Showing posts with label review. Show all posts
Showing posts with label review. Show all posts

Sunday, 15 June 2014

Makeup Revolution Vivid Blush Lacquer in Desire

My last foray into Makeup Revolution didn't go so well.  I'm pleased to report that this product is much, much better - meet Vivid Blush Lacquer, a high intensity fluid blush, dispensed in a pump.  It's quite similar to Makeup Forever's HD Blush, but costs a fraction of the price at just £3.

Swatched, you can really see how well pigmented this blush is.  It's also got a very blendable, creamy formula which melts into the skin and leaves a very natural finish.

Because of the intensity of the pigment, you need only a tiny dot to get a pretty flush.  I've found that I need to be a bit careful when I blend, as the cream spreads easily and if you're not careful, you can end up blending it upwards into the eye area - I've found that the best application technique involves patting it onto the apples of the cheeks and then blending upwards across the cheekbones.

For £3, I'm really impressed - the tube will last me ages, the product does exactly what it claims to, and it comes in six shades from baby pink to sunny peach.  What's not to like?  Find it at the Makeup Revolution store now.

Disclosure: Purchased by me.  Glad I did.  

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

Wednesday, 11 June 2014

Bourjois Volume 1 Seconde Mascara

Bourjois have a new mascara out, and it's borrowing from their popular 1 Seconde sub range to give you full, voluminous lashes in a flash.  Encased in a shiny, mirrored, fingerprint attracting tube, it claims to give 360 degree volume around each lash.

The power of this mascara is in it's special brush, inspired by professional hairbrushes.  It has 'spherical bristles', apparently - I'm not really sure what that means, particularly since the bristles look normal and spiky to me.

Spherical bristles or not, the effects are pretty damn good - lots of length, good definition, no clumping, and plenty of volume.  The only part I'm not quite convinced by is the 1 Seconde part - to get this kind of effect you'll need to put some work into wiggling the brush from root to tip, and apply two coats, which definitely takes longer than a second.

As usual for Bourjois, this mascara is reasonably priced - £9.99 normally, currently on offer for £6.99 - making it a high performing high street option.  Find it at Boots now.

Disclosure: PR sample

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

Saturday, 7 June 2014

Quick Pick: Color Wow Shampoo, Conditioner and Styling Cream

I've been trialling a few of Color Wow's products for the past few weeks, and you can colour me impressed (tee hee).  The Color Security Shampoo lathers up well for something free from sulphates, has a lovely fresh scent and cleans the hair effectively.  I've noticed less colour fading since I started using it, and the amount of foam I rinse away after shampooing has been a paler pink than usual.  The Color Security Conditioner for Normal to Thick Hair is surprisingly light for such a rich, thirsty-hair-quenching conditioner, and you need only a small squirt to distribute throughout the hair - a little goes a long way.  At £16.50 for 250ml tubes, the shampoo and conditioner are undoubtedly expensive - particularly compared to L'Oreal's rather excellent Ever Strong/Smooth/Pure/etc range, which performs just as well, and costs a much more wallet-friendly £6.20 for 250ml.

The product I've been most impressed by is the One Minute Transformation Styling Cream.  It costs £16.50 for 120ml, but the product inside the tube does amazing things to my hair which makes it more than worth the money.  Most styling creams are applied pre-blow dry, to wet hair, but this one is applied to dry hair.  It instantly smooths and hydrates the ends, making the hair look less frizzy and more polished, and if you want to reshape the hair, you can use a quick blast of heat to restyle.  I've tried many products which claim to revitalise hair when it's dry, but few have made such a lasting difference as this one - a dab smoothed through the ends in the morning gives me smoothness that lasts all day.  Brilliant.

Disclosure: PR samples

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

Friday, 30 May 2014

Clarins Hydraquench Tinted Moisturiser in 01 Sand and 05 Gold

In the summer, a tinted moisturiser is a much better bet than a full on foundation, particularly if it's got an SPF as well as light coverage and a hydrating base.  Clarins Hydraquench has all three of these things - it's SPF15, it provides a soft veil of cover, and it's light yet rich texture means the skin will remain hydrated all day long.

