Friday, October 28, 2011

Fragrance Friday: Pixi ‘Fig’

This week’s fragrance is a bit of a departure from my usual choices. I went for a peruse in Pixi’s Carnaby Street boutique this week and whilst I was there, their collection of three fragrances caught my eye. I never knew they sold scents before, and to be honest I’ve never been particularly taken with any beauty brand fragrances, but I instantly fell in love with Pixi’s ‘Fig’.

I’m not sure if it’s because I love eating figs themselves, but something about the fig scent smells so clean and fresh, and Pixi have managed to add a little extra something into the mix. It still manages to smell like a ‘real’ perfume, but retains that fresh fruit smell. It’s not sweet, but it’s simply delicious. On first spray it almost smells a little like cut  grass… so fresh and unusal. It’s also most definitely a summer scent, but I love it so much I really don’t care! I’m going to be wearing this all winter I think! The bottle is so plain and simple, I think it's quite chic.

The staying power isn’t the best (considering it’s an Eau de Parfum) but it will give you a good few hours of wear.

Pixi also have two other fragrances in the collection, each created for the founder Petra’s sisters. I’m not a huge fan of the other two (Rose and Mimosa) but I love the thought that has obviously gone into creating the collection for her family…so sweet!

Pixi Fig is only available in 30ml Eau de Parfum, £24 in store and online. (It’s also available in an oil roll on for some reason it doesn’t smell as good to me!)

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Holographic Nails

Ok, so I will readily admit that I’m utterly obsessed with nail polish, but particularly so with anything glittery and most of all with anything holographic. Holograhic polishes used to be quite hard to come by but are slowly trickling into the shops more and more.

I thought I’d show you four of my favourite holo polishes. Surprisingly enough, they’re actually all rather different.

The first is perhaps the hardest to get your hands on… GOSH’s Holographic is the only ‘solid’ holographic polish I own. There are a few on the market (Swedish brand The Make Up Store make a similar one I believe).
Two coats

It leaves a simply stunning effect on the nails but you’ll be lucky to get it to last more than 24 hours without chipping, even with the best topcoat. Great for a night out, but infuriating if you don’t want to have to repaint daily. I believe this polish is now discontinued, but there are usually a few on eBay.

Second up is Orly’s Shine on Crazy Diamond. 
Two coats over OPI Ridge Filler

More of a topcoat, the tiny glitter particles in this polish go on very sheer, but you can layer it up for a more striking effect. I love this if you’re looking for a more subtle way of wearing holo! I got mine online at feelunique.com for about £8.

One of the more recent additions to my holo collection is Barry M’s 244 ‘Hologram Hexograms’. I’m not actually sure if this is new, or just not stocked in your average Superdrug as I had never seen it before spotting it last week on Topshop Oxford Circus. 
Three coats

It’s more if a confetti, with huge hexagonal glitter chunks. Again, the glitter applies very sheerly but you can build it up. I love this one for parties… It would be a perfect choice for New Year’s Eve! (£2.99 available online and in some stores)

Last but not least, the most recent addition to my collection, and my favourite of all the holos comes in the form of Pop Beauty’s Aquatic Glitz.
Two coats

On a recent trip to the Pixi boutique in Carnaby Street (Pop is Pixi’s sister-brand) I spotted Pop’s selection of glitter polishes and was totally blown away. They have a few variations on this fine holo glitter polish, a slightly pink one, a golden one and this blue-green variation.

It’s the only holo glitter that I’ve found which applies almost opaquely in just two coats. But I’ll let the pictures do the talking…

Beautiful I’m sure you’ll agree! These are only £6.50 too so if you’re in London I’d recommend taking a peek (you can also order them online at PopBeauty.co.uk) I’m so in love with this, the pink version is next on my wish list!

