Sunday, 26 December 2010

Beauty buys of the year: MAC Viva Glam GaGa and Cyndi




GaGa Lipstick [Lustre]



I wasn't expecting to like MAC's VIVA GLAM GAGA, but as soon as I swatched it I had to have it. It's a beautiful light, bright bubble-gum pink, and it's blue-based so it is ideal for my fair skin.

It's a lustre lipstick, so while the staying power isn't really bad, it isn't great - around two hours max.
I have dry lips, but have not yet experienced any flaking or chafing after I’ve been wearing this.


* Lady GaGa's favourite lipstick is Pink Nouveau, so she asked MAC to create the VIVA GLAM GAGA around that shade





GaGa lipglass



If you like MAC's blue-based powder pink VIVA GLAM GAGA lipstick, then you need the lipglass edition too. This is almost exactly the same shade as the lipstick; The pink colour is just a bit milkier. The finish to the gloss is a cream and seems to have a thicker formula then my other MAC lipglasses, but it still gives a lovely polished shine to my lips. A single coat gives a more natural polished look to my lips, however layering it gives a milkier look that is great for pairing with strong eyes.




Cyndi lipstick [Lustre]



I wouldn't class this as a real red - it leans strongly towards coral - but I'm loving it. Not being confident with wearing red lipstick I love that this doesn't scream look at me!" and I would actually class this as subtle enough for every day wear. The lustre finish to the lipstick tones down the shade even further.

Beauty Buys Of The Year: Urban Decay's Naked and Book Of Shadows III palettes


EYESHADOWS


I'm not sure why I noted which shadows have a shimmery finish, it'd would have been quicker for me to note which ones didn't. It's because the shadows are so finely grained, highly pigmented and apply so creamily [their actually all powders] that makes them so gleamy. As you'd expect from such a rich shadow, the application, blending ability and wear is exceptional - over the years I've tried almost every brand on the market and have yet to find a comparable shadow. The shimmery shadows and micro glitter finishes last though my working day, even without using the primer potion - over eight hours.

It's the matt shadow that is the least impressive - the colour applies as a grey and it shows wear after five hours. But then again black isn't really a day-to-day shade [not for me anyway], so I don't use it anyway. But you do, then the primer potion and being prepared to layer is a must.

The micro glitters are contain finer glitter particles then the regular glitter finishes, so I've never had any problems with product fallout and the base shadow for these finishes has the same wear as the regular shimmers.

The application of Uzi and Midnight Cowboy Rides Again is very important [particularly MCRA as it contains the most glitter]; it really reduces the fallout. ALWAYS use primer potion and apply the shadows with a finger using a patting motion, as opposed to sweeping motions with a brush. This gently pushes the shadow into the primer, so it sticks to the skin better. If a bit of the glitter still falls onto your cheek before you leave the house use a bit of sellotape to remove it, don't try to rub it off with a wet wipe of cotton wool as that can push it into your make-up.



24/7 EYELINING PENCILS


The pencils are a creamy formula, so they don't drag across the skin, so there is no scratching to the skin. Once applied to the lid, the liner will stay put until I wash it off.

I don't know if they've changed the formula for the liner, but I can actually rim my waterline - something that I'm not able to do with my other 24/7 liners. I can also smudge the line out before it sets if I want [it takes about 30 seconds] - this is also very difficult with my older 24/7 liners.



The NAKED palette







EYESHADOWS


Virgin - Shimmering ivory *
Sin - Champagne, with shimmer finish.
Naked - A matt fawn *
Sidecar - A similar fawn/soft brown shade to Naked, only with a shimmering finish *
Buck - A soft, medium brown with a matt finish *
Half Baked - Light, shimmery bronze.
Smog - Medium bronze with shimmering finish.
Dark Horse - A rich milk chocolate shade with silver micro glitter *
Toasted - Rich, shimmering copper.
Hustle - Similar shade to Dark Horse, but with a matt finish *
Creep - Black with silver micro glitter. Similar to NARS best-selling Night Crawler *
Gunmetal - Dark grey with silver micro shimmer




* Exclusive to this palette.


