Tuesday, 27 September 2011

YSL Lippy Love, Rocktails & Update

It's no secret that I like a YSL lippy or two.  I mean...who doesn't? The decadent packaging of the Rouge Voluptes is enough to make any makeup junkie foam at the mouth with excitement.  I had persevered through months of countless blog posts on the Rouge Pur lipsticks and my mouth watered when I caught site of the lauch of the Rouge Volupte Perle and Sheer Candy variants.

I do like to flirt with cool toned lipsticks as they generally work pretty well with my skin tone.  I just have to make sure they aren't TOO pale.  I have made that mistake in the past and the result ain't good people.  But, you live you learn and that's what this make up game is all about! Finding out what suits you and what looks best can take time as well as trial and error.

So, what do we have here (L-R in pic below)?

YSL Rouge Pur Couture Lipstick in Rose Libertin (no.26)
YSL Rouge Volupte Perle in no.108
YSL Volupte Sheer Candy in no.3

The classic gold volupte packaging is definitely the favourite of all my lipsticks.  There's something about whipping this out of your bag and applying it that makes you feel luxe, pampered and special.  Yes, I just said that a lipstick makes me feel special...what of it!?

So here are my thoughts on each lippy:

YSL Rouge Pur Couture Lipstick in Rose Libertin (no.26) - This has the most moisturising and full coverage formula of all three lipsticks.  It glides on like a buttery dream and it's longevity far outlasts the other two.  I love the blue toned pink which has a brightening effect on my complexion.  It also makes the white of my eyes and my teeth look brighter...bonus!  I like that the packaging feels more expensive than some of the more plasticky lipstick cartridges in the YSL family.  As for how it looks once applied (I think it requires a warmer colour on the eyes though as a contrast) ...

YSL Rouge Volupte Perle in no.108 - So this variation on the well known Volupte range offers a more sheer coverage with a slightly pearlised finish.  I didn't notice much of a pearlised effect to this lipstick and I'm glad because I generally don't like anything pearly or frosted on my lips.  I think the soft cool-toned pink colour of this lipstick actually suits me more than the Rose Libertin shade but I just wish it came with the Rouge Pur Couture formula so it would last longer.  So a mixture of the two would be perfect for me! Nevertheless, it's a lovely lipstick and a very easy daytime shade to wear.  It goes without saying that I adore the packaging but I wish they hadn't done away with the handy little mirror on the top of the lipstick!

YSL Volupte Sheer Candy in no.3 - This one was a disappointment if I'm being perfectly honest.  As you can see in the swatch, it hardly shows up and it's more like a very sheer, palest of pale, pink on the lips.  It has little to no coverage and works more like a light balm...a very expensive balm at that!  I would skip this and get a Rouge Pur Couture, a classical Rouge Volupte or a Rouge Volupte Perle if you were thinking of getting a YSL lippy.

A hair saviour for this week has been the much-talked-about Ojon Volume Advance Volumizing Styling Spray. This stuff is genius!
If you have fine hair like me then you need it in your life because it has extra firm hold without any of the usual sticky residue or crispiness.  It contains Ojon oil, protein-rich Peruvian Amaranth, Jojoba oil, Wheat Protein and Babassu to fortify and volumise your hair to maximum potential.  You can imagine that this stuff smells really good as well.

It's a kind of hybrid of a styling spray and hair spray.  I like to throw my head upside down and spray the underneath of my hair.  I then spray under sections of my hair where I want more volume and it works a treat.  It left my hair really thick and luscious on Friday night and my hair didn't go limp, even after a plethora of funky dance moves.  It's a bit hefty at £20 for a 265ml can but totally worth the expense.  Love this stuff!

I tried out some lovely fruity vodka drinks on Friday night called Rocktails.  They can be sipped chilled or frozen to create a (very adult) slush-puppy!

These 10% ABV frozen vodka cocktails come in fun pouches (containing 2 x 125ml) and in three flavours:

Arctic Passion

My favourite was the Frostberry and I would definitely recommend drinking them frozen as they taste quite concentrated when just chilled.  Remember not to try and drink/eat them too fast or you will get 'brainfreeze' (I'm speaking from experience!).  I think they would be a great beverage to have at a party because they are fun and it means you don't have to fiddle around with mixing your own cocktails up (always dodgy).

