Saturday, 11 August 2018

Natasha Denona Lila Palette Review

Natasha Denona Lila Palette Review and Swatches

After an initial expensive flirtation with Natasha Denona products (in the shape of the Darya cheek palette, which is still in constant use), I completely took leave of my senses and bought the ultra-hyped Lila Palette. As a purple lover, I knew I'd make good use of the majority of this super-spendy purchase (with exception of the wild bright pink), and somehow managed to justify it to myself.

Do I regret it? Not one jot.

Ok, so let us look at the cons first. The price - obviously. This colour-way is not for everyone (however, it's also not as unusably purple as I expected - the warm gold, rusts and taupey-champagnes balance things out), and I find myself wishing there were a few more mattes to make it easier to use as a solo palette.
Natasha Denona Lila Palette

However. The shimmers are, in a word, glorious. The mattes are smooth, buttery and easy to blend, and even I can achieve a fairly seamless look quickly. You really need the tiniest amount on your brush. If you are very fair skinned, you may notice some of the mattes darken down quite considerably and may need some lighter transition shades to really make this palette work. I apply the shimmers with a finger rather than a brush, and get a solid 8 hours' wear from them with a decent primer.

Natasha Denona Lila Palette

These are one-swipe swatches. One. Swipe. The pigmentation is really up there. I completely get the hype. It is a beautiful colour selection, and a joy to use. If you can steer mentally around or over the cost hurdle, it is a lovely product.

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


Saturday, 4 August 2018

Hada Labo Gokujyun Hyaluronic Acid Lotion Moist Review

Hada Labo Gokujyun Hyaluronic Acid Lotion Moist Review

I heard about the cult Japanese skincare brand, Hada Labo, from a Pixiwoo video and then from reading Caroline Hirons' blog. Generally a good starting point. I was on the lookout for a bit of extra hydration for my super oily but dehydrated skin, so this was an easy yes for me.

Hada Labo Gokujyun Hyaluronic Acid Lotion Moist is a super light, very thin, non-viscous hyaluronic acid lotion. Hyaluronic acid acts as a humectant moisturiser (slowing down water loss from the skin's surface, essentially) so won't overload easily worried complexions. In my experience, this is a quickly absorbed, post-cleanse pre-moisturiser hydrating step - particularly good for dehydrated faces like mine. I really think this has made a difference to my skin in the last few weeks - I'm noticing fewer signs of dehydration, and in our recent hot weather, this is a dream to apply without overloading the skin. It absorbs rapidly and sits well under makeup/other products.

Hada Labo Gokujyun Hyaluronic Acid Lotion Moist Review

For daytime, I use this after my Disciple Balancing Mist and before SPF (the one of choice at the moment being the excellent Skin Defence from the Body Shop). At night, I use it before heavier oils or creams, and it's definitely a keeper for me.

Oh, and the bottle will last you approximately 2.5 million years. It's a bargain.

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

Monday, 30 July 2018

Disciple Skincare : Balancing Mist, Good Skin, Dreamy Skin Review

Disciple Skincare Review

Disciple is a brand I stumbled upon on Cult Beauty during a particularly spendy peruse a month or so ago.  It is the creation of Charlotte Ferguson, a London-based psychotherapist, with the aim of providing a holistic (and scientific) approach to skincare for stressed, unbalanced, hormonal/acne prone complexions. Oh, and the price point isn't terrifying, either.


The range is all made in small batches in the U.K., and a pleasingly limited range it is, too. Just a few lovely oils and a delicious mist. The ingredients lists are also reassuringly easy to navigate. Nothing too stressful there.

As a scientist in the first instance, I find exuberant, effusive, ultimately meaningless skincare blurb a bit of a chore - give me a peer reviewed paper any day. Much to my delight, the Disciple range seems to be largely evidence based and sensible. Nobody's claiming to free you of your anxiety/depression/cure the common cold here, but there can be nothing wrong with a valiant attempt at alleviating stress into the bargain of soothing your skin.

