Sunday, November 30, 2014

Disappointing products-The Controversial Ones

Ok so I have always been very honest on my blog about the products I review But I do fall for hype around products very easily-it's been said if I was an Eskimo I would buy ice-but these much hyped products just aren't doing it for me personally.  I wish they did but sadly they're wasted pennies in my opinion.

First up is the newly formulated YSL Couture eyeshadow palette but the limited edition Swarovski crystal encrusted version that was exclusive to Selfridges for £69 and named #4 New York (and in the normal range is called #4 Saharienne).  There are a couple of reasons for my disappointment.  Firstly the packaging gave YSL license to add a huge premium to the RRP and after having it once in my make up bag the 'sticker' on the palette is starting to come away on the bottom left corner.  For the £69 price tag a sticker is really poor quality and unacceptable.

But the formula does not wow me at all.  I really like the YSL Chromatics eyeshadows but this formula isn't hugely pigmented or smooth and doesn't blend as seamlessly as the Chromatics.  I have so many eyeshadows and this formula is disappointing.

My next disappointing item is the Wayne Goss #1 Foundation brush.  I am gutted that I don't like this as the quality of the brush is excellent-and I love the eyeshadow blending brush I have from Wayne Goss.  The bristles on this brush are super soft and don't shed at all but I find this brush so difficult to work with.  I find that the bristles soak up a lot of foundation and that the handle and the head are too small to get a good buffing action going.

I know, I know, the By Terry Ombre Blackstar being featured here is probably making you gasp right now but really I do not get the hype!  Granted they are better than the Laura Mercier Caviar Sticks (except Amethyst which is really good) but they just don't look as good on me as they do on others.  Here is Bronze Moon and Frozen Quartz.  I also owned and blog-saled Misty Rock which just looked really insipid and didn't last on me.  Don't get me wrong I think they are alright-they make a good base for eyeshadow but used on their own, again I just think they're ok-they crease a bit and I don't find the lasting power to be great.  They're nowhere near as good as the Trish McEvoy version-I cannot get enough of those!

Admittedly I don't hate the NARS creamy concealer but I do find it very thick and a bit difficult to work with.  I did use the whole tube but it's just such a hyped product I think I was expecting miracles and when it didn't deliver I was disappointed.  I actually prefer the much much cheaper Rimmel Wake Me Up concealer!

Finally, another controversial one...the Oribe Dry Texturizing Spray.  I am so glad I only bought the mini trial size (although it was still an eye watering £18).  I find this spray does nothing for my fine hair-it doesn't give any ooomph or grit to my roots or give me any volume or body.  I much prefer the much less expensive label.m or Charles Worthington versions.  I'll probably use it all up and in a way maybe it's a good thing I don't like it as that is one expensive addiction to develop!!

So tell me-am I insane for not liking some of these or do you agree with me?


Saturday, November 29, 2014

SHOW Beauty Premiere Haircare

Show Beauty Haircare review

I remember the day I shot this photo.  It was one of the hottest days in August at 9am in the morning.  If you look closely you can see the humidity on the products above.  I was outside for about 5 minutes but wowzers it was searing heat.

And I have been trying these four products from the incredibly beautiful Tamara Ecclestone's line 'Show Premiere' ever since to give them a good try out before posting my thoughts.

Because they're expensive right?  And if you're going to splurge on anything beauty related then it makes sense to read a couple of reviews.  I have to say I don't always stick 100% to this mantra but I figure most sensible people do!

I was actually gifted these four products by my best friend who told me they smelt amazing.  Whenever I visit London I tend to stay with Dani and I always find some amazing new beauty product she has picked up in her make up bag.

Considering how much I love beauty products, hair care is something I don't tend to buy that often or spend that much on-mainly because I am terrible at styling my hair.  Most days it gets straightened and a bit of texturizing spray spritzed through it.  Yet I think nothing of dropping £30 on a lipstick so I am not sure why I don't splurge so much on haircare.

So celebrity ranges?  Gimmicky?  Maybe some.  I have to admit I am really liking three of these products and have been using them daily.  They don't give me hair like Tamara's (mores the pity) but they definitely improve my hair.

