Wednesday, 30 November 2011

A Rediscovered Love & A Disappointment

Rouge Bunny Rouge is definitely at the very upper scale of price range when it comes to make up, much like Chanel or Dior.  Although I often baulk at their prices, I can't deny that there are a few of the RBR products that never fail to impress me.  I love their Amplitude mascara for unrivalled super thick lashes, their Highlighting Liquid in Sea Of Showers for an ethereal glow and the star of this post, their Devotion Ink Quartz Liner in Tiger Eye Essence...

"A soft, water-based formula ensures tender application. We also added Borosilicates - minute particles of artificial quartz that fill the formula with an incredible shine and shed a coquettish lustre onto the lines. The Eyeliner allows for high coverage, dries quickly, is super long-wearing and has excellent skin compatibility. An elegant brush means you can apply both fine thin lines and passionate wide lines. You can use the Eyeliner alone or over your favourite eye pencils or eye shadow. "

The Quartz Eyeliner has a medium-fine felt applicator that makes it incredibly easy to apply.  The impressive bit comes when you see this product swatched (in hindsight, given the price of this, I shouldn't have used so much for the swatch!!!).

The reflective properties of this bronzey brown eyeliner are just beautiful and I love the way the gold particles catch the light.  It's an ideal liner for this time of year when you want to inject a bit of glamour into different eye looks.  It's hard to capture how pretty this is on camera and the best representation can be seen in the swatch above.

Here's a video from Zuneta that gives a good demonstration of how to use the product:

I wore this yesterday and was asked 3 times what I was wearing.   It's long-lasting, intense, undeniably eye-catching and would look incredible used as part of a brown smokey eye for festive glamour! My love for this product has totally been reignited after digging it out a couple of days ago.  At £27 it's eye-wateringly expensive BUT I got mine in September 2010, I used it a lot and it hasn't dried out so to me, that's pretty damn good!

And now to something which I had high hopes for but unfortunately, it didn't live up to my expectations.  The Nars Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Bolero seemed like the perfect peachy pink in a long-lasting pencil formula.

"The convenience of a pencil with the application of a lipstick in a jumbo-size crayon design. Instantly coats lips with rich pigment, imparting a velvet matte finish for seamless color. The long lasting yet non-drying formula is enriched with special emollients for a creamy texture, while a combination of unique silicones ensures long-lasting, velvety color for hours." 

Sounds great right? However, on application, it soon became apparent that this product was not going to work on me.  I had exfoliated my lips beforehand and applied a lip balm to prime them.  Once the balm had worked it's magic, I applied the Velvet Matte Lip Pencil straight onto my lips and this happened...

It just looks chalky, uneven and made my lips look dry and parched (when they're not).  If anyone has any suggestions on how best to apply this then I would really appreciate any advice.

Monday, 28 November 2011

I'm On Twitter

I have finally decided to have a Twitter account for my blog...I know, about time right?! I already have one for my business but for all the beauty blogging related stuff and more about what I'm up to, please follow me here.  I would love to get in contact with you guys on there.
Thanks folks!

Sunday, 27 November 2011

Clarins Rave Review and Update

It's no secret that I have become a really big fan of a lot of Clarins products lately and I'm not sure why it took me so long to get into this brand.   This post however will be dedicated to three gorgeous Clarins Rouge Prodige Lipsticks.

The packaging is chrome, modern and sleek with subtle branding detail...

Uhhh, even just looking at the pic of these three babies makes me drool.  These shades really appeal to me and as soon as I saw them, I knew this was a love affair just waiting to happen!

Left to Right: Rosy Coral, Sunset, Paradise Pink

"An unrivalled formula that delivers long-lasting lip colour, shine and hold that lasts for hours. High Fidelity Pearl technology ensures that colour and shine stay true for hours while this creamy, rich texture provides nourishing skin care benefits to lips. A wide range of colours to choose from to create your own glamorous look."

