Sunday, 30 September 2012

New Products! MUA

I couldn't help placing an order on MUA's website upon the release of all their lovely new products last week. I was so determinedthat I interrupted my Sunday viewing of Downton Abbey to ensure I got some new bits and bobs before it all sold out- I know, dedication! I ordered the Artiste Collection palette, two Intense Kisses lipglosses, Pro-Brow Ultimate Eyebrow Kit, two Blush Perfection cream blushers, Shimmer Kisses Blusher, and I received a free Immaculate Collection eyeshadow palette as a bonus. Below are some pictures and brief comments on each product (longer reviews to follow!)

The Artiste Collection £6 

The good: I love the two blushers, bronzer and highlighter on the bottom row. I use a slight dusting of the peachy-pink blush followed by a pop of the brighter pink, before dusting the highlighter along my cheekbones and browbone. The packaging is attractive and I this would make a great stocking filler come Christmas time! 

The not so good: I haven't tested out the eyeshadows properly yet so I can't really comment, although I'm not too sure I'll make much use of the blue shades- that's simply personal preference though. The nude colours look very pretty, so I'm sure I'll be using those regularly. The brush is the usual MUA palette brush, it does an OK job but I prefer to use a different set of brushes. It's handy for on the go application though!

Pro-Brow Ultimate Eyebrow Kit £3.50

The good: I'm a sucker for a good eyebrow palette, having become converted to shaping and shading my brows at the start of the year. Polished eyebrows instantly make me feel 'ready' in the mornings, so I was excited to try this out. A bargain! The range of powders, from very light to dark brown, is excellent and they're easy to blend and mix if desired. The 'fixing gel' is also easy to use and helps give a neat finish. The mini tweezers are so handy, especially for after you've shaded and want to tidy up any stray hairs. They're nice and sharp making for an easy grip. The packaging feels quite sturdy and looks sleek. I've found the powder/gel combo lasts pretty much all day with no need for touch-ups. 

The not so good: The double ended brush isn't great. I usually use a Benefit brow kit which has a great little brush, similar in shape but much smaller. The brush in the Pro-Brow kit is waaaay too big for my eyebrows! You can't really tell in the photo but the angled head on each end is very wide, making it difficult to shape the inner corners of my brows. I like to give a good straight edge rather than rounded, and this brush is a little tricky to maneuver. The bristles look and feel very synthetic and kind of plastic-y, but it does sell for a bargain price so I'm assuming that's why the brush isn't very good quality. I have a slight issue with the the fixing gel, which reminds me of Vaseline and gives quite a shiny finish if not used sparingly. I prefer a wax, like in the Benefit kit, although the gel does the job- just try not to be too heavy handed! Overall I'd say the powders are great and the gel is OK, but the brush is disappointing. 

Shimmer Kisses Blusher (Pink Shimmer Kiss) £3

The good: I'm obsessed with MUA's mosaic blusher and so I had high hopes for the new Shimmer Kisses blusher. The four pink shades are a good variety, and it's easy enough to target one shade in particular if you need to. I use the lightest shade on the bottom left to highlight. The pigmentation is VERY strong, something I wasn't quite expecting- I know now to be light handed when applying! The blusher blends easily and compliments my pale skin tone. 

The not so good: Shimmer Kisses smells remarkably similar to the squeezy paint I used to use in Art class in secondary school. While it isn't an overpowering smell, and isn't something I notice once applied, I definitely do notice it when opening the blusher case. Maybe this is just me, perhaps I have a heightened sense of smell or something, but it is a little strange..! But, due to the texture/application/bargain price it's something I'm happy to live with. Overall I prefer the Mosaic blush and will continue to use that until it runs out, but this makes for a nice change every so often. 

Shimmer Kisses High Intensity Gloss £2

The good: I chose these based on the online swatches: on the left is Quick Kiss, on the right Smooch. They smell delicious, kind of vanilla-y which is nice. The packaging is cute, small enough to fit in a clutch bag on a night out, and they close very securely. I love Quick Kiss, a strong hot pink colour with a hint of shimmer. The gloss glides on easily. 

The not so good: While the gloss does glide on easily, it's perhaps a little watery and not as 'secure' as I would like. I prefer glosses to be fairly thick so as to ease my fear of the colour migrating away from my mouth as the night goes on! I'm not so keen on Smooch, although that's my own fault really as I based my decision on online swatches. It's quite an orange shimmery colour and not really a shade I'd usually wear. 