Disciple Balancing Mist Review

The Disciple Balancing Mist is a delight (as long as you're keen on geraniums). It is, essentially, a post-cleanse pre-moisturiser extra step, but in the recent hot weather I've been using this non-stop. It is formulated with geranium water (from the essential oil distilling process, I am told) and copper peptides, which aim to improve collagen and elastin production. I find the scent very soothing, and it is very lightweight and quickly absorbed. Yes, ultimately an extra step, but a very pleasant one, and very handy to keep close by in the summer months.

Disciple Skincare Good Skin and Dreamy Skin review

The stars of the show for me, though, are the two facial oils; Good Skin for day, Dreamy Skin for night. Good Skin is designed to soothe and help to balance tricky, breakout prone complexions and is formulated with prebiotics to look after the surface flora; turmeric oil, geranium oil and cucumber seed oil. I've been using this as a final step on no makeup days. I'd say it's a mid-weight oil and imagine it'd need to absorb fully before makeup application. It smells botanical and is easy to mix with moisturiser (which is what I usually do). I have to say, I am not usually a fan of facial oils for daytime due to my greaseball face, but this one does seem to help rather than hinder the situation.

Disciple's Dreamy Skin Retinyl Oil  is my absolute favourite. Again, botanical to the nose, and a really luxurious feeling when applied. It is a combination of prebiotics, retinyl (as the Vitamin A component) and rosehip seed oil, famed for its high essential fatty acid content. If you aren't great with essential oils, this is not the product for you, but I find my skin is definitely a little softer and brighter come morning.

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

Monday, 23 July 2018

Jo Loves Pomelo Fragrance

Jo Loves Pomelo Fragrance review
I am ridiculously fussy when it comes to fragrance. Ultimately, I want to smell nice without really smelling particularly strongly, you know? The thought of being the cause of someone's migraine (or the cause of my own migraine, come to think of it) is not one that fills me with much joy. As a result, I'm a die-hard Molecule 01 fan, and very little else.

However, Jo Loves Pomelo is a revelation. Citrusy, fresh, boardroom-appropes and definitely not knock your socks off. You won't kill anyone in a lift with this scent, but you will catch people surreptitiously sniffing in your direction (this has happened more than once in the last three weeks!). It has good last, however, and I don't need to reapply through the day. I really do get sunny, grapefruity vibes from the first spritz. It's peppery, fizzy, citrusy and not at all cloying or sweet. There's something gin-and-tonic-y to my nose in the dry down that's really appealing, particularly in hot weather.

You can find this beauty at Space NK. I highly, highly recommend.

Some links above are affiliate links. This product was sent to me in a promotion by Space NK.

Jo Loves Pomelo Fragrance

Friday, 22 June 2018

Byredo Gypsy Water Hair Perfume

Byredo Gypsy Water Hair Perfume

If you, like me, are the proud manager of some long, thick, wild, non-washable-everyday-able locks, then the Byredo hair perfumes are a little luxury worth a peruse next time you're passing Space NK.

Long term readers will know I'm pretty picky when it comes to perfumes - overwhelming, heady scents give me a headache (super-rich YSL Black Opium being the peculiar exception), so I'm much more a light, woody, floral-y fan overall. Gypsy Water is a scent dripping with cool-girl (and boy, for that matter) credentials. It is woody: think damp pine needles in the summer, juniper berries, and a vanilla-ey note to stop it being overtly masculine.

The big advantage here, however, is that it's a hair perfume specifically. About half the price of a Byredo EDP, for those of us not made of money. It's designed not to dry out the hair as a normal perfume would, either - and as the hair moves, you catch a delicate reprise of the scent again. If you, like me, can't wash your hair every day, or if you are sensitive to perfume formulations on your skin, this is a lovely formula worth looking into.

