Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Rimmel London Lycra Pro: Heart on Fire

Ok, so if the weather isn't going to warm up, I may as well do something about my choice in nail colour. Rimmel London's Lycra PRO in shade 327, Heart on Fire, is a serious hottie. I have been really impressed with Rimmel's line in nail polishes - they are such good value for money, have good staying power and the finish is lovely, it has a nice amount of shine. The brush, as with the 60 Seconds range, is flat, easy to use and one stroke coats the whole nail. The formula isn't too runny or too thick - again, it's easy to work with. This colour is just the business - oozes glamour and certainly brightened up my day. Have you tried this range?

Monday, 25 February 2013

Mac Studio Sculpt Foundation

You may have noticed – I have a bit of an obsession with foundations. I feel if my skin looks good, then then everything else is just a finishing touch. That in mind, I buy way too many and am always searching for the perfect one. I purchased MAC Studio Sculpt a few months ago, it was pay day, I found myself in the MAC store and left with this in a shopping bag. Oops. I have a lot of light / medium coverage foundations, I'm not an Estée Lauder Double Wear kind of girl, my skin just can't take it. Saying that, I was looking for a new foundation with a higher coverage than i normally opt for as I was suffering a bit of hormonal breakout. I read a few reviews on Studio Sculpt and had to try it out.

Having previously asked for a sample of Studio Sculpt from MAC, I was colour matched with NC20 - not as alabaster as I'd like in February, but I'd say the best match in this line for my skin tone. This first thing I noticed about this foundation is the consistency - it's a lot thicker and more creamy than I would normally go for. I don't need a lot, just a pea-sized amount will suffice for my whole face. I find the only way to apply this is by using a buffing brush - in order not to look 'cakey', you do need to spend a bit of time really buffing this well into the skin, the result is a flawless, satin finish. It's definitely a medium to full coverage and quite moisturising – it is buildable, though I don't find I need to layer as I get enough coverage with just a small amount. I can feel it on my skin, but I would expect that with a foundation that claims it's water resistant and long-lasting. I find I get a full days wear, it's still in tact at the end of the day - even in places where my skin tends to get shiny, mostly on my chin and nose, this improves even more when I use a light translucent powder. Being a fair-skinned celt, an SPF is a necessity for me, this foundation has SPF 15. If you are looking for good medium to full coverage foundation, I would give this a go! Do you have any recommendations?

Thursday, 21 February 2013

Rimmel London: 60 Second Nail Polish in Princess Pink

I've been looking for a natural-looking pink nail polish for an age, I own dozens of two colours, nudes and reds - it's just my thing, with the occasional metallic thrown in at Christmas for good measure. I wanted the French Manicure look, without the white tips. Low and behold, Rimmel London have come up trumps again with their 60 Seconds range. Shade 200, Princess Pink is a subtle, pretty, ballerina-pink shade, perfect for a natural nail. I like everything about Rimmel London's 60 Seconds range, the formula, the brush and its great staying power - my only bugbear about this particular shade is, as with most lighter colours, the number of coats you need to apply for opacity - an epic four in this instance. Saying that, the results are, as you can see for yourself, lovely! I got this on offer in Boots yesterday - well worth the £2.99 I'd say, wouldn't you?

Tuesday, 19 February 2013

L'Oreal Paris: Lumi Magique Light Infusing Foundation & Pure Light Primer

As I am sure with most beauty lovers, I get carried away with new and much-hyped products, forgetting that sometimes I don't give my older products a fair chance and pushing them, in a rather unloved fashion to the back of a drawer. These two have been tarred with that brush and whilst having a tidy up, I found them cowering at the back of that very same drawer (cue melancholic violins). Anyway, I wheeled them out and set them somewhere I could not ignore them, giving both a bit of a second chance hoping they'd wow me.

When I first tried this foundation I wasn't overly impressed, more to do with the shade than the actual product. I bought it in the height of summer, whilst my Celtic complexion will never allow me to be a bronzed goddess, I think it's fair to say I had a bit more colour in my cheeks (that or just a few more freckles), I was somewhere between two of the shades in the rather limited 7 available. I picked C1 Rose Pearl (NB colour in pic not great representation of true shade -sorry!), which at the time made me look rather rather deprived of Vitamin D or any form of daylight for that matter. Now, in gloomy February when I have next to no colour about me and I need all the help I can get when it comes to luminosity, this porcelain shade is perfect. It's a very liquid consistency and you only need a little product, it feels nice and light on the skin. I apply using my fingers then lightly buff into the skin with a brush. The finish is dewy and gives me a lovely fresh-faced glow. I personally don't find it very moisturising, I do find I need to use a moisturising primer before applying, it just seems to sit better on my skin when it's well-hydrated. I can imagine it looking a bit chalky on those with very dry skin. It lasts relatively well, definitely needs a light dusting of translucent powder to set, and I would have to reapply lightly after work if I were going out. In all, a good budget buy if you can find shade that's a good match for your skin tone.

