Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Haul: Chanel, ASOS, Boots

I've been on a bit of a spending spree recently! Here are some of the things I've picked up:

I popped into Debenhams on Friday when the Chanel Spring Collection launched. I was planning on picking up the blush and one or two polishes but when I swatched the blush I thought it was a bit too pale and sheer for me. So, I bought all three polishes. Ooops! I don't feel too guilty, though, because I had £40 in Beauty Club Card points to spend so these only cost me £12.50 (and I got £6.50 back in points!)

April is a raspberry pink shade. This is one I was going to pass on as I thought it would be just like Barry M Raspberry. It is similar but it's lighter and a bit creamier looking on the nails.

May is a candy pink shade. The only polish I have which is remotely similar to this is Essie's French Affair but that's much lighter. I've not applied this one yet but when swatched, it doesn't look too sheer or streaky.

June is the shade I've wanted from the beginning. It's a light peach creme but it's still bright so this will look awesome with a tan! When swatched, this is the sheerest of the three so I'm expecting to need to use several coats.

I mentioned last week that I'd made an ASOS order, I only got a couple of things.

Tan Leather Clutch 

This has now sold out, unfortunately! It's lovely though...I'm planning on using it to keep my essentials together when I'm using a bigger bag.

Oversized Grey T-Shirt

This is still in stock (here). It's not as huge or as long as it looks in this photo but it does look nice with jeans.

Extra Long Coral Necklace

You can find this (here). 

I went to Boots to take advantage of my £5 off No7 vouchers. I bought one of their new skincare products; the Beautiful Skin Melting Gel Cleanser. I've used it a few times and so far I'm enjoying it. I'll have a full review of this up once I've been using it for a while. I also picked up a No7 Moisture Drench Lipstick in Romantic - it wouldn't have been my first choice but the Boots near my flat is very small so doesn't carry the entire No7 range. It's a nice neutral shade. I was inspired by Adrienne to pick up the barginous Boots Essentials Cucumber Eye Make Up Remover Gel (it's only £1.42!)

That's all for now! Have you picked up anything nice lately?

Stace xx

Monday, 30 January 2012

This Week's Make Up Tin

MUFE HD Primer
Bobbi Brown Skin Foundation in Warm Beige
Collection 2000 Lasting Perfection Concealer in Medium 3
MAC MSF Natural in Medium Plus
Tarte Exposed Amazonian Clay Blush
NARS Copacabana Multiple

I've kept the same primer as last week because aside from Clarins Beauty Flash Balm, it's the only primer I have. I'm trying to use it up so that I can try something new! The Collection 2000 concealer and MAC powder are staying because they're both working well for me right now. I'll have a review of the Bobbi Brown Skin foundation up soon for anyone who's interested. Tarte Exposed is a beautiful neutral blush which will work nicely with the eye and lip products I've chosen. I'm trying to use up NARS Copacabana whilst I'm still quite pale - BeneFit Watt's Up works much better for me.

Urban Decay Naked2 Palette
MAC Morning Frost Paint Pot
Milani Liquif'Eye Pencils in Black and Brown
Bobbi Brown Everything Mascara
Cosmetics A La Carte Brow Ink in Taupe
(not pictured are Too Faced Shadow Insurance and MUA Clear Mascara/Brow Gel)

Naked2 is growing on me - I like that a lot of the shades are good every day shades for me right now. Morning Frost Paint Pot looks lovely on its own or under several of the Naked2 shadows. The Milani eyeliners are a given with me, as are the Too Faced Shadow Insurance, MUA 'brow gel' and Cosmetics A La Carte Brow Ink. I'm using the Bobbi Brown mascara this week because it's nice for everyday looks.

L'Oreal HiP Jelly Balm in Luscious
MAC Pro Longwear Lipstick in Red Dwarf
MAC Viva Glam V
Revlon Lip Butter in Creme Brulee
Jack Black Lip Balm in Black Tea & Blackberry
Urban Decay Lip Junkie in Wallflower

The HiP Jelly Balm is to go over Red Dwarf (it feels weirdly sticky on it's own), my Viva Glam V is almost finished so I'm using that up. Creme Brulee is a nice sheer creamy shade (I'm wearing it today). I really like this Jack Black lip balm; I don't think it's the best lip balm ever but I've been enjoying it. The Urban Decay Lip Junkie smells amazing so I had to include it!

I'm spending this week writing my dissertation...I say as I type a blog post or two instead! 

Stace xx

Sunday, 29 January 2012

Product of the Week #5 - NARS Gina

I'm having a bit of a love affair with NARS right now, it seems! I've been using this blush all week and I've thoroughly enjoyed it.

