Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Review: Benefit Fine One One

This brand new offering from Benefit is the latest product to be doing the rounds in the beauty blogging community.  I thought I would throw my thoughts into the mix given that I'm a big fan of Benefit and also a big fan of coral pink shades in a cheek product.

I won't ramble on too much, lets get down to reviewing Benefit Fine One One:

'Fine-one-one to the rescue! This sheer brightening cheek & lip color gives your look instant LIFT, SHAPE and POP. Glide on the three shades: pink champagne, sheer watermelon and soft coral.  For a sheer coral pink flush that builds from soft & natural to bright & cheery'. 

Fine-one-one was used backstage at Matthew Williamson’s SS13 shows and apparently a whole host of make-up artists and models became converted.

First off, it's no secret that I am rather fond of rose gold - I have developed a penchant lately so the packaging of Fine One One appeals to me no end.  I like the fact that the product comes in a retractable dispenser, avoiding any mess or fuss.

The oval shaped product contains a sheer pink champagne, very much like Benefit High Beam, an intense watermelon pink and a lovely true coral. The colours initially looked a bit bright for my naturally rosy cheeks but once applied, they gave a surprisingly natural-looking glow.  I did have issues with the fact that the product is flat and obviously my cheeks are curved so you have to work to get even application of each colour.  I did have to run it back and forth about three times to get the right amount.

After blending the product in with an upward sweeping motion, the result was a lovely coral glow to my cheeks.  I do think this is more of a blush product than a contouring tool though.  Once you have blended the colours together, you lose almost all of the contouring effect.  I was confused by this because you could have the same effect if all colours were mixed together and presented as a block colour.  It's also worth bearing in mine that the shade on my cheeks appeared brighter in real life than in the pictures.  I wouldn't say it's a product for newby blush users because the colour is quite intense. It was definitely on the upper scale of what's colour intensity for my personal taste.

The formulation is quite easy to work with but I felt like it could have been a little more on the silky and moisturising side.  It drags slightly on the skin.  Saying that it doesn't take too much work to blend in but I much prefer the liquid formulas of Posietint and Cha Cha Tint.  It could work better if applied with a brush but for me, that's too much of a faff.

I did try using the product on my lips but found it very drying.  I did find it worked better if you prepare the lips beforehand with a hydrating balm.  I used Rodial Glam Balm and that worked a treat.  

The product came with a small guide to show the different techniques that can be employed to achieve varying effects:

Overall I like what the product was trying to achieve but I'm not entirely convinced that it was successful.  It this a nice blush? Yes.  Is it an effective contouring tool? In my opinion, no.  If you like coral blushes then I would highly recommend Benefit Coralista which in my top three favourite blushes.

Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Review: NUDE Radiant Day Moisturiser

Let's face it, I am border-line obsessive with my skincare - not an unexpected confession from a certified beauty junkie.  However, since turning 30 the emphasis on maintaining young-looking skin has become even more paramount.  I am a big believer in shopping both high end and drugstore for skincare products that really maintain healthy skin and give me that glow I always yearn for.

I get a lot of emails asking about my skincare regime and I am always happy to share what works for me and what doesn't.  At the moment, I have been switching between Tesco Skin Wisdom Sensitive Moisturiser and NUDE Radiant Day Moisturiser - a stark contrast in price if ever I saw one. My skin seems to get too used to using one product continuously so I alternate between two, further eeking out the more expensive one. Sneaky but it works for me.

Here's a little about the NUDE moisturiser:

'A daily anti-ageing moisturiser for an essential dose of hydration and energy.

Easily absorbed, NUDE Radiant Day Moisturiser is a lightweight daily moisturiser that effortlessly smoothes and energises normal and dehydrated skin.

N-probiotic™ active cell nutrient stimulates skin to produce its own anti-ageing ingredients including collagen, hyaluronic acid and antioxidants. Moisturising Omega 6 works with zinc, magnesium and copper to hydrate and revitalise even the most tired complexions. Skin is left supple and younger looking.'

I am a huge fan of the NUDE Miracle Mask and Cleansing Oil, both of which I have tried regularly in the past.  NUDE, a vegan brand,  is not a cheap brand to go jumping into, but the results really speak for themselves.  I have sensitive skin that is prone to dryness around the nose area.  This means I need a daytime moisturiser that is gentle, hydrating but not too heavy to have make up applied over it.  I want a moisturiser that sinks in quickly  and makes my skin look fresh and healthy.

