Saturday, 5 November 2011

New fragrance: Meow by Katy Perry...

Meow is the second fragrance from the American pop singer Katy Perry, who released her debut fragrance Purr last year. The fragrance is announced as very sweet, inspired by the magical land of Candyfornia ("Candy" plus "California").

Katy describes the new fragrance for wwd magazine: “It’s a sister fragrance. Purr to me was a little bit more floral, and Meow is a little bit more sweet. It was probably because of the California Dreams tour that it was more of the confectionary world, because everything I’ve seen for the last year has been like cotton-candy scented or huge peppermints or massive gummy bears.”

Meow was developed by Givaudan perfumers. The fragrance opens with notes of tangerine, pear, jasmine and gardenia; the heart are honeysuckle, lily of the valley and orange blossom, while the sweet base features aromas of amber, vanilla, sandalwood and musk.

Top notes: tangerine, pear, jasmine, gardenia
Heart: honeysuckle, lily of the valley, orange blossom
Base: amber, vanilla, musk, sandalwood

The bottle design follows its feline-like predecessor. Katy, inspired by vintage milk vials, wanted the bottle to be opaque and pale pink. “Vintage milk glass that you find at flea markets always looks so great with light hitting it,” she said.

The fragrance is available as 50 and 100 ml Eau de Parfum.

Source: Fragrantica

Based on the scent notes I'm having a hard time believing that Meow will be sweeter then Purr. Purr is sweet and very creamy...

I loved how the arenas themselves are perfumed on her California Dreams tour, so I'll probably get Meow to remind me of that.

Oh; the storyline for the concert involves Katy going to the magical land of Candyfornia [like her California Girls video] in search for her missing cat. This explains the names, bottles and sweet fragrances.

No UK release date yet, but Purr was released in time for last Christmas, so it's likely that Meow will get a similar release date.

Friday, 4 November 2011

Review: My Style by Dannii Minogue

"I'm not perfect when it comes to fashion and I never have been, but I feel I am starting to hit my stride" - Dannii Minogue


Dannii Minogue has been working longer then I've been alive, so I've grown up with her on the radio, seeing her face on TV and in magazines. I've always been fascinated by her style - all the way from her experimental early pop days, her goth 'bad girl' Home & Away look, her sex kitten disco girl era, to today's pretty and polished glam.

She always wears her clothes, not the other way round; that's something that I aspire to, but never seem able to pull off. So the chance to learn about where it all started and how she achieves it was something I couldn't resist, even though I would never class myself as trendy or as someone who is otherwise really into fashion - I'm mainly just nosey and wanted to see the contents of her wardrobe...

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Review: eyeshadow palette by Pixi

I used to love the bright colours and extremely rich pigmentation found in the Urban Decay eyeshadows, but lately I've become, I don't know, kinda bored with my usual routine. And I've suddenly realised that I'm now twenty eight, so yeah I'm not 'young' anymore. I guess it's sensible make-up [ahem, most of the time], twin set and pearl time... 

The colour combinations and the satiny finish to the shadows in the Miracle Velveteen compact really appealed to me as the colours are neutral and only one shade is dark, so this is something that can be used every single day, at any time of day and with any outfit. None of the shadows contain shimmer, so I decided that this was a 'sensible' palette, so I thought that I'd give it a whirl.

Thursday, 13 October 2011

witches Brew scented candle by Yankee...

Advantages: Fragrance fits the holiday, reasonable price, range of sizes,
Disadvantages: limited availability.

It's that time of year again; I just love burning scented candles during the grey, rainy and cold autumn/winter months...

Sunday, 2 October 2011

Candy Corn scented candle by Yankee Candles...

Candy Corn is a tri-coloured [yellow, orange and white] American candy made from corn syrup, marshmallow and fondant. It is sold all year round in America and Canada, but is especially popular in autumn and has become a sort of mascot for Halloween. The Yankee candle version of CANDY CORN is therefore unsurprisingly very sweet, so be warned.

Scent-wise there's not really much to say. if you love benzoin, you'll want to eat this candle. All the classic benzoin hallmarks are here; vanilla, burnt sugar, slightly buttery notes, with a faint almond-cherry undertone.

There is extra vanilla in the fragrance, to mimic the marshmallow, and there is also a pinch of what I think is nutmeg, possibly cinnamon, underneath everything else to give everything a bit of a kick.

As with all Yankee candles, the entirety of the wax is perfumed; I've used some candles where the fragrance burns up before the candle does, but that is not the case here. The fragrance lasts as long as the candle does and I even catch occasional wafts of the perfume whilst the candle is unlit.

To sum up the scent; I really enjoy using the CANY CORN scented candle and will be buying more while I still can, this is second only to Christmas Cupcake on my favourite Yankee candle list.

However; we Brits don't have the same connections between candy corn sweets and Halloween, so this is not a fragrance that says "Halloween is almost here." I'll be using CANDY CORN again, but I see it as a all-year round fragrance, rather then a seasonal special.

I mainly use my candles in my bedroom for a few hours in the evenings. A single Yankee votive sampler will last about one week in total. so seven days, with two to three hours per use mains each one has a burning time of between roughly fourteen to sixteen hours. Very good for £1.65.

