Benefit Bad Gal Mascara – Review

Posted by Lipglossiping On May - 8 - 2009

Yes, I’m behind the times… by about 7 years.

Let me start by saying that my name is Charlotte and I am a total mascara whore.  I love it and I have a real problem staying faithful to any particular brand.  There’s just too many to choose from and companies come out with shiny new ones all the time to tempt me.  If there’s one product that I can’t leave the house without.  This is it.

Anyway, back to Benefit Bad Gal…

I got accosted this time last year by a pink clad MUA from Benefit whilst browsing The Vitality Show at London’s Olympia (which I really recommend for a fantastic day out!).  The MUA proceeded to cover me in You Rebel (nice but too dark for me), You’re Bluffing (meh), and Bad Gal Lash Mascara (which wowed me).  I couldn’t stop fluttering my eyelashes at everyone.

Roll forward nearly a year and I still hadn’t picked myself up a tube.  I dunno why, well actually I do.  I bought Benefit Dandelion after having it dusted over my cheeks by an over-enthusiastic MUA in Boots and it was a super huge disappointment.  I just couldn’t get it to show up on my skin, despite my uber paleness and I was worried Bad Gal was gonna disappoint in the same way.

Anyway, last week I finally succumbed and spent some of my hoard of Boots points on a lovely shiny tube of the black stuff.

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I know some people think it’s over-rated.  I think that it’s probably suited to a specific type of eyelash (of which I’m lucky enough to include myself).  If you’ve got small eyes and short stubby lashes, this isn’t gonna do anything for you.  The brush is too large and unwieldy and you’re bound to make a mess.  I’ve got naturally long and curly lashes – they just need some serious darkening and beefing up which is exactly what this mascara does for them – and it does it well!

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I love the density of the brush that really allows me to ‘brush’ my lashes from root to tip and create some proper separation to enhance the volumising effect.  My lashes tend to clump (especially on a 2nd coat), so the even distribution provided by the brush is particularly welcomed!  This mascara also leaves my lashes super soft and flexible and not at all crunchy, not a big deal for me – not bothered by stiff lashes, but I know some are – so thought I’d mention it!

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All other mascaras in my stash are currently being ignored (apart from a Blinc tester that I’m slowly falling in love with – see, I told you… fickle!).

However, my one and only problem with Bad Gal is the price.  I know it’s not exactly break the bank expensive at £14.50… but, there’s so many other lovely mascaras out there begging me to buy them (don’t cry Diorshow I haven’t forgotten you – despite your eye watering price, nor you Lash Blast you lovely drugstore temptress you)… and with new ones appearing on the market quicker than I can apply a second coat of this one.  What’s a girl to do?

Are you a faithful Felicity? or a shamefully promiscuous Pandora like me when it comes to Mascara?

[starreview tpl=14]


Adrien Arpel Daily Defense Moisturiser SPF15 – Review

Posted by Lipglossiping On May - 7 - 2009

My skin is typical combination/dry, so I’m always looking out for a moisturiser that’s gonna quench the dryness without making my t-zone look like an oil slick.  I also have the added bonus of sensitivity.  Not hugely so, but if my skin isn’t liking something, it reacts by tingling, reddening and leaving little dry scaly bits once the redness subsides.

After testing a new anti ageing night cream, I developed those unwanted sensitivity effects.  I was left cursing and battling this by slathering on my Eucerin Q10 Active Fluid (love!) which always helps to tame the dryness without leaving the greasies – great stuff!  However, as much as I love Eucerin, my fickle soul is well aware that it’s not kind to my purse at £17.51 for 50ml.  So when I ran out, I was on the hunt for an alternative.

Enter Adrien Arpel Daily Defense Moisturiser SPF15.

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I came across this whilst browsing Direct Cosmetics for the princely sum of £4.99 (DC is one of my absolute fav places for bargain hunting – check it out!) and in hindsight I wish I’d bought more than one pot seing as it’s disappeared from the website now.

