So, I bought some cheap eBay palettes…

Posted by Lipglossiping On July - 5 - 2012

(long before my no-buy, don’t worry) and I’ve started to dismantle them. It’s not the most interesting post in the world but I thought it might help someone out there who’s considering doing the same thing.

You see, I like freestyle palettes. Those of Z-Palette, Yaby, and MUFE fame. I don’t like their price tags though, at least… not in the quantity that I want to buy.  And so instead, I dropped about £6 (including postage) on these three simple alternatives on eBay.  I decided that I’d have a play with them and see how they fared in my mission to depot my stash, thus getting more use out of some of the lovely things I’ve bought over the years.  The palettes come from China (what doesn’t?) and they’re horrifically cheap-looking. The stuff of nightmares.

That being said, they’re pretty well-constructed and if you can stand the aesthetics (or be arsed to somehow disguise it), you could be on to a winner.

The ones I bought come with 15 pans included, the pans are non-magnetic and bend when I blow on them.  I can’t see myself using these for pigment pressing, they’re just so flimsy.  Upon opening the lid, I was pleased to discover that the material which separates the individual pans, was not plastic… but glued foam.  This meant that I could remove and discard the innards without any fuss at all just by pulling it off carefully.

I’ve also bought some magnetic sheets and will cut them to size next weekend in preparation for phase 2.  If you’re thinking of following along in my quest to transform el-shitty palettes into makeup cases of beauty and wonderment (I’m exaggerating), don’t buy thin magnetic sheets… take it from someone who’s already wasted a fiver.  You need something with more strength – I ended up with 0.9mm sheets which, so far, seem to be heavy duty enough.

I bought my palettes from here, and my sheets from here.

Wanna play palettes?


Stila In the Light Eyeshadow Palette review, swatches and a FOTD!

Posted by Lipglossiping On May - 9 - 2012

All-in-one neutral palettes have never been more popular, they’re a quick solution to the eternal morning dilemma of eyeshadow selection when all you really want is an extra five-minutes in bed.  Stepping firmly on the bandwagon with their latest palette release is U.S. brand, Stila in the form of their In the Light eye shadow palette*.

A cardboard palette, lightweight and without a mirror makes this a slightly more portable (if flimsy) choice than the Urban Decay Naked franchise.  The palette contains 10 pans of colour, both a mix of shimmer and matte shades.  Each pan provides 1.4g of product, around the same quantity per pan as the Urban Decay offering, but two less pans in total.  The stock images that you will see online of the palette don’t reflect the true shades within, both bliss and sunset do not swatch pink as described in the official colours and shown in the stock photo.  All shades can be used both wet and dry.

The ten shades vary in pigmentation and texture, some feel quite soft and creamy whilst others are more firmly-textured and require building up to achieve rich colour.  None feel chalky and they all share excellent blendability.  There are four matte shades in total: Bare, Bliss, Sandstone and Ebony allowing you to create a fully matte look with a range of neutral shades if you so wish.

I like this option a lot… it allows me to create a fully matte eye look as my base before adding in a ‘pop’ of something more shimmery without going into disco territory.

 

The shades are mostly warm-toned with the exception of Night Sky and Luster.  Also included in the palette is a 0.28g black, retractable eye pencil (smudge stick) which provides rich colour with a smudgable but long-lasting formula.

A quick FOTD showing Bare, Bliss and Sandstone with a pop of the inimitable Kitten on the inner corner to brighten the eye area.  Kitten has long been one of Stila’s most cult shades, and I can see why, it’s a very pretty champagne highlight that opens up and lifts the eye area when used as a highlight.

