Sunday, 31 January 2010

Selfish Sunday...

Gosh I really haven't blogged in a long time. Very naughty. No excuses as such, just been really busy.
So today was selfish Sunday, YAY! I have a three year old daughter and a step daughter of ten so it's very rare that my luscious man and I have some time to be, well, selfish.
So with the little princesses happily packed off to their respective other parents, we had a nice lie in followed by a relax and delicious lunch in our favourite local. Then we wandered in to town and I made a few very special purchases..

The first was a day bag from Topshop. The best thing about this was that I saw this bag and fell in love with it on sight. I have lots of clutches and various other bags for different occasions but I like to have one bag as my 'day bag' that comes to work with me, shopping, lunches etc and as soon as I saw this I new that it was just perfect. I said to myself 'if its under £80 I will buy it' so when I saw £55 I was delighted. THEN when I got it to the checkout I realised I had been looking at the euro price and it was in fact £36.. wow.

I held a little ceremony for my old day bag (luscious man was involved much to his confusion) of course.

I also picked up a totally cute floral fitted blouse with delightful little cap sleeves.

Oh and three new pairs of knickers.. all following the floral theme. Im loving the romance of the lingerie trends at the moment. I also really rate the peachy/ nude lace body suits that are around but not sure how wearable they are unless you're less than curvy.

Then I went to Debenhams (less pushy assistants than House of Fraser or John Lewis)and purchased some Pro Lumiere Chanel foundation which I have of course read rave reviews about. I have been debating about trying it for ages even though I'm pretty dedicated to my Dior Foundation. The Pixiwoo girls seem to usually use either Prolumiere or Mattelumiere and I basically want anything that they rate.
I believe the matte is for oilier skin and the pro is for slightly drier but not dry skin. The assistant was so knowledgeable which is sadly very rare. She matched me perfectly to the palest shade... hmm i think I need a holiday!

Any way the verdict is that it really is lovely. I don't necessarily think its better than Dior, or worse, but I like to switch every now and then because I find otherwise my skin gets used to a product and it doesn't seem to feel special anymore. Its gives the perfect cover for my complexion and so far has lasted well. It goes on easily and you can build it up without having to try to hard. I applied it with my fingers because my brushes are all laid out neatly along my kitchen windowsill drying out after their Sunday bath. I'll update when I've had chance to apply it properly.

Then, my smuggest purchase of the day.. a little tube of Clinique Pore Minimizer, in 01.
I somehow had in my possession a tester a few months ago and have been meaning to get the full size. I really cant recommend it enough. You can put it on under or over foundation and it acts as a kind of weightless poly filler for open pores. It also helps your foundation glide on easily so fab alround. £13 for the full size tube - a good investment.

Ta ta for now. Oh and thanks to my new followers. I'm new to all this and am really pleased to have my lucky 7 followers. maybe if I pull my finger out and post more regularly I could attract some more!


Sunday, 17 January 2010

Review - Barry M Liner, 120 Pro Pallette & Mac Prep & Prime

Hi Everyone,
Today I am reviewing three products that I recently purchased...

120 Pro Pallette; I was so keen to receive this that I broke the speed limit all the way home from work on Friday to get to it. Most of you will already have heard of these, or have one of your very own but for those who don't I suggest you snap one up asap.
First of all, when buying make up on Ebay you have to be so careful (see previous post) So I have researched all the ingredients of this pallette and all are safe. Not natural or organic in the slightest but all are commonly used in Make up and no adverse effects have been reported... phew.
Because with the beautiful colours this pallete offers I think even if the ingredients were reported to make the wearers eye fall out I'm pretty certain I still would have used it.
Anyway, there are a plethora of tutorials online using this pallette so I got to work with one of Lauren Luke's looks.. something of an 80's retro glam theme.
The shadows are highly pigmented, some more so than others. They are easy to build up and blend, and you only need a small amount. The fall out is pretty serious so I'd reccommend you apply foundation after eyes are complete.
The way the powders are pressed tells a tale about the quality. This is why you will often hear that a few will crack in the post even when wrapped really well.
One of the cream shades was cracked in mine but it wasn't a huge problem, I pressed it back.
But for £11.99 including postage - less than you'd pay to order just one MAC shade - I wasn't going to complain.
All in all I am suitably impressed with this product. My Lauren Luke 80's look was fab.
On Saturday Jade (10 years old going on 21) wanted me to give her a look to match a Red, white and blue T Shirt she was wearing so although I'd usually say she's too young, it was an excuse to try out something new with the pallette and I agreed.
It's quite subtle as I was conscious that I didn't want a 10 year old Jodie Marsh walking around the place, but the colours really did look fantastic, the photo doesnt do it justice.
Now, I would say that the colours are also very durable but that could be due to....