The consistency of the NUDE Radiant Day Moisturiser is thick enough to feel hydrating but thin enough to melt into skin and leave no greasy residue behind. It doesn't contain any light-reflective particles like some radiance moisturiser on the market can.  The radiance comes purely from pumping your skin full of probiotics, omega oils and collagen as well as a lot of other goodies.

I have been using this moisturiser every day for two weeks now and it has definitely made my skin feel smoother, silkier and look more radiant.  My skin is actually the best it's ever been - something that I'm rather happy about given my age.  The moisturiser makes a great base for foundation and doesn't cause it to slid off your face - something that can be hard to come by.

I really like the brand's take on natural living science and the fact they use the purest ingredients your body can recognise and safely metabolise. The NUDE range is completely gluten free and the signature fragrance has delicate notes of jasmine and ylang ylang and is both 100% natural and allergen free.  Their products don't contain parabens, sulphates or other nasties.

What's not to like???

Thursday, 24 January 2013

Wild About Beauty Divine Nights Palette: Part Two

Yesterday I promised I would post a second part to my review of the Wild About Beauty Divine Nights Palette and here it is!

I took all the photos in direct daylight to give a true representation of how the products look once applied.  You guys know I'm not one for piling on dark eye shadows because my deep set eyes can't handle that kind of intensity of colour.  I've always wanted to wear a full-on smokey eye but I'm a big believer in sticking to what suits you.  So I swayed on the daytime natural side with just a smidge of extra colour.

I primed the lid first to give something for the powder shadows to adhere to.  I used the palest shade Rowan all over the lid and up to the brow bone, then used a blending brush to apply the brown shade, Polly into the crease and outer edges of the lid.  I then used the purple shade, Heather, to add a bit of colour to the outer edges of the lid and also ran it a third underneath the eyes.  I used black liquid liner and then some of the Polly shade on top to soften the line.  I then applied the Glow Stick in Winston to add a highlight to the brow-bone and inner corners of the eyes.

Here are the swatches of the eye shadows: L-R
Rowan, Polly, Heather, Jody

I felt that the Rowan shade could have done with slightly more pigment but it still works well as a sheer wash for the lids acting as a base for the other shades.  You can build up the intensity with a dense eye shadow brush but it does take a little extra work.  The darker shades were a nice texture and had good pigmentation. I was especially impressed by the purple and green-toned gunmetal shade.  On first impressions I wasn't sure how flattering those shades would be however I have used both of them for the last couple of days and, used in the correct way, they are very easy to wear.

I love the Molly powder blush product - it had fantastic pigmentation, goes on smoothly and really lasts throughout the day.  I will definitely be picking up the full-size version because the colour is right up my street. It has a very natural appearance on the skin and gives a lovely subtle flush of colour to your cheeks.

I was very impressed with the Glow Stick in Winston. It gives a gorgeous natural ethereal glow that doesn't look like a product - it just looks like you have glowy skin.  The Glow Stick is I wanted to try and capture the effect of the Glow Stick on my cheekbones and I think I just about managed it here:

I have to apologise profusely for my goose-pimpled arm in this next shot.  I do have an explanation for this. The heating went off in the bedroom where I always take my pictures - due to the abundance of natural light.  So, I just couldn't heat up when I was in there and ended up having to take the picture of my hideously lumpy arm.

I used a mixture of the Multi-Purpose Tint in Lynne and the Nutrilips Gloss in Louloubella on my lips in these pics.  I absolutely love both of these products and they work so well at creating a glossy, natural pout.  They both feel so comfortable to wear and definitely have a moisturising effect.  Perfect for those days when you want a no-fuss lip product that looks fresh.

If you like the look of this pretty palette then now is the time to pick it up for the reduced price of £19.30 here.

Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Wild About Beauty Divine Nights Palette: Part One

I had previously blogged about a relatively new beauty brand on the scene, Wild About Beauty, here.  This post will concentrate on taking a closer look at the Divine Nights Palette but I will be posting about it tomorrow too.  Like I have said before, I'm not one to jump on the band wagon of celebrity-endorsed make up collections however Wild About Beauty is a whole different kettle of fish.

The overall look of the packing is sleek, modern and with touches of intricate detail.  The unique nature-inspired look to the design really appeals to me as does the glossy palette. It has a big mirror inside which is always a bonus with versatile palettes.

Here's the quick low-down from the brand:

'A gorgeous collection of eye, lip and cheek colours in skin nourishing high performing formulas to take you effortlessly from day to night. Enriched with skin conditioning Aloe Vera and Vitamins A, E and C, these these easy-to-apply powders, tints and glosses glide on and blend easily, ideal for achieving a multitude of looks'.

