Friday, July 31, 2015

Epic empties post!

Due to travelling I didn't do an empties post at the end of June so here is an epic two month empties post with tons of skincare worth talking about!

DEFINITE REPURCHASE-Clinique Mild Clarifying Lotion

Love this mild exfoliating toner from Clinique.  Caroline Hirons spoke about it and I purchased it because it contains salicylic acid-great for hormonal skin like mine.  I have already repurchased and I spoke about this in depth here in my Hormonal Acne post.  It's very gentle so if you're new to exfoliating toners this is a great place to start.  It won't break the bank either.


Personally I do not use micellair water for cleaning my face unless I am a) on a flight b) very very very tired or c) very very drunk!  I use it only for removing eye make up and I really like Bioderma to do this.  It's really effective at removing even stubborn mascara and is a permenant fixture in my bathroom.  When I have used this to remove make up I find it very drying but it doesn't irritate my eyes at all.  But not for face.  No way José.

DEFINITE REPURCHASE-Rodial Dragons Blood Cleansing Water

My micellair water of choice for when I am travelling (and I mean for removing make up on long haul flights) is the Rodial Dragons Blood Cleansing Water-I use it to remove my make up as soon as I get onto the flight.  I feel like this one is really gentle but effective.  It doesn't dry my skin or cause it to break out.  'Dragons Blood' is the red sap from the Croton Lechleri tree and is used for medicinal and healing purposes. It is ideal for sensitive or stressed skin to plump out fine lines and protect from dryness.  No dragons are hurt in the making of the cleansing water.

One negative-it has terrible packaging and leaks everywhere.  I have to decant mine into travel bottles.  This is the second bottle I have had that leaks which is frustrating as this is quite an expensive product.


I've talked about this several times on my blog-read my full thoughts here about this wonderstuff.

DEFINITE REPURCHASE-Clarins Pure Melt Cleansing Gel

My third tube of this slightly addictive, apricot scented, effective cleanser.  Great for removing make up, you massage the non sticky gel into dry skin where it turns into an oil on contact.  I then emulsify it with water and finally remove any excess with a wet flannel.  It feels like a really luxurious treat at the end of the day and feels lighter on the skin than the cleansing balms I have been using over the past year.  I always travel with one of these as I know it doesn't make my skin break out.

MAY REPURCHASE-Sunday Riley Ceramic Slip

My second bottle of this cult cleanser but I wasn't as blown away the second time as I was the first time when I used it.  Read my initial thoughts here

DEFINITE REPURCHASE-Clearasil Daily Face Wash

If my skin breaks out I turn to salicylic based products to aid and repair, and to stop further breakouts.  I felt like a teenager buying this but it really helped my skin and this is my third tube.  Read more thoughts here.  Thank you to Antonia from Mac and Cheese  for recommending this to me!

HAVE ALREADY REPURCHASED-Sarah Chapman Skinesis Rapid Radiance Cleanse

I reviewed this clay based cleanser from Sarah Chapman in full here and already have a back up stashed away.

DEFINITE REPURCHASE-Aveda Kinetics Exfoliant

I don't normally include samples in my empties but I was blown away by this exfoliating toner by Aveda.  It feels much stronger than the Clinique version and I don't use it every day but if my skin is starting to break out, I sweep this over my skin after my evening double cleanse and my skin definitely looks clearer the next day.  I want a full size!

WON'T REPURCHASE-Perricone MD Intensive Pore Minimiser

This is another exfoliating toner and it is very gentle on the skin and leaves skin clear and calm.  I really like it but it is ridiculously expensive for 118ml at £50.  The results aren't that good for that price.


This water based moisturiser is perfect for hormonal skin and I have just picked up a replacement.  It's the perfect light, cooling, hydrating pot of goodness that doesn't clog pores and is great for hot and humid environments.

MAY REPURCHASE-Japonesque solid brush cleanser

I really liked this goats milk solid cleanser for cleaning brushes-especially foundation brushes.  I wrote about it further here but it is quite expensive for what it is.  I still use Johnsons Baby Shampoo the most!

WONT REPURCHASE-Guerlain Les Voilettes Loose Powder and Lancome Grandiose mascara

Both of these products were in my recent The Undecideds and I still haven't changed my mine on them.  Both mediocre at best.

WOULD REPURCHASE (If it wasn't limited edition) Shu Uemura Shupette blush

A great cream blush from Shu Uemura-easy to blend, long lasting and the cutest packaging ever!

