Archive for December, 2011

December 28, 2011

Don’t You Dare Mock Me, But…

I may have got the Urban Decay Naked palette for Christmas. I KNOW, I know, I have the audacity to have some poor beauty blog, and yet I didn’t have the Naked palette. Well, shut up, it’s expensive and when I have £30 to blow on makeup, I’m going to go with a higher end brand, and…I just never got around to it.

Not even going to review it; it’d be too embarrassing.

🙂

I do love it though.

Palette of neutral eyeshadows

image from sephora.com

December 25, 2011

It’s that time of year!

Happy Christmas! I hope it’s a beautiful one!

I bought myself a little present – one of the new YSL Volupté Sheer Candy lipbalms. I bought number 6 ‘Luscious Cherry’ and it is pretty luscious, I don’t mind telling you!
The case is the same as the Rouge Volupté but silver rather than gold, with the YSL monogram in gold on a similar coloured background that matches the colour of the lipstick inside. It’s gorgeous – sheer colour, but buildable, it smells like melons, but not too much, and it actually does moisturise your lips. Totally beautiful and a brilliant Christmas present. I’m very grateful to myself! 🙂

Silver tube of lipstick

image from sephora.com

Lovely. Merry Christmas! My lips are very festive now! (Though might get smudged on a wine glass later…)

Santa Claus pulling a face with some wine

image from istockphoto.com

December 17, 2011

Review: Sleek Au Naturel Palette

Top-down picture of the open palette.

image from cloud10beauty.com

I know, I know, this palette is totally old news. But I completely forgot to try this out for ages, and only bought it a month or so ago. I wouldn’t bother reviewing it except for the fact that I dislike it so much (oops, spoiler alert – too late!) and I wanted to tell the world!

So first of all, the quality. Now I get it, Sleek is not an expensive brand, and you get what you pay for with eyeshadow. But I have the original Storm palette, and even though I know to expect some fall out, I’ve never had a problem. The shadows last for quite a while, even without a primer, and are generally pretty nice. But these…they fall down my face when I apply even the smallest amount, and even if I’m applying with my fingers. The colour payoff for the matte shadows is shockingly bad, and they crease as soon as you look at them, practically.

Secondly, I bought this palette from my local Superdrug, and because Superdrug is always full of teenagers sticking their fingers into things (I do it too, but I don’t then smear it everywhere/knock it on the floor) the tester one was smashed so thoroughly that there were no recognisable colours left in it. It was basically an empty box. I tried to sneakily open the one remaining new palette, but the Superdrug lady came over and told me off. So I bought it on faith.
BIG MISTAKE. I hate the colours in this palette, with only one or two exceptions. The peachy gold on the top row, far right, is the best; at least you can see it, and the shimmer shadows are way better to work with than the matte ones. All of the others are insipid at best, downright unflattering at worst. The peachy ones look cheap (I know they are, but come on) and almost make me look ill; the dark ones are based on terrible purpley poo-ey brown tones which really, I can’t imagine actually suiting anyone. The best is the dark shimmer brown, which is the same colour as the one in the Storm palette. All the original colours are awful. I can only use the light grey/dark taupe as a combination to smoke out other shadows; the rest of the purple-based monstrosities I’ve barely even touched, and don’t plan to. Oh, and the black I can use as a liner, I suppose. A rubbish poor quality liner.

If this was the first Sleek palette I’d bought, I’d never buy another. Fortunately, I love my Storm one so much that I know this isn’t representative of all of their products. However, it gets a big fat one star from me. Pants!

High-top trainer with 1 star.

image from only-sneakers.ru

December 16, 2011

I Want To Look Like Audrey Tautou

My slightly-creepy girlcrush of the month is Audrey Tautou. (I exaggerate; I don’t really have a creepy crush. Well, not that creepy.) But can you really blame me? She looks quirky enough to be instantly recognisable, and to pull off such eccentric roles as Amélie with a slight raise of the eyebrow, yet also conventionally beautiful enough to be the face of Chanel No. 5. She has that incredibly irritating French quality of seeming to be totally unconscious of her own chic, or at least, to not have thought too hard about it before stepping out of her front door.