Sunday, 25 September 2011

New fragrance: Dita Von Teese EDP by Dita Von Teese

Dita Von Teese – she is the most famous name in Burlesque and synonymous with seduction. She is an international style icon, who evokes the spirit of the alluring Femme Totale. She is the physical embodiment of everything she is presenting to a worldwide audience with her first scent creation: Glamour, elegance, and self-confident sensuality. That’s why her new scent can have only one name: “Dita Von Teese.”

Her new perfume is just like she is as a woman: glamorous and mysterious, self-confident and seductive. Dita Von Teese created a scent for the type of woman that she embodies like no other: the Femme Totale. She is a vamp and an innocent beauty, provocative and unattainable at the same time. She knows what she wants, and how she will get it – with style, class, and elegance.

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

New fragrance: True Reflection EDP by Kim Kardashian...

It's turning into a Kim Kardashian day.

Just as we find out that Kim Kardashian Love will no longer be a (very) limited edition, her next new fragrance is announced...

If you happen to be searching Ebay for Kim Kardashian Love EDP...

... don't bother.

It was announced today that this perfume will no longer be limited edition [there were only 799 bottles released for public sale]. Instead, it will soon join the regular Kim Kardashian perfume line.

Tuesday, 13 September 2011

Review: Lash Fibres brush on false lashes by ModelCo

 "There's no glue, no stress and no mess - we promise! Super voluptuous, clump-free, incredibly long lashes that last until you remove your make-up. The unique, new technology nylon fibers give high-impact length, whilst Bees Wax and Carnauba Wax help keep lashes soft and nourished. It's time to take your lashes to the extreme!"

FIBRE LASH was launched in Australia last year and has already won an Australian Cosmopolitan beauty award [most innovative new product], so I bought the set [£35] to see what the fuss is about.

This set contains two tubes; a 10ml tube of lengthening mascara and a 0.6g tube of 'Lash Fibres'. The mascara is in a larger tube, as you need to apply two coats every time you wear FIBRE LASH, whereas you just need one coat of the lash fibres themselves [sandwiched between the coats of mascara].

Sounds simple, but lets find out how simple it it to apply in real life, and see the results we'll be getting for ourselves - I don't trust ads for mascara, as the models tend to wear false eyelashes...

Friday, 19 August 2011

My latest buy: Eye Beauty Set by Pixi

Not too much to say about this yet. I jst wanted to give everyone a head's up as Amazon UK are selling the following colour combination [RRP £26] for only £6.92. There are only 9 left, so get your skates on.

It's too early for me to do a review yet as I want more time to play around with the kit, and first impressions are so-so; on the plus side, I wanted soft, neutral, matt, easily blendable colours and this set delivers. On the not-so-good side, I tried to take some swatches, but the colours didn't show up very well [my skin is pale and bleached the swatches out), so the pigmentation isn't the best.

The shades are beautiful though and I hope to take some quick EOTD photos, so fingers crossed that it works out.

A review and (hopefully a few EOTD looks will be coming shortly, so stay tuned...

Wednesday, 17 August 2011

Review: Super G EDT by Harajuku Lovers

It's only a short entry for this as there's not really much to say about this simple and rather uncomplicated new fragrance from the popular Harajuku Lovers line...

Monday, 15 August 2011

New fragrance: Love And Light EDT by Jennifer Lopez

little while ago I mentioned Jennifer Lopez's new fragrance Love And Light, which was launched on HSN shopping network last month and hits US [no word on the UK release yet] store shelves in September 2011 [30ml and 75 ml bottles of EDT, as well as 200ml body lotion].

But now I've found a little bit more information about the new EDT, so I thought I'd write another update for it...

Sunday, 14 August 2011

Review; Passport in Paris, Eau de Toilette by Paris Hilton

Advantages: low price, long lasting, easy to wear, suitable all year round,
Disadvantages: unoriginal.

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The fragrance
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Here comes my standard opening statement; PASSPORT PARIS is a fruity/floral, so that, the low price and the fact that it's a 'Celebrity Scent' - and being released by Paris Hilton - makes this the perfect target for mockery by 'serious' fragrance devotees. But hey; if it smells nice and you enjoy wearing it, then who cares whose name is on it and if it's 'only' a fruity/floral?

Now that's out of the way, lets move on to the actual fragrance...

Immediately upon application I can pick on the lightly powdered vanilla note and a hint of peach. I thought that this would be a overpoweringly sweet combination, but the sweetness is surprisingly light and subtle. After a couple of minutes what I think is a raspberry note starts to develop - I can't pull out any other berry notes, but let's be honest and admit that all berries smell similar when used in perfumes. I didn't pick up on any mandarin, which is a shame as more juicy and watery notes might have made the vanilla disperse so the fruit notes got more time to develop.

One of the great things about PASSPORT PARIS is that I can pick out the three key floral notes, my theory is this is because the vanilla is laced throughout the whole fragrance and provides a solid but light base for the florals to develop on. On me the peony note is the strongest out of the florals and as this is a favorite floral scent of mine I'm pleased. The honeysuckle is nearly as strong as the peony, but is still delicate, while the jasmine is subtle and seems slightly watery. I catch occasional hints of other florals and maybe some fruits too, but nothing else is strong enough for me to take even a solid guess at.