Byredo Gypsy Water Hair Perfume

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

Monday, 18 June 2018

NARS Narsissist Wanted I Cheek Palette Review

NARS Narsissist Wanted I Cheek Palette review

Generally, I struggle with limited edition products. I hate that if I fall in love with them, I'm usually too slow/penniless to buy an instant backup, and I then find myself being completely ridiculous about the possibility of using them up entirely (bear in mind I have only completely finished one blush in my entire life - MAC's Blushbaby).

That being said, NARS had me at hello with the Wanted Vol. I Cheek Palette. I mean, just look. Gorgeous packaging (less risqué than the Sarah Moon palettes, equally sturdy and travel-proof) and what a beauuuutiful shade selection. I chose Vol. I as the shades were overall warm and looked easy to use on the daily (yep, even that incredible coral) for a light-medium skintone like mine. Vol. II is equally gorgeous, and if you have a deeper skintone would be worth checking out.

NARS Narsissist Wanted I Cheek Palette review

Unlimited, the top-left shade, is a beautiful, buildable, peachy highlighting blush shade which layers well with all of the other shades in the palette. It's not going to blind you straight out the gate, but it works beautifully with the rest of the shades here. The lilac shade, Notorious, looks absolutely terrifying in the pan, but is sheer enough and so blendable, that even my olive tones can take it. My favourites are the whole bottom row - Bumpy Ride, the middle shade, is a throw-on-and-go satiny pink, and the other two shades are beautiful mattes. Even the coral is completely useable - it diffuses to a fresh flush if applied carefully with a light hand. I find the longevity to be excellent - about 8-9 hours in, all of the shades still look intact.

NARS Narsissist Wanted I Blush Palette Swatches

Overall - gorgeous, practical, and super pretty.

Did you succumb to this limited edition?

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

Monday, 21 May 2018

Charlotte Tilbury Hollywood Beauty Light Wand and Contour Wand

Charlotte Tilbury Hollywood Beauty Light Wand and Contour Wand Review

After great success with Charlotte Tilbury's beautiful Hollywood Flawless Filter (you can read my thoughts on this glorious addition here) I went on a CT bender expanded my collection ever so slightly to include the new-to-me Hollywood Beauty Light Wand and Contour Wand. Needless to say, I am not sorry about this in the slightest.

Charlotte Tilbury's Hollywood Beauty Light Wand is everything good about liquid/cream highlight formulas. It glides on, looks absolutely ethereal, blends in with a pat of the finger and lasts remarkably well. I have very oily skin, so most cream or liquid highlight formulas just slide off my face in about half an hour, but this hangs around for a good 6-7 hours and reflects light in just the right way. It gives a glossy, glassy, non-glittery highlight that is very kind to textured skin. Basically, CT nailed it again.

The applicator is, well, a bit of a pain. Word to the wise, make sure it's in the "off" position before you close the cap or you will be cleaning glossy goodness off the entirety of your makeup bag. I imagine it would do the head in of any working makeup artist - I hear reports of people cutting off the fluffy head altogether to make it more hygienic - but as long as you're using it regularly and just on your own face, I reckon you'll use this beauty up before that becomes a massive issue.

The Hollywood Contour Wand (I have the shade light/medium) is another really lovely product. I'm inherently terrified of cream contouring - so line, much blend - but I was pleasantly surprised to find the Contour Wand very easy to use. The tone is more neutral than I was expecting - if you are very cool toned, you may need something more like Illamasqua Hollow to provide that realistic shadow. It is nicely pigmented, with good play-time before it sets. I blend this with a Zoeva synthetic brush and have no issues with patchiness. The formula is light and fluidy enough to blend beautifully with other cream and liquid products - a little goes a long way, so go easy to start with!

Charlotte Tilbury Hollywood Light Wand and Contour Wand Review

You can see both products above swatched and blended. Beautiful, don't you think?

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

Saturday, 5 May 2018

Natasha Denona Darya Diamond and Blush Palette Review and Swatches

Natasha Denona Diamond and Blush Palette Review and Swatches

This is probably the most traumatically expensive frivolous purchase I've ever made.

