Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Too Faced - Natural Eye Palette

This is the first Too Faced palette I've bought and I didn't know what to expect. I always considered them to be Urban Decays poorer sibling. It seems to be they bring out very similar products that just aren't quite as good but cost more money. Anyone else get that impression? Anyway.. I was pleasantly surprised by this little box of shadows so I thought I'd share some swatches with you. I know it's been out an age already so it's hardly breaking news but for those of you still wondering here are some swatches and my take on the product.
When you get it opened up you see that in a similar way to Urban Decays Book Of Shadows the bulk of the product is wasted packaging. There's a tiny "drawer" in the front that houses a dual-ended applicator of no use to anyone and in the lid there's a pull out section with "how to" cards which is a nice detail. It is unfortunately missing a mirror which is disappointing and makes it not so great for travel but if it's going to live on your vanity then a mirror is wasted anyway! As with all of the Too Faced shadow collections there are 3 rows of colours offering 3 different looks each with a base, a highlight and a crease shade. This totally takes the hassle out of your everyday eyes which I think makes this a great little package. I really like the design they've used on these collections and I think I'll be purchasing some of the others.
Top Row Swatches - "Day"
Middle Row Swatches - "Classic"
Bottom Row Swatches - "Fashion"
I favour the Classic row for everyday with a little of the Cocoa Puff from the Fashion row and the Velvet Revolver from the Day row. I love my neutrals and all but for the crazy yellow gold Honey Pot this is a really useable, beautiful palette for everyday eyes. I wouldn't swap it for my beloved Naked palette but it's definitely a valued addition to my collection.
In the above photo I'm wearing colours from the Classic row. Silk Teddy, which I have all over my lid and highlighting the inner corner is the stand out shade for me.

Do you have this? What's your most used shadow?

Monday, 29 August 2011

Everyday Lips... Just Cheaper

After the great response I got to my "you're lips bit better" post the other day I got to thinking.. I wonder if I have anything in my collection I could dupe with my favourite Viva Glam V. Turns out I do..
Ok so it's not a PERFECT dupe but read on.. you'll see my point. The formula's of these two lipsticks are near identical to start, the finish is the same glossy shimmer "lustre" and they don't feel drying like some lip products can.

The "dupe" I'm referring to is Rimmels Moisture Renew Lipstick in Beach Babe (050)
I've struggled to find this online and am assuming it's now discontinued so apologies for taunting those who don't have it but I think it's still worth mentioning that the Moisture Renew range still holds a lot of available shades, some of which may be a closer colour match than this.. I might even have to check them out for myself for a follow up post. You can buy them online at Boots for just £6.29 (less than half the price of the MAC Viva Glam V) You can see form the below swatches the a marked difference in warmth between the two shades. The Rimmel on the left is more of a bronze/nude where as the MAC on the right is more pinky toned.

Yet because of the sheer formula the similarities are better seen on the lips. Both have an almost golden sheen to them but you can see less of a shade difference when worn, and isn't that the most important comparison? Just goes to show that you can't judge from the tube or a swatch what a lipstick will look like on! In the picture below my top lip is wearing Beach Babe and my Bottom, Viva Glam V.

If you had the choice, would you still make the more expensive pick? I do think the MAC is longer lasting but you're going to be reapplying either way so is it really worth twice the money?

Saturday, 27 August 2011

Garnier BB Cream - Review

Garnier's BB Cream is finally here. This hugely hyped product dubbed a "Miracle Skin Perfector" was one new launch I couldn't wait to get my hands on and now I have it I just had to share my first thoughts with you. I have seen surprisingly few reviews and posts about this given the buzz surrounding it so I couldn't get a real idea of how well it worked or what it did. Hopefully for those of you looking for just that.. this will help!
Firstly There are 2 shades available, Light and Medium. It retails at £9.99 and sold out and can be bought at Superdrug and Boots. The original BB cream was created in Germany but the craze really started in Asia where it was said to be the secret to Korean actresses beautiful skin. It soon became popular here to buy online and there was much talk on YouTube about these mystical creams for months before Garnier launched the first drugstore version. BB stands for Blemish Balm, there have been many variations made, some are said to have skin lightening properties, some are anti-wrinkle, some anti-acne. What Garnier are claiming to offer is a sun block and moisturiser that evens skin tone, boosts glow, blurs imperfections and smooths fine lines all in one wonderful tube. Ok so enough of what it's supposed to do... here you can see the balm in action. Please excuse my early morning makeup free face.

