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Friday, 31 December 2010

Finding the perfect match

After reading this post on Karla Sugar I'm reminded of the importance of viewing swatches before you buy make-up online. Not just any swatches, as many as possible, on as many different skin tones as possible. The difference a skin tone can make to the colour of makeup is incredible. In the spirit of helping you dear reader, I will do a series of swatch attack posts showing - in natural light - the colour of all the lip products I own. This will likely take some time so please accept my apologies in advance. I'll also put up a picture of my un-coloured lips for comparison.

The best way to gauge what will suit you is to find a reviewer with similar colouring, for reference my stats are as follows.

Eyes - Blue/green with bronze central heterochromia

Hair - reddish brown/black

Skintone - Cool

Skinshade - NC-15 ish

L-R Me, Holly, Hana
That photo looks to give a pretty good idea of skin tone, though the night time lighting pulls a bit yellow. It also shows how subtle differences in skin tone as well as depth can make a difference to colour. Hana for example, looks fabulous in purple eyeshadow, but I can only get away with the very coolest tones comfortably, and even then if I blend out into an out and out cool shade. Yet, as you can see in the photo there, our skin is practically the same.

Holly as you can see has a much warmer tone and looks beautiful in rich bronzey golds the likes of which I can only dream. :)

Mac Craving Review

After falling in love with the delightful scent of mac lipsticks I couldn't resist using a bit of Christmas money to order another. The swatches on the mac website aren't too bad, but the colour descriptions I find to be twaddle. I always look for real life swatches if I can, but even then skin tone differences can cause the colour to pull another way.

After a long time choosing and many google searches for colour swatches (the swatches on Karla Sugar are AMAZING) I decided on "craving".

The amplified creme finish is an odd one. It actually reminds me more of Ellis Faas creamy lipcolour than a usual stick lipstick, it's almost a thick ink. The lipstick doesn't feel like much is on your lips and has a slight sheen to it, though not at all as much as something with creme in the name normally has. Craving is VERY pigmented and yet doesn't bleed. You should be careful with application though as it stains! The colour melts into your lips (exfoliate first for optimum results!) though I find it works better without a balm under as the extra moisture just makes it slide off.

This photo was taken with my laptop through facebook to show off my new favourite lipstick colour. I haven't altered the colour in any way, nor did I use flash. The odd white cast to my face is caused by the illumination of the screen, normal skin tone can be seen on my arm at the bottom left of the photo in case you were wondering. Not that much difference, but that's what a healthy dislike of the sun does to you. (Speaking of which, can you please make shades lighter than NC-15 mac?)

Craving as I would describe it, is a plum tinged pink that looks deceptivley warm in the stick. On me it seems a cool toned pink, which is exactly what I wanted, I can't pull off warm toned colours near my face.

I found the way to get what I consider the best result from this lipstick is to just rub my lips with a toothbrush (first thing in the morning when I brush my teeth - lazy) apply a good slathering of lanolips 101 straight after and then get dressed, do the rest of my makeup and lipstick last when the ointment has sunk in properly. For a faster way i'd exfoliate, moisturise, let it sink in a moment then wipe off the balm to leave a dry canvas for this ink stick to adhere to.

Transfer is surprisingly little, I adore this lipstick!

Wednesday, 29 December 2010

I live! Also, Merry Chrimblybob!

Well hello there!

I know the beauteous Sammi has been keeping up with her blogging diligently, but I have been failing to update! For this, I am sorry! However, in the coming few days I will have quite the number of posts, reviews, swatches and rants for you all to enjoy.

For now I shall say Merry Festive season! Hope you all had a lovely Christmas and Boxing Day :)


Tuesday, 28 December 2010

Guerlain Meteorites

Thanks to my lovely parents I received Guerlain Meteorites for Christmas, and Belle de Opium, which I adore.

The meteorites as we know come packaged in a beautiful silver cylinder with a little puff, more for protecting the perles than application, they seem best applied with a large fluffy brush.

There they are applied, sorry for the miserable expression, I was focused on covering up some of the flash that was washing the colour out.

The meteorites give a moonlit glow to the skin and gift a soft focus effect, blurring pores and generally improving the look of skin. The soft powder also helps set makeup which is handy.

Love them. Well worth the price IMO.

Saturday, 25 December 2010


Merry Christmas one and all!

Thursday, 23 December 2010

Things I need, things you need

Owning suitcases full of makeup and beauty products, it's not often that I hit pan, nevermind repurchase. There are however a few products that i've repurchased time and time again. That's not to say that I've stopped looking for one I might like better, but in the case of these items, I've never found one, definitely an achievement!

The Body Shop - All in one face base

I use this in Shade 02, the lightest they sell. To be honest this is still too yellow and dark for my skin tone, 01 was lovely, but it was discontinued in this product a few years ago, much to my disappointment. I hate the way liquid bases feel on my skin. This powder base gives brilliant coverage, lasts all day with minimal oil breakthrough and gives a soft matte finish.

