Friday, March 30, 2012

Fragrance Friday: Ted Baker Origami

I always think body sprays are more of a US thing? For some reason people seem to think they are a lot more 'essential' over there, whereas in the UK I think for most people, a body spray is a take-it-or-leave-it type of product.

None the less, there is one particular body spray that I've really fallen for over the past few weeks.  Ted Baker's 'Origami' scent is really quite delicious and unusual.
The description lists raspberry, vanilla, rose and sandalwood as the key notes but it's not as sweet as it sounds. It's delicately fruity with a quite a strong, spicy undertone (most probably thanks to the sandalwood). Overall, I really love this scent and although it's quite delicate on the skin (as it's a body spray) they scent does linger. I love the origami design on the packaging too!

I also tried the body cream and bath gel in this line and neither were as lovely as the spray. For some reason the scent smells so much better as a body spray.
The Ted Baker Origami body spray is £5.10 for 150ml, or £2.35 for 50ml, available now from Boots (it's also currently on 3 for 2!)

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Bourjois 123 Perfect Review

Bourjois’s latest foundation, ‘123 Perfect’ claims to perfect your complexion with three different pigments: Yellow for dark circles, Mauve for dull complexions and Green for redness.

I’m always a little skeptical with colour correcting unless you’re putting the individual colour on each targeted area, but I was willing to give it a try when Bourjois sent me a bottle this week (their Healthy Mix foundation is divine after all!)
The consistency is pretty standard for liquid foundation, maybe leaning towards the thicker end of the scale. There are only 5 shades, of which I was the second darkest, so not a fabulous range of options for darker skins (as usual!)

I felt like I needed quite a lot of product to achieve a finish that I was happy with, and even then the coverage isn’t very buildable so I didn’t feel I was left with ‘Perfect’ looking skin at all!
The finish on the skin is semi-matte and I thought it made my skin feel a little dry. At the end of the day my skin looked pretty abysmal if I’m honest. It certainly doesn’t live up to it’s 16 hour wear claim. By 7pm it was almost totally gone.

Overall, I was really not impressed with this. If you’re after a good drugstore foundation I’d go for Bourjois’ Healthy Mix, or Rimmel’s Wake Me Up.

There is also a concealer that is being released along with the foundation. It’s a stick concealer and unlike the foundation, it feels nice and creamy on the skin with decent coverage but again, the staying power wasn’t up to scratch for me either… It seemed to wear off faster than the foundation!
The Bourjois 123 Perfect foundation and concealer are out now, priced at £10.99 and £7.49 respectively.

Urban Decay 'Build Your Own' Palette: Review

When I heard that Urban Decay were releasing a 'Build Your Own' palette, it got me very excited. Urban Decay eyeshadows are my ultimate favourites (and yes, I prefer them to MAC!). I was very kindly invited to get a sneak peak of these palettes before their release in May, so I thought I'd let you all know what I think...

The Good

The eyeshadows are fabulous as ever. They've actually reformulated them slightly but to be honest I haven't noticed a huge difference in the colours I've tried. They are creamy and soft with fantastic pigmentation. As far as the product goes, I cannot fault them.
Left -Right: Walk of Shame, Sellout, Tease, Maui Wowie, Bordello, Blackout

The palette itself is large and sturdy with a huge mirror inside. I love the design on the front too.

Unlike the MAC palettes, the eyeshadows that you buy come in a pot (also lovely chrome packaging!)

You can easily pop them in and out so you can mix and match between the palette and the singles.

I think this is a huge bonus as I know from experience how frustrating it is when you just want to take one MAC eyeshadow with you, but you've depotted it... There's no going back!

The Palette itself is £14 to buy and comes with a travel sized brush and one neutral matte eyeshadow already in there, 'Walk of Shame', that is exclusive to this palette.

