Showing posts with label summer. Show all posts
Showing posts with label summer. Show all posts

Sunday, 26 April 2015

Clarins Radiance-Plus Golden Glow Booster for Body

Last year, Clarins released a genius tanning product - Radiance-Plus Golden Glow Booster, a self tan concentrate you could mix with your favourite facial moisturiser for a gradual tan effect.  It was so successful, they've launched a body version this year.

It comes in a slightly larger 30ml bottle, and Clarins have helpfully given it a bronze metallic cap and bottom, so it contrasts nicely against the original face version - useful if you own both to avoid accidentally putting the body one on your face (it's a bit stronger).  The premise is the same, though - pop some body cream in your hand, squeeze four to six drops of tanner into it, mix it up, and apply.

The two major benefits are that you can control the amount of self tan that goes into your cream - scaredy cats like me can use two or three drops and be cautious - and also that you can keep using whatever body product works for you.

At £26, it's a bit more expensive than the original £18 face version, but you do get double the amount, so it works out a little cheaper.  And for the customisation potential, it's a totally worthwhile price for me.  Find it now at the Clarins website, and on counter.

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.

Sunday, 19 April 2015

BUY THIS NOW: Illamasqua Gel Colour in Charm

"WHAT IS THAT?" is what my husband said when I pulled Illamasqua's latest release from its post bag.  "Is it face paint?"  And indeed, you would be forgiven for being bloody terrified of this stuff if you casually opened the cap on counter - it's bright, bright orange, and if I didn't know that it had a sheer finish and a very light gel texture, it's the kind of thing I'd immediately put back down again because it's for Braver People Than Me.

The swatch above is pretty heavy, and even so it's a pleasingly sheer, punchy apricot colour - blended into the cheeks it wakes the whole face up, adding brightness and colour without going overboard and without any kind of glitter or shine on the finish.  The gel texture applies beautifully smoothly from the stick, and feels wonderfully cooling, like sticking your face in a sinkful of cool water on a hot day.

I love this product for a couple of reasons - because it's subtle yet buildable, but still somehow natural on the skin despite its orangeness, because it blends beautifully with your fingers (no tools required) and also because it lasts brilliantly well - the whole day, in fact.  Perfect for the warmer weather which is (hopefully) on it's way.

Illamasqua Gel Colour is also available in Fluster, a pink shade, and Silhouette, a brown designed for contouring.  They cost £22 each - spendy, but a tiny bit goes a long, long way.

Disclosure: PR sample

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

Thursday, 2 April 2015

Too Faced Soul Mates Blushing Bronzer in Ross & Rachel

I was fully expecting this bronzer and blush combo to be far too warm for my cool-toned skin, but somehow it works - largely, I think, due to the fact that the pink blush is pretty cool toned, and the bronzer is a bit warm, so swirling the two together cancels out the warmth a little bit.  Applied separately, the bronzer is a little on the orangey side for me, but if your skin is warm toned you could probably make it work.

Anyway, debates about warmth aside, Too Faced's Blushing Bronzer is a ginormous, shiny heart shaped compact which is more than a little kitsch.  I like the way the compact contains an equally ginormous heart shaped mirror in the lid, and that the product itself is generous, too - 18g, in fact.

The bronzer and blush are both soft and easily blendable, and a quick swirl picks up product as effectively as a careful dip.  Both the blush and the bronzer have the slightest hint of shimmer running through them, but on the skin they look fairly natural - definitely not overly glittery, just slightly glowing.

If you're looking for a quick way to a glowing, rosy bronzed face this summer, this product is great - although if you're pale like me you might prefer the Carrie & Big colourway, which has a lighter bronzer and a coral toned blush (and unfortunately may only be available in the States).  At £28, Soul Mates is a bit of a treat, but the large, sturdy compact and generous amount of product means it should last you well beyond the end of summer.  Find it at Debenhams.

Disclosure: PR sample

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

Tuesday, 26 August 2014

#MyNo7Feeling Red Lash FOTD featuring Lash Impact Mascara, Stay Perfect Shade & Define, High Shine Lip Crayon

No 7 is busy showcasing quick, flattering summer makeup looks right now - there are several to try, from soft natural pinks to low-key ways to wear red to summer bronzed.  I've been trying out Look 2, which features defined eyes and a wearable red lip - right up my proverbial makeup street.

