Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Project Swatch: Illamasqua Lipstick in Wanton


Unfortunately, I've held onto the majority of these pictures for so long that the lipstick pictured doesn't appear to be available anymore. Illamasqua Wanton is a very old purchase (almost as old as this blog, I think) and is about as far from my usual lipstick choice as you can probably get. It's a medium lilac pink, the pigmentation is very good but as it is the old style Illamasqua formula, it has quite a dry feel. The stiff texture is what leads to the marks on the bullet, as I find the lipsticks shifts from side to side as you apply rather than simply gliding on.




The pros of the lipstick texture are that it lasts well but I find I must apply over a lip balm or top with lipgloss, otherwise it feels uncomfortable. Today, I'm wearing it over Rose Lanolips. I decided to pull it out today after seeing Emily Jayne tweet about wearing a power lipstick. Wanton is probably more quirky than it is a power colour but I'm hoping it will still draw the focus away from the dark rings around my eyes!



Are you chasing away the January blues with your lipstick today?

Saturday, 26 January 2013

Beauty Spotlight: The Pink Sith gets Stranded!

This week the Beauty Spotlight has abandoned The Pink Sith on a desert island. It was probably Lisamarie from Beauty Crazed that suggested it. While the Sith is pretty ticked off about being abandoned, she is looking forward to the 4 S's of desert island living: Sun, Sand, Surf and Sunscreen!  She has compiled a list of 12 essential items she must have during this exile, and yes, it even includes some beauty items for when she is rescued by Chris Hemsworth (aka Thor) or some suitable facsimile there of.  Enjoy!

Pink Sith Desert Island

Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Project Swatch: Hourglass Illume Bronzer Duo in Sunset

I'd wanted to buy the Hourglass Illume Bronzer Duo in Sunset for a long time but held off because I was concerned that the bronzer would be too dark on my fair, NC20-ish skin. I won't lie, the bronzer is a little tricky for me to work with and it takes a lot of buffing in to look natural. It can also look a wee bit orange on me if I'm too heavy handed. You can see how the duo looks applied on my face here.


Despite the effort required with the bronzer, I don't consider this a bad purchase because I particularly wanted it for the blusher. In an ideal world, I would make up my own palette with the bronzer from the Illume Duo in Bronze Light and the blusher from Sunset. When I've had my makeup done at the Hourglass counter in Liberty, that is the combination they have used.

I find the texture of these creams very pleasing to work with. They are described as a cream to powder formula but I don't find the finish to be especially powdery, instead, for me this just means the product melds with my skin without leaving a shiny finish. I apply both the bronzer and blusher with my Illamasqua blusher brush but would love to invest in one of the Hourglass brushes to use with it one day.



I have wondered how the texture and colour of these Hourglass Duo Bronzers compares to the popular Chanel Bronze Universel. Unfortunately, I don't own the Chanel to make the comparison but if anyone has seen side by side swatches let me know. I will update this post with any appropriate links as I find them. UPDATE: You can see a comparison of Bronze Light and Chanel Soleil de Tan/Bronze Universel here on Cafe Makeup.

The Hourglass Illume Duo in Sunset costs £40 and I purchased mine palette from Zuneta. Hourglass products are also available from Liberty and SpaceNK.

Saturday, 19 January 2013

Project Swatch: Illamasqua Pure Pigment in Zeitgeist

I've been thinking of doing a swatch series for a while and really hope it will be useful. I have amassed a large collection of photographs that are sitting unused as I don't require them for review posts but they might be useful online purchasing research or colour comparison. For these sorts of post I will include pictures of the products and swatches without lengthy reviews and I will include links to any previous mentions, such as favourites or FOTD posts, where relevant. As ever, if you do have an specific comparison requests, do feel free to add it in the comments or you can email if you prefer.


First up is Illamasqua's Pure Pigment in Zeitgeist. This pigment was released with the Autumn 2011, Theatre of The Nameless collection. I was prompted to mention it today as I spotted it for the bargain price of £5 in the Illamasqua sale. I'm currently doing the basket dance with Beguile pigment.