GOSH liquid eyeliner

This comes in a huge range of colours, creme, glitter and metallics, paints on smoothly and more importantly, sets and stays where you put it. This really doesn't come off until you want it to.

Barry M Nail Paint in Turquoise

With a heavy hand this gorgeous Tiffany-esque colour goes opaque in one coat, two thin coats dries quickly to a satiny finish. I prefer to keep this glossy with a shiny topcoat but it looks stunning under all sorts of layers. I've used glitter top coat, Illamasqua prism, silver tips or even tiny jewels. Very sweet.

Wednesday, 22 December 2010

Fixing my poor nails

Scrubbing off the glitter top coat from my nails today I noticed the surface is looking rough and damaged. I raided Heidi's polish drawer and found a collection 2000 nail care strengthener.

Painting it on my nails it has a thin oily consistency that looks glossy and immediately smooths the surface somewhat. It also says it can act as base coat which is handy! Let's hope it works. 

Mac Sweetie

My first MAC lipstick arrived yesterday. I chose "sweetie" after much deliberation and it arrived not much more than 24 hours after I ordered it. Excellent service indeed!

With a sweet vanilla scent that is found in all mac lipsticks this is a beautiful pinky shade that is from the "lustre" finish range. The colour is sheer, almost too sheer in fact, but lovely never-the-less. :)

Disappointingly it seems to fade within as little as an hour and considering the short amount of time it lasts I'd have thought it would be much more moisturising and glossy. I do like sweetie, but I wanted so badly to adore it. I would purchase again from mac, their service was incredible and the quality of the packaging, including the scent is well worth the reasonable cost. On my next lipstick purchase I think i'll stay away from the lustre finish and give satin or matte a try. If you have any colour recommendations let me know!

Sunday, 19 December 2010

Collection 2000 Extreme 24 hour felt tip liner

Browsing Boots today while Heidi shopped for gifts I noticed that Collection 2000 was still on 3 for 2. After hearing rave reviews over their glitter eyeliners I picked up a few of the felt tip liners in black and teal. My favourite colours!

Swatching these on my hand the colour comes out clear and true and matches the colour on the base of the tube exactly. They draw easily on the eyelid which Is brilliant as I usually end up drawing the line too high and then struggle to fill it in down to the lashes. Tightlining is not something I'm good at!

These liners are about 2 or 3 pounds each. A really good buy! 

Smoothest line i've ever managed!

Easy to do my usual cat flicks with.

Friday, 17 December 2010

Soap and madness

Boots gift of the week is always a good deal, but today you can get your mitts on a huge soap and glory gift box worth 60 quid for only 25. With soap and glory being one of the few brands that does what it promises this is an amazing bargain. Review to follow...
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Monday, 13 December 2010

Early o'clock

Actually managed to make it in this morning across the sheet ice. Took about 20 minutes to get to the bus stop and it usually takes about 3! After a heroic 3 hours of decent sleep thanks to waking up every ten minutes or so and panicking that I'd slept through my alarm I finally got up at early o'clock, 5 am, otherwise known as "at least two hours before reasonable o'clock".

Christmas nailpolish on today to keep my spirits up and remind me that time to sleep Christmas holiday will soon be here. Number 17's shimmery ivy coloured "exquisite" needs three coats to not look like a streaky mess but the final result is a stunning green with a beautiful depth. Layered over alternate nails is an NYC red jelly with twinkly glitter. Keeping the sparkle just to odd fingers stops it from bring two overdone I think as well as keeps my dreams free from nightmare images of chiseling glitter polishes from my finger tips.

I do adore glitter nail polishes, but come removal time, give me shimmer or a nice metallic any day!

I apologise for the lack of photo, but the cold weather we've had (known in the tabloids as the big freeze!) led my camera screen to shatter (-11 degrees!!!) so I'm waiting impatiently for the replacement to arrive. So far I've been really happy with Kodaks customer service.
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Thursday, 9 December 2010

We're all animals

As this intriguing blog post shows.

Only celebrities can design their own fragrance?

Not anymore!

Image property of Epically Epic Soaps @ Etsy

Epically Epic (Great name!) soaps from the glorious Etsy let you choose your own scents to combine into your prefect custom blended fragrance. The list of choices is huge, so huge that I had to message and ask for help in choosing the perfect blend for my sister. I messaged the owner and got a super quick and helpful response, I really felt that the owner knows their stuff!

For myself I've asked for the smell of gingerbread cooking, my favourite smell!

At only $8.50 each these oils promise to melt into the skin, linger better than water based scents and last longer in the bottle to boot!

As soon as these arrive I'll post up a review but if you just can't wait here is a direct link!

Friday, 3 December 2010

Who owns who?

Ever wondered who owns who in the beauty industry? Or noticed that innovations in high end brands filter to some "lower" companies faster than others?

