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Wednesday 29 June 2011

Eye Wardrobe

Accessorize Eye Wardrobe from Superdrug
This is one of those palettes that had been shoved – unused - to the back of my drawer for months and I only pulled it out recently when I was after a nice chocolate brown eyeshadow. It’s a perfect example of the quality of the Accessorize products because all the shadows feel as smooth and blendable as the Lancome and Estee Lauder shadows but cost a fraction of the price
One of my favourite things about this is that it can be used to create so many different looks – from seriously bright 80s style eyes to nice nude every day looks. Oh and I have to mention the really light pink in the top left (which looks oddly peachy in my pics - stupid camera) because I think it’s a fantastic dupe for Magic Mushroom by Too Faced, which I absolutely love using but hate paying for! :)
...The black is great for using as a liner...
...I don't think there's such a thing as too many green eye shadows and have thoroughly enjoyed using these ones...

I literally cant fault this because the packaging is gorgeous, the mirror is huge so you aren’t using an iddy biddy one that only shows one eye at a time (those have gotta be the worst design ever!) the colours are beautiful, extremely pigmented and there’s a fab variety, all of which last ages even without a primer. And the whole thing only costs £6. There are a couple of other versions of this palette available in Superdrug so I think I’ll have to pick them up and play around with them this weekend
Figured I'd include a pic of the box this comes in cos it's rather cute so I think this makes a really nice little gift

Apparently Accessorize are launching a primer sometime soon so I'm just keeping my fingers crossed that it's even half as good as the rest of their range!

Thanks for stopping by ♥

Tuesday 28 June 2011

Really odd blush that I cant help but like

Daniel Sandler Watercolour blush in Flush

This has to be one of the oddest blushes I've ever come across… I'd seen it in a few magazines and then saw Daniel Sandler demonstrate it on QVC and figured it was definitely worth a go. I read a few reviews online all of which suggested ordering a darker shade than you'd normally opt for because the colour payoff isnt great. This is great advice cos I ended up ordering Flush which looked way too dark in the bottle but is the perfect shade when applied!
I found the colour a tad scary when I first tried it on the back of my hand...
...This is all I need to do both cheeks...
...I love how a light application gives a light, creamy, peachy hint of colour...
...but a second layer just makes it that little more intense

This comes in a teensy plastic squeezy bottle with a little nozzle at the top and a screw on lid. It says on the bottle that this has to be shaken before use and it's easy to see why - the water in the mixture seems to completely separate from the actual colour so you end up with a really runny liquid at the bottom and a dark gloopy ring around the top of the bottle. Nothing a vigorous shake cant rectify though

I'd like to be able to say that I absolutely love this product because it's so different to all the other blushes I use but unfortunately every good point is overshadowed by the one (HUGE!) bad one

Pros :
Colour is beautiful and really natural
Texture gives a pretty, dewy finish
You only need the smallest amount so it'll last ages

Cons :
It takes a while for this to set so regardless of how thin a layer you apply this can end up running and leaving a horrid patchy finish. I definitely recommend applying this at least 5 minutes before leaving the house so you can ensure it's set and wont start heading south the minute you leave the house. Also if you want to build the colour it's definitely best to do this in thin layers, allowing each one to dry before moving to the next :)
Costs £14.50 so it’s not exactly a bargain, esp if it’s not a product you get along with

Yucky, spot inducing cleanser

L'Oreal Paris Perfect Clean Refreshing Foaming Gel Wash
When I first started using a cleanser as a teenager I'd basically grab the brightest coloured, nicest smelling, cheapest option in the chemist and didn't give any consideration whatsoever to the ingredients or whether or not it was suitable for my skin

Annoyingly that was when my skin looked and felt its best and no matter what I used it didn't upset my face at all. These days it’s a completely different story! I spend hours agonising over the right cleanser and if I use one that my skin isn't keen on it makes its feelings known within a few days