I like my day moisturisers to have SPF, and during the summer months, I layer this with even more sunblock – either that or I end the day looking like Rudolph.

Adrien Arpel Daily Defense Moisturiser SPF15, comes in your standard frosted little glass pot, I do wish that the pot were more opaque as I’ve read that sunlight can diminish the potency of antioxidants, regardless – it just means I store this in a darker place – ‘cos I’m a geek.

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Let’s see what it says on the back of the box….

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…not a huge amount actually.  I’m not sure what a ‘measured’ dose is either.

It’s a fairly thick cream, slightly solid (in the same way good old Nivea Creme is) with a slight pearlescent sheen.  Doesn’t feel at all greasy to the touch and feels very light to rub in.

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It does leave a slightly white cast if you’re not meticulous with rubbing it in or layer it on a bit too thick – but I find that quite normal with any products that contain SPF.  You just need to be a little more careful to ensure that the product is evenly spread as it does disappear.  My skin drinks this stuff up like there’s no tomorrow – it causes me absolutely no irritation.  It sinks in beautifully and doesn’t make my nose look like an oil slick.  Most importantly it leaves my skin feeling super soft to the touch and is a lovely base for my makeup.

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Keep an eye out for it (I know I will be!), it seems to belong in the same category as the Gale Hayman stuff and often appears heavily reduced on the various cosmetic discount websites.

[starreview tpl=14]

Stargazer Cake Eyeliner – Review

Posted by Lipglossiping On May - 6 - 2009

So I mentioned this cake eyeliner a few days ago.  I bought mine on eBay for £1.95, I’m sure I’ve seen some Stargazer products in Superdrug, but I’m not sure if they stock the cake eyeliners.

Stargazer seems to be a bit of a Raver/Goth/Emo alternative cosmetics brand, with neons and bold colours featuring heavily in their range.

The eyeliner comes in an unassuming little pot, which although plastic, feels quite solid and sturdy.

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‘Cos I’m so boring, I bought the brown shade.  You can choose from: Blue, Silver, Violet, Gold, Black, Red, Pink, Grey, Green and White.

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Once you wet your eyeliner brush (either in water or a mixing medium of your choice) – swipe it across the pan to pick up some colour and get painting!

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It’s really well pigmented – and once dry, simply doesn’t budge off my eyelids.  This wouldn’t be any good for waterlines though as it doesn’t take too much water to make it disappear into thin air.  But for the upper eyelid this is a fab bargain find!

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It glides on super smoothly (it’s like painting with a watercolour).  Out of all my solid liners (gel types) this one allows me to get the most precise line thanks to it’s fluidity.  It dries very quickly and I usually go over a couple more times to build up the pigmentation a touch before the brush dries.  It can be a little tricky to ensure that the second coat doesn’t ‘dilute’ the first colour-wise.  However, I’ve found that as long as I work fairly quickly and don’t keep re-wetting my brush then I can get VERY strong pigmentation, but it’s a case of trial and error.

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I’ve got my sights set on the other colours now.  Staying power is really great, I thought that seeing as it’s just a powder/water combination that it may crack and flake by the end of the day – which is a regular problem I have with cheaper liquid liners – not so here!  I’ve only ever mixed water with the liner and haven’t experienced any flaking so far.

For the price, I’m not sure these can really be beaten.  Grab them all!

P.S. I’ve got Blinc Mascara on in these shots.

[starreview tpl=14]

Deal Alert – 20% off @ BlincUK

Posted by Lipglossiping On May - 5 - 2009

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Enter discount code at checkout (not sure how long this is good for):

BLINCTRADE

to receive a 20% discount off your order.  Famed for their water resistant mascara that tubes your lashes rather than painting them, I can happily recommend it (review coming soon) and I’m very tempted to try the liquid eyeliner next.

Click to check out BlincUK.

Happy Tuesday!

