August 31, 2014

Too Faced Lip Insurance VS Urban Decay Lip Primer Potion

While eyeshadow primers and face primers are quite commonly used, I never hear anyone speak of lip primers. There are so few brands that even have any, I actually only know of three; Urban Decay, Too Faced and MAC. I ended up picking up two of them and as I've had them for a while now, I thought I'd compare the two using one of my most troublesome lipsticks, Illamasqua's ESP. This post is somewhat outdated as I think Urban Decay's Lip Primer Potion has now been discontinued but is still available in certain stores. Hopefully, it'll just be a case of Urban Decay repackaging it as they have been doing with most of their line.

Illamasqua ESP with bare lips on left and Too Face lip insurance on right

Too Faced Lip Insurance (£14) applies like a lip gloss which originally feels moisturising but it kind of dries up your lip. It has the same feeling as mattifying liquid lipsticks without it being too drying. Although I believe everyone has a different tolerance towards that stuff. I found lip insurance to be rather effective when applying Illamasqua ESP, as with no primer, the lipstick wouldn't apply evenly on my lips and wouldn't want to stick on certain parts of my lip (left of bottom lip). With lip insurance, I found it to be much more pigmented and it was the only way I could get the lipstick to resemble itself on the original promo images.

Illamasqua ESP on bare lips on the left and Urban Decay lip primer on right

Urban Decay's lip primer potion (£13) applies like a lip balm, except instead of feeling smooth to apply, it pulls your lip as the stick in the tube is quite rough. Once applied though, the formula leaves the lip feeling moisturised. Whilst Urban Decay's primer does allow even application with some of the most stubborn lipsticks, it requires a lot of building as it feels as though you're applying it over a layer of lip balm. Even then, the colour wasn't as dark as it should have been.

Although Too Faced lip insurance is slightly more expensive, I would definitely recommend it over Urban Decay's primer potion. I find lip insurance to be dry lip friendly and it's not uncomfortable to apply unlike Urban Decay's. While the two do make troublesome lipsticks apply evenly, Too Faced's significantly improved the pigmentation. If you're specifically buying these to extend the wear time of a lipstick, I found they both only extended a lipsticks' wear time for maybe 2 hours. Personally, I tend to use these only with lipsticks that refuse to apply evenly.

So have you tried a lip primer before? What do you do to improve a lipsticks' texture?

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August 30, 2014

Selfridges Beauty Blogger Discovery Evening

On Thursday, I was kindly invited by Rose and the Selfridges Beauty Team for a private evening to get a taste of what new beauty products have launched recently. It was also an opportune time to learn more about beauty brands that I've yet to try. When we entered the training room we were greeted by a bunch of Krispy Kreme doughnuts with our names on it.

I've had my eye on Shu Uemura products for a while and their limited edition collections are always packaged beautifully. Their most recent collection, Vision of Beauty, is no exception either. Sadly, there wasn't a brand representative available on the night but they left appointment cards for a one-on-one session which I plan to make use of. At the Kiehls stall, I was surprised to discover that my oily combination skin is now normal to dry. So it was great to try out their new hydro-plumping serum on the evening.

Charlotte Tilbury has been a very hyped up brand and as the counter is almost always busy whenever I visit, so it was nice to have private time at the event. I generally get overwhelmed by the choice they have and there are too many products to try. Each time I go in store, there's a different palette I like. So it was nice that they only brought up select products to look at, I ended up trying out their Beach Stick in Moon Beach. Although the Beach Sticks are a lip and cheek product, I only tried it on the cheek and was surprised by how beautiful it looked.

      Manosque, Night Flight, La Notte, Night Breed, Night Out

At the Nars stand, I got a taster of their dual-intensity shadows and was really impressed by them. You can apply these dry or wet but with how pigmented these are wet, I don't see why you'd want to use them dry. The shades I tried were Callisto, a icy pink silver and their black shadow, Sycorax. I also got to try out a few shades from their new nail polish range, including Manosque, a deep smokey lavender, Night Flight, a black with cobalt blue pearl, La Notte, navy, Night Breed (my favourite), black with silver glitter and Night Out, a bright true blue.

The last brand I got to check out before leaving was Tom Ford, who were promoting their yet to be released limited edition duo cheek colours. Admittedly, I got distracted by their gorgeous lipstick in Bruised Plum and matching gloss in Wet Violet (one day). Creme de la mer, GHD and Estee Lauder were also about on the evening but I had spent too much time with the other brands by the time the evening ended. We were treated to a few samples by Nars, Kiehls and Estee Lauder before leaving. As someone who's yet to try a NARS blush, I'm especially excited to try out the mini deep throat blush sample.

