Wednesday, 26 April 2017

5 Lip Liners Worth Bothering With

Lip Liners worth the Hassle - review and swatches

In all honesty - I'm lazy when it comes to lip liner. What a faff on. I'll only make the exception if it's really worth it - after all, we survived the whole of the 00's without them, right?! Lip liner was so out of vogue post-90's - I'm pretty sure Kylie Jenner's got a lot to do with this recent renaissance!

That being said - I'll make the exception for select occasions. Bold colours, bleeding lipsticks, and (very tame) overlining. 

First up - the nudes - MAC Soar and Charlotte Tilbury's iconic Pillow Talk. Similar in colour (Soar is slightly deeper and more rosy), with Soar having a firmer, more classic pencil texture; CT's offering has the best formulation on the market, in my opinion. Soft, a pleasure to apply, grippy, and super long lasting. Both of these are excellent - if you are a nude lip lover, they will cover many bases and compliment thousands of lipsticks. Both extend the wear of lipstick and prevent any bleeding. Lovely. 

5 Lip Liners Worth the Hassle
L-R MAC Soar, CT Pillow Talk, MAC Currant, MAC Stone, Beauty Pie Racy
The brights - MAC Currant, for all your vampy lip needs; and Beauty Pie's Racy. The Beauty Pie Wondergel Lip Liner is an absolute joy - very similar to Charlotte Tilbury's liner formula. It really packs a punch in the pigment department. I use both of these liners for red lips (see my red lip edit here) and for anything deep and bright.

And finally - MAC Stone. This was sold out for what felt like forever a few years ago, at the height of the overdrawing craze. If you wear cool tones regularly, or want to believeably overdraw the edges of your lips - this is the shade. It's a bit out there, but I'm amazed how much use I get out of this lip pencil.

What are your lip pencil faves?

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Tuesday, 25 April 2017

Mizon Ultra Suboon Cream Review - Moisturiser for Oily Skin

Mizon Ultra Suboon Cream Review and Swatches


Even us oil-slicks need a decent moisturiser - but many's the time I've invested some serious dolla in a super-hyped moisturiser, only for it to be far too heavy for my skin type - helloooooo breakouts.

Thankfully, the world has caught on to the magic of Korean beauty products - many of which are designed with oily skin and humid climates in mind. Enter Mizon Hyaluronic Ultra Suboon Cream.

Tricky to find (there are a few sellers on Amazon and Ebay), but this very straightforward, hyaluronic acid based moisturiser is a combination-oily skin's dream moisturiser. The formula is light, gel-like, and absorbs in a flash, with no sticky residue at all. Makeup sits beautifully on top, and this doesn't exacerbate the grease situation in the slightest - hooray!

Mizon Ultra Suboon Cream

I've been reaching for this in the past three months to pop on top of powerful serums, or on "nights off" from oils and acids, and I really love it. It's very gentle, completely inoffensive, and totally does the job. I'm sold.

Mizon Ultra Suboon Cream Swatch

Have you tried this moisturiser before?

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Saturday, 22 April 2017

Makeup Geek Foiled Shadows - Worth The Hype?

Makeup Geek Foiled Shadows - Mesmerized, Charmed, Magic Act, Untamed

Makeup Geek are definitely up there in the affordable end of the beauty market. Many of their matte shadows are among my favourite eyeshadows ever, regardless of price point, and their blushes are absolutely lovely.

But what about their ultra-shiny foiled shadows? They've received some pretty major hype, and although still in the "reasonable" price point, they are considerably more expensive than the standard Makeup Geek shadows. Are they worth the hype?

In a word - yes. If you're in to sophisticated shine without glitter, and out of this world pigmentation, that is. The colours are beautiful - complex, ultra-saturated, and there's a good range of warm/cool/neutral/bright tones.

The formula is stunning - butter soft (I can barely believe it when I swatch these - below are one-swipe swatches with the lightest touch) but as a result there is a bit of a knack to getting the best out of the foiled formula. Application with fingers is definitely the way forward for maximum pigmentation - I find they will apply sparsely and patchily with a brush. If you have oily eyelids, use a glitter primer or really good eyeshadow primer, and apply a thin layer (honestly, with the pigmentation we're dealing with here, you don't need anything more!). 

Makeup Geek Foiled Shadows - Charmed, Mesmerized, Untamed, Magic Act.
Charmed, Mesmerized, Untamed, Magic Act

See? Absolutely stunning. If you're in to shimmer, you need to get on board with these bad lads. You won't be disappointed.

