Review: Korres Lip Butter

Sunday, November 29, 2009

What it says on the tub: A buttery lip balm that melts on the lips and offers a shiny tinted finish. The combination of shea butter and rice wax offers deep hydration ad softness. Ideal for chapped lips.

The weather has become noticeably colder over the past couple of weeks and has brought with it some pretty fierce winds. I've noticed I've had to up the no of times I apply lip balm in order to keep my lips supple and hydrated so thought it was time to put this through its paces.

At first glance I was quite impressed with size of the tub. However it gives a false impression, because when you unscrew the lid there isn't as much product inside as it would have you believe from the outside. It's still a decent amount given the price but it's not as much as the packaging would have you believe.

I have the mango lip butter and there is a light scent of mango which is pleasant, but not overpowering. This is a tinted lip balm and the pigment shows surprisingly well when you apply it to the lip. You can also increase the depth of colour by adding layers if you wish. It appears as a sheer peachy coral shade, goes on smoothly but annoyingly, you're always left with colour on your fingers after applying it so have a tissue to hand after application. I also found myself having to reapply a few times throughout the day too which became tedious after a while.

I find it moisturising (while it lasts) but it's not my lip balm of choice. I think I would probably reach for this particular shade more during warmer weather when I'm happy to wear less makeup and leave my lips bare with a wash of colour I'm pretty devoted to my Burts Bees honey chap stick and prefer the convenience of a tube, rather than poking my fingers in a tub (which is tres annoying when the balm get under your nails) and it's more hygienic.

This comes in a variety of scents which include Wild Rose, Guava, Pomegranate, Quince and Plum and is full of natural goodness being mineral oil, silicone, prophylene and ethanolamine free. For the record this means absolutely nothing to me, but may be of interest to those who do understand the importance of these missing ingredients. Actually, please tell me if you do - I'm curious!

If I ever remember (or get round to it) I may try the Guava and Jasmine balms in future as the look of these, for me, are more suitable for everyday wear. Minor gripes aside, this is a nice tinted lip balm which gives you soft, moisturised lips with that 'bitten lip' effect without breaking the bank.

Price: £6.00
Where can I buy it from: Liberty, Selfridges, ASOS, Bath & Unwind

IMATS London 2010

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Attention makeup lovers!

Known simply as "The Show" in the makeup world, the London IMATS (International Makeup Artist Trade Show) takes place once again, in just over 2 months time. Terry Barber, director of MAC makeup artistry will be just one of the guest speakers at the two day event.

MUFE, MAC, Ben Nye, Crown Brushes aswell as a host of other cosmetic and tool lines will be parading their wares, in some cases offering generous discounts, in an attempt to grab your attention - and money ;-) This is the place to be if you want to learn new techniques, discover new products and play to your hearts content with new products without experiencing the pushy sales techniques often loathed in department store beauty halls.

I went this January and was left rather disappointed by the number of exhibitors present (I thought it would be bigger) and was adamant that I wouldn't return. However I've decided to give it another chance to see if the 2010 show can redeem itself in my eyes.

Date: January 30 & 31 2010

Location: Alexandra Palace, London

Ticket Prices

Current exhibitor list

** Update** Alex Box, Creative Director of Illamasqua has now been added to the guest speaker list.

Are you going? Thinking of going? Gonna pass? Let me know

Unnecessary purchases of the week

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Okay so I've well and truly fallen off the wagon. I made a few purchases this week but what the hell, it's almost Christmas and I did last approximately 7 weeks without any major purchases.

I popped into Lush a few days ago and managed to stay in there without passing out from the smell. I won't be revisiting any time soon though, and after having a good sniff of all the products there were only about 4 smells my nose could take and I came home with the LE Snow Fairy shower gel and Rock Star soap. I always thought they were much cheaper than they were (I haven't been in Lush for about 4-5 years so maybe they were cheaper back then) and I resented paying £4.50 for a small bar of soap. I still paid though, my pride has a lot to answer for!