[The back of the outer packaging says that only four shades are new, but after revisiting both the website and my nearest Urban Decay counter I saw that seven shades are unavailable to buy separately]



24/7 EYELINING PENCIL
[Double ended version]

Zero - Traditional black kohl & Whiskey - A warm brown


Primer Potion - 3.7 ml




Book Of Shadows Volume III: NYC





EYESHADOWS

Perversion - Matt black.
Uzi - Silver with glitter, so there is some fallout.
Loaded - Deep shimmering green. It almost looks navy in certain lighting*
Kush - Medium green, with a shimmering finish. *
Midnight Cowboy Rides Again - Mega glittery champagne. Gorgeous colour, but the large amount of glitter is very messy.
Last Call - Pinkish plum, with an lilac shimmer.
Rockstar - Deep blue-based purple. I think this is meant to be matt too, but there is a hint of shimmer. *
Money - My favourite in this palette. Blueish mint, that is the almost the exact same shade as is seen on US dollars. Contains silver micro glitter*
Haight - Cheerful swimming pool blue, with the shimmer finish. *
Maui Wowie - Gold with a greenish base. Contains silver micro glitter.
Smog - A shimmery golden copper.
Bordello - Shell pink, with a lilac shimmer.
Radium - Slightly darker than Haight and a heck of a lot brighter. Has a shimmery finish. [Not for the timid as when I say bright I mean it] *
Snatch - Another favourite of mine. A lovely shade of apricot, with silver micro glitter. *
Suspect - A light bronze with golden shimmer. *
Psychedelic Sister - Bright purple, with a blue/pink shimmer. *

* Exclusive. Not available to purchase separately.


24/7 EYELINING PENCILS

Zero - Traditional black kohl.
Ransom - Bright purple, with some iridescence.


Primer Potion - 3.7 ml

Saturday, 18 December 2010

Review: Heat Solid Perfume Ring by Beyonce




The fragrance

HEAT is fruity on first application - it reminds me of boiled sweets. The peach note is fully developed here; In the EDT it was just a syrupy mess.

I couldn't separate any of the floral notes that are listed, aside from the vanilla orchid; it's strong, sweet and slightly spicy. The other floral notes are hidden under it and the lingering peach note.

HEAT gradually burns down into a creamy almond and amber blend, which - while not unique - was nice. The solid version does not have the masculine woody base notes that the EDT has.


Scent notes
Vanilla-orchid, magnolia, neroli, peach, honeysuckle, almond, cream musk, sequoia wood, tonka and amber.



The perfume does not contain any shimmer and is not greasy, so will not give a sheen to skin on application.
The lasting power matches the EDT version; Up to three hours.


Review: Book of Shadows NYC by Urban Decay



Advantages: Everything about it
  Disadvantages: there are none
- - - - - - - -
Contents
- - - - - - - -


EYESHADOWS

Perversion - Matt black.
Uzi - Silver with glitter, so there is some fallout.
Loaded - Deep shimmering green. It almost looks navy in certain lighting*
Kush - Medium green, with a shimmering finish. *
Midnight Cowboy Rides Again - Mega glittery champagne. Gorgeous colour, but the large amount of glitter is very messy.
Last Call - Pinkish plum, with an lilac shimmer.
Rockstar - Deep blue-based purple. I think this is meant to be matt too, but there is a hint of shimmer. *
Money - My favourite in this palette. Blueish mint, that is the almost the exact same shade as is seen on US dollars. Contains silver micro glitter*
Haight - Cheerful swimming pool blue, with the shimmer finish. *
Maui Wowie - Gold with a greenish base. Contains silver micro glitter.
Smog - A shimmery golden copper.
Bordello - Shell pink, with a lilac shimmer.
Radium - Slightly darker than Haight and a heck of a lot brighter. Has a shimmery finish. [Not for the timid as when I say bright I mean it] *
Snatch - Another favourite of mine. A lovely shade of apricot, with silver micro glitter. *
Suspect - A light bronze with golden shimmer. *
Psychedelic Sister - Bright purple, with a blue/pink shimmer. *

* Exclusive. Not available to purchase separately.


24/7 EYELINING PENCILS

Zero - Traditional black kohl.
Ransom - Bright purple, with some iridescence.


Primer Potion - 3.7 ml

This is a beige cream containing silicone that becomes invisible once you've blended it in with your finger. You apply it on your eyelid [and under your eye too if you'll be smudging shadow there] before you put on shadow and it'll prolong the wear of your shadow and make the colour appear more vibrant. I've my eyeshadow on for over twelve hours a few times and it still looked freshly applied. This stuff is magic.

It'll work with any brand of shadow - not just Urban Decay.




- - - - - - - -
Packaging
- - - - - - - -

It comes in a box with a flip lid and a pull out drawer.

