Senin, 28 Februari 2011

Bye Bye Le Metier De Beaute



I'm so sad that Le Metier is pulling out of the UK: Echo Blush is one of my all-time favourites and became one of my staple gifts for girlfriends - now I need to find the next holy grail blush to replace it. Although other bloggers have spoken to the counter staff at Selfridges who cite distribution problems as their reason for heading back to the US, it can in truth only be that they weren't earning their keep on the cattlemarket Selfridges beauty floor. It was always a big ask to move from the cosiness of Liberty to the vast wilderness of Selfridges, but it's a very great shame, nonetheless. So, if you have any last minute Le Metier items you want to stock up on, I'd suggest you do it now.

One of my favourite beauty items ever was the limited edition Le Metier/Roopal Patel palette (above) from 2009. I have it still, in pristine condition, as a benchmark of how beauty can really be done well.

Minggu, 27 Februari 2011

Isla Sirena

Right, you'll have to bear with me while I confess to confusion about Isla Sirena: from what I understand, it appears to be a co-brand initiative between DuWop and Disney with parts remaining DuWop and The Treasure Map palette being Disney, but the whole lot 'inspired' to varying degrees by Pirates of the Caribbean..er, I think. I've currently only got an image of the palette closed but inside it carries the image of the map from Pirates of The Caribbean: On Stranger Tides (I will pop in an image as soon as I get one). It contains nine eye shadows, three lip tints, three gel liners and three brush applicators and at £35, it's not a very Disney price. 
At the more DuWop end of the scale are three new Caribbean inspired Iced Teas, an already existing product in the DuWop range and only anything very loosely to do with pirates as far as I can see: if you haven't used these before they are the sheerest possible tints of colour that are highly flavoured - fab if you love flavoured balms. They come in Mint Mojito, Butter Rum and Pink Grapefruit and are super-sweet in flavour - which probably works against them as a balm as you really can't help licking it off your lips!
And then, there are the eye and lip duos, Mermaid, Treasure and Pirate Antique Golden Shells, but I'll have to disagree with the release which promises they'll give 'mermaid chic'. What even is that? But, there are some really pretty colours so we'll forgive the fishy tale. 

Finally, there is Mermaid Mist, which despite the name, I'm holding out quite a bit of hope for. Formulated with Head Make-Up Artist of Pirates of The Caribbean, Joel Harlow, it's an aerosol version of DuWop's already existing DoubleGlow7 (you see, this PoTC thing isn't making any sense really) a luminous face balm that gives instant radiance and contains jojoba, aloe vera, lily extract and vitamins along with milled pearls, and comes in shades Champagne and Deep.


Okay, so DuWop seem to be using a large part of their existing range with new Pirate themed names as part of a merchandising initiative with Disney and revving it up to be even more piratey by calling it Mermaid something or other. I'm still confused though - even their famous Lip Venom has been repackaged and called Mermaid Venom. I can't really see the point of it, or even who it's going to appeal to.


I do like the shell duos though - there are some really pretty colours and the packaging is full of summer.

Thalgo Ocean Memory Body Cream


Personally, I find it quite hard to justify really splashing out on body creams when there are so many good ones on the market that don't cost a bomb (ahem, I am forgetting for a little while my penchant for Sisley Confort Extreme Body Creme that is £73 - it's a very long time since I bought any but still swear it will out-moisturise any other creams on the market) - it's the ones that hover at around £20 or so that confuse me most - usually they aren't bringing much to the moisturising party that cheaper ones aren't but are an add on to an extensive bath and body range (Bliss and Molton Brown spring to mind). However, I feel a little differently about Thalgo Ocean Memory Body Cream even though it hovers at around £42 in price. They say it '..enables you to experience the unique sensation of a return to the origins of the ocean.' Er, I don't even know what that means. They continue, '..it releases the energy of thousand year old micro-algae into the heart of the cells...your skin is revitalised, incredibly soft and hydrated.' Ok, I will put aside all the stuff about thousand year old micro-algae although I don't doubt it contains it, but more because I'm not sure that a younger vintage of algae wouldn't do exactly the same in terms of nutrient delivery. I've got to admit though, it is a sensorial experience - the cream is a cooling gel-cream that leaves skin absolutely silky soft - I put some on about an hour ago and my skin still feels softened. It's incredibly lightly scented - no whiffy shea butter shenanigans in this baby -and the vague scent there is is refreshing. It feels and behaves like a proper treat for the skin, and for that I don't mind paying. It would be the cream I use as a special treat before a night out or when I just want to feel properly pampered. Is it any better in terms of hydrating than a bottle of Aveeno for example? The honest answer is that I don't know - it uses different ingredients, certainly, and is way lighter in consistency for an equally hydrating result. But, the bottom line is that I like it, and if those ancient micro-algaes are doing something good for my skin, then so much the better.

