Monday, 27 February 2017

Stila Magnificent Metals Glitter & Glow Liquid Eyeshadow - Smouldering Satin

Stila Magnificent Metals Smouldering Satin Review and Swatches

If you have a face, you're going to be needing these. I'm warning you now.

I first saw these Stila babies over on Laurzrah - one of my fave blogs. Laura knows what she's on about when it comes to great makeup and beautiful, sparkly things. Stila Magnificent Metals Glitter and Glow Liquid Eyeshadows (phew - you still with me?) are, for all intents and purposes, liquid glitter. Not exactly groundbreaking on paper - WH Smith have been making glitter glue since the dawn of time, so it can't be that different, right?!

WRONG. These are basically distilled and bottled unicorn tears. Gorgeous. Smooth, easy to apply, and so incredibly shiny - you will not regret picking up one of these shades. I have the shade Smouldering Satin - it's a beautiful, taupey shade - and I've used it at every available opportunity since buying it.

Stila Magnificent Metals Glitter and Glow in Smouldering Satin Review and Swatches

Packaging is sturdy and fairly travel friendly, and the doe-foot type applicator is soft and easy to use. I don't find I get any fallout until about hour 5 of wear with this shade (over, as always, my trusty NARS eyeshadow primer) but even then, it's pretty minimal. As long as you don't rub your eyes, this liquid eyeshadow is in place for a solid 8 hours.

Anyway - the most important bit - look at that swatch!

Stila Magnificent Metals Glitter and Glow Smouldering Satin Review and SwatchesStila Magnificent Metals Glitter and Glow Liquid Eyeshadow in Smouldering Satin

Woah there. Hellooooooooo shimmer. You can blend these shadows out with a blending brush, or just go glitter-ball-istic and dot this all over your face in the centre of the lid for maximum impact.

Stila - I'm in love.

Have you tried these shadows yet?

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

Sunday, 26 February 2017

Milani Luminoso Blush Review and Swatches

Milani Luminoso Baked Blush Review and Swatches

The U.K.'s been a bit slow on the uptake with Milani. After NikkieTutorials broke the internet with demand after declaring her undying love of Milani Baked Blush in Luminoso, this stuff was scarce. Absolute gold dust to get hold of. These days, this budget drugstore beauty brand is now easily found on or Beauty Bay.

I gave in to the hype and have been testing out Luminoso for the past few weeks. Described as a "pigment packed powder blush" delivering a "sheen of healthy luminosity", I had high hopes!

Milani Luminoso Baked Blush Swatches

I'm not wild on super-ridiculously pigmented blush formulas - with my massive hair and cheesy grin it doesn't take much to look more clown-off-duty than model-off-duty - so I was pleasantly surprised to find that Milani Luminoso is actually pretty buildable. The colour is described as a peach toned pink - I'd definitely put it more on the peach end of that statement. The texture is very nice - soft, fine, and picks up well on a synthetic brush.

Milani Luminoso Baked Blush Revuew and Swatches

The nicest thing about this blush, though, is the luminous, sheeny finish. Not an offensive glittery particle in sight. Luminoso is relatively kind to pores, too - I didn't notice any ridiculously visible pores, even when buffed in. The more you buff this blush, the more luminous it becomes - if you have a darker skintone, this might be a nice highlighting blush option. For me - it's become a makeup bag staple. Warm, sheeny, easy to apply, and goes with any warm-toned look. Boom.

Have you tried any Milani products?

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

Milani Luminoso Baked Blush Review and Swatches


Thursday, 23 February 2017

Little Ondine Nail Polish Review

Little Ondine Nail Polish Pacific Review

Little Ondine is a brand I hadn't really heard much about. When it comes to nails, I'm a die-hard Illamasqua Varnish devotee - it takes a lot to shift me from that amazing formula. The only thing I dislike about any nail polish, however, is the smell. Eugh. Let's face it - painting your paws is a pretty antisocial thing to do.

 Little Ondine, however, is an entirely different kettle of polish. Touted as long-wearing (the brand states about a week's wear dependent on application), pregnancy friendly, virtually odour free, vegan, cruelty free, and made from natural ingredients - well, it all sounds like a tall glass of great so far.