They are £3.99 each or £10.99 for a pack of three (available to buy online here)

Onto a completely different tangent...I spontaneously felt the need to post these gorgeous pics of Rachel McAdams for the following reasons:

a) She looks amazing
b) Her hairstyle here makes me want a flirty 60's style fringe
c) she reminds me of my beautiful best friend Pamela
d) I love the soft blended eye make up and bright lip colour combo
e) I love the fact her skin is pale and porcelain-like

I think Rachel has a real natural beauty and this look really suits her!

Here I go on another tangent...

I have had this song on replay for the gym this week and it generally helps me go that extra distance on the treadmill.  It's Rihanna ft.Calvin Harris and although it doesn't have a music video, I found it on YouTube so you guys can have a listen.  The song is kind of reminiscent of the kind of dance music that was around in the 90's but I'm loving this song at the moment!

Finally, I will be heading down to London on Thursday for 4 days to attend the Earl's Court Wedding Show and also to meet up with some of the lovely bloggers I have had the pleasure to get to know over the last couple of years.  We have VIP access at the Earl's Court event for all the bridal fashion shows so I will be documenting everything with my SLR camera.  

There will be pictures galore when I get back so I will update you guys and split it into a couple of different posts.  I think the best way to do it will be a post about all the business related wedding show stuff and then another post to let you see what I get up to with the other bloggers and any shopping trips we may stumble into!

I am so excited about this trip and I feel like I'm going to get so much out of it, on a business level but also on a personal level too.

I have loads on with work in the days leading up to this trip so I won't be blogging until I get back.  Have a lovely week everyone!

Toodle-loo for now!

Thursday, 22 September 2011

Lady In Red

I have a girl's night out tomorrow because all of our other halves are in Munich at a beer festival.  So what better excuse for us all to get together, sip some cocktails and have a dance?!

I guess I never need much incentive to get a new dress and this time is no different.  I spotted this little red number on ASOS yesterday for £30...

I don't think I have ever worn this shade of red before but I like it! (Apologies for the bad quality of photo but I took these pics in a rush).  The pleated detail down the front of the dress is really flattering, as is the curved neckline.  The sizing is also pretty spot on; I ordered a size 12 and it fits like a glove.  The dress does have a little bit of stretch in it too which always helps.  Now I just have to figure out the best nail colour and makeup to go with the dress! Suggestions welcome!

Whilst ordering the dress, I had a quick look at the sale/clearance items and found this gorgeous Fiorelli bag down from £39.99 to £24.00.  I love the massive tassel with studded fringe and half chain strap.  I love everything about this bag and it looks a lot more expensive than it is.

It has lovely silver hardware with my preferred subtle branding.  I hate anything too garish that screams that it's from a certain brand.  My love of studs has now spread to this tasselled bag... 

I will wear this with pride tomorrow night!

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Review Of Jemma Kidd Light As Air Foundation

It's no secret that I am a big fan of quite a few Jemma Kidd Make Up School products.  I had heard all the buzz surrounding the Light As Air Liquid Foundation and naturally, this sparked my interest.  It promised a lightweight formula that delivers a super natural finish on the skin.  Even though I'm a medium coverage kinda gal, I do have days when I want a lighter alternative.  To give you an idea of which other lighter formulation foundations that I prefer, my two favourites are Dior Nude and Estee Lauder Double Wear Light.

"Ultra light and natural skin foundation for a velvet, shine-free finish. SPF 18.
- Highly blendable & lightweight texture.

- Silicone coated pigments for a velvet feel & soft focus finish.

- Balancing benefits to help keep the skin perfectly matte for an even, shine free complexion.

- Unique long-wear technology for all day staying power.

- SPF 18 to protect skin from harmful rays.

- Comes in 7 different shades"

I would say that this foundation has a similar texture, finish and coverage as Dior Nude Foundation.  It's definitely a foundation I would keep for my 'good skin' days when I have little to no blemishes.  The coverage is enough to even out your skin tone but keep in mind that it won't cover high discolouration or bad blemishes.  The finish is incredibly natural and even on close inspection, you can hardly detect it at all. It's perfect for the 'no makeup' look. This foundation feels really refreshing to wear because of it's lightweight texture and it's so easy to blend into the skin.

