Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Let's Talk About Hair

I was sent a press release yesterday about the new Bed Head Street Squad blog and it prompted me to have a think about my own hair trials and tribulations. I have already mentioned that my hair is in a bit of a state at the minute. It's grown quite long and this is more to do with hairdresser avoidance than it is a style statement but I feel like I'm at a tipping point with it. Do I continue to try and improve how it looks at it's current length or do I bite the bullet and go for the chop?

The Bed Head Street Squad. No frumpy hair there!

In terms of improving it's current state I have been using the Philip Kinglsey Elasticizer with some success. I'm not sure how often I can use it though and my hair does become tangled again between uses. I have considered trying one of the new 'split end repair' ranges. Both Pantene and Tresemme recently released haircare products specifically designed to tackle split ends. Having spent a while using SLS free products I do wonder if this would be a bit of a step back? L'Oreal are launching a new range of SLS free hair products called Hair Expertise in February which might be a better solution for me (London Beauty Queen posted about the range here). I have been using some sachets of Rahua Shampoo and Conditioner and whilst I really like the texture and the scent, I'm not sure it's the best fit for my hair in it's current knotted up state. It's something I hope to return to when my hair is better shape.


Another way to put off the scissors for a while longer would be to colour my hair again. For the past few months I have diligently stuck to touching up the roots only but reading Jack Howard's blog has made me yearn for glossy, all over colour. His description of French Brown sounds perfect and what most brunettes are striving for with their colour. I have a lot of personal experience with the 'orange cast' that Jack describes and it's one of the reasons I have often re-dyed all of my hair rather than just the roots.

Of course, I have plenty of reason to fear hitting the bottle! I'm not sure if you ever check my archives but the feedback on one old hair dye post is extremely interesting. When the foam dyes were initially released just over a year ago, I had the opportunity to try both the John Frieda Precision Foam Colour and the Clairol Nice'n Easy foam. The John Frieda was excellent and they have since expanded the line to include more cool toned browns. The Clairol foam on the other hand was a beast. If you look back at that original review you will see that there are 38 comments and a large proportion of those report a very similar experience. Black hair, stained scalp and a splattered bathroom! It's an experience I do not wish to repeat.

How my mop currently looks

If all else fails I know I could go for the scissors option. I am tempted to go for the chop and I like my hair in a bob but I can be such a fusspot about the cut. My bad experiences seem to outweigh my good ones. Do you remember last year's Rachel incident? I like my hair to be a little messy, it suits my personality (don't say anything) more than something very styled or structured. We can probably blame my inner Indie kid for my lack of interest in big hair! I do seem to struggle to convey this message to hairdressers and until I master this, I fear that I will always end up with frumpy rather than funky.

Monday, 30 January 2012

Vapour Organic Stratus Soft Focus Skin Perfector (s902)

Stratus Soft Focus Skin Perfector by Vapour Organic Beauty is quite different to other primers that I have tried before. It isn't silicone based, instead it is oil based: the first ingredients listed are Camellia Seed and Sunflower Oil. It is described as a 3 in 1 moisturiser, primer and no colour foundation.

Vapour Soft Focus4

Vapour Primer2

Vapour Soft Focus3

It also contain silica, mica and titanium dioxide and I think these are responsible for the 'soft focus' effect. As you can see from the close up of the product, it has very small light reflecting particles. These are only really apparent in close up and give the skin a soft glow rather than full-on sparkle. Silica is often used for oil control but I'm not sure whether it would have this function in an oil based product. In the picture directly above I had massaged the blob of product into the skin, I appreciate it's probably hard to see anything obvious but it improves the texture of the skin, gives a soft glow and reduces redness.
Although the Skin Perfector is designed for all skin types including oily and combination skin, being oil based, I wondered how it would fare on my often combination skin. My skin needs more hydration in the winter months but my T-zone can look very shiny if a moisturiser is too rich. I find the Skin Perfector makes my skin feel very comfortable, especially if the foundation I am wearing is a little drying. My skin doesn't look greasy, it feels silky and hydrated but it obscures imperfections in a different way to the more common silicone based primers. My skin looks healthy rather than flawless if that makes sense?