Mac Prep&Prime Eye Primer;
First of all it arrived in a sturdy black box with black tissue paper. The wonderful sparlky packaged little item was perfectly nestled in the center of the box. Thats what you get with Mac. The product itself didnt disappoint. I will definitly be replacing my faithful Urban Decay Primer Potion with it. Sorry UD, you've been good to me.
Its creamier and easier to apply and because its in a pot instead of a vial you can get to all of it without having to waste product left inside that the wand cant get to.
It held my make up perfectly in place all Friday night with no creases or slides. £14.65 inc postage. Perfect.

Barry M Liquid Eyeliner in black;
My previous post tells the story behind this and I have to say although I wasnt blown away as it still takes some practice to get the technique right, I had much more success than I have had with liquid liner in the past. The end is like a pen rather than a brush so you can be direct with where you want it and can apply enough pressure to get it right but unlike with other pens you actually dip it in the the product so you dont rely on the ink getting to the nib by itself. I will be buying the other colours in the range, they do a purple and a bronze that look fab.

So all in all I am delighted with my haul this week... I am currently also fantasising about Mac Lipstick in Vegas Volt, a full power coral shade from their 'aplified creme' range.. watch this space.

Friday, 15 January 2010

New Arrival Delight

Quick post to express my keen excitement...

My boyfriend has just called me from home to say my 120 Pro Eye Shadow Pallette has arrived and together with the fact that yesterday I was in receipt of Mac Prep & Prime Eye and Barry M Liquid Eyeliner in Black... I am about to go over the edge.

I will wear these out tonight as I am going for a nice bottle of wine and some cheese with one of my closest girlfriends, review tomorrow!!!!

The stories behind these purchases is;

Barry M Liner - Ive never really got my head around liquid liner because I find it a bit stark, it never sits close enough to my lashes and I dont have the steadiest hand which makes the whole thing pretty tricky. However I have seen it used before and when used correctly it can make lashes look thicker and darker, and is good for adding dramatic flicks so I was keen to find one that suits me. Reading a review by Sam Donald ( A professional Make Up artist with some absolute gems of advice) She revealed that the best one is by Barry M. This liner actually costs about £4.00 - Bargain! It comes in an array of colours... Will let you know what I think.

Mac Prep & Prime - See my last post..

120 Pro Pallette - Now this intrigues me greatly. Those of you who are familiar with Lauren Luke (legend) will know that she is a big fan of these pallettes. Even more so before she hit the big time and had less money to splash out. They are available widely on Ebay and for a variety of prices from an even wider variety of sellers and brands.
Following extensive research (anyone gathered I love a bit of make up fact hunting?) I have concluded that; These products are manufactured in Hong Kong. They are then distributed by a company called Coastal Scents who will sell them to other companies who brand the boxes themselves... You'll most commonly see Manly, Fraulein38 and Beautyfactory.
I am ,generally speaking, against buying make up from anyone other than the actual brand. Mac is a good example - never buy on Ebay! They seem like a bargain but most of the products you see are fakes or out of date. A rule of thumb is 'If it sounds to good to be true... it probably is'
However, if its good enough for Lauren, it's good enough for me. And the 120 pro colours are to die for!

I'll keep you posted!

Love and pigments for now xxx

Wednesday, 13 January 2010

Face à la journée

Today is bitterly cold and my 'look' clothes wise could be described as a cross between my great Aunt Connie and an Eskimo.

