Thursday, 28 December 2017

Charlotte Tilbury Instant Look in a Palette - Smokey Eye Beauty Review and Swatches

Charlotte Tilbury Instant Look in a Palette Smokey Eye Beauty

Smokey Eye Beauty, you had me at hello.

Isn't she a looker?! Charlotte's latest Instant Look in a Palette, Smokey Eye Beauty (you can see her previous editions on her website) is a gorgeous, sultry take on the one-palette-does-all theme. The bronzer is CT's iconic shade from the Filmstar Bronze and Glow, and the highlight shade is her super-hyped Bar of Gold highlight. the palette contains 2 x 6g bronze/highlight shades (not bad value-wise if you never finish a bronzer, considering the full size Bronze and Glow is the same price and contains 8g of each) and 5 x 2g eyeshadows/blush shades. The blush is supposedly akin to Charlotte's First Love blush, a muted, nude, flattering shade, and I'd agree that it is very similar.

Charlotte Tilbury Instant Look in a Palette Smokey Eye Beauty
 First off - good things. I love the shade selection - for a light-medium skintone, this is bang on for a really easy, super quick face. The brighten shade is lovely for daytime just washed over the lid, or with a little of the enhance shade in the crease. I use the smoke shade as a liner for daytime, and it blends beautifully without ending up all over my face. The cheek shades are an absolute no-brainer to use. I can see this becoming an everyday one-palette wonder. I get a good 8 hours' wear from everything except the Cheek Pop shade, and found the eyeshadows gloriously soft, smooth, and a breeze to blend. The Enhance shade is cool enough to use as a subtle contour on the cheeks.

The black is more of a charcoal, so will require building up if you want a Makeup Geek Corrupt level of pigment. Personally, I find it easy and minimally scary to use, and it can be amped up easily for a mega-smokey evening eye. The highlight shade is a gorgeous, pearlescent, golden sheeny shade, and doesn't emphasise or sit in my pores at all. I use this as a statement inner corner highlight, too.

Size-wise, I have no issues using my usual brushes with this palette, though I tend to use a fairly small blush brush, so bear that in mind if you like bigger brushes.

Charlotte Tilbury Instant Look in a Palette Smokey Eye Beauty Swatches
You can see in the swatches above that this is a cohesive, flattering range of shades overall.

Now. Less good things. The Cheek Pop shade is pants. Gorgeous colour, lasts about three hours before it's disappeared (on my face, anyway). As for the palette as a whole: if you are darker than, say, NC35 in MAC - forget it. You'll not be on board. the face shades pitch on the lighter side, and I reckon in summer this will be a no-go even for me. Depending on your skintone, you may find that the eyeshadow shades aren't quite enough for a totally smooth transition for dramatic smokes, and could find yourself reaching for a few other transition shades (potentially negating the palette's compact value for you).

Personally? I freakin' love this creature. It's a really easy palette to navigate and use every day or for travelling. Ok, there's some dealbreakers dependent on preferences and skintone, but overall this is a winner for me.

Friday, 24 November 2017

An Autumn Skincare Treat Routine - Kiehls, Beauty Pie, Emma Hardie, Sunday Riley

Alessandra Steinherr is the one I have to thank for the Sunday Night Facial becoming a verb, and a big part of my life. That girl's got good skin, and whatever she's doing, I want in on it. My current treat routine is definitely increasing my good skin days, and with a few swappable components, pretty much stays the same in its essence week to week.

First up - cleanse. You simply cannot go wrong with a healthy dose of Emma Hardie's Moringa Cleansing Balm in your life. This is a cult classic for a very good reason - it cleanses without stripping the skin, feels gorgeous, is super luxurious and does the job. Use a flannel and do a decent double cleanse - this is your weekend treat, after all - I tend to follow this up with Beauty Pie's Double Phase cleanser which I am still utterly in love with.

Next - treat - and you could do much worse than Beauty Pie's Fruitizyme Five Minute Facial. I'm not sure what sorcery is in this little bottle, but it really does work like magic for me. The more I use it, the more I love it - it's a fantastic exfoliant and brightens the complexion. Glorious.

Generally I'll follow up with a favourite mask at this point - something clay-ey if I have time, or if my skin has really taken a battering then Kiehl's gorgeous Calendula and Aloe mask is like a hug in a tub. To finish, moisturiser - again, Kiehl's are my current go-to with their Ultra Facial Oil-Free Moisturiser. It's a great oily skin option, not overwhelming in the slightest, and is very soothing and cooling to apply.

