Monday, August 31, 2015

Lip Six

lipstick swatches

Happy Monday!   My friends Dani and Toral have now left Dubai but I had the best time with them last week and having a 4 day weekend has left me refreshed and energised.  Today I am off to Cairo for a few days on a business trip and then I am already planning to basically sleep the whole of next weekend!

Here are my last six lip picks-thanks so much for all the positive feedback last week xx

Top row (L) L'Oreal Le Matte in 108 Matte-r of Fact  (R) Estee Lauder Pure Colour Envy in Rebellious Rose

Middle row (L) YSL Gloss Volupte in 202 (review of the formula!)  (R) Kat Von D Studded Kiss lipstick in Backstage Bambi (review!)

Bottom row (L)  Buxom Full On Lip Cream in Creamsicle (R) MAC Lustre lipstick in Plumful

Which is your favourite?  Don't forget to follow me on snapchat (stadybelle is my username) to see little snippets of my life!

PS-I am thrilled to have been nominated for 'Best International Beauty Blog' in the Bloggers Blog Awards-you can vote for your favourites here.  Massive thanks to Hayley from Tea Party Beauty for all her very hard work with these awards!


Sunday, August 30, 2015

Two powders I am currently loving

make up review

I was thinking today 'what can I blog about that I don't talk about a lot'?  I do tons of lipstick and eyeshadow posts and I wanted to shake it up a bit so I thought I'd talk about a couple of powders that I am in love with at the moment.

Friday, August 28, 2015

New in-Chloe 'Carlina' sunglasses

I know usually you tune in here to read about make up or skin care but today I thought I might share a recent purchase of one of my other passions-sunglasses!  (NB I also like shoes, diamonds and handbags)

I had seen these sunglasses whilst browsing Nordstrom and ran them past my personal style adviser Lis to see what she thought. Lis and I have fairly similar taste so I am always whatsapping her going 'what do you think of this'? but the trouble is always encourages me to purchase! 

These are the ChloĆ© Carlina 60mm sunglasses in the green/gold shade and I bought them in store at Nordstrom in LA recently.  They also come in a grey and bronze shade but the green was subtle and something unique in my collection.  They're oversized, extremely lightweight and I love the almost 60's feel to them.

I'm so pleased I bought them and I got great feedback when I posted a picture of me wearing them on instagram.  The other trouble is, I really want the ChloĆ© Danae sunglasses too now.

Living in a hot country is the best excuse I can think of for lusting after so many sunglasses!  Totes justifiable.


Wednesday, August 26, 2015

US drugstore delights

So I have already shared a few US drugstore disappointments from my trip to the States and today it's time to share some of the drugstore delights I have discovered so far!

L'Oreal had some great bits-first up is the L'Oreal Magic Lumi light infusing primer.  This is my absolute favourite from all the things I bought and I have developed an obsession.  This is a pearlised white liquid primer that adds an amazing glow to the skin.  It's very very similar to MAC Strobe Liquid but not as 'on speed' as the Strobe Liquid.  It's lightweight and can be used as a primer, mixed with foundation or as a spot highlighter.  Foundation sits really well over it and it makes me feel like I look awake and glowy.  I bought 4.  In terms of glow I would say MAC Strobe cream is the most glowy, then this and then something like the Chanel Sheer Illuminating Base is the most subtle of this type of product.

Also from L'Oreal is the Magic Lumi Highlighter in Light.  It's a twist up pen concealer that gives YSL Touche Eclat a run for it's money.  It's really good for highlighting under the eye and disguising dark circles.  It blends easily and doesn't crease.

Finally from L'Oreal is a new release that I don't think is available yet in the UK or Dubai.  The Le Matte lip crayons are really good matte lip products.  They're long lasting and non drying and really pigmented.  I picked up Matte-r of fact and Mad for matte and love both.  A couple of downsides-personally I find the tip of the crayon quite difficult to control and I recommend using a lip liner first and then for really precise application, a lip brush dipped into the crayon to apply.  Secondly, Walgreens stuck a very sticky sticker on the lid of the crayon which is a nightmare to get off and leaves the pen sticky and dirty.  Little things like that can really put me off using a product.