01 Sand, 05 Gold
01 Sand, 05 Gold
Unfortunately neither of the shades I was sent quite matched my skintone - there's a lighter shade available, 00 Porcelain, which may just about match, but given the shade difference between my skin and 01 Sand, I wonder if it'll actually be pale enough.  For those of you who have deeper skintones, the shade range runs to a fairly deep bronze, and even if you're pale, you might find a match if your skin catches the sun a bit in summer.

I tried 01 Sand on in the name of research, purely to test the texture and coverage rather than the shade match.  As you can see, it's a bit warm for me (my face and neck don't really match), but it has given my skin a bit of coverage, more for the purposes of evening out the skintone rather than anything else - you can see some spots on the left side of my face which haven't quite been covered up.  The texture is very, very light, absorbs quickly into the skin, and feels weightless whilst leaving the skin feeling hydrated and plump.

Overall, Hydraquench Tinted Moisturiser is a nice compromise between a moisturiser and a light foundation, and I like that it has a glowy matte finish - some tinted moisturisers leave me looking shiny, which is a bad look for summer (or, in fact, anytime).  At £30, it's expensive, but a little dab goes a long way, and because it's Clarins you know it has good skincare benefits as well as light coverage.  Find it now at the Clarins website.

Disclosure: PR sample

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

Wednesday, 28 May 2014

Guerlain Cils d'Enfer Maxi Lash Mascara in Violet

Guerlain's latest mascara is a very, very classy looking affair.  The faceted golden tube is a little bit art deco, a little bit heavy, and a lot luxe.  Inside the tube is a volumising formula which promises 'maxi lash in a blink'.  Available in three shades, I have the Violet version to show you.

The brush is a pretty simple affair - straight wand, traditional bristles, densely packed.  You can see that the mascara is a deep violet in colour - no risk of 80s lashes here.

On the eye, I think I get more curl and length than volume.  This is two coats, and whilst there definitely is volume, it's not unusual - the length and curl, though, are better than I usually get.  The colour is lovely - it's just violet enough to subtly flatter my eye colour, whilst still being dark enough to make my light and wispy eyelashes stand out.

One thing I absolutely love about this mascara is the scent.  Most mascaras smell of nothing in particular, but this one smells of rose petals.  It doesn't make a difference to the application or formula at all, but it is rather lovely to get a whiff of rose petals whilst you're applying your mascara.  I also like the way that Cils d'Enfer leaves the lashes soft and flexible.

At £23, it's an expensive choice, but for a flattering colour option with great layerability, and a good mix of length, volume and curl, I think it's worth the cash.  Find Cils d'Enfer at House of Fraser online now.

Disclosure: PR sample

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

Monday, 26 May 2014

YSL Kiss & Blush in Rose Libre and Rouge Libertine

YSL's latest new product is Kiss & Blush, a creamy, semi-opaque product designed to 'kiss your cheeks and blush your lips'.  It promises a luminous matte finish thanks to the light, air whipped formula, and it comes in a myriad of colours from soft neutrals to daring brights.

One of the product's selling points is the 'hidden pearl' applicator, which stores up enough colour to allow you to quickly dot and blend onto the cheeks, or smooth onto the lips.  Which is necessary, really, as this stuff sets down pretty quickly, and if you want a well blended application on the cheeks, you'll need to blend fast.

Rouge Libertine, Rose Libre
The colours are reasonably opaque swatched, but translate a little more sheerly on the lip and on the cheek.  The bright red, Rouge Libertine, is pretty high voltage, though - colours this strong require a soft touch on the cheeks to avoid the Aunt Sally look.

Rouge Libertine
Rouge Libertine
Rouge Libertine is a classic cool toned red on the lips, with a slight translucence which stops it being too formal.  On the cheeks, it blends out to a soft, rosy flush - this was a conservative few dots, blended quickly, and it looks close to my natural flush.

Rose Libre
Rose Libre
Rose Libre is a safer, more neutral pink, which on me is a great my-lips-but-better pink, as it's fairly neutral in tone - I find many soft pinks to be way too warm for my skin.  On the cheek, it gives a very delicate flush which can be built up a little, but remains soft and pretty.

Overall, I like these new Kiss & Blush products, although I think I'm more likely to use the pale pink as a blush than the red.  I've been carrying Rose Libre around in my lipstick bag for a couple of weeks now, and I like the fact that I can touch up my blush on the go without carrying blush compacts and brushes.  At £27, they're scarily expensive - if you get a colour you're keen on for both lips and cheeks, and which you'll carry around for top ups, though, you're getting a very portable, versatile product for your hard earned cash.  Find them on YSL counters, and at the YSL beauty website.