Sunday, 3 August 2014

Summer Essential: Hydraluron Moisture Jelly

This stuff is an absolute godsend on a hot, sweaty summer's day.  Fortuitously, it arrived just before I went off for a week on the beach in Egypt, where it hit 46 degrees most days, and in that kind of heat a sticky, heavy moisturiser just doesn't cut it.  Indeed Labs' Hydraluron Moisture Jelly is the absolute opposite of sticky and heavy - the gel formula makes it light as a feather, and it's absorbed into the skin in no time at all.  For something with such a light texture, it gives an incredible shot of moisture - I found myself reaching for it when I came in from the sunshine every evening, and it cooled, calmed and hydrated my skin quickly and easily.

I've got to also highlight how amazing the packaging is - the product is completely sealed in the jar, and to dispense, you simply press down on the top of the jar, which squeezes a dab of product out via a clever, self-closing aperture.  This means that the product doesn't get contaminated with anything from your fingers, nor does it get any exposure to air.

At £24.99, it's not cheap, but given the amount of product needed per application, I'd say each jar will last a good couple of months.  Perfect for summer hydration, or all year round if your skin is on the oily side, or if you dislike moisturisers you can feel on your skin.  Find it at Boots.

Disclosure: PR sample

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

Friday, 25 July 2014

Bourjois Summer Bronzing: Delice de Poudre Highlighter + Universal Tan & Gold Bronzing Powder

Bourjois have two new versions of their chocolate-shaped bronzers for summer this year - one subtle, and one, err, extremely sparkly.  Packaged in study cardboard sleeves with good magnetic closures, the pressed chocolate shape is very pretty, and comes paired with a delicate, sweet scent.

Delice de Poudre Duo combines two blocks of 'universal tan' bronzer with two blocks of a shimmering champagne highlighter.  The bronzer is pretty much matte with the most sparse sprinkling of golden glitter particles - they don't really translate to the face though, and the effect is a subtle, matte bronze.  The highlighter is also pretty subtle, with a pearly glow rather than a metallic shimmer or glitter effect.  If you're pale or medium of skintone, this duo would work well for you - there are no orange undertones in the bronzer, and it's perfect for a bit of subtle sculpting.

The Gold Bronzing Powder is the other end of the spectrum - subtle it isn't.  The box says it's 'sprinkled with rich clusters of sunshine' and what that actually means is that it's sparkly as hell.  The kind of golden sparkly that I'd love in an eyeshadow, but not the kind of sparkly I'd want as a bronzer.  If your skin is a deeper tone, or you're tanned, and you're looking for a hefty dose of shimmer, this'd probably work for you.  Pale people, please avoid.

Left to right:  Delice de Poudre Duo Bronzer + Highlighter; Gold Bronzing Powder
And finally, some swatches.  I had to swatch the Duo bronzer pretty heavily - in reality it's pretty sheer but very buildable.  The swatch of the highlighter gives you some idea of how subtle it is - even in direct sunlight it gives more of a gleam than a sparkle.  Finally, the Gold Bronzing Powder - ordinarily I'd be squeeing over the metallic finish, which is most desirable in an eyeshadow... but I'm not sure how many skintones will find this wearable in a bronzer.

At just £7.99, these bronzing palettes are well priced, with good sturdy packaging and light, soft powders making them a bit of a bargain.  They launch August 6th in the usual Bourjois stockists.

Disclosure: PR samples.

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

Sunday, 13 July 2014

New Bourjois Cream Blush shades for summer - 05 Pink Sunwear & 06 Tropical Coral

Bourjois Cream Blush, launched last year, caused a bit of a stir with it's lovely blendable cream to powder texture and array of soft shades.  This year Bourjois are adding two new shades with a bronze cast, perfect for a bit of summer sculpting.