Zeitgeist is a black pigment with flecks of silver shimmer. I probably used it most extensively when I was playing about with Halloween looks last year. I've pictured it alongside Illamasqua Obsidian eyeshadow for colour comparison. Both of the these were swatched over a NARS Smudge Proof Eyeshadow Base and are several passes over the skin. I find you get a smoother, more pigmented application with Zeitgeist if you tap quite a bit of pigment out from the stopper hole, otherwise you tend not to pick up sufficient product at once. The application isn't quite a smooth as Obsidian.

Top - Obsidian eyeshadow, Bottom - Zeitgeist pigment


With flash, from left to right: RBR Sweet Dust Seriema, RBR Mysterious Tinamou, Zeitgeist and Obsidian

Disclosure: I received Zeitgeist in an event bag.

Beauty Spotlight Roundup 19/01/12

See swatches of the Spring Burberry Collection, take a look at a new beauty subscription service, find out how to tint your brows at home, get a how-to for Rachel Bilson's smoky eye, meet The Wild Thing and enter to win cosmetics and hair care in this weeks Beauty Spotlight Team!! What are you waiting for? Start reading NOW!

London MakeUp Girl has been using Chantecaille Faux Cils Longest Lash mascara for a month now. Has it given her lashes to rival Elizabeth Taylor's? Read her review of Chantecaille Faux Cils Longest Lash mascara to find out.

If you have been waiting with bated breath to see swatches of the entire Burberry Spring 2013 Collection, then hop on over to Lola's Secret Beauty Blog to see the lovely and vibrant collection!

Pink Sith is truly impressed by her second sample bag from ipsy. Find out why this beauty subscription service is fast becoming her favorite.

Paula, from Older Girl Beauty tries out an organic line of haircare called DermOrganic and is giving away a set for a US reader to try, too.

The Beauty Info Zone girls perk up their skin with It Cosmetic's Hello Light Radiance Powder. Enter to win one for yourself!

Everyone know that Jessika from polish insomniac loves Syrup Mani's, but this time she has outdone herself! Check out her Syrup Glitter Sandwich!

Will 2013 be the Best Year Ever? Birchbox sure hopes so! See what is inside Pammy Blogs Beauty's January 2013 Birchbox!

Visionary Beauty had high expectations for Tom Ford's cheek colours, but did they live up to the claims?

Thanks to the Beauty Spotlight teams Desert Island series, Modesty Brown discovered home brow tinting. Despite the disaster potential, this bit of DIY has been a major time saver!

Perilously Pale has more shades of her favourite cream eye shadow formula to share with us. Make Up For Ever Aqua Creams in Satin Brown, Taupe, and Plum are staples that everyone should have and Aqua Creams will never let you down!

Lisamarie from Beauty Crazed takes the new L'Oréal Telescopic Shocking Extensions Mascara for a test drive - check it out and see if you love the results!

15 Minute Beauty has the scoop on how you can get Rachel Bilson's Smoky Eye from Hart of Dixie. You only need 1 palette!

Prime Beauty steps out of her safe neutral zone and becomes a Wild Thing with the new bareMinerals Remix Collection. See if you think this new persona suits her!

Thursday, 17 January 2013

Current Favourites

I haven't done a proper favourites post in a very long time, probably because my favourites don't tend to change all that much. Both the RBR Murmurings lipstick and GOSH Truly Brown liner have been mentioned so many times on here, that I fear you may all get fed up with me banging on about them. At the moment I'm in a bit of a makeup funk and keep forgetting to put any on. I'm not entirely sure what's the matter with me, to (mis) quote an online friend, I think the cheese has fallen off my cracker somewhat. Whilst I've been having my little makeup moody, I've become quite reliant on the items below to put on a face without having to put any thought into it.


From top left, clockwise: RBR Gracilis blusher, NARS Smudge Proof Eyeshadow Base, RBR Time Defying Foundation in Linen Cream, Lancome La Vie est Belle, Ellis Faas S202 concealer, GOSH Truly Brown eyeliner, RBR Murmurings, RBR Blusher Brush and NARS Smudge Brush (#15).