Little Ondine Review and Swatches

I chose two colours - Pacific, a gloss denim-blue, and Soft Caramel, a sandy nude (I chose a nude on purpose, as they're often pretty difficult to get right and can be weird, pallid, and sheer. Dedication to you guys as always). The formula is indeed odour free - I wasnt even kicked out of the living room to apply these polishes, which is novel. I applied two coats as usual, and let them dry normally. My thoughts?

Well - there's a few things to consider. There's a pretty comprehensive how-to guide on Little Ondine's website to get the most out of these babies. Clean, dry nails and neat application are the gist of it. I find they take a little longer to dry than, say, a specifically rapid-drying formula, but honestly the difference is next to nothing. The finish is glossy and even, and is pretty kind even on my ridgy disgraceful nails. They're not slick-on-and-go polishes, but they give a lovely, glossy, even finish - and are stink-free. Marvellous.

Little Ondine Soft Caramel Review

Above - Soft Caramel. They've nailed the nude polish thing (pardon the pun. Couldn't resist). Pacific is pictured below after only one coat - I can see me getting a lot of wear from this shade.

Oh, the other great thing? Little Ondine polishes peel off. Like the PVA glue from primary school. It's immensely satisfying, and means you don't have to use remover. I'm afraid longevity-wise I'm not well placed to comment - my job means I can't wear nail polish except at weekends (boo) but I get a full chip-free 48 hours, and that's all I need.

Little Ondine Pacific
Little Ondine Pacific and Soft Caramel Review and Swatches

Overall - I'm impressed. I love the shade range, the lack of smell, and the easy removal. Little Ondine, you're successfully reinventing nail polish.

Have you heard of or tried Little Ondine?

Saturday, 18 February 2017

January Labs Moisture Balancing Lotion - oily skin, rejoice!

January Labs Moisturiser Review

When the unparalleled Caroline Hirons raves about a brand, you know you need to get on board that train.

January Labs is a high-end line of sustainable, cruelty-free, eco-friendly skincare, and is the baby of January Olds - Google her, she knows her skincare stuff. I am always on the hunt for moisturiser which won't send my oily complexion off the spot charts, and if it's ethically produced to boot - I'm in. I'm relatively devoted to my Bio-Essence moisturiser - another Cult Beauty triumph - but January Labs Moisture Balancing Lotion is certainly giving it a run for its money.

January Labs Moisturiser Review

The ingredients list is pretty healthy looking (and easily found on Cult Beauty - hooray), and I am loving the formula - not at all sticky or gloopy, readily absorbed, but very hydrating. It's super light, plays well with makeup, and hasn't sent my oil-slick face in to sebum overdrive. Win. Moisture Balancing Lotion seems to do just that - balance everything out - without skin feeling overloaded. I love using this as a final daily step, and it's a lovely post at-home-facial treat, too.

It's not a completely ridiculous price, and has a decent sized, travel-friendly tube - no unnecessary packaging, well done January Labs. Honestly? There's nothing not to like about this moisturiser. If you're combination/oily - this is definitely worth adding to the wish list.

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

Thursday, 16 February 2017

TIGI Bed Head Colour Goddess Oil Infused Range

TIGI Bed Head Colour Goddess Review

I'm not one to really change up my hair routine often. Long, thick, coarse, coloured curly hair is a bit of a fragile creature and is extremely easily upset by sub-optimal conditioning. I was in dire need of a switch-up, however, and after reading The Sunday Girl's rave review on the Colour Goddess Oil Infusion range from TIGI Bed Head, I picked up the full range on Feelunique.

This is not a range for the fine of hair. However, if you have a mane (mine has earned me the nickname Aslan. No. For real.) which is on the dry side - you've got to give this a try. The shampoo is lovely - surprisingly lightweight, given its conditioning properties - and cleans without that stripped, straw-like feeling that dried-out coloured hair can have.

