Sunday, 29 January 2012

Those seeking RED #Illamasqua #Sleek #17 #M.A.C.

My Favourite Red Lipsticks

I thought I'd do a post on my top 4 red lipsticks, they're all different brands & different prices to suit all budgets and tastes They're my favourite ones I own, the ones I'm most impressed with and the ones I wear the most. I'm hoping there'll be a red for everyone in the selection, let me know which one you would choose or already own!

Left to right; Illamasqua 'Drench', Sleek 'Vixon', 17 'Hot Chilli' and M.A.C. 'Russian Red'.

Illamasqua Matte Lipstick 'Drench' £15.50 for 4g
The newest red to make it into my collection is Drench. A flattering raspberry pink matte red that has cool undertones. It's ever so slightly softer than an intense red like Russian Red (review below). It takes a couple of coats to achieve an even, opaque finish but this formula lasts a good amount of time! I'd recommend this to people who like/always wear pink lipsticks, as it still has that pink 'element' to it.

Sleek True Colour Lipstick 'Vixon' £3.99 for 3.5g
This is a beautiful true red that can lean a little orange depending on the light. Vixon is the perfect red for those who haven't ever worn a red and don't want to break the bank doing so. It's the best option for girls who shy away from mattes as this one is shiny- almost glossy in finish. Considering it's cheap and has a shine, the lasting power of this is great. It contains Vitamin E which is an added bonus for nourished lips! I think it's a flaterring, vibrant colour.

17 Lasting Fix Lipstick 'Hot Chilli' £4.29.
I always get lots of compliments when I wear this. It's a neon- esque orange pigmented red lipstick, something I would call, a 'bright orange red' and is a shade somewhere between M.A.C's 'So Chaud' and 'Morange'. It's completely different to anything else I own and I love it, the pictures below don't do it justice! Formula wise, it is smooth and non drying providing a near matte finish.
To some it may be more of a spring/ summer colour but it has brightened up my winter face! I'd recommend it to girls who want a variation of a red, want to stand out or want to look like they're wearing a M.A.C. lipstick, haha!

M.A.C Matte Lipstick in 'Russian Red', £13.50 for 3g.
My oldest M.A.C Lipstick will always remain my favourite and most cherished, and this is the one. It's a matte finish blood red with blue undertones and is not for the faint hearted! It is a statement red, perfect for a retro or pin up look and is flattering as it is quite deep in tone. It's extremely long lasting and applies like a dream. I'd recommend Russian Red for those who know that they like red lips, that don't mind deeper- toned colour on their lips and want a long lasting finish. 

I'd always recommend applying a red lip liner before using red lipstick. I find it is sometimes the hardest colour to apply because it makes such a bold statement that the lines have to be perfect to avoid looking like a dogs dinner! Wear with simple flushed cheeks, and a fresh but flawless face. Blue toned lipsticks will be more flattering to the teeth, but at the end of the day it's about what red you feel most comfortable in, and what finish you prefer to wear.

Thursday, 26 January 2012

Benefit Hervana Review

Benefit 'Hervana' Blusher, £23.50 for 8g.

A new release and a new addition to the Benefit powder blushes, Hervana is a 'good karma face powder' to suit all!
The packaging is very appealing, with pinks, lilacs and blues with a 'heavenly' theme and is in the standard cardboard box that Benefit blushes are sold in. The title of the blush is supposed to have incorporated 'Her' and 'Nirvana' to produce 'Hervana'. I don't really like all the gimmicks etc behind Benefit products and wish they would just concentrate on the product inside rather than the marketing of it!
I have noticed over time that Benefit have changed the boxes from being a lid you remove to a flip lid, containing a mirror. In the process of doing this they've decreased the amount of product you get for your money- very cheeky! Blushes that used to be 12g are decreasing to 7 or 8g. Hervana is 8g, which is still generous if you were to compare it to a NARS blusher which is £20 for 4.5g.
I also think the brush deserves a quick mention- before now Benefit box brushes have been too square, personally I never use these brushes but a lot of people would, and it's nice that they've moved onto an angled brush for better application.

In the pan the blusher looks like an ice cream swirl of four different shades; an apricot peach, berry pink, a pale rose pink and a pale lemon- cream. There are teeny tiny specks of shimmer that transfer onto my skin a little. The colour it shows on my skin is a strawberry pink colour, very lifing to the complexion.

In the photo above I've placed it next to Sugabomb, another one of Benefit's blushes, for reference so that you can see the colours. Sugabomb shows as a subtle, glowing peach pink with shimmer on my skin, whereas Hervana is showing up deeper and more pink in colour.