Blush Perfection cream blushers £2 

The good: On the left we have Bittersweet, on the right Blossom. Bittersweet is a light pink shade whereas Blossom is more of a nude brown. I had super high hopes for these as I love cream blusher and have been collecting cream blushers for a while! The colours seem very wearable and natural. You get a fair amount of product in each, again making it great value for money. 

The not so good: These blushers are definitely of the shinier variety of cream blush, rather than the creamy matte variety. I'm not sure how I feel about this as I haven't worn them properly yet, but having swatched them on the back of my hand I'm concerned by how sheer the colour seems to be. The texture is quite slippery, like a gloss, and doesn't seem very pigmented. However, as I'm yet to wear them I'll reserve judgement... I'll keep you updated! 

Immaculate Collection eyeshadow palette £8 (free on promotion) 

The good: A collection of 24 eyeshadows, this palette has some gorgeous colours which I'm looking forward to using. My favourites are the neutral and brown shimmers, navy blues, silvers and greys, and the forest green shade third on the bottom row. I'm so into forest green right now and love love LOVE the shimmer in that shade. I'm trying to convince myself to use more colour instead of relying on browns so hopefully this will encourage me to do so! 

The not so good: The applicator isn't brilliant but as I've got a set of make-up brushes which I use with all other eyeshadow products I'm not too bothered. The quality of MUA shadows is always great (I use the Heaven and Earth and Undressed palettes regularly), very easy to blend and very long lasting. And as this was a freebie it makes it that bit more special! Thanks MUA :) 

I'll be testing out each product properly over the next few weeks, so look out for detailed reviews in the future.

Friday, 27 July 2012

Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stains in Honey and Romantic

I seem to be buying a lot of Revlon recently but that's because they have so many gorgeous products out at the moment. I just can't help myself! I picked up two of their new Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stains in Honey, a nude-pink, and Romantic, a post-box red. 

The design of the pens is very similar to Clinique's Chubby Sticks, although I can confirm that the formulas feel very different, from scent to texture to colour (I have yet to review my Chubby Stick, but watch this space). The packaging of the Just Bitten Kissables is sleek, with a twist-up design meaning no need for sharpeners. I like the silver cap at the bottom of each stick and the way the colour of the tube denotes the colour of the product inside.

'Romantic' and 'Honey'
'Honey' and 'Romantic'
The pens smell extremely minty, which is great if you're a fan of mint, but not so great if you're not! One of my friends was immediately put off by this, but I happen to love mint and so am more than happy to use them based on smell! Revlon describe the pens as 'a pampering balm fused with a lightweight lipstain' that lasts 'hour after hour' (click here for Revlon website). Upon application the formula does indeed feel like a balm, and does feel moisturising. Once the balm feeling has worn off after a couple of hours they definitely do leave behind a stain, which does indeed last for hours. I tend to top-up every so often because the immediate balmy texture is so nice. 

The colour of the tubes gives a very accurate indication of the colour of the product when applied. 'Honey' is a nude pink colour, very flattering for everyday wear, and as such I've been using this one a lot. 'Romantic' is a post-box red colour, easy to apply and easy to blend without any wonky-ness or dreaded uneven lip-lining. I like to blend using my finger to give a more gentle effect. 


I really like these and will continue to use them regularly as part of my make-up routine. I think they're reasonably priced and I reckon they'll last quite a long time before needing to be replaced. 

Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stains are on sale for £5.99 each at Boots (usual price stated as £7.99)

Thursday, 26 July 2012

Pretty in peach pt 2 with Revlon Photoready cream blush & Sleek Blush powder

In my previous post  I wrote about the wonders of peach lip colours, and on my most recent trip to Superdrug I noticed Revlon's new cream blushers. I chose 'Pinched', a peach shade; there's also a pink one but I thought it looked a bit too bright for me. And, as you know, I'm head over heels in love with peach at the moment, so couldn't resist!

The packaging is simple and attractive, with a sturdy black lid (although on first opening the lid wasn't screwed on properly, meaning as I went to pry it from the cardboard box it came in, my finger slipped under the lid straight into the blush. Which left an annoying dent on the surface, but oh well, no lasting harm done). It's quite a big pot, making it good value for money. 

