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.


    [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]