This colour is a gorgeous pink that will definitely become a go-to for me. I like the powdery consistency of Benefit blushers, it makes them blendable and the colour buildable. Would recommend!

Will you be buying this? What's your favourite Benefit blusher?

Tuesday, 24 January 2012

A Laura Mercier Look....#EOTD

Laura Mercier Limited Edition (Holiday Collection 2011) Luxe Eye Portfolio.

Now, I'm not normally one for palettes of any kind. They remind me of the makeup sets you'd get when you're a young teen, full of colours you'll never wear and bad quality pearl finish lipsticks. However I saw this Laura Mercier Luxe Eye Palette in the christmas collection on the website I couldn't resist popping it on the old list. Luckily, my boyfriend bought it for me christmas and I still can't stop opening it up and going 'ooohhh' 'aaahhh'.

This palette reminds me more of an organiser, the snakeskin cover and the flap to secure it don't look like your average palette..

and wait till you look inside.. 

Containing a ponytail brush, a crease brush and a smudge brush these aren't the standard 'throw away as soon as you open' sh*t brushes, these are good quality, sturdy brushes that I'm chuffed to own.

12 gorgeous, wearable eyeshadow shades that include matte, sequin and sateen finishes.

Some are more pigmented than others, sparkling night, black coffee and fig are my favourites, they do not disappoint. Mica is a good dupe for M.A.C.'s Forgery, but I find there's more fall out. All in all, an excellent palette..I may be changing my ways!

EOTD; Simple day look.

Benefit Stay Don't Stray eyelid primer
Laura Mercier Morning Dew
Laura Mercier Royal Gold
Laura Mercier Fig
Laura Mercier Black Coffee (used as subtle eye liner on upper lid and beneath water line)
Yves Saint Laurent Dessin Du Regard Waterproof Black Eye Pencil
Benefit They're Real Mascara


Sunday, 22 January 2012

NEW IN! Dior Scented Nail Lacquer #NOTD

Dior Nail Lacquer 'Waterlily' £18.

I think these were released on Friday (forgive me if I'm wrong) as part of the Limited Edition Spring Collection 'Garden Party.'
As with all Dior nail varnishes, the packaging, and the brush to apply the polish with are excellent quality and pretty smart. The brush is wide and firm which makes application a dream. 
'Garden Party' contains two scented nail varnishes, Waterlily and Forget Me Not. Of course the names tie in with the garden theme, and the 'intoxicating rose scent' does too.

 Waterlily is a fresh, soft aqua green colour. It's too deep to be deemed a pastel shade, and the dried finish is a very subtle soft focus pearl- not matte or sheen particularly. I do like this colour but imagine the lilac Forget Me Not colour will be more of a popular sell!

I must say, the scent isn't immediate and you cannot smell it in the bottle (you'll just get a big 'ole whiff of nail varnish smell instead!- I did warn you!). The scent develops after drying and if I'm honest, me, my friend and my boyfriend (don't worry he didn't wear the polish!) were all hard pushed to smell anything there. There was a really faint floral smell, but it is in no way 'intoxicating' as Dior describe it and unless you want to go around all day smelling your fingers then don't let the scented varnishes trick you into purchase!- It is a little disappointing! By the second day of wear any fragrance that was there has faded.

Despite the lack of scent, the varnish itself is a lovely one. High quality, good drying time and excellent application brush.

Have you bought anything from Garden Party yet?

Friday, 20 January 2012

M.A.C. LE Spring 2012 Collection 'Shop Shop Shop, Cook Cook Cook"

M.A.C. Shop Shop Shop, Cook Cook Cook collection for Spring 2012 (Limited Edition)

They're set to release a few collections for spring 2012, including the permanent 'Lightfully' collection which is a skincare range packaged in disco ball -style wrapping. I have a feeling both the packaging and the product will divide people. In terms of taste, for some it will be glittery and fun whereas others may see it as juvenile and tacky (I think I'm currently split somewhere between the two of these). Personally, I wouldn't trust a skincare range from M.A.C. as it has never been part of a permanent line before, however I am looking forward to reading some reviews on it. (View Here)
Of course there's also the Naturally collection (Here), which I am looking forward to but feel there isn't much to discuss...and then to finish the Limited Edition Vera collection of which the Plushglasses and the Metallic Pigments (stacked in four pots) are grabbing my attention. (Here!)

Onto Shop Shop Shop, Cook Cook Cook....
There's a 'Shop' section and a 'Cook' section. To me, 'Shop' is the most attractive in terms of product and colour.

