Sunday, 30 December 2012

Beauty Buys of the Year: Revlon's Just Bitten Kissable Lip Balm Stain...



I can't believe that it took me so long to try these stains; Just Bitten Kissable Lip Balm Stain is now my favourite lip colour. They remind me of Tarte's Lip Surgences, but these are better as they wear for longer, don't melt in the tube and the caps don't crack, making a mess in my bags - not to mention that Tarte isn't officially sold in the UK.

I'm probably going to end up buying all of the colours Revlon makes - I think there are 12 shades all together, but UK stores don't sell them all right now, I only saw five shades in Boots and Superdrug.


Wednesday, 26 December 2012

Best beauty buys of the year: 17 Blow Out mascara





17's BLOW OUT mascara does it all; the colour is very rich [I've got blackest black], great separation, added length and the most noticeable volume increase that I've ever had. People have commented on my false lashes when I have worn this mascara, it really is that good. I usually wear two coats.

It is so easy to build up the finished look of your lashes with BLOW OUT, and the formula never cakes or flakes. Plus it holds my curl all day and is easy to remove. The volumizing abilities of this are unbeatable, plus the increase of length is good too - my lashes end up hitting the tops of my sockets.

The first time I used this mascara I was disappointed by the fact that the brush is big, which I'm not fond of. However the size of the brush is a plus point with BLOW OUT, as the size and shape of the brush separates, fans and curls lashes, right from the roots to the tips, so my eyes really pop.


What else can I say? BLOW OUT is an amazing mascara and the price [£6.29] is really good too. I'll have to try more of Boots 17 mascaras - the couple I've used are both really good.


Best beauty buys of the year: Leichner Camera Clear foundation...



I came across Leichner CAMERA CLEAR foundation whilst browsing Amazon for a suitable foundation for my very dry skin. I remember coming across it before and being tempted by, but not getting it because trying to colour match it via the unhelpful chart is a shot in the dark. However as it is so cheap I decided to just order the lightest shade [porcelain] and hope for the best.






When it arrived I was disappointed, as whilst the shade is nice and neutral, it looks a bit darker then what the shade name would suggest. However the creamy formula is so light and silky to apply, that blending it into the skin for a better colour match is easy. Once blended, the results are a smooth satin finish, with medium coverage (it can provide fuller coverage with layering).

I've found it to be transfer resistant, another plus. I've worn with a primer, without one, with powder and alone; my preferred look is skipping primer and setting the foundation with a touch of powder, as that is long lasting and gives a natural, un-cakey look. Finally; This hasn't oxidized on me.


                                                                   without primer


negatives? For me, this doesn't have any. However if you don't have dry skin the moisturizing ingredients in this foundation will become greasy on your skin, so I wouldn't recommend Leichner CAMERA CLEAR to anyone other then those with dry skin.

Also: remember that it applies lighter on the skin then it looks in the container, so bare that in mind.


Sunday, 23 December 2012

Best beauty buys of the year: MAC Viva Glam Nicki lipstick and lipglass...



VIVA GLAM NICKI is a yellow based shade of hot pink - and by hot pink I mean it looks almost fluorescent with my very fair skin. I think that this shade is a cross between MAC's much sought after LE shades Candy Yum Yum [Quite Cute] and Strayin' [Hello Kitty]. Despite the brightness of the shade, I think that this is far more easier to pull off, and flattering, then Nicki's debut MAC lipstick Pink 4 Friday.

The finish to the lipstick is satin, that is easy to apply and hasn't had a drying effect on my lips. The lasting power is average for a lipstick; no less and no worse then other brands [four hours, depending on food/drink].



If you like MAC's yellow based, hot pink VIVA GLAM NICKI lipstick, then you need the lipglass edition too. This is almost exactly the same shade as the lipstick; The pink colour is just a teensy bit less fluorescent on my fair skin, as the base isn't quite as yellow s the lipstick shade is.

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 and hasn't had a drying effect on my lips. The lasting power is good for a gloss; three/four hours, depending on food/drink.