The Essie Gel Setter top coat is brilliant for extending the life of my manicure.  It adds a really glossy finish to nails and since using it I haven't had one chip.

Last up are the Milani Bella Eyes Gel Powder eyeshadows.  I bought the shades Bella Bronze and Bella Sand.  The first time I used them I wasn't very impressed, feeling they were a bit dry in texture.  But since I have gotten back to Dubai I have been using them a lot and really like them.  They literally last all day, there is very little fallout and the pigmentation is excellent.  Bella Bronze is such a stunning reddy brown colour with complex microshimmer embedded into it too.  I'm loving this type of shade at the moment.

Have you tried any of these drugstore delights?

Monday, August 24, 2015

Lip Six

So yesterday, James my assistant (and beauty blog critic extraordinaire) told me my blog was being 'very predictable' and I think he was specifically relating to this post-my weekly Lip Six.

So I am open to feedback-has lip six had its day?  Should I stop doing these posts?  What else would you like to see here on my blog?  I have always been good at taking constructive criticism so hit me with it!

In the meantime, here are my last 6 lip picks.

lipstick swatches

Top row (L) Charlotte Tilbury Matte Revolution lipstick in Lost Cherry (review!)  (R)  MAC Lustre lipstick in Lustering

Middle row (L) Make Up For Ever Rouge Artist Intense lipstick in 42 (R) Dior Rouge Dior Brillant in Miss (review!)

Bottom row (L) MAC Lustre lipstick in See Sheer  (R)  Bourjois Rouge Edition Velvet in Pink Pong (review here and here!)

Mini rave about Pink Pong-I wore it to a baby shower on Saturday and it is such an amazing liquid lipstick-it lasts forever and does not budge.  I raved about it on Snapchat (add me-Stadybelle!) and am I so in love again with this hot pink!

Which is your favourite?  And do let me know if you think Lip Six should be discontinued?

Have a great week!  My best friend Danielle arrived today so we're having dinner and drinks at Buddha Bar tonight-I think Pink Pong may make another appearance!


Sunday, August 23, 2015

Three new BFF's from NARS

So whilst in the US I splurged on three new NARS Audacious lipsticks-Anna, Barbara and Fanny to add to my collection along with Brigitte and Greta.

Anna is one of those shades that looks kind of boring and dull but on the lips it's a sophisticated and easy to wear mauve that I am constantly drawn to.  It brightens the face and goes with any eye make up.  The formula is easy to overdo though-the NARS Audacious lipsticks are very creamy without being slippy but they do feel quite thick on the lips.  Despite the sharp tip of the lipstick bullet, I do find that these lipsticks aren't the easiest to apply and get right first time.  I also don't find them particularly hydrating for such a creamy formula.  But, once on, they don't migrate outside your natural lip line which is great, especially when it comes to the brighter, bolder shades.  There are no matte shades-expect luminous glossy lips.

Barbara is the one I am unsure about-it's very nude.  I worry it's too brown toned and makes me a little washed out.

Fanny is my favourite and was inspired (as so many things are) by Laura from Laurzrah.  She told me to buy it.  It's a bright plummy pink and is the nicest of the three to wear on the lips-not feeling so thick and heavy.  The name always raises a titter in the office if I say I'm wearing Fanny on my lips but that's boys for you.

The packaging is nice-it's quite heavy with a satisfying magnetic click and smooth black casing.  NARS have moved away from the rubberised packaging so it's more fingerprint friendly and easier to clean.

Do I need any more?  I kind of feel I need Lana.  And Natalie.

Speaking of BFF's, mine arrives in Dubai tomorrow for a few days and I cannot wait to see her.  If only they made a lipstick called Danielle!


Friday, August 21, 2015

What's in my handbag? The Anya Hindmarsh Smiley Maxi Featherweight Ebury Tote

Anya Hindmarsh Smiley Maxi Featherweight Ebury Tote

Anya Hindmarsh Smiley Maxi Featherweight Ebury Tote

Anya Hindmarsh Smiley Maxi Featherweight Ebury Tote

Anya Hindmarsh Smiley Maxi Featherweight Ebury Tote

I am super nosy by nature and I love 'what's in my handbag' posts so I decided to do a new updated one.  The last time I did one was just over 12 months ago and featured my Chanel Cerf executive tote.  That bag came to a tragic end when I spilled a whole tub of honey yoghurt inside the bag-that was a bad day!