I do love this campaign photo- it reminds me of playing with my Barbies when I was little, candy colours, cutesy vintage style dresses..yet carrying out a pretty mundane task! Why did we put our Barbie's through such excruciating boredom of the food shop, the car wash....or was it only me?!

The colour palette incorporates warm hues in tangerine, fuschia, yellow, red with the odd pop of turquoise, teal and grey.

Of course, I'm instantly drawn to the lipsticks- They're causing a little bubble of excitement in my belly!

"Try and Buy a delicious, delovely, delectable, divine, degorgeous, de-with-it, degroovy assortment of Eye Shadow x 4 in wearable brights perfect for Spring. Treat yourself to Lipstick in heavenly hues, mouthwateringly Kissable Lipcolour and Cremeblend Blush. This Spring, shop ‘til you drop with a tongue-in-cheek collection that elevates the everyday into the extraordinary.  Whether it’s detergent or diamonds, produce or Prada, everyone loves to shop, shop, shop!"

"Ladle on an extra helping of foodie fun with an appetizing assortment temptingly tasty Tendertones, nearly black Fluidlines, Studio Careblend/Pressed powder, Opulash Mascara, two Brushes and nosh-worthy Nail Lacquers in fun, bright shades sure to satiate even the most discriminating of glamorous gourmands. COOK M·A·C has Spring 2012’s no-carb, no-calorie recipe for kooky, kitschy, kitchen kouture in savoury shades for Eyes, Lips and Nails."

Personally, I'm not overly inspired or excited for the collection, I know that if I purchase anything it'll be a 'Shop' lipstick, two are repromotes and the rest are new additions! I'm torn between Watch Me Simmer, Innocence Beware and and Naughty Saute! I think if the blushers were powder it would have attracted me to them a bit more, because the colours are stunning but I can never really be bothered with cream blushers.

The colours of 'Cook' are nice, bold and bright. The lip balms are a sweet addition, a sheer wash of colour on the lips during springtime is a lovely look. I also like the sound of 'Added Goodness'- a fluidline that is a blackened mauve colour- could be gorgeous, particularly if you hold off and use it later in the year around autumn time, on it's own with berry lips.

The packaging ties in the whole kitsch, vintage style theme that runs throughout the campaign but if I am honest I'm left a bit baffled over the whole collection! Inspiration and analyses beside, there are some brilliant repromotes and new shades that are lovely spring colours, but I am left wondering about how much of this collection I actually want in mine- a sign of a good collection is when you want all of it and I cannot say this is the case for me with either Cook and Shop! I think I am a little bit disappointed, but get back to me on the launch in February and I might have changed my mind!


Tuesday, 17 January 2012

P.S. I'm now a ginge

All change! Having been really well behaved and spent the last year growing all my hair dye out and getting it back into a nice, natural condition I go and spend 5 hours in the hairdressers chair last week to go ginge. Copper blonde, technically. Needed a change, plus starting a new job on Monday! I'll still be working on a makeup counter, just swapping which company I work for!

YSL Spring Collection 2012 Candy Face

Yves Saint Laurent 'Candy Face' Spring 2012.

With the sun shining very brightly outside and despite the frosty chill in the air, my mind has been wondering to spring, and of course....spring collections!

Although the collection isn't as inspiring (in my opinion) as the Look Noel Christmas 2011Collection, the colours of this are youthful, bold, and fresh. The campaign embodies the sweet smells and colours that emerge in the springtime and capture that excitment and anticipation of the summer.

Fresh faced, popping candy pastel colours, and of course an updated YSL manicure.

Lloyd Simmonds; "The gleam of an infinite profusion of dazzling fruit jellies, translucent raspberry and wild strawberry, mandarin orange, melon, mango and persimmon bring a gorgeous flush to the Yves Saint Laurent woman’s face. Her smile is as bright as shining sugared drops and syrups: shocking cherry, tangerine, grape and pomegranate, crystallized rose petals, mint and chocolate.” -Lovely!

Limited Edition Ombres 5 Lumieres No 113- The standard 5 shade eye palette that is consistent throughout each collection. No. 113 incorporates perfect pastel hues that remind me of European ice cream stands. The colours are quite diverse and will take some skill and confidence to use. I would suggest using only one colour on the eye as an accent colour in a chosen look, i,e. paired with a neutral shimmer for example or used solely on its own as in the campaign photograph. Going overboard and using two or more colours could end up looking quite amateur.

Limited Edition Vinyl Candy Palette- Two pearl finish and two satin finish eyeshadows available in a palette that I deem more useable than the Ombres 5 Lumieres. These colours could be incorporated into a dynamic smokey eye, or used together to create a graduated look for the eye. This palette is believed to have been inspired by a box of sugar coated sweets.

