Why Clinique is your perfect lip pick this Autumn…

Posted by Lipglossiping On September - 12 - 2014

Apart from the baby thing, 2014 will forever be known to me as the year of the lipstick.  We’ve been treated to some fantastic lip launches this year haven’t we?  From Estee Lauder’s dreamy Sculpting Lipsticks to Clarins’ Spring Joli Rouges that I literally wore all Summer long… just some of the great examples that I’ve enjoyed over the past nine-months.

Bringing up the rear with another extremely well-formulated lipstick launch is Clinique.  I’ve had the pleasure of trialling their new Long Last Soft Matte Lipstick which launched back in May/June kinda time – sorry for my tardiness but I was busy with that whole “baby thing” I mentioned before.

Clinique-Long-Last-Lipstick-Matte

Clinique-Long-Last-Lipstick-Matte

There are eight shades available in the line-up, ranging from ultra-bold oranges and reds to more demure but equally pigmented nudes.  It’s not the most comprehensive selection but this isn’t a problem for me.  Choice is great… but in all honesty, I’m a terribly indecisive person, choosing a Friday night takeaway practically tips me over the edge.  At least with this range, if I want a red… my mind has been made up for me and I don’t have to examine the ever-so-subtle nuances between ten different shades of crimson.

The packaging is sleek and sophisticated.  It’s heavy enough to feel reassuringly solid in my hands, with a part matte/part glossy exterior and some very tactile ridges.

Clinique-Long-Last-Lipstick-Matte

Clinique-Long-Last-Lipstick-Matte

#45 crimson – #50 beauty – #51 plum

Crimson is a bold red with strong cool undertones that give it vivacity and sparkle but its bold pigment means that you really do need a lip brush to do it justice.  There’s nothing informal about this red, wear it loud and wear it proud!  Beauty is the archetypal my-lips-but-better shade.  A shade that removes all traces of anaemia from my otherwise pasty complexion and injects life with the least amount of effort on my part.  When you don’t know which lipstick to choose in the morning, this is the one your hands would reach for.

Plum is a shade that I haven’t seen very many blogs featuring but I think it’s my favourite of the three!  It’s easily the most vivid plum-shade I own.  It leans purple enough to induce excitement without filling me with the I-can’t-wear-this fear factor.

But most importantly of all, how does the range feel and wear on the lips?

Amazingly well as it happens.  My first instinct was to be completely surprised by how the bullet glides.  There’s an expectation with long-lasting lipsticks of a drier texture, one that drags and skips during application… but not these…. they positively glide over the lips.  I wouldn’t go so far as to call them “buttery” but they’re very smooth and comfortable.

As for how the range wears, well that’s also worth getting excited about because I was able to apply in the morning and still enjoy how the colour looked mid-afternoon.  The pigment does fade after about 4-hours, but it fades evenly and cleanly, leaving a soft stain on the lips.  They’re not the lightest-feeling lipsticks in the world to wear (unlike the Estee Lauder Sculpting Lipsticks, which are frankly made from pixie pee) but neither do they feel heavy or drying on the lips.

Infact, my lips suffered no ill-effects at all from day-long wear, whether I’ll be able to say the same once Winter sets in, time will tell.

Clinique-Long-Last-Lipstick-Matte

#45 crimson – #50 beauty – #51 plum

Clinique-Long-Last-Lipstick-Matte-Plum-51

#51 Plum

Clinique Long Last Soft Matte Lipsticks are priced at £17.00 each and are available to buy on counter or online at clinique.co.uk, boots.com, and other outlets.

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Clinique Chubby Stick Cheek Colour Balm

Posted by Lipglossiping On July - 30 - 2014

Clinique are all about the chub nowadays aren’t they?  All of the chub, all of the time.  Chubby lips, chubby eyes, and now chubby cheeks.  Of course, they should have started with the cheeks really… I mean, whoever heard of chubby lips anyway?

The Chubby Stick Cheek Colour Balms are a continuation of the rest of the chubby family, perfect for on-the-go application and chucking in a weekend bag.  There are presently only four shades in the range, but there’s enough variation that it should be easy to choose the right one for you.

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The Chubby Stick’s domed tip glides effortlessly across the cheek, delivering a well-sized stroke of colour with good pigment from just a single swipe.  Once applied, the cream formula is easily blended with either your fingertips or a brush.  I prefer to initially blend for placement with a clean finger before ensuring that the edges are smooth with my foundation brush.