RBR Gracilis blusher
* - this is a fairly recent addition to my collection but it's a colour I've been interested for a while. I worried that it might be too cool or pale for me based on swatch research but it's actually the perfect flush of pink. Although I tend to gravitate to more beige pinks, I find Gracilis is very good at instantly brightening my face and making me look less miserable! I have taken some comparison swatches which I will share in another post.

NARS Smudge Proof Eyeshadow Base - I repurchased Too Faced Shadow Insurance several months ago and I'm not sure whether the formula has changed but I found the new tube just didn't work for me. The formula feels too wet and it didn't prevent creasing. I decided to give the NARS Smudge Proof Eyeshadow Base a try based on both Visionary Beauty and Musing on Beauty's recommendation. Because I've not been wearing eyeshadow everyday, I haven't put it through it's paces sufficiently for a review but I have been very pleased with it so far.

RBR Time Defying Foundation in Linen Cream* - I'm close to finishing this sample pot of foundation and I have been reaching for it every time I do my face, instead of my usual tinted moisturisers. It has a heavier coverage than I normally wear but you can still my freckles so I wouldn't personally describe it as full coverage. Despite how it looks in the pot, this foundation is a touch lighter and pinker than the skin on my face but I think the depth of colour matches my neck better than my other bases. Particularly as my skin is at its palest at the moment.

I find the finish of this foundation is totally dependent on how my skin feels when I apply it. If I apply to primed or dry (i.e. not pre-moisturised) skin, it gives as semi-matte finish and has a satin-y feel to the touch. However, if I apply to skin that has a film of moisturiser, I find I get a more dewy finish and I do experience a bit of oil break-through on my T-zone later in the day. Unlike the Milk Aquarelle foundation, the Time Defying Foundation doesn't settle into my pores

Ellis Faas S202 concealer - I really like using this for concealing my undereye area and the redness around my nose and I find the coverage lasts quite well. Unlike some of the other Ellis Faas pens, it's not hard to prime. Asthetically speaking, the splaying of the brush bristles is rather annoying.

GOSH Truly Brown Velvet Touch eyeliner and NARS Smudge Brush (#15) - I've put these two items together as my favourite thing to do at the moment is apply the liner in a heavy line and then smudge with the NARS brush. I really like the definition it gives to my lash line. The NARS brush is firm enough to smudge well but the hairs are soft enough not to irritate my sensitive eyes.

RBR Murmurings sheer lipstick - I've said plenty about this lipstick before so I won't repeat myself except to say that I love this lipstick for both the colour and the moisturising feel. It's perfect for this time of year.
Lancome La Vie est Belle Perfume* - I love the smell of this Lancome fragrance. It has a sweet, slightly gourmand note to it and wearing it always cheers me up.


Lanolips Lip Ointment in Rose - On days when I haven't bothered with any makeup, I wear Rose to keep my lips moisturised. It doesn't add any colour to my lips particularly but it does give them a nice sophisticated shine.

a design Flat Topped Foundation Brush* - Although I still frequently apply foundation and tinted moisturiser with my fingers, I find buffing in foundation with this brush makes for a speedy application. It also gives a polished finish. The only negative is washing it can be quite a chore.

Left to right: Ellis Faas S202, RBR TD Foundation in Linen Cream, GOSH Truly Brown, RBR Murmurings and RBR Gracilis

Here's how it all looks applied. I did add a touch of Burberry Rosewood eyeshadow to the mobile lid but the hooding of my lids has obscured this.


What products do you turn to when you're in a makeup funk?

* Press samples are indicated with an asterisk

Monday, 14 January 2013

Home Brow Tinting

Brow tinting was probably my most successful experiment of 2012. I decided to try as a bit of a fun thing to accompany my Beauty Spotlight Desert Island post and with my history with hair dye, I was half expecting a comical disaster. So, it was a pleasant surprise that it not only worked well but that a 5 to 10 minute job meant that I didn't need to bother filling in my eyebrows for more than 6 weeks.

