Friday, 30 September 2016

The Ordinary - What's all the fuss about?

The Ordinary - What's all the fuss about?


Just like that, the lovely Wayne Goss raves about a new skincare brand and it instantly sells out.

So. What's all the fuss about?!

Our beloved beauty industry is responsible for lots of good things. High quality products, improving formulas, and encouraging us to use SPF and actually cleanse our faces (NOT with wipes). However - it's also an industry that encourages and thrives on a lot of marketing hype, luxury packaging, and (in some cases) massively inflated prices for products as a result. The Ordinary is bucking the you-must-remortgage-your-house-for-skincare-that-works theory with some incredible, bang-for-your-buck, affordable products.

The Ordinary is a brand from the same wonderful brains piloting the DECEIM/NIOD lines of skincare. If you're a regular reader, you'll know how much I love NIOD Photography Fluid and DECEIM's amazing blurring hyaluronic primer. The Ordinary takes high quality, high concentration skincare ingredients (largely the active ingredients in significantly more expensive creams and serums), decants these delights into little glass apothecary bottles, and sells you them for (mostly) less than a tenner. No. I'm not kidding.


The Ordinary - rosehip oil and niacinamide

Now - word to the wise. You do need to be prepared to do a little bit of research on how/when to use these products. Niacinamide, for example, is genuinely amazing at reducing the visibility and texture of pores on oily complexions - but you have to be careful not to use it in the same routine as a Vitamin C product, as it'll interfere with the potency of the Vitamin C. As you can see from the ingredients list on my two choices above - there's practically not a list. Most of The Ordinary's line contains less than four ingredients - all killer, no filler.

The brand's website has a good description of each product and the purpose for each one, and a handy little regimen guide for when and how to use products in a daily routine. You'll find some helpful FAQ's on Victoria Health, too. This is super useful if you're quite new to a structured skincare routine, but want to try out some high quality, low cost products to see which ones work for you and your complexion.

The Ordinary - Rosehip Oil and Niacinamide


Me?

 I'm sold.

 I am no stranger to paying well over £30 for a hyaluronic serum/supposed acne miracle/facial oil (see my Sunday Riley favourite here - I love this stuff, but the price makes my eyes water), but I will genuinely struggle to justify crazy-luxe purchases in future.

I fully accept that there is something exciting and wonderful about a little tub of something Chanel; that a mere sniff of May Lindstrom's Blue Cocoon makes me swoon, and that Omorovicza's Queen of Hungary Mist is a luxury I will always pay for; but for effective, affordable, amazing products - The Ordinary, you've nailed it.

Some links above are affiliate links. All products above bought with my own money.


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Thursday, 29 September 2016

Bioderma's SPF mist - too good to be true?


Bioderma Hydrabio Eau de Soin

Well. The folks at Bioderma are clever little cookies indeed.

SPF as we know it has been changing in recent years - gone are those almost plastic-feeling SPFs your mum would smother you in on the beach, that took about three million years to soak in to your skin, and left you as a magnet for sand/dust/any airborne particle within ten feet. Ah, those were the days. Bioderma Hydrabio Eau de Soin SPF30 changes all of that.

Bioderma have continued in their usual innovative vein and managed to suspend an SPF30 in a water-based solution. Clever. Due to this watery formulation, it's possible to top-up throughout the day without any greasy feeling at all on the skin - somewhat of a revelation. It is designed to be used over makeup, which is brilliant - and I can vouch for this having no negative effect on your base whatsoever. The spray is extremely fine, and it is a welcome, cooling spray on a hot day - and nice to know you're actually topping up any sweated-off SPF. In a nifty 50ml bottle, it's just the right size for a handbag or holiday beach bag.

Bioderma Hydrabio Eau de Soin

Personally, I wouldn't use this as my only source of SPF protection for the day - more as a top-up, if I was caught out on a suddenly roasting-hot afternoon (not common in the UK, but it does happen!), or instead of a simple cooling spray on the hottest/most humid days abroad. I think that for quick top-ups, this little bottle is really ingenious.

 I recently had this at-the-ready for my very fair-skinned friend at her wedding, in case of sudden major sun (as most of the reception was outside) and for this purpose, it was just brilliant! I'm really hoping that with time, more SPF formulations become as user-friendly as this one!

Have you tried this Bioderma wonder?

