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

* press sample

if you liked this post, please don’t forget to check out my subscriber options, here


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.

IMG_5220

IMG_5222

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.

IMG_5233

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

* press sample

if you liked this post, please don’t forget to check out my subscriber options, here

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!

* press sample

if you liked this post, please don’t forget to check out my subscriber options, here

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

if you liked this post, please don’t forget to check out my subscriber options, here

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?

if you liked this post, please don’t forget to check out my subscriber options, here

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

if you liked this post, please don’t forget to check out my subscriber options, here

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

if you liked this post, please don’t forget to check out my subscriber options, here

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

* press sample

if you liked this post, please don’t forget to check out my subscriber options, here

Burberry Fresh Glow Fluid Base in 01 Nude Radiance

Posted by Lipglossiping On March - 19 - 2014

Most people are familiar with the practice of prepping oily skin before applying foundation but less is said about those of us with dehydrated or dull complexions.  Many, many paragraphs are given over to the subject of tailoring skincare to battle dehydrated skin… but what about makeup application?

Just as someone with oily skin can’t go slapping their base product onto a freshly moisturised face without thought of how their foundation will look in 3hrs time, I have to take care to prep my skin in advance of foundation application.  If I don’t, my skin will simply look tired, a little crepey, and incredibly dull within hours.

Once I’ve moisturised and primed with a moisturising primer, I always add some radiance to my foundations.  Wearing so many layers of product means that I have to give consideration as to how they work together, they have to be compatible and finickity products are always the first to find themselves in the reject pile.

Burberry Fresh Glow Base Fluid 01

One of my favourite methods of customising a foundation to suit my dehydrated skin involves giving it a little boost of radiance, usually in the form of a liquid luminizer that I can mix directly into the foundation.  The one I’m currently using is a purchase from last year, the Burberry Fresh Glow Fluid Base in 01 Nude Radiance.  I’ll be honest, I made a mistake… I actually bought this thinking that it was a foundation… albeit a sheer one.  Doh!

It’s not, it’s definitely a luminizer.  Unless you have the most perfect skin in the world, you’ll need something applied over this to provide a bit of a backbone if you want it to even-out your skintone.

Burberry Fresh Glow Base Fluid 01 3

You’ll never need more than one pump-per-application, so its 30ml packaging size is going to last you a fairly long while, which is just as well… being Burberry after all, it’s not the cheapest makeup purchase I made last year.  I take great solace from the fact that I generally tend to get on really well with high-street (priced) foundations though, so a little splurge here and there on a different kind of base product won’t do me too much harm.

To use it, I simply pump a single “splodge” (technical term, obv.) on the back of my hand before pumping my required amount of foundation ontop.  At the moment, I’m very much in favour of using my hands to apply my foundation, so I’m happy to mix the mess up on the back of my hand with a clean finger before spreading the product onto my face.  It’s a fuss-free method of application and I find that the warmth transferred from my fingers works well for spreading product smoothly over my dry skin.

Burberry Fresh Glow Base Fluid 01 2

The radiance boost that the Burberry Fresh Glow Fluid Base delivers is subtle but effective.  It doesn’t leave obvious shimmering particles on my skin, not that I’ve anything against more in-yer-face luminizers – I loves ‘em, but sometimes they’re not wholly appropriate.  The Nude Radiance shade is a neutral-toned champagne that would suit many, many skintones… I’d always check before buying but in my opinion, it’s far too translucent to appear ashy, particularly as it will be so heavily influenced by the foundation shade you mix it with.

Burberry Fresh Glow Base Fluid 01 4

For me, mixing a luminizer into my foundation is a step in my makeup routine that I wouldn’t be without.  It allows me to get more use from the many, many foundations I’ve purchased that haven’t been “quite right” for my skintype.  It keeps my skin looking fresher and more radiant as the day progresses without having to over-moisturise and risk having it slide from my t-zone by lunchtime.

Of course, sometimes I’ll follow up this radiance-boosting step with a little powder highlighter also… though I mostly only bother if it’s something very subtle or I’m going out in the evening.

Burberry Fresh Glow Fluid Base in 01 Nude Radiance is priced at £34.00 and available to buy on Burberry counters nationwide and online from John Lewis.

if you liked this post, please don’t forget to check out my subscriber options, here

My favourite luminizing eye shadows!

