Thursday, 31 January 2013

Beauty Shopping List: February

February Shopping List

Recently I've been hankering after a bright pink blush and NARS Desire is right at the top of my list. I've never been disappointed by a NARS blush so I expect great things from this one. The Tom Ford Black Orchid fragrance has been on my wish list for some time; I'm determined to pick it up this month! It's not for everyone but I think it smells sexy as hell. Another fragrance-related product I need (okay, want) to purchase in February is a Yankee candle in Clean Cotton. I've been through several of these in the past; they make my entire flat smell fresh and lovely. Two 'staple' products on my list are the Clinique Airbrush Concealer and Illamasqua Masquara; I've not tried a new concealer or mascara for a while and after reading good reviews for both of these, they've made their way onto my shopping list.

What's on your beauty shopping list?

Stace xx

Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Shopping My Stash #1: Lip Products

I had a wee rummage through my collection of lip products at the weekend and discovered a few hidden treasures! A couple of these products are fairly recent purchases which have yet to be used properly and the others are neglected old favourites. 

The two new products in this post are the Revlon ColorStay lip liner in Plum and the ELF Studio Matte Lip Color in Rich Red. I bought these over a month ago but have yet to use either. The lip liner is quite dry, which puts me off using it, but the staying power when swatched was impressive so I'm expecting great things in that respect. The ELF matte lipstick is a super bright red with a slight blue undertone. It's quite in-your-face so not really something I'd wear every day.

L-R: Revlon in Plum, ELF in Rich Red, MAC in Red Dwarf, MAC in Delectable, Revlon Nude Lustre

Two of my old favourites are limited edition MAC products; a Pro Longwear lipstick in Red Dwarf and a Mattene in Delectable. Red Dwarf is a beautiful pinky plum shade that I love to wear with loads of mascara and NARS Madly blush. I wore that combination today, actually! The texture of this lipstick is a bit odd and I don't think it's especially long lasting but I love the colour and it doesn't feel uncomfortable so I'm planning to wear this more regularly from now on. The Mattene is, as you'd expect, matte. However, unlike a lot of other matte lipsticks it doesn't feel or look heavy on the lips. This is particularly important to me because I find lighter shades like this peachy nude can look incredibly chalky if they have a matte finish. I've not been reaching for any shades like this recently but I remember loving it when I did wear it so I'm hoping to rekindle that! The last long-lost lip product is a Revlon Super Lustrous gloss in Nude Lustre. The tube is more than half used because I went through a phase of wearing this all the time; it looks nice over brighter lipsticks as it mutes them a bit but it's also great for warming up a nude shade.

Have you shopped your stash recently?

Stace xx

PS - I also set aside some bits and pieces for a blog sale when I was having a clear out. Check it out!

Friday, 25 January 2013

Illamasqua S.O.P.H.I.E. blush

Say hello to my new favourite blush! This is S.O.P.H.I.E. and it's a powder blush from Illamasqua. I used it for the first time about three weeks ago and have struggled to put it down since. The brightening effect it provides is helping me through this dull and dreary January.

I don't know if you can tell from the photos but this blush looks like an absolute glitter bomb in the pan; that's usually a huge no-no for me. However, you can see in the swatch that it's only slightly shimmery and on the cheeks I think it looks almost matte. Illamasqua describe it as a 'golden coral shimmer' which I suppose is fairly accurate. 

Texture-wise S.O.P.H.I.E. is easy to apply and blend. I've been using a duo-fibre style brush to avoid applying too much colour, which works pretty well. I get a good 6-8 hours of wear out of this blush; that's longer than average for me!

All in all, this is a nice product from a lovely brand. I think the colour will work for most people too so it's definitely worth checking out the next time you're at a counter. It's also a bit of a feel-good purchase because the proceeds go to a charity. If you're not familiar with Illamasqua's involvement with the Sophie Lancaster Foundation, go and read about it!

S.O.P.H.I.E. blush is priced at £18 online and at counters.

Stace xx

Wednesday, 23 January 2013

NOTD: Maybelline Forever Strong - Extreme Blackcurrant

This Maybelline Forever Strong polish in Extreme Blackcurrant has very quickly become one of my favourite polishes. It's a deep blackcurrant colour which looks almost black in most lights. It reminds me of OPI Lincoln Park After Dark but I find that Extreme Blackcurrant is a bit more red toned. I love these shades; especially during the winter months. 