That’s enough holographic awesomeness for one day I think… would love to hear any of your recommendations for more holographic polishes to add to my collection though!
Disclaimer: Gosh was a gift, I bought Orly & Barry M and Pop was a PR sample.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Nailed: Matte Peridot

Continuing my obsession with matte nails for Autumn... I tried my Rimmel Pro matte top coat on top of Chanel Peridot the other day, and just look at the effect!
Peridot was a bit of a disappointment for me. I do love the shade, but it just doesn't look as pretty on the nails as it does in the bottle (check out my original nail of the day post here). Putting a matte topcoat over it however, seems to transform it into something quite special...
The gold tones really come out and it has an almost velvet finish... so beautiful.

It's not easy to get the finish perfect due to the combination of my poor condition nails, the thin Chanel polish and unforgiving matte topcoat, but I found OPI's Ridge Filler to help immensely.

I'm absolutely loving this look for Autumn.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Win Tickets to See KATY PERRY Live in Birmingham... TOMORROW

Hello lovelies!

I have a bit of a last minute giveaway for you all! I'm hoping you won't mind as it's a truly fabulous one...

The lovely people at GHD have given me two VIP tickets to see Katy Perry live in concert at the NIA in Birmingham tomorrow evening (Wednesday 26th October)! All you have to do to win is head over to my Twitter page, follow me (if you aren't already!) and retweet these contest details by 6pm this evening!
Every person who retweets will be entered to win the pair of tickets, chosen at random.

The winner will be met at the venue by a member of the GHD team for a quick pampering session from the GHD pros before taking their VIP seats to watch the show!

Many thanks to the lovely people at GHD for the tickets! If you'd like to see more pictures of their lovely spokesmodel in action check out their website.

THE SMALL PRINT:
Please make sure you are available to attend before entering. 
Retweets will only be counted once per Twitter account. 
There will be one winner, who will receive the pair of tickets.
The Winner will be announced via Twitter shortly after 6pm this evening, full details will follow via email.
The tickets are CANNOT be resold.

New Makeup Line from LOOK Magazine: Best Bits & Swatches

Weekly fashion and beauty magazine LOOK have launched their very own cosmetics line. It is currently only available in one store (Westfield, Stratford) but is very soon to be rolling out in to Superdrug stores across the UK. I was given the chance to test out the line this week and thought I'd share some first impressions with you all...
The line is quite large, with prices ranging from £4 to £18, including everything from basic mascaras, blushes, lipsticks, nail polishes and single eyeshadows to more unusual large eyeshadow trios and lipstick/lipgloss duos. The packaging is quite minimalistic and plain, but very large and chunky. If I'm honest, I don't like the packaging. It just feels bit cheap really, and while I'm a fan of the retro print designs that adorn the outer cardboard boxes, I don't like the plastic casing of most of the products, the cursive writing that is plastered on it, or the names of the products themselves.

The product range itself is very hit and miss. There are some real gems, which include the nail polishes (especially the gemstone 'sequin effect' and the super bright 'Neon' pink). They aren't the cheapest, at £5 each, but the quality seems good and there are some really cute colours.
The 'Make Me Blush' Blushes and 'Holiday Glow' Bronzers (Both £8) are also a real star product within the line. 
They come in an array of different colours, the above two being my favourites (Rosy a shimmery, rosy pink, and Ibiza a light golden bronze).
They are nice, smooth powders (not chalky like some cheaper powder products) and the shades are very flattering.
left-right: Ibiza, Rosy

I was also particularly taken in by the 'La Luxe' Triple Hit baked eyeshadow trio (£7.50).
The payoff is good for a baked eyeshadow and I'm totally in love with the taupey/lilac shade on the left. I'm a sucker for colours like these, especially for the winter months.
Last but not least, my final pick from the line has to be the 'Toffee Cup' lipstick. The packaging is very similar to Burberry's; square casing with a magnetic closure. 
The shade is a lovely, creamy nude. I do think these are a little on the steep side at £7, but they are much better quality than a lot of their high street counterparts.
Overall, there are definitely a few gems in this collection, but I have to say that they are in and amongst some shockers too! There are a few lip shades that I wouldn't wear for love nor money (think fluorescent bright pinks and purples!) and some rather questionable looking eyeshadow shades. In a way, I don't think the shades in this line have been as carefully thought out as they should have been, instead just providing an array of bright colours to catch your attention, but end up looking (but not actually being) cheap.

