Friday, 27 February 2009

Brushes from IMATS

I did say I would do a review on the brushes I brought at the IMATS once I had used them. I brought a flat bronzer brush (I had wanted one of these for ages), an angled liner brush, a fine tip eye liner brush, a deluxe crease brush, a lip brush (these were all crown brushes), an angled cheek brush and a brush that can either be used for concealer or cream shadow that were by a company called youcosmetics. Overall I am very pleased with most of the brushes I purchased (the fine eyeliner one has already splayed on me).

Flat bronzer brush (Crown) - this distributes the product really well; it seems to hold just the right amount of product on the brush and blends in really easily.

Angled liner brush (Crown) – This is probably the one I am most pleased with because the ones I already own are both scratchy and rough to use or do not apply product or do a good line, but this is soft yet applies a good line underneath my eye (and it cost £2). I don’t use this for eyeliner, I use this to apply shadow underneath the eye.

Fine liner brush (Crown) - This applied a fine line easily, however, I have recently just washed this and it has splayed on me.

Deluxe crease brush (Crown) - A crease brush was something I had wanted for a while and this one is tapered, dense and has an angle to it so it gets just the right product in the crease and blends and distributes it well.

Lip brush (Crown) – I think this is a good brush, it applies lip products easily to my lips and the texture of the bristles are very similar to my Mac 316. It is also retractable so it can be carried around with me so it comes in quite handy. I like to use lip brushes when the product is too dominant on me otherwise, for instance I can’t wear Barry M’s 101 unless I use a brush to apply it.

Angled cheek brush ( - I brought an angled cheek brush because I wanted an alternative to when my other one is drying from being washed, this is good, it places cheek colour on my cheeks well. I like the angled brushes because they tend to distribute the cheek colour in just the right area.

Concealer/ Cream shadow brush ( - There is not a lot to say about this one, it is fairly wide and I like it for concealing my blemishes, I haven’t used it for cream eyeshadow because I would rather use something smaller.

Thursday, 26 February 2009

Nars Oil Free Foundation

I decided to try this foundation because I wasn’t pleased with my Mac Studio Fix fluid. I went to a Nars counter and tried on the Nars Balanced foundation, (they didn’t have the oil free one that matched my skin tone). I think the difference between the two is the balanced one provides a sheer coverage and the oil free one provides medium coverage. I left this a few days to see how my skin reacted and went back a few days later and brought the Nars Oil Free foundation (even then I felt like I was taking a risk with my skin because it wasn’t the exact one I tried but I wanted medium coverage so I purchased the oil free one. I almost took this back for an exchange after I had left the counter for the balanced one but I told myself I should be ok with oil free).

I am really impressed with this foundation. When I first it applied to my skin, it felt really light yet the coverage was still flawless. I am used to feeling foundation on my skin but this was not like anything I had experienced before. I guess I usually feel that my skin feels heavy when I apply a foundation, my spots can sometimes feel itchy and irritated but this did not do this so I was surprised at how different this felt.

I found this to be a very buildable foundation; you can begin with a small amount and apply more if you want more coverage. I also found that this does not look cakey on my forehead which I find my other foundations tend to do. Even though I moisturise my forehead and then use primer, my foundation always tends to look flaky and dry on my forehead. I found that this foundation lasted all day and I didn’t feel that it slipped off my face. This foundation is a matte finish which I prefer, if I want to have a dewy finish, I mix a little of my Benefit’s High Beam to it.

The formulation is also quite thin, when you shake it you can hear it and you do not need a pump to get it out the bottle, it can just be poured out. I am directly comparing this to my Mac Studio Fix fluid. I had to go out and buy a pump because I couldn’t get it out the bottle when I tried to pour it out. The formulation is definitely a lot thicker with the Studio Fix fluid and when I apply this on my skin, I find this very heavy and it breaks me out if I wear it all day (something the Nars foundation hasn’t done) and it’s not a foundation I find buildable. I guess I’m not a fan of Mac foundations considering my review on the studio fix powder foundation.

Thursday, 19 February 2009

Tag! A Few Random Questions About Beauty

I was tagged by Lazula80 to do this tag, so enjoy!

What’s your favourite eye shadow colour to wear? Silver

What’s the one product you wouldn’t leave your house without? A lipstick

What’s your favourite makeup look – high drama OR natural? Definietly high drama, I love experimenting with different intense looks. To be honest when I do a natural look, I like something to stand out (if I do natural eyes for example I will put on a dramatic lipstick).

