September 30, 2013

Kat Von D Painted Love Lipstick

For a long while, I've been quite eager to try out Kat Von D's cosmetic line. Sadly, as I'm located in the UK and her cosmetic line is exclusive to Sephora, seemingly only across the Atlantic as well. I have to say, considering how Sephora originated in France, it really sucks that the US seems to have the best range of products and none of them manage to make it over in France for some bizarre reason. Anyway, I managed to pick up one of these lipsticks on eBay and the other two from Roses Beauty Store.

The Painted Love Lipstick range began by taking Kat Von D's signature lip color, a sophisticated red, and expanding it into a range of smoldering shades, from crimson to blood red along with a fair few others. The shades I ended up purchasing was Celebutard after seeing it on Ebay which is a nude peach beige. I then bought Lovecraft purely because of the name as I already own a lipstick similar to it's shade. It is described as a berry beige which I can see but I would have described it as a dusty rose or pinky beige. Homegirl is the darkest of all three, it's described as a dark plummy brown but I see it as a burgundy.

 You may notice the packaging of Celebutard looks greyed out compared to the other two shades, it's because it's what the old lipstick packaging used to look like, on a matte packaging whereas it now has a slightly glossy packaging instead. It is now housed in a deluxe tube with a clear Lucite bottom that shows off the color inside, and the cap is stenciled with silver roses on black. The roses are inspired by Kat's favourite tattoo which is pretty cool. The only thing I don't particularly like about the packaging is that the tube is rather thick and chunky.

It isn't a long wear lipstick and it tends to transfer a lot quite easily due to its creamy texture. That said, I find different shades tend to vary in moistness/dryness. The driest out of all 3 and the most difficult to apply was Celebutard but it is obviously a really old one so it could just be because of that. Homegirl is the the creamiest one out of all three but I highly recommend using a lip liner with it. Lovecraft was somewhere in the middle of the two. The lighter shades didn't seem as opaque as Homegirl. The lipstick can last anywhere between roughly 2.5 to 4.5 hours. It mostly depends on how much often you eat or drink.

The Ingredients include natural seed oil (castor) which acts as an emollient and moisturiser, Hydrogenated Polydecene which is an emollient that contributes to the lipsticks long-wearing effect and Vitamins A, C and E which provide antioxidant and anti-aging properties. Despite including an ingredient that extends how long the lipstick it lasts, I definitely would not consider it to be a long wear lipstick.

It's unfortunate that this lipstick's availability is limited to Sephora stores. For those of us who really want to purchase them your best bets are Ebay or Roses Beauty Store. If you're in the states, the price for a lipstick would be roughly £12 but through Roses Beauty Store it'll cost you roughly £18, less if there's a discount code floating about. You get 3g of product per lipstick so considering what I've said about it's durability and texture, I would not have been happy to spend £18 on Celebutard, so I'm pretty happy I bid only £7 on ebay and won it. I may resell it if I decide I ultimately no longer care for it at all. However, being able to say my lipstick is called Lovecraft? I'd spend much more for a lipstick with that name. I love Homegirl, even though there's probably cheaper dupes out there for it, I don't regret purchasing it. Ultimately though, I probably won't be purchasing other shades in the collection for £18.

Overall, the quality seems to vary per shade but I love the lipsticks I ended up paying full price for. Unless I was able to try these on in-store, I probably won't be purchasing any other shades (for more than £12) without being able to test out their quality.

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September 27, 2013

24 Lipstick Display Stand

As I've mentioned before, I've been trying to stop myself from hoarding so many eye shadows so I've decided to start stock piling a whole lot of lipsticks. This has caused many a lipstick to just be thrown about on my shelf. So when Hayley had written up a post on this clear acrylic lipstick display stand, it was a no brainer, I placed my order almost instantly and now that I've filled up this whole rack, I'm currently considering on ordering a second.

