June 28, 2013

Collective June Haul

Hey guys! So instead of making a haul post each time I buy something new, I thought I'd just make a collective haul post by the end of each month instead, depending on how much stuff I got that is. I just want to add, I don't include any PR samples in this, all of this is stuff I've bought from my own wallet. I'm also curious to know how you feel about haul posts? As I generally like them if there are more products in them rather than just a few things personally. I hear there are some that dislike them entirely though.

I actually purchased this Sephora Jasmine Storylook palette towards the end of last month but only received it at the start of this month. I've already put up swatches but have yet to put up looks yet as the skin around my eyes haven't been behaving. It's improving but want it fixed before I begin slapping on makeup again. It's a gorgeous palette and hopefully, I'll be getting my hands on the upcoming Ariel one soon too.

So I finally took the plunge and bought myself a pair of  Lime Crime candyfuture lipsticks having been pleasantly surprised by their Velvetines matte liquid lipstick. The shades are Coquette (nude) and the Styletto (black). Depending on how well I get along with these, I'll probably look into getting some more. There are a whole bunch of other colors I'm looking forward to trying, mostly cosmopop, babette (once it releases), chinchilla, great pink planet and poisonberry. I'm quite curious as to how mint to be would work, along with d'lilac and serpentina but I think I may only buy those shades when there's a sale on or something as I doubt they're colors I'd get much use out of. Their red and pink shades although more wearable, interest me a lot less.

 Oh Illamasqua, I keep trying to not buy more things from you but you keep putting up random offers online. This month, they had a buy one nail polish, get the second one at 50% off, considering how expensive their nail polishes are, I thought I'd go ahead and buy both of their raindrops polishes to see if they are as pretty as people make them out to be.

This month, I managed to find a way to get Lime Crime nail polishes shipped to the UK. I held off buying this for a while but noticed their stock decreasing everyday on ebay. So, eventually I quickly bought all of them and they are lovely. The ebay listing is gone as they completely sold out but there is this Canadian polish site that have recently had them in stock if you're interested.

I thought I'd throw all these circular items together xD

So first off, I bought this Enkore Make Up Pro Brush Soap in Jasmine during the cocktail cosmetics summer sale. It's basically a soap that's meant to make brush cleaning super easy. I won't be rushing to review this as I want to make sure I don't get any adverse reaction to the soap over time or find the quality of my brush deteriorates over time. All I can say for now though is that it smells lovely.

I also picked up a NYX HD grinding powder during the cocktail cosmetics sale. It's not a particularly exciting item and I still don't understand why powders are so expensive.

Last but not least, as I've been having dryish skin, I've bought a different LUSH face mask then I'm used to, the oatifix face mask. I've used it a few times already but again, I'm not going to put up a review until I'm done with it but I have to say oh god, the smell, I genuinely want to eat it each time I put it on my face.

So after I took all of these photos, I had a trip down to London where I happened to bump into the Illamasqua store which had a select few items on sale!
The Sophie pencil wasn't on sale but I completely finished mine ages ago and my current Kohl eyeliner is almost finished. I figure this would work as a great lip liner too with my new black lipstick. The sale items I bought was a dark blue eyeshadow in never and a rubber nail polish in Faux Pas. Guess what else? The day after I bought these, Illamasqua decided to add more items to their sale. Argh.

So one last item here. I know this isn't a fashion blog but I couldn't resist? I bought this steampunk style corset during corsetsuk recent sale. I find myself no longer attracted to the more goth style corsets but the idea of going all victorian really appeals to me lately. So yeah, I just need a white frilly type blouse to wear under this and I think I'll be ready to head out for a steampunk night sometime this coming month. I am definitely looking forward to steampunking it up.

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June 26, 2013

Bargain of the Month - NYX HD Studio Photogenic Grinding Powder

I have a question. Why are simple things like powder so expensive? Honestly it baffles me. Before university, I had no idea how expensive they were as my mum would always buy my stuff for me. Mind you, this was back when my makeup routine was pretty simple and before my experiment with all of the colors phase. Anyway, I happened to be using Clinique's superbalanced powder makeup as part of my routine. So one day during my uni years, I ran out of powder and made my way to a Clinique counter. Without a thought, I grabbed what I wanted and made my way to the till to make my purchase. When I saw the number ring up I genuinely thought there was a mistake, over £25? For a powder? WHAT.