Sunday, 16 December 2012

It's beginning to smell a lot like Christmas... Sparkling Snow by Yankee Candles




SPARKLING SNOW is one of Yankee Candles 'Festive Collection' fragrances and is officially described as "the crisp, naturally fresh scent of gleaming, snow-covered pines with hints of patchouli and fruit". I'd describe it as fresh mint and pine, with a undertone of patchouli, for a earthy bite. I'm not sure what the fruit is - sometimes I get a light breeze of what I think is cherry, but it is so faint that I can't be sure.

Friday, 14 December 2012

A closer look at Nicole edp by Nicole Richie...

Introducing the new fragrance Nicole by Nicole Richie. Layered with scents inspired by Nicole's childhood memories, Nicole is a feminine, sensual scent composed of creamy golden ambers and highlighted with flecks of fruit and flower petals. A fragrance for every woman and any occasion, Nicole conjures those special moments that result in a lifetime of memories...





Berry notes seem to be popping up in most new mainstream perfumes now and NICOLE RICHIE opens with a rich blackberry note. I can't pick up the Seville oranges, but I can make out what I think is raspberry. These berry notes are long and distinctive, so carries down to the heart of the perfume.

I'm not able to separate any floral notes apart from the listed rose and a hint of lily from the sweetly powdered floral jumble heart of the fragrance, as the patchouli develops quickly and lasts for the duration of the perfume. The rose mixes with the slightly spicy vanilla, for a pleasant 'Turkish Delight' aroma. I'm not familiar with papyrus, but I'm guessing that it is responsible for the slightly bitter spiciness that hides under the sweeter notes.

There is no strong indication between the heart notes and the base, thanks to the constant presence of the powdery floral/vanilla mix and patchouli. The soft, creamy cashmere and sandalwood mingled closely together so it is a warm, comforting mix, that is again similar to the heart notes.

Official scent notes: blackberries, oranges, golden amber, Moroccan rose, lily of the valley, papyrus, cashmere, sandalwood, sugared patchouli and vanilla.



I find NICOLE RICHIE sweet-but-not-too-sweet, creamy, slightly spicy and also woody, so I think it is perfect for the colder weather, although it's something that I'd probably wear all year round as the juicy fruits stop everything else from becoming too much.

NICOLE RICHIE is very wearable and can be worn to work, casual wear/weekends and crowded parties, but it's not unique enough to make me feel glamorous on special occasions.

Overall: NICOLE RICHIE is pleasant and easy to wear. The reasonable price and good longevity [between six and eight hours] make up for the lack of originality, so the perfume is a pretty good buy and a nice gift choice. I'm not sure if I'd rebuy it, before checking out altrnatives.


You can buy Nicole from selected UK sites, including Amazon.



I bought the giftset in Florida last month, purely for the bottle [my camera isn't working, so I'm afraid it's official pictures only], but I'm liking the actual perfume more and more. For a cheap, mass market 'celebrity' fragrance it is wellmade and isn't obviously aimed towards tweens.

The giftset contains:

  • Eau de Parfum, 100ml
  • Shower Gel, 100ml
  • Body Lotion, 100ml
  • Rollerball, 10 ml
  • Wednesday, 12 December 2012

    City of no angels... Crimson City by Liz Maverick

                                                                         Kindle cover
    ★/
    Advantages: Fast paced, quick, easy read,
    Disadvantages: irritating heroine, flat ending.
    Los Angeles is now called Crimson City [[after the blood that was shed during the wars that occurred when the werewolves and vampires came out of the closet and clashed with humans]. Today the three species live uneasily together; the vampires live a few miles up in a colony formed around skyscrapers, humans live on the ground level, whilst the werewolves form a subterranean city below the ground and largely keep to themselves.


    Fleur Dumont is from the family that rules the vampires in Crimson City. She was passed over when it came to looking for new leaders decades before, after embarrassing her family by unlawfully turning her human lover into a vampire. However after the assassination of the current leaders, by a mech [half man half machine] belonging to the human military, she gets her chance to shine and finds herself leading the vampires, whilst trying to solve the murders of the old leaders, and trying to avoid a new war with the other species.