For day to day office use I am now using the Anya Hindmarsh 'Smiley' Maxi Featherweight Ebury Tote.  I bought this bag 4 months ago from and it's now sold out, however Anya Hindmarsh produce a variation of this bag every season.  I genuinely could not love this bag more.  It reminds me of my Prada Saffiano leather tote, is incredibly roomy but very lightweight.  I am definitely I 'lets pack the kitchen sink' kind of girl and this bag is fabulous for that.

The tote is made of matte tumbled leather which makes it super soft but very hard wearing.  I am quite rough with bags and always bumping into things so I prefer textured leather over smooth leather-this bag is therefore perfect!  It's structured and stands on its own.  It has black and grey bungee cord straps (I didn't know bungee cords still existed) which are also really hard wearing and quite striking-adding interest to an otherwise simple (from a distance) black tote.

The tote has gold hardware and the signature gold Anya Hindmarsh bow on the front.  It has a grey suede lining which I was really wary of and thought might get filthy very quickly but actually it's super easy to clean (I just hoover it out!).

It's the little details that I really love though.  The single pocket inside with the stamped out 'have a nice day' and the stamped out smiley face on the right side if the bag.  It's a little quirky and genuinely makes me smile.

So that's the bag-this is what is inside right now.  And I literally mean right now, I just tipped out the bag and photographed the contents.

Firstly I keep a diary and a notebook together in a thick plastic envelope.  The diary and notebook are from Moleskine and the clear envelope is Erin Condren.  I was using an Erin Condren planner but they're just so huge that it wasn't working for me.  I'd love to design my own planner-and the week would start on a Sunday as that's the first day of the week here in Dubai!

Whats in my handbag

Whats in my handbag

I always have sunglasses in my bag-after all I live in a country when the sun shines almost 365 days a year.  Currently, I am carrying the Jimmy Choo 'Posie' sunglasses which have black lenses, a cat eye frame and silver glittery arms-very bling for Dubai!  I bought these recently from Bloomingdales in LA.

Whats in my handbag

Jimmy Choo Posie sunglasses

Jimmy Choo posie sunglasses

My make up bag is a bit of a disgrace-who needs 3 glosses and 7 lipsticks on a day to day basis?  I do clearly.  At least I have options.

Whats in my handbag

My purse is from Louis Vuitton and was the Elysee wallet style with Aurore coloured trim-which is now discontinued.  I bought it last year and it was definitely the most expensive wallet I have ever bought.  I actually regretted it as soon as I bought it because it was so expensive.  But actually it's a great wallet for in your handbag, especially if you have a lot of cards to carry around.  It has 3 sections for cash and a coin section-it works well for me and has worn well.  All the corners are completely intact, it's only the cream leather tag that is showing wear as all LV leather does.  Having said that I rarely carry cash around and rely on the Bank of James to get me though the week normally!  It's not great when you want to take a small bag out as it is massive! 

Louis Vuitton Elysee wallet

Down to the random bits in my handbag-a ventolin inhaler (I have 3 but you don't need to see them all), a Boost (inspired by Kirsty), my work pass, a MAC Moisturecover concealer that had escaped from my make up bag and the Marc Jacobs (P)Outliner that I bought from Sephora last week.

Lastly in there was my iphone 6, a tangle teaser, my Prada keyholder which I have had for years and was a gift from my best friend (the keys are my apartment, my mum and dads house, my Samsonite suitcase and my office drawers in case you're wondering) and a freebie Guerlain leather pouch that was a GWP that has all my medication, some dental wax, my HSBC secure keys for internet banking and some eye make up remover wipes!)

So that's what is in my handbag right now and is a pretty fair representation of what I carry round on a day to day basis (apart from usually more chocolate and some haribo!)

If you've done a WIMH post link me up-the inner nosy girl in me wants to see!!


Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Maybelline The Nudes palette-the cheap Naked palette?

Maybelline The Nudes palette

One of the drugstore purchases I picked up in the US is the Maybelline The Nudes palette which I bought from Walmart for about $10.  I know this came out ages ago but in the back of my mind I felt people had been quite complimentary about it.  What struck me when I saw it was 'is this a cheap Naked palette'?