ALREADY REPURCHASED-Anastasia Clear Brow Gel

One of those every day staples I rely on but never really talk about!  I love the Anastasia clear brow gel-it keeps brows in place, doesn't go hard or crusty and lasts a very long time.

MAY REPURCHASE-Hourglass Brow Arch

This hard brow pencil from Hourglass lasts forever and is great if you have fairly decent brows that just need a little grooming.  It has an angled, retractable nib that makes shaping brows easy and its dry but almost waxy in texture.

MAY REPURCHASE-Estee Lauder Little Black Primer

Definitely an extra step but I really loved this new lash primer from Estee Lauder.  I wrote a glowing post on it here.  Unnecessary yet totally necessary yes?

That was a long one!  Have you tried any of these products?


Wednesday, July 29, 2015

US drugstore disappointments

If you're a regular reader of my blog you'll know I mainly blog about high end make up over drugstore.  But I am not a 100% make up snob (maybe just like 99.7%) and I know sometimes the drugstore brands produce some amazing bits!

In the States recently I went to Walgreens a lot.  I think Walgreens is amazing-you can literally buy everything there!

So I went a bit wild in the aisles in there and CVS.  I don't mean to be a negative Nelly, and there will soon be a 'drugstore delights' post coming but today I am sharing some of the products I picked up that have disappointed me.

Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Concealer (or so I thought) $11.99 for the treatment make up/$9.99 for the concealer

I made such a cock up here.  I have heard such good things about the Maybelline Instant Age Rewind concealer and really wanted to try it and on our first night in Chicago I made Mike wander round CVS as this was high on my wishlist.

In CVS my first thoughts were 'there are loads of shades of this' and then 'there don't seem to be many light shades'.  When I got back to the hotel I tried it and I was at a loss how bad it was.  It felt oily and slippery and had barely any coverage.  I bought the lightest shade and it was almost an exact match to my skintone so didn't conceal or brighten my undereye area.  I was sure I had bought a dud.  And the packaging is just disgusting.  I knew this of course, that it had the sponge tip but it feels so dirty as soon as you use it.

So I started to google reviews when I got back to Dubai to try and work out why I was going wrong and that's when the penny finally dropped.  There are two versions of the Maybelline Instant Age Rewind-the concealer and the 'treatment make up' which is a foundation product and is I actually what I have bought.  I guess that explains why there are so many shades.

I'm pretty gutted I picked up the wrong item but I still wouldn't use this as a foundation.  The texture is very oily and watery and the coverage is minimal.  It doesn't seem to dry on the skin and the sponge applicator just feels like germ attraction central.  When I am next in the UK I probably will still try and pick up the concealer as people do rave about it.  Available UK and US but not Dubai.

Nuance/Salma Hayak-Dual Phase Makeup Remover $8.79

I needed a new eye make up remover and picked this up also in CVS on our first night.  Unfortunately it was really ineffective at removing mascara and left me with serious panda eyes.  The formula is gentle and doesn't sting, nor leave oily residue but I needed it to remove my mascara which it just didn't!

CVS by the way is amazing for deals and their loyalty programme is worth signing up for even if you're on holiday.

L'Oreal Infallible Pro Matte foundation $12.99

I did a complete 180 on this foundation after a few days use.  Again it was something that was high on my wishlist and I picked up shade 101 Classic Ivory (the palest shade) in CVS.

I started using it straight away and I thought it was really good and I was raving about it to my friends.  However I have actually changed my mind on this.  Firstly it doesn't work well with all primers-it's fine with radiance primers but seems to split over matte primers.  That seems a bit odd to me-if I want a matte finish why would I use a radiance primer and then a matte foundation?  It does have a matte, almost flat finish to it and the matte finish does last-but I do find that this foundation settles into the tiny pores around my cheeks/nose, even with a primer underneath.  It's medium coverage but it's nowhere near as good as I expected it to be given several youtube gurus' glowing reviews.

Physicians Formula Shimmer Strips Custom Eye Enhancing Shadow and Liner Nude $11.95

This is a really cute and well packaged palette of neutral shimmery tones which on the face of it is right up my street.  But the formula is so tightly packed that I struggled to pick up any colour at all on my eyeshadow brush.  I really had to dig into the palette for any colour payoff and the shadow on the lid was incredibly sheer.

If the texture was a little softer I think it could have been a really handy little palette.

Have you tried any of these products?  What are your thoughts?

