Monday, 28 January 2013

January Favourites!

Hello blog, you seem a little dusty and cob-webby... I'm sorry I neglected you. However, combining work with lack of actual buying of makeup equals not much to blog about! I say that but I have about 50 products that need reviewing, still... shhh. 
I digress.
As the title suggests, these are my January favourites; not many of them are makeup, in fact most aren't. I've been focusing more on skin care/ hair, but less on the latter. 

Hands have been a priority for me like never before due to my constant washing of my hands at work. They are dry, so awfully dry and it makes me cry (that rhymed!). But it's becoming quite a problem, since we're not allowed to use gloves at work, which is just a bit... yeah. Ahava Deadsea Mineral Water Hand Cream is probably something you've never heard before seeing as it is from the dead sea and hence an Israeli brand. However, they do have a fully functioning UK website (which is brilliant because I love this stuff) so you can check it out here. I was never a fan of hand creams because of the greasiness, but this gem... it smells like powdered angels in cream form. Without sounding creepy. The formula is a little thick for me but it works. I just love it. I do. Would definitely recommend! 
Another hand cream I am fond of is the Norwegian Formula Hand & Nail Cream. I use the word 'fond' liberally because I had high hopes for this cream restoring my brittle, poor nails but it hasn't really done much apart from the usual cream moisturizing action. This is nothing special but I use it daily when my Ahava cream is out of reach. 
My Carex Protect Plus Hand Gel is my essential buddy wherever I go. It smells divine and dries in an instant, taking the smell of work (temporarily) and germs off my hands.

Hair is something I've been trying to preserve lately, i.e. not blow dry the F out of it. I've finally succumbed to the hype and splashed out on Macademia Natural Oil Deep Treatment Masque. Honestly? I didn't expect it to do much. I have long lost faith in hair masques or just any "miracle" hair treatments. I don't know what magic hairdressers do, but with the exactly same product, I can never get the same result. I wonder if they use liquid diamonds. Ho-hum. And in reality, too, this yet hasn't shown to be a miracle product. Does it make my hair softer? Well, yes, like most conditioners do, I don't need a 24 quid per tub 'masque' to do that. Masque. What a pretentious word. I love the smell, love the texture, love the tub itself, don't love the price, not to fussed about the results. Would I recommend? Well, no, because honestly it's nothing special for me, unfortunately. This makes me wonder why it's in my January 'favourites'... don't ask me that. Probably because I am still trialling in and I bought in in January.
Batiste Dry Shampoo in Paisley is another story. I looooove this. Love. It smells gorgeous. This is by far my favourite Batiste fragance. Unless I'm forgetting some. The formula is  the same, but it's the best one for smell, I believe. I use this almost daily (sadly) and would definitely recommend.  

Oh goody! My face has been literally make up free for a month (shudder) so I've been focusing on mattifying with creams rather than makeup and just trying to keep it healthy generally. My favourite moisturizer right now is Simple Oil Balancing Moisturiser. I was pleasantly surprised to find that it does control shine, like it promises to. When I don't wear make up over it, it feels light and refreshing and does keep my silly oily forhead at bay for most of the day. I like everything about this product, and would definitelly recommend to people with combination skin. I wouldn't quite go for this if I had oily skin because it's just that short of being absorbent enough I'm afraid.   
I've been using my Rimmel Stay Matte Pressed Powder quite a bit for when I know my skin is awfully red and I need to cover up, I wear it over my usual Lancome foundation and it does the trick. 
I've finally discovered what makes St Ives Invigorating Apricot Scrub so amazing. It just is. The first time I put it on my face and washed it off, my skin felt like cuddly babies. I was never a fan of scrubs because they were always 'medical' and usually blue with scary promises to eliminate blackheads and fight breakouts. I don't have either (touchwood!!) so I wasn't too keen on the overwhelming spearmint smell and blue gel with white particles consistency. St Ives lives up to the hype 100%. It smells gorgeous, and doesn't dry my skin out at all. The particles take away the dirt and all the dry skin that the usual face washes won't take off simply because unless you're using a face scrubber (is that what they're called? no idea, me no speaky english), the skin isn't going to come off with you rubbing your fingers on it. A beautiful product, and I am very very pleased with how it makes my skin feel and look. Would recommend feverishly. 

I've dug out my Simple Soothing Eye Balm which I've had for about 2 years now (disgusting, I know, but it's cream, and it was sealed!). I don't like putting creams and moisturisers on my eyes because, well theyre not meant to go there. This little balm refreshes my eyes (not so much visually as physically) and generally makes them feel happier after waking up and definitely after coming out of the shower. I find that this is a rare product that does help soothe puffiness, but only a little, so it's enough for me. Would recommend.
Boots Natural Collection Lash Care Mascara in Clear is a cheap clear mascara that I use to tame my eyebrows. If I am honest, it doesn't actually do a very good  job because the 'gel', i.e. the mascara isn't tacky or sticky enough so it doesn't hodl the hair in place. Oops. I still carry on using it every day because... why not. Until I can find a cheapish brow gel, I shall carry on with this. I wouldn't recommend this, really. 