Some links above are affiliate links. All products mentioned bought with my own money.







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Tuesday, 27 September 2016

RCMA No-Color Powder - Worth the Hype?

RCMA No Color Powder

We've all been there. We've applied foundation, popped some powder on top, and a couple of hours later - you're orange. Or pure, ghostly white. Mare. This also usually happens to me in situations where I have no opportunity to sort it out - cue spending the whole day as a ghost/oompa loompa. Disaster.

I have, in the past, been pretty quick to blame my liquid foundation for this - but having tried a LOT of powder/liquid combinations in my life, it seems to be that the powder (or just the combination of the two) is often what's at fault.

Enter RCMA's rather hyped-up No Color Powder. It is, on the tin, a pretty basic sounding setting powder.. but don't be fooled by its unassuming, plain packaging. This stuff is dynamite.

RCMA No-Color Powder
Spot the typo...


No Color Powder has been doing the rounds on YouTube as a bit of a miracle product. I don't really believe there are many products out there that deserve this term, but if there was going to be one - it'd be this stuff. It doesnt flash back (I've used this at multiple weddings with great success), is relatively benign from an irritation point of view, and doesn't oxidise anything. Hurrah!

Where I find this really comes in to its own, is around the under eye area. This genuinely doesn't crease, sit in lines, or make the skin look remotely dry. I apply this with a dry sponge for baking purposes, or just a sweep over the face with a standard powder brush. I find it to apply and set makeup beautifully. I am seriously oily, and this is one of the few powders which genuinely offers a degree of oil control.

The bad bit? The packaging. You will undoubtedly waste a lot of product, no matter what you do - which is a real shame when it's this good!

 If you're in to baking to set your under eye area, or just genuinely want a bit of oil control from your powder - give RCMA a go. It's inexpensive compared to most powders on the market, if a little tricky to get hold of - I buy mine from Love Makeup.


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Sunday, 25 September 2016

Kat Von D arrives at Debenhams - Shade and Light and Lolita

Kat Von D reaches Debenhams

Kat Von D Shade and Light and Lolita


Beauty lovers of the United Kingdom: Kat Von D has landed at Debenhams. This is not a drill.

Gone are the days of extortion via Ebay/third party sellers/customs fees to get hold of one of America's most popular brands of makeup - Now all that's required is a casual online shop at one of our nation's best beauty-haulin' department stores - hallelujah! I'm told KVD will make an appearance on counter in London shortly - not much use for us northerners, but if you're in the capital, be sure to pay them a visit. I mini-hauled two massively hyped Kat Von D classics - Everlasting Liquid Lipstick in Lolita, and the Shade and Light Eye palette.

Kat Von D Shade and Light Palette
Kat Von D Shade and Light Palette Swatches

First off - Shade and Light. If you have hooded eyes; love matte, neutral shades; or are a general shimmer-lover in need of some good transition/enhancing shades to tone down the shine - this is for you. Basically, it's for everybody with eyelids. The palette is grouped into three quads in neutral, cool and warm tones respectively, and is such is a doddle to use.

 The shades are super soft, practically blend themselves, and are nicely pigmented - not so madly intense that they're unblendable, but with good one-swipe pigmentation nonetheless. Swatches above are, as ever, single swipe swatches - I only speak the truth.

I have to use eyeshadow primer regardless of formula, and with that I find I get a good 8 hours' wear from these shadows. I am pretty much in love with this palette, and have been using it at every opportunity - it's extremely versatile and should definitely find its way in to your makeup collection. It's priced at a pretty reasonable £36 - considering you get 12 good-sized pans of high quality eyeshadow (and a USEABLE MIRROR! Hooray!) I'd say that's not a bad price point at all.

Kat Von D Lolita

Second - Lolita. A cult classic if ever there was one. If you're a regular reader, you'll know about my love:hate relationship with liquid lipsticks (you can read about a major miss here, and a massive win for liquid lipsticks here) and my ongoing quest for comfortable, actually matte liquid lipsticks without the cats-ass effect. Well, Kat Von D, you've pretty much cracked it with this formula.

 I find the Everlasting formula to be relatively comfortable, and quite "flexible", if there is such a thing - meaning you can smile, chat, and actually exist normally to your heart's content. As with most liquid lipsticks, oily food is a no-no - but as this is basically a darker version of my natural lip colour, I find that Lolita fades almost imperceptibly as the day wears on. Oh, and no weird white disgusting ring round the inside of the lips. Result. 

