20/01/2014

Monday Amusements 26



A piece of art outside the British Library, with sheep. Apparently this is supposed to reference the British trend for landscaping during the Georgian era. I read the sign nearby a couple of times and I have no idea why the sheep are there.

I am obsessed with charity shopping. I have probably mentioned this before. I haven't gone since before Christmas, and I'm starting to get withdrawal symptoms. These include: getting out old charity shop purchases to admire them, craning my neck to look at the Red Cross shop every time I go past (and usually making an 'ooh' noise at the window display) and trying to convince myself that if I do x, y, and z then I will reward myself with a charity shopping trip. I try to include at least one impossible task in x, y, and z, because I really have too much stuff and should not go charity shopping. Unless I manage to get rid of a lot of it. Then I can. Anyway, when I can't charity shop I like to live vicariously through others, so I was delighted to discover that Dead People's Clothes (a blog I probably discovered by typing 'charity shopping blog' into Google - another withdrawal/obsession symptom) has updated for the first time in a few months! Yay! I love this blog because Amy gives all of her clothing items names, like Really in Fabulous Nobodies.

Take Three: Primers is a comparison of three often-admired primers. I have three primers and none of them are perfect, but I have forbidden myself from buying any more. I really want to try Carly's two favourites though!

Lipglosses and lipsticks are possibly even more tempting than charity shops. Both this review of two lovely shades of Revlon ColorBurst Lipglosses at Midnight Violets, and this review of Stila Stay All Day Liquid Lipstick in Beso at The Beauty Milk was difficult to behold. I can almost feel my arm creeping towards my wallet now.

Scratch that, I can definitely feel my hand creeping towards my wallet! Sock Dreams wrote a blog post about the range of purple shades they have socks in!

Ahh! I must distract myself by looking at pretty things that I can have without spending money! Happily, I found 14 Not-Boring Beauty Trends I'd Like To See Take Off In 2014 at xoVain, and this Dark Aqua Eye Makeup Look at Glitter is my Crack. I can totally copy these ideas without spending 1p.

Finally, rats holding/cuddling tiny teddy bears! So cute!

17/01/2014

Review: Colour Unlimited Essential Eyes Palette

This product was a Christmas 2013 release, but I've seen it in the sale section of a couple of Superdrug stores, so I thought I'd write a review in case anyone was considering picking it up.


I got a Colour Unlimited box set of eyeshadow trios and nail varnishes for Christmas in 2012, and was pleasantly surprised by the quality, so when I unwrapped this little palette I was excited about trying it out. It's obviously aimed at teenagers, with the pink leopard print packaging. The lid has a magnetic closure, which is nice, but I would still be reluctant to carry this around much because although it feels quite study, it's only made of cardboard and I'm sure it would get bashed-up looking quite quickly.


I opened it up and was immediately drawn to two shades. The purple, obviously, and the silvery taupe. I don't usually like taupes, they tend to be slightly too brown and warm-toned for my liking, but this one is barely brown at all.

There is a protective plastic sheet over the eyeshadows when first purchased, but it's only stuck on with tape circles so it can't be reused easily. I threw it away when I was doing the below swatches.


The pigmentation of these isn't great, so each swatch required multiple swipes. As you can see, the top row, which is mostly matte, performs the worst. The grey is okay, I thought it would be more shimmery but it's matte with some flecks of glitter. The blue is quite mediocre. The pale pink highlight colour barely shows up on my skin, and when I tried using it on my eyes, it vanished within a couple of hours. The salmon pink isn't much better. The bronze was a disappointment - bronze eyeshadows, from any brand, are usually quite well pigmented and I was astounded by how much effort I had to put in to get a swatch with this.

The bottom row looks much better. The pale blue comes out looking like a shimmery white, and the purple was poorly pigmented and needed a lot of work, but the brown, the taupe and the black swatched quite easily. I had never loved a taupe before this one - it was as lovely swatched as I was anticipating when I first opened the palette and I couldn't wait to try it out.

Oh, what a disappointment it was.

Application was fine. It looked great. I went to work. I did not look at my make-up for five hours - there is no mirror in my office's loo. I came home. I turned on my bedroom light, looked in the mirror, and winced. I have never seen an eyeshadow crease so much. I have to use an eyeshadow primer, but usually just a little dab of Urban Decay Primer Potion in the middle of each eye will prevent creasing all day/night long. Not so with this. Even when I was a teenager and used to pile on cream eyeshadows with no primer, I didn't get creasing like this. The only place where the eyeshadow had stayed put was in a line just above my eyelashes.

