Tuesday, 22 May 2012

ELF Studio Blushes, Mineral Foundation and lip gloss reviews

Mini-haul today... if you can even call 4 items a "haul".
Ordered from Elf (link) during another one of their promos - gotta love all the little promotions they do, I usually go for the "free delivery after £10 spend" option - this time I got a free Super Glossy Lip Shine SPF 15 with it.

I bought two Studio Blushes I've been lusting after for a while - I was so hyped for these... especially Candid  Coral because I really wanted a coral colour [right]:

Firstly, big disappointment when I opened the box and saw that "Candid Coral" was actually a dirty sort of coppery colour - like it was orange and someone added black pepper specs into it. I hoped it would come out nicely on my cheeks - it was barely visible! Almost no colour pay-off unless I use a very stiff brush and tonne of product.

Mellow Mauve was a happy relief because it is a very nice colour - when I applied it to my finger it felt much softer than Candid Coral and the colour pay-off was OK (2 layers gave a nice glow).
The coral blush can be seen in daylight but not very well... it's very au naturele, but I wasn't really looking for that.

The Mineral Foundation was a pleasant surprise. I got it in Fair, and I have read in many places that people have trouble choosing between Fair and Light because one is extremely orange and the other very pale and some people confuse the two. Luckily, I picked the right one and it blends beautifully with my skin. Obviously, I never expected it to be a "foundation" - I think people who are disappointed with the coverage are a bit silly: it's a sheer powder, of course it won't give any coverage!

Lately I've been into the "powder only" look because its getting hotter and foundation just makes me shiny and look super heavy. My skin isn't bad so I get away with it, and having just powder somehow means that I don't get as shiny (hoorah!). All in all it doesn't give me the "powdery" look my L'Oreal and Bourjois powders do and I really like it :)

Finally, I got one of the 3 promo lip glosses - mine is in Malt Shake which is a mauve sort of cherry reddish-brown. Luckily I didn't get the Mauve Luxe because that just looks way too dark. The package says it's "never sticky" but let's be honest, for £1.50 of course it's going to be sticky. Its a very nice colour though, and I was pleasantly surprised - it doesn't make my lips look too dark. The only downside is, though, the extreme stickiness and the difficulty of application due to that.

 All 4 products applied - the two blushes blended into each other.


2 makeup tool DON'Ts

I am always in a rush and never want to take my time with things and sometimes... it costs me dearly. I thought I'd share with you two things you should NOT do to avoid the mistakes:

1. Do NOT blow dry your brushes
Sounds ridiculous, I know, but it was a tempting idea when I needed them and they were freshly washed. Tempting turned into stupid... disastrous results. I blow-dried my beloved elf stipple brush and QVC foundation brush - see the results below:

notice the shriveled bristles in the middle
The reason why this happened is because the fibres are probably polyethylene or another polymer of some sort which do not withstand high temperatures.
The result is that the stipple brush, which I loved for its unbelievable softness, is not not as soft... it's not as bad as my foundation brush though, which literally SCRATCHES my face now :/ I use my fingers and sponges for foundations.... ewww.

There's a line to stupidity - but here I am warning those who care to be warned: DO NOT BLOW DRY YOUR BRUSHES. LET THEM DRY NATURALLY. Or at least try to towel dry them or squeeze all the water out.

2. Do NOT use nail varnish remover to remove eyelash glue.
This, again, sounds stupid but... they completely fell apart in my hands. This is probably because the glue that actually connected the eyelashes to the rubber band was dissolved as well - it looked like a bird died in my hands. My poor Eyelure Double Lashes are now history.
Always carefully use tweezers to peel off the glue - be careful not to peel off the rubber band to which the eyelashes are attached!

Hope no one else is as silly as me

Saturday, 12 May 2012

Lancome Hypnose Drama Mascara Review

I got this mascara in Debenhams (link) on sale (of course!) alongside a sample size Bi-Facil Makeup Remover and a Le Crayon Khol Eyeliner (which is, by the way, absolutely USELESS). It was some ridiculous reduction in price so I persuaded mum to buy it - score!

