Thursday, 25 May 2017

YSL Rouge Pur Couture Vernis A Lévres


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Historically, lip stains are always matte. They apply in glorious vinyl sheen but quickly dry off to an uncomfortably tight wash of opaque colour that cracks throughout the day.
 We have been sent the latest YSL Vernis a lévres glossy stain to test out. These promise a slick of lightweight that even once dry will still provide a glossy sheen.

 The applicator wand is the classic teardrop shape, which YSL have become known for. The wand is slightly angled making application easy.
  The stain feels almost water-like although I did feel it needed a little work to build colour and ensure it had an even cover. I would advise applying in thin layers and waiting for each layer to dry before building the next.
 The colours are pigmented and are in a variety of tropical summery shades. I felt that the shades developed brighter than the initial application so be prepared that they will dry off slightly brighter than first anticipated.

The stain did indeed last really well and even after the initial balmy coating had worn down the colour still had a radiance. There is a super fine pearl pigment running through the stain which ensures it keeps a glossy sheen but does it without looking shimmery.

 These would be a nice lip product for brides or indeed guests who need a long wearing lip product that doesn’t overly transfer but looks plump and glossy.

The finish looks slightly diffused on the lip so you will need a lip liner if you prefer a more defined edge.

 These are £27.00 and available here now.


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Wednesday, 24 May 2017

Drugstore Muted Khaki Eye Makeup

Try out this summery khaki eye tutorial and let us know how it goes.


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Wednesday, 17 May 2017

Estee Lauder Bronze Goddess Summer Collection


Well this is awkward! Yesterday it was glorious sunshine here however today it’s absolutely tipping it down. I assumed it would be a sunny bright day again and I would be inspired to write about the latest Estee Lauder Bronze Goddess collection. Never mind, I’m still covering myself in the fabulous warming coconut scent regardless.


 For the body there is the huge pot of whipped body crème to hydrate sun-scorched skin. Although it’s a cream it’s actually really lightweight and not at all greasy. It also leaves a nice satin sheen to the skin, which also enhances the tones of the skin.

 We also have the Bronze Goddess eau Fraiche Skinscent. It’s the classic scent with zesty top notes of Bergamot and mandarin infused with a warming shot of ginger. Coconut is obviously the stand out note but there’s also a floral undertone of Jasmine with vanilla and amber also. Bronze Goddess is one of those fragrances that you can detect a mile off when someone passes you in the street. It’s a real summertime winner.

 If you’re off to a warmer climate this year then the Bronze goddess shimmering oil spray is a great all rounder to pack. Not only does the oil nourish the skin but it also provides radiance to a sun exposed skin through it’s smattering of gold shimmer.
 Being oil makes it also good to massage into the cuticles or frizzy ends!

The makeup....


 The summer look palette is a newbie for this year. In a pleasingly flat, mirrored compact, which contains a trio of eye shadows and blush set out in a geometric pattern.
 Shades each have a fine shimmer pigment so not one for the matte lovers. The highlight shade is a warming pink and the smoke shade is a minky brown with golden shimmer. There is also a slither of aqua blue too which is quite nice used as a liner along the lash line or swept boldly under the lower lashes.


 Pigment is not overly strong and the lightest shade was slightly crumbly but all in all a nice palette that would be suitable for all skin tones.


 The blush in the palette is slightly more matte and provides a punchy peach flush. Very pretty on the apples of the cheeks.

We also have the new limited edition Illuminating powder gelée. It’s an all over body highlighter. It applies with instant gold foil effect but can be buffed down if you prefer a slightly subtler highlighter. This would look insanely beautiful on a deeper skin tone.

 

 You may also notice the gorgeous palm wash bag that the collection was delivered to us in. 



It's from Elizabeth Scarlett and you can purchase that here.

This collection is available now here
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Friday, 12 May 2017

NARS Soft Matte complete concealer




We have just got our hands on the latest concealer from NARS. The new Soft matte complete concealer just may be the one to replace the beloved MAC studio Finish concealer!

