Wednesday, 27 February 2013

A Few February Favourites

Chanel Rose Ecrin & Illuminating Powder

Chanel's Rose Ecrin and Illuminating powder have both been firm favourites this month. Rose Ecrin adds a a pretty hint of natural colour to cheeks, and the Illuminating powder creates a beautiful, very subtle glowy finish. I keep meaning to write a post on the Illuminating powder, but the horrible, drab and grey weather here at the moment is making swatching impossible.

NARS And God Created The Woman Palette

The NARS And God Created Woman palette is a fairly recent purchase, but I've found myself reaching for it almost everyday since getting it. There are some really lovely neutral shades included that work together perfectly to create a variety of different looks. Alhambra, Kalahari and Galapagos are the shades I've found myself using the most over the past couple of weeks, and also Coconut Grove, which works really well as a liner shade.

All of the shades are nicely pigmented and apply and blend well, and used with the included Smudge Proof eye shadow primer, they last really well throughout the day. Overall, it's fantastic little palette.

Le Metier De Beaute: Fig & Armani Eyes To Kill

I'm still slightly obsessed with purple eye shadow at the moment, so on the days I haven't worn colours from the NARS palette, I've been reaching for Le Metier De Beaute's Fig.The shade is beautifully pigmented and rich, and the formula is excellent. I've only tried a couple of colours from the brand's eye shadow range, but I'm really impressed with both. They're exceptionally smooth and apply and blend like a dream.

I'm still working my way through a few sample sized mascaras, but my favourite out the three I'm currently using is Armani's Eye's to Kill, which adds a nice amount of volume and length and holds up brilliantly throughout the day. Will definitely be purchasing a full size tube when my mini size runs out!

Hourglass Opaque Rouge Liquid Lipstick: Rose & Chanel Rouge Coco: Jersey Rose

Hourglass Opaque Rouge Liquid Lipstick in Rose has been a favourite in the lipstick department this month. My dry lips don't normally do well with long-lasting lip colours, but the Opaque Rouge formula is excellent. It's comfortable and feels light weight, and lasting power is pretty impressive. 

Chanel's Jersey Rose has also been a favourite this month. The peachy pink shade works surprisingly well on my fairly pigmented lips and like the Opaque Rouge formula, the Rouge Coco formula feels comfortable and non-drying. 

So those are a few of February's favourites, I can't believe it's almost March already, this month's flown by! Are there any particular products or colours that you've been favouring this month?

Monday, 25 February 2013

NARS And God Created The Woman Eye Kit

For Spring 2013, NARS have released two limited edition palettes, one of which is the, And God Created The Woman Eye Kit, which contains 6 eye shadows, a travel sized Smudge Proof Eyeshadow Base (2.8g), and an Eye Shader Brush.

NARS Eye shader Brush

NARS Pro Prime Smudge proof Eyeshadow Base

Included in the palette are 6, shimmery and matte, neutral eye shadow shades; Alhambra, Bellisima, Kalahari, Galapagos, Coconut Grove and Night Clubbing. 

NARS Alhambra & Galapagos

Alhambra - A golden champagne, which is slightly too dark to be used as a highlighting shade on my NC15ish skin tone. It does work well as a pretty all over lid colour, though.

Galapagos - A bitter chocolate with tiny flecks of gold glitter. The gold glitter is much less prominent when the colour's applied.

NARS Bellisima & Coconut Grove

Bellisima - A matte taupe. The shade looks a bit chalky in the swatch below, but applies evenly and blend's beautifully.

Coconut Grove - A flat, matte deep chocolate brown.

NARS Kalahari & Night Clubbing

Kalahari - A metallic coppery gold shade.

Night Clubbing - A deep black with tiny flecks of olive glitter. Like Galapagos, the flecks of glitter are less obvious when the shade's applied.

Like a few other bloggers have mentioned, I was a little bit shocked at the size when I slipped the palette out of it's packaging. It's the same width as a NARS duo eye shadow palette and only around an inch longer with each of the shadows containing 0.03Oz/1g of product. On a more positive note though, the compact size does make the palette pretty travel friendly and the generous primer size and great little brush make up for the fairly small pans. 

The palette sat next to a regular eye shadow duo to give an idea of the size

I've been playing with the shades over the past couple of weeks and find them all to be great quality. They all apply really well (even the matte shades), are nicely pigmented and I've had no problems with fall out with the glittery/shimmery shades (Galapagos and Night Clubbing). I'd not tried the included shadow base before purchasing the kit, and I have to say after testing it out with both the shades in the palette and shadows from other brands, I'm completely in love with the stuff. It really does create a perfect base for colour, and keeps eye shadow in place all day. 

