Recently I've gone back to using one of my old favourites- YSL Lingerie Pink Rouge Volupte which is a coolish milky pink with a creme finish. This is one of those cult status lipsticks, in a way I find that a bit strange as it can be quite hard to pull off, I find the best way is to blot it with your finger afterwards to take away some of the harshness or to top it with gloss (I've been using Mac Frankly Fresh of late). It looks particularly lovely when paired with a smokey eye.
Like most Rouge Voluptes it is creamy soft and quite moisturising. It is also scented with a sweet mango perfume that I love. Due to its amount of slip, wear time isn't as good as some others on the market- about 3 hours, although this doesn't bother me at all. The coverage is basically opaque in one swipe so you need to be careful you don't over apply as it is so soft and you will run out very quickly!
So I've been holding off reviewing this for a while as I wanted to give it a chance to work as I think there are a lot of so called eyelash growth enhancers on the market and very few of them have any effect, and the ones that really do can change your eye colour so this has always put me off. I've used it for a good month now on my top lashes (I find it smudges slightly on my lower lashes) and I've been pleased with the progress so far. I can't say I've experienced much in terms of extra length but I have found there are less lashes falling out overall so they are looking a bit fuller. I do have long lashes naturally so I might not be the ideal audience for this product but it is still an improvement on what I have.
Mascara wise I find this pretty nice- volumising but not OTT although it does layer nicely and has a good depth of black pigment. At first I found it a bit too wet and it made my curl fall out (this happens to me a lot so I tend to let mascaras dry out slightly before I use it). It has a biggish wand- a bit like Diorshow so builds up quickly but you also need to be careful in the corners. Overall I went from not really liking this to really enjoying it so definitely will be repurchasing it.
As I mentioned yesterday I've been using a combination of Dior Saint Tropez on my toes and Chanel's Island on my fingers. I wasn't expecting to buy Island as I thought it looked the most plain of the 3, still I did my usual getting caught up in Chanel regret and quickly went out to purchase it before it sold out ( I think this one sold out first). Anyway, it's a gorgeous milky cream shade with pink opalescence. In bright light the shimmer really stands out, I can't think of anything this is quite like it!
It is designed to be sheerish, I used 2 coats to get it how I like it, you could use 3 if you really wanted. I got about 5 days wear from this before I saw any tipwear- which is fantastic for me as I usually get about 3 days. If you can still get hold of this one it's definitely worth a look!
So I finally caved and climbed aboard the Dior Saint Tropez bandwagon. It's a pretty, slightly dusty, turquoise creme. I think it was originally launched last year when they opened a new store in Saint Tropez and was an instant sell out. This time it has come out with the Summer collection- but I think it is still limited edition. Saint Tropez runs more blue than say China Glaze Aquadelic, Chanel Nouvelle Vague, Pop Mint Magic and Essie Mint Candy Apple, although it's not a ground breaking or unique shade by any means.
It comes with the Dior wide brush so application is super quick, the formula is quite thick but easy to work with and is opaque in 2 coats. I didn't get any weird bubbling and it didn't take long to dry. It's quite shiny so you could skip topcoat if you really wanted. I found this lasted on me for about 4 days before I noticed any tip wear. This makes a beautiful pedi shade, I've been wearing it combined with Chanel's Island on my hands. If you can find this in stores it is a lovely one to have but it's not hugely unique so I wouldn't start paying inflated eBay prices for it.
So I came across this brush the other day from the lovely Sam from Pixiwoo. It's new to the collection and is a small setting brush which can be used for powder or highlighter. It has synthetic bristles so is also cruelty free. I've always been impressed by the Real Techniques brushes, the bristles are soft and much higher quality than a lot of other brands, not to mention the price point is excellent. It has a tapered tip to make for precise application and effortless blending. It's very similar to a jumbo Mac 224 or the old 225 that I'm not sure they make anymore.
I like this more for highlighter or for setting powder under the eyes as it gives you a lot more control where you place the product. These brushes also wash up really nicely, I haven't had much dye leakage or shedding to date. The short handles make them great for traveling too as I find the Mac, Suqqu, Shu etc... brushes never fit into my personal make up bag. One thing to note is that the writing tends to rub off with heavy usage- although this happens with the premium brushes too!
