Tuesday, 27 September 2011

FOTD: 27/09/11

I don't think I've ever done so many FOTD posts in one month!! Today was really a random look, I just grabbed 2 pigments out of my pile of pigments that I haven't really used yet. A review of the Fresh Faces products will be coming soon!

I used:
*-Fresh Faces Primed For Perfection
*-Fresh Faces Foundation "Sheer Cool Fair"
*-Fresh Faces Oil Control Powder
-The Balm Hot Mama Blush

-MAC Paint "Untitled"
-NYX Jumbo Eye Pencil "Cottage Cheese"
-MAC Pigment "Cocomotion" - over lid
-L'Oreal HiP Pigment "Beckoning" - in crease
*-ELF Studio Shadow "Sand Dollar" - highlight
-MAC Fluidline "Blacktrack" - top liner
-Gosh Velvet Touch Liner "Majestic Sea" - lower liner
-Mascara of some kind

Wow, I look rough. I should really get more sleep.

Products marked with a star (*) were received free for review.

Monday, 26 September 2011

Review: Boudoir Privé September Box

The monthly subscription beauty sample boxes are the "thing" of the moment. I've enjoyed watching the monthly reveal videos and blog posts but hadn't tried any myself. Until I got the chance to review this month's Boudoir Privé box!

The monthly box from Boudoir Privé contains 5-6 deluxe samples for a cost of £10 a month (includes postage). The samples are quite generous, more small sizes than tiny samples in a sachet.

The packaging was just gorgeous! I am such a sucker for pretty packaging. Everything comes tucked into a sturdy pink card box which is going to be useful for storage. The contents are wrapped in black tissue paper, tied with a pink ribbon. I also received a handwritten note, which I thought was a lovely touch.

The contents are interesting and offer a good range of products to try. There are samples of some very expensive products in here that I would not have had any chance of trying otherwise!

-Agent Provecateur L'Agent Perfume - 1.5ml sample. Described as a "Floral Oriental" scent. I'll give this a try, but I don't tend to react well with alcohol based perfume.
-Cargo Boogie Nights Eye Pencil "Aqua" - Gorgeous, vivid turquoise. I didn't pay enough attention to Cargo in Atlanta, there were just so many other brands to play with!
-Tropic Body Smooth Refreshing Polish - This is only £19.95 for the full sized product so if I get on with the sample there's a chance I'll buy the full sized product. It smells so refreshing, very lemony.
-Macadamia Healing Oil Treatment - My hair isn't particularly dry or damaged (I'm not one for heat styling) but I'm planning on giving it a go over the weekend. As my hair is fairly short, I should imagine I'll get 2, maybe 3 treatments out of this 10ml bottle.
-Mai Couture Blot & Bronze Sheets - I tried one of these out today and it seems to deposit some shimmer, rather than much bronzing. They nicely absorb oil.
-Colbert MD Nourish Eye Cream - If you go on price per ml, this is the star of the box. A full sized (15ml) product is priced at £90, so this 5ml jar is worth £30! I'm going to enjoy using every penny of it!
-Zoya Smoke & Mirrors Promo Booklet - I like these, they show the collection and offer painted nails on a card so you can try the colour on your skintone.
-Zoya Polish "Marina" - Half sized bottle. I almost bought this in Atlanta but passed it over in favour of something more sparkly from the same collection. My favourite item in this box.

Overall I'm pretty pleased with my sample box. There are some brands in there that I haven't come across before and I'm going to enjoy sampling them! I like that the samples are a decent size so that you can get a good few uses out of them. Also, there isn't one "wow, awesome!" product that is going to have to be lived up to every month and each subsequent box constantly compared to.

I'm still undecided about joining another sample of the month club (I already enjoy the Goulet Ink Drop) but I think it would be the Boudoir Privé box if I decided to join a beauty sample of the month subscription.

This box was provided free for review, this has no effect on the review I give.