For a super-brighten, Sunday Riley's Luna goes on just before bed. There are plenty of cheaper, equally excellent, if not better, retinols in the world, but this super luxurious version is my current Sunday night treat au choix.

Do you have a favourite skincare routine? What are your top products?

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

Monday, 20 November 2017

Bold lipsticks for Autumn/Fall

Bold lips? For Autumn? Groundbreaking. 

I know. Painfully clichéd. But there you have it. I love me some juicy dark lips when the weather turns. I've got five gorgeous tones pretty much on rotation at the moment, to the point that the lip staining left behind makes it look like I'm still wearing one of these bad boys at 8am the next day.

Charlotte Tilbury Hollywood Lips in Show Girl has been a grower for me. I really wasn't sold on the moussey texture at first, and it applies much darker than initially expected; but now the nights are a-drawing in I find myself reaching for it more often. It's on the less challenging end of dark berry lips, so it may be a good option if the next few firecrackers are a bit out of your comfort zone.

MAC Chili is a glorious brown-orange-red that just screams millennial autumnal perfection. It's a classic MAC creamy matte formula, so it's very comfortable and pretty long wearing. I'm on my second tube of Chili, and that basically never happens. With some decent mascara and a good base, you can't go wrong. If you like your brown-reds a bit, well, more red, then Colourpop's Ultra Satin lips (my absolute favourite liquid lipstick formula) in the shade Lost is a real winner. It's juicy, satin, matte, lasts for ages and is easy to apply.

Top-Bottom CT Show Girl, MAC Chili, Colourpop, JS Unicorn Blood, Dior Poison Metal 
Then we have the vamp-tastic end of the spectrum. As much as I am not a Jeffree Star fan, there's no denying that Unicorn Blood is the most gorgeous, deep, wine-red tone. I like the formula - I find it minimally drying and pretty long-wearing - but mainly I just love this colour! Dior's gorgeous Liquid Lip Stain in Poison Metal takes all the prizes for ultra-deep tones, however. The link here posts to a lip swatch - its metallic, vampy, easy to apply and super comfortable. I'm sold.

What are your A/W '17 favourites?

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

Thursday, 16 November 2017

Body Moisturisers for Winter - The Body Shop Coconut Body Butter and Palmer's Cocoa Butter

The Body Shop Coconut Body Butter and Palmer's Cocoa Butter Moisturiser

I have to admit, I am a creature of intense habit when it comes to Winter bodycare. I'm also a creature of not-a-zillion-pounds. I'd much rather, in all honesty, go all out on the facial skincare/makeup with my hard-earned dolla, so my poor body gets a little neglected. I have incredibly dry skin on my body (I think I just divert all oils to my poor face) so I really should be better at looking after it! My high-street faves are long term staples without a totally crippling price tag - oh, and they smell glorious to boot.

The Body Shop are all over the body butter market. The coconut version is my absolute favourite and has been for years. The scent is gorgeous (well, if you like coconuts) without being overpowering, and it is richly, deeply moisturising. This works as a brilliant aftersun moisturiser too, from experience; and at about £15 for a massive tub? It's a steal. The Body Shop regularly have amazing sales and offers on, so get on that email list and stock up!

The Body Shop Coconut Body Butter

Palmer's Cocoa Butter Formula Daily Skin Therapy Lotion is another all-time favourite for me. It comes in a whacking great big pump dispenser for ease of use, and lasts for ages. At approximately a fiver for 400ml, you can't go wrong. The smell is lovely - comforting, vanilla-ey - and it is super moisturising on my extra-dry skin.

What are your favourite body moisturisers?

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

Monday, 13 November 2017

Armani Lip Magnet in Shade 508 Androgini Review - Christmas 2017 Collection

Giorgio Armani Lip Magnet in Shade 508

If you're a longer term reader of this here blog, you'll be well aware of my love/hate (mostly hate) relationship with liquid lipsticks. I love the whole matte lip look, but I cannot abide the cat's bum lip effect after a few hours, or that gross white ring of.. stuff (eugh). Lancôme have come close to perfect with their formula, in my opinion, but this new shade (and relatively new formula) from Armani Beauty has all of my attention for A/W '17.

Armani Lip Magnet in shade 508 Androgini is an absolutely gorgeous cool, blush pink-nude shade. I feel like this is the shade I've been looking for all of my makeup loving life. It is really soft and muted, and I'd wager that on the fairest skintones would look absolutely beautiful. On my medium-olive skintone, this is a really flattering, almost mauvey nude shade, which doesn't wash me out.

The applicator is a stroke of genius - application is a breeze. The texture is light, without being runny or moussey, and applies evenly over the lips (nothing short of a modern makeup miracle, in my experience of nude liquid lipsticks). The finish is more on the satin-matte side, but that is a sacrifice I am more than willing to make in the name of comfort.

