Sunday, 30 September 2012

September Favourites - Hair, Skin & Nails

I stopped doing monthly favourites posts because I always found it difficult to pick out the products I really loved but this month it was so easy. I posted yesterday about my favourite make up items from this month but today I wanted to talk about other beauty products I've been enjoying too.

Aussie Luscious Long Leave In Conditioner
Before I started trying hair oils this product was a staple of mine and I've gone through several bottles of it in the past. When I last got my hair cut my hairdresser used a leave in conditioner spray and it reminded me about this one which had been languishing unloved in a drawer for almost a year. My hair can look really limp and flat if I use a traditional conditioner so I prefer to use something like this or a hair oil on the ends of my hair after washing it. Aussie Luscious Long leaves my hair feeling incredibly soft, much more so than any hair oils I've tried. Because it's such a fine mist it doesn't weigh my hair down or cause it to become greasy either. If you hair hair like mine, I'd definitely recommend trying this.

LUSH BB Seaweed Fresh Face Mask
This mask from LUSH doesn't look particularly nice (think huge chunks of black seaweed...) but it makes my skin feel so refreshed and lovely that I can't not mention it in this post. I got about five uses out of this pot so used it around once a week. LUSH recommend this mask for every skin type; apparently men really like it. There's nothing too irritating in there or it's not too drying/too moisturising. I've tried several of these masks from LUSH and this one is by far my favourite. 

L'Occitane Shea Butter Foot Cream
I'm sure you can see that this product has been well loved because it's almost empty! I really don't like feet but I like them even less if they're not well looked after. I usually prefer to use a thick foot cream overnight and this product doesn't work too well in that context. However, I've been using this all month after my morning shower and because it sinks into the skin so quickly it's much more convenient. When I first tried this foot cream I was seriously underwhelmed but I've recently grown to love it. You do have to be willing to use it daily or at least every two days, though.

Weleda Almond Soothing Facial Lotion
I picked this up from FeelUnique a couple of months ago and it's since been my go-to night time moisturiser. I'm not completely taken with the almond scent but it's not too overpowering and I can live with it because the lotion does an excellent job of hydrating my skin. I'm planning to review this properly soon so watch this space!

L'Oreal Color Riche Polish in Beige Countess
It wouldn't be a favourites post without a L'Oreal Color Riche polish, would it? You all know I love these polishes but this shade is the one I've used the most; as you can probably see. It's just a typical medium nude shade that goes with pretty much everything. It's not my favourite polish in the world but I have been wearing it an awful lot this month. I used to think it was very similar to Essie's Lady Like but it's a lot more beige and therefore more flattering on me. The formula is easy to work with and I love the wide brushes on these polishes.

Let me know if you like favourites posts; I might try to do them more regularly from now on.

Stace xx

Saturday, 29 September 2012

September Favourites - Make Up

I've not posted a monthly favourites for a really long time but this month I didn't rotate the products I was using as much as I usually do so I have some definite favourites. 

YSL Le Teint Touche Eclat 
I held off on purchasing this for a while because I didn't need a new foundation but when my Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua ran out I decided to pick this up and I'm so glad I did. The coverage is a lot better than I had expected after reading the initial reviews and I love the way it makes my skin look. This is definitely not something for a fan of heavy coverage but it is a gorgeous foundation for anyone looking for a light, buildable base. I have it in the shade B50 which is just a tiny bit too light for me right now.

YSL Glossy Stain #6
I've had this product since May; I went to the counter and demanded a lipstick to cheer me up and this is what I came home with. And it does cheer me up. It's up there in my all-time favourite lip products because I just love wearing it. If you've not tried a Glossy Stain yet (why not?!) they're mango-scented glosses which leave a stain behind on the lips once the gloss has worn off. I like to apply a couple of layers of this gorgeous orange shade because I like the deeper colour pay off I get and find it stays glossy for longer too. I've been reaching for it even more than usual this month.

Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain in Crush
Lip products with 'stain' in their name seem to be doing it for me just now because the other lip product I've been wearing a lot this month is this one. The colour isn't something I'd typically go for; it's a deep pink shade which can be applied lightly or more heavily depending on how dark I want it to look. It makes a nice change from the reds, oranges and nudes I usually prefer. The staying power of these balm stains is incredible and they don't feel uncomfortable or drying at all. 

NARS Blush in Madly
This has been my blush of choice for months now. I know it doesn't look like much in the pan but on the cheeks it gives just enough colour to give you a healthy glow. It has a matte/satin finish so it doesn't provide the same sheen that you'd get from something like Luster (another hot favourite of mine) but I think that works better on my slightly oily skin. Since it's not a really in-your-face blush shade it's so easy to apply in a hurry. 

Lancome Le Crayon Sourcils in 030 Brun
Okay, so I lost my favourite brow brush back in August and had been using a different one with my usual brow powder of choice but it just wasn't the same so I decided to try a pencil. I'd heard some good things about the Lancome one and picked it up at the beginning of September. It's a good colour for me and I've been enjoying using it. It's easy to subtly fill in my brows with, which I like. I found my brow brush last weekend (in a suitcase!) but I've not felt inclined to go back to using my brow powder so I think I've been converted!

What were your favourite products this month? If you have a post, link it in the comments!

Stace xx

LUSH Brazened Honey Fresh Face Mask


I just wanted to quickly say that I'm sorry I've been posting quite a lot of reviews recently. I have lots of ideas for more interesting posts but my boyfriend and I broke up last week and I'm currently trying to find a new place to live. It's all getting a bit crazy but thank you for bearing with me; normal service will resume sometime very soon, hopefully.

On a lighter note, Brazened Honey is the second Fresh Face Mask from LUSH that I'd been trying this month. I was given Brazened Honey instead of Love Lettuce by mistake and I was a bit miffed because I'd tried Brazened Honey a long time ago and not liked it too much. I decided to give it another try anyway to see what if my opinion would change. 

The mask itself is very, very exfoliating which puts me off because I like using my own microdermabrasion scrub before using a face mask and I find the ground almonds to be a bit too harsh on my skin. In saying that, it did leave my face feeling incredibly smooth. Despite taking this mask from the fridge before applying it to my skin my face felt hot when it was on due to the spices in the product. It reminded me a bit of a few thermal masks I've tried before; it wasn't irritating at all on my skin but I wouldn't rush to recommend it to someone with sensitive skin. When I'd tried this mask previously I found that it left my skin feeling quite dry and since my skin has been becoming less and less oily I was concerned that I'd find it even more drying this time around. Thankfully I didn't really notice any dryness. In saying that, I don't find Brazened Honey to be particularly moisturizing either. 

Overall the mask is just okay. I probably won't be repurchasing it but I would recommend it to anyone with normal-oily skin who likes a lot of exfoliation. It smells quite nice and is pleasant to use. All LUSH Fresh Face Masks are priced at £5.95 and are available in store. 

What's your favourite face mask?

Stace xx

PS - Please don't forget to keep these in the fridge; they last around three to four weeks and I can get about five uses out of each pot. 

Thursday, 27 September 2012

NARS Pure Matte Lipstick in Mascate

A couple of weeks ago I was in the mood for a new red lipstick and hadn't been to a NARS counter in ages so the stars somehow aligned and I came home with the beautiful Pure Matte Lipstick in Mascate. I wanted the darkest matte red they had and although Mascate isn't that dark, it satisfied my need at the time! 

I've tried the Pure Matte formula from NARS before and loved it. I typically prefer creamy or lightweight lipsticks but when I'm wearing a bold colour I'll always choose a matte formula if I can. The Pure Mattes are a nice middle ground because they offer the pigmentation, finish and staying power of a matte but are also relatively lightweight and non-drying. This is the sort of lipstick that works really well in conjunction with the NUXE Reve de Miel balm I reviewed recently. I've used them together a few times now and my lips haven't suffered at all.