The Natasha Denona Diamond and Blush Palette is, in a word, delectable. The cream blush/highlights are very pigmented (use with caution and a damp sponge, for fear of the Doll Cheek Phenomenon), with a beautiful, soft, non-greasy texture. The Glow Cream Base (top left) is absolutely beautiful - non-glittery with a super-fine shimmer that doesn't settle into fine lines and makes you look like you've had 10 hours' sleep. The wear-time is excellent - about 7 hours on oily skin, and much longer for the powders or with some careful layering.

The powders are gloriously dense and soft (as you'd expect at this price point, to be honest). The diamond powder (bottom left) is not going to be everyone's cup of tea - it's borderline glittery, and for me is a bit much for general use. The powder blush, however, is the most beautiful, multi-dimensional coral-rose, that I imagine will be almost universally flattering. With some care and a light hand, the creams and powders layer beautifully on top of each other  - though beware, it is very easy to go overboard! It's really easy to create an editorial shine (too easy - I was definitely taking people aback somewhat on the weekly Tesco trip), or pare it down to a glowy, sheeny, fresh highlight on the cheeks.

Natasha Denona Diamond and Blush Palette Review and Swatches
L-R top row, bottom row.
Does anyone need a bajillion-dollar blush palette? No. Is it gorgeous? Yes. Will I use it? Forever and ever. 

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


Wednesday, 21 March 2018

Charlotte Tilbury Hollywood Flawless Filter Review

Charlotte Tilbury Hollywood Flawless Filter Review

When I got wind of this launch, I wasn't really sure this would be a product I could get on with. Glowing, highlighted skin is something I aspire to, sure - but 99% of the time that involves a midday squeal of despair after looking in the mirror and seeing my carefully illuminated complexion has turned to the bottom of a chip pan within 4 hours. Oily skin first world problems, right?

Well, I couldn't have been more wrong. I am so on board with this. Charlotte Tilbury Hollywood Flawless Filter is a gorgeous, not-foundation, not-primer, not-highlighter, which is also all of those things.

Bear with me. It's a thing. Promise.

The blurb is quite floral on the website too, in true Charlotte Tilbury style. Hollywood Flawless Filter contains brightening porcelain flower extract (no? me neither) along with "airbrush polymers" and microfine powders to unify and blur the complexion. Basically, if you liked NIOD Photography Fluid, you're going to love this.

The texture is quite thick initially, but it blends out into the skin beautifully and doesn't feel stifling. I use shade 4 as I am olive toned - shade 3 is very peach and shade 2 quite pearlescent. The shade range is small, granted, but quite forgiving overall - as this blends so seamlessly, I think that undertone is more important than exact shade match for this product. It plays well with many of my favourite foundations, and somehow looks glowy, juicy and healthy without looking at all shiny. SORCERY.

I have been using Hollywood Flawless Filter liberally sploshed all over my face, with just a hint of foundation and concealer in the centre, and have genuinely had people stop me in the street to ask what's on my skin. Gorgeous. It's glowy without being ridiculous, and does look like hyper-real skin. This product definitely provides some skin tone evenness and a degree of pore coverage - I'm using about half the foundation I normally use, and I'm really enjoying it. 

Charlotte Tilbury Hollywood Flawless Filter Swatch Shade 4
Excuse my goosepimply arm, but you get the idea - swatched and then blended. Glowy gorgeousness.

The best bit for me is that this doesn't seem to break up or cake through the day at all, even on my oily skin - I look no shinier than usual at the end of the day, but start off looking better for most of it. I think if you had a lot of texture, by hour 6 you may have experienced some settling in to lines or larger pores, but otherwise I have absolutely no complaints. I reckon drier skins will really enjoy this product too.

