Thursday, 29 August 2013

NYX Gel Liner and Smudger

Gel liners are by far the easiest style of liner to apply. The more solid texture allows you to control the line more easily and as they dry super fast you won't have to worry about product transfer.

NXY promote this product as a smudger also. This means you can wear it as an eyeshadow. If you decide to use this as an eyeshadow you will need to work fast as it dries off quickly making the product hard to blend around.  I found it to dry a little patchy when used as an eyeshadow but it makes an excellent base to wear under other powder eye shadows to increase the vibrancy of the powder.
 When used as a base it also increases the longevity of the eyeshadow and prevents creasing or fading so a great base for an oily eye lid.

As an eye liner it applied easily, goes on smoothly and has a strong colour pay off. The strong colour is instant without having to layer it up.
 The teal and cobalt blue colours were intense and vibrant and the black covered well with a strong carbon black finish.
 The brown came out slightly more grey/brown.



Again it will dry quick so don't hang about. This is also waterproof so have an oily eye makeup remover and cotton bud at hand in case you need to correct a mistake and when removing at the end of the day.
 These liners will NOT MOVE once on so make sure you are using a really oily eye makeup remover to take them off to avoid pulling the skin around the eye too much.

These are available from 1st October 2013 at selected Next stores  www.next.co.uk/‎






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Wednesday, 28 August 2013

Butter London Nail Foundation and Matte top coat

Butter London have a fab selection of nail colours but I recently discovered their base and top coat which deserve a blog all of their own!


 The base coat is called nail foundation and it is exactly that. Rather than a normal base coat that just gives us a clear base this base coat provides a natural flesh base with a totally matte finish.
 It smooths out ridges and discolouration in the nail.
 I would even wear this on it's own for a natural matte nail. This would be perfect for men also who want a natural manicure.
 This base coat will also help the longevity of your polish you are wearing on top.


This dried super fast as well and I was able to apply my nail polish after a minute of drying time.

I applied two coats of Butter London nail colour in the shade Poole on top of the nail foundation. Colour goes on smoothly and is also quick drying. This shade has a natural shine to it but I wanted to then test the Matte Finish top coat over the top to see how it affected the shine.

Nails without top coat


I applied one coat of the Matte finish top coat onto my left hand nails to see if the shine was reduced at all..hey presto the shine was instantly taken away and I was left with totally matte nails.
You can see the results below.


The matte top coat works instantly on top of any nail colour. I found applying this top coat did slightly lighten the shade of the nail colour underneath.
 I did find that the next day the matte top coat made the colour underneath brittle and caused it to chip easily.

Check out the Butter London range at www.butterlondon.com/‎

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Tuesday, 27 August 2013

Illamasqua Sacred Hour Collection

In true Illamasqua style their latest collection is dark and mythical, inspired by the magic of dawn and dusk.It's always exciting receiving collections from Illamasqua as they are always packaged so beautifully.


I tested both of the nail colours from this collection. The colours in each nail polish has been thought through really well and fit perfectly into the dawn and dusk theme. Each colour is priced at £14.50.

 The colour Hemlock represents the dawn. It has a natural opalescent pearl finish that reflects a golden green. Gives off a two tone finish as in some lights it looks nude pink but in others it has a green hue.


The colour in Facet represents the dusk. A soft grey with tiny flecks of bronze. A really beautiful colour that is like the nights sky on a summer night as the sun starts to set.


The centre piece for the collection is the Perfection palette for the eyes. Priced at £34.00.
 A quad of water resistant cream shadows with a shimmering finish.
 These are all cream eye shadows but as you blend they almost transform to a powder texture. They blend easily although they do start to sheer down the more you blend, leaving a softer colour with visible shimmer. Layer them up for a more intense look. Colours come out more natural than they look in the palette




For the cheeks are two different blushers both cream. The blushes both feel quite a heavy texture with a velvety matte finish and dry off to a powdered texture. Each is £18.00


The colour Sleek is a an apricot peach and Peaked is a damson pink.
Both have a strong colour pay off so only a small amount is needed.

Sleek (L) Peaked (R)


Feather texture lashes complete the eye with these hand made false lashes. They will be very dramatic on the eye. Lashes are bulky and black at the roots and feathered out at the ends to look quite wispy.
 The lashes are long, heavy and not for the feint hearted. They are £14.50.