NARS describe Mascate as a bold red, and it is, but I've worn it lightly pressed into my lips for a slightly less in-your-face red lip (see the photo below). I think the shade will suit a variety of skintones because it's not too pink or too orange. I can easily get five or six hours of wear out of this lipstick which is impressive for me; I can usually only manage about two to three hours before needing to re-apply. 

The Pure Matte lipsticks aren't exactly cheap at £18.50 but they're worth the investment if you find a shade you really like, particularly if it's a bold color. Mascate is available from NARS counters and online.

What's your favourite red lipstick?

Stace xx

Wednesday, 26 September 2012

September Empties

Another month, another empties post. This month I got through quite a few products without really trying; I was surprised to see that my 'empties' bag was bursting!

I ran out of three face products this month; my primer, foundation and powder. The MUA primer was nice but the packaging was frustrating because I always ended up squeezing out too much product so I'm not sure if it's something I'd repurchase. It's good if you're on a budget, though. My beloved Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua  foundation finally ran out this month but I've moved on to the YSL Touche Eclat foundation; espect to see a review of that one soon. I will probably repurchase Vitalumiere Aqua at some point in the future. The powder I finished up was the Clarins Ever Matte. I liked it but I do think it's a bit overpriced. My Chanel Rouge Noir nail polish finally became too gloopy to use. I've been looking for a similar shade but can't find one that seems just right so if you have any recommendations please leave them in the comments. 

I used up a second pot of the Lierac Smoothing Energizing moisturiser, a small bottle of Osmo's Beber Oil treatment and a Fresh Brown Sugar fragrance sample. I enjoyed using all three of these products but I don't expect to repurchase any of them just now.

This Johnson's 24 Hour Moisture Hand Cream is a great budget buy; I used to use this all the time and it's something I always seem to go back to. The Botanics All Bright Cleansing Face Wipes were just okay and not something I'm particularly keen to use again. I got through two pots of Lush Fresh Face Masks and enjoyed using both but much preferred BB Seaweed over Brazened Honey

This Boots Nail Polish Remover is another go-to budget buy for me. I've tried more expensive removers but none work as well as this one for me. I reviewed the Yes To Cucumbers Soothing Body Lotion yesterday and if you read that post you'd know that I have mixed feelings about the product. I don't think I'll be repurchasing. I would, however, consider picking up another tube of the Jergens Cocoa Butter Body Lotion; partly because it smelled delicious and partly because it felt really nice on my skin.

I wasn't overly impressed with the scent of Soap & Glory's Foam Call Shower Gel when I first smelled it but it seems to smell a lot nicer in the shower. I like that it comes with a pump because I tend to be too generous with shower gel. I'm not sure if I'd buy it again immediately but it is a nice product. I used up two shampoos this month; the L'Oreal Ever Strong Reinforcing Shampoo and the John Frieda Full Repair Full Body Shampoo. I realise that it seems as though I've used a lot of shampoo this month but the L'Oreal only had a little left in it at the beginning of September and I gave some of the John Frieda to a friend to try. I have reviews of both these shampoos coming up soon. 

I've had this can of Boots Firm Hold Hairspray sitting around for quite a while but I've been wearing my hair up a lot more recently and was reaching for it to tame flyaways. I don't think it's a particularly good hairspray but it did the job for me. The Tresemme Volumising Dry Shampoo is one of my all-time favourite hair products and one I posted about recently. I've already purchased another can! LUSH Rub Rub Rub is another product I reviewed positively recently. I still can't believe how much I loved the scent and it was a really effective exfoliator. I was given Prada Candy last Christmas and whilst I liked it initially I did get a bit bored of it so I'm quite pleased to have finished it up. There's just something about it that isn't right. I wish I could explain it!

So, those are my September empties. Did you use up many products this month?

Stace xx

Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Yes To Cucumbers Soothing Body Lotion

Have you ever made an ASOS order and added a few beauty products into your basket at the last minute? I seem to do that almost every time I place an order and one of my most recent sneaky beauty purchases was this Yes To Cucumbers soothing body lotion. I've never tried anything from the Yes To... ranges before but at the time my skin felt really sensitive, itchy and tight so I hoped this lotion might help.

