Friday, 30 March 2012

Review: Mac Chili

In an effort to try something different, I’ve been experimenting with some different lip colours lately. 

When I was visiting my parents recently, I unearthed a little known lipstick from Mac’s permanent range within my mums collection – Chili. When looking around the net for swatches of this, they are few and far between which I find somewhat surprising.
It is an intense deep brick red, with obvious brown and orange undertones, which I would imagine would be perfect for you if you wanted to try red lips but preferred a more muted colour. However, whilst the colour isn’t in your face bright, like Russian Red, it is opaque in one swipe and I actually found it quite difficult to apply accurately from the tube (as you can probably see!). For such a vibrant colour, I would certainly recommend using a lip blush to apply for perfect application and a lipliner would also help to define the edges more clearly.

For a matte lippy, I found it very comfortable to wear and it wasn’t drying in the slightest. I actually find some of the cremesheen formulas more drying! It lasted well, for over four hours before I reapplied, but this was after several nibbles throughout the morning! 

I could see this lipstick going well with simple eyes for daytime, or you could wear it with smoky eyes for a sultry evening look. I think warmer skintones would suit this colour more, due to the brown undertones present, but if you are cool-toned and fancy trying it, it would certainly be worth a look. 

Verdict  
An interesting brown-toned red, which is muted in colour but still packs a hefty punch! For me, I think it was a little too far out of my comfort zone as I felt rather self conscious wearing it. However if you like Mac's reds and fancy trying something a little different from the tried and tested Russian Red and Ruby Woo, this is a great buy that would certainly enhance your collection.
3.5
Price –£13.50

Thursday, 29 March 2012

March Empties

I’ve had a great March using up lots of products, including quite a few full-sized ones too.


The Body Shop Earth Lovers Shower Gel in Pear and Lemongrass (review here) – I liked the idea of this shower gel but the fragrance didn’t wow me and it was far too watery and liquid – the consistency was almost like water!  I wouldn’t rush to repurchase another from this range, purely due to the watery consistency and the fact it was very easy for more to end up down the plughole than on my body!

TiGi Dumb Blonde Shampoo – this is one of my holy grail products and although I like to try other shampoos, this is by far the one I come back to the most.  I finished this bottle and promptly restocked!  I love it as it leaves my hair soft and manageable and prolongs the life of my colour.

Trevor Sorbie Colour Protect Shampoo – this has been lounging in my draw for ages and it was time to use it up!  I think it has now been repackaged, and potentially reformulated, however I wasn’t overly impressed with this mini bottle and I don’t think this would replace my Dumb Blonde!

Lush Three Gold Rings Bubble Bar – this was left over from Christmas but I think they are released every year.  I loved the scent of vanilla / orange oil and it produced monstrous amounts of bubbles (I always just crumble the whole bar in but you could easily get several baths from it).  It did leave a gold stain around the bottom of the bathtub that was horrendous to shift though!  I would possibly repurchase this next year although Lush always brings out new products that I am tempted by!

Neal’s Yard Remedies Seaweed Salt Scrub (review here) – this scrub was sufficiently ‘scrubby’ for me but the scent really put me off and for that reason I wouldn’t repurchase.

Vaseline Intensive Rescue Moisture Locking Body Lotion  - a product that does exactly what it says on the tin, providing instant relief to dry, scaly areas.  At the moment I wouldn’t repurchase as I still have a heap of body lotions to work my way through!

Johnsons 24hr Extra Rich Bodywash – I found there was nothing overly remarkable about this product, probably as I prefer scented shower gels and creams.  It did leave my skin nicely hydrated though and those who prefer unscented body washes would probably like this.  However I will not be repurchasing, mainly as there are hundreds of shower gels and creams I have yet to try!

Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Concentrated Cream – this is another of my staples.  I love the scent of cocoa butter and this never fails to provide my hands with instant moisturisation.  I already have a back up!
Sure Deodorant – not much to say about this, it does the job!

Clinique Mild Liquid Facial Soap  - received probably as part of a Bonus Time promotion, I wasn’t overwhelmed by this as I found it quite drying for everyday use.  It was handy to use after a run as it made my face feel very clean, although you do need to use a good moisturiser afterwards and I wouldn’t recommend it for dry skins.  I wouldn’t repurchase but I’m sure a couple more of these will turn up in future Bonus Time free gifts!