I love a pot concealer, there’s something a little more luxurious about applying from a pot rather than hastily swiping on a wand concealer. Do be aware of ensuring only a clean brush or finger is dipped in the pot though!



The soft matte concealer applies in a creamy coating that is totally moveable and easy to blend into the skin. It provides a medium cover but is buildable depending on your concealing needs.

 Suitable for blemishes, scarring, pigmentation and great on dark circles. It melts into the skin and I found no creasing or settling into my fine lines. It contains advanced powders, which lay flat on top of each other helping to increase longevity.
 Collagen boosting peptides and hyaluronic acid help to plump and hydrate the skin and those with an oily or combination skin need not worry as it’s also oil free.

It creates a soft focus over the skin and blurs the darker or discoloured pigment of the skin underneath. It’s a really beautiful flawless finish without being caked or greasy. You could wear this alone and it wouldn’t look obvious.

It’s matte (obviously) but it’s not drying or dull. It would be suitable for all skin types.

Available in a selection of 16 shades that cater well for deeper skin tones as well as a fair skin tone. We have some of the shades to share with you.




This is available now and is £23.00. Get hold of it here.
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Thursday, 11 May 2017

La Roche-Posay UV Patch



 

Last summer la Roche-Posay launched their UV patch but after a global trial and a few adaptations, they have finally released their 2017 improved version.

 What is the UV patch?

 It is a transparent sticker that moves and flexes with your skin. You can place it on any area of the body that is exposed to UV although it works best on the back of the hand.
 It contains photosensitive dyes, which change colour when exposed to UV rays, which indicate the level of sun exposure you are receiving.

The patch works alongside a free app that you need to download to your smartphone.


The app will ask you a few questions such as your skin tone, eye colour, sun protection type that you are currently using (you can wear your SPF over the top of the patch) and your location. It then collates this information and uses it to assess your risk of UV damage.

You can select a character on the app to deliver the information to you, which is always a bit of fun if you are using it with your children. 


You scan the app over your patch and it will let you know if you are safe in the sun and if you need to top up your SPF. The app will guide you on the best La Roche-Posay sun cream to use to suit your needs.

Is the patch useful?

Absolutely. If you are concerned about your personal sun exposure or that of your children then it is a great tool to encourage the use of sun cream and also remind you when you need to top up your sun protection. It makes you totally more aware of the sun on your skin and gives you a bit of a kick up the bum to ensure you are adequately protecting your precious skin.

The sticker can be worn up to 5 days and adheres well. Sun cream can be worn on top of it and it is waterproof and sand proof, making it great for use on your family holiday.
 The only negative for me was the size. It’s not huge but I do wish it were a little smaller and more discreet. Children will love it and will be keen to scan their patch to see if they need an SPF top up. They just need to resist peeling it off!

The best thing about the UV Patch is that it is free!! You can add your name to the waiting list to receive your patch here.

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Wednesday, 10 May 2017

Get the Victoria Beckham LA and London look #AD

We have created a sponsored video using the Victoria Beckham range. It's a beautiful collection so we were happy to collaborate.
 Check out the video below...


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Thursday, 4 May 2017

Smoothskin Gold IPL Hair Removal

At the end of January I began a trial of the Smoothskin gold IPL device.



Image from www.smoothskin.com

 It’s a hand held tool, which uses pulsed light to achieve a permanent reduction in unwanted body hair.

How does IPL work?

Light energy is pulsed out of the small letterbox style window directly onto the area being treated. The light is absorbed by the melanin in the hair shaft. 

Image from www.smoothskin.com


The hair follicle is heated and the hair growth cycle is disrupted. Over time, the hair follicle is disabled and further hair growth is reduced. The hairs that have been treated will gradually fall out over the course of the next week to two weeks.

It is recommended to use the IPL device once a week for 12 weeks to notice a significant hair reduction.