I really feel that any great effort make up wise would be lost so today I am wearing;

-Dior Forever Teint Haute Perfection Foundation(020)all over with Mac Studio Fix Compact (NW30) to set.
-Urban Decay primer potion all over lid.
-Mac Eyeshadow (Blanc Type, Matte2) all over lid also.
-Dior Matte & Shine Duo Eyeshadow (Tropical Look 275) With Green shade up to socket from outside corner to middle of eye and brown shade swept across socket.
-Mac Plush Lash in Plush Black
-Dior High Shine in Cranberry Coquette

Throughout the day I will be applying Neutrogena Norwegian Formula Lip protector SPF 20.

And this is my first tip. This stuff is the best! I actually discovered it when my boyfriend bought some after a business trip abroad. Apparently there are whole countries of people that don't have to wear at least two layers of clothing all year long and the boyfriend had burnt his lips.
For all the chapsticks I've tried in my time he effortlessly stumbled upon this, and it really works. Doesn't sting, doesn't taste of some kind of scientific experiment - it just sits there for a good few hours and quietly does its job. Fab.

Moving on,

Dior Forever - This is my favourite of the Dior Fluid Foundations.. and I believe I've tried them all. This is the one I go back to. The coverage isn't completley amazing so I top it up with a compact, step in Mac Fix! The moisture balance that Forever gives my skin along with its ability to blend in to my jaw line whether I'm carrying a tan or not AND its durability is unrivaled. For a heavier look you could go for Icon, cream to powder. But I find it hard to blend and a bit cakey. You can really feel that you are wearing it and if its a hot day, or you're in a sweaty club, and you listen very carefully, you will hear your skin begging for some air.
Dior Nude is good, but you'll find you'll need a lot and it will run out quickly.
I am a confirmed lover of Dior because it looks so damn classy and there are a certainly a few key pieces that I will return to again and again because they are true classics. However in general, for professional quality make up, there are smarter brands to invest in.

Mac Fix - The Mac assistant told me this was a full substitute to fluid foundation which I believe it is intended to be but I cant quite bring myself to go without the fluid as well. That said, it glides on beautifully, blends well and although it doesn't cover big blemishes, it will even out your skin tone completely. Its dead handy for touch ups and thankfully doesn't have an odour.. ever smelt Mac Studio Fix Fluid...? It also lasts forever and then some.

Urban Decay Primer - Everyone raves about this and I'll be honest so did I until recently when I faced facts that it is the only primer I have ever used. Tragic. Its good yes but its a bit watery, it runs out quickly and I have now considered that there may be a whole world of primers out there waiting for me to smudge them on to my lids and rejoice. So I have researched various professional make up forums and consensus is that Mac do a good one and Laura Mercier and Too Faced as well. So i'll try them out one by one and get back to you. I've ordered Mac Prep & Prime Eye in the palest shade and am waiting eagerly for its arrival.

Mac Eye Shadow - What can I say that hasnt already been said about these...? Highly Pigmented and an array of colours to delight (and bankrupt) the most demanding make up connoisseur. Ill review various colours as and when I use or purchase them but the one I have on today, and lots of days, is a creamy beige colour that is good as a base to blend most colours in to. Dabbed under the eyebrow it can be used as a highlighter. In the inner corners it can open the eye and dotted in the middle of your lid over your finished make up it can really POP your eye beautifully. Beware of fallout though with the Matte2 shades.

Dior Duo Eyeshadow - This is another one I come back to, the two colours compliment each other so well and they are so easy to apply to create different kinds of looks that if youre feeling uninspired you can rely on it to look good, day or night. The 'tropical look' duo that I have today is a matte brown (excellent for defining the socket, lining under the eye, creating a smokey look and even touching up brows) and a beautiful shiny green. I would also highly reccommend the 'Cocktail Look' for a gorgeous salmon pink and a matte grey with amazing depth. Fab on Pale blue eyes.

