Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Bobbi Brown Art Sticks review-and the beauty bloggers who NEED these in their lives

I seem to have stumbled on the perfect chunky lip pencil.  I say stumbled because the only review I have seen of these so far is from Laura at  Buy Now Blog Later and as far as I know, these haven't actually launched in the UK yet.  Dubai launching something before the UK??? Unheard of usually.

I am a big fan of chunky lip pencils-I must be seeing as I have a whole muji drawer dedicated to housing them!  My previous favourites were the Nars Velvet Matte formula and the Tarte Lipsurgence matte-but these have now been swept aside.  Yes fellow beauty lovers, there's a new girl in town and her name is Bobbi Brown.

The formula: Ridiculously easy to apply to the lips because of the 'reminiscent of childhood' crayon shape.  Remember to stay inside the lines kids.  And the formula is nothing short of immense...really.

The problem with pencil formulas is that they can be drier than the Dubai desert.  Not these chunksters.  The shea butter packed pencils glide on without being too slippery and leave a semi matte finish on the lips.  And once on, the formula stays really comfortable on the lips and feels weightless.  My lips didn't feel dry all day and when topping up my lip colour I didn't need to add a slick of lip balm to rehydrate before re-applying.  There was no pesky flaking off of the colour nor any bleeding-two pet lip related hates of mine!  Definitely more hydrating than the Nars Velvet Matte pencils.

Pigmentation: I chose three pretty punchy shades (there are only 8 in the range but 4 are relatively neutral-ish) and I am bowled over by the pigmentation.  Top marks.

Lasting power: Pretty decent.  I got 3 to 4 hours out of mine with an even fade.

It's fair to say these shades are going to be a staple over the summer and I got to thinking which of my beauty blogger friends would also like these.

Sunset Orange has got beautiful Sarah from And Beauty Or Something whose blog I adore and lovely Laura (whose complexion is like the perfect English rose) from Laurzrah's name all over it!!  Both of them love a bold lip and this punchy 'Lady Danger'-esque shade is going to be right up their street I am sure.  One blonde (like very blonde) and one brunette but both of them will look stunning wearing this shade.

No one pulls off a pink lip as well as my gorgeous friend Antonia from Mac and Cheese.  I remember her frantic search for the limited edition Mac Embrace Me bold pink lipstick last year.  I love the combination of blonde hair and pink lips and I know Antonia would wear this night and day.  This was easily the longest lasting of the three and the prettiest whether it was 'just applied bold' or 'what was left on my lips after eating a whole tub of yoghurt'!

Finally the adorable and hilarious Kate from Pretty Little Us and the ever glam Anoushka from Anoushka Loves  would rock the socks of this bright fuchsia.  This shade, whilst still being matte has a lovely sheen to it.  If you missed out on Mac's Flat Out Fabulous retro matte lipstick from last year this is a great dupe for it.  But the Retro Matte formula is painfully drying on me and I would pick this Bobbi Brown formula any of the Mac matte offerings any day.

These sticks will be permanent (yey) and are currently on sale in the US and in Dubai.  I will try and find out a UK release date.  I definitely recommend you hot foot it down to your nearest Bobbi Brown counter and pick up one.  Or two.  Or three....

Sunday, April 20, 2014

By Terry Cellularose Blush Glacé

When I did my huge haul post earlier this month, these were the items people wanted to see reviewed most of all.

I really wanted to love these.

I saw Laura from Buy Now Blog Later wearing them here and I think she looks just incredible.

They looked like a total winner.  Well despite the ridiculous £38 price tag.

I couldn't have logged onto Space NK and pressed 'click to buy' any faster.

When I opened them I gasped.....

They are quite possibly the most beautiful colours I have ever seen.  Especially the orange 'Flower Sorbet'.

They smell delicious-like summer if that is possible.

The texture is like nothing I have tried before.  It's not a gel, nor a cream, nor a mousse.

They swatch beautifully-I was so excited!

But I have tried everything and I cannot get these to even show up on my skin (inserts very sad faced emoji)

I have tapped in with my fingers,  I have rubbed in with my fingers. I have tried to apply with my fingers with no blending or rubbing to let it just 'sit' on my skin.  I have tried my stippling brush.  I have tried my beauty blender.  I have used a lot of product hoping the colour would eventually build up.  Nada.  Nothing.  The product just disappears into my skin not even leaving barely a hint of colour.

Here I have literally a ton of Flower Sorbet on and as you can see, there's nothing there.