There is no strong indication between the heart notes and the base, thanks to the ever-present vanilla. The amber, patchouli 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 notes. The overall sweetness and creaminess is very reminiscent of coconut at times, more so in warmer weather as my skin heats up.

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Scent notes
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Mandarin, red berries, peach, Sambac jasmine, honeysuckle, peony, vanilla, amber, patchouli and creamy white musk.

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The bottle
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The perfume bottle is the same plastic capped cylinder shape as Paris Hilton For Women and Just Me. But, whilst the bottle shape is the same as her first adult releases, the bottle and outer packaging seems to be aimed towards younger customers; the bottle's label features a anmie rendition of Paris Hilton. Very Harajuku Lovers.

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Other buying considerations
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The best thing about PASSPORT PARIS is definitely the lasting power. It burns down within six to eight hours on skin. It does go fairly close to the skin after three hours, but other people still notice it. I sometimes wear it to bed and will still smell it when I wake up the next day. My bra and tee still smell all vanilla/peachy after a few days, so yeah, this packs a lot more punch then I thought a EDT would be capable of doing.

I got my bottle just before Christmas, because sandalwood, musk and vanilla based fragrances appeal to me in cold weather. As the fruits are perfectly balanced in strength with the florals, so it didn't seem out of place for the time of year. I don't usually wear EDTs in autumn/winter as the concentration doesn't wear well on me, but this has worn well through the snow/ice/bitter winds/rain.

I was surprised by how versatile I've found PASSPORT PARIS to be, now that it's [allegedly] summer; this is the time of year when I find that the perfume being close to the skin comes in handy as the sweetness remains light. The fruit notes also seem more apparent to me and prevent the florals and creamy powderiness from becoming cloying.

As well as being wearable all year round I also happily wear this perfume for casual days, work and some evenings out. The fragrance is subtle, so colleagues won't find it irritating at work. For nights out it is long lasting, but is non-cloying, so as long as you don't want a unique "look at me" type fragrance, this is a good choice.

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PASSPORT PARIS is a sweet fragrance but it is non-cloying, so I find this to be a more 'adult' then a lot of similar vanilla based fruity/floral fragrances; it's more subtle, it doesn't grab near-by people by the throat and demand attention; it's designed for the wearer to enjoy, rather then the whole office/street/bar.

This is something that is never going to become a classic fragrance, as the scent notes have all appeared in countless other mass-market perfumes over the years. But as this is an all year round, all occasions, reasonably priced EDP that comes in a cute bottle I'm very happy with my purchase and will be re-buying it.

PASSPORT PARIS is similar to Paris Hilton's 2009 Siren perfume, which is in turn similar to Juicy Couture's Viva La Juicy perfume. The good news is that PASSPORT PARIS is easier to find and it's not as close to the skin as Siren is, and it is a heck of a lot cheaper then Viva La Juicy. And - even though this is a EDT - it actually has the better staying power out of the three fragrances.

The Paris Hilton Passport Collection also includes Passport Tokyo [woody/floral/musk] and Passport South Beach [fruity/floral/woody]. I don't know if they plan to introduce more fragrances to the Passport Collection or not; I've emailed Parlux, but haven't received a reply yet.

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The Passport Collection was released in the US last year, but has now started creeping into the UK. The Perfume Shop [separate from The Fragrance Shop] is the sole high street stockist of the Passport Collection so far. They sell the 100ml bottles for £20.

I've seen 30ml bottles in TK Maxx for £13. also stocks the 30ml for £15. stock the 100ml bottle for £22.95.

Summary: Another nice surprise from the Paris Hilton perfume team...

Friday, 15 July 2011

Review: Pop Pink Sparkle EDT by Kylie Minogue


Advantages: low price, for women of any age, easy to wear,
Disadvantages: Only suitable for warmer weather, below average lasting power, unoriginal, hard to find.

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The fragrance
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My sister's boyfriend saw my cast-off bottle of Pink Sparkle on my sister's dresser, so when she had used it up he bought her Pop Pink Sparkle to replace it [we think that he thought it was the same perfume]. My sister isn't keen on this version however, so she has passed on to me.

No, I'm not sure why. After all, I did give her my bottle of Pink Sparkle because I didn't think that it is anything special. She must be having a clear-out and unloading stuff on everyone. But anyway, on to the perfume...

On first application the fragrance is slightly sweet thanks to the peach, but the tart apple note livens it up and keeps the sweetness to a minimum. The pepper slightly spices up the fruit notes and gives the perfume a sharp bite. I could immediately tell that I would prefer this over the quiet original Pink Sparkle as it is already louder and has nice contrasts to it.

A touch of the apple lingers and carries down into the heart, whilst the sweet peach and spicy pepper notes sadly fade away in less then ten minutes [usually within just five minutes]. After the surprisingly lively top notes I have to say that I'm not overjoyed by the floral notes; they are clean and airy, but they never seem to develop fully. In fact the only floral note I can place with any certainty is the gardenia, which I don't usually like, but is actually quite enjoyable here as it's lighter then it usually is when used in perfumes. Apart from the gardenia I think I can pick up on a hint of rose, but can't tell for sure - everything else is lost in a soft jumble. A shame as I love the scent of the tiare flower and I don't think that I have any perfumes which contain marigold, so that would have been great too.