The display rack costs only £3. The only thing that may put you off from purchasing this is that the seller is based in China so it will take a while for you to receive your item. It took roughly 15 working days for me to receive this but maybe your luck may not be as good as mine was as I imagined I'd only receive mine after a full month. If your impatient, there are a few other local listings for roughly £6.

Anyway, as you can see most of my lipsticks fit in the display however not all of them do, like Yves Rocher, Sleek Lipsticks and Kat Von D lipsticks. That said, I have kinda forced the Sleek and Kat Von D lipsticks in (I would not recommend doing this as they can get stuck). I've sorted out the Yves Rocher problem by putting it in upside down. Also, you're not limited to only putting in lipsticks, you can fit in glosses, mascaras or even a few primers (depending on the bottle).

Rather than order the rack by brand I thought I'd give each row in the display rack a certain theme. So the first, top most row had brown and neutral toned lipsticks. The second had pinks, third had bright shades (from reds, oranges, pinks and even purple) and the bottom most one has all of the darker shades. It's a better system than just sticking specific brands together as if I'm in a rush to get out, I don't want to pull out every, for example, Illamasqua lipstick I own to find a particular shade.

So all in all, I love these, they're an awesomely cheap way to organise my lipsticks and it makes me feel as though I own a beauty store too. XD

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September 25, 2013

Claire's Blogger Event

So a few weeks ago I had been invited along to a blogger event hosted by Claire's courtesy of Sara from Pretty in Pink as I was her +1. When she mentioned the event I admit I was very hesitant to attend as Claire's had always struck me as a childish store but after getting the invite from their PR team I thought it'd be rude not to at that point so I tagged along and was incredibly surprised by what I found.

Heidi, Hayley, Charlotte, Sara, Me, Sophie & Chloe

To start off with, the event was hosted in Harvey Nichols' champagne bar at the mailbox...quite a posh setting for a brand I had labelled as 'for kids'. When I saw a variety of their upcoming products neatly displayed in the bar though, I was surprised by all of the accessories that I looked at and thought to myself 'I want that'. I especially liked the variety of bows that they had, tartan, lace, camouflage/army print and studded. They seemed like an awesome accessory if I wanted to try out a gothic lolita style outfit (unsure if it'll ever happen though as cutesy doesn't seem to fit my personality). They also had a super unique bowler cat hat which was pretty awesome. It matched perfectly with Hayley's outfit on the day.

Turns out, Claire's has been aware of the 'it's a store for children' label it has and has been actively making the effort to broaden it's demographic. They have also been busy expanding and improving their beauty range. I'm especially excited to try out their nail polishes, they seem to come in a variety of finishes, look quite similar to nails inc bottles and are drugstore price. I love that they stock Lipsmackers as I haven't really seen any for quite a few years. I'm quite curious to see just how well their eyeshadow palette performs.

Sadly, I arrived late at the event and had to leave early for another, I know I would have liked to have stayed for the full event before moving on as I couldn't have been at the event for more than an hour alone. We did take a group shot with us all wearing a random accessory, even though you can't tell as most of the tiaras have been wiped out due to the Instagram filter. Oh well, all in all it was a lovely evening and I was quite happy to meet the local blogging crew again.

Next time you see a Claire's stop by inside, see if there's anything to your liking in there. You may be surprised with what you find! 

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September 22, 2013

Top 5 Autumn Lipsticks

Autumn is officially here...despite it feeling as though it has hit us in the UK a bit early. Now, although I don't tend to care for seasonal trends in general and am a huge advocate of 'wear what you want, when you want' but I thought I'd share my top 5 autumn vibe lipstick shades. What do I mean by Autumn vibe shades? Essentially dark vampy shades along with a few recent releases too. Again, as per usual, these aren't the best lipsticks out there but are my personal choices. I made sure to not be too biased to any specific brand and included a variety of brands along with a decent price range. I've made sure to include both hand and lip swatches too! 