Interestingly, the Skin Perfector comes in 3 'shades': s902 for fair to medium skin with neutral or pink undertones and to colour balance redness, s903 for medium tan skin with yellow/olive undertones and dark skin and s904 for light to medium sallow or olive skin. There is also a stick form of the Skin Perfector but I can only see this on the Vapour Organic website so I assume this isn't available in the UK.

Organic/Bio Camellia Oleifera (Camellia) Seed Oil, Organic/Bio Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Oil, Silica, Organic/Bio Cera Alba (Beeswax), Lysine, Organic/Bio Lecithin, Tocopherol (Natural Vitamin E) Organic/Bio Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil & Organic/Bio Lecithin & Organic/Bio Cucurbita Pepo (Pumpkin) Seed Oil & Organic/Bio Papain (Papaya), Sambucus Nigra (Elderberry Fruit Extract, Mica (CI 77019), Titanium Dioxide (CI 77891), Essential Oils & Natural Fruit Essences, Boswellia Carteri (Frankincense)*, Organic/Bio Ocimum Sanctum (Tulsi/Holy Basil), Organic/Bio Nelumbo Nucifera (Lotus) Flower Petals. *Wildcrafted ingredients.

The Vapour Stratus Soft Focus Skin Perfector is available from Content Beauty and costs £47 (30ml). 

Disclosure: PR Sample

Sunday, 29 January 2012

Rouge Bunny Rouge Seas of Illumination Swatches


These small pots of loveliness contain samples of the four Seas of Illumination liquid highlighter from Rouge Bunny Rouge. I'm afraid this post is rather image heavy as I got a little snap happy taking pictures of these pretty highlighters. They say a picture paints a thousand words, so I'm mostly going to let the photographs do the talking today.


RBR Highlighters
With flash

The four shades of liquid highlighter are: Sea of Clouds, a shimmering icy white; Sea of Tranquility, an opalescent pink; Sea of Showers, a honeyed gold and Sea of Nectar; a bronze with gold shimmer. I hope you can see from the pictures of the pots that the shimmer is very fine. One thing that my pictures can't express is the delicious scent of these highlighters. I realised whilst my face was hovering over the pots that these liquids smell very reminiscent of Estee Lauder's Day Wear face cream. It has that same fresh cucumber fragrance. 


Sea of Clouds

Sea of Tranquility

Sea of Showers

Sea of Nectar

The swatches below are fairly heavy so that you can see the colour and shimmer but it's very easy to apply the Seas of Illumination fluids in a thin layer to impart a subtle sheen. It's a really nice formula to work with as it's not too thick nor too thin and I find it easy to pat on top of foundation without displacing it. My favourite is the pinky Sea of Tranquility and I have used it as both a cheek and brow highlight. It gives a polished but quite subtle effect and finishes a look off nicely without making me feel overly 'done'. Because of the consistency of these liquids, I think it would be very easy to mix them with foundation or moisturiser should you wish. I slapped some on quite liberally today without foundation and it has done an excellent job of perking up my sleep deprived face!



With Flash

The Seas of Illumination highlighters are available from Zuneta. They cost £45 each which is expensive however, as the bottles contain 30ml of product and you only need a small amount at a time, one bottle would probably last for many years.

Disclosure: These sample pots were sent to me without cost.

Friday, 27 January 2012

Haus of Gloi Valentine's Collection

The Haus of Gloi Valentine's Collection will be released later on today (Noon PST which I believe is 8pm UK time). I had great success with the Valentine's fragrances last year and I'm pleased to see both Come Hither and Who Needs Love are back. Who Needs Love is probably my favourite HoG scent ever and I was quite surprised by this as it's a sweet gourmand smell. As much as I love chocolate, I don't really like it for anything other than eating! Who Needs Love is a dark rich chocolate though with something delicious hiding inside, I find the hint of coffee stops it from being too sickly. I have Who Needs Love in the pumpkin butter and as well as being a lovely scent, the pumpkin butter is the perfect body cream texture for me.