NARS And God created The Woman Eye Kit

Is the palette a must have? Probably not. There are a lovely selection of versatile, wearable shades included, though, and the primer and brush are both fantastic. Despite the eye shadows being fairly small, I think the kit is still pretty good value for money and would definitely recommend it. 

Available from the UK NARS site and Space NK £40.50.

Saturday, 23 February 2013

Hourglass Opaque Rouge Liquid Lipstick: Rose

Hourglass Opaque Rouge Lipsticks are something I've had on my wishlist since their release last year. They're described as richly pigmented and silky smooth matte lip colours that deliver 14 hours of continuous wear without flaking or dryness. They're available in nine different shades, ranging from soft, neutral pinks to vibrant reds and tangerines and contain skin-conditioning emollients, antioxidant fruit extracts, cili fruit, goji berry, and vitamins A, C and E, which according to Hourglass, help protect lips throughout the day.

Out of the lovely shades on offer, I decided on one of the more natural options, Rose, which is a pretty, fairly bright, warm rose-pink.

Hourglass Opaque Rouge Liquid Lipstick: Rose

The product is housed in a sleek, glossy rounded tube and comes with a doe-foot applicator, which is slightly angled and really flexible. It picks up an adequate amount of product (enough product/colour for my whole mouth with one dip) and allows for precise application.

The formula itself is silky smooth and applies evenly. I'd never tried a matte lipstick before, so I think I was expecting the texture to be quite dry and thick, but it isn't at all. It actually feels very light-weight and silky smooth. The first time I applied Rose, my lips were quite dry and as a result, I found the matte formula emphasized dryness and lip lines. I've been experimenting with different application methods and I found I get the best results when I apply a little bit of lip balm beforehand. Applying balm right before makes for a pretty uneven and patchy application, so I normally apply a slick of balm and let it sink in while I'm doing the rest of make up, then apply the lipstick. This way, I find a get a really smooth, even application. I've also found exfoliating beforehand helps a lot, too, and applying just a thin layer of product. A thin layer is all that's really needed anyway, because only a tiny amount is required for opaque coverage.

Hourglass Opaque Rouge Liquid Lipstick: Rose

 Rose swatched on my NC15ish hand....

Hourglass Opaque Rouge: Rose

The formula dries fairly quickly after it's been applied to a velvety matte finish, which feels really comfortable and light weight. I wouldn't say it feels like I don't have anything on my lips, as I can still feel a slight tackiness, but the texture is really comfortable. I don't find the formula at all hydrating, but at the same time, it's not drying either. After wearing Rose all day, I found my lips were in exactly the same condition after removing as they were before I applied the shade.
Hourglass Opaque Rouge Liquid Lipstick: Rose

And a close up of what Rose looks like applied. I didn't exfoliate before applying and my lips are really quite dry and dehydrated at the moment thanks to the cold weather and central heating. The matte formula does emphasize dryness and lip lines, so it's definitely worth exfoliating before applying for best results. 

Hourglass Opaque Rouge Rose Applied

According to Hourglass, the Opaque Rouge formula delivers 14 hours of continuous wear. While Rose didn't quite last that long on me, it did hold up well on my lips for most of the day even after numerous cups of tea and coffee. I have experienced the flaking problem that other reviewers and bloggers have mentioned, though, which seems to mainly be an issue after eating. I did find it a bit difficult to reapply evenly after, too, without removing the colour that was left behind first. I've found flaking to be less of a problem when I only apply a very thin layer of product. So, I didn't quite get the promised 14 hours of wear, but I still think lasting power is pretty impressive! 

Despite Opaque Rouge lipsticks not quite lasting the promised 14 hours and having a few problems with flaking, I am still really impressed with the comfortable, non-drying formula and with the pretty, pigmented shade, too, and will definitely be adding a couple of the other colours on offer to my collection.

Thursday, 21 February 2013

A Few Recent Product Rediscoveries

This post was actually inspired by the lovely Larie of Eye Heart It, who recently wrote a series of Beauty Week at a Glance posts. In an attempt to kick my ass into gear and get me using some of the products which normally don't get a lot of love, I thought I'd have a go at a similar experiment myself where I choose a few products from the unloved make up drawer each week and try to incorporate some of them into my daily routine.

I tend to be quite boring with my make up during the week, particularly when I don't have a lot of time, and stick with the same bunch of products most days, so I thought choosing them in advance and setting myself little make up goals might push me to use some of the products I normally don't. So, here are this week's choices.....

Chantecaille's Ecstasy blush, Clinique Black Honey Lipstick & Gloss duo, Benefit's Benetint and Posietint, and NARS Happy Days Velvet Gloss Lip Pencil.

