Archive for ‘Makeup’

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.

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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!

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 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!

🙂

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 🙂

March 11, 2012

Review: SkinFood Peach Sake BB Cream

Pink tube of BB cream

image from bbcreamboutique.com

In my endless search for a good tinted moisturiser, I have of course been trying out a BB cream or two. In my previous post I wrote about the new UK Garnier version – this one, however, is the genuine article. SkinFood are a South Korean brand, which is where the whole BB cream craze started, and they make a huge number of different products along these lines. I bought this one from yesstyle.co.uk, who provide the UK and USA with products shipped from Asia.

Firstly, I was absolutely over the moon when I first got this baby out of the box – the shade is right for my skin! In fact, it’s a lot more close to my skin tone than many products that are made for the UK, so that was a revelation. I am a very loyal yesstyle.co.uk customer now that I know so many Asian products cater for my skin colour – seriously, if you’re as pale as I am, look into it. The second thing that I liked was that even though it looks like a tube, it actually has a pump top attached, which is much less messy and generally very convenient. It also dispenses the right amount of product, as you don’t need much of this stuff – another plus in my book. The product smells yummy, although the scent is very synthetic, so if you’re not a fan of nice-smelling things, this could put you off. However, it’s a very light scent, and is definitely not noticeable at all once the cream is on the skin.

The coverage of this BB cream is fantastic – better than the Garnier version, and much greater than any tinted moisturiser I’ve tried. I’d definitely say it’s on the foundation coverage scale, which I’m pleased about. It feels very nice on the skin; not drying, as I feared (it mentions “pore” and “sebum” somewhere) and not oily either, managing to give a nice finish without shine or flaky patches! There’s also an SPF of 20 which is obviously a major plus. It wears for a really long time, even without being set with powder. In fact, I went out earlier and suddenly had a panic when I realised I didn’t have my face powder on me – then thought “Oh never mind, at least I have my Peach Sake BB cream on!” which proves how much confidence I place in it!

Overall, a very nice product indeed. It was a little painful paying the £16 for it, but I certainly don’t regret it now that I know what it’s like, and I would strongly consider repurchasing when I run out. Could definitely become something I rely on! 5 stars! Yay! 🙂

March 10, 2012

Review: Garnier BB Cream

So I lied, I didn’t post as soon as I said. Sorry! In my defence, I had a job interview to prepare for – it’s all done, as of this morning, so here I am! *puff of smoke, jazz hands, etc.*

The first thing I’ll talk about is the Garnier BB Cream, I know a lot of people have been talking about it recently as it was among the first of the UK/chemist brands to jump on the BB bandwagon. I’ve heard a lot of bad things about this product, but I’m actually quite impressed, given that it’s relatively affordable and manages to come in a shade that’s more or less similar to the colour of my face! (This is rarer than you might think!)

Aside from the “light” shade actually being wearable for me, I really love the smell of this product (though for those who dislike/are allergic to scented products, you might want to steer clear). I just think that having a nice light scent can really enhance the enjoyment factor in using a product and makes me feel that it’s good quality – totally all in my mind, I know, but still!
Coverage-wise, it’s not at all bad; it probably has more coverage than the lightest foundations that I own. This is a plus, but it does come at a slight price. I do find that I can feel this stuff on my face; nothing major, certainly not like having a full face of high-coverage foundation + powder, but it’s not the unnoticeable light dream I was hoping for! It may be due to the fact that Garnier are trying to cater to many different skin types with this cream, and so what is perfect for someone else is a little oily on my face. I just don’t feel that it fulfils the “moisture” part of the BB cream promise for me; rather than moisturising, it sits on my skin in a layer like a light foundation. The finish is nice though, especially when first applied, so I’m not complaining too hugely about it.

The wear time is not amazing, partly because of my personal experience of it being slightly too oily – it has a tendency to rub off quickly. (Not visibly or onto anything – it just doesn’t stay.) Basically this stuff is lovely if you want a natural, nearly makeup free day, but if you’re going to be out all day at work with no chance to touch up your makeup I’d reconsider. However, someone whose skin suited the product more may not have such issues.

I’m still glad I got it, and I will continue to use it, but it’s not going to become a staple. 3*!

February 28, 2012

Inital Impressions: Elizabeth Arden Sheer Lights Tinted Moisturiser

My tinted moisturiser quest is still going on, as I’ve been disappointed by all those I’ve tried so far, including the shock failure of Vichy’s Lumineuse Sheer Radiance. (More on that story later.) I am determined to find a tinted moisturiser that I like, that isn’t Laura Mercier – I’ve never tried this mythical product, but I’m a student and I simply refuse to spend that much. There has to be something else out there that I will get along with!

My dearest, most loyal friend eBay recently supplied me with this – the Elizabeth Arden Sheer Lights TM – for many fewer pounds than it would have cost me at RRP. (I may have gone on a slight eBay TM spree, actually.) It arrived today, and so of course I had to try it out immediately. This is the highest-end TM I’ve used so far, and I have to say, I’m actually quite impressed. I’ve become almost jaded and cynical, expecting every product to be bright orange and hideous, but this is actually a rather normal, non-scary beige colour. Of course, it’s not quite as light as I’d like, but nothing ever is. It blends in well, and the colour looks entirely natural on my skin. A little of this baby goes a long way, which I’m pleased about too. Value for money is a big deal! Another bonus is the SPF 15 that it contains.

One of my pet gripes about TM in general is that it’s either a moisturiser or a tint, but rarely both, and hardly ever a good both. This is at least a decent moisturiser for my skin. I did apply an extremely light gel moisturiser 5 minutes beforehand, because I would usually anyway, especially as it’s winter, but the Elizabeth Arden could probably have held its own without that. It sank in moderately quickly, which is actually what I like – too fast and it’s not doing the job – and my skin now feels soft and supple, but not at all oily. In fact, it feels like I have nothing on – which is one of the key things I want a TM to do. So, it wins there!

Ladies who want good coverage are obviously not going to be interested in this product anyway, but I have to say that it has evened out my skin tone very well, much more efficiently than my Stila product. It has also given me a slight touch of natural colour, which I’m surprised and pleased by. Honestly, if it was orangey or too dark, I would be the first person to complain – it isn’t at all. It’s just…nice.

Now for the “lights” part. It is illuminating, and if that’s what you’re after, it does its job really very well. It is subtle, but effective. I am not a huge fan of shimmer in my products, and there is some in this, there’s no denying it. However, it’s not scary-Twilight-vampire-Revlon-Photoready glitter. It just makes your skin glow. I like this, though I thought I wouldn’t – another win for Lizzie Arden there. I might dab a bit of powder across my forehead to tone it down a little, but it’s not necessary, just personal preference.

I can’t say how it wears yet, of course. From the feel on my skin, I’m expecting a little shine to break through later, but that it’ll generally wear quite well and problems will be very minimal. Until my Boots No. 7 TM arrives, this one is definitely the winner! (Not that the competition is particularly stiff; I’ve had to give away the last 2 I’ve tried!)

Yay, tinted moisturiser! I genuinely feel that my skin looks nice today because of this product. I hope it lasts!

February 26, 2012

Review: UNE Skin-Matt Foundation (Sin Binned!)

White tube of foundation

image from dailymail.co.uk

I bought this from my local Superdrug when UNE was still fairly new – absolutely ages ago now, I really should have reviewed it before! It was one of those products I really wanted to like, so I guess that’s why; I kept wanting to try it again to make sure of my opinion. Sadly though, this foundation is the worst I have ever tried. Ever. And that’s saying something!
Honestly, I’ve never tried a foundation that had such a totally disgusting finish on my skin; it looked dull, dry, the wrong tone…it seemed almost as though I could see the bits of pigment on my skin, and it was terrible. I had to wipe it off immediately, and I was really upset that I’d wasted so much money (it is a little expensive for a Superdrug job!) on something completely unusable. If the colour had been correct, I might have tried mixing it with something else, but even though it looked like the right shade, there was something off about it.
To be honest, that’s kind of it – pretty short review coming from me! But there isn’t a single good thing about this product. It isn’t even cheap. Oh wait – I remembered one thing; I got a free UNE mini kabuki brush with it. That still, after countless washings, sheds like crazy and leaves me with a faux moustache if I’m not careful!

Not good. Not at all. 1 star. * See, I can’t even be bothered to find a 1-star image for this foundation.

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