Monday, 28 November 2011

Bobbi Brown Corrector

I have this in Peach. It's probably a touch too dark for me if I'm honest but I've been using is regularly under my concealer and it works pretty well. If anyone doesn't know exactly what a corrector is, it's basically a peachy/salmon toned concealer-type product for use on the under eye area. The idea behind it is that the peach tones counteract dark circles. I dot this under my eye with my finger and blend it in using my Real Techniques Deluxe Crease Brush. Then I apply my normal concealer on top. There are twelve shades available.

Product: Bobbi Brown Corrector in Peach

Price: £17 from any Bobbi Brown stockist


"A wake-up call for tired eyes. Corrector is pink- or peach-based to neutralise under-eye darkness and is designed to be used before Creamy Concealer. New and improved formula is long-wearing and brightens dark circles with quick, just-right coverage that's easy to blend and won't crease. And since great makeup starts with healthy skin, Corrector is infused with skin conditioners to protect the delicate under-eye area."

What's Good About It?

I prefer using liquid concealers so this corrector is great to use underneath to deal with any discolouration. I use so little each time - this little pot will last me a very long time. I think it's pretty good value for money. I like finding products which do what they claim to! There should be a shade for everyone in this range. 

What's Disappointing?

The consistency is quite thick so you need to warm it up a little with your finger first. Since you need to use another concealer on top, you have to be really careful not to use too much of the corrector - it will look cakey and crease if you have too much product under your eyes.

Overall Score & Comment: 7/10 - it's a nice thing to have but not a necessity unless you have dark under eye circles. If you use it correctly (no pun intended!) it works well. I've not tried any other colour correcting products for the under eye area so don't have anything to compare this to.

Have you tried this product? 

Stace xx

Sunday, 27 November 2011

Revlon Super Lustrous Lip Gloss in Nude Lustre

(after an hour or so of wear)

Product: Revlon Super Lustrous Lip Gloss in Nude Lustre

Price: £6.99 from Revlon stockists

Description: "High shine and sexy feel. With an exclusive blend of moisturisersands vitamins. SPF 15"

What's Good About It?

This is one of my favourite glosses. It's a nice nude-pink shade and it's super glossy. It has a cream finish. It's pretty long wearing, I took a photo of what it looked like after I'd worn it for a while. I like the formula of these glosses in general. It's not sticky at all. The packaging is nice and sleek looking, too.

What's Disappointing?

It's pretty expensive for a drugstore lip gloss which might be a bit off putting. Other than that, I can't really fault it.

Overall Score & Comment: 8/10 - a good staple lip gloss that everyone should have in their collection!

Do you have a favourite lip gloss? Tell me about it!

Stace xx

Saturday, 26 November 2011

Beauty Boxes - What would I like to see in them?

The monthly beauty box market in the UK had exploded in the past six months. I have mixed feelings about some of the companies but I did subscribe to Carmine and have received two boxes from them. I've read lots of blog posts and watched plenty of YouTube videos about the contents of most of the boxes which have been sent out and have noticed that there are some products which get people really excited and others which are pretty badly received. 

What's the purpose of these boxes?

The answer to this question seems to be different depending on who's been asked. To me, the boxes are supposed to provide the subscriber with a certain number (usually five) of deluxe samples from luxury brands. The thinking behind this being that we can try out high end brands we've not heard of before or products we find too expensive to buy without trying.

I find it a bit confusing that companies include a lot of full sized items and products from lower priced brands. I would prefer if they stuck to sending deluxe samples of "luxury" products; for £10 - £13 a month, I don't expect to find full size products which retail for £20 a pop and I don't want samples of products which cost less than a tenner to purchase in full size.

So, aside from the issues with full sized products and budget brands, which products do I not want to see in my box?

