China Glaze Atlantis: The Very Last Days of Summer

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Okay, so summer was over a long, long time ago, but I thought that I'd better wear this while there was still some semblance of sunlight over dreary London. Also, I'm graduating from University and starting work soon, so I figured that I'd better make my last manicure before I start work a good and fun one, since once I start work I'll be subject to the tyranny of boring sheers, pinks and nudes. Not that there's anything wrong with pinks, sheers, or nudes, but I'll be darned if I have to wear ONLY those...

Anyway, China Glaze Atlantis is gorgeous. It's a teal jelly with holographic glitter chunks, so with it's eye-catching, bold, bright and defiant nature, it's totally appropriate for the last days of summer, before sunlight slips away (as well as the last days of being a freewheeling student, before I slip into the working world)...Pictures really don't do this justice, because my camera can't capture the awesome holographic fullness of this beauty. It just looks like plain old glitter, but it isn't. I need you to imagine that every one of those glitter bits below is twinkling in holo goodness.

China Glaze Atlantis

Atlantis is a chunky glitter, and while I usually hate chunky glitters, I'll make an exception for this one. When I first applied it, I hated it. I was thinking "WTF HUGE CHUNKY GLITTER?! At least it's holograhic..." but once I wore it for a bit more, I started loving it. I think it's acquired taste, especially if you're colour-shy. But it is a lovely colour, and one that's totally unique.

I like how the teal base is a jelly that's not too opaque, so even after two coats, you still see every single glitter bit. The suspended but still visible glitter really adds a dimension to the colour. I think Atlantis is absolutely appropriate as a polish name - it really looks like the diamonds of an ancient city sparkling at the bottom of a deep blue-green sea, forgotten and twinkling beneath the waves.

See what I mean? Who knew polish could tell a story? But this one does. It's almost poetic.

China Glaze Atlantis

Before you guys think I'm off my rockers, I'd better get to the more mundane aspects of polish description. Like application. As with all chunky glitters, Atlantis wasn't exactly smooth going on - the glitters do tend to all clump together at wherever your brush first lands on your nail, so you do have to maneuver carefully to ensure the glitter is as evenly distributed as possible. But otherwise, I didn't have any problems with this.

Despite being a jelly, it was easily buildable, and what you see on my nails is just two coats. I don't know how China Glaze does it, but Atlantis isn't so sheer that it's annoying, but it also isn't so opaque that you can't see the glitter bits embedded in the polish.

Here's a close up shot so you can see the awesome holographic glitter. It really is more holographic in real life, but my camera has issues:

China Glaze Atlantis 2

Of course, it's obvious how much I love this colour. When I move my fingers it sparkles and twinkles, and I absolutely love the bling effect. If you're not colour-shy, or glitter-shy, this one is for you.

Nubar Purple Beach: Duochrome, Triplechrome, Multichrome Awesomeness!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Nubar ranks number one on my list of "most underrated nail polish brands ever". I don't know why they aren't conquering the world like they really ought to be doing. Their polish has near flawless application, they retail for less expensive than OPIs, they have one of the longest staying power for nail polish I've seen (on me, at least), and they make some of the best colour effects I've seen - duochromes, glass flecks, mattes, suedes, you name it - they have it. I just don't think they have a holo, but I may be wrong on that.

Anyway, one of the biggest draws about Nubar is that their duochromes are AWESOMELY DUOCHROME. It's not one of those wimpy duochromes that are like, "hey I'm a duochrome, but you have to tilt me at an 89.95 degree angle to see a slight flash of blue in the upper right corner of your nail". Noooo, Nubar duochromes are shameless little things - they scream "I'M A DUOCHROME AND YOU DON'T EVEN HAVE TO TILT YOUR NAIL TO SEE IT!" That's why I love them so much. Sometimes, you even get a colour that is called a duochrome but is far more complex than that.

Like Purple Beach. This one is billed as a purple/green duochrome, but I'm going to show you that calling it a duochrome isn't quite doing the polish justice. I prefer to call it multichrome (and I just made up a word, woo!)

Nubar Purple Beach

That's Purple Beach straight on in natural lighting. Notice that you don't have to turn and twist your hand into awkward angles just to see a hint of duochrome. I love purples, and I love duochromes, so this makes me VERY happy.

nubar purple beach

In this photo above, you can really see the green duochrome. And some brown. Woohoo, so this thing flashes brown, green, AND purple. Tri-chrome goodness!

Want to see more duochrome? I knew you'd say yes, so here you go:

nubar purple beach

And lastly, here is a picture of Purple Beach in indoor lighting. This one really brings out a different side of it. Here you can see it's primarily bronze/brown, with some flash of green-gold at the sides. Really gorgeous.

nubar purple beach

This lasted for almost a week before chipping, which is a record time for me! I'm absolutely in love with this shade. I love duochromes, and Nubar is my newfound love!

Beauty Ad Fail of the Day: Sephora Super by Perricone

Monday, September 27, 2010

So this popped in my email inbox yesterday. Sephora was announcing the arrival of Super by Perricone line, and this was the promo picture:

(Picture courtesy of olivedgreen on MUA)

I don't know about you, but something about that model looks really, really, wrong. The "I'm-in-ecstatic-pleasure" eyes-closed-mouth-wide-open pose. And the white cream running down her face - of course it's just Dr Perricone's Hyper Hydrator Coconut Water MCT, what else could it possibly be? And some of that Coconut Water is running into her mouth too. You know, because coconut is really yummy, in addition to being good for your skin.

I honestly don't know what the Sephora marketing team was thinking when they decided to put this ad up - I mean, did they think it was cutting-edge or sexy or something? I don't know about you, but the ad honestly grossed me out. Call me a prude, but I think it's in pretty bad taste, even if it did make me snigger like a 12 year old boy. And I half-suspect this might be deliberate - you can't possibly run an ad like that not realizing what it looks like! I mean, it's not even particularly subtle. Eew, yuck. And is that supposed to make me want to run out and get a tub of moisturizer and slather it over my face? Umm, I think not. Unfortunately for Sephora, I'd remember the ad, but not the moisturizer.

For those reasons, this is what I'd call a BEAUTY AD FAIL. What do you think? Fail or Not?

Sleek Curious iDivine Palette Swatches!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

I know, I know. This post is already late. Sleek's Curious Palette has been long released, was LE, and isn't around anymore, or at least not in retail stores (you can still get it online in some places). However, since I had swatches for it, I thought I might as well put them up anyway. It might help someone out there.

The Curious Palette has a really odd name. Unlike other palettes which have more easily imaginable names (Circus, Acid, Graphite), I can't think of any colour palette that would make me say, "This has the feel of curiousity, alright!" Still, I think the colours in this palette aren't bad. There's a good mix of colours that covers almost all the colour bases.

Sleek Curious Palette

Top Row: Bright sky blue, mustard yellow, olive green, pinky lilac, burgundy brown, steel grey
Bottom Row: green-blue aqua, light colbalt blue, light teal-ish green, reddish copper, shimmery vanilla, black

First off, the colours in this palette are all shimmery. This is pretty much a shimmer-based palette, so if you don't like shimmer shadows, this probably wouldn't be your cup of tea.