If there are any products that capture your fancy, Selfridges are hosting their Perfecting Beauty event this September across all their branches. The Birmingham event takes place this Thursday and you can either e-mail or call 0121 600 6718 to book your £10 redeemable ticket which I'll be attending.

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August 28, 2014

Top 5 Beauty Products Under £5

Whilst I don't really own a lot of affordable/drugstore makeup, I have even fewer that I consider to be amazing quality. That said, I finally have enough for a top 5 under £5 post. I've decided against including indie cosmetics because they're less accessible and also because it would be too difficult to pinpoint specific shades as they're too many to chose from. However, I'll probably do an indie version of this in the future.

MUA Blushers £1 each I've always been put off by the price of MUA blushers (strange how something being too affordable can do that). However, after receiving 2, I found I quite liked them despite them not being long-lasting, they are pigmented and you get a decent amount of product for the price. I also found these required less building than certain Sleek blushers do.

Sleek Matte Me in Purple Fandango £4.99 I originally purchased three of these but ended up only keeping purple fandango as I get a lot of use out of it and never touched the other two shades. If you try any of the Sleek Matte Me range I'd recommend sticking to the bolder colours rather than the neutrals.

Barry M Gelly Hi-Shine Nail Paint £3 each Out of all of Barry M's nail polish finishes, their Gelly Hi-Shine nail paint range to be my favourite. I find they last longer both on the nails and in the bottle than their regular range. They're the only drugstore polish I've tried that I love enough to not get rid of.

Barry M Eyeliners £2.99 - £4.59 Whilst I've already discussed my holy grail pencil eyeliner recently, I mentioned it's rather expensive. So on months where I need to spend a little less, I will go and pick up a Barry M eyeliner. For a black eye pencil, I'll go for their kohl pencil. I purchased their waterproof precision liquid eyeliner for my spider queen halloween look as I didn't want to waste expensive liquid liner on my body. I only wish these two were darker though.

Superdrug Nail Polish Remover Acetone Pot £2.99 These nail polish remover pots that a lot of drugstore brands have been coming out with have made my life significantly easier. Gone are the days of having to scrub off my nail polish with a cotton pad doused in acetone. All you need to do is place your fingers in the acetone covered sponge inside the tub and twirl your finger around for a couple of seconds and you're done!

What are your favorite makeup products for under £5? Feel free to recommend a few.

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August 26, 2014

Lime Crime Uniliners Review & Swatches

Before I began blogging, I was always fascinated by Lime Crime's colourful set of eyeliners. Whilst colourful eyeliners aren't exclusive to Lime Crime, I used to find several makeup artists who'd create amazing pieces of art with them which I never found with a different brand. Admittedly, I've yet to create anything comparable to what others have done but have finally gotten around to using them all (orange was the most difficult to get use of). As these have been repackaged, this is a somewhat outdated review, although I don't believe they've changed the formula.

Citreuse, Rhyme, 6th Element, Orchidaceous, Lazuli, Blue Milk, Reason, Quill

Personally I prefer to the new style packaging to the old one that I have and was gutted that I didn't wait longer before trying them but still enjoy the purple packaged uniliners. I'm not a huge fan of the eyeliner brush as they tend to fray. On the positive side, the thin brush is excellent for precise application and skinny lines.

Citreuse is described as a neon citrus-yellow. It's a shade that sometimes looks green and other times yellow. It required 2/3 coats for full opacity but dried quick enough to avoid any creasing.

Rhyme is a metallic gold with what Lime Crime describes as a foil finish which seems to be hints of sparkle. It's not a particularly unique shade as loads of brands offer gold eyeliners. It's somewhat sheer and requires layering for it to be truly opaque.

6th Element is orange and my least favourite of them all. I found it needed a lot of layering as it's rather sheer. The layering caused the formula to build up and crack when applied which is the main issue. If you were to skip out on any, this should be the one but it seems as though Lime Crime were a step ahead and discontinued it already.

Orchidaceous is described as a neon purple. I'm unsure if they've changed the color or formula to this but I wouldn't consider it neon at all. It's a pink-based purple liner that applied well with just one coat. It's a gorgeous colour that I struggle to get much use of as it looks odd on it's own.

Lazuli is a beautiful electric blue and the one I wear most often. If you purchased any one eyeliner in the whole collection, it should be this one. It was so pigmented it applied well with just the one swipe and once set it didn't budge for the rest of the day and evening.

Blue Milk is a pale sky blue that requires a few layers to make really bright and unlike 6th element it doesn't crack up. It's definitely one of my favourites shades but I found the brightness faded over a couple of hours but it still stayed in place.