Armani Lip Magnet in shade 508

What's really impressive is the lasting power. I completely forgot I was wearing any lipstick at all, and when I looked in the mirror 6 hours later (having eaten) there was no dryness, no white-ring-of-embarrassment and just the most even, virtually unnoticeable fade at the lipline. No complaints here. If you like pinks lipstick anything to do with makeup get yourself one of these. You'll love it. I promise.

I paired mine with two of my old faves - MAC Breath of Plum blush (my favourite Winter blush of all time) and Bobbi Brown's Shimmer Brick in Pink Quartz. Old school, right? Well, they're still in my stash because they are excellent. Not sorry at all.

Armani Lip Magnet shade 508

Overall - get one. I'm eyeing up two more shades from the Christmas collection as we speak.

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

Friday, 10 November 2017

The best foundations for light olive skintones

The Best Foundations for Light Olive Skintones

Karima McKimmie is my YouTube icon. There are many wide ranging reasons for this - she is beautiful, she does her own thing, she talks sense, she's hilarious... I could go on. However, the main thing that drew me to her channel in the first place is that she has the same issue as I do - she has light-light/medium, olive undertones to her skin. That means we are basically the same person  have the same foundation affliction: virtually no-one makes suitable shades.

In summer, this isn't a problem at all - I tan very quickly (yes, even with significant SPF) and can be a MAC NC40 in no time. Mid-toned yellow-olive? No problem. EX1 has me covered, and a combination of NARS Sheer Glow in Stromboli and Barcelona are spot on (though this is admittedly having to mix shades again). 

In winter/all year in the U.K., however, I am a chilly NC20-25 with a strong olive lean. This has resulted in many years of spending the winter looking bonkers. Generally, looking peach/orange/ghostly/dead for 6+ months of the year, and struggling to find foundation, or powder for that matter, that was actually flattering. How did I find foundations that work for me, I hear you cry? A poop-ton of research, my lovely friends. A poop-ton.
The best foundation for light olive skintones - swatches
L-R Armani LS 6, Makeup Store Coconut, Laura Mercier shade 2N2 Cashew, NARS Sheer Glow in Punjab, The Ordinary 2.0YG, Illamasqua Skinbase 8.5
So I'm saving you some hours trawling, and hopefully some funds, with this post. Here are my absolute olive faves. Some are darker or more olive leaning than others, but hopefully this goes a little way in helping in the neverending sea of foundations out there. Even those which are a hair too dark or light don't look absurd on me, because the undertone isn't wildly off.

1) Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk in shade 6. This is, admittedly, far too dark for my midwinter complexion, but the formula is so absolutely divine and it plays so well with other foundations that it is a fantastic mixer for lighter/too peach foundations that you may already own.

2) Makeup Store Sculpt Excellence Foundation in Coconut. This is probably the most perfect light olive match I've found. It is gorgeous - and practically green. Just what I need. Yes, the applicator was invented by someone who has never used makeup before, but I'm willing to overlook that for the full coverage formula, undertone and long lasting-ness. That green tho.

3) Laura Mercier Flawless Fusion Foundation 2N1 Cashew. Hear me out here. This is for the palest of days, but it won't leave you looking pink/yellow. It's tricky in the swatch above as it's next to the greenest foundation known to man, but this is so slap-bang neutral that it'll cover any redness from the winter cold without leaving you looking peach. This one took me by surprise as to how lovely it is - full post to follow soon.

4) NARS Sheer Glow in Punjab -  this looks peachy here, but I find this colour is relatively sympathetic as the weather gets colder If you have just an olivey hint, this is worth a swatch. The formula is lovely. Combined with a dot of the Armani shade 6, the finish is glowy, not greasy, and the right colour family to boot.

5) The Ordinary Coverage Foundation in 2.0 YG - this is a fantastic shade, formula, and price. Literally nothing not to love if you're light olive. Full post to follow on this bad boy shortly, too.

6) Illamasqua Skinbase in 8.5. Last but absolutely not least. I freakin' LOVE this foundation over winter. Very perfecting, glowy satin finish, and plays beautifully with others. It is slightly less olive-toned than, say, Armani's offering, but that's perfect if you are lighter toned. It's a beautiful shade, and beautiful formula.

Others I know of but can't vouch for are Koh Gen Do Aqua in 213, Bourjois Healthy Mix in 52 (I don't like this formula, but the colour is good) and Urban Decay All Nighter in shade 4.0.

I hope this was helpful!