The Oxford Street Boots Christmas Shopping evening took place on Thursday with the promise of an extra 1200 advantage card points with a minimum spend, so I took this opportunity to pick up

YSL Rouge Volupte # 24 Praline Delight
YSL Faux Cils mascara (was gonna buy Singulier but the SA recommended this for my lash type instead)
Boots Extracts Brazil Nut body butter
Soap and Glory Flake Away body scrub (accidentally picked up Righteous Butter instead, which I only noticed when composing this blog post, so need to go and exchange it)

House of Fraser are offering 13% off their cosmetic brands (offer ends today) so I bought a Bobbi Brown Sheer Color Cheek Tint in Sheer Pink which I've wanted ever since seeing Milan Rouge's blog post on them and I bought a random Benefit foundation called Non Fiction (who the hell knew Benefit did anything in darker shades?! Not me that's for sure). Anyway, this has to be the most pointless purchase of all but it only cost me £4.35 (it's being discontinued, so was reduced to clear) so I'm not that fussed.

I'm loving the Bobbi Brown Sheer Color CheekTint and will definitely be adding a couple of other shades to my stash. They're really easy to wear and give a lovely wash of colour. The Boots body butter smells yummy too and I want the Mango butter next - and that's coming from somebody who doesn't like scented body butters very much! I'm so, so fickle.

What have you unnecessarily treated yourself to this week?

Do NOT get me started ....donation buttons.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

I don't like them. I never have and I'm still trying to grasp the concept of them being on beauty blogs or You Tube Channels.

A few weeks ago I was trawling through some You Tube videos and I came across a popular you tuber who had a donation button on her page asking for people to give money towards a new laptop she wanted. Are you kidding me?!! Is this what the world has come to? Show me your favourite mascara and I'll pay for your new, spanking high spec laptop in return???! *refrains from swearing*

Sorry, nobody told me that saving your own money was last season.

I want a new laptop. In fact I want the OPI designed Dell Inspiron 17 in Louvre Me Louvre Me Not, but I'm not gonna stuck a button on my blog indirectly begging for your money to pay for it! Get outta here! Same goes for another You Tuber who has a blog which is full of nothing but copied and pasted press releases - why do you have a donation button? You don't even write anything!!

Ask your friends, family, go to the bank for an overdraft but don't get cheeky and ask people you don't even know to fund your wants or needs. If you can't afford the products you want to blog about then it's time to stop living beyond your means ...or get a job!

Review: Sephora Brand Professional Platinum Airbrush #55

Saturday, November 21, 2009

What it says on the Sephora site: A liquid foundation applicator designed to achieve a flawless, airbrushed look.

Sephora Brand Professionnel Platinum Air Brush #55 is the secret to the smoothest foundation finish possible. This essential tool blends as it applies, allowing for a smooth, natural-looking result. Build from light to heavy with ease as you continue application—your results will be perfectly pretty at every level of coverage. This brush's synthetic Taklon hairs are perfect for creating optimal payoff with liquid foundation formulas. Their shape and high-grade nylon composition help to ensure a natural, smooth look.

Ok, first of all this was a "hype" purchase. I'd seen a couple of other bloggers talk about it, then I watched a
couple of You Tube reviews and somehow convinced myself that life wouldn't be worth living if it wasn't added to my brush collection, so I bought it from Sephora when I was last in NY.

The first thing you notice about this brush is just how soft the bristles are - I'm talking 'walking on clouds' kinda soft here, It feels delightful. I tend to pour a little foundation on my hand, pick it up with the brush and gently push it into my skin. I then use circular motions to buff it in. It leaves you with a smooth finish but I don't get this airbrushed look that people speak of. It took a bit of getting used to, using it around my eye area. It manoeuvres easily enough but it just felt awkward for me. I'm used to using a flatter brush.

Now don't get me wrong, it's not a bad brush, in fact it's very versatile. You can easily use this to apply loose powder and both powder and cream blushes and I found it worked wonders with all three. I just don't think it's as amaaaaaaaaaazing as the reviews out there will have you believe for its main purpose which is foundation application, but that's just my personal opinion. I found that the normal amount of foundation I use didn't seem to be enough for the brush to work with and I didn't want to add more to get the look I was after. I shouldn't have to.

I was also wondering if the type of liquid foundation you use may determine its performance. I currently use Revlon Colorstay foundation, and its formula is slightly thicker than your average liquid foundation and also sets on the skin quite quickly. Maybe it's a little heavy for this brush which is why I'm not getting the results I'm expecting as I don't have the time to spend buffing it in 'til kingdom come. I don't know, it's just a thought. Unfortunately my MUFE HD foundation now appears to be too dark for me so I haven't tested the brush out against that to see if it performs any better. I have a couple of foundations on my 'to buy' list so I'll certainly roadtest it again with those in future.