This is a limited edition palette and at the moment it has been reduced by 33% to just £19.30 so if you have been thinking of getting your grubby mitts on it, then now would be a good time to dive in and grab it.  Although the palette is limited edition, it contains core products that are available individually in the Wild About Beauty range:

Powder Eyeshadows in Rowan, Heather, Polly and Jody 
Multi-purpose Tint in Lynne
Nutrilips Gloss in Louloubella
Glow Stick in Winston
Powder Blush in Molly

I love the mixture of neutrals with the purple and green-toned gunmetal shade.  I always need a bit of encouragement to take a departure from my comfortable neutral daytime look.  This palette offers up the option to mix it up a little.  I can imagine using the neutrals as a base and adding either of the purple or green-toned gunmetal to the outer edges of my eyes.

The powder blush is a gorgeous delicate peachy-pink that it right up my street - easy to wear and flattering.  The Glow Stick pan will be perfect for highlighting the cheekbones, down the centre of my nose, my brow bones, inner corners of my eyes and my cupid's bow.

Both of the lip products are suit-all natural shades that are perfect for daytime wear and definitely compliment the rest of the palette.  I feel like the brand is trying to encourage a more natural take on make-up, something that is subtle and brings out your natural beauty.

Stay tuned for tomorrow's post on this palette because I will be talking more about the texture of the products, featuring swatches and the look that can be created using the palette.

Monday, 21 January 2013

My Winter Wants

Despite the weather being incredibly temperamental at the moment, I have been vehemently concentrating on the silver lining.  The fact is I am a winter person at heart. I love layering, snuggly scarves and hats, statement boots and gorgeous winter coats.  Living in a colder climate forces you to fit fashion around what is practical for you.  Dressing for the cold doesn't have to mean missing out on all the gorgeous trends out there though.

I just wanted to share my 'winter want' list with you all:

ONE - ASOS Oversized Pocket Boyfriend Shirt

You can't go wrong with a plain white shirt and this oversized version is the perfect accompaniment to skinny jeans.  It balances out your silhouette and is the perfect attire for those long lunches when you don't want the attention on your food baby!

TWO - Reiss Annie Beanie

I love the look of long wavy hair snuggled under cute beanie hats and the bright fuchsia shade of this Reiss one is just to die for. It's a soft angora mix and is the perfect pop of colour to add to neutrals.

THREE - Topshop Zig Zag Snood

I have been lusting after a snood ever since I started seeing pic after pic on Pinterest of this versatile accessory.  A neutral snood seems to me like a wardrobe must have and looks great as part of a smart casual outfit.

FOUR - Tan Studded Chelsea Boots

I don't currently own any Chelsea Boots but after seeing them on this blog written by the gorgeous Michelle, I started to mentally couple them with loads of outfits I already own. The conclusion? I just have to get myself a pair. I love these tan ones with stud detail and the great thing about these boots is that the heel is practical and comfortable for day wear.  Let's face it, sky high stilettos aren't practical day-wear for 90 percent of women.  Boring but true.

FIVE - Betty Jackson Rose Gold Collar Necklace

I have been having a love affair with rose gold of late and it's showing no sign of waning.  I have been checking out some rose gold choker necklaces and this collar-style version from Betty Jackson appealed to me the most. I want to wear it with a crisp white shirt for a full on contrast.

SIX - Topshop Moto Coated Leigh Jeans

I am now a strictly skinny jeans kinda gal - gone are the boot cuts or flares from my wardrobe.  I have a range of colours at the moment but I have found myself lusting after an intense oxblood shade, gracing many a high street store lately.  Although I have swerved the leather-look trend so far, I am really keen to extend my coated/waxed jeans collection.  They have a sheen to them that is akin to leather but without the scary factor.  Saying that, I have just bought a pair of faux leather skinny trousers from Topshop. One of my new year's resolutions was to face my fears anyway!

Saturday, 19 January 2013

Lovin On Lancome

Like most of the UK, we have been hit quite hard by the snow with biting blizzards, roads like ice rinks and a very generous amount of snow blanketing the ground.  I felt like this was the perfect day to get back into some blogging and I rather like the idea of being snowed in with a wood burner, a menagerie of sleepy animals and the first series of Dexter to keep us company.

It's been quite a long time since a Lancome product graced the pages of Liparazzi, despite my love of their Star Bronzer, Hypnose Mascara and Juicy Tubes.  I have long since been distracted by the plethora of other brands on offer, which is only exacerbated by the latest buzz products in the beauty blogging community. However in this post I am going to ramble on about a couple of products that I  have really enjoyed using over the past few days.