Mama Mio Mini Kit for Expectant Mums – Review

Posted by Lipglossiping On May - 5 - 2009

In honour of my due date (yes, that’s today little dink if you’re paying attention – are you ever coming out smelly bum?) I thought I’d share my thoughts on a skincare line that I’ve been using throughout my pregnancy.

Mama Mio have a skincare range to suit most everyone, but I think it’s safe to say that they are most well known for their luxurious treats for mummies to be.

This is the kit that I’ve been using…

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Mama Mio Mini Kit is for commitment phobes, jet-setters or Mama Mio beginners. This kit contains the best of the Mama Mio skin care range in convenient miniatures, so you can pamper your supermama-self wherever you are.

I was lucky enough to be bought this lovely little kit for Christmas, and have been putting it to good use on my poor pregnancy riddled belly and boobs!

It contains 6 of Mama Mio’s most popular products.

Here’s what Mama Mio say about them, followed by my thoughts…

Boob Tube Firming Cream:

Mama Mio Boob Tube is a product we just can’t do without. If you haven’t heard about it already (voted 10/10 by OK Magazine, winner of Greatest Product from the iParenting Awards) it was Kathy’s saviour when pregnant with twins and forevermore. This will help you defy gravity over time and stop the sag.

A nice balmy cream that helped to soothe on days when I was suffering from a feeling of ultra heaviness and achiness in that area.  I can’t put much stock into gravity defying claims, but as a moisturiser, it’s really nice.  I should also point out that I haven’t developed any stretch marks here compared to the road map that is now my stomach.  Probably a coincidence, but worth mentioning.

Moisturising Shower Cream:

Want to know a secret? Our Moisturising Shower Cream is actually a baby cleanser. We felt that every mama can use a little babying sometimes. That explains why it is so gentle – it won’t strip your skin like a harsh soap.  And of course it is sodium laureth sulfate free – it’s from Mama Mio.

I haven’t used this yet, I’ve packed it in my hospital bag as a post birth shower treat.

Super Rich Body Cream:

Our Super-rich Body Cream is a must for every mama. It’s rich yet quickly absorbed, nourishing but light, and makes skin feel silky with no lingering film, and smell gorgeous. So lavish your skin with this super-nourishing cream and glory at the glow and softness.

My favourite, a stand out product for me – mainly due to the scent, citrusy but with deeper, sweeter notes.  Utterly gorgeous and intoxicating.  I’m very tempted to repurchase this after I’ve had little dink.  Ultra moisturising without leaving a sticky feeling, the scent which is initially quite strong fades leaving a subtle hint on your skin.  It absorbs completely and leaves my skin feeling really soft and supple.

Wonder-Full Balm:

Mama Mio Wonder-Full Balm really is. We called it Wonder-Full Balm because you will find a million different ways to use it. Nine natural oils in a beeswax base, it is really a solid oil that melts in contact with your skin and provides rich intense moisture.

This was a lifesaver throughout the freezing month of January, I slathered it on my elbows, lips and any dry bits that appeared on my face.  Not the most comfortable product to wear thanks to the fact that it is after all a greasy balm that tended to stay on the surface – but it really stopped my skin from cracking compared to the days that I didn’t have it on me… In fairness, I’m not sure how this would have compared to a cheaper version like Badger Balms Healing Balm or even super budget Vaseline – but it definitely smells better than Vaseline!

Gravida Candle:

We added our Gravida Candle as we know that regardless of where you are, if you get five minutes to yourself, you’ll grab it. Whether it is a hotel room, bedroom or just enough room, you can sit back, relax, lay back and breathe deeply.

The most disappointing, I just couldn’t smell anything from this.  I actually thought it was just a plain tealight until I read on the website that it was supposed to be scented.  Total ‘meh’ product for me… and just ‘cos I’m a nerd – a ‘gravida’ is a pregnant woman incase you’re interested – which you like, totally weren’t.