Monday, July 27, 2015

Lip Six

lipstick swatches

Hello from Cairo!

I have an insane week ahead but I do love it here and I am currently in my hotel room pondering the room service menu.

I've never snapchat from Cairo before so I thought I would snapchat some of my week whilst I am here-you can add me 'Stadybelle' and send me your Snapchat name too!

Here is this weeks Lip Six, mostly neutral with a pop of red for the first day I was back in the office last week-jetlagged and man flu-ed up!

Top row (L) NARS Audacious lipstick in Anna (review coming soon!)  (R) Tom Ford lipstick in Cherry Lush (review!)

Middle row (L) Tom Ford Lips and Boys in James (LE but also a repromote of Twist of Fate-review) (R) By Terry Hyaluronic Sheer Rouge in 2 Mango Tango (review coming soon!)

Bottom row (L) MAC matte lipstick in Mehr  (R) Charlotte Tilbury K.I.S.S.I.N.G lipstick in Bitch Perfect (review!)

Which is your favourite?

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Clinique Anti Blemish Solutions BB cream review

Clinique Anti Blemish Solutions BB cream review

I have always steered clear of the really watery foundation formulas that many people love-like the Chanel Perfection Lumiere Velvet and the Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua AND I have always steered clear of BB creams so to be writing a glowing review of this watery BB cream comes as big surprise to me.

I've always gone for the more industrial strength foundation formulas-Estee Lauder Double Wear, MAC Studio Fix/Pro Longwear/ Dolce and Gabbana Perfect Matte-all life.  I like coverage.  I want plastic skin.

I first heard about the Clinique Anti Blemish Solutions BB cream from Make Up By Tiffany D one of my favourite, no nonsense YouTubers a good few weeks ago and I was pretty sold on it after her review.  Then Laura spoke about it and she liked it as well so I headed out to the Mall of the Emirates to track it down.  The SPF40 in it was a bit of an additional selling point given we were just about to go on holiday when I bought it.

A couple of negatives/points to be aware of:

a) if you're buying this in Dubai, don't expect the SA to know much about it.  The SA in Harvey Nichols couldn't even find this product on her counter
b) the shade range is poor.  Only 5 shades.  I bought the lightest (obviously).  Even that looked scarily orange and almost put me off buying it
c) it's not with the make up on counter, it's either with the skincare (specifically the anti blemish solutions range) or hidden away on a small standalone tray, not even on general display (as in the Harvey Nichols case)
d) it doesn't contain spot fighting ingredients as far as I can see-like salicylic acid for example-this is more of a 'non irritating' rather than a 'treatment' formula.  Don't be put off by the 'anti blemish solutions' tag if you have overall good skin
e) I wouldn't wear this for a night out where my photo might get taken as the SPF in theory will cause horrendous flashback
f) when you wear something that has this amount of SPF you must must must (preferably double) cleanse well as SPF is designed to stick to your skin and not removing it properly could lead to breakouts

So yes, the formula is very very watery and thin and the bottle needs a good shake before using to ensure none of the product is separated and all the pigment is mixed well.  Personally I think it applies well with something like the Real Techniques Expert Face Brush or a similar dense foundation brush or your fingers.  This is like no 'bb' cream I have ever tried before.
  • It gives great coverage.  It pretty much covers all my redness and old scars and if I have no active breakouts I don't need any additional concealer.
  • When I first apply it, the colour seems to match my skintone perfectly.  It does oxidise a little bit so I make sure I blend really really well down my neck as that is significantly paler than my face because I have quite strong red undertones on my face.    
  • It's incredibly lightweight, it feels like there is nothing on your skin.  
  • Initially the coverage is matte (without being flat or powdery) but as my natural oils come though it does go more dewy-but actually I am ok with it.  It's really natural and doesn't settle into those annoying tiny pores I have round my cheeks/nose
  • It's easy to blend-9 times out of 10 I use a brush to apply foundation but there are no annoying brush strokes that take ages to blend in.
  • It's not drying in the slightest which you might expect from the 'anti blemish' tagline. 
  • It lasts all day on me with minimal re-touch ups of powder.  I do use a primer and I have found whether I use a mattifying or a radiance primer this 'bb cream' sits well over both.
  • It doesn't break me out
I am really impressed.

Personally I think Clinique are missing a whole market by targeting this is an acne product.  It would be much more interesting to market it as a non-comedogenic lightweight liquid foundation akin to the Chanel Perfection Lumiere Velvet but with a much more accessible price tag.