I'm a sucker for pretty packaging and this doesn't disappoint. When you open the lid [It's magnetic] famous landmarks from NYC literally pop up; This includes the Statue of Liberty, the Empire State Building, Brooklyn Bridge and a yellow taxi cab. Actually on the lid is a mirror framed by skyscrapers. And in case of people scoffing and sarcastically asking "does it come with lights" you can point out that yes, it does. The skyscrapers and Brooklyn Bridge have LCDs inside them :)

The lid is purely for decoration. As with the previous Books Of Shadows, the cosmetic items are all housed in the drawer. The drawer can be pulled out completely so it is easy to place on a dresser whilst you use it and it is easy to fit back into the case too.



Friday, 17 December 2010

Mmm, smells Christmas... Hidden Fantasy EDP by Britney Spears




This is the first entry in the Fantasy line that I think could be classed as an 'adult' scent. Sadly; I think this will be the least popular out of the Fantasy line as it isn't as sweet as it's predecessors, so is therefore more appealing to the 'older' (21+) customer.

For what it's worth; I think this is the best Fantasy fragrance EA have released.

Advantages: low price, for women of any age, men could wear this too
Disadvantages: Only suitable for colder weather

HIDDEN FANTASY opens with citrusy fruits, its more tangy then sweet on me. Things start to get interesting as the middle notes develop on my skin. The floral notes seem to be spiced to me; the clove grabs my attention. I'm not sure what Napolitano cake is, but I couldn't detect any typical buttery & sugary cake accords in HIDDEN FANTASY. The vanilla and amber base notes combine wonderfully with the woods, lending comforting warmth to the middle notes, minus the sugar rush I was expecting.

While HIDDEN FANTASY is suitable to wear all year round, I'll wear it mainly during atumn/winter. It has a warming effect on me. Plus; I find the clove and orange festive.
Scent notes: sweet orange, tangerine, grapefruit blossom, verbena, jasmine, stargazer lily, clove, sweet Napolitano cake, vanilla bean, jacaranda wood, fluid sandalwood and amber.

Wednesday, 15 December 2010

Review: Standing Out by Katie Price/Jordan [Book]

♦/

I read STANDING OUT (loaned from the library, not bought. I'm not that bad :p) as I was morbidly curious at the propect of the woman known as Jordan instructing us on style.

Tuesday, 14 December 2010

Spotlight: Supershock Gel Eyeliner Pencil by Avon


I'm not sure how long Avon's Supershock gel eyeliners have been available, but to me it's a new wonder...

I'd tried the Supershock mascara and as I didn't like that I didn't really notice the introduction of the liners. But I recently received a liner in a free-gift-with-purchase offer and when I tried it I was instantly blown away.


Review: Badass: A hard-earned guide to living life with (the right) style and attitude by Shannen Doherty [Book]

Advantages: Cozy writing style, split into clear sections, easy to put down and get back into, stunning photos
Disadvantages: The advice is mainly common sense

♠/

** I'll start with a friendly warning; BADASS is NOT an autobiography, it is clearly marketed towards personal growth and self help **

Reformed bad-girl actress Shannen Doherty has manged to turn her life (and potentially career destroying ways) around and she has just published a book to help others face up to their problems and how to come through.the other side stronger.

Monday, 13 December 2010

Review: Confessions of an heiress by Paris Hilton [Book]

Advantages: Easy to put down and then get back into, attractive layout
Disadvantages: Padded with photos and lists, not very informative

✮/

In the words of Paris herself "A lot of people seem to have the wrong idea about me. In fact, pretty much everything I read about myself is totally ridiculous. Newspapers and magazines write that I'm spoiled and privileged, and that all I do is dance on tabletops and party with my friends. They think I instantly became famous because I was born into a rich, well-known family, and everything has come so easily to me. They like to think everything they read about me in the tabloids is true. 

Well, you can't always believe what you read, right? So I've finally decided to give you a sneak peek into my very hyped life -- so you can know the real me".
CONFESSIONS OF AN HEIRESS attempts to answer the question "What is Paris Hilton's job?" with Paris' lifestyle guide/memoir. As well as informing us on her many business ventures [modeling, acting, singing, a fragrance range etc], Paris also gives a [tongue in cheek] a guide on living the heiress lifestyle.


Friday, 10 December 2010

Review: Look Like A Star by Lauren Luke [Book]

 Advantages: Clear layout, easy to find shades used, photographs through-out step by steps.
Disadvantages: Very little challenges, didn't inspire me much

❀/

Lauren Luke used to run her own cosmetics store on Ebay, and started a YouTube channel to demonstate the make-up to customers. When she started to do celebrity inspired looks her channel became extremely popular all over the world.

Today she regularly appears on TV, has her own make-up line, still makes videos for her YouTube channel and has published this book.


Thursday, 9 December 2010

Rumour Mill: Lady GaGa to front MAC 2011 Viva Glam campaign?