Despite the aforementioned cream formula, the sticks are holding up well during our current heatwave and showing no signs of quality degradation, sweating or any other unfortunate things that makeup can do at this time of year.  The formula is second-to-none – it feels only creamy, never greasy and despite being oil-free, there’s no streaking or dragging on the skin.  The blush delivers a fresh, glowy look that flatters my skin without emphasising my pores or exacerbating my dryness.

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The four shades swatched above are as follows:

Robust Rhubarb - a pretty coral
Amp’d Up Apple – a tawny rose
Roly Poly Rosy – a vibrant, warm pink
Plumped Up Peony - a deep plum

In the shot below, I’m wearing Roly Poly Rosy to complement my lipstick, also by Clinique (Chubby Stick Intense in Plushest Punch).

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Clinique Chubby Stick Cheek Colour Balms are priced at £19 each, available online now from clinique.co.uk and in stores from 1st August 2014

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Revlon Colorstay Moisture Stain in Barcelona Nights (photo heavy)

Posted by Lipglossiping On July - 22 - 2014

Perhaps it’s the OCD in me but I do so enjoy a themed collection.  A place for everything and everything in its place and all that.  No silly shade numbers o’ randomness that don’t mean anything to anyone.  Oh no! Revlon have got it very right with their geographically-themed latest product release.

The Revlon ColorStay Moisture Stain launch features a 12-strong collection of lip colours that embrace a gel-stain hybrid texture with a moisturising formula and a high-pigment finish.  The formula has been infused with Vitamin E and Aloe, those stalwart ingredients of the hydration team, making for comfortable day-long wear that leaves your lips feeling nourished.

Each shade claims its own playful colour personality, with shades named after some of the most iconic cities around the globe: Cannes Crush, Miami Fever, Rio Rush, and Parisian Passion to name but a few.

I’ve got my hands on the Hispanic delegate of the collection: Barcelona Nights – probably best described as a berry pink with slight purple undertones.

Revlon Moisture Stain in Barcelona Nights

Revlon Moisture Stain in Barcelona Nights (2)

Revlon Moisture Stain in Barcelona Nights (4)

The packaging is great, in all its chunky squared-off glory.  There’s nothing pretentious here, it’s simply solid and tactile in a spiky kind of way.  As you draw the applicator wand out of the tube, there’s a certain degree of resistance… the sort of pause that makes you worry the applicator will release from the bottle-neck with a pop, spraying you with lip stain – like a badly-behaved yoghurt pot.  Infact, I’m still not convinced that it won’t, so take care when wriggling the wand free from its constraints.

Having said that, the tight-fit ensures that your applicator isn’t drowned in lip gloop – infact, it dispenses just about the perfect amount onto the tip of the sponge.

Revlon Moisture Stain in Barcelona Nights (3)

Revlon Moisture Stain in Barcelona Nights (5)

The shade is vibrant and semi-sheer (though buildable), allowing the natural texture of your lip to show through.  Application is smooth, definitely more like a lipgloss than a liquid lipstick.  It feels a touch “plasticky” when first applied but it’s light enough in texture, thankfully, not to bother me.

I suffer from a visible “line” where product often refuses to adhere toward the inner reaches of my bottom lip… and I experienced it with this, at least… until the product had been given a few moments to fuse/melt from the warmth of my lips.  You need to allow this for a more even finish.

Most importantly, there is no stickiness.  None, or should I say nada.

Revlon Moisture Stain in Barcelona Nights (6)

Wear was fine, not because it was magnificently lingering but because as the colour faded, the stain remained.  For my personal tastes, it’s a little more glossy than I like to wear so I tend to apply, then blot.  Once.  This removes the “slippy” feeling – which is one that I can’t stand and the main reason for my lipgloss aversion – without removing the colour.

Overall, I’ve found it an easy-to-wear, easy-to-apply product… haven’t we all got room for one of those in our makeup bags?

The Revlon Colorstay Moisture Stains are due to launch next month, priced at £7.99 each and available from Boots and Superdrug

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Deal Alert: Anna Sui Lip & Eye Color Palettes!