Top: Rimmel 04, Lime Crime Styletto, UD Venom lipstick only
Bottom: UD Venom with lip liner, Illamasqua Shard, KVD Homegirl

Rimmel London Kate Moss Lipstick in 04 - £5.49
I bought this color as it seemed to be a cheaper alternative to Illamasqua's Kontrol and because it's purple of course. I love this shade so much but I have to say I can not stand the way this smells at all! I don't think I've ever had such an adverse reaction to the scent of a lipstick before. Although it's a struggle to apply (if you dislike the smell) and you tend to ignore the scent after a while, I can't say I regret buying this as I just love this lip colour so much. 

Lime Crime Opaque Lipstick in Styletto - £11.5
I actually purchased this a while ago and have only recently-ish posted up a review on a few Lime Crime lipsticks. Styletto was the least 'safe' shade out of those four lipsticks. Although I own another black lipstick shade and despite Lime Crime's dodgy history and reputation, I prefer Styletto because of it's glossy finish. Sadly, I haven't had much opportunity to wear it out much. I look forward to finally being able to wear this as house party season is just around the corner now.

Urban Decay Revolution Lipstick in Venom - £15
The lightest shade out of 5 I've chosen, Urban Decay only just released their new Revolution Lipstick's in July (August if you're in the UK) and Venom just stood out the most to me out of the entire collection. It's a creamy bright plum lipstick that isn't especially durable on it's own but lasts for ages when you pair it with it's corresponding 24/7 lip pencil. The lipstick on it's own is much pinker than with the lip pencil which makes it a little darker and more purple.

Illamasqua Lipstick in Shard - £16.5
Shard is part of Illamasqua's most recent collection, the Sacred Hour, that released this summer. Shard is truly a strange shade, I find it looks quite different on everyone that wears it but its described as a red violet shade by the brand itself. It's lovely on it's own but it's a shade I admit I like to tone down a little with a deep pink gloss. It's also the only matte lipstick I've chosen for this list, you really need to make sure you exfoliate and moisturise your lips to make the most of this shade.

Kat Von D Painted Love Lipstick in Homegirl - £17.99
This lipstick is much cheaper if you have the convenience of being located in the states, retailing at only $19 making it just £12. For us in the UK, you can purchase Kat Von D's lipstick's at Roses Beauty Store like I did for a couple of extra quid. It may be a little extortionate for some but for myself, it's certainly loads cheaper than booking a flight there. Anyway, this colour is a gorgeous dark plummy brown shade with a glossy finish.

So anyway, those were my 5 favourite lipsticks for this season. Let me know your favourites below!

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September 20, 2013

Braving Bright Bold Lips

It's been a while since my last post but don't let that fool you, I haven't been doing nothing for this blog. In fact, I've been working on and have published my contact and disclaimer page *point upwards*. I have an about me page in the works as well but won't probably be up too soon as I'm still experimenting with various layouts. Anyway, today I decided to brave a bold bright pink lipstick. I've mentioned several times before that I'm most comfortable in either nude colored lipsticks or dark ones but I believe it's important to always step outside of one's comfort zone.

So I thought I'd knock two birds with one stone and make it a bright pink lip. I actually bought this color way back in February but haven't really worn it as again, bright lipsticks scare me, the shade is Sleek's sheer lipstick in Fuchsia. I ended up pairing it with Urban Decay's 24/7 lip pencil in anarchy which I bought soon after trying out their pencil in venom as I just loved the quality of these lip pencils. Anyway, I kept my eye makeup simple by just adding a little flick to my liner and applied a light neutral blush to keep the focus on the lips. I have to say, I'm actually quite fond of the finished look. Although I don't tend to really care for seasonal trends I can't help but think this would have been a decent look to pull off during the sunnier summer days.

