Friday, 28 March 2014

Super Quick Lip Balm Reviews

Here is a short review and score out of 10 of every inexpensive lip balm I have tried. FYI, I sually uneed to reapply lipbalms super frequently so you may not have the same experiences as me.

Nuxe Reve de Miel stick, £5.50
Smells like sunflower seeds. Matte finish, but not as matte as the potted version. Shaped like a lipstick - a con for me, but could be a pro for you. I reapplied this every 3 or 4 hours.

Nuxe Reve de Miel pot, £9.50
Smells like sunflower seeds and honey. Matte finish, good lipstick base. Personally I find potted balms annoying. I found I needed to apply much more each time than when I used the stick version. I reapplied this around every 3 hours.

Caudalie Lip Conditioner, £5.50
Faint vanilla scent, not too sweet. Invisible finish. Shaped like a lipstick - again, I count that as a con. Felt a bit grainy in warm weather. For a little while, lips feel like they'll never need lip balm again. I reapplied this around every 4 hours.

Maybelline Baby Lips Repair (yellow), £2.99
Sherbet almond scent? Slightly glossy finish. SPF 20. I reapplied this every 3 or 4 hours.

Maybelline Baby Lips Hydrate (blue), £2.99
Slightly powdery scent? Finish slightly glossier/more wet-look than Repair. SPF 20. I reapplied this every 3 or 4 hours.

Nivea Lip Care Essential (dark blue), from £1.10
Slightly powdery scent. Slightly glossy finish. Very thick. I reapplied this every 3 or 4 hours.

Nivea Hydro Care (pale blue), £1.58
Slightly powdery scent. Subtle finish, feels very light. Lips feel intensely moisturised. I reapplied this around every 4 hours.

Malin & Goetz Mojito Lip Balm, £10
Yummy but subtle scent, not too sweet. Slightly sticky. Very moisturising but not that long lasting; I reapplied this around every 2 hours.

Dr Lipp Nipple Balm, £11.50
Can't remember any specific or strong scent. Very thick. Matte finish. Fantastically repairing, a little sticky. I reapplied this around every 6 hours.

Elizabeth Arden 8 Hour Intensive Lip Repair, from £16.80
Repulsive, slightly bitter smell. Not particularly moisturising. Expensive. I chose to forego lipbalm once I needed to reapply after around an hour.

Boots Essentials Spearmint Lip Salve, £1
Spearmint scent (duh). Dragged a little on application. Needed to reapply after around an hour.

Vaseline Paint The Town Red, £3.49
Rosy scent. Very faint red tint. Annoying pot meant I had to choose somewhere to wipe the greasy excess off my finger when I applied it. Needed to reapply around every 2 hours. If you like Vaseline, though, you may well like this.

Burts Bees Pink Grapefruit Balm, £3.69
Nice citrus scent. Dragged a little on application. No real moisturising feeling. Needed to reapply after around 2 hours.

Clarins Instant Light Lip Perfector, £17
Can't remember a particular smell. Very sticky. Expensive. If your dryness is caused by you licking your lips, these will aggravate the situation resulting in a -1/10 rating. If not, more like a 5.5/10

Bonne Bell Dr Pepper, £?
Sweet smell. Slightly sticky finish. Fairly moisturising as long as you don't lick your lips too often. Needed to reply around every 2 hours.

Blistex Liquid Splash (roll on), £?
Cooling sensation. Wet but not sticky. Moisturising at first but then seemed to dry lips out very quickly once it wore off. Needed to reapply around every 2.5 hours.

I still want to try EOS, Lanolips, Neutrogena Norwegian Formula, Carmex, the rest of the Blistex range and Nivea's SOS Lip Relief. But for now, I will keep buying Nivea Hydro Care (Caudalie and Dr Lipp on special occasions...)

Tuesday, 25 March 2014

NARS Night Flight and Night Porter Eye Shadows

NARS has an absolutely stunning eye shadow range called Night Series, consisting of Night Breed, a glittery black, Night Fever, black with red glitter, Night Life, silver shimmer, Night Porter, dark green shimmer, Night Star, shimmer peach, and Night Flight, black with blue shimmer. Night Flight is not currently available on NARS' website, I hope it hasn't been discontinued. That was my first NARS eyeshadow, and last week I bought Night Porter last week so I figured I'd do a post on both!