Now, for the primer. L'Oreal's Lumi Magique Pure Light Primer certainly adds Luminosity to the skin. I'm all for a radiant glow, however, I do find it a bit much when used under the Lumi Magique foundation. Again, It's a liquid formula and a little goes along way. It's very white and very iridescent. I wouldn't wear this on its own - firstly, I find it a bit icy in hue, secondly, I look rather too luminous, making my skin just look shiny. Saying that, it's a great highlighter when applied to the tops of the cheek bones or under the eyebrows. I have also used mixed a pump or two with foundation, when I want a more dewy finish than the foundation I'm using achieves on it's own. I'm not mad about this and I'm not sure I'd repurchase, but it is a handy product to have, even if it is stashed at the back of a drawer.

Monday, 18 February 2013

Old favourites: Benefit and Nars Blushes

Benefit Coralista
This is not a new product and probably resides in the the majority of beauty enthusiasts make up bags, however, it is a goody. Many a pallid and washed-out day have been saved by it's gorgeous peachy coral glow. Coralista is super-pigmented, with a subtle golden shimmer - adding light and life to my sorry February complexion, lasting all day. I'd say the shade will suit most skin tones, and can be layered for depth of colour. As with all Benefit products, the packaging is fun and original, slightly chunky to keep as a staple in my make-up bag. I have the older version - which I think has slightly more product but no mirror in the lid of the box. I don't find the brushes particularly great, I tend to keep them but never use them. If you don't have this in your blush collection, I would definitely recommend it - it's my go-to glow for a grey day.

Nars Orgasam
Again, this is a much-hyped cult product, it has received a whole lot of love from many a beauty blogger. This divine blush gives a healthy flush to the cheeks, the most perfect pink glow. It's uber-pigmented, with a golden under tone that catches the light. This is a blush and highlighter all in one when worn higher on the cheek bones. The staying power is great - it last all day. My one and only peeve about this product is its packaging - the simplicity of it is sleek, though the rubbery texture its made from gets grubby so easily. Saying that, it fits easily into my make up bag and has a handy mirror in the lid. I held off buying this, trying other Nars blushes instead, I really don't know why I waited as it is just fabulous.

Friday, 15 February 2013

Maybelline Volum' Express ® The Rocket™ Mascara

Mascara is one of my lesser bought beauty products. I find one I like and stick to it, having been hugely disappointed in the past. I have two clear faves: high end - Benefit They're Real and high street - Maybelline Volum' Express ® The Falsies Flared™ Mascara. Both amazing, lengthening, flattering wonder products. So, when I went to repurchase the latter, I was taken over by my inner-economist on seeing an offer on Maybelline Volum' Express ® The Rocket™ Mascara. Given how much I LOVE Falsies, I thought I'd embrace this new addition with the same affection - I could not have been more wrong. Here I think it's fair to say that I was the fool - this mascara promises more in the way of volume than length, which it does adequately. It's brush is one of those hard plastic types and has very short bristles making it hard to remove excess product from. It's formula is fine, nothing special and requires the normal two coats I would use with most mascaras. I also find it takes a bit too long to set, leaving me with black marks under my eyes that I then have to try and remove without smudging my make up. On a plus, I found clumping has not been a problem and its pretty easy to remove at the end of the day, even with a gentle cleanser. In all, not bad just a bit, well...meh. I'll be sticking with my old faithfuls for the time being. Have you tried this product? I'd love to hear your thoughts.

Tuesday, 12 February 2013

Rimmel London: 60 Seconds Nail Polish in Caramel Cupcake

From time to time I buy a beauty product that makes some pretty brave claims on it's packaging. Rimmel London's 60 Seconds Nail Polish is one of them - 1 second application and a 60 second drying time, ummm, well I was dubious, to say the least. So, does it live up to it's name? Errr . . . Yes. Was I pleasantly surprised with the results? Yet another big fat, yes. This is an absolute gem. The flat brush makes for a super-easy application, I've given my nails two coats en route to a wedding in a moving vehicle (yes, really). It lasts a good 3 days without chipping and Rimmel London have a great colour range to boot. This subtle nude is shade 500, Caramel Cupcake. It has a gorgeous pearly finish and looks great at any time of the year. I'm a big fan of the low maintenance nude nail, any chips are a bit less obvious than they are on a darker shade and I feel I look like I'm making the effort without looking over done. This is the perfect shade to apply quickly on a Sunday night to see you through the working week. Have you tried this speedy polish?