Sunday, 25 September 2011

FOTD: 25/09/11

I think I want every single Giorgio Armani Eyes To Kill now. I have been using the one I bought at Heathrow Terminal 5 Duty Free and I absolutely adore it. And just how awesome is the MAC #226 brush? Loving it.

I used:
-L'Oreal Smooth Resurfacing Primer (omg, hate this)
-Revlon PhotoReady Foundation "002 Vanilla"
*-ELF Studio Complexion Perfection
-Vivo Cosmetics Baked Blush "Peaches & Cream"

-Shu Uemura Lipgloss "BG 980N"

-Urban Decay Primer Potion
-Giorgio Armani Eyes To Kill "4" - over lid
-Urban Decay Shadow "Deeper" (from 15th Anniversary Palette) - in crease & lower liner
*-ELF Studio Single Eye Shadow "Sand Dollar" - highlight
-L'Oreal HiP Cream Liner "Brown" - top liner
-Cover Girl Lash Blast Mascara

Products marked with a star (*) were received free for review.

Saturday, 24 September 2011

Love, Love, Love

As a beauty blogger, I tend to get distracted by the newest, shiny product. But there are a couple of things that I just keep going back to.

I've got to the dregs of two of my favourite products at the same time. I don't even know how many times I've repurchased each of these and the Hemp Hand Protector is something I've used since I was in school. Lush's Lemony Flutter keeps my cuticles happy.

What products do you love and constantly repurchase?

NOTD: 24/09/11 Chanel "Peridot"

This is my first Chanel nail polish, and what a polish to join the Chanel club with! I don't normally fall for the limited edition Chanel colours but there was something about this colour that really drew my attention. I finally tracked a bottle down at the Duty Free at Heathrow Terminal 5, so I paid just under £15 for my bottle.

This is 3 coats with a top and base coat. I'm not a massive fan of the brush, it's too thin and whippy. I much prefer a flatter brush. The colour is just gorgeous! Of course it isn't showing up in the photo as it truly is, but this is a polish that I'm going to wear a lot.

Thursday, 22 September 2011

FOTD: 22/09/11

Had a bit of fun playing with my new Urban Decay palette today. The review and swatches will be coming soon!

I used:
-Vivo Cosmetics Primer
*-Freak Laboratory Foundation "N-16"
-Vivo Cosmetics Baked Blush "Cinnamon Glow"
-Benefit Lipstick "Sugar Cookie"

-Urban Decay Primer Potion
-Urban Decay Shadow "Deep End" - over lid & lower liner
-Urban Decay Shadow "Ace" - in crease
*-ELF Studio Shadow "Sand Dollar" - highlight
-L'Oreal HiP Cream Liner "Black" - top liner

And a bonus Crunchie picture. I found him asleep like this in the afternoon after we'd been out for a walk. As long as he's comfortable I suppose!! The thing on his elbow is a callous, quite common in large breed dogs and it doesn't bother him.

Prodycts marked with a star (*) were received free for review purposes.

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

NOTD: Myface Cosmetics Lil' Bling "Purple Haze"

I wanted to love this. The colour in the bottle is pretty awesome. It's an icy, metallic light purple.

But, omg, the brush strokes. I can't make them go away. The colour is still awesome, but it just looks a mess on my nails.

It dries quickly, but I have no idea how long it lasts on the nails. I just had to take this off. I only needed 2 coats to make it opaque.

I don't know if I'm just crap at the application (I've been doing my nails for 14+years) but Lipglossiping has the same complaints and she's some kid of blogger goddess or something.

This was provided free for review, I have absolutely no plans to buy any more of these.

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

FOTD: 20/09/11

OK, the world must be ending. Here is the second FOTD post in 2 days. I bypassed all of my new stuff from the US and used some of the Vivo stuff I bought on Sunday.

I used:
-Fyrinnae Velvet Gel Silica Primer
-Diorskin Nude Foundation "020"
-Rimmel Stay Matte Pressed Powder

-Urban Decay Primer Potion
-Silk Naturals Stick 'em Primer
-Vivo Baked Shimmer Palette "Chocolate Box" - eyes and blush
-Bobbi Brown Gel Liner "Black Plum Ink"

Monday, 19 September 2011

FOTD: 19/09/11

I haven't had chance to wear make up for a few days so I made a point to wear some today. I have been waiting to use my new Sleek MakeUp palette so I dove into that today!