I've been watching the pennies recently and trying to buy really economical products at every opportunity so when I ran out of cleanser I opted for this L'Oreal Perfect Clean Refreshing Foaming Gel Wash (er, in short, it’s the blue one!) After using this morning and evening for 4 days I had 2 pretty severe spots on my chin… I hadn’t changed any other products in my routine but decided to carry on using this in the hopes that it was just a matter of getting used to a new product

After 10 days I had a pretty gross selection of spots and little bumps (you know those little skin coloured bumpy bits that aren't quite spots but still look awful and feel like congested areas of skin?) all over my chin and right cheek. I wasn't best pleased because my skin has been pretty kind to me recently!
I decided to admit defeat and picked up one of my all time favourite cleansers - Johnsons clean and clear. After using this for only a few days almost all of the spots have disappeared and I only have 3 very small blemishes which are easily hidden under some concealer

Obviously every product will work differently for different people but; the Purifying version of this cleanser (the white one) wasn't exactly terrific but I was able to use it with no bother at all, but this shall be making its way to the bin, never to be repurchased again
P.S. I adore the little scrublets that come with these cleansers because they work incredibly well! Kinda hate the thought of buying a whole bottle of cleanser each time I need a new scrublet so if you have any idea where I can buy these things separately please let me know!! ♥

Monday 27 June 2011

Free Pure Gloss Lipglosses

Collection 2000 Pure Gloss lipglosses in Honey, Candyfloss and Cupcake

Oh oh oh!!! I nearly forgot to mention the awesome offer I spotted in Boots! I got a bath last night, noticed my feet aren’t really looking their best (in fact they look so bad I think it would be illegal for me to wear sandals in public) so I basically bought a tonne of products from the foot care section in Boots and shall start looking after my feet properly, starting now!

Hmmm, I seem to have gone off track… Oh yes! The offer in Boots… It’s from the Collection 2000 range and you get a free Pure Gloss with any 2 purchases I’ve been a fan of these glosses for ages and I like the simple, subtle sheen they give to the lips. The perfect everyday gloss that looks pretty, feels nice and doesn’t cost an arm and a leg. Though they’re a bit like Lancomes Juicy Tubes in that they separate if they haven’t been used for a while so if mine have been lying in a drawer for a while I always give ‘em a good shake before using them again
There isn't a lot of pigment in these and the colour is really sheer but I couldn't resist picking uo a few different shades...

The key to perfect natural(ish) brows

GOSH eyebrow kit - 3 shades of powder, wax cream, brush/sponge tip applicator

I’ve been on the lookout for a nice brow powder for ages so was well pleased when I spotted this little beauty in Superdrug… The GOSH stand seems to have something new n gorgeous every time I walk past so in order to avoid temptation I’m just gonna shut my eyes and run past it from now on
Anywho… A couple of years ago I treated myself to some Clinique goodies and they gave me one of their awesome GWPs. It came with a little eyeshadow duo which I fell in love with immediately! The pale colour is a great highlighter/base shade and the brown matches my brows perfectly so I’ve been using it as my every day powder (on and off cos I’m always trying new stuff) for about 18 months. I haven’t even hit pan on the brown shade but I’m sick using the same one… no particular reason other than I’d rather have something prettier and newer :)
...My perfectly functional but drab Clinique eyeshadow duo
My backup (Urban Decays Brow Box) has come in handy when I just fancy using something different but I dropped it about a fortnight ago and the dark shade, which was the colour that suited me best, shattered and ended up everywhere :(

Which is why I simply had to pick up this little GOSH quad. I’ve been using the colour on the top left during the day and the one on the top right if I’m heading out somewhere nice in the evening and am going for a pale skin/dark eye look. The little brush/sponge applicator is awesome and the quality is exactly what I’ve come to expect from the GOSH accessories – it’s soft, extremely precise, easy to use and easy to wash
Oh and if I hadn’t been won over by the fantabulous powders then the little paper insert would’ve done the trick cos it says “It is important not to pluck the brows too much or draw them too dark – they must be well shaped and look natural” and that kind of advice would’ve been invaluable when I was younger and just starting to wear makeup. Ok, so I probably would’ve just ignored it but I like to think I’d have learned my lesson sooner!

