Thursday, 27 June 2013

Giorgio Armani Lip Maestro #400

Another scheduled post, still on holiday :)

#400, £25, is in total contrast to my last red lip, Guerlain Genna. While that was a slippy, creamy, orange-toned lipstick, this is a satin-matte, practically permanent, deep, slightly blue based red. But just because it's totally different, doesn't mean I don't adore it.

This is high-impact colour. It's not in the slightest bit sheer, it's practically Dulux paint. The formula is velvety, but if you want to push the wear-time to the 8 or 9 hour mark without completely drying out your lips, I'd use a little bit of balm underneath. This will still stick like glue.

It transfers on to cups etc., but the transfer isn't evident on the lips at all. After literally 7 hours, inner lip fading may be evident and the finish may be slightly more matte than velvet-satin, but it's still very much there.

This is almost definitely a winter colour. It makes me look pale, but doesn't wash me out or anything.

An oil-based make up remover is an absolute must, followed by an immediate lip balm or moisturiser application. If I'm not careful it can take my lips a day or two to recover. But in my opinion, that's a given, and also a fair trade-off, for a lipstick this matte and long-wearing.

Another highly recommended red.

Monday, 24 June 2013

Guerlain Rouge G 28 Genna

This is a scheduled post as I'm on holiday.

I bought Genna, £31, last Thursday because I can't help but make a purchase every time I'm alone in John Lewis make up department. I decided I wanted to try on a couple of more orange reds to see how orange I could go, and this was the one I settled on.

Oh my goodness, this is luxury. I've bought Guerlain Meteorites before, but never had a lip product from them. I've read a lot about Guerlain lipstick packaging, but just in case you haven't -

It's a super chunky shiny case with plenty of weight to it.

Pull the cap off to reveal a pop up mirror. So in love.

Oh yeah.

L'application. I took a few photos of me applying, but they're all a bit silly.

It's so shiny and silky. I realised that all of my reds are either mattes or liquids/stains, this is the first creme finish red lipstick I've ever bought. And I love it. It feels like I'm not wearing anything on my lips, and the finish is so stunning and not at all aging like I thought it would be (no reasoning behind that thought at all).

I applied directly from the bullet because it feels nice, but when I bought it the assistant used a brush. She also recommended using a lip liner due to the slip of the lipstick.

It's warm and slightly orange, but not so orange it makes my teeth look bad.

Enough photos?

Sheer application also looks good. It doesn't stain, which is a positive, because sometimes you just want a lipstick to come fully off at the end of the day (but not before then, this lipstick has good wear.)

Wednesday, 19 June 2013


I absolutely love BEAUTY IS BORING by Robin Black. I came across it via Twitter a while back, but that was in the days before I got in to using Google Reader (RIP) and I forgot to bookmark the page. I was thrilled to find it again on a Refinery29 post about beauty blogs worth following, along with a bunch of great blogs I'd not read before.

(All images in this post are from Beauty Is Boring)

There are so many great things about BIB, like, the photography is so stunning in every shot. The looks range from over the top to subtle with plenty of wearable ideas. Each post contains step-by-step instructions and a complete product list including purchase links. The range of looks and of model types really shows off Black's versatility as an artist. Plus, the rarity of her posts makes each new one so exciting.

Tuesday, 18 June 2013

Face Of The Day: In Honour of Black Cherry

This is a face of the day in honour of the fact that I found my favourite Stila lipglaze that I thought I lost about 5 months ago. I'm pretty sure I wrote before that I didn't like sheer lip colours - I lied. I love this one. I love it so much I'm wearing it in June, even though it's a definite winter shade.

It's Black Cherry and it's a part of the permanent range, costing £15 for 2.4ml. Mine's only 1.5ml because it was part of a holiday set of 8 glosses. Despite the smaller size, I'd recommend getting a set because you still make a great saving, plus you can try out more colours. There are always plenty of trios available on their site.

Black Cherry is a great product for anyone looking for something a little bit nineties who doesn't want to go all the way to mocha coloured lipstick (me). For me, Stila lip glazes have always been a very nineties product as well, so bonus points for parading it around and applying it in public, right?

Bottom is applied thickly, top is spread out as I would apply it on my lips - note the good pigmentation. They are pretty sticky, which a lot of people probably wouldn't like, but they are also long-lasting.

MLBMOT. My Lips But More On Trend.

