Showing posts with label swatches. Show all posts
Showing posts with label swatches. Show all posts

Thursday, 17 July 2014

The Perfect Taupe: Makeup Revolution Eye Dust in Etiquette

I'm really loving Makeup Revolution for eye colour at the moment.  I've found their lip products to be pretty hit and miss, but the eye stuff is consistently good - and this Eye Dust is no exception.  Much like MAC's iconic Pigments, it's a loose eyeshadow which can be applied wet or dry, and packs a real pigmented punch.  I bought it in the Etiquette shade, a lovely golden taupe.

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.

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.

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.

Friday, 9 May 2014

Giorgio Armani Maestro Foundation

I can't resist an Armani foundation - they're expensive, but generally perform well with innovative formulae and finishes, and have a shade range which contains a perfect match for my skin.  I'd been hankering after their latest release, Maestro, for some time, and recently took the plunge, picking up shade 3 which is a great match for pale, cool toned skin.

The texture is very fluid, to the extent that you dispense it using a little pipette.  This, of course, makes it feel all sciencey (technical term) and high tech, which means it's got to be good, right?

It promises a feather light luminous matte finish, and a customisable level of cover.  Thanks to the super-fluid texture, it also promises to spread easily across the skin.  And yes, indeed, it does - it's hard to describe the texture, but it's almost like a fluid powder.  It has that silky feeling which indicates a formula with silicone in it, and as you blend, it transforms from a liquid to a powder finish.  In many respects, it's kind of like a fluid version of Armani's Face Fabric, a cream/powder sheer foundation I'm pretty fond of.

A couple of drops provides a very natural sheer coverage which perfects the skin and leaves it matte but still bright and glowing.  I've tried layering it up and it can be built up to a more medium coverage, but I think it works best as a subtle perfecting foundation.  If your skin is acne scarred or prone to blemishes, you might want something with more built in coverage, but if you're typically worried about uneven tone and dullness, Maestro could be a great choice for you.

At a staggering £39, it's one expensive foundation - but that beautiful finish is worth it for me, and I'm very pleased I took the plunge.  Find it at Selfridges.

Disclosure:  Purchased by me after a long lusting period.  

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

Thursday, 8 May 2014

Quick Pick: Bobbi Brown Perfectly Defined Gel Eyeliner in Violet Night

Yesterday, I showed you four new liners from Urban Decay, each promising a deeper, darker, blacker finish than the next.  Sometimes, though, you don't want a punchy, blacker than black eyeliner, though - you want definition with softness and maybe, even, a twinkling of colour.  This is where Bobbi Brown's new Perfectly Defined Gel Eyeliner comes in.

It's a twist up format, and the liner itself is pigmented and smudgeable, yes, but it's not the most noticeable, high impact liner in the world.  It adds definition to the lashline and opens up the eye in a more subtle way.  This particular shade, Violet Night, also has a smattering of violet shimmer and a deep, violet-black base which is really very flattering to my hazel/green eyes.

If you like your liner to subtly enhance your eyes with rich colour, this new liner from Bobbi Brown is well worth checking out.  Find it at Bobbi Brown counters and online, where it costs £18.

Disclosure: PR sample

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

Wednesday, 7 May 2014

Urban Decay's newest black liners: All Nighter, 24/7 Velvet, Ink For Eyes and Super Saturated Ultra Intense Cream Eyeliner

Urban Decay have some new eyeliners out, and together they make up an essential kit of ultra dark, ultra long lasting eye looks.

There's a new All Nighter Eyeliner, in UD's signature blacker-than-black Perversion shade, which promises precision and intensity with its twist-up format and firm, waxy formula.  The classic 24/7 pencil has been re-imagined in a matte finish with the Black Velvet shade.  Ink For Eyes is a felt-tip nibbed, almost wet look liquid eyeliner, again in Perversion.  Finally, there's a cream eyeliner - Super Saturated Ultra Intense Cream Eyeliner promises precision or smoky, smudgy perfection that sets fast and holds.  All four are billed as waterproof, and the amount of scrubbing required to remove my swatches certainly proves the long hold promise.

Top to bottom:  All Nighter Eyeliner in Perversion; 24/7 Velvet in Black Velvet; Ink for Eyes in Perversion; Super Saturated Ultra Intense Cream Eyeliner in Perversion
The cream liner (£16) is excellent for graphic flicks, as I posted on Instagram earlier this week, but ultimately it doesn't really stand out from the plethora of cream eyeliners on the market.  Unfortunately I can't help feel a little underwhelmed by Black Velvet (£15).  Yes, it's lovely and smudgy and it goes on smoothly, but it doesn't offer a lot that's new compared to what we're used to with UD's iconic 24/7 liners.

The stand outs are the All Nighter (£15) and the Ink For Eyes (£15) liners.  Both are the deepest, inkiest black, and both afford great precision and control.  I particularly like that the All Nighter Eyeliner balances intensity with smudginess - no matter how many times I smudge it with my fingertip, it still remains intensely black.  Ink For Eyes is easy to use thanks to its fine felt tip nib, and it gives a gloriously sharp line with even intensity along the full length - there's no patchiness, as I've often experienced in felt tip liners.

All in all, Urban Decay have expanded their liner line (see what I did there?) so every eyeliner look is catered for.  Ink For Eyes and All Nighter are both deserving of a place in your makeup bag if you're fond of black liner.

Disclosure:  PR samples

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

Tuesday, 6 May 2014

Kiko Cosmetics Life in Rio Collection - Creamy Touch Eyeshadow Duos and Tropical Waterproof Eyeliners

Last week, I showed you a lovely bronzer and a gorgeous blusher from Kiko's latest limited edition collection, Life in Rio.  Today, I've got some of the eye products to show you - specifically, two shades of the double-ended Creamy Touch Eyeshadow Duo, and two shades of the budge-proof Tropical Waterproof Eyeliner.

The Creamy Touch Eyeshadow Duo pencils are chunky and saturated with colour - I've got Violet & Turquoise and Pink & Golden Coral here.  The naming is absolutely spot on with these - they are very, very creamy, gliding over the eyelid and depositing plenty of intensely pigmented colour.

The Tropical Waterproof Eyeliners will be familiar to you if you've ever used GOSH's Artliners, or MAC's LiquidLast Liner.  The formula is one of those thick, richly pigmented, slightly plasticy types, which spread on a little thick and sticky, but set down into something which you'll have to work hard to remove.  The brushes aren't the thinnest in the world, and the thick formula means you'll need to carefully wipe them off to make sure you've got enough product, but not too much, before you apply.

Swatched, you can see the pigmentation and vibrancy of these products - they're bright, flattering, fun and perfect for sunny weather.  I'm particularly fond of that vibrant pink eyeshadow, and the sapphire liner.

And finally, here they are on my eyes.  You can see that the liner has crept onto my lashes a bit - I did have to clean them off before I applied mascara to avoid clumping thanks to the liner deposits.  Liners like this do require a bit of work to master, but once you're confident, you'll get an rich, long lasting line which has a soft sheen and a bit of sparkle to it.  Lovely.  Surprisingly, I found that the creamy eye pencils lasted very well applied atop some primer; their creaminess sets down to a powder finish within a minute or so, and they don't budge or crease from there.

Overall I'm really impressed with the eye products from the Life in Rio collection - the colours are great, the textures workable, and the promise of longevity makes me feel better about wearing colour in the sweaty summer.  Find the collection now at Kiko's website, where the Tropical Waterproof Eyeliners cost £7.90, and the Creamy Touch Eyeshadow Duos cost £9.90.

Disclosure: PR samples

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