Body & Misc
My favourite ever and only shower cream brand I use is Imperial Leather. My current cream is Oriental Calm. You cannot resist the bubbles. You cannot resist the pink. You cannot resist the smell. A beautiful shower cream all around, cleanses and leaves the skin soft and supple. I have about 3 more in my bathroom because I buy them when they're 93p (which happens more often than not. Would deffo recommend. 
I've decided to brighten up my teeth a little, so I went for Pearl Drops Transform - Hollywood Smile Toothpaste. I am still trialing this, but I am so far pleased with the results, and my teeth are about 1 shade lighter, which is more than I expected. Will carry on using this to see how it goes.    

This is it for my Janurary Favourites, I wanted to ad more pictures but it wouldn't really make any difference because none of these require swatches... I am happy with these products and consider them great buys, even though I may sound unhappy in the reviews above^. Forgive an old cynic, won't ya?

Friday, 4 January 2013

Review: Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stains - Cherish & Honey

Haven't posted in so long! Seeing as I'm filthy rich now (not really, but I have money due to work), I found it pretty easy to splash 10 pounds on these two balm stains which were reduced to 5 pounds each.
As I've mentioned in a previous post, I am absolutely in love with my balm stain in Lovesick, and so it wasn't a big decision to get these, because I knew they would be awesome. 
I got 001 Honey and 015 Cherish, mainly because there is a really limited colour selection of these stains for some reason, seeing as in Amuuuurica there are like 10 different shades whereas I've only seen 5 here, at most. I opted out of buying the bright orange one, that will have to wait for summer. 
Some swatches on my retarded lips: 

This is Cherish. In the pictures above it looks quite sheer, and I did have to proper slap it on (compared to the dab I need with Lovesick). The pictures don't really do it justice, it's a very bubblegum pink in reality. Do I like it? Uh, well, it surprised me a little. I did always want a bubblegum pink lipstick (eying up Nicki Minaj's Pink Friday lipstick from MAC), but then realised it reeeally doesn't work with minimal makeup. Best bet would be a dark, probably smokey eye. Do I love it? Not quite. Yes it stains nicely so this is a must have for the eat/drink situations, but until I see it with a full face of slap on, I don't think this is an everyday product as I'd hoped.

  This is Honey. It turned out very nice in pictures though, sadly, in reality it's not quite as lovely. It turns out a little too dark for my lips, and I do not suit dark lips because well... I look frostbitten. I was hoping this could be a little staple nude-ish colour, but too dark for that, I'm afraid. Do I love it? No, unfortunately. The staining power cheers me up though. 

Left: Honey
Right: Cherish

I did not despair however - one is too dark, the other too bright. Logic? Combine them!
I really liked how layering them turned out: 

It turned to this frosted pink, which I really like.
All in all, I am happy but not ecstatic. It might be because I'm a bit down in the dumps lately that I don't feel happy with my purchases. 
I would recommend though, definitely, for the staying power. These will not budge!
Tip: Blot the colour and it will last you x2 as long, even when eating and drinking.

Sunday, 16 December 2012

Review: Topshop Cream Blush in 'Head Over Heels'

Bonsoir, this is a review of another quick and pointless purchase that didn't involve much thinking on my part, which usually results in makeup tragedy (I tend to exaggerate).
Right after buying the MaxFactor creamy blush and realising I have no idea how to use it properly, I decided to buy another cream blush, because that makes so much sense. To be fair, my thinking was that this was lighter shade (a very pretty one indeed) and it felt creamier so I hoped it'd blend better. 
So here it is: 

The Topshop packaging is very cute. Minimalistic, sorta retro and very nice in your hands. In fact, I still keep the blush in it's original box because I like it so much :3 
The instructions on the back say "dot on cheeks and blend"... again, easier said than done. I really, really don't like doing that. I find that using fingers to blend anything but concealer on my face just feels... vulgar. When I blend this on my cheeks, it makes the red, so basically I can't tell where the blush is and where I've rubbed my cheeks raw. This spoils the whole look and the "naturality" of it just dies - I might as well just rub my cheeks vigorously for some colour, like in dem old dayz. 

The camera doesn't rally do the colour justice - it's a gorgeous peach-coral colour, you just want to eat it. Well, not really, but you get the idea. 
The consistency is much creamier than the MaxFactor Creamy Blush, i.e. it is more...'slippery'. Which means it blends better, much better, but not well enough for me, still. I honestly, honestly wish it was less pigmented. Crazy? Yeah. Reason being, if it was less pigmented, I would be able to layer it nicely to get the glow, but because it's so strong (see swatch above), it's so unmanageable for a cream blush rookie like me. I am yet to try this on a full face of makeup (where my stupid rosacea cheeks are neutralised by foundation), but I fear of blending with fingers in case I take all my foundation off. I do love my powder blushes. 