  • Poor Quality Products - I'm not talking about products which don't work for certain people, I'm talking about products which just don't work for anyone. 
  • Perfume Samples - I like perfume but these little samples are usually so fiddly and hard to use so I hardly ever try them. From what I've heard, most of the scents are not well received, either.
  • Anti-Ageing Products - These frustrate me because they tend to be pretty hardcore anti ageing products and I have no need for those at this time. I know older customers would probably love to receive these but I think it's unfair to exclude younger customers.
  • Small Samples - I know some boxes include little samples as extras but if one of the five samples is very small, it's disappointing regardless of what else is in the box. We want to be able to try these products out over at least a few days/a week.
  • Inaccessible Products - Receiving something from a brand which is not easily available is annoying if you like the product. I know most of these companies have online shops where full sized products can be purchased so that combats that issue somewhat. I also question whether including a little sample of a £150 face cream will go down well either, I think the full sized products need to be reasonably affordable so that if you like the sample, you can afford the full size. This is one people are probably going to disagree with!

On a more positive note, which products do I think go down well in boxes?

  • Cosmetics - I think there needs to be at least one make up item in each box. It doesn't have to be a full size but I think most people want to try something from the make up side of the beauty spectrum.
  • Hand Creams - Okay, this may be a personal preference for me but the smaller sized hand creams which come in these boxes are great for your handbag.
  • Something Everyone Can Use - Things people use on a regular basis anyway are always appreciated because they're things the subscribers can easily test out - things like a shower gel or a lip balm.
  • Universal Shades/Formulas - A black or brown eyeliner will always go down better than a neon orange one. I don't think I've ever seen a neon orange eyeliner...
  • Basically anything which doesn't come under the things I don't like to see!

If you've made it this far, well done! The points above are just my opinion. I'm still not completely sure what I think of this crazy beauty box phenomenon. I question whether I should spend my £10 - £13 per month on something I know I want rather than risking it on a beauty box which might leave me feeling a bit disappointed.

What are your thoughts? I'd love to know!

Stace xx

Friday, 25 November 2011

BeneFit Watts Up Soft Focus Highlighter

I mentioned this in a recent haul post but I've had this for three weeks or so now and have been using it a lot - so here's my review!

Heavy Swatch

Blended Out

Product: BeneFit Watts Up Soft Focus Highlighter

Price: £24.50 from BeneFit stockists


"Our soft focus highlighter turns on “watt” ya got with a delicate champagne glow that’s gorgeous. With a cream-to-powder finish…it’s a switch on “wow” for all complexions. You’ll adore the smooth applicator & luminous sheen."

What's Good About It?

I like cream highlighting products - I think they look a bit more natural. This one is in a shade which I think will be universally flattering. The swatch above looks pretty dark but as you can see, when I blend it out, it just leaves a sheen. It's easy to apply and doesn't mess up my foundation underneath, it wears well throughout the day and it doesn't make me look greasy. All in all, a really lovely highlighter.

What's Disappointing?

I really don't like the look of the packaging but I find that with a lot of BeneFit products. The actual product is so nice, I wish it had nicer, sleeker looking packaging! The sponge on the bottom is pretty much redundant as it's very hard and rubs the product off completely. I guess it's also quite expensive and I'm not sure how long this will last me. I've wound it up quite a bit and it does look like there's a lot there. 

Overall Score & Comment: 9/10 - it loses a point for the packaging!

Have you tried this? Did you like it?

Stace xx

Thursday, 24 November 2011

17 Wild Metallic Cream Eyeshadow in Wild Nude

This is another new find I've been loving recently! It's a total bargain if you're in the UK so I thought I'd tell you about it...

Product: 17 Wild Metallic Cream Shadow - Wild Nude

Price: £3.99 from Boots

Description: "This creamy mousse formula glides onto eyelids, use as a sheer wash of colour or build for more intensity."

What's Good About It?

I really like this cream shadow! It's a lovely colour - a nice neutral pinky-brown shade. It's like a darker version of MAC Vintage Selection paint pot without the glitter.  It's so easy to apply but be careful not to apply too much - as the description says, it is sheer at first and to intensify the colour, add more layers. I use a primer underneath, too. 

