Archive for ‘Review’

July 28, 2012

I am alive, I promise – and I have Lancôme Teint Idole Ultra 24h

image from lancome.com

I am really excited.

For the first time in a couple of years, I have a proper high-end foundation (that isn’t MAC – I am not a fan of their foundations really and wouldn’t consider it ‘high end’, as it’s a pro brand) – I splashed out and got the new formula Lancôme Teint Idole. It’s all the fault of the wonderful RaeView on YouTube, as I watched her review of it and instantly knew I wanted to return to my previous love, Lancôme.

As a student I bought quite a few foundations, but all of them from Superdrug or Boots. As my debut into makeup at the tender age of 15 or so was pretty much all high-end stuff (not that I was rich, far from it; my mum just refused to buy me cheap things!) I expect a lot from my foundations, and have never found a drugstore one that met my requirements. In general they feel awful on the skin – you can never forget that you’re wearing them – and they almost never come in a pale enough shade for me. My main problem with them other than shade is that they always feel like a layer of oil or ick on my face, even if they are in fact oil-free; a case in point is the MaxFactor Xperience Weightless foundation, which is indeed weightless but still feels greasy and sweaty on my face. (Sorry for the gross imagery there!) Teint Idole sinks into my skin making it feel unbelievably soft and lovely, without me actually really noticing that I have makeup on at all.

Lancôme have restored my faith in my face. (That’s catchy; I like it!) The new Teint Idole holds up well even in the heat that we’ve been experiencing lately, and doesn’t have any kind of mask-like look to it despite its pretty decent coverage. One thing that I’ve missed about high-end foundations is that you can generally just stick a bit more under your eyes to conceal dark circles and they do the job without looking cakey or even detectable. As long as I didn’t have tons of blemishes, I’d rather have a high-end foundation than a high-end concealer for this reason.

It smells gorgeous and fairly posh, another thing that I’ve missed. I really feel that my makeup should feel luxurious and exciting when you use it; even if you don’t like scents, the beautiful packaging will do this for you. I want to feel like the lady in the YSL or Lancôme adverts who clearly lives her life among lovely perfume bottles and sleek lipstick bullets, wearing exquisitely tailored clothes, even if I can’t actually be her. Obviously if you are sensitive to scent this point won’t be a plus for you, but as a general rule I think it’s fab.

The finish, as I kind of mentioned, is not mask-like but actually semi-matte. It does make a vague attempt to be matte, but it leaves the skin looking luminous at the same time – super oily skins may need to powder this foundation, which is fair enough in my opinion. I don’t bother to powder it as I like the finish and it works OK with my skin type. I wouldn’t say that the luminosity would rule anyone out though; even a few years ago when my skin was much oilier, I think I could have worn this one without any problems.

Basically there’s not much more I can say! Unlike so many of my other foundations (except my powder ones, I always seem to use those up) I think I will reach for this on an almost daily basis, and I can definitely see myself needing to repurchase when I eventually get to the bottom. Ooooh, that reminds me – one final brilliant thing about this foundation, and about most high-end ones that I’ve tried is that a little goes a long long long long long long way! To compare with the Bourjois Healthy Mix Serum foundation, when applied with the same brush, I would use half the amount of the Lancôme and get more coverage out of it. Draw your own conclusions.

I am back in the Lancôme fold, and I love it. I don’t know why I ever left (er, actually I do – the love of my life set me back £27)! However, now that I’ve remembered how wonderful it is, and how much money I must have wasted on cheaper foundations, I don’t regret it for a second. LOVE.

Advertisements
June 6, 2012

The Touche Éclat Conspiracy

I used Touche Éclat wfor the first time when I was probably around 15, and back then it was just ‘nicking my mum’s concealer’ – not a big deal, as my mum loves YSL and so pretty much anything I borrowed would have been too expensive really to waste on a teenager! Of course, now there’s so much hype around it, it has achieved mystical status – something which I think is a little over the top. Don’t get me wrong, I love the shiny gold highlighting magic pen as much as the next person, but I think that in terms of actual results, it can be done for less.

image from johnlewis.com

I first thought this blasphemous thing a few months ago, when I finally tried out the Collection 2000 long-lasting concealer (I forget its name because it’s such good quality that all the writing on the tube immediately rubbed off as soon as I bought it) – it’s fairly light in shade, not at all too light but enough that it really brightens up my eye area as soon as I put it on. In fact, it does a much better job of brightening than my mum’s Touche Éclat (I’ve never bought my own!). Of course, it has a matte finish, and sets extremely quickly – great if that’s what you want, but if you like the light consistency of Touche Éclat, it’s not going to do. Another alternative which I have also tried is the Clinique brush/pen concealer (again, can’t remember the exact product name but they only make one I think!). This is obviously the same format as the Touche Éclat and I found it quite comparable. Light coverage, and has a highlighting effect – especially if you buy a shade which is fairly light on you, as I always do anyway.