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


Sunday, 18 March 2018

IGK Hair Sold Out Curl Priming Basecoat

IGK Sold Out Curl Priming Basecoat Review

Us beauty addicts in the UK are finally getting a huge whack of fantastic brands making the grand leap across the pond. A selection of Kate Somerville products have wheedled their way into my basket at Cult Beauty, and I hear that Drunk Elephant is on the horizon; however, I was most excited for the achingly cool IGK Hair to make their way onto British shelves. Being a recent texture spray convert (thank you, Sam McKnight) and knowing from a life of frizz that curls are often neglected/badly provided for in a brand launch, the Sold Out Curl Priming Basecoat was top of my test list.

IGK call this product a "basecoat" for curls - enriched with almond oil and sea kelp, and designed to hold curls without frizz. The spray is extra fine which makes it a pleasure to use, even on my bird's nest of curls. Sold Out smells really fresh, modern, slightly botanical and not at all cloying - the scent dissipates relatively quickly so you're not left smelling like a garden. I've used it both on damp post-shower hair, and to refresh curls in-between washes, and it definitely works much better for the former. I find it feels a little tacky used on dry hair, but on damp tresses before mousse, heat, or air-drying, this spray performs solidly in the frizz reduction department.

IGK Sold Out Curl Priming Basecoat Review

Overall, a solid performance. Sold Out does (mostly) what it says on the tin. For very fine curls, this may be a bit of an unnecessary step, but on my super-thick textured mop it's a really effective product.

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

Saturday, 3 February 2018

Byredo Rose of No Man's Land Review

Byredo Rose of No Man's Land Perfume

Byredo Rose of No Man's Land has been on my fragrance hit-list for a while, and thanks to a very generous husband, it now takes pride of place on my dresser. The name, wildly romantic on the stark white label, makes reference to the real roses of no man's land - the nurses on the front line in World War I. The blurb promises a "sophisticated and fortifying bouquet" - intriguing - and as the name would suggest, a whole load of roses.

Scandi, minimalist, millennial packaging aside, this fragrance is a rose lovers' dream. The official notes are pink pepper, raspberry blossom, Turkish rose, papyrus and white amber. It opens with a slightly spicy, warm, peppery flourish, but quickly settles in to a grown-up, jammy, delicious rose scent. If you are familiar with the delectable Rose Jam from Lush, this is the less sweet, deeper, big sister in EDP form. Rose of No Man's Land is a huge pile of rich rose petals in a bottle. To my nose, it's a very "real" floral scent - no Mrs. Doubtfire-esque bouquet or cheap synthetic flowers here. It isn't overwhelming, however - it's fresh enough to feel modern, and lingers for about 6 hours on my skin, leaving just a warm woody ghost of rose scent on the skin.

Byredo Rose of No Man's Land Perfume

Yes, it is esspensive - but it is a joy.

Some links above are affiliate links. This product was a gift.

Thursday, 25 January 2018

Aldi Lacura Caviar Illumination Serum, 3 minute mask and Cuvee Royal Cream Mousse - the verdict

Aldi Lacura Caviar Skincare Review

Aldi wasn't exactly the kind of place I had in mind for finding my next skincare holy grail product. I mean, everyone loves a special buy, but I wasn't seriously expecting much from their skincare range. However, my interest was piqued by rave reviews, impressively luxe packaging and a lot of Lacura Caviar : La Prairie and Lacura Cuvee: La Mer comparisons being touted about. Aldi also recently were awarded cruelty free status for their cosmetics and cleaning products. This winning combination resulted in the haul you see before you.

Now. A disclaimer. I am not rich enough/on the spectacular PR lists for mega-glorious products like those produced by La Mer and La Prairie. On the other hand, I've spent a small fortune on skincare in my life, and have quite hard-to-please combination/oily, sensitive, acne prone skin. I'm also a huge fan of things that just work, regardless of price point. Make of that what you will.

