Tuesday, 28 February 2012

FOTD: MAC Chatterbox & Maybelline Tough As Taupe

I wore this to the library because I wanted to try out Chatterbox before wearing it out and about. Plus, the library is so dull, this lipstick totally brightened my day! Please ignore my eyebrows (euuuugh! I will pluck them soon, I promise...) and the fact nothing looks perfect - I did this in about ten minutes because I was so keen to get to the library (hmm.)

Products Used:
Clarins Beauty Flash Balm
Clinique Even Better Foundation in 05
Collection 2000 Lasting Perfection Concealer in Medium 3
Clarins Ever Matte Face Powder in 02 Transparent Medium
Dior Glowing Colour Blush in Strawberry Sorbet
MUA Clear Mascara (as brow gel, not that you'd be able to tell!)
Too Faced Shadow Insurance 
Maybelline Color Tattoo in Tough As Taupe
Milani Liquf'Eye liner in Black
Bobbi Brown Everything Mascara
Jack Black Lip Balm in Black Tea and Blackberry
MAC Chatterbox

(Angry weird pose!)

I think I like Chatterbox. I'm not usually into pinks, especially bright pinks but this lipstick may have changed my mind. Tough As Taupe was pretty difficult to work with in comparison to the more shimmery shades from the Color Tattoo line so I'm not entirely sure if I love it or not. 

Stace xx

Monday, 27 February 2012

Weekly Make Up: Pink?!

I decided to go for slightly cooler toned products this week so stuck to pink blushes rather than my usual peachy tones. However, looking at the swatches...I might not be branching out as much as I thought! As a highlighter I've got my favourite, TheBalm's Mary Lou-Manizer and for blush I'm going to be using Dior's Strawberry Sorbet or NARS Orgasm. 

 L-R: TheBalm Mary Lou-Manizer, Dior Strawberry Sorbet, NARS Orgasm

For my eyes I've dug out my Urban Decay Naked2 palette and a couple of the Maybelline Color Tattoo cream shadows in Tough As Taupe and Audacious Asphalt. For liners I've got the Soap & Glory Supercat black liner which I didn't use last week (oops!) and my usual Milani Liquif'Eye in Black. I'm trying to use up my Bobbi Brown Everything mascara before it dries up so I've opted for that mascara this week.

For my base, I'll be using the Clarins Ever Matte foundation (although I do have a sample of Clinique's Even Better which I've been loving too!) I've got my Bobbi Brown Corrector in Peach and Collection 2000 Lasting Perfection concealer in Medium 3. My setting powder is the Clarins Ever Matte in 02 Tranparent Medium. This has been working really well for me as a setting powder - it may have overtaken my MAC MSF Natural!

For primer, I'll be using my trusty Too Faced Shadow Insurance on my eyes and I've gone for Clarins Beauty Flash Balm for my face. I had mixed feelings about this product when I first used it but I've been really enjoying it for the past week or so. Expect a review soon!

For lips I've included a Jack Black lip balm in Black Tea and Blackberry, a 17 Mirror Shine lipstick in Beehive, a Clinique Superbalm mini in Currant, my Red Dwarf Pro Longwear lipstick from MAC and MAC Chatterbox. I have a feeling that this week is going to be all about the lips!

 L-R: 17 Beehive, MAC Red Dwarf, MAC Chatterbox

C'est tout!

Stace xx

Sunday, 26 February 2012

Product of the Week #9 - NARS Blush in Luster

As you can probably tell from this blog, NARS blushes are always amongst my favourite make up products. I've already featured Gina as a product of the week and this week it's Luster's turn.

The packaging looks pretty rubbish now because I think this is the oldest blush I still own. I bought it before Christmas 2010 and wore it to death for about three months. I was never a big fan of blush until then but this subtle apricot-toned sheeny wonder had me hooked!

Unfortunately for Luster, I've purchased many, many blushes since then and it's been neglected for a long time. I decided to dig it out this week and I've fallen in love all over again. There's something about this shade that just looks so flattering on me. 

I apply it either with a MAC 168 or a MAC 188 brush, depending on the intensity I want. I think darker skinned ladies will struggle to get a lot of colour pay off from this but if you're around the same shade as me (NC30ish) it's a great choice. This also looks lovely on pale skinned girls. 

This costs £20.50 and is available from NARS counters and online. Remember to watch out for ASOS discount codes if you'd like to get it a little cheaper.