So while I wait for the trickle of Fall collections to hit Europe (which is notoriously slow over here) I thought I'd do a quick review of my current favourite foundation, Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua. As I'm in between shades ( and I can't find another B40 anywhere to purchase) I'm mixing a combo of 20 Beige and BA40 Beige Ambre Desert. I should note that BA40 is much darker than the standard B40 so don't mistake one for the other as I did! Formula wise it's a gorgeous product- light but enough coverage to perfectly blend away any blemishes. You have to give this one a good old shake before you use else you'll end up using all the watery bit and get left with a thick gloop afterwards. It has a SPF of 15 built in which is always a bonus.
It dries down pretty fast so you need to move quickly and it has a semi matte finish, even on my oily skin I never get particularly shiny with this on even if I don't use any powder. I get a whole days wear from this one even in the heat (it has been 35-40 degrees here recently) so I highly recommend it. I've been using this sparingly with my ThisWorks Perfect Skin Miracle which I reviewed earlier to get the perfect amount of coverage for the summer. I should also note that I started using Vitalumiere Aqua since it was launched and have never experience any reactions to it with my uber sensitive skin. It has a light scent but soon disappears once applied.
Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua, left to right: 20 and BA40 (daylight)
Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua, left to right: 20 and BA40 (flash)
So this is a new product from This Works. It's a tinted moisturiser with lots and lots of skincare goodies in it. It has no coverage whatsoever but does brighten the face and give it a slight glow. The tinted part does help to even out tone and I find that after a minute or so a lot of the redness in my skin has calmed down so I can get away with just using concealer on the essential areas. It blends incredibly easily and smells lovely, very fresh and not synthetic at all. I think if you have oily skin you could skip moisturiser (this isn't mattifying but also isn't shine-inducing) but if you have normal or dry you might need to pop some on beforehand.
Overall this is a lovely product, whether you need extra coverage or not as you can use this as a base for your foundation regardless of your skintone. I do especially like the way they incorporate skin care ingredients as I feel my skin has been looking slightly better since I have been wearing this. It has no sulphates, synthetic colours, synthetic fragrance, mineral oils or parabens and lots of other nasties which you regularly find in make up.
Whoops- I meant to write about this when I first purchased it. In my excitement it went straight into my make up bag which is where it has been ever since. It's a lovely soft and smooth peachy-beige bronzer with just the right amount of sheen (no glittery bits here) and is made up of 7 stripes of gold, peaches and medium taupey browns. As it is on the paler side of bronze it is best suited to light-medium skintones, what is particularly lovely is that if you own a smallish brush you can pick out the beige/gold shades to double as your highlighter.
I would say this was a bit softer (but not powdery) than last year's Chanel summer bronzers (although I still adore those too) so I think I can justify owning both. The wear time was great- a full day in warm weather and no sign of fading.
I've been looking for a replacement for my beloved Mac Volcanic Ash Thermal Mask and this one had been recommended to me. Alpha-H is an Australian skincare brand that focuses on actual ingredients that work rather than flashy packaging and expensive ad campaigns. It's relatively hard to find- just a couple of online retailers and spas stock them.
So, back to the mask, it contains vitamin A and clay to draw out any impurities in the skin. I found it did a good job when I felt a few blemishes coming up and it didn't aggravate my sensitive skin. It smells quite strongly of lavender but I didn't notice it after a while. It's quite a thick whitish paste which you leave on for about 10 minutes before rinsing off.
As I said before, the packaging is very simple but you get a decent amount of product (100ml) for your money so should last a long time. Overall it's a good product and has kept my oily skin and any blemishes at bay since I've been using it 1-2 times per week.
Sorry about my lack of posts recently, I've been fostering a little puppy so everything is rather hectic in my household! Anyway, I came across this Illusion D'Ombre the other day in 89 Vision which is a bright yellow gold with lots of sparkles- very festive in my opinion. I haven't seen it advertised so I'm not sure if it is a Europe exclusive. It is a bit harder to work (expect a bit of fallout) with than last years release but is super pretty and has the same bouncy gel texture. I find fingertips or a synthetic brush works best with this, it doesn't have the same opaque quality as previous shades but has a lot of glittery bits.
I got about 8 hours wear from this (with no base) before it started to look a bit patchy, although it did endure 8 hours of 35 degree heat so thumbs up for that. It's also worth noting that you must avoid touching your eyes while wearing this as it wipes off very easily.
Chanel Vision (daylight)
Chanel Vision (sunlight)
Chanel Vision (blurry to show the sparkle better!)
This was the only other item I purchased from the Beth Dito Collection. It's a bright creamy medium orange with a glossy finish. It's not as bright/neon as say Bobbi Brown's Atomic Orange or Mac Morange but it has a similar tone. Booyah!!! goes on opaque and has a slight vanilla scent.