Another thing I noticed is that the palette can neatly be divided into two halves - the right half, consisting of the top 3 and bottom 3 shades on the right, and the left half, consisting of the remaining 6 shades. This gives you a mini palette on the right that consists of mainly purples and various brown-ish shades, and a mini palette on the left that consists of mainly blue and greens. Pretty cool, huh? That nifty layout will definitely help someone who has trouble pairing the colours in the palette together.

I like the combination of colours, but I don't think anything is particularly unique, although I do love the olive green and the purple burgundy brown in the top row. Also, I'm a bit ambivalent about the four green/blue based shades in the left half of the palette - it kind of feels like a bit of a duplication of colour, even though none of the shades are dupes for each other. But still, I think this combination of shades, unusual as it is, actually works - I can definitely see colour pairings across all the 12 shades in the palette. And I like how there are some more neutral shades along with the brights, so in addition to doing a green and blue mermaid eye, you can also just do a simple neutral look with the palette, making it more versatile than it initially appears.

Quality-wise, the Curious Palette isn't different from any of the iDivine Palettes. It's my personal opinion that in general, the shimmer shades in the iDivine Palettes tend to be of better quality than the mattes, for some reason. The texture is just smoother, and they tend to be a little more pigmented. So since the Curious Palette is almost entirely composed of shimmers, this is one of the better ones in terms of texture and pigmentation. If you've liked the other iDivine Palettes, you'll definitely like this one.

Overall, I think this is one of the nicer iDivine Palettes out there, primarily due to it's versatility. Some of Sleek's previous palettes have never quite appealed to me (e.g. Acid) because they seemed only suitable for all-out-there bright eye looks, while others didn't interest me (e.g. Graphite) because the colours all looked rather same-y in the palette. I think this one strikes a nice balance between the two, managing both to have a decent diversity of shaes, as well as a combination of both neutrals and brights. The shades aren't particularly unique, I think this palette is versatile enough to be useful if these are colours you'd wear.

Wet n' Wild Blue Moon and Nailene Nail Art: Cheap and Awesome

Friday, September 24, 2010

Reading through my older blog entries, I realized I really love to use the term "like stars in a night sky" to describe makeup or nail polish - like you know, when describing a black eyeshadow with silver glitter, or a nail polish that's a blue jelly with glitter...I don't know why, but I guess it's just one of my pet phrases!

So in light of that, don't be surprised if I say this NOTD was inspired by stars in a night sky, LOL! But hey, it's a base of blue shimmer, and some really pretty star nail stickers with small gemstones! The base is Wet n' Wild Blue Moon, while the awesome nail stickers are from Nailene,(which, by the way, have a pretty awesome selection of nail stickers for cheap, and they're readily available at drugstores. I also really like their nail glue, and I use it whenever I have to fix a broken nail.)

Wet n Wild Blue Moon Nailene Nail Stickers

Anyway, I had no trouble at all with the Nailene nail stickers. These were easy to remove from the backing, were sturdy enough not to tear when subject to twisting from my tweezers, and stayed on until I removed them. A lot of people have issues with nail stickers, because they are worried that the nail stickers will fall off, but as long as you topcoat over your nail stickers, they'll be A-Okay.

The Wet n' Wild polish, on the other hand, kind of disappointed me. I loved the application, and the colour - oh how I loved the colour! - because it was a kickass deep navy blue with a unique green shimmer. But as is typical for WnWs, the wear really got to me, and it chipped the very next day. I was absolutely heartbroken!

If anyone wants to suggest a dupe of Blue Moon that won't chip as easily, I'm all ears!

(Nailene stickers were provided to me for review. I am not affilated/compensated by the company. This review is my full and honest opinion.)

Beauty Blog Backstage: The Gloss Menagerie

Thursday, September 23, 2010

As part of the Beauty Blog Backstage feature, I'm interviewing Alyson of The Gloss Menagerie! I hope I did OK, it's my first time having to interview someone!

1. What do you love best about beauty blogging?

Definitely getting to try all kinds of new products that I'd never even heard of before. It's also opened a lot of doors to do things (like work a booth at IMATS!) that I never would have gotten the opportunity to do before.

2. If you didn't have a beauty blog, what would you be blogging about?

I actually do have other non-beauty blogs, and I mostly talk about what's going on in my life, recipes, and random stuff like that. In the past I've blogged about ugly shoes, haha. I've gotten a lot of requests to bring that one back but I haven't made the time. Maybe I'll bring it back as a feature on The Gloss Menagerie? :P

3. What's the best and worst cosmetic item you've tried?

The best is a lot harder to choose because there are so many makeup items I love! Definitely one of the most life-changing was Urban Decay Primer Potion. I never knew something like that existed and once I tried it I became a lifetime fan! As far as worst goes, probably a pantene shampoo & conditioner I tried a few months back. It made my hair feel like straw. Ew.

4. What makeup item do you think is overrated?

I'm probably gonna get something thrown at me for saying this, but Cover Girl Lash Blast mascara. I tried it, and while it's not a bad mascara, it got SO much hype when it came out that I thought was kinda silly. There are mascaras out there that work way better for me. It's funny how makeup is so personal and how one person's love is another person's worst ever, haha.

5. You love you love any other animals?

Absolutely! I'm a huge animal lover. I have 2 cats and a fish. My other main obsession is horses. I adore the ponies! I actually was on an equestrian team for about 5 years and hope to pick that up again one day. It's a very expensive hobby, especially in Southern California where boarding a horse is ridiculously expensive. I also would really like to have a dog of my own. I've never been able to because of my parents not wanting one or because of living in a small apartment, etc. I love watching Animal Planet! In fact my cat is sitting on my computer mouse and part of my keyboard right now!

6. What's the most out-there makeup look you've ever tried?

I generally play it pretty safe with my makeup most of the time, but there have been times when I went to work (in a pretty casual office) with dark blue or teal eyeshadow on my lids and gold eyeliner or something. I'm also not one to shy away from lipstick in shades like bright hot pink or purple.

7. What would you do if you could never wear eyeshadow ever again?

I would cry!!!!! But I wouldn't get rid of all of it because I would still be able to apply it to other people, right? Ahhh what a cruel question!!!

NYX on Hautelook Today!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

I've mentioned this before, but people have been excited for this sale, so I thought I'd just drop by to mention it again! For the first time ever, NYX Cosmetics is on sale on Hautelook today! And the sale, as always is members only, so sign up and visit the NYX sale now!

(Not affiliated with any company mentioned. Signup link is my own member's signup link.)

First Light Cosmetics: Golden Bronze and Storm Grey Swatches and Review!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Last time I took a look at First Light Cosmetics' blushes, I said I loved them a lot, for the quality, colour selection, and sturdy packaging. I'm glad to say the eyeshadows are just as great.