The Bad

Each individual eyeshadow will set you back £14, making the total cost of a full palette £84. This is my only big gripe with this palette. While I love the shadows and I love the concept and design of the palette, it just seems a little too steep when you compare it to the price point of their pre-made palettes. Why spend £84 buying 6 shades when you can buy a Naked Palette or Book of Shadows and get 12-16 shadows for less than half the price? I love the customisable element, but I think it comes at too high a price.

Overall I think the concept of the palette is wonderful, but I think they'll only be a hit with hardcore Urban Decay fans. I was lucky enough to be given a palette with 6 gorgeous shades of my choice, but I have to say I'd have a hard time parting with £84 for it. Sorry Urban Decay, but I'm with the Naked Palettes all the way!

What do you think girls? Do you like the 'Build Your Own' Palette? Will you be buying one?

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Bioderma Giveaway!

When I was in Paris at the weekend, I picked up an extra bottle of the Bioderma Crealine H2O Micellar water that has gained almost cult status in the beauty world to give away to one lucky reader.

I've been using this for the past few days and can agree with the masses... it is a lovely product!

All you need to do in order to be in a chance of winning is head over to my website

BB Cream for Guys?

There have been whispers about men's makeup for years now. Guyliner and touche eclat for men are a little extreme for your average boy I think, but what about tinted moisturiser? Lab Series have released their first BB Cream Tinted Moisturiser for men, which has apparently been flying off the shelves! As it's a BB cream, it also has skincare benefits along with SPF 30.
I was interested to find out what guys think about this new almost-makeup-wearing trend so I showed the Lab series to three men in my life and here's what happened...

I had four set questions for the boys:

1. Would you wear tinted moisturiser?
2. What do you think of this product, will you try it?
3. Can you notice a difference in the way you look after application?
4. Would you wear it on a regular basis, and/or buy it for yourself?

Boy No.1

1. Would you wear tinted moisturiser?
I guess so... I have done before by  accident I think. Wait, you mean like fake tanning stuff? (No, like foundation but much lighter) Oh! NO way!
2. What do you think of the product, will you try it?
I'm not sure, I don't even use moisturiser anyway. (Reluctantly tries it)
3. Can you notice a difference in the way you look?
Yeah my skin looks shiny, I don't like it.
4. Would you buy it for yourself and wear it on a regular basis?
No way!

Boy No.2

1. Would you wear tinted moisturiser?
Dunno, what is it? (I explain) Maybe...
2. What do you think of the product, will you try it?
I'm not sure, I don't even use moisturiser anyway. (Reluctantly tries it)
3. Can you notice a difference in the way you look?
Yeah I think it makes me look more healthy and you can't see that I have it on.
4. Would you buy it for yourself and wear it on a regular basis?
I wouldn't buy it but if someone gave me some I'd wear it if I was feeling a particularly vain that day, but not really. It's too much hassle for every day.

Boy No.3

1. Would you wear tinted moisturiser?
I'm not sure, but I guess so if no one could tell I was wearing it.
2. What do you think of the product, will you try it?
I like the packaging but the product looks a bit scary. I'll try it and see...
3. Can you notice a difference in the way you look? Definitely.
It's evened out my skin and made it look much smoother. I like it and you can't tell you're wearing it. It doesn't look like makeup.
4. Would you buy it for yourself and wear it on a regular basis?
I think so. How much is it? (£32) That's pretty expensive. I'd wear it if someone bought it for me but I'm not sure I'd buy it myself.

So there you have it girls... I guess it all depends on the guy. I think it looks really natural on the skin (I really wasn't convinced at first but it's almost invisible on the skin and just makes the boys look glowing with health!) If you know a guy who wants to use this kind of product then I think this would be a good choice as it's honestly undetectable.

I'm still not sure how I'd feel if my boyfriend bought it for himself though... what do you think girls? Is this something that the men in your life would like?

The Lab Series BB Cream for Men is priced at £32 and available now.

Number of expletives edited out of this post: 12

Monday, March 19, 2012

NEW L'Oreal Rouge Caresse Lipstick Review

I find some weeks I just obsess over one type of beauty product. Sometimes it's nail polish, maybe foundation, but this week has been the week of the lip product... I just can't seem to get enough! So excuse me if I post about lip products every other day, it's just one of those weeks!