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


Tuesday, 7 November 2017

Huda Beauty Mauve Obsessions Palette Review and Swatches

Huda Beauty Mauve Obsessions Mini Palette Review and Swatches

Huda Kattan has repeatedly broken the internet with every new release. The new Obsessions palettes were no exception - Cult Beauty had some pretty serious traffic on launch night! I've never been able to stomach the price point of her larger palettes, but the new Huda Beauty Obsessions palettes are available for a much more palatable wallet hit.

Now, her larger palettes have been the subject of a bit of internet controversy - high price, mixed quality, fallout ++ with the glitters; but others loving the blendability and shade selection. Not something I can comment on, but rest assured, I was willing to ignore all mixed-review chat and go in with a clear mind.

I have been seriously won over by this little powerhouse. As someone who very rarely hits pan on a shadow, I actually love the dinky size of this palette (about the size of the palm of my hand) as it's very portable, and there aren't too many colours - the shade selection is thoroughly cohesive throughout, well edited, and there are more mattes than shimmers. Hooray!

Huda Beauty Mauve Obsessions Palette Swatches
The matte shades are really smooth, soft and blendable. The darker shades do require a little building, but I am not averse to this - they blend so beautifully that a rich, professional looking smokey eye is actually achieveable for application dunces like myself. The shimmers are quite dense and firmly pressed - not dissimilar to Kat Von D's Metal Crush shadows - and I find they are best applied with a finger. I always use a really good primer for any eyeshadow, and find that every shade wears well, starting to fade at around the 7-8 hour mark. I've not experienced any fallout issues. the top-right mauvey-taupe shade is absolutely beautiful; sheered out with a brush over the lid by itself, it has a similar effect to my beloved Ombre Blackstar in Misty Rock.

Overall - massively impressed. Considering another purchase. Smokey Obsessions, you're next. 

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

Huda Beauty Mauve Obsessions Palette Review and Swatches


Wednesday, 1 November 2017

Kat Von D Tattoo Liner in Trooper

Kat Von D Tattoo Liner in Trooper

Kat Von D is still relatively new to us in the U.K. Long were the years of watching beauty YouTubers bang on about how good this eyeliner is and not being able to try it out for myself. Thanks to Debenhams, I've finally been able to get my mitts on this bad boy - but it's not been straightforward love at first line.

Ok so first off, good things.  This is really black and pigmented. Winner. The brush style applicator is far preferable for me to the usual foamy squishy thing they put on these pen eyeliners, and it stays on really well all day. I have hooded eyes and really struggle to find a decent eyeliner that doesn't end up on my browbone after ten seconds, and the Kat Von D Tattoo liner stays put beautifully.

Oh, also, any sharper and you'd cut yourself on your wings using this liner. Supremely precise, if you have a steady hand.

Kat Von D Tattoo Liner in Trooper

My gripe? Contact lens wearers, beware. If you're not a genius at applying winged liner (and let's face it, unless your name is Jamie Genevieve, who is) and get anywhere near your top waterline with this product - forget it. Game over. It's on your eye, down your inner waterline, and all over your contact lens. Gross and impractical. I have wondered in the past if there was some reason many beauty gurus use this to outline a fierce wing, and then fill in with another product (see Nikkie Tutorials' technique here).

Given my penchant for terrible liner application, this is going to stay for finalising and tidying up wings, but isn't going to be a repurchase for me.

Have you tried this liner? What did you think?

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

Wednesday, 25 October 2017

Guerlain Intense Liquid Matte Lipstick in MO6 - Charming Beige

Guerlain Maxi Velvet Intense Liquid Matte Lipstick

Guerlain may have been a little late to the party with the whole liquid lipstick situation, but this is no bad thing - some clever bod at Guerlain has clearly been doing their homework. The Guerlain Intese Liquid Matte formula is a triumph. It contains hyaluronic acid to aid hydration, and is billed as being as "creamy as a gloss, but as intense as a lipstick". Now, if you're familiar with Guerlain, you'll know that their Rouge G's are some of the best lipsticks out there (and I am in LOVE with the KissKiss Matte formula) so I had high hopes for this release.

Guerlain Intense Liquid Matte in Charming Beige
I would go as far as to say this is the liquid lipstick for people who don't do liquid lipsticks. The formula glides on beautifully, is easy to apply, and is super comfortable to wear. I don't experience any settling in lip lines or any tight, uncomfortable feeling as the day wears on. This is not a completely transfer-proof formula, neither is it absolutely chalk-matte - you'll need to head more in an Anastasia Beverly Hills direction if that's your jam. There is a miniscule amount of tackiness when worn, so bear that in mind if that's something you really hate. If you liked Lancôme's Matte Shakers, or Dior's liquid lipsticks, you will definitely like these babies.