I can't recommend this palette. I'm sure I'll still get some use out of it, once I work out the right primer combination for each shadow, but I'm the sort of person who finds a use for everything and refuses to throw out make-up if it hasn't gone off. You're better off skipping this and buying one of the nail varnish sets in the sale instead.

09/01/2014

2013 Make-up Favourites


1. Collection Lasting Perfection Concealer

I don't have a close-up picture of this because the packaging is so worn looking. The one annoying thing about this product is that the print wears off the plastic and onto your hand/make-up bag/other products. Beyond that, I have no complaints. It lives up to the hype around its concealing ability, and it's cheap as chips. It's not as good at concealing my dark undereye circles as my Lily Lolo concealer, but it is a lot quicker to apply. I bought it to take to a festival as I couldn't be bothered fussing around with powder, but I've carried on using it on days when I'm going to work in a hurry to save a couple of precious minutes!


2. Bourjois Color Boost Glossy Finish Lipstick

I'm going to give these a full-length review with swatches and everything but for now I will say that this are fab. It seems like almost every brand has lip crayons out right now and the quality and pigmentation varies drastically. These are extremely well pigmented, and they have SPF 15. I completely adore the shade 'Red Island' and have been looking in every Superdrug/Boots I can in an attempt to find 'Plum Russian', so far to no avail.


3. Aromaleigh Penelope

I went through a massive pastel obsession in spring 2013 and was rummaging through my mineral eyeshadow stash and testing out lilacs when I found Penelope, one of the Pure Eyes Lustre eyeshadows. I'd all but ignored it before but I quickly fell in love and it became one of my go-to products. When in doubt, I wear Penelope. It's currently in the Aromaleigh weekly sale!


4. Barry M Wink Eyeliner Pen

I bought this on a whim because it was in the Boots bargain bin for £1, but I'm quite impressed. The first eyeliner pen I ever tried was from Maxfactor, and was also my first ever liquid eyeliner. Sigh. I'm not sighing because I'm sentimental, I'm sighing because it was really crap. Poorly pigmented - basically, it was grey - and it dried up in about a month. I'm happy to say that Barry M's Wink is much more pigmented, but unfortunately after a month or so's use the tip got damaged and now I can't get a precise line out of it. There's still product left, so I was happy to discover that is almost perfect for tightlining - the tip is easy to press between my eyelashes and it lasts. I'll probably buy a pen with a smaller nib next time but this is great for now.

5. Seventeen Lacquer Liner

My favourite liquid eyeliner is by Bourjois - Liner Pinceau. It has a proper brush, not one of those stubby foam things or one of those weird super-thin brushes that are the same width from base to tip. We were very happy together. But while I was using up my last bottle, I was tempted to try this Seventeen Lacquer Liner. Wet look eyeliner, I read. Yes please! And it is delightful, properly black, and shiny. The brush isn't quite right, but after a few goes I got the hang of it. When I opened up a new bottle of Liner Pinceau, it seemed not quite black enough, and I missed the shine. I guess I'll just have to keep buying both.


6. Fyrinnae Pixie Epoxy

If you've never heard of this before, it's basically glue for eyeshadow. It's designed to hold on loose powders but is great to use with pressed powders too. It makes glitterbombs like Urban Decay's 'Midnight Cowboy Rides Again' actually wearable. I got this in 2012 but didn't get the hang of it until late 2013 because I paid too much attention to all the application advice that warns you only to use a tiny bit. It turns out that yes, only a very small amount is needed, but I need need quite a bit more than as little as possible! I suggest you start with the smallest amount you can, but try a little more next time if it doesn't seem to be working very well. Now I've worked out exactly how much I need to apply, I'm really happy with it.


7. LA Colors Jumbo Eye Pencils

These are only £1 in Beauty Base at the Westfields and they are great. The white, 'Sea Shells' makes a fantastic base for just about everything, and I regularly use the purple, 'Bikini Time' (yes, these do have the worst names ever) as a base for purple eyeshadows. I have two more that I haven't used much yet - the black, 'Sunglasses' (seriously, worst names!), and another purple, 'Tropical Bliss'.


8. Sun, by Gorilla Perfumes at Lush

This is one of the happiest things I've ever smelled. It's basically sunshine in a bottle. Citrussy and floral at the same time. Because of the mimosa, it smells quite like the Sakura scent, which is used in the Sakura bath ballistic and the Rub Rub Rub body scrub, but most sunshine-y. I'm sorry, I've never tried to describe a perfume before. It's probably best if you just go smell this...