Plush Lash - Great. Stays on all day long. Blackest Black. Has a nifty flat brush that lets you get right down to the roots, handy if youre fair. It also allows you to really build it up up up without clogging. I will do a full reveiw on all the mascaras I have tried at some stage but its hard to rememeber that others have exisited now that I own the luscious plushious...

Dior High Shine - This is a classic example of one that sneaks in to my purse because it looks pretty there. It goes on like a dream, almost jelly like in its texture. It gives just enough colour to make a difference but little enough that you can slick it on without thinking or even using a mirror. The shine is gorgeous as well. Now, if you borrow someone's High Shine in the loos like I did you will fall in love instantainiously and rush to buy one of your very own. And then, much like after enjoying a low fat slice of lemon cake, you will come crashing down almost as quickly. This stuff only lasts for about 15 minutes. In fact if you kept it on your desk and reapplied everytime it wore off I reckon you could get through a whole stick in one day. Shame.

So that's today done. I will be doing a tutorial/ review very soon.. .first one, excited!

Monday, 11 January 2010

The rose looks fair, but fairer we it deem

My mother is not by nature a glamourous person. That's not to say that she isn't beautiful. She is in fact quite beautiful. Despite being in her late 50s she suffers hardly any wrinkles or blemishes and has a grace and serenity that I aspire to.

I try to remain optimistic that her good skin is genetic and that I too will be as blessed. However as I rack up the years I am starting to face the dismal truth that mother doesnt drink or stay out late at night, and has never smoked.. I may need some extra help.

Although she quite wholly fulfilled her maternal role and guided me in to adulthood with unconditional love, strong moral values and an un-natural but comforting dependancy on tea and Eastenders - No guidance on the art of making up ones face was offered.

I had to rely on my own research.

Like a lot of little girls this initially involved experimenting with felt tip pens used as eyeliner, wetted pink and red sweets used as lipstick and some delightful cuumber and ready brek face masks.

Publications such as 'Sugar' 'Mizz' 'Bliss' and (hidden from squeamish father) 'More' were also used.

Most of these offered articles such as 'how to wear make up so that your teacher wont notice' or 'how to persude your mum that lipgloss is ok' These were useful, and cherished.

Make up icons of the time to me were Pamela Anderson (heavily lined porn lips) Danni Behr (scary hair) Danni Minogue and later, the spice girls..

Needless to say these sources were less useful.

As I transcended my teens I had to fumble my way towards the light wearing Kurt Cobain inspired eye liner and way too much perfume. Then finally, after years of my friends and I sharing the dregs of their mothers old Yardley mascaras and Avon nail varnish, a full time wage presented itself! And that's where the real trouble began.

I entered my twenties with a stack of credit card bills and a haul of Benefit and Sparkly Urban Decay beauty products. These made up my make up collection purely because A, the packaging was cute, and B, My closest and most stylish friend led the way, I wanted what she had.

My all consuming adoration for all things Maquiller had begun.

I loved the rush of purchasing the newest 'must have' seasonal compact as I watched my less erudite peers fill their Superdrug baskets with Collection 2000 and Rimmel.
One acquisition that sticks in my mind is 'Benefit Hoola' a deep brown, chalky matte bronzer which was 'all the rage' as mother would say.
Everyone who was anyone had it, including my aforementioned best friend. She is blessed with skin that turns olive as soon as May is behind us, sun kissed hair and cheek bones to quite literally die for.
I on the other hand, as my signature would suggest, am more strawberries and cream than mocha.
I should have steered well clear.
But the box was soooo pretty, I was in love.
£22 later, I got the piece home and set to slowly removing the ornately decorated lid to reveal a densely formed brush with a gorgeous wooden base protected by a plastic sheath which I removed languidly. Fixed at the mirror I applied the first streak of colour to my cheek... and looked like I'd been slapped round the face with a freshly polished tan shoe.

I booked a course of sun bed sessions, and persevered.

So in short at this stage I happily beleived that the prettier and pricier a product was, the more desirable it was.

In fact this is sometimes true, but rarely. I discovered this to my cost.

So, my blog is what I hope will prove to be a useful little guide to my current collection, pieces I aquire, products I despise, products I adore... and a few other general musings on my life and loves....