Thanks for stopping by ♥

Benefit High Beam ... I'm converted ...

Good afternoon all, hope you're having a great day and enjoying the rather nice weather we've been having! I fancied doing a little review of Benefits High Beam because I’ve enjoyed using this highlighter so much that it’s actually replaced my usual one which was Touche Illuminatrice in Rose Universal by Bourjois My usual highlighter - Rose Universal by Bourjois
I never would have gone out and bought this because I’m really not keen on the Benefit range so I’m extremely glad I bought an extra copy of Glamour this month to get a little bottle free. I’ve used it most days since and I now cant imagine being without it! I’ve read a few reviews by people who don’t like the applicator but I think the brush is really handy! I just pop a small streak of this wherever I need it (cheeks, brow bone and cupids bow) and it takes seconds to blend Thanks to the gorgeous weather we’ve been having recently I’ve been wearing fairly light mattifying makeup but it’s nice to have something that gives a nice healthy glow to the cheeks without making me look shiny
I use a little stripe about this size on each cheek... ...I like how it looks shimmery but not too OTT!

Now that I’ve started using this I cant believe I used a powder highlighter for so long! At this time of year I generally veer away from powders because I like a nice dewy finish to my skin so it’s great to have a nice liquid alternative. I’ve noticed a few copy cats out there that have very similar packaging, shades and even names as Benefits High Beam so when I’m getting to the end of this bottle I think I’ll look around for a cheaper brand because although I like this a lot £18.50 for 15mls just seems a little bit extravagant to me :)

Saturday 18 June 2011

Sigma brushes - worth the hype?

Sigma 12 brush Make Me Crazy Kit in purple
If you’re a bit too busy to read a big long-winded post the short answer is yep, I reckon so :)
Even the packaging is awesome! With purple being one of my favourite colours I love having this sitting out next to my mirror, and of course I can just pop the lid on the make sure the brushes don't gather loads of dust

I’d been lusting after some Sigma brushes for a while (specifically the foundation and powder ones) but couldn’t justify buying them when I already own so many perfectly good brushes. Which is why this has got to be one of the most awesome presents ever! A friend of my got me these a few weeks ago for no reason at all, which I thought was incredibly sweet and ridiculously extravagant. Even after using them for such a short time I think they're worth their weight in gold, so much so that I literally can’t imagine doing my makeup without them now From top to bottom : Large Powder, Duo Fibre, Large Angled Contour, Foundation and Concealer

Being a bit of a clean freak I wash my brushes fairly frequently and these dry fantastically… I hate the way brushes from really cheap brands end up kinda straggly with lots of missing bristles in no time cos it makes them so much more difficult and less pleasant to use

That’s not to say I wont use any other brands on a daily base; my Bella Pierre blending brush is one that I’ve never managed to find a comparison for! But these are so soft, well made and nice to use that I will definitely be investing in a few more ♥
From top to bottom: Small Angle, Eye Shading, Pencil, Medium Angled Shading, Tapered Blending, Large Shader and Eyeliner

Wednesday 15 June 2011

The massive wand that gives massive lashes

On the left is my Avon Super Shock wand and on the right is my Max Factor Lash Extension Effect wand

When I first opened this mascara I couldn't believe how big the brush was… it's absolutely huge and I'm a bit clumsy at the best of times so wasn't expecting particularly neat results with this! The wand has rubber bristles and is like the body-building-steriod-taking-protein-shake-guzzling big brother of the Max Factor Lash Extension Effect mascara wand, which is one of my all time favourites