I have never really been one to be seduced by Lancome blushers, however a quick look at their blush shades sowed a seed in my head.  The promise of a radiant peach glow was too much for me to resist.  Although I often find the blush compacts to be rather uninspiring, it's what's inside that counts, right? Introducing Lancome Blush Subtil in Shimmer Peach Fever...

'A long-wearing formula that’s gentle, light and soft.
- Ultra soft Nylon micro-powders
- Extremely fine mica micro-particles
- Silicon polymers for a uniform result and long wear.
Optimal shimmer, reflective effect.
- Ultra brilliant pearly particles
- Ultra shimmering Shine Reflect™ pearly particles (2 times more light reflection).'

This blush is simply perfection for my colouring, giving just the right amount of healthy flush to my cheeks.  Although it's a shimmer blush, do not interpret that as a glitter-ball mess on your cheeks.  This isn't one of those blushes with gritty glitter particles that sparkle artificially in the light.  This a finely milled blush with the most minuscule radiance particles, translating onto the skin as a healthy glow.  The shade is a warm peach with subtle golden shimmer. It doesn't make your cheeks shiny or greasy looking, it just gives your face dimension and can also act as a highlighter. As you will see from the pictures in this post, it warms up your complexion without looking artificial - something us beauty bloggers happen to love. I highly recommend this to anyone with light-medium/medium colouring for a long-lasting and gorgeous finish.

I remember seeing the ads for the Lancome L'Absolu Nu Lipstick range featuring Kate Winslet and being completely seduced by the whole look and specifically the gorgeous nude shade she was wearing...

I absolutely love the detailing on the lipstick packaging and get some strange pleasure out of the magnetic closing mechanism that offers that satisfactory click when it closes.  Simple things...

'Sexy nudes.
Provocatively Radiant. Irresistibly Lightweight. 
Moisture Replenishing Lip Colour.
Bare Lip Sensation.

12 shades to complement your lip tone.Our caring lipstick with Pro-Xylane™, L’Absolu Nu, presents sexy nudes in a light-to-the-touch texture.
Moisture-replenishing colour embraces your lips in soft shine lustre.'

I opted for no.202 Beige Tulle and for me it offers up the sought after - and believe me I hate this term - my lips but better appearance.  The texture is extremely silky and glides on with a moisturising feel to it.  It has a semi-glossy finish on the lips and feels really comfortable to wear.  It almost has a balm-like consistency to it now that I think about it.  

It's the perfect daytime lipstick for me because it looks natural but polished.  The formula isn't particularly long-wearing but I found that it lasts around three hours before having to be re-applied.  Given the consistency and luxurious feel, I am willing to accept the re-application, especially when I get to hear that satisfying click every time.

Tuesday, 15 January 2013

A Mish-Mash Post

I'm definitely not immune to a buzz product - that is to say a product that has been kicking up a fuss in the beauty blogging community.  The latest blemish-busting wonder cream that has been getting everyone a bit excited is La Roche-Posay Effaclar Duo, a dual action anti-imperfection moisturiser.

'Pores are unclogged and purified to help reduce the development of future breakouts. Helps to reduce skin imperfections leaving skin looking clearer and feeling smoother. Daily care to treat both imperfections on the skin's surface and help prevent blocked pores. Contains Niacinimide, Piroctone Olamine and LHA. 
La Roche-Posay follows strict formulations standards:
- 100% hypoallergenic skincare
- Non-comedogenic
- High concentration of selected active ingredients with soothing Thermal Spring Water
- Minimal ingredients and fragrance
- Tested on the most sensitive skin
- Packaging minimises all forms of micro-bacterial contamination'.

This moisturiser/treatment has a lightweight gel consistency with a non-sticky texture. It glides onto the skin without even a trace of residue.

I was all up for the hype surrounding this wonder cream and couldn't wait to unleash it on my recently temperamental skin.  My skin is generally pretty good but I sometimes suffer from a few spots around my mouth and chin area.  Although my skin is only really troublesome in this area, I applied the cream all over my face.

This was a big mistake.  Before I purchased the product, I didn't read the description as thoroughly as I should have, relying mostly on reviews I had read.  This moisturiser is designed specifically for oily skin.  I have sensitive skin that can be dry around the nose area.  Although the moisturiser dramatically cleared the blemishes around my mouth, it also really dried out my skin around my nose leading to flaking.  An attractive mental image I'm sure you'll agree.