I'm so glad I picked this up again and now that I have fewer blushes, Luster will definitely be getting a lot more love from me. I'd never be without this in my collection and there aren't a lot of products I'd say that about!

Did you have a favourite product this week? What was it?

Stace xx

Saturday, 25 February 2012

Maybelline Color Tattoo Eyeshadow in Bad to the Bronze

I've already chosen a different product to be my product of the week (watch out for that post tomorrow) but this product comes a very close second. This week was the first time I got the chance to try out the Maybelline Color Tattoo shadows I posted about a while back. I included Bold Gold and Bad to the Bronze in my little tin of make up for the week but honestly, Bold Gold didn't get a look in once I tried this shade.

 This shade looks very warm toned but on my eyelids it's a bit more neutral. It's not a true bronze shade - it's more like a bronzed taupe or something. And I love taupe.

The consistency of this particular shade is very similar to the more shimmery or sheer MAC Paint Pots which have come out in some of the collections over the past year or so but it's a lot more pigmented. It's super easy to sweep this on my lids with my finger and it always looks even. I always found my MAC Indianwood and Rubenesque Paint Pots looked a little patchy on my lids, as well as being a bit more dry in consistency. 

It has a nice sheen but it's not glittery, which I appreciate. It's one of those shades that looks like you've spent a bit of time blending a darker colour into the crease so it's great on its own. I've not tried wearing shadow over it because it's pigmented enough on its own and once it sets, it doesn't crease.

 I did a little comparison between this and MAC Morning Frost Paint Pot. They are a little bit similar but Morning Frost is much cooler toned and it has glitter in it. They don't look too different when swatched, though.

 L-R: Bad to the Bronze, Morning Frost

This is probably a bit of a cruel post as the Maybelline shadows aren't available in the UK yet so if you're a UK reader, I apologise! If/when they do arrive here, I'd recommend picking this shade up first if you're like me and have a thing for warm taupe-y shades and want something that is easy to apply, looks great and doesn't crease.

Stace xx

Thursday, 23 February 2012

MAC Counters & My Experience

I've just read this post on Hollie's blog and felt compelled to write my own. 

Now, I really like MAC products. I have a lot of them in my collection and I use them regularly. However, I rarely shop in their stores/at counters because I've never had a pleasant experience. 

It was a friend's birthday this week and I wanted to get her a lipstick. Her colouring is totally different to mine so I'd asked around on Twitter for shade suggestions. I decided I'd pick up Hue as it seems to be a popular shade and I thought it would be a great everyday lipstick for my friend. I was also planning on picking up Blankety for myself. I left it too late to order online so I popped into my local store. 

Every time I've been in there over the past couple of years, I get completely ignored and end up walking out. There were a few girl having their make up done but there were loads of sales assistants walking around so I loitered around the lipsticks, swatching a few, waiting for someone to come along to ask if they could get me anything. I waited for as long as I could and still no one had come over so I went to the till where there were three assistants sitting around. I asked if I could have Hue and Blankety and was told Hue was out of stock.


So I politely asked the assistant if she could recommend an alternative shade for my friend. She just kept telling me that my friend could return the lipstick if she didn't like it, even though I was now unsure of which shade to get. Then she ordered another assistant to help me. They were so patronizing. This assistant tried to sell me several things that were nothing like what I asked for. I'm familiar with a lot of MAC lipstick shades so I immediately knew whether the shade she was suggesting was what I was looking for. By this point I was feeling super frustrated and I picked up Lovelorn. It looked like something my friend would like so I asked for that.

When I was at the till it took three assistants to scan in two lipsticks and process my payment. Three! They were all much friendlier now that I was going to hand over some cash, though.

So, that was my experience. I've never, ever had that sort of experience at any other counter. Even from brands in a similar price range to MAC such as Clinique, Urban Decay and Illamasqua I've always had really good experiences. I know it can be a bit frustrating when sales assistants follow you around the counter asking if you need any help but that is preferable to being completely ignored. I feel that a lot of MAC staff don't know a great deal about their products when compared with assistants on other counters. 

Buying cosmetics should be an enjoyable experience and I'm willing to pay more for my make up when the counter staff let me test different shades and tell me about their products.

Has anyone else had negative experiences at MAC counters? Or am I in the minority?