The Stila In the Light eyeshadow palette is available to buy instore at SpaceNK, online at BeautyBay and Escentual.  It’s also available at Stila’s freshly-launched website: stila.co.uk – priced at £25.00

* press sample

Boots No7 Floral Brights Spring 2012 Collection Swatches and FOTD

Posted by Lipglossiping On February - 13 - 2012

Can you feel it coming?  The birds are beginning to sing a slightly more cheerful tune, the flowers are peeking their tiny heads out from beneath the frozen ground and the dark evenings are gradually fading into longer twilights.  Sure, it ain’t exactly warming up yet… but I’m optimistic that we’re over the worst of it.  Maybe.

The fact that I took delivery of the Boots No7 Floral Brights Spring 2012 Collection* this morning may have had something to do with the new-found spring in my step (pardon the pun).  Look at that packaging, I love it and I usually quite dislike white cosmetic packaging.  Mind you, I used to hate white gadgets too… *hides all Apple technology*.

The new Lisa Eldridge-created collection consists of: one eye palette, one complexion highlighter, two cream blushers and two lipsticks.  No nail polishes this time.  Boo.

Want a closer look?

This prettily packaged eye palette reminds me of the Avon Marimekko ones from a few years back, does anyone remember those?  Anyway, the No7 Vital Brighetning Eye Palette offers five warm-toned shades with four neutrals and a pop of golden-yellow.  Nothing too dark here, this is all about bringing some light to the face and brightening the eye area.  I tend to prefer cooler tones on my eyes but I do like the satin-finish of these, they’re not too metallic and showy.  Texture is a touch soft but they blend nicely and last very well on primed eyelids.

Next up is the No7 Vital Enlightening Highlighter, a smooth champagne highlighting powder that applies with more sophistication and refinement than I expected.  It imparts a non-metallic glow when used with a light hand and is neutral enough not to look too warm, or too pink on my skintone.  No7 generally do highlighting powders very, very well and if you’re in the market for a new one, this is worth a look.

A real standout in the collection are their two new blushers.  The No7 Vital Brights Cream Blushers in Blooming Pink (fuchsia) and Blossoming Pink (guava) are a cream-to-powder formulation that pack a real punch of vibrancy whilst still being able to blend down to a wearable flush without streaking.  The formula is *so* spot on with these… I own cream blushers that cost twice as much and apply literally, half as well as these do.  Highly recommend checking these out while they’re still available.

My other favourite from the collection are the two new No7 Vital Brights Lipstick shades that allude to the popular lightweight formula the beauty world can’t get enough off, whilst boasting more buildable pigmentation levels than most gel-style lipsticks.  They’re knockout shades too… Blooming Pink is the killer, cool-toned fuchsia which looks great with a slick of black liner and will carry you confidently through to Summer.  Blossoming Pink is a slightly cool-toned nude which will please women who prefer a safer lip-shade.  It’s nude without being too pale, more of a perfecting lip shade than a colour statement.  How this one turns out will really depend on your natural lip colouring.

Without wanting to sound like a major fangirl, there’s not a dud in the collection.  If you twisted my arm, I’d say that you could probably leave the eye palette on the shelf.  It’s a little bit soft and doesn’t tick my must-have requirements in the same way as some of the other pieces.  Do not let this limited edition collection pass you by without going in for a closer look at the lipsticks and blushes though.  That’s an order.

If you can bring yourself to, please excuse the bottom right cam-whoring.  I couldn’t – in all seriousness – where such a horrifically clashing lip shade and not ham it up a bit.  In all photos I’m wearing the eye palette, blossoming pink cream blush and highlighter.  It’s hopefully clear enough in which photos I’m wearing which lipstick.  Does that make sense?

No7 Vital Brighetning Eye Palette – 4g (£13.00)
No7 Vital Enlightening Highlighter – 10g (£13.00)
No7 Vital Brights Cream Blushers in Blooming Pink or Blossoming Pink – 2g (£10.00)
No7 Vital Brights Lipsticks in Blooming Pink or Blossoming Pink – 3.5g (£10.00)

Have you got your eye on any pieces from the new Spring Collection?  Already bought something – let me know!

