Wednesday, 30 August 2017

Charlotte Tilbury Hollywood Lips in Charlotte Darling and Show Girl

Charlotte Tilbury Hollywood Lips in Charlotte Darling and Show Girl

These are already dividing the lipstick nation.

Charlotte Tilbury is probably my all-time top luxury brand. I love the lip liners, the lipsticks are beautiful, and the new tinted moisturiser is pretty much all I've had on my face for the last five weeks. Charlotte's new Hollywood Lips had the usual wild CT hype surrounding them at launch, and with some pretty bold claims, they have been top of my test list for the last two weeks.

I picked up two colours - Show Girl, listed as a warm deep berry; and Charlotte Darling, described as creamy beige nude. 

First off - the shades. This seems to be causing many a bee in many a bonnet. My advice? If at all possible, swatch these shades in store. Charlotte Darling is one of those funny nude shades (like Anastasia Beverly Hills' Pure Hollywood, if you can remember the ensuing shade-related doo-dah following that launch) that will look really quite different on you depending on your skin tone. On me, this is a peachy-brown nude shade (for reference, I am an olive-toned MAC NC25-30) that definitely lies on the peach rather than pink end of the nude lipstick spectrum. This could look quite brown on you if you are very fair. This pairs well with CT's Iconic Nude lip liner, as long as you don't go full 90's on the ol' lining. 

Show Girl is significantly darker and more brown-toned swatched and on the lips than it is in the tube or on the Charlotte Tilbury website - medium to dark skintones, this will be beautiful on you, but fairer skins may find this is quite a bit more dramatic than they'd bargained for. 

The applicator for both shades is brilliant - a lovely neat little curved doe-foot which does all the hard work for you. A nifty little change there, CT team, good work. 

The formula - not your average liquid lipstick. Thick, moussey, and soft - think much more NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream than, say, one of the Dior lip stains.  It applies easily - I tried to show the texture in the thicker Charlotte Darling swatch below (Show Girl is the darker, dried-down swatch). These are definitely matte - not even slightly reflective after they have dried. Neither are entirely transfer-proof, but both are long wearing - I get about 5-6 hours of wear from both of these. Charlotte Darling is on the chalky side, especially if over-applied. Less is best with these bad boys.

Word to the wise - I don't find that these are easy to reapply. Re-application on my lips creates a gross thick texture, and the formula of both shades then settles in to my lip lines. Not a dealbreaker for me at all, but I am nothing if not honest.

I really tried to avoid editing these photos much, so that you could see the shades accurately - I hope this is helpful!

In summary - flat-matte, long wearing, mousse textured lipstick. Just make sure you swatch before you buy!

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


Monday, 28 August 2017

Janina Ultra White Whitening Toothpaste and Whitening Powder

Janina Ultra White Whitening Toothpaste Review
I have to admit, I'm pretty obsessed with my teeth. Probably because my teeth are pretty uneven. My dentist in childhood looked a bit like a tooth, and I vividly remember him telling me "all the most beautiful women in the world have squint teeth, you know". Whatever, Mr. Jones.

I think I was just due a trip to the orthodontist, in all honesty. As a result, my rather off-kilter dentition really needs to be looking pretty sharp, or I look like I've never brushed my teeth in my entire existence. I do have my teeth professionally whitened as a result, but due to my penchant for coffee/tea/red wine/all of the stains, I'm forever looking for a really decent whitening toothpaste.

Ok. Let's be honest. It's hard to get excited about toothpaste. Janina Ultra White Activated Charcoal Whitening Toothpaste is a brilliant option in the whitening category, however. Hydrogen peroxide free, and minimally abrasive (phew) it contains a fruit enzyme based whitening complex to remove surface staining. It is a super-minty, really fresh toothpaste (not in a burning painful mouthwash way) and is genuinely excellent for surface stain removal. The whole grey colour thing is a bit of a stress to get your head round initially, but it is a really top-class stain remover. Definitely a premium product, but it does what it says on the tube.

Janina Ultra White Whitening Toothpaste

There's another whitening product from Janina which I kindly received as a sample - The Janina Charcoal and Clay Teeth Whitening Powder. If the activated charcoal toothpaste is your everyday maintenance, think of this as the face mask of the tooth world (and, incidentally, it's not dissimilar in appearance to a certain clay mask!) The whitening powder is a bit more intense, and designed specifically for removal of more stubborn staining. This doesn't contain fluoride, so don't use it as a substitute for enamel-protecting fluoride toothpaste. All that's required is a small pinch of the powder and a wet toothbrush - quite messy, granted, but it really does the business. Definitely more faff than a normal toothpaste, but if you're in need of an emergency stain lift, it really does the job.