What do you think?  Is this new foundation something that has been on your radar or have you overlooked it as something for a very specific skin type?


Friday, July 24, 2015

Marc Jacobs Beauty Lip Creme in Infamous

Marc Jacobs Beauty Lip Creme in Infamous

Finally getting round to jotting down my thoughts about the Marc Jacobs Beauty Lip Creme in Infamous which completes my reviews of the trio above.  You can read my thoughts on the blush in Reckless here and my thoughts on The Enigma palette here.

The Lip Creme in Infamous is probably my favourite of the above three and is part of the newly formulated lipstick line.  Initially Marc Jacobs launched the LoveMarc Lip Gel lipsticks in the same packaging and bullet shape but in all honesty they weren't great-the biggest problem being that they moved around as they were so slippery in texture.  I used to find the colour randomly on my cheek and constantly on my teeth.  That formula has now been discontinued and replaced by the Lip Creme.  And my first experience in the shade Infamous has been nothing short of fabulous.

Marc Jacobs Beauty Lip Creme in Infamous

Marc Jacobs Beauty Lip Creme in Infamous

Infamous is described as a soft peony and it's a suit all muted pink.  The finish is glossy and the application is so smooth.  The colour is rich yet feels weightless and the colour doesn't move around at all.  It's a massive improvement from the LoveMarc formula.

Since I purchased this one from Sephora ($30) a couple of months ago I have since bought two more shades-Kiss Kiss Bang Bang (described as 'baked rose') and So Sofia (described as Electric Watermelon) so I am hoping the formula of those is as good as Infamous.

Infamous gets a definite thumbs up from me for luminous, glossy and hydrated lips.  And nothing on my teeth!

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Oskia Perfect Cleanser review

Oskia Perfect Cleanser review

I really loved the Oskia Renaissance Cleansing Gel and featured it in my 'holy grails of 2014' blog post at the beginning of this year.  I wanted to try more from Oskia and picked up the 'Perfect Cleanser' balm cleanser from Space NK.

I feel like I am getting to know my skin type more and more and what it does and doesn't like.  I love the fact that on the Oskia website there is a FULL list of the ingredients for each product meaning I can easily avoid making any expensive mistakes-I personally have to avoid cocoa butter totally, actively avoid mineral oil and I try to avoid lavender.  It can be so frustrating to buy an expensive product based on the ingredients listed on the website and then find when you receive it that they haven't listed them all and actually the product contains something I want to avoid!

I've used nearly all of this now and feel in a position to share my thoughts on this cleanser.  I have to admit at first I didn't 'get it' really.  The Perfect Cleanser is a very thick, nourishing balm and I have been using it as my first make up removing cleanse.  I find the rose scent very calming and relaxing and similar to the Renaissance Cleansing Gel.  It is emollient and relatively easy to massage into the skin but when I apply it to dry skin using dry hands, it sticks to the skin like no other cleanser I have tried.  It's difficult to rinse off and doesn't rinse clean.  I must use a damp flannel to ensure it's thoroughly removed from my skin.

However, when I really started to enjoy using the cleanser is when I started dampening my hands first and then applying the balm cleanser to my dry face that way.  The balm is much easier to spread and doesn't feel so sticky.  I still highly recommend using a flannel to remove this cleanser but my skin feels calm, nourished and plump after use.  It's really effective at removing make up as well.  It could be argued that given the high quality of the ingredients in the cleanser that you may want to use this more as a 'treatment' second cleanse rather than one that removes make up but I'm comfortable to recommend it as an effective make up remover AND treatment cleanser.

I really do think that this cleanser would be fantastic for dry and mature skin as it is so nourishing.  It's also great for frequent flyers like myself and really helps to restore the balance of my skin without upsetting it.  I've had no outbreaks using this (and I have very hormonal, combination skin)

I do find it a little bit more work than other balm cleansers as it's so thick and I do slightly favour the Renaissance Cleansing Gel formula but my skin certainly has definitely appreciated the nourishment, especially recently after a couple of long haul flights!

Have you tried anything from Oskia?  Any more product recommendations?

Monday, July 20, 2015

Lip Six

Happy Monday!  Here is my last 'all MAC' lip six following on from my 50th lip six.  Don't forget today is the last day to enter my giveaway to win six lipsticks of your choice from MAC-you can enter by clicking here.