The base is the biggest letdown for me; I've never used a perfume with ragweed in it before, but the sandalwood is so strong that it completely drowns out everything else, except for a breeze of musk. There is a slight vanilly sweetness in the base, but yeah, that probably IS vanilla. The whole musk/sandalwood/vanilla base in perfumes has been flogged to death and beyond, can we have something a little bit different please?

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Scent notes
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Pink pepper, green apple, white peach, gardenia, tiare flower, English marigold, Bulgarian rose, sandalwood, musk and ragweed.

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The bottle
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I can see how my sister's boyfriend got mixed up; the bottles for Pink Sparkle and POP PINK SPARKLE are the same. The bottle glass is clear to show off the pink juice and it has a cord pattern embossed around it, mimicking vintage champagne bottles.

The only difference between the bottles for Pink Sparkle and POP PINK SPARKLE is the cap; this time the cap is silver [Pink Sparkle uses pale gold] and shaped like a stopper on a champagne bottle.

POP PINK SPARKLE is only available in a 30ml bottle.

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Other buying considerations
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As this is a Kylie/Coty collaboration it's no surprise that the staying power is poor, even for a mass market EDT. POP PINK SPARKLE wears as through it were a body spray - the scent notes are a bit too light, making the staying power poor for the price. After only three hours or so, I struggle to get more then a brief whiff of sandalwood.

I think that this is best suited to use for day wear - both casual wear and for work. Some people may think that it's too sweet for work, but I think the delicate florals break up the sweetness of the peach and vanilla enough so that the fragrance doesn't seem too young. I don't wear this in the evening, as it's too mild and doesn't last long enough for nights out; the bottle may be small, but I don't want to carry my bottle around for touch ups on the go.

My sister gave me my bottle when it was colder and I wasn't overjoyed by the fragrance at first. I thought that it was a passable perfume, but the EDT concentration and scent notes are all way too mild for colder weather; I couldn't smell any of the individual floral notes in colder weather and after an hour I struggled to smell anything at all. So yeah, this is limited to the spring/summer months for me. I'm wondering if this is actually meant to be a limited edition summer perfume, as I've never seen it in any stores. If you see it anywhere and like it I'd buy an extra bottle, just in case.

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My opinion
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Pink Sparkle was inspired by and named after pink champagne, so they've stuck with that theme again here and I have to say that the sharp fruit and fresh florals in POP PINK SPARKLE is more reminiscent of champagne - even though Pink Sparkle actually did contain champagne accords [I should say supposedly, as I couldn't pick any champagne notes out of it].

I'm at loss to explain why my sister gave me her bottle; although this edition is a bit sharper and cleaner, it's not wildly different to the original Pink Sparkle. There isn't anything to dislike in POP PINK SPARKLE, but at the end of the day it is just another safe and generic Kylie Minogue EDT, that follows the same old blueprint as her past fragrances: a mix of fruit, underdeveloped florals and a musk infused base. Nice, but nothing new and it is to expensive as it wears like a body spray.

I'll continue to use this bottle happily enough as it's only small, but this is not something I'd buy for myself, as it is just like every other generic fragrance out there.

I just have to complain about the name; it conjures up visions of Hello Kitty, Care Bears and My Little Pony, so adult customers just pass this on by. It's certainly not a name that I'd chose for a fragrance [especially one fronted by a woman in her forties], and this might be part of the reason that many stores have now stopped selling Pink Sparkle and her past fragrances.

I really don't know why my sister gave her bottle away [I'm now convinced that she's having some sort of clear-out]. I think that this would make a good gift choice; it's mild and unoffensive, so while the recipient may not end up loving it they won't find anything disagreeable about it.

I also see POP PINK SPARKLE as being wearable for women of any age.

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30ml: £21

I believe that POP PINK SPARKLE is exclusive to The Fragrance Shop, as I've never seen it before.

Tuesday, 5 July 2011

Review: Colour B4 by Scott Cornwall


Advantages: It DID remove my colour build-up,
Disadvantages: you need to be sure about the ingredients used in your hair dye, instructions are contradictory.

I tried a violet dye on my hair a little while ago and whilst I did like the results, the colour wasn't the same as the box lead me to believe it was and the shade noticeably darkened towards the mid-lengths and ends of my hair. I managed to ignore the unevenness for a bit, but, like everyone who has had the same result, it was the first thing I'd notice. After three weeks or so I'd instantly zero in on my 'problem areas' whenever I passed a reflective surface.

I decided that the darkening colour had been caused by a build-up of the different dyes I've used over the years, so came to the conclusion that I needed to have the colour stripped out of my hair. My sister had also been looking into having her hair stripped and was given a three figure quote by hairdressers, so that put me off the idea straightaway and I instead looked into various dark brown and black hair dyes to solve the problem instead.

Then one day I bumped into a friend who had had black hair for as long as I'd known her, but now had light brown hair. Black dyes need stripping as you can't lighten them, so was paying £100+ really worth it? She explained that she didn't go to a hairdressers and had instead used a store brought colour stripper and had no problems with it.