Products Used
Illamasqua Skin Base 10
Illamasqua Powder Foundation in 200
Vitage cosmetics eye color in spiced coffee
Urban Decay 24/7 lip pencil in Anarchy
Sleek Makeup sheer lipstick in Fuschia
Illamasqua precision ink in Abyss
Illamasqua pencil in Sophie
Illamasqua powder blusher in Ambition

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September 13, 2013

Sigma Creme De Couture Macaron-Inspired Eye Shadow Palette

I have recently been trying to keep an effort into not purchasing any eye makeup palettes. Why? Because at the start of my makeup addiction, I began by buying ALL of the eye shadows. After a while I figured I'd try and cool it down for a bit and buy more lip and cheek products. Anyway, when I saw this palette and the colors in it, I just had to have it immediately. Pretty makeup inspired by pretty deserts? Om Nom Nom Nom. This palette definitely had the right ratio of colorful to neutral eye shadow colors for my taste, with the colorful ones outnumbering the more neutral boring shades.

The colors in the palette are all inspired by macarons hence their super colorful range. I love the color descriptions and names. There are some interesting flavors that I would love to actually try tasting for all but Elderberry. No matter how hard I try, it just makes me think of the classic line 'your mother was a hamster and your father smelled of elderberries' by the insulting Frenchman from Monty Python. 

Redberry Rose is a vibrantly fresh hot pink
Apricot Flower is a delicate whip of peach crisp
Passion Fruit is a rich tropical icing
Cherry Blossom is a light and airy cherry bloom
Meyer Lemon is a zeisty, sweet, golden glow
Ginger Pumpkin is an earthy, spiced orange cake
Café au Lait is a buttery, warm mocha cookie
Blueberry Cream is a milky blue velvet créme filling
Violet Whip is an airy pastel lilac highlight
Lavender Honey is a subtle hint of pansy purple glaze
Cassis is a shot of bold & creamy berry
Elderberry is a luscious concord for smokey depth
Blue Chocolat is a melt-in-your-mouth light aqua créme
Almond Pear is a sweet mint celadon marmalade
Créme de Menthe is a refined & delicate milky sea green
Citron Pistachio is a vividly bright lime meringue

Over Urban Decay Primer Potion
Over NYX Jumbo Pencil in Milk
The packaging is so unique compared to all of the other palettes I own. Every palette that I own flips open but with this, you get to take off the lid entirely (think like the Benefit blushers). Between this and my Z-palette I imagine I would chose to take this away with me on holiday just because I feel as though this would be much safer than the flimsy cover of my Z-palette and are far less likely to open up and fly everywhere during travel time. The pastel cover gives it a spring time feeling, making it a bit of a strange time for Sigma to release this palette but I'm not going to complain.

As you can tell from the swatches the shadows alone or even with your standard everyday eye shadow primer, the shadows are not especially pigmented but aren't impossible to work with either. They come off somewhat sheer and you really need to build the product for extra pigmentation. I'm not surprised though as matte pastel shadows generally tend to be much harder to work with. Either way, I would definitely say these are more pigmented than some of Sleek Makeup's eyeshadow palettes. Yet ultimately, if you want to make things easier for yourself, I highly recommend you apply these shadows over a creamier base, I personally use NYX's Jumbo Pencil in Milk to get decent coverage. 

Ultimately, the formula tends to vary per shadow with the extremely light colors being somewhat chalky and the rest are alright. They aren't super silky like some shadows I own but they do the job. They don't last well with just a primer but are super durable and vibrant with a creamy white base (I use NYX Jumbo Pencil in Milk). They're also safe to wear as I haven't had any sort of reaction to wearing them. 

You can purchase this palette alone or as a set with 3 other blushers in the collection either on the Sigma site or if you're in the UK on Cocktail Cosmetics like I did (some of the items are currently out of stock). I decided to just stick to the palette as I don't experiment enough with blushers. The palette cost £27.95 alone and each blusher costs £9.95 on Cocktail Cosmetics if you're in the US though you'll be able to get it for cheaper on the Sigma website. 

Overall, I love that you get 16 beautiful colors in this, it's a good starter pack for those who want to begin experimenting with colors and if you want the shadows to look as bright as they are in the box you should definitely use an eye shadow base over an eye shadow primer.