Kat Von D Lolita Swatch

Sure, at hour six your lips might start to feel a little dry, but a little of your favourite lip balm, or a quick spruce up with a super-jazzy lip topper will see to that in no time. I have been seriously impressed with this formula so far, and will definitely be picking up a few more of these in future.

Are you a Kat Von D fan? What other products should I get my mitts on?

Some links above are affiliate links. all products mentioned bought with my own money.

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Friday, 23 September 2016

Jouer Long-Wear Lip Topper - Skinny Dip

Jouer Long Wear Lip Topper in Skinny Dip

The internet/makeup world has gone mad for all things shimmer. In sharp contrast to our flat-matte lipstick obsession of the past few years, we're welcoming in metallics in time for the Autumn.

However - I'm not going to lie to you. Metallic/glittery lips say two things to me. MAC Frost finish lipsticks (aka the most uncomfortable, patchy and gran-lips-inducing formula of all time); and 90's awkward school discos where the popular girls have gone allllllllllll out on the glitter and there's a fair few boys with sticky glitter grins on their faces.

Neither of these fill my twenty-something, lip-comfort-loving self with much joy, if I'm honest. I'm a little scared of Jouer's matte metallic formula - it looks unbelieveably shiny (Papaye, I'm looking at you) and a bit too much, y'know? Please correct me if I'm wrong and you love them!

Jouer Lip Topper Skinny Dip


However - the Jouer Lip Topper in Skinny Dip just speaks to me. A chic little tube of completely terrifyingly sparkly glitter that smells like a triple-distilled angel cake. In the tube, this catches the light incredibly - but is (much to my surprise) genuinely wearable.

This is designed to be used over the top of one of Jouer's matte liquid lipsticks (once applied and dry), without disturbing the liquid lipstick's staying power underneath. You can see from the swatches below that a little goes a looooooonnnggg way with this chap!

 The formula is absolutely out of this world - it is not even a little bit sticky, goes on beautifully and lasts for hours, on bare lips or over a liquid lipstick (or normal bullet lipstick, for that matter). The finish is creamy and gives a strong iridescence, but is easy to apply sparingly. I wouldn't say its a lip gloss, per se, but it's certainly got a soft, sheeny finish.


Jouer Skinny Dip Swatch
Jouer Skinny Dip Swatch Blended


That sheered-out swatch above is just a little less product than the one-swipe-swatch in the previous photo. Wowza. This is super sheeny. it is a very sophisticated micro-glitter however, and a little dabbed on to the cupid's bow and centre of the lower lip is seriously flattering, lip plumping and completely wearable.

If you, like me, want to just dip your toes in to the ultra-metallic pool this season - give Skinny Dip a go. It is absolutely beautiful.

Jouer Skinny Dip


This post contains affiliate links. Products above bought with my own money.
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Wednesday, 21 September 2016

A little luxury - Charlotte Tilbury The Glamour Muse Palette



If there's one lady in the beauty industry who can do luxury, beautiful packaging - it's Charlotte Tilbury. I have a couple of her beautiful rose gold encased lipsticks, and was lucky enough to recieve this lovely little eyeshadow palette in The Glamour Muse as a gift from my sister.

First things first - the packaging. Super-luxe rose gold and burgundy-brown. A little 70s, a little modern, a lot lovely. CT knows a thing or two about making everything completely irresistible. There's an actual useable-sized mirror, and the pans are small, but perfectly useable - a MAC 224 will fit within the margins quite comfortably.

As you can see on the (rather battered - soz) reverse below, this is colour-coded - there's a light prime shade, a slightly darker, rosy enhancing shade, a sooty-grey smoke shade for along the lashline, and a vibrant purple "pop" shade for the lid/jazzy nights out/any and all occasions requiring Cadbury's purple eyeshadow (which is more frequent than you might think).


 I can't say I actually follow this procedure very often - the top two shades get the most use from me. the pink-champagne shade in the top row is super-beautiful and completely daytime-appropes. It makes an easy, fresh, pretty wash of colour over the lid all on its lonesome, or with the prime shade towards the inner corner. For a really quick smokey eye, the bottom Smoke shade is a great choice - however, if you have hooded eyes like me, just be aware that all of these shades are pretty shimmery.