    Dain Reston is human. Working as a Battlefield Operations operative, he has the responsibility of maintaining the peace between the humans and the other two species. After coincidentally turning up at the scene of the assassination Fleur asks him to help her look into the murder of the vampire leaders, a request that is backed by Dain's superiors, who want him to uncover if someone from the human military is hijacking the high-end weapons and using them to start a new war.

    Will Dain have to point the finger of blame at his own colleagues, or could the vampires or seldom seen werewolves be framing the humans for their own ends?


    Monday, 3 December 2012

    An apple a day... Sugared Apple candles by Yankee.





    SUGARED APPLE is one of Yankee Candles four [for the UK] new Christmas 2012 fragrances and is officially described as "A deliciously sweet apple treat . . . a perfect recipe of juicy apples sprinkled with sugar and vanilla". There's not much else to say, except that there is more sugar and vanilla then apple. I do enjoy the fragrance as it manages to be a perfect balance between sweet and fresh, but it's not something I think of as being overly Christmassy; it is more of a everyday fragrance for autumn/winter.

    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. I don't regret buying my box of tealights, but I don't think I'd buy this particular fragrance again; the scent is quiet and the throw is pretty poor by Yankee's usual standards. It's not a bad candle overall, but it doesn't wow me either.



    I personally prefer to use the Yankee tealights; as well as having a stronger fragrance, there's the fact that for the price of a box of 12 scented tealights you get a total of 48 to 72 hours burn-time, so they offer the most value for money. The tealight costs less then 12 tarts or samplers would, so as well as being cheaper - and offering a similar burn time - then either the small jars and tumblers, and over half of the price less then the medium jars or tumblers.

    The tealights come in individual clear plastic cups, so you don't have to bother with a tealight holder if you don't have one; just sit the cup on a saucer. Yankee do many special ranges of tealight holders all through the year - many of the decorate models are under £10, and their basic tealight holder can be found online for only £1, so it won't cost as much as buying a tart burner.

    And for a final stab at a selling point, I'll add that the tealights float, so you can, umm, float them in your swimming pool - or more likely in a garden pond - during a party.


    ***

    Tart
    [A tart is a wickless wax patty, so you'll need to buy a tart burner to be able to use it]
    6 - 8 hour burn time - £1.20
    Sampler votive
    15 - 20 hour burn time - £1.65
    Small jar
    25 -40 hour burn time - £7.75
    Medium jar
    65 - 90 hour burn time - £15.99
    Tea lights [12 per pack]
    4 - 6 hour burn time per candle - £6.99


    Saturday, 1 December 2012

    Mighty, morphing purple ranger; A review of Schwarzkopf Live XXL hair colourant in Cyber Purple



    CYBER PURPLE is a tricky colour to describe, and it is tricky to photograph as the colour seems different in various lighting conditions. At it's core it is a dark pinky/purple, but as I said, the shade you will see depends on the light source reflecting on your hair.

    The varying shades the colour morphs between remind me of all of the other schwarzkopf purple based shades I've used in the past - Ultra Violet, Dark Violet, Mystic Violet and Glam Rock Black.




    I've taken all of the photos on this page - they are of my own hair, solely in CYBER PURPLE, so you can see what I'm trying to say. No colour enhancing software has been used.




    My hair still feels and looks glossy and there is no clinging chemical scent to my hair. I've been colouring my hair for over half my life and in the past I've used every other purple/violet shade that Schwarkopf makes, so feel qualified enough to say that this has great staying power for a dye containing purple





    Violet shades can fade as quickly as red shades do, but I've personally found the fade to be  minimal  - which surprised me, as the water runs pink after washing my hair for a few weeks after colouring it. That is my only negative for CYBER PURPLE; don't use white towels after showering :)





    [CYBER PURPLE is only recommended for use on dark blonde and light/medium brown hair]





    Tuesday, 27 November 2012

    Snow angels; Cherries On Snow scented candles by Yankee Candle



    Rating: 5/5 stars




    CHERRIES ON SNOW is one of the fragrances in the Yankee Candle Festive Collection and is officially described as being "An enchanted, sparkling blend of bright, juicy cherries with sweet almonds and an icy freshness". The description is accurate; CHERRIES ON SNOW combines the iciness of peppermint, with the freshness of juicy cherries. This is then warmed up with a sweet, soft and creamy almond and vanilla undertone - I could eat this candle.

