February 27, 2014

10 Items to Add to the Wardrobe

When I returned to the UK last year, it was with a single suit case. Needless to say, I have a tiny wardrobe and have been looking to include items that aren't just another shirt with some cool design on it or a band tee. I wasn't even able to wear those back home as the folks had a habit of dictating what I had to wear. Since I'm emancipated from that mess now, I'm hoping to experiment and develop my own personal style.

10 Clothing Items I'm listing After

For years, I've wanted to own a lace dress and even committed myself to buying certain ones but took too long to purchase they'd be discontinued. I think this lovely key lace choker would suit the beautiful sweetheart neckline too. I love the look of the military style black dress, it would great with a retro vintage hairstyle but I can't imagine victory rolls suiting me. The cross patterned Jawbreaker dress caught my eye but realistically won't consider it until summer.

My Black Milk wish list grows with each new collection, their line is expensive! I've recently had my eye on their Cthulhu leggings and their Gotham Knights GFT as they're both items that would easily go well with a lot of other things I own. Not to mention that those Cthulhu leggings give me an opportunity to wear green lipstick. Speaking of leggings, these doll leggings look badass.

Last but not least I've been keeping an eye out for a new pair or boots, ideally ones that are comfortable to walk in. Whilst window shopping, I came across these two pairs of TUK shoes, neither of which look easy to walk in. So far these Missguided boots are the only ones that seem 'walkable' but ideally I'd rather invest in some higher boots than short ones. It seems my quest for new boots continues.

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February 23, 2014

Pretty Zombie Cosmetics | Liquid Lipsticks

The moment I tried my first liquid lipstick, I fell in love. A personal important factor with any makeup item is how long lasting they are. When I get ready for a night out, I avoid reapplying makeup and leave it all at home. Long story short, I've become addicted to liquid lipsticks. Today's liquid lipsticks and swatches are by an indie brand called Pretty Zombie Cosmetics.

Last year, Lime Crime mentioned introducing a purple velvetine in fall on their blog. When Autumn finally came, Lime Crime released a Pink Velvet, leaving me disappointed. So I approached the all knowing Google for some purple liquid lipsticks, found Pretty Zombie Cosmetics and made my order. That said, when Lime Crime came out with their Clueless Witch collection, I wanted to kick myself for ordering these already. However, once I saw swatches, I wasn't impressed by them. Mostly as there still was no purple velvetine in sight.

I admit when I first saw these online and when I received them I had low expectations mostly due to the packaging. It comes off as rather cheap especially with the sticker label that doesn't even cover the entire handle. I also don't like that the thickness of the handle doesn't match the rest of the tube. I do hope that some time in the future the brand does redo the packaging but I can appreciate that obviously this keeps the liquid lipstick affordable.

Although there aren't any directions on the products themselves, the website says that these take 90 seconds to dry up completely. Personally, I found that Purple Poison was the only one that doesn't really dry up and it's also the messiest one that tends to go all over the place during a meal, especially an oily one. Even though it moves everywhere the color still manages to stay rather vibrant on your lips. I found that 3 Witches and Black Cat would leave a light stain on anything my lips touched but it was no where near as messy as Purple Poison. Even though it would transfer onto other items, you would not lose color on your lips

These lipsticks are quite durable and even passed meal tests unless you're having an oily dish which caused Purple Poison to be super messy. I would say that each of these easily last beyond 6 hours of wear without reapplying, unless you eat a fair few meals within those hours. I find that these can be a little bit drying but not enough to cause extreme flaky lips after applying. I didn't even moisturise, scrub nor prime my lips before wearing them. All in all, they aren't as silky as the Stila liquid lipsticks but they last much longer. 

Colors L-R & Top to Bottom: Purple Poison, 3 Witches & Black Cat

Purple Poison is definitely a pinkish purple, 3 Witches is a kinky looking violet and Black Cat is a true black. Pretty Zombie Cosmetics also sell these in pinks and a red. They've also recently come out with a blue shade this month and I'm quite keen to see what other colors they introduce. Each liquid lipstick contains 7g of product and sells for $11 which is roughly £7 each. They even offer the option to purchase all 7 shades at a discount. With the lower price and extra product, I definitely feel these are decent alternatives for Lime Crime's Velvetines.

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February 21, 2014

Moo Business Cards

In a few weeks time I'll be attending a local blogger meet. The first time I attended one of these, we didn't really end up exchanging blog links and the same thing would happen time and time again at other events. The only time I've ever followed a blog by someone I had just met in passing was when they handed me a business card. Likewise, I thought I'd make some for the upcoming meetup and ordered myself a free sample pack of 10 business cards from moo.