Now the fun bit - the swatches. Just look. Smooth shimmer heaven. These are absolutely butter soft and, for the most part, blend out very beautifully. I'd say they're comparable with the Anastasia eyeshadows for quality. They are very finely milled, and the shimmer is expensive and smooth, not at all glittery. As ever, I need to use a really good eyeshadow primer no matter what, but I get an average wear-time of about 6-7 hours from these before any major creasing.

I have only two gripes when it comes to The Glamour Muse: a) there's not a matte in sight and b)that purple is a bit fur-coat-no-knickers. I love a good purple for fun, but this one is decidedly lacklustre in the pigment department - it applies patchily and is difficult to blend out smoothly. Compared to the other three shades which are borderline divine to work with, it's a bit of a let-down.

Otherwise, if you fancy a little treat/treating someone else, this is a lovely little palette, and is very wearable. Have a look at the other colour combinations too - I've got my beady eyes on the Dolce Vita!

Have you tried these Charlotte Tilbury quads?


Some links above are affiliate links. Products mentioned above gifted to me.
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Sunday, 18 September 2016

Sunday Riley Artemis Facial Oil




Sunday Riley Artemis

Ok. Hear me out on this one.

I am well aware that Sunday Riley's Artemis is a billion pounds to buy. I'm not honestly sure how I justified the purchase of this little bottle of golden goo, but I did. I am also well aware that I am super-oily skinned - why more oil, eh?!

As you can see above, my bottle is a bit battered. That's because I love it so much that it came all the way to Madagascar with me, so I hope you'll forgive me and the bottle for being less than photogenic. I started using a facial oil on the general wonderful website advice of Caroline Hirons (she's got a video in collaboration with The Body Shop on Facial Oils on YouTube here. I use it at night, and genuinely this addition to my routine has made such a massive difference to my skin - less spots and blackheads, plumper, more moisturised, and glowing! I have dehydrated/oily skin, and this has helped so much by deeply hydrating overnight. It is absolutely packed full of natural oils all aimed at nourishing the skin and minimising breakouts and irritation. What's not to love?!

Sunday Riley Artemis

However - there are a couple of things to get over first. First off - it is viscous. Don't let anyone tell you that this absorbs in a flash - because it just doesn't. It's a bit too glowy for me for daytime use ever, so I just stick to using it at night. You only need about three drops of this to cover your whole face - so don't go too crazy with the dropper!

Then, there's the smell. Herbal cough sweets your gran made you eat, meets slightly old lemon sherbet sweets. Personally, I quite like it - it's faintly medicinal and not unpleasant to my nose - but I know of plenty of people who absolutely cannot stand the scent - so try to have a sniff at a Space NK pre-purchase!

Honestly though? I am entirely willing to forgive it the two points above for how freakin' beautiful this makes my skin. It has improved skin texture and reduced breakout frequency dramatically. I've been test-running Artemis for about six months, using it two to three times a week, and have barely made a dent in the bottle - so despite the steep initial outlay, this will last you a long time.


Have you tried any Sunday Riley products?

Some links above are affiliate links. Products mentioned bought with my own money.


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Friday, 16 September 2016

Bio-Essence's amazing moisturiser for oily skin

Bio-Essence Hydra Tri-Action Aqua Moisturizing GelOily skin and moisturiser can be a pretty spot-inducing combination. Some ultra-rich moisturisers are just too heavy and emollient for my oily complexion, and leave me looking like a greaseball about half an hour after application. Frustratingly, the oil situation gets much worse without any moisturiser/serum at all, too - dehydrated skin can feel like a real lose-lose situation sometimes!

I just wanted to share with you a lovely moisturiser option I have found, which doesn't break me out or make me look greasy; but does leave my skin soft and comfortable. I reckon if you are dehydrated/combination or dehydrated/oily, this will suit you down to the ground, too.

Bio Essence Hydra Tri-Action Aqua Moisturizing Gel (phew, what a mouthful) is hyaluronic acid based - so it's very easily absorbed. It is supposedly oil-controlling - I'm not sure how far I agree with that, but it certainly doesn't exacerbate the situation! It leaves my skin really comfortable all day, without feeling over-greasy, and provides a really nice, smooth base for primer or makeup.