Have you tried any Makeup Geek Foiled Eyeshadows? What did you think?

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Wednesday, 19 April 2017

La Roche-Posay Effaclar BB Blur Review

La Roche-Posay Effaclar BB Blur Review

Oily? Visible pores? Want a speedy, lightweight foundation?

Look no further.

La Roche-Posay Effaclar BB Blur is a complete dream of a product from the French pharmacy brand.  It's marketed as a skincare-base hybrid, and the packaging essentially indicates that this is a sunscreen above anything else, with an SPF of 20. Described as "instant oil absorbing cream mousse", this is a whipped (think Maybelline's moussey foundations), ultra lightweight, incredibly blurring BB cream. It's an Instagram filter in a tube.


If you find that products like bareMinerals Complexion Rescue don't have quite enough coverage, or are that bit too dewy - this may be a better option. It's very similar in coverage to the super-spendy Omorovicza BB, but about a zillionth of the price. It does require a little blending, especially as the colour range is pretty minimal (two shades! Argh!), but the blurring effect of this formula is really very impressive. Pores are easily disguised, and it really does even out the skintone. I don't find it to be cakey at all, and it plays well with powders and creams layered on top. The finish is a velvety-matte, with a degree of oil control - I would still use a decent powder on top, but I definitely don't have to touch up my base very often when wearing this BB cream. It is combination-oily friendly - but bear in mind that this is very siliconey, so if you don't like that feeling, don't invest!

La Roche-Posay Effaclar BB Blur Review

Overall - very impressed. If you can find your shade, this is a little bargain.

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Sunday, 16 April 2017

BareMinerals Gen Nude Buttercream Lipgloss in Sugar

bareMinerals Gen Nude Buttercream Lipgloss in Sugar


You'll be fed up with me harping on about how much I hate having dry lips. Being blessed with pretty voluptuous lips naturally, I've been able to ride the matte lip wave without too many cats-bum pout disasters (mainly thanks to copious amounts of Baume de Rose) I'm pretty glad that we are relaxing a bit on the matte thing. Better, luxurious, borderline moisturising formulas like the glorious Lancome Matte Shakers, and (finally) a return to more comfortable, glossier lips. BareMinerals are on the ball, and have brought out a gloss for the modern day - Gen Nude Buttercream Lipgloss.

BareMinerals Gen Nude Buttercream Lipgloss in Sugar

Thankfully, BareMinerals have realised that not one nude shade fits all - plenty of brands could do a bit of learning here. With high shine and shimmer finishes, and ten nude shades, there's a colour for everyone. I have the shade Sugar - a cream, high-shine, pinkish-mauve.

It is listed as having sheer-to-medium coverage, and I'd agree with that. It is very comfortable - none of that weird tingling nonsense (though it is marketed as plumping) - and I get about three hours' wear. It fades evenly, without becoming ridiculously tacky, and I don't find it to be drying as it wears. I wouldn't say the formula is totally non-sticky - but it's minimal given the shine level.

BareMinerals Gen Nude Buttercream Lipgloss in Sugar

My only gripe is the smell - very artificial and popcorn-sweet. It fades pretty quickly, and I find myself reaching for this despite the weird scent!

Are you a gloss or a matte person?

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Friday, 14 April 2017

Zoeva Sweet Glamour Palette Review and Swatches


Zoeva Sweet Glamour Palette Review and Swatches

Unicorns. Candyfloss. Fairgrounds. Fun!

That's what this palette screams to me. Zoeva have gone all power-pastel for Spring. The beauty community has gone a bit unicorn mad recently, and the brand are bang on with this new palette - Sweet Glamour. This tribute to the lightness of being encapsulates the breezy, lighthearted Spring vibes we're all hankering for after a gross Winter.

Zoeva Sweet Glamour Palette Review and Swatches

The packaging is standard for Zoeva - sturdy, slim cardboard. From experience with my much-loved Zoeva Matte Palette, these generally travel pretty well.

There's a lovely mix of matte and shimmer shades in the Sweet Glamour palette - most of the shimmers have a subtle duochrome to them which is a nice touch (the purple-gold shift in Spirits Held Desire is particularly beautiful). The purples are an excellent addition to a dark smoky eye, and the golden Phantasy Pineapple is a beautiful shade to dot in the middle of the lid for a bit of interest, without being too wild.