There is a very grown up and glamorous air about these products.  I mean just look at the packaging-it makes me smile every time I see the decadent gold and crystal lidded bottles on my dresser.  You want to display these in the open.  The reason the products smell so good is that Tamara has worked with luxury fragrance house Givaudan.  Personally I love it but it is quite heady and noticeable so it's definitely worth a spritz in store if you're in Harrods or in Harvey Nichols where they are stocked here in Dubai.

Show Beauty Sheer Thermal Protect // £35

'The must have'

My favourite of them all, this makes a massive difference to my hair when I blow dry it.  This spray protects your hair from intense heat whilst improving its condition.  I spritz it onto damp hair and then blow dry.  It's difficult to explain but my hair feels protected.  The spray feels weightless but I can feel something on my hair.  My hair is very soft and manageable after using it and my straighteners literally glide though my hair.  It's love.  I'm halfway through the bottle already.

Show Premiere Dry Shampoo // £30

'The extremely luxe treat'

I wouldn't blame you for baulking at paying £30 for a dry shampoo when most of us are hooked on Batiste.  But I have to admit this has been my go to dry shampoo for the past few weeks.  It's a very fine, clear mist that leaves zero powdery residue in the hair yet mops up any excess oil.  It smells incredible and my hair is again very soft and manageable.  Would I buy this again for myself?  Probably not at £30 but I will definitely use every last spritz of this!

Show Premier Decadence Hair Fragrance // £55

'The one I am addicted to'

I could wear this as actual perfume I love it so much.  So yes, decadent and unnecessary but luxury personified this hair fragrance contains rosewater and coconut, caramel and almond, Madagascan vanilla and patchouli.  It also has aloe vera and vitamin E to protect the hair and jojoba oil for extra shine.  Spritzing this through my hair is my last step before walking out of the door and I am loving this little luxurious ritual.  It's longevity is really good and I am loving this paired with my two current favourite scents-Si by Armani and Fico di Amalfi by Acqua di Parma.

Show Premiere Working Texture Spray // £30

'The one I could live without'

This is an award winning product from the range but I just can't get it to work in my hair-I suspect that it's just too heavy for my fine straight hair.  The spray is a wet spray rather than a powder texturizing spray and I suspect perfect for curly haired and thicker haired girls and for giving ooomph to up dos!

It does dry instantly and there is no stiffness but it just doesn't add anything significant to my hair.

What do you think?  Do you splurge regularly on hair care and have you tried anything from Show Beauty?


Friday, November 28, 2014

Nails Inc Gel Polishes

Nails Inc launched a range of gel effect polishes and I picked up two when I was last in the UK-the cool mushroom 'Porchester Square' and the vampy berry 'Kensington High Street'.  Porchester Square is also available in the permanent polish range and is one of Nails Inc's most popular shades.

The gel effect polish gives the high sheen and 'plumpness' of a gel manicure (something I love) but without the need for a UV lamp or a soak off (my pet hate).  You just apply as a normal polish.

I really love Porchester Square.  It looks so polished and shiny.  It lasted the longest a nail polish has ever lasted on me-five days and it was still going strong with not one chip (I am the girl who has to usually change her polish every two days).  It applies smoothly and streak free.  I applied Essie First Base, 2 coats of polish then a top coat of Seche Vite to add more gloss and cut down on drying time.

Kensington High Street is a gorgeous vampy winter berry shade.  Slightly more difficult to apply without a streak free finish but the wear time was equally as good.

Removal is super easy with your usual nail polish remover.

I really can't knock this new formula-I suspect I might pick up the bright pink 'Downtown' and the baby pink 'Mayfair Lane' when I am next in the UK.

I purchased Porchester Square and Kensington High Street from Debenhams for £14 each.

Have you tried these new polishes?


Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Marc Jacobs Twinkle Pop Eye Stick review

Marc Jacobs Beauty Twinkle Pop Eye Stick

Marc Jacobs Twinkle Pop Eye Sticks // $28 each // Sephora

After a poor start with cream eyeshadow sticks I have recently finally had some success.  After disappointments from Laura Mercier and By Terry I feel like I have found two brands that have cracked it.  First up was the amazing Trish McEvoy 24hr Eye Shadow and Liner which I reviewed and adored recently and then these, a little surprise package in the form of the Marc Jacobs Twinkle Pop Eye Sticks.