These lipsticks swatched a little more sheer than I expected and but the great thing about that is that it makes them so wearable for daytime.  They inject that juicy burst of colour on your lips without being too in your face.  They smell lovely and the consistency is quite balm-like with a comfortable and moisturising feel to them.  It's difficult to describe the finish on the lips other than luminous with great shine.  I really can't choose a favourite between all the three shades! They all have a brightening effect on my complexion and have decent lasting power.  These are definitely taking up home in my mobile make up bag.  Holly and Tali, you would really like these!...just saying.

The Clarins Rouge Prodige lipsticks are available in a massive 30 shades, are priced at £17.00 and are available here.

General Update

I spent some of today sorting through my make up collection.  We all know how difficult is is to keep everything neat and orderly when you are constantly rummaging around for things.  I can't wait until we move to our house in April and I can begin to really set up an amazing make-up/wardrobe room for myself.  I could squeal with excitement! 

I have had the talk with hubby and he has agreed that I need a whole room to store my stuff.  I can't wait to deck it out in style! I dream of a dressing room like this one with an added make up area!  My friends would visit and never leave!

Nail It

Here's a random thought.  I was sitting at the hairdressers on Friday afternoon and I suddenly spied a gorgeous pink hair product.  I remember thinking I would love to find a nail polish that was EXACTLY that colour.  Then I thought...wouldn't it be great if you could go somewhere where you could take along a coloured object, they would scan it and mix up a custom nail polish colour just for you! Just like the paint section in B&Q! Maybe someone has thought of that already but I've never heard of it before. 

Square Eyes

Since Chris is working offshore at the moment, this weekend I have been mostly working and watching TV.  I have watched countless trash tv and films this weekend and weirdly loved every minute of it.  I totally pampered myself and recuperated after a week of feeling a bit ill.  The only downside of that is that I have been pigging out way too much and will now have to make up for it by gymming it up starting tomorrow!

Inspirational decor

My thoughts have definitely turned to us buying a house next year and more importantly, how I am going to decorate the house.  I am a massive interior design fan...any excuse to get creative really.  I have been checking out loads of inspiration decor blogs pouring over everything from wallpaper to cushions to wine glasses.  I am really interested in DIY decor too and found these fab ideas...


I have gone a bit Ebay-mad recently and have been buying all sorts from there including make-up storage, clothes, shoes and jewellery.  There's just so many bargains to be had on there and quite often you will find pieces that have sold out in shops.  I will be posting on all the bits and pieces once they have been delivered so stay tuned for that.

Hubby was supposed to be delayed but I just got word that he is back tomorrow after 15 days offshore...HURRAH!!!!

Saturday, 26 November 2011

Clarins, Beauty-Boxes & MAC

Nothing excites me quite like Limited Edition palettes because they always have a pretty design feature, be it on the exterior packaging or on the pan itself.  Well this Limited Edition Clarins Passion Face Palette has both! The unique Aztec design on the metal compact and on the powder pan is very eye-catching!

Now I always talk about how products from luxury brands feel weighty in your hands, giving you that satisfying feeling that you are holding a luxury item.  Clarins aren't messing around with this compact because it weighs a ton! It's definitely not the kind of palette that you would nonchalantly toss into your handbag of a day.  It's the kind that you might display proudly on your dressing table...on some kind of decorative pedestal...with appropriately flattering lighting.  Ok, maybe I wouldn't go that far but it IS beautiful.

Sometimes I get confused with these kind of face powders because they aren't quite a face powder and they aren't quite a highlighter.  However, the tiny gold reflects in this peach-toned powder with the slightest hint of bronze act like a veil of radiance on your face and in that you can assume you would use sparingly and on specific areas of your face (centre of forehead, high on your cheekbones, down the centre of your nose).  This is definitely a product that works better with night-time make up because it adds that extra polish and glam factor.  Possibly not a good product for anyone who feels they have very oily skin and are self conscious of shine.  I personally like the glow it gives my skin, which is so subtle, it's very hard to capture on camera hence the lack of picture.