The No7 Floral Brights Spring 2012 Collection is available exclusively in Boots stores now and online at Boots.com until the 6th March 2012.  It’s worth pointing out that No7 products are also currently on 3for2.

* press samples

Just a quickie to share the new Boots 17 Spring Fling Eye Palettes that showed up today – I don’t think I’ve seen much about these online yet?

Two limited edition eye palettes with super, super pretty styling.  What with it being the weekend and all, I don’t have the release info but I think it’s safe to assume that these will be out very shortly (I can’t see them on the website).  Here’s some photos and swatches taken this afternoon.

Texture-wise, the shadows are very soft and a little crumbly but they blend effortlessly and subsequently afford better pigmentation than most pastels.  The colour combinations are cute… I can see a distinctly traditional fair/olive divide going on!

Any first impressions?

* press sample

My Three Favourite Neutral Palettes

Posted by Lipglossiping On January - 29 - 2012

Palettes are a busy girl’s best friend.  They require no effort when it comes to colour-matching, you just pull it out and get applying, safe in the knowledge that you’re not gonna look hideously “wrong” afterward.

I thought I’d quickly share my current three favourite neutral palettes.  Well, seeing as I mostly just wear neutrals, they’re probably my three favourite palettes full stop.

1.  Clarins Ombre Minerale 4 Couleurs Eye Quartet in Rosewood – review and swatches here

2.  Elizabeth Arden Color Intrigue Eyeshadow Quad in Velvet Plumtones – review and swatches here

3.  Wet n’ Wild Color Icon Trio Eyeshadows in Silent Treatment – review and swatches here

Told you it was a quick one!  Do you have a current favourite neutral palette or are you more of a singles girl?

Urban Decay Naked 2 Palette – Swatches

Posted by Lipglossiping On December - 1 - 2011

As promised earlier, here are some swatches from the Urban Decay Naked 2 Palette. These have been swatched using a brush over primer.

Firstly a reminder of the shades in the pan.

Rollover the above image to reveal the shade names. Also check out some swatches on a darker skintone courtesy of VexInTheCity.

Come back this lunchtime for a quick comparison between the Urban Decay Naked 2 Palette and the original Urban Decay Naked Palette where I share my thoughts on whether you really need this one in your collection or not.

*press sample

EDIT: The Naked 2 Palette will be released in the UK on 9th January 2012, priced at £36 and available from instore and online from Debenhams before rolling out to House of Fraser from February 6th.

Naked 2 Palette, Urban Decay do it again!

Posted by Lipglossiping On December - 1 - 2011

Yes, the rumours are true and the worst-kept secret is finally out. Urban Decay are releasing a follow-up to the best-selling Naked Palette and Urban Decay’s Naked 2 Palette will be heading to the UK very soon.

Unlike its predecessor, the UD Naked2 palette* is housed in a tin – an instant packaging love as a more robust, portable alternative to the velvety-cardboard containing the original. Also worth mentioning is the mirror which stretches the length of the entire lid and the double-ended eyeshadow brush which offers both a laydown and blending option.

Swatches coming up later today…

* press sample

EDIT: The Naked 2 Palette will be released in the UK on 9th January 2012, priced at £36 and available from instore and online from Debenhams before rolling out to House of Fraser from February 6th.

FOTD: Stila Living The Life In Laguna Beach Girl Palette

Posted by Lipglossiping On November - 10 - 2011

This limited edition Living The Life in Laguna* palette from Stila landed on my desk the other day and once I peeked inside, I knew I had to make it the focus of my makeup that evening.  The darker shades are so rich and Autumnal, I was instantly sold.

The collectible palette is one of a series of five from the US brand.  It’s a little bigger than an iPhone and made of sturdy cardboard.  It contains a (slightly too small) mirror, four eye colours, a cheek colour and a highlighter.