Which areas can be treated?

All areas of the body and is also safe to use on the face.
 Smooth skin is suitable for most people however the light sensor will not pulse when in contact with a deeper skin tone. This is because darker skin tones contain more melanin and therefore absorbs more of the light energy than recommended.

How do you use it?

The Smoothskin gold itself is a little bulky so although you could transport it easily, you would probably want to choose a smaller device if it’s something you plan on travelling with (they have the Smoothskin bare if you're looking for something smaller). It’s not heavy at all and it is molded into an easy to hold scanner style shape. It plugs into the mains via a long lead so it allows you to move it around your body without dragging the plug behind you.

 There are three buttons situated on the top of the device. One is the on button, one is the trigger button for the light and there is another button which has a feather symbol. If you feel like the pulse is a little too intense you can press the feather button and reduce the amount of light energy being transmitted.

Some IPL treatment devices require you to set the skin tone level of the area being treated however the Smooth Gold has a light bar along the side which detects the skin tone and automatically adjusts. When you press the device to the skin you will see the light bar illuminate.


 The more lights that are lit indicate that the skin tone has been detected and the energy level has been adjusted. If an unsuitable skin tone has been detected then the light will not fire and will illuminate red.



Once you are ready to pulse the light you simply press the trigger button and a flash of light will be omitted. You can then move the device along to the next area and pulse again.
 For small areas such as the bikini line or under arm it’s great to be able to pulse manually once you are in position but if you are treating a large area such as the legs then you can hold down the trigger button and just keep moving the device up the leg. It will pulse automatically every second.

Does it hurt?

Not really. The best comparison I have is an elastic band being flicked against the skin, but it’s not even as bad as that. It’s just a lick of heat really.
 I found that the most painful areas were the bikini area inside the thigh and around the ankles. You totally get used to it after a minute and it treats the area so fast that it’s all over in no time.
 I found I could do both my underarms in 5 minutes, my bikini area in 10 minutes and both legs in 20 minutes. It just takes a bit of time to get the angles correct and I found the legs were a little tricky as the curve of the leg meant that the light window wasn’t always in full contact with the skin.

Has it worked?

Absolutely. It has become my Friday night routine treatment. I put the TV on, have a cup of tea and get using this. I can do it one handed and watch the television all within the comfort of my living room, it’s great! You can also then do the areas you may normally feel a little embarrassed about asking to be treated in the salon.

You need to make sure you have shaved the areas to be treated first so that the follicle is easy for the light to penetrate.

After around 6 weeks of using I started to notice the hair on my bikini line and underarms had began to appear patchy. The hair also felt less coarse and the greyish shadow that I could always notice in my armpits had gone.
 I have now been using for 13 weeks and there is a significant reduction in the hair. The hair hasn’t totally ceased growing but I think with continued use (they recommend a monthly treatment after the initial 12 weeks) I will be hair free within 6 months-9 months.

The Smoothskin IPL is not a cheap one but if you have been contemplating having laser treatment in a salon then you will be paying a lot less for this device. If you have a sibling who may also be interested in using this maybe you could share the cost and both use it!

The Smooth Skin Gold IPL is £299 but currently has a discount applied and is £249 when purchased here.



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Monday, 1 May 2017

Chanel Les Beiges Gel Touch Foundation




Oh la la this is a bit of all right! I’m sure that’s exactly how Coco Chanel would have wanted her foundation described.
 There are a lot of cushion foundations out at the moment but the latest one from Chanel has to be up there as one of our favourites.
 It sits amongst their Les Bieges line up so we already know it’s going to have a soft glowing finish with that unmistakable Chanel scent which lingers on the skin all day.

The chunky mirrored compact comes with a slim line plush applicator pad, which flexes and bends to the contours of the face, enabling you to get to the tricky parts.