I used the Eylure Dylash 45 day Mascara in Dark Brown. I did a lot of research beforehand (both reviews and tutorials for application tips) and I was a little concerned that it would make my eyebrows quite red toned which is something I try to avoid with eyebrow powders and pencils. Thankfully it just darkens the colour and the red tones are minimal. However, if this is something you're worried about or your eyebrows are naturally darker than mine, it is possible to mix the dye from the black and dark brown kits to achieve a more ashy brown. Obviously this does make it more expensive initially as you have to buy two complete kits.



The Dylash kit includes a tube of dye, developer, a small mixing spatula and an indent in the packaging to mix the dye. There's also a mascara wand and some eye shields for use with eyelash application. I will mention that it is hard work mixing the dye into the developer as the cream and solution really don't seem to want to mix, but it is advisable to keep going until you make something that resembles a paste. You want the consistency to be relatively smooth otherwise you're likely to get an uneven colour.

Before applying to my brows, I clean the area by wiping over with micellar water, allow to dry and then apply Lansinoh using a cotton bud to the skin all around my brows to prevent accidentally staining my skin. You could use Vaseline instead, I just use the Lansinoh as it is to hand. I use the mascara wand that comes in the set to apply the dye and I tend to apply quite liberally, especially to the tail end of my brows which are most in need of colour. There is a timing recommendation of 1-2 minutes for brows but I tend to just judge it by eye. My reasoning is that I can always put more on if required and I'm only looking for definition rather than very dark brows. To remove the dye, I just wipe over with micellar water on a cotton pad.



Please excuse the fact that my eyebrows need plucking in the pictures above, I do this after I've tinted my brows as it enables me see too exactly which hairs need to go!

The first time I tinted my brows, I had a little go at applying the dye to my lashes too. In fact I think this is just about visible in the 'After' picture above. I found it almost impossible to load the colour on to my lashes evenly as I removed as much as I applied with the wand and it resulted in very patchy tinting. I think part of the problem is that my lashes are very short and working on such a small area is very tricky, especially if you're trying to avoid getting dye too close the eye. I'm happy doing my brows at home with this kit but for me this is a no for my lashes.

The Eylure Dylash 45 day mascara cost £7.49 and I bought mine from Superdrug. As I only use a tiny amount of the product each time, I think this set is likely to last at least 6 months, if not more.

Saturday, 12 January 2013

Beauty Spotlight: Pammy's Desert Island Picks

The Beauty Spotlight Team's Desert Island Beauty Series continues! This week Pammy from Pammy Blogs Beauty tells us what products she would wish for if stranded on a tropical island. While none of us wish to *actually* be stranded, the very thought makes us select the "best of the best" product-wise. Some truly stand-out and/or multi-purpose items made Pammy's list. Curious yet? Be sure to click the link to find out what Pammy's essential products are!

Friday, 11 January 2013

New Beads and Bangles

In lieu of a beauty post today, I thought it would be nice to share the recent additions to my jewellery collection. The first couple of pieces I want to mention were Christmas presents from my husband. We don't always exchange gifts at Christmas but when he was fishing for ideas, I said that I would love to have a few more beads to add to my leather Trollbead bracelet. Although it was a brief conversation, the idea must have stuck as he sought out a local independent jeweller that stocked a good range of their beads.

The beads he chose were the limited edition Lithuania Flag bead (from the World Tour collection) and a Blue Flower bead. Although I'm not certain I would have picked them out for myself, I love them both very much. I tend to gravitate to the black and white beads so it's nice to have an injection of bright colour. Especially with the weather being so drab at the moment.



I purchased the leather Trollbead bracelet that I wear the beads on a few months ago from www.mememeaccessories.com. The price included the clasp and leather strap for less than the cost  of the fastening alone and I reasoned that I could put up with not getting my first choice of leather colour for such a bargain price. I may the beige replace with a darker leather strap at a later date.