The downside of ordering a sample pack is that they include the moo logo on it which destroys and sense of professionalism it has. I can't help but wonder how many people I hand these to are going to first visit the moo site before my blog. That said, it was free and I wanted to see how vivid the colours would be once printed. I also had trouble aligning my logo right when it came to designing and I also wanted to make sure that the QFR code on the card worked properly.

I adore these cards, even my partner was impressed by them. The print job is fantastic and the colours are as striking as I need them to be. I love that moo embedded the option to add a QFR code into the whole design process as well so you don't need to import it from elsewhere. The whole design process itself was really easy too. My only problem with this card is that the M is a little too close to the edge of the card and I couldn't get it any other way. So when it comes to paying for a full pack of cards I'll probably opt for the minicards option instead as they're longer. And as a bonus you can get 100 minicards for the price of 50 full sized ones.

The only other issue is I'm rubbish with self-promotion. Every time I tweet or whore out my blog, I die a little on the inside. So, I have no idea if I'll actually have the gall to hand out any of these. I think I'll just have to see if I can hand all 10 of these out on the night then re-order if I'm successful. Aside from that, the only important thing is that it takes a few days before these are dispatched as they obviously have a queue of items to print. With me it only took 3 business days before they sent mine.

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February 19, 2014

WCW | Kat Von D Inspired Makeup

 To carry on with my Women Crush Wednesday themed makeup looks, today I've done a look inspired by Kat Von D. Needless to say, she is gorgeous and I can only dream of looking as stunning as her but for now I can always pretend. I have a lot of respect for her, she's gone from the tattoo business to owning her own makeup line and is making her way into the music industry. I'm quite curious to see which way she'll go with her album, I'm hoping it'll be a lot less mainstream rock and more heavy metal but we'll find out soon enough.

Kat Von D is known for her love of red lips, but as my last look had a lot of red in it, I thought I'd to my own take and went for this purple liquid lipstick by Pretty Zombie Cosmetics. I did this long after sunset so the lighting was poor and I used a lot of artificial lighting which is incredibly annoying as all my neutral eyeshadow work has gone to waste as you can't see any of it. It looks like I'm not even wearing any eyeshadow! Anyway, the key features for this look are the different star sizes on one side of your face and a lightning bolt all Harry Potter style on the other. Add some winged liner and a bold lip color and you're ready to go. Sadly, I've not been blessed with KVD's bone structure to look as pretty but this will have to do for now.

Products Used
Illamasqua Rich Liquid Foundation 233
Max Factor Creme Brulee Powder
Benefit Fake Up in Medium
Makeup Geek Eyeshadows in Shimma Shimma, Glamorous, Creme Brulee, Cocoa Bear & Mocha
Illamasqua Precision Liner in Abyss
Barry M Liquid Liner
Urban Decay 24/7 Pencil in Scorch
Barry M Kohl Eyeliner
YSL Volume Mascara
Illamasqua Blush in Ambition
Pretty Zombie Cosmetics Liquid Lipstick in Purple Poison

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February 16, 2014

Urban Decay | Heavy Metal Glitter Liners

Last year Urban Decay relaunched their heavy metal glitter liners with new packaging and a few new shades. I've owned a few shades in the old collection but decided to pick up two new ones that weren't similar at all to any of the ones I already own. Sadly, my old ones are back home so there aren't any photos to compare the new packaging with the old nor share swatches of them.

Swatches from L-R: one swipe, 3 swipes/layers & multiple layers over black liner

The two shades I ended up picking up were distortion and spandex. Distortion is described as iridescent glitter and in it's container looks like generic sparkle but when you apply it over eyeshadow or eyeliners you'll notice that it has a blue-green gradient of sparkle depending on how it reflects the light. However, it mostly comes off as a light green shine. You can see another example of it on the heart in my Emilie Autumn look. Spandex is described as a deep blue black with iridescent glitter. On it's own it seems rather black but if you apply it over black liner it sparkles blue, you can check out the effect on my new years look.

As far as I can tell the formula is the same as the old style liners as they all have the same clear base with micro glitters. That said spandex seems to have a darker liquid to it even though it's still transparent. Once the formula sets, it stays put, even with some serious rubbing. You will need to layer the liner for a full line of glitter but there's a black stopper in the tube that you can pull out to get more product. The thin brush doesn't fray and is excellent for precise application.