Perez Hilton thinks so.

There's no information right now, but seeing how successful this year's campaign [also fronted by Cyndi Lauper] has been I'm sure MAC are indeed seriously discussing it.


Upcoming release: Katy Perry range for OPI



Perez Hilton was published a sneak peak at the upcoming OPI range that is inspired by Katy Perry over on cocoperez.com.


As well at a look at the paper advertisement, we also get a look of four of the polishes, which are named after songs from her Teenage Dream album.





It's also been mentioned by several different sources that the collection will feature a black shatter topcoat. I have the Barry M version of this ['Nail Effects' £4.99] and love it. You apply it over your colour like a normal topcoat and as it dries it distorts and creaks up, creating a unique pattern.

I have a crappy mobile picture:




Excuse the quality. I'm going through a rough patch with my nails; They're peeling and constantly snapping so I'm not painting them yet for better swatch pics.

Upcoming: Dita Von Teese's beauty book, Plus talking cosmetics and fragrance


Burlesque superstar Dita Von Teese says she'd love to have her own cosmetics line.
Dita, who does her own makeup and is writing a book filled with beauty tips, explains:
"I want to do my own make-up line, because I feel like things are missing in the world."


She adds her line would include a matte lipstick because 
"that’s so hard to find these days."

But the sexy performer isn't stopping with makeup, she's also working on a fragrance!
Von Teese tells WWD:
"What I really want to do is make my own fragrance. I don’t want to smell like anyone else. I have to talk to the smaller companies, because the bigger ones, like Coty, are like 'Well, not everyone knows your name, like the Kardashians or Victoria Beckham.' "




[Source: cocoperez.com]

Wednesday, 8 December 2010

Review: Extreme Colour Lengthening mascara by Collection 2000



One coat of Collection 2000 Extreme Lengthening mascara ticks the main boxes for me; Great separation, noticeable length, volume increase and is non-clumpy. I've not experienced flaking or smudging, plus it holds my curl all day and is easy to remove. Whilst the lengthening abilities of this is great the volume increase is only slight, but the brand doesn’t promise more volume with this product, so no harm there.

The brush is a regular size with short bristles so it is easy to use and It grabs, coats and pushes every lash out and up (even those little stragglers in the outer corners of the eye).


There is a choice of black, teal, purple or blue in this mascara and the price is right [£2.99]. I've no complaints about this product whatsoever. This is a great every-day mascara.








Tuesday, 7 December 2010

Review; Vogue Makeup by Juliet Cohen [Book]


◊/

Advantages: Layout, stunning photography
Disadvantages: Information is thin on the ground, no photos in the places where it's needed.
VOGUE MAKE-UP aims to be a one stop shop for all thinks beauty related. Everything from basic skincare, to pedicures are covered, along with helpful quotes from respected make-up artists and tutorials to help inspire you.


Sunday, 5 December 2010

Review: Purse Spray set by Project D

✯/
Advantages: Reasonable price, good packaging, good size, good lasting power, Gorgeous bottle, very versatile
Disadvantages: None for me

These sprays have recently been released to compliment the PROJECT D self-named signature EDP. The key scent notes from that have been broken down into these three bottles in their natural form. Dawn takes the key 'top' notes, Day is comprised of most of the 'heart' notes whilst Dusk uses the original base notes.


Dawn 'Ready to Inspire'
I love the neroli-lead opening to Dawn; It's very spicy, yet a bit bitter and vaguely spicy. If it lasted longer it would be my favourite fragrance in the set.

The bergamot is also citrussy so blends in nicely and within ten minutes the warmth and spice vanishes and the fragrance becomes fresh and green. The ylang ylang isn't sweet here, instead it's quite musky/mossy and is very long lasting.

However, the longest lasting scent note here is the geranium, which is sort of a cross between the bergamot and the ylang ylang - it's bitter and mossy. At first I disliked Dawn because of the long lasting geranium note, but now I like the kick it gives it.


Day 'Ready to Intrigue'

Day opens with a brief burst of daisy. Lots of people say that daisy doesn't have a scent but it does, but it's quite faint and hard to describe; Once again I'm going to say mossy and heady.

The light daisy note dies down within the first few minutes so the headyness of it isn't a problem. The mimosa quickly develops and adds a vaguely fruity sweetness, as is the osmanthus. The combination reminds me a bit of tangerines - sweet, vaguely citrussy, but with zest.

I don't usually like tuberose, but as it's not artificial I really surprised myself by liking it. Considering that it's in it's pure form here it isn't as strong as I was expecting, though it does add more sweetness. It outlasts the other scent notes and becomes almost creamy as it slowly burns down.