I have two shades, Golden Bronze and Storm Grey. These come in the same sturdy packaging as the blushes - in plastic jars with firmly attached sifters and lids that screw on tight. Another thing I really like about First Light Cosmetics is that the jars are literally filled to the brim with product. Just take a look at these jars:

First Light Cosmetics Eyeshadows

They're packed all the way up to where the sifter jars are! I've removed the sifter jars so you can see the colour more clearly, but I sure had to remove them carefully to prevent product from falling all over. These are definitely value for money, no stinging on product here!

And swatches of both Storm Grey and Golden Bronze are of course in order:

first light cosmetics golden bronze storm grey

I know, I know, aren't they gorgeous?

Golden Bronze is, as the name describes a golden bronze that's actually pretty neutral in undertone. It kind of reminds me of Stila's Golightly, that famed colour, and while it isn't a dupe, you get what I mean - it's a similar brown with a hint of gold that's not so brassy as to be unwearable. I like this.

Storm Grey is such a misleading name. This isn't grey at all, but it's a GORGEOUS AWESOME BEAUTIFUL TAUPE. TAUPE ALERT HERE PEOPLE!!! I think they should have named this something Taupe or Taupe something, or you taupe hoors like me can just rush for the colour. Fortunately, my taupe-detective skills are now at such a great level after years of taupe hooring that just by looking at the colour swatch on the First Light website, I KNEW this was going to be taupe. I don't know why either - I think I'm starting to develop a taupe sixth sense. Eerie, right?

Anyway, Storm grey is a gorgeous beautiful taupe that's wonderfully balanced - not too much purple, brown, or grey. Just my kind of colour. It's not a deep, dark taupe (like MAC's Satin Taupe), so this may disappoint girls looking for a deeper colour, but it's a light-medium neutral taupe, kind of like Bourjois Brun Nylon. But you know me - I don't discriminate between taupes, and I love 'em all.

Anyway, if you haven't heard me rave enough Storm Grey yet, you so need to go and get it already, especially if you're into taupes like I am. And if you're not, then you need to check out their other colours, because if these two shades are anything to go by, then you're paying drugstore prices for colours that are worthy of a high-end brand.

(Product was sent to me for review. I am not affiliated with/compensated by the company. This review is my honest and complete opinion.)

Stila and Lorac on Sale at Hautelook Today and Tomorrow!

Monday, September 20, 2010

1 comment
Okay. Beauty news flash for my USA girls - if you like good quality brands, you're going to LOVE Hautelook's sales: Stila is on sale today, Lorac will be on sale tommorow, and NYX will be on sale on Wednesday, the day after! Lucky Americans...why don't we overseas girls get such perks... *mutters and kicks a rock* Anyway, don't let my insane jealousy put you off, check out the sales now!

Nail Art Fun: Essie Chinchilly and Viva la Nails!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

I love nail stickers and nail gems, because they can really dress up a manicure, and they accommodate people of all sorts of inclinations. If you don't have much time, simply slapping on a sticker will do. On the other hand, if you want to do intricate little designs with nail gems, that's also perfectly possible!

For this NOTD, I wanted to make a girly, yet not all pink-and-swirly NOTD, so I dressed what was otherwise a boring grey NOTD. I used these nail stickers and nail gems from Viva la Nails. Aren't they absolutely adorable? I used a pack of nail stickers that had teeny tiny little rhinestones on some of the stickers, and a pack of black gemstones.

viva la nails

For the base I used Essie Chinchilly, which by the way is the most gorgeous grey creme I've seen. It's grey, but it doesn't have much blue in it, and in fact it does seem to have a tinge of green compared to other greys, so it's perhaps the most ideal grey I've seen for warm-toned people. I love this one because it's not too cool-toned. And application and pigmentation was excellent, to boot.

Then, using a pair of tweezers, I picked up the black gemstones one by one and stuck them along my smile line on the nail, parallel to the free edge. Or at least attempted to, since not all my lines were perfect. And then I stuck on some flower nail art stickers for interest.

This is the final result:

Essie Chinchilly and Viva La Nails

I don't know about you, but I'm absolutely in love with it! I loved how the Viva la Nails art stuff totally glammed up my grey mani. And I love how it's fun and feminine without being OTT, you know? It's a very happy medium as far as nail art is concerned.

I wore these for a good while before I finally decided to remove them, and I didn't have any problem with them falling off or peeling off my nails. I applied two coats of topcoat (one slow-dry and Seche Vite on top of it), so I think that really secured them.

essie chinchilly and viva la nails

I'm totally enjoying the Viva la Nails nail art stuff, I have a bunch of their stuff, and it's really good quality - no tacky stuff that falls apart here! I love that they have individual gemstones, stickers, and even some less conventional items like feathers! (I'm still trying to figure out what to do with a feather on my nails, but if I ever do, you can bet you'll be hearing about it!) They're UK-based, and shipping is cheap (2.95GBP and up) and fast when I placed my order, so if you want to get anything from them, I highly recommend it!

First Light Cosmetics: Sundowner and Kohilo Blush Swatches and Review

Friday, September 17, 2010

I love it when smaller makeup companies make products that are just as good, if not better than, makeup from bigger brand names. Discovering these brands is just like finding a gem before anyone else has found it - sometimes, they're way cheaper, better value for money, and provide much better and more personalized customer service too! I don't know about you, but I really get a kick out of discovering these diamonds in the rough.

The latest one that I really love is First Light Cosmetics. They have a wide range of products - foundations, blush, eyeshadows, lip products - but I'm really loving their powder products, in particular the blushes!

Everything First Light does is really well done, even the packaging. The jars come with sifter tops, the seal on the sifters are stuck on (so no messy powder everywhere when you open your product), and the lid is secure enough so that powder doesn't leak out, and the containers are sturdy, and of really good quality. I really like that, because one of my fears of ordering mineral makeup online is that by the time it gets to me in the mail, the lids of the jars have come loose and the powder ends up everywhere (it has happened before!). But the packaging is really secure here. And to top it off, they come in this absolutely adorable little bag:

first light cosmetics bag

Isn't that cute? One of the things I love about niche companies is that they're often pretty creative when it comes to differentiating their companies or packaging. In the case of First Light Cosmetics, their little pouches bearing the company logo are not only cute, they're also made by disadvantaged women in Tanzania too!

But of course, you know packaging doesn't count for much if the product sucks. I'm glad to say it doesn't - in fact, I'm really impressed. Both Sundowner and Kohlio have both made it into heavy rotation in my blush stash. First of all, the quality is excellent. These blushes are very finely milled. I don't know how they do it - maybe they send them to Mars for milling or something (LOL), but the formulation is excellent. It's smooth, it's finely milled, and it goes on beautifully. Even the high end brands could learn from this!

Here's a close-up of Sundowner blush, so you can see that finely-milled goodness:

Here are swatches of both Sundowner and Kohilo:

first light cosmetics sundowner kohilo

Sundowner is a gorgeous plummy-pink blush, reminiscent of NARS Sin and other such colours. It also has a slight shimmer that isn't OTT at all. I normally prefer my blushes matte, but the shimmer in this is very glowy on.

