Posts tagged ‘makeup’

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. 

 

Image

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 31, 2012

Advantage Card Points Shopping!

So..I have one more exam tomorrow, and then my degree is over! Scary stuff. Anyway, I realised the other day that I have about £34 on my Boots Advantage Card and I thought I’d treat myself once I’d finished my finals. I’m going to go to the huge flagship store on Oxford Street so I’ll be able to get basically anything they sell!

I can’t decide what to buy – £34 seems to be just over what I’d need to get one expensive thing, or enough one and a half pretty nice things…anywho, here’s my wish list! If anyone has any thoughts or recommendations, please tell me! These are just all the things I want or need from Boots, regardless of price.

Real Techniques Brushes, the Core Collection – £21.99
Vichy Aqualia Thermale Light moisturiser – £16
Clinique Even Better foundation – £22
Lancome Teint Idole – £27
Origins High Potency Night-a-mins Night Cream – £32
YSL Touche Eclat – £25 (might get one of the new cheapie versions of this one though, I’m curious to see how good they are!)
YSL Teint Radiance foundation – £31
Some kind of exciting eye palette, depending on what I see when I’m there.

I wanted to get more expensive things rather than lots of smaller cheaper things because, as my long-suffering friend pointed out (I always drag her around when I’m shopping for makeup!) I’ll probably end up buying the smaller things at some point anyway, and I want this to seem like a treat!

Any thoughts? 😀 yay for the end of university! Terrifying but exciting!

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 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?

🙂

March 23, 2012

Spring Lip Gloss Favourites

True colour; it looks really dark in the tube but is lovely, sheer and juicy when on.

The images in this post may be confusing viewed on the home page – I’d advise clicking the title and reading it on its own page that way 🙂 Swatches of the first 3 glosses are at the bottom!

I always feel that gloss is a more Spring/Summer product, as it goes well with the more natural, glowing makeup looks that are in fashion. This year, the red lip has made an appearance on the catwalks for S/S at places such as Yves Saint Laurent and Dior – it’s quite unusual, but I love it. A good red lip can go just as well with a white linen dress and bronzed skin as it does with more wintry eyeliner and wooly clothing!

This is my YSL Volupté Sheer Candy in No. 6. It’s supposed to be a mixture of a gloss and a balm, and I love it! It goes on beautifully, and I usually only use one layer/swipe each time, as I like it to be very sheer. It is moisturising, though products that say they have a “balm effect” are never moisturising enough for me. That’s fine, it doesn’t emphasise dryness and I can always use a balm underneath as it’s supposed to look glossy and juicy. There is fine shimmer in it, but nothing too glittery.
Also, it tastes like watermelon-y heaven, which I am a big fan of.

I’m currently saving up for the gorgeous orange coral colour in the same product! (Just need to pass one of the job interviews I have lined up..!)

This is a bit more orange in reality, it looks super orange in the tube but actually looks more like this photo when on!

The gloss to the right is my Revlon Super Lustrous gloss in ‘Coral Reef’. I use this in my favourite Springtime look, as it is eye-catching and bright without being too scary or over the top. I love the high-shine effect this gloss has, and it’s nice and thick. It has a pretty good lasting time, and wears off to a fairly natural pinky colour, so I don’t have to worry that my lips are looking odd because my gloss is coming off!
It smells kind of like sweets, but it’s a very subtle scent, so shouldn’t be a problem for anyone. This gloss also has SPF 15, which is always a plus, especially when the sun’s out more and more! (Yay!)

In reality, the colour in the tube does look more orange – but don’t worry, when applied it looks much more like the photo. Orangey, but not crazy, and still with enough pink to actually look fairly natural if applied thinly.

I really love how many coral and orange-toned lip colours Revlon do. I don’t actually own that many of their products, but the ones I do have are always better quality than I’m expecting (I should probably learn from that, huh?!) and I love their nail varnish shades. I feel a splurge coming on once the student loan comes through…!

True to colour.

Bourjois lip gloss was one of the first makeup products I ever owned, and I’ve always loved it since! This gloss on the left is the Effet 3D gloss in the colour “Rosé or épic”. (I quite like the way that implies there’s ordinary rose gold, and then there’s EPIC rose gold!) It is a totally beautiful rosy bronze in the tube, but when applied it’s quite subtle. This is quite possibly my favourite gloss colour of all time, as it gives my lips a beautiful rosy shimmery (but not glittery!) golden colour without looking unnatural. It’s that perfect kind of shade that you can truly wear for everyday or for going out in the evening, and it’ll look stunning all the time!

This also claims to have an “8hour balm effect” and although I wouldn’t go that far, it does keep my lips from drying out and won’t highlight dry areas, despite containing sparkle! If I feel the lip balm urge and don’t have any around, I would apply this and know that it’ll help to save my lips from getting any worse, and soothe them in the short term.

I would repurchase this over and over – it’s a true staple of my makeup collection, and every time I apply it I remember why I love it so much! Perfect for Spring.

Fairly true to colour - perhaps a little more brown than it is in reality.

Finally, on the right, another Bourjois gloss, also from the Effet 3D line. This is the old packaging, which I actually liked better – I just thought it looked more elegant. But hey ho, the product inside is just as good now!

This is a “my lips but better shade”, and although nude, is still highly pigmented. It’s nice that they don’t scrimp on the pigment for colours like this. I wear this a lot, and although it’s not strictly a Spring shade, I’ve been reaching for it a lot lately – I’m going through a natural makeup phase, and that is because of Spring! The formula for this is slightly different, I think – this gloss doesn’t have a very long wear time, and is not sticky in the least. It still feels of medium thickness, but don’t expect it to last a particularly long time because of this; it won’t.

However, it does smell nice. Just a generic sweet smell, really – nothing major. It feels lovely on, with the same “balm-like” benefits of the newer formulation. I think perhaps their Marketing department just picked up on something that was already there when they did the new packaging!

So that’s my roundup of my favourite glosses this season – hope you’re enjoying the onset of Spring as much as I am!

🙂

Swatches: YSL Volupté Sheer Candy in No. 6, Revlon Super Lustrous in Coral Reef, Bourjois Rosé or épic.

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 🙂

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