Hydra Tri-Action Aqua Moisturizing Gel

Bio-Essence is a Korean brand, where the climate is pretty hot and humid all year, and this product has been very much developed with this in mind - which means it translates beautifully for oily, easily overloaded skin types in more temperate climes. It is a cool, light, thin gel texture, with a fresh, almost minty scent - and I absolutely love it.

If you struggle to find a moisturiser that doesn't overload your skin - this is worth a little look. It's certainly a repurchase item for me!


All products mentioned bought with my own money. Links above are affiliate links.



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Tuesday, 13 September 2016

Italian Interlude Vol.6: Pupa I'm and NABLA Diva Crime lipsticks

Man, Italy sure know a little suttin' suttin' about incredible lipsticks. In my mega-amazing Italian makeup parcel, I received several lipstick lovelies from the continent - two of which being NABLA's Diva Crime Lipstick in Alter Ego, and Pupa I'm Lipstick in Poppy.

I've already raved about NABLA's excellent eyeshadows in my previous post linked above, so it was hardly a surprise that their lipstick formula is equally fantastic. First off - don't freak out about the weeny size of the tube (you can see it below with a MAC bullet for size) you're not missing out on product - the bullet still contains a whopping 4.2g of lipstick. Do not fear. They are super-petite on the outside - but great things in small packages and all that - and it makes them really convenient for popping in a clutch bag for going out.

NABLA Alter Ego
NABLA vs MAC
The colour - Alter Ego - is a lovely, deep cherry-pink. the formula is very creamy, goes on extremely smoothly and is seriously colour-rich - one swipe is completely opaque. The formula doesn't feel thick or clingy, and given the creaminess, Alter Ego has really good longevity - I get about 4 hours before even, non-patchy fading. The finish is a satiny-matte, and is surprisingly non-drying given that it sits more on the matte end of the spectrum. I will definitely be buying all of a few more of these - they really are excellent.

NABLA Alter Ego Lipstick

The second brand is Pupa - a department store level brand. Again, this lipstick is seriously comfortable to wear, smooth and easy to apply, and lasts for a good 4 hours before fading evenly. It's not quite as pigmented on one swipe as the NABLA Diva Crime lipsticks, but that puts it in line with most other lipsticks - the NABLA lipstick is exceptional! It has a light, vanilla scent which fades quickly. The colour, Poppy, is a really vibrant, fun orange-red, in a satin finish. The packaging feels pretty sturdy and is handbag-proof. I'm really enjoying using this summery red, and I'd definitely repurchase if it was easier to do so! 

PUPA I'm Lipstick in Poppy

PUPA I'm Lipstick in Poppy Swatch

In short - if you can get hold of either of these - do it. They are beautiful, pigmented, comfortable, and long lasting!


Some links above are affiliate links.









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Sunday, 11 September 2016

KIKO Milano Long-Lasting Stick cream shadow - the best budget shadow stick out there!

KIKO Milano Long-Lastwing Shadow Stick

If By Terry's beautiful Ombre Blackstars are a little over-budget (and let's face it - 99% of the time, they are just a leeeeetle bit out of my price range!) a serious competitor in the budget sector is KIKO's offering - the Long Lasting Stick Cream Shadows.

The KIKO formula is, honestly, so similar to its much more expensive alternative. The By Terry formula sets a little quicker, is a fraction smoother to apply, and slightly more, well, expensive-looking - but there is virtually no difference between them. I will say, the Ombre Blackstars definitely last longer on me - up to ten hours on last count - but the KIKO shadow sticks are not far behind on longevity. Even on my oily eyelids, they last for about six hours (eight or so over a really good eyeshadow primer).


KIKO Milano Shadow Stick 39

The pigmentation is beautiful (check out that one-swipe swatch below) and the eyeshadow goes on really smoothly. The extra play-time on the shadow doesn't really pose a problem - it's actually a bit of an advantage if you're incapable of speedy blending like me.

KIKO Milano Shadow Stick in 39KIKO Milano Shadow Stick 39 Swatch


I have number 39, which is a rich, browny-taupe with smooth, non-glittery shimmer - it's easy to wear as an everyday wash of colour, or really amped up as a super-speedy evening smoky eye. If you're not sure if cream eyeshadows are for you, the KIKO shadow sticks are a great introduction without breaking the bank.

These are so good, (not just for the price point - so good in general) I'm going to seriously struggle to justify another Ombre Blackstar!

Have you tried these shadow sticks from KIKO?