I used:
-Fyrinnae Velvet Gel Silica Primer
-Sassy Minerals Foundation "Cool Light"
-Golden Rose Baked Terracotta "102"

-Shu Uemura Lipgloss "BG 980N"

-Urban Decay Primer Potion
*-Sleek MakeUp Shadow "Lilac Allen" - on lid
*-Sleek MakeUp Shadow "Blue Monday" - in crease & lower liner
*-Sleek MakeUp Shadow "Barry White" - as highlight
-L'Oreal HiP Cream Liner "Black" - top liner
-Cover Girl Lash Blast Mascara

Products marked with a star (*) were provided free for review purposes.

New Stuff: Vivo Cosmetics

Sooo, I managed to completely miss a new make up brand launching in Tesco. To be fair though, all the blog posts I've found about the topic took place either immediately before or while I was in Atlanta. My mind was on other things.
Of course, when I found the brand new Vivo stand in Tesco I had to thoroughly swatch and raid it for you. I think you're going to like it. Prices were very reasonable (at time of writing, I'm just waiting for an email back from Vivo with a price list), but nothing here was more than £6.00. I had a little holiday money left over so I thought I'd put it to good use.

-Baked Shimmer Palette "Chocolate Box" and "Paparazzi" - these come with 4 baked eye shadows and a baked blush which are marbled and so pretty!
-Baked Blush "Cinnamon Glow" and "Peaches and Cream" - I am such a sucker for baked stuff
-Transluscent Mattifying Loose Powder - I always need some mattifying!
-Baked Bronze "Healthy Glow" - this was the lightest shade and looks like it's going to be an awesome highlight.

I will be having full reviews and swatches very soon. I was just excited to find a new brand in Tesco!

Sunday, 18 September 2011

Review: Dr Linda Papadopoulos (LP) Skin Therapy

Over the last couple of months, I have been trying out some LP Skin Therapy products. At almost 30, my skincare needs are different to what they were 10 years ago. My skin has an increased level of surface oil, but needs a higher level of moisturisation than it used to. I much prefer to keep my skin care routine as simple as possible, I don't like using too many different products.

LP Skin Therapy is sold in the UK on QVC or in Harrods. I think the best value will be found at QVC as different sets are available, including those with smaller sizes so you can try out the products without commiting to a full size.

These products include different natural scents to help reduce stress levels and also include some of the newer high performance ingredients. I've mentioned before that I really don't like strongly fragranced products but these were all lightly and pleasantly fragranced.

-System Balance Face Wash - Featured ingredients are Inulin (to help deliver a clearer skin tone), Hexapeptide 11 (helps aid collagen production) and Orange Blossom Fragrance. £15 for a 150ml tube.
I did love the scent of this, it was quite fresh and not overly floral. This has an interesting texture. It's clear when squeezed out of the tube and turns milky and creamy on the addition of water. You really do only have to use a very small amount so a 150ml is going to last quite a while. This isn't a make up remover, but just more of a wash so I used this in the mornings rather than in the evening when I want make up removal. I noticed my skin felt very thoroughly cleansed and firm but not dry or tight.

-Refining Lip Exfoliator - Featured ingredients are Jojoba Oil (to help polish and exfoliate), Volulip (to help improve the shape and appearance of the lips), Calming Complex (a mix of natural ingredients to help calm) and Fresh Lemon Oil (refreshing flavour). £20 for 8ml.
While this smells delicious, it just wasn't my favourite of these LP items. To use you massage into the lips and lip area for 30 seconds then wipe off. My lips did feel soft afterwards but I just didn't like the oily feeling afterwards. It doesn't last long and absorbs into the skin after a few minutes but it's just a weird feeling.