Tummy Rub Oil:

Last but not least is our Tummy Rub Oil. A well tested, beautifully fragrant, omega-rich oil to ease your stretched and itchy skin. It is stretch mark prevention at its very best. It is also brilliant as banishing winter lizard legs…

Another beautifully scented product, but I prefer my Sanctuary Body Oils as I found Mama Mio’s Tummy Rub Oil stubbornly left a filmy coating on my skin despite intense rubbing in!  The little bottle also made application without dribbling it on the carpet a bit of a nightmare!  Despite religious use of this product, I also developed stretchmarks – although not until 35 weeks.  I am prone to stretchmarks though, and in honesty I believe it has far more to do with genetics than what you slather on your skin… I think I was destined to get them no matter what, so for them to only develop in the last 5 weeks of pregnancy is pretty good going and may or may not be related to the product I was using – who really knows?

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Ok, so that’s a little run down of Mama Mio’s most popular products for mummies-to-be and my thoughts after using them for a few months.

In conclusion, there are some really nice products in this range, one of them in particular stands out as a product that I would repurchase.  Having said that, there are also products out there on the market designed for everyday use that would match up to the quality of these (and offer the same properties for overstretched pregnant skin) but at half the price.  Although the convenience of having a specially designed range like this can’t be argued against.

I was also delighted to read that:

Every Mama Mio product is safe to use at any time from pregnancy stage to pensionable age. It is Paraben Free, Petrolatum Free, Sodium Laureth and Sodium Laurel Sulphate Free, Xenoestrogen and Phtalates Free, Colourant and Synthetic Fragrance Free.

So if you’ve been searching for products practically guaranteed to be skin friendly – look no further!

If you’re looking for a gift for a mum-to-be, this is a really well put together little kit and couldn’t fail to please a lady in need of a little pampering.

FOTD with Eyeko Manga Book Make Out Girl Palette!

Posted by Lipglossiping On May - 4 - 2009

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This is a really soft wearable palette – not massively pigmented but with just the right amount of shimmer.  I particularly like the cream blush which is ultra blendable and not too sticky.

The lip glosses were not pigmented enough for me to be honest, as you can see they added more of a shine to my lips rather than any actual colour.  The eyeshadows are soft and shimmery, again – not highly pigmented, but not so subtle that you have to pack the colour on.

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I’m also wearing Blinc Mascara and Stargazer Cake Eyeliner in Brown (which I’m currently loving considering it’s price – full review coming soon!).

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The eyeshadow shades are perfect for wearing to work, the highlighter shade (bottom right) is particularly nice, as is the brighter pink to it’s left.  The darkest shade in the middle of the palette is one that could have easily done with being a little more pigmented.  All colours were easily blendable ontop of UDPP.  I didn’t use the top 2 colours in the FOTD.  The pink is actually a little more saturated in real life than it is in the FOTD photos which aren’t quite doing that particular shade justice.

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I didn’t use the concealer (bottom right) or the darker brown gloss (top right).  The cream blush (bottom left) looks brighter in the palette than it does on the skin, it’s a coral type colour.  I initially just applied the top left bright pink lip gloss – but added the middle one aswell when I wasn’t getting ANY colour payoff from it.  I still didn’t achieve any pigmentation to speak of after adding the second colour.  Disappointing really.

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Overall, I’m pleased with this palette.  My first impressions from yesterday confirm that there’s nothing earth shattering contained within.  But it’s a completely wearable ensemble that would particularly flatter paler skin tones to create a subtle but fresh daytime look.  I’d definitely recommend everything bar the lip glosses, which seem to be a waste of space.  The packaging is cheap looking but very cute, and totally portable – complete with mirror, you could quite happily cart this around in your handbag for any touch ups.

[starreview tpl=14]

Eyeko Make Out Girl Manga Book

Posted by Lipglossiping On May - 3 - 2009

I could spend all day in TK Maxx rummaging, especially among the body lotions, beautifully wrapped soaps and lovely purses.  (purses are more my thing than handbags.)