I have the shade Charming Beige, which is a perfect true nude for medium skintones, and a lovely tawny colour on light skintones - perfect for the Autumn, and for those days where you want your eye makeup to do all the talking.

Guerlain Intense Liquid Matte Charming Beige
I love the formula so much that I went out and bought a rosy pink one a week later - and that's something I never do! I feel these Intense Liquid Mattes are not getting nearly enough hype.

Have you tried these?

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

Sunday, 22 October 2017

The Glossier Haul

The Glossier Haul

It happened.

The inevitable Glossier haul.

Partially fuelled by hype, partially by The Anna Edit, and partially curiosity, I made a moderate Glossier order on the U.K. release date. Not one to jump in on reviewing without a decent test, I've been using these products every day since they arrived in their beautiful white box. So, Glossier - worth the hype?

I picked up the Phase 1 set, which comprises of the Milky Jelly Cleanser, the Priming Moisturiser and I chose the Birthday Balm Dotcom after reading many a review. I also picked up a Cloud Paint in Dusk.
Glossier the Birthday Balm DotCom

Firstly, the Balm Dotcom. The birthday version has a tiny, subtle, non-obnoxious skimmer through it, and smells exactly like vanilla cake. It smells delicious, tastes like vanilla cake and Vaseline (odd) and is a generally very nice lip balm in a handy tube. I won't go wild repurchasing, but I'll definitely use it up.

Next - the Milky Jelly Cleanser. This is going to be a love-hate for some, I think. Not brilliant for removing makeup (but I tend to use an oil-based cleanser for that anyway) but a lovely, light, refreshing second/morning cleanse for the skin. The bottle is sturdy and feels like it would be travel friendly, and the pump dispenses just the right amount for my face. I use a flannel with this as I'm a bit paranoid about residue left on my oily skin, but it's not been in the least bit irritating and doesn't leave my skin feeling parched or tight. I don't know about conditioning, per se, but it's certainly quite gentle and easy to use. If you generally like gel-based cleansers, you'll enjoy this one.
Glossier Milky Jelly Cleanser

The Priming Moisturizer is actually my favourite product of the skincare trio. I was a bit sceptical (due to my oily complexion and its penchant for going ballistic when new moisturisers are applied) as to whether this would be anything special for me, but it has become my go-to under makeup moisturiser. The texture is light and very quickly absorbed, and doesn't leave any greasy residue. I'd imagine for dry skins this wouldn't be quite enough for you (there is a Priming Moisturizer Rich for drier skin types) but for me, this is perfect. I'm not sure about priming from a makeup longevity point of view, but I notice a definite reduction on redness and generally even looking skin.

Glossier Cloud Paint Dusk

And last but definitely not least - Cloud Paint. I absolutely love this product. Dusk is a go-with-everything, dusky-buff colour. You need only the tiniest amount (which is fortunate - the tube is pretty teeny), and it blends out beautifully into a soft, easy, complexion-enhancing flush. It's not greasy, but does feel moisturising - perhaps the oiliest complexions will have issues, but I haven't experienced any at all. It stays well for about 7 hours before fading on my cheeks. Bear in mind that the whole point of the Cloud Paints is that they are subtle, but it wouldn't be difficult to build up if you so desired.

Overall? I'm impressed. I'll be purchasing more Cloud Paints by the bucketload, and the Priming Moisturizer is here to stay.

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


Saturday, 14 October 2017

Dior Rouge Dior Liquid Lip Stain in Poison Metal

Dior Rouge Dior Liquid Lip Stain in Poison Metal

When it comes to lip products, Dior don't mess around. Two recent launches found their way into my makeup collection - the gorgeous, subtly shimmery (but totally wearable) Double Rouge lipstick in Miss Crush, and this bad boy - the Dior Liquid Lip Stain in Poison Metal.

The shade range for Dior's new liquid lipstick formula is impressive - four finishes, from matte up to full-on metallic, and 24 shades. I'm a broken record when it comes to liquid lipsticks; most are far too drying for my taste, and give me cat's bum lips within about 15 seconds. The formula here is a different animal - smooth, unbelieveably pigmented (see the swatch below) and very easy to apply. Compared to your average liquid lipstick, they are more forgiving on unevenness and texture. Take that with a pinch of salt though - unless you have fillers or natural insta-lips they won't give a smooth, totally texture-free finish. The formula does dry down, and is lightweight and comfortable to wear.

