Thursday, 30 June 2011

FOTD with Kevyn Aucoin Aquarouge

I tried Kevyn Aucoin Liquid Lipstick in Aquarouge today for the first time. Normally, I'd save writing about it until a proper review but I really wanted to share the pictures of how the overall look turned out. I was pleased with it, admittedly it's probably quite Autumnal but I love that sort of look. My first impressions of the Liquid lipstick are good too, it has a doe foot applicator and applies well. It's not like a lipgloss where you can apply in one go, you do need apply in sections in a similar way to lipstick.

Kevin Aucoin Aquarouge


The texture is somewhere between the Laura Mercier Lip Velvet and Ellis Faas Milky Lips. In fact, I have similar shades in both of these so I can do a swatch comparison. It lasts very well too, even through eating, though I found it did fade out in a slight ring-of-doom fashion.

Anyway, on to the face...

Kevyn+Aucoin +FOTD7

Kevyn+Aucoin +FOTD9

Kevyn+Aucoin +FOTD10


Le Metier de Beaute Peau Vierge in Shade 01
Max Factor Miracle Touch Blusher in Soft Copper
Shu Uemura H9 Brow Pencil in Seal Brown

Kevyn+Aucoin +FOTD3

Kevyn+Aucoin +FOTD4


Too Faced Shadow Insurance (but this under my eyes then totally forgot concealer)
Brown from NARS Brousse Eyeshadow Duo
Kevyn Aucoin Basic Black pencil
Max Factor Xperience Volume mascara

Kevyn+Aucoin +FOTD5


Kevyn Aucoin Liquid Lipstick in Aquarouge

For those in the UK and Ireland, you can by Kevin Aucoin cosmetics from Mise Beauty.  I will leave you with this little gift. Who said it was easy taking photos of yourself....

Kevyn+Aucoin +FOTD8

Disclosure: Kevyn Aucoin items were sent without cost for review purposes. LMdB and Max Factor items were also PR samples, I pick them to use often as they really are favourites. 

Wednesday, 29 June 2011

BECCA Automatic Eye Pencils in Goa and Majorca

I have mentioned the BECCA Automatic Eye Pencils in passing already. These were released with the Halcyon Days collection and there are two colours; Goa - a bronzey, medium brown and Majorca - an intense black. These are eye pencils of the housed in plastic, twist up variety. There is a sharpener on the end, you pull the smudger off and sharpener is on the opposite end. The sharpener works surprisingly well and I would say you do need to sharpens these occasionally.




The formula is creamy and highly pigmented. The black in particular is quite dense (if that makes sense) and as such, I find it doesn't glide on to the eye. This is why I think it can be necessary to sharpen, otherwise you can end up with quite a thick line. There is a short window of time in which you can smudge the line. I've not used the smudger on my eyes but I have had a play and it's nice and soft and smudges well. Once it sets the line doesn't budge and lasts for hours. Perfect for watery eyes!

Left - Majorca, Right - Goa



Goa smudged

The black is good for really dark and lasting definition, it is such an intense black. I'd hoped to use it for tightlining along the lashes but I find I can't be precise enough with it to use it this way. I love the bronzey brown colour of Goa. The intensity of the bronze effect changes according to the light. Catch it at the right angle and it has the most beautiful shimmer. I'm tempted to say that Goa is my favourite of the two, simply because of the unique colour.

The pencils cost £18.00 each and are available from BECCA counters and online.

Disclosure: These were both PR samples. I went on to buy one for my recent giveaway as I liked them so much.

Tuesday, 28 June 2011

Do You Make 'Good Intentions' Purchases?

I was pondering this last night. I moan about my nails, I buy things to make my nails better, use them for a bit then forget or just give up. It's almost as if I think owning them will be enough to improve my nails! I used to be the same with body lotions and creams. I'd have at least five full bottles at any time but I'd never actually use them. I am much better now, I buy less and actually use up what I have. The discovery of Haus of Gloi Pumpkin Butter has helped a lot too.