Posted by Lipglossiping On July - 21 - 2014

Back in my early twenties, Anna Sui was one of the first brands to ignite my passion for make-up.  I remember my first Anna Sui lipstick clearly, a deep burgundy/wine shade that, if I’m honest, I loved more for the packaging than the colour.  You see, Anna has always known how to enchant beauty lovers with her exquisitely-presented products.  Rich colours, a theme of roses, and an eye for beautiful design captures both the heart and the wallet in an indisputable “I simply MUST HAVE IT” kind of way.

Over the years, the brand’s cosmetic “branch” has been in and out of production but each time the line has been reintroduced, a new generation of beauty geeks have fallen in love with its unrivaled femininity.

With that in mind, I’m not entirely sure that these two palettes* – currently on sale at Escentual – need much in the way of further introduction.  Look at them, they’re bloomin’ gorgeous!

Anna Sui Lip and Eye Color Palette

Anna Sui Lip and Eye Color Palette (3)

Anna Sui Lip and Eye Color Palette (2)

The Anna Sui Eye Color Palette features ten 1.5g pans of colour that range from the glitzy to the more demure.  The shades develop in intensity as you work your way through the palette starting with a frosty white and culminating in a super-sparkly black.

The texture on most of these is quite soft, easily blendable and prone to a little dustiness when loading a brush from the palette.  The pigmentation varies across the ten pans, I’ve tried to keep the swatches below as accurate as possible in terms of colour payoff from a single swipe with a fingertip.

Anna Sui Lip and Eye Color Palette (4)

Anna Sui Lip and Eye Color Palette (5)

With a primer, the shades wear well but without a sticky base, the sheerer shades do fade quite quickly.  If I had to pick one thing, my favourite aspect of this palette is the delicate smattering of sparkle found in a few of the colours – it’s understated, grown-up glitz that remains nicely on the lid, without any fall-out when combined with the aforementioned eye primer.

Now, onto my personal favourite… the Anna Sui Lip Color Palette!

I mean, who doesn’t need ten different shades of lip colours in one portable package?

Anna Sui Lip and Eye Color Palette (6)

Anna Sui Lip and Eye Color Palette (7)

Anna Sui Lip and Eye Color Palette (8)

The ten shades punch well above their weight with a glossy, almost balm-like formula.  Don’t mistake these for a traditional lipstick texture, I’ve included the photo above to display the “softness” of the formula, which leans more toward a solid lipgloss texture than a liquid lipstick texture.  That last sentence makes more sense in my head than it does on the screen, sorry!

Either way, the colour applied on the lips is fully recognisable from the shade in the palette – it transfers well with the kind of opacity that you’d expect from a well-pigmented gloss and lasts easily to mid-morning.

The Anna Sui Lip & Eye Color Palettes are currently on sale at escentual.com, priced at £14 each instead of the usual £28!  At this price, they represent a true bargain.

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The eyeliner that’s SO good, it’s TOO good… No, really.

Posted by Lipglossiping On July - 1 - 2014

Made you look, made you stare, made you lose your underwear.

A product that’s too good?  Can this even be possible?  And if so, what the hell are you talking about woman?

Well, I’m talking about the new Benefit They’re Real Push-Up Liner.  You know, that one everyone and his eyeliner-wearing dog is talking about.  Or at least, they were… before we all moved on to the next latest release.  Us bloggers, we be so fickle.

So, what’s so right with it?  And more importantly, why is this a bad thing?

Benefit They're Real Eye Liner Review

The new Benefit They’re Real Push-Up Eyeliner – usual twee Benefit marketing aside – is actually one of those genuinely innovative releases that we all crave.  It’s something that I’ve never seen done before, a truly delightful way of dispensing product that delivers on both the novelty-factor and the this-is-actually-quite-good factor.

Let me tell you about the technicalities of the eyeliner, in my own completely untechnical way.

Benefit They're Real Eye Liner Review (3)

You see that tip?  That nib up there?  It’s a rubberized doo-dah with a small opening through which oozes gel eyeliner when you twist the bottom of the pen mechanism.  The gel it dispenses is the kind that you usually get in a pot.  As for the mechanism, it doesn’t shoot out in an unusable stream of fast-moving black lava, it actually dispenses pretty slowly, playing nicely and stopping dead when you quit twisting the base of the pen.  That in itself is miraculous and something that most similar products have failed to achieve.