Also on my face - MAC Cremeblend Blush in Ladyblush, & Other Stories Luminising Powder in "1", Clinique High Impact Extreme Mascara, a weirdly shiny forehead. 

Yes I'm in bed, no that's not a pyjama top. Final words on Black Cherry: you need to buy it.

Monday, 17 June 2013

& Other Stories

Now that I'm joining in the & Other Stories hype I'm an official beauty blog, right?

I went in to Stories for the first time last Thursday and, obviously, stopped by the makeup section straight away. I played with the blushes but didn't feel like any of them had a place in my makeup bag right now (weird, right) and then I saw a woman brazenly trying on highlighters using a fluffy brush from the display case, so I made my way over there, and that's when I saw Illuminating Powder 1, which looks to me like Benefit High Beam in powder form. 

I'll admit I'm currently going through a real cream phase, but after trying it out on my hand I simply couldn't leave the shop without it. It is silky and blendable, warm enough for my summer skin colour, but definitely not too dark for my winter skin colour. Plus, duh, the packaging is so sleek. The pan is quite large and shallow so there's a high risk of it shattering once I've used a lot of it, but I shouldn't have to worry about that for a while.

I do enjoy the subtle effect - I'm pretty sure that it's impossible to over-apply this stuff. However, I've worn it every day since I bought it and have found it's not particularly long-lasting on bare skin. I'm sure if I wore foundation the wear time would improve.

I don't care because I love applying this stuff. I'm sure it won't be long before I make another & Other Stories purchase, and here's what I'm liking:

Makeup: Lip gloss tube in Cordovan Wine, this has a sort of Dior Black Tie vibe, only slightly redder, therefore easier to wear. Lip colour in Ninon Pink would be a welcome addition to my lipstick wardrobe now that I've discovered that it's okay to wear pink. Eyebrow powder in 3, because I find brow powders easier to work with than brow pencils. Moroccan Tea Body Lotion because Moroccan tea smells just divine, plus it comes with a pump!

Clothing: I've never seen a boxier ribbed tank - awesome (one can never have too many grey vests). These socks are a cool pattern without being too hipster-tryhard. I often find that Swedish or French made dresses are too long for me, which would clearly not be a problem with this tiny red silk beauty. The whole lingerie section is to die for, but this is my personal favourite delicate bra.

I also purchased some Shu Uemura eyelash curlers - apparently they're supposed to be quite good or something (ha) - a copy of Wonderland magazine ...and some Céline sunglasses!

Saturday, 15 June 2013

Blush Lust + Chanel Le Blush Creme de Chanel A/W13

I totally forgot I had read this, but oh my goodness Chanel is coming out with a creme blush this winter.

This is 63 Révélation, which is my favourite shade.

In the mean time, here are more creme blushes I'm lusting after.

Friday, 14 June 2013

Happy birthday for yesterday, Mary-Kate and Ashley!

When I was younger I kind of took pride in the fact that I didn't watch their movies, but now that they've moved into the world of fashion, I'm totally not ashamed to say I think they're great. The Row is consistently fabulous and the girls always seem to be a few seasons ahead on the street style front.

Here's a couple of their makeup looks that I love and which products to use to get them.

photo: JustJared

To get Ashley's bold brows, use a a super thin pencil such as Trish McEvoy Precision Brow Shaper, £21, lightly to fill in any sparse areas, then use the attached brush upwards for three quarters of the length of the brow and then brush the final part towards the edge of your face. Set with MAC Brow Set in Clear, £12.50.

Skip foundation and opt for Clarins Beauty Flash Balm, £29, or mix your BB cream with a drop of NARS Illuminator, £22, to make sure your skin really glows. Use Illamasqua Cream Blush in Zygomatic, £18, for contouring.

Get the most out of your lashes by applying Guerlain Cils d'Enfer, £22, one layer on the bottom lashes but I find you can get up to 3 on the top. Draw Clinique Quickliner in Ebony, £14, as close to the lashline as possible, and finish with a matte taupe shadow such as MAC Eyeshadow in Wedge, £12.

Lips need only a slick of lipbalm, centre parting is compulsory.


I was searching for a different photo of Mary-Kate in red lipstick, but when I found this one, which I'd never seen before, I had to use it. For a lip colour like hers, try Rouge G de Guerlain l'Extrait in M27 Luxure, £31Ellis Faas Creamy Lips in L103, £22, or NARS Satin Lip Pencil in Majella, £17.50.