Janina Ultra White Teeth Whitening Powder

Overall - I'm impressed. I'm getting a lot more use from the toothpaste than the powder, but there's no denying that both products are very effective and pleasant to use. You'll find both of these products at the posh side of the dental care aisle in Boots.

Some links above are affiliate links. All products in this review were sent to me for my consideration. All opinions are, as ever, my own.

Janina Ultra White Whitening Toothpaste Review


Saturday, 19 August 2017

Make Up For Ever Artist Shadow Nude Palette

Make Up For Ever Artist Palette Nude Review

I have to confess, this is my first foray in to Make Up For Ever eyeshadows. I am in love with their Artist Rouge lipsticks, and when this veritable bargain caught my eye in Debenhams beauty hall - well, it'd be rude not to...?

The Make Up For Ever Artist Shadow Nude Palette contains 6 full sized shadows - considering one shadow costs £14, and this is £29.50, it is hard to resist. The colours are nothing groundbreaking, let's be honest - but that's no bad thing. The colour selection is cohesive and easy to use. For reference, this palette contains S-642, S-622, M-536, I-526, I-544 and M-600. Catchy names.

Make Up For Ever Artist Shadow Nude Palette

The texture of these shadows is utterly sublime. Smooth, butter-soft, easy to blend and with no fallout whatsoever, on the lid or in the pan. They blend beautifully without becoming muddy. I have real trouble with watery eyes if there's a lot of fallout fluffing everywhere on application, but I haven't experienced that at all. I get 10 hours' wear over a good primer from these eyeshadows. The shimmers are just as beautiful as the mattes.

Make Up For Ever Artist Shadow Nude Palette Swatches
If you are short on a good neutrals palette, or you're in need of a high-quality, travel-friendly collection, I can't recommend this highly enough.

Have you tried Make Up For Ever Eyeshadows?

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

Make Up For Ever Artist Shadow Nude Palette


Wednesday, 16 August 2017

Guerlain KissKiss Matte Lipstick in Spicy Burgundy

Guerlain KissKiss Matte Lipstick in Spicy Burgundy
Have you ever seen a more luxurious lipstick bullet?!

Blurbed as hydrating and plumping, Guerlain's new KissKiss Matte Lipstick in Spicy Burgundy is a real treat. These are designed with comfort in mind - the formula contains oils and hyaluronic acid, with the intention of creating a genuinely comfortable matte lipstick (instead of the normal Saharan discomfort in the name of beauty). Hooray for non-drying mattes!

Guerlain KissKiss Matte Lipstick in Spicy Burgundy

I picked up the shade Spicy Burgundy - it's a beautiful, deeper toned red, in a slightly satin-matte finish. The formula is beautiful - smooth, absolutely non-drying, and nicely pigmented. If you like Charlotte Tilbury's Matte Revolution formula, you'll love these. This shade is feather-light on the lips - I've worn more drying satin lipsticks - and lasts for about 4 hours before starting to fade, which it does evenly and comfortably without gathering in lip lines. It's not transfer-proof, but it won't slide all over your face either.
Guerlain KissKiss Matte Lipstick in Spicy Burgundy

If you're in need of a lipstick update, definitely give these a swatch next time you're in store!

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

Monday, 14 August 2017

Autograph Fibre Sculpting Brow Gel

Autograph Sculpting Brow Gel

Brow gels are a slightly odd category of beauty product, in my opinion. Gluey, sticky, unrealistically shiny hair cement in a tiny,wildly overpriced tube used to be the accepted norm - the ol' soap brow trick has long been my go-to as a result. I am blessed with caterpillars for brows (and I wasn't cool enough in the 90s to pluck them into oblivion) but now and again, they need a little help.

Autograph Sculpting Brow Gel

Most brow gels that are worth their salt are ridiculously expensive, considering the volume of product in those tiny tubes. Marks and Spencer have come out with an absolute stoater (for a relatively reasonable price) in the Autograph Fibre Sculpting Brow Gel.

The brush is lovely - just the right size for the average brow, and it doesn't deposit the gel all over your browbone. The fibres aren't in the least bit irritating, and the colour (I have the darker shade) is cool-toned enough to be entirely believeable. It's rapid to use, too. It sets quickly and genuinely holds the brows - even unruly creatures - all day. I know I'm on to a winner when a random lady in the street asks me if my brows are mine (these are the times we live in, folks).

Autograph Sculpting Brow Gel

Not that I wanted my arm hairs enhancing, but you can see in the photo above that the fibres have set to work!