Have you tried any of Sigma's products before? Let me know in the comments section below!

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September 11, 2013

Selfridges & Bullring Turns 10 Event

So last week, on Wednesday the 4th of September, I had been ever so kindly invited by Sara from pretty in pink to join her as a +1 to a VIP event in Selfridges. There had been so much talk about Selfridges turning 10 that I had only learned just then that the Bullring had also turned 10 along with it. I was genuinely surprised to find out that the mall was so young to begin with as it would have only been around for 6 years when I had first moved to Brum for university.

As you can see, when it came to celebrating, everyone immediately thought of deserts, especially cake. The Selfridges food hall had a fair few special treats on display, macaroons were arranged to make a big 10 and a big cake with the number 10 was clearly inspired by the numerous aluminium discs on the exterior of the Selfridges building in Birmingham. During the same week, I also happened to notice another huge cake in the Bullring itself, it was designed by the local chocolate factory, Cadbury World, and it's got a bunch of Birmingham landmarks on it. There are admittedly some things on there I don't fully understand, like the tennis balls or giant teacups but that could just be a generic 'I'm British so I drink tea' thing.

So on to the event, we attended slightly late as we were at an event previously in Harvey Nichols but by the time we arrived there was a speech that informed us all that Selfridges would be undergoing a £20 million makeover and the beauty hall will have it's own full floor which excited me the most. It was a lovely evening up in the Moet Bar and Gallery Restaurant where we were served yummy deserts and a few people indulged in some colorful looking alocoholic beverages (I stuck with my boring water). Suddenly in the middle of the evening we were all surprised and entertained by the cabaret performer Le Gateau Chocolat, it was the first time I had ever seen a man in front of me wear such crazy and bright pink makeup. He was super entertaining and I loved his confidence.

 I actually failed at taking photos during the night sadly but I'm sure others will have some up. As I already mentioned, I attended as a +1 of Sara's and her buddies, Hayley from Strangeness and Charm, Chloe from Unwritten Hollywood and Charlotte from lilmisschickas. I also bumped into Florrie of Intrinsically Florrie who I had met at VintSetFest and she seems to have caught some lovely photos. Not pictured in the group shot was my fellow +1 buddy, Sophie from Pocockins who probably kept me company for most of the evening. 

The celebrations didn't end there, throughout the week Selfridges had a mini van that would move around Birmingham offering free mini makeovers, skin consultations or Krispy Kreme doughnuts. Selfridges itself had various artists performing live in store and there were a wide range of promotions and offers in store across the food, beauty and fashion sectors.

Anyway, aside from the party, I decided to attend their Autumn Beauty Night last Thursday too. It's essentially a night where you can buy ALL of the beauty products but with added benefits, usually each counter has an offer or promotion on where you get a free gift for spending a certain amount of money. There are usually some sweets served out too, on the night there were mini cupcakes, champagne, snow cones and a candy cart. If there's ever a night you want to spend a fair amount of cash at Selfridges, these nights are the ones. If you spend over £70, you get to have a go on their vending machine to win some goodies.

On the night, I decided to basically buy ALL of the Illamasqua things mainly because I needed to restock on a few things. I ended up getting a free Beguile pigment (it's not pictured because I herped) and also purchased my Clinique anti-blemish solutions soap (again not pictured due to derping). So, it all led to me getting a shot on the vending machine where I was sadly unlucky enough to get a more high-end makeup goodie bag but I'm not going to complain about free goodies.

After my go at the vending machine, I went to pick up my gift card, which I think was a special feature due to it being their 10th Birthday and all. We got a percentage of the money spent back on to our cards that could be used in the fashion section in Selfridges. Since I essentially ended up with only £15 on my gift card, I decided to pick up a tartan skirt (not pictured cause I was wearing it on the day I took photos) and the Mr T style cross multi necklaces.

Have you taken part in any of Selfridge's 10 Years Young Celebrations? Lemme know in the comments section below.

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