What's Disappointing?

If I apply too much at once, it will crease but I think that's my fault and not the product's. I wish they had more neutral shades in the range. The packaging isn't great - I feel this might dry out a bit because it's in a plastic jar but only time will tell!

Overall Score & Comment - 8/10 - I really like this product, it's great for a quick eye make up look - I'm planning on picking up the Bronze shade! 

Have you tried these? What did you think?

Stace xx

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Rimmel Match Perfection Fix & Perfect Pro Primer

I've been using this a lot recently - this and Clarins Beauty Flash Balm are the only two primers I've been using this month. I'm pretty impressed with this so I thought I'd share my thoughts on it with you. Apparently there is an old version of this which is just called Fix & Perfect, I think. This is the newer version. Just in case you were wondering!

Product: Rimmel Match Perfection Fix & Perfect Primer

Price: £6.99 for 30ml from most Rimmel stockists

Description: "Skin-perfecting formula for 5 in 1 results. Prolongs foundation wear."

What's Good About It?

This is definitely the best drugstore primer I've tried. It smooths out my skin without being either too drying or too greasy. It feels lovely to apply and sinks in quickly. I'm not sure what else to say really, it's a great product and if you're thinking of picking it up, I definitely recommend it!

What's Disappointing?

I'm not sure how well this would work on very dry skin as it does leave a pretty matte finish so it may cling a bit to dry patches. Likewise, if you're very oily, this probably won't be enough to keep you completely matte. I find, at the end of the day, my skin isn't too oily but it's not completely matte either. It works for me, though, so I can't complain! 

Overall Score & Comment: 7/10 - a great product which is worth a try!

Have you tried any nice primers recently?

Stace xx

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

My Top Five: Eye Products Under £10

Sleek Palettes
£6.49 from Superdrug or

I've had lots of these in the past but the ones I've held on to are the Original, Storm and Sunset palettes; all of which are permanent. These eyeshadows are great quality. I'm not a fan of their matte shadows but I'm not a fan of matte shadows in general anyway. Each palette contains 12 shadows. They tend to come out with a lot of limited edition palettes but there is something for everyone in the permanent range, too.

MUA Pro Palettes
£4 from Superdrug

I have this in Heaven & Earth - it's a great neutral palette. The shadows are creamy and well pigmented. There are 12 shadows in each palette and I believe there are five palettes available.

GOSH Long Lasting Eye Liner Pens
£5.99 from Superdrug

I'm not the best at applying liquid liner but I really like this one. It comes in lots of different shades. The best thing about this liner is its staying power - I swatched these on my hand when I first got them and they stayed on through me washing the dishes and having a shower!

17 Wild Metallics Cream Eyeshadows
£3.99 from Boots

These are really nice cream shadows. They're available in six shades at the moment but hopefully 17 will come out with more! The shade I have is called Wild Nude and it's a great neutral shade for a quick eye look. Definitely worth checking out!

E.L.F. Eye Lid Primer
£1.50 from E.L.F.

This is a really decent eye primer. I've repurchased this a couple of times. It's very similar to Urban Decay's Primer Potion. It's a great product to try if you're not sure about spending lots of money on an eye primer.

Do you have any favourite eye products from the high street/drugstore? Let me know!

Stace xx

Monday, 21 November 2011

Make Up Forever HD Foundation

I picked this up on a blog sale about a month ago and I've used it almost every day since. I have the shade #125 which suits me pretty well right now. I'm somewhere between an NC25 and NC30 in MAC terms. 


Blended out

Product: Make Up Forever HD Invisible Cover Foundation

Price: $40 from Sephora or £28.95 from here for 30ml


"A makeup artist must have- HD Foundation. Oil-free, this medium-to-full-coverage high definition formula creates a soft-focus effect that softens lines and blurs imperfections."

What's Good About It?