The Bed Head Colour Goddess Oil Infused conditioner is, I think, holy grail status. Sweet almond oil, coconut oil, keratin and vitamin E all contribute to the mega-conditioning powers within. Detangling, conditioning, smoothing, and leaving a lustrous shine even on my wild tumbleweed mop; this really does the business. The Miracle Treatment mask is also an absolute winner - I use this about once a week and it really sorts out stressed tresses.

TIGI Bed Head Colour Goddess Hair Mask

I've been using the whole range now for about four weeks - and I'm head over heels. From the sweet, vanilla-toffee scent (if you're not in to sweet scents, this may be a drawback) to the super conditioning magical powers, TIGI's Colour Goddess range is the answer to dry, brittle hair's prayers.

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

Tuesday, 14 February 2017

NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream in London

NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream In London

Regular readers will know that I am pretty fussy when it comes to liquid lipsticks. There are very few formulas I can cope with for any length of time - the sensation of having every last drop of moisture forcibly removed from my life when they dry down just doesn't do it for me. I'd rather re-apply my lipstick every 5 seconds than go through that sensation every day, thank you very much.

NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream in London Review and Swatch

 The closest to comfortable formula I've found is the bargainous Colourpop Ultra Satin lips - but, as the name suggests, these are more on the satiny side, and they are transfer a-go-go. Well, NYX may have just pipped them to the post with their Soft Matte Lip Cream in London.

I'm a long-term NYX Butter Gloss fan, so I suppose I shouldn't have been quite so surprised that these are as good as they are. The formula is creamy, without being sticky, and is very lightweight. It does take a minute or so to dry down - but it's very sympathetic to your poor pout's moisture levels in the process. The Soft Matte Lip Cream formula is just that - soft matte - velvety, rather than Saharan. I find this colour fades evenly, and doesn't leave a horrendous white-ring-of-death around the middle of the lips. Winning.

You can see in the swatch above that London is quite a brown-nude shade - it's surprisingly forgiving, and if you're normally a warm-toned gal, this will be right up your street. As with all NYX lip products - it also happens to be a steal. £5.50? It'd be rude not to.

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


Saturday, 11 February 2017

Givenchy Ombre Couture Cream Eyeshadow in Graphic Bronze

Givenchy Ombre Couture in Graphic Bronze Review and Swatches

I'm having a bit of a moment with cream eyeshadows this month. I am still loving the Burberry Eye Colour Cream in Mink, and as ever By Terry's Ombre Blackstars make for the speediest glossy lid. But sometimes, you just need a little more drama, amirite?!

If it's drama you're after, look no further than the limited edition Givenchy Ombre Couture cream eyeshadow in Graphic Bronze.

Givenchy Ombre Couture Graphic Bronze Review and Swatches

Oh man. Just look at that glorious little pot.

Housed in super-luxe packaging (I'd expect no less from a luxury fashion house, let's be real) this little glass jar packs a punch. Graphic Bronze is a warm, bright, sparkling copper - and it is stunning. It has excellent pigmentation, layers well, and works well with other products. I use a finger or a small synthetic brush to apply, and this cream shadow blends beautifully. it is virtually foolproof to apply, and would be flattering on all eye colours.

Givenchy Ombre Couture in Graphic Bronze Review and Swatches

Just look at that swatch. One-swipe sparkly gorgeousness. 

The thing that really impresses me about the Givenchy Ombre Couture formula, though, is the longevity. I get a solid 8 hours without primer from this shadow once it has set - which is amazing on my oily eyelids. If you're in the market for a show-stopper - this is definitely worth checking out. 

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

Givenchy Ombre Couture Graphic Bronze Review


Thursday, 9 February 2017

Beauty Pie Makeup Haul Vol.1 - Review and Swatches

Beauty Pie Makeup Swatches and Review
Be warned. This is long. And there's loads of pictures. Belt up folks, we'll be here for a while.

You might have seen a new brand starting to emerge on the blogosphere recently - that brand is Beauty Pie, and promises to give us beauty addicts enthusiasts a whole new way to buy "makeup without the markup". Beauty Pie is essentially a buyer's club for makeup. You pay a monthly fee (£10 a month, with a minimum of three months' membership) and this gives you access to Beauty Pie's products at their factory prices, with a maximum allowance of £100 (of full price, not factory price) makeup per month. If you don't use that allowance, it rolls over to next month. The makeup is packaged very simply to minimise costs, and each product has a detailed ingredients and cost breakdown.