Sadly, any product remaining in or on the nib dries out pretty quickly once it’s left the airtight chamber.  Benefit have tried to counteract this by providing an odd little “plug” that you keep in the opening when the pen isn’t in use.  Sadly, for me, this idea falls short… replacing and removing the plug is the quickest way I’ve found to get your hands covered in smears of product.  I’ll talk more about that later…

Benefit They're Real Eye Liner Review Swatch

Let’s talk about the formula first.

It’s inky and it’s very black, just as you’d hope.  As far as eyeliners go, this one has a pretty dry consistency… delivering a solid pigment with hardly any feathering or creep from a too-wet formula.  You’d expect this from any gel eyeliner, and this is a good one.

The downside to this precision is that, as with most drier textures, it has a tendency to flake.  Especially if you dare “go over” your drawn line once too often.  This is frustrating, especially for someone who isn’t naturally gifted at drawing impeccable edges the first time round.  I usually need to do the whole “thicken the line to neaten it” thing after the first application.

Benefit They're Real Eye Liner Review Worn

The upside is that when you get it right (the first or at a push, the second time), you’ll be rewarded with the darkest, matte-est, most gloriously lined eyes you could ever wish for.  Particularly if you’re wanting to throw a cheeky eye-flick into the mix.  The applicator nib positively excels at painting the product onto the skin.  It’s a joy to use.  An absolute bloody joy.

Benefit They're Real Eye Liner Worn FOTD

So, what the hell is wrong with it?!

Well, I can’t remove the damn stuff without a pan-scourer and half a litre of sugar soap.

The Benefit They’re Real Push-Up Liner, is infact, so stubborn that Benefit had to release a specially-formulated eye makeup remover to go with.  My regular cleansing methods just don’t cut the mustard.  I can usually tackle most waterproof formulas with something in my makeup-removing arsenal, but this one eludes me.  Perhaps because I don’t own any bi-phase products, I’ve read that they can help do the job… but my skin doesn’t tolerate them especially well.

This is all fine and dandy if you don’t mind spending £14.50 for 50ml of Benefit’s makeup remover but frankly, I do.

“But Charlotte… surely, that incredible longevity is worth paying for?!” I hear you hayfever sufferers screaming at me!

Well, yes… it would be but annoyingly, despite the liner’s reluctance to get. the. fuck. off. my. fingers. (see earlier note about plug removal/replacement) – the same stuff doesn’t mind migrating from my lashline to my hooded eyelids.  In fairness, we’re not talking panda proportions of transfer… but it’s enough to get my index finger rubbing at my droopy lids.

What about you? Have you tried Benefit’s latest release yet?

The Benefit They’re Real Push-Up Liner is priced at £18.50 and is available to buy on counter and online from Boots, ASOS, and Debenhams

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Clinique Lash Power Feathering Mascara Review

Posted by Lipglossiping On June - 26 - 2014

Our lashes are longggggg, with many a curly end.  That leads us to who, knows what… what to use…

We want hold!  Long enough to last the day.

We don’t want heavy… just natural muh-scar-ruhhhhhhhhhhhhhs.

Brownie points if you recognise the song I couldn’t stop myself from butchering.  I’m sorry.

Clinique Lash Power Feathering Mascara is a relatively new release, having launched only a few months ago.  It promises a softer, more natural look without compromising on hold and an overall fluttery effect.

The key thing to remember with this mascara is that it places a lot of stock in being a buildable product with a formula geared toward the application of more than one coat.  Of course, if you really only want a touch of darkness and gloss added to your lashes, by all means… stop after a single coat.

If, however, you want a little more va-va-voom, you will need to apply a couple of additional coats to get the finish you require.

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The wand delivers a fine application of product, well-distributed almong the fluttery bristles which really comb-through the lashes as you sweep the brush from root to tip.  The formula never clumps and neither does it leave behind blobs of product at the tips, regardless of whether you’re on your first or third coat.  Longevity is good and I don’t suffer from flakes or smudges as the day progresses.

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Ultimately, whilst I recognise and admire the strengths of this latest “natural” mascara from Clinique, I don’t really like it.

The tube contains only 5.5ml of product, a few ml less than Clinique’s other offerings while retailing at a few ££s more.  I’m quite happy with the finished result – as shown above – but to achieve this, I need to apply 3-coats.  That could get expensive, quickly.