If you watch my YouTube channel, you might have seen that I picked up one of L'Oreal's New Rouge Caresse lipsticks the other day. I hadn't heard much about them at all so assume they must have just hit the shelves in the past few weeks. They appear to be (and are being fairly widely hailed as) L'Oreal's answer to the much-anticipated Revlon Lip butters.

First off for the packaging. I really love it and for the price I think it's great quality. It looks and feels more expensive than it is. The formula is much less like a balm or a butter than the Revlon alternatives. It's more like a lightweight gel. The product it most reminds me of is actually Chanel's Rouge Coco Shine lipsticks (one of my personal high end favourties!).
The colour range is pretty phenomenal. Although there are only 10 shades, I like every single one. I found it very hard to chose which colour to pick up. (They are currently on 3 for 2 in Superdrug and Boots. I almost bought three different shades but managed to resist until I'd tried my first one... just in case!)
The colour I settled on after 10 minutes of frantic hand-swatching was Aphrodite Scarlet. Despite the name, it's actually more of a pink than a red, with a beautiful shimmer (which is what sold it to me!) It feels light and moisturising on the lips and actually has a good colour payoff. The colour is sheer but still pigmented (if that makes sense!) Although it's not an opaque product, the pigment really shows up on the lips and gives them a lovely shine.
They have a subtle, but pleasant scent and although they don't last an age, I'll most definitely be picking up more of these on my next trip to Superdrug. Fuchsia and Tempting Lilac are next on my list!
As for how they compare to the Revlon Lip Butters? Personally I find these to be a very different formula. They are much lighter, and while the pigment packs quite a punch, I find a lot of the Revlon shades to be much more opaque and creamy, like a lipstick. I personally can't say which is better as I think I like them both equally for different reasons, but I can say that these most certainly give the lip butters a run for their money!

L'Oreal Rouge Caresse Lipsticks are available now from Superdrug and Boots, priced at £7.99 each (but currently 3 for 2 YEY!) (P.S: I'm not sure if these are available worldwide, but there is a product called the 'Color Riche Ralm' available in the US that looks very similar - If anyone can clarify if these are the same/replacement product I would be very grateful!)

I love these new lipsticks so much, I'd love to share one with a lucky reader. If you'd like to win your favourite shade, all you need to do is:

1. Follow me on Twitter

2. Tweet me telling me what your favourite shade is, along with your email address

The small print: This giveaway is open worldwide. Entry is open until midnight (GMT) Monday 26th March 2012. The winner will be chosen at random from the comments entered and announced in my next giveaway on 27th March. **The winner from last week's giveaway for the Rimmel Foundation is BethLoveBeauty**

Sunday, March 18, 2012

MAC Dish it Up

I finally got around to picking up a few things I'd had my eye on from the Shop MAC, Cook Mac collection on Friday. Sadly they'd sold out of Quick Sizzle (a beautiful matte pink) and Watch Me Simmer (lovely coral) that I had my eye on, but I did manage to get my mitts on the last 'Dish it Up' they had in stock.

It was a bit of an impulse buy and when I got home, the mauvey/magenta shade looked a little wacky and I wasn't entirely sure how much wear I'd get out of it. However when I tried it on my lips I realised it is actually quite an easy colour to wear... I love it!

It's a lustre and the formulation is really lovely: creamy and highly pigmented. I'm really glad I picked this one up, I've actually re-ignited my love for MAC lipsticks over the past month or so, so you may be seeing a lot more of them on the blog in the future!

If you want to see what else I picked up from MAC (and a few other cheeky purchases!), check out my latest haul video.

Nailed: Avon Cosmic Blue

I've been looking for a nice bright blue nail polish for a while now (for some reason all the best blue hues tend to be shatter polishes?! So frustrating!)

