Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Rave: Giorgio Armani Spring 2012 Eye Pencils

I thought I'd share one of my latest obsessions with you all today…

It comes in the form of an eye pencil from the new Giorgio Armani Spring Collection, and guess what? It's rose gold! I can't seem to get enough of rose gold recently. I seem to be wearing it more and more... on my nails, jewellery and now eyes!
These pencils are the gel-type formula that goes on like a dream, stays smudge-able for 30 seconds then stays put all day. The pigmentation is lovely too. I also have the antique gold colour which is just as beautiful. They are lovely to use in the inner corner of your eye to catch the light.
Above: Giorgio Armani Eye Pencil in No.4 Antique Gold and No.5 Copper (or rose gold as I like to call it!)

£18 each, available now.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Review: Clarins Skin Illusion Foundation

I had never tried a Clarins foundation before, so when I was recommended to use their Skin Illusion formulation, I was half excited, half apprehensive.

The packaging is lovely: Heavy glass with a gold cap and a hygiene-conscious pump. The formulation is very thick compared to my normal choice in foundation. It’s somewhere in between a liquid and a crème. It applies quite thickly, which made me think that I wouldn’t like it at first but the finish is surprisingly natural (hence the name!). It has a medium, buildable coverage that leaves you looking flawless yet fresh with a slightly dewy finish.

This formula is designed for normal to dry skins so if you get oily, I’d steer clear. If you have drier skin, like a fairly high level of coverage but don’t want to look too caked in makeup or too matte, then this would be a great choice for you. It also comes with SPF 10 which is great basic everyday protection.

Personally, it provides a little more coverage than I like for everyday wear, but I love this for going out or if I’m on camera. If you’d like to see me wearing this foundation on camera, click HERE.

A lot of reviews online rave about it’s lightweight feel, but this is one aspect on which I would be inclined to disagree. This isn’t a heavy foundation by any means, but I can certainly feel that I’m wearing it. If you’re looking for a more lightweight foundation for everyday wear, then I would recommend going for Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua.

It’s on the more reasonable end of the high end market price-wise at £24, but you can get it for £21 with free delivery HERE.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Nailed: Butter London Tart with a Heart

I’ve been wanting to try Butter London nail polishes for a long time now, so was over the moon when my friend Ingrid gave me three lovely shades as a belated Christmas gift!

The shade I was most excited to try was ‘Tart with a Heart’. Aside from having a super adorable name, this sheer nude glitter mix is really unusual and (as always with my favourite polishes) has a hint of holographic!
The consistency is a little ‘paste-y’ (if that even makes sense?!) Butter’s polishes are ‘3 Free’ containing no formaldehyde, toluene and DPB so that might be why, but anything missing potentially harmful chemicals is a bonus in my book!
The colour payoff is very sheer, making it the perfect polish for layering on top of your favourite nude, or metallic shade.
I paired it with Designer… de Better from the new OPI Muppets collection: a beautiful rose gold metallic that matches the tones perfectly. I also think this shade would look great over a more basic nail colour so that the pretty glitter stands out a little more. I think Tart with a Heart is a great way to wear glitter without it being OTT and I know I’ll get a lot of use out of this polish.
Butter London polishes are available from Ulta in the US, and online in the UK at butterlondon.com for $14 and £12 respectively.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Fragrance Friday: L.I.L.Y by Stella McCartney

Stella McCartney’s latest fragrance L.I.L.Y had it’s worldwide launch in Selfridges yesterday. I absolutely love the thought behind the fragrance, created to represent Spring.

The packaging is very unique: an oval bottle held inside a metal square with an angular, mixed metal cap. I especially love the name, which was taken from Paul McCartney’s nickname for his late wife Linda… L.I.L.Y stands for “Linda I Love You”

The heart note is Lily of the Valley (hence the name is so fitting) with a subtle hint of Truffle and a warm base of Oak Moss. It sounds lovely, warm and light.

I am a fan of Stella McCartney’s Original fragrance ‘Stella’ (especially the ‘Sheer’ version) and I wanted to like this fragrance so badly, but I just don’t. To me it’s an overpowering floral that smells of grannies and dries down to a nauseatingly floral concoction that seems to betray the sentiment behind the marketing.

If you like florals you might like this, but for me? It’s far too overpowering.

Oh, and the staying power is pretty good (on this occasion, not good thing!)

L.I.L.Y Eau de Parfum is available now, in 30ml, 50ml and 75ml sizes.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Meadham Kirchhoff's Nail Rock at Topshop!

Last year I blogged about the fabulous nails at the Meadham Kirchhoff SS12 show. The uber kitsch (with a naughty twist) nail designs from nail rock adorned the models' nails, and were presented to guests, but were not available to buy… until now!

Nail Rock have decided to put the cutesy design into production. You'll be able to get your hands on them in select Topshop stores from 8th Feb, for £8 a set. (Just watch out for the rouge vagina design in there!)

If you haven't used Nail Rock before, they design awesome nail wraps that (with proper care) will stay on your nails for up to 10 days. Perfect for a special occasion, or to glam-up your manicure. I personally like using these Meadham Kirchhoff designs individually, wearing just one cutesy design at a time.