Washing the brush was easy enough. It retained its shape and dried as normal. I'm also pleased to report that the bristles don't fall off during use, so no picking hairs off my face as I'm forced to do whenever I use my MAC 109 brush! I was really pleased about this cos picking hairs off your face is a pain in the a**, especially when you're in a rush trying to get ready for work.

So there you have it. I'm not completely bowled over by its claims to transform my skin into an airbrushed canvas, but on the other hand its not a wasted purchase as its versatility is a welcome addition to my brush collection.

How much is it? $34 (approx £20-ish with the current exchange rate)
Where can I buy it from? Sephora

J'adore NARS

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Despite waking up early (well 10am) full of good intentions, I've completed none of the tasks I had planned for today. My productivity was further stunted when the postman arrived with the NARS goodies that I managed to bag from GossMakeupArtist's blog sale.

My NARS blush collection is now complete with the following additions:

I also picked up a few e/s. I actually wanted Night Fever & Night Porter which are from NARS Nightlife collection but as Goss was selling the eyeshadows as pairs, the other two were given a home aswell. Shade descriptions are as follows:

Night Porter - Black with green pearls

Night Fever - Black with red pearls (similar to MAC Beauty Marked but with more pigment)

Night Star - Sheer peach with gold pearls (Surprisingly flattering, I'm wearing it now)

LuLu - Bright eggplant

My pictures don't do Night Fever & Night Porter justice! Swatch them at a NARS counter and you'll see how pretty they are.

With flash

Without flash

Altogether, the combined RRP of this little lot is £134. I paid just £49 inc postage. Goss mistakenly undercharged me, and wouldn't invoice me again after I'd pointed it out, which was very cool of him.

I saved myself an insane £85! Happy much?!

YSL Golden Gloss # 18

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Until Tuesday, the only YSL product I owned was Touche Eclat # 4. I picked up Golden Gloss # 18 after swatching it a week earlier and cooing in admiration as it sparkled on my hand. I even left the swatch on my hand for a further 30 mins until I accidentally rubbed it off trying to elbow my way through Primark. I wasn't amused to discover it had gone.

YSL Golden Gloss # 18 is a lovely cool lilac shade full of gold flecks - and they're not just ordinary gold flecks either, they're 24 carat gold flecks! Ooooooooh!

Now I'm not going to front, I flinched slightly as the sales girl cheerily trilled "That'll be £19 please". In fact I almost changed my mind as the most I've spent on a lipgloss is "MAC money", but as I handed my card over I felt a warm rush envelop me. Yep, it was that oh-so familiar feeling - denial!! I know you've all felt it too, so let's join hands and rejoice as this puts an end to all feelings of guilt that are related to indulgent beauty purchases.

The transaction was over in a matter of seconds and unless I was going to slip a foreign object in the tube when I got home and then claim it was unsuitable to use, I wasn't getting my money back so I thought I may aswell embrace this gorgeous lipgloss for all it's worth - which is £19 in case you've forgotten! *wipes my brow*

Worn over a very light coat of MAC Lavender Whip (LE)

It goes on super shiny and is non-drying boasting Nigella and Camelina oil as ingredients. I've never heard of them but they evidently contribute to the lusciousness this delivers, so they're fine by me. It's quite sheer but I found it layers up quite well so you don't find yourself squinting to catch sight of the gold flecks. I can't wait to wear this over a nude lip tomorrow but I may find myself pretending to reapply it throughout the day as I want this baby to last for the price I paid damnit!! I'll happily show the tube off 6 times a day instead.

My Mum has been a lover of YSL cosmetics for as long as I can remember and I fear I may well be adopting her expensive habit as I plan to attend the Boots Christmas evening on Oxford Street next week and pick up the new YSL Singulier mascara and Rouge Volupte # 24 (Praline Delight) - my first Rouge Volupte! Hurrah!

Let the YSL assault begin!

I was supposed to be browsing ...

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

I knew yesterday was going be a good day when I decided to log onto Wayne aka Gossmakeupartist's blog yesterday morning to see if he'd uploaded the last part of his infamous blog sale - he had!

There must have been a delay of the posts showing up on Blogger dashboard, as I had free reign to umm, ahhh, google for swatches and umm and ahhh again for at least 10 minutes before anybody else had even noticed it was up. I made a decent amount on Ebay on Monday evening from selling a load of shoes and the proceeds have paid for what I bought and still left me with change! I love "free" shopping! What did I buy? What didn't I buy more like! That blog post will be up when my postman comes calling laden with makeup goodness.