There are also several cheapie versions of highlighting pens springing up. Collection 2000 have one for the low price of £4.99, called ‘Illuminating Touch’ I believe, and L’Oreal have their Lumi Magique Highlighting Pen which is under £10. Given that I find simple concealer to do the job, I’m sure these are quite effective; I’m going to try the Collection 2000 one soon, but haven’t yet.

Basically, my point is, obviously the Touche Éclat is a beautiful and luxurious thing to have – but from my own experience, I am not convinced that it’s necessary to shell out £25 if it’s the product and results you want, rather than the packaging!

May 25, 2012

Vichy Cleanser Love!

White/blue tube of cleanser

image from chemistdirect.com

This cleanser costs £11 from Boots, and at first you might, like me, think that’s pretty steep for something that’s basically just taking off your makeup and is on your skin for under a minute. But I was after a cream cleanser, and I like Vichy, and…it just happened. Later that evening when I used it, I was SO happy that it did!

It’s a light creamy cleanser which smells gorgeous but not overpowering. It takes off my makeup extremely easily (though I don’t wear waterproof mascara so I don’t know how it’d work on that – I guess it’d do well). It says on the tube that it cleanses, takes off makeup and tones the skin; I don’t know exactly what that means, as I have no idea what it’d feel like without the ‘toning’ part! Still, my skin feels wonderfully comfortable and soft when I’ve just used this, so maybe there’s something in it!

My skin seems to love this cleanser, to the extent that if I go away and don’t take it with me, my skin ‘misses’ it after a day or so. Nothing hugely noticeable, but when I get back and use it again, I can definitely feel the improvement immediately! I haven’t touched any of my other cleansers for ages now, and I have no real reason to – definitely repurchasing this baby when I run out (not that I will for a while, with 200ml in the tube)!

Total 5 star hit! Recommended.

April 18, 2012

Review: Maxfactor False Lash Effect 24 Hour

Without any intro whatsoever, I can tell you that Maxfactor have just broken my heart.

Maxfactor’s False Lash Effect original mascara is my favourite of all time, Holy Grail, whatever you want to say. I mean, I LOVE that stuff. Knowing that no matter what kind of rubbish mascara I test out, there’s always the Maxfactor to return to, and that it’ll always be exactly what I want, is really comforting! (OK, I may be slightly too emotionally attached..!) If the unthinkable happens, and it’s out of stock, I’ll just buy the Masterpiece Max – it’s almost as good.

I just spent £11.99 on this new formula and it really hurts me that I did so. I was excited about it, thinking that it could only be an improvement on my favourite, and so happily started applying it, humming a little tune as I did so. (I’m actually not making that up for effect, I hum all the time.) But then I was confused. I’d just applied some, and my lashes looked…worse. Worse than purely natural. Oh well, I must just need to wiggle it more…But nope, still nothing. In fact, my lashes were clumping together – something that I thought would be impossible with the False Lash Effect brush – and there was no volume, no length, no curl, no nothing.

It doesn’t do anything. At all. Just to check that I wasn’t going mad, I applied my Revlon 3D Extreme to my other eye – and bam, perfect lashes. By comparison, my Maxfactor eye looked like the efforts of a 13-year-old who’s nicking her mum’s old dried out Maybelline. (That’s meant to be an insult, I hate Maybelline.) Awful!

I’m going to keep trying; I refuse to give up in one go on something that should be amazing. I’ll use it tomorrow, I’ll pump it like crazy to dry out the very wet formula, I’ll try my best to make it work. But I have to say: Maxfactor have deeply disappointed me with this, and I’m not sure how long it’ll take me to forgive them.

1.5 stars, because it hasn’t fallen off yet, and it is at least as black as it should be.