Good Nail Intentions3

Good Nail Intentions1
My neglected nail 'improvers'

I bought the NailTek Foundation II a long time ago now after reading lots of good reviews. I'm not aware of it doing anything other than making my nails so matte that it showed through my nail varnish. I like the Mavala Nailactan cream but I forget to use it which is the same for the CND Solar Oil that I won in Clever Rabbit's blog giveaway a while ago. I like the Flexitol Cuticle and Nail Cream but found it hardened the skin around the nail. I use Nail Envy all the time but I'm not sure it helps, I've just become strangley superstitious about it! I didn't enjoy the Mavala 2 part nylon fibre thingumy at all so they sit neglected in a box.

Do you have particular products that you persistently buy but don't use? I am alone in this wasteful and shocking habit?

Monday, 27 June 2011

L'Oreal Endless Chocolate Comparison

When I initially picked up L'Oreal Endless Chocolate I thought it might be similar to Rouge Bunny Rouge Bejewelled Skylark. A quick side by side comparison quickly dispelled that idea. Bejewelled Skylark is much richer and warmer in tone. It makes Endless Chocolate appear almost Khaki in comparison. Equally, MAC Sable has a totally different undertone and pulls more pinky bronze. It was very interesting to see how different these browns are when compared.

Endless Chocolate Comparison9
Top - Sable, Bottom left - Endless Chocolate, Bottom right - Bejewelled Skylark

Endless Chocolate Comparison8
Top - Sable, Bottom left - Endless Chocolate, Bottom right - Bejewelled Skylark

Endless Chocolate Comparison6

Endless Chocolate Comparison5

Endless Chocolate Comparison3
L-R: Endless Chocolate, RBR Bejewelled Skylark and MAC Sable

Endless Chocolate Comparison4
L-R: Endless Chocolate, RBR Bejewelled Skylark and MAC Sable

These are all shimmery eyeshadows. I find both Bejewelled Skylark and Endless Chocolate relatively easy to wear. Bejewelled Skylark in particular is a beautiful colour. Sable is an eyeshadow that I very rarely reach for as I don't think it works with my skin tone. I'm tempted to try it again though to see if I was unfair in this judgement.

Which colour appeals to you most of these three colours? Do you have a favourite shimmery brown eyeshadow in your collection?

Sunday, 26 June 2011

Lash Extension Update

Here's a somewhat overdue update on my lash extensions experience. I had the extensions applied almost four weeks ago now. Sadly, I started to lose lashes quite early on after they were applied. My eyes are reasonably sensitive and prone to watering and irritation. I can't wear contact lenses successfully as my eyes reject them, unfortunately this sensitivity seems to have been an issue with the lash extensions too.

How they looked to start with -


After 2 weeks -

lash update2

lash update5

lash update1

As you can see from the 'after' pictures, I only had a handful of lashes left at the two mark. I had avoided using any oil-based products so I don't think I spoiled the glue. I was conscious that they irritated my eyes and made them feel dry. I used eye drops to stop my eyes feeling uncomfortable and I wonder if this, coupled with fiddling without realising was to blame.

The lashes are similar in feel to cats whiskers. I say this as I had expected them to feel like hair. In hindsight, it was silly to make that assumption as they need some rigidity to stay put and hold a curl. I think it's that rigidity that bothered my eyes, especially whilst I was asleep.

I can also understand now why it's useful to have an oil free mascara suitable for use with lash extensions. It's redundant when the lashes are full but would be very useful as the extensions start to fall out. I imagine that even if your lashes last a good while, you would still experience a period of time when the lashes are patchy. On the plus side, although they fell out faster than I had hoped, they haven't damaged my natural lashes at all. I do still have a couple of lashes that have lasted the full four weeks. The have resisted mascara and oil based makeup remover. I shall be interested to see how how long they cling on for!

I need to make it very clear that I am not saying that lash extensions in general don't last long or will irritate your eyes. I think it's just something that didn't work well for me (I'm also beginning to think I am a destroyer of all things beautifying!). It is possible that other people with very sensitive eyes might experience similar issues.

