Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Current nail favourites

I am clinging onto the festive season even though it's almost the end of January and glitter is so Christmas 2014.

But I still can't get enough of Marc Jacobs 'Petra' and Picture Polish 'Majesty'-the microglitter in them means they're a more subtle take on festive nails.

Petra is the darker of the two shades and is extremely complex.  It has a bronzey, plummy undertone and then multi-tonal microglitter leaning mainly golden in colour.  In dim light it can look look a standard dark polish-the light catching it makes it special.  The formula is great-non streaky and fully opaque in two coats.

Majesty is the lighter more golden toned of the two and is the polish I wore every single day from Xmas to New Year.  Because it is lighter in tone, any eventual chips or nail growth show up less which is perfect for lazy girls like me.  It's unbelievably pretty, a metallic pale gold with golden and pink sparkle.  Incredible under artificial lighting, my mum and dads bathroom lighting make the polish look mesmerising.  3 coats of this gets the best finish I have found.  Picture Polish is an Australian brand who ship worldwide.  Their polishes are full on amazing and also 3-free.  I have been gifted a couple of shades from their UAE distributor Emerging Beauty Brands but I bought this shade from Bloomingdales in Dubai Mall where they have great stock levels. 

And because both polishes contain the teeniest, tiniest micro sparkle they remove with normal nail polish remover with no trouble at all.

As a top coat I have also been loving the Nails Inc Kensington Caviar Gel Effect Plumping top coat.  I use it like Seche Vite, applying a 'bead' of polish at the base of my nail and then sweeping upwards applying quite a thick coat.  I find Seche Vite can try quite unevenly, leaving streak marks on the nail but the Nails Inc top coat not only dries evenly but super quickly as well.

I know it will soon be time to start breaking out the corals and pinks but for now, these two polishes have my heart.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Lip Six!

This weeks lip picks!

Top row-(L) Tom Ford Violet Fatale (R) NARS Velvet Matte lip pencil in Dragon Girl

Middle row-(L) Burberry Lip Cover in Oxblood (R) NARS Audacious lipstick in Brigitte

Bottom row-(L) Tom Ford Francesco (from the Lips and Boys collection) (R) Lancome Lip Lover in 337 'Lip Lover'

Which is your favourite?

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Kat Von D Studded Kiss Lipstick review

Kat Von D Studded Kiss Lipstick review

Kat Von D Studded Kiss Lipstick review

Kat Von D Studded Kiss Lipstick review

If ever a lipstick divided opinion as to whether it was great or terrible it seems to be this range from Kat Von D.  The Studded Kiss range is a relatively new range, not easily accessible in the UK but orderable online from Sephora for shipping to the UK.  And that's how I got my hands on these four from the range.

I resisted testing them for a few months mainly because my lips were in really bad shape following my surgery in July.  In fact it took about 4 months for them to be back to normal meaning I avoided anything matte that could even be remotely drying for fear of making them worse.

I have always thought this range was 'matte' but actually online descriptions on Sephora just say these are 'innovative lipsticks with a bold colour, 10 hour wear and luxe comfort'.   But the ones I have are all matte/semi matte.

So here are the answers to some burning questions I always consider when reading reviews.

Can I apply it straight from the bullet?  Yes, you can.  The pointed angled tip makes it easy to navigate the lip shape.

How is it to apply?  Good.  All the shades offer smooth application, no tugging on the lips and feel relatively creamy.  The formula isn't overly slippery meaning that application from the bullet is easy.

After I have applied it, am I going to have lipstick on my teeth?  No.  Phew.  And it's not going to bleed outside of the natural lip liner either.

What about two hours later?  Will it still be there?  Yes most definitely.  The staying power of these lipsticks is great.  You're looking at at least 6-7 hours.  And it easily survives my yoghurt and special k with berries current breakfast of choice.  Lovecraft and Backstage Bambi fade really evenly, the other two faded and left a bit of a ring round the outer lip line.

It's a matte formula.  Does that mean my lips will be parched?  Happy to say no.  I would describe my lips as dry and sensitive but I didn't find these lipsticks to be drying or clingy or chalky in the slightest.  I always prime my lips with lip balm, to keep these lipsticks 'matte' on the lips blot off any excess balm off your lips before applying.

So as someone who tries at lots of lipsticks, do you recommend this?  Yes I do.  I am not a massive fan of the packaging.  Yes it's unique in design but its a bit clunky and dare I say it, cheap looking.  It feels very plastiky.  But the formula offers rich, saturated, even colour on the lips, has great lasting power and doesn't strip the lips dry.  I love the shades I chose and would definitely consider trying more.

Have you tried any of these?  Everything I have tried from the Kat Von D range has been really good so far-I am impressed!

Friday, January 23, 2015

MAC Pro Palette-the Quads

I've done reviews of all three of my MAC Pro Palettes here (that will link you into palette 3 and that post has links to palettes 1 and 2 in it) and today I bring you my 3 MAC Pro Palette quads to finish this mini series.