Now I have had time to test it out I will tell you what I think.

Maybelline The Nudes palette

I loved both Naked 1 and 2 and they're my most used and abused eyeshadow palettes (evidenced above!).  What I think the Maybelline The Nudes palette does is encapsulate some of the best of the Naked 1 and 2 shades in one user friendly and cost friendly palette.

The shades aren't quite as buttery as the Urban Decay ones, but I think Urban Decay make some of the best eyeshadows available so the competition is stiff.  The Urban Decay Naked palettes are packed with pigment and blend seamlessly-but I genuinely think The Nudes is not a bad effort at all for the price point.

Maybelline The Nudes palette

Maybelline The Nudes palette

I've picked out below some of the most obvious dupes across the two palettes.

Maybelline The Nudes palette

I've had no problems with blending and the pigmentation, especially in the shimmery shades is good.  There's no really disappointing shades and there is a good mixture of matte and shimmer shades across the palette.

Maybelline The Nudes palette

Maybelline The Nudes palette

Admittedly I would still plump for the Naked palettes over this one because the texture is phenomenal but this palette definitely gives some of my higher end eyeshadow palettes a good run for their money.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Lip Six

Happy Monday!  Here are my last six lip picks.

Top row (L) MAC Glaze lipstick in Pink Poodle (R) NARS Audacious lipstick in Anna (again-third week in a row!)

Middle row (L) Dior Extreme lipstick in Lucky (R) Dior Fluidstick in Wonderland (review here)

Bottom row (L) Tom Ford Lip Color Sheer in Incorrigible (LE) (R) MAC cremesheen lipstick in Speak Louder

Which is your favourite?

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Mascaras on rotation

I find myself in a very disconcerting situation.  Until recently I was (very) strictly a one in, one out kind of girl when it comes to mascaras.  Yet on my dressing table there are currently six open mascaras-they've even now got their own Muji acrylic pot.

I need to thin it down-mascara should really only have a shelf life of three months when it's open and I've always been really strict on that-mainly because I am a mascara whore and always looking for the next best thing!

I like my mascara very black, very volumising and very lengthening.  As close to falsies without actually having to stick additional eyelashes on.

So weird looking at six of your own right eyes at once.

I think the reason I have six open currently is that none of these really wow me, apart from one. 

Here's a run down of my thoughts.

Bourjois One Seconde Waterproof-The worst of the bunch, I have been so disappointed with this mascara after expecting great things.  It has a large plastic brush and the formula is quite dry.  It's fine from the point of view of no flaking or smudging but it just doesn't give any oomph to my lashes.  Even when I put about 5 layers on.  If you like a nice natural look this mascara is for you.

Lancome Hypnose Star-This used to be my all time fave mascara but this time I wasn't wowed.  It has a cone shaped bristle wand which makes it easy to get into all the corners of your lashes and it adds more length than volume.  I had a problem with this formula flaking and felt like I was constantly wiping away dots of mascara from my face.

Lancome Hypnose Drama-The best of the six!  This is probably the one that has been open the longest and it's still a pretty wet formula. it's very black and adds tons of volume and length.  I really like the 'spoon'  shaped bristle brush for combing through your lashes but I do advise wiping off the excess as it pulls out a lot of product.  It doesn't fake or smudge and it stays super black all day.  I also find it really lifts my lashes at the corners and never goes clumpy.

Sephora Outrageous Mascara-This was a freebie when I became a Sephora Middle East Gold card holder and was sent to me with my card.  The mascara is normally in black quilted plastic packaging but they turned it to gold for their loyalty card members.  I am not a big fan of the packaging, it's very bulky but I do like the mascara a lot.  However, this formula has a tendency to go very wrong if you put too much on and you can end up with a mono lash #clumptastic

I quite like the knobby plastic brush, it doesn't scratch my lashes and it gets into all the corners.  It has a really wet formula so I always wipe off the excess but one layer adds length, two layers adds the volume and three layers is the start of clumpsville.

Lancome Defincils-Another really good mascara, the thin wand makes it really easy to get right to the roots of my lashes.  You can pile on loads of this mascara and still not get any clumps.  It's best for separation and length.