Saturday, 25 June 2011

Beauty Spotlight 25/06/11

Makeup by Kenneth Soh

This week our lovely team of bloggers help you conceal, bronze, get ready in a flash AND win some great beauty loot!

Prime Beauty has been channeling her former Hippie Chick with the BECCA Halcyon Palette. I'll give you a hint....she thinks it's groovy!

Have you heard of Birchbox? It is a monthly sample subscription gift box of fabulous deluxe sized samples. See what Pammy Blogs Beauty got in her June Birchbox!

On her seemingly endless search for the prefect under eye concealer, Visionary Beauty Diorskin Nude Skin Perfecting Hydrating Concealer to the test.

Over at Lipstick Musings, Shannon gets a serious shock when she lives on the edge and tries Rouge Dior lipstick in #786, Mysterious Mauve.

London Makeup Girl is holding a giveaway competition for a 6 week supply of Help: Clear Skin Supplements here: Help: Clear Skin giveaway . The giveaway closes on 01 July.

Beauty Crazed wants you to win the prettiest blush in the whole wide world from Lancôme - as a matter of fact, they think they are so nice they are giving away 5 of them so enter to snag one of your own!

Zuzu's Petals at Everyday Beauty found her perfect blush AND bronzer with Rouge Bunny Rouge Blush in Delicata and Gracilis.

Dan Read eyeshadows and liners are among Lisa's favorite makeup products on Beauty Info Zone.

Modesty Brown talks about the make-up she reaches for in those crisis moments with only five minutes to get out of the door. She invites you to share your ready-in-a-flash favourites too. Should we mention the handbag toast?

Hop on over to Perilously Pale for your chance to win some Rouge Bunny Rouge products!

Styrch swatches a gazillion lip colors of a product totally new to the Pretty in Dayton area. Hint: Christina Aguilera's uses it!

Got a lemming for some insanely gorgeous (not to mention delicious) summer lip colors? Jeanie over at Makeup Merriment may have just what you need- Le Metier de Beaute's newest limited edition creation: Ecumes D'Or Lip Kaleidoscope.

Don't forget to enter the giveaway here too....Win a Skindinavia Makeup Finishing Spray!

Eyeshadows that Pink Sith can't have: L'Oreal Infallible Color

This post is dedicated to Pink Sith who tells me these eyeshadows are not yet available in America. If you've ever read Pink Sith's posts about items you can't have, you'll know where my brain went with that. If you haven't, well, you better go and have a look. Do your best to avoid the Taupes you can't have, there may be tears...

I mentioned the L'Oreal Infallible Color eyeshadows that I bought the other day. I've had opportunity to play with the colours now and wanted to share some initial thoughts. These eyeshadows are cream/powder hybrids in a similar style to the Armani Eyes To Kill. The packaging is also similar: they come in a pot (rather than a pan) and there's a little stopper to keep the eyeshadow pressed down under the screw top lid. The presentation isn't as classy as the Armani but given the price difference, £5.49* instead of £24.50, I think it's forgivable.

Infallible Color1

Infallible Color2
L- Endless Chocolate, R - Burning Black

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Endless Chocolate1

Endless Chocolate is a rich brown with golden reflects. Personally, I wouldn't describe it as a chocolate brown. It actually leans a little green/khaki, which is especially noticeable when compared to other brown eyeshadows. It's nicely pigmented and has a lovely texture.

Burning Black2

Burning Black1

Burning Black is a deep, blackened plum with reddy-violet shimmer. It's a stunning colour. I haven't applied this yet but you can see how it looks on the eyes in Dempeaux's recent review.

Infallible Color3
Indirect sunlight. L - Burning Black, R - Endless Chocolate

Infallible Color4
This is in direct sunlight. It's slightly out of focus but demonstrates the shimmer.