Dior Rouge Dior Liquid Lip Stain in Poison Metal

I mean look at that pigmentation! The shiny, metallicy-ness is there without being glittery - the shade Poison Metal is a grown-up, modern, vampy metallic for those-who-don't-do-glitter. It does set a little more burgundy than it looks in the tube, but it is a beautiful colour.

Dior Rouge Dior Liquid Lip Stain Poison Metal
 A very rare shot of my actual face. Excuse the application.

The only discrepancy I have is the slightly wild wear-time claim. 12 hour wear, you say, Dior? Umm... no. If you plan on eating/drinking/talking in that 12 hours, you'll definitely find this wears off. Gently though - no white gummy gross ring of product - and it's easy to reapply and layer without bobbling up or peeling away. It is not transfer proof either, FYI - bear that in mind if that's a dealbreaker for you.

For such a dark, vampy colour and in a liquid form, I think this is a pretty good effort. Not for everyone, but it's a keeper for me.

Have you tried these liquid lipsticks?

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

Wednesday, 11 October 2017

By Terry Compact Expert Dual Powder in No.5 Amber Light

By Terry Compact-Expert Dual Powder No.5 Amber Light

I'm fairly new to By Terry. Partially because of the price point, granted, but I feel the brand is often bypassed on the blogosphere - apart from the (rightfully) hyped Ombre Blackstars. Their newest addition to the super-luxe line is a beautiful powder - By Terry Compact Expert Dual Powders, and I have the shade No.5, Amber Light.

By Terry Compact-Expert Dual Powder Amber Light No.5

These gorgeous little compacts contain a matte "face powder" and a highlighting shade in the centre. By face powder, this varies immensely from shade to shade and dependent on your skintone - for a light-medium gal like me, the three lightest shades would essentially be highlighters for me, the fourth a subtle, modern contour-highlight duo, and the rest bronzing/blush duos. Is that helpful? probably not massively! Basically - go in and swatch if you can.

The powder formula is an absolute delight - silky, finely milled and absolutely dreamy to apply - think Hourglass standards of soft. It feels premium, put it that way. You need the lightest hand and a soft brush, or you'll lose half of this in the pan. The highlighter is glowy without being glittery, and the two blend together perfectly. On my skintone, this is a perfect peachy-blushy-bronzey-highlight combination - it does all the work for you. I can tell this is going to be a winter staple for lifting my olive skintone in the dreary months!

By Terry Compact-Expert Dual Powder No.5 Amber Light
Swatched - the outer shade blended and heavily swatched, then the same for the highlight
The formula does seem to smooth out the skin and is very forgiving on pores and fine lines - the overall effect is chic and wearable. I don't experience any fading at all when worn, and the formula sits beautifully on bare skin and over foundation. If I had eleventy million pounds, I'd buy another three!

Have you tried this beautiful compact powder?

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

Monday, 9 October 2017

YSL All Hours Foundation Review

YSL All Hours Foundation Review

My first foray in to ultra-long-wear foundations was with the cult-classic Estee Lauder Double Wear, in the matte face and loads-of-spots years. Super matte, unbelievably long-lasting, and for my oily complexion? A dream. However - have you tried to remove that bad boy? My face (and flannel) wept. Now I'm a bit more au fait with the joys of skin-like foundation formulas, ELDW sits rather neglected in my drawer.

But sometimes, you just need a full-on foundation. Weddings, loads of photos, a terrible skin day, or a looming date night - perfected complexions required here. Enter Yves Saint Laurent's new delight - All Hours Foundation.

YSL All Hours Foundation Review

Now this is a triumph. Modern-matte (not porcelain doll and other-worldly, but not at all dewy) and believeable, the formula is a breeze to blend and evens out the skin beautifully. I find it is forgiving on texture, unlike most matte foundation formulas, and doesn't look at all cakey. I would say it's a true full coverage formula, but is easily sheered out with a little moisturiser if you prefer a bit less coverage. YSL say the formula is waterproof and transfer resistant - I have to say I've not been caught in a downpour wearing this, but given that you'll need a cleansing oil to remove it (but no ELDW scrubbing required!) I would agree with the transfer statement. Oh, and it's SPF20. Marvellous.
YSL All Hours Foundation
I'm shade B50 for reference. Be warned - it looks slightly lighter in the bottle!
I absolutely cannot get enough of this. It doesn't crumble, fade, congeal or crease wildly - I have a tiny bit of settling in fine lines after 6-8 hours, but that's it. It feels like nothing on the skin and blends well with cream and powder products. I rarely re-powder if I'm wearing a trusted foundation, and with All Hours I know I can get a solid 8-10 hours without looking greasy (which is a borderline miracle).