This is JUST the balm on my face, no concealer, nothing! I am really impressed with the coverage. I'm not sure it even is coverage. It's almost like it really is blurring imperfections, evening out skintone and boosting glow. It feels weightless and moisturising when on the skin but it doesn't leave me uber shiny like a tinted moisturiser would. I can explain it but I'm excited.

side note:
Can anyone else see that one of my eyelids is bigger than the other? It's so rare I can capture it on film so everyone thinks I'm bonkers but seriously... it's really obvious here... what's it all about????

Here's a swatch of the cream alongside some of my other foundations.
Natural Collection Tinted Moisturiser in Fair, Mac Studio Fix Fluid in NCW25, Garnier BB Cream in Light, Nars Sheer Glow in MontBlanc/Light2

It's a much thicker consistency than any of the compared products as you can see.. you might think that as a result it's more moisturising and spreads further but I didn't find this to be the case. I used this as an all-in-one so applied it to my clean face, no moisturiser/primer. I found it to be quick drying, it spreads like an oil free moisturiser so I needed more than I'd expected to cover my face and blend in to my neck. This being said I liked the coverage that it gave and it is buildable because of it's thicker formula so it's not all bad. I did get shiny in my t-zone/chin area by lunchtime but no more so than with any other product (except revlon colorstay) But I used a little powder to mattify and the coverage lasted me until I wanted to remove my makeup. I was impressed given that I was expecting little more than a tinted moisturiser.
I will do a more in depth follow-up review when I've used this exclusively for a few weeks so that I can really see whether it's made any improvement on my skin condition. I'd love to think that it will and isn't JUST a cosmetic product. Whether I repurchase this will really depend how long this little tube lasts me. £9.99 is more than I'd like to spend for what is quite a small amount of product (It's just 50ml).. but I'll see how it goes, if it offers real benefits to my skin it would be worth the cash for sure.

Have any of you tried this yet?
What are your thoughts?

Benefit - They're Real Mascara

Now I consider myself to be over the "Benefit Craze" and haven't felt the urge to go out and buy any of their new products in quite some time but when I first heard of this mascara I'll admit.. I was excited. I'm not a huge mascara freak (though you'd think so from the size of my collection) I don't have fantastic eyelashes and no matter how high end the product I don't seem to have ever achieved amazing results. It's the one beauty item that I don't lust after because I just don't really believe it will do anything for me. I have a large collection because I'm always open to trying new things but I am rarely willing to part with more than drugstore prices. Benefit's "They're Real" was offering something totally new. Volume, Length, Curl and Long-lasting results all in one tube. At £18.50 it's definitely on the pricey side for me but with all the hype I just knew I was going to have to try it.

Let me tell you a little bit about the brush.. it's a new-style rubber wand as opposed to the traditional brush. It's different to any other wand I've tried. Many have likened it to the phenomen'eyes from Givenchy and I can see why. It has definitely taken inspiration from that design with the end of the wand utilized to get every little lash covered and the "spiked" style bristles to separate and prevent clumps when applying more than one coat. It was tricky to get used to but I think over time it will work better for me with practice.

Now as I said, my lashes are nothing special to begin with. Here's my before and after shots...