The packaging is pretty straightforward and easy to use so I have no complaints on that front. Yes To...say that the lotion contains cucumber and aloe extracts, making it perfect for sensitive skin. I have to say that I agree with that; when I used the product it didn't react badly with my skin at all and it did feel quite cooling and soothing. It moisturised my skin relatively well, too.

There are two things that have put me off buying this again; the smell and the texture. The scent is horrible. I was expecting it to smell really fresh and inoffensive but it has a really strong and not very pleasant scent which lingered quite a bit on my skin. Yes To... say that this lotion is 'lightweight' and I don't necessarily agree. It's not as thick as a body butter but it takes just as long, if not longer to sink into the skin. It feels like a thick gel-cream.

As you can probably tell, I have mixed feelings about this product. I like the way it feels on my skin initially and I think it delivers in terms of soothing sensitive skin but I don't enjoy using it because of the scent and the fact it takes so long to sink into my skin despite being marketed as a lightweight lotion. In saying that, I have used the entire tube already but perhaps I was just making an effort to use it up!

The Yes To Cucumbers Soothing Body Lotion is available from ASOS and is priced at £10.00.

Have you tried any products from the Yes To... range? I'm interested in trying some more.

Stace xx

Monday, 24 September 2012

NOTD: L'Oreal Color Riche in Opulent Pink

Another NOTD post, another L'Oreal Color Riche polish! This is the last one, I promise! Opulent Pink was the other shade that came in the little gift with purchase set L'Oreal were offering around a month ago and it's definitely my favourite of the two. 

The shade is a bright, warm toned pink and whilst it's not something I'd typically reach for I do like it. Formula wise it's nice, not too thin but not thick and gloopy either. As always with these polishes, I love the wide brush. The wear time was average for me at around 2-3 days with the Sally Hansen Insta Dri top coat on top. 

These polishes are priced at £4.99 and are available wherever L'Oreal is stocked. They're currently part of a 3 for 2 offer in both Boots and Superdrug. 

What do you think? Have you tried any of the L'Oreal Color Riche polishes?

Stace xx

PS - Apologies for not posting over the weekend, I'm having a bit of a life crisis right now and went to stay with a friend. 

PPS - I've moved my blog sale to a separate blog (here) and I've added a few new products so if you're interested please go and have a look. I'll be adding more including clothes and shoes over the coming week or so.

Friday, 21 September 2012

Budget Beauty Essential: Tresemme Volumising Dry Shampoo

This week's budget beauty essential post is going to be about my favourite dry shampoo. Last week's was about baby shampoo but I promise that next week's product won't be hair-related! 

I've purchased countless cans of the Tresemme Instant Refresh Volumising dry shampoo over the past four or five years. It's the one I always come back to. I find that come of the cheaper ones (hi, Batiste, I'm talking about you) leave too much of a white cast in my dark hair but this one doesn't at all. I also really like the smell of the Tresemme dry shampoos in comparison to others at a similar or lower price point. This dry shampoo is £4.79 but it's often part of a 3 for 2 or buy two for £5 offer in Boots or Superdrug so I usually stock up then.

I'm a big fan of dry shampoos in general because my roots become greasy fairly quickly and they also tend to look a little flat. This product helps to eradicate greasiness and gives me some volume. I realise that most dry shampoos provide this volumising effect but I've noticed that the results disappear much more quickly than they do with this volumising version. 

So, if you've got hair like mine and are looking for a nice dry shampoo, try this one!

Stace xx

Wednesday, 19 September 2012

Balance Me Rose Otto Intensive Lip Salve

Balance Me is a brand I'm always intrigued by but I've never gone out of my way to purchase any of their products. I received a sample of their hand cream in a Carmine box (remember those?) and despite not being a fan of the smell I quite enjoyed using it. I recently bought a magazine which happened to come with a Balance Me Rose Otto Lip Salve and it's made me curious about the brand again because I really like this balm!