HoG+Who Needs Love1

Odette really appeals from this collection. It's described as 'clean sun dried linens, tuberose, ginger lily and white musk'. After my moaning about the January slump yesterday I think I should invest in one of the Spring Tonics. I Imagine the Spring Tonic #1 in the whipped soap would lift my spirits with it's Californian Lemon and Mexican Lime. Although the Fresh Cucumber in Spring Tonic #2 sounds pretty good too.

Will you be purchasing any of the Valentine's Collection this year?

Thursday, 26 January 2012

Thoughtful Thursday

I've been working the odd day and this always leads to me ruminating. Sitting in a room in silence for a couple of hours with only your thoughts for company will do that to you! Lately I've been musing on how difficult it can be to write a consumer blog in January. Particularly with the financial climate as it.

Blogging is a lot of fun but I find I struggle to write for the sake of it. My blogging mojo hasn't gone exactly, it's just not there everyday like it usually is and I think a lot of this is because I'm not buying as much. Spring collections don't often grab me and I am making a concerted effort to cut back (I'm sure I'll make up for this a bit at IMATS). I tend to want to focus more on skin care at this time of year and, as I'm sure you know, testing skin care products for review is time consuming so there are never more than a handful of those posts each month.

When I announced my eyeshadow no-buy, I noticed that a lot of other people were talking about cutting back and starting project 10 pans etc. I think it's a natural part of the annual cycle that people tend to tighten their belts in January after the onslaught of Christmas. This ebb in blogging mojo is probably part of the natural cycle too. I've been writing this blog for almost two years now and you definitely start to see patterns in your desire to write and general blogging enthusiasm. I've noticed it elsewhere too, I think it's hard to write with consistent momentum year-round.

Even when I have things I could write about, if I don't feel in the mood writing can be like pulling teeth and I'm sure it comes across as a reader too. I have noticed that I seem especially critical in January: just looking over my posts from the last couple of weeks I've moaned about a BB Cream, an Hourglass brush, the cost of Caudalie, been lacklustre about a Bionic mascara and whinged about the very popular Tangle Teezer. That is a whole lot of moaning! I'm bound to have to come back and eat humble pie on at least one count once Spring arrives and returns my good spirits.

I think that's enough of my thoughtfulness for today. What do you think, do you experience a slump in enthusiasm in January, either it's in terms of blogging or buying? Or am I just a moody old mare that probably needs to invest in a S.A.D. lamp? I'd love to hear your thoughts.

Wednesday, 25 January 2012

FOTD and initial thoughts about the Clinique BB Cream

It seems like an age since I posted a face of the day. And after trying to take pictures yesterday I remembered why it had been so long. It's hard taking pictures at this time of year and especially difficult taking pictures of yourself that don't make you want to cry! So, I hope you will forgive me for the cropped picture with flash.

I used the new Clinique Age Defence BB cream as my base. I feel I ought to spend a little time talking about my initial thoughts about this new BB cream. I have avoided many of the BB releases simply because my expectations were that they were tinted moisturiser under a different name. I had high hopes for the Clinique BB cream as Clinique already have a good reputation for their skin care. Now this feels nice on the skin: it's not greasy and has an almost satin finish. The texture of my skin looks great but, like the Erborian that I tried last year, colourwise this isn't a good match for me. It's quite pale and gives my skin the same grey cast that I experienced with the Erborian. I take this to mean that a. the Clinique is fairly true to the original Asian BB creams and b. they just don't suit me! I still wonder if I'm doing something wrong and will continue to use it to investigate the skin care benefits. I consider myself to be fair skinned (not pale) so I do wonder how people with darker skin than mine fare with these creams. I'm not sure which shade I have but I assume it is shade 01. I will have to investigate shade 02 so that I can get a feel for how much darker that is.