Both of these shadows wear very differently when wet compared to when they are used dry - lots of people who post negative reviews of the dark Night Series shadows do so because they don't realise how much more pigmented and awesome they are when used with a damp brush (or finger). Additionally, they look totally different in the pan. When swatched wet, Porter becomes much more opaque and the green stands out more clearly against the black base. Flight is super opaque when wet, and the blue is a little more obvious but it stands out best with flash.

Top to bottom: Bonus! NARS Ondine, dry then wet (don't bother wetting this one, it goes patchy), Night Porter, dry then wet, Night Flight, dry then wet.

Used wet in conjunction with a primer they make good eyeliners. I use a little freebie Urban Decay liner brush and Urban Decay Primer Potion, which was the best primer on the market when I first bought it about 6 years ago, but the primer market has boomed in recent years and there are probably others worth trying. Temptalia uses NARS primer, so that's probably a good recommendation.

I'm not quite sure what market these shadows are aimed at as they seem to fill no particular role in an eyeshadow arsenal, but I enjoy using them on the rare occasion I attempt a bold smoky eye.

Sunday, 23 March 2014

NARS Carthage, Manhunt, Niagara

There's something so incredibly sophisticated and alluring about NARS which means I can't stop buying bits from them here and there. Most people find the matte, black, dust-magnet packaging annoying but it's beautiful to me. A few months back I decided to branch into sheer lipsticks. I started with Manhunt - I bought it as a present for myself, but I don't remember why. I never need much of an excuse to treat myself! Then at the start of February I added Niagara to my collection.

From top to bottom: Manhunt 1 swipe, 4 swipes. Niagara 1 swipe, 4 swipes. Carthage, 1 swipe, 4 swipes.

Manhunt is described as a "sheer poppy red". Swatched above at maximum opacity. It looks much redder in the tube than it does on the lips, and, truth be told, I still haven't made up my mind about it. I bought it with the intention of using it when I'm doing a more bold eye look - that is, anything other than mascara on my eyes - to cover up the odd blue tinge my top lip gets when the temperature drops below about 5 degrees. This needs reapplying after a meal but lasts through a drink.

Niagara (swatched above at maximum opacity) is a Satin, not a Sheer, but if you're used to mattes and bold shades, they are one and the same. It's described perfectly as a "pink based coral". It can come up a little more orange on me in certain lights, and again, I haven't decided whether it suits me or not, but one thing's for sure - it looks much better now that I've bleached my hair than it did with my original mousy brown. I usually apply multiple layers and it lasts 4-5 hours.

Less than 24 hours after I bleached my hair, Into The Gloss published an article about bleached hair tips. I took to the comments section to announce my dye job and attached a photo, but noted that I wasn't sure whether my lipstick collection would still suit me. The lovely Lacey, who wrote the article, replied that she reckoned I'd suit a matte orange-red (hooray for Illamasqua Liable) or a glossy mid-pink (I'm looking at you, Bite Beauty Garnet - review to come). Spurred on by the recommendations, I purchased Carthage Pure Matte - as a bright, cool pink it doesn't fit either of her suggestions, but I'd wanted it for ages and never thought I could pull it off. With my new blonde, I thought it would give me a bit of an ironic Barbie vibe, because that's totally a thing. With MAC Prep + Prime Lip, Carthage lasts around 7 hours / through a couple of drinks / a frozen yoghurt - whichever your chosen unit of time happens to be. I just couldn't get Carthage to photo well on my lips, but my arm swatch was pretty spot on.

NARS lipsticks, lip pencils and lip glosses range from £17 to £18.50, though a price rise will come with the new gloss formula. I'm sort of paralysed by my indecisiveness - I've narrowed my next one down to Schiap, Heat Wave, Afghan Red, Rouge Basque, Shanghai Express, Timanfaya, Rikugien, Majella, Walkyrie or Bahama. So what I'm saying is, I haven't narrowed it down at all.

What are your favourite NARS lip offerings?