Kohilo is a gorgeous bright neutral pink with shimmer. This is one of the more popular shades from their line, and I can definitely see why! This one will be universally flattering for most girls out there - I mean, everyone can use a bright neutral pink blush, right?

With wearable colours, good packaging, and an excellent formula, I don't think I have any complaints. If you're interested the the First Light Cosmetics website takes orders and offers free shipping on purchases more than 50GBP.

(These products were sent to me for review. I am not affiliated with or compensated by the company. This review is my honest and complete opinion.)

Mememe Blush Me! Blush Boxes Swatches

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Mememe has recently launched four boxed blushes that are packaged exactly like the Benefit's blush boxes, right down to the square paper box and included brush, and are probably meant to imitate them - after all, Mememe already has dupes for Benefit's Benetint and Posietint, so I guess it was only a matter of time before they tried to dupe the powders.

However, while the packaging is similar, the colours are nothing alike. That may be a bad thing for those looking for a dupe (I know I'd love a dupe of Dallas that wasn't so expensive!), but the colours themselves aren't too bad. There are four colours - Coral, Pink, Bronze, and Rouge. The quality of these isn't too shabby, either - the powders were reasonably soft and pigmented, with the exception of Pink.

Here is the entire Blush Me! range swatched:

Mememe Blush Me blush boxes

Coral is a coral that veers orange. I kind of think Rouge is what my idea of Coral should look like. Probably a better shade for the warmer-toned girls among us.

Pink is a light neutral pink, and this one wasn't very well-pigmented. It was quite sheer, and the texture was a bit harder than the other blushes. But it's a really pretty colour though.

Bronze is a light yellow-bronze. I'm surprised that this isn't too dark, so if you're fair and warm, this might work for you. All the Blush Me! shades are shimmery, but the shimmer is especially apparent in this shade, so it's probably not going to be useful for contouring, although for bronzing your cheeks etc it might be good.

Rouge isn't very rouge to me...I'm not sure about you, but when I think rouge, I think of primary red. This is actually a very pretty coral, and it's less orange than the Coral shade. This is my favourite of the bunch, and it seems to be the most popular too.

Out of all the four shades, Bronze and Rouge had the best pigmentation, while Pink had the worst. Coral was somewhere in between, it was decently pigmented. All the shades were also quite soft, except for Pink, which somehow seemed a bit harder to me. These are cheap and cherry, and if you like your blushes in cute little boxes, you'll probably like these.

NYX On Sale At Hautelook Next Week: Sign Up Now!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

NYX Cosmetics might be on sale at Hautelook next week, because this just popped up on the NYX Cosmetics Twitter Page: "Hint hint: I hope you're all signed up with @Hautelook by this time next week! ;)". Now if that's the case, I'm excited, and if you're in the USA, you should be too! Don't miss out, sign up for a Hautelook account so you can check out the NYX sale!

YSL Belle de Nuit Manicure Duo: Duping the Look for Less!

Monday, September 13, 2010

YSL came out with nail polishes sets that they call "Manicure Couture Duos", and for US$30 (or more if you're outside the US) you can get two polishes that are supposed to go with each other to produce a chic take on the traditional french manicure. In particular,one of the set of shades, Belle de Nuit, is rip-roaringly popular for Fall/Winter 2010. It consists of a deep purple and a shimmery gold.

YSL Belle De Nuit
Image from YSL Website

So I saw that, and immediately my first thought was - I GOTTA HAVE THAT! Then, when some semblance of sanity returned, I realized that I already have a gazillion purples, and a billion gold foils. In fact, the YSL colours aren't particularly unique. Every brand has a deep purple creme, and most brands have a gold foil. Then the realization sank in - I (as well as billions of polish addicts out there) could probably already dupe the look with the colours in my stash, for much, much cheaper!

So I set out to dupe Belle de Nuit. I took a look at the swatches on this blog, and decided that a creme base (like YSL had done) was honestly a little boring. I wanted something with a hidden shimmer to make it more interesting. But if you want to dupe the creme finish as well, then dark purple cremes are plentiful - my personal favourite is Nails Inc Dover Street Market.

Here is my dupe. I didn't use french manicure strips to create the lines, so you'll have to bear with my messy freehand tips. Also, my third fingernail looks like it's a lot thicker than the others, but that's just because I (still) have a nail wrap over it from way back when, LOL. My nails grow SLOOOOWLY.

Koh Purple Rain Collection 2000 Aztec Gold

I ended up using KOH's Purple Rain, and Collection 2000 Aztec Gold. I really should have bought those french manicure strips, because my freehand french manicure sucks.

KOH Purple Rain is a beautiful deep purple that has a hidden shimmer that is apparent when the light hits it, or if it is indoors. It's beautiful. Collection 2000 Aztec Gold is a metallic gold which is absolutely gorgeous - it's not a brassy or orange gold, but more of an antique gold. I really love this colour.

Here's a shot of my nails indoors. You can see the hidden shimmer where the light hits the nails. Beautiful.

YSL belle de nuit dupe, koh purple rain, collection 2000 aztec gold

KOH isn't a brand available in the UK (not that I know of, at least), and I think it's a Netherlands-based company. They do have some interesting polishes, but unfortunately I don't know much about them, other than that they have gorgeous bottles and packaging - each nail polish comes in it's own little case with a mirror!

Collection 2000 is a UK-based drugstore brand that is very cheap and readily available in any Superdrug. Aztec Gold was a cheap pick-me-up I bought from Superdrug. These polishes performed better than I expected - they were well pigmented and application was good, but they were very chippy on me. I think these are good for konading and layering.

koh purple rain, collection 2000 aztec gold

What do you think? Has anyone else tried duping Belle de Nuit yet? Or is it so easily dupable that no one has even bothered?

NARS Tonkin Pure Matte Lipstick: Up Close and Reviewed

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Last time I featured NARS, I swatched all the Pure Matte Lipsticks, so this time I'm focusing on the colour I ended up with - Tonkin, since I figured some of you would want to see what the matte texture looks like on the lips.

First of all, let me stress the teensy size of these things. If you're ordering online and can't check out the size of these things IRL (in real life), these things are tiny. They're the size of a slim lipbalm tube, and you get all of 2g of product.

NARS Tonkin

I guess the tiny size is okay though, because when you apply these, you ideally shouldn't use too much. Actually, when the lipsticks were demonstrated on me, there were quite a few steps before the lipstick was actually applied. First they removed whatever I was wearing, then they put some moisturizer/exfoliater, then they applied a primer to my lips, and then they applied the lipstick. I think that in real life at home, that's way too many steps for me to take before I even whip out my lipstick, but I have to say that it did look good with all those preparatory steps.

So, I'm sure most of you are thinking at this point - I know I can get the model look by cleansing, exfoliating, moisturizing, and priming, but what would the lipstick look like on if I just swiped it onto bare lips, like I usually do? Well, fortunately I have no aversion to showing it like it is, so here is NARS Tonkin on my bare lips:

nars tonkin swatch

It does accentuate fine lines and any dry spots (as you can see from how gross my lips look), so I'd definitely recommend that you engage in some form of preparatory work as opposed to just slapping it on. Also, when applying the lipstick, remember to dab lightly instead of swipe heavily, to prevent the lipstick from looking cakey. The great thing about this is that it's so heavily pigmented that just dabbing on the lipstick will give you pretty good coverage. NARS definitely didn't stinge on the pigment!