Firstly, I know it’s a Chanel advert, but could anyone else pull off this robe quite so effortlessly? While in a vintage train carriage?

The actress leaning out of a train window in a robe.

image from stylelist.com

Or, indeed, these enormous trousers? I would look like Nelly the Elephant having just escaped from the circus in these. *shakes fist*

The actress in the hall of a hotel.

image from clothesonfilm.com

I suppose I should talk about her makeup too – she tends to go with fairly natural looks, and as her bone structure is so good, I don’t blame her. Although she looks beautiful all the time, with her totally understated vibe, I stumbled across this picture and thought it would be a good look to investigate for myself, so here you go. Audrey on the red carpet:

The actress in a white dress.

image from theage.com

The foundation Audrey is wearing here is clearly very natural and gives her skin a beautiful radiance; she doesn’t need much coverage, so it wouldn’t be anything too heavy, and there’s certainly no cloggy face powder stuck all over it ruining the effect! If I were to attempt something similar, I’d go with NARS Sheer Glow.
Though it’s difficult to see her eye makeup, it’s fairly clear that it’s incredibly subtle and natural. As her brows are always perfectly shaped – almost a trademark with her – they frame her eyes so well that no impact is lost at all, and her eyes themselves are fairly large and pretty; they’ll draw attention all by themselves. Defining brows with a touch of lighter-than-your-hair eyeshadow, some neutral eyeshadow all over the lid (from what I have, I’d go with MAC Patina) and lots of black mascara should do the trick, though tightlining your eyes on the upper waterline ONLY would add a little more definition if you can’t do without eyeliner.
She has a beautiful, though still very subtle, blush – from the radiance of her skin, almost certainly a cream blush applied very sparingly. The apples of her cheeks are another naturally lovely feature of hers; those dimples mean that her smile transforms her face, and the blush adds to the overall prettiness that’s already there! For this effect, I would actually use Benefit’s Posy Tint – liquid blush is even more natural still than a cream, and I love the Benefit tints.
Finally, the most noticeable makeup is her lipstick, which is why I left it until last. (That’s not a great reason, is it? I just did, I don’t know why!) It’s a fairly natural shade, just a bit pinker than her actual lips, and the real impact is made by the gloss over the top. The fact that she looks red-carpet-worthy, when the most daring makeup she’s wearing is a pretty natural lipstick, makes me just a tiny bit jealous. Just a little. It’s fine. I’m fine. Ignore me. The lipcolour looks to me (and this is just a hunch) quite similar to the Estee Lauder ‘Pure Colour Sensuous Rouge’ lip colour in Peach Pleasure. It’s not a completely perfect match, but I’m writing this fairly quickly – sorry! These lipsticks have special centres with moisturising ingredients in; it’s all very exciting.

So, that’s a quick breakdown of how I’d try to recreate the understated glamour of Audrey Tautou on the red carpet! She is one of my favourite actresses, and I know that lightning-fast attempt didn’t do her justice, but I wanted to give it a shot! 🙂

December 15, 2011

Review: Boots Essentials Cucumber Moisturising Cream

Green tub of moisturiser

image from boots.com

OK, so this isn’t the most glamorous product in the world. But I’m a poor student, and I know there are plenty more like me out there that, faced with some moisturiser for £1.52, are at least going to consider it. Given that my last night cream was Origins Night-a-mins at £32 a pop, I think I’m allowed to retreat back to my cheapy ways!