I've found in the past that some cream blushers can be tricky to smooth on to the skin, requiring more of a rubbing motion which inevitably wipes away the foundation underneath. Thankfully, the Photoready blush doesn't suffer from this, and smooths on easily. I tend to dab my middle finger in the pot before patting and smoothing onto the apples of my cheeks gently, which seems to do the trick. As you can see, the shade is a light peach, with a very slight shimmer. 

It gives a healthy glow and lasts a good four or five hours after application. But the fun doesn't stop there! I also picked up a Sleek powder blusher in 'Rose Gold', which is a gorgeous peachy-coral with gold shimmer.

'Rose Gold''
The packaging is, well, sleek (sorry) and neatly sized, with a little mirror enclosed for easy application on the go. 

I must admit, I've become a little obsessed with this blush. The colour is so summery and the powder is highly pigmented, making it easy to load on to a blusher brush, and easy to blend. It leaves a lovely shimmery sheen on cheekbones and I also dust a little down my nose and across my forehead (but only a little!) I love the shimmery finish as it makes me look a lot less pale without the need for bronzer or lashings of tinted moisturiser/foundation. 

'Rose Gold' on brush 
'Rose Gold'
The best part is, the two products work extremely well together in delivering a sun-kissed, peachy look. I apply the cream blush first followed by a light sweep of the powder along cheekbones, brightening the face and creating the peachy look I love. Combined with the Revlon lip products detailed in my last blog post, it's peachy perfection (I just can't resist a bit of alliteration..!)

Revlon Photoready cream blusher is on sale for £5.99 at Superdrug (click here)

Sleek powder blusher costs £4.29 at Superdrug (click here

Sunday, 8 July 2012

Pretty in peach with Revlon Colorburst lipstick & gloss

Although the weather is miserable and I'm wearing a big snuggly cardigan as I type, that's no excuse for not embracing summery make-up. I've become a convert to the peach lip, usually favouring pinks and corals, but now ever so slightly obsessed with juicy peach shades. 

Revlon kick-started my obsession with their Colorburst range. I know everyone's currently into Revlon's Lip Butters, which are indeed gorgeous (I've got two- click here for the review), but I decided to go for the Colorburst lipstick in 075 Peach and Colorburst lipgloss in 022 Sunset Peach. (A quick note- some Boots stores appear to have replaced Colorburst lipsticks with the new Lip Butters... I really hope that doesn't mean the lipsticks are being phased out permanently :s)

Here's a pic of the sleek black packaging, very easy on the eye:

Sunset Peach & Peach 
The lipgloss packaging reminds me of Chanel, which is only ever a good thing! Both products are generous in terms of content(although I accidentally pulled off the stickers that detail the exact weight etc- sorry!). The best part about these peachy beauties is that they look great layered together, by way of lipstick and then gloss. 

I've taken some photos of swatches, although unfortunately not any pictures of my mouth as I have a cold and don't feel too pretty at the moment :( But the colours on my hand really capture what the products look like upon application. 

075 Peach Colorburst lipstick

Lipstick swatch
The lipstick has a touch of gold shimmer and is an extremely flattering peach shade- not too orangey (it doesn't make your teeth look yellow!) with a good hint of coral. 

022 Sunset Peach Colorburst lipgloss

Lipgloss swatch
The gloss is a lighter peach, with hints of gold shimmer and a more 'nudey' tone. It feels moisturising and non-tacky. 

And now for the two mixed together...

Lipstick & gloss combined
It might not look that different in the photo above, but I promise that the lipstick and gloss combined give a really pretty gold-peach colour that refrains from being too orange, and looks extremely natural. Very easy to wear! Would go great with a light dusting of peachy blusher or bronzer and a sweep of mascara. Lovely! Now if only the weather would improve...

Revlon Colorburst lipstick retails for £7.99 at Boots, click here.

Revlon Colorburst lipgloss also retails for £7.99 at Boots, click here.

Saturday, 9 June 2012

L'Oreal Elvive Extraordinary Oil

I have good news! Drum roll please... I finally had a haircut! Aaaagh it feels so good to be free of split ends and dry hair, even if only for a few months. I also had my roots done which means I can wave goodbye to accidental dip-dye, embracing full on blonde for summer. Yippee! 