I didn't read any reviews before popping these into my Sephora shopping cart-I just love the idea of lazy girl, 'swipe and go' eyeshadow.  And I love Marc Jacobs.

The packaging is sleek and silver-I am not a huge fan of the 'colouring pencil' tip but it's not massively offensive, just a bit childish.

Marc Jacobs Beauty Twinkle Pop Eye Stick

Swatched, it was pretty much love at first sight.  They seemed really creamy and pigmented.  There are 9 shades in the range altogether and I chose two very 'me' shades-Au Revoir and Three Shakes.

Marc Jacobs Beauty Twinkle Pop Eye Stick

Au Revoir is a pewter shimmer and can look gold toned and silver toned depending what light you're in.  They're pretty similar in terms of formula to the Trish McEvoy ones in that they're really creamy, don't tug at the lids and don't set hard drying out your lids.  They do both pack on the shimmer though and have a very metallic finish.

Marc Jacobs Beauty Twinkle Pop Eye Stick

Three Shakes is a metallic bronze.   This one is actually a little too creamy when applying-it's super super super pigmented, maybe even too pigmented which I know sounds bizarre but I felt like there was too much product on my lid initially.  But it's pretty easy to blend out and once it's on it doesn't move.

Marc Jacobs Beauty Twinkle Pop Eye Stick

Like seriously doesn't move.

I am so busy at work at the moment I am not checking my make up at all during the day.  Once my lipstick has faded it ain't getting reapplied.

The first time I wore these I caught sight of myself in the mirror in the elevator going up to my apartment (come on we all do it!) and my eyeshadow was still totally in place.  Like not faded or creased or anything.

I was so impressed I took a picture to show you 12 hours wear-with a flash as it was dark.  Ignoring the rest of my face my eyelids look pretty fresh right?

The Twinkle Pop's have an angled applicator meaning it's easy to swipe across the lids and I tend to use a small fluffy brush to smooth the outer edges (I use a MAC 217 for everything). 

I thought these might be pretty gimmicky but actually they're a pretty solid performer for foil finish, long lasting pretty lids.


Monday, November 24, 2014

Lip Six

Happy Monday!  I don't feel like this is the most exciting of Lip Sixes but here's my last six lip picks!

Top row (L) MAC Lustre lipstick in Plumful (R) Clinique Chubby Stick in Heftiest Hibiscus

Middle row (L) MAC lipstick in Faux (R) OCC Lip Tar in Trollop

Bottom row (L) Buxom lipstick in Centrefold (R) Chantecaille lip gloss in Pretty

Do you have a favourite?


Sunday, November 23, 2014

Chanel Camelia De Plumes Highlighting Powder for Holiday 2014

Chanel Camelia De Plumes Highlighting Powder for Holiday 2014

Chanel Camelia De Plumes Highlighting Powder for Holiday 2014

Chanel Camelia De Plumes Highlighting Powder for Holiday 2014

Chanel Camelia De Plumes Highlighting Powder for Holiday 2014

Chanel Camelia De Plumes Highlighting Powder for Holiday 2014

At first glance, this highlighter from the Chanel Plumes Precieuses Holiday 2014 collection does not look like something I would not ever consider putting my face.  It looks very 'tin man-esque' with its steely grey appearance. 

I was browsing Harvey Nichols in Dubai and the Chanel holiday collection had just hit the store.  The eyeshadow palette does nothing for me this year, it's just so dull.  And this highlighter looked pretty unwearable.  Until swatched.  You know, just out of curiosity.

And it's so beautiful.  Like ridiculously beautiful.  I love a good highlighter and this one is currently at the top of my highlighting tree.

The compact itself features a feather motif shaped like a camelia flower, a nod to Coco Chanel's signature flower.

The highlighter itself is unique to my collection-most of my highlighters have quite a champagne-y tone to them, but this is a definite sheeny white gold.  Sara from Color Me Loud has a great review and comparison swatches showing that although seemingly very cool toned (and works well on my pale cool toned skin), it's not too white nor silvery nor grey toned.

It's illuminating rather than stark when on the skin and not tin man-esque at all.

It's very limited edition and probably my favourite 'Holiday 2014' item I have picked up this year.  Good job Chanel.

My personal favourite review of this highlighter is from Karen at Make Up & Beauty Blog.  I think Karen's blog (along with her trusty sidekick Tabs) was one of the first beauty blogs I ever started reading and I am still hooked to this day.  She's hilarious, beautiful and her reviews are bang on.