Again, skip the foundation, and apply Rouge Bunny Rouge Bronzing Glow Liquid, £48, liberally across the cheeks and nose, blending up towards the temples.

Fluttery lashes are the name of the game, so use Bobbi Brown Lash Glamour Extreme Lengthening Mascara, £18, and Urban Decay Flirt Lashes, £11.50, which have more length towards the outer corner of the eye, with YSL Shocking False Lash Effect Eyeliner, £24, along the outer third of the lash line for definition.

Finish with a dusting of Guerlain Meteorites, £35.50, for additional luminosity.

Thursday, 13 June 2013

ILIA Beauty Illuminator in Polka Dots and Moonbeams

Cracked out the first one of my samples today. This highlighter is a warm champagne shade with quite a glowy finish that is very subtle on the cheeks - I could barely see it indoors. However, it did last a whole day on me (around 8 hours)

(Oh dear Lord, my nails. I am out of nail varnish remover.)

It really is a very subtle highlight. The following photo shows a very heavy swatch, I didn't put nearly that much on my face. I used my fingers to apply and, since my fingers warmed it up a little, it was very easy to blend.

Honestly there wasn't much point in uploading a face shot as it was so subtle. It's like "my lips but better" only "my cheekbones but better". It's pretty nice, and I love spending $$ on cosmetics, but unless the natural ingredients aspect of the product is a real selling point for you, I'd hold out for either something cheaper or something better. I'll be interested to see whether I prefer RMS Living Luminizer.

ILIA Beauty is an American brand but is stocked at the Conran Shop, and Net-A-Porter. The highlighter is currently in stock in all of those places at £30, but you can get free delivery at beingcontent, whereas the Conran Shop's cheapest delivery charge is £5.95 and Net-A-Porter's is £10. I was surprised to see that it isn't stocked in Selfridges Beauty Rooms, which stock an amazing range of American and Japanese products.

Wednesday, 12 June 2013

Topshop Clueless Lip Crayon

About a year ago I decided I would branch out from red lips and dive straight in to the matte neon-pink that is Topshop's Clueless Lip Crayon. I wore it to the hairdresser who told me she liked my lipstick in the same tone she might have used to tell a small child they'd just painted a nice picture. Umm, thanks. I would occasionally put it on then decide not to wear it out, but this time I decided I ought to give it another go.

I depotted in in the most vicious manner out of frustration because it didn't fit my pencil sharpener (neither does NARS Dragon Girl but I couldn't bring myself to hurt that pencil). I won't show you a photo. But this is a product I'd definitely rather apply with a lip brush anyway. It requires proper exfoliation and careful application to ensure that the colour doesn't cling to the dry or flaky bits on your lips, making them much more neon than the rest of the lip. I applied it over MAC Prep + Prime Lip and it was slightly buildable and pretty easy to reach opacity. As my lips are pretty pigmented to begin with, I could have applied a tiny bit with my brush for a more subtle colour, but that's not how I roll. I tried sheer lip colours (Revlon Colorburst Lip Butter and Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain) and they weren't for me, though maybe when I grow up I'll learn to love them.

I look pretty tired. That's because I was. I'm doing as les Francaises do and applying a bright lip to distract from the state of my face.

I applied around 11:15, and at about 1:30 I had a frozen yoghurt (my obsession). Afterwards I took a really unsubtle selfie to check the state of my lips and I was impressed.

It's not quite as neon as it was before, but the fade was so far pretty even and my lips didn't feel overly dry. By 4pm it had faded more on my top lip than my bottom lip, and by around 5pm I would have reapplied, had I not left the stuff in Bristol and come home. If I wear matte lip pencils (so, Dragon Girl) for much longer than 6 or 7 hours it can take my lips a day or two to recover, so I try to avoid doing that. Therefore, I'm impressed with the wear time I got out of Clueless. It's £7 from Topshop.

Tuesday, 11 June 2013

Spirit Beauty Lounge Sample Set

I came home to a sample set that I ordered from the American beauty site Spirit Beauty Lounge. The site lets you order 9 samples of almost any product from their inventory for $25.00 (free shipping but I had to pay £11.32 in customs charges).