To celebrate I stocked up on some new hair goodies with the hope of maintaining the condition of my freshly cut hair. I spotted L'Oreal's new range of Elvive Extraordinary Oils in Boots and although I really wanted the one for normal hair due to the luxe gold packaging, I went for the red and amber bottle for coloured hair. 

L'Oreal Elvive Extraordinary Oil 
First things first, the size of the bottle is a definite plus, 100ml for under £10 (I got it on sale for around £6.99 and it retails for around £.9.99). You only need a little bit each time so it will last the duration of the summer and hopefully beyond. It claims to contain a 'precious blend of 6 flower extracts + UV filter' and promises 'versatile use, luminous colour, sumptuous softeness and weightless touch'. Everything you might be looking for to protect your freshly coloured hair. 

So, it is any good?

Product info
I really really like this product, and it has now replaced the Lee Stafford Argon Oil I had been using, which at £11.99 for 50ml (at Boots) seems a little expensive in comparison. The texture of L'Oreal's Extraordinary Oil is quite runny but easy to rub between hands before distributing evenly through damp hair. It has a very pleasant smell and soaks in well without leaving a greasy residue. It has a handy pump dispenser and the bottle is, if I say so myself, very attractive and professional looking. The only potential downside is that it's made of glass and is quite heavy, so I'm trying to be extra careful when handling it to avoid smashing it/cracking the sink with it..! 

I use it mostly on damp hair before drying, but I've also tried rubbing a small amount on the ends of dry hair and it gives a nice sheen while helping control frizz attacks. I've found that when used on damp hair it makes my hair look far more shiny and less static-y/frizzy when dry, and for that reason I'm going to keep on using it :) 

Monday, 2 April 2012

The perfect polish for showing off an engagement ring..!

I'm still in shock regarding the title of this blog post! I haven't written in a while as I've been busy working, studying and what not, and I didn't have anything that excited me enough to write about... until now!

On Thursday evening my wonderful boyfriend proposed, completely out of the blue, and of course I said yes :D After we'd done some celebrating and told family and friends, we went searching for the ring. Soon people were asking to see a picture, but I had a major dilemma on my hands (ho ho): what nail polish should I use to best compliment the ring?! 

I settled on Rimmel's new 60 Seconds polish in '200 Princess Pink', one I'd bought a few weeks ago but hadn't yet tried. It goes on a lovely pale pink with a good consistency and has a nice thick brush. I found two coats gave a perfect, even colour with no streaking. It dries super fast and has remained chip-free for the past four days. 

The ring! White gold & diamond :) And the nail polish!

Rimmel 60 Seconds in '200 Princess Pink'
(For anybody who's a sucker for an engagement story, click on the 'Sister Blog' link at the top of the page for my crazy ramblings about how excited I am... I'm GETTING MARRIED!!!!!!! WEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE! etc :p) 

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

River Island Lust List *I want so many pretty things*

There are SO MANY THINGS I want from River Island at the moment! Taking a break from studying, I visited River Island's website and spotted so many cute skirts, dresses and jackets. I'm seriously lusting over so much, so here's a little selection. Roll on payday!

Blue floral playsuit £18
I've never worn a playsuit before but this one is so cute, from the blue colour to the floral print and floaty fit. I like the v-necked front, making it wearable during the day with a vest top underneath if desired, and for evening without! 

Pink Aztec print mini skirt £15
 I'm so happy that this skirt is only £15 as it means it's in my price range! I'm a fan of pink and neutrals and I really like the Aztec print. I want to start wearing skirts now that it's warmer outside, and printed ones seem easy to dress up and down. I'm going to have to try this beauty on next time I go shopping.

Mid denim crop jacket £45
I really really REALLY want a cropped denim jacket, as well as a pastel coloured blazer and a black leather jacket, although I'm not sure I can afford to part with £45 on one item :s It is really nice though, and would go with everything (such as the playsuit and skirt above..!) So I guess I could count is as being an investment buy. Cost per wear would be peanuts!

Pink skinny trousers £20 on sale!!!
 These are on sale for £20! I need them in my life! I've wanted some colour-pop jeans for ages, and I love light pink. I'm not sure if they'd be acceptable work wear, BUT I could always test them out and see if anyone says anything. *Sigh* these are gorgeous. 