Disclosure: PR samples

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

Friday, 23 May 2014

Clarins Colours of Brazil Eyeshadow Quartet and Liner Palette

Clarins' Colours of Brazil summer collection includes this beautiful eyeshadow and liner palette - the gorgeously intricate compact has the same embossed-in-glowing-red-plastic detailing Clarins used for last year's bronzing compact.

Shame it's a bugger to photograph.  Just take my word for it - it's lovely, and makes the palette feel very special.

Inside the palette, you get four eyeshadows and a creamy liner.  The eyeshadows are relatively neutral, with matte and shimmer finishes, and the liner... well, it's a bold, beautiful, royal blue.  As usual, each element is prettily embossed.

The colours are all vibrant when applied dry, but if you want a more opaque, intense finish they can be applied damp too.  That blue liner is intense but very smudgy in texture, which stops it from being a bit too 80s.

Applied, the eyeshadows give great neutral definition and depth, with the shimmery peachy orange shade adding brightness and a bit of summer heat.  The blue liner adds a pop of unexpected colour, and thanks to the creamy texture, is blendable enough to look smudgy and eye-colour-enhancing rather than just BLUE.  The four eyeshadows alone are perfect to take you right through the summer - the blue is an added extra for days when you want a bit more impact.

At £32, this palette isn't cheap, but it's reasonable for four eyeshadows, a liner, and a super-pretty compact you'll be proud to pull out of your makeup bag.  Find it now at the Clarins website.

Disclosure: PR sample

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

Tuesday, 20 May 2014

Clinique Moisture Surge CC Cream Compact SPF25 in Very Light

Clinique have released a new format of their Moisture Surge CC Cream - it's called, rather verbosely, Moisture Surge CC Cream Compact SPF25.  That's a lot of Cs right there.  I was only mildly impressed with the liquid version - I didn't think it added a lot over the BB cream, and I didn't quite understand the Moisture Surge moniker when it actually wasn't very hydrating.

This new compact version promises little above the liquid version, albeit offering a more portable format.  Inside the compact, you get a large, clear mirror and a small white sponge.  These sponges make me sad.  They're so white and pristine, and then immediately they become dirty and a bit beige.

I found that the compact format allowed for easier blending than the liquid - the act of using a sponge to dab and blend a little at a time proved much easier than trying to blend in the liquid, which seems drier and less velvety than the compact.  It's a cream to powder formula, with the final finish being a soft, glowing matte - I need a little powder to set down my T-zone, but otherwise it remains pretty matte throughout the day, which is odd for a moisturising product.

Left: before; right: after
The coverage is sheer to medium, and it works best for evening skintone out and adding luminosity.  I also found that it was very effective at toning down the redness of spots (I definitely had some corkers the first time I tried it) and, layered up slightly, works well as an undereye and blemish concealer.

Is it massively hydrating?  I don't think so.  It doesn't dry my skin out, but I didn't notice that my skin felt better hydrated throughout the course of the day compared to normal foundation.  Does it give a lovely finish?  Yes.  For that reason, I like it - much more than I liked the liquid version.

Now, on to a major bugbear - this foundation is £30 (that's not the bugbear).  It's a bit expensive, but not too awful compared to some of the foundations in my collection.  However, if your best shade match is Deep, the darkest of the six shades, this foundation is £35:

What's up with that, Clinique?  Why does a darker skintone justify a £5 price hike?  Answers on a post card...

Disclosure: PR sample

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

Monday, 19 May 2014

Clarins Lip Balm Crayons in 02 Creamy Pink, 04 Sweet Cherry, and 06 Soft Coffee

So, Clarins have entered the Chubby Stick arena with... Lip Balm Crayons.  They promise soft sheer colour, a hydrating texture, and a shiny, plump finish.  Available in six shades, I have three to show you today.

02 Creamy Pink, 04 Sweet Cherry, 06 Soft Coffee
The packaging is remarkably similar to the iconic Chubby Stick, with a noteable exception - where Chubby Sticks are uniformly chubby from end to tip, the Lip Balm Crayons have a narrower barrel towards the tip.  The difference isn't massive, but the narrow end makes it slightly easier to grip.

