Thursday, July 24, 2014

What's in my best friends make up bag?

I am sure if you're a regular reader of my blog or follow me on twitter/instagram you will have seen me mention my best friend Danielle.  We met in Dubai almost 10 years ago when we both worked for the same company and although she is now back in London we whatsapp every day.

Danielle is the one person in the whole world I am silliest with.  I have had the most fun with Danielle-we have had numerous holidays together and we just laugh all the time.

She is also the most stylish person I have ever met-I love the way she dresses and puts outfits together, even her penchant for Victorias Secret tracksuits when she is at home.  And don't even get me started on her shoes......

She is great.  And it's times like this I almost wish I did Youtube because this would have been a hilarious video to film.

I recently spent a couple of days with Danielle in London and was desperate to peek inside her make up bag.  We're SO bad when we're together in terms of enabling each other-the trouble is her enabling me to buy a Givenchy Antigona handbag is a lot more expensive than me enabling her to buy a Nars lipgloss!  But I digress....her make up collection has definitely grown since I started blogging!

Here's what's in her make up bag and why it's made the cut.  And she says the word 'lush'-a lot!  And a lot of the answers to my questions 'why did you buy that?' resulted in the answer 'because you did'.

The bases

There are currently two foundations in her make up bag-the YSL Le Teint Touche Eclat and the Maybelline Dream Matte Mousse.  Danielle has perfect skin and until recently didn't wear (didn't need to wear) foundation.  She is favouring the YSL foundation saying it's really light on the skin and doesn't feel like its clogging her pores.  She feels it smoothes out her skin tone and smells nice (first time I have ever heard that about a foundation...)  She applies it with a Real Techniques Expert Face Brush.

The Smashbox primer is a long time repurchase item, again Dani says its lush and that it feels light on her skin and smoothes out her complexion.

I bought Danielle the Charlotte Tilbury Colour Chameleon eye pencil in Champagne Diamonds when they first launched and she loved it and has gone on to buy 3 more, most recently picking up Black Diamond.  Dani says 'I like it because it welds to your skin and it lasts all day and all night.  And for a week after'  She did concede its quite hard to remove which was pretty much what I said when I reviewed Champagne Diamonds here.

I recently woke up to a whatsapp message saying 'how do I apply cream blush?' meaning the Chanel creme blush in Inspiration must have been a recent purchase.  I have had one of these blushers and I told her to use a Real Techniques Stippling Brush or fingers.  Dani says the formula is foolproof to use and I have to agree.  This soft coral-y pink is beautiful on her skintone.

MAC Silver Ring is her go to 'evening out' shadow when she wants to switch from the fairly neutral eyeshadows she wears during the day to something more smoky.

The Dior shimmer powder in Rose Diamond is the product I most wish I owned!  Now sadly discontinued, Dani uses this as her summer blusher-mainly using the right side of the palette.  She says she isn't really a fan of the Dior packaging (say what?), saying it reminds her of her granny's make up compacts when Dani was a little girl and is old fashioned.

Her concealer of choice is the YSL Touche Eclat, here in gorgeous limited edition packaging.  She said it's her favourite thing ever for concealing under eye bags.

The Smashbox lid primer is something I have known Dani use for years-in fact she had FOUR back ups (although she gave me one).  She says it's something she repurchases over and over.

There were two mascaras in her make up bag-a sample of the Givenchy Noir Couture (woke up to a whatsapp one morning saying 'why does the mascara wand have bobbles on it?) and the Chanel Le Volume De Chanel which she says is 'just ok'.  She finds it congeals quite easily and its difficult to use on both the top and bottom lashes.

She told me her all time favourite mascara is the YSL Dramatic Effects mascara which she says she has used for about 15 years.  I definitely need to check it out!  Dani's been getting lash extensions for the past year as her lashes are very very blonde so the falsies give her loads of definition.

The Marc Jacobs 'The Lolita' palette was part of Dani's Xmas gift from me last Xmas and I couldn't believe how much she had used it!!  She says she really likes the formula apart from the middle colour which is very gritty and that assessment is a common criticism across bloggers who have reviewed this palette-including me.

The Urban Decay Naked 2 palette is a relatively new addition but she is finding it a bit too shimmery and 'a bit too jazzy for work'.  I need to convince her otherwise as this is one of my all time faves!

Some random items-a packet of the Models Own eyeshadow applicators which she loves because she says it makes packing eyeshadow onto the lid really easy, and because the applicators absorb a little of the shadow it stops the eyeshadow spraying everywhere.

She uses the mini Hourglass Kabuki to apply her blusher.  This is a seriously soft brush that I also own.

Dani says she bought the tweezers because they were pink.

Dani uses the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder in Mood Light as her setting powder.  As she has relatively dry skin that never gets shiny this just adds an overall soft glow.  She's almost at pan so it must be a hit!