Dusk 'Ready to Ignite'

The first scent that I notice is the musk, it is strong masculine and slightly salty. Like with the tuberose I normally don't like musky perfumes, but it doesn't artificial or plastic here and as the rest of this perfume is soft and feminine I love the contrast with the masculine start. Most musk in perfumes used in perfume is artificial nowadays, but it does seem natural.

The sandelwood develops almost as quickly as the musk and has a noticeable woodsy scent to it, which seems somewhat spicy.I'm not used to sandalwood actually smelling like a wood so this is a pleasant surprise. It's sort of familiar to cederwood and adds to the short-lived masculine opening.

I'm not sure what amber oil is, maybe it's a fancy term for vegetal amber (resin from tree sap), but it is more or less the same as artificial amber - a soft and creamy vanilla based scent. Not that it a bad thing; The difference between the opening and the drydown in Dusk is the most noticeable between the set, so Dusk is definitely my favourite.


I've not managed to discover which perfume house has produced this set. Both the bottles and the presentation box only bare the Project D information.

- - - - - - - - -
Scent notes
- - - - - - - - -

Dawn
Bergamot, Geranium, Neroli and Ylang Ylang.

Day
Tuberose, Daisy, Japanese Osmanthus and Mimosa.

Dusk
Sandalwood, Skin Musks, and hot Amber oils.


- - - - - - - - -
The bottles
- - - - - - - - -

The glass bottles are teardrop shaped and gold capped, with the name and a silhouette of a woman printed on them in black. The bottle for Dawn is coloured opal, Day is a soft pink and Dusk is a dusky rose.

The perfumes are housed in a flip lid, hardbacked card presentation box, which has a clear window on the lid. Normally I'm not fussed by the box as it just goes into the recycle bin, but I've not thrown this one out. The lid is also decorated with the same silhouette as the bottles and is coloured the same gradient shades of pink as the bottles. I'll save the box to use for keeping stamps or coupons together.


- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Other buying considerations
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

I was really impressed by the staying power for both Dawn and Day. Being made using less ingredients and using natural ingredients without any artificial 'help', I wasn't expecting much, so I was really surprised to note that they both last for around six hours.

Dusk has the shortest 'life'; It burns out within three to four hours.

If you layer two of use all three you'll get around eight hours wear.


This set is something that can be worn all year round as it's up to you how you prefer to wear your fragrances. I'll personally amp up the Dawn in hotter weather and be more generous with Dusk as it gets colder.


As it's a mix and match that's suitable to wear all year round it's a given that they are also suitable to be worn at any time of day or night. Personally I go for Dawn or Dusk lead mixes for work as they last longer and are 'fresher', whilst I love the 'come closer' aspect to Dusk in the evenings.


- - - - - - - - - -
My opinion
- - - - - - - - - -

This set is perfect for if you don't live near a store which stocks the Project D perfume and would need to order in untested - if you layer all three fragrances in this set at once you'll get a fairly close interpretation of it. And even if you find that you don't like the full effect there are still many ways to wear these; either individually or by using two at a time. Or you can wear them with any other perfume you own.

As well as being incredibly versatile the perfumes are great for touch ups on-the-go. The bottles are 10ml each, so can be easily slipped into the smallest of handbags or a pocket. The other nice thing about the small sizes is that there is no chance of becoming bored by the perfume. I wish other brands had similar sizes.

Finally; As you can see by the price below this is a inexpensive set to buy [£25 for 3 10ml bottles]. You often pay the same price - or higher - for a EDT that burns out within three hours, but for this cheap price you get three bottles of a higher-end brand name perfume, which is fairly exclusive, very versatile and has great lasting power. What is there not to love?


If you want to buy somebody a fragrance for Christmas but are not sure what to go for, I'd strongly consider this; there is something for most tastes here.

Tuesday, 23 November 2010

Review: Royal Desire EDT by Christina Aguilera





Advantages: Low price, easy to wear, striking bottle
Disadvantages: Poor staying power, 'quiet', unoriginal
- - - - - - - - - - - -
The fragrance
- - - - - - - - - - - -

I'm not a huge fan of the Christina Aguilera brands perfumes, but found last year's By Night pleasant, low priced and easy to find [pleasant as in comforting and easy to wear, but not anything original that I'd call a must-own].

Anyway; As the listed ROYAL DESIRE scent notes sounded like a combination between the ingredients used in Christina Aguilera and By Night I thought it'd be worth a try, so I collected several days worth of tester vials for a test...