In a classic, “it’s not you, it’s me” scenario… I’m not a good target market here.  I don’t want natural, barely mascara’ed lashes.  I want floor-sweeping doe eyes.

Thanks Clinique, but I’ll stick to your High Impact mascara for now.

Clinique Lash Power Feathering Mascara is priced at £18.00 and available to buy on counter and online from clinique.co.uk

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Big Lip Love! RMK W Crayon & Gloss Lips in 01 Cherry Red

Posted by Lipglossiping On May - 1 - 2014

Do you ever make snap judgements about products only to be proven very, very wrong?  I don’t mind admitting that I do… and in this case, I got one hell of a shock when the product put me firmly in my place.

The RMK W Crayon & Gloss Lips is a new release from the Japanese beauty brand and features a duo crayon/gloss system designed to impart big colour and shine.  When it comes to lips, I don’t tend to expect much in the way of pigment from Asian brands… my past purchases have taught me that it’s all about the sheer juiciness and moisturising formulas.

Generalising much, I know… but this is just what I have come to expect.

RMK W Crayon and Gloss Lips 01

ignore the foundation, that’s coming in a later review!

The crayon end of the wand did two things to surprise me.

First of all, it dragged… it dragged across my lips like a dog not wanting to be taken for a walk.  It feels hard, a little waxy and not what I was expecting.  To be fair, this did mean that I could achieve a great, sharp line around the edge of my lips but I wasn’t impressed.

The firm texture meant that it took a fair amount of “colouring in” before my entire lip area had been filled and I couldn’t smoosh my lips together to spread the pigment, the formula just wasn’t creamy enough.  This does mean that it is however, extremely long-lasting.

The second surprise came from the amount of pigment the crayon imparted.  We’re talking serious colour.  Bold, opaque and a little startling.  In other words, fabulous.

So there I am… crayon on, thoughts a little jumbled at this point.

RMK W Crayon and Gloss Lips 01 3

RMK W Crayon and Gloss Lips 01 2

Ahh, the gloss end of the equation.  I hate gloss.  You know I hate gloss, we all know that yes… Lip”gloss”iping hates gloss.

Prior to actually trying the W Crayon & Gloss Lips out in person, I did toy with the idea that I’d probably just wear the crayon alone… but once it’s applied, it needs something more.  It just looks unfinished with the crayon worn alone on the lips.

And so I dived into the gloss section of the tube, pulling out the silicone spatula-esque applicator and layering a coat of the glitter-filled semi-transparent gloop across my lips.

RMK W Crayon and Gloss Lips 01 Swatch

“Oh!”

“It looks nice!”

Really nice!

The truth is that I just didn’t expect it to look like the perfect combination between pigmented AND juicy.  It didn’t expect it to plump and fill my lips to the point where I found it tricky to resist snogging myself in the mirror.

The gloss is completely non-sticky (trust me, I’m a massive fusspot) and refreshingly light on the lips.  It doesn’t try to migrate or pool unattractively, waiting for me to open my mouth and share strings of globby gloss with the world.  It just sits gently across the surface, sparkling away and making the crayon underneath feel far more comfortable than it did prior to the partnership.

RMK W Crayon and Gloss Lips 01 FOTD

RMK W Crayon and Gloss Lips 01 Lips

Transfer is a bitch, so be aware… although my teeth were unaffected, my glass and cup both took a shocking hit.  Having said that, there’s so much pigment in the product that the transfer had no impact on how it looked on my lips.

After around 45-minutes, the shine gradually dissipates and it (to my eye) looks even better.  It loses the screamy “look at me” shine but retains the juiciness, appearing much like a well-formulated creamy lipstick.  Roll forward a couple of hours and you can just start to feel a little dryness creeping through from the crayon.  As your lips press together, there’s more texture and at this point, it would be a good idea to give your pout a quick blot with tissue or reapply another layer of gloss.

It’s not completely low-maintenance but for such a bold shade, that undercoat of crayon sticks like you-know-what to the proverbial blanket, making touch-ups with the gloss a lot less hassle than re-lining your lips or dealing with an ugly ring of colour around the lip-line.

Well, there you have it.  Massive, big and completely unexpected love from me for this unassuming tube of lip colour.

RMK W Crayon & Gloss Lips in 01 Cherry Red is priced at £22 and available in 5 limited-edition, seasonal shades.  You can find them online in the UK from BeautyBay.com, LookFantastic.com and instore at Selfridges!