Feeling pretty pleased with myself I dashed to meet Miss Virtue for a beauty browsing session in Selfridges where we headed straight for the YSL counter. Gemma, the SA who served us was like no other SA I've met in my life. She was fab! Her sales pitch was funny, informative without being pushy and she made a welcome change from some of the more personality-challenged sales assistants that you can come across when looking for a beauty fix. She even started to babble at us in exasperated French as she looked for their new primer to show us. Funny lady who will have you walking away with a not only a smile but half the counter if you're not on the ball. I felt like I was on a gameshow!

If it wasn't for the fact I'm intent on buying my Rouge Volupte and Singulier mascara from Boots so I can earn the advantage card points she'd have taken more money off me. Had we known there was a YSL counter in Boots, Bond Street I wouldn't have bought the Golden Gloss # 18 lipgloss in Selfridges, but nevermind. More on that lipgloss tomorrow!

We were confused to find the Beverley Knight stand had disappeared from its original spot and thought perhaps they'd left Selfridges and were now stocked in John Lewis. We stumbled upon them accidentally in a corner sectioned off from the main beauty hall as we looked at Philosophy. How on earth they're going to meet sales targets tucked away there I don't know, they're practically invisible! What I do know is that I won't be buying any of their eyeshadows. The colours are uninspiring and the formulation doesn't warrant the cost. I will be buying that blusher that I spoke of in my K blog post though. It's nothing like MAC Azalea so that will be purchased on a future shopping trip.

I picked up Philosophy's Have a Cherry Christmas (cute name eh?), which is a cherry scented 3in1 shower gel, shampoo and bubble bath. I'm not into using 3in1 products on my hair so this will be strictly a shower/bath product for me. I used it last night and it smelt as if I'd dunked myself in cherryade! I kid you not, however, I still like it. The scent doesn't linger on the skin afterwards, it's just a 'shower experience'. I bought a similar product by The Pink Cow for less than half the price from Boots for £2 (usually £2.99). Naturally I picked up Vanilla biscuit (because I love all things vanilla) and I think I'll be using this later. Nivea pampering oil also came home with me as Boots have a BOGOF on the Nivea shower range and this caught my eye. I like the idea of a foaming oil but hope I don't slip and break my neck in the process!

I found my beloved Dr Hauschka Day Rose Cream in Selfridges too. I didn't know it was sold there but boy was I happy when I saw it. This cream is great for use during the colder weather, it feels so rich. It really brightens up my skin and leaves it fully moisturised all day. Expect a review on this soon.

Some of you may be aware that I've been on the hunt for a new eye cream. I've been faithfully using Clinique All About Eyes Rich and two tubs later I feel ready to try something new. I was eyeing up the new Origns GinZing eye cream but was hesitant to buy it as all it claims to do is brighten and depuff - not actually prevent or tackle fine lines and wrinkles. As the SA talked us through its active ingredients she mentioned ginger - which I knew Garnier UltraLift Anti-Wrinkle Firming Eye Cream contains. It's also currently on offer in both Boots & Superdrug. Hmm £6 vs £20 - it was a no brainer, plus it targets wrinkles. Prevention over cure!!

No shopping trip is complete without a wander into MAC but funnily enough neither of us bought anything. I did want to try the 210 eyeliner brush as my Smashbox Angled brush has splayed and is no longer the wonderful brush it started off as, but I couldn't bring myself to physically ask a SA for help and we left empty handed. I think it's safe to say that I feel totally MAC'ed out at the moment and I'm having fun exploring new brands.

Have you come across any fab products lately? All recs welcome!

Review: Jo Hansford Intensive Masque Thick Hair

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

What it says on the packaging: Jo Hansford Intensive Masque Thick Hair is a rich masque designed to intensively nourish thick or very dry, colour treated hair. Contains Castanha do Brasil with Vitamins A and E to protect colour, moisturise and repair leaving hair lustrous and shiny.

I'm very particular about what goes on my hair. My hair is chemically relaxed and naturally I use products that are geared towards afro hair.

I'm not a fan of the packaging. Well I am in the sense that it looks expensive and tres sleek but it comes in a glass tub which is disastrous for me. When I shower I have a habit of balancing my tubes and bottles on the top of the shower door frame so if I bump into it they usually fall either onto the bathroom floor or into the shower - anything made from glass engaging in an 8ft drop won't be pretty! The scent is somewhat citrus like and reminds me of grapefruit which takes a bit of getting used to as that's not high on my list of favourite smells.