Liz Earle Smoothing Eye Serum (review here) – I used this in conjunction with the Liz Earle eye cream and much preferred this serum to the cream.  I used it in the evenings and although I’m not sure it made a visible difference, it did hydrate my eye area overnight.  I would consider repurchasing but I currently have another couple of eye creams to test out.

Simple Kind To Skin Cleansing Facial Wipes – I always have a couple of packs of wipes on the go for a quick refresh or often just to remove swatches!  These are a great price and, like other Simple products, do not irritate my skin.  I would repurchase.

What have you managed to use up this month?

Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Review: Charles Worthington Full Volume Shampoo and Conditioner

When I visited my parents last month, I stumbled upon the Charles Worthington Full Volume Shampoo and Conditioner whilst I was having a root around the bathroom (does anyone else really enjoy having a nosey through other people’s bathroom products?!). I used these for a week and enjoyed using them so much, I purchased my own when I returned home!

Charles Worthington products have been around for ages and I’m sure that in the past, I have dallied with them occasionally.  The Full Volume range was new to me though and when there was an offer in Boots of any two products for £6, I snapped them up! 

The shampoo claims to be ultra-light, helping to optimise the hair’s fullness, washing away impurities and providing hydration, leaving it feel fuller and thicker.  After using it, I certainly found my hair to be easily cleansed of all products and residue, and it didn’t weigh down my locks.
I used the conditioner on the mid-lengths to the ends of my hair and was relived to find it didn’t leave my hair feeling limp and lank as many conditioners do. It left my hair feeling shiny and manageable without any tangles, and I was actually quite impressed with it as many conditioners are too rich for my fine hair and leave it feeling heavy and often slightly oily by the end of the day.

Verdict
For the price, these two products do a very good job of keeping my hair in a manageable condition and although they do not provide extreme volume, they do help my hair to look thicker and fuller, giving more body without weighing it down.  I loved how shiny my tresses looked too!  There are certainly other products in the range which I will be looking into such as the Texturising Spray and Big Bounce Spray! 
4/5

Price – Shampoo, £5.19; Conditioner, £5.19
Where to buyBoots, Superdrug, Most Supermarkets

Tuesday, 27 March 2012

March Reads

I’ve been very busy this month and as a result, I don’t seem to have had as much time for reading as I would have liked, however I have managed to get through three books.

Deluxe: How Luxury Lost its Lustre, Dana Thomas
I’d read about this book on a couple of other blogs and had been meaning to buy it for ages. It gives a fascinating history of how brands such as Louis Vuitton developed and grew to become the gigantic international mega-brands that they are today, along with how the definition of luxury has changed since the post-war period. There are also several chapters devoted to manufacturing and counterfeiting, giving an insight into the real price of your designer bags. I really enjoyed this book and would recommend it for those interested in the history of designer brands and how the brands themselves operate today.


Fingersmith, Sarah Waters
I’m very fond of a Victorian novel and I have no idea why this book eluded me for so long! At almost 600 pages, it is fairly weighty but I didn’t find the story dragged at any point, and indeed there were several points at which I gasped out loud as the plot twists and turns unexpectedly. The story revolves around the lives of two girls whose lives become inextricably linked via an intricate scheme. Sue is an orphan, who has been brought up by Mrs Sucksby and her gang of thieves. One of the group, "Gentleman", has a plan to marry a lady, Maud Lilly - the niece of a man he is doing some work for, and who is the heiress to a great fortune, and there starts the great plot to obtain her fortune and make himself and Sue rich. 

I am loathe to tell you any further plot details as it would ruin the novel for you, but suffice to say, that is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to deception and scheming,and be prepared for your perceptions of characters to be promptly turned on their head!


The Snow Child – Eowyn Ivey
This is a retelling of a traditional Russian fairy story.  Jack and Mabel are an old childless couple, living in Alaska in the 1920s, who one day decide to build a girl out of snow. The next morning, the snow girl has disappeared but there is a trail of tiny footsteps leading towards the woods.

This story is one that sucks you in from the very first moment with its intense descriptions of the cold and isolation of Alaska. I felt it was a little overlong, at over 400 pages, and could have been at least 50 pages shorter, however I did enjoy it and it was an easy read which transported me to another world.