The foundation is an aqua-gel formula containing 56% water. It feels gloriously fresh on the skin and once patted into the skin, is virtually undetectable. The natural tones of the skin still peep through but just look evened and fresher.

 We tested it out on a dry skin and an oily skin and it sat beautifully on both. It dries off quickly and the high water content means it feels comfortable for those who require hydration. The gel texture melts into an oily skin and doesn’t leave any annoying residue.

It wears well throughout the day and didn’t pool or cling.  It’s not one for those who like any particular cover but more for those who just want their skin to look a better version of itself.

We have 3 shades to show you but it is available in 9 shades all together. Our shades seem to come up light so I’d probably go for a slightly darker shade than you think you will need. The shades look virtually undetectable on the skin.


It’s available now at £46.00 and also contains an SPF25 making it a good choice for summer. Check it out here.
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Friday, 28 April 2017

YSL Touché eclat Neutralisers


 

Touché Eclat is one of those cult products, which were probably most makeup fanatic’s first introduction to highlighting and brightening.  It's a product which can softly add radiance or create a luminous panda eye flash back on a 3 am drunken nightclub photo.

By popular demand, Touché eclat has brought back their three neutraliser shades in green, apricot and violet. The packaging is a dreamy metallic pastel tone reflecting the shade within. 

Typical Touché eclat click and brush application, just don't pump up too much product as it's very easy to go over the top and end up having to blend half the product all over your face.

Remember though these are not concealers. They will softly adjust the colouring in the skin to blur it out a little but won’t by any means eradicate it from your skin. You'll need to team it up with a concealer too if this is your end goal.

 




Apricot

This is for correcting dark spots and under eye circles and probably the easiest out of the three to get right. Suitable for a light (not too light) skin through to a medium skin tone. I'd like to say that this would be good on a medium to darker skin tone to lift dullness or darkness around the eyes but I just don't think it's quite dark enough. You could maybe mix a little of it with your regular under eye concealer to add a bit of colour depth if need be. Nice to pat over freckles if you're not a fan of them and also good to blend into age spots to soften them.


Green 

Go easy with this one or you'll end up looking a little peaky. Nice to use on patches of redness or on blemishes but only if the skin underneath is smooth. If you have a blemish with a bit of a rough scab surface then all it will do is sit in the dryness and magnify it. 
 Pump a blob out onto the brush tip and then use a fine liner brush to pinpoint application onto the area required. Using your ring finger you can the pat it (don't rub) into the skin. 


Violet

This is for those with a sallow skin tone. If you ever think that your skin is slightly more yellow around the jaw or under the eye then the violet will balance it out. It’s also a nice product to use on areas where your foundation looks a little off. My foundation quite often clings to the fine hairs on my face and can oxidise a little, appearing more yellow than the rest of my face. Pat a teeny amount of this over the area and it takes the edge off. 

You can use each of these after your moisturiser and before your foundation but only if you are applying your foundation on top with a sponge or a patting motion. If not you will disturb the product and rub most of it off. 
 I prefer to apply after my base but before my foundation and using a small brush for accuracy and my finger to blend in. 

These are available nationwide from 26th April.






















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Wednesday, 26 April 2017

MAC Fruity Juicy Collection




I’m a sucker for pretty packaging so the new limited edition collection Fruity Juicy; from MAC is a winner fro me.
 Black gloss packaging adorned with tropical plants and the odd Papaya and coconut. Very appealing and I imagine will sell out pretty sharpish.


 In my experience the beauty powders always sell out first so if this takes your fancy then pick this up quick sharp.
 This year’s powder is embossed with Hibiscus flowers in gold, coral pink, lilac and bronze. When swished together the shades merge to produce a golden coral shimmer.
 It would be a little too pigmented for a very pale skin but would look beautiful on the cheeks for a medium skin or as a highlighter on a deeper skin.


  We also have the ‘Love in the glades’ eye shadow palette, although sadly it came in smashed. It holds 6 shades in a mix of matte, shimmer and satin finishes.
 Nice shades if you’re into green. Good pigment and minimal fall out.