Below you can see Endless Chocolate applied on it's own. I didn't use a primer as I wanted to check the crease factor. I had a little trouble getting the application right. I started off by applying directly with my finger tips. This didn't seem to deposit enough colour. It required layering but using my fingers seemed to pull colour off as I was trying to add more. I definitely couldn't build up the desired intensity that way. I used my No.7 217-alike brush and had success with that. I'm not sure whether a brush on it's own would be best or whether it's still worth adding a base layer with fingers and then topping up with the brush. The downside of using a brush was the fallout. If I use a brush to apply Burning Black, I will almost certainly need to do my eye makeup before adding foundation.

Endless Chocolate2

Endless Chocolate5

I found the colour lasted well but the eyeshadow did crease after a few hours. This is definitely one to use with an eyeshadow primer. I like the colour but I can see from the full face photograph that I need to be more careful about which colours I pair with it. That picture also highlights the very desperate need to sort my hair out. Eeek!

I have a comparison of Endless Chocolate to a few other browns that I will post in the next couple of days. Although, I'm teasing about the fact that you cannot currently get these in the USA, I believe you can track them down on Evil Bay.

*The current reduced price in both Boots and Superdrug, the RRP is £6.99.

Friday, 24 June 2011

Pimping My Top Ten Makeup Tricks for Tired Mums

I was approached to write my Top Ten Makeup Tricks for Tired Mums. This was actually quite a lot of fun to do, as this is essentially the reason my love affair with makeup started. There's no doubting my credentials as a tired Mum! It was really interesting to see what tricks I had adopted without even realising. Some of them are obvious and some are just my own personal favourites.

I'd love it if you went along for a read. Of course, it doesn't just apply to Mums. I know plenty of you survive on a bare minimum of sleep without the help of small people. Feel free to share your top tips for faking human too!

Do We Really Know Who She Is?

This week we have Suzanne from Don't They Know Who I Am confessing for us. Let's find out what horrors she has in store for us!

Confession is good for the soul, go ahead and unburden yourself! I promise I won’t judge.

My principal sin is pretty heinous, especially as an Australian – I rarely wear sunscreen. I’m an oily, sweaty beast and sunscreen makes me sweat everything off, unless it’s winter, in which case the need for sunscreen is halved anyhow. I’m also very sensitive and a lot of sunscreens make me break out something chronic. I’ll wear body sunblock, and I try to use foundations with an SPF in them, but I can’t do over 15+ or so. This is an ongoing saga. I’m still looking for that awesome holy grail sunblock I can wear on my face.

My secondary sin doesn’t happen any more, thank god. As an exceptionally oily teen into my early twenties I would wash my face with hand soap occasionally in an effort to strip some of the oil spill off my face. In my defense it worked, but – eep.

There, don’t you feel better now?

Aunty Brown has a few more questions though; it’s true that I’m the nosy type.

When was the last time you visited the hairdresser?
Good jeebus. Um… I was supposed to go about six months ago. I got it bobbed a while back and it appears to be growing out rather than down. As far as I’m concerned – it isn’t touching my shoulders yet, so I’m still okay. It is turning into a suspiciously librarian-ish bob though. My hairdresser has a full half-arm Tintin tattoo. This was a major selling point.

Which bit of beauty trickery couldn’t you live without?
Waxing! I get my eyebrows done religiously. Whilst most of my body hair is pale, my eyebrows are a terrifying Frida Kahlo dense brown and need regular waxing/trimming/lawnmowering.

I love an excuse to get the Frida picture out.

You’ve overslept and have 5 minutes to get out of the house. Are you going out with dirty hair or no makeup?
I’ll go with dirty hair. Easily hideable (especially for bobbed hair), and having five minutes to leave implies that I’ll be mussed up, gross, startled and half dead when I get to my destination. All things that can be masked with makeup.

Which trend still makes you cringe?
SO MUCH. Darker lipliner than lipstick. Panda eyes. The palamino thing – drastic fake tan and bleached hair. And I don’t think there’s any excuse for false lashes unless you’re clubbing, stripping or dragqueening.