I ordered RMS Beauty Lip 2 Cheeks in Promise and Rapture, RMS Living Luminizer, ILIA Beauty Illuminator in Polka Dots and Moonbeams and Multistick in All Of Me, Kjaer Weis Cream Blush in Blossoming, Acure Organics Brightening Facial Scrub, Vered Therapeutic Balancing Face Oil and Suti Rejuvenate Face Oil.

I can't for the life of me get this photo to rotate (Google says other people have had similar problems) but the top row is RMS Promise and Kjaer Weis Blossoming, second row is RMS Rapture and RMS Living Luminizer, ILIA All Of Me, ILIA Polka Dots and Moonbeams.

The samples are teeny-tiny but still enough to get multiple uses. Will update as I test them out! I'll also try and find the best English stockists of the various items.

Sunday, 9 June 2013

Tuesday, 4 June 2013

Initial thoughts: Good Things Five Minute Facial Mask

This is an inexpensive clay style mask with the benefits of avocado, goji berry, green clay, kaolin and willow bark. It claims to make skin "clearer, brighter and smoother, all at the same time". It can be bought from Boots for £5.99 - it's currently on 3 for 2 with loads of other skincare, body products, vitamins and more so now's the time to snap it up if you want to try it for yourself. I completed the 3 for 2 deal with Effaclar Duo by La Roche-Posay and Witch Blemish Stick. I actually bought two blemish sticks by mistake, so I hope they work out for me.

It's a pretty good size tube (100ml, I imagine this will last about 10-12 uses) and a sweet and slightly fruity scent that is familiar but I can't quite place. Thick and opaque, obviously, being a clay mask. It says to apply in a thin layer, but I ended up putting on quite a lot as it was difficult to smooth out evenly without any skin showing through. I left it on for 5 minutes as per the instructions but was aware of a slight stinging after about 3-4. The mask does harden, but not so much that you can't move your face or anything, as I hear some clay masks do. Funnily enough, I decided against posting a photo of the mask in action.

When I began to wash it off the skin underneath was bright pink - my first thought obviously was that I was having a horrendous reaction to the mask, which would be a first to me, as despite my dry cheeks/oily T zone and tendency to get very dehydrated, I've never discovered any ingredient sensitivities. However, the redness quickly went away. Since spotting a little slight sunburn on my chest, I've chalked the redness and stinging up to my sunbathing earlier*.

I wouldn't say my skin was noticeably brighter, but it didn't feel tight or dehydrated and I do think it reduced some of the blackheads on my nose and chin. Just to be sure, I reapplied the mask to those two areas - where I am worst affected by blocked pores - and noticed no improvement on the blackhead front, but my nose did look a little smoother and glowier.

It's recommended to use this mask weekly "or whenever your skin needs a quick, brightening boost". I suspect I'll need to use this after this weekend which I am spending in Berlin with some girls from university. I'll post my final thoughts when I finish the tube, and if I enjoy the mask there are plenty more products in the Good Things range for me to try out. Read more about the company here.

*note to self - SPF 25 in morning moisturiser appears to be insufficient. Oh dear.

Mini haul: skincare

Witch Blemish Stick, La Roche-Posay Effaclar DuoGood Things Five Minute Facial Mask

Rouge Bunny Rouge Blush Wand Cheeks In Bloom in Titian

I have been in love with the Russian brand Rouge Bunny Rouge ever since I first read about them on Drivel about Frivol, but I had never really considered buying anything from there as they don't have any physical stores in the UK and, up until I bought this blush, I was quite wary of buying without swatching first. But when I was browsing Beauty Bay for cream blushes (side note: I had actually started out with the intention of buying Becca Beach Tint but they are currently not being sold anywhere in the UK. I hope this gets sorted out soon!) and I saw that Rouge Bunny Rouge made a blush stick I decided immediately that I needed one. I went for Titian, or Тициан as I like to say - pretentious? Moi? - as I wanted something quite subtle that I could wear on days where I don't feel like wearing anything too bright on my cheeks, but still need to wear something so I don't look like a corpse.

One minor thing - even though it quite clearly states that there is 4ml of product, I wasn't expecting something this small. If you wind it up, there's around 1.5cm of product in the stick.

This was such a challenge for me to photograph accurately as my photography skills leave plenty to be desired, so above L-R: Outdoors in direct sunlight, indoors in sunlight, indoors in sunlit room. Its a warm peach-apricot shade that sometimes turns a little more orange on me.