Limited Edition Voile de Blush- Gel- like texture, these liquid blusher pigments are suitable for a subtle wash of colour and could probably be built up create a stronger pop. They don't stand out to me as must haves in the collection because I was slightly disappointed with their watery finish when I swatched them, however these would be perfect for a dewy, natural cheek stain on top of a tinted moisturiser for a lovely day look.

Golden Gloss no.49 and no.50 - I'm happy to learn that these are going to become permant colours in the line of Golden Glosses. YSL lip glosses are truley fabulous, if you haven't tried them yet you must! The colours are feminine and super pigmented, with fine glitter particles that add a stunning finish on the lip. The pink is quite a deep fushia pink that is really flattering and the no. 50 is a coral, apricot colour. Both shades run with the sickly sweet colours throughout the collection. These are my favourite items in Candy Face.

Rouge Volupte Perle- The pigmentation of these on the lips is very soft and have a moisturised, nourishing feel to them because they are a shiny finish. You have to work quite hard to get  a strong colour on the lip, so if you are a matte/bold lady, these ain't what you're looking for. I love the colour options though, very feminine and Nicki Minaj-y.

Limited Edition Manicure Couture Duo, no. 8; A tangy, manderin orange varnish to be used as the basecoat, and a fresh bubblegum pink to be used on the tips. The YSL manicure is based on the standard French manicure but each collection adapts it to fit the colours of the collection. Look Noel was a matte black basecoat with a shiny black varnish for the tips. 

Conclusion; Although the majority of the colours appear very bright, the pay off and pigmentation is really quite subtle and almost natural in finish. If you're looking for bolds, deeps, mattes, etc this may not be the collection for you. The shadows, blushes and lipsticks are all quite washed and watery when on the skin, but of course colour is buildable. I love the fruity, sickly sweet inspiration behind the collection, but in comparison to Look Noel 2011...well there just isn't the edge. These points aside, after all they are my personal opinions of the products available, all the colours and finishes are very freshfaced, and who doesn't want that?

Will you be buying from this collection? What spring collections have caught your eye?

Saturday, 14 January 2012

Illamasqua Review #4

Illamasqua Rubber Finish Nail Varnish in Faux Pas, £13.50 for 15ml.

One of four shades available in the Illamasqua rubber finish nail varnishes has made it into my collection. And I love it, NFNV (New Fave Nail Varnish).

These were released in the launch of the Theatre of the Nameless collection which took my breath away in terms of it's inspiration and beauty in the campaign. Faux Pas is described as a Blue Violet, it reminds me of a midnight purple shade and is striking, stunning and sophisticated.

Left; Without Flash. Right; With
The formula is almost gel- like in consistency, it glides on so smoothly and dries in good time to a matte 'rubber' finish. Unfortunately it chips a little bit but not enough to annoy me or put me off...I love it and here you certainly pay for the quality and an exceptionally unique finish.

Wednesday, 11 January 2012

An MUA Look...#EOTD

MUA single eyeshadow in shade 09, £1 for 2g. (Available in Superdrug)

Why I am attracted to anything and everything purple pigmented at the moment baffles me, as I usually cannot stand the colour, and am guilty of deeming it as 'nothingy' in the past. But now I'm choosing lipglosses, lipsticks, blushers and eyeshadows that are purple, lilac and violet in colour. I think it's the time of year, I don't tend to be reaching for the soft pinks and corals, opting for deeper and more intense shades instead.

I picked up this MUA eyeshadow and thought I'd create a look, as at first it could seem as quite a scary colour. But as we all know, bold colours are here to stay in terms of makeup trends so we may aswell embrace it!

The pigmentation of this eyeshadow is strong and has a pearl finish as described on the back of the casing. MUA split their singular eyeshadows into either pearl or matte finishes.
It's a fine, strong pigmented deep violet with a blue shimmer. In terms of it's £1 pricetag, the quality is phenomenal, and the shades they are available in are pretty exciting for such a cheap brand. I wouldn't call this a safe colour by any means!

Benefit Stay Don't Stray eyelid primer
M.A.C Frost eyeshadow in Forgery (white- silver glitter)
Laura Mercier eyeshadow in Sparkling Night (deep navy satin finish)
Laura Mercier eyeshadow in Black Coffee (matte black)
MUA eyeshadow in shade 9
Maybelline Eye Studio Lasting Gel Liner
Yves Saint Laurent Dessin Du Regard Waterproof Black Eye Pencil
Benefit They're Real Mascara
Eyelure False Lashes (101)

Will you be buying this MUA eyeshadow?