Monday, 26 April 2010

MUA - the Superdrug £1 brand

OK so unless you have been hiding under a rock of late you will have realised the Superdrug have launched a range of makeup where every item costs only £1. The brand is called MUA (make up academy) and has a pretty comprehensive range of products including mascaras, lip and eye products. I happened to be passing Superdrug on Thursday and I couldn't help checking it out, there were some pretty colours but nothing spoke to me. I was passing by again at the weekend and my curiosity got the better of me I had to give it a try. Of course the colours I had been interested in has sold out but I did pick up 3 items. Eye shadows in shades 18 and 13 and a nail polish in shade 12.
with flash
natural light

My expectations were not high and the packaging reinforced that, very plastic fantastic and the nail polish is tiny but the shadows are a good size. Nails being my passion I couldn't wait to try out shade 12 and I have to say I was pleasantly surprised, of course the bottle felt like something you get off the front of a magazine when you were 12 but the brush was not at all bad and it really did go on rather nicely. The consistency is similar to Bourjois and the shade I picked seemed to be very pigmented so base, 2 coats of colour and my seche vite and this nail colour could have been by anyone. I had it on for 2 days and it wore well with no chipping and hardly any tip wear so I can say I will definitely be trying out the other shades in the range.

on to the eyeshadows, this is the look I did

I have to say the colours are great I love the shades and the pigmentation is not at all bad but we have seen some very good budget brands recently (NYX & Sleek) so we have been kind of spoiled. The lasting power of these shade was phenomenal it stayed in place with absolutely no budging till I took it off tonight and we are talking no fall out or creasing here. This I think is what my main problem was this morning, I used my UDPP as usual and I could just not get them to blend, the seem to stick fast which made the application a chore. The end result is nice don't get me wrong but working with them was a challenge, it would not put my off buying more I just think I have to work out a better way of using them.

Have you tried anything from the range? What did you think?

Sunday, 25 April 2010

Cosmetic Confessions 2

Here we are with another round of cosmetic confessions I hope you are all getting a giggle out of my shame.

1. I don't know how to put on false eyelashes, I have tried but they never seem it stick to me I guess I just repel fabulousness.

2. If anyone ever compliments me on my hair or eyes then 9 times out of 10 they are fake. I love coloured lenses and own way too many hairpieces, I wish I could look good naturally but I just don't.

3. I paint my nails every 2 days. I know that seems like a lot but I have a genuine OCD about chips and things and a very short attention span when it comes to colours.

4. I am a tester germaphobe - at work or out shopping when I see someone putting on product from the tester (lips and eyes are the worst) I makes me gag! This also means that no matter how much I want to try out a new product in store I run a mile if an assistant comes at me with a tester.

5. I have more than likely spent more money on buying Cadburys flakes in the hope of winning a lipstick than it would cost to just buy a lipstick. Still, chocolate = yum!

Bourjois Spring/Summer look

So as a lot of you know Bourjois has a new spring summer look out, I had to copy this from the web as my blog isn't well know enough yet for me to be invited to any events or sent freebies. Bourjois is my all time biggest makeup crush and I love every look they bring out, I look after their stand at my job and I always love to see what they will bring out next. The look is comprised of 2 shadows, pencil, lip colour and nail colour. I don't own the lip colour but I am sure it will find it's way into my collection soon as I am loving the whole matching nails and lips thing (very Coco Chanel).

So here are the pictures let me know what you think.
My base was
Bourjois healthy mix in 51 and the matching concealer. As always I used the Clarins kit for the brows.
I then swept 94 CITRON GIVRE over the entire lid from lashline to brow paying attention to the inner corners of my eyes and I also put some under the lower lash line. On the mobile lid I blended 93 TABAC BLOND stopping just short of the crease and inner corner.
Then with my trusty duochrome liner in 61 Vert Dore (the tutorial calls for 64 Tilleul Dore but I don't have that one) I lined under my eyes just to give it the extra definition. Topped off with the 1001 lashes in Black Quartz.
The nail colour is called 33 Tangerine Fatal and is an exquisite orange shade bordering on coral Like with all Bourjois nail polish the application was good, the only problems I find with them is that their cremes are a little sheer and the polish can be a little gloopy which means you use quite a lot up in just one application. Having said that though stunning colour and stunning finish.
with flash - doesn't it look different day and night!

So there you have it I might try again if I get the lips and the right liner but for now this is the only spring summer look I have bought into although the No7 one looks interesting. Which company has brought out you favourite look this season?

Tuesday, 20 April 2010

some recent nails

So here I am again with the nails I've been rocking this past week starting with the most recent. Some good, some bad and some classics, Enjoy!