This is me wearing one layer of Titian blended along my cheekbone with a second layer blended into the apple of my cheek. Here is a rouge diagram, courtesy of Microsoft Paint:

It's not drying at all and lasts around 3 and a half hours on me. It costs £24 from Beauty Bay (or £26 from Zuneta...) Next I'd like to try Manet, which is a warm coral, and Vermeer, which is a slightly cooler rose colour.

Wearing OPI Gouda Gouda Two Shoes on my nails and Clinique High Impact Extreme Volume Mascara on my top lashes only.

Monday, 3 June 2013

Brush Wishlist

L-R: NARS Yachiyo Brush, NARS Smudge BrushHourglass Retractable Kabuki BrushHappy Jackson Smile Compact MirrorBobbi Brown Blush BrushAnastasia Beverly Hills Angled Cut BrushStila #15 Double Ended BrushLaura Mercier Fan Powder Brush

...Spot the odd one out. I know that mirrors aren't brushes, but it fit nicely into the gap and it's so cute.

NARS Yachiyo Brush: Which beauty fan doesn't want one of these? Literally every review I've heard has been positive, and I need a softer, more rounded powder brush.

NARS Smudge Brush: Perfect for doing a liner look with my NARS Night Flight eyeshadow, black packed with gorgeous navy shimmer particles - oddly that shade isn't on the NARS UK site any more, but there are 5 more Night Series shades.

Hourglass Kabuki Brush: How great are retractable brushes? I would use this to apply Guerlain Meteorites.

Bobbi Brown Blush Brush: Its won awards and my John Lewis blush brush isn't cutting it right now.

Anastasia Beverly Hills Angled Cut Brush: I don't actually own a brow brush yet. The link leads to Sephora, which as yet doesn't ship to the UK, but Anastasia is also available at Cult Beauty.

Stila #15: The more eyeshadow brushes the better, and a double-ended one is a win for me. I would use this for darker shadows and keep my current few brushes for lighter ones to minimise colour contamination.

Laura Mercier Fan Powder Brush: The brush that will solve the issues I'm having with the rather pigmented MAC Gleeful.

Saturday, 1 June 2013

Illamasqua Lipstick in Liable & MAC Prep + Prime Lip

I was sitting in the garden catching up on reading beauty blogs when it dawned on me that I should do a lip swatch and review while the sun was out.

Wearing large sunglasses because my eyebrows are a state and I have a spot on my cheek. Also please ignore my hair, I promise it's cleaner than it looks.

I bought Liable along with their nail varnish in Raindrops (a cult 'must-have') when Illamasqua had a 50% off sale to celebrate hitting 50,000 followers on Twitter. The lipstick is normally £16.50, so I paid £8.25 for it. Not a bad price at all for a mid-to-high-end brand. It's a matte orange-based red.

At first I tried a hand swatch and the colour pay off was pretty bad due to the extremely dry formula, and it even felt a little grainy. At that point I wondered what on earth it would do to my poor lips, but when I applied it (straight from the tube as I am not convinced that using a brush would get good colour payoff) to my lips, the colour showed up very well. It didn't feel as drying as the texture would have led me to believe, but was certainly not the most comfortable lipstick I've worn. It also emphasises dry skin and flakiness so be sure to exfoliate before application. There was a little transfer of colour onto a coffee cup but that didn't show up on the lips. After a few hours it faded on the inside of my lips so I removed it, and it stained my lips slightly. 

This time I tried it with a primer underneath.

So fierce.

I recently bought MAC Prep + Prime Lip after reading a couple of positive reviews on MakeupAlley. It feels absolutely lovely on the lips, the texture reminds me a little of Benefit's Dr. Feelgood balm (does anyone actually use that any more? Let me know) and, like all MAC lipsticks, smells of vanilla, but was undetectable once it was applied. It's white in the tube, and if you look closely it does make the lips a tiny bit paler, but doesn't alter the lipstick colour at all. I consulted a MAC employee who said to apply it, wait a few seconds, blot, then apply lipstick.

Liable is definitely more comfortable to wear while my lips are closed, but still feels slightly drying when I smile. The inner edges of my lips are faded after tea and toast. I don't feel its made a huge difference but it's certainly not made things any worse so I shall continue to use it and give a final verdict when/if I finish the tube. It was £12 which is not, in my opinion, too expensive for a lip primer.