Dani has the most lovely set of Chanel brushes-here is a selection of them laid out and they're something I definitely want to have a look at as they feel so nice!  She uses them for foundation, blusher and bronzer. 

The NARS lip gloss (old formula) doesn't get top marks unfortunately-Dani says its very very sticky (whilst making a pouting fish face at me) and she doesn't like the formula.  The Kiehls lip balm fairs better-she says its not sticky and makes her lips soft.  

The one thing I have been trying to get Dani to STOP doing is using face wipes!  She says she only uses them now to remove her eye make up but I think I have finally cracked her because yesterday she whatsapped me a picture of a Chanel eye makeup remover that she says is fabulous.

Her handbag staples are the Vaseline Pink Bubbly tin and the NARS Turkish Delight lip gloss.  She is constantly applying the vaseline because her office really dries her lips out so she likes to feel something quite 'wet' on her lips to keep them hydrated.

She also conceded that she doesn't own any lipsticks and can't remember the last time she wore one!!

The recent purchases......


Dani's most recent purchases are the NARS Soft Touch Eyeshadow Pencil in 'Iraklion' from the Adult Swim collection (I bought one too), the Chanel Les Beiges Healthy Glow powder and the Becca The One Perfecting Brush-am waiting with baited breath to hear her thoughts!  We also both bought a Nars contour palette and Dani has had a recent splurge on Chanel eyeshadows.

I love chatting all things everything with Dani, she is a huge part of my life even though she is 3500 miles away and I can't wait for all our next adventures

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Lipstick Queen Velvet Rope lipsticks-Brat Pack and Star System

This review has been a long time coming.  One of those things I kept meaning to do but never got round to-I took the photographs ages ago (and yes I dropped Brat Pack whilst photographing them and put a big dent in the top) but didn't actually get round to testing the lipsticks until this week!

So, these are the Lipstick Queen Velvet Rope lipsticks-possibly the most expensive lipsticks I have ever bought given they are £35 each.  Wowzers.

Lets talk packaging.  Beautiful.  Heavy gold column casing with Lipstick Queen engraved on the top of the lid, inspired by old school Hollywood glamour.

I bought these when I was going through my 'find my perfect nude' phase last year and was initially attracted to Star System.   But the girl in Space NK was wearing Brat Pack and it looked so good I succumbed.

The formula of these lipsticks are amazingly creamy and long lasting on the lips.  Especially Brat Pack-it's one of the nicest reds I own and paired with MAC Redd lipliner it lasts almost all day.

Star System is a caramel toned nude with a slight peach tone to it-its maybe slightly too warm toned for me and it can look a little bit patchy on the lips on first application-you need to apply, blot and apply again for the smoothest finish.

Brat Pack applies so smoothly, opaque in one pass and just sits so nicely on the lips.  It's a true glamorous Hollywood red. 

Both are hydrating, the finish of both is semi matte and weightless on the lips and the lasting power is exceptional.  They are, no doubt pricy and a real treat but there are such high quality and beautifully done.

I have seen some sneak peek photos of the 'Silver Screen' lipsticks and I already know I will be buying 'Play It' when they launch!

NB-should have mentioned that not all Lipstick Queen lipsticks carry this price tag-their normal lipsticks are around the £20 ish mark-yes definitely high end but not as expensive as this range of theirs.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

MAC Moody Blooms collection-Sheen Supreme Lipglass Tint

Let's not beat about the bush here, these new limited edition Sheen Supreme Liplass Tints from the MAC Moody Blooms collection are possibly the worst lip product I have ever tried from MAC.  And I would say I am a big MAC girl so I know their lip products inside out.

I spotted these in Harrods when I was in London and really liked the high shine gloss when I swatched them.  I hadn't read much about the collection and nothing else really took my fancy but I have a real weakness for lipstick.

The Moody Blooms collection is based on exotic flowers blooming after dark and greens, purples and bronzes feature heavily in the collection.  There is nothing super special and no limited edition packaging.  In hindsight I should have passed on the collection full stop.

The Sheen Supreme Lipglass Tints come in a handy pen applicator, great for handbags and touching up on the go.  Described as a high shine, creamy, lightweight formula that reacts to your own natural skins PH levels to create a custom tint-although each gloss is tinted once you have twisted the cap around what felt like 100 times to release the initial colour.

I don't think I can say anything good about these glosses apart from when you initially apply it, and get the finish right I really like the high gloss, glassy finish-it's very pretty for summer.

But the downsides-the glosses are hugely sticky and remain unpleasantly tacky.  They are an absolute nightmare to apply-they are so streaky, its almost impossible to get a smooth and opaque finish.  And then they go everywhere-they wander outside your natural lip line, settle into every single line and keep appearing on your teeth.  I have found them so difficult to work with they have been tossed aside immediately.