Posted by Lipglossiping On March - 13 - 2014

As a simple lady (in more ways than one), I’m just not interested in painting my eyes with a rainbow of colours anymore.  It makes me feel conspicuous, something that I don’t enjoy being at the best of times.  Whilst I may be getting past the whole idea of using makeup as a way to be creative, I don’t think I’ll ever get over its abilities to make me look more refreshed, and leave me feeling more confident in my own appearance.

Truth be told, nowadays… I rarely stray from wearing anything other than a highlighting shade across my eyelids.  I need something that puts luminosity into a part of my face that is often the first to express just how little sleep I’ve gotten in recent weeks.  I know that many of you will be the same as me, “boring” though it is…

I thought I’d share my favourite luminosity-delivering eye shadows for a quick morning post… these are the ones that I use in constant rotation… whichever is closest to hand, I’m happy to use that morning.

Favourite highlighting lid shades

Top row, left to right: MAC Vanilla Pigment, MAC Femme Fi, MAC Phloof!

Bottom row, left to right: Becca Vicuna, The Body Shop Colour Crush 101, Shu Uemura IR Beige 800

I rarely feel makeup guilts about purchasing a highlighting shade, which is silly… because six, used in rotation, is more than enough for anyone.  However, I know that as part of my daily staple, I’ll get through them… eventually.  In a pinch, most of them can also be used as a skin highlighter across the cheekbones, I do this particularly with The Body Shop Colour Crush 101 eyeshadow when I can’t find my NARS Albatross.

Favourite Highlighting eyelid shades eyeshadow

Of the six, MAC’s Vanilla Pigment delivers the most intense light-reflection, it’s wonderful for the inner corner but my skin is a little too mature to wear this as an under-the-browbone highlighter, it makes me feel like I’m in drag to be honest… not really a good thing, when err… you’re not actually in drag.  I do love this one as an allover lid colour, I just make sure to blend it well and combine with some black liquid liner for a simple-but-polished look.

If you were to push me, I’d probably call out MAC’s discontinued Femme-Fi as my ultimate favourite.  It just has such a lovely quality that never looks chalky or stark across the lids, sometimes the cooler-toned, more frosty Phloof! can look a little too highlightery across the lids.  Whenever I spot Femme-Fi in someone’s blog sale, I always succumb to the purchase.

Becca’s Vicuna is also a beautiful one-shade option, I probably reach for it the least out of the six just because it’s in a cream format… but when I get my head around working outside the box, I’m always pleased with the result.

Finally, the discontinued Shu Uemura IR Beige 800 and The Body Shop Colour Crush 101* are really similar to each other in tone.  The Shu Uemura is a little more refined in texture, but once both are blended, you’d be hard-pushed to notice a difference between them.  These are both perfect for the inner corner but when worn across the lid, I try to combine them with a more golden-toned crease colour as opposed to my usual taupe.

What are your favourite luminosity-delivering eye shadows?

* press sample

if you liked this post, please don’t forget to check out my subscriber options, here

Benefit Gimme Brow Review

Posted by Lipglossiping On March - 12 - 2014

I simply cannot over-stress the importance of amazing eyebrows.

Well err, scratch that because obviously I could… I could suggest that they were more important than something like world peace or the need for a Krispy Kreme stand on every corner.  But what I’m trying to explain, dear reader, is that I do place an emphasis on how my brows look.  Mostly because, without intervention, they’re an embarrassment to my face.  The saddest thing about this, is that my eyebrows, despite all this extra attention (I spend more money over the course of a year on my eyebrows than I do my hair), are still not amazing.

I have been cursed with the worst affliction that any brow-wearer could suffer from.  Curly eyebrows.  My threader always has a little giggle to herself (she thinks I don’t notice) when she gets the scissors out.  I try and make light of the situation by suggesting that she might have better luck with a pair of straighteners, but then her wry smiles turn to a look of pity, so I shut up and let her get on with it.

Benefit Gimme Brow

Benefit’s Gimme Brow* promises to be an all-in-one solution for badly-behaved brows, delivering a natural-looking finish and a long-lasting hold.  It’s a gel formula, packed with tiny fibres that adhere to both skin and hair to help fill in any bald spots and volumise (yes, volumise!) the brows you already have.  Imagine the brand trying to sell this back in the days when “big” lady brows were frowned-upon!

My biggest bug-bear with this product is a usual Benefit complaint.  You’ll leave the counter feeling much, much lighter of pocket… and for not a lot of product.  Infact, you get just 3.0g of product for your £17.50 outlay and when you’re dealing with something that you need to “build up” for maximum effect, and will most likely be using daily… I really think that Gimme Brow will quickly become a rather expensive addition to your beauty routine.

