Saturday, 26 May 2012

NARS Smudgeproof Eyeshadow Base

I've been meaning to write a post about this for a while; I picked it up about a month ago when my Too Faced Shadow Insurance finally ran out. The NARS Smudgeproof Eyeshadow Base is priced at £18 from NARS counters or online (link)

In the past I've used Urban Decay Primer Potion and Too Faced Shadow Insurance. Personally I preferred the Shadow Insurance because I found the Primer Potion to be a bit too gloopy. Anyone with very oily lids may find that the Shadow Insurance isn't enough for them and I found that the thinner texture meant that it didn't make my eyeshadows look as vibrant. 

The NARS base is a nice in-between product and I've been thoroughly enjoying using it! It makes my powder shadows look vibrant and prevents creasing (with both cream and powder shadows) for up to 10 hours on my slightly oily lids. The doe-foot applicator makes it easy to apply and prevents product being wasted (I'd always end up squeezing out too much Shadow Insurance!) I just dot a bit on my lids and blend it in with my finger. Easy peasy! 

My one gripe with this product is that the lovely packaging will get a bit grubby in my make up bag. I'm also interested to see how long this little tube will last for me considering my Shadow Insurance lasted almost 18 months!

Do you have a favourite eyeshadow base?

Stace xx

**I'm on holiday right now, this is a scheduled post! I'll reply to comments once I get back  :) **

Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Wishlist Wednesday: Lip Products

Lip Products

YSL Glossy Stain in Shade 9 Rouge Laque
Since trying (and loving) my first Glossy Stain, this one is the next shade on my hit list. 

Chanel Rouge Coco Shine in Sari Dore
I tried to pick this up a few weeks ago only to be told it was being discontinued! It's a bright orange shade and I need it. Really, I do!

MAC Lipstick in Lady Danger
Another orange/red shade on my wishlist. There's a theme here! I've been meaning to pick this up for ages and I have some empties to Back 2 MAC so this might be what I end up going for.

Nuxe Reve de Miel Lip Balm
How could I not include this?! I've been wanting to try it ever since it was first mentioned because it sounds great. FeelUnique had 10% or 15% off skincare a while back and I went to order it but it was out of stock...until the offer was over. Suspicious!

Revlon Lip Butter in Red Velvet
This is a lip butter shade that Revlon decided not to bring to the UK. I'm not entirely sure why because this was one of the most popular shades in the US when these launched. I also want Creamsicle and another Fig Jam (which I'm almost out of). Revlon, please bring the full range to the UK!

Do you have any lip products on your wish list?

Stace xx

Sunday, 20 May 2012

Goodbye for a little while!

Hello everyone!

I had grand plans of lining up lots of blog posts to go up when I was away on holiday and I really wanted to do 'what's in my travel make up bag' and 'holiday preparation' posts but I just haven't had the time. I think I'll do those when I get back as it's not quite holiday season for everyone just yet! Life's been crazy over the past few days, I feel as though I've barely stopped. I can't wait to just get away!

I'm going to miss Teddy B though!

I'll be back on the 30th!

Stace xx

Friday, 18 May 2012

A Little Lip Product Challenge

I'm really enjoying actually being able to finish up products. As you may have noticed, I've been gradually downsizing my make up collection so that I'm left with only the products I want to use regularly. Lip products are a huge weakness of mine so in order to keep my lipstick spending under control I've set myself a little challenge.

I've picked out five lipsticks and glosses that are on their way out and I'm not allowed to buy another lip product until I've used these five up. They are:

Revlon Lip Butter in Fig Jam
I love this! I've been using it to death and I'm kind of annoyed that it's not available here but I'm sure I'll manage to get my hands on this if I want to repurchase.

Estee Lauder Pure Color Gloss in Electric Cherry
This gloss smells delicious and the texture is lovely; it's not sticky at all. It leaves a sheer hint of cherry red on the lips. I've got about 1/5 left.

Dior Lip Polish in Radiance Expert (?)
I'm not 100% sure that this is the shade name as it doesn't say on the packaging. This is the oddest lip gloss I've never used because of  the unusual rolling applicator. It's fun to apply but it doesn't have a great scent so I'll be pleased when I've used it up. I've got around 1/3 left.

17 Mirror Shine in Beehive
I'm not typically a fan of 17 products but I caved and bought three mirror shines back before Christmas because I kept hearing about this shade in particular. I've enjoyed using it but I don't like the packaging and wish it had a less plastic-esque scent.