Chantecaille's Ecstasy and NARS Happy Days are both products I purchased a couple of years ago. I was in love with both shades for a while, but they somehow found their way into the unloved drawer. I think Ecstasy may have been stashed away because it's such a bright shade and looks a bit scary in the pan, and Happy Days was kind of forgotten about when I went through a lipstick phase and wasn't overly keen on glossy lip products. 

I actually found the two shades worked quite well together and managed to use them both on the same day this week. I paired them with the warm, taupe-y shade from the NARS Bohemian Gold duo, a bit of bronzer and a metallic, golden brown Dior liner and was quite surprised at how much I liked the look. The whole thing looked quite summery, so I'll keep it in mind and probably give it another go when the weather warms up. 

Like Happy Days, Black Honey was also stashed away when I went through my lipstick phase and preferred more pigmented shades. It's also another one of those colours that looks a bit scary in the tube, but actually becomes more of a subtle, sheer berry shade once it's applied and works quite well with a variety of different colours. I managed to wear both the lipstick and gloss this week and paired the colour with Chanel's Rose Ecrin blush, Becca's Romanticism Eye Tint and Surah from Becca's Enigma palette to create a fairly natural look.

Benetint and Posietint are again both products I've had for a while. I love the idea of multi tasking/use products, but I find neither really work for me as cheek shades. Both are pretty colours, but I find the quick drying liquids difficult to apply and blend evenly on the top of foundation, which I almost always wear. I have given Posietint another go as a blush colour this week but really couldn't get an even application, so I've used both as lip colours. Used alone I find them quite drying, so I used them underneath balm, which creates a pretty, fairly long-lasting tint/stain. Benetint was paired with R&R Diffused and Rose Ecrin to create another pretty natural and quick and easy look . 

I suppose my selection of products was fairly small really, but I'm still quite happy that I managed to wear all of them at least once over the past week. I think the whole idea of going through what you have and picking products in advance is an excellent one and is definitely something I'll continue to do. Not remembering what I actually have is a big part of the not using things problem for me, especially when I'm in a rush and don't have time to rummage through drawers, so I'm considering some new storage solutions, too, which I think might help.

Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Coming Soon: Chanel Illuminating Powder, NARS & God Created The Woman Eye Kit & Hourglass Opaque Rouge

A few items that I've been playing with over the past couple of weeks....

Posts hopefully coming soon.

Elemis Freebies With Next Month's Cosmopolitan

I spotted this in this month's issue of Cosmo.....

There are three products from the Elemis Freshskin range to collect. A Softly Softly Daily Moisturiser Everday Mositurising cream (25ml), a Loving Lips Quenching Lip Balm, and a Skin Clear Mattifying Shine Control Moisturiser (25ml), 

The April issue of Cosmo is on sale 5th March.

Sunday, 17 February 2013

Chanel Joues Contraste Blush: 68 Rose Ecrin

I've developed a bit of a thing for Chanel's Joues Contraste blushes recently, and the newest addition to the collection is Rose Ecrin, which was released as part of Chanel's 2011 Fall collection. 

Chanel Joues Contraste Blush: 68 Rose Ecrin

I'd describe the shade as a medium, neutral rose with very delicate/fine shimmer, which is barely visible on cheeks. On my NC15ish skin tone, it adds a pretty hint of sheer colour that looks incredibly natural. The subtle shimmer gives the shade a delicate sheen, which doesn't accentuate pores and creates a beautiful glowy effect. 

Chanel Rose ecrin Blush

Like the other shades I've purchased from the Joues Contraste range recently, Rose Ecrin is nicely pigmented, but applies quite sheerly. I personally quite like the colour pay off with the baked versions, as I prefer a barely there, natural touch of colour on my cheeks. Texture wise, Rose Ecrin is fairly soft and I'm able to pick up an adequate amount of product with a light sweep of my brush. The formula blends well and seems to last well on my combination skin throughout the day, too. 

Most days, I've been pairing it with a few of the shades from Laura Mercier's signature colour collection (Topaz & Kir Royal) and Chanel's Rouge Coco Lipstick in Jersey Rose, or Armani's Sheer lipstick 04 for a fairly natural and easy look.

Chanel Rose Ecrin Applied

Overall, I'm really pleased with Rose Ecrin and have been reaching for it almost daily since picking it up a few weeks ago. The pretty colour goes with a variety of different looks and shades, and the sheer pigmentation and easy to blend texture are both lovely.

Friday, 15 February 2013

NOTD Ciaté Jelly Bean

Jelly Bean was actually my nail colour of choice yesterday, too. I wanted something pink for Valentine's day and opted for the bright fuchsia, mainly because it's been sitting unused on my nail polish shelf since I picked it up last year. I've no idea why, because it's a really pretty shade!