The great thing about Pro Longwears is that they do stay put for hours, this lasted on me for 6 hours through a cup of tea (or two) and a light lunch.
The only problem I found was with the packaging, firstly once you twist the lipstick up it won't twist back down and also it won't click shut properly. This could just be a error with my lipstick although I found the closing mechanism didn't work with my Dear Diary lipstick either.
So I thought I'd do a post of a different kind today (don't worry I'm still posting my usual reviews). I wanted to show you a few of my most favourite beauty items, you might even be lucky enough to own a few of them!
Chanel Turbulent Blush- this was a beautiful hot pink blush which was sadly discontinued many years ago, luckily I purchased a few back ups to keep me going. It has a stunning subtle pearl that Chanel does so well
Chanel Holographic Nail Polish- Several years before the whole "Jade" saga, does anybody remember this one? It's definitely the Rolls Royce of Holographic nail polishes, it applies beautifully and has the strongest holo that I've ever seen, perfection!
Mac Popster Lip Conditioner- From the Hello Kitty Collection a few years ago this gorgeous bright coral pink is my go to for a bright summer lip balm. I think I bought about 6 of these!
Tom Ford for Estée Lauder "The Face Sheen"- It seems like such a long time ago Tom Ford collaborated with Lauder, it was a beautiful collection and this golden face sheen was my favourite. It came in a heavy gold compact topped with a aqua lid. Another item that I adore from this was the Azuree body oil, luckily they've repackaged it and it's now called the Bronze Godess body oil which comes out every summer.
Tom Ford Tobacco Vanille- Another item from Mr Ford. This is part of his private collection of fragrances which are sold in special stores (I bought mine from Harrods) and are much more expensive than the standard range. Probably my favourite fragrance of all time, it's very strong and in your face -beware it's a bit of a love it or hate it scent! I love the combination of vanilla and tobacco and I've never smelt anything like it elsewhere.
Mac Elite Eyeshadow- This is a legendary eyeshadow and I know many make up artists who still talk about it. It's a ultra soft bronze gold with a veluxe pearl finish. I think it was launched in 2005 and remains one of my favourite Mac shadows of all time.
Mac Tartlette Lipglass- Now this was a long time ago, luckily I had the forethought to buy a few back ups. It's a perfect mix of coral and pearl without being too shimmery.
Mac Petite Indulgence Cremesheen Glass- I think this was when the Cremesheen range was first out, it's a beautiful medium hot pink- not too bright or dark.
Chanel Super Rouge Allure Lipstick- From Les Pop Up de Chanel a few years ago which had lots of lovely items including this which is a bright almost neon pink in the great Rouge Allure formula. Pink and Chanel, what's not to love?
Mac Partylicious Pigment- From the Alice + Olivia collection, this is a stunning turquoise/teal, buttery pigment. Love this colour!
Guerlain Orange Euphorique Rouge G- A beautiful bright orange with golden sheen which came out a few summers ago, I particularly love the special black packaging.
Mac Party Parrot Lipstick- This was a more recent purchase from the Iris Apfel collection. It's the perfect neon pink for my skintone. Bright but has lots of depth.
Mac Alpha Girl Beauty Powder- From the Heatherette collection it's a bright pale pink powder that I use as a blush. I love this mostly for the hot pink and holographic packaging!
So those are a few of my most treasured beauty items! Do you have any favourites or any recommendations for me?
I've been on the hunt for a non greasy hydrating mask for regular use, I do adore my Sisley Flower Express Mask but as it is expensive I tend to save it as a treat. Rodial have released a range called 'Dragon's Blood'- don't be alarmed though as it is just referring to some tree sap! I went ahead and purchased the mask in the line (which also includes a moisturiser etc...). It has a light gel texture that dries clear, isn't oily or greasy to the touch and once left on for ten minutes (or even overnight) my skin feels plump and a lot of the redness has been taken down. So far I haven't experienced any irritation or breakouts with this one.
It has a light sweet scent but doesn't overpower once applied. The packaging is fairly simple in a coral plastic tube (50ml) which is perfect for travelling. I'm really loving this mask and even though it's a luxury brand it doesn't break the bank and is a great product and does exactly what it claims to and I can't wait to try the rest of the range. I haven't had long enough to trial it for any long term benefits but I'll keep you updated!