I'll leave you with her thoughts:

If I could bathe in a claw-foot tub filled with this stuff, I would, and with as much as that would probably cost (according to my calculations and based on an 80-gallon tub, about $2.6 million), people would wonder if I made a deal with the devil. Looking at the otherworldly glow of my skin from the platinum gold sheen, they might also assume I was doing an extreme wheatgrass juice cleanse, but I digress… 

When light catches the high points on my face while I’m wearing this, it looks like there are creamy streams of starlight on my cheeks. 

Seriously. Lovin’ on this.

Tell me you're not running to your nearest Chanel counter now to check this out??


Saturday, November 22, 2014

NARS Radiant Cream compact foundation review

Nars radiant cream compact foundation

Just a quickie today with my thoughts on the NARS radiant cream compact foundation.

Am not sure why I bought this compact as I am not usually one for solid cream foundations that need a sponge to apply. (FYI you need to buy the compact and the foundation insert separately.  And I have lost the sponge.  The perils of having cats)

But hey I must have been persuaded to try it whilst browsing Space NK and after testing it out, overall it's surprisingly good.  But sadly not for oily skintypes like mine.

I personally don't like sponges for application but you could use the included sponge or a damp beauty blender.  I use a brush, dipping it straight into the compact and onto my skin.

It's surprisingly (that word again!) easy to work with and blend into the skin, it buffs in nicely giving a light to medium coverage but is easily buildable to a heavier medium to full coverage.  It's creamy but not tacky and leaves a dewy radiant finish.  This foundation is perfect for girls with dry skin-I am sure of it.  I find it gets a little too glowy too quickly for my liking.  A little too much radiance.

It comes in the usual NARS shade range-from Siberia to Khartoum but I had to go a shade down from my usual NARS shade so bear that in mind if you're ordering online your Sheer Glow shade may not be your Radiant Creamy Compact shade.

I bought the foundation for £28 and the empty compact for £7, both from Space NK.


Friday, November 21, 2014

By Terry Rouge Terrybly lipstick in Pink Party

By Terry Rouge Terrybly lipstick 301 Pink Party

By Terry Rouge Terrybly lipstick 301 Pink Party

By Terry Rouge Terrybly lipstick 301 Pink Party

By Terry Rouge Terrybly lipstick 301 Pink Party

The By Terry 'Rouge Terrybly Age Defense Lipstick' is a truly exceptional lipstick.  Like the best I have tried in aaaages.  And I try a lot of lipsticks!

Before we get on to the ridiculously beautiful colour lets talk packaging.  This is a £31 lipstick (I bought mine from Space NK).  That's about £6 more than your average Armani, Chanel or Dior lipstick-this is 'high' high end luxe.  And the packaging reflects it.  The silver bullet is sleek and sophisticated with By Terry engraved on the lid.  The inner bullet has By Terry embossed on it and the lipstick bullet has By Terrybly engraved into it.  Almost too perfect to use.  The lipstick also comes in a printed silk pouch, like a little sleeping bag for your uber posh lipstick.

The colour I picked up, 301 Party Pink certainly packs a punch.  It's a beautiful blue based bright pink.  I've tried to dupe it in my collection but just can't nail it-Nars Shiap is the closest I can find but the finish of it is completely different.

By Terry Rouge Terrybly lipstick 301 Pink Party

By Terry Rouge Terrybly lipstick 301 Pink Party

By Terry Rouge Terrybly lipstick 301 Pink Party

Sorry but I am going to absolutely gush about this lipstick!

It's wonderfully creamy and smooth to apply but isn't slippery.  I used a lip brush to apply (which I always do for bright colours) and it was opaque with one layer, not sticky and felt lightweight on the lips.  And the colour was so vibrant!!  The initial finish is glossy and lips feel nicely plumped-but with no tingle.  I personally dislike 'plumping' formulas that tingle but this formula uses Hyaluronic Acid which holds 1000 times it's own weight in water to do the plumping as well as collagen (you also find Hyaluronic in face plumping serums like Hydraluron).