 As you would expect, the more white-base shades are not quite up to the amazing Matte Palette mattes - these shades are notoriously difficult to manufacture to the same standards - but across the board, the pigmentation is nice. I like that the super-pastels are slightly more sheer - the buildable nature of these makes them a bit less terrifying. The matte shades are smooth and buttery, and there's very little fallout on application. The inclusion of the matte peach and brown shades makes this palette that bit more wearable, too.

Zoeva Sweet Glamour Palette Review and Swatches

You can see in the swatches above that they are, in general, pretty good - especially for £18 all told. I'm really enjoying using these as a pop of colour along the lower lash line/in the inner corner. If you fancy trying out something a little more crazy, without breaking the bank, this palette is an excellent choice.

How do you feel about these shades?

Some links above are affiliate links. All products mentioned bought with my own money.
Zoeva Sweet Glamour Palette Review and Swatches

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Wednesday, 12 April 2017

Makeup Geek (and MAC) Blush Edit for Spring

Makeup Geek Blush Pan Review

The beauty community is having a bit of a moment with all things ethereal and lilac at the moment. I'm enjoying the dreamy, lighthearted, spring vibe - and what better (and less frightening/more wearable) way to get on top Spring form than with a soft, fresh blush. Makeup Geek have this thing nailed - you know how much I love (most of) their eyeshadows already. Here's my Spring blush edit.

Top of the list - Makeup Geek Spellbound. This is a real stunner. Listed as a light salmon pink, this is a super-fresh, satin finish, peachy pink - by default non terrifying and completely wearable. It's buildable, in a lovely blendable formula, and I get a good 8 hours' wear no problem.
Makeup Geek Spellbound
Makeup Geek Spellbound
Makeup Geek Romance is a peachy-coral with gold shimmer - aka, hello a more coral-based NARS Orgasm. The shimmer is completely acceptable and relatively daylight friendly - you're not going to look like you had a fight with some glitter glue. Promise. Definitely on the warmer side, and perhaps better suited to fairer skintones (although I bet this is a bangin' highlight/blush on darker complexions) this is a complete bargain, just get involved.

Makeup Geek Hanky Panky - first off - the name. Eww. All I can think of is Aqua Barbie Girl. The colour and texture, however, are lovely and definitely noteworthy. This is quite a bright, deep, cool toned pink - just the faintest touch of a brush is enough to impart a fresh pink cheek on fair skin. If you're a bit deeper toned, this will look beautiful. It's seemingly discontinued, but if you can find it floating around on the internet, it's worth checking out.

Makeup Geek Rendezvous is listed as a "muted fuschia with a matte finish" - but personally, I think is is more on the pink-plum spectrum. It is bold - a quick swipe of a brush is more than enough - but it is a beautiful colour. Deeper skintones will look amazing in this colour - especially if the whole purple unicorn thing is a bit daunting. This provides a nod to the trend without being a fashion victim.

MAC Full of Joy - if you can still find this kicking around, and you're a lilac lover - you need to get involved. A cool, satin finish lavender, this is not only super-on-trend at the moment (though, admittedly, I'm a bit scared of purple) but if you have a fair, cool skintone - this will look absolutely beautiful. It's pigmented enough without being bonkers, and is so soft and blendable that you could easily mix this with another blush if it was a tad too lilac (I tend to use this and the ever-amazing Blushbaby for just a hint o' lilac).
Makeup Geek Blush Swatches - Romance, Spellbound, Rendezvous, MAC Full of Joy
L-R Makeup Geek Romance, Spellbound, Hanky Panky, Rendezvous, MAC Full of Joy

What are your favourite blushes for Spring?

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Monday, 10 April 2017

Guerlain Terracotta Sun Trio Palette Review and Swatches

Guerlain Terracotta Sun Trio Review and Swatches

Guerlain have done it again.

After the beautiful, super-flattering, revamped Lingerie de Peau release last year (possibly the only foundation I've ever used that looks even better in full-throttle natural light), I was 100% on board with the ultimate Guerlain purchase - a terracotta bronzer. Hailed as amongst the best bronzers in the business, I've spent many a day hour minute swatching their butter-soft, sunlight-depositing pans in Fenwick's beauty hall. 

I took the plunge with Guerlain's latest addition to the bronzer empire - Terracotta Sun Trio in Natural. 

Well... just look at it. 