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I know it’s old hat and not terribly cool but I can’t help it, I’m still a big fan of mineral foundation.  Party like it’s 2006 and all that.  You see, the thing is… me and minerals, we shouldn’t get along.  On paper, we’re a match made in hell thanks to my permanently dehydrated complexion and amazing ability to develop flakies quicker than I can say B.B. Cream.  In theory, I should be reaching for the richer cream fondations,and avoiding powders as though my life depended on it.

Except, that with a little bit of care and some post-application hydration, my skin just adores minerals.  Especially in the warmer weather.

I’m going to tell you about the one I’m wearing at the moment.  It was on my lust-list for many years and I finally succumbed to the wantsies when I saw Sirvinya had it down in her blog sale list.

Meow Cosmetics are an indie mineral makeup company from the U.S. who have been operating online for many years now and were one of the first I discovered back when I was a regular user of indie brands.  Their catalogue of products is so vast, I don’t mind admitting that I find it bewildering.  Choosing the correct foundation shade for your skintone is quite a task in itself, admittedly made easier by some great, indepth instructions on the site.

If you think I’m exagerrating, I’m not.  Meow Cosmetics offer a staggering choice of 86 shades.  In three different formulations.  That’s 258 possible combinations of foundation.  Bejesus.

Meow Cosmetics Purrrfect Puss Minerals Foundation in Chausie Frisky

Here’s mine.  It’s the Purrfect Puss formulation which is described as a light-medium formulation with buildable coverage.  It features the brand’s original matte formula but with enough of a sheen to look fresh rather than dull.  The brand boast that their formulation doesn’t need “buffing” in the same way that traditional minerals do… and I find this to be true, a brush-on formula that can be layered nicely without the risk of micro-exfoliating my dry skin and causing further problems.

The shade that I have here is Frisky Chausie.  Two words.  The first “Frisky” relates to the depth of shade (ultra light to dark) and the second “Chausie” is the undertone.  In this case, Frisky = Light and Chausie = Cool Pink.  Making a great match for anyone who is a little pinker than a MAC NW15-20, like me.

Super pale girls will be delighted to hear that there are even two shades lighter than “Frisky” in each undertone!

Meow Cosmetics Purrrfect Puss Minerals Foundation in Chausie Frisky  1

The powder is finely milled, velvet-textured and easy to apply.  I tap a little into the lid and give it a swirl with a dome-topped synthetic brush.  Although a popular choice for many mineral makeup fans, I rarely use a flat-topped kabuki as I just don’t appreciate the fuller coverage, preferring instead to build it as I go… focusing multiple sweeps around the side of the nose and other places where my redness is more pronounced.

I always finish my mineral foundation application with a spritz of hydrating toner, something like the Balance Me Skin Bright Hydrating Mist.  If your skin is less dehydrated than mine, you’ll be fine with a light spritz from a can of Avene water or similar.  I just find that this finishing touch ensures that the product melts into the skin and ensures that it doesn’t look remotely “powdery”.

I’ve included a swatch shot and a before/after below so that you can see how great the colour match is for my complexion.  If you struggle to find a foundation that matches well with your skintone, you should give this range a try – sample baggie sizes are also available should you need to order a small selection to find your perfect match.

Meow Cosmetics Purrrfect Puss Minerals Foundation in Chausie Frisky Swatch

meow-cosmetics-foundation-before-after

Meow Cosmetics Mineral Foundation in Frisky Chausie is available to buy online in three different sizes with prices ranging from $1 to $23.45

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Deal Alert – Edward Bess Ultra Luminous Eye Shadow in Storm £6.99

Posted by Lipglossiping On April - 24 - 2014

I don’t know if this is an unusual blogger trait, I’m willing to bet that it isn’t.  But I have a confessionary secret stash and it’s not of makeup.

Oh no, it’s far sadder than that… it’s a secret stash of photographs of makeup.  You see, the thing about us hard-boiled bloggers is that we often struggle to physically open and use makeup before we’ve documented it for prosperity.  I’ve bought some true beauties in the past that have sat for months, untouched… pristine… my fingers aching to prise open the casing and daub the contents over my face.  But I’ve resisted.  All because I haven’t gotten around to photographing it for the blog.

