Showing posts with label limited edition. Show all posts
Showing posts with label limited edition. Show all posts

Tuesday, 23 February 2016

Urban Decay x Gwen Stefani Lipsticks & Lipliners: Wonderland, Rock Steady, Ex-Girlfriend, Firebird

Rock Steady, Ex-Girlfriend, Firebird
Wonderland, Rock Steady, Ex-Girlfriend, Firebird
Rock Steady
Wearing Rock Steady lipliner + lipstick
Now, THIS is what I imagined when I first heard Gwen Stefani was collaborating with Urban Decay.  LIPSTICK, people, LIPSTICK.

There are six shades available, and I've got four to show you - Wonderland, a clean bright red; Rock Steady, a deeper ruby red; Ex-Girlfriend, a pinky beige nude; and Firebird, a hot blue based fuchsia.  Gorgeous, aren't they?  Firebird, granted, isn't quite my cup of tea, and Ex-Girlfriend is a nice if dupable medium pigment nude, but really, when I think about Gwen Stefani and lipstick, I immediately think RED, so do excuse me if I mostly talk about Wonderland and Rock Steady.

I was immediately drawn to Rock Steady, and I found it to be insanely pigmented, so much so that applying just the lipstick straight from the bullet generally results in a wavy lipline - you need a liner or a lip brush with this shade, it's just so intense every little wobble will show otherwise.  The matching 24/7 lipliner is a great match (obviously), and the combination of the liner and the lipstick makes for an intense statement lip which lasts well.  Not as well, though, as Wonderland - which doesn't quite need the same precision on the lipline, and easily lasts the whole day if you're content to end the day with a soft stain.

Overall, then, these lipsticks are much what you'd expect - bright, pigmented, creamy colours with great wear, and a statement finish.  Only Rock Steady really needs the matching lipliner, but if you want a really precise finish, it's worth having both.  At £16, the lipsticks are a veritable bargain if you want a long lasting red; the lip liners cost £14.

Disclosure:  PR samples

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

Thursday, 11 February 2016

Urban Decay x Gwen Stefani Blush Palette

Cherry, Easy, Angel
Lo-fi, Hush, OC

I'm not quite sure what Urban Decay are doing with the launch of this collection - the eyeshadow palette has been available for a while now, but the blush palette, the lipsticks and the brow box have only just been released.   Still, the blush palette is definitely worth waiting for - as are the lipsticks, but we'll talk about those later.

The Gwen Stefani blush palette, £35, contains six shades of pigmented blush, all of which are extremely well suited to pale, cool toned skin.  Packaging wise, it follows a similar white-and-gold theme to the eyeshadow palette, although the little coin shaped accents in the lid are white, not black.  It's heavy, made of sturdy plastic, with a hinged lid and a good large mirror - I like the 'Magic's in the Makeup' accent in the corner of the lid, which is the same on the eyeshadow palette, and references an old No Doubt song.

Urban Decay say the palette contains everything you need for Gwen-like bronzing, blush and highlighting, and indeed, there's a matte bronzer, Lo-Fi, in there - it's pretty light, and on deeper skintones wouldn't really provide much bronzing action.  Highlighter wise, though, I'm less convinced - Hush is a peachy, coppery blush which has enough shimmer to be a bit of a highligher, and Angel could definitely qualify if you like your highlighters to be very golden, but both are pigmented blushers more than they are highlighters, which usually bring just a bit of glow.

Cherry brings a pop of clean, Barbie pink with shimmer, and Easy, which is easily my favourite, has a glorious berry rose tone combined has a good shot of sparkle.  OC is a bit unusual - it's a sunny peach blush with a slight pink duochrome to it, although you really need to pack on the colour to spot it on the skin.

Overall, then, this palette is lovely, particularly if you're pale and cool toned.  For my tastes, though, it's a little too sparkly, and a little too golden, but if you like your cheeks glowing, bronzed and sunny, this could well be a great blush palette for you.