First of all, I love the packaging. Not because of the pretty design but because it's a tube. I'm not a fan of lip balms in pots because I don't really like getting my fingers dirty and I often find that stick balms don't feel moisturising enough on my lips so balms in tubes are usually a winner with me. 

The product itself is quite lightweight and, dare I say it, a little bit like Vaseline texture-wise. Thankfully that's where the comparison with Vaseline ends; this balm is petroleum free. The rose scent is really pleasant; not too intense or old-lady-esque. If you're not a fan of rose, though, I wouldn't bother with this. Despite being lightweight it's still nicely moisturising, especially during the day as I prefer to use something thicker at night time. It reminds me of the Elemis FreshSkin lip balm which I also liked. 

I'm glad I got the chance to try this lip salve because it's probably not something I'd have purchased but now when it runs out I'm quite likely to replace it. In fact, I'm keen to try some of the bodycare products with the Rose Otto scent now. The Intensive Lip Salve is priced at £12.00 which I think it pretty reasonable. It's available online and in-store wherever Balance Me is stocked.

What's your current favourite lip balm?

Stace xx

Tuesday, 18 September 2012

YSL Shocking Mascara & Cream Eyeliner

Over the past few weeks I've been trying out a couple of YSL products; Shocking mascara* and a cream liner. Despite being a huge fan of other YSL products, I'd never tried any eye make up from the brand. 

The mascara is something that's been on my wish list for a long time so I was thrilled to be given the opportunity to use it. At £23 it's one of the most expensive mascaras I've tried. The price tag is definitely reflected in the luxurious, heavy golden packaging. The product itself is very heavily scented, so much so that I can smell it throughout the day when I'm wearing the mascara. I have quite sensitive eyes so the scent concerned me at first but after using it I suffered no adverse effects. Shocking is marketed as a volumising mascara which gives lashes a 'false lash effect'. If you're like me and normally apply a couple of coats of mascara there's no need to with Shocking because one coat gives a crazy amount of volume. I found that when I added a second coat my lashes started to clump together and look a little spidery; probably because the formula is quite wet. Despite the fact this mascara leaves a lot of product on the lashes I didn't experience a lot of smudging which is unusual for me. 

The brush is on the larger side but it's not as difficult to use as something like Dior's Diorshow or BeneFit's Bad Gal. It is a traditional brush with bristles and its strange shape supposedly helps distribute the product more effectively. I did find it a tiny bit cumbersome to use the first couple of times, though. If you're a fan of voluminous lashes and don't want to spend a long time applying several coats of mascara, Shocking is definitely worth a look. 

The Cream Liner* comes in a dinky glass jar with a golden lid. It's priced at £22.00 and I have the shade 01 Pure Black. I've been comparing this with my long-standing favourite black gel liner from Bobbi Brown and I have to say, I like them both equally. The YSL black is slightly less intense but texture-wise it's creamier and I find that makes it easier to apply. I've tried the cream liner on my waterline and it holds up well; I get around four hours of wear before it starts to fade. On my upper lashline I find it wears well too. I get a tiny bit of transfer or smudging but I think that has more to do with my watery eyes than the product itself. I don't have anything negative to say about this liner; it does exactly what it claims to. Admittedly there are probably cheaper alternatives on the market but I don't think £22 is too unreasonable given that only a very small amount is needed for each application. The cream liner shade range looks really nice and I've got my eye on a few more of these!

The mascara and cream liner can be purchased from Harrods online or in store and from other stockists.

Have you tried either of these products? What did you think of them?

Stace xx

*PR Samples

Monday, 17 September 2012

Botanics Skincare Overview

I've always been a fan of Botanics skincare. I've liked most of the products I've tried from them and on the whole I think they're a great budget-friendly skincare brand. As most of you probably know, they recently repackaged and reformulated their range. I've been using five products from the new range and although I've reviewed a couple of them individually, I wanted to post an overview for anyone who's not sure about the new products and formulations.