As the eyes in this collection are fairly light and metallic, why not pop on this bold lip in the colour Shard.  This is a creamy texture, opaque finish lipstick in a deep red, violet. This colour does stain slightly so it lasts well on the lip. This lipstick is £16.50.

This collection is available now from www.illamasqua.com
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Friday, 23 August 2013

Ciate Feathered Manicure

Ciate always seem to be coming up with the next arty product to transform our nails with.
 We tried their feathered manicure today.


In the kit you get a nail colour which comes in a few colour options, a speed top coat, scissors, buffing file block and a pouch of different feathers.
 This kit is the 'Ruffle my feathers kit' and includes a lilac/blue nail colour. This is also the set featured in the main picture of the model above.

How to do it?
  • Get all the bits out first and lay out the feathers you want to use.
  • First paint your nails with the nail colour. Do two coats but make sure you leave to dry in between each coat and ensure it is fully dry before you move on.

  • Next get the speed top coat and apply a generous layer of it onto the nail, whilst the nail is wet grab the feather and gently lay it onto the nail. Gently push down the feather to make sure it lies flat. The tip of the feather should be near the base of the nail with just a slip of the nail colour peeping out the bottom.


Do one finger at a time to ensure the top coat doesn't dry before you apply the feather.

  • Once dry snip off the remaining overhanging feather leaving a small amount over the edge.
  • Apply another coat of the top coat on top of the nail. Paint down the nail in the direction of the feather hair.
  •  Once this has totally dried you can then buff away any overhanging feather  to give a smooth edge.
The results
My nails I think are too short for this type of manicure. Because they are short it doesn't show off much of the feather.
 A long talon would be covered with more feather and would look really effective. I felt with shorter nails it wasn't as obvious that they were feathers.

 Pick your feathers wisely. As you can see from the picture above, the darker feathers look good but the lighter ones didn't make as much of an impact.
Take time sealing the feather with the top coat and  buffing the free edge of the nail at the end. I did it really quickly and after an hour strands of feathers were sticking up.

Nice on a long nail, probably best for a special one off occasion rather than your everyday look but really fun to do and super easy.
These kits are £20.00 and available from September 2013
Check out the other colour options and other Ciate products here..http://www.ciate.co.uk/nails/wow-kits-1/feathered-manicure

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Wednesday, 21 August 2013

Jo Malone Peony and Blush Suede Fragrance



Firstly let me tell you that the box this fragrance comes in is so beautiful I will forever have it on my bathroom shelf!
Typical Jo Malone packaging but with a watercolour painting of a pink peony printed on the box and a suede pink ribbon tied round in a bow. A thing of beauty.



Inside is 100ml bottle of cologne nestled into pink tissue paper.

A very delicately fragranced cologne. Literally like walking through an English country garden after the rain. Slightly fruity scent but with a light floral undertone.
The top note is red apple, heart note is Peony and base not is suede.
Also scents of jasmine, rose and gillyflower.

This fragrance priced at £78 is available from September 2013 along with a body and hand wash £32, body creme £50 and candle £39.
There is also a 30ml cologne in this scent priced at £39.

For more about this fragrance and to see others in the range go to www.jomalone.co.uk

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Burts Bees Very Volumising Shampoo and Conditioner

Here at Pixiwoo we love big hair so we are always keen to try anything that will give our locks a bit of oomph.
 I had never tried Burt's Bees hair products before and I really like the idea of using natural products.
 This Shampoo and conditioner is Sulfate free, paraben free and has natural fragrance.

The shampoo which contains Pomegranate, jojoba, soy protein and thyme oil among other ingredients smells lovely. Almost like a bubble gum scent.
Using it in the shower I found it never really foamed up, obviously this is because it contains no sulfates but I have to admit I do like a good lather when washing my hair.

The conditioner which also contains pomegranate along with avocado oil and jojoba smells slightly more earthy and not quite as pleasant. I don't have particularly thick hair but felt I had to use a lot of this to feel like it was conditioning my hair. Usually I can run my fingers through my hair after applying conditioner but I couldn't with this conditioner. I'm guessing this is because there are more natural ingredients inside which won't de-tangle as much as regular conditioners.