And the Frozen Petal shade doesn't fair much better-again a ton of product here but just a tiny flush of colour.

I am literally distraught because I absolutely love the colours and I want them to show on my cheeks!  I am pale (NW15 in Mac foundation) so I thought these might be acid bright and need some careful blending but there's literally nothing to see here folks.

I have had a little look around the internet and they seem to fair better on olive skinned girls.  I hope they do because the texture and colour in the little glass jar is beyond beautiful.

PS if you do want a neon orange blush then Jen at Vibrant, Vivacious, Veracious has the one for you.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Christian Dior Fluid Sticks review

As soon as I saw the first images of these (pretty sure it was Sara at Color Me Loud who caused the enablement) I wanted one.  No I didn't, I wanted five!

I actually ended up with six after the SA in Sephora gave me Mona Lisette instead of Wonderland so I ended up buying Wonderland as well!

There are going to be about a million reviews of these popping up all over the place over the next couple of weeks so I'll keep it brief with my personal pro's and cons

  • Glossy, pigmented colour that doesn't bleed (except for Wonderland which did on me)
  • Long lasting-I got 5-6 hours out of mine which is impressive
  • Fades evenly, no nasty rings left behind or patchiness
  • Non drying
  • Teardrop shaped application wand makes it super easy to apply to the bottom lip 
  • Lips look plumped and juicy!
  • Easy to top up if needed throughout the day
  • No glitter or sparkle in the shades
  • There is a distinct tingle when you apply-something I am personally not a fan of
  • The shape of the application wand makes it quite tricky to apply to the top lip and get an even line-especially the brighter colours
  • The formula applies quite thickly so you need to ensure you smooth it out evenly with the wand-you can see where the colour has pooled on my bottom lip in the Wonderland and Mona Lisette swatches
  • They are tacky-for at least half an hour after application-not nastily so but you definitely know you are wearing something on your lips
  • They have a tendency when first applied to get on your teeth-however a quick 'finger in the mouth' trick removes the excess and stops it happening again

The initial very 'wet look' lacquer finish doesn't last and the formula does dry down to a very wearable but still glossy long lasting stain.

In summary, they're a kind of easy to use, wetter than lipstick but thicker than gloss, super shiny lip product!  I like them, I don't utterly adore them but I will get a lot of use out of them-I have particularly been loving Tiny Pink and wearing it non stop the past few days.  If you like the YSL glossy stains you will love these.

Are you tempted by these new launches?

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Currently Loving

This last week has been tough!  Mike collapsed and was taken to hospital with chest pains on Wednesday last week so he is going back to hospital tomorrow for a few more tests and to see the cardiologist again.  I am just not feeling right.  Nothing specific or genuinely ill but a feeling of general 'run down-ness', tiredness and just not feeling myself.  But the show must go on as they say!!

I think over the next few weeks we will be considering some all round lifestyle changes to get us a bit healthier as we admittedly lead quite an unhealthy lifestyle-especially me, two of my three meals a day are generally ordered in and eaten at my desk in the office!  And I am a raging chocoholic!

In the meantime, I have been reflecting on what products I am currently loving.

First up is the cleanser I am using in the morning, the much hyped Sunday Riley Ceramic Slip.  I was on a waiting list for this for ages on the Space NK website but I finally got my hands on it!

OK so the claims are pretty steep and after using this for about 4 weeks now I don't think I have 'flawless skin' or 'miniscule pores' but I still really like it.  It has a light gel texture which doesn't overly foam and no distinct smell.  I apply it in the morning to damp hands then massage into my face before washing off under the shower.  My skin isn't left feeling tight or dry or tingly.  The only downside is I think you need to use about 4-5 pumps to wash your face thoroughly.  Having said that, four weeks in and I still have over half left.  I personally wouldn't use it to remove make up but it would be a good second cleanser and contains a real cocktail of skin pleasing ingredients-French green clay to draw out impurities and Vitamin C to reduce discolouration and stimulate collagen production.  Sandalwood combats sensitivity, black pepper promotes circulation and jasmine soothes.

Repurchase?  Yes please!

Next up is a Nars duo I have had for ages and don't give enough love to!  It contains an almost foil like bronze which doesn't run particularly warm nor cold so will look fab on everyone and a plummy taupe with a satin finish.  They blend effortlessly and last all day long.  I pledge to show Kalahari much more love.