I like NARS blushes in general and own several different shades. I find them to be nicely pigmented and easy to use on the whole. Some shades do require a lighter hand than others, though. Most people have a love-hate relationship with the packaging but I don't have an issue with it; I just try to keep it as clean looking as possible! They are priced at £20.50(link). They are also available from ASOS which offers free delivery and student discount.

NARS describe Gina as a 'tangerine' shade but to me that makes it sound more garish than it really is. It's more like a bright peach. It's just a touch deeper than one of my other favourite blushes; MAC Peaches. It looks great on my NC25/30 skin tone and I can also see this working well for pale girls and with a tan. If your skin is very dark, this may look a bit ashy and I'd suggest trying Taj Mahal (which I also love)! Gina is a matte blush but it doesn't look or feel chalky at all. I apply this with either my MAC 168 or my Illamasqua Highlighter brush. I get a good 8 hours of wear from this blush and I find that when it does fade, it doesn't look patchy at all. Gina looks great when I use darker colours on my eyes; particularly with dark browns and warmer shades.

What was your favourite product this week?

Stace xx

Saturday, 28 January 2012

TheBalm Mary Lou-Manizer

Say hello to my current highlight powder of choice!

I bought this from Feelunique.com just after Christmas. It is currently priced at £16.00 (link).

I apply this lightly with my MAC 188 on my cheekbones, the bridge of my nose and cupid's bow. It leaves me with a really nice subtle sheen. There's not a chunk of glitter in sight here so it's great for every day use.

The shade leans more towards a golden champagne which is the most flattering highlight shade on my skintone. I think this will work for a lot of skintones, though.

It also makes a lovely eyeshadow when applied heavily. I've worn it as a shadow a few times and I didn't notice any fading or creasing. 

Have you tried this? What's your current favourite highlighter?

Stace xx

Friday, 27 January 2012

Fashion Friday: My ASOS Wish List

 I made an ASOS order for the first time in forever last week - unfortunately one of the dresses I picked up was miles too big (and weirdly more of a 'midi' length despite looking 'above knee' in the photos) so it has to go back but I did get a nice tan clutch, pretty necklace and an oversized grey t-shirt made from super soft jersey. I've been browsing the website on a daily basis this week and here are some of my top picks:

Colour Block Bucket Bag - £35 (link)
I saw this in Grazia, actually! I wear a lot of neutral colours so I think this would be nice to add a teeny bit of colour in the spring.

Dress with Wrap Skirt - £25 (link)
I love dresses like these - I have a lot of plain black dresses or tunics that I wear with tights or leggings. I like the fact I can accessorize them in lots of different ways. The shape of this dress is also very flattering on me.

Knitted Dress with Zip Back - £15 (link)
This is in the Tobacco shade. They also sell it in Yellow, Black and Red but the latter two are £30 as opposed to £15. I like this colour because I can wear it with navy, black or brown. Again, it's simple so I can accessorize it however I like.
Ditsy Snake Knot Bracelet - £6 (link)
I don't own many bracelets because I keep losing them (or getting them caught on things and breaking them!). I think this is cute, though.

Cross Fine Bracelet - £6 (link)

Open Cross Necklace - £8.00 (link)

They're also selling some products from the NARS A/W and Holiday collections with a few pounds off so I may have to add some of those to the basket too!

Have you picked up anything on ASOS recently?

Stace xx

MAC Viva Glam 2012 - Ricky Martin & Nicki Minaj

I really like the idea behind the MAC Viva Glam campaign and I've purchased five or six Viva Glam lipsticks over the past couple of years. This year's limited edition products are...interesting.

Viva Glam Nicki
Bright Yellow Pink, Satin Finish

I'm not sure if I'll be picking this up. I think I might need to swatch it first! It looks like a nice colour but I might not reach for it all that much. We shall see!

Viva Glam Ricky
Clear Lip Conditioner

I *love* MAC's Lip Conditioner so I'll definitely be picking this up. I understand that some may think this is a relatively unimaginative release but I think it's been well chosen. Ricky Martin is a guy (obviously) so it's understandable that he's wanted to put his name on a product which he could actually use himself*. It's also great if someone wants to support Viva Glam but doesn't necessarily want a new lipstick.

These will be for sale online and in stores in February, I believe. 

Will you be picking either or both of these up?

Stace xx

*I'm not saying there's anything wrong with a man in lipstick!