This mask is for those with thick or dry colour treated hair. I have fine hair, unless we're talking week 8 of my relaxer when my regrowth takes on a life of its own! I had planned to use this before I got my hair retouched a fortnight ago so it would at least have an opportunity to work with some thickness but I didn't get a chance to and used it a week after my hair had been relaxed.

It contains sunflower extract and Castanha do Brasil - a natural protected ingredient from the Amazon! Infused with Keratin amino acids and vitamin A and E the mask promises to leave your hair glossy, manageable and healthy. Application was easy enough, I scooped out a largeish handful and that was enough to cover my hair. It didn't drip (which is a major gripe of mine) and I left it to do its magic as I got on with my shower. I left it on after I'd shampooed for approx 10 mins. When I rinsed it out I thought my hair felt soft but nothing out of the ordinary. If I'm brutally honest I then used one of my regular products which involves being left on my hair for 2 mins and the difference that made to my hair in terms of texture was damning in comparison.

I'm still umming and ahhing over when to colour my hair (the dye's been purchased) and I'll try this mask again to see if it helps combat any dryness that my occur as a result of the colour. I'll update the review accordingly to report on any change. Jo Hansford does the same mask for fine hair too, perhaps this would have been better suited to me.

Where can I buy it? Harvey Nichols, Nue Blue (Dublin)
How much is it? £25.00

Review: Microplane XL Pro Foot File

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

What it says on the website:
The Microplane's Foot File's tiny files create a bidirectional exfoliating system that gently massages tired feet, removing cracked dry skin, leaving them silky soft. Rough skin disappears while healthy new skin emerges, making abused feet feel smooth and sexy.

I first came across the wonder that is the Microplane a couple of years ago when a group of us, on a forum I used to frequent placed a mass order as it was cheaper to buy in bulk as they were being shipped from Germany.

The Microplane transformed my footcare regime instantly.

Aching arms from repetititve saw-like actions with standard foot files were a thing of the past as any hard skin I had was removed in seconds leaving a silky smooth finish that rivalled results from the best pedicure treatments around.

At first glance the Microplane looks like a kitchen utensil, a cheese grater even! Microplane does actually have a range of kitchen products including a grater so it's not too far off. Dead, rough skin is removed similar to the way zest is grated off an orange. The process is gentle and you'll see the results immediately.

My original Microplane lasted over 2 years before the filing cartridge wore away and I had to accept defeat. I purchased a Ped Egg and immediately realised that it had nothing on the Microplane. I was so disappointed with it that I actually threw it away and resorted to forking out for pedicures at one of my local beauty salons to maintain presentable looking footsies.

I kept a watchful eye on Ebay for weeks on end looking for a replacement and finally a seller emerged selling a large number of the XL version. I purchased the Microplane XL on Ebay for £14.99 which I think is very reasonable considering how long it lasts. The XL excels its predecessor and features a longer handle, large filing area and comes with a spare filing cartridge meaning that this should last me at least 3.5 years if I care for it properly.

This is used on dry feet and takes a mere 2 minutes (if even that) to make your feet baby soft again. The dry skin shavings are caught in the top of the foot file which can be opened making disposal easy with no mess. This isn't suitable if you suffer from diabetes, poor blood circulation or have any open wounds or inflammation on your feet.

I've bought one for my Mum as I know she'll love it. Actually this would make a pretty cool Christmas present. It's an amazing product which I recommend wholeheartedly.

Where can I buy it from? Microplane U.S site, UK Ebay seller
How much is it? $24.95 or £14.99 from the Ebay seller I used (who I have no affiliation with).

Showing some love!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Whoa it's mid November and I've spotted 3 Christmas trees in peoples houses already! I can't believe how quickly this year has flown by. I swear it was NYE 3 wks ago!

Anyway, these are the products that have made a difference in my beauty loving life over the past month.

The Body Shop Seaweed Clarifying Toner

I love this stuff. It rids my skin of any make up my cleanser didn't reach and keeps it cool and refreshed ready for my moisturiser. It's great for my combination skin and doesn't leave it feeling tight either. I'm on my 2nd bottle and have a third in the wings. This has firmly become a staple in my daily routine. I'd never have known about this product had it not been sent to me back in July.