Disclosure:  PR sample

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

Sunday, 7 February 2016

Max Factor Marilyn Monroe Lipstick Collection

Ruby Red, Sunset Red, Berry Red, Cabernet Red
Ruby Red, Sunset Red, Berry Red, Cabernet Red
Cabernet Red
Ruby Red, Sunset Red, Berry Red, Cabernet Red
Ruby Red
Sunset Red
Berry Red
Cabernet Red
Max Factor's lipsticks are pretty good quality for their price point - and these Marilyn Monroe themed lipsticks are no exception.  The four shades of red include classic Ruby, warm Sunset, pinkish Berry, and shimmery rich Cabernet - my personal favourite is Cabernet red, which is gloriously rich and has a nice shot of deep red shimmer running throughout.

The lipsticks are in the Colour Elixir formula, which is plush and silky, and gives a medium pigmented finish.  A couple of passes over the lips intensifies the pigment, and that's what I've swatched above.  Wear time is average at about three hours before the colour fades down into a slight tint.

My only gripe is that the Marilyn Monroe connection is pretty damn thin - apart from the red packaging, there's nothing that distinguishes these lipsticks from the regular Color Elixir range, and there's nothing very Marilyn like other than the fact that the lipsticks are all red, and Marilyn is one of many famous wearers of red lipstick.

Overall, then, a great collection of reds, particularly at the very reasonable price of £7.99 a pop.  Any confirmed red lipstick lover will find a shade to love, and if you're new to red, each shade is neutral enough that choosing one should be relatively easy.

Disclosure:  PR samples

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

Tuesday, 17 November 2015

BUY THIS NOW: UD x Gwen Stefani Eyeshadow Palette

Blonde, Bathwater, Skimp, Steady, Punk

Baby, Anaheim, Stark, Zone, Serious

Pop, Harajuku, Danger, 1987, Blackout

Not even one week has passed, and I'm already in love with another UD eyeshadow palette.  Last week, it was Vice 4, and this week, it's the UD x Gwen Stefani eyeshadow palette, a collaboration which just feels right - Gwen Stefani is a makeup icon for many, and I for one have always admired her style.  The sturdy, chunky plastic palette is a simple yet striking affair, all gold and monochrome, with a lovely big mirror accented with a very relevant No Doubt song name - The Magic's In The Makeup.

The palette comes with four samples of the Gwen Stefani lipstick collection - which seems to be coming later than the eyeshadow palette, because I can find no information on it whatsoever.  Still, that dot of 714 looks pretty striking, as does the richness of Rock Steady.  I can only imagine that the lipstick range will incorporate plenty of rich, striking reds - right up my street.

One of the things I love about this palette is the number of matte shades included in it.  Five out of the fifteen shades are matte, ranging from Stark, a peachy pink matte, to Blackout, the ever-present matte black shade UD include in most of their palettes.  Anaheim, a cool taupe brown; Zone, a basic medium brown; and Punk, a deep reddish brown complete the set - perfect for a matte contoured eye.  Serious, a smoky brown-toned grey, isn't listed as a matte shade - it's apparently got iridescent floating pearl, whatever that means - but it looks like a matte to me, so I'm counting it as a bonus sixth matte shade.

Alongside the matte-ness is the usual UD selection of satin, metallic, and glittery shades.  The highlights for me are Steady, a pretty rose gold metallic; Skimp, a pale champagne satin; and Danger, a deep sapphire blue which, alongside Harajuku's clean, cool pink, provides a pop of colour in an otherwise very neutral palette.

As you'd expect from UD, every shade is buttery soft and super blendable, as well as carrying a good amount of pigment.  Whilst you probably don't need this palette if you're a die hard UD fan - there are many shades which are close to others in the range, regardless of what UD say about most being unique - you'll quite probably want it.  And why not?  It's a well curated palette of very usable nude shades, with a few pops of colour thrown in for good measure.  Find it from the 22nd November on the Urban Decay website, where it costs £40.

Disclosure:  PR sample

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

Tuesday, 21 April 2015

Clarins Aquatic Treasures Summer Bronzing Compact 2015

You know it's nearly summer when Clarins release one of their annual Summer Bronzing Compacts.  This year's offering is absolutely beautiful - a delicately embossed bronzing powder in four shades, entirely matte, packaged in an amber compact with an inlaid pattern which catches the light beautifully.