-Multi-Task Day Cream - Contains a lot of featured ingredients! Lots of stuff to help with collagen production, skin plumping and protecting the skin. £47 for 45ml.
This was my favourite product that I got to try! This is fragranced with Pomegranate which to me had quite a refreshing and almost sherberty scent. I found I only had to use a tiny amount and it absorbed very quickly. I was left with no shine on my skin, which can happen with moisturisers when they don't completely soak in. I noticed an improvement in my skin within a week or so of starting to use this. My skin looked clearer and more even in tone, even without foundation. While I don't like dipping my fingers into a jar, I'll put up with it for this kind of result! My Mum promptly bought her own jar after using mine for a few days so it has been a big hit!

-Overnight Replenish Cream - Like the Day Cream, this also contains a lot of featured ingredients to help with collagen and skin condition. £47 for 45ml.
I'm not entirely convinced that my skin has reached the point where it needs a cream this heavy. Certainly not in the summer months! I'll give this another go during winter when the air tends to be a lot drier ("summer" tends to be quite humid here) and my skin needs a little more care. This has quite a strong floral scent from the Wild Mountain Flowers fragrance. A little on the strong side for me. This cream was very rich and seemed to sit on the surface of the skin, absorbing very slowly. This is definitely not something you could apply in the morning before applying make up, it needs time to absorb. In the end I only used this twice a week while testing the products, I simply did not need the level of moisturisation it offered.

Of the four products I tried out, I think I'm likely to purchase the Multi-Task Day Cream again. I really liked the results it gave. I plan to explore the line further, maybe when it's time to restock on skincare I'll buy one of the comprehensive discovery collections from QVC.

These products were provided free for review purposes, this has no effect on the review I give.

Saturday, 17 September 2011

Make Up Shopping in Atlanta

I thought I should do a bit of a round-up of some of the best places Sparklecrack Central and I found for make up shopping in Atlanta. We didn't get chance to wonder out very far from downtown Atlanta and I'm sure there are some awesome places we missed. If there are, then feel free to leave a comment for when we do Dragon Con 2013 (yes, we've decided already!).

-Lenox Square Mall - located at 3393 Peachtree Road NE, Atlanta, GA 30326.
This is apparently one of the most visited malls in the US but a mid-week visit wasn't too busy. I wouldn't like to go on a Saturday though! There are plenty of designer stores and three department stores. There's a good sized Sephora which was nicely stocked and had helpful staff. We saw three different MAC stores or counters just walking on one level! Also, Macy's was offering a 10% discount for international customers. All I had to do was show my passport. I don't know if this was a short-term offer or if it was something that's ongoing. It's worth asking though if you are an international visitor! The discount does not apply to cosmetics but it most definitely applies to handbags. Oh yes.

-Ulta - 2 locations: 1801 Howell Mill Road, Atlanta, GA 30318 and 3495 Buckhead Loop, Atlanta, GA 30326.
We visited both stores. There may be more in the Atlanta area but these were the two closest to our hotel. We did plenty of spending in both but we both agreed that we prefered the Buckhead Loop store. It's much larger and stocked with a wider range of products. The one at Howell Mill does have a Walmart nearby which can be useful if you're in Atlanta for Dragon Con and want to stock up on cans of pop and junk food. Give the Ulta website a check before going, there can quite often be printable coupons. Also impressive were the free gifts on offer with certain value spends with different brands. I received several, despite not noticing that I'd qualified to get them. I was also able to get the Urban Decay 15th Anniversary palette in Ulta, whereas it was sold out at Sephora every time we went.

-Walgreens - 2 locations: 2893 Peachtree Rd NE, Atlanta, GA 30305 and 35 Collier Rd NW Suit 100, Atlanta, GA 30309.
There are quite a few Walgreens around Atlanta but the 2 addresses above were the best 2 we found. We visited the one on Peachtree several times and managed to stock up on Wet n Wild, along with a few other drugstore brands. We were directed towards the one on Collier Road when we asked about a specific Wet n Wild product and discovered it was larger and better stocked. We found staff to be helpful, going so far as tracking down a specific store that had a $4.99 item I wanted to buy.