 

April 17, 2012

Review: Revlon Colourstay Eyeshadow Palettes

These palettes are fairly new – new enough that they still have the red sticker on them telling me that they’re new! – and I picked two of them up on the 3 for 2 deal in Boots with a L’Oreal gel eyeliner. The two I bought are called Brazen and Inspired; Brazen has a pale yellow, a peachy pink, a bronze-brown and a darker brown. Inspired has a white highlighting colour, a fairly bright green, a sky blue, and a dark purplish-navy liner colour. I’ll stick the photos in, but as I’m about to trash these, I won’t bother to swatch.

Brazen; image from thedailyswatch.blogspot.co.uk

Revlon Inspired

Sorry, I know those photos are uneven sizes, but you get the idea.

So anyway, I was super excited because they look so pretty in the pans! They are slightly shimmery but it’s quite subtle, so they looked to be exactly what I was after, in gorgeous springtime colours! However, as soon as I got them home to try out, I realised that they have absolutely no pigment to them whatsoever. Seriously, they hardly show up at all, even when I really layer on the shadow. I was SO disappointed, especially as I bought these during the freak flash of summertime that we experienced here in the UK and I was really enthusiastic about my spring colours!

I would seriously recommend giving these a miss. I’ve read mixed reviews, so much so that I actually suspect that some palettes are ok and some are duds quality-wise. It just doesn’t make sense that some people find the colours come up really well and others can’t see them at all!
However, pigmentation isn’t the only issue. From the texture I highly doubt that these last the advertised 16 hours, I think you’d probably be pretty lucky to get 8 hours out of them without a very good primer underneath. Also, I hear terrible things about glitter migrating all over the face.

I can’t give these any more than 1 star. (They haven’t fallen apart, spontaneously burst into flames, etc. but don’t actually do anything other than fill up my eyeshadow box.) Sadly, I’m  binning them.

April 14, 2012

Review: Good Things Bright Eyes Eye Treatment

Display box and white tube of eye cream

image from goodthingsbeauty.com

I picked this up from Boots (at £5.99 for 15ml) when I finally ran out of my Clinique eye cream and wanted something more substantial than my Boots gel or Garnier roll-on. I love the tube design; not only is it more hygienic than a pot, but it has a nozzle so I can squeeze out a thin line directly onto my skin and pat it in. I also like the idea of using more natural ingredients, especially on more delicate skin around my eyes, and this cream is free from most nasties such as parabens. There’s a very faint scent to it, it smells quite natural and fresh – but I wouldn’t worry, as it’s only noticeable on my hands and not once applied at all.

That said, I’m not entirely convinced of the actual benefits of this cream. It does reduce puffiness, not that I have a huge problem with that, and it does also moisturise my eye area as well as I’d expect. But it doesn’t do anything at all for my dark circles, and it isn’t as moisturising as the Clinique All About Eyes that I had before. I’d like to combine the action of the Clinique cream with the packaging and good ingredients of this one!

All in all, I’ll be using up this cream but I probably won’t repurchase it. I’d rather save up for something a bit more expensive that will work harder for me. 2 stars!

April 13, 2012

Sin Binning: E.L.F. Clear Mascara/Brow Gel

Ok, so for £1.50 there’s only so much I can complain about, right? But this stuff really annoyed me. I use clear mascara very occasionally, if I’m going somewhere very professional and I don’t want to look like I’m wearing any makeup, and brow gel is the only thing I ever do to my brows aside from plucking them – this seemed like a brilliant way to get both for a very cheap price!

Firstly, there wasn’t too much wrong with the mascara aspect of this product. It wasn’t great, but then again, £1.50. But the brow gel (which is obviously just the same stuff) gave me horrible spots! I don’t know if you’ve ever had spots along your eyebrows, but it is really unpleasant! Really unexpected too, I’d never suffered from a breakout there before. I left it for a while and then tried it again – bam, exactly the same, my skin hated it. That made me think that maybe I shouldn’t be putting this stuff up next to my eyes either if it’s that bad, so I chucked it in the bin.

I’ve bought some Revlon brow gel, and a Laval clear mascara (I can’t deal with the unhygienicness of multitasking one product!) so I’m hoping I won’t suffer any aggro from those. I’ve never used Laval before – it’s an English brand which I’ve only heard of vaguely – and it’s pretty cheap, so I’m hopeful that I might have discovered a new favourite!

🙂

April 5, 2012

Review: Coryse Salomé Renaissance Multi-Vitamin Cream

White round pot of face cream

image from cheapsmells.com

I bought this cream at a massive discount from http://www.cheapsmells.com (the picture is a link) – it’s RRP is £25, and I got it for £7.95. Coryse Salomé is a luxury French brand that specialise in anti-aging skincare, and although I’d like to think that 21 and a half is a little too early to be concerned about anti-aging stuff, I wanted to try this brand (especially at such a good price!) and so I bought something that said it was suitable for all skin types.