When I first apply this the only note I smell is a lightly powdered vanilla note topped with extra sugar [white marshmallow] - it takes a few minutes for the blackberry to develop and when it does it is short-lived. I didn't pick up on any mandarin, which is a shame. I do love vanilla notes but it seems flat and therefore boring here.

The vanilla is strong enough to last throughout the whole fragrance and coupled with the rose notes it creates something similar to Turkish Delight, so the fragrance remains very sweet. The rose is the strongest note, but I can clearly make out the lily too and what I think is the slightest hint of honeysuckle [but since I knew to look for it I might just be kidding myself]. I can't find any reliable sources that clarify which 'herbs' are used but I can't make out even the slightest hint of anything other then the listed florals.

There is no strong indication between the heart notes and the base, thanks to the ever-present vanilla. The sandalwood and musk are mingled closely together so it is a warm and creamy mix - combined with the lingering vanilla and you get the same general feel as the top and heart. I can't detect any cedar-wood.


- - - - - - - - - -
Scent notes
- - - - - - - - - -

White marshmallow, blackberry, mandarin, honeysuckle, herbs, rose, lily, sandalwood, musk and cedar.


- - - - - - - -
The bottle
- - - - - - - -

The bottle is the same curvy shape as Christina Aguilera and By Night - Only the curves are in reverse this time around. The glass is clear to show the pink juice and has a black fleur-de-lys pattern embossed on it.

There is a remove charm around the bottle's neck. The 30ml bottle has a heart shaped charm engraved with Christina's initials, the 50ml bottle is embossed with a fleur-de-lys and the 100ml bottle is shaped as a pair of lips.


- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Other buying considerations
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

The lasting power is the same as the previous Christina Aguilera fragrances = pretty bad for a EDP; It burns down within four hours and becomes close to the skin after one.

The vanilla, mild fruits and florals, paired with the warm musk and sandalwood in the base mean that this is a perfect choice for autumn/winter, whilst the fact that the fragrance is close to the skin means that the sweetness is soft enough to still appeal in spring/summer.

I think that this is best suited to daytime wear; both casual use and work. I personally think that it's too quiet for nights out, but I suppose it depends on what you have planned.


- - - - - - - - - -
My thoughts
- - - - - - - - - -

The easiest way to describe ROYAL DESIRE is as a mix of Christina Aguilera and By Night; It combines the mild fruits and florals of the former with the soft, warm, oriental feel of the latter.

Much better than her first Christina Aguilera [which is too watered down], but it can't be described as original; it reminds me of a few other fragrances. But as this is a 'celeb' release it is less expensive than most of its scent-a-likes, so it's worth trying out.

As it's already similar to perfumes I already own, I won't buy it myself, although it's nice enough that I would wear it if it were given to me as a gift. I also think that it would be a safe gift choice for someone, as it's easy to wear and none of the notes are strong enough to be disagreeable.


- - - - -
Price
- - - - -

30ml: £20
50ml: £27
100ml: £35


For £20 you can currently buy a gift set containing a 30ml perfume, a 50ml fragranced body lotion and a black clutch bag.

Monday, 22 November 2010

Review: By Night EDT by Christina Aguilera



- - - - - - - - - - -
The Fragrance
- - - - - - - - - - -

Christina Aguilera BY NIGHT is a flanker to her first Proctor and Gamble fragrance Christina Aguilera. It follows the same fruity/floral blueprint, but the stronger vanilla and almond notes give the fragrance a creamy, oriental feel.

BY NIGHT is a mild, non-cloying, sweet fragrance; but the sweetness is made more adult and sexier by being close to the skin; it whispers 'come closer'


- - - - - - - - -
Scent notes
- - - - - - - - -

Mandarin, freesia apple, almonds, rhubarb, pineapple, heliotrope, peach blossom, amber and vanilla.


- - - - - - - -
The bottle
- - - - - - - -

The bottle is the same feminine shape as Christina Aguilera, but the lace pattern is different and the color pink has been introduced to the bottle.




- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Other buying considerations
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

The staying power is very poor; It goes close to the skin after an hour and burns out within three hours.

It is easy to wear and inoffensive to my work colleagues, so it is a good choice for an every day perfume as long as you don't mind constantly 'freshening up'. I don't think it is a good choice for nights out; It's 'quiet' and you'd need to carry a bottle round for re-freshening it.

As well as being easy to wear, it can also be worn all year round; The fruits and mild florals are perfect for the summer, whilst everything is [non-cloyingly] sweet, which provides comfort in colder weather.


