Friday 29 April 2016

REVIEW: Benefit "Dew the Hoola" liquid bronzer

As you know I'm not into the whole contouring thing, and I'm not actually that great with bronzers either. However when I saw this being bandied about in the beauty news I was like, yeah, gotta try that. I've had a strained relationship with the old powder Hoola - it just seems either too dark and muddy on me or I can't see it when I'm more tanned. So I was wary. And it costs £22.50 *eeeek*

Love the gold bamboo packaging! It also has a pump.

All my swatches sadly show the product a bit warmer than it actually is! 
Yet as soon as it was released I hoofed it to my local Benefit counter for a makeover. When I came back, my male colleague said 'did you got to a stand and tan at lunch??'. As soon as I said I had a makeup trial and was about to give him a review, he was immediately bored and pretended to be busy :) So damn, this stuff does work. It doesn't look like much to you when you blend it out but people can definitely see a difference!

I use a BeautyBlender to apply this - you do not need much product!! It gives a nice sheer and even result, especially if you have just used the BeautyBlender to apply your foundation. I found that using a brush gave a slightly patchy result no matter which type of brush I used (of course, I am too cheap to buy the brush Benefit brought out to accompany this product so don't know how that works..)

I apply this on the places on your face that would naturally tan, so no hollows of the cheek here! Try it on your forehead (hairline), bridge of nose and top of cheeks for that faux California tan 😎

I am all for the high street/drugstore brands to bring out a dupe for this! That doesn't cost £22.50 :) 5 out of 5, this has made it into my everyday spring makeup, although it will likely be too light once I start to tan. But then I won't need it so that's alright with me! :)

Tuesday 26 April 2016

REVIEW: Rimmel The Only One Lipstick "700 Naughty Nude"

I was never into lipstick until I tried the Clinique Pop Lip lipsticks, which made it into last years Top List. But they have mostly just not been my thing. Then last year I finally 'got' why some obsess about lipstick :)

This is another discovery from last year when I started getting into nude colours and lipstick. I have been wearing this a lot and thought it's definitely time for a review. Rimmel brought these out in an insane range of colours - most were far to vampy or bright to be generally wearable. The only everyday shade is the one I have, "Naughty Nude". It is a darker pinky nude, very similar to MAC "Brave" if you believe the dupe hunting community! It is a 'my lips but better' colour for me and not so nude it makes me look washed out.

It looks good with it's sleek black tube, I especially like the colour coordinated band at the bottom. But then you get a whiff of the scent. I really don't like these types of fake vanilla smells, and this is especially strong! I wish brands would stop perfuming lip products (I'm looking at you as well, Revlon...)

But thankfully it doesn't linger and it doesn't have a taste. The finish is a satin creme, and it feels nice and soft on the lips. As the colour is so close to my natural lip colour, I didn't really experience it being patchy when it wore off. It isn't transfer proof but it does survive a coffee. It doesn't dry my lips out.

Despite the strong smell, I really like this lipstick, but haven't been tempted by any of the other colours simply because they are just not that wearable. 4 out of 5 stars for me; if they dropped the perfume and brought out some more wearable shades it would get another star!

Sunday 24 April 2016

REVIEW: Garnier Body Ultimate Blends Hydrating Lotion

I love a good body lotion :) the last one I fell in love with was the amazingly creamy and sweet smelling Roger & Gallet Fleur d'Osmanthus Body Cream (now sadly discontinued and replaced with a really crappy shimmery body gel lotion).

Criteria for body lotion love are as follows;
1) Must not make me sticky
2) Must smell nice
3) Can't cost an arm and a leg
4) Bonus points for a pump bottle and large volume packaging (cuz you always use a lot)!

I actually picked up this body lotion because it was on introductory price offer in Asda a couple of months back when I was doing my weekly shop. I was thinking I'd see what it was about as it was only £2. RRP for this 250ml size is £4.49, the 400ml (why not 500ml, Garnier??) is RRP £5.99.

Love this, ticks all above criteria! The smell is so lovely and warm, and it also makes a very nice hand lotion (I've actually decanted some for work...). It is meant for normal skin but it's very hydrating on my lizard scale legs without being sticky or heavy on the skin. I love a lotion with a pump bottle as well because it makes it so much easier to get the product out and apply without risking the bottle flying due to greasy hands..!

5 out of 5 stars for this, I will definitely be buying the large size one of these when this runs out!

I have a sachet of the Restoring Lotion variety from a magazine which I will test out for you too, stay tuned! :)

Thursday 14 April 2016

NOTD: H&M "Gumdrops"

Yes another H&M nail polish! So I was loving the Barry M Coconut infusion nail polish but when my naughty broken nail chipped today I decided to slap this on to hide it! :) I apologise for the broken cuticle it's very sore...

I did a coat over 2 coats of my Barry M "Aloha" and sealed the deal with a coat of Seche Vite. Love this :) It has a lot of golden glitter in it and a hot coral tone to the jelly base. It is rather sheer so best used to layer over a coral or pink creme polish.

Tuesday 12 April 2016

NOTD: Barry M Coconut Infusion "Aloha"

I love me a novel formula! When I saw these in Superdrug I knew I had to try. I guess these are meant to hydrate your nails, or whatever, but hell, I really don't care. I love Barry M nail polishes and I'll buy them anyway :)

So I thought about picking the light green ("Bikini") and this one but the only bottle of "Bikini" on display had a broken lid... So I am still on the look out for that!

I did 2 butter-smooth coats here, no need to top coat as it's brilliantly shiny without but I'm a dry-fast top coat junkie and need my Seche Vite fix. I can see this being the pedicure of Summer 2016; it's going to look amazing with a tan!

I am on day 3 with this and it's still looking good as new! :) Another job well done for Barry M!