I am currently on the lookout for cheap powders that are talc free. My last powder had talc in it and I have the feeling it wasn't helping my skin out at all. Luckily, on the Cocktail Cosmetics website, I happened upon this NYX cosmetics HD studio photogenic grinding powder that is usually sold for £21 which I managed to get for less than £5. They don't have much stock left over and there are only 2 variety of beige shades left over. I haven't had any averse reaction to the powder, it has a lovely vanilla scent and to top it all off, it gives you 17g of product which is far superior to Revlon's 7g of product. It essentially works the same way as Clinique's superbalanced powder makeup too, where you have to grind out the product as shown above. It also has a mirror on the inside of the lid which is great. I haven't peeled off the protective cover over the mirror yet though as I figure it'll keep it clean right up till the point that it's the only mirror I have at hand.

*I consider this a ramble rather than a review as powders aren't that particularly exciting products.

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June 24, 2013

4 Blogs that Began My Makeup Addiction

Since I've been blogging for over a year, I just thought it would be nice to share a few blogs that began my makeup addiction. This list was originally meant to have 5 blogs but in all honesty, there were only 4 blogs I regularly visited and was obsessed with when I began reading blogs. Before we begin though, here's a little background on myself: I was not one of those children who played with her mum's makeup, the closest I got to this was just organising my mum's makeup without touching any of the product itself. I was quite the tomboy as a kid. Eventually puberty hit me and I had all of the acne scars on my face forcing me to enter the world of makeup. My makeup routine was pretty simple, foundation, powder, brows, simple eyeliner and boring gloss/balm. So after years of just applying the same face, one summer after my first year of university,  I somehow stumbled across a website... 

Marlena from Makeup Geek
Makeupgeek.com, this website without a doubt gets full credit for making me experiment with makeup. The majority of the looks on her site are wearable ones too which was super handy. Her website has things from makeup tutorials, to product reviews and even a forum where you can chat with other makeupgeeks. I used to lurk around a fair amount on the forums but they haven't been as active as before. Marlena has started her own makeup line too which I've been lucky enough to try out and have bought some for myself. Her online store also sells select items from brands like NYX, Sugarpill and others. Marlena has also recently set up a more health and fashion type blog called Simply Marlena.

Kassie from Unique-Desire
Kassie was part of the makeup geek forums and would regularly post there and I really liked all of her makeup looks that she would put up. Out of all four of these blogs, Kassie's blog was the one that I would check on a daily basis for some reason. I blatantly had a mild obsession with her. She's done a whole bunch of makeup series from Sailor Moon, to Disney Princesses and even Harry Potter! She gained a fair amount of popularity that she eventually ended up doing a whole bunch of tutorial videos on Youtube.

Jangsara from Makeup Your Jangsara
Jangsara is a Finnish blogger, that to be honest, I'd be surprised if many of you haven't heard of her before. She does so many crazy, beautiful and inspiring work. I love her wigs, her false lashes and how she pairs it all so well with her makeup. Guess what else? She frequently does step by step tutorials on how she did a lot of her makeup looks. Although she has a lot of artistic and very out there makeup, she does sometimes put up the occasional wearable look too. I find she's not as active on her blog as much as before but she does update her facebook page a lot more if you're interested.

Meredith Jessica of Pigments and Palettes
Meredith Jessica is a Canadian blogger and (I'm guessing) self taught makeup enthusiast who instantly caught my eye as she began blogging with a Game of Thrones inspired series. She later on began incorporating Pantone's colors of the year into her makeup. She also did a cool no-princess Disney club makeup series, which was dedicated to the girls who weren't popular enough to be part of Disney's princess brand. She's lately been doing more fashion based posts where she also pairs her outfit really well with her makeup. If you're interested in actually copying any of her looks, do check out her Youtube channel.

Well that's that, hope you guys enjoy and more importantly do check out each of these sites as if it weren't for these 4 lovely ladies, I would never have began blogging. Have you maybe heard of these ladies before? Would love to hear your thoughts below!