Benefit Gimme Brow 1

The wand inside the tube reminds me of those bottom-lash mascara wands… it’s very, very small and very, very tapered.  It’s been nicely designed to allow for precision application but I still find it a little too big for my few straggly hairs at the outer tips of my brows.  I did read someone say that they wished the wands were bigger, to cover a greater area with more speed… I’m just LOL’ing to myself at just how big this person’s brows must be!  Spare a thought for us with spindly face slugs, love!

Benefit Gimme Brow 2

Benefit Gimme Brow is available to purchase in two shades: Light/Medium and Medium/Deep – not only is Light/Medium obviously the paler of the two, but it looks a little warmer also…

Benefit Gimme Brow 3

I’ve included a before/after shot below.  This is how I use the product, though I’m aware that some have taken the “adhere to skin” advice quite literally and have used the product to *really* fill in the brows, as one would with a pencil or a shadow.  I can’t quite bring myself to do this with Gimme Brow, I’ve tried… but I just don’t like how it looks.  Perhaps if my brows were shorter, but I struggle to keep it looking natural once I start painting my skin with the product.

The best side-effect I’ve noticed with Benefit’s Gimme Brow (and I’m using the Medium/Deep shade in the photos below) is its ability to transform my two white eyebrow hairs into naturally-coloured versions of their neighbours.  Thank christ for that, I’ve never been so horrified to discover a white hair since… well… since I discovered one somewhere else you really don’t want to discover one.  Other than that, although I do like it for its ease-of-use and convenience (it’s a lot less faff than a pencil or a powder)… I’m not sure I’m in love with it, especially at its current price.

My biggest problem is that it just doesn’t seem to have a huge amount of staying power… and if I’m gonna ditch the powder for an all-in-one brow solution, I really need that perk.

benefit-gimme-brow-before-after

If you’re in need of some serious eyebrow SOS, now would be a great time to head down to the Benefit counter at your local Debenhams store.  The brand are partnering with cancer charity Look Good Feel Better for the month of March and are offering a complimentary brow arch service (worth £11.50) for a requested minimum donation of £5, with all proceeds going directly to the charity.

Benefit Gimme Brow is priced at £17.50 and available to buy instore at Benefit counters nationwide and online at benefitcosmetics.co.uk

* press sample

if you liked this post, please don’t forget to check out my subscriber options, here

Suqqu SS14 Collection: Review, Swatches, and a FOTD

Posted by Lipglossiping On March - 10 - 2014

I’m not the world’s biggest Spring/Summer collections fan, I have the kind of complexion that needs contrast… it needs bold colour, the kind that you’re more likely to find in collections released toward the end of the year rather than the beginning.  That being said, I’m nothing if not a total sucker for palettes with a delicate amount of sparkle to brighten and highlight.

The Suqqu Spring/Summer 2014 Collection* is is my first experience of Suqqu’s colour makeup, it’s not a brand that’s stocked within 80-miles of where I live and when it comes to flying-visits to Selfridges in London, I’ve only ever peeked with curiosity at the much-lauded brush range that the Japanese brand are famous for producing.

It’s with this in mind that I’m approaching my post by placing more emphasis on the overall impression of the products, their textures… their longevity and blendability, than I am the colours that come and go depending on seasonal releases.  I hope this is ok, I’ve included plenty of photos to show this year’s Spring Summer shades but my curiosity was mostly centred-upon trying to work out for myself whether or not the legendary SUQQU quality lives up to my inflated expectations.

Suqqu SS14 Collection

The pieces I received* from the Suqqu SS14 Collection are shown in the photo above, from left to right: Smoothing Face Color, Sirakoucha EX05 Nail Polish, Mitsucha 15 Eyeshadow Quad, Usubeni EX-03 Creamy Glow Moist Lipstick, and Momoshuiro 01 Balancing Cheeks Blusher.

I’ll start by focusing on the Balancing Cheeks Blusher (£38.00) below, and will say outright that for me… it was my favourite item in the collection.

Suqqu SS14 Collection Balancing Cheeks Blusher

Suqqu SS14 Collection Balancing Cheeks Blusher Swatch

Looking at both the product in the pan, and the swatches on the back of my hand… I was sure that I’d struggle to get the colour to show up on my pale but prone-to-ruddiness cheeks.  I was wrong.  When I’m reviewing something that may end up in someone spending £38 on a blusher, you can be sure that I take my responsibility seriously… and that extends to doing something I might not ordinarily do.  I used the cheek brush that comes with the product.  Interestingly, so should you.