I couldn't ague with the results; her hair looked healthy and shiny, whilst her original hair colour didn't look brassy or tired. I immediately went to boots to buy myself a box of Scott Cornwall COLOUR B4, to get back to touch with my own natural greying ash blonde/brown hair colour.

Would it work for me?

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The claim
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Colour B4 shrinks the artificial dye molecules in the hair, enabling you to simply wash them away. What's more Colour B4 does not touch your natural hair pigment so you are left with the colour which lay beneath your artificial shade. Colour B4 takes you back to your lightest shade. It will return your hair to its natural colour if the artificial hair colour applied is darker than your natural level.

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Out of the box
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The box contains a bottle (A) of activator fluid, a nozzle-applicator bottle of the 'remover (B)': the dye removal formula, a bottle of 'Buffer (C)' - a intensive shampoo, a pair of disposable gloves and a double sided instruction/FAQ sheet.

So I'd read all of the information on the box carefully in Boots, and the box states that Colour B4 is perfect for removing product build up, as well as being safe to use before colouring your hair. Nothing else on the box made me think that this product wouldn't work for me, so since everything sounded good I paid for it and headed home and opened up the box to get started...

... Things started to come undone at this point. The back of the mixing and application instruction sheet is a FAQ sheet; it is here that I learnt that you shouldn't use a permanent dye on your hair for at least four weeks after using Colour B4 - OK, fair enough, but you could have put that on the outer packaging.

After reading a bit further I learnt that "high fashion colours" such as blue-black, red and purple (also henna) can stain the hair cuticle, which Colour B4 is apparently powerless against as removal could "be much harder". The dye I want to remove was purple and before that I'd used a few different shades of red and my old shampoo and conditioner contained henna. Uh oh.

The FAQs don't tell you if Colour B4 can remove some of the build up or not, so hope was not yet lost.

Next up is silicone's: did you hair dye boast about being 'anti fade', 'fade resistant', 'water proofed', 'shine enhancing' or 'colour locking'? You've probably got silicone. We're reassured that they're harmless, but if you have used a heated styling tool on your hair, then the silicone may have hardened and formed a inpenitrable shell around your hair and guess what? Colour B4 is powerless against that too.

At this point I unsuccessfully looked for my receipt and was then left to re-read everything and focus on the fact that the FAQs uses phases such as "much harder" and "may not", rather then "removal is impossible" and "will not work".

Also; the friend of mine who had used Colour B4 to remove her old colour had used the same brand that I use and she uses hair straighteners every day. So I guess that the fact that she encountered no problems using Colour B4 means that our chosen brand of dye is silicone free [crossing fingers].

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Work it...
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Mixing for Colour B4 is the same as it is for home dyes; Pour the contents of the activator bottle into the remover bottle and do your best impersonation of Tom Cruise in Cocktail for thirty seconds. I'll warn you at this point that the formula has a unpleasant smell; I'd roped in the services of my sister as I have tons of hair to cover and her verdict on the aroma was 'farts'.

Ta-da; we're now ready to apply.

Once the mixed formula had been evenly applied to my dry hair [we did it from the ends up, following the colour build up], I let my hair marinade in the unpleasant-selling formula for one hour [I used the extra strength formula, regular only takes thirty minutes]. The instructions advice wrapping your hair in cling film to trap in heat, which helps the formula to develop. I did my usual MacGyverism and tied a plastic carrier bag over my head.

After the processing time is over it's time for rinsing. As my hair is long the instructions told me to spend ten minutes rinsing the Colour B4 mixture out of my hair. I'm advised to time myself, so it was clear that it is important not to skip this instruction.

So after my ten minute rinse I was bored and my skin was prune-like, but we're still not done; it's now time for 'buffering': Part I. The thing that they call the 'buffer' is actually some kind of shampoo. Having read the instructions three times by now I knew to only apply half half the bottle; then spend one minute working through my hair and rinse. Solidly for five minutes.

Remember how I saved half of the bottle? You know what's coming up now... Buffering: Part II. This is just repeating the previous step; work buffer through hair for one minute, then rinse for five.

After running up your water bill with twenty minutes worth of rinsing you're now done. You may use a wash-out or semi-permanent dye on your hair if you wish. Oh yeah; brace yourself for the eggy scent of the formula to cling to your hair for a few days, it's faint, but it's definitely there.

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The big reveal
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As I did my buffering in the shower I could see that the ends of my hair were a slightly brassy blonde. I used to colour my hair blonde [before my latest brown, red and purple], so yay! Colour B4 had successfully removed the brown, reds and purple dyes and revealed my old blonde colour, fantastic.

That joyful feeling lasted until I checked out my reflection; It wasn't just the ends of my hair which were a brassy blonde, for some reason it was my whole head. And my hair didn't dry as a somewhat brassy blonde - it dried ginger. And when I say ginger, I don't mean blonde with copper undertones, I really do mean flaming-orange ginger. As my sister would later delightedly say "I really f**ked it up"...

So I was now ginger and the instructions tell you to wait four weeks before applying a permanent dye to your hair - but wait! One of the FAQs says wait one week. I decided to split the difference and wait two weeks and spend until then washing my hair daily with Vosene [it is great at quickly fading hair dye].