I am a big MAC fan as I previously stated but I can't let this one slide.  This is definitely a formula I will not be repurchasing.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Currently Loving

Am in a make up love affair again at the moment-all of these things apart from the 2 foundations have been rediscoveries from my existing stash.  Am really enjoying shopping my stash at the moment, I have been finding some real treasures.

First up, the Urban Decay Naked 2 palette.  Of the three palettes, this is by far my favourite and I wore it non stop in London.  The metallic packaging wears much better than the original Naked 1 cardboard packaging and my palette still looks new(ish) despite being thrown into numerous travel bags.

Packed with every taupe neutral you could ever need, the shadows are massively pigmented, buttery smooth and long lasting.  They are on the shimmery side (my personal preference) but blend like a dream and my favourites are Snakebite, Suspect and YDK.  I literally love them and can see me hitting pan on a few of them soon.

Not one but two bases have made it into my favourites this month-and no one is more surprised that I am to see a BB cream as one of them and a base from No 7 as the other!

Ok so BB creams, never been a fan really, preferring the heavier coverage of a foundation.  But I was recently sent some to try from and I quite liked the formula.  I had a stray sample of the Diorskin Nude BB cream lying around and I tried it and was immediately like 'I need to buy immediately'.

From what I gather from the interweb, this has a little more coverage than your average BB cream but that's a-ok with me.  I need two pumps to do my whole face, smoothed on with my fingertips-it just seems to eliminate redness, even out skintone, provide a flawless matte base and just looks like much better skin.  It's become my weekend/travelling base of choice.  I am 001 (obviously) and it is quite pink toned but blends perfectly with little effort.

I don't think I own anything else from No 7 at all but I am sure I picked up the No 7 Beautifully Matte foundation last summer after reading a glowing review from Rebecca at Be Beautiful Beauty Blog.

Almost a year later I have finally tried it, and it's fantastic.  If you like that slightly heavier coverage with a matte velvety finish this is for you.  And it's only £13.50.

I have combination skin that gets very shiny very quickly and I really like the staying power of this foundation.  It doesn't crease or settle into fine lines or emphasise pores.  I can get a good 4-5 hours out of it before I need to re-powder (and with some foundations I get less than an hour) and it looks good all day.  The coverage is fantastic and it applies brilliantly with a brush (my preference) or with fingers.  A total winner.

I almost didn't include this Stila Countless Colour Pigment in Lyric because I was sure it was limited edition but I see it's still for sale on the Stila website.  These little pots are all unique due to the pressing and baking process and are a multi use powder (for cheeks and eyes) although I only use this pink and orange combo for my cheeks.

Lyric is perfect for summer-it's bright and cheerful and has a pearlised finish meaning a pop of colour on the cheeks with no need for a separate highlighter.  I love it at the moment.  Due to the pigment you do get a slightly different effect every time but I just swirl my brush round the pan and pop onto my cheeks.

Finally, MAC Lipglass in Pink Poodle is my perfect glossy pink summer lip!  Pink Poodle was a limited edition lipstick but is permanent in the lipglass range.

Slightly sticky but with decent staying powder and even fade, I love this light catching bright blue- toned pink with the teeniest bit of shimmer in the sunlight.

Do you love any of these as much as I do?

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

NARS Dual Intensity eyeshadows

One of the most exciting high end releases of the year so far, Nars have totally nailed the formula of their new Dual Intensity eyeshadows-in my humble opinion.

I went shopping for these, which are exclusive to Space NK in the UK until the end of July with Vanessa from The Other VW, a couple of weeks ago in London, visiting the pop up Nars store inside Space NK Soho.  It was set up really nicely and the staff were very helpful and friendly.

The shadows are tiny though!  You only get 1.5g of product (for comparison purposes, the single Nars shadows have 2.2g of product and the duos have 4g of product)

They come in the recognisable matte black Nars packaging, but oh rejoice, not the rubberised packaging that attracts every single fingerprint/cat hair/speck of dust and refuses to be cleaned.  This is smooth packaging that you can clean up easily with a baby wipe.

The texture of the eyeshodow is dry-what I mean by that is that I was so sure they were going to have that gel like springy texture-like the Chanel Illusion D'Ombre feel when you touch them.  But in reality they just feel like normal eyeshadow and apply really well with fingers or a brush.

And they really are great-the pigment is amazing even when dry.  They are shimmery but not glittery and the colour lasts all day without creasing or drying out.  They're even more brilliant over a primer or a cream shadow-any of the stick eyeshadows (By Terry, Make Up Forever, Laura Mercier, yadda yadda) work.

They blend easily, there's no fall out, they're not chalky and reflect the light beautifully.  When you apply wet the colour intensifies further and the finish is more foil like.

I have all the colours I think I want:

Phoebe-Amethyst with reflects of silver, blue and red
Callisto-Cool toned medium taupe with a pink edge to it
Dione-champagne bronze
Himilia-golden bronze

And the good news is they're permanent so there is no mad rush to stock up before you miss out.