I've finally found one that ticks all the boxes, it's vibrant, ever-so-slightly metallic, it has a hint of violet and the formula is great. It's Cosmic Blue from Avon's upcoming Nailwear Pro+ line.

It's good to go in two coats and dries really quickly. I've only had it on for two days but so far the wear seems pretty great too! They are meant to last up to 12 days... a pretty bold statement! I'll be interested to see if they live up to it.
Avon sent me a selection of shades from the new line and to be honest most of the others are pretty basic colours (there's a black, red, various shades of pink etc). This is the only colour that got me excited, but I think the formula is great so if you're looking to stock up on essential colours then these might be a good line to look at.

They won't be available till the 10th May, but are quite a bargain at £6 each.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Fragrance Friday: Roberto Cavalli Eau de Parfum

I've been meaning to try out Roberto Cavalli's new fragrance for ages now. I was invited to the launch back in January but couldn't make it. To be honest, I've never been a huge Cavalli fan (leopard print just isn't my thing) so I wasn't overly optimistic that I would love his latest fragrance.

However, when I saw my friend last week and she was raving about how wonderful it was, I knew I had to smell it for myself. So I made a beeline for it when passing through John Lewis today and I'm really glad I did.

The bottle is really nice. Like I said, Cavalli isn't usually my thing, but I think the tiny peek of animal print on the neck of the bottle is tasteful and I love the heavy glass bottle.

As you might expect, it's quite a sensual fragrance. It's a strong oriental scent that is sexy yet sweet at the same time. It's ever so slightly floral, with a creamy vanilla base.

It only comes in Eau de Parfum, and has great staying power. Although you might assume this with Eau de Parfum, it's sometimes not the case so I always give scents a good trial wear before I review them! I sprayed this on at 1pm, it's now 6.30pm and it's still going strong so I'm impressed by that.

Overall I really like this fragrance, especially for summertime. It's not the most 'sophisticated' of scents (Think Paco Robanne Lady Million and Vera Wang Princess) but I think it will be really popular.

If I didn't have such a shameful amount of fragrances already on the go I'd probably treat myself to a bottle, but for now I'll have to suffice with a quick spritz whenever I pass it in the shop!

It is available in 30, 50 and 75ml bottles starting at £35. Has anyone else smelt this yet? What do you think?

Lip Lust: YSL Glossy Stain in Fuchsia Dore

I finally got the chance to try some of the New YSL Glossy Stains this week and I thought I'd share my experience with you.

As a teenager, I was a die-hard YSL girl, with Touche Eclat, Effect Faux Cils and their lipsticks or glosses dominating my Christmas and Birthday lists every year.

Since I started blogging, I've discovered so many new, fantastic brands that YSL have taken a back seat in my makeup obsession. However these new Glossy Stains (or Rouge Pur Couture Vernis a Levres Glossy Stains to use their full title!) may be about the change all that, as I can honestly say that these are some of the most unique and really rather unusual lip products on the market at the moment!
They are a super pigmented type of stain-gloss-lipstick hybrid and there is most definitely an art to applying them. If you've seen any patchy swatches online, this is most probably because they've slapped them on quickly and taken a photo.
The trick is to apply them in three stages (Some say two, but I find three is better). First apply a thin coat and buff it into your lips to stain them evenly. Then apply a second coat to build the colour (First Photo). Finally, I like to apply a third coat to get a super glossy, plumped finish (second photo)

As you can see, the pigmentation and finish of these is simply stunning, and they last a seriously long time. Like all YSL lip products, they are quite highly scented. Personally I love the scent but I know it won't be to everyone's taste. The shade shown here is No.14 Fuchsia Dore, a beautiful deep Fuchsia. 
Below is a picture after 4 hours of wear (and lunch!)
...and 6 hours of wear (and another cup of tea!)
As you can see, the stain is super strong and it fades really nicely throughout the day (On a side note, If you swatch these on your hand in a shop, you ain't getting them off all day... be warned!)