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


Thursday, 10 August 2017

Surratt Grisaille

Surratt Grisaille Review and Swatches

Contouring has (thankfully) reined itself in for A/W. Ok, we're all still at it, but at least we're moving away from stripes down the cheekbones, and towards a more natural, gently sculpted finish. Thank goodness for that. 

I've been trying to get my mitts on Surratt's elusive Artistique Blush in Grisaille for about five months, since the oracle that is Sali Hughes endorsed its beautiful sculpting qualities. It's an elusive little critter - I'd suggest getting yourself on to Cult Beauty's waiting list so that, if it ever comes back in to stock, you can snap it up pronto.

Grisaille is a very unappealing, greyish brown shade - not dissimilar to Illamasqua's Hollow, but slightly warmer, and in powder form. Oh, and the blush itself is pretty weeny. Travel friendly in size, sure, but bang-to-buck ratio is low. This is, without doubt, a luxury.

Surratt Grisaille

That, however, is where any negatives end. This is the most beautiful, gentle sculpting taupe shade. Eyes, cheeks, jawline, whatever - this is your contouring friend. It's hard to overdo. The formula is divine - butter soft, smooth, and silky. There is absolutely no kick-up of powder in the pan, and Grisaille blends like a dream over foundation, with powders, or on bare skin. On my NC30ish skintone, this gives a subtle hint of contour - on a fair skin this will be sublime.

Surratt Grisaille Swatch

What's your favourite contouring product?

Some links above are affiliate links. All products mentioned in this post purchased with my own money.

Wednesday, 9 August 2017

L'Oreal Lash Paradise Extatic Mascara

L'Oreal Lash Paradise Extatic Mascara

L'Oréal's new Paradise Extatic Mascara (to my knowledge, this is the same formula as Lash Paradise in the USA) is the newest addition to their mascara range. I'm a big L'Oréal fan - Baby Roll mascara lives in my makeup bag permanently, and True Match foundation is an all-round winner. I'd heard this compared to the double-the-price Too Faced Better Than Sex mascara (what a name) so I was really keen to give it a go.

No disappointment here.

This is a lovely, volumising, lengthening mascara. It's quite dramatic, even with one coat, and really black. The wand is immense - fluffy, Stig of the dump dishevelled, but it does the job. If you have very hooded eyes, be careful! It's not as wet a formula as Dior Pump'N'Volume, which is borderline ridiculous when it comes to splodging everywhere - Paradise Extatic is considerably more forgiving to apply.

L'Oreal Lash Paradise Mascara
I don't have any issues with transfer even after 8-9 hours. It is very lightweight on the lashes - I certainly don't feel like I've got heavy, loaded lashes when wearing this mascara.

Definitely one to check out next time you're in Boots!

Have you tried this mascara?

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

Monday, 7 August 2017

Anastasia Beverly Hills Subculture Palette

Anastasia Modern Renaissance and Subculture

Way to break the internet, ABH.

I'm sure I don't need to tell you about the internet beauty community reactions regarding the Anastasia Subculture Palette. Pigmentation, blending, shade selection - this palette has created bees in bonnets throughout the blogosphere. I am, overall, very pro-Anastasia as a brand (highlight and brows in particular - liquid lips, not so much), but when you've got blending experts like Ms. Jamie Genevieve struggling, and Temptalia's Christine essentially issuing a witness statement, there's something going on.

Anastasia Subculture Palette
So. The palette.

Ok, I'm a huge Modern Renaissance fan. Rather warm, surprisingly pink but very easy to deal with in general. You can see a direct shade comparison below - Overall, Subculture is much grungier, more autumnal and, well, more green. So far, so good.

As an aside - due to the shade selection, a lot of these colours are complementary colours. From a colour theory point of view, that means you're going to have to be pretty switched on when it comes to precise blending. When mixed, a lot of these colours will essentially cancel each other out and look pretty grey and gross. The upside of this, however, is that you can create some beautiful, dramatic looks with this palette.

Anastasia Subculture and Modern Renaissance

The texture - this is where the dream is falling apart for some people. The eyeshadows are not firmly pressed - regardless of the batch/inconsistency issues, these are loosely pressed eyeshadows, and there is a lot of kick-up in the pan. My experience overall with Anastasia shadows is that they do produce a bit of dusty shadow in the pan due to their general softness, and the same can be said for Subculture. The matte shadows are extremely pigmented - the lightest tap in the pan is more than enough. In fact, they are much more like a pure pigment than a classic matte eyeshadow. I haven't had the crazy fallout issues that some people have had with my particular palette.