Sunday 10 April 2016

NOTD: H&M "Make a Mint" and another RAPID REVIEW!

So there's a story to how I got to own this polish... I ordered a bunch of nail polishes again off H&M website (because no stores outside London seem to have the makeup??) and I was sent this polish in error - I ordered 'Make a Splash' but got 'Make a Mint'. I then spent a lot of time on the phone to get the polish returned via courier.. ..and when I got the 'replacement' which was supposed to be the right one, it was the same wrong polish AGAIN?!! For £3.99 it wasn't worth the hassle to go through all the return crap again so I just decided to keep it.

And it's an OK polish but not what I ordered. I did 2 coats here with a slick of Seche Vite. Wore quite well and matched my fave cowl neck sports top. So I guess it's not a total loss but not a unique colour in my collection.

On a brighter note, I also made a new Rapid Review on the new Garnier Micellar Oil-Infused Cleansing Water! I love the Garnier micellar waters; I've taken to using the original around my eyes and the oil-infused to pre-cleanse away my foundation. Love! :)

Monday 4 April 2016

REVIEW + COMPARE: Hybrid complexion perfectors

So I've been loving my BareMinerals Complexion Perfection but then I heard about Urban Decay's latest launch, the Naked Skin One and Done. I sensed I likely needed to try this, although I haven't got on with UD foundations in the past... And because I had to order online as it's not out in Debenhams yet, well, one could conjure some serious shade-matching faux pas.

They are both a similar price point, around the £25 mark, which is NOT a high street/drugstore price. I cringed at paying the 'One and Done' before even having a chance to try it on / get shade matched. Not only did I get shade matched with the BareMinerals one, I also got a luxury sample to take away. Someone said 'fortune favours the bold', and this time it paid off.

So the BareMineral's Complexion Perfection Tinted Gel Cream claims to be "a multi-tasking genius that combines skincare benefits and naturally radiant coverage in one". It is very hydrating indeed; cooling, light and comfortable on the skin, and has a very light tint to just spruce you up a bit. The shade I have '05 Natural' suit me even when I get more tanned in the summer. It is very forgiving on dry and aging skin and 'peach fuzz'. However, the downside to this is that it is also very dewy (or 'radiant' as BareMineral's call it). The dewiness remains even if set with BareMinerals' Mineral Veil (although this prolongs wear time for me). It does not blur pores, but it also does not make them more obvious. It has a SPF 30. You can layer any of the Bare Minerals mineral foundations on top should you wish, with great results for increased coverage whilst staying hydrated. This shade is nicely neutral; the product comes in 10 shades in the UK.

So enter Urban Decay's Naked Skin One and Done Hybrid Complexion Perfector. This claims; "One step and you’re done. Instantly blur imperfections and even out skin tone - for beautifully perfected, ultra definition skin". Sounds pretty damn awesome. After a lot of swatch watching on the internet I opted for the shade 'Medium Light'. This shade is much warmer than the 'Light' shade which has a cool pink undertone. It has SPF 20. When applied it set to a lovely satin finish without feeling dry or making drier patches stand out. It does actually blur your pores too (mine are huge, for reference)! It blends away redness, but doesn't cover bigger imperfections or spider veins (have a few of those too). I found it can be built up without looking cakey to a very close to medium coverage. No need to set this one, it wear all day! As I am dry I didn't get shiny but perhaps a more oily skin type might need to powder this? This shade is definitely warm; the product comes in 6 shades in the UK (I should have gone for the more cool 'Light').

Brush or sponge, or fingers? Take your pick for this one; both have a fancy brush as an up-sell to the product! To be honest I find they apply best with fingers or if you really must, a dampened beautyblender.

More useful info? In terms of ingredients, both of these contain a list of ingredients as long as you arm, so neither is in any way 'natural'. The Urban Decay contains a chemical sunscreen as well as a physical one, whereas the BareMinerals only carry a physical sunscreen. Both companies are listed as cruelty-free by PETA but Urban Decay is also certified in the Leaping Bunny program.

Neither of these products offer medium to high coverage, just to be clear. These products will not be suitable for those who have a lot of imperfections that they want to cover! The swatches below are very heavy to show the colour and finish; properly applied and blended both are sheer.

BareMinerals on left; Urban Decay on right

*Blended swatches*
BareMinerals on left; Urban Decay on right
See the difference in finish!
So which is my favourite? Just as if they were my children, I love them both equally. They have different uses for me. I use the BareMinerals Complexion Rescue when I'm having a dry skin day, or when I'm just looking for a very light cover and lots of SPF for example if I have a day of site visits/surveys. And I use the Urban Decay One and Done for when I want to look a bit more flawless for example on an 'actually in the office' day :)

Love both of these - bring on more affordable offerings of hybrid complexion perfectors from the high street brands! :)

Saturday 2 April 2016

NOTD: ILNP Ultra Chrome Flakies "Electric Carnival"

I am a metal-head so when I heard that one the titans of metal, Trivium, were playing my home town I of course got some tickets!! Then I wondered what sort of nail polish I would wear?.. Had to be dark, but ya'll know I ain't no black nails gal. Soooo...

Enter the outrageously gorgeous flakie that is "Electric Carnival"! I own very few indie polishes, this is one of only 3...

I did put on a black polish underneath this (Rimmel "Black Cab") then one coat of "Electric Carnival". I slapped on a coat of Seche Vite to bring out it's full potential. And oh ma gawd it's so amazing!! :)

The colour-shift in this is astonishing, you can see the different colours really well on the nails. It actually looks like this in real life. The formula glides on very easily but it is definitely one for layering - the base is quite sheer.

I love this polish and I always get questions where it's from whenever I wear it. If you want to see my previous NOTD with this for more photos, look here.

And finally, this is what I did on Thursday night!

Rock oooooon!!!!