Top row (L) Frost lipstick in Costa Chic (R) Mineralise rich lipstick in Everyday Diva

Middle row (L) Matte lipstick in Velvet Teddy (R) Lustreglass in Wonderstruck

Bottom row (L) Mineralise rich lipstick in Elegant Accent (R) Pro Longwear lipstick in To The Future

Which is your favourite?


Sunday, July 19, 2015

Three blogging Michelles I love!

I read so many blogs and I don't do 'share the love' posts as often as I should.  That changes today as I am going to share three beauty bloggers called Michelle that I love.

Bubbly Michelle

I first found Michelle on instagram and this lady has serious style and photography skills.  Her photographs on instagram are visually stunning and I'm forever adding things to my wishlist after seeing them in her posts.  Despite having 38,000 instagram followers she replies to almost every single instagram comment and is genuinely one of the nicest people I've met online.  Her blog is clean and stylish with big pictures, and her swatches and blog posts are not only beautifully taken/written but are extremely helpful.  Michelle was my go to when NARS launched the Audacious lipsticks as she swatched and reviewed every one and her recent Tom Ford Summer 2015 post is seriously lustworthy.  I'm also obsessed with her snapchat!

Beauty Life Michelle

My most recent discovery is youtuber and fellow expat Michelle Crossan who is an Irish girl living in Australia.  Her youtube videos are so good, I love her tutorials and I am also obsessed with her Snapchat (especially her cat.  More cat please!).  I find her voice really soothing and I love the fact that she is still so excited and humbled by the things she is sent by PR companies but that her reviews are honest and to the point.  She does tutorials using both drugstore and high end make up and has hair and skin to die for.  Her recent Boyfriend does my make up tag video was so funny that as soon as it finished I watched it again!  In the States last week I purchased two of the Hourglass Modernist palettes after seeing her tutorial with them.

Luxe Life Aspirations

If I was ever to meet Michelle from Luxe Life Aspirations I am pretty sure it would be in a Space NK store as we both have a penchant for the beauty Mecca and love a bit of a high end skincare splurge!

I feel like I have been following Michelle's blog forever and she posts a mixture of beauty and style posts-she describes her blog as an 'online chronicle of my spending habits' and I have to admit, that's my kind of blog!

So there we have it, three Michelle's you should definitely get to know-be it by following them on youtube, their blog, instagram, twitter or snapchat.  Or become a super stalker like me and follow them on all!


Friday, July 17, 2015

Estee Lauder: Pure Color Envy v Pure Color Envy Shine

Estee Lauder Pure Colour Envy

My intention when I set out to write this post was to compare the new Pure Color Envy Shine lipsticks from Estee Lauder with the 'original' Pure Color Envy formula which is one I love.

'Potent' from the original line up was on my wish list after seeing it on Rose from Mixed Gems  instagram.  It looked like an extremely pretty peach shade which would suit my pale skintone.  I had also wanted to try the new Pure Color Envy 'Shine' range so whilst on the Selfridges website I also threw the shade 'Charmed' from the new line into my basket and a few days later they were sitting, all navy and gold lacquered loveliness on my desk at work.  There is nothing like unboxing a Selfridges order!

However, what I have found is that contrary to what I expected, in this particular case the 'shine' formula is more pigmented than the regular formula.  I do not believe this is always the case-I think it's the shade I have chosen so I thought instead of comparing the two, I would compare Potent to my other Pure Color Envy shades and Charmed to other 'shine' formulas such as the Chanel Rouge Coco Shine and the Dior Rouge Dior Shine.  With me so far?

All the shades I own of the Pure Color Envy formula (to date: Defiant Coral, Rebellious Rose, Intense Nude, Tumultuous Pink and Impulsive) are pretty consistent.  The formula is very creamy but doesn't slip or slide, is smooth, opaque and hydrating and packs a lot of pigment.  Potent however is a little disappointing-it still has that creaminess to is but I find it doesn't apply evenly and it drags on the lips-you can see on the bottom lip how I have struggled to get an even coat.  The colour is pretty and the lasting power is good but I do feel disappointed it's not as good as my others.

Doing a 'shine' version of a formula is nothing ground breaking-Chanel do the Rouge Coco Shine, Tom Ford does the Lip Shine and Dior does the Rouge Dior Baume-I own shades from them all and they do them very well.  This is a summertime formula to me, a 'slick and go' wash of colour, glossy finish but without the inherent 'I have lip gloss in my hair' drama.  You can see in my swatches above that Charmed does have more 'shine' to it than Potent.