It's going to take a lot to knock this off the top spot.

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

Friday, 29 September 2017

Rouge Dior Double Rouge Lipstick in Miss Crush Review

Dior Rouge Dior Double Rouge Lipstick in Miss Crush

If there's one beauty product Dior have nailed, it is lipstick.

I'm yet to meet a Dior lip I didn't love. Their Lip Tattoo formula was a favourite of mine this summer (that scent alone is heavenly). I'm not going to lie to you though, the Rouge Dior Double Rouge Lipstick had me a bit on edge. Metallic? And matte? And ever so slightly two-toned? Needless to say, I was going to need a bit of convincing. I picked up the least frightening shade for me - Miss Crush, a mid-toned, warm pink with a cooler pearly reflect (and also picked up a super-vampy liquid lipstick - you can see that post here).

First off - let's get it over with - it is gorgeous in the tube. Silly, I know, but it really is beautiful. That first use took a bit of doing to spoil the perfect matte-metallic demarcation.

Swatched - minimally scary so far. The metallic element in this lipstick is ultra-fine, subtle, entirely wearable shimmer. I mean, it's definitely present, but it's nowhere near the realms of, say, Jouer's Skinny Dip. Office-appropriate. Promise.

Dior Rouge Dior Double Rouge Lipstick in Miss Crush

On the lips - stunning. No, really. Plumping without being obvious, delicately shimmery without being glittery, and surprisingly easy to apply. There's no crazy matte-metallic demarcation in practice, and the slightly richer colour to the outside and inner lip gives a little definition without being full on 90's. The lipstick is, as with all Dior lipsticks, a joy to apply and wear, with no tugging and no settling in my lip lines - yup, even that sparkle didn't get stuck. I get 4 hours of comfortable, non-drying wear before needing to re-apply.

Dior Rouge Dior Double Rouge Lipstick in Miss Crush

If the whole metallic-sparkle lip thing is a step too far, this is a beautiful, subtle alternative. I reckon the killer Dior red shade probably packs a bit more punch than this cheery pink, but I'll be sticking with Miss Crush!

Have you tried these lipsticks? What did you think?

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

Monday, 25 September 2017

Perfume: Evocative Scents

This is a sponsored post.

I love fragrance. I'm fairly particular, but when the right one comes along - well, when you know, you know, right? My favourite thing about perfume is that bizarre and surreal ability that some scents have to transport you in your mind to a certain time or place.

Clive Christian fragrances are a true kryptonite for me. They are not cheap, granted, but they really are quite something - some woody, some floral, some fruity perfumes; all of them glorious. Their entire new Private Collection is based around the relationship between fragrance and memories, which in itself is an image I can associate with. This rings true with me - I have strong memories of a very lovely and special mooch in Harrods one London trip, resulting in my first test of a divine Clive Christian fragrance. Some heady and complex, some fruity and rich - I can highly recommend an equally delightful Harrods/Selfridges trip for yourself.  Even if only to sample, they are such a treat.

Kiehl's was a bit of a surprise for the in the fragrance department - their super-light, leafy Fig Leaf & Sage eau de toilette (I'm really struggling to find a link, I think it may be discontinued!) was a psychological escape and a favourite of mine while working in Madagascar. I mean, most things just sweated off in a second, let's be real, but for those brief moments, this little number was my jam. One spritz and I'm back in sub-Saharan sun.

YSL Black Opium Fragrance

Rich, coffee-laden delights are my other real weakness. They take me back to some absolutely excellent nights out at uni, when I was just getting on the whole fragrance train without a resulting headache from too many florals (or too many gins, for that matter). Don't be alarmed - this YSL beauty won't leave you smelling like a coffee shop. It is, to me, like distilled coffee, vanilla, almonds and freesias - and let's just talk about the sparkly bottle for a second. I've already babbled on about Black Opium on this previous post.

Fragrances can be a particularly tricky one to write about (Wikipedia are the ones for official fragrance jargon decoding, by the way, if you're a noob to this like I am). Brands, preferences and price points are as numerous as they are varied. The vast fragrance market is a testament to this - thousands upon thousands of little bottles of dreamy scents are sold weekly in the U.K. Think of these scents here as my bottles of memories - they are, for me, particulary evocative.

What's your current scent of choice?

This is a sponsored post, for which I am renumerated. All opinions remain my own, as ever.