Which feature do you play up the most? My eyes

Which feature do you try to downplay/cover up? My skin

Your favourite makeup brand, if you could pick only ONE to exist? I can't do this, sorry. (For instance with Mac I love their eyeshadows but i'm not keen on their foundations but i love Nars for their blushers and foundations).

Which product have you re-purchased OVER and OVER again? Benefit's Some Kind-a Gorgeous

Which product would you NEVER repurchase again and why? Studio Fix Powder Foundation because it brought me out in spots.

One beauty treatment you would always PAY to have done? Colouring my hair, I would never do this myself.

One beauty treatment you would NEVER pay to have done? I would pay for anything to be done if I could afford it.

One beauty trick you can share with everyone? Try vaseline to condition your lashes, mine are now longer because i do this and you should condition them anyway if you wear mascara a lot because it will keep them healthier and conditioned.

Best advice you've ever been given regarding beauty and makeup? Always remove make up at the end of the day before going to sleep because otherwise you are damaging your skin.

I'm not going to tag anyone, but feel free to do this if you want to.


My addiction to silver...!

This all started because of the book – Make Up: The Ultimate Guide by Rae Morris which I brought in September because I wanted to learn more about the application of make up and discover new looks. There are sections in this book that cover contouring, bronzing, highlighting as well as a brush guide (this book also began my addiction to make up books). There is also a section on five minute make overs and this is when I discovered the silver look which has lead me to being drawn to silver.

When I decided I really wanted to try this look and that it looked really simple to do, I decided to purchase L’Oreal HiP’s Metallic duo in Platinum from eBay, then this lead to Mac’s Silver pigment and then I was looking at Mac’s silver shadows where I purchased Electra, Idol Eyes, Silver Ring and Knight Divine.

Before I knew it, I was looking for different versions of silver. At Christmas I brought Nars Nightlife which was my first disappointment. The lady on the counter did warn me though, she told me that I would need something underneath this shadow to make it grip on – like Vaseline (I thought – what, Vaseline? Vaseline has many uses but helping your eye shadow cling on to your lid I don’t think so) or a cream eye shadow where she conveniently rubbed one of these on her hand and put Nightlife on top where it did really bring out the silver (and you couldn't see the light blue shadow underneath it). I brought Nightlife and left the cream shadow, I figured that surely my UDPP, Painterly Paintpot or trying it wet would do the trick right? Wrong, none of these worked and it barely showed up on my lid. There I went, to the nearest place that sold Nars and purchased Carioca cream eye shadow. On a positive note, when I do wear Nightlife paired with Carioca, it looks fantastic, it has glitter in it so it’s something a bit different to my L’Oreal HiP duo or my silver pigment because they don’t have much glitter in them (silver pigment has no glitter particles), they are much more pure silver and the silver pigment has a high intensity of colour when applied both with and without mixing medium.

Next I want Urban Decay’s Strip eye shadow, Dime eye pencil and Barry M’s Pale Silver dazzle dust. When will this end?

Do you have any looks/ colours that you are drawn to and can’t get enough of?

Wednesday, 18 February 2009

TAG! Products I am Using Right Now!


I was tagged by Mizz Worthy to do this - this is my first tag! Thank you Mizz Worthy!

Shampoo - Elvive, the colour protecting one
Conditioner - Elvive, the colour protecting one
Styling - Remington Shine Therapy straightener and Mark Hill Heat Protection spray
Shower gel - An imperial leather one at the moment
Body Moisturiser - Soap and Glory Body Butter
Deodrant - a Nivea one
Fake Tan - I don't use it on a regular basis, when I do use it I choose Ambre Solaire No Streaks Bronzer mist for face and body.