Personally I love these kinds of posts for MAC shadow inspiration as I know the selection can be very overwhelming in store so I hope you enjoy it!

MAC Bronze, Swiss Chocolate, Sketch and Star Violet

Bronze is pretty much what it says on the tin.  It has a slight orange undertone so basically if you have blue eyes you need this shade in your collection.  It's really very versatile though and will pair well with browns, greens, plums and blacks.  A good all rounder.

Swiss Chocolate is a red toned brown matte.  I find MAC matte shadows to be a little on the chalky side in general but you just need to take a little extra time blending for seamless results.  Swiss Chocolate makes an excellent transition shade and looks particularly spectacular with green eyes.

Star Violet is a stunning shade with a very slight duochrome and a veluxe pearl finish which is my favourite of all the MAC formulas.  It's less red toned than MAC Cranberry and has a brown/pink tone to it.  There is a shade in NARS Dolomites that is similar.  Have a look at this beautiful eye look using Star Violet and Sketch on Heather Davern Make Up-that post made me buy both shades!

Sketch is a matte dark burgundy shadow with a velvet finish.  It works really well with Star Violet and other purple and plum toned shades.  I mainly use this in the crease and it's pretty easy to work with.

MAC Divine decadence, cranberry, tempting, sex and the oyster

Divine Decadence was a limited edition shade from 2013 but could be duped with something like MAC Antiqued.  It has warm copper and red undertones with a bronze base and a velvet finish.

Cranberry is a winter favourite-this deep cranberry red works particularly well patted over any cream eyeshadow base-I have been pairing it with the Trish McEvoy 24hr eye shadow and liner in Topaz.  It's frosted and jewel toned.  Here's some 'how to wear' inspiration again from Heather Davern.

Tempting is one of my all time faves.  It's just one of those shades that looks good on everyone but especially green and blue eyes as it has a slightly red undertone.  It's a metallic bronze which is very easy to work with.

Sex and the Oyster was another limited edition shade from the same collection as Divine Decadence.  This is a blackened teal, it's not duochrome like MAC Club but has a veluxe pearl finish.  It works well with browns, greens and greys.  Urban Decay 'Hijack' would be a good dupe if you like this shade although the undertone is slightly bluer.

MAC Honesty, Mythology, Soba and Haux

Honesty doesn't work well on my skintone.  MAC describes it as a pewtered bronze but it has a weird orange duochrome undertone and when applied it looks very sheer and glittery.  I am not a fan of this shade.

Mythology is a medium copper and is very similar to Trick from the Urban Decay Naked 3 palette.  It has excellent pigmentation and is easy to work with.

Soba is fantastic on blue eyes and another good all rounder.  This is a great matte neutral and is a warm gold brown shade.  It's an excellent crease shade and blending out shade.

Haux has similar properties to Soba in that its an excellent crease/blending out shade.  It's matte but easy to work with.  Its a warm toned plummy mauve and works really well with other purple tones.

MAC Nylon, Filament, Electra, Gleam

I only use Nylon as an inner corner highlight.  It's frosty and a pale yellow gold.

Filament has fairly poor pigment and large glitter particles.  Again this isn't a great shade to apply, it's uneven and has a lot of fallout.

Electra is a light grey shade with excellent colour payoff.  It works well with other greys and purples and would look good on everyone.

Gleam is another shade I am not a huge fan of-the Lustre formulas seem to be the worst ones MAC do (Gleam, Filament and Honesty are all Lustres).  It's a peach and gold duochrome that I don't use very often because of the poor pigmentation.

So there we have it, mini reviews of 16 MAC eyeshadows here and 45 more herehere and here.  You can also read a review of MACs pre made 'cool' palette here and my guide to depotting MAC eyeshadows here.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

The complete 180º-Nuxe Rêve de Miel

Nuxe reve de miel review

Nuxe reve de miel review

I hated my first tub of this.  I thought it was difficult to apply with its putty texture and it just peeled on my lips.  Am pretty sure it must have been binned.

But then I just kept seeing rave review after rave review about the Nuxe Rêve de Miel lip balm and, never one to not give in to hype I went and repurchased one.  And then it sat in my lip balm stash, unopened, untouched and unloved.

After my surgery at the end of July my lips were an absolute mess.  Painful, cracked corners-so dry they used to actually bleed.  I tried everything-and I mean everything.  Blistex, Carmex, my usual trusty Dr Lipp Nipple Balm, vaseline, the Body Shop Vitamin E lip balm and Zovirax-absolutely nothing gave me any relief.

Out of desperation and not expecting anything at all I dug out this balm.

It literally sorted my dry, painful, cracked lips out overnight.  I had found a miracle.

This is the thickest lip balm you're ever likely to come across and definitely works best when slightly warmed from the heat of your fingers.  I love the scent of oranges and honey and it just has this dreamy thick nourishing texture.  It's also matte so perfect for under lipstick but I do prefer to wear it at night and leave it on as an overnight treatment. 

I will never be without one now-a total 180º turnaround from my initial opinion.  I am so glad I gave it a second chance!