I've included a couple of pics of False Lash Extension so you can see what I'm on about... but back to the Super Shock mascara!...
The formula really impressed me because it's not too wet (One of my pet peeves!) and it works as well on the first day it's opened as it does two months later. I find it unbelievably annoying when I apply a coat of mascara and then try combing through my lashes with the mascara wand for a nice second coat only to find that the wet formula just makes my lashes clump together, giving that not-so-pretty spider-leg look. In this case the bristles are fantastic for coating and separating all the lashes giving a really nice dark natural finish that can easily be built up with another coat or two for a more dramatic look

Of course none of that really matters if it can't last the day without smudging (Yeah, I mean you Falsies!) but I've worn this for 12 hours with no smudging or flaking even when my eyes have been watering cos of the bitingly cold wind. Le sigh, good old summer weather in Belfast - 60mph winds and lots of light showers. Grrr!
The only complaint I have about this is that the brush isn't really practical for use on my bottom lashes cos it's so huge. I'm too lazy to go to the effort of opening a different mascara just for my teensy bottom lashes so I make this work but just have to be extremely careful ♥

Maybelline Pure Cover Mineral Concealer

Is it just me or do some concealers do a really really good job of drawing attention to the area they're s'posed to be concealing?! I have at least half a dozen that leave my dark cirles looking creased, dry and a strange colour which isn't exactly what I'm going for. I was well impressed by the Maybelline 24hr Super stay liquid concealer so when I was browsing the Maybelline counter recently I figured I may as well try the Liquid Minerals one too…

This has been an absolute saviour over the last week or so cos I've had a few angry looking red spots on my chin (oddly they've been fairly flat so I've been more concerned about hiding the redness than the shape) and this has done a great job of disguising them for most of the day. Also, I haven't been sleeping the best so the circles under my eyes are slowly become a rather unpleasant shade of navy as the week goes on. And with this only being Tuesday I imagine I'll be pretty frightening by Friday
I've found liquid concealers less reliable than cream ones when it comes to coverage because they tend to be quite runny or translucent so I usually have to reapply them more frequently. Yet I almost always use liquid concealers but I guess that has a lot to do with buying ones that match foundations I already have!

When I use a teensy tiny amount of this under my eyes they look a million times brighter, even before I've applied any foundation or mascara. In fact it makes me look exactly like Jennifer Lopez. Ok that bit was a lie but it's still a fab product :)

Monday 13 June 2011

Best drugstore foundation for dry skin?

Maybelline Dream Creamy Foundation

This is really similar to Max Factors Miracle Touch Foundation which I like but just don’t find myself using very often… I guess I'm just too set in my ways and can't help opting for a good old liquid foundation

I was in my local Boots store poking and prodding all different products - the testers of course! Don't you just hate when you buy something only to get it home and see that it's been used as a tester by someone else?! - and the first thing I noticed about this was the texture; it's smooth as silk and feels really velvety when you rub it between your fingers. I popped a little on my jaw line and the first one I tried (nude/beige dore) actually matched my skin tone superbly well. Which was obviously a clear sign that I had to buy it :) On the subject of shades there are only 5 to choose from so I imagine it could be difficult to get a shade to exactly match your skin tone… Surely we can’t all fall into 1 of 5 skin colour categories?!

I've used both my fingers and a makeup sponge to apply this and they both give a nice even result with much better coverage than I'd expected. This feels so moisturising when I'm applying it that it could nearly pass for a tinted moisturiser, which is sooo handy for dry skin days cos it ensures I don't end up with gross flakey patches anywhere but still get a decent finish
The packaging is a bit iffy. I'd only tried out a teensy tester whilst I was in the store so I was amazed when I got this home and saw just how much of the container was dedicated to the product (not much) and how much was dedicated to the sponge applicator (LOADS!) and it doesn't even come with a mirror

This goes on beautifully and gives a nice satin finish but unfortunately it doesn't last very long at all. Even with a good dusting of powder this fades after a few hours. I'll continue to use this because it’s so good when my skin is particularly dry but I’d love it to last a little longer! ♥