Cleanser - Simple Facial Gel Wash or Simple Cleansing wipes or any cleansing wipes that are on offer.
Eye Make Up Remover - No7 Cleanse and Care Eye Make Up Remover
Exfoliator - Clinique 7 Day Scrub Cream

Primer - Mac's Prep and Prime
Foundation - Nars Oil Free Foundation (loving this!)
Foundation brush - Mac 187
Concealer - Mac's Studio Finish concealer in NW20
Powder - Mac's Mineralized Skin Finish Natural in medium
Blusher - Nars Deep Throat, Orgasm or Sin
Bronzer - Nars Laguna, Benefit's 10
Highlighter - Nars Albatross, Benefit's 10

Eyeshadow base - UDPP
Eyeshadows - Satin Taupe, Star Violet, Expensive pink, Silver pigment to name a few
Eyeliner - Clinique Brush On Cream liner in True Black or Smoke Grey
Eyelash curler - Not sure about the brand, it's a heated one and it was from my Secret Santa at work
Eyelash base - I don't use these
Mascara - Max Factor False Lash Effect
Lipstick - Barry M's 129, YSL Volupte in No1 and Benefit's Silky Finish lipstick in Skinny Dip
Lipgloss - Nars Turkish Delight (regardless of my post below I love this)
Nail colour - I don't paint my nails very often.

I think that's it for now.

I tag Lips and Lashes and Lazula80.


Monday, 16 February 2009

Nars Turkish Delight

I was so excited when I brought this lip gloss because I had wanted it for ages and it is my kind of colour, a cute pink that when first applied to the lips it looks gorgeous. The first time I wore it I thought this looks lush. I was really pleased – until I noticed something – that it seemed to disappear off my lips really quickly. I thought I need to give this another chance (I had just got into work and the cold could have made it disappear – as you can see I was looking for some kind of explanation). I have tried this many times now and I notice it does disappear really quickly (I'm sure it disappears after ten minutes!).

I am disappointed but I am still really pleased I bought it (ok - maybe not it did cost me almost £17), I still love the colour and I prefer the way it looks on me to Mac’s Underage, I will still wear it, it's just heart breaking when something costs you almost £17 and it’s not everything you expected it to be. I just wish it had some staying power….

What products have disappointed you recently?

Wednesday, 11 February 2009

Benefit's Some Kind-a Gorgeous

I love this…
When I first decided to go and try this out, I went to my nearest counter (very dangerous actually when I first started out with my obsession I loved Benefit and it’s only ten minutes walk from my workplace) and the assistant put this on my face. I left it and went away. I was very impressed, it seemed to provide sheer coverage, it felt very light yet my skin still looked covered. I went back a few days later and brought it. I am now on my third (after Studio Fix Powder failed me I found myself thinking, why mess with it if it’s not broken?)! It’s not like wearing a foundation, its very light and it provides a very sheer coverage, the main reason why I brought this was because I was looking for something that was light, sheer and quick and easy to apply in the mornings and this was all of those. It doesn’t bring me out in spots if I wear it everyday, it lasts on my skin all day but probably fades out in the evening, it doesn’t make my forehead look dry (some of my liquid foundations do this) and it’s a good base for my bronzer and my blush. I haven’t heard many positive reviews about this and I can understand why people don’t like this product, it doesn’t provide medium coverage and it isn’t like wearing foundation but for me it ticks all the boxes.

The bad points are that because it is a cream based product it doesn’t last very long, it is very expensive at £19.09 and doesn’t go far. I don’t wear this everyday because of my bad skin and I like to let my skin breath, if I did I would imagine it would run out in a few months. There are only two shades that are supposed to fit all – the regular one and a deeper one (the deeper one is fairly new) and I don’t think that this can be the case but it does work with my skin tone. The sponge doesn’t work it seems to absorb the product but then puts nothing onto your face. I use either a sponge I have brought in a pack or my flat foundation brush (both work well).

What do you use as a quick alternative to foundation?

Tuesday, 10 February 2009

How Mac's Studio Fix Powder Foundation disappointed me...

I brought this because I was looking for a foundation that would be quick and easy to apply in the morning before work, it sounded like it would give good coverage and wouldn’t feel heavy on my skin. I was using Benefit’s Some Kind-a Gorgeous (and I will review this in another post) which was running low and because it it’s a cream based product it doesn’t last very long and that was my reasoning to finding an alternative as I wanted to find something that would last longer.

I had done some research - I read some reviews and watched a few You Tube videos because my skin is very sensitive I put a lot of thought into buying foundation because of my acne prone skin.

I tried it on in the store, liked the look it gave me (I actually thought it gave me a sheer look which I prefer) and decided to purchase it. What I should have actually done is tried it on, left it a day or two and then brought it if I had no problems. Anyway, enough of the should haves…I wore it on my face for an entire work week and throughout the week, I slowly started to come out in spots, not everywhere just on my chin and by the end of the week, there was lots of clumps of spots all over my chin.