Ciaté Paint Pot Jelly Bean

Jelly Bean is a bright fuchsia, shot through with blue shimmer, which is much more visible in the bottle than it is on nails.You can just about make out the tiny blue shimmers on the nail up close and in natural light, but they're very subtle. In bright sunlight and with flash, they become much more visible.

Ciate Jelly Bean (with flash)

Two coats applied in the picture above and photo taken with flash to show the fine blue glitter/shimmer.

Ciaté Jelly Bean

Ciaté Jelly Bean (2 coats)

As with other shades I've tried from the brand, Jelly Bean applies brilliantly. The wide, flat brush and long handle make application a pretty easy task, and the shade was opaque with two coats. I applied my regular top coat over the colour (Seche Vite), but the finish was still super glossy without.

Wednesday, 13 February 2013

Battle Of The Mini Volumizing Mascaras

It normally takes me quite a while to get through mascara, so I often find that the contents of whatever tube I happen to be using dry up before I've managed to finish. For this reason, I'm quite fond of the handy, mini/sample sizes, which are normally given away with gift with purchases or magazines. I'm currently making my way through a few different tubes, which I picked up last year and thought I'd share my thoughts on them in a mini review/comparison post.

Lancome Hypnose Star

First up is Lancome's Hypnose Star, which promises to deliver intense volume and curled lashes. 

The Brush: The tapered brush design is quite interesting on this one. The shorter bristles are quite handy for getting at those hard to reach lashes in the corners of your eyes, but the longer bristles don't seem to work particularly well at separating, so I’ve had a few issues with clumping. 

The Formula: It's quite wet and takes a while to dry, something I'm normally not a fan of, as I tend to be quite clumsy with mascara application. Applies well with the first coat, but starts to become clumpy with a second, especially if the first coat has started to dry. This also leaves my lashes feeling quite stiff, which I'm personally not keen on. 

The Result: Darkens and lengthens quite well, but doesn't add an amazing amount of volume, as the formula and brush create quite clumpy lashes. On a more positive note though, I do find this holds up really well throughout the day and had no problems with smearing, smudging or flaking. It also holds a curl quite well, too. 

Lancome Hypnose Doll Eyes

Armani Eyes To kill

Next up is Armani's Eyes To Kill, which promises weightless volume and length. 

The Brush: A pretty large brush with lots of fairly long bristles which do a fantastic job at coating lashes easily and evenly. I'm even able to get to the little corner lashes without any problems. 

The Formula: Nowhere near as wet as the Hypnose, which I like. Dries quite quickly and is definitely buildable. I can add a second or third coat without any problems at all with clumping and my lashes still feel quite soft and flexible. 

The Result: Adds a nice amount of length and a brilliant amount of volume. My lashes look thicker, and even after multiple coats are still nicely separated and don't feel heavy. I've had no issues at all with flaking, smudging or smearing and find this does a pretty good job at holding a curl.

Armani Eyes To kill

Laura Mercier Full Blown Volume Lash

Laura Mercier's Full Blown Volume Lash is supposed to dramatically thicken, lengthen and curl lashes. 

The Brush: A moderately sized bullet shaped brush, which does a pretty good job at separating and coating lashes evenly. 

The Formula: Quite wet, but dries quickly to a really soft finish. Feels the most light weight out of the three and like the Armani, is buildable, although slightly less so. A second coat seems to go on fine, but starts to get a little bit clumpy with a third. This is slightly more subtle colour wise, too. Definitely not an intense, deep black, but it still darkens well. 

The Result: Full Blown Volume Lash is definitely the most natural of the three. It gives a decent amount of length, a nice amount of volume and separates well, but the effect is quite subtle. It holds a curl reasonably well and applied with a light hand, gives an almost feathery look to lashes. As with the other two, I've had no smearing or smudging problems. 

Laura Mercier Full Blown Volume Lash

And a picture of the brushes together to give a better idea of shape and size. Out of the three, I find the Armani Eyes To Kill brush works the best at evenly coating lashes and separating. The stubbier bristles on the Volume Lash brush don't work quite as well at separating, and I find it difficult to get a clump free application with the tapered Hypnose Star brush.

So, which one do I like the most? Out of the three, Armani's Eyes To Kill is definitely the winner for me. It creates the most volume, separates the best out of the bunch and is the most buildable. I do also like Laura Mercier's Full Blown Volume lash though, particularly for creating natural looks and when I want something slightly more subtle. I think Volume Lash would be a nice option for those who don't really like the look of dramatic mascaras and like their lashes to feel quite soft and natural. If I shell out on a full size one of these though, the Armani would definitely be my first choice. In fact, I think I will be grabbing myself a full sized tube, as it really is brilliant stuff! 

Have you tried any of these? What's your favourite volumizing mascara?
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