02 Creamy Pink, 04 Sweet Cherry, 06 Soft Coffee
02 Creamy Pink, 04 Sweet Cherry, 06 Soft Coffee
The colours are soft and sheer, much like the original Chubbies, but the difference is in the finish - Creamy Pink and Soft Coffee are a little bit milky.  I like milky finishes for lips, particularly with neutral shades - they give a little more interest than a flat sheer colour.

02 Creamy Pink
04 Sweet Cherry
06 Soft Coffee
Texture wise, they're less slippy than Clinique's Chubby Sticks - think creamier, more buttery, with just as much hydrating goodness.  Because they're sheer, soft and shiny, they do need topping up every couple of hours to keep the colour fresh and the sheen shiny.

Interestingly, Clarins have included a pH-sensitive shade a la Smashbox O-Glow - shade 01, My Pink, promises a custom shade of pink.  As well as My Pink and the three shades above, there's a coral pink, Tender Coral, and a berry shade, Delicious Plum, making the range a compact six shades.  At £18, they're expensive but worth it for the quality, and the fact that they'll be certain to last a good long while.  Find them now on counter and at Clarins' website.

Disclosure: PR samples

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

Friday, 16 May 2014

Avoid: Makeup Revolution Salvation Velvet Lip Lacquer in What I Believe

Everyone and their dog is busy making a velvety matte lip product this year.  Bourjois have done a bloody brilliant one, Topshop have done a slightly terrifying one, and now newcomer Makeup Revolution have done a very reasonably priced one.  At just £3, it's the cheapest matte lip lacquer I've tried this year, and given how much I liked the eyeshadow palette I tried recently, I had high hopes.

The format's pretty standard - doe foot applicator, richly pigmented cream product which sets down to a matte finish.  The packaging is absolutely awful - cheap typography, really weird product naming, downright ugly cardboard sleeve.  But hey, if I'm buying a budget product I'd rather the development costs be spent on the product, not the packaging.

Unfortunately, though, I think the only money spent on the product development was to fund some Tippex for texture comparisons.  Yes, the cream is richly pigmented, and applies easily to the lips.  Sadly, though, it dries down super-super-matte, and proceeds to flake off the lips very quickly.  This photo was taken about 3 minutes after application, and you can see the patchiness caused by flaking.  I tried reapplying several times, with lip balm, without lip balm, and the result was always the same - slightly sticky, flaky lips.  Which felt very, very dry.  Not a winner, then.

Just to illustrate the flaky nature of this product further, here's the cotton pad I used to remove it (with a bit of Bioderma).  It rolled off my lips in little flakes.  Bleh.

So, in this case, if you're after a matte lip lacquer, it's well worth spending a little more cash and going for the Bourjois one, which is the polar opposite in texture and comfort.  If you want to try Salvation for yourself, though, you'll find it on the Makeup Revolution website - don't say I didn't warn you!

Disclosure:  Bought with my own money.  Good thing it was only £3 or I'd be very pissed off.

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

Thursday, 15 May 2014

Kiko Cosmetics Life in Rio Exotic Shine Lipsticks in 01 Hearty Rose and 06 Voluptuous Pink

I've shown you the eye and face products from Kiko's latest limited edition collection, Life in Rio, and now I've got two lipsticks to show you.  Encased in shiny, shiny, fingerprint-attracting gold packaging, they're called Exotic Shine lipstick, and they promise intense colour and an extra shiny finish.

The colours I have here are 01 Hearty Rose, and 06 Voluptuous Pink.  Hearty Rose is a cool toned rose pink with a violet/mauve cast to it, and Voluptuous Pink is a slightly coral toned mid-pink.

Hearty Rose
Voluptuous Pink
Unfortunately these aren't a hit with me.  The pigmentation is pretty decent, but I wouldn't call it intense - it took a couple of passes over the lips to get the pigmentation shown above, and I found that the formula fought me with every pass.  It's a bit solid, a bit waxy, and dragged a fair bit on application until it warmed up.  It also felt heavy on my lips, which in a world of feather light textures was a bit of a shock.  And where's the super shiny finish?!

If you prefer more of a traditional waxy lipstick finish, and you're not looking for super shine, Kiko's Exotic Shine lipsticks might be a better fit for you - for me, though, they're almost exactly the opposite of what I want in a lipstick nowadays.  Find them at the Kiko website where they cost £8.50.

Disclosure: PR sample

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