Don't be scared of the gold overspray on the pan, this disappears after a few sweeps of your powder brush.  What you are left with is a large section of glow-inducing powder under the design and the rest is a luminous pressed powder.    This is by no means a glittery or even shimmery product, it leaves a healthy gleam on your skin that has a soft focus effect. It certainly avoids that flat matte look you can get from using super matte powders and gives your face more dimension.

It's pricey at £35 here on the Clarins website but it's a lovely Christmas treat that feels and looks expensive and even when it runs out, I fully intend to use it as a cosmetic mirror in my handbag!

I was sent a lovely little treat from Beauty-Boxes which is a website that specialises in beauty accessories including cosmetic cases and travel cases.

They sent me their Large Powder Room Pink Make Up Pouch which retails at a very reasonable £15.46.  The pouch is made from faux leather which has generous measurements of 22cm (w) x 8cm (d) x 15cm (h) which makes it perfect as a handbag make up bag.

The lining has a really cute multi-coloured polka-dot design and the zip opens really wide so it's easy to longer objects such as make-up brushes in there.  It's a pet hate of mine when you almost damage your brushes trying to squeeze them into a little make up bag!

It's a really handy size and fits everything I need in my handbag for touch-ups during the day.  I like that the exterior is faux leather because it means it's wipe clean so it will never get all grubby.

For the longest time, I have wanted MAC Jazzed lipstick because I'm still mad about peachy shades on the lips and although this shade verges on orange, it's a very wearable orange!  My hairdresser Leigh passed it on to me after deciding that it didn't suit her, explaining to me that "it looks like I've been eating spag bol!!!". ha ha.  That wasn't the best recommendation for the lippy but I braved it and tried it on.

It's a rich peach with definite orange tones but it's incredibly wearable and on my complexion, it has a nice brightening effect.  It isn't the easiest to apply, with the dabbing method being employed to prevent that patchy look.  However, if you pat it on, it actually goes on evenly and can be built up for a more intense colour pay off.

I had a search through my lipsticks to find MAC Costa Chic so I could compare and contrast since I had seen people group them together in the past.

I have to say that Costa Chic is far more vibrant and has an almost pearlised finish which I usually hate but somehow that lipstick pulls it off beautifully.  Now examine the sad, grubby little Costa Chic lippy below...that's what happens when you take your favourite summer lipstick to Greece in 40oC heat! Lesson learned people!

I think Jazzed will make it easy for me to transition my love affair with peach lips into Winter without looking like a crazy woman!

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

My Current Loves

I am a bit of a fusspot when it comes to perfume and I generally stick to three main favourites that I rotate depending on the occasion:

YSL Elle
Gucci II
Armani Code

I had seen YSL Cinema around but I had always assumed it would be one of those heavy perfumes that would stick in the back of your throat.  Don't ask me why but I had this preconception in my head.

However, on my visit to London back in Oct, Tali over at the The Gloss Goss mentioned she liked it.  To say this girl smells amazing is an understatement! She smells divine! As creepy as it may sound, it's true.  She cited YSL Cinema as a scent that she liked so that's what initially sparked my interest!  As you can see, the bottle is very pretty with a real glamorous feel as we have all come to expect from a luxury brand like YSL.

YSL Cinema is definitely in the Oriental Floral category and consists of:

Heart Notes
Amaryllis, Peony & Jasmine

Top Notes
Cyclamen, Clementine & Almond Blossom

Base Notes
Vanilla, Musk, Benzoin & Amber

This to me feels like a very sensual and warm scent that isn't at all overpowering.  The Vanilla, Amber and Musk are the notes that really linger over time and the more it develops, the more I like it.  I have been wearing it every day for the past few days and the warm base to it feels comforting to me.  Loving this!

You can pick up the YSL Cinema EDT 35ml for only £24.99 here at The Perfume Shop.

Another her product this past couple of weeks has been the Urban Decay 15 Year Anniversary Eye shadow Collection...

