Friday, 29 October 2010

Reviewed: Elf Lipstick in Fantasy

What they say....
"Indulge your lips with long lasting color and shine. The moisture rich formula hydrates, conditions and softens on contact for silky smooth lips"

What I say....

Packaging The lippy is packaged in a glossy silver tube whilst the inner tube is see-through which looks quite funky. My only qualm with the packaging is that the twist mechanism is really flimsy and loose and so the lipstick can easily move up inside the tube even when the lid is on. As you'll see from the pics the top of the lipstick bullet is flattened off which is the result of it getting squished against the lid whilst in my bag :( A quick scan of other reviews suggests this is a design flaw with all of these lippies, rather than just a one off.

Product Fantasy appears to be a mid- brown shade in the website piccies and in the tube but as you will see, it comes out as more of a nude pink/brown on me. According to the elf site it is unscented but a quick sniff suggests otherwise - it smells really sweet and sugary but not in an unpleasant way.

Results This lippy applies really well - it has a smooth, creamy consistency and feels moisturising on the lips - no dryness here. Its also easily buildable - a quick swipe gives a lovely wash of colour but it can also be layered up for a stronger look. The only downside is that its not a particularly long-lasting formula and I found myself having to reapply quite a few times throughout the day...although it applies so nicely that I actually didn't mind!

Price £1.50

Would I repurchase? Yes definitely - I can't wait to try the other shades but at they moment they are all out of stock...guess its a good sign if they're being snapped up!

Would I recommend? Yes just take care with the packaging or you will have one mashed-up lippy in no time.

Until next time,

Tuesday, 26 October 2010

Reviewed: Elf Brightening Eyecolour Quad in Butternut

What they say....
"Luxuriously smooth, corn silk formula provides eyes with a neutral base and an awakened brightness".

What I say....

Packaging Seriously no frills - lots of cheap plastic and the sponge applicator is as rubbish as you would expect. The case does feature a mirror underneath where the applicator is stored but its so tiny I can just about see one eyebrow in it!

Product Given the price I was pleasantly surprised by the quality of the shadows in this quad. The pigmentation is pretty good (as the swatch pic below shows the peach shade doesn't really show up particularly well on my NC30 skin but that's fine as it makes a great, all over base colour) 

Swatched on bare skin

The texture of the shadows is also fairly smooth if a little on the chalky side and although it doesn't show in the picture, the cream and peach shades are also quite glittery. I personally don't mind a bit of shimmer in my eye make up but it may be a little too much if you're after a totally natural look.

Results The pic below shows these shadows in action and whilst I'm not sure my eye looks particularly 'brightened' as the claim suggests, I love how the colours look on. I've been wearing the quad using the peach shade all over the lid, the darkest brown shade in the outer crease and the creamy beige as a highlight. Worn over some UDPP the shadows blend well and last pretty much all day :)

Price £1.50

Would I repurchase? Absolutely - this is a great value, neutral daytime quad.

Would I recommend? Yes at £1.50 a pop you can afford not to like it!

Until next time,

Monday, 25 October 2010

Hauled: Elf

The postman delivered this lovely lot from Elf today....

My haul consisted of:

♥     Studio Powder Brush (as recommended by Jen over at Sailboat)
♥     Nail Polish in Punk Purple
♥     Brightening Eyecolour in Butternut
♥     Mineral Eyeshadow in Celebrity
♥     All-Over Colour Stick in Pink Lemonade
♥     Luscious Liquid Lipstick in Bark & Maple Sugar
♥     Lipstick in Fantasy

Swatches & Reviews to follow.. :)

Sunday, 10 October 2010

Reviewed: Schwarzkopf Repair Rescue Sealed Ends

As I mentioned in an earlier post I get my hair chemically straightened and whilst I love the results, one of the few downsides is that the ends can become quite dry. Now we all know the only true cure for split ends is a trip to the hairdressers but I went on holiday earlier this year and couldn't get an appointment before we left. In desperation I decided to seek out a split ends treatment to tide me over which came in the form of Schwarzkopf Repair Rescue Sealed Ends.