Sure Crystal Deoderant


Well, I'll have to admit that deoderant doesn't feature much in my thinking - I just buy some when we run out and don't really think twice about which brand I'm buying. I've used a Tesco own brand for ages, had a run with Mitchum unscented (which I must admit is very, very good) but it isn't until something is shoved under your nose that you take a second look. Cue Sure Crystal - I went to an event hosted by Sure Crystal and Dove Invisible Dry - and because I don't stock pile deoderants, the time came that I ran out and gave them both a go. Of the two, Sure Crystal is the winner for me - I wear a lot of black so am familiar with the tedium of white marks caused by deoderant and so the fact that I didn't get white marks is an absolute bonus. It's just one of those little things in life that won't rock my world but just makes it a slightly more hassle-free place.

Jumat, 25 Februari 2011

Frontcover Custom Palette

I like the Frontcover baked shadows - they're easy to use and give a good, silky colour payoff at a reasonable price (and there always seem to be offers around on the big multi-shadow boxes). The new customisable palette is a great idea - pick your own colours so you don't end up with the-shade-you-never-use that seem to lurk in most palettes.


The marine colours shown here are gorgeous...and from the chart shown, I could easily pick out a quad that wouldn't have the obligatory duff colour. If you buy the empty compact, £5, and four shades - normally £4 each - you can get the whole set for £15, saving £6. Find it in Boots from March (or get in a sneaky purchase on line now at Boots.com).

butterLONDON Bluey

It's not often I get a hand mixed sample of nail polish, but this one is so early, early for next autumn that it's still only at sample stage. Nonie Creme, creative director of butterLONDON nail polish aimed for 'luxe grunge' for the A/W11 catwalk shows and mixed up custom colours for various designers. So, that's how this one, Bluey, came to be. The colour is quite complex (and therefore an absolute b***ard to photograph!) with blue/green tones and a hint of greenish shimmer - bigger that usual shimmers but not quite glitter. Despite its name, I find it more green than blue, but it's truly beautiful.



photo taken indoors


photo taken outdoors
Handily I've just been sent a proper image so I think it gives a clearer idea of how the colour really is:

 

Kamis, 24 Februari 2011

Swatches: Andrea Fulerton Nails and Pixi Endless Silky Eye Pen



Really feeling for teal shades at the moment - this Endless Silky Eye Pen from Pixi in True Teal is slightly metallic and has good hold on the lids - you can smudge it up a bit, but really it looks best in one slim line across the lid.


I decided to get all nail arty with the Andrea Fulerton Trio Colour Layering System in Rainfall. You can wear either colour or paint one over the other to create a third shade - I used two bottom coats of the turquoise shade and then while it was still wet, stroked a generous helping of the darker, shimmery blue colour partially over the top. I need to practice more, but I love this look - it's something a little bit different I think.

Guerlain Terracotta Inca 2011

I think it would be fair to say that the Guerlain creative team have surpassed themselves this year. I've just been to see the most stunning collection that will launch into stores from 27th March. Enjoy!

Two of the three gorgeous, vibrant glosses to come in Mambo (coral) and Tango (red). They're very sheer so don't think 'scary pout'!