It's almost, almost too beautiful to use.  And I haven't quite yet brought myself to use it.  But I know that when I do, it'll have a lovely soft texture, the colour will be buildable and not at all orange, and this year it's entirely matte, which is lovely if you don't want that overly shimmery, glowing summer skin which doesn't look quite right on anyone above 30.

At £30, it's an expensive bronzer - but it's utterly beautiful, almost collectible, and will easily take you through the whole season with a subtle, skin-enhancing bronze.  It launches in May, just in time for the warmer weather - I know I'll be using mine all summer long.

Disclosure: PR sample

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

Monday, 16 March 2015

Clinique Aromatics in White

Clinique have released a new take on their iconic fragrance, Aromatics Elixir.  Aromatics Elixir is a bit polarising some people (like me) love its heavy, aromatic, spicy scent, and others find it entirely too overpowering.  Aromatics in White is a different beast altogether - it opens up with a burst of white flowers and pepper, then dries down to a soft, almost powdery amber fragrance which has a gentle waft of spicy aromatics, but mellowed with musk and vanilla.  All in all, it's a warm, comforting fragrance with a distinct air of mellow mystery, and far less of a smack about the nose than Aromatics Elixir is.  Aromatics in White costs £55 for 50ml - not cheap, but not awfully expensive either, particularly for something more complex and unusual than your average high street fragrance.

To celebrate it's launch, Clinique has also launched Long Last Glosswear lip gloss in Crystallized (a sheer, shimmering gold) and a limited edition, rather gorgeous eyeshadow palette.  The palette is an absolute triumph for anyone who hankers after warm neutrals - shades of copper play beautifully with toasty neutrals and golden khakis.  Gorgeous.  £30, but six shadows - still gorgeous.

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

Friday, 14 November 2014

M&S; + British Beauty Blogger Eye Pencil Set

This Eye Pencil kit, £15, is another of the sets available from M&S this autumn, produced in collaboration with British Beauty Blogger and Nuno da Costa.  It contains eight eye pencils, described as khol by M&S, in a variety of shades which err slightly towards the dark and sulty side of the spectrum - which is fine by me, I have limited use for pale blue eyeliner.

Texture wise, they vary massively shade-to-shade - the plain black is a little hard until it warms up, the pale blue is soft but requires a couple of passes to get good opacity, and the deep aubergine is both softer and more well pigmented than the pale blue.  Overall, I think the darker colours have better pigmentation than the brighter/more metallic ones, although as you can see from my swatches it's perfectly possible to get good payoff out of all of them.

My absolute favourite is the black with silver sparkles.  It's like MAC's Black Tied eyeshadow in a pencil - deep black base, twinkling silver glitter - but in this case the silver glitter shows up on the lashline rather than falling onto your cheeks.  The texture is reasonably soft, and the glitter holds on tight and doesn't migrate at all.  I'd pay £15 for this shade alone - it's so rare to find a pencil with constrasting glitter where the contrast actually carries across onto the skin.

You'll find this at M&S online and in-store, alongside the other products from the collaboration, and you can also nab them as part of M&S regular 3-for-2 Christmas gift promotion.  And trust me, it's worth it for that black-and-silver pencil alone.

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.

Thursday, 6 March 2014

Pretty but Pointless: Clarins Opalescence Face and Blush Powder

I've been a bit inconsistent in posting about Clarins' spring collection, Opalescence.  Fear not, though, we've been through most of them pieces now, and the glorious cream blushers and smoky plum eyeshadow are definitely my favourites so far.  The Opalescence Face and Blush powder is a classic Clarins offering - beautifully packaged, intricately embossed... it's definitely a collector's piece.

The outer packaging is heavy plastic and metal with a lovely light-bending opalescent lid which is a bugger to photograph.  Those are my patio doors reflected there.  Nice, eh?