What they say.....
"Repair Rescue Sealed Ends mends split hair ends and prevents them from reforming. BC hairtherapy with Cura+Protein Complex and Amino Cell Rebuild technology seals the cuticle and repairs the hair cell. For smoothed ends full of suppleness and shine".

What I say....

Packaging Repair Rescue Sealed Ends is packaged in a 75ml squeezy tube - you get a reasonable amount of product whilst still being an easy size to throw in your handbag.

Product As per the instructions Repair Rescue Sealed Ends is applied  to the ends of dry hair. Its a leave-in finishing product so there's no need to rinse and a little goes a long way (the amount shown below is about double what I need to use and I have below-shoulder length hair and lots of it!). The product itself is a gel/cream formula that leaves a non-sticky finish - its quite heavily fragranced and I'm not particularly keen the scent they've used but it fades quickly once the product dries so it doesn't cause any major issue.

Results As the pic shows this leaves the ends of my hair looking smoother and shinier and lasts pretty much all day. On closer inspection it has sealed most of the split ends and although they soon spring back to life after I wash my hair, this product delivers on what I asked for which is a  temporary treatment for dry ends until I can get to the hairdresser.



I've also found that this product works well for light styling as although its not officially a fixing product, it has just enough hold to tame my wayward fringe. As for the claim that it actually mends and prevents split ends reforming?...I can't really comment as I've only tended to use this for short periods when my hair needs trimming but I must say I'm skeptical - if it really did then most hairdressers would be hot-footing it down to the job centre as we speak!

Price £8.05 plus delivery from this site

Would I re-purchase? Yes although because even the tiniest amount of product goes such a loooooong way I can't imagine I will need to anytime soon.

Would I recommend? Definitely - a fabulous quick-fix product and great value for money

Until next time,

Wednesday, 6 October 2010

Reviewed: Lush Jungle Conditioner

I first encountered Lush's solid shampoo bars a few years ago when I went backpacking and whilst browsing their online shop a few weeks ago, my attention was well and truly grabbed by the Jungle solid conditioner.

What they say....
"Containing 5 different fruits, Jungle feels different on your hair from liquid conditioner; until you wash it off, you hardly notice it's there. It smoothes and detangles, leaving a fruitily scented coat of shininess. Smooth it along the length of your hair from root to tip, then rinse out."

What I say....

Packaging Erm well like many Lush products there isn't really any other than the bit of cellophane it came wrapped in. Storage is a bit of a problem as you can't just leave it in the shower or on the side of the bath like other conditioners (unless you want to be greeted by something that resembles this on your next trip to the loo!) I tended to just pat mine dry and pop it on the bathroom shelf safely out of water's reach.

Product Poor Jungle is a also bit of an ugly duckling - its an insipid shade of green and the texture reminds of a cross between a crumbly block of cheese and good-old homemade soap where your gran - in her aim to save the household pennies - sticks all the little dregs from different bars together! There are no instructions included but one of the website reviews suggests soaking a small chunk in a pot of warm shower water whilst you shampoo so that its soft and easy to apply. Unfortunately I couldn't quite master the 'hot water to chunk size' ratio and ended up dissolving it entirely so in the end I took to just rubbing a small piece between my hands until it looked like this...

...and then just smoothed it onto my hair.

Results I really wanted to like Jungle as the quirky application is quite fun but unfortunately the formula just wasn't rich enough to condition the dry ends of my hair. I had to resort to some leave-in conditioner just to get the comb through. However all is not lost as I discovered that Jungle makes an awesome shave gel and the formula is moisturising enough to leave my legs and underarm skin lovely & soft:)

Price £4.20 for 100g

Would I repurchase? Possibly if I was in Lush buying something else anyway but I wouldn't go out of my way to pick this up.