I'd recommend having a LOOK (pun totally intended) when this hits a store near you, but definitely proceed with caution!
Disclaimer: PR Samples

Monday, October 24, 2011

My All Time Favourite Conditioner Goes PINK!

A little add-on to my Breast Cancer Awareness Month product favourites...

I just went onto feelunique.com to top up on a few bits and pieces and noticed that my all time favourite conditioning treatment from Joico (The Intense Hydrator) has gone PINK for breast cancer awareness too! (with £1 from every sale going to charity)
This is honestly the best hair treatment I've ever used. I actually use it as my conditioner every time I wash my hair (even though it's meant to be a treatment) It makes your hair so soft and silky, I would highly recommend it to anyone who has dry or damaged hair.

I've stocked up on this while it's 'pink' (it's also a bit cheaper on feelunique.com at £11.90 including delivery compared to the £13.95 RRP)
Disclaimer: I bought this

Friday, October 21, 2011

Chanel Christmas Collection 2011 (+Swatches!)

You may have already seen the stunning promo image for this years Christmas Collection from Chanel? As soon as I layed eyes on the collection I knew it was a special one. 
I'm not usually taken in by Christmas collections too much but this year Chanel have really hit the nail on the head in my opinion, and I think any beauty (or Chanel!) addict would be thrilled to find any of the 13 products in their Christmas Stocking!

The entire collection:


The lovely ladies at Chanel were kind enough to give me a couple of my favourite products from the collection to show you all, so without further ado... The stand out product from the line that everyone's talking (and blogging about!) is the Lumiere Sculptee highlighting powder (£46).
The powder comes in the classic Chanel compact with a tapered brush (on a side note, this is genuinely the best quality brush I've ever seen in a compact and a vast improvement from the Chanel compact brushes I've had in the past).
The intricate design carved into the powder was apparently inspired by a belt buckle worn my Coco Chanel in the 1930's. It reminds me of Aztec design and it's simply stunning in the pan.
I'm a sucker for almost any beautiful or gimmicky product like this, so I am pleased to say that the powder itself is actually a lovely product. It's quite chalky (Which you can see in the picture above), and because it's such a pale shade, I wouldn't recommend it to those with a medium or dark skintone. If you are pale however, it looks simply gorgeous on the skin, leaving a subtle, golden sheen.
Above: Upon application, Below: After Blending

I'm very hard to please with highlighters. I hate glitter on the cheeks, and am very wary of shimmer in general but this is very subtle and gives your complexion a very natural looking glow.
My second pick from the collection has got to be the Rouge Allure Lipstick in Famous (£24). I'm normally terrified of red lipsticks and tend to go for pinks so this is the perfect red for me. It's a bright and vibrant cherry hue with subtle fuschia shimmer, giving it an almost-pink look on the lips. 
For me this actually outshines the Lumiere Sculptee. It is the clear gem of the collection and is simply perfect for the Christmas party season.

Wearing both products... (excuse the crazy hair! Just on the way to the hairdressers!)
The Chanel Christmas Collection will be on counters 4th November. Anything from this collection going on your Christmas list? 

Fragrance Friday: Gilly Hicks Point Piper

If you haven't yet discovered the Gilly Hicks store in Westfield London (White City), I'd highly recommend it. The womens-only sister brand to Abercrombie & Fitch stocks mainly underwear and lounge wear and I love it because the quality is akin to the Abercrombie clothing, without the ridiculous prices. I've shopped there quite frequently since it opened last year, but have only just discovered another side to the store... their fragrances.

I'm a huge fan of Abercrombie's signature mens fragrance Fierce, but haven't fallen for any of the women's fragrances from any brands under the Abercrombie umbrella, until now...
Gilly Hick's newest fragrance launch is 'Point Piper'. The first thing I noticed was the gorgeous bottle. It's actually very similar to the Elie Saab bottle (which I also love). It looks very neat and clean but feels very heavy and luxurious at the same time.