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June 21, 2013

Lime Crime Les Desserts D'Antoinette Nail Polish Swatches

Hey guys! So ever since Lime Crime released these nail polishes, I've had my eye on them but put it off purchasing them at the time. Later on, the lime crime website announced that they would no longer ship their polishes outside of the U.S. which was jarring. Luckily enough though, I found an ebay listing that would ship to the UK, and I now finally own the collection! I was super excited and went straight away went to swatching! This post is kinda picture heavy, so you'll have to click onwards to have a closer look at swatches and first impression comments on each shade.
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June 19, 2013

Smooch Cosmetics Lipsticks Swatches & Review

Smooch Cosmetics is a brand I had never heard of up until the BrumBloggerMeet. They are a relatively new brand that launched in 2011. The concept behind the brand is "cosmetics with sex appeal". The idea was to create a lust worthy cosmetics brand that is saucy and sexy without being salacious. Their product packaging was inspired by a drawer of lingerie, hence the lace designs on the packaging.

Let me get my grievances out of the way first. Sweet Tooth is a beautiful pastel pink color that I assumed I would love. When I first received it, I had a quick hand swatch and loved the color however once I applied it to my lips, it was so sheer and gave practically no coverage. However, recently, I found it applied much easier and actually had color to it! Essentially I think the hot summer months have made easier to use. Honestly, I thought it was super strange how when it came to the time of actually reviewing these, they decided to behave. It's still not a particularly opaque formula though which disappoints me. After checking out their website though, I found that the site described the shade as 'A pastel pink lipstick which will provide a natural sheer tint to the lips', so as it's advertised I suppose it is my own fault for assuming it would be opaque.

Naughty on the other hand was a pleasant surprise. It is a brown shade so when I saw it I immediately thought MEH but one day when I finally decided to try it on I found I actually quite liked the color, it makes for a decent neutral color especially for when you've gone a little crazy with the eye makeup. Naughty is described as 'a long lasting, paprika brown that will add a touch of sophistication to any outfit'. It is much more opaque but still has a sort of shine to it, I'm guessing it's a satin finish.

In terms of durability, these aren't especially long lasting but their staying power is better than some drugstore brands I've recently tried out. I'd say you definitely have to retouch after eating as the majority of the color will have faded. The lipstick lasts for roughly 4 hours, but even then there'd still be a hint of the lipstick left. The lipstick definitely could use some touching up before the 4 hours are done.

All in all, the brand have introduced 7 new shades to their lipstick line which should be worth checking out. I think a problem with their site though is that they don't have swatches up so do read up on their descriptions if you decide to purchase any of them as some shades may seem like one color but it actually applied differently.

You can buy a Smooch Cosmetics lipstick for £7.50 on their website. The price is pretty reasonable considering how their are a few drugstore lipsticks that retail for a little higher than that.

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June 17, 2013

Storage Solutions Update - DIY Nail Rack

Hey guys! Just wanted to add a quick mini storage update. I know back in March I put up some photos of how I'd mostly been keeping my makeup on a shelf since I had moved yet again. As you can see in the before picture below, my nail polishes were beginning to take over my makeup shelf and were kind of just taking up place that my makeup that was hidden away in my drawers could have been kept. So I thought I'd finally sort out the problem by inserting a small nail rack.

As you can see above, there was a whole bunch of overhead space on my shelves so I figured why not add in a nail rack below the above shelf to make some room. Thankfully le partner came handy and pretty much did all of the work after we had discussed it. There's enough space to fill in 2 rows of polishes, since most of my polishes are Illamasqua's I thought I'd throw the random ones behind, along with the excess Illamasqua pieces and then filled up the front row.

For those of you wondering, the nail rack is D.I.Y and so wasn't in some sort of pre packaged box to buy. The wood was definitely the most expensive bit as we wanted it to blend with the rest of the shelf. The nail rack is essentially a length of flat wood that's been put up underneath another shelf. It's also had a tiny long curved piece of wood stuck to the outside of it to act as a mini barrier to prevent the polishes from toppling over, hence why you cant see the bottom of the polishes in the photos above. I'm hoping I've explained it well enough for people to understand.