 So, essentially, you are cutting out the middleman; buying makeup with a detailed cost breakdown, at ridiculously low prices per item. Intrigued? I was. In the name of obsession  science and maths, I took out a 3 month membership. Here's haul no.1, my thoughts, and the deets on costs.

Beauty Pie Hush Now Futurelipstick Matte Lipstick

Numero uno - Beauty Pie's Futurelipstick Matte in Hush Now. This is a nude nude. Almost concealer-lips on me, but just warm enough to be wearable. It has a light vanilla scent, and a very similar formula, lasting power and feel to my super-all-time-fave Charlotte Tilbury Matte Revolution lipsticks - I'll definitely be picking up another of these next month. These cost a dizzying £2.24 on Beauty Pie's website - with the cost helpfully broken down in to costs for postage and packing, warehousing, testing, and VAT. So far, so excellent.

Beauty Pie Quantum Bronzer

Next - Beauty Pie Quantum Bronzer. Don't be fooled by the terrifyingly shiny appearance - it's a (slightly unnecessary) shimmery overspray. The bronzer beneath is a lovely, smooth, finely milled texture - definitely on the warmer side, but very wearable for light-medium skin tones. It blends very nicely, and lasts for a standard 6-ish hours before fading.

Beauty Pie Moonlighting Balm Radiance Powder Review

Moonlighting Balm Radiance Powder in Celestial is next up. It's a sheeny, fine, oil-infused powder which leaves a very believeable glow on the skin. In the world of mega-watt highlighters (my favourites are here) I'm not totally sure how I feel about this. It is balmy, for sure, and not at all powdery on the skin - though its so soft that there's a lot of kickback in the pan. A really lovely bonne-mine option, but it's not going to change your life if you're more of a blind-them-with-my-cheeks person.

Beauty Pie Eyeshadow Review and Swatches

The eyeshadow palette - The Ten Best Smoky Eyeshadow Shades - is, indeed, a pretty, smoky palette. The shade selection is good - on the shimmerier (is that a word? it is now) side, but they blend well together, and apply smoothly. I'd say pigmentation is about average - not necessarily a bad thing with deeper, smokier shades, but if you're used to the likes of Zoeva's Matte Palette or Anastasia Beverly Hills shadows, these may not be your cup of tea. The matte shades are pretty pigmented, and easy to use. The shimmer is fine, not at all chunky, and has very little fallout. I get about 6-7 hours' wear before creasing, over my trusty NARS Pro-Prime Eyeshadow Base. I've swatched them below for you - one-swipe, as ever, except the matte purple which wasn't playing ball and was double-swatched.

Almost there. Promise. The Beach Gloss in Sugar Rush is a lovely, nude-pink gloss - it's not changed my life, but no gloss ever will. It is a bit of a Lancome Juicy Tube throwback (remember those?!?) so it's on the stickier side - but it does give a super-plump lip effect.
Beauty Pie Moonlighting Balm Radiance Powder, Quantum Bronzer, Beach Gloss and Lipstick swatches
L-R - Moonlight Radiance Powder, Quantum Bronzer, Beach Gloss in Sugar Rush, Futurelipstick in Hush Now
Beauty Pie Eyeshadow Swatches
Beauty Pie Makeup Review and Swatches

Finally - the star, honestly - is the Superbrow Precision Pencil. Waxy, a tiny nib, easy to use, and an included spoolie - I am a huge fan. The shade Perfect Brown is a good mid-tone medium-dark brown, and the formula and packaging means it's a breeze to apply without hitting Scouse-brow territory.

Beauty Pie Superbrow Precision Pencil in Perfect Brown
Beauty Pie Superbrow Precision Pencil in Perfect Brown

Overall? There's some super hits (the matte lipsticks and brow pencils, namely) and everything else is.. well.. nice. Not overwhelmingly life-changingly amazing, but nice. I think if you're a mega-makeup maven, the Beauty Pie concept is well worth having a look at.