Two lip products make the cut next-first up the Burts Bees rejuvenating lip balm with Acai Berry.  Although I have one in my handbag at the moment I am not that much of a fan of the original Burts Bees formula-I find it drags on the lips a bit, I don't like the smell or the tingle and isn't terribly moisturising, but the Acai Berry version is so much better!  It imparts no colour to the lips and glides on, moisturising and smoothing as it goes.  It smells so much nicer than the original and is the perfect base for lipstick.  I think I'll be throwing out the original version in my handbag and replacing it with this.

My second lip favourite is the new YSL Gloss Volupte.  I own 5 of these now and I just love the glossy, non sticky, glass like shine they impart along with the hint of colour.  The one you see below is 204 Corail Trapeze and is the perfect spring/summer lip.  You can see it in action here.  And the packaging-inserts 10 heart shaped eye emojis

Next up is a product I probably wouldn't have spoken about on my blog if it wasn't for the fact Sephora is now shipping to the UK as it was available in the US only (and I feel mean to my UK readers) but now I am telling you to all go out and buy the Josie Maran Coconut Water Cheek Gelee in Poppy Paradise.

I absolutely love the formula, it feels like jelly in the pot without being messy and squishy.  The colour is to die for-a pink toned, almost neon coral but without being at all in your face.  I prefer to dip a stippling brush in the pot (hence all the brush marks), tap the excess on the back of my hand and lightly buff into the skin.  I can't get enough of it!  It's easily buildable and the lasting power is incredible.  I highly recommend.

And the perfect brush to stipple the Josie Maran blush onto my face?  I have been loving the Mac 130 Short Duo Fibre brush.  It has tightly packed bristles making controlling the application a doddle.  It doesn't swallow up too much product (I hate brushes that do that) and is brilliant with all types of cream blusher.  I think I bought it originally as a foundation brush but I find the head a bit small for all over application.  Am very tempted to buy a back up-you never know when a cat is going to nab off with it and stash it in their magical hiding place where the tops off everything seem to go.  I saw Fizzy sniffing around it this morning....

What are you currently loving?

Saturday, April 12, 2014

What's in my handbag-the weekend edit.

It's the weekend which I always feel calls for a less 'everything but the kitchen sink' approach to my handbag.

Here's the minimal basics I carry around at the weekend.

First up I am loving my Louis Vuitton Speedy 35 in their classic monogram which was a birthday gift from Mike.  It's actually the first time I have taken it out of the dust bag today and it still has the creases in from where Louis Vuitton fold the bag flat!

The 35 is the perfect size for chucking everything in and fits perfectly in the crook of the arm.

My Prada saffiano leather purse was a present from my best friend Danielle for my 30th.  Four years on (ahem) it still looks good and the colour and size is just perfect.

I don't go anywhere without my iphone 5 for essential twitter/instagram updates through the day.  The battery is horrific so I generally always have a charger with me as well.  The screen saver is my super cute nieces.

Minimal but essential make up-a lip balm-the Eve Lom Kiss Mix was the closest to hand this morning and is a minty fresh, slightly tingling balm but kind of messy for touch ups during the day.  It's a great overnight balm though.

I've been carrying around the Chanel Les Beiges for a while for touch ups to my shiny t-zone throughout the day.  This is one compact that actually comes with a half decent brush.  I don't adore it but it blots shine for an hour or so and of course it looks pretty swanky.

Today's lip choice (and it is actually amazing there was only one in my handbag) is the Nars Satin Lip Pencil in Lohdi-a super bright coral colour.

I love the Nars Satin Lip pencil formula and here's why
  • They glide on the lips effortlessly and feel weightless on the lips
  • They pack a pigmentation punch and they fade really evenly
  • They're not drying at all and you'll get no bleeding or settling into a nasty ring around the lips
  • They're easy to re-apply during the day
  • They sharpen easily

I don't go anywhere without sunglasses in Dubai-the harsh UVA/UVB rays are constant and I try to limit wrinkles by always protecting my eyes.

These sunglasses are from Tiffany and have a cat eye shape and Tiffany blue trim and a Tiffany heart on the arm.

A few people have asked me which sunglasses these are and you can find them here but I got mine from House of Fraser in Westfield last year.

As some of you know Mike has been unwell the last few days and is still undergoing tests.

We've been trying to take it easy this weekend but felt a bit couped up whilst the sun shone outside so we went out for lunch today and some fresh air (well as fresh as you can get in Dubai).  It was 34 degrees today and definitely the last few weeks before it's too hot to do anything outside!

What do you carry around at the weekends in your handbag?  You can see my 'everything but the kitchen sink' normal handbag post here