    I've found that the tarts and tea lights throw off a stronger scent than the candles, so I think that they are the better buys.


    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 is strong enough to travel over the house. I even catch occasional wafts of the perfume whilst the candle is unlit.


    Wednesday, 21 November 2012

    Dazzle me again; a review of Dazzling Darling EDT by Kylie Minogue...


    Rating: 2/5 starsAdvantages: Ageless, suitable all year round,
    Disadvantages: doesn't last, availability, unoriginal.

    DAZZLING DARLING is the fourth edition to the Coty/Kylie Minogue Darling range of fragrances [it follows Darling, Sweet Darling and Sexy Darling] and was her tenth fragrance overall.





    On first application the fragrance is all about the pepper, which lightly heats things up and gives the perfume a sharp, spicy bite [if this effect didn't die down almost immediately I'd be following the review opening with loads of gushing praise]. There's also a light, sweet jammy note that I'm guessing is the acai berry, but it doesn't smell like acai at all to me and it doesn't last long enough to place.

    We quickly move on to the floral notes; they are at the usual Coty/Kylie Minogue standard of watery and undeveloped. I can pick up on a hint of rose, whilst everything else is lost in a undefinable mush. I like rose, but as that's the only note to stand out it falls on the dull side.

    The base is the biggest letdown for me as it's once again just the standard Coty/Kylie Minogue sandalwood and a breeze of musk mix. They've flogged the whole musk/sandalwood base to death, reanimated it and then beat it down all over again. Surely it's tie to branch out a bit? 

    Official scent notes: Red pepper, acai berry, violet, rose, passion flower, orris root, sandalwood, cashmere and musk. 


    I feel as though I'm just repeating myself when it comes to the Coty/Kylie Minogue range. Kylie's people say that this took over a year to develop, but I'm having trouble believing that, since all of her fragrance releases all seem to follow the same old blueprint: a mix of fruit, underdeveloped florals and a musk infused base and are designed to be generically pleasant, instead of anyone attempting to be different.


    We all know what's coming next; this is a Kylie/Coty collaboration, so it's no surprise that the staying power is poor - but this is the worst one yet by far and wears as through it were a body spray. Honestly, the fragrance burns down within an hour [and don't think that I'm exaggerating].

    I think that this is best suited to use for day wear, as it's so mild. On paper it sounds like a evening fragrance, but I want something long lasting and a bit stronger then daytime perfumes for night wear and this doesn't come close to delivering.
     

    I think that it smells similar to Pop Pink Sparkle, but Pop Pink Sparkle is better overall - and I didn't love that release either.


    As DAZZLING DARLING is very mild, there isn't anything disagreeable about it and it is wearable for women of any age, it makes a safe gift choice. However the only way I'd recommend this as a gift is if you are able to find the gift set, so the perfume can be layered over the fragranced body lotion. Plus, the 30ml bottle is cheaper in the set.



    30ml: £21
    50ml: £28

    It's only been one year since the release of DAZZLING DARLING, but the 50ml bottles are already hard to find on the highstreet. However I did notice that Asda sells the 30ml bottles for only £9.

    Stores such as Boots and Superdrug also sell the bottle for much less then the RRP.


     

    Dazzle me; A closer look at Dazzle EDP by Paris Hilton...



    The peach is the strongest fruit note on me and gives the fragrance a soft, fuzzy feel. The cherry and apple gives the quieter fruit a bit of bite and energy, whilst the powdery vanilla is present through all of the fragrance.

    The floral notes used in DAZZLE remain watery and in the background. Aside from a breeze of orange blossom, violet and honeysuckle, none of them are strong enough to stand out from the fruits and vanilla. This is definitely a fruity perfume.




    Saturday, 17 November 2012

    Heat: The nighttime edition... Review of Midnight Heat EDP by Beyonce


    "For Beyoncé, fragrance is an essential accessory to highlight your inner radiance, confidence and sex appeal. Midnight Heat is the ultimate evening scent, sensual and enticing with just a hint of mystery." - Official Beyonce Website [beyonceparfums.com]

    Friday, 16 November 2012

    Sinfully good for perking up dull complexions...