The other two beads shown on the bracelet were made by Summersday and purchased from Dawanda (I previous spoke about them here). It's interesting to note that the artisan beads move freely on the leather strap whereas the official Trollbead glass beads are very snug on the leather and hard to move. Although beads that don't move around allow you to maintain their placement on the bracelet, I actually rather like the freer movement of the artisan made beads.



My next treasure was a gift to myself from The Fushigi Shop. This is 'The Cageless Bird with Sharp Needles', to give it its full title.



I kept going back and looking at this bracelet on the website for a couple of weeks. I decided to buy it in the end so that I could stop torturing myself and before someone else snapped it up. I'm very pleased I stopped dithering as I love it and know I will get a lot of wear out of it. Miss MB is also very taken with it and as far as she's concerned, I'm wearing it on a loan basis!

Saturday, 5 January 2013

Beauty Spotlight 05/01/13

After more than 6 weeks of continuous daily use, Lola's Secret Beauty Blog has determined that vbeauté Buying Time Everyday Crème is one of the best luxury face creams on the market!

What is in her bag? Pammy Blogs Beauty Opens up her JustFab Handbag/Diaper bag to show us what is inside!

Prime Beauty is having fun creating a plethora of nail looks with Le Metier de Beaute's Holiday Nail Lacquers. The Deck the Nails duo are shimmering overlays and Bright as Night are deep jewel tones including the new Pantone color for 2013-Emerald! See what combinations she created!

Are you a subscription box fan? On Beauty Info Zone Marcia shares her favorite company, PopSugar Must Have. Read to find out why a beauty junkie likes a non-beauty box so much.

Though we are all looking towards Spring, lets focus on the Guerlain Holiday Liu collection for a moment with Visionary beauty

This week Jessika from polish insominac fell in love with the Nicole by OPI Modern Family Collection, and once you see it you will too!

Perilously Pale recaps 2012 by sharing her 10 most popular posts of the year. What do you think made the list?

Lisamarie from Beauty Crazed celebrates the new year by listing 5 of her favourite products from 2012 - do you agree with her list? Check it out to find out!

Pink Sith - is giving away an Argan Oil Infused Hair Care Set from DermOrganics. Enter today!

Modesty Brown starts the New Year off by sharing her winter skincare routine.

London Makeup Girl has a new berry lipstick from Dior for Christmas and compares it to a couple of other colours from the same line in Dior Addict Stiletto comparison swatches.

Did you make a resolution for the new year? Paula, from Older Girl Beauty, decided she was going to "Be Better" for the new year and challenges you to do the same.

15 Minute Beauty showed off her night out look.

Friday, 4 January 2013

Winter Skincare Routine

Over the last month or so I have added a few new products to my routine so I thought it would be a good time to write an update about what I'm currently using and enjoying. I also wanted to mention a product that hasn't been such a success, which is probably just as useful to share.



Nuxe Micellar Foam Cleanser
Before anyone tells me off, yes, yes, I know current wisdom suggests that it's a bad idea to use a foaming cleanser. However, my skin always feels rank if I completely stop using a foaming cleanser as part of my routine. I'm certainly not advocating them for everyone but I do like this one very much. I find the Nuxe similar to the Emma Hardie foaming cleanser in formula but the Nuxe foam feels a little creamier. I bought this from Escentual.com during a 1/3 off French Skincare promotion.

Nourish Radiance Refreshing Toning Mist*
I use this to dampen my face post cleanse, before using either the MuLondon moisturiser or Suti oil. It has quite a powerful spritzing action, a bit too powerful to be honest and it makes me miss the very delicate mist of the Live Native MSM toner.

MuLondon Organic Rose Moisturiser*
I thought it would be nice to revisit this moisturiser as my skin was feeling a little dry and weather beaten. You can find my original review here. It has a solid balm texture which melts with body heat. I tend to scrape up a small amount, melt it between my hands before massaging into my face and neck, which I dampen with toner beforehand. I prefer to dampen my skin as I don't need as much of the moisturiser that way and it makes it easier to spread. 