After these pictures, while I was filming my review I lifted my lashes by pushing them with my fingers and the difference was huge. My intention the next time I apply this is to curl my lashes AFTER. I think that could really work for me. I will of course take photos and share if it works well. The formula is good. It does lift, lengthen and create volume and as I write this post 9 hours after applying my makeup I can tell you I have no flaking and the lift is still going strong so I would say that it is indeed a long-lasting mascara.
Bottom line, I am impressed with this product, It does what it claims but it's not QUITE as wow as I'd hoped. Perhaps that's my expectations that were too high and I should really have known better but I truly believed this was going to be the mascara to end all other mascara's for me.. I thought I'd finally found "the one" that was going to make me fall in love with Benefit all over again... but.. I'm not sure I have.
Granted I have used this so you never know, with practice I might change my mind but right now I don't think I'd part with the money again. It's twice what I'd usually spend on mascara and I have to ask myself.. is it really TWICE as good?

Mascara is a really personal thing. You're ultimately only going to get the best results with the best natural lashes so there will be some of you that will find everything this product that I wanted to. Don't let my uncertain opinion put you off trying what might be the best mascara you've ever owned but for me.. it's just not quite hitting the spot.

*They're Real launches nationwide today*

You can check out my video review below...

Thursday, 25 August 2011

Your Lips But Better

What's my holy grail "your lips but better" lipstick? I get asked this question so frequently I thought I'd finally answer en mass! I can tell you unequivocally it is Viva Glam V by MAC!

I'd heard some buzz about this shade but was put off by its shimmery appearance in the tube. I couldn't have been more wrong! It's my go to natural lip colour and has taken up permanent residence in my bag!

Whats your HG lipstick?


Miss BB

Tuesday, 23 August 2011

The Importance Of Being Out There

It seems these days the blogs I read are all covering these huge PR events the writers attend and I find myself wondering how important it is to be "out there". Are the bloggers invited because they are successful or are they successful because they go to every single event they're invited to? Being that I'm a Northern girl with a family and not able to zoom off to London at a moments notice I never go to anything I'm invited to and I think it has really slowed down the progress I'm making in the "beauty community". I know of MANY bloggers with a smaller fanbase that blog purely about launch parties and freebies so I can only assume that the social aspect of this industry has a huge impact on your potential for growth. If you're not putting yourself out there how will people every know about you? You're hoping new readers will stumble upon your blog or your site in cyber space but what if they don't? Sure there's twitter to connect with people and companies but is that enough? For those of us who put our heart and soul into our online persona but don't attend these exclusive events .. what will become of us? Are we destined to meander along doing as we do while to social butterflies soar past us?
We don't do it for the recognition, we do it for the thrill of publishing our word and knowing they'll be read but its still disappointing to know it could be so much more. Do you have to sellout to be successful as a blogger? And what is success anyway? Are we measuring it in popularity or how much free stuff we can pump out of cosmetic companies? How much money we can make for sponsorship? What's it all about?
If you don't blog because you love it then why do you blog? And for those that do.. will we ever reach the dizzy heights of those that live in the centre of it all?

Just something I've been thinking about recently. Do any of you bloggers like me feel the same or do you think there's a place for our anti-social lot along-side the YouTube socialites?

Sunday, 21 August 2011

Unii Palette - First Look

 This post has been a week in the uploading due to various glitches I've experienced with blogger so it may be a touch briefer than initially intended given that this must be the 3rd time I've written it. I received my Unii Palette recently and thought I'd give you a little first look before I do a run down and comparison between this, the Z Palette and the MAC Pro Palette. Above you can see l-r  the box the palette comes in, a magnetic strip which can be cut to shape and stuck on your depotted products to enable them to be used with the palette and the unii palette itself. The magnetic strip is a very nice touch as it makes the kit that you buy an all inclusive package. You don't need to buy anything to make this work for you. one side of the strip is self adhesive and the other is writable so you can label the products you depot in case you forget what they are.
Below you can see the palette inside. In white I think it really resembles an apple product in it's sleek design.

