Monday, 26 November 2012

Worth The Hype? Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream

Elizabeth Arden's Eight Hour Cream is one of those cult beauty products that everyone seems to have. I held off on trying it for a long time because it sounded like over-priced vaseline but after receiving a small tube of it in a gift set, I was hooked. 

Okay, so a 'skin protectant' is never going to be the most glamorous product considering the price but I'm willing to pay £25 for a tube of it because it works wonders on chapped lips, burns, acne, dry skin, irritated skin and a whole host of other minor skin problems. The only other downside to Eight Hour Cream is the smell; it can be a bit overpowering and unpleasant. I'm notorious for avoiding products with a scent I don't like (sickeningly sweet lip balms: bleurgh!) but I managed to handle this orange balm because the benefits outweighed the initial suffering. I'm so used to the scent now that it doesn't bother me at all.

I use my Eight Hour Cream most often as a lip balm but I've also used it recently all over my face before bed after a bad skin day and around my nose when I had a cold. It's become a staple of mine and I've yet to come across a similar cheaper product which works as well. 

Do I think Elizabeth Arden's Eight Hour Cream is worth the hype?
You bet I do!

You can pick up a tube online or at Elizabeth Arden stockists. 

Stace xx

Friday, 23 November 2012

Berry Lips

Berry-toned lip products have been catching my eye in recent months. Don't get me wrong, I'm still a big fan of the red lip but I've found berry shades much easier to wear during the day as well as in the evenings. I'm now of the opinion that there's a perfect berry lip out there for everyone and with that in mind I wanted to share my small, but growing, collection with you.

L-R: MAC Pro Longwear in Red Dwarf (LE), Illamasqua Magnetism, MAC Spice It Up!, Revlon Kissable Balm Stain in Crush, Rimmel Kate Moss Matte in 107

The first berry lipstick I tried was released in MAC's Daphne Guinness collection last year. It's a Pro Longwear lipstick in the shade Red Dwarf. I like this one because it's quite a light, warm toned berry shade. I prefer a matte finish when it comes to bold lip colours so Red Dwarf ticks that box as well. Sadly, it's no longer available to buy but if you like the look of it there are similar shades out there; I think it's universally flattering.

Next up is the much hyped Magnetism from Illamasqua. This was released in their Generation Q collection and it was one of those products I just had to have. It's a dark raspberry colour with a satin finish and can be worn lightly as a stain or built up for a more intense look. Unlike other Illamasqua lipsticks this one feels very comfortable on the lips. I really need to wear this one more because it's a beautiful lipstick. 

MAC Spice It Up! is a lustre finish lipstick from their core collection. I stumbled across it when I was looking for a dupe of my beloved (and not available in the UK) Revlon Fig Jam lip butter. Some might consider this shade more of a red than a berry but I see it as a nice compromise between the two. Formula-wise it's sheer and slightly glossy so it's a nice option if you're in a rush or not sure about wearing a more intense colour. I do find it to be a tad drying but I can live with it because I like the lipstick.

L-R: MAC Pro Longwear in Red Dwarf (LE), Illamasqua Magnetism, MAC Spice It Up!, Revlon Kissable Balm Stain in Crush, Rimmel Kate Moss Matte in 107

Revlon's Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain in Crush has very quickly become one of my most worn lip products and I'd recommend that everyone give it a go! I like these balm stains in general but this shade is a great berry pink. The finish is slightly glossy and the staying power is excellent. 

The newest addition to my berry collection is a Rimmel by Kate Moss Matte lipstick in the shade 107. It looks a lot brighter on the lips than it does in the bullet but I love the matte finish. I've worn this a couple of times now and the staying power has been great. At only £5.49, this is the cheapest option on my list but it compares well with the pricier alternatives so it's worth a try if you're not sure you'll suit these sorts of shades.

One of the few glosses I own is Wild About Beauty's Nutrilips Gloss in Astrid. Admittedly, this was a total impulse purchase but I was so drawn to the colour that I had to have it. I've not had the chance to use this a lot yet because I find glosses in general a bit difficult and messy to wear, especially when they're as pigmented at this one but I do like the lightweight, non-drying formula. This product is very similar in colour to MAC's Red Dwarf. 

Are you a fan of berry lips? What are your favourite shades?

Stace xx

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Wishlist Wednesday: Christmas Gift Sets Under £15

It's just over a month until Christmas and if you're anything like me you'll be thinking about what you'd like to find wrapped up under the tree. If, unlike me, you're a bit more selfless you're probably thinking about what you're going to buy for the special people in your life. Lots of brands release great value kits and sets around this time of year so whether you're looking for a treat for yourself or someone else the next three Wishlist Wednesday posts will be dedicated to my top picks. This week I've chosen sets under the £15 mark so they're great as stocking fillers or secret Santa gifts. Everything can be found on

This set contains two versatile shades of cream shadow in an easy-to-use pen/pencil form. The darker shade would work well as a base for a smoky eye or as a liner whereas the lighter shade would look great blended out as a sheer wash of colour if you're in a rush or as a highlight on the brow bone. I've not tried a lot of Pixi products myself but I've heard good things about these pencils and at £6 each they're not going to break the bank.

