Monday, April 30, 2012

The Shimmering Chanel Dupe!

Check out this near-perfect dupe for Chanel’s beautiful Illusion D’Ombre eyeshadow in Mirifique! It’s New Cid’s i-colour in Zinc and you can pick it up for significantly less than it’s Chanel counterpart (£14 vs £22.50!)
With the exception of Chanel’s beautiful packaging, they are virtually identical. If anything I’d say the New Cid alternative has a slightly better texture (you can see in the picture, the Chanel one tends to go on a little thicker!)
Left: New Cid, Right: Chanel
Both are the perfect choice for creating the most beautiful, shimmery smokey eye out there. They have a gorgeous heavy mousse texture (I'm not normally a fan of mousse-type products except when edible, but these are truly lovely!) 
If you do invest in either of these beauties however, be warned! You need a good primer to ensure you don’t end up with glitter all over you cheeks at the end of the night!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

NEW Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Eye Pencils

If you're a regular reader of my blog, you might recall me raving about the Bobbi Brown Eyeliner Duos way back at the beginning of December. They were the softest, most pigmented, long-wearing eyeshadows out there and were supposed to be a pencil alternative to Bobbi's famous Gel Eyeliners. Typically enough, they were limited edition with the Christmas collection, and sold out in a flash.
The limited edition shades from Dec 2011
The people at Bobbi Brown must have realised just how much of a loss this was to my makeup bag however, and have brought out the same formulation of eye pencils into the permanent line this month (along with some new shades of their cream eye shadow, and their Long-Wear Mascara).

They no longer come as dual-ended pencils, but are available in 6 shades: Jet, Black Navy, Black Plum, Mahogany, Smoke & Hunter (l-r above).

Although they don't have the stunning metallic shades we saw in the Christmas Collection, I love the new colour selection, especially Black Navy, Black Plum and Hunter. All of the colours are very subtle so would be a great way of accentuating your eye colour without wearing too 'wild' a colour.

The formulation is identical to the limited edition versions, it's super creamy, very highly pigmented and once dry will not budge. It even stays put in the water line for a good few hours. There has been a lot of hype around this type of gel/pencil liner, but I can honestly say this is my favourite. It knocks the socks off my Urban Decay 24/7's and MUFE Aqua Eyes.
From top: Black Plum, Black Navy, Hunter, Smoke, Mahogany, Jet
These are £17.50 and available on counter now. If you want to see swatches of the new shades all together, there are some great ones here.

**On a side note, if you do purchase one of these, make sure you replace the cap firmly everytime! If you leave it off, because they are a gel formula, they will dry out!**

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

MAC Fashion Sets Collection

It's not often that I blog about MAC collections. To be honest there haven't been many that have really 'floated my boat' in the last couple of years and when it comes to the latest collection low-down, no one does it better than Christine at Temptalia.

But just in case you haven't clapped eyes on this yet... I thought it was well worth a mention.
The Fashion Sets collection will be released in May (Beginning of in the US, End of in the UK) 
It's based around 7 of MAC's most famous lipstick shades, but they've made a matching gloss and nail polish of the same name to make cute sets of three.
Now these 'sets' aren't actually sets, as they are available to buy separately rather than in threes (bummer, I was hoping for a discounted price for three-products-in-one) but none the less, I am rather taken by them.
Saint Germain 
Russian Red
Impassioned is the shade that I've got my eye on. Personally I've been thinking about purchasing the lipstick for a while now so I'm going to be making a beeline for it when this collection goes on sale.

The Fashion Sets collection will be available in May, Lipsticks priced at £13.50, Lipglosses £13 and Nail Polishes £9.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Nailed: Models Own Tropical Sun

Following on from my post about Models Own 'Indian Ocean' last week... The second colour I picked up from the new Beetlejuice shades was Tropical Sun.

I don't normally go for orange polishes very often but I think this is absolutely stunning. It's a slightly metallic peachy-gold duo chrome with tiny flecks of silver glitter in the mix to add a bit of sparkle.