I have a sample pack of these to give away this week, so if you'd like to get your hands on them before they hit the shops then all you need to is head over to my website.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Review: Maybelline Color Tattoo Crème Eyeshadows

There has been a sea of fantastic reviews about the new Maybelline Color Tattoo Crème eyeshadows… but are the drugstore alternative to your much-loved MAC paint pots worth the hype?

I was lucky enough to be given three of the shades as a gift from my lovely friend Allison (aka Amarixe) on my recent trip to the states and I have to say, I’m really rather impressed!
The three shades I have are ‘Tough as Taupe’ (35) a deep, matte taupe, ‘Pomegranate Punk’ (30) a deep metallic burgundy and ‘Bad to the Bronze’ (25) a light, golden bronze.
They come in almost identical packaging to Benefit’s creaseless crème shadow/liners and are very similar in consistency to them, and to the MAC paint pots. They all have the similar, slightly greasy but blend-able texture at first, which quickly dries down to a solid colour base.
They claim to be smudge and crease free, and (as the name suggests) last for 24 hours. I don’t know about 24 hours (I for one like to wash my face at least twice in that period of time!) but they certainly do stay! 
In my opinion, these shadows are closely comparable to both the MAC and Benefit alternatives, not only in terms of colour pay-off and blendability, but also staying power and non-creasing. I like to wear these both as a base for eyeshadow, and on their own (for more lazy days!)

Left-right: Benefit Sippin'n'Dippin', MAC Rubenesque, Maybelline Bad to the Bronze, Tough as Taupe and Pomegranate Punk.

They really are extraordinary when it comes to high street crème shadows, which from my past experience are normally awful!

There are 10 shades in the range, 6 of which are lovely everyday colours, three are beautiful bright shades (I especially love the vibrant peacock/teal shade) and then there is one rather standout, hideous orange shade which I personally, would never wear. If you’d like to see swatches of all the shades, Allison has some great photos and a review of the full line on her blog if you want to take a look (a big thanks to her for letting me use the picture above!) 
Overall I’m very, very impressed with these shadows. They are understandably hard to get your hands on in the US (they seem to be sold out everywhere!) I’m not sure when they land in the UK but I would thoroughly recommend checking them out when you get the chance. They are around $6 in the US so I’d expect them to be about £6 over here… definitely a bargain!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Mini Review: Jo Malone Vitamin E Moisturising Day Creme

I’ve been a fan of Jo Malone’s Vitamin E collection for a few years now. Although it’s extortionately expensive, the classic vitamin E gel has been a lifesaver for my irritable dry skin on a number of occasions, and the multi-purpose gel is also great for cuticles, elbows, knees and toes!

I therefore had high hopes for the latest addition to the collection, The moisturising day crème with SPF 15. The crème is very rich in consistency, even a little greasy at application, but once absorbed, it leaves your skin feeling silky, smooth and soft to the touch.
I am very cautious about what I use on my skin these days as I’ve experienced first hand the side effects of switching up my skin care products too often, but this luxurious crème worked wonders on my post long-haul flight skin. It’s definitely not one for those with oily skin, but if you suffer from dry skin, especially during the winter months, this could be a great choice for you.
I was also very happy to see that it has SPF 15. I’m not a fan of using two products for moisturisation and sun protection, and while SPF 15 might not be high enough for those of you in warmer climes, it’s perfect for everyday protection in the UK.

It doesn’t come cheap, at £50 for 50ml, but it’s Jo Malone so I wouldn’t expect anything else and as usual with the brand, the price tag is justified by the quality of the product… fabulous.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Revlon Lip Butters: Worth the Hype?

For those of you based in the US, I’m a little late on the bandwagon here, but during my recent trip to LA, I managed to get my mitts on a selection of the new Revlon Colorburst Lip Butters. They’ve caused quite a stir online, and prove rather hard to track down in drugstores too, as many of the shades are continually sold out.

I thought I’d take a few snaps of the colours I’ve got and give my two penny’s worth in a little review so you all know what to expect when they hit the UK shores from March 14th.

Firstly, I love the packaging. There have been mixed feelings about the colour-coordinated, sheer plastic lipstick tubes online, but I’m a big fan. I think they are cute and fun, but still a little chic with the Chanel-esque quilted effect that Revlon are so fond of replicating. They also have clear caps, so you can see the product through the top, a great feature if you have a lot of lipstick and want to be able to see what’s what!

I have five of the 20 shades (from left) Cupcake, Strawberry Shortcake, Peach Parfait, Berry Smoothie and Lollipop.

The consistency is quite unique. They feel like a smooth balm to apply, but the pigmentation is that of a sheer lipstick. Having said that, some of the shades are more pigmented than others, some more akin to a standard lipstick, which is pretty impressive when you consider the super hydrating gel/balm like formulation.

A lot of the shades also have subtle shimmer in them which I wasn't expecting (Peach Parfait especially - it reminds me of a lipstick version of NARS' famous Orgasm blush)

Considering they contain mango, shea and coconut butter, I was expecting them to taste a little better, but surprisingly they aren’t particularly scented at all.