Edward Bess Dusk and RBR Gracious Arasari are both unfairly neglected eyeshadows in my stash. Although Gracious Arasari doesn't look it in the pan, it's just a shade or two darker than my skin colour. It doesn't stand out particularly on it's own but it's good for adding a little sheen or making a look more polished. Dusk is quite a complex colour but I spoiled it a bit pairing it with the bronze eyeliner. I think a black with a hint of green or gold flecks would enhance the beauty of Dusk more. You can see how it looks paired with MAC Kohl Power in Mystery further down.


Clinique BB cream (I think it's shade 01)
YSL Touche Eclat
Shu Uemura brow pencil in Seal Brown
Dolce & Gabbana Luminous Cheek Colour in Rose


Here's how it looked with MAC Kohl Power in Mystery instead

MAC Brule all over the lid
RBR Gracious Arasari on the mobile lid and up into the crease
Edward Bess Dusk in the crease
MAC Teddy eye kohl to line
RBR Seas of Tranquility as a brow highlight


NARS Sheer lipstick in Falbala

Disclosure: The Clinique BB Cream was a PR samples as were the Touche Eclat and small sample of RBR highlighter. The NARS Falbala and D&G Rose were gifts from very lovely friends.

Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Hourglass Crease Brush 04

I thought I would stay with the brush theme for another day and talk about the Hourglass Crease Brush 04 that I bought last year. Hourglass Cosmetics have a fairly extensive brush collection all of which are made from high-grade taklon so they're a good choice for anyone wishing to avoid animal hair. The handles are made from the same bronze metal as the rest of the Hourglass line and they are weighted to feel solid in the hand.



As you can see from the comparison to the MAC 217 and Rouge Bunny Rouge Crease brush, the Hourglass Crease brush is quite narrow. It is tapered but not particularly fluffy. Consequently I find it applies colour in a more precise line than the other crease brushes. I can soften the line using a wind-shield wiper motion but it does require a little effort. Whereas the MAC 217 will deposit colour in the outer corner and into the crease at the same time, the Hourglass brush deposits colour just in the crease and I have to apply colour in the outer corner separately. This is probably a very long-winded way of saying that the two brushes apply colour in a different way, the Hourglass brush allows more precision whereas the MAC 217 is faster and more smoky. Which you prefer will depend on the look you want to achieve and possibly your eye shape.

L-R: MAC 217, Hourglass Crease 04, RBR Crease 011


Top to Bottom: RBR Crease 011, Hourglass Crease 04, MAC 217

The Hourglass brush is super soft and feels lovely on the delicate eye area. It picks up colour easily and I haven't noticed any issues with fallout. The brush washes well and doesn't change in shape or shed hairs. As with all taklon brushes, I find it takes a little longer to dry than animal hair.

After all that waffle, what's the bottom line? Well, I like it but I don't love it and it's not a must-have in my opinion. If you're interested in trying the Hourglass brushes I would recommend trying one of their face brushes first (whilst I don't own one, I've had a selection used on me at the Liberty counter). Both their Foundation Brush 02 and Large Concealer 08 are on my wishlist.

The Hourglass Crease Brush costs £22 and I bought mine from Zuneta. Hourglass Cosmetics are also available from Liberty.

Monday, 23 January 2012

TheTenBest.co.uk & Zuneta's Vlogger Contest

I'm moonlighting on thetenbest.co.uk today talking about my pick of The Ten Best Makeup Brushes. My collection of brushes has grown considerably over the last couple of years so it was interesting to muse on which brushes I would consider to be must-haves. I was rather shocked by how heavily MAC featured in my top ten. I do have a great many brushes that I love but in terms of accessibility and function, I think that MAC brushes are hard to beat. Particularly their eyeshadow brushes.

brush collection2

I'd really love to know what you would pick as your top ten brushes. Would you disagree with any of my choices? Have I missed any essentials?