First up is my favourite product; the Rosewater Toning Spritz. I used to use the Rosewater toner that Botanics made so I just picked this up as a replacement and I've been enjoying it so much that it's almost time to buy a new one. I've already reviewed this one in full if you want to go and read more about it. Basically, it's less harsh than a tea tree based toner so it doesn't dry my skin out. I also find that I use a lot less of this each time because it's a spray. If you prefer to use a cotton pad, you could still do so. This product is priced at £4.99.

The second product is also one I've reviewed already. It's the infamous Soothing Eye Make Up Remover. I say infamous because it seems that Botanics have been fiddling with the formula of this once much-loved eye make up remover. Whilst I don't think this remover is as good as the old one, it's still almost as effective and a decent product considering it only costs £3.99.

The Softening Cleanser was a new product to me and I have to say that initially I wasn't a fan. When I used it I found that it left my skin feeling sore and looking red. A friend of mine has also tried this cleanser and had a similar, if not more extreme, reaction. I continued to use it and found that after four or five uses my skin no longer reacted. The product is recommended for all skin types but if you have quite sensitive skin I'd say that it's best to avoid it completely. I actually quite like the product now; it removes my make up effectively (including light eye make up) and it hasn't caused any break outs or other reactions apart from those first few times. It's a very typical cream cleanser which I massage into my skin, remove with a cotton pad and repeat until every trace of make up is gone. The Softening Cleanser is £4.99.

My most recent purchase from the range is the Radiant Youth Microdermabrasion Polish. I was reluctant to buy it because I believe I've already found my favourite facial exfoliator (the Vitamin C Microdermabrasion from The Body Shop) but curiosity got the better of them when I spotted a few positive reviews. I figured that I'd be saving myself some pennies if I liked it as much as my favourite because at £7.99 it's a couple of pounds cheaper and contains almost twice as much product. Unfortunately I don't think it can compare. Although the granules are relatively fine, they're larger and more abrasive than what I'm used to so I found using this scrub a little uncomfortable. It did exfoliate my skin pretty well, it's just not my favourite. It's worth having a look at if you've never tried a microdermabrasion scrub.

The final product from the range that I've been using are the All Bright Cleansing Face Wipes.  I took these with me when I went home last month because I was out of my favourite No7 wipes. They're only £3.49 and they're not bad. I did find that they felt a tiny bit 'dry' even when I first opened them but other than that, they worked as I expected them to. I wouldn't rush to repurchase these now that I've used them all up; I don't use face wipes regularly anyway. 

Overall I like Botanics and a brand and I think they offer fantastic value skincare products. I like the new packaging and whilst some of the products I've tried haven't thoroughly impressed me I'd still like to try more from the range and there are a couple of products that I'll probably always repurchase. 

Are you a fan of Botanics? 

Stace xx

Sunday, 16 September 2012

Revlon ColorStay Base Coat

I've been using the Revlon ColorStay base coat for each manicure I've done over the past several months so I thought it was about time I reviewed it. I picked it up when the ColorStay range launched in the UK as the base coat I'd been using had become to gloopy to use. I was interested in trying it because I'd seen a couple of positive reviews. 

I use a base coat to try to prevent staining and to aid the application of my nail polish. The Revlon base coat has a nice wide brush which means it's really quick to use. It dries quite quickly too so I don't have to wait to apply my nail colour. In my experience it seems to prevent some staining and I do find that my polish goes on a little more easily when used over this as a base. Since the idea behind the ColorStay polish range is to deliver long-lasting manicures I'm not sure how the base coat stacks up. I don't really think it keeps my polish chip-free for longer but then I don't think any base coat could do that. Let me know if I'm wrong!

The main thing that would put me off repurchasing this base coat is the fact it's not  as good as the one I was using previously; Essie Fill The Gap. I found that that one left my nails feeling so smooth and it made applying streaky or dark polishes a breeze. It's an okay base coat but not one I'd recommend anyone rushing out to buy.

Have you tried the Revlon ColourStay base coat? Did you like it?