Clinique Superbalm in Root Beer
This little thing has been 'almost finished' for the longest time! I like the Superbalms from Clinique and have several other mini ones from a set which are handy for popping into my bag. They are really moisturising, as the name would suggest. I think they're one of those sort of 'under-hyped' products, actually. 

Watch out for some of these in my May empties post in a few weeks! I hope I can control the urge to buy a new lipstick at duty free when going on holiday...expect a Wishlist Wednesday post full of lip products!

Stace xx

Thursday, 17 May 2012

OPI Red Lights Ahead...Where?

Say hi to one of my current favourite polishes! This is OPI Red Lights Ahead...Where? from the Holland collection which launched relatively recently. It's available from BeautyBay for £10.50 (link)

I wasn't going to pick this up because I have a love-hate relationship with any red polishes that aren't dark blood-red shades. I enjoy wearing bright polishes but for some reason bright reds scare me a bit.

I ended up buying it anyway as I'd found a good deal and I'm so glad I did! Red Lights Ahead has a strong coral/orange undertone which makes it look great against my skin tone. It has a cream finish which is opaque in two coats. In the photos the base coat is Essie Fill The Gap and the top coat is Sally Hansen Insta-Dri.

I think this one's going to have to be my holiday pedicure shade!

Did you pick up anything from the Holland collection?

Stace xx

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Wishlist Wednesday: Stila


Convertible Colour in Peony - £16 
I've swatched these a few times and whilst I love the coral/orange shades I already have a lot of those sorts of blushes. I've been really loving using NARS Madly recently and although Peony might look like nothing like it in the pan, it actually looks quite similar swatched. It'd be nice to have a cream blush in that sort of colour.
Eyeshadow in Kitten - £12
I've been wanting to try this shadow for the longest time! I want to see what all the fuss is about. 

[EDIT: I ended up buying this today!]
Smudge Stick in Stingray - £13
This is another product I've been wanting to try for a while. I didn't get the Glossybox with one of these in so I've never tried this formula but I swatched it in store and could not get it off my hand! 
Crush Lip & Cheek Stain in Raspberry - £16
This is one of those products that I look at all the time but will probably never buy. It only comes with a mere 2.4ml of product which I think is ridiculous! I know you only need a little each time as it's a really pigmented stain but even so. Also, the brush applicator will trap and waste lots of product. It's a shame because Raspberry is a gorgeous shade and it smells delicious too.
One Step Correct - £24

I'm intrigued by this product partly because it looks like fun and partly because I've seen some positive reviews. I'm not sure if I'm intrigued enough to part with £24, though. 

What's on your wish list this week?

Stace xx

Saturday, 12 May 2012

MUA Primer

I mentioned recently that there were two products from MUA that I've been enjoying and this is the second of the two. Say hello to MUA's primer!

I wanted to pick this up when it first launched quite a while ago but I couldn't find it anywhere and at that time MUA did not have their own online store. The two primers I've been using most in that time were the Rimmel Fix & Perfect and the Make Up For Ever HD (which I just finished up yesterday) and this little £4 wonder really holds its own in that company. 

There are two types of primers I like to use; ones that fill in pores and leave my skin feeling smoother or ones that help my foundation go on more easily last comfortably. The MUA primer does a little bit of both. It doesn't fill in pores to the extent of something like BeneFit's PoreFessional but it does make my skin feel smooth. It helps my foundation go on more easily and keeps it there a little longer because it hydrates dry areas and controls oil in the oily areas. I make it sound like a bit of a wonder product! I wouldn't say it's the best thing since sliced bread but I do think it's a nice primer that does a bit of everything. I think it would work best for normal/combination skin types.

The packaging is simple and functional to a point. The little nozzle that controls the amount of product that's dispensed keeps coming loose which is frustrating as I end up with too much product. The primer itself is a lightweight white gel-cream. I apply it with my Real Techniques Buffing brush (which I also use for my foundation) and away I go.

The MUA Primer is available online (link) and in selected Superdrug stores. It is priced at £4.00 for 27ml.

Have you tried this? Let me know what you thought!

Stace xx

Friday, 11 May 2012

My Chanel Lipsticks

Firstly, I'd like to apologise that this is quite a photo-heavy post. I got a bit snap happy but I hope you don't mind!

I have four lipsticks from Chanel; one Rouge Coco Shine which is the latest addition and three Rouge Cocos. If I have some Debenhams Beauty Card points and don't need anything sensible like skincare, I've taken to picking up a Chanel lipstick so I expect this collection to grow. 