Thank you Suzanne! I chortled at the palamino thing. Good luck on your quest for the Holy Grail of sunscreen, it's out there!

If you have something you need to get off your chest and want to take a turn in the Friday Confessional you can email me at It's open to everyone: if you have something to confess, I'm happy to hear it!

Thursday, 23 June 2011

Guest Review of BECCA Summerdaze Nail Varnish

I've mentioned a few (million) times before that my nails are not up to much. As a self-confessed destroyer of nail polish, I do struggle to review polish in terms of wear time and general performance. Nail polish is very new to the Becca line up so I really wanted to get an expert opinion. Helen from Just Nice Things, nail blogger extraordinaire and my go to for all things nail related, was kind enough to offer to test it out properly for us.

It’s pretty fair to say that I know a lot about nail varnish. Enough to state that “hard to find OPIs” would probably be my Mastermind subject. Well, either that or “the tattoos of Nikki Sixx”, but that’s a whole different blog post.

Yet for some reason, Becca products had never really featured on my radar. Perhaps because they are new to nail varnish? I’d heard a lot about their make-up, mainly from Modesty Brown here, but I have to be honest and say that I’d never tried any myself. So when I was given the option to test out Summerdaze, from Becca’s new nail varnish range, I jumped at the chance.


First impressions were good. It’s always nice when something comes packaged in a box. Makes it feel more exclusive and expensive somehow. The Becca packaging is nice as well. The varnish itself is in a rectangular bottle, with (joy of joys!) a rubberized cap. Nail fanatics love a good rubberized cap. It’s one of the reasons I own so much Orly – because the handle is a joy to work with. It doesn’t slip or slide, and it makes it easier to open the bottle after a few uses as well, when it can often become sticky and creaky.

Application was brilliant. I have large nails but the brush covered really well and I had no pooling, dragging or bubbling whatsoever. This is a really thick crème though so you do need to work fast – it dries ridiculously quickly as well. What you’re seeing here is two coats with a base coat of OPI Nail Envy and a topcoat of CND Air Dry. I’m always amazed when companies can get their paler crèmes to be so pigmented, and it makes me very happy. The formula is also TFCDF free; free from Formaldehyde, Toluene, Camphor and Di Butyl Phthalate (or in nail lingo, Big4 free = A Very Good Thing).




A note on the colour. Summerdaze itself did me no favours whatsoever. It is a salmon pink shade that really only the coolest of cool skintones can get away with. Salmon polish gives me lobster hands. Interesting simile but true. Also, it’s a heck of a lot brighter than my camera picked up on. Neon salmon. Hmmm.

It’s a shame the colour didn’t work better with me really as this polish was going nowhere. It stayed put through several showers, cooking sessions, and a little Chuckle Brothers inspired incident in the Focus Do It All car park (you try putting a table and four stackable chairs in the back of an Audi A3 and not lose your patience or any of your nail varnish). And so for that, I hail Becca polish as something of a hero. It still looked as good on the fourth day, when I took these photos, as it did the moment I applied it. I only took it off as I couldn’t cope with the colour any more, otherwise I think it would have gone a good week and still looked smart.

So thankyou Jane for allowing me to road test this one for you – I am a definite convert and will be keeping my eye out for other shades. Less fishy ones perhaps though.

Thank you so much for the fantastic review Helen. It sounds like it had a really thorough road testing at Focus! You'll be pleased to know that there will be some more subdued colours coming out with the A/W collection later this year.

Summerdaze is part of the current BECCA Halcyon Days collection. The polish costs £12 and I bought this particular bottle from Zuneta.

Wednesday, 22 June 2011

What do You Reach for When You're in a Rush?

This morning we slept in late and I had very minimal time to put on my make-up. If it was just a school run morning, the slap could have waited until I got home but this was a working day. I invigilate exams and the boys look terrified enough without me sharing my bare face and the evidence of all the late and broken nights. In fact, I ate toast out of my handbag so that I had enough time to put on my face!