I'm not too sure why all the bloggers out there are saying this is so moisturizing despite being matte, because while it isn't as drying as it could potentially be, it definitely isn't moisturizing. It just sat on top of my lips but didn't do anything, if you know what I mean. I guess that's good enough for a matte lipstick.

That said, I do love the colour of Tonkin, although it's texture makes it hard to work with. It's a gorgeous neutral pinky-brown, and although it looked brown in the swatches, it's actually very universally pretty on. I know everyone's all hyped up about Bangkok and Vesuvio, but seriously, Tonkin is the underrated winner of the bunch for me.

I know most of us, in our daily routine, wouldn't be able to spend all that time cleansing, exfoliating, moisturizing and priming before putting on lipstick. But we would be able to slap on some lipbalm before our lipstick. So this is how Tonkin looks with balm:

nars tonkin and balm

It does look better, but at the same time, it's no surprise that the balm detracted from the "pure matte" finish of the lipstick. I do think it's still wearable as a matte this way though. It's matte with a bit of a sheen, methinks, although of course opinion will be divided - some will think it's matte enough for them, while matte purists will scream that there's no way this can be considered matte. Ultimately, it all boils down to a matter of preference - some love the matte-matte look, some prefer it a little less harsh.

Wear time was pretty great on this one. It stayed on for as long as I didn't eat or drink, but unfortunately once food went into my stomach, so did this lipstick. I know a lot of people have been touting matte lipsticks as longer lasting than glossy lipsticks, but to be brutally honest, I'm not sure if that's the case. To me it's excellent, but it's not going to last past a meal. It was definitely better than a gloss, but I'm not sure if it functions like a stain.

So if you're reading yet another beauty magazine that has their pockets lined by NARS claiming how moisturizing this lipstick is, don't listen to them - they're obviously lying LOL. However, what I can tell you is that this lipstick has excellent staying power (as long as you don't eat), and that it is richly pigmented, and that Tonkin is a gorgeous, beautifully wearable shade. So if you're willing to try the matte lipstick trend, this is a great one to start with.

(This product was sent to me for review. As you can tell, this review is my honest opinion and I'm obviously not paid or compensated by the company.)

Beauty Blog Link Love

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Rae ignites a bit of a lipstick craze with photos and swatches of her (current) favourite drugstore thrill -- Revlon Mauvy Night!

Eyelining rounds up all of the Sleek iDivine palettes, both permanent and limited edition!

Neutrals is her middle name! Maggie shares her favorite neutral eyeshadow palettes over at The Polka-Dotted Apple.

Jen from A Beauty Junkie in London has a sneak peak at the new range of make-up from Accessorize.

Phyrra shows you a cool tutorial on how to do a Candy Gothic Lolita Look.

Take a little look at the *NEW* Max Factor MakeUp Brushes! Sophie likes them a lot!

Jellyminx shows you how to create a subtle gold and plum look.

Musicalhouses has swatched the new NARS Pure Matte Lipsticks so you don't even have to check them out in person! Woohoo!

Glitter Geek is going on a self-imposed Chanel ban, and it's all because of this beautiful blush.

The Lip Print puckers up to Etsy and goes a little crazy for Flourish Lip Balms.

Jeweled Thumb takes a walk down memory lane and runs through the best and worst of the ULTA makeup line.

Check out Pink Diva Beauty & support Tammerly while she fundraises for Liptember and pledges to try 30 lip products in 30 days!

The Smashbox Masquerade eye shadow palette for Fall is both both and beautiful. See pictures and swatches and learn how to get the look at Prime Beauty.

Emma discovers her new favourite lipsticks for only £2 a piece at Birds Decorate Branches!

Makeup Zombie is absolutely crazy over her most recent High Voltage Haul!

Hot Beauty Health shares 7 fun and easy braided hairstyles! thinks the term 'real women' has been hijacked!


Over at The Glamorous Gleam, Mz. More is celebrating her first Blogiversary with a giveaway. Enter for a chance to win MAC Viva Glam Gaga and Cyndi lipglasses!

IHeartCosmetics is holding a giveaway to win £46 worth of Purity Organic Skincare.

Fall/Winter 2010-2011 Dark Lip Trend on the Cheap: Evil Shades Deadly Wicked Gloss

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Unsurprisingly, the dark lip is back for fall. This has been seen on the runways of Proenza Schouler, Missoni, Dior, blah blah other-boring-brands-I-never-look-at-because-I'd-rather-save-the-money-for-yet-more-makeup-and-polish. Okay, I honestly don't really care which brands featured it on the runways, but I'm glad that it's finally fashionable to wear some colour on your lips - I was starting to wonder if I was the only red-lip girl in a sea of nudes!

(Missoni Fall/Winter 2010, Image from

This season's vampy lip colour of choice is a very blackened berry colour, almost a blackened purple. It looks cool on the runways, but obviously most of us will have to adapt it for real life, given the intensity of the colour. I'm not sure if I want to look like this if I wasn't on stage, performing, or strutting down a runway for obscene amounts of money (hah!):

(Proenza Schouler Fall/Winter 2010, Image from

So I love the dark vampy lip, and I celebrate it's return. Question is - how is a poor student with a shoestring budget supposed to get her wearable vampy lip shade fix? Well, fortunately for us, we don't have to plunk down too much cash to actually get a vampy yet wearable shade!

Just look at this beauty I recently bought. Oh yes. Just admire it's beauty. It's vampy and dark, but still wearable, and it's absolutely gorgeous. It's a lipgloss from indie makeup brand Evil Shades. I saw this online and I just HAD to have it. You understand, don't you? :P

Evil Shades Deadly Lipgloss

Evil Shades is the creation of fellow blogger and twitterer Evil Angel, and her blog is awesome. It's a regular read on my RSS feed. And in addition to being a great blogger and a great person in general, she also makes killer cosmetics!

The beautiful thing about her Wicked Glosses (that's what she calls her lipgloss range) is that they're buildable and can be layered sheerly or applied more heavily for greater opacity. That's what I love best about Deadly, the drop-dead gorgeous shade I bought. If you want to wear it as it appears in the pot, you can layer it on for that runway effect, but if you don't want to wear it as an all-out vampy shade, you only need a little bit.

Let me stress - you only need a little bit:

Evil Shades Deadly Lipgloss

You see that little swipe I made in the lid of the pot? Yes, that's how much you need. You really need that little if you want to wear it more sheerly. Don't make the mistake I made which was to goop it on, because you don't need that much! These Wicked Glosses are massively pigmented, so don't be fooled by the small size of the lipgloss pot. It is indeed small (it's the same size as their eyeshadow pots), but that tiny pot will last you a long time.

Here's a picture of my bare lips so that you have something to compare the lip swatches to. (I hope no one's getting sick of seeing the same picture of my bare lips everytime I do lip swatches!)