The packaging is glorious, as you'd expect from Chanel. It feels heavy and expensive; it's definitely the sort of packaging you want to show off. I like that it's black rather than a garish gold or silver colour (yes, I'm talking to you YSL and Dior). 

Rouge Coco Shine in Evasion
As I mentioned, this is my most recent Chanel acquisition and I've only worn it briefly so far. I'm trying to use up some of my older lip products at the moment so that's possibly why. Evasion is a light peachy pink shade (you will notice that this is quite a common theme in this post). It's sheer and glossy but those are the sorts of lipsticks I often find myself reaching for so it suits me just fine. The swatch at the end of this post is quite a heavy one to show the colour. It's not all that different from 17's Beehive if you're after a dupe but it's not as drying and feels much nicer on.

Rouge Coco in Bel Respiro 
This is the first Chanel lipstick I purchased and I wore it on every night out for about six months! It's such an easy to wear orange-red for me. The texture of all the Rouge Cocos I've tried is the same; they're well pigmented but they don't feel uncomfortable at all. They're really easy to re-apply on the go too, which is why this was my favourite going out shade. 

Rouge Coco in Chintz
This shade is a great everyday lipstick for me if I want something that's more pigmented and less glossy than the sheer lipsticks I often reach for. As you can probably see in the swatches, this shade and Peregrina are very similar (they're more different in real life, honest!) but this shade is slightly more pink.

Rouge Coco in Peregrina
This Rouge Coco is a peachier version of Chintz and I prefer it for that reason. As with the other two Rouge Cocos I have, the formulation is great. If you like the colour of Evasion but would prefer more staying power, Peregrina would be an excellent alternative. 

L-R: Evasion, Bel Respiro, Chintz, Peregrina

I have a few more on my wishlist so let me know if you have any favourites from Chanel!

Stace xx

Thursday, 10 May 2012

Nails Inc Baker Street

I'm generally not the biggest fan of Nails Inc polishes because I find the caps so cumbersome to work with. Yes, I'm a nail polish diva.

However, I had this beautiful blue shade, Baker Street, on my mind for so long that I finally caved and purchased it from ASOS a month or so ago. I've worn it three times since then which is almost unheard of for me!

The formula is pretty easy to work with; I can get an opaque finish with two coats over Essie Fill The Gap base coat. I've used Sally Hansen Insta-Dri as a top coat.

You can pick this up from anywhere Nails Inc is sold for £11.00.

I hope you like the newest member of my nail polish family!

Stace xx

Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Wishlist Wednesday - Obsessed Jewellery

The lovely Rachel from A Pretty Obsession has just set up her own online jewellery store called Obsessed Jewellery. I follow her on Twitter and we've talked back and forth in the past so I'd like to call her one of my beauty friends! I've been drooling over some of the pieces she's selling for a while now so I thought it was about time I included them in a Wishlist Wednesday post. 

Vintage Pearl & Amber Drop Earrings - 6 Euros (around £4.85)

Pearls of Wisdom Bracelet - 8 Euros (around £6.50)

I've Got The Key Necklace - 8 Euros (around £6.50)

Statement Leaf & Chain Necklace - 8 Euros (around £6.50)

Pastels, Peaches & Pearls Earrings - 6 Euros (around £4.85)

As you can see, I'm quite a fan of pearls! I think the statement earrings and necklace will look lovely with a plain black maxi dress in the summer (I have several of these!) whilst the other pieces will look great with a jeans and a t-shirt. She has several other items in her store so I think there's something there for everyone. The shipping costs are pretty reasonable, too. 

Now I just need to decide which pieces to buy...!

Stace xx

Ps - Rachel did not ask me to write this post; I just wanted to give her a wee mention on my blog because she's ace!

Tuesday, 8 May 2012

MUA Out There Plumping Lip Gloss in Buff

I picked this up from MUA online about a month ago and aside from one other product which I'll blog about very soon, this has been my favourite product. It's the Out There Plumping lip gloss in the shade Buff and it's a snip at only £2. This has very quickly become my most reached for gloss.

As you can see from the swatch, it's a very pigmented gloss. The shade is a versatile dark nude with a cream finish. I like wearing this alone or on top of MAC Viva Glam Gaga 2. Gaga 2 is a very brown toned nude which is difficult to work with sometimes but it looks great when paired with this gloss! It's easy to apply with its doe foot applicator. It does tingle a little since it's a plumping gloss but it's not painful like some other plumping glosses; as a result the plumping effect isn't all that extreme.