The ease of application! I can apply this quickly with my fingers and I get an even and nicely blended finish in no time. I always use a primer with this so that helps too. The finish is semi-matte which is not usually my preferred finish but I've been using highlighters and blushes with some shimmer to compensate. It leaves me with a really nice base and it stays on most of the day without feeling heavy or looking cakey. I usually use two pumps for my whole face; it only takes 1 1/2 pumps but I use the excess to go back over the more problematic areas. The shade range for this foundation is pretty extensive so I'm sure everyone can find a shade suitable for them.

What's Disappointing?

If you have a lot to cover, you probably won't like this foundation. I really wouldn't describe it as a full coverage foundation. It's enough for me on a daily basis when I'm not too fussed about having completely flawless skin. It won't cover huge amounts of redness and you will need to conceal most of your blemishes. Make Up Forever isn't as readily available in the UK either, which is annoying!

Overall Score & Comment: 7/10 - I hardly ever repurchase foundations but I think if I run out of this, I might try a darker shade in the spring or summer time. It's such an easy foundation to use, I'm really enjoying it!

Have you tried this? Any thoughts? Please share!

Stace xx

Sunday, 20 November 2011

BeneFit "They're Real" Mascara

I picked up BeneFit's They're Real mascara about a month ago. It was a total impulse buy and I didn't need a new mascara so I kept it in the box until I'd used up the mascaras I already had. I started using this for my halloween make up so I've been using it for over a fortnight now and feel I'm ready to let you guys know what I think.

Sorry for the creepy photo - I was trying to show the spiked end of the wand!

I tried to take one with my eyes open but they all looked crazy!

Product: BeneFit They're Real Mascara

Price: £18.50


"It's the mascara that's beyond belief! This jet-black mascara lengthens, curls, volumises, lifts & separates lashes for a spectacular "out-to-here" look."

What's Good About It?

I really like this mascara! No, your eyes are not deceiving you. I've actually found a mascara I really like! My main problem with most mascaras I've tried was that they smudged. This one doesn't. It also gives me the most length, volume and separation I've never found in a mascara. I use two coats as I find it difficult to get an even look with just one. That means my lashes look pretty dramatic but I really like the look. I've been doing very simple eyeshadow looks recently so the lashes don't look too over the top. 

What's Disappointing?

There are two niggles I have with this mascara. First is that it's a pain to remove - nothing short of scrubbing with water and facial soap will get this off for me. Secondly, the little spiked ball at the end of the wand. It's useful for getting to those little lashes which conventional wands don't reach but it's always loaded with product so you have make sure you wipe it off well before using it on your lashes.

Overall Score & Comment: 8/10 - I didn't expect to like this mascara after having such an awful experience with BeneFit's Bad Gal but I'm very pleasantly surprised by this and will probably repurchase!

Have you tried this mascara? What did you think?

Stace xx

Saturday, 19 November 2011

Tag: Holy Grail Products!

I saw this tag a while ago on Georgia's blog and decided to give it a go! So here's a list of my all-time favourite or "holy grail" products for each category...

Shampoo:  Aussie Luscious Long Shampoo is the best I've tried recently - I don't really have a HG shampoo.

Condtioner:  I don't use one - they weigh my hair down too much.

Styling products: Aussie Luscious Long Leave in Conditioner, VO5 Miracle Concentrate Elixir (review)

Shower Gel: No7 Blissful Body Wash. (overview)

Body moisturiser: Body Shop Body Butters - most scents! (overview)

Deodrant: Mitchum Advanced Control - the spray, not the roll on

Fake Tan: I never use one!

Cleanser: Clinique Mild Liquid Facial Soap

Toner: Boots Botanics Skin Brightening Toner

Serum: Clinique Turnaround

Facial Moisturisers:  Embryolisse Lait Creme Concentre - I've just ran out of this, unfortunately (moisturiser overview)

Exfoliator: Soap & Glory Pulp Friction

Primer: Rimmel Match Perfection Fix & Perfect Pro or Clarins Beauty Flash Balm

Foundation: Make Up Forever HD Foundation or Neutrogena Healthy Skin (review)

Foundation brush: I usually use my fingers but I do like the Real Techniques Stippling Brush with some foundations (overview)

Concealer: Either Collection 2000 Lasting Perfection or Estee Lauder Double Wear - they're very similar

Powder: MAC MSF Natural

Blusher: This is tough but my two most used are MAC Warm Soul and NARS Luster. (both shown here)

Bronzer: I don't use one - I've never found one that I like or got the hang of applying it nicely.