You get a satisfyingly large (100ml) green tub of this stuff, and the cream itself has a pleasant and very slight green tint to it. Obviously, this is synthetic and nothing to do with the cucumber content, but it does help to make it seem cucumbery, as does the light scent. The back of the pot says: “Contains extract of cucumber to help gently soften and soothe. Enriched with soothing cucumber and vitamins this cream is suitable for day or night use. Contains antioxidants to help protect the skin from environmental damage.”
It may be suitable for day use, but I would only use this in extreme cases of dry skin – perhaps in the depths of January I’ll be using it as day cream too, but right now it’s definitely too rich. However, as a night cream it’s pretty good – it sinks into the skin better, and so leaves way less of a greasy film on my skin, than my more expensive Nivea Visage night cream which is apparently for combination skin! One thing I would mention though, is that others have said it can be sticky – to avoid this, use less than you think you need. That’s a good rule for most products really – it’s so much easier to add more than to deal with too much!

Obviously, I am not expecting luxurious wonders from such a cheap cream. But it genuinely does do the job; it hasn’t yet broken me out or anything, though I must say that having used the Origins cream (which basically healed my skin overnight, every night), nothing that just “does the job” will ever be quite enough for me again! it’s getting me through the months of having no money whatsoever, without having to spend any more than my small change – and as the wind gets fiercer outside, a night cream really is essential.

I’m going to start giving my reviewed products a star rating out of 5 – it’ll be clearer, I reckon, and it’ll actually help me to remember quickly exactly how much I liked something. Sometimes I flirt with the idea of repurchasing something, thinking it was ok, and then remembering that I didn’t like it afterwards…yes, I am that silly.

Boots Essential Cucumber Moisturising Cream gets 3 stars! Yay!

3 yellow stars

from google images


December 3, 2011

Review: Revlon Grow Luscious Mascara

So recently I was lucky enough to win a fre full-size Revlon Grow Luscious Mascara, their new product that combines a lash serum with a mascara. It’s not an entirely new idea, but I’d been wanting to try something similar and hadn’t got around to it, so I jumped at the opportunity.

Here it is:

Green tube of Revlon mascara

image from revlon.com

As you can see, it has a traditional brush rather than a plastic/rubbery one. At first, I was expecting to dislike this; I find that they often cause clumps and are generally not great for me. However, as the formula for this mascara is pretty dry compared with some (which I count as a major plus, actually – I HATE mascaras that are too wet!) the brush works really well with it, and doesn’t clump at all – in fact, it makes my lashes look lovely and long, and fanned out in a very pretty way! I’m a big fan of this mascara on days when I’m doing a more natural look; it isn’t that natural (I always like noticeable lashes) but if I’m wearing liquid eyeliner, I’ll probably still stick to my Maxfactor False Lash Effect for added drama.

As for the whole lash serum part, I haven’t noticed anything yet – but I haven’t been using it all that long. If I do find an improvement in my lash length, I’ll update! My lashes are fairly long anyway, though…any longer, and my glasses will be pushed down my nose even further 😦

December 2, 2011

Review: Philosophy “The Great Mystery” Mask

Tube of Philosophy face mask

image from philosophy.com

I get the impression that no-one really knows about this product, and the few reviews I’ve seen don’t seem to have really got what it is for. However, I’ll tell you straight up that I love it! It’s a face mask, of sorts, NOT a cleanser, but you only need to leave it on for one minute and it exfoliates too. It smells very lavendery and what I think Americans might call “herby”, so if that’s not your thing, you won’t like having it on your face – even if only for a minute! Also, if you get any on your lips, try not to lick them in the near future – it’s VERY salty, as it uses sea salt as the exfoliant! (It only really exfoliates while you’re washing it off, it doesn’t have strange things in it to exfoliate without any rubbing.)
However, my skin always feels very clean after using it, and it’s one of those products that I have which I use when I can feel my skin is about to go a bit silly and possibly break out. It’s guaranteed to always make my skin better the morning after using it, even if it’s not completely perfect (it’s not magical, after all!) – I actually rely on it quite a bit.
It is pretty expensive, at £22 ($25, I believe) for 142g in a tube. However, even at this steep price, I will be repurchasing when I finish my tube, which has in fact lasted me AGES, so it’s not that bad a buy compared with something I’d buy for its cheap price tag but wouldn’t actually use up.
Yay for Philosophy! I want to try more of their stuff, if only I could afford it!

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