Reason is a bright silver eyeliner with a foil finish and was one of the later additions to the line along with Rhyme. Similar to Rhyme, it's not a unique shade but it performed better Rhyme as it didn't require layering and was rather pigmented in one swipe.

Quill is a rather dark glossy black which is excellent. However, I wish the formula was more water resistant. I find that whenever I wear this shade, part of it will either disappear, smudge or just end up a black mess. I honestly avoid reaching for this because of it.

If you had to have one shade in particular, I'd definitely recommend Lazuli as it performed best. Blue Milk and Citreuse deserve honourable mentions as they're both gorgeous colours and perform well despite needing to be layered a bit. I would personally avoid 6th Element and Quill as I had the most trouble with those two colours.

Each of the uniliners cost £9 each on UK Lime Crime stockists like Cocktail, CutECOsmetics and Love Makeup and $14 on the Lime Crime site. Personally I consider them affordable as most liquid liners that I've bought are midrange rather than drugstore priced. 

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August 24, 2014

NYX Butter Lipsticks Razzle, Hunk & Licorice

Despite recently reviewing NYX's Macaron Lippies, I've been using three of NYX's butter lipsticks that released in the US in January for a while. The butter lipstick range are said to be hydrating, long-wearing and have a satin finish. While I generally favour matte lipsticks, these were being hyped up so much I thought I'd give them a try out of curiosity. The collection offers 22 shades with a mixture of nude and bold options, where none of them are too extreme. 

Shades from left to right - Razzle, Hunk, Licorice

Razzle is a very pigmented bright fuchsia lipstick. Despite this, it's the one I regret purchasing as I already have a few bright pink lipsticks that I don't wear often enough to justify.

Hunk is described as blue violet but I would describe it as a berry lipstick. You can use a purple lip liner to bring out a stronger purple tinge to it. I found it to be somewhat sheer compared to the others as it needed more layering for opaqueness.

Licorice is a gorgeous deep burgundy colour and was also very pigmented. I tend to opt for this over my Lime Crime wicked velvetine on dry lip days. I found that this lasted the longest out of all three as it's the only one that fades into a even stain while the others just vanish.

I adore the bright fun packaging on these and especially how the packaging of each lipstick matches the shade of the bullet. I do however wish that when applied the lipstick would be more true to the colour in the bullet, especially Hunk. Aside from that these lipsticks are very pigmented, hydrating and just the right amount of creamy that prevents shifting. They're also non-sticky, comfortable on the lips and somewhat durable although long-wearing is debatable. These should last roughly 4-6 hours on the lips.

These aren't available in the UK yet but cost $6 (£3.6) on Ulta. If you're abroad and desperately want to try these out, eBay is your friend as they have bundle offers available.

Overall I would definitely recommend these as they're very pigmented, moisturising and affordable. I will definitely look into trying out a nude shade in the future.

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August 22, 2014

Geek Chic Cosmetics Timey Wimey Shadows

It's been a few months since I've reviewed any of my Geek Chic shadows, I've already reviewed a few shadows from their Walking Dead and Game of Thrones inspired collection. Aside from today's set, I still have 2 more to go through. Since the new season of Doctor Who will be out soon, I thought I'd pick things up again with their Timey Wimey collection. Although I'm not a Whovian, I chose these shadows as they seemed to be the most unique on the Geek Chic website. The set takes inspiration from the whole Dr Who universe, including Torchwood.

Don't Blink, Bad Wolf, We Are Coming, Bigger on the Inside

Don't Blink is a silver tinsel filled with silver, holographic and iridescent glitter on a silver base. It's a surprisingly nice highlighter shade when dusted on lightly and also makes for a great silver smoky eye. Fun fact, Blink was the first Dr Who episode I watched and it creeped me out.

Bad Wolf seems rather Gray in the pot and on the Geek Chic site but is actually a pearlescent royal purple with a soft gold iridescence and studded with sparkling golden gems. When blended out, I found the shadow matched the sample clamshell more.

We Are Coming is a rich chocolate with a shifting golden copper highlight, it also contains a mixture of ruby and sapphire glitter. Whilst this shadow was quite pigmented, I did get a lot of fallout. It's my least favourite shadow out of all four too.

Bigger On the Inside is my favourite shade of the lot. It's a blue based shadow, glowing with a metallic golden light from the heart of the time vortex, glittering with gold sparkles. However, because of it's complexity, it was difficult to apply evenly on the lid.

Although I would never have thought to pair these 4 shadows together, for reviews sake, I created a look using all of them and was surprised with the results. First, I blended Bad Wolf (pearlescent purple) and We Are Coming (chocolate brown) into my crease. Next, I patted Bigger on the Inside (blue) all over the lid and dusted Don't Blink (silver) under the brow bone. I finished the look off with We Are Coming on the lower lashline, eyeliner and false lashes.