I grabbed a few things today:

a beautiful organic muslin swaddling blanket

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A weird rolling massager, which may or may not be completely useless during labour:

massager

Some pretty italian hand crafted soaps, natural sea sponges and….

an Eyeko Manga Book palette for the princely sum of £2.00 – woohoo!

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The eyeshadow colours are just up my street – I’m pretty boring and conservative when it comes to eyeshadow shades (I just can’t wear bright colours well).

On the left we have:

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(From top to bottom):

3 lip glosses, a cream blush and a concealer.

…and on the right:

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5 eyeshadows with varying degrees of sparkle/shimmer.  It’s a really wearable palette – not gonna blow your mind creatively, but for day to day wear it’s really nice.

I’ll do a FOTD with this palette soon.

GOSH New Haircare Range 2 for £5.99 @ Superdrug

Posted by Lipglossiping On May - 2 - 2009

Whilst on the subject of GOSH, I’ve just come across their new haircare range which is currently on offer in Superdrug.  Usually priced at £4.39 each you can currently pick up 2 for £5.99 – definitely worth a look.  If you’re ordering from the website make sure you enter: abbey100809 during the checkout stage to get a further 10% off your order (valid ’till November ’09)

Standard shampoo/conditioner range includes:

Damage Control

Nourishes and recharges dry, damaged and chemically treated hair with revitalising moisture…

goshshampoodamage

Pump up the Volume

Contains special proteins which add body and fullness while rstonring elasticity and strength…

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Colour Rescue

Protects the colour in dyed hair from fading and daily UV exposure…

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The images on the GOSH website show the bottles as pump bottles (which I prefer to these squeezy tube types) but maybe that’s for the European market.

There are other products in the range, they appear to have introduced a full range of styling products – but you’ll have to head in store to check those out as Superdrug’s shitty website only displays the shampoo and conditioners.

GOSH Nail Polish in 046 Ginger – Review

Posted by Lipglossiping On May - 2 - 2009

I have a couple of GOSH brushes which I love and picked up on a 3for2 last year in Superdrug, but I haven’t ventured any further into the GOSH range than that, until now.

After discovering my love for bare coloured polishes (but not Nails Inc.) I picked up GOSH Nail Polish in shade ‘Ginger’ to try out.  I also picked up ‘Tangerine’ but that’s for another day!

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It’s a very pretty shade with a subtle but definite shimmer, it’s not particularly ‘ginger’ as far as I’m concerned.

Application was a dream in comparison to Nails Inc., this is a solid 2 thin coater which builds up a lovely solid opacity.   The consistency is smooth and runny enough to allow for quick drying between the two coats.  I’m seriously impressed.  It doesn’t have a hugely glossy finish despite the shimmer, but that’s nothing that a top coat doesn’t put right.

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I’ll definitely be heading back to the GOSH range for some more colours for the summer.  Great stuff!

GOSH Nail Polishes are priced at £4.89 each and available from Superdrug.

[starreview tpl=14]

Nails Inc. Polish InStyle Magazine freebie in Bare – Review

Posted by Lipglossiping On May - 1 - 2009

Did you grab June’s InStyle magazine yet?  I did and I’m currently sporting my new nails.

The magazine shelf at Asda had been ransacked and I could only find Coral and Bare (typically I wanted Berry), but no matter, I grabbed Bare as I totally wouldn’t be able to carry off the super bright Coral colour.

Here it is!

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It’s a really, really lovely soft colour – milky beige with a hint of pink.  And that’s where the compliments end.

Applying it reminded me of when I used to paint my nails with Tippex in school science classes.  It was a chalky, draggy nightmare!

I have no other experience with Nails Inc. as a brand, and wonder whether the quality was lowered for this huge InStyle promotion.  I don’t know if that’s usual practice – but if it is, how stoopid?  It’s left me pretty uninterested in ever picking up another Nails Inc. product.