After two days of ginger themed jokes I caved and reached for a new dye, after all my hair already wrecked so it couldn't be any worse...

Drum roll; The dye I've now used did apply much darker then it should, but after the first week it quickly lightened with each wash and is now it has reached and maintained as exactly the same as the colour on the box.

I would recommended waiting at least two weeks though, as although my new colour is fine it might not work out the same for someone else. Please don't risk ruining your hair just because I did.

My new hair colour [Schwarzkopf live colour XXL in Mystic Violet]. Photo taken after one week.

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Would I recommend it?
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Yes - if you know for certain what ingredients the hair dye you're trying to remove contains and that's not always easy to figure out.

If I were honest I'd admit that I'll consider using it again myself; a little voice in my head keeps telling me that if I used a red over the resulting ginger it'd be very vibrant... I'm trying to ignore the voice, but I did find myself browsing the haircare section in Boots over the weekend just "to look" at the red colours...

But, yeah, I wouldn't recommend it to people who aren't sure about the ingredients in their hair dye - any future disasters will be my own fault, but I would hate for someone else to have a mishap with it.

I can't complain about my results really as I did know that it may not work and, after all, it did remove the colour build up for me. I've thought long and hard and have decided that one of the colours I recently used must contain bleach and that - combined with cuticle staining - caused my hair to turn that lovely shade of orange.

My hair is a bit more frizzy then usual, but a couple of deep conditioning treatments sorted that out quickly enough. My hair hasn't snapped or anything, so a bit of frizz for a few days was no real trauma to endure. Now [a few weeks later] my hair and latest colour are both shiny and healthy looking.

I will complain about the outer packaging not stating the it is advisable to wait four weeks before colouring your hair again. If I'd known that I probably wouldn't have bought this. Then again it says to wait "at least one week" before using a permanent dye [you can use wash out or semi-permanent dyes right away] in the FAQ, which left me doubtful over the product.

Also; the wording on the instructions needs tweaking. The way things are phrased leaves wiggle room and doubt, which isn't good when it comes to impulsive customers like myself. Also it contradicts itself when it comes to time before recolouring itself.

Finally; I've since read on various sites that Schwarzkopf hair dyes DO contain silicone, and I do regularly use hair straighteners, that reach 230.c. So which once again, my experience using this product shows that the information that comes with Colour B4 really does need looking at by the manufacturers.

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Colour B4 - £10.20
[for removing light to medium tones of dye]

Colour B4 Extra - £12.25
[for removing darker tones of dye]

Friday, 24 June 2011

Review: 4 by Beyonce...

As the title of the album suggests, this is the fourth solo album* from the lead singer of now defunct girl-group Destiny's Child. The album title is not just meant to signify that this is the fourth solo release, but it also meant to represent the day of her birth [4th September 1981] and the fact that she married her husband [Jay-Z] on the 4th of the month [4th April 2008]. The album title is meant to be a "personal gift to her fans", as apparently her fans "have been taking to various social media pages urging her to name the album after her 'special number'". The album was recorded over a year between the spring of 2010 and the spring of 2011, while Beyonce took a break from the spotlight. 

"'The album is definitely an evolution. It's bolder than the music in my previous albums because I'm bolder. The more mature I become and the more life experiences I have, the more I have to talk about. I really focused on songs being classics, songs that would last, songs that I could sing when I'm 40 and when I'm 60." - Beyonce

I might as well warn you now; your enjoyment of 4 will depend on how you rate Beyonce's ballads; The mix of musical influences is subtle and most of the tracks are dedicated to Beyonce's relationship with her husband. Beyonce's named influences for 4 include Fela Kuti [she even worked with the band from the Broadway musical, Fela! on 4], Earth, Wind & Fire, DeBarge, Lionel Richie, Teena Marie with additional influences by The Jackson 5, New Edition, Adele, Florence and the Machine, and Prince.

Beyonce has co-written every song on 4 [including the deluxe version], except for I Was Here, which was wrote by Diane Warren.

Additional song-writers include The-Dream, Tricky Stewart, Corey Jackson Carter, Frank Ocean, Babyface, J. Que, Kanye West, The-Dream, Adidja Palmer, Diplo, David Taylor and Afrojack.

Beyonce herself co-produced 4 and Individual track producers include Babyface, Consequence, Diane Warren, Kanye West, Ryan Tedder, Switch, Shea Taylor, Symbolyc One and The-Dream.

Wednesday, 22 June 2011

New fragrance: Cosmic Radiance by Britney Spears

After 2010's successful fragrance Radiance, which surprised us with its flacon created of transparent turquoise and pink surfaces, its successor with the same form and different notes arrives later this year. Cosmic Radiance is inspired by a star which twinkles brighter than all other stars, a star of a distant galaxy, far away from this world.

The composition of the new cosmic glow by Britney Spears opens with strong and optimistic citruses, with a refreshing glittery red bouquet opening its fragrant petals in the very heart of the composition. Base notes twinkle and warm with notes of amber, soft vanilla and creamy sandalwood.