- - - - - - - - -
My opinion
- - - - - - - - -

Much better than her first Christina Aguilera, but it can’t be described as original; it reminds me of a few other fragrances, including Hypnotic Poison. But CHRISTINA AGUILERA BY NIGHT is less expensive than most of its scent-a-likes, so it’s worth trying out.

As it's already similar to perfumes I already own, I won't buy it myself, although it's nice enough that I would wear it if it were given to me as a gift.


I think that it would be a safe gift choice for someone, as the fragrance is largely ageless and is easy to wear and none of the notes are strong enough to be disagreeable.


- - - - - -
Price
- - - - - -

30ml: £20.00
50ml: £27.00
75ml: £37.00


There is currently a gift set available for £20. It contains a 30ml bottle of the perfume, a 50ml tube of fragranced body lotion and a black/dusky rose lace hand bag.

Thursday, 18 November 2010

Review: Christina Aguilera EDT by Christina Aguilera




Advantages: low price, for women of any age, easy to wear, suitable all year round
Disadvantages: Poor staying power, 'quiet', unoriginal
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The Fragrance
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CHRISTINA AGUILERA is the first perfume release by the singer under Proctor and Gamble [She had several releases under the fragrance name 'Xpose' - which never received a official launch AND she released another self named one with a German company with a green bottle].

I find this fragrance a real struggle to describe as it has such a short life and is extremely close to the skin: I can't separate most of the listed individual notes as a result, so it just blends into one big jumble on my skin.


I find the fruit notes the strongest on me, but they are sweet and blend together too well. The plum and blueberry are the only notes that I can separate.

The florals notes could be anything; the top notes dominate everything else. If I constantly sniff my wrist and really pay attention I can just about single out the jasmine, but the florals are underdeveloped as a whole. What I did find easy to detect is a tea note [which raises this from one star to two stars].

The base isn't really apparent - the vanilla-soaked amber and creamy sandalwood are very similar to the fruity jumble.


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Scent notes
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Mandarin, peach, blueberry, jasmine, lily of the valley, peony, plum, musk, amber, sandalwood and vanilla.


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The bottle
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I like the old time glamour of the clear glass bottle - it's modelled after the classic hourglass silhouette.

The bottle is embossed with a black lace pattern which does look lovely in the print ads, but it does look cheap and tacky close up.




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Other buying considerations
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The staying power is very poor, it wears like a cheap body spray rather then a EDP. After one hour I have to press my wrist to my nose to be able to smell anything.

It is easy to wear and inoffensive to my work colleagues, so it is a good choice for an every day perfume as long as you don't mind constantly 'freshening up'. I don't think it is a good choice for nights out; It's 'quiet' and you'd need to carry a bottle round for re-freshening it.

As well as being easy to wear, it can also be worn all year round; The fruits and tea are refreshing in the heat, whilst everything is [non-cloyingly] sweet, which provides comfort in colder weather.


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My opinion
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Overall I find CHRISTINA AGUILERA very uninspired and safe - there's nothing individual about this fragrance, nothing to make it stand out from the crowd. We've all got these notes already with other fragrances.

I wear fragrance for the way they make me feel or as a confidence booster, but this doesn't provoke any feelings, provide confidence or stir any memories for me. I found this very disappointing, after having heard so many good things about it.


I think that it would be a safe gift choice for someone, as the fragrance is largely ageless and is easy to wear and none of the notes are strong enough to be disagreeable.


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Price
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30ml: £20.00
50ml: £27.00
75ml: £37.00

[There is also meant to be a 15ml EDP and a 150ml spray deodorant available, but I've never come across these].


The 75ml bottle has become hard to find, but if you shop around you'll be able to buy the 50ml bottle for under £20.

There is currently a gift set available for £20. It contains a 30ml bottle of the perfume, a 50ml tube of fragranced body lotion and a black/silver lace clutch bag.

Wednesday, 17 November 2010

Spotlight: Makeup Academy cosmetics [exclusive to Superdrug]




As you can guess from glancing at the header, every product in Superdrug's latest makeup range - Makeup Academy - costs just £1.


I've got a lipstick [Shade 12 - A lovely red] and one of the glitter liners [shade 2 - pale gold] and I'm really impressed by the quality of both.


Lipstick

The colour goes on slightly lighter then the colour looks in the tube. It feels very soft, light and moisturizing on lips. The only downside is the less-then-amazing staying power; Around 2 hours with no eating or drinking.




Glitter eyeliner

This stuff is amazing. The glitter particles are finely milled, so the liner doesn’t come out in sparse clumps; it applies very smoothly and evenly. But the real selling point is the fact that the gel itself is beautifully colored to match the glitter.