However. One issue. I'm not entirely sold on the "retail price" advertised for some of these products. I'm not sure I'd be parting with £35 for the eyeshadow palette, when for that I could buy something I know I'd love and treasure from Tarte or Urban Decay. I certainly wouldn't hand over the dolla for the highlighter - I like it, but I don't like it enough to spend £20+ on it. 

I feel like I have discovered a few gems without breaking the bank, however, and I'm looking forward to next month's order.. I just have to decide what to try out next!

Beauty Pie Makeup Swatches and Review

Have you ordered from Beauty Pie? What did you think?

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


Wednesday, 8 February 2017

L'Oreal True Match Foundation Review

L'Oreal True Match Foundation Review and Swatches

I'll admit it. I'm a foundation snob.

Back in the day, foundations you could buy at Superdrug or Boots (drugstore foundations, if you're from the USA) were, quite frankly, a load of crap. They were thick, greasy, either yellow or pink, and lasted about three seconds on oily skins (which, looking back, was probably a good thing - at least it all disappeared quickly). If you were oily, olive toned, or fair - forget it. Couple this with thick, stick-concealers and a range of shades consisting of pale clementine to bright orange - we weren't exactly spoilt for choice now, were we.

L'Oreal True Match Foundation Review and Swatches

This has left me, in 2017, with a lingering hesitance to part with my dolla for foundations in Boots - I am well aware I'm out of date, but look - I did it! L'Oreal True Match Foundation has found its way in to my foundation wardrobe - and I'm so glad it has.

Hailed by the blogosphere as a drugstore dupe for the famous (and pricey) Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk, True Match was a natural test-choice. I'm shade 3W currently, but true to its True Match claim, this foundation is pretty kind on shade selection - I reckon if you chose a shade too dark or light but in the right undertone, you'd be able to make this work. The warm (W) shades aren't ridiculously yellow, and the cool shades aren't so pink you'll look like a marshmallow. Excellent. Helpfully, this foundation also comes in a whacking great 23 shades - well done L'Oreal.

L'Oreal True Match Foundation Review and Swatches

As usual - first - packaging. Sturdy pump bottle, glass - care if you're travelling, and the standard 30ml bottle. Grand. No surprises there.

L'Oreal market True Match as "super-blendable foundation" with a lightweight, creamy liquid texture. I'd have to agree, if I'm honest. This stuff blends like a dream. It is very lightweight, and has a lovely, silky, expensive-feeling texture that I'd usually associate with a foundation twice the price. The coverage is light-medium and buildable, I'd say - it'll hide all the usual sins, but a particularly heavy night is going to need some concealer-lovin'. The formula is SPF 17 - I've not experienced flashback, but something like Illamasqua Skinbase is probably a better choice if you're going to be the subject of loads of flash photography.

The finish is, well, gorgeous. Skin-perfecting, satin-natural, radiant without shine (hooray) - and it hangs around on my skin for a solid 7 hours with a decent primer underneath. For those of us who are a walking chip-pan in the oil department *raises hand* that's a borderline miracle for something not marketed as uber-matte and long-lasting.

L'Oreal True Match Foundation Swatch 3W

I've dotted, swatched, and blended True Match above. It's actually quite hard to see the blended portion - please forgive me, I've saturated the image slightly so it's visible - because it just blends so well.

I've been reaching for this loads recently - between this and my lovely Guerlain foundation, I'm all set for the moment. I am seriously impressed with L'Oreal True Match - and for just under a tenner? It's a steal. 

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

Monday, 6 February 2017

Chanel Codes Subtils (278) Les 4 Ombres for S/S '17

Chanel Codes Subtils Review and Swatches

Behold. Chanel Les 4 Ombres Multi-Effect Quadra Eyeshadow in 278 Codes Subtils.

Chanel's Spring collection, Coco Codes, has got some real stand-out collectors' beauties in there - check out that blush - but in all honesty, my favourite piece from the collection is this dreamy little quad.

Chanel Codes Subtils Eyeshadow Palette
There's just something about those double C's. Thankfully, it's not a fur-coat-no-knickers situation here - Chanel have knocked it out of the park with the contents, too.