The product itself is a light toned powder with smaller dots of beige and pink, and a smattering of golden overspray.  I did try to swatch it, but it doesn't really show up much - it's a slightly glowy finishing powder.  I'm not entirely sure why Clarins are selling it as a blush, as the smaller, more colourful parts of the compact are small enough that it's quite difficult to get colour from just them onto a brush.

At £30, it's an expensive prospect for something which is aesthetically pleasing, but doesn't really add a lot of value as a piece of makeup.  If you like a slightly glowy face powder, and your skin is of the light-to-medium toned variety, you might like it.  Or, you might struggle to touch a brush to that beautiful embossing.  Find it at the Clarins website, if you have money to burn on pointless but pretty things.

Disclosure: PR sample

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

Sunday, 10 November 2013

Guerlain Crazy Paris Christmas 2013

I really love the way Guerlain are bucking the obvious red/gold Christmas combination and going for an almost neon contrast with black and pink packaging for their seasonal offering.  The classic Meteorites face powder pearls are presented in a black-and-pink box with stylised flower, and there's a new hot pink pearl included to brighten up the skintone.  £37.

For fans of Guerlain's La Petite Robe Noire fragrance, there's a perfumed hair and body shimmer.  Guerlain deliver one of these very decadent powder atomisers every year, than this one is super sleek with its shiny black bottle and hot pink puff.  £51.

There's also a pressed powder version of the radiance-boosting Meteorites pearls - again with a splash of hot pink for extra brightness.  £37.

There are also a few lip colours, both in the Rouge Automatique and Rouge G variations, and an eyeshadow palette with shades of pink, grey, taupe and black.  Interestingly, Guerlain are also catering to the clubbers amongst us with a pearlised black polish and a topcoat which reacts with UV light.

I've been lusting after the powder atomisers for years - although not having smelled La Petite Robe Noire I'm not sure I'll be hankering after this one, given its fragrant tie in.  What's lighting your fire this year?

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

Sunday, 3 November 2013

A Beauty-ful Christmas: Advent Calendars, Tree Ornaments and more

Seems like everyone and their dog is doing a beauty advent calendar this year.  Or a pretty tree ornament.  Or a cracker.  Christmas has never been so good for beauty lovers, with cosmetic treats appearing before, under, and over the tree.  Now we're in November and the C-word embargo has been lifted on LBR, here's a low down on some of the best.

The elegant white calendar above is a collaboration between the Mail on Sunday's YOU magazine and Latest in Beauty.  It contains treats from the likes of Sisley, Stila, Dermalogica, Leighton Denny and Balance Me - the contents add up to £240 worth of product, selling for £49.95.  Find it at the YOU Beauty Discovery website.

The very pretty Benefit Countdown to Love advent calendar went on sale in Debenhams stores and Benefit boutiques yesterday, and is expected to sell out quickly.  It contains miniature sizes of Benefit favourites such as High Beam and They're Real, as well as some Benefit charms and jewellery.  It costs £50, and apparently will appear on the website sometime today - get your makeup buying finger ready!

Boots have also jumped on the advent calendar bandwagon, with this slightly less expensive version - at £30, it contains treats from Mavala, Soap and Glory, Paco Rabanne, Nails Inc and Rimmel.  Even better, if you decide to buy a full size product after trying one of the miniatures in this set, you'll get extra Advantage points.

Ciate's jumper print calendar contains mini polishes, caviar beads, and exclusive glitter shades.  Costing £42 at Selfridges, it's perfect for nail lovers.

Mavala's pretty glitter polishes have been given a festive twist - you can hang these little polish angels on the tree.  So cute.  A pack of two costs just £7.75 at Feel Unique - they're available in violet/blue, red/bronze, and gold/silver combinations.

Space NK's Christmas crackers feature mini Lipstick Queen lipsticks and Rococco polishes.  The blue one costs £20 and contains a miniature Laughter shower gel, sheer Rosebud Saint lipstick, and deep red Fashion Victim polish, whilst the purple one costs £25 and has a Lipstick Queen lip brush included, as well as a Nude Sinner lipstick, and Cold Karma nail polish.

Any more desirable little things you know of?  Which will be gracing your home this Christmas?  Let me know in the comments!

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