    NARS powder blush in Sin is a shade that I never have looked twice at when visiting makeup counters, as it looks like a very dark mauve in the pan, and doesn't look like it would do anything for my pale skin. However, I bought the LE Danmari All About Cheeks palette by NARS last year and this was one of the featured shades in the palette, so I finally gave it a go....
     
     



    SIN is a gorgeous, dusky-berry shade on skin. It also is lightly shimmering with a golden gleam. The soft pinky mauve colour and golden shimmery undertone gives me a natural glow. Most importantly, it wears well - I'll apply it in the morning and it will last until I take it off at the end of the day. NARS is a pricey brand, but the quality is unbeatable. SIN is now becoming my favourite blush ever and I'm sure that it will be the first one in the palette that I'll hit pan on.



    One thing to bare in mind; Almost every other blush can be worn year round, but SIN is something that is best suited to colder weather wear, as the berry tone is so cheerful, yet soft and dusky , so it really perks up my tired, winter-chilled skin.

    Thursday, 8 November 2012

    Walking in a winter wonderland: Yankee Candle in Winter Wonderland...

    ❄/
    Advantages: Unique fragrance with good throw, that you're not just limited to December for use,Disadvantages: availability.
       

    Tuesday, 6 November 2012

    It's a Glam slam... Review of Glam by Kim Kardashian...

    Rating: 1/5 stars

    Advantages: Nothing,
    Disadvantages: everything about it.
    "I can tell where I was in life when I made each perfume. Every fragrance means something different to me. My personality and my mood was light and fun [this time around] and I can see that [in Glam]. It's a little bit more electric [than the others]. It's the most energetic." - Kim Kardashian


    Sunday, 4 November 2012

    Getting lippie; the British version of Kat Von D's Backstage Bambi...

    Backstage Bambi
    Whenever I go to America I try to visit a Sephora store, as I love the Kat Von D makeup range that is exclusive to the store. The brand's lipsticks are my favourite lip product, as they are easy to apply and last longer then every other brand I've tried. Backstage Bambi is the shade that I've become slightly obsessed with and wear the most. 
    I've been looking for a easy-to-find equivalent here in the UK, and so far the closest colour match I've found is...

    Friday, 2 November 2012

    I'm Snow In Love with this fragrance...




    SNOW IN LOVE is one of Yankee Candles four new Christmas 2012 fragrances and is officially described as being "creamy, comforting woods and wintry powder freshness." I'd describe it as clean minty air, tart cherries and as having some fresher wood, probably pine, mixed in with a touch of creamier sandalwood. It is a mix of Yankee's Cherries In The Snow and Sparkling Snow fragrances, so if you like those you'll be pleased with this too.

    I love the fragrance as it manages to be a perfect balance between sweet and fresh, plus it's a bit festive, but yet it's not something I think of as being overly Christmassy; it is more of a everyday fragrance for autumn/winter, so you can use it now and on into the new year. 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 is strong enough to travel over the house. I even catch occasional wafts of the perfume whilst the candle is unlit.



    I've found that the tarts and tea lights throw off a stronger scent than the candles, so I think that they are the better buys.


    I personally prefer to use the tealights; as well as having a stronger fragrance, there's the fact that for the price of a box of 12 scented tealights you get a total of 48 to 72 hours burn-time, so they offer the most value for money. The tealight costs less then 12 tarts or samplers would, so as well as being cheaper - and offering a similar burn time - then either the small jars and tumblers, and over half of the price less then the medium jars or tumblers.

    The tealights come in individual clear plastic cups, so you don't have to bother with a tealight holder if you don't have one; just sit the cup on a saucer. Yankee do many special ranges of tealight holders all through the year - many of the decorate models are under £10, and their basic tealight holder can be found online for only £1, so it won't cost as much as buying a tart burner.

    And for a final stab at a selling point, I'll add that the tealights float, so you can, umm, float them in your swimming pool - or more likely in a garden pond - during a party.