This is the stand out piece: Terre Indigo Four Shade Eye Shadow containing orange, blue and two tones of brown oversprayed with a gold shimmer to create a stunning Inca inspired pattern.


This is Terra Inca Sublime Radiant Powder, scented with Jasmine and held in a wooden case that stays closed thanks to magnets. 


Terracotta Khol Kajal
The items I liked best - and could see myself wearing all summer long - are the Ombre Fusion Cream Eyeshadows with a metallic finish in the most delicious muted shades of Bahia (pale pink), Havana (bronze) and Maya (copper). They glide on like a dream and look intense and shimmery with no weight to them.
Havana

Maya

Estee Lauder Pure Color Lipsticks and Nail Polishes Launch This Weekend

I posted about these fabulous new shades before Christmas when I attended the press preview and launch date is finally here! This is the collection where Lauder go funky - they've got some amazing nails shades with my favourites being Mega Fuchsia and Wild Blue, while over on the lipstick side of things, with 27 new shades in the long last formula and 18 in the Crystal formula there's something for everyone to pout about. I've been wearing Mega Fuchsia recently and it's such a refreshing, bright colour that lasts well (CND Sticky underneath) it's definitely going to become a firm favourite. Here are the colour charts so you can see what it's all about.



My favourite Mega Fuchsia

Rabu, 23 Februari 2011

Model's Own Mascara

The busy people at Model's Own have found time between sticking diamonds on nail polish lids to create a range of mascaras, the Hi Definer Collection. So, meet the new MO crew:

Ultra Waterproof
 

Lashed Up Volumizer (with 'V' groove brush) 



Lengthen & Curl
 

Grow Fast Mascara (to increase lash length) 



They'll all be available from March at £6 each.

Justin Bieber's Hair Cut

It's almost scary how many people are interested in the Beiber's new shorter do. Yes, it's cute, yes, he looks good and yes, he's a product fiend! Apparantly, he can't stop boosting his fine hair up with Davines Wizards No14 Sea Salt primer which gives his new shorter look a messed up chic. 


Unfortunately, I can't really tell the difference between 'then' and 'now', but if it's anything like the Jennifer Aniston 'Rachel' do, this is going to take on a whole life of it's own. Lucky Davines!


Tesco Beauty Salons

I've just read a post and subsequent comments on the fabulous www.beaut.ie about Tesco in-store beauty salons. Until I read this, I really didn't think I had much to say on the subject, but the Beauties know how to get people talking and thinking so now I do have something to say about it.

Tesco basically dominates virtually every single town in the UK - it has shredded traditional high streets all over the land with price wars that independent retailers just can't match. I have a Tesco just round the corner from me and it is where I shop the most, but do I like shopping there? No, not really. It's just convenient and that is all. But would I want my lower legs waxed for a tenner after I've picked up the fruit and veg? No, thank you. Not because I don't want a wax for a tenner, but because I really just cannot stand the way that Tesco is determined to single-handedly turn the UK into United Tesco. Whether salons are over-priced or not, what else are they going to incoroporate into the mega-stores? They already sell books, stamps, clothes, electricals and the obvious food, meat, fish and whatever else you could possibly need. But a haircut in Tesco? I don't think it would be worse than anywhere else - why should it be? But if we want our high streets turned into derelict shadows then obviously heading along to Tesco is the thing to do. Personally, I don't want that. And it isn't some middleclass value that wants artisan shops and carbon neutral cheese; it's more that not having individual high street shops impacts more than you can imagine. When I was little, going to the sweetshop involved a whole lot of learning processes; making decisions on what I wanted, how many I wanted, how much I could actually afford with my pocket money and understanding weights was all seamlessly integrated into something I didn't even think twice about. Going to the grocer or the butcher was exactly the same and buying ingredients raw to actually cook something was a start to finish process that instilled a whole pile of skills that one just incorporated into daily life. If what Tesco are doing is trying to create a mind-numbing one stop shop for all areas of life, where thought isn't necessary, in a sterile, pleasureless environment, yay! They win that badge, in my opinion.