Guerlain Terracotta Sun Trio Review and Swatches

This glorious little creation is, in essence, a contour, bronzing and highlighting palette in one portable, suitably luxurious compact. All three shades are, as you would expect, a dream. Feather-soft, nicely pigmented (you can see 'em on your face, but you're not going to look like an accidental Oompa-Loompa unless you really go for it) and blend absolutely seamlessly, even if you're a blending dunce like me. The two top shades are relatively small, but I think that's partially the point; there's enough room for a neat little Real Techniques Setting Brush or similar, to use them as highlight and contour respectively. There is a barely perceptible shimmer through the highlight shade, but this doesn't translate on the skin - if you want effortless looking, satin-matte, sunkissed, beautifully (and subtly) contoured skin - you're gonna need this.

Guerlain Terracotta Sun Trio in Naturel Swatches

All three shades, heavily swatched. For reference, I'm approximately MAC NC25-27 and olive toned. the middle shade looks worryingly orange here, but I can promise you it applies true to pan. I get a fade-free 8 hours no problem from this palette, with no patchiness or unevenness whatsoever. It looks equally beautiful on bare skin or over foundation.

Oh, and the other ultra-luxe touch? Just look at what happens to this tortoiseshell, unassuming compact in direct sunlight...

Guerlain Terracotta Sun Trio Review and Swatches

Need I say more?

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Friday, 7 April 2017

The Beauty Pie Makeup Haul Vol. 3 - Review and Swatches

The Beauty Pie Haul Vol.3

I've had two pretty successful Beauty Pie experiences so far - find Haul Vol.1 and Haul Vol.2  here. Haul Vol.3 was always going to be the clincher - it's the end of my 3 month initial subscription, and I've gone for my hardest-to-please categories: foundation, concealer, and mascara. Ooft. Brace yourselves.

Let's get started. Foundation. As I've mentioned before - I'm a base snob. I'm oily, but I don't by default want to look flat-matte - or like a well used chip pan, either. Foundations worth their salt need to be a fairly natural, satin finish - and have the staying power for greaseball complexions like mine. A tall order, lemme tell ya.

Beauty Pie's Incrediblur Instant Retouching Foundation had me interested from the off. Billed as blurring, smoothing, with a velvety, natural, sheerish coverage - this was definitely worth checking out for me. The coverage is definitely sheer (as described, I hasten to add) but buildable, and it leaves a satiny finish. I'm in shade 400 Buff, which is spot on for my NC25-27ish olive-yellow skin tone. The formula is literally like water - you don't know you're wearing this foundation at all. I don't find it settles in lines, it is definitely forgiving on pores and texture, and is a real your-skin-but-better base. Think MAC Face and Body, but blurrier. Oh, and no flashback. Nothing not to love. I get a solid 5 hours without re-powdering (admittedly, with inital use of amazing powder) and this has gone straight in to my makeup bag.

One gripe - Beauty Pie, we need better website swatches! I've just struck lucky with my choices!

Beauty Pie Incrediblur Instant Retouching Foundation Review and SwatchesBeauty Pie Super Luminous Concealer 200

Beauty Pie's Super Luminous Concealer in 200 Light was the next thing on the list. A smoothing, brightening, luminous concealer, with a cream-gel base, as per the website. The shades definitely run dark, so bear that in mind - if you're very fair, definitely avoid, even 100 will be too dark, I'd wager. The formula is really nice to use - smooth, airy, cream-like and light, but I'm not a fan of the applicator (which is exactly the same applicator as you'll find on 3ina Lip Oils, as it happens). The concealer is easy to blend, definitely luminous, but does settle a bit in fine lines if not powdered pretty instantly. The shade 200 is bang on for me, and I'd say the coverage is medium - this won't cover the darkest of circles, but definitely brightens the undereye area and is a nice formula overall. Not blown away, but I'll finish the tube.

Beauty Pie Incrediblur Foundation 400 Swatch and Super Luminous Concealer 200
Left - Incrediblur Foundation in 400 Buff, Right - Super Luminous Concealer in 200 Light

Not featured heavily here is the Flash False Lash Mascara, and for good reason. Other people have had great success with this, but it stung my poor eyes so badly I had to instantly take it off with some pretty potent makeup remover. Moving swiftly on.