    ***

    Tart
    [A tart is a wickless wax patty, so you'll need to buy a tart burner to be able to use it]
    6 - 8 hour burn time - £1.20
    Sampler votive
    15 - 20 hour burn time - £1.65
    Small jar
    25 -40 hour burn time - £7.75
    Medium jar
    65 - 90 hour burn time - £15.99
    Tea lights [12 per pack]
    4 - 6 hour burn time per candle - £6.99

    Wednesday, 31 October 2012

    Playing the FAME game: A review of Fame EDP by Lady Gaga...





    Rating:
    Advantages:Affordable, easy to wear, largely ageless, pretty unique for price range,
    Disadvantages:may be too heavy in the heat.
     
    "It was taken out of my own blood sample so it's a sense of having me on your skin, I wanted to extract sort of the feeling and sense of blood and semen from molecular structures, so that's where the rumours [that FAME would smell like blood and semen] came from. That is in the perfume but it doesn't smell like that, Actually the perfume smells like an expensive hooker." - Lady Gaga


    First things first; I don't get why this is being described as a fruity/floral - FAME is definitely something that I would describe as a floriental fragrance. On me there is only the tiniest hint of apricot, but it so short lived that it doesn't really make an lasting impression on me. I think some people may be confusing the rich honey accord as apricot, grape or similar.

    The belladonna and other florals develop almost as quickly as the honey on me, which evens out the sweet honey with the dark floral notes. FAME was a tricky perfume to review, as the floral center to it seems a bit different every time I wear it and try to jot a few thoughts on it down; sometimes it seems powdered, and sometimes everything seems spicier, thanks to the orchid. The listed belladonna, jasmine and orchid are the most developed floral notes but, overall, the floral heart to FAME is similar to Illamasqua Freak. It also reminds me vaguely of Armani Code, Paco Rabanne Black XS and Yves Saint Laurent Opium. The similarities provide a bit of an insight into which other floral notes may have been used in FAME; for instance carnation, rose, and heliotrope all pop up in those perfumes a few times.

    After about an hour or so a lingering sense of liquorice starts to carry through the floral notes, so maybe there's some anise in the mix too? Around this time the florals gradually deepen and become peppery, thanks to the saffron. As the floral notes gradually settle into the background a note of patchouli begins to develop, giving the fragrance a 'dirty' feel and enhancing the spicy notes. I'm not sure which individual spice notes are used in the incense accord, but FAME slowly becomes darker, and as the lingering honey fades, slightly smoky - some wood accords in here too? Again I can't separate the individual notes - the spices are too well blended with everything else.


    "The fragrance does not respect the pyramidal structure of the composition, but uses so-called "push-pull technology" by which the ingredients are mixed to highlight different aspects of each fragrant note at the same time, without any hierarchy"... I don't really get the whole push-pull sales speech, but, as mentioned above, the fragrance is not linear which I was worried about.


    Official scent notes: Belladonna, incense, honey drops, saffron, apricot, jasmine, tiger orchid.



    Whilst FAME does go close to the skin after a couple of hours, I still catch lingering wisps throughout the day. When I wore it to bed, it was still detectable on my skin the next day. Considering that FAME is a Coty perfume, I'm shocked by how well it wears.

    FAME was made for evening wear, but I'm now happily wearing it during the day over these colder months, as although it is a noticeable fragrance I don't find it cloying or irritating. When it was warmer, I mostly stuck to using it for special occasions because I find it a 'statement' fragrance and a bit too much for day to day wear. Having said that, it didn't give me a migraine, so if you feel comfy with it, it is wearable.

    FAME is smoky and spicy, so I do generally think that it is best worn during the colder months of the year, as I find it rich in structure. It only came out in late august, so I've worn it it warmer weather, but not in really hot conditions; but when it gets to the hotter summer months, I think it will make too much of a statement for me, as I find the perfumes that it shares similarities with too much.


    Many people seem to be disappointed by how 'normal' FAME is, but you have to remember that it is one of Coty's celebrity ranges; it is in a lower price bracket and has to appeal to as many people, on a international scale, as possible. Baring these limitations in mind, I'm very happy with my bottle of FAME; it is a bit different from the usual celeb fragrance releases, but it is still easy to wear, with mass appeal. I'm not just saying that as a Lady Gaga fan; I'm looking at the bottles of my favourite perfumes right now and every key scent note in FAME is amongst them a few times. Couple that with the gothic bottle design and black juice and FAME could have been created for my personal tastes.