Estee Lauder Sumptous mascara

Ok, move over L'oreal Voluminous. This mascara has been styling up my lashes hard over the past month! I love, love LOVE it. It's not waterproof yet holds up so much better than the waterproof version of Voluminous (go figure!) and is by far the best mascara I own that curls my lashes and maintains the curl. I've worn this almost daily for the past few weeks now and I don't even need to use my Shiseido base with this, it's that effective. It's pricey but I don't care, it does the job and will be repurchased over and over again!

Burts Bees Honey Lip Balm

This little gem keeps my lips soft and moisturised and is a godsend in this horrendous, cold, freezing weather. It's not greasy so my lipstick goes on smoothly and I love the honey taste too. There's not much I can say about this - except it works and I love using it. I like the 'matte' look it gives my lips too.

Stila Sun bronzing powder shade 3

Ok, this has been discontinued but I managed to get mine off a few mths ago. I have days where I look really washed out and 'dead' and it shoe seven more against the current grey skies! When I don't wanna use my MAC MSF natural I reach for this instead. It puts the warmth back on my face without making me look a different colour altogether and perks me up a treat. I put some blusher on top and I'm good to go.

Which products have you been reaching for lately and have you used any of my October faves?

The Monday Poll

Monday, November 09, 2009

Courtesy of Karen ...

1. Mood - Relieved.

Have you broken any bones? Nope, but I sprained my ankle playing rounders in Year 8. I was off school fro a week, much to my annoyance.

3. Do you have any piercings?
Only my ears

4. Breakfast? Coco Pops

5. Eyes/lips/cheeks: Eyes are bare - not even mascara, cheeks MAC Conjure Up blush, lips Cream d'Nude l/s

6. Name of your first pet? Beauty - a gorgeous Alsatian who ran away when the back garden door was accidentally left open! :-(

7. Current favourite cream blush?
MAC Fancy Ray. It was well worth the wait.

9. Journey - cool, cheesy (or both)?
Pass. I don't even understand the question!!

9. Outfit? NL Black straight leg jeans, Primark grey tasselled printed vest, black longline cardigan, silver ballet pumps

10. Weekly goals? To write (or type rather) up a 2010 financial action plan. I've got sh*t to do next year!!

Review: Benefit One Hot Minute

Monday, November 09, 2009

What it says on the packaging: This loose rose-gold finishing powder is the final touch for a "gaze at me" glow. All it takes hot minute!

I love products that give the skin a healthy glow. The shade rose-gold sounds lovely and lovely it is .. just not on me. Not this formulation anyway.

I love the little screw top tin it comes in, it looks so pretty. However, dispensing the finely milled powder can be a little awkward and the fan brush that accompanies it, isn't the best application tool. I use my MAC #136 blush brush to apply it lightly on my cheeks.

I find that attempting to wear this product alone on my skin makes me look ashy and I'm a MAC NC50. However when I teamed it with NARS Lovejoy blush it looked a little better but I ended up wearing more Lovejoy than One Hot Minute!

To be honest I'd love to be able to wear it on its own as that's the whole point of it. When photographed on my skin worn alone the effects were so unflattering that a hand swatch will have to suffice.

The claim that this product suits all skintones isn't entirely true as I shouldn't have to layer another product on top of it to make it wearable. It's not something I'd recommend at the top of my list for darker skintones. There are other products that will compliment you better. I won't be using this again, it doens't tick my boxes although the product idea is a good one.

For paler skinned chicks this product may be right up your street. It will easily give your skin a healthy glow without looking overdone and makes a nice alternative to bronzer.

How much is it? £23.50
Where can I get it from? Benefit online, counters nationwide

K by Beverley Knight - initial thoughts

Saturday, November 07, 2009

Yesterday, I finally got the chance to look at Beverley Knight's (a UK soul singer for those who don't know) new make up range K in Selfridges which has been available since September 17th. It's currently stocked in all the Selfridges branches - London (Oxford Street), Manchester (Exchange Square), Birmingham (Bull Ring) and also in Manchester's Trafford Centre. I think it's now stocked in John Lewis too.

What it says on the website:

K by Beverley Knight MBE is a black cosmetics range for the darker skin tones for todays modern woman. Beverley Knight has launched "K" a black cosmetics range specially designed for black skin, darker skin and Asian skin. A full range of black cosmetics ranging from from oil-free foundations, through to and including skin highlighters for black skin or Asian skin.

Beverley Knight

K by Beverley Knight display stand in Selfridges (London) on the day of its unveiling - image taken from Google.