This foundation is great for those days when you want a really natural, fresh look to your skin.  I would definitely save this for more relaxed days than wearing it on a night out, for example.  BUT I do really like the formulation and it has good staying power despite it's lightweight feel.  If you have reasonably good skin then you could get away with just wearing this with a touch of concealer.

It did also lend a soft focus appearance to my skin and felt comfortable on my skin, without drying it out or causing any breakouts.

Saying all that, I personally prefer my trusty Estee lauder Double Wear for work and nights out so I will be sticking with that but this is a great foundation for days when you wanted something with a bit less coverage. 

Have you tried this foundation? What did you think of it?

On a completely different note (something I have mentined on Twitter) that I have taken up a Decathlon challenge at my gym.  I wanted to give myself a real physical challenge and also to lose the last few lbs to get to my target weight.  The challenge involves completing 10 different events including things like running, cycling, pull ups, push ups etc.  I will be doing this over the next couple of weeks.  I DID get a pleasant surprise when I weighed myself the other day and found out that I had managed to lose 6lbs in 3 weeks! That was just from eating a balanced diet and going to the gym 5-6 times a week.  I am by no means on a diet where I deprive myself of anything.  I just eat sensible meals and healthy snacks.

My bone structure is definitely built to be a toned size 12.  You know how some people look weird, drawn and unhealthy when they lose too much weight? Well that would happen to me if I went below a size 12.  I think everyone has a comfortable and healthy size/weight and it isn't always a size 8 or 10.  I think everyone has to keep that in mind when they are setting target weights for themselves.  I wouldn't want to lose my curves because they are very much a part of who I am.

Monday, 19 September 2011

Neon Blushes, Zara Blazer & My New Bag

I never thought I would I would say that neon blushes are great but, here goes....neon blushes rock. 

More specifically, these particular two TopShop blushes rock.  On first sight these powder blushes look positively day-glo and plain scary.  How could they possible look even close to natural on your cheeks? Well somehow they achieve not only that but they brighten even the dullest complexion.

Pop is my favourite of the two shades and could only be described as a neon peach/coral shade.  There is nothing else in my makeup collection that comes close to looking like this blusher.  It seems to look best on fair/medium-medium complexions and looks amazing combined with Dior Amber Diamond Shimmer powder!

Powdered is a really vibrant barbie/candy pink that is surprisingly wearable but I would say that both shades have to be applied lightly to get a natural look.  I only tap the pan ONCE with my blush brush to get the right amount.  If you do go a bit overboard in the all the neon excitement then you can always blend over the top with your powder brush to mute the colour slightly.

I think these blushes are amazing value for only £6.00 each!  I love the petite and sleek packaging because they are quite small and fit neatly into my makeup bag.

Even the swatches look gorgeous!

This is how Pop looks once applied... 

And Powdered...

See! Totally wearable, radiance-enducing and surprisingly natural!  I have been switching between the two all week and love them more every day.  I think Powdered will be a great winter shade!

After going into Zara last week 'just for a look' (which for me usually means accumulating a whole new list of lust have items), I gave in and got the grey blazer I had fallen in love with on first sight.  I ordered it online and had it delivered into my nearest store.  This proved to be a dangerous plan of action because my simple visit to pick it up meant that I started noticing all the new stock they had just put out.  Damn you Zara and your lovely clothes!

I excitedly skipped home with my purchase and got a little giddy when I saw the bright pink tissue paper which nestled around my new blazer...yes, I am THAT sad (and easily pleased it seems!).

This blazer is from their TRF range...not too sure what that stands for?...

The zip detailing really caught my eye as a twist on the classic blazer style.  The fit is super flattering and nips in at all the right places. This style is a snug fit so you have to go one size up from what you normally would be.  I love Zara but sometimes their sizing can be a bit off and I often find myself having to go up a size which is never good for the old ego! (personally it makes my day when I have to get a size down! 'Denial' ain't just a river in Egypt!)

This blazer feels SO expensive and luxe and has real weight to it.

It also comes in black but I opted for the grey shade and it came in at a reasonable £49.99.  Surprisingly good value for a garment which feels like it could be a designer piece.  The tailoring oozes style and brings polish to any outfit.  Here's a linkety poo for anyone who likes it.

Ok, I will hold my hands up...