Estee Lauder
La Mer
Bobbi Brown
Tommy Hifiger
Jo Malone
Bumble and Bumble
Lab Series
Donna Karan
American Beauty
Good Skin
Sean John
Acqua di Parma
Make up for ever
L'Oreal (partly owned by Nestle)
All L'Oreal brands
The Body Shop
Shu Uemura
Giorgio Armani
Helena Rubinstein
Vichy Laboratoires

Rimmel London
Jil Sander
Calvin Klein
And more brands of perfume than we could list including Sarah Jessica Parker, Jennifer Lopez, Kylie and the Beckham's scents.
Proctor and Gamble
Max Factor
Head and Shoulders
Herbal Essences
Hugo Boss Fragrances
Numerous other fragrances
Ultima 2
Elizabeth Arden
Britney Spears, Hilary Duff and many other fragrances
Alliance Boots
Toni and Guy (products only)
Kangol (products only)
French Connection (products only)
No 7
Johnson and Johnson
Piz Buin
Clean and Clear
Thierry Mugler

List from

Being aware of bullshit

It is important that we as consumers remember that the cosmetic industry is as much filled with lies and deceit as the magazine industry. At the end of the day these companies want us to buy things and whether we love them or whether they are bad for us is of little consequence. We bought it and we'll almost certainly buy again, if not from them, then from another company. Another company they conveniently also own.

Any belief I ever had that cosmetic companies genuinely mean what they say about their products was cracked the moment I learned that nearly all companies are owned by a few giants. Giants I might add who's own name brand products I'm not actually a fan of.

Of course there are people in the industry who want to make something new and are excited about innovation, there are products out there that most of us adore, it just means that we should be aware of what we are buying. Try to reward innovation and truth with purchases rather than reward bullshitting. IF we can that is!

On this note this post from highlights the cut throat world of the cosmetics industry. The blog is really interesting and well worth a read, it never hurts to be a little more informed as a consumer.

"Bullshit Short Story 1: The Brush Brush-Off With L'Ucifer

Once upon a time, in a little town somewhere in Germany, there was a small company who was little known to most of the world.  

But, to the people who work in mascaras, in spite of its size, its reputation of having the best mascara brushes in the whole industry was unparalleled - for it had the passion for innovating on brushes that had been passed from one generation to the next.  

One day,  they had the most fortunate news of having one of the world's top brand, who, (for the purpose of the story teller's preference for  a life outside of prison), we will hide under the name of  L'Ucifer - interested in their brushes.  This will mean an assured income not only for the current employees but for the children of their children beyond.  

Such was great news for this small german company in this small german town!

To finalize the partnership though, they were required to train a representative of L'Ucifer on their mascara brush know-how.

The small german company did as they were asked and gave L'Ucifer's rep the best training  and the most charming hospitality that this small village can muster - they regaled him with german beer and sausages as the little village knew how.  

After the training, all of them were so happy  - for this, was the start of a future brighter than they had ever known.

Days have passed but the finalization of the partnership, in one way or another got delayed.  Days went on, and it was becoming a blur.

One day- they did hear from L'Ucifer but it was not from the managers they spoke to nor the representative they had cradled in training.  It was but rather  from L'Ucifer's stable of lawyers.

L'Ucifer had patented all the technologies that they have been taught by our small german company. 

And the army of lawyers have dropped by to kindly inform our small german brush company that as they have become property of L'Ucifer, that the German company may never use their brush technology ever again.

What ensued after that, little more did I know of.  

But the question that came to my mind is - 

"Can any company who can do this really be worth it?""

Wednesday, 1 December 2010

Diorshow Iconic and Philosophy Gingerbread man

Bought Dioshow Iconic mascara to attempt to beef up my wimpy eyelashes. One coat of it does a better job than most other mascaras i've tried. The plastic bristles make it easy to apply. I don't get on with bristly brushes, they don't seem to put any product on my lashes at all, just push them out of the way and do nothing!

I'd prefer the mascara to be more thickening, but thickening mascaras seem to only come on those giant vile brushy brush heads that do nothing for me.

I bought the waterproof version and In this regard it does exactly what it says on the tin. Tested in the blizzarding lately it doesn't budge until I purposefully wash it off.

My only real complaint is that it seems to have dried out in the two weeks i've had it. I know mascaras change consistency with use and this is not the only mascara that I've found too dry for my liking after two weeks of use. My no. 7 mascaras, max factor and bourjois all  did this. To be fair I like my mascaras to be thinner and wetter, the only one that remained suitably damp for my taste so far was bourjois liner effect mascara. If only it was suitably thickening and lifting for my flimsy eyelashes!

Considering this level of dryness seems to be the norm i'd wager most people wouldn't really consider this a flaw in the Diorshow and it certainly justifies it's cost as it did more for me in one coat than others do in three.

Sorry for the terrible photo. Freeing cold. Wrapped in duvet!

Today the Philosophy Gingerbreadman lipshine I ordered from ebay arrived. It smells and tastes amazing! It's a shame these things are so hard to get hold of because they really are lovely. This is the first Philosophy product ive had and I'd certainly buy some more!