Monday, 11 February 2013

Revlon PhotoReady™ Cream Blush

Aside from lip products, I haven't tried much in the way of Revlon cosmetics - they've just never grabbed me, until now, well aren't these two shades just the perfect antidote for winter? I have to say, I was transfixed, I needed a new blush like a hole in the head, but somehow, I just could not leave these two zingy shades behind. There are three shades in this range, I couldn't choose between Flushed and Coral Reef , which are somewhat more vibrant than the natural-looking Pinched, so as they were on an offer, I bought them both. Who wouldn't?

The formula of these blushes is silky-smooth, creamy and feels light on the skin. It's more of a cream to powder blush, not at all greasy and very easy to blend. The colour can be built up to the desired intensity, which is a relief - nice as they look in the pot, I'm not a big fan of the clown-esque look. I've tried applying with a stippling brush but found that it was much easier just to pat the colour on to the apple of the cheek with my finger and blend out. The colour lasts well into the day, I'd only reapply if I was going out after work. The finish is somewhere between matte and satin, I can't see any shimmer, but this isn't such a bad thing and contributes to its natural finish. I think out of the two shades I bought, Coral Reef is more suited to my paler skin tone, but both are nice on, just in my case I need to use in moderation. With the packaging, it'a case of form follows function - it's by no means a thing of beauty, a transparent plastic pot with a branded lid, though it fits sleekly into my make-up bag taking up very little room at all.

In all, these are a nice alternative to the everyday staples I normally go to, they give a healthy pop of colour to my otherwise pallid winter complexion. Have you got a favourite cream blush?

Saturday, 9 February 2013

L'Oreal Rouge Caresse: Sweet Berry & Dating Coral

Lip products have not long been included in my daily make-up routine. I seriously cannot bear the feeling of sticky lip glosses and my lipstick application skills have not changed since stealing my mum's aged 7. That was until I spent a little too much time plastering my hands with swatches and reading beauty blogs, realising that there were just so many really wearable lip products that led me no where near a lip brush.

I stumbled across the L'Oreal's Rouge Caresse by way of a happy accident whilst searching for nothing in particular and finally, I have found something that I can apply with no mirror and my eyes closed (if i really wanted to do that.) Easy-peasy application, just like a lip balm and it lasts a hour or so before reapplying. It feels really moisturising and silky smooth. The colours I chose are two beauties perfect for everyday wear - Sweet Berry (103) is a gorgeous,well, berry shade – not too red, not too pink. Dating Coral (301) is too pretty self-explanatory in hue – the perfect shade to add a pop of colour to the face and lift the complexion. At around £7, these are a lovely affordable, easy-to-wear lip product – I'll definitely be stocking up on a few more shades.

Friday, 8 February 2013

Pretty in Pink: Essie Fiji

Pastels are something I tend to avoid, not only in Winter, but generally. I much prefer a colour with a bit more substance, in any season. That was until I discovered Essie in Fiji - just soooo pretty. This subtle ballerina pink is the perfect shade for a manicured look and is a refreshing change from the staple nudes and reds I tend to favour on my nails. I'm a big fan of Essie polishes and was delighted to stumble across them in Boots, meaning I no longer had to trek to a Beauty Hall in town to get my hands on them. The formula goes on like a dream, though I do find a slightly smaller brush easier to work with. This particular shade takes 2-3 coats for a streak-free finish, it lasts up to 3 days without chipping with a base and top coat. I have to say, this is a gorgeous colour that will see me through to the summer months – now, bring on the sunshine!

Thursday, 7 February 2013

Dr Jart+ Pore Refine: Bubble Foam

We've all heard of the Dr Jart+ BB Cream, it's been raved about incessantly on blogs since it's launch in the UK, a super product that's worth the hype in my humble opinion. However, I hadn't read much on other Dr Jart+ products, so when I saw this and was in the mood for filling my basket with all things skincare, I thought I would give it a go.

A deep-cleansing face wash, this product claims to use a 'dual-bubble mechanism' to remove dirt and clear pores. The formula is thick, creates a creamy lather and feels luxurious to massage into the skin, rinsing off with water. I have to say - I'm not seeing two types of bubble when I use this product, but I am seeing clean, refreshed skin. I was pleasantly surprised to note that Dr Jart+ lists a number of herbal extracts – Witch Hazel, Sage and Rosemary as key ingredients - which may contribute to why this wash feels gentle and non-irritating on the skin. I haven't noticed any difference in my pores, though only use this once or twice a week to give my skin a deep clean - maybe with more consistent use, I would see a visible effect.

I do really like this cleansing wash and I can't wait to try some of the other Pore Refine products from the Dr Jart+ range!