 Lace belted skater dress £35
As well as skirts, I really want to make more of an effort to wear dresses, especially as they're so easy to wear; all you need is a jacket (hello cropped denim!) and some pumps and you're good to go.

Until next time! :p

Sunday, 18 March 2012

Collection Cosmetics Cream Puff in 'Cotton Candy'

I used to love a bit of Collection 2000 (now called Collection after a branding re-vamp) when I was younger, and I've discovered some products that have sneakily become staples in my make-up bag over the past few weeks. I now use Collection 2000 loose powder every day to set my make-up as it's brilliant at preventing shine. 

My latest finds are the Cream Puff Moisturising Lip Creams (£2.99 each in Boots & Superdrug stores), and I was drawn to 'Cotton Candy' as I wanted to try out a brighter pink than usual. Collection describe the product as being a 'velvety soft, matte finish lip cream'.

'Cotton Candy' 
Swatch of 'Cotton Candy' Cream Puff
The colour of the cream pretty much matches the colour of the packaging, which is handy as it means you don't have to fiddle around with numerous testers in store! 

Creamier than a lipstick while matter than a lipgloss, the texture is a cross between the two; smooth and easy to apply, without being glossy and without being drying, it sets quite quickly once applied, in doing so reminding me more of a lip stain. Yet it feels much creamier than a stain; it's hard to describe! Once dried it leaves a gorgeous matte opaque texture/colour. It has a lovely sweet, creamy 'candy' smell, without being overpowering. As for pigmentation, it really does resemble the colour of the packaging, and can be layered to give deeper intensity. 

I paired it with a lip pencil from Boots 17 in 'Buff' (£2.59), drawing around the lips with the pencil first in order to lock in colour and prevent any bleeding:

As a very natural shade it doesn't show too much but I find it helps secure colour and provides a good outline for when applying bright colours. 

I applied two layers of 'Cotton Candy', waiting for it to dry in-between to judge whether or not I wanted more colour. Here's the result:

Close-up of 'Cotton Candy' 
Considering this little gem only costs £2.99, I'm very impressed and really like the matte effect it leaves on the lips. It may look a little drying in the close-up picture, but it really doesn't feel that way at all, I think it's more to do with my camera!I'm usually a little tentative when it comes to brighter colours but the matte texture makes it flattering and it's extremely comfortable to wear. A true beauty bargain that delivers on it's promise :) 

Friday, 16 March 2012

My cry for the perfect nude lip, answered by e.l.f Studio Matte Lip Color!

I think I've worked out where I've been going wrong in my hunt for the perfect nude lip. I've always equated nude with beige, or with brown, when actually a much better nude seems to be one with a red tint. Red! The colour I've always shied away from! The colour I always tend to avoid when lipstick/lipgloss shopping! Well, it seems I was being rather narrow minded in my quest for nude, but to my joy and astonishment I seem to have stumbled across the very colour I was unknowingly looking for...

e.l.f Studio Matte Lip Color Natural 
Enter e.l.f Studio Matte Lip Color in Natural (£3.50). It might not seem that red in the picture above, but wait until you see the swatches. As part of a recent e.l.f order I popped one of these in my on-line basket, intrigued to see if it would be a good fit for me, the on-line swatch showing a pinky brown nude colour and the 'Natural' name tag luring me in. Perhaps this could finally be the one...  

(I couldn't get any close-up shots of my mouth because I'm still fiddling around with my camera, but hopefully the pic above shows the red-ness of it!)

e.l.f Studio Matte Lip Color 'Natural' 
I can't even begin to praise this little pencil enough. I tested it out today, having waited a few days (I know! Crazy! To think what I was missing out on!) First I used it to line my lips. So far, so good, I thought to myself as I drew it on; smooth, easy to twist up, soft enough to prevent dragging, and a nice colour. I proceeded to fill in my lips, noticing how creamy the consistency of the pencil was, and how it left a lovely matte texture. And then I noticed that it had a slight red tone to it. Not beige or brown-nude, but more of a pink-red. And it hit me that I'd assumed I'd need a paler shade. But no! 