Have you read any good books lately?
x

Monday, 26 March 2012

Review: Chanel Black Pearl

I don’t know about you but I always feel as beauty bloggers and readers we are constantly on the lookout for the next new product or item.  It is therefore easy to forget about permanent products that may have been available for some time, and are unloved gems.
Please excuse my awful cuticles and smudge on the 2nd finger - taken in a rush!
Chanel’s Black Pearl is one of my favourite polishes.  Released in late 2012 and now available on a permanent basis, this is an almost greened grey with a pearly finish (hence the name!).  When I was first introduced to it, I was a little afraid that it would be tricky to use without having the dreaded visible brushstrokes so often present in frost-type finishes.  However I am pleased to report that the formula is very easy to use, and two coats produces the perfect opaque finish. 

I’ve personally never got to grips with the whole, almost-black nail trend as I just look someone in fancy dress pretending to be a goth!  This is a much more wearable way of wearing dark polish as, although it is dark, it is a very easy-to wear grey, and the finish makes it significantly different from any other polishes that I own.

Verdict
If you like dark polishes and enjoy Chanel’s formula, this is a must-have in your collection!   It is the very definition of a grown-up grey polish and I feel extremely sophisticated when wearing it!  
5/5
Price - £17.50


Sunday, 25 March 2012

Desires and Deals - Models Own, Benefit, Armani, Elemis and more!

I hope you have all been having a lovely weekend in the sunshine.  It has been gorgeous today and really felt like Summer was on its way when I went for a run through the park.  I hope it stays like this all week as my knee high boots have been firmly packed away until Autumn now!

Desires

Models Own Beetlejuice – Tropical Sun, £5, Models Own
I like Model’s Own polishes as they tend to have some interesting colours at a great price. They have just launched 3 new shades as part of their Beetlejuice Collection and I really like the look of Tropical Sun. It looks like a gorgeous iridescent coral duo-chrome that would be perfect for Spring!


Benefit Hello Flawless! Oxygen Foundation, £24.50 - Benefit
I'm always on the lookout for a new foundation and Benefits latest offering purports to be an oil-free, lightweight formula with SPF 25, and promotes the appearance of healthy, youthful looking skin. With a light-medium coverage this could be exactly what I need for Summer.


Armani - Summer Ecailles Collection - New Eyes to Kill, Ecailles and Obsidian Grey, £26, available soon on counters
I love Armani's Eyes To Kill Shadows as although pricey, they are long-lasting and blend like a dream.  I've got my eye on Obsidian Grey in particular and it is a welcome departure form all the pastels and corals we have been seeing lately.

Deals

Cult Beauty free gift with all offers over £60 while stocks last 
Cult Beauty have a current deal on for this amazing free gift when you spend £60.  The gift contains products from Bliss, Becca and Alpha H amongst others.  I'm off to have a look at their website right now!


Time To Spa - Elemis Shower Duos 2 for 1
Time to Spa have a deal on Elemis Shower Duos including the gorgeous Exotic Fragipani scent for £20.50 for two full-sized bottles.  I particularly have my eye on the set of 6 100ml bottles of scents and fragrances across the whole collection at only £25.  They would be perfect for short weekend breaks away!

Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream, 50ml £17.99 from £25 at Beauty Expert 
This is a classic staple for me and I always have a tube of it on the go.  Its perfect for any scaly knees, elbows or lips - in fact it can be used almost anywhere!  It does smell a little odd the first time you try it but you quickly get used to it and at a 1/3 off the usual price, this is a great deal.

Friday, 23 March 2012

Review: Estee Lauder Pure Colour in Crystal Baby


I’ve always seen Estee Lauder as a bit ‘mumsy’ but over the past few years they have really upped their game, especially since Tom Pecheux got involved with their collections.  I’ve been recently hunting around for some dependable nudes to add to my collection and when Crystal Baby came up on Buyapowa, I decided it was time to take the plunge. 

Crystal Baby is one of the signature nude lippies from the Pure Colour Crystal Collection which consists of a whole range of shades from understated nudes, to bright and vibrant plums and berrys.  The formula itself is said to be both sheer and moisturising, providing a hint of colour rather than a full-on opaque lip. 