It has such a gorgeous mix of colours which you can see in more detail in my original post here.  I have used it every single day since I got it.  Vanilla, Flow and Chase pretty much create the perfect everyday natural eye look.  My other palettes haven't had a look in because this palette has everything you need to create a paired down daytime look or something more dramatic.  The matte black shade is great for smoking it up or just tidying up black eye liner.  I would always chuck this in my bag without any hesitation that it contains everything I need (Holly, you would LOVE this!).

On crack-of-dawn early mornings, Clarins Daily Energizer Wake-Up Booster certainly lives up to it's name. It's a liquid toner containing radiance inducing ingredients like green coffee, redcurrant extract and natural anti-oxidants like White Tea extract.  I apply it every morning after cleansing and before moisturiser and it just gives my skin this amazing glow and life.  You only need a very small amount because of the liquid consistency.  My only gripe is that it just has a hole where a spray applicator would be much more useful and practical.

You can pick up a 125ml bottle of this product for just £11.99 over at Escentual as they are having a 20% special offer at the moment!

It's been a while since I used this little pot of flawlessness but I picked one up after trying other primers and not being quite satisfied with the results.  Loreal Studio Secrets Smoothing Resurfacing Primer smooths the skin, fills pores and fine lines and creates a fantastically even base for make up.  I always notice the difference when I wear this underneath my foundation and it just goes on so evenly with this.  It makes your skin look completely flawless and who doesn't want that?!  It comes in such a small pot though, I just wish they would create a larger size! 

I'm a big believer in taking care of my skin, especially at night time when your body works overtime to repair and renew itself.  Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair is a product I apply every single night before my moisturiser.  It always seems to fade any scars from spots a lot faster than anything else and as my skin has a tendency to go red in Winter, it also helps to calm that down and keep my skin tone even.  I'm sometimes wary of hyped up products because they have a tendency to not live up to your expectations.  However, in this case, I can see why everyone is so in love with this super serum.

I have seen these stupendously studded shoes on a few blogs and they never fail to make me drool...

It's the Sam Edelman Lorissa Truffle Shoes and since they are priced at £180...they aren't exactly in my usual shoe price bracket.  I may have to justify the purchase somehow because they are just too beautiful.  I am praying they are on sale at some point!  I mean, I could argue that I have to buy them for my own safety...given that they could be used as a weapon of self defence in the event of an attack!

Sunday, 20 November 2011

OOTN, Ardell & Orly

I have had so many emails commenting on the fact that I always seem to find great dresses on ASOS.  I am well aware that the quality and fit of garments on the website can be inconsistent at times.  I guess the key is that I generally know what styles suit my body shape and what fabrics will work on me.  I think that is a general rule when it comes to online clothes shopping though because with so many online boutiques popping up, it can be hard to know what will look good.  I struck gold with my recent purchase of the ASOS Cream Mesh Twist Bandeau Dress, which I wore on Saturday night for a girl's night out...

Dress: ASOS
Blazer: AWear
Shoes: Next
Necklace: Accessorize
Ring: Dorothy Perkins

My lovely hairdresser Leigh came over and curled my hair with a conical wand, did a bit of back-combing.  I used two tracks of my FoxyLocks deluxe clip in hair extensions in Honey Blonde.  Just as a side note, I got my hairdresser Leigh to put some lowlights into the extensions last year to break the colour up with my natural hair colour.  It just makes the extensions less obvious and to be honest, people never know I'm wearing them, they just think my hair looks good.  It's a pet hate of mine when extensions are really kinda defeats the purpose of wearing them!

My new Next nude platforms got their first outing and went perfectly with the outfit.  I like the chunky heels and they are definitely easier to walk in than stilettos!  My legs were on the pasty side so I chucked on some Rimmel Sun Shimmer Instant Tan in Light Shimmer.  I have had a couple of emails over the last few weeks after some of my OOTD posts asking what leg exercises I do at the gym/at home which is very flattering.  So let me know if you guys would like me to do a post on this as I do have some specific routines?