I did develop a little routine of only applying the treatment where required and then using a more emollient moisturiser on the drier areas of my face.  It worked out well but it's really something to bear in mind if you also have a drier skin type.  All in all, I was impressed by how the treatment performed, with my spots being dramatically reduced in redness and size overnight.  It's a great instant fix if you need to get rid of your blemishes quickly - and lets face it, who doesn't?  But for drier skin, it's best to concentrate only on the areas where needed.

You can also read a great balanced review of the product here from someone with an oily skin type.  I bought the moisturiser from this site.

After a recommendation from a friend of mine, I bought the Elnette Heat Spray - Volume in my weekly shop from Tesco.  I am already a big fan of their hairspray so I figured their styling spray would probably follow suit.

'NEW Elnett Heat Protect Styling Sprays; specially adapted to your styling routine they protect against heat damage caused by hairdryers, straighteners and curling irons. With protection from frizz and humidity they help smooth straight hair and give definition to soft curls.  For an extra volume boost try Elnett Heat Protect Styling Spray Volume, enriched with Heat Protect Technology, it helps voluminous styles last for up to 3 days'.

I have been using this styling spray for over a week now and I have to say it's one of the best I have ever tried.  At £5.99 for 170ml, it's pretty great value considering you only need around three sprays per application.  I like to spray it into my hands and work it into the roots of my hair.  This way you can control how much product you use. The spray applicator isn't a fine mist so it can concentrate too much product in one area.  That is my only criticism of this hair product.  It gave my hair fantastic weightless volume that lasted all day and as promised, even into the next day.  That's almost unheard of for me. 

Something I really wanted to share with you is this AMAZING beaded jacket I bought online from Topshop - I can't include a link as the Topshop site is down right now. I'm sure it will feature in an upcoming outfit post.

The embellishments are just to die for, so intricate and you can tell the garment is very well made.  As you would imagine, it's pretty heavy but I like the way it drapes.  I have been lusting after a jacket like this for a long time now so when I spotted it online, I knew I had to have it. It wasn't in the sale and cost £95 but I really believe that it's worth it as an investment piece.  I will wear this jacket to death.

I like the idea of dressing it down with skinny jeans, boots and a plain white boyfriend t-shirt.  However it may also come in handy to add some interest up an otherwise plain dress.  It would look amazing mixed with a contrasting texture like some leather-look leggings and a slouchy white shirt.  Ah the options...

Lastly, I just wanted to show you this cute pic of Decky and Seámus.  The kittens are getting pretty big now and causing havoc in the Murphy household.  They have a habit of playing with absolutely EVERYTHING so you end up finding random objects in the most random of places.  Just yesterday I found a curler in the kitchen.  They have played with it all the way from the bedroom upstairs.  Decky is really good with them but I think him and Seámus have the closest friendship, often opting to snuggle up together on the couch.

Wednesday, 9 January 2013

The ASOS Peplum Blouse

I generally steered clear of peplum tops because depending on where the peplum detail was situated, they always seemed to make my hips look wider.  I found it increasingly difficult to find one that was flattering to my apple-type body.  However, when I spotted this version on Laura's blog, I felt like it may just work for me.

The reason why this peplum top appealed to me is probably because it's not your conventional, run-of-the-mill peplum top.  The peplum detailing is soft, flowing and originates from the highest point of your waist, giving a more stream-lined and flattering appearance.  The blouse is made from lightweight chiffon and with the addition of soft pleating, it gives it a lovely fluid quality.  

Leather Jacket: Next Signature
Blouse: ASOS
Skirt: Miss Selfridge
Bag: Modalu
Boots: Zara
Ring: Topshop
Necklace: Topshop
Watch: Michael Kors

Despite my 5'7 frame, I bought the petite version which actually falls just at the right point for my figure.  I was worried the blouse might not suit a larger-chested lady but worn with a statement necklace, it takes subtlely interrupts the area between your chest and your neckline, balancing the proportions nicely.

I wanted to toughen up the ladylike chiffon blouse with a leather jacket, heavier jewellery and my new studded Zara boots.  Alternatively, I think the blouse would work just as well with skinny jeans, giving a nice contrast to the flowing sleeves. I was pleasantly surprised with this blouse, it's bargain basement price and how easy it is to take care of.

The best thing about this top is that although it features a transient seasonal trend like the peplum, it's a softer version that looks more classical in style.  This means I can keep wearing it even when the trend fades without feeling like I'm flogging a dead horse.  We love trend-driven pieces that can transcend seasons.