Estee Lauder’s packaging certainly veers towards the luxurious side with a predominantly gold tube featuring the Estee Lauder logo, with the bottom of the tube illustrating the colour of the lipstick.  The colour of the Crystal baby tube is a shimmering, almost iridescent peach which looks quite unlike the colour of the bullet, but I do like how the colour is displayed.  I wish more companies would do this as it takes me forever to find the Mac lippy in my makeup bag that I am after each morning! 

The colour in the bullet is of a brown / peachy nude which is predominately warm toned.  When swatched, it certainly appears to be more peach than brown and has a significant shine.  When applied to my well-pigmented lips, it takes upon a my-lips-but-better hue, not making a huge difference but certainly giving a more polished overall appearance.  If you have less pigmented lips, it may appear slightly brighter on you, although these lipsticks are not meant to be opaque, and are part of the ongoing recent trend for liptick / balm hybrids.

Due to its lack of pigment, I would imagine Crystal Baby  would suit most people and it is so easy to wear with a variety of different looks.  I have been rocking it with a dark smoky eye, or simply for a work-friendly look with neutral, understated eye shadow, often Chanel’s Illusion d’Ombre in Emerveille.
Sorry for blurred pic - it was the only one that captured the colour accurately.

The formula is fantastic and it glides onto the lips very easily.  I love the fact that it doesn’t feel like I am wearing a lipstick as it is so light and it is very moisturising compared to many other lipsticks I own, although it obviously doesn’t replenish moisture as a lip balm does.   It imparts a subtle sheer shine on the lips and is very comfortable to wear, however this comfort comes at a price which means I only get up to two hours wear from it before it vanishes.  One other thing I must mention is the scent which is very noticeable.  I think it may be rose (although I am rubbish at discerning fragrances and notes which is why you are unlikely to see a perfume review from me!).  Whatever the scent, you will notice it on applying, although after a few minutes it does dissipate. 

In terms of dupes, there are probably a lot of them out there as any sheer, slightly peachy lipstick / balm hybrid would be similar. 

Verdict
I enjoyed using this lipstick and couldn’t really find much bad to say about it other than it is probably fairly dupable.  However, if you love nude lippies and want a comfortable, moisturising formula, then Estee Lauder have done an excellent job with this.
3.5/5
Price  - £15
Where to Buy - Boots, Debenhams, House of Fraser, Selfridges, John Lewis

Thursday, 22 March 2012

Company Spotlight: Woodwick



I love scented candles! They are probably more of a winter indulgence for me, as I associate them more with cold, dark nights and cosy evenings by the fire, but I have been investing in many fresher, lighter scents recently with Spring well on its way.

I discovered Woodwick Candles through my mum a couple of years ago when I was visiting, and was immediately taken by the gorgeous scent fragrancing her living room.  Since then, I have purchased several and I have yet to come across one I don’t like!

The classic candles come in two different sizes –
  • 10oz at £13.99 which burns for up to 100 hours
  • 22ox at £20.99 which burns for up to 180  hours

There is a huge range of scents available from the ordinary to the extraordinary.  I particularly like the Wild Bluebell scent which fills a room very quickly with a gorgeous floral aroma. 

The candles are all made of high-quality soy wax so that they produce a cleaner and slower burn than conventional paraffin wax candles and there is none of the annoying ‘tunnelling’ present where the candle burns only down the centre – the whole of the candle burns meaning they are excellent value for money.  One of the more unique elements of these candles is that they all have a wooden wick which gives a subtle crackling sound whilst burning!  It is very quiet, so it is very unobtrusive, but it is a nice relaxing background accompaniment.

In addition to the classic candles, there are also:
  • Trilogy Candles (which have 3 scents in one jar)
  • Diffusers
  • Smaller ‘Petit’ Candles

There are new scents being launched all the time and I am particularly fond of the special Christmas offerings, especially the cranberry one!

Where to Buy- Direct from their website Woodwick or if you want to sniff before you buy, many small independent gift shops sell them.

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Review: Illamasqua Promise Cream Blush

Despite reading a lot about the brand in various blogs, I'd never actually tried anything from Illamasqua before and when I saw this cream blush become available on BuyaPowa I snapped it up. 
 
I'm usually not that adventurous with blushes, preferring to stick to something peachy from the Nars Orgasm family.  Over the past year, I have started trying some cream blushes and have been very impressed with offerings from both Bobbi Brown and TopShop.  So how did Illamasqua fare?