The Lacura Caviar Cell Renewal 3 Minute Mask is supposedly Aldi's answer to La Prairie's Cellular 3 Minute Peel, which costs a magnificent £168. The packaging is (I'd imagine deliberately) very similar, with a brush and a hefty glass jar. The formula relies on papaya enzymes, glycolic acid, salicylic acid, as well as caviar extract (don't think about it too much, fish eggs, ick) to provide chemical exfoliation. This thing packs a punch. As a PTR Pumpkin Enzyme Mask devotee, I'm pretty used to seriously powerful masks these here days, and the Lacura Caviar mask has shot right up there to the weekly-use box. The smell is inoffensive and cosmeticky, and the texture is a thin cream. This won't set to a peel-off mask, just rinse it off after 3 minutes, but it is properly good. My skin is smooth, refined and exfoliated without being stripped of all moisture. I was genuinely amazed at how good this mask is.

Aldi Lacura Caviar Illumination Serum Concentrate Review

The Lacura Caviar Illumination Serum Concentrate is another beautifully packaged product (this time with a decent, airtight pump). The blurb on this is that each little suspended bead in the oil/paraben free serum contains ceramides, as well as Chrondrus Crispus extract/caviar extract (again, don't think too much about it) and Corallina - a seaweed with antioxidant properties which is also found in some Elemis skincare. The formula also contains humectants, other antioxidants and skincare compounds like decarboxy carnosine HCL - sounds terrifying, but basically a quick flick through Paula's Choice ingredients encyclopaedia of dreams shows that this stuff means business. The serum texture is absolutely feather-light and absorbs very quickly into the skin, leaving no sticky residue at all. If you are dry skinned, you may need a moisturiser on top of this serum. I cannot stress to you how much I love this product. I've been using it religiously, morning and night, for 3 weeks now, and my skin has honestly never looked better.

Aldi Cuvee Royal QT40 Intensive 24hr Cream MousseLast, but certainly not least, is the Lacura Cuvee Royal Intensive 24hr Cream Mousse. Again, super-luxe packaging, and this little tub comes with one of those annoying (but hygienic, I suppose) little spatula things that you find when you clear out your skincare cupboard. The texture is a light, smooth, creamy-mousse that doesn't overwhelm my oily skin at all. The formula contains grape seed extract, and again a highly Paula's Choice approved ingredients list.

I'm using the Cream Mousse as a night cream, and it is just lovely. Moisturising without smothering, really soothing and a joy to use, it is just as good, if not better, than my usual moisturisers.

Aldi, you've nailed it.


Monday, 22 January 2018

Sam McKnight Cool Girl Texture Mist

Hair By Sam McKnight Cool Girl Texture Mist

Texture Mist? Isn't "texture" just what a whacking overdose of dry shampoo and a few days of benign neglect will do for you?

Well, yes. Yes it is. If you want to forgo the required general dilapidation required to get there, Sam McKnight seems to have basically bottled it. Friend to the fun-bun, the big braid, the effortless updo and the I'm-too-cool-for-a-hairbrush brigade, Cool Girl Texture Mist is a complete surprise winner in my styling product drawer.

Cool Girl Texture Mist really comes into its own for me when it comes to plaiting of any kind - a quick skoosh of this into the braid, a bit of teasing and hey, presto: enormous covetable bohemian braids. I can get that deliberately tousled, not dragged-through-a-hedge-backwards thing that I think people with more malleable locks find a bit easier to achieve. I don't find it remotely drying (and bear in mind, I have a bird's nest of twigs for hair) and doesn't leave hair crunchy at all.

Oh, and the best bit? This smells absolutely divine. A lush forest on a cool, misty Spring morning. It's botanical, fresh, light, and delicious. I'm not even kidding. I've had more people ask what my perfume is on Cool Girl days than any other day.

Sam McKnight Cool Girl Texture Mist

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


Sunday, 21 January 2018

Bria Organics Organic Relief Repair Replenish Balm Review

Bria Organic Skincare Organic Balm Review

Winter and I are not friends. I have Raynaud's phenomenon (hello ghost fingers), eczema, dry lips and flaky, irritated skin. Nice. Despite this, I love a good hillwalk/ski/generally being outdoors. This combination basically means I spend from December to February smothered in emollients, wearing gloves, and moaning. What a treat!