    No: FAME doesn't stain skin or clothes, when used normally. I've even sprayed it directly onto a white t shirt and the liquid does indeed spray clear, despite being black in the bottle. when I sprayed it heavily onto the fabric it left a pale blue mark, but any perfume will stain clothes if you spray it heavily on them, and why would you need to anyway?


    ***

    30ml - £25
    50ml - £32
    100ml - £55

    Fragranced soap, shower gel and body lotion are meant to be available to buy by mid November.


    There are two Christmas giftsets available.
    30ml bottle of EDP and 200ml shower gel - £25
    50ml bottle of EDP and 200ml shower gel - £32

     

    Sunday, 28 October 2012

    Schwarzkopf XXL Cyber Purple in [non-retouched] photos...



    I've used a few different shades of violet over the years, and after recently looking over old photos, decided to go back to my ribina days. After spending a few months googling for photos of Live's various purple/violet shades, I settled for XXL Cyber Purple two weeks ago.

    I'm not reviewing it yet, as I want to see how it fades over six weeks, but I wanted to provide pictures to other people searching online for them.




    I'm not sure what I think of the colour yet; in daylight it looks lovely, but in most other lighting it is darker then I expected. My natural hair colour [ash] isn't dark and I stripped all off my colour [natural and artificial] before using Cyber Purple anyway, so to end up with dark hair, that doesn't look like the box swatch in most lighting, has left me feeling "meh".


     

    The purple-pink tone in the dye only photographs well in direct sunlight, so late October in north-west England isn't ideal for lounging in windows, whilst suppressing the flash on my cheap-and-cheerful camera for review purposes. In other words; please excuse my bleached-out skin in the two blurry photos...

     
     
    I'm going to Florida in a couple of weeks, so I'll save my final verdict on the colour until I come back; there'll be plenty of sunlight there to inspect the colour...

    Sunday, 21 October 2012

    Every breath you take... A review for Soul Seducer by Alicia Dean for Kindle and ebook...


    ★/

    She has spent her entire life fighting death. Now she's falling in love with him. . . .

    When nurse Audra Grayson is brutally beaten, the near-death experience opens a door to the world beyond. Two Grim Reapers invade her life. One is charming, with the angelic blonde looks of a saint and the black soul of a psychopath. The other is not charming. He's dark and dangerously attractive. When Audra's patients begin to die unexpectedly and her loved ones are threatened, she will risk her life-even her soul-to save them.

    But can she risk her heart to an inhuman being whose very purpose is to take those she is trying to save?


    Saturday, 20 October 2012

    Happy birthday to me - a mini La Vie Est Belle Lancome review...

    I've noticed that I would smell the same mystery fragrance whenever I'd go past the makeup counters in my local Boots,and after a month or so I'd pinpointed the aroma to Lancome's latest perfume release; La Vie Est Belle.
    La Vie Est Belle is a new Lancome fragrance, available on the market from fall 2012. The concept of this fragrance is centered on the idea of natural and simple beauty, freedom from conventions and the choice of once own vision of happiness. The fragrance is a kind of outlook on life, inspired by joy and pleasure in small things.

    This gourmand yet elegant composition is developed by perfumers Olivier Polge, Dominique Ropion and Anne Flipo. The final formula is the result achieved after three years of probation and 5000 versions. Iris is the key ingredient of the perfume, surrounded by orange blossoms and jasmine in the heart. The composition’s opening provides fruity flavors of black currant and pear, while the base is warm, gourmand and powdery due to almond-like accords of tonka bean, praline, patchouli and vanilla.

    Thursday, 11 October 2012

    Review: Wonderstruck EDP by Taylor Swift/Elizabeth Arden




    Rating: 3/5 stars

    Advantages: Reasonable price, easy to wear, striking bottle...
    Disadvantages: unoriginal, poor-to-average staying power.