And so today, I’m delving into my stash of photographs for an oldie-but-goodie.  The other problem with hoarding makeup (and photographs of makeup) is that by the time you get around to blogging about them, they’re often discontinued.

But in today’s case… this may be no bad thing, because it also means…

BARGAIN.  When was the last time you saw an Edward Bess eyeshadow for £6.99 inc. postage?  Let me tell you, as happy as I am for your bank account… I’m crying for mine.

Edward Bess Storm Taupe Eyeshadow

Edward Bess Storm Taupe Eyeshadow (2)

Edward Bess Storm Taupe Eyeshadow (3)

Edward Bess Storm Taupe Eyeshadow Swatch

Edward Bess Ultra Luminous Eye Shadow in Storm is a silvery taupe.  I like to call them “ghostly” taupes and they’re my favourite kind!

A pretty neutral with a shot of ethereal silver flashing through its veins.  It applies as smoothly as you’d expect from the premium U.S. brand and works beautifully as an allover one-shade choice for fraught Monday mornings.

Where did I spot this bargain of bargains?  Well, on the ‘bay of course!  Don’t feel too sorry for me paying full whack, I’ve spotted that the same seller also has another EB shadow that I’ve got my eye on, I may yet make it up to myself!

Are you happy to buy discontinued products from eBay (with a bit of homework) or are you too scared of fakes and fungal infections from out of date cosmetics?

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Clinique Cheek Pops Review & Swatches

Posted by Lipglossiping On April - 7 - 2014

When I first read about the innovative formulation of these delightful new blushers from Clinique, I was naturally a little sceptical.  I mean, most new releases nowadays claim to go beyond the realms of technology in a quest to deliver cosmetics that are like nothing you’ve ever used before.  That’s standard industry bullshit and we all know it.

The thing is though, I actually do believe that Estée Lauder Companies, Inc may indeed have robbed some faraway land of their makeup pixies…

First of all, Estee Lauder come out with the most brilliantly formulated lipsticks I’ve tried in a while, now swiftly followed by Clinique’s rather wondrous new Cheek Pops.  But what exactly is so marvellous about them?  Read on and I’ll tell you…

Clinique-Cheek-Pop-Blusher

Clinique-Cheek-Pops

Clinique-Cheek-Pops-Group-Shot

Clinique-Cheek-Pop-Blush-Detail

To begin with, they look bloody incredible, don’t they?  The fine detail in the gerbera daisy design is exquisite.  Completely frivolous and by-the-by, of course… but when has such kerb appeal ever been a bad thing?

The powder texture has an unusual quality… most definitely a powder in formula but in application?  Much more like a cream or gel finish.  It’s translucent and utterly buildable.  Pale girls rejoice, the Clinique team have created a wonderful balance between ethereal and pigmentation.

The depth of colour that you apply to your cheeks is very controllable.  I suffer from the horrors of one swipe with the brush often being too much once applied to my face, for these…. I can comfortably layer on a single swipe and then return to the pan for a second dusting over the apple of my cheek.  It’s a rare joy.

Clinique-Cheek-Pop-Swatches-Plum-Ginger-Berry-Peach

Even the swatches above show the rather lovely translucent nature of the pigmentation, they’re sheer but not lacking in oomph.  You can visually appreciate the quality and luminosity of the skin below the swatch which gives a far more natural and realistic blush effect once on the cheeks than most powder blushers can even dream of achieving.

The four shades available range from the candy-inspired to the more natural warmth.  My personal favourite is the cool-toned and punchy Plum Pop which carries a subtle river of silver iridescence.  Lasting power on these varies a little… the brighter shades generally offer a bit more of a stain-effect that is still present in the evening, while the more subtle and neutral Ginger Pop has disappeared from my cheeks by bedtime.

Clinique’s Cheek Pops are priced at £16.50 and available to purchase now on counter and online from clinique.co.uk

* press sample

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Smashbox Always Sharp 3D Liner in Neptune & Sparks

Posted by Lipglossiping On March - 26 - 2014

I have very little patience for a lot of things.  Life’s little foibles that increase my intolerance levels are varied and far-reaching… waiting to use the bathroom in the morning, picking up a freshly-boiled kettle only to discover that the person before you didn’t put enough water in for two cups… you know the kind of thing.

I’ve got another one for you.  Reaching for your eyeliner only to discover that it’s so blunt, that were you to use it… you’d risk losing an eye.