The staying power isn’t outstanding, but then again I don’t think you would expect it to be considering the formulation. The shade selection is fantastic, ranging from uber-pale pinks and lilacs, to darker browns and reds. My favourite shades are without a doubt Berry Smoothie and Lollipop (the latter having absolutely amazing colour payoff!)

The two minor downsides I have experienced with these are the fact that they tend to squish a little if you’re not careful (as the product is so soft, but comes in a lipstick packaging) and that the twist-up mechanism can tend to be a little temperamental (i.e. not twist down) This isn’t too much of a problem as you can carefully push the product back down, and it usually isn’t a consistent fault.

Overall, these are definitely worth the hype in my book. I would 100% recommend checking them out when they hit the high street in March. I would think they’ll be around the £6 mark (they are around $7 in the US) so they won’t break the bank either!

If you want more info on the Lip Butters, I’d recommend checking out my friend Ingrid (aka MisGlamorazzi)’s more in depth review on her YouTube channel

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Viktor & Rolf Do Fairy Tales

I’m a big fan of Viktor & Rolf for both their unique designs and their famous fragrances. I’m also a big fan of fairy tales (so much so that my 21st birthday party was actually ‘fairy tale’ themed… complete with sparkly dresses, cupcakes and fairy lights!) So what could be better news to my ears than that of a fairy tale book written by the Dutch designers themselves?!
The collection of 12 original fairy tales is beautifully illustrated in black and pink and it’s not just for kids. The book would make a lovely gift for any girl who ‘has everything’ and a welcome addition to the most fashionable coffee tables… die hard Viktor & Rolf fans will catch the numerous references to their past catwalk shows. 

Viktor & Rolf Fairy Tales is available now, priced at £10.13 from Amazon. I have a copy to give away to one lucky reader this week, so if you’d like to be in with a chance of winning it, then be sure to head over to my website for all the info!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Nailed: Orly Oh Cabana Boy!

I know it's shockingly out of season, but I just can't stay away from fluro pinks for more than a few months... it makes me sad!
Which is why I've been sporting Orly's Oh Cabana Boy all this week. It's a brighter than bright, highlighter-worthy pink with blue undertones and a hint of blue micro shimmer.

If I could be a colour? This would be it.

The application is quite sheer, but three thin coats do the trick, and it is great on the non-chip front too! It lasts about 4 days without a chip on my nails.
It's been a shamefully long time (almost three weeks *slap on the wrist*) since my last giveaway, so I've bought an extra little bottle of this to send out to one of you lovely girls this week!

If you'd like to win, all you have to do is head over to my website (click here!)

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Review: Burberry Sheer Foundation

I haven’t tried much of the Burberry makeup line, but I have been really impressed with the few bits and pieces I’ve swatched over the past few months and am kind of surprised that it hasn’t seen more hype in the blogging world this year. A bottle of their foundation arrived on my doorstep just before Christmas and needless to say, I was excited to try it out.
The first thing you notice is the stunning packaging. It is literally the most beautiful foundation bottle I’ve ever seen (and I’ve seen a lot) The quality matches the design too. Burberry haven’t skipped any corners with their makeup line, and it really shows.
As for the product itself, it’s very thick in consistency, somewhere in between a crème and a gel formula. It applies smoothly onto the skin and leaves you with a very natural, velvety finish and leaves your skin feeling nicely moisturised. It’s very similar to MAC’s Studio Sculpt in consistency, but I much prefer the finish it gives. It’s not matte, not quite dewy, but almost luminous. It makes your skin look healthy and plumped.
It gives a great level of medium coverage (I only need a spot of concealer on any problem areas to create a flawless finish) yet it’s not too much for everyday wear, and you can layer it for the evenings. I’m a little baffled as to where the conjured up the idea of calling it a ‘sheer’ foundation because it’s just not. If you want to see what the foundation looks like on, check out my latest few YouTube videos (I've been wearing it since Christmas)
The staying power is about average. If you have oily skin you’ll certainly need to powder it, and to top up your powder throughout the day. As with MAC’s Studio Sculpt, it seems to be an ‘all skintypes’ foundation, however I wouldn’t recommend it for anyone with either extremely dry, or extremely oily skin as I think there are better options for problem skins out there.
It comes in 9 shades, which are definitely skewed towards very pale skins. Normally my skin tone is within the first 3-4 palest shades but in this I’m wearing No. 5 (and I’m at my palest!) so it doesn’t seem to cater for everyone. Another point to mention is that it is quite strongly perfumed. For some this may be a pro, for others a con but personally I love the scent.

The one real downside (as ususal!) is the price. £35. Ouch.

Although it’s expensive, I have to say you can see where your money is going. As much as I adore Chanel’s Vitalumiere Aqua foundation, the packaging is rather disappointing for it’s £32 price tag.

Yes, the Burberry makeup collection is expensive, but I wouldn’t really expect anything else from them, and the product really is lovely. I’d recommend this to girls who prefer to have just one or two really gorgeous foundations in their makeup bags and are looking for one that is versatile enough to use day or night.