Special mentions go to all of last year's favourites. I still love them all, except Lush Cosmetic Lad, because it started giving me spots.

I've really enjoyed reading other bloggers' 2013 favourites, here are those I liked the most:
gh0stparties
Do Not Refreeze
Stay Beautiful
The Beauty Milk

Have you written a 2013 favourites post? Leave a link in the comments! Up next: 2013 skincare favourites, a harder one to write!

06/01/2014

Monday Amusements 25

I was running out of lipbalms, so I asked for some for Christmas. Now I'm probably set for the next nine years...

I love this NYE Duochrome Glitter makeup look and can't wait to try to replicate it!

Evelyn at We Were Raised By Wolves reviewed the So Susan Lacquerlove Launch Box, featuring some beautiful nail polish colours. I'm very tempted, but I should stick to my nail polish buying ban!

I've been really enjoying bloggers' winter outfits lately - Hannah always looks amazing but I particularly loved this preppy look and her Christmas outfit. I want to steal VictorianKitty's skirt and Char's NYE frock.

Finally, possibly the creepiest Maru video ever:

02/01/2014

Nails of the Month December 2013

Revlon 'Star' over a pearl-white no-brand polish from a 2012 'Flutter' (Superdrug) Christmas gift set (both discontinued, I think, but try eBay)


I decided that 'tis the season to be sparkly, and that I would wear as much glittery nail varnish as I could in December! I absolutely loved my first attempt, featuring Revlon's 'Star', which I'd tried for the first time in November. It looks much better over this white than it did over the dark purple Rock, and I'm looking forward to trying it out over lilac next! This had really good lasting power, I added a second coat of 'Star' after a couple of days and there was minimal tipwear.

Barry M 247, a limited edition available in Superdrug during the 2012 festive season (try eBay)


It doesn't really show up on camera but there are gold flecks in this, it's not just pale teal. I would have liked it more if it was just pale teal, though it does look beautiful, all the same. Unfortunately, after the first day it started to flake off, mostly at the tips. I thought that this problem may be solved with a top coat, so I applied another coat of 247 to cover the damage and then...

Models Own 'Sparkler' from the Fireworks Collection (£5), over Barry M 247


This is the second Models Own nail polish that I have tried, and the second from the Fireworks collection (the first was 'Banger').. 'Sparkler' only needs one coat to look like this, but it feels very gritty and the bar glitter gets caught on stuff and torn off without a protective topcoat, so I added a coat of Barry M's Basecoat, Topcoat and Nail Hardener on top. Tip wear is very minor after three days. This combo made me feel very Snow Queen and got a LOT of compliments. 

Revlon Gold Coin over Colour Unlimited (Superdrug) bronze glitter from 2012 Christmas gift set (both discontinued, I think, but try eBay)


For my work party I decided to wear gold and red, and I thought Revlon's 'Gold Coin' would go nicely. But it wasn't sparkly enough for my mood so I dug out this bronze glitter from a Colour Unlimited gift set that came out last Christmas. I wasn't sure the combination would work but I love it! After two days there was a fair bit of tip wear but no chipping.

2true 'Naomi' from the Pro Sequins range (£2)


This is AMAZING. It looks like you've packed glitter onto your nails but has a kind of muted shine. I didn't put top coat on as I thought it would chip easily and wanted to test that, but I wore it for several days and it didn't chip at all, though there was a little tip wear. It feels gritty, but I quite like that effect, so I'll probably continue not to bother with a top coat in future. It's such a bargain too! I'd never tried a 2true polish before I saw this review at Do Not Refreeze and decided to buy 'Naomi' but I will definitely look at the stand in future!

Models Own 'Absinthe' from the Velvet Goth Collection (£5)

 
Finally, I chose green for Christmas and Boxing Day (and several days after, because I loved this so much I couldn't bear to take it off!). This is very pretty, and I admired my nails a lot, but it chipped on my left index fingernail after less than one day of wear. It's also quite thick, thanks to the matte texture, I think, and difficult to apply smoothly. In the end though, the result is worth it, if a little lumpy, and I found that I liked it more after the first couple of days, when it stopped looking as matte.

I'm really pleased with how all my Christmassy nails came out. I will definitely be repeating these combos in future! Did you paint your nails to celebrate the season? Try any festive nail art?
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