Highlighter: Powder highlighter - MAC Soft & Gentle, cream highlighter - BeneFit Watt's Up - it's a new find but I love it!

Eyeshadow base: Too Faced Shadow Insurance

Eyeshadows: Hmm...from MAC I like Satin Taupe and Patina. I like most of the neutral Wet'n'Wild and Sleek shadows, too. I love my Chanel Illusion D'Ombre in Illusoire a lot as well.

Eyebrows: Smashbox Brow Tech in Taupe/Soft Brown or any cheap clear mascara

Eyeliner: Pencil - Milani Liquif'Eye or NYX Slide On, Gel - Bobbi Brown

Mascara: BeneFit They're Real 

Lipstick: MAC Slimshine in Bare

Lipgloss: Revlon Super Lustrous in Nude Lustre

Nail Colour: If you've read this blog for any length of time you'd know there's no way I could choose one nail colour! Chanel's Rouge Noir (here) would come very close to being my favourite, though. It's probably my most used. 

Perfume: Dolce & Gabbana The One or Vivienne Westwood Naughty Alice...both of which I need to ask Santa for!

I hope that was interesting; it definitely got me thinking about all the products I use which I should rave about more on this blog - expect lots more reviews in the next few weeks! 

I tag everyone who wants to do this tag - let me know if you do, I'd love to check it out!

Stace xx

Friday, 18 November 2011

November Carmine Beauty Box - First Impressions

I've not been doing much online shopping or swapping recently so me and my postman haven't seen each other in a while. Until today; my Carmine box arrived!

The boxes cost £12.75 including postage and packaging charges.

So, what's inside?

Lulu's Time Bomb Flashback Night Cream - 15 ml

New CID i-Pout Lipstick in Belle - Full Size

Dainty Doll Eyeliner Pencil in 004 Shake Your Tail Feather - Full Size

Neom Organics Real Luxury Body Lotion - 50 ml

Cosmetics A La Carte Brow Ink in Taupe - Full Size

And what do I think of the box?

I have mixed feelings about this one at the moment. There seems to be three full sized make up items in this box which is great but I've swatched the Dainty Doll Eyeliner and it's really not very pigmented. I don't mind that it's a colour other than black or brown - I think one of the reasons these boxes are great is that they allow you to try things you typically wouldn't - but it's disappointing quality-wise. 

New CID Belle, Dainty Doll 004, Cosmetics A La Carte Taupe

(I swatched the eyeliner as heavily as I could here...)

I think the New CID lipstick and the Cosmetics A La Carte Brow Ink will be the stand out products for me. The lipstick is creamy and a nice shade; I'm getting better at wearing lipstick every day so this will be a nice one to try. I've been interested in trying a brow pen for some time so it was really great to see one in the box.

I don't think the Lulu's Time Bomb sample will be of much use to me as I'm only 22 and the Noem Organics body lotion smells weird. I realise that last month I was put off by the scent of the Balance Me hand cream but ended up really liking it so I won't write off the body lotion  just yet. I can't see myself purchasing the full sizes of either of these products.

All in all, it's a nice box. I'm not blown away but I will definitely be able to use three out of the five products and I was not expecting to see three full sized items in there. I like that it contains a few brands I've heard of before but never tried. Is it worth £12.75? I'm not entirely sure. Well, it is, because the value of the products exceeds the price but if the lipstick and brow ink don't work out for me, I will be disappointed.

If you want any more information about their service click here.

Did you subscribe to Carmine? What did you think of this month's box? 

Stace xx