OK so this was in my set from the fragrance direct haul its a ciate paint pot from back when they were round bottles, the colour is called Jennifer and it's a pinky purple colour. The application and formula to this (as with the Marilyn from the same set) were outstanding, the polish is lovely and fluid and you only need 2 coats (you could get away with one if you were careful) I love the colour of this as it is unlike anything I have already I would class it as a bright but somehow it is not in your face bright and you can easily get away with this if you have a conservative job/dress code. My only struggle with this again was the shrinkage and tip wear, as soon as the Seche Vite is applied then it starts to shrink and after only 2 days you have about 3mm of tip wear. It does not chip or dull and tip wear is not something that overly bothers me it is just a crying shame for such a nice polish.

On to the next from the brand alley haul, this is OPI play till midnight and it is my second OPI that I am not impressed with (first being Lincoln park matte) I wanted to love this so much it an inky blurple with fushia and lilac micro glitter, sounds great right. Wrong! this polish is so thin the application is a nightmare, it takes multiple coats to build any colour and it floods the cuticle. I am not big on clean up as you may have noticed to if a polish proves problematic I will not use it. The finished product was fairly nice more dusty on the nail than the vibrant colour you see in the bottle but not completely hideous. It suffered tip wear really badly which I think stems from it being so thin.
Oh well can't win em all.

An in complete contrast we have Dulce De Leche from OPI. this is another one of my go to polishes when I can't decide what to wear or need to look sophisticated ( I had a VIP customer on Tuesday so needed to look my best). It is a taupey creme and it just goes with everything, it is just a shade dark enough to avoid giving me the horrid mannequin hands look that I don't like and the application is perfect and also very forgiving around the cuticles allowing you so look polished to perfection, I have to say that this is one I will be buying a back up bottle of.

And finally we have the Carlo Di Roma PURE Cosmetics polish in Bright Blue (sale haul from a while ago coming up later in the week). Now you know me, I am not one to shy away from colour and Bright Blue is certainly an accurate description of this colour. I have worn all sorts to my job (mad as a hatter, for audrey, disco ball sparkle and d.c cherry blossom) and never given it a second thought but this one was just so bright I felt self conscious of it all day. The application was nice but the frosty shimmer seen in the bottle didn't come through on the nail at which was a disappointment. If I had paid full price for this I would have regretted it but at the price I paid it is an OK polish just not sure when I would wear it.

Saturday, 17 April 2010

Some decluttering

Ok so looking out all my foundations for comparison got me looking through my make up and I became aware of how much randomness had accumulated in my make up collection. I am sucker for a GWP (gift with purchase for those that are lucky enough not to work in retail) but most of the time it is not something I would normally use or even right for my colouring so they tend to get thrown to the back of the drawer. I also managed to tear some foosty smelling lipsticks and mascaras from my grubby little paws and relegated them to the bin. So there you have it old, dried up grubby and just plain nasty products from my collection gone for good.

Does this count as a project 20 pan ?

Thursday, 15 April 2010

the quest for the perfect foundation (very pic heavy)

In my infinite quest to find the perfect foundation I have bought a lot over the years and because I am hoarder I never throw them away even if they don't work for me. Pretty much every shade I buy is the lightest one of of the range and the difference between companies becomes very apparent. As a result of this comparison test I will be throwing away a fair few of these because as you can see I would have to be mad to wear them and actually can't believe I ever did.
Everything was photographed in natural light on fresh clean skin.

1. 10 Hour Sleep Effect (71 abricote clair)
2. Brush Foundation (31 beige clair)
3. Healthy Mix (51 vanille clair)
4. Mineral Matte (81 tendre ivorie)

Bourjois is possibly my favourite brand of makeup and their foundations are second to none (same company as Chanel don't you know) Colour and texture is always great the only one I am surprised by is the mineral matte(4) as it looks a little dark but actually looks fine on my face. As you can see the healthy mix(3)is the best coverage and colour which is what I expected as it is my favourite liquid foundation.

1. Stay Matte Mousse (100 ivory)
2. Renew & Lift (100 ivory)
3. Lasting Finish (100 ivory)

Rimmel has always been hit and miss for me but as always the price of them makes them very tempting. Interesting that they are all named ivory when the difference is colour is so vast, I wanted to love the stay matte mousse(1) but as you can see from the picture even the lightest one is unbelievably orange and it is more jelly than mousse the texture just doesn't work for me.

Revlon & Max Factor
1. Revlon PhotoReady (002 vanille)
2. Revlon Beyond Natural (210 light pale)
3. Max Factor Colour adapt (70 natural)
4. Max Factor Second Skin (040 creamy ivory)

Wow, Just wow! look at the difference in shades on show here, the PhotoReady (1) is very yellow toned which actually works well for me as it balances out my pink tones. The Beyond Natural(2) is a great tone but is very light on the coverage. Check out the horror of the Max Factor(3) this is meant to be colour adapting, adapting to what? This was the lightest shade they had and it is just not right for me this one will be going in the bin. Second Skin(4) was my previous favourite liquid and the shade is a little dark but not too bad in summer when I have a bit more colour.