Tarte Lights Camera Flashes-I was really expecting big things from this mascara but it really hasn't lived up to my expectations.  The plastic brush feels quite scratchy on my lashes but it claims to boost your lash volume by up to 752%.  This seems like a very precise number to me.

The brush has two sides to it-a side with shorter bristles you use first to coat the lashes and then one with longer bristles to maximise volume and separation.  But I just don't feel it adds that much volume to my lashes-it's good, it's just not great.

I'd love to know if you have tried any of these mascaras and your thoughts.


Saturday, August 15, 2015

YSL Le Teint Saharienne Blur Perfector

I don't usually post on a Saturday but hey surprise!  I just had to write about this YSL limited edition cream bronzer because it's so good and you need to add it to your shopping list today!

Friday, August 14, 2015


I know I know-this might not be the US mega haul you were expecting, but in all honesty it was so outfacing when I unpacked it all that writing the post would have taken days!  So I thought I would share a UK Space NK and a John Lewis haul that arrived this week.

First up, I had £50 of N'Dulge points to spend that were expiring so that is how this haul started.  Kevyn Aucoin was mainly the target of my affections!

What caught my eye first was The Celestial Bronzing Veil powders in Tropical Days and Tropical Nights.  I. do. not. need. any. more. bronzers.  But they're my latest obsession so humour me.  These little pans are so beautiful, they're little pans of gorgeousness and I can't wait to try them.  Swatched, Tropical Days looks a perfect match for my pale skintone (NW15 in MAC, Mont Blanc in NARS, BR20 in YSL).  Tropical Nights looks scarily dark so I will see how I get on with it.  The bronzer is a powder but it felt almost creamy when I swatched it and I think I am going to love it.  These bronzers contain 'crystal pigments' in bronze, gold and silver to give you the most natural glow and they don't seem to run either too cool or too warm.  I'll review fully when I've tested them thoroughly.

I also picked up two of the Eye Pigment Primatifs in (top) Titian and (bottom) Horizon.  I had seen Sam from Pixiwoo use these recently in a tutorial.  When I opened them they are almost exactly the same as the Chanel Illusion D'Ombre texture-spongy and mousse like.  You can see how they have shrunk away from the sides and this is so common with this type of formula as every time you open them they dry out a little more.  You can prolong the life of these by storing them upside down to keep moisture at the top of the pan.  Titian is ridiculously pigmented and a rich reddy brown but Horizon seemed to lack pigment on my arm.  It's a pretty champagne colour and I'm going to test these out this week.  I haven't been much of a fan of this type of eyeshadow in the past because I do think they dry out quickly.  They're great for a couple of months but then start to crack and crumble until they're unusable and at this price point it's difficult to swallow.

I also indulged in a little more Sarah Chapman.  I am currently using the Overnight Facial and I like the fact that when I wake up my skin always looks calm and a little clearer than when I went to bed.  This product is a non glycolic based exfoliant that claims to unclog pores, soften wrinkles and even out blemish marks gently.  It can be used in conjunction with the overnight facial so I am hoping this will be a blemish fighting cocktail for my fickle skin.

My last Space NK purchase was the Laura Mercier Faux Lash mascara.  I remember seeing Michelle use this in a tutorial and it gave so much volume to her lashes.  I have my fingers crossed!!

I also did a little John Lewis online order and purchased the YSL Le Teint Saharienne Blur Perfector in the shade Sable.  Remember a couple of years ago when every beauty blogger was raving about the Chanel 'Soleil Tan De Chanel' that came in the big round pot? Well I feel like this is YSL's version of it and it comes in 5 different shades rather than just one universal Chanel version. 

It does however look a little orange when I have swatched it so I do need to see if I can make it work.  I should have gone for the lightest shade!  I got all cocky going for the non palest version there.

Finally I got something I have been lusting after for a while-Urban Decay eyeshadow in Space Cowboy.  This is purely to flatter my magpie/glitter loving/all the shiny things side.  I love Urban Decay eyeshadows and I am hoping this sparkly champagne colour will add a little something extra to night time looks.  I am already dying to layer it over the Kevyn Aucoin shades!

Have you tried any of these?  I'm dying to know your thoughts!
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