Each tube costs £14 and you get these at Debenhams or House of Fraser. I personally find these really pricey, especially as I know I'm not going to use these as much as their 24/7 eye liner pencils which cost the same and there are some drugstore brands that sell glitter liners for a much cheaper price.

Have you tried Urban Decay's glitter liners? What do you think of them?

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February 12, 2014

Soapopotamus | Lumpy Space Princess Soap

Months ago, I stumbled upon Buzzfeed's list of '10 cult beauty brands on etsy' (link) and bookmarked the ones that interested me. A couple of weeks ago I revisited the stores and noticed that one of them sold a lumpy space princess soap and just like that, I made yet another impulse purchase. I have no idea how this review is going to go down because aside from "it's soap" and "it smells nice" I don't know if there's much else many of you are interested in but here goes nothing. 

The second I opened up the box, I couldn't place the smell of the soap, it definitely smelled sweet and somewhat sugary. It was a strange scent that I'm not used to as I generally go for boring vanilla type scents and I was incredibly silly and didn't bother reading the product description when purchasing. I was just like Oh my glob Melissa I need this in my life. The store owner, Regina, took influence from the purple and fluffy bits of this princess for the scent and included blueberries, raspberries, marshmallows and spun sugar.

The soaps main ingredient along with most of the other soaps in her store contains goats milk which in retrospect sounds pretty damn weird. Whilst showering I can't help but think I'm putting milk...from a goat...all over my body...riiight. So why goats milk? Because apparently it contains moisturising properties. I admit I was doubtful at first but I've noticed a serious decline in itching since I've begun using it. Aside from goats milk, the ingredients also include coconut oil, palm oil, castor oil, safflower oil, glycerin, purified water, sodium hydroxide, sorbitan oleate, soybean protein, titanium dioxide along with the fragrance and colorants.

The soap itself is rather inexpensive at £2.50, the problem is that it is based in the US so you end up paying more than double the price for shipping which is rather silly. Aside from this lumpy themed soap, the store also sells several food themed soaps along with a few solid perfumes and a big selection of lip balms. Even if you don't buy anything, you should at the very least check out all the pretty wares available at the Soapopotamus store on etsy.

Have you tried any specialty soaps from etsy or other indie brands before?

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February 09, 2014

Illamasqua Intense Lipglosses

I own a lot of Illamasqua products, so many that I've put off reviewing their stuff as it's somewhat overwhelming to swatch and I didn't really know where to start. It definitely doesn't help that my collection is constantly growing. This is not me showing off, this is more like admitting I have an addiction to crack. I've finally decided it's time I make my way through the collection. I thought I'd start off with one of my favourites by Illamasqua, their intense lipglosses.
When I purchased my very first intense lipgloss, it was in their old style tube packaging where you'd have to squeeze the gloss out. I definitely prefer the aesthetics of the new square packaging as it suits the rest of the squared products in the Illamasqua range. However, the new brush applicator in selected glosses can be spiky right at the tip of the brush causing mild scratching. That said, it's only in two of my glosses and you can avoid this by just patting the gloss on or using a lip brush if you rather swipe it on.
How many brands do you know of that have such a colorful variety of lipglosses? Needless to say my inner unicorn was immediately attracted to the colour range Illamasqua boasts in-store. Little did I know that these would spoil all other glosses out there for me. The majority of the shades I own are super thick and pigmented enough to wear alone. It's no wonder Illamasqua refer to these as liquid lipsticks.

Top: Maiden, Indulge, Belladonna
Middle: Move, Fierce, Gender
Bottom: Shoot, Galactic, Repulse

I'm surprised to find that out of all 9 shades, Maiden, one of Illamasqua's more recent releases, is the least pigmented. I've tried layering the gloss over itself several times but can never make it appear as lovely as all the other intense glosses do solo. That said, it's not the kind of color I'd apply alone, I'd definitely pair it with a lipstick.

My favorite shades are Move, Belladonna and Fierce. I've used galactic a fair bit for fancy dress and also by mixing a little with various lip liners. Gender is the only shade I've not gotten any use out of, I'm not quite sure what to do with it yet but I've been considering trying out some lip art with it. Shoot is a wonderful leafy green that seems perfect for a cosplay of a comic book version of poison ivy. On another note, I felt like a member of Loki's army wearing it. 