I think it's simply perfect for spring and summer!
As with a lot of semi-metallic polishes, it can apply a little streaky but I find a good topcoat (hello Sally Hansen Insta-Dri!) solves this problem completely. I think it wears really well too. So far I've been nothing but impressed with the Models Own polishes, I'll definitely be checking them out again in the future!

The Models Own polishes are £5 from Boots and currently on 3 for 2.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Mini Rave: Biore Make-up Removing Wipes

I know face wipes aren't my usual thing to review but I thought these were a little different to any I've tried before so what better reason to tell you all about them!

The Biore Make-up Removing Wipes don't look like anything special in the packaging and to be honest they aren't something I'd normally choose unless they were on special offer.

Let's keep it simple, cos they're only face wipes... but these honestly remove makeup more effectively, and faster than any others I've tried. One swipe and it's gone! Seriously, amazing!

The one problem is that they're not great for mascara. As the sheets are textured, they aren't as easy on the eyes as I'd hoped. But if you're looking for some makeup wipes with serious clout, then look no  further!

I'd definitely recommend these for people who need to take off a lot of makeup, fast (aka if you wear stage makeup, make up artists etc) They are oil free too.

You can pick these up from Superdrug now. They are £3.99 for a pack of 25.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Nailed: NARS Koliary

Over the last few years, I've developed quite an obsession with 'unusual' nail polishes: Glitter, Shimmer, Holographic effects are pretty much all I wear these days. It takes some really special 'plain' colours to get me excited, as next to glitter polishes, most colours look a little dull.

NARS' upcoming Summer nail polish collection with Thakoon has put an end to this though... I'm absolutely loving the scorching brights. They are inspired by Indian spice markets and have officially reignited my love for 'normal' nail polishes again!
This is Koliary, a bright turquoise that leans on the side of blue rather than green. I absolutely love this shade paired with anything hot pink... It makes you look twice as tanned as you are too!
My experience with NARS nail polishes hasn't been great in the past, but the formulation of this is simply beautiful. It's so thick and creamy, you could get away with just one coat (but it looks better with two!)
I'm also lusting after the bright yellow... such a fun shade!

The NARS Summer Collection is available now, priced at £14 each.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Fragrance Friday: Taylor Swift Wonderstruck

This review is neither here nor there when it comes to the release of Taylor Swift's debut fragrance 'Wonderstruck'. The scent was launched last year in the states (I picked it up in January when I was over there) but it doesn't hit UK shores till July... but I promised I'd review it in a video months back so here it is!

As you might expect from Taylor, this isn't aimed at mature women, so it's not a mature scent. It's a super sweet fruity-floral scent that is perfect for summer. It has notes of raspberry, green tea, peach and vanilla, and while it's not surprisingly a complex scent, I really love it! I think you'd like this if you're a fan of the seasonal Escada scents (Ocean Lounge etc) or Britney Spear's Fantasy.
It doesn't have the best staying power considering it's an Eau de Parfum, I'd expect the same kind of wear from a good Eau de Toilette. It's not awful, but only lingers on the skin for a few hours.

When I saw images of the bottle online prior to it's release, I thought it might be a little tacky, but in real life it's actually lovely. The purple bottle's got a holographic finish, and the charms dangling from the neck are inspired by Taylor's loves of birdcages, and the stars on her ceiling at home. For Taylor Swift fans (like me!) this is a sure fire hit. It's sold sensationally well in the US and I have no doubt it will do very well when it hits the UK in July.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

This Works Clean Skin 5-in-1 Water

After purchasing a jumbo size bottle of Bioderma while in Paris a couple of weeks ago and falling in love with it... I came home to be given a bottle of This Works Clean Skin 5-in-1 Water.

Initially I thought I'd save this untill I'd finished the Bioderma, but after hearing Emily from Fashion Foie Gras rave about this over dinner the very same day, I thought I had to give it a try ASAP...