So, it’s just as well that Smashbox have saved my sanity and devised an “always sharp” waterproof liner range and I’ve got two from the 3D (a.k.a sparkly) line-up to show you swatches of today.

Smashbox Always Sharp Waterproof Liners

3D Sparks on the left, 3D Neptune on the right

Now, these aren’t your run-of-the-mill retractable eyeliners, they actually feature some kind of voodoo sharpener in the lid, meaning that everytime you twist the cap off… the tip appears neatly tapered and ready for some precision action.  You don’t need to twist these up to expose more product, they’re just ready-to-wear time and time again.

My only complaint about them is that from what I can tell, there’s no way of discovering when they’re nearing the end of their lifespan.  3D Sparks is a golden olive shade, dark enough to pass for a softer black or grey with a bunch o’ gold glitter and 3D Neptune is a very pretty navy blue with brighter sparkles.

Smashbox Always Sharp Waterproof Liners Swatch

3D Sparks on the left, 3D Neptune on the right

The formula is quite firm and stays put well, giving long-wear without transfer or running.  I’ve even worn one along the lower waterline with great success and no eye-irritation from the shimmer particles.

The Smashbox Always Sharp 3D Liners are priced at £16-a-piece, so I’d like to point out that for those on a budget, it’d be worth checking out the Avon Glimmerstick Diamonds Eyeliner at £6-a-piece which also give a similar sparkle finish, albeit with more drag and none of the fancy self-sharpening!

Smashbox Always Sharp 3D Liners are available to purchase instore at Boots and online at boots.com or smashbox.co.uk priced at £16.00 each

* press samples

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One of the best beauty innovations in recent times was when bareMinerals finally made their sifters, lockable.  It was a game-changer… no more loose minerals floating around on the wrong side of the pot, no more having to poke selectively through the labels with a biro, exposing only a few sifter-holes at a time. Simply genius.

Unfortunately, I can’t say the same about the latest innovation coming from bareMinerals HQ.

bareMinerals 15th Anniversary Mineral Veil Finishing Powder Applicator

The brand’s Limited Edition 15th Anniversary Mineral Veil Finishing Powder looks the damn business, let’s be honest.  It’s basically a cross between a gadget and a beauty-item and you can’t tell me that you beauty-loving souls don’t love a bit of gadgetry with your cosmetics, ‘cos I know you do!

The 8g of Mineral Veil powder is housed in one end of the revolving “clam shell”, while at the other… a soft brush dispenses the product onto your face, blurring imperfections and giving your skin a final gloss.  Now, whilst the product does all of those lovely things (I’m a long-time fan), unfortunately the limited edition dispenser doesn’t really add much to the experience.

bareMinerals 15th Anniversary Mineral Veil Finishing Powder Applicator 2

bareMinerals 15th Anniversary Mineral Veil Finishing Powder Applicator 3

First things first, it’s not refillable.  There seems to be some confusion online about whether or not you can top-up the contents once they’ve run out.  You can’t.  This is a one-off novelty purchase, and this irks me a little.  Ok, a lot.  What if I’d fallen in love with it only to discover that my product-lust was subject to a time-limit?

Secondly, it takes a lot of effort to get the powder to distribute through the brush evenly.  During normal use, you’d just dip your brush into the sifter to coat the tips with a fine layer of powder.  With this gadget, you’re working from the opposite end of those brush fibres and the powder needs to work its way down to the tips from the base.  The dispenser is only able to flow product from two holes at either end of the brush (shown above where the two pink “plugs” are located).

My experience over the last few weeks has shown that nine-times-out-of-ten, I just don’t get an even distribution of product across the brush head.  It’s not unusable but it’s definitely a step down from the usual application method.

bare-escentuals

Not to put an entire downer on the product, I truly can’t deny that it’s really convenient for travel and I haven’t discovered any spillages or leaks in my handbag.  The dispenser locks securely when not in use and it is a pretty neat solution for taking down the shine on a midday face.

Ultimately, it’s a great idea but it needs fine-tuning… I’d love to see this product return as a permanent (refillable) item after a little product development.

The bareMinerals Limited Edition 15th Anniversary Mineral Veil Finishing Powder will be available from next month instore in bareMinerals boutiques, on the website, and at Boots, priced at £22.00

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