I am hoping that I'll now be able to get much more use out of my 120 BH cosmetics palette as it's pretty much just been hidden away since I purchased it. Eitherway, it's beginning to look like my lipsticks will be taking over soon and I'm definitely hoping to find some way to neatly store my palettes. Problem with the palettes though is that they're all sort of spontaneously different sizes so they'll definitely be more tricky to deal with. If anyone has any decent storage tips with different sized palettes and lipsticks do share. :)

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June 16, 2013

Benefit 'The Rich is Back' Debenhams Exclusive Preview Event

So this Friday I, along with a few other bloggers who had attended the BrumBloggerMeet, were invited along to the Benefit counter at the Debenhams in the Bullring for makeovers and a sneak peak at the new Debenhams exclusive 'The Rich is Back' set. Benefit have collaborated with Matthew Williamson, a leading British fashion designer and have released this limited edition high fashion makeup kit. If you're wondering what Mr Williamson contributed to the product, it's all in the makeup kit's design. The box includes some of his most iconic prints!

"Benefit collaborated with leading British fashion designer Matthew Williamson to flash you back to the glamorous days of disco with rich, seductive shades inspired by vibrant prints. This limited edition, fashion forward kit dresses up your look with flashy eyes, a foxy flush and ruby lips. It's modern decadence!" - benefitcosmetics.co.uk

The item missing in the packaging is a cheek powder brush for the blush. As you can see you get 4 eyeshadows, 3 rather neutral shades and on gorgeous teal kind of shade. You also get a red gloss called inferno, alone with a mini they're real mascara and a blusher so you can easily create a full look with this kit. You can remove the makeup tray to use the box as a jewelry box too!

Walking around the Benefit counter filled with their adorable packaging, I was super tempted to purchase many things but am currently trying not to spend too much. Check out my Benefit Fake Up review.

At the event we were all given the opportunity to get out makeup done using the Rich is
Back makeup kit. There was a lovely mixture of neutral shades, heavy dark smokey looks and a more subtle combination of neutral shades with a hint of teal. Later on, we were all presented with some Benefit goodie bags!

A sneak peak at what I was given.
I was genuinely surprised we were given a goodie bag, sure it's just a bag full of samples this time but I thought it was quite generous of Benefit to do either way. Maybe I'm just surprised as I never started blogging ever expecting to receive free stuff. Especially as a 'shy' blogger who doesn't mention it to people I know aside from a select few. Either way, I think as I have recently been receiving free products, I will be setting up a disclaimer page sometime this month.

After we were given out goodie bags, the lovely Benefit ladies arranged a raffle for one of us to win a set, which Amy from Pretty Young Thing ended up winning. Check out her blog for a potential upcoming review!

Group shot time! Bloggers from left to right are:
Jessica, Emma, Sophie, Clare, Gemma, Carmen, Benebabe Wendy, Amy, Sara, Hayley & moi.

You can either purchase the Rich is Back set at Debenhams or online on the Benefit website for £26.50. It is an online and Debenhams exclusive item and it officially released yesterday.

*A few photos were taken off of Sara from Pretty in Pink, go check out her post on the event!

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June 15, 2013

Does Rimmel Apocalips live up to it's hype?

I'd like to hope this post isn't coming out too late for it to be irrelevant. I believe it released in January some time but I only heard of it during a giveaway Rimmel hosted sometime in March/April. I believe they've recently released in the US as Rimmel's Show Off Lip Lacquer. Last month, I gave in to the hype.

"It's the end of colour as we know it! The intense rich colour of a lipstick, enhanced by a satin smooth shine. It's neither a lipstick nor a gloss...it's BIGGER than both! LONG LIVE THE COLOUR!" - uk.rimmellondon.com

I didn't capitalise the text above, Rimmel did. With that description alone, I definitely feel like they're over selling it. Don't get me wrong though, this isn't a review of me hating on the product but with all the hype, I expected to fall in love with it.

So let's start off with what everyone notices first, the packaging. The top bit reminds me of a crystal, the superman crystals specifically for some reason too but that's just the way my mind works I guess. It has a doe-applicator and has a strange scent. The applicator feels pretty flimsy so I'm kind of careful when applying it, It's definitely one of the major things that irritates me with the product. I'm not sure if I personally like the smell but in a couple of minutes the smell disappears.

So what about the actual product itself?
I admit, I'm not a fan of glosses in general, between glosses and lipstick, I'll always chose a lipstick. (Or even glosses that mattify). This gloss is meant to be a great inbetween product. Not quite a gloss but not a lipstick. As someone who has tried some thick intense glosses with great pigmentation it kind of just reminded me of that type of gloss to be honest. It didn't feel groundbreaking aside from the fact that I don't have super sticky feeling lips when I use this which is cool obviously. To be honest, I like the formula, it is quite pigmented and it's a gloss I wear much more than previous ones. However there's one thing that majorly puts me off the product as a whole and that is...durability.