The Pure Color Envy Shine is extremely comparable to those listed above-I found Charmed to be glossy and hydrating, very decently pigmented and the lasting power was actually really good.  It has a slightly waxy feeling to it, akin to the Charlotte Tilbury K.I.S.S.I.N.G lipstick range or the Urban Decay Revolution lipsticks which stops it moving around on the lips which is great for me as often lipsticks can bleed outside my natural lip line.

It's slightly heavier in texture than the Rouge Dior Baume and slightly glossier/wetter in texture than the Rouge Coco Shine.  It's a nice lipstick.  The only thing I have to be super careful about is the shade transferring to my teeth but as long as I do a quick 'finger in the mouth' manoeuvre I can avoid that.

Knowing how good the original Pure Color Envy formula is I can't pick between the two-they're both excellent.  But the shade Potent doesn't fare as well against the others in my collection.

Have you tried either of these formulas?  What are your thoughts?


Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Personal: Cancer, 1 year on

If you're a regular reader of my blog you'll know I am currently on holiday in the States and I am having an amazing trip.  We have two days left before we fly back to Dubai and I am laden with half of Sephora and an extra case!  I took the above picture during our road trip-it felt really poignant and struck a chord with me.

What some of you also may know is that exactly one year ago today I was diagnosed with cancer.  Whilst I don't want to do a very long, deep post here I do want to acknowledge the fact that it is the first anniversary of my diagnosis.

Although I am in remission I have found it difficult to move on.  Although I am back to 'normal' I think about cancer an insane amount of times per day.  Way more than I would ever be comfortable admitting to anyone.  I said in April that I felt lost and I still feel not only lost but loss too.  I know that some people think I had it 'easy' with my cancer as I only had to have surgery and no chemo or radiotherapy and whilst there is no denying that those undergoing chemo and radio have a tougher journey than I did, I lost the ability to ever have a family and that is taking some coming to terms with.  I am at the age where I get asked (very) frequently if I have kids.  Life without choice is difficult. 

I find I get snappy and stressed quite easily these days and I lose my temper quickly.  I have gained more than 20lbs since my surgery through comfort eating.  I miss my boss Nick who moved back to the UK in April and the impact he had on my day to day life. I am not the best version of myself.  I feel like coming through cancer should have made me a better person, not a worse one.

Over the last 12 months I have made some amazing additional friends and my friends, parents, colleagues and Mike (plus an amazing surgeon and oncologist) have got me to where I am today-for that I am very grateful.  I'm also really really good at just getting on with things.

But twelve months has now passed and I need to start taking steps to move on.  I just need to work out what they are.


Monday, July 13, 2015

Lip Six

Happy Monday!  Here is another all MAC lip six following on from my 50th lip six. Don't forget to enter my giveaway to win six lipsticks of your choice from MAC here.

I'm now in LA!  Don't forget to follow me on instagram, snapchat and twitter for live updates.

lipstick swatches,

Top row (L) Pro Long wear lip gloss in Full Speed Ahead (R) Cremesheen lipstick in Speed Dial

Middle row (L) Matte lipstick in Russian Red  (R) Lustre lipstick in Plumful

Bottow row (L) Matte lipstick in Pink Plaid  (R) Amplified lipstick in Girl About Town

Which is your favourite?


Sunday, July 12, 2015

Marc Jacobs Beauty: Eye Con No 7 in The Enigma

Marc Jacobs Beauty: Eye Con No 7 in The Enigma review

Marc Jacobs Beauty: Eye Con No 7 in The Enigma review

Marc Jacobs Beauty: Eye Con No 7 in The Enigma review

Marc Jacobs Beauty: Eye Con No 7 in The Enigma review

I'm a bit of an eyeshadow palette fiend and sometimes I wonder if I stacked them up like an eyeshadow palette jenga how tall the tower would be?

Random thoughts aside, today I am sharing my thoughts on Marc Jacobs Eye Con #7 in 216 The Enigma.  I've previously reviewed another of the Eye Con #7 palettes- The Lolita, which is the best seller in the range.

Where The Lolita is neutral through and through, the Enigma has bronze, pink and grey tones to it.  Each shade has a lighter and a darker version of it in the palette and then it is topped off with slightly satin finish black.

In terms of performance I cannot deny it's good.  Like the Lolita, when you put the brush into the pan it does kick up a bit of powder, but on the lid they apply and blend seamlessly.  They're very finely milled yet offer good pigmentation which lasts all day.