I'm not typically a fan of sets which contain only trial sized products but I can make an exception for this one. The kit contains mini versions of BeneFit's POREfessional primer, It's Potent eye cream and Triple Performing facial emulsion. The idea behind the kit is that the three products work together to create the perfect base for make up. I've not tried the facial emulsion (read: lightweight moisturiser with a silly name) but I have used and enjoyed the primer and eye cream before. If used correctly the products in the kit should last around a month. The products should work on most skin types.

Whilst these pretty emery boards wouldn't be a great gift on their own I'd love to receive these as a stocking filler. Every girl needs about fifty nail files anyway; I'm forever losing mine! 
Stila Merry & Bright Palette and Lip Glaze Set
Stila offer some great gift set options; this little palette and lip glaze is just one example. There are six fairly neutral shadows, a 'highlighter' (which looks more like a blush to me) and a lip glaze in the set so it's prefect for a younger relative who's new to make up or someone who likes to travel light. I've found the quality of Stila products to be excellent so would expect the same from this set.

Ciate Velvet Manicure - Blue Suede
Okay, so this one definitely won't be for everyone and I'd probably never spend £14 this for myself but I'd (not so) secretly like to try a velvet manicure. It comes in a variety of shades but this dark blue has caught my eye. 

Have you started your Christmas shopping yet?

Stace xx

Monday, 19 November 2012

What's in my make up bag? [10-Minute Face Edition]


I've not posted a 'what's in my make up bag?' post for a while; partly because I've not posted anything for a while and partly because I've not been organised enough to have a make up bag. I've just been reaching for the same few products over and over again but this week I've decided to give myself a few more options in the mornings. 

Lip products are one of my biggest weaknesses; I have lots of beautiful shades but find myself sticking to the same safe neutrals on a daily basis. With that in mind I've given myself three different colours this week. A bright berry pink in the form of Revlon's Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain in Crush, a glossy orange YSL Glossy Stain in #6 and a neutral pink Rimmel by Kate Moss lipstick in 19. The two stains are firm favourites of mine; they're both easy to apply quickly and last amazingly well throughout the day. The Rimmel lipstick is quite new but I've been enjoying using it over the past little while so it's my neutral of choice this week; expect to see a blog post on a couple of the Kate Moss lipsticks very soon. I've also put an EOS lip balm in Tangerine in there.

I like to keep eye make up to a minimum when I'm in a rush; I can easily spend twenty minutes messing around with several different shades and liners if I have the time. I'm going to try using YSL Shocking mascara this week and I'm a tiny bit worried about it smudging, if I'm honest. If I do fancy wearing a lid colour I'll use my NARS Smudgeproof Shadow Base underneath either LUSH's Sophisticated cream eye shadow or MAC's Pro Longwear shadow in Sweet Satisfaction. I have the Lancome Le Crayon Sourcils in 030 Brun and a brow gel (not included in the photo because it looks disgusting!) for my brows. 

The most important part of my make up routine involves these four products. I've been skipping a primer recently but I've yet to use my repurchased Rimmel Fix & Perfect Pro primer so I've added it to my make up bag this week. My foundation of choice is the L'Oreal True Match (I wish I could tell you which shade I have but I can't find it on the packaging anywhere). It's so quick and easy to apply; I use my fingers. For concealer I have the Collection Lasting Perfection concealer in Medium 3 for any blemishes or discolouration and Rimmel's Wake Me Up concealer for underneath my eyes. Drugstore base products are definitely growing on me, it seems!

I won three powder products in a Famous giveaway hosted by Cherry a while back and whilst I've used the No Shine Face Powder in The One and Only regularly, I've only used the Shining Star Shimmer Brick in Rihanna Shimmer and the First Date Blush in Scarlett a couple of times. The shimmer brick doubles as an eyeshadow palette and the blush is a gorgeous dark rose shade. I've thrown in a Dior blush in Peachy Keen because it's one of my favourite winter blushes. 

So, there you have it.

What's in your make up bag right now? If you've posted something similar, leave me a link in the comments.

Stace xx

Saturday, 3 November 2012

NOTD: Essie - Fiji

I realise that an almost white baby pink shade probably isn't appropriate in November but after wearing dark shades for the past few weeks I fancied a change. I've had Essie Fiji since the summer and have to admit that I don't reach for it all that often. 

Fiji is so pale against my skin and sometimes I think it looks a bit too stark. In saying that, if you're looking for a pale pink shade this is one I'd definitely recommend because the formula is great. I used four thin coats which might sound excessive but I've tried other similar shades that still looked streaky after six coats. If you're like me and you're not a fan of sheer polishes you'll probably be pleasantly surprised by Fiji. I get a decent amount of wear out of this polish too; usually about four days without chipping. 

In general I'm a big fan of Essie polishes, especially the diffusion line from Boots. The polishes in that range have nice wide brushes which make application that little bit easier. They are priced at £7.99 each. 

Are you a fan of Fiji?

Stace xx

PS - I was going to apologise again for my absence but that's starting to get boring! I'm spending this weekend working on a few new posts and I'm hoping to be posting every second day from now on. Thanks for sticking with me :)