Saturday, 23 September 2017

Guerlain Blurring Active Base Primer Review

My long term love affair with glorious Guerlain began with La Petite Robe Noire, and hasn't stopped since. The new KissKiss Matte lipsticks are absolutely wonderful, and their newest liquid lipstick offering is by far my favourite liquid lipstick I've ever used. The internet lost its collective marbles over the ultra-luxe L'Or Primer a while ago, and I can see the oilier-skinned among us having a similar reaction to this - the Blurring Active Base.

There's very little blurb about this on the internet so far. Ok, so it's not in the same sensational glass bottle nor sprinkled with suspended gold flecks like it's fancy big sister, but I'm a huge fan of the simple, easy to use (and store/travel with) squeezy tube.

This is billed as a mattifying, pore minimizing, blurring face primer. And guess what? It works. Really well.

I took a gross close-up shot of my ultra-dry hands. On the left there's no primer - and some pretty obvious texture. On the right, you can see the skin is visibly smoothed - thanks to this little beauty. This is a silicone-type primer, and does feel like a very light silicone layer initially on the skin, but if you aren't a fan of that feeling, this may be a skip for you. This really does the blurring thing beautifully - I can see this becoming a wedding makeup artist's favourite. It is moderately mattifying, but in a modern way, without making products look powdery or skin look dry.

The scent is light, floral, and immediately noticeable - but it will dissipate quickly and isn't noticeable at all after about five minutes. The Blurring Active Base extends my makeup wear by a couple of hours, and doesn't cause any weird breaking up or pilling on my skin. I've used it with various different foundations, with good results across the board.

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

Monday, 11 September 2017

Lük Beautifood Lip Nourish - some shiny new shades

Luk Beautifood Lip Nourish Lipsticks

My very lovely Australian aunt is to thank for my recent Lip Nourish top-up. I'm a huge fan of these balmy, sheeny lipsticks - they feel beautifully nourishing (funny that) and are comfortable to wear - a lovely light relief from intense liquid lipsticks.

I've already discussed the many merits of this eco-friendly, cruelty free indie brand on my previous post in more detail. The lipsticks are all a satiny-balm texture, and the more pigmented shades have the ice-lolly effect (popsicle for the Americans amongst us) on the lips; essentially a dewy, fresh, flattering finish. Think Dior Lip Tattoo in non-matte form.

Luk Beautifood Natural Lipsticks

The three I was lucky enough to be given are Ruby Grapefruit, a warm pink ; Nude Cinnamon, which is for all intents and purposes the most delicious lip balm you will ever use; and Cranberry Citrus, a glorious orange-red.

Nude Cinnamon now lives permanently by my bed, and the other two have gone straight in my handbag. They are so easy to wear and use, and go with just about anything. If you're a bit scared of a super-pigmented red but want to branch out from solely neutrals, Cranberry Citrus is an excellent place to start. I love the texture and lip-feel of these lipsticks, and my super dry lips just love the hydration!

Luk Beautifood Lip Nourish Swatches - Ruby Grapefruit, Nude Cinnamon, Cranberry Citrus
L-R Ruby Grapefruit, Nude Cinnamon, Cranberry Citrus

They're not the easiest to get hold of in the U.K., but the Luk Beautifood website does have international shipping. If you're Australia-based, lucky you!

Some links above are affiliate links. Products were a gift.

Thursday, 7 September 2017

Kiehl's Calendula and Aloe Soothing Hydration Masque Review

I've always been a bit sceptical when it comes to hydrating masks. As an oily skinned gal, I've often found they just clog my pores and are often so thick and heavy that my complexion just goes bonkers. I'm usually die-hard for Peter Thomas Roth's crazy-powerful Pumpkin Mask, or a good ol' clay formula. That being said, after a recent dawdle-too-long in glorious Kiehl's, I was sucked in by this little beauty, and I am so not sorry.

The Kiehl's Calendula and Aloe Soothing Hydration Masque is, essentially, the cosy blanket, endless chocolate and Friends marathon for your face. It's got a beautiful, lightweight gel texture, and doesn't feel even slightly tight or drying when applied. It is very cooling and soothing on the skin, without being thick or stifling - perfect if you're feeling a bit weatherbeaten. I used this for the first time after a particularly long, windy jaunt in the Lake District, and it was one of those glorious little-pleasures-in-life moments. It is one of the few products labelled as "for all skin types" that probably would suit all skin types.

Oh, and as a bonus, it smells divine.

It removes easily, and definitely leaves the skin feeling soothed and hydrated - importantly without feeling in the least bit overloaded. Don't expect the resurfacing magic of a majorly intense treatment mask here, but do expect a juicy, moisturised, soothed complexion. If you have dehydrated skin, even of the oilier persuasion, I urge you to pick up a sample of this little love.

Have you tried this out?

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