Anyways on to the review...
Sleek packaging in a typical silver Lancome box  and a chunky tube of a curved design

The formula is quite creamy - I was suspicious when I opened it as it was a little too creamy, which is more often than not an indicator of lack of curling action. The Boots.com website states:

"Instant lash coating with immediate load thanks to a new formula which gives intense volume to the look of lashes"

Uhhhh... can't say I agree. Not much volume was produced and it was kind of clumpy. I've noticed with Lancome mascaras (I've owned 3), they tend to clump a lot and also there is quite a bit of fall out.  
"S-shaped" brush they're so proud of...

 More from the website...

 "New curvaceous oversized brush gives full lash contact for dramatically fuller and thicker looking lashes"

The only thing that I found the brush did was get on my eyelids and ruin my 30-minute cut-crease shadow design. It's humongous, and certainly isn't formulated to reach those tiny useless lashes in the corners of the eye. The tip is too thick to try and touch up the little lashes and ends up depositing a bucket of black on one tiny eyelash i.e. CLUMPS and SMEARS!

Comparison of Drama with Precious Cells - notice the difference in brush size

 I find that Precious Cells is easier to use for the small eyelashes (wait, all of mine are small... :/) - but still clumps! Oh Lancome. This is what Hypnose Drama looks on my silly eyelashes:

Notice some fall out around the bottom lashes, and almost bear lower lashes after ~8 hours wear

No curl - almost no length, and a significant lack of volume. It's very black, I'll give it that, but apart from that, nothing special.
Conclusion - if you see it reduced, I would suggest getting it, another luxury mascara won't harm you, but I wouldn't recommend buying this at full price  - a waste of money, in my case anyway. Bear in mind I have very straight eyelashes and only found one or two formulas of mascara that actually hold a curl in my lashes.


Tips and warnings on buying CHEAP MAKEUP

So today I went a little crazy and bought some really stupid thing, and I have no idea why I've done that. So I decided to write this post so that people avoid making the same mistakes with cheap makeup!

1. Cheap makeup is NOT the same as a bargain

Rimmel Scandal Eyes for £6.99 - a bargain!

Tesco's F&F Bronzer for £4 - stay away!
Makeup is a delicate thing. If a clothes maker decides to produce a cheap-ish makeup range, chances are, it's going to be bad. True, lines such as Dior, Chanel and even Topshop have spawned beautiful makeup but I am talking about the cheap stuff, you know, like Tesco's own.
Don't get me wrong, long live Tesco!, but when it comes to using that stuff on your face - it's  at your own risk and its highly likely that it will be unsatisfactory.

2. Brands are most often a sign of quality
You might not like the eyeshadow you got from GOSH, or the "Smoky Eye Effect Eyeshadow" by Max Factor (that stuff is NAAAASTY), but it remains true that a proper make up brand, be it drug store or high end usually knows what it's doing.
The price comes from the ingredients used - to be honest, I think we would all pay the extra pound (or dollar, japanese yen or whatever) to not put mineral oil on our eyes.
 3. You might find the occasional gem...
Hooray, you win!
 Finding that drugstore miracle, and there are many, is the feeling a makeup junkie strives for (usually when broke). How else will we find them, if we don't take a chance to buy them? Simple: GOOGLE IS YOUR FRIEND. Read reviews - let other bloggers take the loss, why should you pay? Ha!
Of course, you might stroll into a shop and see something for a reduced price and rarely will one go home to google the product and then come back for it... But if you do search around, you will see a lot of things pop up more than once - that's an indicator that this may be a bargain! For example, Revlon PhotoReady foundation (still need to buy that though...)  

4. Avoid brands in local shops or that are priced too cheaply FROM THE START
Reduced makeup =/= cheap makeup. If it was £10 and is now £6 - that is good.
My rookie error today was walking into my TK Maxx and buying some random massive box from a brand called PARISAX (I know, what the hell is that!?). Many tears were shed over those wasted 8 pounds which could have been put into something so so so much better....
Left to right: blusher, "lip stain", eye pencil, lipstick (yeah that pale pink goop is actually a lipstick -__-), and lipgloss.
It looks pretty, don't it? The box is probably the best part of this!
5. Save up for amazing products!!!
Those 8 pounds that I wasted out of greed (thought process: Oh look, so many things in one box!!) are actually ~60% of a MAC lipstick. Saving up for a little longer could have resulted in something professional and actually usable, albeit expensive.

So protip - do NOT give in to massive cheap sets! It is 89.999% likely that they will SUCK, and you will regret not buying that beautiful and useful foundation later on (I know I did!!)

Hope this helps!