The formula is easy to use but as with most dark shades, I needed three coats to achieve a completely opaque finish. The brushes on these polishes are wide and quite flat so they distribute the polish nice and evenly on the nail. The finish is quite shiny but I always apply a generous layer of Sally Hansen Insta-Dri top coat which adds more shine.

The best thing about this polish for me is the fact that it almost lives up to the outrageous claim that you can get up to seven days' wear out of your manicure. In the photos I've had this polish on for FIVE days. The fact there's only minor tip wear is pretty much a miracle as far as I'm concerned. I usually manage to chip my manicures after a day or so. I've tried another polish from this range (Rosy Sand) and had similar results so I think Maybelline have done a good job and I'll probably need to pick up a few more shades...

Maybelline Forever Strong polishes are available from Boots and other stockists priced at £4.09.

Have you tried any polishes from this range? Thoughts?

Stace xx

Monday, 21 January 2013

December/January Empties

I've not posted an empties post in a long time - mostly because it's taken me this long to gather up enough empties to post about. Do any of you remember the months where my empties posts would have squillions of products in them?! My beauty routine has definitely been simplified recently (read: I've been lazy) so it's taking me much longer to use anything up.

Boots Expert Dry Shampoo
When my favourite Tresemme dry shampoo isn't on offer, I usually buy this one instead. It's almost as good and about a third of the price. 

Boots Essentials Nail Polish Remover
My all time favourite polish remover! I've not been able to repurchase this yet so I'm trying another one and it just doesn't compare. 

Weleda Almond Soothing Facial Lotion
This was nice but not nice enough for me to rush out and repurchase it. I'm in need of a new night time moisturiser though so if you have any suggestions, please leave them in the comments!

The Body Shop Spiced Vanilla Body Butter
I realise this was from last year's Christmas collection but I promise I only opened it in September! As with all Body Shop body butters it's nice and moisturising. I wasn't a huge fan of the scent though.

Collection Lasting Perfection Concealer in Medium 3
Does this product even require an explanation? It's one of my most used and repurchased beauty products by far. If you've not tried it, you should. I'm already well on my way to using up another tube.

L'Oreal True Match Foundation in Golden Beige
I must admit, when I picked this up back in August, I wasn't expecting a great deal. I've been pleasantly surprised; this is an excellent every day foundation. I'll be posting a full review soon...and buying a new bottle!

BeneFit They're Real 
This is the first of three mascaras I've used up recently and it's the only one I've rushed out to buy again. It's hands down my favourite mascara.

L'Oreal Volume Million Waterproof
I enjoyed using this mascara and it's the only one that's come close to being as good as They're Real. It's much easier to remove though, despite being waterproof! 

LUSH Eyes Right*
Formula-wise this mascara is nice. It looks really natural which is great for everyday use. I definitely won't be repurchasing it - the packaging is terrible.

Have you posted an empties post recently? Leave me a link!

Stace xx

Saturday, 19 January 2013

The Illamasqua Sale - My Top Picks

Whilst I do love a good bargain. most beauty related sales and offers fail to interest me. This is usually either because the discounts are fairly meagre or because the products offered wouldn't sell at full price in a million years. Puke-coloured nail polish, anyone? Thought not. 

One brand which has impressed me with their current sale is Illasmasqua. They're offering decent range of products with up to 70% off. Okay, there are a few cement-toned lipsticks and lots of base products I'm not interested in, but my current basket includes:

This intensely pigmented gloss essentially functions as a liquid lipstick. The shade Succubus looks like the perfect glossy blood red which would suit most skintones. 

I've never tried a Liquid Metal before but this shade reminds me a bit of BeneFit's Skinny Jeans which I loved but found to be a bit too green for me to reach for on an everyday basis. I think this might be a nice alternative shade. 

I've had my eye on this for a while; it's a dark aubergine purple shade which I think I'll love. I was always put off by the £17.50 price tag for such a tiny amount of product but at a fiver, it's a steal!

Most long-term readers of this blog will know that I have a real issue with shimmery nail polishes; I hate 99% of them. This beauty is an exception though; I need it!

Technically this isn't in my basket; I already own one of these brushes but I wanted to include it in this post because it's an excellent brush. It's a large blending brush so it's not great for precision eyeshadow looks but it's handy for blending in under eye concealer, powdering under the eyes and applying highlighter.

Have you picked anything up from the Illamasqua sale?

Stace xx

*All images from