 For the lips we have two products, Love at first bite in an amplified fuchsia and Cha cha cha cremesheen, which is a warm peach.


 Cute little collection for summer, not really anything that we haven’t seen before but nice if you’re a packaging collector with some nice wearable makeup thrown in for good measure.

This collection is available in all locations and online from 27th April 2017.
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Monday, 24 April 2017

Holiday Makeup Tutorial

Going on holiday? Check out what Nic takes on holiday...


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Friday, 21 April 2017

NARS Charlotte Gainsbourg Collection


NARS have teamed up with British-French actress and singer Charlotte Gainsbourg for their summer 2017 collection. Charlotte Gainsbourg is the daughter of Hermés muse Jane Birkin (hence the Birkin bag) and musician Serge Gainsbourgh. Her parents had hit the headlines a few years previous to her birth with the release of their pretty saucy song Je t’aime.

Charlotte Gainsbourg has appeared in many films and has received the best actress award for her role in the film Antichrist. She has also released three albums.

Inspired by Charlotte’s signature natural look they have produced a range of vibrant shots of colour but formulated using balmy moisturised textures, which produce sheer washes of colour.

We have a few pieces to share with you from the collection…

Hydrating Glow tint





Available in 4 shades this is a hydrating cream which provides a veil of lightweight colour that helps to even the skin and brighten. The coverage is totally minimal and doesn’t provide you with any real coverage, but that’s the idea. It’s for people who have a dryer skin and want to use an extra layer of moisturising product that has a soft radiance. Nice for holiday’s but beware, as there is no sun protection.

 

 The colour selection is good. The fair is great for a very pale skin with a pink undertone. I haven’t seen the darkest shade but the medium shade would suit around an NC30 (in MAC terms).

Multiple Tint



The multiples are always a win for summer. A twist up cream, which can be used on the eyes, cheeks and lips. The shades are surprisingly sheer and the texture never really dries, it tends to stay slightly tacky on the skin so there is a small amount of transfer.


 Lip Tints


The lip tints are available in three shades and again the colour is much sheerer than the shade would suggest from the outside. Lovely texture which feels smooth and not too shiny!


This is available from 1st May and is exclusive to Selfridges.


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Tuesday, 18 April 2017

Murad Matte Effect Blotting Perfector




 As the weather starts to slowly (very slowly) heat up here in the UK it can begin to affect how your make up sits on your skin. If you have a combination to oily skin you may find that your shiny areas are in need of a little extra something however applying layer upon layer of a mattifying powder isn’t really helping your skin to achieve a fresh but matte finish.


I have been testing out the latest mattifying blotting perfector from MURAD. It’s a mirrored compact, which contains a cushioned, saturated sponge and slim applicator pad.

The sponge inside is infused with marshmallow powder, which along with soft focus mattifying spheres absorbs the excess oil in the skin, but doesn’t deplete your skin of moisture.
 It also contains Pomegranate extract to act as an antioxidant and achieve radiance along with French green clay to absorb oil and detoxify.

The applicator pad is antimicrobial and has a cooling effect on the skin. This pad is stored neatly away in a separate compartment to avoid contamination of the product.

What did we think?
 Initially I wasn’t convinced by this product. A wet product on an oily skin, which potentially may already have a layer of powder on it, seemed like an odd combination. But it totally works.

Firstly you can apply this as a base primer or you can use on top of your foundation. Either way you need to dab it on. Don’t swipe across the skin, as you will disturb the makeup underneath.
 When you pat it onto the skin it feels cooling and fresh but it quickly evaporates and dries almost instantly. It leaves behind a matte finish to the skin that looks totally fresh and natural. It doesn’t leave a dry residue and didn’t cause the skin to tighten once dry.
 The cooling finish would be great to use during the summer months or at times when your skin feels a little flushed.