I tried out the Ardell 117 Lashes and I have to say these are the longest lashes I have ever worn.  I usually wear the 109's or 110's because I like to go with the more natural look.  I figured I would try something different for this night out and these lashes looked pretty glam in the packaging.

They look good when my eyes are open and they wing out my eye shape which looks really pretty.  They were easy to apply and felt secure all night.

However, my issue with these lashes is that when you look down, the lashes just look too artificial for my liking.  The inner lashes are MUCH longer than my own so you get that real false lash effect.  If that's your bag, then that's perfectly ok, but for me, I like my lashes to look more natural and blend in with my own, graduating out.

A nail product I just HAVE to talk about in this post is Orly Polishield 3 in 1 Top Coat.  This stuff is a godsend! I often have trouble keeping my nail colour intact for more than a couple of days.  Finding a nail polish that dries quickly, stays put and resists chipping is no mean feat.  But when you have an amazing topcoat that fuses with the polish to create a durable seal...well, it certainly makes a huge difference and saves you the time of constantly re-applying nail colour!

I had heard about Orly Polishield via Twitter and a few blogs and since I have been searching for a great topcoat for as long as I can remember, I was all over this stuff like a rash.  I couldn't wait to find out if it was as good as people were saying.  It is marketed as:

a) chip-resistant, high shine top coat
b) a quick dry treatment 
c) providing UV protection

The proof is in the pudding they say, so I applied Polishield over my Essie Buy Me A Cameo polish on Thursday and after 5 days of wear (including a night out), this is what my nails now look like today...

Perfect! Not one chip or smudge to be seen.  Polishield dries so quickly over the nail colour and seals it in immediately.  Within 10 minutes of applying it, I accidentally hit my nail off a sharp edged door handle and expected there to be a chip or smudge.  However, on inspection, the nail was still that is what I call a topcoat!  The thing I am most pleased about is that it will provide a long-lasting seal for the lower quality polishes in my collection which chip within a day or so.  I often don't use those said polishes because of that annoying problem so Polishield has completely solved that issue! It's definitely a hero product for me.

Orly Polishield is priced at £7.95 and you can get it here.

Friday, 18 November 2011

An Early Birthday Present

Ok, my birthday is still 25 days away but whilst prowling the pages of the Reiss sale (my favourite online haunt), I laid eyes on a particular garment that stole my attention from the get-go.  The hubby offered to get the dress for my birthday under one condition...I didn't wear it until my birthday.  A cruel dilemma, but one I was willing to deal with to get my grubby mitts on this dress!  After placing my order only 2 days ago at night time, the parcel arrived today and my excitement was palpable!

I got the Reiss Rich Royal Blue Bodycon Dress which was reduced from £179 to only £53!  I have never owned a proper bodycon dress before and to be honest, I didn't have the body confidence to until now!  All that clingy fabric would have broken me out in a cold sweat before my gym days.  I'm not a skinny girl but I think you have to have some curves for the bodycon dresses to work. (Excuse the makeup in these pics...I had been traipsing around town all day!)...

The fabric of this bandage dress is thick and feels really high quality.  It's a mix of viscose, nylon and elastane which means that it's really easy to wash and take care of.  The black cage detailing is really slimming and the way it sections the torso, means that it's great for camouflaging a less than flat stomach (I'm still working on that!).

The v-neck is flattering on big-chested girls like myself and the dress itself is extremely comfortable to wear with a zip running the full length of the back of the dress.  I am a size 12 and I ordered a Medium on the Reiss site which fits perfectly without being too tight.  There only seems to be Size Large left on the Reiss site but if you search for 'Reiss bodycon' on Ebay, there's a few people selling them on there.  The dress also comes in a nude and black colour combo but it's priced at £125 in the sale.  I personally prefer the vivid blue shade though!

My trusty black Warehouse waterfall blazer compliments the dress perfectly!

Now I just have to hold back from wearing it until December 13th...hmmmm...