It eventually dries down to a matte finish but the longevity is amazing.  The photo of me wearing it was taken 2 hours after I initially applied it.  Even after 10 hours there was a faint stain on my lips and the fade was even-and no bleeding out of the lip line.  It was also incredibly comfortable to wear with no drying.

By Terry call it flawless.  I completely agree.

It is officially lipstick love and I have been googling swatches of the range to add to my wishlist!


Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Philosophy The Microdelivery Peel

Philosophy The Microdelivery Peel review

Philosophy The Microdelivery Peel review

Philosophy The Microdelivery Peel// £59.50

I have to admit, I don't actually remember purchasing this.  My best guess is that I bought it last year from the Philosophy stand in Harrods when I flew back for a weekend wedding dash as that's the last time I remember looking at Philosophy products.

I've used it five or six times now in the past 3 months or so and I have to admit I really do like it.

Ok so lets start with the basics-this is an 'at home' two step facial peel designed to rejuvenate sun damaged, hyper pigmented and aging skin, gentle enough and designed to be used weekly. 

It contains two parts-vitamin c/peptide crystals and lactic/salicylic acid.

For those who are understandable unaware what the benefits of each ingredient listed above is here is a quick low down:

Vitamin C-Brightening, improves the appearance of sun damaged skin, reduces inflammation, boosts the effect of peels/microdermabrasion, promotes collagen production

Peptides-Little anti aging powerhouses, help skin to repair itself

Lactic acid-Classified as an AHA (alpha hydroxy acid), anti aging, helps acne, found occuring naturally in milk, fruit, vegetables and plants and thought to be gentler than its popular counterparty Glycolic Acid.

Salicylic Acid-Classified as a BHA (Beta hydroxy acid), chemically exfoliates the skin and can improve it's texture and helps with acne.

I was a little scared to use this 'peel' thinking it may be very harsh on the skin but I am happy to say that I have had no problems/breakouts/redness/irritation on my combination skin.

Firstly you massage a teaspoon of the yellow crystals into dry skin.  The directions say to massage gently for about a minute but as I am not a fan of manual exfoliants (ie one with scrubby bits in) I tend to massage for only about 20 seconds then leave it.  The crystals are set into a paste and are very fine, like granulated sugar.  You will feel a warming sensation on the skin.

After a minute you apply a teaspoon of the lactic acid solution into your palms and then press this solution on top of the crystals on your face avoiding the eye area.  The lactic acid solution is a runny gel.  Then wash your hands and leave the solution on your skin for up to 3 minutes.  It will foam a little as the crystals interact with the acid.

Rinse off gently, I personally prefer to do this in the shower to let the water wash off most of the peel and then use a damp flannel to gentle but thoroughly remove the remainder.

Afterwards my skin feels really smooth and soft and I have noticed that any recent spot scars are fading significantly after each use.

I'd definitely recommend this at home peel.  My only concern is you get a relatively small amount of product and I think I will get a maximum of 10 applications.  But it's quick and easy to use and I have seen visible results, positive results.


Monday, November 17, 2014

Lip Six

This weeks Lip Six!

Top row (L) Tom Ford lipstick in Cherry Lush (R) Charlotte Tilbury KISSING lipstick in Confession

Middle row (L) Lancome Lip Lover in 337 Lip Lover (R) Dior Fluid Stick in 479 Magique

Bottom row (L) Bite Beauty High Pigment Pencil in Chablis (R) Dior Rouge Dior baume in 668 Diorette

Which is your favourite?

Don't forget I have a 2nd Blog Birthday giveaway live on my blog-all the details are here


Sunday, November 16, 2014

Christian Dior Golden Shock Holiday 2014 collection-my picks

Dior Golden Shock Holiday 2014

Dior know how to do Holiday collections.  Well I think they do seeing as for the past few years there has always been something I have picked up-usually the eyeshadow palettes.

To me, Dior at Christmas is always rich, opulent and jewel toned luxe.  It draws me in and makes it seriously hard to resist.

The 'Golden Shock' collection is this years offering and it's the eyeshadow palettes that have again got my heart racing.  I've passed on the highlighter-undeniably beautiful but reports suggest that under the underspray the colour is somewhat dry and chalky with a strong yellow undertone.  I already own a couple of the Diorific lipsticks, in their signature 'golden dumbbell' packaging (my words, obviously not Diors).  This years 'half matte, half metallic' combo didn't really do it for me.  Polishes, again pretty and great quality but if you saw my nail polish drawer you'd be tutting and shaking your head-I just can't justify it.