The formula of Les 4 Ombres is reliably excellent. I'm yet to meet a Chanel quad I didn't love. These eyeshadows are extremely finely milled, soft, and smooth to touch - meaning they practically blend themselves. I've applied these as washes of colour over the lid, or as a look altogether, and they look equally beautiful either way.

All four shadows look virtually glossy on the lids - that expensive, runway-esque sheen you'd usually associate with a By Terry Ombre Blackstar cream shadow - and apply with no fallout. Even the most mature or hooded eye can get away with this level of sophisticated glow without looking puffy. I get a solid 8 hours' crease-free wear with a decent primer, and about 5-6 hours without.

Chanel Les 4 Ombres Codes Subtils Review

The shade selection is, at first glance, slightly offbeat. Warm seashell pink, coppery gold, warm copper-brown, and dark, rich, chocolatey-khaki? Not a natural combination in my book. Honestly though, this translates beautifully to a complementary melange of colour on the lids - it's easy to go from light, summery day look to smouldering smoky eye using only this palette. Combined with a matte palette for some transition shades - you're all set.

Chanel Les 4 Ombres Codes Subtils Review and SwatchesChanel Codes Subtils Review and Swatches

The only thing I don't like about Codes Subtils is that it is limited edition. If you like the look of this beautiful quad - don't hang around too long!

Have you tried Chanel eyeshadows before?

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

Chanel Les 4 Ombres


Saturday, 4 February 2017

Zoeva Matte Palette Review and Swatches

Zoeva Matte Palette Review and Swatches

Well, isn't this a vision of beauty.

You may be more familiar with Zoeva as a makeup brush company - they produce really excellent quality synthetic and natural hair makeup brushes - but they have an ever-increasing makeup line to boot. I have to confess, The Matte Palette is my first foray in to Zoeva eyeshadows - but I am seriously impressed.

If you have hooded mature round eyes, then you'll be in need of some matte eyeshadows to complete/create cohesive eyeshadow looks. Matte eyeshadows enhance all eye shapes, give depth, cut creases, and blend out their shimmerier, more mainstream counterparts to perfection. This new Matte Palette from Zoeva is just that - matte. Super matte.

Zoeva Matte Palette Review and Swatches

The main issue with matte eyeshadows (especially cooler tones and purples, in my experience) is that they are just not as pigmented, blendable, or easy to use as a satin or shimmer shade - usually they are slightly less emollient, and the binders needed don't allow quite as much slip. Zoeva seem to have just nailed it with this palette. The formula is very creamy, smooth, easy to use and surprisingly blendable - and with very little kickback in the pan. This translates to an effortless, blended eye look without making your poor eyelids bleed, with little to no fallout. Think the pigmentation of Anastasia eyeshadows minus the fallout, or Makeup Geek shadows, but a more even quality matte formula across the board. I mean, we're almost at Viseart level mattes here. I get about 7 hours' wear sans primer, and 10+ hours with one. Excellent all round.

Zoeva Matte Palette Review and Swatches

The shades are largely warm, very flattering, and it's a doddle to create a cohesive look. There's a couple of mad shades (Chat Late At Night, I'm looking at you) and some off-the-wall shade names - but there's not one miss in here for me. Even that crazy red, used lightly, can be adopted in to a crease for warmth and depth without looking like you've got conjunctivitis. Trust me. Give it a go.

The thing that really impressed me was the purple and slightly cooler tones, however, the formula is very consistent throughout the palette. Two Clocks requires a little more blending, but it's not a huge issue for me. Regardless, Two Clocks is certainly better quality than the majority of matte shadows in this colour family across the board.

Zoeva Matte Palette Swatches

And will ya just look at those swatches! As ever, those are single-swipe swatches. One. Single. Swipe. Zoeva - whatever magic you've distilled in to your matte shadows, keep distilling it. The hooded eyelidded community needs you.

Zoeva Matte Palette Review and Swatches

At the moment, this is a Zoeva website exclusive - but all this pigment for £17.50 and cheap shipping? I'm buying backups.

Are you a Zoeva eyeshadow fan?

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