And I'm so glad I did! This is honestly the BEST makeup remover I've ever used. 
A bold statement I know! It removes your eye makeup in a few swipes, and leaves the skin feeling smooth and refreshed. No redness, no irritation and as an extra bonus, it has a lovely, delicate scent.

It's formulated with rose water, olive and almond oils and wild water mint. I'm no ingredients expert but looking at the back of the bottle looks pretty good in terms of chemical-nasties. I actually got the chance to chat to the founder of This Works, Kathy Phillips, about this product and not only did she tell me that this product was formulated with Bioderma in mind (more specifically, improving on it!) but it also contains much less chemicals.

I know there is a lot of hype about Bioderma, and while it's a lovely product... this blows it out of the water for me. It's amazing!

Of course, there's always a downside... it's £21 for 200ml. Expensive... but lasts a good while if you're careful with it and my skin loves me for it!

The only gripe I have with this product is the size of the packaging, it's HUGE and only houses 200ml. A travel version would be nice... hint, hint, This Works!

The 5 in 1 Water is £21 and is available now with free delivery from feelunique

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Nailed: Max Factor Fantasy Fire Giveaway!

There has been such a blogging-frenzy over Max Factor's Fantasy Fire nail polish over the last few weeks, I was keen to see if all the attention was justified.
To be honest the deep purple duochrome, shimmer polish is right up my street regardless so I snapped up a few bottles when i saw it in Boots last week. (Word on the street was that it was sold out everywhere, but I've actually seen it a few times now!)

As many have already reported online, It's disappointingly sheer and will require 4 coats to reach anything near opacity (above). It's best layered over other polishes to get the effect in half the time. You can layer it over light or dark colours for different tones of purple. 
I think I prefer it over the lighter shades (see above, on top of avon Cosmic Blue and below, on top of Barry M Berry Ice Cream)
Overall, I think the colour is definitely worth the hype, it's not something I've seen before, and if you're willing to overlook the formulation... it looks stunning on the nails! It's only £3.99 too and on 3 for 2 in Boots at the moment.

I picked up an extra three polishes to give away to three lucky readers this week! All you have to do to be in with a chance of winning is:

1. Be a follower of my Blog
2. Write a comment on this post telling me what 'hyped-up' product you've recently purchased and what you think of it!
3. Make sure you include an email address or twitter name so that I can get in touch if you win!

Good luck girls!

The small print: This giveaway is open worldwide. Entry is open until midnight (GMT) Wednesday 18th April 2012. The winner will be chosen at random from the comments entered and announced in my next giveaway on 19th April. **The 9 winners from last week's giveaway for the Ciate Nail Wraps are Emma Barnett, Alyssa Jenkins, Laura Neale, Feyira DeFly, Claire Aikin, Sian Lewelyn, Daisy Lampton, Julia Nim & Judith Kent - you have all been contacted via twitter or facebook!**

Mega Deal Alert! Ojon Hair Care

Just a quick one to let you know about an amazing deal that Ojon are holding on their website this week.

It sounds a little outrageous, but they're offering a buy one get TWO free deal! (How that even makes sense... I don't know, but it's definitely good in my books!)

To give you a little more detail, with every £20 purchase, they will give you a free full size bottle of both the Volume Advance Shampoo and the Volume Advance Conditioner. What's more, they are also offering free delivery! Just enter the code 'VOLUME' at checkout. The offer starts tomorrow, while stocks last. Check out their website for more info.

The only Ojon product I've tried to date is their Damage Reverse Restorative Hair Serum (thanks to Glossybox!).

 I'm absolutely loving this so I'm definitely heading over to their website to have a peruse!

Review: Melvita Prosun Gradual Tanner

It's approaching that fake-tan-frenzy time of year again... In a bid to not look quite so pastey when (and if!) the fair weather rolls around, every year I road test all the new fake tans on the block.

This year I was most excited by Melvita's new Prosun Gradual Self-Tanning Moistursing Gel-Creme (tedious name, huh?!). I've tried Melvita's Prosun collection before, in the form of their sun lotion and after sun and it was lovely, so the idea of a gradual tan from them really appealed to me.
As the name suggests, it's an interesting gel-like texture. It promises to deliver a natural-looking, streak-free, sun-kissed glow while having absolutely no 'fake tan' (aka biscuit!) smell.

