Colourpop Super Shock Shadow - Not a Box of Chocolates Collection + So Quiche Single

Colourpop, for those of you who haven't yet heard of them, are a new, makeup brand out of LA.  They're somewhat unusual in that they a) are very reasonably priced b) keep the number of individual products low, and the number of shades very high and c) spell colour the correct way.

When I went to the US recently, I bit the bullet and bought a collection Super Shock Shadows, called Not a Box of Chocolates, and a single shadow in the form of So Quiche.  I also bought some lip stuff (obviously) but we'll talk about those another time.  It turns out that Not a Box of Chocolates was a Christmas collection, which means I must have bought one of the very last ones in September, but hey ho, it's still a great introduction to the brand - particularly at the very reasonable price of $30 for 6 shadows.

The packaging is pretty basic:  screw top jar, transparent plastic window, uniform brand embossing, colours labelled with stickers underneath.  It's a pretty classic move for a company trying to keep prices low to have simplistic packaging, and Colourpop have managed to keep their packaging both simple and also rather stylish.

Inside the jars, the shadows have a pattern embossed into them - this isn't really a decorative effect, but part of the pressing process these shadows go through when they're made.  They have that weirdly cool, bouncy-slippy-creamy-powdery texture, you see, and that means two things - one, fingers are a perfectly acceptable way to apply them (and actually preferrable, because of the glitter content of some of the shades), and two, that they are incredibly easy to apply with intensity from soft-whisp-of-colour to double-rainbow-intense.

One down side of this texture, unfortunately, is that they're incredibly soft and fragile - the boxes they arrived in were very, very padded, and yet another single shadow I ordered for a friend arrived broken.  Still usable, but a little messy, and not quite so pretty in the pot.

And now, on to the swatches.

Halo, Tinsel, Partridge
Halo is a pale, peachy gold with subtle shimmer to it.  It's a nice subtle option for a pared-down eye look.   Tinsel is a gloriously metallic icy mauve pink, which is incredibly flattering on green eyes.  Partridge has that green/red/brown duochrome thing going on, and is probably the strongest ever duochrome I've ever seen in an eyeshadow.  It looks stunning on the lid.

Sleigh, Drift, Doe-a-Deer
 Sleigh is a cool, green tinged pale gold with champagne sparkle.  Drift doesn't have any glitter in it, but does have a slight pearlised sheen to the finish - it's a gorgeously rich colour which can double up as a blush if applied very sheer.  Doe-a-Deer is an unusual one - a deep, bruised plum shade, it's matte, making it a good option for the base of a smoky eye.

So Quiche
So Quiche is unusual and absolutely beautiful - I've never had someone compliment my eyeshadow whilst they were threading my eyebrows, but the day it finally happened, I was wearing So Quiche.  A slightly greenish, slightly bronzed golden brown, it's packed full of pale pink glitter that makes for a really unique twist on a neutral eye.

So there you have it.  The shades are amazing; the metallic finish ones have incredible impact and intensity, and the pearlised and matte ones are just as lovely, albeit less in your face.  I also love the bouncy-slippy-cooling texture, which makes application a breeze, particularly if you just want an eyeful of one gloriously intense colour, and the fact that they cost a mere $5 a pop.  What a shame that they don't ship to the UK yet - I can certainly see Super Shock Shadow being very, very popular when it finally lands on our shores.

Disclosure:  Purchased, gleefully, by me.

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

Wednesday, 7 October 2015

A Mixed Bag: Kiehl's Super Multi-Corrective Cream & Super Multi-Corrective Eye Opening Serum

This, my friends, is a review of two halves, neither of which add up to a particularly impressive whole.  Kiehl's recently added Super Multi-Corrective Eye Opening Serum to the existing purple-jar'ed Super Multi-Corrective Cream.  Both products sit firmly in the anti-aging category, and both promise results fast - the eye serum, in fact, promises firmer, more refined skin after a mere week of use.

The Super Multi-Corrective Eye Opening Serum, I think, is the lesser of the two products, simply because I don't really think it does much other than hydrate the eye area (although, to be fair, my undereye area feels significantly more hydrated than usual).  Compared to its promises of lifting, smoothing, refining, and even eye-opening (I assume they don't mean this literally), it's a little underwhelming, particularly at the high price point of £36 for 15ml.

The Super Multi-Corrective Cream, however, is a little more impressive - perhaps because it claims a little less.  Like many anti-aging creams, it promises a more refined texture and some wrinkle smoothing action.  I don't really have particularly deep wrinkles myself, so I didn't notice significant wrinkle-smoothing effects, but I do have a frown line which I noticed has smoothed out a little. Most noticeably, my skin is much better hydrated after using this moisturiser, particularly at night on top of an AHA toner - I wake with velvety soft skin.  It's too rich for use during the day at the moment, but once winter sets in in earnest I'll be turning to this cream for a really good whack of moisture.  My only criticisms are that it's a little too strongly scented for my liking - although this comes from the essential oils in the formula rather than any added scent - and that at £48 for 50ml, it's a big investment for something which is mostly hydrating.  Those with dry or very dry skin may find it worth it, though, particularly as it absorbs completely within fifteen minutes, which is unusual for something with this much emollient effect.