Mishmash 1
1. L'Oreal True Match Roll On (R2 vanille rose)
2. E.L.F Tinted Moisturiser (ivory)
3. 17 Skin Perfecting Balancing Foundation (fair)
4. Maybelline Dream Satin Liquid (010 ivory)

This is the foundation that makes me the most sad is the L'Oreal roll on foundation(1) just look at the application it is easy and even, light and soft. It is also orange and also the lightest colour it comes it, it is supposed to be "true match" but it just doesn't to it for me. Great product just not my shade. The E.L.F(2) is a lovely shade and a tinted moisturiser so not much coverage, it sits in my pores and makes me a little greasy so I need to find a way to work with this one. Another destined for the circular file is the Boots 17(3) great coverage and really does stop me getting shiny but just way to dark for my skin. The only foundation I have tried from Maybelline(4) and it is actually really nice lives up to the product claims if the shade was a touch lighter this would be perfect.

Mishmash 2 (sorry 3 and 4 are the wrong way round in the product shot)
1. MAC Select Founation (NW15)
2. No7 Essential Moisture Foundation (10 new ivory)
3. Bobbi Brown Foundation Stick (0 porcelain)
4. Avene Couvrance (01 porcelain)

This is the product that I was most surprised at when I swatched, I wore the MAC foundation(1) for my wedding and it works well with my combination skin I am just a bit shocked at how pink it has come out. I guess it works with my pink tones rather that fighting against them. The shade of the No7(2) is glorious but I have to be a little careful with the finish on my combination skin, lovely product though very impressed. What can I say about the Bobbi Brown(3) I love this foundation the colour is perfect and the coverage is perfect it also had great staying power which is what you would expect from a pan stick. Which leads us on to the only problem with this foundation is that it is a pan stick it leaves me greasy and I need to powder a lot to stop it slipping around, having said that though I have nearly used the whole thing and when it is finished I will be investigating their liquid foundations as the shade is so good. The Avene(4) one I got from work and whilst nice and kind to the skin is way too yellow.

So to sum up
top 3
1. Bourjois healthy Mix
2. Bobbi Brown pan stick
3. No7 essential Moisture

going in the bin
Avene, 17 and Max Factor colour adapt
hoping to find new homes for
the Rimmel Mousse and the L'Oreal

Cosmetic Confessions :S

Ok so here we go I am hanging out my dirty laundry for all to see, as a beauty addict and blogger I sometimes feel like I am missing out on certain things and have some deep dark secrets that some of you will be horrified at.

1. I hardly ever shave my legs or my armpits - I know gross right but they stay fuzzy unless I am getting them out which is nearly never.

2. I own nothing from Illamasqua - Shock horror! I love their look, their colours and their creativity but I have never brought anything from them and I am not sure why. Perhaps I just don't know where to start (any ideas girls)

3. I hate lipgloss - I own a fair few tubes of lip gloss but I am not really a fan I don't like the way it feels on my lips and they never really have the staying power I would want. Still trying to find the perfect one though.

4. I have never shopped at Space NK - Most of my beauty purchases are from Superdrug or Boots and sometimes John Lewis or Selfridges if I am after a premium brand that they don't stock.

5. I don't use body creams - In my line of work I get to try out a lot of things so at home I have so many lotions and potions that have been opened used once and then put on the shelf.

So there you are, please tell me I am not alone in my shame and that you all have some secrets too.

Tuesday, 13 April 2010

Brand Alley Haul

I have had my eye on Brand Alley for a while now and last month they finally had a couple of brands I was interested in, of course OPI is a given but I was also tempted to try Stilla as I have good things about it. So without further ado here is the haul.

1 x Indulgent pamper set
which included
Avoplex high intensity hand and nail cream
Avoplex cuticle oil to go
Original nail envy
Play 'Til Midnight polish
Glamour Game polish
A Ruby For Rudolph polish
Nifty little bag to put it all in

1 x playful pair set
polish and lipstick in Little Red Wagon

1 x Love - ly polishes collection
I Pink I Love You
Love Will Blossom
Heart To Resist

And from Stilla I got their Angel light powder foundation in shade A and Stills lip rouge liquid lip stain in Smooch.