Thankfully this year, for the dry skin side of things, Bria Organics Organic Balm is really doing the business.

This Relief Repair Replenish Balm is entirely naturally derived - with an incredibly short ingredients list. Borage oil is used for its moisturising properties, chickweed oil to soothe sore, inflamed skin, and beeswax to protect. This is fragrance free - and, in this case, that means it does have quite a distinctive (and not entirely pleasant) smell. It's definitely for needs-must, heavy duty use rather than as a delightfully scented body lotion, but when used in that category, it is a winner. I use this as a one-hit-wonder - cuticles, hands, elbows, dry patches, cracked heels - the works. I find it to be very effective, and minimally irritating on my sensitive skin.

The texture is thick and almost waxy, but it smoothes away into an easily absorbed oil very quickly. I find it's making a real difference to dry, sore patches (and to my husband's quality of life - complaining is down about 70%) and it's a brilliant barrier cream if you spend a lot of time outside in the cold over the Winter months.

This product was sent to me for my consideration. All views are, as ever, my own. Ensure you consult your doctor regarding medical skin complaints before using ointments - I am not a doctor!

Wednesday, 17 January 2018

Dior Diorskin Forever Undercover Foundation Review and Swatches

Dior Diorskin Forever Undercover Review and Swatches
It's no secret that I'm a Dior makeup fan - their lipstick and Pump N Volume mascara were huge favourites of mine last year. Their newest foundation launched at Selfridges a couple of weeks ago and it had me at hello. Promising high pigment, lightweight, long lasting full coverage, Dior's Diorskin Forever Undercover 24h Wear Full Coverage Foundation has been on my face every makeup-wearing day since I bought it.

Dior Diorskin Forever Undercover Foundation Review

Diorskin Forever Undercover is water-based foundation, and as such is feathery-light on the skin. The foundation is designed to provide exceptional coverage ("neo-camouflage", apparently) but still look natural and soft, and I think it does just that. Not by any means glowy, but not flat-matte, I think this will appeal to anyone who likes to look flawless and perfected. It's supposedly water-resistant (though I haven't run under a waterfall with it on for you, soz) and certainly has excellent wear - I get a no-problem 10-12 hours without any weird separation or patchiness. It is fairly transfer-resistant until about the 6 hour mark on my skin. I will say it gets significantly glowier throughout the day, but that happens with literally any foundation for me.

Dior Diorskin Forever Undercover Foundation Swatch 021

The coverage is medium to full, and I see what they mean about pigment - this stuff will cover a multitude of night-before complexion sins. Despite that, it feels like nothing on the face, doesn't look like a mask, and doesn't settle in to my fine lines at all. If you like to look very put together without veering into drag, this will be right up your street. It is quite unlike most fuller coverage foundations around at the moment. If MAC Face and Body had babies with Armani Maestro - this would be the result.

The shade range is ok - Dior tends to cater better for lighter and rosier complexions overall - but 021 is a good match for my light olive skintone. I love the squeezy tube packaging!

Dior Diorskin Forever Undercover Foundation Review

Overall? I love this. I just keep on reaching for it.

Monday, 15 January 2018

Kevyn Aucoin The Making Faces Beauty Book Review and Swatches

Kevyn Aucoin The Making Faces Beauty Book Review and Swatches


I'm not at all into holiday makeup sets, as I mentioned in my previous By Terry holiday palette post, but this year there seem to be some incredible exceptions to the usual holiday set rules. By and large, "limited edition holiday set" is code for "lower quality stuff we weren't sure what to do with so we lumped them in special packaging to flog to you". NOT in this case. If you can still find this, (at time of writing, this glorious palette is still available at Space NK) the Kevyn Aucoin Making Faces Beauty Book has got to be one of the best buys of 2017/18, and I urge you to have a look.