Disclosure:  PR samples

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

Tuesday, 6 October 2015

BUY THIS NOW: Makeup Forever Ultra HD Foundation

I've been using Makeup Forever's newest foundation more or less constantly since I received it a few weeks ago, and wow am I impressed.  I'm wearing shade Y215, which is Yellow Alabaster, a pale shade with a yellow undertone to complement cool skin tones.  It's not hard to find a great match in the Ultra HD foundation range - there are a staggering 40 shades available, so many that Debenhams have felt the need to split them into light, medium, tan and dark groups on their website.

Anyway, shade range aside, the reason I'm loving this stuff so much is the texture and the finish.  It's a medium coverage foundation which can be built up to provide more coverage, and yet the texture is light and fluid - it looks great buffed in with a brush, but it also blends beautifully with fingers.  Best of all is the finish - it's so, so natural, whether you wear a little or a little more.  This is because MUFE have formulated this foundation so it looks good in Ultra HD, or 4k, resolution - just as HD changed the needs of screen makeup, 4k has done the same.

If you like your foundations beautifully natural in finish, but still capable of evening the skintone and covering blemishes effectively, you'll probably love Ultra HD Foundation as much as I do.  At £29, it's expensive, but a single pump is enough for a flawless-yet-natural coverage on my skin, which means it'll last a fair old while.  That flawless, natural finish, combined with impressive day-long wear, makes it a must have for me.

Disclosure: PR sample

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

Sunday, 4 October 2015

Hot or Hype? Olaplex at Billi Currie

A few weeks ago, I went down to Billi Currie's Tardis-like salon near Baker Street to try out the Olaplex treatment.  If you're at all interested in hair, you've probably heard of Olaplex already - it's the latest damage repairing, hair fixing treatment on the market, and The Internet is impressed.

Olaplex claims that the treatment system can repair the bonds in the hair which are broken down by colouring and styling.  It works best on hair which is pretty frazzled.  As the first stage, a slightly yellowy fluid, was applied to my dry hair, I was told that that Olaplex is so game changing that there are already copycats on the market (all suspiciously ending in 'plex'), and that it's an interesting development from a company who are focused on science rather than wringing more money from an already saturated haircare market.

Yeah, I thought, sounds like the usual product marketing bullshit.  As I sat and waited for the first stage to soak in, I noted that indeed, many of the big hair players have released a 'plex' product.  Ten minutes later, the second stage product was applied - unlike the watery first step, this one felt more familiar, being a conditioner-like fluid which was applied atop my already damp hair.  Ten minutes more, and it was shampooed out.

Afterwards I had a blowdry (which was excellent) and was surprised by the level of shine my hair had in it, but still - I've never had a blow dry which didn't end with beautifully shiny hair.  The real test, I was told, was how my hair felt in the following weeks, and whether my vibrant pink colour faded more slowly, as it should do following the treatment.

Three weeks on and I'm a definite convert.  My colour is holding better (although that might also have something to do with the new colour I'm trialling), but most impressively, my hair is significantly less fluffy than it was before, requiring only a bit of oil to dry naturally to a smooth(ish), rather than frizzy, finish.  And all this after a single treatment.  Olaplex is designed to be used frequently, and can actually be added to colour as it's applied to the hair to pre-empt the damage.

I'll definitely be using it again - perhaps not as a standalone service, which costs £50 at Billi Currie (ouch), but as an add-in to my colour service, which is a much more reasonable £20 at Rockalily Cuts, my regular hairdresser.  If your hair, like mine, suffers from regular colour/bleach and heat styling, it's well worth a try.

Disclosure: Complimentary treatment received at Billi Currie in exchange for a review

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

Friday, 2 October 2015

Kiko Cosmetics Intensely Lavish Lipstick in 01 Lusty Peony & 05 Heavy Cherry

01 Lusty Peony
05 Heavy Cherry
Kiko Cosmetics are always a good choice for a low cost, high impact lipstick, and their latest Intensely Lavish lipsticks are no exception.  The formula is slippy, buttery smooth and glides onto the lips from the bullet, and as I've come to expect from Kiko, the pigmentation is opaque.  Even better, they last damn well - I've recently been applying Lusty Peony at 7am and still wearing it, albeit a more matte, slightly drier version of it, at 3pm, whereupon I usually give up and reapply or wipe the last traces of colour off.  Not bad for a lipstick that costs a mere £6.90.

Now, let's focus on the colours for a moment - Heavy Cherry is a fairly standard cherry red with a pinkish base, which makes it a little easier to wear than your average blue toned true red.  I put it immediately into my 'give away to friends' pile after I swatched it, because I have a lot of lipstick in this kind of shade.  Lusty Peony though... it went straight into my handbag, and hasn't yet come out.  Kiko are a great source of neutral or cool toned, pink based nude lipsticks - and Lusty Peony is a great example of a nude which isn't too nude, too beige or too golden - it's just a perfect match for a slightly darker or richer toned eye.  I LOVE it.  If you struggle to find nudes which aren't too beige or too dead or too golden, it's well worth a try.  At £6.90, you can't be disappointed.

Disclosure:  PR samples

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