The textures of the blushers are incredibly soft and they kick up a lot of dust… the powder needs the touch of a whisper-light brush, and one is thankfully included in the pan.  Infact, despite owning some beautiful, and rather expensive blush brushes… the one that comes included with this duo is softer than anything else in my collection.  The colour glides on beautifully.  I ended up using the warmer and paler of the two shades in the traditional blusher “stripe” configuration before blending the slightly sparklier pink (pan on the right) into the apples of my cheeks and drawing upwards as you would use a highlighter.

Longevity is day-long.  I just can’t give any complaints about this product… except to say that it’s more money than I’ve ever spent on a blusher before and I’m just not sure I could bring myself to part with almost £40 for 4g of product.  If you could, then you should give the range a once-over on counter.

Suqqu SS14 Collection Mitsucha 15 Eyeshadow Palette

Suqqu SS14 Collection Mitsucha 15 Eyeshadow Palette Swatches

The next item under scrutiny is the Eyeshadow Quad, Mitsucha 15 (£45.00) - a warm-toned palette with an incredible luster and grown-up sparkle.  The depth of pigmentation is perfect here, no matter which shade my brush picked up… I felt that I had – as if by voodoo – managed to transfer just the right amount of product from pan to brush each and every time!  The only occasion I returned to the palette was at the end of my application just to add a little more of the gold (top left) shade to the centre of my lid after blending the crease.

SUQQU SS14 FOTD (3)

Overall, the shades in Mitsucha 15 wouldn’t be my first choice but this is a personal opinion on what suits me.  The texture, quality and luminosity delivered by the palette is second-to-none.  This is grown-up stuff for those of us who aren’t willing to give up on sparkle and highlight but appreciate that our eyelids are a little too mature for the same heavy glitters or metallics that we used to favour.

The formula reminds me a little of how the Clarins eyeshadows suit my personal tastes, but with an undeniable added refinement brought about by the fact that with no primer applied, these shades didn’t move a centimetre in over 9-hours of wear.  For the perfect quad of shades, I would be willing to part with the £45.00 required to get my hot little hands on the product.

SUQQU SS14 Nail Polish Sirakoucha EX05

I hope you don’t mind but I’ll be covering the SUQQU polish in another post, I’d just freshly painted my nails the day before taking these swatch shots and I couldn’t give up an hours-old manicure just yet!

SUQQU SS14 Smoothing Face Color (2)

SUQQU SS14 Smoothing Face Color

The Smoothing Face Color (£50.00) is an interesting concept, featuring a trio of shades that combine together to deliver a three-in-one solution to help beat complexion imperfections.  The white powder on the right contains green pearls to create a “photography reflector effect” diffusing light and blurring imperfections.  The larger, central beige powder is a finely-milled, non-pearlescent powder that helps create “smooth-looking skin without visible pores”.  Finally, the pinker shade on the left aims to correct uneven skintone and discoloration.

Ultimately, it doesn’t leave me tempted.  It’s a lovely, lightweight powder that delivers the “smoothing” finish it promises but I just couldn’t justify the price difference between this and some of my other luminosity-delivering finishing powders in my collection.  I’m already a huge fan of Guerlain’s meteorites range and Clarin’s regular releases of LE face powders (not the “blush” ones).

SUQQU SS14 Usubeni EX-03 Lipstick Creamy Glow Moist

The final piece from the SS14 collection I’m reviewing today is the Usubeni EX-03 Creamy Glow Moist Lipstick (£27.00) with its sheer, balm-like formula.  Again, this isn’t one that would tempt me into a purchase, I simply need more pigmentation than this lipstick provides, but if you’re a fan of balms and want a polished-look from a fuss-free formula that genuinely leaves lips feeling better conditioned at the end of the day… I’d make it another one to check out on counter.

And finally, a couple of shots showing how the products look once applied.  Combined, they achieve a Spring look that is understated but fresh and luminous.

SUQQU-SS14-FOTD

SUQQU-SS14-FOTD-(2)

I haven’t been disappointed by my introduction to Suqqu.  The quality is evident from the first touch… not just in the sleek packaging but in the high-tech textures and long-lasting formulas.  The introduction has made me question just how much of my own cash I’d be willing to part with to pay for the kind of quality that a range like this provides… and how much more discerning I’d force myself to be when faced with the prospect of spending £50 on a face powder.