-CVS - 1544 Piedmont Ave NE, Atlanta, GA 30324.
We found this quite by accident. All 4 of us were on our way to Michael's on our last full day when we noticed a giant CVS. After we stocked up on wool (and I bought some sparkly unicorn stickers), we went back to investigate the CVS. It was probably one of the best drugstores we had found all week. A wider selection of brands than we had found in Walgreens and the second non-destroyed Wet n Wild "Comfort Zone" palette of the week. We also found the holographic Milani polishes and the only Black Radiance stand we'd seen.

Thursday, 15 September 2011

Sleek MakeUp Me, Myself & Eye PPQ Palette

I've got yet another new Sleek MakeUp palette for you today! This one is created in partnership with PPQ and is limited edition. This palette costs £6.49 and is only available from the Sleek MakeUp website. It is released on 16th September.

There's a really great mix of colours in this palette. I think it's my favourite of everything they've released over Spring/Summer this year. This palette has 4 mattes and 8 shadows with varying levels of shimmer. Some are just satins, others are metallic. As usual, the shadows are nicely pigmented with the metallic shades smoother and more pigmented than the mattes. There was only one shade that lacked pigmentation, Pink Beret barely showed up despite heavy swatching.

So, here are the swatches! As usual, done with a dry brush over eye shadow primer. I love the names used in this palette!

Are you planning on adding this one to your Sleek MakeUp palette collection? Keep a look out, I'll be posting a FOTD with this over the next few days.

This product was provided free for review, this has no effect on the review I give.

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Review: Simple Cleansing Wipes

I recently had the opportunity to try some Simple skincare products and I'll have some more reviews for you in the future. The line is very reasonable priced and quite easy to get hold of. I can find it in Tesco and Boots without too much effort.

These wipes are free from perfumes, oil, artificial colours and alcohol. I've complained enough about beauty brands adding fragrance to their products. Simple Skincare items also do not use any animal derived ingredients.

Simple Kind To Skin Facial Wipes come in packs of 25 and cost around £3.20.

I always want to love facial wipes. They're the ultimate in awesome lazy make up removal. But I just never get into them. Even when I'm swatching, I use an eye make up remover to remove the swatches on my arm.

The packaging mentions that they will remove waterproof mascara but I found that too much rubbing was required around the eye area to remover even regular mascara and liner. When using them to remove my make up I found that it easily removed liquid and mineral foundation and blush.

So, I thought I'd try out some heavy duty swatching! I smothered my arm in liquid foundation, blush, liner, eye shadow and lipstick. Then I let it set for about half an hour.


I gave my arm a quick and fairly gentle wipe with the facial wipe.

It picked up most of the make up on my arm without too much effort at all.

Only a trace of the black eye liner (something by MAC) remained and that removed after a couple more wipes with the facial wipe.

So, will I use them to remove my face make up? Well, probably not. I still feel like I have to use a separate eye make up remover to prevent excessive wiping of my eye area. I'll happily use up the packet for removing swatches but I doubt I'll purchase these for face make up removal.

This product was provided free for review purposes. This has no effect on the review I give.

Monday, 12 September 2011

MAC Shadow: Nocturnelle

Not one of MAC's best purples to be honest!

Nocturnelle could have been an awesome plum-purple but it just doesn't quite work on me. It's plum with purple shimmer and a really deep base colour. This is a Frost finish but it quite hard in texture and needs layering to show true to the pan colour.

Nocturnelle definitely needs a primer on me. Without a primer it goes on very patchy and sheer and quickly fades into an unflattering dark red-purple. A primer really helps to build the colour and bring out the purple shimmer and works quite well in a smokey eye. Though even with a primer this shadow doesn't last as well as other MAC eye shadows on me. It begins to fade around the 5-6 hour mark. I don't use this too often, it's just not my favourite MAC eye shadow colour.

MAC Shadows are available from MAC (website/stores/counters):
-Pro pans are £9.50
-Pots are £11.50

Saturday, 10 September 2011

Meeting People in Atlanta

Now that I've emerged from the jet lag funk, it's perhaps time I got some blogging done! A haul video will be coming soon and I will be blogging my haul as well.