Now I'm about to do something I have never done on my blog before and mention that I have entered a contest. In a fit of weekend madness I entered my BECCA Professional Brush Soap demo video into Zuneta's Vlogger Contest. I'm not under any illusions about winning but you might find the video interesting if you haven't already seen it before. It's amazing how a soap in a tin has revolutionised my brush washing!

Sunday, 22 January 2012

Pai Camellia & Rose Gentle Hydrating Cleanser

I have been using Camellia & Rose Gentle Hydrating Cleanser by Pai Skincare for a couple of months now. The cleanser is recommended for all skin types and comes with an exfoliating muslin cloth. I always remove cream cleansers with a damp muslin and I have never tried using this with cotton wool so my review is based only on this method of removal. It is possible to use this on cotton wool to remove eye makeup but I haven't used it this way.


I really like the dispensing mechanism and find it's very easy to use even with slippery hands. One pump dispenses enough to remove all of my makeup completely. I tend it rub it between my palms to warm slightly before massaging over my face. The cleanser has a nice creamy consistency and has a lovely rose scent. It cuts through makeup quickly and removes eye makeup too (not all mascara though). It's easy to remove all traces of makeup and cleanser using the muslin cloth.

I was reluctant to try the muslin to start with. It's made of unbleached material and felt quite stiff, I feared that it would be too abrasive (I have damaged my skin in the past using cloths that were too rough) but I need not have worried. Once the cloth is damp it is soft and I find it to be of very good quality. It has enough texture to gently exfoliate the skin and remove the cleanser without feeling scratchy.


The cleanser leaves my skin feeling thoroughly clean and hydrated. Although the details on the box say that you do not need to use a separate moisturiser at night after using this, I always use a moisturiser after cleansing. This is partly force of habit but I'm not sure the cleanser would be enough on it's own for my skin.

Ingredients (from the Pai website)
Aqua, camellia sinensis leaf oil*, ricinus communis seed oil*, prunus amygdalus dulcis oil*, cetearyl alcohol, glycerin*, butyrospermum parkii butter*, cetearyl glucoside, sodium anisate, mixed tocopherols, rosa damascena oil*, pelargonium graveolens flower oil*, sodium levulinate, lavandula angustifolia oil*, lactic acid, litsea cubeba fruit oil*, sodium lauroyl lactylate.

The Camellia & Rose cleanser is suitable for all skin types including sensitive and allergy-prone skin. As with all Pai products it is free from irritating chemicals, artificial fragrance and alcohol and the products are certified organic by the Soil Association. The Camellia & Rose Gentle Hydrating Cleanser (100ml) plus cloth costs £25. Pai Skincare is available from www.beingcontent.com and www.lovelula.com as well as their own website.

Disclosure: PR Sample

Saturday, 21 January 2012

New BECCA Products & The Beauty Spotlight Roundup

Those of you that are signed up for the Zuneta newsletter will probably have seen this video already but I couldn't resist sharing. BECCA have released some special palettes and sets to celebrate their 10th Anniversary. I spotted the Anniversary palettes on the BECCA website the other day and was instantly smitten. The palettes contain a creme blusher, lip & cheek creme, creme highlighter and a lip gloss. The Dusty Rose palette used in the video includes one of my favourite colours, Turkish Rose as well as the popular Tuberose Lip & Cheek creme. The Vintage Jewel palette looks very pretty too. As there are no eyeshadows in these palettes, I feel pretty safe lusting after them!

Zuneta presents BECCA ¬ Dusty Rose Anniversary Palette from Zulu Beauty on Vimeo.

Anyway, enough of the drooling! This week the Beauty Spotlight Team previews Spring makeup collections, finds some must-have drugstore treasures, keeps your hair looking great and one member channels her inner Supermodel for a day!

Marcia from Beauty Info Zone continued her search for L'Oreal Infallible eyeshadows and found more to love.

Little cat paw print embossed lipsticks, now what could be more fun… Visionary Beauty shares the lipsticks from the cat themed Paul & Joe collection for Spring.

At Everyday Beauty, Zuzu's Petals dishes about beauty and the aging process.