Overall, I'm a huge fan of these. I did spot a rather strange thing though... Did anyone else notice that the colour looks a little different between the swatch, when freshly applied, and after 6 hours?

I was baffled by this and thought I might be going a little mad, until I came back to the swatch I'd done on a piece of paper half an  hour after I'd taken the photo.

It seems to have oxidised and the colour has changed from a bright fuchsia, to a more reddish hue, and finally a violet tone! Anyone else find this very odd? I know foundations are known for oxidising but I've never seen it like this with a lip colour!
Overall, I think this product is fantastic. It's a unique formula, it gives great colour payoff and it stays for hours. Yes it's pricey at £22.50 but so are all high end lip products. Out of all the others on the market, I'd say these are one of the few high end lip products that truly deserve the price tag.

The one criticism I do have is for the packaging. YSL packaging is normally some of the most beautiful, but personally I think having the black section makes it look a little less glam than their other products (hello, Rouge Volupte!)

What do you think? Has anyone else tried these, or will you be purchasing one? I'd really recommend taking a look at them next time you pass a counter. There are 20 shades to choose from so there's bound to be a colour (or three!) to catch your eye. I'm really interested to see how the lighter shades perform.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Chanel Ombres Matelassees Palette

It is very rare (I don't actually remember the last time!) for a product to go straight from an email press release, to live on my blog in a matter of minutes. So I know for sure this is one of my most coveted products of the year (OK, it's early in the year... but trust me this is fabulous!)

The upcoming Ombres Matelassees palette from Chanel has been created to celebrate the re-opening of the boutique on Avenue Montaigne in Paris. It's inspired by the iconic 2.55 bags which (almost) every girl aspires to one day have in her wardrobe (and when/if she does, cherishes it like a baby!) If, like me, the yearly price increases mean the gorgeous 2.55's will most probably be forever out of your price range... fear not! Chanel's new limited edition palette contains five gorgeous quilted eyeshadows, that together resemble your very own miniature collection of 2.55's.

The shades look really wearable for daytime, but there's a lovely shimmery black thrown in the mix so that you can smoke up your look for the evening. I haven't managed to find any decent swatches online to discover what the pigmentation is like, but I will most certainly try and find out for you as soon as I can when it's released in the UK from 13th April.

I'm not going to say it's affordable... at £46, but compared to some other chanel limited edition palettes, I don't think it's bad value for 5 eyeshadows that I think most would get a lot of use out of. What do you think girls? Do you want one?

This palette will be available in all Chanel boutiques nationwide, Harrods, Selfridges London, Selfridges Manchester Exchange, House of Fraser Glasgow and Fenwick's Newcastle. It is already available to buy from the Avenue Montaigne Boutique (if you happen to be in Paris that is!)

My Mother's Day Gift Guide for All Budgets

This might be a little late for the more organised amongst you, but personally, I'm always a bit of a last minute girl when it comes to things like Mother's Day. If you're planning a last minute shopping trip this weekend, or having a browse online, I thought I'd let you all know about my two favourite places to shop for Mother's Day treats for both the smaller budgets and luxury gifting.

Miller Harris is one of my personal favourite high end fragrance brands. If you want some of the most intriguing, sophisticated scents on the market, they're the brand for you.

Rituals is my high street lifestyle brand of the moment. It's affordable, good quality and they believe in making every routine in your daily life a 'ritual' (right down to the washing up!)

If you've got fragrance in mind, you can't beat the Noix de Tubereuse gift set from Miller Harris. It contains a 50ml fragrance and a 200ml body cream for £60. If you're a Miller Harris regular you'll know that this is a fabulous price, as the scent alone usually retails for £62. Noix de Tubereuse is one of my favourite scents from Miller Harris. An oriental fragrance with tonka bean, orris, amber, mimosa and violet, it's a perfect 'mum' scent.

My most recent discovery while browsing my local rituals store is the gorgeous Eau de Parfum No.1: Ginger Essence & White Tea. It's a fresh, clean scent that is unique yet likeable. It's also been discounted for Mother's Day at £29.90. (It's actually top of my personal wish list at the moment too, so I'd thoroughly recommend trying it even if you're not browsing for mother's day!)