So, using that tiny blob of lipgloss, this was the look I got:

Evilshades Deadly Lipgloss Applied Lightly

Applied sparingly and lightly, Deadly doesn't look deadly in any way. In fact, it's a very pretty deep rose shade. For sure, it's still a dark shade, but it's very wearable. If you're afraid of wearing a dark lip, this is a great way to ease into the colour family. Also, although you can see some fine glitter in the pot, it doesn't show up on the lip, because the glitter is very sparse and small, and because I only used a tiny amount. I actually like it better this way.

But what if you want to imitate that runway look a little more? You know, if this ain't vampy enough? That can be easily solved by using a greater amount of lipgloss. In fact, given the huge amount of pigmentation in this lipgloss, you're much more likely to end up applying too much colour instead of too little!

Layering the lipgloss, I was able to get this. I don't think the photo really did it justice though, it's richer and deeper in real life:

Evil Shades Deadly Applied Heaviy

Here you get a really beautiful deep, dark berry shade. As you can see, the gold glitter is slightly more apparent on the lip now that I've used more gloss, but even so the amount of glitter in this is very small. I don't like glitter in my lipgloss as a general rule, but the amount of glitter in this isn't enough to bother me. I really love this shade. It's dark and vampy for sure, but it's not blackened like on the runways, so it's still wearable if you're looking for a shade like this.

Wear time on these was pretty good. They pretty much stayed on for as long as I wasn't eating or drinking. So I'm quite impressed. The quality is also excellent for the price - this wasn't sticky, and the scent is a fruity scent that's not cloying or overly artificial, and dissipates upon application. And they're just $3 at the Evil Shades Online Store! That's really cheap, even by etailer makeup pricing standards. And if you're lucky, she occasionally does free shipping deals, so you can even save on shipping.

So if you're looking for your wearable vampy lip, you can end your search and buy this now, and thank me later. Just don't buy up all the stock and remember to leave some for me. On second thoughts, I'd better tell you this sucks so you won't buy it, and they'll be more for me. Yup, that's right. This seriously sucks. If you hate pigmented lipglosses, if you hate non-sticky lipglosses, and if you don't want a versatile lip colour that can be layered, then this isn't for you. Yeah, it really sucks, you don't want it. Now excuse me while I sneak off to the Evil Shades website to stock up on, I meant, buy them all up so you wouldn't have to suffer the pain of using such pigmented products.

Love, Chloe: A Department Store Fragrance That Smells Niche!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

For the hardcore fragrance fragrance aficionado, most fragrances are broadly classified into two types - department store, and niche. Sadly, department store fragrances are usually seen as somehow less worthy than the niche brands (you know - the stuff "plebians" wouldn't have heard of - Serge Lutens, Annick Goutal, CB I Hate Perfumes). This is not without cause, as department store fragrances tend to be more mass-market than the niche ones, and so after a while, they do tend to all kind of smell the same. Part of the challenge of being a perfume nut is sniffing them all and finding that rare department store perfumes that doesn't smell generic. Those are the rare gems that smell more expensive than they really are (and thus awesome value for money).

Enter Love, Chloe. This was love at first sniff! The official notes for this are orange blossom, pink pepper, iris absolute, lilac, hyacinth, wisteria blossom, heliotropine, powdery musks, talc and rice powder. It was the orange blossom that prompted me to try it, because I'm a huge fan of orange blossom. And I'm glad I did - because here is the rare department store fragrance that doesn't suck.

On me, this is best described as a powdery floral that is very pretty and very wearable. The floral notes are most obvious at the start, but as they fade, the talc and rice powder emerge as dominant in the drydown. On my skin, I get mostly orange blossom, talc, and rice powder, and just a teensy bit of something that smells a little like rose, although it's not in the official description for the perfume.The net effect is to produce a scent that is fresh, feminine and soft, without smelling like every other floral perfume out there. In addition to the orange blossom (which I'm partial to), the rice note also comes out quite strongly on me, but that's not a bad thing - it adds a sense of softness and comfort to the fragrance, and it makes it stand out a little bit more from the other floral offerings in the market. And I'm always partial to a well-placed rice note, because rice was my staple food growing up, and a warm bowl of soft fluffy rice is the Asian equivalent of a hot bowl of chicken soup (only that I don't think chicken soup would make a good fragrance note, LOL).

Love Chloe Fragrance

Sillage on this is small, as it wears close to the body, so while this is a Fall release, it will also definitely be wearable during warmer months, and can be worn very well throughout the entire year. In fact, I think this will be ideal for people who work in closed, small areas like offices - you won't have to worry that you'll unleash your perfume on the entire floor with this one! So if you'd like to wear perfume, but you're concerned that your colleague in the next cubicle or your housemate sharing your room is sensitive to perfume, this is a good one to try because it doesn't carry very far. In fact, I kind of wish it had a larger sillage, because the scent is so pretty.

Wear time on this perfume was good. Half a day after I first sprayed this on, I could still smell it, although the wear combined with the already small sillage meant that I had to stick my nose to my wrist to be able to smell it. I think if the sillage were a bit larger the wear wouldn't have happened so fast. In fact, there isn't much about this that I don't like, other than I wish it had a longer wear time and a slightly larger sillage.

Love Chloe Fragrance

The best thing about Love, Chloe is that it's as universal as a department store perfume can be. Unlike some overly-sugared perfumes that seem to shamelessly target the Justin Bieber fanclub, Love, Chloe will smell lovely on pretty much everyone of any age group - I can envision my mother wearing it as beautifully as I do, an I can definitely see myself still wearing this a few decades down the road. Like a good neutral pink blush colour, or a pretty taupe eyeshadow, virtually anyone will be able to wear this. It has deftly managed to attain that rare quality of being accessible to all age groups, and easily appreciated, yet not boring or generic. This is a crowd pleaser, but with something extra for slightly more demanding noses.

And lastly, the bottle. I know that it's the scent inside that counts, but hey, a pretty bottle doesn't hurt either. This bottle is pretty basic, but what I really love about it is that the cap is attached to the bottle neck by a small gold chain. That's actually really nifty, because I'm always misplacing my bottle caps for fragrances. The decision to include the chain probably had more to do with aesthetics than practicality, but I'm glad to say the two coincide on this one!

Love Chloe Fragrance

So you don't need me to tell you to go and buy it, or at least try it out to see if it's something you'll like. Although I can't imagine who wouldn't like this, because it's so universal. If you're looking or a fresh floral that's still soft and comforting, this one is a good one to try. Heck, I'm going to put it out there and say that if you're female, this one is a good one to try. :P It is currently available exclusively at Harrods, but will be available from 22nd September nationwide in the UK.

(This product was sent to me for review. I am not affiliated with or compensated by the company. This review is my honest and complete opinion.)

Rimmel Lash Accelerator Mascara: Really Worth the Hype?