Each intense lipgloss retails for £14.50 and can be found on Illamasqua.com. I'm not generally a gloss person but if you're looking for a pigmented gloss to match any matte lipsticks you own, I'd definitely recommend these.

Have you tried any of Illamasqua's intense glosses? Which ones are your favourite?

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February 07, 2014

Sephora Give Me More Lip Set | Berries

I've finally gotten around to swatching my last color set of the Sephora Give Me More Lip sampler set. I've already reviewed and swatched the reds, the pinks and the nudesAlthough the set is no longer available for purchase, making a review of the whole set useless, you can purchase each item individually so you may get some use out of this review. I'll have one last review on the entire set with all of the swatches in it so it'll be easier to compare shades. Either way today's set are the Berries!

Top: Buxom Menace, Tarte Inspired
Bottom: Stila Sonya, Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics Strumpet

Buxom Full-Bodied Lip Stick in Menace After trying out one of Buxom's glosses, I had low expectations. This was also the last shade I had tried out of the 4 berries so the vampy color definitely blew me away. I felt like this was definitely one of the more durable lipsticks in the collection, it does end up being a little sheer over time but it leaves a decent stain. This problem could easily be avoided by filling the lips with a matching colored lip liner.

Tarte Glamazon Pure Performance 12-Hour Lipstick in Inspired I adore this color but was disappointed at the same time, as I was expecting a berry shade not dusty rose. Aside from that, I really like the natural packaging and applying this sample on my lips because the bullet is tiny. It's so small that you can (thickly) line your lips and then fill in the gaps. However, I don't think I'd be able to do it with a full sized lipstick. In terms of it lasting 12 hours, I don't think it lasted 4.

Stila Color Balm Lipstick in Sonya This isn't your typical lipstick, it's half balm and half lipstick which is something you'd think was obvious by the name of the product but I got surprised anyway due to my own stupidity. It has a really strong smell that kind of reminds me of Aero chocolates and leaves a slight tingle on your lips but also softens it. As with most creamy lipsticks, this isn't particularly durable but is still lovely to have during winter.

Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics Lip Tar in Strumpet I've been meaning to try out OCC lip tars for ages but never got around to it. This is one of the few full sized products in the set, it even came with the brush. I was gutted to find that it looked a lot smaller than I had imagined and mentally made note not to bother buying the singles but when it came to applying I used half of a drop on a lip brush and managed to apply it all over my lips with decent coverage. You need so little product that I'd imagine this would last me over a year if I wore it every day.

From all 4 sets this one has turned out to be my favorite. I adore all of these colors with my favorites being strumpet and inspired, my least favorite in terms of color is Sonya but it's still a high quality item.

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February 05, 2014

WCW | Emilie Autumn Inspired Makeup

It's been a while since I've done any sort of makeup series or just look of the day posts in general. I thought for the month of February I'd do a few Woman Crush Wednesday inspired looks. I have three planned so far but if I came up with any more ideas or if people have any requests or suggestions, I may extend it to a couple more looks. Today's look is based on a gorgeous redhead singer and violinist called Emilie Autumn.

Now I admit this is one is definitely the most superficial out of all three that I have planned as I haven't heard a single song of hers. I've only come across her as many people in my friendship group have mentioned her and have attended a few of her shows. From all the interesting stories I've heard I've been tempted to attend a gig myself as it's always nice to see something different to just another band playing on stage (not that there's anything wrong with that of course).

Since Emilie has red hair and often wears white when she performs I thought I may as well put on my red wig and only white top on for this look. I decided to go for heavy messy eye shadow Emilie rather than winged eyeliner red eyeshadow Emilie because I've not really done anything too messy in a while. I did this without any reference images at hand and realised much later that I may have drawn the heart a little too far from my eyes. The only thing I was missing was a couple of individual lashes to stick on to the bottom lid but I only own full sets and don't want to cut them into pieces yet.

Products Used
Illamasqua Hydra Veil
Illamasqua Rich Liquid Foudation in 233
Concrete Minerals Eyeshadow Primer
Makeup Geek eyeshadow in Corrupt
Makeup Geek eyeshadow in Bitten
Sugarpill eyeshadow in @#$%!
Vitage eye color in Spiced Coffee
Illamasqua pencil liner in Feisty
Illamasqua lipstick in Maneater
Barry M Liquid Liner
Illamasqua Precision Ink in Abyss
Urban Decay Heavy Metal Glitter Liner in Distortion
Illamasqua Foundation Powder in 200

Ever heard of Emilie Autumn before? Is there anyone you'd like to see in this series?

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