I was greeted warmly by 2 of the MUA's who swiftly pounced as soon as I swatched and cooed over a blusher. The collection is fairly small with not that much choice yet in terms of shades or finish. I hope that will change though as word of the brand spreads and their profits grow.

Unfortunately I didn't get a chance to look at the counter as closely I'd have liked as the MUA's stayed with me the entire time. I would have been able to browse with ease had they walked off for a few minutes but I felt under pressure to entertain their conversation and so got distracted.

I did manage to swatch the blushes - currently they have five shades to choose from and Flame and Fushia caught my eye. I need to go back and compare Fuchia (yes, that's how it's spelt on the site) to MAC Sweetness (LE) and Azalea (Pro) but I came home with Flame which is a lovely rust/copper shade that looks gorgeous on all shades of darker skintones. I don't have a blusher like this so I'm quite pleased with this buy. NARS Taj Mahal is much stronger in comparison even when used lightly when is a different shade altogether.

The staying power appears impressive as I could still see the remains of the blush swatches I did after washing my hands three times over the course of yesterday evening.
I'm wearing it today and 3.5 hours on (yeah, I got dressed late!) it's holding up well.

The packaging is okay, it reminds me of the plastic that NARS use if I keep this blusher in my make up bag it'll get covered in blush/makeup residue before long as it rubs against my blush/powder brush.

One of the MUA's proved not to be as knowledgeable about the brand as she should of when questioned by Miss Virtue but I'll give her a second chance to brush up her product knowledge and selling skills as her make up looked so nice.

Annoyingly you can't lift the blushers off the stand, they're stuck down so you can't see the shade names for yourself or look closer at the packaging. No biggie I suppose, but
I just like to hold products in my hand. I think it's just the blushers and e/s that may be stuck down though.

Foundation shades appeared well catered for and I was plonked down on a chair and had my "shine" dealt with. I hate being positioned in the middle of Selfridges beauty hall, for all and sundry to stare at as they walk past so I wasn't very comfortable with that, although my embarassed fixed grin probably said otherwise.

I completely skipped the lipstick shades as the shades available didn't grab my attention and the SA kept unconvincingly trying to sell me a red lipstick.
I also didn't even get a chance to look at the e/s properly either *shakes head*

I'm gonna go back next week and hopefully I'll get a chance to browse in peace. The price range is similar to MAC. My blusher cost £14, however it's the same size as a Rimmel blush. I think they should have been bigger for that price.

Have you had a chance to check out K yet? What do you think?

Check out the website for more product info and to buy online:

Because I'm worth it ...

Saturday, November 07, 2009

Hehe ..I've always wanted to use L'oreal's tagline in a blog post title.

I've been very good over the past few weeks and have spent very little money on make up since coming back from visiting hubs. The only purchases made have been from funds in my Paypal account (and that's not reeeeal money is it?!!) and I also bought the latest Sleek palettes last week.

Over the past few months I've built up my makeup collection to the point where I don't need to buy as much as I have done previously. However, I thought I'd treat myself yesterday and passed by MAC with
Miss Virtue . We decided to go to the Covent Garden store instead of the Carnaby St Pro store for a change and it was a great improvement on my last experience, when I was scrutinised by the assistant manager when I took a product back for a refund. How very dare I, what was I thinking?! *rolls eyes*

Creme d'Nude (Cremesheen)

Bare (Slimshine)

Embark e/s refill

Conjure Up mineralize blush (Magic, Mirth & Mischief)

If you look closely you may be able to see the fine glitter in this shade, luckily it's not overpowering.

Nothing else took my fancy from Magic, mirth and MIschief, though Blue Sorcery mineralize e/s duo looked nice.

I didn't want to try the lipstick testers on my lips (sanitised or not, too many lips have been on them for my liking!) so spent an age doing swatches on my hand in varying degrees of lighting. I'm fairly satisfied that I can make both choices work for me and I plan to use Bare today and put it through its paces.

I also bought two more blushes from Gossmakeupartist's blog sale last week and they arrived a couple of days ago. Deep was on my wishlist so I'm really pleased about getting it at such a cheap price. Brazen works with a light hand and will look nice with a bit of sheen over the top so that'll encourage me to dig out my MSFs.

I keep forgetting that I can use Illamasqua cream blushes on my lips. The MUA who served us in Selfridges as we browsed reminded me, so I'll see what I can do with Deep as it's lovely sheer berry shade.

Have you bought anything from MMM or any of the gift sets? Planning to?