A really nice alternative to powder this summer and can be touched up as many times as you desire with no fear of a cakey finish.

  The Murad blotting perfector is £32 and available here.


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Thursday, 13 April 2017

Cover FX Custom Enhancer Drops



If you’re after a serious highlighter that allows you to custom blend the highlight intensity and shade then check out the Cover FX custom enhancement drops.

What are they?
Pipette dispensed liquid infused with an intense high sheen in a selection of 6 shades.
 Cover FX recommend adding a drop into your base makeup, primer or moisturiser for a highlighting or bronzing effect.
 They contain a high level of pearl finish, which produces a lit-from-within glow.

What we think?

Really nice addition to your makeup bag if you want to adapt products which you already own and love.
 The pigment is strong so you will probably only ever need one, possibly two drops so it will most likely go out of date before you get to the end.

The pipette gives good control as the tip tapers into a small point. You can accurately apply a small drop without mess.



 A nice selection of tones in a mix of warm and cool tones that would be suitable for most skin tones.
 The finish is slightly metallic and coats the skin in a foil effect rather than a glittery veil.



I think these would perhaps be too strong for an all over blend with your foundation but if you mix drop with your moisturiser and buff onto the high points of the face it does look very pretty.
 These are also nice to mix with your body lotion to highlight a tan or natural skin tone.

These are £34.00 each and available here.
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Wednesday, 12 April 2017

Giorgio Armani Beauty 'Life is a cruise'


 Life is a cruise from Giorgio Armani launches today (12th April). Bad news is it’s stonkingly expensive.  Good news is that it’s stunningly beautiful with some really useful products, which we can review and let you know the details without you making expensive mistakes!

Firstly the skin defense primer SPF50 PA++. A pipette dispensed milky primer, which blends into the skin and becomes transparent.
 Initially it felt a little sticky on application but as it melted into the skin it transformed into a silky matte finish.
 It has a slightly skin perfecting, blurring effect on the skin and the texture was completely undetectable underneath my foundation. Weirdly it didn’t seem to flash back under my foundation. The white colouring made me a little nervous to wear as a base but it wasn’t visible under flash lighting.

We all need to be wearing a sun protection of some description to protect our skin and this one is perfect if you’re a little lazy with your SPF. A nice smoothing primer that will help with your foundation longevity but with the added bonus of the super high SPF. This primer is not new to Giorgio Armani’s line up and I actually found it at a few different prices ranging from £40-60 so shop around.

Maestro Liquid summer bronzer SPF15. This is available in 3 shades (we have No100, the medium shade). This liquid bronzer is beautiful.


A little goes a massively long way so this will last you at least two summers (use by is 12 months so you’ll be fine for early summer next year also).
 It does have a fine sparkle in gold, which adds radiance, but it’s not glaringly obvious. The tone is very warm so this particular shade of No100 would only be suitable for a medium to an olive skin tone. I haven’t seen the lighter or darker shade but I’m imagining they would be too extreme for a particularly pale skin.
 You could mix a drop with your regular foundation as your skin tone deepens in the summer or if you already have a little colour to your skin you could buff it over the high points of the face for a soft real looking bronzer.
 Not really suitable to contour with as it’s too warm. Suitable for all skin types, even oily.

For the face is a limited edition palette that has a wave embossed palette and has a graduated tone from mink/sand tone through to deep bronze. Again this is very shimmery so you need to be cautious with your application. Too much and you’ll look like a sparkly oompa loompa.


Again, only suitable for a deeper skin tone and would look perfect as a highlighter on a mid through to deep skin tone.

 Would also be nice swept through the socket and on the lid. This palette is £55.

The sunset smoky eye palette is probably your best buy if you want something for both eyes and face. The golden shimmer section can be used as before on the eyes and skin but there is a wedge of a deep forest green with a fine golden pearl finish.



This palette is also £55. Blends well, strong pigment and lasted really well. Also looks beautiful on camera.




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