I'd recommend this shade in particular to everyone but this product also comes in a range of other shades. I've tried a couple of the bright pink ones and they're also incredibly pigmented so I think there's something for everyone. They're available online (link) or in selected Superdrug stores.

Stace xx

Monday, 7 May 2012

Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua Compact Foundation

When I was at a Chanel counter a couple of weeks ago, the assistant gave me two samples of their new foundation, the Vitalumiere Aqua Compact. I have the shades B30 and B40. I chose to use B30 because I have Vitalumiere Aqua in B40 and it's my summer shade so I expected B30 to be a better shade match for me right now. The samples are the classiest foundation samples I've seen in a while. I've used the one pictured three times and I expect I'd get just one more use out of it.

I tried applying this a few different ways and found the best way to be with my Real Techniques Buffing brush. I expected the Stippling brush to work better with it because I often prefer to use it with my thicker liquid foundations but hey ho! I wouldn't recommend using the sponge provided as it resulted in a rather streaky finish. It's quite easy to apply with either of the brushes I mentioned but I wasn't a fan of having to dip the brush back into the foundation to apply more. I guess I could have scooped some out onto the back of my hand first but the downside to that is that it could result in a lot of wasted product. I tried just applying dots of it on my face and then blending it out with the brush but I felt that it just disappeared into my skin without providing any coverage.

If I'm totally honest I don't know how I feel about this product. I found that I needed a lot more of the foundation than I was expecting to achieve medium coverage and thus it felt quite heavy on my skin. Not only did it feel heavy, it also looked quite heavy and greasy. Setting it with a powder either did nothing (when I used too little) or looked even more cakey (when I used too much). I decided to try setting it with some MAC Fix+ and that worked a bit better as it got rid of the cakey-ness and most of the oil.

The wear you can get from this foundation is also problematic. One of the times I wore it I checked my face about four hours in and thought my skin looked pretty nice but when I went to take my make up off a few hours later there was hardly anything there! I obviously like my own skin more than I think. This product transfers terribly on anything and everything; it ended up all over my phone and my top.

All in all, I can't recommend this foundation for anyone with skin that is in any way oily because it just never seems to set. Even though it offers pretty decent coverage I felt that I had to use too much product to achieve that. I think it might work for you if your skin is dry and not needing a great deal of coverage; that way you would require less product and benefit from the extra hydration on offer. FleurdeForce recently reviewed this foundation and said she liked it on her normal/dry skin but that she preferred to use it for touch ups during the day. I think if you want to try one of the Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua foundations, go for the liquid as it's so much easier to use and works on a range of skin types. It's also £8 cheaper.

The Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua Compact foundation retails for £39 online (link) or from Chanel counters.

Stace xx

Sunday, 6 May 2012

Sleek Eau La La Liner in Red Sky Night

I'd seen so many positive reviews of Sleek's latest liner offering that I decided to pick up a few. I went for two shades that I could use as lip pencils because I already have more than enough eye pencils. This  post is about a rose pink shade called Red Sky Night.

The actual pencil is black with a coloured tip which corresponds to the shade of the pencil; I thought that was a nice touch. It's nothing ground breaking but it does the job nicely.

Formula-wise, the pencil is smooth and creamy. It glides on my lips with ease. I'm confident that the more eye suitable shades are equally as creamy.  I've used this a few times as as all over lip colour and it's definitely more comfortable on my lips than I was expecting. When I swatched this on my hand and let it set, it was difficult to completely remove so I can vouch for them being relatively long lasting. I usually apply a gloss on top but even then the staying power is decent. Without a gloss it would easily last five hours on me which is unheard of!

This pink shade is a bit of a departure from my usual nudes and peachy/orange shades but it's been a welcome change. It does look a touch more cool-toned on my lips than it does swatched, though.

I'm planning on picking up a few more shades (I already have a red shade to try out) because I think these could be comparable to the NYX Slide On or Milani Liquif'Eye pencils. 

Sleek's Eau La La Liners are priced at £3.99 (or £4 on the website!) and are available both online (link) and in selected Superdrug stores.

Stace xx

Saturday, 5 May 2012

My Foundation Collection

Foundation is a key product in my make up routine and one I'm quite fussy about. I've tried countless foundations (I'm still working on the Foundation 101 tab for this blog) and it's been difficult to find formulations I like in a shade that matches me. These are the six foundations I currently own so I thought I'd run through them and tell you what I think. 

 I have a slight yellow undertone to my skin and it tends to darken very easily in the summer months. My skin is usually combination; I get quite oily in my T-zone and normal/dry elsewhere so I prefer a foundation with a satin or slightly dewy finish. I get the odd blemish on my chin and quite dark under eye circles but I prefer to conceal those with a separate concealer so I like foundations which offer light to medium coverage.