Modesty Brown reviews the L'Oreal Super Liner in Black Amethyst. It might be designed for hazel eyes but this pretty liner is sure to appeal to purple fans no matter what their eye colour.

Guarantee yourself a good hair day! Pammy Blogs Beauty loves No 4 High Performance Hair Care's Lumiere d'hiver Reconstructing Masque.

Lisamarie from Beauty Crazed starts swatching the OPI Holland collection - wooden shoe like to see it? Then check it out!

Over at Pretty in Dayton, it's Story Time! A Fairy Tail come true - Styrch makes a surprising transition from "customer" to "model" for Sittella, by Althea Harper

Paula, from Older Girl Beauty, shows us one of her foreign beauty faves - this time it's Hissyfit Body Double Sunscreen Lotion from Australia.

Perilously Pale finally satisfied her craving for Fyrinnae and shares with us her first set of swatches of the incredible eyeshadows!

At Lipstick Musings, Shannon's falling in love with Laura Mercier all over again, all because of Shimmerplum Sequin Eye Color.

Prime Beauty fell hard for the Burberry Spring/Summer Collection, a beautiful assortment of neutral and brights perfect for the over 40 woman!

A stain that's glossy? Isn't that an oxymoron? Londonmakeupgirl sees if YSL has managed to make it a reality, when she buys a YSL Glossy Stain.

Friday, 20 January 2012

IMATS London 2012

The International Makeup Artist Trade Show will be taking place in London at the beginning of February. The exhibition will be held at Alexandra Palace: Friday 2nd is open to professionals only but the trade show is open to the public on Saturday 4th and Sunday 5th. This will be my very first time at IMATS, the show normally takes place in January so giving birth and birthdays have prevented me from attending in the past. I confess that tales of how busy it gets have also made me slightly reluctant too. I tend to get a little flustered in crowds but this year the show has moved to the Great Hall so hopefully there will be more room to move around and explore.

Image by SparklzandShine.com

There is a full list of exhibitors on the IMATS website as well as a schedule of the classes and events that will take place over the two days. I have been told by more seasoned IMATS visitors that it's best to decide which talks you're interested in attending in advance as there are often queues to hear the speakers and spaces are filled on a first-come, first-served basis. As a first timer I really enjoyed Lipglossiping's tips on how to get the most out of a visit to the show.

Image by SparklzandShine.com

Image by SparklzandShine.com

The stands that I am most excited about visiting are Hakuhodo, Make Up For Ever, Emryolisse, Guru Makeup Emporium and PAM. The thought of one big room filled with cosmetics and brushes that are usual hard to access is a huge draw. I fear I may struggle with my self-imposed eyeshadow ban as I browse the stands. There are a couple of things that I already know will test my resolve if I spy them. I'm sure there should be plenty to keep me distracted and I can always go and stroke some brushes if I get stressed!

Image courtesy of www.imats.net. Photo by Nick Wall

Many thanks to Sparklz and Shine for giving me permission to share her images from IMATS 2011 with you. Will you be going along to IMATS this year? Do you have any advice for a first time visitor like me?

Thursday, 19 January 2012

Caudalie Vinoperfect Day Perfecting Cream SPF 15


I bought the Caudalie Vinoperfect Day Perfecting Cream early last year when I spotted it in a clearance sale in Boots. It has sat patiently waiting at the back of my cupboard for the right moment for me to test it out, particularly as I halted my efforts at tackling my hyperpigmentation during the summer. This cream is specifically designed to brighten the skin and 'improve the appearance of dark spots'. It also offers SPF15 protection. The active ingredients that are listed (Octocrylene, Octinoxate, Avobenzone and Octisalate) are all sunscreens. It is Caudalie's exclusive and patented Viniferine ingredient which is supposed to enhance radiance and provide anti-oxidant action.