First off, I have to say that I really like the sculptural designs of Illamasqua's packaging.  It is just really ergo dynamically pleasing.  It doesn't feel; luxurious in the same heavy way that brands such as Chanel and YSL do but it does seem as though a lot of thought has been put into the packaging.
 
The cream blush itself is a bright, cool-toned bubblegum pink in the pan (even more pink than it appears in these photos) and it feels quite soft to the touch, although not so soft that it is tacky.  I have to admit that it was with some trepidation that I tried this as I thought it would be way too bright and out of my comfort zone.
 

As you can see from the swatches below, it does apply fairly bright initially, but then blends away to a light pink, subtle glow with a  dewy finish, which actually looks very natural on my NC20 skintone.  If you require a brighter hue, the colour is very buildable, so it is certainly possible to apply a couple of layers for extra intensity.
 
Lasting time on my oily / combination skin is unfortunately only about 4 hours after which it seemed to vanish on my skin.  I do have rather oily cheeks but I did find the wear time a little disappointing as the Bobbi Brown Pot Rouges last all day on me!


Verdict
For cream blush lovers with dry or normal skin, I think this product would work very well on you and have good lasting power.  If you have oily cheeks however, you will probably need to either set this with another pink powder blush or retouch after 4 hours.  A little does go a long way and for a healthy pink flush, this is certainly a great buy which I think would look fantastic on those with fair skintones.
4/5
Price  - £16.50

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

I've Passed!



Apologies for the sporadic posting lately and also for the self-indulgent nature of this post, but I just had to share my excitement that I FINALLY passed my driving test!!

I realise that this probably isn't a big thing for those of you who passed it some time ago, but for me driving has always been this mythical thing that everyone apart from me can do.  It was after getting married and nearing 30 that I thought that I just had to bite the bullet and learn

I'd started learning when I was 17, then went away to Uni and never really picked it back up, mostly as I didn't like my previous instructor and I've always lived in the city centre and saw no need to drive.  

In September, I started with the same instructor who taught hubby to drive and, despite being incredibly nervous, I managed to pass my test this morning with only 2 minor faults! 

I'm off to celebrate now with a glass of fizz and hubby is making something tasty for dinner.  Normal posting should resume tomorrow, hic!

x

Sunday, 18 March 2012

Desires and Deals #3

Happy Mother's Day!  I hope you have had a lovely weekend.  I live a few hours from my mum so unfortunately will not get to see her this weekend.  I did however send her a card and some gifts and am looking forward to catching up with her in two weeks time when my dad and her are coming to visit.

This week, the buzz in the blogsphere has been all about the release of the Revlon Lip Butters so I have chosen some other new releases to highlight - although I am also planning on picking up some of the lip butters over the next couple of weeks too!!

Desires
Maybelline Colour Tattoo 24 Hour Cream Eye Shadow, £4.99, Boots, Superdrug

I really enjoy wearing cream eyeshadows these days and these new shadows from Maybelline are supposed to be very similar to the more expensive Make Up For Ever Aqua Cream Shadows.  I don't think I would be wearing them for 24 hours but I am always on the lookout for hard-wearing cream shadows and I will certainly be taking a look at them.  They are currently out of stock on the Boots website but they should be available in store.  Superdrug should also have them available, and all Maybelline products are on 3 for 2 there at the moment.

Max Factor Flipstick Colour Effect, £8.49, Superdrug

These new offerings from Max Factor feature a double-ended product with one rich creamy colour and one iridescent shade.  This allows you to wear each colour separately, blended together or to wear the stronger colour underneath with the iridescent shade just blended into the centre.  I like the idea of this but I will need to take a closer look at them before purchasing.  There are six shades currently available from light pinks to bright red.  I particularly like the look of Gipsy Red (yes it is spelled this way, not Gypsy!).  They currently have £2 off in Superdrug and are £6.49.  I can't yet see them on the Boots website but I'm sure they will turn up soon.


I love the sound of this new skincare range which promises to work in tandem with your skin to provide 'pure and active solutions'.  There are no amazing promises of looking 10 years younger whilst using it (who really believes all that advertising blurb anyway), just the belief that you will be taking care of your skin and not pumping it full of chemicals.  By filling in an online questionnaire, they suggest the best products for your skin type and the great thing is that none of the products are overly pricey either!  I'm certainly going to be investigating these as my skin has been going through a stressed, tired period recently with numerous breakouts, so going back to basics will hopefully help it.