All the eye shades included are shimmery and can be worn both wet or dry.  The cheek shades both contain a fairly subtle shimmer that makes them suitable for both day or evening wear.  I absolutely adore the bottom right shade (of the four eye ones) – a rich, chocolatey brown with copper shimmer, it’s exquisite for green eyes.


Each palette in the Beach Girl series comes with a helpful set of instructions on a possible method of application.  I followed Stila’s instructions to the letter for this palette which created the following look…

I adore this little palette, even more so when I checked the press information and discovered that the price is set at a mere £10.00 – bargain.  If you want some real bang for your buck in an easy-to-wear palette that provides not only a complete ‘look’ but also a range of shades you’ll mix and match time and time again, look no further.

Stila Living The Life in Laguna Beach Girl Palette is priced at £10.00 and available to buy online from BeautyBay.com

* press sample

 

Urban Decay Midnight Emergency Kit: It’s the glitter bomb dot com

Posted by Lipglossiping On November - 3 - 2011

My dislike for all things Midnight Cowboy is well-documented.  I don’t have a problem with the colours, au contraire (Rodney), I love the peach-champagne-y goodness that MC, MCRA and its coven of glitter-witches bring.  It’s just, well… a bit of a pain innit?

Now imagine an entire palette based around Midnight Cowboy and it’s equally glitter-tastic night-time shades…

Oh HAI Urban Decay Midnight Emergency Kit*!!  I need an emergency GLITTER cleanup!

The styling reminds me of those “Keep Calm and Carry On” posters you see in billions of guises everywhere nowadays but the silver wallet is hugely resilient to being thrown in the bottom of a bag.  It is a touch chunky considering the fairly slimline contents, I’ve sized it up against my Nintendo DS below…

…it’s very well protected and I can see the whole shebang lasting and lasting without so much as a scratch on it.

The contents of the Midnight Emergency Kit include:

 4 Eyeshadows (Midnight Cowboy, Midnight Sin, Midnight Rodeo and AC/DC)
 1 Lip Junkie Lipgloss (Midnight Cowboy)
 1  Travel-Sized Eyeshadow Brush

I’m not sure how many variants of Champagne a girl needs for a night-time look… something a little blacker wouldn’t have gone a-miss in this palette but I can’t deny that there are four very pretty shades included.

Here’s the rub.  All four will produce major fall out, either during application or after.  Eschew your beloved Urban Decay Primer Potion and use something like Fyrinnae’s Pixie Epoxy to get them to stay stuck well into the night and for the love of God, don’t do your foundation before applying these shades.  Make use of those two tips and you’ll be able to give yourself up to the glitter monster and save your curses for something else.

Pretty yes?

Also included in the kit is a rather lovely lipgloss that doesn’t do too much on it’s own but applied over lipstick, turns your lips from daytime chic to night-time party in an instant.  The Midnight Cowboy shade is a sheer, glittery champagne that looks beautful worn over the top of a neutral lippie to give a bit of oomph and added sexiness.

The final inclusion comes in the form of a travel-sized eyeshadow brush…

It does what it says on the tin and it does it well.  Urban Decay brushes are some of the most under-rated synthetic brushes around.

A couple of FOTDs showing the kit in action…

At £28, I think it leans fairly expensive for what it is and will only really appeal to glitter demons and those under the age of 22.  Of course, there are plenty who will fall into that bracket and I can see this making a spectacular Christmas gift for those who would appreciate it.

However, in the face of some of Urban Decay’s other recent offerings… it’s a thumbs down from me.

Urban Decay Midnight Emergency Kit is priced at £28 and available on counter now and online from House of Fraser, HQ Hair, Debenhams and BeautyBay.

* press sample

 

Rituals Sunglow Peach: Cheek & Eye Glow

Posted by Lipglossiping On October - 27 - 2011

Rituals Sunglow Cheek & Eye Glow in Peach is a multi-tasking palette filled with some truly lovely warm-toned shades that work well even on my cool skin tone.