Anastasia Subsulture Palette SwatchesThe duochromes are definitely not my jam - sheer, firm, and easily duped - but let's be real, you're not buying this palette for a shiny pink.

Blending? Honestly? Not straightforward. You need a very light hand. The pigment levels are such that the softest brush you have and the lightest tap is more than enough. If you normally lay down a little loose powder before you apply your eyeshadows (or do this over a good tacky base) you'll probably have no issues.

Overall? I like it. I'll keep it. I'll use it. I haven't had the extreme issues that many people more talented than me have had - I can only presume there are some fairly major inconsistencies with production. Modern Renaissance hasn't been knocked off her podium.

What are your thoughts?

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

Anastasia Subculture Palette


Saturday, 5 August 2017

Charlotte Tilbury Lipstick in Penelope Pink

Charlotte Tilbury Penelope Pink Lipstick Review

If I had to use one brand of pretty much anything for the rest of my life, it would be Charlotte Tilbury. The woman is a genius. From quite possibly the best lipliner formula, to an amazing summery tinted moisturiser, she's really covering a huge corner of the luxury market, and just gets it right. I'm a huge Matte Revolution fan, so it wasn't going to be long before I was sucked in to tested out for blog purposes bought yet another nude lipstick. And I think this might be the one.

Penelope Pink. The perfect nude lip. The nude lip for the non-Kardashian.

In fact, quite possibly the most flattering nude lipstick I've ever worn. This, and Pillow Talk, and you're set for life.
Charlotte Tilbury Penelope Pink

Formulated with Penelope Cruz in mind, this is an incredibly flattering, entirely wearable not-too-nude nude lip. Given the inspiration, this is a bang-on perfect shade on my warm olive-toned skin. The formula is enriched with the usual slightly obscure but very promising Charlotte Tilbury ingredients - you can see the full blurb on her website - but basically this translates to a beautiful, easy to wear formula that glides on to the lips. I find this lasts a good four hours, and fades evenly as time goes on.

Charlotte Tilbury Penelope Pink Lipstick Swatch

If you're in the market for another nude lipstick (and let's face it, if you're reading this, you probably are) I can heartily recommend this shade.

Have you tried Charlotte Tilbury Lipsticks?

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

Wednesday, 2 August 2017

Davines OI Shampoo and Alchemic Conditioner

Davines OI Shampoo and Alchemic Conditioner

If you are in to sustainable, eco-friendly, environmentally conscious brands, you need to get yourself some Davines. They are all about sustainable beauty and haircare products (you can read more about their research, development and ethos on their website here), and produce some seriously good stuff. The salon I go to to tame the mane uses solely Davines products, and after seeing how great the results were (and how utterly delicious they smell, might I add) I took the plunge and purchased a couple of things for myself.

Now. For reference. I have extremely thick, long, wildly curly hair which is balayaged to within an inch of its coarse, unruly life. I need all the hydration and colour protection I can get. It is frizzy, it is enormous, and it is friable. Lucky me.

It is, therefore, the ideal hair to see if super-conditioning products actually work.
Davines OI Shampoo and Alchemic Conditioner Review

First up - Davines OI shampoo. Touted as softening, conditioning, and bursting with roucou oil, a deep conditioning ingredient. Pretty spendy for a shampoo (especially when you have yards and yards of curls to contend with). The scent is lovely - quite sweet, fresh, and in line with other Davines products - apparently the company try to make everything smell very similar so that you've only got one scent going on in your hair routine. Clever. The formula is lovely - I do find this shampoo to be quite softening and it certainly doesn't strip my hair. If you have fine hair, this might be a bit heavy for you, but otherwise this is a really nice, if pricey, shampoo.

Davines OI Shampoo and Alchemic Conditioner

My other purchase was the Davines Alchemic Conditioner in Silver Grey. These colour-protecting formulas are nothing new - they've been kicking around the premium haircare aisles for a while now - but this one promises a deep-condition, amazing shine and softness to boot, whilst maintaining the tone of your hair.

I don't know about you, but colouring my hair costs a small fortune - anything to maintain it for as long as possible!! There are various colour options here - golden, a chocolatey brown, and a firey red colour enhancer - and I have seen various posts around the internet of people using the red as almost a wash-in toner for a little colour change. The formula packs a punch! I use this conditioner about once a week, and after eight weeks post colour I am still regularly being asked if I've just had my hair done. Win. The purple Silver Grey formula really keeps brassy tones at bay. Honestly, I've used deeper conditioning masks (John Frieda is the high street brand for hair masks, in my opinion) but as a hybrid colour-protect and shine-enhancer, this is just the job.

Have you tried any Davines products?

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