Smashbox powder eye liner

As soon as I started using this I wondered how on earth I ever got along without it! Normally if I'm going for a simple soft smokey eye look I'll use a small smudge of grey eyeliner instead of my usual black ones, then I go over it with a drop of similar coloured eye shadow, but I this takes about half the time to apply and lasts ages. The shade I have is Gunmetal but I like it so much I'm tempted to treat myself to another colour or two. After payday of course!
The applicator is a long-ish flexible sponge with a little ink-well style bottle of loose powder, the powder has a slight hint of shimmer but nothing too extreme. I've been using a thin line of this just above my lash line and although it doesn’t exactly work miracles it definitely makes my eyes look a bit brighter, more defined and my lashes seem thicker and darker - but I guess that’s always a nice side-effect of applying a dark colour close to the lashes!

This works well with every eye shadow colour I've worn it with so far; from lime green to Chocolate brown (Mmmmm chocolate limes *drools*)

My one complaint is that it can be a bit messy. I'll normally take out the applicator and tap it a few times to shake off the excess powder but now n then I'll still end up with teensy specks of it on my cheeks. Hardly the end of the world or anything but I really don’t like having to tidy up my makeup once it's been done :)

Another awesome freebie

I promised myself I wouldn’t buy anymore cosmetics until payday – with fathers day and my dads birthday just around the corner I’m keeping an eye on the pennies cos he has more expensive taste than I do! So I was quite pleased when I saw that Marie Claire was giving away free Inika eye liners and mineral mascaras with the latest issue. I picked up the eye liner on my way home from work completely guilt free; cosmetics ban is still intact as far as I’m concerned :)
Obviously I had to try it out straight away so I went for a really OTT cat eye look and am rather pleased with the result! It’s a nice soft pencil then smudges easily when it’s first applied but sets fairly quickly. No idea if it’ll hold up over time but I’m looking forward to trying it out plenty ♥
Inika mineral eye liner in Graphite (05)

Sunday 12 June 2011

Free Benefit goodies with Glamour

There are some awesome freebies with so many different magazines this month! Honestly I could call into my local newsagents and come out with a whole new makeup collection (which is actually fairly likely)
The Glamour freebies always seem to sell out straight away so I bought these on Friday and figured I could play around with them over the weekend before actually wearing them out. I’m not really a big fan of Benefit and although they have a few superb products I’m always a bit sceptical cos I’ve tried so many gimmicky, rubbish ones from the range
I definitely wouldn’t dream of buying these in full sizes for the full price unless I’d had plenty of time to try them out and decide whether or not I’d actually incorporate them into my routine so these little mini sizes are really handy
I’ll do proper reviews on these once I’ve used them for a while but I already quite like the High Beam and Posie Tint. Haven’t been brave enough to try the Bene Tint yet cos it’s such a striking colour and as you can see from the pic above it’s seriously watery (look how it’s seeping into the little lines on my hand!!) so I’ve just been a tad nervous about using it. Might give it a shot today though as I’m not really heading anywhere other than the park and the supermarket so wont be too concerned if it looks a bit of a mess!

Oh oh oh! I nearly forgot to mention the price. Glamour magazine is £2 this month so it's £6 for all 3 products and the RRP is £28. Quite a nice little saving if they're products you'd normally be buying anyway ♥

Heart Highlighter from Primark

I was in Primark on Thursday picking up a nice red shirt dress but these days I cant wander through the shop without having a nosy at the makeup section!
I spotted this adorable little heart highlighter. It’s called a blush but the shade is a pale iridescent pink that works fantastically as a highlighter but I cant see anyone actually using it as a blush. It’s one of those things that I had to have because it looks so darn cute, I’ve used it as a highlighter a few times since I got it and I’ve been pleased with the finish – not too over the top so it’s great for day time and because it looks so lovely I always enjoy using it :)
These really couldn't be easier to use cos they're exactly like bronzing balls - you just swirl your brush around, tap it to get rid of the excess and sweep along the top of the cheek