Nail polish of the week - China Glaze Rodeo Fanatic

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Rodeo Fanatic was released in China Glaze's Rodeo Diva collection. As you can see it's a gorgeous deep turquoise greeny blue with shimmer running through it ..yeah you get the idea. Gosh, trying to describe nail polishes can be a headache and a half!

Anyway I love it and it looks fab when it catches the light.

The Monday Poll

Monday, November 02, 2009

Courtesy of Karen ...

1. Mood?
Content - I'm watching ANTM, talking to Chaud on Messenger and he's making me laugh.

2. Are you a good cook? Yeah I think I'm quite good. My Mum started 'training' me when I was about 10 yr old. I haven't poisoned anybody yet and I do a wicked green thai curry.

3. Are you a spender or a saver?
Spender, but I have no qualms about saving when the situation calls for it. I just prefer to spend!

4. Black Lipstick?
Worn with the right make up and accompanying outfit, I think it can look pretty sexy.

5. Eyes/lips/cheeks?
- Estee Lauder Sumptuous mascara, MAC Saddle e/s, NYX Cocoa blush, MAC Siss l/s (Well what's left of it! Off to have a shower soon).

6. Last movie you loved? Dreamgirls! It was on TV last night and I finally got round to watching it for the first time. Loved it and LOVE Jennifer Hudson.

7. Spiders?
NO! I hate them as I do every other insect on this planet!

8. What's the weather like out your way? It's a little chilly but not as cold as it should be at this time of year.

9. Outfit? Well it's just gone 9pm and I'm chillin', so boyfriend's t-shirt and velour jogging bottoms -schexy!

10. Weekly goals? To declutter my wardrobe (again) and list some jackets/coats on Ebay. I have too many.

Tagged: I love your blog

Monday, November 02, 2009

A few weeks ago, Becky aka Sirvinya nominated me for the 'I love your blog' award which has been doing the rounds again. I've only found the time to post it now but thank you very much!

The rules are ..
1. Accept the award and post it on your blog
2. Pass it onto others

I pick:

An Eye Makeup Addicts blog - Brilliant EOTDS, her precision is effortless and I always look forward to her new shade combinations.

DvoraDivine - I enjoy the creativity of Deborah's FOTDs, her use of colour and she continually encourages me to reach for something other than a safe nude lipgloss.

LionLovingTiger - Beauty blogging need not read like a copy of The Telegraph newspaper. I enjoy reading blogs that are fun and humorous aswell as informative and straight to the point.

Lipstick & Lollipops - Great reviews, layout and I've been loving her eye looks of late.

Review: Sally Hansen Nailgrowth Miracle

Monday, November 02, 2009

What it says on the bottle: Shake gently. Apply one thin coat to clean, dry bare nails every other day. If wearing nail color, use as a base coat, then apply color. Remove only with Sally Hansen non-acetone remover. If irritation occurs, discontinue use.

I bought this in NY after researching nail growth products online. My nails have never recovered from the horrendous acrylic job I had done when I was 18 and ten years on my talons were still suffering fom my ill informed decision - all in the name of vanity! My own nails were perfectly fine but acrylics were in and I wanted longer nails like my friends. A few of my nails have splits going up the nail bed so will automatically tear when they reach a certain length as they keep getting caught on things. The others have been a brittle, peeling mess ever since.

I've been using this as my base for the past month and my nails are now so strong. The slightest knock would have my nails breaking but they're like concrete now! Nailgrowth Miracle is an ordinary clear polish which I just apply before I paint my nails. I reapply every time I re-paint my nails - which has been about 7 times in the past month. They've grown faster in 4 weeks than they usually would in 2 months and the only ones I've had to cut down are the ones with the splits in as they just snag on clothing. I'm truly amazed as I didn't think I'd see much difference, especially after having no success with Sally Hansen Maximum Growth which I purchased a couple of years ago.

I actually feel encouraged to book myself in for a manicure (which I never do) to get a professional touch up as they don't look half as bad as they used to. I've changed my polish 3 times in the past week - that's unheard of for me but my new look nails give me a reason to play with my polishes much more now. I don't use Sally Hansen remover as advised, personally I think that's just a ploy to get you to spend more money on the range. My nails have continued to improve using the standard Superdrug own brand polish remover I always use!

If like mine, your nails are weak and brittle or you just want an aid to help you grow your nails longer and stronger then I'd definitely recommend this product.

Price: £8.49
Where can I get it? Boots, Superdrug - even in some pound shops I've been told!


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