What were the results?
My hair did feel soft and shiny but still quite dry at the ends so I think I would need a more intensive conditioner or separate treatment for the ends.
 I didn't notice a massive volume increase, maybe a little but I think it was because it was a little knotty still.

If you like to buy natural shampoo and conditioners and have a normal to oily hair type this would be a good buy but if you have a dry hair type or unmanageable hair this may not be intensive enough.


 The shampoo is £7.95 and conditioner is £7.84. Both are available from www.chemistdirect.co.uk/

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Tuesday, 20 August 2013

YSL Electric Chic Autumn Collection

With Summer on its way we are reluctantly turning our gaze onto Autumn collections.
Electric Chic is the latest to hit the high street (available from 1st Aug 2013).
This collection takes it's inspiration from city life.
 The colours that are naturally present in a bustling city from the metallic looking skyscrapers, brick walls and neon signs.

This collection has quite a sultry, sexy feel about it. Colours are bold and structured and remind me of a chic late 80's look (yes, there was one!) where powerful business women would wear both a strong eye and a bold lip and throwing in a vibrant coral cheek for good measure.

The packaging as always is beautiful in it's bulky, gold mirrored casing and the graffiti print on the eyeshadow quad also has a nod to the 80's.


We tried the Palette City Drive in colour Classy. This eye shadow palette takes it's colour inspiration from champagne, marble, concrete and steel that makes up a city landscape.


Although the colours in the palette look like they would be very dark, they are actually softer than you would think.

The lightest champagne colour is almost flesh toned  (for a light skin tone). it has a low level pearl finish and makes a great base colour and highlighter for all skin tones especially a darker skin tone.
 The colour next to it is a grey toned brown that will create a beautiful soft smokey eye for the Autumn.
Bottom left colour is a gold toned brown that sits in the crease of the eye to help create a seamless blend form the dark through to the light.
 The steel grey colour comes out quite vibrant and has a fine silver glitter running through it. It gives the eye lid an almost wet look.

The palette comes with two applicator tools, one of which is quite unique.
 The standard double ended sponge applicator and also a new plastic style applicator.
 The plastic applicator has a liner style end and a paddle shaped end.
 This is a great tool to use with the eye shadows wet to create a line or opaque block of colour.



 This Palette is priced at £42.00

For the cheeks we tried Blush Radiance in No9. Looks bright coral in the palette but comes out a softer apricot on the skin.

 Contains two colours presented in a quad style formation. Both colours are pretty much the same however on is slightly darker and has a fine gold shimmer, although this shimmer cannot really be seen on the skin.


Comes with a miniature blush brush.
Looks natural and fresh and would be more suited to a lighter skin tone as it doesn't have a huge amount of colour pay off.
The Blush Radiance is £31.00.

The two lipsticks we tested with this collection are simply beautiful. Cream, satin finish, full bodied, rich and smell amazing!

The colour in No 50 Vibrant Vermillion is a tomato red. A strong orange based red with a golden burnt orange tinge.
 If you have blue eyes this colour on the lips will make  your eyes shine like sapphires!


No 50 in Nocturnal Plum is a purple plum with a moisturised sheen. Rich and dark this will be a bold, dark lip look. 


 Each Lipstick is £25.00.

The nail varnish we tried from the collection was not quite so daring. A understated taupe/beige with natural shine. I'm a lover of a more bold nail but if you like your nails muted then check this one out in No39 Beige Gallery.


The nail polish is £18.00.

This new Autumn collection is available now in store and online at www.yslbeauty.co.uk
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Thursday, 15 August 2013

Chanel Le Jour, Le Nuit, Le Weekend

--> When I think of Chanel I never really think of Skincare for some reason. I know they do it but it's never leapt out at me when shopping for a moisturiser.
We were really lucky to be sent Le Jour, Le Nuit and Le Weekend to try and at a hefty £60 each for day and night product and £72 for Le Weekend (or £172 for all three) it's something I would normally feel too guilty to treat myself to.

Anyway it's here on my desk and I actually drew in my breath when I saw them. Very simply packaged but so uber chic, glamorous and expensive looking (that's because they are expensive I guess!)