I have copied Laura over at Buy Now, Blog Later AGAIN.  *Hangs head in shame*

Ever since she posted about the Grey Focco bag over at Ebay I have wanted one of my very own.  For one thing, it further feeds my obsession with anything studded (Holly...you can appreciate this problem I have because you too suffer from the same affliction!).  This bag is basically a faux version of the Alexander Wang Rocco Bag but is priced at a teeny £29.99 (I mean compares to designer price tags!). 

Although the colour seems to vary with every photo taken, the grey shade is almost beigey/almost lilac in real life.  I love the fact it's big enough to fit all my crap but not stupid-ass big.  I mean, you won't get arm strain from carrying this baby!  And it just so happens that it goes perfectly with my new Zara blazer.  I do this all the time.  I justify every purchase with the last and that seems to work for me.ha ha.

The main feature makes me smile.  Ah! Plentiful studs in all their glory...although it did cross my mind that they aren't immediately on show and I may feel the urge to randomly hold the bag on it's side to flash it's gold hardwear goodness to anyone who cares to look.

Oh look...it also comes in black...

Sunday, 18 September 2011

FOTN with Clarins, Illamasqua and Stila reviews

I went out last night for a few drinks with some friends and felt like mixing up my eye makeup a little bit.  Sometimes I fall into a routine of wearing the same neutral eye colours because, well, it's easy to slap it on when you know it works for you!

I decided to go with a new Clarins Eye Quartet Mineral Palette in Violet.  I don't normally wear purple eyeshadow but this eyeshadow quad really appealed to me.  The clean, minimal packaging is super sleek and it comes with the usual Clarins red velvet pouch.

The top left is a gorgeous iridescent lilac and a perfect pick me up colour for medium complexions.  The bottom right shade is a lovely duo-chrome purple that is perfect for adding definition in the socket-line.  The bottom left colour is a deep, rich purple which is great for lashline definition and adding a more smokey look to the eye.  Finally the top right shade is an iridescent white/ivory shade that can be used in the inner corners to open up the eye and also on the middle of the eyelid to add a pretty highlight.

I really like this Clarins eye palette because the graduating tones make it easy to create a really pretty eye look without too much fuss. There was minimal fall out and the duochrome effect of the mid-purple meant that the colour transformed in different lights.

Here are some swatched of the shades described above:

You guys probably know by now that I'm not one for really heavy eye makeup because I have deep-set eyes.  Anything too dark makes me look tired and accentuates any under eye circles.  So, here is how I wore the shades last night...

Clarins Hydra-matte Lotion + Estee Lauder Even Skintone Illuminator + Benefit POREfessional
Estee Lauder Double Wear Foundation (Shell Beige)
MUFE Full Cover Concealer (under eyes)
Loreal True Match Powder (beige)
Clarins Mosaique Bronzing Compact
Sleek Contour Kit (Light)
TopShop Blush (Pop)
Dior Shimmer Powder (Amber Diamond)

Benefit Browzings
Maybelline Cooling Eyeshadow (Pretty Cool)
Clarins Eye Quartet Mineral Palette (Violet)
MAC Vanilla e/s (on browbone)
Illamasqua Precision Eyeliner (Havoc)
Benefit Eye Bright (on waterline)
Revlon 'Flirty' lashes
Lancome Hypnose Mascara (top lashes only)

Stila Long Wear Liquid Lip Color (Coral)

I also really like the same Clarins eye quartet in 'Pastels'.  These are great daytime shades for a really paired down look.

The pale green duo-chrome shade on the bottom right is very unique and has pale gold reflects in it.  This makes for a lovely combo with the taupe shade on the left and this shade creates nice soft definition in the crease and lower lashline.  The only colour I'm not keen on in this palette is the pale pink iridescent shade.  I expected it to have more pigmentation and since there's already an ivory highlight shade in there, I felt like they could have added a darker/definition shad instead.  At £30 a pop I would expect to get exactly what I want from a palette like this so my favourite of the two is definitely the Violet one.

This is a quick example of how the green duochrome and taupe shades look on the eyes (I'm just wearing Urban Decay 24/7 liner in zero smudged along the lashline and Estee Lauder Sumptuous Extreme mascara here)...

In the pics above of my makeup from last night, I mentioned the Illamasqua Precision Eyeliner in Havoc.  This aubergine-coloured liquid liner was the perfect companion for the Clarins Violet eyeshadow palette because it's more interesting than plain old black.