Monday, September 6, 2010

Rimmel has brought out a shiny new mascara with the most tantalizing of promises - not only does this is this supposed to make your lashes look longer and lusher, it's supposed to contain ingredients that promote lash growth, thus making your lashes grow and actually be longer after 30 days of use! Just check out their press release, which has these grandiose claims: "Instantly, lashes appear up to 80% longer. What's more, with continued use, they look fuller, stronger and lusher – up to 117% longer after just one month. Don't want to wait? Well, take a look at this figure: Consumer test results show that 88% of women saw longer, lusher and more numerous lashes after 1 week of usage."

Rimmel Lash Accelerator

That's a tall claim, and you know I love a challenge. And indeed, with my puny Asian eye and wimpy lashes (you know, short, sparse, and they GROW POINTING DOWN. WTF), I do personally believe that when it comes to mascara, I am a tough, tough customer. I have a few favourites, but none that I can call my true love, and so I'm always fiending for the next new thing. So while the jury is still out over whether I'm going to see longer, lusher, or more lashes after usage, I can tell you if, as a mascara (instead of as a treatment), it sucks or not.

The packaging of the Lash Accelerator is in a nice slim black tube, with holographic print declaring the mascara name. The cap is green. The outside is really sleek and pretty. The brush is your normal brush tapered at either end. Nothing special, really. But of course, the special thing about this mascara is not the brush, but the lash-growing formula, right?

rimmel lash accelerator brush

First off, here's a picture of my eye, with no mascara at all. Try not to laugh, OK? I already said I had puny wimpy lashes! As you can see, my lashes are generally not my best feature. They're short, thin, and because I have what I like to call a "hooded lashline" (you know, when the lashline is covered by a fold of skin, much like the way some crease lines are hooded because they're covered by a fold of skin - it seems to mostly affect Asian eyes as far as I know), my lashes grow pointing downward. Thank goodness for lash curlers.

eye before

Because of my eye's, ahem, unique features, I end up being a very demanding mascara consumer. I want length. Lots of it. I also want volume, and lots of it too. Oh and did I say it also had to hold a curl? I don't particularly care if a mascara is waterproof or not, because my eyes aren't smudgy by nature, so I generally don't have problems with mascara smudging. Washable mascara's just fine by me, and it's easier to remove too. It just seems that washable mascaras don't hold a curl as well as waterproof ones, which is a perpetual source of sadness for me.

So, this demanding consumer, with excited, bated breath, held up the glorious wand which promised her lash growth and lengthening. And she applied the mascara, carefully, attempting to reach every last lash (hey, if it really does help my lashes grow, I'm going to coat every darn lash there is!). And this was the result:

rimmel lash accelerator 1 coat

Umm, okay. I guess the hype for this one had blown my expectations out of proportion, because as a mascara, I couldn't help but feel a little disappointed, It lengthened decently, and it volumized well enough, and it did hold a curl after a fashion, but honestly, I can think of other mascaras that worked better for me. It made me sad, it really did, because I was so excited to use it.

And you know what else? This is on the smudgy side for a mascara. I guess this has to do with Rimmel mascara formulas, which tend to be on the "wet" side (I have previously noted this when using Rimmel's Extra Super Lash Mascara). You can see in the close up photo of my eye that there are specks of mascara on my eyelid - those are NOT because I can't apply mascara properly, but they're there because when I opened my eyes after applying the mascara, it smudged onto my eyelid. And I don't even have oily eyelids. So when applying this one (as with other Rimmel mascaras), you might want to leave some time for it to fully dry before batting your lashes excessively.

Okay, the demanding consumer thought, unwilling to give up. So maybe one coat wasn't very impressive. But what if I pile on two coats? So she put on a second coat, and combed through her lashes with a lash comb (because you know, if you apply more than one coat of mascara it does tend to get a little clumpy and you have to brush out the clumps). And this is what she saw in the mirror:

rimmel lash accelerator 2 coats

I don't know. Are you impressed? I mean, it looks better, but it's two coats. Two coats, and a lash comb. If I'm really honest, I'd say I'm underwhelmed, especially after all the hype, what with Zooey Deschanel taunting me with her overgrown lashes in the promo pics and all (I hate you, Zooey, I really do). And you can see that when I opened my eyes after applying the second coat of mascara, it smudged onto my eyelid again - leaving behind more smudge marks. Sigh.

I'm heartbroken, I really am. I wanted to love this, but I think it's just eh-okay for me. Of course, mascara is highly subjective, so this might just work for someone else. And to be fair, every other blogger seems to be giving it a positive review except me. So maybe it's just me - like I said, my Asian lashes are very special and demanding. Only 2 or 3 mascaras out of the many I've tried have made me happy, and even then not "OMG SO AWESOME" happy, just "this seems to be the best I can do for now" happy. Seriously. Why is it that everyone likes this mascara except me?! *Groans and kicks dirt* Right now, I'm still using it to see how it works as a lash treatment, and I'll update on how it functions in that respect, but for now, the demanding customer's neverending search for a mascara continues.

(This product was provided for review. Yes, it was provided for review and I said it was just okay. So obviously I'm not affilated or paid by the company, and this review represents my honest and complete opinion.)

NARS Pure Matte Lipstick Swatches!

Saturday, September 4, 2010

NARS has just launched their Pure Matte Lipstick, a set of six shades of matte lipstick. And when they mean matte, they aren't kidding - these are matte, like the 90's kind of matte. But whatever you think of the matte finish, the colour selection is excellent - there is something for everyone, and some of the deeper shades are obviously a nod to the dark, vampy and gothic lips trend for the upcoming Fall/Winter 2010 season. Despite presence of dark shades there is something for everyone here.

NARS claims that they have put moisturizing ingredients into the lipsticks to make them non-drying while still delivering a matte finish, but when I wore them, I did feel like they were a little drying. Not as drying as other matte lipsticks, to be sure, and probably less drying than some non-matte lipsticks I know, but they're not exactly hydrating, if you get what I mean. I guess for mattes, the texture is actually pretty decent.

If you're going to wear these, it's better to prep with some sort of primer or moisturizer beforehand. Also when applying the lipstick it's a good idea to dab the lipstick on lightly, instead of swiping it in heavy motions. The idea is to just use a little bit, because using too much can result in the lip looking cakey. When the lipstick was applied on me, the makeup artist used moisturizer, than primer, then dabbed on the lipstick in order to get that matte-but-still-luminous look that the model has in the pictures.

Here are the shades swatched on my arm:

NARS Pure Matte Lipstick' id=

L-R: Bangkok, Tonkin, Terre de Feu, Volga, Vesuvio, Tashkent

Bangkok is billed as a "soft rose" by NARS, but I think this one is probably going to be a nude for most of us, save the very fair. It's a pretty matte neutral pinky nude that is probably a lot more pink than nude. If you're really fair it will probably be a great MLBB (My Lips But Better) shade, but for the rest of us, it will probably work great as a wearable nude.

Tonkin is my favourite of the bunch - it was actually the shade I ended up with (so expect a review and lip swatch of Tonkin coming up soon!). This looks really blah and brown when swatched, and on the tube, but if worn lightly on the lips is a gorgeous neutral pinky-brown. Very wearable and very universal. I have no idea why NARS calls this a "cinnamon plum" because there isn't much plum in it, and it's not quite brown enough to be cinnamon. Trust me, the colour's better than it sounds, and I think this is one of the more underrated colours of the lot.