Most of the negatives I've listed so far aren't anything that especially bother me but the fact that it only lasts for 2 hours at the longest is irritating. I have no idea why or how as I don't stare into the mirror all day but I will notice this completely disappears. If you have a meal within 2 hours, I'm pretty sure it'll fade by then. I suppose it may be an issue with most/almost all lip glosses?

Either way as a massive hyped about product, although I do not regret spending £5.99 on it (for some reason) I am definitely disappointed in it.

*Rimmel Apocalips is the UK name for these, they're called Show Off Lip Lacquers in the US

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June 12, 2013

Nail Art - Jade Victorian Silhouettes

It's been a while since I've done any nail art posts. As I've recently purchased a fair few nail art related items, I thought I'd rectify this immediately. As a massive Illamasqua fan, I do try and space out posts related to them but I really wanted to try out one of my new purchases from them. I've also recently bought 2 new ones due to their recent online offer of buy one get one 50% off so that's now 3 nail polishes I'm eager to wear soon. Anyway today's nail art is also brought to you by Happy Nails UK, a small company that really stood out to me at last month's Beauty UK event.

The detailing on my nails are just stickers which is super easy to apply. However, I really REALLY struggled pulling out the stickers off their original packaging and even manged to destroy one or two of them. I read the packaging and it advised you use tweezers to pull them off but I fount it impossible to do this without destroying the stickers. I had to pick off the stickers with my nails as delicately as possible without ripping it off but it wasn't always successful. I was also kinda gutted that it only had one sheet, and one that was tiny at that. I'll make sure to put up a review on all the Happy Nails UK stuff once I've used them all up.

All in all, I really like the final look on these nails. I have enough stickers left over to do at least another manicure. I think I'll definitely redo these on a lighter, pale pastel type color to give it a softer look.

The shade I have used is Illamasqua's nail varnish in Nomad.

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June 10, 2013

Illamasqua Lipsticks in Test & Climax

Hey guys! So in last month's collective haul post, you may have noticed I had bought two Illamasqua lipsticks. The shades I bought were Test and Climax (naughty name I know). These two shades aren't especially exciting colors to be honest but are great everyday shades nonetheless. Test was my first Illamasqua lipstick I had ever bought and even though I ended up buying different shades over time, Test definitely ended up being my ultimate go-to shade. 

"Let your lips speak volumes. Indulge in colour-intense lipstick with a highly pigmented formula, available in a choice of flawless finishes, from creamy matte to iridescent finishes. Illamasqua Lipstick glides on smoothly and doesn't give up without a fight for the perfect all-night pout. A must have for professional make-up artists, and those who want to make a statement." - Illamasqua.com

Test is a soft pink chocolate with a matte finish

As I said earlier, this was my first lipstick from Illamasqua and I not only finished the whole tube but felt the need to rebuy when I was done with it. I recall the first time I bought this shade, I didn't actually know the name of the color and thought I had come home with an actual tester lipstick that was meant to be on the stands.

Climax is a dusty rose pink with a matte finish

I recall trying to purchase this shade at an Illamasqua counter several times but found that they were out of stock so often. Even whilst checking online, I found that the shade was still out of stock (the few times that I did check). So during the 50% off online sale at Illamasqua a short while ago, I noticed this was in stock! So I quickly made an order for myself. Although these formulas are generally on the drier side, I found Climax to be harder/slightly drier to apply than Test directly using the sticks. When I used a lip brush I had virtually no issues and found it applied better.

Personally, I find I prefer drier formulas to moisturising products when it comes to lip products (think Lime Crime's Velvetines & Illamasqua Lipsticks) as they aren't sticky and are long lasting. I find these lipsticks tend to last for 6/7 hours easily. However, I'm well aware that my preference isn't a popular opinion. If you're doubtful, I'd recommend trying out their lipstick at a counter near yourself as usually the counter folks are really friendly. (I say this as someone who's visited several ones around the UK.)

You can buy a single Illamasqua lipstick which has 4g of product for £16.50, however Illamasqua gives you 10% off from your 3rd order onwards from their site which breaks it down to £14.85.

Protip: Applying the lipstick with a lip brush is much easier than just applying straight away. Throughout the day/night, just retouch with the sitck if necessary.

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