It brought out all the purple shades in my eye makeup and was so easy to use with it's precision foam applicator.  You can get a really clean, crisp line with this product and it really does stay put all night.  I think this colour is a lot easier to wear than the brighter purple eyeliners I have used in the past because you could use this in the daytime without feeling too conspicuous.  The colour of this liner is completely unique in my makeup collection and it's nice to have an alternative to the classic black liner.

I also mentioned the Stila Long Wear Liquid Lip Colour in Coral  in my FOTN above and I have to say that I absolutely LOVE this product! I love everything about it; the colour, the formula, it's longevity.  It's a gorgeous pale milky coral shade that just instantly lifts your complexion and looks great with a slight tan.  As the name suggests, it initially feels very liquid on the lips, giving you enough time to ensure full coverage along your lipline.  Once it's on your lips and has 'set', it stays put through eating, drinking and I even managed to kiss the hubby a few times with absolutely NO transfer onto him (he was particularly thankful for this!).  It stayed on for a full 6 hours without budging annd only came off when I washed my face at the end of the night.  Now THAT is impressive!  This lip product definitely lives up to it's long-wear name and it's not often you find a paler lip shade that lasts that long.  My lips felt comfortable wearing this product and it didn't dry my lips out at all.  It sets matte so make sure you go over your lips with some vaseline and a toothbrush to make sure they are super smooth!

On a random note (as is typical of me), I can't get enough of this song at the moment! Enjoy the rest of your weekend guys!

Friday, 16 September 2011

My Shoedazzle Experience

As promised, here is an overview of my experience with Shoedazzle.  To read my initial post on the process, click here.

Before I show you what I got from Shoedazzle, I just wanted to make some comments about the pieces available on the Shoedazzle website and the general pros and cons.  I felt like there could have been a lot more choice when it came to viewing my 'showroom' of items that were selected for me based on my answers to various style questions.  It was difficult to get alternative options if you didn't like what came up for you.  They should really make this process easier and more user friendly because most people would tire of searching for how to get alternatives, give up and click the old x at the corner of the screen.

So, in my personal opinion, these are the pros and cons of Shoedazzle:

  • I like the idea of having stylist-chosen pieces on offer
  • The affordable price of everything
  • You can earn Stylepoints by purchasing, inviting friends, etc
  • Your usual style choices are challenged somewhat and open you up to new things
  • The quality and appearance of the item I received was VERY good
  • My bag only took 2 days to be delivered
  • I don't like that you would be automatically charged each month if you forget to skip it
  • The site could be easier to navigate with regards to choosing alternative items in your showroom
  • It was difficult to get an overview of EVERYTHING available on the site
  • A lot of the heels (although I liked them) looked way too high for me :(
  • The site needs to specify heel height/bag size etc and what materials each item is made of to give a true reflection of what the item will look/feel like

So, with all that said...what did I think of the 'Trapani' bag that was delivered yesterday? Well, I can't deny that the bright pink interior of the box very much appealed to me (simple things...).

Shoedazzle also sent a free mock-croc effect bag for all your bits and bobs that often get lost in the bottom of your bigger bags.

I must say that I am really very impressed with the Trapani bag.  I can't find a tag on it anywhere but the upper is definitely made from leather.  The bag is very well constructed and feels sturdy and well made.

I love the bag with it's studded zip tags, knotted straps and metalwork and cross stitch pattern on the sides, which add that extra something.  The bag looks ten times better in real life than it does on the website.

The bag has loads of different compartments and will be perfect for taking along to client/suppler meetings as there more than enough room for my paperwork/iPad/notebooks etc.

So all in all, I'm really happy with what I got and I do think the bag is great quality for £39.95.  I do think there are a few things the brand/website need to improve on to make the whole process easier.  At the moment, I would say that a lot of people wouldn't be comfortable with the automatic payment system.  It would be a better idea to make it a choice as well as the usual payment options.  That way, people would feel more comfortable about shopping on the site without worrying about money being debited from their account and possibly putting them into an overdraft.  I would also like to see the shoes and bags worn on models to gauge the size in relation to a person.

These are the things that would make the shopping experience on Shoedazzle better for me.  Have you tried the site yet? What did you think?