The scent itself is extremely fruity, but not overly 'immature'. It feels a little more grownup than your typicaly fruity scents, but remains fun and youthful with notes of pear, mandarin and guava flower. This is exactly the kind of scent I am drawn to and it's secured a firm place on my Christmas wish list this year! The Eau de Parfum only comes in 50ml and is priced at £38, available in Gilly Hicks in store and online. There is currently only one store in the UK (Westfield London, White City) but their second store in Cardiff is opening in December.
Disclaimer: I don't own this (yet!)

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Eyeko Goes High End

You may have heard about Eyeko's recent, rather drastic rebranding?

If not... the cutesy anime look has gone out the window, along with almost all of their product line. Eyeko decided to 'grow up' and put the emphasis on the 'Eye' in Eyeko, their first launch being in the form of a 'mascara wardrobe'.
If you were familiar with the old Eyeko, I'm sure the mascara will look familiar? That's because it's a re-vamped version of their bestselling 'Big Eyes' mascara.
Eyeko's old 'Big Eyes' Mascara

Now, I was never a huge fan of 'Big Eyes', I always found it a little wet for my liking and it tended to slick all of my lashes together as a result.

The mascara is now available with three different brushes: The Skinny Brush (for length) the Curvy Brush (for curl) and the Fat Brush (for volume). All come with a rather gimmicky 'Eyeko Sheild' (for any music buffs out there... it's a plectrum!) to help sheild your eyelids from unwanted mascara.
Skinny Brush, Curvy Brush, Fat Brush

The results given by the different brushes is shown below...

Without Mascara
Skinny Brush
Curvy Brush
Fat Brush

Firstly, I was happy to find that the formulation of the mascara has definitely improved. It's much less 'wet' and more of a standard mascara consistency. The application with the Skinny Brush wasn't easy due to the lack of bristles to help separate the lashes, but the Curvy Brush and Fat Brush were pleasant to apply.

Results-wise, I wasn't impressed with how the Skinny Brush made my lashes look, but the others were surprisingly good in comparison. I was especially impressed with the way the Curvy Brush made my lashes look. The staying power seems to be good, with very little smudging throughout the day. All in all, I'd give the Skinny Brush 4/10, the Fat Brush 6/10 and the Curvy Brush 7/10... Not bad!

Now for the blow. During Eyeko's 'revamp' they have had somewhat of a price jump... from £8.50 to £15. Yes, FIFTEEN pounds! Almost double the price. The mascara is good, but I just can't see myself paying this much for it. I think there are plenty of high street mascaras that perform better for a much lower price, and if I felt like splashing out on a product, I would expect higher quality packaging than this. Sorry Eyeko... I'm not convinced.

The Mascara Wardrobe is being sold exclusively in Harvey Nichols Beauty Hall, and on the Eyeko website.
Disclaimer: Press sample

Monday, October 17, 2011

Nailed: Revlon Facets of Fuchsia

One of the most recent additions to my polish collection, I'm totally in love with Revlon's Facets of Fuchsia at the moment...
It's a semi-sheer black gel polish with a mixture of small and chunky fuchsia glitter.
The formulation is quite sheer at first, but I find most gel/glitter polishes to be like this. Two thick coats gives the effect shown in the photos. It's an almost perfect dupe for Deborah Lippmann's Bad Romance, which I don't actually own, but there are some great swatches online (click here if you want to check it out via alllaqueredup.com)
Just when I thought it couldn't get any better, I tried it out with a matte top coat... I'm really loving matte nails for Autumn this year, and this is a great way to wear them. A matte finish can make some polishes look a little flat, but the mixed glitter creates the illusion of depth and I think it looks stunning!
Revlon Facets of Fuschia is available now, £6.49.
Disclaimer: I bought this (and the top coat!)

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Nanoblur: Worth The Hype?