Inside is a steel magnetic plate which can be removed for cleaning, a rubber bumper which can be removed to accommodate more shadows but I like the added security it gives. You also get a "thumb grip" magnet which could be used as a separator or again removed to get in more shadows. Another nice touch is the mirror which you don't get in many custom palettes.
So far I've used this one to house some of my favourite MAC eyeshadows. Without the thumb grip I could fit in 14, only one less than the MAC Pro Palette and the Unii is a bit smaller and a lot more secure. If you're wary of how to depot or use the palette at all you'll be glad to know the box it comes in unfolds to reveal step by step instructions on how to depot and what will fit. On the site they also list a huge amount of brands that fit in the palette including travel sized brushes which is something I would never have thought of myself but would be a really handy addition if you're travelling with this palette. 
Overall it feels like a really substantial piece of kit. Indestructible almost which makes it ideal for travelling with. You can buy these for $29 each from http://uniicosmetics.com/ I bought two and including shipping they cost me just under £40 for both with current exchange rates.

Have any of you tried the Unii Palette? They are available in various colours and I'm just not sure which to go for next...

Sunday, 14 August 2011

What's Black and White and Pregnant All Over?

*what I'm wearing*

Maternity shirt  and leggings both from Tophshop. They are so ridiculously comfortable you wouldn't believe it! It feels like I'm wearing pyjamas to work.. AWESOME!
The shirt's pretty sheer so I wear a nude vest from H&M underneath which has quickly become a staple for me. I don't know why I never realised that nude under white was invisible.. all this time I've been wearing white vests underneath sheer tops and I've clearly been doing it all wrong!
Jewellery - Hamsa hand necklace is one I made from bits and bobs I bought from eBay last year and the long key is from F21. My nails are OPI's "Your Cabana Or Mine?" which I am totally in love with and has definitely earned its own post so I'll not get into that now.
I wore plain black Primark pumps which are now my everyday footwear of choice and there you have my current favourite outfit. The shirt is uber fine cotton and so creases like you wouldn't believe but otherwise it's just perfect. Makeup-wise I've rediscovered my love of liquid liner in a big way.. Lauren Conrad has a lot to answer for!

Thursday, 11 August 2011

Depotting Drama

In anticipation of my Z-Palette and Unii Palettes being delivered I thought I'd start depotting my single shadows so they're all prepared and ready to be popped in when they arrive. The main reason I wanted the palettes was for my many MUA shadows that don't get much use because they're singles, unfortunately they are the hardest things to depot ever!
Unlike MAC singles they don't seem to have a pop out insert so you have to burn all the way through the bottom of the packaging to push out the pan. Some were easier than others but for some reason the matte shades (my personal favourites) were the worst for cracking. I planned to depot all of the below shadows..
I ended up just doing the MUA's and the W7s (top left 3) for now. The W7's were actually much easier, they were pretty much the same packaging as MAC ones, just bigger. I did do a "how-to" video on depotting MAC shadows a while ago so check that out if you're interested in how to do it. I know there are many methods out there but this is how I did it...
I basically used the same technique to push the pans out of my MUA shadows just without pushing out the inserts. If any of you are aware of an easier way to do it or that you can actually push out an insert then PLEASE let me know because I'm going to pick up replacements for the one's I broke at the weekend as well as the few I am missing (for £1 each I want the whole colour range!) so I will have to do some more and intend to make a video for those of you that have requested one so if you have any tips you'd like to share then go ahead and leave me a comment.

So excited to receive my palettes. Have any of you depotted your shadows for a Z/Unii Palette???

Monday, 8 August 2011

I dream in Tiffany Blue

I dream in Tiffany Blue

Tiffany co jewelry
$150 - tiffany.com

Twist jewelry
$135 - tiffany.com

Tag heart jewelry
$115 - tiffany.com

Beading bracelet
$135 - tiffany.com

Beading earrings
$125 - tiffany.com

DREAM chain jewelry
$150 - tiffany.com

Long jewelry
$250 - tiffany.com

Sterling silver jewelry
$275 - tiffany.com

Circle jewelry
$175 - tiffany.com

Twist jewelry
$250 - tiffany.com

Beading bracelet
$225 - tiffany.com

Chain jewelry
$175 - tiffany.com

Blue jewelry
$225 - tiffany.com

Tiffany Blue® bow mug
$30 - tiffany.com

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