Would I recommend? Yes if your hair doesn't need much conditioning (or if you're in the market for some "fancy-but-gross-looking-and-tricky-to-store" shave gel!

Until next time,

Tuesday, 5 October 2010

Reviewed: Rimmel The Max Bold Curves Mascara

In need of new mascara I popped into Asda after work intending to pick up Rimmel's Lash Accelerator but my eye was instead caught by The Max Bold Curves. Whilst my eyelashes aren't particularly short, they are annoyingly straight. Yes - I could set about them with the Shu Uemura's but if I'm honest I can't really be bothered of a morning and so my journey to find a decent curling mascara continues! Here goes with the latest installment!

What they say....
"Take curvy, bold lashes to the max with The Max Bold Curves Mascara. Not only will it give your flirtatious flutters up to 14x more volume, it will also create unmissable lashes with up to 70% more lift. Exclusive formula with collagen thickens lashes, while keratin helps to make them stronger, sleeker and shinier. And with our biggest, most curvaceous Bold-Lift brush, you can max out every lash in a flash!"

What I say....

Packaging The Max Bold Curves is a variation of the Volume Flash range and so comes packaged in the familiar slightly curved/tapered tube. As you can see the colour scheme is bright lime green with pink text and it neither excites or offends me (although the writing doesn't jump out from the tube so is a bit hard to read).

Product The Max Bold Curves' bristle brush is curved (as you would expect from a curling mascara!) and a little on the chunky side. The formula is medium consistency - not overly wet but neither does it have one of those (in my opinion!) irritating formula remover thingies at the top of the tube. I picked it up in Black (this may be the only shade  I didn't see any others on the shelf and the Rimmel website doesn't mention colours at all!) The colour is pretty good - not overly pigmented but then this mascara already makes enough claims without the colour intensity also being one of them!

Results As the pictures show both one and two coats added a fair bit of length - at least double - and the curved brush did a decent job at grabbing even the smallest outer-corner lashes. Unfortunately I can't say much for  the amount of volume - whilst I wasn't remotely hopeful of achieving the 14x claim I actually think the standard Volume Flash comes out better on volumising, which is disappointing given that its a major claim of The Max Bold Curves. On the up-side the curl is pretty good (using my highly scientific method of  'can I feel my lashes tickling my brow bone'? the answer to which is yes, lightly!) and there was no smudging as the day wore on.
Bare lashes:

One coat:

Two coats:

Price £6.47 

Would I repurchase? I'll definitely use up this tube but the so-so volume makes it a no from me.

Would I recommend? Yes if you're after a good all-round mascara its definitely worth a try.

Until next time,

Sunday, 3 October 2010

Hauled: NYX Cosmetics

Last week I received my first NYX delivery from the fab Joy's Cosmetics ebay store. Here's what I ordered (with prices)..

♥     Round lipstick in B52, Thalia and Tea Rose (£4.40 for all 3)
♥     Rouge Cream Blush in Rose Petal (£3.47)
♥     Small Concealer Brush (£2.52)
♥     Concealer in a Jar in Beige (£2.50)

Joy (am assuming that's her actual name!) also threw in a Lipliner Pencil in Deep Purple. I'm not sure I'd be brave enough to wear it - the colour is as full-on as the name suggests - but hey, it was free so I'm not complaining!

Delivery was £7.20 from the US and my order arrived in about 10 days (which isn't too bad considering it had to cross the Atlantic to get here). Each item was safely contained in bubble wrap and check out the cute little stickers.....

I'm a total sucker for quirky packaging! And here they are in their full unbubbled glory..... 