The Caudalie cream has a really nice texture and has really suited my winter skin. It has a creamy emollient texture, it feels rich but still sinks into my skin quickly. It also leaves my skin soft and plump without causing a shiny t-zone by mid-afternoon which often happens to me when I use thicker creams. The cream is scented, I don't find it unpleasant but it is quite a perfumed smell which may not be to everyone's taste.


In terms of treating my dark spots, I haven't noticed any significant difference in the appearance of the pigmentation spot above my eyebrow. However, I have noticed that my skin tone is a little more even and the darker patches from old blemishes around my chin and upper lip have faded a little too. Of course, this may be the lack of sun and natural fading rather than as a direct result of the moisturiser.


I think this is a nice face cream, I'm not sure that it has made a significant difference to my dark spots but it does do a good job of hydrating my parched winter skin without overloading it. My fine lines look less obvious and my skin looks generally 'better'. The only negative point is that it works out as rather an expensive cream. The tube contains 30ml of product and I've gone through the tube very quickly (I estimate the whole tube will be finished after 2 months use with once a day application). A 30ml tube costs £36 at full price. Moisturisers more commonly hold 50ml of product, so for ease of comparison the Caudalie would cost £60 for 50ml. I think I might be more tempted to buy one of the Caudalie treatment serums instead when considering the cost.

I started testing a new cream today, the Jo Malone Vitamin E Moisturising day cream*. At £50 for 50ml it's not a dissimilar price point to the Caudalie so it will be interesting to make the side by comparison. I shall report back next month on how I get on. 

You can find your nearest Caudalie stockist on their website, www.caudalie.com/uk.

* The Jo Malone cream is a PR sample. I bought the Caudalie Vinoperfect cream.

Tuesday, 17 January 2012

Today's (very minimal) Makeup

I went for very minimal makeup today. I didn't really feel in the mood for a full face plus I knew that I was likely to be spending the day reading between chores and child things. I might not have been successful with all of my resolutions but catching up on my reading and getting the house in order has gone very well so far.

My apologies for the lack of face, the light had completely gone by the time I took the pictures and minimal makeup never seems to show up very well with flash photography.


The products I wore today were:
W3LL People Narcissist Foundation & Concealer shade #1
W3LL People Universalist #2 Highlighter*
Ilia Lip Conditioner in Blossom Lady*
YSL Long Lasting Waterproof Liner in #5 (Shimmering Burgundy) 
Illamasqua Masquara

The W3LL People Narcissist stick is a newish purchase and I used this as a concealer under my eyes and on areas of redness around my nose and chin. I've always been nervous of stick foundations but I really like the texture and it's great if you just need coverage on specific areas. The Ilia Lip Conditioner was the perfect choice for today as my lips were feeling a bit chapped and in need of TLC. It looks more polished than must a balm but feels just as good. Both W3LL People and Ilia Beauty are available from www.beingcontent.com and www.misebeauty.com.

I've re-ignited my passion for purple these last couple of weeks and I've been picking out this YSL liner quite a bit. Yesterday I paired it with RBR Delicate Hummingbird but today I didn't have time to add any eyeshadow. My favourite thing about this liner is how fast it is to apply (it's very creamy) for such a long wearing eyeliner.

I bought the Illamasqua Masquara a while ago but only recently started to use it. Whilst the Smashbox Bionic mascara that I wrote about yesterday gave me quite a natural look, the Masquara is probably a little too dramatic for me. It can make my lashes look a bit spidery but I thought it was a good choice today with such minimal eye makeup.


Because I was going mostly bare-faced, I thought it would be a good moment to try the Dr. Lewinn's Instant Beauty Radiance Booster*. It made my skin look a little more polished and seemed to tone down the redness in my face. The combination of this and the W3LL People highlighter gave my skin a glow that it certainly didn't have naturally at 6 o'clock this morning!

I have been using my Aveeno Hand Cream constantly for the last week or so. The downside to being the perfect housekeeper is that it leaves my hands in a terrible mess. The drop in temperature has to take some of the blame too. The Aveeno remains my favourite cream for soothing as well as repairing chapped hands.