However - the Ultra Colour Wondergel Eyeliner was a great success. Beautiful, pigmented, deep black, with a lovely creamy gel texture. It doesn't crack, I don't experience any transfer on my hooded lids, and once it's set (in a few seconds) it's going nowhere. It's easy to smudge out with a brush immediately after application, and even my oily, hooded lids maintain a deliberate smudgy smoky liner without looking like I've just rubbed my eyes and walked through a bush backwards. I love it.

Beauty Pie Wondergel Eyeliner and Moisture Lock Wondergel Lip Liner in Racy Review

Moisture Lock Wondergel Lip Liner in Racy - I bought this after loving my other liner in Rummy Pink. These really give Charlotte Tilbury's beautiful liners a run for their money. Smooth, creamy, pigmented, soft and a breeze to apply - I'm a huge fan.

Overall - still more hits than misses. The mascara was a big disappointment, the concealer was ok, but I'm really enjoying the foundation, lip and eye liners.

Have you tried Beauty Pie?

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

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Wednesday, 5 April 2017

La Roche-Posay Respectissime Waterproof Eye Makeup Remover Review


La Roche-Posay Respectissime Waterproof Eye Makeup Remover Review

It's hard to get excited about makeup remover. Let's be real. It is, realistically, a product you more often berate for not working very well, rather than get excited about when it does. I know when I'm on repurchase number three, however, that I'm on to a winner.

La Roche-Posay Respectissime Waterproof Eye Makeup Remover is, well, an eye makeup remover. It's one of those bi-phase shake-the-bottle type products which I really like for makeup removal - whatever oil:water based formula these tend to have, generally do the job well. Respectissime is really excellent - minimally greasy, and not in the least bit irritating. If you have sensitive eyes or wear contact lenses, this is definitely worth considering. I tend to soak a cotton pad and let this sit on my eye makeup for five seconds or so, before swiping away - and almost all makeup is usually gone in one go, even more stubborn waterproof formulas. No scrubbing at your poor lashes.

If all that wasn't enough, it's a bargain (it works out waaaaaay cheaper than comparable formulations from Clarins and Lancome) - and currently on offer at Escentual! I'm told that the mascaras in the Respectissime range are worth a go - have you tried them? Let me know in the comments!

Some links above are affiliate links. All products mentioned bought with my own money.
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Monday, 3 April 2017

Lancome Matte Shaker in Kiss Me Cherie Review and Swatches

Lancome Matte Shaker in Kiss Me Cherie

Lancôme have had a bit of a revamp since Lisa Eldridge took the helm. I'm still not a fan of their eyeshadows, but the Juicy Shakers had blogger hearts a-flutter last summer.

Well, they've gone one better this season. Behold - Lancôme Matte Shaker in Kiss Me Cherie.

Lancome Matte Shaker in Kiss Me Cherie Review

Long term readers will know I have a rather sketchy relationship with liquid lipsticks as a genre. I had limited success with ABH, Jouer did a little better, and Dose of Colors slightly better still. My favourite formula has to be the Colourpop Ultra Satins -they are wonderful (though, admittedly, not flat-matte). Lancôme Matte Shakers, however, are heavily contesting that top spot.

Firstly - look how cute. A gorgeous little cocktail shaker of joy. They need a good bartender shake before use, too. Ok, ok, not that important - but a really nice touch. Lovely.

The applicator is soft and spongy, and surprisingly easy to use. The Matte Shaker formula is described as "comfort matte" - and honestly, bottom of my heart, I couldn't agree more. They've really cracked it. Beautiful, medium-buildable colour in a water-thin, feather-light, easy to apply formulation. They have very little transfer, but aren't completely kiss-proof. I would put this in to the more satin-matte category - along the lines of the celebrated Armani Lip Magnets than a crumbly, dry liquid lipstick. They are a breath of fresh air.

Lancome Matte Shaker in Kiss Me Cherie

Kiss Me Cherie is listed as "brick red", and it certainly looks that way in the shaker. It does lean on the pink side, unless you go for two layers, or a dabbing application - then you'll really get that bright red, satin-matte lip.

As you can see - this has a really pinky-red base. Personally, I love it - it leaves a flattering, muted fuschia stain behind for hours. I mean hours. 7 of them, on my lips. And completely wearable - none of this cat's bum lip debacle we're so used to putting up with.

The formula is buildable and plays well with being re-applied. It does take a minute or two to dry on application, so bear that in mind. I see this as a bonus, it gives me correction time! I've got my eye on the coral shades for Summer - I can see these being a resounding success.

Will you be picking up a Matte Shaker this Spring?

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