Stace xx

Weekly Make Up: Something Old, Something New


Clarins Beauty Flash Balm
Clarins Ever Matte Foundation in 109 Wheat
Clarins Ever Matte Mineral Powder Compact in 02 Transparent Medium
Bobbi Brown Corrector in Peach
Collection 2000 Lasting Perfection Concealer in 3 Medium


L'Oreal Telescopic Mascara in Black
Milani Liquif'Eye Liners in Black and Brown
Too Faced Shadow Insurance
Maybelline Colour Tattoo Shadows in Bold Gold and Bad To The Bronze
Bobbi Brown in Sepia Ink
Chanel Eyeshadow in Beige Lame
Cosmetics A La Carte Brow Ink in Taupe
MUA Clear Mascara 
Soap & Glory Supercat Liner in Black


Tarte Amazonian Clay Blush in Exposed
TheBalm Mary Lou-Manizer Highlight Powder
NARS Blush in Luster


Stila Lip Glaze in Apricot
Revlon Just Bitten Lip Stain in Gothic
Estee Lauder Pure Colour Lip Gloss in Electric Cherry
Soap & Glory Lipstick in Naked Beige
NARS Lipstick in Honolulu Honey
Elemis Fresh Skin Loving Lips Lip Quenching Balm

I went for a mixture of old favourites and new products I want to try out this week - I've been enjoying it so far! I'm sorry this post is so late!

Stace xx

Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Another Little Haul: Clinique, MAC & Cheapsmells

I heard about Clinique's latest gift with purchase offer and I knew that Debenhams were offering 500 extra points on purchases over £40 so I popped into the store to pick up a couple of things I've been wanting to try. I'm not sure why I've never tried one of their Chubby Sticks before; they're the kind of lip products I usually go for. I went for the shade Mega Melon because it looked like a nice summer shade. After trying their Turnaround serum and thinking it was okay, I wanted to try their Even Better Clinical one because I thought it would work better for me. I have a few dark spots on my chin from spots so I'm hoping this can lighten them. 

I got an amazing bag of free products to try - it's why I'm posting this haul! The offer ends this Saturday (the 25th) so I wanted to make sure you could still get it if you're interested. The sales assistant did give me a little sample of the Even Better foundation in shade 05 Neutral and a sample size of my favourite Liquid Facial Soap. She switched out the Dramatically Different Moisturising Lotion for a second tub of the Moisture Surge as she said that would work better for my skin right now. Here's a quick run down of what comes in the gift:

Rinse Off Foaming Cleanser - 50ml
Dramatically Different Moisturising Lotion - 30ml
Moisture Surge Extended Thirst Relief - 15ml
All About Eyes - 7ml
High Impact Mascara - 3.5ml
Four Colour Lip Palette - 4g

I'm not super keen on the lip palette but I'm looking forward to trying out all the skincare products and High Impact is one of my all time favourite mascaras so I was pleased to receive that. 

I posted about two of the products I bought from Cheapsmells recently but I had also ordered this, it just took a while longer to arrive. Gemma and Emma both recommended this product recently and it seemed like a good buy since it was so cheap. I believe I paid around £10 for this 60ml bottle. It's called  No. 4711 and it's basically a cologne. Emma said it helps her relieve headaches when travelling. Boyfriend hates the smell of it! I quite like it though, it's very light and fresh. 

I popped into MAC to get a lipstick for a friend and accidentally (yeah, right!) bought MAC Blankety. It's been on my wish list for a while and I hardly ever go into the MAC store so it was a total impulse buy but one I think I'll enjoy.

I'd like to say this is the last bit of shopping I'll do for a while but...who am I trying to kid!?

Stace xx

Monday, 20 February 2012

Bobbi Brown Skin Foundation

I've had this foundation for a year or so and it's on its last legs right now so I thought it was about time I  reviewed it. I have a love-hate relationship with this product. I bought it after trying a sample (which I loved.) I'm in the shade Warm Beige which is my winter shade. It's somewhere between an NC25 and NC30 in MAC terms, I think. 

Bobbi Brown says:

"A truly modern foundation that offers invisible, weightless coverage that looks like skin, not makeup. This long-wearing formula evens tone, minimises the appearance of pores, conceals imperfections, and offers broad spectrum UV protection. Its hydrating technology leaves skin feeling cushioned, comfortable, and clean. Ideal for combination, normal and normal to dry skins."

This is quite a watery foundation. It's not quite as watery as something like MAC Face & Body, though. I apply mine either with my fingers or with a Real Techniques Buffing Brush. I do need to use a couple of layers because the finish of this foundation is quite sheer. I do feel that I use a lot more product compared with other foundations I use. 