The range


Eyes

Glitter eyeliner [10 shades]
Eyeshadow - a variety of matt and pearl finish powder shadow singles [20 shades]
Eye Dusts - Loose pigment pots [6 shades]
Eyeliner - Liquid eyeliner [5 shades]
Mascara - Lengthening mascara [5 shades]


Lips

Lipstick - Moisturizing, sheer and comes in a clear-bottomed tube [12 shades]
Lipgloss - Squeeze gloss with a high shine finish .[5 shades]
Lipgloss tube - Sheer finish gloss with a doe foot applicator [5 shades]


Face

Blusher - Powder [4 shades]
Bronzer - Powder [2 shades]


Nails

Nail polish - Mix of creme, shimmer and metallic finishes [18 shades]







See the range here.

Tuesday, 16 November 2010

Review: Princess EDT by Vera Wang





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The fragrance
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Wedding gown designer Vera Wang is behind the inspiration for the toilette PRINCESS. The name, fragrance and bottle are all aimed towards younger consumers, Vera Wang herself envisions young bridesmaids wearing this as they support the bride on her special day.


PRINCESS starts as it means to go on; delicately sweet and very feminine. I was surprised to learn how many fruit scent notes this contains as aside fro the apricot and a hint of mandarin I can't separate any others. I'm not sure what their version of meringue is either as everything is already sweet and there are several other creamy notes so it remains hidden.

If you aren't a fruity person, you'll be pleased to know that the top notes are short lived with the tuberose developing in the first five minutes. However even the tuberose soon takes a back seat as the gourmand notes steal the show. I'm not sure how to describe how the heart develops, other then as strawberry buttercream with a sprinkling of tuberose and powdered vanilla. I could pick out the chocolate but it is partly hidden underneath the other notes, so is very subtle.

I didn't really notice much difference between the heart and the base to be honest. The preexisting vanilla mixes with the 'amber' thoroughly creating a creamy mix. I'm not sure what woods the perfumers used - the super-vanilla is close to the skin and hides anything else that is under it.


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Scent notes
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Apples, water lily, golden apricot, mandarin, meringue, pink guava, Tahitian tiare flower, wild tuberose, dark chocolate, vanilla chiffon, pink frosting, precious amber and 'forbidden woods'.


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The bottle
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The heart shaped bottle is a case of love it or hate it. I'm in the hate it camp as it can't stand up vertically, so if you have a lot of perfume on your dresser it can be hard to spot.

The bottle neck and the crown shaped cap can both be worn as rings.




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Other buying considerations
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The only real negative for this is the staying power; After one hour it goes close to the skin and within three hours of application it's gone. Not unexpected for an EDT, but this is just as expensive as designer EDPs, so it's a big let-down.

It sort of makes up for this by being suitable to wear all year round; I don't find the sweet notes of chocolate, vanilla and frosting sickly in warmer weather nor is the fruit and florals 'cold' in the worst weather thrown at us during the winter months. It's very well balanced.

It is ideal for a day-to-day fragrance. I happily wear it to work and have received loads of compliments on it and I've smelled it on other colleagues too. I personally don't think that it is strong or unique enough for an evening fragrance, plus you'd need to carry the bottle around for top ups, so its a no-go for me.


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My opinion
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I'm ultimately left feeling let down by PRINCESS; there's nothing that I actively dislike about it, but for the price I was hoping for something a bit more distinct with better staying power. There are many gourmand perfumes on the market which cost less and last longer, so I can't justify re-buying this.

Also; As I mentioned above this is something that I notice a lot of other women wearing, and I personally prefer to wear fragrances that are a bit more unique.


Cheaper alternatives to PRINCESS include Kylie Minogue Sweet Darling, Paris Hilton Can Can, Victoria Secret Ooh La La, Avril Lavinge Forbidden Rose, Nina Ricci Lovely Nina and Ghost Sweetheart.


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Price
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30ml: £32.00
50ml: £43.00
100ml: £57.00

There is currently a gift set available for the festive season for £35. It contains a 30ml EDT, a 75ml tube of fragranced body lotion and a cube keyring that contains a solid lipgloss.

If you buy Princess at The Fragrance Shop you receive a cosmetic case, with a heart pattern over it. I believe that the case has a rollerball and miniature tube of body lotion, as it did when I bought PRINCESS in Debenhams a few years ago.

Speaking of Debenhams; There is a gift set sold available in-store and online there with a 50ml EDT bottle, a 7.5ml bottle, a 75ml lotion and a 75ml fragranced body butter. This set is £45.
Summary: ... Not worth it for me.