The problem for me lies solely in the colour selection in the palette-I struggle to wear pinks on my eyes and blue toned greys do not suit my complexion.  I love the two bronze tones but they're not unique so really this isn't a palette I can see myself reaching for.  But without a doubt someone will love this and if that person is you then keep an eye out for my next blogsale as this is where you will next see this palette.

The packaging of the Eye Con palettes is one of my all time faves-it's so glossy, sleek and sophisticated.  Although this palette isn't for me, it has made me want to dig out my The Lolita palette and put it to good use!


Friday, July 10, 2015

Charlotte Tilbury Lip Love and Lip Magic

Charlotte Tilbury Lip Love and Lip Magic

Charlotte Tilbury Lip Love and Lip Magic

My friends tell me I am a nightmare to buy for.  I find this difficult to believe given I have always seem to have a massive wish list on my iphone!

The best thing ever though, is when I receive something that I a) don't own b) didn't know I needed to own but c) my friend knows I need to own it and d) I then love it.

Enter the Charlotte Tilbury Lip Love Lip Renewing HoneyBee scrub and Lip Magic Rejuvenating Soothing Propolis Balm which were both a gift from my lovely friend Tasha.

Charlotte Tilbury Lip Love Lip Renewing HoneyBee scrub

I have to admit I am partial to a lip scrub but at the same time am quite particular about what I like.  The offering from Lush is way too harsh on my lips and I prefer a scrub with much less abrasive particles.  Sarah Happ was my go to but this Charlotte Tilbury scrub wins some major brownie points for several reasons.  The first is that generally lip scrubs are messy and for use in the shower only where you can wash off easily all the residue and gritty bits.  This scrub is so finely milled that I can apply it like a lip balm, swirl it round my lips with my fingertip and then blot off with a tissue.  The grains are teeny tiny but still effective enough to slough off dead skin.  If your lips are more on the sensitive side this could be the perfect option for you and you'll benefit from the cocktail of jojoba seed oil, shea and cocoa seed butters, olive oil, vitamin E and beeswax that make up the base of the product.

Lip Magic Rejuvenating Soothing Propolis Balm

Currently my go to lip primer, this balm really is a little pot of magic.  Propolis (also known as Bee Glue) is a natural plumper taken by bees from plants to fix any small gaps in their hives.  It has powerful healing properties and combined with argan oil, hyaluronic acid, beeswax, vitamin E and a blend of helianthus, olive and jojoba seed oils, this small pot packs a big punch.

It has a relatively oily texture rather than a creamy texture but feels extremely lightweight and makes an amazing primer for lipstick.  Especially lipsticks with that slightly waxy formula like Charlottes K.I.S.S.I.N.G formula.

Charlotte Tilbury Lip Love and Lip Magic

Charlottes signature rose gold/Gatsby-esque packing makes these two little pots an extremely glamorous addition to my dressing table and the dinky pots are also easy to pop into any make up bag for when you're on the move.

Three cheers for friends who know me better than I know myself!


Monday, July 6, 2015

Lip Six

Happy Monday!  Here is another all MAC lip six following on from my 50th lip six. Don't forget to enter my giveaway to win six lipsticks of your choice from MAC here.

Currently I am somewhere in the States, hopefully close to Las Vegas!  But check my instagram and twitter for more accurate updates!

Top row (L) Cremesheen lipstick in Pink Pearl Pop (R) Amplified lipstick in Brick o la

Middle row (L) Cremesheen lipstick in Modesty (R) Lipglass in Pink Poodle

Bottom row (L) Cremesheen lipstick in Party Line (R) Cremesheen glass in Right Image

Which is your favourite?

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Colour Pop Lippie Stix review

Colour Pop Lippie Stix review

When I did my first Colour Pop order I didn't just buy their eyeshadows.  I also thought I would try two of their Lippie Stix and picked up the shades Easy (above left) and Rocket (above right). 

The Lippie Stix comes in a variety of formulas-matte, satin, cream, hyper glossy and glossy and they all retail at $5.

The packaging does feel quite 'drugstore'-the lipstick is housed in a slim white tube and has a flat rounded nib.

Colour Pop Lippie Stix review

This is really a review of two halves because Rocket (satin) is a great lipstick.  It's a punchy pink colour which applies smoothly and evenly and gives opaque coverage in one pass.  The shape of the bullet actually makes application really easy and I found this formula to be really hydrating, light on the lips and long lasting.