The bottle has the same eye-catching design as last year's Radiance, created of black and glittery-transparent surfaces reminding of gems. A small dose of elegance and femininity is added by the pink color on the neck of the bottle.

New fragrance: Love And Light EDT by Jennifer Lopez

Jennifer Lopez  will shortly be releasing the 17th perfume in her collection in the US - Love and Light. It is being touted  as a glittering floral-woody.

The flacon is shaped like previous edition Love and Glamour, but is lighter and iridescent with golden and greenish reflections- the flacon accentuates a woman's curves.

The new fragrance hits US store shelves in September 2011 as 30 and 75 ml EDT.

Besides the fragrance, this collection offers a 200 ml body lotion.

I can't find any more details on the composition notes or UK release as of yet, but as soon as I do I'll post them.

New fragrance: Pulse EDP by Beyonce

Beyonce will present her new fragrance Pulse in September 2011 in cooperation with the company Coty. Pulse is a citrus- floral-gourmand fragrance, dedicated to the favorite flower of the singer—orchid. This energetic composition portrays the excitement that she feels on stage.
"Women always tell me that my music makes them feel strong and confident, and Pulse is about finding that inner power. Pulse represents the woman I am on stage. When I think about excitement, it makes me think about my heart racing and a pulsating beat—it’s my stage persona," said Beyonce to Elle.
Coty claims that the fragrance successfully blends citric and gourmand accords. It opens with sparkling top notes of pear blossom, frozen bergamot and an accord of Blue Curacao liqueur. The heart features Bluebird orchid, for the first time used in a fragrance. There are also notes of delicate peony and intensive midnight blooming jasmine. The base is warm, sensual and irresistible, made with Madagascar vanilla, musk and precious woods.

Top notes: pear blossom, frozen bergamot, Blue Curacao
Heart: bluebird orchid, peony, midnight blooming jasmine
Base: vanilla, musk, woody notes

The bottle tends to a modern, futuristic design. Faceted as a diamond, it looks like it’s upside down, while its blue colors evoke the fragrance inside.

To be honest I was disappointed with Heat and Heat Rush; they're too generic. Heat Ultimate Elixir [never received a UK release] was nice, but someone stole my bottle from my suitcase in New York.

I'm a huge Beyonce fan, so fingers crossed that Pulse hits the spot.

Wednesday, 8 June 2011

Tastes Like Glitter: Happy 2nd Birthday To Me!

Bicky is having a giveaway over on her blog to celebrate Tastes Like Glitter's second birthday. For your chance to win a MAC lipstick and OPI polish visit the link below...

Tastes Like Glitter: Happy 2nd Birthday To Me!: "2 years ago today (6/6), I made my very first post on here. I cringe reading my old posts back so I prefer not to but you can have a peek..."

Monday, 6 June 2011

Dear L'Oreal...

Damn - you've fooled me into buying a Glam Shine lipgloss, thanks [in no small part] to the above ad of jennifer Lopez.

That promo ad was displayed in Superdrug next to a display of  Glam Shine Fresh lipglosses [drench your lips in Glam Shine Fresh. L'Oreal presents its first lip gloss enriched with Vitamin C & E. Available in 7 tangy shades, it applies sheer on lips to give a subtle pop of day-glo fresh colour.] and it was printed  that she is wearing 'Aqua Mandarin'.

Wednesday, 25 May 2011

Review: Born This Way by Lady GaGa [music album]


Advantages: Totally different to her previous work, meaningful lyrics, rockier edge to the music,
Disadvantages: None for me; I really did love every second of the album.
"The vision is of me in an endless journey. I am a vehicle. I am a vehicle for all of the ideas. And I'm not riding away or towards anything, I'm just in endless state of creativity" -- Lady Gaga

Nick Knight is the photographer behind the artwork for the album and singles. The fashion director for Haus of Gaga and creative director for Mugler Nicola Formichetti styled Lady GaGa and artists who work with her regularly - Sam McKnight and Val Garland - did Lady GaGa's hair and make-up.
When the photo for the regular album edition cover was released it was a case of WTF? Is she meant to be a transformer? She's half human, half motorcycle - like a Hell's Angel centaur [the deluxe edition cover is just a closeout of her face mid growl]. After a while the covers grew on me; she's not bothered about simply looking all pretty and sweet - every last little detail of the album has a message.

Lady GaGa has fully wrote You And I and has co-wrote every other regular and bonus track. Her co-writers are RedOne, Jeppe Laursen, Fernando Garibay and Paul Blair [aka DJ White Shadow]. Lady GaGa has referred to her co-writers/friends and herself as the "Banditos".

Vincent Herbert is Born This Way's executive producer, Robert "Mutt" Lange has produced You And I and Lady GaGa and her co-writers are the co-producers of the other tracks.

Thursday, 19 May 2011

Spotlight: Orange lips...


I'm not usually one for following trends, but the orange lips for spring/summer '11 appealed as I'm sick of seeing dark colours everywhere I go...

My lips aren't my favourite feature [my top lip is so thin that it's invisible in most camera angles] so I didn't want a in-your-face pure orange shade that would draw a ton of attention to my lips, so I found a orange based coral shade that is still bright and full of zest but isn't as harsh....