Deals

Dolly Leo is unfortunately closing down, and as part of their closing down sale they are offering 45% off everything until 25th March.  There are items from brands such as Pixi, Suqqu, Becca and Nude. The code is dollyleoforever. 


Escentual is offering 1/3 off brands such as Vichy, Avene and La Roche-Possay until the end of March.  The discount will automatically be taken off at the checkout. 


Both the EDT and EDP are being sold at up to 35% off this weekend on Cheap Smells.  I've only had a quick spray of this in Debenhams and I liked it a lot. I found it quite fruity but not overpoweringly so.  I have to say I'm very tempted by it!

I hope you had a lovely weekend, whether you were with your Mum,  being pampered as a mum yourself, or even just out enjoying the sunshine.
Have a good week.

Victoria
x


Friday, 16 March 2012

Review: Rouge Dior Elegant Pink

Dior is a brand I had never previously given much thought to, although I am not sure why.  I’ve admired many of their palettes and polishes and have previously enjoyed using the Dior Show mascara in the past. 

I recently won a giveaway with Pink Lady apples of a Rouge Dior Lipstick in Elegant Pink, and was very excited to receive it through the post.  I was hopeful I would win the pink car when I entered the competition but a lipstick is always a good prize!
Dior’s packaging is very chic, and it feels appropriately luxurious.  I would be happy to whip this out of my handbag for a touch-up on the go!  The colour in the tube is of a bright, fairly neutral pink which I feel would suit most skintones.  I was pleased that it was not a Barbie pink which I find very difficult to wear due to my warmer complexion.

The swatch shows a slight sheen to the lipstick and it looks to be fairly opaque when swiped.  There is a slight rose scent to the lipstick but when applied, it is not noticeable, so unless you are highly sensitive to scents, this should not be an issue. 
It glides on smoothly and evenly to the lips and is fairly opaque when applied.  I did find that it clung to a couple of dry patches on my lips though, so you would be best to ensure that you have smooth, well moisturised lips before applying.  It was comfortable to wear and easily lasted four hours, through several cups of tea and mid-morning snacks before fading. 



Verdict
A versatile shade that will suit many, I was suitably impressed with this Rouge Dior lipstick.  Although I wouldn’t normally have picked out this shade for myself, I have actually been wearing it a lot recently as it goes with so many different looks due to it being a neutral pink.  It looks great with a light pink blush and lashings of mascara.  The only negatives for this product is the fact that you will probably need to have lips that are already in good condition before wearing as otherwise it will cling to any dry patches, and the high price of £25, however this is comparable with other high-end brands.   I’m looking forward to investigating some more lippies and other items from their range. These are certainly worth investigating if you can get over the price tag!
4/5

Price - £23-£25
Where to BuyBoots, DebenhamsHouse of Fraser

Thursday, 15 March 2012

What Was Your First Makeup Purchase?


It seems a long time ago that I made my first tentative step into makeup.  When I was in my early years I recall being allowed to play with some of my mum’s makeup and as this was the 1980s, there was lots of bright blue eyeshadow and vivid purple lipstick.  The decade was not subtle in the slightest!  Whilst makeup was predominately for play and I was never allowed to wear it out of the house, I did start wearing nail polish from around the age of nine on a weekend, and since then, the addiction has never waned!  Polish is still the one item I have numerous varieties of, and I can’t remember the last time I had completely bare nails! 

Nail polish usually came from Boots Natural Collection, Rimmel or Collection 2000 and I vaguely remember purchasing several Barry M polishes as well.  I also took my first tentative steps into lip products with a lipstick from Boots Natural Collection.  Admittedly it was more of a balm / lipstick hybrid but it was the first step into becoming the lip product junkie that I am today! 

As I grew more confident and entered my early teens, I started using mascara and lip gloss and LancĂ´me’s Juicy Tubes were some of my favourites.  I’m not sure why I liked them so much at the time but I don’t think there was the variation and availability of gloss then that there is now, and their candy colours and fun scents had me hooked!  I’m sure I still have a couple lurking at the bottom of my draw today. 

Throughout University, lack of funds meant that I tended to stick to tried and trusted products, mostly due to lack of funds.  Bourjois and Max Factor were two of the main brands I purchased from when I had a little extra cash (that wasn’t being spend on going out!) and in particular I grew fond of the Max Factor False Lash Effect Mascara which I still rate very highly in my mascara stash.  