As I’ve said before, my application skills suck (I’m slowly getting better though!) – and this looks like the worst I’ve ever done.  Up close, you can really see the drag marks at the base of the nail and the cleaning up I had to do after drying took me longer than painting did (2 coats btw).

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It doesn’t look so bad here, but trust me it is.  I don’t know if paler colours are less forgiving – so that may make a difference.

The quality of the brush also left a lot to be desired, I had to snip the end a little to make the bristles align.  Surely, this must just because it’s a free promotional item – you wouldn’t pay £10.50 RRP for polish like that or are Nails Inc. incredibly over-rated?  I dunno, but thanks to the shoddy 1st impression I’m curious but not inclined to spend money on their products to find out.

Any reader opinions on Nails Inc. would be appreciated – tell me I’ve got it all wrong, or save me from my curiosity and let me know that YES, Nails Inc. are indeed overrated.

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Shame, cos I really do love that colour.

[starreview tpl=23]

Fudge Hair Mini Haul

Posted by Lipglossiping On May - 1 - 2009

Fudge isn’t a brand I know much about.  Infact, my idea of haircare is Head & Shoulders followed by my beloved Mason Pearson hairbrush that I’ve had since I was 2 years old and leave the mop to dry naturally.

You’d think that using no styling products or heat would mean my hair is in fantastic condition.  Unfortunately, that’s not the case and I’ve got more split ends (thanks to an aversion to hair salons) and frazzly bits than I care to count.

Since becoming pregnant though, my hair has enjoyed somewhat of a reprise.  It’s been glossier, thicker and fuller than ever before.  I can go 4 days without washing it (I normally have to wash every other day or look like chip pan head).  I’m due to push this little flump into the world (no doubt swearing and screaming for the drugs) on the 5th May, so my days of unnaturally lovely hair are sadly numbered.

In preparation for my return to crap hair, I’ve dug my hairdryer out from the bottom of the wardrobe and ordered 2 products on eBay from Fudge:

Fudge Head Polish (discontinued from website)

which states:

A smooth polishing glaze that leaves hair soft with an incredible reflect.

I also grabbed:

fudgeerekt

Fudge Erekt (£7.99 – currently on offer)…

Get it straight up with Erekt for dead straight hair.  Get into your power tool and blow up those locks for soft, shiny, frizzless hair.
 
What it does:

  • Straightens and smoothes curl and frizz
  • Creates shine, softness and manageability
  • Makes blow drying curly hair easier to control

I’m hoping for good results!  Either that, or I’ll just have to get pregnant again.*

*I should just point out to my lovely husband that I am of course joking before he scrambles for the Yellow Pages blind panic sending him scanning the ‘V’s’ for vasectomy.

Maybelline Line Stylist Eyeliner Review

Posted by Lipglossiping On April - 30 - 2009

I was looking for an automatic eyeliner, as I’m fed up of coming across blunt ones when I’m running late and need to have left the house 5 minutes ago!

I should simply stick them all in the fridge every couple of weeks for half an hour and sharpen them in one go… but, well… I’ve got a life.

I came across Maybelline Line Stylist a couple of weeks ago and grabbed one in ‘Black Sparkle’ which is described as black with a hint of glitter.

linestylist

The pencil is nice and thin and the push up mechanism is smooth and effortless.  Pigmentation is pretty good and a proper black as opposed to wussy grey… but jeez this thing drags.  I only ever use pencil eyeliners on my lower waterline and this stuff is so hard and unforgiving that I find myself lining closer to my lashes rather than the waterline itself.  Having said that, this stuff doesn’t go anywhere once it’s on.  It simply won’t budge without my cleansing oil – which is fab for a waterline eyeliner.  It’s just a shame I can’t apply it closer to the waterline without fear of causing serious and irreversible eye damage.

maybellinelinerlinestylist

I’m gonna try leaving it on the window sill in the hope that it might help to soften it a little in the sunshine.  Oh, and I don’t notice any ‘sparkle’ in the black either.

[starreview]

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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, …

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