Here is what I have tried so far of course I couldn't resist the playful pair
Killer red lips, this is the smooch lip stain used as a liner and then the little red wagon lipstick. The Stilla is fab and I have used it nearly everyday and the OPI is very nice. The colour is very intense and glossy and the two together made my lips look fuller than the ever have check out my lips here for a comparison. The only think I found is that it wasn't very long lasting and I am very lazy at reapplying so that was a pain.
OPI - nuff said very vampy dark red love it.

Tuesday, 6 April 2010

Some recent nails (pic heavy)

Working backwards from what I have on my fingertips right now these are what I have been rocking in the past week.
This is Revlon's One Perfect Coral (990) and unfortunately the photo doesn't do justice to quite how bright this colour is. As the name says it is a perfect coral, not pink, not, red, not orange it falls right in the middle of all three and is quite neon. It applies really well and has a 50/50 jelly to creme formula which makes it a little more runny than I am used to and it is also quite sheer so you need a few coats before you get rid of your natural nail line. As with most Revlon nail enamels it lasts really well (only exception I have found was the Midnight Affair episode which disappointed).

Moving on to Sensuality from Mavala, application - great, wear - great and colour - meh! The hubby decreed he did not like this colour and I am still undecided.

I had my first little foray in to GOSH recently and I picked up a couple of their polishes. This is their legendary silver holo 549 after a tricky application (dumbo here used a base coat doh!) I topped it with Seche vite and it was rock solid in seconds. The effect is mesmerising and I had to take it off to stop me crashing into things because I was looking at my nails instead of watching where I was going. I was also getting a little disconcerted at random strangers grabbing my hands for a closer look.

My last look is again GOSH and its their flakie called Rainbow and this is over a Nails Inc Belgrave Place. I am looking forward to trying this out over lots of different colours to see the different effects.

Friday, 2 April 2010

Couple of make up looks and a review of Revlon Photoready

So this is a look I did back on the 2nd of January, It's using the Guerlain Bird of Paradise Quad except this time I left out the liquid eyeliner and added the orange to the crease and the brown on the lower lash line. It's a fairly 80's look but I love it as it makes me feel like spring is here. The eyebrows as always are Clarins eyebrow kit and the blush is n07 in soft apricot, I had to contour a lot with the Benefit 10 kit. Mascara - I am still loving the Bourjois 1001 in Black Quartz.

First attempt

The next look is using Urban Decay from their book of shadows Volume 2, Sphinx is on the inner of the lid, Ecstasy on the outer of the lid and AC/DC in the crease. I used the Rockstar liner on the lower lashline and blended it out with the shadows. Dior liquid liner to wing out the eyes and the rest of the make up is as before.
Second attempt

Ok so onto the review of the Revlon. It is taking a lot at the moment to tear me away from my Bourjois Healthy Mix but I have heard so much about this (good and bad) that I just had to try it. It was already on sale at Boots and the lovely Jo from Music and Make Up, My Obsessions! gave me a voucher that got me another £2 off.
They finally had my shade which is 02 Vanilla, I had swatched it a couple of weeks back as advised on a lot of blog and wandered around with it on my hand to check it in different lights. Now don't get me wrong this is very sparkly for a foundation but not so much that it put me off.

My first attempt at applying this I was a bit dubious about the shimmer so I decided to try and temper it a little with mac prep + prime powder which set it quite well but left me looking very very pale. I applied it over my Nivea Co Q10 which was way too greasy for this dewy foundation. I was scared of spoiling the twinkly effect so I made sure to conceal my imperfections before I applied the foundation. The coverage is very sheer and it did not last well over the Nivea.

My second attempt after learning from the mistakes of the first time I applied this over La Roche-Posay Hydraphase Light which is an oil free fluid that hydrates normal to combination skin. This time the foundation stuck fast and the coverage was a little better, I went for foundation first as normal and then concealed afterwards. I also took the plunge and gave into the sparkle so I set it using the Guerlain Meteorites Illuminating Power and to my surprise rather than adding to the effect it actually seemed to even it out a bit.

Coverage - quite sheer up close but far away and in photos it does really even you out.
Staying power - if you are at all oily you are going to need to be careful with this one but it does last over the right base.
Twilight Effect - it is definitely there as you can see in the photos I am quite pale and it does flatten out the contours of your face so make sure you are defining with blush or bronze.
Overall - Actually like it more the more I use it as I am the pale and interesting type anyway it does suit my look and you can't deny it photographs well.

Thursday, 1 April 2010

Michelle Phan eyes

Scouting around blogland recently I stumbled across the beautiful Michelle Phan. She is a master with the old slap and has some absolutely awesome looks. Her tutorials on Youtube are a joy to behold so check them out, this is my humble attempt at her striking eyeliner for making your eyes stand out from behind your frames. I hate my glasses for one reason and that is they always over power any eye makeup I wear. It seems the the key is lots and lots of eyeliner so enjoy the shots of geek me!