Stace xx

Saturday, 15 September 2012

Budget Beauty Essential: Baby Shampoo

This is the second post in my little budget beauty essentials series. The first one was about a bargainous Clean & Clear moisturiser which is excellent at dealing with blemishes but today's post is about something I think every beauty addict needs to own. 

It's baby shampoo. Yes, I know, it's not very glamorous but I'd definitely class it as an essential and it's usually relatively cheap. I use it primarily for cleaning my brushes. I find that it's just as effective as any brush cleaner from other brands I feel as though it's gentle enough not to damage the bristles. A large bottle of baby shampoo can easily last me six months if I only use it to wash my brushes.

However, baby shampoo isn't just a brush cleaner for me. I have naturally straight hair which can get greasy quite quickly. I find that quite a lot of the mid-range shampoos out there leave build up in my hair which makes it even more grease prone. I have quite a sensitive scalp so if I only use clarifying shampoos I find that it begins to feel tight and irritated. Since I always have a bottle on hand for brush cleaning, I sometimes find myself reaching for baby shampoo to wash my hair too and it works really nicely for me. I just use a little Macadamia Natural Oil or Aussie Leave In conditioner afterwards and my hair looks just as shiny as it does when I use anything else. 

I only discovered how much I liked using baby shampoo in my hair when I caught chicken pox two years ago (at the grand old age of 21 - it was horrible) but I've been using it fairly regularly since. A friend of mine told me that her hairdresser recommended it to her because she has very fine hair, too. 

Do you have a bottle of baby shampoo lying around? 

Stace xx

PS - On the topic of bargains, have you had a look at my blog sale? I've added more new items today!

Friday, 14 September 2012

17 Mirror Shine On Lipstick in Belle

When I was posting about the 17 BB Blemish Balm earlier this week I kept thinking that I should post about this lipstick as well. It's the Mirror Shine On lipstick in Belle.

Yes, the packaging is garish and feels cheap but that's because it is cheap. £4.59, to be precise. It sort of has that 'lipstick' smell too but I can't smell it when it's on my lips. I've tried a couple of other shades from the Mirror Shine On range; they're all quite sheer, lightweight and very glossy. They can be a tiny bit drying and they also have the tendency to get a bit messy if they get too warm but those are the only downsides to the product. I actually got through an entire tube of Beehive so I can safely say that I really like these lipsticks!

Belle looks like a deep pink shade in the bullet but because it's so sheer it just adds a hint of colour to the lips. If you have very pigmented lips you may find that Belle doesn't show up but mine are quite pale and this shade seems to just add a little something. I especially like wearing it when I'm having a lazy day and want something other than a peachy-nude. It works nicely with my slightly cooler toned shadows and blushes without being too berry or purple.

You can purchase the 17 Mirror Shine On lipstick in Boots stores or online. I think they're worth having a look at if you like sheer lipsticks.

Do you have a favourite 17 product?

Stace xx

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Wednesday Wishlist: Foundations


Foundations are one of my favourite beauty products to try; I'm always hoping to find something better even if I'm using something I really love. I've been wanting to try the Laura Mercier Silk Creme foundation because quite a few people who like NARS Sheer Glow (one of my all time favourites) also like this one. The Giorgio Armani Maestro Fusion Make Up seems to be getting quite a bit of attention just now so it's also on my to-try list. I'm not typically a fan of MAC foundations but I've always had my eye on their Studio Sculpt foundation because it's the one I've heard the most positive things about. Hourglass Veil Fluid Make Up is the most expensive on in this line up (it's £50) but every time I've seen someone wearing it I always think their skin looks amazing so it's definitely something I'd like to try. The final product on my current wish list isn't technically a foundation; it's the NARS Pure Radiant tinted moisturiser. I tried a sample of this when it launched and was a bit underwhelmed but my skin is a lot better now so I'm itching to try it again.

Do you have a foundation wish list?