Emma Hardie Moringa Cleansing Balm*
I'll sometimes use this in the morning if I didn't get opportunity to have a thorough cleanse the night before (see below for an explanation). It always leaves my skin feeling lovely and clean when used in conjunction with a hot flannel.



The Body Shop Camomile Waterproof Eye Makeup Remover
I finally allowed myself to re-purchase this old favourite after finishing off all my half used bottles of eye makeup remover. I've dabbled with bi-phasic and micellar removers but I much prefer this light cream formula. It's quick and effective, I also find that it can double as an all over makeup remover when I'm feeling very lazy.

No7 Radiance Boosting Hot Cloth Cleanser
I've returned to using this cleanser as it's very nearly empty and I'm still on a major drive to use up products. Although this was also an old favourite (I've been through several tubes in the past), I think the love affair is definitely over. I still like the creamy texture but the fragrance is too synthetic and I suspect it irritates my skin very slightly. I much prefer the Pai cleanser and Emma Hardie cleansing balm to this. I'm actually tempted to do the unthinkable and throw it away before it's empty. 

Bioderma Crealine Micellar Water
I've had to use this as a makeup remover quite a lot over the Christmas period. It's not ideal but unfortunately our bathroom backs on to my daughters room and if she's stirring as we go up to bed, running lots of water often wakes her up. I'll take a sticky face over getting her back to sleep any day! As I mentioned above, I will use the Emma Hardie Cleansing Balm in the morning to make up for it.
Suti Rejuvenate Organic Facial Oil*
Although facial oils seem very popular in the beauty community, it's not something I use very often. I don't think I've ever managed to review an oil as I am incapable of applying daily for a 28 day period. However, an excellent guest review of the Suti Rejuvenate oil on London MakeUp Girl encouraged me to give this a proper try. I apply this in a similar way to the MuLondon moisturiser, I ensure my skin is thoroughly dampened with the toner spray before massaging in several drops of oil. When I use it in the evenings, I find I wake up with beautifully soft skin without a trace of greasiness.

Before I started using the Organic Rose moisturiser in the mornings, I often used the Suti oil and found it an excellent prep for foundation. I find that in winter, foundation can sometimes accentuate dry patches (even when you thought you had none) but both the MuLondon and the Suti oil are very good at counteracting this. The Vapour Soft Focus Skin Perfector is also very good for this.



I noticed there was a bit of theme to these three supplementary items. The short days, winter winds and central heating all do an excellent job of making my skin look rather dull and grey. I use all of these products in the quest for more radiant skin.

Live Native Essential Earth Exfoliating Cleanser*
This lives in my shower and I use it a couple of times a week. It has quite a gentle exfoliating action so it doesn't feel over the top to have this and the exfoliating mask in my routine.

Omorovicza Radiance Renewal Serum*
Before I switched to using the Suti oil, I used this serum to supplement my moisturiser in the evenings. The moisturiser I had been using wasn't sufficiently hydrating on its own and I felt that the  serum helped to counteract this.

Sjal Pearl Enzyme Exfoliating Mask*
I used this on Christmas day and before my night out at the beginning of December. It's an expensive item that I can't see myself replacing, so I feel the need to eke it out! It smells very odd (and not in a good way) but the pay off is smooth, glowing skin. A cheaper, less smelly alternative is the Dr Darren McKeown Mask from Superdrug. 



I really wanted to love the Antipodes Rejoice Light Facial Day Cream and my initial impressions were good. It smells beautiful and the texture is lovely but much richer than you would expect for a light cream. Despite the rich texture, I found it behaved oddly on my skin. Rather than being absorbed or leaving a film, after a couple of minutes it would begin to dry on the surface of my skin. Whilst it didn't exactly make my skin tight, it was an uncomfortable feeling. I would also need to use something else before applying foundation as this left my skin too dry to apply directly. I'm hopeful that I can make it more servicable by adding a drop of oil as I apply it.

Have you discovered any new skincare favourites over the last couple of months or have you been re-united with your old winter favourites?

* The items shown here are a mixture of items purchased by me and PR samples. The samples are all indicated with an asterisk.


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