 I always find the posher something is the more complex it is. Kind of like the toilets in a really expensive restaurant where the male and female logo on the door is so minimalist I never know if I'm in the correct toilet or not!
 Initially I wasn't sure what I was meant to do with these products other than drool over them. I know the time of day I'm supposed to put it on but not sure where in my regime it should go.
 After reading through the instructions it's actually really simple so I have broken down how to use it and the results after three weeks use.

Le Jour

 
Chanel explain that this product is there to help your skin adapt to its environment and stress ahead during the day. 
 The ingredients chosen in this product help to coordinate the adaption of cells so they can perform better in their environment.

So whats inside... firstly let me tell you this smells amazing. Not a chemical scent but a natural floral scent.
 It looks and feels like a lightweight, transparent gel serum

Jasmine flowers and young Jasmine shoots are the main ingredient and this active ingredient is what regulates the cells to adapt to the environment.
 Salicylic Acid is also in here to help gradually exfoliate the skin ensuring it looks radiant and fresh all day.

Use this as a serum after cleansing but before your normal moisturiser.

What did I think?..I liked it! Initially it didn't feel too different to any other serum although I liked that it was absorbed quickly and smelt divine but it was after about 3 days I really noticed a change in my skin.
 My skin always looks a little blotchy in places and I get the odd breakout with visible pores on my cheeks but I noticed after a few days that my skin was glowing! It had such a radiance and even tone that during the day I have just been wearing a light tinted moisturiser and concealer. 
 My skin is normally combination and after using this I find I am not blotting the oil off of my face as often. 
 I truly believe this serum has helped my skin to be 'normal', not oily, not dry just balanced and even, that's what we all want isn't it?

Le Nuit

This feels more heavy than Le Jour and the texture is more of a light cream. Feels silky to the touch and because it is a little richer I have been using it on its own after cleansing. If your skin is particularly dry you may want to follow with your regular night cream.

Whats inside?..Frankincense extract which contains Boswellic acid. After a bit of research on Boswellic acid this resin is anti inflammatory and has been used to treat asthma and Colitis. This will help reduce any inflammed areas on the skin, calm and sooth whilst encouraging cell repair.
It also contains Hyaluronic Acid which helps with tissue repair.

What did I think?..Amazing!! Sounds bizarre but my skin actually feels like it has a thicker texture. My skin can be a little sensitive and almost transparent where fine thread veins and redness can be seen but after 3 weeks of using this it looks stronger, smoother and with an even texture.
 I usually get the odd blemish pop up during the week but my skin has been totally clear for weeks which is un heard of!

The Frankincense also gives this a wonderful scent and helps you to relax at the end of the day.

Le Weekend


The weekend is where most of us can relax, have that extra glass of wine and maybe get to bed a few hours later (naughty!)
 Le Weekend provides the extra bit of help we need at the weekend.
 Chanel claim this product resets all counters to zero and aims to balance, hydrate and comfort the skin.

Creamy texture this feels less heavy than that of Le Nuit. The idea is to apply this once a week, morning and evening to give a more intensive treatment over the weekend.

Whats inside?..May Rose Water which not only provides the main scent but also soothes and calms the skin.
 Glycolic Acid is also in here which helps to gently exfoliate the skin, reduce acne scarring and tone done redness. Glycolic Acid is often used in products treating various skin disorders as it helps to loosen the binding properties that hold dead skin cells in place.

What did I think?.. so great I abused it and used in on a Saturday and Sunday!
 I used it in the morning after cleansing instead of my usual moisturiser and in the evening after cleansing instead of my usual night cream.
 Again smells divine, feels silky and quickly absorbed.
 My skin feels plumped, hydrated,balanced and fresh.

Overall conclusion is that yes these are really expensive products however if you suffer from scaring, breakouts or uneven skin tone then I highly recommend this range. 
 The acids that are present in this range ( Salicylic, Hyaluronic and Glycolic ) are what does the work I think but the luxury of the other ingredients and the scents they produce provide a very luxurious experience that is a joy to use.
 Only downside is the cost but you pay for what you get and it's good to treat ourselves now and again isn't it!

Available now online and in all major department stores.