Stace xx

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

LUSH Cosmetics: A Review

As most of you will know, LUSH recently launched a cosmetics range which includes a wide array of eye and lip colours, a mascara, a face powder and skin tints. I was kindly given the opportunity to try a few of the products and I'm keen to share my thoughts. I apologise in advance if this post is a little long but I thought it would be better to review the products together.

First up is the Eyes Right Mascara*. It is priced at £12 and comes in a cute little glass bottle. Unfortunately, the cute bottle is a bit of an issue because it means that the wand is tiny and very, very difficult to use. When I try to use it I end up with lots of mascara on my outer lashes and quite a bit around my eye area. 

LUSH did provide a little disposable wand with the mascara but it needs to be washed after every use which is quite inconvenient. I really wish the packaging of this product had been more carefully thought out because I actually quite like the mascara.

Eyes Right is marketed as a mascara that will provide natural looking lashes without irritating sensitive eyes and I think it delivers on those claims. In the picture above I'm wearing two coats of the mascara and as you can see, my lashes don't look very dramatic; just a bit more defined. I have quite sensitive eyes and I can't say I noticed any irritation from this product. When it's on my lashes they feel quite flexible; not dry and brittle. I often struggle with mascaras smudging but didn't experience a lot of that with Eyes Right (although there was an onion chopping incident which definitely wasn't pretty). Overall, I like the product but the packaging really lets it down.

Sophisticated* is one of the cream eyeshadows from the Emotional Brilliance collection. The eyeshadow colours come in the same packaging as the mascara but have a doe foot applicator in place of a wand. I don't find the packaging to be a problem with this product. 

Texture-wise Sophisticated is very lightweight which makes it easy to apply. When blended the product is on the sheer side but it is buildable; I like to apply a couple of layers. I've tried this both over an eyeshadow base and on it's own and experienced no creasing whatsoever; which is a bit unusual because cream shadows usually crease on me at some point. I can get about 6-8 hours of wear from this shade. LUSH describe it as a 'shimmering taupe' which is reasonably accurate; I think it's a tiny bit too pink to be a taupe, really. It's not glittery at all and the shimmer is pretty subtle. I think it's a great everyday shade.

The eye and lip colours are all priced at £14.50. I had initially thought that this was on the expensive side but I if you can find one nice neutral shade you like and will wear all the time, they're worth it. 

The third product I tested was the Feeling Younger Skin Tint*. It comes packaged in a small glass pot which admittedly isn't the most hygiene friendly option. LUSH are hailing this as a radiance boosting lotion which can be used on the face and d├ęcolletage. I would compare it to products like MAC's strobe cream. It is priced at £12. 

I tried using it all over my face before applying foundation, mixing it with my foundation and applying it on the high points of my face as a highlight. I didn't care for it as a highlighting product I did like the effect when I mixed it with my foundation. I was pleased that it didn't decrease the wear time of my foundation. It's a nice product but not one I'd rush out and replace if I lost it. 

The Emotional Brilliance Translucent Face Powder* is the final product that I've been using and it's actually probably my favourite. I don't like loose powders because they're typically really messy so this isn't something I'd have purchased myself. Again, the packaging could be better. I've been putting a little powder in the cap and swirling a big fluffy brush in it but it's a bit fiddly because the cap is so small. I feel as though I've wasted quite a lot of product, too. I wish it had some sort of sifter. 

Packaging aside, I really like this powder. It's so finely milled that it doesn't look powdery or cakey on my skin but still manages to eradicate any shine. The finish it gives isn't totally flat and I feel as though it makes my skin look really smooth. I'm impressed. It is also priced at £12. 

Overall, I've been pleasantly surprised by LUSH's latest venture. The biggest issue I've had is with the packaging but if you can deal with that the products themselves are nice. I'll definitely be replacing the translucent powder with it runs out and if they repackaged the mascara, I'd buy that too. Whilst I appreciate the variety of eye and lip colours on offer, I don't feel the need to collect several shades. You can have a look at the collection in stores and online.

Have you tried any of the new cosmetics from LUSH? What did you think?

Stace xx