Next up from Dior Summer Mix is the Addict Ultra Gloss in 854 Red Cruise which is a bright cherry red with a super shiny finish. It matches the Calypso nail polish that I review earlier perfectly. As it is a jelly finish there is an element of transparency but there is a good amount of colour so only a tiny peek of my lip shade comes through. On me it turns a little more raspberry toned due to the pinkness of my lips, so it may vary from person to person.
Dior glosses last on me about 3 hours and feel quite hydrating as glosses go. It's not particularly sticky and doesn't have a detectable scent once on. As far as I know this collection is limited edition so if you see something you like its worth checking out sooner rather than later!
The Kiehls Rare Earth Pore Refining Tonic is a bi phase toner with a blend of clay, witch hazel and lots of skin are goodies. You have to give it a good mix before use as it separates leaving the clay at the bottom. I like to use this product in the summer when I want to make sure I stay shine free all day. If you soak a cotton pad then pat over your t-zone (or wherever you get a bit shiny) before using foundation it really helps to stop any oiliness from appearing.
As this does have clay and is astringent I don't use it on a everyday basis just in case it stops working, although you probably could if you wanted. I also find it helps to clear up any blemishes I have. Overall I'm a big fan of the Rare Earth range, especially the mask, they're both effective and at a reasonable price point so if you're looking for a product to help combat shine this might be worth checking out.
I got mine from kiehls.co.uk
Cosmo 158 Vernis Gloss by Dior is a bright honeysuckle pink with a jelly or "sorbet" finish. It applies pretty smoothly but it is not designed to be opaque so you will see some visible nail line. I used 2 coats and I get decent coverage with a shiny finish. This matches the Bikini lipgloss ( which I reviewed earlier) in the collection perfectly so if you like your make up to coordinate this might be up your street.
I get about 3 days with these Dior nail polishes before I start seeing any tip wear. Overall this is a nice colour (although the shade itself is quite dupeable) so if you like jelly finishies and your pinks bright but not neon it's definitely worth checking out.
As always all my work and photos are copyrighted so please do not republish or repost them.
I only picked up 2 items from the Beth Ditto Collection, Booyah!!! and Dear Diary. Dear Diary is a very bright magenta pink with a creamy finish. It's very pigmented and goes on opaque in one swipe. This is one of those uber bright lipsticks that can be a bit tricky to pull off but it's not quite as neon as say Candy Yum Yum.
As it's a Pro Longwear Lipcreme the lasting power is pretty good, about 6 hours before the shine and colour faded down to leave a stain. I don't find these drying either, although I like to apply balm before anyway.
Essie has launched its Bikini So Teeny Collection, I picked up Bikini So Teeny which is a lilacy cornflower blue with subtle silver glitter (you can't really see it on the nail). It has a nice consistency and was opaque in 2 coats with a shiny finish. The one thing worth noting is that if you use a topcoat it darkens the colour quite a lot and looks a bit more purple.
I get about 3 days wear from Essie polishes before I get any tip wear. Overall it's a very cute shade and I don't have anything else quite like it so thumbs up!
The next item from the Dior Summer Mix collection I have to show you is this Vernis in 158 Calypso. It is a beautiful warm toned red. Dior calls these "sorbet-like color" so these are designed to be sheer jelly finishes, while you do get a lot of colour the nail is still visible underneath. They have a lovely squishy effect and are super glossy. I originally put on Calypso's pink sister "Cosmo" with long nails and it looked pretty hideous with the amount of VNL but after chopping them down I think it looks much nicer.
I used 2 coats here and it looked fine- 3 seemed pointless as it is meant to be a jelly. I got about 3 days wear before any tip wear appeared which is about normal for me. Overall a pretty shade which I think will be lovely for pedicures and on short manis.
I know this is one of those products that has been around for a long time and it doesn't look all that special- bare with me for a bit. It's very easy to get caught up in the limited edition, million and one collections that get pumped out every season so sometimes it's nice to get back to the basics. The tried and tested formulas that stand the test of time if you will, and this is one such item. The Instant Light Natural Lip Perfector in 02 Apricot Shimmer is a pale, milky peach balm-like gloss which hydrates your lips and smells divine.
It gives a slight hint of colour and doesn't settle into lip lines, it's a no brainer sort of gloss that you can just pop on without a mirror and looks great with all sorts of make up. My only gripe with this product is the applicator- it's sort of a sponge that the product squeezes through, not that hygienic! Apart from that you get a lot for your money- 12ml so you won't run out any time soon. I find this lasts about 3 hours on me, by which time my lips feel nice and hydrated. It's not particularly sticky or tacky either.