First up is the most expensive foundation in my collection. I purchased Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua in B40 last summer and wore it almost exclusively during August and September until it became too dark for me. It has a light texture which can be built up in layers depending on how much coverage I need. I like using my fingers to apply this one but I'll be trying out with my Real Techniques Buffing brush once my skin is dark enough to wear this shade again! The finish of this one is on the dewy side but I find I can easily combat an oily T-zone with a little powder. I had been contemplating picking this up in B30 but as you see, I already have some other great foundations which match me when my skin is lighter. I have really missed using this, though!

Next up is the newest addition to my foundation family and also a shade which will suit me best during the summer months. Illamasqua Skin Base in Shade 11 is a teeny bit pinker than my Vitalumiere Aqua in B40 but I don't find that it looks overly pink on my skin. This foundation has a much thicker texture and is more of a medium coverage foundation. I've only used this one two or three times so far as my skin isn't quite dark enough to wear it yet but when I did apply it I used my Illamasqua Highlighter brush. I think I will also enjoy using this with my fingers when I want less coverage. The finish of Skin Base is less dewy than Vitalumiere Aqua but not at all cakey or heavy looking if applied correctly. 

I wasn't sure whether or not I should include my MAC Mineralize Skinfinish Natural in Medium Plus in this post because I tend to use this more as a setting powder than a foundation. However, I have used this as a foundation over a bit of Origins Vita Zing moisturiser in the past. The coverage is surprisingly good when I apply it with my E.L.F. Powder brush but I have two issues with this product. First is the powdery finish I sometimes get when using it but I find that a spritz of Fix+ helps eradicate that. Secondly I find that I this powder doesn't control the oil in my T-zone particularly well so I have to be careful which moisturiser I use underneath it.

I bought this tube of MAC Studio Moisture Tint in Medium Dark at Christmas time because Medium Plus was much too pink for me (unlike the MSF Natural which is about right when I'm paler). It smells like paint or something but other than that, it's a really nice tinted moisturiser. It's much less dewy than any other tinted moisturisers I've tried (perhaps aside from the NARS offering) which I really appreciate. The coverage is decent for this sort of product and the staying power on my skin is great. I wouldn't say this product is particularly moisturising so it's not for anyone with very dry skin. I've been reaching for this quite a bit recently but it is still a touch too dark for me. I apply it either with my fingers or the Real Techniques Buffing brush. 

I started using this foundation when my Vitalumiere Aqua became too dark for me and now I've only got a little left but I'm so scared to use it all up! This is the Make Up For Ever HD foundation in the shade #125 and it's my go to foundation for a night out. I like it because it doesn't feel or look cakey yet the coverage is pretty decent and it wears well on my skin. I usually apply two thin layers with my Real Techniques Stippling or Buffing brush. I just wish Make Up For Ever was more easily accessible in the UK.

The final member of my little foundation family is NARS Sheer Glow in Santa Fe. This is the lightest shade I own and the one I've been using most recently. I have about a third of the bottle left but this is just a smidge too pale for me now so I'm going to mix it with my MAC Studio Moisture Tint, I think. This is one of those foundations that is just so reliable for me. I remember when I was testing out the Rimmel Wake Me Up foundation a month ago and when it broke me out I went back to using this and it made putting on foundation a joy once again! The texture of this is a little thicker than some of the others in my collection but as a result I use a lot less of it each time. I can apply this with almost any foundation brush I have and sometimes I even use my fingers; it's just so easy to work with. The finish isn't as glowy as you'd expect but I do need to powder my T-zone if I want it to last all day.

L - R:  Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua in B40, Illamasqua Skin Base in Shade 11, MAC Mineralize Skinfinish Natural in Medium Plus, MAC Studio Moisture Tint in Medium Dark, Make Up For Ever HD in #125, NARS Sheer Glow in Santa Fe

Apologies for the messy swatches - blame the MAC products. I should probably point out that the inside of my arm is much, much paler than the skin on the rest of my body/face,  just in case you all thought that I've been walking around with an orange face!

You may have noticed that I don't have any high street or drugstore foundations in this post and that's because there's only been one drugstore foundation I've tried and liked that doesn't break me out. Unfortunately for me that foundation was Neutrogena's Healthy Skin which isn't even available in this country.

 Anyway, I hope that was useful to some of you and please let me know which foundations you like in the comments!

Stace xx