I won't spend any time swatching the lippies as there are already tons of fabulous posts about them in existence (I know, I know I'm massively late on the uptake!) but will review the other bits soon. Am particularly excited to see how concealer in a jar stacks up against my faithful Mac Studio Sculpt given the £10 price difference  :)

Until next time,

Saturday, 2 October 2010

Reviewed: Relax and Wax 'No Scream Cream'

What they say....
"NO-SCREAM CREAM is a topical anesthetic that makes waxing relatively pain-free and can ease waxing discomfort by approximately 80 percent! When you start using NO-SCREAM CREAM you'll stop dreading your wax appointments".

What I say....

Packaging The cream comes in a 1oz (28g) tube with a cute bikini print. Its fairly no-frills but it does the job!

Product Relax and Wax takes the form of a white cream containing 20% benzocaine - a miled anaesthetic which gently numbs the skin. It is applied 30-45 minutes before waxing and the trick is not to rub it in fully. Instead apply Relax & Wax as fairly thick  layer so the cream still appears white - this ensures that there is enough of the painkilling ingredient on your skin to have an effect. You don't however have to walk around like this though as after 5 minutes the cream does absorb - which also means it doesn't interfere with the waxing process.

Results I can cope with leg waxing quite well but found my first couple of bikini waxes almost unbearable. When I bought this cream the therapist suggested that taking a painkiller can also help so I have been using the cream in tandem with 2 ibuprofen ever since and have to say that I find bikini waxes far less painful. I used to dread my next appontment and whilst its still no party, I definately feel less pain. If I'm honest I can't say if this is the cream or the pills or both together but all I know is something is working and I'm not going to be cutting either out just to find out which it is!

Price I think I paid about £18 which seems a lot given the amount of product you get. This tube has lasted me for over a year so far though and is still half-full although I only use it for bikini waxes - you'd get through it far quicker if used on larger areas making it a pricier purchase.

Would I repurchase? Definitely - I won't be getting waxed without it. I got my original tube from my local beauty salon but a quick google search brings up quite a few online stockists including an ebay seller who is selling it for much less than I paid!

Would I recommend? Yes if you find waxing painful/uncomfortable then you have nothing to lose - and if you don't then what are you made of? :)

N.b This product can't be used if you are allergic to Benzocaine, Lidocaine, Novacaine etc

Reviewed: About Face by Scott Barnes

About Face is a new book by Scott Barnes - a celebrity make up artist whose clients include Gwyneth Paltrow, Kate Hudson & Christina Aguilera. Perhaps his biggest celebrity fan is Jennifer Lopez whose trademark 'glow' has been the result of Scott's skilled handiwork since they started working together 6 years ago.

About Face begins with a foreword from Jen herself & is then divided into 3 sections of 'transformations' which are essentially makeovers. The decision to use the word transformation is according to Scott highly intentional - his belief is that with the right beauty tools & techniques every woman can change their look from pretty average to flipping extraordinary. Each makeover includes step-by-step instructions (although Scott's approach to the order in which products are applied is a little unorthodox in places - blusher and lips before eyes for example!?)

The makeovers are interspersed with top tips from Scott, celebrity interviews (in fact I think most of the transformation subjects are famous but perhaps only Stateside as I don't recognise many of them!) as well as Q&A sessions with expert beauty and skincare specialists. The makeover subjects differ in age, race and skin tone so there will be something in here for everyone.

What makes this book stand out for me is Scott approach to highlighting & contouring. To most of us - me included - its something to do after your base is applied but Scott makes it a central part of make up application often using different coloured foundations to sculpt the face and draw out features. Here are a couple of photos from the book to show you what I mean...

From this... this!

There is no denying that the guy is a flipping genius with a goat-hair foundation brush although if I'm entirely honest I find the idea just a little intimidating! It might take me a little time to go from reading to trying this particular technique but in the meantime there are plenty of other tips to try.

All in all I think this is a great book, stuffed full of tips and accompanied by fab photography and witty copy. My only gripe would be that Scott doesn't let you know what products he has used but I would still highly recommend it. I picked About Face up from Amazon for £10 (including delivery). I personally think this is amazing value for such a great book and I'd have happily paid twice as much.

Until next time,