The palette (which contains a generous 9g of product) is currently on sale on the Rituals website and reminds me of a more affordable version of something like Laura Mercier’s Shimmer Bloc or Bobbi Brown’s Shimmer Brick.

A total of five colours that harmonise well together to create some different eye-variations or if swirled gently with a large, fluffy brush will impart a warm glow to the cheeks.

My preferred way of using this is as an eye palette, it’s one of those no-nonsense palettes that does the hard work for you.  The shade placements are pretty obvious and the mineral formula means that these shades blend together effortlessly.

The high shimmer finish means that this won’t be to everyone’s tastes and when I use this on my cheeks, I use just the tiniest touch over the top of my blusher and edging my cheekbone rather than the apple of my cheek.  In other words, I use this more as a highlighter than a blusher.

I’ve got some swatches below and I’ll make this the feature of my next FOTD – it is quite Autumnal after all no?

A comparison with my other peachy shimmer palettes (Prescriptives The Illuminator, Rituals Sunglow Peach, Bobbi Brown Shimmer Block in Nectar)…

Of the three, the Rituals is the most genuinely multi-functional but also the softest-textured, meaning that it imparts a lot of product onto the brush and creates a little dust when working with it.  The Bobbi Brown is hard-textured and doesn’t work anywhere near as well as eyeshadow but is my preferred option for blush.  The Prescriptives?  Well, seeing as you can’t get it anymore… there’s not much point me going on about it!

Rituals Sunglow* also comes in a range of pinks and a bronze-toned version.  Currently on the Rituals website priced at £17.90

* press sample

FOTD: Estee Lauder – Enchanted Berries

Posted by Lipglossiping On October - 17 - 2011

Today’s FOTD features an Estee Lauder eyeshadow palette called Enchanted Berries*, featuring some beautiful Autumnal, berry shades that work really nicely to accentuate green eyes.

The rest of the FOTD comprises of:

~ bareMinerals Original Foundation in Fair
~ Max Factor Lash Extension Effect in Black
~ MUFE HD Blush in #4
~ MAC Creme Cup Lipstick

I always feel a bit lame that I can’t list a billion products but the truth is, I don’t get time to apply a billion products.  One day, I’d love to learn to apply concealer in a way that makes me happy/comfortable enough to do it daily because every face can benefit from a little light and clever concealing – I only bother for nights out or if I have a huge zit.

What are you wearing on your face today?

* press sample

Clarins Autumn/Fall 2011: Ombre Minerale 4 Couleurs Eye Quartet in Rosewood

Posted by Lipglossiping On September - 21 - 2011

Phew, what a mouthful!

Clarins Ombre Minerale 4 Couleurs Eye Quartet in Rosewood is a new release from the French brand and comprises one palette from the new 6-piece eye collection for Autumn/Winter.

The packaging includes a face chart displaying some useful positioning tips for makeup newbies.

Four mineral shades that can be used wet or dry.  Two satin shades, a darker eye shadow liner and an iridescent highlighter.  The highlighter is very sheer and provides a sophisticated sparkle rather than any real colour.

Swatched dry without base or primer.  Around two/three swipes each.

The Rosewood palette contains four very wearable, neutral shades that would suit most skintones.  It’s a sheer but buildable palette – something that I’ve come to expect from Clarins.  If you want immediate, intense pigmentation – you’re looking in the wrong place.  If you want something that you can wear to work without fear of overcooking it, this could be just what you need.

You can see from this (rather goofy) FOTD that the palette provides a delicate iridescence.  I think it would really suit anyone who feels they might be a bit too mature for sparkle or metallics but aren’t quite ready to go down the all matte route just yet.  I found the shades to be exceptionally long-lasting though the darkest (and most matte) was not quite as smooth as I would have liked.

Clarins Ombre Minerale 4 Couleurs Eye Quartet in Rosewood is available to buy on counter or online at Clarins.com, priced at £30.00

* press sample

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