If body creams are your mum's thing, my luxury option has got to be Miller Harris L'air de Rien. It's my all time favourite scent from the brand and the body cream is indulgently rich and creamy. It's on the pricier end of the spectrum at £52, but it's a true luxury product.

My budget alternative is the Honey Touch body cream. It smells divine, with Indian rose and Himalaya honey and is also discounted for mothers day at £9.90.

Last but not least for the candles. If your mum's a candle lover my top recommendation at this time of year has got to be something fig-based. I've been obsessed with fig fragrances recently. They are so fresh and mood-lifting.

My luxury choice is Miller Harris' Figue Amere scented candle. This is a salty variant on the usual fig-based scent but it's light and intriguing. £36.

I've also been loving my 'Under a Fig Tree' home fragrance sticks from Rituals recently and their accompanying candle is just as divine. It will set you back £13.90. I'm not a fan of the design (let's face it, you'd rather look at the Miller Harris one!) but it's a great budget alternative.

I hope this helps some of you who are on the hunt for the perfect gift this mother's day. More than anything I hope you have a lovely day making your mum feel extra special!

If you haven't seen it already and you'd like to 'meet' my mum, then check out this video I filmed with her a few weeks ago!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Rimmel Wake Me Up Foundation: My Thoughts

There has been a lot of hype surrounding the new(ish) Rimmel Wake Me Up Foundation, and this review has been a long time in the making...

I was sent this foundation before it's release back at Christmas time and I must admit it took me a while to get around to trying it. I've never been blown away by Rimmel foundations in the past so it wasn't top of my list of things I wanted to use (especially around Christmas time, where I find I rely on my old faithful favourite products to look good for parties and photos!)

When I finally got around to using it, I was pleasantly surprised. What appeared to be super shimmery in the bottle and rather gloopy-looking on my hand, actually gave the skin a lovely natural, radiant glow.

The shimmer is rather deceptive, and has been the cause of debate amongst bloggers recently. As far as my experience goes, it looks glitterball-esque in the bottle, doesn't show up at all in natural light, but is noticeable on the skin under strong artificial light (After thorough hand-testing, I found it only really showed up under my bathroom and kitchen lights, at night) So for me, the shimmer isn't an issue at all.

The really-hard-to-photograph shimmer - I hope you get the idea!

The one issue I wasn't 100% sold on was the coverage. At first I thought this foundation was a little light for me but after a thorough testing (I've been dallying back and to from this foundation since January) It's not the coverage, but the amount needed that was my issue.

I'm not a fan of 'slapping it on' (to put it rather crudely!) I like to use a small amount of product to achieve a medium coverage. With this you need 1 1/2 - 2 pumps to cover your whole face, which is more than I would normally like. It doesn't feel light on the skin and you can most certainly tell you are wearing it, but I have to say it looks lovely. 

It looks natural, glowing and leaves your skin feeling moisturised and healthy (for anyone with dry patches like me... it doesn't cling - horaay!)

Overall, this is a really rather fabulous foundation considering it retails for 8.99, has SPF15 and is regularly on 3 for 2 at Boots. It beats most of the other hyped up high street foundations in my opinion (My previous favourite Bourjois Healthy Mix included) and it even gives a lot of it's high end competitors a run for their money.

The shade range is pretty abysmal. There are 6 shades of fair/medium, of which I wear the lightest, Ivory.

A blurry example of their shade range from Boots' website! Click here for shade names etc.

Is it groundbreaking enough to it replace my beloved Chanel or Shiseido bases as some are proclaiming? No, but it's pretty close on their tails! If you're looking for something new to try and they have a shade for you, it'd definitely recommend giving this a whirl! 

This week I'm going to be giving away a bottle of this foundation to one lucky reader. If you'd like to win, all you need to do is head over to my website, where you'll find all the details!