 Boots 17 Lasting Fix lipstick in Hot Chilli is the shade I settled on and so far so good. It wear well, doesn't dry out my lips and is under a fiver, so I can try out the trend, without bankrupting myself :)

Which orange shades will you be rocking?

Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Review: Instant Nail Effects by Barry M

Fri, 01/21/2011 - 6:18AM by MalibuMands - edit 0 Comments - 13 Views

Advantages: Low price, easy to use, fast-acting
Disadvantages: None for me
I'm sorry for not posting this sooner: I got it when it was first released last autumn, but now it's been getting good press and reviews so has been flying off the shelves.
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The product
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OPI are about to release a 'shatter coat' [for about £10] alongside their Katy Perry colour collection, so so-called 'Crackle Polishes' are set to be big beauty news this year. Luckily for us Barry M already have a 'Crackle Polish' of their own on the market and it is cheaper, easier to find and is the same product as it's double-the-price contender.
Barry M INSTANT NAIL EFFECTS is a black polish* that is applied over another colour: As it dries it cracks into a unique pattern, that is similar to a leopard print.
Not only does it give an easy, professional pattern every time, but it is also hard wearing and helps my polish last longer without using another top coat over it**. I think this is due to the formula being slightly thicker then most nail polishes [but non-gloopy], so it forms a thick protective layer over your base colour.
* It is labelled as a Nail Paint - the same as Barry M's other polishes - so I wasn't sure what to call it, but the formula was created to separate as it dries so it won't work as a regular polish.
** This product is not billed as a topcoat, so it's just my personal experience. Without using a regular topcoat my polish will last for at least four days with only minimal wear. But [as previously mentioned] I'm tough on my nails (self powered wheelchair user), so this product will give longer lasting results on other people.
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How to apply
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1) Simply apply one or two coats of your chosen polish shade [don't go for dark colours as the finished results won't show up very well].
2) When the base colour is dry apply one coat of INSTANT NAIL EFFECTS over it*. As the top coat dries [within one minute] it starts to crack and separate, leaving a unique leopard skin pattern.
* When you apply it be careful not to overlap the stokes of INE, as this affects the pattern and the results will become uneven and won't dry properly.
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The packaging
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The brush: Barry M don't use my preferred wide brushes, so it'll take up to three strokes to coat the nail. Normally this would put me off from using it, but as you need to be careful and not overlap this product the thinner brush is very handy. Also; As the brush is thinner less polish is loaded onto the brush, so the nail doesn't become glooped with product.
The bottle: The square shape of the bottle makes it very easy to grip, meaning there's less chance of any spills [Am I the only person who keeps hold of the bottle whilst painting my nails?]
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I was really shocked by the results and couldn't believe how easy it is to use; NAIL EFFECTS gives the exact results it promises and is as easy to apply as the brand leads you to believe. I'm left-handed and have unsteady hands [nerve damage], yet still have no problems applying this.
As mentioned above; Lighter colours are best for this as the pattern is black. I personally think that lilac and mint are two of the best shades for this, so keep an eye open for new spring/summer shades. If you want people to sit up and notice your new nail art use a bright orange as the base colour [if you really want it to look special dab a few spots/stripes with white polish too].
Although you can use any finish of polish as a base, I personally prefer to use creme finishes as I think they are slightly smoother to paint over.
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£3.99 in Boots and Superdrug.
Summary: A great way to vamp up old polishes you may be bored with

Saturday, 14 May 2011

Spotlight: Dita Von Teese to release a perfume.

Burlesque performer and beauty/style icon Dita Von Teese has spoken about her desire to create her own fragrance in numerous magazine interviews and now it looks as though it's about to become a reality, based on these two twitter statements she has made within the past few weeks:

Isolated at a chateau in the French countryside w/my perfumers. "No fruit, no vanilla, no candy!! Velvet sensuality w/a dash of vulgarity!"

I want to evoke passion with fragrance….intense love/lust and distaste/fear rather than merely popular acceptance.

I don't know about you, but I am very excited to see what she comes up with, as she presents her entire life with elegance and she oozes glamor - it comes naturally to her and I want a piece of that :)

Friday, 13 May 2011

Review: Project D EDP by Project D


I love the neroli-lead opening to PROJECT D; It's very spicy, yet a bit bitter and vaguely cold. 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.

As the ylang ylang dies down the mimosa quickly develops and adds a vaguely fruity sweetness, as does 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 here as it isn't as strong as I was expecting, though it does add more sweetness. It outlasts the other scent notes in the perfume and becomes almost creamy as it slowly burns down and mingles with the developing base notes.

The musk [whilst always present] becomes fully developed as the florals die down; 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 musk.
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. The saffron gives the perfume one final spicey kick and whilst I'm not sure what amber oil is, maybe it's a fancy term for vegetal amber (resin from tree sap), it is more or less the same as artificial amber - a soft and creamy vanilla based scent.

Scent notes
Neroli, bergamot and ylang ylang, tuberose, Japanese osmanthus, mimosa, purple orchid, sandalwood, exotic saffron, musk and hot amber oils.

I really love the pretty bottle too: It is soft pink and teardrop shaped, with the name and a silhouette of a woman printed on it in black.