I spent the week with Sparklecrack Central, who has been to Dragon Con a few times before. We also met up with Phyrra, which was awesome as I've been a fan of her blog for a couple of years now.

We're all sat in Sear, waiting for lunch. I'd already been to a panel that morning!

Then, on the Monday, I had my meet up! I was so worried that no one would turn up but Rosa and Michelle arrived and we chatted for a good hour about brain surgery and conventions. It was lovely to meet them both.

It was raining hard by that point (thanks, Tropical Storm Lee!) so I'm more impressed that they turned up!

And finally, I saw Garrett Wang coming down the corridor at the Sheraton and he very kindly posed for a photo.

You may recognize him more with shorter hair, as Harry Kim from Star Trek: Voyager.

Monday, 5 September 2011

MAC Shadow: Nylon

This is a great highlighter!

Nylon is a frosty, silvery cream. This is a frost finish but is very smooth and pigmented, it's a lot more pigmented than some frosts that I've used. Mine has been a little bit abused in its life, I suspect it has been dropped on more than one occasion.

While a primer really does bring out the buttery tones to this shadow, I rarely use it over a primer. This shadow was used as my main brow highlight for ages and a large dip has formed. It blends out to quite a frosty highlight so I don't tend to use it too much these days for that purpose. It also looks pretty awesome when packed on the lid over a black base, creating an awesome smokey eye.

MAC Shadows are available from MAC (website/stores/counters):
-Pro pans are £9.50
-Pots are £11.50

FOTD: 04/09/11 Dragon Con Day...something

Feeling the Con Brain pretty well right now. I'm pretty sure it's Sunday!

I used:
-Benefit POREfessional Primer
-Laura Geller Balance & Brighten "Fair"
-Sleek MakeUp Blush "Pomegranate"

-Urban Decay Primer Potion
-Maybelline Gel Liner "Black" - as base & top liner
-Urban Decay 24/7 Liner "Zero" - lower liner
-Urban Decay Shadow "Flash" - packed over lid & lower liner
-ELF Studio Shadow "Sand Dollar" - highlight

-MAC Dazzleglass "Rags to Riches"

Saturday, 3 September 2011

FOTD: 02/09/11 Dragon Con Day 1!

If you can't wear obnoxious, over the top blue eye shadow at Dragon Con then when can you? No matter what I do, I'm losing my make up by 3pm due to the ridiculous humidity over here.

I used:
-Benefit POREfessional Primer
-Laura Geller Balance & Brighten "Fair"
-Plenty of ELF Studio Mattifying Powder all day
-MAC Blush "Plum Foolery"

-Urban Decay Primer Potion
-Fyrinnae Pixie Epoxy
-Urban Decay Shadow "Painkiller" - on lid
-MAC Shadow "Cinders" - in crease
-ELF Studio Shadow "Sand Dollar" - highlight
-Maybelline Gel Liner

-Gosh Lipgloss

And here it is before it pretty much sweated off by mid-afternoon.

Thursday, 1 September 2011

The Sun Is Shining In Atlanta

Hey everyone! There's going to be a distinct lack of blog posts until I get home due to me failing to properly set up some scheduled posts. Ooops.

But things are great here, we've done a spot of shopping and trailed over most of downtown Atlanta looking for a $4.99 Wet n Wild palette that I've now got to try and get home! Sephora and Ulta were far too much fun and I managed to get my hands on the Urban Decay 15th Anniversary palette. There are no Kat Von D palettes to be had anywhere and I spent $109 in Walmart on Pepsi, Cheetos and mascara.

Dragon Con kicks off tomorrow so keep an eye on my Youtube channel for (hopefully) daily vlogs.

The meetup will be in the Deli on the 3rd floor of the Sheraton, we've not decided on a time yet. It just depends what is going on that we want to see at Dragon Con. I know a few of you are going so don't forget to say hi if you see me wondering around!