Ultimately, it’s a range that is more than worthy of the hype that surrounds it, particularly when it comes to the kind of products that would benefit from technologically-advanced, lighter textures.  Next time I’m in London, I’ll be checking out the base products.

The Suqqu Spring/Summer 2014 range is available to buy on-counter in Selfridges and online at selfridges.com

* press samples

RANDOM

Butter London Spring/Summer 2011 - Lady Muck NOTD

I told you I had some rather special Butter Londons to show you – how about this one from the new Spring/Summer collection? Lady Muck …

Food Friday: Luxury Bread & Butter Pudding with Cherries

There’s something so comforting about a hefty pudding.  Treacle sponges, chocolate mud cakes and bread & butter pudding all carry a certain amount of stodge …

Carolyn K Armineh NOTD

If you’re a fan of classic shades, Carolyn K’s Armineh is about as classic as it gets.  This beige-toned nude should work well on most …

Deal Alert: Chanel Rouge Coco Lipstick for a potential £16.99 (+p&p)

I’ve just bought the Chanel Rouge Coco lippie deal from BuyaPowa which offers a potential saving of 26% – it comes in shade #5 (Mademoiselle) …

New Limited Edition Eyeko Rain Polish

A new limited edition polish release from Eyeko… Rain Polish is a rather delicate smoky blue/grey amalgamation.  It’s instantly clear that a lot of thought …

Red Lip Series: Burberry Lip Velvet in #310 Military Red

Oh, my lovely fellow beauty addicts… oh, I think you’re going to like this lipstick.  It’s my first “non-wimpy” red of the season and I …

Inglot Lipsticks #192 & #264 - Swatches

In addition to my lovely Inglot Eyeshadow palette, I picked up a couple of lipsticks when I checked out the Inglot Store in Westfield a …

Avon SuperShock Gel Eyeliner – Review & Comparison

So, the other day/week/month…. whenever it was (they’re blurring)… I told you about the new Avon SuperShock Gel Eyeliners that I’d had a look at …

Guerlain Tenue de Perfection Timeproof Foundation Review

Sometimes technology baffles me.  I’m not talking the kind of bewilderment that leaves my Dad staring blankly at the DVD player for hours on end …

Alex Byrne with Benefit Cosmetics for Jean-Pierre Braganza SS/12 LFW

Yesterday, I talked about the behind-the-scenes atmosphere at Jean-Pierre Braganza’s SS/12 show which took place last Friday at the BFC Show Space in Somerset House. …

POPULAR

CLOSED: Competition Time: Givenchy Very Irresistible L'eau en Rose Perfume!

Want to really spoil Mum this Mother’s Day?  Or perhaps you just want to spoil yourself?  It’s ok… I won’t judge… there are plenty of …

CLOSED - Win it! The Body Shop Expert Brush Collection

I don’t know about you, but I woke up this morning with a distinct “Hello Monday morning, I’ve been expecting you…” kinda feeling.  Maybe it’s …

Win a gorgeous "glow" trio with prizes from Urban Decay, New CID, & Arbonne!

COMPETITION NOW CLOSED! WINNER IS: “IZABELLA” (COMMENT #96045) – WINNER HAS BEEN EMAILED!   It’s still January, the MET office have just issued yet another …

Hello? Is this thing on?

Phew, that was a little unexpected. For those of you who haven’t had the misfortune of reading my hand-wringing tweets and woe-ridden facebook updates, let …

Big savings on French Pharmacy brands, win my Escentual.com top picks!

I’m of the firm opinion that for the money, French pharmacy brands offer some of the best solutions for diffcult skin-types. Escentual.com have long been …

Win it! 3 EcoTools Bamboo Bronzer Brushes to win!

I’ve written about these before, you know I love them, I want you to love them too! So why not have a go at winning …

FOTD Busting out of the comfort zone!

You may recall my bitter moans last week about how when presented with a rare opportunity to spend an indecent amount of time playing with …

Dear Obesity...

We have been together for over 20 years, our lives so entwined that I’ve never been sure how to live without you.  I would like …

Urban Decay The Black Palette - Photos & Swatches

The soon-to-be-released Black Palette from US eyeshadow maestro’s Urban Decay is an altogether darker affair than the recent Naked set… The Black Palette includes 6, …

Avoid the brush off with Oral-B Pro-Expert

There’s a new toothpaste in town. It’s lean, mean and err not very minty as it happens.  Featuring the revolutionary bacteria-busting ingredient Stabilised Stannous Flouride, …

COMMENTS

  • Categories

  • Archives

  • Admin

  • Ads