Some links above are affiliate links.
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Thursday, 8 September 2016

Deceim Hylamide HA Blur - Get it in your makeup bag

Deceim Hylamide HLA Blur Primer

As a rule, I'm not a primer devotee. I hate the idea of a zillion layers on my face - but if you're oily like me, you probably know that there are some days/bases that just need something underneath. Some primers even seem to iron out the night before - and this, my friends, is one of them.

I first heard about this gem on The Sunday Girl's blog - and she was waxing lyrical, man. TSG knows a thing or two about primers and oily complexions, so if she gives us the nod - it's definitely one to try out. I have a similar complexion - oily forehead and t-zone, large pores around the nose, and very blackhead-prone - so anything suggesting blurring, pore-vanishing and smoothing with a bit of oil control to boot is right up my street.

First off - packaging. Nice and bright - you'll find it in your bag no problem. Squeezy tube - convenience-o-rama. 30ml size - perfect to pop in a travel bag too. So far, so good.

Deceim Hylamide HA Blur

Deceim Hylamide HA Blur Prismatic Blurring Surface Hydrator (WOAH take a breath there) is designed to be used as a primer underneath, or on top of makeup. Honestly, I think I would find this a bit weird to use over makeup as it is a relatively thick formula, so unless makeup was still pretty freshly applied, I think this would disturb the base beneath.

This is a hyaluronic acid-based primer, rather than a more traditional silicone-based formula. The idea is that the hyaluronic acid is both hydrating and light-reflecting, without that heavy, silicone feeling. It's pretty speedily absorbed, and won't leave any uncomfortable sticky/oily residue. I am aware of this on the skin for a few seconds post-application, but after that it is undetectable.

Deceim Hylamide HA Blur Primer Swatch

It plays well with liquid and cream foundations, and improves the longevity and appearance of my base - definitely a blurring-type formula (but without the silicone feeling), so if you're in to Benefit's Porefessional - you'll love this. I have to say, this is by far the best primer I've used for a very long time. If I can be bothered/have a night out to go to, I use this in combination with NIOD Photography Fluid. The result? The closest thing to airbrushed Vogue-skin I've ever been able to produce on my skin!


Have you tried any Deceim products?

Some links above are affiliate links.
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Tuesday, 6 September 2016

Italian Interlude Vol.5: Collistar Twist in Bronze

Collistar Twist Eyeshadow Stick in Bronze

In volume 5 of my little (actually, pretty massive) series on the Italian beauties I recieved from the wonderful Carolina Braina, we'll have a look at a really beautiful product from Collistar - TWIST Ultra-Shiny Eyeshadow in Bronze. As with most Italian beauty brands, they are seriously big on providing top-quality products at a reasonable price. Collistar seems to translate to high-end, department store brand level products - and the quality is definitely there to match.


The Ultra-Shiny Eyeshadow is a Clinique Chubby-Stick sized cream eyeshadow stick - but with a big, chunky, fat nib, which makes application a cinch. I have to use primer at all times (you can see my top eyeshadow primer pick in this post) but I find a thin layer of this (over primer on Carolina's advice!), buffed in around the edges, gives the most beautiful, seriously expensive-looking, almost wet-look finish to the eye. Over primer, I find that this lasts just as long as any powder eyeshadow (even on my oily lids!).


The finish is not dissimilar to the high-end feel of a By Terry Ombre Blackstar (you can see my two cents on By Terry's formula here)  - but you've definitely got a little more play-time with the Collistar formula. It blends beautifully, and works well with a matte powder eyeshadow in the crease - however, for a lightning-quick light bronze lid, this is more than enough on its own.


Collistar Twist in Bronze
It gives a beautiful, light-bronze wash of colour - which is totally day-time appropes, or can easily be glammed up with very little effort. When you catch this in the sunlight, it is beautifully shimmery - I tried to show you below, but this swatch does it no justice! I can see this living in my makeup bag permanently from now on!


Collistar Twist Eyeshadow Stick in Bronze SwatchIt seems you can find Collistar products periodically on FeelUnique - let me know if you pick anything up! I'm keen to find a few more of these shadow sticks!


Some links above are affiliate links.






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Sunday, 4 September 2016

Eye primer for even the oiliest skin

NARS Pro-Prime Smudge-Proof Eyeshadow BaseOily eyelids. Ew. Sounds a bit rank when you think about it. I guess if we all had really dry eyelids though, that wouldn't be great either, right?!