I was so disappointed because I heard no one complain about this product, and I was only hearing the opposite that people really like this product and I hadn’t heard anyone say that it wasn’t good for acne prone skin or that it can bring you out in spots. I wasn’t totally convinced it was the Studio Fix Powder that was doing this, so a couple of weeks ago I decided to try it again, but only for three days this time. And guess what?! It happened again, my chin came out in spots (I still have them now actually and my chin is only just beginning to recover). I decided to go back onto You Tube and do more research and there it was, underneath a Studio Fix Powder review in the comments box that an ingredient in this (isostearyl palmitate) is very comedogenic and was warning people with acne prone skin. Where was this advice when I needed it?

How do you find Mac’s Studio Fix Powder Foundation?

Wednesday, 4 February 2009

Vaseline as an eyelash growth product?

When I first heard that Vaseline has multiple uses including conditioning eyelashes I thought I had to look into this more. Was this a way of having longer eyelashes? If they are conditioned, are they healthier? And because of this, do they grow longer before they fall out? I did some research on this and although I only found negative viewpoints on this (mainly that Vaseline was claiming eyelash growth and for it work, it needs to reach a certain temperature). However, I went ahead and tried this anyway and I have to say I did see a difference, they look visibly longer when I’m not wearing mascara and when I do wear mascara my eyelashes look a lot longer and more noticeable (a couple of people have commented on my eyelashes as being long). I began using Vaseline in October and applying it every night before bed and by Christmas, I was noticing a difference. If you would like to try an eyelash growth product but think they are too expensive, why not try Vaseline? After all, what have you got to lose?

Mascaras, Mascaras, Mascaras

I have been trying a few mascaras out recently and thought I would do a quick review on what I thought to each of the ones I have tried.

Too Faced Lash Injection – I was really excited about trying this mascara, I had heard great things about this mascara and a formulation that I had not heard of before – that it puts little tubes around your lashes to give a false lash effect. I thought this was a complete disappointment, I don’t think it curled my lashes or added any volume, I don’t think it did anything for my lashes apart from clump them together. (It’s also very hard to remove and didn’t seem worth it!).

L’oreal Beauty Tubes – I tried this in hope that it would be a better version of the Too Faced Lash Injection, but to my dismay, this was even worse. I did the first step using the primer which I thought went on fine. Then when I applied the next coat, I found it was clumping my lashes, adding no volume or curling to my lashes. It felt like I was adding loads of mascara but all this seemed to do was clump them up. My lashes looked a mess and I haven’t used it since. Again, this was very difficult to remove.

Mac’s Plush Lash – I brought this mascara because I had heard that the brush is very different to other mascara brushes. It has a flat side that you use first to coat your lashes with the mascara and then the plush side (the bristled side) that you then use to curl and lift your lashes. I loved this mascara; I found it curled my lashes, gave them volume, separated them, I found it easy to remove and didn’t flake throughout the day. The only problem I had with this one was that it irritated my eyes and I don’t use it for that reason.

L’oreal Voluminous – On my quest to find great mascara (as good as Plush Lash) that didn’t irritate my eyes I had heard amazing things about this mascara. Overall, I found this mascara quite good, it did give lots of volume to my lashes, give lift but I also found that it sometimes clumped my lashes (this is not every time I have used this mascara but it does happen). I didn’t find this mascara very good at separating my lashes and found it could flake throughout the day.

Maybelline The Colossal – I was really pleased with this mascara. The main thing I noticed with this mascara was the way it separated and curled my lashes, it did add volume as well (not sure about 7x) but I guess with all the hype this mascara had received I expected it to be fantastic and my lashes to really stand out. I didn’t notice it flake or smudge and I would buy this again.

Maxfactor’s False Lash Effect – I really, really loved this mascara. I thought it curled my lashes, added volume and made them look longer( the benefit to this one is that my expectations were not too high because there wasn’t so much hype than with Maybelline’s The Colossal). I haven’t noticed any flaking or smudging, a little more difficult to remove than L’oreal Voluminous or Plush Lash but I still really love it! I would definitely buy this again!

Exceptionnel de Chanel – I think this is perhaps one of the best high end mascaras. I wore this on Saturday night to remind myself of what it was like and I have to say I was not disappointed. I thought this curled and separated my lashes as well as adding volume. I felt that my lashes really stood out when I used this mascara (I guess this what I expected from The Colossal), I’m not sure whether it is as good as Yves Saint Lauren’s Faux Cils but its pretty close…