Tuesday, 1 July 2014

6 Summer Makeup Essentials

In the summertime, when the weather is high / You can make right up, get mascara under your eyes / Now when the weather is fine / You've got long wear, you've got long wear on your mind
I generally hate summer.  I burn, I sweat, I melt, and I grumble a lot.  Here are the six things which form the core of my summer makeup bag, helping me survive without looking like a sweaty mess.

MAC 275 Angled Blending Brush - I rarely wear more than one eyeshadow at a time in summer.  I love my MAC 275 brush for quickly applying shadow to the eyelid and blending it in - I have the short handled version, which came in a Christmas set many years ago.  The full size version is £25.

Urban Decay Ink For Eyes* - Waterproof, felt tip eyeliner is a good way of opening up the eye without risking smudging from using kohl.  I've used this new UD Ink For Eyes several times a week since it arrived, and I'm sold.

& Other Stories Shetland Brown Eyeshadow - This has been a staple since I bought it - a sparkling coppery brown, it's wonderfully flattering on my hazel eyes, lasts well with no fallout, and catches the light prettily in the summer sun.

Clinique Cheek Pop Blush in Ginger Pop* - The perfect neutral/tawny blush, Ginger Pop warms my face up a treat, sits well on the skin even when it's a bit sweaty, and lasts a surprisingly long time.

Estee Lauder Double Wear Foundation - This stuff lasts and lasts and lasts.  In summer, it's a bit heavy on its own, so I often turn it into a lighter (but just as long lasting) tinted moisturiser by mixing it with moisturiser or SPF.

Clarins Truly Waterproof Mascara* - Waterproof mascara is essential during the summer, and this one is bloody brilliant.  It doesn't flake, smudge or budge, and you'll need to put serious effort in to remove it, too.

What are your summer makeup bag essentials?

Disclosure:  Items marked * were originally received as PR samples

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

Thursday, 12 June 2014

Illamasqua Matte Effect Summer 2014 - Matte Lip Liquid in Surrender and Forbidden, Velvet Blush in Flirtation

Illamasqua's latest collection is all about matte textures.  Like everyone else and their dog, they've developed a matte liquid lip product, and their already-popular Velvet Blush has been treated to a new, coral-tastic shade for summer.

The Matte Lip Liquid product comes with a flexible brush and has a surprisingly fluid texture; it's silky and slick, and you paint it on almost like a watercolour.

Velvet Blush has a lovely emollient texture, without any trace of greasiness - it turns to a powder finish when blended into the skin, giving a matte finish rather than the slightly shiny look so common with cream blush.

Left to right:  Matte Lip Liquid in Surrender and Forbidden; Velvet Blush in Flirtation
Swatched, you can really see the colour intensity in the Matte Lip Liquids.  Dabbed onto the skin, they dry super-super-matte, with even pigmentation and intense colour.  On the lip, though, you have to work really hard to get the same even application - the brush leaves brushstrokes behind, and you'll have to quickly apply two very thin layers to avoid patchiness.

Matte Lip Liquid in Surrender
Matte Lip Liquid in Forbidden
Neither colour suits my pale, pink-toned skintone and both look pretty weird next to my hair, which is currently pink.  I also found the application to be a bit of a chore - two layers to avoid streaks and patches, a matte finish which emphasises every flaw in the lip... it all adds up to a lip look which takes quite a bit of work to get right.  Which isn't what I want to be doing in summer.  I also found the texture to be a bit sticky, even when fully set.  If you can bear the application time and the stickiness, though, you'll get a very long lasting lip - I struggled to remove my swatches without a fair bit of oil cleanser.

Velvet Blush in Flirtation
The Velvet Blush is a much safer bet for me - the colour is a slightly coral/orange toned nude, and it warms up the skin without being too bright or in-your-face, although you can layer it if you like a stronger pop of colour.  I really like the non-greasy, non-shiny matte finish, too.

Overall, the collection is a bit of a mixed bag for me.  I really hoped that Illamasqua would nail the matte liquid lip thing, give us some amazing colours, but the Matte Lip Liquid is a bit too fussy, and the colours aren't going to be flattering on everyone (none of them are flattering on me!).  The blush, though, is a keeper, and I can see myself using it quite a bit this summer.