This feels very light on the skin, which I like. I can't stand foundations which look and feel like I'm wearing a mask. The finish is dewy, which normally isn't a problem for me as I often favour a dewier finish but...just look at the picture below! (Check out the disgusted facial expression!)

This is me wearing the foundation with nothing on top. As you can see, the coverage is light and the finish is very dewy. I've been using this foundation constantly for about a month now because I'm trying to use it up and I think it's made my skin more oily, which is annoying. My skin is usually normal/combination but it's never truly oily.

This combination of oilier skin and the dewy foundation is where my feelings of hatred towards this product come in! It just slides off my skin and gathers around my nose/mouth...it looks horrible. I've been setting it with my MAC MSF Natural because I like how that powder looks on my skin but it doesn't control the horrendous amount of oil. 

So, to clarify! I like this foundation; it's easy to apply, nice if you want something sheer but buildable and it doesn't look cakey. However, this is definitely not for someone with oily skin or an oily T-zone as it seems to exacerbate the problem. I don't find this product to be long wearing or that it improves the look of my pores, as the description suggests. I won't be buying this again as I have other foundations which work a lot better for my skin right now. 

Stace xx

Sunday, 19 February 2012

Product of the Week #8 - MAC Melba Blush

This is one of those blushes I passed by for the longest time. I don't know why. It was probably because other colours looked a bit more exciting or something! 

However, this blush is now a firm favourite in my collection. It's survived several blush culls! And I've worn it every day this week.

It has a matte finish which I tend to prefer. 

MAC describe the shade as a 'soft coral-peach' - I'd say that's pretty accurate. 

I love how this blush complements neutral eye looks. It stops my face from looking too dull without being insanely bright or shimmery. 

I usually apply this with my MAC 168 angled blush brush (as you can see from the colour of the bristles!)

Stace xx

Blog Sale Update!


Just a quick post to let you know that I've added a few more bits to my blog sale if anyone's interested, click on the tab above!

Stace xx

Saturday, 18 February 2012

Haul: Boots, Debenhams & Cheapsmells

Since I've had a few days off, I've been doing a little bit of shopping. I've been pretty restrained; I had a lot of Boots coupons so I went a bit wild in there. I also made a teeny order on Cheapsmells and picked up a couple of things from the Clarins counter in Debenhams.

I needed some new nail polish remover and cotton pads so I picked them up in Boots. I always just go for the cheapest nail polish removers as I don't find the more expensive ones to be any better. Weirdly, though, I find Superdrug's cheapest polish remover and cotton pads are pretty rubbish in comparison to the Boots ones despite them being almost the same price. 

I had a money off coupon for Aussie and I really like their Mega shampoo so I picked up the huge 500ml bottle. I'm running out of body scrub so I picked up the Botanics Moisturising Sugar Scrub. This is also massive and it was pretty cheap too!

Speaking of scrubs, I also picked up the Boots Extracts Mango Scrub and the corresponding Body Butter. There was a 3 for 2 offer so I bought the Shea Body Butter too. I use body butters almost every day so I'm sure I'll get through these in no time!

I've not tried anything from the Soap & Glory cosmetics range so I decided to try a few products. I went for the Supercat liquid liner pen and lipstick in Naked Beige. I've been using the liner pen so there'll be a review of that up very soon.

I placed an order on Cheapsmells last week because everyone was going crazy over them selling NARS products at low prices. I picked up Galapagos single eyeshadow; I've been after it for a while. I've heard that a few people were unhappy with the NARS products they received as they thought they were old stock but the shadow is what I was expecting. I also bought another bottle of Macadamia Natural Oil Rejuvenating Shampoo because it's my favourite and I'm running low. 

After trying a sample of Clarins Ever Matte foundation and loving it, I decided to go and pick up the full size. I got the shade 109 Wheat. Whilst I was there, the assistant recommended the powder to go with it and since I've been having issues with oil control recently, I decided to give it a go. I got it in the shade 02 Transparent Medium.

I also got three samples of Clarins skincare products. I love getting these - it's a great way to try them without committing to the full sizes. I've found that Clarins are the most generous with these which I really appreciate - I usually end up buying the full size of at least one of them. She gave me the HydraQuench Intensive Serum, Water Purity One Step Cleanser and the Hydra Matte Lotion.

That's all for now!

Stace xx