Despite the fact I now seem to own 345,983 eyeshadow palettes I can however justify buying both eyeshadow palettes.  How could you not?  There is something so special about Dior eyeshadows-I am practically a collector.

Remember the Dior Mystic Metallics collection?  It was a totally Xmassy collection that launched in July last year.  They were beautiful palettes, the pigmentation was great but the fall out was horrendous.  And glitter everywhere.  I could never sell them though even though I don't think I have used them since because they are just too pretty.

This years Xmas collection palettes, Golden Shock and Golden Reflections have stuck with the more traditional Dior 'quilted' design pans with a glitter in the middle.  Rich, opulent jewel tones??  You got it!

Dior Golden Shock palette

5 Couleurs  // 756 Golden Shock// Limited Edition // £42

"Intense plum and taffeta pink wave a veil of couture colour across the skin, lit up with sequins and gold radiance"

Golden Shock is the warmer of the two palettes with plummy and golden tones. 

Dior Golden Shock palette

This palette has sadly left me unimpressed.  When I first swatched the palette and took the above pictures I thought the pigmentation was ok-not as immediate and deep as say the Charlotte Tilbury Christmas offering but pretty enough.

But when I have used the palette I have found the shades to be quite washed out and they fade really quickly.  I always use an eyeshadow primer so I am really surprised and a bit disappointed that by 2pm there was noticeably less eyeshadow on my lids.

The top left corner houses a seemingly vibrant 'cadburys' purple but when swatched it's a more matte aubergine shade with very very fine microglitter.  It's worth noting the microglitter in all the shades over the two quads is only visible in direct sunlight.  When applied it's a good crease colour but I am not achieving anything like the colour on the pan on my eyes.

Top right is a warm light bronze with a slightly plummy undertone-I absolutely adore this type of shade but again this shade has left me wanting more pigment.  This has a satin finish.

The bottom right shade is a warm peachy golden shade with an iridescent finish.  It's very very similar in tone to the top left shade in the Charlotte Tilbury 'Fallen Angel' quad.

The bottom left shade is the least pigmented of an already quite unpigmented quad and is a light shimmery soft pale pink with gold microglitter.  I can only really use this as an inner corner or brow highlight.

The centre shade is a glittery yellow gold with good pigmentation and little fallout.  It layers well over any of the other shades but is definitely a night time shade.  The glitter layered over the bottom right shade works well for a golden toned eye.

Dior Golden reflections palette

5 Couleurs  // 046 Golden Reflections // Limited Edition // £42

"Steely grey, icy silver and muted bronze dance with platinum and white gold effects"

Oh so beautiful in the pan, leaning more cooler toned and slightly more 'neutral'.  The top two shades are brilliantly smooth and pigmented when swatched but the bottom two less so.

The top left is a beautiful steel grey with complex multicolour microglitter when swatched.  On me, I can see a slight forest green undertone which I love.  Perfect for a smoky eye but actually it's terribly stiff and difficult to work with on the eye.  I really struggled to blend this shade out.

Unbelievably the top right colour is pretty unique to my entire collection, it's a dense slightly metallic bronze with yellow/olive green undertones.  I love it and it performs the best of the 5 shades.

The bottom right shade is a light grey satin with silver microglitter.  It works well with the top left shade for a cool toned smoky eye but again the formula is a bit dry and poorly pigmented.

The bottom left shade is again quite subtly pigmented and the only matte in the quad.  It's a golden toned matte beige and probably most suitable as a 'blending out' or brow highlight shade.  It's a little chalky and went patchy when I wore it as an all over the lid base shade.

The central glittery shade is much less pigmented in this quad and extremely wearable.  It's cooler toned than that of the Golden Shock palette and has an icy silver undertone.

Dior Golden reflections palette

Dior Golden reflections palette

Personally I am very disappointed with this years Holiday offering-Dior have done much much better palettes than this one.  I'm so underwhelmed I will probably sell these in my next blog sale.

What do you think?  Which of the two do you like best?

Can you resist the lure of Dior at Christmas?  Have you picked up anything from the range?

© Expat Make Up Addict | All rights reserved.
Blog Design Handcrafted by pipdig