The products in this review are only sample sizes and cost $1.25 whilst a full sized tubs cost $5.99. Although the samples are a more cost effective way to trial all the Geek Chic Cosmetics shadows you're interested in, the clamshells aren't easy to work with and I find each time I shut them they cause a little eyeshadow cloud so I lose a little product.

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August 20, 2014

Holy Grail Products #3 The Blackest Eyeliner Urban Decay's Perversion Eye Pencil

I think anyone who has gone through some form of an alternative phase in their life or for those of us where it wasn't just a phase, has had black eyeliner as a staple in their makeup routine. As someone who has gone through several different black eyeliners, I've finally found one that I'll be committing to. Urban Decay's 24/7 glide-on eye pencil in Perversion is the blackest black eyeliner I've ever used. As an added bonus, they're waterproof too.

What is it?
It's eyeliner, it's pretty self-explanatory. There isn't really much to add to that except that Urban Decay's eye pencils are excellent quality and definitely a hyped product amongst makeup addicts.

Why is it holy grail worthy?
Aside from it being such a dark black eye pencil, it's creamy formula allows comfortable application both on the lid and on the lash line. You can just use this on the lids and create a smoky eye by blending. It's long lasting, although not as much on the water line. The first time I used this it genuinely surprised me how dark my eyes were by the end of the evening. I've found a lot of eyeliners I used would refuse to apply over eyeshadow, or if they would, it would require heavy layering, Perversion glides on easily. Whenever any liquid liners of mine start fading out, I'll fill in the gaps with this pencil. If it weren't for my double-ended Naked eyeliners that I use for work, I'd have finished up the pencil by now.

Application Tips
I don't have any application tips for this, just a few general usage tips. Since the eyeliner is very creamy, it can break easily whilst sharpening. Don't try and make the tip too pointy as it will definitely crumble. The other thing is that because it's waterproof and very dark, it's rather difficult to remove. You'll need some heavy duty makeup remover or you can just save what's left for the next day. (I'm not serious, it was just a joke)

Price and Availability
The main downfall of these eyeliners is their price which used to be £14 but has gone up to £15. It's why I don't have more shades. However for the quality, I definitely think it's worth investing in a colour that you know you'll get a lot of use from. They're also quite easy access as they're available in Sephora, Ulta and Macy's in the states whilst here in the UK they've recently launched in Selfridges and have been available in Debenhams and House of Fraser for a while.

Have you tried Urban Decay's Perversion liner? What is your favourite black eyeliner?

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August 18, 2014

Rainbow Honey's The Worst Possible Thing

Sometime last year I included indie nail polish brand, Rainbow Honey, nail polishes in a wishlist and a while later decided to try one of them out. The Worst Possible Thing is a sheer layering polish shimmering with opalescent flakes in purple and blue, a multitude of holographic and iridescent glitters. I adore how complex the indie polish is, the jewel encrusted finish makes it a unique addition to any polish addict's collection.

Since I'm out of black nail polish, I chose to layer the polish over Illamasqua's deep royal purple Baptiste nail polish. I found using the glitter nail polish as a top coat wasn't particularly effective as my nails had some chipping over the next few days. I avoided it as I dislike the effort of removing glitter nail polish. Any one full sized Rainbow Honey polish costs $10 (£6) on the official Rainbow Honey site which currently only deliver to US & Canada. They do have quite a few international stockists that should be able to deliver to most countries but the prices vary depending on the stockist.

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August 16, 2014

Colorful Gradient Eyeliner

Back when Lime Crime's uniliners first released, I used to look with envy at tons of crazy makeup art done with them by extremely talented artists. However, when I finally got around to collecting all the colours I was interested in, I kind of just stuck with a few colours and ignored the rest. So in order to break out of a rut, I finally got around to using two of my least used Lime Crime uniliners and created a gradient eyeliner look with them.

The reason why I hate wearing brown eyeshadow is that on my skin tone it's impossible to capture on camera. I've used 5 different eyeshadows and on my lid and you can only really identify the highlighter shade. Whilst I love the dual colour liner, I had to layer on the orange liner (6th element) for vibrancy. Certain shades in the uniliner range tend to dry up a bit and as 6th element is one of them, applying layer over layer caused it to crack which ruined the effect.

Products Used
Makeup Geek Shadows in Shimma Shimma, Creme Brulee, Glamorous, Cocoa Bear, Mocha
Lime Crime Uniliners in 6th Element and Orchidaceous
Barry M Kohl Eyeliner
Benefit Bad Gal Lash Mascara
Illamasqua Rich Liquid Foundation
NYX HD Grinding Powder
Too Faced Liquid Lipstick in Melted Nude

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