Colour Pop Lippie Stix review

The shade Easy (glossy) however was a different story.  Sadly, the pastel pink shade doesn't suit my skintone at all but the glossy formula was patchy and gathered in all my little lip lines.  It felt very creamy on the lips but the colour moves around quite a lot which didn't help the uneven finish.

There are almost 70 lipsticks on the website to chose from and I definitely give a thumbs up to the satin formula. 

Colour Pop still don't ship to the UK at the moment but if they do ship to where you live I highly recommend checking this brand out.


Friday, July 3, 2015

NARS Dual Intensity Blush in Adoration

NARS Dual Intensity Blush in Adoration review

NARS Dual Intensity Blush in Adoration review

I feel like a million beauty bloggers are going to disown me right now but I am about to say I hate this NARS Dual Intensity Blush in the shade Adoration

When I first saw them online I was like all the heart eyed emojis then when they launched I was a bit like I'm not that wowed but then the make up addict in me got the better of me and I ordered one from Nordstrom.

It's pretty to look at-I like the packaging, I like the pretty embossing and I like the concept.  But the blush itself is just doing nothing for me.

The problem lies in the texture for me-they have the exact same hard texture as the Dual Intensity eyeshadows.  Don't get me wrong, the singles I have of them I love.  As for the Dual Intensity palette-the shades are a bit meh for me but the formula I like.  I use them wet and dry no issues.  But I don't think that concept works for a blush.  There is no way in hell I am putting a damp blusher brush on my cheeks, messing up my foundation after I have spent an age blending it in.

As I can't even contemplate the thought, I have not tried these blushes wet.

My normal MAC 168 blush brush is far too fluffy for this formula and barely picks up any pigment no matter how hard I dig in.  I had to chose a much stiffer brush but even then on the cheeks there wasn't that much pigmentation and it felt uneven and patchy.  And Adoration has a frost finish which is overkill for daytime.  The raspberry pink shade kind of makes me look like I have metallic rosacea and the angel delight pink shade is presumably supposed to be used as a highlight but it's too pink and too frosty for me to pull it off.

As a final insult, the lasting power is awful and it doesn't last on me more than a couple of hours.

I am unsure how NARS got the eyeshadow version formula so right yet the blusher so wrong.  Off the top of my head I can literally name 10 blush formulas that are better than this one and I'll definitely be sending it to a nice new home in my next blogsale.

I would love to know your thoughts on these if you've tried them!!

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

The Undecideds #2

This post is dedicated to three products I just can't make my mind up about.

First up, and I know this will be a controversial choice but it's the NARS Dual Intensity palette.  As you can see mine is barely touched.  It's not that I don't like these eyeshadows, infact I have four singular shades that I really love, but the colour combination in this palette doesn't really do it for me.  The three shades from the right on the top row are really the only ones I have touched.  I expected to love this but I'm just not.  Formula wise, it's pretty spot on-pigmented, smooth and long lasting yet the palette remains pretty much unloved.

NARS dual intensity palette swatches

NARS dual intensity palette swatches

Next up is the Guerlain Les Voilettes Mattifying Translucent Loose Powder.  When I first got this I swooned over the golden dome packaging but actually it is the worst packaged powder I have ever used.   Exhibit A below shows just how messy it is and how it gathers at the edges of the compact every time you open it, destined to go all over your black suit.  The powder really is nothing special either and doesn't keep my (albeit oily) skin matte for any decent length of time.  In contrast though, I absolutely loved the compact pressed version of this powder, it's one of the best mattifying touch up powders out there.  I am pretty sure I am nearly finished this loose powder but the neat freak in me alone wouldn't let me repurchase.

Guerlain les voilettes loose powder review

Another controversial one as I haven't seen a bad review of this but I really don't rate the Lancome Grandiose mascara.  I am a big fan of Lancome mascaras in general but everything about this mascara annoys me.  First up the packaging is bulky.  Yes yes, I appreciate the perspex 'floating rose' but the bottom of the mascara tube is bulbous.  I suppose it's to house the ridiculous 'swan neck' wand.  I find this wand really cumbersome to use and don't personally find it any easier to coat my lashes with, in fact I probably find it harder.  The wand is short and I feel like it scratches my lashes a little.  In terms of the formula it's ok-it doesn't smudge or flake at all but it doesn't really do anything for my lashes-it doesn't seem to lengthen or add volume.  It's a no from me.

lancome grandiose mascara review

Are you using anything you're on the fence about?

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