The longer I left it on, the more excited I became about it, due to it's staying power- a lunch of chicken pie and chips, and three cups of tea. Which is pretty impressive if you ask me. The matte texture remained; the colour didn't bleed; it didn't disappear, it didn't leave me with an awful red-pink lip line. 

I am truly converted to the joy of a natural reddish lip. It doesn't feel garish, it doesn't feel as if it's 'too much'. It feels like the  nude lip I've been searching for all this time. 

Thank you e.l.f!!

Ooh, a mystery parcel, what could it be...? The Goddess Collection from MeMeMe!

Last week I was at home, studying (ahem, well, blogging) when a mystery parcel arrived. What could it be? I was sure I hadn't ordered anything and so I was sure I wasn't expecting a delivery. 

Upon opening it, I came face to face with a MeMeMe Goddess Collection make-up set :D

I immediately got on the phone to the boyfriend, and lo and behold, he'd spotted it on Groupon for the bargain price of £12.99 and ordered it for me :) Amazing! A boyfriend who actively encourages my love of all things beautiful :p

MeMeMe Goddess Collection

 Retailing for £29.99 on MeMeme's official website, this is something I probably wouldn't normally purchase, BUT, it being my first foray into MeMeMe cosmetics, and it being such a great bronzing kit, I've had to reconsider my stance. The set consists of five products, meaning you actually save a bit of money buying it as a set, rather than purchasing the items separately in Superdrug stores. 

Lipgloss, liquid highlighter, nail polish, shimmer brick & eyeshadow quad 

As written on the back of the box, the set consists of:

  • Goddess Eyes Baked Powder Eyeshadow Quad Palette
  • Sunbeam Illuminating Complexion enhancer & radiating highlighter cream
  • Bronze Shimmer Stack- High Pigmentation bronzing powder compact
  • Nail Gloss in 'Elegant' Opulent High Gloss finish with Maxi-brush
  • Light Me Up Lipgloss in 'Captivate' frosted brown with built in light & mirror

First up, Goddess Eyes Baked Powder Eyeshadow, consisting of a pearly light gold, a strong gold-bronze, a nude-brown gold and a darker shimmery brown. (I love neutrals and golds!)

I'm afraid the picture isn't great but I hope you can make out at least three of the colours on my arm. The pigmentation is strong, meaning only a little is needed at a time, and the colours complement each other very well. 

Next up, Sunbeam Illuminating highlighter cream:

Highlighter fluid straight from the bottle...

... and blended into skin 
This reminds me of other popular liquid highlighters such as Benefit's Moon Beam. It has a good consistencey: creamy and not too runny, and it blends in easily. It gives a subtle gold shimmer, perfect for using to highlight cheekbones/browbones. 

Now for my favourite part of the set, the Bronze Shimmer Stack, which again reminds me of more expensive brands such as Bobbi Brown. This gives a gorgeous rich flush of colour, a blend of gold and bronze without the dreaded orange. I can't wait to use it when I'm on holiday this summer to give my tan a boost.

Bronze Shimmer Brick
One sweep with bronzing brush 
Applied to skin with brush 
As you can see in the picture, the pigmentation of the bronzer is strong, which means starting with a light sweep rather than loading your brush up with lots of powder. I love the colour it gives, and I bet it will work excellently at contouring cheekbones and highlighting a tan. I'm also tempted to try it out on my legs, brushing a light layer along the shins to illuminate.  You can also use the individual stripes of colour as pretty eyeshadows. 

The Nail Gloss in 'Elegant' gives a solid colour with only one application, which is fantastic as I hate having to apply multiple layers of nail polish. The colour is a true molten gold:


One coat of polish
Last, but by no means least, Light Me Up Lipgloss in 'Captivate', a creamy frosted brown-gold colour that comes not only with a handy little mirror on the side of the tube, but with a built-in light to enable easy application even in the darkest of places! Ingenious :) 

Can you see the little light?!

At first I thought this might be a bit too bronze for me, but it actually shows up as a very nude shimmer, which I like. It also has great staying power! 

So there you have it, my introduction to MeMeMe cosmetics, a brand I'd never used before but will certainly be paying much more attention to the next time I'm in Superdrug/doing a spot of on-line shopping. The set may come with a price tag of £29.99 but the quality of each item in terms of pigmentation and texture makes it a good rival to more expensive designer brands offering similar products. Definitely recommended!