The Making Faces Beauty Book is a clever little magnetic trio of travel-friendly palettes, containing some of the finest makeup money can buy. Oh, and talking of money, considering an individual Pure Powder Glow in Dolline is £30.00, and you're getting two full size blush pans in this set - it's a good deal. The ingredients list for the powders do vary (only slightly for the blushes, more markedly for the highlight and bronzer) from the original single pan powders, so they are not exactly the same. Don't let that put you off though - these powders are still high quality, blendable, and beautiful. I am in love.

Kevyn Aucoin Making Faces Beauty BookKevyn Aucoin Making Faces Beauty Book

Everything is swatched below. You can see that the eyeshadows edge to the cooler side of neutral (which is refreshing) and whoever thought that sparkly blue was what this palette needed needs their head checked, but in general the colour scheme is beautifully wearable. I find that the colour scheme is geared towards lovely day looks, or looks to complement a bold lip. the dark "smoky" shades (black, brown and deep navy) are best used as a lash enhancing smudgy liner - they are a slightly drier formula to the main eyeshadow book. The formula has moderate pigmentation, feels like silk (except you, sparkly blue) and good 7 hour wear-time before creasing when used with a primer.
Kevyn Aucoin Making Faces Beauty Book Eyeshadow Swatches

The cheek shades are a joy. Terrifyingly bright in the pan, deliciously blendable and not at all pantomime dame on the cheek. They are satin-matte in finish and play well with every other face product I use (and that is a LOT of stuff, dear reader). I tend to mix the two (see the furthest right swatch below) as suggested by the palette insert, and it really does give the rosiest, freshest flush to the cheeks. The wear-time is at least 8 hours, and I absolutely love the formula. even the fairest skintones can definitely make use of these shades.

Kevyn Aucoin Making Faces Beauty Book Blush Swatches

The contour book is a winner for me too. I've heavily swatched all three shades below - the bronzer is warm and yellow-golden, so medium skintones and yellow undertones will love this one (not so much rosier, fairer cheeks though!). The highlight is the KA Candlelight powder, and the contour is the medium shade of the cult classic Sculpting Powder. Pigmentation is good to strong, so use a light hand. I use all three of these every day, and it literally takes me seconds to look sculpted, fresh, and well. A serious Winter pick-me-up in a palette.

Kevyn Aucoin Making Faces Beauty Book Contour Highlight Swatches

Overall, if you have a light to medium skintone, don't question it - this is the one!

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


Thursday, 11 January 2018

By Terry Preciosity Eye Designer Palette Review and Swatches

By Terry Preciosity Eye Designer Palette

This palette was one of those Christmas gift sets that, quite honestly, I didn't have massively high hopes for. Many brands don't produce their finest work for the holiday season. I was in the market for a grab-and-go everyday palette, and happened to find this one lurking in the Space NK sale - you can still find it currently at Net-a-Porter.

If you need (and by need, I mean even slightly interested in) a new, super easy, very wearable collection of shades, this is worth looking out for. The shadows are creamy, blendable, and gorgeous. They slick over the lid effortlessly - even the crinkliest of eyelids will love these shadows - and the longevity is good. I get about 7 hours' wear with a good primer. The pigmentation is medium-buildable - think Chanel eyeshadows. I find that this makes them very I-have-three-seconds-to-get-ready friendly. They can be built up into a smoky eye with little difficulty. The shimmer shades are sophisticated and not in any way over the top - they remind me a lot of a powder version of the incredible Ombre Blackstar formula.

By Terry Preciosity Eye Designer Palette Swatches

Ok, so the colour scheme isn't going to change your life forever - but isn't it pretty? warm to neutral, medium shades, with a lovely shimmery taupey-pink and a cool, smooth, satin-matte grey. I find this is wheedling its way into my travel bag with unrelenting frequency.

Have you tried By Terry eyeshadows? What did you think?

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