Terre de Feu is a "black cherry" shade, and another one I really liked. It doesn't look that dark in the swatch (because it's overshadowed by Volga), but this one is dark. It's a deep dark cool-toned rose shade, but not so dark that I'd call it blackened rose. It's pretty.

Volga is billed as a "deep aubergine", and I more or less agree with the description. It's a deep, dark plum, darker, cooler-toned and more purple than Terre de Feu. Volga is the kind of shade that's been gracing the runways for Fall/Winter 2010. This shade was probably created partially with the trends in mind.

Vesuvio is the shade that the model wears in the promo pics for this lipstick, and it seems to be the one getting the most attention. And I can see why, because it's a stunner of a shade. It's a bright matte red that's more or less quite universal (I do think it leans a tad warm though), and is well-described officially as a "full bodied red". Yup, that about sums it up.

Tashkent is rather boringly described as a "nude beige", and I guess that's more or less about right. It's a warm-leaning nude beige, and if I'm perfectly honest, it kind of reminds me of bandages? This is not my kind of shade, but someone else will probably like it more than I do.

These cost 18GBP for one 2g tube, which unfortunately makes them rather pricey by weight - ah, NARS sure knows that beauty doesn't come cheap! But if you're interested in getting them, they are currently exclusively available at Selfridges. They will be out nationwide in October.

Rimmel Vinyl Gloss: Swatches and Review!

Friday, September 3, 2010

Rimmel have re-launched their Vinyl Gloss, which they claim gives up to 80% more shine. I've had positive reviews with their Stay Glossy Lipgloss in the past, so I was quite excited to try this one out!

Of course, everyone will rush to get Snog, the classic Rimmel lipgloss colour that has a cult following (and if you haven't heard of it yet, it's nothing special really...just the perfect neutral pinky-mauve that every girl should have...LOL. Seriously, it has a cult following and I'd be surprised if you're a hardcore makeup junkie and haven't heard of it!). But while Snog is TEH AWESOMEZ, there are also other colours that are overlooked but also just as awesome.

Here are Be Famous 290 and Take A Chance 130:

Rimmel Vinyl Gloss

Aren't they pretty? Be Famous 290 is a pretty coral colour with a jelly finish (you know, shiny and a bit translucent), while Take A Chance 130 is a pretty beige nude with gold glitter. The pigmentation on these is semi-sheer, much like the Stay Glossy glosses I've previously featured, but buildable.

If you liked the Revlon Super Lustrous glosses (another one with a cult following), you'll probably want to give the Vinyl Gloss range a try. These actually have an uncanny resemblance to the Revlon versions. They both have the same semi-sheer, almost jelly-like coverage, they both have the same non-sticky feel, and they both have a floral scent to them, although the scent is different. The Rimmel Vinyl Glosses smell sort of like the NYX MegaShine lipglosses to me, but the scent dissipates quickly upon application so it shouldn't bother anyone.

Here's a photo of my bare lips, so you have something to compare the swatches to:

Here's Be Famous swatched on my lips:

Rimmel Be Famous

This is my favourite out of the two. It's shiny, glossy, and I love how it looks almost jelly-like on. And I love the colour. A beautiful wearable coral. It doesn't have any shimmer or glitter, which is a bonus for me - I personally don't like glitter in my lip products, but that's just me being glitter-averse in general.

Next, we have Take A Chance on my lips:

Rimmel Take A Chance

So I know I said I hate glitter on my lips. But I'll forgive this one. The glitter is actually very fine and tiny. I wouldn't call it shimmer, because it's not that fine, but it's probably as fine as discrete specks of glitter can get. But I kind of like this one. I feel like the gold glitter adds a little something to what would be an otherwise run-of-the-mill beige nude.

Wear time on these was decent, they lasted a few hours before fading, so reapplication during the day is necessary. As I've mentioned before, the colours are all semi-sheer, so your natural lip colour will show through, and this will be a plus point for some, but a negative point for others. But I quite like these, and I think they're worth checking out if you want a lipgloss that's shiny but not sticky.

(This product was sent to me for review. I am not affiliated with or paid by the company. This review is my honest and complete opinion.)

Liz Earle Botanical Shine Shampoo and Conditioner for Oily Hair Review!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Liz Earle's Botanical Shine Haircare range launches today at Liz Earle shops, and at John Lewis on 6 September. In light of this, I thought it would be timely to post my review on this much-awaited haircare range. The range consists of both a Shampoo for all hair types, as well as three Conditioners, for dry, normal, and oily hair.

I've written on the background to the Liz Earle haircare range before, so I won't go into more detail, but if you are interested to find out about epic journeys of finding the right ingredient to make the shampoos lather or the conditioners smooth your hair, feel free to check it out. It's inspiring to see a company be so passionate about their products, and regardless of whether you like the product or not, you can certainly appreciate the passion!

I have fine, straight hair that often suffers from a lack of volume and has problems with being weighed down by hair products, so I've been using the conditioner for oily hair. Both products are in convenient flip-top tubes. Both products are scented, and I really love the scent - it's not the usual artificial fruity scent that most drugstore shampoos have. This one has a smell that is perhaps best described as authentically herbal, and I really like it. It's not annoying or irritating or cloying.

The shampoo is a clear gel texture that lathers well. I'm told that natural shampoos tend to have trouble lathering, so I was impressed by how well this seemed to foam. It doesn't foam as well as your typical non-natural drugstore shampoo, but it comes close.

Liz Earle Shampoo

I didn't have any issues with the shampoo - it rinsed clean without leaving any obvious residue, it left my hair clean without stripping it excessively. I quite like it.

The conditioner for oily hair was an opaque white lotion. It has a slightly thinner texture than the conditioner for normal hair, or for dry hair. The conditioner for dry hair is a lot more like a cream than a lotion. I'm not sure if you can see the difference in the picture below, but it's a lot more apparent in real life.

Liz Earle Conditioner

I really love this conditioner. It's one of the lightest ones I've tried, so I'd really recommend it for oily, fine hair, and for hair that usually feels like it has too much product in it. It didn't feel like it left behind a lot of residue, either. I also liked that it did make my hair feel softer and smoother.

It isn't a volumizing moisturizer, so I didn't notice any additional volume, but it doesn't weigh down my hair either. I think this does a really good job of both moisturizing without adding weight to the hair. I really love this, and I'm currently trying to use less of it so it will last longer.

I'm actually a greater fan of the conditioner than the shampoo, as you can probably tell. I like the shampoo and think it's good, but I absolutely love the conditioner. I'm no fortune-teller, but I half suspect that if Liz Earle ever brought it to Singapore (or for that matter any really hot and humid country) it will sell well, because a lot of oily hair problems are made worse in weather like that. Hair becomes a lot limper in such weather, so finding a conditioner that moisturizes while still remaining light is a challenge in such climates (and that's me speaking from personal experience). But for those of who do have access to Liz Earle and do have oily hair, this is really one to check out.


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