Thursday, 26 January 2012

Revlon Lip Products # 4 - Just Bitten Lip Stains & Matte Lipsticks

These are the first lip stains I've ever tried and I've been enjoying them quite a bit! They are incredibly long wearing (although please bear in mind that I typically don't wear long wearing lip products) and I love the colour range! I picked my most recent one up on offer for £5 in Boots last week.

L-R: Gothic, Flame, Frenzy

L-R: Smoked Peach, Mauve It Over

I picked these up for around £2 each on Fragrancedirect.com about two months ago. I'm not typically a fan of matte lipsticks but these feel lovely. They're not drying at all and they apply so smoothy compared with some other matte formulas I've tried. I've worn Mauve It Over quite a bit but I expect I'll be reaching for Smoked Peach more as Spring and Summer approaches.

L-R: Smoked Peach, Mauve It Over

Phew! That's all from my Revlon collection for now!

Stace xx

Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Revlon Lip Products #3 - Super Lustrous Lip Glosses

Next up are the glossy sisters of Super Lustrous Lipsticks...

...I like these glosses. A lot. Which is why I have six of them!

They aren't sticky at all yet they wear pretty well compared with some other non-sticky glosses. Most of the shades are nicely pigmented, too.

L-R: Peach Petal, Nude Lustre, Coffee Gleam, Cherries In The Glow, Firecracker, Coral Reef

My most used shade is definitely Nude Lustre but I enjoy wearing Peach Petal and Coffee Gleam over nude lipsticks. Firecraker looks great over red lipsticks, as does Cherries In The Glow. Coral Reef is great worn alone in the summertime. 

These are priced at around £6.49 from Revlon stockists nationwide.I usually pick them up when they're on offer.

Are you a fan of these glosses?

Stace xx

January Carmine Box

Here I am, all bleary eyed and still in my PJs! My Carmine box arrived about half an hour ago but I have a busy day today so thought I'd do a quick first impressions post now.

Once again, it comes in a bright orange outer box which is too small.

Inside is the standard black box with neon interior.

And the obligatory tissue paper (I lost the ribbon!)

A card describing the contents, one about getting a free box and a £5 off Korres voucher for House of Fraser.

Here's a peek at what's inside.

First up, some lashes. these are by the brand Eldora and I'm not sure which style these are but I've checked the Eldora website and most of their sets of lashes retail at somewhere between £2.50 and £5. I'm not sure how I feel about these - I never wear lashes. I guess I'll give them a go but I can't imagine wearing them outside! It's a  nice inclusion considering there are people out there like me who've never tried falsies before. I don't know how these compare to other lash brands.

Next, there is a Balance Me Face Oil. The full size is 30ml and costs £30 so this 5ml sample is worth around £6 (whoop! for simple maths!). I've not had any luck with facial oils in the past but will give this a go. This is the second time we've seen Balance Me in a Carmine box. Whilst I did like the previous Balance Me sample, I'd prefer not to receive samples from the same brand as I've noticed this has become a bit of a trend with some other boxes, too.

The only make up item in the box is an Eyeko Fat Stick. This is a full sized product and retails for £10. I'm not a fan of Eyeko as a brand after their Big Eyes mascara fiasco but I was willing to give this a go. The shade I got is black and I was initially pleased since I've previously received a couple of blue eye products in these boxes. However, since this is more of an eyeshadow pencil than a liner, I don't see myself ever using it as a base - I never wear black shadow. I believe some customers may receive a brown or olive shade. I'm not that bothered since I think these are pretty horrible anyway. As you can see, they smudge out to give a delightful bruised look. About twenty minutes after taking this photo, both swatches rubbed off in seconds with a dry tissue and very little pressure. I can't see how these would last on the eyes; I think they'd be creasing terribly.

Next up is a 100g sample of Westlab's Himalayan Pink Salt. With 500g of this selling for a measly £2.85, this sample is worth all of 57p. Luxury samples, you say?  I'll give it a go because I like bath products but I'm pretty unimpressed with this one too. 

Oh Korres...it was only a matter of time, wasn't it? I've seen this brand in every other beauty box so I was wondering how long it would take to show up in a Carmine one. This is a 10ml sample of Wild Rose Moisturiser. A full size is 40ml and coats around £20 making this worth £5 or so. The only thing I will say is that I'm pleased that it's not another anti-ageing product!

So...I'm sure you can tell that I'm far from impressed with this box. I know January is typically a frugal month but the contents of this box is only worth around £26.50. I probably shouldn't complain since I only paid £12.75.

This is the third box in a row that I've not been pleased with. I will try everything aside from the Fat Stick out but I'm not excited about any of the products.

Unfortunately, this may be the end of the road for me and Carmine!

Stace xx