My scent choice today was Lancôme Trésor and I've been wearing it more and more lately. It has always been a fragrance that I liked on other people but I found it too overpowering on me. I'm not sure what has changed, whether it's me or the perfume I can't tell but I can wear this now without fear of it causing a headache.

What have you been wearing today? Do you ever have days when you don't wear much makeup?

* PR Samples

Monday, 16 January 2012

Smashbox Bionic Mascara

I've been using the Smashbox Bionic mascara for a couple of weeks now, occasionally using one of my other mascaras to provide a reference point. I was all set to write it off until I tried it again this morning.



With a name like Bionic, I was expecting something dramatic. On initially trying it I was confused about the choice of the adjective as this added colour and some definition but little else. The wand has an almost retro feel; the brush is quite long and narrow with no shaping apart from at the very tip. When I first opened the tube the mascara was soft and fluid but not runny. It layered without clumping but didn't add length or volume no matter how much I apply. Now that it has dried a little, 'bionic' is a more appropriate. The formula is still soft but the fibres are more obvious and it does provide a more dramatic look, adding volume and a little length, although I also encountered some clumping.


Initial use

Use after several weeks of opening

I'm still not sure that I'm a fan of this mascara. I suspect it will work better for those more blessed in the lashes department than myself. The improvement in the formula after a couple of weeks is something I have encountered before (I think my MUFE Smoky Lash mascara was the same) but it can be a nuisance in terms of deciding whether or not you like the mascara. Certainly Smashbox Bionic hasn't knocked my favourites, Hourglass Film Noir and Max Factor Xperience mascara, off their top spots.

Smashbox Bionic mascara is available from CheapSmells.com and costs £12.95

Disclosure: PR Sample

Sunday, 15 January 2012

L'Oreal Super Liner Luminizer in Black Amethyst

I picked this up when I bought my last couple of Couleur Infalliable eyeshadows. I have already own the  Super Liner in sparkly black and I find that once you remember that you must shake it before you apply, these work very well. The first time I used Black Amethyst, I thought it might be a dupe for Illamasqua's precision liner in Havoc but side by side, the difference are clear. Havoc is more of an ox blood shade, whereas Black Amethyst is more obviously purple. Black Amethyst also has a gorgeous metallic shimmer, it's subtle and only visible at certain angles but it prevents the colour from looking flat.



The liner goes on easily, I find it has a nice consistency and I get on well with the felt stick style applicator. The tip is soft and doesn't splinter the colour during application. I'm quite used to applying liner so I'm not sure how easy this applicator is to use as a novice. I noticed when washing off the swatches that although L'Oreal didn't move with water alone, it washes away quite easily with soap and water whereas the Illamasqua liner requires eye makeup remover to be removed. Something else I noticed is that, once dry, the L'Oreal seemed more flexible than the Illamasqua which split easily as you can see in the swatch below.


Although handy for avoiding theft, the security tags really make a sticky mess of products!

I like Black Amethyst very much. This particular shade is marketed for those with hazel eyes. My eyes aren't hazel but I much preferred this shade to the navy blue shade being offered for blue eyes. I had a look on the Boots website and there are three shades of the Luminizer Super Liners. The colour that I haven't seen in person is the one designed for green eyes which appears to be green from the online swatch. I find the choice of blue for blue eyes and green for green eyes rather unusual as I makeup artists often recommend that you use a colour from the opposite side of the colour wheel to your eye colour. Personally, I would recommend choosing based on the colour that you like rather than the one you're 'supposed' to get.

Top: Black Amethyst, Bottom: Illamasqua Havoc - still wet at the point

Top: Black Amethyst, Bottom: Illamasqua Havoc

As an aside, whilst I was browsing the Boots website in search of the Super Liners, I spotted that the Couleur Infallible eyeshadows are currently reduced in price from £6.99 to £3.99. I'd highly recommend giving them a try if you haven't already, especially at such a great price. Of course, I'm not looking myself, no sir. I have my eyeshadow no buy to think about! *weeps silently*


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