You'll find the Matte Lip Liquids, £18.50, and Velvet Blush, £21.50, online at Illamasqua's website, or at one of their stores and counters.

Disclosure: PR sample

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

Tuesday, 3 June 2014

YSL Summer Look 2014: La Lacque Couture in Bleu Cyclades & Glossy Stain in 111

YSL's summer look for 2014 is called Bleus Lumiere, and it contains some killer blues which evoke swimming pools, the ocean, and, um, dodgy blue cocktails to get you ready for the sun.

La Lacque Couture is available in two shades - a pale blue cream, and this stunningly rich blue shimmer, Bleu Cyclades, £18.50.  It glimmers in the sunshine with a magnificently sparkling blue depth, although it's worth mentioning that after a few days it does dull down a bit, losing some of the depth of sparkle.  Application is, as always with La Lacque Couture, smooth as a marble statue's arse.

I'm very, very fond of Glossy Stain, £25 - it's a hybrid lipstick/lipgloss/lipstain which sticks to the lips and looks very plush indeed.  The new shade for summer, 111, is a bit understated, which is unsurprising given that it's paired with a bright blue eye in the promo shots - it's a soft, muted coral blush which adds just enough colour without being a bright lip in its own right.

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.

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.

Wednesday, 30 April 2014

Kiko Cosmetics Life in Rio: Essential Bronzer in Warm Melange and Sun Lovers Blush in Copacabana Coral

Kiko's new Life in Rio collection is full of bright, juicy colours for summer.  I've got a few pieces from the collection to show you, and today we're starting off with the face products - namely the Essential Bronzer and Sun Lovers Blush.  Both are large, oversized discs of baked goodness, with good colour payoff, and decent sized mirrors in the compact.  And the compacts are adorned with a very pretty colourful design, too.

Left: Essential Bronzer in Warm Melange; right: Sun Lovers Blush in Copacabana Coral

Essential Bronzer in Warm Melange

Sun Lovers Blush in Copacabana Coral

Left: Essential Bronzer in Warm Melange; right: Sun Lovers Blush in Copacabana Coral
Although I still feel that Kiko's bronzers are too warm and orange toned to suit all skintones, this Warm Melange bronzer is only a little bit too warm for my cool toned skin.  The Copacabana Coral blush, though, is all sorts of right - it's a soft, pinky-peachy-coral colour, with a fine smattering of shimmer, and it's gorgeous for a pop of sunkissed colour.

Both powders are extremely soft, and if you try to swirl them with a firm bristled brush, you'll get all sorts of fall out.  Swirl gently, and you'll pick up plenty of colour.

And here I am wearing Warm Melange as a contour (just a little), and a soft layer of Copacabana Coral, concentrated on the apples of my cheeks.  While there is a bit of shimmer in Copacabana Coral, it doesn't really translate to the face strongly.

Personally, I would stay away from the Essential Bronzers, £16.90, unless your skin is warm or at least not super-pale.  If your skintone works with the shades, they're well worth investigating, particularly as a completely matte bronzer is often hard to find on the high street.  All skintones will find something to love in the shade range of the Sun Lovers Blush, £14.90, and the giant pan means it'll last an age.

More to come from this collection soon - including some MAC-a-like eyeliners!

Disclosure: PR samples

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

Tuesday, 21 May 2013

NOTD: Mavala Chilli and Spice shades Bamako, Trinidad, Jaipur

What could be nicer than a stocky, cheerful little pot of Mavala colour? How about three pots at once?

Part of the beauty of these pigment-saturated summer shades from Mavala is how well they offset each other. So I decided to wear a few of them together by way of an accent nail. The main manicure colour is Trinidad, a rich ultramarine blue. The accent nail is a combo of Jaipur, the vivid orange shade, and Bamako, a strident forest green.

I photographed this manicure on a slightly overcast day, but even so, you can see how punchy these colours are. As with Mavala colours generally, the wear is pretty good - 4+ days before chipping. Each one is 4ml and they cost around £4 each.

Look out for these new summer shades in Boots, Debenhams and about 1 billion independent chemists (who always stock Mavala for some unknown but welcome reason).

Disclosure - PR samples

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