The other thing is that beauty treatments come in all shapes and sizes, but even 15 minutes at the beautician can give you a me-time break that is far removed from a tag-it-on-to-the-other-chores experience Tesco is offering. It's only a hair cut or a leg-wax but to shrink wrap that too is crazy - let's leave beauty treatments as a salon experience, support our local businesses and not disintigrate our beauty time into a supermarket trolley dash. If it means salons have to be more competitive, then that is great for the end user, but if it means salons have to shut down, then it's shocking.

Selasa, 22 Februari 2011

Boots Moisturising Nail Polish Remover Pads



I was pretty pleased to pick these polish remover soaked pads up in Boots for £1.58. Until I got them home and tried to use them. The pads (and why they're called pads is a mystery because there is nothing whatsoever padded about them) and super thin circles of remover soaked cloth that are fiddly to pick up and I really had to scrub away to get them to remove any polish. There is no way you could use even just one or two to remove three coats from ten nails. Even though they are a very budget price, the fact is that they make a tedious job ten times more so, so I'd rather pay more to get a product that actually works in a meaningful way. Then, I dropped them in the bath by mistake. Bad times :-(

MUFE HD Foundation


I'm sure there will a collective gasp of horror from MUFE lovers but, I really, really don't like HD Foundation. I picked some up from Sephora when I was in Paris and had huge expectations from the oil-free base that is supposed to give a 'soft-focus' finish. To use a very British expression, my arse! If anything, it sucked the life out of my skin, I didn't have even the teeniest bit of glow and generally found it very drying. So disappointed. On the plus, yes, it did cover up flaws, but I'd expect that of any medium weight foundation.

Senin, 21 Februari 2011

Gucci School Drop Out

Fun times at the Revlon Beauty Class with make up artist Gucci Westman running a tutorial on how to achieve the look she created for Alice Temperley for London Fashion Week - a purple/grey smoky eye and a red lip - and to introduce Revlon's big summer launch, Just Bitten Lipstain.

We were each given a set of brushes and the colours we needed to recreate the look - and a real model each to work on. Honestly, it's a whole other thing when you're given an actual person to work on - I was terrified of stabbing her in the eye with my brush, but she was so sweet and accommodating although I don't think I have the gentle touch she's used to because she jumped a few times. Oops.
She's laughing now..... 
To start, we used our foundation brushes to give a soft, natural look that evened out the skin tone but didn't look overtly made up. Gucci did a clever thing with the blusher by brushing it just under the cheek bone and with a very light touch... I got a bit heavy handed and my poor model looked a little flushed!
Foundation, blush and one coat of purple over a base of grey on the eyes


So, on the eyes, using a base of pale grey, we brushed the entire lower lid with it, and topped over with a slightly irridescent purple shade. We then added to that a dark shimmering grey shade (mine fell all over her cheeks) at the outer corners and then blended in. Gucci did a little walk about to check everyone's work and when she got to mine she said, 'I love how everyone is interpreting the look differently' which I took to be make up artist speak for 'that looks nothing like it should'!

I can only apologise for the brows....
We then added kohl on the inner rims (I got my nice model to do her own because I seriously didn't feel competent to be fiddling about actually inside someone else's eye) and when it came to add the mascara I just wasn't gentle enough on her and she did jump about a bit so I left it at one coat because it didn't seem fair to keep on putting her through it. Then, I had a go at her eyebrows - as you can see above, it wasn't an unqualified success - she has really pretty, natural brows that aren't plucked but were quite fair - so I added wayyyy to much brown brow powder to her and made her look like like one of the characters from Guess Who.
The finished look.
 Finally, we added Just Bitten Lipstain, which handily comes as a dual ended pen with a balm at one end and a pen tip with colour at the other. Gucci suggested that we use the balm first to soften the look before adding the stain. The colour here used is Flame - a pinky red. These launch in June for £7.99.

All in all, it was a really good experience though - if only to prove that my make up artist aspirations should really truly stay as just that - aspirations!

Minggu, 20 Februari 2011

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