You may have heard about the latest anti-wrinke craze to hit the UK... Nanoblur claims to knock 10 years off in 40 seconds.

With a claim like that, supported by very impressive looking 'before and after' photos and a surprisingly low price tag of £19.99, I was determined to put it to the test...



The formulation of the product is similar to a silicone based primer, and it does contain silicones. The idea behind Nanoblur is that it contains minute light-scattering particles that effectively 'blur' out imperfections in the skin. It is a cosmetic treatment and doesn't claim to have long term anti-wrinkle improvement or prevention properties. You are instructed to apply it over foundation (if you wear foundation).

To put the product to the test, I asked my mum to step in as guinea pig. She's an skincare obsessive so, while a little reluctant to have her wrinkles scrutinised by the world... she couldn't resist the prospect of looking 10 years younger in 40 seconds.

                                              Before                                                   After

I think '10 years younger' might be a little optimistic!

Having said that, there is a noticeable improvement in her skin tone and appearance of larger pores (especially on the forehead). Wrinkle-wise, it doesn't seem to make a difference to the deeper ones, but a lot of the finer lines appear diminished (forehead again, and a little around the eyes). It also has a mattifying effect on the skin.

Overall, it's most definitely not going to make you look 10 years younger, but it does make your skin look lovely. It's not Poly-filler, so won't fill in the deepest wrinkles, but it will give you better results than the majority of high end products out there, and with that... I'm very impressed.

I think this would be a great product for those of you who are concerned with large pores and/or the early signs of ageing as it does seem to diminish fine lines, uneven skin tone and visible pores.

Nanoblur is available now from Boots, £19.99 for 30ml.
*Disclaimer: Press sample.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Fragrance Friday: Forbidden Euphoria

I've been meaning to try the latest release from Calvin Klein all month, so when I passed it in Boots this week I did an about-turn a had a little test...

Calvin Klein fragrances are a tricky one for me. They all seem to be overtly 'safe' scents... never offensive or unusual, always pleasant, classic and difficult not to like. While Euphoria is one of their more 'complex' scents, it's safe to say that it's little sister 'Forbidden Euphoria' doesn't break the mould.

If you've smelt the original Euphoria, you'll know it as a light fruity-floral with a subtle (slightly complex) woody base. Forbidden Euphoria is quite different from the original, the emphasis being taken from the floral side of things to seriously fruity.


It's a sweet, fresh scent with powerful top notes of Mandarin, Passion Flower and Raspberry. It dries down to reveal a slightly more sophisticated heart of florals (Peony, Tiger Orchid and Jasmine) and a hint of the subtle base from the original Euphoria with Cashmere Woods, Patchouli and Musk.

It really reminded me of another fragrance and, although it took me a while to work it out, I came to the conclusion that it smells very similar to Katy Perry's Purr. The plus side being that this bottle is actually rather lovely, especially when compared to Katy Perry's tacky jewelled-eye cat!



The staying power of the fragrance is surprisingly good. It's an Eau de Parfum and lingered on my wrist for a good 6 hours after I tried it.

Overall, it's nothing to shout from the rooftops about, but it's a nice fragrance and (as with most CK fragrances) would make a safe choice for a gift this Christmas. Available now, prices start at £33 for 30ml.
Disclaimer:I don't own this

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Nailed: Deborah Lippmann Brick House

Reds and oranges aren't normally shades I go for when it comes to nails, but something about Deborah Lippmann's Brick House has got me totally hooked.
 I absolutely love this slightly metallic burnt red shade... it's almost a rust hue.
It is a bit of a mare to apply, as most metallic polishes seem to be. It's tricky to get a perfect finish, but if you use a good base coat (like OPI's Ridge Filler) you should be able to get a smooth opaque finish in two coats.
This is going to be one of my shade staples for the Autumn months. Available from House of Fraser, £14.

On a bit of a side note, Deborah Lippmann's polishes are all named after songs and this makes me love the colour even more...!



Disclaimer: Press Sample