Today, I have a mixture of higher end department store brands and high street / drugstore products in regular rotation.  I have an unhealthy (and expensive!) love of Chanel products, but am equally excited when I find an excellent product at a great price – the Top Shop Cream Blushes and Carmex Moisture Plus Lip Shines are two of my favourite can’t-live-without items.

What was your first beauty purchase?
How did you get interested in makeup?

Wednesday, 14 March 2012

Review: Boots Essentials Cucumber Eye Make Up Remover Gel

A quick review on a product I discovered over the past two weeks when raiding my mum’s makeup and beauty stash!  When I visit my parents to stay for a few days, I never bother taking much makeup or many beauty products with me as my mum always has plenty of new things for me to try! 

On a recent visit, I discovered the Boots Essentials Cucumber Eye Make-up Remover Gel.  This makeup remover is one I have overlooked until now, despite having previously tried several of the products from the Boots Essentials Cucumber range.  It has a gel consistency which is not too thick, (so it is easily dispensed) and  when applied with a cotton pad, it removes stubborn mascara easily, although I haven’t yet tried it with waterproof mascara.

One of the main issues I have with many eye makeup removers is that they leave a greasy, oily film around the eye area and I am pleased to report that there was no oily residue with this product.   It has a slight scent of cucumbers, although nothing too offensive, and is quite soothing to the whole eye area, although be careful not to actually get it in your eye as it will sting a little, so this is perhaps not good for those with very sensitive eyes.  I do prefer liquid makeup removers such as the Garnier Fresh Essentials Eye Make up Remover but this is a useful alternative to have in my rotation and at this price I can’t really find much bad to say about it!

Verdict
A good, hard-working remover which effectively removes everyday eye makeup and mascara.  Those with very sensitive eyes should approach with care, but it is very soothing and even my moderately sensitive eyes had no major issues with it.  It will not replace my beloved Garnier, but it is a great budget product that I was pleasantly surprised by.  I have already purchased my own bottle!
4/5

Price-  £1.42
Where to Buy - Boots

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Review: Mac Interior Life Eyeshadow Quad

The Mac Daphne Guinness collection was launched in stores a couple of months ago and I picked up this quad, Interior Life after being drawn to its subtle grey and purple shades, in the hope of creating a neutral, soft smokey look.
It is well-known that Mac’s limited-edition quads have been lacking in pigmentation lately, but these shades looked so pretty in the pan, I couldn’t resist!  The shades included are:
  • Stratus – a very pale pink which was very difficult to swatch.  I have been using this mostly as a highlight shade or as a base for other colours.
  • Bruised Sky – a mauve / purple tone that I have been using as a subtle wash of colour on my lids for an almost neutral look.
  • Interior Life – a medium grey.  This was my favourite of the four shadows as it was very easy to apply and blend.  I have been using it a lot with my Chanel Illusion d’Ombre in Illusionoire, and blending it out a little.  It also works well in the crease with Bruised Sky.
  • Heather Belles – a charcoal black which you will probably have similar versions of in your collection.  I use this either to line the eyes or blended in the outer v for a smokier eye. 
L to R: Stratus, Bruised Sky, Interior Life, Heather Belles
The shadows all appear to be of a matte consistency when swatched and applied to the lids, (so there’s nothing here for shimmer addicts!) although only Stratus is actually named as a matte. Bruised Sky and Heather Belles are named as satins, and Interior Life is a veluxe.  They do take a little more effort to use as they are on the whole, very sheer, but when layered and combined, they work well for an understated, polished look.  As with other Mac eyeshadows, these have an excellent wear time and last throughout a full working day for me, without creasing or fading, when used in conjunction with a primer. 

Verdict
For those of you who prefer more pigmented shadows with a good colour payoff, this quad probably will not be suited to you.  However, if you want a subdued look which would go perfectly with a light rose lip, this quad could work well.  It will especially suit those with fairer or cooler skintones and I always find Mac’s quads useful for helping to formulate a complete look for your eyes.  It would also be very useful if you want to branch out into matte shadows as these are all neutral colours which can be adapted for a variety of looks.
3.5/5

Price – £35
Where to Buy – This is now sold out online but I found it at House of Fraser last week so there is definitely still stock available.