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Wednesday, 14 August 2013

Stargazer Paper Lashes

These paper cut lashes from Stargazer are adorable. Super lightweight and easy to apply with the included glue.
Great for people who like a lot of attention to their eyes and are not afraid to experiment and perfect for those heading off to a festival over the next few weeks.
Each style adds extra glam to the outer edge of the eye. They sit nicely behind the lashes and are curved so they work with the natural curve of the lash.
 Because they are made of paper they are very delicate so be super careful when removing from the packet.
 I would put them on once you have all of your eye makeup done so you don't disturb them by applying makeup around them.
 If you are really delicate you may even get a few uses out of them.
 I wear the Butterfly set here.



Stars

Butterfly
Rose

Feather

Heart
 
Ribbon
Each pair is £6.00 each and they available now from http://www.stargazer-products.com

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Friday, 9 August 2013

Tia Maria Competition

We recently collaborated with two gorgeous and talented ladies, DJ Nikki Beatnik and Laura Jackson to create these videos for Tia Maria.

I also created a sixties winged out eye tutorial inspired by Laura Mvula who we saw perform at the Tia Maria Music Room event. You can see the tutorial here



Tia Maria is giving you the chance to win an exclusive package. Click here. 
You could win:

Return flights from London Gatwick to Ibiza for Two, Four Nights at the 4* San Remo Hotel in a twin/double room, All Inclusive Stay, Return Hotel Transfers.

Two Tickets to Laura Mvula in Concert in UK

London Fashion Week for Two

Two Course Dinner or Lunch at Tom Aitken's Restaurant with Drinks

Tickets with Seats to London Fashion Week Runway/Catwalk Show and Goody Bag

Guest list at a DJ Nikki event in the UK of your choice!

Two Cut and Blow Dry at Daniel Galvin with Stylist
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Monday, 5 August 2013

Dior Mystic Metallics


Being lucky enough to get to see new launches, we have noticed a lot of similarities in collection themes. Fate, Superstition and luck all seem to be the backbone inspiration for this fall season.
 Being slightly into all things mysterious and dark I am quite enjoying seeing how colour is translated into products around this theme.

Dior’s latest collection called Mystic Metallics takes its inspiration form Monsieur Dior himself.
 The story goes that one night in 1946 he was walking through a Parisian street contemplating his future as a fashion illustrator when he tripped over a metallic star. The next day he used this star as inspiration to create his own house. The collection was a success and he kept his lucky star with him in his pocket.

Not sure how much of this story is exaggerated however I think it’s a lovely story so I’m going with it!

5 Couleurs Mystic Metallics-£41.00



Two colour options are available in this palette.
 Constellation (I didn’t have this to test) is a mixture of plumps, taupe, purple and gold with a highlight of baby pink.
 This palette would look amazing on all eyes but would especially enhance a green eye.

Second palette is called Constellation and is a mix of aqua, blue, silver, olive and a bronze in the 
centre.


 This would look beautiful on blue and brown eyes.

The colour pay off is good and a solid block of colour can be achieved. Powder texture is so silky they almost feel like a cream and they blend with ease.
 As the name would suggest the colours have a water like metallic shine. The eyelid glistens with vibrant colour.

3 Couleurs Glow-£35.00



Again two colour choices of Sapphire blue or Silver and black. This set is for those who like a little colour with a liner.
 We looked at the silver/black combo. 

The colour on the left is a lilac based silver with a natural metallic cover.
 The colour on the right is a fine glitter that has a transparent finish. The glitter is very fine and made of silver, lilac, pink and gold glitter. It can be used on its own for a wet look lid or on top of the silver to give it a shimmer.

 There is also a thin black powder, which is used as a liner. The liner will allow you to create a smudgy, smoky look around the eye.


Dior Blush
 Dior has re launched the packaging of their blush into a thinner case, which contains an angled brush for application.
 Powder is embossed with the Dior logo and set in a mirrored case.
We tested two colours called Brown Milly and Mimi Bronze.
Brown Milly
Mimi Bronze

Brown Milly is a purple pink, which has a slight gold highlight, and Mimi Bronze is a peachy gold.
 Not sure of the inspiration behind the names but neither names give a good indication to the colour inside.




Also in the collection are the Diorshow Fusion Mono priced at £23.50. Coming in eight shades these gel-mousse texture pots are basically like a cream eyeshadow.
 Sweep them over the lids with a synthetic brush or use as a base to your eyeshadow to intensify the shadow colour.




This collection is available nationwide from 16th August 2013.
Check out the whole collection on www.dior.com/‎
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