It has a lovely light texture, and also has a gorgeous smell. It’s not a natural smell though, so if that kind of thing bothers you then you probably won’t appreciate this product. It does feel quite rich to me, not too much so at the moment, but I would definitely say that oily skin or even the oilier side of combination skin should stay well away! I use this as a night cream only, and it does leave a bit of a shiny layer on my face when I’ve applied it. I’m not the biggest fan of this, but I can get over it – it does make my skin feel well-cared for, at least! However, when I wake up, my skin always looks amazing. My skintone seems more even; my face feels comfortable, as though I only want to apply my lightest gel moisturiser; basically, I feel like this stuff leave me with “tinted moisturiser skin” in the morning, rather than “oh dear reach for the Revlon Colourstay” skin! I suspect that the anti-aging stuff in it does have tightening properties, as my face feels so smooth and even and…different.

I love this cream! I’m seriously considering buying a backup, as cheapsmells.com seem to mainly sell things that are old stock, or discontinued – I don’t want to run out of this! 5 stars.

* * * * * 🙂

March 19, 2012

Alert! Sin Binning An Entire Range!

The Body Shop – Seaweed range.

The last 2 days, my skin has been going crazy. At first, I thought it was because of my Boots No.7 tinted moisturiser – and I was about to be very upset! But then I realised what it was. It was the last item I have left from the Body Shop Seaweed line; the “Pore Perfector”.

I bought a couple of things from this line a few years ago, and they all irritated, broke out, or actually burnt my skin. The pore perfector never seemed to provoke a reaction, so I kept it – but I hardly ever used it. This weekend, I used it 3 days in a row and this is the result! Lots of tiny little spots that are clearly a reaction, rather than a spontaneous breakout, and only in the places I used this product. I’m very upset as my skin has been near-perfect for months now, and this feels like a regression back to the days when I couldn’t go outside without a thick layer of Revlon ColourStay to cover my skin. Those were not fun days. My self-esteem was terrible.

All I have to say is, stay away from the Body Shop Seaweed line! I do not have sensitive skin at all, and I hardly ever react to anything. But now every single item I’ve bought from this range has caused seriously negative responses from my skin. I can only recommend that you really steer clear. However, I know that some people will not react in this way, or may even like it – of course, or it wouldn’t have got through testing. But I would tell my friends not to buy it, and so I’m telling you guys too!

I don’t like panning products as comprehensively as this, but sometimes…it just has to be done!

March 15, 2012

Review: Yves Saint Laurent Rouge Pur Couture Glossy Stain

Black and gold square lipstick tube  Black and gold square tube of lipstick

top image from yslbeauty.co.uk

I am in love. Totally. This stuff is, to coin a phrase, the bomb! It’s exactly what it says on the tin – a lip stain which is also a gloss. It goes one step further than all those high street brands that have a lip stain pen and a lipbalm on the other end, like Revlon’s, though that’s a great idea. But this combines the two into one product, and it’s amazing!

It goes on feeling like a thin gloss, and it almost feels a little patchy when first applied, especially as you have to be sure not to apply too much. But once you rub your lips together a bit, the texture begins to change, feeling thicker and settling down in consistency. It isn’t exactly sticky – nowhere near the texture of Soap & Glory’s Sexy Mother Pucker – but it’s tacky enough to have real staying power, and of course, the colour payoff is beautiful.

Obviously, the top image is the one from the YSL website, and the bottom one is the colour I own, #7. (Notice my own picture! I have a cable so I can actually use my own photos! Joy! 🙂 ) I love this colour, it’s a beautifully natural coral that I would be totally comfortable wearing on an everyday basis, yet can be built up a little for stronger colour payoff.

This stuff has a very long wear, as you might expect for something that’s marketed as a stain. Overall, this product is totally fabulous and YSL have really got it right here. It does everything you want and everything it promises – easily 5 stars!

I bought this for full price (shock horror) after seeing the wonderful RaeView’s* video featuring them. I also bought the colour she recommended, not because I’m a sheep (baaaa) but because I could tell it was exactly what I was after. I don’t regret it for a second!

*links to the video I mention, but underneath the video is also a link to her blog – check it out 🙂

%d bloggers like this: