Posts tagged ‘cosmetics’

November 26, 2013

Hello again! Mineral makeup, anyone?

After having taken such a huge break from blogging, I’m just going to post something normal that will let me pretend that I’ve been here the whole time! I now work at the Body Shop, and a big part of my job is putting makeup on anyone who stands still long enough that I can catch them. It’s really fun, and it also lets me practise my makeup skills as well as allowing me to work with different kinds of products that I would otherwise have to buy and test for myself. I’m writing about a Body Shop foundation today, but this is just because I happen to use it on clients a lot; I’ve not been asked to write this, and my only motivation is that I wanted to mention it for myself. My boss doesn’t even know I have a blog!

A big deal at the Body Shop is mineral makeup. Obviously, as a more ethical and responsible company, the Body Shop want to be sure that they aren’t giving people lots of nasty ingredients that will be bad for their skin; the ‘Extra Virgin Minerals’ mineral foundation is made of 5 mineral ingredients, so it’s nice and simple (and talc free). The main reason that I like it though, is that it actually comes in a pale enough colour for my face! This is depressingly rare, as many of my pale-skinned sisters will attest. Clearly, it’s not offensive in the way that failing to cater for ladies & gents with much darker skin is offensive, but it is a royal pain in the behind sometimes when makeup companies or retailers think that everyone in the world is some variant of ‘medium beige’. So it’s nice to be able to give light-skinned girls a really pretty makeover that’s right for them, rather than trying to fob them off with orange stuff.

The coverage is medium, but buildable if you really work the product hard. It isn’t as full coverage as bareMinerals powder, not quite, but it feels lighter on the skin, which I know for a lot of people is a worthy tradeoff. I do prefer a fuller coverage personally, and it doesn’t quite glide onto the skin in the same way as more expensive mineral powders, but it is definitely adequate for most people. The packaging is the same, and contains the same 5g of product with a plastic sifter in the top. It’s just as messy when you’re in a hurry in the morning, which never fails to annoy me, but that’s probably my own fault!

On me, it stays quite matte for quite a long time. Again, this is impressive in comparison with the bareMinerals matte (which I also currently own), as this product doesn’t keep its promise for very long. Admittedly, I work hard under strong lights, so someone who isn’t always hot might not find it melts so much, but the Body Shop powder definitely stays put longer on me. (For example, I’ll work for a bit, then touch up with Body Shop mineral powder, then not have to touch up again for a LOT longer.)

Finally, I don’t feel that it clogs my pores or does anything bad to my skin, which is great as I am a bit acne-prone these days. I like a matte finish all year round, but especially in the autumn and winter, and oddly enough this is the time of year when I often reach for my mineral makeup. I think perhaps it’s because you get up in the dark, do your makeup in funny light, and don’t want anything complicated or tricky! Or maybe that’s just me (I’m almost impossible to drag from my duvet in these winter months). 

I apologise for the lack of a proper photo, but this stock photo of the product will have to do for now. Anyway, I think the Body Shop Extra Virgin Minerals powder foundation is a great option for those who need something gentle for their skin, but prefer a matte finish and the ease of a throw-it-on powder that lasts on the skin. Also, it sells for £15 on the website, which is a reasonable price for a midrange foundation that should last you a good 5 months even with a lot of use. 

 

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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.

May 5, 2012

I’m Sorry I Disappeared!

I’m revising sooo hard for my final exams at the moment, I just haven’t been able to post – I’m really sorry!

However, today I did go to Boots and pick up a couple of nail varnishes that I’d been eyeing up for a while. I had some Advantage card point vouchers too, which was all the more incentive!

First, I got Rimmel’s Lycra Pro polish in Peppermint:

Sorry I had to take this photo on my knees! The lighting was really dodgy, it took loads of attempts to get the colour to show up properly.

The other Rimmel polish I picked up was a lovely nude toffee brown called Caramel Cupcake.

Sorry about my horrible nails..!

Finally, I got a Revlon polish that I haven’t tried out yet. It’s a pretty, but fairly standard, pink. However, it’s not standard to me – I have to be really careful with my polish colours, because my hands have a tendency to be a bit red/pink whenever it’s cold. It’s not very attractive! It also means that I can only really wear cool-toned colours on my hands, to cancel out this effect; otherwise, it makes it a lot more obvious. This pink is just about cool enough:

I’m definitely going through a nail varnish phase at the moment. Sometimes I don’t do more than file and buff them for ages at a time, but right now I’m loving pretty pastel colours and Spring shades!

Again, apologies for my absence – it’s not just laziness, believe me!

April 26, 2012

Summery Eyeliner Look

The weather is absolutely horrible in the UK at the moment; it’s rainy, thundery, lightningy, windy and cold. However, I am rebelling against this yuckiness and have made use of my summer technique for eyeliner to try and make myself feel a bit better!

During the summer I like to try and do a more smudgy, smoky, carefree eye look sometimes. To achieve this kind of effect I like to line my eyes with eyeshadow rather than a pencil liner, as even the most smoky liners that I have still produce a fairly sharp edge, and smudging it can turn out uneven if I’m working quickly. I use a very small pencil brush from e.l.f. for this – I can’t stand the e.l.f. standard brushes, but the studio ones aren’t bad – and apply it as close to the lashline as I can. However, it obviously doesn’t matter if it’s a little smudgy and messy!

I usually mix colours, as I’ll want something a little less harsh than black for everyday. At the moment, my favourite shadows to work with for this look are the dark bronze, the matt brown and the black from the Sleek Storm i-Divine palette. Today, I used the palest gold colour (also from that palette) all over my lid and then used a combination of those three darker shades to line. The advantage of the pencil brush is that you can produce a line with it, but obviously, it is still a brush – you can use the same tool to smudge and smoke it out at the edges.

Today, I put a little Barry M blue eye pencil on my inner corner just for fun. On my lips is the Bourjois Effet 3D lipgloss in 07, Rosé or épic.

Here’s my look for today!

April 25, 2012

All Cosmetics Wholesale Haul!

I finally got my package all the way from America today! I was so excited, I ripped it open right away. One thing I wished I’d noticed while shopping on the website was that all these items are (new) testers – obviously, I knew they weren’t going to be the full retail item, but I didn’t really register it properly. It’s probably my fault, but it wasn’t abundantly clear on the site.

I only mention this because the first item that I bought – a Pixi blush/highlighter – is actually supposed to come with a brush in the bottom, and there wasn’t one with it. The compact is quite chunky, and at first I thought yay, it’s got a lot of product! But no, most of the space is given to the brush drawer underneath, which in my case was empty. I know, I know, I shouldn’t complain, it was extremely cheap! But I was a little disappointed, as this is a retail product – it’s not tester size or anything, it’s as you’d buy it in a shop, minus the brush. Sorry for the dark picture, but this actually captures the real colour of the blush most accurately of all the photos I took! Anyway, here it is:

I got two lipsticks, a Lancome Color Design one in the shade B-List, and a Michael Todd one in Salmon. I managed to squash the top of my Michael Todd lipstick with the inside of the lid – I don’t know how, I’ve never ruined a lipstick like that before! I’m quite upset! Though, you know, first world problems. I’ve swatched the two colours here on my hand, with and without flash:

With the flash, "Salmon" (on the right) has come out WAY more pink - in real life, it's very orange/gold!

Next, staying with the lip products, I got a cute little tin with three shades of lipgloss – Pop Beauty’s Mini Ribbon Gloss in Daisy Glow. I didn’t swatch because they’re so sheer, they wouldn’t show up:

I also picked up a rather posh dual concealer by Dr. Denese New York. I didn’t swatch this, obviously – it’s a pretty good colour match so might be a bit invisible in a photo! Here’s the pretty shiny packaging though:

Finally, I got a free-gift-sized Lancome eye palette. The four shades (in order of paleness, as swatched) are: Daylight (a matte pure white), Gaze (a shimmery pale gold/beige), Colour du Jour (a metallic bronze) and Lezard (a matte dark brown, with gold sparkles through it):

  

I apologise for the flashed-up photo! You can’t really see the gold colour of the second-lightest shade – however, it comes out quite accurately on the swatch.

Yay! I’ve tried out some of these, but I’ll review them as I go along or this post will be ridiculously long! I love the lipsticks though; I think my favourite thing of all these is the Lancome one in B-List. It’s creamy, and a beautiful colour.

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 18, 2012

Have Boots No. 7 Done It Again?

So I see that Boots have brought out a new anti-aging line for their No. 7 brand, “Lift and Luminate”. Intended for users of 45 years and older, they say it contains high levels of the same ‘miracle’ ingredient that caused the publicity & shopping sensation for their “Protect and Perfect” serum – I’m sure most people remember that! This seems like an attempt to whip up another storm like the previous one in my opinion as No. 7 already have countless anti-aging products in their several separate lines. If it gets any more confusing I can imagine people just buying at random.

Anyway, I’m only 21, so I can’t test this out; I can only wait and see the response among the ladies and gents that use it.  I’m just hoping that all these miracle ingredients lead to some actual miracles pretty soon – come on cosmetic/pharmaceutical researchers, you only have about 14 years until I become a willing customer! And heck, I’m already buying eye cream.

If you want to check out this new line, click the pretty picture:

image from mirror.co.uk

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

I Kind Of Want Some Lip Tattoos…

…temporary ones, of course!

I can’t deny that I used to be a bit of a goth kid when I was younger, and I still have a special place in my heart for slightly too much black eyeliner and slightly-too-loud metal music. So I definitely wouldn’t mind combining the two on a night out, going the whole way and wearing some of these scary lip tattoos from the brand Violent Lips!

These are amazing.

image from hqhair.com

And these.

image from hqhair.com

These last ones might be a bit far even for me, but I love them all the same!

image from hqhair.com

For Halloween or something these are ace! Would any of you dare to go this bright?

🙂

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.

* * * * * 🙂

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