It's rather an alarming yellow colour in person and while I'm not a fan of non-tinted fake tans (I like to see where I've put it!) I have to say the resulting colour from this after just one application was as promised... Nice and natural with not a single streak. I can't deny it performed tanning-wise!
What it didn't deliver on however, was the smell. I can honestly say I've never experienced such a honking gradual tanner! Some of the 'deep' or 'dark' fake tans yes, but the graduals are usually a bit more subtle. I spent the whole day very aware of the smell and couldn't wait to wash it off when I got home.

My second bug bear with this is the amount of product needed. While the formulation is lovely, you require quite a bit to cover your entire body. I used this once and the bottle is about 1/6 empty. For a full on fake tan this wouldn't be such a problem, but for a product that you're meant to be able to use a few times a week, and that's priced at £20, I don't think this cuts the mustard really!

Sorry Melvita... not a winner in my books! My gradual-tanning heart still lies with Sienna X I'm afraid!

Monday, April 9, 2012

Nailed: Models Own Indian Ocean

I had to hit a few Boots stores before I managed to find a bottle of Indian Ocean in stock. It's one of three new polishes to be released in to their Beetlejuice line (two of which I have bought - more on the other one later in the week!)
It's a gorgeous blue (presumably inspired by the indian ocean!) with a lilac shimmer. Although most of the Beetlejuice shades are duo chromes, this is really more of a shimmer in my opinion.

It is disappointingly sheer on its own, and requires 4 coats for full opacity, I tried this out with a few different colours underneath it and think it's one of those polishes that can transform any plain colour.
Left-right: 1 coat alone, over Barry M Navy, over Barry M Berry Ice Cream, 4 coats alone

My favourite colour combination was with Barry M's Berry Ice Cream. One coat of each and it gave the most gorgeous effect. I'm not sure if it's the Barry M, the Models Own, or combination of both, but the wear time of this was amazing... 5 days with minimal chips! (Normally I struggle to get past 3!)

On a side note... this is the first time I've tried Models Own polishes and they STINK! Honestly the worst smelling polishes I've come across! However, if you can get over the smell... I'm loving this shade for spring and summer!

What do you think?

Models Own polishes are available from larger Boots stores, priced at £5 each (currently 3 for 2 though… yey!)

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Sneak Peak: Chanel Roses Ultimes de Chanel

I got the chance to take a few pictures of Chanel's upcoming Roses Ultimes de Chanel collection today and I can't wait to hear what you all think!

I'd heard quite a lot about this collection online as it launched on Valentine's Day in the US. It consists of 6 Glossimers, and 4 Nail Polishes.

Left-Right: Surprise, Plaisir, Volupte, Amour, Desir, Jalousie

Chanel Nail Polishes aren't usually my thing and none of these shades particularly caught my eye. However, there was one gloss in particular in the collection that I was most excited to see in person and that was Jalousie, a gorgeous, richly pigmented fuchsia.
My friend Allison has featured it on her blog and YouTube channel a few times in the last month. I knew I'd love it from seeing it on camera, but it's even more stunning in person. It's such a rich colour, and while I try my best with pictures, this is a must see product in real life.
The rest of the colours are also lovely. The beautifully glittery Desir and Amour are particularly eye catching, but if I'm honest Jalousie outshines them all by a mile. I have a feeling this one will sell out fast, so if you want to get your hands on it, head down to Chanel counters as soon as you can after it's release on 11th of May! (Priced at £20 each)

Ciate Caviar Manicure Giveaway!

I'm sure you've all seen and heard about the Ciate Caviar Manicure kits that have been causing a stir in the beauty world over the last month.

If you haven't been able to get your mitts on one, or they are a little out of your price range, then fear not! The lovely ladies at Ciate have given me 9 sets to give away: 3 of each shade.

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