This hand swatch doesn't show the colour properly, it is much stronger 'IRL', especially on the cheeks. Overwhelmingly strong, especially combined with my natural redness. There is the tiniest, tiniest bit of sparkle in this, which makes me happy. I love golden sparkles!

In conclusion, I love the colour, love the packaging, love the texture and consistency, don't love the fact that it's pigmented or that I have to use fingers, don't love that it makes me looks like a drag queen, but would still thoroughly recommend to those blessed with an even skin tone and no fear of rubbing your cheeks raw! 
PS. this blush retails for £6 which isn't too bad for the size you get and the quality definitely surpasses my stigma against fashion-shops going into makeup lines. 

Saturday, 15 December 2012

MaxFactor Holiday Haul

Hey there :) I've been working 5 days a week lately and volunteering on the other two, so it's been pretty rough. I have stopped wearing makeup completely (Extremist me!) when going to work because I am just way too tired to take it off afterwards and it's not worth on my poor eyes. Alas, I digress. After my first salary I was itching to buy me a little something with my own money finally and I stumbled into Boots which was decorated from ceiling to floor with Xmas decs... ghastly. 
The Maxfactor promotion was a free gift with any purchase over £15. Sounds good huh - well, how bummed was I when the two items I got reached £14.98 and I couldn't get the gift and had to get a third item I didn't really want? yeah, pretty bummed I'd say. Nonetheless I bought these three:

L-R: MAX Effect Mini Nail Polish in 26 Cappuccino, Colour Elixir Lipstick in 36 Pearl Maron, Miracle Touch Creamy Blush in 09 Soft Murano

The blush is my first cream blush, and I've been meaning to try them because supposedly they give a "glowy, more natural" look on the cheeks. Er... yeah, it made it look natural, sure, i.e. so natural that it looked like I've been frost-bitten. It doesn't blend too well, and it might be doing it wrong, but it's so damn pigmented that I end up looking like a drag queen. I cannot work this. And for £6.99 it's a bit of a shame. If anyone could help me understand how to use it, I would be very grateful. For now, it's just lying in my draw sulking. 
The nail polish is the purchase that I made to make it over 15 pounds, and one that I am surprisingly happy with. All my polishes are sorta crazy colours and I realised I don't have any neutral grey-brown sorta ones, so off I went to choose it. Does it last? Well, not really. But for that one-two days it sure does looks pretty. Would recommend :)
Since buying my first Colour Elixir Lipstick in 825 Pink Brandy, I've been itching to get my hands on more MaxFactor lipsticks. The formula is beautifully creamy and luxurious and the packaging does very good things to me, it's gorgeous. Off I went and bought Pearl Maron, which is a shimmery blue-toned red, with a slight staining power. It doesn't overwhelm my face like most reds, and I just really like this. See below for swatches and pictures.

This is the gift that came in a pretty golden box - damn, I am a sucker for packaging...
     LR: Colour Elixir Lipstick in 655 Lilac Wine, MasterpieceMax Mascara, Glossfinity Mini Nail Polish in Angel Nails, Earth Spirits Eyeshadow in Terra Firma

So this is a pretty decent package. 
The lipstick is what drew me to the gift, realistically I can live without the other items but this... it's absolutely gorgeous. And as I've mentioned, I absolutely luuuuurve Maxfactor lipsticks, so woohoo! See below for swatches. 
The Masterpiece Max Mascara is a usual mini item in Maxfactor promos. I've had one of them before, it is decent but nothing spectacular, though I do remember really liking it last time I had it, for some reason.
Angel Nails is also a staple in MaxFactor gift sets an I already have one bottle, although it's labeled NailFinity not GlossFinity. Silly lying Maxfactor, it's exactly the same polish. I can't say I'm a huge fan on this, the shimmery peal quality doesn't transfer too well to the nails and I personally think it looks a bit cheap. Does it last 7 days? Oh please. 2 at most, then cue horrible chipping.
The single eyeshadow, Terra Firma, is a nice neutral brown which is matte-ish but more on the shimmery side... kind of... it's hard to explain. I haven't used this yet (makeup hiatus, remember?) but I have a feeling it won't stand out the endless dark browns I have in my medium-sized collection. 
 Now the good part, the swatches for the lipsticks:

 Notice the absolutely stunning gold shimmer in Lilac Wine compared to the normal shimmer in Pearl Maron. It was that golden shimmer that drew me to it like a moth to the flame. Gold sparkles all the way!!

 Left - Pearl Maron, Right - Lilac Wine.
My lips are such a f***ed-up shape I don't even bother to put the blog title on it because no one will steal these images :'( 
You get the picture though, they're both gorgeous colours which I would thoroughly recommend!

 A little hand swatch.

 In conclusion, I am very happy with my purchases and will be using all of these products, bar maybe the blush because it's just too red. When I was trying it on in the shop I thought it would be the most natural, compared to a coppery one which just looked like dirt on my hand. This upsets me greatly because it just looks atrocious on me and far, far from natural.  
I hope this has been helpful and see you in the next post