Well, there must be enough people out there who are super sweaty like me oily lidded enough to merit the beauty industry's creation of the eyeshadow primer. For reference - if I apply powder eyeshadow to a bare lid, it will have creased beyond all recognition within an hour, regardless of formula. I know, woe is me.

 I've tried 'em all - from Too Faced's offerings (which are, admittedly, pretty good) to the cult-favourite Urban Decay Primer Potion (which I like, but don't love) - and most do improve longevity and intensify colour markedly - but none so much as my beloved NARS Pro-Prime Smudge Proof Eyeshadow Base.

NARS Pro-Prime Smudge-Proof Eyeshadow Base

I first found out about this glorious potion via the beautiful, knowledgeable, Sharon The Makeup Artist (if you're not familiar with her gorgeous Irish accent and YouTube videos - get familiar. You'll love her. Promise.). On her recommendation in a video, I gave it a go - and I'm now on tube no.3. It's super-easy to apply (though the applicator is a bit strange) and it increases eyeshadow longevity for me a hundredfold, even on the most humid days. It does help to intensify pigment a little, too.

 A little goes a long way, and creates a smooth canvas for eyeshadow application. I find that shadow on top skips a little less with this than with other formulas, which can only be a good thing. I was genuinely despairing that I'd never be able to wear eyeshadow for more than a couple of hours (I know, right - #firstworldproblem) but I can hand-on-heart say that this allows a solid 8-9 hours  of eyeshadow wear without any creasing at all.

If there was an eyeshadow primer Olympics, this would win gold in my eyes every time!

Have you tried this base before?

Some links above are affiliate links. Products above mentioned were bought with my own money.




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Friday, 2 September 2016

Neither of these will ever leave my bag: Lanolips Banana Balm and Wycon Long Lasting Liquid Lipstick

Lanolips Banana Balm Wycon Liquid LipstickI know we're not naturally a nation of self-love, but I'm going to hit out with some here.


Soz. Here goes.


I am lucky enough to have been blessed with pretty voluptuous lips. Yup. I have been asked before if I've had them done, and had my genetics scrutinised many-a-time (I have no idea where I originate from - I'm adopted!) but honestly - I love 'em. I'm a total lipstick addict, so my lip-love just gives me even more of an excuse to wear all of the pretty colours.

However - MAN ALIVE do they get dry. I have shed a tear before about cracks in my lips in the winter, and have tried so many lip balms, salves, lotions and potions at all price-points - from Nuxe's lip balm offering to the humble Vaseline tin. My little Nuxe stick came to an end recently, so I made a bit of an impulse Lanolips purchase - and oh my LIFE I am in love!



Lanolips Banana Balm Lip Sheen is creamy, smoothing, and smells like those foam banana sweets. Yes. (Incidentally - can you still get those?!) It's lanolin-based, with no mineral oil or petrolatum in the formula, and is cruelty-free. I've been using this constantly since buying it, and I have to say it's by far the best lip balm I've used for a long long time! Banana Balm has a lovely soft sheen to it too, so if you (like me) struggle a little with liquid lipsticks as the day goes on - pat a bit of this over the top and BAM - comfort and a subtle sheen! Perfect!


Lanolips Banana Balm

I've been combining this with another gem from my Italian makeup haul - WYCON's Long Lasting Liquid Lipstick in Sweet Strawberry. WYCON is a stand-alone-store brand, a bit like KIKO, from Italy, and produces high quality, reasonably priced makeup.


This shade is a real sweet-strawberry colour (and smells pleasantly sweet, too) - beautifully bright, and as liquid lipsticks go, it's fairly comfortable. It certainly hangs around for a loooonnnnng time, and doesn't crack or crumble like some drier formulas. I find that good prep, followed by this, and a little Lanolips Banana Balm later in the day, means that this fades evenly and leaves a subtle pink stain behind (which can again be topped up with balm - no streaky fading or white-ring-of-weird here!)

WYCON liquid lipstick swatch 20 Sweet Strawberry


Just look at that swatch - so pigmented and creamy! I'm so impressed with both of these products. All in all, I've been chucking these two in my bag every day since purchase - and I don't think that's going to stop anytime soon!


What's your favourite lip balm? Are you in to liquid lipsticks?


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