    "It's a line from my song 'Enchanted,' and the line says, 'I'm wonderstruck, blushing all the way home. I've always loved that line and that phrase, 'wonderstruck.' You don't hear it very often. So I just felt like if I ever got the chance to make a fragrance, which I've dreamed of doing since I was about 14 years old ... Ever since I wrote that song, I thought that would be the title. And I'd want to create a fragrance that smelled the way that word feels."


    ***

    I think that most berry notes tend to smell similar when used in perfumes, so I give bonus points to WONDERSTRUCK right away, as it uses slightly more distinctive notes of raspberry. Though after having said that, I wonder if dewberry the same as blackberry? Because that is what I think is actually alongside the raspberry. After the berries the peach is the next strongest fruit - which surprised me as it's meant to be a base note, yet it develops soon after being applied to skin. The soft vanilla is present through all of the fragrance, with adds a creamy sweetness and warmth to the mix.

    The heart of WONDERSTUCK is meant to contain thirteen different floral notes as thirteen is meant to be Swift's lucky number, but the tea note develops in under ten minutes and is stronger then most of the floral notes, so hides nearly all of them. I can separate the listed honeysuckle, and sometimes I also pick up on a light hint of the hibiscus, but can't begin to guess at anything else - it all becomes one long powdered note underneath the tea. The tea is the only note that is really able to stand out from the fruits and vanilla. This is definitely a fruity perfume.

    There is no strong indication between the heart notes and the base, thanks to the constant trickle of raspberry, peach and vanilla. The sandalwood and musk are mingled closely together so it is a warm and creamy mix - nice, but it is a blend that is used in many fragrances today. The lingering tea note does give WONDERSTRUCK a bit more umph, but I was still disappointed by how linear the blend seemed on me.


    Scent notes: Raspberry, dewberry, green tea, freesia, apple blossom, vanilla, honeysuckle, white hibiscus, amber, musk and sandalwood.


    ***

    WONDERSTRUCK is richer with the fruits then it is with the florals, so the lasting power is good but not great: I can still detect berries, creamy vanilla and sandalwood four to five hours after first applying the perfume, but it is close to the skin.

    I think that this is nice for daywear - I mainly used it as casual wear, but would occasionally wear it for work. Some people may think that it's too sweet for work [even I didn't feel very comfortable], but as it's non-invasive it won't bother your colleagues. As it's mild and not very long lasting I did think of it as too gentle for evening wear, but if you don't wear perfume whilst out for a statement and to be noticed then I think WONDERSTRUCK is perfectly adaptable.

    WONDERSTRUCK was released in America this time last year, which is when I bought a bottle [it was the bottle design that sold me], so I've had the chance to wear it during every season - this is a winner in the wearability stakes. In the spring/summer I found that the fruits and tea were refreshing and didn't seem so sweet, whilst in autumn/winter the vanilla and wood seemed stronger and added warmth and boasted the sweetness of the fruits.


    Although I think WONDERSTRUCK is pleasant, very wearable and wears quite well for the price, I won't be replacing my bottle. I don't really regret buying it, but after a year I have to admit that I've become bored with it, as there is nothing unique about it and the fragrance is a bit too linear for my tastes. I don't like putting perfumes into different age groups, but I have to admit that this does seem rather youthful. There's nothing wrong with that, but I personally didn't feel very confident wearing it. I think that I'm going to pass my bottle on to someone else.



    Lots of people compare this to either Britney Spears Fantasy or Midnight Fantasy [also Elizabeth Arden releases], but I don't get the comparisons at all. I'd say this is more along the lines of a Harajuku Lovers release; Music.


    The first flanker for WONDERSTRUCK has already been released in America, but no word on it getting released over here yet. Wonderstruck Enchanted is a oriental - gourmand. It opens with notes of wild berries, pink poppy and passion fruit. Heart notes include peony blossoms, sugar-glazed champaca petals and white freesia. White musk, hypnotic vanilla and blonde woods are the main base notes.




    ***

    30ml - £20
    50ml - £29
    100ml - £38

    It's that time of year again - Christmas gift set time! This year WONDERSTRUCK has a gift set containing both a 30ml bottle and a 5ml bottle of EDP, plus a 50ml tube of perfumed body lotion.

     
    Summary: Would make a nice gift choice for a Taylor swift fan.