Speedy make-up is not the time to start experimenting with new looks so I have a few tried and tested things that I reach for. In my case it's bronzer, MAC Cubic blusher, RBR Solstice Halcyon or Atlas Swallotail, pencil eyeliner, mascara and undereye concealer. I've named Cubic blusher, Solstice Halcyon and Atlas Swallowtail in particular as I really can't mess up with these colours. For most people these are not exciting colours but they just seem to enhance my features and make me look more put together. The neighbours who watched me running whilst stuffing my face with toast would probably disagree with the put together bit!

Makeup Bag
Where has that magic face-in-a-jar gone to?

I was interested to hear about your trusted items. What do you pick up when you need to apply a face in a couple of minutes? Do you have some well worn, trusted favourites like me?

Tuesday, 21 June 2011

A Little Superdrug Trip

I went for a little mooch around Superdrug today. My mission was to swatch and pick up at least one of the L'Oreal Color Infallible eyeshadows but there were a few other things that I had a look at whilst I was there.

Firstly, I had a look at the Max Factor Miracle Touch Blusher in Soft Pink and Soft Murano. I'm very taken with Murano, it's a reddy pink but very natural looking. Soft pink is nice too but I didn't really appreciate the colour until after I stepped out into natural light. It's a lighter, bluer pink than Soft Murano and I think it would look very pretty on tanned skin. Sadly, the swatches on my hand are a little tricky to see. Hopefully you can pick them out, Soft Pink is at the top and Soft Murano at the bottom.

Miracle Touch2

Miracle Touch3

Marina from Makeup4All had mentioned the Max Factor Eye Creams were worth a look so I hunted them out on the stand. There were five colours from memory; a metallic ivory, a pink, a metallic silver, a pale green and a frosty brown. They come in lipgloss style packaging with a doe-foot applicator. I suppose it similar in style to the RBR cream eyeshadows. The colours that instantly appealed to me were the brown and ivory. The ivory is quite opaque but I imagine it would sheer out. I'm not 100% sure it would work for me but I'm tempted to get it to give it a try. The brown is lovely, it's a deep taupe almost and to my eye, it looks like a dupe for Chanel Ombre d'Eau in Splash.

Top - MF Pearl Beige, Bottom - Coffee

Max Factor is on a 3 for 2 in Superdrug at the moment and I think I will go back and take advantage of this offer. I'm just not quite sure which combination of these items to go for yet!

In the centre of my hand are swatches of a couple of the Infallible Color eyeshadows. Top Centre is the colour #12 Endless Chocolate. Below that on the left is #05 Purple Obsession and on the right is #09 Permanent Khaki. I have to say I was disappointed with both Purple Obsession and Permanent Khaki as they were both so sheer. I wouldn't say these shades are really comparable to the Armani Eyes to Kill formula. Also, I had hoped that the Khaki would be darker in colour. Permanent Khaki is quite yellowy gold and not something I would go for, I prefer my khaki with a bit more dirt!

I had wanted to swatch #16 Coconut Shake but there wasn't a tester pot available. I was especially intrigued as this shade is labelled as a matte finish. I'd really like to see how this texture of eyeshadow looks as a matte finish. I was a little disappointed that there were no peach or champagne shades as I was hoping to crush a couple of my Armani lusts or at least see if I could pull those sorts of colours off.

From far left, moving clockwise: MF Pearl Beige, MF Coffee, #12 Endless Chocolate, MF Soft Pink, MF Soft Murano, #09 Permanent Khaki and #05 Purple Obsession.



What I did end up coming home with was the Infallible Color eyeshadows in Endless Chocolate and Burning Black. I'm really looking forward to having a play with them and seeing how the colours work for me. I suspect I will return for a few of the other things I swatched as they've been playing on my mind this afternoon. A sure fire way for me to know I really want something is to not buy it!

Infallible Colour
Left - Endless Chocolate, Right - Burning Black

Which products are playing on your mind at the moment?


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